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.

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Books, Comics

Southern Bastards Vol. 2: Gridiron Review

Alright guys, fun facts, I am running out of comics that I’ve finished to review for you so I’m going to need a new comic related feature to put in here on Wednesday to stretch it out until I finish something new or, you can give me suggestions for comics I should go and read!  That too!  If there is a little bit of a lapse in quality comic content, my apologies, this is why.

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Series Title: Southern Bastards
Volume: Vol. 2: GridIron
Publisher: Image Comics
Collected Issues: #5-8
Writer: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Jason Latour
Page #: 128
Genre: Mystery
Rating: M for Mature

Now, I’m going to preface this review with: I have never been that interested in any kind of sport ball.  This volume is incredibly saturated in sports ball.  So I didn’t love it.

However, (You knew there was a however coming didn’t you?) I still think that this comic in general has a lot to offer.  Now stereotypes tell me that people in the south love their community activities, which as you guessed, would include sports ball of all shapes and sizes.  This particular town in question prefers HandEgg (Football but I prefer to accurately describe the sport).  I was willing to listen to this story about this sport because it was giving me insight into one of the most intriguing characters in the previous volume (see my review of that if you so desire).

I have to say that when I picked up issue number 5 I figured it was going to pick up where the last volume left off.  I was wrong.  I didn’t realize then, but having continued reading the comic, I know now that this series is not a chronological story.  It isn’t plot driven.  It is character driven.  It is a story giving you a definition of this town through its inhabitants.  Each volume focuses on a different character.  This volume focuses on the main antagonist of the last volume and the next volume focuses on someone different.  I feel like the longer the comic runs the more all of these stories will twist together into something tangible and perhaps even a forward moving plot, there was a bit of a mystery involved in the first volume it might be wise to get back to that.

I cannot say at this moment whether it will be successful at this.  However I think it has a lot of promise and for the time being, I have faith in what they are doing with it.

I will stick around even though I, someone who grew up in Massachusetts and never cared about communal activities … reading is a pretty solitary act, until you start talking about it on the internet that is… I will stick with it because I really love the atmosphere of this comic.  I feel like it perfectly captures something completely other to me.  It may be a bit of the uncanny.  I like the way that it moves so slowly and that we are focusing on different aspects of these stories because it means that at some point it will catch me by surprise.

I really love mysteries and thrillers and horror.  I feel like this comic has the potential to be really great at that.  Is it for everyone? No.  Is it still worth checking out if you have an interest in it.  Of course.

Now you might be wondering.  Michaela, you are always going on and on about the art in comics.  Well, yes, I am, because I love art.  I do have to say that the art in this comic is not my favorite.  It is blocky and harsh and I usually prefer softer lines and more flowing panels.  However, (See that pesky however keeps showing up) I think that the art style here perfectly matches the story they are trying to tell.  I’m not going to sing its praises but the strength of this comic is in its atmosphere and most of that is created through the art style.

So guys, that’s what I have to say to you for this lovely comic book day!  I hope all of your pulls this week were fantabulous and I will talk to you guys on Friday with a book review!

 

Adult, Books, Comics

Sex Criminals Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop

Yes, that is a Two Girls, One Cup reference.

This is a review for the second volume of this comic if you want to read my review of the first volume, you can find that here, and if you don’t wish to be spoiled for events of the first volume, best avoid this.

tldr; (if you couldn’t read that paragraph who are you? why are you here? is it the sassy parenthetical comments?)

*Possible SPOILERS for Vol. 1*

Click me for the Goodreads page!

Title: Sex Criminals
Volume # and Title: 2: Two Worlds, One Cop
Writer: Matt Fraction
Illustrator: Chip Zdarksy
Publisher: Image Comics
Collected Issues: #6-10
Page #: 128
Genre: Magical Realism

*This is a Mature comic with Sex in it, duh*

You guys know that I don’t often talk about the plot of things.  I find myself lacking in the department of describing the events of books in any sort of enticing way.  I much prefer to talk about the components of the pieces that really appealed to me.

For Sex Criminals it has to be the characters. Obviously the plot is important but I don’t read this comic to find out what the outcome of the library is.  I’m reading to see how our main characters are getting along.  They aren’t exactly.  They are hitting a bit of a rough patch. They are arguing.

I love how realistic this comic is with its characters. They are flawed.  Real people don’t fall in love and stay 100% in love for the rest of their lives. There are ups and downs. There are fights. I just really appreciate how they show that in this. These people had a weird whirlwind relationship in the first comic, they are now exiting the honey moon period. Shit gets real.

*Real* is going to be the buzzward of this review.  I can tell you that right now. Don’t play a drinking game you might die.

I also appreciate how realistically they talk about, and portray sex in this comic. People have kinks. Unless you are looking for a fetish book in the romance section its hard to find something that doesn’t have both parties achieving simultaneous orgasm in standard missionary position.  On top of that the artist portrays a vast array of body types and ethnicity in equally sexual positions and acts.  Every body is a sexy body, not just the pretty ones.

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is its the real deal, yo.

(I am far too ginger to ever say yo… even when attempting humor. I apologize.)

If you like stories that make you feel like they are real, despite the fact that all the major characters literally stop time when them cum … then please check this out.  It is both heart warming and funny.  These guys have a sense of humor.  I would recommend it in the trades, which is how I’m reading it, but I can’t speak to weekly pick ups as I haven’t read it.  I am not dissatisfied with having to wait several months between issues.  I like getting the full story in one shot.

This is a goodun’ I promise you.

(I may also be too ginger to say goodun’ … will report back.)

That’s all for today folks. I will talk to you all on Friday when I have my first book review of the summer that isn’t a Bibliomancy for Beginners read. Yes, I do read shit on my own. No it isn’t all shit. Most of the time I am quite satisfied with my choices. Most… of the time.