Tag Archives: graphic novel

Review: Wired Up Wrong “Deluxe Version”

At some point in our lives, and truthfully, many times across our lives, we will deal with some form of mental health issues. There is a certain stigma associated with people who deals with these issues openly which why most people are silent about their own problems. This leads to them mostly not dealing with it and that abstinence eventually becomes difficult to the people who are around them. In fiction, it is rarely portrayed correctly or with any sensitivity, as this treatment makes it also difficult for most people to be honest about their mental health.

A lot of the time, in fiction, their mental health is linked to a person or persons, and not that any of these situations aren’t real, but mental health is more complex, than this same scenario. Most of the time, I have never seen in fiction, where they talked about the psychological issues black people must deal with, in not only, racism, but also colorism. I have never seen, in fiction, where they talk about the PTSD refugees suffer from the circumstances surrounding their home country. This what I admired the most in Rachel Smith’s Wired Up Wrong. She talks about her own anxiety issues and doesn’t sugar coat anything.

Within the first few pages, Smith introduces the reader not only to her boyfriend, but her cat, and the imaginary animals, which represents her mental health problems which includes depression. The reader gets a front row seat of how her issues, affect her daily life, and what people would wrongly view as “mood swings”, is her battling depression. Eventually, we see how depression takes over her life and how everyday is a gift to her. By book’s end, she eventually overcomes depression and anxiety, only to be someone stronger.

Overall, a heartbreaking, moving, and sometimes funny story, that shows that anxiety and depression are the barbarians you keep at bay for good reason. The story by Smith, is simply beautiful and leaves the reader wanting more. The art by Smith, feels right at home with these stories, and yet looks gorgeous. Together a book where you will relate to the different mental health issues and know that you can fight it.

Story: Rachel Smith Art: Rachel Smith
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Buck Danny Vol. 3 Ghost Squadron

“Dereliction of duty” is one of those things when I was in the military, I never heard anyone getting in trouble for. People would get in trouble, but not for the things they would in the movies or television. In fact, movies like Top Gun although entertaining are not very realistic. I remember joining the Navy, 20 years after that movie, and I would work with officers who said they went to flight school because of that movie.

This is where the movies and reality split hard, if any pilot pull any of the crap Maverick, did, they would lose their flight status or even their commission. It is romantic to think that if you disobeyed orders to follow your gut, you would be celebrated for your decision. The truth is harsher. You would most certainly get an Article 13. So, when I see these things play out in books, television, and movies, we never see the actual fallout. In Buck Danny: Ghost Squadron, one of Danny’s pilots does this very thing, and it plays out a little different than we are used to seeing.

We catch up with Danny’s squadron, where they are operating in Eastern Europe, in this installment, Tuck gets in trouble for taking out a Serbian missile battery. Instead of a court martial, he gets assigned to a squadron which flies secret missions which is coincidentally also headed by Buck, and they both must learn how to fly a F-16.  As the squadron gets closer to their mission, a renegade pilot known as Lady X, starts picking apart their squadron one by one. By books’ end, the blackmail of one of their pilots leads to Buck Danny and his squadron tot the source of how Lady X decimated his squadron.

Overall, an okay installment, as the art usually takes the backseat to the story in this series, in this case, it s the opposite. The story by Francis Bergese is rigid, predictable but still enjoyable. The art by Bergese is gorgeous. Altogether, if you liked the series up to this point, buy it if you are a completest but if a good story motivates your buying, I suggest you read the other books in this series.

Story: Francis Bergese Art: Francis Bergese
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

Review: Sugar Town

I am, like some human beings, crave newness like I breathe air. The need to find something or someone, all the time, is a desire most humans crave, but tend to feel some shame, when it comes to meeting someone. There are a variety of reasons why they feel shame, as some of it can be attributed to insecurity and some of, they feel, is betrayal of their spouse. As those natural feelings most people tend to fight, as they may past a point where they don’t trust themselves to do the right thing.

