A Chum Bucket of fun!

spongebobAs it celebrates its 50th issue, I thought I would take a moment to share my love for one of the only two titles left on my pull list– SpongeBob Comics! Now, I’ve never watched the SpongeBob SquarePants show, so my knowledge of– and unbridled pleasure in– these characters comes solely from the pages of the comic. And I enjoy them so much that at this point I’ve been hesitant to watch the show (or even the movies) for fear it will sour my perception of the characters.

Each issue never fails to bring me an honest laugh– more laughs than a month worth of the snarky asides meant to pass as humor in today’s superhero comics– genuine humor that come from the normal interactions between these characters. Page for page, it gives me more laughter and pure joy than even well-done issues of Simpsons Comics and Futurama Comics, other tv tie-ins that work well on their own as comics. The fact that protagonists SpongeBob and Patrick are clueless idiots who persevere despite that shortcoming helps, of course (it must be a favorite character trait of mine, since I’ve used it with my own long-running protagonists (TGWAH!, Watusi) over the years). SpongeBob Comics regularly features puzzles, interactive strips and stories with complex (though easy to follow) game-like page layouts among the more straightforward and goofily humorous stories. They’ve maintained a steady group of creators over the run, including James Kochalka, Mark Martin, Jacob Chabot, Graham Annable and others that make each issue a treat! I may not know who or what will be in each new issue, but it never lets me down! Continue reading “A Chum Bucket of fun!”

A look at my pull list … and what I love about those titles

For this round of reviews, I thought I’d take a look at my pull list from AstroKitty Comics & More. These days I have (for me) a surprisingly long pull list of titles that come out regularly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of these titles are relatively new, even if the creators have been around for a long time. The best thing about looking at my pull list is to see that all of these comics excite me, and I’m really glad whenever I get the latest issue to read!

Reed Gunther (Image) is the newest addition to my list, added at the same time I dropped The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men, which never really gelled for me. After four issues the characters seemed less defined than in the first issue, and the writers just kept heaping more characters and concepts into the mix. I was bored and uninterested in the title. In stark contrast to that is Reed Gunther, a comic I’ve been following ever since Astrokitty owner Joel Pfannenstiel suggested it, in part because of the appreciation creators Shane and Chris Houghton showed retailers who supported it. It’s the all-ages story of a bear-riding cowboy, with plenty of old west action, a monster now and again, nicely developed characters from Shane and some really fluid cartooning from Chris. I realized that I was enjoying this comic so much more than Firestorm— or many of the other comics I pick up on a whim– that I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss any future issues. Continue reading “A look at my pull list … and what I love about those titles”

DC’s New 52 … and comics I actually liked!

DC Comics: the new 52Okay, that’s an intentionally provocative title, because I did like some of them. While I may not be that enamored with a lot of DC‘s decisions regarding their (partial) relaunch– more on that to later– their promotional comic from last July did give me a good feel for what they’re attempting, and actually encouraged me to give a few more of their new titles a try. I’ve bought and read three (well, 3 1/2) issues from DC’s new direction; not a whole lot, granted, but more than I was regularly following prior to that. With the first round of new #1s out, I thought I’d join the discussion about them.

Of course, I wanted to see how they were starting this relaunch, so I gave the final issue of Flashpoint (#5, written by Geoff Johns, art by Andy Kubert, et al.) a try. While I’ve enjoyed work by both of these creators in the past, it seemed rather noisy and furious (to paraphrase Shakespeare), with little substance to the characters, and lots of excuses for spreads of heroes posing dramatically. All in all, I don’t think they honored their past– something DC used to do well– as they segued into the future as nicely as was done in the recent Star Trek reboot, but it accomplished what they were after. Plus, it does give DC editorial an out if this new direction doesn’t bring in the expected sustained readership: [SPOILER ALERT] “Flash, run backwards!”[END SPOILER]. I was glad I bought it and read it, but I added it to my sell/donate pile as soon as I was done. Continue reading “DC’s New 52 … and comics I actually liked!”