Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Royal Jelly: December 23 2015

SAGA #32

Not going to go into detail on today's list. Looking forward to checking out Boom Studios new title Venus. The cover reminded me a little manga style and I've been looking for a new sci fi book. So I'm excited !! More later!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Upcoming Comic: The Discipline

Image Comics just released a press release about an intriguing new comic book. I got sucked in even before I read that one of my all-time favorite writers is the man responsible. Peter Milligan has teamed up with Leandro Fernandez (Queen & Country) to bring us a new series about sex, death, and metamorphosis. I am excited!! I love Milligan. He's quoted as saying, 

“This might be the edgiest story I've written,” said Milligan. “In most ‘erotic thrillers’ sex is the end-game, the objective. In The Discipline the erotic charge is simply a step towards something stranger, darker… beyond human.”

The story centers around Melissa who becomes tangled in a seduction that isn't all it seems. That's pretty much all the information that has been released but I think the cover is what really says it all!

This series won't be hitting stores until March 2nd but you can pre-order using this diamond code: JAN160523

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Royal Jelly: December 16 2015

SPIRE #5 (OF 8)

Lots of lovely ogodies but this week I am MOST excited about Lucifer #1 !!  Vertigo is rebooted one of my favorite titles. That charismatic fallen angel is back in a new series written by Holly Black.  The only other Vertigo contributions from this writer would be the graphic novel A Flight of Angels which I admit I haven't read. It was released back in 2012 and I'm afraid I can't personally speak to its quality. Lovely art from the looks of it. Black is more widely known for being the co-writer of the children's book The Spiderwick Chronicles which was spurned off the coat-tails of Harry Potter. You know... that crazy fantasy based childrens stuff that flooded the market over 15 years ago and hasn't really gone away (well now it's mostly apocalyptic and dystopian thanks to the Hunger Games).  

I'm not sure why Vertigo keeps taking on these new writers lately. It's not a bad thing exactly, it's just really strange to me when there are so many successful writers that they've used over the years and made amazing series. Perhaps Carey didn't want the job. Mike Carey of Hellblazer, Lucifer, Unwritten, etc.

At any rate, I have high hopes that this will be an amazing series. I hope Mike Carey comes back to at least write a guest piece. :) 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Ed Brisson & Lisandro Estherren: The Last Contract

 It is my pleasure to bring you this exclusive interview with Ed Brisson (CLUSTER, 24:UNDERGROUND) and Argentina based designer Lisandro Estherren on their upcoming collaboration THE LAST CONTACT available Jan 13th! Today is the final day for pre-ordering the first issues of this highly anticipated crime series from Boom Studios!

TFQ: Where did the inspiration for this story come from? How did you begin to develop The Last Contract?

ED BRISSON: THE LAST CONTRACT was a weird one for me. Normally, I'll carry story ideas around for months, maybe years, let them gestate and develop. However, THE LAST CONTRACT wasn't like that at all. I was pitching a bunch of ideas to [BOOM! editor] Eric [Harburn] for a follow-up series to CLUSTER and nothing was really sticking. I think we'd burned through about 10 or 15 ideas that I had and none of them was really right—regardless of how long I'd been sitting on them.

Eric asked if I had anything else, and I didn't, but said that I'd always wanted to do a hitman story and Eric asked for more info—the thing was, I didn't have a idea. I just knew that I wanted to do a hitman story. So, I did was anyone else in my position would do: Fake it til you make it.
I sat down and literally made up the story in my email response. I was completely flying by the seat of my pants, spinning out an idea of an 80-year-old retired hitman who finds himself in the crosshairs of someone who wants revenge for something that happened over 20 years earlier. I didn't want this to be like a Liam Neeson-style retired hitman; I wanted to do something where it's a clearly geriatric, forgot-where-he-put-his-glasses-even-though-they're-on-his-face style of older, retired man. Once I nailed that part of it, it's like the flood gates opened and I had what I felt was a real interesting story on my hands.

TFQ: What kind of action can we expect to see in this story? Will it be a fast paced adventure or more focused on interpersonal relationships and introspective character development? 

BRISSON: There's going to be quite a lot of action and dark humour, but much of the story is going to focus on The Man coming face to face with the people who've been impacted by all the lives he snuffed out. Even 20-plus years after his retirement, the rippling effects of his actions are still prevalent, the wounds still raw.

TFQ: How did the two of you come together to collaborate on this book?
Variant by Vanessa R Del Ray

BRISSON: Eric and [assistant editor] Cameron [Chittock] had a bunch of artists that they've been wanting to work with and sent me their portfolios to look at. They probably wanted to strangle me during this process because I tend to be really picky about who I work with and kept passing on artists. I wanted to make sure that the art suited the story. So, while there were plenty of good artists presented, great artists even, none of them felt right.

Then they showed me Lisandro's portfolio.

instantly knew that he was the right artist for the job. Thankfully, he was available and seemed really into the story.

Once the pages started coming's NO ONE else who could have drawn this book. People are going to be blown away by his work. Every time new pages come into my inbox, my jaw hits the ground. Just amazing.

TFQ: Lisandro, could you tell me a little bit about your artistic process? How did you develop the atmosphere for this series? Are there any references you used to develop the settings and character appearances?

