Author Archives: Brett

Review: Silk #1

Silk_1_CoverSince she escaped the bunker and returned from the universe-hopping Spider-Verse her one mission has been to track down the missing members of her family. But her quest has taken her down a darker path than she ever expected, and now she’s found herself on the wrong side of the law, and in league with Marvel’s most ferocious feline, the Black Cat. What could have happened in the eight months since Secret Wars to get under her skin? Is there any redeeming her, or is she already lost?

Wait, Silk is a bad guy!? I didn’t read the solicit text above before reading Silk #1, so I missed the twist in this comic, which has a few. Writer Robbie Thompson takes Cindy Moon/Silk and gives her a nice space all her own in this new series.

The first half of Silk #1 feels like a classic Spider-Man story to me, more so than the current Spider-Man series that has been released. She’s swinging around, punching bad guys (still the Goblin Nation), and trying to balance her personal life during it all. Thompson does an excellent job of balancing all of that action while also catching up readers as to Cindy’s life. You could pick up this issue never having read a comic featuring Silk and be fully caught up. It’s actually really impressive to do all of that so smoothly while also setting up a new direction.

And boy is there a new direction. We have the solicit text above, but there’s so much more that I don’t want to spoil. I got to the “bad guy” reveal which caused me pause and I said “holy crap that’s cool,” but what comes after that has even more potential and answers questions I had while reading.

Thompson is helped by Stacey Lee whose style is really cool. Not quite sure how to describe it, but I’ll say Lee does an excellent job balancing the action with quieter moments in Cindy’s life. I enjoy the character design and Silk is handled in a way that her skin tight outfit doesn’t feel like it’s visually exploiting her body at all.

The comic’s first issue is a lot of fun. I want to see what happens next and Thompson has carved out a solid space for Silk that keeps her in a world that feels familiar for fans of the Spider family but also is unique enough to make it stand out. A great debut.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Stacey Lee
Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Venom: Space Knight #1

Venom_Space_Knight_1_CoverFlash Thompson is a lot of things. Soldier. Veteran. Double amputee. Host to a powerful alien symbiote. Guardians of the galaxy. Spider-Man’s biggest fan. But now, apart from his fellow guardians, he’s going solo for a brand new ongoing series in Venom: Space Knight #1!

Writer Robbie Thompson and artist Ariel Olivetti bring us a first issue full of action in a comic that’s sci-fi spy action. A little bit Bond, a little bit Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a little bit Grayson, Venom: Space Knight is a fun first issue that throws us right into the middle of things as Thompson goes on a mysterious mission suggested by a mysterious voice.

Thomspon is now an Agent of the Cosmos. We don’t really know what that is, and don’t worry neither does he, and that’s part of the charm of the first issue. It feels familiar, yet sets us up with a nice mystery that’ll be answered down the road.

The first issue is all about the action and it’s visually impressive from the art of Olivetti who has an almost painted style. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. I’ve always been impressed by Olivetti’s work which is very unique and a signature style.

The comic reminds me a bit of other swashbuckling space adventures like Flash Gordon, and it’s fun in many ways (I’ll overlook how one maneuvers so easily in space). The comic has a bit of that pulp sensibility about it, but is presented more  like a modern action film. There’s potential in this series, and for those who are looking for an a spy-like action series in space, check this one out.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Ariel Olivetti
Story: 7.2 Art: 8 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Chris Hunt Discusses Carver: A Paris Story

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

After an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

I got a chance to talk to creator Chris Hunt about Carver: A Paris Story including it’s influences and Hunt’s time working with Paul Pope.

Graphic Policy: So to you, how would you describe the series Carver?

Chris Hunt: It’s a love letter to Corto Maltese, Indiana Jones and Hemingway amongst other things. At times it appears to be a straightforward adventure story but as the series progresses I think readers will come to realize there’s more at play within the characters than the two dimensional archetypes I introduced them as. My goal with Carver was to bring back familiar tropes that are no longer at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist, but are still very much tied to our identity especially in the West, and try to peel back the onion on them a bit.

