Comics, Musings

My Comic Project

No, I’m not writing my own comic (although I have had ideas about one… I just don’t think my art is strong enough for that yet…).  I am however doing some art stuff for my home.

I bought two big things to do some art on to hang somewhere in my home eventually and the first one I wanted was to recreate some of my favorite comic cover art.  The first one is probably way too ambitious and I am probably going to tear my hair out over it but I’m at the very least going to try.

I might update you guys as I continue on it but for this first post I figured I would tell you how I am going about turning a comic book cover into a painting big enough to go on my wall.

The cover in question is from the third issue of Low:

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My first step, as I did not want to deface my comic, was to print out a picture of the cover that I could write on.  I then divided up the cover into a grid that I would use to assist me in transfering the image’s size.  (Trust me it super difficult to change the size of something without the grid because it helps keep everything relative to everything else.

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I labelled the grid and measured the size of the board I was tranferring to so that I could use a ruler and mark out a grid exactly like the one on my print out, but a little over three times larger.

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This of course was followed by me sketching out the image, which I am still technically in the profess of doing.  Once that is done I will use clear gesso to seal the board before I begin painting so that it doesn’t deteriorate.  Then come the fun part!  Paint.

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It might look a little like a mess right now, but soon friends I promise it will be something great for me to hang up in my home.

If anyone is interested in the continuation of this process as I work on it, just let me know and I will be glad to show some more pictures.

Just a reminder that this is not my original art, it is someone else’s.  I am not going to be selling this or making prints of it because it is not my art to do so with.  I simply wanted something beautiful to hang in my home.  It will not be a perfect replica because I am not half the artist that Greg Tocchini is but I will do my best.

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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.

Adult, Books, Comics

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.

Adult, Books, Comics

Low: Volume 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us Review

Comic Review!  Woo! It is like I review things … weird.  Also third post in a week… unheard of.  We are getting things back on track.  Going to make blogging a habit.  Going to make reading a habit again as well.

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Series Title: Low
Volume: #2: Before the Dawn Burns Us
Issues Collected: #7-10
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 104
Genre: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: M for Mature!

If you were wondering, no, I did not review the first volume of Low, and yes, I know this is a great over sight on my part.  If you haven’t heard of this comic before you should definitely start there because this is a sequential comic and there are plot lines and characters that you will need to know from the first volume.  This is not the case for all comics, but definitely for this one.  This is not to say that this should be a problem because both volumes have been outstanding.  I might do a more in depth review of the first volume soon as well, to make up for my over sight.

TL;DR: Read the First Volume First.  It is Fantastic!

Now, on to the second volume.

My initial feelings?

*pained groan* THE ART IS SO GOOD.  IT IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS.  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  I have said, again and again, if Tocchini sold prints I would buy them all.  I need them

Now I have a friend who has said that he doesn’t trust comics whose art is outstanding because often the plots can be over shadowed by this.  This may be true for some comics but I have always found that while this art is painfully gorgeous it only adds to the story being told.  There have been few comics that I feel every brush stroke adds to the story.  Figures in the background having their own plot, or doing things that would eventually show up in the main plot.  The tiniest detail can have great importance.  Some might find it distracting, but for me, it is so important.

As far as the plot goes, I don’t want to spoil the first volume if you haven’t read it.  I have to say that watching the story unfold for characters we haven’t seen for a while was interesting.

The first issue in this volume has one of the most heart breaking endings I have read in a while.  It perfectly embodies what I feel Low does so well.  It shows a post apocalyptic world as it could be in many different forms.  Each of the cities have taken a different aspect of the horrible side of human nature and upon realizing the futility of it all and the mortality of their race have fallen into depravity.  This new city has such an  interesting way of going about it.  Not only is it interesting world building but the world building has shaped the characters.  These worlds are not without consequence.  It isn’t just Remender flaunting his imagination, as I feel is the case with Black Science, the world building is pertinent to the characters and how they live their lives, their beliefs, their morals, it all comes down to where they grew up.

