Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Critical Look: The Forever War (Titan Comics Release)

This is less of a review and more of a short critical look at THE FOREVER WAR graphic novel from 1988 recently released by Titan Comics. As mentioned in the video you should check out Brandon Graham and Farel Dalrymple's A HUNDRED YEARS Podcast:

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Comic Book Review: UNNATURAL (Image Comics) & New Manga!

Hello comic book junkies! It's me the frog queen and I'm back with another comic book review. Today I wanted to talk about the trade edition of UNNATURAL Vol1 : Awakening Trade paper back.

When I got the initial press release from Image comics about this series, I really didn't know what to make of it. I skimmed the information presented and took a quick look at the artwork. It was bright and but I rarely have interest in anthropomorphic books which is kinda weird since one of my favorite movies of all time is rock and rule but the time I dismissed the series as something that looked pretty but probably wouldn't  be for me. That was of course until I got a review copy of the trade and decided I would go for a binge. I couldn't put it down. It was that good!

What's the story about ??? Well the focus is on a pretty pig names Leslie Blair who's been having erotic dreams about a big bad white wolf. The problem?? It's against the law to mate with animals of another species (or of the same sex). Leslie tries to follow the rules and date within her species but something keeps feeling wrong about it and she can't shake the deep feelings she has for her mysterious white dream wolf. If I tell you any more than that I will surely spoil the entire plot but you won't be able to predict exactly where this story will take you and that's half the fun. 

The artwork can only be described as beautiful. It feels glossy and ethereal with loads of interesting angels in each panel which really makes you feel as though you are spying on someone rather than simply watching a story unfold. There's an intimacy imparted to the reader through these angles. I almost felt almost as if I was intruding as I accompanied Leslie silently on her first date in the story.

Check out the video above for my final thoughts AND to hear about the manga I'm currently reading including a new book from BLACK HOOK PRESS! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Comics I'm Currently Reading January Edition!

Hey! Here's a big life update and of course what I'm currently reading in the world of comics (mostly creator owned comics from AfterShock, Black Mask Studios and of course Image Comics).

Friday, December 14, 2018

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Snap Flash Hustle

Hello Comic Book Junkies and welcome back. It's the Frog Queen here and today I'm reviewing SNAP FLASH HUSTLE written by Pat Shand and illustrated by Emily Pearson and published by Black Mask Studios. Issue one hit comic book stores on November 28th and I'm already hooked so let me tell you a bit about this 4 issue mini series.

Ahh the dangers of social media. I feel like this is a timely graphic novel and actually I couldn't think a comic I read that resembled it in any way. With social media apps like Snap Chat and Instagram, models have a whole new way to reach people and for alternative models especially. One can be an amateur and have zero industry connections but with a little know how and the right look they can become what's known as an "influencer" garnering massive followings!

SNAP FLASH HUSTLE focuses on the life of  Haley Mori, an independent alternative model who is in financial trouble. Mori is attempting to make some cash before she has to break it to her bf and gf that she can't pay the bills. Yes you heard right, this character is in a trupple, just like the tv show SHAMELESS. Now if you know anything about amateur modelling, then you know it's no easy gig. Often times you are contacted by loads of photographers and they keep photos, don't pay you even though they tell you they're going to and of course, try to get you as nude as possible. I've seen this happen to loads of my friends who do this as a gig. So this book is VERY true to the perils of such a gig. There are also a lot of scam artists out there and Mori seems a bit green to this very real truth. However this is a work of fiction and the plot twist here is a lot more towards the true crime angle than just the dangers of being ripped off. I won't spoil the plot for you.

The dialogue in this comic is very realistic and believable even if the situations are a bit far fetched and out there. I got a very real sense of who all the characters were from issue 1 and I feel like that is something that just doesn't happen very often at all in comics. Each character has a very distinct personality and we get a clear sense of how our main character views each character and their relationships. This is good character development 101. If you can't tell, I'm super impressed with Pat Shand right now.

