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Review: Angel Season 11 #1

stl029890In the final season of the Angel TV show, beloved supporting character Fred Burkle (played by Amy Acker) was animated by the Elder God Illyria after her death. In a similar manner, Angel Season 11 #1 has some familiar faces, like Angel, Fred, and even flashbacks to Angel’s earliest days as a vampire in Ireland, but the comic reads like popular licensed characters going through the motions of a run of the mill horror\mystery\time travel story. Piling up genres and setting the comic in Ireland doesn’t add much to a snooze of a read.

The best Buffy and Angel comics have nailed the ways characters have spoken as well as their relationships and motivations and making changes in line with this. For example, Christos in Angel and Faith had Faith helping Angel find redemption by raising Giles from the dead, and there just happened to be other dimensions along the way. Unfortunately, writer Corinna Bechko just throws Angel and Fred into a haunted hotel in Dublin, has middling artist Gerardo Borges throw up some creepy imagery when he can’t even get Angel’s expressions straight, and adds some gimmicks like time travel to give the plot forward momentum. It seems like there will be a conflict between Fred and Illyria, but Bechko and Borges just use the latter to get them out of any plot snafus. She is like Superman of the Silver Age and gains abilities to fit the plot’s needs with no consequences to speak of so far.

With the exit of Faith as a co-headliner, Angel Season 11 #1 has the task of building a supporting cast, which is a problem that its sister title doesn’t have. Except this whole issue is just Angel and Fred running around a hotel pel-mell, looking in a coffins, and following random spiders. There is no relationship building or real tension between our two leads, and it seems like they are just there to fill the quota of two leads in a supernatural themed procedural. (Mulder and Scully, they are not.) Even when Giles’ immortal aunts Lavinia and Sophie show up, the writing for them lacks its comic relief.

The one positive in Angel Season 11 #1 is Michelle Madsen’s color palette. She uses a grey screen print tone to give the demon that Angel and Fred (Later Illyria.) battle a kind of Wicker Man vibe and uses a similar effect in the opening page with some black to introduce a still brooding Angel. Borges’ character poses and action/magical movements are all over the place, but Madsen’s sparkles of energy are a reminder that the Buffyverse is a place of wonder even if the stories set in it sometimes aren’t the greatest.

Angel Season 11 #1 ends with Angel traveling back in time so maybe figures from his past will pop up and playing supporting roles and help this comic transform from Irish Supernatural-lite to the Buffyverse’s “Days of Future Past.” But, for now, it’s just a mediocre exorcism story with a time travel twist, two stiff lead characters, and uninspiring art. It’s definitely not the best way to launch a new season.

Story: Corinna Bechko Art: Geraldo Borges Colors: Michelle Madsen
Story: 4 Art: 5.5 Overall: 4.7 Recommendation: Pass

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Diamond Announces December 2016’s Top Products. Marvel on Top Overall, But DC Challenges in a Mixed Month

dollar-shareDiamond Comic Distributors has announced the top products and publisher shares for December 2016. DC Entertainment’s Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 from Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok was the best-selling comic book of December 2016, according to information provided by Diamond.

Marvel Comics was December’s top publisher with a 36.73% dollar share and a 40.50% unit share. That’s a slight dip in dollar share, about 1.35% points and an increase in unit share by 0.96% points. DC Entertainment was the month’s number two publisher with a 29.47% dollar share and a 29.04% unit share. DC also saw mixed results with their dollar share increasing 3.3% points, but the unit share decreasing by 2.26% points. At number three was Image Comics with an 8.81% dollar share and a 7.70% unit share. Image saw a down month with the dollar share decreasing 0.18% points and unit share decreasing 1.36% points. IDW Publishing was fourth with a 5.49% dollar share and a 4.10% unit share. IDW’s month was mixed with their dollar share increasing 0.26% percentage points and the unit share decreasing 0.49% points. Dark Horse Comics rounds out the top five with a 3.17% dollar share and 2.43% units share. Both of those are down from the previous month with dollar share down 0.58% points and unit shares down 0.42% points.

The top ten saw BOOM! Studios holding steady at #6, Dynamite Entertainment leaping from #9 last month to #7 this month, Titan Comics fell to #8, Valiant enters the top ten at #9, and Viz Media fell to #10.

