Friday, May 22, 2015

Wytches #6 *SPOILERS*

The first story arc has come to a close. We're told there is more to come. It wasn't all made perfectly clear in the end. You get the feeling that Sail's parents are dead and her father's boldness and bravery allowed Sail to escape. Yet in the end we have Sail's family, standing around a book shop as her father talks about his new book. I got really confused at first as to whether we were watching a flashback or some alternate future. It didn't feel like a seamless split between the two scenes and as most flashbacks do, bounced back and forth from the present.

In all honesty, I was going to dump this series two issues ago. I decided to stick it out for the first story arc. It had a solid start, then a bit of lulling around... then finally came back around to being interesting by the end. So I suppose that means I will be reading the next story arc because I need a little clarification on the whole Pledge systems and just how the story will continue. Honestly, I'm not sure what Sail is going to do. What the people of the town are going to do.

I believe that the father-daughter relationship left me feeling detached from the characters and ultimately, not really giving a shit about them. It may or may not be relevant but I have no relationship with my father and we are not on speaking terms. So this type of relationship in a book rarely speaks to me or hold my interest. What does hold my interest however, are creepy monsters, the supernatural and of course, crazy extra appendages like eye ball growing out of the side of your neck. That's some Junji Ito shit right there. Anything remotely like body gore and you can count me down it. I'm really hoping that Wytches returns to this. I really did like the first two issues. Hell, I liked the whole beginning with Sail Pledging the bully. Thought it was fantastic.  I sort of wish more of that sort continued.

At any rate, I'm interested to see what route Snyder will take the story down. If he wasn't so damn busy writing, I'd badger him for an interview.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

UFOlogy #2

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite new series. It's got the things I care about. It's pretty, full of mystery and contains a decent script. I really like how the characters interact with each other. I also like that this story isn't riddled with white people. Yeah you heard me! It's not all a bunch of white people. It's got some heart, some ethnicity, some realness about it. I like how comics have been becoming more diverse, although most of the Marvel fans out there who are still pissed about Miles Morales would argue with me. They're a bunch of a racist fucks though.

I know, I'm swearing a lot today but I've just so had it lately. Seems like all I can do is retreat into comics or video games. Escape, escape. This is a pretty decent book for that. I was distracted for a whole 15 minutes! A whole 15 minutes I wasn't worrying about stupid adult life. Which brings me to the number one thing that alerts me that I'm reading a bad comic (or bad issue). If I can't focus on the story and my mind constantly wanders to my adult shitty reality over and over again. That's a shitty comic. Sadly, I read quite a bit of those, most of them are from the big two and Image. Haven't been super loving the Image series this year. Not sure why but I've been pretty damn impressed with Boom's titles.

Anyway, I'll stop yammering! You need to check out this comic because the script is up-beat, the pacing of the first two issues were bang on. No big lulls. No jumping around in the story so that you're right confused. Also lots of mystery! Fantastic artwork too! I think I mentioned in the past that the whole book reminded me a lot of Carla Speed McNeil's Finder series even though it has a totally different plot.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fight Club 2 #1

I feel like this story was never meant to continue. As a fan of Chuck Palahniuk and having read most of his novels, I was concerned over the idea of Fight Club 2. I have not had good experiences with sequels in general and not to mention that the original Fight Club book was written in Palahniuk's prime. I mean, have you read any of his recent books? The last ten haven't been great. I think Haunted was the last novel that made me just go... "oh god this is sucks". The thing about Palahniuk for those of you who may not know, is that he likes themes. He likes themes and he likes re-using them. Clings to that one good line you remember from Choke, Lullaby and yes Fight Club, and he uses it over.. and over....and over. This really isn't a bad thing, except well.. have you read 50 Shade of Grey? Let's just say if I heard "oh my inner Goddess" one more time, I was gonna shove her inner Goddess up Chuck Palahniuk's ass for telling people that repetition is great literary device.

Okay all mean things aside, I was a big fan of Chuck's first... let's say five books. I loved Survivors, Choke and Lullaby. I even enjoyed Diary as it was less male centric....had a crazy artist.. I relate to those. I'm also okay with NEVER READING A SEQUEL TO THEM. I really feel like Fight Club was supposed to end where it did in the first book.  That being said, I was willing to give the graphic novel a shot because it is written by Palaniuk himself. Well... after reading issue one, I think I should have just stuck with my original assumption. Sometimes you should just trust your gut.

Sadly, I can't go into great detail about why I dislike the issue because I risk spoiling the plot which is against Darkhorse policy for their reviewers. I can say there are specific portions of Marla and Sebastian's life which I think is completely unrealistic for their characters. I could literally write a giant essay on this very thing, once I'm allowed to include spoilers.. you know a little back-up for my bonfire.

