Friday, August 22, 2014

Shutting Things Down

For personal reasons I have decided this blog will go the way of my Twitter, Tumblr, DeviantArt, etc and be shut down for the time being.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Monster Elementary

This was a reward from a Kickstarter thing I donated to after seeing that Caanan Grall had worked on it. Like his webcomic, Max Overacts, this contains an entertaining ensemble. It's fun watching the kids battle it out while the adults are oblivious. Sure, that's been done before but it's fun here. And then there's the heart touching stories involving not fitting in or adoption. The book covers a wide range of emotions. This book exceeded my expectations and I recommend checking it out.

Quick Comic Reviews - Elephantmen 2260 Book 1

A well crafted story with some beautiful art. You don't really appreciate it until you get to the end and in the grand scheme of things it raises more questions and issues for the Elephantmen series than it answers but it's also a decent jumping on point. Though I did realize while reading this series that I missed issue 50 which hasn't been included in the collections (that I know of). Elephantmen continues to be on my recommended reading list.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Sex books 1 and 2

This book feels a bit weird for me in that the main story seems to be moving slowly throughout the series while you can't really say that nothing's been happening. Perhaps that's partly due to the large cast of characters each being given time to tell their stories. But it's growing into something very interesting. The graphic scenes sometimes feel a little unnecessary or at least they could be cut back a bit. But it's a well written series with very intriguing characters. I don't think it makes my "recommended reading" list, it's more "worth checking out if you're looking for something new/different."

Friday, August 08, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Astro City: Shining Stars

In my opinion Astro City may be the best written superhero comic out there at the moment and I'd put it high on the list of best written ongoing comics, period. My only issue with this book is that maybe the art lets me down in the odd panel but the attention to detail and excellent overall storytelling makes up for any possible deficiencies. Astro City remains near the top of my recommended reading list with this excellent volume.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Quick Movie Reviews - Guardians of the Galaxy

Took my mother to see Guardians of the Galaxy today. Definitely not cinematic genius but quite a lot of fun. A lot of humour and some fun action. I wouldn't say that Rocket and Groot "steal the show" but yeah, they are great. And yes, my mother really enjoyed it. Definitely recommend checking it out.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

I was a huge wrestling fan back in the day. I really got into it in the early 80's, just before the Hogan/Andre feud started. So I was very eager to read this book. It contained mostly stories that wrestling fans have heard in other arenas. In fact, the notes even indicate that they were stories taken from interviews wrestlers did. It didn't feel like the book really delved into who Andre was. There were some parts where they go over the pain that Andre was in, the health issues and surgery, and how uncomfortable he was living in a world built for people much smaller than him. Yet it always seemed to be glossing over things. The simpler artwork helped in some ways but I found some pages (seemingly more so early on in the book) had really bad layouts. And sometimes I found myself confused as to who was actually being depicted in a discussion as someone who was on the left in one panel suddenly was on the right of the panel seemingly facing the opposite way (lack of backgrounds in some of the discussion panels weren't helping there). Overall, I wasn't that impressed with this book. It definitely doesn't make my recommended reading list, even to wrestling fans. I wouldn't say to avoid it, but don't expect much out of it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quick Comic Review -- March: Book One

I expected an emotional story but I didn't expect such a high quality comic book. The storytelling is great and it makes effective use of the medium. At times I felt like I've seen some of the story before (especially after just watching the movie: The Butler) but this time it's about a guy who actually lived it and that makes me feel a bit more connected in this instance. This book falls into my "recommended reading" pile but not really my "must read" pile. Definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Invincible Universe Volume 2

I didn't have a lot of hope for this spin off series, I wasn't sure there was enough there in terms of story or characters to carry a separate book from Invincible. But I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised. The characters are all quite unique individuals and the stories are very good. I find the art is getting more solid as the series goes on. It's an entertaining book that I recommend checking out, whether you're an Invincible fan or not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Fairest Volume 3: The Return of the Maharaja

As nice as it was to see the return of a certain Fables character, it struck me as a bit odd that it occurred in the Fairest series, which I thought was created to tell more stories of the female Fables. He does share the story with Nalayani so there's that. I would say this is an okay Fables book. It's a good enough story and told in an engaging way while I felt the art wasn't exactly the strongest (panels and the panel to panel transfers not really telling the story effectively or certain panels not really seeming to match the dialogue as well as it could) but it was okay. Overall, it's probably a must read for Fables fans but not really a stand out book that I'd recommend to non-fans.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Pretty Deadly Volume 1

I've been meaning to read this one for a while but my "to be read" pile just keeps growing it seems. I had heard mixed reviews going in but I tried to put them out of my mind while reading it.

