Tag Archives: crank

It’s Money Shot from Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie, Rebekah Isaacs, Kurt Michael Russell, Crank!, and Vault Comics

Vault has announced the new series Money Shot, a story about scientists having sex with aliens for money.

Money Shot’s creative five-some includes writer Tim Seeley, co-scripter and comedian Sarah Beattie, artist Rebekah Isaacs, colorist Kurt Michael Russell, and letterer Crank!.  

In the near future, space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampos, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device with a big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage —intimately—with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in MONEY SHOT! A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind—and money.

Money Shot #1 will receive a Vault Vintage B Cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel that pays tribute to John Byrne & Joe Sinnott’s iconic cover to Fantastic Four #220 (Marvel Comics, 1980). The Vault Vintage cover line celebrates the artistic achievements of both modern and legendary comics artists.

Money Shot #1 hits store shelves on October 23rd, 2019.

Review: Unearth #1

Unearth #1

Unearth #1 throws you into the nightmarish action. With a story by Cullen Bunn and Kyle Strahm, the debut mixes together science and horror to deliver a slightly unsettling start.

A disease is ravaging a remote Mexican village which sends a scientific task force to investigate the contamination. They trace the source of the disease to a nearby cave system leading to a subterranean adventure and nightmare.

Bunn and Strahm deliver an interesting start in Unearth #1. At first, the series feels like an over the top science-focused story. It has the sense of a film like Outbreak mixing tension, mystery, and disease. But, as we learn more, the story pivots to something much more. It begins to turn into a nightmarish horror story that’ll leave you saying “wtf” more than once.

And in that sense, the debut issue is really good. It leaves the reader on their toes not knowing what to expect but with a concept that’s straightforward. We’re not immediately dumped into a mystical world but instead the issue slowly builds as things get weirder. And, we’re left in the end we’re left with something that’s more The Descent than Outbreak.

The art by Baldemar Rivas is interesting. Each character is unique and you get a sense of their personality. The art evolves like the story itself giving us a more confined space as things proceed. I’d like to have seen more of that used as the team is driven further into the cave. A visual confinement to help drag the reader into that aspect a bit more. And, as issues play out, we might see that.

The debut is a good one that sets up more than enough of a mystery to have fans of horror coming back to find out more. It’s an interesting concept so far and there’s many directions to go and like the characters themselves, that leaves the read on their toes.

Story: Cullen Bunn, Kyle Strahm
Art: Baldemar Rivas Letters: Crank!
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

SDCC 2019: Image Teases a New Series from Charles Soule, Scott Snyder, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, with Matt Wilson, Daniele Orlandini, Crank!, and Will Dennis

We’ve known for a while that writers Charles Soule and Scott Snyder were teaming up for a new series. We now have our first teaser from Image Comics with more to be revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

Check out the teaser below of the series from Soule, Snyder, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Matt Wilson, Daniele Orlandini, Crank!, and Will Dennis.

Review: Grumble #6

Grumble #6

What the Hell are we doing in New Jersey? Eddie and Tala barrel full-force into the Garden State in search of the one man who can turn Eddie human again. But standing in their way are some small-time mobsters, a crew of inter-dimensional bounty hunters, and an army of toothless grannies! Oh, and Eddie summons The Devil! New arc! A perfect jumping on point!

It’s rare that I find a comic I enjoy as much as Grumble, and yet have so little to say about it. The series stays on the fantasy side of things, in a world where the supernatural and interdimensional could easily be one and the same, where talking dogs aren’t as out of the ordinary as you’d think (though in fairness this could be because Tala is making people forget/not notice that Eddie is a bipedal pug). Regardless of the reasoning, it makes for a fantastic comic.

Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton have created a comic that is effortlessly entertaining and funny without sacrificing the strength of the story. More importantly, they’re very consistent with each comic – there’s something with each issue that hooks you in and pulls you further into the world as one of the main characters does something that leaves the other speechless (usually Eddie) that hasn’t failed to leave me entertained.

After the revelations of the previous issue, Grumble #6 eases up a little and allows you to digest what you know, and allows you to adjust your perspectives a little as the comic goes on. The pacing of this issue after the last is perfect – Roberts allows you to breath and digest the emotional impact of issue five while keeping the story moving with his customary wit and charm. Norton, once again, is also brilliant. His page construction, the facial expressions and body language often made me smile as much as the words upon the page.

Truly one of my favourite series on the racks right now… one could easily say it’s a magical experience.

