Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Tue
29
Dec

Punk Rock Bunny Band Faces Hare-Raising Horrors in The Wraskles

Wraskles #1

Once upon a time, there was a genre of Saturday morning cartoon that followed the formula of "teenage rock band fights bad guys." They were usually not real supernatural bad guys like Mystery Inc took on, of course. Josie and the Pussycats usually ended up finding spies or corrupt real estate tycoons. The Neptunes (and Jabberjaw) faced down megamaniacal world beaters. Kidd Video and his crew almost exclusively battled Master Blaster.

THE WRASKLES falls into the category of storytelling, only with anthropomorphic characters. The musical crew of conies is on their way to a battle of the bands when their vehicle mysteriously breaks down at a crossroads. If you know anything at all about musicians and crossroads, you can feel the foreshadowing coming on. And, sure enough, as they sit stranded, they meet up with a mysterious old goat (literally, an old goat) who strikes a deal with them: if they can play a better song than he can, he'll fix their van.

Thu
24
Dec

Sonya Devereaux Foursome Delivers Fun and Satisfaction

Starring Sonya Devereaux TPB

She's the 306th best actress in America, blessed to work with some of the top talents in the country on films that... well, don't exactly get screened for members of The Academy. She's Sonya Devereaux, and through a crowdfunded effort on Indiegogo, fans -- and those about to become fans -- can see her in all her glory (tastefully, of course, and only when it serves the plot) in this marvelous collection of distinguished classics, collected for the first time anywhere in trade paperback.

From directors Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis, from a grant made possible by American Mythology, come four of Sonya's most beloved films.

Wed
23
Dec

Not With a Bang... Richard C. Meyer Drops Suit Against Mark Waid

Meyer vs. Waid

In what may turn out to be a lump of coal in the stockings of supporters of the Comicsgate movement, Richard C. Meyer and Mark Waid announced jointly on their social media platforms that the litigation against Waid for tortious interference had been dropped, citing the independent success of Meyer's graphic novel, Jawbreakers, which had been at the center of the tort, as well as the unexpected impact of COVID-19 on, well, everything.

Wed
23
Dec

Punchline and the Vaude-Villains #1 Continues Hero Tomorrow Superhero Saga

Punchline and the Vaude-Villains #1

Here's the thing about streaks: When you're on one, it's increasingly harder to stay on it. Eventually -- inevitably -- there will come a moment when that streak sputters, stalls, and ends.

For the publishers at Hero Tomorrow, PUNCHLINE AND THE VAUDE-VILLAINS #1... ain't that moment.

Tue
15
Dec

Dynamite's Zombie Apocalypse Overflows with Action in Thrilling Third Issue

Die!Namite 3

An octogenarian Miss Fury? A fanboy Peter Cannon? A scalped Vampirella? A smart-ass possessed smiley button? All banded together with others to fight an insurmountable zombie apocalypse of galactic proportions that has already claimed Project: Superpowers?

Gawt dam, son! What more could you ask for in comic book entertainment?

Tue
08
Dec

Grimm Fairy Tales 2020 Holiday Special Lacks Twists and Connections

Grimm Fairy Tales 2020 Holiday Special

I love the horror comics, particularly the anthologies where stories had to be told in a few pages and grip you from beginning to end. But there's an art to the telling of these tales. Storytellers around campfires know it. The EC (and DC) writers of your knew it. It involves a setup, a hook, and an unexpected twist. But tying that all together requires one important thread: irony. That's what makes a good horror short story, and it's unfortunately missing from the entire string of tales in this years GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2020 HOLIDAY SPECIAL.

The 44-page one-shot sports an appropriately eerie cover by Igor Vitorino and Ivan Nunes, although I would rank it last among the four alternate covers available for this issue, which also includes enticing fronts from Ron Leary Jr., Michael DiPascale and Sanju Nivangune, and Harvy Tolibao and Mohan Sivakami. The insides are actually decently illustrated as well, by Babisu Kourtis, Marcelo Basile, Dario Tallarico, and Rodrigo Xavier.

Tue
08
Dec

Vampirella: The Dark Powers Turns Vampire to Superhero -- and Editor to Sleeper

Vampirella The Dark Powers 1

Vampirella has gone through a number of iterations over the decades, but it seems that over at Dynamite Entertainment she's going through them at a rapid clip. You never know which Vampirella you're going to get when you pick up one of her titles. Unlike the Warren years, when Vampi's tales were an ongoing series of adventures with Pendragon, Pantha, and her other friends, every other Dynamite incarnation of Vampi tends to recreate her, whole cloth.

Such it is in this most recent adventure arc, VAMPIRELLA: THE DARK POWERS #1 by Dan Abnett and Paul Davidson, packaged and edited by Nate Cosby. Yes, I know, I seldom mention the editors when going over a book's credits, but trust me -- there's a method to my meanness... er... madness.

