Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Jenny Everywhere: Merry Christmas Everywhere

It would be poor form for me not to come out with anything this festive season, so here's a Jenny Everywhere comic for your time.

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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Warhammer 40'000: Deadly Preconception

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A little fan comic I wrote for a project last year that just seemed to burn out. Credit where its due to Shinmusashi44 who came up with the initial idea and provided the character concepts. A real learing experience (again) this one, and I plan to follow it up with a few other unused scrips from the project.

A great example of 'once you have the characters the story writes itself', I like the characters from this one so much that I might have to cop out and have them saved in the nick of time in a future strip, I'd love to do a 40k space opera with them.

And finally.

This work is intended as a tribute to Games Workshops IP. Warhammer 40k, Tyranids, Zoats and Imperial Guard and all related to it is (c) Games Workshop.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Canon Fodder Dark Matter Review

Since Dark Matter was bagged with this months Judge Dredd Megazine and Canon Fodder is one of those characters I love that you can't find anything of anywhere, lets do a quick review of this tale of gun toting holy men shall we.

Dark Matter is the second and sadly final Canon Fodder tale, lovely art drawn by Chris Weston who was also one of the artists on Indigo Prime below. Weston's is great at even just drawing mediocre stuff which is why he's often he's included on tales with fantastical monsters and landscapes, which is put to good use in Dark Matter.

The premise is a bonkers one, Judgment Day comes and God's a no show so its left to the Priest Patrol to enforce the law on the 'sinners', Fodder may be close to a two dimensional character, rather like a holy Duke Nukem, but its rare to see a protagonist who's not only religious, but militantly so. In many other sci-fi and fantasy worlds Fodder would be portrayed as a villain, but here we are rooting him on, kicking “heathen butt”. Also Fodder bizarrely mirrors Philip Glenster's portrayal as Gene Hunt from Life on Mars, despite being published nearly a decade before.

All in all the story takes to its settings strengths and weaves a rather unorthodox tale that doesn't outstay its welcome, even Fodders 'love interest' goes against what we usually have for stock characters in comic books.

The worst part about the book? Its the fact that due to the ownership issue between Mark Millar and 2000ad, we probably won't be seeing any more from the character. Rest in Peace Canon Fodder. Amen.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Legend of Jenny Everywhere Part 3

Here it is, the third and final part, hope you enjoy it

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Ten Points for every reference you spot, also the pub at the end is based on a real pub in Edinburgh, nice place, look it up if you ever visit.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Complete Indigo Prime Review

I'd known about Indigo Prime for quite a while after the trade was first released, and characters Winwood and Cord made an appearance at the end of John Smiths so-so recent 2000ad strip Dead Eyes, but despite being about one of my favorite subjects, parallel universes, I'd not had the chance to pick it up. Until now.

The title 'The Complete Indigo Prime' is a bit of a misnomer, its still missing the text stories and the Future Shock strip that it first appeared in, but we still get the crux of the series, starting with Freelance agents Fervent and Lobe. Be advised, Indigo Prime isn't about parallel universes in the traditional sense that things like Luthor Arkwrite were, Its less about Alternative Realities and more about different planes of existence. In this sense its quite similar to Planescape. The book contains several stories, so we'll look at them one at a time, to examine the whole.

Fervent & Lobe kicks us off, and immediately is a bit difficult to follow to begin with, being mixed with a post adventure stage play taking place in flash forward. While a bit over the place, F&L has an interesting trip to hell and is a humorous story that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Next up we have a one off intro to Indigo Prime proper, not much to say about this story really, other than it helps us understand the characters world a bit better.

The we have Winwood and Cords first outing., another small one with not much to talk about. It is a nice surreal time travel yarn, with Chris Heston's art bringing out the strangeness of the characters.

Following on we have Ferdigo & Brecht's one and only outing. The story is too short to get a feel of the characters, so I can't honestly say weather or not I'd like to see more of them. It is a nice little fable about commercialism however.

Spinning off from F&L we have Almaranda's solo strip. Again, not much to say about this one, the arts nice but it merely feels like an extended Future Shock.