Everything leads into something else.

If you aren’t sold on the art, or perhaps are over sold, know that this story is so well crafted.  Pieces of it are woven together in such a way that I can do nothing but applaud it.  This comic has everything I could want and more.  I am sure that it is my favorite comic of the year and I wish more people would read it.  I have all of the issues and both of the volumes so that I can lend them to people.  Please pick it up if you haven’t already.

I hope those of you who celebrate it have a lovely Christmas Eve tomorrow and I will hopefully have a book review for you guys on Friday.  No guarantees, but I will do my best.

Books, Comics

First Impressions: New Comics Summer 2015

Apparently this is my 200th post on this site, which is exciting.  I have been doing this off and on for a number of years now and the blog has changed a bit, but it still maintains my awkward rambling descriptions rather than anything that is helpful to anyone.

Speaking to that “off and on” comment, TWO POSTS IN ONE WEEK! :O Shock and Awe.

Today I want to tell you guys my thoughts on the new comics I have picked up starting last month, some of these have had two issues out and I will comment on both those, not just the first issue, but some are still single issues until the coming weeks.  If you want to hear my final thoughts on the comics I was reading over the Spring I reviewed them here!  

If this is your first time reading one of my posts, there are a few things you might want to know.  The first is that I very rarely do a plot summary, I prefer to talk about the elements that I liked or disliked and what I feel would compel someone to read them.  If you would like a plot summary however, I always link the Goodreads page to the image you see next to each impression, just click it and you will find a description of the comic in more detail.

I primarily pull comics from Image, because they have been on a roll releasing comics that are not only beautiful but have really interesting unique stories.  Here are a few of the Image comics I pulled in the past couple months:

There are two comics that I have pulled that started their comic run in June:

Title: Pisces
Writer: Kurtis J. Weibe
Artist: Johnnie Christmas
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror

Based on the first two issues of this comic I have to say that it is a bit confusing to read and that is intentional.  I feel like this might be one that you wait to read in the trade so that you have the whole story.  It isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me as a comic reader, a lot of the time that endears a comic to me, but for some, they may not like this comic weekly simply because its not linear.  You can’t read panel by panel, page by page and understand the whole story.  On top of that, this is a really heart-breakingly violent and graphic comic.  Heartbreaking in that through that first comic I was completely invested in Dillon and his struggle but if you aren’t a fan of gratuitous violence then you might want to avoid this comic.  There is a lot of blood and muck.

Who is this for: People who like science fiction.  People who like books that tell stories through flashback rather than single strain standard plot progression.  People who like to read something for the atmosphere rather than the traditional plot arc.

Title: Injection
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

This is one of those comics that just drops you in somewhere near the middle of a story, or even, I am beginning to suspect, toward the end of a story.  It can be a bit jarring, but it also lends itself to the mystery genre.  We see the remnants of something gone wrong, we see snippets of what it was like before the fallout, and we see how those involved are trying to live after the fact.  I was really pulled in to the first issue, I wanted to know more about these characters and this world.

Who is this for: This is for a reader who longs to see what happens after the story, because this very much feels like a story after the story.  People who have traveled to England, of which I am not one but the landscapes and setting is very much there and it might add insight that even I don’t have, finally but most importantly, for people who love sassy female hackers, because sassy female hacker, what more do you need?

There are two comics that are starting new arcs but have been ongoing for a while that I continue to read:

Title: Low
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

I cannot speak highly enough about Low.  If you haven’t read the first arc it is out in trade now, please go pick that up.  It is such a lovely story.  On top of that I want to cover the world in Greg Tocchini’s art.  If I could buy all of the prints of his I would buy ALL OF THE PRINTS and wallpaper every surface I possibly could with it.  This is the seventh issue, and is the beginning of a new arc.  We are dropped into a different set of people than those we were following in the first arc.  As of right now, I’m not sure whether the new character will cross paths with the main characters of the last story or if this is a new story in the same world, in any case, I am excited for it, I can’t wait.

