Tag Archives: varga tomi

Review: The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

When I saw that I had the opportunity to review The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel, my first thought was, is it going to play music when I open it, like one of those novelty greeting cards? Then I read a little further into the email from A Wave Blue World and knew that I needed to review this title. You see, Hungarian artist Varga Tomi doesn’t take the same approach as Andrew Lloyd Webber or Joel Schumacher. Instead, Tomi gives readers a direct adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, the inspiration for every other version of The Phantom of the Opera most of us have likely seen before.

Every artistic detail in this graphic novel is gorgeous. From the intricate page layouts to the color choices, to the sophisticated lettering, every page of this book is a work of art. Before starting in on this adaptation, Tomi traveled to Paris to study the city’s architecture. The sketches he made during his travels are directly transposed onto the page. Many panels are framed by the opera house’s architectural design and the building itself looks real. This turns the opera house into a player in the story and not just a background setting.

Tomi’s color choices further elevate his illustrations of the opera house. Tomi uses soft, warm colors for flashbacks. These colors reflect Raoul’s fond memories of his childhood with Christine. The scenes set beneath the opera house really look like they’re set in a cave. Tomi colors these scenes while taking into consideration where the light source is located in each panel. The shadows created by this effect add intensity to scenes that are already spooky.

My only complaint about the art is that I found it difficult to tell certain characters a part. This was especially true for minor characters that appear briefly in a scene and then aren’t seen again until later. Despite this complaint, I do need to mention that the Phantom is very creepy. In other adaptations, the Phantom looks more or less like a normal guy until his mask is removed. Tomi’s Phantom looks like there is something off about him, even when he’s wearing the mask. Tomi draws him with a sinister air, even in the scenes that are set in innocuous locales, such as the parlor of the opera house.

For those who have only seen the musical, the story from the original novel plays out a little differently. Leroux’s novel is a classic example of gothic fiction. These days most people hear “gothic” and think of stories set in a creepy old mansion. With the opera house as a grand backdrop, Tomi chooses to focus on the other elements of gothic fiction, namely hints of the supernatural, an air of forbidden romance, and characters cursed with dark fates. Even though there are differences between the musical’s story and the novel’s, the big moments are still present in the graphic novel, such as the chandelier crash, the masquerade ball, and the underground river. Not to sound like a broken record, but thanks to Tomi’s artistic talents, these big moments look amazing.

This graphic novel adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera is perfect for fans of gothic fiction. It’s the sort of book that a person could buy solely to look at the art. Admittedly, the story within may not appeal to everyone, as it’s different from the version with which they’re most familiar. Tomi also presents a faithful adaptation of Leroux’s novel and doesn’t update any of the language for a modern audience. This doesn’t make for the easiest read for those who aren’t used to reading works from the last century. For those who like the story of The Phantom of the Opera, but don’t care for musicals, this graphic novel is a perfect compromise. If after reading this review, you’re unsure as to whether you want to buy this graphic novel, check out our preview. Don’t be surprised if the beautiful art wins you over immediately.

Story: Gaston Leroux Script: Varga Tomi Art: Varga Tomi Letters by Varga Tomi
Story/Adaptation: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Reccomendation: Read

A Wave Blue World provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle Bookshop

Review: The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

When I saw that I had the opportunity to review The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel, my first thought was, is it going to play music when I open it, like one of those novelty greeting cards? Then I read a little further into the email from A Wave Blue World and knew that I needed to review this title. You see, Hungarian artist Varga Tomi doesn’t take the same approach as Andrew Lloyd Webber or Joel Schumacher. Instead, Tomi gives readers a direct adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, the inspiration for every other version of The Phantom of the Opera most of us have likely seen before.

Every artistic detail in this graphic novel is gorgeous. From the intricate page layouts to the color choices, to the sophisticated lettering, every page of this book is a work of art. Before starting in on this adaptation, Tomi traveled to Paris to study the city’s architecture. The sketches he made during his travels are directly transposed onto the page. Many panels are framed by the opera house’s architectural design and the building itself looks real. This turns the opera house into a player in the story and not just a background setting.

Tomi’s color choices further elevate his illustrations of the opera house. Tomi uses soft, warm colors for flashbacks. These colors reflect Raoul’s fond memories of his childhood with Christine. The scenes set beneath the opera house really look like they’re set in a cave. Tomi colors these scenes while taking into consideration where the light source is located in each panel. The shadows created by this effect add intensity to scenes that are already spooky.

