Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creepy Presents Richard Corben

I wish I had discovered Creepy Magazine when I was a kid.  However, I am enjoying the editions they are publishing now that feature a particular artist.  This time Creepy is all about Richard Corben.

Richard’s style reminds me of Tales from the Crypt.  His image is a little like the Crypt Keeper so maybe that’s why.

Creepy Presents Richard Corben is a collection of short comics from one page inserts to several page stories.  Prepare to be amazed by his trivia and shocked into quiet contemplation as he points out the stupidity that seems to be the primary motivation for humans. 

The art is mostly black and white but that doesn’t leave the images dark like some B&W comics.  It has an older feel to it like images from Vincent Price movies. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Tim Conrad

While I don’t think this was the best adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it might encourage a younger reader to explore the classics.  The art is colorful and engaging but I found some of the drawings were not clear enough for my taste.

I just couldn’t connect to this story.  The characters never became real for me, I didn’t care if they lived or died.  I felt like I was reading a textbook.  Where was the development?  Where was the emotional connection?  Boy, I can so understand the need to attach to the characters. 

If you follow my blog, you know I read a lot of graphic novels.  So many of them have characters I connect with.  I can’t put my finger on why this particular tome just didn’t do it for me.  The Hunchback is a very sympathetic character but I couldn’t dig in.  I didn’t hate the villain and I didn’t like Esmeralda. 

A reluctant child might like this book but I won’t guarantee it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Occultist by Mike Richardson

An interesting story.  Rob works in a book store and his day is not going all that well.  It gets worse when a secret book decides it likes him and offers him the sword which is a magical power.  Soon Rob’s life changes in ways he never imagined.  He can have whatever he wants with consequences he never imagined.

Soon he’s a hunted man.  He connects to Detective Melendez and the adventures go from there.  I enjoyed the story.  Rob’s a likeable guy. 

The animation is decent, a bit fuzzy in my e-copy but enjoyable.  I loved the monsters and the story lines have lots of potential.  Can’t wait to see more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Freaks of the Heartland by Steve Niles

This story was not what I had expected from Steve Niles.  If you are not familiar with his work – they are usually violent, horrific stories.  So one about freaks living in the sticks made me think I was picking up something similar to House of 1000 corpses.

Instead what I got was a sweet story about two brothers.  Set in the country in a non-descript time (feels old fashioned but there are little things that make me wonder) Steve Niles has woven a tale that is more haunting than anything else he has written.

Trevor has to help take care of his brother Will, who has been chained up in the barn.  Like a good older brother, Trevor watches out for Will.  Late at night they sneak out to enjoy the fields and moonlight.  However, one night he returns to hear his father talk about how he should have killed Will when he was born.  Will manages to steal away his father’s pistol. 

The next day, a neighbor comes to tell how they will have to kill their daughter.  Trevor’s father decides it’s time – the monsters must go.  Trevor and Will escape but they can’t leave the valley without rescuing the others like Will.

It’s not an overly deep story but the journey the boys go on carried me away.  I wanted to know more at the end.  I would have loved answers but there were none given.  But that didn’t make me love the story less.

The drawings are soft and subtle.  The muted colors would have normally irritated me but I found they worked well with this story.  It added to the timeless feel to the story as if it had been tinted with sepia.  I do think this is one I’d love to revisit time and again, hoping to find more in each panel, each subtle phrase.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

House of Night by PC Cast and Kristin Cast with Kent Dalian

I almost prefer to be introduced to a series through graphic novel.  It gives me a quick insight as to whether or not I will like the books.  House of Night is one of those series that I was curious about but unable to fit into my reading schedule.  This graphic novel was a great introduction.

Designed to accompany the books, this story gives a quick introduction to the characters for those who are unfamiliar with them and a deeper exploration into the mythology that runs through the series for those already reading the books.

The story line wasn’t great but it was interesting enough.  Zoey Redbird has been made the leader of the Dark Daughters but she doesn’t feel fit to rule.  Through five lessons and historical stories, she learns how to be a leader. 

I, actually, liked Zoey.  I found her to be quite real and interesting.  She had so many layers to her personality and wasn’t perfect like so many characters in vampire books come out.  I loved the mythology and the changing of the stories to fit into vampire lore.

The art was quite cartoony which worked well for this story.  The colors were vibrant and engaging.  It would appeal to younger audiences as well as more mature ones.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Battlepug Volume 1 by Mike Norton

I had the privilege of being introduced to Mike Norton’s work when I read The Curse (due out in October).  The work was so funny, over the top and featured a pug which made the story complete.  When I had the opportunity to read his Battlepug, I knew I had to.

I was not disappointed.  Mike Norton has a dark sense of humor.  Battlepug is sexy, funny and full of action.  No zombies in this one but it’s filled with man-eating oversized animals and a very evil Santa Claus.

I lied – I was disappointed.  The book ended far too soon.  I hate volumes.  I want to devour a story and not have to stop and wait just as it’s getting good.  Mike Norton is a name that will haunt me as I scour comic book stores.  I don’t want your basic superhero – I want Battlepug.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bloody Chester by JT Petty

The end of this graphic novel left me feeling unfulfilled so it’s hard to write this review.

The story is of “Bloody” Chester who starts off as a scrawny loser locked in the jail of a wild west town.  He’s offered a job – burn down plague afflicted Whale so the railroad can pass through the area.  Not thinking much of it, Chester goes to Whale.  There are 2 survivors and 1 man dying of the plague left.  All he has to do is convince them to leave and burn the whole place down – not a problem especially since the survivors are basically kids.

However, nothing is as it seems and soon Chester begins to unravel the origin of the plague and finds his job a lot more difficult than he thought.  At first, this story has a supernatural feel but everything is explained in “normal” terms.  That’s not the problem, I actually liked that it turned out not to be supernatural.  To tell you why the ending bothers me would ruin the story.  That may not be necessarily true – I just felt that the story ended in a weird place.  I needed a tiny bit more.  There may be an upcoming sequel which would explain why the strange ending but I don’t know.

The art is pleasing, muted but still colorful.  It reminds me of manga in the style.  I felt the art painted a full picture and gave me a real feeling of the life they were living.  There’s slight humor that made this book really enjoyable.  There is a small amount of violence that might disturb a sensitive reader.  The language is slightly more adult with some swearing making it not appropriate for a young reader.  I do see this appealing to teens and anything that gets them reading is a good choice.