Tag Archives: comic

Deal Alert: Image Comics & Pathfinder Humble Bundles

Hey guys, if anyone is interested, Humble Bundle has some pretty good deals going on right now. There’s a nice assortment of comics from Image (including a physical comic) that’s available for the next week or so. Mostly, it’s first volumes, but it’s a good way to try several different graphic novels and see which ones are interesting. Also, they have a pretty amazing collection of Pathfinder stuff, everything from the basic player’s guide to GM manuals, maps, and modules. Plus, some comics set in the Pathfinder worlds. That’s all good for less than a week now. (If you’re not familiar, Pathfinder is a tabletop RPG, pretty similar to D&D.) Just thought I’d let you know, since these are some pretty decent bargains.

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Omnibus Edition)

Author: Alan Moorethe league of extraordinary gentelmen omnibus

Illustrator: Kevin O’Neill

My Rating: DNF

Warning: Mature Audience

In England during the year 1898, a mysterious unnamed individual–going merely by M–has begun collecting a most unusual group of people together. Strayed to the outskirts of society and beyond by choice or chance, these individuals have both the will and the abilities to do what many might consider impossible. And perhaps, for the sake of their country, they might even be motivated to have the will to work together and accomplish the task.

First off, apologies to those who love this, admittedly classic, comic book–you should probably stop reading now. Actually, this particular review is for myself more than for anyone else, so that when I look back in 5 years and wonder whatever happened to the characters, I’ll be reminded of all the reasons I stopped reading to begin with. Because The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has the potential to be a wonderful story. The premise is intriguing, the blending of Victorian period literature and style with the superhero comic. I would even say that, at times, Moore and O’Neill manage to pull it off. Certainly, a familiarity with and appreciation of classic literature will certainly increase one’s appreciation of the comic–the incorporation of characters and stylistic elements was one of the things I appreciated the most. So if there’s that much good, why did I stop halfway through with no intention of ever picking this comic up again to finish it? Because I found this comic to also be racist, sexist, violent, bawdy, and offensive in the extreme. Is that seriously necessary?! So yes, I won’t elaborate further, but I can’t recommend The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, nor will I ever read any of it again.

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My Little Pony: Humble Bundle

Authors: Jeremy Whitley & Ted Andersonmy little pony humble bundle

Illustrators: Tony Fleecs & Brenda Hickey/Colors: Heather Breckel/Lettering: Neil Uyetake

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Just to clarify, this post is not about the recent Humble Bundle deal on My Little Pony comics (addressed here). Rather, this is a review of the physical comic that was offered as a part of that deal exclusively for Humble Bundle, titled My Little Pony: Humble Bundle. This book consists of two stories. In the first, the Cutie Mark Crusaders–Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, & Scootaloo–find themselves completely out of ideas for trying to find their special talent . . . until Discord comes along to “give them a hand”. The second tells of Twilight’s early days of getting to know Spike, back at magic school when he was just a baby dragon.

I was truly thrilled with this comic. The stories are original and interesting while still being consistent with the television series completely. Rather, you might say that they are stories that have needed to be told; they’re very satisfying. The characters are consistent, and the stories are great fun. Discord even makes a Q (Star Trek ) reference–which you have to admit has been due ever since Discord first appeared. The art is slightly different in style than the TV show, but it works well and is attractive. Ooh, and the covers and pin-up art by Sara Richard are just gorgeous, seriously. My Little Pony: Humble Bundle was a lot of fun to read. I know it was an exclusive, so it will be hard to find, but if you happen to get your hands on it, definitely read it.

 

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Deal Alert: My Little Pony Humble Bundle/Posting Update

Hi, everyone! Just wanted to let you know (if anyone’s interested) that Humble Bundle is offering a My Little Pony book bundle for the next 9 days. You can find it here. It includes quite a nice selection of comics/graphic novels as well as a couple of art books. Also, if you pay $25, you get a physical book which includes Humble Bundle-exclusive stories. I’m looking forward to reading/reviewing these. 😀

On a completely different note, I’m going to be taking a week or two off from posting–because life’s crazy. Yeah. But I’ll be back soon; I miss you guys too much when I’m gone.

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Welcome to Gotham Academy

Written by Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher/Art by Karl KersclWelcome to Gotham Academy

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Something strange happened to Olive this past summer, but she can’t remember what . . . or maybe she just doesn’t want to remember. Whatever the case, she’s not sure Kyle’s her boyfriend anymore, nor does she want to talk to him to get the official word. And bats bother her now, even the ever-present bat signal in the sky over Gotham City. Not that she has a lot of time to reflect on all that. Her second year at Gotham Academy promises to be a busy one, especially since she’s in charge of helping Kyle’s little sister, Maps, get settled in for her first year at the school. And there are those students who are determined to make the year challenging for Olive just because. Oh and of course there are all sorts of unexplained creepy phenomena popping up around the campus as well, and she can’t just let that go uninvestigated. Yes, it should be quite an interesting year indeed.

