Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause

Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Ten Speed Press
Source: egalley via Netgalley

I totally loved this! A collection of comics previously published as a webcomic depicting both the author's and other people's darkest fears. Some are absolutely hilarious in a dark, unsettling way, but I must admit to laughing out loud more than once. I was amazed how many of these I've actually shared at least once, especially the ones taken from childhood fears. Some are quite gruesome while others are plain silly but all get to the various insecurities we all share as human beings and I could relate to where even the strangest fears were coming from. The book made me want to tell the author my own fears and have him draw them for me! Hope there is a second collection on the works!!

2 Sisters by Matt Kindt

2 Sisters by Matt Kindt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Dark Horse
first published, 2004
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

An intense deep espionage tale involving two sisters. Virtually wordless this is a complex story that defies time and place to ultimately bring the story of two lonely women who take courage and strength to defy typical role models and end up not necessarily happy but as survivors. The book looks deceptively simple with its sparse use of text but should not be read through quickly as there is a lot of story here and like Kindt's "Red-Handed" is one that deserves to be read more than once to fully appreciate. Loved it even though I admit I got confused a few times during my first read.

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 10: The Painful Wrath of the Fairy King by Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 10: The Painful Wrath of the Fairy King by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review Copy thanks to Penguin Random House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#10)

A lot of action I admit got a bit confusing for me. Poor Dianne is being attacked at the beginning and all are coming to her rescue. But then a weird series of events where Diane is a child. Never quite sure if this was a flashback (no black borders) or a dream (seems to be real, though) this part's weird. Then the action picks up and makes sense as the focus is back on saving Princess Elizabeth from her kidnappers whose evil plot is now revealed. I'm getting tired of the rescue-Elizabeth arc and would like the seventh sin to be found and join the group as we still only have six. Not the best volume, but picked up from the last and ends with a huge doozy cliffhanger!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #1 The World's Mightiest Mortal! & #2 Magic Words! by Mike Kunkel


The World's Mightiest Mortal! by Mike Kunkel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 28 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Capstone
Source: Review copy thanks to Capstone Pub/DC Comics

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! (#1)


I loved this! I've not read Shazam in the comics yet, only run across him a couple times on teams but surely do remember watching the TV Show in the '70s! What a fun comic for kids! Lots of story, the pages are full of frames, text is smaller than what you usually find in these kid comics. The art is fantastic, not as cartoony as normally seen either, but more sketchy, stylized and obviously recognizable as the illustrator's own. This first issue in the series doesn't have a main supervillain, though it ends with his introduction, instead the book has Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel off saving a few people while we get to know them, see how they became the superheroes and watch them live their lives. Well-written, fun, a delight!




Magic Words! by Mike Kunkel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Library Binding, 30 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Stone Arch Books
Source: Review copy thanks to Capstone Pub/DC Comics

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! (#2)

What fun! I love this! Theo Adam is after Billy to give him the magic word so he can turn back into Black Adam. Shazam the wizard knows the evil has returned and is confident that Billy and Mary will be able to handle it. Great cliff hanger ending. Great art! I'll have to finish this series sometime.

Manga Classics: Emma by Jane Austen by Crystal Chan; illus by Po Tse

Manga Classics: Emma by Jane Austen by Crystal Chan; illus by Po Tse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 308 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Udon Entertainment
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Manga Classics

This series has been done very well indeed! I am not a fan of Jane Austen, but I have read all her books, most as a teenager. Emma, however, is my favourite even if that isn't saying much ;-) I get so irritated by all the characters for most of the book. This manga adaptation really does a good job of turning it into a classic shoujo romance though and gives a splendid account of the famous story of Emma's matchmaking and her obsession with the British class system. I hope the publisher plans on coming out with more titles than just the five they have out now.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fable Comics Blog Tour: Interview with R. Sikoryak



I am thrilled to be a part of First Second Book's Blog Tour for their popular anthology "Fable Comics".  Please join me for an introduction to this book and my interview with R. Sikoryak, the author/illustrator of his piece, an adaptation of Aesop's 'The Lion and the Mouse’.  


From classics like "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Grasshopper and the Ants" to obscure gems like "The Frogs Who Desired a King," Fable Comics has something to offer every reader. Twenty-eight fables from different cultures and traditions are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by twenty-six different cartoonists. Edited by New York Times bestselling Fairy Tale Comics' Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.


Fable Comics is:

James Kochalka and ‘The Fox and the Grapes‘
Tom Gauld and ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse’
George O’Connor and the ‘Hermes’ fables
Sophie Goldstein and ‘Leopard Drums Up Dinner’
Charise Harper and ‘The Belly and the Body Members’
R. Sikoryak and ‘Lion + Mouse’
Jennifer L. Meyer and ‘Fox and Crow’
Eleanor Davis and ‘The Old Man and Death’
Jaime Hernandez and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’
Simone Lia and ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’
Graham Chaffee and ‘The Dog and His Reflection’
Maris Wicks and ‘The Dolphins, The Whales, and The Sprat’
Vera Brosgol and ‘The Hare and the Pig’
Kenny Widjaja and ‘The Demon, The Thief, and the Hermit’
Corinne Mucha and ‘The Elephant in Favor’
Liniers and ‘The Mouse Council’
Mark Newgarten and ‘Man and Wart’
Israel Sanchez and ‘The Milkmaid and Her Pail’
Ulises Farinas and ‘The Great Weasel War’
R.O. Blechman and ‘The Sun and the Wind’
Graham Annable and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’
John Kerschbaum and ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants’
Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline and ‘The Thief and the Watchdog’
Gregory Benton and ‘The Hen and the Mountain Turtle’
Roger Langridge and ‘Demades and His Fable’

It's All Comic To Me Interview with R. Sikoryak

It's All Comic To Me:  When did you first decide to make a living from your comic art?

R. Sikoryak: I’ve loved comics for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been drawing them pretty consistently since I was very young. Growing up, my brothers and I would write and draw stories together, too.

Today I make my living through a variety of jobs: teaching illustration, lecturing on comics, and writing and drawing for print and animation projects.  It’s mostly related to comic art, but it’s applied in different ways. I always return to comics.

IACTM: What tools do you prefer to work with to create your art?

R. Sikoryak: I work traditionally, using brushes, pen and ink, and bristol board, as well as digitally, using a Cintiq computer display and a stylus.  Often I combine the two—doing rough sketches on the computer, then printing out and inking the lines on paper, and finally scanning and coloring the black and white art in Photoshop.

IACTM: Your piece in Fables, "The Lion and the Mouse", is very funny including a lot of wordplay. Would you say humour is an important element to your overall work?

R. Sikoryak: Thanks! Growing up, my favorite newspaper comics strips were the funny ones, like Peanuts and Nancy.  Those are two I still love. And the early MAD Magazine comics were really eye-opening!  So I’ve always associated comics and comedy.  Humor is crucial to me. Even my most “serious” comics aren’t entirely serious.

IACTM: "The Lion and the Mouse" originally comes from circa 550 BC. How hard, or easy, was it to make the fable relevant to a 21st century audience.

R. Sikoryak: I didn’t actually think too much about making the fable relevant. Human nature — or animal nature – never really changes, so a good fable will always resonate with readers.

Also, the style I used to tell this fable was inspired directly by George Herriman’s brilliant comic strip Krazy Kat, which ran from 1913 to 1944. So that brings it into the 20th century! Actually, Herriman was so far ahead of his time, perhaps he brought it to today.

IACTM: Who has had the greatest influence on your life outside of the industry?

R. Sikoryak: Only one?  Outside of comics, I’d say the greatest early influence on my work was the 20th century composer John Cage. His writings and music were quite radical and greatly affected the way I think of making comics (although I’m not the revolutionary he was!). For instance, his music was not about self-expression but was inclusive, welcoming chance and everyday sounds into his compositions. He was both rigorous and playful in his art-making. Cage’s book Silence is an engrossing and entertaining introduction to his ideas. In college, I adapted some of his anecdotes from that book into series of comic strips, and that process really informed all of my future comics.  I think my use of parody and appropriation is connected to his approach, as I strive to include disparate points of view (through both style and narrative) into my comics. 

LINKS:

R. Sikoryak

rsikoryak.com

http://carouselslideshow.com

http://twitter.com/RSikoryak

http://rsikoryak.tumblr.com

http://www.facebook.com/MasterpieceComics

Join the rest of the tour and meet the other artists by following this schedule!

SLJ Good Comics for Kids features Fable Comics editor Chris Duffy, 9/21
http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/
Charlotte’s Library features James Kochalka and ‘The Fox and the Grapes,’ 9/22 http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/
Musings of a Librarian features Tom Gauld and ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,’ 9/23 http://musingsoflibrarian.blogspot.com/
Sharp Reads features George O’Connor and the ‘Hermes’ fables, 9/24
https://sharpread.wordpress.com/
Fly to Fiction features Sophie Goldstein an ‘Leopard Drums Up Dinner,’ 9/25
http://flytofiction.blogspot.com/
Supernatural Snark features Charise Harper and ‘The Belly and the Body Members,’ 9/26 http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com/
It’s All Comic to Me features R. Sikoryak and ‘Lion + Mouse,’ 9/27
http://itsallcomictome.blogspot.com/
Ex Libris Kate features Jennifer L. Meyer and ‘Fox and Crow,’ 9/28
http://exlibriskate.com/
The Roarbots features Eleanor Davis and ‘The Old Man and Death,’ 9/29
http://theroarbots.com/
Fleen features Jaime Hernandez and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf,’ 9/30
http://fleen.com/
The Book Monsters features Simone Lia and ‘The Crow and the Pitcher,’ 10/1
http://thebookmonsters.com/
The Brain Lair features Graham Chaffee and ‘The Dog and His Reflection,’ 10/2
http://www.thebrainlair.com/
Librarian in Cute Shoes features Maris Wicks and ‘The Dolphins, The Whales, and The Sprat,’ 10/3 http://librarianincuteshoes.blogspot.com/
Women Write About Comics features Vera Brosgol and ‘The Hare and the Pig,’ 10/4
http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/
The Busy Librarian features Kenny Widjaja and ‘The Demon, The Thief, and the Hermit,’ 10/5 http://www.busylibrarian.com/
The Book Rat features Corinne Mucha and ‘The Elephant in Favor,’ 10/6
http://www.thebookrat.com/
Read. Watch. Connect features Liniers and ‘The Mouse Council,’ 10/7
http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/
Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup features Mark Newgarten and ‘Man and Wart,’ 10/8 https://innocencewalker.wordpress.com/
Jenuine Cupcakes features Israel Sanchez and ‘The Milkmaid and Her Pail,’ 10/9
http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/
Bumbles & Fairy Tales features Ulises Farinas and ‘The Great Weasel War,’ 10/10 http://bumblesandfairytales.blogspot.com/
Graphic Policy features R.O. Blechman and ‘The Sun and the Wind,’ 10/11
http://graphicpolicy.com/
The Book Wars features Graham Annable and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise,’ 10/12
https://thebookwars.wordpress.com/
Sturdy for Common Things features John Kerschbaum and ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants,’ 10/13 http://www.sturdyforcommonthings.com/
Kid Lit Frenzy features Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline and ‘The Thief and the Watchdog,’ 10/14 http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/
Maria’s Melange features Gregory Benton and ‘The Hen and the Mountain Turtle,’ 10/15
http://www.mariaselke.com/
Read Write Reflect features Roger Langridge and ‘Demades and His Fable,’ 10/16
http://readwriteandreflect.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 25, 2015

Devil Survivor 1 by Satoru Matsuba

Devil Survivor 1 by Satoru Matsuba
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy thanks to Penguin Random House Canada

Devil Survivor (#1)

Awesome! I really liked this battle-based demon shonen. Lots of action in the first volume with some plot developing. Everything is all a bit mysterious as to why these three teens are being called to fight the demons that seem to be gathering upon Tokyo. The characters are introduced nicely and the demons are absolutely awesome. The art is very well-done and I've got to say I was hooked only several pages in. This isn't just your typical demon-slayer; there's something unique here, a feel and atmosphere with this first volume, the rest we'll have to find out later as so much mystery surrounds the story yet. Bring on Vol. 2!

