Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Comic Book Scavenger Hunt, A-Z: Fathom

Title: Fathom: Kiani
Issue: Volume 2, Issue #0
Release: April 2012
Writer: Vince Hernandez
Artist: Oliver Nome
Store: Earth Prime Comics (Burlington, Vermont)
Image via Comic Vine
 
Fathom is an underwater story created by Michael Turner in 1998 involving a race of aquatic humanoids called the Blue.  Kiani is a spinoff series, following the adventures of the beautiful but volatile title character.  If there's one thing the comic book medium does well, it's world building. The beautiful artwork in this book helps tremendously in drawing the reader in and sparking curiosity to explore beyond this particular story.

My scavenger hunt was pretty straight-forward: find single-issue comic books off the rack with titles starting from A-Z.  Go check out the rest of the participants in this year's A-Z challenge.  The official site is here

55 comments:

  1. I have the original Fathom stuff... somewhere...

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    1. You and my buddy Mock (next on the comment thread) should really be following one another. I'm still a newbie. He's the one who lives and breathes this stuff - got me started in the hobby, in fact. I expect the two of you would have a lot of fun digging through boxes of comics together. He's at cmock127.blogspot.com.

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  2. I was never a fan of Michael Turner's art (nor those who mimic his style) so I never

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    1. gave his Aspen line much of a chance....perhaps I should try reading a trade and give it a chance to build/grow on me.

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    2. Maybe... While I was impressed by the immersion experience on offer, there wasn't enough to inspire me to explore further. I've found I'm a pretty tough sell with comics. I want something to grab me. This one didn't.

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    3. I think Turner was more of a style mimic-er himself. The influences of Silvestri and Portacio are pretty clear. However, I think he deserves credit and attention for how he struggled to keep working while battling cancer.

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    4. Now we're cooking!

      It sounds like the man had quite an interesting career - also an accomplished water skier and martial artist, according to Wikipedia. His battle with cancer sounds horrific.

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    5. I thought it was snow skiing, but I may not be remembering correctly.

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    6. Wikipedia says water. Could be both, I suppose.

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  3. What a gift you have given me this morning. many years ago i had a very best chum who seriously collected comic books. We'd go searching for the new issues on Tuesday and Thursday. We would stop someplace and read - he'd do all the sound effects . . Golly i miss him.
    Your reminder makes my heart happy.
    A to Z visitor here!
    -g-

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    1. It would seem the gift is mine. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it.

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    2. Wow. What a tender exchange.

      And I'm with Mock. Not super enamored of that style of execution. Though some of the other comics you've featured put me off in terms of content, the art drew me in a lot more than this cover. Then again, I'm judging based solely on the cover so ...

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    3. I would agree, actually. But we should clarify. The cover art here is by Nome and Starr, not Turner, who passed away in 2008.

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    4. I was only referring to Turner as the creator and why I had no interest in the character initially...sorry for the confusion!

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    5. All right, I gotcha both. But let me get more specific with my own response just for the helluvit.

      This cover is like the words, 'the enigmatic Mistress X.' It feels tired, unexceptional, familiar and not that exciting the first time around, anyway. The cover you featured here, however, bears its own interest. It evokes a Gorey sort of feel but with a little bit more, even, going on. Slightly more romantic around the title and with the added interest of an unexpected posture in the featured character, almost appearing to bear the significant weight of the word above him. It calls to mind another time but manages to have that warm off the press sort of feel that is part of the fun of acquiring something new -- as opposed to the distinct relish of appreciating a good piece of true vintage, but that's another topic entirely.

      There's Girl's $.52.

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    6. I agree completely. There are things American mainstream comic artists do well. They're good at lush. They're good at colorful. Also: dramatic, sharp, beautiful, eye-catching. But aesthetically interesting? Rarely.

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    7. Perhaps I do not understand what you mean by "aesthetically interesting"...would you elaborate? And are we talking comic covers or interiors? I read "lush" and "beautiful" and I think aesthetically interesting....lots of covers but not interiors.

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    8. Well, of course I'll elaborate!

      To me, there's a difference between aesthetically appealing and aesthetically interesting. This book is certainly appealing - even beautiful at times. But art that's interesting offers something different, something challenging or intellectually engaging. Sin City is aesthetically interesting. It would be quite a stretch to call it pretty, but it's definitely interesting.

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    9. I think I got you. I'm gonna wanna think on it....maybe this is why I teach math.


      Also, I am SO curious as to suze adding her "52 cents" to this comic book themed conversation instead of "2 cents"....

      Intentional or curious coincidence.....

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    10. You'll have to ask her. As for the curious coincidence, 52 cents? Am I missing something? My associations with the number are cards in a deck or weeks in a year. There is an online cash manager called 52 cents. The Hitchhiker/Jackie Robinson # is 42, of course.

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    11. Wish I had a payoff on the 52 but it's just a curious coincidence. When I first started blogging back in 2010, I was always leaving my two cents everywhere. With this comment, it felt a little bloated and self-important so I added a coupla quarters.

