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The Comic Couch: January 2010

The Comic Couch

Weekly podcast straight out of Larry's Comics in Lowell, Massachusetts. We cover all things comic related, from books to movies. Contains explicit language and spoilers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comic Couch Episode 74

In this episode It was Patrick, Jarrod, Denny, and good old Larry pitching in to save the day.

Books Reviewed

Daredevil #503

X-factor #200

Green Lantern Corpse # 43

Incorruptible #1

Patrick has taken the producer/editor duties so you are stuck with:

"Comic Couch Theme" by Sardonic

For music.

All complaints can be sent to

You can email us at

Comic Couch Presents #77

Written reviews for our weekly obsession.
Special advanced review!

Other Lives
Vertigo comics
Peter Bagge- writer/artist

Peter Bagge is famous in the underground comic scene for his critically acclaimed series, Hate. He has also been in several high profile magazines like MAD and Hustler. Have I read any of these things? Sadly, no, but we can’t read everything. That’s okay. Now I can take this work on its own merits rather than succumbing to the subconscious infiltration of past experience. Bagge gives us an in depth character study of the “other lives” we create for ourselves through our on-line or other publicly exposed experiences. The four main characters have other identities, that is, they act differently, when in a different venue. To an extent, we all do this. No one acts the same at work as they do at home or at a friend’s house. Bagge shows us how the internet and even the written word allow us to take our other personalities to the extreme. Is this because there is less consequences when we ‘act out’ on-line? Maybe, maybe not. Bagge doesn’tpreach answers to us. He lays out the question like a nail and bangs like a hammer as he tries to get the reader to answer this for themselves. Some of the characters are able to separate reality from fantasy and move on with their lives, while others aren’t. For example, Ivy and Woodrow have a virtual sexual encounter on-line. When they meet again in real life, Woodrow gets a little frisky with Ivy to which she replies quite negatively. Ivy quite easily separated the encounter from real life. Woodrow can’t let go, though, which leads to the tragic consequences that occur later. Bagge exploration of character is superb. His artwork, while it took me some getting used to, is expertly done and consistent. The only problem I had with the book are the characters themselves. I didn’t like them. Any of them. They weren’t people I would want to know, so I couldn’t really relate to them. Maybe I’m a little more well-adjusted than these people, but Ithink sometimes when trying to make a point, a writer can make his characters a little too flawed. Barring the minor quibbles, this is a good read and nice piece of art.
3 out of 5 couch geeks.

Incorruptible #2
Boom Studios
Mark Waid- writer
Jean Diaz- artist
This second issue was far more informative and interesting than the first. It gives more characterization into Max Damage and a better handle on what’s happening in his world. As another plus, we get a different look at the world that the Plutonian has devastated. Irredeemable has only given us the battles between the various heroes. In this series, we start to see what the effects of those battles are. It’s a fascinating picture that Waid is creating and I can’t wait to see more.
4 out of 5 couch geeks.

Rasl #6- Jeff Smith rocks! 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Project Superpowers Chapter Two #6- this one was a bit convoluted but still good. 3 out of 5 couch geeks.
Joe the Barbarian #1- a new Vertigo book for one dollar. Let me repeat: ONE DOLLAR! 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3- slowly losing interest, but still good. 3 out of 5 couch geeks.
Dark Avengers #13- what is the Sentry????? 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Captain America #602- We finally get to see what the fate of the insane 50s Cap is going to be. 3 out of 5 couch geeks.

I am a Mind, and I am Beside myself with comics.
H. Jarrod Courtemanche

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Comic Couch Presents #75

Here's the latest:)

Written reviews for our weekly obsession.
Special advanced review!!!

Area 10
Vertigo Crime
Christos N. Gage- writer
Chris Samnee- artist

I have yet to be disappointed by one of these Vertigo Crime books, and this one was the best so far. Gage gives us an interesting story about a cop trying to catch a unique criminal. The story deals with the art of trepanation, an old belief that if you drill a hole in your skull, you open the ‘third eye’ and are privy to extra-sensory awareness or enlightenment. Obviously, Gage read up on this subject and was fascinated by it enough to write a novel. His interest shows in the telling here as he uses it to full effect to bring us an exciting crime adventure. Samnee’s art is the best I’ve seen so far in this line of books. His sharp, clean lines delineate every character perfectly and he has a great sense of perspective. It helped to keep the mystery alive. That mystery sometimes seems to come out of nowhere, but for the most part it all makes perfect sense. Thanks DC, for the advanced copy! If any of you are concerned about what you’ll begetting when you buy this package sight unseen (it comes shrink-wrapped), then worry no more. This sucker is worth it.
4 out of 5 couch geeks.

Special Comic Couch Independent review:
Editor of the Comic Couch Podcast, Kris Carter, hands me package from some place called Silber Media. “Hey, can you review these please?” I rarely turn things down so I say yes. I get home and open it up and it’s a bunch of tiny (2 square inches!) comics and a DVD with a stick figure on it. Kris, what the #*&% is this? Turns out, there are some pretty neat comics in these little packages. We received:
Just a Man #2 & 3- a gritty western.
Marked #1- a supernatural thriller.
XO #5- a crime drama where the main character is in way over his head.
Worms #5- a freaky, supernatural (or psychological?) exploration.
Ultimate Lost Kisses#11- a powerful drama.
My Life is Sad and Funny- a stick figure DVD comic.

