Saturday 28 December 2019

Lady Mechanika HCF 2019 Vol. 1 Issue 1 RE:VIEW

It's my first dabble into Lady Mechanika and also probably steampunk in general (the issue isn't really steampunky but it'll do). If I'm following the issue correctly, Mechanika is coming to terms with losing a loved one and the issue seems to be her finding herself. 
What a mighty feast the comic came to be! It starts off with a quick back story that it illustrated gorgeously which I assume is a setup for the Lady's next adversary (love a quick backstory). Then pow! The entrance of Lady Mechanika who happens to speak fluent Spanish (most of the comic is spoken in Spanish - translated, of course). I have to say that the art literally pops in all ways and I'm living for the rather subdued steampunk look she's rocking. The styling remains strong throughout the whole comic book with expressions, panelling and speech and text box styles on fleek and very easy to grasp immediately. 
The comic is a nice departure from the type of huge comic book events that I am so well acquainted with. It feels contained but very relatable in terms of the theme of acceptance and dealing with the loss of a loved one. It seems to forms its own anecdotes with the fresh perspectives of death and the afterlife from a personal or cultural belief like how the comic book deals with death as not being the end. Another thing that got me is the theme of acceptance with Mechanika looking different but she is immediately accepted into the fold without any prejudice which I don't think I've come across many comics of recent do so much of.

The action comes at the end though and leaves closes it off in the highest fashion. I'm not complaining though as it's a fresh way to read comics instead of having to see two titans duke it out with each other. Moreover, the story carries strong on the character of Mechanika enough for me to invest myself in wanting to read more into her adventures. This seems evident seeing that I believe that the comic is set 5 volumes in but already I'm gathering a picture of her whole character.
Subscribe? Yaaaaasssssss

I'm definitely picking up the first volume of the comic book!

LADY MECHANIKA HCF 2019 Vol. 1 Issue 1
Joe Benitez and M. M. Chen - Story
Michael Heisler - Letters
Joe Benitez and Martin Montiel - Pencils 
Studio J=13 - Digital Inks
Peter Steigerwald and Beth Sotelo - Colors

Edit:
Just realised I had the previous year's edition of the Halloween Comic Fest version

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Iyanu: Child of Wonder - Chapter One (RE:VIEW)

This is the first comic of YouNeek Studios that I've delved into and it's a good one at that. I would describe it as a young teen still finding her way in life and especially finding out her full capabilities in wondrous and surprising ways. Let's dive right in!
There are extremely tender moments in the comics, especially that I find when it starts off when she's off for a hunt for food which with lack of words explains her character to a lot of degrees. It also allows time and breath to take on the sheer beauty of the art (it's a stunner, doll). The art plays on the subjects with strong shifts on use of blurs and focus, which helps creates a gorgeous piece that is extremely easy to follow. There's a stunning single page when the character goes Avatar Ang which is a splendour to marvel at. 
The writing is really easy to follow even with the shifts in panels. It's beautifully juxtaposed with the story and even with the tidbits of saying which helps to serve the chapter really well. The main thing I found hard to follow is whenever they speak in their language and is of course translated into a box, the box is very small and hard to read at times, which in contrast to the main speech bubble texts.

The writing puts the main character Iyanu on a relatable on many levels with being able to independently work your way around the world, learning and discovering new things and being able to pick yourself up after falling. Seems to become almost like an anecdote for my life. I would definitely enjoy this in my teens as I am now.

Subscribe: YAAAASSSSS

It's a yes from me, the artwork I find is different from the stuff I read at the moment and I'm loving the read. I want to see where I head next with Iyanu!

