REVIEW – I Hate Fairyland Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young

Basically, I Hate Fairyland is the end of the world

Skottie Young has a way of infusing cute with crazy in a way that no one else can. While his artwork is well-known, I Hate Fairyland is a welcomed introduction to his writing and storytelling skills. Image Comics, the biggest indie publisher stays on brand by getting behind this title.
I Hate Fairyland Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young is the story of young Gertrude getting trapped in the magical Fairyland on a quest to get home. Unfortunately she is awful at quests and decades have passed forging once adorable and idealistic Gert in a foul-mouthed (as foul as the magic in Fairyland allows), sadistic, one woman (in the body of a child) Apocalypse carving her way through every delightful and dangerous neighborhood in the land to find the Key that will get her home.
She’s the only one of her kind, trapped in another world and forced to fend for herself – It may be just for one little girl, but it’s the end of the world.
Gert is assigned a little fairy guide named Larry who is 50% storage solution, 25% useless guide, and 25% link to the audience to help offer perspective.
Continue reading “REVIEW – I Hate Fairyland Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young”

My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces (by Evonne Tsang)

On a whim I picked up a graphic novel from the 80% off shelf at Comicopia with low expectations and a piqued curiosity for something apocalyptic (as always). One of the books I grabbed was My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces by Evonne Tsang. This is one in a series of books about girls who love boys lacking some of the qualifications to make them human. Most of these boys are also deadly dangerous and in the case of I love Him to Pieces, deadly contagious. Le Sigh. Dumb bitches live for love.
In I Love Him to Pieces Dicey is a Jock (the only girl on the school baseball team) and Jack Chen (always referred to using his full name) is a nerd. They’re paired up together on a project to raise an egg for health class and end up getting along swimmingly. Jack Chen is awkward and doesn’t have many friends in school. He’s an only child and his parents are always away on business because they’re both scientists. Dicey on the other hand, is popular with a super close relationship with her widowed father and young brother.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because that what the books is about mostly. Page after page of a cutesy, high school relationship in its budding stages. It was well crafted and well drawn and well… if you’re looking for a zombie tale, it’s well boring.
So, against all odds (expect not really at all), Dicey and Jack decide to be a couple and go on a corny date during the school day. They ditch school and take the bus to a park where they hear police and stuff going places… Finally, the zombies!?
Psych, this is where we spend time chatting with their parents and being lame as shit.
So I won’t spoil it but this is like three quarters into the book so it’s not exactly a riveting tale of survival and mayhem.

Final Thoughts on My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces [SPOILERS]

  1. I get why this was 80% off. It’s nothing that would call for high demand. A very ordinary tale on both the romance and zombie fronts.
  2. Jack Chen’s parent’s know exactly what caused the zombie outbreak, and how to cure it and it’s totally a non-issue and all the fucks can go back in the box because there was no need to give them.
  3. The characters are kind of stick figures (not because of the art, which is good) in that they’re just very basic outlines of individuals. Jock and Nerd. Jock carries bat all the time, Nerd knows everything about all the things.
  4. This isn’t a BAD book per se. It’s just not a good book or graphic novel or story… I think a middle school girl might like it. It has that simplistic story telling and happy-go-lucky outlook that’s just not realistic for those of us well versed in the apocalyptic fiction.
  5. For 80% off, I Love Him to Pieces was worth a read. It was easy and light and good looking.

Free Comic Book Day 2014: IMAGE Comics

Gasp! Not only will there be free comics on Free Comic Book Day but Image Comics  is using this wonderful geek holiday to allow even more newbies entry into the wonderful world of comics and stories with pictures.  Image Comics is launching $1 first edition first issues!
Comics are an investment and people want to know if there worth the price of a mediocre sandwich or nah. This way you can get a variety of stories from Sex Criminals to Lazarus to try and, maybe, like.
Check out the list of Image firsts below:

