Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: DRAGON BALL 3-in-1 Edition, Volume 1

DRAGON BALL 3-IN-1 EDITION, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

CARTOONIST: Akira Toriyama
TRANSLATION: Mari Morimoto
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Gerard Jones
LETTERS: Wayne Truman
EDITOR: Annette Roman, Jason Thompson (manga edition)
ISBN: 978-1-4215-5564-5; paperback (June 2013); Rated “T” for “Teen”
576pp, B&W, $14.99 US, $16.99 CAN, £9.99 UK

Akira Toriyama is a hugely influential Japanese mangaka (manga creator), and his signature creation is Dragon Ball, the long-running shonen manga (comics for teen boys).  Originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, Dragon Ball is comprised of 519 individual chapters.  Various anime series have been adapted from Dragon Ball, most notably "Dragon Ball Z," which some believe boosted the popularity of Japanese anime amongst Western audiences.

VIZ Media is Dragon Ball’s North American publisher, and it has been publishing individual graphic novel collections of the series for some time.  Now, VIZ Media is republishing the series in its “3-in-1 editions,” which collect three individual graphic novels in one large-sized paperback edition.

Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 contains Dragon Ball Volume 1: The Monkey King (Chapters 1 to 11), Volume 2: Wish Upon a Dragon (Chapters 12 to 24), and Volume 3: The Training of Kame Sen’nin (Chapters 25 to 36).  Chapters 1 to 36 cover the introduction of the hero, Son Goku, and the start of his adventures to the beginning of a famed martial arts tournament in which Goku is participating.

In Dragon Ball, Vol. 1, Bulma, a young woman and genius inventor, meets Son Goku.  Goku is a monkey-tailed boy who both learned kung-fu and inherited a magic staff from his late grandfather, Son Gohan.  Bulma is looking for the seven Dragon Balls, precious orbs that when put together summon a powerful dragon.  This dragon is Shenlong, the Dragon Lord, and when he appears because of the union of the seven Dragon Balls, he grants one (and only one) wish.  Bulma convinces Goku to join her on her quest, and they meets lots of strange, new people:  Kame Sen’nin “the Turtle Master,” Oolong the shape-shifting pig, and Yamcha and Pu’ar, among many.

In Dragon Ball, Vol. 2, Goku, Bulma, and Oolong meet more strange people:  some good, some bad.  The quest for the Dragon Balls reaches an unsatisfying conclusion.  In Dragon Ball, Vol. 3, Goku meets Kuririn, a young martial artist and Shaolin monk.  They become rivals and then, friends as they train under Kame Sen’nin.  After some truly grueling training, Goku and Kuririn enter the 21st Tenka’ichi Budokai (“Strongest Under the Heavens”) martial arts tournament.

I first heard of Dragon Ball as an anime, having no idea that it was also a manga.  Years later, VIZ Media sent me an Akira Toriyama manga for the first time (maybe Dr. Slump).  Then, I learned that Dragon Ball was not only an anime franchise, but that it was also a hugely-influential manga.  After reading Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition, Volume 1, I am ready to be a regular reader of Dragon Ball, if not also a Toriyama fanboy.

Dragon Ball is wild and silly like an old American Saturday morning cartoon.  Toriyama is as inventive and as imaginative as classic American and European comic books; think of someone who blends Carl Barks, Jack Kirby, and Peyo into one super-cartoonist.  Dragon Ball is sprawling and epic in the way we’ve come to expect of shonen manga like Naruto and One Piece, whose creators Dragon Ball both inspired.

Mississippi, goddamn!  Dragon Ball is one of the best manga and comic books I have ever read.  Take that for your recommendation.

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.




Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: ANGEL FALLING

ANGEL FALLING TRADE PAPERBACK – (Original Graphic Novel)
ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT/Big City Comics Studio – @Zenescope

WRITER/CREATOR: Jeffrey Kaufman
PENCILS: Kevin West
INKS: Mark McKenna, Bob Wiacek, Jack Purcell, Kevin Yates
COLORS: Tom Chu and Peter Pantazis with Nik Sardos and Wilson Ramos, Jr.
LETTERS: John Hunt
COVER: Jeffrey Kaufman, Dave Stewart, and Stan Johnson
VARIANT COVER: Billy Tucci and Felix Serrano
ISBN: 978-1-939683-22-9; paperback (August 2013)
104pp, Color, $9.99 U.S.

Angel Falling is a new original graphic novel from writer Jeffrey Kaufman and artist Kevin West.  Kaufman’s previous comic book works include the graphic novels Terminal Alice (2011) and Whore (2012).  West has been drawing comic books since 1991 for a variety of publishers including DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Image Comics, among many.  Angel Falling focuses on a woman with no memory of who she is and her protector – a gifted young man who is autistic.

The story:  She wakes up in a dumpster.  She has no memory of who she is.  She has a pair of large angel wings tattooed on her back.  She is naked from the waist up.  A gang of goons, thugs, and would-be rapists decide to take advantage of her predicament.  He arrives in a flurry of kicks and blows.  She calls him “Connor.”  He calls her “Angel.”

However, Angel is really “Number Three,” and Connor is “Number Five.”  Connor, who is autistic, has photographic physical memory or “Eidetic Kinestheisia” (perfect physical memory).  That means Connor sees the physical movements of other people and his body can copy those movements – which includes everything from playing the violin like a prodigy to mastering hand-to-hand combat.  Angel is also quite good at the kick-ass art.  They share a past in a place called “The Sanctuary,” and that past is now sending teams of killers to destroy them.

As it is a graphic novel from a small publisher and a writer-artist creative team that is relatively not well known, I want to compare Angel Falling to some recent films that are fairly familiar to audiences.  Certain aspects of the story that deal with Connor/Five are similar to elements in the Jason Bourne film series.  Some things about Angel/Three are reminiscent of the film, Salt (starring Angelina Jolie in the title role).  The action scenes and shoot-‘em-up sequences in Angel Falling recall RED (the 2010 film adaptation of Warren Ellis’s comic book miniseries).

To put it simply, Angel Falling is one of the best action-oriented and espionage comic books of the last decade.  And it’s quite good.

