Category Archives: Review

Days of Dark Fire #1 – Sinopia Comics Inc. – Review and a few thoughts

 

This book had very cool art going in, so I wasn’t really surprised when the story turned out to be pretty damn good also. By now, if you have ever heard of the X-men, you have heard of the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix. This series delves into a pretty cool saga based on the god like properties of these two Phoenixes and the followers of their faiths.

After reading a few pages of this first book I began to realize how well it flowed from scene to scene. For me, if I can imagine someone acting out these scenes on a TV or movie screen, it’s usually a positive sign to me that the dialogue is pretty good. Giovanni Smith is a great writer, who can bring together a complex story  while giving his characters dialogue that moves along the story, but develops their personalities for better or worse. Titan “Tyson” comes to mind. He’s a wise ass, but your able to see there’s good inside that character before his actions even get to that point. Can’t say enough about this great dialogue.

Artist Mike Gaughrans art  gave the story a great sense of medieval, epic adventure to it. The timing and pace of the art was in perfect synch with the emotions and dialogue that Giovanni Smiths words were trying to convey. Mike’s art has kind of a cartoonish look to it, but I say that in the best possible way. I was reminded of the old  Masters of the Universe cartoons as I was reading this book. That’s high praise for me.

I did have a few small critiques that came to mind. Melody the Amazon looked kind of masculine, and the “grackles” looked like an oversized biker gang, but those were minor details. A few other positive details I’d like to point out is the great read at the beginning of the story that fleshes out the history of the two Phoenixes and how we get to where we are at when the story began. Also at the end of the book there is a detailed map which shows this world that is being created in  detail.

Issue #2 has already been released via their website below with title #3 coming soon. Please donate if you are going to read this book. About quarter way through Volume 1 you’ll realize you have paid $4.00 for at least one book in the last 3 months that wasn’t even close to the art and story of this one…and it wasn’t 30 quality pages.  Great job guys. Cheers

Scott

https://sinopiacomics.com/comics/

 

 

A Little Off The Top- Book #1 – Lowfive Productions

 

This was a quirky book that I wasn’t sure how to take the first time around. How could you build a story around hair cutting?!….and then I thought hmm,… Edward Scissorhands. If I could broadly compare this book, it would be a cross between Edward Scissorhands, The Star Wars Trilogy and a bit of Game of thrones tossed in there.

Abigale Theodosia is an enforcer of sorts. In a land where  hair is currency,  and being shaved of all yours strips you of your dignity,  a barber can be a dangerous figure. Abigale’s bone to pick today(or hair pick if you will)is not with the fine folks of the territory she is in but with the Queen and King of this realm. It’s about her families honor though the reasons so far have not been made quite clear.

Not sure how they did it, but the creators of this concept made it work, …..and  fairly well. From a story that is well paced(Via writer Billy Martin) to art that has a “fairy tale” feel to it(via Jazz Singh) they are able to pull together a thoughtful story and the beginnings of a larger universe of “cutters”. Along the way they plant enough seeds for future chapters where the things that are alluded to before will all make sense in the end…….or at the very least give more questions to the answers.

The hook for the next issue is set up nicely, and introduces whom I think may be to this series, it’s “Obi Wan CUTnobi”(Christ, did I just write that?!).Abigale Theodosia is an interesting character .From her facial expressions right down to the flop of hair on the top of her head(think Strong guy from X-factor)she has the makings of a strong interesting character.

I’d read the second book to see where this was going as I’ve been given enough foreshadowing that I’d like to see where it’s going. Lowfive productions website is below. They’ve got some great art and a couple of podcasts if you’d like to check them out. Cheers for now

Scott

http://www.lowfiveproductions.com/

 

 

Review Nyobi #1 – Larry Higgins

I think at some point time or another in our lives we’re all been bullied. Whether it be in school ,or out , sometimes being a teen who’s a little bit different is the most lonely road to walk. For Lucas Cassie this first issue gives a hint what his life is like in spades. On my first read through this book I wondered if perhaps this abuse had been overdone? Writer Larry Higgins had the whole world seemingly kicking this kids ass.

It certainly would explain why he was pushed to his brink, even if he did have a bit of help along the way in the form of a demon(Think Venom with a suicidal wish) goading him along just when he was at his weakest. The entire undercurrent of this issue was a sense of foreboding that this was not going to end well for Lucas.

The lead character 23, year old Japanese /American” Nyobi” Lee(based on cosplayer “Emily Zombie guts”.I just found the title to my first comic:), left me with more questions than answers after this first issue. She’s a teleporter in the vein of the X-mens” Nightcrawler” but as the story progresses you can see that by using her powers she becomes fatigued very quickly. Is she pushing herself to hard , or is it something else that is wearing her out?

