Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Fatima The Blood Spinners...

by Steven Leitman

Fatima #1
By: Gilbert Hernandez
Dark Horse

I must have been living with my head in the sand because I had no idea who Gilbert Hernandez was before this issue.  People that I know had such rave reviews for his work over the years that I sat down to look at this issue threw excited eyes.  Here is what they saw.
            Right off the bat you see the art is very much an indie style book which coming from Dark Horse surprised me somewhat.  Till I learned was this his style and even then I still find it charming with a distinct quality about it that kind of says that he has a passion for what he does and yet a sense of humor while doing as well.  Now Fatima the main character has the proportions of a classic pin-up girl, though her face is a tad manly. 
            She’s interesting.  The fact that she is killing these zombies and is quite good at it and yet at the same time she seems almost bored with it as well gives her this complexity that I wasn’t expecting. 
            Flashback to how all this got started.  Fatima is new with operations and is on site for a shipment of Spin so large it could wipe out a city.  Very quickly we learn that Spin is a designer drug that people are having a hard time moving.  Mainly because after only one use the user becomes a zombie, which apparently isn’t that much of deterrent since they are all over. 
            There were two undercover agents were working for Mr. Bittermeat, yes that is his name and not unfunny actually.  When Mr. Chitts came to set the sting in motion it’s the two women in bikini’s that end up taking center stage.  Not only because one seems to have boobs bigger than Pam Anderson, which is slightly disturbing. 
            Alright we’ve got a zombie plague brought about by a drug, which I’ve seen in bad SyFy movies.  A badass heroine who likes to shoot guns and take out zombies, seems like Resident Evil to me.  Unfortunately the zombie thing is being done way too much so it’s hard to come up with a new take on it.  However that being said there is a certain charm to this issue that I found endearing.  All in all this was fun and I’m glad I got the chance to experience it.

Review: Star Trek...

by Steven Leitman

Star Trek #10
IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Stephen Molnar
Colours: John Rauch

This is one of those stories based on the old television show. This is what has disappointed me the most about this series, the lack of originality. I understand that the new movie redefines the Star Trek universe and that this new crew supersedes the original, which I’ve watched my entire life. Still I find it unnecessary to tell the same stories with just basically new art.

Yes Kirk and Spock are establishing their relationship and Kirk and Bones are the best of buds already. Okay we get that so show us some new adventures that cement all the relationships and how they become such a close knit family. Including Chekov, Sulu and Uhura I mean these three are just as important to the mythos. These characters have been shown to risk everything for each other so I’d like to see more adventures of them growing into the family unit.

There is a great opportunity here to do things with this crew that wasn’t available the first time around and I feel it isn’t being taken or it’s being wasted.

Now on the opposite side of that coin for those new readers of a new generation that have never seen the original series this is a fun story. It’s almost camp in the way they find themselves in such a situation that they need to stun civilians and escape by their wits. Of course having Kirk report to Pike is also a nice twist.

I will say the art is pretty stunning here and the fact that these characters look so much like those who portrayed them in the movie is fantastic. This really book is targeted for those younger readers who’s first exposure to Star Trek is the latest movie. For that alone it’s a fun read and for long time fans it’s a nice trip down memory lane.

Review: Magic the Gathering: Spell Thief #1...

by Steven Leitman

Magic the Gathering: Spell Thief #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Matt Forbeck
Art by Martin Coccolo & Christian Duce
Colours by J. Edwin Stevens & Baileigh Bolton

Dack Fayden, Planeswalker thief, has stolen a valuable artifact from Ravnica, the Ancient Fang. Using his abilities to learn the artifact's secrets, instead he witnesses the destruction of his hometown through the eyes of the villain that committed the act: Sifa Grent. Dack sets out to track her down at her next destination: Innistrad. Once in Innistrad, he meets a cathar by the name of Ingrid Reichert. Ingrid aids him in tracking down Sifa, who has allied herself with a local vampire Baron. In tracking down the Baron, they learn that Sifa has travelled to Ingrid's hometown and plans to steal the souls of the inhabitants, just like she did to Dack's hometown. Dack and Ingrid manage to stop her, but she escapes and planeswalks away. Dack follows and finds himself in front of an enormous castle…

I like this it really is like you are reading a session from a well played game. Part of the appeal of RPG’s is that you can find yourself in a character doing things you’d never get a chance to do in real life. Here in Dack we get a chance to feel as if he’s the character you are playing and this is how you would progress in the game.

