Holy Terror! Seven Soldiers of Victory! Nemo! Mixed feelings!

I hid the cover of Frank Miller's "HOLY TERROR" as I left Powell's (a fine establishment where doubtless volumes of racist and insensitive literature are available, as a bookstore's guiding principle should theoretically be that regardless of ethical and moral value all words are essentially created equal). This is the kind of book one hides. If you know what it is, it's well-regarded as a dirty, grimy thing to be caught with. Ownership thereof bespeaks at best a genuine interest in the deevolution of one of the form's formerly great American practitioners and at worst a casual, playful flirtation with racism and wish-fulfillment Duke-Nukem bigoted fantasizing. Point being: I hid the cover. I got home and read it. It's about the most beautiful thing Frank Miller has ever drawn. It is also just about as grubby as one is led to believe. I finished it and I have not picked it up since. I will reread it, and share my thoughts anew with you, my eager and awaiting public.

Nemo: The Rose of Berlin. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill releasing a book almost annually would have been cause for genuine celebration a few years back. Now? Eeehhhh. You'd think a guy who gets to make his own schedule and publishes through his own firm (via Top Shelf in the US, beautiful packaging as always) might not produce so many works in a row which feel like bloated rush jobs. Even the barely-three-page intro the story's events gives us no sense of how much time has passed, or what is actually at stake for these characters. Not that I am entirely at liberty to criticize the author of From Hell, but From Hell this ain't. And Kevin appears to be getting lazy. This story in particular needed a Moebius on pen duties! Death be damned. Of course, I have also read this only once as well, and I will also devote an entry to this book.

I don't exactly know why the Comics Journal turned on old Grant Morrison with such disdain, other than his obstreperous self-promotion and aggrandizing ways. With his obnoxious manner of selling himself aside, however, Seven Soldiers of Victory is a very fine book with highly uneven art, a customarily initially confusing plotline and a few moments of such joyful superhero abandon and genuinely touching emotion that it wound up being worth well over the price of admission. To say nothing of the fact that writing seven books a month for even ONE month is impressive, but I digress. Morrison seems to thrive by putting himself above the fray as the guy who writes twenty books at a time and monopolizes the story of a universe, a'la Chris Claremont once upon a time, or ostensibly Mark Waid. I truly enjoyed this book, ten years late to the party though I am, and I'll comment more at length upon this as well.

Portland is wonderful and oh how it rains. I am trying to find a job and accepting funny gigs left and right to make ends meet. It feels right somehow.