Today is the 13th of September, which means the digital edition of Box 13 is FREE to grab on Amazon's Kindle store! Pick it and if you dig it, please write a review!
2) Write reviews of my books! Tell your friends about them! The more the merrier!
Thank you all again for being completely fabulous!
For my comic and graphic novel reading friends on Booklikes!
It's an eclectic list of crazy cool titles. NYCC may have passed, but these awesome titles are still there and you should totally check them out!
Thank you to David Gallaher for the generous gift of digital versions of these comics. They were unexpected, and as he said in a message to me, strings-free. I wasn't asked to read, nor review them, but I review everything I read. (I got this, High Moon Volume One, and the first issue of the Only Living Boy. I purchased the rest of those halfway through this, because I liked it so much, so yay for more comics. Also, another comic had been suggested to me, so I've been on a digital comics spending/reading spree as of late. I also just noticed that High Moon has the same illustrator. Yes! Steve Ellis is amazing!)
And I would one-click on that right this second. Gallaher's work stands quite well on it's own. While I suspected where this was heading from the beginning, the real mystery was the why this was happening. This isn't the type of book I usually read, so I wasn't looking for the twist with one of the main characters, either, and that was a... well, it wasn't a nice surprise for the other character, but it was for me! I suspect some people may have guessed at their true affiliation, but I wasn't looking for it, to be honest.
That being said, I liked how paranoid this whole thing was: not just the writing, but the art. Speaking of which, the art was gorgeous!
I really liked this style, and the way in which it felt a bit different from everything I've seen. It was not only rather stylistic, but fluid; some scenes had a sketchier feel, as called for, but it was all about what each panel needed. (And I don't use sketchier in a bad term, merely as a little looser. The art ranged between super tight during the more serious, action-packed parts, and a looser/sketchier feel, mostly when it emphasized the fact that Dan, the main, male character didn't know what was going on at the time.)
There were also nice little easter eggs in the art. A stairwell on a page went panel by panel, then panned out to the full page. You got a view down the staircase, and the bottom was a rectangle, much like the boxes referenced to in the title, with a large number 12. It all felt like it was winking at itself, and instead of taking itself super-seriously all the time, it wanted to show what fun the creators were having. It felt so in a way that invited me in to joint that fun.
To be completely, one hundred percent honest, though, this didn't feel quite as polished as Gallaher's work on Green Lantern, which was a shame because I was completely lost during Convergence! This felt more like an earlier work, although I haven't gone back to check dates. It's not so much that the plot wasn't worked out well, or the writing wasn't good, but rather that there could have been one final round of proof reading. (And it feels really awkward saying this, because Gallaher followed me first, and gifted me this and another comic as a thanks for making BL welcoming. But it is my policy to be 100% honest as my reviews are mostly for me to remember what I liked and didn't when I first read a book, and for other readers, as well.) It didn't pop up as an issue all that often, but just enough for me to knock down one-half star. It was little things, too, like phrasing more than anything: when Dan says he opens the second box more of curiosity, it felt like 'more out of curiosity than anything else,' would have nailed it a little better. The main female character, Olivia, didn't use contractions for the most part, which made me wonder why not. It was an odd quirk, given that she didn't speak with a great formality otherwise, and it kind of irked me.
That being said, I don't normally read that much about government conspiracies like this, or I haven't recently. I don't know if I would have noticed or picked this up if not for the interaction on BL, specifically between the author and myself. I'm certainly glad I did. This was a quick read, more because I was compelled to compulsively click on the next panel. Dan and Olivia only get a little over a hundred pages of a graphic novel to make me interested in them, their storyline, and what happens to them. They certainly did.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot or spoil anything, or hint at the twists that I didn't see coming*, so I'll try to synopsize as best I can. When Dan, a writer of fiction and some non-fiction, completes a book on government experiments, he calls too much attention to himself. A young woman named Olivia, and possibly another young woman named 'Suzie', approach him using different tacks. Olivia gives him one of his books with her number on it, and 'Suzie' leaves him boxes with numbers on the top.
When he opens the boxes, Dan seems to go into fugue states. The first box lands him in the hospital, the other boxes do what seems to be worse: they mess with his head, give him information he didn't know he had, and it all ends up with him on the street, stinking, shoeless, and just able to remember Olivia's number to call her. Everywhere he goes, boxes with increasing numbers and a note from 'Suzie' end up finding him.
Who's doing this? How? Why?
Already paranoid, and getting more concerned as each box he opens seems to do worse and worse to him, Dan starts to lean on Olivia to help him find out what is going on with I'm and how to stop him.
The ending is quite open ended, and definitely hints at the possibility of a sequel. I want it. I want it so bad. And I kind of want this same team on said possible sequel, because I loved the writing and the pace and characters, and the art was just absolutely perfect for this piece.
*I don't try to parse out mysteries, to be honest, because I'd rather be surprised and pleased with the things I didn't see coming. What I didn't see may be what others look for to try and figure out, so I'm not sure I'm the best judge ever of this.
So I got these gifted to me tonight. It was quite unexpected, and quite a lovely surprise. I really want to finish Deadpool's run, which I've been on for way too long, and which I'm having issues with. *blows hair out of eyes*
I also want to start Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos at some point, and I have a feeling Deadpool's final issue will play into that, so yeah.
But I'm going to try to get to these this week, or at least one. I'm super excited, because as much I didn't get what was going on in the Convergence issues, I really loved them. And same author.