Thursday, January 08, 2009

That was 2008 - part 2

I´m still pimpin my blog and today I already received two replies from other comic blogs but one of them doesn´t work as expected. The one that is up and running is on BOB MITCHELL IN THE 21ST CENTURY who said I had a " great looking site " .

Now I´m always trying to improve the blog and I´m okay with how it looks. But if you really want to see an impressive looking blog just check out his site - just remember to come back afterwards. I want to have at least half as many widgets and gadgets when I´m finished with this blog. No really. Even if I have no idea what a " twitter " is - I want it !

But enough about me. For now let´s continue our review of last years comics. We´re still covering Marvel and all the positive things you can say about 2008 Marvel although there are some thorns in this roses.


Okay. I wasn´t thrilled when the announcement was made that Mark Millar and Brian Hitch were taking over the book. And I already said so in one of my solicitation posts :

This is it. The big one. The showstopper. The maineventer. The mother of it all. Brian Hitch takes over Marvel´s first family. Now we´re cooking. Everything to this point is just filler.


If you are one of those who are waiting for Brian Hitch to take over the art reigns on FF you are missing out on the best run of the FF in a long time. The current creative team is delivering one of the best storylines of Fantastic Four lore in a long time. They even have the Frightful Five in it and the Silver Surfer. I know most people just think it´s filler but I would have prefered it if Paul Pelletier would have stayed on the book.

On the other side Brian Hitch´s not half - bad either and that leaves Paul Pelletier to take over another book. And there are a lot of books at Marvel at the moment that could benefit from a new artist. Like She Hulk a book he´s already familiar with. Or maybe Black Panther. He´s already familiar with the character after FF. Just put him on a book with hot chicks - you hear me, Marvel ?

I like Paul Pelletier. Even when he was doing EX - MUTANTS at Malibu ( remember DINOSAURS FOR HIRE ? ) and later on OUTSIDERS for DC I thought he had something. Of course his style has evolved a lot since then but he still managed to conserve some of the cartoony quality of it. I always prefered artists who are not too realistic and add some elements from anime or the great newspaper cartoons like the late Mike Wieringo or Ed McGuiness.

But we were talking about Paul. He´s a fantastic artist and although I like where he ended up ( GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ) the two choices I provided wouldn´t have hurt either. Maybe than the first one wouldn´t have to be cancelled and the second one wouldn´t have to be restarted with a new number one. I don´t know, every time it seems that comic companies start listening to me like Marvel now putting two first grade artist on one book ( HULK ) something like this happens. Anyway, more about the demise of SHE HULK and other negative things of 2008 in later posts. This is about the good stuff.

Okay, Paul Pelletier was out and it seems that I was one of the few who really, really liked that part of the Fantastic Four. Most people just fell victim to the hype and waited for the beginning of the Millar / Hitch run to jump onboard. So it wouldn´t surprise me if five or ten years from now the internet is filled with articles of the lost gem of the Fantastic Four : the incredible run by Paul Pelletier that seemed to go unnoticed by the majority of comic readers. Hear me now and believe me later.

Back to the new creative team on Fantastic Four. This was one of the books I had shipped to Spain despite having it on my pull list because I just knew that this is one of the few cases where buying the issues two times wouldn´t bother me. That´s something I used to do more often back when I had a job and more money available. I didn´t do it with every book but only with the select few that I was reading like a hundred times so that my copy would be all worn out and dog eared after a few months.

But the new direction hasn´t been received with only applause as Brian Hitch pretty soon discovered. Sometimes whatever you do is wrong. To bring out the issues on a schedule resembling something like a monthly book Brian Hitch adapted a more loose and less detailed style. The cries over the lateness of his work on ULTIMATES still in his ears he thought that fandom would be delighted. Wrong. Now people were complaining that while the issues WERE late on ULTIMATES his pencils looked much better.

Me - I´m happy either way. If the FF would have come out with huge gaps that only would have meant that I wouldn´t have to spend so much on this book and could get some other reading material from the huge pile at my comic shop whenever Fantastic Four didn´t ship. And if it comes out monthly....hey, it´s a monthly book by Brain Hitch. Even if it doesn´t look as good as ULTIMATES it´s still far above many other books artwise. But that shows you that what fans say they want and what they ultimately ( no pun intended ) end up buying is not the same. A lesson that we had to learn the hard way with POWER FREAKS.

Like I always say : just do your thing and take your time with the art - later on nobody cares if books were late. In a trade all that matters is the consistency and quality of the art. Now if only somebody would explain to Mr. Hitch what panel borders are for. This comics seriously needs black panel borders. Now I have to mention the story. Normally Mark Millar is not very good at writing characters he didn´t create but this seems to be the exception. He´s channeling his inner Stan Lee and so far there has been none of the typical " out of character moments " that other star writers at Marvel seem to be so fond of.

While I enjoyed the last creative team immensly I can´t deny that I am very happy to welcome Millar and Hitch to the book and so far it has been a fun ride. And no, I don´t believe in nitpicking something to death. If I enjoy it and I can´t wait to read the next issue that´s enough for me. As long as the creative team doesn´t break the suspension of disbelief I will recommend it. Everything else - well, that´s part of the later posts.

Looks like I only can cover one book in this post because it took too much time to go through my discs to find some pics. Sorry.

more Paul Pelletier FF :

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  • more Brian Hitch FF :

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