Pick of the Week

July 15, 2009 – Scalped #30

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.7
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 31.6%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Okay, before we get started, let’s just get this out of the way. Blackest Night #1 was great. I gave it a 5 out of 5. We’ll be spending plenty of time talking about it on the show I’m sure. But after all was said and done, my Pick of the Week was Scalped #30.

I realized, reading this issue, that Scalped might have fallen into that “I’m getting bored with the consistent quality” trap we’ve seen on so many books. The arcs on this title are long, and there is a lot of character development. These are both good things. But they can lead to a sort of droning excellence, where you turn pages, and think “that was really good,” but not so much to the point that you do any audible gasping, or make your eyes go wide. In fact, I’d almost gotten to the point where I’d see a Scalped issue and think, “time to be depressed for a bit,” and that’s no way to be.I’ll let you in on my mark of quality these days. If I’m reading a book, and I get to a page, or a line, or a panel that’s particularly good, I usually have an instinct to call or IM Conor (or Ron if it’s a book he reads), and see if it was just me. That happened to me on page 2 of Scalped #30. Then again on page 7 and 8. Then on page 12. Then once more on 20 and 21. Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra put on a clinic with this issue, and I’m easily as excited about the coming war in Scalped as I am in Green Lantern.

Let’s talk about that second page. The first page features some unknown or minor characters recounting a dream and a Cheyenne legend. It’s all well and good. But the second page made me sit up and say “Damn, that is some fine comic book making!” Basically, a cop who we’ve met before, and an old grandmother sit on a porch with a lazy dog while the sun comes up. She’s finished telling him the legend, and he asks, “You believe that?” She responds, “All I know is, sometimes when I first wake up, I feel like I can hear it.” Cut to the next panel, framing the old lady in her chair, smoking on a pipe, as she replies, “The gnawing.” Then we see the two of them and the dog watching the sun crest over the horizon. It’s a melding of scripting (both pacing and dialog), gorgeous artwork, and wonderful colors, all on a credits page, for a story called, of course, “The Gnawing.” If you’re in the store, and you don’t read this, check this page out, because it’s an example of something very special, when everything come together, and you know exactly the tone the team is going for.

Let’s take a look at where we are. Dash’s FBI contact is ready to give up on Dash. Red Crow is ready to give up on Dash.  Dash is ready to give up on Red Crow’s daughter. Red Crow is going to go war with some evil and scary Hmong gangsters, and Dash is stuck in the middle of all of it. The tension in this book is as strong as it’s been in 30 issues. Someone is going to have to make some choices, and things are going to have to happen. A lot of times, this is the best part of stories, when the roller coaster is just about to crest, and we see what’s on the other side of the rise. The last arc was very good, and set us up for where we are now, but the plot just got a jolt, and we’re about to move forward. We still don’t know who to route for, who the good or bad guys are, and like a gruesome car accident, I just can’t look away. It feels like the book is about to culminate in some way, which is has to eventually, and I cannot wait.

There were some fine artists on Scalped recently, and all fit the tone of the book, and did a fine job, but this is R.M. Guéra’s book, and it’s good to see him drawing what seems to be the start of something significant.  From the somber start of the issue to the rising tension through the pages, Guéra gets better and better. Of particular note here is his acting with Dash. There’s a scene Red Crow informs Dash that he suspects there’s an informant in his ranks. Of course, anyone who’s read this book knows that Dash is that informant. He’s cool. He plays dumb and keeps it together, but the specific dialog and very subtle facial and body expressions let us know something is off. He stands up, says “Okay, boss.” and walks directly out of the parking lot, where he vomits from fear. It’s a wonderful scene done with a minimum of dialog. The whole book is like that. In fact, it looks like they cleaned up the character model for Dash just a touch, and it works very well. I love to see the artists make changes on the fly, especially when it works like this. Guéra turned in one hell of an issue, and gave us everything we’ve grown to love about Scalped, and made it even better.

It used to be that every issue of Scalped was up for Pick of the Week contention if Conor or myself were at the podium. And while the book didn’t really drop in quality, this week, I was forcefully reminded what made this one of my favorite titles out there. Guéra and Aaron have still got it, which is great news for us lonely and loyal readers.

Josh Flanagan
The phone booth said “Fucked” on it. Awesome.



    Haven’t gotten around to reading any Scalped yet. I want to though.

  2. Awesome, great review. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m glad to hear this issue is tip top.

    Also I smell a shitstorm.

  3. I’m gonna miss Josh when the fanboy mob tears him apart

  4. Hmm. Guess I’ll have to catch up in trades.

  5. Blackest Night blew me away, but this was the kind of book that lingers, that you will get something new out of every time you read it. Unless one of my other books snatches the title away, this is going to be my Pick too.

  6. WHAT!?

  7. Uh oh.  

    I didn’t read Scalped.  I am sure it was solid (it usually is).  I reread the first trade last week and couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

    I thought Blackest Night was a solid 4.  I wasn’t fond of the intro.  Too much exposition for my taste.  I know that is necessary in a first issue.  Perhaps that is why I am not a big fan of first issues.

  8. Avatar photo Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I’m reading SCALPED in trades and am loving it.  Glad to hear it continues to be just as good as the stuff I’m reading now.

    Well written review, Josh.  I look forward to seeing this issue in about, what, 9 months or more?  🙁

  9. I’m sorry about my reaction. I’m still reeling over the death of Karl Malden. RIP

    So what is the pick this week? *reads pick*


  10. Does this still technically count as a DC book?  If so, we are on like 15 DC books out of the last 16 POTW.

    Just adding a little fuel to the flames.