Comic and graphic novel sales in December, a four shipping week month, declined by 9.69% from November, a five shipping week month, as well as by 14.84% from December 2015, also a five shipping week month.  Despite the decline, comics and graphic novel sales on the year finished up 0.30% over 2015.

unit-shareDC Entertainment had five titles in the top ten. In addition to Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson’s Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7 ranked #3; Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Hugo Petrus’ Batman #12 ranked #4; King and Janin’s Batman #13 ranked #5, and Scott Snyder, John Romita, Jr., and Danny Miki’s All-Star Batman #5 ranked #10. Marvel Comics also had five titles in the top ten: Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leinil Francis Yu’s Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 ranked #2; Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez’s Civil War II #8, the final chapter of Marvel’s 2016 event, ranked #6; Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars #26 ranked #7; Kieron Gillen, Kev Walker, and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, a new ongoing series spinning out of Star Wars: Darth Vader, ranked #8; and Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon’s Hulk #1, a new series starring Jennifer Walters, ranked #9. Among the premier publishers, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #161 was Image Comics’ top book in December at #11. IDW Publishing’s top book was Batman/TMNT Adventures #2 at #65. Finally, Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #3, based on Joss Whedon’s film Serenity, was their top book of the month at #112.

IDW Publishing’s Love is Love anthology, a tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, produced with the assistance of DC Entertainment and featuring dozens of writers and artists, was December’s best-selling graphic novel. DC Entertainment had two titles in the top ten led by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman Volume 9: Bloom at #2 for the month. Image Comics’ three titles in the top ten were led by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender Volume 3: Singularities at #3. Marvel Comics rounded out the top ten with four titles topped by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Wolverine: Old Man Logan at #4.

Penguin Books’ Doctor Who: The Death Riders, a Doctor Who novel starring the eleventh Doctor for young readers, was December’s best-selling book and one of three Doctor Who novels from the publisher among the top ten. IDW Publishing’s The Princess Bride: A Storybook to Color, an adult coloring book based on the beloved film, ranked #3 for the month. Dark Horse Comics had three adult coloring books among the top ten, led by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Adult Coloring Book at #4. Also in the top ten, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead Adult Coloring Book ranked #10 for the month.

DC Collectibles’ DC Designer Series: Harley Quinn by Bruce Timm Statue was December’s best-selling toy product and one of their nine products among the top ten. Also among the top ten, Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Gallery: The Hulk PVC Figure ranked #2 for the month.

Diamond Select Toys’ Back to the Future Monopoly, a custom edition of the venerable board game, returned to the top of the sales charts as December’s best-selling game product. IDW Publishing had two products in the top ten, led by the Machi Koro Card Game at #2. Also in the top ten, Dark Horse Comics’ Game of Thrones Playing Cards, a decorative deck based on the hit HBO series, ranked #7 for the month.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 36.73% 40.50%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 29.47% 29.04%
IMAGE COMICS 8.81% 7.70%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.49% 4.10%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.17% 2.43%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.40% 1.64%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.99% 6.97%
TITAN COMICS 1.16% 0.99%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 1.10% 1.20%
VIZ MEDIA 1.09% 0.34%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.59% 5.09%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS

DECEMBER 2016 VS. NOVEMBER 2016

COMICS -9.01% -1.79%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -11.19% 1.10%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -9.69% -1.56%
TOYS -12.28% -11.75%

DECEMBER 2016 VS. DECEMBER 2015

COMICS -18.84% -8.39%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -4.24% 18.44%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -14.84% -6.66%
TOYS -36.78% -46.07%

FOURTH QUARTER 2016 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2016

COMICS -7.42% -5.96%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 0.07% 1.88%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -5.36% -5.42%
TOYS -1.80% -11.85%

FOURTH QUARTER 2016 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2015

COMICS -8.92% -0.53%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 1.53% 12.21%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -6.11% 0.30%
TOYS -22.29% -30.42%

YEAR 2016 VS. YEAR 2015

COMICS -0.11% 1.02%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 1.24% 2.10%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 0.30% 1.10%
TOYS -9.74% -14.18%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 89 42 0 131
DC ENTERTAINMENT 84 33 1 118
IMAGE COMICS 47 18 1 66
IDW PUBLISHING 42 17 0 59
BOOM! STUDIOS 26 12 0 38
DARK HORSE COMICS 26 10 0 36
TITAN COMICS 21 5 4 30
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 18 9 0 27
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 11 2 0 13
VIZ MEDIA 0 13 0 13
OTHER NON-TOP 10 114 133 25 272

