Tag Archives: graphic novels

Preview: Amazing World of Gumball OGN Vol. 3: Recipe For Disaster SC

Amazing World of Gumball OGN Vol. 3: Recipe For Disaster SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers:  Megan Brennan, Kate Sherron
Artist: Katy Farina, Kate Sherron
Cover Artist: Katy Farina
Price: $14.99

In this third origial graphic novel of The Amazing World of Gumball, Darwin and Richard love the Annual Elmore Bake-Off, and this year, they finally rememebered to sign up. But when a Gumball from the future travels back in time to warn Anais and present-day Gumball of the repercussions of beating the current champion Bobert, they’re faced with a choice: let Darwin and Mr. Dad follow their dreams…or save the world.

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Preview: Ravina the Witch?

Ravina the Witch?

Writer/Artist: Junko Mizuno
HC – FC – 48pp – $24.99 – On sale in comic book stores: May 3
On sale in book stores: June 6
ISBN: 9781785858536

Once upon a time, on the coast of a tiny European country, there was an enormous cloud of toxic fumes. In this cloud lived a young girl named Ravina. And she is about to be unleashed on the human world!

A bewitching and beautiful tale of an orphan girl who was raised by crows in a trash heap. One day, a dying witch gifts her with a mysterious magic wand and her life changes forever! Now, the human world is hers to play with… Or will this land of fear and corruption prove too much for the fledgling witch? In a time of witch hunts, Ravina must have her wits about her!

Soon to be the subject of a highly-anticipated art exhibition in Los Angeles!

Review: Hostage

In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world.

Artist and writer Guy Delisle recounts André’s experience in Hostage the new graphic novel from Drawn & Quarterly that’s one of the most fascinating graphic novels I’ve read this year. Delisle recounts André’s experience in an almost 500 page book that goes over the details no matter how mundaine it may seem. And I think that’s what’s most fascinating about it all. This isn’t a story where André is being taken out and his life threatened, that experience comes from his head. Instead, the graphic novel is actually almost ordinary in a way. Day in and day out André is handcuffed in his setting given soup and bread to eat and recounting the days. How he spent the three months and what was occuring on his side is the interesting part.

This isn’t a story about negotiations and failed transfers. Instead, this story focuses on what André imagines is going on, or just straight up ponders. Why was a photo taken? Why did he have to provide a phone numbers? Telling the story only from André’s perspective provides us the reader a confinement that reflects what André experienced. For pages and pages the book devotes itself to the soup André eats and how his wrist deals with the handcuffs. Because, that’s what André experienced. We see how André stayed alert during his time, how he counted the days, and his general thoughts. In reality though, we only see and experience what André did.

Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. For those in the nonprofit sector or want to see the power of graphic journalist, Hostage is a fascinating read.

But, what struck me most, and Delisle enhances with his art is how far from an action movie it all is. Seriously, I want to go pack and see how much is devoted to discussing soup. But, the way it’s all presented is in a way so that we the reader who are unfamiliar with André’s experience don’t know what’s happening next. So, through the mundane tension increases as the story goes on.

Hostage is one of the most fascinating releases this year in both its story, attention to detail, and how it’s laid out. For a slice of real life through graphic journalism, this is a must get.

Story: Guy Delisle Art: Guy Delisle
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea

Hellboy sets sail from the wreckage of a deserted island only to cross paths with a ghost ship. Taken captive by the phantom crew that plans to sell him to the circus, Hellboy is dragged along by a captain who will stop at nothing in pursuit of a powerful sea creature.

Following the events of Hellboy: The Island, Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea is a story that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the greater Hellboy mythology. The ability to enjoy various stories, either way, is something that stands out for writer Mike Mignola‘s world. Mignola writes this story along with Gary Gianni. Gianni also provides art.

Into the Silent Sea takes inspiration from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner giving its own spin on to the story. Taking a somewhat poetic style the story has Hellboy brought aboard a cursed ship using some of the ideas of the classic poem to spin its own tale of horror and suspense.

While there’s some interesting things there as far as the comic’s use of the classic poem, the real draw is Gary Gianni’s art which is jaw-dropping in its style and detail. Gianni feels like he takes inspiration from Gustave Doré and his wood engraving, of which he has done some of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. That combination of art and story combine to create an experience that you just don’t find often in comics a poetic like story enhanced by an art style that itself is reminiscent of a classic style. It’s a unique experience that stands out from a crowded comic market. A visual and narrative experience that you just don’t get any more.