With that said, Angel Falling is essentially character driven.  The search for identity and the need to unravel memory play a big part in the narrative.  Angel Falling confronts the characters with that thing that defines who they are in the eyes of others – their actions.  The conflict or tension in the story rests mostly in the struggle between what the characters say or think about themselves and what they do.  This is a fun and engaging thing that Kaufman does; he offers the interior of the characters, while splashing their assault on the exterior world in bloody, living color.

Jeffrey Kaufman is a unique and bold voice in comics simply because rather than pander to popular taste and opinion, he offers his own ideas.  I like that.  Kevin West seems like the perfect artist for Kaufman.  West’s sturdy anatomy belies his knack for knowing which moments require being poignant and which require being cruel, crass, or comic.

Obviously, I like and want to recommend Angel Falling.

A

If you order Angel Falling through your local comic book shop, this is its Diamond Order Code: JUL131419

www.bigcitycomics.com
www.zenescope.com
www.facebook.com/jeffreykaufmanjr
www.facebook.com/BigCityComics
www.facebook.com/Zenescope

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: MONSTER ON THE HILL

MONSTER ON THE HILL - (Original Graphic Novel)
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS – @topshelfcomix

CARTOONIST: Rob Harrell
ISBN: 978-1-60309-075-9; paperback (July 2013)
192pp, Color, $19.95 U.S.

Audience: All ages (10+)

Cartoonist and illustrator Rob Harrell is known for his former newspaper comic strip, Big Top (which was syndicated from 2002 to 2007), and the currently syndicated strip, Adam@Home.  Harrell enters the world of comic books with the original graphic novel, Monster on the Hill, which was recently published by Top Shelf Productions.  Monster on the Hill is the story of a sad-sack monster learning to become a real, scary monster with the help of an eccentric doctor and a sardonic newspaper boy.

Monster on the Hill is set in a fantastical version of 1860s England.  In this world, each quiet little township is terrorized by a ferocious monster, and the citizens love it, because its monster is a great source of local pride and tourism.  Yes, every town has its own monster except Stoker-on-Avon.

Well, Stoker-on-Avon has a monster, but he’s not really a monster.  He doesn’t do anything monstrous or even terrifying, and no tourists come to see him.  His name is Rayburn, and instead of scaring up some tourists, he lets loose enormous sighs and groans that shake the buildings in town.  And frankly, Rayburn’s attitude is a downer, man.

Enter disgraced doctor and scientist, Dr. Charles Nathaniel Wilkie.  The town fathers want Dr. Wilkie to “fix the monster.”  Wilkie gets some unexpected help from plucky street urchin and newspaper boy, Timothy.  The duo meets Rayburn and thus, begins an epic journey of self-discovery and redemption, guest-starring the awesome Tentaculor (a.k.a. “Noodles”).  Time is short, however, as something worse than a monster threatens to destroy Stoker-on-Avon and its people.

Readers, creators, publishers, retailers, etc:  everyone involved with American comic books on some level talks about the need for comic books for children or comics that can be read by everyone (“all ages”).  Monster on the Hill is not just a children’s comic book; it is an entire awesome children’s graphic novel, and it is a monster.  The story borrows from several genres; it is everything from a faux Victorian children’s story and grand adventure to a road trip story and plain old monster comic book.  Harrell summons the hoary ghosts of Marvel/Timely’s old monster comic books, complete with full-splash pages in order to depict epic battles between humongous monster foes.  It’s like Jack Kirby meets Japanese monster movies.

The characters are hugely likeable, and no one character dominates, which allows all the players to shine – even the dastardly villain.  Little Timothy provides easy-going, sarcastic one-liners, and Dr. Wilkie is the steady narrator.  The monsters are witty and surprisingly original; you will wish that other comic books had characters like these.

Obviously, I am big on this graphic novel.  I plan on introducing my niece and nephew to Monster on the Hill.  It’s monstrously good.

A

Neil Gaiman and Jeff Smith (Bone) provide cover quote blurbs for Monster on the Hill.

Public info on Monster on the Hill: http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/monster-on-the-hill/732

www.robharrell.com
http://www.topshelfcomix.com
http://twitter.com/topshelfcomix
http://facebook.com/topshelfcomix

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.





Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: MARCH: Book One

MARCH: BOOK ONE
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS – @topshelfcomix

WRITERS: John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
ARTIST: Nate Powell
EDITORS: Chris Staros with Leigh Walton
ISBN: 978-1-60309-300-2; paperback (August 2013)
128pp, Black and White, $14.95 U.S.

Congressman John Lewis is Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District Representative (GA-5, Democrat).  Lewis was also one of the “Big Six” leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement (with the others being Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young).  Before such fame and accomplishments, he was born John Robert Lewis in February 1940 to sharecropper parents, Willie Mae (Carter) and Eddie Lewis.  His early life, from farm boy to activist college student, is the focus of March: Book One.

March: Book One is a comic book written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, drawn by artist Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions.  This is the first of three graphic novels recounting the life of Congressman John Lewis.  March: Book One is both a riveting history of the United States during the second half of the 20th century and an evocative personal story of a famous man’s life.

Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights includes the key roles he played in the historic 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March.  March will apparently focus on Lewis’ personal story and on the highs and lows of the broader movement for civil rights in the U.S.

March: Book One opens on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama (part of the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March) on March 7, 1965, the date that would become known as “Bloody Sunday.”  The story moves forward to January 20, 2009, and sees Lewis share the story of his past with a mother and her two young sons.  The narrative moves back in time again, to the 1940s, where in first person, Lewis recounts the early events and incidents that shaped his life.

March: Book One’s co-writers John Lewis and Andrew Aydin recount Lewis’ life on a 110-acre cotton, corn, and peanut farm in Pike County, Alabama.  This section of the narrative covers Lewis’ time as a junior chicken farmer and chicken rights activist (of sorts) up to 1954.  Both reminiscence and personal history, it is as if Lewis and Aydin are spinning tales from the world of young John Lewis, yarns of childhood that go beyond the personal and intimate about Lewis and into the small world that his home and community.  So we learn about his family, their wishes, small incidents (like trading chickens for much-needed flour and sugar), their way of life (having to miss school to work the fields), and transformative moments (Lewis’ trip “up north” to Buffalo with his maternal uncle, Otis Carter).

