Tag Archives: taylor esposito

Exclusive Preview: Maniac of New York #1

Maniac of New York #1

Writer: Elliott Kalan 
Artist & Colorist: Andrea Mutti 
Letterer: Taylor Esposito 
Cover: Andrea Mutti 
Incentive Cover: Jonathan Luna
$4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 02.03.21

Four years ago, a masked slasher began stalking the streets of New York City.  

Maniac Harry is inhuman, unkillable and unstoppable. Which is why the authorities’ solution has been to ignore him, and let New Yorkers adapt to a world where death can strike at any moment. When Maniac Harry starts killing his way through the subway system, trauma-haunted political aide Gina Greene and disgraced NYPD detective Zelda Pettibone become determined to go rogue and destroy him. But how can they fight a monster when they can’t fight City Hall?

From Emmy Award-winning writer Elliott Kalan (The Daily ShowMST3KSpider-Man & The X-Men) and artist Andrea Mutti (Port of Earth, Hellblazer) comes the horrifying story of what happens when terror becomes the new normal. A frightening, thought-provoking, a sometimes funny, always timely tale of murder, obsession, and urban living.

Maniac of New York #1

Review: Knock Em Dead #2

Pryor Brice died…but only for a couple of seconds. He’s back now but has brought a spirit back with him.

Knock Em Dead #2 is an interesting series that delivers a little bid of horror and a little bit of dread.

Story: Eliot Rahal
Art: Mattia Monaco
Color: Matt Milla
Letterer: Taylor Esposito

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

comiXology
Kindle
Zeus Comics

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Cinderella Annual: Bloody X-Mas

Cinderella Annual: Bloody X-Mas

One of my favorite things about being a part of the team here at Graphic Policy is that I get the chance to review the titles published by Zenescope Entertainment. Honestly, getting to read Zenescope’s comics has been one of my highlights during this train-wreck of a year. I love that their comics fracture fairy tales while adding in science-fiction or horror elements. In Cinderella Annual: Bloody X-Mas, characters from folklore and horror elements are combined with Christmas to create a holiday adventure.

Cinderella is back in this Christmas themed annual, written by Dave Franchini. In a savage twist of holiday spirit, Cinderella is pitted against Krampus, the child punishing demon from Central European folklore. I’m new enough to Zenescope’s Grimm Universe that I don’t know Cinderella’s back story in this world. This annual doesn’t give the reader any details on Cinderella’s history other than a footnote of her last comic book appearance. On one hand, the reader doesn’t need to know her history to jump right into this annual. On the other hand, I spent the entire issue thinking that Cinderella is an odd choice for Uma Thurman’s character in a Kill Bill styled revenge story. Yes, this is a fractured fairy tale, but I kept thinking that Cinderella is the last princess who has a reason to be vengeful. I mean, in her fairy tale, her stepfamily gets their comeuppance and she gets to settle down with a handsome prince without all the borderline date-rapey subtext of princesses like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. I found it odd that Cinderella would be out for revenge against anyone, let alone a Christmas themed demon.

Throughout the story in Bloody X-mas, Cinderella came across as a knock-off Harley Quinn. She spends a good chunk of the story talking to herself and making quips. Harley Quinn is one of my favorite characters and so I actually enjoyed Cinderella’s punchy dialogue, even if it was derivative of another publisher’s creation. I did enjoy the pop culture references, including the nods to Terminator, Star Wars, Charlie Brown, Gremlins, and a myriad of Christmas movies. I thought the homages to How the Grinch Stole Christmas were especially funny. At the end of the day though, the story is heavy on dialogue and light on action and these pop culture references do little to elevate it beyond nostalgia and cheap humor.