My only complaint about the art is that I found it difficult to tell certain characters a part. This was especially true for minor characters that appear briefly in a scene and then aren’t seen again until later. Despite this complaint, I do need to mention that the Phantom is very creepy. In other adaptations, the Phantom looks more or less like a normal guy until his mask is removed. Tomi’s Phantom looks like there is something off about him, even when he’s wearing the mask. Tomi draws him with a sinister air, even in the scenes that are set in innocuous locales, such as the parlor of the opera house.

For those who have only seen the musical, the story from the original novel plays out a little differently. Leroux’s novel is a classic example of gothic fiction. These days most people hear “gothic” and think of stories set in a creepy old mansion. With the opera house as a grand backdrop, Tomi chooses to focus on the other elements of gothic fiction, namely hints of the supernatural, an air of forbidden romance, and characters cursed with dark fates. Even though there are differences between the musical’s story and the novel’s, the big moments are still present in the graphic novel, such as the chandelier crash, the masquerade ball, and the underground river. Not to sound like a broken record, but thanks to Tomi’s artistic talents, these big moments look amazing.

This graphic novel adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera is perfect for fans of gothic fiction. It’s the sort of book that a person could buy solely to look at the art. Admittedly, the story within may not appeal to everyone, as it’s different from the version with which they’re most familiar. Tomi also presents a faithful adaptation of Leroux’s novel and doesn’t update any of the language for a modern audience. This doesn’t make for the easiest read for those who aren’t used to reading works from the last century. For those who like the story of The Phantom of the Opera, but don’t care for musicals, this graphic novel is a perfect compromise. If after reading this review, you’re unsure as to whether you want to buy this graphic novel, check out our preview. Don’t be surprised if the beautiful art wins you over immediately. This graphic novel is available now digitally and hits comic book stores on October 21st.

Story: Gaston Leroux Script: Varga Tomi Art: Varga Tomi Letters by Varga Tomi
Story/Adaptation: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Reccomendation: Read

A Wave Blue World provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle Bookshop

Preview: The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

WRITER: Varga Tomi
ILLUSTRATOR: Varga Tomi
AGE RANGE: General Adult
GENRE: Classic Lit / Horror 
SRP: $16.99
PAGE COUNT: 128
PUB DATE: October 20, 2020
PUBLISHER: A Wave Blue World

Everyone has heard the whispered tales of the phantom who lives beneath the opera house, the mysterious trickster behind all the little mishaps and lost things. But no one has ever seen the monster . . . until now. When the promise of blossoming love lures him out from his intricately constructed hideaways in the labyrinthine building’s walls and cellars, a hideously disfigured artist trains the lovely Christine to be the opera’s next star for a steep price. Does she choose her newfound success or her beloved Count Raoul? This doomed love triangle threatens to combust when a tragic death, a series of betrayals, and increasingly dangerous accidents cast the players of The Palais Garnier into a heart-wrenching horror story that will echo through the ages.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the iconic gothic romance, is retold with all the spectacle its legend demands in this devoted graphic novel adaptation that marries stunning artwork with Gaston Leroux’s haunting prose.

The Phantom of the Opera

Exclusive Preview: MEZO

MEZO

WRITER(S): Tyler Chin-Tanner
ILLUSTRATOR(S): Josh Zingerman, Val Rodrigues, Doug Garbark, Varga Tomi
COVER ART: Leo Colapietro
SRP: $16.99
FORMAT: Trade Paperback
PAGE COUNT: 136
PUB DATE: January 8, 2020
ISBN #:  9781949518054
DIAMOND ITEM CODE: OCT191596

In the land of Mezo, the Tzalekuhl Empire sets out to conquer all surrounding territories, disrupting the peace that has lasted for generations. Only Kyma, the daughter of a fallen chief who refused to yield, stands in their way. As the solar eclipse nears, can she unite the tribes to stand against their common enemy, an emperor determined to make them kneel before his god or be sacrificed in his name? Inspired by Mesoamerican history and legends, MEZO is a totally unique fantasy adventure driven by war, political intrigue, and ancient magic!

Mezo

Review: Broken Frontier Anthology

The overused term, “rules are made to be broken,” has been said repeatedly when it is thought that someone has gone against convention. As the world slowly embraces the diversity that surrounds it, so has popular media. Comics have always challenged type but has mostly been monochromatic. It has only recently been proactive about being diverse in not only race and sexuality, but also ability. Wave Blue World‘s Broken Frontier offers up stories where they do just that, break the rules.

