The graphic novels loved by children and adults alike
Aug 21st, 2013, 5:18 pm
Image


Title: Last of Us: American Dreams (Click to go to the release post)
Writer(s): Neil Druckmann (Click to see other books from this writer released on this site)
Review source: Kevin Mak (Don't click it, read the review here... ;) )

"A SOLID TRIBUTE TO THE VIDEO GAME"

Review: Last of Us: American Dreams #4
    Last of Us is one of the most popular video games of 2013. Set twenty years after a spore-based disease turned most of the human population into violent, zombie-like Infected, the game follows Joel as he journeys across the United States with his companion Ellie. The Last of Us: American Dreams comic mini-series is a prequel to the video game. It chronicles the adventures of Ellie and her friend Riley in one of the last remaining quarantine zones sheltering survivors. Through their eyes, we explore the world of Last of Us, a grim future full of Infected and desperate humans trying to survive.

    SUMMARY

      Pros
        Comic is true to the video game
        Great character development
      Cons
        Lack of Infected attacks in the mini-series
        Artwork seems out of place in this dark, bleak future

    Previously in Last of Us: American Dreams: Ellie follows a student named Riley to an abandoned mall where they meet Winston, a local patrolman. After a nice horse riding lesson, Winston is called to duty after the Fireflies, a rebel anti-military group, attack outside the quarantine area. Seeing this as an opportunity to avoid the military drafting her at sixteen, Riley, with Ellie in tow, find the Fireflies and help them escape from the military with some smoke grenades. On the run from the military, they are ambushed by Infected. They are eventually saved by the Fireflies, who capture the young pair and take them to their secret hideout.

    DO NOT CALL THEM “ZOMBIES”

    Last of Us: American Dreams #4 is the last issue in Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks’s mini-series. Ellie and Riley are captured by the Fireflies, and things go from bad to worse. Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks keep to the dark themes and bleak tone of the video game that made it so popular. For example, like the video games, humans such as military troops, Fireflies, and smugglers can be much worse than the Infected that lie outside the quarantine area. In a world where there is very little order and the military controls everything, it is easy to understand their hostility. There are many instances of this in this comic, like when smugglers confront the Fireflies. Unlike the video games, there is an absence of Infected in this issue, and were rarely seen throughout the series. Still, the characters make up for the lack of zombies. Riley desire to get out of her situation is horribly crushed, a common theme in the comic book and the video game. Marlene, who is a prominent character in the video games, makes an appearance in this issue. She serves as Ellie’s protector and mother figure in this comic, and considering what happens to her in the video games, her current motivations clash with her future goals. Meanwhile, Ellie is a silent observer to the events transpiring before her. She does not actively participate, only when called upon to act at the end. This is similar to her role as the escort character in the video games.

    Image

    ELLIE VERSUS THE WORLD

    Faith Erin Hick’s artwork completes the Last of Us: American Dream’s final issue. Her characters greatly resemble those of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series art. Compared to the realism of the video game, the art comes off as cartoon-like. The colors help portray a dark tone throughout the series, but her use of wide, stylized eyes do not fit this type of comic book. Unfortunately, this takes away from the brutal and violent nature of the Last of Us world. Despite this odd artistic choice, there are some powerful scenes helped by Faith Erin Hick’s panels.

    BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID TRIBUTE TO THE VIDEO GAME

    For anyone who was a fan of the Last of Us video game, this is a great pickup. If you are not familiar with Last of Us, you may get lost trying to decipher the plots, themes and characters. Although there is a lack of Infected in this zombie horror mini-series, it gives a great deal of background to some of the main characters and the Last of Us world. Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks do an excellent job aligning their comic to the video game.

