Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Voltron comic situation part IV

I know I am beating a dead horse here, an old dead one, but I was really mad when I found out that a comic series I was able to download for free from Wowio.com was no longer at that website--and that the print version's last issue was never even printed.

Devil's Due Publishing must never have any planning. They put out one issue at a time, hope it sells, and then might print another issue.

Years ago, I had a bit of a problem with VOLTRON being cancelled in the middle of a Mark Waid story. No issue #12 was ever produced. When I tried to ask them about it on the website, I got this as an answer: " I know that DDPwant's their Aftermath line to be around for a good long time. Only the readerscan make this happen. If you haven't checked out Defex, Infantry, Breakdown orBlade of Kumori, I highly suggest them! Especially if you liked Voltron, Ithink you might enjoy Defex + Breakdown."

I just have to say now, in retrospect even though I completely knew it then---Defex 6 issues only, Breakdown 6 issues only, Blade of Kumori 5 issues only, and Aftermath--zero issue only.

And looking at DDP's website now--no series is above issue #5 except for Hack/Slash. Hack/Slash is a decent comic but only because I downloaded it for free through Wowio.com (they get corporate sponsors to attach ads to the comics)--I never would have bought it. However, it is good now because it lasted more than six issues. Comics grow, they mature.

Devil's Due gives independent publishers a truly bad name and they ruin it for the rest of the indies out there.

Read original posts on Voltron Comic incident:

Monday, September 05, 2011

Markosia's Midnight Kiss

Markosia comics

Midnight Kiss limited series #1-5

Usually, we readers of independent comic books are wary of these limited series. I have read too many BAD Image series that just go nowhere and do nothing. I have read whole series where even I could not express the plot or actually name a single character. This is completely not the case with Midnight Kiss by Tony Lee and Ryan Stegman. It is a good read that actually makes you hunt down the next installment.

This series is on the level with all multi-verse breaking universes. I see Time Bandits in here. I see The Never-Ending Story within these pages. Our heroes have to go through tales of legend to defeat a higher evil. The interesting part is that all of these legends absolutely HATE the main character Matt Sable. It's ingenious.

Overall, the series was an intriguing read. I wanted to hunt down all the issues, for one thing. I originally found these as a free download on Wowio.com but it's not there anymore. You might be able to track it down somewhere else. Anyway, you have to read it as a digital because they never even printed issue #5 and good luck finding it in TPB form.

This may seem old news now. This is a series from 2005. But it deserves better treatment than, for whatever reason, being cancelled in the middle of a limited series, no matter what schedule the artist was on. I will say this to Markosia:

Cancelling a book in the middle of a storyline is one of the main reasons that independents fail and you ruin it for the rest of us. Years ago, I had an issue with DDP's Voltron series you can read about here: VOLTRON. Other comics suffer this fate, especially ones that start out thinking they can be an ongoing series. But to not allow a limited series to finish hurts the entire independent comic book industry. Why would anyone start a new series when there is a huge chance it won't last? I know many fans like myself that would only pick these up as free digital downloads, or in the fifty-cent bins and only when ALL the issues are there.

Instead, Markosia decided to keep producing that utter crappy Starship Troopers. I have read some of those and, quite frankly, they stink--no character development whatsoever and I can't even tell what is happening in the action panels. I read those in about four minutes--what kind of stink is a comic book you can read cover to cover in four minutes?

Read author Tony Lee's version of the Midnight Kiss series on Comics Worth Reading.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A review of Atomic Robo volume 6 number 1

Written: Brian Clevinger
Art: Scott Wegener
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Jeff Powell
Publication Date: 2011-09-07
Format: Comic, Full Color, 6.5 x 10, Soft Cover, 32 pages
Price: $3.50
Diamond Code: JUN111232
UPC: 811316010658

Seriously, Atomic Robo lives up to the billing as "The World's Greatest Science Adventure Magazine!"

We all know that is a reference to The Fantastic Four and the "world's greatest comic." We all know the importance of the FF in the comic world. Atomic Robo is that important of a comic.

