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review 2017-07-18 14:10
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories - Gary Gianni,Gary Gianni

Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories was a real treat! I knew nothing about what to expect from this volume, (knowing nothing about the Hellboy series, in which these comics were originally released), so I went in with no preconceptions. I was seriously impressed. Here's why:

 

First, I LOVED the stories! The first 2/3 of this are different comics featuring a movie director named St. Lawrence, (who looks a lot like Vincent Price, BTW, and who you would think belonged in the 30's expect for the occasional glimpse of technology), and his friend Benedict a member of the Corpus Monstrum guild. Benedict is an immortal knight and always wears his knight helmet and a tuxedo. (I need to learn more about the background of this character because he was a blast to read about.) Together they fend off plagues of falling skulls, and other monstrous creatures.

 

 

 

 

Second, the last third of the book contains illustrated classic stories by the likes of Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, and William Hope Hodgson. I LOVED these! When reading these short stories, I couldn't help but notice how the first 2/3 of the book carried the exact same pulpy, adventure feel that these classic stories originally created. I think Gianni did a beautiful job of carrying on that feel in his comics and in his illustrations of these pulp shorts. In a way, I feel like these were his way of paying tribute to what came before, while also making them his own.

 

Again, I went into this with no preconceptions. I came away with much admiration and respect. I'm going to eventually read the Hellboy comics and I'm definitely going to search out Mr. Gianni and see what else he has on offer, because whatever it is, I'm in!

 

Highly recommended, especially to fans of the classic pulp short stories and to fans of incredible artwork.

 

You can get your copy here: Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories

 

*Thank you to Edelweiss and to Dark Horse Comics for the e-ARC of this volume in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-06-23 14:52
The Life and Death of Martha Washington
The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-first Century (Second Edition) - Dave Gibbons,Angus McKie,Frank Miller

The first time I read Give Me Liberty, it was in the late 1990s. I was working as a sales assistant in a comic specialty shop and the owner had actual copies of single issues of a very hard to find mini-series. It blew me away after I read it and I never thought how beautiful Martha Washington was, that strong female leads do make a difference then. It was then, I did not follow up any of its sequels... until the release of The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century was released, a complete chronicles of her life since birth until death.

 

Re-reading Give Me Liberty was so refreshing. If there is any thing about Martha Washington that she was born in 1995 in a ghetto so poor, that the US government housed these poor people into what was meant to be a social welfare but turns out to be a prison. From there, we get to know how smart she is with computers. Right up to the 21st century, the world that we know of is different. Its a different Earth and its a mess-up one. But do not get me wrong, I love how the creation of this universe is and with Martha Washington in it, you will understand what Give Me Liberty really means.

 

After the first series, the sequels came in (Martha Washington Goes To War, Happy Birthday Martha Washington, Martha Washington Stranded in Space, Martha Washington Saves The World & Martha Washington Dies) and what was a brilliant created universe from Frank Miller and beautifully drawn by Dave Gibbons, the same award-winning creators of DC's The Watchmen, every thing just felt spiraling down hill. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy some bits and pieces of it. I can see the evolution of change in the art from the earlier days of when Give Me Liberty was published in 1990. It was much later that I felt the consistency and the beauty of the art was gone. Same goes for the sequels that felt more like fillers. Until towards the end, was it a fitting ending? Well, to me it already felt what was kept as a universe that is messed-up truly stays true and that is more than enough to enjoy reading it.

 

Martha Washington is a strong female character that truly is a rarity at that time for female leads in the comic industry then. She was the Ellen Ripley of the Alien universe - strong, brave and justifiable. Besides Wonder Woman, Martha Washington was the only female comic book character that do stands out because of her beliefs and what was written the experience and journey she went through. As the rest of the characters, not many of them stayed long. I always wonder what happen to Raggyann and it was not explained. Still, I am glad I found a copy of this and able to read her whole journey. Thank you Frank Miller & Dave Gibbons for creating such a wonderful series. Without you guys, change will never happen and Martha Washington shows us that change and righting wrong is what hope is.

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review 2016-01-21 19:32
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 by Joss Whedon
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Omnibus, Vol. 1 - Eric Powell,Joss Whedon

Genre: Horror / Comedy / School  / Action / Romance


Year Published: 2007


Year Read: 12/31/2015

 

 

 

Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus #1

 

 

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

 

 

Introduction:

 

Now, I have to tell everyone who reads this review something…I am a HUGE FAN OF “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER!!!” I have always loved that show and when I heard that they were making comic books out of this series, of course I had to check them out! So, when I picked up the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume One,” I was wondering what this volume was going to be all about and to my excitement and delight, this volume detailed the early years of Buffy Summers when she first moved to Sunnydale and how she became a vampire slayer and I was quite impressed with the whole experience!

 

What is this story about?

 

This volume contains five stories that details Buffy’s first year as a vampire slayer and also features other characters during their early years such as Angel, Spike and Drusilla. These are the five stories featured in this omnibus:

 

All’s Fair:

 

Written by: Christopher Golden
Artwork by: Eric Powell

 

In this story, Spike and Drusilla (Dru) go off to the World’s Fair in 1933, causing mayhem as they suck out the blood from various unfortunate human beings while discovering a demon who wants to be freed from its prison at the same time!

