• inkerx

mahfood for the soul

Don't miss Stupid Comics no. 1 by Jim Mahfood. It looks like a collection of one-offs he's done for comics, magazines, etc., which is a nice return to an earlier collection he put out of comics he did for a local alternative weekly.

Jim's obsessed with hipness, and it shows. Expect screeds on MTV, The Man and white frat boys who just don't get hip-hop. That description may make the book sound more cliche than it reads, though. Some of the points -- television sucks, fast food is bad, frat boys don't respect women -- are pretty worn, but Jim takes them on with fresh personality, humor and style.

That said, the worldview can get frustrating, especially since it only accepts the existence of two smart people in the universe: the author and the reader. And the latter is questionable. Jim's floating into R. Crumb territory here, but total misanthropy hasn't quite taken over yet. It doesn't make the comic any less interesting or any less fun to read.
  • inkerx

Acquired Tastes

I'm sitting here listening to the terrific new Aimee Mann album and remembering the first time I heard her. I thought she sucked. I was coming from a town with an endless supply of mopey women strumming guitars in cafes, and Aimee seemed like another one in the long line. I was ignorant, basically, and I shuffled her away without learning more. Years later, one of her songs somehow wormed its way into my MP3 playlist and she slowly became one of my favorites.

This has happened to me with a number of artists. Does it happen with Web comics? Yes. I've visited some sites once or twice, thumbed through the archives, maybe, shrugged and move on. Then, for whatever reason, I'll visit a few more times and get totally, helplessly hooked.

So here's a few Web comics that you may not like ... the first time you visit. Give them a chance and visit them a few times, though, and you may end up another slobbering fan/slave.

three acquired tastes...Collapse )

Sincere Doubts Regarding 'True Faith'

While the plot for this story is interesting and gets you reading, it's weakly executed and does little to make you really want to finish the book. This is a disappointment, because the subject matter could have been much better treated. The story is definitely a serious one, but at times it seems as if Ennis cannot decide whether he wants to write a drama or a farce. Biting sarcasm and satire is one thing, but going over the top so that you sneer in disgust at the ridiculousness of an individual's or organization's portrayal is another.

The artwork was good, and the cover was one that definitely grabbed the eye and made me want to see what the story was all about. It's just a shame that the content could not have been as consistently good as the art. The main character of Neil Gibson is well-developed for a short book, and some of the supporting cast are done well enough to be believable. But other secondary characters lack depth to the point of being obnoxious strawmen that interfere with the theme and tone of the book.

The message itself of once-religious men losing their faith due to tragedy is one that is done often, and in most cases, I'd have to say that it is handled better than in this book. Overall, I think the book's interesting plot suffered from the writer's apparent desire to be a clever smartass. While clever, smartass writing has its undeniable appeal, Ennis did not mesh it well with the rest of his story.

Overall Idea: Good
Plot Execution: Decent
Characterization: Mix of good, decent, and annoying
Artwork: Good
Overall Rating: Decent (2 of a possible 5)

True Faith, by Garth Ennis and Warren Pleece, is published by Vertigo, and imprint of DC Comics.