My Pull List: Grant Morrison & Darick Robertson’s “Happy!” #1

There will be spoilers about the issues discussed in this post.

Happy!

Issue One of Four

Author: Grant Morrison

Artist: Darick Robertson

Grant Morrison’s series The Invisibles is what got me interested in reading more comics, and because of that I’m forever grateful. I think he’s utterly brilliant and last year I had the honor of meeting him (I blogged about it). So, now that you know how much I love him, it should come to no surprise that I was elated for the release of Happy!. Especially since the art is by the Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan). This is the kind of collaboration I’ve only dreamed about.

After reading just the first page you know Morrison is back to telling his post-modern, mind-fucking stories and I couldn’t be happier. The gritty surroundings (impeccably illustrated by Robertson) and the blunt language give the comic a dark and dangerous energy. Just when you start to think that Happy! getting real hardcore, real fast, a blue pegasus-unicorn hybrid swoops into the panel disrupting everything you thought you knew about the comic. That stark contrast threw me off, despite the fact that I was expecting it to happen. But of course, that was on purpose.

Since Happy! is a four issue series, I know that each page is busting at the seems with meaning and each word holds a lot of weight. Morrison doesn’t do anything gratuitously, and I think that the cartoonish début of the horse is his way of making light of the over-saturated violence that’s common in comics. And of course, it also means something within the comic as well.

Sax is a quintessential anti-hero, and not even a charismatic one at that. His life and his happiness are in the gutter. It only takes one issue to realize that he is miserable. And as a result, his mind (may have) created a talking horse to literally save his life because he can’t do it on his own. Not only does this horse want to save him, but it also needs his help saving someone else.

The horse said that it was Hailey’s imaginary friend, so who knows, maybe somehow this is true and Sax didn’t imagine the horse on his own. Everything isn’t always by the books when it comes to Morrison, sometimes what you see is what you get. Even though what you see, to quote the first word of the series, is “unreal”. It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve said “WTF” to myself while reading a Morrison comic. The appearance of this imaginary friend goes to show that Sax not only needs to save himself, but after all of the mindless ultra-violence in his life, he needs to save someone else and feel like his life is more than just murder and money. 

Knowing how Morrison works, Happy! is more than just a story about Sax and his imaginary horse friend. After one issue, it gives us a reason to reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves, am I really happy? How low does my life have to go before I need an imaginary horse to make me happy?

My Pull List: The Walking Dead #102 & Revival #3

My Pull List Intro

Some of you may know that I’m fairly new to the comic book scene. I started reading comics a few years ago, and only recently felt that I had enough older (and complete) series like Sandman, The Insivibles and Transmetropolitan (among others) under my belt where I felt I was ready for the new stuff.

I started with The Walking Dead, or more accurately, I devoured The Walking Dead. I caught up on years of issues faster than a walker can chew through your large intestine. Once I was caught up, I needed more comics. But to tell you the truth, I was intimidated. I liked things like X-Men and Batman but when it came down to the comics, I didn’t know where to start. That’s when the new DC 52 walked into my life, looking all tall, dark and handsome. I thought to myself, “This is what I was waiting for!” Now I finally have a soft reset and can easily start from issue #1(ish). And now here I am, officially plugged into the Matrix.

I’m currently reading Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batman (Snyder), Chew (hilarious), Sweet Tooth (pulls at my heart-strings), Revival, Harvest, Punk Rock Jesus (amazing), Hawkeye, Fashion Beast, Saga (brilliant), Gambit, American Vampire, a few older series and that’s it… for now.

I wanted to start an ongoing blog series that was a comic book version of TV Talk. Where I gush from the heart about the comics I read every week. I’m not going to sit here and review them in a formal way because that’s not how I read them. I read them with emotion, sometimes too much emotion. These comics make me happy, stress me out and sometimes (almost) make me cry. I’m always looking for new comic suggestions, so feel free to share with me what you’re reading!

So here we go, onto “My Pull List” for the week of September, 19th!

There will be spoilers about the issues discussed in this post.

The Walking Dead #102

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard

My first thought was Rick was acting like a punk when he said he wanted to let two-face go. I want Negan, and the rest of his crew, to suffer. Even better if it’s death by Lucille. But I realized Rick was just being realistic.

I was expecting Rick to blame himself for Glenn’s death. I am glad Andrea reminded him about all of the good that he’s done to help keep the community alive. I think this scene also served as a reminder to us about all of the smart choices Rick has made. Which foreshadows the news we discover on the last page between Rick and Jesus. Even when Rick’s decisions don’t seem to make sense in the beginning, they usually work out in the end. Usually.

(Side note: I don’t really care for this Rickdrea relationship. I don’t hate it, but I don’t really like it either. I feel like it’s too soon after what’s her face… Well, maybe not that soon since I can’t remember her name. I’m also still sad about Lori. I have a long grieving process.)

I love Michonne and I say it every chance I get. Having a strong black female comic book character, (who’s still alive mind you) makes me incredibly happy. Because honestly, they are few and far between. So every scene (or panel rather) that has Michonne, I savor like the last bite of my mom’s cheesecake.

I’m extremely glad Kirkman addresses something that’s been bothering me about Michonne for a while now. When she mentions to Rick that she’s felt like a killing machine, I’ve felt the same way. If I remember correctly, there was a panel a few issues ago with Michonne, Rick and zombies and all Rick said was her name, and she immediately sliced off their heads like a trained dog. That panel has bothered me ever since. Granted, she’s one of the most skilled fighters/killers they have. But it left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m glad that it was something Kirkman had done on purpose and not haphazardly.

I felt like this issue really read my mind, and I’m sure yours as well. Especially when Michonne and Rick started to talk about he who shall not be named. The Governor. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been as excited, or stressed, about The Walking Dead since the Governor story arc. I felt the series hit a plateau for a while. I’m glad I’m back to being scared of what I’m about to read. I love that feeling. I’m still traumatized about issue 100.

I feel in the coming issues we’ll see a rift between Rick (including everyone who witnessed Glenn’s death) and Andrea (including everyone who stayed at the community). I wonder what Rick and Jesus have up their sleeve!

P.S.- If you haven’t read the letter hacks yet, you’re in for a treat! ;)

 

Revival #3

Writer: Tim Seeley

Art: Mike Norton

Since Revival is pretty new, most of my commentary on it will be filled with a lot of questions. But I’ll start by saying I really enjoy this series. There are bits and pieces that don’t fit yet and it’s exiting to try to put them together.

Here are a few questions I have:

  • Did Martha (the detective’s sister) have an affair with the teacher?
  • Who killed her and why won’t she say anything about it? My guess is it has something to do with the affair. Or that she killed herself.
  • – What is this alien-like creature?
  • – What was the original thing that Mrs. Vang wanted to show Martha?
  • – Is the Limp Bizkit ringtone guy the “ghost”/alien?
  • – If not, it’s clear he has something to do with it. If it is a ghost, rather than an alien, maybe that’s why the faux exorcist guy is involved.
  • – And finally, what’s up with the revivers? It seems like the old woman, Arlene, goes back and forth from her original self to her… let’s call it her “reviver self”, where she’s rabid and out of control. It looks like she tried to kill herself, not wanting to live like that anymore.

I can’t wait to see when these pieces all start to connect. Until, then it’s more questions!