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Destiny, NY Returns Sporting a Jenn St-Onge Wraparound Cover

Destiny, NY, the beloved tale of magical crime and queer romance, will return this September with Volume 2, from writer Pat Shand, artist Rosi Kämpe, letterer Jim Campbell, and editor Shannon Lee, with a fantastical wraparound cover by Jenn St-Onge.

What if there was a magical prophecy that you were destined to save the world, and you fulfilled it so young you don’t know what to do with the rest of your life? That’s the problem facing Logan McBride in this grounded story about the magic of young adulthood, star-crossed modern romance, delayed coming of age, and finding your place in a world too busy to notice you.

Check out the cover to Destiny, NY #6 below!

Destiny, NY #6

Review: Spooky Girls: Tarantula Twins #1

Spooky Girls: Tarantula Twins #1

Growing up, you tend to be drawn to people who you have something in common with. You may have interests that they do and vice versa.I’m still friends with everyone I grew up with. As we get older sometimes we lose touch but we always find each other again. As I get older, this cable tow of friends has grown exponentially.

When you go to high school, this is typically your first exposure to the class system. This is when you first see how people climb the social ladder while others find their own way. In the debut issue of Spooky Girls: Tarantula Twins, we find two siblings whose bond is tested once the social rigors of high school come into play.

Tawny and Temple Tarantula are a set of twins whose love for each other is tougher than it looks. That’s until they start to grow up and the differences between them become even more apparent. We finally see the girls as they turn 17. Tawny has become a bit of a bad apple and her smoking habits have started to annoy Temple who is a bit of a nerd and is secretly working on a formula for synthetic Euphoria. When Tawny’s friends find out, they steal her only bottle of the formula and try to get inebriated from this. From there’s it’s lessons on sisterhood and friendship.

Writer Pat Shand and company more than prove with this comic just how their storytelling skills can transcend any age group. The story by Shand is relatable, funny, and heartfelt. The art by the creative team is soulful and complements the story. Altogether, a comic that will make you remember that loves conquers all.

Story: Pat Shand
Art: Agny Innocente, Jim Campbell,
and Shannon Lee
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Prison Witch Vol. 1 The Feral

Prison Witch Vol. 1 The Feral

It’s one of those experiences in our lives when we “meet our tribe.” Many of us who grew up hiding who we were, scared of how we would be perceived if people knew our certain quirks, our deepest desires, and love of everything geek, made many of us ostracized. It’s true that the late great Stan Lee made the world of comic books more accessible but he didn’t quite make it mainstream. It took years after that, with an influx of superhero movies, when it became something more than acceptable. It was the new normal.

I remember the first time I met like-minded people. It was in high school. Me and my friends bonded over our love for Hip Hop. Our conversations would go on for ours pontificating on the importance of rhymes over beats, the complexity of certain emcee’s flows, and the content of certain songs and their deeper meanings. I wondered how it would be for someone to find their tribe but find out that they are more than they ever thought of themselves. In Amy Shand and Pat Shand’s elegantly told Prison Witch, we meet a protagonist whose life changes dramatically in many ways when she goes to prison.

In the comic, we meet Cameron. She’s on day 34 of a 5-year jail sentence. Her acclimation to prison life is less than welcoming. This changes when she meets Tanya, who senses that Cameron is more than another inmate. A scuffle with another inmate unleashes what some believe is a demon but is the powers of a witch and catches the eye of the local troublemaker, Bean. Eventually, we’re introduced to a coven, a group of witches also in jail. They have to subdue their abilities to keep themselves safe and each has their own dark secrets.

Overall, a comic that feels like if Orange Is The New Black met Charmed. That combines and becomes something even more beautiful and twisted. The story by the Shands is heartfelt, intellectual, and beautiful.  The art by D’Urso, Campbell, and Lee is breathtaking and striking. Altogether, a story that thrives beyond genres and gives the reader a great story.

