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All Nighter #1 – Review

By: David Hahn (creator, writer, art) & Aditya Bidikar (letters)

The Story: A directionless 20-ish girl struggles with life problems in this slice of life comic.  She has a lousy on-again, off-again boyfriend, money problems, roommate problems and a couple of dark secrets….

What’s Good: Well, we really need more slice-of-life comics.  I really do enjoy my superheroes, but they are kinda the cheeseburgers of comics.  They are yummy, but if all you consume are superhero comics, you won’t be a very healthy comic reader; you’ll be fat, disgusting and sick (Hmmm….that sounds like a stereotype…).  Comics like All Nighter are like eating your salad because even when a slice-of-life comic isn’t “awesome”, just the change of pace in terms of narrative structure, themes and art design will make you a better comic reader (even if you do stick to the superhero path for the most part).

Slice of life comics will sink or swim based on how much the reader identifies with the main characters and how three-dimensional those characters are.  The degree of difficulty for these comics is pretty high because you can never save a sub-par story with a double-page spread of Hulk punching a giant gorilla in the face.  So, even though the characters in this comic didn’t remind me (personally) of my own early years or any of my friends, Hahn still does a great job of making the characters seem like real human beings who have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

Art is also tremendously important to the theme of a comic like All Nighter.  Hahn has chosen to make the main character (Kit) sympathetic via the art.  We’re supposed to like her and kinda cheer for her to get her life together.  You can tell this because he makes her cute.  Hahn could have made different art choices (i.e. making Kit hard-edged and scowling and covered with nasty tattoos) and that would have completely changed the tenor of this comic book.  I also applaud the decision to go black-and-white.  This is a story that would not be enhanced by color.  You’re supposed to be paying attention to what the characters say and the expressions on their faces, not the rendered highlights on their cheeks.
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Weekly Comic Book Review’s Top Picks

Alex’s Top Picks

Best From The Past Week: Invincible Iron Man #505 – Well, there were only two comics for me this week, and while neither of them were at all bad, I’m going with Matt Fraction’s Iron Man.  This issue showed what I wish a lot more event tie-in arcs would do: tie in to the event in question without forgetting or putting aside dangling plot elements and characters.  A fun read all around and that showed that an event tie-in arc doesn’t have to be something to groan about.

Most Anticipated: Captain America #619 – I’ve been absolutely loving everything about Ed Brubaker’s latest arc in its tone, story, voice, and unique structure.  Not only am I excited to see how he ties it all up, but I also want to see how he deals with Bucky’s death and Steve’s return to the shield.  Big things are afoot this month for Cap and Brubaker’s been in prime shape as of late.

Other Picks: Batman: Gates of Gotham #2, DMZ #66, Mighty Thor #3, Wolverine #11

Dean’s Top Picks

Best From The Past Week: 28 Days Later #24 – Endings are hard, so the degree of difficulty on this final issue of the series was pretty high.  The creators really nailed it and gave us a heartfelt finale that bridges the gap between the two films and does some interesting things with two characters that I’ve grown quite fond of.  Now that the series has wrapped, be sure to check out the trades.  Runner-up: Graveyard of Empires #1

Most Anticipated: Dark Horse Presents #2 – It’s a pretty light week for my pull list, so I’ll go with this second issue of Dark Horse’s revived anthology series.  I have no idea what will be between the covers, but chances are pretty high that there will be something good on the menu.

Other Picks: All Nighter #1, Hack/Slash #5, Thunderbolts #159, Wolverine #11, Incredible Hulks #631

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