Friday, August 12, 2011

GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011 - Muppet Show

Yes, enough with the news already ( at least for now ) as I had a bad case of indigestion for most of the day. I´m not in the mood for anything right now so I might as well start with my reviews of the comics from this year´s GRATIS COMIC TAG.

Especially because I will have more to report on since there should be four new ones in my next comic order. Since my regular comicshop is still busy with moving and hasn´t fully unpacked all boxes I have to look for other sources for copies of the comics from this year´s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and GRATIS COMIC TAG. Thankfully a few of the online comicshops offer one free book from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY or GRATIS COMIC TAG for every 10 bucks you order so I got some issues that way.

Although I have ordered quite a lot of stuff this month and last due to two birthdays ( for which you need presents ), one nameday ( spanish tradition, I think I explained it in one of my previous posts ) or just great offers by amazon. Right now I am waiting on two orders. One is from an onlineshop where I ordered X - MEN SCHISM 2 and got number 1 instead. As usual there are so many comics I´m behind on that after a few days of back and forth e - mailing if they should send me a copy of issue 2 or save it for me I just decided to see if I could find enough issues I would eventually buy to do another order.

So Yesterday I did just that and now I´m not only - finally - going to get my hands on X - MEN SCHISM 2 but I´m also getting some new comics from GRATIS COMIC TAG. And the first 6 issues of THE WEIRD WORLD OF JACK STAFF. As I have no idea if, when or how the series is going to be continued I decided to get the issues that have come out so far.

The other order is for a book I really shouldn´t buy, because I already have all the issues but it´s just too big of a bargain for me to resist. I´m afraid it could be one of these cases where I regret not ordering when I had the chance to as it already happened with a few comics.

The comic I ordered is the new DARK AVENGERS hardcover that has a regular price of 49.99 Dollars, you can get it at good online comicshops for around 38 EUROS and is offering it at the moment for 24.99 EUROS. That´s right 25 bucks - that´s almost half price !

The hardcover comes at a whopping 400 pages and although it says that it contains the entire run of the series issues 7 and 8 are not included. Which is probably because they are part of the DARK AVENGERS / UNCANNY X - MEN UTOPIA trade and for once Marvel decided not to make their customers pay twice for the same issues.

I guess it also makes for better reading since those issues would have been confusing for readers who haven´t read the storyline. So why did I buy it although I already have all the issues ? Mainly because lately I have noticed that it´s easier to re - read a comic or particular storyline if you have it collected in a nice hardcover. The way comics are going right now with the big two I´m just one step away from quitting the floppies - except for indie publishers. I may not totally give up on monthlies but I think the number may be getting smaller and smaller.

Another reason for getting the hardcover is of course the fabulous art by Mike Deodato. What can I say, I´m a bitch for good art.

I already mentioned it in one of my previous posts but you can´t really comprehend how freaking cool it is without seeing it. From his figure work, to his babes, to action sequences, to page layout, to perspective - Mike hits all the right bases while still managing to serve the story.

And what a story this is. In my opinion this is one of THE best stories to emerge from all the CIVIL WAR fallout. While Warren Ellis showed how viable the concept of SUICIDE SQUAD still is when implemented with Today´s sensibility Brian Michael Bendis takes it one step further by the convicts now ursuping the role of the heroes who in turn have become outlaws.

The general public doesn´t know it but this team of mentally unstable, immoral criminals is just one big train wreck waiting to happen while playing at being heroes and posing for the cameras. And the worst thing is not that the craziest of them all is their leader - the Green Goblin himself - it´s that he´s the only thing keeping this ticking time bombs in check. Especially the way he manages to keep the Sentry on the short leash is hilarious and frightening at the same time.

Add to that such great scenes as Namor putting Osborn in his place at a meeting of the secret cabal of supervillains,

the Molecule Man showing what he´s really capable of or the Dark Avengers having to go up against Morgana Le Fay in their first mission

and you have a really great read with an unexpected ending. Unless you have read the DARK AVENGERS / UNDER SIEGE issues. But I won´t spoil it for you.

Heck, the story even includes the MAN - THING so Mike Sterling´s going to be happy. Man, how much pull does this guy have with comic publishers anyway ?

So, I just wanted to put that up on ther blog for my german readers in case they don´t already have the series. The book gets my recommendation and you can get it from amazon through the link below or via my amazon shop on the right side of this blog ( under Marvel recommendations - Avengers assemble ).

Just this week I overhauled the whole shop adding new links ( especially for the latest Neil Gaiman books now that I´m reading them ) and also deleting old ones for comics that are no longer available at amazon but i´m not sure if it´s really worth it since so few people have used it in the last months that I´m not sure if it´s still working. Oh, one last thing I almost forgot to mention, if you haven´t already got the SHADOWLAND THUNDERBOLTS trade is offering the hardcover at 12 bucks which is about the price for the trade.