In 1954, momentous events in the larger world outside of Lewis’ life as farm kid and ambitious country boy begin to transpire.  The Supreme Court rules “separate but equal” unconstitutional in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka.  A young preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr. emerges.  Two adult white men kill a black child named Emmett Till, are acquitted of their crime, and publicly brag about (making them the original George Zimmermans).  On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a city bus.  The Civil Rights Movement is gaining momentum.

Lewis becomes a part of that movement when he becomes a student at American Baptist Theological Seminary.  He attends a workshop on non-violence taught by Jim Lawson.  Lewis later helps to organize sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.  That begins with test sit-ins in 1959 and launches with the history changing real deal in February 1960, which culminates into an eventual public confrontation with Mayor Ben West of Nashville.

Obviously, John Lewis is a man who has made history.  However, in the humble and gentle way in which Lewis and Aydin tell this story, Lewis is as much a witness to history as he is a participant.  Lewis, the character in March: Book One, is not the hero who changed things.  He is also a participant, one among many; leader and organizer, yes, but also part of a fellowship.  This striking modesty brings the reader into the story, and in the retelling, allows the reader to be a quasi-witness to history.

I don’t think that I have ever seen any work by cartoonist and graphic novelist Nate Powell that was not published in black and white.  Powell’s black and white comics are not about the contrast of black and white – negative and positive space.  His storytelling is a graphical space in which black and white blends and unites to create nuance, subtlety, texture, complexity, ambiguity, and mystery.  For March: Book One, Powell creates a visual storytelling tapestry that is at once grand, earth-shattering history, but also singularly, personally intimate and deeply human.

In March: Book One, Lewis, Aydin, and Powell have created a story that wrestles grand history down to size so that it is not too big for anyone to grasp.  In this small-sized manner of storytelling, we can see the humanity in and importance of all the participants in our story we call history.

A+

For more information about March: Book One and to read a 14-page preview, visit here or http://www.topshelfcomix.com/march

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

DC COMICS

FEB130216 ABSOLUTE SUPERMAN BATMAN HC VOL 01 $99.99
JUN130249 ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #4 $3.99
JUN130230 ALL STAR WESTERN #23 $3.99
JUN130292 AMERICAN VAMPIRE ANTHOLOGY #1 (MR) $7.99
JUN130163 AQUAMAN #23 $2.99
JUN130197 BATMAN INCORPORATED SPECIAL #1 $4.99
JUN130193 BATMAN SUPERMAN #3 $3.99
JUN130196 BATMAN SUPERMAN #3 COMBO PACK $4.99
JUN130207 BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #23 $2.99
JUN130215 CATWOMAN #23 $2.99
APR130253 FABLES DELUXE EDITION HC VOL 07 (MR) $29.99
JUN130296 FBP FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #2 (MR) $2.99
JUN130169 FLASH #23 $2.99
JUN130232 GREEN TEAM TEEN TRILLIONAIRES #4 $2.99
MAY130258 HELLBLAZER TP VOL 06 (MR) $19.99
JUN130244 INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US #8 $3.99
MAY130232 JACK KIRBYS OMAC ONE MAN ARMY CORPS TP $19.99
JUN130154 JUSTICE LEAGUE #23 (TRINITY) $3.99
JUN130157 JUSTICE LEAGUE #23 COMBO PACK (TRINITY) $4.99
JUN130227 LARFLEEZE #3 $2.99
MAY130257 LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN OMNIBUS TP $29.99
MAY130223 LEGION LOST TP VOL 2 THE CULLING (N52) $16.99
JUN130283 MAD MAGAZINE #523 $5.99
JUN130225 RED LANTERNS #23 $2.99
APR130263 SANDMAN OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 (MR) $150.00
JUN130189 SUPERMAN #23 $2.99
MAY130228 SWORD OF SORCERY TP VOL 01 AMETHYST (N52) $24.99
JUN130203 TALON #11 $2.99
MAY130217 TALON TP VOL 01 SCOURGE OF THE OWLS (N52) $16.99
JUN130240 TEEN TITANS #23 $2.99
JUN130297 TOM STRONG AND THE PLANET OF PERIL #2 $2.99
JUN130289 UNWRITTEN #52 (MR) $2.99
JUN130294 WAKE #1 DIRECTORS CUT (MR) $4.99

DC COMICS/DC COLLECTIBLES

APR130283 BATMAN ARKHAM CITY NIGHTWING STATUE $124.95
APR130287 BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE BY SEAN MURPHY $79.95
MAY130272 HUSH JOKER HARLEY STEALTH BATMAN AF 3 PACK $49.95


Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

MARVEL COMICS

JUN130595 A PLUS X #11 $3.99
JUN138087 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 5TH PTG RAMOS VAR $7.99
APR130742 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 NEW PTG $99.99
JUN130664 ASTONISHING X-MEN #66 $3.99
JUN130597 AVENGERS ARENA #14 $2.99
JUN130632 CAPTAIN AMERICA #10 $3.99
JUN130590 CAPTAIN MARVEL #15 INF $2.99
JUN130690 DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID TP VOL 04 $16.99
JUN130657 DEADPOOL #15 $2.99
JUN130631 FF #11 $2.99
JUN130698 FURY MAX TP VOL 02 MY WAR GONE BY (MR) $19.99
JUN130659 GAMBIT #16 $2.99
MAY130717 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY PREM HC VOL 01 COSMIC AVENGERS NOW $24.99
JUN130624 JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #655 $2.99
MAR130730 MMW FANTASTIC FOUR HC VOL 15 $69.99
JUN130670 MMW INCREDIBLE HULK TP VOL 03 $24.99
JUN130589 NEW AVENGERS #9 INF $3.99
JUN130618 ROCKET RACCOON TP TALES FROM HALF WORLD $7.99
JUN130610 SCARLET SPIDER #21 $2.99
JUN130594 SECRET AVENGERS #8 $3.99
JUN130683 SECRET AVENGERS TP VOL 01 REVERIE TP NOW $17.99
JUN130592 THANOS RISING #5 INF $3.99
JUN130623 THOR GOD OF THUNDER #12 $3.99
JUN130603 ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #26 $3.99
JUN130593 UNCANNY AVENGERS #11 $3.99
JUN130644 UNCANNY X-MEN #11 $3.99
JUN130649 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #35 $3.99
JUN130665 WOLVERINE MAX #10 (MR) $3.99
MAY130722 X-MEN LEGACY TP VOL 02 INVASIVE EXOTICS $15.99
JUN130695 X-MEN MAGIK TP STORM AND ILLYANA $16.99
JUN130599 YOUNG AVENGERS #9 NOW $2.99
JUN130682 YOUNG AVENGERS TP VOL 01 STYLE SUBSTANCE NOW $15.99


IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

Digital Comics: Digital new releases available from your local comic book shop are marked below. [DIG] = Digital version available. [DIG/P+] = Print-Plus digital/print combo pack available. For more information, go to www.digitalcomicsreader.com.

