Saturday, May 28, 2016


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Friday, May 27, 2016

REVIEW: Zone Continuum

Script and art: Bruce Zick

Good science fiction seems to be a rarity in the world of comics. There's an abundance of mediocre-to-okay sci-fi books, but very few that really stand out in a sea of uninspired newsprint. The Zone Continuum stands out, not only in the field of science fiction but in comics as a whole.

The Zone Continuum spins the tale of The Dar, a long-lived race that coexists with man, unbeknownst to the human race. Environmental hazards and man-made catastrophe creates 'Zones' in the electromagnetic field around the earth. They are invisible to man and will kill any Dar who passes between the barrier separating the zones. Talon is the Dar who leads Zone 27 and endeavors to find a way to breach the barrier between his Zone and the adjacent one containing his wife, Paris.
Forever separated by their respective zones, this true love kept apart in Shakespearean tragedy is not a new theme but has certainly not been done like this before.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Free Comic Book Day Pt.2

Free Comic Book Day is like my nerd Christmas. I get free comics and any store worth its salt is running all sorts of sweet deals and giveaway promotions.  I was a bit nonplussed about this year’s selection, but who am I to bitch about what companies are giving me for free?  
I hit up 2 comic shops, 1 wannabe nerd store and my local library for my FCBD adventure and came away with a couple handfuls of freebies and a fat stack of 25-cent/Dollar Box finds.
And a $5 Tick tpb.

So without further ado . . .

Mix Tape 2016

Writers: Josh Blaylock, Mike Baron, Team Ash, Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus
Artists: Matt Merhoff, Val Mayerik, Team Ash, David Hahn

Mix Tape is an anthology book produced by the fine folks at Devil's Due and 1First Comics and serves to showcase some of their flagship books.

The first short is a preview of Mercy Sparks: Year One, which I intuit to be an origin story . . . as are most year one titles.
Mercy is your archetypical sexy devil girl with a rockabilly punker look and is apparently employed by Heaven as a bounty hunter. I've not read any of her comics aside from this preview. I really hope they're good because I've got the full set headed my way courtesy of the Kickstarter. This short doesn't really give you much other than Mercy as a child wandering around the hellish land of Sheol and meeting up with Karduk, a burly Sumerian biker who seems to be a mentor figure.

Free Comic Book Day Pt. 1

This year when I, Art Bee, looked at the list for FCBD, I cringed. The majority of the comic books looked like they were aimed at children so boo-hoo for us adults. I am very jealous of my daughter, because she won a raffle for one copy of every FCBD book. A couple of the comic books picked are very good the others, the majority are not. I will be reviewing some of the ones I picked and a few of my daughter’s. I tried to get her to review a couple but she got embarrassed. Let’s get started.

The Stuff of Legend

Story:  Mike Raicht & Brian Smith
Illustrations:  Charles Paul Wilson III
Design and Colors:  Jon Conkling & Michael DeVito

This is the reprinting of another FCBD comic book for the first volume of this title. They claim it is to honor their current readers in anticipation of the fifth volume. This seems a little strange. Why reprint a free comic of the first volume to promote your fifth volume?

This story seems to be aimed at children and looks to be a Toy Story recreation with an element of horror. The story features a little boy, whom is kidnapped by the Boogie-Man, and the boy’s toys have to mount a rescue attempt.

Even though the artistry is fantastic, the story really sucks. The toys discuss and debate which of them is going on the mission for far too long. There is no way a child would stay focused long enough on this debate, and as something of an adult, I did not want to finish it due to its childishness.

Friday, May 6, 2016

REVIEW: Bloodlines #1 of 6

Script: J.T. Krul
Pencils: V. Ken Marion
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Review: Art Bee

You may have gathered that I am not much of a DC fan. Looking back through my other reviews, I only noticed two DC reviews in my three years with the HCB. At my LCBS I happened to notice Bloodlines #1 and #2 from DC sitting on the shelf. The covers were striking, and after flipping through the first issue, I decided to give this six part mini-series a try.

Honestly, my opinion on this book is really split. It has an average story, intriguing characters, and some amazing artwork but has some faults as well. I will warn you now, there is going to be a couple of minor spoilers.

The first thing I would point out is towards the editing. On page 6 in the last panel, one of the main characters says, “You don’t want my back. Trust me. Five more years, it’s going look like a pretzel.” It should read ". . . it's going TO look like a pretzel." This is the second time in a month I have addressed editing issues in comics, although the other one was in a comic book from the late 90s.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

REVIEW: Ragnarok #8

Writer and artist: Walt Simonson
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: John Workman

Caveat: I'm a fan of Walt Simonson, so this'll probably end up being a fairly biased piece.
He's been a part of some of my favorite comics, starting with Marvel's old school Star Wars book, through the classic 1980s X-Factor and latter day works like Judas Coin (which I say very nice things about right here). A fine resume to be certain, but arguably Simonson's finest work is his epic run on Marvel's Thor. In addition to gracing readership with creations like Malekith, Beta Ray Bill, Skurge with a machine gun, and Frog Thor, that particular stretch of comics spotlighted how adept a storyteller Walt Simonson is. 

IDW is doing The Allfather's work in bringing us Walt Simonson's Ragnarok, which spins the tale of undead Thor in the ruins of Asgard after the Norse apocalypse.
If that hook doesn't sell you on this book, you must hate fun because this comic is a nonstop action-packed thrill ride.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

REVIEW: Rough Riders #1

Creator & Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Patrick Olliffe
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Review: Art Bee

Once again my LCBS owner has talked me into purchasing and reviewing a comic book. Rough Riders #1 was featured and highly recommended by Shawn, owner of Comics Cubed in Kokomo, IN. After finishing this jewel, my eyes are opened. This story of historical fiction blended with some steampunk qualities is something very special.

This is the story of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt before he was ever the President of the United States. If any readers are not familiar with history, allow me to briefly educate you. On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine, a US battleship, was attacked and sunk near Havana, Cuba. The ship had been sent to protect U.S. citizens and property after anti-Spanish rioting in Havana ( During the war Teddy Roosevelt resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to form his own voluntary cavalry group called the Rough Riders, which included a diverse group of cowboys, miners, law enforcement officials, and Native Americans (