Saturday, 30 November 2019

The Bastard by Patrick DeWitt Review

What’s this – Patrick DeWitty-Man wrote a story about yours truly?! It’s ok guys, you can protect your sides – they won’t split as I can’t keep up this pace (DAT’S WOT SHE SEZ..>!#!) – but looks: a short story about a bastard called The Bastard. Where do writers get their ideas eh?

World of Tanks: Roll Out Review (Garth Ennis, PJ Holden)

It’s one month after D-Day and the Allied liberation of Europe is in full-swing. British Cromwell tanks and American Shermans are on their way to Berlin – standing in their way are a dwindling, but powerful, number of German Panzers. World of Tanks: Roll Out follows the crews of a British Cromwell and a German Panzer as they head towards their fateful encounter – who’ll live, who’ll die?

Friday, 29 November 2019

Tenth of December by George Saunders Review

George Saunders’ short stories are an amazing blend of Donald Barthelme’s abstract weirdness and David Sedaris’ humour, and his collections - in particular Civilwarland in Bad Decline and Pastoralia - tend to be really good. Though it seemed that for every story I liked in Tenth of December there was a story I didn’t, so this one wasn’t as great as I’d hoped.

Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance Review (Jeff Lemire, Joshua Williamson)

A mountain has appeared in the middle of Gotham somehow transforming the city into a dark fairyland or something for some reason. Dumb, vague outline? Sounds like Dark Nights: Metal to me! In The Resistance, heroes (and the Suicide Squad) resist villains… but don’t they always do that?!

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Giant Days, Volume 9 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)

As summer arrives, Sheffield University breaks up and, after two years, so do our three studenteers! Susan and Daisy are swanning off to live with their beloveds leaving poor single Esther all alone – who will take her in? Enter: lovesick Ed Gemmell, secretly pining for the goth princess this whole time, who may have the answer: his place! Will he have the guts to suggest it? Bah, who needs guts when you’ve got booze! Except a near-deadly night on the lash threatens to thwart the carefully laid plans of micemen!

Punisher: The Platoon Review (Garth Ennis, Goran Parlov)

After nearly a decade away from his signature Marvel character, Garth Ennis is back with a new story about Frank Castle’s first command in Punisher: The Platoon. And, though it’s always worth reading any Ennis/Punisher book, Platoon wasn’t as great a reunion comic as I’d hoped.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

This One Summer Review (Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki)

Two boring teen girls spend their summer hanging out at the beach with their families. Nothing happens for 300 pages and then something does to give the narrative an unearned sense of purpose. This One Summer? This one sucks.

Zenith: Phase One Review (Grant Morrison, Steve Yeowell)

Nazi superman/Lovecraftian monster wants to destroy the world - arrogant British popstar superhero gotta stop him!

Zenith is really early Grant Morrison (1987-88, back when he was still writing for 2000AD) but it’s not bad and is actually quite accessible and entertaining.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders Review

Congratulations, by the way is a slightly expanded version of the commencement speech George Saunders gave at Syracuse University on May 11, 2013 - and it’s truly wunnerful!

Dark Nights: Metal Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

Demonic Batmen from the Dark Multiverse invade the regular Multiverse to kill everything because that’s what bad guys do. The Justice League stop them because that’s what heroes do. I mean, they have to stop them. But you know they stop them. Anyway the real struggle is remaining awake while reading this boring drivel! I wonder if a dark Scott Snyder kidnapped the good Scott Snyder and that’s why we’ve been getting utterly shite Snyder comics since the end of Zero Year?

Monday, 25 November 2019

Briggs Land, Volume 1: State of Grace Review (Brian Wood, Mack Chater)

Briggs Land: the largest secessionist movement in the United States, founded in the wake of the civil war and sat on a hundred square miles of prime real estate. Jim Briggs, the head of the Briggs crime family, rules the land from prison after attempting to assassinate the president. But when his wife Grace discovers he may be bargaining with the government to sell the land in exchange for a commuted sentence, she begins a takeover, triggering a war within the family. The king is dead – long live the queen!

