Review by Carroll: Books With Pictures #1 & others.

Books With Pictures #1

I didn’t know what this book was – it was originally a special order – but I’m glad we got it, because it was pretty good. Basically, it’s about a young woman, Melissa, that gets a job at a comic store, Hi De Ho Comics, in Santa Monica, CA. She reads comics, but is not too familiar with mainstream titles, thus not familiar with the people that buy mainstream comics. She’s a bit overwhelmed by New Comic Wednesday, but she seems comfortable and eager about her new job by the end of the book. There’s also a relationship between her and another, unseen person, which looks like it might be fleshed out in subsequent issues. In all, it was an entertaining read, though the art was just okay – but not terrible, mind you.

The reason I really enjoyed this book was because it reminded me of my first few weeks working here at Von’s all those years ago (4 1/2 to be exact). When I started here I, too, read comics, but had been out of the mainstream loop for sometime. I was overwhelmed by the multitude of titles that Marvel and DC put out every month, and it was especially confusing for me because the Ultimate Marvel line was in full swing and I had never heard of it (Why the hell was Spider-man a teenager again?). Melissa was thrown feet first into New Comic Day, as was I. Von’s is nowhere near the size of some other comic stores, especially ones in bigger cities, but seeing all of the customers on that first Wednesday was still a bit maddening. Everyone wants their books and they want them now. It’s okay now, I’ve had a few years time to get used to it, and I love it, but for a while there I questioned the whole process. But anyways, if you’re interested in how someone like me, or especially Melissa, feels about working at a comic store for the first time, check this book out.

Other books I read this week (ratings out of 5 stars):
DMZ vol. 2: Body of a Journalist TP – Brian Wood continues his alternate future of a civil war torn United States. It’s especially interesting to see how the war started. 5 stars
Fell #7 – I’ve waited a long time for this issue. Inside, Richard Fell does what he does best – interrogates the hell out of someone – but ends with a result wholly unexpected. 5 stars
52 #40 – Steel and Luthor fight. Meh. 3 stars
Newuniversal #3 – Justice is swift and bloody. This is turning out to be a really entertaining series. I just hope it doesn’t go the way of Ellis’ Nextwave, i.e., canceled. 4 stars
Scalped #2 – Not as good as the first issue, but I’m gonna stick with it for at least the first arc. 3 1/2 stars
The Secret #1 – How did Jason Alexander get roped into this crappy horror movie sales pitch? 1 star
Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #1 – Leave it to Jeff Smith to create the best Captain Marvel story I’ve personally ever read (besides Alan Moore’s Miracleman) and a great entry way into comics for kids and young teens. 4 stars

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