FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics 5 (January 2014)

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Does anyone remember that series Middleman? It had a female, Hispanic lead cop or something. I wonder if Oliver read it because he sure makes a big deal about how he’s got a female, Hispanic lead cop in this series now.

Oliver and Rodriguez soft boot FBP this issue, mostly in the last few pages. The whole world has changed in the days or weeks since the last issue, not just female Hispanic cops (I wonder if they have such beings in the real world or just in Oliver’s comic books), but also physics insurance and flashbacks.

Maybe if Rodriguez’s art was better, it might be worth sticking around to see what they do with FBP, but the art’s weak. It’s hurried and the colorist is doing a whole lot of shading work.

There are probably other big problems with the issue, but FBP’s not worth talking about anymore.


Things That Have Been; writer, Simon Oliver; artist, Robbi Rodriguez; colorist, Rico Renzi; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Umbral 1 (November 2013)

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There’s clearly a limit to human imagination. Or, at least there’s a limit to Antony Johnston’s imagination. Umbral concerns a mystical fantasy world with magic and intrigue and thieves’ guilds and all sorts of other little details fantasy comics, films, television shows and video games have been using for years.

And Johnston regurgitates them onto the page here. Oh, he throws in the people talking in something like hip modern English. So he’s seen A Knight’s Tale too.

Christopher Mitten’s art is okay in the comic. He’s just drawing castles and some vague monsters, but it’s not bad art at all. It’s loose at times and it’s hard to discern characters’ genders at times, but it’s not bad.

The writing’s bad. Not the dialogue so much–except the modern cursing stuff–but the narration. Especially the way Johnston puts exposition into dialogue to remind the reader of something.

Umbral’s lame.


The Day Dawned Twice; writer, Antony Johnston; artist, Christopher Mitten; colorist, John Rauch; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Buck Rogers 2 (October 2013)


For the most part, it’s a strong issue. Chaykin’s gleefully overboard with this idea of Rogers as a twenties American socialist awoken around a bunch of closed-minded future “Americans.” He loves it and it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in his enthusiasm.

Chaykin’s also downright hostile towards Wilma Deering. Buck lays it all out for her–how she and the other gangs are just playing military–and Chaykin sets up Wilma’s as both an accomplished warrior and the butt of Buck’s jokes. The way Chaykin gets in the gender equality, without ever drawing attention to it (save Buck realizing he’s biased), is nice.

Sadly, there are some art issues. There’s a whole action sequence Chaykin tells from a long shot without ever doing enough establishing, either in the narrative or the art. But that sequence comes relatively early on.

It’s a strange, fun, thoughtful comic. Chaykin’s doing well.


Writer and artist, Howard Chaykin; colorist, Jesus Aburto; letterer, Ken Bruzenak; publisher, Hermes Press.

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