Erik Cheski

Erik Cheski

The denizens of the night croak in fear.

I’m not entirely proud of that line, but it fits rather well with this cheeky and over-the-top book from across the pond.  Ever wish that someone would do a Tick porn parody?  Well, you need help.  Also, you need this book.  The Frogman Trilogy does for depraved indifference, explosive action, and sex-minded losers what Kermit did for numbers and letters.    Filled with crass humor - sorry, mates. Humour -  that maintains a high level of wit and enough nerd references to put Chris Hardwick into seizures, this is a story told by an idiot, signifying nothing.  Wait, no, this is a book that knows what it is and never apologizes for it: a fun, mature-rated romp that reminds me of the “I don’t care. I love it” attitude espoused by films like Shoot ‘em Up (Seriously, if you’ve never seen it, please go check it out. Paul Giamatti is maybe the most fun villain I’ve ever seen.) and toddlers alike.

Loss creates a hole. What will you fill it with?

There’s an emphasis on action in most of our entertainment today.  Movies like Fast and the Furious and Transformers make billions worldwide, where slow-burn westerns tend to have much less appeal, so it’s very refreshing to be brought a tale told in a deliberate way.  This is the best description that I have for Christie Shinn’s Sepulchre. There’s an intention behind the pace that allows us to dive deeper into the fairly straightforward narrative.  This book has an incredible amount of depth, and the draw into the world is irresistible.  Having survived her husband’s attempt on her life, our heroine recuperates with the help of stranger who is dealing with his own loss.  Though the characters, at times, feel the push of time, we as the audience never do. We can feel free to really sit with each panel and enjoy every nuance.

My what fools these mortals be.

We all have a little darkness within us.  For some, it’s an overdeveloped sense of Schadenfreude. In others, it’s a willingness to look the other way when bad things go down, and yet others have an insatiable demon living inside them that starves for the flesh of man.  So, okay, this third one is a little more uncommon, but then again Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda aren’t exactly spinning a tale like any other.  They’ve managed to create an incredibly rich and nuanced world, with the main influence seeming to be anime and manga, but with flavors of all shades of storytelling traditions worked into the mix.  Some of the most interesting are present in the formatting, with time being treated fluidly and quick jumps between scenes keeping you off balance and engaged in every moment.

Life in every breath.

I’m about to review a book about the dangers of technological addiction on a tablet with Bluetooth keyboard, listening to my iPod on the train, because I’d rather not have to hear anyone else while doing reference work on my smartphone.  I have not spoken to anyone save my wife (mostly semi-coherent mumblings of how the baby slept before I headed out the door), and my 20-minute walk to the train was punctuated by a motorist and a pedestrian yelling at each other on the street over who had the right of way/who was speeding.  In all of this, I find the dystopian future that opens Tokyo Ghost, and I see how easy it would be for us as a society to continue to pursue the ease of tech without the thought of the consequence.  We are shown the idea of Google Glass run amok, with every person abdicating from the real world in favor of the virtual one, ignoring the stink of the physical for the slick, porn-like quality of the ethereal computer realm.  There’s a lot of technology that has been introduced that has claimed to be aimed at bringing people together, yet I can point to several examples of a text starting a fight in my life because of what it lacks in tone and form.  Before the advent of the bow and arrow, if you wanted to kill someone, you needed to be up close and personal with them. You’d have to look at them dying, hear the last breath as it struggled to keep the body going just a little bit longer.  There was no separating yourself from the act, and as we’ve found longer-distance ways to misunderstand one another from farther distances, so too have we developed ways to remove the humanity from death.  If you can't tell, this is a book that will make you think, and it’s pretty kickass, as well.

With prophesy as a guide, is there such a thing as a wrong move?

Things are really moving along with Michael now in Issue #7. He’s truly coming into his power and following his “destiny.”  Michael has found solace in interlacing his life with that of Jesus, with scripture being his security blanket and salve, giving him direction and justifying his every action.  Meanwhile, Adam and Noa are getting to know each other, and some secrets may be too much to handle, once revealed.  Adam and Noa operate in a world where actions have consequences, and Michael now lives in a state where his consequences are the only purpose for his actions.