In “Phantom Limb Ghost Puncher,” a police officer who loses his arm during a rescue, magically receives a mystical weapon which changes his life instantly. In “Stranger Than Fiction,” a clairvoyant helps out a murder suspect, by revisiting the day of the crime through his unconscious mind. In “Dark Dark World,” young imaginative writer plays out a scene for a story, all in her father’s work shed. In “The Wall,” set in a dystopian future, societies’ fortunes are separated only by allegiance.

In “Flyer,”  a elderly man, gives a prep talk to his adolescent granddaughter, as she prepares to engage in a dogfight by way of rocketpack. “In The Night, Mountains Grew,” a ranger’s gross miscalculation proves fatal for those she protects. In “The Beard,” a young woman uncontrollably grows a facial hair at a unusually rapid rate, something befuddles her day after day, until she realizes her greater destiny, one that would change her life forever. In “Purgatory,” a woman falls into a coma, and gets transported to a different world, where she gets to be her true self.

In “The Trip,” a rather routine start of a morning for a man and his daughter, becomes a lesson in realizing every day is precious. In “Its About Time,” a scientist uses his considerable powers to time travel before his wife died, but what he finds out changes his whole outlook on her. In “Inside Outside,” a woman coming off her meds is constantly irritated by “cute squishy monsters.” In “Last dance at Omega Point,” as a rocket heads to its firing point, a woman’s life unpacks in alternate reality.

Overall, an excellent comic anthology which explores what can be or what will be. The stories by all the writers pluck the emotions of the reader in the best way possible. The art by the creators are all beautiful. Altogether, a plus sized comic treat which entertains on every page and you will wish was longer.

Story: Greg Pak, Tyler Chin-Tanner,Cullen Bunn, Phil Hester, Robert Dammelin, Justin Zimmerman, A. David Lewis, Fred Van Lente, Carla Berrocal, Jamie Coe, Edie OP, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Merguerite Bennett,Frederik Hautain, Kurt Belcher,  Adam Egypt Mortimer, Karrie Fransman, David Hine, Noah Van Sciver, Sean Wang, Salgood Sam, Box Brown,  PJ Holden, Scott Ferguson, INJ Culbard, Steve Orlando, Steve Bryant
Art: Steve Bryant, INJ Culbard, Yaroslav Astapeev, PJ Holden, Salgood Sam, Sean Wang, Box Brown, Noah Van Sciver, Mark Stafford, Karrie Fransman, Jeff McComsey, Facundo Percio, Rob Croonenborghs, Varga Tomi, Ryan Kelly, Edie OP, Toby Cypress, Jamie Coe, Robert Sammelin, Carla Berrocal, Daniel Warren Johnson, Nathan Fox, Alison Sampson, Noel Tuazon, Aysegul Sinav, Mike Lawrence, Tom Raney, Simon Bowland, Taylor Esposito, Gina Going, Jason Wordie
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Ghastly Tales

Ghastly Tales

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Varga Tomi
Publisher: A Wave Blue World
Release: 9/7/2016
Retail: $4.99

An Alaskan ranger, a maiden scorned, a family of bootleggers; all cling desperately to the things in life they hold most dear… and woe is the fate of those who mean it harm.

After their story “In the Night, Mountains Grew” (part of the Broken Frontier Anthology released earlier this year) received so much praise, Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells, Insexts) and artist Varga Tomi didn’t want their collaboration to end there. That’s why they teamed-up for 2 new stories, “Koi” and “Cider” to put alongside the re-presenting of “In the Night, Mountains Grew” in a brand new one-shot collection containing a trio of terrifyingly twisted tales.

While Ghastly Tales will have a worldwide digital release through ComiXology, the print run is limited to only 400 copies and was not solicited through the direct market. Instead, publisher A Wave Blue World worked with retailers who’ve supported their books in the past to make the one-shot available in select locations across the U.S.

Current retailers stocking Ghastly Tales include: Books With Pictures, Bridge City Comics, Cosmic Monkey, Excalibur Comics, Floating World and Future Dreams (all in Portland, OR), Mission: Comics & Art (San Francisco, CA), Twilite Comics (Baltimore, MD), East Side Mags (Montclaire, NJ), and Escape Pod Comics (Huntington, NY)

Copies of Ghastly Tales are also available through the publisher’s website, where signed copies by both Marguerite Bennett & Varga Tomi can be purchased as well. These come with a certificate of authenticity and are numbered to only 30 copies!

Ghastly Tales