Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

Los Angeles-based independent publisher Diablo Comics published The Unwanted, a graphic novel in which a secluded re-education detention center for troubled youth becomes the battleground between an ancient demon and a handful of teenage kids and teachers. Scott "Diablo" Marcano and Mark Michaels co-created and wrote this contemporary tale with artist Juan Romera completing the illustrations and Jason Arthur on lettering.

Sagas of the Northmen is a visual anthology comprising of seven standalone tales of Norse men and women during the time of Vikings. Edited by Sean Fahey, this graphic novel is from independent publisher Black Jack Press and is the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this autumn. Black Jack Press is known for Westerns, such as their comic book series, Tall Tales from the Badlands. Lettering and production design for this Viking-inspired collection was completed by Kel Nuttall.

As a character that was proposed on a whim when an editor was late to a meeting, Drizzt Do'Urden became one of fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore's most popular characters. Novels featuring the maligned and misunderstood dark elf (drow) have consistently made the New York Times Best Seller List. And, for good reason. Set in the Dungeon & Dragon's Forgotten Realms, IDW's The Legend of Drizzt, Volume 3: Sojourn collects issues one through three of Sojourn, a comic book series originally published by Devil's Due Publishing in 2006.

I'm biased: I thoroughly enjoy ghost stories, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review Nancy Hernandez and The Black Widows, published by Los Angeles-based independent publisher Diablo Comics. Scott “Diablo” Marcano and Jaime Zevallos co-wrote a story about a vengeful spirit of an honor student who seeks out her killers – a middle school gang of vicious girls – and one by one exacts unique methods of revenge that match their nicknames. Juan Romera illustrated this tale that is based on a true haunting.

Heretic #1 is a relaunch title from Off Shoot Comics, an independent publisher founded by Walter Bryant and David Clarke. Originally created in 2011, this year, the series has been illustrated by artist Johnny Flores (El Toxico), with co-founder David Clarke penning the story. The first issue is currently available, and the follow-up issue will be available at WonderCon 2016 next March.

Hum is a graphic novel from Diablo Comics, an independent publisher based in Los Angeles specializing in horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories. Founded in 2005 by Scott “Diablo” Marcano who wrote Bio-Dome, Marcano shared writing duties with Tom Lenoci for this 2008 story. This beefy, 250-page graphic novel, available at Amazon, was illustrated by Renzo Podestra. This review focuses on the first issue, or approximately the first 40 pages.

As a Judge Dredd fan, this is an exciting week! IDW's Judge Dredd: Mega City Zero: Part One #1 titled “Terms of Service” marks a new beginning for our strong-chinned, perpetually frowning masked cop. It was nearly forty years ago when writer John Wagner formed the idea of a futuristic cop and was visually realized by legendary artist Carlos Ezquerra. Over the intervening years, the gravelly voiced “I am the Law” cop has experienced all manners of adversity – earthly and heavenly. With that much material, it can be an intimidating task to know where to enter the IP, and series editor Denton J. Tipon explains in “Dreddlines” at the back of the issue that Mega-City Zero gives longtime fans a new story while offering an opportunity for new readers to have a place to jump in and develop an appreciation for Dredd and Mega-City.

It was sometime after the announcement from CD Projekt RED that they were developing The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings game in 2009 that I learned that the game was based on stories written by a Polish economist, Andrzej Sapkowski. I went hunting for the novels since I was curious about this new character named Geralt of Rivia, a mutant hunter earning coin by killing monsters as he traveled the world. What made Geralt so appealing as a protagonist was his ethical stance in spite of his detached nature towards others.

I was not familiar with The Private Eye nor did I remember seeing single issues in my local comic book shop prior to the release of the “Cloudburst” edition from Image Comics last week. Then, while reading the supplements in the back of this deluxe hardcover release, I discovered that this ten-part science-fiction/mystery series had been published online at PanelSyndicate.com, where the creators offered their comics directly to their readers in DRM-free formats. In turn, readers could pay what they could afford, or even nothing. The Private Eye received critical acclaim and was recognized with an Eisner Award this past summer in the category of Best Digital/Web Comic – honors that are well-earned and deserved.

In 1981, John Carpenter's Escape from New York introduced filmgoers to anti-hero Snake Plissken, the one-eyed former Special Forces soldier turned criminal. Cynical and hypocritical of the government, he's a bad boy - a survivor at any cost with humor as sharp as a switchblade. Plissken has made periodic returns to the public eye via the silver screen in the 1996 Escape from L.A., but his story has been featured in comic book form with The Adventures of Snake Plissken (1997 one-shot from Marvel Comics) and John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles (2003 four-part series from CrossGen and Hurricane Entertainment). This month, BOOM! Studios released Escape From New York Volume 1: Escape from Florida, written by Christopher Sebela, with art by Diego Barreto, colors by Marissa Louise, letters by Ed Dukeshire, and cover art by Tim Bradstreet. The first volume collects issues one through four - the rebellious bad boy is back!

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