Content #1. Gia-Bao Tran (writer/artist). I ran across GB Tran’s table in San Diego, and didn’t get a chance to grab a copy of his stuff while I was there. He…I dunno, his stuff reminds me of the lost bastard child of Paul Pope, Jim Rugg and Jon Muth, and I can’t help but dig it. Not just the fact that he has a variety of styles he can whip out, but because he can spin a good yarn too. This first issue of his self-published comic is a strange “Monkey’s Paw”-esque weird time travel thing…kinda like what Butterfly Effect would have been had it been done correctly and not sucked ass. And I just dig on the art. Go to his website and crawl around a bit. You can order the book directly from him. And you should.
Kolchak Tales: Black & White & Read All Over. Moonstone. Dave Ulanski, Peter David, Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith, Stefan Petrucha (writers); Chris Burnham, Robert Hack (artists); Kirk Jarvinen, George Broderick (pencillers); Keith Williams, Ken Wheaton (inkers); Chris Burnham, Bill Halliar, Chuck Maly (letterers). This is an intresting little series of stories, with Kolchak going to Tony’s therapist for some sit-down time. We get a nicely done and slightly humorous story of the lethal world of high fashion from Peter David, a bit on Tony’s backstory, and a story about the parts that Kolchak leaves out of his tales. Very solid stuff. If the people behind the new Kolchak series had any sense (which they don’t), they would hire Moonstone and crew to come bail their asses out.
Revisionary #1. Moonstone. Paul D. Storrie (writer); Eric J. (artist); Peter Guzman (ink assist); Erik Enervold (Letterer). This title has some definite potential. Randall Gordon is a charlatan who uses tricks to predict the future and see into others’ lives. Or at least he was. Now he’s been both gifted and cursed with the real thing and it just might get his ass killed. The complete ins and outs of why, we’re not sure yet, seeing as how when we first meet him he’s getting his ass handed to him, but he’s catching us up as we go along. The concept is sound, the story is pretty darn tight and Eric J’s artwork is quite good. The flashbacks and visions look even more fleshed out than “real life,” which is a nice touch. Very worthwhile.
Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23. Marvel. Mark Millar (writer); Greg Land (penciller); Matt Ryan (inker); Justin Ponsor (colorist); Chris Eliopoulos (letterer). Finally, we have a story arc that works for this new series. It just…wasn’t. And it’s a shame, because nowhere at Marvel is anyone doing anything interesting with these characters. And I’m not just saying that because I’m partial to zombies, even superhuman zombies. But the fake-out for this three-issue arc was a class job, Sue got to use her powers in a new and fascinating way, and Greg Land’s work is incredible. Welcome back to the land of the living.