I really enjoyed reading Welcome to Gotham Academy, way more than I expected to, actually. It doesn’t have the same feel that most of DC Comic’s stories seem to. Sure it’s set in Gotham, and Batman even shows up at times, but it’s really a school story. The feel is more of Harry Potter-meets-manga sort of vibe. Which, as you can imagine, I loved. The characters are great; Maps and Olive in particular I became quite fond of. And may I just say, Maps is very funny to read–she’s so super-energetic about everything, and she relates life strongly to her RPG group (think D&D, but Gotham world version). The amount of tension is balanced well, and there’s a nice flow of resolution and increased tension and action throughout. Plus, the authors brought together an unexpected group of people in a way that was plausible and that emphasized their individual characters effectively. You end up with a neat little “Scooby Gang” at the end that I’m figuring will be the main cast for future volumes (and I am looking forward to future volumes!). Have I mentioned the art? It’s this great almost manga style, with a very nice color palette–nothing like your usual comic book. Especially nice since that’s the absolute number one thing that bugs me about most comics. I would highly recommend Welcome to Gotham Academy, even if you don’t normally like comics–and especially if you like Harry Potter or paranormal school manga (like Negima!).

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Copper

Author/Illustrator: Kazu Kibuishicopper

My rating: 5 of 5

Copper and his dog Fred have the most unusual adventures. Sometimes it’s surfing incredible waves or going fishing. Other times, they travel in space or hop across mushroom tops over a huge gorge (ignoring the nearby bridge). Occasionally, they even do something normal like go shopping. Whatever the case, their imaginations illuminate the situation, providing both fun and insight–even if Fred does get a bit carried away.

My first experience with the work of Kazu Kibuishi was his incredible graphic novel series, Amulet. I was delighted to find this collection of his webcomic, Copper, at the library recently (although many of the comics presented in this volume are also available at his website. While his other works are more traditional graphic novels, Copper is more of a comic-strip sort of work. Most of the clips are only one page long and are completely self-contained, although there is something of a continuity and connection between them. I love the art style used in these comics; it’s classic Kibuishi, but with a simpler, more basic design than most of his other works. It really works well for the story. The characters are wonderful as well. Copper himself is optimistic and cheerful, but basically level-headed. And immensely imaginative–a substantial portion of the stories take place in his head, transforming the mundane into the incredible. And Fred . . . a talking dog with an imagination as huge as his boy’s. And I just love the way he’s so pessimistic about things at first, but then when he tries them, he ends up getting carried away and overdoing it. Too funny! I think Copper is a great collection for anyone, young or old, who enjoys creativity and a good laugh.

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My Neighbors the Yamadas

Studio Ghiblimy neighbors the yamadas

Written & Directed by Isao Takahata/Produced by Seiichiro Ujiie, Takashi Shouji, & Toshio Suzuki/Music by Akiko Yano/Based on Nono-chan by Hisaichi Ishii

My rating: 3.5 of 5

The Yamada family are rather a peculiar group–certainly not your ideal Japanese family. Mr. Yamada isn’t nearly as successful and well-viewed as he’d like to imagine. Mrs. Yamada would rather snack and watch daytime TV than keep house–she’s actually a rather atrocious housekeeper. Their son, Noboru, isn’t making the grades his parents expect–but then, he’d probably do better if he studied instead of goofing off. Their little daughter Nonoko is mostly okay, I suppose, although her chatter could get old. And of course, Grandmother Shige oversees the lot of them, raining unasked advice, criticism, and archaic adages aplenty. . . . Actually, maybe they aren’t that different from the rest of us, when it comes down to it. In any case, in spite of their issues, the Yamada family are sure to be united against everything life throws at them.

I have this obsession over Studio Ghibli works–I’m determined to watch every one I can get my hands on. And I must say, My Neighbors the Yamadas is unique among the Ghibli works I’ve seen so far. It’s based on a 4-koma comic strip, and it retains that slice-of-life comedy feel. It’s arranged as a set of vignettes, which follows nicely from the 4-koma style. These vignettes are broken up by more traditional paintings decorated with traditional calligraphy, usually something by Basho or other classic poetry. (It probably says something about the movie as a whole that these divider screens were probably my favorite part of the show.) The art style is extremely different from Ghibli’s typical works, which kind of made me sad since one of the things I love most about Ghibli films is the amazing art that typifies stories such as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Still, the more cartoon-like, pen-and-watercolor style does fit the Yamada family’s story, rather. Probably the best aspect of this movie is the keen observations it makes as to the relations between the Yamada family members. But still, I can definitely say that this was not my favorite Ghibli film; it probably wouldn’t go into my favorite lists at all. I would recommend My Neighbors the Yamadas mostly to folks who enjoy a more comic-strip sort of story (folks who like Peanuts and suchlike), and yes, to other people who obsessively watch all the Ghibli movies just to say they did (but for you, you probably won’t like it particularly; you’ve been warned).

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