John Buys Comics, Has Snacks

Ides of Blood No. 1

I knew it! I knew that Wildstorm would fulfill its obligation to have at least one series that I want to buy in print at all times. As soon as Sparta, USA ended then this saga of vampire-infested Rome stepped to the fore.

You may have already seen the preview for this, as it’s been floating around for the last couple of weeks. If so, you know the basics: when Rome conquered the Balkan state of Dacia it found vampires running around, and so it enslaved them all and hauled them home, where they became the new underclass. So: a conceptual mashup, but an interesting one. What you DON’T know if you’ve only seen that preview is that this is also basically a police procedural, as Praetorian/vampire/former slave Valens attempts to solve a series of murders before the his enemy Brutus can do so. And that is awesome. There is seriously a scene where Valens does the equivalent of a ballistics test on some bite marks so that he can trace the vampire who did the biting. If he fires a werewolf into a barrel of water next issue then my reading experience will be complete.

I guess a part of me does cry out about historical inaccuracies and such, but then another part of me reminds the first part that it’s reading a comic about vampires in Ancient Rome and maybe it should shut up and let the rest of the brain enjoy itself if it knows what’s good for it.

Seedless Vol. 1

Man, I almost didn’t flip through this, which means that I wouldn’t have bought it, which means that my life would have had just a bit less joy in it.

I have no idea how to describe the plot of this book to you without making you cock an eyebrow and question my judgement, because it’s very weird. Check it: a trio of alien grapes (Dash, Funky and Pulse), having driven an evil grape mastermind (Crazy) off of their grape planet, pursue him to Earth, where they befriend a girl named Harmony and together try to stop Crazy (and his minion Fajita) from rebuilding his army using Terran grapes.

This book is like nothing so much as a late 80s/ early 90s Saturday morning cartoon: new characters and new powers are constantly being introduced, at a rate of about one per battle. What could get tiresome very quickly in a TV series, though, is here a source of pure joy, because Corey S. Lewis isn’t trying to sell you an ever-increasing stable of toys and accessories, he's just trying to draw an action-packed thrill ride. 

Usagi Yojimbo No. 1 – Will this be the thing that finally gets me to start buying the Usagi Yojimbo collections? Probably. These Dark Horse reprints are a great idea on that front, though it looks like they’ve already done a pretty good job on me, as this is the first one that I didn’t already have in some form. My bookshelf runneth over.

A Skeleton Story No. 1 - I seem to have frittered my evening away on chores and errands, so it's terse from here on out. I will be watching this series carefully, because my new catch phrase, as of now, is "Skeletons are the thinking man's zombies." I can only hope that it will make me wildly popular.

Streets of Gotham No. 15 – Good lord is Two-Face a great character when written well. Rounds of applause for this comic!

Oops, I ran out of time and there is a guacamole-based snack being offered to me! Away!