  11. It’s 11 out of the last 20 for DC.

  12. @conor: Too bad it’s the wrong DC books 😉

    Seriously this is a joke right?

  13. Excellent pick, title is just amazing month after month. 

  14. Good review.  I think I’ll read Scalped before I read The Walking Dead.  Thanks for not going with the obvious choice.  I’m tired of hearing about DC super hero books.

  15. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Can’t get over how gorgeous that cover is. 

  16. Hell yes! So awesome!

  17. Scalped is what 100 Bullets should have been (or used to be).  Love the series, but I’m on trades.

  18. @Conor – Wow.  I wasn’t even close.  Hopefully your quick fact check will help quell the flames (that I primarily expect to come from TNC).

    @Paul – I agree on that cover. That is marvelous.

  19. @stuclach: I’m just gonna do ‘Seriously?’ all week. 🙂

    Nah I’m not gonna flame (or I guess much more considering what I’ve posted). But I hope there is more discussion on Blackest Night on the podcast then this. How many times do we have to hear this is a great title?

    In all seriousness, the praise/discussion for this book is the same ever time on the podcast.

  20. @TNC – What they choose to discuss on the podcast is entirely up to them and I don’t wish to put words in anyones mouth, but I think they keep telling us about this book because they really, really like it and think we would, too. (Holy shit, that has to be the biggest run-on sentence I have ever written.)

    While I am not caught up in either trades or issues, I can say that I have like what I have read from this series.  I don’t think I enjoy it as much as Conor or Josh, but I certainly wouldn’t have experience it if I hadn’t heard them espouse its virtues.

    Maybe someone will read your review of Blackest Night and be convinced to give it a try (and maybe the iFancrew will read your review on the podcast).

  21. You know… Scalped is that book for me. You know the one I’m talking about. The book everyone touts as being excellent, flawless. These words usually followed by "best thing on the stands." And yet, every time I’ve read it… I think it’s utter crap. Indeed, I started reading the second volume and never finished it. Set it down and realized I had far better things to read. I couldn’t understand why it was suggested to me nor why my friend seemed to get off on it so much. And so it has remained that odd curiosity book for me that, despite the glowing reviews, I flip trough on the rack and wonder, idly, what’s the appeal?

    That was a bit long winded, no?  Still, your review makes me feel like I should be reading this and the book’s almost omnipresent appearance each month reinforces that. But I just can’t enjoy it for some unquantifiable reason. Anyway, brave choice on the POTW. You’re likely to be the subject of much ire, but I guess you’re accustomed to that no? 😉

  22. Yes, some people think certain comics are better than other comics. We understand that you don’t think this comic is as good as another comic.


    Actually Scalped is really damn good. Damn good indeed 

  24. @Prax: I’m shocked you made it to the second volume.

    @stuclach: I understand it’s all subjective, in fact I think I started my life as an ifanboy poster by arguing a Scalped POTW exactly one year ago. I just find it hard to believe this was better then Blackest Night. Even if I was a HUGE fan of Scalped, there’s no way this would be better then BL.

  25. Cool, I was wondering when we’d hear more Scalped discussion. I gave it a try, and it wasn’t my thing, but I enjoy hearing you guys talk about it. I read Blackest Night, enjoyed it a lot and would give it a solid 4/5, but I can definitely say that a book like that hits on a more generic, corporate level…whereas a book like Scalped can hit the reader on a personal level, which can potentially mean more to a reader. That’s not a knock on BN, because I definitely think there’s an art to doing "blockbusters" or whatever, even if they’re full of the sort of "WTF/WOW" scenes we’ve all seen before. BN is probably the more impressive book on a grand scale, but I can see where individual readers would like their personal favorite titles more.

  26. Kudos to Mr. Flanagan for sticking to his guns (or is that tomohawks?).

    It was YOUR FAVORITE BOOK.  ’nuff said.  You have stated your argument and I think it is a pretty well thought out opinion as to why YOU (yes Josh, not everyone else) enjoyed this comic more than any other that he read this week.

    I still don’t get the "us vs. them" (i.e DC vs. Marvel) posts.  Good comics is good comics.  Period.

    I am reading Scalped in trade, so I can not judge it vs. the Kamandi or Metemorpho pages of Wednesday Comics.    IMHO ,those were two of the best comics pages I have had the pleasure of viewing in my many many many (many, sigh) years of comics viewing.  That said, this article is not what was Bean’s favorite comic….

    Hey, I still need to jump into that latest Trade of Scalped.  Why am I still writing when I should be reading?




  27. Oh, my last comment was directed at TNC, all apologies.

  28. Oh, this thread should be fun to read.  I foresee a lot of capitalization and exclamation points.  What’s the over-under for how many times we’ll see the phrase "epic fail"?

    Anyways, great pick.  I absolutely love this book, it’s definitely in my top 5 on the stands right now.

  29. It’s funny the minority is speaking at this moment when 97% who picked Blackest Night havent posted yet.

    The rivers shall run with blood! 🙂

  30. @ TNC They’ll stop picking Scalped when you start reading it and drop Deadpool.

