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The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


#6705

I recall he dialled it back a lot for this series with the exception of one issue.

Very good stuff overall.


#6706

I found it really worked for the gonzo vibe that this was going for - I don’t think anyone else could have nailed it in the way he did here.


#6707

Today’s books, borrowing a technique from Dave W:

El Mestizo OHC

The sheer balls of that intro text, you can image a gravelly voiceover guy reading it out for a movie trailer.

Yes, it’s just over 60 pages, but they’re 60 oversized pages of perfection by the stellar team that is Hebden and Ezquerra. And his art here is stunning - it wouldn’t look as great on smaller or thinner paper and Rebellion were smart enough to know that, thus we get:

One page, 11 panels - all perfect. And it’s like this for. Every. Single. Page.

You can get it for under £9, it’s absolutely fucking superb. It shows you exactly what the world has lost now Ezquerra’s dead. It’s excellente.

Black Panther OHC 1-2

Two OHCs, 24 issues, one fucking controversial epic. How did I find it? Read on…

Even from the outside looking in I can see why there could be severe problems with this run, at least with the first 10-12 issues. It is a slow burning title where everything has gone to shit for Black Panther, politically and personally. Coates is quite subtle about it, but the notorious rape camps bit in #2 does serve a purpose of showing how far matters have fallen. Which, for some, will be the problem - They want Black Panther, the Perfect Bad-Ass, who does make a return about 15 issues later but that might be too late. Both Priest and Hudlin had T’Challa kicking arse six ways to Sunday, so too did Hickman. But, on an escapist level, Wakanda endured and that meant a lot to the fans.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone. The idea of a black, African nation with better tech than anyone else, miles ahead of anyone else, free of colonialism and debt is going to appeal. Especially if you’re black and you’re residing in a country where it seems doing just anything while being black gets trigger-happy cops called on you. No way are these fans going to be happy that Wakanda, and its king no less, are so damn broken. But, if we’re being fair, this shit-pit is not one Coates’ devising but Marvel, who have heaped indignity upon indignity upon Wakanda for about the last eight years! It became a bad joke, a villain needs to do some shit to prove how bad they are? Have’ em fuck up Wakanda. The entire nation got Worf-ed repeatedly.

What Coates does is simply ask the question of: If all that shit happened, what is the effect on the people’s faith and confidence in their King? And the answer is simple - it turns it to shit. Hell, even T’Challa recognises as much. What he struggles with is how to get it back. One aspect that magnifies all of this is the individual and national belief that Wakanda is inviolate. Wakanda has never been conquered. Wakanda never loses. And then, out of nowhere, in a very short space of Marvel time, it gets fucked over again and again. That’s going to blast a very large hole in that identity and one response to those holes is raging against it - which is what Coates focuses on.

At the same time he explores how to balance out the aspects of the scientific and the mystical, without one obliterating or damaging the other. He picks up strands of contunuity and seeks to address those head-on, like the relationship between T’Challa and Ororo - who gets some of the best scenes in OHC2 by the by.

Coates aims high, this is one very ambitious tale and the way it goes will not be to everyone’s liking, but for me? It succeeds. It took until #15 or #16, the two-thirds mark in short, before I could really get a sense of where it was going and what he was up to. As a monthly or even twice monthly read, I suspect some would have long since lost patience. Coates aims to restore both T’Challa and Wakanda and, by the end of these 24 issues, he succeeds in that.

Going to be interesting to see how he continues now he’s cleared away all the dross.


#6708

The Metabaron: Book 3: The Meta-Guardianess and the Techno-Baron

Yay, Secher’s back on the art. Though, given that the art for this art is always stellar quality… The label ‘for mature readers’ generally gets used to mean sex, swearing, gore and blood, but Jodorowsky does tend to bring an older eye and handling to these areas, so that they don’t feel gratuitous.

This is a tale of a more, though not wholly innocent, civilisation encountering another, more technologically superior one with all the horrific violence that that entails. At the same time, it is a story of sundered and fractured relationships, combined with a plot to undo an enemy that is surprising for how far it goes in order to achieve its end. The final pages follow this tragedy all the way to its conclusion without shirking. And then Jodorowsky and Frissen throw in a final, intriguing cliffhanger.

There’s only one problem - Book Four, which finishes the series - and possibly the Jodoverse too, given some of the developments here - with art by Ribic, won’t be out until 2020. Bugger. Oh well, like this volume, it’ll be worth the wait.


#6709

Apparently three big MIND MGMT Omnibuses are coming out next year.
And they’re including the previously un-reproduced short strips from the single issues.

Wow, I am so glad I never finished collecting the previous HCs (and that I got each secondhand at that) - because these are an instant buy. Holey moley.


#6710

Saw it, but never got that hooked enough to try it - what’s so good about it?

As DHC big omnibus trades are a steal and worth a gamble.


#6711

Good reviews on El Mestizo and Black Panther, Ben.

I’m looking forward to eating into some of my ridiculous to read pile when I’m off work over Xmas. Both of these are on the list along with a bunch of other stuff.

I started reading BP monthly and although I felt what I was reading was good, I really struggled to follow what was going on month to month. I didn’t make for a good monthly read unless I had the patience to keep going back and flipping thru previous issues to.

I picked up the rest of the issues I didn’t have in a recent sale, so I’ll read it all in one and by the sounds of things that’s what I should be doingz


#6712

BP is definitely one for the super tradewait approach. As the two OHCs that are out cover five paperback trades! That’s a big chunk of story.


#6713

It’s really mainly that it’s an uncompromising creative vision that also intersects with a well-developed, well-executed, world-and-character building. The plot, in so much as it is, is relatively simple. It’s a standard “world-shaking secret organization internal civil war” set-up.

But Kindt’s style and personal atmosphere, which you can see in a lot of his works, of a world and characters that are a tad clinical, a bit technical, but also even-handedly dreamlike, soft, and tirelessly emotion-focused…kinda reaches its peak here. The use of the medium - and even cross-medium homages/touches - can also be incredibly fun. Branching out into manuscripts, songs, film scripts…some of his other works like SuperSpy, Red Handed, or 3 Story that try to go for the same tone and melange never quite get there.

I love it because, well, everything about that eclectic mix, alongside some clever uses of old-hat ideas, completely hits with me on a lot of levels. On the other hand, people can find Mind MGMT’s art-style a bit undercooked (a common complaint for Kindt’s art), or that the characters are a bit dry. I feel like everything is just dry enough to make this outside perspective he’s forcing on the reader through a rigidly (but malleable) framing device work just so while also being engaging.

Or, as I described to a friend a while back, it’s like if Jonathan Hickman wrote JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.