For those that don’t play RPG’s will like this though because it has all those elements that make up a good story. Action, Adventure, intrigue and a love hate relationship that keeps the motivation to find Sifa alive. Plus the skills he shows and situations he finds himself in are pretty fantastic. Both the inner and spoken dialogue is incredibly well done here.

It is a great story actually and one that is able to transcend the genre and become just a great read. These stories are perhaps the most overlooked and yet the most entertaining.

Review: Resident Alien #2...

by Steven Leitman

Resident Alien #2
Dark Horse Comics 2012
Written by Peter Hogan
Art by Steve Parkhouse

Surviving a crash landing that ruins his spaceship a stranded alien hopes to live quietly undercover in the sleepy town of Patience, USA, masquerading as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle—a semi-retired Doctor. He has some alien powers of empathy and the ability to mask his odd appearance from most people, which comes in handy after the local police chief enlists Harry’s help to investigate the murder of Patience longtime real Doctor. At the end of last issue another murder victim was found.

I liked the recap of what he did upon arriving on Earth. The whole trip to the mall was impressive as he was able to find everything he needed in one place to not only establish an identity but to find a place to live. His advanced knowledge as to how to manipulate the ATM machine and all that was pretty genius stuff.

Carter Blaine retired banker and all around hated man is found dead in his bed stabbed through the heart with a knitting needle. I love that the killer was naked and hopefully we’ll get to see him in that state before it’s all over. Then again it is Dark Horse so male nudity isn’t something I expect to see.

With this second murder however it would seem the police chief has the wrong man in jail. For the murder anyway but not for the burglary as he points out to save face.

Then we get a slice of Harry’s life from his own planet. He has or had a girlfriend, wife or lover who is waiting for him. It’s kind of sad when you think about it.

During an exam of a patient we get some unexpected clues. I liked this whole thing comes to him by sheer chance or luck if you will. This of course gives him a lead to investigate and use some of those skills of his to find the thread and follow it. It all leads to a War Hero who comes home and find he has lost his girlfriend to another man and the bank foreclosing on his parents house forcing the family to move away. Those are reasons for finding the two men responsible dead however that was forty years ago why now and he moved away.

Asta went to see an eye doctor because she has trouble seeing Harry clearly. She is one of those people whose mind doesn’t accept the illusion. She is Native American and her father a Shaman, which explains much. His insight however is nothing short of amazing as without ever having met him he knows so very much and can articulate that to his daughter. This is some powerful dialogue and writing right folks.

While waiting for Asta we learn that Whitehead, the soldier, moved back to town with his wife a year ago and he was a patient of the deceased doctors. Interesting turn of events if I do say so myself, but also a tad too obvious if ya ask me I’d say he’s being set up.

For the final page it would seem the government, FBI or some such agency where the men wear black suits, have found Harry’s spaceship. Bum Bum Bum Bummmm

I really do find this a charming tale, extremely well done all around from writing, plot, character development you name it it’s all here and done to perfection.

Review: Voltron...

by Steven Leitman

Voltron #6
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by Brandon Thomas
Illustrated by Ariel Padilla
Coloured by Marcelo Pinto

There is one thing about this that hits you pretty much right away it’s like a Saturday morning cartoon on paper. It has that feel to it that I used to get watching the show after school. It’s a pretty special thing when you capture the magic that made it so successful in a different medium so bravo.

For a first time reader of the series I probably picked the wrong issue to start with, so I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t new reader friendly yet. Usually the beginning of story arcs are the best time to pick a book up. However I’m reasonably intelligent and should be able to understand what is happening.

Lies, betrayal and a thirst for revenge that seems to be the story for today and alas no sign of Voltron. Just pretty spectacular characterization of those beings who we see and an unexpected twist to the proceedings.

I love the twist too it was cool to have that sprung on us this way. As Zarkon, the evil King, tells his story we learn that he isn’t the man everyone thought he was. Oh the drama that has occurred here is simply wonderful. We also get such an in depth look into him as a character, person, father and victim that you feel almost sorry for him.

I really didn’t think the issue was going to end the way it did either. I thought for sure things would have ended differently and then to learn the identity of the mysterious stranger was another monkey wrench thrown into the pot.

