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Review: Sleepy Hollow #1 (of 4)

SleepyHollow01_coverAAfter dying on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War, Ichabod Crane awakes in present-day Sleepy Hollow, New York. His resurrection is tied to the reappearance of the Headless Horseman, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Realizing it is his mission to help stop the end of the world, Ichabod teams with the SHPD’s Lt. Abbie Mills to meet each evil threat head-on. When minor miracles start to sweep the town, they’re glad something good seems to be happening for once. No decapitations, no headless horseman, no worries, right? But as one by one the miracles start to backfire, more and more violently, Abbie and Ichabod must find time between saving the world to save the citizens of Sleepy Hollow…

As a fan of the television show, being able to get more Sleepy Hollow other than my weekly dose is something I’ve been looking forward to since the series was announced. The tricky part is that the television show isn’t a monster of the week show (for the most part). Instead it’s a continuing storyline of Ichabod and Abbie’s battle against evil, and attempt to stop the apocalypse. For a while, I thought the show would be a bit more like The X-Files with some slightly different characters. When it comes to the big picture, the show does that, but it skimps on the monster of the week mysteries that made The X-Files so much fun. In steps the comic book….

As a fan, the first issue of the comic is decent. It doesn’t quite hook me like the television show, and interestingly shows off some of the issues that can come up translating characters from one entertainment medium to another. Nothing about the comic is bad, in fact it fills in the needed monster of the week type story that’s missing from the television show. What’s interesting is the actors. Much of my enjoyment of the show is actor Tom Mison’s portrayal of Ichabod Crane. His acting, and line delivery are a lot of the fun of the show. As a comic, that aspect is missing. Of course I attempt to to recreate that in my reading, but I’m no Tom Mison.

Overall though, the story is a solid one. It has a nice one and done aspect to it, something that lax comic fans, or folks who have never seen the show, will enjoy. You can pick up the comic, and have some enjoyment in reading it and move on. The art too is pretty solid capturing the look, and even some of the physical style of the actors. The art also captures the general style of the television show. There is an issue in that the style doesn’t play off some of the ethnic diversity of the show. Instead some characters just look like darker colored characters.

Similar to problems I’ve had with the comic depiction of The X-Files, Sleep Hollow is entertaining, and a good adaptation, but when comparing the two, I’d rather have the live action version.

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Jorge Coelho
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Crack the Conspiracy with Justin Jordan’s First Original Series with BOOM! Studios, Deep State

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. Whether you want to believe it or debunk it, stories of the faked moon landing, government-sanctioned assassinations, and brainwashing have been around for generations. This November, award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios asks: What if those conspiracy theories were planted to cover up an even darker truth? Discover the conspiracy behind the conspiracies with Deep State, a new ongoing series that kicks off the first of three original series from one of the emerging voices behind hard-hitting and intelligent stories, Justin Jordan, and talented artist Ariela Kristantina.

In Deep State, John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. If you’re interested in conspiracy theory stories from comics like Planetary and Sleeper to films like Enemy of the State and Three Days of the Condor, you’ll be gripped by Deep State!

Deep State #1 arrives in comic book shops on November 12th with a main cover by Mondo print illustrator Matt Taylor and a retailer incentive cover by Artyom Trakhanov, with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP141117.

Deep State #1 Main Cover by Matt Taylor Deep State #1 Retailer Incentive Cover by Artyom Trakhanov

Preview: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches #2 (of 4)

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches #2 (of 4)

Imprint: Archaia

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.


Preview: Wild’s End #2 (of 6)

Wild’s End #2 (of 6)

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard

The search for the cause of a devastating fire that has left Crowchurch in mourning leads Clive and the others deep into the forest where they meet a new ally combating an alien threat at her door.


Preview: The Last Broadcast #6 (of 7)

The Last Broadcast #6 (of 7)

Imprint: Archaia

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?


Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches #2

StorytellerWitches02_coverFairy 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.  

Preview: Peanuts #22

Peanuts #22

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writers: Charles M. Schulz, Various
Artists: Various

When stars fill the skies, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus must seek out the one star that can be called Charlie Brown’s own. Charlie Brown’s Star and many more brand-new adventures like “Dogstoyefsky” and “Sally’s Great Pumpkin” can be found in this exciting issue of Peanuts.


Preview: Steven Universe #3

Steven Universe #3

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writer: Jeremy Sorese
Artist: Coleman Engle

Greg Universe plans on entering Beach City’s monthly Open Mic Night to really show Steven and Beach City that even though he may not have a lot of hair, he IS Greg Universe. Meanwhile, the Gems are busy trying to catch a beast that moves too fast for them. It’s nothing but fighting and mighty fine tunes in this super fun issue!


Preview: Peanuts Vol. 4

Peanuts Vol. 4 TP

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writers: Charles M. Schulz, Various
Artists: Various

New Peanuts adventures, perfect for you and your Sweet Babboo! It’s time to hop atop your doghouse biplane and escape into the wonderful world of legendary cartoonist Charles M. Schulz with brand-new adventures from an all-star lineup of writers and artists, and classic strips by Schulz himself. Featuring Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang, this timeless collection of humor and imagination is sure to help you finally kick that football or take to the skies and defeat the Red Baron once and for all. Collects Peanuts #9-12.

Preview: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary #3 (of 6)

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary #3 (of 6)

Writers: Ed Brisson, Ben Meares, and Mark Miller
Artists: Akiel Guzman, Carlos Magno, and Alexis Ziritt

The trip through The Cenobites’ Bestiary continues! This month, Ed Brisson (Sheltered) and Alexis Ziritt (The Package) show us how smartphones and the LeMarchand Device are connected in “Conduit,” while in “Puzzled,” a young man with an aptitude for solving puzzles finds refuge with the legendary device. And finally, Pinhead erupts against the forces amassed against him in part three of “The Hunted.”


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