Posts Tagged ‘Terry Moore’

Preview Review – Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1

August 1, 2008

‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo!  And what ‘ave we ‘ere?  Why, boil me beef and call me Nigel, it’s another Preview Review!

For those of you not in the know, this is a Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.

Despite the shortage of unlettered pages being offered for preview (a conspiracy, I maintain, directly against this here blog), I, your humble host have manage to procure some pages from the forthcoming Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1.  Wait… #1?  Hasn’t this series been going on for a while?  I thought it was up to, like, issue 20 or so.  Oh, wait… now I get it.  New writer, and Marvel decided to cash in by slapping a #1 on the cover.  I see right through you, Marvel.  Can’t fool me.

Anyway, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is the heart-wrenching story of Peter Parker, caught in the grip of drug addiction, desperately trying to —

What?

Not about drugs?  A teenage girl in love?

Huh.  Okay.  I could be wrong.  Or am I?  (Just a note – I probably am.)

As I was saying, today we look at Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, written by Terry Moore, art duties by Craig Rousseau, with a cover by Terry Moore and Adrian Alphona.

Let’s see that cover, shall we?

Oh, wow… its so… symmetrical?  Yep.  Main subject posted front and center, grass on both sides, a tree on each side, background pretty sterile.  Hold on a minute – that lampost is only on one side. 

That’s daring. 

Moving of from the general composition of the image, we can take note that New York is filled with actual ivory towers, broken up by only the occasional line or square.  Most folks that don’t live in New York don’t know that.  I can already tell that this comic will be very informative.

And there stands Mary Jane.  Young, innocent, completely unaware that in the future, she will make a deal with the devil and completely screw up Spider-Man’s continuity.

Let’s open the book.

Splash page!  Alrighty, on this first page, we have… well, it look like M.J. is laying on a big canvas on which someone has pencilled a few faces.  And, it also looks like she’s rubbing out some of the images.

You know, that’s irritating.  I mean, someone sets up a canvas, pencils in some light drawings to get ready to paint, and along comes Lil’ Miss “Spider-Man-Loves-Me-I-Can-Do-Anything-I-Want,” who decides to just lay down on the canvass.

Anyway, what else is going on here?  Well, M.J. has a lot of hair.  Don’t get me wrong – very shiny and well maintained (she probably buys some really expensive conditioner), but she could do with a little trim. 

I just realized – that hair is probably why she is lying down.  The weight of it exhausted her.  Now I feel kinda bad for judging her too quickly.  Sorry, M.J.

Aw, she has a cute little Spider-Man doll.  You know, I can’t decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing that Spidey can give a doll of himself to a girlfriend.  I mean, it is neat that those things exist, but it seems a little creepy, maybe a little controlling, for a guy to give a doll of himself to his girl.  I mean, you don’t think that Mario Lopez gives out those Slater dolls to girlfriends, do you?


Let’s just go to the next page.

Splash page!  This comic is going to be a really quick read if this keeps up.  Twenty-two glorious single image pages!  Thirty seconds of entertainment for only $2.99!  What a deal!

On this page, we get to see that Spidey also has a doll of M.J.  I guess that’s okay, kinda like a reciprocal gift of young love.  You know, like when you see boyfriends and girlfriends wearing identical shirts… which is actually kinda nauseating.  But, they are young and in love and do stupid things like that.

I’m not certain why Spidey is crushing one of his model airplanes, though.  Maybe we’ll find out on the next page.

Hold it right there!  That M.J. doll is emoting in this first panel!  Unless that is one incredibly expensive doll, I’m guessing it isn’t a doll at all.  It is Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a., the Wasp!  And, she appears to be dressed up in some sort of Mary Jane costume!  Oh, no… I don’t like where this is headed.

Panel 2, Spidey looks back at Janet.  Say it ain’t so, Spidey!

Then, in the third panel, their eyes meet.  I can’t believe you would do this to M.J., Spidey.  Have you no shame?  Cheating on her, making the Wasp dress up like her… oh, man… this is wrong AND creepy.

