Wednesday, August 31, 2016

UQ Holder 8 by Ken Akamatsu

UQ Holder 8 by Ken Akamatsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Purchased the print edition

UQ Holder (#8: Flight to the Top)

This is an absolutely hilarious and fun volume! A new extravagant character is introduced and she's a blast! There is also a sweet little story going on as well but mostly the volume has our group training to improve their skills. Love this series!

Real Account 3 by Okushou

Real Account 3 by Okushou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Purchased the print edition

Real Account (#3: New Blood)

Intriguing! The first chapter is called "Brand New Opening" and it really is! Quite confusing at first this volume starts all over again at the beginning of the story with the marble guy taking over Real Account. We go through the whole explanation again but this time, we have two new main characters. They are very similar to the first two people so it's hard to adjust that this is a new couple. They play the same first game as in Vol. 1 but after that, all the games are new and different. It's as good as the previous volumes but weird to see the story over with different people. A little comment by the illustrator at the end of the book says to wait and see what the connection is. Intriguing!

Corktown #2 by Mario Candelaria

Corktown #2 by Mario Candelaria
Illus. Scott Ewan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 21 pages
Published August 31st 2016 by Alterna Comics
Source: received an egalley via the publisher

Corktown (#2)

Really loving the black and white artwork! This issue goes back in time and shows us how Torrie was killed in the first place. Then it's back to the present and a shocker! It leaves us feeling a little confused and a must hurry up and read the next issue.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 16 by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 16 : The Blessed Will Bury by Adachitoka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 184 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Purchased print copy

Noragami: Stray God (#16)

This whole volume is a sudden fight between the gods and a main character god who has committed treason. The god did something to help her kill the Crafter but instead of that happening we have this whole treason thing and a bunch of characters we don't really know pop in here and there. Way too much fighting and I really didn't "get" everything that was going on. I usually love this series but found this volume tedious.

Clayface Returns (You Choose: Batman) by John Sazaklis

Clayface Returns (You Choose: Batman) by John Sazaklis
Illus. Ethan Beavers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback
Published August 1st 2016 by Stone Arch Books
Source: Received print copy from publisher

Batman Family

Similar to their superhero chapter book series, Capstone now has "choose your own adventure" superhero stories featuring Batman. This book has eleven possible endings which are about 50/50 with Batman winning or the villain getting away. I like Clayface so this was a fun story for me and the choices can take you on a path of three different plots making re-reading fun. Each one has Clayface as the villain but they have different situations. In one Clayface goes after the man who made him this way, another he shows up at a TV show convention appearance of a TV superhero and the other features Zatanna helping Batman against Clayface. I prefer the chapter books myself but kids will enjoy the variety in re-reading this book.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Volume 2 & 3 by Osamu Takahashi

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Volume 2 by Osamu Takahashi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Dark Horse Manga
First published Japan 2006
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Neon Genesis Evangelion Universe

I enjoyed the second half much better than the first. This volume doesn't have much going on in the lab and is pretty much school stuff with the kids. What I didn't like was that Nagisa was introduced as a gay character and all the gay jokes and having him vie for Ikari is very annoying. I do not enjoy BL at all and it ruins the Ikari/Rei/Asuka triangle. But things got better as Ikari and Rei got closer and got to spend some time alone when they all went on a class trip to Okinawa. I hope the next volume has a bit of lab stuff and less Nagisa teasing and antics.




Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Volume 3 by Osamu Takahashi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Dark Horse Manga
First published Japan 2007
Source: Comixology Unlimited

Neon Genesis Evangelion Universe

Much better than vol. 2! Lots of intrigue starting as SEELE show themselves. Most of the time was spent in the lab though nothing really went on there. This volume concentrates on character. Mostly Rei and Ikari which is fabulous stuff and Asuka getting all jealous. The other characters have minor parts continuing their stories but I just loved the Rei/Ikari parts. And this cover is to-die-for!