Okay, enough of the public announcement / sales pitch let´s get to the real reason for the post : GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011 and finally giving away free comics. The way this will work is that I´m giving away my copies of the issues I will review here except the ones I don´t own ( like Lewis Trondtheim´s BLACKTOWN ) or have already given to someone ( like the MUPPET SHOW comic ).

Since I would like to review them all they are first going to be put into threats at the Comicforum and the Paniniforum to see if there are people out there willing to swap them for others.

The remaining ones will be given away. So if you want one of the copies but have no comics to exchange for them you can still send me an e - mail and who knows, you might get lucky. And of course all remaining comics will be part of the next free comic contest in which I plan to include some comics from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY as soon as I have had a chance to review them. Yep, it´s going to be an avalanche of free comics.

Let´s start with one I already gave to my sister who´s a big fan of THE MUPPET SHOW and who surely is going to get a kick out of it.

Being objective on this comic is kind of hard for me since it combines three of my favorite things : The Muppet Show, comics and Roger Langridge. Ever since I discovered his art in DC´s BIG BOOK OF URBAN LEGENDS I have been a fan of him but so far it was pretty hard to follow him since he only did obscure ( and shortlived - only 14 issues ) series like GROSS POINT

or the occasional FIN FANG 4 oneshot. Although it was a real hoot to see Roger´s rendition of Gorgilla, Googam and Fin Fang Foom the issues were too few and with much too long periods between them. I guess Marvel didn´t have much faith in the concept.

When I first heard that BOOM STUDIOS was planning to do a comic based on the Muppet Show I wasn´t that excited since there have been quite literal hundreds of comics based on tv shows. And most are either not very well drawn or don´t look anything like the tv show or are not good comic books. Or all of the above. Lately there have been quite a few good comics based on tv shows but it´s still hit or miss with these things.

Also I wasn´t sure how they wanted to do a comic with Muppets. Then I heard that Roger was going to be drawing it and it immediatelly went to the top of my " must check out " list. So what do you want me to say ? This comic has successfully managed to bring all the fun, excitement and quirkiness of the original tv show onto the printed page.

A Muppets fan like me can enjoy the fun of seeing such familiar faces as Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzy Bear, Miss Piggy, Scooter, the Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Animal and of course Statler and Waldorf. And somebody coming new into this world ( oh, how I envy those lucky souls ) can just enjoy the hilarity and hijinks.

The part that´s printed in the GRATIS TAG COMIC is only the first part of book 1 ( I´m not sure how that correlates to the original issues ) and has everything you expect from the show : crazy performances, behind the stage catastrophes,

Pigs in Space and the obligatory news report from Koozebane. I´m not sure how many alien planets I knew at that age but Koozebane was one of them although I probably would have spelled it Kussbeihn.

And speaking about Muppets and news, another thing I´m ALWAYS looking forward to is of course the Muppet news flash with the Muppet Newsman although for totally different reasons.

You see, one day my brother pointed out that Richard Burgi, whose tv show THE SENTINEL was shown on german tv at that time looks exactly like the Muppets Newsman.

Seperated at birth - a guy with enhanced senses and a child´s toy

Now you may not believe that there´s more than a superficial similarity between them but I dare everybody to watch the Muppet news and then watch a clip with Richard Burgi and then tell me that Richard Burgi is NOT the spitting image of the Muppets Newsman.

Although I may have to warn you that you may never look at Robert Burgi the same way again. I know that whenever I see him now on THE SENTINEL, DESPERATE HOUSEWIFES or anything else there is that tiny voice in my head, you know the one you can´t ignore no matter how tiny it is, and that voice immediatelly goes : " Und hier die neusten Muppet Nachrichten ! "

Back to the GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011 edition of the Muppet Show comic I think it totally succeeds in what it set out to do : namely get readers interested in comics, get them interested in the Muppet Show and more important get them to go into comicshops ( if only they would put the address of the comicshop on the comic so people knew where to go to ) and bookstores and ask for the Muppet Show comic. And maybe get them to buy other comics as well. The comic is not too short so that you get a good idea what the comic is all about without giving it all away. Which would be difficult since the first book has 112 pages.

I knew right from the start that this was one comic I was going to buy so I had no problems with giving it away.

And with that I want to end this first part although I didn´t manage to get to the comics I´m giving away. But I just wanted to inform my readers about the DARK AVENGERS hardcover since it´s one my favorite series.

And speaking about favorite series for all those who don´t know THE SENTINEL the main character is like Daredevil but without being blind, the radar sense or radioactive isotopes. It was pretty enjoyable and was cancelled before it got to the really interesting part.

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1 comment:

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

You really must religiously (Terry Hooper just wrote "religiously"!) follow comic bits online. In July I posted that Jack Staff is on hiatus until next year at least. Of course, if Mud Man takes off....