Irritating Archery #7 – Experimental Fun

I love comics.  I think I’ve made that clear.  I love every kind of comic and everything you can do with them.  They are brilliant and the people that make them can be just as amazing.  I would go so far as to say that the only problem with comics is the people that read them… and maybe Jim Balent, I’m not sure on that one as it could just be the fact my vagina is haunted…

I all seriousness though when I think about what can be done with comics a big grin crosses my ugly face.  And it is a damned ugly face seeing as how I haven’t shaved in weeks and I look horrendous with a full beard.  The amount of things you can do with comics is just staggering.  And I think one man will be able to accomplish it all.  That man is Mike Allred.  (Bet you thought I was going to say Grant Morrison huh?)  Seriously though.  Grab an issue of Madman sometime.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s one giant crazy fun experiment.  Whether it’s an issue that has every panel in a different art style or an issue that’s merely all one long individual issue it’s amazing what he’s been able to do.  He’s gone crazy with experimentation and it’s been fun and still all makes sense in the context of the overall comic book dynamic.  That to me is an amazing feat.  Unfortunately that’s what it is to me.  


For a lot of other people it’s just annoying.  I’ve seen it in the books letters pages, online, or maybe heard it in shops.  People actually asking him to stop experimenting and get back to being a regular superhero book.  Why?  Why is it that people want the same generic story told to them over and over again.  And why is it that when someone does experiment somehow it’s frowned upon because it’s “Hard to understand” or “Not in continuity”  One of which I can understand and the other is something people should be punched in the Richard for saying.  Really.  If your biggest criteria for a book is that it’s in continuity you are missing out on an amazing amount of material.  You also scare me as you aren’t a comic fan.  You are just an obsessive fanboy.  That’s not a bad thing per-se but when you are limiting yourself from some of the best parts of the comic book market you are doing yourself a disservice.  Seriously if you are having trouble understanding a story that is fine.  It’s a legitimate gripe.  It means that for you the experiment failed.  It either clicks with you or it doesn’t.


When I first saw the talk about what Wednesday Comics is going to be I practically wet myself with the same glee I feel when I read something truly experimental that works.  This is something that could work or could fall on it’s face and fail miserably.  The sad thing is that with the attitude of not buying books that don’t conform to a tiny little bubble, I have a feeling it’s going to be the second.  Which is a sad thing as the idea of it is absolutely brilliant.  Especially if it is cheaper on newsprint with giant super pages.  That to me is such a brilliant idea.  And not just because I’ve always loved the Sunday funnies.  But I see so many comments about how you “Are burned by Countdown or Trinity”  which aren’t even remotely comparable to this book.  I’ve heard so many people talk about skipping it for all of those reasons that it makes me sad.  Especially since this is one that looks like it could be a ton of fun.  And there is another bone I have to pick.


I’m wallowing a bit on the sadness and annoyance front today but honestly it’s probably the best day for comics I’ve had in a long while.  I’m a big fan of fun and I found out that the book I had the most fun with in a long time is suddenly going to be a backup story in the book that is the second most fun book I’ve read in that time.  Blue and Gold in one book.  That puts a smile on my face.  10 page backups of some of my favorite books all of which are being written by the people that pretty much were the writers.  (Sturgess in just a few issues earned that right since it sounds like John Rogers won’t be returning anytime soon)  But my problem is this.  I constantly hear people crying about how there aren’t any fun books being put out and everything is shrouded in darkness and realism.  What I don’t understand is how come people can’t get there heads out long enough to actually try books that are fun just because the guy in the suit might be a different guy than what they want.  Let’s take a short list.


This list is brought to you by Old Spice.


Irredeemable Ant-Man – It was an over the top silly ridiculously fun book that lived up to it’s name.


Blue Beetle – Fun, every single issue was pure fun.  Great dialogue and characters but made of fun!


Booster Gold – See Above.


what do all 3 of those books have in common.  They sold like crap and got canceled before they should have.  So tell me again how we don’t have any fun comics.  You know why we don’t have many of them?  Because people won’t buy them because they don’t fit perfectly into their tiny little box of sexy doom.