Who is this for: EVERYONE! No, but seriously, if you like dystopian worlds then Low in general is a really good take on that, and this issue in particular looks at some more of those elements in here.  If you love art and color then you NEED to pick this up, it is sooooooo beautiful, I can’t stress this enough. I take it back, it is for sure for EVERYONE. That means you, person who has never read a comic or graphic novel before. Go pick up the first volume of Low and give it a try, you will be surprised how much you like it. (A note: This comic is rated M for Mature, so when I say everyone, it is everyone who is old enough, or has permission, for this… I would roughly say 14+ but there is a lot of sex so, reader’s discretion)

Title: Southern Bastards
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Genre: Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction

I really like this comic, but I don’t love it in the same way that I love Low.  Low is a comic that I want to throw at everyone, Southern Bastards is a comic that I like but recognize that not everyone else will like it.  The story is not particularly exciting, in fact it is rather dull.  It is a bit violent, but sparingly.  The pacing of the story is also quite slow, but all of that combines to create this really deep and interesting atmosphere.  The art is a bit uncomfortable which some people will be turned off of, I know that there are definitely some art styles that will prevent me from reading a comic even if people rave about the story, so the art is a bit touchy as well.  I really love stories set in the south.  I love the creepy atmosphere that this comic gives off. I know that it isn’t for everyone one, but it might be for someone, so I wanted to talk about it.  There are actually two volumes out that follow two different characters in this town, one being an old man returning to his hometown to clear out his father’s house, the other being the tale of how the football coach made the football team when he was in high school.  This comic starts a new arc and I’m excited to see what insight it lends.

Who is this for: People who love atmosphere, people who love stories set in the south, and people who love series that follow a characters arc to learn about them and their motives rather than one continuous story (the story of a town and the people in that town rather than one direct narrative).

When it comes to THE BIG TWO publishers I like to say that I wouldn’t choose either really, I feel like a lot of the comics coming out of DC and Marvel had grown a bit stale.  However growing up I read comics from both and I do still really love the characters, I just am sad that I don’t want to read their stories as much any more.

When it comes to coming out with new, interesting stories I have to give that award to DC:

Title: Gotham by Midnight
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Genre: Paranormal

I like to describe this series as The X-Files for Batman fans.  It revolves around this department in the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) who work specifically on reports that are or appear to be (are.) supernatural in nature.  This is issue number 6 which is the start of a new arc, again you can get the first volume in trade if you want to catch up.  This series has a new artist, starting with this comic, and I actually like it a lot better.  I wasn’t particularly upset about the old art style, but it wasn’t my favorite, the new artist is a lot cleaner.  I like it.  The colors in this particular issue are also really beautiful to me.  I’m just happy with where this is going.  I was always in love with the story but now I’m in love with the art as well, rather than just accepting of it.

Who is this for: People who like/liked The X-Files.  People who love comics that take place in Superhero Universe without Superheroes actually in the main cast, People who like Horror Suspense or Crime shows on Television at the moment. Yes. Good.

There are two comics from DC that are starting this summer that I picked up:

Title: Midnighter
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: ACO
Genre: Superhero

I haven’t been reading very many Super Hero comics as of late, I simply haven’t been infatuated with them but here is what I have to say about Midnighter. GAY SUPERHERO.  I have made an acceptation for my no superhero love when it comes to representation in comics.  I am happy to say that this isn’t just a vote for more representation in comic books, it is also genuinely good on its own.  Midnighter seems to have all of the characteristics that I really love about Deadpool (Shock, crossing the streams, how dare I mention a Marvel character) and Red Hood and even a little bit of Batman in there.  If you like any of those comics then I highly recommend checking this out.  Plus the covers remind me of old hollywood movie posters and I kind of love the style its giving off.

