I like Max Brooks' stuff, although it's clear that this is his first foray into writing for graphic novels / comics. there's minimal dialog in this. w...moreI like Max Brooks' stuff, although it's clear that this is his first foray into writing for graphic novels / comics. there's minimal dialog in this. which normally would work out well if the series had an artist that I dug, but unfortunately I really dislike Raulo Caceres' style. that isn't to say that his artwork makes the book unreadable, or not enjoyable. Extinction Parade is still cool. I would just enjoy it that much more if there was a better artist on the series.
the concept is cool enough, although I fear that *anything* having to do with zombies is being stomped into the ground nowadays. Even the whole "vampires and zombies in the same storyline" concept is being used over an over... most recently the "Empire Of The Dead" comics by none other than George A. Romero. I like this concept though: the zombie outbreak is leading to the possible extinction of humanity, which inevitably will lead to the extinction of vampires as well. so vampires, normally treating humans as the expendable source of food and fun that they usually are, now have to make the choice to actually fight FOR humanity to save their own livelihoods as well.
pretty cool, although the first Volume ends on a "...and NOW it begins!" note, which feels like the entire first trade paperback was a prequel to the actual story. (less)
I don't have time for a lengthy review right now, but this book is one of my new all-time favorite reads, ever. the main character / hero is absolutely...moreI don't have time for a lengthy review right now, but this book is one of my new all-time favorite reads, ever. the main character / hero is absolutely hilarious as well as extremely likeable. Andy Weir's writing is excellent and keeps you totally engaged throughout the entire ride. it's the type of experience that proves why some stories are better in book format. I can't recommend The Martian enough. you'll blow through it, seriously. buy it, read it, enjoy it. (less)
Imagine if JK Rowling had a son in real life, and named him Harry Potter. Harry eventually grows up and millions of pe...moreI'm really enjoying this series.
Imagine if JK Rowling had a son in real life, and named him Harry Potter. Harry eventually grows up and millions of people recognize him as not only the son of the author who wrote the Harry Potter books, but also as a real-life manifestation of the character within the books. But he isn't, right? He's just a normal guy... right?
The Unwritten tells the story of Tom Taylor, who's father is/was the author of the Tommy Taylor novels - about a character who is pretty similar in Harry Potter in most ways... it seems to be written purposely like this, so you can draw parallels. Tommy Taylor is a boy wizard with 2 best friends, a boy and a girl, a master wizard for a professor, and an arch-nemesis who is a vampire. His father disappeared a while ago, and now Tom Taylor mostly gets by through visiting conventions, speaking, signing autographs, etc. He's a celebrity in the sense that he's the namesake of one of the most popular characters in the world (in this story, Harry Potter's popularity is nothing compared to the worldwide phenomenon that is the Tommy Taylor novels), but his attachment to his dad's work pretty much ends there. He's even a bit spiteful and unhappy with the attention he gets.
This is only where the story begins. The Unwritten is a masterfully thought-out story; only after reading the 3rd and 4th books do you get an idea of how perfectly thought out this series really is. (less)
Ellis has done a few "graphic novellas" over the years, Frankenstein's Womb being one of them. you can tell that the subject matter of these novellas...moreEllis has done a few "graphic novellas" over the years, Frankenstein's Womb being one of them. you can tell that the subject matter of these novellas are always very niche, specific, and near and dear to his heart. this one tackles the genesis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein idea and a take on how she might have come up with the ideas in her legendary book.
it's a fun (and extremely quick) read. However I'd only really recommend it for uber-fans of Ellis (me) or uber-fans of Frankenstein and/or the history of. As an Ellis completist I had to go ahead and purchase it, but I don't see many people enjoying it outside of the groups I just specified. it's just too niche of a subject, and although the story is fictional, the people and places are not. (less)
Hickman's the type of writer you get more intelligent from reading, and I love 99% of all of his material. he's truly unique, as is his voice. Nightly...moreHickman's the type of writer you get more intelligent from reading, and I love 99% of all of his material. he's truly unique, as is his voice. Nightly News is a book that I enjoyed more the deeper I got into it, but for some reason it took longer than normal for me to get engrossed in it. it starts off slow, and only breaks the slow page after midway.