…I’ll stop talking now.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 9.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Ballad of Sang

The Ballad of Sang

Takashi Miike is one of those movie auteurs whose keen eye for detail and bravura only makes new fans of the art of film. His movies, though eye candy for most, are definitely an acquired taste. He portrays violence so stylized and his characters are so ingrained into their worlds, that sometimes you may think you are watching a documentary. His star making turn in Audition is both unsettling and eccentrically thought provoking.

Then there are those movies which can be considered traditional Japanese movie fare where there are parts where his signature marks pop up. One movie which definitely made me a fan of his was Ichi The Killer. It’s an intense tour de force set in the world of the Yakuza. It functions as a character study and somewhat of a torture fest. His movies explore the underbelly that most people think they know, until he shows just how ugly and gruesome it really is. In the first collected volume of The Ballad Of Sang we find one such assassin whose master has been murdered, and he will stop at nothing, to be the harbinger of justice in his master’s name.

We meet Sang, a mute child assassin whose job is to take out a local Yakuza mob boss. We also meet Thomas, Sang’s master, and coincidental father figure. His understanding of his men is his strongest quality. Sang was more than overzealous with his last job and their boss, Don Minchella, decides to teach them both a lesson killing Thomas and almost killing Sang. Minchella puts out a contract on Sang, leading to every killer and gang to pursue him. The whole city is hunting for Sang, dead or alive.

Overall, a great comic series which will remind some of Zatoichi but definitely feels like a Takeshi Miike movie. The story by Ed Brisson is pulse pounding and fun. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a great story that is gory, entertaining, and electrifying.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Alessandro Micelli, Shari Chankhamma and Crank!
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Grumble #5

Eddie and Tala have narrowly escaped the forces of good and evil, but now they face the ultimate danger: each other!

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story.” I quote that paragraph because aside from updating the issue number, the same can be said quite perfectly about Grumble #5. Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton have created a comic that is remarkably entertaining and funny without sacrificing the strength of the story.

That probably sounds familiar, right? It should. It’s the opening from my last review of Grumble #4, and the same is just as true now as it was. Roberts and Norton are nothing if not consistent, which is great news for fans of this series.

This issue sees us taking a bit of a look back at the events leading up to the first issue as we learn a little about Tala and her back story – and the revelation in this issue will hit you harder than a freight train. I’m not going to tell you want it is, but you will go back and reread the previous four issues in an entirely new light.

I’m not going to lie to you friends, there’s really not a lot I can talk about here without revealing too much of the comic itself; Roberts does reveal a little more about the world at large, hinting toward a conflict in the recent past and revealing more about the force driving Tala in the series that until now we really haven’t seen or read much of (unless… well, maybe we have and I didn’t notice it initially). Grumble #5 will change your perceptions on the series, and while we now have a bit more light shed on the tale’s direction, we’ve also got a lot of questions that need answers.

No, I won’t ask them here. Spoilers, and all.

I’ve praised the series before, and rightly so, but this issue is a huge payoff for those having read the previous ones. It’s a brilliant comic because of how Roberts and Norton build upon everything in the series so far and present a fully formed story that we’re only now beginning to figure out.

I need the sixth issue now.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 9.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Astro Hustle #1

Astro Hustle #1

Chen Andalou, the black sheep of a prominent activist family, returns after being accidentally put in cryo-stasis for sixty years. Chen, a cosmic criminal, wakes up to find his younger brother is now the President of the Galaxy. Chen does what he knows best: he steals stuff and causes a problem.

Let us not pretend you don’t think you know exactly what Astro Hustle #1 will be like before you even open the cover. A cover which looks like a 70’s or 80’s science fiction poster in the vein of Star Wars, but with a lot more pink.

With an art style reminiscent of the same era, Astro Hustle has a strange retro feel to its presentation, but there’s nothing retro about the story itself. Tom Reilly‘s art is both evocative of the space operas of yesteryears comic books and also freshly appetizing for today’s new readers. Ursula Decay brings a vivid life to the book, which is exactly what I hoped for and expected after staring at the cover before opening up the comic. visually, this is a brilliant comic; the interplanetary locations feel individual and alive while retaining visual queues that help the reader take in information regarding the story; things like cleanliness, weather and atmospheric conditions that you don’t think you notice.

Jai Nitz pens a swift escapist space crime story that should bring all your fond memories of the various pirates and space pirates and their adventures that you’ve ever read (or watched), but despite the sense of an old friend coming back to see you, this is a story that’s more than original enough to stand on its own.

There’s a rich history hidden within these pages, both of the universe and of the characters, that’s hinted at throughout the comic that’s just waiting for exposure over the course of the story (of course it could be that I missed the first series/miniseries, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. If I did, then credit should be given for never once making me feel lost in the story).

