Ben Hatke and My Son Max 

I recently picked up Might Jack by Ben Hatke for my son Max. I haven’t seen him fall so quickly in love with a book since The Diary of. A Wimpy Kid series. He devoured that, then devoured all 3 Zita books. If he was just slightly into comics before, I think Mr. Hatke has made a life-long lover out of him. He loved them enough to write a letter to Ben Hatke asking him to make movies out of them. I’ve posted it below.


  
Here’s the text in case any of it is hard to read:

Dear Ben Hatke, 

My dad got Mighty Jack and he didn’t know that you wrote it. He thought it just looked interesting. But then he realized that you wrote it and he found Zita and halfway through Zita I realized that Zita and Mighty Jack was a crossover because Piper and Madrigal are in Mighty Jack and there the person who sells Jack the beans. And the reason I sent you this note is because I think you should make movies about them in order: Zita, Zita 2, Zita 3, Mighty Jack then Little Robot. Little Robot because the kid in Little Robot is in Mighty Jack at the flea market where Jack gets the beans. He was carrying a card board box that had wires and metal scraps. That’s why I think you should make moves about them. 

Sincerely, 

Max Manchester

Age 9 

Florence, Alabama

 

p.s. Waiting for Mighty Jack Two

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War is Hell: Night and the Enemy by Harlan Ellison

I’m still trying to figure out if this is the part of a series or not. It’s a little hard to get up to speed in some places, even with the prologue.

Here you’ll few short stories taking place during a long war between earth and another planet. Part of it is more graphic novel. Part of it is more illustrated story.

Though I love the art – it’s designed well for a dark future where we’ve been battling aliens for years.

And Ellison always does a decent job of writing; even if in some of these stories it was hard to get my bearings at the very beginning.

And he does a decent job of communicating a truth we should all know by now: war is insanity.

And according to Ellison, no – it’s not a part of a larger series.

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

Comic Book Review: Strange Girl by Rick Remender

  This comic is such a fascinating idea. Coupled with interesting characters, great art, and an intriguing story. The rapture, Angels and Demons, Lucifer. 

Bethany is the best protagonist I’ve read in a long time. But Bloato? Bloato is amazing. 

Not only is it a great fantasy comic, but there’s a great underlining (and sometimes overt) discussion of God’s motivations. 

So it’s fantastic as a fantasy, but also as a discussion of theology. The introduction is interesting, talking about Rick Remender’s struggles and what went into this book. 

…Life without struggle is joyless and without reward.

Powerful stuff. Especially because of who says it. But I won’t spoil it for you. 

I was a bit daunted by the length of this time, but once I got into (in the very first chapter) it really started to fly by. 

And the art is amazing. Even though it changed from time to time. The depictions of the denizens of hell is always interesting when done well. 

Several times I laughed. I might have felt a little guilty but I laughed. This was probably Bloato 99% of the time. 

And that mind-blowing ending?? Insane!

It’s been a rough decade.

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

Comic Book Review: The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change by Yorum Bauman and Grady Klein

 All I can say is that it’s really cool to learn so much from a comic book.

Well, that’s not really all I can say. But it is really cool!

While written in a simple language most anyone can understand, some of these concepts are still pretty complicated and require a slow, thoughtful read. And maybe a re-read.

But I love the way this book breaks down the issues with climate change – starting from the history of the earth.

The basic language and cartoony art make it something easy to read. And, more than just looking all comic-book-y and attractive, the art often does a fantastic job in illustrating the concepts being described. And outlines the completely compelling case of how the community of humans is causing climate change.

I realize that no one can tell the future. And the book even notes that things could turn out much better than predicted or much worse. But even the people who are anti-climate-change facts, or are expecting things to be much better than predicted, should even see that fact that we are changing our environment in drastic ways that we never have before.

One thing that’s ironic – is that as the climate changes, those who caused it (the wealthy) will be able to adapt to it much better than those who didn’t (the poor).

But the best thing about this book is that it gives ways to help.
Aristotle said that,

Everyone thinks chiefly if their own; hardly at all of the common interest.

Which means that people will pick up their dog’s poop in their own own yard because it benefits themselves, but not necessarily in public because it benefits the common good.

And it made me realize that people who let their dogs poop in my yard don’t give a crap about the common good.

(And, damn but doesn’t that say a lot about why the privileged don’t want to give up their privilege – but now I’m getting off topic.)
And, there’s an excellent glossary in the back to help you understand terms you might have missed.

Recommended for anyone that wants to learn more about climate change. And highly recommended for anyone that doesn’t. They probably need it even more!

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

Comic Book Review: The Empty by Jimmie Robinson

 The opening pages and chapter titles give the impression of desolation. Of emptiness.

I like the art. It’s very clean, very stark, bright. Perfect for both the lush world of Lila and the dead world of Tanoor.

Sometimes it’s lovely to read a self-contained story. One you don’t have to feel like you have to get the next volume and the next. I think this continues on – and that’s fine. But the end of this volume at least gives you some resolution.

The Empty is a solid dystopian action story – and it’s definitely different than any of them you’ve read before. A story of attempting to understand people not like yourself.

It’s creative. I would have loved to have seen all the different creatures Jimmie Robinson thought up for the book – but as he noted, they wouldn’t have had room for the story arc.

If you’re sick of the same old story, this just might be for you.

Thanks to NetGalley, Diamond, and Image Comics 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. 

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.