Who knew that the writing here was going to be this darn good, complex and layered in ways that shouldn’t exist and yet they do right here. All this and we barely see any of the kids who have lions only in the beginning as we learn that last issue the bad guy escaped.

I don’t know what I’ve been missing but I think it’s high time I went back and found the first five issues to discover what this is all about. Unexpected pleasure from a childhood memory what more could a fanboy possibly ask for?

Review: Lord of the Jungle #5...

by Steven Leitman

Lord of the Jungle #5
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Writer: Arvid Nelson
Illustrator: Roberto Castro
Colourist: Alex Guimaraes

Just out of curiosity how did Tarzan learn to use the bow and arrow? I mean while saving D’Arnot he shoots one of these ape monstrosities through the neck with an arrow and he’s seen holding a bow. So I’d really like to know who or what taught him how to shoot. Granted these hybrid, devil, apes use weapons and know who he is rather well from the looks of it but still explanations please and thank you.

I’ll say this though the whole issue could have been showing Tarzan’s resourcefulness and I would not have minded one single bit. I liked that we saw some ingenuity, thoughtfulness and such when it came to taking on bigger and stronger opponents.

Well when Lieutenant Charpentier gave the order to kill em all since they are abominations I actually felt sorry for them. No one no matter what has the right to make a species, a village, a people go extinct just because they fear it. Still in that day and age I suppose that would be a natural reaction to anyone other than a scientist.

Miss Porter’s adamant belief that Tarzan helped them and saved D’Arnot even though circumstantial evidence may say otherwise shows how she feels about him already much to Mr. Clayton’s chagrin.

At this juncture let me say that Miss Porter looks absolutely lovely, not overly sexualized or exaggerated but simply lovely. She’s a natural beauty and I have to admit that this took my breath away, the talent and skill shown to make it so.

I adore that Tarzan didn’t leave D’Arnot’s side till he was healthy and though they all left D’Arnot is still alive with him. Teaching him French so they can communicate which to me says Tarzan is a whiz with languages, or at least has a natural aptitude for them. Or it could just be because he doesn’t have the social stigmas about trying to learn as an adult as so called civilized people do.

Wow gotta love comics because suddenly it’s nine weeks later as they emerge from the jungle into civilization. During their journey Tarzan’s French is much improved. Now that D’Arnot knows he is a Greystoke he has taken the time to teach him what he can during their time together. Oh yes Jane is on her way to America which is where the pair are going to go as well.

The art is really wonderful here as D’Arnot is handsome and Tarzan is masculine and down right sexy, long hair an all. The art lends this book something of an almost magical quality to it that makes reading all the better an experience. Arvid’s interpretation of the story is wonderful as well injected with humor, drama, action and even some unexpected moments all of which conspire to draw you in and make somewhat sad that when the issue is over. The characterization is marvelous here as well and the plot advancement is really top notch. I love seeing what Arvid is doing with this classic tale while somehow also making it his own with they way he works, this is a memorable experience for me and I take this journey gladly.

Review: Soulfire Hope...

by Steven Leitman

Soulfire Hope one shot
Aspen Comics 2012
Story: J.T. Krul
Pencils: Jose Varese
Colours: Brett Smith

Have you ever wanted to explore the Soulfire universe but thought it was a daunting challenge to jump into? Aspen is making it easy for you to get acquainted with the Soulfire universe before volume four comes out. Already out is the Primer which catches the reader up to date on what has happened thus far. However to take it a step further here is the first one shot that allows you to get to know the key players.

This is a great time to explore the Soulfire universe and by the time volume four number one hits stands you’ll know everything you need to. I can’t think of many other companies that have gone out of their way to welcome new readers in such an easy going and in my humble opinion delightful manner.

This issue is called Hope because the kingdom has been in a state upheaval and the previous king murdered. It is time for the Queen to find a new King and in the arena a new King shall be found. When it comes to the young upstart and the Queens old beau she wishes Dex to yield to the child. He does what the love of his heart asks but is that the right choice?

This tournament has given the people Hope that a better time is coming. After death, destruction and betrayal giving them hope is the best the Queen can do. Though the young upstart is impetuous and power hungry I am not sure that he is ready to lead these people in a direction they need to go.

