Friday, May 30, 2014

Trees issue #1 by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard

The name Warren Ellis has always and will forever be associated in my head with Hellblazer. Me being one of the larger Hellblazer fans alive. Even though his work with the title was short lived, he quit after DC refused to publish a story centered around school shootings (sour grapes). I for one agreed with DC and saw no reason to rub salt on an open seeping wound as Columbine had recently taken place. The story was eventually published anyway some years later but you know, timing is everything.

So it's been a while since I've read anything by Ellis. When I saw the release of Trees creeping up I got a little excited. I picked the first issue on release day which was Wednesday, May 28th. I read it when I got home. I had questions. Immediately I started thinking of that awful M Night Shyamalan movie and wondering why anyone would want to associate themselves with that. I actually liked the concepts behind that movie but you know, poor execution. In this story however, giant poles come down from the heavens. Although the story takes place some decades or so after the these "trees" originally appeared and humanity is attempting to deal with them, Ellis gives us some background info. I developed lots of questions. So I thought I'd just ask Ellis. Unfortunately for me, he felt that the work should just speak for itself which takes all the fun out of my job.

So yeah that kinda blows for me having fun and getting to talk to people but if you do want to hear what Ellis has to say about Trees then jump on over to Multiversity where he talked to them about it right HERE.

As for issue 1, I dig the artwork. Majorly dig the coloring and I do want to read on to learn more about the beings responsible for the trees. I guess that means Warren Ellis accomplished what he set out to do with this issue. 

Skinned issue #2 by Jeremy Holt, Tim Daniel & Joshua Gowdy

If reality is a curable disease then I wouldn't mind being cured. I wouldn't mind at all having one these Occupy lenses installed. I know that the main characters in Skinned are all about getting back to reality, or rather the organic, but I'm still a big believer in reality being what you make it. I sort of feel as though Aldair (leading female character)is a bit of buzz kill. It's like everyone else is living in acid-trip-fun-world and she expects us to face the boring reality of well... what everyone has been choosing to ignore ever since the invention of Iris.

I should back up. In this world people are fitted with special lenses with which to view the world. This is known as Occupy Lenses and although they alter reality, our heroes obviously haven't lived in 2014 and had to work at MacDonalds. The heroes of this story are a couple of rebellious youth that seek to escape the veil placed on reality by Occupy. There is Buoy, who is a bit of a hacker and Aldair, who's royalty. Normally I take the sides of rebellious youth, but considering my own addiction to escapism (hence all the fantasy & sci fi novels) I find it difficult to relate to these organic reality seekers.

I must say I'm enjoying the cover of issue 2. It reflects what happens when Buoy hacks the system and alters appearances. Although no one turns into a zombie or Frankenstein creature. It would be pretty neat if they did. I'm wondering how far appearances go. As in, if you change your appearance to look like another gender, does that mean you inherit their genitals lol. Think about it. Or would it simply just be the appearance of that. hmmm I still want lenses.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cat Eyed Boy by Kazuo Umezu

Sometimes I think I'm more in love with old manga than I am with present day comic book artists and writers. Especially lately, where I struggle to find anything I'm wowed by. Besides Alison Sampson's stunning work on Genesis, I have been more absorbed with Japanese comics.  Kazuo Umezu was born in 1936 and apparently this odd looking senior-hipster, caught-in-a-time-warp, is still alive. It isn't apparent that he still creates manga although he had a career as an actor and a musician. Jack of all trades they tell me. I lie, Wikipedia tells me.

I was riffling through stacks of manga at Hairy Tarantula in Toronto looking for something new to read going "read it, read it, hated it, read it, don't want to read it, hate that author, read it, read it, ooo I should read that again," when I stumbled on these Big Viz books. Viz prints a lot of manga and sometimes they put out these amazing larger books and this one caught my attention. I picked it up, flipped through it and bam. It it me! Wonderful, disturbing horror! I have I found another Junji Ito?!? No, no let's not go that far. I have found something truly awesome though. Now I have to order the rest of his work. 

There are two volumes of the Cay Eyed Boy. This unfortunate child was born with monstrous features resembling a cat. He was cast out of the town he was born in and wanders Japan looking for shelter and food. However everywhere he goes, destruction and horror seems to follow. He's a walking omen and everyone fears him. Even those he tries to help. Despite how cruelly he is treated, he often acts out in the best interest of others. 

There is a bit of body gore within the pages of these books and that's what really appeals to me. Although I would describe the pictures as more juvenile, less emotionally and psychologically rattling than that of Ito, they have a special quality that shakes you. The stories center more around myth, monsters and perversions. There are mad scientists and superstitions. It's less about people who are going utterly mad, or a distorted world and social order. The cat eyed boy is painfully aware of the trouble his presence causes and how people revile him. 

I would recommend this to seasoned horror fans, and newbies alike. The stories are unique and engaging. Plus Umezu is not without a sense of humor. 

DEBUT WEBCOMIC: Last Days of Nobodies by Mike Medagalia

Yesterday, author Mike Medagalia debuted his latest webcomic Last Days of Nobodies to be updated every other Wednesday to follow until completion. The webcomic takes a closer look at three prolific artists starting with Vincent Van Gogh, followed then by Emily Dickinson and Franz Kafka. Crafted with pencil then digitally colored, Medagalia's work holds a soft organic whimsy. I love seeing pencil strokes in comic book illustrations. It gets my attention every time.

The difficulty for me with webcomics, is remembering which days to go back and visit to read the updates. I was a big fan of Mitch Clem but man, I regularly forgot to go back and check for updates. Especially when he got lazier and lazier about updating. However, in the end he compiled it all into a book which made a lot of people very happy. I am crossing my fingers that we'll see that happening with this webcomic as it's truly beautiful and I love to see it exist in its entirety.

You can check out Mike Medagalia's Last Days of Nobodies on tumblr using the following address:  http://lastdaysofnobodies.tumblr.com Be sure to bookmark it so you can go back for each additional update!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All-New Doop # 2 by Peter Milligan

It appears to me that the latest Marvel cross-over story arc is annoying and seems to be a new take on Days of Future Past in a way. Bringing back the old X-men, and throwing in future X-men while the present ones scramble to send them back to their times, (and the moral issue of sentencing them to their demise by putting them back in the correct timeline) is strategically timed with the release of the latest X-men movie. At any rate, besides this mini-series of Doop, I'm really not reading or covering any of it.

 I use to love Marvel's cross-over story arcs. Now I hate them. They were always forcing me to read other series of characters I didn't care for, just so I knew I had the whole picture. I can without regret, tell you that I'm only bothering with Doop in this story arc.