Let talk about artwork. I must say right away that I think I'm not in love Emily Pearson. I really enjoyed her artwork in this book. I think you likely recall my criticism of THE WILDS which she illustrated earlier this year. I had mentioned that many panels looked and felt incomplete. Well this comic does not have that feeling. In fact, some of the less detailed panels really fit the tone of the story as they feel just like the model photos one sees on Instagram for example. The minimalist backgrounds and fashion. I feel as though Pearson has really won me over with this issue.

Well I think that does it for this review. Thanks so much for watching please don't forget to check out my other videos, leave a like or a comment and subscribe to my channel for more comic book review. Until next time, read something good.

Wanna check out the art? Watch my video:

Sunday, December 2, 2018

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Bitter Root #1 (Image Comics)

Welcome back Comic Book Junkies. It's the Frog Queen here and today I'm reviewing BITTER ROOT #1 which is published by Image Comics. BITTER ROOT is written by David F. Walker of POWER MAN and IRON FIST  with Chuck Brown of TRENCH COATS, CIGARETTES AND SHOTGUNS. The comic is illustrated by Sanford Greene who is also from POWER MAN and IRON FIST. I actually really like it when creative teams who work together in the big two successfully, actually branch out to creator owned comics and bring us something that's all their own. There are also a series of variant covers by Brittney Williams, Denys Cowan and Mike Mignola.

Bitter Root #1 was published November 14th and it's intended for a mature audience. The story takes place in the 1920's and centers on the Sangerye Family who are trying to save the world from the supernatural terror which threatens to consume New York first. The reader knows this threat only as the Jinoo. Although Google tells me Jinoo is a made up word, I dunno if google is being willfully ignorant here, one can draw the conclusion that Jinoo is another word for Djinn that date back to pre-Islamic mythologies.

From what the Image website tells me, the first story arc of BITTER ROOT is slated to be 4 issues in length. They refer to this as the first story arc which generally means the series will continue depending on sales.

As far as first issues go, not a whole lot is given to us. It appears our focus is on a female character who's got her heart set on physically fighting the Jinoo while her family pushes her into a less violent role. She's given the task of grinding a special root which is administered to the Jinoo. We don't get to know much else about the characters as they have a brief interaction of just a few pages and then some action. We are also introduced to another more mysterious set of characters with even less insight into who they are or exactly their motives.

From the cover, one would assume that the Jinoo are vampires and although some are vampyric in appearance on the cover, reading further into issue 1 will have you feeling otherwise. I'm honestly not sure at all how I feel about this series. I do feel overwhelmed by the introduction of so many characters despite the fact that there was SOME meaningful interaction and the main characters are pretty cool. The headstrong female lead is a bit tiresome but I like the rest of her family. As for the art, I'm really into the coloring of the entire comic although the characters do feel a bit goofy most of the time and that so far doesn't make this feel like a horror comic but maybe it's not supposed to be?

Well I think that's it for this review, something fun I wanted to start doing was to tell you what music I listened to while reading the comic and  for this one I listened Samavaya- Vatan (2018)  which seemed to actually go quite well with this one. Warning if you don't like Maynard from Tool you're not likely to enjoy this because the lead singer very much sounds like him.

Check out my video review to see some of the artwork: 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

DEVIL WITHIN #1 & 2 (Black Mask)

Greetings again Comic Book Junkies. It's the frog queen here and today I'm reviewing DEVIL WITHIN issues #1 and 2 from Black Mask Studios. This is written by Stephanie Phillips and illustrated by Maan House with colors by Dee Cunniffe. Letters by Troy Peteri.

Maan House is a name you certainly may be familiar with. House has been a comic artist on such titles as Witchblade and Cutter, Krampus, Hipnorama and more. Stephanie Phillips was selected as the Top Cow Talent Hunt runner-up winner for writing. Stephanie's previous titles include Butcher of Paris and Kicking Ice.

This is a horror comic that debuted in the month of horror October with issue #2 having just been released on November 21st. Yours truly was late getting this comic as sometimes happens but I knew I'd get to it eventually. So the story begins with two newly engaged love birds entering their brand new home. Samantha and Michelle immediately start to have experiences in the home, well in particular, Michelle starts to have experiences while Samantha lives in a world of doubt and denial.

