Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


Tears in RainRosa Montero’s novel, Tears in Rain, is a detective story set in a futuristic Madrid where humans live side-by-side with androids called replicants. Yes, this is a book that takes a lot of its cues from Blade Runner, but it does it in an upfront manner that I liked. The book doesn’t feel like it is borrowing too heavily, but rather they have very similar influences and headed in different directions. So, what you get is an interesting mystery story with a replicant detective named Bruna Husky who is trying to find the cause of some bizarre replicant suicides. She is also forced to deal with the increasing racism directed at reps at all levels of society.


Halo 4Halo 4 is a great game that subtly moves the series forward without trying to redefine it. In other words, if you like Halo, you will like Halo 4. The internet seemed nervous for a while when longtime Halo stewards Bungie Studio left the series and 343 studios took over. 343 was created by Microsoft for the express point of running Halo. There are two things that a studio can do to ruin a sequel. They can follow too closely to the original (Die Hard 2) or they can stray too far from what made the original great (Live Free or Die Hard). Fortunately, Halo 4 avoids both of these pitfalls.


The StrainI would imagine that adapting an existing story to comic form would be incredibly challenging.  You have to approach the original with both reverence and a critical eye. That balance must be just right, or the entire project can fail spectacularly. Having read the novel by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan and the first trade of The Strain, I can say that the adaptation was admirably done.


Lobster Johnson V2I have been a big fan of Lobster Johnson since I first saw him. In fact, I generally won’t shut up about my incredible love for Lobster Johnson. Part of this stems from my enjoyment of Mike Mignola’s sense of humor, but part of my love of the Lobster stems from his pedigree. Lobster Johnson is one part Indiana Jones, one part Batman (admittedly a small part), and one part Dick Tracey. He is as likely to fall into a trap as he is to spring one. He has the best (worst) catchphrase ever: “Feel the Claw!” In fact, nearly everything that he says feels like a line from a 1930s pulp adventure. Seriously, Lobster Johnson is the best.

So, how’s the new trade? Am I capable of delivering an impartial review? What’s with all the questions? Great. Mostly. I have no idea.


Adventure Time Marceline 5When I first started reading Adventure Time Presents: Marceline and the Scream Queens, I was excited because Adventure Time is so good at the hilariously weird (or is that the weirdly hilarious), and I was looking forward to that goofy fun. What I have grown to love about this particular comic is that it is not just an excuse to be bizarre; it is also a deeply personal story about two friends in a stressful time in their lives.


Thought Bubble Anthology 2012The Thought Bubble Anthology is a collection of short comic stories collected for the Thought Bubble Festival in the UK. The festival is a celebration of comics, and that is reflected in the anthology. The comic is essentially a sampler with a focus on our love of comics.


Perhapanauts 1Perhapanauts is a cross between the BPRD and Torchwood. The team is made up of several monsters, a psychic, and Jerry O’Connell from Sliders. No, that wasn’t an invitation to White Castle. The monsters on the team include Bigfoot, the Mothman, Chupacabra, and a ghost. If the premise doesn’t make you chuckle a little, then the comic should. I can say that this is one of those comics that does a great job of balancing several different layers of humor, from picking your nose with cheeto fingers to some things that are funny. In a one-page extra, we find the best superpower ever: ice-cream headaches.


Danger Club V1I think that we can all agree that homage needs two things to work. It needs to tap into the strengths of the original piece, and it needs to work on its own merits. Danger Club succeeds at both.


Ragemoor HCRagemoor is a Lovecraftian horror story about a malevolent castle. There is also a strong, gothic horror vibe to this comic. While the characters are dealing with unimaginable nightmares, they are also consumed by lust and obsessions. The castle is like an evil version of Hogwarts; there are countless secrets and the rooms move when you aren’t watching. The art is interesting and often unnerving, but I was a little disappointed by the writing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but it felt a little rushed at times.

Blackburn Burrow Issue 2 CoverThe second issue of the Amazon Studios published comic Blackburn Burrow is available for free to download to your eBook reading device of choice. This is a move by Amazon to figure out how popular this property could be as a movie. If you haven’t read the first issue, which is also free, you can probably still follow along with this handy dandy, spoiler-filled guide to issue one.


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