Another detail about Bloody X-mas that I found confusing was the fact that so many different artists worked on it. Seven different illustrators and two colorists contributed to this issue. For the most part, all the artists do a good job of meshing their styles together. Unless a scene is an homage to another creative property, it’s hard to tell that multiple people drew this annual. Unfortunately, there is one exception to this. The level of detail put into the characters’ faces changes noticeably, and sometimes dramatically from one page to the next. Regardless of who happens to have the art duties on any particular page, the flow of the story is always clear and the action sequences are drawn well. If I’m being honest, the artwork in this annual did not blow me away. None of it is bad, but there’s nothing impressive or nuanced about it either.

For those who have been following Cinderella’s adventures through the Grimm Universe for the last few years, you’ll probably want to pick up Bloody X-mas. For everyone else, this comic may turn out to be hit or miss. The story is dialogue-heavy and full of attempts at cleverness. For me, not all of the jokes and quips landed, but humor is subjective so individual reader experiences may vary. I enjoyed Cinderella’s character, but recognize that there are those who would quickly become annoyed by her. The artwork isn’t bad, and the various artists work well together. However, few of the pages stand out as exceptional and some might find the random switches between artists to be visually jarring. At the end of the day, Cinderella Annual: Bloody X-mas accomplishes its goal of telling a wacky Christmas story. For those who decide to read it, here’s some advice. Don’t think too hard about what you’re reading and just enjoy the ride.

Story: Dave Franchini
Art: Manuel Preitano (1, 43, 46-49), Salvatore Cuffari (2-10, 44, 45, 65), Adrián Gutiérrez (11-23), Dario Tallarico (24-32), Eduardo Garcia (33-42), Moy R. (50-58), Marc Yarza (59-64)
Color: Manuel Preitano (1,43, 46-49), Leonardo Paciarotti (2-42, 44, 45, 50-65)
Letterer: Taylor Esposito (of Ghost Glyph Studios) with Rienna Bates
Story: 5.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Read

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Knock Em Dead #1

Knock Em Dead #1

Pryor Brice is a guy just trying to make his way in the world of stand-up comedy. Night after night, he bombs and dies on-stage. He’s struggling with his craft but what happens when he’s killed in an accident with a stranger who has a lot of career advice for Brice? Knock ‘Em Dead presents the oddest comedy situation you’ll probably read.

I enjoy Eliot Rahal’s writing a whole lot. Some of his previous work, like Quantum & Woody, Midnight Vista, and Hot Lunch Special, show how wide a range he has and that he’s got an expanding area of what he’s willing to work in. It’s pretty fantastic in that nothing he writes feels like anything else he’s done. With Knock ‘Em Dead dealing with stand-up comedy, it felt like you could really feel the anxiety and discomfort of going up and bombing, as Pryor Brice does throughout this issue. I thought this one did flow a bit slower than some of Eliot’s other books. And having met Eliot, he’s a hilarious guy and I wish a bit more of that humor would have found its way into the pages.

This is my first exposure to Mattia Monaco’s work. I like what I saw of Monaco’s art. Not overly detailed and when coupled with Matt Milla’s colors, they really helped sell the atmosphere of what the story encompasses. Not for nothing but Taylor Esposito’s lettering is always A+ in everything he works on.

I had a bit higher hopes for the first issue of Knock ‘Em Dead. I loved the look but only kinda liked the story portion. That said, I’m definitely picking up the rest of this series as I tend to like everything Eliot Rahal writes. But, with how the story is playing out, I’m sure it really kicks into gear with the next issue. Here’s hoping for that.

Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Mattia Monaco
Color: Matt Mailia Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics

Preview: Knock Em Dead #1

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD #1

Writer: Eliot Rahal 
Artist: Mattia Monaco 
Colorist: Matt Milla 
Letterer: Taylor Esposito 
Cover: Andy Clarke with Jose Villarrubia 
Incentive Cover: TBD
$4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale DECEMBER 2  

Sometimes you kill. Sometimes you get killed. But no matter what, everyone dies the first time they go on stage.  

Pryor Brice has always wanted to be funny. And now, he’s taken the plunge and started doing stand-up comedy. Unfortunately, his older sister – Ronan – wants her brother to stop daydreaming and focus on his future.  

