Image Comics gets high with its new upcoming series BURNOUTS

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The Burnouts are saving the world one puff at a time.

Image Comics lights up a new joint with writer Dennis Culver (E Is for Extinction) and artist Geoffo (layout artist for Marvel Rising), together for Burnouts, a new ongoing series lighting up in September.

“Think John Carpenter’s They Live meets Freaks & Geeks,” said Geoffo. “This is how Dennis pitched me the series, and once I heard that, I couldn’t wait to draw this crazy fun thing! I’m so eager to share it with the world. You’re gonna love it, and you don’t even have to get high to enjoy the ride!”

To save their friends and families, a group of high school teenagers must fight off an attack on their town by a secret alien invasion… but they can only see the aliens if they’re completely wasted.

“The Burnouts are the wrong crowd that your parents always worried you’d fall in with at school—and they’re mankind’s last hope,” said Culver. “I can’t wait for people to read this book! Geoffo and I have cooked up a great comic filled with teen angst, violence, and dark humor.”

Burnouts #1 arrives in comic stores on the last week of this summer, on Wednesday, September 19th.

Comic Reading Review: Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

Aliens Dead Orbit

Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

  • Writer and Artist: James Stokoe
  • Published by: Dark Horse Comics Publish Date: April 26, 2017
  • Notes: monthly mini-series

Synopsis:

“After a horrific accident strikes a space station, an engineering officer must use all available tools—a timer, utility kit, and his wits—to survive an attack from the deadliest creature known to man. 

Personal Thoughts (spoilers):

I am a huge fan of James Stokoe’s work since Orc Stain. His work continued to astound and entertainment my eyes through Godzilla: Half Century War and Wonton Soup. Now, he is doing this Alien mini-series for Dark Horse, and there is new joy in my life. So, in picking up Dead Orbit, I am already excited to hell from looking at the cover. Amazing from there, with hints already of something different for the long-running franchise.

Reading forward, I am already lost in the art and how Stokoe integrates the storytelling in the visuals. The detail is incredible in setup, rich in sophistication and setting stage for a unique play that is based on a very familiar concept. The amount of work put into every console, corridor, tool, displays a forgotten futurism best remembered in old 90’s cyberpunk anime and early 80’s Heavy Metal comics. Adding to the detail, as some defining colors, setting the tone of this cold dead station against humanity’s light.

Meanwhile, we meet a different small crew closer to the original Alien movie than the soldiers of later films. They are a working class, but small but full of humanity for what they find on an old space station. Among them, a protagonist whose imagination is already ahead of him, while dealing with the isolation and dangers of space travel. As with most beginnings of these Alien tales, there takes the time to get to know the characters and situation, while slowly getting to the Xenomorph acid dripping action.

There are some a few great tense moments, especially this one. I like the lettering.

Seriously, this new series is a real treat for both Alien and sci-fi horror fans. Aliens: Dead Orbit a fun, scary visual treat that puts the best of James Stokoe’s visual storytelling forward. Put this on your new comics list!

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.9.14, Some daring new adventures…

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From last week, yet still fresh…

This round brings much of the fresh, with new reads and series less than a year old. For all those jeering on Hollywood as fresh out of ideas while TV land filled up on rehashes and reboots, come to the comic stores and digital outlets where there are interesting, and stranger worlds.  Here below, are some choice single-issue comics I looked into since last Wednesday (9/7).

Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS:

Glitterbomb#1 (Image), by Jim Zub, Djibril Morisette-Phan, Michael Russel

SW PICK OF THE WEEK!! A new monster of the best kind, I feel is one from within that is given some sort of terrifying power. It’s here where the main character, Farrah, was already on edge, but something out there feeds on that and pushes that person to kill in horrifying ways. Yet, here I am as the reader somewhat manipulated in rooting for her in a messed up, cruel world, where she is somewhat just trying to make it through the hell of Hollywood’s exploitive atmosphere. The first issue is the set-up which gives us little on the supernatural elements and far more on the personal natures of the characters, from victim to victor. I feel the main character in a way is both, and the story interchanges as a full circle of sequence of time at work. The art is fantastic, with a lot of clarity in the facial emotions and reactions through panels. Through this and more, Farrah is instantly memorable on her own, even without the bloodletting tentacles she hides.