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1 $3.99 OCT160147-M DC
2 INHUMANS VS. X-MEN #1 $5.99 SEP160868-M MAR
3 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #7 $5.99 OCT160259-M DC
4 BATMAN #12 $2.99 OCT160173-M DC
5 BATMAN #13 $2.99 OCT160175-M DC
6 CIVIL WAR II #8 $4.99 SEP161000-M MAR
7 STAR WARS #26 $3.99 OCT160988-M MAR
8 STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1 $4.99 OCT160975-M MAR
9 HULK #1 $3.99 OCT160788-M MAR
10 ALL-STAR BATMAN #5 $4.99 OCT160160-M DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 LOVE IS LOVE SC $9.99 OCT160480 IDW
2 BATMAN VOLUME 9: BLOOM TP $16.99 SEP160335 DC
3 DESCENDER VOLUME 3: SINGULARITIES TP $14.99 SEP160801 IMA
4 WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN TP $29.99 JUL100692 MAR
5 I HATE FAIRYLAND VOLUME 2: FLUFF MY LIFE TP $14.99 OCT160683-M IMA
6 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOLUME 1: REBOOT TP $17.99 OCT161021 MAR
7 STAR WARS: POE DAMERON VOL. 1: BLACK SQUADRON TP $19.99 AUG160999 MAR
8 DOCTOR STRANGE VOLUME 1: WAY OF WEIRD TP $19.99 SEP161127 MAR
9 BATMAN VOLUME 10: EPILOGUE HC $22.99 AUG160317 DC
10 BLACK SCIENCE VOL. 5: TRUE ATONEMENT TP (MR) $14.99 OCT160677 IMA

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DOCTOR WHO: DEATH RIDERS SC $9.99 JUN158023 PEN
2 DOCTOR WHO: SYSTEM WIPE SC $9.99 JUN158025 PEN
3 THE PRINCESS BRIDE: A STORYBOOK TO COLOR TP $16.99 SEP160611 IDW
4 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160020 DAR
5 THE POKEMON COOKBOOK HC $14.99 OCT162035 VIZ
6 STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160018 DAR
7 STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160019 DAR
8 DOCTOR WHO: THE GOOD THE BAD & THE ALIEN SC $9.99 NOV158049 PEN
9 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 112 SC $14.95 SEP162252 SAN
10 THE WALKING DEAD ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR) $14.99 FEB160615 IMA

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC DESIGNER SERIES: HARLEY QUINN BY BRUCE TIMM STATUE MAR160333 DC
2 MARVEL GALLERY: THE HULK PVC FIGURE AUG162570 DST
3 DC TV: ARROW/THE FLASH ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK APR160456 DC
4 DC FILMS: ARMORED BATMAN PREMIUM ACTION FIGURE MAR160323 DC
5 BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES: NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE MAR160314 DC
6 HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE APR160452 DC
7 BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES: NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES CLAYFACE DELUXE ACTION FIGURE MAR160318 DC
8 DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES BY LEE BERMEJO: BATMAN FIGURE FEB160280 DC
9 DC DESIGNER SERIES: THE FLASH BY FRANCIS MANAPUL STATUE JUL160449 DC
10 DARKSEID AND GRAIL ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK APR160448 DC

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BACK TO THE FUTURE MONOPOLY JUL152198 DST
2 MACHI KORO CARD GAME MAY142831 IDW
3 MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOXED SET (2ND EDITION) FEB151158 BOO
4 EXPLODING KITTENS CARD GAME NSFW EDITION OCT163224 EXP
5 EXPLODING KITTENS CARD GAME ORIGINAL EDITION OCT163223 EXP
6 PANDEMIC: IBERIA BOARD GAME AUG163183 ZMA
7 GAME OF THRONES PLAYING CARDS JAN120128 DAR
8 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME APR160482 IDW
9 BATMANL THE ANIMATED SERIES DICE GAME SEP163193 PSI
10 STAR TREK 50TH-ANNIVERSARY 3000-PIECE DIECUT JIGSAW PUZZLE JUN168685 NMR

Dark Horse Reveals Limited Edition of The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts

In late 2016, Dark Horse announced the next installment in their legendary partnership with Nintendo would be The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts. Today, Dark Horse is excited to reveal a limited edition of The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts!

Fans who purchase The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts limited edition will experience the thrill of finding and unsheathing the Master Sword! The cover features a 3D embossed sword hilt sculpt with a metallic foil finish. The sword hilt is life size to give the reader the satisfaction of unsheathing the very realistic sword from the acetate sleeve that encases the book. The cover’s background features the Lost Woods (a maze of mystifying forests that has appeared throughout the franchise) in a custom-mixed deep purple ink with a soft-touch lamination and spot-gloss UV, framed with metallic foil. The book’s pages are gilded as well.

