Friday, April 17, 2015

Run Love Kill #1

Horrible way to open a review but: I'm not sure why I wasn't completely taken with this story. I love science fiction, I love action and adventure, so why wasn't I completely sucked in. My mind was trailing off quite a bit. I loved the artwork, that is certain but I feel as though I hadn't fully grasped onto what this world was all about. I didn't feel seduced by the escapism like I normally do. This sort of thing sometimes happens to me with monthlies.

Succeeding with monthly serials means overcoming some large challenges and hurdles. Some mini series often strike me as being best released as a whole rather than a monthly for the simple fact that there is not enough of the story in one issue to fill a readers imagination. I feel that this is what happened here. Towards the end of the story, I became more attentive yet couldn't help but feel a little indifferent. I wasn't completely absent from my day to day life which is a sign that this opening issue wasn't a complete success.                                                                                              

I will read the rest of the series because I am a fan of Eric Canete's work. I hope the story will live up to his art. I can't say I was familiar with the name Jon Tsuei except that I heard he worked on Comic Book Tatoo which I remember glancing at because I was intrigued by the fact it centered around Tori Amos (big fan in my young years). I can't remember his contribution.

As a side note, I can't quite tell why people keep comparing Run Love Kill to Blade Runner. The story didn't strike me as being reminiscent of a Philip K. Dick novel, which leads me to believe that people relate things to what they see on a screen more-so than what they have read (besides the fact that I'm sure fewer people than I could guess, have probably read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep... maybe they read the comic). If Philip K. Dick had written this story, I would expect to know the characters much better in the first few pages and have a keener sense of how this world worked.

Although this review seems horribly negative, I am not simply dismissing the book right off. I do think it has potential, I just wish there was a little more of the book for me to firmly grasp. Such is the life of a monthly serial.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Andrew MacLean on ApocalyptiGirl !!

So there's been some buzz on the interwebs about Andrew MacLean and his first full original graphic novel. The post apocalyptic adventure is slated to be released in May by Darkhorse (You can currently pre-order online for June 2nd). I kept seeing the cover in various spots over the last few months and decided to contact Andrew because I HAD to read this book. Lovely chap that he is, Andrew let me read the story in full and he even discussed how he brought his vision to life.

Having finished the book I have to say it's put Andrew on my list for future artists/creators who I am keeping a close eye on. I love this book, love the artwork and the vision behind the story. It is a charming twist on the typical apocalyptic story, full of hope and beauty. The story follows Aria and her companion Jelly Beans the cat, on an adventurous mission which involves dangerous locals. She hopes to return home but must complete a specific quest. This is definitely on my list of top books for 2015!

TFQ: This is first, full length original graphic novel, written and illustrated by yourself,. How do you feel about that accomplishment?

Andrew: Feels good! I really like writing for myself and really really liked the freedom of the longer page count. And even though it was a ton of work, coloring it myself was nice too because you get to kind of compete your own vision rather than hand it off to another artist.

TFQ: Can you tell me a bit about the development of ApocalyptiGirl?

Andrew: Like the majority of my story ideas, it started as a simple drawing with no real purpose other than to be something (hopefully) nice to look at. Often when I create a one-off character like that I start to get curious about who they are and wheels start to turn somewhat absently and before long I start to realize I'm on to something I actually want to explore more. From there, I think of the type of world they might be in and what other characters populate it. But really once I get a clear idea of what all that is, the characters have already started to decide what they want to do for themselves. Which is an artsy-fartsy way of saying, I don't really have a clear idea of how it all comes together.

TFQ: So why a cat?!
Andrew: When I lived in New Jersey, just outside of NYC, the area I lived in was home to a sort of "crazy-cat-lady," and all her cats would travel around with her as she walked the street, and many of these cats rode along with her sticking their heads out of a partially zipper up wheeled suitcase. Very happily too! They legitimately seemed to PREFER riding inside a piece of luggage. I just always thought that was really funny, and early on I thought of Aria as a kind of 19 or 20 year crazy cat lady like the one I knew in Jersey. The idea being that Aria had created these relationships with the cats out of loneliness in the solitude of the apocalypse. But eventually I realized a relationship with just one cat would be more charming than a whole bunch. So, just Jelly Beans. - When I named him Jelly Beans, I was literally just eating a bowl of jelly beans. That's all. Nothing special.

