Monday, June 30, 2014

Outcast #1 by Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta

So apparently Kirkman believes in possession and exorcism. That's what happens when you grow up down south I suppose. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast also takes place in the relatively same area, down south. Although West Virginia over Atlanta.

I find it a little messed up that anyone can believe in possession but perhaps that's due to the fact that I don't really believe in anything. That being said, everyone knows I love a good ghost story and demon possession is pretty high up on the stories I like. This story however, is a little average as of now. It seems to be riding on the skirt of John Constantine and my dear Hellblazer that is no longer in production.

This is a jumbo sized first issue. More pages than normally printed. Yet I don't feel like I'm any more or less excited about the story. On top of it, the artwork isn't really my thing. It's not bad, it's just not my thing. We know this by now.

It's interesting to me that this issue sold out at the distributor level before it was even released. I guess everyone expects great things from Kirkman. I'm really not the type of person who assumes a book is going to be amazing just because of previous releases. I certainly will give anything a try however.

So, is Outcast going to be a regular purchase for me? Honestly, right now I really don't know.

Nightbreed #2 by Marc Angreyko & Piotr Kowalski

A little more mysterious. It's been a long time since I've watched the movie so I believe most of this issue is an embellishment on the original story. I am a really big fan of these covers. This one is a combined effort between Riley Rossmo and B. Christopher Mitten. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Nightbreed, I'll let you know that the beasts or rather monsters of the story are in fact, more humane than the humans of the story. In case you weren't totally sure who to root for. It's the Nightbreed who are forced into hiding since the over population of humanity on the Earth. I'm anxious to see some of the artistic renderings of the other characters I'd admired from the movie. So far all interpretations have exceeded my expectations. 

It would actually be really awesome if they put out a hard cover edition after the final release of the series. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Attack on Titan: No Regrets

One of my favorite characters of the original Attack on Titan series is Levi. I guess I'm not alone in that because they have decided to give him his own series detailing how he came to be in the survey corps. This book like the other spin off series released last month entitled Before the Fall, is not written by the original creator. It is instead a collaborate project between two people, writer Hikaru Sugura and illustrator Gan Sunaaku.

The artwork, you will notice is very much inspired by the style of the original series however is much more refined and polished. Unlike Before the Fall however, it doesn't give into fan service with the dolly-eyed damsels and presents a lot more personality with each character entrance.

I'd have to say I enjoy this spin-off more so than the prequel however, it lacks the rawness and terror that the original story had due to the fact that there are far less instances of titans. The titans that do appear near the end of the story are not exactly as chilling visually as in the original series. Kinda made me sad.

Knowing me I'll still be picking up the releases in this series but I do hope it progresses with more action and focus on the actual titans.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët

I had to get this book. It was released back in February and had been on my Indigo wishlist since. I finally got a copy. This is the bizarre story of a bunch of little people and their attempt at dealing with the loss of their home which apparently resided in the body of a young human girl that is now decaying in the wilderness. I don't want to give too much away. This story is really fascinating. The author told CBR that the story takes a look at "the human psyche and the darkness that hides behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society." I have to agree with that statement. A lot of the story is shocking and grotesque while disguising itself as a beautiful children's fairy tale.
The disturbing part about this book is how it makes you laugh when you should be horrified. I was reading it in bed when I started giggling at the impalement of one of the characters. When I shared the scene with my boyfriend he thought I was a little well, disturbed. I believe that's because he didn't know the context of the scene but...

Just to clear this up Kerascoët is a collaborate pen name of artists Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset. I think that's a neat idea for artists who generally work together. That aside, I really enjoyed this book. It's so beautiful while being so haunting. I went through the largest range of emotions and I really cared about Aurora, who I began to believe was the good parts of the fallen girls' psyche. I'm not sure if the little people are all different parts of the girls mind or what it all means but it's certainly an accurate depiction of how people react in disasters, although largely simplified. The majority of the little people appear to have limited intelligence. Anyway, I'm already giving too much away. This is one of the best stories I've read this year. I love it.

All-New Doop # 3 by Peter Milligan & David Lafuente

I read these stories because they make me giggle. More-so than Marvel has been able to do in the last couple years. Not to mention, I just love Doop. I always make a point of picking up Doop titles. That, and I really like Peter Milligan's Doop stories. Despite the ridiculousness of the recent Marvel story arc combining the future with the past (and some present in there somewhere), the mini-series is really fun. Especially because we get to meet Doop's mother. Which although difficult to believe, is much uglier than Doop.

So you may remember that Doop proposed to Kitty Pride in the first issue.Well he's still at it and determined to show Kitty that her and Bobby (iceman) are not destined to be together. Which makes me wonder, how does Doop procreate? Not to mention the curiosity I have about how he would attempt to do so with Kitty Pride. Hehehe, I suspect they do some cuddling and then hit the laboratory to whip up a Doop-Kitty DNA cocktail. That sounds pretty gross actually, but DNA splicing happens a lot in the Marvel universe.

This story is about more than Doop attempting to gain Kitty's hand in marriage. Marvel has hinted at the possibility of Doop letting the X-men know the truth about his own origins. While he's at it, he's also going to reveal the truth about this future Kitty Pride, also known as Raze... for some reason...?

I love these covers. Check out ninja Doop! How fricken awesome is that!? That's Mike Allred, I kinda wish he did the artwork for the entire issue...not just the cover. SIGH.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Saga #20 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples *spoilers*

We all know how much I love Vaughan and Staples. So I promise not to gush over them in this quick review. However, I have to say that the pace between releases is driving me crazy and I want the story NOW. I'm tired of waiting for it. In the last issue there was a hint saying that this story arc was the beginning of the end of the relationship between our two star crossed lovers. That however, does not mean they don't get back together and that's what people have neglected to remember. Vaughan is famous for twisting the emotional arm and then releasing it to say "only joking! only joking! psych!" So I really don't believe that they'll be broken up for good.

I think it's a little weird how all the characters which reside on different planets and such, all resemble Earth animals but hey, it's a comic book. The newly introduced dance instructor who resembles a vampire bat is probably my favorite character even if she is encroaching on the another woman's mate. That being said, I can't think of a single conversation where Marko mentioned he had a wife. With Alana busy working all day for perverts on the open circuit (that's their entertainment which is kinda like television but more interactive for the audience I suppose) how would bat girl know?

Okay so there are no spoilers from this issue, in this article. I kinda lied. I can't spoil the ending of this issue cause it's just too awesome. One more thing - have you not read Saga yet?! What are you waiting for? Go get the first three trades immediately and catch up please!

The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) by Eric Powell

This marks the very first issue of The Goon I have ever read. I didn't exactly know what to expect suffice it to say, I assumed it would be humorous. It is humorous. So at least I got what I was expecting in that regard. I have to say that I enjoyed the centerfold of caricatures  (something I've never been particularly good at) and all the play on celebrity names. As someone said to me yesterday, it's very much referencing old MAD.