ALEX + ADA #1
A sci-fi drama set in the near future and perfect for fans of the TV show Fringe and the Spike Jonze film Her. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But when Ada is dropped into his life, will Alex keep her? Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148356.
BLACK SCIENCE #1
Grant McKay, former member of The Anarchistic Order of Scientists, has finally done the impossible: he has deciphered Black Science and punched through the barriers of reality. But what lies beyond the veil is not epiphany, but chaos. Now Grant and his team are lost, living ghosts shipwrecked on an infinite ocean of alien worlds, barreling through the long-forgotten, ancient, and unimaginable dark realms. The only way is forward. The only question is how far are they willing to go, and how much can they endure, to get home again? Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148357.
DEADLY CLASS #1
Welcome to the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical, nor is your fellow classmates’ poison. Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148358.
EAST OF WEST #1
He has been called Abaddon. The Reaper. Fool’s Bane. The Grey Walker. You speak his name in hushed tones, if at all. You fear him and all he represents. He is the ultimate state of all things. He is Death. But, in the past, Death found peace. For his betrayal, the rest of the Four Horsemen snatched happiness away from him forever. Now, Death rides with Crow and Wolf in search of those who wronged him. We would tell you to pray, but it wouldn’t do any good. You have earned what is coming to you. Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148359.
LAZARUS #1
In a dystopian near-future, government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and possession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family’s holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever’s day goes downhill from there… Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148360.
MANIFEST DESTINY #1
In 1804, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark set out on an expedition to explore the uncharted American frontier. This is the story of what they discovered lurking in the wilds… Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148361.
PRETTY DEADLY #1
Sandman meets Preacher in PRETTY DEADLY, where Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her tale of retribution is as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage. Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148362.
SEX CRIMINALS #1
Suzie’s a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets Jon… who has the same gift. And so they do what any other sex-having, time-stopping, couple would do: they rob banks. Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148363.
VELVET #1
When the world’s best secret agent is killed, Velvet Templeton, the Personal Assistant to the Director of the Agency, is drawn off her desk and back into the field for the first time in nearly 20 years… and is immediately caught in a web of mystery, murder and high-octane action. Sexy and provocative, VELVET is a dark twist on the spy genre. Image Firsts edition is available with Diamond code FEB148364.
ZERO #1
Edward Zero is the perfect execution machine—a spy who breaks the rules to get things done. When a stolen device appears in the center of a long-running conflict, Zero comes to retrieve it. The problem is, the device is inside a living, breathing, bio-modified terrorist and there’s an entire army after it. Image Firsts edition available with Diamond code FEB148365.

 

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PAX East 2014 | Organic Panic


1978876_224701924385529_1851087260_nOrganic Panic
is a  puzzle-platformer about a Protein vs Produce apocalypse. Technically the protein (Meats and Cheeses) have already won and the Produce are living in fear while they’re hunted for sport.

LastLimb, created by brother David and Anatole Branch, funded Organic Panic through a kickstarter campaign and got greenlit on Steam Greenlight. Obviously this game makes a good impression.

But what was it like to play Organic Panic in real life?

Kae and I played Organic Panic at PAX East and got a copy of the comic which details the story. We used XBox 360 controllers on a PC build.983632_226653834190338_414048056255896916_n

  • Single player was fun and reminiscent of old-school platformers like Sonic The Hedgehog or Donkey Kong with a bit of a Super Meatboy twist.
  • Each character has special abilities (fueled by collecting magic stars) like the ability to shoot whatever material they’re in contact with, throw water, set things on fire, and telekinesis.1010122_224401007748954_746872795_n
  • Each ability comes out in the comic (Produce is magical and Protein is technological, duh), which explains how the Protein took over, what the Produce plans t do about it, and why there are all these portals around.
  • The levels weren’t exactly continuous stories (at least not what we played) as much as they were action based puzzles — which is totally normal for levels on platformers. Each level started with a different character so you couldn’t really choose your favorite and stick with it. The cherry with it’s shooting ability was really fun. But if you can only be one character per level, it means the characters aren’t all equal on all the levels. However, it makes sense if you read the comic and know that the old Apple is sending the fruits on missions through portals to support his master plan.1975125_224032251119163_885536456_n
  • In multiplayer, we were each given a character that had to work with the the other to solve our way to the door (end of the level).
  • Multiplayer levels were more like single-screen puzzles with each fruit on one side and the objective door some where visible but out of reach.10014643_225249220997466_1604416436_n
  • Playing with a friend in this way was fun and frustrating. If one player dies, you reset. And boy did we die a lot. You have to talk it out and point and shout and try and fail and finally, victory fist pump when you win.

Organic Panic was a fresh take on cute and campy platformers and post-apocalyptic resistance. It felt both familiar and unique with a solid psychics build and “fleshed out” characters. The game was easy enough to pick up and play though there were some place where you could run out of mana and then you were just stuck and had to restart the level. They’re short levels so it wasn’t a big deal.
Keep an eye out on Steam, because it’s coming soon.

