I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This volume of Black Magick seems to be purely set up for later voI received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This volume of Black Magick seems to be purely set up for later volumes in the series... which is to say that I felt like not a great deal happened in this collection. The story begins with the predictably named Rowan Black being part of a magical ritual. She is a witch. This is something she's kept quiet from everyone in her life apart from the other members of her coven. In her day to day life she is a policewoman, and the entertaining opening scene is her cellphone going off in the midst of the ritual. She takes the call and is brought into a hostage situation where the fellow who has taken the hostages only wishes to speak to her... and knows her 'truename.' So, this is a magical something going about.
The book has a bit of an uncanny valley feel to its artwork, but I appreciated the bulk of it. It's rendered primarily in black and white, with only the 'magic' items in the comic having color. This eerie feeling helps the mood of the comic, and was altogether a good choice in my opinion. It prevents it from feeling too hokey. My main issues with the comic were the slow pace (I felt like a bit more could have happened to keep my interest) and the choppy writing. Multiple sentences had me squinting at my screen as I was reading, wondering if I'd missed a word. Generally these were the opening sentences to scenes, begun with an ellipses. I understand it was likely meant to feel in media res, but instead it just broke the immersion for me.
So, all in all this was an OK book. It wasn't phenomenal, but it also wasn't terrible. I'd be more likely to judge the series by the second installment than stop reading here, but I do wish the writing were a bit better overall....more
Although I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I've always been picking up the issues monthly from a local (aAlthough I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I've always been picking up the issues monthly from a local (and several non-local) comic book stores with my fiance. Because this is Warren Ellis writing James Bond. Could there be a more perfect match?
I hope that VAGR is the start of a long and twisted relationship between Ellis and Bond, and not simply because it seems Ellis had been wanting to write this for some time. Ellis captures the mad world of Bond beautifully. He captures the heartlessness, the humor, the twisted techno-fetishism ad exotic beauty of each locale. He captures the maddening pace of Bond, while simultaneously tipping his hat to the things that made Bond great in the first place.
It's been joked that a good Bond story contains three things: a villain fetishizing something to an absurd degree, a torture sequence, and great food. VAGR hits upon all three, though substituting food for coffee and bourbon.
The characters felt right to me, in particular Moneypenny was delightful. The settings were great, and in particular the ending of the prologue (which I'm lucky enough to have as the cover of my first issue) was breathtakingly beautiful in its rendering. Similarly, the cover of issue #6 is gorgeous off the coast of Norway. The artwork is great, stylized to just the right degree, and it complements the story so well it feels like you're watching a film.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Every now and then I read a book that stops me dead in my tracks when II received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Every now and then I read a book that stops me dead in my tracks when I finish it. It's the sort of book that sticks to you like after you finish it. It lingers like a scent in the air and no matter what you do you can't really get past it. It's there, lodged into your soul like a bullet and nothing will ever take it out. Pride & Joy, like so much of what I've read of Ennis, was just that sort of book.
It was just what I was hoping it would be.
This is a basic revenge tale, but told from the perspective of the people being hunted rather than the hunter. This is a story of what it means to be a man, and the shifting definitions of such a title. It's about growing up and the difficulty in defining your own self and taking responsibility for your actions. It's hard, but what else would you expect from Ennis? It's ugly. It's everything I wanted it to be.
Ennis has a way of romanticizing the old cowboy ethic macho bullshit while simultaneously realizing all of its faults. I've yet to find another writer like him. I'm grateful that his work keeps popping up into my life.
Further, the artwork in this book was fantastic. It melded perfectly with the writing, and the dark palette really fit the tone of the story, interspersed with the neon red of blood. It was evocative without being distracting, subtle and rewarding those who look closer.
Great book. Vaguely reminiscent of Fargo's season 1 in some places. Powerful stuff....more
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was a big fan of the original Ghostbusters cartoon, and of course the I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was a big fan of the original Ghostbusters cartoon, and of course the films, growing up. Never a hardcore fan, but I enjoyed watching it and the general insanity surrounding it all. Likewise, I enjoyed the amount of research effort put into the writing of the films. It was cool, seeing paranormal research actually put to good use. Luckily, I got to enjoy at least a bit of research coming to the forefront of this book. Unfortunately, that was about all I enjoyed about it.