This issue centers around Goon and his buddy Frankie bar hopping to help a sailor find his friend. They need to go back for deployment. They run into some hilarious cliches, my favorite it probably the cowboy at the country bar.

I dunno if it's exactly the best first issue of Goon to pick up but at least it's one concise story to give you a little taste of Powell's artwork and story writing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dark Engine #1 by Ryan Burton & John Bivens

What a trip! That's exactly what I said to myself after finishing issue 1 of Dark Engine. Not to mention that fact that I had to stop and make sure I wasn't reading a 90's edition of Heavy Metal (which would be cool as fuck, just saying). Some of my favorite artists were people I discovered in Heavy Metal Magazine. Minara for instance I discovered reading Heavy Metal as a teenager. Obviously, I wasn't allowed to buy it....but that doesn't stop a kid. I had friends with copies lol.

Dark Engine really made me feel like I was stepping back in my own time line. I started having Savage Land X-Men flashbacks.Though Dark Engine was way grittier and contains nudity. I'm not adverse to nudity. The naked female body doesn't offend me. (As with most things you see naked female and not so much naked men.) I don't think it's obscene and I also don't think that depicting it is exploitative or objectification, as long as I don't have to sit through a comic comprised only of rape scenes, I'm okay with the whole nudity issue.

I did have to contact artist Bivens to ask him what the hell was going on in a specific panel. I call it the vine/tentacle/naked lady panel. At first I thought this was some Evil Dead tree rape but I was told that rather than penetrating her, those things were actually exiting her body. It was not completely apparent to me but this does explain what is really going on in the story line. The story line is a little thick and I can't really get into it. I'm assured all will be revealed in due time, but regardless the story is engaging. The artwork is sick. Like I said, brought back all these memories of my favorite comics growing up. I guess I was a mildly disturbed child...

Dark Engine hits the shelves on July 16th. I'm really excited about this gritty fantasy and you should be too.

Ouran High School Host Club Vol 1 by Bisco Hatori

So my friend gave my a few volumes of this series. I read the first one last night. This is one of those light read Shojo books. So far, there really isn't any seriousness to it at all. It centers around a ridiculous Host Club. This requires some explaining:  In Japan these places exist where you go to an establishment to be entertained by a paid for date. It's not prostitution, it's fantasy. Like having a boyfriend or girlfriend to hold your hand and chit chat with you. Charmingly of course. It's more verbal flirtation. However, in this book the Host Club is just a school club made up of the elite, rich male Oran High School students. They are mostly vapid, egotistical boys who all have charming physical qualities.

The big twist here is that their newest member who is a poor scholarship student, is roped into working off debt for breaking an expensive vase. So he must begin entertaining privileged young ladies within the host club. The funny part here is that he is in fact, a SHE and the Ouran Host Club neglected to notice.

The one thing I like about this book is it's ambiguity around gender and socially accepted Japanese gender roles. Sexuality is also a subject matter that  comes up often noting that homosexuality, while not generally accepted in their social order is still talked about and practiced.  However, there appears to so far be some confusing dabbling in bisexuality rather than any serious relations between same sexed characters. That being said it's not an unhealthy environment and was probably considered extremely liberated in the time the story is set to take place. Just be warned that there are still some stereotyping but the book seems to use them in a humorous way as an effective means of dispelling them and any harm. At least this is my impression from the first volume.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tanpopo Volume 1 & 2 by Camilla d'Errico

Beautiful hard cover graphics novels in giant sized format. That's what you get when you purchase Tanpopo volume 1 & 2. I did this just last week. It took a little while for the local shop to get Volume 1 and I never buy a volume 2 anything if I don't already have number 1. Anyway, they got it and now I have it.

Collectively these two books are center stage as some of the most beautiful graphic novels I've ever purchased. Not only is the layout for cover and back beautiful, but volume two actually has two covers with two different sets of art work.

The story Tanpopo is inspired by several classic literary works from around the world. Camilla weaves them together to create a new story about a little girl who breaks free from the confines of the machine she has been attached to all her life. She is accompanied by a shape-shifting devil who gives her lessons in human emotion. She is pushed far.. too far? Among the two volumes you will find inspiration from Faust, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Strange Stories From A Chinese Studio, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and 1001 Arabian Nights.

The images are hauntingly beautiful. Each panel would reveal the story simply in the emotional response it evokes regardless of the prose intertwined with the artwork. There are plans to have five volumes in total in the Tanpopo collection. I can't wait to see what is in store.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Q&A with Rachael Smith on her new graphic novel HOUSE PARTY

Recently I've been a very big fan of a comic book label from the UK called Great Beasts Comics. I read their most recent release from the label new-comer Rachael Smith and decided this was something I had to find out more about. House Party is a graphic novel about the difficulty of blending into the real world after leaving university. It's about outgrowing yourself, your environment and sometimes your friends. At least that's what I took from all of it. Enough from me, check out what Rachael Smith has to say: 

TFQ: First of all, congrats on a successful Kickstarter and landing a great publisher with Great Beast. I really love the work released through the label.

Rachael: Why thank you, Amy! Yeah the Kickstarter was amazing; I really wasn’t expecting it to go so well, it was very humbling. And YES, I was very lucky to catch the eye(s) of the Great Beast(s); the book wouldn’t be half as good as it is without them. You also have the correct opinion in loving the other artists they’ve released. It’s excellent stuff.

TFQ: How do you feel about the reception since the June 13th release of House Party?

Rachael: Aw man. That weekend RUINED me. So I had the launch party on the Friday which was rad – I was actually really scared that no one would turn up, but it ended up being really, really busy and I met loads of SUCH lovely fans so I needn’t have worried. Then I had a table at ELCAF 10am-7pm the following day, which was also rad – despite the hangover. So by the time I got back to Leicester I was shattered. I’m only just coming round now! But people seem genuinely excited by the book being out in the wild which makes me very happy. I’ve had loads of tweets and messages about people having read it and enjoyed it – yay!

TFQ: House Party really reminded me of my own life when you realized you've out-grown the house party thing, and you realized that all the indie bands you use to go see actually really sucked... is any of the story autobiographical?

Rachael: Haha! Well I’m glad you were able to relate to it. Yeah it is a little autobiographical. There’s a lot of me in Siobhan. Siobhan did Fine Art at uni and did really well and got told she was special and would go on to do great things, then when she gets shoved into the Real World™ she has to get a job at a coffee shop instead of being a famous artist. Nobody really tells you that it’s going to be so hard to break into the industry you’ve just spent three years learning about and excelling at. So that’s kind’ve what happened to me. There’s bits of me in all three of the main characters though. All three of them feel a little bit lied to and robbed of something since finishing uni, – hopefully that’s something a lot of my generation can get on board with. I’ve made it sound really bleak now. It’s also funny! Honest!

