Well, this certainly brings me back. I had read this issue as part of a much larger graphic novel a hundred times over as a child. Easy. Though the cartoon show was my introduction into Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's world of mutated, ninja reptiles, it was the comic books I became most hooked on. Yes, I know the comics came out before the cartoon, but I hadn't heard of them. One Christmas I received two enormous TMNT graphic novels that became my new obsession. Sure, the show was great at the time, but these books were how I thought the turtles should really be. It was dark, gritty, violent, and just felt more real.
Jim McCann's soap opera murder mystery set primarily in a young woman's mind was missing one key ingredient, and clearly that ingredient was hoodie-wearing werewolves expertly drawn by Rodin Esquejo. Oh, thank goodness, they've remedied that oversight in this expertly crafted fourth issue of Mind the Gap. This book is a high drama mystery where nothing is as it seems, and every character you meet has hidden agendas and ulterior motives. At the center of all of this is Elle, who's recently been murdered and is searching through her fragmented memories in the “Garden,” a mysterious world that balances between life and death, while her body lies lifeless in a coma.
The first arc of Creator-Owned Heroes wraps up with this issue. In case you didn't know, Creator-Owned Heroes, the brainchild of Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Steve Niles, is a monthly comic anthology collecting 40+ pages of comics, interviews, and artwork from top comics professionals. The first arc (Issues #1-4) has two ongoing comic stories: Trigger Girl #6 by Gray and Palmiotti with art by Phil Noto and American Muscle by Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon. This anthology is a really cool idea that not only puts two awesome comics in your hand but gives you a look between the pages as top industry professionals show you the tricks of the trade.
Every geek has his or her holy grail. That one item, autograph, or collectible they’ve heard about, seen on the internet, but never viewed in person. Somehow, it’s always been just out of reach, out of price range, and, more often than not, out of print. My geek holy grail was, for a long time, Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson. In my early comic collecting years, I was a fanatic for Dark Horse’s Aliens comic line. While Dark Horse published adaptations of Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection, they never tackled the first film. At some point, this fact was discussed in a fan letter column and through the editor’s response, I discovered that in 1979 there was a comic adaptation of Alien featured in Heavy Metal. The editor made it clear that it was a rare find, and in the years before the internet, I considered it my holy grail - the item I would continuously search for but most likely never find. Years later, via the miracle of the internet, I was able to view the comic from pages that had been scanned and assembled as a PDF online. It was exciting to finally see the story and art I had hoped to view for so long, but, as a collector, it still lacked that tangibility of owning my own copy and seeing it fit in that space on the Aliens comic shelf that was so rightly set aside for it.
Flee is the story of two down-on-their-luck guys given the chance to be heroes, and one of them just happens to be an alien. Rigby Pinkerton is a bug exterminator who unknowingly is about to become part of an interstellar war between two races, the Sect and the Krill, while Flick Fleebus, a failed Sect military cadet, is placed in the position of potential savior to his people. The two stories begin independently to their detriment, as Flick's story comes across as a dime a dozen sci-fi story and Rigby's life is terribly mundane, but when they intersect at the end of the first issue, it leads to some really memorable moments as the seemingly generic stories act as a vehicle for a rarely explored concept in sci-fi. I'd love to say more, but it's worth getting to the experience yourself.
Kyosuke Kousaka doesn't have a great relationship with his sister, Kirino. Besides the fact that he's 17 and she is 14, Kirino is the popular girl at school and is also academically and athletically gifted while Kyosuke's just . . . not. This all changes when Kyosuke stumbles across an anime DVD in their house and discovers it belongs to none other than Kirino. His successful sister is also an otaku! From there Kyosuke becomes Kirino's only confidant in her fandom, which she is too embarrassed to reveal to others. Wanting his sister to be happy (and so she doesn't keep forcing him to play her computer games), Kyosuke starts to look for other outlets for Kirino's fandom and tries to get her to not be embarrassed of the things she loves.
Kent is an ongoing series from indie publisher Back Row Comics about a small town where strange, Twilight Zone-esque things occur. Revolution Aisle 9 is a one-shot special issue set in the town of Kent, and though it is not without faults, it is most definitely a unique book.
Like all guys my age, I grew up on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles have been a part of my life for pretty much as long as I can remember, and, to be honest, I think that IDW's current comic book is the best iteration yet.
The 'To Read' List:
Moriarty: the Dark Chamber by Daniel Corey, Anthony Diecidue, Perry Freeze, and Dave Lanphear
Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba
The Light by Nathan Edmondson and Brett Weldele
Read This Week:
Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
The comic book event of the summer is nigh! Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot. Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm.
Issue 3 of Minutemen came out yesterday. Yay, I guess. This series is well written and very well illustrated by the talented Darwyn Cooke, but with each issue I read, I start to wonder why it exists. At first, I was excited to learn more about the Minutemen and the skeletons in their closets, but now the book just seems to be retreading stuff covered in Watchmen. Now, we've covered the Comedian raping Sally Jupiter, which we already saw in Watchmen. Now, we're seeing Hollis discover more of what is really going on in Silhouette's secret life, which is okay, but showing us this stuff isn't a revelation, because we know the outcome from Watchmen. I was much more excited with last issue where we got to see that the Minutemen's first mission was a total fluke that they only salvaged through good PR. My feeling about this comic is basically this: tell us a new story. I don't want a six-issue miniseries that starts at the formation of team as seen in Watchmen and ends with the team's fall from grace as seen in Watchmen. Why not just tell one really cool arc about them fighting crime and taking down a big-shot villain that could happen anywhere in their history? As long as this comic feels the need to constantly hit touchstones from the Watchmen series, it doesn't feel special or unique; it just feels like paint by numbers. If these heroes functioned for years as heroes before their fall, just tell me one good story in those years; don't jump around and try to tell me their whole history in 6 issues.