Category Archives: graphic novel

Storytelling Is Not Dead: New Comic Book Day 19

Please check out my previous Storytelling posts here.  And my 365 Reviews here.

It’s Wednesday!  That means new comic book day and a stack of number ones reviewed just for you!

I started something new a few weeks ago: I featured student guest reviews of some new titles, and we will be doing that again today!  That’s right.  I get to the comic book store at 7:00 A.M., buy a chunk of new titles, have students stop in and grab a few, they read them, we review them.  All in the course of the school day.  I hope you enjoy.  My plan is to feature two-four student writers each Wednesday.

Ziggy Pig Silly Seal Comics from Marvel

Written by Frank Tieri & John Cerilli; Illustrated by Jacob Chabot; Colored by Stefani Rennee

Review by Anthony A.

This book has some history; these two characters started in the 40’s as a comical story for children. I think that it is no longer for kids since Ziggy Pig tries to kill Silly Seal.  Either way these two have a lot of history behind them, and it’s part of Marvel tossing out old issues to make a buck off of their anniversary.

The comic started off pretty good with someone immediately impersonating Silly Seal.  This causes Ziggy and Silly Seal to come together and of course Ziggy uses this to try to get Silly Seal to get killed.

It is a very silly comic: funny but not hilarious. Personally it was clear that the two characters have a lot of history.  I haven’t really followed the Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal stuff before, but I personally think this is worth a read. The funniest part in the whole thing involves Deadpool, so that’s a plus.

The art in this book is good.  The majority of it is what you would see on a cartoon.  That kind of changes a little bit based on each of the characters in the book though, with Ziggy and Silly being the most cartoonish.

Overall the book is pretty good.  A few of appearances from Marvel characters.  Personally I enjoyed reading it. The pacing was a little fast though, but other than that, it was good.

 

Ronin Island from BOOM! Studios

Written by Greg Pak; Illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis; Colored by Irma Kniivila

Review by Anthony A.

Ronin Island is all about an Asian settlement that survived “the Great Wind” (we do not know what the Great Wind is in the first issue).  It begins with two teens competing for first in Samauri class. I have no clue what education they had to endure, best guess is that it was all physical. As soon as they finish their competition, a group called the “Shogun” who were thought to be deceased, show up trying to act like a protection service for the villagers.  Then, all of the characters look over to their fields and see some crazy stuff (like zombies…) and seemingly decide to join forces.

I did like the art in this one.  It was mostly bright and colorful, then it changes to a darker more sinister tone with the colors.  The overall tone of the book, however, is light, with bits of comic relief tossed in, making parts feel Last Airbender-ish.  

The characters in this one are solid characters and seem promising.  It has what you would expect from one of those martial arts movies, taking place in some part of Asia in the past with the samurai and respect and such.  I have always liked those movies, so maybe I have a little bit of a bias. Either way, I recommend it. It isn’t completely fresh with its ideas, but there are some creative ideas in there.  You don’t normally see a post-apocalyptic setting mixed with these martial-art type stories. Well, at least in my experience.

 

Once Our Land 2: Vol. 1 from Scout Comics

Created by Peter Ricq

Review by Anthony F.

Once Our Land 2 is a story set in the year 1839 in post apocalyptic Germany.  Aliens descend upon Earth to wreak havoc. All hope is lost until someone figures out that the aliens’ one true weakness is salt.  The discovery leads to the halt of the spreading invasions, but the aliens’ numbers were already too great to combat. Salt becomes a very important and valuable resource to have.  The aliens become afraid to attack humans, and humans became afraid to attack aliens. The story now follows Fritz and Ingrid as they try to survive in their situation.

The art in the book is absolutely brilliant.  Very geometrical with amazing shading. Green is a very dominant color through the book as Germany is a place known for having very large, luscious forests.

As for the characters and the story, I was a tad bit lost as this book is part one of…the second part.  After all, the full title of the book is Once Our Land 2, Volume I,  issue 1. I was generally confused for a large chunk of this book as it makes little effort to try to explain the situation that it is in.  There is a short prologue just before the actual story starts, but it doesn’t help explain a lot of what’s going on. Furthermore, the book is an extremely fast read as there is little dialogue, so if you can find 10 minutes of free time in your day this is the story for you…if you have read Once Our Land 1.

In the end, it was an interesting little read and has much potential to be a real neat series of books.  I just feel that reading this book before the the first ones does not do this book it’s proper justice. It’s like starting Game of Thrones at season 2.

 

Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History from Marvel Comics

Written by Paul Scheer & Nick Giovannetti; Illustrated by Gerardo Sandoval & Victor Nava; Colored by Antonio Fabela

Review by Anthony F.

Going into this one I wasn’t too excited about it as I’m not a huge Marvel fan but the Ghost Rider is always a nice title to return to, and this book is no exception.  Frank Castle, now the Cosmic Ghost Rider, travels all the way back through time to the day before his family is murdered by the Costas. He arrives at his old house to be greeted by his son, and under the guise of Frank’s uncle “Fredo” he is granted entry inside.  Shortly after entering, Maia, Frank’s wife, leaves to pick up her daughter. Frank begins talking to his son and reveals himself as the Cosmic Ghost Rider and begins telling stories about his adventures across space and time.

