Christina Brookman, Fanbase Press Contributor

Christina Brookman, Fanbase Press Contributor

Snow Blind has all it needs to be a compelling and thrilling comic, but it just falls a little short. Set in the isolated landscape of Alaska, the creative team has set themselves up with a caveat of possibilities for their crime thriller series; the haunting watercolor image of a young boy and his dog wandering the snowy landscape with questions of his father’s past was enough to draw me in. But, will this be enough to keep the reader’s interest, not for just this first issue, but the entire series of four?

There is a simplistic didacticism woven into the folds of Julia's House for Lost Creatures that is both unexpected and refreshing. Upon first glance, this might look like your average children's book. The cover seems inviting with Julia, a charming young girl displaying a simple, sweet smile, her hand on her hip posing in front for her seaside house. Cuteness ensues when one notices the dragon tails, ghosts, and other various creatures peaking out of the house's windows; my inner child jumped in glee - eager to discover more about Julia, her house, and these creatures. Ben Hatke's beautiful drawings and heartwarming, child-friendly tale makes Julie's House for Lost Creatures a book that both parents and educators will want to explore with their children.

Magical. Transcendent. Inspired. It is difficult to capture in words what turning the pages of The Art of the Book of Life was like for me. Those who know me well know I am rarely at a loss for words; however, this book left me silent . . . just absorbing. I truly believe people come into your life at different times for a purpose. The Art of the Book of Life came into my life at just the right time, and, low and behold, I was lucky enough to be swept into a treasure trove of artistry, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the upcoming animated film, The Book of Life, with a forward from none other than Guillermo del Torro, the film's producer!

RoboChuck is back for a third edition, and this time there is an fascinating air of macabre that is usually absent. This is, of course, not to say RoboChuck is not child friendly; it is absolutely for both adults and kids alike. RoboChuck #3, unlike its predecessors, which focused on introducing characters, starts to allude to the darker mystery of the missing persons in Flatland. The imagery Callahan uses perfectly depicts isolation, and, for a split second, I stopped laughing, haunted by the fate of a toon . . . a dot on a page. RoboChuck #3 has more of a politico feel, filled with laughs, but it is in this edition we grow up as an audience a little, we start to realize the brute reality of what is truly going on in this world, and how it is a reflection of our own.

It was somewhat ironic that I was reading a series of essays on fatherhood the week of Mother’s Day and, at the same time, poetically apropos. Women are always dying for a glimpse into the minds of men. It is rare we get to hear the male introspective view on parenthood; not just scholarly essays, but rather reflective, insightful, humorous stories filled with the emotion of Ben Tanzer’s Lost In Space. Lost in Space is a simple, yet powerful, memoir that will move you beyond words and leave you in stitches whether you are a parent or not.

When I heard that RoboChuck #2 had come out, I jumped at the opportunity to read it . . . and I was not let down. Chris Callahan packs in all the crafted artwork, zany, yet lovable, characters, and non-stop laughs of the first issue - and then some. RoboChuck is showing promise to be a series that will continue to maintain its quality and dare I say . . . like a fine wine, maybe even get better with each issue as you meet and fall in love with all of the characters.

Warning: The content reviewed is for mature audiences only.

When we think of superheroes, we fantasize about beings of magnificent strength, courage, intelligence, wisdom, and cunning incomparable to our own. They come from different words, wearing suits of armor, protecting the world and universe, always putting others’ needs before their own.  They are what we strive to be, right? Raymond Embrack would have you think differently. Big Superhero Action opens your eyes to a stark reality of what the world could look like if superheroes really did exist. For, as he says, “With superheroes . . . comes super villains.”  You cannot separate the two.

Sometimes . . . you want to go where everybody knows your name. Gabriel Dunston paints a picture of such a place in Purgatory Pub: Book 1, capturing the unlikely, and yet hysterically charming, friendship of a little devil and angel in the afterlife. In one night, we watch as their mission to share a brewski after a long day at the “office” (commiserating over failed human conversion attempts) turns into an epic adventure. In the end, they may have discovered more than they wanted to know about the other and ended up only needing more alcohol. Purgatory Pub: Book 1 will make you laugh until you cry, and then pause . . . to think.

Looking at the cover of Lady Phenom, I am overcome with childhood nostalgia for Super Girl starring Helen Slater. While not a commercial or critical success, I can remember staring at that movie poster for hours wanting to be Helen Slater . . . to be Super Girl. I wonder if young girls will get the same feeling looking at this Lady Phenom cover, which may have been the same feeling many girls also got looking at the Wonder Woman covers. I suspect they will. There is nothing more magical than to be a child or adult and see a superhero looking back at you in any art form.  As a girl, when most of what we are given to play with is dainty and delicate, it is even more life changing to have a woman that flies and saves lives on a cover for all to see.  Now that is PHENOMENAL!

It would seem by the description of Bald New World that author Peter Tieryas Liu means to paint a picture of an over-the-top, futuristic society in which people have lost all of their bodily hair, but, upon reading the novel, one is forced to look into a mirror and see the multitude of issues plaguing today’s society. This is by no means a light read. While there are comical characters and moments, the overall topic and journey are very dark, much darker than I was expecting; however, it is a rich darkness that slowly envelopes you like a strange mixture of dark chocolate and honey. Somehow, hours have gone by and you are entrapped in this Bald New World, entranced and intoxicated by its exotic world that you can’t seem to leave. You can’t look away, because there is something hauntingly familiar in this book, something that reminds you of home.

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