Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seven Questions with J. Tungol

This week I get a chance to interview Death to Dinksville creator J. Tungol. Death to Dinksville is an ongoing horror/mystery series that will leave you speechless at the end of every issue. J. Tungol was nice enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk about that and a whole lot more.

William: Your style in some ways reminds me of Charles M. Schultz on a bad acid trip, and Death to Dinksville is one of the more disturbingly awesome books I have had the pleasure of reading in some time. Who influences you artistically?

J. Tungol: I'd say the biggest influence on my artwork would be Robert Crumb, who actually dropped acid while he drew. I don't, but he did. To a lesser extent, I'd also have to say Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame, and he admitted that Charles Schultz was a big influence on him. So I guess you can say that I owe a debt to Schultz as well. But truthfully, I steal from everybody. Every artist has their strengths, you might as well learn from everyone you encounter.

William: The tagline on issue two states: "The Conspiracy-Zombie-Slasher-Whodunit". So far issues 1-3 have been heavy on the zombie/slasher with a little departure in issue three. When does the book start to focus more on the Conspiracy-Whodunit aspect of the story? What should your loyal readers expect to see in future issues?

J. Tungol: I think I touched on those aspects a little bit in chapter 3, with the introduction of Theodore (the conspiracy theorist) and the Red Cloak Killer, who is pretty much responsible for the virus outbreak and will be revealed in the penultimate chapter. The major dramatic question in a zombie story is "who will survive?" and the question for a whodunit story is "who is the killer?" Without going into specifics, I'll just say once my group of survivors is established, one of them will be the Red Cloak Killer.

William: I have to ask. I saw a Watchmen poster on Shogo's wall in issue one. Who is your favorite Watchmen character and why? What do you think about the upcoming Before Watchmen series by DC?

J. Tungol: One of the things that makes Watchmen a masterpiece is that each character is an archetype that we as comic book readers are familiar with. To isolate one of these characters is tough because each one is necessary. But... the fan favorite is Rorschach and I am in agreement. I'm actually excited about "Before Watchmen." I know a lot of Watchmen purists are not, but I am. One of the things that DC did that I like is that they didn't put all their eggs in one basket, by putting the project on one creative team. Even if Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons went through and did it themselves, I would be nervous. I'm looking at "Before Watchmen" as supplementary material and not a full blown sequel/prequel. And with DC dividing up the characters to various creative teams, they are hedging their bets.

William: It is rare to see such young characters in such graphic situations. What gave you the idea to make children the protagonists in Death to Dinksville?

J. Tungol:I didn't have a choice with that. Sometimes you get a weird mix when you are both the artist and the writer. As an artist I lean more towards cute cartoon-like characters, while the writer in me wants to write horror stories.

William: Who do you think would win in a Lamar vs. Carl from The Walking Dead throwdown?

J. Tungol: That's not even a fair fight. Lamar would kick that kid's ass everyday and twice on Sunday. Of course, I've read only the first 15 or so issues of "The Walking Dead," so I don't know how Carl evolves throughout the series. But come on, Carl comes from a two parent home where he is loved and supported. Lamar lives with a mother who puts her boyfriend's needs ahead of him and has no real father figure in his life. Lamar was made tough through circumstances long before any zombie outbreak.

William: Mayor Faux describing himself as a "compassionate conservative" and the "Cheney Corporation" lead me to believe that you are not a registered Republican. What are your political beliefs? How do they tie in to the story?

J. Tungol: With the policies of the previous administration, and how the current GOP wants to cannibalize any moderate in its inner circle, I'd say I am more sympathetic to the left now more than ever. Not to say that I completely disregard all things conservative. There have been many great Republican leaders like Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, Theodore, one of the heroes in my book is named after Teddy Roosevelt. I'd say that the political satire that I throw in is really just paying homage to the classic George Romero zombie films. He was just more subtle in his social commentary than I am.

William: It looks like we get to see a little more of Dylan Haddenfield in the next issue. I personally can't wait to find out what happens next. When can we expect issue four of Death to Dinksville to hit comic store shelves?