Paper Girls #9 (Image), by Brian k. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson,

Paper Girls remains the great, wonderful series that keeps fresh and going. Now, the shit is getting real with all sorts of things happening with some jumbled confusion.  While questions arise on whether or not to trust the “other Eric,” I find it difficult to trust the writer in thinking what the bigger picture is here. Is it now some alternate reality now, or perhaps some sort of bizarre simulation? I feel the real conflict is where the story shall go from the chapter ending, and what part shall the characters play in its development. Currently, I am slightly bugged at how other media outlets compare this to the Netflix series, Stranger Things. Yet, from this issue especially, this is so much more than some 80’s throwback. Much like the “other Erin,” I feel we still have some more issues yet, to really know the characters and where they all fit into the grand scheme, that now has an awesome zeppelin. Also, the coloring in this issue seems a lot more mixed and intense, especially with moments of action and heightened drama. It all seems to go on with the development, which I don’t think can be compared to anything just yet.

Flintstones #3 (DC), by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry

Wow, what a strange, yet interesting series this is becoming. The town of Bedrock has much going on in this brilliant reflection of our world.  We have an alien invasion, sort of where alien intruders on some sort of spring break rampage with no regard for Earthen authority, or life. Fred and his Paleolithic War buddies come to save the day, receiving less than high appreciation for their valiant efforts. While the book has funny moments and throwbacks to the Stone Age tech used in the cartoon, there is much satire here poking fun at the state of military vets in the modern world. There leads to an end that trivialized on heroism, yet brings a conclusion that feels tongue cheeky. We come back to Fred Flintstone whose presence diminished this round, yet and ever strong, the soulful heart of Bedrock.

Faster Than Light #10 (Image), by

The crew of. This feels like a perfect issue for something so close to the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, to remind us of the glory and beauty of the exploration into the unknown. Here, we have the crew of the Discovery encountering some sort of extradimensional singularity. Captain Forrest and crew do their best to establish communication, revealing far more danger than expected. A part of them is left somewhat, which feels more likely an exchange of great knowledge calling for more in return. It’s an overall good end to what is so far said to be the series finale, of which I hope is a series one, with a series two on its way (with the short stories on the Anomaly Productions official site to keep us in that universe in the meantime). The UAR app function adds much to the story, as usual; with some real scientific findings and info through in, to put the sci in sci-fi here.

Eclipse #1 (Image, Top Cow), by Zack Kaplan, Giovanni Timpano

Imagine the modern world, but instead where the sun becomes harmful to humans. Such is an intriguing premise, but somehow our civilization deals with it, by hiding and adapting as much of humanity has burned away. The adjustment feels a bit disjointed, almost unrealistic, though that feels like part of the charm. Now, we have humans who crave the solar rays in protective suits, dealing with a killer that uses the radiation to claim more victims, with a surprise toward the end that raises questions. I suppose the biggest one is why, and what could it all mean. We have some protagonists, where we as readers must explore the answers with. The art is wonderful with stylish digital coloring and refined textures, where I also really dig the lettering; overall the combination gives this book a very different feel. The execution gives this book a better joy in readability that works better as a stylized comic than any other medium.

Night’s Dominion #1 (Oni Press), by Ted Naifeh

An interesting new series that so far mixes a multi-genre in comics and storytelling together; with a bit of fantasy, superheroes, crime capers, and good action and drama together. Much of beings with an assembly of interesting characters, where the meeting does not go well. Much is in question towards who the book revolves around, as we get to know the personal situations of daring rogues who could easily in our world end up in a bunch of superhero comics. Then, something of a superhero does pop into the story, somewhat a dark mirror of today’s grimdark standards. What’s great is that we have the prime characters who motivated not by heroism, but to better their own down-trodden situations. There is much vibrancy in the art and style, that makes this new series more exciting than the setting and situations it presents. I hope for more character focus and development in future issues, where we can get a better perspective on where the story shall go, which has me kept curious for now.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.9.6 – Still familiar, but not enough..

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New comics are here again, but this time around I look to the familiar licenses on most of these. Some faces are familiar to film and TV, though not always under the best directions 9and some are). Still, there is that wide cult recognition that drives further curiosity at the comic stores, I think. Here in the comic lands, such faces present better under creative direction through well-assigned writers and artists. The results are interesting, with much in my notes below.

Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS:

Equilibrium #1 (American Mythology Productions), by Pat Shand, Jason Craig

I love the movie Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale as John Preston, the Grammaton Cleric turned revolutionary for the “sense offenders.” Here, is a story of the after the very open end, where the movie left off. Now, we see the continuation from the perspective of a new renegade Cleric seeking John Preston. The trail leads him to new allies, and revelations on the new distribution of the emotion reducing Prozium drug. The first issue is intriguing as a sequel that feels somewhat spirited to the movie with its high action and dystopian 1984ish elements. But off-putting is some particular moments of odd and unnecessary gore, which I think seems almost cartoonish. I am on board for future issues, but hope for less bloodletting, and an evolved more satisfying conclusion to the movie’s original end.

