Like Matt Kindt, I have a standing fear of the ocean. It’s not enough to keep me out of the ocean at the beach, but it is enough to make me trepidatious those first few waves. It’s when the unknown meets with the imagination. So long as the ocean stays in its place and lets me stay in mine, we’re cool.

House of Penance is the most hypnotic and spellbinding comic book on the shelves. The imagery flows like water down a stream - twisting, swirling, and cascading. It’s natural and fluid. It’s haunting, unnerving, and you can feel its pulse, like a heartbeat. There’s nothing else that looks and feels like this in the comic book industry. Peter J. Tomasi and Ian Bertram know how to lull you into their dream state. The exaggerated eyes of the characters are windows to otherworldly souls. The red plasmic intestines, the visualization of the curse that haunts Sarah Winchester, that fills the panels and allows the violent subtext of the characters to brim to the surface. It’s unnerving. I feel like they have a handle on symbolism better than most comic creators. Dave Stewart’s colors help to create this vibe, allowing Bertram’s artwork to dig into the subconscious. He walks the line between creating a real-world setting and a portal into a sort of nightmarish netherworld. The spaces shift and change from panel to panel. Is Sarah living her dreams or is there something truly alive just below the surface?

Hey, y’all, I’m back from my sabbatical.  Thought I’d try my hand reviewing the latest and greatest BOOM! Studios comic, Kong of Skull Island #1.  I enjoyed it, but the themes are awfully familiar – not necessarily to other comics or stories, but to our actual everyday lives.

Did you hear about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted?

It’s no secret to anyone who’s read my reviews before that I have a special place in my nerdy heart for the world of Krynn as told through the magnificent stories of Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  One of the biggest draws to the series was the frail Mage Raistlin Majere, a fascinating character who - during the adventure - chose to follow the dark god whose designs he was helping to foil.  The Dragonlance Legends told of his continuing ambitions and adventures, along with his brother Caramon and the Kender Tasselhoff Burrfoot.  Centering on Raistlin’s dark designs for the world, readers are in store for a time-traveling adventure of high fantasy wherein the gods themselves tremble at the repercussions.

“We’ll make Pan’s kids like you…we’ll make the little buggers love you!”

I only knew Schismatic from that wonderfully handsome Fanbase Press Contributor Simply Jack and his winning smile, and now I’ve gotten the chance to check it out for myself.  The third issue of this excellently told tale is where we’re getting into the meat of the adventure, and Riolobo comes into his own with his causal and snarky demeanor, giving way to a mostly competent hero once the excrement hits the fan.  Idris and Amalia have been doggedly trying to find their children, and they’re finally on their way to determine their fate.  The question is, will what they discover at the end of their quest fill the hole in their hearts or tear it wider than can ever be repaired?

Sure, power corrupts, but if I could just get a taste…

I’d heard about Gutter Magic when it was three issues into its run, and though my local shop proprietor was very gung ho about it, I was so buried in other series and reviews that I couldn’t jump on it without falling way behind. When this trade came up for review, I knew that I had to jump on it.  It’s worth all the hype I had been hearing; it’s smart, fun, and an action-packed alternate history of our world stemming from WWII on.  It’s a whirlwind ride of wizards, magic, Steampunk aircraft, and a whole lot of wonder and backstabbery to boot.  It’s a great thing when you find a book where the team is so obvious in their passion for telling their story, and there’s no page that disappoints in this regard.

It’s always sad to see a good book go. Unfortunately, this happens in the comics industry and has happened to the stellar Image series, The Violent. Though only five issues, this first (and possibly last) arc really struck a chord with me for being gritty, harsh, and a bit rough around the edges while still being incredibly enjoyable.

Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen have turned up the volume in the latest issue of Wic/Div. With the battle of the Gods reaching a fever pitch, things are beginning to get really bad for the poor, reincarnated figures of the Pantheon. With Laura taking the fight to Ananke to stop her plan, more and more of the Gods are falling, and falling prey to the malicious plots of the Pantheon leader.

This is perhaps one of the most bizarre and twisted comics I have ever read. The third volume in the Mr. Unpronounceable series, I haven’t yet read the first two, but it hardly matters. You’ll pick up the basic gist of what’s going on fairly quickly, and I doubt that this volume would make more sense even if I DID have the background. However strange and incomprehensible as the comic can be at times, it’s also captivating from the very first page and immensely fun all the way through.

The Battlecats were seasoned warriors in the realm of Valderia, and their reputation as heroes was known far and wide across the kingdom. It came as no surprise that King Eramand III would, therefore, mandate the group of warriors to search out and defeat the Dire Beast, who over many years has been responsible for numerous deaths. As proof of their success, the King requested that the Battlecats present him with the head of the beast. In the first two issues, readers followed the group as they fought a series of ambushes, and, in this third issue, the Battlecats finally face their arch nemesis in the rugged mountains.

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