Spinner Rack is back! Who knew? Not me. Did you? What other secrets are you keeping from me? How dare you. Anyway, because literally no one demanded it, here’s more of my ineloquent ramblings regarding funny books that’ve been spinning around my hippocampus this week.
- I want to like the new Black Panther run so much more than I do. It’s really good, no doubt, but there’s something askew about it. A lack of something to hold on to; a lack of focus on who I’m supposed to feel what for. It’s not T’Challa so far, of that I’m certain. Coates, Stelfreeze, and Martin are producing something that’s beautiful to look at and hypnotically cryptic and yet it’s as though it’s too large to fit. It’s only two issues in, of course, so best to judge the whole story once we reach an actual finish line to better assess how the structure succeeds, but there’s been a lot of seeding for bigger (and pleasantly surprising) thematic elements with less focus on the titular hero than was expected. Ta-Nehisi Coates clearly has a grand story he wants to tell and I think the pacing thus far is tightly controlled to meet whatever those needs are, but on a more base level perhaps a part of me wanted to see a little more about why T’Challa is such an intriguing character to root for. He’s conflicted here and virtually all of it is because of events that happened prior to the opening of this series, which is surprising because you have to figure there’s a hell of a lot of new readers hopping on because of Black Panther’s inarguable awesomeness in Civil War and because of the rightfully curious masses who wanted to see Coates write this character. Considering that, as philistine as it might have been, I was partially hoping to see more showing of why Black Panther is as enthralling as he is. Introduce him on a grand scale, show us him doing what he does best for a few pages, then introduce his conflict and lead us down the path of your intricate plot. But that’s not fair because that’s just what I want, not the story trying to be told. I get it. I really love the very direct commentary on patriarchal oppression that’s at the heart of quite a lot of it so far. It all gets entwined in the various forms of ruling and the burdens that come with each. It’s just that…I don’t have anything to hold on to emotionally (yet) beyond the relationship and violent mission of Aneka and Ayo.
- What a fucking joy Future Quest #1 was. An absolute realization of the premise’s potential that is shocking, which is silly because this creative team of Parker, Shaner, Rude, & Bellaire is basically money in the bank. It ties together these properties seamlessly and it’s not doing so by resting on the laurels of nostalgia either; it’s tightly orchestrated without losing an ounce of the whimsical charm of the original properties. Parker instils this anachronistic quality to the setting with mentions of climate change and G.P.S. devices that beautifully pairs with the authentic sixties aesthetic that the art team is laying down. And, son, the art. The art. Grab me by my Space Ghost and call me Race Bannon, this book is beautiful. Shaner was born to do this book, Rude has worked on these books before, and Jordie Bellaire once again proves why she’s right at the top of the colorist talent ladder. I can’t believe how excited I am to pick up the next issue and just sit back and watch these masters of the craft go to town on characters that are inherently charming. Yes. Go. Buy.
- At the moment (i.e. the past 30 odd years of my life) I’m in a deep Simpsons hole. It’s easily my favorite piece of entertainment that’s ever been produced and a huge part of how my brain has shaped into the glut of inanity that it is. Keeping to comics (for the moment), I never read much of The Simpsons comics from Bongo, but I vividly remember buying and being enraptured by Radioactive Man #1 when I was a kid. The appeal, to my nascent fanatical mind, was the meta quality of getting to hold in my hands a real, tactile comic that was in essence the same fictional comic that the characters on my favorite show held and experienced. And…I was so pissed when it wasn’t an exact panel-by-panel recreation of the comic as shown in “Three Men and a Comic Book” from Season 2. Omg. So pissed, you guys. That should tell you what a horrible little weirdo I was at age 9. Insufferable. It’s a miracle I didn’t turn into one of these god awful anti-Ghostbuster ghouls that have ruined the internet for everyone. (P.S. The new Ghostbusters gets a thumbs up from me and I hope the babies never stop crying about their nonsensical crusade to preserve their unique sparkle childhoods).
- Speaking of The Simpsons, I’ve been listening to Everything’s Coming Up Podcast a lot with Allie Goertz & Julia Prescott and I highly recommend it to fans of the show and fans of comedy writing in general. Check it out here. It’s also inspired me to waste valuable time on this mortal coil avoiding thinking about the inevitability of death and start ranking episodes based upon my expert, absolute judgement. This is what I’ve got so far based on a few random episodes I picked and asking folks on Twitter and Facebook to suggest episodes for me to rank. Feel free to shoot your episode suggestions over to me on Twitter at @focusedtotality and let me tell you why what you love is wrong. Ranking things based on suggestions is a novel idea, I know, but if this is anyone but Steve Allen, you’re stealing my bit.
Summer of 4 Ft. 2
A Streetcar Named Marge
Last Exit to Springfield
You Only Move Twice
Homer at the Bat
Deep Space Homer
Boy-Scoutz N the Hood
Homie the Clown
Trilogy of Error
Homer Bad Man
Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken
Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
Bart’s Dog Gets an F
Homer to the Max
Bart the Mother
- Back to comics! Last week I lamented the lack of an acknowledgement from DC over the shitstorm of sexual harassment by member of their staff and then that very day they dropped this statement. *cough* *crickets* Yeah. Um…I mean it’s something, I guess. Not sure what I really wanted, but the obvious late Friday news dump of this pretty bland and generic statement doesn’t instill much confidence that they are taking change seriously as opposed to just trying to make it go away.
- I read Civil War II #0 and reviewed it here. I…did not think it was a good comic. I’ll let you read the review if you want to know more, but if you don’t want to (why not! Give me your precious clicks! I needs the clicks! My precious!) I essentially found it to be wholly unnecessary and borderline insulting to your intelligence. And I don’t want it to be! There’s literally no net gain by me wanting comics to be bad. I’m beginning to feel like the superhero films are beginning to surpass the straight superhero comics in terms of balance and delivery. Hahaha, okay, well one of the superhero movie studios is anyway. But, things in the superhero realm that click for me are definitely the more off-beat approaches like Hawkeye or Ms. Marvel or Power Man and Iron Fist and their kin. I will say, though, if you’re looking for some good ol’ superhero fun, then Valiant is more consistently delivering quality stories in the genre than either of the Big Two. You heard me.
Okay, that’s enough for this week. Maybe I’ll be back next week with more Spinner Rack. Maybe not! You tell me! (Please don’t actually tell me, I’m very sensitive and queasy). Thanks as always for stopping by. Get outta my office.