Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Why You Should Read MONSTRESS (Image Comics) Epic Fantasy

Hey All! I have decided to change up my video format a little bit and instead of simply talking about a comic, I decided I should make the argument for why you should read something (or not read something) rather than making a list of pros and cons on a book. This is an in depth look at the Monstress Comic Book Series with few spoilers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Game of Thrones the Final Episode: My Thoughts

Hey Comic Book Junkies, it's The Frog Queen here and today I'm doing something a little different. I was asked to give record my thoughts on the Comic News Insider Podcast about the final episode of Game of Thrones and since I did that, I thought I would do an extended version of my thoughts in a video for Youtube. But if you don't like videos, here's my thoughts all typed up:

My initial thoughts, I can only hope that Martin finishes his planned books so I can erase the memory of this season with the actual story, written beautifully as it was intended.

I think it’s important for me to explain that I’m not upset at the ending of the story but rather it’s pitiful execution. I can of course accept that Danny was certainly meant to follow in her father's footsteps as a mad queen tyrant but as we’ve all seen greatly criticized, the writers of the show did not properly lead up to this with subtle character changes in decisions, motivations, etc. They simply decided to make her crazed overnight. I would have liked to see her insanity creep in, sneak up on her, and see more of her own personal views on the world and her own ego become twisted. I know we will get this in the books if they ever manage to be released before my own death.

The other issue I had with Danny herself was her continued sexual advances on Jon after they both learn of their biological relation. They keep showing Danny repeatedly coming on to John and him rejecting which I guess this is the one thing to show that she’s unhinged and he’s sane….? WEAK.

The ultimate criticism for me though is the Deaths of great characters. The death scenes are anticlimactic, soft and unemotional, lacking the impact that these characters are due. You need to provide the prolific characters with the appropriate significance they deserve. 

There’s been so much criticism for why this season was rushed, and the reason is pretty clear to everyone. The Disney money offered to the writers/creative team was simply more important to them. So once again, money over fans ... I suppose we could blame Disney over greed but greed appears to be the ultimate culprit as usual. It’s helped aid the downfall of many a television show and film. Which brings me to the question which comes up very often in fandom, do creatives with such a large fanbase actually owe anything to their fans? In the comic book world I’ve always said no. I think to a certain extent this is true but when you have such a large audience and great influential platform, I think there is a responsibility to do your best. I think we can safely say that the creators here did indeed NOT do their best.

Despite the rush job which I think is one opinion all fans can agree with, there were some very beautiful cinematic moments in the final episode. Two of note would be the first scene of the episode with Daenerys as she walks out towards John Snow with Drogo spreading his wings in the background behind her. The scene transforms Danny into the angel of death she has become with the great black wings. The second great moment is in my opinion, the ending with all the wildlings walking back into the forest beyond the wall. We see their backs as they disappear into the forest. I half expected some cheesy whispering threat of white walkers so I’m thankful that didn’t happen.

Tying up loose ends - If my mind wanders back to film and television that has done the task of tying up all the loose ends of a story (or as many as they could manage), I always think of the Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings and how he was heavily criticized for not ending the film at what many people thought was it’s natural conclusion. I think there’s a deep wanting from an audience for the conclusion of their favorite characters yet, when we are actually given that conclusion, we are rarely happy with it. It’s so effective and satisfying in books but it almost never works in film. In fact, I can only think of one ultimate ending that I think wrapped up all characters epicly on screen, and that was SIX FEET UNDER. Such a great emotional ending. I actually cried and I pretty much never cry to film. This all makes me think that Perhaps it’s the guessing and wanting of our characters conclusions that ultimately truly holds up.

So I really don’t feel like I have much to say. There’s so much that others have said already, that will be said that I don’t feel like I need to go into HUGE detail on this. This season was ultimately a blip for me and it doesn’t erase the good seasons for me. It also doesn’t marr the books for me at all. I’m just anxious for them to come out and take me on a real adventure. But what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think about the last episode or any of the episodes. What were you favorite moments from the series? What was the ending you wanted? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. And until next time, as usual, read something good!

Also Check out COMIC NEWS INSIDER which is a great comic book related podcast which I've been a guest on a few times included this past episode that just went up on Monday:

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: