Tag Archives: jeremy rock

Review: The Eighth Seal and Glitterbomb #1

glitterbomb_01-1Earlier this summer I read James Tynion and Jeremy Rock’s The Eighth Seal, released in July by IDW Publishing. I enjoyed it but passed on reviewing because I didn’t have much to say on it at the time. Yet I recently read Image Comic’s new release Glitterbomb, by Jim Zub, and found enough common threads between them that I decided to revisit. Both center on female characters in visible professions where they are subjected to scrutiny and criticism; both women are slowly gaining awareness of dark forces within them, and both begin by diving right into the action.

We meet Farrah, the aging, down-on-her-luck actress at the forefront of Glitterbomb, as she is being grilled by an agent who can’t find an angle that makes her sellable. He is less than tactful in expressing this concern, and by the second page his head is being violently penetrated by a stinger-tipped tongue that has thrust forth from Farrah’s mouth and into his. As it retracts we see her features transform from black-eyed and split-lipped back to the Jane Average from page 1. “Oh God… It happened. AGAIN.” From there the issue takes us back through the last six hours of Farrah’s life. She encounters a manipulative, platitude-spewing competitor at an audition, returns to her anxiety-inducing homelife as a frazzled single mother, and reveals to the readers what, exactly, happened along the way to warrant her saying “AGAIN.”

EighthSeal_TPB-CoverEighth Seal’s headliner, First Lady Amelia Greene, begins her story at her therapist’s office, where she is prompted to share the details of “another incident.” She tells him of a vision she experienced, in which storytime with a local kindergarten class descended into feeding time for a six-eyed, tentacled monstrosity that burst through her human shell. The arc of this collection follows Amelia as her visions become increasingly common and invasive, drawing intense media scrutiny over her regular fainting spells and strange behavior. We receive a few hints at the nature of the monster that’s haunting her, but I found myself feeling less satisfied by the end than I did with Glitterbomb. Seal, at 122 pages, is the first TPB of five and takes its time developing, whereas Glitterbomb manages to set an equally satisfying amount of world-building into motion in a premiere issue of 40 pages.

Both monsters offer satisfying displays of body horror, but I personally prefer the more simple design of Glitterbomb’s baddie. Whereas the creature Amelia sees herself as is more aesthetically violent, and her position as first lady makes the scale of potential destruction more global, I like the restrained design of Farrah’s possessor better. (It also makes for a nice visual vaginal metaphor in the spirit of Predator, or the facehuggers of Alien.) A key difference is that Amelia’s alter-ego presents itself to her internally, at least at this point in the series. The physical transformation always comes in the form of a vision that manifests itself in the real world as a blackout period. Farrah, however, experiences her physical change live and in-person.

Jeremy Rock’s linework in Seal is very rounded and clean, a look that I usually associate with cartoons that are kid friendly. I don’t think that was an active intention in designing the content, but it did make the content that much more effectively unsettling. Glitterbomb, illustrated by Djibril Morrissett-Phan, is slightly more gritty in its look. The aesthetic differences here are pretty fitting; Amelia is a public political figure with a refined reputation to uphold, and Farrah is an out of work actress going through rough times.

The coloring work is excellent in both. While they each utilize similar palettes, Nolan Woodard and Michael Spicer bring deeper saturation and more lighting effects to Seal while K. Michael Russell’s work on Glitterbomb has more texture to it. Despite both being digital review copies, Glitterbomb still looked like a paper comic compared to Seal. Comparing them side-by-side made me think of the difference between film and video.

Overall I enjoyed both quite a bit, but it took a second reading of Eighth Seal to appreciative it, and there could have been more of a payoff by the end of the first volume. Both titles left me wanting more, but I predict (and hope) Glitterbomb will deliver more swiftly.

The Eighth Seal TPB

Story: James T. Tynion IV Art: Jeremy Rock
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Glitterbomb #1

Story: Jim Zub Art: Djibril Morrissett-Phan
Story: 7.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: The Eighth Seal

The Eighth Seal

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a & c)

First Lady Amelia Greene has been suffering from horrific visions—visions of herself transforming into something unnatural and bloodthirsty. As the hallucinations worsen, she seeks professional help, but this all must be kept secret for fear of a political scandal. While her husband and members of the White House staff grow increasingly concerned, Amelia learns those closest to her know more about these visions than they let on.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 124 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-658-4

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Preview: The Eighth Seal #5 (of 5)

The Eighth Seal #5 (of 5)

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a) • Lukas Ketner (c)

The fate of the United States of America rests in the hands of First Lady Amelia Greene, but the creature inside of her has left her mind in shambles, and there may be no hope.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: The Eighth Seal #4 (of 5)

The Eighth Seal #4 (of 5)

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a) • Riley Rossmo (c)

As First Lady Amelia Greene’s visions grow worse, her husband comes to terms with the horrifying truth. The Conspiracy of The Eighth Seal surrounds him, and those behind it have their own plans for America’s future.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: The Eighth Seal #3 (of 5)

The Eighth Seal #3 (of 5)

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a) • Vanesa R. Del Rey (c)

As the conspirators behind the power of the Eighth Seal reveal themselves at the highest level of US Government, the First Lady’s struggle against her horrific visions hit dangerous new heights. Is the monster inside under their control, or does it have its own agenda?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: The Eighth Seal #2 (of 5)

The Eighth Seal #2 (of 5)

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a) • Ming Doyle (c)

A horrific conspiracy has lurked at the back of American government for hundreds of years, and it seems First Lady Amelia Cole is caught in the conspirators’ machinations. What do her visions have to do with the terrifying secret of the Eighth Seal?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Review: The Eighth Seal #1

EighthSeal_01-pr_page7_image1The Eighth Seal is a horror book by James Tynion IV that was originally penned back in 2013, while he was making his bones at DC. It was released as a web comic through Mark Waid’s site Thrillbent.com. If you missed it, like I did, you can now pick up the IDW Publishing print release this Wednesday. And, I highly recommend you do so.

Tynion has been making a name himself as a top-notch horror comic book writer; and this creator-owned opus, was one of his earliest creations. It’s got apocalyptic demonic possession hints of The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist. Also, Jeremy Rock’s nightmarish art is darkly hypnotic.

Described as one woman’s visceral nightmares bleeding into reality as she struggles to live in the political spotlight. Is she losing her mind, or do these visions hold some darker truth?

The story focuses on Amelia, the current First Lady, who battles the savage evil spirits plaguing her psyche. Each mental episode murderously escalates into her reality.

I’m hooked. This one has been added to my pull list.

Story: James Tynion IV  Art: Jeremy Rock
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

 

Preview: The Eighth Seal #1 (of 5)

The Eighth Seal #1 (of 5)

James Tynion IV (w) • Jeremy Rock (a & C)

One woman’s visceral nightmares bleed into reality as she struggles to live in the political spotlight. Is she losing her mind, or do these visions hold some darker truth?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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