CrossGen Books

About a year ago (I can actually tell you how long ago, as I’m about to post a link, but I really just feel like saying ‘about a year ago’), I wrote a piece about the comic book Negation and its publisher, CrossGen. For a while, I collected many different CrossGen titles. In addition to Negation, I also read Route 666 (a horror series), The Way of the Rat (a mystical/martial arts story), The Path (a story about a samurai), Brath (a Braveheart-like story about an almost-Irish tribe of warriors and their battle against a Roman Empire-ish  conqueror), and El Cazador (a book actually set on Earth about 17th Century pirates).

A couple of months ago, I was telling one of my coworkers about how good I thought some of the CrossGen books were. Apparently, he really trusts my opinions, because he went right out and found copies of the entire run of both Negation and Way of the Rat. After he got done reading them, he asked me if I wanted to read them again…. Of course I want to read them again, you idiot!!

Right before I started reading, I actually stopped for a second. Would I like these as much as I did the first time? Am I setting myself up for disappointment by reading these again? Only one way to find out…

After reading Way of the Rat again, I must confess that I was a bit disappointed. The story was still good, but, overall, the book didn’t work for me this time around. The Chinese mystical side of it was fine. It was the martial arts part I was having a problem with.

I like martial arts movies. Fight scenes, when done right, are amazing to watch. The problem with reading a martial arts comic book is you only see a freeze frame of the martial arts action in each panel. Seeing a picture of parts of a fight are more of a tease than a crowd pleaser. A panel showing a guy either about to get kicked in the face, or just after getting kicked in the face, isn’t nearly as cool as seeing a guy “actually” getting kicked in the face.

Overall, Way of the Rat was still worth reading, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I remember.

Negation, on the other hand, gave me an entirely different feeling. When I was done reading all of it, I was completely pissed off….

How dare they screw up their company? Because of them, they had to cancel this series! This was one of the best things I’ve ever read!

I loved this series more this time around than I did the first time. I literally wanted to punch someone when I was done reading it. The fact that no more of this story would be written angered me like few things else have.

I’d expand more, but dwelling on this is making my blood pressure rise. Damn you, CrossGen….

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