Attraction can be a hard-fought battle especially when the object of your desire, is so seemingly perfect. That is why when you are in a relationship or even a marriage, it becomes difficult to “act normal,” around anyone you feel attracted to.  So, when you find yourself in a situation, like most movies, where the character says “in another life,” it makes you wonder what the universe is doing? In Hazel Newlevant’s Sugar Town, the main character, Hazel, finds herself caught in an interesting predicament.

In the opening pages, we meet Hazel, a photographer form New York visiting Portland, who has a boyfriend back home and ends up at a party, where she knows no one. This is where serendipity intervenes, and she meets Argent, a gorgeous being, whose job is a dominatrix that pulls Hazel to her like a magnet. The two eventually start dating, and Hazel is crazy for Argent, as she feels so comfortable with her. By book’s end, her struggle between both relationships, leads her back to here she was meant.

Overall, a mesmerizing tale, of love and how true understanding in a relationship can lead to so many possibilities. The story by Newlevant is engrossing, heartbreaking and better than your average romantic comedy. The art By Newlevant is vibrant and lifelike. Altogether, a tale that tells you how to follow your hear and sometimes defining your status in a relationship is part of the journey of love.

Story: Hazel Newlevant Art: Hazel Newlevant
Story:10 Art:9.2 Overall:9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: The Stardust Kid HC

The Stardust Kid HC

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Mike Ploog
Cover Artist: Mike Ploog
Price: $24.99

  • The fantasy epic by legendary creators J.M. DeMatteis (Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt) and Mike Ploog (The Spirit) is collected in this special hardcover edition, which includes never-before-seen artwork, script pages, and a new introduction by DeMatteis.
  • When Cody DiMarco went to bed, life was the same as it’s always been. But he awoke in a new place, victim to a magic older than time. Now, four children must band together in order to restore their families—and the planet—if they’re to solve the great mystery of the Stardust Kid.

Holiday Gift Guide: Secret Coders: Robots & Repeats

Secret Coders: Robots & Repeats is the fourth volume of Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes‘ amazing graphic novel series that mixes entertainment and education.

We’re big fans of the graphic novel series published by First Second and they’re all perfect gifts for comic fans and/or individuals who want to learn how to code!

Get all four volumes now:
Secret Coders Vol. 1
Secret Coders Vol. 2
Secret Coders Vol. 3
Secret Coders Vol. 4

 

First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

DC Wins the Unit Share While Marvel Takes the Dollars in November

November was a good month for DC Comics as they had the top unit shares as well as 8 out of the top 10 comics according to Diamond Comic Distributors.

Compared to the previous month, comics are down both in dollars and units and are down further compared to the same time last year. Year to date comics are down 9.89% in dollars and 8.38% in units. Graphic novels rebounded from the previous month up 19.29% in dollars and 27.04% in units. Compared to last year they are up 2.21% in dollars and down 1.73% in units. The year to date graphic novels are down 9.32% in dollars and 11.72% in units. Overall, comics and graphic novels are down in the year to date 9.72% in dollars and 8.65% in units.

Marvel Comics was November’s top publisher in dollars with a 34.29% dollar share (down 2.09) and a 34.52% unit share (down 4.11). DC Entertainment was the month’s top publisher in units with 39.37% unit share (up 3.89) and a 33.71% dollar share (up 3.13). In third was Image Comics with an 8.07% dollar share (down 2.76) and an 8.26% unit share (down 1.58). In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 4.04% dollar share (down 0.29) and a 3.66% unit share (up 0.35), followed by Dynamite Entertainment with a 2.20% dollar share (up 0.21) and a 2.15% unit share (up 0.19), then Dark Horse Comics with a 2.08% dollar share (down 0.74) and a 1.53% unit share (down 0.21).

Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli explore the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into the inhuman cyborg Darth Vader in Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1: Imperial Machine, the best-selling graphic novel of November. Marvel had five of the top ten graphic novels. DC Entertainment had four titles in the top ten. Finally, Oni Press’ Rick and Morty Volume 1 ranked #5.

