Butterfly #2 (of 4)
Writers: Arash Amel, Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Antonio Fuso
Facing her father for the first time in 20 years, Butterfly must decide whether or not she can trust the man she thought she knew. With enemies bearing down on them, the two operatives will have to start sorting through the two decades of lies between them if they want to survive.
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches #2 (of 4)
Writer: Kyla Vanderklugt
Artist: Kyla Vanderklugt
Kyla Vanderklugt, artist of Spera and Archaia’s 2014 Free Comic Book Day Labyrinth story, tells the beautiful Japanese tale of “The Snow Witch” in a gorgeous horizontal format stand-alone issue. When an old woodcutter and his young apprentice are caught in a blizzard, a mysterious woman dressed in white appears and freezes the woodcutter to death before eating his soul. She spares the apprentice if he vows never to tell of what he has seen, but keeping his word may not be so easy when he falls in love.
The Last Broadcast #6 (of 7)
Writer: André Sirangelo
Artist: Gabriel Iumazark
With truths revealed, Harumi, Niko, and Damon have to team up with Jackpot and the Nonchalants in order to get Ivan back from S.P.I.. But with so many things going wrong all at once, how can they be sure who to trust, even amongst themselves?
Fairy tales can sometimes be a challenging source to draw upon. While many famous story tales have an obvious moral or theme, some of the more obscure fairy tales have a theme or moral which is either hard to comprehend or outright inappropriate by modern standards. This was in part what caused the first issue in this miniseries to be a bit of a misfire, as the choice of fairy tale was not a good match for an engaging story. Part of that is because of the nature of this miniseries, as it identifies itself as focusing on fairy tales that deal with witches, and so in addition to finding new fairy tales to highlight that it also has a thematic challenge of finding the right material. For the second entry into this series, the writer has gone a bit further afield and turned to Japanese fairy tales, though with an evidently better result.
Japanese fairy tales are a bit of a mystery to me. My only exposure to them is from a collection of them that my wife downloaded to her e-reader. As opposed to the more familiar European stories, these stories have a different presentation, and their resolution often results in more questions than answers. That is the case here with the snow witch, a story about a wood gatherer in the mountains of Japan who meets the snow witch, and she changes his life in an unforeseen way. While anything like morality is very ambiguous in this story, it is still well interpreted to this medium, and the writer (who is also the artist) does a good job at making the characters approachable and immediately likeable. Though they only share a few panels, the romance between the wood-cutter and wife is evident, and it made the scenes between them touching.
As this series stands, there is still almost nothing here to tie this into Jim Henson, only using the franchise name as a boost to sell some extra issues about fairy tales. The first issue didn’t do the man much justice, but the second issue at least captures the quality if not the content that he would be known for. This second issue does redeem the series though, and with this more successful adaptation it makes me wonder what the series might hold for its remaining two issues.
Story and Art: Kyla Vanderklugt
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! studios and Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.
The Collector Hardcover
Writer: Sergio Toppi
Artist: Sergio Toppi
Far from the auction halls of the elite, The Collector seeks out rare and mysterious artifacts across the world. He is at home in the salons of Paris as he is in the jungles of Borneo. Set against the backdrop of late 19th-century colonialism, The Collector is a delightful, swashbuckling adventure!
The late Sergio Toppi remains one of the great master sequential artists whose work inspired a generation of illustrators and comic artists who followed him. The Collector is Toppi’s longest-running original series, now translated into English for the first time since its debut in 1984.
Toppi’s breathtaking line work and composition will leave you staring at his pages for hours. While this oversized edition serves as much as an art book as a comic, the adventures of the globe-scouring, daredevil Collector will appeal to fans of Indiana Jones, Five Ghosts, or Doc Savage.
BOOM! Studios is pleased to announce they are teaming up with Macrocosm Entertainment to publish Lantern City, a yearlong 12-issue maxi-series from the Archaia imprint that dives headfirst into the Steampunk genre. This will be the first single issue maxi-series published by Archaia since it first started publishing The Secret History in 2007.
