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The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


#3884

All the better for general day-to-day handling; all the worse for braining your enemies with. You have to take the rough with the smooth I suppose.


#3885

SX323_BO1,204,203,200

Sex v.1: The Summer Of Hard

I don’t usually do negative reviews, so I won’t dwell on this too long as I found it to be a bit of a disappointment. Having read the first couple of issues when they came out, I decided to wait and read the series in trade as it was fairly slow-moving and not a huge amount was happening.

Unfortunately, by the end of this first (eight-issue!) trade, I felt the same.

The concept is interesting enough - a Batman analogue returns to his city after making a promise to a dying friend to give up on his costumed identity - and the art by Piotr Kowalski is pretty good, especially when it comes to big establishing shots of the city or using light and shadow to create mood.

But I just didn’t feel like it really went anywhere. Each issue seems to juggle the same handful of subplots (a few involving the criminal underworld, one involving a retired Catwoman analogue, and a couple of other bits and pieces) without really advancing them in a big way. And when developments do come, they come at a snail’s pace.

Also, the series seems to play on its explicit sexual elements without really doing anything very interesting or meaningful with them. There are some vague attempts to explore the well-worn ideas linking costumed superheroes to repressed/frustrated sexuality, and the story builds up to a conclusion (of sorts) to this first batch of issues that is intentionally anticlimactic and limp.

But it all feels a bit gratuitous and not as arresting as the book seems to think, and I found myself wishing the space given over to sex was used to advance the story more instead.

Because by the end of the book, very little has really happened, despite setting up a potentially interesting cast of characters with potentially interesting backstories, in a potentially interesting location. That was my overwhelming feeling coming out of the book: unrealised potential.

Unfortunately there isn’t enough here to convince me that the book can realise that potential, so I don’t think I’ll be picking up volume two.


#3886

I think that’s a problem with a lot of Joe Casey’s work. He comes up with a high concept that he finds really interesting, but then often forgets to write an entertaining comic around that concept.

Occasionally he hits the ball out of the proverbial park, but quite often it falls rather flat. Especially ironic on a book called Sex (nudge, nudge).

I picked up these same issues on a Comixology sale a while ago. Not exactly in a rush to read them.


#3887

So what you’re both telling me is it’s a long, drawn-out tease leading to a anti-climax that doesn’t stand up? Fnar fnar…

“Nudge, nudge, wink, wink - say no more!”

@DaveWallace really liked your post on the themes that stood out in Jupiter’s Legacy. On a different note, it’s just occurred to me that the books never deliberately spell out the various abilities, we know the characters have powers but only what the story shows us of them. It’s an interesting move, but I’m not sure it’s entirely successful as it allows new abilities to just turn up out of nowhere.


#3888

Yes, the climax of book two suffers from this a little, as there are a couple of “oh, so… he can do that?” moments that might have benefited from a bit more setting-up.

On the other hand, the vagueness around the powers allows for some interesting possible interpretations as far as the lineage of certain characters goes.


#3889

Had a massive clearout and shelf rearrange yesterday. Decided to get all the Dredd partworks on display (they were previously stored in boxes under the bed).

One of the things I like about having a rearranging session is you dig out and flick through books that might have stayed unopened for ages. Case in point, I bought one of Kim Jung Gi’s sketchbooks at Thought Bubble last year and never really sat down to look through it. What a crime that was as it’s obviously amazing but also cost me £80. Here are some samples. You’ll need to click on the larger images to see the whole image.


#3890

Just saw Mignola’s answer on this:

I guess it still remains to be seen whether it’s small digest-size paperbacks or regular-sized paperbacks, but apparently Dark Horse have increasingly moved to regular-sized paperbacks lately, so that seems most likely.


#3891

Cheers, Dave. I suspect it will still be the smaller format, given that the regular trades are all still in print (as far as I know). Either way, “I’m out”, as I have all those TPB’s already. :slight_smile:


#3892

I hadn’t realised that Dredd partwork series had finished. I assumed the general 2000AD one was in addition to it, rather than following it.


#3893

I think they announced a couple of months back that an extra 10 issues had been added to the Dredd Mega Collection, to add to the initial 80. Presumably they’re still to come.


#3894

I still have 8 to go from the initial 80 then the extra 10 top. 80 would have fit perfectly across two shelves. No room for 90.


#3895

Oh yeah! My eyes glossed over the missing bits, somehow. How much of Dredd does the series collect then? Everything or edited highlights?


#3896

It’s edited highlights. It’d go into hundreds of volumes to collect it all. Especially as they publish the expanded Dredd world stuff like Anderson or Shimura etc.


#3897

It isn’t, they are up to the 70-71 issue mark, of 90.

Fortunately I’m using 3 shelves, 30 a shelf!

The latter. I like the idea quite a bit.


#3898

Embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of the artist, but that’s amazing work.

When you say “sketchbook”, is it literally a book of original art drawn directly into it, or is it reproductions? (If the former, I’m astonished it was only £80.)


#3899

Yeah it’s all reproductions.

Check this out, you’re in for a treat. The guy is mind blowing. Real time, no reference.


#3900

Oh my God.

20 seconds in, my mind is already blown.


#3901

I watched him do one of these in person at Thought Bubble last year. He did it over two days, unfortunately didn’t finish but it was just as amazing.


#3902

A friend of mine plans to get a tattoo of one of the sketches from that book. The only problem is he likes so many he can’t settle on one.


#3903

So my copy of Batman: Knightfall Omnibus: Volume One arrived. And yes, it says ‘Volume One’, DC mean business.

Don’t they! This is one big book, collects a lot of issues and has good quality paper and binding. It’s as if in the last year someone at DC realised Marvel were taking the mick and DC could do it so much better, if they but got their act together - so they did.

With the relatively recent Orion and Gotham Central omnibuses DC threw down the gauntlet to Marvel and continue that here. They also managed to break the dodgy quality reputation that has dogged DC on the OHC / Omnibus collections.

Having got the collection - the extras are very interesting, being an intro and afterword by Doug Moench, where among other things, he mentions Knightfall was planned as four parts - Knightfall, Knightquest, Knightsend, Prodigal. That was news to me, hadn’t known that.

The other aspect that, having seen the collection, makes more sense to me is the criticised omission of Batman: Sword of Azrael. I can see the basis for that but also why DC didn’t include it, to keep the focus on the central theme of Batman and what his identity means. Sword of Azrael is far more about, well, about Azrael. Now if DC would issue Volume 2-3 trades of that series, it’d function as a great pairing with the trio of omnibuses - Knightquest due end of Oct 2017 and Knightsend due start of May 2018.

I’m really looking forward to geting my hands on the Batman & Robin Omnibus that’s due November now.