Tag Archives: graphic novels

Preview: The Coldest Winter

THE COLDEST WINTER

(W) Antony Johnston
(A/CA) Steven Perkins
AGE RANGE: 15 and up
GENRE: Crime, Espionage
PRICE: $19.99
184 PAGES

Writer Antony Johnston and artist Steven Perkins return to Cold War-era Berlin for this prequel to The Coldest City.

After a string of botched assignments for MI6 in Berlin, David Perceval is being sent home. Even his final mission before leaving—the defection of a Soviet scientist—goes badly wrong, as the coldest winter for 30 years descends on Europe.

With transport out of Berlin impossible, and the KGB searching everywhere for their lost scientist, Perceval must improvise a deadly game of cat and mouse through the frozen city to keep the Russians at bay, and deliver his own unique brand of revenge!

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Roye Okupe Discusses E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams LIVE this Monday

exo-waleE.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams, a superhero story set in a futuristic 2025 Africa, follows Wale Williams, an impetuous young adult who inherits a suit with super powers after his father goes missing. Tricked into returning home to Lagoon City, Nigeria following a five year absence, Wale embarks on a journey to investigate his father s mysterious disappearance. As he comes to understand the suit s powers, Wale realizes he must restore hope to his city by preventing catastrophic attacks from the sociopathic, Oniku, leader of an extremist group called The CREED.

On this episode of Graphic Policy Radio, we discuss the comic series with creator Roye Okupe.

Listen to the show LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Okupe is a creative specialist who holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in computer science from The George Washington University. His passion for animation led him to found YouNeek Studios in 2012, an avenue that would allow him pursue his dream of creating a diverse library of superheroes. Under that umbrella, Roye wrote, produced and directed several animated productions including, but not limited to, 2D/3D animated short films, TV commercials, show openers, music videos and much more. These productions have allowed Roye to attain much prestigious recognition such as being #5 on Ventures Africa’s list of 40 African innovators to watch.

With the superhero genre currently at the height of popularity, Roye has made it a goal to create a connected universe of heroes, with origins from locations that are currently neglected and/or ignored. In August 2015, Roye released his debut graphic novel titled: E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams Part One, a superhero story set in a futuristic Nigeria. E.X.O. was received with critical acclaim and has since been featured on CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, NBC, The Guardian, ABC7, BBC, The Huffington Post, Mashabe and more!

Listen in and Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show live this Monday.

Preview: The Theory of the Grain of Sand

The Theory of the Grain of Sand

Benoit Peeters (w) • François Schuiten (a & c)

The second book of The Obscure Cities series following The Leaning Girl. Gholam Mortiza Khan comes to Brüsel to sell some jewelry, but before the sale can be closed, Khan dies in an accident. Thus begin events sparking an investigation by Mary von Rathen: accumulation of sand in the apartment of Kristin Antipova; accumulation of stones in the house of Constant Abeels, and Maurice who is loosing weight by the day. The events have a catastrophic effect on Brüsel and time is of the essence.

Newly translated into English by Ivanka Hahnenberger and Steve Smith (translator of The Leaning Girl and The Beauty) and edited by Smith and Karen Copeland at Alaxis Press for publication by IDW.

TPB • PC • $19.99 • 128 pages • 9.375” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-489-4

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Sam Glanzman’s Voyage To The Deep Is The Next Collection From It’s Alive!

voyage-to-the-deepWith two successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns under its belt, and a third one on the horizon, It’s Alive!, an exciting new imprint of IDW Publishing, is just days away from another fully funded project in Voyage to the Deep by Sam Glanzman. This third collection from It’s Alive! is a series of comics books that have been out of print for almost 55 years and will now be collected for the first time ever!

Voyage to the Deep follows the adventures of Admiral Jonathan Leigh, as he commands the mighty Proteus (a shape-shifting atomic sub) through the deepest of Earth’s oceans, battling fanged sea creatures, arctic monsters, anti-mater generators, sonic attacks, and even terrorism!

Golden Age comic book master, and WWII veteran, Sam Glanzman has been drawing comics for over 70 years. Through It’s Alive! publisher Drew Ford’s recent efforts, many new collections of Glanzman’s out-of-print work are now back on the shelves for long-time fans to enjoy, and new readers to discover for decades to come.  Mark Waid called Glanzman “…a National treasure in the field of illustration.”, and The A.V. Club praised Glanzman as “…one of the great storytellers of 20th century comics.”