Who is this for: People who like superheroes who aren’t squimish about killing people. People who like superheroes with secret identities. People who are all for more representation in comic books not just in the side cast, but headlining comics!

Title: Black Canary
Writer: Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Annie Wu
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Genre: Superhero

Again I pulled this because I want to see more leading ladies in comics, not meant for ladies, but just being badass in their own right and boy does this fit the bill.  If you have been reading Spider-Gwen (again I’m crossing the streams, I’m sorry) then you might want to pick this book up.  I really love seeing Black Canary as a rock star, it just makes sense to me.  I also really love the tiny little guitarist named Ditto who has yet to speak but is definitely the most adorable tiny guitarist in comics currently.  I like that this story seems to be less about a superhero moonlighting as a musician and more about a musician who moonlights as a superhero.  It is good.  I loved it.  So pleasantly surprised.

Who is this for: Everyone who loves bad-ass lady types.  Everyone who likes the concept of “the daily lives” of superheroes.  Anyone who likes the idea of tiny guitarists which really should be everyone.  If you read it for anything read it for Ditto!

When it comes to Marvel, yes I am still reading Spider-Gwen and yes I am still reading Silk as well, but I don’t really have anything new to say about them.  I like the stories, I find them appealing, but compared to some of the other comics that I really love or was surprised by, they are about what I expect at the moment.  The one Marvel comic that is surprising to me is:

Title: Runaways
Writer: Noelle Stevenson
Artist: Sanford Greene
Genre: Teen Superhero Team

Read this comic! If you like Lumberjanes, this is written by the same writer. If you like Gotham Academy (DAMN ME I JUST CAN’T STOP. CAN’T STOP. WON’T STOP) then this has the same kids in a boarding school feel.  I have always been a fan of Marvel’s stories but I haven’t been in love with many, or really any of their currently running characters.  I love the characters in this book.  I think this is a really great thing that Noelle Stevenson is bringing to this comic.  It has everything.  Good characters, good story, good art.  Triple threat right here.  If you haven’t picked this up yet, please get your hands on a copy.  I also have to say that the character you would think to be the least useful is surprisingly the most useful in the first two issues and I really love that.  It reminds me of Death of the Family era Teen Titans ( 😛 ).

Who is this for: People who like Lumberjanes, Gotham Academy, or Teen Titans.  People who like comics with teams of superheroes and their dynamics.  People who like stories set in schools for the gifted.  Above all else this comic is just plain fun, pick it up.

Alright, I think I have it all now.  These are the comics I’ve pulled this season and what I think of their first (few) issues.  Let me know if you are reading any of these and what you think about them and let me know if there is another comic I really should pick up and haven’t yet!

I have a book club video from two weeks ago to post on Friday so there will actually be THREE POSTS THIS WEEK. It must be the apocalypse. It must, it must, it must.

 

 

Adult, Books, Comics

Spring Comic Wrap Up

While I haven’t felt like I could dedicate the time necessary to read many books over the course of the last semester comics are easier to accept.  It takes but a few minutes to read them.  They cost only a few dollars.  They are beautiful pieces of art that I want to keep and covet forever.  Recently, I realized that I have finished several story arcs of comics, in that I have read the comics that will be bound into trades and could count them as books read on my Goodreads challenge, as well as started some new threads and I wanted to talk to you now about the comics that I have pulled recently.  If you didn’t know, all of the book covers I post on my blog, when clicked, link to the Goodreads page for that book if you want to find more information, or hear others’ opinions.

Sex Criminals is one of the comics that I actually pick up in trade rather than reading the weekly issues.  It isn’t the only one on this list, but my explanation for this is mainly just that some stories work better when I read the whole arc rather than bits and pieces over a series of months.  I really like this comic.  If you didn’t know that this was an R rated comic by the title, for sure, it is not for children.  I have been enjoying the way that sex and relationships are portrayed in this comic.  They portray the struggle with mental illness in a realistic manner as well.  Plus there is sex magic and glowing penises.  What more could you ask for in a comic series?