The next panel, Janet moves in for the kiss.  I can’t watch this.  It is just so wrong!

Last panel on the page – a reprieve from the creepy, as someone fires a bazooka at Spidey!  He appears to be the same size as the Wasp… which means it must be her husband, Hank Pym, a.k.a., Ant-Man.  How will the superhero community survive all of this?  Hero against hero?  All for what?  The creepy desires of Peter Parker.  It is just disgusting.  Move on to the next page.

Oh… well, that is a startling change of pace.  We are now in what appears to be a classroom, where M.J. is blissfully unaware of the two-timing activities of her love.  We also learn another previously unknown to most people fact – Mary Jane’s arms.  They are gorilla-long.

Seriously, why is she passing that note to the blonde girl to pass to that sulky kid?  I’m pretty sure if she fully extended that arm, she could open the window.

And why is she passing a note to the sulky kid, anyway?  Oh – maybe it is a friendly note to try to cheer up sulky kid.  It really is a nice gesture on her part.

In the following panel, M.J. looks on happily as the blonde girl gives the note to the sulky kid.  She is likely thinking on the coming appreciative smile from sulky kid.

By the next panel, M.J. has returned to her studies, and… a wadded up tissue floats in the air near her head?  Or is it orbiting her head?  I must admit… I’m a bit confused here.  Maybe the next panel will explain things a bit.

Nope, no help at all.  The wadded up tissue has now crashed into the side of her head, irritating M.J., as well it should.  On a quick sidenote – are those walls behind her made of marble?  What kinda budget do New York schools have?

Next page, please.

Okay, it is 11:12 p.m.  (Thanks for the time update, Craig Rousseau!)  In the next panel, we see a tuckered-out M.J., asleep in her clothes among her school books as the TV plays in the background.

Moving down to the next panel – Aghgh!  A mysterious hand on the window!  M.J. is going to get attacked in her sleep!  Quick, move to the next panel!

Uh oh… aw, man… say it ain’t so, Spidey!  Seriously?  You are a Peeping Tom now?  First, giving a doll of yourself to M.J., then having the Wasp dress up as M.J. for your creepy little encounter, and now this?  Man, I haven’t been this skeeved-out about a superhero stalker since I watched Superman Returns.  Ugh!

In the last two panels, we see Mary Jane, completely oblivious to the invasion of privacy, and then Spidey slips away, fearful of being caught.

Thank goodness that’s over!  The entire creepy context of this issue really threw me off.  As such, I can only give it 138 stars out of 15,933 stars.  I like my Spider-Man less stalker-y and more devoted to M.J.

Here’s to hoping the next Preview Review is less icky!

EG, signing off.

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Old dogs…

February 13, 2008

I stopped reading comics sometime in the early ‘90’s like many guys my age.  My reading at and prior to that point was limited to a few sporadic superhero books only; “Daredevil,” “Iron Man,” “Spiderman,” “Batman.”  Basically, it was whatever my older brother was into.  He stopped reading them around the time he was entering high school and since I basically worshipped him (ask me sometime about the leather Africa medallion I wore for a year straight when he was militantly against Apartheid and had the t-shirts and rap albums to prove it) and since I really didn’t have any money of my own it was the end of comics for me.  It would be over a decade before I was reading anything regularly again leading up to this moment when my pull list is almost as long as my arm.

So, when I was reading comics I was a mainstream kid all the way.  Marvel and DC was it.  Since then I’ve become a much more adventurous comic reader but that has come too late and I missed any of the major comic book touchstones of the 80’s and 90’s that weren’t dressed in spandex or capes.  As far as the ever ebbing and flowing independent comics scene, oh, sorry, comix scene goes, I was oblivious. 

As a result, I lost out on all three of the biggies; the Mount Rushmore of the creator-owned universe, as it were.  They are, in order, Dave Sim’s epic “Cerebus,” Jeff Smith’s “Bone,” and Terry Moore’s “Strangers in Paradise.” 

