Adult, Books, Comics

Descender Vol 1. : Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

Comic book day!  Here is a review I did several weeks back now on the first Volume of Descender (Spoilers: I really like the art guys).

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Comic Title: Descender
Volume # & Title: 1: Tin Stars
Collected Issues: #1-6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 160
Genre: Science Fiction

 

Anybody else read Descender?  Anybody else as obsessed with literally everything that Image Comics publishes.  I swear to god they have so many great new imaginative things coming out every month and it hurts my heart and my wallet.

Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

The Vision: Little Worse Than A Man Review

If you are wondering how I have read a volume of a comic that has yet to be released?  Well my friends, reading comics in single issues sometimes has its advantages.  Let me tell you about a thing you should budget for in June because boy is it a good ‘un.

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Comic Title: The Vision
Volume # and Title: 1: Little Worse Than a Man
Collected Issues: 1-6
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colorist: Jordie Bellair
Publisher: Marvel
Page #: 136
Genre: Superhero, Horror, Science Fiction

It is super weird to see something from one of the big comic publishers on here.  It is even weirder to see one that is a superhero title.  Although I have to say that this isn’t your average every day super hero comic.

This is the story of an average family.  We have the over worked father whose job has no security and just wants to provide for his family.  There is the lonely house wife who just wants every one to be happy.  The heart broken daughter and the over protective son with slight anger issues.  Sounds like every suburban family to me?  They even get a dog by the end of this book.  They just happen to be bio-netic robots.  Doesn’t your neighborhood have one of those?

While the problems these family members have are very normal, the catalysts for each of their issues are … lets say … slightly out of the norm.  That’s why you should pick this comic up though. This is the story of a family who just wants to fit in.  It just isn’t your average, average family, they have little quirks that make the story interesting.

I honestly did not realize I would feel so badly for characters that have a hard time understanding human emotions.  They seem to be stuck somewhere in between a state of complete emotional break down and apathetic and mildly intrigued by human affairs.

This is the story of what happens when a super hero goes home.  This is the story of one man’s need to be normal, to live a happy life, to just be normal.  I love things like that.  I think I’ve had enough of the crime fighting and the bad guys moving the plot.  We need more stories about the internal struggles.  This is one of those, and honestly it was really done well.

So if you want a super hero comic for people who don’t really like super heroes… this might be the one for you.

I think that’s all I have to say on this one. So I will be back soon.  Whether it is tomorrow as a replacement Monday post or on Friday with a book review!

Books, Comics

April Monthly Pull

I was going to do a weekly pull, but I realized I don’t buy that many comics at once so it might be wiser to talk about what I read in a month.

Here is the toddling baby of that idea that hopefully will grow and flourish later… because its a bit of a mess right now.

Hope this wasn’t too cringe worthy.  I will be back on Friday for a review so get excited about that!

Adult, Books, Comics, Musings

East of West: We Are All One by Jonathan Hickman Review

So you are little bit intimidated by the scale of East of West, and rightfully so, I wanted to talk about my experience reading this comic as well as maybe help some folks who are little nervous get into it.

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Comic Title: East of West
Volume Title: Vol. 2: We Are All One
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image
Page #: 144
Genre: Science Fiction, Western

As I’m writing this post I’m not entirely certain whether I reviewed the first one or not but I’m leaning toward not.  The only reason I say that is that this is perhaps one of the most confusing comics I have read.  While that may seem intimidating hold on just a moment because I am going to tell you why its worth it.

I know that when I got back into comics and discovered Image as a company who put out a lot of things I love East of West put out a single issue that had all of the different factions mapped out.  I remember thinking, if you need a dramatis personae for your comic you probably aren’t doing it right.  While I do think having that would have been helpful when I picked up the first volume I no longer think that its such a bad thing.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who abandoned it because there were too many people, it was too confusing, etc. I mean I myself often talk about how too large a cast of characters is one of the main reasons I can’t ever seem to finish Game of Thrones, and yet… and yet.

I think that the artist did a really great job of illustrating each faction so that they visually represent something.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about them all being along racial lines, but at the same time it means that you see someone and you instantly understand where they are coming from and what their values are.  I think that this also allowed for interesting discussions on history, this world seems to share some portions of our own history, but somewhere along the lines separate but equal was taken to the extreme.

There are moments where I feel like it strays a bit into stereotyping but it always seems to push past that to something more.  The things that seem stereotypical have different motivations and lead somewhere that I wasn’t expecting.

While I wasn’t entirely sold on the art style I think that it has grown on me and I am actually very impressed by how many different characters there are that all are very distinct.  The problem with a huge cast of characters is that they can become confused and like I said not only is their style showing the faction they belong to but is entirely their own.  There is no confusing characters in this way.  Even Low, which I love, sometimes has a character whose design is so close to another’s that I momentarily forget who I’m looking at, and context usually irons it out for me, but I don’t even need that here.

