Book Reviews Of The Month – Rotten #9

Rotten #9
Moonstone Comics
Written by Mark Rahner & Robert Horton
Art by Dan Dougherty

You ever have one of those days when it seems like you can’t win for any reason? Well, that’s kind of what’s going on with the two main characters from Rotten from Moonstone. In issue #9, you have one character running for his life from a bunch of zombies. He’s the one having a really bad day, getting stung by a swarm of what I’m guessing are bees, cutting his foot, being attacked left and right and some other stuff. Then you have his partner who’s trying to do some research on cannibalism and talk to the smartest minds in the late 18th century Chicago but things just keep happening that aren’t adding up.

Reading this book was interesting. They kept switching from one character and his troubles to the other. For me, it took a little reading to be able to follow but I was able to. The paneling was very simple and easy to follow. The art was bright and gave a different feel. When dealing with the undead and zombies, you’d expect it to be dark, but the colors were bright. Giving you that feel that everything is normal, but it’s not. The writing was done well; each character’s terms fit them and the time period. There are some points that are true to the time, arguments over Darwinism and how science was not accepted, this added to the feel of the time for me.

This was a good book and, most likely a good storyline to follow. If you like period pieces or zombie books, you have a line that will fit both of your needs. Rotten is anything but. If you pick this one up, you’ll have questions like what happens next or what happened before that you will want to get answered. In my humble opinion, this is one to pick it. I give it 3 caps out of 5.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Moon Girl

Moon Girl
Red 5 Comics
Written by Tony Trov & Johnny Zito
Art by The Rahzzah

Is anyone out there not happy to see classic comic books tweaked, reissued, redone or anything along those lines? Most of the stuff I’ve read has been well done, whether it’s just put out in a modern book or when the art has been redone, I know there are ones that should have stayed a classic. Red 5 has released Moon Girl and put their own spin on the classic tale of the Russian princesses turned superhero. She is facing off against Satana in this first offering and the different stages of that first fight go through the whole book.

When you look in the book, you’ll see the art is different, different from just about everything I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like watercolor paintings. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it gives the book a different feel, but best of all, it fits the story. Speaking of which, there’s not much dialog in this. It is just enough to know what’s going on. Reading through this, I would have liked to know more about when the time is, what brought everyone to this point, a little more background. Again, that’s my desire. There are times that the way the lettering and paneling was laid out that it didn’t flow that well for me. But it could have just been the fact that I’m reading this off of a computer.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this story. It gave me just enough for me to enjoy it and asking for more, maybe not in the way that the writers wanted but I do want to see where things go. I want to know what happens next in the story, possible love interest for the main character or does a villain have an eye on her. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes. In my humble opinion, go and get this one. Read through it and check into the next few issues, it should answer all yours and my questions by then. I give it 3 caps out of 5.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Rescue Rangers #3

Rescue Rangers #3
Boom Comics
Written by Ian Brill
Art by Leonel Castellaini

Here’s another Disney cartoon that’s gone to the comic book. Chip and Dale are out trying to save the world. Fat Cat has found a way to control the world’s animals. It’s up to Chip, Dale, Monterey, Gadget and Zipper to put a stop to him. Now, can continue to sound like a commercial writing this but I almost felt like I was slipping back into the cartoon that made the team famous. You can easily loose yourself, no matter how old you are, as you read this book with the story very plausible to be from an afternoon cartoon or a true spy movie.

The writing didn’t dominate this story, it was enough to keep everything going and tell what needed to be said. This book is truly written for all ages. The accents are there for the characters, whether spoken or not. The art was, just as I like it, out of the cartoon, you can’t go wrong in my book if you’re doing this style of work. Each panel was easy to follow and moved the story along really well. The overall feel was that of the cartoon, score one for the children of the ‘80’s, you know who you are.
This is an ongoing series as Boom establishes this book.