In terms of writing, the story has some originality to it but also touches on some things that seem to be becoming more common (mostly centering around "Death"). Not a bad thing necessarily, I just wasn't completely blown away by the overall ideas. It is put together well with some great imagery (the butterfly and the bunny, for example). As for the art, it's not for everyone. It has a different, possibly 'messy', look to it. And while some panels are beautiful to look at or have energy popping off the page, some details just don't seem to clear (at least to me). So when the book is written such that a panel is supposed to show a quick glimpse to the reader and the reader can't figure out what exactly it is that they're looking at (at least not at first glance) it can take the reader out of the story slightly. I felt it got better as it went along, or maybe I was just getting used to it.

I'll probably pick up the second volume to see where it goes from here but I'm not sold on the series just yet. So on my rating scale (which I still haven't really come up with) this one falls between "take it or leave it" to "possibly recommend to certain readers if they are looking for something else to read."

Quick Comic Reviews - Miracleman Book One

First up, I have to say that the almost 60 pages of bonus material seemed a bit much. I do like a bit of bonus material in my comics (covers to the issues, original art, etc) but I don't feel it should be one-third of the book.

Anyways, getting to the content of the book. It's difficult to review Miracleman without thinking about the stories behind it. As well, there's the timing of the original publication, there really was nothing like it at the time but now it's been copied over several times. And anyone new to the story may see Miracleman as the copy.

However, this volume only gives a glimpse of the story that "The Original Writer" (as he is listed in the credits) is building and that's too bad. It's just not enough to really get going and to new readers, that's too bad. Having read the series in its (unfinished) entirety, that gives the full picture. And perhaps new readers should wait for a bit more to be built up.

I recommend reading Miracleman, it's an incredibly well crafted story, but maybe just not yet.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews: Indestructible Hulk Volume 4

I had somewhat high hopes for Mark Waid's run on the Hulk but so far, I've felt it just hasn't got there yet. I'm not saying it's bad, I just feel it could be better. This volume is better. Still not blown away with it but I enjoyed this volume more than the previous ones and I'm back to being interested where it goes from here. I was disappointed in the art though. Again, none of the artists are bad, some really excel in the Hulk rampaging, it's the inconsistency of it. What is it with the Hulk books having two or three artists per issue? In the end, I can't really put this on my "recommended reading" list, it's more of a "possible checkout if you're interested" sort of thing.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Marvel Knights Hulk: Transforme

Even as a Hulk fan I was on the fence about picking this trade up. It just didn't really look all that appealing to me. Now, I think I could have skipped it. I didn't find the story all that interesting. I wasn't impressed by the art or the writing. It wasn't a bad series, just not that good in my opinion. I don't necessarily regret picking it up, but I could have done without reading it. It doesn't make my recommended reading list.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews: The Manhattan Projects Volume 4

This book continues to be full of crazy. And just when you think you might know where it's going, it goes somewhere else. It makes a path you just don't see coming. It's violent, it's silly, and it's not for everyone but I'm enjoying the ride.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews: Common Grounds

This collection of superhero short stories caught my eye when I saw one of the stories ("Time of their Lives") on Tumblr. The stories are written by Troy Hickman and drawn by an assortment of very talented artists including George Perez, Michael Oeming, Dan Jurgens, Chris Bachalo, and several others. It's a great anthology that is definitely worth checking out. It places pretty high on my recommended reading list and I'm very happy that I was able to track down a copy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews: Marvel's The Emerald City of Oz

I've really enjoyed this series, mostly due to Skottie Young's artwork throughout. I've felt the later books weren't quite as solid storywise but still enjoyable. This one was a bit better but the ending really hit me. Really glad Marvel published these and I'm really happy to have them all sitting on my shelves as I'm sure I'll pull them out to reread them from time to time.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews: Revival Volume 3

I've enjoyed this series from the start. The writing, the art, the characters, the scenarios that come up, all great stuff. But at the same time I've felt things were all being put out there with not much in the way of resolution. I had been hoping some of the story threads would start to come together at some point so I was glad that this volume really moved some things along. I'm even more engaged after having finished this volume and am eagerly awaiting volume 4.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Reviews - The Hunger Games trilogy

I decided to check out these books shortly after seeing the first movie but I decided to finish all the Game of Thrones books first. I thought the first movie was "okay". I felt the first half was pretty poor but the second half brought it up. The second movie was a bit better in my opinion. I enjoyed the books quite a bit more. Learning more about Katniss and what makes her tick, seeing everything from her perspective, was very interesting. It's a bit weird at times as you don't get to see anything that she doesn't see (as you do in the movies) but that sort of adds a different element to it.

