Several years ago, Dark Horse released The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. I assumed that The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia would be more or less an updated version of the previous book. Thankfully, I was completely wrong, and the encyclopedia has a ton of new information.
It's been a bit since this series launched, with another issue hitting stands a bit later than expected. That's forgivable, given how daunting this series must be to make and craft into the masterwork that it is. We're surely in it now, though, as this issue is a bit bigger, with some major shake-ups coming for our slowly dwindling set of gods and their ever-increasing problems and flaws.
How do you sum up an opus like Harrow County? It’s not simply a beautifully rendered horror story. It’s not just a hauntingly dark fairy tale. It’s not merely an emotionally ambitious coming-of-age story. For the last (almost) three years, Harrow County has been consistently one of the best comic books on the stand, but that’s also not all it is. Harrow County is an incredible work of fiction that Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook have brought to life in a way that defies the greatest of expectations. The hero of the story, Emmy, has become real to me; her struggles have been felt, her pains and losses have weighed on me, and I’ve desperately wanted her to make the right decisions. Coming into this final issue, I had no idea what exactly she would do, but the final step of her journey has deeply affected me. Harrow County is sincerely one of the great accomplishments in comic books of this decade.
I’m looking at the cover of the first issue of Modern Fantasy right now, and the drawing of one of the characters, Lizard Wizard, is making me laaauuugh. The experience from the first to the last page of this delightfully mature twist on the fantasy world meets normal world was an absolute joy to read.
In Blackwood #2, our curious, delinquent twenty-somethings become further embroiled in the dark, magical world of the college known as Blackwood. In the first issue, they arrived and were immediately up to their necks in a dark mystery that was reminiscent of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter world, only littered with H.P. Lovecraft-style shenanigans.
Bedtime Games is a really interesting comic book. It feels like one of the classic books from EC Comics - Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Weird Fantasy, etc. - only instead of filling in all of the blanks with endless narration, it takes its time, really letting the characters settle in. In fact, most of this comic focuses on the characters, very much like the first half of a Stephen King novel. The build is slow, but it’s well constructed.
Dark Horse Comics continues its run of Neil Gaiman's adapted graphic novels from incredibly talented writers and artists. Some are absolutely worthwhile digging into, bringing to life thought-provoking and interesting worlds, while others are fun trifles that don’t amount to much, except the pure pleasure of reading them. Some feel unnecessary, more like writing exercises than stories that have real heft and weight. Here, Rafael Albuquerque has the honor of adapting Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald. I say it falls more in the middle, aspiring, at times, to be the first category (thanks to Albequerque’s incredible artistic talents) and threatening to become the final category, but Albuquerque does a good job of keeping that balance.
Welcome, True Believers, to the penultimate episode of season two. The phrase “Vanishing Point” means two things. The first is the art term (shades of “Les Écorchés,” two episodes ago), in which in a perspective drawing (an invention during the Renaissance) it is the point at which receding parallel lines appear to converge. In other words, it is an art concept that allows three dimensions to be viewed in two. The second is the more general conceptual definition: the point at which something that has been growing smaller disappears altogether. Both definitions apply to this week’s episode.
"Love Town is a city built upon a foundation of corruption, violence, and greed, where millionaire celebrities rub shoulders with ruthless gangsters and scheming politicians, where the figurative magic of the silver screen competes with the literal magic of the streets.
Magic is the siren’s song that lures so many in Love Town to their doom…"
The world is a hectic place; there is a cacophony of good and bad things trampling over one another that makes up life. It’s understandable, then, that some people just want peace. But what is peace without that chaos? What happens when you think have the world figured out, and then when you have grown old, you find out it’s not at all what you think it is? It’s a question that writer/illustrator Zep presents to us in this international sensation, A Strange & Beautiful Sound.