LISANDRO ESTHERREN: Yes, there is a primary mood that we set from the start. We are making a gritty crime story, so we needed a strong, heavy, black-and-white look, but also trying to add the subtleness of the greytones that helps to modulate the light values.

About references, part of my job is to follow close to the script, to study some realistic settings, and dig out its nature to make the storytelling more interesting. The character development follows a similar process: close study of the references, sketch a lot, and push the features beyond to find the proper look. I think the readers will enjoy this creative run.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Royal Jelly: December 9th 2015


Here's my awesome list for today!! I'm truly excited about everything on this list. First of all, please check out my interview with Antony Johnston on Codename Baboushka!  

I want to mention that Izuna, which takes place in the same universe as Humanoids previous release Legend of the Scarlet Blades. I was a massive fan of that book and when I heard about the North American release of Izuna, I kinda melted! I mean look at the cover!!!!

Finally, I just wanted to mention that one of my favorite writers of all time has a new series!! This 12 issue series debuts from Vertigo! Peter Miligan brings us New Romancer! I can't wait! :D

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Here's a book I could not miss and you shouldn't either. Tyler Jenkins (Neverboy) and Ollie Masters (The Kitchen) have teamed up to bring us a four part mini series debuting this Wednesday, December 9th. Just before Christmas!

The story begins with an introverted teenager who breaks into libraries to sit and read books after hours. It becomes apparently quickly that the secrets his family has been keeping from him are about to unravel.  As always I won't spoil the plot.

Of course you might remember me praising the work of Tyler Jenkins previously. His work can be mistaken for no one else and his character design is distinctive and pronounced. What I enjoy most about Tyler's characters is his ability to accurately illustrate the state of mind of his character. This book accurate echoes the loneliness, complacency and even frustration which is felt by the characters instead of relying of script to do so which is ALL too common in comics right now.

Equally, Masters has weaved an inner monologue to take you into the deep recesses of Teddy's mind. I screamed about The Kitchen more times than I care to admit and I must have got half the people I know to grab the trade. Master's is a master of the inner monologue. It's something I personally admire.

So I know I haven't been writing many reviews lately! I shall apologize now! I'm still reading lots and I think you should check out this gem from Boom Studios. I've been really happy with all the series coming from Boom this year. It's nearing the end of their 10th Anniversary year and I think it's been an excellent year of solid releases from a fantastic label I hope to see them around for another ten years of great content.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tipping Point

I'm so grateful for being able to read this pre-release. Tipping Point is being released by Humanoids in January of the new year! What an amazing way to start the year. I love anthologies and I adore short comics.

This anthology includes 15 of some of the worlds most celebrated sequential artists. They have each contributed stories where a tipping point forms mentally, emotionally, physically and rides the line between reality and perception.

Contributing artists include:Boulet, Eddie Campbell, John Cassaday, Bob Fingerman, Atsushi Kaneko, Keiichi Koike, Emmanuel Lepage, Taiyô Matsumoto, Frederik Peeters, Paul Pope, Katsuya Terada, Naoki Urasawa, Bastien Vivès  and a brilliant cover created by the amazing Enki Bilal.

Obviously, there are some big names in that list. A couple of my favorites which got me excited for this release are of course, Paul Pope, Bastien Vivès (who you will remember me raving about after reading Last Man this year which just made it to North American readers in English!) and Naoki Urasawa (of Monster, Pluto, 20th Century Boys). Some of the stories take place on Earth as a sort of "Slice of Life" type story while others are pure science fiction and some mythological.

I have to say that my favorite contribution comes from Naoki Urasawa which emotionally lingers long after you've moved onto the next story. It's impossible not to adore his artwork and I really enjoyed the more minimalistic approach he took for this short. Although all shorts are equally through provoking, this is my favorite from the collection.

Please check out the awesome video trailer for the book on the Humanoids Website. I'm only sad this didn't make it out for Christmas as it really would make an amazing gift for that comic lover on your list. I would suggest making a pre-order on Amazon as it will be pleasant belated gift when it ships to their door in January.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Royal Jelly: DECEMBER 2015

X’ED #1

Alright I must apologize for the lack of reviews and posts. I recently hurt my right arm at the gym and typing for extended periods of time is pretty uncomfortable. That being said, I just threw together this list quickly. LOL!! I shoved two Marvel titles on there, I wanted to remind my friend Joey that the All New Inhumans begins today, but really, I just want to remind people about the amazing books that ARE NOT from the big two. Plutona being one of my favorite new books and Brian K Vaughan's latest book Private Eye which is out on hardcover. Also, check out Black Masks' latest series X'ED because that cover is BAD ASS.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Showman Killer: Heartless Hero

Titan is doing the English speaking world a great honor in bringing us Alejandro Jodorwosky's praised graphic novel series Showman Killer. The hardcover drops on December 29th but originally came out in 2010 in Spanish.

I'm pretty in love with the art in this series. The cover image alone provokes so much emotion with the showman killer himself and his oddly shaped head which hardly seems human at all. The book is illustrated by Nicholas Fructus who's carreer previous to this was mostly video games but he was appointed Art Director for Arxel Tribe Studio which meant he got to work with Moebius and Druillet. Now that's pretty amazing.

The story starts with the birth of the Showman Killer and provides a detailed story of his existence up until he claims his independence. I won't spoil any of the details except to say that it is of course reminiscent of The Metabarons. The story takes place in the same universe as The Incal, Technopope, and other Jodorowsky sci fi books. I don't think he's ever written a science fiction story that took place outside of this universe.. hmm let's think... nope can't think of one. 