But thankfully, this book stands on it’s own so you don’t have too many questions what happened in issues 1 or 2. If you have young kids and are looking for something to get them started in comics (no, you’re not brainwashing them, you’re just broadening their interests, trust me) this would be a good start. It’s very safe and kid (and adult) friendly. In my humble opinion, you’ll want to pick this up as a easy read that’s a fun ride, no matter who you are. I give this 5 caps out of 5.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Hellboy #53

Hellboy #53: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish
Darkhorse Comics
Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Kevin Nowlan

Here’s a fun thought and, for some of you, not a hard one to do. Put yourself in the middle of Kansas, Rooks County to be exact, in 1985. You’ve got farmland and woods all around you and the only speck of civilization is about an hour’s drive. You’re an impressionable teenager, what do you do to pass the time? Most of you turned to comics, hence why you’re reading this. Others, on the other hand, turned to the occult and started worshiping odd things. Well, that’s what starts off this most recent copy of Hellboy that I just read. Kids with way too much time on their hands and not much of an imagination, from there, Hellboy is called out to investigate missing cows (yes, he is looking into missing cows, I said the same thing). And the fun rolls out from there.

Reading through this little story, I found it, well a little odd. But, it worked for the story being told and the writing fit well. Hellboy has his comments in a deadpan voice that only his character could pull off. The kids feel as if they’re just trying to find something to do and the other characters are unique. The art fits with what’s being portrayed and what is trying to be said. With the characters, the expressions fit with what’s being done. The paneling is easy to follow and work to add to the story. The feel is dark but funny at the same time.

Overall, I wanted to see where the story took poor Hellboy, who seemed to just to be mixed up in something that was a little over his head and something he really didn’t want to be involved in. The action is funny and right along the same lines as the other things Hellboy’s been in. In my humble opinion, read this. It’s worth it. If you have an older child, maybe in their pre-teen years, this would be good for them to read. It’s light, fun, and they can see why Hellboy is a winning character. I give this 5 caps out of 5.

Coastal Championship Wrestling

Rumble at Wahoo’s

I’ve been watching wrestling since I was 12-years-old. I started watching out in Colorado with the AWA have been hooked ever since. There are a lot of us out there. Come on, you’ve seen it when they do an intro, the music hits, the wrestlers waits a few seconds for the crowd to either start cheering or booing (depending on whether you’re a good guy or bad guy), they come out of the tunnel or through the curtain all hyped up. Where do you think the NFL got the idea of doing their introductions of the teams for big games? Down here, we have a local wrestling school and organization, Coastal Championship Wrestling (CCW – and they have put on good shows every time I’ve gone.

The most recent show they had was at JC Wahoo’s Sports Bar and Grill (by the way, try the blackened fish tacos, best I’ve ever had) where CCW will put on a show outside in the parking lot for $5 to $10 and afterwards, you go in and watch the WWE PPV for that night. Last night, the PPV was Wrestlemania.

The show that I watched had seven matches that progressively got better. That usually happens at the CCW shows. I will say, if you’ve ever been to a minor league basketball game, baseball game or anything from the minors, you know the feeling. Some people are on their way up, others are on their way down or they’ve found a spot their most comfortable and don’t plan on moving. CCW is the same. One of the wrestlers I talked to, Pablo Marquez has been wrestling for 20 years and knows that the WWE or TNA isn’t in his future but works with the younger wrestlers. He passes on his experiences of traveling the world and what he’s learned.

One thing with CCW is that you can meet the wrestlers either before or after the matches. Almost all of them are approachable, they offer up autographs and pictures. They make every fan feel welcome and appreciated. I know for a fact, that can’t be said for a solid number of other sports figures. After the main event, which had The Black Heart teaming with The Beast, taking on The Red Devil Fight Team, I talked to The Black Heart. He wears a black cover over his head so you can’t see his face at all. I asked him what he enjoyed about wrestling, “. . .” (He’s not much of a talker) I asked a little more about how I thought the match went even in the loss, “. . .” (I figured I’d quit with what I got). I have never been disappointed at one of the CCW shows, and of the fans I talked to, neither have they. This is a good value if you enjoy wrestling or are looking for an inexpensive night out. In my humble opinion, go cheer and boo, they’ll thank you for it.

Malignant Man #1

Malignant Man #1
Boom Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Art by Piotr Kowalski

Cancer is a vicious, uncaring, evil decease. I’ve said this in the past on one of my other reviews. But in this new offering from Boom, the question comes up, what if it wasn’t cancer that a person has? What if it was something that could save your life and give you something more in your life than what you had previously? That’s what you have here. A man who thought he had three weeks to live, sacrifices himself to save someone he doesn’t know. In so doing, things happen that gives him new meaning. Believe me, I’m not trying to spoil this because I want you to read it.

