Friday, August 11, 2017

What I Bought 8/9/2017 - Part 1

Bought a couple of comics this week I had not bought previously, and it turned into the ol' "Good Idea, Bad Idea" situation. Good Idea: Buying Giant Days #29. Bad Idea: Buying Hulk #9 because you think Hellcat's going to be in it a lot. If you care to know anything further about what I thought about either book, please continue reading. If not, um, there'll be more comics on Monday?

Hulk #9, by Mariko Tamaki (writer), Julian Lopez and Francesco Gaston (artists), Matt Milla (colorist), Cory Petit (letterer) - The scowly face drawn over Jennifer's picture is a pretty solid representation of me after I finished this comic.

Jennifer is looking for her favorite cooking show host, who has been turned into a big green monster by two guys because. . . I don't know. They were the producers of his show, did they think it would boost ratings? The cook is roaming the town, badly scared, and the medication he found that is supposed to reverse what happened, doesn't work, so he's losing it. Jen and the cook's boyfriend are trying to find him before it's too late. Hellcat shows up on two pages, they chat on the phone a bit, that's it. At least they're still friends.

I was really only buying it expecting a little more Patsy and Jennifer interaction, silly me. This bit where Jennifer is reluctant to change, because maybe she isn't sure she can trust herself. Or it? Is she thinking of this hulk form as something different from her? I'm not clear on that. It's kind of interesting in theory, but in practice, I don't care.

I think Lopez is drawing the first half of the book, and Gaston takes over about the time Jen has hulked out and surprises the two producers. Assuming I'm right, Lopez goes a lot heavier on inks, and his style seems going in a more photo-realistic direction than Gaston, who by comparison has a more simplified style. It works, but it does produce a different feel between the two halves. The first half, with all these shadows and people looking concerned and sad is morose, things are dire. The second half, the shadows decrease noticeably, the coloring seems brighter, which would imply things are on the upswing. Even though Jen has forced herself to change, is scaring the crap out of people, and Oliver is losing control of himself. Sounds like the situation is getting worse, but not really how the art paints it. Neither style is bad in a vacuum, but they're at cross-purposes here.

Let's chalk this up as me making a mistake, one I've made before and will undoubtedly make again.

Giant Days #29, by John Allison (writer), Max Sarin (penciler), Liz Fleming (inker), Whitney Cogar (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer) - The university theater productions, skimping on the backgrounds for their fancy practical effects, like simulating flying, and arrows.

So, I am still about 12 issues behind, but Esther had been excelling in romantic literature courses, but is being surpassed by a student named Emilia, who seems great and wonderful and charming, and who Esther already hated because she's dating the guy Susan likes. I entirely sympathize with, "You hurt my friend, so I must kill you." Esther's attempts to out-do Emilia result in her giving her professor entirely bad ideas about trying to take advantage of her at some mixer (I doubt this is intentional, but the way Sarin draws Professor Lord, he looks like Jack Kirby, which was a strange coincidence). Emilia whisks her away, and they seem to have become best friends by the end of the issue, to the point Esther has adopted Emilia's style entirely, which is concerning.

And there's another plot with Daisy trying to get Ed to date a bit, and Ed being too hung up on that fiction trope of true love being some massive, perfect thing that hits you like a truck immediately. Again, I sympathize, or perhaps empathize.

One thing I've appreciated about this book reading through the trades is Allison keeps stuff moving. Situations progress rather than stagnate, new issues crop up constantly. Which may not sound like much, but if you've read some of the decompressed shit Marvel and DC put out - and I, unfortunately, have - it's sometimes novel to get back to something that gets the hell on with things.

The Esther vs. Emilia thing was already in full swing, but has pushed forward and into a different direction. Although at this point, I'm extremely suspicious of Emilia. She seems too perfect and uninterested in how many people imitate her and fawn over her, which makes me suspect she's reveling in it and hiding it extremely well.

And I like having those kinds of conflicted feelings. Should I be suspicious? Should Daisy be pushing Ed to pursue this relationship he isn't sure about, even though he's probably waiting for the absolutely perfect situation that will never occur? Yeah, probably, but as a person comfortable by himself, who nonetheless has to deal with both subtle and unsubtle pressure from family and occasionally friends about finding someone, I'm kind of inclined to side with Ed's right to live his life how he wants. But I don't think Ed is as naturally solitary as me, so he should listen to Esther and call Cathy back.

Sarin's able to exaggerate his art extremely well for comedic impact, or the dramatics of these college kids, freaking out over all sort of things. Esther's appearance in the "beasting the bones of my enemies" panel was outstanding. In other circumstances it would be scary, but here, when she's basically vowing to destroy someone who is (seemingly) unwittingly stealing her spotlight, it's a ridiculous response, and so it fits the scene perfectly. Also, I love the font Campbell used for that voice balloon. Likewise, Daisy's three-panel increasing freakout at Ed over not calling Cathy back, where Cogar keeps increasing the use of red, and making it a deeper red as well), as Daisy fills more and more of each successive panel, screaming at him about how perfect Cathy was for him. And then fourth panel below them, where she puts frozen yogurt to her forehead and there's steam the same shade of red rising from that one spot on her head.

So far, I feel very good about my decision to start buying this book regularly. I have to get one right sometimes.


Kelvin Green said...

Here's Ken Lord's first appearance; he does have a bit of Kirby to him.

In a nice bit of timing, he was mentioned in this week's webcomic as being someone who enjoys frequent extra-marital affairs.

SallyP said...

I would have made the same choice with Hulk... buying it because I thought Patsy would be in it. Fortunately I somehow missed it on the racks.

CalvinPitt said...

Kelvin, Lord was getting pretty gropey with intoxicated Esther when he was offering to get her out of there. I gotta say, I don't think I ever met a professor like Lord in my college days, although I didn't attend any parties with my professors, so maybe that's why.

Sally, then you were far luckier than I. I wonder if Patsy was actually in the previous issue more, but I sure as heck am not picking it up to find out.