  31. @TNC – I also made the mistake of going nuts in the POTW thread roughly a year ago. Ron picked Secret Invasion and I went bonkers.  I felt justified at the time.  I think I even wrote something like what you just did in the last post ["there is no way it could be better than…"].  Looking back at that thread I am completely and totally embarassed by my behavior.  I insulted Ron and feel somewhat responsible for his general absence from this website of late.  I have tried to improve my behavior and open my mind a bit.  [I also sent Ron an email apologizing, but I don’t know if it ever got through.]  This is the basic lesson I had to learn:

    Some people simply have a different opinion.  I hated the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  It was a #1 bestseller and millions of people love it.  I can’t fathom that, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong.

    We all just need to keep it mellow and discuss as civilly as possible and remember it could be worse: ultimatehoratio’s shop ran out of copies of Blackest Night before he got there.

  32. @CAM: Well I already read it and I hated it.

    On your Deadpool point…..NEVER!!

  33. Just to clarify, I do mean it when I say the way Josh and the Fanboys discuss this book makes me think I should be reading this book. And I’ve literally pondered why I dislike it so. And I can’t place it. It’s just that odd book for me. And still, I’m glad we’re not discussing Blackest Night here! It’s got a 96% pick rate. It’s boring if week-after-week the highest picked book is the main site’s POTW, too. 

    @stulach I regret my lengthy "Wolverine is a crap book" argument from two months back or so, and I’ve been here just a touch over a year. Listens learned, eh? 

  34. @Prax – Yes. (You mean lessons learned, right?)

  35. @Prax – I was like you in that I tried it once and didn’t like it, but I’ve since gone back and read it from issue 1 and am caught up now and really liking it.  This issue was definitely great with the shit about to hit the fan.

  36. @TheNextChampion I couldn’t wait to read Blackest Night. I had a dream about how much I wanted to read it and it was the first thing I picked up. I loved it. The quality of art and the story thrusted blood to my penis until it exploded in a horrid shower of joy. When I finished it I wanted more, so I read it again. Even with that erecticle explosion, when I read Scalped I liked it more and I knew it was a better comic. The pacing, the tension, the character moments were all at the top of their game. Blackest Night gave me that pure, giddy comic book joy but Scalped made me think and care and dread. That is something powerful and, to me, is greater than that herion joy shot. This may not be the case for you and that’s cool, nobody’s opinion wins.

    This is going to sound like I’m being a dick but I swear I’m just trying to look out for you (like pointing out spinach in one’s teeth) but you’ve used the word "then" incorrectly twice. Checkity-check yourself before you wreckity-wreck a resume some day.

  37. @s1lentslayer I’ve tried it several times. I picked up Issue #1 when it came out, months later my good friend lent me the first two trades. I’ve read some further arcs, but it just doesn’t get me. I’m happy to say though it’s not for lack of trying.

    @stuclach Yes… what an odd typo.  

  38. Imagine my shock that Josh goes against conventional wisdom. I’m sure it was a great issue and when it come in trade I’ll read it. Just means a shorter podcast for me this week.

  39. @stuclash: DC doesn’t have 15 of the last 16 POW’s… They just have 5 of the last 6 (with the other one going to whoever produces phonogram.) No fire quelled on this end.

  40. This was a simply amazing issue.  Any other week, it would’ve had my POW.  Just not this week– Blackest Night, dude.  Blackest Night. 

  41. @JGG – you mean like the time I picked Flash Rebirth?  I don’t fit in your box man!

  42. Torches!!!! pitchforks!!! Change the pick of the week to Blackest Night #1!!!!




  43. By the way, did Vertigo give Jason Aaron a green light for unlimited F bombs in this issue?  I’ve never seen the word in print that many times that quickly.  Pretty f’ing awesome.

  44. Now I dont know if josh is best pals with Geoff Johns anymore. They were the best of friends after that Flash: Rebirth interview. After this….I’m not so sure. 🙂

  45. @Jim – From what I have read Mr. Aaron has had the green light on F bombs from issue 1.

  46. @stuclach – Yeah, but that was like a critical mass of F bombs. I thought they were all going to combine on one page and form an F Bomb Voltron or something. Like Josh pointed out, even the phone booth had an F bomb on it.

  47. @Jim – I would pay to see a movie with an F Bomb Voltron.  Perhaps F Bomb Voltron vs. Shit Monster from Dogma??

  48. Creepy cover.  I went with Blackest Night.  Glad to hear you enjoyed this issue.

  49. I think it’s funny when people get mad at Josh, Ron, or Conor when they don’t pick they book that they want them to. I don’t read Scalped in issues, but I’m pumped for Josh that he liked it the best out of this week. Must be a damn good book. (Pss…I’m pretty sure they’ll talk about Blackest Night on the show, so…) The biggest disapointment for me was not finding the Cap #601 B&W variant. 

  50. @Josh not saying you haven’t picked the big book. Just seems like more often than not you go off the beaten path more than Ron or Conor. I was just wondering how conscious you are of this tendency. Where’s Conor with the statistics on this?

  51. Key words: "seems like"

  52. when i saw the pick this week i made the same noise Josh made during the podcast last week when the dude asked the question about green lantern. ARRGGGHHHH! for fuc…

  53. Jesus, can’t Josh have an opinion? Who cares if he didn’t pick Blackest Night? It shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of it at all!

  54. I am going to have to definitely check this series out.  I’ve read the first 8 issues and I loved them, but for some reason I just never kept going.  I think I’m going to have to pick it up again and drop one of the books that I’m just enjoying, not loving.

  55. Wow.  The character issues were awesome, but this is the start of the shit storm.  Holy cow what an issue.  Beautiful cover too.