IDW PUBLISHING

JUN130375 100 PENNY PRESS TMNT #1 $1.00
JUN130363 DOCTOR WHO PRISONERS OF TIME #8 $3.99
JUN130386 GI JOE #7 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130389 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #193 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130358 GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #3 [DIG/P+] $3.99
SEP120372 JERICHO SEASON 4 #4 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130338 JUDGE DREDD CLASSICS #2 $3.99
APR130393 KILL SHAKESPEARE TIDE OF BLOOD #5 [DIG/P+] $3.99
MAY130382 LOAC ESSENTIALS HC VOL 03 POLLY AND HER PALS 1933 $24.99
JUN130378 MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #10 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130419 RIP KIRBY HC VOL 06 $49.99
JUN130411 SAM KIETH SAMPLINGS & DABBLINGS SC $19.99
FEB130373 STEVE DITKO MONSTERS HC VOL 02 KONGA $34.99
JUN130328 THUMBPRINT BY JOE HILL #3 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130368 TMNT ANIMATED TP VOL 02 NEVER SAY XEVER / GAUNTLET $7.99
JUN130370 TMNT ONGOING #25 $3.99
MAY130355 TRANSFORMERS CLASSICS TP VOL 05 $24.99
JUN130397 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #20 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130402 TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS #4 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130403 TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS #4 SUBSCRIPTION CVR $3.99
JUN130399 TRANSFORMERS REGENERATION ONE #94 [DIG/P+] $3.99
JUN130410 VISUAL FUNK JIM MAHFOOD ART HC $49.99


Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

DARK HORSE COMICS

JUN130025 ANGEL & FAITH #25 STEVE MORRIS CVR $2.99
JUN130039 CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #2 $2.99
APR130077 CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES HC VOL 05 $49.99
JUN130027 ITTY BITTY HELLBOY #1 $2.99
JUN130057 KING CONAN HOUR O/T DRAGON #4 $3.50
JUN138070 LAST OF US AMERICAN DREAMS #1 (3RD PTG) $3.99
JUN130010 MASS EFFECT FOUNDATION #2 $3.99
JUN130047 MASSIVE #15 $3.50
JUN130045 MIND MGMT #14 $3.99
APR130027 NUMBER 13 TP $15.99
APR130065 SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN TP VOL 14 $19.99
JUN130019 STAR WARS LEGACY II #6 $2.99
JUN130035 STATION TO STATION ONE SHOT $2.99


Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

Digital Comics: Digital new releases available from your local comic book shop are marked below. [DIG] = Digital version available. [DIG/P+] = Print-Plus digital/print combo pack available. For more information, go to www.digitalcomicsreader.com.

IMAGE COMICS

JUN138142 LAZARUS #2 2ND PTG (MR) $2.99
JUN130548 LAZARUS #3 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
MAY130564 MIND THE GAP #13 CVR A ESQUEJO [DIG] $2.99
MAY130565 MIND THE GAP #13 CVR B MCDAID $2.99
JUN130554 MORNING GLORIES #30 (MR) [DIG] $3.50
APR130462 PROGENY TP VOL 01 [DIG] $16.99
JUN130457 SECRET #3 (RES) [DIG] $3.50
JUN130560 SEX #6 (MR) [DIG] $2.99
JUN130461 SKULLKICKERS #24 [DIG] $3.50
APR130472 SPAWN DARK AGES COMPLETE COLL HC $59.99
JUN130488 SPAWN ORIGINS HC VOL 09 $29.99
FEB130469 SUPER DINOSAUR #20 [DIG] $2.99
JUN130567 THINK TANK #9 [DIG] $3.99
MAY130517 WALKING DEAD EZEKIEL HAS A TIGER T/S MENS XL $19.99
MAY130521 WALKING DEAD EZEKIEL HAS A TIGER T/S WOMENS LG $19.99
MAY130520 WALKING DEAD EZEKIEL HAS A TIGER T/S WOMENS MED $19.99
MAY130519 WALKING DEAD EZEKIEL HAS A TIGER T/S WOMENS SM $19.99
MAY130522 WALKING DEAD EZEKIEL HAS A TIGER T/S WOMENS XL $19.99

IMAGE COMICS/MCFARLANE TOYS

JUN131930 TMP MLB BUSTER POSEY AF PI
JUN131931 TMP MLB JOSH HAMILTON AF PI
MAY131860 TMP NFL SMALL PROS MINI FIG SER 1 PI
MAY131841 TMP SPORTS NFL SERIES 32 AF PI
MAY131847 TMP SPORTS NFL SERIES 32 ARIAN FOSTER AF PI
MAY131849 TMP SPORTS NFL SERIES 32 PEYTON MANNING AF PI
MAY131843 TMP SPORTS NFL SERIES 32 RGIII AF PI
MAY131846 TMP SPORTS NFL SERIES 32 VERNON DAVIS AF PI
APR130582 WALKING DEAD COMIC SER 2 GLENN AF PI
APR130581 WALKING DEAD COMIC SER 2 GOVERNOR AF PI
APR130583 WALKING DEAD COMIC SER 2 MICHONNE PET AF PI
APR130584 WALKING DEAD COMIC SER 2 PENNY AF PI
APR130580 WALKING DEAD COMIC SERIES 2 AF PI


Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for August 28 2013

Digital Comics: Digital new releases available from your local comic book shop are marked below. [DIG] = Digital version available. [DIG/P+] = Print-Plus digital/print combo pack available. For more information, go to www.digitalcomicsreader.com.