Dynamite Entertainment’s Undisputed Street Fighter, a behind the scenes look at Capcom’s fighting video game franchise, was November’s best-selling book. Also of note, Dark Horse Comics’ The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia returned to the top ten at #5 and Legacy: An Off-Color Novella for You to Color, featuring a story by Fight Club‘s Chuck Palahniuk, ranked #8. IDW Publishing’s Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition ranked #7. Image Comics’ The Walking Dead Adult Coloring Book ranked #9.

Bandai America reintroduced customers to virtual pets with the Chibi Tamagotchi, the best-selling toy product of November. Funko had two items in the top ten, both PREVIEWS Exclusive POP! Rides: Marvel Classic Ghost Rider Vinyl Figures, with the glow-in-the-dark edition ranking #2 and the regular edition ranking #3. Kotobukiya also had two items in the top ten, the Marvel Now: Venom ArtFX Statue at #4 and the Marvel Premier Collection: Psylocke Statue at #10. DC Collectibles had four items in the top ten: the DC Icons: “Death of Superman” Doomsday Vs. Superman Deluxe Action Figure 2-Pack at #5, the Justice League Movie: Batman Statue at #6, the Bat Signal Prop at #7, and the Justice League Movie: Superman Statue at #9. Finally, Diamond Select Toys’ Batman: The Animated Series: Harley Quinn 25th-Anniversary Deluxe PVC Figure ranked #9.

Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder RPG: Ultimate Wilderness Sourcebook was November’s best-selling game product and one of the nine Paizo products in the top ten. Also in the top ten, NECA/WizKids’ DC HeroClix: Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls Booster Brick ranked #2.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS34.29%34.52%
DC ENTERTAINMENT33.71%39.37%
IMAGE COMICS8.07%8.26%
IDW PUBLISHING4.04%3.66%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.20%2.15%
DARK HORSE COMICS2.08%1.53%
BOOM! STUDIOS2.06%1.61%
VIZ MEDIA1.34%0.53%
TITAN COMICS1.31%1.07%
ONI PRESS1.23%0.76%
OTHER NON-TOP 109.68%6.54%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 DOLLARSUNITS
NOVEMBER 2017 VS. OCTOBER 2017
COMICS-3.63%-4.73%
GRAPHIC NOVELS19.29%27.04%
TOTAL COMICS/GN3.11%-2.54%
TOYS45.65%39.93%
NOVEMBER 2017 VS. NOVEMBER 2016
COMICS-9.45%-13.28%
GRAPHIC NOVELS2.21%-1.73%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-5.80%-12.36%
TOYS-4.88%-20.66%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
COMICS-9.89%-8.38%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-9.32%-11.72%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-9.72%-8.65%
TOYS-11.01%-18.12%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHERCOMICS SHIPPEDGRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPEDMAGAZINES SHIPPEDTOTAL

SHIPPED

DC ENTERTAINMENT95360131
MARVEL COMICS85460131
IMAGE COMICS6814082
IDW PUBLISHING4326069
BOOM! STUDIOS2516041
TITAN COMICS2310841
VIZ MEDIA040040
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT259034
DARK HORSE COMICS1412026
ONI PRESS82010
OTHER NON-TOP 1015624430430