The story itself is different, and very enjoyable; keeps you wondering until the end. not the best Hickman's ever done, but still ten times better than most of the dreck that's out there. I don't know why my lack of interest made it take me longer to get through the book. perhaps the subject matter didn't appeal to me?
Hickman does it again. In my eyes his talents are best put towards sci-fi, and as you can probably tell from the title of the book, Red Mass For Mars i...moreHickman does it again. In my eyes his talents are best put towards sci-fi, and as you can probably tell from the title of the book, Red Mass For Mars is most definitely sci-fi. I really, really enjoy most of Hickman's books, and the 3 out of 5 rating I gave this title wasn't because it was of 'average' quality... I just found it to be WAY too short, and it felt a bit rushed. the material itself however, was excellent as usual.
Anyone who wants an introduction on Jonathan Hickman's awesome mind for sci-fi/fantasy needn't look farther than a graphic novel called The Red Wing off of Image. truth be told, I looked this book over and ignored it many, many times because of the cover artwork! I thought it was sort of bland and boring. "don't judge a book..." right? Apparently I don't follow excellent advice very well. I finally picked it up, and, wow. I also remember writing a ridiculously long and gushing review on the book on this very site, goodreads, and for some reason when I clicked "save" the site fucked up and erased it... the review was so bulky that I couldn't replicate it (and was very frustrated) so I just graded it and moved on. but don't get me wrong, I LOVED The Red Wing, for so many reasons.. and I love Red Mass For Mars for similar reasons. "What reasons are those, Dave?" shush, I was getting there.
Hickman's stories don't talk down to you. Hickman writes assuming that you're a smart guy and that you can keep up with him, and I really enjoy that. His work is intelligent, thorough, expansive, and brilliant... he creates worlds, situations, characters, vehicles, conflicts, and governments that are so believable. there's a common thread running throughout all of his work; from an organizational standpoint to graphic design layout, he really makes you feel as if he gives a shit about everything having to do with his work. For example, each individual cover of his Manhattan Projects comic with Image is the same structure but with different designs every month... it's very interesting. His other Image books (Red Mass, Red Wing, Transhuman, The Nightly News) have the same overall design to them. Marvel feels so strongly about his work that they actually handed over the keys to the book of what is probably their most successful IP right now, The Avengers (you might have heard about the small, low budget indie flick about The Avengers that came out last year, it did moderately well at the box office ;) ) - and even Hickman's version of the Avengers book has some entertaining Hickman-esque graphics inside that reflect the current state of the Avengers team. it's hard to explain but once you start reading him, you'll see what I mean.
without spoiling too much about it, Red Mass For Mars is an awesome glimpse into a galaxy I wish we had way more material about. it's about a man who can see the future of the human race and sees it's impending doom due to an alien invasion. it's about the most brilliant man in the world, a scientist, who is going to help him stop it. it's about both of them trying to collect all of the world's remaining superheroes and super-entities into one large force (sound familiar?) to work together and try to stop the near-impossible to defeat alien armada.
the book goes extremely quick, I think I read it in one hour-long break at work. I loved each and every page though, par for the course with Hickman. Thoroughly enjoyable, please check it out, and his other material. (less)
I bought this monster of a graphic novel - well over 600 pages - for numerous reasons. For one, I really enjoyed the Luna Bros' other Image series, "Th...moreI bought this monster of a graphic novel - well over 600 pages - for numerous reasons. For one, I really enjoyed the Luna Bros' other Image series, "The Sword." Joshua and Jonathan Luna really are a brilliant duo and I thoroughly enjoy their unique storytelling. These guys are underrated and need to get noticed more, because they are doing some gutsy, powerful and gripping stuff. Two, I saw how big it was and while this might scare some people off, it was even more of a draw to me. I knew I was getting my money's worth, and I was getting a big double-decker with bacon of a story that was going to take me a good amount of time to get through (this is a win in my eyes). And three, well, I like taking chances. I hadn't heard anything about this aside from knowing the Lunas from "The Sword" and I knew Image felt strongly about the title if they were complacent with putting out a $50, 600+ page graphic novel.