There’s not a lot of fleshing out of Nyobi Lees origin in the story itself, but there is a handy dandy 2 page character profile directly after the main story to help fill in the blanks concerning Nyobi’s back story and abilities. Along with that there are various art works on the last 8 pages depicting Nyobi by local artists such as Andre Boulard, David Coates and Stefanine Acking to name a few. Andre Boulard’s version of her is probably my favourite, however I would have preferred the character show more uniqueness to her costume style. The short skirt , knee high boots and pigtails seemed a bit caricature of Japanese culture.

Overall , a good first venture out with a character with a lot of potential and a storyline that has room for a lot of growth. My understanding via some research is that the second issue has already been funded on Kickstarter and may be already out. One more very necessary and classy move I noted on the back page(literally read it cover to cover , because that’s how we roll here at Scotts house of comic reviews)was the numbers for the U.S(Suicide Prevention Line) and Canada (Kidshelpphone) prevention lines.I’m reprinting them here and anyone who is reading this if you ever need them, please use them. Hell, contact me on twitter and I’ll bring you in if need be. Oh and Larry? Dad would have been very proud. Cheers

Scott

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273 – 8255

Kidshelpphone 1-800-668-6868

Writer: Larry P Higgins

Interior line work:David Coates

Cover and shading :Andre Boulard

 

 

 

Source Point Press- The Misplaced- Chapter #1 – Review and a few thoughts.

The first thing that really stood out to me in this first chapter was the art. Chris Callahans style reminds me a lot of David McKean(Hellblazer, Batman: Arkham Asylum).It felt Haunting, spiritual, mystical, and celestial ;with just a touch of Victorian mixed in. This is coming from a reviewer who could not draw a bath, so the fact it effected me the way it did should say something to you.

The story itself is a poignant look at death, and how peace in the after life isn’t always possible if you have questions and yearnings unanswered. James can’t be happy.In his mind , there’s no plane of existence where he’ll feel whole unless the one thing he is missing is right there with him. That’s where his journey will begin. This first step was written very well and I thought the dialogue written in the first person to  his wife was enough to make toughest of ladies swoon. Bit of a silver tongue for what folks might call a “dark supernatural” story.

We all hope that at the end of this life we have a just reward. That we will find everlasting peace, and some of us believe that should include being with the things and people we love. James forsakes all of this to go find the one thing in his afterlife he can’t live without no matter how many elaborate dreams his mind can create. There’s an entire undercurrent of dialogue in this book where James almost pits his firm belief that he can never let the memory of his love go against simultaneously living in the afterlife where she is present in a dream form, created by him. Bit of a mind bender indeed

This first chapter contains the spectre of death, the deceit of angels and a questionable alliance with Eden herself. His wife is not on any plane anyone can confirm, and that is upsetting the a status quo and balance that was set before time itself began. This book contains metaphysical questions about life, afterlife and the very nature of the human spirit……. in the first chapter.

This book is a deep ride. The closest I could compare it to would be the late Robin Williams “What Dreams May Come”. An underrated gem from about 20 years ago. You’ll not find any super-heroes in tights here. You’ll simply find a man who would rather wander purgatory looking for the woman he loves then stay in a dream that will never be real. A pure love across space and time.

I can see why this was funded on kick starter in 4 days(It should have been funded in 2 on the merits of the art alone).My understanding is that this is a 4 part book. I encourage you see to where this story can take you. Both on a visual and literary level. Cheers for now.

Scott

Write and Artist :Chris Callahan

 

God Country – Image – Issue #4 – Review and a few thoughts

I have a granddaughter now. Like Emmett, I pretty much would follow her to hell to bring her back too if she was taken from us. That’s what this 4th issue delves into. A trip to hell. Balegrim has taken something very precious to Emmett and he wants her back.

I’ve heard rumors that this is only a 6 issue series. Rumors , I say because like butt holes it seems everyone has one. There might be a hint to that in this issue as (minor spoiler) the trip to hell isn’t near as long as you’d think it would have been. It does the job but I could have stood to see more exploration of this version of hell. There’s a bit of foreshadowing of things to come in the form of a dangerous looking animal surveying the scene so maybe there’s another trip back there in the works.

I’ve liked that Donnie Cates has kept the cast of characters in this book relatively small so that you get a decent fleshing out of their personalities and insight into what makes them tick. There’s a really compelling 3 page run in the book that examines our characters relationship with god and how that can be judged and questioned in the face of strife .Some really good dialogue here. The development of the “non god” relationship between Roy and Janey has been an interesting and necessary subplot to the book.

The main hero of this chapter is Valofax in that he is able to be the strategist and warrior that we forget Emmett is not really ready to be. Interesting nod to “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” here also. We’re also reminded in this chapter that although Emmett has the power of the gods now, he still has ties to his humanity that can be used to hurt him when need be. I think is an important plot point for this hero to have.

