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Welcome to the wild and wooly world of writer Damon Gentry and artist Aaron Conley’s wholly unique Sabertooth Swordsman and the Mayhem of the Malevolent Mastodon Mathematician.  After a puny villager’s wife is kidnapped by the Mastodon Mathematician’s henchman, he travels to the sacred Sasquatch Mountain to be transformed by the Cloud God into a hero capable of rescuing her, and that hero is Sabertooth Swordsman.  From there, the story only gets weirder as Sabertooth Swordsman’s quest to find and rescue his wife Joleen leads him to strange, frightening places, encounters with duplicitous and downright hideous people and monsters, and straight into pummeling after pummeling.  While he may get the tar kicked out of him time and time again, and he may be smashed by crumbling buildings more than once, he never gives up, facing his enemies head-on, slicing them in half and tearing them to ribbons, all in the name of love.

One of the things I have always wanted to do is give Neil Gaiman’s work more of a chance than the smatterings I have been exposed to in the past.  I’m not much of a fan of Sandman, but that has more to do with the subject matter than the writing style. That being said, I have enjoyed his books, and so I thought perhaps I would enjoy Violent Cases, especially given the background about the infamous Al Capone; however, in a very weird fashion, my expectations were both met and unmet as the story unfolded before me.


Reporting from AFI Fest 2013, presented by Audi

It happens every year around the anniversary of September 11.  A bunch of officials who worked in the George W. Bush administration are rounded up and trotted out on national television to recount that dreadful day and to talk about the still (Still!) ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It’s fascinating to behold, because 12 years of history have passed under the bridge.  We have a great deal of hindsight now.  History has largely been contextualized.  Unless, that is, you worked in the George W. Bush administration.  As is often the case in partisan politics, history seems to morph into an entirely other thing for people who were likely too close to actual events.  The delusions on display are often breathtaking.  No matter the body count (Over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed.) or the staggering amount of money thrown away ($1 trillion and counting), they still (Still!) believe they did the right thing.  At least Bush himself has the good taste to stay out of the public eye.

Grafix Chronicles is a black-and-white anthology of short comics from past and present small print artists. Issue #1 includes “The Man Under the Microscope!,” “Solomon Wyrd,” and “Don’t Touch Me.”

Part of AFI Fest’s midnight screening series, Big Bad Wolves is an entertaining and unsettling revenge film from Israel. It is touted by co-writers and co-directors Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales as Israel’s second genre film ever; they made the first one a few years ago. The film concerns a town that is plagued by a pedophile that is raping and brutally murdering young girls, his final act to cut off their heads while they are still alive. The police have been unable to catch him, and Detective Mickey (Lior Ashkenazi) takes matters into his own hands at the start of the film, roughing up their sole witness, a school teacher named Dror (Rotem Keinan). Mickey’s only reward is that he gets temporarily kicked off the force, the police have to let the suspect go, and another girl turns up dead.

Chambers #4 opens with Denise cornered in her apartment by the very police force she once felt was as close as her family.  They’ve turned on her en masse, and the only person she can trust now is herself. Denise has one more person to confront before she can find peace with her father’s and brother’s deaths, but will she be able to pull the trigger on the final culprit or will the price for ultimate revenge be more than she’s willing to pay?

World of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.

A webcomic about a college student studying art and the friends (and “enemies”) that she has made both before and during her time at the college, Candi is a refreshing change from the stereotypical “teen/young adult” slice-of-life adventures that have become petty standardized over the years.  A complex story that has drama and hilarity thrown together, the characters face some real hardships relating to their lives such as financial troubles, roommate disagreements, and the evolution of relationships against the backdrop of a college life that is very demanding.  Candi updates every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at candicomics.com.


‘Razorjack:’ Graphic Novel Review

Razorjack has been called “one of John Higgins' best-kept secrets” by Garth Ennis . . . and I would have to agree. I was so excited to read a graphic novel created by the illustrator of Watchmen, Dredd, and Batman, among others. To top it off, a story involving aliens and a serial killer - right up my alley. Razorjack is Higgins' baby, because it was his first project, not only to illustrate but to serve as creator, writer, penciller, and colorist. A massive undertaking.

Duppy '78 is a unique graphic novel, because it looks at the Rastafarian culture of Jamaica and the accompanying local underworld rather than drawing from Western ideas or fantastical settings. Creator Casey Seijas draws from the ghost stories of Jamaica and Rastafarianism and blends them into a noir crime world to present something that is both paranormal and gritty. Due to the violence, nudity, and profanity throughout, I recommend this work for mature readers only.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated LEGO games (at least for me), I first heard rumors about this over a year ago and was so glad to learn about it finally being made.  Definitely different from the LEGO Batman 2 game that really sparked the inclusion of actual voice actors, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes follows the adventures of several different iconic heroes instead of focusing on just one.  The gameplay is much the same, the Open World feel is still present, and not much has really changed, except for the fact that Red Bricks are called Deadpool Red Bricks.  Playable by yourself or with a friend, this LEGO game is fun to interact with, especially with the voice of Stan Lee going “Excelsior” at various points, as well as having him as a playable character that can “Hulk out;” that, by itself, is hilarious.


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