The book is just over 50 pages and is contains the first story arc. We can expect to see the next volume from Titan but it is not yet announced when. Truth be told, I'm still waiting on the second volumes of Jodorowsky's First Blood, also released by Titan. In total, there should be just three volumes to release which begs the question "why is Titan not releasing these stories in one complete volume?" I suspect it's got more to do with money and less to do with actually pleasing the English speaking audience. We have no choice but to wait in anticipation. I can say however, that I am in love with the Showman Killer. It left me with an awful cliffhanger... I need the rest. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Royal Jelly : November 25 2015

SAGA #31

I'm hoping I didn't miss anything from this list here....So tons of awesome stuff here!! I'm sooo excited to read the new Silver Surfer. Words can't describe! I feel like I've been waiting forever but it has been quite a while. The reboot to the Silver Surfer title was originally supposed to land in January. I suspect we may have one more Silver Surfer comic for this series before the number 1 lands.... I suspect. I try to keep my ear to the ground and look for Dan Slot's posts on facebook that aren't just all about Spiderman. So I will try to confirm that things are still going as previously mentioned. 

Other than that, one of my favorite mini series of this year is collected by vertigo in a trade. The Kitchen TP is released today and you should go grab that! Ming Doyle's writes such realistic and exciting characters. Mobster wives taking the business in their own hands. I loved it. 

Jupiter's Circle returns! This is also exciting. I really enjoyed Part One of this prequel to Jupiter's Legacy. 

And of course everyone is freaking out about Frank Miller's Dark Knight III.  Miller has apparently co-written the story with Brian Azzarello who you remember from 100 Bullets and of course some of the stuff he wrote for Hellblazer :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Huck #1

Most people know that I have tended to really enjoy Mark Millar's books which have spawned from his brain the last few years. It's really about time we saw him working with Rafael Albuquerque. You remember Rafael right? If you are unfamiliar with some of the series which made him famous (American Vampire) then you remember the scandal of the Bat Girl cover a few months back in which Barbara's rapist The Joker is painting a joker smile on her face as she looks at the reader in terror. The impact of that cover shook the comic book community and disgusted many as Batgirl had become a cherished and lighter series which many teenagers enjoyed, perhaps without the history lesson of the victimization of Batgirl at the hands of The Joker.

Huck is an awfully large departure from that piece. It's a far cry from American Vampire and maybe just what Albuquerque needed to do as the first issue of Huck is lighthearted and tame. The story focus' is on Huck, a selfless, orphan Hero who has the strength and special powers to save people halfway around the world. The script has a lot of the charm that many Millar World comics possess but lacks gratuitous violence some of us have come to love. It also lacks a strong political message and gritty smart mouthed character making Huck one of the most squeaky clean stories I've ever seen come from Millar World. In affect, this is also causing me to wonder if this may also therefore be completely boring. Only time will tell.

I can say that the book is beautifully illustrated and what it lacks in controversial subject matter, it makes up in artistry. I'll read on because I'm curious to see where this one goes. The next issue lands December 16th!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Royal Jelly: November 18 2015

November is officially going by so quickly that I cannot keep up. Another holiday around the corner and I'm just trying to catch my breath. Don't forget that this Saturday is Local Comic Book Shop Day! Here's my pull list!


Unfortunately I don't have time to go into a lot of detail... Fallout 4 has been occupying my very little free time but I'm interested in this Tomboy book because that cover... just freaked me out. Apparently Addison, this teenager is suffering through the after affects of her childhood friends' death. We are warned that she uses it as an excuse to become a monster... so that peeked my interest. I really like stories about devious children..wild children, creepy children etc. I'm not super familiar with the publisher Action Lab but this book has peeked my interest.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Royal Jelly: November 11th 2015

Sorry all!! This list is a little late due to the holiday yesterday and the release of Fallout 4. I'm sorry but there may be less posts over the next week due to this. However, I could talk lots about Fallout, I just don't think that would be super appropriate... but hey it's my blog.

D4VE2 #3 (OF 4)

A couple things I want to mention:

I don't know how I feel about the new Wolverine but I know I love the cover. My favorite living artist Bengal has made this magnificent cover and I know I need it. 

Also, please check out Limbo #1. I had the awesome opportunity to interview the creators and read an advanced copy of the book. Please check that out HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Exclusive Interview with the Creators of Limbo!

Today I have the absolute pleasure of sharing with you an interview with the creators of a new Image Comics mini series! Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard have come together to bring us comic book obsessives a series entangled in a world of Mexican imagery and voodoo. In six issues the story trips our heroes through the depths of a city where technology and the divine collide. To make things extra special of course, the whole thing is fraught with mystery. I was lucky enough to ask both creators a few questions and now I'm sharing them with you. Limbo hits the stands this Wednesday, November 11th! Make sure you grab your copy then!

TFQ: Could you tell me what inspired both the story and the art?

DAN: Caspar and I both draw from a wide range of influences, but the more obvious ones in Limbo are probably 80s b-movies, the works of David Lynch and Raymond Chandler, early Vertigo comics… pretty much everything, really! The nature of the book we’re making kind of lets us throw a lot of things into the mix without them feeling (hopefully) too fragmented.