Lantern City is a sci-fi saga set in a world that is a dark mirror of our own. Breathtaking, unfamiliar, and terrifying, the walled metropolis of Lantern City is divided by class and geography. Citizens—those who occupy the sordid street-level neighborhoods—tirelessly keep the city going, while the ruling class of the Grey Empire lives high above the populace where they bargain and manipulate for every ounce of power they can muster. Strange science and a criminal network can be found far below the city in the underground, where violence is the only way to negotiate.
Through the chaos of oppression and rebellion, heroes will rise and empires will topple in this sweeping tale of a world where good, evil, romance, and violence combine like a gearbox to highlight the Steampunk genre as never before.
BOOM! Studios and Archaia will announce additional details about this exciting new series later this year.
Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring #1 (of 4)
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Jake Myler
When the water supply of Fraggle Rock mysteriously runs dry, the Fraggles have to journey deep into the caves of Fraggle Rock to find the fabled Everspring where adventure awaits and no Fraggle has gone before! It’s the beloved characters of Fraggle Rock in their biggest story yet!
Whether it’s Adventure Time, Amulet, or Mouse Guard, comics fans are coming out for all-ages stories. No one mastered that art form quite like Jim Henson, and the characters of Fraggle Rock remain some of his most beloved creations. New York Times bestselling author Kate Leth (Adventure Time: Seeing Red, Bravest Warriors) and artist Jake Myler (Fraggle Rock, Orphan Blade), have spun a hilarious, super fun story for longtime fans and comic readers of all ages who’ve yet to meet this lovable gang of Fraggles.
The Secret History Omnibus Vol. 3 HC
Author: Jean-Pierre Pécau
Artist: Igor Kordey
Four immortal brothers and sisters, the Archons, consumed in an epic struggle to influence and shape the history of Western civilization, show us the true, secret, occult history of the world. Volume Three of this ongoing series translated from its original French publication follows Dyo, Reka, Aker, Erlin, and William as they manipulate, destroy, and protect the machinations of the world through the 1940s to the 1970s. Collects issues #15-20.
Today we are celebrating the birthday of Jim Henson, one of the most beloved and creative people in our time. Whether you grew up watching The Storyteller and Fraggle Rock, or only recently discovered your love of The Muppets, Jim Henson’s creations have always been able to capture the hearts of young and old alike.
Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, has had the honor of working closely with The Jim Henson Company on titles such as Fraggle Rock and the novelizations of The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Storyteller. In honor of Jim Henson’s birthday, we’re giving everyone an early preview of Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow releasing next week, October 1st.
Story by: Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl
Writer: Roger Langridge
Artist: Roger Langridge
Espionage is one of the toughest genres to create original work within. Generally speaking, it is constrained by the realities of the world that we leave in. For instance, if a writer wants to create an organization for spying which is not the C.I.A. then it is still going to be a lot like the C.I.A. Treadstone, I.M.F. and S.H.I.E.L.D. may not be exactly the C.I.A. but they are pretty close and they help define the worlds which they are based in. As this reality of writing in this genre relates to this issue, it faces a challenging task to start with, as this is a story based in current times around a C.I.A. operative.
In Butterfly, the character Rebecca is introduced initially with a strong link to her past, though this is quickly discarded to look at her present. In the first of a number of clichéd occurrences the character finds out that she has been double crossed and then discovers that most of her handlers are dead. This puts her onto a journey where she is forced to resort to her spycraft and to find out why this has happened to her.
Despite the challenges that this story faces, there are a few redeeming factors. The first is the contemporary setting versus the overall atmosphere. That is to say that while the story could compete with the likes of a Jason Bourne or James Bond story, it doesn’t. Instead it seems to want to channel John Le Carre, Ken Follett and Frederick Forsythe with a story and visual that is reminiscent more of the Cold War than it is of the digital age. The second advantage to the writing is the choice of characters and characterization. The main female lead is well written, and her past is fleshed out in a way to make her both engaging and mysterious.
All told, the story ends up a bit in the middle in terms of a reading experience. The story is constrained by a lack of much new, but the writers have done what they can to put their own spin on the story and genre, and have come up with something different and intriguing. The art is especially well handled in this issue. While the artistic style would be out of place in a superhero story, it is a natural fit here and does almost as much for the story as the writing. The end result is that this is worth a look, even if it has gone to well-trodden territory
Story: Arash Amel and Marguerite Bennett Art: Antonio Fuso
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.