Tag Archives: graphic novel

An Interview with Graphic Novelist Frederik Peeters

Frederik Peeters has received five nominations in the Best Book category at Angoulême (the so-called “Cannes of comics”) and in 2013 won the Best Series prize for the first two volumes of Aâma. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

Frederik was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Aâma, artists and authors who have influenced him, the very personal graphic novel called Blue Pills that launched his career, and more!

Andrea Johnson: Congratulations on the recent publication of your newest graphic novel Aâma: The Invisible Throng. This is the second volume in the Aâma series, a futuristic science fiction story with high-tech body augmentations, a robot monkey, and a mysterious biorobotic experiment called “AAMA”. What else can you tell us about this story, and where it is going?

Frederik Peeters: I can’t tell you where the story is going like this, in an interview – otherwise there’s no point in spending years creating books. All I can tell you is that I had two main directions in mind when doing it: first, try to think about the relationship humanity has with the technology it’s creating, and second, the love story between a father and his daughter. All this wrapped within a big adventure story full of strange, intimate poetry.
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Brent Weeks’ THE WAY OF SHADOWS Graphic Novel

Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I’m taking a look at a new graphic novel adaptation of Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows.

From the post:

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks is the first book in The Night Angel Trilogy. Yen Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group has just released a graphic novel adaptation by Ivan Brandon and Andy MacDonald. I first learned about the graphic novel when Weeks visited Denver as part of his book tour for The Broken Eye, book three in his Lightbringer series. Having enjoyed the Yen Pres adaptations of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books, I was excited to see how Shadows transferred to the comics medium. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.

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

REVIEW: Pathfinder Volume 1: Dark Waters Rising

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!)

Ghosted: Haunted Heist

Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I have a new post up on Ghosted Volume One: Haunted Heist from Image comics.

From the post:

Imagine Ocean’s Eleven if the heist was all about the supernatural, specifically, stealing a ghost.  In Ghosted: Haunted Heist (978-1607068365) by Joshua Williamson and Goran Sudzuka, Jackson T. Winters is tasked with that very mission: steal a ghost.   Continuing the Ocean’s Eleven comparison, imagine if during the middle of that movie, everyone except Clooney’s character was killed, and he ended up in prison.  Then someone broke him out of prison, dragged him to a rich, possibly insane, multi-millionaire collector of the supernatural, who offers him his freedom in exchange for the one thing that will make his collection the envy of his peers: a ghost.

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

Alan Moore’s Nemo: Heart of Ice

This week on the Kirkus Reviews blog, I take a look at Alan Moore’s Nemo: Heart of Ice.

From the post:

Moore revisits the world he created in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman in a new book, Nemo: Heart of Ice, which focuses on Janni Dakkar, daughter of Captain Nemo, and her trek across Antarctica to prove herself by recreating Nemo’s own Antarctic expedition. Moore draws from several sources, including H.P. Lovercraft, to create a dark and mysterious continent full of dangers and madness. As a character, Janni feels the weight of the Nemo name and legacy set squarely on her shoulders, and struggles throughout the book to come to terms with that.

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

Gregory Wilson Chats About His New Kickstarter Project: ICARUS: A Graphic Novel

Gregory A. Wilson is currently an Associate Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing and fantasy fiction along with various other courses in literature. His first academic book was published by Clemson University Press in 2007; on the creative side, he has won an award for a national playwriting contest, and his first novel, a work of fantasy entitled The Third Sign, was published by Gale Cengage in the summer of 2009. He is a regular panelist at conferences across the country and is a member of Codex, the Writers’ Symposium, Backspace, and several other author groups on and offline.

He is currently in the process of submitting his second and third novels, Icarus and Grayshade respectively, to publishers, and he has new short stories out in the anthologies When The Villain Comes Home, edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, and Triumph Over Tragedy, alongside authors like Robert Silverberg and Marion Zimmer Bradley. He has had three articles published in the SFWA Bulletin. On other related fronts, he did character work and flavor text for the hit fantasy card game Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, and along with fellow speculative fiction author Brad Beaulieu is the co-host of the podcast Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, a show which discusses (and interviews the creators and illustrators of) speculative fiction of all sorts and types. He lives with his wife Clea, daughter Senavene–named at his wife’s urging for a character in The Third Sign, for which he hopes his daughter will forgive him–and dog Lilo in Riverdale, NY.

His latest project is the crowd funded graphic novel version of Icarus.

