Jump to content
JasonT

Other comics we read recently

Recommended Posts

22 hours ago, Christian said:

Kid Lobotomy #1 (by Peter Milligan)-This is worth checking out the second issue. Milligan seems to be trying too hard to recapture his run on Shade, at times. Still, looking back to one of Milligan's best comic works isn't the worst thing that Milligan has done. There are some interesting things going on in the book, outside of Milligan (and Shelley Bond) trying to recapture past magic. The references to Franz Kafka are certainly intriguing (the phone call scene), and the Dr. Burroughs' cut-up technique brain surgery is some fun word-play from a writer who excelled at that sort of thing in his earlier comic work.

It's nice to see that Milligan has recovered so well from the trauma of his run on Hellblazer....

Also, next issue of Jeff Lemire's Sherlock Frankenstein will feature the origin story of Cthu-Lou. he he

I tried Kid Lobotomy # 1, won't be back for Kid Lobotomy # 2.  I enjoyed Milligan's Shade, hell I even dug a lot of his Hellblazer up to a point, but KL just read like nonsense to me.  It was like he was just throwing every random thought he had against the page without cutting out the detritus.  Detestable comic and not a good indicator of what Black Crown is going to be serving us.  I wasn't much looking forward to Shelly Bond's imprint anyway, especially when you've got Karen Berger setting up a near-identical shop across the street at Dark Horse in the near future that looks so much more promising.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

I'm not seeing a lot more promise from the Black Crown imprint. Kid Lobotomy looked like the best book from the bunch.

It's a hyper comic book, to be sure, but I thought there was enough underlying premise worth looking in to that made it worth a second look.

I felt he was trying too hard to make people think about different takes he had done on his Shade book. I felt that was a major drawback.

I don't know, Grant Morrison's comics are often just him throwing random ideas on the page, and then trying to sort through the wreckage for ideas worth pursuing further. I expected that Milligan would end up going in that direction as the series progresses. It can't keep going at this level of irreverence for an entire series, but I thought there was enough ideas worth pursuing to see if the second issue is an improvement.

I'm not seeing anything from Karen Berger's imprint that looks any better either. Even the Anne Nocenti comic (who is usually one of my favourites), I will have zero interest in if it's just another parable about the Donald Trump presidency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454
On 20/10/2017 at 6:39 PM, Christian said:

I don't know, Grant Morrison's comics are often just him throwing random ideas on the page, and then trying to sort through the wreckage for ideas worth pursuing further. I expected that Milligan would end up going in that direction as the series progresses. It can't keep going at this level of irreverence for an entire series, but I thought there was enough ideas worth pursuing to see if the second issue is an improvement.

I thought he'd stopped doing that twenty odd years ago and his stuff has been a lot more structured and plotted out since the late '90s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

I'd say Morrison still does it quite a bit, and some of that work is the better for it. Some of his better structured work doesn't really stand out as being all that great....Klaus, Avatarex, Joe the Barbarian, Wonder Woman (off the top of my head)....

I was disappointed by all of the above, because they read like they were written by writers other than Morrison.

Meanwhile, things like Superman Beyond or some of the issues of Multiversity had the same insanity to his earlier work, and they stand out as better reading experiences than his more clearly plotted out books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

Oh, come off it, Christian. Multiversity was a very tightly structured narrative, it just wasn't structured around a linear plot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

The Multiversity series as a whole, yes. You'll notice I said "some issues of Multiversity", not Multiversity as a series.

I'm thinking of the first issue of the book (Multiversity #1), where Morrison just seemed to throw a bunch of random ideas in to the story, going at a mile a second.

There's certainly a coherent plot hiding beneath the chaos of Milligan's Kid Lobotomy. I was making the comparison more to the fact that Morrison would throw random ideas at the page and then boil the story down to something more tightly structured as the series went along.

Compare that to Morrison's less ambitious projects (such as Klaus) where Morrison only uses one real idea and shapes up a linear plot, with one  barebones cohesive narrative.

At its heart, Kid Lobotomy is the story of a failed son of a very rich, judgmental man who is getting his chance to make his father proud by being given the chance to make his father's hotel in to something profitable, while his scheming sister thinks that she deserves this opportunity and will do what she can to derail any of her bother's chances to have success. The hotel has deep sentimental attachment to the main character, due to his childhood memories. Mix in the backstory of said brother having mental health issues in the past and undergoing a radical new type of therapy, and his dealing with this as he attempts to run this hotel.

Imagine that plot being written by William S. Burroughs, where there is a ton of other stuff being thrown at the page, and that's Kid Lobotomy.

The main plot isn't all that interesting, by itself. I expect to see Milligan pare down his ideas in to something coherent and more tightly structured as the series goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Milligan WILL pare down his ideas into something coherent, mainly because he has an editor (Shelly Bond) who doesn't want to step in and filter out the nonsense.  She was his editor on Hellblazer, after all, and I think had there been someone with a bit firmer hand to go "c'mon Pete, you can do better than this" that run would have turned out much better.  Ditto for Kid Lobotomy, which managed to take that rather basic plot that you jotted down Christian and turned it into the most obtuse comic I've read recently. 

