And Then I Read: THE DREAMING #10

Image © DC Comics. Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Bilquis Evely, colors by Mat Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland, cover by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn

The strange entity who has reluctantly taken on the role of command in The Dreaming approaches the job as one that can be understood logically. That makes her a poor fit for the job, even as she tries to understand it and get help from Abel. Meanwhile, Matthew the raven and mysterious Dora of the winged head, see above, are searching Hell, on the trail of the real Dream Lord. On the way they encounter Balam, a rhymer, and someone who knows Dora well, to her chagrin. The trail wends down to the deepest depths of Hell, and knowledge is gained, but not a resolution. The direction the quest will go next looks promising.

Of the new characters introduced by writer Simon Spurrier, I think Balam is my new favorite. His rhymes are quite good. Both the writing and the art are appealing, and this was a fine read.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: A SENDING OF DRAGONS by Jane Yolen

Cover illustration by Dominick Domingo

The third book in the Pit Dragon series takes a different turn by sending the two fugitives, Jakkin and Akki, underground, where they become prisoners of trogdolytes descended from humans who had escaped from bondage in centuries past, and who have developed a twisted interdependence on dragons kept with them in their maze of caverns. Like the two human captives, they can withstand the deep cold of the Austarian nights because they have bathed in dragon’s blood. Both the cave dwellers and their dragons have devolved through inbreeding, though, and while they have strong mental command powers that Jakkin and Akki are helpless to defy, their way of life is declining steadily. Jakkin’s talent with dragons helps him gain some new importance in the group, and he is able to get Akki to help him as they deal with a female dragon who is sick. Eventually they learn of a dangerous way out of the caves and are determined to try it.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first two, I think because the two leads are often helpless, and the atmosphere is gloomy. Adventures with their own group of young dragons is mostly put on hold here except for the beginning and end of the book. This was meant to be a trilogy, but in the back of this one is a sample of book four. That turned out to be the final entry. I may try it eventually, but my interest in the series has cooled.

Mildly recommended.

And Then I Read: SECOND COMING #1

Written by Mark Russell, art by Richard Pace with Leonard Kirk.
Colors by Andy Troy, letters by Rob Steen.

This is the series that was bounced by DC and picked up by Ahoy, who already has a Christian religion-themed satire comic, HIGH HEAVEN, so I guess taking this one made sense for them.

Unlike HIGH HEAVEN, this one starts with God creating humans, and finding them difficult to handle right from Adam and Eve. God already has a son, Jesus, who volunteers to go down to Earth to see what he can do, and God likes the idea of him taking on the “family business.” Most of us know how that worked out.

In the present day, a superhero named Sunstar with powers similar to Superman is fighting crime in Urban City, and catches the eye of both God and Jesus. God admires the work Sunstar is doing, and decides to enlist him as a tutor for Jesus, dropping his son off at the apartment of Sunstar and his girlfriend Sheila. Sunstar hardly knows what to do with Jesus, bringing him along on a mission to stop sellers of illegal merchandise, but telling him to wait outside. Jesus has his own way of helping that’s not what Sunstar expected.

The humor here is obvious and not subtle, but the story does take an interesting turn toward the end when Jesus tells Sunstar about his best friend from his previous time on Earth, and what happened then. As someone who is not religious, but reasonably familiar with Christian teachings, I found the book entertaining, and will read more issues if I get them. I don’t see the series as either groundbreaking or provocative, but it’s a good read.

Recommended.

San Diego Bound July 18-21

Having been nominated for an Eisner Award for best lettering again this year, I am heading to that massive crowd scene and amazing exhibition called Comic-Con International in San Diego, California once again. I head out early Thursday and will be there Thursday afternoon through Sunday, if air travel goes as planned. While there’s plenty to see, for me it’s most importantly a time to see friends and work-mates from over the last 40-plus years, and to enjoy the company of kindred souls in the comics business. Yes, there’s plenty of non-comics stuff there, too, but we can pass by much of that. It’s such a wide-ranging event that you can find the con you’re looking for, it just may take some extra walking.

I hope to blog from the con as I usually do. Above is a photo from my last visit in 2017. I will only have my phone camera this time, as I’m planning on traveling light, but that’s good enough to capture my own con. I will probably be posting on Facebook too, so if you’re following me either on my personal page or my “Todd Klein, artist” page, I should have some images there.

If you’re going, and you see me, do say hello! I know there will be people I’d like to see that I’ll miss (125 thousand attendees per day after all), and some I wasn’t expecting to see that I will. At least I hope so. I know I’ll be exhausted by each afternoon and evening, but I’m sure I’ll have a great time. I always do.

Incoming: JUSTICE Deluxe Edition Hardcover

Image © DC Comics.

JUSTICE has just arrived, a new hardcover edition in the Deluxe format, which is a little larger than standard hardcover size. This is the 2005-2007 twelve-issue series pitting the Justice League against many of their top villains. It has over 100 pages of additional material, so I’m guessing this follows the Absolute Edition as far as contents, but that’s my guess. Retail price is $49.99. It’s out in comics shops on August 7th. Gorgeous art with Alex Ross painting over Doug Braithwaite’s pencils, and a cast of thousands.