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.

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.