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Bogart, Craig – The Ineffables: All of Creation

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The Ineffables: All of Creation

Kudos to Craig on that title, as it’s hard to get more literal than that. There have been more than a few Ineffables books over the years, and that fact may scare you away from trying it out, but this one is perfect for new readers. It starts at the Big Band and ends at the Big Crunch; it’s hard to get more self-contained than that. Things start off with the revelation that the hero of the series (well, one of the heroes) is actually an immortal being, as his travelling back in time caused the Big Bang. Which is the kind of time travel thing that can make your head explode, but don’t think about it too much. From there we see the creation of Mason (OR DO WE? (that’ll make more sense after you read the whole book)) and the destruction of the dinosaurs by a group that has a convoluted but effective plan to make the planet more habitable to them. That’s your first chapter and, as spoilers get a bit dicey from here, I’ll just break down the remaining four chapters briefly. We see the death ray of Archimedes, Ineffables traveling back for a big old brawl (including a Mason vs. Mason brawl that is among the best comic book fights you’ll ever see, unless you like punching), android Ronald Reagan fighting giant sea monsters, giant alien bees taking over the planet, a thousand Mason heads raining nuclear destruction from the sky, and the plan to preserve all the knowledge in the universe at the Big Crunch. This series has really taken on a life of its own in recent years, and I love the fact that we’re seeing more and more team members and, well, all of creation. He even sneaks in some funny lines here and there (like Reagan’s “gift” to a liberated society). I do wish that he’d start putting the title on the spine of his graphic novels, but that’s purely as aesthetic thing for the sake of my bookshelf. This could make a hell of a cartoon series if there’s anybody out there willing to finance a smart, scientifically-minded series about time travelers trying to solve some of the bigger problems of existence. Nah, I don’t see anybody willing to finance something like that in this day and age either, sadly enough. But it would be awesome! $12


Bogart, Craig – The Secret History of the Ineffables #2


The Secret History of the Ineffables #2

Perhaps you’re still undecided on The Ineffables in general, or perhaps you’ve somehow managed to avoid reading about them at some point on this site over the years.  Fair enough.  I would recommend that you embiggen that sample below and give it a good look, as it deals with an old team of Ineffables and their time spent trapped in a force field.  It has only the barest relevance to the rest of the issue, but it’s such a slice of perfection that I couldn’t pass up using it for the sample.  As for the rest of the issue, it’s more of the science-based mayhem you’ve come to know and love, or at least you’ve come to know and love it if you’ve been paying attention.  This issue shows why young Abe Lincoln was kicked off the team ages ago (his methods were too extreme for the team), follows the current team as they try to locate the stolen Schrodinger’s Cat (which has a unique quantum nature that seems to see through realities), shows us a few more dead Ineffables (as the dead are still running loose from the first issue of this series), has the fight the whole world has longed to see (Abe Lincoln vs. Uncle Sam), and has Abe Lincoln following the team into the realm of the dead in the only way he knows (and I loved the fact that his beard reappeared before the flesh on his face when he made it to the afterlife).  This is a team of superheroes in only the loosest sense, as their “powers” are based in abstractions and raw science (I don’t think any of them other than Abe could throw a decent punch), but instead of being some sort of drawback it always ends up being the only way this team can function: through using their brains, even though the brain of Chet leaves a little bit to be desired.  But hey, it only adds to his humanity.  The only complaint I have is that the art seemed rushed at times in the comic, as his linework was stronger in previous issues, but it’s not a constant problem, just a little thing I picked up here and there, and only noticeable because it’s been so great in the past.  Wait, was that a complaint or not?  Sort of.  Anyway, the point of all this is that if you ever see Craig at a con, ask him what he thinks the best self-contained Ineffables story is, buy it and be impressed.  Or if you’re rich and see him at a con, just buy the stack of comics he has available, there is very little in this universe that will disappoint.  $4