Ghostbusters International could have been an incredibly fun read. It could have, if I could get past the disagreeable artwork that filled it. A previous reviewer commented that it looked like the artist couldn't decide if they wanted to go with a realistic style or a cartoony one, and that inconsistency distracted me throughout the whole of the volume. It was difficult to enjoy the story when I couldn't get over the way the different characters were turned into caricatures in one frame and the next rendered rather more realistically.
The story itself was fairly decent. Poveglia is an interesting location for the Ghostbusters to be trapped in and plague doctor masks are inevitably creepy. Unfortunately, very little time was spent there. The bulk of the plot was in New York and setting up for further adventures to take place. I think a bit of an introduction would have been nice, seeing how with the exception of Winston and Egon the other characters are a bit indistinguishable from one another.
Altogether, this book was a bit bland. I wanted more from it....more
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first foray into the Love series, and I thoroughly enjoyed iI received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first foray into the Love series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a series of comics being produce, each focused upon a single animal and its life cycle in general. The previous two volumes in this series (The Fox, and The Tiger) were exceptionally well reviewed and award winning. The stories are told entirely through the visual medium, with stunning artwork, brutal realism, and no dialogue whatsoever. This makes for fascinating sequences, and unfortunately in this volume, a bit of confusion due tot he number of lion fights and the similarity between each creature.
The artwork was strikingly beautiful. Multiple pages I wouldn't mind having up on my walls for the sheer beauty of it. The work put into the animals is truly breathtaking. In particular the armadillo, cheetah, and vultures stood out to me. Not to mention the gazelle the lioness attempted to bring down.. The confusion in the lion fights was made up for by the dynamic action of it all. In particular the fight in the rain stood out to me, where the lion reared up, muddle belly on full display, teeth bared and claws out. Chilling, and captivating in equal measure it was a wonder to behold.
I would love to see the previous installments in this series, and to follow it in the future. It's nice to see an animal comic housed in realism, and to be able to linger upon such beautiful artwork a while. ...more
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book isn't for everyone. It's probably not even for most people, buI received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book isn't for everyone. It's probably not even for most people, but that's part of Skottie Young's appeal. His writing is so far over the top and out of left field that it'll either leave you laughing or entirely disgusted. Ultimately, there's not much room for middle ground.
I Hate Fairyland is a series light on character and plot but big on concept and the absurd. The central plot, that Gertrude (a girl of eight) has been transported to Fairyland and must stay until she discovers the key that will bring her home. Unfortunately, she's not very good at finding the key. She's been trapped in Fairyland for twenty seven years, but though her mind has aged, her body has not. Being trapped in Fairyland for so long, well, it can change a person. Gertrude is a menace that must be stopped. These five issues chronicle the various attempts to do just that.
Violence and insanity are the name of the day, all spelled out in gorgeous bright colors. The artwork and hilarity make up for what the book lacks in character development, though I highly doubt anyone picking this up is really looking for much of a serious nature. If you're in the mood for a bawdy raucous romp (in the censored version complete with exclamations of MUFFIN HUGGER) then this is the book for you....more
I received this comic for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It'll be available through 30 April under the "Read Now" option if anyI received this comic for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It'll be available through 30 April under the "Read Now" option if anyone is curious. :)
This is the first collection in a series of comics called "Klaw." The comics revolve around a boy named Angel who discovers that he is part of an ancient series of totemic warriors who have the ability to transform into certain animals at will. Couple this with astrology, government conspiracies, first-loves, and mafia gang wars and you have Klaw. It seems like a lot, right? Well, it is. Surprisingly, the comic does a really good job of keeping all the storylines in order and prevents them from becoming too baffling.
Around the end of the first issue the comic began to hold my interest. The romance plot was a little bit baffling to me, but the action kept me engaged. The writing was good, but the artwork was really where the comic began to shine. I loved the rendering of the various monsters, and the color palette itself fit for the kind of dark and dreary tone of the comic itself.
I would happily recommend this to anyone looking for a decent quick read, and think it's worth it to look it up while it's up on Netgalley and give a review. It's one of the more original storylines I've seen, and I'm curious where the comic will go next after the big reveal at the end of the first cycle. It's good fun, and definitely improved with each issue....more
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Wolf Among Us is a prequel of sorts to the Fables series. It tI received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Wolf Among Us is a prequel of sorts to the Fables series. It takes place roughly 20 years prior to the events of the books, and fills in some of the gaps that later get explored in volumes such as From Fabletown With Love, which is satisfying. However, The Wolf Among Us could easily be enjoyed without any background in Fables, and vice versa, which is largely the strength of the book.
