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review 2018-07-15 17:08
Dark Humor and Comic Con Action!
Battle at the Comic Expo - Richard Andreoli

Battle at the Comic Expo's audience is difficult to easily peg: take dark satirical humor, blend in action/thriller sci-fi elements, and add the specter of a comic convention threatened by forces of evil that move from comic pages into reality and from a zany romp into a world replete with dangerously obsessed fangirls and explosive, emotionally complex relationships. But somehow author Richard Andreoli makes all of this work in his fascinating, dramatic and chaotic novel.


In the story, Ron Lionel has created a blockbuster comic series - The Enduring - that is a monster hit.  He is hugely popular (and arrogant) but far less successful is his approach to life, which involves manipulating others to get what he wants. Nonetheless, Ron is realizing his dreams. Joe, in contrast, has long ago given up on his artistic ambitions and just lives to get by. His role as Security Chief at the comic book expo gets him close enough to his goal of supporting justice and fighting for the right side.


When these worlds collide, they do so with a bang that's heralded by an obsessed fan searching for answers Ron can't quite provide.


Readers familiar with comic convention culture and proceedings will quickly recognize all the trappings of a real convention in Andreoli's dark, satirical production. He is clearly familiar with this realm and its quirky, passionate participants (he worked as a marketing writer at Comic-Con for years), and this knowledge imbibes Battle at the Comic Expo's events with a real-world grittiness and humor.


References to this world (Dark Horse Comics, new ventures and industry partnerships) juxtapose with the passions of notoriously believable quirky fans to make for a vivid read that will be especially spot-on to anyone who has attended one of these conventions.


Another notable feature of Battle at the Comic Expo lies in its ability to take this bizarre-but-predictable setting and turn it on edge with larger-than-life events that are both mind-blowing and satisfying in their details. A fan's warped vision of what should be in the comics world may be the very force that destroys it, with only an egotist and a stalwart security guard standing between devastation and despair and the ultimate survival of the largest comic expo in America.


Can fangirl Velma discern between right and wrong? Can Joe prevent murder? And can he and Ron tap into Velma's obsession with Ron's fantasy world to draw her into different choices than the disaster she is careening towards.


Ron and Joe aren't friends; but they're about to share some of the same interests in a conjoined quest for survival not only of themselves, but the comic world that supports them both.


Take a highly successful egotist's irresistible fantasy creation, add a justice-believing outsider's quest to prevent disaster on his watch, and mix in underlying questions about good and evil, reality and fantasy, and good intentions gone awry for a powerful, multifaceted story that toes the line between fantasy, detective piece and comic world exposé. 


Replete with tension, action, and anxiety, Battle at the Comic Expo's injection of dark humor permeates a gripping story that excels in the unexpected while remaining firmly based in comic culture. Readers will relish its ability to teleport at warp speed between various genres while retaining a sense of originality and drama that makes the story vivid, unpredictable, and nearly impossible to put down.


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review 2018-07-14 15:11
Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More

This is yet another graphic novel that I picked up off of Amazon Prime on an impulse. I saw Avengers Infinity War not too long ago. I had heard that the next Avengers movie will feature Captain Marvel and early next year she will get her own movie so I wanted to learn more about her. I remember the Male Captain Marvel from the seventies but this is a whole new character.


Captain Marvel, Volume 1 is written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by David Lopez. This book includes issues 1 through 6 of the comic series and one self contained story. The tale begins with Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) finding an alien trapped in a capsule heading to earth. She saves the alien and then returns him to it's home world. 


 Once she arrives Captain Marvel discovers that the alien's planet is in danger and in conflict with the Galactic Alliance and the Spartax. She decides to stay and help the alien race but this will set off a chain of events that could alter all of the Marvel Universe and put her at odds with The Avengers. This book also includes appearances from The Guardians Of The Galaxy and Iron Man.


My main complaint about this book was that since I didn't know much about this character I was wanting a little orgin story but I didn't get it. Even though it started with a first issue it felt like I was starting a story in the middle. I realize that this is how the Marvel comics universe works, everything is connected and if you don't know anything about the universe you may be a little lost but I still would have liked a better starting point.


This is an entertaining book though.The characters were interesting,  the art was decent, the story was ok but nothing extraordinary. The book held my interest but wasn't as good as The Totally Awesome Hulk which I read not too long ago. There was a lot of potential in this book though, I would read more if I got the chance and I'm now looking forward to the upcoming movie. 

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review 2018-07-10 17:41
Another fun issue!
I Hate Fairyland #10 - Skottie Young,Skottie Young,Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Love, love love.   Gert has to pick a door - one will take her to her dreams.  The other will destroy fairyland. 


This is Gert.   One hundred years in the future, on the eve of fairyland's destruction, Gert has to go back to the past, and tell her younger self what to do to avoid this. 


Gert totally doesn't have ADD, so this will all work out!


Another funny issue. 

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review 2018-07-10 00:22
Gert loses a bet
I Hate Fairyland #9 - Skottie Young,Skottie Young,Jean-Francois Beaulieu

When a dark wizard demands an extinct creature - one that her worm-friend, Larry - can't find immediately, Gert has to go into his hat and get it herself.   If only she hadn't kidnapped and then promptly forgotten a string of people. 


If only she didn't have to go through them to get her Catastrophon.   


Of course, she has to fight the Lynt first since Larry doesn't clean up his damn hat.  


Yeah, if she survives the Lynt and gets through the group of people who despise her, then maybe she can save her life. 

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review 2018-07-09 23:37
So much fun
I Hate Fairyland #8 - Skottie Young,Skottie Young,Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Gert has to live-play through a video game to try and find a way home.   She bets her dragon - aka a boy dressed up as a dragon - while she beats her way through way too many fatalities. 


But can she beat the boss, Purty Pretty Princess? 




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