Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Childish Pursuits - Comics!


It's still very hard for me to enjoy well written comics with lackluster art -- or art that doesn't appeal to the perpetual 13-year-old inside me.

I think that stems from the fact that as a child I drew quite a bit. Really, my childhood memories are defined by TV, pop music, and drawing -- sometimes pursuing all three things at once as I used to take LP records in their covers and use them as my drawing boards (hopefully abandoned kids' records of my own or something my parents were sick of playing).

And the first comics I gravitated to were ones where I liked the art but now I'm seeing a modern comics culture where the writer is just as important to many fans; there are people following Grant Morrison like I used to follow Jack Kirby and even I have found myself picking up stuff Brad Meltzer wrote despite the presence of art that didn't particularly do it for me.

So, that's a roundabout way of recommending the Green Arrow/Black Canary: The Wedding Album hardback collection, available here from Amazon.

Two characters I love finally get married with quite a few plot twists sure to entertain even casual DC Universe fans such as myself -- I still prefer the Marvel Universe overall.

I wasn't thrilled with the art but the writing is decent for what it is, not too serious and not too silly with a few great moments thrown in that I won't ruin here.

When I was 12, I switched from pencil-and-paper drawing to pen-and-paper drawing. I was inspired by a cool kid in my neighborhood in Louisiana and was probably copying him a bit -- thanks to him, I started reading Doonesbury paperbacks, drawing in ink using Pilot black ink pens on nice heavy drawing paper, and embellishing my spacecraft and monsters and superheros will all manner of ridiculous flourishes and bits of crosshatching.

So it's probably no surprise how much I enjoy Arthur Adams' stuff from the 1990's. His work in Alan Moore's Tom Strong series is pure delight but, for that 13-year-old "me," his Monkeyman and O'Brien is perfection on paper. Really, this is exactly what I would have loved to have written and drawn as a kid, filled with references to monster movies and the original King Kong.

Yeah, Star Wars really grabbed me when I was 10 but I never abandoned my love of King Kong and other monster movies.

This collection available here on Amazon may be out-of-print but it's worth seeking out if you like this kind of thing like I do.

[Photos: Amazon/DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics]