Monday, January 15, 2018

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: SHIVER by Junji Ito


This is the latest North American release from Viz Media. A collection of Junji Ito stories full of body gore, horror, obsession, and terror! 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Extremity Vol 1

My silence is terrifying perhaps only to me. I've been sick with strep throat which has made speaking intolerable. Well it's a new year anyway and time to get back into written articles and reviews, not just videos. In my down time being ill, I was able to read a bit. Yesterday I got to read the first volume of Extremity, an Image Comics series published with Skybound. I have wanted to read this series for ages and since finishing volume 1, I'm finally almost caught up with the most current issue, #10.

The book is written and illustrated by an illustrator I have been following on Instagram for a very long time named, Daniel Warren Johnson. The book is colored however by Mike Spicer so it does have a very different quality than Johnson's other artwork up on his Instagram account. That being said, I am a really big fan of the pallet used in these comics. There are loads of pinks and soft purples adding whimsy to the horizon of many panels. The beasts of the story are brought to life by pinks and blues. Many of the panels pop with strong, deep reds... the pallet is ANYTHING but boring and I can honestly say I doubt much attention to detail could be made if Johnson had to color the entire book himself on top of everything else.

Extremity follows the stories of two warring clans, the Rotto and the Paznina. The two clans have tumultuous and bloody past and the story is driven by vengeance. Each side believing they must exterminate the other to find peace.

Revenge stories can be horribly run of the mill but you don't get that with Extremity. Although the story did remind me of Naussica and the Valley of the Wind in regards to the setting. It shares the themes of a world corrupted and polluted by warfare and two separate kingdoms at odds with each. It even has the common theme with regards to technology that Naussica has yet Extremity does have it's own flavor. It's boasts in your face gore while touting the moral superiority of ending violence. Essentially, the true path to inner peace is not through vengeance. Sound familiar?

It's quickly possible to figure out why the book is called Extremity. One of our main characters is a young and skilled princess who's lost her prized possession: her hand. She was once a great artist and is punished because of her fathers actions. Her father and clan patriarch has his sights narrowed on revenge. This not being terrible complex however, Johnson throws the reader something that makes the story much more interesting, and that's the fact that its not easily apparent if either clan is in the right OR who started the quarrel. True the Paznina live in the floating sky's above and have committed atrocities against the Hotto, but it's not immediately apparent whether the Hotto are simply rebelling against a tyrannical clan who wishes to rule everyone (or exterminate). Put simply, the both look pretty equally evil and the actions taken by both clan leaders within this book alone will make your tummy squirm. Neither clan is painted in a great light.

Although I have long appreciated Johnson's artwork online, this is the first book I've read which he has written. I have to tell you that I'm hooked. I didn't think I would be. I initially thought "Oh here's a book I'm going to love looking at but will likely be really bored story-wise". I'm delighted to say that my initial concerns were not confirmed. I found the story engaging and extremely well paced. Although this isn't the type of book I'd let children read, it's reasonable that a teen over 15 could read this graphic novel without parental worry (unless you like your kids 100% free of any type of fictional violence in which case, good luck with that). I do plan to create a video review of the most recent issues but hey, that's for a day when I have my voice back!  Extremity issue number 10 is currently available so get reading!  Don't make the mistake I did and wait for the trades because this is a series you're going to need to read monthly! I learned that the hard way!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Comics I'm Currently Reading: December Edition


Just a little bit on what I'm currently reading, my new green screen and a look at the new GREGORY SUICIDE hardcover book from DARK HORSE COMICS. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Interview with Andrea Mutti on PORT OF EARTH (Image Comics)

Story: Zack Kaplan
Art / Cover: ANDREA MUTTI

Plot of PORT OF EARTH: 
"Aliens have come to Earth with a business deal: a spaceport on our planet. Now Earth's Security Agents are hunting down a dangerous rogue alien who’s broken loose on the California coast, but one agent’s personal feelings about Earth’s deal with the aliens may push him to defy protocols and threaten the mission."

I'm so pleased to bring you a written interview between myself and Andrea Mutti, illustrator of one of my new favorite comics. Andrea is an Italian comic book illustrator, colorist and penciler who has worked on such comics as REBELS, BATMAN, STAR WARS, WOLVERINE and more! If you have not, please check out my video review of issue #1 below this article. Now, onto the interview!

FQ: Port of Earth, how did you end up collaborating with Zack on this and how you meet?

ANDREA: Hey! I know his stuff but I have received call from TopCow about his new project, SciFi, and..wow, amazing news! I’ll get in touch with Zack by Skype and…love at first look! Very cool guy with lots of cool ideas! My man!! Now I can say that we are real good friends sharing ideas, views and opinion about stuff in real life. This is one of the most amazing things about that job!

FQ: This is a really unique story for me but its also very serious for me in that it touches on current events. Was it on purpose that this story sort of reflect the xenophobia happening in the world today? 

ANDREA: Very good point Amy, really appreciate that you are focused on it..yeh..it's true…the Alien is the stranger…and with the stranger we have the fear of the new, unknown…seems super hard in “our” planet, can you imagine with a contact with several aliens form from outer space?….pretty funny sometimes.We are looking for alien forms in the universe, but we have difficult to interact with the human being that speaks another language or with a different color skin or religion? How does that make sense?

FQ: Can u tell me a little bit about how you designed the aliens of the Port of Earth Universe? How many different kinds of aliens will we end up seeing in this series?

ANDREA: Oh, in that kind of story, an artist is really free to do what he prefer. This is amazing! We will see lots of different alien forms. So, I had inspiration from some movies, TV shows, books and comics..whatever..BUT, the nature is my first inspiration.

FQ: Can you tell me a bit about the character design of our two partners Macintyre and Rice? 

ANDREA: At the beginning could be the “classic” duo good guy and bad guy. But we will discover much more about those 2 friends. The different reaction about the arrival and about the impact with the society. It's a very big deal.

FQ: Could you tell me who or what inspires your work? Is there anything you take inspiration from outside of other artists?

ANDREA: Sure thing! I am a hard reader. After 25 years in the comic world, I still remain “simply a reader”. I love read comics and look the other artist. It's the best way for do better an debtor and, of course, for understand that your way is…long again!.There are many artists that I see and follow, it's impossible to make a list, but I thank them overtime if I can!

FQ: Out of all the projects you've worked on, which project meant the most to you?

ANDREA: For sure my recent serial with Brian Wood REBELS, I love the US history and has been great dig that period…America’s founding, wow!..and, of course, I have to say Batman, my favorite superhero ever! But there is a piece of my heart in everything I do. Conan a great classic, Star Wars…..lots of fun!

FQ: Finally, could you tell me a bit about your artistic process and the tools you use?

ANDREA: I am an old fashion artist..pencils, inks and all the classic stuff..I love feel the paper’s texture before starting a new project and find the good one for a specific effect….the matter..the matter..is my rule!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!  Please check out my review of Port of Earth issue #1 and be sure to add issue #2 to your pull list this month using Diamond ID: OCT170698. Issue 2 will release on December 13th. 


Friday, November 10, 2017

KID LOBOTOMY #2 IN REVIEW!


This is the first time I review a series top to bottom as each issue is released. What more fun than to do it with my current favorite series KID LOBOTOMY by Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler on the new IDW imprint BLACK CROWN.