Posts Tagged by Birds of Prey
|1 January, 2012||Posted by Erik Carlson under Uncategorized||
Well, here we are, sitting in the fresh fields of an unblemished new future.
2011 was a great year for me: I got married and went to London, lost 30 pounds, spent another year free from cigarettes, and waded in a veritable ocean of pop culture excellence.
I thought I’d try to once again to attack this blog in a more frequent manner and what better way to start than with a Best of…thing. Here is a perfect jumping on point for new readers and old thyme fans alike.
To those of you who have been riding this ship since the start, feel free to question my intentions; “Aren’t you the guy who hates end of year/best of lists?”.
You can scream and finger wave at me but yes, I’m a slave to the internet peer pressure and I would like to remind you of some of the things we here at the House of Bibliodiscoteque have enjoyed.
Marvel Comics and the latent Sense of Humor:
With all of the serious-adult-minded relaunches over at DC, it seems Marvel’s reaction was to incorporate a smile and wink. That’s right, thanks to writers like Dan Slott, Zeb Wells, Mark Waid, and Jason Aaron, fun has reentered the vocabulary of comics. For too long, too many books have brooded and punched their way onto shelves and forgone levity for ‘intense deconstructions of what makes heroes tick’.
Can 2012 be the year we move beyond hero hatemongers who draw a paycheck from the industry they mock?
Uncharacteristic Female Characters:
There was a great gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing over the new 52 DCUniverse and its *cough* relaunch. From the soft-core ending of Catwoman to Starfire’s newly discovered smuttiness to the pantless first issue of Wonder Woman, it seemed to be a tough year for the ladies of the pop culture world.
Alas, some creators have ventured to step beyond these oversexed stereotypes and provide women who are not only written like women, but also hold their own as action heroes. Yes, I’m looking at you Christa Faust (Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss and Choke Hold), Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey and Fun&Games), Garth Ennis (Jennifer Blood), and Jason Aaron (American Vampire). With 2012’s Fairest spin-off coming out in a few months, let’s see if it can hold up.
Noir is the new Black
I did a small victory dance with the relaunch of Hard Case this year. The promise of new books by Max Allan Collins and Lawrence Block was too much to stoically contain. However, the discovery of Victor Gischler, Image Comic’s Blue Estate, the latest installment of Ed Brubaker’s Criminal series, and the limited edition of Steve Niles Cal McDonald Criminal Tales simply pushed it all over the edge.
See you around for Part II…
|12 July, 2011||Posted by Erik Carlson under Uncategorized||
Need someone killed? Have a murder you need covered up? What about a mistake from your past you need cleansed from the record of time? Contact the ‘accident people’. The accident people are an ironically named collective of experienced assassins and cleaners who specialize in rewriting the narratives of history. To them and their clients, no crime or murder is over until the final cut. They are very good at their jobs. Until an unforeseen actor enters their script and begins his own edits.
Fun & Games is the first in a trilogy by crime/comic scribe Duane Swierczynski and the most recent in a long line of powerhouse writing straddling two seemingly different fields. Month to month he can be found writing comics (including the relaunch of DC’s Birds of Prey in Sept.) and just about every year since 2002, he has edited or written a novel. His control over plot is so impressive that he manages to juggle various actions simultaneously and with ease. His books flow quickly and are perfect for repeated readings.
What sets Swierczynski apart from his peers is not just his characters, but that he is willing to sacrifice them so easily. In all of Swierczynski’s novels, the tension comes not only from the situations but that the life expectancy for each person is variable and often short. Without a promise of who will live or die, the stakes are much higher and the investment in the narrative is that much greater. In most novels, it is possible to gloss over chapters where a character is wounded because their name is in the title or we know they stick around for nine more volumes. Swierczynski promises nothing and therefore every action is important.
Fun & Games is a brutal and visceral game of cat and mouse. It is chock full of clever allusions (a killer named after Philip K. Dick) and savagery (it’ll make you rethink wearing cool sunglasses). If you enjoy Westlake, Bruen, or Starr, you can’t do too much better. And with a sequel being released in October, now is the bet time to get caught up with his work. Trust me, when he is a household name, you’ll be proud to say you knew him when.