The Voyage to the Deep Kickstarter page has now reached its goal and will be another successful campaign for the young imprint, however it’s not too late to pledge your support and become a backer yourself. As a backer, you will not only be helping Sam Glanzman, but you will also be helping Ford to continue his mission of saving the history of comics, one book at a time!

The Kickstarter is currently within striking distance of its third stretch goal – every paperback copy of Voyage to the Deep turns into an over-sized hardcover when the total reaches $13,000. Head to the Voyage to the Deep Kickstarter page now to become apart of comic book history before the campaign ends on Saturday, December 3, 2016!

Preview: Adventure Time: Islands OGN

Adventure Time: Islands OGN

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Ashly Burch
Artist: Diigii Daguna
Cover Artists: Braden Lamb & Shelli Paroline
Price: $9.99

Written by Adventure Time show writer Ashly Burch and illustrated by Diigii Daguna, this original graphic novel stars Bunny Girl (a.k.a. Jo) and is set roughly a thousand years before the current Adventure Time timeline with Finn and Jake.

In the wake of the Great Mushroom War and the vampire infestation, the remaining humans of Ooo have set sail for safer shores. Disaster strikes, and Bunny Girl (aka Jo), Marceline’s precocious young friend, must brave the dangers of the wild to get back to her tribe, and maybe gain a sense of self-reliance along the way.

Features a cover illustrated by the artist team of Braden Lamb & Shelli Paroline, who were the original artists on KaBOOM!’s Adventure Time comics for the first 36 issues.

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Kickstarter Spotlight: Voyage To The Deep by Sam Glanzman

vttdcover72Voyage To The Deep follows the adventures of a shape-shifting atomic sub battling sea creatures, arctic monsters, sonic attacks and more!

Sam J. Glanzman (born December 5, 1924) is an American comic-book artist and WWII veteran, best known for his biographical war stories about his service aboard the U.S.S. Stevens (which I collected into two books earlier this year; the first containing his two A Sailor’s Story graphic novels, originally published by Marvel in the 80s, and the second containing his actual U.S.S. Stevens stories, originally published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s). He is also well known for his work on Hercules (the mythological Greek demigod); and the Charlton Comics Fightin’ Army feature The Lonely War of Willy Schultz (a Vietnam War-era serial about a German-American U.S. Army captain during World War II).

If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, they’ll publish the first ever collection of Sam Glanzman’s epic Voyage To The Deep (which will be project coordinator Drew Ford’s fifth reprint collection of his work). Voyage To The Deep follows the adventures of Admiral Jonathan Leigh, as he commands the mighty Proteus (a shape-shifting atomic sub) through the deepest of Earth’s oceans, battling fanged sea creatures, arctic monsters, anti-mater generators, sonic attacks, and even terrorism!

The project ends on December 3rd at 8:55 EST.

 

 

 

 

While we’re no longer picking crowd funding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowd funding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management

Preview: Parker: The Outfit

Parker: The Outfit

Darwyn Cooke (w & a & c)

After evening the score with those who betrayed him, and recovering the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high, living in swank hotels and enjoying the finer things in life again. Until, that is, he’s fingered by a squealer who rats him out to the Outfit for the price they put on his head… and they find out too late that if you push Parker, it better be all the way into the grave!

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 184 pages • 6” x 9” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-740-6

parker_theoutfit_tpb-cover

Preview: Pacific GN

PACIFIC GN

Writers: Romain Baudy, Martin Trystram
Artists: Romain Baudy, Martin Trystram
FC – $29.99 – On sale: November 23

Young Udo’s first mission in the Second World War is as a radio operator aboard a German U-Boat, patrolling the Pacific. In his personal effects, he carries a book banned by the Nazis. When the war hero and master of the vessel, Captain Kaleunt, tries to destroy it, the book mysteriously reappears.

pacific-1

March: Book Three Makes History and Wins the National Book Award

march-national-bookCongressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell received an unprecedented honor last night, as their book March: Book Three became the first graphic novel to ever receive the National Book Award.