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS
JUL130004 PREVIEWS #300 SEP 2013 CUSTOMER ORDER FORM PI
JUL130001 PREVIEWS #300 SEPTEMBER 2013 [DIG/P+] $4.50

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
MAR130956 ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA & CAKE #1 EMERALD CITY COMIC CON $9.99
JUN130790 ALL NEW FATHOM #2 ASPEN RESERVED CVR $3.99
JUN130789 ALL NEW FATHOM #2 DIRECT MARKET CVR [DIG] $3.99
JUL131419 ANGEL FALLING GN (MR) $9.99
JUN130722 ARCANE SECRETS #1 $3.99
JUN130780 ASYLUM OF HORRORS #1 (MR) [DIG] $4.95
APR131219 ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #10 $2.75
JUN131367 BTOOOM GN VOL 03 (MR) $11.99
JUN131368 BUNNY DROP GN VOL 09 $13.99
APR130796 BUTCHER STREET GN $19.95
JUN131184 CAGE OF EDEN GN VOL 11 $10.99
MAR138285 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC BOX SET 1963-1966 $49.95
JUN131143 COMPLETE PEANUTS HC BOX SET 1963-1966 $49.95
JUL130857 CROSSED ANNUAL 2013 #1 CHEERFUL CVR (MR) $5.99
JUN131056 DAMSELS GIANT KILLER ONE SHOT $4.99
SEP121067 DF ALL NEW X-MEN #1 LEE SGN ED $399.99
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JUL131197 HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER AND EVER #1 (MR) $5.00
FEB130870 HIGHER EARTH TP VOL 02 $14.99
MAY131144 IN CASE WE DIE HC NOVEL $26.99
MAY131074 JIM BUTCHERS DRESDEN FILES GHOUL GOBLIN #6 $3.99
JUN131369 JUDGE GN VOL 01 $12.99
JUN131378 KINGDOM HEARTS II TP VOL 02 $19.00
MAR130787 LAST ZOMBIE #4 THE END [DIG] $3.99
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MAR138283 LOCAL HC NEW PTG $39.99
JUN131002 MARK WAID GREEN HORNET #5 $3.99
JUN130982 MASKS TP VOL 01 $24.99
APR131167 MEOW MEOW HC $20.95
JUN131015 MISS FURY #5 CVR A TAN $3.99
JUN131016 MISS FURY #5 CVR B BENITEZ $3.99
JUN131017 MISS FURY #5 CVR C WORLEY $3.99
JUN131018 MISS FURY #5 CVR D CHEN $3.99
JUN131878 MR TOAST COMICS #5 SUBTERRA THE WORLD BELOW $3.00
JUN131229 MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS #3 $3.99
MAY130921 OCCUPY COMICS #3 $3.50
JUN130783 OVERTAKEN #1 ASPEN RESERVED CVR $1.00
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JUN130912 PEANUTS VOL 2 #11 [DIG] $3.99
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JUN138340 QUANTUM & WOODY #1 3RD PTG $3.99
JUN130919 REGULAR SHOW #1 PHOENIX COMIC CON EX CVR $9.99
APR130957 REGULAR SHOW #3 MAIN CVRS [DIG] $3.99
JUN130767 SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH MAGIC WITHIN TP VOL 03 $10.99
MAY131196 SCIENCE A DISCOVERY IN COMICS HC $19.99
JUN131211 SMURFS GN VOL 16 AEROSMURF $5.99
JUN131212 SMURFS HC VOL 16 AEROSMURF $10.99
MAY130949 STEED AND MRS PEEL ONGOING #11 [DIG] $3.99
JUN130904 SUICIDE RISK #1 PHOENIX COMIC CON EX CVR $9.99
APR130980 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE TP VOL 11 PX ED (MR) $34.99
JUN131217 THEA STILTON HC VOL 02 LIZARD CLUB $9.99
MAY131276 TOMORROWLAND #2 $3.99
JUL130851 UBER #0 ENHANCED BREAKDOWN ED (MR) $5.99
JUL130852 UBER #2 WAR CRIMES CVR (MR) $5.99
JUN131373 UMINEKO WHEN THEY CRY GN VOL 04 TURN GOLDEN WITCH PT 2 $20.99
JUN131028 UNCANNY #3 $3.99
JUN130968 VAMPIRELLA #33 NEVES CVR $3.99
JUN130969 VAMPIRELLA #33 PARRILLO CVR $3.99
JUN131230 WASTELAND #47 (MR) $3.99
JUN131291 WESTWARD #5 $3.50
APR131168 YOUNG LOVECRAFT GN VOL 03 (MR) $19.95

MAGAZINES
MAY131418 ALTER EGO #120 $8.95
MAY131419 BACK ISSUE #67 $8.95
JUN131437 COMIC SHOP NEWS #1367 PI
APR131385 DC BATMAN AUTOMOBILIA FIG COLL MAG #12 DETECTIVE #27 $20.00
MAY131428 DC BATMAN AUTOMOBILIA FIG COLL MAG #14 BRAVE BOLD ANIMATED B $20.00
JUN131169 HEAVY METAL #264 (MR) $7.95
MAR131484 MEGAMI JUN 2013 $16.60
MAR131485 NEWTYPE JUN 2013 $16.00
FEB131299 VIDEO WATCHDOG #174 (MR) $8.95

