More Digital Things To Buy With Your Digital Moneys

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Today (May 20th, 2013) on Comixology, there is a sale focusing on one of my favorite current comic book writers, Kieron Gillen. So for only 99 cents an issue you can get nearly full runs of his work on Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men. I say “nearly full” since there are some dips into crossovers here and there, but don’t worry about that. If you have $45…buy them all. If you have less than that, well, I’d say buy all of Journey Into Mystery. Its that good.

Here’s the sale. It’s good until 11pm tonight: http://www.comixology.com/Kieron-Gillen-Sale/comics-collection/1202

Journey Into Mystery is all about Loki, the Norse trickster god and brother to Thor. Loki that nearly ended the world, then sacrificed himself, then was resurrected as a child who remembers little of his evil deeds, but still has a treacherous nature. It’s a beautifully written and illustrated series. Gillen is paired with a number of talented storytellers including Dough Braithwaite, Mitch Breitweiser, Richard Elson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Alan Davis and Stephanie Hans. It’s funny. It’s heartbreaking. It is well worth your moneys.

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That is Loki’s Hel-puppy, Thori. Yes.

Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men, in which he’s teamed with Carlos Pacheo, Greg Land, Daniel Acuna and Ron Garney, is a fun continuation of themes explored during Morrison, Whedon, and Ellis’s runs with the X-Men, in which Cyclops leads a team of mutants that’s goal is remind humanity that they are there to save the world while also reminding them they are not to be F’d with. There are no adorable hell-dogs in that series, but Namor is a pretty lovable jerk.

Buy these comics and buy them today. Come on. Hel-puppies. There’s at least 5 of them. They’re all adorable and evil.

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Saga Issues 4-6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples…For Reals This Time!

So, I got sidetracked last time, by some well drawn, and some might say hilariously drawn, female anatomy. And my own immaturity. But, I’ll make the claim that I was actually stalling for the 6th issue of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to come out! These three issues continue to build a fantastic universe, as well as some three dimensional, well-rounded characters. There’s no bounty hunters or Sith lords that look cool only to say nothing and get taken out like punks. (Oooh, sweet burn, Star Wars!)

That’s The Will. He’s a bounty hunter, or in the slang of this universe, a “Freelancer.” So far we’ve seen him defeat giant monsters, and argue over the phone with his spider-lady ex, The Stalk. He turned down an opportunity to hunt our heroes and their baby because he wouldn’t get an exclusive contract. The Will gets results, chief!

Except when you threaten Lying Cat. Then The Will’s results are lessened. Lying Cat is the breakout character of this series. At least on the internet. Cause Internet = Cat Love. And this is a giant cat that can tell when people are lying. It is a giant cat that can tell when people are lying, and it SAYS, “Lyyyyinggg.” I don’t actually recall if they draw it out like that, but that is how a talking cat would sound. They would not have the cool Bill Murray-ish voice of Lorenzo Music.

Anyway, we get to see more of Marco and Alana in battle. Specifically, Marco, he does THIS to a dude’s arm…

…and then THIS to a sword! Take that sword! And then they all take off in a spaceship!

Take that, spaceship! Oh, the spaceship’s supposed to do that? Then…carry on, spaceship! (Did I mention they made it to the Rocketship Forrest which was an ACTUAL ROCKETSHIP FORREST?)

Anyway, I don’t really want to go into plot details. That doesn’t get you to read this comic. But like I said, Vaughan and Staples are still creating. They haven’t just set us off on an adventure with a couple of stock characters, they’re continuing to reveal more about Alana and Marco, while also exploring characters like The Will, Prince Robot IV, Isabel, and even giving a little depth to the planet full of hookers. Not the actual planet mind you, but to the hookers living on it. What I’m getting at, is that there’s no throwaways in Saga. Nothing is done for the sake of being “cool,” or selling an action figure, though I’d definitely buy up all these action figures. This series is looking like it could very well live up to the definition of it’s title, Saga, which means “epic work of fiction.” I’m in it for the long run, and hope you’ll continue to read it along with me. Feel free to consider the comments section a spoiler and story discussion area…let’s talk about this comic!

Kickin’ Skulls Y’all

Today, we’re talking about Skullkickers by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang.

Yup, that’s right, Skullkickers. If that title, combined with the above image doesn’t fill you with some form of glee, go ahead and stop reading. If you scoffed…first off, HOW DARE YOU FOR SCOFFING, THERE WILL BE NO SCOFFING ON THIS BLOG! But if you scoffed, really, don’t continue. Come back when I review Blankets. (AND I WILL REVIEW BLANKETS, YOU…YOU…SCOFFER!)

Skullkickers, to quote Ranier Wolfcastle (star of McBain: Let’s Get Silly), is “a mix of action und comedy,” with a bit of fantasy and horror thrown in. That’s four genres, people! Four genres for your valuable moneys!

Skullkickers (are you getting that I love typing this title?) stars “Baldy” and “Shorty,” a pair of monster killers for hire. They inhabit a world set in medieval times, filled with monsters, but everyone talks like they’re in an 80’s action movie (Note: This is a GOOD THING, as the 80’s were the golden era of action movies. This dialogue gets 3.5 Shane Blacks out of 5 Shane Blacks).

Zubkavich and Huang do very well together in marrying the four genres, though comedy is their priority. The above page conveys the hilarity of our heroes escaping the flaming scene of a crime with the same casual tenseness of a Simpsons “I left your present in the car” gag. Allow me to explain, without the aid of asterisk OR parenthesis, The Simpsons “I left your present in the car” gag. Often, a negligent character, like Homer J. Simpson, will have forgotten to buy a present for his wife, or one of his children. Upon being reminded of the birthday, anniversary, etc., he will then say that the present is…in the car…yeah, with appropriate hesitation and pauses, for comedic effect. The rest of the gag is pulled off via off screen audio, as we hear him slam the door, run to the car, start the car, and drive it away quickly. To see it in action, please view “Treehouse of Horror III,” which is in the fourth season of The Simpsons.

Anyway, I’m not diving deep into what the creative team is doing. They are quite simply creating a fun comic. They are also crafting a quality comic. Often “Fun” is used as an excuse for why something is crappy. It doesn’t have to be good, because it’s “dumb fun.” NO. The characters may not be smart. They may engage in some pretty dumb activities. But the comic isn’t dumb. Skullkickers is just FUN. Read it. You’ll get to see a dwarf and a big bald guy fight monsters, jerks, and more monsters.

But I should comment briefly on the art in Skullkickers. Huang’s art is most definitely cartoony, but I’m also curious about the influence of Capcom on his style. There’s definitely some Street Fighter in his character design. Also maybe a¬†Joe Madureira influence? Anyway…

Skullkickers!

Skullkickers is published by Image Comics, you can purchase it on Comixology, Amazon, or your local comic or book store. Do not buy it from the guy offering you a signed CD in Times Square. He is a scam artist. He does not have any comic books.