Silver Surfer #6 (#200?) (Marvel Comics) by Dan Slott, Mike Allred

I love Mike Allred’s take on Silver Surfer, but tire of the Dawn Greenwood character. I was much hoping that our Surfer would go far back into the stars as the cosmic lonely traveler. Yet, he is still Earthbound for much of this issue, and we do get some touching moments. Also, we got a fun team-up with the other Dan Slott written favorite, Spider-man. It’s overall camp, with more Silver Surfer adjusting to Earth life and the Greenwood family. There is a little curiosity to where the result of Mike Allred’s run will eventually go. Though I am not as emotionally invested in Dawn Greenwood as a character, there is a bit of odd sweetness that adds to the Surfer’s angsty life. Such, I ponder if such will add to the tragedy, and that’s the drama that keeps me interested beyond the gorgeous art and colors.

Sage #37 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

So much of this feels very ominous, especially after much on the happy endings and then the time hiatus. Someone is going to die soon, and such will be again, very unexpected. I hope it has nothing to do with the cute cliffhanger in the end, but there something putting me at unease. Anyway, there is some new expansion to the Sagaverse, which is always welcome. But, we also have some tender moments between the longtime beloved characters (with more Lying Cat!). Also, Robot’s very erect penis. I get the feeling that was put there to perhaps troll the complainers of the series explicit nature. Still, there is a huge question as to what exactly the erotic nature of Robot’s dream signify in the overall layout of events ahead. What could any of this mean, is anyone’s guess. But, the fun is to keep reading and just let things happen, no matter what may happen.

Afterlife with Archie #10 (Archie Comics) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli

Yay, another issue though not as long wait as the earlier issue. Still worthwhile and though it’s part 5 of an arc, this issue serves a chilling and thrilling tale on its own. Here, is a flashback that sets the stage for Josie and the Pussycats to enter the zombie-infested Riverdale town but with a twist as the issue flashbacks to their vampiric secret origins. For over 100 years, the group has toured under different names, some very familiar. The story itself is a real page turner, predictable but fun to where it all leads (and fun to speculate how they fit in the overall horrific picture). The art is exceptional, with some of the best vibrant red colors ever in comics history.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #1 (IDW) by Kevin Eastman, Paul Allor, Bill Sienkiewicz, Damian Couceiro, Freddie E. Williams, Tom Waltz

A good first issue that works up the expansion of the TMNT IDW universe that I feel has been the one us older fans have wanted. Different cliffhanger stories are afoot (and one about the Foot), though I was hoping for a better variety without the presence of the Half-Shelled Heroes. Though the main TMNT series via IDW is good, I have enjoyed so much more the Mutanimals, Bebop and Rocksteady, April and Casey and other odd one-shots and limited series. I hope there will be some fun chances to explore this “universe” with stories on side characters and perhaps some obscure returns familiar to the classic comics, toys, and cartoon runs. Meanwhile, this issue is off to a good start but not “universe” enough.

Predator Vs. Judge Dredd vs Aliens #2 (Dark Horse) by John Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Michael Heisler

A fun romp that so far hasn’t been as violent as I hoped, so far. The second issue still feels like a set-up for the whole VS. thing, where other factions come into play within the world of Dredd. Still, I like that all three of the major franchises in play are somewhat manipulated to some degree by a mad scientist who managed to experiment with various life forms. The end of this issue reminds me of some cheesy cliffhanger of the old 60’s Batman. How will Judge Dredd get out of this? I laugh to myself. Tune in next month, same Dredd channel, same Dredd time!

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.8.16 – Some New Age Delights..

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Here we go again, with some things different and new!

The reads from last week are new, with nothing too familiar and plenty room for new delights. Below, are my short reviews for those comics, of which I found amusement to some extent. Some of which are more than others, though some readers may feel different. Even so, do take a peek and consider each.

Here we go, with the new (and minor spoilers)…

NEW COMICS THIS WEEK:

NVRLND #1 () by Dylan Mulick, Stephanie Salyers, Leila Leiz

NVRLND is a very different take on the Peter Pan story, this time in Hollywood with modern-day parallels where Cook is a tattoo artist and pixie dust is the new drug. Seeing the version reminds me on much of how the original story was weak, both worlds where growing up is forgotten and the world filled with irresponsibility. The trouble with thus book is the reminder of all that, with its protagonists, especially Wendy being the most unlikeable. The book is not for me, but was deeply amused by this modern take.