CASPAR: It was important for me to choose a narrative I enjoyed drawing, I never wanted this project to become boring as a creator and as a reader. So we chose genres and scenarios that we both loved and made sure to keep the book as engaging as possible. This comic will most definitely not contain page after page of static talking heads sat conversing in a room, we made sure each page felt unique whilst keeping the flow in check.

TFQ: The use of both Mexican imagery and religious practices fill this story with a very different cultural experience for me as a Canadian. I can really only appreciate this culture from afar. It feels very mysterious. Can you tell me a little about the Mexican themes of this story and how/why you incorporated them?

DAN: There’s certain imagery and mythology prevalent in Limbo that it’s hard to talk about without spoiling the book, but I can say there are elements of Voodoo and different cultural folk mythologies that we’ve drawn on because they take us to these really Jungian archetypal places. Death features heavily in the book and perhaps more specifically, ego death- but of course, not every culture takes a negative view towards these concepts, and that’s part of what we wanted to explore.

CASPAR: I've always been fascinated by Mexican art, it’s so vibrant and alive, even when conveying a subject such as death. I had often incorporated its themes into my previous work, but had never explored it within comics.

TFQ: With the themes in LIMBO heavily based around death, it was a no-brainer for me.
There's this mysterious connection between gods, magic and technology. Can you tell me a little bit about this, without giving away the plot I hope!

DAN: Technology is used by different magic users and entities in Limbo- to them these machines are just new ways of utilizing old traditions. Entertainment technology, be it music players, radio, television, right the way back to the book, have always been ways of altering our consciousness, which inevitably ties into a shamanistic current. William Burroughs did some really bizarre and fascinating experiments with tape recorders that definitely had something of an influence in our approach; especially his work with tape and cut-up. I’m not sure if that makes much sense right now, but hopefully it will when the book’s out!

TFQ: I'm often intrigued about how color pallets are chosen for books. Can you tell me a little bit about how you chose the colors for this issue?

CASPAR: Ha ha, thats a tricky question. There are some colours used in this book that are tied to the narrative and there are also elements that are used to convoy its 80’s/noir settings.

But, mostly it’s down to how I feel the page will work and what will keep the visuals interesting.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Monstress #1

I wasn't sure what I was going to get with Montress, imagine my surprise at opening the digital file at 8pm to find it was 72 pages long! Author Marjorie Liu (Marvel's Astonishing X-Men) herself even said "I didn't know how massive it was until I started writing it".  I was intimidated at first but I finished the issue without a thought. I just kept reading... I was captured.

Typically when it's this late for me, I don't start a new series, especially when the first issue is this long. I'm pretty braindead after supper, my day starts early. I really wanted to check this out though because the art is so breathtaking. It has all this manga influence within the eyes of the younger characters. I flip back to the credits to read the author, Sana Takeda, with a name like that she's definitely Japanese. It all makes sense, no wonder I'm enthralled. When I search a bit on the web I find that she's had some work with Marvel on X-23, various Spiderman stories and covers. She's without a doubt ridiculously talented but I think Monstress is by far the prettiest of her work I noted online.

Montress didn't remind me of any story in particular. It's pretty epic and reminded me of many fantasy based manga I've been into since I was a teenager. I am a sucker for fantasy based manga and suddenly I started having flashbacks of Angel Sanctuary. It's the little demons in this story. They're not evil exactly, they're just a separate side. I love stories with complex demonic characters. Although I can't say for sure that these humanoid monster characters are "demons" but that's how the humans in the story are treating them. However, the monsters are the victims and losers in a huge war. They've become prisoners and slaves.

This was a really great first issue. I got to know the characters and got to learn a little bit about this complex fantasy world. There's still lots of questions by the end of the first issue. So I will definitely be reading the next issue. Will you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Royal Jelly: November 4th 2015


I might be a little comic book jaded at the moment. The Marvel releases have me a little down but there are a few titles of interest. For instance, The Uncanny X-men #600. CBR boasted that Bendis is about to answer all the questions like whether Scott Summers is savior or destroyer and what is going on with the Jean Grey School etc. There are a bunch of new titles starting and I just listed a couple that seemed interesting to me. No silver surfer yet, but we have this new Extraordinary X-Men #1 and a new title Vision #1. 

The new X-men title claims that the X-Men are once again staring down extinction which isn't all that entertaining to me but there is supposedly a strong focus on Storm and that peeked me interest. 

You might not know who The Vision is. He was created by Ultron in a laboratory and well, now he wants to be human. Apparently being human means you need a family so The Vision goes to the lab where he was created and creates himself a family. This whole family wants to do exactly the opposite of what everyone else wants to do... be ordinary. Kinda overdone and overused story but it's always made for an easy story to write lol AM I RIGHT? 

One of my favorite mini series actually ends today. UFOlogy is coming to a close and I'm sooo sad. I really hope this series comes back with a second story arc. I also hope we learn everything about the "alien" creature tormenting our young heroes. This is seriously one of my favorite mini's of the year. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Klaus #1 *mild spoilers*

I know I said I wasn't going to read this... but curiosity got the better of me. What on Earth is going on in Grant Morrison's head? I can't figure out who this series is written for. Okay, first of all this is on Boom Studios label. It's not on their child friendly imprint KaBoom! so that leads me to believe its intended for an older audience. There is a bit of gore as Klaus is beaten and run through with an arrow which also lets us know this isn't for children.

