I don't have the energy for a large post tonight, so I'm just gonna post some random thoughts, and make of them what you will.
First, for future reference (i.e., my year-end best-of 2005 comics list):
HELLBOY: THE ISLAND #1 A
CATWOMAN #44 A-
LIVEWIRES #5 A-
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #7 A-
ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #1 A-
FLAMING CARROT COMICS #3 B+
DRIVE TPB C+
You see, at the end of the year I tally up how many A's, B's, and so forth I give out, and the books that get the highest grades all year long become eligible for the list. Now that I'm reviewing for Comic Book Galaxy, I don't attach those faux-Entertainment Weekly letter grades over there, and I won't be able to use that formula. A rare glimpse into the JBS decision-making process!
I knew this would happen...I started a big review of Zombie Tales last night, and now I'm thinking I should save it for CBG. Decisions, decisions. I'll probably just whittle it down somewhat for Last Call, and post the whole thing here, when I finish it.
Also, I finished reading Smoke last night, and I'm very impressed. Solid all around, and I've added it to my holds and look forward to the next two chapters. I'm glad that I entered that Isotope contest- I don't think my comics shop even got a copy of #1 in. Nor have they got a copy of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which is not to say that they didn't order for holds customers. And no, I didn't have it on my holds, damn my eyes...I figured they'd get a copy in and I'd buy it during the next 25% off sale they have. That's what I get for thinking, huh! I could order it easily from Khepri or Amazon, but when you figure in shipping and such I won't be saving that much money so I think I'll just wait until they announce the sale, then ask them to order a copy for me from Nashville. SURELY the larger Nashville store has a copy!
Today, I got the previously MIA Shaolin Cowboy 3, but my shop didn't get City of Tomorrow 3. That's the way it goes sometimes.
I thought that it would be mighty tough to top Paul Pope's issue of Solo, but I'll be damned if Darwyn Cooke just might have done that very thing. #5 is an amazing smorgasbord of styles and textures, from advertising art to gag cartooning to affectionate flashbacks...it's a fricking tour-de-force. I don't want to review it just yet (that comes tomorrow night), but if you're on the bubble about this issue it's well worth the five bucks.
A comic I didn't buy this week, but saw on the stands and after a few minutes of browsing put back to buy next week is Kyle Baker's Nat Turner #1. Now, I've been harsh on Mr. Baker lately, accusing him of being lazy, hacking stuff out, and other spurious things...but I wish to declare before the entire "Inter Net" (little in-joke for those of you who've read the new Planetary) that this book contains some of the finest art I've ever seen from Mr. Baker. It is heartfelt, accomplished, and excellently rendered, and you should look it over if you haven't already. I'm serious- I'll be raving about this one in another week or so, and if I hadn't been trying to keep my cash outlay under $25 I'd have it already.
To shift gears somewhat, I received one of my periodic "care packages" from the Mighty Mr. Anthony the other day, and one of the discs made my day: Shelby Lynne's latest, Suit Yourself. Essentially a set of songs recorded demo-style and live, even to the point of retaining dialogue, false starts and brief rehearsals, it's the best thing I've heard from her since her outstanding 2000 effort I Am Shelby Lynne. She almost effortlessly mixes soul, r&b, country and folk in such a way that few musicians have been able to do before (Van Morrison's early 70's albums come to mind), and unlike the case of I Am, she doesn't have a producer collaboration to share credit with, since she produced it herself. She got a lot of Dusty Springfield comparisons five years ago, and those are apropos here as well- I'm also hearing a strong Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow influence. There's honestly not a bad cut on this thing, and there's a sultry, laid-back rendition of "Rainy Night in Georgia", listed as "Untitled" on the sleeve, that is absolutely amazing.
Kinda wish I had the nerve to do the "Open Blog/(5) Questions" thing that I've seen here and there lately. Which is my lame-o way of saying that I can't decide.
Oh well...time for Futurama! Oyasumi nasai.