Tag Archives: Mother Russia

Alterna Reviews: The Chair #2, Scrimshaw #2, Mother Russia #2, Trespasser #2 and The Wicked Righteous #1

chair 2Over the past two months and change Alterna Comics have been publishing comics on newsprint paper, which has had the effect of dropping cover prices on these bi-monthly titles to as low as $1 in the case of The Chair, but the majority have been priced at the still ridiculously low price of $1.50. Consequently, despite Graphic Policy probably receiving some review copies, the following comics were all reviewed from the print versions that were purchased at a physical location. This had the benefit of allowing me to have a multilayered experience not only reading the comics but literally feeling the newsprint between my fingers as the distinctive smell drifted toward my nose; yeah, it’s safe to say that these gems tugged at my nostalgia for a bygone era (and bygone prices).

As already mentioned, the following comics were all purchased, and took a grand total of $6 out of my pocket (closer to $8 Canadian dollars if you need specifics), and all are worth the money I paid for them. Now some of you may be wondering why I say $6 when there were five newsprint comics released this week, and the answer is that my LCS didn’t get The Chair, so I did read the review copy for that (were it not for this review roundup I would have waited for their order to arrive before reading).scrimshaw2

Let’s start with the review copy, shall we?

Written, inked and lettered by Peter Simeti with art by Kevin Christensen The Chair will cost me $1 when I eventually buy it. This issue is in-fucking-tense. From what I understand prison is never going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but the prison in The Chair gives an entirely new meaning  to the phrase “hell hole.” The dark and murky artwork is a little clearer than last issue because I didn’t read this on paper, but the grime and stark horror of the story stands out. The Chair #2 is a much more psychologically disturbing issue than the last, and the art and lettering are powerful and effective in allowing your brain to see what isn’t shown. For $1, this is a fantastic buy. Overall: 8.5

Up next, and in the order that my LCS put them in the bag, is Scrimshaw #2. Written by Eric Borden, with art by Dave Mims and letterer Spike O’Laochdha, this comic is a blend of post apocalyptic high seas adventure featuring a European samurai that blends science and sword play in  way that technically shouldn’t work yet kind of does. I’ll be honest with you, Scrimshaw is the series that’s grabbed me the least out of Alterna’s newsprint comics for the same reasons that a lot of people will love it; where they may see a perfect blend of numerous genres, all I can see is a story that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Still, it’s worth picking up all the same. Overall: 6.75mother russia 2

Part two in a three part World War Two era miniseries, Mother Russia #2 by Jeff McComsey starts with the Russian sniper realizing that the man who just saved her and the newborn baby she seems to be caring for from a horde of zombies is a German soldier. This issue focuses on whether the two of them can learn to live together in a world that has ended, or whether old enmities are still worth pursuing. I love the art direction here, and with McComsey handling everything he’s able to lead you through the beats effortlessly whether it’s silently or with words. This short WWII zombie comic series doesn’t strive for the overly complicated action sequence driven story, but as with all great zombie stories it focuses on the interactions between the characters within the comic. trespasser 2Absolutely worth your time and money. Overall: 8.25

The next comic from the stack is the oddly chilling Trespasser #2 written by Justin M. Ryan with art by Kristian Rossi and lettering by DC Hopkins, the story is about a father and daughter slowly starving to death in the American south somewhere who come across an alien. What is essentially an almost psychological horror story with a healthy dose of E.T., Trespasser is a really interesting read – you feel that you’re missing something, that something isn’t quite right, but that’s not because Ryan has forgotten to tell us anything, but rather he’s able to effortlessly convey the sense of unease that the characters are feeling. There’s an understated terror here, and it makes for some uncomfortably exciting reading. Overall: 8wicked rigteous #1

Finally this week there is The Wicked Righteous #1 by writer Terry Mayo, artists Lucas Romero, Colourist Christopher Hall and letterer Brandon DeStefano, this is actually a comic I reviewed for Graphic Policy earlier this year. You can read how I thought about the comic back then, but after reading it on the newsprint paper version in my hands I realized that I may have been a little harsh. Whether that’s because the price of this version is significantly lower, or it caught me in a different mood, I enjoyed it more than I did the last time hence the higher score. Overall: 8


As I said earlier all of these comics are worth picking up when you next visit your LCS which is why there’s no Buy/Read/Pass rating attached, so if you’re curious about a couple new series then you can’t help but love the affordable entry point.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe#1 (Valiant) – I’ve been waiting for a return to Rai for a long time, an these four standalone stories may scratch that itch.

