Friday, February 27, 2015

Rasputin #5 *SPOILERS*

My love for Rasputin grows with every issue but I'm afraid this story arc has ended.  It ended with uncertainty for the man who claims he knew how he was to die and when. 

Yes well, no one's perfect. Image promises us that it won't be the last we see of Rasputin. They give us an awesome teaser at the end. The image of Rasputin reclining with a martini glass in a rather modern looking age. We won't be seeing that story arc until the summer. Till then we can reflect on this beautiful book which by the way, is released as a trade paper in April.

If you've been reading this blog at all, you know what a big fan I am of Riley Rossmo's work. I consider Rasputin the pinnacle up to now. Although I reserve my extreme fondness for Seven Sons where Rossmo employed only black ink, I am really impressed with the softness within this book. It's almost as if the colors have transformed the paper into satin. So much passion and yet this soft, delicate color pallet.  I look forward to more. Until then, you've got the trade to look forward too. Also, sorry about the Bon Jovi, it's stuck in my head now too. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spider Gwen #1

The highly anticipated debut of Spider Gwen's very own title has finally arrived! People everywhere were climbing over each other in frenzied panic to get their copy with their coveted variant cover. Okay... no one was really doing that..But people were really excited!!!

Last month I conducted an interview with Jason Latour on the series. I poked my nose into Marvel's announcement of Secret Wars and got to ask him lots of nosy questions about the series. Now it's finally here and I got to read it straight away!

First let me point out what I love about the book besides Gwen's awesome outfit which is pretty much all the rage in the cosplay world right now. I love that Gwen was in a band and got kicked out by her egotistical leader Mary Jane. This happened to me in my early twenties. I started a band with another girl and after we gained some slight popularity, basically I had to go. I was kicked out. Then the band literally disappeared. Hope that happens to Mary Jane. Did I ever tell you how much I disliked her as a child? She was my least favorite character in Spiderman and I actually preferred the blond, rich Gwen Stacy to her. Perhaps that's why I am also so in love with House of M. You know, besides the fact that it is awesome, Peter actually marries Gwen in the alternate reality made by the Scarlet Witch. To this day, I think it is one of TWO crossover collections I own in trade format from the Marvel universe.

In this universe Mary Jane is just as egotistical and self centered as I had always imagined her to be. She's just less subtle about it but it's not really MJ's fault. I mean, she's been written into Spiderman by men since conception and mostly served as a plot device to constantly make things more complex for Peter Parker. I liked her better before she ever dated him. This all being said, I'm liking Spider Gwen. We get to hear her inner monologue which is much less self deprecating than Parker's conscious and she gets some witty come-backs and one liners in there when she runs into The Vulture. The Vulture by the way looks badass. All the artwork is really quite stunning. Robbie Rodriguez is the seriously owning this and I'm hoping they don't trade him out in five issues like so many other awesome Marvel titles that went south *cough Savage Wolverine cough*.

At any rate, I can't wait for more. :D Go get yours now! I command it with my floppy green fist!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Royal Jelly: Feb 25

There is a ridiculous amount of good stuff out this week. It's going to hurt my bank account. Actually, my wallet is crying softly in a corner as I make my list.....

That got a little dark. Oh well, here's the list:

Bodies 8
Nightbreed 10
Bad Seed 5
Curb Stomp 1
Dark Gods 4
Low 6
Spider Gwen
Spiderman & the X-men 3
They're Not like Us 3
Thor Annual
Wicked + Divine 8
Arkham Manor 5
Rasputin 5

Kick-Ass 3 TP

Love:The Tiger
Walking Dead Vol 11  (for those collecting this edition)

So obviously I'm very excited about two hard covers. One is Magnetic Press' Love:The Tiger. You can read my interview with the amazing illustrator responsible for this masterpiece Frederico Bertolucci right HERE.

The second hard cover is Metabarons from Humanoids. Another classic by Alejandro Jodorowsky which spins from the amazing series The Incal and the massive Jodoverse. Review of this to come shortly.

From DC we have the fifth issue in the Arkham Manor series illustrated by my current fave Batman artist, Shawn Crystal!

