Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/6

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Ryan C

Redlands_01-1Redlands #1 (Image)** – Not sure what to make of this one yet. On the one hand, Vanessa R. Del Rey’s free-flowing and expressive artwork is gorgeous, and Jordie Bellaire’s colors are always top-notch. It’s as a writer, however, that Bellaire clearly has something of a learning curve ahead of her — plunging us into the middle of the action right off the bat, we never learn many of the characters’ names, have no clue as to their motivations, and frankly, beyond some sort of siege on a redneck sheriff’s station, we don’t even get much of an idea of what’s going on, never mind why. The creators seem to have an admirable agenda that they’re working towards here, but they have a long way to go to get readers invested in it and at $3.99 a pop, I simply wasn’t given a clear enough idea of the basic premise of this comic to justify sticking with it. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.

 The Divided States Of Hysteria #3 (Image)** – Whoever’s still left reading Howard Chaykin’s latest will find this installment to be something of a bummer as very little happens by means of plot progression, and all we get is a re-hash of the few particulars we already know. Okay, everyone’s a bastard — we get that much. Beyond that, all this issue does is run in place. Still love Chaykin’s art and Ken Bruzenak’s one-of-a-kind lettering and effects, though. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve come this far, pass if you haven’t.

Unholy Grail #2 (Aftershock)** – I’m really digging Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak’s revisionist take on the Arthurian legend, and like the first issue, this one successfully “time-jumps” around to fill us in on all the particulars in a breezy, rapid-fire manner. Colak’s lavish artwork is definitely the star of the show here, but the script does what it needs to in order to maintain your interest, as well. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy.

Grass Kings #6 (Boom! Studios)** – Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins wrap up the first arc of their series in fine style as the showdown between our drop-outs and local law enforcement comes to a head, with potentially far-reaching consequences for all parties involved. There’s some great character development in this issue, and Kindt delivers at least one genuinely touching moment, all aided and abetted by Jenkins’ gorgeous and moody watercolor art. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.


 Kill Or Be Killed #11 (Image)** – And here we are, right back where we came in, with the fight in #1. Although our guy Dylan is trying to get his life back together, get back on his meds, catch up on his schoolwork, go to a party with his ex, his demon just won’t let him be. Nothing spectacular, just a solid issue that sets up the third arc quite nicely. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

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