The true gem of the bunch is Ultimate Lost Kisses because it features fantastic art by none other that Dave Sim. Even with just inches, Dave has the ability to bring real emotion and movement to the page. The art in the other issues is kind of middling or just not allowed to do much. Just a Man was probably my favorite out of the bunch, maybe because there was more of a story with the two issues. The DVD didn’t do much for me at all. Call me snobbish if you will, but I just can’t get past the stick figures. Brian John Mitchell is the writer for all the comics and he does a good job with the various genres and characters he has to juggle. I wish he would have diverted from the first person storytelling at times, as reading all these at once made the narrators tend to blend a little. I’m not sure what the market is for these things. Most comic book readers will not give these a second glance. I suppose they could be marketed toward the artsy crowd in big cities that like to frequent out of the way museums. If you’re looking for something different though, you can’t get much different than these little buggers. They are a neat diversion from the mainstream. Go to check these out.

Conan: The Weight of the Crown- one shot: awesome Darick Robertson art and story! 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
The Talisman: The Road of Trials #3- if you like Stephen King, you’ll love this. 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Aliens Vs. Predator: Three World War #1- Darkhorse continues it’s excellent line of movie franchise books. 3 out of 5 couch geeks.


Ex Machina Volume 8: Dirty TricksWildstorm StudiosBrian K. Vaughan- writerTony Harris- artistThis latest volume of one of the most critically acclaimed series of the past decade deals with the crazies that politics can sometimes bring out of the woodwork. It shows us how dangerous, silly, ridiculous, and unfulfilling hero worship can be. Although this volume was probably the weakest of the whole series, important developments still happen and it is quite necessary for the future. Great art, great writing, you can’t go wrong here. 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
The Engineer: Konstrukt HC- this is a cool ‘Hellboyish’ original comic from Archaia Press. Really fun! 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Ultimatum- Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four TPB: average to middling. Only get it if you’re sucked into the Ultimate line (like me, sigh!). 2 out of 5 couch geeks.
I am a Mind, and I am Beside myself with comics.
H. Jarrod Courtemanche

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Comic Couch Presents #74

Hey everyone, here is my latest review!

Written reviews for our weekly obsession.
SIEGE #1Marvel Comics Brian Michael Bendis- writerOlivier Coipel- pencils
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, this is an important book for followers of the Marvel U. It sets up several scenarios that will lead to some definitive changes for many of the major players in this world we love, and some minor ones too. The book starts off with some truly third tier characters yet again involved in an incident that leads to many innocent deaths. Except this time, the incident is no accident, but something carefully orchestrated by Loki to give Norman Osborn the excuse he needs to lose his head. He ignores protocol, declares war on Asgard, and pisses off the President. These are three strikes that will lose him the game. Protocol is what kept his ‘reign’ legit in the public eye. The President is his boss and Thor is one of the most powerful beings on the planet who had already warned him not to get out of line. This book was so much fun in both action and dialogue. We get to see Thor and the Sentry going at it,and then all of Osborn’s flunkies pouring it on, supposedly taking Thor down. We also get some witty, engaging dialogue between Norman and Loki, and Norman and Ares- my favorite line being Ares’ “If you are lying, I will cut your head off. Armor and All.” Thrown into the mix are shots of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers who we all know will soon have big roles to play. Coipel’s art is as beautiful to look at as ever. I have some minor gripes about his use of panels and shots. A lot of the action takes place in tiny widescreen shots where you can barely make out the figures, never mind what they are doing. Volstagg flying through the air as a tiny figure does not make for good theatrics. He’s supposed to be really fat and his impact should be visually felt. Thor getting the blown up and fighting for his life should be a thing of majesty, not a displaced, distant scene. Then, for a splash page, we get Steve Rogers getting up off the couch? Come on guys! The irony doesn’t fit here. These are minor gripes but no less valid. I hope the art layout gets better in future issues. Gripes aside, this is an extremely exciting time to be reading the Marvel U.
BUY!!!4 out of 5 couch geeks.

The Last Days of American Crime #1Radical ComicsRick Remender- writerGreg Tocchini- artist
This latest entry from Radical comes in at 64 pages (okay, including ads, but still) for only $5. It seems to be the way Radical is going to put out a lot of future books. Sounds like a good deal to me. Last Days takes place in the near future. Criminal behavior is about to be dealt with for good (somehow, it’s not really explained), so our protagonists are attempting to do one last heist before that happens. It’s a character story with plenty of twists and turns in motivation and emotion. We don’t really learn much about the situation they are in, but we get a lot of gritty crime drama, and it’s good. Tocchini’s art has never been better. He really develops a style all his own that I haven’t seen from him before.
Buy. 4 out of 5 couch geeks.

A few things based on literary works—
Stephen King’s The Stand: American Nightmares HC- Mike Perkins takes what he did on Captain America and kicks it up a notch. His art is breathtaking. This is a great story and deserves the good treatment it’s getting. 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
Trojan War HC- Roy Thomas, the master adapter, uses several sources, all of them ancient, to give us an excellent companion to his Iliad and Odyssey adaptations. The art is well done too. 4 out of 5 couch geeks.
The Chronicles of Solomon Kane TPB- this Dark Horse book collects the color comics from Marvel in the 70’s and 80’s. The stories weren’t done poorly, but I felt a little ripped off with this book. The first two issues adapted by Roy Thomas are then re-told again by Ralph Macchio in the third issue. The other stories I’ve read before and these adaptations didn’t do anything to add to my appreciation. The two original stories were okay. Once again, the Solomon Kane from Darkhorse pales in comparison to their Conan and Kull stories. 2 out of 5 couch geeks.

I’m going to watch Heroes now.
I am a Mind, and I am Beside myself with comics.
H. Jarrod Courtemanche