The story is something that hasn’t been done in a while and gives it new life. It takes you on a ride that leaves you wanting more when they get to the end (stupid cliffhangers). The art works really well. When you look at Alan, you can see the toll that his illness has taken on him, both physically and mentally. The conversation he has with the reader really resonates with you, especially if you’ve talked to cancer patients or survivors. Also, the paneling is easy to follow. Overall, everything worked.

This book caught me, maybe it was just the right time, maybe it was the subject matter or whatever but I really enjoyed this. I want to see what happens next, why are the events unfolding for Alan and every other “why” question you can think of. I think you will too. This doesn’t give you all the answers (typical first issue and again, stupid cliffhangers!) but it gives you a little more than just enough. In my humble opinion, get this and take the journey. I give this a 4.5 caps out of 5.

Jake the Dreaming

Jake the Dreaming
Radical Books
Written by Adam Freeman & Marc Bernardin
Art by Andrew Jones

Ok, I just got a jump on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and had the chance to read one that’s going to be given out, Jake the Dreaming. Per Radical, it’s an illustrated novel. Not something I’m used to reading. Either a comic book or a novel, I’m good. But I’ve never read anything like this. This version is a teaser for the full one that’s going to be released down the line but it does what it’s supposed to do, tease the appetite for what’s coming down the line.

The layout for this was different. What they did was have one or two pages of full text and then one or two pages of an illustration, I’ve never seen a comic laid out like that before. The writing was sections from the different chapters in the novel. The story, I can describe as a dream within a dream. I liked where the story was going and may pick up the book when it comes out. You want to learn what happens to the characters (or at least I did). The art was not clean and easy to follow, it looks like a jumble of a story or memories, that added to what was going on in the sections given to the reader, another plus.

Overall, I enjoyed the sections that are given and want to know the whole story. What brought the characters to the place they are, why are they the ones who can see what they do, can they do what needs to be done? My only reservation is what comic book purists might say when this untraditional layout comes out. If you want the frame-by-frame story of the standard comic, this book and novel may not be for you. In my humble opinion, get this book and try something different. I gave it 3.5 caps out of 5.

Earp: Saints and Sinners #3

Earp: Saints and Sinners #3
Radical Comics
Written by M. Zachary Sherman
Art by Colin Lorimer

The Earp’s are back in the next book of their four book series and things go from better, to bad to worse. This book picks up where #2 left off; it’s still the family with Doc trying to exist as honest casino owners in an area that’s rot with every sort of underhanded dealings going on. Now, the Earp’s have another issue when that singer I told you about in the previous book comes to the AOK Casino for help. You can imagine all the insanity that comes from that. Plus you have Jesse James planning a big heist, what could make it worse, you’ll see.

I didn’t mention it the last time but the writing fits everything you’d expect. The character’s accents are present and fit each one. The story flows easy and you want to see what’s happening on the next page. I mentioned this previously about how I had an issue figuring out what time period the characters are in, well that was addressed in this book. I really can’t say anything negative about the art. Just as Radical has done in the past with series books, this one seems to be getting better as it goes on.

Overall, I like the second of this series and the third offering is just as good. I want to know what happens to this family of lawman who tried to escape out of the crime world only to move into another one with different rules. Jump on this freight train of a story and follow it along. It will be a worthy ride. In my humble opinion, get the first one, the second one, this one and the next one to come out. I give this 5 caps out of 5.

Abattoir #4

Abattoir #4
Radical comics
Written by Rob Levin & Troy Peteri
Art by Wayne Nichols & Rodell Noora

Ok, I reviewed the third book of this six series set about a month ago and said that you should read this set and don’t read it alone. Well, the fourth book came out and I got to read it. The main character now knows who’s pulling the strings on what’s happening to him and is trying to link him to what’s going on. With each step forward of what he’s doing, it takes him into a darker place than the one he just left. As always, I’m trying not to let out too much of the story. Like I said, this is good.

Just as before, the writing makes sense and fits for what’s going on. The accents are there to give each character their own voice. And just like before, they resonate with you (you can hear them after you’re done reading. Or is that me that just hears voices?). The art has that same dark overtone but, with the writing, it seems just a little more bit darker. Making sure this journey takes you to that place you know you have to go but don’t want to go there.