In the end, I sort of feel as though Palahniuk is just trying cash in on some past success and that never feels good. It feels forced and the characters don't feel real. The feel re-invented and no one wants Marla Singer to be anyone but who she was in the original book. Don't get me started on the Progeria scene. Seriously, just don't. I hate to say it but most of the population is going to like this book because 95% the population is ready and willing to accept the hype of excellent marketing choices, like the choice to include a sneak peak on Free Comic Book Day. On top of that, who doesn't want to buy a comic when Dave Mack is responsible for the cover? The man is a fucking master and I still think his artwork will live on in historical art books long after we've all been dead and burned (I say burned cause ewe buried sounds awful). Now if only they could convince the man to do the entire comic...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Royal Jelly: May 20th 2015

UFOlogy 2
Archie vs Predator 2
Jem & the Holograms 3
Shutter 12
Wytches 6
A-Force 1
The Kitchen 7 (of 8)
Curb Stomp 4 (of 4)
Fight Club 2 #1
Sandman Overture 5 (of 6)
October Faction 7
Sons of the Devil 1
Material 1
M.O.D.O.K. Assassin 1

Nightbreed vol 1
ApocalyptiGirl An Aria for the End Times
Unwritten Vol 11
Sundowners Vol 1

A lot of interesting releases this week. A few things coming to an end. The Kitchen is almost to the close with issue 7. I've really enjoyed this mini from Vertigo and wait anxiously wondering how they will bring this story to a close. As with all mob stories, expect a gruesome end but who knows! From mob stories, we know I've been reading mini Curb Stomp and fallen absolutely in love with the story and the art. Newcomer Devaki Neogi is a name you are going to want to remember for the future as this story comes to an end with the release of issue four this week.

Where some stories end, others begin. Image Comics debut's two new series that have caught my eye, Alex Kott lends his talents to the team on Material. A collection of snippet from the lives of very different people. The cover looks like a protest. I'm intrigued. In addition, Image releases Sons of the Devil (review coming). The product of a successful kickstarter, this psychological horror follows Travis, a man who finds that his familial ties link him to a cult.

Something new and fun, which takes me back is Marvel's M.O.D.O.K Assassin #1. The story is written by Chris Yost (New X-Men, X-23:Innocence Lost), pencilled by Amilicar Pinna (GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE THIRD ARMY. SUPERMAN: H'EL ON EARTH). This looks like a little bit of fun. I'll be taking a look for sure.

One of the graphic novels I've been looking forward to most this year is Andrew MacLean's ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times. You can read my interview with Andrew HERE. It really is one of the best books I've read this year. I adore the artwork and suddenly need a kitty to name JellyBeans.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Keith Davidsen on Reanimator

Last month, you may have remembered me going on and on about the new Reanminator mini series from Dynamite. I was really pleased with the Keith's Davidsen's introduction of new characters and the infamous Herbert West, including all the spooky-dead raising he's been up to. Keith obliged me in answer some questions about the series. For me, I always wondering what it's like for writers to take up the pen and continue the story that someone else created. I feel that it is much more challenging than creating fro scratch. I always like to learn a bit about how one does that as it's something I would love to do one day. There are a plethora of characters out there, I would kill to write. Which begs the question, what stories would you like to see continued in comics? This is a separate conversation. Check out my conversation with Keith and his rather intimidating Lovecraft knowledge! Guy knows what he's talking about.

TFQ: Is it at all intimidating to write a character like Herbert West, who's best known to this generation in film?

Keith: You know what's funny? The fact that I never once considered it when writing the story... and the fact that I had a bit of a panic attack as copies of Reanimator #1 were headed to stores about that very subject!

Dynamite's interpretation of Herbert West is based on the classic Lovecraft tale, completely independent of the film series. I'm a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft's writing, and I'm also continuity-obsessed when it comes to comics, so my driving focus in writing the four-issue miniseries was staying true to the author's original prose and somehow incorporating that feel into the larger scope of Dynamite's shared universe.

The Dynamite version of Herbert West had been, at times, a quirky nerd, serving as a comic foil in such series as Army of Darkness and Prophecy. Thankfully, 2014's Army of Darkness/Reanimator one-shot saw an evolution of that character, bringing back the darker edge of Lovecraft's original. That set the stage for my story, which I'd hoped would be dark and vicious.

It was only when the first issue was about to hit newsstands that I second-guessed myself, and realized that the fans of the Re-Animator film series might pick up the book, looking for something with a bit more humor in it. Fingers crossed, though, that any true fan of the film series is also a fan of the source material, so they'll enjoy it regardless!

TFQ: How did you begin to re-imagine this character and his new adventure? The possibilities seem endless to me, so how did you choose where to go? What influenced you?

Keith: One of the cool things about working at Dynamite Entertainment for my day job (as their marketing guy) is that I can take part in conversations about their future publishing program. The Reanimator series actually developed out of an idea pitched in one of those meetings.

We were brainstorming a special event for early 2015, something to take place in February, and I suggested a weekly release of four horror one-shots, each set in New Orleans to coincide with Mardi Gras. Each single issue would feature a different horror character (I'd suggested Evil Ernie, Vampirella, Reanimator, and I think Alice Cooper), facing off against a different enemy, all loosely tied into the holiday. New Orleans is such a great setting for terror tales, with its vast cemeteries, exotic Voodoo background, Old World architecture, etc.