Rarely do I read science fiction comics I enjoy as much as I have Astro Hustle. All the hallmarks of a great story is here, from the commentary about privilege, punishment and corruption for those willing and wanting a deeper story, but there’s also a flat out exciting story if you just want to be entertained.

Plus, space pirates.

Story: Jai Nitz Art: Tom Reilly
Colours: Ursula Decay Letters Crank!
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: Grumble #4

Grumble #4

Eddie and Tala are getting the hell out of Baltimore, but Baltimore isn’t through with them yet! Can our heroes survive a breakneck car chase through the city, pursued by fascist inter-dimensional warlocks, gun-toting maniac mobsters, and a trio of mystical bounty hunters? Buckle up, Grumble fans, and get ready for the most magically destructive ride of your life!

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story.” I quote that paragraph because aside from updating the issue number, the same can be said quite perfectly about Grumble #4. Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton have created a comic that is remarkably entertaining and funny without sacrificing the strength of the story.

At this point I should probably talk a little about the actual contents of the book, but there’s a recap up above that gives you the gist of the book, and unless I start diving too deeply into spoiler territory there’s not much else I want to reveal just now (especially if you haven’t read the first three issues). What I will say, however, is that there’s no forced chemistry between the two leads, nor any illusions about the cowardly and near criminal nature of one; there’s an effortless connection between the two, and Roberts’ dialogue is utterly captivating. The characters are neither overtly good nor evil, but live in the moral grey areas that all great comics tend to touch on every once in awhile. That they are the protagonists means we’re cheering for them, but Roberts has developed the world in such a way that if the focus of the comic were on the mysterious bounty hunter and not her prey, then the two leads could easily be seen as the antagonists.

Hot damn, but do I love this series. The writing and the art combine to give you the perfect blend of Hellblazer and Howard the Duck with a side of the Dresden Files, making Grumble  one of the series to keep your eye on as the year progresses. If your shop didn’t get this series in, then correct that; it’s still available from Diamond (or it was when my LCS ordered a couple copies in), and it’s such a good read.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Grumble #3

Grumble #3

The cat’s outta the bag… and out for blood! Eddie and Tala are on the verge of escaping Baltimore once and for all, but Simon, the feline hitman, stands in their way. Will our heroes be able to defeat Simon, steal back their car, and skip town in one piece? Or will Eddie do something stupid and get everyone killed? 

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story. It’s easy to see that Rafer Roberts is having a blast writing this book, which makes it an easy sell when talking to people at my local comic shop. Mike Norton‘s visuals are perfectly suited to the style of this comic – of course, one of the characters being a pug is also right up his alley (this is the guy who created Battlepug, after all).

At this point I should probably talk a little about the actual contents of the book, but there’s a recap up above that gives you the gist of the book, and unless I start diving too deeply into spoiler territory there’s not much else I want to reveal just now (especially if you haven’t read the first two issues). What I will say, however, is that there’s no forced chemistry between the two leads, nor any illusions about the cowardly and near criminal nature of one. The characters are neither overtly good nor evil, but live in the moral grey areas that all great comics tend to touch on every once in awhile. That they are the protagonists means we’re cheering for them, but Roberts has developed the world in such a way that if the focus of the comic were on the mysterious bounty hunter and not her prey, then the two leads could easily be seen as the antagonists.

Hot damn, but do I love this series. The writing and the art combine to give you the perfect blend of Hellblazer and Howard the Duck with a side of the Dresden Files, making Grumble  one of the series to keep your eye on as the year progresses. If your shop didn’t get this series in, then correct that; it’s still available from Diamond (or it was when my LCS ordered a couple copies in), and it’s such a good read.

Writer: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funny Books provided a FREE copy for review

Preview: Rick and Morty #36

Rick and Morty #36

Story: Kyle Starks, Josh Trujillo
Art: Marc Ellerby, Rii Abrego
Color: Sarah Stern
Letterer: CRank!
Editor: Ari Yarwood
Design: Hilary Thompson
Cover: (Cover A) Marc Ellerby with Allison Strejlau, (Cover B) Mady G
Age Rating: Teen, 16+
Genre: Sci-Fi/Humor
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

Kyle Starks and Marc Ellerby join forces to tell the story of Jerry’s very terrible, extremely bad, super sad day! Poor Jerry is having the worst of days—but it’s mostly his fault. How will he get bailed out this time? Plus: a new back-up comic story written by Josh Trujillo (Love is Love) and illustrated by Rii Abrego (Adventure Time)!

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