The Chained Coffin and Others is different from the previous two volumes in the Hellboy saga. Volume 3 is a collections of small vignettes that re-telThe Chained Coffin and Others is different from the previous two volumes in the Hellboy saga. Volume 3 is a collections of small vignettes that re-tells folktales Mike Mignola has come across. One such example is "The Chained Coffin," which stems from an Irish folktale the author once read.
Like the first two collections, this volume is beautifully illustrated and wonderfully scripted. The colors are still rich and dark, capturing the essence of the gothic-horror feel. The characters are getting more developed, especially Hellboy, and I'm very interested to see how his future will play out.
Also included in this collection is a story about the Baba Yaga, of whom I was interested from the Fables series as well as some previous stories of Hellboy. In fact, there are several short, wonderfully dark tales that any fan of folklore or fairy tales will love.
Overall, this collection was highly enjoyable, easing off the familiar plot of the previous volumes and venturing into short-story. Still, even these short tales add to the complex character of Hellboy and his world, and I was most impressed with Mignola's work. This is a highly recommendable addition to the so-far excellent series....more
Straight on the spandex-heels of the introductory arc to the rebooted Daredevil franchise comes a much more improved arc titled Parts of a Hole. PartsStraight on the spandex-heels of the introductory arc to the rebooted Daredevil franchise comes a much more improved arc titled Parts of a Hole. Parts of a Hole was written by David Mack, a different writer than the first arc. Joe Quesada still helms the pencils for illustrations.
From the onset, Parts of a Hole was better than Guardian Devil. Matt Murdock is still getting over the death of Karen Page and coming to grips with his fledgling law firm. We're also introduced to a new character, a beautiful young woman named Maya Lopez. Maya is uncannily similar to Matt, though she is deaf, while he is blind. Maya's father was murdered while she was young, and she has been on a quest for vengeance ever since. Gifted with a unique talent, an ability to mimic what she sees to a perfect form, she begins training in martial arts and various forms of combat, preparing for the day to finally bring down her father's killer. Her road leads her to Hell's Kitchen, where she meets Matt, and things change for them both.
I really liked this arc a lot better than the first. Can I say that enough? The story was more engaging, the characters more developed, and the action more interesting. Maya was a very interesting character to meet and watch develop. What's more, the Kingpin of Crime Wilson Fisk, Daredevil's archenemy, played a prominent role in the tale. As I mentioned on my review of Guardian Devil, I know very little about the Man without Fear, and even less about Kingpin. With Parts of a Hole we get to see some of Fisk's backstory and learn a bit about the man.
Volume 2.2 still has it's problems, however. I'm not sure why the writers feel the need to rehash Matt Murdock's tragic circumstances that led to him becoming Daredevil in nearly every issue. The only reason I can come up with is that a letter from the editor in one of the issues apologized for the sporadic publication times between comics, and from this I inferred that maybe the writer's thought that readers would need reminders. Even so, this is annoying and wastes space.
On the plus side, though, Quesada had some truly great artwork throughout this arc. I'm still not fond of the eyes and a few other things, but the art really shines when dealing with Maya. She has her own color motif and line styles/weights, and here it felt like Quesada was enjoying his work. (Maybe it's because he was drawing the female form?) So art is a definite improvement over Volume 2.1. Also, the cover illustrations were all rather snazzy, too.
Next up comes Volume 2.3, Wake Up. Brian Michael Bendis takes the writer's pen, and this is when Adam assures me that the series really starts to take off. But I no longer think I need his assurances. After the stunning conclusion to Parts of a Hole, I want to know what happens next. Consider me hooked....more
Having read much of the Star Wars expanded universe, I've read fragments about the Outbound Flight throughout many different books, especially the ThrHaving read much of the Star Wars expanded universe, I've read fragments about the Outbound Flight throughout many different books, especially the Thrawn cycles. This book reveals some of the mystery behind the fated expedition.
Set just before the Clone Wars takes off, Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth is gathering a massive crew to take on an impressive voyage. The Outbound Flight will visit regions of the Unknown Space in their galaxy and then set off to visit another galaxy. Unbeknown to C'baoth, Darth Sidious has other plans for the voyage.
Actually, my favorite characters in this book are some smugglers who happened to get captured by a group of Chiss. More information is revealed about the blue-skinned aliens, and it is exciting to read.
This is not the most impressive Star Wars book released, but it was a quick and enjoyable read....more
These are the first two stories I've read by Lovecraft, and they were both eerie and strange. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" takes a few paragraphs to geThese are the first two stories I've read by Lovecraft, and they were both eerie and strange. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" takes a few paragraphs to get invested in the story, but it proves to leave haunting images in your mind and a dreadful smell in your nostrils. Innsmouth is an imaginary town in New England, near the fictional town of Arkham, and nobody likes the people or culture of Innsmouth. Likewise, the Innsmouth natives don't like strangers, so when the narrator takes a trip to Innsmouth to tour the city things go horribly awry.
"Dagon" is related to the first story. It is much shorter and features the narrative of a shipwrecked victim. He recounts the horrors he saw and his trip into a damaged psyche is evident with each passing paragraph. The end of this story came abruptly, but it was shocking.
It seems like Lovecraft requires patience (and a dictionary) to enjoy the story's he tells. These two progress at an intentional pace that keeps the reader dangerously close to boredom, but somehow never crossing that line.
Finally, the reader of this Audio CD was fantastic. His voice was smooth and easy and deep, befitting of the setting. Furthermore, his reading helped propel the story into horror and really drive in the terror that lurks in Innsmouth, especially when the old man is telling his story. As an audio book, I really enjoyed listening to this, and it makes me want to read some more of Lovecraft's tales....more
Note: This "review" is from 2009 and is unedited. ---------------
Blankets is a memoir, and as such it tells the story of the authors early childhood, gNote: This "review" is from 2009 and is unedited. ---------------
Blankets is a memoir, and as such it tells the story of the authors early childhood, growing up in a Christian home and coming to terms with himself, God, and his first love. I read this novel a few years ago, but I still remember a lot of the story contained therein. In fact, Time magazine has listed Blankets as one of the ten greatest graphic novels of all time.
Part of the reason I liked this book so much is the fact that it is real. It's raw. It's something that I easily related to. Thompson has a brother close in age, I have a brother close in age. Thompson grew up in a Christian home, I grew up in a Christian home. Thompson wasn't the cool kid at school, neither was I. We've done things differently in our lives, and I would not have done the same things he did, but I easily related to the story.
The art was also simple. Beautiful. Real. There were no spandex super heroes or any mystical gods, just simple, normal folks. And that was refreshing. To read something so personal, something by someone with questions and without definite answers. It was a great trip, journeying with Thompson and his life.
I typically am a fiction reader, but this was different. I don't think I would have enjoyed the story had it been a novel, but as an illustrated novel (i.e. graphic novel) the pages were richer and more enlightening. I highly recommend Blankets to you. Yes, you. Why you, you may think? Because I know you have questions about life, you have thoughts about things that Thompson has, and you've never read anything like it. You may have some of the same fears Thompson has. You may have a similar first love experience. Whatever the case, this graphic novel is wonderful....more