The Doomster’s Monolithic Pocket Alphabet set to bring new darkness to shelves…

The Doomster’s Monolithic Pocket Alphabet is coming soon from Image Comics, this November.

This “definitive illustrated lexicon of all things doom,” set as 64 page, full-color, pocket-sized, hardcover book written by Theo Prasidis and illustrated by Maarten Donders, puts a cheeky spin on small illustrated books in the vein of Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies and Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.

SEE PREVIEW BELOW!

In five decades of wretched existence, doom metal has evolved into a vast orchard of unearthly delights. Bongs, goats, amps and a lot of naked nuns, all collide into this stunningly visualized, whimsical, mature-rated gift book. Explore the genre’s unholy rites with The Doomster’s Monolithic Pocket Alphabet, the definitive illustrated lexicon of all things doom. Or be doomed!

“Watching our beloved genre grow exponentially in popularity over the years, we decided to have a little fun with its clichés and inside jokes. The result is a really special, ultra heavy little book and we cannot wait to show it to the world. November is a time for DOOM!” said Prasidis and Donders.

The Doomster’s Monolithic Pocket Alphabet will bring its doom to stores on Wednesday, November 8th, and in bookstores on Tuesday,

 

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 4 – More Exhibit Hall Fun

Here are more sights from the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, showing some interesting finds at the Exhibit Hall.

The Exhibit Hall is my favorite area in all of this Comic Con. Most of my time at this SDCC was well spent among the many here. The gigantic area holds over 460,000 square feet of open space for the attendees and booth merchants and exhibitors. Some recent observations are covered in Part 1 and Part 3 of our SDCC recaps. Here and below, I have more pics and notes focusing on the items observed during this wonderful show. Enjoy!

A glimpse of the Exhibition Floor. Up close is the small press area, and further away are the big Exhibit booths (Sideshow, DC Comics in view).

Original page art for sale. At the SDCC, I find more original page art (and very high end) pieces for sale than any other convention.

One of my favorite booths of recent SDCCs, DKE Toys. Strange, wonderful designer toys made in extremely limited quantities.

A life-sized model of a Gremlin, at the Elite Creatures booth.

Comic Con remains a great source for fan art.,,

The Gentle Giant Booth, showing off its collection of large scale replicas of vintage Star Wars figures.

The NECA Toys Booth, showing yet released baby Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures.

More upcoming TMNT turtles figures at the NECA Booth.

The NECA booth again, with previews of new Aliens figures based on the classic Aliens vs. Predator arcade game.

NECA Booth again, checking out the upcoming Blade Runner figures.

Back in the merchant area, some very rare and pricy vintage Star Wars figures mint on card.

I think this is from the Bluefin booth, exhibiting an awesome Wonder Woman movie statue.

Another merchant table, with many purchase choices.

The Square Enix booth hasn’t changed its appearance in years. Here, are prototypes for figures based on the game, Nier: Automata.

Strange Nicolas Cage art, because there is something for everyone here…

A close up of a prop of the recent Ghost in the Shell movie, at the Weta booth.

A center display at the Debbie Reynolds, Carry Fisher Personal Collection booth

Some interesting items on display and up for auction in December, at the Debbie Reynolds, Carry Fisher Personal Collection booth

At the DC booth, a preview of future items for sale via DC Direct. These being Artist Alley PVC figures.

More Artist Alley PVC figures..

And more DC Artist Alley PVC figures.

New Lord of the Rings designer figures, or “Mini-Epics.” At the Weta Booth

Another merchant showing off some custom made figures…

The DC booth, with a large wall of some coming comic happenings.

Cyborg original costume prop for the upcoming Justice League movie, at the DC booth

Batman, Flash original costume props for the upcoming Justice League movie

Wonder Woman, Aquaman original costume props for the upcoming Justice League movie

original costume prop for the upcoming Star Trek Discovery series

Skottie young art based Groot and Rocket Raccoon statues, at the Gentle Giant booth.

the Mega Bloks booth, showing some block-built Pokemons…

A life-sized K-2SO statue greets visitors at the Sideshow Collectibles booth.

Some older vintage comics with covers I found amusing…

And that’s all for this portion. stay tuned for the next portion focusing back on the cosplay element…

Look forward!!