For instance as a fan of Ernest Hemingway’s writing, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish where his writing blurred into the “legend” of Hemingway. I have always been more interested in the self reflection of The Green Hills of Africa, and especially A Moveable Feast. In the latter you have an author who is more or less inextricably associated with machoness and misogyny, and here he is talking about this amazing period in his life, when he was with his first wife whom he never stopped loving, surrounded by surrealist artists, poets and filmmakers. I love the dichotomy of what he was versus what he let himself come to be seen as. That’s more or less the theme of Carver.

GP: Where did the idea for the series come from?

Ccarver_4H: Well I had a character I created for a short comic that was just this anonymous hunter. I went out of my way to draw him as a cliche because it was just a fun exercise. The more I looked at him though, I kept wondering what his backstory would be, and I thought it would be kind of funny if this broad chested, mustachioed badass had this really unexpected backstory. Furthermore I thought it would be interesting to imply that he never went out of his way to project this persona, but it was more or less just a result of one decision that led to a series of events that crafted this terrifyingly effective man from a gentle hearted, empathetic boy. From there I started building his backstory, and that led in an organic way to Carver: A Paris Story. I wanted to introduce the character “in media res” so to speak; already broken and yet reforged into a weapon of sorts, so that the audience can see how that blade will be honed from man he has become, against the wet stone of who he once was. To me that seemed interesting.

GP: How did you get into creating comics? You got this fascinating life taking you from Idaho to New York City.

CH: I got into making comics the way a lot of people do, which is I became a fan. Very few people I’ve met who love comics haven’t at least entertained the idea of wanting to create them. There’s something very special about comics from an outsider’s perspective still. I think there is still an aura of mystery about it because so little is known about the inner workings of the industry from a layperson’s perspective. But specifically, I knew I wanted to make comics when I read my first one, which was THB which Paul Pope was self publishing back in Ohio when I was a kid before I moved to Idaho with my mom at age 9.

I love Idaho. I miss it terribly. I learned so much in the 20 years growing up there. Coming to New York City was more about putting my money where my mouth was because I had really grown as much as I was going to be able to living in Boise. The internet is a powerful tool for many industries but there still is no replacement for having boots on the ground somewhere, and plugging into a community directly. Not to mention it’s almost impossible not to grow from the experience of leaving a small place like Boise, and learning to survive in a (at times) hostile environment like New York.

GP: What was it like to work with Paul Pope? How did you come to be mentored by him?

carver_5CH: Working with Paul over the past five years in various capacities has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As I said, it was Paul’s book THB  that originally inspired the desire to make comics in me as a small boy. There really wasn’t ever a time after that I don’t recall pouring over those books incessantly, or trying to order his new books at the one shop in my town. I knew someday I’d be making comics and I wanted them to extend from that place he had planted his flag where he’d found this balance of European, Japanese and Silver Age American comics, with philosophical undertones. So when I got serious about it finally a couple years after I graduated from High School, I reached out to him online. From there we built a friendship that eventually became something I was able to learn from. No matter the person or the industry, typically you can’t just knock on someone’s door and demand they give you their knowledge. For one it doesn’t work that way, and two it’s incredibly self serving if you come at it from that angle. With someone like Paul, once they get to know you it’s almost impossible not to be learning from them because the knowledge just spills out. You have to do the work though. A LOT of work and you aren’t going to have your ego stroked while doing it if you really want to get good.

GP: When it comes to being mentored, what’s the type of things you learned working with him?

CH: Honestly, the most important thing I’ve taken away from working with Paul is the sense of lineage that can still exist in comics. I don’t think it is as common as it use to be in the creative trades, but there use to very much be this sense that “you were taught by so and so, they were taught by so and so, etc, etc”. It’s almost like my experience as a sleight of hand magician. There are things you can read about it in a book, but the real knowledge is passed down orally. It really feels like we are keeping a tradition alive. A tradition mired in storytelling which I think is very powerful. I hope at some point if my career can sustain itself and I get better, that I’ll have a chance to pass my knowledge on to someone and keep that torch burning. Along with that, the need to reinforce in one’s self, the importance of experimentation and self learning, and not least of all the absolute need to keep the integrity of your imagination alive.

GP: I hear your own real life romance inspired the book’s love story?