 

Buffy: The Origin

 

Written by: Dan Brereton and Christopher Golden
Artwork by: Joe Bennett

 

Based off of Joss Whedon’s original script for the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” this story details how Buffy Summers first became the vampire slayer we all know and love and the character development that she goes through to realize her true destiny.

 

Viva Las Buffy!

 

Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza
Artwork by: Cliff Richards

 

After Buffy gets expelled for burning down her old school, she and Pike run away from home and ended up in Las Vegas to start a new life. But, Buffy will soon learn that she cannot run away from her problems when she encounters a sinister ring going on inside the casino.

 

Dawn and Hoopy the Bear

 

Written and artwork by: Paul Lee

 

Dawn Summers, Buffy’s younger sister, ends up getting a cute little teddy bear named Hoopy the Bear from a total stranger and while she loves her teddy bear unconditionally, she will soon realize that Hoopy the Bear is not what he seems at all...

 

Slayer, Interrupted

 

Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza
Artwork by: Cliff Richards

 

Inspired by the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV episode “Normal Again,” Buffy’s parents ended up admitting Buffy to a rehab center since they believed that Buffy has gone insane when she started talking about her vampire slaying business. Has Buffy really gone insane and her vampire slaying business is really all in her head or is Buffy’s destiny truly real?

 

What I loved about this story:

 

The writing: Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that several separate stories about Buffy’s early years as a vampire slayer would be mind-blowing good? I have to tell you that I enjoyed each story in this volume (although the only story that I thought was half-way decent was “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear”) and I think that each writer had done this series a true justice! I was always curious about the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since I was only familiar with the TV series created by Joss Whedon and I have never seen the original 1992 movie that detailed the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” although I did see bits and pieces of the movie when I was younger. When I first found out that the original 1992 movie was not what Joss Whedon originally intended when he scripted out the origin story for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I was a bit surprised (and yet not really, since this is Hollywood we are talking about) and I was glad that we got a closer interpretation of Joss Whedon’s vision of the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in this omnibus since I wanted to see how Joss Whedon really wanted Buffy’s origin story to go. I also enjoyed the fact that we get to see not only Buffy’s early years, but other characters too like Spike, Drusilla and Angel. I really loved Spike and Drusilla’s story since they are truly funny together and I always wanted to know what Spike was like before he met Buffy. I was also really excited to see Angel in this omnibus since I love Angel as a character, even though I wished that Angel had his own story in this volume so we get to learn more about his character during his early years.

 

The artwork: The artwork in each story is truly beautiful and effective to look at, especially with how each artist manage to capture the actor and actresses’ true facial expressions. I think the artists that really captured Sarah Michelle Gellar’s facial expressions the best were Joe Bennet and Cliff Richards as they truly draw the characters realistically and it felt like I was really watching a TV episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since each character look like their live action counterparts from the TV series!

 

 

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

 

For anyone who does not like language and gory violence in a graphic novel, this omnibus does have some language and gory violence (mostly revolving around Buffy staking vampires in gory ways). Also, I have mentioned that the short story “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear” was a story line that I could have done without since I felt that this story did not really bring anything to the main stories and was just there to tell a story about Dawn.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1” is a truly fantastic volume for anyone who is a huge fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in general and who wants to learn more about the origin stories of our favorite vampire slayer!

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

 

 

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review 2015-11-23 03:11
The Gaang is back! (Again...sort of...)
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow, Part 1 - Gurihiru,Gene Luen Yang

As this is only the first volume of a three book story, I don't have a whole lot to say about it, but I must keep up with my reviews. 

 

For those who don't know, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a TV series, and since its completion back in, ack!, 2008, Dark Horse Comics has released several graphic novel stories that take place after the events of the show.

 

I must have forgotten that a fourth story was coming out because I saw this on the shelf the other day and got really excited. Of course now I just have another series on my hands I have to wait to finish. Blerg. 

 

Anywho, this story should be exciting because there's rebellion, Ursa is returning home for the first time in years, I'm sure Azula will make an appearance again, and are Mai and Zuko gonna get back together?! I don't know. Also, I'd like to praise these books because they still make me laugh just as if I were actually watching the show. I mean it probably helps that I can hear the character voices inside my head but regardless, a job well done to the writers! 

 

Here's hoping I get my hands on book two soon!

 

~Ren

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url 2015-01-12 01:22
Short Booknotes on Graphic Novels 20, and a Bonus Item
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 7: 1963-1964 - Charles M. Schulz,Bill Melendez
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 8: 1965-1966 - Charles M. Schulz,Hal Hartley,Seth
Star Wars: Darkness - John Ostrander,Jan Duursema
Year One: Batman/Ra's al Ghul - Devin Grayson,Paul Gulacy,Jimmy Palmiotti,Laurie Kronenberg
X-Men: Deadly Genesis - Ed Brubaker,Trevor Hairsine
Uncanny X-Men: The Extremists - Ed Brubaker,Salvador Larroca,Jason Keith
Frank R. Paul Father of Science Fiction Art - Arthur C. Clarke,Jerry Weist,Stephen Korshak

New on my blog, some short book reviews of graphic novels and comics I have read recently, plus a bonus item. These are basically books that were quick reads, and I did not think needed long reviews.

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