Beautiful and haunting is the best description of this story which is not only an entertaining read but whose art transcends everything. This is a comic that you’ll spend hours looking at every small detail Gianni includes within and appreciate that this is just something that comes once a year if we’re lucky.

Story: Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni Art: Gary Gianni Cover Art: Mike Mignola
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Small Favors: The Definitive Girly Porno Collection

SMALL FAVORS: THE DEFINITIVE GIRLY PORNO COLLECTION

(W/A/C/CA) Colleen Coover
AGE RATING: Mature, 18+
FORMAT: Hardcover, 6”x9”, B&W
GENRE: Erotica
PRICE: $29.99
PAGE COUNT: 256

Small Favors, the critically-acclaimed girly porno comic by Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Colleen Coover, is back in print in a deluxe hardcover edition! Join Annie and her tiny taskmaster Nibbil in fun, erotic adventures sure to make you blush.

This omnibus edition includes volumes one and two of Small Favors, the never-before-collected color special, behind-the-scenes materials, and a brand-new introduction by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel)!

Matt Fraction and Albert Monteys release Solid State, a Graphic Novel Accompaniment to Jonathan Coulton’s New Concept Album

Writer Matt Fraction and artist Albert Monteys will team up with singer-songwriter/internet phenomenon Jonathan Coulton for the high-concept graphic novel Solid State to accompany his concept album of the same name this July.

Two guys, connected by a name and hundreds of years, somehow stand at the end of man’s beginning, and the beginning of man’s end. But…it’s funny? Also kind of a nightmare. But mostly funny? A funny science-FACTion nightmare about the end of everything, but how that’s all kind of okay.

Solid State TP (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0365-2, Diamond code: MAY170645) hits comic book stores Wednesday, July 26th and bookstores Tuesday, August 1st. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, June 5th.

C2E2 2017: Mike Richardson and Paul Chadwick Pen a Wish out of Water

Dark Horse Comics has announced Best Wishes, an original graphic novel from Dark Horse founder and writer Mike Richardson and Eisner Award–winning writer/artist Paul Chadwick. Cowritten by Richardson and Chadwick, Best Wishes is Chadwick’s first comics work since 2013!

When two strangers cast coins into a Central Park fountain, their dreams and desires become magically intertwined. Cal wants fame and respect and Mary craves true love from her pro-quarterback boyfriend, but destiny weaves a tangled fabric. Best Wishes is a Woody Allen-esque tale of New York, meme madness, fame’s price, and secrets of the heart.

Best Wishes hits shelves November 8, 2017.

Review: Sand + Bone

Sean Hitcher has just returned from war. He didn’t die in Iraq, but part of him wishes that he did. He’s home now, back in the small Midwestern town where he grew up. But he is haunted by nightmarish visions of killing and carnage that seem to be the result of severe PTSD. But are they? Is there something he’s missing…

As mysterious acts of violence spread throughout the town, Sean begins to wonder if there’s more going on than he originally thought. What terror did he experience on the battlefield, and what horrifying secret did he bring back with him?

Written by J.T. Krul with art by Andrea Mutti, Sand + Bone is a fascinating graphic novel being released at Barnes & Noble. Bringing together the Iraq War, PTSD, and a small town setting Krul has created a story which is perfect for horror fans and at the same time has a deeper theme of the horrors soldiers bring home with them.

What really impressed me about Krul’s writing is the fact I wasn’t sure what was really happening when it came to the acts of violence in the town. I had my guesses, and in the end the revelation is something I feel like I’ve seen before, but Krul keeps us guessing until the very end.

On a deeper level, Krul uses the horror themes of the story to explore the actual horrors of war. Mixing in flashbacks with flashes of violence, you can easily see the allegory going on, that war turns man into monsters and peaceful individuals into killers. It unleashes the monster within and we as a people need to recognize that and treat those who need it lest the monster is let loose back home.

Mutti’s art masterfully captures the depressed small town location while at the same time keeping the vibe consistent with the horror themes. The art provides us glimpses and flashes of what’s going on but never full spells it out, an excellent decision that adds to the mystery of it all.

Sand + Bone is an excellent example of using entertainment to explore current socio-political issues and raise awareness of work that needs to be done. My only knock is the abrupt ending that felt more like a curtain suddenly being dropped than a flowing ending. Hopefully, we’ll get more of this story or an exploration of the world where Krul and Mutti can continue to expound upon this solid start.