In this series, Doop attempts to shed some light on the current situation with these past and future X-men running around. Although Kitty Pride, sorry Professor K is not interested in perusing a romantic relationship with Doop, (how could she say no to that stinky meat ring!?) he attempts to let her solve the crisis at hand. You know, cause that's the type of nice green blob Doop is. I would snuggle him! He's lump but I bet he's soft! lol Besides, he can speak English now. Although his version of English sounds like it's coming out of a 10 year old and he often still refers to himself in the third person. That could get on ones nerves.                                                                                                                                                            
In the end, I kind of wish this story wasn't riding on the coat tails of the latest Marvel cross-over story arc. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Q & A with John Lees on his latest book "And Then Emily Was Gone"

Give this to your local comic book retailer to ensure you get
copies of "And Then Emily Was Gone"
I told you this was coming. I keep my promises. I got to ask John Lees some questions about the first issue of "And Then Emily was Gone" ! This unique story caught my attention with it's riveting cover art as I mentioned before. I wanted to know how this story was developed. 

The Frog Queen: "And then Emily was Gone" is such an odd story. The detective who sees monsters, and then a town racked with missing persons. What inspired you to write this book?

John: Odd in a good way, I hope! There are a few things that inspired me to write "And Then Emily Was Gone." Part of it was that I'd written "The Standard", which is very much a classic superhero tale, and I wanted to really push myself and do something out-there and totally different. "The Standard" was my love-letter to the superhero genre, but in truth I've probably loved horror for as long as I've loved superheroes, so another factor was trying to write the kind of horror comic that, as a reader, would freak me out and that I'd want to read. And any answer about the inspirations for this comic would be incomplete without giving a nod to "Twin Peaks," and the work of David Lynch in general. That strange, dreamlike quality, and how at its darkest that can slip into pure nightmare logic, was definitely something I hoped to capture.

The Frog Queen: Is our detective Hellinger really insane? Or are monsters real?

John: Well, I know the answer to that.... but if you want to know you'll have to keep on reading!

The Frog Queen: The spooky childrens' cautionary tale about Bonnie Shaw, is this based on anything from your own childhood? 

John: No, I made it up. Though, funnily enough, I've had a bit of fun pretending that the story of Bonnie Shaw is an actual old folk tale from Orkney and Shetland. Over on the "And Then Emily Was Gone" blog, Visit Merksay, I ran a series of articles on Orkney folklore, posting up stuff about actual legends like the trows and the Black Dog, but then I seeded in stuff about Bonnie Shaw as if it was part of the same tradition. And when I go to conventions, I talk about how Bonnie Shaw is actually an obscure part of Scottish folklore that I dug up in researching Orkney, and that the character is "real." Possibly the best moment was when I got talking to a con attendee who said he grew up on Orkney, and claimed to remember hearing about Bonnie Shaw as a child!

The Frog Queen: I really enjoy Iain Laurie's artwork. How did you come to collaborate with him for this book?

John: I will happily praise Iain Laurie until I'm blue in the face, and I'm sure he's a bit embarrassed by it, but I'll say it again: Iain Laurie is, and has been for a good while now, one of my favourite artists. Not just "one of my favourite artists on the indie scene" or "one of my favourite artists to work with," but one of my favourite artists of anyone working in comics today. I've been a fan of his for years now, and included "Iain Laurie's Horror Mountain" in my list of the best comics of 2012. I've been very keen to work with him for some time, and we had been planning on collaborating on a large-scale British comics anthology project. But when that fell through, we decided to develop our own original project together. Iain fired off a bunch of story ideas in my direction, and I took elements from each of them and blended them all together into what became "And Then Emily Was Gone." It's been an interesting experience for me, as a writer, because I have written "And Then Emily Was Gone" very consciously as an "Iain Laurie book," trying to script stuff that ties in with some of the recurring motifs of Iain's work, or which I as a fan would love to see Iain draw and know he could excel at visualising. It's very much Iain Laurie's Greatest Hits! Even if "And Then Emily Was Gone" achieves nothing else, if it gives Iain a platform and gets his unique artwork in front of a bigger audience and wins him new fans, I'll view it as a success.

I should also take a moment here to acknowledge the rest of the creative team. Letterer Colin Bell was onboard from a very early stage, and has also been an invaluable collaborator in terms of the comic's design and visual aesthetic. Colorist Megan Wilson joined the team a little later, but it very quickly came to a point where I can't imagine "And Then Emily Was Gone" without her. Her colors are the perfect match for Iain Laurie's art, and she's managed to add a whole new dimension of sickly weirdness to the book.

 The Frog Queen: Is Riley Rossmo (artist for the cover B) going to be contributing to the body of the story as well?


John: He's not, though Riley has contributed much in terms of guidance and support, which has been immensely appreciated. Riley Rossmo and Nick Pitarra, artist of Image Comics' "The Manhattan Projects," have both been tireless advocates of Iain and I, a pair of Scottish oddballs, and it has meant a great deal. Though Riley Rossmo is only providing one of the covers for this first issue, the 50/50 variant scheme will be continuing throughout the series, with Iain Laurie drawing one cover and the other cover being drawn by a high-profile guest artist. Nick Pitarra has done a cover for issue #2, while Garry Brown (currently working on Marvel's "Iron Patriot") has crafted a doozy of a cover for issue #3, and I just recently got a terrifying cover from Joe Mulvey for issue #4.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

And Then Emily Was Gone #1 by John Lees


Cover by Ian Laurie
 I love horror comics. Anyone who reads my blog knows that. Something I do that's bad? I judge a book by it's cover OFTEN. When John Lees told me about his new book, I was teased for several days after looking up the cover art. He was waiting for issue 1 to be finalized and I was just waiting for a copy because frankly, the cover looked exactly like my type of comic. There are two covers to be exact. The first one I saw was drawn by the Ian Laurie who illustrated the story.

And Then Emily was Gone is a missing persons story with a twist. A young girl is missing and her best friend tracks down a deranged detective to help her. The detective, lets call him the defective detective, sees monsters. He sees them all over and they don't stop appearing until Emily's best friend shows up on his doorstep.Together they must figure out what happened to Emily.

The first issue of this story debut's in July distributed through Diamond but to ensure you get your copy, request order code MAY141251 at your local comic book store! You can expect four more issues to follow as a monthly release. 
Cover by Riley Rossmo



Angel Sanctuary Volume 6 by Kaori Yuki

Manga totally improves my day. When I've had a shit day at work and I'm frustrated with reality, I resort to escapism as many people do. I also resort to eating giant bowls of pasta but that's another topic. Angel Sanctuary is the typical kind of escape for me. Fantasy, ooo Enochian fantasy!  Twisted lives, demons, angels! Crazy re-interpretation of scripture! I love it! 