Holiday on Ice brings us Fervent & Lobe's second outing, which is really when the book starts to kick in. The story is a nice grisly and surreal tail, with humour and mystery abound. Quite a few British cultural references pop up, with a deformed and mutilated Alan Bennett being the most disturbing one.

Last but not least is Killing Time, the story that makes the whole book worth it. Killing Time is a nice supernatural time travel mystery thriller. Winwood and Cord get put to good use and we really get a feel for the characters. The story is paced well enough so we get some brooding menace throughout, and wraps it up in a thrilling finale. While the ending might be a bit confusing, everything else in the story is top dollar. The best part is the art, with the Indigo agents being colored differently to everything else as a subtle reminder that they are not quite a normal part of they're environment.

So there you go, while some of the stories are lacking the books worth buying just for Holiday on Ice and Killing Time, and I hope Indigo Prime's recent cameo in 2000ad means we'll be getting more in the future.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Legend of Jenny Everywhere Part 2

Well, here it is, Part 2 of my full colour Jenny Everywhere comic, seems like I've been working on it for ages. I'm more satisfied with the artwork this time round, it feels alot more polished and consistent.

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Stick around and hopefully part 3 will be done in a couple of months, and swoop by the shifer archive because we're still looking for people to contribute to the colaberative project we're working on.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Review: Queen and Country Definitive Edition Vol 1

I came across Queen and Country in the 500 Essential Novels and seeing it on the shelf in Traveling Man I was astounded to see how thick the volume was. Underneath was a recommendation from one of the staff members so I decided to pick it up during my grueling selection process I go through when it comes to buying comics.

Queen and Country is written by Greg Rucka, unbeknown to me, not a fellow countryman, which comes as the first highpoint for the comic. The story follows government operative Tara Chase and her colleagues and overvrlings on various missions of international security. Right away the series reminds me of TV series Spooks and was apparently inspired by old ITV series The Sandbaggers, it does have a low budget TV feel to it, and this is no bad thing.

To its credit the series is interesting and varied, its not over the top and a lot of the storyline is clever and sometimes quite deep, Tara's character is interesting and is layered enough to keep her interesting through the missions. The art is unconventional, this is good though, it makes the series stand out from something like 2000ad's recent Graysuit, and it doesn't hurt the tone at all, the shift in artist however does do a little bit of damage however.

The first arc drawn by Steve Rolston sees Tara as, while not unattractive, a bit of a plain Jane, she's not some buxom heroin but more of a regular girl in less than regular circumstances, which is a nice change to the usual action girl stereotype. By the second arc Brian Hurtt draws Tara as being slightly more attractive, but she don't lose any of her previous aesthetics, visually you can see she is still the same character. Unfortunately, by the third arc Leandro Fernández draws Tara as a buxom action girl, always wearing tight revealing clothing. 'Oh dear' my mind thinks, the other characters stay pretty much the same, but the visual change of Tara is so jarring that it practically ruins the third arc, which is up to standard in all other respects.

Other than that Queen and Country is certainly worth it, and I didn't even know that Rucka was American till I'd finished the story. Its interesting comparing it to Hellsing, which is also a story about British intelligence (Though more unconventional) because Queen and Country has exactly what Hellsing lacks in being convincingly British, and thats where it scores points in my book.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Legend of Jenny Everywhere Part 1

Jenny's been previously mentioned here before, but if you want a quick catch up you can always visit here

First original Comic, by me, posted here, Which will do for now until a proper website comes around. Make sure you click on the images to enlarge them.

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Ok Storytimes over, Tune in soon for more reviews and Part 2.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

500 Essential Graphic Novels Review and Free Comic Book Day

500 Essential Graphic Novels – Gene Kannenberg Jnr

Doing a review of a book of reviews is a bit curious to say the least, but 500' was a far too interesting collection to miss. To be fair, the title's a bit of a misnomer, the book covers 100 graphic novels (which includes Collected editions too) with each having about four other 'Further Reading' attached, but thats OK, because what we do get is well worth the cover price.