My friends, please don't hesitate to purchase this. Let me go off on a really quick tangent here and say, graphic novels are a GOOD BUY. They're worth it, they don't go anywhere or expire, and they can be used again and again. They don't become invalid in 5 years after another, better version of the media is released (DVD v. Blu Ray). In my eyes, money spent on a graphic novel is always well spent.
ANYWAY. Sorry about that. "Girls" is one of the craziest roller-coaster adventures I've ever read... it's the type of story that you literally cannot explain to someone without them looking at you like you've got a penis growing out of your forehead. I'm not joking, I tried to describe the story to a co-worker (I was about 60% of the way through the book at that point) and after a few sentences, I gave up and said "you know what man, I don't even believe what's coming out of my own mouth, so just forget it - borrow it from me when I'm done if you'd like." It's on par with some of Garth Ennis' zaniest storylines, and that's saying something. When I'm reading about how "Judas Iscariot just got beat to death with a dildo in an adult store while a talking bunny looked on" (for those that are wondering, Chronicles Of Wormwood by Ennis), well, it's not that big of a jump to "a giant sperm-monster that shoots lasers and eats dead women gives birth to cloned naked chicks that seduce men into sleeping with them so they can lay eggs, which more cloned naked chicks come out of." Wait, WHAT is this story about?! Let's pull back a second.
"Girls" is extremely well done. It takes place in the fictional town of Pennystown, and there's a giant cast of characters. They do an exceptional job of letting you get to know and feel for this huge cast of characters, slowly but surely. When things start getting weird (and eventually start getting crazy), you're experiencing it with them because nothing is EVER explained... which in my eyes is a good thing. It leaves more to the imagination, for one. This wacky (but totally intriguing) story is even more powerful due to Jonathan Luna's brilliant illustration. His art is accessible and pleasant to experience. I'm definitely looking forward to the next project from these two. (less)
the "Wish You Were Here" storyline originates from the Crossed webcomic (crossedcomic.com) written by the always entertaining Simon Spurrier and illus...morethe "Wish You Were Here" storyline originates from the Crossed webcomic (crossedcomic.com) written by the always entertaining Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Javier Barreno. As a completely FREE comic available on a website, there is no reason why you shouldn't be reading this, especially if you are a fan. Buying the physical copy is just a nice way of saying "thank you" to Avatar Press, Spurrier, and Barreno for creating this great ongoing story within the Crossed universe.
The story itself tells a tale of a group of people that have actually managed to find a somewhat safe area, on a small island off the coast of Scotland. Obviously they are surrounded by psychotic rapekillers... but after a long while of the same chores day after day to keep themselves protected and fed, and everyone on the island butting heads about what their next move is... what happens? Is this the rest of their lives, hidden in a small corner of the world, the 'routine' wearing them down into nothingness?
that's about as specific as I'm going to get because I really think you should all check it out. In terms of the Crossed books that have come along after Ennis and Burrow's first mind-blowing story, I honestly think that Spurrier's take on the universe "Wish You Were Here" is the next best installment. There have been many to follow volume 1, but Spurrier has a much better feel for what Ennis was trying to accomplish. He's also a lot more fun to read. (less)
I went into this book knowing that it was THE LEGENDARY "DARK KNIGHT RETURNS", THE BEST BATMAN STORY EVER, THE BATMAN BOOK THAT CHANGED BATMAN HISTORY...moreI went into this book knowing that it was THE LEGENDARY "DARK KNIGHT RETURNS", THE BEST BATMAN STORY EVER, THE BATMAN BOOK THAT CHANGED BATMAN HISTORY FOREVER, and so on, and so forth. I'm sure that, had I have had that initial "all I am used to is cheesy TV show Adam West Batman and I read this book and it blew my mind" experience like most kids in the 80's did, my review of this book and how I look at the time I spent reading it would have been much different. But here's my take, being someone who is actually used to a 'darker' and more noir Batman than most of my elders.
