Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, I take a look at Paizo and Dynamite’s Comic Collection: Pathfinder Volume 1: Dark Waters Rising.

From the post:

With an introduction by Paizo Publisher Erik Mona, Pathfinder Volume 1: Dark Waters Rising, launches the legendary heroes of Paizo’s role playing game system, Pathfinder Tales, into the comic book format with a bang. Utilizing the classic group of adventurers trope, Dark Waters Rising brings together the warrior, Valeros, sorceress Seoni, wizard Ezren, elven rogue Merisiel, dwarven ranger Harsk and cleric Kyra, to protect the town of Sandpoint from a growing Goblin infestation.  Set in the world of Golarion, the book captures the Pathfinder setting quite nicely, painting a diverse and rich world full of mysteries to be solved and gold to be earned – if you’re brave of heart. All the things you would expect are here, including Goblins, evil sorcerers, quests, taverns (and tavern brawls), underground labyrinths, giant spiders, magic, and adventure. Lots of adventure.

Interested? You should be! But to read the rest of the review, you’re gonna have to click on over to the Kirkus Blog and send me cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies… (no bagels!)

Today at Kirkus: A Review of Lazarus One

This week on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I take a look at Lazarus One from Image Comics.

From the post:

In the future, the world is split not into countries, but fiefdoms controlled by the Families.  The human population is divided into three segments: Family, who control everything, Serfs who have the skills and intelligence necessary to serve and be useful to the Family, and the Waste, who serve no purpose at all.  Each Family has one member who is trained to be something more.  Warrior, messenger, protector, envoy – whatever the situation calls for, the Family Lazarus is there to further the Family’s ends, and protect them from all threats, internal and external.  The Lazarus can be shot, cut, beaten, blown up, take an enormous about of damage, and walk away – eventually.  Their bodies can heal themselves, bones can reset and nit, cuts close, bruises fade.  A Lazarus is nearly indestructible.

Click over to the Kirkus Reviews Blog to read the rest of the review.

Planetoid by Ken Garing

This week over at the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I take a look at Planetoid by Ken Garing.  Holy crap.

From the post:

In my constant search to find new and cool things for this column, I came across a cover that made me pause and stare for a bit.  I know, I know – you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover.  But still, we do it all the time.  In this case, the cover had this vibe about it, harkening back to the pulpish covers without the usual exploitation – there was no scantily clad vixen clinging to the over-muscled hero type.  As much as the cover invoked the pulps of the past, there was also this starkness to it.  All of these things resonated with me.  I couldn’t help but pick it up.  And now, having read the book cover to cover in one sitting, I have to say – I’m certainly glad that I did.

Sounds cool, right?  Well, read the rest of the review over at the Kirkus Blog.

Harry Dresden is Back in Ghoul Goblin

Jim Butcher may be in between Dresden Files novels at the moment, but Harry’s adventures continue – this time in a bridge story that takes place between Fool Moon and Grave Peril – books 2 and 3.  Ghoul Goblin is that story, and the focus of my Kirkus post this week.

From the post:

I talked about the Dynamite adaptation of Butcher’s Storm Front before.  They did a great job, and followed it up with another adaptation – book 2 of The Dresden Files: Fool MoonGhoul Goblin is a new, original story set between Fool Moon and book 3, Grave Peril.  Harry is hired to help a small town in Missouri where a family has recently lost two members, both under mysterious circumstances.  The Talbot family, Harry discovers, are cursed, and have been for a long time.  Worse, creatures from the NeverNever are hunting them, and only Harry has any hope of stopping them.  But the more time he spends in Boone Mill, the more the mystery deepens.

Click on over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of the post.

Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning

Over on the Kirkus Blog, I’m taking a look at Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning.  From the post:

Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning begins with an explanation: “A few short years into the 21st century, the laws governing the universe change – time flows at a different angle, space folds against the grain and positive particles aren’t so sure.” This lays out what can only be described as a wild ride. Aliens. Space monkeys. Robots. Little Green Mercenaries who love to kill humans. A man with three brains (didn’t Steve Martin make a movie like that?). Rayguns. Adventure. Astounding Space thrills has it all, plus more.

Click on over to read the rest of the post.

Dark Horse Comics and Geek and Sundry keep pumping out some pretty cool motion comics.  I like these more than the ones I’ve seen from Marvel in the past (Iron Man Extremis or SPIDER-WOMAN: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.) – I think the animation style is just better.

Today, we have Dinosaur Porn-er, I mean, Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare.

About Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare:

From Ricardo Delgado–a prolific development and storyboard artist who has worked on such hit films as Men in Black, The Incredibles, WALL-E, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the Matrix series– an epic tale about the most unlikely cast of characters: dinosaurs. Since that first foray into the world of sequential art–which earned him an Eisner win for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition–he has returned to his critically acclaimed Age of Reptiles again and again, each time crafting a captivating saga about his saurian subjects.

Check it out after the jump!

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VIDEO: Dark Horse Comics Presents The Massive: Part 1

Another stellar motion comic from Dark Horse and Geek and Sundry.  This is the beginning of a new multi-part adaptation of The Massive from Brian Wood (Channel Zero, Generation X, DMZ, Local).