 

Comic Reading Review: Eleanor and The Egret #2

Eleanor & The Egret #2

  • Writer: John Layman Artist: Sam Keith Colorist: Ronda Pattison
  • Published by: Aftershock Comics Publish Date: May 17, 2017
  • Notes: Monthly comic series

Synopsis:

“What kind of thief leaves a single feather at the scene of the crime? Perhaps one that has a talking, painting-eating, oversized Egret as a pet—a pet that gets more oversized the more paintings he eats! Sounds fun, right? Except for some of the people now determined to stop this thief, who is anything but!”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

This is the most long-awaited second issue of a new series in recent memory. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of Eleanor and the Egret for its awesome writing and introductions from John Layman (best known for Chew). And, I also enjoyed the return of the magnificent art stylings of the creator of Sam Keith (best known for The Maxx).  So here I am, with the second issue at last. Does it carry on the momentum?

From the first few pages, there is a bit of prologue setting up of a possible foil to Eleanor and her giant white avian partner; Detective Belanger. A distinguished style is carried in his stature and composure with the hat, trench coat, curvy thin mustache, and a cat (!). Such exhibits confidence in his investigations but there some odd placement and attention to the surrounding zoo settings, which challenges the thinking of Detective Belanger. The zoo animals present are large, with more detail than the humans. There leads to the idea to me, that perhaps there is more than meets the human eye.

In the next story sequence, Eleanor and the Egret meanwhile steal another painting. Such the act takes time over many pages of beautiful exposition. The artist and colorist do an amazing job of displaying the large panel sequences and happenings of the action and reaction. Each shot with the position of the truck, bird, and figures are perfectly done. The result, exhibits the cleverness of Eleanor and her Egret, as the best-shared asset for their painting stealing goals.

The following pages set-up the players of this curious drama, with bits of back story and droppings of interesting developments. This leads to further revelations (and new questions) of the identities of this brilliant duo. Both and Eleanor are partners in a plan more complex than simple theft, for personal reasons against a particular painter. I am quite anxious on the deeper story of this, and what crazy original reason that I think only the writer John Layman can tell.

Then we meet the painter of the stolen paintings, Anastasia Rue. Her introduction is classy, yet sinister and devious. There is great buildup within the last few pages, of her ruthlessness in seeking out the culprit with a probably personal connection, and perhaps there is more to her than her art. The last page heightens the suspicion, with something that is terrifying and exciting at her request.

Overall, a treat that fans of the first issue will also consume and enjoy. John Layman does a wonderful job with his playful exposition, while Sam Keith’s unique style remains awesome. No pages are wasted in either talent, with great results leading me to impatiently wait for the third issue.

See the July Tom Whalen Variant Comics Covers from IDW Puiblishing

IDW Publishing recently announced its special variant cover theme for its comic books in the the July 2017 month, featuring the awesome art of Tom Whalen upon its many licensed characters in their popular monthly titles.

Here they are…

 

All are scheduled for release in July, but likely in limited quantities. Consult your local comic book retailer for more order info.

Image Comics brings parallel-Earth adventure in RETCON, this September

Writer Matt Nixon (Wolverine) and artist Toby Cypress (Rodd, Racer, Blue Estate) will team up for an all-new time-hopping paranormal series, Retcon, from Image Comics.

In Retcon, a group of paranormal adventurers faced with an impossible threat keep shutting down alternative timelines in order to prevent the ultimate destruction of the solar system. This is only to find themselves reinvented in a similar—albeit retconned situation—back in issue #1 on a parallel Earth, facing the same enemy.

“Artist Toby Cypress and I set out to make Retcon a ‘craft’ comic book,” said Nixon. “We took our time and made sure from layout to panel design to colors and letters—every piece fits, nothing was rushed. We made the best book that we could, and we believe it will find its audience.”

Cypress added, “Matt’s story is like David Lynch doing a few episodes of X-Files, it’s weird, over the top, and subtle all at once.”

RETCON #1 will hit stores this September 2017.

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.3.24, New Myths and Legends

More new comics from last week!

Among them, comes a variety of new visions based upon epic fantasy and fantastic concepts. Some are twistings of such, reaching into our childhood dreams and warping further the endless possibilities.