TFQ: As a Canadian and a big fan of Oni Press, I have read Scott Pilgrim. House Party reminded me a little of that story but more centered on a gal's perspective. Were there any books that influenced your creative design for House Party?

Rachael: What a lovely thing to say! I get compared to Bryan Lee O’Malley quite a bit and I always take it as a HUGE compliment. He’s a massive influence, definitely. John Allison’s Scary Go Round books/webcomics were also a big inspiration style-wise when I was just starting out, as was Kate Beaton. I get compared to Marc Ellerby sometimes too which is awesome. I don’t know if any specific book influenced the design of ‘House Party’…probably an amalgamation of all of the above!

TFQ: Where do plan to go artistically after this release and do you have any plans to write a follow-up story?

Rachael: Ummmm well I’m working on a couple of collaborations at the moment – one with Andy Waterfield called ‘Uberblaze’, and one with Will Brooker called ‘Towards the Moon’. I am writing a new thing too, but that’s gonna be a while and it’s still a big mess right now so I’m not even sure what it is. I think it involves a witch but then it might not…

I MIGHT revisit the ‘House Party’ characters at some point, they are pretty fun. I think we all need a break from each other right now though. We’re all still suffering the comedown…

You can order ‘House Party’ from the Great Beast store:
And you can find out more about Rachael from her website:

Or follow her on Twitter: @rachael_

Escapo by Paul Pope

Originally published as a trade paper back in May 1999, Paul Pope’s Escapo has been since difficult find. It's been out of print. As of last week it is back in print as a beautiful hard covered edition.  This is a fictional story about the world’s greatest escape artist, Escapo.  It has been defined as a mix between Warhol and Dali. I dunno if I agree with that necessarily. I can agree that much of movement and twisted perspectives in Pope’s work reminds me of some of Dali’s work. I'm not sure that I see a whole lot of Warhol. Pope himself describes the story as" my attempt at at making an incredible Fellini meets Jack Kirby mash-up comic book".  

Pope tells this story half in prose. Escapo must escape his ultimate fear, death. Okay well that's how I feel about the story. It is beautiful and this edition has coloring by Shay Plummer. There is also a lovely Escapo gallery at the end of the book and some notes from Paul Pope about the difficulty of working with mixed media and the lifespan of marker on paper. Much of the marker had bled and faded and needed to be re-done for this edition. 

If you're as big a fan of Pope's work as I am, then this is necessary purchase for your collection.

P.S. There's an hard cover version of Adventure Time coming out this Wednesday with Pope's work in it!! Eeeeeee!! Also on the purchase list.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Winterworld #1 by Chuck Dixon & Butch Guice *SPOILERS*

I'm somehow reminded of The Thing. It's just so white and blue. Then I was reminded of Water World.... it's just so white and blue... but instead of the polar ice caps melting, uh, I think it's another ice age that has gripped this post apocalyptic world.

Let's see, what made me pick this up?? Well honestly it was just the artwork. I could care less about the apocalypse at this point. There's just been sooo many of them. The only ones that can really turn my crank right now are the ones with crazy religious ties because that shit is WACK. The artwork is pretty lovely actually even though it's not the sort of thing I typically admire. It just seems to fit this bleak world so precisely. Check out the little preview I included. It's the type of art work I can see my boyfriend really digging. Artist Butch Guice has been spending most of his time lately working on Marvel's Original Sin and the Winter Soldier. He has a fairly extensive career with Captain America. None of those things are of particular interest to me but you know, they matter to a lot of Marvel junkies.

Unfortunately there's nothing all that different about this story. The central characters are a) a 30 year old(ish?) man and b) 14 year old girl. Bad combo. They try to establish early on that he feels like she's his kid sister. We've seen these story lines before. Apparently he's just helping her find her parents out of the goodness of his heart (or his penis?). Sorry it's been a long week, my skepticism is running high today.

So guess what happens near the end of the issue?? OMG they run into a crazy ski-do driving, rabid-dog owning gang!! Never saw that coming. (sigh... that was sarcasm) Can't something just be a little new? A little different?

Eye of Newt by Michael Hague

This is the first graphic novel from fantasy artist Michael Hague. Hague has been illustrating childrens' books for decades. His extensive career has seen his work published in over 20 books. Most of them fall under the fairy tale vein while others can be labelled as fantasy. His work is whimsical and has been described as the "classic fantasy style". His media of choice for this comic is watercolor and I couldn't be happier.

This four part mini-series centers around the tasks given to a young sorcerers apprentice named Newt. If the story doesn't interest you, though I say it most definitely should, Newt's surroundings will blow you away. Beautiful dragons and haunting caverns; a forest that will remind you of your childhood illusions. It's not difficult to see the Hague is a master of such imagery. I've been sucked directly back into my childhood. I now have an itch to go re-read all the Peter S. Beagle I own.

On a side note, I'm glad to see that Darkhorse is seeking out such diverse and unique talent once again. It was getting a little sad there for a while. With the loss they suffered in Star Wars I found myself looking at the label and being really perturbed that the only thing I was interested in was the Hellboy and BPRD series. I'm glad their editors are making new efforts. The publication of Eye of Newt was an excellent choice. Get it, just go out and get it NOW!

Battle Royale: Angels' Boarder by Koushun Takami

A side-story written by the original Battle Royale author Koushun Takami has just been released and distributed by Viz. I picked it up as soon as it was available. Although I haven't read all the Battle Royale manga (considering it's long out of print for now) but of course I know the story well. An entire 9th grade class is chosen to participate in "the program". The program is a winner kills all death race on a remote island off the coast of Japan. This story centers around the young girls who join forces and stake out a hiding spot in a lighthouse. This gives further insight into the inner workings of those characters while revealing a little bit more about the government of this world. It's pretty creepy.

Even if you haven't read the manga (which is easier to find digitally pirated than in print I'm afraid) this story will still be a great read. I found some of the ideas extremely intriguing. In the story, no one knows for certain why the country chooses to conduct these test on a regular basis. Why should the country loose so many of it's youth. There is a presented idea in this story that perhaps a nation is only truly united when it suffers together. There is a shocking and scary truth behind that. Terrifying really.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

So I bought the variant cover because it was drawn by Bryan Lee O'Malley (as seen below). So this is a new story from the creators of Phonogram which I covered a while back in this article. I wasn't the biggest fan but I wanted to give this new story a shot because I was hoping that just maybe, there would be some decent female characters in it. Also, McKelvie's work is just visually stunning. It's cleaner than I typically like but I got sucked into it. I find it quite the improvement from Phonogram.

