I'm going to apologize in advance if this post seems rushed or more illogical than usual. While I had planned on writing this over the weekend, or Monday, latest, it is now Tuesday night, and my head hurts from a long day of driving in the snow, learning the intricacies of my new (volunteer, for now) job, and then driving back home in the snow.
I'm just trying to absorb as much as is humanly possible about an industry that I know absolutely nothing about, and literally, every time someone shows me the Next Thing that I need to work on, it's brand new and different to me and it needs to be explained.
I tend to be a quick learner, though, so I (hope) I'm not screwing things up too much. The only thing that's been frustrating is the stubbornness of my old, publishing-oriented brain, doing its best to push all the new information out of my head before it has a chance to actually soak in.
I think there's a natural tendency to reject the whole notion of starting over in whatever you do, and all that entails. Learning new stuff--from square one--is never an easy proposition, especially when the stuff you're learning isn't anywhere near your field of interest. So I need to constantly remind myself to keep an open mind and to just absorb everything that I'm being taught.
The nice thing is that the job is very much a learn as you go kinda thing, so instead of listening to someone tell me how to do something, I'm actually doing the thing I need to learn about.
So, yeah. Not much to report on that front other than, I'm trying and I'm hoping things work out for the best.
There's much more to report on the comics front today, though, so let's get right down to it. This week features a stupid amount of new product from Marvel, including some heavy hitters like Captain America, issue 603, and Dark Avengers, issue 14, which is a Siege tie-in.
Both books are can't-miss, and I'll be buying a copy of each. There's also a slew of new hard covers out today, which I always find a bit odd. Firstly, because they're expensive. And secondly, because they're expensive and they come out, like, a month after the series they collect has ended.
Which is too soon.
Such is the case with the Kick-Ass Premiere Edition hard cover, written by Mark Millar and with art by the great John Romita, Jr. This series ended two weeks ago. Two weeks! And the hard cover is shipping today. Sure, I know the movie is due out soon, but...jeez.
We are at a pretty weird point in the whole, "when will it be collected?" debate, since the gap between the final issue of a given series and the release of the trade varies, depending on the series and how "hot" the book is.
In the case of Kick-Ass, the book is buzzing right now, and with the movie coming, demand is certainly going to increase in the next few weeks. I'm just wondering how many retailers have ponied up and will be carrying this book today.
Anyway, here's the (wonderfully bombastic) description of the series, for anyone who might be on the fence about picking it up:
The greatest super hero comic of all-time is finally here! WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE's team of MARK MILLAR (CIVIL WAR) and JOHN ROMITA JR. (WORLD WAR HULK) reunite for the best new book of the 21st century!
Have you ever wanted to be a super hero? Dreamed of donning a mask and just heading outside to some kick-ass? Well, this is the book for you--the comic that starts where other super hero books draw the line.
KICK-ASS is realistic super heroes taken to the next level. Miss out and you're an idiot! Collecting KICK-ASS #1-8. Mature
Sure, there are some grammatical errors in it, but you have to love the hype contained in that promo! And it (the promo, I mean) speaks true--this book is definitely "mature." I wrote about this series and its whacky violence and excessive cursing a bit more in-depth here, so feel free to check that out if you missed it.
I'm pretty much convinced that anyone who had any interest in this title either already bought the single issues, or otherwise, flipped through a couple issues and advance-ordered the trade. It's offensive and garish and incredibly over-the-top. And it's certainly not good, clean fun.
Mind you, it is fun. Just not good and clean.
The amount of cursing and killing is pretty much unrivaled in comics over the past five years or so. And that's saying something, because Garth Ennis (and Mark Millar, for that matter!) have been working in comics over the past five years or so.
Kick-Ass is one of a very few comics that actually managed to impress me with the sheer amount of bad words and inappropriate...um...situations. So take that how you will, I guess.
Next up, we have a book that I am so, so happy to have back on my reading list. For the last five issues, Daredevil has kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more. In a post-Dark Reign Marvel Universe, DD has gone through some major changes, and writer Andy Diggle and artist Roberto De La Torre have just nailed this character and his world.
First off, Roberto De La Torre is one of comics' most underrated artists of the decade. His work on Ms. Marvel with Brian Reed was always top notch, and now he has risen his game to a whole new level with his stunning take on Matt Murdock. De La Torre's Hell's Kitchen is atmospheric and dirty and Daredevil looks mean and frightening and perfect.
And Diggle's story and characterization have been spot-on. I'm begging you guys to run out and find a copy of two books--Daredevil: The List and Daredevil, issue 501, which contain the first parts of Diggle and De La Torre's arc. If you don't fall in love, then there's no hope for you to ever like Ol' Horn Head.
That said, this week sees artist Marco Checcetto come aboard with Diggle for a three-issue arc.
I think De La Torre is coming back to the book, but I'm not entirely sure. Whatever the case may be, this book is a quality read, and well worth your time. And, just as a side note.
I've talked at length about how much I loved Brian Bendis' epic run on the character--in my mind, it's the best since Frank Miller, and those two writers will always be the definitive DD authors.
After Bendis left the book, I read and liked Ed Brubaker's take on the character, but I felt it was trying to be a bit too much like Bendis' take on DD. So I stopped reading and just lost touch with the book over time.
Many comics friends have told me how great Brubaker's run was once he got his feet firmly planted underneath himself. So, when (if) my volunteer gig turns into a paying gig, one of the first things I plan on buying is the run of Brubaker's trades.
Anyway, back to today's issue 505. Here's the blurb from Marvel:
The Man Without Fear visits the Land of The Rising Sun! As the new leader of The Hand, Matt Murdock seeks to unite its five continental regions behind his banner and lead the organization to a new future – but when all five “fingers” of The Hand form its mighty fist, you’ll be surprised at who gets hit first! Series writer Andy Diggle welcomes Marco Checchetto (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) for the Three-Part epic, THE LEFT HAND PATH!
It's good stuff, and like I said, I'm jazzed about this character again. Here's to a long, healthy run on the book by Andy Diggle and company.
Annnd...I'm done. I'm actually falling asleep a little at the keyboard, so I'm gonna call it a night. Happy Wednesday, everyone, and--oh! I almost forgot to ask--what are you Waiting for?