Sunday, July 27, 2008

Button Man

For the past several years I've become more and more interested in crime fiction. My father always read these kinds of novels and stories while I was always reading superheroes but slowly, I found myself moving towards this genre as well.

So when I got my monthly review pack from 2000AD (the same folks that brought you Judge Dredd) I was thrilled to find a copy of Button Man: The Confession of Harry Exton, among the stack.

Written by John Wagner (creator of Judge Dredd and A History of Violence), it tells the story of Harry Exton who becomes a Button Man for the"Voices", powerful men who use hit men as sport, betting on the outcome and keeping score. When Harry almost dies, he's taken to America by a US Senator and placed into service for one year, after which time, he can walk away a rich man. Problem his, Harry likes his job too much and is playing for keeps.

A cool story and yet another concept or idea that could easily be translated into a quality movie or even a series on HBO or Showtime that would draw numbers if the right writers were involved.

Art is by Arthur Ranson. The back says he's drawn issues of some of the X books for Marvel Comics but this is my first exposure to him. He seems to use a mix of traditional pencils and ink work along with photos to create a very realistic feel to the book. The characters take on some wonky poses here and there but over all it's some solid work.

With books like Ed Brubaker's Criminal and Warren Ellis' Fell on the shelves, a book like Button Man should do well if you're a fan of either. Let's hope we keep seeing more of this around.

Till next time...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Remember your childhood. And pass it on.

I was out and about today and stopped off at one of my favorite places to browse, Half Price Books. There are several of them here in Columbus. All of them carry comic books. Most locations have them for a buck or less. A lot of times they get treated like red-headed step children, tossed around until the covers are loose and pages are bent. Still, I look because you just never know what you'll find in those bins.
Today I found Herobear and the Kid by Mike Kunkle. They only had issues #2-5 and they were a little beat up, but for a buck an issue, I quickly snapped up the first printings and took them home.
For those that are new to Herobear the story is simple... When a young boy's grandfather dies, he inherits his old pocket watch and an old stuffed bear. But all is not as it seems as the bear comes to life and transforms into a ten foot tall hero known as, Herobear.
Within the books and on the back of the covers is the phrase: Remember your childhood. And pass it on.
This winter my own Grandfather passed away. He lived a very full and wonderful life and did many amazing things. To this day I still have trouble coping with him not being here. To my own regret, I didn't spend as much time with him at the end as I should have and when I came home to find out he was gone, it hit me like a sledgehammer to the chest. Six months later, I still hurt.
It might sound a bit silly to say but these books have helped me, just a little, and make me realize he's never truly gone so long as I can remember him and the things we did and the bond we shared, when I was a child. He has given me some of the happiest memories of my life and I still love him.
For those of you who stumble upon this Blog, this posting, I urge you to check out Mike Kunkel's creation at and discover Herobear and the Kid, for your children, for your grandchildren, and for yourself.
Remember your Childhood. And pass it on.
Till next time...