I can't say with any certainty that I understand where this plot is going. Like Phonogram, we've got rock stars who believe they've ascended to divine status. Unlike Phonogram, maybe they actually have. I have never liked the thought of musicians being seen as anything other than creative human beings. I have always had a problem with celebrity and a disgust of idolization. I can appreciate creative work and envy their talent but I don't understand the state of celebrity. I've met my share of rockstars in my 20s and I didn't really get what all the hub bub was about. They're just people. That being said, I like this commentary on the vanity of pop stars and how their fans treat them - like gods. My sincere hope, is that this story comes off less hostile towards women.

Variant cover by Bryan Lee O'Malley
SPECIAL RUMOR GOSSIP: I heard there was going to be an upcoming signing at Strange Adventures here in Halifax. I overheard the owner mentioning he was saving the O'Malley variant covers specifically for sale for the signing. I actually almost didn't get a copy because he wasn't going to put ANY out on the shelf. He didn't state WHO was going to be there for the signing. I'm crossing my fingers that it's Bryan Lee O'Malley. 

Q&A with Leila Del Duca on the SHUTTER from Image Comics

I started reading Shutter when it first debuted just three issues ago. I wasn't sure what I was getting into but the imagery had me hooked and I desperately wanted to know more about it. Shutter has achieve amazing success in just three releases with both issue 2 & 3 completely sold out at the distribution level as of this week. I was able to chat with the amazing artist who's illuminated this exciting adventure story. Leila del Duca is a Montana resident who's current work includes The Pantheon Project and Deadskins. She has also self published a collection of short comics entitled The Fox Witch and Other Tales. Here is what she had to say about Shutter

TFQ: I couldn't help but notice how you are able to seamlessly transition between artistic styles. I notice that the style changes when stories that trail off from the central plot. Could you tell me a bit about the significance behind this?

Leila: Team Shutter chose to switch up art styles for a couple different reasons. Firstly, it makes the storytelling a bit clearer. Readers recognize a certain style for flashback scenes, as well as for the present, so it helps the reader follow the story better. We switch up the style yet again for the first two pages in Shutter #3. This was an obvious Richard Scary tribute, so we went for a more simplified style to pay homage, but to also indicate to readers that it's another deviation from our main story. You'll see another style shift in issue 4 as well! Another reason for the style changes is that I love drawing different variations on my own style. Joe knows this, and enjoys seeing it in other comics, so he's been utilizing our mutual interest in varying styles and incorporating it into Shutter.

TFQ: Some of the characters in the story resemble characters I grew up seeing in animation and film in the 90's. For example Kate's little cat-clock side kick, the tic-toc-like robot character is issue 2 and chubby cat character in the very beginning of issue 3 who is strikingly similar to Richard Scarry's Busy World characters. Is this intentional? 

Leila: Yes, they are all intentional! Joe's putting a lot of references into Shutter from pop culture, entertainment, and literature that he's liked over the years. They are different takes on things we've admired and been inspired by during our lives. This comic is our imagination playground, and we're doing whatever we want with it, and we want to have these crazy things in it.

TFQ: One of the reasons this story is so appealing to myself and other readers, has to do with it's imagery.  The gorey page in the middle of issue 3 was a departure from the implied violence in the first two issues which brings a new seriousness to the story. How do you feel about bringing gore into this story and what led you to your illustration decisions? 

Leila: I feel like the violence is necessary to show just how seriously dangerous Kate's situation is. Kate's very reluctant to be violent and she's very protective over the few people she loves in this world. Things are going to keep getting worse and worse, and Kate will be effected by them. She'll grow significantly as a character, and the gory, sad things that happen shove her in directions she doesn't want to go, and we get to see how she deals with the good and bad of everything that's happening to her.

For more information about Leila's work, please visit
Visit your local comic book retailer to get your copies of Shutter

MPH #2 by Mark Millar & Duncan Fegredo *SPOILERS*

How sweet is this damn cover?! Woah of course you're asking, which one Amy? If you follow me then you know which one I'm talking about. Eric Canete's cover (the one pictured). The variant covers are in honor of the 10th anniversary of Millarworld and can be placed side by side to complete one picture. They're nice and all but I don't buy variant covers unless I'm absolutely in love with the artist commissioned for said variant cover. Let's move on shall we?

I think my favorite thing about this issue is that Roscoe gets to pay back his old boss back for double crossing him. He also gets to grab his best bud and his girlfriend. He wisks them away to California in an instant and has them try out the MPH pills. 

I think revenge is an awfully powerful plot device. So many plots are built on the struggle to achieve justice or vengeance. It's often the central theme of a story but here it's being used as a mere means to show off the power that this mysterious drug holds. Well, it's just nice to see someone look satisfied once in a while. Roscoe's intention now is just to live day to day outside of poverty. As he says, they could be billionaires. Roscoe's plans are mostly selfish in origin.What would you do if you had the MPH? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Manifest Destiny #7 by Chris Dingess & Matthew Roberts

A tad late in posting this. Issue 7 came out last Wednesday. I read it last night because it got stuck under some other books and issues... well you know it works. If you saw my bedside table, you'd understand. My sweet boyfriend bought me a new bookcase for our anniversary so that I wouldn't keep such a mess beside my bed.

Anyway, issue #7 picks up where the trade paper back release leaves off. So if you got yourself the TP, and now need the singles, you're picking up in the right spot. Our group of pilgrim refugees, United States Military officials and criminals are sailing up a river until they get stuck on a large under water arc. Well, you can guess that this spells trouble in the form of giant frog which we see on the cover. In Dungeons and Dragons, giant frogs are mystical beasts. They are in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons which considers them neutral in alignment and mute. I wonder what these giant frogs are going do? You get the impression that they are not so neutral in alignment. Plus they have like three tongues! That's got evil monster written all over it am I right?

As usual Manifest Destiny continues to be action packed, entertaining and colorful! I love the coloring actually, just because the beasts are so bright! Also, this is the one story where I dislike every character yet can't stop reading what will happen to them. Only the female characters of this book have any redeeming qualities. The men are just awful scum. Most of them are racist and sexist but what can you expect from the time I suppose! Even the least ignorant character, the researcher, is still someone who can be held in contempt for knowingly endangering the lives of an entire crew without warning any of them.

I Was The Cat by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey

Recent Oni Press release I Was The Cat has been on my read list since the press release went out. Unfortunately my read list is a mile long and I've gotten to it just a tad late. That happens when you're sick with the flu and then become consumed with a decade old manga series containing beautiful characters with wings.

Every Tuesday since June 3rd, a Chapter of I Was The Cat has debuted on ComiXology for a total of six chapters. The story centers around Burma, a fluffy ginger cat who is on his eighth life. He dictates the events of his past lives to journalist Miss Breaking, to be written as his ultimate memoir.