Southern Bastards is perhaps the most controversial comic on this list.  Not because its bad, simply because it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  There is no magic, not really any action, or adventure.  The first volume had a bit of mystery, but this volume is completely and utterly back story.  If you liked the first volume and want to learn more about the main antagonist then this is a good read for you.  If you prefer something that is less character driven and more plot driven, then maybe stay away.  I really like the art and color in this comic, its a little disconcerting but I think it suits the atmosphere of the plot very well.

This is probably one of my absolute favorite comics coming out right now.  If you are a big Dungeons & Dragons fan, if you were a fan of the new Mad Max film, or just bad ass lady types in general please look into Rat Queens.  The first volume was action packed, where as this is a but more suspenseful.  We learn a bit about each of our main characters backgrounds as well as some of the side characters.  If all of that hasn’t persuaded you to pick up this series than all I have to say is, Orc Dave.  You are missing out on Orc Dave.  the best Orc Dave, that ever Orc Daved, ever.  Pick it up.  I beseech you.

This comic, unlike the others I mentioned is definitely suitable for the little comic reader you know, in any gender.  If you like cute mysteries solved by a rag tag gang of kids, set in a boarding school, in Gotham, then this will be great.  It shows kids who have a lot of heart, and passion.  Maps is super nerdy but still bad ass.  All of this makes this series an A+ from me.  I haven’t been too won over by DC or Marvel as of late, but Batman was the comic that got me into comic, although technically it was Robin that got me into comics, in any case.  Gotham and Batman were always the things that sort of felt like home.

When it comes to comics set in Gotham, sans Batman, this one is less Harry Potter and more X-Files.  It revolves around a secret department within Gotham PD that solves crimes of a questionably super natural variety.  I’m not sure how popular this comic was but I really enjoyed it.  While the art was not my favorite style, I do think the gaunt faces and heavy shading fit the atmosphere the comic was trying to portray.  If you are a fan of detective following around other detective because he thinks the work said detective does isn’t real and that the money funding this department is being stolen, then this would be a good comic for you.

*wheezes* It hurts us Precious.  This comic guys, this comic.  If you aren’t reading The Wicked and The Divine please go pick up the first volume.  It has a lot of Religion lore for you history nerds out there.  It has pop music for us plebes.  It has beautiful art and scenery for the artists or art lovers.  Plus the story is soooo gooood.  And painful.  Very painful.  The last comic.  Just the last comic.  It hurt so good.  I was waiting for that moment the whole series and then. AND THEN.  I won’t spoil it.  However I do implore you to read it and find out for yourself why it hurt so bad.  I cared so much about these characters, and the writers aren’t afraid to ruin everything you love.

So, this volume won’t be out until the fall, however I think that Marvel are doing good things with their female lead Spiderverse comics.  I am reqading both Spider-Gwen here and Silk.  While I like Silk better than Spider-Gwen I think this one was alright.  It didn’t have much going for it plot wise, more of a monster of the week kind of comic which made it easier to read each month.  However it means you have to care about her character to keep you going. If you like stories that are character bases, and alternate universes where Peter Parker is dead, and Spider-Ham, then for sure you need to pick up this book when it is released in later.

I think next week I will talk about the comics that I am reading for the summer, but here is a little sneak peak if you just want a hint on what I suggest you should grab from your comic stores soon:

 

If you want to hear my thoughts on the first issues here I will be talking about them next Wednesday! (Although that low issues is technically #7 the first in the second arc).

I hope you have a lovely week, and I will see you on Friday with a book review!

Adult, Books, Musings

Currently Reading Comics a Tweet Saga

Even though I have been clearly neglecting my blog this semester it is because I am in deep when it comes to school work.  I’m learning Chinese and playing catch up because I started with second semester Chinese rather than first semester Chinese.  I might be an idiot but I’m learning quickly, at least hopefully I am.

I have still been tweeting about the books I plan on reading and the comics I’ve been keeping track of so if you need updates or mini review, by all means follow me.

