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Another reason to “wait for the trade.”

Twenty-Seven #2 coverLately, I tend to “wait for the trade” on mini-series. After all, it’s not an ongoing series, so I might as well wait for the version of the story I’d prefer for a finite story.

Of course, for the times I might consider otherwise, any chance of an “impulse buy” are shot if the single issue(s) aren’t even available FOR said “impulse purchase.”

If I have to wait til issue 3 to get issue 2, even if I can get a (later) print of issue 1…I’m not even gonna READ the thing until I’m reading 3/4 chapters in one go…so why not wait the extra couple months, and read all 4/4 in one go, in one volume? (Or maybe by then I won’t have any interest, and will give the thing a pass as a whole).

Granted, if they already did an “overprint” and still sold out (in this case, on the 27 series), there’s less fault on the publisher. Doesn’t change the fact that this was a series I was kinda interested in checking out–and would have tried the first issue…but no one HAD the first issue, of the 5 or 6 comic shops I visited the week it was to have come out (and even the online purchase I attempted was canceled/refunded for not getting in what they’d ordered).

via Now 27 #2 Sells Out Weeks Before Shipping – And Gets A Second Printing [Bleeding Cool].

Looks like it was no one-off. Weeks before the second issue of 27 by Charles Soule and Renzo Podesta is set to ship, it has already sold out its overprint at distributor level and a second printing approved. Just as the second printing of 27 #1 is set to ship with 27 #2, so the second printing of 27 #2 will now ship with 27 #3.

So if you missed out of the first print of the first issue… yeah, looks like you’re going to miss out on the first print of the second issue too.

Ho ho ho.

Chase Variant #1 [Review]

One Shot (Is All I Need)

By: Rich Johnston, Saverio Tenuta, and Bagwell
Variant cover by: Rob Liefeld
Published by: Image Comics

I tend to enjoy metatextual comics such as this. On the one hand, they’re fun, getting both a story and a commentary if one looks at multiple layers. At the same time, the drawback is that sometimes seeing those layers from the get-go can take one out of the story entirely.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Chase Variant, except that from the cover, it appears to be just another “bad girl” book, much as Image was known for in its earlier days. And the story opens up with a bang (two of ’em, actually), and immediately reveals its hook: the “main” story is that of a bioengineered government agent named (of course) Chase Variant. She has four arms, gun in each hand, and is a much revered, efficient assassin. She’s also, actually, a 1:1000 chase card in a collectible card game, which is being played out. 3/4 each page is the main story–the in-game story, if you will, of Chase as she knows herself. The other quarter-page looks at the cards in the “real world” as the game is being played.

The story is pretty basic, without much depth or character development. While that would be very, very bad for the debut issue of a new series, this is a one-off…a one-shot, and so lack of depth is much more forgivable. Where this excels is at drawing on the thoughts I’d imagine any gamer has had in playing a game, of trying to craft a visualization or story around the playing of cards which describe basic characters or actions. There are rules and structures to such games, perhaps even an overall story that informs the specific cards that can be used. But the story itself, each game in which the cards interact uniquely really plays out in the imaginations of the players, unlike a comic, movie, or video game.

The visuals are not bad. I’m unfamiliar with the artists offhand, so really don’t have anything prior to compare this work to. In and of itself, the art on this issue does a good job of depicting what’s going on; capturing that dark and gritty feel that the character’s world ought to have, were this an ongoing story. Other than the occasional gratuitous visual shot and the character’s get-up (which is actually commented on within the story), no real complaint.

This is a fairly unique one-shot. In some ways, it could be seen as a sort of adult Yu-Gi-Oh, in that the cardplay informs the story. At the same time, it seems like a commentary on such card games and the presence of rare chase cards, as well as the evolution of ways of playing any given game, and the cards that eventually get introduced into long-running games.

If you’re looking for something a bit different and without continuity–past/present/future–to deal with, this is a good issue for that. Certainly a worthwhile issue to keep an eye out for.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

Watchmensch [Review]

Writer: Rich Johnston
Illustrator/Letterer: Simon Rohrmuller
Cover Colors: Matthew Vega
Publisher: Brian Kirsten
Published By: Brain Scan Studios

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this going in, but found a rather amusing spoof of Watchmen–the second such spoof I’ve picked up in the last few weeks. Unlike Whatmen?! though, this one was more to my liking with less of the Family Guy flavor of spoof.

This take on Watchmen follows the spoof-versions of the characters as they deal with events unfolding as related to Watchmen being released as a movie despite the troubles between the author and the publisher of a lot of his work.

There are a number of fun sight-gags (I especially liked this take on the visual/reasoning of the Dr. Manhatten character’s appearance) “borrowed” from the source material. On the whole, the art works really well and I have nothing that jumped out as complaint-worthy to me.

The story was more engaging than in Whatmen?! and worked a lot better for me. While this is a take on Watchmen, it also has its own story to tell, issue to be brought to attention. Other than the writer’s weekly rumour/gossip column, I don’t believe I’ve read anything he’s written as far as actual comics go–having read this, I now plan to seek out some of his other work.

This issue felt rather thin, and so when I flipped through, I counted 23 story pages and 1 page of mid-story material. Normally I’d consider that unacceptable for a $3.99 book…however, having the pages in the 9-panel-grid made each page feel like it had loads more content than the average mainstream (DC/Marvel) comic and thus feels like a far better value despite the price. Additionally, I was rather disappointed that we only had that one page–I found myself reading it, and would have read another couple pages in its vein if they’d been included.

All in all, if you enjoy Watchmen, and know much of anything about the history of the DC/Alan Moore goings-on, this ought to be a fun issue for you…and certainly comes off as smarter than other spoofs I’ve seen.

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

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