The best part about the book is the fact that it covers the broad range of the comic book spectrum, giving us the top ten of Adventure, Non-Fiction, Crime, Fantasy, General, Horror, Humour, Sci-Fi, Superheros and War, nice because we get a look outside of the Cape and tights world, but also get to look at the best of that too. The book also is indiscriminate, putting Manga and European comics side by side by Genre, when it could have easily cop'd out and given Manga its own section.

The book is an excellent cataloger of comics to keep an eye out for, and each review is good enough to let you know weather it'll be for you or not. As its primary purpose 500' completes its objective flawlessly. However, as a bit of criticism there are some curious omissions and placements which stands out a bit. Hellsing is missing, and while I've pointed out that me myself am not entirely set on it just yet, it feels a bit wrong that its not there to make up the whole “Hell” triumvirate with Hellboy and Hellblazer. Also, Heart of Empire is included, but Luther Arkwright is relegated to the 'further reading' where in my opinion it is the better of the two books. Also, things like XIII are nowhere to be seen.

Then there's classification. Sandman is in Fantasy, yet the similar Hellblazer is in horror, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is in sci-fi, yet I would more likely put it under Adventure or Fantasy, The Pro, a superhero comedy, goes in Humour, yet Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, a war comedy, goes in War. Other similar examples are abound, but don't worry, It doesn't detract from the collection, and you could put it down to the wonderful broadness of the medium. All in all its worth buying if your a big fan of comic and want to find out what you haven't read yet.

Bonus Free Comic Book Day Review

In a move unusual to me, I decided to buy a few issues of this and that, just to see what the crack is, and pick up a few issues along the way. Here's what I found:

Battle For the Cowl: The Underground

Nice to see Batman's most famous foes pottering about as usual, The Riddler's a particularly likable protagonist in this, and puts him in good graces to be a potential foe in the next film.

Deadpool #9

After the slightly disappointing turn of events that was the Wolverine film, its nice to see that Deadpool's still on top form, him and Taskmaster lusting after Black Widow like nothing else matters is particularly hilarious.

Marvel Spectacular #2

Collection of three shorts, Citizen Cage was a pretty run of the mill “superhero on his day off” story, Galacta was a curious piece and the manga style art was an odd choice that really worked int the story's favour, Bloodstone was your standard monster killing action story but its nice to see that Elza hasn't been forgotten about since Nextwave.

Savage Dragon # 148

Good old fashioned ass kicking super heroics, reminds me of Jack Staff a bit, didn't sell the character to me so much that I'd want to go out and read the collections, but it's definitely got me keeping my eye on it.

Resurrection #0

Pretty much something that looks like a future shock out of 2000ad, to hard to call on what little we're given, also the bonus Tek Jansen strip was funny, but not that funny.

OK Until next time, set Phazers to FUN!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Quick Fire Recap: August 08 - April 09

Ok, So its been a while, I ain't done anything since summer, so to make up for it, here's quick fire reviews of all the comics I've read since Summer, which I was supposed to give you a rundown of back then, also stick around at the end for some special stuff.
Heart of Empire:

Sequel to The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, its a far more mainstream affair this time round, but the artwork is fantastic as usual, especially in vivid colour this time. Read it on an airplane making me feel slightly awkward when reading to sex scenes when there's a kid in the aisle next to you.

Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness:

Pretty good all round crossover, funny and frightening, Ash is far more likable than half the Marvel characters in the story, serves as a nice apocalyptic prequel to the first Marvel Zombies.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol 1 – 7:

Probably the best manga I've ever read, still ongoing. All the characters a likable, stand out and drive the plot, each of which is usually a clever unconventional murder mystery. The Jokes are actually funny, the art is great and not irritating or unsuited. Only one criticism and thats that the character development is rather slow, everything else is fantastic.

Batman: The Killing Joke:

Good but Short stuff from Alan Moore, nice little extra mini story by Brian Bolland in the back, worth every penny.

Marvel Zombies 2:

Far more sympathetic and whimsical than the first, still a great and interesting take on Marvel heroes, a worthy sequel.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier:

More of a “Fun Fax” than anything. Alan Moore has a great time messing around with literary characters, making it a little self indulgent. Storyline gets a bit derailed but its worth it for the 3D section at the end. Read it on an airplane making me feel slightly awkward when reading to sex scenes when there's a kid in the aisle next to you.