Kill The Minotaur #1 (Image) – The cover looks awesome, and I’m on an Ancient Greece kick.

Mother Russia #1 (Alterna) – With Alterna’s move to bring back newsprint, their price points have dropped significantly. I don’t even know what this comic is about, but I’m getting because it’s $1.50.

Trespasser #1 (Alterna) – The second of this week’s newsprint comics from Alterna that also rings in at $1.50. I don’t know what this is about either, but it’s at a very attractive price, and Alterna haven’t done me wrong yet.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Dark Days: The Forge #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been teasing this for so long and this is our first look as to what we can expect in this summer’s event. I’m beyond excited to see how this fits into Rebith and where it goes.

Legion of Super Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 (DC Comics) – This just looks too fun.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1 (DC Comics) – See above, too fun.

Tomboy #11 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This series continously surprises me mixing horror, manga, superheroes, and teenage drama. An awesome indie series that deserves more eyes on it.

Catalyst Prime Accell #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge has been killing it with their Catalyst line of comics and I look forward to each series to see what it entails.

 

Shay

Suicide Squad #19 (DC Comics) – Zod has broken free, a Kryptonian army of invaders is about to take over earth and, the Suicide Squad is our only hope. Grab some popcorn kiddos, this is about to get epic!

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – The gangs all here and the first story arc , hopefully tying in with the upcoming Netflix series, is about to kick off. Fingers crossed for a fantastic story and a good time.

Motor Crush TP Vol. 1 (Image) – The first collection of the amazing lady powered bad assery that is Motor Crush. Catch up and get blown away by the kick ass Domino, her killer wheels and a high octane story line that’ll knock your knickers off.

Kingpin #5 (Marvel) – Sarah is in too deep , Fisk has got his image makeover, for better or worse, and now we get to see his end game. Is he going to keep showing us his human Fisk side? Or is the Kingpin gonna stay out and play? Or, are they both gonna run the town? I shiver with anticipation and you should too.

 

Paul

Top Pick: X-Men Blue #5 (Marvel) – I’ve really been enjoying this new title, setting the time displaced X-Men out on their own and doing the superhero thing. And the dynamic with Magneto has been interesting, and I’m really curious to see his end game given what was revealed to us in an earlier issue. Not totally on board with the arrival of another Wolverine character, but it could make an already interesting cast that much more interesting and throw some new curves in.

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – Well we had to see this coming (thanks Netflix :P) but I am curious to see these 4 take to the page together. I’m hoping this is an action packed, fun ride.

Hulk #7 (Marvel) – Well the Hulk has come out, and it is very different from the She-Hulk we all know and love. This has been a fantastic book and I’m looking forward to see things progress now that Jen has released her Hulk.

Uncanny Avengers #24 (Marvel) – Given how things ended between this team and Steve Rogers, I am more then excited to see Rogue go up against him and his Hydra. I hope the gloves come off (literally) and she gets a little payback.

Review: Fubar: Mother Russia

MotherRussiatpb_ONLINEStalingrad. 1943. One baby. One rifle. Two million zombies. A soviet sniper risks her life to protect something she hasn’t seen in a long time: A perfectly healthy two year old boy who has just stumbled right into the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Zombies in Stalinist Russia, in one of the worst defeats of the German Army is genius. If you look close enough, there is some degree of authentic appearance in both the zombies, and the few living humans. Honestly you can tell, they wanted to keep Fubar: Mother Russia as authentic to the actual events as possible, with the exclusion of the zombies of course. That focus gives the entire story a sense of history, and realism.

