Funny, Tetsuo's also the first thing I thought of when I saw a preview of Kenji Hulking out (or whatever happens when he does the grotesque morph - not a title I read). Maybe it's because Akira is such an iconic movie that we can't help but note the striking similarities, rip-off or not.
Sexualisation in comics is something that I've gotten used to over time; it's just another facet of the genre that people either ignore or stop reading comics because of. Top Cow's stories are more in the mature line of comics, so I expect that there will be some level of sexual or sensual imagery; however, I've seen Top Cow move steadily away from the more in-your-face titillation over time (unlike some other companies *cough* Star Sapphire *cough*).
If I know the Artifacts image you mean, it looks to me to be more a perspective angle done for effect, which you really can't escape the upskirt view. Again, it's likely a perception thing... I find butt-floss costumes to be more disturbing than the occasional flash of a character's knickers.
For trades, I haven't read much in the way of ongoings outside of The Darkness, but Magdalena's certainly looking interesting. Check out JMS's Midnight Nation too (reviewed here).
Turtledove's not too bad, though I've only read his WorldWar series; SM Stirling is quite good too. I really recommend Birmingham's Axis of Time trilogy before reading this series though - only because that series is complete ;-)
Nice article Janna! I look forward to reading more of these :-)
And it's been confirmed at SDCC... Joss Whedon is directing The Avengers movie.
I myself have only read The Darkness and some early Witchblade leading into this. I think if you know the basics of the main characters (and handy character introductions are provided through the series), the story's presented simply enough to follow.
Also, a number of the Artifacts bearers are new characters, so everyone starts fresh on those.
Gee, fanboy much over Pilgrim? ;-p
Having read a review copy of Artifacts #1, I can honestly recommend it as one to pull this week. It's even written well enough that you don't need to be 100% familiar with the Top Cow Universe before reading.
I used to play "Drunken Irishman Out on the Pish". It's pretty hard keeping that accent all night.
At the end of the day, reviewing a subject like this will never please everybody. Whichever side of the fence the reviewer comes down on, someone will be upset; whether it be the misty-eyed romantics who love the premise of this series, or those who're after a well-made movie.
Adaptations of books to movies will never be exactly the same, it's just too difficult to achieve. If Griffey hasn't read the books, then he's basing his review on the production quality of the movie alone and doesn't have access to a lot of the nuances from the books that provides the appeal to most of the fans. This does not make him an "idiot", but gives him the basis for a subjective review of the movie and the movie alone.
For the record, I'm in Team Couldn't Care Less.