Blood for Stone by Kenton Daniels

Blood for Stone by Kenton Daniels
Illus. Shannon Ritchie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 88 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Alterna Comics
Source: egalley provided by the publisher

I didn't like this much. The art was very black and murky with scribbly lines everywhere. Very hard to make out what is being pictured. The story is very violent but a bit of a mess mixing typical plot tropes all together, Romans in the Alps, some mountain men ask them to rescue a kidnapped niece, there's a gypsy with her superstitious ways, the Romans call on their gods, there are flying creatures of hell and finally a demon who influenced all this just to find the holy cup of the Nazarene (Holy Grail). Tons of violent imagery with skeletons and body parts stacked everywhere, but no character development brings little feeling for any of the participants. OK if you're just looking for a gorefest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

American Terror: Confessions of a Human Smart Bomb, Vol 1&2 by Jeff McComsey

American Terror: Confessions of a Human Smart Bomb, Vol One by Jeff McComsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Alterna Comics
Source: egalley via publisher

American Terror: Confessions of a Human Smart Bomb (Vol. 1)


This is awesome and the art is really good. It's the future, Nov. 11, but Veteran's Day is no longer celebrated. Victor was in the wars that got the world to where it is now (a supposed Utopia) and he sees and talks to his dead comrades. He wants people to know of the millions who died to make the world they know and he starts telling his story. We learn his background in Kosovo ad eventual court martial. Then he's recruited by a new team that will be working corporate security as the military is no longer going to look after its civilians abroad. Pretty violent and intense!



American Terror: Confession of a Human Smart Bomb, Volume 2 by Jeff McComsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Alterna
Source: egalley via the publisher

American Terror: Confessions of a Human Smart Bomb (Vol. 2)

Intense read! This starts off with the action and never lets up. We're in the past now (possibly close to our current present) and there are only a few flashes to the present to remind us Victor is telling his story to a Deacon. (This confuses me a bit because Deacons can't hear confession) Back to the past, he rounds up a small base group and then they go out recruiting people to gather at a meeting where he'll tell them what it's about. He says the only thing worse than an army for hire is a person whose not. Those are who he is looking for in putting together this group of special op trained people to fight the new corporation armies. It ends with a cliffhanger and there is still no conclusion seven years later.

Bee Sting by Matthew D Smith

Bee Sting by Matthew D Smith
Illus. Jeremy Massie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ebook, 47 pages
Published March 20th 2013 by Alterna Comics
Source: egalley via the publisher

This was great! Really cheesy but great! It starts out with an old EC Comics vibe and an emcee introducing the story, Maggot Smith. Then some guys go to summer camp as councillors for the purpose of getting laid. A girl one of them likes gets stung by a bee and needs to be taken to hospital, so the dudes volunteer. Guess what? They get lost in the woods and meet-up with hillbilly cannibals. There are only a couple of survivors as the kids don't go down without a chainsaw fight. LOL. Gruesome fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trespasser #1 - #4 +Epilogue by Justin M. Ryan

Trespasser #1 by Justin M. Ryan
illus. Kristian Rossi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ebook, 23 pages
Published February 10th 2016 by Alterna

As it starts we can tell the man and his daughter are alone. The man goes out hunting gets a hen, it's radioactive so the dog gets it. Further ahead they find something in one of their traps ... an alien. They take him home clean him up, find out he has a massive weapon of destruction. Then I think, they do something to him ... Good dialogue and interesting art.






Trespasser #2 by Justin M. Ryan
llus. Kristian Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 23 pages
Published April 13th 2016 by Alterna

Freeky jeeeps! The man has blisters but the girl's ok. The alien comes back but the man is shocked because of the ...thing... he did. The man is really sick. They go into the house and the girl shoots the gun, but there is nothing but an empty ???









Trespasser #3 by Justin M. Ryan
llus. Kristian Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 23 pages
Published June 15th 2016 by Alterna

Belle, the dog ran away last time, The girl knows what the dad did and is getting sick. They go hunting and kill a bear eating an antelope but both are radioactive. Then the (or perhaps *another?) alien comes back and starts to walk away ... I'm really enjoying this; the art is great.







Trespasser #4 by Justin M. Ryan
llus. Kristian Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 19 pages
Published August 10th 2016 by Alterna

Creepy! The dad and girl are in the house but the girl is real sick. The house is surrounded by the aliens and dad runs out there saying he's sorry, do what they want to him just help his daughter get better. The aliens take the girl. Then she wakes up in a military compound. She seems okay but asking for her dad. This place doesn't appear to like the aliens much. Freaky!







Trespasser: Epilogue by Justin M. Ryan
llus. Kristian Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 11 pages
Published August 10th 2016 by Alterna

OK, all I can say everything is *not* good but good anyway. Pops and daughter are back together but it's been about ten years and obviously, the girl had a bad time! Is this the end??








