Tag Archives: Young Liars

Random acts of retail

A few of the books I’ve picked up on a whim over the past few months. As you’ll see, I’m a sucker for the $1 first issue offers.

American Vampire (Vertigo)
The whole Steven King thing put me off so I was actually planning to avoid this one, but something I read – either a review or the editorial by series creator Scott Snyder – convinced me to try it out. Two issues in, I’m not disappointed…yet.

i zombie (Vertigo)
Mike Allred pencils. $1 first issue offer. It’s a no-brainer (no pun intended). I nearly bought the Darwyn Cooke variant cover edition for $5, it’s so gorgeous.

Irredeemable/Incorruptible (Boom!)
These guys put out one of the best Free Comic Book day offers going: issue #1 of both titles in flip book format. I’ve been meaning to check this one out for some time, and they finally gave me the perfect incentive. Super smart team at Boom!.

Shuddertown (Image)
I was looking for a book to replace Die Hard and came across this one. Two issues in and I have no idea what the hell is going on in the story. The art is pretty good, but some of the transitions between panels leaves me scratching my head.

Girls (Image)
Another $1 first issue book. I’ve heard and read many good things about this series. If I like this issue, I’ll pick up the trades.

Sparta U.S.A. (Wildstorm)
David Lapham – when the man is on, he’s on. But when he’s not, it’s like eating soggy cereal. Young Liars is one of my all-time favourite books. This series piqued my interest, but the message seems rather obvious to me so I’m hoping he has something crazy planned up his sleeve. Otherwise, it’ll be boring. It strikes me as a book intended for an American (read: U.S.) readers.

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Comic review: Young Liars

Poor Young Liars, you will have died too soon. We hardly knew you.

There are only a few issues left of David Lapham’s Young Liars (Vertigo), and I’m going to miss this one. It ranks right up there with my favourite ongoing series’ at the moment. It’s one of the only books I pick up monthly that I immediately read and don’t let stack up until I have a short run to read. It’s so trippy; I have no idea what is going on. I can only hope that Lapham has a good resolution the finale.

This story has so many twists and turns, it’s difficult to pin down. It’s best described as Archie comics if David Lynch directed a script based on a William S. Burroughs novel. It’s punk rock on acid. I imagine Warren Ellis to be a big fan.

In the first issue Lapham introduces us to a cast of flawed characters down and out in NYC: Danny Noonan, our unreliable narrator, Sadie Dawkins the daughter of a crazed business tycoon who happens to have a bullet lodged in her brain, heroine addict and cross-dresser Don Diego, anorexic model Jackie, groupie Cee Cee, and silver spoon Truman Runco. They have few redeemable qualities and many flaws: low self-esteem, unrealized dreams, lack of self-control, the list goes on.

For the most part, the story is told through Danny, who may or may not be the lead character. This honour could very possibly go to Sadie (or another as-yet-to-be-identified character). We’ll know when this all wraps up.

When the series opens, Danny is a wanna-be. He wants to be a rock star. Wants to move out of his small town. Wants to live a big life. Wants to fuck Sadie. However, the answer to who is Danny is not easy to answer. During the course of the series, he is possibly committed to a mental institute. Is possibly a spider prince from the planet Mars sent to Earth to save his queen Sadie (honest). Is possibly bone fide rock star Danny Duoshade. Is possibly living at the centre of a huge reality conspiracy.

(This is probably a good place to mention that the series is anchored by music. Each issue opens with two recommended music tracks courtesy of Danny Duoshade. “Young Liars” is also title of the first major release by NYC band TV on the Radio.)

The story is at turns Twin Peaks, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Truman Show. The one thing the reader knows for sure is that nothing in Young Liars is as it seems (as the title suggests).

This series also reads really well as a monthly. Lapham so convincingly writes each issues from the perspective of the character featured in that issue, he makes it difficult for readers to know with any certainty whether what you’re reading is the truth, a lie or the truth as that character understands it. All will be revealed in the end. Or will it?

Sadly, I understand why the sales on this title were sinking. This book is at the opposite end of the spectrum from superhero fans. It also frustrates most readers who like to know where the story is going before it’s over.

For the same reason, I think this title had a lot of potential. It’s one that would appeal to non-mainstream comic readers. It would have needed marketing outside of comic book shops. This series could have benefited from some guerrilla, non-traditional efforts. I could see posters displayed in bars, small clubs and galleries across major North American metropolitan cities and and copies for sale at the bar during local rocks shows and art shows to appeal to hipsters who want to say they read comics but wouldn’t be caught dead handling something so commercial as Superman or Spider-man.

But alas, none of that happened and the series comes to a close in two issues. There are two paperbacks currently available. Go pick them now.

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Pull list comic reviews: New Mutants, Young Liars, Power Girl, Astro City, Umbrella Academy, and more

Here’s what I picked up in the past two weeks at my local retailer, Comics N More.

New Mutants #1 (Zeb Wells, Diogenes Neves): One part nostalgia, one part creative curiosity has me picking up this issue. I’m hoping they do something decent with the title. The Claremont/Sienkiewicz run on the original series had a profound impact on me and remains one of my favourite of the comics I purchased back in the 80s.

Young Liars #15 (David Lapham): Lapham’s mind trip that is, sadly, canceled as of issue #18. This is the title I most look forward too each month.

House of Mystery #13:  Despite some of the negative reviews I read about this series, it continues to deliver.

Terror Inc. Apocalypse Soon (David Lapham, Koi Turnball, Scott Hanna): The original limited series was gloriously grotesque. Here’s hoping for good things with the follow-up.

Astro City The Dark Age Book Three #1 (Kurt Busiek, Brent E. Anderson): I recently finished reading the entire series (which I picked up on eBay for a great price). The Dark Age has been up and down for me so far, but I’m sticking it through to see how it wraps up.

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas (Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba) #6: I believe this is the last issue of the second mini-series. The first volume was quirky and a lot of fun. I’ve been saving up the run of volume 2 with the intent to read them all at once.

The Unwritten #1 (Mike Carey, Peter Gross): I enjoyed Carey’s Crossing Midnight, but haven’t had the chance to read any of their stint on Lucifer.

Run! (Matthew Sturges, Freddi Williams II): I’ll be honest – I picked this up because I was curious to read how Sturges would write a superhero book, the cover looked cool and I really like the series title. I’ve not read a single comic connected to the DC Crisis event, so I’m hoping I can follow along.

Power Girl (Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner): I saw a few pages of this posted on some message board or blog and was immediately taken. I’m hoping for something fun like Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave. There are also too few women artists in comics, so I’m often tempted to check out their work.

So this is a lot of books for two weeks, far more than I normally pick up.

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