BOOKS
JUN131420 ANIME ANGELS ORIGINAL CHARACTER ARTBOOK HC $60.00
JUN131471 DC SUPER HEROES WONDER WOMAN YR TP TRIAL OF THE AMAZONS $4.95
JUN131453 DC SUPER PETS CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA YR TP $7.95
MAY131432 DEVIL IS IN DETAILS EXAMINING MATT MURDOCK & DAREDEVIL SC $15.99
JUL131484 HALLOWEEN MAGIC MYSTERY & THE MACABRE SC $15.95
JUN131483 HARRY POTTER & CHAMBER OF SECRETS KIBUISHI CVR ED $12.99
JUN131488 HARRY POTTER & DEATHLY HALLOWS KIBUISHI CVR ED $16.99
JUN131485 HARRY POTTER & GOBLET OF FIRE KIBUISHI CVR ED $14.99
JUN131487 HARRY POTTER & HALF BLOOD PRINCE KIBUISHI CVR ED $14.99
JUN131486 HARRY POTTER & ORDER O/T PHOENIX KIBUISHI CVR ED $14.99
JUN131484 HARRY POTTER & PRISONER OF AZKABAN KIBUISHI CVR ED $12.99
JUN131489 HARRY POTTER BOX SET KIBUISHI CVR ED $100.00
MAR131313 HATSUNE MIKU GRAPHICS CHAR COLL SC VOL 01 $29.99
APR131267 HATSUNE MIKU GRAPHICS CHAR COLL SC VOL 02 $34.99
JUL131500 MARVEL HEROES & VILLAINS POSTER COLLECTION SC $24.99
JUN131309 MM25 MEGA MAN & MM X OFF COMP WORKS SC $59.99
APR131132 NUDNIK REVEALED HC $29.99
JUL131474 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES SC $12.95
JUL131475 RESURRECTIONIST LOST WORK OF DR SPENCER BLACK HC $24.95
JUN131372 SPICE AND WOLF NOVEL VOL 09 (MR) $11.99


Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Reads You Review: L.A. Banks' MINION

MINION (Book 1 of The Vampire Huntress Legend Series)
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS – @StMartinsPress

AUTHOR: L.A. Banks
ISBN: 978-0-312-98701-5; mass market paperback (May 4, 2004)
320pp, B&W, $7.99 U.S., $9.99 CAN

Minion is a 2003 dark fantasy and vampire novel from the late author, L.A. Banks (the penname of Leslie Esdaile Banks).  A paperback original, Minion was first published in a trade paperback edition (2003) and later, in a mass market edition (2004).

Minion is the first book in Banks’ series, The Vampire Huntress Legend Series (VHL).  This twelve-book series centers on a young woman born to fight in a never-ending struggle between good and evil, the most constant and dangerous evil being vampires.

Twenty-year-old Damali Richards is a spoken word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records, but there is more to both Damali and her record company.  Damali hunts vampires and demons, and Marlene Stone, the owner of Warrior of Light Records, is Damali’s mother-seer, protector, and part of Damali’s Guardian team.

At night, Damali and the Guardians do their best work, but lately, times have been difficult.  A new group of apparently rogue vampires have been killing Guardians and artists associated with Warriors of Light, and Damali and her team know that these killings are out of the ordinary.  Instead of neat puncture marks on the neck to show where blood was drained from the body, these bodies have been mutilated, with the throats ripped out.

Blood Music, a rival organization, has also seen some of its artists killed.  Blood Music’s owner, Carlos Rivera, a rising young crime lord, comes to believe that the attacks are personal when some of the people closest to him are found savagely murdered.  Damali decides that she must infiltrate Blood Music in order to get more answers about the attack, but her mission is complicated by the fact that she and Carlos were once engaged in a serious romantic relationship.  The force behind these attacks, however, is a seductive vampire with a connection to Damali’s past.

I was walking around a local Dollar General store when I saw a spinner rack of paperback books.  Dollar General and other discount stores sell “remaindered books,” which are books steeply marked down from their original cover price by the publisher, distributor, and bookstore as a way of liquidating them.  I was shocked to see a mass market edition of Minion.  I had first learned of L.A. Banks several years ago in an article about African-American authors of fantasy (or fantasy authors of color), and since then, I wanted to read something by her.

Well, a dollar store bargain gave me my chance, and I’m glad I read Minion, although I was sad to learn that Banks had died since the time I had first heard of her.  Minion is more than simply an imaginative story.  Banks practically creates a new mythology of the vampire, connecting that monster of our nightmares to a larger evil called The Dark Realms.  Considering the well-worn sub-genre that is vampire fiction, Minion comes across as fresh and new.  It is probably one of the most inspired vampire novels since Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire was first published in 1976.

However, Minion is not a self-contained novel, so much as it is a primer into the world of Damali Richards (who is “The Neteru,” a human who is born every thousand years to fight the Dark Realms).  In a way, Minion is the first chapter in a dark fantasy serial.  There are many fantasy book series, such as the Harry Potter books, but each Potter novel is a self-contained story with a beginning, middle, and end, while also being part of a larger narrative.  Minion is the novel as an out-sized first chapter in a serial that happens to be comprised of books rather than episodes.

That makes Minion kind of strange.  It has a beginning, but after that, the story just moves along, with Banks introducing all these crazy, but interesting ideas.  After awhile, I got the idea that Minion was entirely about the beginning, and no middle, let alone ending was in sight.

But I’m ready to read more.  Banks’ colorful prose, peppered with “urban” idioms and sparkling African-American sass and vernacular, is a candied treat.  Her inventiveness, however, takes Minion beyond being a “Black thing.”  Banks seems to have taken New Line’s Blade movies, the Buffy the Vampire television series, and Anne Rice’s gothic fiction and blended them into a new thing.  This new thing takes place on the streets, in the back alleys, and in clubs and other venues of live music (like raves).  Minion opens a new place for lovers of vampire fiction to play, and I want to be there.

A-

http://www.vampire-huntress.com/

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.




Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Reads You Review: All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #1

ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #1
DC COMICS – @DCComics

WRITER: Frank Miller
PENCILS: Jim Lee
INKS: Scott Williams
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Jared K. Fletcher
36pp, Color, $2.99 U.S., $4.00 CAN (September 2005)

I only read a few issues of All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, but I have been thinking about it, on and off, for the last year or so.  Why?  It’s best not to dig too deep.

Thanks to Mile High Comics’ constant stream of deep-discount sales, I was able to get another copy of All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1.  [I don’t know what happened to the first copy I had.].  I can’t remember how much or if I liked it the first time I read it back in 2005.  I do remember not liking issue #2.  This time, however, I really enjoyed reading #1.

As you may remember, All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee, was the first series to be launched in 2005 under DC Comics’ then new “All Star” imprint.  This imprint was to feature comic book miniseries produced by writers and artists who were renowned in the American comic book industry.  Each series would feature stories that take place outside DC Universe continuity and would also retell the history (in part) of a prominent DC Universe character, while being set in its own continuity and in a separate universe  [Yes, I know; this is all fan jargon].

