Tag Archives: Webcomics

Review: Firebrand #1

Firebrand

As a fan of Salem and Charmed, I’ve always been fascinated by the witch archetype. I grew up watching then reruns of Bewitched, and remember being mesmerized by the twitch of Elizabeth Montgomery’s nose. Then came the ultra hilarious Hocus Pocus and the dark comedy of Witches of Eastwick. All of these gave readers a variety of how the witch was portrayed, versus its much antiquated medieval models.

Though each of them showcased a unique take, it never felt like any of these characters were relatable. The most recent reboot of Charmed sought to rectify this but ended up feeling forced. Netflix did one better by giving us Always A Witch which gave us a black protagonist in modern Spain. In Jessica Chobot, Erika Lewis, and Claudia Aguirre’s debut issue of Firebrand, we meet a protagonist much like Always A Witch’s Carmen, who is far from your ordinary.

We meet Natali Presano, on the day of her birth, where her parents are gushing over their newborn daughter, as a family secret comes to light. Where we find out Natali’s mom, Elysia, comes from a long line of witches in Spain, who are known to be the most powerful ever, as Natali’s birth, would lead to Elysia’s death and her father alone to raise her. As her life would not be easy for her and her Dad, but it was not all easy and it was not all bad, as he would eventually remarry. By issue’s end, her new stepmother is not as nice as it seems and she may have inherited some of her mother’s powers.

Overall, an excellent story which follows the tracks of this well-told genre and gives reader a protagonist who will remind some of Harry Potter but is a hero in her own right. The story by Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis is well developed and well characterized. The art by Claudia Aguirre is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that readers will both enjoy and be challenged by.

Story: Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis Art: Claudia Aguirre
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Sist3rs Book 1

SIST3RS #1

When one thinks of monsters, you also think of the ones who vanquish them. For Dracula, it’s Van Helsing, which was last seen in the BBC Netflix co-production. It offered, under Steven Moffett’s deft guidance, a relatable yet fierce version of Van Helsing. It also provided an almost infallible version of Dracula, who ultimately gets outwitted by this version of Van Helsing. This is one of the most popular and most prominent examples of this archetype.

It has translated to comics, in both relationships at DC between villain and hero, Batman & Joker, and Superman & Lex Luthor.  What I find confounding is the lack of monster hunters that are POC, which is why I was so glad when I read David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s masterpiece Bitter Root. It’s about a Black family who just so happens to be monster hunters. The book added another set of protagonists who were complex and relatable. Geoff Thorne also has ventured to add to the canon with his book, Sist3rs.

We meet Ruul, a young woman growing up in an Afrikan village, who has just gotten married, and whose husband must go through a trial that all young men in their village undergo. As her husband departs for his trial, Ruul, looks as he leaves with sorrow. As in this rite of passage, he must fight for life and to a certain extent, temptation, as his true nature will determine whether or not he passes. By the issue’s end, Ruul also succumbs to true nature, as she raises shield and spear to fight for her husband.

Overall, a powerful debut issue that introduces one of the protagonists and the moment she becomes what she was always meant to be. The story by Thorne is enthralling. The art by Thorne is gorgeous. Altogether, a story I definitely cannot wait to continue.

Story: Geoff Thorne Art: Geoff Thorne
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Discombobulated: Mistook

DISCOMBOBULATED: MISTOOK

Misunderstandings happen every day which is why communication is so crucial. You never want to have your intentions, actions, or words to be misconstrued. As a single cisgender male, I often wonder if a smile or being friendly may be taken the wrong way. I cannot count on my hands how many times women have taken it as me hitting on them and just not being friendly.

Then there are times when I show interest and the women do not find me attractive or only see me as a friend. This is a constant struggle for most men. You want to be yourself but you don’t want to come off the wrong way either. In the fifth story arc of the hilarious and relevant Discombobulated, our protagonist has gotten caught up in a rather awkward situation.

We find David, free from Annie, out with a new male friend, who he soon finds out misconstrued their encounter as a date and assumed he was bisexual. As his new friend’s initial assumption is based on his social media profile, leading to why he thought David was in the first place. As David’s new friend starts to explain why he thought David was bisexual, he eventually objectifies him. By story’s end, even though David is not attracted to him, he attempts to break things off amicably.

