Fables Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in 2016, 4.5 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Comics, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Fables Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham
Fables Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham with art by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, et al.

Genre: Fantasy, Comics
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #16 in the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 160
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 16 is a compilation of issues 101-107 of the comic series
From the back cover:

This Looks Like A Job For… The Super Fables!

Evil stalks the borders of Haven! Fed by fear and driven by darkness, Mister Dark has risen, more powerful than ever! Soon, the Fables’ defense will fall, and the day of doom will be upon them!

But lo, there shall come… the F-Men!

Assembled by the great and powerful Ozma and the wise and wheelchair-bound Pinoccho (don’t worry, his legs work fine — he just wants to look the part), these fabulous Fables will combine their powers to form a team-up to end all team-ups!

Every super-heroic personality will be represented: Big strong guys! Guys in cool armor! Miniature people who can bounce around inside the bad guy’s ear canal! That one girl who can fly! Even a roguish, hairy anti-hero with claws: Bigby Wolf himself! Together, they will overcome their fear and defeat Mister Dark once and for all!

Or maybe they’ll all die horribly within seconds. What do you think this is, a super-hero comic.

My Thoughts:
I’ll confess. I have been ready for the Mr. Dark story to be over for a couple of volumes. This time the Fables are making their last stand. Again.

The difference this time is that they’re approaching it a little differently. Avengers style before Marvel made the movie. Whether they’re successful or not I won’t say but it was an adventure. There were scary parts and there were funny parts and there were plenty of riffs on the superhero comic genre.

Bigby Wolf and his father The North Wind are forced to face their past and their fractured relationship. It was tense but again, I’m not spilling the outcome.

The first issue was unrelated to the main story but might be setting up some new places and characters for a future storyline. I always enjoy stories with Bufkin the formerly flying monkey.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Chew Vol. 6: Space Cakes by John Layman

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Book Review, Comics, John Layman | 0 comments

Chew Vol. 6: Space Cakes by John LaymanChew Vol. 5: Major League Chew by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory

Genre: Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #6 in the Chew series
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 156
Source: Library

*Note – this is volume 6 so spoilers for previous volumes are inevitable

The Book:
This volume 6 is a compilation of issues 23-30 of the comic series.
From the back cover:

While Tony Chu – the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats – clings to life in a hospital ICU, his twin sister Toni steps up to take center stage. Toni is cibovoyant, able to see the future of anything she eats, and, lately, she’s seeing some pretty terrible things.

My Thoughts:
This series is weird, disturbing, violent and absolutely hilarious. It’s incredibly difficult to talk about without sounding completely off my rocker. But then again, several characters in this series may be completely off their rockers.

The focus in this new storyline shift from Tony to his sister Toni. Her ability to see the future of anything she eats makes for some interesting dates. One way to find out if the relationship has a future is to take a bite out of your date.

See. I told you this was weird. And funny. A little bit gross. But still funny.

The artwork by Rob Guillory is colorful and fun and manages to present some pretty bizarre and violent stuff in a way that isn’t completely gross. There is plenty of funny stuff in the background of the main action.

The final issue is a one shot featuring the cyborg, martial artist . . . chicken, Secret Agent Poyo.

I know it sounds a bit disgusting but I definitely encourage you to give this series a try.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in 2016, 4.5 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Comics | 0 comments

Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham
Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham with art by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, et al.

Genre: Fantasy, Comics
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #15 in the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 256
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 15 is a compilation of issues 94-100 of the comic series
From the back cover:

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
As the Free Fables of the Mundane World try desperately to shield themselves from the withering power of Mister Dark, Rose Red — the Farm’s ostensible leader — is finally jolted out of her crippling depression and into action by a timely revelation from her storybook past. Her epiphany comes not a moment too soon — as more and more of New York City falls under Mister Dark’s malign power, the chances of striking a decisive blow against him are getting smaller by the hour. Luckily, the survivors of Fabletown have the world’s most powerful witch on their side — and she well may be the only entity more ruthless than the Dark Man himself.

My Thoughts:
I’ll confess. I’m ready for the Mr. Dark story to be over. Despite that, there was a lot I liked about this volume of the series.

The first part focuses on Rose Red and her past and her relationship with her sister Snow White. There was a lot of background filled in during this part. Some of it had been hinted at in previous books but there’s a lot more information here.

The second part of the book is about Frau Totenkinder now known as Bellflower and her battle with Mr. Dark. This is a lot of exciting action as well as some pretty impressive strategizing and sorcery.

As usual the artwork was impressive. As much as I dislike the Mr. Dark story line the art in that section was impressive. The battle between him and Bellflower portrayed the action and the tension wonderfully.

