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.