From Marvel we all finally get to see Spider Gwen up-close and personal! Read my interview with writer Jason Latour right HERE!

Very excited for the debut of Curb Stomp from Boom Studios! Check out my interview with the creators RIGHT HERE!

Any thoughts? What are you most interested in this week?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Cullen Bunn on Hellbreak

I had a bit of a mini holiday on the weekend. I took Monday off to enjoy myself lazying around the house. It was a rather successful lazy event. I only did some light reading that watched the end of Tudors, something I had been meaning to do for quite a few years. So, I thought I would kick off the week with an interview. Cullen Bunn is no stranger to comics and his career has taken him from Marvel's Deadpool to all the places where the most unique comics live like Oni Press and Boom Studios! Recently we were creeped out with The Empty Man and  made to laugh by Return of the Living Deadpool! On March 11th Oni Press will debut Bunn's new series Hellbreak. I had to talk to him about this exciting new book. Lucky you, you get to read it! 

TFQ: Hellbreak has been described as one part Aliens, one part Dante's Inferno and one part Inception. How did you come up with this story!?

That’s not a bad description of the story. I think it might skew a little more Dante’s Inferno and the Dirty Dozen, but I could see a bit of Inception (and a lot of Aliens) in there. I came up with this story a while ago, actually. I guess it grew from my desire to tell a rip-roaring action story with heavy supernatural overtones. I didn’t want the lead characters to be magical or superhuman in nature. Quite the opposite. I wanted them to be regular people (or at least regular hard cases) who were facing lethal supernatural threats. The idea changed a little bit over time, but the core element has remained the same—a crack team of soldiers venture into Hell to rescue lost souls.

TFQ: What brought you together with Brian Churilla on this release?

Cullen: I’ve been in contact with Brian for a long while, and I’ve always wanted to work with him. He did the 5-issue series THE SIXTH GUN: SOINS OF THE GUN a little while back. Oni suggested him for this title, and I was thrilled to be working with him.

TFQ: Your recent series The Empty Man has just ended. A lot of the stories you write are very dark and hint at a world behind our own. Can you tell us a little bit about why you gravitate to the darker tones?

Cullen: I’m not sure why I tend to stray into dark territory. I guess I’m just messed up somehow. I’ve been drawn to horror and dark fantasy since I was a kid. I think the darker, meaner, more twisted stories have a better chance of taking the reader off guard and surprising them. I also think fear and horror is a great background before which to play with the entire emotional spectrum.

TFQ: What inspires your stories? Do you find inspiration in other comics?

Cullen: I definitely read a lot of comics, but I find inspiration in novels, short stories, and movies. I pull a lot of ideas from old folktales and stories my dad used to tell me. Historical events are inspiring as are current events. I grew up in the country, and I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from the deep woods, crumbling tobacco barns, and hollows I used to explore as a kid. If you look to a book like Harrow County, which I have coming up from Dark Horse, you’ll see those elements right there on the page.

TFQ: Are there any artists you are just dying to work with the future?

There are many artists I’d love to work with. Chris Samnee, Jason Latour, Chris Mitten, Alan Davis—the list goes on and one.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bitch Planet #3

I had set out with every intention going into this series, to not write about every issue. I thought I would write about this one however. After reading it, the story is showing us more of it's extreme patriarchal society. Where justice isn't justice and women's lives hang in the balance as men weigh their needs and wants against them.

In the first issue, the structure of the planet didn't seem so obvious to myself. Although immediately a woman loses her life to prison because her husband sought another woman (or so it was implied without all surrounding circumstances revealed). At any rate, without more information I found that the book wasn't particularly involved with feminist issues. At least beyond that. However now that we've made it this far much more is revealed and I'm seeing what DeConnick is doing with this story.

In issue three, Penny Rolle becomes the focus. We get a little back story on how she ended up in the big house as well as some insight into how she views herself and others. For Penny, she doesn't see her obesity as a big problem but rather she sees the people around her as unfit and unwell. A planet obsessed with looking their best, her robust figure is discouraged by the patriarchy who prefers slender women and as a result pushes diet fads on the female populace. It's this that Penny can't tolerate and it ultimately leads to her incarceration.