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REVIEW: Awakening #1 (Archaia)

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Awakening, like all zombie stories, starts the same way. Someone notices that something isn’t right and  they either ignore it or try to do something about it. They tell someone who’s skeptical and then, suddenly, it’s undeniable.
However, in Awakening there’s no suddenly. The build is slow and magnified by the artwork. It’s hard to tell what you’re seeing, just as it’s hard to tell what’s really happening in the city of Park Falls.
The art is some beautiful hybrid between sketching and collage. At first I thought it was messy, but then I realized it was like a good score or well dome lighting in a movie. My inability to fully see detail in Awakening enhanced my experience of the story. Much like the artwork in 30 Days of Night.
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But the artwork isn’t Awakening’s only selling point. The ground felt familiar but not over done. The story doesn’t jump straight from confusion to panic. The only person (aside from the post-omnipotent narrator) who believes the increase in murders in Park Falls is due to anything aside from bad days is a crazy ex-scientist who runs around in a surgical mask…
There’s room for this type of character because of the slow build and the the fact that the rest of the world isn’t yet in on the new world order. There’s no prepping or fighting. It’s all suspicion and finger pointing.
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The detectives are trying to solve the murders, the crazy lady is trying to convince our protagonist she’s a reliable source and our protagonist just wants to go about his day like the sky was secure.
Park Falls calls in a specialist and there might be a little less skepticism going around.
The first issue of Awakening is free on ComiXology. Subsequent issues are are $1.99.
[rating:4/5]

Kickstarter Friday: The Kings of the Wastelands


In the first of an exciting, new, semi-regular feature, we want to tell you all about  The Kings of the Wastelands.

 Our new feature is Kickstarter Friday, where we feature post-apocalypticish kickstarters and interview the creators. Semi-regular, because it very much depends on the willingness of creators to speak to us.

KingsofWastelandThe Kings of The Wastelands is an online webcomic by Delbert Hewitt featuring the adventures of a group of talking animals in a post-apocalyptic world.  With a clean, cartoony art style and a classic revenge adventure story, it’s a lot of fun. Delbert has recently taken to kickstarter in order to fund the print-run of the first volume.

 Let’s let speak for himself – we interviewed him while we secretly injected him with mind-control chips. Ha, don’t say you’re alright with living under our dictatorship unless you mean it, fella.

Can you tell us a little bit about The Kings of The Wastelands?

Sure, One of the last living dogs in a post apocalyptic wasteland where his kind are seen as a delicacy, Jacob is driven to seek vengeance for the violent death of his family at the hands (or paws) of a Tiger named Hunter and his gang of zoo escapees. Jacob must now journey  cross country to find these twisted animals and bring them to heel, no matter what it takes or who stands in his way. Jacob befriends different animals along the way. Millie the cat and Gib the turtle who become his travel buddies! In this world all the animals have evolved and can do everything we can do. Each section or habitat is controlled by a “King” and each “King” was invovled in the death of his family. Jacob has to put the clues together and figure out who done it? Issue his brand of justice.

I like that it’s animals instead of people. It’s a more unusual choice in this sort of narrative. Can you tell us a little bit about the reasoning behind that?

 I’m a huge anime fan and for those living under a rock, anime is japanese animation. I’ve been hooked on the action,stories and the thinking outside the box. I wanted to create something that could make the easy transition from comics to anime. There is nothing more simplistic than a cartoony animals running around fighting. I’m also a huge movie buff and I love post apac movies and the mesh seemed pretty easy to me. Rango (2011)with Johnny Depp meets The book of Eli with Denzel Washington is the simple way to spin what i was thinking. I can totally see this comic becoming an anime.

You took it to kickstarter to fund the first print run of issue one. What has your experience been?

Well this isn’t my first rodeo. I did a kickstarter last nov called Ebony Kiss and even though funding failed. I was able to gain lots of encouragement from fellow kickstarter peers and sign a publishing deal with Hound Comics! I’m a huge fan of kickstarter and i’ve backed almost 30 projects myself. I think its a great way to get your projects a jumpstart. Like most people i don’t have one thousand dollars lieing around to print a comic. The hardest part is getting your name out there and get a fan base of people who want your product. If you already have a fan base your on easy street. I want the world to know what I have created because it’s different and there are people like me who want something different. How many ways can you spin the superhero genre? That’s why I loved the Watchmen graphic novel because it was different. The walking dead is different and well done! I feel if it’s good it’s good period. I just wanted to create something outside the box and I think I did. I hope the world enjoys it as much as I do.

These are the questions we ask everyone:

What do you think is the most likely apocalypse? What will happen?

