Variant Covers: The Death Of Spider-Man Starts Here.

Variant Covers. A look at the comic books that I’m buying/interested in this week.

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how crazy I was during the semester. Or maybe you would. White-knuckles, ripped on caffeine. Oscillating between “this is totally doable” and “I need pills and a shack in the woods.” What gets me through it? Funny books. Narrative and drawings. Well, that, and really weird audio files of white noise to write to. With that in mind, writing this column every week is a relaxation technique. Stack it on top of my psychiatrist, therapist, and girlfriend, and I’m almost functional.

Let’s dance.


Casanova: Gula #2.
The Casanova series is one of those titles that has to benefit from reading in a collected manner. I read this title monthly, and by the time the next issue is coming out, my frazzled stem can’t compute what I read before. The issues are stuffed to the brim with madness. This is a good thing. But trying to keep track of everything that’s going on, with thirty-day breaks? Not so hot.

Let’s see: Last month, Casanova Quinn disappeared from the timestream, and now it’s of grave importance that he’s tracked down. This march into absurdity (I mean this positively) is headed up by Sasa Lisi, a blue babe with a good amount of arms. Meanwhile Cass’ sister has just been hired to kill some peeps, including their father. Gulp and stuff!

Slather this on top of some really weird meta-fiction, endless references to awesome, and gorgeous artwork, and you have madness in a can. Or uh, a binding. It’s enjoyable mind-rape, but goddamn if the side-effect don’t include loss of memory and sudden confusion.


Incognito: Bad Influences #3.
Zack Overkill has just gotten out of his life of crime. Sure, he was ripped out of it and then thrown into working for The Man, but he was out. Now thrown back into it the underworld he was wrested from, he operate undercover while holding onto his tenuous set of new-found morals. That is, if you believe he’s reformed. My guess? Somewhere in the middle.

Last issue saw Overkill galavanting about with an old buddy, only to have the guy sell him out. Son of a bitch! Apparently you can’t go home again. Even if that home is prostitutes and death scenes.

I love this series, specifically for the themes presented. The notion of attempting to clean yourself up, and what that entails, calls out to the mess that is my collected consciousness. Overkill is a man trying to turn a new leaf, but can he resist the temptation? In this case, can he resist punching motherfuckers’ heads off and banging whores? There’s the axio, that if you want to quit an addiction, you need to gut your entire life. Escape from the hedonistic tendencies of those you partook with. Overkill is doing the exact opposite – being thrown back into the madness.

Can the dude make it? Dunno.


Interlude: Shit I’m Loving.
This column is a weekly conduit of the bullshit that’s coming out on any given week. As such, while I generally recommend shit that I’m humping on hard, I don’t often pause to drop what I’m infatuated with. An atemporal exploration of the dope shit I want to marry. So I figured I’d throw one out there.

I’m madly, madly obsessed with Cowboy Ninja Viking. The title has it fucking all. The grand slam of tropes and bonerficiations that sell me hard. It’s got mental illness. It’s got ridiculously gorgeous artwork. It’s got meditations on modern life and the existential ennui we all are subject to. It’s got action sequences and ultra violence. But more than that, it’s fucking hilarious.

This is a title that has me giggling outloud in the middle of the night like the retard I am. The dialogue  is equal measures witty and profane. Childish and acerbic.  I’ve rocked through a trade and a half of the title, and I’m edging like woah. Don’t want to finish it. If you haven’t checked this shit out, I’d recommend it. Madly. In love.


Ultimate Spider-Man #153. [Death of Spider-Man Prelude]
The Death of Spider-Man kicks off this week in the Ultimate universe. Whatever the fuck it truly means. Are they really going to kill off Parker? If this was the proper MU, I’d vote no. But hey, it’s the Ultimate universe. There’s certainly a different set of rules afoot. I’m weary about this pig. This is the contradiction: this whole saga reeks of marketing plot. And yet. And yet! I’m only going to be purchasing it precisely for this reason. It’s not that the hyperbolic hype that Bendis and Millar have spat regarding the story have sold me. Storyline like no other? Yeah, okay. It’s the voyeuristic tip, coupled with the “let me be a part of experiencing this!” that’s got me following it.

The storyline spills over into Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates #1, which I won’t be picking up. But if you’re all for cross-marketing synergy or whatever, there is where you’ll find it.

Actual Dope Ultimate Title:
Meathead status alert! Like you didn’t already know I was one. Jason Aaron and Ron Garney have Ultimate Captain America #2 coming out this week. I was sold on the original by some preview I flipped through, and it entertained the fuck out of me. This ain’t your daddy’s Captain America! Or however some repetitious repetition of the cliche goes. No sir. This reading of Cap has the dude firing machine guns and smacking wise to British forces about their teeth.

The dude is showing down with the Vietnam Captain America, who points out a few things I’ve always felt about Cap. Namely, that the dude is a pawn, a super serum-powered lap dog for American imperialistic tendencies. To hear someone actual textualize that in a funny book is awesome.


What are you guys checking out this week? Hit me.