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 3/15, 2017:


Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: The Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton

“WAR IS COMING! Shadow Moon just got out of jail, only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard—thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural, where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a brewing war between old and new gods hits a boiling point..”

Here is an adaptation on Neil Gaiman’s book, first published in 2001. I have mixed feelings about this, though I felt originally excited. Now, I feel somewhat mixed on this translation from lengthy text to sequential art. Perhaps, being an adaptation and relying upon the original work to tell a story feels a bit odd. Yet, I felt drawn because much time has passed since last read. Or perhaps, the established vision doesn’t quite match to my expectations. Also, there is a new television  series, of which I have similar feelings about.Yet, I really dig the art and balance of the story in its interpretation. The characterization and setting play true to the original story, but I feel something missing in what also feels like an abridged version. Yet, I feel interested in any artistic of mythological gods and monsters. The artwork of the interpretation is the book’s strength, as I feel in discovering more of such as the series continue. The story, not so much. I wish I was less familiar with the source material, to fully enjoy this.

Head Lopper #5 (Image) by Andrew Maclean

“NEW STORY ARC “IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWER” Norgal and Agatha are back! A daring new adventure awaits, looming like the Crimson Tower, home of Ulrich the Twice Damned, sworn enemy of Zhaania Kota Ka. With old friends and new, our heroes boldly enter the bloodied pinnacle with bare steel and steady hearts. The quarterly series HEAD LOPPER has returned.”

This is my first read of Head Lopper, of which I came across from a friend’s purchase. From what I thoroughly enjoyed,  I definitely should go back on the earlier issues and check out this series. Though there is little I learned on the Head Lopper, his world is a fascinating set-up and cornucopia of discovery, just from this one issue. There is heavy magic, action, architecture, and odd concepts that defy any sort of genre stereotype.  I also like the odd humor and offbeat characters, giving this a sort of adventurous feel for the heart in knowing the surreal setups and fun characters. The jump on point still feels early, and the potential for far more is definitely ahead. I just need to go back a little first.

I Hate Fairyland #11 (Image) by Skottie Young

“NEW STORY ARC “CON GIRL” Gertrude is back in her hit-comedy/fantasy/all-out bloodbath of a comic, I HATE FAIRYLAND. Gert and Larry take a break from their normal questing and killing for some fun at Fairyland’s annual Dungeon Con.

I am much happy to see the return of Gert to the comic stands (after a short hiatus). This issue brings a bit of familiarity to the fantastical Fairyland, of which our perturbed protagonist visits an annual fantasy convention. The con itself is a mix of the gaming, sci-fi, fantasy, comic, and related geek culture gatherings that are now ingrained into the mainstream entertainment landscape. I enjoyed and related much to the hero-worship striking Gert and she finds herself at both ends of the fandom relationship. She again learns important lessons, and seemingly ever-growing as a result, while bonding deeper into the strange world less trapped in. The art is the usual mix of vibrant awesome. However, I notice more so from this issue, the developed mastery of Skottie Young’s artistic ability to bring about body form to exhibit character, with special attention to shape and expressions. His artwork is genius, and very underrated.

He-Man/Thundercats#4 (DC) by Rob David, Lloyd Goldfine, Freddie E. Williams II

“The epic series comes to the only conclusion possible: all-out war against Mumm-Ra and Skeletor! He-Man and Lion-O confront the diabolical duo in the heart of the magical, mystical Castle Grayskull, but the battle royal quickly expands across the multiverse itself

What ridiculous fan-service this series has become. As a fan of both cartoons based upon, I have gained much in the return of the guiltiest pleasure of my childhood, absurd fantasy concepts with the ridiculous high stakes and enduring heroism. Such is plenty here, but also the merging of Eternian and Thundarian fanfare. Much of which, I pondered by some in some dream after a heavy dose of Sunny-D and Fruit Roll-Ups. Meanwhile, artwork is very busy in trying to comprehend all, and has grown on me as the story progresses. The beastly concepts, especially of the supporting cast of good and evil is well-done. Anyway, the story reached its satisfiable conclusion, delivering all expected and much more.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  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 2017.3.10, New Goodies

Here we go, with newish (still catching up) and returning favorite comics.