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1$4.99SEP170245-MDC
2DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 LENTICULAR EDITION$5.99SEP170247DC
3THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1$3.99AUG170173DC
4BATMAN LOST #1$4.99AUG170170DC
5BATMAN #35$2.99SEP170276-MDC
6BATMAN #34$2.99SEP170274-MDC
7BATMAN: THE DEVASTATOR #1$3.99AUG170172-MDC
8CAPTAIN AMERICA #695$3.99SEP170802-MMAR
9BATMAN ANNUAL #2$4.99SEP170278DC
10STAR WARS #38$3.99SEP170965-MMAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1STAR WARS: DARTH VADER VOL. 1: IMPERIAL MACHINE TP$17.99AUG171045MAR
2DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE… AGAIN TP$15.99AUG171018MAR
3THE FLASH VOL. 4: RUNNING SCARED TP$14.99AUG170320DC
4WONDER WOMAN VOL. 4: GODWATCH TP$16.99AUG170329DC
5RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 1 TP$19.99JUL151482ONI
6STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE ADAPTATION TP$19.99AUG171049MAR
7JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI: CAPTAIN PHASMA TP$16.99AUG171050MAR
8SUPERMAN VOLUME 4: BLACK DAWN TP$16.99AUG170325DC
9STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL: SON OF DATHOMIR TP$15.99AUG171046MAR
10JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 4: ENDLESS TP$16.99AUG170324DC

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1UNDISPUTED STREET FIGHTER HC$39.99JUL171680DYN
2BACK ISSUE #101$34.95AUG172086TWO
3GRIMM FAIRY TALES ADULT COLORING BOOK VOLUME 1$12.99OCT151871ZEN
4HARRY MOON: HARRY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL HC$16.99JAN179078RAB
5LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC$34.99SEP120055DAR
6OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOLUME 47$29.95APR171765-MGEM
7BERNIE WRIGHTSON ARTIFACT EDITION HC$125.00JUN170552IDW
8LEGACY: COLOR NOVELLA FOR YOU TO COLOR HC$19.99JUL170107DAR
9THE WALKING DEAD ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR)$14.99FEB160615IMA
10HONEY MOON: CHRISTMAS HC$16.99JAN179079RAB

TOP 10 TOYS

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1CHIBI TAMAGOTCHIMAR178821BAN
2POP RIDES! MARVEL: CLASSIC GHOST RIDER GLOW-IN-THE-DARK VINYL FIGUREJUL178584FUN
3POP RIDES! MARVEL: CLASSIC GHOST RIDER VINYL FIGUREJUL178585FUN
4MARVEL NOW: VENOM ARTFX+ STATUEMAY172821KOT
5DC ICONS: DOOMSDAY VS. SUPERMAN DELUXE FIGURE 2-PACKMAY170374DC
6JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE: BATMAN STATUEMAY170370DC
7BAT SIGNAL PROPMAY170373DC
8BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES: HARLEY QUINN 25TH-ANNIVERARY DELUXE PVC FIGUREAPR172648DST
9JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE: SUPERMAN STATUEMAY170371DC
10MARVEL PREMIER COLLECTION: PSYLOCKE STATUEAPR172652DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1PATHFINDER RPG: ULTIMATE WILDERNESSSEP173077PAI
2DC HEROCLIX: HARLEY QUINN AND THE GOTHAM GIRLS BOOSTER BRICKJUN173406NEC
3PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITIONAPR168770PAI
4PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOKJUN091729PAI
5PATHFINDER RPG: BESTIARY 2 POCKET EDITIONAUG173198PAI
6STARFINDER RPG: ALIEN ARCHIVE HCAUG173202PAI
7STARFINDER PAWNS: ALIEN ARCHIVE PAWN BOXSEP173078PAI
8PATHFINDER RPG: BOOK OF THE DAMNED HCJUL173377PAI
9PATHFINDER RPG: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT POCKET EDITIONAUG173199PAI
10TOME OF BEASTS HCJUN168476PAI

Unboxing: Bad Mask Graphic Novel by Jon Chad

This might be a first, we’re doing an unboxing of BOOM! Studios and BOOM! Box‘s multi-format graphic novel, Bad Mask by Jon Chad.

Pushing the boundaries of storytelling the story focuses on a young girl names Gaby who joins a super powered terrorist organization who struggles against a hero named Metal Metro. But, what if Metal Metro isn’t what it seems to be?

Presented through multiple formats the graphic novel is an interesting tale that challenges the reader to put it all together.

We open up and show off the box and what you’ll get.

