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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Comixology submit: adventure time

Another post prompted by March's Comixology submit sale.  Here are two books full of swashbuckling adventure.

Legend of Bold Riley - Bold Riley is a Indian lesbian swashbuckling adventurer.  She travels around the land performing great deeds of derring-do and bedding all the pretty maidens she meets.  It's similar in set up to traditional sword and sorcery adventure stories, except that Bold Riley is far more interesting than your traditional male hero, and not just because she's female.

Writer: Leia Weathington
Art: Marco Aidala, Vanessa Gillings, Kelly McClellan, Konstantin Pogorelov and Jason Thompson
Letters: Charles "Zan" Christensen
Publisher: Northwest Press

Rogues - it's a fantasy world and the two Rogues are Bram (a beefy fella) and the Weasel (a buxom lady).  The artwork is rather cheesecakey - Weasel has a full bust and a skimpy wardrobe whereas Bram gets a jacket and trousers.  But the book is aware of this and presents a fun and comedic story about how the humble chicken foils thieves everywhere.
Writer: El Torres
Art: Ruben Rojas and Juan Jose Ryp
Colours: Fran Gamboa
Publisher: Amigo Comics

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Comixology submit: drama

In the third of our posts prompted by March's Comixology submit sale we focus on books that can be loosely described as dramatic.  The books are all quite different though, so perhaps I need a better description?


Nathan Sorry - this is excellent.  It's such an inspired idea I'm wondering why I haven't seen more stories like this.  Nathan should have been in the World Trade Centre on 9/11 but missed his flight.  The world thinks he's dead so he uses an accidentally stolen laptop and $20 million to find a new life, but begins to lose his grip on his identity.
Art and writing: Rich Barrett
Publisher: Self published

Bob And His Beer - this is about different people's experience of bereavement, how we can deal with losing those with love, and how we can all be connected.  Very good.  Might be tough to read if you are recently bereaved, but if you can stick with it you'll find it's quite comforting.
Writer: Sarah Stringfield
Art and letters: Cary Stringfield
Publisher: Captain Clark Comics

Snow - Dana is a shy, meek woman who works at a bookshop.  One day she arrives in work to find out the store is closing down, which leads to her slowly finding her confidence and having an impact on her neighbours' lives.  This book is utterly delightful.  It's 164 pages, but you'll race through it in no time.  The black and white art is incredibly expressive. It's set in just one (real!) street in Chicago.
Art and writing: Benjamin Rivers
Publisher: Benjamin Rivers Inc

The Chairs' Hiatus - lovely comic about an indie music duo's break up, new lives, and reunion.  It's less about music and gigging as it is about people and the complexities of relationships.  Contains LGBT characters.
Art and writing: Matthew Bogart
Publisher: Self published

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Comixology submit: spooky and mythical

In the second of our posts prompted by March's Comixology submit sale we focus on books that have mythical elements, that are sometimes a bit fairy tale and sometimes a bit horror.

Who Needs the Moon - there's a vampire in Kingsford and the townsfolk don't know anything about it.  Enter a werewolf, who can do something about it.  The art in this is intelligent - something I rarely say.  The colour palette and panel layout tell the story more than the words.  In fact, many panels have no words, but there is never a problem in understanding what you are seeing.  This is a great and challenging (in the best way) comic that really does deserve your attention.
Art and writing: Todd McCullough
Publisher: Self published

Ink and Thunder - three supernatural short stories written and drawn by Becky Cloonan.  These are beautiful and inspiring and sumptuous.  All three have a feeling of immense sadness and yearning about them.  Cloonan is a professional storyteller and these have to be three of her best.
Writing and art: Becky Cloonan
Publisher: Self published 

Fairy tales
The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts - I haven't read much of this but it looks impressive. Paraphrased from the comixology description:
This is a classic collection of martial arts parables.  The stories feature demons, insects, birds, cats and more.  They may seem whimiscal but they contain essential teachings that offer insight into the fundamental principles of martial arts.  This graphic novel is based on Issai Chozanshi's eighteenth century text.
It's in black and white and has a classic Japanese art style.
Adaptation: Sean Michael Wilson
Translation: William Scott Wilson
Art: Michiru Morikawa
Original writer: Issai Chozanshi
Publisher: Shambhala publications

Twas the Night Before Krampus - This is a black and white book about the Christmas Eve fight between St Nicholas and the evil Krampus.  This is a rather unique and creepy Christmas story.  Not suitable for kids.
Writer: Ben Avery
Art: Tim Baron
Publisher: Lifesize Monster Ghost

The Order of Dagonet - this is written by Jeremy Whitley (he who wrote the amazing Princeless).  Mythological creatures of ancient Britain return and knights have to be found.  Although created by Americans, it's got a really British voice and a really good handle on British folklore. N.B: this wasn't part of the sale but I've included it because it is an independent comic.
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Art: Jason Strutz
Publisher: Action Lab Comics

I've tagged all of these as age mature as although older teens would probably like them, they have a bit too much to them be considered age: general.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Comixology submit: sci-fi

In March we posted about a Comixology submit sale.  These are creator-owned comics made available digitally on comixology.  I finally got around to reading the bundle and there were some marvellous books in there, so our next few posts will be spotlights on the best of the bunch.  The books are no longer in the sale but most are fairly inexpensive.  Each title contains a hyperlink to the series on comixology so you can easily find them.