Anyway Aspen has done something incredibly good here and it really does help one to understand the universe going forward. This is the perfect time to try it, it is completely new reader friendly and it’s also rather welcoming. J.T. Krul writes some amazing stuff in the Soulfire world and the art is simply beautiful.

Review: Star Wars Blood Ties Boba Fett is Dead... by Oliver de Guzman

Great art! I'm a fan of painted art that is put to good use and this issue is a good example of that. Although, story wise, it may be a little too simple. But with a title like that, I guess that's the spirit that the writer is going for anyways. The decompression is palpable but in most parts, the writer was able to insert some cool character moments and developments that's enough to keep the reader hooked.

I, myself am quite intrigued as to what would happen in the remaining issues. This revenge drama might have read a little too quick, probably five minutes for me, but it's still pretty much worth your time and your pennies and dimes. Pick it up for the art alone! The story is a plus.

Review: Angel & Faith... by Oliver de Guzman

Among my review pile this week, I would swear that this one is my favorite. Christos Gage has found his footing with this title and this one captures a little bit of the superior issue that came before it. New/old characters come into play. I'm really hoping willow becomes a regular supporting character in this book. Her presence adds so much to it. As I was saying, a lot of developments that happened in this issue to move it forward although at times, it could get a little exposition heavy.

Still, with his recent stride, I would consider this forgivable from Gage. Art as always, is great. It's entertaining and it distracted me from life's worries for a little while. So you can tell that the book did its job.

Review: Witchblade... by Oliver de Guzman

Quite a shift in gear this issue. With the past few ones, we get to follow Sarah as she deals with the fallout of Chicago's uncontrolled magical explosion. This issue is actually a continuation of that idea...but the scope is grander in scale. Not sure if I actually like the story...perhaps not. It's the first issue of this run that didn't really captivate me as much as all the others have. It seems too generic. I have seen similar stories of the same nature played out before. The creative team needs to step it up in the coming issues to win me back.

The art, while still great, is confusing in some panels. All in all, an average issue. But it's the first in a new arc. So, I'm sure it'll bounce back.

Review: Manhattan Projects... by Oliver De Guzman

As always we get a treat from the quirky mind of Jonathan Hickman. This issue have rather huge ramifications....a revelation that, while fun is kind of...questionable, if you think about it. I mean it would have worked if it was the first time it was done, but a second time? I'm thinking that Hickman may have something else planned along the same lines next week....something similar...otherwise, I would think that the revelation in this issue is pointless and done for the sake of being controversial.

Also, the more we move forward, the more it makes me think; is there actually a plan involved? Are we going in any direction? Any clear direction? The chinks in the armor are beginning to show. This issue does have a lot going for it though. Great art, a captivating enough story to capture the readers attention, humor....but still, the similarity of the revelation is quite distracting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Tales of the Beanworld...

By Patrick Mohlmann

 Larry Marder's Beanworld has become one of my favorite books since I discovered it a few years ago. And this collection is a fantastic addition to the series. This book is like a mini anthology for Bean World. Each story is interconnected by way of flashbacks from different characters. With Marder's simplistic but wonderful art the characters still come alive and emote wonderfully with such a small amount of line line work. His art shows that you can still be a great storyteller with out having to over render your drawing.

Most of the stories in here revolve around the Pod'lPool Cuties, the babies of Bean World. How they are goring up and how they learn to interact with each other. Beanish, the artist of Beanworld, talks to his love and muse Dreamishness, and makes toys for the Cuties, which in turn makes them interact. Which they had not been doing before. We also get some action as Mr Spook the hero of Beanworld, along with the Spear Fling'n Flank'rs ward off an imposing figure. Lastly we get hints of more cuties on the way at some point in the future.

Bean World to me, has always been about how life should be. Everyone working together, and when you need to get what is necessary like food. You get it, but you also replace what you take. Bean World is a very symbiotic place. It is also a place where imagination flourishes. And helps shape the world. Bean World is hard to describe, but easy to know. As Marder says, “Beanworld isn't a place, it's a process”

Review: Savage Dragon 180...

By Patrick Mohlmann

 As always Dragon is a highly entertaining read. As two major plots begin to come to a head. The invasion of earth is in full swing. Dragon's son, Malcolm Dragon and his step sister Angel race around trying to find a way to stop these seemingly unstoppable aliens. Angel has practically given up and Malcolm steps up big time in this issue. While Dragon, who is is space makes a decision that is not too popular with his people.

