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REVIEW: Decoy Menagerie Part 2

October 20th, 2006 12:14pm by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

It isn't easy being green for either Kermit the Frog or Decoy the little alien. Both have seen better days.

Everyone knows that Kermit is a Muppet and that Muppets are waning in popularity. Fewer know that Decoy is a malleable, green alien whose word balloons are cluttered with what looks like chicken scratch, and who is the companion of a cop nicknamed Luck.

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REVIEW: Anderson PSI Division: Shamballa

October 13th, 2006 6:49am by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

Levitating nuns? Frogs hatching from meteorites? People attacked on the streets by wild, supernatural animals? What's happening in Mega-City One? It's the job of Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson to answer that question in a graphic novel entitled Anderson PSI Division: Shamballa.


For those not familiar with the character, Cassandra Anderson comes to readers from the cast of 2000 AD Books' Judge Dredd mythos. It's not a body of work with which I'm overly familiar, but I'm glad I took the time to get to know this particular piece of it.

Written by Alan Grant, Shamballa combines science fiction, high adventure and horror to produce a story as chilling as it is exciting to read. Grant's well-paced storytelling keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. His characterization also hits home, especially where the main character is concerned.

Cassandra seeks to cope with the death of people close to her, a task made all the more difficult considering the tendency of her telepathic abilities to deepen those relationships. Add to these personal struggles the madness going on around her and Anderson becomes an almost classic tragic figure.

As superior as Grant's work is, however, Shamballa is made all the more impressive by the work of artist Arthur Ranson. Ranson has a photorealistic style that is one of the best ever seen in comics or graphic novels. In my opinion, the gentleman's attention to detail, which incorporates very fine line work and amazing textures, can be classified as second-to-none, if such a classification exists. If it doesn't, it should be created just for him.

If there is a drawback to Shamballa, it is that those unfamiliar with the world of Judge Dredd will not have any background on the characters. It's a small fault, however, and won't distract from the story much, if at all.

Anderson PSI Division: Shamballa is highly recommended. Find it at comics shops and online auctions or retailers.
Mark Allen

REVIEW: The Man from Krypton

October 6th, 2006 1:24pm by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review by guest reviewer, Dr. Jon Suter

Superman has received considerable attention recently; the original Superman died heroically in the comic book series "Infinite Crisis" and the movie "Superman Returns" vanished from theaters faster than a speeding bullet. Another film, "Hollywood-land", about the death of the actor who played Superman on television is about to open. Less newsworthy, but perhaps more important, is a growing body of serious criticism of the character.

Two publishers, Open Court and Benbella Books, have series that examine popular culture. Open Court is a respected publisher of philosophy books; Benbella is a relative newcomer. A recent title in Benbella's "Pop Smart" series is Glenn Yeffeth's anthology, The Man from Krypton: A Closer Look at Superman. (Dis-claimer: your reviewer is somewhat biased since one of his students is represented in the collection.)

Although 18 of the 20 essays in the book are new, it would be worth its cost ($17.95) just to have a good copy of Larry Niven's classic 1971 essay, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex". Niven's essay has had a profound effect on the chroniclers of Superman's exploits, and has to be taken into account to explain that mysterious youngster in "Superman Returns".

The topics in the "Pop Smart" series are very similar to Open Court's "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series. Tom Morris's "Superheros and Philisophy: Truth, Justice and the Socratic Way" contains two important essays on Superman: Mark Waid's "The Truth about Superman", and Felix Tallon and Jerry Walls's "Superman and Kingdom Come". There is an interesting essay; "The Super-Man: Displaying the Incarnation in Superman", in Roy M. Anker's "Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies" (Eerdmans, 2004). Anker's essays cover everything from The Godfather to French and Polish movies with religious themes. The book came out too soon to include "Superman Returns" which recycles some of the religious motifs of the first Superman movies.

Interested in the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and Action Figure Museum? Go to fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

Shudder at Michael Vance's "Light's End" audiotapes narrated by legendary actor William Windom. Star of 18 Broadway plays, 200 TV shows (Murder She Wrote, Star Trek, etc) & 50 movies, Windom will chill you as Vance's prose curdles your blood! Light's End #1: "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposes" or #2: "Fall Guy" and "The Zoo" plus the song "The World Roars On". $10 unsigned. $20 signed by Windom and Vance. Cassette or CD from: Vance, 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104, or www.starbase21OK.com!

REVIEWS: On the Shelves 10/4/06

October 4th, 2006 5:40am by ComicList Email

On The Shelves: 10/04/06, by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Reprinted courtesy of Comic Book Commentary.

Reading is fundamental. Don't waste your time reading bad comics out of habit!