The same sense of realism continues, with the dress of the characters. Even the weapons they use are historically accurate in their drawing. Despite the lack of color,that gives the world and contributes to the odd hopelessness the characters probably feel in the cold Russian winter.

Story: Jeff McComsey Art: Jeff McComsey
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: buy

Fubar Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Mother Russia

Mother Russia

Print Release (also available in Digital)
$11.99,  120 pgs, BW, 17+
(W/A) Jeff McComsey

Stalingrad. 1943. One baby. One rifle. Two million zombies. A soviet sniper risks her life to protect something she hasn’t seen in a long time: A perfectly healthy two year old boy who has just stumbled right into the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

MotherRussiatpb_ONLINE

 

Review: Mother Russia TPB

Mother Russia TPBHaving survived the zombie apocalypse that ended World War II, Svetlana Gorshkav, also known as ‘Mother Russia’, risks everything she has built for the life of a small child. Understanding Svetlana’s willingness to sacrifice the safe life she has created for a stranger’s is truly the heart of this story. Mother Russia works with large ideas such as the value of family, the worth of innocent life, and the indoctrination of political ideals, all while creating a highly suspenseful story of one young woman trying to survive the end of the world any way she can.

The story opens with very minimal dialogue, which helps truly show the lonely life that Svetlana now leads. Her only escapes from the monotony of the highest room of a tower overlooking Stalingrad within which she lives, is to read, exercise, and shoot the zombie horde walking below. This all changes when she sees a small child in her scope and decides to run and save him. Her rescue attempt quickly goes awry until she is saved by a dog named Brunhilde and her owner, Major Otto Steiner. From there, the four begin a plan to move from the shelter they find themselves in, where supplies are running low, towards a place where there is enough food and water to survive a bit longer.

The interaction between the four main characters are truly where the larger aforementioned ideas are truly fleshed out. Writer and artist Jeff McComsey does a fantastic job creating a sense of caring between these characters, especially considering the child and dog cannot even speak. In the midst of the apocalypse, Otto has created an unbreakable bond with the only family member he has left, Brunhilde. Their strong bond is evident every moment they are together. To say Svetlana and Otto become family is a stretch but, their bond is built more on their perceived value of life and how little of it is left. Even though Svetlana does not completely trust him because he fought for the Nazi Regime, she begins to understand how those ingrained political ideologies she learned fighting the German enemy means nothing when the true enemy is not even human. These ideas are very well done and help the story, which could have easy fallen into the ‘just another zombie book’ category, into something more; a very intimate look at humans and the lengths they will go to survive.Mother Russia TBP 2

The art only helps to enhance the story. The entire narrative is done in black and white, creating a bleak sense of dread. Each zombie looks unique and hideous. The violence of seeing bullets fly through their rotting flesh is appropriately gory. The action panels are well laid out and create a sense of tension as the zombie hordes continue to close in despite the survivors best efforts. The more intimate moments are equally as impressive. The decaying, and dark buildings are haunting. Each room is well detailed and, in many instances, the remains of former lives from before the apocalypse tell a story all their own and help enhance the use of minimal dialogue in many places.

Following the main story are three backups titled, The Sniper, The Child, and Kindern. These three tales help flesh out the history of what happened during the lead up to the zombie apocalypse. Each story is heartbreaking and insightful in its own way but, does take away a bit from the original story by taking some of the mystery out of who these people are. Although, they do add an extra layer of knowledge for the reader as to how this all occurred, even if the reasoning is nothing groundbreaking or new. The art is as solid as the rest of the book, with the art in The Child by Giles Crawford being especially impressive, creating a dreamlike sensation as we follow the journey of the child which Svetlana eventually discovers.

Overall, this is a fantastic story that explores large ideas but never forgets that when the zombies take over, sometimes you just have to fight to survive.

Story: Jeff McComsey Art: Jeff McComsey, Steve Willhite, and Giles Crawford
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Alterna Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review