Art in this is real “sketchy” but in a good way.  The detail in the characters and landscapes tend to lesson the further they stray from the foreground.  Some parts of the book even look a little saturated during his flashbacks.

I enjoyed the many stories he tells on his adventures, and I felt like I was the kid sitting right there in front of him listing to each and every story with utmost content.  The book did not hesitate to pull me right in from the get-go.

Overall, this was a great read, and I really enjoyed myself.  This series is definitely one I am going to keep my eye on. To listen some of the untold stories of the Cosmic Ghost Rider was very enthralling.

 

Star Wars – Age of Republic: Padmè Amidala

Written by Jody Houser; Illustrated by Cory Smith & Wilton Santos & Walden Wong & Marc Deering; Colored by Java Tartaglia

Review by Sam V-W.

Fun read all the all the way to the end.  This issue shows Padmé’s perspective on the politics in the Republic in the capital of Coruscant.  Starts off with an interesting discussion between Anakin and Padmè that is emotional and very fun to read.  During this time, Padmé is a diplomatic senator and must complete some negotiations between the Republic and a neutral planet; we get to see the business side of her.  She obviously cares about bringing peace and prosperity to the Galaxy, wanting to protect the innocents in this war.

Art is very detailed, nothing too special about it.  Character art is less detailed for human characters, but additional detail is added to alien characters.  The clothing drawn is very colorful and uniquely.

The dialogue is constant throughout: it is well paced and offers additional information to what is occurring in the world of Star Wars.

These new Star Wars comics are very detailed and are very enjoyable to read.  They show some character defects and personalities, while also conveying the emotion that often feels lost in other forms of canon.  We know these characters, so the writers can slow-play the action. I highly suggest looking for them at your local comic store.

 

Frozen: Reunion Road Part One from Dark Horse Comics (Wait, isn’t Frozen Disney, which is Marvel?)

Written by Joe Caramagna; Illustrated by Eduard Petrovich; Colored by Yana Chinstova & Anastasiia Belousova

Review by Sam V-W.

Just because it’s a children’s story, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth reading.

The story is likeable and easy to follow.  Elsa, Anna and a couple other characters are invited to the Harvest Festival.  What follows are a bunch of events that happen during the journey. They visit a few familiar sites from the animated movie, but mostly they spend time on a cart.

The art is amazing, which is just what you would expect from a Disney comic series.

Familiar characters are well drawn, with many details, and the clothing is done in a similar fashion.  Do you get it? Fashion…

Speech bubbles are often jokes, which are a little childish but still slightly enjoyable to read for adults.

One thing I gotta say is anything that Olaf does is instantly enjoyable.  I actually read his lines in Josh Gad’s voice.

Not worth reading unless you are a fan of the movie.

 

Black Hammer ’45 from Dark Horse Comics

Story by Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes; Illustrated by Matt Kindt; Colored by Sharlene Kindt

Review by me!

This team should be a recipe for success: Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, AND Matt Kindt!?

But it falls short of the mark.  This story is about a group of elite soldiers in what I think to be WWII, although, I’m not sure because there are big robots and such.  The art is that of Matt Kindt, but it feels rushed and incomplete; however, my biggest qualm with the book is the forced exposition in the dialogue.  Yikes!

There’s a part where a character states, “This has nothing to do with the Ghost Hunter.  The man who killed both your brothers.”  Ahhh, yes, when there is no creative way to let us know something through images or indirect characterization, say it loud and proud with expository dialogue!

Needless to say, I was disappointed with the issue.  I went in almost adding it to my pull list based on creators alone, but sadly, it will not be making the cut.

They can’t all be home runs.

 

Morning In America from Oni Press

Written by Magdalene Visaggio; Illustrated by Claudia Aguirre

Review by me!

From start to finish this book felt like something that I’ve read or seen a few times.  The art, while dope, feels very Oni Press…and this can be a good thing, but paired with the fact that I’m getting flashbacks of Paper Girls and Stranger Things, it’s not that special.  The art is not going to get me past the pastiche-ness of the story.

However, if a group of girls fighting to stop the end of the world in 1980’s Ohio is your thing, you will love this…add the fact that they swear and make sex jokes, and you’ll feel like it’s 1983 all over agin!  (That sounded way snarkier than I wanted it to, sorry.)

 

For the Best of the Week, I’m going with the Cosmic Ghost Rider book.  It had the most story and the art was unique enough to set it apart from the others.  Marvel expands their lead.

BOOM! Studios: 2

Image: 4

Archie Comics: 1

Dark Horse Comics: 2

Marvel: 6

IDW: 2

Vault: 1

Shout out to my shop, Alternate Reality located at 111th and Kedzie in beautiful Downtown Mt. Greenwood, Chicago…where I get all of my new books.  Check them out if you are in the Chicagoland area.  Tell Tim that Eric sent ya!

Happy reading!

Eric

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