Story: J.T. Krul Art: Andrea Mutti
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

Adaptive Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Roughneck

Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage…and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind. Touching and harrowing, this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated story about family, heritage, and breaking the cycle of violence.

Jeff Lemire writes and provides art in this new graphic novel which defies expectations and presents a story about family and an abusive past. The story isn’t flashy, it’s about family drama and an individual’s choice as to how they deal with what’s in front of them.

At its heart, Roughneck is a story about abuse, and by setting it in Canada, Lemire layers the story on top of the history of abuse faced by people of the First Nations in Canada. The story itself is a discussion of the cyclical nature of things and the abuse faced by those individuals by the colonizing white individuals. In this case, the microcosm is Derek and his sister Beth, and the abuse by their father.

At first read, the story is about two individuals and their adversity, but when you dive deeper into it Lemire creates an allegory for history and the reverberation that’s felt today by some of the people of Canada. As a whole, the story is a haunting one that leaves the reader in a funk, like a depressing drama, but its ability to create emotion in the reader is a sign at the talent of Lemire who is one of the most consistent writers in the comic business.

The art by Lemire matches the haunting nature of the story with a minimal use of color in Lemire’s distinct style. I absolutely love his art in general and find myself lingering on every page to catch all of the detail. Lemire is one who only puts what’s needed on the page, and in some cases some of that transcends the graphic novel with works of art that deserve to be hung on walls to be admired.

While set in Canada, Roughneck is enjoyable by all with a story that focuses on the pain of two individuals. But, beneath that Lemire explores the abuse of a nation towards its people. Easily one of the best graphic novels released this year so far.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Jeff Lemire
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Gallery 13 provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Oni Press Announces Three New Series, Dead of Winter, Made Men, and Spectacle

Oni Press announced three new series at the Diamond Retailer Summit 2017 in Chicago, IL: Dead of Winter, Made Men, and Spectacle.

Dead of Winter is a new horror-comedy mini-series based on the smash hit tabletop board games by Plaid Hat Games. Featuring the talents of Eisner Award-nominated writer Kyle Starks and Eisner Award-nominated artist Gabo, and cover art illustrated by Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree, Dead of Winter arrives in comic shops this August. Fans and retailers can also look forward to a pretty freaking funny variant cover by Erica Henderson, as well.

In the pantheon of heroes, none are more lovable and loyal than everyone’s beloved good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV star turned zombie killing machine just wants to make friends and be a good boy. As his fellow survivors scavenge for supplies in the frigid wasteland, will Sparky be able to protect his companions from threats both undead and not yet undead?

A hilarious mix of The Walking Dead and Airbud (no, really), the Dead of Winter comic series draws from the incredibly fun and diverse sandbox of characters from the hit board games, starring fan-favorite canine, Sparky the Stunt Dog.

Get your fuel and food ready for the arrival of Dead of Winter #1 on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at local comic book shops and on ComiXology! Dead of Winter #1 will solicit in the June for August PREVIEWS catalog, in comic book shops on Wednesday, May 31. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers is Monday, July 10.

Made Men is a new action dark-comedy mini-series written by New York Times best-selling author Paul Tobin and illustrated by Arjuna Susini with colors by Gonzalo Duarte, arriving in comic shops this September.

After an ambush leaves Detroit Special Ops Officer Jutte Shelley left for dead (and the rest of her squad DEFINITELY dead), she decides to go into the family business. You see, Jutte’s actually a Frankenstein, and thanks to her ancestors’ various experiments, she has the ability and the know-how to bring people back from the dead. So that’s exactly what she does with her squad: brings them back to life (using some non-human parts in the process) so they can get revenge on those who had the audacity to try and kill them.

Made Men #1 arrives in comic book shops and on ComiXology on Wednesday, September 6, 2017! Made Men #1 will solicit in the July for September PREVIEWS catalog, in comic book shops on Wednesday, June 28. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers is Monday, August 14.

Spectacle is a three-volume YA graphic novel series about a supernatural murder mystery by Megan Rose Gedris. Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn’t believe in anything supernatural… until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they’re sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. But how can you solve a mystery when everyone around has their own shady secrets?

Spectacle, Volume 1 is slated for publication in Winter 2018.

 

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