Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo
Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream

Spera is a fantasy comic series published by Archaia. Ascension of the Starless Volume 2 is, in fact, the fifth book in the series. It’s important to know, as it drops readers straight into the action and doesn’t take a lot of time to explain what’s come before. I read the very first Spera volume a few years ago and came into Ascension of the Starless with very little info about what had transpired. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to dive back into the adventures of runaway princesses Pira and Lono. There were a few characters and events that could have been explained better, but, overall, it’s easy to jump right in.

I’ve never seen a more perfect front cover quote than Jen Van Meter’s description of Not Drunk Enough. “This is either the funniest scary comic or the scariest funny comic I’ve ever read.” Not Drunk Enough tells the story of Logan Ibarra, an unlucky repairman called out to a laboratory one night, who finds himself trapped inside with a horror show of genetic engineering gone wrong.

“>Run away from life.
You try to run away from life, but it always catches you.”

Like most mothers, Linda Anderson isn’t perfect. She’s made more than a few bad calls in her life: She married a thief, started taking drugs when he passed away, and didn’t look after her son Hunter as well as she could have. But she’s been on the straight and narrow for a long time now, trying to make an honest living. Her son hasn’t.

It’s Adventure Time, Lumpy Space Princess style! Everyone’s favorite purple gal embarks on a treasure hunt with the lovable Tree Trunks as her guide; Finn, Jake, and BMO decide to follow in order “keep an eye on them” (definitely not spying). Writer Josh Trujillo makes excellent use of the series’ main cast while expanding upon Tree Trunks’ rough-and-tumble past and her role as mother to an adorable, giant, soul-stealing lich baby. Returning characters like the androgynous and musical Guildmaster as a nemesis to LSP and new characters Cameron and Tess the Zombie (fraternal) Twins round out the cast.

Rebirth of the Gangster is the story of the Thompson and Hunter families. Families comprised of criminals. Back when I read issue #1, it seemed like there was more good than bad in the characters, their criminal pasts long behind them as they sought to uphold the law and ran fundraisers. Like the show Breaking Bad, which Rebirth is often compared to, it’s becoming clear that the heroes and the seemingly innocent may, in fact, be the story’s villains.

There’s nothing quite like a solid first issue of a new comic series. Spell on Wheels #1 beautifully balances exposition, character introductions, and starting the adventure. The story begins when a man breaks into the home of witches Jolene Nguyen, Claire Bettany, and Andy Highsmith and steals trinkets, candles, and talismans to sell off to the highest bidder. This prompts the girls to go on a road trip to get it all back and teach their robber a lesson.

Seven years ago I was in a men’s bathroom on the University of Mary Washington campus, changing into women’s clothes. It was National Coming Out Day, and I had decided to celebrate the event by coming out to PRISM, the campus’s local LGBTQ group, and doing so dressed as the woman I knew I was. While it seems silly to me now, back then I was so afraid to be seen in public dressed in the clothes I wanted to wear and too afraid to even use the ladies’ room to change outfits. In spite of my fear, I had the courage to march out of that bathroom and tell a room full of people my story.

Rebirth of the Gangster #3 is the story of police officer Lorena Sanchez. Like our other protagonists, Marcus and Hunter, Lorena’s father is a criminal whose actions led Lorena down another path; in her case working to put other criminals behind bars. And she’s good at it, too. Real good. Lorena is an interesting character. She seems by the book on the surface, but the issue reveals a troubled past and a complicated present that’s not as straightforward as one would think.

I would love to live in Robert J. Peterson’s imagination for a day. His novel, The Odds, is an imaginative post-apocalyptic chess game to the death blended with The Hunger Games in a universe filled with mutants, monsters, and cell phones more deadly than any bomb. In other words, entirely awesome. My second venture into a Peterson world, Omegaball, is no less imaginative, out there, and highly entertaining but in a completely different way.

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