Criminy, is it that time again already?
Apparently so. The dawn of a new month means that we’ve got the release of another issue bearing down on us, which in turn means that the Research Department has fallen behind on its appointed task yet again. But really: Can you blame me?
But don’t worry, knowledge-seekers! Tonight, we head down to the archives with a copy of Laurenn J. Framingham’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse: Book One #2 in an effort to
heap mockery and scorn illuminate the mysteries of the printed page once again!
Grab your own copy and follow along!
0.0: A couple of recent comics ran this ad for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle–now available in hardcover!–in which your humble annotator was quoted:
And yet, they misspelled my name, giving me the commonly mistaken double-M instead of the lean, single-M version I’ve been saddled with for the past 26 years. What’s this got to do with Anita Blake? Well, besides functioning as a sort of control group by proving there’s an urban fantasy comic out there that I actually like, it turns out that the ad was designed by Bill Tortolini, who letters the Anita Blake comics.
Could this slight against my name be retribution for the allegedly insulting tone of my annotations? Is it the start of a secret “dis war” between the creative team and me that could only be settled in a freestyle rap battle?!
Well, no. Bill’s actually a really nice guy and a consummate professional, which I know because he keeps refusing to swap out Anita’s dialogue for lyrics from Old Dirty Bastard’s Return To The 36 Chambers. Oh well.
1.1: For those of you just joining us, here’s a little something to catch you up:
A pretty accurate summary of the events thus far. Except that I’m not sure if we’ve seen Anita raise a zombie, although we have seen her refuse to do so for money (which would, in fact, be her job), and while she did kill some vampires in the last twelve-issue series, it took her about eleven issues to actually get around to it. Other than that, though, spot-on.
1.3: You know, I haven’t said much about the coloring on this book since Anita finally recovered from her albinism sometime in the middle of the first series, but assuming that everything’s supposed to look this way…
…I can only assume that everyone in the series thus far is either a) the victim of a severe head cold, b) extremely jolly, or c) on their fifth Rum & Coke of the morning.
Hey, Rum & Coke… that’d make this go a little fast–no! It’s far too early for that kind of talk. Probably best to just move on.
2.3: Dolph says that he sometimes forgets Anita’s “not one of the boys,” which I imagine is a little harder now than it was before artist Ron Lim decided to slim down Anita’s thighs by moving that extra weight up to her chest. Hot-cha!
2.1: In this scene, Anita examines another half-eaten body, and you know what? Forget about chasing down and fighting vampires and other evil creatures, getting into trouble and pulling off daring escapes with her burgeoning super-powers! What I really want to see is some Crime Scene Investigation, because there’s just not enough of that in pop culture today! Bring on the six pages of wandering around somebody’s house swapping quips with a monosyllabic cop–a scene continued from the last issue–because that is exactly what I’d like to see in a book with the words “Vampire Hunter” in the title.
I told you it’d work better.
4.5: You know, when the characters in the book itself start standing around discussing the weather…
…then keeping the readers interested in the story might be a problem.
I don’t know about you guys, but the phrase “voodoo priest for the entire midwest” just cracks me up. I mean first of all, what, is Baron Samedi appointing regional managers now? And second, really? The entire Midwest? Wow, that’s impressive. I’m sure being the number one source of juju in Peoria, Illinois is a real accomplishment there, sport.
6.6: There’s an old rule of editing that I’m sure comes in handy when you’re trying to adapt something for comics that says if a piece doesn’t advance the plot or reveal character, then cut it out. That said…
…I’m looking forward to seeing Anita defeat her enemies by using a hot steering wheel. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to devote both a caption and the art in the panel to referencing it, and that would just be crazy.
9.1: Hey everybody, it’s Manny! Those of you who were with us for The First Death might recall that Manny Rodriguez, as well as being Anita’s own personal Murtaugh, is also her mentor in the vampire-slaying biz. He is not, however, to be confused with Manny Santos, the often-misguided student of Degrassi Community School who was humiliated by Peter when he sent out a video of her drunken escapades at a party that one time.
10.3: Also of note about Manny?
HE IS GOING TO EAT YOU.
13.1: At last, it is revealed: The most powerful voodoo priestess in the entire Midwest is, in fact…
Spider-Man’s kindly Aunt May?!
Well, I guess that does make sense, sort of. She’s had an unreasonably long life, and as we all learned from Empowered, the targets of deals with the devil can often end up with an great amount of power themselves. And with great power… well, you know where I’m going with this.
16.2: Wait, why is Aunt May making Anita play with chicken bones?
18.6: And why is she talking like Razor Ramon?
19.1 PROTIP: When you’re going to call something “indescribable”…
…don’t spend the paragraph before that describing it.
Just a thought.