I finally stopped by Midtown Comics last night and got caught up on four weeks of comics, including Civil War #4, which pretty much sucked as bad as many people are saying. After a six-week hiatus, my weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 10/4/06, returns. Hopefully I'll start here and ease back into a groove over the next few weeks, at least until NaNoWriMo starts! The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE WEEK



Strange Girl #11

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REVIEW: David: The Shepherd's Song

September 29th, 2006 11:16am by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

David: The Shepherd's Song, published by Cross Culture Entertainment, 72 pages, $8.99.

It would seem that more and more creators are figuring out how to produce Biblically-based comics that are fun to read and a blast to look at. Add Royden Lepp's David: The Shepherd's Song to that list.


The account of a young shepherd boy, destined to be king of Israel, is masterfully told in this extremely entertaining volume, distributed by Vida Enter-tainment. Presented in "flash-back" form, as an adult David hides out in a cave from a murderously jealous King Saul, David addresses his life as a boy-shepherd, his first encounter with the prophet Samuel, his anointing as king and Saul's fall from grace.

Creator Royden Lepp shows off his skills as writer and artist in this book, and hits a home-run on both counts. Young David's fearless demeanor when dealing with the threat of would-be predators to his flock, the derision of his brothers at his anointing and the desperation of Saul to get back into the Lord's graces all share one thing; fantastic characterization. Lepp brings these individuals to life in an engrossing manner that is second to none. Where David is concerned, he even throws in a little adolescent overconfidence during a confrontation with a very big, very angry lion.

And it works.

His artwork only sweetens the deal, as Royden's sense of energy, drama and perfect pacing pull the reader in from start to finish. The flashback sequences are a great fit and not forced. The action is exciting, even frantic, but never out of place. And the characters, despite their "cartoony" quality (especially young David) are amazingly expressive and easily relatable. The long and short of it? Royden Lepp is a master storyteller, and I, for one, can't wait for the next installment. Bring on Goliath!

David: The Shepherd's Song is recommended for all readers. Ask for it at comics shops, and look for it at online retailers and auctions, as well as www.communitycomics.com .

Review by Mark Allen

For information on the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and Action Figure Museum go to fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

REVIEW: Bill Mauldin's Army

September 22nd, 2006 1:36pm by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

Funny books aren't always funny. They are capable of fully exploring the human condition, including the heights of selfless love and the depths of war.

Bill Maudlin became the most famous cartoonists of his generation by recording his first-hand experiences of the bone-weary drudgery and horror of World War II. He continued his long and illustrious career as an editorial cartoonist, and humor was rarely his focus unless one includes the black sub-genre of haha.


Bill Maudlin's Army is a huge collection of his war cartoons from boot camp, through the fighting in Sicily and Germany, and to de-mobilization as hundred of thousands of soldiers returned home. It is bluntly, painfully honest. Glory is even more rare than haha as his two most famous soldiers, Willie and Joe, trudge through the mud and stench of war.

Mauldin's heavy line, flawless composition, attention to human expression, the environment, and his unromantic treatment of misery is perfect for his single-panel cartoons. His use of pen and grease-pencil is distinctive and powerful.

Mauldin's dialog is brutally real as his soldiers battle hunger, thirst, dirt, disease, the weather, loneliness, fear and Germans. It is difficult to tell which was the greatest threat; you may suspect the unrelenting toil of just staying alive when it seems that everything is conspiring to kill you.

This record of the history of common men and women in un-common times surely captures the feel of the war as well as any history book, documentary, or movie.It is true that time has made some of the slang obscure, but has not erased the importance of Mauldin's work. This volume is highly recommended. MV

Bill Maudlin's Army/383 pgs., William Sloane Associates, original publication, 1951/available at on-line and storefront used bookstores and at on-line auctions.

Bill Maudlin is a member of the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection.

Order Vance's history of the American Comics Group in Alter Ego #61 at www.twomorrows.com.

Interested in the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and Action Figure Museum? Go to fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

Shudder at Michael Vance's "Light's End" audiotapes narrated by legendary actor William Windom. Star of 18 Broadway plays, 200 TV shows (Murder She Wrote, Star Trek, etc) & 50 movies, Windom will chill you as Vance's prose curdles your blood! Light's End #1: "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposes" or #2: "Fall Guy" and "The Zoo" plus the song "The World Roars On". $10 unsigned. $20 signed by Windom and Vance. Cassette or CD from: Vance, 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104, or www.starbase21OK.com!

REVIEW: The Hire

September 15th, 2006 11:17am by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

The Hire, published by Dark Horse, 104 pages, $17.95.

Need to get from point A to point B as fast and as safely as possible? Need a read that jacks up your adrenaline level with adventure, humor and mayhem?

The answer to both needs is the same: The Hire. Based on web episodes found at www.bmwfilms.com, The Hire trade paperback collects the four-issue mini-series from Dark Horse Comics about a gentleman simply referred to as "The Driver." His talent? He's the best there is behind the wheel, when you absolutely, positively have to get where you're going.


