Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 21

Welcome to a very special, Written on Tuesday Edition of Waiting for! As mentioned yesterday, I will be spending my comic book Wednesday at BookExpo 2010 in New York City, and I’m busily getting ready for the show.

So I’ll (try to) make this quick. Though, as we all know from past experience, I like to talk. And the chances of this post being under 1,000 words are pretty slim. Like, me understanding Final Crisis slim.

I kid, I kid.

Anyway, later this week I’ll have a bit about BookExpo--what and who I saw, what free stuff I walked away with, what the overall mood of the show was. But for today, I’d actually like to talk briefly about Grant Morrison.

See how I tied that in, there?

I’ve been reading a lot of Morrison’s work lately--both older and more recent issues of Batman and Robin through to The Return of Bruce Wayne, mostly--and I’m finding myself entirely caught up in Morrison’s stories and his storytelling ability.

Maybe even a little consumed by the stories, actually.

Which, I think, is exactly what a good story should do to its reader.

Morrison’s writing tends to be multi-layered, and usually single issues tend not to make a whole lot of sense until an arc is completed. Because of this, I’ve taken to reading Morrison’s work in large chunks--either I’ll wait for the collection to hit the stands, or I’ll stockpile several single issues and read them all in one sitting.

I did just that this weekend, starting with the last three issues of his (excellent) Batman and Robin series and ending with issue one of The Return of Bruce Wayne. Issue to issue, the stories were fine, and well plotted, and fun.

But strung together, the arc got me really excited about where Morrison is taking things.

There have been many times when I’ve started a Grant Morrison arc or event, scratched my head, bulled through the issue, and never returned. Like Final Crisis, for example. I kinda dug the story through the first couple of issues, but by the time the series ended, I was pretty much done with it.

I remember reading the final two issues quickly, more interested in finishing them than in enjoying them. Of course, they were well written, the art was great, and, for lack of a more eloquent phrase, lots of stuff happened.

Still, I remember being pretty lukewarm about the whole affair.

Same thing happened when I read Morrison’s epic, Batman: RIP, in single issues. I was underwhelmed (or is that overwhelmed?) by the story, and I was happy enough to just be done with it.

Flash forward several months, and I came across the collected edition at the comics shop. It was on sale and I bought it. And I really enjoyed it. Actually, I wrote all about it here.

In any case, what I’ve found time and again with Grant Morrison, is that his stuff makes the best case of any comics creator for comics going directly to the trade. Even more so than Brian Bendis.

Morrison has a built-in (and exceedingly literary) audience for his books, and DC can lead with him in the bookstores. So why not try going full collection, direct to the trade?

I bet it’d sell briskly at comics shops and it would be about the same as other Morrison collections at the booksellers.

Just a thought.

Bit of a tangent to start this week's Waiting for, sure, but now it’s time for this week’s comics. I promise. First up, we have a book by my favorite comics person. From Goon creator (and mad genius) Eric Powell, Chimichanga, issue two, finally ships to stores today.
After a long delay after issue one hit stands, Powell has assured his readers that issue three will follow today’s release in just a couple of weeks.

So, what is Chimichanga, you ask? Well, I’ll let the blurb (from Powell’s self publishing company, Albatross Exploding Funnybooks) do the talking:

Eric Powell, creator of the award winning series The Goon, brings his offbeat humor and distinctive style to his newest creation! A story fit for youngsters, Chimichanga tells the tale of a bearded girl, her less than spectacular traveling circus, and a bizarre creature that turns their lives upside down.

Discover Powell's first written and illustrated creator-owned series since The Goon.

Issue one was a great all-ages read--it was fun, funny, whimsical, and absurd. Needless to say, I loved it, and I’ll be happily buying issue two this afternoon (or whenever I manage to get to my shop today or tomorrow).

And speaking of issue two, here’s the copy:

Lula the Bearded Girl discovers new challenges as she attempts to integrate the uncontrollable monster she named Chimichanga into her circus family. Especially when he continues to try to fit Petunia the elephant in his mouth!

C'mon. You know you want it.

If you have kids, check this book out, flip through it in the store, and consider buying it for them. If you don’t have kids...just buy the book.

I love seeing Powell branch out from The Goon, and even though I sorely miss that series (it’s on hiatus), I will buy anything with Powell’s name on it. He’s just that darn good at this whole making comics thing.

Next up, we have a book I know very little about. It’s from IDW, and it’s written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night). Mystery Society, issue one, ships today, and promises good, creepy things from its stable of creators, as co-creator Ashley Wood and artist Fiona Staples team with Niles.

Here’s the blurb for issue one:

Nick Hammond and Anastasia Collins are the Mystery Society and bring new meaning to "underground cult" status! Stealthily avoiding the authorities, this skullduggery duo spend their time and money righting wrongs committed in the world’s underbellies. This issue, Ana defends their secret headquarters as Nick goes on a rescue mission breaking into Area 51 for a bounty that you will not believe!

And the cover, which is honestly one of my favorite comics covers in the past couple of years.
I'm expecting good things from this title, and if you'd like to know a bit more about it, you can check out a preview at IDW's site. This book just seems like it was created with me in mind, so here's hoping it lives up to (my) hype.

And, dear readers, that is where I'll have to leave you for today. I'm off BookExpo-ing and whatnot. Enjoy your Wednesday, and before you go...what are you Waiting for?

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