My biggest issue is, why would I, or anyone for that matter, want to read about Santa Claus being this crazed, burley hunter man? and why do I want to read about how he went from wildman hunter to the toy magic man. Do we get to see him settle into retirement and suddenly go from the ripped strong man to suddenly obese and gray? Let me be honest, I was never really a fan of the whole Santa story anyway. The concept of some old man making toys, breaking into your house and leaving them behind for your kids tended to give me the willies. What's his motivation anyway? I've always been far to cynical to accept such a story.

Considering this plot is nearly heretical to the belief system of secular americans, and just flat out absurd to me personally, it's actually not a bad issue. It actually was kind of entertaining in a really bizarre "where the hell is this going" sort of way. The scene near the end with the psychedelic toy magic was probably the most confused mess of panels I've seen in a while. I won't explain it because I run the risk of spoiling the plot even though I don't actually know where it's going so it would be difficult to spoil. You know, in the interest of comic book review integrity, I won't go into further detail.

The artwork is really lovely so I applaud Dan Mora on his expertise. I'm not really familiar with his work. I can't recall anything he's done previously but something makes me think he had some work with DC. At any rate, he has turned this strange series into a lovely art piece despite it's misguided psychedelic scene.

If Morrison does actually show this wildman Klaus turning into a cherry nosed obese man, I think I'd be greatly appreciative but this is turning into a  medieval action comic. Anyway, here's your sneak peek! You can get your copy of Klaus #1 this Wednesday, November 4th.

The Walking Dead SO FAR... *SPOILERS*

I know you're probably more concerned with what's going on with the television series. I'm not so much! I'm STILL reading The Walking Dead and I'm actually pretty happy with the current plot. WHY?!?!? You may be asking....

I was horribly upset with Walking Dead last year. I was sooo tired of Neagan. He became the LAMEST bad guy. He stayed around way too long and didn't appear to change, grow or enhance the story. He was just this maniac and sadly, he's STILL around as a prisoner in Rick's basement. For a little while it seemed like he was going to try and get to Rick by talking to Carl. That didn't really come to fruition which is just as well and the last few months it's seemed that Neagan has been mostly forgotten. 

Speaking of Carl, I'm actually enjoying teenage Carl. I didn't think I was going to because teenagers annoy most children but his new crush pretty much got me back into the story. I mean, not her exactly, but her background. Carl falls of a skinwalker. If you don't know what that is all about, it actually has nothing to do with the native american legends. It's has everything to do with nomadic people who dress in zombie skins. It's how they stay alive. We've seen Rick's group use zombie blood to conceal themselves in tricky situations. These are perhaps the most interesting group of people that we've encountered. The only thing I really don't care for, is the leader Alpha. She really lacks logic and I don't understand why she feels so threatened by Rick's civilization. I mean, she's basically just insane like every other "leader" Rick has had to deal with. 

So once again, Rick is gearing up for another war. He's protecting his settlement from more crazy people who seek to destroy it although the motivations for doing so aren't exactly clear. That's what is happening. I'm wondering when this is going to seep into the television series. I can see it being used sooner rather than later. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Low #10 - Series to Date

I suspect that I should write about the current series I'm reading in a way that says "here's what I think of the series to date". As you know I've been a little sick this month so I got behind in my reading. Last night I caught up on Low.

If you are not familiar, Low is an underwater science fiction opera which follows the trials of the last survivors of mankind. We follow Stel Caine who clings to the hope that probes sent to land above sea will find a hospital environment for mankind so that they can ascend from the ocean and live on land once again.

The ocean on Earth is full of all kinds of mutations. Humanity has attempted to coexist with different species of mer people. The story is written by comic giant Rick Remender who's work I've been a large fan of now for some time. I never seem to hear much about this series however. No one is raving in my ear about it yet it remains one of my favorite series to date. Within less than twelve comics, this story has managed to introduce a myriad of characters, complex and diverse, who have changed and developed through different times, and environments. Remender has created a complex underwater world where different civilizations have been established with different laws, cultures and levels of civility. I really love this whole barbaric underwater world.

I'm a big fan of the surviving characters to date. Well most of them and Remender has managed to introduce some fairly interesting characters along the way. The entire series to date has been illustrated by Greg Tocchini with some contributions later by Dave McCaig who's style is nearly. Greg Tocchini's style is very much up my alley and had originally sold me on the series entirely.

If you are looking for a well established science fiction series by two masters, I seriously suggest this story. And even more to the credit of the book, I really enjoy the female characters which isn't something that happens all too often for me with male writers lol for a lot of reasons I'll rant about elsewhere. You can currently grab Volume 1 at the awesome introductory Image series price of 10 bucks. Volume two comes out November 11th and will of course be slightly more expensive. However it is well worth it and you won't be able to predict just how crazy this world will get with each issue. Love it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Royal Jelly: October 28 2015

Back from temporary and unexpected hiatus due to illness. When I'm that sick, I don't tend to read much because I find reading while nauseated a big feat. So I will get back to my reviews asap AND I will have some coverage of the local con here in Halifax, Hal-con which happens this weekend. So here's my pull list:

SPIRE #4 (OF 8)

A couple things, I through Angela Queen of Hell on there because check out this cover, not to mention the fact that Angela is pretty much gorgeous the entire way through. This is the relaunch from the new Marvel Universe. We'll see right?

