Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Roundup

Alright, guys...

The Best Comics Quest! blog has been in existence for a little over a month and I'd like to make it accessible for all who would come to check it out.  That means if someone new happening upon this blog doesn't want to sort back through all the posts so far but wants a summary of what I've read and what I thought of it, I'd like to give that to them.

Also, regular readers can check out a summary post like I'm about to do and perhaps recall books that they may want to check out or buy.

So here we go with a roundup of all that I took in for the blog in the month of September.

Let me first clarify that the first book that I looked at, WE3, was actually reviewed at the very end of August, but I'm gonna include it here for neatness sake.  That means, if you've been following the format I've been doing this thing in, we've got three little sets, each containing four "Best of the Rest" picks from Gene Kannenberg Jr.'s book 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and then working up to one that he has listed as a "Top 10" pick.

I'll list them all by my rating on a scale of 5 stars, with 1 star being bad, up to 5 stars being amazing.

So here we go...

The Best Comics Quest! September Roundup

5 Star Rated
 -WE3 - A cute little dog, kitty, and bunny are turned into animal weapons for the government.
 -Blankets - An autobiographic tale from creator Craig Thompson about growing up in a strict Christian home.
 -Identity Crisis - DC's heroes in a thriller/mystery after Elongated Man's wife is brutally murdered.
 -The Books of Magic - Young Tim Hunter is approached by four of the DC Universe's practitioners of magic and guided through the entire history of magic in attempt to recruit him to wield mystical powers.

4 Star Rated
 -Sshhhh! - This wordless work follows a central anthropomorphic crow figure through events in his life.

3 Star Rated
 -Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Power and Responsibility - The first volume of the revamp of everyone's favorite wall-crawler for Marvel's Ultimate line.
 -It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken - This faux autobiographical tale follows main character Seth as he becomes obessed with a 1940's cartoonist named Kalo and his work.
 -The Complete Terry and the Pirates, Vol. 1: 1934-1936 - This mammoth collection of strips follows our adventurers through China in search of a fabled gold mine.
 -Pop Gun War - A young boy, Sinclair, pilfers a crashlanded angel's wings and flies through the surreal dreamscape of this tale.
 -Whiteout - In the desolation of Antarctica, a troubled female U.S. Marshal investigates an unsolved murder and wrestles with her demons.
 -I Love Led Zeppelin - Part how-to and part chronicle, this book examines creator Ellen Forney and her collaborators' escapades in sex(ual things of all sorts), drugs, and rock 'n' roll, among MANY other things...

2 Star Rated
 -Why I Hate Saturn - Anne is a New York writer for a hipster magazine when her sister Laura shows up with a gunshot wound claiming she's the Queen of the Leather Astro-Girls of Saturn.
 -Hell Baby - A new father of two girls is shown his new babies. One is normal, one monstrously hideous. He discards the freakish one. She has her revenge.
 -Fun with Milk and Cheese - A drunken carton of milk and wedge of cheese beat the hell out of everything and everyone for laughs.
 -Leave it to Chance, Vol. 1: Shaman's Rain - Young girl Chance Falconer wishes to follow in her father's footsteps as the occult protector of their hometown of Devil's Echo.

1 Star Rated
No books were rated 1 star.

So, there we have it.  I reserved my opinion of the books to simply listing them under the appropriate star rating.  I wanted to give any newcomers to this blog or the books the freedom to make their own judgement calls here.  If you want more of my two cents, all of the reviews are posted here in previous entries.

For the sake of just a few words of reflection, though...

I think I'd probably stick to my kneejerk reactions on most of these books, perhaps with the exception of moving Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Power and Responsibility and I Love Led Zeppelin up one star.  Thinking back on those ones makes me remember some parts that I really enjoyed and leads me to believe that maybe they should have rated a little higher.

My very favorite ones were, of course, the five star rated books, but forced to pick only one that I enjoyed the most and that I think will stick with me for a long time, I'd probably have to go with Identity Crisis.  My penchant for superhero comics and the love of Ralph and Sue Dibny make this one very special for me. 

The biggest letdowns for me were probably Whiteout and Leave it to Chance, Vol. 1: Shaman's Rain, wherein I went in to works that had been highly acclaimed, wanting to love what I found there and was met with what I felt to be mediocrity.

So there we have it, loyal readers.  A month, 15 books in and a nice little recap for those wanting a brief revisit to those books I've read.  Also, a nice starting point to just a taste of my opinions if you're new to the blog.

I again urge everyone to comment here.  Please feel free to say whatever you'd like.  Do you like what I've done here?  Do you agree or strongly disagree with my opinions?  Is there anything you want to say?  Please let me know.  In my little world, there can never be too much discussion on the fantastic realm of comics and sequential art.

With that, I hope you readers that have come have enjoyed my thrown-together ravings, I welcome anyone new, and I hope this post finds all of you well.

Oh, and before I go, how about a little preview of what books are upcoming as we get into October?

The first set of five will be as follows (annotated with how they're listed in 500 Essential Graphic Novels):
 -The Originals (Science Fiction, Best of the Rest)
 -Shade, The Changing Man: The American Scream (Superheroes, Best of the Rest)
 -Black Hole (Horror, Best of the Rest)
 -Silverfish (Crime/Mystery, Best of the Rest)
 -The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (War, Top 10)

So, there you go, guys.  I hope to get back to you sometime before the weekend concludes with the review of The Originals.

And with that, I promise I'll go now. :)

Be well...

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