The Batman Strikes! #5 Scarface Is Gonna Go Boom! & #7 Frozen Solid by Mr. Freeze! by Bill Matheny

The Batman Strikes! Scarface Is Gonna Go Boom! by Bill Matheny, illus by Christopher Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 24 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by DC Comics/Capstone Pub
Source: Review Copy thanks to Capstone Pub

The Batman Strikes! (#5)

Great super-action superhero comic. Batman takes on street crime as two bosses decide to take each other out. Both Rupert Thorne and Scarface may want to own the streets, but they do both agree on one thing, Batman has to be taken out. Lots of fun and action in this story as Scarface tries to take out Batman once and for all. Great pure comic action.




The Batman Strikes! Frozen Solid by Mr. Freeze! by Bill Matheny, illus by Christopher Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 24 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by DC Comics/Capstone Pub
Source: Review Copy thanks to Capstone Pub

The Batman Strikes! (#7)

Mr. Freeze is one of my favourite Batman villains and this just didn't work for me. Freeze is re-imagined so much that he looks like a completely different character, hardly recognizable! Not impressed.

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne by Crystal Chan

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne by Crystal Chan; illus by SunNeko Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Udon Entertainment
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Manga Classics

I really enjoyed this adaptation. I haven't read the original and am not likely to but have read a prior graphic adaptation. While the back notes do say some story arcs have been left out (due to space) it is basically the same plot as what I've read before from a Papercutz adaptation. The religious themes of the original story are forefront, but this adaptation does not concentrate on Hester's deep faith instead keeping the focus more on Chillingworth's evilness. The art even plays with shadows, etc at times making him appear to have horns or a mask. The story plays out very well in manga form. Little Pearl is the perfect cute wide-eyed girl and the Reverend has been drawn with long hair to play the role of handsome young man. I've read two books in this series and eagerly read both of them. I'm keen to start on another.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pixu: The Mark of Evil by Gabriel Bá & Fabio Moon

Pixu: The Mark of Evil by Gabriel Bá & Fabio Moon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Dark Horse
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

This is a haunting and quick read but extremely confusing. Moon & Ba have done much better work together. I turned the pages quick enough, hoping some sense would come of it all but, no, I was left dazed. It's about evil that engulfs this house and the people in it. I'm not sure if the house is the evil or if the evil first comes from the outside and enters the house. But yeah, evil, murder, rape, pedophile, suicide, much more. Points for the creepy b/w art.

DC Super Friends #10 Season of Light & #12 Starro and the Pirates by Sholly Fisch

DC Super Friends: Season of Light by Sholly Fisch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 23 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Stone Arch Books
Source: review copy thanks to Capstone Publishing

DC Super Friends (#10)

I actually really liked this! I usually don't like PC Christmas books, but this story combines Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa into the "Holidays" and presents a nice story about faith and belief in a higher power. Doctor Light is the villain and he tries to destroy the season by taking away the light, but our super friends join together to save the day.





DC Super Friends: Starro and the Pirates by Sholly Fisch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 23 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Stone Arch Books
Source: review copy thanks to Capstone Publishing

DC Super Friends (#12)

Another well-done comic on a topic I usually do not find favour with in books aimed at kid's. "Global warming" is mentioned here and Starro comes along to take over Earth by purposely melting the icecaps so he can rule the new underwater world. The Super Friends save the day and then get realistic by keeping their message factual and talking about pollution and what the reader can do to help our earth by keeping it clean.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition 1 by Hajime Isayama

Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition 1 by Hajime Isayama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 944 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Kodansha Comics
orig . 2012-2013
Source: Amazon.ca

Attack on Titan Universe
Attack on Titan (1-5)


Absolutely fantastic. An intense, hardcore sci-fi dystopian world that has been invaded by humanity's "natural enemy", the Titans. This omnibus edition collects volumes 1-5 and is a massive, oversized tome. A beautiful book to add to your collection and one I'm glad to own. I prefer to read older manga in these omnibus editions as there is nothing like sitting down for an epic mass reading of several volumes at once and this volume delivers on all levels. Published in an oversized edition, the gorgeous, creepy art is maximized, each individual volume features a few full-colour pages. The paper is quality and it has a lay-flat binding. Well worth the money, especially when bought at a discount on-line. This is my first time reading the story, but it's been on my want-to-read for some time now and the availability of the omnibus edition pushed me to get started. It's a must-read for manga enthusiasts; a highly intelligent, futuristic military story. Just don't get attached to any characters as no one is safe from the author's sword; I got quite involved on an emotional level as well.

