Showing posts with label Mike Carey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Carey. Show all posts

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lucifer Book Four by Mike Carey and assorted artists and colorists

Rating: WARTY!

I requested three graphic novels from the local library because I am not about to spend thirty dollars for a graphic novel i probably will not like! All three are going back one of them unread, the other two read only a quarter the way through in one case and half-way through in the other.

They're all tied (very loosely as it happens) to a TV series Lucifer which is based on the character from the Sandman comics, and which I really enjoy. I tried a couple of the Sandmans a while ago, and did not like them at all, but I thought maybe the dedicated Lucifer comics might be better. They were not. I looked at two of them. I made it only a quarter way through the mainstream one, and I was not impressed at all by either one I looked at, so I did not even open the third. I'll stick with the TV show.

In view of the comments I make below, I should mention here that the TV series has some racism about it in that the entire cast is nearly all white. There are two main characters: Amenadiel, played by D. B. Woodside who is black, and a Cape Colored South African-born actress Lesley-Ann Brandt, who plays Mazikeen. Both of these guys are are excellent, so people of color are not quite as underrepresented here as in the comic books, but are still shamefully absent. The difference though is that there is a far larger pool of people controlling the TV show than there is the comic book. While I readily admit it should not be so, it seems to me that it would be a lot easier to depict whoever you want in a graphic novel, including making a fair representation of people of all colors, and yet still they failed.

This volume (volume four, and I have not read the previous three, so I admit to coming into this in progress) was a fat tome, fully three-quarters of an inch across the spine, but there is no page numbering so I can't quote a page count. While saying again that I came into this in progress (the library did not have any earlier volumes), if I were to pick up any novel at random and start in on it half-way through, it would make some kind of sense. It might be missing key facts and important information, but at least the layout of the story would be coherent. Such was not the case here. I had no good idea what was going on or where it was supposed to be going.

Worse than this, was that what did come through with crystal clarity were some obnoxious themes running through this work, like rotted threads in a fabric, and which are evidently common to this series judged by what I've now seen of it. The worst of these is the racism. All the good-looking stand-up characters are white. All the obviously evil characters are people of color. That's truly sick and warped. Yes, 80% of the artists doing this volume are white (only Ronald Wimberly is black), but is this an excuse? No. Additionally, the male artists are as usual, squeamish about depicting male genitalia, but have no problem at all sexualizing woman.

That's not acceptable to me and I cannot recommend such a gory (again the gore was often of adults abusing children - what is wrong with these writers and artists?) and disjointed work where the sole purpose of it seems to be perpetuating a sick story instead of telling an engaging one.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Crossing Midnight Cut Here by Mike Carey, Jim Fern, José Villarrubia

Rating: WARTY!

This graphic novel made little sense. It looked interesting in the library from a quick flick through, but when I got it home and sat down to read it, it didn't hold up well, and was not very entertaining, although the artwork by Jim Fern and coloring by José Villarrubia were not bad. It's the tired trope of split twins, with nothing really new or original added.

It's supposedly set in Japan, but the characters nearly all look curiously western. It begins when someone makes a wish to the house spirits for a healthy child without knowing that the mom was bearing twins. The spirit who took the wish returns later after the children have grown some, to claim the daughter for his own. This spirit has power over knives, which makes for some excessive gore here and there. This is one story in which the pet dog doesn't make a miraculous escape.

From that point on, the story is a mess. There are claims not only on the daughter, but also on the son, from another quarter. There is a bizarre incident at the Nagasaki shrine which is also a portal to the other world. I managed to finish this volume and since I had taken two other volumes from the library (The Sword in the Soul and A Map of Midnight), I began on the next one, but I found I could not continue reading it very far. The story seemed to dwell on gore and obscurity and appeared to be going nowhere, so I gave up. I can't recommend this based on what I read.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Furies by Mike Carey

Title: The Furies
Author: Vertigo
Rating: worthy

Illustrator: John Bolton.

I know! Five days, five graphic novels in a row. Only on my blog! But this is the last for now, because I have a boatload of regular novels to review.

This novel fascinated me because of the artwork, which looks like someone took models and posed them for each frame, then ran the resulting picture through a graphics program like Gimp or Photoshop and applied a "painting" filter, because they look just like that - like they're photographed, but painted, or like they're painted but photographed. There's probably a name for this technique but I'm damned if I know what it is!

Of course if it was that and nothing more, then I'd be foolish to rate this worthy. This blog is far more about writing than about art. There has to be a story behind it all for me, and the story came through. It wasn't brilliant, but it was good enough and it was inventive.

This novel, as its title suggests, is rooted deeply in Greek mythology - the mythology of the vengeful furies, and featuring cameos by other characters, including an interestingly-rendered Hermes, and a shape-shifting bad guy named Cronus. We meet Lyta Hall, grieving over the death of her baby son some time before the story begins and not dealing with it, leading a life of meaningless sex and violent outbursts.>/p>

When both of these combine, she gets into trouble with the police. Since the officer knows her and doesn't want to heap any more problems on her shoulders, she's advised to try therapy again. One suggestion is acting therapy and she finds a flyer from the oddly-named Goatsong players who take her on even though they're not a therapy acting group. They're in process of gearing up for a trip to Greece to perform there in an ancient Greek theater.

Things start changing rapidly in Greece, and Lyta ends up in hell, where she encounters Hermes, who was dispatched there by Cronus. She frees him but runs into an angry Cronus and their dispute is now to be mediated, it seems, by the Dream King. This ultimately doesn't end well for Cronus. I rate this graphic novel a worthy read.