This volume focuses much more on our little demon friends while Setsuna and Kato release all the souls waiting to be judged in one of the layers of Hell. We get to hear from Kiri and Arachne a lot more. I find the world they come from Gehenna, pretty interesting with it's own hierarchy. Apparently even Hell has rejected these demons. They receive a visit from a fallen angel who asks that the demons pledge allegiance to Lucifer. The demon are not interested in his proposal. I was never a huge fan of Kiri but she's growing on me! She displays a lot more strength of character is this volume and we get to know her a little better. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Angel Sanctuary Vol 5 by Kaori Yuke

After sifting through some submissions, by the end of the night I tend to pick up whatever manga series I'm plowing through. Right now, that's Angel Sanctuary. I've fallen in love with so many of the characters and currently obsessed with Kato. Imagine my shock and dismay when his soul was obliterated by Doll. Doll is the henchman to protector of the Gates of Hell, Angel Uriel. I was crushed! Luckily he doesn't stay dead for long. Setsuna was able to go into his mind and retrieve him from oblivion. Apparently Kato stored a piece of himself in the large cross-like staff given to Setsuna.

You get to know Kato a lot better in this book. He had a rough childhood littered with emotional and physical abuse. The man he believed to be his father, long resented him because he was an illegitimate child of his mothers previous affair. Kato eventually learns of his origins and begins to understand the twisted mistreatment he endured from his father.

This just may be my favorite volume so far. I promise I won't make out with the panels of Kato. Okay, I'll try not.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MPH issue #1 by Mark Millar & Duncan Fegredo

There are different covers
but this is the one I got a copy of.
I was really hoping that this was going the way of the Paul Pope cyberpunk novel. It actually begins with an intro in 1986 and then jumps to present day 2014. Instead of long haired, cyberpunk addicts, we've got shaved head, modern day gangsters. Yet this is the part that reminds me of Pope, drugs that give you superpowers. Although this story doesn't take place in a future dystopian society, it does start out in Detroit. Oops, that sounded really awful. But seriously, present day Detroit is practically post-apocalyptic. Here's the rundown:

Our main character becomes incarcerated for selling cocaine. Upon learning that his boss Hal set him up for a 15 year stint in prison, he tries to unwind with some strange drug. The only indication on what the drug could be is written on the side of the bottle "MPH". Why anyone would take speed to unwind is beyond me but it's pretty clear what we're dealing with. Our main character isn't quite so bright and takes the drug after being told it's amphetamine. Speed is what he does. He speeds himself right out of prison and after the person who put him there. See how this is sort of reminding me of Heavy Liquid?

Artwork-wise, it's not my thing. Fegredo is talented but he's got little to offer me personally as we know what kind of thing I go for. Lots of choppy lines, pencil strokes, messy paint, a little interpretive dance (I'm joking about the last part). Anyway, he's too clean for me. Might be your thing, but it's not mine. However, this doesn't turn me off of the story as I do want to see where all this is going. Don't you want to know who made the MPH and why it mysteriously turns up in the hands of an imprisoned convict? I want to know so I'm grabbing issue 2 when it makes it's way out. At the back of the issue, Millar assures us that everything is happening on time with this series. If the punctual releases of Starlight are any indication, I believe he's being truthful.


Saga #19 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Damn it Vaughan! What are you trying to do to me? Another damn cliff hanger and this one is a doozy. Issue 19 of Saga is a teaser. It's supposed to make you remember the wonderful taste of this space adventure because well, you may have forgotten how much you loved it over the last 3 damn months. Seriously, it has been forever since the last issue of Saga. Oh but don't worry because Vaughan isn't giving you any real damn information or showing you any real damn action. He's letting you know where everyone is, what part of the story we're being plunged into and he's hitting us in the face on the last page. Seriously, I was just smacked in the face.

I want to spoil it soooo much for you. I want to tell you what happened but no.. I can't do that to you. You, just like I, have waited too long. We have agonized for this day! And to think that I almost didn't get my copy because Strange Adventures didn't have their copies at 4pm on release day. Instead I got mine at Monster Comics. Thank you Monster Comics!

As usual, the artwork is beautiful, vibrant and expressive. Fiona Staples makes me want to start painting again. Or invest in Manga Studio and a nice tablet. ;)

Starlight # 3 by Mark Millar & Goran Parlov *SPOILERS*

I still love the artwork. I had a conversation recently with a friend who mentioned that the artwork was wearing on him with this third issue but I disagree. I'm still very impressed with Parlov's style. Ultimately this has become one of those issues that I get excited about when it's release date rolls around. Oooo another installment.

I am a hopeless sucker for science fiction and I'm an even larger sucker for worlds controlled by media. In Starlight, the distant planet is controlled by a tyrant who uses televised propaganda. This chapter finds McQueen incarcerated after attempting to exert a little vigilante justice on some crooked law enforcement. He now awaits execution, yet there are those who will stand together to bust him out.

This actually makes me hopeful that when I pick up Millar's MPH, I may be very happy with it. I'm not always thrilled with Millar. I'm hoping Starlight is the beginning of a new golden era for him. Some people will argue that this began with Kick-Ass but I'm not quite sure about that one  ;)

Q&A with San Hannibal creators Dan Schkade, Jesse Snavlin and PJ Perez

This week I got to throw some questions at the people responsible for San Hannibal! They gave me some amazing insight into this story. Read on to hear from Dan Schkade, Jesse Snavlin and PJ Perez. 

The Frog Queen: How did you come up with the plot for San Hannibal and how did you begin to develop the personality of Private Investigator Avery?

DAN: San Hannibal is meant to be a love/hate letter to the early 20th century Pulps. I love the lingo and the mystery and the weird optimism that permeates the genre, but oh there is so much to hate. Even the best of it is just riddled with cavities. A lot of hay is made over historical context and shifting levels of social awareness and such and such qualifications, but none of that makes all the blatant misogyny and wild, wild racism any less vile. It's not about political correctness; it's about this us-and-them strain of might makes right that takes the beautiful concept of the lone flatfoot out to uncover the truth and turns it ugly. It's infected everything that came after it, which, not for nothing, is basically the whole of American comics books.

So instead of Philip Marlowe, we have Ira Avery, the non-violent private eye. He does not carry a gun, never throws a punch, and quit smoking years ago. What he does, for a modest fee, is find people who've gone missing. I wanted to create in him this purely observational detective, whose only interests are solving the case, staying alive, and paying his bills -- in that order. He's actually sort of an unpleasant person, because he's always taking things apart in his mind. You'll be talking to him and he's just looking past you, adding you up. It's what makes him mean, lonely, and, hey, a great detective. That seemed like a very 21st century kind of being to throw into a churning vat of 20th century tropes and homages. Hope you survive the experience, right?

