Wednesday’s Haul 11/14/07– Palestine and Illuminati

Joe SaccoNotes on a podcast:

Joe Sacco is a comic journalist. No, he doesn’t write about comics but he writes about life through his comics (as cliche as that sounds.) With Palestine, Sacco chronicles his trip there during the early 90’s, showing how war and fear terrorized everyone who lived there. His wonderful cartooning helps embellish the other-worldliness experiences of that trip. This week, Fantagraphics is releasing a new edition of Sacco’s book, complete with his note and original sketches.

I’m such a sucker. Really I am. I’ve bought Astonishing X-Men for 23 issues and I know I’ll buy one more as well as the upcoming annual. Why do I continue to do this to myself? In 23 issues, Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s contribution to the X-Men mythos has been Danger, Breakworld, SWORD and Ord. That’s it. Other than the patented Whedon patter and inconsistent artwork by Cassaday, I can’t figure out what this series has really accomplished. I’ve so much wanted to enjoy and even love this series that’s shown moments of brilliance but, at the end of the day, I think this will be a pretty story that tried to mesh the X-Men of Claremont and Morrison together to lukewarm results.

The New Avengers Illuminati benefits greatly from having Jimmy Cheung on the artwork. He makes super-heroes look so damn good and so damn right. A better part of issue #5 and the whole mini has been mainly just talking heads, featuring Iron Man and his gang of brains and rulers sitting around and talking about everything from their love life to Secret Wars II punctuated by quick and powerful battles. Take issue #5 for example– the first third of the book is the Illuminati discussing Skrullektra before the huge fight begins with the skrulls, only to be wrapped up with the talking heads saying how much they don’t trust each other. There is nothing wrong with the story but how many artists fall flat when it comes to talking heads? How many artists could make the simple panel with the big reveal as classically chilling as Cheung did.

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