    Rating: 3/5
Image

More info:
    Writer: Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks
    Artist: Faith Erin Hicks
    Letterer: Clem Robins
    Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
    Editor: Brendan Wright

Publisher:
    Image

Image
Aug 21st, 2013, 5:18 pm
Sep 1st, 2013, 7:25 am
Image


Title: 14 Years of Loyal Service in a Fabric-Covered Box (Click to go to the release post)
Writer(s): Scott Adams (Click to see other books from this writer released on this site)
Review source: jmurtonen (Don't click it, read the review here... ;) )

" It’s a hilarious and easy read."

Review:
    I know that Dilbert is a comic book series and not a real book, but I enjoyed it so much that I felt like I had to review it. Dilbert is just his normal ol’ self in this book.

    He offers a glimpse into the dark side of corporate life. His coworkers are all insensitive and lazy, and they lose more hope in their lives as their company slowly goes bankrupt. Dogbert, Dilbert’s witty and ruthless dog “companion,” buys out the company and exploits it to make quick profits before he sells the company back.

    14 Years of Loyal Service in a Fabric Covered Box delivers lots of laughs and satire the whole way through. Scott Adams creates genius and strange characters that make fun of different sectors of the office workplace. These include Catbert: Evil Director of Human Resources, Rebaterus, Finance Trolls, Mordac: the Preventer of Information Services, and Idea Squirrel. All of these characters serve some function in making fun of the corporate workplace, and they are all very funny.

    Anybody will enjoy 14 Years of Loyal Service in a Fabric Covered Box. It’s a hilarious and easy read.

    Image


    14 YEARS OF LOYAL SERVICE IN A FABRIC-COVERED BOX is a collection of "Dilbert" comic strips that were featured in newspapers from Oct. 2008-July 2009. There really isn't anything new here. However, these strips were published during the middle of the recent and ongoing Great Recession so the usual humor about how bad the economy, staff cuts, and the loss of one's job is more relevant than it has been in years. All of the strips, both the dailies and Sundays, are reproduced in full color. The book opens with an introduction by Adams talking about the jobs he dreamed of having as a kid and the jobs he worked as an adult. 14 YEARS OF LOYAL SERVICE IN A FABRIC-COVERED BOX isn't the best "Dilbert" collection, but it is a good overview collection. (source)

Image

More info:
    Written by Scott Adams

Publisher:
    Image

Image
Sep 1st, 2013, 7:25 am
Sep 3rd, 2013, 9:14 am
Image


Title: SEX (Click to go to the release post)
Writer(s): Joe Casey (Click to see other books from this writer released on this site)
Review source: John Parker (Don't click it, read the review here... ;) )

" The coolest new Batman book on the shelves."

Review:
    Remember that feeling you got when you first read the great comics of the Eighties? When fantastic deconstructions of superhero characters and genre fiction idioms introduced you to a new level of sophistication? When dozens of mainstream books were possessed of a style and edge that scaled up your spine and sent electricity licking through your neck? When sex and violence were done right? Do ya miss it? Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski might just have your fix: if you miss the honed sense of danger you got when reading The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and American Flagg! it might be time to check out the Image comic Sex, the coolest new Batman book on the shelves.

    Not the actual character, of course. Another version of Batman, far removed from the continuity and publishing standards of DC and just beyond the reach of the Warner Bros. legal department, but Batman nonetheless. Repurposed; broken down into his base elements and reformed as something new and different. Seems like part of a whole trip Joe Casey is on these days, as Sex runs concurrently with his other new Image series The Bounce with David Messina, in which an analogue of Spider-Man, well, bounces around twenty-first century New York, high on weed and super-heroism.

    Image

    But Batman and Spider-Man are very different characters, and even though Sex and The Bounce both disassemble and rebuild archetypes to re-examine them (and sound like godawful Miami Beach nightclubs), they do so in very different ways. The Bounce is about youth, responsibility, and new definitions of heroism; Sex is about retirement, repression, class divisions, power, and fear.

    Also f*****g. Lots of f*****g.

