Comic Books

Reviews of both new release and older comic books. Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, Archie, and other publishers will be explored!

The Dream of the Butterfly Is a Ghibli-esque Adventure Tale

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man...

Subversive and Godly? As the Crow Flies Proves You Can Be Both

Web comics are a dime a dozen these days, it seems. Yet occasionally, out of the depths rises an occasional bright star. A few years ago, that star was Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona—a graphic novel that often gets described with words like “quirky” and “subversive.” Total dog whistles, right? Yep! And when I hear them, my ears hear “queer AF and full of people of color and run out and buy this right now.” As the Crow Flies by Melanie...

Get to Know the Magic and the Mystery of Nightschool

For my birthday last month, a friend and fellow manga and anime fan gave me the first installment of a manga called Nightschool. As she knows me and my type of nerdiness really well, I knew this story was going to be right up my alley, and I couldn’t wait to read it. My hopes for it were more than fulfilled, and I’ll definitely be adding the rest of the series to my collection soon. Nightschool is written and illustrated by...

“Ha-Ha, I Made You Say Cock!” and Other Things That Try to Be Funny in Allen, Son of Hellcock

In an interview with CBR.com, writer Gabe Kopolwitz said that he drew a lot of inspiration for Allen, Son of Hellcock from years of reading “a lot of old Heavy Metal.” Yeeahhh. That’s possibly one of the reasons this comic book utterly fails the Bechdel Test . . . among other things. The story of Allen, Son of Hellcock follows a hapless do-nothing who has been paralyzed by his famous father’s reputation. His father’s ghost follows him around, alternately...

John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction Offers Excellent Art and Familiar Tropes

John Carpenter is a man of many trades. In addition to being a film director, writer, and composer, though some may not know it, he’s also involved in the world of comics. Published by Storm King Comics, John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction aims to be an anthology, with each limited series telling a contained story over a handful of issues. The first three-issue story is Vault, in which a mining vessel comes across a derelict alien ship in...

The Comic Book Story of Video Games Tells the History of Video Games with Graphic-Novel Style

For me and many who follow Twin Cities Geek, video games have been a part of life from an early age. I recall how one day—shortly after my dad introduced me to Star Wars—I came downstairs to find him running our new Nintendo Entertainment System. The familiar Star Wars theme was playing on our television, albeit in a synthesized form rendered by the NES cartridge and accompanied by an 8-bit version of the film’s opening crawl. Thus, in a...

The Stone Man Mysteries Have Gargoyles, Scots, and Demons, Oh My!

Book One of The Stone Man Mysteries, a supernatural locked-door mystery set in 1930s Edinburgh, is as dark and murky as Auld Reekie itself. Written by local author Adam Stemple and non-local Jane Yolen, and illustrated by Orion Zangara, it follows a church gargoyle named Silex, a demon who has been bound to earth with priestly magicks. Since, as he jokes, he “cannae play football,” he’s formed a detective agency. Of course, being stuck on the church tower, unable...

Browncoats, Unite! Adventures in the ’Verse Continue with Serenity Comics

Browncoats, take heed! The adventures of Captain Mal and the crew of Serenity continue, and they come in the form of comics from Dark Horse. The latest run, No Power in the ’Verse, hit comic shops between October 2016 and March 2017, and you can now pick up all of its issues in one hardcover collection. Like many in the ’verse, I miss Firefly. I miss Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his trusty crew of freedom fighting misfits, and more than...

Giacomo Bevilacqua’s Tale of Love and Misanthropy Left My Heart in New York

Having never been to New York, I have only the trappings of pop culture’s sensationalized and often exaggerated viewpoint of the bustling city. From the heavenly skylines to the lowly sewer depths, every inch of the concrete jungle has been used ad infinitum. And yet The Sound of the World by Heart, a new graphic novel written and illustrated by Giacomo Bevilacqua, simply captivated me with its richly detailed vistas of not just the city’s landmarks, but of the...

The Wendy Project Offers an Inventively Modern Take on Peter Pan

The Wendy Project, written by Melissa Jane Osbourne and illustrated by Veronica Fish, is a dense and chewy (both emotionally and visually) retelling of J. M. Barrie’s classic tale, Peter Pan. Throughout the graphic novel, Osbourne makes changes—in the form of making corrections—to several famous Barrie quotes, including the one that the novel opens with. She scribbles out “die” in the quote “To die will be an awfully big adventure,” and corrects it to “To live will be an awfully big adventure.”...
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