Comicscape: Oemings World (Mania.com)

By:Joel Rickenbach
Date: Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Michael Avon Oeming is a big name in the comic world, and he should be. He is one half of the groundbreaking Powers, along with the ubiquitous Brian Michael Bendis. You might think all it takes to be in that boys club is a three word name, but you would be wrong. It takes an incredible amount of talent and vision to see a book like that through. It also takes trust, creative trust. I can only imagine the shorthand Bendis and Oeming have at this point. Powers’ current run is as good as its ever been, and it feels almost effortless. Of course, this is a sure sign of just how much effort actually does go into each issue. It's an interesting time for Powers- with all the rising and falling happening with the FX produced TV show- but I have a feeling the time for that story is still best left in the oven a little longer. What's most interesting is the stamp Oeming is putting on the comic industry. His fingerprints are everywhere, and following his trail has become incredibly rewarding.

I don't personally know Michael Oeming, but I have met him at conventions on occasion, and bought my fair share of his art. I have a few original pages from the first run of Powers, and numerous sketches. One of which is of Vic Mackie from The Shield, but we both agreed it really looks like Brian Bendis wearing shades. I have sketches from countless other artists, but the reason I keep going back to Oeming is I find his style completely unique. In most artist's work I can see the influences, the art school perfectionism, or a keen sense of what sells. None of those are bad things, but with Oeming I see a style that is truly born from his imagination and sensibilities. This may sound like odd praise, but he may be the most honest artist working in mainstream comics today. That's not to say he doesn't have his influences, he certainly does, but it never feels like he is trying to impress anyone, or trying to find the best composition to make you grab the book off the shelves; it feels like he's trying to find the best way to visually tell the story. And that's the key word- Story, a word clearly swirling around in Oeming's head. He may have made his name as an artist, but he is now known by that coveted comic industry title- creator. Besides his work with Bendis, most of Oeming's comic work is his own, and he has quite a few stories to tell.
 
Oeming's latest creation is The Victories, in which he treads some dark and familiar territory. When it comes to his own work he rarely pulls any punches, and The Victories gets in a right cross or two. The book gives us a world that is almost completely mired in corruption. From politicians to the police force, there's no one for regular citizen's to trust. Hell, even the heroes are questionable. None maybe more so than Faustus- a red devil of a cape who opens the book lamenting what a burden this society is on him. He's set up to be an anti-hero to be sure, but what makes him so interesting is his complete irresponsibility when it comes to being one. The highlight of the first issue is when he shows up late trying to save a judge from a werewolf known as The Jackal. He arrives with his fists and feet flailing, but the Jackal has already decapitated the judge, and his wife is watching the whole thing in hysterics. It's ok though, when Faustus is scribbling in his journal later he realizes his mistake, and vows to do better next time. From what I gather, the rest of the mini-series will continue to focus on Faustus, with the rest of the team filling out the supporting cast. If the rest of then are half as crazy as Faustus, then we're in for a treat.

The Victories may be the best Oeming's art has ever been. It feels like he is fully unleashed on his own creation. His use of black has never been more strong. From the sprawling wide shots of the twisted cityscape, to the action bathed in moonlight, it is simply gorgeous. Special recognition also has to be given to colorist Nick Filardi, he gives this book a life far too many others lack. The red of Faustus' costume and the buckets of crimson blood against the deep blue night are absolutely striking.

 
We all love our superhero and genre tales, they are undoubtedly the foundation of the comic book world, but let us never forget they can be a powerful medium to explore subjects very personal to the storyteller. Oeming recently published one such story in the excellent, and long running anthology series, Dark Horse Presents. Told in two parts (in DHP #14 and #15), and titled The Wild Rover, Oeming deals with alcoholism, his relationship with his mother and family history, and how those things can control, and sometimes, sadly, define you. As sobering and dark as this story is, it’s also beautifully rendered by Oeming. His page design and structure keep it flowing, and keep us wrapped up in a world touched by the twisted and fantastique.