While we decided not to pursue that month-long event (on account that there were already future plans in place for some of those characters), all the various villains of the story ended up dropping into a single idea involving Herbert West. It was really exciting -- basically recognizing that West is a villain who would suffer no rivals, whether it be Voodoo practitioners, cult leaders in masquerade masks, or great Cthulhu himself!

TFQ: Where you influenced at all by the previous incarnations of the Reanimator in comic form?

Keith: I read the multiple Dynamite appearances several times through, even going to far as to write a "Herbert West Bible" to chart the character's development over time. The character actually began his journey in the Army of Darkness series, as written by Jim Kuhoric (a good friend of mine), then became one of several players in the Prophecy crossover that established him as part of the much larger Dynamite universe alongside Red Sonja, Vampirella, Dracula, Athena, Eva, and more.

In fact, as a fan of continuity, I really wanted to incorporate Dynamite's monster hunter Eva, the Daughter of Dracula, as a minor supporting cast member in the Reanimator series, but the approved series length of four issues wouldn't allow for too many elements beyond what was absolutely necessary for the core story (I tend to be a pretty dense writer, as is). The plan was to have Eva make a cameo appearance for one scene, establishing that the "heroes" of the Dynamite universe really see Herbert West as a worm and lowlife, but a necessary one -- since he provides them with scientific means fo fighting evil (chemicals that could incapacitate werewolves, just as an idea). So West keeps most of his more... socially unacceptable... tendencies (murder, for instance) under wraps just to avoid the negative consequences of drawing attention from Eva, Vampirella, etc. It would have been an intriguing direction to pursue, but the story benefits from the tighter focus on West's drug operation and his mentorship of Susan Greene.

TFQ: Can you tell me any little hints about what we can expect from the rest of the series?

Keith: Oooh, what can I possibly say that wouldn't spoil it? Well, as we established in issue #1, there's a mystery surrounding Susan Greene -- she's discovered that Herbert West may have had something to do with the murder of her fiance. Issue #2 will definitely expand on that mystery, while Reanimator #3 contains (what I hope will be) a mind-blowing revelation. You're going to see the full extent of Herbert West's villainous genius.

Will you see more Cthulhu? Yes! More half-humn, half-alligator zombie hybrids? Yes! More skull-faced Voodoo hitmen? Yes! Will there be tentacles? Yes! Issue #4 is going to be overflowing with creepiness galore.

TFQ: Will there be any chance that the Reanimator will stick around for more than a mini-series?

Keith: The Reanimator series will definitely come to a close with issue #4, but we've been discussing what the next step is with Herbert West internally at Dynamite. Let's just say that a few doors are left open... and who knows what ugly, slimy, tentacled thing might crawl through!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Man vs Rock

I hadn't heard of this comic until recently. Indie comic Man vs Rock is an edgy satire where man has realized who their greatest foe throughout history actually is : rocks. In this story, rocks have become the scape-goat for every major problem humanity suffers, both past and present. Professor Buck Stone, highly unhinged and probably not deserving of his degree or profession, campaigns against humanities most terrifying and prolific enemy, the rocks. He's also not terribly nice to any of his students...

Be warned, this comic may offend some readers. It's important to remember that this is a satire. All the characters are very one dimensional in my opinion and represent different extremes that easily relate to various opinions in our own rock-hate free world. Rocks have pretty much taken the place of every racial, religious and gender conflict in history.

There are some points where the artwork feels sexist. One of the opening scenes is sexually explicit and the content, although intended to generate laughter in it's awkwardness, is actually quite raunchy. I can see a lot of people finding fault with this although it didn't offend me personally. It's worth stating before I forget, that this is absolutely not suitable for the children. This is an adult comic 100%.

Although you might be shocked by some of the content, the story is original, well-crafted and entertaining. I am just left wondering how Man is actually going to take on the rocks...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Royal Jelly: May 13th

Lady Killer #5
Reanimator #2
D4VE #4
Saga #28
Walking Dead #141
Thor #8
Space Riders #2
Harrow County #1
Mythic #1
Chrononauts #3
Five Ghosts Special #1
Lantern City #1 (of 12)
RunLoveKill #2
Anathema Vol 1
Neil Gaimans Lady Justice HC Vol 1
Walter Simons Star Slammers HC

Big day for releases. There so happens to be a few new series I want to check out. Most likely tonight if I have any time! Been busy lately, but I do try my best to get the advanced reviews out. Of those new releases Boom Studio's introduces a new 12 part series Latern City that looks like an amazing Steampunk adventure from first glance at the artwork.

Cullen Bunn releases yet another series with Darkhorse release Harrow County! I've had my eye on this frightening tale for a while now. It's described by the publisher as a "southern gothic fairy tale from the creator of smash hit The Sixth Gun, beautifully and hauntingly realized by B.P.R.D.’s Tyler Crook". And of course, the artwork should be spot on.

I'm also very interested in the new series Mythic from Image. This one takes place in a world where science is a lie and magic reigns. You probably recognize Phil Hester from the copious amount of work he did for DC. You will recognize John McCrea's artwork from literally, all over the comic book world.

Well lots of goodies out so grab em while you can tomorrow!