Comic Review: Seconds

Everyone wants a do-over at some point in their lives. We’ve all had decisions we’ve made that we regret and want a second chance.

Seconds is one of those times where we get a peek at someone’s do-over, or rather do-overs. Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for the Scott Pilgrim series, writes this unique take on one chef’s do-overs through the power of magical mushrooms from her dresser drawer.

Yup. Mushrooms.

75cd77559a8ce52d0211db98c0ddaae5Katie is a young, talented chef whose life spirals out of her control. All she wants is a second chance, and these mushrooms are going to give it to her. Suddenly her life is perfect.That’s where the story starts to get even wilder than it already is.

O’Malley’s characters are fun, and the world is immersive. I’ve always loved his art style because it is expressive and detailed. It was easy to disappear into this world he created and I wanted to befriend the characters.

Nathan Fairbairn’s colors for this book are fantastic and make O’Malley’s world come alive.

Reading Katie’s story made me wonder if I ever wanted a second chance with any of my decisions. What are the rules with second chances? The rules are where Seconds shines, and that’s an area that is often unexplored when it comes to plots like this.

O’Malley’s unique take on second chances with Seconds makes this well worth the read. If you’re looking for a fun graphic novel, I recommend this without any hesitation.

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Comic Review: We Can Never Go Home

I picked this up because of the cover. Anything with a cassette tape on the front to remind me of the days when that’s how I collected and listened to music will attract me. Plus, one of the vendors at Boston Comic-Con recommended it. So why not take a chance?

We Can Never Go Home by Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Klindon, and Josh  Hood is quite the ride. Combine two teenagers, a stolen car, a mixtape, superpowers, and drugs, and you have We Can Never Go Home.

2I don’t want to give too much away.

Think of it like a dangerous road trip comic. And if you ever wanted to take a wild adventure from a small town in 1989, here’s a great way to do it. This comic covers so many genres, and music is an important aspect.

At the end of every chapter, there’s a playlist that is well worth listening to.

I enjoyed the story. It’s dark and kept me hooked from the beginning. I wanted to know how all of these details crossed and where the road trip would end up next.

The art and colors are awesome. Josh Hood did a great job capturing the script and setting the mood. All of the action is easy to follow but still, makes it feel chaotic. There are moments when the emotion-charged in the scene punches you in the gut.

I’d definitely recommend this to everyone that is following the resurgence of the 80s in pop culture right now. If you like Stranger Things, superpowers, and dangerous road trips, you should pick this up and give it a read.

Comic Review: Monstress

Resident Assistant training is finally over, and its syllabus week, which means I have time to write a review for one of the other comics I have most anticipated reading after Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Put Monstress on your radar, cause that’s what this week is all about.

Monstress vol. 1: Awakening is a comic I was drawn to because of the art. I’m a sucker for beautiful things, and the art reminded me of the detailed work of Bizenghast, a manga series I read in high school.

The artistic details of Monstress are gorgeous. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the monstress-vol-1featured image, or the ornate work on the cover. Artwork is such an important aspect to a graphic novel, that I couldn’t let this one drop off my radar. And after picking it up at Boston Comic Con, I was excited to read it as soon as I could. Congratulations to Sana Takeda for their flawless style for hooking me well before I picked this up.

Enough about the art (because I could go on about it forever).

Monstress drops  you into the middle of the action about the protagonist, Maika, and as a reader, you’re sort of unsure what’s happening at the start. The story is written and drawn that you’ll have enough information by volume one’s end to keep you coming back for more, and fill in the blanks from the beginning.

Maika is at the center of a number of magical incidents thanks to her mother. She spends quite a lot of time blasting herself out of captivity using her magic, and several weapons that she wields quite well despite missing one arm. Maika is formidable with her magic, and shouldn’t be messed with.

Marjorie Liu has created a wonderful story in the first volume (issues 1-6) of Monstress. I already can’t wait to read volume two. All of the characters have rich stories, and there is so much world-building. Its easy to be drawn in by more than just the art alone. Give Monstress a read if you are looking for a great fantasy read. Its well worth it.

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Comic Review: Rat Queens

Rat Queens had previously been recommended to me forever ago. I wish I could remember by who, but I’m sure I can easily assume it was another excellent recommendation by Katie or my buddies on Gamers with Jobs that pitched in when I started to create this reading list..

When I first heard Rat Queens, I thought they were some kind of sassy roller derby team. The sass I wasn’t wrong about, the sport was. Well, if you call being a mercenary team for hire, a sport.

The Rat Queens are quite the team made up of some rather formidable ladies. Hannah is rat-queens-vol-1-page-5an elven mage, Violet is a dwarf fighter, Dee is a human cleric, and Betty is the smidgen thief. Together, they battle monsters they’re hired to fight, and sass each other, the locals, and whoever else is within earshot. After one particular tavern brawl, the Rat Queens and ther other mercenary teams – Peaches, Four Daves, Brother Ponies, and Obsidian Darkness – are all forced to take tasks to benefit the village as their punishment.

I was curious where this story was going. The mercenary guild idea reminded me of playing Recettear.