Even in this sixth incarnation, and they all stand alone so don't be afraid to start right here, the comic is just a flat-out good read.

Pacing is excellent. It really reminds me of the classic 80s Justice League by Giffen and DeMatteis, with humor and realistic dialogue.

Dialogue is fantastic--I mean, when's the last time you read a book where you went back to dialogue because you wanted to know what every single line meant? As you read it, yes, you easily understand the plot and what they are doing, but the scientific jargon just makes you want to go back and actually understand it because you can tell it is based on, at least, real theories. When Reed Richards comes up with some kind of explanation, the reader just keeps reading--it's all just like "reversing the polarity," which we all know is sci-fi jargon for the writer fixing the situation without actually knowing how to do it. Here in Atomic Robo, after analyzing the dialogue, it really makes sense. I actually looked up some of these terms from the book simply because they were really cool and I wanted to know more. When's the last time a comic made you go look something up?

Atomic Robo has never disappointed. And it isn't starting now as this adventure is well under way. I know we all have a bunch of new #1s that we somehow hope may be good, but here is a #1 that is truly good. Plus, this is a mini-series--what are you going to do, buy 52 comics every month to keep up? And go back and get the other Atomic Robo series. If you like comics, trust me, you'll love Atomic Robo.

Internal Logic of a story

From Forbidden Worlds #14, 1953.

I love these old comics. Several brilliantly-paced short short stories in a whole mag. Most of the time, they are great little stories about fantastic fantasy, horror, and sci-fi episodes without getting dragged on for dozens of pages. They are like reading short Twilight Zone episodes in comic form.

That is, except when there is an internal logic fault. I can go along with just about any story as long as its rules are set up. I can always imagine Superman flying along, and laser pistols humming out in other sci-fi stories.

This page is the last of a short about a radioactive dinosaur turning into a monster after a nuclear test. See what I mean? I can take that premise fine. I can take that the radiation caused the egg to mutate. He hatches and can talk. Fine. He goes on a rampage and nothing, not even bullets, can stop him. Fine. The scientists discover that a chemical cysteine will stop the monster. Fine.

But then, just a panel after more bullets bounce off the creature, the scientists injects the monster in the belly with the cysteine with a normal hypodermic needle.

See what I mean? Bullets bounce but hypodermics go right through! Just some other method of getting the cysteine into the monster's system--any method, gas, pill, whatever--would make it suitable and plausible for me. But the injection here, the internal logic error, takes me out of the story world I was in. Even though I am in a story that makes no scientific sense whatsoever, and I know that, I am taken out of the world with a simple fault.

Case in point, that movie Superman Returns. People cannot understand how excited I was about my favorite hero finally being brought back into movies. Maybe new Superman movies would come out every few years, just like the Batman franchise. But the internal logic errors destroyed the chances of that happening. That is why people hated the movie.

In the movie, Superman amazingly rescues a crashing plane and in dramatic fashion, what appears to be the limits of his strength, sets it down in the middle of the ballpark. Wow. Lex Luthor later stabs Superman with Kryptonite. Fine. Kryptonite hurts Superman and takes away his powers. Fine. But at the end, when the mountain of Kryptonite is lifted into the sky by an already hurt and depleted Superman, what appears to be a weight that appears dozens of times greater than even a crashing 747 and is composed entirely of the substance that takes away Superman's powers and hurts him, even I, a huge Superman fan, simply said, "No way."

I wanted to believe that even Superman, when all his strength is gone, when there is no one else to save the world, could dig down deep inside himself and come up with the inner strength to do this miraculous feat. Much like any action movie when the main character is shot and dying, he still runs around and takes care of business. Somehow that shot and dying protagonist is allowable. But a Kryptonite-stabbed Superman lifting a HUGE mountain of Kryptonite simply isn't plausible in the sense of internal logic. And remember this fact as well, the populace at large, even people that don't read comic books, will allude to the fact that Kryptonite is a deadly substance that can bring something down. People will metaphorically call something a "Kryptonite."

This is why a lot of movies suffer. Internal logic errors. The world is broken. And we as an audience cannot take it.