There is of course a lot of action and drama going on during all of this. In what is probably my favorite section of the book we get flashes all over the world of heroes, and villains, fighting these alien menaces. There are a handful of nice cameos by other Image characters. I always love how Savage Dragon has always embraced the shared universe, but with out relying too heavily on it like Marvel or DC.

I have always been a fan of Larsen's art, but with this issue he seems to have stepped up his game again. The last few issues, while good have not been the strongest artistically. Larsen really shines in this issue. Showing lots of carnage as well as the little character moments. There are even moments of levity in an issue that is almost nothing but carnage. Rex and Horridus's scene in particular cracked me up. Savage Dragon has been on a roll these last few issues, and I hope that Larsen is able to keep this momentum going as well as keep his art as good as it is in this issue.

There are bound to be a lot of shake ups from what happened towards the end of the issue. I look forward to seeing just what Larsen can do.

Monday, June 25, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Kurtis Wiebe

Kurtis J Wiebe has been ridiculously busy over the past few years. He's churned out a novel, video game concepts and 6 comic titles with a seventh, Debris, coming out at the end of next month.He took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for CBNAH.

I'm looking at the list of books you’ve written over the past 2 years – Snow Angel, The Intrepids, Green Wake, plus a novel, your Sky Pirates of Neo Terra stuff, and 3 comics on (or soon to be) the stands – I guess my question is how did you get to be so awesome?!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Reset #3

OK, I’m hooked. The more Peter Bagge reveals (and keeps hidden) about the testing for a psychoanalytic app where they make one man relive his life however he wants in a virtual reality, the more I’m fascinated by it. I don’t have any clue as to where this story is going, and I love it.

The characters in this book are getting really interesting. When we were first introduced to Guy I wasn’t sure what to make of him. After this issue, it’s clear that he’s a lot more intelligent than anyone is giving him credit for, and I’m really excited to see how he develops.

Review: Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #5

I really wanted to like this book. I really do. First, it's by John Ostrander. Second, the art by Jan Duursema and the rest of the team has been nothing short of amazing. 

I do not really know what the problem is, but for me, it seems to be lacking a bit of "oomph" that would make it stand as a good book. Perhaps because it was exposition heavy? Perhaps the plot  was a little too generic?

Review: Baltimore: Dr Leskovar’s Remedy #1

This 2 issue miniseries follows straight on from Baltimore: The Curse Bells, continuing Lord Baltimore’s quest for Haigus, A vampire who killed his family. Mike Mignola writes supernatural horror like no one else in the business, with the possible exception of Steve Niles. Baltimore: Dr Leskovar’s Remedy #1 is no different. It’s classic, gothic vampire fiction at it’s non-sparkling best.

There is a lot about this book that’s formulaic. It begins in a quaint little fishing village.

Review: Saga #4

Tim's Review:
Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to bring awesomeness to the table with Saga – this issue in a disturbing way that is decidedly not for the faint of heart. In issue 4, Alana and Marco discuss ‘Gwendolyn’, the last page A-bomb from issue three. Meanwhile, The Will visits a place called ‘Sextillion’, which is just as graphic and disturbing as it sounds.

Review: Alabaster: Wolves #3

“Alabaster Wolves” the post-apocalyptic journey of Dancy Flammarion continues as we follow her through her cleansing journey and battles with the supernatural. This issue followed suit with the previous and while the content is expected there is plenty in this issue to surprise.

The story by Caitlin Kiernan is really enjoyable and a pleasant mixture of many things. There is a balance in her style of writing that leaves me completely engaged in her writing.

Review: Ragemoor #4

Ragemoor has been one of the most interesting, well produced comics I’ve read in a long time. The story has been very well conducted and the mysterious nature of the content paired with the gritty monster like quality of the art have played perfectly casting an old B-Movie kind of feel surrounding this mysterious tale. The conclusion of this book was anything if not shocking leaving me wanting more from both Strnad and Corben.

Review: Rebel Blood #4

Rebel Blood has been one hell of a ride, there have been so many shocking twists and turns that I wasn’t quite sure how this Zombie thriller would end! Well Needless to say I enjoyed this final issue fully! Rossmo’s art and story with Link has been impeccable, making this book one of my favorite series I’ve read to date.

