Initial Reactions + A Genuine Nerd - Part III

The books really piled up while I was away, and despite a lengthy visit to the local comic store on Friday, I escaped spoiler free! It was surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things, and I'm looking forward to the (un)daunting task of reading four months worth of individual issues. Just a few observations from my first visit to a comic book store, stateside:

Adi Granov is Doing an Awful Lot of Marvel Covers

I'm a bit sad that we haven't seen a book of interior artwork from Adi Granov since the as-yet-to-be-finished Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas mini series, but it doesn't look like he's hard up for work. There were more than a few Granov covers on the shelf, not to mention a slew of covers to come as seen in the latest Marvel Previews. People still complain about having to wait three months for issues of Iron Man: Extremis, the infamous series relaunch from 2005, but Marvel never advertises his books as monthly titles. I was lucky enough to see some of the Extremis pages in person, as well as a digital presentation from the artist demonstrating how he inks / colors them, and let me tell you, they are worth the wait. The man is doing the job of three people - pencils, ink, and colorist in one - so you can't really say he's taking too long. A suggestion to Marvel? Give this guy a one shot issue! That way no one has to wait forever for the next issue and we get all get to enjoy something more than covers from this amazing artist.
(Black Widow: Deadly Origin Hardcover will be released this Wednesday, March 3rd)

The Walking Dead: 70 Issues, Still Delivers the Goods

This was the first book I read after purchasing my giant stack-o-books, and is in fact, the only title that I am now totally caught up. But WOW. I still think any of you out there that read this book in trade paperback form (or illegally download it) are crazy for not reading the individual issues. The cliffhangers! The free previews of other Image titles! The "Letter Hacks" column (which almost never fails to make me chortle)! It all makes it worth your money. Issue 70 was a particularly gut wrenching issue, even for TWD, in which Robert Kirkman incorporates a recent news story into the issue. It is obvious that Kirkman himself was disturbed by the story and the projection of his own feelings through this new character's reaction makes it impossible to absorb this passage without having an emotional response. I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time. I'll give anyone an award for eternal respect if they can name another series that incites that kind of reaction! Also, kudos to Charlie Adlard for creating panels that were equally engaging, a hard task for such an emotionally charged script that features a loooot of exposition whilst sitting. 

Instead of One Crappy Spider-Man Title, Now There Are SEVERAL!

I'd like to think something good has come from Brand New Day, the crappiest retcon of recent memory. Alas, I see options to buy a  retelling of the Clone Saga, more bi-weekly zaniness in Amazing Spider-Man where they pretend like he's still 20 years old, and a slew of beat-em-up-bad-guy tales offered in "Web Of" and various one-shots and minis (Spider-Man:1602? I'm sure the masses were clammering for that, and without Neil Gaiman no less). Just terrible. Convince me otherwise, and I'll give it a shot!

Now we come to another segment of A Genuine Nerd, a short little introduction to a comic book fan and their recommendation for first time comic book readers. This is the second Graham Crackers Comics employee to be featured, and Samantha LaFountain is keeping it real in downtown Chicago. She'll give it to you straight whether you ask for it or not, and you'll always walk away from your comic book shopping experience a little happier with Sam at the register. Super skills include being able to pack away a Chipotle burrito in one sitting (worth mentioning in my book), student of creative writing, and general bad-ass at face painting. Oh, and she'll never make you feel judged for your reading tastes, a rarity in the retail end of the business. Here's Sam's recommendation for those of you new to the comic book genre:
"Oh yeesh, that's such a broad question. Usually when someone asks me for a book suggestion I have to do a mini interview to get to know the person to try and suggest the perfect book. However if I could pick any book to suggest to someone to understand why comics are a medium that cannot be touched, I would suggest the first volume (and the others as well) of Animal Man by Grant Morrison. A comic book hero realizing he's in a comic book?! You can't beat that."
Sam knows what's up, and she'll tell ya!