Iyanu: Child of Wonder - Chapter One (YouNeek Studios) Halloween ComicFest edition
Roye Okupe - Creator, writer and art director
Godwin Akpan - Illustration
Spoof Comics - Letters

Thursday 28 November 2019

Spider-man #1 by J.J. Abrams & Henry Abrams RE:VIEW

Oh golly gosh, there's no describing how this can hit you in the feels. If you haven't picked up a copy, I highly recommend that you do so. I'm thinking from reading it that it'll be another Spider-Man origin story but it's a really twisted alternative take to it.
From the beginning of the issue, the emotion just hits high straight off the bat with a fall of a hero and the death of a beloved character. There's an interesting placement of a stuffed rabbit which forms of a foreshadowing of what's to come. I found this to be a subtle but great motif to the tragic ending of the character (which is absolutely shocking how they die and what is done to them after).
The dramatisation of the beloved characters rides high straight off the bat of the beginning. I guess what hits home for me is seeing a hero so powerless but in iterations, I've seen in the past it seems so out of place, but this fits in nicely. There's a shocking event that happens at the beginning that is really messed up and subtly hinted by the placement of a ragged rabbit doll foreshadowing what is to come. It comes to a character that I find to love from my childhood and it just seems so surreal to see it happen abruptly. 

The writing and styling work beautifully together such as from the beginning, there is less speech which makes for a higher impact of the build-up to the scene or when Peter and Ben Parker are having a heart-to-heart with overlapping speech bubbles to show the rapid-line fire of exchanges.
Subscribe? Yaaaassss!

I love a good Spider-Man origin so will see how the characters shape up in the series! 

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Star Wars: Boba Fett No 1 Halloween Comic Fest 2019 (RE:VIEW)

Boba Fett on the hunt for next hit list and I'm so here for it. Someone better lay out a hearse as I am ready to lay in it!

It starts off with a strong introduction to the character I would say, even with an outsider peering in they would say Boba Fett is the bomb. Moral of the story: don't mess with Boba Fett (amen). 

The plot and story, I would the force is strong with this one - ahem - it was absolutely wonderful to read as I propelled from page to page quickly and succinctly going through the speeches, art and panelling, which really aided the whole comic as a whole. Well, here's the formula I came up for the comic so sit tight: easy-to-follow and the really high-paced fun action equals a recipe to a thoroughly entertaining read.

Another thing to point out is the sound effects: a 10 out of 10! You got your BLAAAMMM, you got you BRZZAAM and you got your YAAAASSSS (the last bit I made up). It was slightly interesting choices to make for such sounds but I'm here living for them. Then hit me with a double spread page of that high-class sound effects why don't you!

Let's get to the final shot where I have found my new phrase for life "I hunt bounties." (Can literally apply to anything in life)


Monday 25 November 2019

The Drifting Classroom (Halloween ComicFest) (RE:VIEW)

I love watching horror films but I can't really say that I've read many horror comic books or graphic novels. But here I am! It's fun to scared so let's dive in.
The first story up is from a chapter of The Drifting Classroom. This confused the hell out of me especially it's a short excerpt from a presumably longer story but the sense of urgency is personified in the dramatic flair and styling of the artwork. Excellent use of striking artworks, exclamations motions and shadowing of the space creates a cauldron of the quick and rapid flow of pace. It really does add to wanting to know what the hell is going on. 

The writing and plot come together to form a jigsaw as it comes together to form a strong sense of mystery, concern and horror of what is happening. A small remark there, signs here and there, as well as actions that happen abruptly adds to if everything is even related to the actual situation.

Altogether, I would definitely be getting the full manga which is called The Drifting Classroom: Perfect Edition. Watch this space for a RE:VIEW!

Next one up is Deathrow Doorbell from Smashed by Junji Ito. This one fits in with a lot of horror films that I love like The Ring and The Grudge (the structure reminded of the films for some reason but don't ask me why) where it jumps right into the deep end, then there's a back story and then back into the deep end again. It makes the main being (not sure if that's what I call them but what the hey) mysterious at their true intentions at not showing any empathy or remorse of what they do to the main characters, but seemingly coming to them with goodwill which is questionable.

The artwork is similar to The Drifting Classroom in that it uses shadowing, different styles of speech but what makes it more interesting in how it uses the use of words and the styling of it to create the atmosphere towards the end which really does send chills down my spine. 

Another one to pick up, watch this space!