Let's start with the obvious appeal; The Hire is as much an adrenaline rush as a comic book can be. And, while it's admittedly light on characterization, by it's very nature as an action story, the individual writers do manage to keep the
characters from being boring.

Did I say "individual writers"? I sure did. That's another appealing factor of this book. It's written by some of the biggest names in comics, including Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, Bruce Campbell, Kurt Busiek and Steven Grant. Seeing all of these writers put The Driver through his paces in their own unique way, back to back no less, would be a thrill for most any comic fan.

Keeping with the "anthology" feel of the book, each story also sports a different fan-favorite artist. Matt Wagner (penciling his own story), Kilian Plunkett, Claude St. Aubin and Francisco Ruiz Velasco all put their mark on this BMW property.

So, the long and short of it? If you're looking for something that's fun to read and showcases many different creative styles, The Hire is for you. And, even being largely a "wait for the trade" kind of guy,I'll still recommend any of the single issues, as they all stand alone very well. And, let's face it, no creator is everyone's "cup of tea."

The Hire is recommended for all readers. Find it at comics shops and online comics retailers and auctions.
Mark Allen

Shudder at Michael Vance's "Light's End" audiotapes narrated by legendary actor William Windom. Star of 18 Broadway plays, 200 TV shows (Murder She Wrote, Star Trek, etc) & 50 movies, Windom will chill you as Vance's prose curdles your blood! Light's End #1: "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposes" or #2: "Fall Guy" and "The Zoo" plus the song "The World Roars On". $10 unsigned. $20 signed by Windom and Vance. Cassette or CD from: Vance, 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104, or www.starbase21OK.com!

REVIEW: Roger Rabbit #1

September 8th, 2006 1:26pm by ComicList Email

Suspended Animation Review

Phu-phu-puh-puh-leeeze! That now old adage, "Comics Aren't Just for Kids Anymore", is not an exclusionary statement! It means that that there are comic books for adults and kids!

Ta-ta-ta-take, for example, Roger Rabbit, featuring that big, flop-eared mess from the huge motion-picture hit, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", of some years ago.


Some years ago? you ask as you impatiently thump a foot. You mean you're reviewing an old comics series again, Mr. Reviewer? Man, don't you read anything new?

Be still, gentle reader. It never hurts to point out that one of the joys of reading and/or collecting comic books is that they remain available today in the back-issue bins of comics shops and on on-line auctions, and every title is new for you if you haven't read it.

As we travel into Toontown, our overenthusiastic rabbit opens the first issue of his debut title at the Ink and Paint Club where his voluptuous wife, "bad" girl Jessica, croons in that skin-tight red dress she always wears. The club is in shambles.

Ah, a mystery for Roger to solve!

There is no mystery, however, about why Rober Rabbit works as a comic book. This is the movie performed on a paper stage, and every-one and everything is in character. The manic, slapstick, cartoon energy of Toontown played against real-world humans is perfectly recaptured by the artistic team. And that means nutty fu-fu-fun for everyone!

All Roger Rabbit issues are recommended for the young and the young at heart who wish to escape the mundane world. MV

Roger Rabbit #1 (1990)/26 pages and originally $1.50, Disney Comics/ lead story--words: Kate Worley, pencils: Rick Hoberg, inks: Dave Simons/sold at comics shops and on-line auctions.

Kate Worley and Dave Simons are members of the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection inside the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.

Order Vance's history of the American Comics Group in Alter Ego #61 at www.twomorrows.com.

Interested in the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and Action Figure Museum? Go to fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

comixology

The Acronyms List

AR -
Ask retailer for price
BD -
Blu-ray Disc
CCG -
Collectible card game
CD -
Compact disc
DVD -
Digital versatile disc
FCBD -
Free Comic Book Day
GN -
Graphic novel
HC -
Hardcover
HD -
High definition
LCG -
Living Card Game
MMPB -
Mass market paperback
PVC -
Polyvinyl chloride
RPG -
Role playing game
SC -
Softcover
TBD -
To be determined
TCG -
Trading card game
TP -
Trade paperback
UDA -
Upper Deck Authenticated
WDCC -
Walt Disney Classics Collection
WS -
Widescreen

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About ComicList

ComicList was founded Jan. 12, 1995 with the mission of empowering comic book consumers by providing accurate and timely information. By delivering the weekly list of new releases, along with news concerning current and future products available in local and online comic book shops, we enable consumers to meet their goals more effectively.

The new releases list, which details the comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and other products you will find in your local and online comic book shops, is posted weekly every Monday night. Our site also offers the latest news, previews, and reviews, updated every day.

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Reviewer In Chief: Brandon Borzelli

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