How do I put this, Sam is basically an asshole. She's an un-supportive partner who doesn't even recommend to her fiance that MAYBE she see a healthcare professional (which in my opinion, would be the obvious choice if you didn't believe in ghosts and your fiance was going on about seeing them AND being possessed by one). But no, Sam continues to tell her girlfriend that she's overreacting, imagining things and being dramatic. She's not a far jump away from gaslighting. She'd get along great with my ex boyfriend.

Sam antagonizes her partner at every turn, especially in issue 2. I don't even think this can be taken as joking around at this point. On pg 13 she's making fun of her for tripping and hurting herself and pg 14 she's making her sound irresponsible by telling her she can't take care of herself. And on pg 16 she's making fun of her in her head. WHY IS SAM EVEN MARRYING THIS WOMAN? She clearly doesn't think much Michelle.

All things considered, for another haunting possession story, DEVIL WITHIN is really engaging story. I actually felt myself sympathizing with Michelle more so for having to deal with asshole Sam than the possession but right there, that kept me reading. I love a good possession story, I love creepy ghost kids, let me correct that, I love creepy ghost kids in my comics. But I think I would be remiss without saying that we've seen all these things before. Something this story has that many possession stories do not have is a homosexual relationship. It's nice to have that diversity there although it doesn't really add anything to the story thus far. Yet as I said, despite this story not containing any ground breaking horror elements, it remains engaging.

Well I think that does it for this review. Devil Within is a 4 issue mini series and you can get issue #3 on January 2nd. Thank you so much for watching, don't forget to subscribe to my channel and check me out on facebook, instagram and twitter and as always until next time, read something good.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Middlewest #1 (Image Comics)

Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jorge Corona
Cover: Mike Huddleston
Variant Cover: Skottie YoungJorge Corona
Published: November 21, 2018
Diamond ID: SEP180050
Age Rating: M

Hello Comic Book Junkies, it's the frog queen here and today I'm talking about Middlewest #1 by  Skottie Young and Jorge Corona which just came out from Image Comics.

I have actually been sharing images of this on Facebook for quite some time. So this is a pretty important comic for me in the sense that I've been really looking forward to it. I got my review copy this week and had to take the dive.

I do not think that I have ever read a comic that was written, but not illustrated, by Skottie Young. Yet having read I HATE FAIRY LAND, I know that we are in for something far from average. I don't think anyone more perfect could illustrate a story for Skottie Young. Jorge Corona's style is so perfect for anything whimsical. If you've been reading my blog for a few years you likely remember me gushing over Jorge Corona's comic series FEATHERS which was published by Archaia back in late 2015. You'll find that his art style has taken on a maturity to speak to an older audience than FEATHERS and the coloring will get to you.... right in the feels. Those gorgeous blues and purples makes my pupils dilate.

The story appears to take place in a kind of dimension similar to our Earth but with some eerie differences. For instance, everything appears to be powered by this glowing pink substance which is attached to motor vehicles, homes, etc. It almost resembles an IV drip and so I keep thinking that here's a child who's in a coma attached to some I.V. drip and talking to his spirit guide. Yes that cute little Fox on the cover is actually talking to our main character. Of course being a bit of symbolism junkie, I would assume from the cover that he is a terminal heart patient. But hey I could be entirely wrong and I'm just having fun making my own narrative. My whole made up synopsis works well with the fact that we are introduced to the main character Abel from the beginning of the comic, within his own nightmare. Or maybe the nightmare is just how he views his environment, the Middlewest. Hostile, uncontrollable and oppressive.

Abel has an abusive father whom he tries to please until he doesn't when his Fox friend urges him to neglect his responsibilities in favor of having some fun with his friends. And that's when the storm comes. This is a very mysterious story and I can't wait to see more.

MIDDLEWEST is an all new, on-going series with Image Comics and you can get issue #1 at your local comic book shop! You can get your copy of issue #2 on December 19th!