35 Books in 30 Days 1: Revelations by Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos


I want to like this book more than I did.

Paul Jenkins has rarely disappointed in his decade-plus career as a comics writer. He was given the impossible chore of replacing Garth Ennis on Hellblazer and survived with three years of great stories. He not only made the Inhmans interesting, but he revitalized the career of Jae Lee. His run on Peter Parker, Spider-Man with Mark Buckingham restored the Spider-Man comics franchise after years of decline.

Here, we are treated to an occult murder mystery set at the Vatican. A cardinal next in line to become Pope falls to his death. Guards who discover the body, impaled on a fence, also find a bearded man trying to stab the lifeless body while reciting Latin. Detective Charlie Northern, a lapsed Catholic, is brought in from England to investigate the case by a childhood friend, and soon finds himself waist-deep in a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the Vatican- and worse.

Humberto Ramos provides the art, and here’s where we go a bit astray. Let’s say you’re an artist, and your script says, “The bishop falls from a window, trying to hold onto a coin, and is impaled on a fence when he lands.” Would this panel be your choice?

Revelations 1

And then, when you’re asked to show said bishop impaled on same fence, would you draw this?

Revelations 2 I stared at that two-page spread for a while. I couldn’t figure out if the hair on his head was his beard or his crown. These aren’t the only strange choices. His illustrations of Lucille Pelliccia are positively unnerving at times.

Revelations 3

Luckily, we get some good panels along with the bad. Ramos does pull off some interesting sequences at times, and the color work by Leonardo Olea is outstanding. I thought this sequence of Northern swimming was intriguing.

Revelations 4

There’s one other maddening problem with this book. A gent named Bob Harris writes a lovely introduction that really sets the mood for the book. Who’s Bob Harris? You wouldn’t know from the book; there’s no biographical information given for him. Wikipedia listed a few candidates, and it seems this Bob Harris is the writer.

All in all, we’ve got a marvelous thriller with some head-scratching art choices. The strange panel choices made this a chore to read at times, but it does gain steam at the end, and it’s a good read.

Your Official WhyILoveComics.com haiku review:

Revelations thrills
Ramos makes weird art choices
Jenkins rocks again

Buy this book at Amazon.com

I’m not sure what’s funnier today…

Choice A:

The Vampirella MySpace page, with friends like Warren Ellis and The Goon’s Eric Powell (“Well, helloooo, Vampirella! I’ll be in the parking lot waiting to give you hepatitis! *wink*)

Choice B:

The cover for NextWave #11:


Poor Mark Millar. He writes a company-wide mega-hit, and his thanks? This.

If I were him, I’d make Civil War even later. That’d show them.

35 Books in 30 Days

…or how to justify spending a lot of money on comics.

I buy a lot of comics. A lot of comics.

Actually, scratch that. I buy a lot of graphic novels. I buy books in series I like. I buy indie graphic novels. I buy oversized superhero books. I buy webcomic compilations. I buy reproductions of old newspaper comics. I buy cheap black-and-white newsprint Essentials and Masterworks. And I buy a lot of them.

Every month, I get a box or two from mailordercomics.com with a few dozen books to read. Usually, I get to most of them in the month. There are a few series that I’m waiting for all the books before I’ll dive in, but I do try to at least page through these books.

I love well-made graphic novels. I’m not talking about the story- I’m talking about the production values. I want books that have had created with pride. I want books that have been designed, not just reprinted quickly to make a buck. And I buy those books.

When I started this blog, I vowed I wouldn’t turn it into a quickie review column. There’s plenty of reviewers out there who review graphic novels and comics, and most of them do a better job than I could even dream of doing. But I’d like to talk about why I like the books. I’d like to talk about why I purchased them, why you should consider purchasing them, and what’s unique about these books. There’s a problem, of course: I have always suffered from writer’s block, and when you work at a job with an hour commute each way, time is a big concern. But if I don’t do this now, when will I ever do this? So here’s the vow: in the next 30 days, I’ll write at least a few paragraphs about all the books that came in the mailordercomics.com shipment.

Note that the vow says I’ll write something about all the books, not completely read all the books. We’re talking a LOT of books here, and on some of the books, I’m waiting for more to come out to read the whole series at once. But I’m going to try to read as many as I can; obviously, I’ll have a whole lot more to say about the ones I’ve read than the ones I haven’t.

Here’s the list:

Absolute Dark Knight HC
Absolute Kingdom Come Edition HC
Batman And The Monster Men TP
Book Of Lost Souls TP
Captain Amazing TP
Concrete Vol 6 Stranger Armor TP
Daredevil Vol 1 HC (New Printing)
Deadbeats #78
Essential Luke Cage Power Man Vol 2 TP
Finder TP Vol 8 Five Crazy Women
Great Catsby Vol 2 (Of 6) GN
Halo & Sprocket Vol 1: Welcome To Humanity TP
Hellblazer: Stations Of The Cross TP
Iron Wok Jan GN #19
Jokes And The Unconscious GN
Kafka TP
Kickback HC
Lost Girls
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Vol 3
Marvel Masterworks Invincible Iron Man Vol 3
Marvel Zombies HC
Nexus Archives Vol 4 HC
Path Of The Assassin Vol 2 TP
Poison Elves Dominion #5
Previews Vol Xvi #9
Revelations TP
Rex Libris #5
Showcase Presents Batman Vol 1 TP
Silk Road To Ruin
Soulsearchers #78
Spider-Man Kravens Last Hunt Premiere HC
Spider-Man Visionaries Kurt Busiek Vol 1 TP
Ultimate X-Men Vol 6 HC
Walt & Skeezix Vol 2 HC
Will Eisners Spirit Archives Vol 19 HC

Told you it was a lot of books, didn’t I?

Now, dear reader, here’s your end of the bargain. Please participate in this conversation! If you’ve read any of the books, or have anything to say, hop on the comments board and talk about it. Link all over the place (I need the links, obviously). Ask questions. Tell me if I’m boring you. Monologues about comics are dull; I’d really love to have a conversation.

One final thing: I paid for all these books. No comps, no freebies. I could never do this without a loving wife and a great comics supplier. Mailordercomics.com is a great place to get your monthly comics. Their prices are fantastic, their customer service is out of this world, and the owner has some sort of shipping cardboard fetish. Everything arrives in perfect shape. I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you’re looking for a comics supplier, click on the link and try them out.

Webcomics Goodness 9/11/06

From today’s No-Talent Hack:

Just wrong.


Thanks for stopping by. Pull up a comfy chair. Sit down. Relax. I’ll tell you my story…

I’m a thirtysomething married man who love comics. I’ve loved them since I was a wee toddler, using an old Show-N-Tell to listen to a Spider-Man book and record set. I’ve believed for a long time that the use of static pictures and words, related through spatial positioning on a page or pages, is the most fascinating medium to tell stories. In the last few years, the explosive growth in graphic novels and webcomics has proven me right (in my own damn humble opinion, of course).

A few months ago, I bought this domain and paid for some hosting space, intending to start a discussion about comics. Then life intervened, and I shelved the idea. Now life’s gone ahead and said, “Hey, you might as well do it now- who knows what’s coming next month?” So here I am, and there you are.

I don’t want to monopolize the conversation about comics, of course. Nothing’s more annoying than sitting next to the guy who talks on and on about the comics he likes without listening to what you like. So, if you see something that makes you wanna holla about comics, leave a note in the comments. Right now, you don’t have to register to leave comments- I’m praying that spammers leave me be. If that changes, then I’ll require registrations, but for now, that seems like such a hassle.

So once again, here I am, and there you are. Tell me your story. Listen to my story. Let’s have some fun!