Although I find this script and overall plot of this story to be unique and engaging, I wasn't thrilled with the artwork which felt a little mundane and lack-luster. However, it's one of those cases where the story is just so funny and the characters so clever that the artwork doesn't particular turn me off. It's just not anything that I can personally rave about. I do find this a little difficult to say as artist Benjamin Dewey is a fairly flexible artist who moves easily through artistic styles and genres. I do feel like the artwork in this particular book however, feels a little dated and would have been happier with something a little less rigid. That being said, the cover art is fabulous and I wish it had dictated more of what happened within the body of the book.

Check out ComiXology to order your copy!

Q&A with Scott Godlewski about upcoming series Copperhead on Image Comics

Boo Character Design
As promised yesterday, here is my Q&A with Scott Godlewski, artist of Image Comics' upcoming fall release Copperhead! A brand new series that Brian K. Vaughan is calling the best debut release of 2014! So I tried my best to probe for further information from Scott about the series. Of course he's not going to give me spoilers. So rarely do I get those. A girl can dream right? I did get a bit of insight into the influences that helped to cultivate this new and exciting world. 

TFQ: I've got to be honest, when I saw the Image press release for Copperhead and the headline reading Brian K Vaughan's new favorite series, I said to myself "no f*ing way. How exciting is that? I have to read this." How does that kind of compliment hit you?

Scott: It's exciting. As a big fan of Brian's, it's nice to hear him be complementary of something I've done. I know Jay has shared stuff with Brian as we've gone and getting such positive feedback is pretty rad.

TFQ: I saw a preview for Copperhead and I thought to myself that this was the book for me. Science fiction westerns happen to be one of my favorite genres. I'm wondering if you could explain a bit about what Copperhead has to offer over what we usually picture as a typical sci fi western?

Scott: I'm not overly familiar with any other scifi westerns, so I can't really say what it has to offer over others. But I dig scifi and I dig westerns and can say that it plays with familiar conventions of each with some cool twists, hopefully.

TFQ: Can you tell me how you came to work with Jay Faerber and a little bit about how you collaborated?

Scott: Jay approached me about doing a different book a while ago but that one fell through as these things tend to do. We still wanted to do something and I think he was the one that pitched the space western. I had most recently worked on a couple of series populated by dudes in suits, so doing aliens and spaceships was mighty appealing. We spitballed until we had a concept that we both dug and then Jay whipped up a script for issue one. After that he asked if I'd be interested in working Marvel-style on issue 2 (where the artist is provided the plot and the book is scripted after the art is completed). That worked out and that's how we'v worked on issues 2-4.

TFQ: The artwork is the first thing that grabbed me when I saw the preview for Copperhead. It has this classic pulp-pop feel to it which is so relevant in today's comics.  How did you develop the aliens over-all look? 

Scott: I think a couple of things played into the design of the aliens. One, I wanted them to be able to act, so playing with a humanoid form allowed me to use familiar body language and hopefully made them empathetic and relatable. Two, I won't lie and say that the idea of a COPPERHEAD TV show or movie never crossed my mind, and keeping that humanoid form would allow a human actor to play these characters instead of using expensive CG.

TFQ: What were your main inspirations for developing this visual atmosphere of this story?

Scott: One of my favorite movies is ALIENS and I always loved the look of LV-426. I looked at a lot of Syd Mead and Ron Cobb stuff for architecture and tech. I looked at Ralph McQuarrie and Brian Froud stuff for creatures. So that's where I started. I'm not sure what it ended up looking like.

TFQ: What kind of adventure are in store for Copperhead's readers?

Scott: I can't answer that one with any detail, you understand. Cool ones? If you like aliens and crime then I hope you'll find something to like here. We dig it and we're hoping readers will, too.

Clara Character Design
Remember to get your copy of Copperhead this September. Pre-order using Diamond Code JUL140436. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Copperhead #1 NEW THIS FALL

Written by Jay Faeber
Art by Scott Godlewski

This September Image debut's a new series entitled Copperhead. A sci fi western with a little murder mystery. Brian K Vaughan has already been quoted as saying "Copperhead is the best Image debut of the year and my favorite new comic." Which admittedly, peeked my interest. As a huge fan of Vaughan, I hold his opinion in high esteem along with many others, and rightly so.

I was lucky enough to score an advanced copy of issue 1 and I have to say I fell in love. Single parent Clara takes up residence in Copperhead where she accepted the position as Sheriff booting the first deputy out of the position. Deputy Boo who is a giant alien creature that sort of resembles a marmot. As soon as she arrives however, she's thrown into the midst of a murder mystery.

 “Combine Deadwood with Firefly and throw in a whole bunch of aliens, and you've got Copperhead.” -Copperhead writer Jay Faeber

As a first issue, Copperhead has already stolen my attention. I find it refreshing to see a female in a powerful position while not at all being undermined by the other characters because of her gender. Clara is able to handle herself against large and violent alien residence. She voices her opinions without fear and even stands up to her somewhat sulky deputy. In addition I have to applaud colorist Ron Riley. His work throughout the entire issue is fantastic and creates the perfect environment for this space western. The coral colors give the panels a modern feel while fitting this planet perfectly.

To pre-order your copy of Copperhead #1, give diamond code JUL140436 to your local comic book retailer. Please check back tomorrow for my exclusive interview with Copperhead artist Scott Godlewski. 

Angel Sanctuary THE END by Kaori Yuki

Rather than write a separate article for each volume, I decided to simply publish an article about the series as a whole and how I felt about the ending. Considering I binge read the last 10 volumes, I thought trying to write an article on each volume would be a little daunting. 

So, Angel Sanctuary is an older series published by Viz here in North America and virtually out of print as of right now.  You can still order copies although some volumes are really difficult to come by. The mystery behind the title doesn't become apparently until volume 19 when they refer to a place called Angel Sanctuary which is the island that the creator God lives on in the highest layer of Heaven. The whole story centers around a reincarnated female angel who is pushed into a new life in the body of a human boy. She loses her former consciousness and is now for all intents and purposes, a teenager names Setsuna Mudo. The forces of good and evil clash around him, and involve him in the centuries old far between heaven and hell. The best part for me with regards to the series, happens to be the blurred lines between good and evil. Many of the demons in Hell are well-meaning creatures, while many of the angels in Heaven are loathsome and selfish. They trample the innocent to further their own personal goals. 

The story itself does not favor Heaven over Hell. In fact all characters are driven by their own desires and hurt others around them while trying to accomplish their goals. This appears to be the central theme of the story. Follow your heart but do so carefully or accept the consequences. 