I was 9 years old (89 I believe?) when the first Tim Burton-directed Batman feature film came out. My childhood was spent loving every minute of those first 2 Burton Batman flicks (and yes, even the Joel Schumacher ones that followed, because I was a kid and they were FUN). I never had that "Batman is cheesy and campy!" experience like many did with the older ridiculous comics and the television show that had more sound effects on screen than actual action. I do understand that this Frank Miller book basically took the idea of Batman as that campy motherfucker and turned him into the darkest superhero we have ever had the pleasure of reading. For that, I am ever grateful. But because I didn't experience this book like most did, it didn't necessarily "blow me away." I was successfully able to turn off that "holy shit is this artwork/subject matter dated to hell" switch that some people can't seem to turn off when reading a book that's a couple of decades old; that is to say, compared to today's comic books, the artwork in this book is definitely "old-school" and there's a good percentage of the population that just can't get past that. There's also Cold War subject matter within, a vilified Ronald Reagan, and just a general 80's feel that is inescapable, for better or for worse. Be warned.
What IS great about this book? The fucking story. Holy crap. Split into 4 chapters, The Dark Knight Returns is essentially the story about a Bruce Wayne that is close to his sixties when he decides to pick the cowl back up, after retiring it a decade ago. Apparently the government had banned all superheroes (except for a certain man of steel who now takes orders FROM the government). The first few chapters are Bruce Wayne/Batman getting back into the suit and onto the streets in this new Gotham City, taking on new, weirder versions of Two-Face and Joker, and finally, facing the government that wants him stopped. The final chapter where they send the Man Of Steel to shut Batman down, is probably some of the coolest superhero writing ever (and I normally dislike most 'capes' books). I mean, Batman vs. Superman written by Frank Miller? HERE IS MY MONEY. YOU GIVE ME BACK WHAT YOU THINK I SHOULD HAVE. THANK YOU.
It's an aging book but if you can look past how dated it is, this is one of the best Batman stories ever written. If you're a fan of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, well, this is where is CAME FROM. Not reading this is doing a disservice to the character we all worship from the altar of. (less)
In a small town in northern Wisconsin, where a perpetual winter keeps most people indoors or buried under multiple layers to keep warm, the dead walk...moreIn a small town in northern Wisconsin, where a perpetual winter keeps most people indoors or buried under multiple layers to keep warm, the dead walk again.
Yeah, I said it. The dead walk again. This isn't yet another zombie story though, I assure you. People aren't undead after they die - they just come back to life again, and try to return to their lives as though nothing has happened. But something definitely has, they have changed somehow. And in the 1st 5 issues of this new comic by Image (just released in it's first trade paperback/graphic novel c0llection) we are given WAY more questions than we're given answers.
The small town obviously reels from the consequences of people suddenly jumping out of cremation ovens wondering why they were just almost burned to death (again) and elderly people dying of natural causes only to be found once again watching television in the living room. The town is quarantined and the CDC is sent in to investigate, working with the local authorities. 33 of these 'Revivalists' are found to exist (so far). But there's something more, isn't it? Weird sounds are heard late at night in the freezing woods. A couple of the newly born-again are acting extremely weird. nothing is as it seems.
In an industry filled with 'me-too' titles looking to follow the success of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, Tim Seeley and Mike Norton choose a decidedly different path while still keeping fans of the ground-breaking zombie title very interested. I say again though; this has nothing to do with zombies. What it is, however, is an extremely suspenseful book with a "Lost-esque" approach to story-telling, giving you a whole lot of questions and not much in terms of explanation, and you're left wanting more, more and more. the 1st trade is available at your LCBS or wherever you can buy things (Amazon, B&N) for $12.99. pick it up.(less)
Although Vol 3 was my least favorite of the GRAVEL series, Warren Ellis is STILL my favorite comics writer and one of my favorite writers of all time....moreAlthough Vol 3 was my least favorite of the GRAVEL series, Warren Ellis is STILL my favorite comics writer and one of my favorite writers of all time. AND, the Gravel series is probably one of my favorite things he's ever done. It's incredibly original, addictive, and entertaining.
Vol 3, "The Last King Of England", didn't really go how I expected or necessarily wanted it to. That's not to say that it was bad. It most definitely wasn't.
The ending was also a bit of an anti-climax, however taking into consideration who William Gravel is as a person, I doubt it would have ended with rainbows and sunshine.
Please read this entire series, I love it to death. (less)