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Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

Should there be a mass PM for the Group pick each week?

Yes, it's convenient and a good reminder
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64%
 
******, Hermit_Sage, Punchy, SilverPhoenix, Starlord, Stephen Day, thefourthman, Victorian Squid
No, I'm a sourpuss grump
5
36%
 
BlueStreak, GLX, guitarsmashley, john lewis hawk, Zero
 
Total votes : 14

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:32 pm

I will say that the backup stories are pretty much for fans of The Goon & Franky, nothing much more dramatic than a Tiny Titans strip going on there. Which I think is just fine, but it's like The Goon-lite.
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Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby BlueStreak » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:54 pm

thefourthman wrote:so... you will pay 20.00 bucks to read the rest of the story?
also Marvel and DC often charge the same price for the same size book filled with tons of ads. I would much rather buy this at that price than a Marvel book.


I can get it at cost if I order it through my store. So if it's seventeen dollars, I'll get it for something like 10-12.
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:05 pm

Lee, has there ever been an Atomic Rage backup story or anything? I would totally buy that.
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby thefourthman » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:17 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:Lee, has there ever been an Atomic Rage backup story or anything? I would totally buy that.

Atomic Rage?

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:27 pm

thefourthman wrote:Atomic Rage?


@#$%, he's the @#$%#$%@ guy from the @#$%@ fake ads in @#$%@#$% Volume 1 who @*!#$# swears all the !@#$! time and gets @#$%#$#$%$&* testicular cancer, you !#$#%!
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby thefourthman » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:39 pm

I don't think so no.

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Starlord » Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:01 pm

thefourthman wrote:Hey, looky what Dark Horse makes:
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Billy the Kid's Old-Timey Oddities TPB
Writer: Eric Powell, Steve Niles
Artist: Kyle Holtz, Kyle Hotz
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure

From the Eisner award-winning creator of The Goon comes an over-the-bigtop horror romp pitting outlaw legend Billy the Kid and a band of circus "freaks" against the evil machinations of the nefarious Dr. Frankenstein!

Penned with deranged glee by Powell and illustrated by fan-favorite horror artist Kyle Hotz (The Agency andThe Hood), Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities starts with Billy the Kid free to roam America, having faked his own death. Free, that is, until Fineas Spoule, AKA. The Human Spider, discovers his secret. Now, afraid of being exposed, Billy finds himself in the service of a caravan of carnival sideshow performers who have unfinished business with a mad scientist none other than Victor Frankenstein himself!

This twisted love child of spaghetti westerns and Hammer horror flicks combines Powell's humorous fast-paced storytelling and Hotz's quirky macabre visuals for a story that the whole family will love...if they're the kind of family that love alligator men and miniature boys fighting monstrous mistakes of science with the help of the fastest gunslinger in the West!

Written by Eric Powell creator The Goon, recipient of the International Horror Guild Award and multiple Eisner Awards!
Publication Date: January 11, 2006
Format: SC, 104pg, FC, 7" x 10"
Price: $14.95



COOL! You know I really didn't think I was going to like this because I don't like The Goon. So this was a real treat.
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Punchy » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:32 am

Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities And The Ghastly Fiend Of London #1(of 4) - Untitled and 'The Goon' - Powell and Hotz

Story - I've never really been a big fan of the work of Eric Powell, The Goon, while well-drawn, is only sporadically appealing to me on the writing side, and his work on Action Comics was paired not only with a below-par Geoff Johns, but also one of my least favourite concepts in comics, Bizarro. But again, the art was top-notch. All of this made me wary of this book, as it's Powell writing but not drawing, and the results were the same as The Goon, sporadically appealing, but overall underwhelming.

I think a lot of my antipathy towards this issue is due to not having read the first mini-series, and Powell not really attempting to bring new readers up to speed. I know I should expect that some things aren't explained, but by all accounts it's been quite a few years since the first series, and Powell doesn't explain a thing, not even a text recap. I have no idea why Billy The Kid is in London, why he's teamed up with a bunch of Circus Freaks, or who these Freaks actually are. Two of them don't even look like Freaks at all! As I said, part of this problem is me, but Powell doesn't even do his job in trying to entice me to go back and get the first trade. If they want to more of this concept, they need to do better at this. It all just seems like random, childish storytelling, hey let's throw these famous historical figures together, like League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with the intelligence replaced by bawdy jokes.

