Tag Archives: graphic novels

Preview: Guerillas, Volume 4

Guerillas, Volume 4

(W/A/CA): Brahm Revel
Age Rating: Mature Themes
Genre: Action/Adventure
Price: $19.99
Page Count: 240

Southeast Asia, 1970. A troop of experimental chimpanzee soldiers have escaped from the U.S. Army and into the jungles of Vietnam. Despite being free from their captors, the chimps have continued to do exactly what they were trained to do… kill. But as memories of a time before the war begin to surface, the chimps are forced to question why they are fighting at all. In the thrilling finale to the series, their past finally catches up with them when they come face to face with their most fearsome enemy yet, a vengeance filled baboon named Adolf.

Review: Black Comix Returns

The world of comic books has always spoke to part of everyone who has picked up a comic or has been drawn to its characters through television or the movies. As children of color looks to the world and to media, for reflections of themselves, for my generation and ones before, this was a hopeless venture. This has changed for children born in the new millennia as the times have become increasingly progressive yet somewhat backwards at times.  As shows like Black Lightning, and The Runaways, gave viewers, a more realistic view of the world, this need to find images that looks like their audience has never gone way.

When I read the first Black Comix, back in 2010, I was excited to find all those new artists and follow their careers. Since I have been writing at Graphicpolicy.com, I have and many of fellow contributors devoted many of my reviews to finding artists who would otherwise not be seen by the mainstream media and that book embodied one of our goals, to highlight indie creators and publishers. In the sequel, Black Comix Returns, which was released this year, and Kickstarted last year, the reader gets a more comprehensive overview of the artists that have sprung since .One of the first creators, that caught my eye, Paris Alleyne, whose aesthetic has a serious Anime influence, and writes a book called Haven, one he works on with Kevin Parnell.

Enrique Carrion’s essay, Comics as Hip Hop, draws an interesting parallel between the evolution of hip hop music and how black comic book artists/writers, are injecting their aesthetics into mainstream comics. Shawnee & Shawnelle Gibbs‘ book, The Invention of E.J. Whitaker, mixes steampunk with alternate history and actual historical figures like Nikola Tesla into something pretty cool. In “The Room”, Joseph Illidge talks about breaking into what some consider success, and how important it is to have a minority voice in these places. The books also highlight one of my favorite creators of all time, one whose comic book series, Blackjack, rarely gets the love it deserves, but swash buckles with the best of them.

Overall, an excellent resource to find the independent black voices that comprise what is not only considered “black comics” but what is art of the ever-changing comics landscape. This helps the reader in where you have seen each artist before and where you can find them now. This books also gives fans a list of comic book conventions where you can find most of these creators gathered together in one place. Altogether, as both a fan and a comic beat writer, this book more than suffices my need to find new creators and creators that speaks to my experience.

Edited by Damian Duffy and John Jennings
Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Panel To Chords: Instrumental by Dave Chisoholm

NEW EPISODE OF PANELS TO CHORDS. This time, Ben and Maddi review Instrumental by Dave Chisoholm, a comic about a struggling trumpet player wanting to become the best musician he can, but he might inadvertently bring on the apocalypse in the process. Instrumental is a unique reading experience with a concept album by the writer/artist. What better way to talk about comics and music then a comic with original music to accompany it?

Dave Chisholm’s bandcamp for the concept album:

Review: Sci-Fu

Hip-Hop, Sci-Fi and Kung Fu all hit the turn-tables for the mash-up mix of the year! Cartoonist/force of nature Yehudi Mercado sets his sights on 1980s Brooklyn and Wax, a young mix-master who scratches the perfect beat and accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.

I grew up in the 1980s and love early rap. It regularly is found on any playlists I make. So take my love of early rap and scratching and mix it with my love of kung fu films and it really shouldn’t be a surprise as to how much I enjoyed this graphic novel.

Sci-Fu isn’t really groundbreaking material but what it does it takes a lot of fun elements, mashes them together, and creates a unique experience that’s entertaining. The structure of the graphic novel is reminiscent of video games in that there’s boss battles and “levels” in between. It completely works, especially when Mercado breaks that structure later on with a twist that’s unexpected.

The story focuses mainly on Wax but also his friends and family that are pulled in the strange dimension with him. While he trains, they attempt to have a semi-normal life both going to school and also working their ice-cream truck. It’s all weird. But a fun weird.

