Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

I was excited to read Oni Press’ Brik by Adam Glass and Michael Benson and illustrated by Harwinder Singh. I love the Golem myth, and putting it in a present-day setting to me seemed chalk full of potential. The location is Yonkers, NYC, a neighborhood that once thrived as a community, but a bad group of people have moved in and are trying to kick out the local businesses. It’s become a dangerous neighborhood. One such business is run by an elderly Jewish man who lives nearby with his daughter and grandson. The grandson, Drew, is our young high school-aged hero who is bullied, but also is friends with a gal his age named Chase who he has an obvious crush on. If it wasn’t for the local gang, life would be pretty normal. In response to the dangers of the neighborhood, Drew’s grandfather tells him about how he fought against the Nazis with the help of a Golem. Drew is taken by the story, but his grandfather warns that a Golem can be too powerful, and so they had to shut it down.

Holy hell! After mentioning to some people how much I love Cullen Bunn as a writer, they told me I should check out The Sixth Gun. It just happened to be perfect timing with the release of this trade paperback, so here I am, writing a review of this absolutely fun comic book.

Martin Scorcese says film is dead. It’s a strong statement meant to provoke discussion, and it’s difficult to argue against someone like Scorcese, a historian of cinema itself. He sees the breadth of everything that has been, is now, and what lies ahead. I want to say to Scorcese that comic books are keeping film alive. Creators like Matt Kindt are keeping the art of visual storytelling not only alive but moving forward. At first Kindt’s artistic style may seem scrappy or unfinished. That’s how I first felt when I picked up Issue #1 of Mind MGMT, but the word of mouth was so good for the series that it was hard for me to pass up. Now, I see him for who he really is. With every panel, Kindt tells a story, and he creates a mood and tone. In Issue #15 of Dept.H, he shows us what it would be like to have a photographic memory, melding time and space to pull us into our hero’s world. In fact, this issue takes us even more into Mia’s world than any issue has.

Black Hammer has veered into Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining territory. If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like watching superheroes suffer from extreme bouts of cabin fever, start reading from the top, because the psychological warfare is beginning to amp up.

Grass Kings by the incomparable Matt Kindt hasn’t completely won me over. I can dig the situation and the circumstances. I can absolutely understand the rising conflict and the themes being presented through those themes, but I have yet to be completely engrossed in the characters.

In Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County, a storm has been brewing - slowly building over the course of the last year. It's a showdown between friends - friends, I might add, with otherworldly powers that, at times, feel like magic straight out of the bayou or from around a cauldron. If you’re thinking curses, blood magic, humans created from soil – you’re not far off. Emmy is actually the offspring of the corpse of a witch, buried under the tree from which she died upon. Since she’s come of age, she has become the guardian of the haints (spirits, ghouls, what have you) of the woods and humans alike. Her friend Bernice, on the other hand, was taught by someone who delved in the dark arts who also protected the woods near Harrow County. Unfortunately, Bernice’s mentor recently died, and her course has been directed by another, slowly but surely leading to this issue.

I’ve enjoyed Predator stories from time to time, but they can grow wearisome pretty quickly for me. Aside from humans and Predators joining forces on occasion, I haven’t seen anything that has really expanded the mythos for me in an interesting way since the first film. The films can be fun, some better than others, but even those often times lack the inspired nature of its cousin creation, the Xenomorph. Maybe it’s that I feel, aside from the first film, the nature of what it means to be the hunter and the hunted has never been truly explored. That being said, the Predator is only as interesting as the human characters trying to survive.

James Stokoe’s vision for Aliens: Dead Orbit is one of visceral terror. The Xenomorph is nightmare fuel, not because its origins are unknown, but because it spits in the face of what is natural. It laughs at what we know with absolute certainty to be true. They are an aberration of sex and sexuality. Aliens is a highly subversive creation, as it was with Giger’s art. It somehow, more than most things, captures the imagination of its viewers unlike most other cinematic monsters, because it is tangibly amoral. As a species, we mean nothing to it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Mike Mignola book, so I thought I’d give this new run of Joe Golem: Occult Detective a try. I haven’t read any of the other Joe Golem: Occult Detective books, so the title of the book is the only angle I have to understand what’s up going for me. Otherwise, I don’t get a really good handle on who Joe Golem is in this first issue.

Who would you trust more to tell you the truth: someone sane or someone lost to madness? That’s something you need to ask yourself before stepping into issue #14 of Matt Kindt’s Dept.H. With every issue, we learn more and more about what could have or may not have happened that led to the murder of Henry, Mia’s father, who was also the leader of this expedition 6 miles underwater. At this point, it’s difficult to take anyone at their word, even our hero Mia who is greatly sleep deprived. Her memories of certain events have already proven to be wrong, or have they? For me, a great mystery isn’t about how story elements are woven together. It’s more like starting with a knot and taking your time to untangle it to figure out what’s happening, and you cross your fingers hoping that there is a single thread that makes sense. Matt Kindt has created quite the knot with Dept.H. It remains to be seen how all of it will unfurl, but each step is captivating, and so far that’s a win.

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