Sat
05
Dec

Ways to Enjoy the Superhero Trend

Amazon's The Boys

If there’s one thing in this last decade that nearly everyone’s taken part in, it’s the enjoyment of superhero-related content. It isn’t the first time the superhero trend has made its way into the mainstream in history, but this time it’s certainly had the biggest impact. It seems that these days no matter where we turn we see an iconic hero character proudly showing off their emblem, but for newbies that aren’t too familiar with the genre, knowing where to start can be a bit daunting. If you’re looking to ride along with the superhero trend, here are a few things to get you started.

Casino Games

Fri
04
Dec

Mike Grell Fires Up Kickstarter for Omnibus Edition of Jon Sable, Freelance

Mike Grell Live

Mike Grell. He's a verified legend. That's not hyperbole -- he's been officially inducted into the Hall of Legends, so he's entitled to use the honorific. He's given us iconic visions of superheroes like the Legion of Super-Heroes and Green Arrow, before becoming a trailblazer in the realm of creator-owned projects like Starslayer and Jon Sable, Freelance.

Grell's Jon Sable series is now being collected into hardcover omnibus editions, the first of which is funding on Kickstarter, and is well on it's way to becoming a fait accompli.

It was our honor to sit with Mike and talk about some of the highlights from his much-storied career, as well as focus the attention of our readers on this extremely cool project that is bound to become a sought-after classic.

Thu
26
Nov

Slow Pokes a Fast-Paced Syfy-Level Creature Feature

The Slow Pokes #1

Move over Sharknado -- there's a new species set to wreak havoc in a made-for-TV way.

Steve Urena's SLOW POKES is the kind of fun schlock you'd expect to find on 1990s Syfy late at night, in terms of both plot and execution. The story follows a group of high school seniors on their last field trip to a high tech think-tank-and-amusement-park, where the chief scientist, Eden Rare, makes scientific strides before breakfast. However, her latest world-saving foray has gone incredibly awry. Attempting to speed up the metabolism of three-toed sloths so that their accelerated mating cycles might save them from extinction, she instead made these creatures -- with their already extremely long claws -- swift, deadly killing machines.

Wed
11
Nov

Misery Loves Company in Ahoy's Happy Hour

Happy Hour #1 from Ahoy Comics

In the world of Peter Milligan's HAPPY HOUR, the government has all but eliminated societies ills and unrest by treating the root cause of unhappiness -- unhappiness itself. A surgical procedure, performed on everyone, makes the brain incapable of feeling sadness, which gives everyone a peppy, optimistic outlook on everything, including terminal cancer.

But when Jerry suffers a head injury in an automobile accident, he awakens to a room of smiling doctors and nurses who tell him his sister is dead. When Jerry is outraged by their lack of appropriate reactions, they realize Jerry's injuries have worked against his surgery -- he's sad about his sister's death, and something has to be done about that.

Sun
08
Nov

Zachary Levi Attacked For Reminding Some Humans That Other People are Humans Too

Zachary Levi post-election Tweet

Sometimes when an actor finishes a film, he or she retains a prop of some kind, a souvenir or memento they can look to in the future for a conversation piece.

Zachary Levi seems to have come away from his stint on SHAZAM with the coolest and most valuable vestige ever: The Wisdom of Solomon. (The superhero character more commonly known as Captain Marvel gains his powers by shouting out an acronym, which gains him the combined powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.)

During the trying and tiring time of the last few days, as votes were being tabulated with deliberation and states were switching colors more slowly than leaves in autumn, Levi interected a thought onto Twitter -- a place designed ostensibly just for that purpose but, ironically, in abject opposition to the ideal on most days.

Sat
07
Nov

Mike S. Miller's MAGANIFICENT SEVEN May Be Last Hurrah for Trump-Trend Comics

Maganificent Seven

Presidents have been featured, satirized, and flat-out lampooned in comics for as long as there have been Presidents and free speech. Superboy and Superman both managed to meet President Kennedy. Spider-Man met President Obama. President Roosevelt was nearly a junior member of the All-Star Squadron.

But unless my comics memory is failing (it could be -- I'm getting older, and I've read comics for a long, long time), there hasn't been a deluge of praise-and-parody comic books such as that which has been unleashed following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. From Antarctic Press's TREMENDOUS TRUMP and TRUMP'S SPACE FORCE, Keenspot's TRUMP'S TITANS, and a cascade of others, Trump comics has become a cottage industry over the past four years.

