Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Li'l Depressed Boy: Lonely Heart Blues

S. Steven Struble's The Li'l Depressed Boy started life in the mind of a junior high student hoping to get the attention of a girl and from there, over the years, transformed to a webcomic and eventually to a full fledged comic book put out my current favorite publisher, Image. It is not your average every day comic and there's no-one with superpowers gracing the pages. There's not really any villains to speak of unless, like me, you count life itself as a villain. Drawn in blue by myriad artists: Ed Tadem, Lindsay Jane, Sina Grace, Jose Garibaldi, Chris Fenoglio, Zach Trover, Kristopher Struble, Jim Mahfood, Kanila Tripp, Roman Muradov, Justin Stewart, Sam Kieth, Jim Valentino, Scott Morse, Evan DiLeo, and Jamie McKelvie for starters. If you "get it," then there is no explanation necessary and if you don't, then you probably never will no matter how much explaining could be done. It's one of those stories. As a series, The Li'l Depressed Boy is the best comic on the shelves today bar none. For those of us who "get it," and I know for a fact there are some out there that don't, it will hit home in ways that you don't expect from a comic. If you, like me, fall in to the crowd that "gets it" you will find yourself picking up every issue just to get current.

Lonely Heart Blues, the graphic novel this post is about, is the very beginning. Struble really bares his soul in this book and we are better for him having written it. He is sparse with words but the words he does choose are quite simply, genius.
This story is told through the panels as much if not more than through the writing. Now, one could argue that this is true of many comic books, but I would retort that Struble takes it to a completely different level. If you can let yourself get truly lost in the art then you will really understand LDB and his world. Every artist who worked on this book is amazing, in my lowly opinion, and therein may lie the secret of why this is even better than the monthly. You get to see so many different incarnations of LDB through the eyes of the artists who drew him. Every one of the artists add something to the character that is carried through in the mind of the reader right in to the next artist's take. The journey is just amazing.

Now you may ask yourself, "how does a comic about a sad little rag doll boy appeal to anyone?" I would simply tell you that some of us have lived this story. Some of us have been that rag doll. I love comics the same way I love music. I escape into both of them and do so with a passion. The Li'l Depressed boy is me about 20 years ago. Before the kids, before the first wife, alone with my music. I was alone no matter how many people are around me. Not lonely necessarily, but alone. I was trying to figure it all out and getting it wrong more often than not. Not knowing the right words to say, not knowing at all. Struble really hits the bone with this one. For me, at least, he is telling my past in way that I could not have. I wish I could go back in time and just hand certain pages to certain people instead of not saying the things I didn't say. So if you were that guy or girl that never had the words, that let your fear paralyze you, that never quite got it right, then this is your book. It is your story. It is our story. If not then maybe you ought to wait for Scott's next post to pick your next book. As for me I am about to strap on my headphones, turn up the music, and lose myself for a little while.

~ Romeo Sid Vicious ~

Monday, April 23, 2012

The New 52 (Now "Newer" Than Ever)

    Welcome to Comical-Musings on this beautiful, manic, Monday.  I have been hard at work reading and compiling things to say to you as well as lining up interviews for upcoming content.  Needless to say, I will have a new suggestion, review or substantial content up for you soon.  In the meantime, I want to share something that I found interesting.

"GI Combat" Art by Panosian, seen on Buzzfeed.com

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Remembrance Prevents Forgetfulness

Welcome to Comical-Musings.  I didn't make a big deal out of this last November, but one of our reviews was featured on Archaia's website and I almost forgot that it happened.  In an attempt to not forget, I am recording it here for posterity.  Go Comical-Musings!

click it

~ Scott Deaux ~

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top 5 Comic Book Stories That Left Me Speechless