You are right about Morrison taking the same approach, fuck look at something like Nameless as an example, but I never get the sense that he loses his way in the narrative while throwing out all the random ass ideas.  I don't have the same confidence in Milligan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

I'm not sure. Milligan has had a number of bad comics in his time, but most of those comics include company-owned properties (which is where HB would fall). Otherwise, I've enjoyed pretty much everything that Milligan has written. It's not totally Bond's fault either. After all, she was also editor with Milligan on Shade, which was one of his best series. So, just because Bond allowed Milligan to get away with a lot of bad ideas on HB, it doesn't mean that the two haven't worked together on projects that turned out much better.

Like I said, I'm willing to give Milligan another chance on Kid Lobotomy. I do think that a lot of the superfluous elements running through the book were supposed to be Milligan throwing in as many cues to Shade as possible. I'm guessing trying to grip readers by saying, "Remember how great Shade was? I bet this book can be just as great! Give it a chance!". So, he'll move away from that and start to tell a more coherent story.

Eh, it's not as if there are that many interesting comics being published right now. Marvel and DC are in the doldrums and seemingly only sinking more with each attempt as a "new big direction!", Vertigo is dead, and even Dark Horse doesn't have much of interest in 2017. Morrison isn't that active now. Image is about the only comic publisher willing to do anything interesting with the form, and that's if the creators decide they want to actually finish any of the book they're working on. So, it's not as if I don't have time to give a chance to something like Kid Lobotomy, and can just drop it if it doesn't end up working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454
7 hours ago, Ixnay by Night said:

You are right about Morrison taking the same approach, fuck look at something like Nameless as an example, but I never get the sense that he loses his way in the narrative while throwing out all the random ass ideas.  I don't have the same confidence in Milligan.

The comic where all of the weird shit is clearly tied to cabbalistic notions about the qlipoth and the stuff that happens underneath reality?

Milligan hasn't done anything that grounded and coherent since the Minx was cancelled fifteen years back...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

Yeah, I don't think you can say that about Milligan....Just off the top of my head: Greek Street, The Names, Britannia, The Programme, a bunch of his "work-for-hire" projects for Marvel or DC....

They've all been very grounded and coherent reads. Sometimes they aren't worth reading, but there was certainly nothing random about any of those books. The Names was, of course, an exception on the quality side, as it's very much worth reading, and probably the best Milligan has done since back then.

I wouldn't give Milligan's Hellblazer even the credit of calling its problems lack of "coherence", considering that the problems were issues like Milligan deciding that Gemma turning in to a psycho bitch (because she's a woman, see!), and thinking she was raped by her uncle were good plot ideas. They're not lacking in coherency, they're just outright pisspoor ideas.

Probably only the final issue really lacked being coherent, with the vague ending.

Although, the fact that Milligan's Hellblazer wasn't grounded is certainly a caveat that helped his run end up so horrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

I'll say what I want about Milligan: if he gives me the money I wasted on his Hellblazer run back, I might stop doing so.

:tongue:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

You know you needed it to complete your collection.

Besides, where else in politically correct modern-day comics can you see a main character's ex-girlfriend being mocked and demeaned for putting on weight, a 10-year old girl revealing her undying love for a 40-year old man, and a demon simulacrum of said main character revealing that he lusts after his niece? Not even Frank Miller is giving people that sort of rot for their money in 2017!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JohnMcMahon    562

Picked up the complete Divine Right on the cheap through Comixoloy and burned through it, kind of rubbish but it was nice seeing IO, GEN13 and some of the WildCATs again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, dogpoet said:

The comic where all of the weird shit is clearly tied to cabbalistic notions about the qlipoth and the stuff that happens underneath reality?

Milligan hasn't done anything that grounded and coherent since the Minx was cancelled fifteen years back...

God, the Minx!  I forgot all about that series, some sweet sweet Sean Phillips art on that one.  It's the series he left Hellblazer for, wasn't it?

I wasn't trying to say that all of Milligan's comics have been incoherent gibberish, because as Christian points out most of his works are pretty straight-forward, I just thought Kid Lobotomy was absolute nonsense that needed a firmer editorial hand to keep its focus.  You said that his Hellblazer suffered from piss poor ideas instead of lack of coherency, that's absolutely right, and had Bond been willing to slap some editorial sense into him maybe some of those ideas wouldn't have made it past the plotting stage.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

My diss of Milligan obviously wasn't as clear as I thought, so I'll try to clarify. I wasn't saying that Milligan's stories were incoherent messes, or that they didn't individually have a straightforward (and sometimes rather dull) linear plot, just that he spent the bulk of his run following each story with another that had no real connection to the one before apart from the protagonist, who was more or less sidelined in a couple of them anyway. There wasn't any of the underlying connections across the whole of his run that Carey or Jenkins (or even Diggle, Azzarrello or Mina, come to that) had used to structure the individual storylines as a connected narrative when read as a whole. Milligan's run was more what Bruce Sterling calls an "and" story, imo: this happens and then that happens and then something else happens and in the end none of it really connects up enough to work as a story with any sort of point to it. The piss poor ideas Christian mentions are definitely part of the problem with that as well, as he wouldn't have had to keep churning out such a constant torrent of crap if his run had been a bit more structured at a deeper level.