Source for all were egalleys provided by the publisher for review purposes. Thanks Alternacomics!!

Lucifer, Vol. 1: Cold Heaven by Holly Black

Lucifer, Vol. 1: Cold Heaven by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Lucifer (vol. 1)

I've never read anything with Lucifer in it before and this seems to pick up the story wherever it left off last. However, it tells a lot of backstory about the characters as it's important to where the plot is going now and I felt like I was getting everything. It certainly makes me want to read some back issues, though! I really enjoyed this. The good and bad characters aren't so easily defined. I've always enjoyed this type of story and I'm a fan of Holly Black's books for teens. She's done a great job with what I presume is her first foray for DC. Will certainly be looking out for volume two.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bookhunter by Jason Shiga

Bookhunter by Jason Shiga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Sparkplug Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

A comic for bibliophiles or librarians!. Agent Bay is the Chief of the library police and he hunts down stolen books. Set in the 1970s the book opens with our hero in action. Then the rest of the book contains the main story involving the theft of an 1800s Bible on display in the Oakland Public Library. Bay is the type of officer who chases his suspects across the roofs of buildings and swings by cables when necessary. It was a fun little story that I enjoyed bur it is aimed at those with knowledge of books from paper content, bookbinding techniques and materials and library jargon. I did bookbinding years ago and am a lifelong library user and understood much of the bookishness. There is a certain dry humour as well which makes the book fun. If your only interest in books is reading them , this probably might be on the tedious side but if you like books for the sake of the actual product you'll get the jokes and jargon.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mister X: The Modern Age by Dean Motter

Mister X: The Modern Age by Dean Motter
My rating: 4/5 stars

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

A fantastic omnibus of the latter stories of Mr. X by Dean Motter. An ingenious world this is, a city affected by architecture. The world is 1940s-ish, a bit steampunk with zeppelins and monorails in the air; it's definitely a future world but the art is awesome Art Nouveau in style. My favourite character throughout the book was a secondary one, Mercedes. Great read, not to be missed and this makes me want to read the earlier incarnations of Mr X.

1. Condemned - A really strange city where the architecture had been mixed with psychic stuff that eventually drove all the residents insane. Now the government, with an election coming, is trying to rebuild, urban renewal. There are a few angles going on here: the mafia, a secret society of architects, a serial killer, and government corruption. Although hard to describe it's a crime/mystery plot that I quite enjoyed. Mr. X is trying to fix the architecture and Rosey Stone is a reporter who secretly works with him. The art is gorgeous! It's very Art Nouveau in style. Futuristic sci-fi with a 30/40s look. (5/5)

2. Yacht on the Styx - A short story featuring X and Rosey. A man's body is found in the cornerstone of his own building. How could he have gotten there when he was publically active for many more years to come. (3/5)

3. The Vanishing Breed - Takes place one year after "Condemned" and is a short two-parter. This is about the drug poltercaine which turns you into a phantom. The former mayor is addicted to the stuff and a friend gives it to Mr. X when he gets held up in jail. (4/5)

4. Eviction - Mercedes has been taken by the Ganeral Assembly and is placed in Purgatorium (jail) as she won't give up any info on Mr. X. Rosey gets a new cameraman, an orphan, since Scooter is in the Asylum dealing with his addictions. Meanwhile X and Rosey work on getting Mercedes out while at the same time bringing down the Assembly. A lot of stuff happens in this one and it's a complicated story with reference to previous stories and lots of pop culture. (4/5)

5, Hard Candy - The big pharmaceutical company that used to make all the illicit drugs has their young heiress kidnapped. When a ransom note arrives saying they must restart production and sell only to the kidnappers the owner hires Mr. X to get her granddaughter back. (4/5)

6. Frozen Assets - This one was a lot of fun. Bad guys unfreeze a cryogenic head of a crook who hid all his money. Stories with talking heads floating in jars are always fun. Turns out this guy stole a lot of money from Mr. X (4/5)

7. The Eaves of Destruction - A short Christmas story where Rosey's Rabbi father comes to visit while she is working on a series of Rabbi serial killings. Really liked this one, and the red in the art was gorgeous. (5/5)

8. Dead Giveaway - Another short Christmas story set in the same area as the previous one but starring secondary characters. A man and his trophy wife are trying to kill each other for Christmas. (3/5)