JESSE: Dan has neglected to mention that he's always eating in exchange for the cigarettes. One thing you notice in the pulps is that the men don't eat; they never, ever eat. Certainly they don't eat something so incredibly messy and simple. Almost no one ever eats, they never use the restroom, they never really do much of any human and tangible and mundane task. Avery's seen in every issue doing at minimum one of these things.

The Frog Queen: How do you feel about the reception received by the first release?

DAN: Indescribably flattered. We're a pack of nobodies and there were copies of our book on the shelves at Mile High Comics and Forbidden Planet. So thrilling. And not just for selfish reasons, either. It's thrilling to see so many people try -- and like! -- a fresh, locally-grown book like this. It's totally the dream.

JESSE: I had a friend text me after he read it, an industry friend, saying it's the best first issue he's read in so very long, and I almost cried from joy. I'm really, really proud of Dan.
...but really, the work is phenomenal. Why wouldn't it be successful? the climate in comics right now is ripe for the super tinies to go out there and say "hey world we've got good stuff." Bendis, someone who's mentored both Dan and I in our growing as writers and comickers, said, "if you want to be in comics, you just gotta go make a comic," and insisted that a "good story, well told" would be all you needed. I really believe that. Not in the false-hood, "if you work hard you'll be rich" sort of way, I mean, right there I just admitted a bit of industry privilege... we've been making friends, and that helps... but, it's still really hard to do even with friends, and that's the strength of the series. 

On a personal note, I was really simultaneously scared and elated every time my name showed up in a review. The first issues lettering is weak as fuck, mostly because I've taught myself lettering over the past 2 years and sort of got thrown in on a last minute deadline to do this stuff, and was waiting for peeps to say, "man, is she incompetent." well, I think most people don't realize I'm a lady but now they do, maybe. Anyway, they have not said she is incompetent yet! Letterers mostly hope you never mention them because that means they did a good job...

The Frog Queen : Are there any plans to release a trade after the series is finished?

DAN: Yeah! We're already doing some preliminary design work for it. It'll be coming out through Pop! Goes The Icon as well, which I'm pleased about. Their trades are very rugged, and they look great on a shelf. We're looking at a 2015 release for that, I believe, unless PGTI publisher Pj Perez sees this on its way back over to you and corrects me.

PJ: Ha! We definitely would love to see San Hannibal do well enough to warrant a trade collection. The nature of the story lends itself to a proper graphic novel treatment, and that is most certainly our goal.

The Frog Queen: Traven gave me flashbacks of V for Vandetta although, I get the impression he is a character to be feared. What can you tell me about this character without giving too much of the story away?

DAN: Traven is actually the first element of the story I thought up. Like Avery, he's a direct analogue for a major pulp character, with a 21st century update. I'm totally giving myself too much credit, but I feel like there's a cool moment of 'oh, THAT'S who that's supposed to be,' so I won't say too much else about it until folks get a chance to see for themselves. But you're right on both accounts; I can see the V connection, since both characters draw from the same place. And good, bad, or other, if he doesn't scare you a little by the end of the series, I need to get better at my job.

The Frog Queen: Why neon-noir? Can you explain this genre description?

DAN: It started as just a neat alliterative catch phrase, but I've come to love it. "Neo-noir" so often is this desaturated morally ambiguous dragfest, while I wanted to do something what packed that same energy I felt when I was reading those old pulps. Original San Han artist JD Faith came up with the neon secondary tones, and we've just ran with it with the other issues. It's exciting, it's buzzing, it's bright enough so you can see it in afterimages after your eyes are closed. Neon Noir! It's stuck, and I'm pretty okay with that.

The Frog Queen: How did you choose the color tones for issues? Is there any significance in the choice of blue for issue 2?

DAN: What began as a reticence to do a hundred and ten pages all in neon pink has evolved into a cool color progression. I'll let Jess talk more about it, but I think it's really exciting. San Hannibal looks different from what's next to, above, and across from it on the new issue shelves.

JESSE: THIS ANSWER IS GOING TO BE VERY LONG. I'm a nobody who never gets asked about her process, and when I told Ibrahim Moustafa (who's doing our third issue cover, that Eisner-nominated super-nice badass) about the color choices he seemed to like it, so you know. Maybe you will too.
Well! When San Han was picked up by Pop!, we approached JD to return for the following issues, but he had to go and be all Just Another Sheep and Virgil and stuff. PFT. (I kid, I kid.) I do the colors and lettering for all of our other work at TCB, as well as the hefty share of the writing and editorial direction, so it was a natural transition to just have me sort of step into the role. The thing is, I didn't really buy JD's use of pink as much as everyone else did... no no no don't take this as a criticism, but whenever you pick up a project in the middle you have to make it your own and think through the decisions people have made before you and understand the project as if you started it yourself, and to be honest, I was always lurking in the background helping get this thing off the ground. It's what happens when you meet somebody while they're in their publishing masters and you're a writer, I guess? (ha!) It was only natural that I ended up being a bit bullheaded and poking Dan about what he was doing with this stuff.

The pink was really, really cool, but it was hypothetically supposed to be the whole damn thing, so far as I was told. That's not only overwhelming, it's MEANINGLESS. Pulp is a lot of fluffernutter but it's definitely a deliberate activity: everything from the type of hat a detective wears to the strange it's never not night lighting in a film are orchestrated to provide mood, tone, message, theme. When the choice of pink came about, and this became a neon-noir, then it also became a message of it never being *real.* Pure CMYK is a digital creation, you realize. Pure pink, pure cyan, pure yellow. These don't exist in nature: not the way we digitally recreate it. Even with physical paints you can't actually create those colors. You can get damn close, but our eyes and the nature of natural imperfection are always going to eff that vision up.
If things aren't real then things aren't real, and I think the job of a colorist is to always provide a grounding point, a signal that this is a complete identity. If you're not telling a story with your color you're really just hitting up a coloring book. I've gone out of my way to seek tutelage, even (painting color wheels and other basics) to get to a point where color becomes part of my intellectual understanding, and so why would I settle, and let alone, why should anyone in the digital age when color is so easy to control and actualize, settle for something that lacks deliberateness?

