||Need Driving Directions to the Isotope? Click here!
The Isotope Communique
Daily news and updates by Proprietor James Sime & the Isotope Staff
Subscribe to the site feed.
James Sime's Mobile Twitter Feed - click here for more
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Vimanarama & Skyscrapers of the Midwest
Wintermen, Creature Tech, and Less Than Hero
Despite the controversy surrounding on-line comic reviews stirred up by AIT/PlanetLar publisher Larry Young, we here at the Isotope say that the art of worthy comic reviews is alive and well... at the last place you'd expect (if you hadn't already been checking them out, that is)... at San Francisco's art and entertainment blog SFist. SFist provides one new-to-comics reader's honest and always entertaining impressions, with none of that bothersome "I see what Marvel was trying to do here, but..." industry-awareness that bogs down so many typical comic reviews we read on-line. And best of all, these reviews are reaching a massive non-comic reading audience who is already interested in the many tangential siblings to the world of sequential comic entertainment: art, theater, politics, music, film, and the unique culture that surrounds us here in San Francisco. No doubt, my friends, that SFist is the ideal petri dish for tuning new people on to the world of comic books!
We can't speak for anyone else, if more comic reviews were like this we'd frequent a whole lot more review sites.
No mentally healthy person should enjoy "Skyscrapers of the Midwest," a series of books that lift you up only to throw you off a cliff. Fortunately, we don't know of any mentally healthy people, so this might be just the thing you're looking for. Each tale in "Skyscrapers" involves a glimmer of pure optimism or nobility, left alive just long enough to form an attachment...which is then crushed. The most painful story might be Going to Grandma's, in which PAGES are devoted to two kittens' evening with Grandma, carousing and feeling loved, until Grandma walks to the kitchen to get some pie and vanishes, the pies dashed on the ground and the door left ajar. "We should probably go," the older kitten says. "But I wanna wait here from gramma." "I don't think she's comin' back." "But what happened?" "I don't know." "What are we supposed to do now?" And then they get their coats on and sadly leave as our heart breaks. If you revel in the somber disappointment of trudging through a rainstorm without an umbrella, you'll probably feel a kinship with Joshua Cotter's books, which last year won an Isotope Award for Excellence in Minicomics. Just, please, don't read them while you're walking over a bridge or handling sleeping pills.
Click here for more of this week's SFist comic reviews