REVIEW: ‘American Vampire: Second Cycle’ #1

(Vertigo/DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Scott Snyder
Artwork by Rafael Albuquerque
Color Artwork by Dave McCaig
Lettering by Steve Wands

Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones, the undead stars or Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s epic horror story American Vampire, are back after an extended hiatus and having just read the first issue of the second cycle, I can tell you it is worth the wait. Continue reading


REVIEW: ‘Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Review by Kenneth Kimbrough

Writer: Brandon Seifert
Penciler: Karl Moline
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

First, a history lesson. While Disney’s Haunted Mansion was still in the concept stage, famed Imagineer Rolly Crump contributed a series of designs for a spill area called “The Museum of the Weird”—a walkthrough section populated with all sorts of strange, supernatural oddities.  Sensing that this was something unique, Walt Disney planned to make the Museum of the Weird into its own attraction Continue reading


REVIEW: “Cryptozoic Man” #2

(Dynamite Entertainment, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Story by Bryan Johnson & Walter Flanagan
Written by Bryan Johnson
Pencils by Walter Flanagan
Inks by Chris Ivy
Color Artwork by Wayne Jansen

Esoteric, ethereal, supernatural; these are all words I would use to describe the second issue of the wildly imaginative and overly ambitious mini-series co- created by Comic Book Men cast members and Kevin Smith minions; Walter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson.  Unfortunately Continue reading

REVIEW: “Boston Metaphysical Society” Web Comic

(Self Published Web Comic)   -   Reviewed by Feral Fang & J.G. Butler

Boston001covermockupv4A--small1“Before Mulder And Scully, There Was Hunter And O’Sullivan”.  That is the tag-line on what serves as the cover of this self published Web Comic, a tale about a trio known as the “Boston Metaphysical Society”.  Set in a Steampunk universe, the comic follows the adventures of ex-Detective Samuel Hunter, aspiring Medium / Spirit Photographer Caitlin O’Sullivan, and genius scientist Granville Woods as they deal with spirits, demons, ghosts, and more.  Another major player is the group B.E.T.H., a scientific gathering of minds featuring Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Harry Houdini - using their last initials to form the organization name.  To be honest, this was the first thing to bother me, as the use of historical figures seems almost forced, and isn’t really there for any specific reasons as per the people used.  Without the name, B.E.T.H. could just have easily been a group of hyper-intelligent scientists, or something similar.  For entirely different reasons, both the Boston Metaphysical Society and B.E.T.H. are on the hunt for a supernatural being known as “the Shifter”.  Responsible for the death of Samuel Hunter’s wife, he and his BMS crew are after it to kill it.  And, B.E.T.H.?  Well, they want it for science, of course!  As Hunter meets up with the famous members of B.E.T.H., he argues his case but quickly leaves in angry vengeance, annoyed by their want to capture the Shifter rather than kill it.  Waiting for Hunter at the BMS office is a young boy who has a dire warning - a ‘demon’ was coming, and was headed their way to ‘kill us all’.  This leads to a horrifying discovery for the trio - something or someone has killed five men, leaving nothing but a black, ashen pile in their place.  And, as of today (2/19/2013), that is all that is up, as the comic is updated every Thursday.  Overall, I really liked this comic, as it’s almost like if ‘Ghostbusters’ were to be played out in this universe.

The mellow and deliberate pacing of the title and writer/creator Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s script are very nicely laid out and void of a lot of the pretentiousness that can be found in works of the same genre.  Sometimes people take the ‘universe’ of Steampunk too far, making it more of the foreground itself than the characters and story.  To them, it’s all about the look and style, not the meaty content that can be written into such an environment.  “Boston Metaphysical Society” handles its world carefully and with grace.  Almost everything ‘Steampunk’ about this comic is in the smaller details - some odd machinery in the background, for instance, or a bespectacled rodent that appears for all of two seconds.  This story could have been told from any time period, and taken place in any location.  It’s just a good, universal tale that even the most die-hard detractors of the genre would have problem finding fault with.  Emily Hu’s artwork is very interesting, with an almost Manga style to some of the expressions, etc.  Most of the work is clean and precise, but either the color art or the scanning/posting process tends to make some of the images seem like low resolution shots.  The amazing color art by Fahriza Kamaputra and Gloria Caeli creates a look and mood that fits each scene perfectly.  Creepy, darkened moments are all shades of blues, dark grey, and black, sometimes contrasted sharply by the use of ‘glowing’ nets, supernatural happenings, etc.  Couple that with the amazingly ‘bright’ color art needed and provided in other scenes, and the range of Kamaputra and Caeli’s color palette is strongly evident.  Troy Peteri’s lettering, which has previously been seen in such comics as ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Iron Man’, and supposedly a large percentage of Top Cow Production’s output, is clean and coherent, especially the sound effects.  One thing that struck me as odd, however, was the use of a dark yellow background for the speech balloons.  This made some of the conversations hard to read, and at times gave me a little bit of an eye strain.

