Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor

I’ve been privileged to be asked to write reviews for many of my colleagues, which I hope not only means I give fair and balanced reviews, but entertaining ones, as well.  I readily admit that I do these reviews not only to get free stuff, but to learn from other creators; however, when I have to bring the hammer down, I try to do it with respect and a sincere belief that any criticism I give will only help them improve their craft or that they will at least think about what I’ve said. Fortunately, there is little not to like about Ups and Down.

DreamWorks' first venture into the graphic novel business brings us the continuing adventures of Hiccup and his friends in the How To Train Your Dragon universe.  Written by Scott Furman, with pencils by Iwan Nazif, coloring by Nestor Pereyra and Digikore, and lettering by David Manley-Leach,  DreamWorks made a wise marketing decision in choosing this series to start with.  Not only was the movie a money maker, it was very good and I very much look forward to seeing the second.  I understand this comic was supposed to be out over a year ago, but knowing how hard it is to produce a comic, I can only sympathize. But, on to the dragons . . .

One of the best parts of being a writer is stumbling upon old tales or alleged supernatural occurrences and asking yourself the question, “What if this really happened?” David Lucarelli did just that when he came across a 1954 incident in Scotland where hundreds of school children descended upon a local cemetery in search of a vampire with iron teeth who they believed killed a couple of local children.  Artist Henry Ponciano joined Mr. Lucarelli in his quest to turn this incident into the trade paperback The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade from Creator’s Edge Press.

I think if you’re a hot-looking Terminator hanging out in Southern California in the summer time, you’d find more to do than scare little kids and tear out people’s hearts, but this trio seems bent on altering their programming just to keep a serial killer alive. Thus begins the 7th issue of Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle.

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a normal person dealing with superheroes on a not-so-friendly basis? Stephen Stern and Matt Yuan, with art by John Yuan, take it upon themselves to show us the other side of life in a world dominated by superheroes in Serving Supes. Published by First Comics, the story is about two hapless twin brothers whose job is to serve court summonses on delinquent and bail-jumping superheroes and supervillains.

Okay . . . having reviewed the last two volumes of this serious, I knew it was violent (which normally doesn’t bother me), but if you’re not prepared for it or don’t like it, this might not be the comic for you. Just saying . . .

The sixth issue of Where the Witches Lurk, written by Joe Pezzula and with art by Donny Ganakusuma, brings us to the final confrontation between Gina, Tina, and the Dark Witch.  In the previous issues, we saw the mysterious Apothecary Symthe help Officer LaMontague release his colleagues from the spell of the Dark Witch while Sarah, Tina, and Gina try to track her down while looking for their missing father.

The past collides with the future in the ninth issue of Dark Horse’s Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle. Written by Joe Stracynski, this issue dives in with no preamble as John Connor carries the fate of the world on his shoulders. But, can he handle it?

A Steampunk fantasy from Harper Voyager, The Clockwork Dagger is Beth Cato’s first novel in what will be a series in this universe. I was a little wary when I noticed that it was not only Ms. Cato’s first novel, but was 354 pages long. (Sorry, but all sorts of red flags go up in my head when I see long page counts on first books.)  Fortunately, Ms. Cato knows what she’s doing, as I quickly got caught up in the very rich and descriptive world she has created.

Being a big fan of the Fox TV show Sleepy Hollow, I was pretty stoked to be able to review the first issue of the four-issue mini-series from BOOM! Written by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated by Jorge Coelho, they set up the story nicely by dropping us into the always supernatural world of Sleepy Hollow.

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