Overall, my opinion hasn’t changed on this series and this book carries that along. You care for the main character and want him to get back to normalcy in his life. You want to know who this villain is and why is he destroying this persons life and what is the end game. Each action taken makes sense, as if you were in that person’s shoes and struggling to dig your way out. In my humble opinion, get this book and the rest of the series and don’t read it alone. I give it 5 caps out of 5.

The Terminator 2029-1984

Dark Horse Books
Written by Zach Whedon
Art by Andy MacDonald

There’s something to be said about taking a good idea and expanding on it. About half of the time, it works and you get something that adds to the storyline or expands on the existing world that has been created. Reading this book, I can say that this book did just that. The story starts in the year 2029, about a few weeks before the first movie takes place. It gives the story of Kyle Reese and why he was picked to go back in time. But it also introduces us to a character named Ben, and I have to stop there because if I go further, I’ll give a lot away (and I know you don’t want that).

Reading through this book, it gave me more insight to what brought the movies, books and stories on. I can see how the people got involved when they did and what brought them to the point they were at when the first movie came on or anything else that I’ve seen or read. Needless to say, I thought the writing was really well done. It was able to flow from the future and then back to the past. When you see the art, it looks bright and colorful. In some areas, I didn’t think that fit with the story but beyond that, it did add to the story in some areas and the paneling worked for what they were trying to portray.

Overall, I liked what the book was adding to the myth of the Terminator future (even though we passed the date that Skynet was supposed to go live, I think we’re safe now. Or are we?). This is one that you want to pick up and read. I was able to get over the one fact that I pointed out pretty easy. Get this, enjoy it and if you’re a fan of the other writings, movies, books or whatever, you’ll like this. In my humble opinion, this is one to read. I give it 4 caps out of 5.

Ryder on the Storm #3

Ryder on the Storm #3
Radical Comics
Written by David Hine
Art by Wayne Nichols & Hugo Petrus

This was an interesting read for me. Like some of my other reviews, I was just handed this book to review and wasn’t sure what happened in the first two books. As you may have guessed, this was the climax of the story and there’s one word that I can use to describe the final battle, gooey (you’ll understand when you read it). Just to give you a quick back story without blowing the whole thing for you, Ryder has figured out that he’s one of the alien race and he needs to stop the queen mother anyway he can. He still is getting help from Monk and has to figure out how to finish the job. I don’t want to give too much away; I really did like the premise of the story.

Now, this is the sixth or seventh book from Radical that I’ve reviewed and they have a certain style to them; that comes across in this book both for the art and the story telling. Most of the time, like in this book, it does work. The story flows and they tell you what’s going on in Ryder’s head when you need to know (like when he’s trying to rationalize something while saying something else). The art is detailed just enough to have a good feel but still give you the feeling that something’s just not right. Things just worked on this book, whether by plan or luck, I can’t say.

This book shows that when you have a good company putting good faith in their writers, artists and everyone, you’ll get a good product. This book was well written and makes me want to know what happened in the first two books. I’ll give you the heads up that this is not for young children, again, figure teens and above. In my humble opinion, get the first two before reading this then get this. I give it 3.5 caps out of 5.

Turok Son Of Stone Volume 8

Turok Son of Stone Volume 8
Dark Horse Archives
Written by Paul S. Newman
Art by Alberto Giolitti

Some would say that we lose some of our comic book heritage every day due to books being lost to age, accidents or parents cleaning out rooms and attics. My uncle told me of all the Green Lanterns he threw away when he was getting ready to enlist into the military (I’m still trying to forgive him for that). But thankfully, some of the companies out there are trying to help save some of them. Dark Horse has done that. They own the rights to the Turok stories. I read the latest volume and I’m thrilled they did. We can see where our heroes come from.

