Book Review: More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

  I have to be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance before. I just always knew they were all cheesy and fake. Basically, as not-real as they can be, but exactly what women are supposed to want. Kind of like the airbrushed models in Playboy aren’t real but are exactly what men are supposed to want. 

But this book was about comics, so, you know, I had to take the plunge. 

And holy crap – from the Hector and Tara’s first meeting at San Diego Comic-Con (they collaborated on a comic long distance), I was hooked. Elizabeth Briggs’s writing really nails it…after the first chapter I didn’t want to put it down. That was yesterday. 

And – I finished it today. Sure, the book wasn’t that long; but still, I must have enjoyed it. Ms. Briggs does a great job capturing character and dialogue – making them just real enough to be believable, and unreal enough to be step lightly over the line into fantasy. And I realize this was probably tame compared to some of the stuff that’s out there, but the *ahem* steamy stuff was well-written, too. 

Now I have to try to resist getting caught up in the prequels and sequels of this series that involve Tara and Hector’s other friends. 

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes romance and comics. Or just romance. Or just comics. I thought it was worth reading. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Victory Editing for a copy in return for an honest review.


Comic Book Review: Shaft: A Complicated Man by David Walker

  Who’s the black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks? Shaft! 

But this is before being a private dick. 

This is the origin of John Shaft. 

David Walker does it right. 

And Bilquis Evely’s art (and Daniela Miwa’s coloring) is superb – calling back to the comic art of the 70s. 

It’s really hard to write this review without all the language that Shaft uses. Not that I necessarily shy away from that, but if I start, I’ll never be able to stop. 

Oh, what the hell. Shaft is a Bad. Ass. 

An excellent suspenseful story – the kind that makes you so happy that you’re reading an entire trade and not having to wait for each separate issue. 

Highly recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Dynamite for a copy in return for an honest review. 

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

  I like Rachel Hartman’s writing style; it’s very engaging. She writes compelling and interesting characters. And I loved the narrator of the book. She was entrancing. And the singing was very cool – with a Celtic flavor. 

You know you’ve found a fabulous author when you wish you could come up with some of what she wrote. 

“Winter had not yet found its teeth. The rooftop frost melted with the first kiss of the sun.”

“…I knew about sorrow and about music as sorrow’s surest balm.”

There’s some very profound wisdom about life, too. This is why telling stories is important.  

“I scrupulously hide every legitimate reason for people to hate me. And then it turns out they don’t need legitimate reasons. Heaven has fashioned a knife of irony to stab me with.”

“That’s the secret to performance. Conviction. The right note played tentatively still misses its mark. But play boldly and no one will question you. If one believes there is truth in art – and I do – then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying.”

And my favorite: 

“No heaven but this.”

Comic Book Review: Blue Hand Mojo #1 by John Jennings

  Just looking at the cover, you know you’ll like the art. It would have been cool if the whole thing had been in color – but then the black and white lends it that air of noir. 

Everything about this comic comes together to make it a complete package. The story, the art, the dialogue. It has such a great horror noir feel to it. And then there’s the magic. The way Frank wields his magic has such a perfect fit to the book. 

And before you know it, you see To Be Continued… and you’re left hanging wondering when the next issue is coming out…

Thanks to Netgalley and Rosarium Publishing for this copy in return for an honest review.

Comic Book Review: Multiversity (Deluxe Edition) by Grant Morrison

  I’ve said before, I like retellings. That’s why I like the multiverse. What if Batman were a pirate? What if Thomas and Martha Wayne found Kal-El? What if Batman met Dracula and things didn’t go so well? I’ve been a lover of DC’s Elseworlds series since the Annuals in the 90s. 

And it’s interesting how the Multiversity comic is bringing them together. 

For a huge crossover effort, I like that each story is its own, but touches on each other. Part of me is disappointed that it’s not mainly about the primary superheroes we all know and love, but I thought the stories were handled well and were handled well on their own.

It was an interesting twist to make the comic itself a part of the story. It’s a bit meta, but I think it works. Pax Americana was a little all over the place and tough to follow. But I really like the analogy of us looking at a comic book similar to how a higher dimensional being might be looking at us. 

And Major Comics? I don’t know if this is the first time it’s been used in DC Comics, but I love the stand-in for…you know…that other major comics group. At first I said, hey, that looks an awful lot like…but then I realized what they were doing. Nice. (And you won’t understand most of this paragraph until you read Multiversity.) 

I have to say, I kind of enjoyed The Just – the parallel earth with the superhero’s kids as spoiled brats. It was intriguing and the art fit perfectly. 

The villain seems to always be confusing in these big events. (What exactly are its origins? What is its motivation?)

And the guidebook – the addition of a description of each earth was pretty cool. Is it necessary to formalize each what if story and make a world for it? Maybe not, but it was still interesting to see each earth and it’s characters described. 

Of course, they round out this massive volume with alternate covers, character sketches, and scene layouts. I’m going to have to try and find Vampire Robin being carried off by Vampire Batman (a la Batman #428). 

Overall, recommended, especially if you’re a fan of the different DC worlds. 

Thanks to NetGalley and DC Comics for a copy in return for an honest review.

Comic Book Review: Death Vigil by Stjepan Sejic

  I really got into this story. There’s nothing like getting sucked into the suspense of a story and turning (swiping) to the next page wondering what’s going to happen next. 

Dealing with the afterlife is always an interesting idea. And I like this different kind of mythology surrounding the dead. 

What happens when Clare dies? She has the opportunity to join the Death Vigil “in their ongoing war against the ever-growing power of the Primordial Enemy!” 

Don’t be thrown by that goofy blurb. This book is really worth reading. 

The characters are interesting. I love Sam, Clare, Bernadette, James, and Mia and would read more about these characters just because. The author did a good job of bringing them alive.  

The mythology surrounding the veilrippers was really interesting – how each one is different and is tied to each person. 

The art is great and fits the tone of the book perfectly. The monsters were well-designed, creepy, and Cthulhu-like. 

And it made me laugh. Out loud. Several times. That’s always good. 

I really didn’t see anything negative about the book. The story was interesting, but it was the characters that drove it. 

I’ll be looking forward to more of these. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Image Comics for a copy in return for an honest review. 

Book Review: Where I Belong by Linda Kranz

  I really liked the photography in this book. It really looks like the snakes were photographed in the different environments. 

But the whole idea seems a bit forced. 

The story is kind of abrupt, and it’s confusing why Max goes to Red Mountain and why he comes back. 

The lesson he learns is important, but it’s confusing how he learns the lesson. Unfortunately, a children’s book needs to be smarter than pretty pictures and hitting a child over the head with a lesson. 

What’s the deal with Red Mountain? Why did Max want to go there? Why is it bad? Why did he leave? 

Of course, it’s important to not hurt others. It’s important to help people and make them feel like they belong. 

But the whole point of children’s books is to show why these things are important. Not just tell. And ultimately that’s why this book is lacking. (Well, it doesn’t help when characters have no motivation for what they do – yes, even in children’s book.)

Thanks to NetGalley and Rowman & Littlefield for a copy in return for an honest review.