Also looking forward to checking out Art Ops #1 which is a new series from Shaun Simon, co-writer (with Gerard Way) of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and legendary artist Michael Allred who you should by now know that I'm thoroughly obsessed with (Madman, Silver Surfer, X-Force to name a few).  This story focuses on famous characters from great historical works of art who suddenly escape their frames and go rogue, leaving their paintings. This sounds amazing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Royal Jelly: October 21 2015

1872 #4


Obviously I don't have a whole lot to say today. Make sure you get this month's Dark Horse Presents because the new Finder story is in there!!! So that's an important one to grab for sure! Keep your eyes peeled for new reviews!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Carla Speed McNeil on Finder!!

One of my favorite comic book stories every is continuing in a new serial with Dark Horse Presents. You can imagine how quickly I sought to read Finder after learning of it's return! It was immediate and no sooner had I read it, I found myself online emailing author, illustrator and Finder creator Carla Speed McNeil about the resurfacing. She quickly emailed me back agreeing to answer my questions for you my dear readers! 

The new Finder story entitled CHASE THE LADY will debut in this month's issue of Dark Horse Presents, issue #15 out Wednesday October 21st. 

TFQ: Finder is back but for how long? How many issues of Dark Horse Presents will we see the new Finder story?

Carla: Currently, I have 96 pages of the next FINDER story, CHASE THE LADY, drawn and ready to go. That's a little more than half of the new story, and a year's worth of episodes for DARK HORSE PRESENTS.

TFQ: This first part of the serial focuses on a mysterious religious event. Can you give us any hints about what is going on in this introduction?

Carla: The first episode of CHASE THE LADY depicts a moment of spiritual crisis for a high official of one of Anvard's many faith organizations. From the perspective of the main character of CHASE THE LADY, it's just the reason for a major traffic snarl.

TFQ: Can you tell me a little about where the plot is going and whether we will see some familiar faces? 

Carla: This next book returns to Rachel. CHASE THE LADY is my attempt at an Edith Wharton novel, in that Rachel is now a penniless aristocrat who needs to marry a suitable person-- suitable here meaning one with enough zeroes after the 1 and the 7 in her bank account.

TFQ: Every time a Finder story ends, I fear it may be the last. What makes you continue to resurrect Finder?  

Carla: I'm not in any rush to end FINDER. I set it up so that I could tell nearly any kind of story I wanted to. VOICE and 3RD WORLD and CHASE THE LADY are all part of my attempt to get into the guts and bones of this world, to show the whys and what-happeneds, because this isn't post-apocalyptic fiction, it's post-post-post-post-apocalyptic. What Happened happened so long ago that nobody even thinks about it anymore; they just put everything back together all wrong and now no one remembers the world ever having been any different.

TFQ: Is it difficult to revisit each time or the opposite? What is it like for you personally each time you begin a new story arc?

Carla: It's never hard to get back into FINDER. It's basically a snapshot of the inside of my head, and exists to keep me from getting bored. I'm horrible when I'm bored.

So it may be that I step aside from time to time to tell other stories, work with other people, but right now I have no plan to stop doing stories set in the FINDER scenario. As long as I think I'm still learning and have something new to bring to it, it will still be alive in my mind.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Balkans Arena

This is a story I never thought I would read in the form of a graphic novel. It acts like a true crime drama but the story is all too real. Just released on October 14th, Balkans Arena has already received a lot of attention. The story is based on real events however is a work of fiction and so are all the characters. Even still, an eerie chill crept into me as I read on. The thought that some one somewhere was subjected to such a horrific life...I can't even imagine.

The story is based on a Croatian family living in Ontario, Canada. As officer Frank Skol receives word that his mother has passed, he makes the fateful decision to travel to his homeland with his son Ben who has never met his father's family. The story descends into a horrific tale of kidnapping and child trafficking for the purpose of underground fighting. Children are trained and forced to beat each other while Croatian mob look on and bet for the winner.

Written with Philippe Thirault, Darko Macan and illustrated by Jorge Miguel who is also responsible for the very humorous zombie book The Z Word and The Zombies Who Ate The World. This is quite a change of pace for Miguel but his style blends with the story to create the dramatic feeling of loneliness and helplessness the young children must have felt within the arena.

I recommend this book to everyone. Not only are the events compelling and thought provoking but the authors have put a tremendous effort into making the characters real, believable and endearing. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Royal Jelly: October 14th 2015

LOW #10


This month is pretty much the reboot month for most Marvel titles. This Wednesday is the reboot for Spider Gwen. It's entitled Radioactive. I myself have decided to drop Marvel titles for a year. All but Silver Surfer obviously. This choice is purely one that comes from a financial point of view. If there are any books I desperately want to read, I'll attempt to grab them in trade as finances allow. However, the price of comics are much too high now. My Marvel addiction alone was costing about 20-30 dollars a month and that's just ONE label. 

I can't explain how much I love the titles listed above. Even though I regularly get annoyed with the Walking Dead, I'm actually enjoying this silly story arc with Carl being all.... adolescent. I'm still totally in love with Low and Hellblazer so even though I'm super poor at the moment, I will reserve a few dollars a month for a couple of these titles. 