A lot of the comic is done in rap verses an element that really works and isn’t overused. Primarily in battles, the rhymes have that throwback style to the 80s, so those who only know rap from the 90s on might find the flow and content a little off. But, it was a different time (one I prefer).

Mercado is a talented comic creator and here he mixes his unique artistic style with a story that feels like a perfect mix together, like a solid ice cream flavor you weren’t expecting (read the comic, the metaphor works). The character designs are awesome and feature his signature but it’s how out there the world and villains are that are the real fun. The battles feel like video games, the characters are creative, the coloring pops. There’s a graffiti element to it all that beyond works. It’s also an art style (and a story) that feels like kids will love.

Reading this, you can tell Mercado is having fun with this creation. There’s lots of twists and turns and I’m not going to ruin it all. There’s a lot here I want explored more, I want to see another volume. There’s some elements that could have been fleshed out more but overall, this is an entertaining debut. I’d say it’s unexpected but Mercado is a talent where you expect something as good as this.

Story: Yehudi Mercado Art: Yehudi Mercado
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1

We’ve got an advance review of the next entry into DC Entertainment’s “Earth One” graphic novel series, Green Lantern!

Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1 is by Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman, Jordan Boyd, and Simon Bowland.

Get your copy in comic shops March 14 and book stores on March 20. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.



DC Comics​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Sophie Campbell to Release the First ‘Wet Moon’ Arc Since 2012

Oni Press has announced that, for the first time in five years, a new Wet Moon book from celebrated writer, artist, and Eisner Award Special Recognition nominee Sophie Campbell will be released. Wet Moon Book 7: Morning Cold, the final volume of the critically-acclaimed series, is slated for release November 14, 2018.

Trilby is finally out of the hospital, but she feels anything but ready to face daily life again. Even though Myrtle is in prison and Trilby is safe, everything is different and nothing feels right. Cleo, Mara, Audrey, and Martin struggle to support Trilby, but will it ever be enough? Things don’t seem like they’ll ever be the same again, and everyone must pick up the pieces and figure out where their lives are going.

Review: The Legend of the Mantamaji: Bloodlines Book One

I love when heroes over come unconquerable odds, I love it even more when they fail. This is where” the journey” comes into play, most of us cannot see the forest through the trees. I personally struggle with this, especially when I am going to through some turbulent times in my life, and wonder what is the purpose? This question, becomes even more pertinent once one gets through their “personal hell to the other side, as you do become wiser, from the lessons you learned and you know your strength of will as you realize what you can endure.

We love even more when these heroes suffer some self-injury, when they are far from perfect, and when they adjust so they can survive another day. This what has fans loving and hating characters like Daredevil and Black Panther, as they symbolize this symmetry between perfection and imperfection. AS we all fall down, but what matters most is what we do next, as licking your wounds has never solved anything but fighting back has.  In the newest storyline of Eric Dean Seaton’s epic series, The Legend Of Mantamaji,  the series follow Elijah as he faces a new threat in the first book of Bloodlines.

We find Elijah months later, still fighting injustice in his hero life but finding losses in his professional life and still reeling from the loss of his mother.  Not sure of how to get out of this slump, he gets an invite from an old, or shall I say an ex-girlfriend, who just so happens, to be the princess of a small but powerful Afrikan nation, who holds secrets, that if exposed, may be dangerous to outsiders. If that I not enough, a new threat emerges, one that is slowly taking over New York, one more sinister than he could have ever imagined. By book’s end, much more is revealed of who his old girlfriend, Yola really is and just how this new threat and her enemies might mean doom for all involved.

Overall, this book is probably one of the best installments out of this series thus far. It feels more personal and just as action packed. The story Eric Dean Seaton and David Ellis Dickerson is intricate, balanced and exciting. The art by Brandon Palas, Andrew Dalhouse and Deron Bennett is gorgeous and vibrant. Altogether, an entertaining new series that proves this hero is here to stay and deserves as much light as any hero from the big two.

Story: Eric Dean Seaton and David Ellis Dickerson
Art: Brandon Palas, Andrew Dalhouse and Deron Bennett

Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Shaka Rising: A Legend of the Warrior Prince

I remember one of the first epic miniseries I saw when I was a child, and the one that had me captivated for hours, was Shaka Zulu. The miniseries had me and my family in front the television, night after night, as we saw the making of a legend. This being made by Hollywood, of course, they need to add some fantastic elements to it. They had a witch, an oedipal relationship between Shaka and his mother and a prophecy of him ascending the throne.

