"Dense in concept and cinematic in execution, Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight is a treat for midnight-movieA Broken Frontier Staff Pick for 7/29/15
"Dense in concept and cinematic in execution, Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight is a treat for midnight-movie connoisseurs looking for something a little meatier into which to sink their teeth. The thrills and (blood) spills come courtesy of biting writer Alex de Campi and a rotating team of artistic wonders, and this new collection offers a double-dose of subversive horror suitable for any season.
First up is the chilling Slay Ride with R.M. Guéra, recalling classics like Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night with its Yuletide terror. Here the naughty receive gifts much worse than coal, and the good don’t fare much better.
In Blood Lagoon, the robotic supercop Garcia from Bee Vixens from Mars is back to battle more foes of the insectoid variety. Chris Peterson illustrates this sweltering scorcher set in the deep South.
This four-issue primer serves as a twisted introduction to Dark Horse’s seductive succession of miniseries, and is also out just in time for readers to pick up issue #7 of Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out – part 1 of the sure-to-be-a-classic “space sexploitation epic” Nebulina."
These stories represent the best of the fiercely independent spirit that sustained EC Comics throughout its too-brief existence. They also serve as aThese stories represent the best of the fiercely independent spirit that sustained EC Comics throughout its too-brief existence. They also serve as a fascinating historical document of the rising tide of censorship in the months before the launch of the Comics Code Authority.
The title story must have seemed heavy-handed even in the 1950s, but its message is timeless. Many of the other tales feature concepts that wouldn't be out of place in Ballard's early fiction (including a trip back in time to a twin planet Earth and a mysterious fossil found in a distant planet's core).
Orlando is a wonder throughout, shifting easily from gleaming future cityscapes to lush natural habitats and back. The black-and-white reproduction here makes it easy to admire his confident line and overall craftsmanship. ...more
As a content marketer myself, I love the concept of this: a free comics anthology from Wacom (leading pen display and tablet manufacturer) ostensiblyAs a content marketer myself, I love the concept of this: a free comics anthology from Wacom (leading pen display and tablet manufacturer) ostensibly focused on the themes of pressure and sensitivity (one of the settings on the aforementioned tablets). It's a great way to showcase Wacom's technology and promote the DIY nature of digital comics--and the stories are also really cool!
All of the artists have a different style, no doubt by design. Milonogiannis' is a fun anime-inspired romp, while Meredith Gran and Mike Holmes' "Ethel" wins for funniest story set in a chicken coop. Ben Sears and Ming Doyle also have great installments--and, you know, it's free. Check it out for yourself!
The Batman-Superman brawl is one of the most dreary pairings of these characters, but luckily that's only a small portion of what the "/" stands for iThe Batman-Superman brawl is one of the most dreary pairings of these characters, but luckily that's only a small portion of what the "/" stands for in this volume.
Writer Alan Burnett has experience with the duo from his work on the Superman/Batman Adventures animated series, and Dustin Nguyen shows that he's just as adept at drawing the Man of Steel as he is longtime fave the Dark Knight. The arc here pulls some classic villains from both Rogues' Galleries as well as Kirby's New Gods concepts.
However, the mish-mash of continuities proves just a little too imposing for someone without knowledge of the characters' other storylines around this time, and the end result is largely forgettable. I get the feeling that if this had been compressed into a shorter arc these lapses would seem more forgivable, but as it is I wound up scratching my head just a few too many times for a solid recommendation. ...more
I seem to be fated to always come upon the Hulk out of the recommended reading order, which is a shame since I'm always impressed by what I find. ThisI seem to be fated to always come upon the Hulk out of the recommended reading order, which is a shame since I'm always impressed by what I find. This subversive psychological thriller may not have been much of a marketable prospect for one of Marvel's biggest heroes, but it is intensely entertaining. In fact, this second volume of Aaron's run feels like a creator-owned series--relatively unfiltered and almost completely unconnected from the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Oh, there are some guest stars (the Thing, Wolverine, and a certain hunter more familiar as part of an amazing arachnid's rogue's gallery), but Aaron's nihilistic vision of the Hulk is borne out in relative isolation. In Waid's succeeding run, for instance, I can't remember any reference to what came before. Aaron is joined by a string of artists for the globetrotting cat-and-mouse game of "Stay Angry," then partners with Jefte Palo for the concluding arc. ...more
This is a mostly cool injection of the cosmic side of the Surfer into a gritty, action-movie "race against time" plot that gives the hapless Norrin RaThis is a mostly cool injection of the cosmic side of the Surfer into a gritty, action-movie "race against time" plot that gives the hapless Norrin Radd the chance to shine in some new settings. The art by Segovia, Tolibao, and Coello is effective but short on the psychedelic visuals that I love in the early stories (and Slott and Allred's current run).
I kind of lost interest before the big climax, which unfortunately teases an exciting new direction for the Surfer (one that fits with his role as an outsider in the Marvel Universe, even when it comes to the supposedly futurist-leaning FF that makes an appearance here) before falling back on a plot device we've seen time and again. ...more
Many will be familiar with Gerard Way as former frontman of My Chemical Romance, but enough may not that it's worth mentioning. Like the tunes I've heMany will be familiar with Gerard Way as former frontman of My Chemical Romance, but enough may not that it's worth mentioning. Like the tunes I've heard from that band, Way and artist Gabriel Bá's evolving superhero family drama is theatrical and incendiary. Even so, choosing the Kennedy assassination as the territory for his second arc is a surprising move, and one not without its risks.
Impressively, amid the space-age shootouts and time-travelling espionage is a small-scale story about facing the best and worst in ourselves as individuals and as a country. Way and Bá's gift for pacing helps focus the fast-moving plot, setting the scene in the jungles of Saigon or an interdimensional waystation in only a few panels. That provides ample space for the uncomfortable family drama and yearning that put the series a rung above other superhero analogues.
I can't imagine this book being drawn by anyone other than Bá--not only because his style is so distinct, but because it seems to have suffused the entire worldview of the Umbrella Academy and its diverse denizens in an irreplaceable way. His character designs are effortlessly weird, and I get a thrill out of seeing his pages like I do reading early Mignola (seemingly a fitting visual comparison, but only on the surface level).
The characters don't seem to be much further at the end than at the beginning, but if Way's to be believed, there's time for that to change with several more volumes on the way....more
I enjoyed this opportunity to sample writers whose longer works may have been too intimidating (or too unknown) for me to consider. The final story isI enjoyed this opportunity to sample writers whose longer works may have been too intimidating (or too unknown) for me to consider. The final story is of course the once most recent in my memory, and it's a good example of my typical challenge of enjoying the concepts of a story while shuddering at the overly affected "fantasy" writing style. A lot of the stories also reminded me of an old xkcd comic about the inverse correlation between number of made-up words and overall quality--I feel that's even more evident in this condensed form. Luckily, there weren't too many offerings that tied into the author's larger universes, which means it's easy to decide who you actually want to read more of based on an actual reaction to their style, and not a sense of completion....more