About The Massive:

What does it mean to be an environmentalist after the world’s already ended? In The Massive, Callum Israel—leader of the Ninth Wave oceanic activist group—asks himself this question everyday, a question that cuts to the core of his identity. In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, nothing is certain and ideologies are meaningless. But the mission remains: search this crumbling world for answers to the cause of the “crash,” and keep up the hunt for their missing sister ship, the Massive, lost and adrift in the chaos. But, before the crash, the members of the Ninth Wave were defined by different missions, different stories. Stories that united them in a common goal. Stories about the ocean…

Check out Part 1 of The Massive after the jump.

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In 1954, Fredric Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent was published, and the US comics industry was never the same again. His angst over the corruption of young minds by comics led fairly directly to all manner of stifling consequences, not the least of which was the near extinction of a previously thriving market for horror comics. (And, perhaps indirectly, the rise to dominance of the smothering comfort blanket that is the superhero genre).

Japan never had a Wertham to contend with. There, a million strange and unsettling flowers have been allowed to blossom unhindered in the comics medium; including, notably, some pretty full-on horror blooms. I can’t imagine what Wertham would make of modern manga. Quite possibly, he’d have a seizure of some sort, the poor chap.

I am consistently caught off guard by manga, in a way that US comics very rarely manage. I regularly have my brain twisted into shapes to which it is unaccustomed. (Wertham would not approve). Witness today’s example, which in the space of just three volumes took me from ‘This is rather silly, but kind of creepy’ to being genuinely startled by its disturbing closing chapters. Plus, it changed the way I look at snails, which is … well, no comic’s ever done that before.

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Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 6

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 5

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

I have a new post up over on the Kirkus Review site looking at Stephen King’s The Dark Tower-The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins, Graphic Novel from Marvel Comics. The script is by Peter David, a name comic book readers are well accustomed to seeing (The Incredible Hulk, Young Justice).  He also wrote one of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation novels: Imzadi.  The series is illustrated by Sean Phillips (WildC.A.T.S.) and Richard Isanove (Wolverine: Origin), and plotted by Robin Furth (Stephen King’s personal research assistant for The Dark Tower: A Complete Concordance).

Here’s an excerpt:

The story opens with Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, tracking the man in black across a desert wasteland.  He comes across a man who offers news of the man in black along with food, water and shelter for the night.  All he asks in return is for The Gunslinger to tell him a tale.  Through flashbacks, we see the day Roland’s ka-tet were slaughtered by the Good Man, John Farson.  As Farson’s followers are stacking up the dead for a pyre, Roland escapes along with another Gunslinger, Aileen.  She is mortally wounded and asks that he bury her in her family crypt back home – in Gilead.

Check out the full article over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 4

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 3

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 2

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 1

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Daniel Abraham Adapts “A Game of Thrones”

Winter is coming!

I know, I know – that gets said a lot.  Today, it’s being said over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, where I’m starting a new series on Graphic Novel adaptations of literary works.

First up?  Game of Thrones Volume 1 from Dynamite/Bantam.

Making the leap from printed word to a visual medium isn’t always easy.  Everyone has a favorite book adapted to film that, in their opinion, fell short of the original material (The Dresden Files on SyFy comes to mind).  A Game of Thrones has not only been adapted to a successful television show, there’s also a Graphic Novel / comic book series adapted by Daniel Abraham (author of The Dragon’s Path) with art by Tommy Patterson (Farscape (Boom! Studios)), A Game of Thrones Volume One brings together in hardcover form, the first 6 issues of the comic originally published by Dynamite Entertainment.

Check out the full article over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Joss Whedon is bringing The Avengers to movie theaters everywhere on May 4th.  Not everyone knows who The Avengers are or what they’re all about, so I thought we might take a look at the team before that movie comes out.

The Avengers began in the pages of Marvel comics way back in 1963.  They followed in the footsteps of DC comics who re-launched their team, the Justice League of America, in 1960 (The Brave and the Bold #28). A lot of heroes have been part of the team throughout the years, but the original team had Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye and the Black Panther.  Captain America joined a little later.  Similar to the JLA, the idea was the team would ‘assemble’ whenever there was a threat too big for any one superhero to handle.  Hence, they were ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’.

For the film, they are looking at a team of: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow, all of whom have been part of the team at one point or another. 

Let’s take a look at each one…

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MOVIE REVIEW: Watchmen

REVIEW SUMMARY: Lovely images and faithful panel translations, but with no emotional significance, or grounding.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The film is set in an alternate 1985, in which Nixon has remained in office far longer than two terms, the Doomsday clock is ticking ever closer to the fatal midnight mark…and super-heroes have been existing in the world for some time now. The story begins with the murder of one of them, The Comedian. The mystery of who hunts the Watchmen begins to be explored by Rorschach.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Gorgeous imagery, with scenes from the comic copied exactly. Also, a soundtrack that you can’t help but notice as it turns up throughout the film. Some of the most amazing opening credits out there.

CONS: Almost everything else. The acting is extremely dodgy at times. There is no emotion or context or explanation for what’s happening.

BOTTOM LINE: Since one has to read the comic to really get anything of interest out of the film, the film is little more than some brought-to-life panels. Interesting to look at, but it doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

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