A majority of the media spotlight has been shone on Donnie Cates writing for giving this book the popularity it deserves .However, Geoff Shaw’s art has played a huge part , by being able to convey  a combination of the country simplicity and regal war of the gods feeling of Donnie’s words .His wispy attention to detail in facial features covers every nuance of the characters emotions during the story, and his beautiful renderings of contrasting landscapes, whether the barren slate of hell, or the rustic home style of Texas have brought such a warm and  unique feel to this book. The shades of shadowy dark inking used in this book lends a sense of foreboding to the story that has worked since issue #1.

Book 5 is due out May.17th.Highly recommend this.

Story: Donny Cates

Art: Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, John J.Hill

Colorist: Jason Wordie

Letterer: John J Hill

 

 

 

 

The Mist – TV trailer- Review and a few thoughts

 

This review is pretty cool for me as the series first season was not only shot in my home province of Nova Scotia, Canada but in my hometown in said province…and we’re off!!!:)

I had been hoping they would do a TV adaptation of this movie for years. The movie was based on a 1980 Novella by Stephen King. It was directed by acclaimed director Frank Darabont. If you watch The Walking dead you would probably recognize about half the cast from the movie as he directed the first season of TWD and brought a bunch of them along.

I loved the original movie. It had one of the most original shocking endings of any horror film I had seen, and I felt that they barely scratched the surface of the world that had come in with the mist. If you have seen the Cloverfield films you might understand a bit more of what I am speaking of. So much was left the table and I hope they can explore the world deeper in this new TV series.

The few hints I got from the trailer made me think they may be moving in a direction similar to 2008’s”The Happening” which featured mother nature taking aim at what it believed to be the biggest virus infecting the earth today……..us. I hope that is not the case because the original movie had some VERY cool looking monsters that I would like to see again. I also hope it does not go in the direction of “Under the Dome” as that rats stuck in a cage mentality can get tiresome after the first season.

I recognize a few of the actors. Vikings (highly recommended) lead Alyssa Sutherland(Princess Aslaug)plays a starring role as Eve Copeland. Noted local Nova Scotian comic and actor Bill Carr also has a sizable part. The scenery look stunning as it’s in my old stomping grounds and I’m biased as hell. Why that mist want to invade gods country?……, still biased as hell.

Season begins June 22nd 2017.Trailer below.

Still stoked it was shot in my hometown. Enjoy.

 

Image Comics- Black Cloud #1- Review and a few thoughts.

 

Wasn’t sure what to make of this after the first read. Read it the second time this morning and things started to come together. I hope so anyway. At this point I may be reading this issue all wrong.

First, I should point out that the first three pages are beautifully drawn and coloured. Greg Hinkle has drawn really great art there. The book itself is the beginning of a story which seems to involve, for lack of better term, on dream weavers. The story focuses on Zelda(I got that from the solicitations as I don’t think she is referenced as anyone other than “Ms. Barrett in the story)and her making her way in the world by giving the world the drug it always wanted…….the ability to make their dreams come true. Bringing along Zelda as their guide is just part of the deal.

These worlds of dreams seem all interconnected which COULD make for a story that would rival the magical world of Harry Potter if done right. More than once during the story there are references to her coming from “below” and there seems to be more than a few references to someone from above who seems to be a nemesis of hers with props such as water and lightning bolts involved. At this point I’m beginning to think that this is the beginning of a saga about temptation and a struggle of good vs Evil. I’m not really sure Zelda is on the side of the angels…..yet.

Greg Hinkles art has kind of dreamy, rustic, dark , yet elegant feeling to it and when I read the book the second time I could feel the style growing on me. Colorist Matt Wilson did a beautiful job specifically on those first 3 pages and throughout the book he was able to weave the bright blues, browns and  shades of oranges of the Technicolor real world, with dull greys and blacks of a persons dream state(Except Bowie, who always dreamed in Color)

Over all I enjoyed the writing style of Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon although sometimes I felt like I was missing a lot of information about this world they are creating ,but like any good writer would plot……all in good time. There was a nice hook for the next book as someone is after Zelda and whether that be a specific nemesis or just a general guardian against what she is doing with the dream world remains to be seen. One thing that has been established is that Zelda is a power to be reckoned with in this dream world and it’s citizens have a lot of respect for this “old blood”. Lots of questions by the end of this chapter. Will pick up the next chapter off the shelf. If you enjoy the mystical and the feeling of something bigger this may be a book for you.

Next chapter is on sale May.10th

Story: Jason Latour & Ivan Brandon

Script: Ivan Brandon

Art: Greg Hinkle

Color: Matt Wilson

Lettering : Aditya Bidikar