Tony Caballero, Fanbase Press Contributor

Tony Caballero, Fanbase Press Contributor

 

Complex 90“In one unintentionally comic motion, my audience all swung around in their seats to face me, ready to hang on my every word, minds already dancing with accusations at the same time they were formulating their own finely worded excuses.  It was too bad my buddy Ralph Marley wasn’t here to watch the show. But, Marley was dead. And, that left only me to play Scrooge.”


Detective fiction comes in many flavors.  You've got your dainty Miss Marples, your wise and mysterious Charlie Chans, your erudite Sherlock Holmes, your witty and pithy Nick and Nora Charles, your agoraphobic gourmet Rex Stout, but coming in ahead of all of them in terms of flavor and style, there is only one . . .  Mike Hammer.  As penned by Mickey Spillane, Hammer puts the “hard” in hard-boiled.

 

Dream Thief 1“What would you do if you woke up in a strange room and didn’t know where you were or what you did the night before to get there?”

What if it happened again . . . and again . . . until you were scared to fall asleep for fear of the blood you might shed once unconscious.  Dark Horse’s Dream Thief asks that question with chilling consequences.

 

Wolves of Summer 2“Live faithfully, fight bravely, and die laughing.”
-motto of the Hitler Youth

Chapter 2 of Alterna’s chilling and challenging work, Wolves of Summer, has arrived, and the story continues to evolve, to grow more resonant and disturbing.

 

Mask of the Red Panda 3Okay, there’s some good news and some bad news . . .  Which do you want first?

Okay, the good news . . . Monkeybrain Comics has released the third rollicking issue of Mask of the Red Panda, and it's every bit as full of chewy pulp pleasure as the first two.

 

LIL V1“Listen, sweetheart . . . I’m not a complicated girl. I don’t want much, and I need even less . . . That’s the way I like it . . . It’s how I’m glued. I’m not looking for flowers or candy . . . I’m not even looking for caramel centered honesty . . . which I’m guessing fits in well with that circle of white skin round your finger where a wedding ring sometimes likes to sit . . .  Don’t explain, honey . . . I don’t care . . . If you’re asking me . . . do I want another drink . . . ? Yeah . . . I always want another drink.”

Noir is often described as a bleakness, a pessimism, a lack of hope or faith . . . and that describes the latest work from Mike Young and Mark Crane to a “T.” Not that that’s a bad thing . . .

 

ArkThirteen years into its deep-space journey, the Explorer loses all communications with Earth . . . or so it seems.

In the graphic novel Ark, a colonization ship stocked with a human crew overseeing the education and training of “metas” or hybrids of humanoid plant or animal beings, the Explorer hasn't received a message from home in months.  Drawing on the intelligence of one of the metas, Captain Smith (in a nod to Titanic?) discovers the horrible truth behind their mission, a secret that will lead to an upheaval of everything they believe about their journey.

 

It Is Known II“… pleasing folks like us – the uber-fans who know the books inside and out – is a monumental task in and of itself.  Changes (are) something viewers unfamiliar with the books will have no idea about. Casual readers of the books may not pick up on all these subtleties, either. We of the "uber" are another breed, though. Not only do we pick up on the changes, but we scrutinize them. We question them.

We evaluate them. We deconstruct them. Once in a blue moon, we might even approve of them. But, above all else, we always, always, always discuss them.”

 -Doug Cohen, Page 62


Marc Kleinhenz is back with his gang of Ice-and-Fireheads for another volume of deep and insightful commentary that will not only serve to enlighten their readers, but will also send the casual Game Of Thrones viewer scurrying to buy the books to see what else they are missing out on.

Following the same format as Volume I, this volume gathers together all of his reviews of the second season of HBO’s monumental series and places it in context within the scope of George R.R. Martin’s original source material.

 

Mask of the Red Panda 2When we last left our crime-fighting duo, the Red Panda (a.k.a. millionaire gadabout town August Fenwick) had just received a warning from his old ally, The Stranger, about dark forces gathering that signal nothing less than the end of the world.  Meanwhile, his spunky sidekick, the Flying Squirrel (a.k.a. his driver, Kit Baxter) has tracked a pack of magic-eating demon rats called the V’rahill to an abandoned warehouse . . . and a trap.

Monkeybrain Comics' second issue of Mask of the Red Panda will hit the stands on March 27th and continues to amaze and delight readers with its vintage feel and sensibilities. 

 

Ghost Town 1Continuing with their mature readers label, Action Lab Comics has released what is sure to be THE tentpole summer movie of 2018 with their newest title, Ghost Town.

In June of 2014, while working in secret under the Painted Desert of Arizona, a group of scientists succeeds in their attempts to displace an object in time.  But, their triumph is short-lived as shortly thereafter, terrorists assault the compound and steal the technology.

 

Wolves of Summer 1 Cover“Hate is our prayer, revenge our battle cry!”

A story about Hitler Youth in the dwindling days of World War II is most likely few people’s first choice for compelling comics reading, but writer Tony Keaton and artist Andrew Herbst have managed to craft an intriguing and, at times, even emotional story about the things we do in youth and how they affect us in age.

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