I have been a fan of Riley Rossmo’s art since I first encountered it in the incredible “Green Wake” and just like in that series his work on

Review: Dark Horse Presents #13

The width and breath of the Dark Horse creative team is displayed in Dark Horse Presents #13.

Dark horse Presents #13 showcases a preview of 9 creator owned stories, all of very different genres and styles. From the Vampiric horror story criminal macabre to novella profile: a cross story, supernatural hero the occultist to war era hero black beetle and even an aliens tie in story, the net is cast far and wide regarding the talent on offer.

Review: Grim Leaper #2

The continuing adventures of the repetitive dead lives, with each death our intrepid hero gets shoved into a new body. Last issue I thought this was interesting and with the second issue we get more of the same thing and it becomes repetitive and somewhat predictable and boring.

Review: Planet of the Apes #15

When the lawgiver, the revered ape leader, was assassinated by a human the city collapsed into a bloody civil war that shattered the fragile peace between ape and human. That war has been raging for ten years.

Sully, the leader of the human resistance movement, no longer believes in peace as the answer and now fights back. In her effort to discover who is behind the abduction of her

Review: The Darkness #104

In order to save the world Jackie Estacado destroyed it and then rebuilt it. On the surface things appear the same but Jackie couldn’t resist making a few changes. Now the cracks in Jackie’s world are getting wider….

Review: The Shadow #3

We open up with a Russian plane being shot down at the behest of Kondo, whom we met last issue. The greater good is the reason of course but the real question remains whose greater good are we talking about here?

Review: Mars Attacks #1

To be perfectly honest I never did watch the movie I thought it tacky and stupid funny. Things that well aren’t really on my radar, granted I am familiar with enough to know that it did make quite an impact upon pop culture.

Review: Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow #14

Fist things first: there seems to be quite a few people involved in the visual side of things here. Since I only have a ten page preview to work with I’ll have to wait and see if there are any adverse effects to having such a large team or if it all flows together seamlessly.

Review: Vampirella VS. Dracula #5

One of the first things you notice about this is the art is lovely. I do mean lovely it has this romantic feel to it and Vlad’s lover who waits for him is beautiful and the contrast between himself and her is striking. Still the romance associated with the time shows very nicely.

Review: Eternal Descent vol.2 #5

Syrian remembers that he is looking for Lyra. Lyra is unconscious after taking a beating last issue. She wakes up to find that an old friend is among those who attacked her. So then we have the obligatory hate on hate thing but no girl fight really. Surprisingly however the dialogue here is beyond clever, between the two women its fun, witty, intelligent and down right entertaining.

Review: Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files: Fool Moon #6

If you’ve ever read any of the Dresden Files books then you are already a fan of Harry Dresden. These mini-series adaptations of the novels are actually quite good and true to the book. Thankfully we have Jim Butcher involved so it can be assured that this is his vision and we see what he knows to be important and that it should be shown to the readers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Creator Roudup

This week Dan Hipp comments on Prometheus, Bryan Lee O'Malley is colourful, David Aja is valiant, Skottie Young has a weird lump, Eric Canete is inhuman, Brandon Graham works with the missus, Peter Nguyen captains, James Harren and Matteo Scalera do Marquis, Dustin Weaver is uncanny, Phil Noto is a weasel, and Francesco Francavilla is breaking bad.

Monday, June 18, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Rafael Albuquerque

Brazilian artist Rafael Albuquerque has had an amazing few years, working on American Vampire with Scott Snyder and even Stephen King. He is currently dropping some amazing pencils on Batman, again with Snyder. Renaldo got the scoop on what it's like to win awards, work with scott Snyder and generally kick ass.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Renaldo's Reviews: Dancer #2, Conan #5, Mind the Gap #2, The Strain #5

Dancer #2 –

Well, first issue was good and here, the plot twists are obvious. I kind of did not want to actually deal with the obvious clone factor…yes…clone factor. We have a retired assassin on the lam…from his younger clone…who lures him out of hiding by kidnapping his girl. It’s a bit clichéd and mish-mashed but somehow, Nathan Edmondson does well enough on the story to have me attached for the next issue. Nic Klein also gives me that Francavilla feel that I love with his visuals but unless there’s a grand deus ex machina in issue 3…I’ll be dropping.