As for the ending, I was very please with how it wrapped up. I'm not one for super sappy, happy endings however, I felt that it was an appropriate ending for a story which contained so much carnage. I had to endure my favorite characters death twice in one book! That's pretty harsh. So the ending was suitable for me. Finding out how the angels were born was of  particular interest to me. Make no mistake, I could most likely write an essay on the intricacies of this 20 volume manga. I just don't want to bore the crap out of anyone. I shall say this: Angel Sanctuary remains one of my favorite manga's of all time, that wasn't written by Osamu Tezuka. LOL I think that's a pretty significant compliment. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Starlight #4

written by Mark Millar
art by Goran Parlov

So I started trying to get an interview with Goran Parlov. This so far has been unsuccessful but I would like blame his busy schedule and not my lack notoriety. LOL. It's probably the latter though. Until that time comes that I receive word back from Goran, I will continue to list my thoughts on the issues of Starlight. So, thoughts:

I always pick up the cover which is done by Goran. For this issue there are three different covers. I got the one you see attached of course because Goran's covers are by far my favorite. As a general rule, I never collect more than one copy of an issue unless there is a particular artist who's a favorite (someone like Brandon Graham) doing a variant cover. For this issue we have two other cover artists Travis Charest and Pasqual Ferry. Both great artists but for me, it's all about that pulp-ey, pop art kind of thing. A bit of that retro feel that Goran has in spades.

As for the story line, we last left our hero in prison with an alien who had a thing for 20th century earthling fashion and our pink haired little star child. However, it isn't long before they are all busted out by the rebels and taken to the secret hidey hole. Okay, it's less of a hole, and more of a worm hole that transports them all to another planet. The planet that was home to giants apparently before the last war. There's some awesome Miyazaki-esq giant remains laying around up against trees and such. That is really fucking cool.

Millar is writing this story like Burrow's saga. Each issue letting a little bit of each characters background slip. It sort of reminds me of Flash Gordon with the distinct good and evil factions. Although I'm use to very adult stories from Millar, as most of us probably are, Starlight feels much more child friendly. However, it could simply appear that way in it's infancy as this is only issue 4. To date the story is devoid of gore and adult situations. What does the future have in store for our characters though with a rat in their midst?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Empty Man by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. Del Rey

A mysterious virus has taken hold over the United States (of course the US - eye roll) and it's heading right for you!! (If you live in the US.) Why is it called The Empty Man you ask? Some believe the virus had named itself. Near it's victims the words began to appear written on walls.

I had to get the first issue of The Empty Man because the art is done by Vanesa R. Del Rey who's artwork reminds me of that amazing french style animation. You may remember me raving about Miss Don't Touch Me in the past. The sharp features of the characters faces and the blurred lines of the ink is what ultimately reminds me of this very french style (although she's not from Paris, she's from Florida). Del Rey has incredible flexibility as an artist but this particular book speaks to me in this way. In short and without so much yammering, I love it.

As for the writing, I'm a little sad that the main character is an older Caucasian man who degrades the opinions of his Female African American partner. I don't know what all that is about. Are we supposed to dislike him?

You know I don't always like everything but I can usually find one thing I like about everything. As for how I feel about The Empty Man, I think I'm going to read the full series which is being released as a five part mini-series through Boom Studios. However I can't speculate where this is going to go. The whole "virus killing humanity off for good" scenario, is just sooo over-done lately. I can say that it's not terribly humorous, even when it's attempting to be but it's not as awfully written as... ACK dare I say..Entropy. Which I thinking I'm going to dub the WORST book of 2013 (Entropy, not The Empty Man) Anyway in short, love the artwork but let's see where this goes.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Northern Highlights: Q&A with Canadian Comic Creator Riley Rossmo

As something a little new and different, I thought it would a nice idea to do articles highlighting Canadian artists and writers because TADA! I'm Canadian. Lately, I have been seeing and hearing a lot about this dude named Riley Rossmo. About a year ago I stumbled on this book called Seven Sons (article here). 

I was blown away by both the story and the incredible illustrations. It has a special place in trade paper collection. Yet after that, I started seeing his name all over the comic book shelves. He has such a unique and distinct artistic voice, that his covers catch my eye and quickly identifiable as Rossmo. I decided that I had to contact Riley about his success and he was graciously willing to respond.

A little background: Rossmo is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design. During his career he has worked on comics with Marvel, Image and Boom Studios. My personal favorite being the 2006 release of Seven Sons on AiT/Planet Lar but that being one of his very first projects. So without my blabbering on and on let's hear from the man himself.

TFQ: As a Canadian Artist, did you find there were any hurdles to overcome to break into the industry at large?

RR: When I was getting started,  portfolio reviews at cons and hard copy submissions to editors were the best way to get your work reviewed, in my opinion. So I spent a lot of time at Kinkos making copies of my work to submit to editors. The only draw back to being  in Canada at that point in time seemed to be that there weren't a lot of conventions in Canada to meet publishers or editors at.  Email and social media have made it a lot easier to connect with editors.

TFQ: Lately, I've seen your cover art work on a range of comics from different writers and artists. How do you feel about doing variant covers?

RR: Doing cover are a nice break in my work week. Doing covers for a variety of books has allowed me to explore different themes, techniques and forms I wouldn't normally explore in my own work. Books like Samurai jack, GI Joe, or Robocop are a little outside my wheel house but working on covers for books like that force me to work outside what I’m normally comfortable with.  They've really helped me grow as an artist.

TFQ: What remains your favorite project of you entire career to date?

RR: That’s tough, What ever the newest thing I’m drawing is always what I think looks best, I have a soft spot for the characters in ProofGreen Wake was an artistic breakthrough, and Drumhellar has my best art. Adventures of Superman was kind a big deal for me mostly because its something that my extended family can relate to. Sometimes its hard to explain what I do to people with out some knowledge of non-superhero comics.  

TFQ: Where do you want your career to take you next?

RR: I'm not sure. I have a new project coming out this fall and some other irons in the fire. I just hope to be able to make comics for a long time. I’m very, very lucky to have the career I do.

TFQ: What advice, if any, can you give aspiring Canadian artists about getting started in the comic book industry?

RR: The best way to get in to comics in my opinion is to make comics.  Mini comics, web comics, self publish stuff. I think making 10-20 page comics is the best way to show editors you can tell a story. It also gives you something substantial to show other creators at shows.  Really it comes down to putting in the time and being critical of your own work so you can improve.  

To see more of Riley Rossmo's work please visit


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shutter #3

So the third issue of Shutter came out yesterday. Yesterday was a good release day. I mean, I was really impressed and had a field day at the shop. I actually also got really good service from an employee at Strange Adventures and that is totally shocking to me. He mentioned that he could get me copies of the two compendiums of The Darkness. I said "great! order them!" but I won't hold my breath. For some reason they aren't even available online. Not used or otherwise. It totally sucks. I've really wanted to sink my teeth into that series. Anyway, I've wandered off course...

