Summertime means longer days and more unstructured leisure time to do what you will with. Since scientists love to remind us that children get dumber over the summer months because they spend all their time riding their bikes in the street and stealing from convenience stores, schools love to assign Summer Reading Lists.
Summer Reading lists are great but they tend to be geared at children and highly filtered by “The Man.” Also, they always leave out graphic novels…
With that in mind, I’m going to generate my own! I have read all these books so don’t kick me in the junk if you hate them; they’re on the list of books I plan to read or think someone should plan to read.
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”
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
For 80% off, I Love Him to Pieces was worth a read. It was easy and light and good looking.
Organic 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also captivating storytelling.
The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles.
Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello’s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character.
Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us. Naughty Dog, who brought us the Unchartedseries, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also captivating storytelling. The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles. Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello‘s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character. Check out the press release for details:
The most anticipated video game of 2013, The Last of Us, comes to print with a comic series and an art book from Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog! The Last of Us: American Dreams will be a four-issue series by TheLast of Us lead writer Neil Druckmann, with rising star Faith Erin Hicks (Zombies Calling, Friends with Boys, The Adventures of Superhero Girl) as cowriter and artist.
Ellie, the heroine of The Last of Us, has grown up in a postpandemic world, shuttled between military orphanages in one of the last remaining quarantine zones and resigned to the fact that when she’s old enough, she’ll be channeled into the army or left to fend for herself—until she meets an older girl determined to find a third way out.American Dreams explores Ellie’s backstory and her first steps on the road that led her to her companion Joel.
The first issue of The Last of Us: American Dreams will appear in the spring of 2013. The Art of The Last of Us, a deluxe hardcover exploring the characters, the infected humans, and the intricately realized world of the game, will launch in conjunction with the release of the game.
First of all, sorry for being absent as of late. I just didn’t have anything to say and so I didn’t say anything. But I have been busy. Not buying a house like Char or getting good grades like Ann. Mostly I’ve been playing video games and reading comic books and I got a new phone (almost immediately after, my work phone died).
While its always important to plan for the worst the current situation can’t. Come second. Sometimes that means making steak for dinner instead of hardtack. Or just going for a drive because its nice out. However you can keep in the back of your mind all the lessons you’re. Learning while doing these things.
What I’ve learned from the pre-apocalyptic world: Continue reading “This week in the real world”
The Strain #1 [1. Review copy provided by Dark Horse]
When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event-an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.
* From director Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan (Prince of Thieves)!
* Adapted for comics by Eisner Award-winning writer David Lapham!
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the saying, “if it’s free, it’s for me” doesn’t always ring true. See, on Comixology.com they’ve got more free comics than you’ll know what to do with. Literally, you’ll have so many options and so little time you might find yourself overwhelmed by the selection and possibilities. This is similar to the Kindle quandary: How do I know if this item is worth the time or dollar it takes to check it?
Never fear, I love apocalyptic comics, like trying new things, and don’t like wasting money. So, I’ll let you know which preview comics (not full-length issues) I checked out and if I think you should too – or if you should avoid them like the plague. Continue reading “3 Free Comic Previews – Post Apocalypse”
Crossed is a graphic novel written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Jacen Burrows, and published via Avatar Press. The story is set in a world where suddenly there are people who “stop being nice, and start being real.” Unfortunately, “real” in this scenario is bloodthirsty, rape-crazy, and straight up ultra-violent.
“Crossed” is how the infected in this universe are described because they develop a cross-like rash across their faces. The rash isn’t an issue. What is and issue is that fact that the infected, unlike other apocalyptic infected, want to rape you to death and mutilate you and destroy you as slowly and horrifically as possible. Because that’s fun now, and okay, because no one can or will stop them. Don’t get me wrong, the Crossed can and do feel pain — but they love it and it won’t slow them down. So, either kill them dead or don’t get caught.
One of the main themes in Crossed was not getting caught. Our protagonists pushed on and on in a constant effort to not get caught by the Crossed until eventually they realized that there are some serious flaws in a plan to live just so you won’t die. anninyn and I both read volume one recently and needed to discuss it. So we did. Together. In detail. With spoilers, and swears, and graphic descriptions, and even some spoilers for the movie Serenity (which, if you haven’t seen you need to; so, go fix that ASAP).
Below is our discussion and we hope you join in on it if you’ve read the book too. Continue reading “A Discussion of CROSSED”
Holidays are a time to be thankful, stressed, and threaten your children with the loss of a strange man’s affection. For me, comics tend to be a medium that consistently keeps it real – often straight up hyperbolic.
Check out these comics that mash up our holiday notions with apocalyptic ones.
Brian Posehn (Author), Gerry Duggan (Author), Rick Remender (Illustrator)
After the apocalypse no one is safe – even at the North Pole. After tragedy strikes Santa withdraws from life and turns his back on Christmas. When Claus finally emerges from seclusion the old world is gone forever. As Santa struggles to find his way in a Mad Max-like world – can he find a way to save Christmas too?