The premise of historical fiction has been a pervasive interest within the confines of culture. In many ways, it brings about a new form of information to those who participate in the reading. While it doesn’t demand work from the reader, it ignites something more important in the reader, something the modern education system consistently fails to do with a majority of its students: curiosity. Within the confines of Stefanie Phillips’ The Butcher of Paris, she launches us into a unique aspect of history that a myriad of history textbooks ignore.

A Sparrow's Roar almost passed me by. A brief opening in my schedule left me with time for one more review, and A Sparrow’s Roar called to me. I’m so happy for that little bit of happenstance, because, with December just settling in, A Sparrow’s Roar was the perfect bittersweet story to round out a rough and tough year.

Weird Tales is a legendary magazine whose roots go back to the 1920s and served as the proving grounds of many influential horror and weird authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and Frank Belknap Long. The periodical has exchanged hands and creative editors over the last 100 years, with many long spells of inactivity peppered throughout. The newest issue of Weird Tales, number 363, is the first issue in five years and sees prolific speculative fiction author Jonathan Maberry at the editorial director’s helm.

Margaux Motin breaks a lot of standards for an artist working in a sequential artist medium. In many ways, it makes her the perfect artist to tell her story, because the art style in every way magnifies this unique memoir. Living in and originating from Paris, France, Motin began by earning a degree in visual arts and proceeded to do a BTS in visual communications at the National School of Applied Arts and Crafts. Her initial work was as a press illustrator for Muteen Magazine in a monthly column. Following this time of illustrating for press, publishing, and advertising, she started her own blog which served to share anecdotes during her thirties.

My fandom for all things Witcher began in 2009 with game developer CD Projekt RED’s announcement that they were developing a new game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, based on stories written by a Polish economist, Andrzej Sapkowski.  I was immediately fascinated by this new character, Geralt of Rivia, who was appealing as a protagonist due to his highly ethical stance towards others despite his detached nature.  Geralt was unique; he went through a painful bodily transformation.  Though still a man, his senses were mutated and heightened making him a perfect paid hunter of monsters that populated his world.  As a sword-for-hire, he was often feared and hated.  Hence, a complex character was introduced to American audiences through CD Projekt RED’s video games and Dark Horse Comics’ Witcher series of stories.

Like a lot of people, I was first introduced to Umbrella Academy via the Netflix show earlier this year. As such, my interest in the comic consists largely of the question, “How does it compare to the show?” The simple answer is, it’s very different, but it’s very entertaining in its own way.

With every issue of this series, David Rubin must get the script and think to himself, “Time to go crazy,” because that’s what he does with the art of Ether. Some issues more so than others, and this is one of them - from the layout, to the creatures we’re introduced to, to the wonderful, weird world we find ourselves in along with Boone Dias. I'm curious if Matt Kindt repeatedly places two words throughout his script: go crazy.

The prodigal son returns with the release of Section Zero, a comic book series that captures the sensibilities of the Silver Age of comic books along with the minimalism of the '90s Extreme Age. Quintessentially, to quote from the creator, it’s “Jack Kirby doing The X-Files.” The series itself is about a secret generational United Nations charter that financially backs adventurers and explorers to navigate the unknown. Initially, it began its publication run in 2000 for Image Comics’ Gorilla Imprint but paused due to financial setbacks faced by Karl Kesel after only three issues. In 2017, both Kesel and Grummett created a Kickstarter project that managed to get successfully funded and fully realizing the incomplete story.

Much to the surprise of horror comic readers, Killadelphia is a book focused on perspectives and perception.  It’s a technical feat for a writer to be able to be a switch-hitter within a single narrative of a comic book issue. This is achieved through a full embrace of the comic book medium in conveying a layered story. One of the prominent intrigues for this piece was the colored textboxes that are able to make an easy transition for the three respective characters. Along with this are varied changes in the lettering to distinguish the characters even further.

Ever hear the story of Pinocchio and the whale? (Or the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale?) This latest issue of Ascender quite literally has us diving into the ocean depths and the backstory of Telsa, the captain who reluctantly offered her boat to save Mira and her father, Andy.

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