      I'm not sure what Squid is talking but in answer to your question, Mock, *I'm* talking covers because I'm basing my 52-cent opinions on the images he's featuring in his posts -- and this particular cover, in my opinion, is the least extraordinary.

      Lush, drama and color can be both aesthetically pleasing and interesting. But I think in order to really grab the lapels of a potential reader with any kind of authority, there needs to the unexpected element. And that element doesn't have to shout or be Rococo or try too hard. Cardinal sins in cover art? Derivative mediocrity and images without a center.

      I'll keep tossing out my coinage on ensuing covers and see if that clarifies or further muddies. :)

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    12. Okay, you put that much better than I did but I was trying to say the same thing.

      Regarding this particular book, I almost got hooked in - almost. The draw of a new world - especially an underwater one - is potent for me. The fact that the characters and their realm are very pretty didn't hurt. In the final analysis, there wasn't enough substance behind the images.

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  4. Love that cover art. I wish you the very best of luck with this years A-Z, I chose to duck out of it for this year, the coward that I am :)

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    1. Thank you. I'm sorry to hear you're not doing the challenge this year.

      Meanwhile, I'm delighted to have a DM's perspective on the artwork!

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  5. It is amazing to see the art work in comics!

    www.wearinglemon.blogspot.com

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    1. Okay, I've gotta know. Is the name of your blog inspired by the U2 song? I get it stuck in my head every time I visit.

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    2. I'm looking at her link and reading "We are...", no... "We a ring...", what the hell is he talking about....and then, oohhhhhh...I see it!

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    3. Hahaha! And I've confirmed, it is inspired by the song.

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    4. She wore lemon
      But never in the daylight

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    5. Okay, I've come back to this post enough times where I have to comment on this. I love that song.

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    6. Me, too. My favorite song from that album, however, is "Babyface." Awesome percussion in that one!

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    7. I just saw this! Yes, I agree with you. Listening to it, now. Very good linkage and stuff, today, Squidman. *Salute.*

      And, yes, 31 May. Let's do this thing! :D

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    8. Thank you.

      I'm almost ready to go. I just need to sort out the Linky Link bit.

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    9. Are you going to post the linky during the A-Z or after? I have no recommendation, just curious on your plan.

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    10. During. This is my best chance for mass exposure. I'm hoping it'll be ready to go sometime within the next 24 hours.

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    11. Ah, cool. I'll keep an eye out for it.

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    12. Tech snafu. Might be a little longer.

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  6. "Beautiful but volatile" is the template for every Michael Turner character. May he rest in peace.

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    1. Wow. I didn't expect such controversy with this one.

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  7. Always learning new stuff, here. I didn't know Turner or his work at all. I've got to go brush up on my stack of Comics Journals. :-)

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    1. I didn't either before reading this issue. The challenge has been a wonderful excuse for broadening my own horizons.

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  8. I am not a comic book fan but I did love your list of 12 books in 12 months page! I could not find a comment option there so am commenting here :-)

    - Dishit from Only the Crazy Survive!!!

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    1. Thank you! Any interest in taking the challenge yourself? Here's the original link: http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2011/07/12-books-in-12-months-announcing-new.html

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    2. See, it's a fantastic idea, Squidman. Just needs more exposure.

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    3. Yes, I like the idea, too. But I'm not sure where I'd want to go with it at this point. I don't want to go through the list again myself. I'd rather start something new.

      I have had a separate idea kicking around in my head for a while: a blogger book club. It would be a monthly bloghop with all participants posting about the best book they'd read during each given month. Or perhaps I could include elements of 12 Books with a suggested theme for each month. And/Or I could maintain the 12 Books as a side challenge for the more ambitious readers. I could start new 12 Book lists, too, and/or other challenges. The ever-evolving Squid could become a reader challenge blog. That might be fun.

      Your thoughts are welcome. If any of the rest of you are still following this thread, feel free to chime in.

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    4. 'It would be a monthly bloghop with all participants posting about the best book they'd read during each given month. Or perhaps I could include elements of 12 Books with a suggested theme for each month.'

      I like this a lot. I'd be in and I'd post about it beforehand on SC, too.

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    5. Okay, then. How about I aim to start something in May? I like the idea of a bloghop at the end of each month rather than the beginning. I feel like everyone schedules stuff for the beginning of a month. May 31st is a Friday. Good day to start?

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  9. I'm going to have to keep an eye on your blog this month...comics are one of those things I don't get much time for, but I keep a running list of comics I'd like to read in the hopes that one day the clouds will open, all that other important life crap will magically disappear and I'll get to dive in head first.

    Great post, can't wait to see what you come up with next week.

    Happy A-Z blogging.

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    1. Thanks, Trisha! I'll do my best to send some good titles your way. Of the ones I've reviewed so far, I'd say Atlas was the best.

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  10. I love the freedom in comics to really let one's imagination go. Very cool!

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    1. Definitely. Thanks for stopping by, Trisha!

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  11. It looks like a good one; I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the post on it!^^

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    1. Thank you, April. And thanks for stopping by.

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