It will be bio explosion for sure! something will blow up and release a toxic gas and turn everyone in zombies! Something along those lines lol. Or we are all killed and the animals take over!

Can you offer some survival advice to our readers?

Yeah. Get a bunker and keep it stocked! Make sure you have food, water and weapons in order to survive. People turn crazy when there is no order so you have to create it.

Would you mind living under the benevolent dictatorship of myself or the other two ICoS ladies?

ICoS ladies can rule over me anytime! I thought I was in the benevolent dictatorship of ICoS ladies?  Did I miss the monday memo?

And tell us anything you want about anything you want.

I want to say thank you so much for the chance to share my love and my heart with the world! This is just the tip of the Iceberg. I have many more comics in the works as we speak. Just for the ICoS ladies here are some future titles in the works. Kollectas, Noted Winds, Analog, Ebony Kiss and much more of the Kings of the Wastelands to come! Check out all my links and please share this kickstarter with everyone you know! you’ll be amazed by what a post will do or a tweet! Just pledge and share because we are seven days in and we are already at 50% of the way to my goal! A special thank you to Caitlin because your awesome!

 Thanks very much, Delbert.

If you are interested in the Kings of the Wastelands comic, check it out. If you would like to see it as a print comic, back it.
If you have a Kickstarter you’d like us to feature, please CONTACT US.
 

The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West (BDI)

Well this didn’t look like any Oz I’d ever seen and this Dorothy was no dainty farm girl desperate to go home an iron the wrinkles from her dress. No, the Dorothy in The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West is a hardened, take charge, no nonsense kind of cowgirl who still just wants to get to Oz.

Have you ever heard of BDI (big dog ink) the comic publisher? What about The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West? I hadn’t heard of either of them. I feel like I’ve seen the BDI logo before but can’t say I remembered it or them or what they make.
Not their fault, there are a lot of publishers out there and hundreds more comics.
Lucky for BDI, I’m a shelf appeal kind of girl. Also lucky for them, Free Comic Book Day was made for people like me. People who just can’t go into a local shop and take free stuff then not buy anything at all.
This is how I came to own a copy of BDI‘s The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West. There on the shelf, right with in reach of my short little arms (I’ve been known to not buy something rather than ask for help getting it down– what if they take it down and I don’t like it? Panic!) was a bad ass looking cowgirl with ruby pistols on her hip claiming to be Dorothy Gale in Oz of all places.

[Note: This review was previously published here]

Well this didn’t look like any Oz I’d ever seen and this Dorothy was no dainty farm girl desperate to go home an iron the wrinkles from her dress. No, the Dorothy in The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West is a hardened, take charge, no nonsense kind of cowgirl who still just wants to get to Oz.wickedwestannouncement
The story introduces savvy but worn out cowgirl, Dorothy, and her loyal steed, Toto, trudging their way down what’s left of the yellow brick road. Most of the golden bricks that made up the road have been stolen over the years and the path to The Emerald City is hard to follow both mentally and physically.
This version of Oz reminds me a lot of the Scissor Sisters song Return To Oz. “Where The grass is dead, the gold is brown, and the sky has claws. There’s a wind-up man walking round and round. What once was Emerald City’s now a crystal town.”
Hoping to take a breather and considering calling it quits on her search for Oz, Dorthy quickly lands herself on the radar of some shape-shifting brutes in the form or drunks and then winged gorillas. Quick on the draw with her of ruby-encrusted pistols, Dorothy and her whip-fast reflexes make quick work of the gorillas, an ally, and a few enemies in the process.
If you’re not into buxom ladies in the tightest of clothes, BDI‘s take on L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz might rub you wrong. But then again, so would most comics…
I didn’t feel her fanservice figure detracted from the story or the character. On the contrary, I felt the illustration by  Alisson Borges and Kate Finnegan (colors) were fantastic and added great levels of depth to the world Tom Hutchenson was building through the story.
It’s a glossy little number. Well illustrated and well written. However, the issue felt way short (28 pages) for a $3.50 comic. I wish it was available digitally and at a lower price point or with longer issues.
I was intrigued by The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West and I’d buy another issue –but with caution.

SPAWN goes with you without covering you in necroplasm!

Image comics just announced that the SPAWN universe is going digital with the release of five titles on ComiXology.com– two more coming in July!.