Scott Young's new and highly anticipated series I Hate Fairyland comes out tomorrow! People are super excited about this one. It's been all over the blogsphere and comic book creators have been promoting it all over facebook, twitter, IG and whatever other social networking platforms other people use. I promise to bring you a review of that one. 

Black Mask bring readers a new title this week with Clandestino. This story of revolution comes from Amancay Nahuelpan also responsible for Young Terrorist. I'm looking forward to this mini series.

Monday, October 12, 2015


"A powerful and enthralling sci-fi epic about a perfect warrior unleashed in an age of barbarism and sorcery, and fated to one day destroy the gods."

I take issue with any story who's hero is white while the other characters described as "barbarians" are all people of color. I tried to explain this all to myself... tried to compare this to something that didn't echo complete racism and I remembered this Aztec myth. 16th centry conquistadores were greeted as gods by the Incas. Their god Viracocha was a white, pale skinned man with long flowing white hair. This belief was shared by many ancient cultures, each pale faced god with its own story and name. It was the first thing I thought of when I started reading this book. Then I finished the book... then I felt upset. 

 As with many science fiction books, the big reveal is at the end of the story. The plot twist was more of a sad punchline. American patriotism at its... finest? I mean the artist Bazal isn't American, he's Mexican but writer Kurt Busiek is most certainly American and very white. What the hell was he thinking ?

 The worst part is that the book isn't yet released so I can't give away the ending which urked me the most! I read a few other reviews and apparently I'm the only person that had an issue with race in this book. Everyone else applauded the work Busiek. I guess once your responsible for some of peoples favorite Avengers' stories, people don't think to question your work and perhaps can't look as critically upon it. 

The only thing I really enjoyed about the book was the art style but it wore on me as the book went on to reveal that each and every female character was impossibly shaped. I'm use to this in comics but this book is undoubtedly aimed at men from the story to the artwork. Not just men but hetero men.

Every female character merely existed to have sex, be saved or killed by the "hero" of the book. Who by the way, is not a hero or even a proper anti-hero. He's just the person we're forced to follow around for 120 pages. We're suppose to wonder who he is and where he came from when really, the only thing I was really wondering about was if anyone would put this self important jackass in his place. He literally razed a village to the ground  (women and children) because it's elders and leaders plotted against him. UGH. 

It's worth mentioning that I had a hard time getting through this book. I finished it simply because I had hoped the ending would ultimately make the book. It didn't make the book, it made the book worse. Sadly I can't explain why without spoiling the plot but do you even care? If so, you can of course grab Redhand on November 11th!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Plutona #2 *some small spoilers*

There's something magnificent about a comic book opening up with a bunch of kids gathered around a superhero's dead body, discussing whether they should bury her, and how they should do it. That holds my attention. I can't think of another comic where this particular scenario took place. Not that I need something to be totally new and never seen before in order to be worthy of praise. Yet I honestly can't think of another book where this has happened. That being said, I haven't read EVERYTHING.

Let me say how much I love the artwork. I really do. I think it's adorable while maintaining a graceful edginess needed to tell such a tale. I think it's pretty clear I'm not the biggest fan of perfectly photoshopped panels. It's one of the reasons I don't read more X-Men comics.

I was really worried about this series. I wanted the second issue to be as awesome as the first. I wanted it to keep establishing these amazing atmospheres. It did! A personal favorite is the speech bubbleless panels at the end which shows each child at home dealing with their reactions to the event that had unfolded in the forest. They must not let on they know anything to their parents. Each child dealing with their home situation in a different way. It's almost haunting to see which is how the children must feel with their new secret pact- haunted.

I know I said a bunch of stuff in my review of Paper Girls that perhaps a lot of people didn't want to hear or perhaps they didn't like. I know I praised Plutona, a couple times. So I thought I'd talk about the second issue a little... for instance I like this series so much that if I got to go to NYCC like everybody else I know, then I would have totally cosplayed Mie!

She's adorable!! I mean all the characters are adorable but I mostly just want an excuse to make the shirt. Fuck it, I'm making the shirt anyway. PEAR T-SHIRT!!  I NEED IT!! And I get to wear a tuque so it's really perfect for me. Maybe I can pull it off before Hal-Con. Who knows.

A little icing on the cake with this series is the little mini story at the back illustrated by Jeff Lemire which details Plutona's last adventure. We get a couple pages of this back-up story every issues that gets us a little closer to just what happened to Plutona. I'm in love. :D

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Paper Girls #1

I feel like people are going to love anything Brian K Vaughan touches at this point. I mean Saga has taken storm over the comic book world and even managed to grab the attention of non comic readers and suck them into this whole world. This whole world of comics comes with a lot of bias like any other world. People are fiercely dedicated to their favorite writers and artists, so much so that they may be blinded to their downfalls. I believe Paper Girls is going to get glowing reviews and don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible book. It's just a so-so book judging from the first issue.

Let me explain why I think it'll get glowing reviews: because it's main characters are female and people want so badly to proclaim how powerful female characters are... when they are written by powerful men. Now Brian K Vaughan might not be powerful in the traditional sense, but lets just zoom into the world of comics and out of the rest of the world. He's a huge name, responsible for over a decade of amazing comics. I can't stress how big a fan I was of Y The Last Man, Pride of Bagdad and Ex Machina (just to name a few). Now with Saga, he's the elite of the comic book industry.

