Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor

This world is expanding pretty rapidly, a fact that might not be so much of a good thing. With the beloved Pocket Mortys still being captured, trained, and tortured, a few additional forces have entered the fray, with Beth and her Pocket Jerrys. If that sentence made any sense to those reading it, congratulations, because for those not familiar with the franchise, this can be a bit confusing. Honestly, it can be confusing for those of us who know the show and have played the game. That being said, this penultimate issue looks like its setting up for a huge conclusion. With (Evil) Morty still attempting to escape the grasp of Rick, a plan begins to come together to combine their skills (Morty's relentless spirit and Rick's lack of concern and acts of brilliance) to take on the Council of Ricks: a combined, powerful conglomerate of Ricks who control the entire Morty fighting sport, as well as the other Ricks. Without spoiling too much, this is going to be a major battle, full of more Morty battles, Rick being a jerk, and ridiculous concepts that are bizarre even for this franchise.

I've loved Sex Criminals since the very first issue. As a fan of Matt Fraction's work, and based on the mature but baffling concept of two people who meet, fall in love, and stop time when they climax, this seemed like a really fun series. And it is. Honestly, it's probably the funniest comic book on shelves right now.

I fell in love with Bloom County at a young age, reading one of the earliest volumes that I found at a bookstore that was going out of business. As one of my first experience with comics, it was a great introduction to a world of silly gags, biting wit, and incredibly insightful observations. It's spurned a life-long love of Berkeley Breathed's work, and I was very excited to see this new volume of his work being released.

Think Tank is the smartest comic book to exist, from everything I've seen. The research completed for the series alone is worth several dozen articles on the immense amount of care that Matt Hawkins puts into this series, and all of it pays off as this volume, entitled “Animal,” plays out. While judging by what has been said and the rumors that have been swirling around the book and its status, this might be the last part of Think Tank as a comic book series. If true, it's a fitting run to one of my favorite titles is the last few years.

This is a very strange story, as Morty (also known as Evil Morty) finds himself ready and willing to do the unthinkable: take on the council of Ricks in an attempt to stop the collection and forced combat of Mortys. In doing so, Morty has put a huge target on his back, drawing the ire of the Ricks, as well as many others. This is all to say that this world is pretty messed up, and the alternate reality where Pokemon-style hijinks ensue causes some ridiculous and hilarious things to happen to poor Morty.

Being back in the world of Alex De Campi's Bankshot is a good feeling, though not one I've yet to fully understand. After last issue, we saw Marcus King - and how he became the unstoppable force he is - repaired by a controversial and dangerous science after being shot in the back and left for dead. Paralyzed, he was given a second chance and the ability to walk again, with some upgrades. Now, he fights for himself, with both the American government and his biggest adversary, a man known as the Dutchman, out to stop him. The only problem is that this is harder to gauge than is preferred.

A look into history is something that will always be popular, as so many of us love to find out what happened to those who came before us and share the stories of those who helped to pave the way for what we have now. These stories take a look at some of those people and events that helped to shape our world in one way or another.

An unusual category for a short film festival, this category featured a bunch of short pilots for television shows not yet being made. Mostly set as comedies, these shows are brief glimpses into what could be the next generation of television shows, and for the most part, that is a bright future, based on what was shown here.

This year's drama entries were nothing short of beautiful and well worth their name. Featuring some well-known names and some surprising newcomers, this was a mix of the darkly funny, the wonderfully aching, and the occasionally uncomfortable. It was nothing short of a beautiful mix of emotions and premises that really spoke to the heart.

Working in comedy can be high risk yet high reward, as it can all depend on your ability to get a certain reaction out of an audience. Plus, humor is very subjective, which makes it a great form of entertainment, but sometimes hard to pull off. Dark comedy, a sub-genre that blends comedic stylings with something a bit more unique, can be even more challenging, as it takes very taboo topics and depicts them in a funny and entertaining way, or puts a new spin on some well-worn comedic styles. The group of filmmakers at this year's HollyShorts were able to blend humor and discomfort very well, making for some very interesting films. As one of my favorite blocks as a whole of this year's festival, each film really brought something to the table.

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