  56. @JGG Like I’ve been saying on Twitter, all 3 of the guys clearly just pick their favourites.  They don’t care what we think should be the best, and that’s how it should be.

    I’m not at all shocked, Scalped is a quality book and from all accounts this is one of the stronger issues of an already really really good series.

    I’m sure Josh isn’t reading Blackest Night, loving it and then going "har har I’ll fuck with the fans and pick Scalped" any more than Ron would be thinking "har har I’ll fuck with the fans and pick <insert X-Book>" or Conor with <insert Bat Book>"

    At this point, we’ve got enough of a sample to know that it really is just what they enjoyed most this week, can we please just move on and think it’s rigged for link-baiting or controversy?

  57. I’m finding the herd mentality from some of the posters on this site disheartening.  There’s not a prize if other people like the same book you did.  And as somebody who’s reading SCALPED and not reading any Green Lantern books, I’m thrilled to see Josh’s discussion in this review and looking forward to more on the podcast.  It’s not like there’s been a shortage of GL talk around here. 

  58. All I know is I saw this pick and immediately got f’n excited to read Scalped.

  59. I swear we have this conversation almost every week.

    "hey its the iFanboy pick of the week podcast. Where one of us pickest what they THOUGHT was the best bookand then we talk about it."

    Sheesh. Who cares if you thought Blackest Night was better, Blackest Night was awesome. So was Scalped. So was Wednesday comics. Josh picked his favorite. I still don’t understand how people don’t get this concept. 

  60. I’m going to make the prediction that no one who reads this issue of Scalped would say it’s anything less than excellent.

    Also, if you’re wanting more Blackest Night discussion, there is a thread for it.  And, as I said, it’ll get plenty of talk on the show.  It was f’n excellent.

  61. Scalped was awesome and I loved it and it totally deserved the POW.

  62. Don’t read Scalped..don’t care.   Its Josh’s pick and I respect that..but thank Gawd for show notes, so I can forward to Blackest Night discussion.

  63. I also am furious at Josh! Clearly the best part of Scapled was when the dude gets shot in the face. However this is clearly missing from the POW article. How dare you.


    On that note, I loved nearly everything I read this week and don’t think I could have picked a clear POW. This was really good.

  64. Also I’d way rather they highlight Scapled and hopefully pick up more people on the book, like they did with me. I mean I dont think Blackest Night needs the press as bad.


    Not that the pick has anything to do with that.

  65. I agree with everyone that Paradiddle, gobo and ohcaroline are saying.  Its the bearded man’s opinion and he enjoyed this book more than any other. Hating on that just makes you look stupid and shallow.

  66. OK.  Time to move on.  Talk about the book, or what your pick would have been.  Thanks.  We’re all cool here.

  67. When will people understand that Pick Of The Week is a personal choice? It doesn’t matter if the iFanbase POW has 100% for a different book — this is Josh’s personal pick.

    Anyway, I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure Scalped will be awesome as always & Blackest Night was DOPE.

  68. No we are not @Josh. You should have picked BN #1. Because of you I am forced to read the trades of Scalped (read the first two, execellent) and get caught up in issues just to prove your pick was wrong :). I am looking forward to getting caught up on scalped.

  69. Yeah, not so sure bout this one. BK # 1 is the culmination of many things. It’s litteraly an import piece of work within the modern era of DC universe. The entire creative team handled it masterfuly. So it’s fair to say the POW has left me scratching my head.

  70. Guess if this is better than BK then I have another book to buy.

  71. You mean I dont get a prize if me and josh have the same pick? I thought it was like a carnival and I win a stuffed Spongebob Squarepants! 🙁

    @josh: When you say ‘I bet ya’, you know there’s a good chance it wont go in your favor 😉

  72. EDIT: I’m sorry josh said ‘I’ll make a prediction’ and not a bet. Still, it goes either way with what I said jokingly

  73. BN not BK. Damn those burger ads.

  74. In case my last comment was being misread, I was being sarcastic, hence smiley face 🙂  I loved BN #1, but I am sure I would have loved this issue if was caught up dammit.  Plan to get caught up this week.

  75. If I can say something nice (what’s stopping me?) that is a good cover by Jock. Although I could do without what I assume is people dancing on the end of a rope (right…right?). I get the teeth being in the ground, but the people kinda ruin it for me.

  76. OK, I love Scalped – it is one of the best things going. Unfortunately I’m in trades, so I wont read #30 for awhile. But..COME ON – Blackest Night is more than just an event. If this keeps going at this level – BN will be in the same league as the classics.  POW = BN#1 and Tales of the Corp.

  77. I actually didnt think Tales of the corp was that strong. I liked the middle story with the kid, but I felt a little under whelmed by it.

  78. I’m so out of the Green Lantern loop I didn’t even know Blackest Night came out this week. I’ve never read Scalped, but I know exactly what Josh was talking about in his review. Sometimes something is SO good for SO long that you just start to take it for granted. The example i often cite in this is not actually from comics, but from the word of opera: James Morris has been so exceptional as Wotan in Wagner’s Rng Cycle for such a long time, that you kind of start to forget just how incredible his performances have been over the years. Yeah, Scalped gets talked about on the podcast all the time, but if it is really that good, shouldn’t it be? I’d hate to think that the creators put out this title that is so consistently amazing 9by all accounts), and it just gets taken for granted. Excellence should ALWAYS be recognized. 

  79. Don’t ask me how I missed this, but you of course but the two books we’ve been mentioning here both prominently feature dead teeth.