Takio, Bendis and Oeming’s all-ages book about two sisters who gain super powers, warrants an article all its own, and I may just do that at some point, but for now I want to use this book to show just how versatile Oeming is as an artist. Sharp, thin lines making plenty of room for bright colors, dynamic perspectives and angles to keep your eyes glued to the page, and expressions on the characters faces that could only come from someone who knows who they truly are. Don’t let the all-ages tag dissuade you, Takio has many delights for any comic fan, or anyone who rarely, or ever picks up a book.

One of the great things about comics is the wealth of options one has as a reader or collector. You can follow characters, storylines, publishers and even creators. Michael Oeming is a creator I follow, and the rewards are many. Like I mentioned in the opening- I’m not even touching on Powers or even wonderful, anthropomorphic, Mice Templar, and I’ve still given you a diverse selection of titles you should seek out and find. Believe me- keep your eyes on Oeming, you’ll thank me for it.


New Comic Book Releases for 9/5/12:


COMIC SHOP NEWS

Comic Shop News #1316, AR

DARK HORSE COMICS

Chronicles Of King Conan Volume 3 TP, $18.99 

Oreimo Volume 1 TP, $10.99 

Vampire Hunter D Novel Volume 18 Fortress Of The Elder God, $10.99


DC COMICS

Action Comics #0 (Ben Oliver Regular Cover), $3.99 

Action Comics #0 (Combo Pack Edition), $4.99 

Action Comics #0 (Rags Morales Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Action Comics #0 (Rags Morales Variant Cover), AR

Animal Man #0, $2.99 

Aquaman Volume 1 The Trench HC, $22.99 

Batman Knightfall Volume 3 Knightsend TP (New Edition), $29.99 

Batwing #0, $2.99 

Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #3 (Of 4)(Amanda Conner Regular Cover), $3.99 

Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #3 (Of 4)(Combo Pack Edition), $4.99 

Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #3 (Of 4)(Michael Allred Variant Cover), AR

Detective Comics #0 (Combo Pack Edition), $4.99 

Detective Comics #0 (Tony S. Daniel & Richard Friend Black & White Cover), AR

Detective Comics #0 (Tony S. Daniel & Richard Friend Regular Cover), $3.99 

Dial H #0, $2.99 

Earth 2 #0 (Ivan Reis & Joe Prado Regular Cover), $2.99 

Earth 2 #0 (Ivan Reis Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Fairest #7, $2.99 

Flash Omnibus By Geoff Johns Volume 3 HC, $75.00 

Fringe Beyond The Fringe TP, $14.99 

G.I. Combat #0, $3.99 

Green Arrow #0, $2.99 

Green Lantern #0 (Combo Pack Edition), $3.99 

Green Lantern #0 (Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy Regular Cover), $2.99 

Green Lantern #0 (Doug Mahnke Black & White Variant Regular Cover), AR

Green Lantern The Animated Series Saint Walker Statue, $124.95 

Green Lantern War Of The Green Lanterns TP, $16.99 

Just-Us League Of Stupid Heroes Series 2 Alfred E. Neuman As Green Lantern Action Figure, AR

Just-Us League Of Stupid Heroes Series 2 Alfred E. Neuman As The Flash Action Figure, AR

Just-Us League Of Stupid Heroes Series 2 Alfred E. Neuman As Wonder Woman Action Figure, AR

Night Force #7 (Of 7), $2.99 

Phantom Stranger #0 (Brent Anderson Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Phantom Stranger #0 (Brent Anderson Regular Cover), $2.99 

Prince Of Cats TP, $16.99 

Scooby-Doo Where Are You #25, $2.99 

Smallville Season 11 #5, $3.99 

Starman Omnibus Volume 2 TP, $29.99 

Stormwatch #0, $2.99 

Superman Chronicles Volume 10 TP, $14.99 

Swamp Thing #0, $2.99 

Sweet Tooth #37, $2.99 

Teen Titans Volume 1 It's Our Right To Fight TP, $14.99 

Worlds' Finest #0 (Kevin Maguire Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Worlds' Finest #0 (Kevin Maguire Regular Cover), $2.99


DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

Army Of Darkness #5 (Tim Seeley Regular Cover), $3.99 

Boys #70 (Darick Robertson Regular Cover), $3.99 

Damsels #1 (J. Scott Campbell Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Damsels #1 (J. Scott Campbell Regular Cover), $3.99 

Damsels #1 (J. Scott Campbell Sketch Variant Cover), AR

Damsels #1 (J. Scott Campbell Virgin Variant Cover), AR

Damsels #1 (Sean Chen Variant Cover), AR

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6 (Alex Ross Negligee Variant Cover), AR

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99 

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6 (Alex Ross Virgin Variant Cover), AR

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6 (Francesco Francavilla Variant Cover), AR

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6 (Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99 

Garth Ennis' Jennifer Blood #16 (Tim Bradstreet Regular Cover), $3.99 

Garth Ennis' Jennifer Blood #16 (Tim Bradstreet Risque Variant Cover), AR

Lone Ranger #9 (Francesco Francavilla Regular Cover), $3.99 

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99 

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Ardian Syaf Regular Cover), $3.99 

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Dave Gibbons Classic Retro Variant Cover), AR

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (George Tuska Classic Retro Variant Cover), AR

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Jae Lee Black & White Variant Cover), AR

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Jae Lee Regular Cover), $3.99 

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.99 

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (Pete Morisi Classic Retro Variant Cover), AR

Robert Jordan's The Wheel Of Time The Eye Of The World #29, $3.99 

Vampirella #22 (Ale Garza Regular Cover), $3.99 

Vampirella #22 (Ale Garza Risque Variant Cover), AR

Vampirella #22 (Fabiano Neves Regular Cover), $3.99 

Vampirella #22 (Paul Renaud Red Variant Cover), AR

Vampirella #22 (Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99


IDW PUBLISHING

Cape 1969 #3 (Of 4)(Cover A Zach Howard), $3.99 

Cape 1969 #3 (Of 4)(Cover RI Nelson Daniel), AR

Classic Popeye #2 (Cover A Bud Sagendorf), $3.99 

Crow #3 (Of 5)(Cover A Kyle Hotz), $3.99 

Crow #3 (Of 5)(Cover RI-A James O’Barr), AR

Crow #3 (Of 5)(Cover RI-B Kent Williams), AR

Dave Stevens' Stories And Covers HC, $49.99 

Doctor Who Annual 2012, $7.99 

G.I. JOE #17 (Cover A Alex Cal), $3.99 

G.I. JOE #17 (Cover RI Robert Atkins), AR

Ghostbusters Omnibus Volume 1 TP, $24.99 

Love And Capes What To Expect #2 (Of 6)(Cover A Thom Zahler & Sean Tiffany), $3.99 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics #4, $3.99 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #8 (Fugitoid)(Cover A David Petersen), $3.99 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #8 (Fugitoid)(Cover B Paul McCaffrey), $3.99 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #8 (Fugitoid)(Cover RI David Petersen), AR

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012 (Cover A Tim Seeley), $7.99 

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012 (Cover B Alex Milne), $7.99 

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012 (Cover RI Jimbo Salgado), AR