Story: Amy Shand, Pat Shand Art: Erica D’Urso, Katia Ranalli
Cover: Jenn St-Onge Letters: Jim Campbell Edited: Shannon Lee
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Destiny, NY Vol. 2

The show The Magicians is one of the few shows on television which gives the world a whole new view of their surroundings. I wasn’t sure how the books would turn out but I was more than interested in finding out. The books came to be known as the “Magicians Trilogy” and was more than anyone including me ever expected. They took a more mature look at magic. Basically if Hogwarts was a college and everyone was having sex, much like how it happened in the fan fiction that followed the genre. The television series for the most part is pretty faithful, and more than carries the spirit of the source material. I just wished both iterations were more representative of the world. Destiny, NY also plays with the concept that magic is a real and accepted part of life taking place in New York City. In the second volume the reader finds more about the protagonists as well as the other characters.

We find Logan in the midst of a fever pitched dream where the death of Song still haunts her, where she wakes up next to Lilith, and find the happy couple living together for the last three months. Meanwhile. at Destiny University, we find the school is under investigation, by the Mystical Code Enforcement Agency, who are looking into the inner workings of the school, and what lead to the false prophecy in the first place, as the principal, Karen Davids, tries her best to be diplomatic. In the most improbable of times, Logan’s parents visit her and Lilith to see a woman who is quite different from the young lady they raised.  We also find Gia, not trusting her skills as a seer as she tries to find her way, while getting in trouble at school. We also find Joe having a meltdown of his own which is compounded by the fact, that there are masked men trying to neutralize students with exceptional magical abilities. As all our protagonists are being outed by someone, as Lilith suspects Arvid, Song’s assistant to be behind the doxing. Meanwhile, Logan’s ex, Bailey, is being managed by Arvid, who has plans in the works, hoping to take his revenge in the name of Lilith’s sister, Song. Arvid makes his move, kidnapping Logan in a desperate attempt to connect to Song, but Lilith comes to the rescue.

On top of that, the collection features numerous short stories set in this world.

Overall, an engrossing book that you will both love and be lost in for hours. The stories by the creative team are fast paced, engaging and action packed. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a stimulating chapter in this series that charms, enthralls, and shocks you at the most unexpected moments.

Story: Pat Shand, Erica Schultz, Natasha Alterici, Emily Ree, Brian Cogan, Amy Shand
Art: Rosi Kampe, Jim Campbell, Manuel Preitano, Megan Levens, Natasha Alterici, Emily Ree, Claudia Aguirre, Eve Mae, Lisa Sterle , Katie Kuffel
Editor: Shannon Lee
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises

As a longtime cinephile, I have been enamored with Kung Fu movies. I remember as a kid watching Kung Fu Theatre, every Saturday afternoon, with my cousins in our house in New York. These stories with their badly paced English dubbing, usually had everything else going for it. The action, the stars, the special effects, and the story. I never really knew who any of the actors were until one of my uncles introduced us to Bruce Lee.

The very first movie, we saw of this venerable legend, was the impressive Way Of The Dragon, a slow burner at first, but as soon as Lee enters the film, his presence was magnetic. The man commanded every scene he was in and the way he beat a then unknown Chuck Norris, was a scene all of us cheered on. Of course, we went on to see the rest of his movies, and to this day, in some form or another, have some piece of his memorabilia in our houses. As much as those movies still stand up, one can only imagine what else he could have created, if he only lived a little bit longer. In Shannon Lee’s Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, fans get to live a fantasy where he still lives.

We find Lee in a government facility where he has been asleep for forty years, as he wakes up to a world, much different than what he knew as he teaches an abusive Sensei, who favors Chuck Norris the correct way to treat his students. Soon the same shadowy organization lead by a mysterious woman known as Katya, is looking for him and a friend from the past and two kids just so happens to find hm as well, who helps him get acclimated to present day.  This leads to Lee finding out what the organization is up to and to find the father of the two kids. By book’s end, they find the kids’ father but leaves Katya even more powerful than ever.

Overall, an entertaining story that gets the reader to know who Bruce Lee the person is, in this rather fun plot. The story is relatable, funny, and fantastical. The art is striking and vivid. Altogether, a great story which will have readers looking for their old VHS copy of The Chinese Connection.

Story: Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline and Adam Beechen
Art: Brandon McKinney, Michael Montenat, Zac Atkinson, Troy Peteri, Steve Blackwell and Bernard Chang
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Bruce Lee: The Walk of the Dragon

Philosopher/teacher/real-life superhero Bruce Lee is back. And, let’s be honest, the world needs him now more than ever. Taking a brief respite from battling an otherworldly evil, Bruce Lee attempts to navigate modern-day Southern California despite still suffering from amnesia and having been “out of the loop” for over 45 years. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a simple “lunch run” soon turns into a comedy of errors involving mistaken identity, a Film Festival,” and the pokey.  And despite never being one to initiate fisticuffs, Bruce continues to find it difficult to both hide his martial arts skills – and keep his shirt on.