Years later, with the advent of genealogy companies, many people wanted to know where their ancestors came from, especially people of color. I cannot remember anyone who wanted to know if their family was Zulu. This was all due to the miniseries, but it makes you wonder what the Hollywood told leave out. In Luke W. Molver and Mason O’Connor’s Shaka Rising, a meticulously researched book, which tells of Shaka, as a young Prince.

We meet Shaka, as a young boy, and his mother, not being the favored   wife, is relegated to secondary status. This treatment never deterred Shaka, as we find out how astute he was and how turbulent the treaty between the tribes were at the time. As he grows older, him and Sigajuna, the son of the favored wife, fight for control, one that ends in death. By book’s end, Shaka starts to show his military prowess and natural leadership ability as the Zulus fight the Ndwandwe, who enjoy the spoils of slavery.

Overall, a story I thought I knew everything about becomes even more enlightening, as new facts become uncovered in this powerful origin story. The story by Molver and O’Connor is engaging, sweeping and the perfect underdog story. The art by Molver is simply breathtaking. Altogether, this book elevates the narrative surrounding this legend, as we not only get to see a boy become a man but one who draws power form his people.

Story: Luke W. Molver and Mason O’Connor Art: Luke W. Molver
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

As a young boy growing up in a family where the women outnumbered the men, my understanding of the world came from them. I understood sexism form the stories my mother and my aunts used to tell of how often less qualified men would get promotions over them. They did not merely take these things, they often stood up because of being slighted, being overlooked and for the mere assumption that they should accept such inequity. The women that Pénelopé Bagieu writes about in Brazen, remind me so such of the fire that the women in my family often shown in my upbringing.

 In “Clementine Delait”, we find out exactly who the “bearded Lady” was and though she has been immortalized many times including Hugh Jackman’s most recent movie, that her life was not as sad, as the stories surrounded usually implored. In” Nzinga”, we find out about the queen of present day Angola, how she ruled it with an iron fist, and was more of a warrior than any other ruler during her time. In “Margaret Hamilton”, the actress best known for playing the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, was more prolific than any male actor during her time but with less acclaim. In” Las Mariposas” Minerva Maribal and her sisters, fight “the patriarchy” by refusing the advances of the dictator in in the Dominican Republic, which leads to the jailing of their family but leads to public outrage which leads to eventual replacing of the country’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo.

In “Josephina Van Gorkum”, a woman whose marriage challenges society’s ideas of coexisting between Catholics and Protestants. In  ”Lozen”, an Apace chief,  who vows to never marry  and breaks centuries of tradition within the tribe,  but becomes of one of the tribe’s fiercest warriors. In “Annette Kellerman”, we find about a swimmer in Australia, who used the sport to build muscles due to her contraction polio at a young age and would go on to break world records and make movies. The last story that caught my eye” Delia Akeley”, who becomes one of the world’s first prominent researchers in ethnography.

Overall, these stories and the many more included that I did not speak of are each equally entertaining, enlightening, and important. The stories by Bagieu, is at times, heartbreaking, melancholy, hopeful, but at all times masterfully told. The art by Bagieu, is beautiful, engaging and breathtaking. Altogether, this book is not only of our time but for all times, as these women deserve as many or more pedestals. Their accomplishments have changed the world.

Story: Pénelopé Bagieu Art: Pénelopé Bagieu
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Special artist-approved edition of Rich Tommaso’s Clover Honey arrives this April

Lovingly redrawn, relettered, and redesigned by creator Rich Tommaso, the Clovery Honey Special Edition hits stores this April from Image Comics.

Clovery Honey tells the story of Abigail, an aspiring hitwoman who’s determined to prove her value to the family—and who’s just hit the jackpot. Her cousin and former mentor is on the lam with a big briefcase full of mob dough, and the big boss wants Abigail to hunt him down. She’ll have to brave the wilds of Newark, overpriced parking, traffic jams, and bad hair days to get the job done.

Clovery Honey Special Edition (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0796-4, Diamond code: FEB180544) hits comic book stores Wednesday, April 11th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, March 12th.

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