Tag Archives: sean rinehart

Review: Dead End Kids #1

Dead End Kids #1

It’s 1999. Ben, Murphy, Tank, and Amanda are four screwed-up kids from broken homes… but they have had each other. When Ben is murdered, Murphy and his friends set out to find who killed him. They find themselves in the cross-hairs! Dead End Kids #1 is a debut that evokes the long string of coming-of-age tales that have come before. It does it with a whodunnit spin that leaves you guessing.

Written by Frank Gogol, the coming-of-age tale is a solid entry into the genre. It doesn’t bring together the misfits as it does the kids who all have trauma in their lives. Issues at home seem to drive their friendship and it brings you into the story.

It’s easy to relate to the kids. The comic deftly introduces each character and gives you an idea of what’s affecting them. Gogol intelligently uses a mix of dialogue, visuals, and body language to really suck you in. And then the murder and mystery hit. And, there’s more than enough left out there to make you wonder who really is the murderer… if anyone is.

Nenad Cviticanin‘s art is solid and there’s solid work in making everyone unique and there’s more than enough detail to add depth that the dialogue doesn’t. Small details like a beer can or clothing adds to the story and helps explain the world we’re drawn in to.

Dead End Kids #1 is a solid introduction into a genre and evokes films like IT or Stand By Me in the characters and tone of it all. A good debut that’ll have you really wondering who would murder a child and wanting to find out more and solve this mystery.

Story: Frank Gogol Art: Nenad Cviticanin Letterer: Sean Rinehart
Story: 7.9 Art: 7.9 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Buy

Source Point Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Monsterella #1

Monsterella #1

As an avid cinephile I’ve always been a fan of one particular decade, the 1970s. Though many of those movies don’t hold up in various ways, they makes up for it in level of quality in storytelling. The decade gave the world some of cinema’s celluloid classics. One of them being Easy Rider. Though made in 1969, the film defined the 1970s and is the one movie that all biker movies are compared to. Then there’s The Godfather. It’s a movie about Italian Americans made by an Italian American and the gold standard for gangster movies.

As I liked those movies my guilty pleasure were the exploitation movies made by Roger Corman and Jack Hill. The one movie that made fall in love with Pam Grier was The Big Bird Cage. The movie, though exploitative to women, was both entertaining and was part of its own subgenre, women prison movies. In the first issue of Monsterella we’re taken back to that world in the form of a comic. The story takes place on a prison planet holding the universe’s worst monsters and the warden is one of the baddest women in the galaxy.

In the first story, named after the protagonist’s namesake, we meet Montross Rella AKA “Monsterella,” the warden of prison planet Doormu and her comrade Zorgo. She thinks it’s going to be a normal day until a prison break occurs which happens to be a normal occurrence. In “Dungeon Of The Necromancer,” Monsterella and a pair of elves fight off a hoard of zombies. In “The Stork,” a mother feels the unease of harm coming her baby’s way. It’s a doom she’s helpless to stop. In the last story, “The Space Siren Of Sector 13,” one spaceship captain plays out his very own version of Beowulf.

Overall, an entertaining and diverse set of stories that will truly astonish any reader who is lucky enough to get their hands on this comic. The stories by the creative team are eerie, fun, and captivating. The art by the creative team is gorgeous in every iteration. Altogether, a great book that feels like an old issue of Heavy Metal.

Story: Nevin Arnold, John Rathiganthan and Josh Kully
Art: Nevin Arnold, Dan McKinnon, Eugene L., Sean Rinehart, A. Shay Hahn, Josh Kully, Andrew Fryer
and Gareth Gaudin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #5

Campaigners #5

Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s I now know I was a witness to some very interesting cultural events of the 20th century. Some of these milestones have become footprints for different novels and movies throughout the years. I didn’t know the historical significance of the Berlin Wall until I watched Bridge of Spies. My frame of reference is when I watched it on television being torn down and the screenshots of it in that old Scorpions music video.

Another historical event that still has a large imprint on our culture at large is the OJ Simpson case. The case itself spoke largely of how America dealt with race and class and how slow the progress has been since. Whatever your opinion is everyone felt a certain way about the man and what possibly did. In the final issue of Campaigners, we find Kydra about to be executed with no hope in sight.

We find the nation coming to grips with the sentence Kydra is a bout to face and protests erupting everywhere. This prompts the President to take effective measures to address what the fallout may be from this. We also find Kydra’s father dealing with her coming demise as she tries to console her and her friend, Bee, who feels it’s her fault.

Overall, an excellent series which asks some hard questions about freedom of speech and its limits. The story by Brendan Hykes is smartly written and entertaining. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is gorgeous. Altogether, a series which is deeper than one would see at first glance, as it challenges the reader in the best way possible.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #4

Campaigners #4

One of the most important stories in recent memory were the Mirabal Sisters. For those uninitiated, they were a family of sisters who defied the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s. They were ultimately killed for their attempt to overthrow the government. They would eventually become national martyrs for their bravery. A book by Julia Alvarez called In The Time Of Butterflies has fans worldwide and immortalized these women.

They became symbols for fighting injustice everywhere. They made the ultimate sacrifice in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. It’s easy to be verbose when angered or provoked but very rarely does one act. Actions like what the Mirabal sisters took takes courage and faith and is more than most people are willing to sacrifice. In the fourth issue of Campaigners, Kydra gets arrested for her part in the protest as her moment of truth is here. Is that the only reason that she was detained?

