Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Viking, Volume 1: The Long Cold Fire Review (Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein)

It’s viking times and a buncha vikings are sat around eating meat. A coupla vikings rock up and kill some vikings. Smash cut to a family of vikings fishing with a horse’s head. Smash cut to a viking king with his viking daughter. Some bad stuff happens to the viking fishermen, the viking king falls out with his viking daughter. More vikings are slaughtered. That’s about it! The book is called Viking, Volume 1. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Free Country: A Tale of The Children's Crusade Review (Neil Gaiman, Toby Litt)

In the early ‘90s, Neil Gaiman, Jamie Delano, and a handful of other creators from Vertigo came up with a crossover title starring the kids from their various comics. There was the Dead Boy Detectives from Sandman, Maxine from Animal Man, Dorothy from Doom Patrol, Tefe from Swamp Thing, Suzy from Black Orchid, and Timothy Hunter from The Books of Magic. They called it The Children’s Crusade and two issues were published but the story was apparently unfinished. 

The Joker: Endgame Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

Have you already read Batman, Volume 7: Endgame? If yes, then you’ve already read about half of this book! That’s right, DC have republished the entire Endgame story arc in this book, that’s Batman #35-40 - pretty audacious! I’m not going to re-review it so if you want to know what I thought about those issues, click the link here and it’ll take you to the Batman, Vol. 7 review. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day Review

Felicia Day is an internet personality who made her name a few years ago writing/producing/starring in a Youtube show called The Guild, a comedy about nerds obsessed with a World of Warcraft-type game. She’s appeared in several mainstream shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka and Supernatural in supporting roles but it’s her online video channel, Geek and Sundry, for which she’s best known. 

The Goon, Volume 1: Nothin' But Misery by Eric Powell Review

I don’t know how I’ve done it but I’ve read the entire Goon series without ever reading the first volume! Anyhoo, it’s a fairly easy title to follow as most of the time it’s Eric Powell telling loopy horror stories with a heavy dose of black comedy - and I love it! 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sam Zabel and The Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks Review

Cartoonist Sam Zabel is burned out on comics. Suffering from anhedonia (the absence of pleasure, of joy), he sets aside his indie book Pickle for writing the banal superhero Lady Night for Eternal Comics, hacking out scripts he hates to earn a living. Then one day he discovers a forgotten New Zealand cartoonist, Evan Rice, and his comic The King of Mars. Opening the pages, he sneezes, opens his eyes and… he’s inside the comic’s world! So begins Sam’s fantastical odyssey through sequential art… 

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O'Malley Review (Scott Pilgrim #3)

Scott and his band Sex Bob-Omb square off against the more successful The Clash at Demonhead fronted by his ex, Envy Adams, and featuring the band's bass player/next Evil Ex-Boyfriend of Ramona’s, Todd. But Todd has powers - vegan powers! - and Scott’s old feels for Envy flare up again. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Arrow, Volume 1 Review (Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg)

I must’ve been sleep-requesting on Netgalley because I have no idea why I’d say I wanted to read this book - I don’t watch the Arrow TV show and I’m not even that big a fan of Green Arrow as a character! Anyways, I said I’d review it, so here goes. 

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl/Dr.Manhattan Review (J. Michael Staczynski, Andy Kubert)

Before Watchmen hasn’t been a bad series at all. Brian Azzarello’s Comedian/Rorschach is my pick for the best of the bunch but the Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair and Minutemen/Silk Spectre books have enough to recommend them too. Which is why it’s a shame when it comes to two of the biggest Watchmen characters, Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan, J. Michael Straczynski really drops the ball and produces the worst collection of the group. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Food Wars!, Volume 2: Shokugeki no Soma Review (Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki)

Food Wars is a manga about Soma, a teenage cooking prodigy whose food is so incredible, you’ll imagine yourself sans clothes, writhing in ecstasy as you taste it! Soma has been admitted into the mega-elite Totsuki Culinary Academy and instantly made enemies with the head of the school’s daughter, Erina Nakiri, who’s also a brilliant chef with an impeccable palate - except (for story purposes) she’s evil! 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods Review (Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo)

Caesar has a plan to defeat the rebel Gaulish village once and for all - if they won’t fall in line, he’ll build Roman civilization around them and force their culture upon them! His brilliant young architect Squareonthehypotenus will build... The Mansions of the Gods! 