First up, sci-fi:

The Accelerators - two scientists from the 1960s are jumping forward in time: he is pursuing her, hoping to destroy her research. On their jumps they pick up a teenager from the 1990s and end up in a surprising future where everyone has their own time machine.  Issue 1 showed a lot of promise.
Writer: R.F.I. Porto
Pencils and inks: Gavin P Smith
Colours: Tim Yates
Letters: Crank!
Publisher: Self published

Arrival - this is black and white and has some lovely line art.  It's clear and easy to read, yet has a lot of strength.  Story wise, it's a sci-fi tale set in 2057.  There's a mystery from the stars and human life has changed in some ways, stayed the same in others.  I wasn't so bothered about the plot but the art is just too good to ignore.
Writers: Thomas Kovach and Nishan Patel
Art: Thomas Kovach
Publisher: Mystery Box Comics

The Bunker - this is one of the best comics in the bundle.  There's a great amount of characterisation and detail in here.  For a cast of five people this is pretty impressive.  A group of friends go to the woods to bury a time capsule and find a bunker with goods from their future selves, addressed to their younger selves.  Issue 1 is a double sized issue.
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art: Joe Infurnari
Publisher: Oni Press

Relaunch -
I think of this as a proper sci-fi book.  A lot of the panels show the spaceship and techy workings of space travel.  We get a real sense of the isolation astronauts must feel.  The main (nigh on only) character, Cris, works on a deep space utility shop and things start to go wrong.  The first issue leaves us hanging and hungering for more.
Writer: Ron Perazza
Art: Daniel Govar
Publisher: Comic Book Think Tank

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Lost at Sea

Art & Story: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Publisher: Oni Press

What’s it about?
Lost at Sea is a black & white graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley. It was first published in 2003 through Oni Press.

It's a "coming of age" story about this girl named Raleigh. She is on a road trip with some fellow classmates from school she doesn't know much. She tagged along as they were driving across America, from California back home to Vancouver, Canada.

Raleigh has always by a loner, distanced from other kids at school. She doesn't talk much and keeps to herself since her childhood friend moved away.

She was visiting her father and tried to go back to this long-distance boyfriend she had a relationship with. Since she missed her train back home, she kinda took this occasion to join a road trip when these guys Stephanie, Dave and Ian were also on their way back.

She spends the story thinking back and forth about her relationship (this guy she met on the internet!), who she was, who she is now and who she wants to be.

Oh. And also, she believes cats are after her. She thinks her mom sold her sold her soul as a kid, for success and her career. Yep.

The story does get kinda surreal at times. She sees cats everywhere. She believes a cat stole her soul. She forces everyone to wake up in the middle of the night to attempt to catch the cat back, as she slowly opens up to the others.

It's a comic about a girl just as much looking for a point of anchor in her life had she been actually "lost at sea".

A fun quirky tale about four college age-kids driving back home around holidays.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Gotham City Sirens Volumes 1-4

Credits: Various
Publisher: DC comics

What's it about?
Gotham City Sirens focuses on the DC villains/antiheroes Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn.  These three women are probably the most famous female residents of Batman's Gotham City (aside from Batgirl, of course).  They aren't exactly friends.  Catwoman (Selina Kyle) has worked with Batman too much to be true friends with the more criminally minded.  Poison Ivy doesn't really like people.  Harley Quinn gets on with most people but would leave them hanging in a moment if her beloved Joker called.

Volume 1 brings the Sirens together by having them share a house (a really big house, more like the size of a warehouse).  Ivy and Harley set out to discover Batman's identity from Selina; the Riddler has reformed; and one of the old Joker sidekicks turns up.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Green Arrow and associates Comixology sale

Apologies for the long wait between posts.  Life has been rather busy lately.  I'm afraid I cannot give you a full review tonight, but I will point you towards another comixology sale, this time it is themed around the Arrow TV show.

Oliver Queen is known in comics as Green Arrow and I believe the TV show brings in a lot of other DC characters.  There are 166 issues in the sale, here are what I think are the best.  All links take you to the first issue in the story arc.  The sale runs for 7 days from 25th March.