  80. Wow Josh!!

    Way to stick to your guns on Scalped #30 even though 96% of the iFanbase think you’re insane! I’m reading in trade. Can’t wait to get to issue 30. Scalped rules!! 

  81. Scalped is the best book on the stands right now. HANDS DOWN!!! Haven’t read this issue yet, but I’m never surprised when an issue of Scalped gets picked even when its going up against a 96% potw book, simply because it is the best comic out there. Now only if he could write Weapon X this well.

  82. It’s safe to say that 99% of the known comic buying world will pick up Blackest Night, I’m not sure it’s crying out for any more exposure.  One of my main reasons for loving the ifanboy/potw is because it often sheds light on stuff that’s off the beaten track, that maybe doesn’t get read enough. There are some very telling phrases in Josh’s review that explain just why Scalped should be the pick e.g "it’s an example of something very special, when everything comes together…"  That line could describe this book month in month out It truly is the perfect synthesis of plot, script and art and could be said to deserve the pick every week it comes out. Imagine that!

  83. @Ruo21…I had exactly the same feeling about Weapon X and had to drop it.  Real shame.

  84. If anything, ifanboy is probably the biggest reason Scalped is still around today.

    Cause I dont see many other major websites focus on it that much, nor do I see reviews for it that often. There’s still over 6,000 people who pull it if you take away the pull numbers on this site. But it’s the three hosts that really keep this series in gear.

    I am being serious with that…

  85. @TNC yea ifanboy got me into scalped but i read in trade but…

    blackest night #1 not POTW- BIGGEST SNUB IN IFANBOY POTW HISTORY!!

  86. This issue of Scalped was fantastic. I very invested in the coming war between Red Crow and the Hmong ganstas. This is one of many comics that I would have never thought to pick up if not for listening to ifanboy. Although I still love so many Marvel and DC superhero books the little gems like Scapled are the comics that cause me to gush with anticipation as I leave my comic shop.

  87. " We still don’t know who to route for" *root.

  88. ggnnnaaagghhhh!

  89. @TNC- I would say that Aaron’s AMAZING writing & RM Guerra’s equally awesome pencils are the main reasons Scalped is "still around today". 

    I agree with the people saying that Scalped is the best book on the stands & pretty much every issue for me is my own POTW. Every bit of attention & praise this website (or any other) gives Scalped is 127% earned & deserved.

  90.  "Yeah, not so sure bout this one. BK # 1 is the culmination of many things. It’s litteraly an import piece of work within the modern era of DC universe."

    @ericwilder – Whatever is going on in BN will be undone at some point as with all big 2 super hero books so I’m not sure how "important" the goings-ons in BN are.  To me, that makes Scalped a stronger book because what happens in it matters and a whole lot happened in this issue.

    – opinion on someone who is almost completely done with big 2 superheroes.

  91. Blackest Night is Rocky.  Scalped is Raging Bull.  Both superb, imminently re-watchable films.  But one’s got a little more depth than the other (and the wrong one got the academy award).     

  92. eminently not imminently.  Ugh it’s early.  And both Rocky and Raging Bull are right about to start apparently!

  93. Nooooooooooooooooooo!

  94. @Bedhead

    Rocky totally deserved the Oscar for best Picture. because the sequels are all so bad, people forget just how awesome the original is.  

  95. Fantastic book gets its due yet again.  Excellent.  Usually my POTW for the week it’s out.

  96. I really, REALLY liked Scalped – and props, Josh, for going with your gut (that title page did take my breath away), but, at the risk of sounding innocuous, BLACKEST NIGHT had MULTIPLE panels/pages that took my breath away – the splash page where Hal shows Barry who has died? I want it on a poster.  I swear, Reis is channelling Hitch and Alan Davis at their best but making the art completely his own.

     But as to your review, Josh, you’re exactly, dead-on-the-money right.  SCALPED is so consistently good that it tends to lose its effect, at least for me somewhat, on an issue by issue basis. I’ve had the same issue with CAPTAIN AMERICA and JSA (well, not the last 2 issues of JSA), and if you’re reading the issues in trade, then there’s more of a payoff, I think.  The deep and long characterization – which I prefer to, oh, shoving 80 X-characters into a book and calling it an ‘event’ – is rewarding, but on an issue by issue basis, there’s just a touch left to be desired.

    And honestly?  The book I actually kept flipping backwards through, and then picking up AGAIN when I was done with my stack was CAPTAIN AMERICA 601. The story was a little trite, but that’s not why you pick up this issue. Colan is a living master, and I could hang every page of his art here on a wall.

  97. For the record, I take none of the credit away from the creative team of Scalped.  The book is around because it is exemplary.  See that 4.9 rating?  If anything, we just help some more people know about it, and therefore enjoy it.  I think podcasting in general does something significant for sales of a book like this, and I’m glad to be part of that.

  98. I am always disappointed when I read discussions like this one.  I hate the "my opinion is better than yours" mentality.  I also hate the notion that because one book was picked over another, that immediately diminishes the quality of the book not picked.  Just because I say I love Sierra Nevada doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a cold Yuengling.  I hate to say it but conversations like this are what drove me away from comics at the turn of the century.

    As to the topic at hand.  I think that Blackest Night lived up to and exceeded most of the hype surrounding it.  This could be why its garnishing so much praise.  We often get let down by over hype and general fanboy over eagerness, so its nice when it delivers (almost like if you meet this really attractive woman and it turns out she’s capable of holding a conversation).  Scalped has been a consistently awesome book.  I’ve been up and down with Dash, both kicking ass and getting his ass kicked (which seems to be happening a lot more as of late).  I highly recommend this book. 