Wed
04
Nov

DIE! NAMITE #2 Expands Cast, Dials Up Zombie Threat to 11

DIE! NAMITE #2

Alright, so the first issue of Dynamite's multi-world zombie adventure, DIE! NAMITE, was pretty much living up to expectations. We've seen Vampirella and Red Sonja cross paths so many times, with so many variations, they're veritably sorority sisters. And while we didn't see Dejah Thoris, we did see the brief return of John Carter. But the first inkling that this had the potential to over-deliver came at the end when Red Sonja encountered the least likely character of all -- Evil Ernie's possessed happy-face button, Smiley. That made me sit up and take notice.

This second issue, however, pulls out all the stops, and brings in a lot of new characters that go in uniquely unexpected directions. We'll get to them in a minute.

Tue
03
Nov

Out of The Goon: The Unholy Bastards vs. The Future

Unholy Bastards vs The Future

Those loveable orphans from THE GOON get a one-shot adventure in time when a mysterious man from the future hires a time-traveling mercenary to retrieve an object from the past. At stake is the last of the Squeaky Air Breakers bicycles.

Guess who has one. That's right, the Unholy Bastards themselves, and they leave it behind when they run off to see old Mrs. McGreg having a deranged battle with the mailman. But they quickly follow after it when it gets stolen, leaping throug the open time warp and finding themselves in the prehistoric era before finally making their way to the future -- a future where the orphanage is run by Mrs. McGreg clones and the children are in need of a violent liberation.

Tom Sniegoski, steve Mannion, and Scott Brown collaborate on this moral parable, delivered by The Goon and Franky themselves. Expertly drawn and irreverently written, these rotten little kids will capture your heart -- and then put it in a jar and pee on it.

Sun
01
Nov

Zorro Leaves His Mark on The Land That Time Forgot

Zorro and the Land That Time Forgot 1

Don Diego de la Vega -- aristocratic playboy son of a wealthy aristocrat, in the infant days of La Reina de los Angeles, which would one day become the city of Los Angeles. In his daily life, he has access to information about the ruling class and their unfair, ruthless treatment of the peasantry. In secret, he adopts the costumed identity of El Zorro, "The Fox," to fight those abusing their power with his whip and his blade.

The impact of Zorro is felt across the entirety of the spectrum of the comic book industry, The Zorro movie has been made a seminal part of the Batman mythos itself, so influential it is.

Sun
01
Nov

Butcher Queen: Planet of the Dead Kicks Off New Chapter for Red 5 Comics Space Adventure

Butcher Queen

BUTCHER QUEEN is set in a future seen through the eyes of Rutger Hauer sci-fi films. It's focus is on Syd Kiowa, a former police detective on the outs and on the run who has banded together with a rag-tag group of bounty hunters composed of a few aliens and a synthezoid cybernetic.

This latest issue from creators Jim Ousley and Ben Sawyer, PLANET OF THE DEAD, finds her and her crew being sought out by the Interdimensional Task Force for an assignment she is uniquely qualified for. The existence of multiple dimensions has been recently discovered, and one of those alternate Earths is looking to make colonization inroads to Syd's Earth. But the man behind it is the alternate-version of a criminal Syd has faced before when she was on the force.

Fri
30
Oct

Unreadable Mess: Batgirl #50 Ends Run Minus Gratefulness and Grace

Batgirl 50 2020

There's a lot to unpack here, so get comfortable. You may want to order in, have a drink ready. Maybe even go pee first. But the tl'dr of this review is this: Cecil Castellucci sent Batgirl out on a self-centered, narcisisstic, self-aggrandizing, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, solipsistic whimper of a comic book that was less written than it was defecated.

So let's start with the first story of this terrible trio, "Little Wonders" with art from Emanuela Lupacchino with inks from Wade Von Grawbadger, Mick Gray, and Scott Hanna. As you can surmise, the art style is going to shift throughout this tale due to the amount of cooks in the kitchen. It shows as we go from scene to scene, following Barbara from the graveyard with her father, to the Batcave with the Bats, to the streets of Gotham that are in chaos.

Thu
29
Oct

Batman: Three Jokers Ends by Undoing Its One Premise

Three Jokers #3

Warning: This review will contain major spoilers for BATMAN: THREE JOKERS #3.

There's a part of me that wants to review BATMAN: THREE JOKERS based solely on the three issues of the series. That may sound odd to some, but you have to place the story in its original context: that it has been anticipated story for several years now, ever since writer Geoff Johns first dropped the hint when he was writing JUSTICE LEAGUE. But more on that in a little while.

Sun
25
Oct

Grimm's Halloween Special Succeeds in the Shorts, Stumbles with the Framing

Grimm tales of Terror 2020 Halloween Special

Keres, Goddess of Death, hosts another GRIMM TALES OF TERROR anthology, just in time for Halloween. The horror anthology comic has long been a staple of the comic book industry -- playing a large role in what nearly killed it during the Wertham era, and then a regular go-to for twist-ending shorts from the likes of DC's HOUSE OF MYSTERY, Charlton's MIDNIGHT TALES, and PC's TWISTED TALES.

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