Overall, a funny chapter that shows the complexity of perception. The story by David F. Walker is appealing and enjoyable. The art by DJ Parnell and Marcus Kwame is striking. Altogether, a story that shows how important first impressions are.

Story: David F Walker Art: DJ Parnell  & Marcus Kwame
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Read The Resistance: Reborns Episode 2 Now

The Resistance: Reborns explores the origins of the newly superpowered humans after a global disaster leaves hundreds of millions dead in its wake, causing a few thousand to suddenly manifest superhuman powers.

It features writing by J. Michael Straczynski, art by C.P. Smith, colors by Snakebite Cortez, and web conversion by Iliana Jimenez.

You can read the whole chapter below!

Review: The Wuhan I Know

The Wuhan I Know

Our current condition as a society has pushed us to the brink of panic and misunderstanding. This misunderstanding is only further compounded by xenophobia and racism that has truly turned us against each other. It’s one thing if much of this was due to internalized mindsets but when it also propelled by public figures it becomes even more demoralizing. This begins the unfortunate flow of misinformation that is not based on fact but on fear-mongering and general doubt of the unknown.

This epidemic has been an eye-opener for many new generations of people of color. As they may feel that certain prejudices are long gone, but COVID-19 has shown us that it laid quiescent, in the minds of those in power. This is even closer to home for people of Asian descent, who have to deal with attacks almost daily since this started. In Laura Gao’s important comic, The Wuhan I Know, we get a personal look into the epicenter of this disease, and what most people don’t understand.

The creator lets us know from the get-go, that she was born in Wuhan, but moved to Texas when she was 3, and much like every child of an immigrant, she faced misunderstanding instantly.  As she went from people not understanding how to pronounce Wuhan to her birthplace being villainized. This is where Gao shines, as she shows the reader, what Wuhan is, based on facts, how it is considered the Chicago of China, how its population is as big as some of the world’s largest metropolises. How it houses one of the oldest buildings in the world, The Yellow Crane Tower, built-in 220 AD and how in 1911, the turning point of the Chinese Revolution took place in Wuhan, in the WuChang Uprising. By comic’s end, Gao highlights one of Wuhan’s greatest attractions, its street food, where one can get hot & dry noodles, sticky rice, and duck neck sausage.

Overall, a pertinent comic that highlights a very misunderstood place in the world right now, a comic that must be read by everyone. The story by Gao is significant and smart. The art by Gao is stylish and beautiful. Altogether, a comic that corrects many inaccuracies and entertains simultaneously.

Story: Laura Gao Art: Laura Gao
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy because it is FREE

Review: Discombobluated: Reconsillyation

DISCOMBOBLUATED: RECONSILLYATION

When it comes to most wars across the world, the facts of the war are pretty much not up for dispute. Historians can agree on what happened at the Battle Of Normandy. Then there are wars where “facts” depend on who tells it. Take, for instance, the Mexican American War, where they view Pancho Villa as a hero while America has looked at him as an antagonist.

James Bowie and William B. Travis, are considered heroes of the Alamo, while Mexican history has always looked at them as agitators. Then there is the whole drama behind the War Of 1812, where to this day, no one can agree who won that war. This becomes even more entangled in personal relationships, where no one can agree on anything. In the eighth story arc of the hilarious and relevant Discombobulated, David tries to amicably come to terms with Annie.

We find David, meeting Annie, where she assumes he is there to apologize to her for any misgivings, but he is looking for a more equitable end. As David soon realizes that there is no middle ground with her, as she takes liberties with his amenability, as she thinks his olive branch is his way of them getting back together. David eventually takes his apology back and understands immediately that reaching back out to her was a mistake. By the story’s end, David finally realizes how silly reconciliation is and decides to go back to his therapist.

Overall, a fascinating chapter which shows the ills of dealing with exes. The story by David F. Walker is side-splitting. The art by DJ Parnell is wonderful. Altogether, a story that gives an honest look at reconciliation.

Story: David F. Walker Art: DJ Parnell 
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Animalheads #2

Animalheads

One of my favorite shows of all time is The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. It starred a star from Doctor Who, Billie Piper. It was her star turn in this series that not only made me beguiled by her but entranced. Her portrayal of the two personas made for some very interesting television. The series is about a woman whose parents believe she works as a legal secretary but she actually entertains clients at an escort service.