Dive right into these following books worth checking out (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 3/1/2017:

Cosmic Scoundrels #1 (IDW), by Matt Chapman, Andy Suriano

“Space-fairing bachelor scalawags Love Savage and Roshambo – along with a little mothering from their ship’s AI, Mrs. Billingsley – shuttle from job to job and continually find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Despite their best efforts to look out only for themselves, they usually end up involved with alien crooks, shady black market baby schemes, and space sickness-inducing drugs. They’re on the loose and on the run – from everyone!”

Something a little different, for sure. There is a lot of good fun here and often missed from the overall genre of the new cosmic science fiction. The story doesn’t take itself too seriously, especially with the tiny captions that are necessary to explain some of the lingo and strangeness. There is much fast-paced action. However, the main characters are a bit hard to relate, for the first issue. Maybe that takes time. The ending of the first issue looks to deliver the direction this book needs. But the art is a bit rough and not for everyone. It’s necessary for the book, to delivery the crookedness and chaotic coloring to an otherwise boring universe. I like it, for now.

Paper Girls #12 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson

“Growing up can be deadly..”

So the adventure into a strange new world continues for our young delivery dolls. For now, there feels an extension of the campfire scene of the last issue. But now, there are new players with yet more questionable intentions and direction. There are more questions, and more tragedy…something the writer does well in his work. There is a mix of otherworldly and danger, yet the sudden reminder of who are Paper Girls are in this overall story. They are growing through delicate changes, leading to a very awkward moment for one. Mac remains my favorite of the bunch, with perspectives toward her future death are amusing and oddly poetic with her smoking habit. The colors continue to help define the art, making the unreality of it all a beautiful experience.

The Flintstones #9 (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“In an effort to cheer Fred up after he loses his job, Wilma buys him a new armadillo bowling ball. There’s just one problem: it’s terrifying the household appliances! Meanwhile, across town, the Bedrock elite join a shadowy prosperity economic cult.”

Another great issue full of humor, development, and social commentary. But this issue more develops the Bedrock town far more than previous issues. Much of the side characters and subplots of past issues are showing signs of development and things to perhaps come for the following issues. Only in Mark Russell’s Bedrock can a vacuüm cleaner and bowling ball show a real change in relationship towards each other and the world around them. Their facial emotions by the art are excellent, telling much more in their reactions to the sudden changes, giving a moment of fear in my eyes for a possible tragedy, eventually averted. Meanwhile, Fred’s boss is awesome with his own new gadget, a giant bird named Brutus. He makes life easier through simple commands, but not a flawless form of technology. Such relates to our mobile devices, and how we bury our happiness in their convenience; only to be feel betrayed when they become useless and loss to us. Overall, an issue full of heartwarming moments near the end. However, a bit creepy on that last page.

Extremity #1 (Image) by Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer

“Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead…who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her? Creator DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Space Mullet) and colorist MIKE SPICER present a bold new vision, where the beauty and imagination of Studio Ghibli meet the intensity of Mad Max, in this all-new Skybound Original.”

PICK OF THE WEEK. I love this first issue. I am not sure why, but I needed to read it again to look deeper into it, leading me to enjoy it more. As to why is hard to pinpoint, as there as there is nothing particular mind-blowing or brilliant just yet. I think it’s just the balance of great characters and world-building not getting too ahead of itself. I love the set-up, with a family transformed by violence, driven by vengeance, except one. Rollo is resistant to the darkness in a situation where his father calls upon him to be cruel. The result is a hopeful light in the end for what humanity may have left in a brutal world. Thea the sister, is a bit of the opposite in her badass and hardened reactions. The siblings I feel will need each other, in what I hope will be a long developing tale. The art is well-defined, with awesome details. Overall, a well-balanced book that focuses more on character and situation, rather than overwhelming backstory. However, there is a much in imaginative concepts, that looks towards a great and possibly epic fantasy.