Blue Hour #1 (Action Lab) by Dino Caruso, Chad Cicconi

I love the idea here, where humans are the aliens and we simply think colonization will be an easy, adjustable thing. With little on the big picture other than establishing human-alien relations, there is much drama on a small-scale leading to what, I can not foresee. I can’t get into the human characters just yet, with hopes there will be more to the actual plot and what exactly the “Blue Hour” is. The artwork is great and I love the landscapes and alien designs. However, the first issue doesn’t tell enough as to what direction or expectation the book has in store. I will check out the next issue and see, as I am a little curious where it all goes.

Hillbilly #2 (Albatross) by Eric Powell

This second issue is as great as the first. So far, Hillbilly is a true gem for its great colorful art, and driven characters. The issue hooked me deep into its first-person narrative and a quest that leads into another supernatural fairy tale. Also, much of the setting and supernatural elements gives me an Evil Dead vibe, and that’s great. I also love Death as the protagonist’s ideal companion for this issue, giving complexity while a twisted tree spirit can have a heart, and an innocent town girl ends up missing hers. Such the great small stories twisted in a bigger story is the world of Hillbilly, and I’m entranced.

The Flintstones #2 (DC Comics) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

Yabba, yabba doo!! This is a very unexpected surprise from DC Comics and the writer of the recent (and sadly canceled) Prez comic series. Here, we got more than a license from the classic prime time cartoon, but now with fantastic satire and social commentary of sorts that somehow still fits well with the spirit of the original cartoon. The art is brilliant, giving the familiar characters extra humanity in their presentation while maintaining the odd prehistoric civilization’s comedic gags. This issue is particularly brilliant with a focus on Fred’s discontent, with his job and religion (after discovering his god is actually a vacuüm cleaner!). The relation with his wife and friends tugs at the reader’s heart, making us feel for Fred as the great underdog.

Vision #10 (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Writer Tom King on this series has turned Vision into perhaps the most complex superhero of the current Marvel universe. He is both the hero and villain, as his programming struggles with the collapse of his synthetic family. Everything is wrong, as the son is no more and his wife is breaking apart. There is futility in a recent prophecy of a dark turn coming, as the panels and transitions are darker and foreboding in transition. I can’t wait for the next (and I think final conclusion) to the story, where the Avengers will hopefully set things right. The end is coming for both the family and Tom King’s story run, for which I am sad is all too soon.

Clucked #1 (HeyJoie Comics) by Joel Foster

NOTE: Put out digitally this week via Comixology Submit.

A book that feels a bit like the classic Howard the Duck comic series by Steve Gerber, where a chicken is stuck a strange world. Here we know some familiarity, but feel closer to the Major Sanders in discovering the strangeness of it all. This includes other aliens, and the lack of chicken; which was once a favorite food. He meets a new friend, where trust is put into question. Along the way, there is action, laughs, and some extra crispy served mystery. Clucked is good campy fun, with bits of social satire and witty dialogue. The art and panel transitions are kept simple, allowing the reader to stop and consider what’s next for a talking chicken in danger; which could be any direction.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.8.1 – To be a little fearless…

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The reads were a bit light for the last week of July. I went for a little less for that week for the releases dated July 27th. For that, and my recovery from the San Diego Comic Con, I caught up on a new favorite while taking my chance with a new Image title..

Here we go, with the new (and minor spoilers)..

NEW COMICS THIS WEEK:

Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur #9 (Marvel) by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reader, Natacha Bustos

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is so far turning into a very underrated treasure from Marvel. Though it’s definitely aimed toward younger readers, there is a precise charm to Moon Girl and her heightened intelligence and strange bond with a large red dinosaur. Stranger still is her rivalry with a young alien boy, determined to beat her. I love this issue and all so far, with great hopes Moon Girl and her Devil Dinosaur shall go far on the comic racks.

Drifter #13 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

Never thought of this as also a horror book, until now. The story itself carries on, but the part is taking time to admire and take in the colorful and detailed situations. Here, an army of zombie like humanoids (Wheelers) attack a settlement, with terrifying results. The attack sequence is among the best displays of science fiction horror viewed in recent memory with stunning art and detail. The art is really growing on me, enhancing the story which takes patience and some rereading to completely grasp.

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1 (Dark Horse) by John Layman, Chris Moonyham

John Layman, who I best know from Chew, I think much fun in his writing. He does great introductions, to what sets up an interesting story with am unpredictable end. This goes triple for PvJDvA. All three factions set well, with the pitting of outside forces among the three; which will make this more than a three fight, or perhaps with more awesome collateral where everyone else loses. The set up is great for anyone less familiar with 1 out of 3 of the franchises (interested in Judge Dredd on his own, but not sure where to start). Still, such will be interesting and fun, with Layman’s direction and good matching art.

