TMNT Color Classics 4Well, this certainly brings me back. I had read this issue as part of a much larger graphic novel a hundred times over as a child. Easy. Though the cartoon show was my introduction into Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's world of mutated, ninja reptiles, it was the comic books I became most hooked on. Yes, I know the comics came out before the cartoon, but I hadn't heard of them. One Christmas I received two enormous TMNT graphic novels that became my new obsession. Sure, the show was great at the time, but these books were how I thought the turtles should really be. It was dark, gritty, violent, and just felt more real.

 

Rex Mundi Omni V1Rex Mundi is a fascinating book. The setting is nearly as interesting as the plot, which is shocking in a conspiracy story. Set in 1930s Paris, this comic slowly peels back layers of a vast and unusual mystery. The story follows the dark alleys of heresy in the Catholic Church in France and the moral ambiguities that power plays in a religious face. The easy comparison would be to The Da Vinci Code, so I will make that one. Personally, I liked this book much better than Dan Brown’s derivative opus. For one, the characters are interesting. Also, the mystery is more entertaining. I don’t want to get into details, but let’s just say this book is willing to take its time revealing the secrets. Speaking of which, don’t pick this one up expecting all the answers. This is just volume one.

 

Mind the Gap 4Jim McCann's soap opera murder mystery set primarily in a young woman's mind was missing one key ingredient, and clearly that ingredient was hoodie-wearing werewolves expertly drawn by Rodin Esquejo. Oh, thank goodness, they've remedied that oversight in this expertly crafted fourth issue of Mind the Gap. This book is a high drama mystery where nothing is as it seems, and every character you meet has hidden agendas and ulterior motives. At the center of all of this is Elle, who's recently been murdered and is searching through her fragmented memories in the “Garden,” a mysterious world that balances between life and death, while her body lies lifeless in a coma.

 

Creator-Owned Heroes 4The first arc of Creator-Owned Heroes wraps up with this issue. In case you didn't know, Creator-Owned Heroes, the brainchild of Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Steve Niles, is a monthly comic anthology collecting 40+ pages of comics, interviews, and artwork from top comics professionals. The first arc (Issues #1-4) has two ongoing comic stories: Trigger Girl #6 by Gray and Palmiotti with art by Phil Noto and American Muscle by Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon. This anthology is a really cool idea that not only puts two awesome comics in your hand but gives you a look between the pages as top industry professionals show you the tricks of the trade.

 

Alien The Illustrated StoryEvery geek has his or her holy grail. That one item, autograph, or collectible they’ve heard about, seen on the internet, but never viewed in person. Somehow, it’s always been just out of reach, out of price range, and, more often than not, out of print. My geek holy grail was, for a long time, Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson. In my early comic collecting years, I was a fanatic for Dark Horse’s Aliens comic line. While Dark Horse published adaptations of Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection, they never tackled the first film. At some point, this fact was discussed in a fan letter column and through the editor’s response, I discovered that in 1979 there was a comic adaptation of Alien featured in Heavy Metal. The editor made it clear that it was a rare find, and in the years before the internet, I considered it my holy grail - the item I would continuously search for but most likely never find. Years later, via the miracle of the internet, I was able to view the comic from pages that had been scanned and assembled as a PDF online. It was exciting to finally see the story and art I had hoped to view for so long, but, as a collector, it still lacked that tangibility of owning my own copy and seeing it fit in that space on the Aliens comic shelf that was so rightly set aside for it.

 

Flee 1Flee is the story of two down-on-their-luck guys given the chance to be heroes, and one of them just happens to be an alien. Rigby Pinkerton is a bug exterminator who unknowingly is about to become part of an interstellar war between two races, the Sect and the Krill, while Flick Fleebus, a failed Sect military cadet, is placed in the position of potential savior to his people. The two stories begin independently to their detriment, as Flick's story comes across as a dime a dozen sci-fi story and Rigby's life is terribly mundane, but when they intersect at the end of the first issue, it leads to some really memorable moments as the seemingly generic stories act as a vehicle for a rarely explored concept in sci-fi. I'd love to say more, but it's worth getting to the experience yourself.

 

Oreimo V1Kyosuke Kousaka doesn't have a great relationship with his sister, Kirino. Besides the fact that he's 17 and she is 14, Kirino is the popular girl at school and is also academically and athletically gifted while Kyosuke's just . . . not. This all changes when Kyosuke stumbles across an anime DVD in their house and discovers it belongs to none other than Kirino. His successful sister is also an otaku! From there Kyosuke becomes Kirino's only confidant in her fandom, which she is too embarrassed to reveal to others. Wanting his sister to be happy (and so she doesn't keep forcing him to play her computer games), Kyosuke starts to look for other outlets for Kirino's fandom and tries to get her to not be embarrassed of the things she loves.

 

misadventureIf you were a fan of the "choose your own adventure" books as a kid, Fanboy Comics knows of an indiegogo campaign that is sure to be right up your alley! Created by William Cannon and Matthew Woodward, (mis)adventure is described as "the story of two friends out for a night on the town in search of a good time  . . . and selective amnesia." (mis)adventure will be a live-action web series and will provide viewers with a choice at the end of each chapter, where they can decide which path they would like the characters to take next.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed"WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety Not Guaranteed. I have only done this once before."


So reads the classified ad underlying one of the more enjoyable experiences I had at the movies this summer. It's based on an actual event in 1997 wherewith free space, a writer for Backwoods Home Magazine was tasked by his editor to come up with fillers, so the classified page to the magazine wasn't riddled with white space.*


Items of such entertaining triviality rarely make interesting moving pictures. Off the top of my head, I can think of another Internet phenomenon that made for a questionable movie: Epic Beard Man became Bad A--. Danny Trejo in a fanny-pack? Pass. Mark Duplass as a neurotic grocery clerk who may or may not be a quantum physics-genius? I'm interested, but it'll have to be good.

 

Fury of SolaceFury of Solace is an incredibly immersive, new series that combines a web series, live Twitter events, and a digital comic to tell a superhero story in an entirely new way. I recently sat down with Emmett Furey, the creator of Fury of Solace, to discuss his new form of storytelling and the future of his awesome series.



This interview was conducted on August 20, 2012.

 

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