Credits:
The Drifting Classroom Halloween Comic Fest 2019 edition
Kazuo Umezz - writer
Translation: Sheldon Drzka
English Adaptation: Molly Tanzer
Lettering: Evan Waldinger
Design: Adam Grano
Editor: Joel Enos

Smashed Halloween Comic Fest 2019 edition
Junji Ito - story & art

Friday 22 November 2019

Dceased #1 RE:VIEW

So DC decided to go there by going full zombie! The lowdown is that Cyborg is captured, tortured and turned into a cyber virus that unleashes into the world turning people into mindless zombies.
The narrative follows Batman through the whole first issue which is very befitting with the themes of the issue (monsters and all). A conversation could be started about the monsters in all of us. The placements of the speech boxes and stylings are used beautifully in conjunction with the characters and surroundings in quickly being able to identify characters, situations and locations.
The story flows really quickly as I imagine anyone is as excited to see a fully-fledged zombie apocalypse writhe before their eyes. It starts off with the why this came about, then the how it came about and finally the fruit of the labour. This is masterfully written in I guess in a very short amount of pages. 

The transitioning of art styles seems seamless and strings together the three arcs of the stories together. Double snaps to comic book art versatility and had to do a double-take when the art styling changed (not that it's not been done but I found it unexpected and don't ask me why). The three artists worked on the comics and it all works with the storyline and setting, especially I found with the Apokoplis scene.
Of course, they had to do the dirty to the man of the hour on the very last page. The final act of the issue is quite the main course with Batman witnessing the catastrophe unfold before his eyes. It was actually a treat to see his tech wizardry at work to fry the electronics in his mansion (read the comic yourself to find out why as it's fresh with the last issue just recently come out).

Subscribe: Yes

It started off beautifully so I'm definitely going to pick up the rest of the issue!

Credits:
Comic Book: Dceased #1 Halloween ComicFest edition publ. October 2019 (org. date July 2019)
Tom Taylor - writer
Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano & James Harren - artists
Rain Beredo - Colorist
Saida Temofonte - Letterer
Greg Capullo & FCO Plascenia - cover artists

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Harley Quinn #1 (volume 2) (RE:VIEW)

Picked up a Dollar Comic edition of Harley Quinn's first issue (volume 2). Excellent initiative to hop into comics for a dollar which I never really would venture into (budgetary reasons). The issue sees Harley inherit an apartment building, while she has a hit on her for a very juicy bounty amount of dosh. 

The cover keeps it fun so I expect the comic to be fun and boy does it run at 100 miles per hour. There is high entertainment value from the beginning in which she takes down a dog owner in abusing his dog in which she inherits. Not only this, she immediately contends with someone who wants to get a bounty on her head (another one later which I would assume becomes a story arc for her later down the line).

The characterisation Harley seems fun especially the part where she goes to find a job or auditions which shows of her quirkiness, fun and tendencies to fray into psychotic epicness. The humour keeps coming and found myself pleasantly surprised that I'm laughing out loud at the jokes (a lot of humour don't really land with me in comics). I much prefer when she has someone to bounce off from though like the talking mole she has with her so that they share that kind of banter (which was also captured in the recent Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy team-up mini-series).

The art is slightly less colourful than the cover itself but good nonetheless. It's subject detailed in that there are fewer details in the background which I don't mind as it does work entirely with the story, panels and speech bubbles.

Subscribe: YES

I see great potential to lead to different over-the-topness fun and I'm sure it would be a great reveal who wants her dead, as well as being able to raise cash for upkeeping her apartment building and managing it. It does seem a slightly different Harley to what I'm seeing but I very much like it.

Credits:
Harley Quinn #1 (volume 2) Dollar Comics edition 
Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti - writers
Chad Hardin - Artist
Alex Sinclair - Colorist
John J. Hill - Letterer
Ammanda Conner & Paul Mounts - Cover
Release: September 2019 (original: 2013)

Monday 18 November 2019

Invisible Woman #1 (2019)

The issue explodes into an extraction mission which made me double-take majorly. Was this an Invisible Woman comic I was reading? I was expecting it to be contained in the world of the Fantastic Four. 


During the first segment in snowy Russia, she tries (and fails) to smuggle through her extraction. The artwork is gorgeous but I found her powers a bit indistinguishable between the lighting of the snow (makes sense I guess if her abilities are being able to bend light). At one point, I thought a shining flashlight was in fact just her powers. 


