Archive for justin cronin

odds and ends: detective comics, the twelve

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

In general, I haven’t been a great fan of DC Comics’ recent “New 52” relaunch of their superhero titles. I don’t think this was a very well thought-out relaunch, I don’t believe the talent attached to a great many of these books has been up to the task… and I’ve been reading DC Comics my whole life, so I’m somewhat attached to the old version of these characters.

That being said, I did try to give a lot of these books a fair shake, only to find many lacking. Currently, I’m only buying two of DC’s superhero books regularly.

Well, I may just have to up that to three, because I picked up Detective Comics #13 last week and it’s a nice start.

I already have an affection for the character but there have been PLENTY of Batman titles in the New 52 lineup I have passed up entirely because I didn’t feel the creative team was up to snuff. I’m happy to report this issue addresses those concerns by employing writer John Layman; I’ve enjoyed his work on Image Comics’ Chew and he didn’t disappoint. Further, the art is a step above a lot of what I’ve seen from DC lately. The main story, pencilled by Jason Fabok is, while not exactly to my personal tastes, detailed and exciting in the way I believe most young comics readers are looking for in this genre. The backup tale with art from Andy Clarke is similarly satisfying, although I liked Clarke’s work more than Fabok’s.

Up to this point, the only DCU books I’ve been buying have been written by Scott Snyder, but I may just be adding Detective Comics to my pull list, if this creative team can keep up the pace.


Haven’t been reading a lot of novels lately. Things have been busy and I haven’t had the time to lose myself in a book. That being said, please know I am anxiously counting the days until October 16th, when The Twelve by Justin Cronin is in stores.

The second book in Cronin’s planned post-apocalyptic vampire trilogy, the first book in the series was a great favorite of mine. The Passage has its’ problem, but a more engrossing read I did not have in 2010. I liked The Passage so much, I listened to the audiobook in the spring as a sort of refresher in preparation for The Twelve. Cronin’s prose is occasionally overwrought and some of his conclusions about a world moved on are a little silly (as with most writer’s tales of the apocalypse, gas is still plentiful and unspoiled, despite how quickly we know it would corrode) but I enjoyed the book and look forward to jumping back into this world with Peter, Amy, Lish and the rest.

friday odds & ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any new comics this week. I could give you a ton of excuses, but I realized the true reason I stopped comic-ing this week: I only have TWO comics left to draw about this past school year! One of ’em will be up on Monday to finish out last week’s batch, and then I have another “one comic covers a full week” strip similar to the comic I drew here back in February. That’s pretty much all she wrote for the 2009-2010 school year, and I think that sort of froze me up a bit. I don’t often have insight like this into my creative process (as cheesy as it sounds); most of the time, I’m just plodding away blindly.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I feel I learned a lot about the things that work and the things that don’t work about this comic, and I’m anxious to get started on next year… one that I think you’ll see, is a crucial one for both my career AND my school in general.


I got sunburn this week. First sunburn of the summer, and with my pasty complexion, it’s sure not to be the last sunburn. I couldn’t sleep last night, so I stayed up late reading my new book, The Passage by Justin Cronin. I usually wait until I am done reading a book before I give it a recommendation, but it’s a real page-turner in the vein of early Stephen King. Heck, I think The Passage owes quite a bit to King, especially his post-apocalyptic masterwork The Stand, and I say that as a compliment.

I won’t give away too much more than that, except to say that Cronin does something absolutely genius in the first third of the book by setting the time directly before the world ends in a distant future America where a tank of gas is $200 dollars and New Orleans exists only as a toxic waste dump. By taking the problems of today and ratcheting them up to a not-entirely insane degree, Cronin creates this great “out of place” feel for readers that just gets more and more eerie as the story goes on.

That bein’ said, the first third of the book is a preamble for the rest of the story, dealing with the literal and figurative fallout of what happens in the beginning, and I’m only now getting into that section. If you’re looking for a great summer read, look no further.


As I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t watch a whole lot of television. You could say that I am in the presence of television quite often, as I normally lie on the floor and draw while Ellen watches stuff… or we both watch things together, and I pay half of my attention toward. I’ll listen to a TV show, almost like a radio play, as I’m drawing comics. This is how I’m able to know what’s going on with ABC’s The Bachelorette without being able to pick any of the contestants out in a line-up.

There are some shows that I’ll put away the pen and Bristol board for, however. Summer for Ellen and I has become synonymous with “cooking reality shows” and Ellen and I were both pumped for the return of Bravo’s Top Chef and the lesser but still enjoyable The Next Food Network Star (from The Food Network, natch). Weirdly enough, we’ve also really gotten into this other show on Bravo, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. It’s a premise that’s absolute baloney, taking 12 aspiring artists and having them compete in challenges akin to those on Project Runway. I don’t think anyone expects “great art” to arise out of this hoary premise, but it’s been fun to watch in the past few weeks.