TFQ: I feel like your work is strongly influenced by many of my favorite artists. I see a bit of Brandon Graham in your work. Can you tell me a bit about the artists who inspire you?

Andrew: I don't generally site Brandon Graham as an influence, but I think we soak up bits and pieces of things from everywhere and I do like his work so there very well could be some of him in there. But otherwise, I used to site Mike Mignola, Grabiel Ba, Fabio Moon, Toby Cypress, Rafael Grampa, Sam Bosma, but after a time its hard to keep track of what your taking in. I like a lot of things I'm seeing from all the folks in the indy scene, what I refer to as SPX stuff, modern animation is getting real fun, tumblr brings me a ton of European comic artists that are just amazing. But other than that, I wanted ApocalyptiGirl to have a bit of a Manga vibe, so I was looking at a lot of Katsuhiro Otomo and Taiyo Matsumoto at the time.

TFQ: What's next for you after Apocalyptic Girl?!

Andrew: I'm going to do more work on my Head Lopper comics. That's my main focus this year. I hope to finish out the arch I started in 2013-2014. Other than that I have a few odd ball one shots I'm doing with folks and maybe some other things I'm still ironing out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Royal Jelly: April 15th 2015

Things are finally getting back to normal for me so hopefully my pull list will be a bit more spot on! Somehow I managed to forget a few things over the last few weeks. That's what moving does to you. Anyway here's what I'm looking at. You should check them out as well.

Dark Gods #5
Archie vs Predator #1
The Kitchen #6
D4VE #3
Chrononauts #2
Fade Out #5
Shutter #11
Run Love Kill #1
Thor #7
True Believers Old Man Logan #1
Spiderman and the X-Men #5

The Filth Deluxe Edition
Legend of the Scarlet Blades
Girl in Dior

Allow me to start by say that everyone should be reading Ryan Ferrier's D4VE. This comic has brought me much joy since it's made it's way to publication through IDW. Very witty, insightful and full of comedy.

There of course are my usual pulls, but there are a few new things I'd like to bring to your attention!! ATTENTION!! YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT ERIC CANETE'S RUNLOVEKILL! I really enjoy Eric Canete's artwork and I get excited about his projects. Why does the cover look all CGI crazy? Well this creator owned comic features designer Leonardo Olea's 3D model made specially for the comic. What a catchy title for a comic eh?

From Humanoids this week we will see the release of The Legend of the Scarlet Blades. I started reading this earlier this week and it is not to be missed. Humanoids continues to release breathtaking material from around the globe. The book will be released in the typical Humanoids hard cover which feel like it ought to cost a lot more than $29.99. Humanoids has been literally taking over my shelf space for the past two years.. I need more shelves. They look so hot.

French artist Annie Goetzinger's Girl in Dior is finally making it's way to North America after it's impressive and celebrated French release. It follows the story of a young reporter who ends up working for Christian Dior.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Archie Vs Predator #1

I wasn't the biggest Archie fan as a kid. I did read some of the Digest, of course they were my parent's digests and other abandoned magazines and comics from the baby boomers collected from yard sales, etc. I never really got why people were so crazy about Archie, especially Betty and Veronica (I never really got why people were always comparing me to Veronica either but that's another story). What was so great about Archie? The stories never really appealed to me but I appreciated what others saw in the stories. When this title was announced, I got pretty excited because well, I can get behind anything horror. That is something those wholesome kids pretty much belong in (stay tuned for my review of Sabrina #2).

The whole story starts our pretty tongue in cheek as one would find fitting. It doesn't take long for Veronica to get involved in a contest in which zainity ensues. It's already been released that the kids end up leaving Riverdale for a vacation so I don't feel I'm spoiling anything by saying so. The rest I will leave for you to find out.

As far as first issues go, I was pretty entertained and I am soo anxious to see what happens to the kids when they come face to face with a predator. I'm hoping Veronica pulls some punches or goes all hero and saves the crew but I'm sure Archie will end up in the spotlight, even as sole survivor. Ooo.. a little grim eh?

The whole series totals four issues written by Grindhouse celeb Alex de Campi! Darkhorse is delivering this goodie to a store near you this Wednesday (that's April 15th!).

Friday, April 10, 2015

All-New Hawkeye #2

I said I would keep you updated on Jeff Lemire's Hawkeye run, so I'm making good. Turns out of course that Lemire can't leave creepy alone. You know that awkward, squishy feeling you get in your chest when you see something just not quite right... like deformed children hooked up to machines for GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT. Maybe I'm the only one who gets that feeling but it happened with Sweet Tooth and it's happening now with Descender. Looks like Hawkeye is making me feel the same way. Awkward squishy.