:tongue:

I think there was quite a gap between The Minx being cancelled (2003?) and Milligan taking over on Hellblazer. He spent the best part of a decade writing exclusively for Marvel in between, unless I'm misremembering: I'm pretty sure he was doing his lengthy run on X-Force/X-Statix after he'd abandoned DC when the Minx got cancelled. (Seagle and Delano, who also both got excellent series cancelled at the same time were a bit less sniffy about doing something else at DC immediately after The Crusades and Outlaw Nation were cancelled.)

ETA: You meant that Sean Phillips left Hellblazer to draw The Minx, nothing to do with Milligan, didn't you? My mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great sum-up of Milligan's HB run, actually.  Every story just chained into one another, yet still lacked an overarching narrative.  It was exactly like you described, this happened and then this happened and then this happened etc...

You're right that Milligan had a lengthy break from Vertigo after the Minx, though I don't remember if Greek Street was before or after his Hellblazer run started.  He migrated to Marvel and did some pretty awful work on books like Elektra and X-Men.  X-Force/X-Statix was of course the exception, because it was pretty great.

Man, Outlaw Nation and The Crusades were both such wonderful reads, I remember reading those monthly and it was like a one-two punch of them being cancelled near simultaneously.  Seagle in particular had real bad luck with Vertigo titles getting pulled out from under him.  House of Secrets, The Crusades, American Virgin, probably others that I'm forgetting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

I'm not sure, but I think he was already the current writer on Hellblazer when he did Greek Street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

I'm pretty sure he was too. I believe that his run on Elektra was before the Minx got cancelled (maybe before Milligan ever started writing the Minx, in fact). Yeah, that was a really bad book, but I highly doubt that Milligan cared much about working on Elektra, and that it was probably just a quick pay-check for him.

The X-Force/X-Statix series was really, really good. I love that book. I'm fine with him going to Marvel if we got something like that out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

I think he was probably still doing Shade when Elektra came out: it certainly looks like a mid '90s superhero series, right down to the Deodata art and pleas for more ultraviolence on the letters page. He did some X Men stuff at the same time as Elektra, iirc, a Cyclops miniseries or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

Yeah, he was doing some "work-for-hire" stuff at Marvel in the mid-1990s, while still working with Vertigo.

There was an Archangel one-shot, which was bizarre in that it was in black and white (which was a real rarity for Marvel), and played up like some sort of avant-garde-type comic that would have fit in at a place like Vertigo....yet, there was nothing in the contents of the comic to warrant any of it. It was a pretty poorly written, completely random one-shot. I don't know what Marvel was thinking. I doubt it was because of Milligan's name either, as he was writing other random stuff for Marvel at the time, so they weren't playing it up as "Vertigo darling Milligan pens an Archangel story" either.

Yeah, The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix (with artwork by John Paul Leon). I quite enjoyed that series. It featured Cyclops and Phoenix going back in time to the Victorian era and witnessing the origin of Mr. Sinister. I was a fan of that mini-series.

Then, there was a Magneto mini-series, which unfortunately was also very bad (even with some nice Kelley Jones art). Milligan writing a Magneto mini seems like it would have merit, but this was during that time when Marvel thought that introducing a younger clone of Magneto with amnesia (called "Joseph") would be a good idea, so it isn't the actual Magneto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Milligan, did anyone else read his Image series with Leandro Fernandez, The Discipline?  I made it to issue # 3, and it was another series filled with some weird psycho-sexual stuff about a woman contracting monsterism from an immortal demon lover like it was an STD.  Very weird, but interesting and with beautiful art by Fernandez.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogpoet    454

I've got the first collection of that. It's more like The Names than some of the other dribble Milligan was squirting out of his arse at the time, but there's very little story there underneath the nice art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christian    744

Eh, I wouldn't say it was anywhere close to The Names.....I found it to be a very missable series. I didn't find it worth following after the first issue.

Speaking of our buddy Milligan though, he's going to be returning to Marvel in January to write a Legion series. That character should be right up Milligan's alley. The last Legion series, by Si Spurrier, was well worth reading. Hopefully, Milligan can get something close, but even more surreal, than what Spurrier did with the character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Balthazar    172

Loving the Milligan discussion. I picked up the first issue of one of his recent books which was a bit of an erotica. I wasn't sure how I felt about it but tracking the following issues were difficult for me so I may just pick it up in trade. Did anyone read it? How did you feel about it?

I also loved his Greek Street and was disappointed when it ended. But I always felt like one of the odd men out who enjoyed it while others were heavily underwhelmed. I'm looking forward to his Legion run about to start for Marvel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×