How about a quickie? . . . short reviews

CHEW #3 (Image):

This title deserves the attention. It’s well-earned. With Issue #3, things get even more complicated and the entertainment value keeps rising. I love this book. Crazy scripter John Layman comes up with another made-up word and almost gets us to swallow it. First, we’ve got a main character who picks up vital clues in criminal investigations after munching on decomposing body parts. Now, we learn more about his love interest (she’s not aware of it yet, though) - - Amelia Mintz, a food pages reporter who happens to be a “saboscrivner”, meaning people reading her newspaper column can actually taste the food she is writing about. In this issue, she gets bored with writing about gourmet food so she investigates all the D-rated restaurants - - and her readers start hurling and spewing. Clever artwork adds to the fun. Two issues left in the opening series - - and I hope we get a second helping.

THE STUFF OF LEGEND Volume 1: The Dark, Book 1 (Th3rd World Studios):

A nice touch here - - this book is Golden-Book sized, a squarish 10” x 10” - - just like those treasured tomes we grew up with. I saw almost 1/2 of this material in the Free Comic Book Day edition and the remainder of the story flows just as nicely - - and we get a glimpse of how artist Charles Paul Wilson III handles the action in the fight scenes, and it’s a delight to view. I’m going to retract my statement in my earlier review of the FCBD edition in that I no longer think this is suitable to read to very young children. It gets much darker in the second half, some toys defect and change sides, and a major player doesn’t do very well in an encounter with The Boogeyman, a character that is portrayed in an interesting fashion wearing a jet black cloak that drips darkness (like flames falling off a burning log). The Boogeyman also has some facial characteristics that make him seem androgynous. This book doesn’t disappoint, and the previews of the concluding chapter (due in September) look just as spectacular. Get it if you can find it - - supposedly it’s going to a second printing.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 (Marvel):

I’m not presently reading this title and haven’t been for many years so I viewed this anniversary/landmark issue # as a good way to preview the book and see if I wanted to jump on and start reading it again. I’m sorry to report (not really, I’m saving that money for something better) that I didn’t see anything here to make me want to start following this book. I still like John Romita’s Jr.’s art and his distinctive, squarish/boxed style but the story is ho-hum and got a bit tedious and anti-climatic at the end (I’m not talking about the wedding, I mean the resolution with the Dr. Octopus thing). And I’m not really upset with the changes that have been made with this book - - but I don’t think they made the book more interesting (just the opposite is what has occurred for me). I expect better than this from Dan Slott. Stan Lee’s short story has a real Ditko-like flavor and I don’t mean just the art - - I mean it all. And I liked it except for the cornball dialogue and puns. Mark Waid’s story was good, if a little bit too cute. And Mitch Bretweiser’s tribute to Gray Morrow on the art made the tear-jerker “The Blessing” easier to take. (No offense, Aunt May, that was just a little bit melodramatic). “Fight At The Museum” is just bad - - story and art. Ugh. And the final story “Violent Visions” which is supposedly a preview of an upcoming storyline involving Madame Web is a crazy cobweb I don’t want to cross through. That’s all for me and Spider-Man. I’m content to read what Jeff and Shane write about these titles to stay up to date. I’m not going to follow those books. And I thought AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 was 3x better than INCREDIBLE HULK #600. You don’t want me to write about that one!

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