I’ll admit, I have not read Darby Pop Publishing‘s previous Bruce Lee comics so came into this one-shot cold. Written by Nicole DubucBruce Lee: The Walk of the Dragon is an interesting comic. Partially because, I’m not sure what the point of it all is. Part follow up to the previous comic and maybe the lead in to what’s next the comic really is Bruce Lee back from being capture for all this time trying to get a sandwich and then a series of errors.

While the comic has its moments it also feels like it’s a chapter in something more. It doesn’t do a good job explaining the situation for new readers well into it. It also doesn’t answer any questions about Lee’s amnesia about his life. So, as a one-shot, it’s an odd duck. As an issue for an ongoing series, it’d make complete sense. Which is part of what’s frustrating and fascinating about the comic. As issue #5 or #6, it’d work as a solid transition to the next arc. But it’s not that. It’s a one-shot and with that I expect a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It has those things but none of it is really satisfying. A lot is left open. Again, it’s rather odd.

The art by Brandon McKinney and color by Zak Atkinson looks solid. There’s nothing bad about it all and at times there’s some great panels that attempt to catch the speed of Lee and actually does so in some ways. When Lee disarms a mugger particularly stands out in how it’s handled. But at other times the action is missing something like when he jumps into a moving bus. The comic too could benefit from some more dynamic panel use. It’s broken here and there but mainly sticks to boxes and rectangles. The lettering by Troy Peteri is generally good. There’s a few moments where situations called for different choices for example a mugging that’s just normal text for the victim.

There’s nothing truly bad about the comic and if you read the previous volume published by Darby Pop your opinion will vary greatly. But, as a one-shot it doesn’t do what’s expected and that’s tell a complete story. It’s a chapter of a longer story marketed as something different.

Created by: Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline Story: Nicole Dubuc
Art: Brandon McKinney Color: Zak Atkinson
Letterer: A Larger World Studios’ Troy Peteri Design: Steve Blackwell
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.65 Recommendation: Pass

Darby Pop Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #1

Bruce Lee_CoverHow does one define “action hero” and not include the iconic Bruce Lee as he not only defined this title he embodied it. His contributions to the popular culture, is as numerous as they are impactful, and one can only imagine if he had lived how prolific his career would have been. His movies stand as testament to his legacy but also as a standard for all martial arts movies. As the late David Carradine, said many times during different interviews throughout the years, as it is well known that his show, Kung Fu, was originally Lee’s idea, he had the most accurate comparison of this legend, “the James Dean of Kung Fu.”

Biographical comic books are an enigma within the comics’ medium, at times coming off much like Jean Claude Van Damme’s movie, JCVD, much like a caricature, of the titular real life person.  A comic that reminds me of that is Get Jiro, which was an excellent version, of stories surrounding the famous Sushi chef, but definitely a fantasy in many respects. Then there are times, when they are pretty much dead on, like the movie, Ray, often bottling the spirit of the person they are portraying, but giving a glimpse into a life not known to the public. The one that impressed me the most was Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven, which was not only accurate, but also heartfelt.

The first “autobiographical” comic from Darby Pop Publishing, just so happens to be Bruce Lee: Dragon Rises, as his story has seen the big screen a few times, both as documentary and semi autobiographical film, they have tackled not only a beloved subject, but one whose life every red blooded action fan worships, which is why Shannon Lee, has helped write it.  Within this story , the Bruce Lee the world knows, has been in a cryogenic sleep for 40 years, as he wakes up to a world where the customs and culture has changed dramatically. Soon, an old friend finds him, reminds him of whom he is and Bruce finds out soon enough, why he was put in that chamber in the first place. By issue’s end, there is a bigger mystery which ties everything between him, his friend, the shadowy organization who has had him on ice, and the kids who helped hi, who lost their father.