Pryor is determined to succeed…the only problem is: He totally sucks at stand-up. That is…until an accident changes everything, leading both Pryor and Ronan to discover comedy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD is a supernatural horror about comedy, brought to you by writer Eliot Rahal (MIDNIGHT VISTA, HOT LUNCH SPECIAL) and artist Mattia Monaco. 

Knock Em Dead #1

Review: Knock Em Dead #1

Knock Em Dead #1

When it comes to comic writers, Eliot Rahal often delivers some of the funniest comics on the market. His style often acts as an homage and a send-up to the genre he writes about. So, it’d seem natural for Rahal to take on the world of stand-up comedy in his new series. Knock Em Dead #1 might seem like it’s “all laughs” but it’s so much more as it progresses.

Knock Em Dead #1 follows Pryor Brice a young man who has the want to be a stand-up comedian. The comic takes us through his beginning stumbles as he attempts to make a career out of it.

Rahal does a fantastic job of giving us a character we can relate to. Whether this is something you want to do, we’ve all had that moment where we really wanted to do something. Some of us succeeded. Some of us failed. There’s those who were in between. But, it’s an experience we’ve had in our lives. We can have sympathy and empathy for Pryor as he stumbles. Boy does he stumble. But he tries over and over. It’s someone we can cheer for in a way.

But, Rahal also gives us some depth to the character. We get to meet Brice’s sister. We find out about his parents. In one issue we get a good sense of who he is and what he’s gone through. He’s a “person” by the issue’s end. And, he’s a person we can feel sorry for in his consistently being beaten down. He’s the sad sack we can root for.

Rahal also allows us to connect with Brice by leaving the jokes in an unknown space. With letterer Taylor Esposito, the jokes are hidden through squiggles or imagery. It allows the reader to put in what they think the humor is. It allows us to fill in the blank with our own humor and in that way can both ignore a specific joke that would turn us off but hooks the reader who puts themselves in Brice’s shoes. By having the reader “make the joke” they become Brice in a way furthering the hook of the comic.

Mattia Monaco‘s art is fantastic. There’s a style to it all that’s both grounded and exaggerated. When Brice bombs, that’s what we see as the audience blows up before his, and our eyes. Along with the color of Matt Mailia, we get not just Brice the comedian but jokes in a way too. The experience on the stage becomes a highly visual one between Esposito’s lettering and Monaco and Mailia’s art. We get a full sense of Brice’s failure and eventual slight success through all of the visuals, not in the dialogue. The audience reaction. The body language. It’s key to delivering the mood and lows (and some highs) of the stand-up experience.

Knock Em Dead #1 sets things up for what’s to come. It focuses on its main character to set him up before knocking him down. The second issue will be a shift from this and it’ll be interesting to see where it all goes but as a start, this is a comedy career I want to see explored and where it goes.

Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Mattia Monaco
Color: Matt Mailia Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Exclusive Preview: Knock Em Dead #1

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD #1

Writer: Eliot Rahal 
Artist: Mattia Monaco 
Colorist: Matt Milla 
Letterer: Taylor Esposito 
Cover: Andy Clarke with Jose Villarrubia 
Incentive Cover: TBD
$4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale DECEMBER 2

Sometimes you kill. Sometimes you get killed. But no matter what, everyone dies the first time they go on stage.  

Pryor Brice has always wanted to be funny. And now, he’s taken the plunge and started doing stand-up comedy. Unfortunately, his older sister – Ronan – wants her brother to stop daydreaming and focus on his future.  

Pryor is determined to succeed…the only problem is: He totally sucks at stand-up. That is…until an accident changes everything, leading both Pryor and Ronan to discover comedy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD is a supernatural horror about comedy, brought to you by writer Eliot Rahal (MIDNIGHT VISTA, HOT LUNCH SPECIAL) and artist Mattia Monaco.