My interest in this was piqued largely by how much I enjoyed the TellTale game that brought about this series in the first place. The book borrows heavily from both the game's dialogue and art style, enough to be boring in the first 'chapter' or so, though the cheesy noir monologue is amusing. It comes into its own more as the story begins offering up flashbacks that differ from the gameplay and shakeup the pacing of the story.
If later volumes offer up more new content I will call this series a success. The art is strong, if reminiscent of the Sleepy Hollow comics, and the story entertaining. It was far better than Werewolves of the Heartland, which I found far more difficult to get through.
So, while not as good as the Fables series that spawned it, I'd still call this a decent start to TWAU spinoff. Later volumes will reveal if it can manage to be as strong a comic series as it was a game.
This comic was really everything that makes Sleepy Hollow a good show.
The story was quickly paced and exciting, the dialogue extremely entertaining,This comic was really everything that makes Sleepy Hollow a good show.
The story was quickly paced and exciting, the dialogue extremely entertaining, and the tone at once light and deliciously creepy. It hit the correct balance between humor and horror that makes for good reading and fun watching. The artist, in turn, did a marvelous job creating a unique style that added to the supernatural weirdness that was afoot. All in all, I can't complain.
This comic was enough for me to make me want to read the rest, which I will be doing shorty. Thanks, Mallorie, for introducing me to it. :)
Also, the short story at the end of it was utterly perfect and had me laughing. I really do love how the writers manage Ichabod and Abbie's dialogue. It's really everything I could've possibly wanted out of a Sleepy Hollow comic....more
Reading the books from start to finish in the matter of just two days was a bitThe end of Joe Hill's Locke & Key.
Wow. This has been a crazy ride.
Reading the books from start to finish in the matter of just two days was a bit of a roller coaster. I mentioned in my previous review how Clockworks had dragged a tiny bit, if only for breaking up the maddening pace of the main plot. Alpha & Omega makes up for that by delivering a plot in spades. The pace is insane, the action rapid-fire, and the plot explosive. Very little is held back.
I love how Joe Hill ties it all together. I love how even the smallest throwaway remarks come into play. Subtleties abound, and it's just great. Nothing is really left to chance.
Like previous reviewers on the book itself, though, I feel cheated. I want more. I want to delve back into the characters, check in on them once in a while... I know they'll be fine, but man, it's hard to leave the Keyhouse itself behind. ...more
Clockworks was a fascinating, and rather unexpected read.
This volume took us back to the origins of the Keys that make Keyhouse such an interesting Clockworks was a fascinating, and rather unexpected read.
This volume took us back to the origins of the Keys that make Keyhouse such an interesting place to explore. The bulk of the action takes place in the past, adding much needed meat to the mythos of the world the Locke family inhabits. Questions are answered, not only about the fashioning of the keys but also about what happened to Rendell when he was young, how the magic works, where things are heading...
It can be a bit jarring jumping into this volume after the high action of Keys to the Kingdom but I think Clockworks still managed to hold its own admirably.
Joe Hill is a truly fantastic writer, and Welcome to Lovecraft shows off his skill beautifully. The story is crafted so well it hurts. I've not read the whole series yet, I've only gotten to book four, but rereading the first volume after getting that far it's obvious how well plotted the whole of it is. Hints are dropped for future issues, allusions are made to back story that we don't get until later... the world of the Keyhouse is rich and vast, and this first scrape of the surface is downright masterful.
Locke & Key is a must for any fan of comics....more
Batman: Year One is commonly viewed among comic enthusiasts as being one of the best of the Batman titles. From it emerged the seminal idea that Batm Batman: Year One is commonly viewed among comic enthusiasts as being one of the best of the Batman titles. From it emerged the seminal idea that Batman could be something other than camp. He could be gritty, he could be dark, and perhaps most importantly - the Caped Crusader was no longer invincible simply by being the title character of these comics.
Like Watchmen, though I feel Watchmen has stood the test of time infinitely better, Batman: Year One suffers from having been the first of what now is an all too common take on superheros, and Batman in particular. It was iconic enough to become a trope, yet now it just seems tired. We've seen it all before, haven't we?