Shutter is of particular interest to me visually as there seems to be a deep connection to childhood characters of the 90's within the illustration. I had to pose the questions to illustrator Leila Del Duca. As you may have read in my past review of issue 2, there was a shocking similarity between the round robotic character and the character Tic Toc from the movie Return to Oz. Now reading issue 3, I notice immediately the shocking similarities between the cat character on pages 1 & 2 who looks so much like one of the characters in Richard Scarry's Busy World. Finally I have to conclude was this all done on purpose but for what reason? Even our heroine's side kick is a recognizable cat-clock. Big questions and hopefully they are not offensive questions.

Something I noticed about this series, which is I picked up more on in this issue than the first two, was the way that Del Duca changes artistic styles between scenes that divert from the scenes involving the main character. I like this sort kind of thing which makes you feel as though you are viewing a situation through a new character's eyes even if you do so behind the 4th wall. I'm intrigued, I wanna know where all this is going. I also have to praise the inclusion of a trans character. It's nice to see more people represented than just the usual white male/female combo. I feel like I could write a novel about this series.... okay, maybe an essay but I'll try and save some topics and insights for the next issue ;)

That's Because You're A Robot by David Quantick & Shaky Kane

This is a one-shot deal that was release yesterday through Image Comics. I saw the cover, saw Shaky's name and said "DONE". The great Shaky Kane gives us that pop-art-tastic brilliance he's always been known for. David Qauntick gives us a story about two cops who just found out that one of them is a robot. Problem is, they don't know which one. The script kills me (in the good funny way not the bang I'm dead way). It's not very often that I giggle over comics lately. Guess I'm reading too much fantasy which tends to lack the type of humor that appeals to me personally. I'm all about puns, and terrible jokes. Repetition is one of my favorite kinds of comedy. As each cop repeats to each other "That's because you're a robot" using various different words, they argue over who is human. All the while they let the bad guys get away and cause horrible harm to investigations and the city. They are the worst fucking cops.

I love Kane's artwork. It makes me happy with it's bright blue's and yellows. Oh my god and you have to see the cop uniforms. Well you can see the top of it in the cover but man. I mean, come on!! That's hysterical. I really would read pick up every issue if this turned into a series. However, I doubt that is about to happen sadly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Through The Woods stories by Emily Carroll

I was extremely lucky to get an advanced copy of this book I have been eyeing. When it landed on my desk in my office I sort of flipped out and did a happy dance, then hugged the packaging. Canadian born and raised author Emily Carroll has had her work appear in many anthologies published through Vertigo, Darkhorse and FirstSecond. Her first book Through the Woods debuts this July and contains several fairy tale inspired short stories with a modern spin.

Emily Carroll weaves a disturbing web that will make the hair on your arms stand. The imagery is both haunting and vibrant while she narrates each story in unconventional text which increases your unease. You will shiver although there is no wind, and you will wonder what is under your bed although you know better. We have all been warned about the dangers of wandering too far from home. As a child, I lived in a house surrounded by woods. Even more-so at my grandmothers house. Although we were allowed to explore, we were always and regularly warned against going off too far alone. It was amazing how little fear I had of anything in the wild. Fairy tales warning about the dangers of the woods in particular always played at the back of my mind when I went to start a game with my sisters in forest.

Carroll's stories are inspired by old cautionary tales based on the dangers of curiosity. Each story holds a unique twist on the typical stories invented to warn young women against the dangers of men and the dangers of wandering from home. At a certain point in history fairy tales were evolved into lessons keep young girls safe and pure.

After reading the story "A Lady's Hands Are Cold", I was reminded of the story Bluebeard. A wealthy woman ignores her new husband's command while he is away on business and lets curiosity take her beyond a door she was told to never open. Behind the door she finds the remains of the previous Mrs. Bluebeard murdered. Carroll's story is similar while taking a spin on the old tale to reveal a new and frightening nightmare.While that story reminded me of Bluebeard, other stories contained themes which are completely familiar such as a twist on the evil step-mother, strangers, and wolves.

With the end of each story, you're left with an eerie questions. There are no definitive answers as to what has or will happen to any of the characters at the end of each tale. There are no significant lessons to be learned except the ones you create based on what you believe happened to the characters after the story has ended. This is where Carroll's stories differ from the kind of fairy tale you have most likely grown up with. This is what makes the stories successfully, truly chilling. I cannot wait for more from this master of the macabre.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prophet # 44

Written by Brandon Graham
Art by Dave Taylor

This was released May 21st so I'm a little behind. Better late than never. Considering the issue # 45 isn't due to be released until July 2nd (delay much?), I might as well discuss the subject with myself. Feel free as always to leave feedback. A lot of this site is me talking to myself and other discussing it on twitter and facebook. It'd be nice to get some convo flowing via the comments.

I really dig Dave Taylor's artwork in this issue. Taylor's is a British artists with a fairly long reach. His work started with Marvel UK in 1990 and since has worked on all kinds of interesting books, and even wandered over to DC to work on Batman during the late 90's. His style complements the Prophet series which is known for it's "untamed vibrancy" as Newsarama's Scott Cederlund remarked. It is a good way to describe Prophet's artwork.

The issue focuses less on the John Prophet clones and more on the last of the human race. I don't always immediately understand what is happening in Prophet. This may be due to the often long delay between issues and also because the story is so far out there. It really is. My boyfriend leaned over my shoulder as I was reading this issue and asked me what was going on. "Prophet is a really involved comic book." was all I could explain. Really, it would take me half a hippo's lifespan to explain everything that was happening in the story so that he could understand what was going on in THIS issue.

At any rate, I patiently wait for July 2nd to read the next issue. Check out the preview of the cover art. It's sweet. Simon Roy is back!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Walking Dead : A New Beginning Issue #127

So I finally caught up on The Walking Dead. I know I keep putting it off, looking at it with the stink eye and putting it back in the giant pile I have that says "read me". It's been such a long year. Such a huge let down. Finally it's over! Negan's reign is done and so with the newest story arc A New Beginning, we see what the people of the Kingdom have accomplished. Oh and we get to Carl a little more grown up (and turning kind of into a misogynistic little shit). We also get to see Rick all extra banged up with a near beard. His knee is completely messed up now so he just hobbles around and sit in the town hall telling people what to do. Carl also calls Andrea mom now which I find sort of creepy. I've never been a huge fan of Andrea, not since the first year of the series.

I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that Rick is still alive. Sometimes, I think they should just kill him off and start the series with a new character. Rick is always center stage and although I liked him for so long, the Negan story arc changed that for me.

I meant to push this review out earlier but like I said, stink-eye and all. This Wednesday the second issue of the New Beginning story arc is released so I'll get back on track with the regular reviews. I'm interested see what Negan has turned into now that he's a prisoner in Rick's basement. What do you think about all that? I sort of wish they just killed him off. Are you happy about him still being alive or no?