CH: “Write what you know”, right? I was in France when I came up with the character that eventually became Carver. I was visiting an ex-girlfriend, who really wasn’t an ex, but no longer my girlfriend either. Early 20’s kind of stuff. Which didn’t really bother me too much at the time because it was just incredible to be in France with this beautiful and intelligent person I cared so much for. We were in Aix-En-Provence most of the time so I was wandering around narrow cobblestone alleys, and drinking too much coffee and smoking WAY too many Gauloises cigarettes on sidewalk cafes while drawing in my Moleskin. I was really trying to hit all of my French cliches on my bucket list hahaha. Before I left though, we spent a weekend in Paris which is where it went sideways really fast. That was when we both learned that you don’t go have a romantic weekend in Paris with someone you aren’t sure you’re in love with, either direction on that scale. That being said, it was incredibly romantic despite the tenseness we were feeling and it gave a lasting impression to both of us. It was the inability to communicate that uncertainty though that really seeped into A Paris Story.

GP: I’ve just read the first issue, but it takes place in Paris. Why’d you set the comic there as opposed to a city like New York or Chicago? Both are two I think of when it comes to the noir-ish story the first issue feels like.

carver_6CH: Well firstly, I don’t know if I should admit this but my goal wasn’t to create a noir comic per se. There definitely were elements from noir I wanted to work in, but so too were there elements from adventure stories and romantic literature among others. If I had set out to create a strictly noir comic I sincerely doubt I would have been able to hit the mark without it seeming like pastiche. I’m very happy that’s the way the book has been coming across to people though.

As I mentioned above, a lot of the relationship between Carver and his ex, Catherine is informed by my experience in Paris with the real Catherine and how are relationship existed for a number of years after. Paris for me worked for the story beyond that though in a lot of ways. I wanted to juxtapose Carver’s crassness, and unrefined qualities against a glittering city known for being a mecca of culture, especially at the time the story takes place in the early 20’s. Plus, I’ve seen Chicago and New York so many times already. I don’t think I have anything to add to them that hasn’t already been done with this type of story. Plus, there was this incredible upheaval in Europe post WW1, in conjunction with the optimism of having fought what many thought was the last great war, and you’re seeing this explosion of art and writing coming out of the Left Bank in Paris with all these expats. It’s just an incredibly rich and dynamic moment in history I’m surprised more people don’t exploit.

GP: How long did it take for the series come from your first idea for it to print?

CH: By the time the book comes out this month, it will have almost been five years to the day. I had the idea for the first draft in November of 2010. I had visited Catie in France that March and gone to a month long residency with Paul in October. My plan was to start drawing it in March of 2011 but that plan, and the rest of the year basically became a wash when I learned that my good friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer early in the month. Then, my best friend who was also a mutual friend of the one dying, died while riding a freight train home to say goodbye to him. I talk about this a bit in the coda at the end of the first issue, but it was just a hellish year and it was a long time before I had it in me to do much of anything. From there my road back to myself started to become the overarching narrative thread in how Carver came to be what it is now. Along the way I produced it as a radio drama, a short film and applied to some Sundance labs, each step helping me to hone the story as I got my sea legs back.

GP: You’re self-taught, and also had Pope as a mentor, what advice would you give to individuals getting started in comics?

carver_7CH: I’d say know exactly why you want to make comics. It shouldn’t be for glory, or money, it should be because of an overwhelming need, or a sense that you’d regret not going after it if it truly is a dream you have.

If you decide you are going for it, the most important thing you need to understand at the beginning is that there is no clear path into the industry. There is no secret door, or amount of money or clout that just lets you in. Even if you think there is, trust me there isn’t. You have to put the work in. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a penciler, pencil. I wanted to be everything so I had my work cut out for me. With regards to just say penciling and inking though, something that Paul told me early on I think perfectly encapsulates the scope of what you’re entering into. He told me I would hate my first thousand inked drawings. And not just sketches, I mean the ones that you’re putting your blood sweat and tears into. You’re going to hate the because they aren’t as good as you see them in your head. Don’t let it discourage you though. Just start chipping away. Focus on the numbers because you won’t know it but you are getting better every time you draw. I actually kept track of mine on Flickr. It’s pretty cool to be able to look back on hundreds of drawings from the past 8 years and not only see the progression, but see what I was interested in, the ideas I had and how I attempted to put them into play. Do that for yourself as well, whether you’re strictly a writer or an artist or whatever. Set the impossible goal and start getting to it, and don’t even start thinking about money or glory. If you become good enough that you can’t be ignored, you will bring that to you.