Review: Invincible #92

I'm beginning to think that the title of this book does not only pertain to the lead character, but also to the creative team itself. 

Kirkman, Ottley and co has done it again. This book, at least for this humble reader, has not had a dull moment since....I couldn't even remember when. They consistently deliver, breaking new ground with each chapter. There's always something in the air with this title, something happening that moves the story forward. 

Review: Alpha Girl #3

Alpha Girl is one of the best spins on the Zombie genre I’ve read! The story is cheeky, brash and hilariously lewd! The characters are charming and the fast paced story keeps the reader interested and waiting for more!

The art on this series is perfection! It’s bold and graphic playing off the tones and content within the pages adding a whole new layer to the story!

Review: Mind the Gap #2

This series is one of the better being written right now, it’s a mystery book of the “who dun it” variety! McCan has crafted a story around a young girl in a coma, Elle, who was attacked and put there by someone she knows, someone named in the first issue. The second continues directly after and plays off the possession in the last.

All I can say is woah, the twists and turns continue!

Review: The Massive #1

What does it mean to be an environmentalist after the world’s already ended?
For Callum Isreael the mission remains: search this crumbling world for answers to the cause of the crash, and keep up the hunt for their missing ship the Massive, lost and adrift in the chaos. Okay, so basically this is and end of the world story where the world hasn’t really ended but it has been irrevocably damaged.

Review: Buffy Season 9 #10

Since Buffy’s days at Sunnydale the stories haven’t really felt that much like our old slayer! The use of metaphor was gone and the book was on a more militaristic turn. Now that wasn’t a bad thing, keeping a story fresh is important and it was still Buffy, but I’ve really enjoyed the “back to basics” approach we’ve seen in season 9.

This issue is the end of the second story arc in Buffy season 9 “C:\> apart (of_me)”,

Review: Kiss #1

I cannot believe I am about to say this but this looks pretty darn cool.  I unfortunately am old enough to remember the Kiss cartoon so to be honest I was somewhat intrigued and weary to take a peek at this book.  It’s Chicago in 1929 and prohibition is in full swing and organized crime is the name of the game.
Only things aren’t what they appear to be, mind you we really don’t see any of the Kiss members yet, I’ve only read ten pages mind you,

Review: The Strain #5

I have to say David Lapham is all over the place lately and personally if he could handle it I’d have him writing more.  His adaptation so far has been incredible!  He’s built up suspense and given us the glimpses of what is to come as well as Abraham’s background in pretty good detail.  It’s that background information that makes what is happening in the here and now that much more terrifying.
I’ll say this though Sardu, the vampire, is no myth his Bubbeh told true stories in the old world. 

Review: Planetoid #1

Caught in a planets unusually strong magnetic field his plane looses all control and he’s ejected from the ship before it crashes.  What we see is a world that had technology, grand technology from the looks of things but seems to be deserted at first glance.  Though page six is both beautiful and ominous at the same time.
His suits internal computer is named Rictor. 

Review: Dancer #2

Wow the unexpected hits just keep on coming here.  I’m a sucker for anything like this, an action, adventure, thriller story and this one has all the elements that made the Bourne Identity movies as successful as they were.  This story however has things that those didn’t, this one has those What The! moments in them that you never saw coming.
Poor Quinn has no idea what the heck is going on and Alan isn’t being exactly forthcoming either.

Review: Dracula: New World Order #1

Sometimes I really love doing what I do, and that occasionally is reviewing comic books.  Yeah I know occasionally really means daily but hey when one of those perks happens to be a surprise email with a new book by a creator I’m all for it.  More so since Ian manages to do something new with something old and yes he’s borrowed things from others and there is nothing to be blue about here.  (Cheesy but hey I followed gut with the marriage reference)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Creator Roundup

This week Dan Hipp shares his love for Kavinsky, Terry Moore has a snake problem, both Fabio Moon and Sean Phillips both get a bit cheeky, Jeff Lemire get's his bat on, Joe hill's a try hard, Bryan Lee O'Malley answers fans, Jim Rugg likes to show off, Templemsith releases his inner Moff, Eric Canete draws the mysterious, Chrissie Zullo goes Art Nouveau, Becky Cloonan goes black queen, James Harren, Matteo Scalera and Coleen Coover are li'l depressed people and Neil Gaiman speaks about Ray Bradbury.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Cover: Jose Ladronn

Mexican born artist Jose Ladronn Is an Eisner award winning artist probably best known for his 3 year stint doing interior work on Cable. He is a talented visual storyteller, as evident by his rather expressive covers. Ladronn has a great talent for previewing a story with a cover, so that the reader knows exactly what to expect once they open up the book. Check out a showcase of his covers after the jump!