Death Note: Vol 1

artist Takeshi Obata
writer Tsugumi Ohba

This is another oldie that I didn't get into at the time. I think I was too busy reading ALL the Naruto and Bleach. Kinda regret bothering with the Bleach. At any rate, I should have read this series. I'll make up for it now. Death Note is about a Death God who out of boredom, decides to drop his note book into the human world. This allows someone to pick it up and use it. Humans can use this tool to kill people by writing their names in the book with some specific instructions. The note book comes with a whole set of rules and regulations. Not all of which are immediately apparent and can only be discovered through trial and error. Highschool student Light Yagami takes possession of this book. As part of the rules, he is able to see the death god to which the note book belongs. 

There are a whole bunch of rules that I'm not going to get into, but that's what makes the story so interesting. Light keeps finding new ways to manipulate the note book and as the story progresses, he and the death god develop this strange respect for one another. All this as Light does his best to purify the world of the wicked. He kills criminals. The authorities are onto him though, and a mysterious detective known only as L, threatens to bring him down.

I really do feel that Death Note is a unique and clever story. The relationship beginning to develop between the death god and Light is of particular interest as the story is so far, unmarred by the typical romantic exploits of a leading male character. Instead a developing platonic relationship takes center stage. I also really enjoy the artwork. The death god is truly odd looking. At least that was my first impression. Sometimes you see such typical beasts and monsters in manga. It's nice to see something a little more inspired. Obata is truly talented.  If you haven't already, check this one out.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Absolute Boyfriend vol 1 by Yuu Watase

I have a soft spot for Shojo. Yuu Watase is a horrible guilty pleasure for me and yes so is Fushigi Yugi despite the fact that I hate the lead characters and want them to die and rot for all eternity. Absolute Boyfriend appeals to my inner 15 year old. Yes, she still exists. She's the part of me that's not jaded by years of rejection, sexism and shitty relationships (not to mention a few poorly thought out one night stands). My inner 15 year old self is idealistic, flat chested, and romantic just like the main character in this book. She wants to save herself for her first love. Which I suppose I did but I had really bad taste in men and well, let's just leave it at that. I would have so preferred the handsome mail order robot in retrospect. Someone who stands up for you, rather than puts you down because they're insecure about their own sexual performance (and inability to grow facial hair).

In Absolute Boyfriend, a young girl is rejected by her crush at school and eventually signs up online for a 3 day free trial offer. The offer ends up being a robotic boyfriend who in every way is perfect despite the fact that he's a robot. I think my favorite part is that he actually stands up for his girlfriend although it's all a program which kinda makes you feel sad. Until I was older, my boyfriends were people who tore me down, not the kind who built me up. So this component of the robot character is rather important to me personally as I imagine what 15 year old me would want in a boyfriend. 

I think the other reason this silly book is so appealing, is because I consider how many stories are written where the main character is male and he gets a female robot. Especially in the anime/manga world. Then there are also things like the Stepford Wives and plenty of stories where robotic women are desirable. Thinking back I can only really recall the male sex-bot in the movie A.I. played by Jude Law. That character along with this character reinforces the stereotype however, that all women want is someone to take them gently. (Well your only a proper lady if you terrified of sex I guess. tch.) The boyfriend says it over and over although apparently there's an option to crank him up a notch LOL.

So you're probably wondering how this story could possibly propel itself forward for additional volumes. Watase does this by forcing our leading lady to help her robot to collect data so that the manufacturers can create better models. In return she gets to keep him and the whole boyfriend experience. Things get complicated when he is enrolls in school. Fun stuff eh? Super-hardcore, cheesy goodness. I feel like saying "like" a lot now. I also have an urge to write notes and pass them under my desk to my coworkers. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Angel Sanctuary Volume 8 -10 *SPOILERS*

Last night I ran out of Angel Sanctuary books. At least until my Indigo order comes in. This makes me pretty sad because I getting to the bottom of this whole Hell story. Poor little Kurai was tricked into becoming a bride of Hell. Don't worry though, Setsuna goes to rescue her while inhabiting Alexial's body. This of course only makes Kurai more in love with Setsuna so her whole attempt at wiping away her feelings for Setsuna, well it was a complete waste of time.

The development that I found the most interesting over the course of these three books was strangely enough, NOT that Sara Mudo is the reincarnation of an angel, BUT that Arachne is actually Kurai's brother. He's pissed off too. In the end, he saves Kurai and sort of repents his actions of betrayal but it was all a big shock to me. I didn't see Arachne as much of a character other than a support system for Kurai. We also find out that Arachne's only reason for dressing as a woman was to take the identity of the original Arachne who of course was female. Which I think takes all the coolness out of Arachne's character since originally we thought she was a male character attempting to be herself : a woman.

Setsuna and Kurai aren't out of Hell yet and at the end of Volume 10 are left dangling from Alexial's blade which is pierced into a giant (and I mean GIANT) statue. OMG I need the rest of my books!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Termination Shock by Liam McKenna

PEI resident Liam McKenna debut's the story Termination Shock both online and in a hard copy edition. Liam describes this piece as a "dreamlike story of a team in space that is nonetheless ground with internal human conflict." The story is a preface to a larger adventure that will debut this summer. You can read the full story here: 

The story begins with a group of space crusaders dealing with the emotion fall-out of abandoning a team-mate to certain death in space. The illustrations of the space ships have to be my favorite part artistically speaking. I am not a huge fan of all the character illustrations as I felt that many of the facial expressions missed the intended emotional mark. However, this cover is completely up my alley and McKenna's style has an indie richness I've always appreciated. One of the reasons I'm so dedicated to independent artists and writers.

I wanted to ask Liam a little bit about how he developed the story as preparation and method are of great interest to me personally. He told me:

"I first got the idea for "Termination Shock" over the Christmas holidays in 2013, and began making a few pages of it at that time. I was planning on having a long form story and posting full pages weekly. I found the process of posting a page at a time to be a fun challenge, as opposed to a short weekly strip as I had been doing previously, but I soon discovered a new set of difficulties posting that way. I felt like I was losing the larger narrative in favor of short, dramatic updates. 

So, for the end of "Termination Shock," I worked on four pages simultaneously for a two week period, and I found the story flowed more naturally. As my first Kickstarter was successful, I finished the work, printed the book and brought it to the East Coast Comic Expo on May 17th. It was nice to hold my first ever minicomic in my hands and go to my first con as a vendor, but it was also evident that I had some work to do with my writing, my art and how the two came together, so I immediately began planning my next story."

Liam tells me that his next story entitled Fatigues will be completed this summer. He will be attending the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival this August and will have both stories available for purchase. Make sure you get to DCAF to meet Liam and check out his work.