Now, “Cerebus” I can mostly be forgiven for since Sim started building that universe in the year I started learning to walk.  As for “Bone” and “Strangers in Paradise,” each of those kicked off after I dropped out of the world of comics altogether. Interestingly, all three series have ended within the past three years and folks have been waiting for each of these singular creators to debut something new.  As if 10, 15, or 30 years of the good stuff just wasn’t enough.  I suppose you’re only as good as your latest solicitation. 

But, indeed, these three indie icons are all coming back with new creator-owned series over these next couple of months and I’ve decided that it’s never too late to jump on a bandwagon, or three.  Maybe you’re like this too, but I find that as a comic fan I often am measuring myself against other fans and how long or short they’ve been reading in comparison to myself.  Not only that, but I always feel a little pang of guilt or envy at anyone who’s been around for a while and got in on the first issue of some landmark series or run that I completely missed out on.  It’s a stupid thing to obsess over and a stupid thing to feel envious of, but there it is.   (I’ve felt that way most recently as I listen to the throng of devotees to the world of the Sinestro Corp.)

In the past I’ve considered picking up collections of Cerebus, Bone, and Strangers but each time I have just gotten downright intimidated by the sheer history and breadth of issues that stood before me. 

Rest assured, I will get to them all at some point, but in the ever-burning crucible that is the monthly war I wage against my wallet and my disposable income I continue to lose ground again and again to the capes and the spandex.  They’re too strong, people.  Don’t you understand!?!?  Look at the muscles!!! 

Regardless of my inescapable nostalgia and arrested development, I’m getting in on the ground floor for all three of these new independent creations.  I may not last on any of them, but I’m intruiged by what little I’ve read about them and am especially drawn in by the scant artwork I’ve seen.  It hasn’t taken much preview art for me to see that these are three artists working at the top of their craft.  

Take a look at some upcoming covers, some tantalizing solicitation text (But, isn’t it always tantalizing, people?  I happen to remember some great solicitation text for “World War Hulk.”  Ouch.), and links to their official sites…

Echo by Terry Moore

“Echo is the story of Julie Martin, a photographer taking pictures in the desert when she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the plot at the moment. The Diamond solicitation coming out in January will reveal a bit more. Echo #1 will be in stores March 5th. It will be 24 pages, B&W like SiP. The first printing of issue one, and only the first printing, will feature a silver foil cover. Why? Because that’s not rain, or hail.” (source:  Terry Moore)

Official Site:  http://terrymooreart.com/blog/

Glamourpuss by Dave Sim

 

“Master graphic novelist Dave Sim – the creator of Cerebus – returns! Glamourpuss is three comic books in one: a parody of fashion magazines, a history of photorealism in comics (starting with Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby in 1946), and the strangest super-heroine comic book of all time! Featuring the first appearance of Glamourpuss, her evil twin sister Skanko, and the heroine’s long-time therapist Dr. Norm. Available with two covers – a ‘Comics Edition’ with a classic EC-style cover, and a ‘Fashion Edition’ that parodies fashion magazines.” (source: Previews)

Official Site:  http://www.glamourpusscomic.com/

RASL by Jeff Smith

“Titled RASL, which Smith pronounces “rassle,” the new series is being self-published in black and white by Smith through his company, Cartoon Books. Focusing on a character who hops across parallel dimensions to steal art, the series is tentatively planned to run for approximately two years and, like Bone, will be solely created by Smith.” (source:  Newsarama)

Official Site:  www.boneville.com

I’ve pre-ordered the first issues for all 3 of these books and I’m hoping that I’ve got years worth of great comics from auteur creators with wholly unique voices and stories to tell waiting for me.     

If not, then I guess I’ll go back to plan A and get caught up on some Cerebus, Bone, and Strangers in Paradise instead. 

Naturally, reviews will come for these new series as I read them!