    Both books are awesome, for completely different reasons.  Buy them both!  Enjoy comics!  Isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?

  99. @Josh – I certainly agree that this site and the podcast have significantly impacted the success of Scalped.  Did you guys ever interview Jason Aaron? I think you did, but I can’t remember where or when.  I am wondering if he gives you guys any credit.

  100. We’ve talked to him.  I can’t say if he gives us credit or not, but really, very honestly, he doesn’t need to.  His book is around because it’s good.  It’s the creator’s job to make good comics, and get people to help promote them.  Jason Aaron could never say a thing about the promotion he’s received on iFanboy, and I wouldn’t hold it against him in the least.  He did link to this on twitter last night without me telling him, so he’s aware.

  101. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Was our most recent Aaron interview NYCC 2008?

  102. Found it: http://www.ifanboy.com/podcasts/video/iFanboy_-_Episode__67___New_York_2008
    Mr. Aaron doesn’t really give iFanboy any credit, but he seems nice enough and seems to recognize that Scalped has been the key to the opportunities he’s gotten.
    Also, Jason Aaron appears to be a clone of Conor.

  103. It’s cool that he tweeted about it.  I’m sure he is proud of the attention.

  104. What I am about to say is in no way meant as a slight, or to say this pick is "too hip for the room", or to say that maybe it was made just to highlight a reviewer’s darling book on an otherwise obvious pick week. And I dont think for sure that Josh might have been a little pissed some where in the back of his mind that Scalped would be completely overlooked because of the hype and quality (Whether equal or not) of BN, and if he didnt choose it over night, it would never get the proper attention it deserved. I AM NOT SAYING ALL THAT….


    I was out to dinner with my mom in Manhattan when Twitter alerted my phone that the "POW was up", and that we should "hold on to our butts", I IMMEDIATELY KNEW WHO HAD THE PICK AND WHAT OTHER BOOK MUST HAVE COME OUT THIS WEEK. After seeing the smile come on my face, moms asked what happened. I said "The tweet came out from Ifanboy about this weeks pick" After a puzzled look from my 73 yr old mother, the subject was quickly changed.

    When I got back to my car I looked in my "pulled" bag, and sure enough, I saw that Scalped was there in the middle of the pile. When I got home and fired up the site, I saw that it was indeed Josh week.  I am not making accusations here. And I am not saying that the pick was made for anything under the standards that have guided the pick thus far,…..

     …. I’m just sayin is all.


  105.  But it’s been months and months since we’ve felt the need to say anything about Scalped, other than a passing mention in the podcast.

    Really, truly and honestly, there are no politics here.  I looked at my books, and decided which I enjoyed most.   97% of your mileage may vary.

  106. @Unoob – I think Josh is in the clear on this.  Scalped hasn’t been the pick since February and even then it was Conor’s pick.  It has been more than a year (last June) since Josh picked Scalped.  Let’s give the man the benefit of the doubt.  I think he’s earned it.

  107. Lockjaw & The Pet Avengers #3 was bad ass.  I laughed my ass off when Namor’s turtles booked it because they were so scared.  But…Obama dog?  Really?  That bugs, but I forgave it for the awesome last page that has me stoked for the final issue.

  108. Im juat breaking balls. Although the events I described DID happen just the way I stated. (Off topic: We ate at a Peruvian chicken place on 3rd and 90th that was AWESOME! I dont remember the exact name but it translates to "Chicken Chicken" lol. And I did get scolded by moms when I read the tweet at the dinner table. Thanks for that. OUCH!)

    And yes Scalped was indeed a great book, but I think that if anyone remembers anything from July 09, its going to be John’s opus. I will post my own review, AND make my official pick after I finish reading the balance of my books later on today or tommorow. (I know u r all waiting anxiously!)

    AND ONE MORE THING! I got my very own Black Lantern Ring with Blackest Night and I did NOT get a Tomahawk with Scalped. That alone gives BN the edge because I am a shameless schwag whore!


  109. The ring made my finger itchy.

  110. My LCS owner looked at me like I was trying to seduce him when I asked for a ring.  I’m left wondering how the rings were distributed (big cities, at the request of LCS).  My shop certainly didn’t get any.

  111. I dont think there’s any politics in this. Probably if josh did make BN the pick there would be more of that discussion going around. Cause those two are the best of pals!

    Seriously, I dont think there’s any politics in their picks. (Flash: Rebirth) If anything, they only pick Geoff Johns books when they truly deserve it. Not just because of some fad. (Flash: Rebirth) I mean it would take someone who really loves a certain character to pick a book just because. (Flash: Rebirth) I dont agree with all of their picks sometimes (Flash: Rebirth), but damnit! Ifanboy is very professional. (They picked Flash: Rebirth the week they did 3 articles on it and a vid interview on Johns)

    That’s why I love them. 🙂

  112. Haven’t read all my book yet. I don’t read Scalped in issues (finding the trades to be more satisfying), but it’s one of the BEST books on the market, so I can see this.

    For me, Blackest Night hovered around 4 to 4.5. It was really good, but as a couple folks have pointed out, it feels more like a big event and there’s a lot of set-up exposition. Some elements early on felt slightly contrived to me (cutting from scene to scene at various funerals).  I think I’m also very used to the big corporate events and the shocks felt a bit muted as I read it. Avoiding spoilers, the two people who were killed in the issue are two that I’d totally expect to die in order to reset that particular franchise yet again.

