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review 2018-07-15 14:47
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by McElroys
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins - Clint McElroy,Griffin McElroy,Justin McElroy,Travis McElroy,Carey Pietsch

This comes out this Tuesday, July 17th - order or pick it up from your local bookseller!

 

I don't do podcasts, but when a comic lands on my doorstep riffing on D&D I'm going to pay attention. The McElroy's have done a great job translating the often bizarre, silly and fun world of role-playing games into an entertaining adventure. I can't comment on how they've translated the podcast itself - where they play in real time - into the graphic novel form, but the jokes landed for me without any other experience.

Taako, Merle, and Magnus are intrepid adventurers on their way to liaise with...adventure. They intend to help Merle's cousin pick up treasure with the help of Barry Bluejeans. There are deeper currents to contend with, of course. Things start to go wrong, and its wonderful. The three must use what wits they have, spells and strength to get out alive and perhaps figure out what it is they're supposed to be doing. The ever-helpful DM occasionally pops in with a timely quip or reminder.

The art by Carey Pietsch (Lumberjanes) suits the tone of the book, and I can't wait for more. Not enough to bother with a podcast or anything, but still pretty impatient.

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review 2018-07-14 23:58
X-Files: Night Lights, Book # 4 by John Rozum
Night Lights - John Rozum

Of the two X-Files comic collections I picked up, this was the stronger. I feel like these three stories pushed the boundaries of what the X-Files could do. Network television, especially in the 90s, was limited in what it could and could not do. Rozum seems to have caught on that, while he couldn't make canonical changes to the series, he could definitely do some weird shit.

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review 2018-07-13 03:23
X-Files: Haunted, Book #3 by Stefan Petrucha
The X-Files: The Haunting - Stefan Petrucha

We've been rewatching the X-Files for the last few months, and have been really enjoying it. It has its ups and downs, but for every clunker there's an absolute gem that obscenely never seemed to make it to syndication. I saw this and "Night Lights" at one of the flea markets this spring and couldn't pass them up.

Tie-ins are always dicey, because they have to fit into the canon of the show, but being sidelines, they can't make any permanent change to the status quo. You can't have Scully showing off a new tattoo without explanation. 20th century TV was bad enough at continuity most of the time, no one wants to worry about what happened in the comic book.

'The Haunting' was pretty good. In my memory they're already taking shape as actual episodes. Mercifully eliminating some of the rushed art. The stories themselves were solid. Hicks and aliens, classic combo.

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review 2018-06-07 03:52
Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major, Illustrated by Kelly Bastow
Manfried The Man - Caitlin Major,Kelly Bastow

'Manfried the Man' is about a young white collar cat named Steve living the dream with his pet man Manfried. The book is full of sight gags about the foibles of crazy man cats and their obsessions with their pets.

The illustrations are fantastic, I've seen some complaints about all the little man genitals, but is that really so shocking? Maybe the artist could have drawn big clumps of man pubes to decently cover them, but I think that would be weirder.

The plotting of the book could use a little love. Steve just doesn't have it in him to carry the show by himself for that long - he needs Manfried for backup. The other quibble I have is where are the women, all of the little pets humans were men. That doesn't seem to make sense.

It probably doesn't bear thinking about that much. This is a cute comic book about reversing the roles of people and cats. I liked it.

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review 2018-01-23 01:02
Complete Elfquest, Volume 1 by Wendi & Richard Pini
The Complete Elfquest Volume 1 - Wendy Pini,Rick Pini

Elfquest debuted in 1978 and has a strong cult following - its notable in having a planned conclusion. It takes itself very seriously. This volume collects the first story arc in which the Wolfrider clan of elves is put on the path to seek out others of their kind, and ultimately, their origins in the distant past.

There were many characters, but very few of them get anything like development - at least in these pages, there are hundreds and hundreds more that follow, but I'm not going to read them - they have unique faces and names that are helpfully mentioned when they enter a panel but otherwise they're defined by um....their faces and names and that thing that they do.

I did want to know what happened and certain points of lore that were hinted at, the story does its job, but I hated having to page through the machismo bullshit of submitting to 'recognition', twice, and all of that other ur-'Tarnsman of Gor' nonsense. I get that this was ground-breaking, and that female elves had an unquestioned equality within the clan which is a big deal, but there were too many time when I had to sift through seemingly endless exposition panels instead of something more dynamic.

This isn't a series I'd invest in.

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