Review: Bayani #1

(Caliber Comics 2015)

Writer: Travis McIntire

Artist: Grant Perkins

Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Bayani is fun and cool. It’s a kid friendly series from Travis McIntire and Grant Perkins that is both steeped in Filipino folklore, and at the same time modern and youthful. Continue reading

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At Second Glance: Up The River #1

(Source Point Press 2015)

Writer – Travis McIntire

Artist – Stephen Sharar

Colorist – Sean Seal

Letterer – Joshua Werner

There is a lot to say about Up the River #1. First off, it’s a Kickstarted indie title. It is most definitely a labor of love by those involved. Continue reading

Review: Godkiller Vol. 1 and Issue #4

(Black Mask Studios 2015)

Written by Matt Pizzolo

Illustrated by Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk

Additional Illustrations by Ben Templesmith, Tim Seeley, and Amancay Nahuelpan

I try to keep my reviews tasteful. I try to refrain from curse words as adjectives because they don’t usually expand upon an idea any more than a regular adjective might. I may have to make an exception here. Godkiller Volume 1, what an amazing f@#kin’ book. (and I don’t use my keyboard characters lightly.) Continue reading

REVIEW: 566 Frames

(Borderline Press, 2013)

By Dennis Wojda

One cannot help but see reviews.  It’s the nature of the entertainment beast, of which I am a willing cog, that for every film trailer, book excerpt, or comic book PDF there will be a person tap-tapping away on his laptop, opining on a shadow in the corner or a too-closely-filled word balloon. At the same time, there is nothing better than being surprised and having your preconceived notions wonderfully smashed before your eyes.

Continue reading

REVIEW: Find #1

(ComixTribe, 2015)

Story by Sam Read
Art by Alex Cormack
Letters by Tyler James
Edited by Steven Forbes

Comic books are a big business. Apart from many businesses though, it is also an art form, which brings it’s own set of complications. How do you judge art? It’s in the eye of the beholder of course, but there is a way to tap into the collective consciousness that makes something culturally popular and therefore financially successful, and at this point in time the term “comic book” seems to bring out wallets like never before.

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REVIEW: TetherMen #1

Written and Drawn by Matt Bellisle

2014

Over the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly interested in the indie comic market. I go into comic shops whenever I’m traveling and look for their “indie title” or “local author” section. Sometimes there are none, but increasingly, you find that each and every little town has a dedicated cadre of comic enthusiasts, willing to put the effort into creating a book.

I found TetherMen at a shop in Wisconsin, and immediately picked it up and slapped it (lovingly of course) on top of the pile I was in the midst of purchasing. Matt Bellisle, the author and artist, has delivered a unique book in a clever package.

Continue reading

REVIEW: Rampant

(Source Point Press, 2014)

Written and Illustrated by Joshua Werner

This is a bit of a departure for me as I usually stay in the realm of the comic book when I’m reviewing something.  Joshua Werner is a comic writer and illustrator on top of a novelist, so I’m not straying too far from the self-made boundaries of my tiny comfort zone. Continue reading

REVIEW: Hit 1955

(Boom! Studios, 2014)

Written by Bryce Carlson
Illustrated by Vanessa R. Del Rey
Colors by Archie Van Buren
Letters by Ed Dukeshire

I’ve gotten past the idea that the awesome cover art that peeks over the dividers on comic store shelves matches the art inside.  My younger self was burned more than once on the deal.  With Hit 1955 I was pleasantly surprised.  The awesome cover art only opened into pages and pages of similarly awesome interior art. Continue reading

Review: Chaos! Holiday Special 2014

(Chaos! Comics, 2015)

Evil Ernie: X-Mas Special
Written by Steven Seeley
Art by Juanan Ramierez

 

The Chosen in: Slicing Sammy The Snowman
Written by Michael Moreci
Art by Rod Rodolfo

Let The Blood Flow
Written by Steve Seeley
Art by Carlos Reno
Colors by Rhovel Yumel
Letters by Marchall Dillon

The Chaos Holiday Special 2014 takes three classic Christmas stories/songs, and gives them a chaotic twist (pun intended). The first of the three stories is Evil “Ernie: X-Mas Special.” This story is modeled after the children’s story “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moor. And just like it’s inspiration,  “Evil Ernie: X-Mas Special” takes place the night before Christmas – and that is where the similarities end. Rather than following a family asleep, waiting for Santa Clause, this story takes place at the North Pole as Santa mentally prepares himself for his big day.  And since this is a Chaos story, the Santa we all know and love isn’t at all what we are used to. You see, Santa isn’t fat but built. Mrs. Clause isn’t old, but a sexy red head who can “…think of a few thing to help you [Santa] sleep.”  As the title informs, Evil Ernie shows up and the fight that follows isn’t what you would think of at all.  And the elves that come to help – well never-mind, I can’t give all the fun away. But take my word for it, its great!  Continue reading