Nerd Caption Thursday..!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Hack/Slash #16

Hot off the tails of one of the better story arcs of Hack/Slash, Cassie is back from “Monster Island” and on the hunt, but not for her typical baddies. This time Vlad and Cassie are on the lookout for Vlad’s family, they need to find them in hopes of finding a cure for Vlad’s ailments. This issue has a lot of classic Hack/Slash goodness and since the story is Vlad centric I’m pretty happy.

The story is fun and I think Jordan has done a great job, while the content isn’t overly heavy it still feels like it has substance.

Review: Morning Glories #19

Ty’s review:
This is the issue we’ve all been waiting for, the epic conclusion to “wood run.” This issue is by far one of the best of Morning Glories yet. The story is exciting, daring and dark. The art plays perfectly with the writing bringing the end to the most captivating story arcs of Morning Glories yet.

Spencer has taken us on quite the ride with “Wood Run” there have been old questions answered,

Review: Secret #2

Hickman knows exactly how to grab his audiences attention, keep and leave them wanting so much more.  Along the way if you blink at the wrong time you’ll miss little pieces of the puzzle that are the characters motivations and personalities.  The characterization here really is second to none because it happens so subtly and quietly that you realize after the issue is done how much you’ve learned.
Okay I have to say that the flashback to when they were kids was incredibly powerful. 

Review: Fanboys Vs Zombies #3

OH my stars and garters yes this is one of the funnest (yes I know technically that isn’t a word, but it fits) books on the market right now.  I mean what would happen to you at San Diego Comic Con if a zombie apocalypse started?  Would you survive (this isn’t the chiller network though that looks like fun), get eaten quickly or sacrifice yourself so others might live? 
I would say you’d never know but real life seems to be mimicking art these days with “zombie” attacks in Florida and Maryland so who knows

Review: Superbia #4

So here we come to the end of the mini-series or the first act if you will.  This issue was perfect in that it solved some issues, created more and continually evolved the characters and their situations.  This book was intended to be about those, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends and children of super-heroes and while they take center stage.  Grace has managed to make this “Housewives of the Super-Heroes” every bit as charming, gossipy, dramatic and downright addictive as any of the shows it seems to be modeled after.  Russell’s art just makes the book that much more perfect too.

Review: Harbinger #1

Well its official folks Valiant is back and better than ever (yes I’m quoting my favourite morning TV show Mike and Mike)!  With their second series to hit the stands it is plainly clear they’ve hired some of the best talent in their fields today to tell some absolutely phenomenal stories. 
I’m familiar with Joshua’s work and I’ve always been a fan in the past and I’ll tell ya the present is no different. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The School of Better Comics Episode 2!

  • This lesson is about narrative structure and how comics can and don't fit into it. Read this week's assignment HERE

Creator Roundup

This week, Bryan Lee O'Malley gifts us with a Ramona, Jeff Smith gives some CBNAH love, Brian Wood covers Massive, Skottie Young blows my mind (the gap), Jeff Parker wards of thieves, Eric Canete gets his Rocketeer on, Dave Johnson unveils another cover, Peter Nguyen goes the way of the Bat, Michael Oeming gets wet and Matteo Scalera, Coleen Coover and Jorge Munoz do their Sindiecate assignments.

Monday, June 4, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Tyler Kirkham

Utah born artist Tyler Kirkham has become one of the biggest talents in the industry, kickstarting the engine of an illustrious career at Top Cow Comics. The 29-year-old shone on books such as 'Witchblade, Tomb Raider and Strykeforce'. since then, Kirkham was instrumental in DC's post-Blackest Night era, reaching a brilliant crescendo in the 'Green Lantern: New Guardians' book, where he and Tony Bedard continue on the adventures of Kyle Rayner and his companions. Renaldo chatted with him about Green Lantern, his influences and his background in comics. Check it out after the jump.