    That said, it was a very enjoyable read and I was really blown away by a few pages. But I can still see why an inidvidual issue of Scalped would fare better. 

    Also, it’s not eligible, but the first Darwyn Cooke "Parker" Graphic Novel came out…? Oh my. That is just beautiful.

    I also thought Wednesday Comics was great this week. The good ones are getting better, the weak ones are still pretty weak. Flash, Metamorpho, Kamandi, Deadman, Superman, Adam Strange — those are all really working for me. Teen Titans and Wonder Woman are not.

  113. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    We tend to cover and spotlight things we like. Our only agenda is to promote great comics and creators that we think deserve attention. Pretty simple, really. 

  114. (sorry, not "funerals" in my above comment — I do realize they were all "grave visitation" scenes.)

  115. i hate that since i read scalped in trade that i have to miss hearing about how good this was cause i’m sure there are spoilers here and probably on the show too. oh well thank god i can fast forward

  116. I think it’s officially time to ramp up my Scalped reading. Every night I look at my unread copy of trade #3 with longing, but I never seem to get to it.

    I have to give it up for both Captain America and Poe #1 this week. Both had an effect on me that books rarely have, which is to say that on page 3 I was thinking, "Oh, Christ, what the hell is this supposed to be?" and on page 20 I was thinking, "Ooh, now we’ve got ourselves a ballgame." Once an issue loses me, it rarely gets me back, but both of these pulled off that feat.

    (Cap had lovely art, of course, but the story frustrated me in a hurry. I think I may finally have a bellyful of Brubaker’s WWII Invaders reminiscence. Plus, when I got to the page where Steve is flashing back to his origin inside Bucky’s flashback to WWII inside a flashback to Civil War, I tried to flash back to before I read the f***ing book and have my twenty minutes back. But then, of course, the story quickly goes in a direction I never would have anticipated and have never seen told before, and beautifully to boot.)

  117. I overlooked ‘Scalped’ at the store yesterday (I only started buying the issues recently so I missed that a new one was out) and when I tried to buy it today it was sold out.  This may mean I’m back on trades, but I’ll still enjoy hearing about it on the podcast.

    I had a lot of solid books, and nothing absolutely blew me away, but if I had to make a pick at this point it would be ‘Dark Avengers/Utopia.’  This whole cross-over has been a model of well-paced suspenseful storytelling.  You could quibble that it’s more of an X-Men issue than a Dark Avengers issue, but Norman and the DA’s are well represented.  

  118. Also, if you want to impress a lot of nerds in a small space, try unfolding ‘Wednesday Comics’ in a crowded theater while you’re waiting for a Harry Potter movie to start.

  119. The ring only fits on my middle finger, its too big!  Is it meant for the regular comic fan…or the "stereotypical" comic fan?  Who knows.

  120. Judging from these comments, this would be the best #competitivegeekbaiting post on twitter.

  121. It’s a natural talent of mine.

  122. Jesus Christ, I’m late.  I didn’t start reading my books until about 1 in the morning because I was watching ‘Underworld’ for the first time.  I got to Scalped this morning and let me tell you non-believers, it was awesome.  I’ve always been fascinated by Native Americans and their plight as a result of our ancestors giving them disease ridden blankets to thin their numbers, feeding them alcohol, and then herding them onto unfarmable land.  If you know anything about reservations today, alcohol and drug abuse are prevalent in many of them.  Most are impoverished and depraved.  I’ve never seen a comic that is centered around life on a reservation and it’s fucking fascinating.  This is why I love this book. Jason Aaron is a master at telling this story. 

    Every week I have to sit back, like the rest of you, and think about what truly moved me this week.  Some weeks are easier than others.  What got the gears in my head moving and what truly engrossed me this week.  Out of my top five, this book really touched me in ways that none of the others did.  That is why I made this my pick as well and in the end it wasn’t a hard choice to make at all. 

  123. They gave me a black ring just for the hell of it, by the way.

    Why did I accept the black ring? When will I wear it? I don’t even know what it signifies. Am I dead now?

  124. @Jimski – I think you are officially required to rip someone’s heart out.  Either that or simply gorge on their neck.

  125. Red Crow continues to be one my favorite charcters in comics.

    "He can’t hear you." 

  126. By the way, is ANYONE bothering to read the Wonder Woman strip in Wednesday Comics…? 

     And, good point, @MeanOldPig- Red Crow is an amazing character.  Perhaps the most interesting character in comics the last couple of years.

  127. @Jim — I gave it a good shot and fizzled out about halfway down the page.

  128. This is why I love this site, the fact that these guys can cut through all the hyped books and find a real gem that may have not been hyped up too much. It’s a big help to anyone coming to this site looking for new good things to read, and not just what the publishers tell us is good.

     I won’t be picking up this issues, however, as I’ll be Conor Kilpatricking (trade-waiting) this series. It seems like a series that would be better read in a collected edition.

  129. @Daccampo & Jim: The Wonder Woman comic is so bad that it can’t  hold enough interest to get people to finish its one page story?  That’s like tuning out of Doonesbury halfway through.


    Is it worse than Cowboys vs. Aliens?

  130. I did not even try to read the Wonder Woman strip.  I ran my eyes over it and said, "No thanks."

    I don’t think I will be continuing with Wednesday Comics, incidentally, b/c I decided I don’t care enough about most of the ongoing stories.  But I’d totally keep reading if it was just Superman & the Metal Men, and Supergirl looking for her cat.