Ultraman, Vol. 1 by Eiichi Shimizu

Ultraman, Vol. 1 by Eiichi Shimizu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by VIZ Media
egalley via Edelweiss

Ultraman (1)

Mecha is one of my favourite genres, but I don't seem to read it very much. Not sure if Ultraman is relly mecha as we have some aliens involved rather than robots, but they *look* like robots. This was a quick rush of a read for me. Tons of action, with some great art but still plenty of story and character to get us interested and get the plot started. Quite impressive for a first volume where action/plot often overrides character. Shinjiro starts out as a toddler then we skip ahead to the present where he is a young man. The ending is quite a shocker and left me feeling a bit creepy. Most certainly will be reading volume 2!

Family Pets by Pat Shand

Family Pets by Pat Shand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 154 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Silver Dragon Books
Source: egalley via Netgalley

A wonderful, funny, touching coming-of-age story. Thomasina has always been waiting for some kind of magic to happen to her ever since her parents died when she was five years old and now that she's sixteen it has finally happened. But not exactly how she expected. One morning she wakes up to find her snake has turned into a human and her entire family, except grandma, have turned into various pets. This is the beginning of an amazing, magical journey to the realm of magic and the in-between. Thomasina meets wizards, crushes on two very unique guys (neither exactly human), learns to stand up for herself and in a true coming of age story learns to finally say goodbye to the sad memories that she has held onto for so long. A very well-written and touching story. Pat Shand is my favourite author over at Zenescope and I was intrigued to see he'd written something for a Young Adult audience. I really had no idea what to expect with this since it is the very first thing I've read by Shand that is not full of violence and, not shall we say very risque. He's shown here with this outstanding work that he is a talented author whether writing for adults or youth. Bravo! I also must mention before concluding that the artwork is well done. It's compelling and I really enjoyed the look. The concentration on facial expressions and minimalistic backgrounds helps tell the emotional part of the story.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'm A Judge! 2015 Cybils Awards



I am pleased to announce I have been selected to participate as a Round 1 Judge for the 2015 Cybils Awards, Graphics Category again. I participated in the same capacity last year and then way back in 2009 and 2010. It is an honour to be a part of this esteemed undertaking, involving a lot of work but also a lot more fun than it is work :-)

So from Oct to year-end you will find an influx of children and teen graphics being reviewed here as I share my opinion on the books that get nominated.

The following is a list of the Round 1 Judges. We are the ones who shortlist the nominations and I find myself once again privileged to be part of such a talented group of people.


Round 1
Nicola Mansfield
@Niagara_Nikki
It’s all Comic to Me

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blue Beetle (New 52) Vol. 1: Metamorphosis by Tony Bedard

Blue Beetle (New 52) Vol. 1: Metamorphosis by Tony Bedard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Amazon

New 52

I've run across Blue Beetle a few times but really knew nothing about him. This is his origin story. There are a lot of supervillains in this volume not big names, but ones that have a long history. While I didn't find the story terribly exciting I did really like Blue Beetle, both his personalities and am quite attracted to him as a superhero. The story doesn't get that far in this volume though as it ends with Jaime and the alien symbiote reaching a tentative agreement as to surviving together. I thought the humour was witty as well and the art was good. Looking forward to more of this hero.

101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die by Ricardo Cavolo

101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die by Ricardo Cavolo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 232 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Nobrow Press
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

Cavolo presents us with his musical art journal. Not professing to be an expert, this is his personal list of 101 must listen to musicians. Written as a journal in a hand print font with words crossed out here and there each two-page spread features on artist or band. Cavolo's text tries to impart to the reader what each particular artist's music does for him, why he likes it. These are not biographies and barely even any song titles are mentioned. This is not about who the artists are but what they are about musically to the author. Cavolo's art is distinctive; bold and bright and certainly has a nod to Picasso. There is a wide range of music included starting with classical and ending with dub step, but Cavolo's main interests become apparent with the interest in early folk songs and blues then hits its stride in the sixties with punk and garage, which moves on to rap and keeps returning to garage and anything he refers to as "dark".