I went to CMYK because of my background as a designer, and because JD did pick basically the "M" of a CMYK setting. As Avery travels through the story, there is an increasingly dire and paranormal bend to what is actually objective reality. It's a sex trafficking story at heart (sorry, spoilers, kind of) and this awful reality is going on around us all the time. Literally all the time. You have known at least one woman who has ended up being trafficked or has a family member who has been trafficked if you live in our home state of Oregon, and the youngest sex trafficking victim in Oregon they've found was 9 years old. Most sex trafficking victims die by 24. And this is a heinously common and easily witnessed thing, and it's ignored, and in fact somewhat encouraged by the rampant depictions of sex workers as happy, satisfied people on the whole and/or demonized sexualized monsters. (I want to be clear that sex workers are fine in choosing their professions, but that we encourage a lack of understanding of the demons of sex trafficking when we only focus on sex workers and their absolutely valid choice of profession as such or as "sluts and criminals." without a middle ground of contextualization, the sex traffickers get to go free.) Case in point on contextualization, and the willingness to condemn Johns to some extent, as the truth is sex trafficking and all its ills can be stemmed by policing Johns, as we see in Sweden (going off the rails, okay, back to contextualization...): The only pop culture thing in any point recently to talk at all about Johns and the complex legalization/sex trafficking conundrum in our country with any sort of understanding and compassion—outside of "Paying For It" which though complex and multifaceted is a diary of a John and if there's anything that contributes more to sex trafficking than rape culture it's Johns—is Bates Motel, of all ironies, and the audience was damn well BLOWN OUT THEIR GOARD to realize that was what reality could be and is. And they still thought it exaggerated, when it was entirely underplayed.

The fact that this story deals so much with actual reality encompassed in a fictional color, in a fictional genre, in a fictional, distanced, exaggerated way made me want to start peeling back the facade of this brightly pop-colored sugar-world as Avery gets closer and closer to our real destruction, our real devouring of young women and girls in this ultimately sex-shaming, sex-abusing, and sex-dominated culture. The series begins to become more and more populated by color until objectivity is reached, where, you'll see in issue 5, the color indicates where your truth and your lies lie. To me, since the series itself centers so much on discussing the ignored truths of our world as well as the accepted, excused truths of this beloved (and reviving) genre, I wanted to deliberately work towards highlighting that gross misconception of reality, that willingness to find the easiest and least true explanation, and the absolute bravery of Avery to step into truth without any of the natural trappings of our typical heroes.

And really, the bravest characters aren't Avery at all, but Savannah Loy and Diane Thrax, but that's all another day and not really my world to talk about.

Anyway, as for the individual issues, the second issue focuses intensely on isolation and coldness; there's a character named Swimmer, and he opens the issue, water, deep and underground; the moon and the mystery, so C. The third is about gold and money and glitz and the eery fakeness of a brightly shining spotlight, so yellow, naturally. The fourth is about history and depth and shades of meaning, so your K belongs there. And the fifth... well, it's when it all comes together.

I hope this didn't come off as pompous or too exaggerated or too self-important. I have just been thinking about this a lot-lot-lot. And also think that this work is really quite phenomenal, and personally, I am not surprised at how well it's taken off. When a genre is being revived and it mostly relies on old racist and sexist tropes in a new and modern and changing world... I wouldn't expect any other way but for those who need it to go and find the truth.

San Hannibal #2 is available for $2.99, and can be pre-ordered now with Diamond code APR141326. To find a comic store near you, call 1-800-COMIC-BOOK or visit comicshoplocator.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shutter Issue #2

The story just picks right up! Throws you right back into the action in where they left off! Where did they leave off? Kate, our retired adventurer is being forced back into the world of adventure by what appears to be semi-intelligent animals... that wear clothing. Of course, these the reasons and people ultimately responsible are not completely obvious. It does appear however that the lion-headed gang was commissioned by one of Kate's siblings to kidnap her.

I have to say that I really enjoy the little cat clock which seems to act as butler (or maid?) to our heroine. He's so cute and speaks in a super cutie way. At least I imagine his voice to be super cute in my head. It would match the super cute things he says. Apparently he makes cookies and they are totally happening. I wish I had a magical (?), robotic (?) cat that made me cookies!

It's around here that I would like to also point out that the weird tubby robots with the bandit rats completely looks like Tic Tok from Return to Oz (the movie not the books). Tell me I'm wrong :

Tik Tok
And here's the character from Shutter. Tik Tok MAD!!











What do you think folks? Unless they tell us that the universe has melded with that of Oz, I cannot explain this wild and direct character stealing. Or can I??

Bee and Puppycat Issue #1 by Natasha Allegri

A journey in mediocrity. I hate giving books bad reviews. I actually hate it. The trouble is, I am very honest and the trouble with this story, is nothing stood out. Not the artwork, not the story, nothing. I was immediately worried about Cartoon Hangover's webisode turned comic book because the show relies heavily on the physical and auditory comedy. Most of the lines are only funny because of the delivery of the voice actors. Most of the plot is only funny due to timing and ridiculous animation. I was always a big fan of Bee and Puppycat. I died laughing after watching the first webisode on youtube. I had to watch it again immediately after. Unfortunately this wasn't the case with this less than intriguing comic. 

I don't normally pick up television series spin-off comics due to the fact that they are usually just a really awful money grab. I learned my lesson after trying to read season 8 of Buffy. I thought maybe Bee and Puppycat would be a safe bet, or at least had some potential. Saddness. 

Q & A with Robert Ball on Winters Knight: Day One

A narrative of computer generated, collage-like illustration. (It took me a while to figure all that out) Ball lets this story roll with violent yet beautiful images of a Knight battling for appears to be his soul. Great Beast Comics describes the plot as "...a wordless tale of an old Knight on a mysterious personal quest through an icy wilderness encountering nightmarish battles with the dark things in the forest and much, much worse. "

To me this personal quest appears to be for his very soul as it is nearly devoured by a giant wolf. Of course, these things are open to interpretation. So I decided to just ask the creator.


FQ:  I was under the impression that our old Knight was cursed and battling for his eternal soul. What was your intended portrayal when you began to illustrate his personal quest?

Robert Ball: Yes absolutely. The impression you should get is of weariness, reluctance to fight and of a penance being served. Why would a knight keep his armour in such extreme circumstances unless it was symbolic - it's a steel plated hair shirt!

The details beyond that are being held back, I strove for mood and pacing rather than narrative and plot (not that you necessarily need sacrifice one for the other)

FQ: You artwork reminds me of collage work. Can you tell me a little bit about your process?

Robert Ball: Me too! I was looking at a lot of imagery from the golden age of advertising illustration at the time (50s 60s) and my background is in graphic design. Guys like Bob Peak, for instance, used whatever techniques they had to get a point across, maybe that seeped in. Also, the knight is angular and stiff and his world reflects that, black and white and inflexible. At the end he has a choice literally in black and white, to kill or be killed.

(by the way, my original ending revealed wolf cubs - the wolf was hunting for her children, trying to survive like the Knight but it was too bloody bleak!)