Knock Em Dead #1

Never Show Weakness: Trump in Power Explores Key Events that Have Defined Trump’s Term

Never Show Weakness: Trump in Power

Insider.com has released a new comic exploring Donald Trump‘s first term, Never Show Weakness: Trump in Power.

Written by Anthony Del Col, art by Josh Adams with Nik Virella, colors by Charlie Kirchoff and Irma Kniivila, and lettering by Taylor Esposito, the comic is a two-part look at two key events that have defined who he is as a leader. The comic takes a look at Charlottesville and then the George Floyd protests in June of this year focusing on some of the factors leading to his actions and reactions.

This is the fourth comic Del Col has created with Insider. Previous releaes have included a look at Trump’s impeachment, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the Royal Family, and Trump’s response to COVID-19.

The newest comic is available as a traditional comic and motion comic.

Where’s the Beef? Aubrey Sitterson, Tyrell Cannon, Fico Ossio, and Taylor Esposito Bring the Leftist Superheroes Beef Bros to Kickstarter

Writer Aubrey Sitterson, artist Tyrell Cannon, colorist Fico Ossio, and letterer Taylor Esposito are bringing the leftist superheroes, the Beef Bros to Kickstarter. The comic series has superheroes returning to their original origins as working-class champions moving away from the “supercops” they’ve become in recent decades.

Beef Bros is based on the idea that humanity works best when we work together, cooperation over competition. The self-contained 32-page, the full-color comic is about Huey and Ajax Beef, a pair of neighborhood heroes willing to brawl with sadistic police, cruel landlords, and predatory corporations not because of any complicated college-boy theorizing, but because helping people out is simply the right thing to do.

The gonzo, eye-popping story is a revolutionary leftist take on superheroes! It’s everything we love about superheroes, wrestling, action movies, and beat ’em up video games, but with all of the mean-spirited, hateful politics and ideology stripped away and replaced with something kind, aspirational, and revolutionary.

The campaign runs until November 26 with a goal of $15,000. You can get a digital copy for $5, physical copy for $8. Further rewards include commissions, retailer levels, original art, and more.

Check out a preview of the issue below!

BEEFBROS_sample_lores

Storyworlds launches a new line of graphic novellas in February 2021

Storyworlds and its founder, Max Gadney, have announced the launch of the company and four new Graphic Novellas: United States of Magic, The Sword and the Six-Shooter, Only Hope: Fear Farm, and FAB!  Storyworlds’ aim is to work with up-and-coming creators from diverse backgrounds to help introduce a new readership to comics.

The releases will be 50-60 page books with self-contained stories packaged as “graphic novella.” Storyworlds launches in February 2021 with the release of United States of Magic.

United States of Magic

(W) Max Gadney  (A/C) Julian Parry (L) Taylor Esposito

During the US occupation of Iraq, intelligence analyst Dana Dryden uncovers a fantastical conspiracy threatening the safety of the world and decides to help thwart the shadowy private military company behind the chaos.

United States of Magic

The Sword and the Six-Shooter

(W) Simon Delafond, Max Gadney (A) Antonio Fuso (C) Stefano Simeone
(L) Taylor Esposito

A disgraced Samurai, arrives in 1870s Texas to hunt down the man who killed his master. Combining his samurai skills with those of a Texas Ranger and haunted by ‘Yōkai’ demons, he pursues his target across the last lawless frontier in the USA.

The Sword and the Six-Shooter

Only Hope: Fear Farm

(W) Max Gadney (A/C) Ksenia Kudryavtseva (L) Taylor Esposito

On a remote Pacific island where moderation staff filter the internet for extreme material, Hope Farrar, a new employee discovers a terrible secret and vows to fight back.

Only Hope: Fear Farm

FAB

(W) RAMZEE  (A/C) Stefano Simeone  (L) Taylor Esposito

When a new 3D printing technology leaks into the black market, allowing people to make whatever they want, including clones of themselves, Marcia Clay joins a secret government task force set up to stop this threat & find its source.

FAB
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