9. Razed Expectations - The best story in the book and the longest. Takes place a few months after "Eviction". The election for a Mayor is back on and all the candidates have schemes going. The story is broken up for a few issues of Rosey investigating a zombie precious metals theft ring, which sounds insane but was really good. Everything wraps up at the end of the urrent arc but there are tons of things left wide open. (5/5)

10. Mr. X in Slumberland - Just a kind of advertising short explaining the history of the 9th Architects and how Mr. X is back. (NR)

11. The Return of Mr. X - Some pages from the first issue worked on with Paul Rivoche which was never published. (NR)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored by John Wagner;

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored by John Wagner; et al
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by 2000 AD
First published 1978
Source: Print copy from Amazon.ca

Judge Dredd

The whole Cursed Earth saga from the pages of 2000 AD, uncensored for the first time. This was a blast to read. The "banned" issues are everything you could imagine them to be: garish and cheesy, pure delightful fun! The Burger Wars was just plain silly but the Jolly Green Giant story was actually good and I loved the Michelin Man part. LOL. The rest of the book, of course, can be found in "Complete Case Files Vol. 2" and involves Dredd crossing the Cursed Earth from Mega City 1 to deliver a vaccine to Mega City 2. At first, I didn't like his companion Spikes, but I grew to find him a fun comic sidekick after awhile. Written in 1978 most of the plot found here is unadulterated cheese, but Dredd fans will have a hoot with it. The book itself is great quality. Hardcover with thick glossy pages and all the original colour included (which I must say is garish to the extreme! I'm glad the Case Files are all in b/w at this point). The back has covers and posters. Brian Bolland's art in the book is great and completely recognisable from other artists.

The Dark Horse Comics/DC: Superman by Chuck Dixon

The Dark Horse Comics/DC: Superman by Chuck Dixon, Dan Jergens & Mike Allred
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via Edelweiss

Superman & Family

An omnibus collection of Dark Horse titles featuring Superman. Two of the four stories were terrible while the other two were a lot of fun. A mixed-bag which ends on a pleasant note saving the best for last.

1. Superman vs. Aliens by Dan Jergens (1995) - Ha, this was really good. Pretty much the plot you'd expect with Supe battling the Aliens but he goes to a city in space that has a Kryptonian heritage and is infested with the Aliens. There he meets Kara and we have a new beginning story for her (Supergirl) there. The art was laughable though because it was sooo nineties. Women in power suits, shoulder pads, man haircuts and Superman had a hairy chest! Plus his hair cut was almost a mullet! LOL! Fun story, though. (4/5)

2. Superman vs. Aliens II: God War by Chuck Dixon (2002) - This one is pretty lame simply because it is boring. Darkseid finds a crashed ship of Aliens and he breeds them to take over New Genesis. I've never read a New Genesis story before so all the gods were new to me. Superman is visiting and he helps them fight off the Aliens. There isn't much action surprisingly, they spend more time chasing than fighting. The art, however, is way better than the first story. This one ends with the possibility open for Darkseid to return with the Alien menace. (2/5)

3. The Superman/Madman Hullabaloo by Mike Allred (1997) - Oh man, this was the cheesiest thing I've read in ages! I have never heard of Madman before but Superman does a dimensional body switch with him and they end up in each other's worlds with their bodies and powers semi-switched. Madman lives in an alternate farcical sixties world. Anyway, they spend their time trying to sort things out and find that Mr Mxyzpklk is at the centre of it all. Not even funny cheese. Yick (1/5)

4. Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle by Chuck Dixon (2002) - Well, I was going to call this a pastiche but the publisher's note at the end says not to think of it as a pastiche but as a "what if" story. It's both. Imagine Kal-El's ship crashed in the middle of darkest Africa and he was raised by apes. Then we have this story here of a Tarzan-Superman who eventually meets up with John Clayton, Lois Lane and Jane Porter after they crash in an airship. It's totally out of canon but incredibly fun. I also loved the art by Meglia and Stewart. It's angular, cartoonish and wild. (5/5)

Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Sonic the Hedgehog Comics by Archie

Sonic the Hedgehog Hide Seek and Destroy: Free Comic Book Day 2010 by Ian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Comic, 32 pages
Published May 1, 2010, by Archie
Source: local comicbook store

Sonic the Hedgehog (#211.5)
Sonic Universe (#14.5)

My first Sonic comic book! This was actually entirely fun! As a FCBD publication, it's purpose is to introduce you to the series. Sonic tells us he is where the last book left off looking for Dr. Robotnik. Instead, he finds a retro monster the Krudzu Hybrid Hydra. Sonic flashes back and tells what happened in 2009 series, fights this monster and leaves us in a situation where we are ready to move on to Sonic #212 May '10 and Sonic Universe #15 May 10.