Image Comics/TMP just announced that the SPAWN universe is going digital with the release of five titles on ComiXology.com.
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Image Comics and Todd McFarlane Productions (TMP) have announced the digital release of five TMP titles on comiXology. CURSE OF THE SPAWN, HAUNT VOLUME 4, HELLSPAWN: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, SAM AND TWITCH: THE WRITER, and SPAWN: THE UNDEAD (as well as the collected edition) are all available for purchase now on the digital comics platform, and more titles will be released weekly in the coming months.

While reading about all sorts of alien and supernatural creatures is vital to your survival, carrying around all these books just isn’t practical—unless you go digital!
I’m most excited about CURSE OF THE SPAWN. Why? Because it’s set in a futuristic world in the throes of apocalypse, when Evil stands at the threshold of victory.
I’ve been a fan of digital comics for a while now. It’d be nice if there was a bit more options, but luckily ComiXology prices competitively as they’re still competing with stores and sentimentality. But once you realize the power of portability and having books, comics, writing drafts, movies and more all in a purse-sized viewer you’ll never survive without it.
So, if you have or plan to have an eReader, start your collection off on the right foot.

Checkout all five newly digital SPAWN series:

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CURSE OF THE SPAWN
HAUNT VOLUME FOUR – Continues the saga of the Kilgore brothers — one of them living, one of them dead, both of them united as the superhero Haunt
HELLSPAWNre-defined McFarlane’s SPAWN mythos with stories by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Niles (CHIN MUSIC), drawn by Ashley Wood and Ben Templesmith
SAM AND TWITCH: THE WRITER – The SPAWN universe’s favorite flat-foots, detectives Sam Burke and Twitch Williams, take on a serial killer with a literary bent as fear and snow alike descend on the city.
SPAWN: THE UNDEADfocuses on the HellSpawn once known as Al Simmons, with a self-contained story about the individuals who encounter him in the SPAWN world of urban horror in each issue.

Coming Soon:

SPAWN: GODSLAYER one-shot, available on July 10
SPAWN: THE DARK AGES, which will roll out new issues weekly starting on July 10.
Check out the Image/TMP section on ComiXology.com for all your SPAWN needs.
 

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Review: Hawken: Genesis (Archaia)

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Hawken: Genesis (Archaia)answers the question “What’s my motivation?” for payers of Hawken the game.
Hawken by Adhesive Games and Meteor Entertainment is part Total Recall, in that it’s set in a ruined dystopian planet; part my desperate hopes for what Pacific Rim will be, a ridiculous mecha battle royal; and part Gundam where everyone is fighting for or against a team but no one is really right.
But then Hawken: Genesis adds in a heaping helping of Top Gun.
It sounds like chaos on the surface but it’s actually a brilliant premise.
Everyone fled Earth for a brighter future on Illal but their hopes overwhelmed the new planet, destroying it faster than they destroyed Earth. Unfortunately for the poor planet, devastation isn’t enough and they’ve found one more resource to pry from the corps of their new home.
Already in the midst of an inter-corporation world war the citizens now have reason to stay and fight too. Not for honor or freedom but for their own slice of the pie. That is why they came after all.
From the jump, “the Hawken” is mentioned in a laundry list of terrible things that shouldn’t have happened, terrible things that ruined a once optimistic planet. I’m not clear what it is though… But I am curious.
I’m always drawn to a good premise, a well thought out backstory make most things that much more wonderful for me. And when I read the Hawken: Genesis issues put out by Archaia Black Label for the franchise, I was blown away.
Continue reading “Review: Hawken: Genesis (Archaia)”

The New Post-Apocalypse Category on comiXology

I’m a fan of comiXology. I like the convince and selection and sales. Sure you don’t own your comics but when you’re a packrat like I am, that’s not really a con.
So all this is to say, comiXology now has some new categories to help find comics you’re interested in. Among these categories is Post-Apocalypse, which features our beloved Jericho, the ever amazing Tank Girl, and Zombies vs. Robots.
The selection is a bit meager right now, but hopefully it’ll expand now that people realize the world will keep turning and they should keep producing new things.
In the face of an apocalypse, though not a Mayan one, learning to live with less is essential. I was doing my Holiday shopping and obviously wanted to pick up a few things for myself when I came across a sale at Newbury Comics: Buy two graphic novels get a third free.
I was geeked… until I started thinking about what I was going to do with three more books. I’d read them, of course. But then what? Where would I put them? Were any of them so beautiful that I wanted them around just to look at? So amazing that I wanted them on hand just to share with curious friends?
Meh. Not really.
I like being able to flip through them in the store but the novelty of paper has worn off for me. I collect First Issues and some arcs  but for sheer consumption? Digital.
Also, everything is cheaper on the internet.