We find the President ruminating on why his staff has detained Kydra for sedition, and what it might mean for his public image. We also find Kydra getting a visit from her father, who feels as though he has failed his daughter.  Unfortunately, their visit gets cut short, as the President meets her face to face, trying to press her to take a deal which would mean no death penalty but Bee urges her to stand up for her rights.

Overall, it’s a thought provoking issue that gets to the heart of the series and questions what any one person really stands for. The story by
Brendan Hykes is riveting and intelligent. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is elegant and sharp. Altogether, it’s an excellent penultimate issue that brings readers to the precipice of the real questions the creators have been asking all along.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #3

Campaigners #3

When I hear the term “best laid plans,” I often wonder how any of us get through the day without some type of expectation?  The saying usually arises when one feels their plan doesn’t quite work. When I was in the military this usually came into play all the time. We spent weeks going over routines and operations so that every mistake can be countered and adjusted. As we would say “failing to plan, is planning to fail,”

This concept would follow me to the civilian world as I have applied to every job I have had and though some things are out of my hands I felt I at least tried. I would pass this train of thought to my daughters. They’re now teenagers and they still think the same way. We all pre-visualize what we want to happen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the third issue of Campaigners we Kydra is finally at Bee’s protest and the President is at the debate.

We find the President and his staff getting ready for the debate as he has his doubts. His staff has their own plans working to ensure the protest doesn’t interfere with theirs. We also find Kydra and Bee arriving at the protest to a crowd not like what she expected and the whole scene is quite different. Both Kydra and the President speak to their respective crowds and their audiences get to know them better but also they learn more about themselves. Things spiral out of control from there.

Overall, it’s a stellar third issue which peaks into the minds of both main characters. The story by Brendan Hykes is funny, smart and relevant. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is striking and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent comic which gives readers an excellent backstory on both protagonists.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #2

Campaigners #2

When one possesses a dissenting opinion, the world tends to keep shy eye to them. As with anything else that isn’t popular, the “silent majority” don’t want to go against the grain. That’s disconcerting, with what’s going on in America’s politics. The actions that were once considered appalling are now treated solely as missteps. We live in a world now where people who believe in mass genocide and xenophobia are considered a normal part of society.

That’s why when we hear voices like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speak up against everything that normally is wrong, it gives everyone pause. It reminds of them of the standard that they should be reaching for. It’s never easy to do the right thing, especially when it seems like you’re all alone. In the second issue of Campaigners, Kydra finally feels how it is to be ostracized because of your opinion.

We find Kydra panicking at her sudden viral fame as she starts to read all the comments made at what she said,as the death threats start rolling in. Eventually, she gets caught up in all the attention and makes the mistake of actually responding to her internet trolls. Also, her father loses his job while trying to understand Kydra’s motivation for doing and saying what she does. By issue’s end, Bee convinces Kydra to go to a protest and the President’s henchmen take extreme measures to control the newsfeed

Overall, it’s an excellent issue which says more about how we respond to social media than what it really represents. The story by Brendan Hykes is funny and smart. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is elegant and vivid. Altogether, it’s a stellar installment which examines what it means to be in the public eye.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #1

Campaigners #1

Media is everywhere these days making privacy to be an actual difficult thing to find. Everything people say and do can be transmitted to someone across the world without you knowing. This is what makes privacy and intimacy such interchangeable words in the current state of mass media and how technology pushes that envelope. This nowhere more evident than in how and where people keep up on current events heading to social platforms for the latest news.

Long gone are the days when people turn to television and newspapers as their primary source. It hasn’t become anachronistic as of yet but it is closer to being relics with each day. Even smartphones have dozens of apps which feed people all over the globe with what they consider relevant news.  As transparent the world is, less people possess freedom of thought as everything we do becomes increasingly calculated and manipulated. In the debut issue of Campaigners, we deep dive into how one person deals when one mistake becomes known worldwide.

We meet Kyrda Franks, a precarious high schooler who is trying to help her friend not break the dress code. Of course, this brings ridicule from the high school jocks, as some things never change, but also brings notice from the school administration. As Kyrda and her friend, Bee leave school, they are approached by the local news anchor, looking to make a story of what happened, as Kyrda inadvertently lets her political leanings,which catches the attention of the President and the general public. By issue’s end, Bee gets unfairly besieged because of what Kyrda says leaving those who know her to become unintended targets.

Overall, the comic is an interesting premise which more than sparks in this debut issue. The story by Brendan Hykes is funny, relevant, and tense. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is elegant and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent story that speaks to who we have become and how we must fight about intolerance everywhere.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IndieGoGo Spotlight: Campaigners #1

Campaigners_KS_Promo_page10_image1by Brendan Hykes

Then year is 2076, America’s tricentennial, and Presidential hopefuls prove their value by beating each other to death. Two high school girls and best friends, the opinionated but shy Kydra and the outgoing transgender Bianca Faye, are about to find out that speaking out against the system could threaten not only their friendship, but their lives. The sitting President, Archie Lennox, will watch their struggle and wonder if they’re right. And what does that mean to a President who beat three men to death for his two terms?

Campaigners is politics and violence and coming-of-age. It’s a look at social justice from both ends. It’s about being best friends, and being maybe not so great at being best friends. It’s about trying harder and getting in over your head and standing your ground.

Written by Brendan Hykes, and drawn by MJ Barros, with letters, logo and production by Sean Rinehart, Campaigners is a 5-issue mini series to be released digital-only, and we are currently raising funds for the first issue on Indiegogo. The funds we raise will cover the art, lettering and production, and anything over our initial goal will be put towards future issues.

Please take a look at our Indiegogo page, contribute if you can, and share the project!

Take a look at the short preview comic and see what you think!

 

 

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