All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1 opens with a splash page of young Dick Grayson of the circus acrobatic team, The Flying Graysons.  Then, the story moves to the swanky Gotham City apartment of intrepid, sex-pot reporter, Vicki Vale.  Alfred Pennyworth calls to inform her that she has a date with millionaire Bruce Wayne.  Wayne takes Vale to the circus, and she wonders why Wayne admits to keeping an “eye’ on young Dick.  It culminates in a double homicide and an extended action scene involving a car chase and The Batman.

Frank Miller has apparently described All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder as being set in the same universe as his Bat-magnum opus, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  Actually, Miller’s dialogue reads like something he wrote for Sin City – tongue-in-cheek and sharp-edged.  I see characters in this series as dark, arrogant and/or supremely confident – depending on how I interpret a scene.  Once again, this is more Sin City than Batman.

The joy of All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1 is Jim Lee’s pencil art.  With Scott Williams’s dexterous yet precise inks and Alex Sinclair’s gleaming, neon-like colors, Lee is doing his version of Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley’s art for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Lee began cleaning up his compositions of inconsequential crosshatching and other extraneous line work beginning with his twelve-issue run on Batman (entitled “Hush”) back in 2002.  He began to focus more on page design and the graphic design within each panel.  The result was better looking art.

Here, Lee captures the stylish sensibilities of early Batman comic books, a mixture of newspaper comic strip art and pulp fiction illustration, with art deco flourishes.  Lee seems to be having fun with All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1, and I’m having fun reading it.  I look forward to reading #2, again.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.




Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: SKYWARD #1

SKYWARD #1
ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT – @ActionLab

CARTOONIST: Jeremy Dale
COLORS: Steve Downer
LETTERS: Thom Zahler
COVER: Jeremy Dale with Laura Martin
EDITOR: Kelly Dale
32pp, Color, $3.99 (July 2013)

Action Lab Entertainment recently began publishing a fantasy comic book series, entitled Skyward.  It is created, written, and drawn by Jeremy Dale, who apparently first began self-publishing Skyward a few years ago.

Skyward #1 (“The Genesis of Exodus”) introduces a boy named Quinn.  He lives in the kind of medieval-like age which is the setting for many epic fantasy and high-fantasy stories.  As Skyward begins, Quinn is fishing with his dog, Jack, and his father, Corin, a massive muscular man with a Conan the Cimmerian body type.

On the way home, Quinn and Corin are involved in an incident, which they don’t realize portends doom.  Father and son return to their pastoral home and hearth, where Taryn, Quinn’s mother and Corin’s wife, awaits them.  But Corin’s past is not far behind.

In a recent piece for the Comic Book Bin, columnist Philip Schweier offered an article entitled, “Comics for 45-Year-olds.”  In part, Schweier examines the term “all ages” and what it means when used to describe a target audience, in particularly readers of comic books.  “Comics for 45-Year-olds” is one of those “must-read” articles, and it is also an “evergreen,” meaning that it will be relevant to comic book readers, the marketplace, and the industry for some time to come.

One particular paragraph stood out for me, as it encapsulates the last four decades of comic book publishing in the United States.  The following line from that paragraph is relevant to my review of Skyward #1:  There was a time when comic books were truly all ages, read and enjoyed by 10-year-olds, 15-year-olds, 20-year-olds and older.

[Read the article here]

Skyward #1 is the kind of comic book that can be read and enjoyed by anyone from 10-years-old to 110-years-old.  There are many things to like about this comic book, for instance, a noisy dog named Jack as a character that fully participates in the narrative.  I also like that when it comes to Corin and Quinn, Dale offers a twist on the idea of the call to the quest.

Dale’s art with Steve Downer’s color gives the story the graphic or visual impression of watching an animated film.  In fact, reading Skyward #1 reminded me of those happy feelings I had as a child watching Ralph Bakshi’s animated feature film, The Hobbit (an adaptation of Tolkien’s novel, of course).

This early in the series, Dale is still finding his way as a storyteller and is working out a few kinks.  Still, it is clear that Skyward is heading in the right direction.  Readers looking for a stand-out fantasy that everyone can read will want to try Skyward.

A-

www.actionlab.com
www.jeremy-dale.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2013 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yaoi Review: BLUE MORNING Volume 2

BLUE MORNING, VOL. 2
SUBLIME – @SuBLimeManga

CARTOONIST: Shoko Hidaka
TRANSLATION: Jocelyne Allen
LETTERS: NRP Studios
COVER: Shoko Hidaka with Shawn Carrico
ISBN: 978-1-4215-5553-2; paperback (August 2013) Rated “M” for “Mature”
202pp, B&W, $12.99 U.S., $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK

Blue Morning is a yaoi manga graphic novel series from creator Shoko Hidaka.  Credited as “Shouko Hidaka,” she authored Restart, a manga set in the world of male models.  Yaoi manga is a subset of boys’ love manga (BL) and features explicit depictions of sex between male characters.

Akihito Kuze is the heir to the viscount-ship of his late father, Akinao Kuze.  After the death of his father, Akihito, at the age of 10, moves into the Kuze mansion.  There he meets the Kuze family’s very capable butler, Tomoyuki Katsuragi, who is tasked with raising Akihito.  By the time he is 17-year-old, Akihito finds himself relentlessly drawn to Katsuragi, but frustrated by the distance between them.

Blue Morning, Vol. 2 opens with a flashback.  Akinao Kuze, who is still living at the time, assigns a large number of books for reading and study to Katsuragi, his prodigy of sorts.  Whatever plans that Kuze has for his young protégé are put on hold with the announcement that a male Kuze child has been born.

Back in the present, Akihito has physically consummated his relationship with Katsuragi (i.e. had sex with the dude).  Now, he wants to grow closer to and more intimate with the butler, but Katsuragi’s attitude towards his young charge remains emotionally cold.  Now, Akihito is about to make a deal with Katsuragi, one that he hopes will keep the butler in the fold and maybe in his bed.  However, a party at the Marquise Moriyama complicates the matter with surprise appearances and shocking revelations.