Ricardo is Spanish and there is a worldwide ethnicity to the singers he has chosen but early on he states his love for North American culture (hence many US groups) then he admits to a love affair with England where he currently resides (hence many British musicians). I haven't heard of most of these musicians once we get past the eighties and what I listened to of that I didn't like. I'd probably recommend the book to those who grew up in the nineties, who like "dark" music, and are into retro music of the same.

One group glaringly missing from the list, which I would have expected to see based both on theme and Cavolo's self-professed British-love is "The Smiths".

Lady Killer by Jamie Rich. Illus by Joëlle Jones

Lady Killer by Jamie Rich. Illus by Joëlle Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 138 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via Edelweiss


I wanted to like this, but, unfortunately, it fell flat for me. The art is great and a lot of fun with the contrast between the 1950s housewife advertising style and the blood and violence. However, the story was very basic, if not boring. There was a chance for this to have been a lot more fun than it was as Josie turned out to be a two-dimensional character without any emotion.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gryphons Aren't So Great by James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost & Andrew Arnold

Gryphons Aren't So Great by James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost & Andrew Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by First Second
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Adventures in Cartooning (Picturebook #2)

A picture book presented in a simple comic style with huge text for youngest readers. This is the second picture book added to the popular series of cartooning books. In this adventure, the knight leaves Edward behind as she goes off having fun with a griffin then learns the value of true friendship. Fans of the series will delight in the new addition.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin

The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 2015 by Dynamite Entertainment
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Dynamite's Masked Men

I always love sitting down with a new "Shadow" volume, but this turned out to be very disappointing. So very slow, with lots of talk and no action for the longest time and when something finally does happen the action remains few and far between. The reader has to wait a very long time to discover why "Moscow" is mentioned in the title. The showdown at the climax was a half-hearted let-down and the final ending was just plain sad. Not impressed ith this entry in The Shadow series at all.

Goosebumps Graphix: Slappy's Tales of Horror by R.L. Stine

Slappy's Tales of Horror by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by GRAPHIX
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

Goosebumps Graphix

Three previously published Goosebumps Graphix plus a first-time new Slappy story makes a collection of 4 classic Goosebumps tales in graphic storytelling format. These are fun, creepy stories that delighted. Scary, horror for the younger ages, these are all four winning stories.

A Shocker on Shock Street by Jamie Tolagson - Totally insane and very creepy. I never saw that ending coming! (5/5)

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp by Gabriel Hernandez - A good story. I've read the original GB novel version of this so felt something was missing but a good fright tale. (4/5)

Ghost Beach by Ted Naifeh - Brilliant. I love this author's work and art and he brings a decidedly creepy story. I knew something had to happen but was still surprised by the ending. I kept wondering what about the parents, though? (5/5)

Night if the Living Dummy by Dave Roman - A fun origin story of "Slappy" the Living Dummy (who is in several GB novels though I haven't read any). Silly and a little creepy but mostly fun. (4/5)

Lobo Vol. 1: Targets by Cullen Bunn

Lobo Vol. 1: Targets by Cullen Bunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Quite a treat! I've actually never run across Lobo before in my DC readings so wasn't sure where this was going to take me. A bit of an odd beginning for a Vol. 1 as it seems to start with the end of a previous story but when that wraps up it quickly gets on with the story for this trade. Lobo is under contract to kill 8 assassins who are each assigned to kill planet Earth. This is all pretty cool, bloody and violent with each assassin being a unique, though brief, new character. Oh and Superman shows up for an assist as well. But my favourite parts were the interspersed flashbacks that took us back to the end days of Lobo's own planet and told his background story. Lobo is quite the villain or is it anti-hero, I'm not sure which, but I'd love to read him again.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Little Robot by Ben Hatke

Little Robot by Ben Hatke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by First Second
Source: egalley via Netgalley

Lovely, warm fuzzy cross between a wordless picture book and a graphic novel. Our hero is a little girl who likes to fix things and she saves a cute little robot from capture by the big bad robots with only the help of a wrench. I've read several of Hatke's books and his art is adorable. The majority of this title is wordless, next come sound effects but there are speech bubbles also and I'd say this would make a good visualized story for young non-readers to interpret as well. The girl and the robots are charming and I found myself rooting for them for the entire story. The book is timeless, it could be taking place now or in the future. The cuteness and junkyard robot setting brought to mind "Wall-E" and I believe this is going to be an endearing tale. I loved it!