Overall, I would definitely say this; while the comic is more on the fantastical end, it definitely captures the spirit of this great man. The story by Shannon Lee and Jeff Kline shines in the best way possible, definitely keeping it tongue-in-cheek while remembering to tell a good story. The art by Troy Peteri is smooth and beautiful, as the illustrations seem to be so vivacious. It can rival the best Saturday morning cartoons.

Altogether, a strong issue, that reminds me of a cross between the Boondocks episode where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came back from the dead and Encino Man.

Story: Shannon Lee and Jeff Kline Art: Troy Peteri
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Darby Pop Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Shannon Lee Talks about her father, Bruce Lee, and Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #1

Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises chronicles the return of the beloved actor, philosopher, teacher and — of course — martial artist in a present-day, all-ages comedy/action/adventure comic book co-written by Bruce’s own daughter, Shannon Lee, and Jeff Kline (founder of Darby Pop Publishing, writer of Indestructible comic book series, and Award-winning Hollywood writer-producer). The specially-priced, double-sized first issue hits shelves on April 6, 2016 from Darby Pop Publishing and Bruce Lee Enterprises.

Bruce Lee never died. And he hasn’t aged. But, he has no idea who he is, what’s happened in the world in the past 40+ years, or why so many “thugs” want a piece of him. With the help of a fly BFF from the ’70s — Joe Toomey, P.I. — and a pair of precocious Teens, Bruce will piece together a mystery more insidious than ever imagined, and find himself forced to do battle with both an enigmatic Villain and his very own conscience. The Dragon rises…and “walks on” once more!

Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises on Free Comic Book Day 2016!

Bruce_Lee_01_CvrFree Comic Book Day (FCBD), the comic industry’s most high-profile annual event, will feature the highly-anticipated Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises as one of the thirty-eight Silver Sponsors’ books available on Saturday, May 7th, 2016, at participating comic book shops worldwide.

Retailers on the FCBD Selection Committee chose 50 titles overall, 12 Gold Sponsor and 38 Silver Sponsor books, to provide fans with a wide range of stories to choose from as well as new genres and publishers to discover. Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises is an adventure-comedy for readers of all ages from Darby Pop Publishing and Bruce Lee Enterprises.

It’s 2016, and Bruce Lee never died. And he hasn’t aged. But, he has no idea who he is, what’s happened in the world in the past 40+ years, or why so many “thugs” want a piece of him. With the help of a fly BFF from the ’70s – Joe Toomey, P.I. – and pair of precocious teens, Bruce will piece together a mystery more insidious than ever imagined, and find himself forced to do battle with both an enigmatic Villain and his very own conscience. The Dragon rises… and “walks on” once more! Co-written by Bruce’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and Jeff Kline!  Art by Brandon McKinney. Colors by Zac Atkinson. Cover art by Bernard Chang.

Darby Pop and Bruce Lee Entertainment announce new comic!

Bruce lee Cover by Bernard ChangDarby Pop Publishing and Bruce Lee Entertainment have announced that they are collaborating on a new comic book titled Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, which will chronicle the return of the beloved actor, philosopher, teacher and – of course – martial artist in a present-day, all-ages comedy/action/adventure. The first issue is being co-written by Bruce’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and Jeff Kline with art by Brandon McKinney and cover art by Bernard Chang.

Bruce Lee never died.  And he hasn’t aged.  But, he has no idea who he is, what’s happened in the world in the past 40+ years, or why so many “thugs” want a piece of him.  With the help of a fly BFF from the ’70s – Joe Toomey, P.I. – and a pair of precocious Teens, Bruce will piece together a mystery more insidious than ever imagined, and find himself forced to do battle with both an enigmatic Villain and his very own conscience.  In other words, the Dragon rises… and “walks on” once more!

The 48-page oversized first issue, Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, will be available in April 2016 at comic book retailers and online.  But, well in advance of that, Darby Pop Publishing and Bruce Lee Entertainment will be hosting a special signing at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo 2015 on Saturday, October 31st at Booth #907 from 11am to 2pm with Shannon Lee, artist Brandon McKinney and cover artist Bernard Chang autographing limited-edition free posters of the #1 cover and discussing the creative process behind the new book.

Throughout the convention weekend, Darby Pop Publishing will be giving away both Bruce Lee-related and other freebies including tattoos, stickers, bookmarks, and more.  Other members of the Darby Pop “family” will be signing and chatting throughout the entire convention.

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