Divinity II #4 (Valiant) by Mark Kindt, Trevor Hairsine

The second issue wraps this series up well, as a second part of a possible trilogy (part III advertised) in the end. Here,we have god vs god, as Abrams meets his match against Myskha for the fate of everything. Added is much on influenced literature and philosophy, with a little less on the Valiant comics universe involvement (which I think held back part 1). Abrams seems even more humanized by the end, with a resolution of friendship and understanding (while the early part of the book focused on action is seemingly pointless). The art is top-notch, balancing action and dramatic storytelling. The end is nice and feeling good, with much open to what happens next.

TWO FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:

Tales from the Darkside #2 (IDW) by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez

Here, another great read from a favorite writer/artist in comics. We have a curious, character driven story bordering back and forth between a creepy tale to a dramatic dilemma on self-preservation at any price. The cursed protagonist tries to live a normal life, but doomed as unfortunate, weird things seem to just happen. Yet, an answer brings in an interesting cliffhanger where anything can be next, and terrifying to those ever facing sedation in a hospital setting.

Prophet: Earth War #5 (Image) by Brandon Graham, Simon Ray, Giannis Milonogiannis, Grim Wilkins

I picked this up and looked at it for a bit. It was hard to put down, as the art in this is amazing. It’s reminiscent of classic Moebius and similar Heavy Metal magazine stories. I must read the first volume, and all of this second volume. I will then talk more on this later.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.

 

Short Science Fiction Animated Film – Sputnik (by Maxim Zhestkov)

Sputnik

  • Director / Designer / Producer: Maxim Zhestkov
  • Compositing, Sound Design, Music: Alexander Kulikov
  • Animation: Dmitrii Kolpakov
  • Character design: Ben Mauro
  • Time: 4:56
  • Release: December 2015
  • Notes: For more info, visit www.zhestkov.com

Synopsis :

“Sputnik” is a Maxim Zhestkov short film about the evolution of an extraterrestrial mind, and its journey to the light. The project was created with the help of industry leading artists from all over the world, including: United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Russia. Production of the full CG animated short film took a year and a half. All crew members worked on the project remotely. Maxim directed it and produced from his HQ in Ulyanovsk, Russia..”

Personal Thoughts:

A visually stunning film, of which I briefly enjoyed.

Much is on the stunning visuals, yet not too heavy. There is a message, though I feel it’s somewhat lost to me. The happenings I feel are interpretive to those enjoy the fiction in their speculative thinking. We have a lone alien, that perhaps represents the truly intelligent life among others, guided by curiosity and a reaching out for history and links to the unknown. To carry it within oneself, not as leader but as a keeper of things come and gone.

The twist I suppose, is how the alien species didn’t seem to care about the greater civilization above, almost dominating yet ignorant of their existence (or perhaps intelligent enough to leave them alone). It’s their junk that now lies in this backyard..an important treasure I suppose to at least one. I wonder how many in our world considered life on our Moon before humanity set foot? Does that light and operations of the unknown represent evolution to our drive for growth? There is much thought provocation within the short time, though I wonder how much intended by the filmmakers.

The alien design is beautiful, in showing a strong frame yet gentle presentation in characteristics. The movement displays fluidity and sense, for living upon a primitive isolation environment. In defense, I could see them as deadly and brutal, with their muscular features and long arms. The closest I can thing of in reality, would be that of the gorilla.

The sound noise is magnificent for its monotone brilliance and setting mood. The reminds me a bit of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Overall, a nice little short that goes beyond to the ideas of anything but short.

– Orion T

MUSIC: Battle Against A Machine

 

 

    • Title: Battle Against A  Machine
    • Game composers: Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka, Hiroshi Kanazu
    • Source: Earthbound, soundtrack to the Super Nintendo Game

Music, to fight the evil Starmen. The Starmen are a race of evil robot aliens with strange powers led by Giygas, AKA the Universal Cosmic Destroyer and Embodiment of Evil;  in an effort to lead all futures into infinite darkness. Eventually, a small town boy from Onett and friends may stop them.

The music meanwhile, is a fantastic piece of underrated electronica; from the epic role playing adventure, Earthbound (or Mother 2, to those in Japan and hardcore purists). It’s soundtrack represents the best of the Super Nintendo’s musical power to heighten game mechanics and mood beyond its own gameplay. But this particular favorite, is groovy and coool.

Earthbound is a magnificent game, essential for all mixed media story lovers. Currently, it’s available on the Wii through Nintendo’s eShop.