Both the regular and limited editions of The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts have over 400 pages of fully realized artistic masterpieces, exclusive interviews with the artists behind the beloved video game franchise, the official pixel art of the early series, and rare promotional art never before published in this format.

The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts limited edition is available for preorder from Amazon, Penguin Random House, Things From Another World, and more. The limited edition retails for $79.99 and goes on sale February 21, 2017.

limited-edition-of-the-legend-of-zelda-art-artifacts

Review: Aliens: Defiance #6

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When Zula and Davis’s plan to deny the Colonial Marines a xenomorph sample hits a snag, their only remaining course of action may be something they can never come back from.

Well, that was unexpected and slightly traitorous. Aliens: Defiance #6 and writer Brian Wood does a really solid job of showcasing Zula’s growing conflict as her decisions become more forced. Does she disobey orders, and make sure the Xenomorph specimen doesn’t get to Earth or does she follow her orders? We’ll find out in future issues!

Things get explosive as the story drives the art direction provided by Tristan Jones. That ups the excitement as the issue manages to have not one, not two but, three impressive explosions. And that’s in addition to the massive amount of firepower fired at any Xenomorph the characters find. I will admit the end of

The end of the issue is a nice surprise and makes me wonder how things continue as the story progresses from here.

Story: Brian Wood Art: Tristan Jones
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

Review: Dept H #7

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

As the water rises inside their base, tensions rise among the Dept. H crew. They desperately try to stop the flooding of the headquarters, but a sacrifice hardly buys them any more time. They’ve got twelve hours to stem the tide.

With only three issues left of Dept. H, the crew seems to be facing imminent catastrophe from every angle. Writer Matt Kindt has made sure that the upcoming issues will make an interesting read as the series comes to a close. I’m curious to see if Mia can solve her father’s murder before everything goes wrong. Will the crew reach the surface alive or will they perish under the sea?

Compared to the colorful previous issues, this issue has a much darker tone. Matt Kindt and Sharlene Kindt use shades of black, and green mostly instead of the more vibrant color scheme we’ve seen in the past. Which, given the shift in the story, is a good move I think.

Story: Matt Kindt  Art: Sharlene Kindt and Matt Kindt
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

Writer/Artist Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy Returns in 2017

Get a kung-fu grip on yourself as Geof Darrow’s blood-spattered killing machine the Shaolin Cowboy returns this April in a new four-issue mini-series to be published by Dark Horse Comics. The Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign? will be written and illustrated by Darrow, who has won the Inkpot Award and won (and lost) multiple Eisner Awards, and colored by the Eisner Award-winning Dave Stewart. The first issue will have a main cover by Darrow and Stewart and a variant cover by the award-winning Frank Miller, Darrow’s co-contributor on Hard Boiled and Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot.

In The Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign?, the titular hero of the series finds that his road to hell is paved not with good intentions but old nemeses hell-bent on bloody revenge.

shcow2-1-cvr-sol

In Honor of National Bird Day a Preview of Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird Vol. 2

In honor of National Bird Day, today January 5, Dark Horse Books has released preview pages from Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula by Margaret Atwood, artist Johnnie Christmas, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. Angel Catbird is being published by Dark Horse Books in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in Canada. Angel Catbird is the latest environmentally charged book by Atwood, who was named the recipient of the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize for her political and environmental activism.

In the release Atwood said:

Angel Catbird 2 will be released on Valentine’s Day, named after Saint Valentine. Almost nothing is known about this saint, making the mysterious figure a suitable icon for love of all kinds – people who love birds, people who love cats, people who love both, and, to round it off, Angel Catbirds who love both catfolk and birdfolk. Then there’s Count Catula, who, being a cat/bat/vampire, has many more Wives of Catula than Dracula had Wives of Dracula! If you don’t want to say it with flowers on Valentine’s Day, say it with Catbirds. Your beloved will understand. I hope.

All three volumes of Angel Catbird are 6 x 9 full color hardcovers, priced at $14.99 each. Volume 2 goes on sale on February 14, followed by Volume 3 on July 4, 2017. Angel Catbird Volume 1 has spent more than a dozen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

angel-catbird-volume-2-to-castle-catula-1

The Comics Are All Right: Build Your Own Community

I began these articles last year to move some of the discussion surrounding the state of the comic industry away from “opinion” and “anecdotes” and towards facts and data. You can check out what I’ve written before but beyond looking at sales data, the goal is to also look at other data available such as analytics, Facebook demographics, and also talk to creators directly to see what does and doesn’t work.