Virgil Review (Steve Orlando, J. D. Faith)

Here’s the entire pitch for Virgil - are you ready? It’s kinda mind-blowing: a standard revenge thriller where the hero… is GAY! And when I say “standard”, boy, is this comic standard - bog standard! That could basically be the entire review but let’s pull on this thread a bit more and see what we can unravel. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett Review

I discovered Discworld at age 11. I read the Rincewind novel, Sourcery (Discworld #5), first and read the rest of the series out of sequence, picking up whichever second hand paperback was available at this small, hidden bookshop that no longer exists (it’s now a butcher’s). I used to read entire Pratchett novels in a day and burned through the series in no time. I was a Discworld fanatic. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Noah Review (Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel)

I’m gonna try to keep my Christianity bashing to a minimum in this review even though it’s crazier than Donald Trump’s hair ESPECIALLY the Old Testament! 

Atomic Robo, Volume 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne Review (Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener)

Atomic Robo is a robot that fights baddies and makes jokes and stuff. He fights the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s; he fights giant monster ants; he fights bizarrely anachronistic mechanised pyramids in Egypt; he goes to Mars for some reason; and he fights a brain in a jar on a giant robot body. And that’s it! 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Get Jiro! Review (Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose)

Set in a bizarre futuristic Los Angeles, food is the only surviving culture - arts, sports, everything has gone! Chefs are the new power and LA is ruled over by two chef warlords: Bob, a French chef, and Rose, an organic farmer, whose sides are bitterly at war with one another. 

Hawkeye, Volume 5: All-New Hawkeye Review (Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez)

Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez have the unenviable task of following up one of Marvel’s most celebrated titles in recent years, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye – but they’ve risen admirably to the task and hit the target with a damn good comic! 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Superman: Doomed Review (Charles, Soule, Greg Pak)

Remember The Death of Superman? I don’t recall what happened in it (prolly nothing important) but alls I know is Superman and this Kryptonian monster called Doomsday fisted each other a lot. So those fresh, radical thinkers at DC put down their empty whiskey bottles and decided “hey, before we get fired, why don’t we do The Death of Superman storyline but for the New 52?” - and so we have Superman: Doomed. 

Annihilator Review (Grant Morrison, Frazer Irving)

Ray Spass is a washed-up Hollywood screenwriter who needs a hit movie soon. Cramming himself with booze and drugs during a Satanic orgy in a haunted house, he stumbles across the idea for a new movie: an intergalactic villain called Max Nomax sits in a prison on the edge of a supermassive black hole trying to bring his dead girlfriend back to life. And then Max is no longer in the screenplay but sat in Ray’s house telling him they have to save the universe. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Asterix and the Banquet Review (Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo)

Set in 50 BC, all of Gaul (ancient France) is conquered by Julius Caesar’s Roman army. All? One small village still holds out against the Romans: Asterix’s village. And it’s thanks to their druid Getafix’s magic potion which gives them superhuman strength! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Injection, Volume 1 Review (Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey)

The team behind last year’s excellent Moon Knight, Volume 1: From the Dead, Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire reunite for Injection. It’s about five strange people hired by some organisation to do something. Magic abounds. Odd plant monsters. Things that glow and Other Worlds. Mythical ancient England. It’s kind of X-Files-y. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Batman - Knightfall, Volume 3: Knightsend Review (Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon)

In the final part of the Knightfall saga, Bruce must become Batman once again and take Gotham from the hands of the power-crazed Jean-Paul Valley aka Robo-Batman! But to do so he must retrain with the help of Lady Shiva - for there can be only one!

The Walking Dead, Volume 24: Life and Death Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

Things are going well for once and Rick’s settlement is flourishing - they’re even putting on their first fair! Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Rick, Carl has followed his girlfriend Lydia back to her people, the dark and menacing Whisperers - is he safe? Back at Hilltop Maggie must decide what to do with her would-be assassin Gregory, and Negan reminds Rick of his ever-present danger. 

We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler Review

Spoilers, I guess, but unless you’re obligated to read/review it like me because you foolishly clicked “request” on Netgalley - and I can’t stress this next part enough - I really would NOT bother with this tripe! 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir Review

On a manned mission to Mars that goes wrong, Mark Watney is left behind on the martian surface - he’s gotta survive the harsh environment until his NASA teammates can rescue him. 

Locke & Key, Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom Review (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)

Hmm, not a whole lot happens in the fourth Locke & Key book: Zack/Dodge is still monotonously hunting for the Omega Key. He targets an old girlfriend of Rendell’s (the Locke kids’ dead dad) who recognises him, and he continues to torment Rufus, the son of the woman he’s living with. Then it’s a waiting game until something resembling a plot emerges in the final act. It’s not really plot-driven - it’s not really character-driven either! Locke & Key’s “story” just kinda… floats there. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Worst Comics of 2015 (So Far)

Oy, what a year! Some great comics have been published in 2015 but also plenty of super-stinky stuff too! Here’s a list of comics to steer clear of. 

