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Review: Time Before Time #1

Time Before Time #1

There are some fantastic stories about time travel out there. It feels like it’s rare to get one that really sticks out as original. Time Before Time #1 is one of those original concepts. The future seems to be complete shit. Individuals pay a group called the Syndicate to take them back in time to a better life. But, with stories involving the mob you know things are going to go sideways and expectedly they do.

Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville deliver a hell of a start with Time Before Time #1. The series is great at the small details that really make it stand out. The concept of the series alone makes it interesting but it’s those details that make it fantastic. It’s hard to list them all but the various characters that are taken back each present interesting perspectives that give you a better sense of what’s happening. It also delivers a better sense at how morally abhorrent it can be due to those that take advantage of the time travel.

Then, there’s some of the consequences of it all. The concept is that of smuggling through time travel and that can have a lot of hurdles to deal with. Some of those are presented and what is shown really feels creative and something new.

All of this is helped by the art of Joe Palmer. Palmer is joined by Chris O’Halloran on color and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. There’s a solid use of visuals to tell you a lot about the time period. Small details really add to the experience and storytelling, often being the key to really picking up on the issues of the time period. The technology looks a bit worn and used, a key plot point. It’s an example of “show” instead of “tell” and helps boost the issue when it comes up through the comic. There’s also a bit of a “comedic style” to it all. It keeps the debut issue from being a bit too serious and feels like it understands the concept overall has a bit of comedy to it. It’s ok to laugh.

Time Before Time #1 is a hell of a debut with a lot of detail helping to really make the story. There’s a solid concept here and the ending has me guessing as to where this is all going. Since it involves time travel, I have no idea where that might be. This is one to absolutely get so you can sit back and enjoy.

Story: Declan Shalvey, Rory McConville Art: Joe Palmer
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAW

Preview: Scarenthood #4 (of 4)

Scarenthood #4 (of 4)

(W) Nick Roche (A/CA) Nick Roche
In Shops: Feb 10, 2021
SRP: $4.99

The Big Boy has tipped ALL the toys out, and the Grown-Ups don’t know how to clean them up.

There are revelations about Flynno’s brother, the ‘Mother Of One’, and Father Sinnott; can they be connected? And it’s a race against time for Cormac to catch Scooper’s School Play–but stage-fright is the least of her problems….

Nick Roche (Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Transformers Wreckers Saga) and Chris O’ Halloran (Ice Cream Man, Folklords) tidy away most of the mess in this final issue.

Scarenthood #4 (of 4)

Review: Scarenthood #4

Scarenthood #4

Scarenthood has been a fun read from the start. It takes the “ghost hunting” genre and delivers a spin. Instead of younger individuals figuring things out, the comic has focused on a group of parents brought together because their children go to the same school. Scarenthood is a horror story for daycare crowd. Scarenthood #4 wraps up the first story arc of the series and has me wanting more.

With a daughter not too much younger than the kids in the comic, the series by Nick Roche is very relatable to me. Roche not only delivers creep chills but breaks them up with those small moments that make parenting interesting and very fun at times.

Scarenthood #4 has the group confronting the ghost/demon that has been plaguing them and hints at some of the bigger themes of the comic. The haunting is tied to the lack of attention being given by the parents and there’s some solid commentary about our busy lives that have divided our parenting attention. It definitely hit me a bit reading that and then reflecting on the time spent with my daughter and wondering if it’s enough to prevent demonic interference. But that reflection is a small piece of this comic.

Scarenthood #4 ends the first “book” of the series and opens up a greater world. The series has hinted at greater forces at work and this is the issue that really begins to explore that. A simple horror/ghost story is something so much more now and where this all goes should be very interesting.

Roche’s art continues to be solid. Chris O’Halloran provides color and Shawn Lee does the lettering. The comic never quite goes full horror which might be a distraction from the attempt “ground” the series in some ways. While it deals with the supernatural, the comic also focuses on parenting and a more hardcore horror style would distract from that. As is, the comic delivers a nice balance of creep. It doesn’t go for scares, it’s more focused on building tension and unease. It succeeds in that and then some as the comic progresses.