X-Men: Die by the Sword:

Quick story tying up all the loose ends from New Excalibur and Exiles, feels premature, characters aren't given enough room to breath, feels like your cheated out of a proper ending. Would have been greatly improved by just having the characters sitting in a pub talking about stuff. Not a great ending to Cap and Co's recent outings.

Alice in Sunderland:

Absolutely fantastic twist on the genre by Bryan Talbot. The graphic novel goes through Lewis Carol, British History and Comics in general. To say any more would be to do the work an injustice. Just get a copy and read it right away.

Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician:

Usual high standard of storytelling of Hellblazer, nice hark back to days like The Books of Magic and setting up of things to come.

Hellboy Vol 1 – 6:

Finally got round to picking up the much revered comic. Interesting, Unconventional and not what I thought it would be. Very, very clever and appeals to the part of me that likes learning things. Mignola always gives you as little more than what you usually do too.

XIII vol 1:

Finally tracked down the European comic after so long. Great old skool storytelling, a damn shame there's no plans to translate any further installments, I want to know what happens dammit!!

The Boys: Good For the Soul:

More great stuff from Ennis' Superhero satire. Keeps the high standard of dirty laughs from the previous volumes wile moving the story along nicely. More please.

Jenny Everywhere:

Open source comic book character, really fascinating idea, and real dedication from the community keeps her rolling along. Naturally some strips are lacking more than others, but its standout strips like “When Casting Calls” that really give the character a story worth telling. Contributed a story myself to the cannon, details below.

Nextwave:

Crazy awesome stuff from Warren Ellis, similar in vein to Transmetropolitan. A brilliant take on Marvels less known characters, I hope in the future there will be more to come.

Invincible: Ultimate Collection vol 1:

Fantastic postmodern take on the superhero genre. The twist on the superman origin is particularly brutal and it certainly leaves you wanting more. Nice cameos from a few characters, Ultimate Collection has a good load of extras in it too.

The Invisibles:

Grant Morrison's bizarre follow up to his surrealist take on Doom Patrol doesn't disappoint, and it certainly takes you to places no other comic series does. Brilliant characters, imaginative storytelling, mindfuck ending.

Warhammer 40'000: Fire and Honor:

Finally Boom Studios come out with an Imperial Guard story, and apart from being a little on the short side, It doesn't disappoint. The characters all act like its another day on the job, and theres some nice visual references to the 40k universe. The Tau are portrayed as being a tad unsympathetic however.

Captain Britain and MI:13: Secret Invasion:

Paul Cornell makes up for all of Clairmont's letdowns from Die By the Sword. MI:13 is a great follow up to Cornell's earlier Wisdom series and really stands out from the crowd and takes advantage of the British setting. Nice ensemble cast, has the potential to be really special in the future.

Hellsing vol 1:

Still on the fence with this English set manga, while its not stereotypically British like I expected, its certainly missing that British humor of things like Dog Soldiers and The Boys to make it stand out as convincing. Willing to give it time to breath however, Vol 1 was a little too action orientated, we'll see how it pans out in future volumes.

Sinister Dexter: Eurocrash:

Great collection of SinDex stories, Eurocrash is a fantastic crime tragedy story, a rare feat given that it originally ran in five page chapters. Mission to Mangapore lacks some of the drama but is certainly a fun ride.

Other Stuff.

Saw the Watchmen film, really enjoyed it yet can understand how its not for everyone. Half looking forward to the Wolverine film but not sure on the direction they're taking Deadpool. Been doing a lot of artwork myself, which can be found here: http://elpresedente.deviantart.com/ and contributed a Jenny Everywhere story which can be found at the bottom of the stories section here: http://theshifterarchive.com/ . Series I plan to read in the future are: Fables, Sandman, Strangers in Paradise, Strangehaven, Cable and Deadpool and Metabarons if I could find it anywhere, also exited about the new Phonogram series, which I am eagerly awaiting a collected edition of.

And I'm out, hopefully the gap between the next entry will not be as long. Cheerio!