Kristin Centorcelli: Greg, will you tell us about your new Kickstarter project, Icarus?

Gregory Wilson: Icarus: A Graphic Novel is a graphic novel based on my novel of the same name, being published by Silence in the Library Publishing. It’s a story which follows the adventures of Icarus and Jellinek, two beings who are, on the surface, as different from one another as they could possibly be. Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned young man with wings, incredible powers, and no memory of anything other than his name; Jellinek is a short, flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a two-tailed lava resistant creature called a “solar” for a companion, and a general dislike of everyone around him. Together, they must defeat a race of tyrants that has enslaved the world of Vol into which Icarus plummets, and through the course of the story they discover that they are more alike than they can possibly imagine. Icarus is illustrated by the insanely talented Matt Slay, a professional comic artist.
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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.

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.

Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor

Thor: The Dark World opens on November 8th. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some of Thor’s more recent adventures for the Kirkus Reviews blog.

From the Post:

I was more than a little skeptical of the first movie. Thor was never one of my favorite characters growing up. First, he talked funny. All ‘thou’, ‘thee’, ‘verily’, and whatnot. Second, well, he just wasn’t accessible to me as a reader. I couldn’t identify with him – he was a god, after all. Truth told, I enjoyed the alternate Thor versions Beta Ray Bill and Eric Masterson (Thunderstrike) in the comics more than I did Thor himself. But the movie converted me. They stripped away all the things about Thor I didn’t care for or identify with. They brought his humanity to the forefront and made the character likable, and accessible, without losing the core of who he is and what drives him. Yes, they changed up his backstory (Don Blake became a one-liner joke), but in this situation, I was actually for those changes. With that in mind, I offer up 5 graphic novels featuring Marvel’s God of Thunder, Thor to get you ready for The Dark World.

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

Saga, Vol. 1

In honor of it winning the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, I thought I’d go ahead and take a look at Saga: Volume 1 this week on the Kirkus Blog.

From the post:

From the mind of Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and illustrated by Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga: Volume 1 (978-1607066019) tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers out to leave their past behind and start a new life together.  Alana is a winged-being from the world known as Landfall.  Her world is at war with the inhabitants of their moon, called Wreath.  Drafted to fight in that war, Alana eventually found herself working as a prison guard where she met Marko.  Born of Wreath, Marko, too, was a soldier.  His race has horns and can wield magic, whereas the people of Landfall are technologically superior.  Somehow, the two fell in love and decided to desert their respective armies and build a new life together.  That new life is complicated by the arrival of Hazel, their child, who represents something neither side of the war thought possible; genetic compatibility.

Click on over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of my review.

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.

The Manhattan Projects: Science Bad

Science is bad, m’kay?Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, i have a piece on The Manhattan Projects Vol 1: Science Bad.

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

You know the names; Oppenheimer -‘father of the atomic bomb’, Einstein – the most influential physicist of the 20th century, Roosevelt – President of the United States during both the Great Depression and World War II, Truman – Roosevelt’s Vice President and successor, who dropped the bomb on Japan to end the war, von Braun – former Nazi and ‘father of Rocket Science’, Feynman, genius and theoretical physicist. You should also remember The Manhattan Project; America’s top-secret research and development project located in Los Alamos, NM. They produced the first atomic bomb. Now, add in flying saucers, aliens, wormholes, Japanese kamikaze robots, artificial intelligences, alternate realities, evil twins and galactic war.

Click on over to read the rest of the post.

The Legend of Drizzt: A Neverwinter Tale by R.A. Salvatore

Today over on the Kirkus blog, I talk about The Legend of Drizzt: A Neverwinter Tale by R.A. Salvatore.

From the post:

It’s difficult to imagine Dungeons & Dragons without The Forgotten Realms, a campaign/expansion setting created by Ed Greenwood in 1967, and brought into the D&D canon fully in 1987.  The setting has proven a fruitful one for players and authors alike.  At least twenty-four books have included R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf hero, Drizzt.  Few authors have contributed as much to the Dungeons & Dragons canon as Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore.  I actually had the opportunity to chat with Salvatore for the SFSignal.com podcast, and we talked extensively about his Neverwinter Saga and Drizzt himself.  The history and world building in that series is carried over and expanded in the comics which make up the new graphic novel.