J. Tungol: Yes, chapter 4 will be more focused on Haddenfield. You can expect chapter 4, "Carnage on Clementine Island," later this year.

We want to thank J.Tungol for taking time to talk to us about Death to Dinksville, and I know that when issue four drops, I will be at the comic book store that day picking up my copy. There are two links listed below; one is for the J.Tungol website. If you do not already own Death to Dinksville you can purchase your copies there. The other link is to our Facebook page. If you don't already, "like" The Hammond Comics Blog on Facebook right away. The first person to write "Fuck Dick Cheney" on our Facebook page that "likes" the page will get the first three issues of Death to Dinksville mailed to their home for the price of zero. These were graciously donated to us by J. Tungol, and we can not thank him enough for his generosity as well as his artistic accomplishments. Buy Death to Dinksville today. WRDJ

Friday, April 27, 2012

Valiant Comics Summer 2012 Preview Edition #1

First story:
Script: Robert Venditti
Art: Cary Nord
Second story:
Script: Joshua Dysart
Art: Khari Evans

I'd read in Previews that Valiant Comics was attempting a comeback, and was understandably underwhelmed. Valiant Comics was the brainchild of former Marvel mogul Jim Shooter, disgruntled and itching to unhorse the Big Two with gimmick covers, mail-away offers, and books penned by former members of the Marvel Bullpen.
Surprisingly, Valiant came close to doing just that in the freewheeling early/mid 90s with their licensed properties from Gold Key comics, amongst them Solar: Man of the Atom, Turok: Son of Stone, and most notably Magnus: Robot Fighter, a guy with a man-skirt short enough to give The Watcher pause. I admittedly bought quite a few Valiant titles in my younger days but my interest in them waned as I got older.
Not grown up. Just older.

Valiant was purchased by Acclaim Entertainment of Mortal Combat fame, who soon discovered it was easier to uppercut Johnny Cage than to make decent comics. They soon discontinued the comics and were bankrupt by 2004.
I'd always looked back on those Valiant titles and chuckled, chalking their purchase up to the folly of youth. Consequently when my compatriot B. Hines returned from the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo and handed me this Valiant preview comic, that underwhelming feeling returned. Never one to turn down free stuff however, I took the book and gave it the once over. Both previews were for relaunches of old Valiant books, specifically X-O Manowar and Harbinger.
X-O Manowar was a book about a Visigoth named Aric who was abducted by aliens in the 5th century, steals a symbiotic boimechanical super suit from same, and ends up in modern days due to time dilation...or hyperspace worm hole...somethings. It didn't matter, I used to love this book back in the 90s. It was like Conan with Guyver armor. The preview is 6 pages in length and does not waste them. It uses the inside front cover to tell you some interesting factoids on the Visigoth people and their Roman foes, a brief timeline and small map, and a "previously in X-O Manowar" snippet to bring you up to speed. Did you know that horses were revered in Visigoth culture? I didn't. Thanks, Valiant!
The actual story begins with Aric and his plucky band of Visigoth warriors sneaking up to an alien ship, thinking it a Roman transport. I'm unsure how they came to that conclusion but after assaulting the guards, Aric and his men are bested by the aliens and taken aboard ship. They meet up with an alien fleet and are off to parts unknown, leaving the reader to wonder as to what the fate of Aric will be.

The script was written by Robert Venditti, whose work I'm unfamiliar with. He wrote The Surrogates, which was made into a Bruce Willis flick, if that gives anyone a basis. The art was by Cary Nord, who's not had much in the way of high profile work either. Both the story and art were decent, but not mind blowing. The designs of the aliens and their spacecraft were solid, however.

The second preview was for the Harbinger relaunch. I'd never read Harbinger, as it was about a group of super powered teens with an older psychic mentor figure fighting against evils in a world that fears and hates them.
Sound familiar?

The preview is bookended with scenes of a young man walking through a busy street surrounded by the thought balloons of his fellow pedestrians. The interior is a flashback involving a psionic Asian fellow (the younger self of the aforementioned mentor figure) seeking out a monastery with a stigmatic monk prophet, seeking answers about his future. The monk's cryptic answer leads you to believe the young man from the beginning of the book and the interior character are interlinked, destined to be part of a greater story.
One that's on sale in June...

