Ugh, today hit me hard.

*This MOME review isn't behaving well, so I'll get it up tomorrow evening (having already screwed up my morning-evening pace for the week).

In the meantime, there's other stuff.

*Self-Promotion Dept: Hey! Full list of stuff in Comics Comics #3 announced! Feature interview with Guy Davis, conducted by Sammy Harkham! An essay by Kim Deitch! David Heatley and Lauren Weinstein talk about stuff! Art by Renée French, Marc Bell, and Matthew Thurber! Dan Nadel on the Masters of American Comics show! Timothy Hodler on Steve Gerber! Reviews of various David Sandlin comics, various Matt Fraction comics, Frank Miller's Ronin, Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics, and other things! I talk about Mutt and Jeff, for some reason! What a world!

The action debuts at MoCCA this weekend, and should hit stores in early July. It'll be up for internet orders on the above-linked site eventually.

*I also bought comics today.


The Brave and the Bold #4: Better than the last Supergirl issue. Mind you, over 1/3 of it is actually spent on a continuation of last issue's Batman/Blue Beetle teaming, and not to particularly inspiring effect - just a lot of wheel-spinning with some corny jokes tossed in. I guess you can make that argument about the Supergirl/Lobo bits too, although the balance on that portion of the comic is tipped toward prolonged bits of shtick, with a gob of plot background plopped on top, and I think that makes it all more palatable.

And while my excitement clearly isn't peaking at life-threatening levels if I'm using terms like 'palatable,' this is still a fairly peppy little celebration of old-fashioned superhero nonsense, obviously more enthusiastic about crafting low-key character interaction skits than building much of a grand storyline, despite its apparently large scope and extensive cast - the sweep of Destiny is merely an excuse for Lobo to ruin the hedges with his bike and prompt old-timey sitcom exasperation from his traveling companion. There is something charming about such resolutely square fun, although I'd hate for 'Supergirl wears a funny costume' to turn into the series' equivalent of Jeffy mispronouncing a word in The Family Circus.

Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper #3: Meanwhile, toward the other end of palatable, we have this Andy Diggle/Mukesh Singh series from Virgin. The first two issues provided decent (if somewhat overextended) premise-setting, and while I can't say much for the innovation of said premise, the execution was very sound. This issue, unfortunately, feels quite a lot like a middle chapter of some Bill Jemas-era Marvel miniseries being forced into a trade-optimal six issues come hell or high water. Which isn't to say this series is actually going to be six issues, just that the storytelling seems particularly thin from being stretched to cover far too many pages.

Specifically: Brock, our wildlife-attuned superkiller hero arrives in decadent Amsterdam and wanders around a lot in a haze because he's bedazzled by the bright lights of the city and the little star-shaped tassels on the prostitutes' nipples. He almost gets hit by a car, then attempts to purchase a fast-food hamburger, resulting in rib-tickling hi-jinx. He also makes friends with wild dogs, because he's as much Mark Trail as Frank Castle. Then there's a b&w flashback to something or another that reveals so little I had to check the prior issue to make sure they weren't just repeating things. Then we're off to find an evil man who maybe knows something about something, or maybe someone who knows something about something or someone else. Regardless, the villain is found in a wicked dog fighting headquarters, but the day is saved when Brock frees the dogs and they maul the bad people to death. Brock does not say anything like "Looks like this little outfit has gone to the dogs," although I did draw an appropriate word balloon in with my good pen. Before he dies, the villain names another villain, and I guess Brock will look for him next issue.

So, pretty much the problem is that there's absolutely nothing in here that warrants the attention of a full issue, whether it be plot movement or character moments or cartooning splendor or whatever. I do continue to appreciate Singh's vivid coloring choices, as if all of human existence is a long and oddly-paced chase scene from Susperia. But I'd like less lethargy in an action book this direct.