Piper’s performance as Hannah was both tender and relevant. Her portrayal as Bella was pure fantasy and comedy in many instances which makes the fact that the show was a true story even more enchanting.  It also makes even more perplexing how one can lead such a double life without this task taking a toll. In the second issue of Animalheads our protagonists become steeped in their new vocations.

We find Vicki, Oli, Lucy, and Wyatt, shortly after the murder of Axel Winder. As they start digging Winder’s grave, they start to ponder their decisions up to this point, and if they could have changed anything. We soon find out that Vicki is one who brought it to the group of friends a business idea that was supposed to be easy money. By issue’s end, we find out how the guys confronted Axel Winder

Overall, an excellent detour to understanding these character’s motivations. The story by Son M. is thrilling. The art by Sam Curtis is eye-catching. Altogether, a pulse pounder.

Story: Son M. Art: Sam Curtis
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Discombobulated: Irrationality For the Win

DISCOMBOBULATED: IRRATIONALITY FOR THE WIN

Your inner voice is usually what people think of as their conscience. We rarely look at is as our worst enemy, that thing that holds us back or give us doubt in our motives and actions. Sometimes, we also fail to realize it is our based instinct.

It may be that “spidey sense” that a tingle when we feel something is wrong. It can lead us to places where we would never dream of or meeting the type of people we usually don’t commiserate with. It may even lead us to find that special somebody. In the seventh story arc of the hilarious and relevant Discombobulated, David has a crisis, is it real or imagined; only he can answer it.

We find David, by himself, as he feels something is wrong, which is when his inner voice pops up struggling to calm him down. David feels he is having a heart attack while his inner voice warns him it is nothing but an anxiety attack. David’s inner voice finally succumbs as he realizes that it may be a heart attack.

Overall, an intriguing chapter which illustrates how such maladies occur. The story by David F. Walker is comical. The art by DJ Parnell is terrific. Altogether, a story that illustrates just how much stress occurs in things like anxiety attacks.

Story: David F. Walker Art: DJ Parnell 
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Animalheads #1

Animalheads

However you feel about The Purge movies, one thing you can ascertain from even knowing the story is that society is only a few bad decisions away from it being a reality. The story holds up a mirror to society and is a bit more political than most movies in its genre. Each movie spoke about the human condition and what each of us would do in situations much like that.  Especially in The First Purge which showed how the experiment was used first on poor Black communities.

What draws audiences to the movies and the television show is each character’s will to survive. Each choice leads you to down certain roads. The wrong one can lead to your future being much grimmer than you could ever have foreseen. In the debut issue of Animalheads, our protagonists struggle with the next steps after a killing.

We find out how Vicki, Oli, Lucy, and Wyatt, went down this path to make money, as they face their futures with uncertainty. We find the four friends, shortly after they graduated, as not one of them has a job prospect, and now, with a mountain of student debt. As they share what may be their last meal together as friends, a spark of an idea for their way of living is birthed at this table. By issue’s end, they find a quick and dirty way to get paid, one that will bring them more trouble than they know

Overall, a nice way to introduce characters and their motivations. The story by Son M. is exciting. The art by Sam Curtis is stunning. Altogether, a story that sizzles with action.

Story: Son M. Art: Sam Curtis
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Discombobulated: Let the Pandemic Special Shine a Light on Me

DISCOMBOBULATED: LET THE PANDEMIC SPECIAL SHINE A LIGHT ON ME

Our current reality is something we only imagined in a piece of fiction. For those who saw the movie Contagion, did we really ever believe it could get as bad? Then things took a nosedive leading to a pandemic.

We find ourselves in a real-life version of that movie and similar stories. Choices have become a bit more difficult. We find ourselves as both protagonist and antagonist in our real-life comedy/drama. Everyone is left to make choices both hard and possibly detrimental. In the latest story arc of the hilarious and relevant Discombobulated, David survives the pandemic

We find David, coming to terms with people’s opinion about the strip and whether to continue, which he finally concludes, it doesn’t matter, he should be heard. He reasons out with his therapist that his behavior and his role in each of his relationships is the cause of his stress, leading to a night of sleeplessness. As the pandemic sets in, so does his mind, as he struggles to distract himself, and like many of us, boredom becomes the struggle.

Overall, another great installment that definitely delivers. The story by David F. Walker is heartfelt. The art by Quinn McGowan is astonishing. Altogether, an arc that holds a mirror up to our unusual normal.

Story: David F. Walker Art: Quinn McGowan
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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