My Comic Book Crisis

A woman of a certain age, a computer, and a love of comics

The Sinners detailTHE SINNERS #5

To be honest, I’m starting out this entry by lying. I didn’t actually read The Sinners #5 this week; I read it last week when it came out. I know that’s kind of cheating, but it’s my blog, so I can do that. If you think that compromises my credibility, then you’re reading the wrong blog. I’m a newbie; I am completely devoid of expertise in this area. I simply write about stuff I like.

The Sinners #5 coverThe Sinners (No, not the 2005 motorcycle movie) is by one of my favorite writers (so far), Ed Brubaker, and Sean Phillips. It’s part of the Criminal series and it’s about Tracy Lawless a reluctant hitman (I know, ironic name, right?), who has been given the task of finding out who is responsible for a string of unsolved murders. The murderees are all bad guys.

He’s also a military deserter, so there are a couple of story lines going on at the same time, all written with a good ear for dialog and great illustrations. The Sinners #5 was the last in this series and everything was wrapped up very tidily and in a believable way. I love the Criminal series and there’s a lot of great stuff in the back of each issue about the noir genre, so it’s definitely worth price, although the price is a moderate $3.50, so I guess I should say it’s worth more than the price.

LIVING WITH THE DEAD #1

Living dead #1 detail

No, Living With the Dead is not that book by the Grateful Dead’s manager and it’s not the CBS show with the guy from Cheers. It’s about zombies. And living with them. Hence the name.

Please try to keep up.

Living With the Dead #1 coverAnyways, much like in “I Am Legend,” there’s been some sort of worldwide mishap in which everyone has been turned into zombies — except for, as the cover tells us, two boys and a girl. We meet the guys at the start of the comic and they don’t seem all that bright, but they have figured out that if they wear zombie masks and intone things like “need flesh” and “brains,” the zombies will think they are one of the zombies’ own and thus leave them alone.

It seems to work.

We meet the girl closer to the end where she’s knocking the brains out of some zombies with a golf club. And here I want to say “Oh sure, let the girl to clean up the mess.” But I won’t.

The comic comes with a “Zombie Survival Kit” which will definitely come in handy in the event of an eventual zombie calamity.

WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!

DAYTRIPPER #1, 2, 3 & 4

Daytripper (no,not the Beatles song) start out as a kind of lyrical and leisurely tale in which we begin to learn about the a young protagonist, Brás, who is on his way to a gala being held for his father, a writer of some stature. On the first page, we are told that Brás, a writer of obituaries, is thinking about the fact that people die every day.

Daytripper #1 detail

While he considers death, we learn that it’s also his birthday. And guess what happens at the end of the issue? He DIES. That’s right, he dies and the issue ends and you wonder, where the heck is this going from here if the protagonist dies in the first issue? But guess what happens in issue 2? He’s the protagonist of the story again. And he dies AGAIN, only this time he dies somewhere else. And guess what happens in issue 3? And issue 4?

Daytripper #4 coverIn every issue we learn a little more about the protagonist Brás at different points in his life; about what he does, where he goes, opportunities he misses. Woven among the events in each issue are references and characters that occurred in previous issues.

It’s all strangely fascinating, bittersweet and moving and I tried to understand what it all meant. Perhaps, I thought, it is an allegory, or perhaps a metaphor about the hundreds of little deaths we die throughout our lives, perhaps … PERHAPS IT’S JUST A FREAKIN’ STORY. A strange and beautiful freakin’ story, but just a story, nevertheless. As Freud may or may not have once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Am I right?

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