Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paranormal Pop Comics Aug. 22

BY ERIN WOLF

This week in Paranormal Pop Comics, Courtney Crumrin contemplates life, love and the fear of dying alone as Dr. Manhattan wraps his blue brain around “What’s in the box?” and Dark Horse packs the pages with supernatural mayhem in the latest installment of their Eisner Award winning anthology series, “Dark Horse Presents.”

Courtney Crumrin #5
Oni Press
Written by Ted Naifeh; Art and Cover Art by Ted Naifeh

The one man band of Ted Naifeh has taken a moment from his typical drumming along to pause and reflect. Issue #5 of "Courtney Crumrin" features a pensive peek into the past of the Crumrin family thanks to a conveniently placed battered old diary. Burdened with the responsibility of carrying the name Crumrin and all the wonderful magic and secrets that go along with it, Courtney and her Uncle Aloysius ponder whether such powerful knowledge is a gift or a curse. This issue is a thoughtful walk down a dark memory lane, meant to be a cautionary tale to the already isolated teenage Courtney Crumrin, this book made me want to go out and immediately start embracing lonely looking strangers.

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1 (of 4)
DC
Written by J. Michael Straczynski Art by Adam Hughes

It’s not enough that J. Michael Straczynski has assumed the difficult task of writing one of the most obtuse characters in all of the Minutemen repertoire but, to write non-linear prose explaining the basics of Quantum Mechanics interpretation through a demonstration of Schrödinger’s “cat in the box” thought experiment? I would have said that anyone would be insane to attempt such a feat but no, here it is in black, white and blue in issue #1 - Dr. Manhattan examines the universe as he swallows it whole. Of all the characters in the "Before Watchmen" enterprise, I was most worried about the handling of Doc’s backstory. As time is not linear to him, his narrative tends to flow in a sequence of seemingly random points fragmented throughout his personal history. It is a difficult idea to grasp, let alone write. However, I thought this first issue was a successful experiment and therefore am offering a hearty slap on the back to J. Michael Straczynski for leaping into this heady plotline with courage and hopefully a bit of foresight. I’m excited to see where the blue man’s thoughts take us next, Einstein’s theory of relativity perhaps?

Dark Horse Presents #15
Dark Horse

After a stunning win for Best Anthology at the 2012 Eisner Awards in this year’s San Diego Comic Con, “Dark Horse Presents” is back again with its 15th issue featuring 12 new stories by an impressive mixture of emerging talent and some of comic’s most seasoned veterans. This jam packed volume features a new “Rex Mundi” story by Arvid Nelson and artist Juan Ferreyra as well as a new “Aliens” chapter by John Layman. One of my favorite writers Carla Speed-McNeil also contributes a new installment of her “Finder: The Third World” series along with David Chelsea who returns to DHP with a new feature called “The Girl with the Keyhole Eyes.” If you’re looking for a lot of paranormal but just can’t decide what to buy, “Dark Horse Presents” is a great way to meet talented writers and artists you may not have “encountered” before.

Paranomal Comics also released this week:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #1 (of 5)
Dark Horse
Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends #19
Zenescope
I, Vampire #12
DC
Mars Attacks #3
IDW
Lobster Johnson: Prayer of Neferu #1 (one shot)
Dark Horse
Superman #12
DC
Eternal Descent #6 (of 6)
IDW

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