While I’ve played a lot of video games in the fantasy genre, I haven’t consumed a lot of reading material. And many of the comics on my list tend to take place in a more contemporary setting.

Regardless, the art is phenomenal. Roc Upchurch does a great job painting the scenes, and the colors are beautiful. Its easy to tell all of the characters apart, and their designs speak well to each of their personalities.

The writing is full of so much sass. Kurtis J. Wiebe has quite the tart tongue for the Rat Queens’ dialogue.

Rat Queens has a beautiful and fresh take on a same-sex relationship. I’m already delving into the fandom to follow my favorite ships, same-sex and non. Now that I’m done with this first volume, I need to find the next two in order to find out what’s happening with my ships.

I recommend Rat Queens for anyone that wants adventure, battles, sass, and romance that doesn’t feel forced.

Comic Review: Kitty Pryde – Shadow & Flame

Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat is one of my favorite X-Men. But she’s constantly shortchanged in the movies where her storylines are given to Wolverine. The comics are were she gets far more attention.

One of the comics I’ve been looking forward to reading is Astonishing X-Men: Kitty Pryde – 657135Shadow & Flame. In this story, Kitty receives a letter from someone in Japan, where she hadn’t been since her time there with Wolverine. She decides to travel to Japan with her trusty dragon alien, Lockheed. Upon their arrival, Kitty notices a lot of cloak and dagger behavior, and decides to pursue her suspicions.

Kitty’s been dragged into a much larger plot than she anticipated. Shadowcat gets lost in her own memories and dreams as she recalls the last time she was in Japan when she was possessed by Ogun.

There’s a lot going on in this one-shot. Kitty shows off her ninja abilities and that she isn’t to be messed with. Her intelligence shines through as she solves everything thrown at her like its a walk in the park.

Akira Yoshida has done an amazing job doing Kitty’s character justice. And Paul Smith’s art is phenomenal with all of the action packed scenes.

If you’re a fan of Kitty Pryde like I am, or you like the X-Men, Shadow & Flame is worth reading.

Now if only Kitty got this much attention in the movies.

Comic Review: DC Bombshells

When I created my summer reading list, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just looking at the women of Marvel. DC deserved some love too.

51smenwjsll-_sx320_bo1204203200_Katie really came through in recommending this one (she basically came up with half the list so I have her to thank for some of my new favorite comics).

When I picked up DC Bombshells, I was enamored with the cover. Its a great introduction to the DC heroines battling in the 1940s during World War II. If that doesn’t get you reading, then I hope my review will get you to pick up DC Bombshells and give it a read.

With all the DC Dames in the 40s, the first section of volume one reminded me of League of Their Own with Batwoman taking center stage at a baseball game playing for the Gotham Knights. She fights crime deftly with her baseball bat in hand, and is enlisted to join the fight in Europe, leaving behind her beautiful girlfriend (who she writes letters to in her head).

Based off of 40s pinup art, the women that make up the DC Bombshells is an impressive list: Stargirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman,  Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and the aforementioned Batwoman, to name a few. They’re led by Amanda Waller, the head of Suicide Squad. Waller recruits many of these women to join the Bombshells and defend the homefront. And she was smart to pull these powerful women together.

I love the art and coloring of Bombshells. It has that nostalgic feel of the 40s pinup art, and preserves the look of the period piece.

The overall story is exciting and will keep you reading. I was hooked immediately, and each included issue didn’t let me down. You’ll get the backstories and the current situations of Supergirl & Stargirl, Wonder Woman & Mera, Batwoman, and Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy.

justice-league-43-bombsvariant-4c74eThere’s also a lot of merchandise for Bombshells like pint glasses, which are pretty neat.
And all of the covers for the comic look like 40s advertisements or war effort propaganda.

TL; DR: I highly recommend DC Bombshells for such a fun take on the DC women. The story by Bennett is fun, and the art by Suavage is awesome.

Comic Review: Paper Girls

Did you ever see the movie Now and Then? You know the one, with Rosie O’Donnell and Demi Moore, where its a huge flashback into their past starring Christina Ricci?

That movie.

papergirls_vol01-1Take that movie, throw in some supernatural elements, and you have Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan.

Or at least that’s the TL;DR version of how to describe Paper Girls.

The longer version is that four girls deliver the morning newspaper in their seemingly small town. And they run into some guys that give them some trouble on Halloween. They stick together in order to stay safe, when they run into some even bigger trouble.

You’re probably wondering where the stereotypical paperboys are, well, they’re not around. One of the paper girls took over her older brother’s paper route, and paved the way for her friends.

This book had been recommended to me by my nerd in crime, Katie, and a few other friends that said its a must read for my Summer List.

And I wasn’t disappointed. This book was a fun romp through the late 80s, and made me yearn for my childhood in the 90s.

The art by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson is amazing, and so is the coloring.

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Every moment in the story felt important, and pushed me to turn the page. When I finished volume one, I instantly wanted to rush out to the store and find volume two, or order the individual issues.

I can definitely echo Katie’s sentiments and say that Paper Girls is worth the read. I can’t wait to continue the story.