< Strapping Young Men
A Prairie Home Companion >

[Comments] (4) Comic Books: When I was a kid I never read comic books. My uncle Don (I think) once gave me a box full of comic books for Christmas. Now that I think about it, that was a really creative gift, but that box just stayed untouched in my room for about six years until I was about to move out, when I gave it to a friend.

Sumana likes the highbrow comic books they put out nowadays. I've read some of hers and I didn't like those a whole lot either. So what does picky me like? Well, I like ACKs. I like books of comic strips. Though I don't like the comic books themselves, I love the insane crowdedness of the Marvel and DC universes, caused by the respective companies having to crank out twenty books a month for decades.

Jake has a bunch of comic books, and I trust Jake's taste, so when I was in Worcester I decided to give the traditional comic book a try. Verdict: not great. The plots are pretty dull and the dialogue is either stilted or fake-casual. The drawing's good but I don't really notice that kind of thing.

Highlights:

But the big highlight was Jake's set of Ambush Bug comics, which were everything I want comic books to be. Unfortunately, Ambush Bug can only exist in the context of everything I find boring about comic books.

Ambush Bug is if Checkerboard Nightmare lived in the DC universe and thought he was Superman's pal. He had bit parts in Superman comics (including one where he kind of casually figures out Superman's secret identity), and then two mini-series of his own. Which actually ended the same way Checkerboard Nightmare ended. But which mainly focused on the weirdness of obscure comic book characters and the nature of continuity. It's really funny stuff and I recommend it. The miniseries also has parodies of those comic book ads that sell junk that doesn't work, which aren't that funny, but you can never have enough parodies of those ads.


Comments:

Posted by Nathaniel at Fri Jun 23 2006 19:53

If you ever get, I dunno, trapped in a comic book store, you might find it interesting to pick up the first /Starman/ book and see what you think. It's very much a superhero story, and located in the deeply weird and over-done DC universe context, but with genuinely good characterization and writing.

You might also be amused by /Top Ten/, Alan Moore's wacky cop drama set in the city where everyone is a superhero.

All-blog-posts-must-be-fishing-for-recommendations-even-when-they-obviously-aren't-ly yours,

Posted by jaacob brnds at Sat Jun 24 2006 03:40

silver surfer is, to me, a sort of perfect comic book. there is no reason for him to be either silver or a surfer, they just came up with the name and needed a guy to hang it on. the dialogue is totally weird, mostly because of SS's noun-adjective sentence construction (pass to me the relish spicy!), but maybe he only talks like that because that's how everyone talks on zenn-la. also his attitude is totally brooding, there's a cool "taking the hit for a loved one" storyline (which i always love) and at one point he fights satan, the prince of lies! also the early issues were beautiful jack kirby jaw-droppers with a lot of cool kirby machinery and patented kirby space clouds (aka "kirby krackle").

anyway, this is exactly what i wanted, a good review of my comic book collection. meanwhile on my end i've been assembling a leonardr "some great hits" mp3 playlist (via d.elici.ous) for all parties clamoring for more (and there are many around here!).

Posted by John at Sat Jun 24 2006 15:07

You like Peanuts, right?

Posted by Leonard at Sat Jun 24 2006 15:08

Yeah, I like Peanuts a lot.


[Main] [Edit]

Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.