Scarenthood #4 is a solid end to the first arc and a hell of a setup for where things go from here. Its world has expanded from a compact horror comic to something much greater. Where our group of parents fits into that should be fascinating and it’s a world I want to see more of. The team has done an excellent job of balancing the every day life and the fantastical and combination has created a comic that truly stands out.

Story: Nick Roche Art: Nick Roche
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Shawn Lee
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Scarenthood #3

Scarenthood #3

Scarenthood has delivered a bit of a twist on the horror ghost gang concept. Instead of kids or young adults, it’s parents attempting to solve the mystery. The first two issues have upped the tension and creepy factor teasing the horror that’s just on the edge. There’s been a solid build-up and teasing of things. Scarenthood #3 twists all of that, questioning everything from the first two issues.

Writer Nick Roche, who also handles art, delivers another fantastic issue. For much of it, I was questioning what was real. Was it possible everything up to this point was a person’s mental breakdown? We thankfully get that answered within the issue. I’m not sure I could stand that dragging out much longer as I wanted to know the answer! It’s a great issue in that it had me second-guessing myself and what I thought to be “true” in the comic.

Roche delivers a lot of emotion in the issue as well. There’s a concern for Cormac and his daughter. As a father myself much of what is written is something I think about. I want to make sure I care for my daughter and that she’s healthy, happy, and safe. But at the same time, there’s a balance and that balance can easily be tipped too far one way or another. That’s what’s addressed here as Cormac’s obsession with the supernatural and its impact on his life is clear.

The issue also approaches this all in a smart way. It does a cold open in a way and I was left wondering if I’d had missed something. It focuses on the rest of the gang and their concern for Cormac and what they’ve witnessed. The approach is part of what threw me for a loop and kept me wondering what exactly was going on. Is Cormac losing his mind? Is his daughter in danger? What happened to his wife? Is this all in his head?

Roche handles art duties as well. He’s joined by Chris O’Halloran on color and Shawn Lee handles lettering. The art has a slight cartoonish quality about it all. But, even with that style, it focuses on the emotion. We can see the concern in Cormac’s friends. We can see their anger as well. Cormac himself delivers a spectrum of responses as he delivers his reality to his friends. It adds to the emotional punch of it all. It also helped keep me guessing as to what the truth of it all was.

Scarenthood #3 is a fantastic issue. For those reading the series, it’ll keep you guessing as to what the reality is. Is this all in Cormac’s head? Is this one person’s mental breakdown? Thankfully, the team delivers an answer because I’m not sure I could stand another month to find out. For those that like horror stories with a slight twist, this is one to definitely check out.

Story: Nick Roche Art: Nick Roche
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Shawn Lee
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Scarenthood #2

Scarenthood #2

Is it weird that after reading the first two issues of Scarenthood I wish I had a group of ghost hunting friends? Scarenthood #2 continues the Irish ghost/horror series as the pressure of balancing the hunt and their duties as parents clash.

As a parent of a two-year-old, writer and artist Nick Roche captures so much of the life. There’s the silly conversations. There’s the difficulty of life and work balance. There are just so many small details that I appreciate as a parent.

But, what Roche does even better is the build up of the mystery. After the first issue’s “wtf” moments, Scarenthood #2 dials things back a little using subtly creepy aspects to build the tension and weirdness. There’s lost time and the build up of dread. The way it’s all presented it creates a tension that is felt off the page. This is a horror story where I have no idea what will happen.

Scarenthood #2 takes some solid queues from past horror stories where it’s not about jump out scares but the build-up. Films like the Blair Witch Project come to mind where the visuals and especially sound delivered the scares. Here, it’s walking down a tree-lined path where you, like the characters, have no idea what’s going to happen. That creates a tense situation for both. Roche, like horror masters, is controlling that tension and doing it really well.