FQ: When you began Winter's Knight, had you considered an extended story or do you wish it to remain contained as a one-shot?

Robert Ball: I initially conceived of two characters, and a quest, but thought the reader would need some kind of foregrounding without resorting to flashbacks (too complicated!), so I had to go back and draw that instead. So, in a way, WK is a prequel to the story I started with.


The next chunk is written and ready to be drawn, I'm just struggling to find the time to do it - it's a more complex beast.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Woods Issue #1 by James Tynion IV and artist Michael Dialynas.

I picked up this issue purely because of the cover. I do that from time to time. The story-line isn't completely my thing. High school students sucked into some strange world. Some glowing pyramid-like device that has launched the school into another dimension. The first issue is where you need to grab your audience and give them a character to hold onto. We met a lot of characters in this first issue. I don't think I could grab onto a single one. i.e. I don't care who dies. I also don't care that there are giant winged bug monster (The Mist anyone?) attacking students and teachers alike.

As far as the artwork goes, it's quite cartoon-y but suits the story. I just wish I could get to know the characters enough to care about whether they make it through this test. My assumption is that this whole dimension of monsters is actually a test on humanity by some crazed aliens, but that remains to be seen. I prefer demons over aliens but I don't think we're heading in the nether world direction.

I want to be overwhelmed by this issue but I'm just not :( Saddness.

Dangeritis: A Fist Full of Danger by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and Robert Ball

One of the oddest things I've had the mind to pick up in a while. Creators Warwick Johnson-Cadwell & Robert Ball each donate a page before passing it off to the other for the next page of the story. This back and forth creates a art catastrophe that is actually my kind of chaos. Where will this story go, you wonder as you bounce from one art style to the next following Derek Danger as he takes on the world of espionage.

A humorous tale that is more of visual delight than any amount of character developing story. This is one of those books to have around when your vision is too blurred by whiskey to read lettering but you still need a wild ride to end the night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Andre the Giant: The Life and Times

THIS COVER IS EPIC!
Kind of a strange fact about yours truly, I was a big wrestling fan as a kid. I have two twin brothers who are significantly older than myself. They were big wrestling fans and every Saturday night, we watched the WWF on television. It was played on one of about 4 stations that would come in on my grandmothers television up in the mountains. I was always a huge Hulk Hogan fan. I also really liked the Undertaker and yes, I remember Andre the Giant. I was born in the early 80's which means that my childhood contained reruns of the Princess Bride on television. When I learned about the biography of Andre the Giant in graphic novel form, I knew I needed to read it.

There were a lot of facts I didn't quite understand about the man. I didn't understand the nature of his condition. I didn't realize that he was in so much pain, and had so much surgery as a result. Box Brown takes careful note of how doctors had to push two surgical tables together in order to operate on his back, in an attempt to relieve pressure on his spine.  Brown shows Andre's fondness of alcohol but doesn't make him look abusive or undignified. If anything, it becomes clear that the Giants debilitating condition had increased his love of the drink to ease his physical pain.

There is a lot to discover about Andre and I do not want to spoil it all in one little article. If you're a wrestling fan, it's definitely worth picking up. I found a new appreciation for the friendly giant.


The People Inside by Ray Fawkes


I got an advanced copy of Canadian author Raw Fawkes' The People Inside from Oni Press! Lucky, lucky me! It's set to be released August 13th, 2014.

An un-punctuated opus to the inner monologue, celebrating the thoughts that pass when two people have reached a level of intimacy. The People Inside feels like a hundred tiny poems as you read it. It is a actually hundreds of tiny moments experienced by several unique people. It details their relationships with others and in a few cases, with themselves.  The story is peppered with alcohol abuse, domestic violence, celebrity, and BDSM on one hand. Marital bliss, the joy of being a parent and passion in the bedroom. The dark and light side of different kinds of relationships. Characters are brought together and torn apart. All of them suffering joy or despair in their own way.

I have always enjoyed a quiet story like this. Many of my favorites like The Death Ray of Daniel Clowes, strolls along and then finally shocks you with soft, sparse lines to describe a major event. Panels of this story are replaced bit by bit in the end with darkness as each character passes like the leaves of a tree. Each living and thriving for a short time before they wither. A beautifully, haunting story which reminds me of my own mortality and just how small we all really are.


Friday, May 9, 2014

San Hannibal # 2 by Dan Schkade, JD Faith & Jesse Snavlin

Lucky me !! I got an advanced copy of San Hannibal issue #2!! You may remember how impressed and captivated I was with issue 1! Issue 2 has our private eye digging deeper into the mystery of missing photo journalist Savannah Loy. Mysteriously, Loy's boyfriend has gone missing as well! Avery finds himself dealing with punk rockers and mobsters as he tries to solve the mystery.

The illustrations in this issue are highlighted in a vibrant neon blue. Edgier, colder and sharper to match the violence of this portion of the story. I'd liked to talk to the creators about the significance of the coloring rather than make my own observational guesses.

Of course like any good mystery story, this installment leaves you with more questions than answers. I have to praise once again, the unique voice of writer Dan Schkade. The noir genre is heavily saturated with the success of recent stories like Fatal, but Schkade has carved out a whole new space in the noir comic box.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Deadhorse Book 1: Dead Birds by Eric Grissom & Phil Sloan

A couple weeks ago I received copies of Deadhorse and didn't even know it! That's because gmail sent them to my spam box and two weeks later I uncovered them. Note to self: check spam folder more regularly.

I am really happy I unearthed these digital gems because I ended up giggling delightfully while reading through. Laughing because the story was legitimately funny (not laughing because it was so awful it caused me to laugh out loud which honestly, happens pretty regularly). Mostly I was just in love with this silly character named Frank who created an alter ego for himself named Sasquatch! The way he's written into the story is quite brilliant. He shows up just when a family is debating the existence of Sasquatch and well, tips over a bus. I also can't help but be a sucker for his dedication to speaking in the first person.

Considering it's pretty much impossible for me to explain this story to you in any way that would make sense, here's what the website says:

"Deadhorse is the story of William Pike and the key to a fantastic box of unimaginable power."

I have to admit I was a little confused about this key and why everyone wanted it so badly. So I asked Eric Grissom for some answers and this is what he had to say:

"As far as the key, the only thing that's really important is knowing the key unlocks the box and the box "makes" things.   When Pike finds Dr. Conroy in the fifth chapter of Dead Birds ("Wake"), the doctor speaks about this idea.  There's a lot more to it than that, but I don't want to spoil anything for you.  You'll learn more as the story goes."  

