Further Hurricane Diaries of a Comics Nerd (Aztek sorta review, Mignola pimping frog hatred, Why haven't I read/watched 30 Days of Night, man we need tags around here)

I'm milking this like it's a wacky Frank Miller Batman comic!

During the ongoing, seemingly endless clearing of brush post storm, I have often wished that Doc Manhattan was real and I was his friend, just so he could atomize all these damn tree limbs out of my yard, saving me the trouble of schlepping them to the curb myself. Of course, being godlike and dispassionate, Doc Manhattan didn't have any friends. Or maybe he didn't have any because he'd prattle on dispassionately about the ionosphere and atomic particles or whatever when you just wanted to watch the game. That would be annoying. All I'm saying is he'd come in handy when you needed to clear tree limbs. So would Captain Atom, I guess, but screw that guy.

The frogs came out after the last of the storm petered out. They have not shut up since. They're like a plague, and I whole heartedly endorse war on them.

I read a bit of the Aztek trade during the powerless, AC-less days where my comfortable middle class life was less comfortable. Aztek's one of those cancelled before their time DC series that people built up a lot on message boards when I first got back in to comics. It was always in the conversation with Young Heroes in Love, Chase, Hourman, and seemingly any other DC Comic that lasted less than two years in the late '90s.

And it's... okay. I've never really warmed up to Morrison and Millar as collaborators. I kind of hated their Swamp Thing arc and Skrull Kill Krew. I like what I've read of their Flash run well enough, but I can certainly live without ever reading any more of it. This run fell somewhere in between my tepid to visceral reactions of their other stuff when I read half of it via ebay won back issues. Of course, I always expect the moon when Morrison's involved, so a lot of times his stuff comes off flat the first go round. It took a couple readings for me to really enjoy we3, as blasphemous as it may be to say when we have two of its stars as collaborators.

Aztek had a similar effect on me the second go round. I enjoyed it more this time. Of course, the script was never my problem; it was the art. Steven Harris's work here has always left me cold. On a second read I've come to blame the dreary color palette more than I did the first time I read it, but I still don't really care for his pencils too much. He's like a cross between John Romita Jr. and Joe Quesada without either's flare and the former's storytelling skills, genetic as they may be.

The script has all the requisite novel ideas and touches you expect from Morrison. Beyond the fact that we all drank LSD-laced Scottish Kool Aid, I'm gonna credit Grant for these ideas for three reasons:

1. I have a standing rule to credit Grant Morrison for all good things and blame Mark Millar for all bad things, even if neither is involved in a situation.

2. Look at Morrison's work. Look at Millar's. Who is more likely to come up with cool ideas like a supervillain who is a genius for 24 hours, then a retard and the whole backstory for the titular character?

Also, it's always hard to tell who did what in a collaboration like this, and there are always stories about people being wrong about which collaborator doing what where, and I don't want to come up with a dumb combined name for Morrison and Millar. Which leads me to

3. Morrison's name was extremely prominent on the cover. Millar's was not. Leading me to believe Millar did nothing but get coffee and barbituates for his bald Scottish writing partner. Or he contributed as much as Ben Affleck did to Good Will Hunting. Of course, I'm sure that has nothing to do with all the DC Comics Morrison's writing and all the ones Millar isn't, as well as all the nice things he had to say about Paul Levitz during the whole Authority debacle of the early '00s. Man, this decade is never going to have a cool name, is it?

Millar contribution diminishment aside, I have to say I liked the script a lot, can see why it gained a following, and look forward to reading the issues I didn't get in an ebay lot. Really, I just wanted to make jokes at Millar's expense and threw the rest of the reactions in around it.

I was hoping to read comics by candle light during the power outage, just like the Founding Fathers (I think they were reading Roy Thomas's liteary adaptations back then), but the opportunity never presented itself. Well, more like I couldn't risk burning down the house just to read Jenny Finn at 10 o'clock, especially when the DS was right there. It's like a microcosm of video games overtaking comics in real life!

I rented 30 Days of Night to watch on my PSP but never got around to it, mainly because once we got power back, watching DVDs on a tiny screen became less appealing. That is one of the few comics franchises of any significance I have never experienced in any way, shape, or form, which kind of freaks me out. Especially because Matt Fraction, Ben Templesmith, and Bill Sienkiewicz have all worked on various minis. I'm sure I'll remedy that eventually. Maybe it's the fact that I've never seen anyone mention the original GN very highly on the writing side, except not Ebert here. Steve Niles kind of has a negative rep as a writer, at least from the reviewers I've read, so I feel like reading one of these things would be like watching a Woody Allen movie when you don't care for Woody Allen, even if I haven't read enough Niles to form an opinion.

I think I've rung exactly as much content out of this natural disaster as possible. But hey, there's another one headed to my state; maybe that will give me a springboard to give you my brilliant musings on Savage Dragon of something. I can always hope!

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