That isn't to say the comic isn't worth reading. It's a pleasant little mystery. The artwork is good, the writing decent. It focuses more on Gordon, which is a nice change from other Batman comics I've read. Batman is his old nearly invincible self. He seems more akin to a Sean Connery James Bond than the Bruce Wayne we're used to. While the bravado is a bit absurd - he goes skiing after being shot in the leg, really? That's how you recuperate? It's still a machismo that I have difficulty not finding charming. It's a good example, as other reviewers have said, of depicting manliness in a way that isn't directed towards strictly teenage boys. But a teenage boy would still enjoy this book. Listen to this, Michael Bay.
Expect the usual from Frank Miller here, bullets, booze, and broads. Expect prostitutes and enthusiastic fight scenes, corruption and cynicism. Expect noir style monologues that are the stuff that dreams are made of when it comes to Batman.
While tired, while overplayed, it's still a detective comic done right....more
This volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attemThis volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attempts at redemption. The story is nothing short of epic, and heartrending as we lose some we've certainly come to love... and we get a bit of insight into why the Emperor chose to do wht he did.
Before you even have time to catch your breath "The Dark Ages" begins and ushers in the second Fables arc. Right back from the heels of a massive war more trouble emerges, a foe a good bit more frightening than the Emperor had been. One has to wonder where this is heading, though I will say it really doesn't look good for the Fables about now.
Wonderful writing, and great artwork - though I wasn't crazy about the guest artists this time around. ...more
This has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fThis has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fulfilling the destiny that was alluded to in a previous volume. It was during this book that I felt incredibly grateful for having earlier read 1001 Nights of Snowfall as certain stories from it gave this one a more subtle depth. In particular Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose himself. While the vital bits were examined briefly in this volume, 1001 Nights of Snowfall still offers a bit more and lends credence to small asides.
Anyway, this story follows the best of the Arthurian legends. The hero's journey is heartwarming, tragic, and ultimately the most moving that Fables has offered so far. I teared up at the end, I worried along with everyone gathered in front of the Magic Mirror as old villains plotted. Ambrose has certainly won his spot among the best, if not the very best, of this comic's heroes....more
1001 Nights of Snowfall would work as an introduction to the series, or as an addition in the midst ofWhat a fantastic addition to the Fables series.
1001 Nights of Snowfall would work as an introduction to the series, or as an addition in the midst of the action to bring greater depth to he already rich characters that make up the Fables tapestry. Structured akin to the 1001 Arabian Nights myth that gave it its name, this is a collection of stories about the Fables before the Adversary took over... and what came after, how their lives have been.
1001 Nights of Snowfall is brilliant, subtle, and as comforting a collection of bedtime stories as anything from Brother's Grimm.
Plus there's a Reynard the Fox story in there and a Porcupine story. What more could you ask for?...more
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages toAnother wonderful volume in the Fables series.
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages to introduce crucial plot points in something as mundane as a Christmas story, and to interrupt the action at just the right point with a short aside that will come into play later in the series... Excellent.
The artwork is brilliant, with the exception of a single story that I felt was a bit too cartoony for my taste. Never did it feel like the stories dragged, however, and that's the best thing to be said for any graphic novel....more
This is an altogether adorable collection of comics from The Guardian. I think that Karen's review sums up the book far better than any review I writeThis is an altogether adorable collection of comics from The Guardian. I think that Karen's review sums up the book far better than any review I write could. I mean, it has pictures.
I picked this book up at The Book Thing thinking it looked charming and entertaining, and was pleasantly surprised by how poignant some of the comics were. Most were literary, some were an entertaining commentary on how sci-fi is viewed in most critic circles, some were just downright fun.
All I truly know if that I want to be able to rush to the rescue at some point yelling "Make way! I'm a Keats' scholar!"...more
Tales from Oz is essentially attempting to do what Wicked did better - update the Oz stories to a more adult, and thus realistic, view of what the lanTales from Oz is essentially attempting to do what Wicked did better - update the Oz stories to a more adult, and thus realistic, view of what the land would be like. Whereas Wicked handled this with a certain political adroitness and maturity, Tales from Oz does so by adding breasts and violence into the mix and little else.
Also. For some reason Toto is a wolf that may or may not be a werewolf and is seemingly in love with Dorothy.