Bogart, Craig – The Ineffables #3


The Ineffables #3

For any ancient historians combing through the internets who are curious about the order of these reviews and why they don’t make any sense, I believe I reviewed the first two issues of this series, followed by the graphic novel, followed by the “secret history” first issue, then finally this third issue of the regular series. And really, anybody studying the history of this time period should have better things to do than be worried about such things, unless of course comics ended up saving the world. Sorry, but it’s impossible to read this series without coming away feeling a little philosophical and/or conceptual. It appears that when I reviewed the first two issues of this series years ago this was supposed to be a “make or break” issue for me, when I decided if I liked the series. Well, other issues have already convinced me that I do, so all this issue does is reinforce that belief. In this issue we try to learn a bit about Chet’s new invulnerability, the strange ghost haunting in a cemetery, and a group of workers who disappeared seven months ago. This is all just window dressing for the high concepts Craig wants to throw at the reader, setups for the punchlines, if you will. This is one of those series that should eventually be taught in schools, as it shows that learning (and conceptual thought) can indeed be fun, while still managing to throw a few fight scenes in. This might not be the best place to start this series for newcomers, but anything you pick up is probably going to make you want to see more anyway, so you’ll get here sooner or later. $2

Bogart, Craig – The Ineffables #1


The Ineffables #1

Never judge a book by its cover. I say that time and time again, yet this one was still in my “probably crappy” pile from SPACE. I didn’t even realize that I had different piles until I realized that I wasn’t looking forward to reading almost everything in this pile, but decided today that that was silly and took the plunge. And I was rewarded with this which, while not fantastic, was definitely good and shows that he has things going in the right direction. The art doesn’t do much for me. He says that he had to redraw several things because it took him so long to finish it, and it shows. It’s kind of an X-Files with an odder collection of members, if you want the Hollywood description. Smarter than I thought it would be, the adventures just seem to pop up out of nowhere and the whole thing feels wonderfully (and I hope intentionally) random. It’s $2.50 per issue and it’s worth checking out. No website yet, apparently, but you can e-mail him and see what he has laying around. And here’s the snail mail: P.O. Box 13697 Columbus, OH 43213-0697.

Bogart, Craig – The Ineffables: Political Science


The Ineffables: Political Science

I seem to have been wishy-washier than usual with my old reviews for these issues. Instead of blaming myself, I’ll just stick with the theory that Craig made a pretty big leap after the first couple of issues (neither of which are reprinted in this graphic novel), not that I was a dope who couldn’t recognize a good thing when he saw it. Granted, it is an odd concept for a comic. A team of heroes, comprised of a living work of art, a fringe journalist, a living totem with a giant head and Abe Lincoln (yes, THAT Abe Lincoln) team up to take on… concepts. Really, all the battles in here are against concepts. No big brawls, I’m not sure there was even a punch thrown in this one, except when Lincoln was fighting his giant mutant clone. It’s one of them there cerebral comics, meaning in this intellectually degraded time that you need to have a basic understanding of some of the core concepts of science and politics. The origin story here deals with an attempt by an advocate of intelligent design to mathematically prove that 0=1, which would destroy the working capacity of the world’s computers. The second issue, Patriot Act, has a conspiracy from the South that involves their decades-long secret plan to come up with the master Southern race, and boy could Craig have been a lot meaner with that concept than he was. Oh, and in that one we get to see Abe Lincoln, who fell into the fountain of youth many years ago after he faked his assassination. A couple of previously unpublished shorties are next, with Moon Tunnel dealing with a master plan of taking over the Earth with mallards (which ended in a hurry and didn’t do much for me as a whole, delightful initial concept notwithstanding), and the best 24 hour comic I’ve seen, at least artistically speaking. It seems that there is a sudden plague of zombies, who have come back for one thing: to fix all the fake science that has been coming out of the government. Again, if you’re slightly caught up on current events, it’s about time somebody tried to fix that. The book ends with Political Asylum, in which Abe Lincoln decides to run against the corrupt local mayor (who had apparently taken over the world in one of the issues not collected here) and learns all he needs to know about the current state of elections in this country. Oh, and he has to fight a giant clone of himself, which proves to be all the bad press needed to sink his campaign. If I had to bitch about something here, it’s the fact that this isn’t laid out in a linear fashion at all, but there is a handy timeline at the start to keep things in context. As a whole, it’s funny, smart and suspenseful, because while we all know how fist fights in comics are going to turn out, how is a fight against a concept going to settle itself? Well worth checking out, unless the whole concept of a super hero team is just too much for you, even one as odd as this… $14