I love that it just jumps right into the deep-end but it did take some time for me to realise Susan was in disguise which was presented in a glorious one-page reveal (I still didn't even believe it was her when one of her partners called her "Stormy"). It’s almost mentioned that she just adjusting to her forcefield abilities which are so surprising as it was during the time when she was coming out of her damsel in distress days of just being invisible. This just threw everything out the window about Invisible Woman and I’m here to live for it!


The next transition features the responsibilities of her roles in her day-to-day life which plays to a tender tone which is a beautiful reminder of the character she is: caring, loving, adventurous and the beauty she sees in so much (even in the simple things like a cup of coffee).

The final acts seemed slightly more shocking in that it is revealed that there is a different side to Susan all along which is the same Susan from the 60’s comics! She brought into questioning by the CIA regarding her mission partner who has been captured. And of course, she has red in her ledger so she goes against their words and decides to take action to save him. A few butts kicked on location and an obligatory appearance from Black Widow to boost ratings.


I mean there’s so much potential and it shows Susan is such a different light. It’s quite the shocking revelation reveals that this takes place in the early days of the Fantastic Four run, which is a VERY different Invisible Woman to how I remember her from those days. Definitely picking up issue number 2 to see where she heads next!


Subscibe? Y

Credits:
Mark Waid: writer
Mattia De Iulis: Artist
VC's Joe Caramagna: Letterer
Adam Hughes: Cover
Publisher: Marvel
Date: September 2019

Thursday 17 October 2019

Double Take by It's Nice That and Coals Drop Yard

The artwork comes to life I find in its simplicity in the shape in forming larger structures that play with its environment in a very fun and quirky way. The colours and shape contrast with the architecture around it in its contrasting material and design. I feel like their presence provides a sense of invitation to interact with them as seen from parents taking pictures of the children on the structures.

There are specific viewpoints in which you can see a better view of how these artworks tantalise with its surroundings but of course, I didn't realise until a bit too late when I had to leave.

It's as if they're looking at you:






Wednesday 9 October 2019

The Dark Crystal exhibition (Star Log)

To be honest I didn’t know what to expect from the Into Thra: The Dark Crystal Age of Resistence exhibition especially as I haven’t even seen the film (own it on Blu-ray though but haven’t gotten around to watching it). My colleague told me that it was dark. That was about it. This came from the mind of Jim Henson so it’s like bad Muppets, I guess?


I actually went past the Gaming Lounge first and I don’t even know why but I expected a retro-style arcade type game, but upon closer inspection, it was a tactics game on Nintendo Switches. 


Moving on to the gallery, I noticed that every single person was an adult but then I put it down to that the film/series itself seemed a bit grotesque at parts from the clips that showing. Giving it more thought though, it could just be that they grew up on the film seeing that the film is about 30 years old (if I remember correctly). 


The design featured photographs, props, models and drawings from the series. From just this section, I could see that it was a super-rich universe and a lot of craft goes into it.

With the time closing in on me, I moved past the voice-over booth which featured literally a voice-over for a clip. There was quite a queue for it!


Next was the Castle of the Crystal area which featured the banquet from the film as well as the Crystal itself (get me – I’m saying it like I know the film!). There was an anagram to solve from symbols featured in a handout I was given. Deciphering it gave the following letters:


N R H T A T U


(see if you can figure it out as it took me ages to figure out)


Next was a remodel of the Endless Forest (not really endless in this case) and the Stone-In-The-Wood (equivalent to Sword in the Stone?). 


The final section was the gift shop where I had to have successfully deciphered the word to the anagram. Clues were that it was a word that it wasn’t related to the film, it was 5 letters and it started with “T”. I definitely needed more help than that, maybe just giving the word to me. After hmm-ing and ah-ing, I came up with “Truth”. Bingo! I gained a gorgeously illustrated print (don’t know the artist though – should have asked in hindsight!). 
EDIT: Wasn't too sure if I was going to share the post as my phone got stolen so there's nothing to really to show! In the end, I decided for it as I'm not going to let any no-good doers ruin my day xx