E-MAIL THE AUTHOR | ARCHIVES
By Marc Mason
May 23, 2006
Welcome to the single most difficult SIBAM to write.
For the last three years, Iíve had the privilege to bring you some of the best in comics. Graphic novels, pamphlets, prose books, short films, interviews, commentaryÖ youíve seen them all in this space. Itís been a comfortable environment to work in, but the time has come for me to take a final bow and make an exit. Always best to leave the stage before they extend the hook and drag you off, you know?
Iíd like to take a moment to offer some thanks. First, thanks to former EIC Chris Ryall for bringing me onboard. Iíd had the privilege of working with Chris at Comic Book Galaxy before he became the helmer at The Shoot, but nothing could have prepared me for how tremendous he was going to be here. To my dying day, Iíll never have anything but brilliant things to say about Chris. Iíd also like to say thanks to former second-in-command Scott Tipton. Not only is Scott a good guy, heís a funny, talented writer. Scott wrote most of the news headlines youíve seen over the years. Those times youíve snorted milk out of your nose while reading the front page of this site? All Scott. Thanks also go to Ming Chen, the techno-genius behind The Shoot. Ming is a talented, hard-working fellow, and he deserves more accolades than you can imagine. What a pro. And of course, thanks are due to our beloved owner, Kevin Smith. Many siteowners spend their time lording it over every single thing that happens in their domain, but Kevin has stepped back and let his writers do what they do best. Thatís whatís made this site one of the best on the net. Thatís also why Iíve enjoyed every minute of it.
Finally, Iíd like to thank the readers. To those hordes of people whoíve read the column every week, you have my eternal gratitude. The e-mails, the contest entrantsÖ what a joy you all made it to write this column. Give yourselves a round of applause.
The Shoot is becoming Quick Stop Entertainment, and I expect it to be amazing. I know Iíll still be reading it every day. And while the invitation to be a part of it has been extended to me, this just seems like the right time to try something different and get out of my comfort zone. So as you bookmark Quick Stop Entertainment, please do me a favor: bookmark The NEW Comics Waiting Room, too. Thatís right: youíve seen the blog with that name running at the bottom of SIBAM every week, but with the domain now in hand, itíll be a regular website starting in early June. I hope you all come along and check it out. In the meantime, Iíll still be posting reviews and commentary at the Comics Waiting Room Classic Site.
But lest this get too maudlin, four more books for your reading pleasure. Grab a drink, light a smoke; it ainít over just yet.
Written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski and Drawn by Paul Azaceta
Published by Boom Studios
A plane crashes in the ocean. Twelve hours later, divers find the plane beneath the waves, completely submerged. So exactly how is it that Nicholas Dane wakes up in his seat as the rescuers arrive? And why can he suddenly remember the lives of the other passengers and utilize their skills? Thatís the premise of TALENT, and as you can imagine, itís a pretty ripe one. And while the conspiracy that sets itself upon Daneís heels is a bit stale, this is still a rousing concept.
Of course, no one quite wants to believe that Dane is a miracle, so his life is called into question by Homeland Security, and others wonít suffer him to live. That makes TALENT an interesting combination of THE FUGITIVE and JOHN DOE. Combining intrigue and action, this is a pretty decent thriller. Unfortunately, the script doesnít match up to the premise; the dialogue is kind of still and lifeless, doing little besides moving the plot forward. Nicholas comes off as a cipher, which plays well when it comes to his channeling of the others, but Iíd like to see more of who he is as a man, too.
Balancing that out, though, is the terrific art by Azaceta. TALENT is dark, moody, and steady; this might be the best looking book Boom has put out to date. Put together the strong concept and the art, and TALENT becomes a top-of-the-stack read. Iíll be interested to see what sort of corrections crop up along the way as far as the characters go, but thereís no question this has unlimited potential. As always, thatís a blessing and a curse.
UmmÖ yeah. This practically screams, ďOption me!Ē Think back to the comparison to THE FUGITIVE; TALENT smells like a popcorn seller. You could digitally superimpose the dead character on to Nicholas as he accesses their skills and memories, and it wouldnít be too expensive. Put someone like Josh Lucas on screen as Dane, and this finds box office success.
THE LAST CHRISTMAS #1
Written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn and Drawn by Rick Remender
Published by Image Comics
The apocalypse has arrived and mutants are overrunning the Earth. The last vestiges of humanity still celebrate Christmas, though, so Santa and the elves are still somewhat in business. However, when the bad guys reach the North Pole and wreak havoc, Santa calls it quits. Thatís the premise of this odd, warped comedy. Nothing quite like watching the immortal Santa spending page after page attempting suicide in the hopes of joining his wife on the other side. Still, if you have a twisted, psychotic story to tell, you canít go wrong by bringing in Rick Remender to draw it. The larger story being told really doesnít develop much through this issue, though, but there are some nicely amusing bits to tide you over. To be honest, I think I was expecting more than what the book delivered, but thatís on me, I suppose.
LOADED BIBLE: JESUS VS. VAMPIRES
Written by Tim Seeley and Drawn by Nate Bellgarde
Published by Image Comics
Another post-apocalypse book, Seeleyís nifty bit of blasphemy finds the Christian savior risen again, and battling to keep the last vestiges of humanity safe from the bloodsuckers who have become Earthís dominant species. As the bookís back cover asks: ďWhat would Jesus do? Heíd kick vampire ass.Ē LOADED BIBLE surprises, not with its concept, buy by the fact that Seeley takes his story very fucking seriously. Thereís action a-plenty, a conspiracy, some sexy vampires, but thereís one thing missing: fun. The back cover blurb is the only thing about the book that makes you crack a smile. With an idea like this, I think you have to nod a bit towards the absurdity of it all, but it never happens. Still, the story holds together on its own merits, and I was entertained by the book, so weíll call it a win.
BLACK HARVEST #4-5
Written and Drawn by Josh Howard
Published by Devilís Due
Josh Howard, who has notoriously been very slow about revealing the pieces of his mysteries, finally seems to have found the correct formula with this series. Zaya, having returned from being missing for three years, finds herself in a position to learn the truth about her and the strange powers sheís been revealing while under duress. In the meantime, reporter Daniel Webster is led to the beginnings of the dark truth about the town of Jericho. Thereís a sense of motion at work here that suggests that Howard has locked in to exactly how he wants to proceed to his climax. Thatís important, not only in keeping the reader interested, but also because Howard has worked exclusively with four-issue miniseries prior to this one. The difference in pacing for four versus six issues is enormous, and it represented a huge opportunity for Josh to pull a face plant. Instead, BLACK HARVEST is looking like his best work to date. Canít ask for more than that.
Thatís it. Again, please bookmark The NEW Comics Waiting Room and keep checking back in June. Keep reading the Classic Version. And, please stick around and check out Quick Stop Entertainment, which promises to be terrific. Thanks again to all of you for three great years.
Itís closing time. You donít have to go home, but you canít stay hereÖ
Review materials may be sent to: Marc Mason, P.O. Box 26732, Tempe, AZ 85285. You can also find me at Happy Nonsense and The Comics Waiting Room
E-MAIL THE AUTHOR |