Tag Archives: graphic novels

Preview: Snowpiercer 3 – Terminus


WRITER:  Olivier Bocquet
ARTIST:  Jean-Marc Rochette
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE COUNT: 232 ​pp​
PRICE: $29.99
ON SALE: Feb 17, 2016
ISBN: 9781782767152

The Icebreaker has finally stopped its endless loop around the world. The last known survivors of the human race are driven by the need to know; Could it be that they aren’t really alone in the world? Is there finally hope?


Review: Two Brothers

Two BrothersBrazilian-born twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are two of the most talented comic creators working today, producing comics that are both visually beautiful and often thought provoking. With their latest graphic novel, Two Brothers (on sale in comic book stores on October 14 and in bookstores on October 27 from Dark Horse), the two create a read that’s heartbreaking and haunting.

Two Brothers is a stunning adaptation of the novel The Brothers by Milton Hatoum, one of Brazil’s most renowned contemporary writers. The books tell the tragic story of a fractured family divided by two identical brothers, Omar and Yaqub, who have nothing in common except for their bloodline and the fierce, possessive love of their mother. After a violent exchange between the young boys, Yaqub, “the good son,” is sent from his home in Brazil to live with relatives in Lebanon. When he returns to his hometown five years later, he’s a virtual stranger to his family. Despite their mother’s desperate pleas, a reconciliation between the brothers appears elusive.

The graphic novel is layered enough that it’d leave a book club debating its greater meaning for quite some time. The two brothers’ own change is set upon a cultural transformation, as well as the transformation of the city of Manaus itself. The graphic novel is about identity, love, loss, deception, and the dissolution of blood ties. At times the story feels like a Biblical parable, with lessons to glean from every page and every word printed.

With their black and white art, Bá and Moon strip what could be distractions instead focusing the reader on the words of the page as well as the beautiful art, keeping up the two’s record of delivering both with each of their works.

With over 200,000 copies sold in Brazil, The Brothers is taught in classrooms throughout the country and readers remain passionately divided by their different interpretations of the novel’s ambiguous ending. Its writer Milton Hatoum is considered one of Brazil’s most eminent contemporary writers, and through his original book, Hatoum criticized the Brazilian military regime that ruled from 1964-1985. Sadly I don’t know enough of Brazil’s history to fully grasp that deeper meaning of the graphic novel, but for those that do, this is another layer to appreciate.

Two Brothers is a fantastic example of the maturity that exists in the comics medium, a graphic novel that can be appreciated by comic fans, and those who enjoy good literature. It’s a beautiful read for many reasons, and easily one of my favorite graphic novels of the year so far.

Story and Art: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Joshua Run Vol. 1


by Flex Alexander & Brandon Easton, illo. by Ani Ghosh
Pages: 100
Format: E-Book Exclusive
SRP: $14.99
Publisher: Lion Forge Comics
Distributor: Lion Forge Comics
Pub Date: September 30, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-941302-11-8

He was having a bad enough day to begin with, but when Robin Hood-hacker David Joshua stumbles across a massive government conspiracy, today might just be his last!

David Joshua is a computer-hacker-for-hire who specializes in “equalizing” the world for working people — he erases student loans, parking tickets, and unfair tax debts. Despite his notions of being a modern “Robin Hood,” David wants to get out of the game and go legit by marrying his girlfriend and making his family proud of his life choices. But during one of his final hacking gigs, David stumbles across a hidden IRS database that reveals a conspiracy to trigger World War III. Suddenly, his accounts are frozen, his girlfriend hates him, and there’s literally no one who will take David at face value. His world shattered, David can only trust two things: his laptop, and a sarcastic FBI agent while on the run from a spec-ops strike team whose orders are to “kill on sight.” A 21st-century tale of high-tech espionage from award-winning actor Flex Alexander!


Preview: Normal Vol. 2


PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISBN: 9781782762409
PRICE: $14.99

In this second hilarious volume, Norman swaps the playground for the campsite, as he journeys into the woods to toast marshmallows – and his classmates!


Preview: Universal War One


PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISBN: 9781782762386
PRICE: $34.99


2058. Humanity has colonized our entire solar system. In the middle of a civil war between the core planets and distant outlying planetary settlements, an immense black wall appears, cutting our solar system in two. The black wall absorbs all light and matter, and it’s up to a band of disgraced soldiers to investigate the phenomenon.


