XXVI: Why Comics?by Bobby Acosta on Nov. 30, 2011, under Comic Books, Image, Opinion, Reviews, Tucson Comic Con
(Once again, I have missed a post. With Thanksgiving poking it’s turkey-filled head out of the ground and my students like a boiling pot ready to burst, time ran short. So, here’s the second part of my Tucson Comic Con swag-exploration.)
Longer now than it seems, the Tucson Comic Con was in full swing. Deep inside the Bookman’s Event Center and bubbling inside the minds of all that came, the Con has a way of affecting everyone. Even if you are an avid fan of reading comics, there will always be something new there.
With that in mind, I had to consider what would be the best way to bring the best aspects of the Convention to the column. I guess reflecting on the costume players and their importance in bringing the marvel of comic book characters to life is one topic. Visiting around with the local talent and interviewing some of the best was another thought.
Then, I had an interesting thought. The biggest aspect of any comic convention is the, frankly, the comics. Physical, paper, cover comics.
I’ll be the first to admit: I have read a ton of comics. I’m actually going to use that term of measurement as the official amount. So, when it comes to new comics, I think it’s a big deal since many times I try to stick with what I know or know that I would be comfortable with. So, this con, I created a goal. Try to snatch up as many new kinds of comics as I could muster.
Or, at the least, grab as many comics as possible that I have heard fantastic things about but have yet to read. So, in a sense, I’m trying as best as I can to place myself in the position of someone that reads this column. My intentions while writing the column are to expose and discuss what I believe to be the best comics out there for anyone, and I mean anyone, to go ahead and read. As long as they have a little background knowledge on characters, (Superman is Clark Kent) then I think anyone could read what I put up here.
So, my challenge, try to snatch up new comics as much as possible, new comics that I’ve heard good things about, and record my thoughts on them, with as little spoilers as possible. No research. No internet checking. I’ll go about this as fresh and blind as possible. This week, I’m working with three new series.
(The bolded part is what I’ve already written before. This time, however, I’m attempting it with two new series and my initial thoughts on them.)
2) Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon’s Casanova.
What Do I Know Already?: Matt Fraction, all around big man at Marvel Comics. Currently, he’s writing the Invincible Iron Man series and The Mighty Thor. (maybe you’ve heard of these two guys? They’re not too big.) Artist Fabio Moon, from what I know, is a Brazilian that works with his brother, Gabriel Ba, quite a bit. Casanova, the main character, is a smooth talking, dimension hopping, lady devouring ladies man of the highest order. Or so I’ve heard. Again, have never read this series. Currently, it’s being published as a set of mini-series, all linked. The two issues I picked up are from the second mini-series call “Gula”.
Casa#1: So, apparently, this Casanova Quinn spy-guy is similar to a dimension hopping James Bond. Except he fights someone named Newman Xeno…
Casa#2: Why do weird sci-fi action comics always feature weird sci-fi action-y names? I believe I answered my own question.
Casa#3: “No one ever real dies. We’re all just becoming free.” Words to die by, brought to you by Casanova Quinn, all-around awesome spy.
Casa#4: Sets fire to an evil hospital, has a beach day on another planet, then meets a six-armed gun-toting babe. Is there anything Casanova CAN’T do?
Casa#5:Following some more dimension hopping, we’re given what I guess is a side story starring Zephyr Quinn, Casanova’s Totally-Not-Casanova sister.
Casa#6: So, Casanova is still on the run in spacetime. Meanwhile, his sister, under threat, has been ordered to do a capital Eeeee Eeeeevil assassination. Craziness.
Casa#7: I’ve just begun to notice, but the colors and art in Casanova (done masterfully by Gabriel Ba) is so eye-catchingly amazing.
Casa#8: Oh my, a woman that uses sex to kill…..and likes it. How is Casanova going to deal with her? In fact, where the bloody devil is he?
Casa#9: Holy…Zephyr Quinn might be even better than her brother. Next up on the assassination list: Her FATHER!
Okay, so, that one was a little out there as far as story goes. But, you know, sometimes seeing the crazy in fiction is what makes it all so entertaining.
3) Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston’s Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker.
What Do I Know Already?: Next to nothing. I know Joe Casey is a great writer for dabbling in the more off kilter stories of super heroics, but has written some of the greats. He’s also a member of the Men of Action writing team, responsible for many of the action shows on Cartoon Network and Disney XD. Series Artists Mike Huddleston, like Christian Ward from The Infinite Vacation, does not ring a bell. Unfortunately, I was only able to track down issues #4-5. From what I know, the series is only on issue #7. So, again, fresh start. Good things heard. Should be fun.
BB#1: From what I gather, Butcher is an old time hero, made to kick-ass and schmooze the ladies. Apparently, he’s got a bunch of old villains to kill…
BB#2: He’s big, brawny, has a goatee, beats up villains called “The Gator”, looks to be in his mid-50s, AND drives a huge semi-truck painted like the U.S. Flag….I think I love this guy!
BB#3: Butcher Baker….giving it to the ladies….
BB#4: Hmm, not a lot of people like Butcher’s actions. Still, he’s old and beating the tar out of a guy named Angerhead….what more can I want?
BB#5: According to those U.S. tanks, apparently, they really don’t like Butcher…
BB#6: I like this. Instead of a young, brash, new hero with inner turmoil thoughts, it’s an old, outta-retirement hero with issues. MUCH more interesting thoughts.
BB#7: Hmmm, whoever this Willard guy is with the tall hat and the lightning bolt sunglasses….I don’t trust him.
BB#8: Butcher could be one of the flat out most interesting characters I’ve ever begun to read about.
So, there it is.
Tweeted thoughts about series I have never read before. And you know? They were good. I had a lot of fun trying to pick up the pieces, figure out who characters were or what past actions might currently be influencing them now, ect.
Why is this important? I mean, reading a series and sharing thoughts are something a person usually experiences by themselves, but I realized something today as I was leaving for home.
I was looking forward to reading these new series. I was. I truly was. More than watching television or reading any of the other comics that I constantly read, these new things enticed me more than I have been.
Reading comics does this for you. It’s up to you to experience it for yourself.
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. Contact him at email@example.com