Scott Pilgrim vs The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley Review (Scott Pilgrim #2)

Grrrrr, I spent the last 2 hours trying to write a musical version of this review - it was titled “Battling For Love” and I’ll include what I’ve got at the end - because it’d be appropriate as Scott’s in a band and he writes simple, terrible songs. But it’s too hard so I’ve given up! I always knew I wasn’t a songwriter but now you know too. 

Wonder Woman, Volume 7: War-Torn Review (Meredith Finch, David Finch)

Diana has become the new God of War in addition to being Queen of Themyscira and Wonder Woman in the Justice League. But with her loyalties divided, Diana’s Amazons begin an insurrection against her progressive rule, led by the barbaric Donna Troy. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Double Cross: More or Less by Tony Consiglio Review

Double Cross: More or Less is a comic you’ve never heard of by a creator you’ve also never heard of - Tony Consiglio - and likely won’t read, instead probably picking the latest crap from Marvel or DC over this (really, how many times can someone read about The Avengers punching some evil aliens and saving the world again without wanting to stick your brain in a blender?). 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Food Wars!, Volume 1: Shokugeki no Soma Review (Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki)

15 year old Soma Yukihara is already an accomplished chef whose dishes are so good they have the bizarre side effect of inducing orgasms in the diner! The flip-side is his experimental meals can be so bad they make the eater feel assaulted! One day, Soma’s single father decides to up stakes and go on a cooking trip around the world, leaving Soma to attend Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, Japan’s premier cooking school, where he goes up against nemesis Erina Nakiri. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Best Comics of 2015 (So Far)

I know it’s only September but we’re 3/4s of the way through 2015 so a sizeable chunk of interesting comics have already come out. There’s still stuff I haven’t read yet but I’m going to - Nimona and Injection are top of my list - so my final end of year list might look a lil different. 

The Multiversity Review (Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely)

Grant Morrison’s long-awaited Multiversity series is nine extra-long issues of a Crisis-like event that threatens to destroy DC’s 52 universes that make up the Multiverse. 

Jupiter's Circle, Volume 1 Review (Mark Millar, Wilfredo Torres)

Jupiter’s Circle is a spinoff prequel to Jupiter’s Legacy, focusing on the first generation of superheroes, The Union, in the late ‘50s. The book’s divided into three two-issue stories focusing on the lesser-known characters like Blue-Bolt, The Flare, and Skyfox. It’s also incredibly mundane and continues Mark Millar’s no-hitter streak that is his Millarworld line of books! 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Shaking Hands with Death by Terry Pratchett Review

Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare strain of Alzheimer’s disease, in 2007. The illness shrinks and shrivels areas at the back of the brain. In his humorous way, Pratchett labelled his illness “the embuggerance” but it was a very serious threat to his life. 

Arcadia by Iain Pears Review

An Oxford don is writing a fantasy book like his colleagues Lewis and Tolkien did. He’s visited every now and then by a young girl who helps around the house and who discovers a magic mirror in his basement that leads into a pastoral wonderland – almost like the fantasy landscape the don is creating. A couple hundred years in the future, a psychomathematician has discovered a portal to parallel universes – which are real – and has chosen to hide in one because she's nuts. The magic mirror is hers which she left in the don’s basement after travelling back in time. There’s also a young lad training to be a Storyteller, which is some kind of priest. 

Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows Review (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)

Three volumes in and Locke & Key’s story remains largely unchanged. The Locke kids – Tyler, Kinsey and Bode – continue to grieve over their murdered father, their mother’s still drinking heavily, and Zack Wells/Dodge/whatever its name is in this book, is doing more dastardly things. This time he’s looking for the black key… to do something, probably evil! Kinsey goes to a cave, following her dad’s footsteps as a teen, and more magic keys appear in the Lockes’ cartoonishly gothic mansion, Keyhouse! 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Action Philosophers! Giant-Size Thing Volume 1 Review (Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey)

Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Action Philosophers takes bite-sized looks at mankind’s greatest philosophers, their lives and their teachings – and it’s brilliant! 

Plutona #1 Review (Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox's Plutona #1. Read the full piece here:

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

We Can Never Go Home #1 Review (Matthew Rosenberg, Josh Hood)

Set in a small American town in 1989, troubled teen Duncan discovers preppy Madison has superpowers – but only when she’s anxious/agitated. They bond over their shared secret superpowers (Duncan can kill with his mind) and then Madison does something which means they have to leave town – and never go home ohmigawd just like the title!! …