GP: Any other projects we should keep our eyes open for from you?

CH: Well I have a giant robot story called “01-AD GO!” I’ve had waiting in the wings for a few years. I’m waiting until I’m done with A Paris Story before I really start digging into that and pitching it around. In the meantime, Paul and I are planning on doing some more collaborations after our Vertigo short for Strange Sports Stories. I can’t really say who or what they’re about because they haven’t been announced yet but they’re for some pretty cool properties that I’m excited to work on with him. If all goes well with this first arc of Carver though, I’d like to dive back into the world after I take a short break and go wander a bit.

Review: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1

Moon_Girl_And_Devil_Dinosaur_1_CoverMeet Lunella Lafayette, pre-teen super genius who wants to change the world. But when she uncovers ancient Kree technology, things are about to get a whole lot stranger. Opening a doorway to the prehistoric past, her life is turned upside down when she comes face-to-face with the towering Jurassic giant known only as Devil Dinosaur! But he is not alone. Out of the portal an in to the Marvel Universe are transported the Killer-Folk, an ancient tribe of beings who will stop at nothing to acquire the Kree technology!

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 is the latest series to take a spin on the magical girl trope, but gives us so many things that are rarely experienced in comics. Written by Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare, the first issue is a bit mixed, but generally really fun and cute, giving us what might be the next comics break-out star, Lunella Lafayette aka Moon Girl! Smart, female, kid, African American, Lunella is something we don’t see enough in comics (Onome a member of the Future Foundation is one, and Princess Adrienne is Princeless is another). Lunella is too smart for her own good, correcting teachers and constantly building items, she’s that student who’s smarter than her teachers and has no problem correcting them or showing them so.

That teenage minority girl being the smartest one in the room is so nice to see, especially how Reeder and Montclare represent it all, with a tone and events we can all relate to. I know I dreaded dodgeball knowing I’d be a target, and it’s moments like that are cute and fun.

The comic isn’t perfect, but those imperfections don’t drag the overall comic down, and the issues I had should be gone by the second issue. The scenes in the past with Moon-Boy, and Lunella’s searching for Kree tech didn’t quite work for me, but those are just moments that set the stage for the series.

Reeder and Montclare are helped by Natacha Bustos who handles art duties and makes it all have a look that feels like it riffs a little from of Marvel’s recent cartoon series. That look works really well for the modern day part of the story and makes it all as cute as can be.

That look, along with some of the plot aspects, makes me think this is a comic geared towards the younger set (nothing wrong with that and much needed in the comic market), but I found myself intrigued as to where this was all going and really entertained. The first issue is fun, and I say it a lot, but some times that’s what you need. I’m looking forward to the second issue, especially to see what this team can do, but because this first issue shows a lot of promise.

Story: Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare Art: Natacha Bustos
Story: 7.9 Art: 7.9 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


TV Review: Gotham S2E10 The Son of Gotham

Gotham Season 2Gordon deals with a suspect linked to Galavan; and Bruce comes closer to indentifying who killed his parents.

Gotham‘s tenth episode bounces back in this episode I think to have Bruce finally stand up, lots of intrigue and the police doing what they do best, be cops.

The series to me is its best when it doesn’t focus on the quirky villains that are proto of what we know come about later on. Instead this episode focuses on the police, really Gordon tracking down the mysterious order who may be linked to Galavan, and to me that’s solid. I really enjoy Gordon when he’s in this mode. It’s a good balance of villain and cop.

More importantly the Selina/Bruce/Silver triangle comes ahead. Bruce’s being strung around by Silver at this point was so boring, so it’s nice to finally see him get a clue and stand up.

The episode is the best of the season so far, getting back to the police aspect I enjoy, and moving away from silly storylines like Nygma or freak of the week.

Overall Rating: 8.6

TV Review: Supergirl S1E5 How Does She Do It?

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara must protect National City from a series of bombings and babysit Cat’s son, while James is visited by Lucy Lane.