Click on over to Kirkus to read the rest of the

[GUEST POST] Abhinav Jain Reviews “Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends” from DC Comics’ New 52

Previously, I reviewed Gail Simone’s first volume for the rebooted Batgirl series, The Darkest Reflection, which is a part of DC’s New 52 initiative. In the review, I mentioned my appreciation of Gail Simone’s writing, and how the series was off to a great start, and how I was looking forward to the next volume, which we now know is called Knightfall Descends.

The question at such a point, of course, is whether the second volume can match the first volume, and whether it can exceed expectations.
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Charlaine Harris and Dynamite Bring Harper Connelly to Comics with Grave Sight, a 3-Part Series

Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, I have a post about the three-volume set of graphic novels based on Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight.

Charlaine Harris is probably best known for her Sookie Stackhouse books, which serve as the foundation for HBO’s popular True Blood television show.  But another fan favorite is the Harper Connelly series (four books) that follow title character Harper Connelly and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang.  Harper has the power to find the dead and see their last moments, revealing how they died.  She uses that power to eek out a living by sharing the information with the living.

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[GUEST POST] Abhinav Jain Reviews Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection from DC Comics New 52

With DC’s relaunch of its entire line-up under the “New 52″ umbrella, several Batman-related titles were announced, no less than ten of them! We have the main Batman title, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, Batman: The Dark Knight, Red Hood and The Outlaws, Batwing, Batwoman and Birds of Prey. That’s one heck of an overdose of everything Batman. Plus the fact that the first twelve issues of most of these titles came under the Court of Owls crossover event, and keeping track of the various appearances and stuff is pretty overwhelming. At least, that’s one of the reasons why I avoided reading anything other than Batman by Scott Snyder, Birds of Prey by Duane Swierczynski and Nightwing by Kyle Higgins until now.

Recently, it was as if there was more and more praise for writer Gail Simone, who is penning Batgirl at the moment. It made me curious. I’ve never had much of an interest in Batgirl, a character little seen in the movies and the various TV shows alike. Duane and Kyle have both featured her quite a bit in their ongoing series, with Batgirl being one of the core members of the current incarnation of the Birds of Prey, so I wondered how she would be written in her own solo series. And how it would all tie to the various crossovers that are ongoing for all Batman-related titles. As I said above, first we had the Court of Owls crossover, and now we have Death of the Family, in which Joker returns to Gotham with a vengeance and an axe to grind.

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5 Graphic Novels Starring The Dark Knight Rises That Every Fan Should Read

Soon, theaters will be playing The Dark Knight Rises (midnight showings tonight in most markets), so with that in mind, I put together a list at the Kirkus Reviews Blog called 5 graphic novels starring Gotham’s protector, 3 of which I believe helped to shape the Nolan trilogy.

From the post:

The Dark Knight Returns – If we look at the Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton Batman flicks as being dark, even harsh, in their portrayal of Batman, we aren’t wrong.  A far cry from the campy days of Adam West running around in the cape and cowl, these films have had a mood and tone that at least partially comes from my next pick, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (ISBN-10: 1563893428).  Set in Batman’s future, Bruce Wayne is fifty-five years old, retired, and Gotham is a very different place without him.  Superheroes are all but gone, and crime is mostly unchecked.  When Two-Face returns, Wayne puts on the cape and cowl once more, but finds Gotham and the world, unwelcoming to his brand of vigilante justice.  The Gotham PD hunt him relentlessly, the American government sees him as a threat to their authority.  Worse, Batman alive and well brings The Joker back and he is deadlier than ever.

Please click through the Kirkus Reviews to see the other Batman graphic novel picks!

‘The Gunslinger’: A Great Entry Point to Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series

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.

Chris Roberson Tackles Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné in: The Balance Lost

My next piece on the Kirkus Review Blog is on Elric: The Balance Lost Volume One.  Chris Roberson, author of Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, iZombie, and the new science fiction novel Further: Beyond the Threshold, and illustrator Francesco Biagini, pick up the tale of the 428th Emperor of Melniboné for a comic series from Boom! Studios.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Talk to a fan of the sword and sorcery genre, and it won’t take long for the conversation to turn to Elric, the 428th Emperor of Melniboné. With alabaster skin, and wielding the soul-eating sword Stormbringer, Elric is the Eternal Champion, someone who is chosen to fight for the cosmic Balance. In Moorcock’s stories, Elric is one of many such Champions, who exist in every different version of reality throughout the multiverse. Each Champion must fight for the balance between Law and Chaos, two opposing forces locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. Should either side win, all would be lost.

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