Royal City #1 (Image) by Jeff Lemire

“NEW ONGOING SERIES written and illustrated by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, A.D., Sweet Tooth). ROYAL CITY charts the lives, loves, and losses of a troubled family and a vanishing town across three decades. Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up, is quickly drawn back into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing mother, and his brow-beaten father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of his youngest brother, Tommy, who drowned decades ago. ROYAL CITY is a return to the literary and thematic territory of LEMIRE’s breakthrough graphic novel Essex County and is his most ambitious, and most personal project to date.”

Jeff Lemire is back, in the original form of which we knew him by; hard personal storytelling brought about by a combination of emotional writing and stylized art. We also get that return to the way he makes a setting as important to the story as the characters. Here, we have a number of characters given much time and detail throughout the book, for Lemire to share their personal struggles and relationships. Then, bring them together in a wonderful display of warmth and family love. There are hints of many wonderful moments, not mistaken for mere exposition to a larger plot. The art and beautiful coloring invite the reader to live each moment, through Royal City. Take time through the curious and beautiful moments, and look forward to whatever may come next.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the new shelves?  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. 

 

SW 2017 Emerald City Comic Con Show Report

The 2017 Emerald City Comic Convention in Seattle happened last weekend, delighting many for its 15th successful year.

I attended for my 5th consecutive year.

I spent one full day through what some say is the largest comics convention in the Pacific Northwest. That which is sad, being the comic books presence was not front and center for this year. Attending for my fifth year, I felt disappointed. Its artist alley, located on an upper floor while back issues, trades, and graphic novels sellers were held further back. The larger comic publishers (Image, Dark Horse, Valiant, Boom!, Oni) stood tall and proud, yet somewhat hidden in the mass jungle of gaming, anime, pop-culture merch and pop sci-fi art dealers and small publishers. Still, much fun for the attendees who now come to these comic conventions in search for such. I, being a comic enthusiast wished better for the struggling sequential arts industry.

Yet, there was a good presence of creative talent present, both old and new.  The great Stan Lee was present, in panels and for autographs. Most of the Image Comics founders were also present for their 25th anniversary for a panel and signings; including Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, and Jim Valentino. Sadly, no core founder Jim Lee present. Meanwhile, in Artist Alley, many familiar faces to the comics industry were also present; Tim Sale, Mike Mignola, Jeff Lemire, Mark Waid, Babs Tarr, Scott Snyder, andm more.

I was also pleased to see the growing presence of webcomics among the traditional monthly comics. Cyanide and Happiness, The Oatmeal, Agents of the Realm, Namesake, The Meek, and more were present. Such brings hope, that perhaps the comics industry will change and accept the digital frontiers. Then perhaps, learn from the new pioneers in web-coming publishing.

Drawing the bigger numbers were the pop-culture celebs, which included stars from well-known entertainment shows like Daredevil, Stranger Things, Star Trek, Walking Dead. They came, and talked, and signed many things. Such are vital to the success of the show. But, I had little time and patience for the long lines.

So, I walked around a lot and purchased much from the sellers and publishers present. Below, are some pictures and notes of my ECCC 2017 experience.

The crowds were a plenty, and so were the cosplayers. Here, many lined up for a mandatory weapon check. I feel safer already!

No convention or geek-culture pop fest is complete without some attendee dress-up. Here, are two Hobbits.

The best booths here at the ECCC involve the mix of creatives and their products. Here, the cartoonists behind the hit webcomic Cyanide and Happiness, and new hit game Joking Hazard..greeted fans and signed for a bit.

Shane White, present at the Steve Jackson booth for his work as Guest Artist for the new Munchkin Pathfinder game.

Here is Barry Kitson, a professional artist from a range of well-known Marvel and DC comics titles. He was sketching the Hero Initiative booth, a non-profit charity helping comic creators in a time of desperate need. For more info, visit www.heroinitiative.org.

I did not quite get what this costume referred to or about, but I love it!

A Green Lantern group pose, with a little extra green from a possible leprechaun photobomber.

The God of Thunder vs. the Grouch of Sesame.

Pokemon never die, they just multiply. Pickacheers!!

I met Marguerite Bennett at the Aftershock Comics booth. She is the author of one of a new favorite comic series, Animosity, of which she signed the volume 1 trade paperback in her hand.