You can get yours now:
Amazon or TFAW

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Metaphase, a Graphic Novel Featuring the World’s First Superhero with Down syndrome, Goes Back to Print

Alterna Comics has announced that the Metaphase graphic novel by Chip Reece, Kelly Williams, and Peter Simeti, has sold out and is going back to print to fill a surge in demand.

Metaphase, originally created in 2014 and published in 2015, tells the story of Ollie, a boy with Down syndrome, that wants to be just like his superhero dad.  When a disingenuous company known as Meta-Makers promises to turn anyone into a superhero, Ollie signs up, and is turned into one of the most powerful heroes the world has ever known — but at what cost?

Inspired by his son Ollie, who has Down syndrome, Chip Reece created a superhero story that is both unique and inclusive.

Simeti in the announcement said:

Metaphase is a prime example of how important comic books and graphic novels are.  The heart of the story is a universal one, it’s about wanting to achieve something and do something important with your life, we all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations — everyone’s had obstacles in their life — but it’s what you do to overcome those obstacles; that’s what makes a hero.  In the story, and in real life, Ollie is a hero.

Metaphase can still be found at various bookstores and comic shops throughout the world, though most are sold out at this point.  For online shoppers, the title can be back-ordered on Amazon and the site expects to have copies ready to send out over the next two weeks.

 

Review: Skim

Life as an outsider, can be rough for teenagers.  As being new to a place, you get everybody’s eyes on you, wondering who you are and if you fit in. Never mind you have your own anxieties, about how the school is going to be. The reality is most teenagers just want to be left alone, and be invisible.

I remember high school, being somewhat fun for myself as I had friends in just about all my classes and outside of them. I always wondered about those quiet kids that kept their heads down and tried to stay out of everybody’s way. As high school can be unforgiving and can also be memorable, it just all depends where you are in the class system. In Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s Skim, one of those quiet teenagers endures a series of trials where she suddenly the ire in everyone’s eyesight.

In the opening pages we meet Skim, or as her government name is Kimberly, but some call her Goth, because she is a practicing Wicca. Her life is ordinary, until the boyfriend of the most popular girl, kills himself, and everyone looks at Skim, assuming she is the source of his demise. Her anxieties increase, as her depression becomes even worse, as her crush is a quirky teacher. By book’s end, she finds out she is the most normal person in her school, as the people around her, were the ones who struggled with fitting in.

Overall, an excellent book, that proves the Tamakis are masters of storytelling in sequential art. The story by Mariko Tamaki is relatable, funny and emotionally gratifying. The art by Jillian Tamaki is absorbing and beautiful. Altogether, a great book that’s a testimonial to being yourself is the only way to be.

Story: Mariko Tamaki Art: Jillian Tamaki
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You

vIn your life, you get to meet many people from many walks of life. Ever, so often, you may find people you may even like. Even rarer than both of those situations, is that you find someone you connect to. I know most people usually get love and connection tangled with each other, but they really are different.

The people you fall in love with, regardless of your sexual orientation, usually you lust is somewhere in the mix. When it comes to connection, it becomes a little harder to discern, especially if you are attracted to them. This is where I believe most human beings miss some of their strongest connections, not trusting their instincts in most cases. Yumi Sakugawa’s I Think I am In Friend-Love With You talks abut those connections where lust is nowhere to be found.

In the opening pages, Sakugawa explains exhaustively that, this love is purely platonic, and is only to be measured in how awesome she thinks of her friend. She gets into the coordination of texting and Facebook messaging your friend, just hang out, and in nonsexual way. She also dives into the connections, of liking the same things, thinking some of the same thing as funny and swapping favorite books. By book’s end, she makes a strong case for finding someone who is your “BFF”.

Overall, a funny, awkward, and sometimes way too relatable book, that’s talks about those world class bonds that connect true friends. The story by Sakugawa is hilarious and intimate. The art by Sakugawa complements the story well. Altogether, a book that everyone who has a true friend, through thick and thin, will be able to relate to.

Story: Yumi Sakugawa Art: Yumi Sakugawa
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

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