Preview: Mutafukaz


PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISBN: 9781782762348
PRICE: $19.99

Angelino is a young loser like thousands of others in the Dark Meat City. He and his friend Vinz are squatters at a seedy hotel room in the Latin Quarter, Rios Rosas. Angelino spends his days watching Mexican wrestling matches on TV, delivering pizzas and having bizarre metaphysical discussions with his roommate. A stupid scooter accident will plunge Angelino into a hurricane of unimaginable trouble, as he becomes the only person on Earth capable of recognizing the vicious cosmic entities that walk among us, who are readying themselves to invade the planet.


Review: Secret Coders

Secret CodersWelcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes!

From comic star writer Gene Luen Yang (who’s also a high school computer programming teacher), Secret Coders is an entertaining first volume of he new graphic novel series that mixes entertainment with education. This is exactly the type of book I’d give to a kid who wanted to learn a bit about computers and programming, and wanted a fun place to start learning.

The learning aspect of it all isn’t in your face, and younger kids may need some help with some of the concepts, overall, it’s a fun read that got me to understand some concepts I actually didn’t know myself. With schools across the United States cutting funding for computer programming classes, they’re “nonessential” according to some, the series helps fill a gap in learning, and makes it fun too.

The graphic novel is short, with of course a second volume coming. Hopefully it comes sooner than later (it’s just listed as 2016 right now) as a long gap could hurt that learning, though there’s an online component to check out too. The length I think is key, as it’s geared towards a younger set who may not like reading a 200+ page graphic novel. It also focuses the learning aspects.

Mike Holmes‘ art is fun and perfectly geared towards the audience of the book. The characters all look different, with styles to their own, all done in a cartoonish look. It’s really solid, and I like it, perfect for younger kids.

A wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot! Bring on the next volume!

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Mike Holmes
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Castro GN

arsenal-pulp-press-castro-soft-cover-1If there was a reward for good timing, Arsenal Pulp Press will get it for their graphic novel, Castro by Reinhard Kleist. Originally published in English by Selfmade Hero for the British market, it’s now being made available in North America for the first time. The graphic novel has been updated too, to include references to renewed relations between Cuba and the US.

Castro dives into the life of the controversial Cuban leader Fidel Castro (shocked I know based on the title). The graphic novel tracks Castro’s rise, through the revolution, and post revolution life.

The book is narrated by a German journalist named Karl Mertens, who is plunged into the searing heat of pre-revolutionary Cuba in the mid-1950s. He first meets with Castro while the latter is hiding in the mountains, then follows him through the dramatic revolution and his ascent to the presidency that, despite the Bay of Pigs confrontation and decades of international trade blockades, lasts for nearly 50 years. We also witness Castro’s involvement in bloody skirmishes, failed missions, and brutal crackdowns, as well as his interactions with and on behalf of the Cuban people, which reveal as much about his fallible human qualities as they do his legend.

Kleist, who visited Cuba in 2008, captures the excitement of the revolution, and the loss of the sheen in the post revolution, presenting Castro in both positive and negative light and painting a complex picture of one of the most enduring and controversial figures in modern history as well as the politics that swirled around him.

Kleist also doesn’t seem to take sides at all in right and wrong. The story is told through the experiences of the German journalist, and by doing that Kleist gives us the full arc, not romanticizing reality, but showing warts and all. We can see the idealism follow a natural path, and a path I personally have felt in my political career.

Castro is a solid read for those who want to learn more about the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro, and provides a good starting point. Hopefully, it’ll get folks interested to explore more, as reality is one hell of a story.

Story: Reinhard Kleist Art: Reinhard Kleist
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Arsenal Pulp provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Review: Comic Bento September 2015

Comic Bento is a subscription mystery box service from Blind Ferret that’ll run you from $20 (or less depending on how many you sign up for) plus shipping, with a different theme each month to give you an idea of what to expect. I had been eyeing it up for awhile, and from what I could see, the value always seemed to be pretty high, even if some of the books included weren’t always to my taste, but for one reason or another (namely other subscription boxes), I had never taken the plunge. Since I decided that the other box wasn’t right for me, I finally ended up with a Comic Bento.

So how does the box stack up?


Shipping on a monthly schedule with a different theme with each box, Comic Bento will set you back about $20 (for the standard month, but longer subscriptions are available at a lower cost per box) plus shipping costs (just over $12 to Canada, $5 to the US), which really isn’t too bad. Now, obviously, the type of graphic novels you receive may not all be your cup of tea, or you may love each and every one in the box. That being said, however, the value of getting four or five books for $20 or less before shipping is hard to argue with. The theme for September was “Fight The Fight,” and while I had initially expected some form of wrestling, boxing, or street fighting comic included, what we ended up wasn’t exactly what I expected.

