by Teresa Jusino
So, I was in the comic shop yesterday (Cosmic Comics on E. 23rd Street in NYC for those who want to find me on Wednesday afternoons), and there are these two guys standing in front of the new releases chatting away and taking up space. Says one to the other: “God, there’s nothing out this week that I give a f#!@ about.” They continue to stand there and converse as I’m reaching around them grabbing titles off the shelves: Demo, Buffy, Sweet Tooth…
Now ask me if they moved at all to give me easier access to the shelves.
If that’s not the quintessential image of Female Comics Fan In A Comic Shop, I don’t know what is!
And with that, here are my reviews for the week…
DEMO #3 (of 6): “Volume One Love Story”
My favorite title this week comes from one of my favorite writer/artist pairings in comics! Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan have an amazing rapport, as anyone who read the first volume of Demo knows. This second volume of Demo stories has been great, and #3 is my favorite so far! It tells the story of Marlo, a young woman whose OCD manifests itself as a need to put up encouraging/affirming post-it notes to herself everywhere she goes. As she’s seeking help for this by seeing a therapist, she discovers that she has an admirer who seems to like her exactly as she is. I’ve only read Wood’s Demo stories and his book The New York Four for Minx, but not only is he great at telling an engaging story (particularly notable considering each issue of Demo is a self-contained story), but he’s great at capturing young female characters. He has lots of great help, however, from Becky Cloonan, who is becoming one of my favorite comic artists along with Amy Reeder Hadley. This issue in particular contains some great work from Cloonan, whose work on Marlo’s face – lip-biting, eyes welling with tears, sideways glances – is beautiful and intricate. I’d highly recommend all of Demo, but this issue is great for * squeeing. *
SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #5 (of 6)
Demo beat out Secret Origin for the the top spot in my comics lovin’ heart this week….but only just. I’ve been enjoying Secret Origin mostly because I think that Superman’s origin story is the most fascinating thing about the character. Issue #5 of this limited series finds Lex Luthor not too happy with all the new attention Superman is getting, particularly the press attention from the Daily Planet. He goes to extraordinary lengths involving roping in Lois Lane’s estranged family and building a suit that runs on kryptonite to put the “Most Powerful Bachelor in Metropolis” in his place. Geoff Johns has created some wonderful moments: Clark Kent shows up Lois’ army sergeant acquaintance, Lois starts to fall for Clark only to have him ruin the moment by spilling something. In fact, this issue actually made me want to see more of Lois, which doesn’t generally happen. Too often, Lois feels like a generic feminist symbol rather than a character. Here, though, we see that she’s not only smart and willing to stand up for herself, but in the scene where she considers Clark, we see that she’s interested in more than just blue tights and super powered heroics. She is someone who values kindness and insight and is capable of seeing these things in unlikely places, demonstrating kindness and insight of her own. Gary Frank’s art is spectacular, too, and he seems to have gone to great lengths to pay tribute to Christopher Reeves. This Superman is Reeves’ Superman, and it’s heartbreaking to see that face go through everything Superman goes through. The issue ends with Superman in hiding as an enemy of the United States, and I can’t wait until the next, and final installment!
SWEET TOOTH #8
Jeff Lemire’s sweet, weird, heartbreaking story, Sweet Tooth, is one of the best comics you’re not reading. Gus, a sheltered boy who is part deer (yes, you read right. Part deer.) is left alone in the world after his religious, paranoid father dies. Turns out that the world has suffered from a strange plague that has left many children mysteriously part-animal. Gus discovers this when he ends up traveling with Thomas Jepperd, a brooding loner with plague-related problems of his own. I’m not doing this story justice by describing it like this. You really just have to read it.
CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE #6 (of 6)
I haven’t yet gotten caught up with Fables, but I fell in love with that series instantly. One of my favorite characters from Fables has her own fantastic limited series. Did you know that Cinderella was a superspy a la James Bond? Did you also know that when she went to that notorious ball that she was on assignment and scoping out a target before her cover was blown? Chris Roberson has created a great story in which Cinderella is a bad-ass who is tough, smart, a skilled spy, and confident in her sexuality. He also does something interesting in pairing Cinderella up with Aladdin on a case (and in the bedroom), juxtaposing Western and Eastern fairy tales. And who would’ve thought that Fairy Godmothers were so ruthless? I’m sorry this was only a limited series, as I think Cinderella could easily carry her own ongoing title like Jack of Fables.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SEASON EIGHT #34
Twilight, Part Three
Dark Horse Comics
I’m a huge fan of Buffy: Season Eight, and have been since the beginning. I even used to review it here regularly! [LINK: http://www.pinkraygun.com/2007/08/03/buffy-season-eight-issue-5-the-chain] The recent unmasking of Twilight, Season Eight’s “Big Bad”, was an exciting revelation that is supposed to have dire implications for the world. Shame, then, that when those implications are revealed in this issue…they’re convoluted. Seriously, Giles comes out and explains the implications over several pages, and I still don’t really understand what’s going on. Georges Jeanty has drawn lots of great Buffy and Angel sex, (Yes, there’s Buffy and Angel sex), but Brad Meltzer, who’s been doing a great job up until now, just took a huge info-dump all over the last couple of pages. That wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t end the issue as confused as I was when I started. Here’s hoping that next month’s issue brings with it some actual clarity.
Teresa Jusino was born on the same day that Skylab fell. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. She is a contributor to Tor.com, a website that covers sci-fi, fantasy, “…and related subjects.” Her work has also been seen on PopMatters.com, on the sadly-defunct literary site CentralBooking.com, edited by Kevin Smokler, and in the Elmont Life community newspaper. She is currently writing a web series for Pareidolia Films called The Pack, which is set to debut Fall 2010! Get Twitterpated with Teresa, Follow The Pack or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.