Also there will be a Special Spring Break episode of Bibliomancy where Taylor and I discuss Kelly Link’s new collection of short stories so look forward to that.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about doing more video reviews, making Bibliomancy into a Podcast and maybe starting up another podcast with Taylor wherein we discuss topical things like comics, movies, literature, and K-pop.  All my great loves in one place.

There will be things to post here.  I swear it.

I don’t know when exactly I will talk to you next, but I’m not done here.  I love it and I will keep up with it.

Adult, Books, Comics

Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man Review

Have you heard?  Wednesday is comic book day!

Title: Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man
Writer: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Jason Latour
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 112
Genre: Mystery/Crime Drama’

1 Sentence Tag: The South is creepy people, why aren’t more horror/mystery type stories set there?

I have to say that this is definitely not going to be a comic for everyone.  This is a slow burn and not a flash in the pan.  When most people think about comics they gravitate toward those flashy high energy super hero titles, and this is probably as far away from that as you can get before you hit Archie Digest.  There isn’t action up the wazoo, there aren’t bright colors flowing across the pages and that might make you a little bit uncomfortable, but don’t write this comic off yet!

The selling point of this comic for me, is the atmosphere.  This should be split equally between the artist and the writer.  The writer perfectly portrays the southern attitude in the pacing and dialogue and the artist is using a style that is just this side of uncomfortable.  The two together create the perfect creepiness.  I love a good horror atmosphere that leaves you just creeped out enough when you set the book done that you think about picking up something else just to ease your mind a little.  I get that feeling more often in novels and short stories than I do in comics, perhaps because I haven’t picked up enough horror comics, perhaps because something in brain doesn’t correlate the pretty pictures as scary, not sure, but this one definitely has that tone and atmosphere and I’m giving it props for that.

The girl who works in my local comic shop told me that this title is not very popular and I have to wonder why.  Like I said it isn’t snappy or flashy, but different isn’t bad.  There has been a lot of talk about variety being a good thing in all forms of media, if you are looking for something different to add to your comic rotation then I would definitely recommend this title.  If you are looking for something that is a little calmer, a little slower, something mysterious and interesting then I would definitely grab this one.

The second arc started recently so pick up the trade and the last couple of issues and you should be all set with this one.  Its in my current pull list and it definitely needs more hype.

Did you guys read it already?  What did you think about it?  How about how the first arc ended?  (If you don’t want to be spoiled best stear clear of the comments!)

I’ll hopefully be back with a book review for you guys on Friday!

Adult, Books, Comics

Black Science: Volume One: How to Fall Forever

Series Title: Black Science
Volume # and Title: 1: How to Fall Forever
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Painted Art: Dean White
Publisher: Image Comics
Collected Issues: #1-6
Page #: 152

I have to say that I was left wanting more with this trade which can be taken as a good thing or a bad thing.

Its good because I wanted to keep reading and learn more about each of the dimensions that the characters visit.  That isn’t to say that they don’t give you some insight.  The universe can speak for themselves in many instances but the world building is the most interesting part.

The problem with that is that the settings outshine the characters.  I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of them  nor did I understand their motivations. I know there were parts that were meant to be emotional but it felt more like it was trying  to make me feel for them and  wasn’t really successful in doing so.

I think that most of the success of this trade was the art.  Most of the world building is in the artists rendition of these worlds.  The writer had a hand in creating the universes but really its the visual representation of them that is so beautiful.  I’m glad this was a comic because I wouldn’t have been nearly as enthralled if I had been listening to a description of the worlds rather than seeing them in full color.

Overall, it was alright. It wasn’t terrible, and it wasn’t fantastic. If you want something mind blowing there are other comics being put out, but this isn’t a bad comic by any means. If you are interested in the concept of inter-planar travel  then you should totally take a look at it but there are even other comics that do this concept a bit better.  DC is putting out Multiversity comics right now, and that might be another place to look.