But as I said, this was sporadically entertaining, mainly due to the inclusion of the Jack The Ripper mythos, something I am very interested in. In comics, any Ripperology will inevitable be compared to From Hell, and this even moreso, due to the use of the Elephant Man. This isn't of course as good as From Hell, but it's not really trying to be, this is just a fun romp, with very little depth, and that's fine. It's just something that doesn't appeal to me, and the problems with a lack of explanation only compound this. If you've read the first mini, then I'm sure this is great stuff, a welcome return, but if you're in the majority who haven't, then Powell has failed to really provide a hook to carry on and go back. Disappointing.

This issue also contains a Goon back-up story, and it's a serviceable gag-story, with of course nice art.

Artwork - Kyle Hotz is an artist I'm most familiar with from his work on Marvel MAX's The Hood, and he's a good fit for this book. His Elephant Man is a thing of disgusting beauty, and the way he draws Billy The Kid's face is good for the comedic elements of the story. A good artist, but I think Powell himself would have elevated the story, his Goon back-up is very basic story-wise, but art-wise? It's excellent.

Best Line - 'I'll give your little Gentleman a jolly good tossle and a slide down the gullet before, mind ye!'

6/10

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby guitarsmashley » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:36 am

Leaving for vacation is a few hours. Will probably review tonight or tomorrow morning.
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Muppetesque » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:08 am

I picked this up on the recommendation of fourthy, and it's the first title he's specifically suggested to me that I did not enjoy.

As a new reader I found it highly inaccessible. It doesn't cleanly convey their motivations for traveling together -- (ie why is Billy the Kid is a freakshow?) and it was tough to get any sense of the individual characters. Given I'm not someone with a familiarity with freaks of the 19th century, it was tough to piece it together. Sloppy writing on Powell's part.

Just like the characters, the art was equally muddy. There is such a thing as using color to create a mood, but the palette here is just flat. There needs to be some elements which "pop," but colorist Dan Brown can't seem to get enough of his own namesake. The overwhelming use of browns and greys just washes the characters into the background of the world, causing the art to lose focus.

Like the color work, Kyle Hotz's page layouts seem meandering. While his actual in panel artwork is competent, he plays with his panel edges and gutters without any real concept of what he's doing. A great example of his inconsistency is on pages 13 and 14. When Billy is drugged, he significantly widens his gutter around the panels giving you a sense of something is amiss, yet on page 14 his third panel lacks a similar effect and leave me wondering why he bothered with wide gutters on page 13.

When I'm thinking "why the fuck did the artist do that?", it's pretty clear the comic is not working for me.

If I were looking for a shining example of what comics should be, this issue fails dismally. I don't share the love you all seem to have for it. 4/10.
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby thefourthman » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:31 pm

Yeah, I recommended it after I had reread the first issue of the mini last week and after getting to issue three, I almost told you not to get it, but then I thought you might see past all the dark horror and dig the fun that is there. I am slowly learning to trust my gut and should have pm'd you. I am sorry for failing you.

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Royal Nonesuch » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:36 pm

I don't understand why people who didn't read the first volume found this issue so inaccessible. I didn't read the first series, and I was ok. I'd say this issue gave you what you needed and then went full sail ahead. :smt102
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Muppetesque » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm

thefourthman wrote:Yeah, I recommended it after I had reread the first issue of the mini last week and after getting to issue three, I almost told you not to get it, but then I thought you might see past all the dark horror and dig the fun that is there. I am slowly learning to trust my gut and should have pm'd you. I am sorry for failing you.





I don't think this is a "I don't like it because of genre/ subject", this is a "structurally this issue is more of a mess than Hunter on a bender" thing.
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Strict31 wrote:Huh. Nerdygirl's got some booty on her. Kind of a surprise there, Emma.

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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:40 pm

thefourthman wrote:Yeah, I recommended it after I had reread the first issue of the mini last week and after getting to issue three, I almost told you not to get it, but then I thought you might see past all the dark horror and dig the fun that is there. I am slowly learning to trust my gut and should have pm'd you. I am sorry for failing you.


You miserable flip-flopper! :x
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Re: Review Group Week 239 - BILLY THE KID #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:40 pm

Royal Nonesuch wrote:I don't understand why people who didn't read the first volume found this issue so inaccessible. I didn't read the first series, and I was ok. I'd say this issue gave you what you needed and then went full sail ahead. :smt102


Not to mention anyone could've read the previous adventure online for free like I posted. Not the first tpb, but the intermediary one.
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