    In Sex, the role of Batman is played by Simon Cooke, otherwise known as the Saturn City superhero The Armored Saint. Returning from a sabbatical of indeterminate length, the story begins with Cooke awkwardly starting a new chapter in his life: retired from crime-fighting, settling down to run the corporation he’s always pretended to, and leaving heroism behind to live a normal, happy life. And though there have been plenty of stories about retired superheroes, this is where Casey does that unique Casey thing: Simon Cooke has absolutely no idea how to live a normal life.

    The life of a superhero, even in this world, is about as far from real life as you can get. And though Cooke has vowed to retire and leave The Armored Saint behind, as he explains to his confidant, he’s essentially lived a life of discipline, focus, and control since he was a teenager. Now at thirty-something years old, he has no experience which constitutes a typical life, and no idea how to start living one. While the whole of Saturn City seems to be populated with thousands of Amish teenagers unleashed for Rumspringa, Cooke is repressed, anxious, and practically frozen in place; an un-person stripped down to his interior, forced to find an identity after living an assumed one; unsure of what to do next, like a thirty-five-year-old virgin who suddenly wins a date with a porn star.

    Image

    It’s like if The Dark Knight Returns had been drawn by Milo Manara, except we’re five issues in and Bruce Wayne still hasn’t put the suit back on OR gotten laid. The story unfolds at a measured pace, using several moving parts, and never quite showing you exactly what you want to see. The few glimpses we have of the The Armored Saint are only in flashback; the sex scenes — plentiful, graphic, and beautifully composed by artist Kowalski — only serve to raise Cooke’s sense of frustration and discomfort with the new direction his life must take; the action scenes — razor-sharp and dynamically choreographed — are quick-moving and sparse, and only serve to whet the appetite for something bigger, something more.

    Sound like a tease? That might very well be the point. The title of the book is Sex, after all, and before there can be release there must first be pressure. So far this book is churning with psychological depth, sexual tension, mounting frustrations, and the specter of something big and awful threatening to happen any minute now. Everything is steadily welling up, and you can’t quite shake the feeling that things are going to get real, real bad when something bursts.

    Image

    Artist Piotr Kowalski is, simply put, amazing. Sex was my introduction to the Polish artist, and it was such a strong first impression I had to go back and look at what came before it, just to see where a talent like his could have come from. Most of his career has been spent in European comics, working on Bande Dessinée with titles like Urban Vampires, and a year or two back he did a series for BOOM! called Malignant Man. And although everything is very well-drawn, none of it looks anything like Sex, which seems absolutely insane.

    The particular tenor that Kowalski brings to Sex feels like something that would have to be practiced for years before it got to this level, like a guitar lick played over, and over, and over again. Nope. It’s just what he cooked up for this particular comic book. Later this year he’s doing a four-issue Hulk series with writer Joe Keatinge, but let’s collectively hope that it doesn’t pull him away from Sex for too long, because it’s abundantly clear that this is exactly the type of book he should be doing.

    Under Kowalski’s pen, Saturn City is a vast, looming metropolis that seems to splay out into infinity in all directions, every floor and light and window accounted-for. Everything looks like visions of the 2000s by artists from 1980s, on the inside and the outside; characters look like they were dressed by Howard Chaykin. It’s as if Kowalski is channeling traits from all the artists needed to come together for a deconstructionist erotic eighties throwback like Sex: Chaykin, Manara, Katsuhiro Otomo, Dean Motter, and Dave Gibbons all come to mind in the span of a few panels. I have absolutely no idea what to call his style in Sex — neo-pop retro-futurism? — but it’s elegant, energetic, and glides cleanly across the page like it’s coated in KY. His framing is subtle and effective, especially when it comes time to convey Cooke’s mental state: he pulls back to let him breathe, widens out to show the responsibilities he’s leaving behind and the nerve-wracking new possibilities that await; zooms in when it’s time to get claustrophobic. His sex scenes are dreamy and alluring, his action scenes cooking with gas. Colorist Brad Simpson – who seems to have successfully recreated John Higgins’ palette from Watchmen – bathes the book in purples and oranges, neon yellows and hot pinks that transform Saturn City into a brightly-lit Gomorrah covered in glitter and sin. Rus Wooten’s lettering — which hi-lites words of emphasis rather than showing them in bold — rounds out a complete visual package. The art, like the story, is strikingly new yet comfortably familiar, like the creators are building a new machine to examine our own nostalgia.

