Tag Archives: Dalabor Talajic

Review: Hotell #2

Hotell #2

Jay and Mark Duplass are somewhat famous actors who have made their way into Hollywood through indie films. Many of their movies revel in character introspection and quiet moments. It can be sometimes an interesting ride in their movies while also being quite bizarre. One their first series on HBO, Togetherness, was a mix of what made them so magnetic while transitioning to the general audience’s more mainstream tastes.

Just when you think you know what to expect from the siblings, they introduce to the world of Room 104. It’s an anthology series which is part science fiction, part character study, and part horror. All depending on which episode you watched, and what goes on, each installment sought to tell something deeper. In the second issue of Hotell, the Pierrot Courts turn in another twisted tale

We are taken to the Pierre Courts Hotel, where a couple, Bobby and Muriel, are checking in this mysterious lodge. As Bobby is much older than Muriel, and is somewhat paranoid about their new respite, as the first thing that jumps out is a black bunny that follows them around. Out of the blue, Muriel is stricken by the wine Bobby brings, eventually dying a bloody messy death from it, something he had planned from the start. He cuts up her body into parts and dumps it in a pond nearby. By the issue’s end, Bobby gets his just due and Muriel lives another day.

Overall, a horror tale that deserves to be alongside anything on Shudder. The story by John Lees is skin-crawling. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a story that will creep you out.

Story: John Lees Art: Dalabor Talajic, Lee Loughridge, and Karen Andrews
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hotell #1

Hotell #1

When it comes to noir movies, I think many new filmmakers tend to try too hard. Take, for instance, Knives Out, where it wins much on the story and the execution, as well as the performances by some great actors. Where it lacks is how it lacked many of the tropes that make the genre so effective, and even the foil, at times, was underwhelming. This is in great contrast, to his noir masterpiece, Brick, which continues to stun years after its debut.

It is within the subtleties which makes a noir thriller great. One of my favorite movies within the genre of recent was Bad Times at the El Royale. All taking place in a hotel right on the border of two states. In the debut issue of Hotell, we find such a place like the El Royale, both bizarre and intended.

We are taken to the Pierre Courts Hotel, hidden on Route 66, where we meet Jack Lynch, the hotel check-in clerk, who seems to be more than a weird old man. We meet a pregnant young lady, Alice, seeming desperate and possibly on the run, and needing a place to find respite. We soon find out that she is on the run from an abusive boyfriend, who practically haunts her dreams. We find out it is not the baby’s father who controls her dreams, it’s actually her Baby. By issue’s end, Ted eventually catches up to Alice but not without being scathed and what their baby is, is wholly disturbing.

Overall, an excellent story that blends horror and noir into a satisfying dish that will more than have readers intrigued. The story by John Lees is eerie and well developed. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that will have readers on the edge of their seat.

Story: John Lees Art: Dalabor Talajic, Lee Loughridge, and Karen Andrews
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Catching Up on Reviews, Part 9 — X-Men and X-Men Legacy

X-Men #8 (Marvel) – Chris Bachalo’s stylized art is near perfect in this issue and Victor Gischler’s story is both action-packed and a touching story about youth and alienation, making it one of the more thought-provoking stories from Marvel in the last year or so.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

X-Men #9 (Marvel) – The strange thing is that in the early days when I first saw Bachalo’s art, I wasn’t a big fan, thinking it was a bit too anime-like for my tastes. The more I see it, though, the more I like it and I’m starting to think that he might be one of my favorite artists. This issue is just as good as the predecessors and this particular X-Men-Spider-Man team up is one of my favorites in recent years.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

X-Men #10 (Marvel) – Paco Medina joins Bachalo on art duties this issue and, while it is still quite good, it isn’t as good as Bachalo’s previous solo work. I’m sad to see the end of the Spider-Man crossover, although I will say that I’m not a huge fan of the characterization of Emma Frost during this arc. It seems consistent with past portrayals of her, but she’s still a bit to stereotypically “female” for a woman of such stature.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

X-Men #11 (Marvel) – Gischler’s side-story here with Professor X is a bit subpar and the art just isn’t that great. This is an exception for this series — an issue that is pretty weak.

Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5.5

X-Men #12 (Marvel) – I really like Christopher Yost’s story here and, despite my normal disdain for retcons, this one works out pretty well. It fits and it makes sense. The art is split between two different artists based on the flashbacks and the present and Medina’s present art is the better of the two, although far from perfect. There are a few epic shots, though, that make it worthwhile, though.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

X-Men #13 (Marvel) – The Eternals-oriented story continues here with the same creative team and Yost and Medina do even better this time around, but I still don’t like Dalabor Talajic’s art much.

Story: 9.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8.25

X-Men #14 (Marvel) – Everyone’s work in this issue continues to improve and I’m even okay with most of Talajic’s art, although I think his weakness is really close-ups of people’s faces.

Story: 9.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Men #15 (Marvel) – After a really strong story about evolution and mutants, the ending is a bit of a let-down. Hopefully this will also end the split artist trend that had dominated recent issues. Can we get Bachalo back?

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

X-Men Giant Size #1 (Marvel) – This annual is part of the Eternals-related storyline and it has the best art that Medina and Talajic did during the story and there is some epic art here. The story is still more-than-capably handled by Yost.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Men Legacy #245 (Marvel) – If there are two things I love more than the X-Men and post-apocalyptic stories, I don’t know what they are. It’s hard to think of anything I’d like more than a comic that combines the two. Over the years, the X-Men have given us a lot of post-apocalyptic things and Age of X is one of the better entries in a series of great stories.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

X-Men Legacy #246 (Marvel) – Clay Mann’s art isn’t my favorite, but it’s more than good enough and it’s appropriate to the Age of X story. Mike Carey’s writing is great, though, and I really like what he does with Scott Summers here, showing us what Scott would be like if he was just as bad-ass as he is now, but without the restraints he has as the leader of the mutant nation.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

X-Men Legacy #247 (Marvel) – Carey really goes a long way towards answering the question: “what’s better for mutants: isolation and protection or finding a way to live with humanity.” The idea of Moira McTaggert as a villain is quite interesting, too.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

X-Men Legacy #248 (Marvel) – Dealing with the aftermath of Age of X is handled well here by Mike Carey, although the story is, by necessity, a letdown. Jorge Molina’s art is a step down from what Mann was doing.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

X-Men Legacy #249 (Marvel) – I’ve never really liked the storylines that provided a romantic link between Rogue and Magneto and I really don’t think we need any more recaps of Magneto in Nazi Germany. I do, however, like the exploration of Legion as a character, since he is too powerful and has too much potential to be ignored as much as he has been over the years.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

X-Men Legacy #250 (Marvel) – In this giant-sized issue, Carey continues both the aftermath of Age of X and the tracking down of Legion’s escaped personalities. Neither story has great art (although neither has bad art, either) and the Legion story continues to be better than the Age of X aftermath. A reprint of an old New Mutants issue is here to remind me how much I never liked Bill Sienkiewicz’s art.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Men Legacy #251 (Marvel) – Carey ramps up the intensity and quality of the Legion tale, but Koi Pham’s art is mixed in quality.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.75