A quick list of what I bought this month and how I enjoyed it.
I’ve not read the Akira books yet because I’m debating whether to sell them on again. In comics collecting, there are two types of rarity – one is the sort in books that are always there to buy for crazily high aftermarket prices, and the other of the sort of books that you just never see. These Akira books fall into the latter category. At present, there’s only one auction for a handful of volumes on Ebay and there are no copies of these books on Amazon at all. Now, while I DID buy them to read them, I’m concerned about never completing the set of reprints. I’ve currently got books 4-9 of the 11 Epic trades (different from the Dark Horse/ Kodansha printings because they use Marvel’s early 1990s Steve Oliff colouring and Jo Duffy translation) but I’m not sure I’ll ever find the others. I was lucky to pick the six books I already have up in actual shops over the last six or seven months but who knows when I’ll ever find the others?
Ten Nights Of The Beast I did read, however. It’s a pretty good Jim Starlin Batman story starring the fantastically named KGBeast and has great art between the Mike Zeck covers and Jim Aparo interiors. I don’t want to say too much about the story because I want to encourage you to read it if you can find a copy. Don’t bite at those £20 Buy-It-Nows, though – got mine on auction for a fiver delivered.
I’ve not read Acts Of Vengeance! yet because despite ordering it at the beginning of the month it only arrived yesterday. After the Daredevil book I’m currently on, it’s next on the list.
The two new Marvel Now volumes I picked up were brilliant. The Waid/Samnee Daredevil is a series I always forget is as good as it is, and the new volume (which sees Matt relocated to San Francisco) is as compelling as the volume that preceded it with the bonus of having that whole ‘put the characters in new situations/fish out of water’ vibe. It’s nice to see Peter back in his own body in the pages of ASM, too, and while the observation snuck up on me quietly, I realised this month I’d be happy if Dan Slott writes Spider-Man forever. I honestly would.
The Deadpool book is overcrowded and the digital-first thing makes for a weird kind of experience as the comics aren’t designed for traditional reading so the pacing’s weird when transferred to paper. Still, occasionally very funny and definitely worth a read, plus it’s oversized which is great for the art.
My COF recy’rds are only being sent out on Monday and from America, but I’ll give them the Postman Cometh treatment when they arrive.
I was also very happy with Zero Year, having waited, as I planned to, until it was published in full to read it in one go. I lost most of my interest in Snyder/Capullo’s Batman when Joker set a horse on fire, but Zero Year is just real fun comics, if mostly for the art. Capullo’s never looked better than on this year of books, and a genuine selling point for me on this story was the colour work by FCO Plascencia, whose palette has really stuck in my mind for the week or so since I read this. As always, Snyder has no grasp of what constitutes appropriate dialogue – at one stage, Gordon says “put your claws in the air and step away from the billionaire” – but for the most part the story holds up. There’s no mistaking it though, Zero Year’s a keeper for the artwork, from the lush overgrown Gotham cityscape to the airborne throwdown in a thunderstorm. Interestingly, it never really feels like any sort of attempt is made at making it an authoritative Batman origin, either. It just sort of happens. I’m not following Batman books at the minute so I’ve no idea where it fits into New 52 continuity. Also, it’s made me want to reread City Of Owls and Death Of The Family in trade to see if they read better than they did month-to-month.
Anyway, onto November. Trying not to buy anything this month, to the extent that I’ve even deleted a bunch of my usual bookmarks to remove temptation. Pfft. We’ll see how THAT goes.