I can definitely see why these books appeal to so many and I'd recommend them. I'm tempted to check out some other books by Suzanne Collins but I think I'll wait until my current to-be-read pile is cut down a bit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quick Comic Reviews - Atomic Robo Volume 8

I have to admit, the storytelling isn't always spot on. There are times where things could be a bit more clear and I found myself having to stop to try to figure out what was happening. But despite that, this volume was pretty awesome. Of course it was, it has Dr Dinosaur. Loads of fun stuff and great characters beyond Robo and Dr Dino. Absolutely great stuff and Atomic Robo remains near the top of my recommended reading list.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Writer's Block

After recent events I've tried over and over again to compose one blog post in particular. I wanted to start off talking about my social shortcomings, keeping it clear that these are my shortcomings that I have to improve on rather than taking out my frustrations on others, and then moving on to the women in my life, whether they be family, friends, acquaintances, online connections, or just women who choose to share their voice in a public forum. I wanted to touch on how much I have learned from them while realizing how much more there is, and that I'll never fully understand but that I have to keep listening, to keep trying to be a better person. And then I would thank these women for being much stronger than I could be and single out the friends who continue to be such an important part of my life, inspiring me to try to always be better.

But unfortunately every time I try to write up the post it just seems to come out wrong. So until I figure it out let's all just try to be better to one another.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Comic Reviews - Marvel Knights: Spider-Man

Picked this one up at Ottawa Comiccon after talking to Marco Rudy and checking out his original artwork. I bought it primarily for his artwork, which is on the experimental side here (even more so than his usual). A decent story with quite a few good moments. The art is pretty out there and not for everyone but the switching of styles and creativity that Marco brings to the table really won me over. It probably doesn't make my "recommended reading" list but I wouldn't say to avoid it either. Maybe check it out if you're looking for a decent Spider-Man story.

Movie Reviews - X-Men: Days of Future Past

Again, trying to revive this blog with some quick reviews.

X-Men: Days of Future Past -- Have to say, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I went in with some preconceptions but this one surprised me. Not a perfect movie, not even close, but enjoyable. I'm also not usually a fan of time travel stuff and this one ties things up a little too cleanly but I didn't find it too hard to move beyond that. The post credits scene, it felt disappointing. I had to explain it to some family members who saw it but they were not really impressed with the scene or the explanation.

In the end, not a must see movie but if you like the X-Men you'll want to check it out. And it will definitely help if you've seen the previous movies.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ottawa Comiccon 2014

I guess Ottawa Comiccon is good enough reason to resurrect this blog for a bit. So here's my rundown. Overall, it was a fun con. I thought the comic section was a little light and the celebs were great but not really ideal for me (either I've met them or they are known for things I was never really interested in). But it was pretty well organized. Things fell behind at times but they seemed to recover for the most part. So here is my rundown of the three days.

Friday -- Sean Astin was my primary focus on day 1, grabbing a photo and autograph from him. I love Goonies and Rudy but in the short time I had to talk to him I had to praise the decision to cast him as Samwise Gamgee (my favourite character in Lord of the Rings) and say he nailed it perfectly in my opinion. I also decided to pick up three beer coasters from Mike Rooth (with the Leader, Abomination, and She-Hulk drawn on them to go with the Hulk one I had from him) and two booklets from Jenny Frison containing some of her covers.

Saturday -- Day 2 was mostly Q&A's for me. First up, Summer Glau. I expected her to be much more of an introvert but it was a fun panel. Then there was Bruce Campbell. His panel was more of a routine by him then a Q&A but very funny and entertaining. The third panel was Sean Astin and man, the energy and excitement he came with was great. I was a fan before but was even more of a fan after seeing how great he was with his fans. I also went for a photo op with Summer Glau and Charisma Carpenter. I had purchased it when it was Summer and Eliza Dushku but was happy to have had a chance to meet Charisma. Both seemed very nice in the short time you get to say hi before they snap your photo and usher you out.

My day 2 purchases consisted of Hobbit slippers and a copy of Marvel Knights: Spider-Man. After talking to Marco Rudy for a while and admiring his original art I decided I had to give the book a try and he was kind enough to sign it for me.

Sunday -- The last day was a quiet, short day for us. There was the Karl Urban Q&A which was also a lot of fun (the panels I went to were top notch this year) and I grabbed an autograph from Pat Mastroianni (Joey Jeremiah from the original Degrassi series). Pat was very friendly and seemed to really be enjoying his time with the fans. But after some browsing we decided around 3:30 to head home so we could prepare for a Mother's Day BBQ.

So, not a lot of money was spent (depending on your definition of "a lot") but another successful Ottawa Comiccon in my mind. And now I have Fan Expo Canada to look forward to.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year, Same Old Story

One of my favourite things about this time of year: The "best of" lists whether it's comics, creators, artists, or whatever else. This is my opportunity to discover what I should have discovered/been reading throughout the year. My "books to be read" piles are growing. Not just one pile, it has grown to many piles. They were out of control before the holidays, now there are no words to describe them. My condo has piles all over the place.

One of my least favourite things about this time of year: Future of comics talk. Yes, I've done it in the past, some time ago, but I've just grown tired of it. It's more print versus digital, digital comics versus webcomics, sales analysis, and "this is the future of comics" declarations that are either obvious or just trying to be shocking, like talking about absolutes, rather than realistic. I've decided I just want to live in the now, what comics are currently sitting around my house, and let the future figure itself out.

Man, I am just too grumpy.