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A Review of Manhattan Projects in Exchange for Chex Mix

by  in Comic News Comment
A Review of Manhattan Projects in Exchange for Chex Mix

Good afternoon. I was told to show up here. I was told there would maybe be some kind of snack mix put into a bowl. I have been here several minutes now and the bowl yet eludes me. I would prefer, yes, just to have a little gnosh on something a bit if I am going to come all the way down here, Cronin. I am not hungry enough for a whole thing. Just something a little crunchy. WOULD BE NICE SINCE YOU SAID “MAYBE” IT WOULD BE HERE.

Oh, God, this is worse than I remember. What was I doing?

Ah, yes. Today, dear friends, I am told, marks the 10th anniversary of a comic book fanatic web-log named as “Comics Should Be Good.” I am also told that I once wrote two things to go on said web-log, and would I do it again now because that would be cute.

Sure, I’ll do it again…but first let me tell you why I stopped doing it all those years ago. It is because we won and it is over. Joe and Alex and all the rest of those guys whoever they were…we all said “Comics Should Be Good,” and then comics listened to us and they got good. I have not read a bad comic book in almost 8 years now. Have you? I am pretty sure they do not make them. “Comics Are Now Good Now” is just not real compelling of a high concept for a serial web review platform. Except that is evidently what goes on here. That and Cronin’s ceaseless numbering of things. “Be sure to join us this October when we will be counting down the Top 100 Moments the JLA Satellite Ever Got Drawn!”

He told me he would try to put together like a chex mix thing if he had time.

I was instructed to write 2 paragraphs about a comic book I like. Ok so here we go on those.

I’m reading a book called “Manhattan Projects” right now and I’m sure all of you already are too so what is the goldang point of any of this. It is written by Jonathan Hickman and artisted by a man (?) called Nick Pitarra. Hickman I know is a man because it says it right there. It also tells me he may be a bit of a bumpkin. But he doesn’t write like one, he writes like a classier sort of person in many ways. One of the ways in which he writes classy is that it is a book about historical science figures and the obviously true events surrounding these figures as they work at an above-top-secret supra-government installation where they regularly murder Presidents of the United States, travel to alien worlds and alternate dimensions, and get dismembered and/or disembodied. SPOILER: Yuri Gagarin wears a giant padded muscle suit with elevator shoes and a big red star on his chest. It is hilarious. The book is funny if you like comedy and why shouldn’t you. Richard Feynman flees from a conflict, leaving his cohorts in the middle of grave danger, in order to go reset his broken nose in the bathroom mirror. Get it, because he is handsome and vain? I liked it, anyway. I laughed. I can’t help it if you don’t know what’s funny in the world or don’t have enough context from me not telling you enough. The CLASSIEST thing Hickman does in his writing, which I will tell you, is giving all his characters their own distinct motivations and their own agency. Too often you (or I…usually it is me) will be absorbing a piece of entertainment fiction with an ensemble cast and, yes, maybe one or two characters will be doing their own thing, but generally the characters are all acting in service of getting the whole thing from Point A to Finish Z with minimal fuss. The best ensemble work to me says nah to hell with that and then stuff gets crazy from there. Like real life, when even though people are mostly internally consistent from their own point of view, you actually have a really hard time predicting how that seeming consistency will manifest itself. This is that. The scientists at Los Alamos all have their own lives, all with very distinct agendas…agendas that sometimes cohere with each other but often collide. Then there’s the wonderful Oppenheimer character, whose collisions are quite literally with himself.

Nicole Pitarra draws the comic art very finely. His or her character design is fantastic. There is not a moment of boredom even in quiet conversation. That is often down to the great character work, but just as often it is because Pitarra is capturing a snapshot of the people (and/or radioactive skulls and floating brains) that gives you just almost as much insight into the person as the words accompanying them. His fine detail work is delightful. There is almost a cartoonier Darrow quality to it. Whether it is action or it is other happenings, Pitarra is your person! (probably a man)

Anyhow, there is two paragraphs about a comic I like for Brian Cronin in exchange for the chex mix right now.

BON ANNIVERSAIRE BLOG BUDDIES! See you again in 2024, where I promise to give the piece more than 45 minutes! (No, I don’t.)

ADDENDUM: Everything you read above is a lie. I just read the latest issue of Manhattan Projects and found out the series is going on hiatus and will be completely different when it returns. So you’re welcome for nothing, cbr. That just about sums up my blogging career very neatly. Never knowing what the hell I’m talking about. The first 25 issues are good. You should totally buy them knowing full well it, like everything else good in this life, will never last.

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