In any case, I said in my goodreads review and I’ll say it again, I cannot wait to get the third volume. I am so excited.  This one was especially good and I hope that it keeps up the pace.

Books, Comics, Musings

How to Find a Comic Store~!

Now, I know you know how to google or ask Siri, Cortana, or whoever to find comic stores near you, but how do you know if this particular comic store is the right store for you.  I mean, you can always go with your gut.  Do you feel at home there, yes, then maybe it is the right place for you, no, maybe move on to the next one.  Also, if there is only one store in a half an hour radius you are probably stuck with that one for better or for worse.

However, if you are lucky enough to have several withing a reasonable distance and you aren’t sure what to look for, this is the guide for you.

  1. The People: I am putting this first because for me it is the most important.  While at school I was forced to buy my comics at a store where the owner didn’t believed I honestly liked comics for my own good.  He thought the only reason I would read comics was to trick a guy into falling for me.  Now, this is despite wearing a Deadpool hat, having several different comic pins on my jackets, wearing several different comic related shirts and the look about me that if I didn’t belong in a library I might next be found at some convention or other, but in any case, it made me uncomfortable to go there.  It was lucky for me that he hired a girl to work there on the weekends and she was entirely charming and worth visiting, but if the people are making you uncomfortable it is time to move on.
  2. Displays: The comic shop I normally use while I’m home has recently moved away from selling comics to marketing more niche things, like records, and nerdy clothing.  You want some mustache leggings, that is the place to be, you wan’t last weeks issue of Low, they probably can’t help you.  I knew I needed to find a new store when they took their already tiny comic display and went from three shelving units, to 1.  If they aren’t making the space to display the new comics, they aren’t going to be getting very many and that isn’t helpful to you.  The store should not only stock the comics you are interested but many others and it should be a resource for finding new ones.  Often comic shops are also game stores or hobby stores, and you can tell which section they care about by the space they devote to it.  Even distribution is fine, just make sure you can get what you want from them.
  3. Location: If you plan to subscribe to a certain comic you need to make sure you can get to the store once a month.  You might have found the perfect store but if it is an hour commute in the next state over, it might not be the best place for you as home base.  Now, again, I am putting this underneath the other two tips because sometimes we are willing to make the sacrifice of our hard earned gas money or bus fair for the perfect community space, but if you aren’t then this is something you need to keep in mind.  You might have to compromise on something else.

Those are the things that I rank as being particularly important when choosing a comic shop.  Of course there are smaller nuances that you might want to decide, as in if you prefer new or old comics, you might want to find stores that have huge back logs or carry more trade paperbacks, etc.  These are things specific to you and your needs and that is something you can keep in mind when picking.

I have found my new home, it is about 20 minutes away from me in a slightly larger city, tucked away in a strip mall.  It might not look like much on the outside but it was like my own personal candy store inside.  Hopefully next week I can do a pull for you guys so you can see the comics I have been picking up this winter season, and I might even discuss some of the ones I am interested in going into the spring!

I will be back on Friday to discuss my March Wrap Up. (Oh My God guys its almost April… where is this year going?)

Adult, Books, Comics

Rat Queens: Vol 2. The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth Review

Two weeks ago I reviewed my favorite comic of last year, this week I review the runner up.

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Comic Title: Rat Queens
Volume: 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth
Collected Issues: #6-10
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: Image Comic
Page #: 128
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
Rating: M

Yes I have reviewed the first volume of Rat Queens and you can find that review here!

So why is this my second favorite comic of the year?  Aside from the fact that as a nerd who enjoys both playing and running Role Playing games including Pathfinder and this comic being the embodiment of everything that is great about that, I love the fact that this comic wasn’t afraid to put aside their main plot for a volume to build on their characters.

The best part of role playing in my experience is the way that people build their characters, shape them with stories that may or may not be true but they use them to find their place in the world, as well as the way those stories interconnect and bring the group together.  This volume perfectly embodies this.

The humor and the sex and the drinking is all still here, don’t get me wrong, but I really loved the way that this volume focused on what is most likely the worst moment of all of the main group’s lives.  I’m not going to go into specifics but despite the somber tone a lot of these issues had, it meant that by the end of the book you were rooting for them to succeed.  Not just because they were funny and adorable, but because you had seen where they were coming from and why this was important to them.

If you are a character oriented reader this volume will be something that you love I am sure.  The art is fantastic even though there was a change from the first volume, if anything I like it more.  The side characters that I often find myself loving more and more are still here.  There is suspense, there is drama, there is humor.  What more could you ask for in a comic?

I would also recommend this comic to anyone looking for a comic filled with bad ass ladies that are represented realistically.  Each of the girls have a different body type, different struggles, different attitudes.  They are all awesome in their own right.  There is a transgender character.  There are lesbian characters.  All of it feels natural and genuine.

If none of that convinced you I have one final argument, and I’ll leave you with that:

Lady dwarves have beards.

Boom.