I myself spend an awful lot of time trying to be fit. I go to the gym, A LOT. I try my best to choose my meals carefully and avoid processed food. It's actually not something I have in common with.. well anyone. I go it in my head that I'd rather be in good shape than eat chips or deep-fried-anything. And sugar? Don't get me started. Yet, if I bother to turn on the tv I'm bombarded with images of women who are slimmer than myself and pushing all kinds of bizarre diet concoctions into my view...yet another great reason why I haven't had cable in years. Yikes! So DeConnick is just blowing up the proportions of the shit us ladies are expected to swallow on a daily basis.

My thoughts are on what other subjects she's going to touch on. Body image is a good important one but I get the feeling she's going to address gender here somewhere. I'm actually shocked there isn't a trans character in this story so far. So that will probably happen at some point. What else will this story address? Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lazarus #15 *spoilers from previous issues*

Lazarus is one of my current favorites. It's exciting, emotionally driven and full of crazy-world-order-awesomeness. Up to this point in the story the Carlyle family Lazarus known as Forever has believed herself the daughter of the family patriarch. Most of the world leaders have Lazarus in their families and right at the end of  issue 14, Forever was set to fight one of them who she had befriended. She fights for the Hock families patriarch to be slated as guilty. The crime? Killing a member of the Carlyle family and stealing the scientific secrets of longevity. The key to eternal life.

This issue is going to throw some surprises at you and one hell of combat scene making this one of the quickest Lazarus issues I've ever read...there's very little to actually read but lots of panels to appreciate. Of course there's also a big cliff hanger, thanks Rucka.

The whole eternal life  thing is pretty damn awesome but I have to admit that I'm a really big fan of this new world order. Only in the story...not that I want it to actually happen. The world is divided, and so is the countryside, into territories owned by families. The populace is again divided into family members, citizens and surfs. The surfs have it pretty bad. Generally living in poverty and full of hatred for the family that commands their land. The first two story-arcs of the series focused more on these surfs and how Forever must deal with them despite any emotions she may have to the contrary. Sometimes she must punish them for insubordination, stealing, or conspiracy. Forever as a character is extremely complex and real.

Lately, whenever I am asked to recommend a comic to an adult, I end up recommending this one. Mostly because I think that people who don't normally read comics would be just as into it as a die-hard graphic novel fan. This is also one of the few books I think would transfer appropriately to film. I would watch this if they turned it into a movie, or series for that matter. Series might be more appropriate ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Royal Jelly: Feb 18, 2015

BPRD Hell on Earth 128
The Kitchen #4
Multiversity Mastermen
Autumnlands Tooth and Claw #4
Bitch Planet #3
Lazarus #15
MPH #5
Rumble #3
Manifest Destiny #13
Silk #1
She-Hulk #12
Silver Surfer #9
Wolverines #7

Manara: The Library Vol 6
Barbarella and The Wrath of the Minute-Eater

Lot's of things of note this week! I'd like to remind you that Mark Millar's MPH is finally wrapping up with issue #5!  As well as many great Image series continue! More awesome monster filled Rumble and Manifest Destiny! 

Humanoids releases another Barbarella epic! The Wrath of the Minute-Eater was first collected in 1964. This new English translation has been adapted by Kelly Sue DeConnick, another lady who kick ass. The perfect accompaniment to grabbing your copy of Bitch Planet #3 this week.

A big one on my list this week is Dan Slott & Mike Allred's Silver Surfer. Issue 9 hits the stands tomorrow and I can't wait to see the aftermath of Dawn's abandoning the surfer! You know, due to the fact that she found out who he use to work for  ;) Plus that same employer is supposed to be making an appearance.

From Marvel we also have Silk #1 which I haven't completely resigned myself to read but I though I'd add it to the pull list for those Spider-verse enthusiasts! I'm really more interested in Spider-Gwen.

DC is throwing another installment of Multiversity at us. This one is called Mastermen. I was indifferent to the Guide Book but we'll see what this one has in store. Most of the internet seems to be head over heels in love with Multiversity while I seem to maintain a quiet admiration.

That's about all I'm gonna say today! Stay tuned for special reviews this week!