    In the social circles in which I run, I am widely known as a "talker" or at the very least, someone with a lot to say.  Sometimes a quip, a humorous story, an occasional nugget of wisdom...rarely do I have little or nothing to say.  There are some stories in comic books, however, that I have nothing to say other than "dude...it's just sooo good."  Even though I love these books, when I try to write something for the blog about it, the sentiments that keep repeating in my head are simple and very positive.  I thought for April's Top 5 list, we would do the Top 5 Comic Book Stories That Left Me Speechless.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great Ideas Can Come From Casual Interactions

    It has long been a foundational principle of Comical-Musings that it is better to be in a community than to go it alone.  In a community, thoughts are generated and bounce from person to person constantly, inspiring people collectively.  I created Comical-Musings to be such a thing and when it didn't happen organically, I added The Writer's Blok to force the hand of comic book community in my life.  That didn't even work that well, but through an interaction that I had today, I am reminded of why rubbing elbows with like-minded individuals is gratifying.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

News About Kirkman That I Expected, But Was Also Surprised By

    It's not technically breaking news since I got it from Ifanboy.com, but you may not have heard yet that AMC is talking to Robert Kirkman about adapting another one of his properties into a television series.  His wild success with The Walking Dead has put big dollar signs in the eyes of executives and with Kirkman's body of work, he could be developing into a TV mogul.  The thing that you may not know is that he could take it farther than many people are even aware of.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

American Vampire Bites Them Back

    Thanks for checking Comical-Musings out and we wish you a beautiful day on Planet Earth.  It seems that since I have returned to comic book blogging, I'm on a much more independent streak.  Sure I didn't like Hell Yeah, but that was a first issue and I wasn't particularly scathing, but I have been all about the independent or smaller market / non DC or Marvel proper books.  American Vampire continues this trend with a great book about dang dirty vampires.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Take On The Comic Book Movies of 2011

Hello everyone and thank you for giving your sweet, valuable time to Comical-Musings. We often strive to bring you strong opinions and good suggestions for comic books to read. 2011 was a great year for comic book movies and we saw the release of multiple films from different genres and publishers. The comic book movie is important to the art form and comic fanboys geek out when a favorite character is committed to film. My 2011 comic book experience might not be what you would expect from a comic book blogger. This is because in 2011, I saw one comic book movie. Just one. Cowboys and Aliens came out. Didn't see it. Green Lantern came out. Didn't see it. Captain America came out. Didn't see it. You get the idea. I had reasons for why I didn't take in any of these films and confession is good for the soul, so here we go...




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

iZombie : A Hipster Comic Book That's So Cool That You Don't Even Know About It Yet

    Good day to you and thanks for perusing our thoughts at Comical-Musings.  Always glad to meet a new friend and might I say that you are looking particularly handsome/beautiful today.  Anyways, Comical-Musings typically serves the purpose of pointing people to good comic book series for consumption or offering opinions on other comic book related things.  This simple fact prevents us from "breaking" news or even talking about something "cutting-edge" very often, but the simple truth is that you seem to enjoy what we offer and so we continue on.  You might be surprised to find that today's bit of enlightenment that I have for you is very "cool."  That word is not often associated with comic books, but iZombie earns the term handily.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Avengers Vs. X-Men 0

Let's get it out of the way, I LOVED Avengers Vs. X-Men 0. It was so good and took characters that I didn't care about or even know of except for in the periphery and made them great. It was a masterful parallel character study and who would have expected less from Jason Aaron and Brian Michael Bendis. Those two are about as safe as you can get with writers. Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man went 150+ issues before changing direction and it still tears up the sales numbers. Jason Aaron kills everything that he touches with Wolverine or The Punisher, but is most famous for creating one of the most prolific comic books of our time, Scalped. These two team with Frank Cho who seems to have abandoned making cheesecakey pornography and focused on making facial expressions that really emote. It really works and is a delight to read.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hell No

Thank you for your patronage on the newly resurrected Comical-Musings! We are thrilled that you are one of the nearly 10,000 views that we have received in the last year or two. We had taken a four month hiatus, but we are back! We are happy to see you again. Today, we discuss a recent offering from the surging, Image comics, Hell Yeah.