John Buys Comics and it Feels So Good

Crogan’s March

If you’re not in the know about this series (The Crogan Adventures by Chris Schweizer), it’s about a guy telling his two sons stories about their ancestors, who were evidently all incredibly cool guys - the family tree at the front of the book includes a smuggler, a lion tamer and a WWI pilot, for example (and speaking of the family tree, Schweizer does and incredible job of making a pretty diverse bunch of guys look like they’re related. I’ve been staring at them for a while now and I think that it’s all in the eyebrows). Crogan’s Vengeance, the first in the series, came outlast year and was a very fun story about “Catfoot” Crogan, pirate, the first of the line. Crogan’s Vengeance was a fine comic, heck, a great comic, but Crogan’s March is MAGNIFICENT. I decided to pick up some Turkish food on the way back from the comic shoppe last night and cracked open Crogan’s March while I waited, and I have never in my life cared less about how long my food was going to take to get ready.

Peter Crogan is a Corporal in the French Foreign Legion, with two months left on his five-year tour. He’s a crack shot (when he’s standing still) a former boxer and an all-around good guy who just happens to be smack in the middle of one of the more violent spots in the days of the European Empires. He’s the kind of character that you like from panel one onward and he has a magnificent mustache.

Oh, and every other character in the book is immensely likeable as well. Schweizer makes each character distinct in both look and personality, to the extent that one of my favourite characters had maybe two lines and then died - I could just tell that he was terrific. Some of the characters from Crogan’s Vengeance get Blackadder-esque cameos as background and minor characters as well, which is great, particularly as Peter Crogan gets to lay a haymaker on a guy who is a double of his ancestor’s arch-enemy. Time-spanning family rivalry, woo!

And there’s a very thoughtful exploration of colonialism going on here too, and not the COLONIALISM IS ALL BAD ALL THE TIME blanket statement that I encountered with dreary regularity in my days as an English major - not that it wasn’t pretty damn terrible in most respects, don’t get me wrong. It’s just nice to read a work that sets that aside and instead looks at the differing motivations that the people who were involved in the process had. The differing opinions that Crogan’s superiors hold on this topic inform a lot of the book’s conflict.

Oh, man. I can look forward to a new Crogan Adventure every year so hard.

World of New Krypton No 12 - It was a mystery all along! Well, I guess I knew that, but it was a proper mystery, with clues and everything! And now Superman’s solved it! Hooray! You know, if New Krypton is still around in a year or so a series about trying to be a detective on a planet of supermans could be a pretty fun time.

Casper and the Spectrals No. 1 - This actually came out a while ago but I didn’t see it until yesterday and I just had to see what they’d done to the old Harvey crew. Have to say: not too bad. The character designs aren’t aggressively weird (and it was high time that Hot Stuff stopped wearing a diaper, let me tell you) although Wendy’s eyes, even by the standards of manga-influenced comic characters, are unnervingly gigantic. I’m pretty certain that she has at least a 270 degree field of vision. So, I'm not going to keep buying it, but I guess that it's a pretty decent modernization of the junk I read as a kid.

Doom Patrol No. 7 - Crazy Jane is back! Animal-Mineral-Vegetable Man is back! The Metal Men defeat Giganta in an unusual manner! Fun!

Red Robin No. 9 - I just keep enjoying this series more and more. Tim’s dropped a lot of his angst since he found the Bat-cave painting, he’s owning up to the fact that he looks like Dr Mid-Nite and he’s starting to react to some of the things that he’s been up to in other peoples’ comics (like being a bit of a dick to Superboy, say). It was a bit of a breather issue, a between story arcs kind of thing, but those are the kinds of issues where you really get a chance to enjoy a character sans drama, so hurrah.

Sweet Tooth No. 6 - Sorry Tiina. He didn’t get adopted by a nice family and get to play with a dog all day. Maybe next issue?