  131. The Supergirl strip sounds great, maybe I’ll just flip to that one each week.

  132. Well, it was a really tough decision, but I ended up chossing this over BN as my POTW, as well. When it came down to it, the "oh shit" moments I had while reading this were just slightly more intense than the ones I had during BN. Both are excellent, but in completely different ways. I just can’t get over how awesome Aaron’s writing and characterizations are, though. I think this may be the most well-written comic series for me over the last year. Fantastic.

  133. Yo, this issue was insane. what the hell is Jason Aaron on and G.M Guera/Brusco art was perfect. forget Blackest night!

  134. I this a good point  to pick up Scalped or shoudl I go back and read the trades?


  135. Hey. I don’t have a problem with you picking Scalped over Blackest Night. I haven’t read Scalped yet, but I’m planning to get the trades when I finished my other trades that is piling next to my computer.

    e cover is great. was that a cliff that drawn to look like a set of teeth?

  136. Finally a POW I can get behind. 🙂 Though, I do read this series in trade, I love listening to y’all talk about it.


  137. can’t you just change the POW, josh? (i’m only half kidding)

  138. Anyone else remember when the big event Sinestro Corp War ended (issue 25, I believe) and like 90% of the world picked it as the POW, but Josh picked Ultimate Iron Man II #1?  Scalped #30 is much better than Ultimate Iron Man II #1 (which I liked very much). I think I would have gone with Blackest Night #1, mainly because I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, as opposed to the event fatigue I’ve felt the last couple of years. However, Scalped 30 reminded me that I’ve been meaning to hand over my pile of issues of Scalped to about 20 different to show them the fantastic craft that can go into comicbooking. Which is the greater testament, I wonder?

  139. I can just image the things Jason Aaron is doing in this title.

    *imagines a bear on a small car going in circles*

    *hums circus theme*

  140. my pick pick was bn i ve never read scalped what is the main idea of it

  141. We did a video show with the first Scalped trade a while back, but it’s got your basic information.

  142. To Hell with blackest night. I am boycotting Green lantern books until they do GUY GARDNER: REBIRTH. 

  143. @John: Not before we get a BZZD: Rebirth

  144. @TNC

    I would give my left eye for G’Nort: Rebirth 

  145. @John

    There’s a box lantern I have been seeing lately in GLC. He’s in the splash pages in the sequences of Oa being destroyed. I want to see just an origin on that guy.

  146. JOSH i couldn’t agree more, it was also my pick of the week.  Aaron’s & Guera’s storytelling abilities are at the top of their game here. This book like TWD is month in month out one hell of a read. Plus how many books have a strip club in it called the pow wow wow club!!! Keep up the good fight josh.

  147. This is, by far, the most consistent book I’m currently reading. Jason Aaron’s writing ability can’t be overstated. I loved Blackest Night 1, but I’m glad to see this book get the recognition it deserves.

  148. I love both books. Apples and oranges. If this somehow gets Scalped more readers that it totally deserves, then more power to it!

  149. @cromulent – Everyone knows that oranges suck. Fuck oranges.

  150. I just read my issue of Scalped and it was great.  BN was great, but I understand Josh’s pick.  I was excited about the upcoming issues of Scalped by the end of the issue.  I was excited about reading BN, because I thought it would be great.  It was, but I was no more excited about the event at the end of the issue as I was at the beginning of the issue.  Scalped is always good, so I was expecting a good issue.  By the end of the issue, I was very excited to read the rest of the arc.  The POTW should not always be about if a comic was great, but did it deliver beyond your expectations.  Scalped did that for me.

  151. It was a kick ass week in comics. I would have picked Fables this week, I believe. Creepy, moody issue with excellent art to back it up.  I really need to start gettign the trades for Scalped.

  152. So much good shit from Vertago.  Id say over half my comics are Vertago.

  153. i thought scalped was your favourite ongoing comic period josh?

    and do you think dmz and ex machina are in the consistent quality bore books? what else?

  154. I’ve never said anything was my absolute favorite book.  This is one of my favorites though.

    I read DMZ in trades, more specifically that I borrow from Conor.  I don’t think about it more than a couple times a year.  Ex Machina is pretty good, but rarely great.  But it also doesn’t come out that often.

  155. Scalped was awesome. I pick Blackest Night, but barely. This book rules. I endorse this pick.

  156. this was SO good

  157. You know what I like about ifanboy?  Everyone is represented.  Connor is the DC guy.  Ron is the Marvel guy.  Josh is the artsy fartsy guy that hates comics!

  158. Zoinks! (Reads PDubble’s post, dons asbestos suit, and takes one step backwards.)

  159. I keed I keed!  Good review, and this is all part of the fun of being your site!

  160. Well at least I know I’ll be able to skip the first 10 minutes of the podcast this week.

  161. I finally listened to your advice and bought the first 2 vols of scalped this week. Needless to say, good stuff.

  162. @josh: I’m pretty sure you said it was in an episode of the video podcast. like ron asked you what your favourite ongoing series was and you said scalped. hang on let me check…

  163. Yep. Well, partially yep. #122 ‘Your Emails And Voicemails About Comics’. On the first question Conor asks you what your favourite ongoing title was and you said Uncanny Xme– I mean Scalped.

    …Well that was pointless. Oh well, beer time! Good review by the way.

  164. @Unoob: yeah you are. And no one really cares honestly.

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