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Gerber, Gerber everywhere, and not a drop to drink (and more TV)

Brian Hibbs

On the original schedule, THREE new takes of made-Famous-by-Steve-Gerber titles were to have shipped last week — the new version of FOOLKILLER didn’t make it — but even the fact that two of them came out makes me feel a little odd.

OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #1: Given how much of the plot (and dialog!) of this first issue is Straight-Outta-Gerber, it’s pretty hard to judge at this point just what Jonathan Lethem is actually bringing to the proceedings. What I did very much love was Farel Dalrymple’s art (and lettering). It is a fine looking book, but not something that I expect the “typical” Marvel fan would have much interest in whatsoever. The DYI aesthetic is appealing to me, but we’re an “alternative friendly” comics shop. How would this “play in Peoria”? Moreso, I kinda don’t see this as attracting much of an audience in serialization — over the course of 10 issues, this will wind up at $30, and there’s just not enough here to make that attractive.

In fact, more generally, I tend to suspect that, without some heavy modifications in how they are put together and collected, the mini-series is rapidly becoming a dead format — I’ll imagine that the eventual (SC) collection of this will top out at no more than $25 (in fact, I’d suspect a “DC model” on this… $25 HC, followed by a $15-20 SC) — so what is in it that is compelling that you have to get it NOW? I thought this was highly OK, but not OK enough that I’d follow the serialization.

HOWARD THE DUCK #1: I was pretty surprised how well Ty Templeton captured the “feel” of a HTD comic — making him, I think, the first person to ever successfully do that. In fact, this is the first post-Gerber attempt at the character which has seemed even close to Gerber. Too bad the character now appears to be a chicken, rather than a duck. Juan Bobilla’s is nice, as always, but, seriously, what’s with the chicken look? (other than, I suspect, “trying to avoid a lawsuit”). I’d give this a low GOOD, I think, though its possibly from the expectation that this isn’t going to sell well enough to get that eventual trade…

Hrm, planned to write more, but the B&T order just showed up, and I had to take a 30 minute break to count in the big pile of stuff — got BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2007 in, as well as FRANK FRAZETTA ROUGH WORK, WILL EISNER’S LIFE IN PICTURES HC, and ALBION ORIGINS. Oh, and still MORE copies of HEROES OF THE NEGRO LEAGUES, that’s been selling briskly for us.

Only a few minutes until the Diamond shipment is meant to show, so, quickly back to TV, I think…

REAPER: Liked the second episode better than the first, but I’m slightly concerned the lead is already “comfortable/competent” at his job, would have expected more of a Learning Curve. This might be suffering a smidge from being 60 minutes — 30 minutes could have been a better length. A low GOOD

PUSHING DAISIES: *loved* that first episode. But I have a pretty hard time seeing how it is going to be sustainable over the life of a Series. I could see this quickly wearing on me, after about Hour 3, so I hope they have this figured out. But, I thought the pilot was EXCELLENT.

MOONLIGHT: I’ve never done this before — I turned it off at the first commercial break, and deleted it from the DVR. My wife made it to the second commercial break. Ow. AWFUL.

HEROES: I’d be digging this a bit more if they weren’t wasting so much time showing us the same thing week after week after week. Yes, we get how “Encubra y Daga”‘s powers work (hope my Spanish translation is right there), for example. I also kinda can’t believe that this early in the proceedings they’re already falling back on Hoary Cliches like Amnesia; or Going Back In Time To Become Who You’re There To Help. I was amused by Sylar and Princess Projectra this week, however (did the original actress want too much money to come back?). For all of that, the show is teetering on the OK line.

JOURNEYMAN: Not a good show, no, but I’m somewhat intrigued by the portrayal of the marriage, added to the cross time relationship. Just will take one episode to get me to quit, but I’m still watching for the nonce. Last night’s Earthquake episode was HYSTERICAL. Earthquake’s don’t make streets EXPLODE like that. Very EH, but amusing to me.

OK, gots to go, I should be back tomorrow or Thursday with some thoughts on THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2007 (which I’ve had a review copy for more than a week)

What did YOU think?

-B

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