Friday, April 27, 2007

More Overdue Reviews

The Next by Tad Williams. I decided to hunt down this mini when I learned that Tad Williams was taking over Aquaman. Unfortunately, I had some difficulty finding it... and e-mailed Tad to find out if there was a collection. He offered to send me the series, and I accepted.

The story is about a group of other-dimensional teenagers trying to escape their authoritarian home and see the sites of the universe. During their trip, their "dog" escapes and interacts with human Monikka Wong, inadvertantly causing her death. And that's when the fun starts. Monikka, four other-dimensional teenagers, and Superman join up to fight the threats of time, space, and culture clash. And it's a RIDE.

The artwork is great throughout the six-issue mini with Dietrich Smith and Waldon Wong turning in a solid look for all the characters. The writing never gets confusing... if anything, we are reminded maybe once too often what's happening. But, as a monthly book, that's forgivable. The main characters are likeable. Particularly Monikka and Tweet. Monikka, for being dead, does a good job for a teenager having to deal with both the end of the world and introducing four strange people into a culture they know nothing about. By the end of the series I found myself wanting to see more of these folks. Either that, or see Tad Williams writing Teen Titans (as long as Offspring was on the team).

In short, a very good mini. Definitely worth a look.

Moving onward, here's two reviews for books I got at the Emerald City Comicon:

Gone South 1-3 by Mike Wellman and various. The first issue helpfully defines the five classes of vampires, and which classes the main characters fit into. This gives the story a needed framework, as it's not hard to figure out that this is a sort of vampiric coming-of-age tale. A "young" vampire has caused some trouble back home in New York, and is hiding out with friends in the deep South. Only she can't really control herself yet, and starts to cause trouble in her hideaway. These three issues cover the initial problems she makes in town, and the resulting chaos that the three vampires have to clean up.

While I like the art in the first issue a lot, and prefer it to the art in the second and third issue, I think the second artist's style fits the story better. The writing is solid throughout, with enough twists and turns to satisfy. This isn't a horror book, but there are a few horrific elements that tend to be both subtle and striking. This one's a keeper... if you can lay your hands on it, worth reading.

Unshelved Volume One by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. Hubby-Eric wanted to buy the whole set of these at Emerald City Comicon. I really should have let him. I'd already read all the strips on-line, but re-reading them in this volume had me laughing out loud in spots, and giggling to myself in others. My sister was affected the same way by the book, but it was her first read through. If you don't have this book, get it. If you don't read the on-line comic, start reading it. That's all I need to say on this subject.