Comic cons lately have been host to many booths of glorious fan art prints and interpretations. Mike Vasquez had his display. See more at mikegoesgeek.com

I like how this booth utilized its floor space. Check out Terry Huddleston’s work at thuddleston.deviantart.com

Part of the fun of the Comic Cons are the discoveries of new reads. Sometimes, they discover you. Here, self-publisher Travis Vengroff sold me a hardcopy of his new book, Liberty Deception. It’s a sci-fi dystopian thriller, of which I will be reading soon.

Back at the Explosm booth, where the Cyanide and Happiness crew are busy in their cartooning.

A print purchased from the great Duck and McDuck Disney family comics artist, Don Rosa.

I purchased many comics from the back issue bins. This was a favorite among them.

Later into the night, the ECCC Western Championships of Cosplay show…

There was a good mix of masterful hand-made costumes. Many cheers from the audience in return.

Overall, I had a good time at the ECCC for 2017. I spent more than I expected, but with no regrets. I also took more picture of some attendees in colorful cosplay attire. Those will be shown soon, in another posting featuring my favorites in costume as see on the show floors. Look forward!

– Orion T

(photo credits – taken March 2016 by Orion Tippens for strangerworlds.com..please ask permission and credit the site if sharing elsewhere)

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.28, More Recent Reads..

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Hey, some more comic read from the previous weeks!

Here are my notes on the following books worth checking out (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/21, 2017:

Animosity #5 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

“A safe haven looms on the horizon, but the walled city will not take all of Jesse and Sandor’s companions. Who will live, and who will die to save the pack?”

PICK OF THE WEEK! I love this particular issue, which practically reinvents the series to where I thought this going. This is a good thing, as I was hoping the writing would stay away from the novelty of talking animal apocalypse melodrama, and straight into something oddly more serious and emotionally driven. This being the relationships between humans and animals, now that we have this surreal understanding. Everything about this issue is great, from the intro of philosophizing shrimp to the chilling foreshadowing hinted ahead. In between, are fantastic moments and thoughtful character development, especially of Sandor the dog; who comes off as a badass, yet caring. Jesse also develops, in more than ways than I expected (a very surprise moment I best not spoil). The art and coloring continue to give this series set the tone, with an added touches that flesh the world of Animosity into a strangely believable one.

The Old Guard #1 (Image) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia—“Andy”—and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find and afford their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.”

A good concept from a favorite writer. There is something about the set-up that seems bothering. The soldiers after living the long runs, seem somewhat unfulfilled on what to do with it all. I would hope there is some direction in the way of making sense of it all. Though, they find themselves easily manipulated. For what reasons, we shall soon see. The problem is not having as much to identify with the characters, in an ugly horrible world of war and death around. I like the art and interesting use of panel storytelling, especially the high point of intense violence. I feel there is something worth a payoff in the overall story, but not visible yet.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5 (IDW) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“The hit new ongoing series continues with this special story focusing on Jaylah, the breakout alien heroine from STAR TREK BEYOND! Learn the secrets of Jaylah’s past as she prepares for a bold new future at Starfleet Academy!”

The Star Trek Beyond film is my favorite of the new Trek films. Much of that because I liked the character of Jaylah, but felt there could have been more to her. This particular issue delivers her back story, and strengthening her character further. To what direction could this mean? I wish she did not join Starfleet, and kind of continued on a sort of anti-hero or rebel. Still, I hope for something new and fresh from her in this new Star Trek series, and not rehashing old elements (like recent Borg storyline in the previous arc). The art was all right, but hoping for something a bit more vibrant in the coming issues.

Drifter #17 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

“Pollux has been searching for the truth ever since he arrived on Ouro. But now the truth finds him, and sometimes that’s the worst thing that can happen to you..”

Finally, comes a satisfiable explanation to much of the mystery of this great series. Its time was very much due, and such is more than expected, all with the usual awesome coloring and art. Pollux’s back story prior to the series is interesting, towards a reaction of where emotions can vary, depending on the reader. Pollux sudden actions to an impossible situation ends tragically. The fact that he lives through it all and not succumbing to regret and despair; enabling a good hero for the tough times ahead. I look forward to seeing where his character and overall story arc heads and ends. Then, I will reread the entire series to fully appreciate the added dimensions, which felt a hidden in the earlier issues.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  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 2017.2.27, More Wonderful Strangeness…

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Some new comics from last week, yes!