For this new year, I felt it good to focus on at least one best practice for publishers and creators, building an email list and social networking presence, your own community. But, beyond just going over “how to’s’ as far as building a community or why it’s a good idea, I thought I’d take a different spin and see what we can learn from the data available and answer a question:

What’s the overlap of “fans” of publishers?

There’s no way to really figure out if the folks who purchase comics are loyal to one publisher, many publishers, or maybe a select few. “Sales” data reported is estimated sales from distributors to stores, we don’t know what stores sell directly to customers, whether it’s physical or digital sales.

So what can we look at to figure this out?

First, there’s Facebook data. Twice a month I report on data derived from Facebook looking at the demographics of those who “like” comics. But we can do more than just report on the age, we can also see how many people like two different pages, publisher a AND publisher b.

What I’ve done is look at the amount of US likes a publisher has (I’ve also included Amazon and comiXology because more on that below and why these particular publishers are explained as well) and then also looked at how many likes those two pages shared in the US. Below is the results in percent and I think the results are really interesting.

us-publisher-overlap-1-2-17

To read an example 61.90% of comiXology’s Facebook “likes” also “like” Amazon. We can see the percents vary greatly, but what stands out to me tis that the overlap is not as much as you think. This isn’t the same fans liking a bunch of different publishers, it’s clear that in same cases some publishers have really built a niche and audience all their own.

One data point is nice, what about two?

Well, this is how this thought exercise began. My day job is working in email and monitoring deliverability, trends, spam, really boring stuff. But, this also gives me access to see how email programs are performing (opens, clicks) and also how much email lists overlap! So, what do we see when it comes to email lists?

us-publisher-email-overlap

The above were chosen to start because they’re all publishers or platforms I regularly get email from and signed up for (I’m particularly fascinated by Amazon’s email program). So, at some point this will all expand, but you need to start somewhere. Amazon’s emails are impressive and they do at least one weekly email for fans of comics, that in particular is why I’ve watched them. But I digress…

What above represents is how many people are on each list. For example 38% of Valiant’s list is also on comiXology’s. Again, like Facebook we see that the overlap varies and that generally people aren’t signing up for everyone. Valiant’s percents are particularly high due to a smaller list size.

So what does this mean?

It means that each of these publishers have a captive and unique audience for them to talk to. They have people who clearly care about them to pitch their releases each and every week. It’s as simple as that. As a publisher, a creator, you should be doing everything to build your community, because from what we see above, that community is probably pretty unique and want to hear from you, and possibly just you!

So, here’s a resolution publishers and creators should be making this year, build your community! Then use it to sell some comics!

Dark Horse to Adapt Herman Melville’s Classic Moby Dick

Dark Horse Books is proud to announce the Vents d’Ouest graphic novel adaptation of Herman Melville’s timeless classic Moby Dick, available in English for the first time on February 8, 2017.

A masterpiece of French literary comics, this hardcover edition collects both Vents d’Ouest volumes and features illustrations by the award-winning French author and artist Christophe Chabouté. Striking black-and-white frames faithfully capture this Great American Novel as we follow the revenge-seeking voyage of Captain Ahab.

The graphic adaptation is perfect for literature lovers looking for a unique spin on the tale of the great white whale. The English edition includes a foreword by John Arcudi.

moby-dick

Review: Aliens: Life and Death #2

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Leave no man behind!

Up till now, the Colonial Marines have been reacting to attacks by the Predators and the Engineers. But having escaped LV-223, they make the decision to return and fight—against the deadliest adversaries in the galaxy!

Aliens: Life and Death #2 shifts the story a bit from one about survival to a story about a rescue but writer Dan Abnett makes it work. It’s a pretty interesting change from previous issues of this story arc, which leaves me wondering if this will continue in upcoming issues or if there’s more twists and turns to expect. I’m eager to see how they manage to rescue Chris alive and unharmed, or if she’ll be impregnated by the Alien queen.

The dismissal atmosphere of the previous issues changes as well, given the new setting and artist Moritat makes it work. I will admit the ship is a massive shift from the bleak looking environments they used in previous issues of the “Life and Death” group of stories. The ship is a polished environment and has a vastly different inside look than the Xenomorph seen in previous parts.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Moritat
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

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