Hey, all!  Another month means another treasure trove of independent storytellers’ goods loaded into a box and shipped to your door.  IndyStash’s second box has a lot going on, and we’ll get to the goodness in just a moment.  IndyStash wants to keep the goods coming to us and to everyone, so they’re going to be funding the Independent Creators Foundation, helping to promote and give a hand to artists and writers who need an extra boost to get their stuff in front of an audience.  Since this is much in line with what we at Fanboy Comics are doing with the #CrowdfundingFridays promotional series, we’re super excited to see something like this take off.  So, if you’re on the fence about joining the monthly goodies box, just think of all the creators that you’ll be helping along, which means more content for us to enjoy!  And, since we’re in the business of small creators getting their work out there, IndyStash is offering our readers a pretty sweet deal:  If you are signing up for the month-to-month service for the first time, use promo code “FANBOY” to get 50% off of your first box, which also includes an extra comic as a welcome gift.

It’s rather amazing to watch kids play.  For them, Batman V Superman is just an afternoon game, where they may team up later to take on Krang or Galactus, because kids don’t hold loyalty to any franchise, storyline, or “greater continuity.” They just play.  It’s not often you come across a book for kids that captures that sense of play so readily, but James Kochalka has created just such a treasure.  With a kooky cast of characters who perfectly exemplify the joys and sorrows of children at play, drawn in a style that is accessible to its audience and pleasing to those of us who’ll be reading it to them, and written with a keen understanding of how kids jump from game to game with a singular focus, The Glorkian Warrior and the Mustache of Destiny is a book that’s perfect for parents to engage their kids in a way that makes sense to both parties.

Come for the rules, stay for the learnins.  And, PUT DOWN THAT DUCK!

I haven’t been playing Munchkin all that long, only a few years, but I’m hopelessly hooked on it. Even my wife, who wouldn’t go near half of the geeky tabletop or video games that I love, jumps in with an enthusiasm that excites and sometimes terrifies me (which is also exciting but for much different reasons).  This is a game that I feel that can grab anyone by the +1 Codpiece of Impressive Title and introduce them to a world that is far bigger and far stranger than any they’ve known.  As much as I love the game, and as much as I get all of the gaming references that it riffs off of, I never knew the truth behind the origins of the game or just how much of an impact it has had on the gaming community as a whole.  Part of the success of the game can be attributed to the fact that the game is so mutable. There are several variations on the core idea of it, and there are now even licensed versions on the game that, much like LEGO, bring fans of the licenses into the fold and introduce people to concepts that they may have otherwise never have engaged in.  Oh, and it’s fun.  It’s really, stupidly fun.  The cards are all parodies of something in the realm of gaming or a license and often full of the most choice puns that make the game a fun battle ground of groans, laughs, and, of course, screwing everyone else over to achieve victory.

What’s standing in your way?

The Zone Continuum feels like the old Prince Valiant strips from the Sunday paper to me, inasmuch as the pages imply a much larger world than is directly shown.   It’s something that has nothing to do with line density or detail in backgrounds, but more an overall sense of when the plot and images work well together that we’re almost just looking into a window. Also, the action on the page, while important, is perhaps only one of a great many stories unfolding in that world.  The Dar, a race of immortal beings that share the Earth with humans, have been forced into the heights of the rooftops by a mysterious force that they call the Zone Continuum, an invisible barrier that causes them great harm or even death if they should cross it.  These zones started just cutting them off from each other, but then began to rise away from the Earth’s surface, making the childhood game of “Lava Floor” a harrowing and all-too-restrictive reality.

Fight the future.

You ever have one of those days where your entire life seems to wind up and take a swing at you?  Sebastian is having one of those days, and his life’s name is Tyler Durden.  Having located his son, he’s prepared to impersonate his other half to prepare for whatever new calamity Tyler has in store for the world.  Marla has also managed to get to the castle with her friends, and we are poised for an epic showdown.  With everyone in one place, in many pieces and with shifting goals in hand, this issue extends the promise of quite the explosive finish.

Page 3 of 19
Go to top