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/22, 2017:

Rough Riders{ Riders of the Storm #1 (Aftershock) by Adam Glass. Patrick Oliffe

“Three years have passed since the Rough Riders’ last adventure, but when an assassin’s bullet takes President William McKinley’s life, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is thrust into the role of Commander in Chief. As a country mourns the loss of their leader, Roosevelt believes that the assassin is part of a bigger conspiracy, one whose tentacles reach back to Europe and whose intentions are to destroy humanity through world- wide ANARCHY. To stop them, Roosevelt must convince Harry Houdini, Jack Johnson, Thomas Edison and a surprisingly very alive Annie Oakley to band together again. But time has strained the bonds that once united them and the ideologies of their enemies may have already seeped into one of their own. Welcome to ROUGH RIDERS: RIDERS ON THE STORM.”

A great jump-on point for those missed out on the first series. I further think this issue might be better for jumping on, than the first series. Anyway, this true guilty pleasure of historical science fiction is back, and much of the issue is spent with ol Teddy seeking out the gang (though some seek him out). Some great characterization that feels more like the creative build than likely the true-life versions, and that’s all right. I see some tense trust issues among the protagonists, where anything can happen in this series. I enjoy much of this new setup, plus the art. The characters feel more defined, with nothing too artistic or over the top. The dramatic angles and use of action at times bring me back to the older Bronze Age Marvel comics. That is also good.

Sun Bakery #1 (Image) by Corey Lewis

“Sun Bakery comics anthology features the following stories: “Dream Skills,” about a city where guns are obsolete and the social culture is swordplay; “Arem,” a space adventurer on a quest to photograph the most beautiful galactic vistas; and “Bat Rider,” a supernatural skateboarding comic.”

Three very stylish stories, with sweet and diverse choices of color and ink styles. Much feels a bit surreal yet imaginative in very different directions. Such, I feel unprepared for, along with the subtle takes on game and pop culture. “Dream Skills” was my favorite among the stories, which emphasizes the absurd choice of swordplay in futuristic, sci-fi worlds with role-playing elements.  I love the characters and brilliant dialogue throughout, leaving me in hopes for more. The other stores are good in their own way but felt they were best kept short and sweet, as they are. Overall, a joy to read with a bonus story and commentary for this happy reader to further enjoy.

The Few #2 (Image) by Sean Lewis, Hayden Sherman

“As Hale and the Boys run further from Herrod they find themselves taken in by the father of the militiamen. Hale’s past comes more and more into light as we discover how these boys are as good at guerilla warfare as they are.”

The second issue expands upon the first greatly, on the social and political aspects of this fictional post-apocalyptic drama. The art truly drives the story, with a fantastic use of earthly tones and complex lines that are either a bit disorderly to emphasize intensity, or structured perfectly to establish setting and situation.  The tense danger and stresses of the rising dystopia bring about the character in Hale; which develops hs character and purpose along the way of the story. The contrast in the flashback is also well-done, building upon intriguing developments both personal and broad. To where all this goes, leaves no promises. I remain interested at least for the art and the interesting puzzle of world building being done.

Motro #4 (Oni Press) by Ulises Farinas, Ryan Hill

“The nefarious Reptoids, defeated and relinquished to hidden outskirts away from the Northern Kingdom, abscond with the human race’s final hope for survival—the last of their children. Motro convinces the city’s elders to sacrifice themselves to reveal the Reptoids’ location so the children may still be rescued, but they’re met with a horrifying discovery. Motro, with great warriors and a squadron of tri-tankerbeasts at his side, must decide what it means to save humanity when faced with extinction or a grisly new future.”

I love Ulises Farinas art and visual style, from much of his past work (Transformers, Gamma, Judge Dredd). Issue #4 is an another awesome balance of the complexity of his pencils, and the deeply imaginative story developed. For this issue, there is much happening with twists and turns, thrills me much. There lies an epic heroism on display here, especially toward the end. The result is another underrated classic from the mind of Farinas, in line with my other favorite work of his in Gamma. While there is excitement in seeing his work from licensed properties, Motro shows far more potential gain in greater work from his own creative visions.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  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.