Comics read today (6/16/13)

One comic book and one trade paperback today:

GROO THE WANDERER #70 — In this issue, Groo acts stupid, fails spectacularly at everything he tries to achieve, and causes a series of horrible disasters, despite having good intentions. The issue is brilliantly drawn by Sergio Aragonés and is enlivened by Mark Evanier’s witty dialogue. Also, the issue begins with a poem and ends with a moral, and includes a cleverly hidden message. Oh wait, I just described every issue of Groo ever. This particular issue is notable as the first appearance of Weaver and Scribe, who are based on Evanier and Stan Sakai.

BACCHUS VOL. 1: IMMORTALITY ISN’T FOREVER — This is a collection of fairly early work from Eddie Campbell. I’m not familiar with the British comics scene in the mid-’80s and, so I don’t really know what Eddie was trying to accomplish here, or who were the principal influences behind this work. This collection has a fairly serious plot involving a conflict between Bacchus, Joe Theseus and the Eyeball Kid, What makes it really interesting is Bacchus himself, though, who is a brilliantly distinctive character, as well as his humorous retellings of Greek mythology. I think Campbell is often most effective when he’s telling stories that don’t really go anywhere, stories that just involve people hanging out and talking, and the Theseus-Eyeball Kid material often just detracts from his ability to tell that sort of story. The other Bacchus material that I’ve read is less narratively driven and more about developing Bacchus’s character and exploring his interactions with his sidekick Simpson and with other characters. Overall I liked this book, but I think it’s inferior to later Bacchus stories.

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