That however doesn't mean that everything he does is golden. I was passingly bored with the first issue of Paper Girls.  I think that some other young person stories that have just begun are better. For instance, I'm really liking Plutona. It felt far more entertaining and hinged on the same discord, bullying and harassment young girls face, not only by boys but their female peers. With Paper Girls, the bullies are just bullies without dimension, almost faceless and "evil". The bully's in Plutona feel real. They aren't "evil", they're just going through some evil stuff and not handling it well... you know.. like children do.

Why am I writing about this? Well, I'm a little tired of men writing about women and it being proclaimed the most awesomest feminist thing ever. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know male feminists and I love them. Do you know what feminists the public loves? Male feminists. So when a man talks about feminist issues in a book, they get considered (almost as if they are new concepts). When a woman talks about feminist issues in a book, exploring the reality through fictional characters... she's just a fem nazi, a complainer, and she should just stop fucking bitching. That's what the LARGER public believes.

So really, this article isn't really about Paper Girls, but the attention it will ultimately receive due to the above. That gets to me you know? It grinds my gears because it's not a great first issue. I don't think it deserves to be gushed over but I know that it's going to be gushed over and it's just mediocre. Now Plutona.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Royal Jelly: October 7th 2015

D4VE2 #2 (OF 4)


So there are a lot of new series out this week but only a few that have actually caught my eye. Award winning playwrite Sean Lewis has teamed up with Ben MacKay to bring a new Image on-going series, Saints. Of course it was the artwork on the cover that immediately caught my eye. The story centers on a two people who discover a holy war raging on and a new generation of saints appointed to fight it. I'm pretty excited to check this one out!

Brian K. Vaughan has new on-going series as well. Paper Girls #1 hits the stands today. It's being described as Stand by Me meets War of the Worlds. It's definitely worth checking out. 

I feel like such an Image Comics whore. They could put out a book about mud and I'd read it. But Black Mask is quickly making me their bitch. Space Riders #4 is finally out today!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Royal Jelly: September 30th 2015

E is for Extinction #4

The Empty Vol 1

This is finally a smaller purchase week for me. I've been moving away from paper copies lately and this is purely because I'm investing in my retirement LOL! Sounds crazy but I am. At any rate here are the goodies I'm grabbing this week! 

From Under Mountains #1 is coming at me from Image Comics. You will recognize the art of Marian Churchland as I have, from 8House! This time she's writing the story and providing these beautiful covers. The guts of the comic will be illustrated by Slaone Leong. The story targets fantasy readers with a story of old feuds and rising monsters. Keep an eye out, I'll be giving you the scoop on this one!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Chris Yost

I am really pleased to give bring you an interview to perk you up on yet another Monday. I got the opportunity to ask Christopher Yost a few questions about what he's currently working on. His current Marvel mini series  MODOK Assassin #5 hits stands Wednesday, September 30th. I was really itching to ask him what we can expect next from him. Yost was one of the genius writers who contributed to the success of Mavel's film feature Thor: The Dark World. He has once again been brought on board for the third installment Thor: Ragnarok. Rather than me prattling on in my usual way, let me just bring you the interview:

TFQ: You're current mini series for Marvel MODOK Assassin is just wrapping up but how do you really feel about it AND MODOK?

YOST: I’ve been a fan of MODOK for years — he featured in an animated series I did called “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. He was fun then, and he’s even more fun/insane here. It’s been a blast to work on, and I actually just wrapped up the last issue. I’ll miss that misshapen, grotesque madman.

TFQ: Can you tell me about how the story came to be?

YOST: Editor and friend Daniel Ketchum and I have worked on several mini-series together, and he had a vision of MODOK that was essentially Ryan Gosling in “Drive.” You know, if Ryan Gosling has a massive head. Daniel called me up, asked if I was interested and had time, and I was indeed interested. This is the kind of think you make time for.

TFQ: Your career has taken you all over the world of comics and television. You've written stories about the most beloved super heroes which others people can only dream of having the opportunity to write. What characters are you dying to get your hands on that you haven't had in your grasp already?

Because of all the animated series, I’ve actually written a big chunk of the Marvel Universe. I’ve never written Superman or Wonder Woman, which I’d be interested in doing.

TFQ: It's been public knowledge for a while that you're co-writer for the Thor: Ragnarok film. With CGI capabilities now, film doesn't hold the limits it use to and writers have more freedom to let their imaginations fly. Are there still a lot of challenges in writing for the big screen in comparison to writing comics?

YOST: There are different limitations outside of CGI, more practical real world aspects. Whatever you write, someone has to figure out a way to film it. And even with CG, you still need characters that people can understand and relate to. No matter the cool super powers, the big explosions, the spectacle of it all… people need to CARE. Thor is awesome, but it’s not because he has a hammer.

TFQ: In 2009 you released a three part mini series called Killer of Demons with Scott Wegener. Do you have any creator owned publications in the works?

YOST: I’m hoping to do a new comic book starting in the fall, actually. And there might even be some Killer of Demon news coming up.

TFQ: Can you tell me what comic book releases we can expect to see from you after MODOK is all wrapped up?

YOST: MODOK is my last comic for the foreseeable future! I’m hip deep in THOR: RAGNAROK and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE right now, but hopefully I can get another book going sometime soon.