The cowardly lion is in a vaguely Native American/African society and might be gay.
I was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing waysI was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing ways of life attached to it. The hoodoo tradition is one that is misinterpreted about as often as it is referred to in popular culture - fortunately, Will O'the Wisp did a rather good job of showcasing both the traditions themselves and how people tend to view them nowadays.
The artwork for this book was highly reminiscent of the style used in Locke and Key, which is one that I'm especially fond of. There's a fluidity to the landscapes, the swamps, the fire, that is both beautiful and eerie. The bugs and the bones as well are beautifully rendered, and I would say that the book is worth looking at for the artwork alone.
While I'd like to rate the book more than three stars, I'm not entirely certain I could. While the book lends itself to reading for the hoodoo traditions and the artwork, and the story was a traditional tale of vengeance from beyond the grave and uneasy isolation, I felt that overall it was missing something. There was constantly more to the story that I wanted to uncover, but couldn't. I would say that this is the fault of the medium itself and the age of the audience it's intended for, but I've read a great deal of graphic novels and know the medium to be virtually unlimited in the scope it could cover storywise and the YA genre itself is fast accepting more and more titles that delve into what previously may be considered questionable content.
My disappointment with the depth of the story being told could easily be remedied by telling more stories of Aurora's time with Silver in Ossuary Isle, and is offset slightly by the attention paid to the spells of Nonnie, the begrudging respect paid to the hoodoo traditions by Silver, and the beauty of the artwork in the piece itself. It's certainly a title that I know friends of mine would enjoy, and by no means was it a bad read at all. I enjoyed it, and I'm certain a great many others will as well.
Couldn't be happier that traditional Louisiana hoodoo culture is getting treated to some good storytelling for a new generation!...more
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some oWonderful, wonderful book.
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some of the most memorable stories from the blog, and adds several new entertaining ones. While I would love to see a book that collects all of the posts, this is still a very good start.
Allie Brosh's artwork is distinctive and hilarious, her writing both poignant and clever. While the subject matter at times does get dark, this book is still one of the funniest and most truthful ones I've ever read.
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and InGosh, I love this book.
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and Introduction that relate a number of anecdotes about Charles Schulz' life and writing/drawing techniques. Where he got his inspiration, what he wondered about his own characters - it's fascinating, and I'd love to read a biography of the fellow I admire so much....more
This Peanuts collection was a gift to me.. probably from around the time it first came out. I can't even recall how many nighI got this book ages ago.
This Peanuts collection was a gift to me.. probably from around the time it first came out. I can't even recall how many nights I spent leafing through its pages, giggling at the same old jokes and admiring the artwork. Peanuts, baseball, and the cynical humor of Charles M. Schulz all combine to make this collection, well, a classic. Who doesn't enjoy a good joke now and then? This book is a summer's hot afternoon spent with lemonade by a pool....more
Rather than being a collection of strips pertaining to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron gag this a full length story. Yes, it is a picture book, but it stRather than being a collection of strips pertaining to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron gag this a full length story. Yes, it is a picture book, but it still includes such wonderful words as "meander" and some minor French. Heck, it even goes on to describe the different fighter planes that are being flown and the tracer bullets being used. What's not fun about some minor WWI history?
The story is amusing, as Snoopy goes about his day imagining he's making his way through the fields of France. It's a charming little story, and one that I can't rightly imagine a little kid disliking. I loved the artwork, the vocabulary that didn't patronize the children, and the traditional Peanuts humor. It's a fine little book. :)...more
What do you do when your dog is acting outrageously? If you happen to be Charlie Brown, you write a letter to the puppy farm you got your dog fUh oh!
What do you do when your dog is acting outrageously? If you happen to be Charlie Brown, you write a letter to the puppy farm you got your dog from and send him back for a bit of obedience training. When Charlie Brown does just that, Snoopy decides a bit of school isn't in the cards for this World War I flying ace. An overnight stay at Peppermint Patty's on the way to Daisy Hill turns into something a bit longer... and longer... and longer . Patty, tired of Snoopy taking advantage of her good nature, decides to turn the tables on this feisty dog and a good lesson is learned.
Peanuts comics never get old for me, and these little booklets are some of the best. Snoopy's sassy behavior truly mirrors the fox terrier he was based on, and nothing can quash the fond memories of these animated specials in my mind.