CBSSupergirl finally gets us to a bigger story, as it’s revealed there’s a big bad on the horizon, or at least in front of us. The episode has Kara balancing her life, and doing what she can to do her job too.

The episode is cute in many ways, revolving around Jimmy’s love life and the rather complicated matter than it is.

But, as usual, the episode really revolves around Kara/Supergirl and what she does and what she says. The episode portrays her in a relaistic way as a hero who can’t do it all, and does mess up, and have to make choices. It’s a solid episode in many ways because of that.

I’m not a fan of Kara and Jimmy getting together, which is teased as usual, but not gone through with. It’s cute, but Jimmy should be her mentor and friend.

There’s also some solid moments of a young boy looking up at Supergirl as his hero, a nice nod that her fans go across gender.

The episode isn’t deep at all, but a very cute and entertaining hour.

Overall rating: 7.9

Saturday Night Live Shows Never Before Seen Star Wars Auditions

J.J. Abrams shares The Force Awakens screen tests for Daisy Ridley and Sofia Vergara (Cecily Strong), John Boyega, Emma Stone, David Beckham (Taran Killam), Jon Hamm and more on Saturday Night Live.

Pentatonix Star Wars Tribute at the American Music Awards

At Sunday Night’s American Music Awards instead of the normal orchestral tribute you might see for John Williams, acapella group Pentatonix (who eventually was backed up by an orchestra) sang some of the iconic songs from Star Wars.

For those who might think it’s all a bit odd, the AMAs appeared on ABC which is owned by Disney, which owns Star Wars. So, some nice cross promotion and why you’ve seen so much Star Wars on ABC.

Mockingjay Breaks $100 million in Debut Weekend

mockingjaypostersmallThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 topped the box office with an estimated $101 million. That’s the fifth movie to open above $100 million this year. The film opened $20 million below the first part though. Of course people are calling the film a flop due to that lower opening, even though it was still above $100 million. There’s much debate as to the reason for the “lowish” opening.

Worldwide the film earned $247 million, which is $27.8 million behind Part 1’s $273.8 million. It is a bit apples and oranges comparison due to the film opening in different territories.

Spectre continued to earn, coming in second this weekend and bringing in an estimated $14.6 million. It has earned $153.7 million domestically in the three weeks its been open.

The Peanuts Movie came in third and brought in an estimated $12.8 million to bring its total to $98.9 million in three weeks.

Two new films were fourth and fifth. The Night Before was fourth bringing in an estimated $10.1 million, and fifth was The Secret in their Eyes which earned $6.6 million.

In other geeky films, Minions added $111,930 after 20 weeks.


  1. Jurassic World – $652.2 million
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  3. Inside Out – $356.16 million
  4. Furious 7 – $352.79 million
  5. Minions – $335.63 million


  1. Jurassic World – $1.6689 billion
  2. Furious 7 – $1.5148 billion
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  4. Minions – $1.1569 billion
  5. Inside Out – $851.3 million

TV Review: The Walking Dead S6E7 Heads Up

walking-dead-5 photoAlexandria is finally able to begin pulling itself back together; peace is embraced between the two groups.

The Walking Dead answers a major question right away in tonight’s episode, what happened to Glenn? It should really be no surprise for folks following spoilers online, so I’ll outright say, he’s fine, and while how he does is a bit grumbling in the realism, it’s plausible. Even knowing Glenn would be sticking around, I have to say, I was still overwhelmingly happy to see him being ok. I think that says something as to the power of the show and how much we’ve come to love and connect with these characters.

The episode also moves along some other interesting plot points.

There’s Morgan letting folks live, and whether his philosophy is realistic in this new world. There’s the hoard of walkers at the walls, and there’s teaching folks to defend themselves which is just in time.

But, what I find really interesting about this episode is Rick’s actions toward Father Gabriel, and some symbolism at the end of the episode, almost as if saying religion is going to be everyone’s undoing. It’s interesting moments, and subtle and not so subtle, that can get folks debating for a while as to the significance.

There’s one episode left before the winter break, and the series is amping things up based on that final moments. While I’m bummed to see a break, I’m really amped to see what next week’s episode brings.

Overall rating: 8.4

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