There's a lot less of Aja's style in this issue. Most of the issue focuses on flashbacks from Clint's childhood which become relevant to present day. Therefore Ramon Perez's watercolor floods the pages. This style fits the tone of the flashbacks as memories flood over Clint while he struggles to find Kate and these mysterious science-experiment-freak-kids. Innocent as they are assumed to be, I'm going to er on the side of caution and assume they are CHUDs...because they look like CHUDS.

On a whole other plus side, have you taken a good look at this cover? Is it not awesome!? There is a frog!!! Seriously loving this rosy pink. It's like a color from the sky before twilight. What's that saying? "Pink sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Pink Sky at night, sailors delight." It's the dawn of new and dangerous adventures for Hawkeye as we say goodnight to Fractions run.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reanimator #1

My history and love of the Reanimator movies happens to be prolific. I remember the first time I saw it, I remember the first person who recommended I see it and I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing the first time I watched it. I remember buying it from a giant HMV in Ottawa, the rest I'll keep to myself as both have mention of x-boyfriends and really, who cares about those specifics.

I couldn't be more thrilled with the new comic book series. The scripting is witty and captivating. I can hear the actor Jeffrey Combs's voice clearly in my mind as I read the lines of Dr. Herbert West in print. It's not the first time that the story has made it's way into comic form. Dynamite has published different variations stories of the Reanimator several times and they go down in absolutely expertly told Lovecraftian history. The original story written sometime in 1921. Take that modern science fiction. You throw some Cuthulu in there and what is there to complain about!? Nothing really...well... one minor complaint, another damsel in distress, another female love interest and why would anyone fall in love with creepy old Herbert West?! This is where suspended belief really comes into play.

All in all the artwork is pretty typical for Dynamite Comics. Randy Valiente is not really barking up my artist tree but he's clearly talented however, a little uninspired. I guess if Paul Pope or Tyler Jenkins drew every comics, I'd probably be in dead and in my own little slice of heaven. So what are you gonna do? All in all, fun read. The mini series ends at four so check it out before it's over!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Metabarons

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I am a huge fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky, yet I only became a fan last year when my friend Nevs Coleman recommended I read a few titles. It was an instant hit with me as I love tragedy, comedy, drama, and stories about awful, awful people. Make no mistake that there are rarely any GOOD characters in the most popular of Jodorowsky's stories. Although you may be able to say that this is because there are so few good people in real life, I feel that Jodorowsky simply amplifies selfishness (and all other human emotion) to create the ultimate drama. Maybe he's a little pessimistic, I do like to think that people are MOSTLY good... maybe. All that aside, Metabarons is really no different and full of the crazy drama I've come to expect from Jodorowsky. It's no surprise that this story is particularly brutal.

The history of the warrior Metabarons dynasty is relayed through a conversation between two robots. The senior robot Tonto being a servant of the Metabarons passed down through several generations, explains the mystery of the clan to a younger robot, which he berates for his inferior brain power. It feels almost like Mystery Science Theater 3000 with their banter and commentary as illustrator Gimenez gives us the full picture of what history took place. We see the brutal end of the Castaka's clan where the Metabarons originate. From then on we learn how the prestigious title of Metabaron is passed from Father to Son through each succession. In order for one to claim the title, the father must be killed in battle. Their history is fraught with controversy and compounded with tragedy so no one successor is ever a happy individual. The trials that await each are terrifying as each son is mutilated by their family.

The interesting thing about this story is Jodorowsky's play with gender. He blurs lines and utilizes the infinite possibilities of science fiction to create androgynous and mixed gendered characters. We are in an age where gender is finally being recognized beyond the binary. It's always exciting to see such things incorporated into fiction. I love how Jodorwosky's science fiction takes advantage of the fun one can have with gender within a story. Osamu Tezuka also does this in many of his stories. He plays with gender, androgyny and battles against traditional gender roles. Although I don't wish to make a direct comparison, I do think of one while reading the other for many reasons. One of those reasons listed above. Maybe I'll save that discussion with myself for another day.

Anyway, if you want an epic, brutal space opera with some hilarity throwing there between shocking events then pick up this book. I promise that you will fall in love with Juan Giménez's artwork! It too is shocking.