Seriously people.  Try fun.  It’s worth it.  Get out of your little boxes and expand out.  Try a new trade sometimes, grab something new and give it a chance.  Don’t be scared of something fun or experimental.  Sometime you may find crap (That’s why we have libraries) but sometimes you may find some gold that you can enjoy reading over and over and over and over again.  And it’s those moments when you do find that random book that clicks that make comics worth owning.


A short note before I get to my reviews this week.  Some people may have noticed that the column hit a short span of bi-weekly releases. While that was supposed to only last one section it ended up going to two bi-weekly columns as after returning from Wondercon I ended up getting an editing project to work on that is going to suck up a lot of my time.  Not only do I love comics, I edit them. 


Geek Out Of the Last 4 Weeks – Comics


4 weeks, 4 reviews 3 issues and one trade.



Remember that thing I said about fun.  Well it is!  It’s fun from start to finish whether it’s the brilliant Ted Kord cameo, snappy dialogue or tragic villain origin the book ended on a sour but happy note leaving me wanting more from Sturgess.  I was sad.  I spent 3 weeks lamenting the loss of what had become my favorite ongoing title at the time of it’s cancellation.  I hate losing fun great characters.  It turns out that I didn’t.  We get it back and hopefully Matt gets to continue his quality run for a good while as a ten page backup in the Booster Gold.




Another fun book.  This is the story told by (Spoilers) which gives hints as to the origin of the house as well as (Spoiler) Identity as possibly being (Spoiler).  Why is Figs Dad so mysterious.  How does he know all he knows?  Just who is (Spoiler)?  The entertaining backup story that seems to be the origin of Figs Dad which has me amazingly intrigued.  2 in a row Matt.  You knocked them out of the park.  If people aren’t reading this book thy should really do themselves a favor and pick it up.




Great issue with an amazing cover.  This my friends is the absolute best Lovecraftian Horror Comic on the stands.  Not just that.  It’s the best Horror Comic on the stands sitting right up there just above David Hahns Strange Embrace in my pantheon of horror comics.  Buy it, read it, love it, then get the Hardcover because this really is one of the best comics on the stands today.


And Finally




When this book first showed up I just didn’t have any interest in it.  I tried the first issue and it was ok but I don’t think it grabbed me.  I was a dumb ass.  Because if I had read the second I would have been hooked because it takes off into a realm of awesome creativity the likes of which are very rare in comics.  Remember those experimental ideas I was talking about.  Well this is a pretty damn good one.  G. Willow Wilson has joined my list of writers that I will pick up and give a good shot to anything they do because she has not let me down.  Whether it was the excellent Vixen mini or the copy of Cairo I drove to the bookstore and grabbed once I finished this trade she has earned that trust as a damn damn slid writer with a great grasp of the comic form.  The one flaw with the book is probably the art which is quite inconsistent.  Some pages really seemed off but others were absolutely amazing (Most notably the introduction of a certain historical figure.)  Regardless of any problems I had with the art this was a 5 star book all the way and at it’s discount price it is well worth picking up and reading. 


Next Week in Geek


Unknown Soldier #6


I’ve had this one here before.  It’s because the book is excellent.  I’m hoping it continues it’s high quality run because Josh Dysart is hitting a home run with this one.


Elephantmen #17


Starkings got me addicted and I’ve loved every second of it.  I’m gonna keep on buying till it’s all done with because the book is awesome.


Hero Squared: Love & Death #2 (Of 3)


Do you like insane fun?  Then buy this book.  An excellent superhero comedy from Boom Studios it’s worth every penny.


Madame Xanadu #9 -$2.99


This has become one of my favorite books on the stands month in and month out.  Vertigo is really kicking some ass right now.


Jack Of Fables #32


More of that whole fun thing I seem to love so much.  Why do I love fun?  I must be crazy!


Well that’s it for this week.  I’ll be back regularly next week but until then feel free to leave a comment below or call me out on my twitter feed 


Until next time, I’m out.

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