REVIEW: Dash: The Case of the Mysterious Zita Makara #1 and #2

(Northwest Press, 2014)

Writer – Dave Ebersole
Cover, Interior Art, Colors, Letters – Delia Gable
Color Flats by Josh Lester

There’s a stifling office, a lazily spinning ceiling fan, the camera angle is near said fan, its blades cutting through the shot.  A man sits at his desk, fedora tilted back on his head, a cigarette hanging from his bottom lip as he touches the buzzer on his desk, “Let her in…”

If you’ve read any detective fiction, seen a film in the last eighty years, this scene is familiar to the point of cliché. Everyone knows what “should” be in a detective story if it is to fit in the genre.  And, for the first ten pages of Dash: The Case of the Mysterious Zita Makara, you think it’s another detective story, one with all of the earmarks you’d expect from someone who obviously loves the genre.  There’s the setting.   Continue reading

Review: Critical Hit #3 & Pirouette #2

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Black Mask Roundup: Of Clowns and Hunters
Critical Hit #3
Written by Matt Miner
Pencils and Inks by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Colors by Doug Garbark

Pirouette #2
Created and Written by Mark L. Miller
Pencils and Inks by Carlos Granda
Colors by El Comic En Linea Foundation

I blame the holidays.  They sneak up on you and hit you where it hurts the most, in your “to read” pile.  And the comics don’t stop; they keep coming week after week.  So, with apologies to the creators of these two fine books, I’m combining reviews here, hoping that I can catch up and still spread the good word about great indie books.

It’s one of the things that make it hard not to read books when I see they have that Black Mask Studios logo attached.  This company has a commitment to great storytelling and some of the finest and most original art out there. These are just good comics. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman’ #5

(Brewhouse Comics, 2014)

Written by Josh S. Henaman
Line Artwork by Andy Taylor
Color Artwork by Tamra Bonvillain

‘Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman’ has been an immensely epic and unique sword & sci-fi mash-up since the get-go.  The entire run up to this point has followed that lead and run with it, far enough to where the lines between the normally divisive ‘fantasy’ and ‘sci-fi’ genres are so blurred they’ve become their own separate world. Continue reading

PREVIEW: “Edison Rex” #6 from Monkeybrain Comics

WRITER:  Chris Roberson
ART:  Dennis Culver
COLOR ART:  Stephen Downer

The newest issue in the opus that is “Edison Rex”, issue #6, is to be released tomorrow, March 13th, from Monkeybrain Comics.  I had a chance to read this issue prior to release, and was very happy to have done so.  This is an exciting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek comic that has all a title needs in spades. Continue reading

REVIEW: “G.I. JOE” #1

(IDW Publishing, 2013)   –   Reviewed by Ravingnerd

GIJoe-Number1-cover1A while back I was asked what I was most looking forward too about the 2013 comic industry. While I couldn’t pin just one down, I knew for sure that the relaunch of the entire G.I. Joe franchise was up there. The team of Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth delivered a nice start to one of America’s most iconic franchises. The art is definitely the best aspect of this book, vivid, vibrant, and alive, it captures piece by piece the drama and immense action this book delivers. I don’t think I can express just how fabulous the art is. While the art was fantastic, the story was much less dynamic. While it served as a fantastic introduction to the characters involved, the plot was set up poorly. The Joe’s were sent into a mission that was poorly explained. Thus the reveal that Cobra was in control of the town they visited ended up not being a big deal. There was plenty of humor involved with the issue, which was refreshing and nice, but the overall set up was poorly set up. That being said, it is still one of the best war comics to come out of comics in the past few years. The characters are dynamic, and the direction is clear. The comic simply stumbled upon execution of its first major hurtle.

Overall a solid read, and of surprising quality. While many have laughed, the relaunch of G.I. Joe seems to be just what the franchise needs. If you have ever been interested in the title or are just looking for a good read, then this is your comic.

WRITING:  6 /10  – Nice direction, but stumbled with the execution.

ARTWORK:  8.5 /10  – Surprisingly solid and well done.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE:  7/10  – Surprisingly successful and quite fun.

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