The March trilogy, published by Top Shelf Productions/IDW Publishing, depicts Lewis’s firsthand account of the Civil Rights Movement, reflecting on the role of young people in the “nonviolent revolution” of the 1960s and its direct legacy in the modern day. Its previous honors include the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Eisner Award, two Harvey Awards, and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. March is rapidly being adopted by universities and public school systems from New York to San Francisco, and recently spent six continuous weeks holding the top 3 spots on the New York Times Bestseller List.

After receiving the award from Katherine Paterson, chair of the Young People’s Literature award jury, Congressman Lewis said:

This is unbelievable. His voice shook with obvious emotion as he recalled a childhood visit to the public library in rural Alabama, where we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds. Now, to come here and receive this award, with these two… it’s too much.

Nate Powell dedicated the award to his children “and their generation that will inherit this earth,” as well as to the incoming president of the United States, expressing a wish that it might transform his heart.

Andrew Aydin said:

There are two important lessons from this. One is that the story of the Movement must be told. We all must know it, if we are to understand the politics of today. And two: let the prejudice against comic books be buried once and for all.

You can watch the archived video of the ceremony’s livestream:

The three volumes of March are available wherever books are sold, separately as well as together in a slipcase set.

Review: Seraph of the End

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Listen, there is a level of bait that is great in small doses, but this is taking it to a whole different plane of existence on top of the whole vampire apocalypse business. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you obviously haven’t heard of Serpah of the End or Owari no Seraph or Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. Originally published by Shueisha and Viz Media, it is a series written by Takaya Kagami, drawn by Yamato Yamamoto, and storyboarded by Daisuke Furuya, the first two having previously worked mostly with light novels. It started 2012 and is currently still on going, mostly drawn out of the last few years with the last update being around the 11th of October at a total of 50 chapters. The anime series by Wit Studio aired 2 seasons throughout 2015, and like many series is just on hiatus while more chapters are added. The series also has 6 light novels under the title Owari no Seraph- Ichinose Guren, 16-sai no Hametsu or Serpah of the End: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen. They have also recently released the Serpah of the End: The Story of Vampire Mikaela in 2015. Wow, that’s a lot of really long titles…

Like many recent stories, Seraph of the End is centered around the end of the world, but after a virus ravages the world and allows for… Vampires to appear and decide to take over the planet since the virus won’t affect them? Listen, I know it sounds dumb, but this is the actual plot. It’s like Attack on Titan in a way only… Maybe a lot less convoluted. Anyway, the story specifically follows Yuichiro Hyakuya and his journey for vengeance against the vampires, who killed his family and rule over them. He does this by joining the Japanese Imperial Demon Army alongside a few other kids who slowly become his new-found family, all while mourning his best friend Mikaela who sacrificed himself for Yuu (as he is affectionately called by other characters). The way to join the army, I know you’re all wondering, is to make a pact with a demon. So, these kids are literary risking being possessed to fight vampires. Again, I know how this plot sounds, but it’s a lot of fun. This also isn’t including all the twists and turns that the story takes with hidden agendas and who the real villains are.

There’s a lot of things happening in this series that are hard to cover and explain without spoilers.

As stated, Yuichiro Hyakuya is the main character of the story, and boy does he play the part. He is literally all the things a main character is, hot headed a to name one. He has feels strongly about family and friends, wanting to protect anyone he considers family. Since he was 12 he has wanted to destroy all vampires for the violent murder of his family, the Hyakuya Orphanage, whether this blinds him sometimes or not, well that’s open for interpretation. To do this he joins the Demon Army and makes a pact with Asuramaru, a katana that is possessed by a demon, but he has another source of power. All I will say is he is The King of Salt.

Next is Mikaela Hyakuya and if you’re upset about spoilers… The dude is literally in the opening as teenager next to Yuu. When he sacrificed himself for his friend he was instead taken by a vampire and turned. However, he has yet to become a full vampire, as he has never drunken the blood of a human. Something has happened to him that has caused him to detest both vampires and humans, allowing to focus on one goal only: Find Yuu. That is his motivation. He also is extremely worried about meeting Yuu again, since you know… Vampire.

Literally, I cannot stress this enough. The two main characters are so incredibly devoted to each other that I can’t handle it. They go from staring at each other in the first opening credits to literally cradling each other’s faces in the second. It’s so bait filled that it’s glorious, but it also hurts me. It hurts so much.

