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.

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!

Y The Last Man: Book One by Brian K Vaughan Review

Day two of posting things when they are supposed to be posted this is a pretty good streak so far.

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Series Title: Y The Last Man
Volume: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 & 2
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Illustrator: Pia Guerra
Publisher: Vertigo
Page #: 256
Genre: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic

You would be surprised how much I was actually kind of on the fence with this one.  I had heard of this one, and knew it is one of the most critically acclaimed series to date and it is by the writer of Saga which I have up until this point enjoyed for the most part, and yet? I was sad that it didn’t quite live up to the hype.  Was this a case of the hype was too great?  I don’t know, I didn’t feel over hyped going into it.  I was pretty open to whatever.  Maybe I just figured that more people would have spoken out about the few things that I did take issue with.

My main issue, and it is one that I don’t often mention with comics but is a problem in books a fair amount, was that often times I felt there was author intervention.  The point that Vaughan was trying to make was pushing characters to act in certain ways that I honestly didn’t think they would.  There were times where I felt those out of character scenes were caused in an attempt at humor, and other times in an attempt to make some sort of plot based movement or emotional point.  It just didn’t really work for me.

I have issues with books that stand up on the soap box and shove their message down your throat.  Honestly Saga is much better at it, and it might just be that Vaughan is learning as he works on more and more projects, which is entirely acceptable, but still this is more interesting in concept than what actually shows up.

Now after complaining for three paragraphs I feel I should say that I didn’t hate this book.  Quite the contrary, it was an interesting little romp.  I will definitely continue the story.  Let’s just say I’m not jumping up to get it.

Probably not the most helpful review, but hey, I tried.  I’ll hopefully have a book review on Friday, we shall see.  Gonna do my best.

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!

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.

Runaways: Battleworld by Noelle Stevenson Review (Spoiler Free)

Remember when Wednesday was comic book day?  Lets bring that back.

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Comic Title: Runaways: Battleworld
Writer: Noelle Stevenson
Artist: Sanford Greene
Publisher: Marvel
Collected Issues: #1-4
Genre: Teen Superheroes
Rating: T for Teen

When we actually talk about comics on comic book day guys.  I did the thing.  I have succeeded.  I also think I will have another review next week but I’m not positive as of right now.

Alright, talk to you guys on Friday!  Off I goooo to work again, because the real world never eeeeends!

Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope Review

I promised I would back track a little and do a full review of the first volume of Low when I went to do a review of the second volume and realized I had never actually talked about the first.  Which is a travesty as this comic was my favorite comic of the year!

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Comic Title: Low
Volume Titile: Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope
Collected Issues: 1-6
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 144
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Rating: M for Mature

Just looking at that cover you probably know what drew me to this comic in the first place.  I’m such an art snob when it comes to comics, if the art isn’t appealing to me it often means I can’t keep reading it even if the plot and writing is fine.  There needs to be a balance of both and I have heard people complain about the writing here, that it doesn’t match the art, or that the art is so flashy in order to cover up the fact that the story isn’t very good, and I would like to tell you why that isn’t so.

Now, I know that some people have an issue with how the trajectory of this story takes place.  It is a bit confusing at times, as it skips around in perspective and time and place.  This can make it frustrating to read as it isn’t linear.  However, I would recommend if you are confused to try reading it a little slower.  The comic is extremely well constructed.  You are seeing all of the different points in time and perspectives of one family as they struggle to find a way to save the human race.

This is a dystopian comic that takes place in giant under water cities generations after they were originally built.  The structures are breaking down and running out of resources so most of the people have resorted to living each day like it were their last.  They have lost hope.  However, the main characters in this story have not.  They are going to go on an expedition to the surface to find a probe that has returned to earth saying it has found a planet suitable for living, despite the fact that the air and the water near the surface are toxic.

On top of this, I think the thing that makes a good comic great is the ability for there to be subplots and sub-characters having stories in the background of panels where the main plot takes place.  These can either feed into the main plot later, or simply be little details that really add to the world building.  I think this is one of the greatest strengths of Low.  There are so many interweaving stories, it is able to show so many different ways of coping with the loss of hope, or the sudden realization that there may be hope after all.

If you are a fan of dystopian literature and are looking to get into comics or graphic novels, I would definitely think about picking this one up!  Like I said, it was my favorite comic of last year.

If you want to read my review of the second volume then you can find it here!

I will be back on Friday with a book review, and then something new and special on Saturday!  Get read guys, new things coming our way.