The only major problem I had with my experience with this web comic is its presentation on the site.  Each page of the comic is a single image on a web page, with each comic page placed on its own individual web page.  The actual comic seems a bit too small for my tastes, and that is made worse by a web design that I fear would scare more people away than draw in.  It’s clunky, not very ‘user friendly’, and resembles websites from the mid-to-late 90′s.  The color scheme of the site (tans and browns) detracts greatly from being immersed in the comic as dark, spooky images are bordered by the sites light colors.  Even when it does work in a way, as in some of the more lighter ‘dramatic’ scenes, it’s still distracting.  All told, the web site can really make the comic itself feel separate, as if you’re just viewing an image on someone’s site, as opposed to reading a comic.  The navigation of the comic is hindered by a messy design, as well, with the usual “Next Page” type links all lined at the top of each page.  This wouldn’t be a problem, were it not for the fact that upon finishing each page of the title, you have to scroll back up to the beginning of the page to hit the needed link [EDIT: There is a 'Next Page' link near the bottom of the web page itself].  This is another thing that tends to bring you out of the comic’s world, and at times fully out of the ‘mood’ of the series.  Even with the web site difficulties, this is still a damn fine comic that deserves your attention.  All the right things are at work within it, from the writing and art, to the coloring and letters, this is the full package.  I will definitely be back to continue following the story (it was left at quite a ‘cliff hanger’!) and checking to see these collected artists and characters grow not only within the book, but in the creators personal work, as well.  This comic has great things ahead of it.

You can purchase a print edition of Chapter One in a soft-bound, hard spine book, complete with a nice laminated cover.  Inside you will find early sketches, script pages, and even an excerpt from the short story “The Devil Within”.  You can also grab an 11″ x 17″ poster of the cover artwork (without the logo), which can be signed by writer / creator Madeleine Holly-Rosing per request.

VIEW SOME IMAGES FROM ‘Boston Metaphysical Society” HERE:


You can find the “Boston Metaphysical Society” Web Comic here:


WRITING:  8 / 10

ARTWORK:  7.5 / 10




REVIEW: “the Crow: Skinning the Wolves” #1

(IDW PUBLISHING, 2013)   -   Reviewed by Feral Fang

The-Crow_Skinning-The-Wolves_1-665x1024To me and a few of my good friends, the original Crow collection was an indie bible of sorts - a violent, twisted story with vibrant, black & white artwork that seemed to make every line perfect, whether it be a bit sloppy or loose.  It just fit as a package.  While there were many other indie titles and collections that I read throughout the years, the original collection still intrigues me (even with the horrid film they made of it).  This new title, subtitled “Skinning the Wolves”, is written by Crow creator James O’Barr and the artist Jim Terry, with O’Barr handling the initial breakdowns.  So, there is a lot of the older O’Barr style in this, even if just seen through some of Terry’s artwork.  A few of the breakdowns really shine through, giving way for some of the classic linework we know from earlier O’Barr artwork.  The addition of artist Jim Terry brings a new life to the Crow look (though this version seems to not have the Crow ‘make-up’).  The story opens on a Nazi gathering at a train station, unloading the ‘passengers’ to a camp.  Somewhere within this we are introduced to a tough guy/badass, who quickly takes out a few Nazi soldiers and is eventually killed.  You can see where this is headed, especially as a crow circles the camp before, during, and after the confrontation.  This title is pretty well done, though flawed.  What I didn’t like about it was the quick pacing and small number of pages.  Printed on thicker glossy stock than the usual, the book feels like a full sized story in hand, but reads in all of about 4 minutes, as there really isn’t much to it.  If anything, it seems like a preview of the title, as opposed to the first issue.  I’m figuring this is mostly due to the thick paper and the short ‘story’/introduction, which leaves me a bit curious as to what issue #2 might hold, yet also a bit annoyed at how little there is in this issue.  It really does feel like a back story.  I’ll be checking this out as it goes, so I guess we’ll see where it takes it, or doesn’t.  I’m totally “eh” on this one but, as stated, I’ll be checking out the 2nd issue, at least.  You just never know - Image Comics’ “Happy!” started out with a kinda-crappy first issue and grew into one of my favorite current titles.

2 1/2 out of 5 Snarls



REVIEW: “JSA Liberty Files: the Whistling Skull” #1

(DC COMICS, 2013)   -   Reviewed by Feral Fang

whistling-skull-cover_510x785-small1I am seriously in love with ‘the Whistling Skull’.  Only one issue in and I can tell this is going to be a great one, one that will hopefully move from this 6-issue mini-series into a regular title.  Where should I start?  The setting and premise (or what we know of it from this first issue) works so well with Tony Harris’ unique art style that it seems like one couldn’t exist fully without the other.  B. Clay Moore’s script is witty, while still taking the characters and situations serious, to an extent.  This book is silly when it’s serious, and fun when it’s freaky.  Harris’ facial expressions are genius, and his varied character design is definitely something to look at while browsing at your local shop.  Before you buy it, of course - because I highly recommend this title!  It almost feels like an odd off-shoot of ‘Hellboy’, but in it’s own universe, style, etc.  Like it’s in the same genre, if anything.  Not because there’s Nazis (there is), not because the main character’s head is a skull (it is), and not because it deals with supernatural themes (it does).  Basically, if you like things like Hellboy, I think you will like this book.  If you happen to love Hellboy, this is definitely the book for you!  This title feels so classic, so interestingly written and visually awesome, I’d really be surprised if this isn’t a hit.  I, for one, am along for the 6 issue ride, that much I can tell you.  I just really love this title.  Here’s to 5 more stunning issues!

- 5 out of 5 Sailing Rockets