OMG I wanna see this box (that was not supposed to sound dirty). I have read the continuation of this story, The Ballad of the Two Headed Dog # 1, which is currently available through comiXology. It really does leave on that cliff-hanging note where I just really need to know what this key is all about!! Grissom and Sloan have successfully ensnared my curiosity, a willing captive waiting for next piece of the puzzle.  



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Only Living Boy #1 by David Gallaher & Steve Ellis

I started thinking of that Paul Simon song but then actually started reading the book. I like young adult books. I especially like any story that has to do with leaving the mundane planet Earth and melding into a new fantastical world of aliens, dragons, various two headed monsters and demons. All those things sound scary but remember this is a young adult book and the story is told in bright happy colors! Our 12 year old hero Erik is the only living boy in this crazy new world. Every minute he must be on his guard to face whatever the world throws at him. It pretty much just keeps throwing things at him but he does make a few friends in his struggle to survive. 

This 50 pages first issue does leave me wondering about the female characters introduced to the story. I don't always like these sort of male-centric adventure stories for children and young adults. The reason being, that the female characters are often devoid of actual character, need saving OR need to be vanquished because they are evil. Here we have two female humanoids who's alignment, not to mention their age is unknown. Erik is 12. I'm fairly certain the female characters in the story are not his peers as they look well post-pubescent. 

Only Living Boy was nominated for two Harvey Awards last year and now eligible in a few categories this year. This includes :

Best Writer: David Gallaher / The Only Living Boy
Best Artist: Steve Ellis / The Only Living Boy
Best Inker: Steve Ellis / The Only Living Boy
Best Colorist: Steve Ellis / The Only Living Boy
Best Letterer: April Brown, Scott O. Brown / The Only Living Boy
Best Cover Artist: Steve Ellis / The Only Living Boy
Best Online Comics Work: The Only Living Boy / the-only-living-boy.com
Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers: Only Living Boy / Bottled Lightning


For those of you who don't know, you have to be a comic professional to vote for Harvey Awards lol so that also means I cannot vote. I haven't published anything besides interviews and reviews. BUT ONE DAY!!

I really love the cover of issue 1. It is a little deceivingly dark but I really like it. The Only Living Boy started out as a webcomic but through a successful Kickstarter fund in 2012 you can now get issue 1 and 2 through ComiXology. 

Despite my initial concerns regarding the direction the writing might take the female characters, the story is cute, fast paced and engaging. Plus... two headed dragon. That's a big point booster right there. It's clear that both Gallaher and Ellis are winning combination. 





Scott Pilgrim volumes 1-3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley

This is one of those series that I never picked up during it's initial release. I dunno why...I guess it just wasn't the type of artwork that spoke to me. Most of the time I want to read horror, fantasy and be as far away from real life as possible. Lately, I've been into a bit of comedy so I picked up the six volumes and dove right in.

It's everything I suspected. Lighthearted and silly with loads of jokes but I didn't immediately expect that the characters would all be so.... pathetic. Yet at the same time, they remind me of so many people I know from my own days playing in a band. I kinda felt the same way about all those people. With some Zelda references in there to make it extra nerd friendly (just for me, I must assume) the story reminds me of butting heads with ex's from other bands at gigs and the general girl on girl violence that occurs in a early 20's something hipster type scene (which I'm not so proud as to say I was involved in some 10 odd years ago). Boy what a mouthful (that's what he said), sorry about that one.

Cute story (maybe, maybe not), a coworker of mine has a friend who totally moved into Bryan O'Malley's old habitat. Apparently they found a mountainous stash of sketches by the author. She said they saved a couple and burned the rest. Pretty lame hunh? That's what happens when non-comic book people take over old houses that famous comic book artists use to live in. One man's junk dude.... one man's junk! (Not that kind of junk gutter-head.)

This is barely a review I know, it's more of... here's what I think. It's great. I don't feel like writing a review on something that has been reviewed to death, not to mention turned into a major motion picture. It's a fun read and if you're a big nerd who played in bands, then read it. Even if you're just a big nerd who likes to poke fun at people and enjoys old video game references, read it.




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Carry Me by Dan Berry

I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened Carry Me. I didn't realize it was completely devoid of words. I was reminded of Josh Simmons House which shook me inside. That happens a lot with these script-less books. However, the end result and feelings left behind with Carry Me, are a completely different experience than a story like House.

Carry Me is a bookfor the young and old. It leaves with the same bitter-sweet sentiment as Robert Munsch's Love You Forever. I started tearing up as I read the closing words, well, the only words in the story. A touching sentiment told with a minimalist art style, Carry Me is a story for everyone.


Death: Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman

October of 2012 marked the release of DEATH the Deluxe Edition from Vertigo Comics. I only got a copy recently when I decided to go back into the world of Sandman Spin-offs after the release of Sandman Overture issue 1.  This edition collects the DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING and DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, as well as a few short stories, including but not limited to DEATH AND VENICE. I'm a big fan of this collection as most of the stories contain characters familiar to me from Sandman. 

At the end of the book you will find the Death Portrait Gallery, a collection of Death Portraits completed by various arts from all over. Many you will recognize, others maybe not but it's definitely a lovely addition to the book and one which I believe makes it a nice purchase for the shelf. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Entropy by Davor Radoja & Well-Bee

The only free comic I picked up from Free Comic Book Day was Entropy. This is because I feel like the day is more for children, and to convert new people into the world of comics. Not really for people like me who already consume massive amounts of comics per day. For me, the day is more for the deals at the locals stores. I'm all about discounts.

Anyway, I did pick up this science fiction, dystopian story.  Here's the synopsis:

I really wanted this to be a great story. Gee, I hate beginning to talk about a comic like this. It's never a good sign is it? I try to be as honest as possible without getting too insulting or mean. Let's see how it plays out in this article.

I should first say that I initially liked the artwork immensely. When I picked up the issue in the store, I flipped through it and decided to hang on to it because of the artwork. It was also the first thing I read when I got home which Chris made fun of me for. "You just bought over 20 graphic novels and the free comic is the one you read first?"  Well, it was new ;) The books I bought are all old news lol. Unfortunately, it was really GYO I should have read first lol. If I wanted to enjoy myself.

I immediately started getting cranky with the writer and I took a few pics and posted them on twitter with mildly snarky caption. I figured this must have been the first graphic novel project for the writer. This doesn't appear to be the case. In my serach I found another title, Miracle by author Davor Raroja from last year.

Let me address my major issue with the writing and skip over the fact that there is nothing new or exciting about this world. This author is guilty of committing the ultimate act against good comic writing: stating the obvious within dialog. He also did it more than once. I tweeted about two of them because I was in a sort of shock at how stupid silly the dialog became, tarnishing the story for me.

