Friday, 10 August 2012

Issue #22: Tabletosity and comic downloadment.

As tweeted over a week ago, I purchased a tablet (a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, for those interested) and dived into this whole digital comics thing with gusto.  I’ve mainly used Comixology, and began by purchasing a few things I’ve wanted to read for a while, like Batman Incorporated and Superman: Red Son.  Why do they make it so scarily fucking easy to buy shit!?!  Strangely I find the digital format to be somehow less committal than real comic books (which doesn’t make sense, I could always sell my real collection if the urge ever took me), and exploited the opportunity to dip my toe into a few waters I probably otherwise would have stayed out of, like the first six issues of the new (but how much longer do we consider the “new 52” as “new”?) Green Arrow which were nothing special, and Deathstroke, which I’m finding to be violent trash (in a good way).  There’s not too much though that I feel compelled to actually write about, despite my enjoyment of almost everything on at least some level, with the exception of the following two books.

What Am I Going To Do Without You? – It had not even been 24 hours into my digital comics discovery tour before I stumbled upon this beautiful book by Patt Kelley.  Strange and beautiful like a Wes Anderson movie, What Am I Going To Do Without You? begins with the discovery of a dead dinosaur in the woods that quickly becomes a news sensation.  Life goes on for a small group of unconnected characters though, and sometimes your world can just be about being bullied, or walking your dog.  At the centre of the tale is the love story of an old couple that is further solidified when the husband is told he only has a short time to live.  There is a beauty and innocence here that is so moving and touching, which somehow avoids absurd contrast with the cartoonish art style.  The characters feel real, and the story reminds us that when the sky falls, being with our loved ones is what’s really important.  And that dogs are amazing.

I got this from Comixology but it’s also available from the Top Shelf website, but was a little disappointed when shopping for a print version for my Mum that it’s available in digital format only.  What Am I Going To Do Without You? Made for a wonderful break in my usual super reading and I highly recommend this book to anyone with a human heart in their chest.

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1   The opinions and controversy surrounding Before Watchmen has been well documented, debated, discussed and blogged about and I’ll assume that readers will have already formed a solid opinion regarding the politics of this series’ release.  I’m not here to sway that perspective, I will simply state that of all the Watchmen characters I feel Ozymandias is the one with a back story worth telling, so with trepidation I waded in to waters I’d been warned about.  What we get is an almost cinematic origin story that while serviceable, may fall flat with anyone who has watched a few superhero movies in the last decade.  Thankfully, the stunning artwork of Jae Lee more than makes up for it, making the look back at the character’s childhood seem dreamlike and surreal.  Each page features panels arranged in an almost architectural style, suggesting windows as Ozymandias explores his own memories.  I love the example of how perception of a memory can slightly skew the truth, as the child Ozmandias defends himself against a bully, the kick to the leg seems to result in explosion as if delivered by shotgun.

You’ve probably already decided how interested you are in Before Watchmen.  I don’t much care for the other stories in the series, but I’m sticking with this.  It might not set a benchmark for story, and we already know what Ozymandias is destined to do.  But this book is too pretty for me to ignore.

Back again soon kids...

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