The art is very old school (even before school had a name) and still matches up to some of the stuff that’s out there now. It’s detailed, fits the stories and brings the characters to life. Now, the writing is good but you can see the stereotype of the time, teen sidekick, sometimes causes problems that Turok has to resolve. But to me, I can see the line from comics have come from to where they are now. Even the panels are basic; this is before splash pages were widely used (to be honest, I don’t think I saw a full page spread in the entire book). Now, this book has more than just the Turok stories. Back in the day, GOLD KEY would use the comic to teach a little more about something with the comic. They would give information on what they think cavemen would do for hunting or gathering, making clothes, stuff like that.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book (hardcover, no less). For me, I can see how some of the writers and artists of today would become inspired and go into comics by looking at and reading stories like these. Or some of the other classic characters, how they would see that and say, “I want to do that,” Or “I wound what would happen if . . .” If you want to take a trip back in the comic book time, get this book because it is worth it, in my humble opinion. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Star wars Jedi: The Dark Side #1

Star wars Jedi: The Dark Side #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Scott Allie
Art by Mahmud Asrar
“A long, long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away . . .” If any of you out there doesn’t recognize this quote, turn in your geek card right now. We all know this starts every Star Wars movie ever made. The term is iconic as a lightsaber, X-wings, and droids. The movies have spawned multiple comics, books and just about everything else you can think of. So, when this was placed in my inbox, I really wanted to read it. This book didn’t fail to keep me entertained.

Let’s start with the art; the art was not the super-detailed that’s goes out sometimes but looking through this story, I don’t think it would have added to what they are trying to portray. Each character comes off the page, the colors fit to what we know of their universe and you can feel the flash of the sabers going by you as you read. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with the writers of Dark Horse and I wasn’t this time. Everything worked and the voices you know are there. Each panel flows into the next one so you don’t get lost. I really enjoyed this one.

Now, this is a typical first book of a series, so there’s not much as to know what’s going on. The foundation is being laid for the rest of the galaxy to be filled in. I don’t think you’ll want to skip out on this one. In my humble opinion, if you get this book, you’ll keep reading the rest as they come out, I know I will. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Planet of the Apes: The Long War Part 1

The Planet of the Apes brand has had it’s ups and downs. The original movie series, a few are considered classics others, not so much. Tim Burton did a remake that wasn’t received so well. Well, Boom has come out with a comic that goes back before the basic movie. This shows the base of why humans end up under the thumb of the Ape Nation. This has been approached in one movie but it wasn’t done that well, in my opinion. (I have to say this, reading it, I had that one classic line from Charlton Heston running through my mind, “Get your stinking paws off me you damned dirty apes!”)

Reading through this, the writing was good, it told me what I needed to know to have a solid idea on what’s going on, just in case I didn’t see the movies. They didn’t have any ape sounds, which I’m not sure if it would have added or taken away from the story and there were no accents, something I think would have helped. The art has a gritty feel to it, taking you into a world that isn’t ours, that has that uneasy feeling between the two inhabitants, to me it added and worked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to this series succeeding and expanding on the classic idea. Other than the point I made about the lack of accents and the ape calls, this was a good read that is setup the way a first edition should be, introduce you to the characters, situation and the conflict. In my humble opinion, you should get this and follow along on the ride as everything starts coming to light in the future issues. I give it 4 caps out of 5.

Abattoir #5 of 6

Radical Comics
Written by Rob Levin & Troy Peteri
Art by Hugo Petrus

I’ve just read the fifth installment of the Abattoir series. The first ones that I read were good and this one lived up to the expectations left by the others. This one doesn’t deal directly with Richard Ashwalt as the other two did, but it does start giving you a background as to who’s at the root of the issue and is setting you up for the main climax of the story. In this one, all you really need is the eerie music going on in the background to help scare you out of your wits.

I could go on about the technical areas of this book, but that would be a tad redundant. Everything flows from the last book going into this one. The writing is at the same level, drawing you into a world that, I don’t think any of us wants to go into. The art has that dark, edgy feeling to it from the last issues. You feel yourself being sucked in (you want to start looking over your shoulder as you read, just to make sure). Once you look at the cover, you’re drawn in. All around, this is a good book to go with a good series.

Ever since the first book of this series was given to me, I’ve been impressed with it. This one didn’t fail either. I can’t stress that enough. If you liked the first four, you’ll want to get this one. As always, you’ll find someone to read this with you, so you’re not alone. The way this is going, I have no idea how it’s going to end and I really like that. In my humble opinion, get this book. It’s worth it; if Radical puts this out as a single issue or a trade, get it now. I give it 5 caps out of 5.