After Conan defeated two enemies in as many as 4 pages last month, I wondered where the story would go next and which immediate enemies were left: some old, some new, and some within. Cullen Bunn moves swiftly and fluidly from last issue’s thrilling kills to the tragedy of killing in this bittersweet issue. While Conan seeks retribution on the enemy that set him up and the Princes Octavia, he meets a group of dangerous cannibals and finally comes face to face with the ghoul that’s been following his trail of carnage since the first issue. The mirror settles before him, and his journey begins the transition from external to internal.
Now we can call Black Hammer the Eisner Award winner for Best New Series in 2017 - a worthy and much deserved honor. For a series that started a year ago with a first issue that I wasn’t quite certain about, I fell in love a few issues in when its initial premise almost immediately came to fruition as if a year had already passed. It dug deeper as a story and into its characters in a more meaningful way than most books do in a couple of years. It is a character study of multiple superheroes simultaneously, a genre study of the superhero genre, and a human study of the people under the masks.
This year's HollyShorts had a great cadre of films on their roster, and some of the more interesting ones were during the Period Piece block. With a focus on a time period, each one brings its own attitude and thoughts to whatever period it chose, with films ranging from World War II to the early 1990s and much, much more.
Dance and music are incredible art forms to express through film, as so much of it is subjective and much not actually spoken. From musicals to interpretive dance, these films push the boundaries of the way films can be made and how art can be expressed through different mediums.
One of the biggest parts of festivals like this is the ability to show off not just films from American creators, but those from other parts of the world, as well. This block of films focuses on international filmmakers, giving them all a chance to show the beauty of their work.
This year's HollyShorts Film Festival is full of brilliant minds creating beautiful films, all dedicated to a specific genre or audience. For this block of films, the creators were all focused on young people and their experiences. The filmmakers are both focused towards a younger audience and by a younger audience. With that being said, here are the selections for this year's Youth Block at 2017's HollyShorts.
War for the Planet of the Apes is a story of humanity and apes at a crossroads. Neither faction really want war, but some feel they need to engage in it to prove a point to the other. It is the essence of basic and real warfare that occurs in the real world even today. The problem lies in their organization. Neither the humans nor the apes seem to have a good deal of it. There seem to be factions that wish to go against the main goals of both.
Growing up on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and An American Tail.\, I had a healthy training ground in learning to love anthropomorphic stories. It’s carried over throughout the years, so when I saw there was a new series about a Spy Seal, I squealed in my head a little. I feel like there’s still a lot of territory to cover in this genre...can it be called a genre? I think so. Spy Seal follows Malcolm, our out-of-work seal, who inadvertently becomes involved in some espionage action when he goes to an art gallery with his bird friend, Sylvia. Like a good, old-fashioned Hitchcock story, a mysterious and buxom (in this case) bunny sidles up to the well-dressed Malcolm, and things go downhill from there. Malcolm proves a hero - he was military after all - and this entrenches him even more into a world of Secret Agents, MI-6, and deadly assassins.
In the latest issue to the adaptation of the mobile game based on the hit television show, Rick & Morty, we find more trouble in the alternate reality where Mortys are captured and forced to fight one another for the amusement and sport of the many, many Ricks out there in the world. As we follow the One True Morty (or at least that's who it seems to be), this world begins to get much more complicated, and far more bizarre, in true Rick & Morty form. With the popularity of the show, and despite it only beginning to air its third season, Pocket Like You Stole It already draws from a very deep and diverse history of the alternate realities, and multiple different forms, of our beloved protagonists.