Is anyone else out there like me and had enough of the Big Two and their never-ending conga line of crossovers that never seem to end? I think I made the decision to jump off the train somewhere around the Secret-Civil-Invasion that Marvel was pushing at the time and I decided to take a page from our webmaster Adam’s playbook and expand my reading by diving into the world of small press and independent comics to see what else is out there. Does that mean I’ve given up capes and tights? Absolutely not, I just want to get a taste of what is out there, even if that means reading a lot of “Chick Lit” books
But Warren Ellis has used up all of his credit.
Mr Ellis has become, in my mind, the poster child for ADHD. He finds a great idea, puts out enough for a trade or two and then abandons it to go onto the next project leaving the reader frustrated with the lack of closure or answers to questions he sets up that will never be answered. If you don’t believe me try holding you breath for the next issue of Fell or Desolation Jones. Guess what? There will never be another one. Or better yet let me present to you Global Frequency, the first trade of which has the subtitle of Planet Ablaze.
Global Frequency has a great idea driving it. There is a group of 1001 interconnected people each with a specific skill set. They solve the problems of the world that no government can or will solve. Members fight, succeed, and sometimes die in the service to a greater ideal.
But you know what? No matter how good the scripts, or artwork are I just don’t care. If Mr Ellis can’t care enough to continue writing a series long enough to answer all the mysteries he’s set up or at least turning the series over to another writer to finish cleaning up his mess then I don’t care enough to give him another dime of my money unless I find it in the back issue bin like I did this one.
So there I am beginning to work my way through the massive amount of trades I recently bought and sitting on top is The Bunker by Bruce Mutard. I’m thinking “Cool, maybe it’s a story about atomic war or a zombie apocolypse.” Ummm……I wasn’t even close.
A boy and girl grow up next to each door and are best friends. At night she sneaks over and sleeps on the top bunk because she “sees ghosts” and feel uncomfortable sleeping in her room. As time passes over the years she begins acting out and sleeping over less and eventually they don’t talk anymore and the boy is perplexed as to why she is acting so unlike herself until one day he has a flashback to a time he saw her being sexually molested. That’s it, no resolution, no banding together to help her work through the problems, nothing. If you’re smart you’ll just read this review instead of the book.
The Complete Copybook Tales
And since I don’t want to go out on a down note here’s a book I loved. Like the characters of the book I too grew up a comics-reading geek in the 80’s so the entire series was like a trip in a time machine for me. What I really like is that this series is split roughly down the middle; flashing back and forth between the older Jamie’s struggles to break into the comics business and the memories he has when he was younger growing up in the 80’s. I loved this book and how it firmly established a sense of time and place but I think that is also it’s greatest weakness.
Unless you grew up in that time how can a reader honestly understand the joy at finding your old Atari 2600 joystick or how Michael J Fox made geeks cool during “Family Ties”? If you are of a certain age (34-44) this book is right up your alley if you are outside that age range read at your own risk. But for me it was like slipping on my worn-in pair of Adidas high tops