DC Nation #0 Review (Scott Snyder, Tom King)

DC get the jump on Free Comic Book Day (this Saturday 5 May) with the early release of DC Nation #0. The comic collects four stories highlighting some of this summer’s major DC storylines and surprisingly not all of them are terrible!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Gates of Death by Charlie Higson Review

You are a couple of old school game designers known for all things fantasy like creating Games Workshop. You want to revive your once popular role-playing game/book series, Fighting Fantasy. If you decide to hire the guy who played Swiss Toni on The Fast Show, turn to 143. If you…

Alright, you know what? Reviewing Charlie Higson’s The Gates of Death in the format it was written is not gonna work!

Ms. Marvel, Volume 8: Mecca Review (G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla)

I suspected Trump’s election broke G. Willow Wilson’s brain in the last Ms Marvel book – now I’m convinced it has! Ms Marvel has jumped (Trumped?) the shark – Volume 8: Mecca is so pants, I’m abandoning this title.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Review (Geoff Johns, Gary Frank)

Life in the 31st century has gotten oddly grim – the Justice League has decided that Earth is for humans only and to deport all aliens because of some warped idea that Superman was human. So the Legion of Super-Heroes travels to the past to bring the real Superman back with them and prove that he was an alien. Apparently wikis don’t exist in the future!

Dragon Ball Super, Volume 3: Zero Mortals Plan Review (Akira Toriyama, Toyotaro)

Dragon Ball is a comic very close to my heart. I’ve loved it since I was a kid learning to read and was delighted to see it return recently for a new run with Dragon Ball Super. So believe me when I say I’m genuinely disappointed that this third book was absolute garbage. This Goku Black storyline is the worst one since that Android nonsense in DBZ!

Friday, 22 November 2019

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris Review

Comics don’t take that long to read. I’ve been reading Emil Ferris’ My Favorite Thing Is Monsters now for two weeks and I’m only 162 pages deep into this 397 page doorstopper. I can’t stand it anymore so I’m making an executive decision on behalf of my sanity – I’m well and truly done with this shit!

Thursday, 21 November 2019

True Story by Michael Finkel Review

It’s fair to say that Michael Finkel had a pretty dramatic 2002. He went from being an award-winning journalist working at the prestigious New York Times to a publicly disgraced pariah whose career was suddenly in the shitter! How? In a story about child slavery on West African cocoa plantations, he had tried to pass off a composite character as a real person and got found out. Then, in a call from an Oregon paper that he assumed was about his scandalous breach of journalistic ethics, he was asked about the murders of a woman and three children committed by New York Times journalist Michael Finkel! Whaaaaaaat?!

Dark Days: The Road to Metal Review (Scott Snyder, Andy Kubert)

Magic metal has somehow been secretly guiding humanity for years apparently. And of course Batman knows about it. A war or something is coming. This is Dark Days: The Road to Metal aka Scott Snyder Does A Crappy Grant Morrison Impression!

You know a DC book is going to suck donkey balls if Hawkman sticks his beak in - and guess who’s beaking it up on page 1? Though, to be fair, this one is terrible even without the Hawkman elements (I gather that his Nth Metal armour is the “magic metal”).

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears, Volume 2: Civil War II Review (Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez)

It’s usually fair to criticize an event for disrupting a series but, because there’s really nothing going on in Spider-Woman, Civil War II don’t disrupt dick so it’s a non-issue. Things are still the same: Jess has a kid, Porcupine is her assistant/sitter, Ben Urich is hanging around for reasons, and they just kinda bumble around. She fights Tiger Shark, then she’s fighting some Wendigos up north - if anything, Civil War II gives this title some purpose and direction!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Batman, Volume 5: Rules of Engagement Review (Tom King, Joelle Jones)

The Bat finally popped the question to the Cat and now they’re getting hitched. Which means Bruce has gotta do the banal things many single fathers do when they remarry: meet with the ex, have a talk with his kid about his new soon-to-be stepmother and break the happy news to his friends. But Bruce is not an ordinary person so these tasks inevitably involve taking on a small army of silent soldiers, breaking UN agreements and sword-fighting in the desert with a lunatic!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Here Be Monsters... 50 Days Adrift At Sea by Michael Finkel Review

Tokelau is a barely populated tiny New Zealand territory that seems like the kind of place young people would feel hemmed in by and want to escape. Which is exactly what three teenage boys tried to do a few years ago! They drank some vodka, decided to blow this boring popsicle stand and sail to Oz or somewhere - anywhere! - else in a relative’s stolen boat... and then they sobered up and realized they were lost at sea!