The Blue Morning manga earns its “yaoi” label by depicting sex between its male leads.  Blue Morning Volume 2 offers some intense lovemaking, but this manga isn’t necessarily about sex.  Obviously, Akihito wants to have passionate physical contact with Katsuragi, but this story is strongly romantic and is about a committed relationship that could be the equivalent of marriage.  The conflict is that neither of these young men wants exactly the same thing, and the differences are just enough to create believable tension.  This relationship/romance could turn out bad for a number of people.

The high-society intrigue and class conflict (especially regarding the peerage system) make this manga seem like a comic book adaptation of something from “Masterpiece Theatre.”  Of course, Downton Abbey does not “get down” like Blue Morning gets down.

B+

www.SuBLimeManga.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BOOM! Studios Looking for Comic Book Artists on Facebook

BOOM! STUDIOS LAUNCHES ARTIST SUBMISSIONS FACEBOOK PAGE

August 21st, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA - Fans and aspiring artists always ask us what the best way is to get their work seen by an editor, and now BOOM! Studios has updated our process to make it easier than ever.

BOOM! Studios has launched an Artist Submissions page on Facebook in order to create a venue for artists to submit their work and have it seen by the BOOM! Studios editorial team.

(https://www.facebook.com/BoomStudiosArtistSubmissions)

WHAT IT IS: The Artist Submissions Facebook Page is a place for artists (pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers) to post samples of their work. (Please note that this page is strictly for artists and ALL unsolicited writing submissions will not be reviewed.)

HOW IT WORKS: Upload examples of your work for the BOOM! Studios Editorial staff to review. Post all art samples in the Timeline. DO NOT SEND MESSAGES. Make sure to provide your contact information. BOOM! does not respond directly to the posts or messages. BOOM! has hired a number of artists this way and will contact you if there is interest.

Additionally, the BOOM! Studios editorial staff will regularly post helpful hints and advice for artists to improve their craft on the Facebook page.

"I'm really excited about this new initiative," said Managing Editor Bryce Carlson. "Not only is the BOOM! Studios Artist Submissions Page an amazing opportunity for aspiring artists, colorists, and letterers to get their samples in front of BOOM! editors on a regular basis and find helpful tips and advice, it's also a great community for creators to interact and learn from each other. Finding new talent is awesome, but providing a home for people to grow and learn together is what really makes this so special."

ABOUT BOOM! STUDIOS
Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios (boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent. BOOM! Studios is the home of Mike Carey’s SUICIDE RISK, Clive Barker’s NEXT TESTAMENT and HELLRAISER, Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos’ FAIRY QUEST, PLANET OF THE APES, Max Bemis’ POLARITY and Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE. Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 GUNS was recently released as a feature film from Universal Pictures starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ PEANUTS, Jim Davis’ GARFIELD, Cartoon Network’s ADVENTURE TIME and REGULAR SHOW, Mike Kunkel’s HEROBEAR AND THE KID, and Roger Langridge’s Eisner Award-winning SNARKED. In June 2013, BOOM! acquired Archaia Entertainment (archaia.com). Archaia is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of MOUSE GUARD, COW BOY, GUNNERKRIGG COURT, RUST, SPERA, JIM HENSON’S TALE OF SAND, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN, and other many great titles.


Review: ABE SAPIEN: Dark and Terrible #2

ABE SAPIEN: DARK AND TERRIBLE #2 OF 3 (Series #12)
DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
ART: Sebastián Fiumara
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Clem Robins
COVER: Sebastián Fiumara
EDITOR: Scott Allie
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S. (May 2013)

Abe Sapien created by Mike Mignola

Dark and Terrible, Part 2 (of 3)

Sometimes, it happens.  I forget to post a review, and that is the case with Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible #2.  How late am I?  Well, as of this writing, Abe Sapien #5 was published two weeks ago!  I wrote this review almost three-and-half months ago!

As some of you already know:  Abraham “Abe” Sapien is a character that appears in Hellboy and related comic book series.  Created by Mike Mignola, Abe Sapien first appeared in Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and is a member of the B.P.R.D., the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development.  Abe is sometimes referred to as a “fishman” or “merman.”

Abe Sapien is a new ongoing comic book series that picks up after previous Abe Sapien comics and will continue with a series of miniseries or story arcs.  Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible #2 (of 3) is written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, drawn by Sebastián Fiumara, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Clem Robins.

Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible Part 2 opens with a flashback at B.P.R.D. Headquarters in Colorado.  Abe and the seer, Panya, have a conversation, much of it cryptic on Panya’s part.  The Ogdru Hem walks the Earth, turning humans into monsters, and Abe’s friends in the B.P.R.D. are foot soldiers in the war against these monsters that have emerged from the ground.  But apparently, Abe is not meant for this war.

In the present, Abe’s quest to avoid his comrades takes him to the hamlet of Grayrock, located in San Juan County, Colorado.  There, he meets a kindly man of god with a rather unruly flock.

While the title character was mostly missing from the first issue of Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible, Abe Sapien dominates the second issue.  That’s a good thing.  Abe Sapien is not only an interesting and engaging character, but he is also a character that allows writers to bring out the most interesting aspects of other characters, as they react to him.  Mike Mignola and Scott Allie have a grand time creating chaos around Abe this time.

I simply love the art by Sebastián Fiumara, with its textures and pen and ink-like compositions.  Dave Stewart’s colors bring out the best of Fiumara’s art and makes the art look even more beautiful.  At first, I was only going to read this comic book for the art, but with this issue’s ending slash cliffhanger, I’m also coming back for the story.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for August 21 2013

DC COMICS

JUN130291 100 BULLETS BROTHER LONO #3 (MR) $2.99
JUN130231 ANIMAL MAN #23 $2.99
JUN130247 ARROW #10 $3.99
JUN130245 BATMAN 66 #2 $3.99
JUN130209 BATMAN AND NIGHTWING #23 $2.99
JUN130252 BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE #1 $3.99
JUN130212 BATWOMAN #23 $2.99
JUN130211 BIRDS OF PREY #23 $2.99
MAY130222 CAPTAIN ATOM TP VOL 02 GENESIS (N52) $14.99
MAY130227 DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS TP VOL 02 VANDAL SAVAGE (N52) $14.99
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