Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011: How it all went down...

One would think that all of the great stuff going down in 2011, we would have all the posts and exclusives. Time flies when you are having fun, so we dropped the ball about 1,000 times on this blog. We felt it was only fitting that we give at least one more post for 2011 even though it is 2012 as we post this. Again, forgive us our transgressions...

One graphic novel that stood out to us was of course, a non hero graphic novel. "99 Days" which was written by Matteo Casali and illustrated by Kristian Donaldson. It's on the Vertigo imprint which has released a gang of graphic novels and comic series dealing with crime and investigation. Some of it is great but much of it is not even worth the five finger discount. Vertigo still puts out quality stuff for being on the DC side so there other titles to check out. I will say that "99 Days" does a wonderful job of intertwining genocide with police brutality and gang violence as well as poverty and political strife without being too preachy or cliche. The artwork fits both locales in Rwanda and Los Angeles and it works seamlessly. Casali pulls off several twists. This better win an Eisner Award.

Vertigo did publish the last DMZ (Issue Number 72) this month. Let me say I love Brian Wood's writing. Ricardo Burchielli's art really kept up the storyline throughout its 72 issue run. The covers are probably the best in the biz. Vertigo knocked it out of the park with this. It won a gang of awards. I know some professors who use it in their political science and journalism class. I knew eventually, the series would end because of it's setting: Civil war torn New York City. I didn't like the last issue too tough. I mean Wood did a great job tying so many loose ends before the series ended. The last issue did bring back many of the characters we know and love. I just felt that it was outside of the story. I know it takes place 15 years after the previous issues when the war is way over, but still. It felt too distant. I wanted more. So yes, I am saying you can avoid this issue.

I will admit that the Captain America movie did not disappoint. It was everything I expected it to be. It's a wonderful piece of American propaganda when our soldiers fought the just fight and were heroic enough to be bulletproof. I love Captain America, I just don't dig this sanitized version of WWII. I think the movie played right into that. It even removed anything Nazi from history. That bothered me too much. I do think that Chris Evans redeemed himself in this role. He did horrible in Fantastic Four even though I felt much of the blame should be placed on the writers and didn't do too well in Push (even though he did his thing in "Sunshine," but again, the writer and director get full credit for that one). I give Marvel points for putting Gabriel Jones (played by Derek Luke) and giving a shout out to Howard University. What saved the movie was the last 5 minutes when Rogers is awakened in the 21st century by SHIELD.

The real winners of 2011 had to be DC with their 52 line. No one saw that coming and everyone thought it would be a flop. They hit us with four titles featuring non white characters: Mr. Terrific, Static Shock, Bat Wing, and Blue Beetle. While many might argue that some of these super heroes lean on other white heroes to work, who else is putting out non white superheroes with this much distribution. Marvel isn't anymore. Is this progress? I don't know but its a step in the right direction. It was a big risk especially in this economy for DC to do something like that so I have to give them cool points for that. I have heard many white cats call it a publicity stunt and that's a shame that some folks feel that way. We all know that paper is going the way of the do do and digital is where it's at. So DC get's love for taking that risk.

And yes for 2012, we plan on highlighting independent comic books by non white writers and illustrators so stay tuned for that.

The biggest story of 2011 was Ultimate Spider Man as Miles Morales. Even Fox News came out to blame Michelle Obama on that one. As usual Brian Michael Bendis did not disappoint. If you haven't checked it out already please do. Your best bet is to get the digital comic or wait for the Trade Paper Back. Yes, it's that crucial. I have to say that Marvel took a big risk on this one and it came through for them. The story is just so dope. So much to go over. It's not Peter Parker in black face. Bendis brings all the nuances of being a black child in NYC in the 21st century. Morales is about my sons. Morales is about me growing up in NYC trying to figure it out.

With all this and more, 2012 will be an interesting year in comics.

Thanks to all that follow us and pass our blogs around. We appreciate it. Yes! if you are wondering, more posts in 2012.


Anonymous said...

I loved all of these series. I can't wait to see how these stories evolve.

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