Sonic Universe #33: Babylon Rising Part 1 of 4 by Tracey Yardley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

comicbook, 27 pages
Published October 26th 2011 by Archie Comics
Source: Local comicbook store

Sonic Universe (#33)

My first book in this series and I don't know any of the characters and not quite sure who's good. I can tell Kukku isn't good LOL. Not bad, the three rogues find the entrance to the Babylon Gardens and face two traps only to meet up with Speedy (bad guy's son). I really like the art and the words are really nice and big for kids to read.









Sonic the Hedgehog #231: Primary Target by Ian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

comicbook, 20 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by Archie Comics
Source: Local comicbook store

Sonic the Hedgehog (#231)

Big huge battle issue with just about every Sonic character you could imagine. Eggman has Sally and is fighting Sonic on his ship but then Sonic gets thrown out and the village has to fight Titan Metal Sonic, only it is Naugus who takes honour for saving the day. A short at the end has Naugus mentally battling the wizards in his mind. I like the art here by Ben Bates.







Sonic Universe #34: Babylon Rising Part 2 of 4 by Tracey Yardley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Comicbook, 25 pages
Published November 23rd 2011 by Archie Comics
Source: Local comic bookstore

Sonic Universe (#4)

Speedy and some drones are battling the Rogues and getting creamed until Battle Lord Kukku comes along and gets the Rogues to submit. He takes the key to the Babylon Garden from them and inserts his special ring(they fit together) and next thing you know they are coming upon Sonic and the gang at New Mobotropolis. I'm not getting into these very much.








Sonic Worlds Unite: Battles #1 by Ryan Jampole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 27 pages
Published July 15th 2015 by Archie Comics
Source: Arcadeblock

Sonic Worlds Unite

This has three battles between Sonic & Mega-Man characters. It was pretty cute and funny. Each is written/illustrated by a different team. First battle Sonic vs 3 of the Deadly 6; second battle Roll vs Sticks. last battle knuckles vs Break Man.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Groundwood Books
Source: Received a print copy from the publisher for review

First, let's start by saying this isn't a graphic novel. The pictures do not tell a story they only illustrate what the text has already told. It's either an illustrated chapter book or a picture book with a lot of text. I'm not particular in pigeonholing books but the publisher's write up on the back calls this a "graphic novel" which is simply misleading and incorrect. I was on a graphic novel awards committee and everyone immediately dismissed this as *not* a graphic novel.With that out of the way, the book is simply very boring. Set during the 1991 coup d'etat against Gorbachev it could have had something very interesting to tell. Instead, a girl whose mother has gone to America to study for a year describes her daily life at school and staying with different relatives. Nothing more exciting than her having her first crush happens. I do like the art style, though, especially the faces.

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Lonely One by John Allison

The Case of the Lonely One by John Allison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 136 pages
Published October 23rd 2015 by Oni Press
Source: Received printed copy from the publisher for review

Bad Machinery (#4)


A fun series featuring British school kids who find themselves in situations where they have a mystery to solve. I read book #2 and really enjoyed it.This one (book #4) I enjoyed the characters but the story was all weird with space aliens who live on onions and their son is hypnotising the school populace. Very weird story, but funny and I like the characters. I would like to go back and read the books in order to get the feel for the setting and characters properly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Noragami: Stray Stories, Vol. 1 by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray Stories, Vol. 1 by Adachitoka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Purchased print copy retail

Noragami: Stray Stories, Vol. 1
Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 8.5

This isn't a regular book in the Noragami series but a side shoot called "Stray Stories" and it remains unclear whether there will be another volume, or not. To read the book chronologically it would be placed between volumes 8 and 9. I'm much further along in the series and some of the characters have changed since they appear here but not so much that the situations and humour found here is a fun break from the ongoing series. This is a collection of short stories most feature Yato but each also focuses on a different character. We learn information about things that don't really come up in the telling of the main series such as: how shinki find their jobs, the gods get yearly employee satisfaction/non-satisfied surveys every year and Yato has a few cases to solve. Not as good as the series proper but a perfectly fun diversion for fans!