I love this series and one of these days I’m going to need to buy my own copies so that I can reread it from the beginning.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Jack of Fables Vol. 9: The End by Bill Willingham

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in 2016, 3 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Comics | 1 comment

Jack of Fables Vol. 9: The End by Bill Willingham

Jack of Fables Vol. 9: The End by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges with art by Tony Akins and Russ Braun

Genre: Fantasy, Comics
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #9 in the Jack of Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 136
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 9 is a compilation of issues 46-50 of the comic series.
From the back cover:

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
The allegedly legendary Jack of Fables has been through a lot of changes lately – big, bat-winged, fire-breathing changes – but one thing has remained reassuringly constant: a lot of people still want to nail his hide to the wall.
Now, after countless centuries of having his mouth write checks that no other part of his body could cash, Jack’s delinquent accounts are finally coming due. His swashbuckling son Jack Frost, the pistol-packing Page sisters, a wild man with an axe (er, sword) to grind and a busload of lost Fables looking for the promised land are all making a beeline for Jack’s hilltop hideout – and the epic brutality of their ensuing showdown promises to outshine even the tallest of Jack’s fabled trove of tales.

My Thoughts:
This spinoff series from the main Fables storyline has been very hit and miss for me. I’m not sorry I read them but I’m glad to have reached the end.

In this volume as with most of the series I found myself laughing out loud at times and feeling annoyed at others. Throughout the series my favorite parts have been those that featured other characters than Jack. Jack is kind of a jerk and annoying.

The finale to the series wraps up a lot of things. Characters from earlier volumes were nice to see again. The forecasted “Shakespearean Ending” was probably the only way to end this and while I’ll miss some of the characters it pretty much had to happen that way.

The artwork by Tony Akins and Russ Braun is some of the best of the series. There’s lots of action and a wide variety of settings and characters. Plenty of color and interesting elements in the backgrounds are always nice to see.

This series isn’t crucial to the Fables world but it’s a sometimes interesting and always surprising detour.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in 2016, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Brian K Vaughan, Comics | 4 comments

Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Cliff Chiang

Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #1 in the Paper Girls series
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 144
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume collects issues 1-5 of the comic series.
From the publisher:

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smashhit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

My Thoughts:
I admit that I have a bit of a predisposition to like most of what Brian K. Vaughan does. When a friend from my LibraryThing group recommended this I was an easy sell. He was absolutely right. I loved it. In fact, I don’t want to wait for the next trade collection to find out what happens. I will likely subscribe to the digital individual issues. This is just fun.

Set in late 1980’s Cleveland on a Halloween night the strange things the four paper girls encounter are initially possible Halloween costumes and pranks. It doesn’t take long though, to figure out that this is much stranger than they initially think. The flying dinosaurs from outer space are a pretty good hint.

Time travel, creatures from outer space, apple symbols (that I can’t wait to find out more about) and general all around good adventure featuring four smart teenage girls. It ends on a cliffhanger so you’ve been warned.

This is completely beyond explanation but trust me. Find this series. Read it.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Trillium by Jeff Lemire

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in 2016, 5 stars, Book Review, Comics, Jeff Lemire | 0 comments

Trillium by Jeff Lemire
Trillium by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 192
Source: Library

The Book:
This is a collection of the 8 issues of the limited series.
From the publisher:

It’s the year 1921, and renowned English explorer William Pike leads an expedition into the dense jungles of Peru in search of the fabled “Lost Temple of the Incas,” an elusive sanctuary said to have strange healing properties.

It’s the year 3797, and botanist Nika Temsmith is researching a strange species on a remote science station near the outermost rim of colonized space.

Two disparate souls separated by thousands of years and hundreds of millions of miles. Yet they will fall in love and, as a result, bring about the end of the universe. Even though reality is unraveling all around them, nothing can pull them apart. This isn’t just a love story, it’s the LAST love story ever told.

My Thoughts:
It should come as absolutely no surprise to regular readers to hear that I adored this. I’ll admit that I am predisposed to love all things Lemire but he keeps finding ways to drill his characters into my heart.

Nika and William are from two different times and places but an ancient temple allows them to connect and fall in love. When the connection between them becomes a rip in time and space the story becomes even more complicated. They are still inexorably drawn to each other while the future of the human race hangs in the balance.

Lemire’s art is as always roughly drawn but this time around the coloring is interesting. Some of it was colored digitally by Jose Villarrubia and parts were hand done in watercolors by Lemire. Initially it shows a clear distinction between the two time periods but as the two blend so does the coloring style.

Once again Jeff Lemire has come up with something completely different that his other work and created characters and a story that will be with me for a long time.

5 stars Rating 5/5

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