Anyway, the next character is Shinoa Hiiragi, Yuu’s commanding officer in their specific squad. She acts much older than she is and is related to the most powerful human family in the series. She has a scythe called Shikama Doji, which apparently means Four-Scythe Child. She, like Yuu, considers her squad her family as she begins forming relationships with them. She also is the character that gets to develop feelings for Yuu, as most main female characters do.

Finally, the last character I want to cover is Guren Ichinose, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Demon Army. He also leads his own squad while being the leader of the company Yuu is a part of. He seems strict and uptight, finding weakness in many places, especially in how Yuu carries himself alongside his squad. His sort of the stand in father figure for Yuu. His demon weapon is Mahiru-no-Yo or Midday’s Night, a katana.  He was around before the fall of humanity and watched it destroy so many, including people very important to him.

There’s a lot of other characters I could cover, but there is a lot. A lot on both sides, humans and vampires and we’d all like to avoid as many spoilers as we could if possible.

This is a beautiful series; it also has a great attention to color and detail in facial expressions. I would say that the anime is a bit prettier than the manga and that’s only because you can watch the action happen fluidly. Much like a series like Haikyuu you get a feel of everything that’s happening. The series was licensed by Studio Witt, also known for Attack on Titan… which explains a lot. My AoT complaints aside the color on this series is gorgeous, certain color combinations to not be acknowledged. Blood comes off as actually thick and sort of gooey, all in good ways that show the sort of brutality in the show’s world. Hair seems thick and fluidly move in wind and action. Trust me, I’m all about that hair action and how it moves during actions, and this show delivers. It also has scenes that are genuinely painful because of how well it’s animated, like a character is dying and it legit looks awful to go through. The series was directed by Daisuke Tokudo and had episodes personally drafted by the manga’s writer for story that now goes past the manga’s current chapter. This is a good-looking show and easy to enjoy visually. It was licensed for America by Funimation and that leads us straight into how good the dub is.

This is a great dub, but it does have some interesting moments in how it was directed. I’ve only seen the full dub and a few select scenes in Japanese, but overall I think you could go for either and be happy with what you heard. As stated earlier, the dub was done by Funimation, so you know it’s a good one for the most part. It has Micah Solusod as Yuichiro, a voice actor also known for his role as Soul Eater Evans in Soul Eater or more recently as Yuri Plisetsky in Yuri!!! On Ice (which you should all go watch). Solusod has a very Johnny Young Bosch feel sometimes and I found myself wondering which one it was sometimes. It also has Jerry Jewell, as Shinya Hiiragi, who is known for many roles but perhaps best as Kyo in Fruits Basket or Russia in Axis Powers Hetalia, he’s also currently in Yuri!!! On Ice as Victor Nikiforov. I don’t think I need to go on about how good the dub is, but what about the original? It does have Miyu Irino, as Yuichiro, who is probably known best for his role as Sora in the Kingdom Hearts video games or as Todomatsu recently in Osomatsu-san. But, and I know someone’s asking, what about the music? Well, it has a pretty sweet soundtrack. The soundtrack was produced and composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, also known for his work on the Blue Exorcist series and the Attack on Titan series. Overall, I think it has a great sound that works for everything that’s happening, though it does remind me of AoT a lot at times. Sawano also helped compose the opening and ending themes to the first series, though X.U., sung by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Gemie, is probably a stand out personally. It says everything that Mika and Yuu are feeling toward each other, though you could probably read into it differently than I did. I think you could check out either and be pretty pleased with what you heard.

This series is a lot like Attack on Titan, but I, and don’t get angry, think it’s better than its predecessor. There something about it that pulls more emotions from me; I feel like I actually get to know characters before their untimely demise. I also think that this show definitely plays up the relationships characters are building a lot more fluidly.  However, I can’t ignore that it is a lot like AoT at times and many other post-apocalypse stories. It is a bit distracting when I think of certain things and how convoluted it can be at times. I’m also worried that it’s going to fall into the same political arc that AoT did, something that stagnated the series tremendously for me. Ultimately though, I enjoyed this series and all of its faults. If anything, you could check it out and see if you end up enjoying yourself.

Seraph of the End: 8/10

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