Really? You had to tell me that the green stuff in the open pipe, is sewage?
If he hadn't told me that it was his hand that was lopped off, I might never have known.
I don't wanna be too hard on the comic. I kept thinking, it's not the artists fault. Well-Bee did a fantastic job. I really did the "multiple pencil stroke" look. Or at least that's what I've dubbed it in my terms. Kind of a scribble look. At any rate, pick it up for free but I won't be looking for this in my subscriptions box at Quantum. The ride ends here for Entropy.




Saturday, May 3, 2014

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

It's Free Comic Book Day and I got a lot of random stuff. I got a lot of Brian K. Vaughn trades, mostly stuff I've always read but wanted to own. I completed  my collection of Y The Last Man at a discounted price. I did get a copy of Pride of Baghdad which I have yet to read! I got some great Vertigo titles actually, including Scalped! Also lucked into out of print copies of Junji Ito's Gyo!! (Can't you just taste my excitement?!) That was amazing! Six volumes of Scott Pilgrim for 30 bucks and a slew of other things.

I took a look at the free-bees and there wasn't much I wanted to pick-up. Mostly kids stuff there and I like to leave that for the kids. There were a lot of kids. Always are at these things. I grabbed a copy of Entropy which is a new title from Epic Center Comics. I'll post a not so flattering review of that sometime this weekend.

I visited two local stores, Monster Comic Lounge and Quantum Frontier. All in all, I'm extremely happy with my finds. Note the picture, ridiculous face. That's me hugging the Junji Ito books. Along with that I got an incredible amount of emails recently from a slew of artists, writers and comic book labels ! I have plenty of digital copies to read and review this week but please, as always, feel free to send me your work. I will read it.

In addition to all this I have some interviews coming up!! Very exciting times here for me in comic book heaven.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Angel Sanctuary Volume 3 by Kaori Yuki *Spoilers*

This volume marks a pivotal turn in the story as the inevitable happens, Rosiels' followers attack the one person Setsuna loves most. For those of you who have watched the OVA (which ends at the peek of the story), you know what happens to Sarah. The rest of you will get some news I'm afraid. Let's talk about Sarah for a moment. As a character, she comes off as sweet and innocent. She wants to do what is right but also wants to be true to herself. As characters go, she's what one would expect an angel to be attracted to. The one redeeming quality that Sarah has, to keep a mild favor with me, is that she can be sassy. She also stands up for others and somewhat loyal even to a fault. She forgives people and allows them a second chance without looking like a doormat. This can be noted in the way she reacts to her possessed friend. Despite her friends attacks on her both emotionally and physically, she accepts her friends sincere apology. Of course, her friend wasn't exactly in control of herself, but Sarah is gracious even during when she had no knowledge of her friends possessed state.

I am not a huge fan of Sarah. She's not a major character for me and even for the story, she really is more of a plot device. I do however commend the authors efforts at giving Sarah a personality rather than what normally happens to the damsels of most stories. Sarah did run away with Setsuna against her mothers wishes and knowing that doing so was a sin against god. That action alone gives her some appearance of will and her inner monologue regarding the struggle to make her decision to leave her mother displays a great deal of character.

I don't know much about where the story goes from here. The OVA was not the entire story and consisted only of three episodes. I'm very eager to read the rest of the story. Yes I ordered more volumes. They should be here next week ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shutter issue #1 by Joe Keatinge & Leila del Duca

Variant cover by Brandon Graham
So I realize this actually came out April 9th but I just noticed it hanging on the new release shelf yesterday. It was all lonely. The Brandon Graham variant cover is what caught my eye.


Here's the rundown from CBR's preview piece :

"Marvel Knights: Hulk and Glory writer Joe Keatinge teams up with debut artist Leila del Duca for her Image Comics debut in an all-new ongoing series combining urban fantasy and globe-spanning adventure, SHUTTER. Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer on Earth—an Earth that’s far more fantastical than the one we know, filled with demons, gorgons, phantom ninjas, and various other monsters of lore—is forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatens to destroy everything she spent her life protecting."

Yeah sorry, I didn't feel like writing a summary. I do that a lot. My initial thoughts start with the artwork. Not exactly my cup of tea but more up my alley than say, the standard Buffy the Vampire Slayer artists. When I think of boring comic book artists, I think of the people who work on the Buffy comics. It made me stop reading them. But this isn't boring, it's just not my favorite. Duca is talented and I enjoy the way she portrays her main character. She's got the typical gaunt face that I love. Like the people in the a Jeff Lemire comic. (See below for a sample page.) I have to say I enjoy the backgrounds more than the characters and in addition, I like the intro pages more than the rest of the issue. I felt the intro was beautifully drawn. Maybe I just go for that sort of gothic appeal more so than the futuristic eden look. As for the story, I'm interested to see where it goes. I immediately got this Unwritten feel from the opening. I will be grabbing issue 2 for certain. 

Attack on Titan Volume 12 *Spoilers* *General Ranting*

Ahhhhhh OMG. I had to wait in line at the comic book store just to get this. So annoyed!!! At the time anyway. The line-up wasn't caused by Attack on Titan. It was caused by this fricken Spiderman cover commissioned by local comic store owner Calum. It got in the paper that Spidey was in front of the clock tower.. ugh. The comic book store was over-run with old people buying 10 copies at 7 dollars a pop. You know, to put away in case it's worth something. Which let's face it, it's not going to be. But don't get me started on that. It's just a cash grab for Strange Adventures and I get it. Money's, money. Plus, it's supposedly to celebrate Free Comic Book Day, except the comic isn't free...so...anyway...

I finally got my copy of Attack on Titan which came out yesterday in stores! Yeay!! So I read it as soon as I got home and into bed. I was kind of sad that it was ALL action. I also didn't find out anything that I didn't already know, suffice it to say some confirmation that Bertolt, Annie, Yamir and Renier are all Titan-humans that apparently were titans first. Undercover titans! Oh and Historia (shitty fucking name) who has been called Krista for ages, is integral to solving the mystery of where the titans came from and like.... who the fuck built the wall and put a bunch of titans in it.

I really enjoy this series despite constantly giving it flack. I still haven't found out if the scripting issue are due to problems with translation or if the author just doesn't know what certain words mean lol.

I was trying to figure out which character I like the best in the series. It's not fucking Eren. That's for certain. I think, that if I had to say I liked anyone, it would be Yamir. So if I was going to cosplay anyone, it would be Yamir. The rest of them... kind weak. Even Mikasa isn't really on my good side. If anything, I'm rooting for the titans to win this thing. That's what happens when I dislike main characters of a story. I just start rooting for the villains. Anywho, sorry this is more a rant than a review but I wasn't in the mood for a series dissection. I felt like rambling. Rabble, rabble.