    Image

    I love the reconstruction movement of the last fifteen years. In fact, pretty much all of my favorite superhero comics over that era are clearly reconstructions. But a little deconstruction is still healthy for the soul. And when it results in truly edgy, truly stylish, truly sophisticated work like Sex, I can practically feel that wire of recognition snaking through my nervous system once again. Maybe you will too.

Image

More info:
    Brad Simpson colorist
    Joe Casey writer
    Piotr Kowalski artist, cover
    Rus Wooton letterer
    Sonia Harris other

Publisher:
    Image

Image
Sep 3rd, 2013, 9:14 am
Feb 18th, 2014, 12:53 pm
Image


Title: Skullkickers (Click to go to the release post)
Writer(s): Jim Zubkavic (Click to see other books from this writer released on this site)
Review source: Noel Thorne (Don't click it, read the review here... ;) )

" A decent comic that’s not badly written or drawn."

Review:
    Set in fantasyland (think your standard D&D/Word of Warcraft landscape) where your fantasy comes true if you've ever wanted to live in Game of Thrones, a prince is assassinated and his body stolen by a necromancer. The kingdom hires a pair of bounty hunters – a nameless dwarf and barbarian – to bring his body back for burial but things don’t go quite according to plan and soon they have a zombie apocalypse on their hands!

    Skullkickers is a light-hearted take on the fantasy genre, mixing in humour and ferocious action that reads like a buddy-cop movie. There isn’t much to the lead characters – or any of the characters really – who’re your standard template dwarf and barbarian characters with the barbarian perhaps written in a slightly more cerebral way than simply just a brawler. There also isn’t much to the plot: the two get their mission, they fight monsters, they get paid.

    Image

    Jim Zubkavich’s writing is competent and the story he tells is enjoyable enough but his take on the fantasy genre isn’t especially noteworthy. The back and forth dialogue is snappy without being that clever or funny, but I did feel that the action often ground what little plot there is to a halt. It’s very BIG action where multiple pages and large panels show how the fighting plays out but the action is very unremarkable – a dwarf and a barbarian hacking away at monsters looks exactly what you’d expect and if you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it all.

    Edwin Huang’s artwork is ok but it’s very clearly drawn digitally and I’m not the biggest fan of digital art – it just doesn’t look right. It’s a bit too bland and a bit too clean. Though I did like the onomatopoeia in the panels where a stage direction or action is literally written out as a sound effect.

    The first Skullkickers book isn’t a complex story nor a very original one but is a decent comic that’s not badly written or drawn. I’m not a big fan of fantasy comics but I still liked it and if you are then you’ll probably enjoy this a lot more than me. Skullkickers is an ok but forgettable comic - for MMORPG addicts who need a rest from their game but don't want to stray too far into reality with any non-fantasy related reading matter.


Image

More info:
    Story: Jim Zubkavic
    Cover: Chris Stevens
    Colors: Misty Coats
    Inks: Edwin Huang

Publisher:
    Image

Image
Feb 18th, 2014, 12:53 pm
Jun 14th, 2017, 1:17 pm
From where I can get this. I hope there is no virus or malicious content available in it!
Jun 14th, 2017, 1:17 pm
Oct 2nd, 2017, 2:45 pm
I'm not that much online. Please report dead links of my releases to Guy1731 Image or flawlessdreamer Image. Thank you.
Oct 2nd, 2017, 2:45 pm