So, what I’m sure you’re all wondering is what was in the box?IMG_2959
Included this month, along with a handy dandy card to give you all the info about the comics are, with all prices are listed in US dollars:

Daredevil: Season One Hardcover (Marvel) $24.99

X-O Manowar: Enter Ninjak (Valiant) $14.99

Superman/Batman: Vengeance (DC) $12.99

Executive Assistants: Hit List Agenda (Aspen) $19.99

Highlander: Armageddon (Dynamite) $11.99

The total value, based on the prices listed on the back, comes in at $84.95. Not too shabby for a $25 – $32 box, eh?

How do those fit into the Fight The Fight theme? The included card gives the reasons for selection because of the non stop action in the stories, from the son of a boxer in Daredevil, to the ninja verses alien technology in X-O Manowar, and the all out super powered brawling in Superman/Batman there is little doubt of the action prevalent within this collection.

When it comes to the graphic novels within the box, I’m super excited for the Valiant offering, which if you’ve read any of the reviews I’ve written lately should come as no surprise, and I cannot wait to delve into the X-O Manowar collection here which promises an epic confrontation between X-O Manowar and NinjakDaredevil is a character that’s been getting a lot more publicity lately because of the fantastic Netflix series (watch it if you haven’t – it’s awesome), so I’m looking forward to cracking into this hard cover. The Superman/Batman collection is one that I already own in single issue format, but since I’ve been hankering to read about Batzarro again, this is a pleasant surprise. I know almost nothing about Executive Assistants, but the premise looks fantastic, and while it isn’t something I’d have picked up normally, I’m looking forward to reading it. Highlander was a bonus comic this month, apparantly, and I’m intrigued by it; I loved the first movie, but little else since then, so we’ll see how it turns out.

If you’re looking to read full stories, or at least a full graphic novel or four each month rather than single issue comic books from your subscription mystery box, then Comic Bento is definitely something you should check out. The deadline to sign up for each box is around the middle of the month (the 15th), and the theme for October is Masks. If you want to check out Comic Bento, click here and use promobento5 to save $5 on the single month, or promobento10 for $10 off the next level up.

Comic Bento provided a FREE box for review. This post, also posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan, contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Schmuck

SchmuckKickstarter can be hit and miss for lovers of all things comics, and the margin of quality products are even smaller. There have been successes like Mae and Smut Peddlers which have exceeded expectations and have their audiences clamoring for more content. Then there are those, who I rather not mention, whose end products, fails in its execution and can, to the backer, feel like a bad date. As a Kickstarter backer, you are truly a “stakeholder” in the comic, so in a minimal way, you are definitely a publisher, so quality becomes paramount, especially when you believe in the project in the first place.

Then there are those situations, where personal circumstances control the destiny of the project, sometimes before it ends, but mostly from my experience, long after it ends. Some of the Kickstarter creators, tend to just to stop the project altogether, and refund the backers. Some of the creators, become overwhelmed, and stop the projects, after realizing so, and then there are others who become overextended, and never fulfill or return the funds, and this is where the backers feel cheated. Seth Kushner’s Schmuck was a project that could have gone any of the ways mentioned above, as Kusnher passed away earlier this year after a year of battling Leukemia, but to the quality of his character and his family, they posthumously published this seminal work and I can honestly say as a backer, it is worth every penny.

Kushner’s Shmuck is a godsend in many ways and I wish I had found out about the web comic prior to reading the collected graphic novel, as has got to be the best Meta comic I have ever read about living in NYC. His writing paired the twenty two artists involved in this comic, makes for some side-splitting adventures throughout the city. Some of my favorite stories include “A Hairy Situation”, where he takes a date to watch American Splendor, which for those who have read and watched it, will tell you is super meta. My favorite story out of the whole collection is, “The Ex Factor”, where he tells in comical fashion, his running into an ex-girlfriend.

Overall, a solid collection of stories, and for those who don’t know, all of them are autobiographical, and everyone is worth a read. The writing by Seth Kushner, is so strong, one could only wonder, how he would have followed up this book. The art by the different artists is nice compliment to his writing, as they serve as a nice contrast to the different narratives. In conclusion, one could only wish to create an opus this good, in their lifetime.

Story: Seth Kushner Art: Too many to name
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Hang Dai provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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