Transformers Regeneration One #83 (Cover A Andrew Wildman), $3.99 

Transformers Regeneration One #83 (Cover B Guido Guidi), $3.99 

Transformers Regeneration One #83 (Cover RI Geoff Senior), AR

Transformers Robots In Disguise #9 (Cover A Andrew Griffith), $3.99 

Transformers Robots In Disguise #9 (Cover B Casey Coller), $3.99 

Transformers Robots In Disguise #9 (Cover RI Marcelo Matere), AR


IMAGE COMICS

Black Kiss II #1 (Of 6)(2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99 

Black Kiss II #2 (Of 6), $2.99 

Bloodstrike #30, $3.99 

Creator Owned Heroes #4 (Cover A Phil Noto), $3.99 

Creator Owned Heroes #4 (Cover B Kevin Mellon), $3.99 

Darkness #106, $2.99 

Epic Kill #5, $2.99 

Glory Volume 1 The Once And Future Destroyer TP, $9.99 

Guarding The Globe #1, $2.99 

Harvest #2 (Of 5), $3.50 

Haunt #26, $2.99 

Manhattan Projects Volume 1 Science Bad TP, $14.99 

Memoir #6 (Of 6), $3.50 

Mind The Gap #4 (Cover A Rodin Esquejo & Sonia Oback), $2.99 

Mind The Gap #4 (Cover B Lynell Ingram), $2.99 

Spawn #223 (Cover A Todd McFarlane), $2.99 

Spawn #223 (Cover B Todd McFarlane Black & White), AR

Spawn Origins Volume 7 HC, $29.99 

Thief Of Thieves #7 (2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99 

Thief Of Thieves #8, $2.99 

Thief Of Thieves Volume 1 TP, $14.99 

Think Tank #2 (Cover A Rahsan Ekedal & Brian Reber), $3.99


MARVEL COMICS

Age Of Apocalypse #7, $2.99 

Amazing Spider-Man #693, $3.99 

Art Of Marvel Studios TP (with slipcase), $99.99 

Astonishing X-Men Gifted HC (Prose Novel), $24.99 

Avengers Academy #36, $2.99 

Avengers Celestial Quest TP, $24.99 

Big Hero 6 Brave New Heroes #1 (One Shot), $8.99 

Dark Avengers #180, $2.99 

Deadpool #60, $2.99 

Defenders #10, $3.99 

First X-Men #2 (Of 5)(Mike Deodata Variant Cover), AR

First X-Men #2 (Of 5)(Neal Adams Regular Cover), $3.99 

Hawkeye #1 (David Aja 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99 

Hawkeye #2, $2.99 

Hulk Boiling Point HC (Premiere Edition), $34.99 

Hulk Boiling Point HC (Premiere Edition)(Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 102), $34.99 

Hulk Smash Avengers TP, $14.99 

Incognito Classified Edition HC, $44.99 

Invincible Iron Man #524, $3.99 

Marvel Universe The Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes Comic Reader #3, $3.99 

Marvel's The Avengers Black Widow Strikes TP, $12.99 

Mighty Thor #19, $3.99 

Muppets #3 (Of 4), $2.99 

New Avengers Omnibus Volume 1 HC (David Finch Regular Cover), $125.00 

New Avengers Omnibus Volume 1 HC (Joe Quesada Direct Market Variant Cover), $125.00 

Punisher #15, $2.99 

Road To Oz #1 (Of 6)(Eric Shanower Variant Cover), AR

Road To Oz #1 (Of 6)(Skottie Young Baby Variant Cover), AR

Road To Oz #1 (Of 6)(Skottie Young Regular Cover), $3.99 

Spider-Man Revenge Of The Sinister Six HC (Premiere Edition), $29.99 

Spider-Man Revenge Of The Sinister Six HC (Premiere Edition)(Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 103), $29.99 

Stand Omnibus HC (with slipcase), $150.00 

Stand Volume 4 Hardcases TP, $19.99 

Thanos Quest #1 (One Shot), $7.99 

Thunderbolts Like Lightning TP, $16.99 

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #14, $3.99 

Venom #24 (Patch Zircher Regular Cover), $2.99 

Venom #24 (Skottie Yount Amazing Spider-Man 50th Anniversary Variant Cover), AR

X-Factor #243, $2.99 

X-Treme X-Men #1 (Julian Totino Tedesco 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99




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