Roche is helped by colorist Chris O’Halloran and letterer Shawn Lee. There’s some really smart decisions for both to help build the atmosphere that Roche is going for. Colors are on the drab side of things but not in a dark sort of way. There’s lots of browns and greens with a subtle use of dark colors to shift the situation. It’s really something to pay attention to and helps command the vibe of the comic. Lee’s lettering too packs a lot into panels as the parents deliver smartass comments back and forth and every so often deliver that needed exclamation point.

Scarenthood #2 is a solid horror/mystery series but from a perspective you don’t see a ton of. This isn’t some professional group or teens being stalked. This is a story of misfit parents attempting to solve a mystery like Gen-X Scooby-Doo. It delivers characters I, as a parent, can relate to and a story whose attention to detail creates a fantastic experience.

Story: Nick Roche Art: Nick Roche
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Shawn Lee
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Write It In Blood Explores Family Loyalty and Broken Dreams

Rory McConville, Joe Palmer, and Chris O’Halloran will team up this February for an original graphic novel—Write It In Blood—out from Image Comics. This new tragicomic crime tale will explore family loyalty and broken dreams.

On the eve of their retirement, two hitmen—Cosmo and Arthur Pryce—drive through the Texas countryside with the infamous Little Harkness in the trunk of their car. The brothers are meant to deliver Harkness to their boss, but matters become complicated when Arthur’s recklessness jeopardises Cosmo’s retirement plans and puts a target on their backs.

Write It In Blood (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1835-9) will be available on Wednesday, February 24 and in bookstores on Tuesday, March 2.

Write It In Blood

It’s Halloween in Hawkins with the Stranger Things Halloween Special

In the days before season one of the hit Netflix original series Stranger Things, less than a week before Will disappears, it’s Halloween in Hawkins. Comics all-star Michael Moreci, Todor Hristov, Chris O’Halloran, and Nate Piekos bring you the Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot.

It’s Halloween night in Hawkins, Indiana and Will, Mike, Lucas and Dustin gather in Castle Byers to eat candy and scare each other with spooky stories. Little do they know, they’ll reveal the quaint town’s deepest kept secret—the Child-Eater of Hawkins.

The Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot arrives October 21, 2020.

Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot

Nick Roche Reveals the True Terror of Parenting in Scarenthood

What would scare you the most: fighting demons… or letting your kids down? This Halloween, writer/artist Nick Roche dares to answer this troubling question in Scarenthood, a spine-chilling four-issue comic book series colored by Chris O’Halloran and debuting in October from IDW Publishing.

With their kids away on a field trip, a group of parents disturbs an ancient evil buried beneath the old Church Hall, unearthing a decades-old mystery about a missing child, and inviting something… hungry into their lives. Suddenly, their mornings go from playdates and peanut allergies to a battle for the souls of one broken family⁠ — and one child in particular.

Scarenthood #1 will be available with two cover variations for retailers and fans to enjoy: Cover A by Nick Roche, and a Retailer Incentive edition by Declan Shalvey.

Scarenthood #1

Preview: Folklords #5

Folklords #5

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Matt Smith
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:
    Main Cover: Matt Smith
    Unlocked Retailer Variant: Jeff Smith
Price: $3.99

Ansel and his motley crew converge on the Library of Banned Books, and finally come face to face with a Folklord—but are any of them ready for this encounter, and what it will mean for their entire world?

Folklords #5

Your First Look at Matt Kindt and Matt Smith’s Folklords #5

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Folklords #5, the final issue of an all-new original five-issue series from Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Matt Smith, colorist Chris O’Halloran, and letterer Jim Campbell, about a young man whose forbidden quest reveals the shocking truth about his world and turns everything he ever knew upside down, available on March 25, 2020.

Ansel and his motley crew converge on the Library of Banned Books, and finally come face to face with a Folklord—but are any of them ready for this encounter, and what it will mean for the future of their entire world?

Folklords #5 features main cover art by series artist Smith as well as variant cover art by Jeff Smith, creator of the bestselling worldwide phenomenon, Bone.

Folklords #5
We Live FCBD
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