Joshua Dysart scripted, and having written Violent Messiahs, Swamp Thing, and Unknown Soldier amongst other recognized work seems well suited to help Valiant successfully jump back into the comics biz, and Khari Evans' art adds fairly good atmosphere though I didn't think it was as crisp as his work on Daughters of the Dragon or The Immortal Iron Fist. There's an okay action sequence in the flashback, but the backgrounds and layout really make this one work.
Reading these two sneak peaks, I will admit, piqued my curiosity. X-O Manowar ships in May, Harbinger in June, and nostalgia bolstered by what could be some promising writing might just see me eating my words about not buying any of the new Valiant books.

By: Will Dubbeld

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Valen the Outcast 1-3

Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera

Give me a comic with a zombie protagonist a little sword and sorcery and I’m yours. King Valen Brand was a just king and a great warrior until he was killed by a Necromancer in battle and resurrected as one of the walking dead. Now he’s considered an abomination in his own realm, an outcast with only one purpose: to restore his lost soul…..Yes Valen isn’t technically a zombie. More accurately, he is the undead puppet of the evil necromancer Korrus Null. No shambling around or calling for brains. As the opening pages of issue #1 show, he has found a way to temporarily escape the necromancer’s control.
Now Valen is on a quest to return to his kingdom of Oakhaven, which is now under siege by armies vying for his throne, with the exception of Zjanna, an intriguing witch who aids him with a magical tattoo, Valen is on his own. He also inspires fear and violence wherever he goes since he is considered an abomination.
There are a lot of great moments in these three issues. Michael Alan Nelson has written a great script that entertains and sets up the premise of the entire series. A blend of equal parts epic fantasy and sword-and-sorcery. Think Game of Thrones or Conan.
The art in these first three issues was great for the most part, but, I did find a few panels to be a little cloudy. The action scenes are depicted perfectly. I love the character designs and the vibrance that they all have on each page. Everything seems like it should be. No carbon copies or art that makes you say that’s not how this or that should look.
I’m very pleased with the story and the art of this book. And again, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy stories, especially those who enjoy something dark and gritty.

By: Cody "Madman" Miller

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Excerpts from: The Free Stage

This is mostly a site of reviews, but in this particular instance I felt that these original poems should be posted this week instead of our original interview. I spent the past weekend reading these, and wanted to share a few of my favorites. The poet is The Hammond Comics Blog's own feature writer Cody Miller. I did not ask his permission to put these up, so hopefully he is still writing for the site after today. These poems are excerpts from a collection entitled: The Free Stage. Enjoy. WRDJ

“ a comforting thought ”

a vision…of
trees on top of houses
families living in abandoned flags
old faded symbols – meaningless
rising suns setting on blue fields filled with stars
with no electricity – everything closed down
somehow I knew that somewhere in the swamp
there’s a guy with piercing blue eyes –
roaming free in his loin cloth --
hunting with a spear –
and that’s comforting.

“ muse ”

I met the devil last night
he’s a she but no less a sight
this is a fight I hope to lose
lying broken and bloodied at her feet
she feeds my creativity – the last muse
she found the vein – my main line
the key that set the demons free
the last one leaving locked the door behind –
keeping the bastards in –
as they burst out of my chest
feeding off the over laid testosterone
the demons set my find free –
as free as it could be
half shut down –
to help me think of something
other then you.

“ sea ”

the slack went out
right in open sight
the sails drew tight
allowing me to say I sea.

“ wave ”

alone walking down the rainbow
my footsteps send sound into past tense
as I slide right by
arm above shoulder hand extended
as I catch myself back up
I’m in and out –
out of reasons anyway.

“ here’s to extinction ”

by himself he’s standing
inside the belly of the monster –
chewing on his coffee stirrer.

“ road signs ”

driven on

“ over tow ”

play with the knob
tune it in until you hear yourself
singing in the background

sorry lady I’m all out
I’ve no need for anything you’ve got
disagreeing sarcastically
in a pathetically romantic kind of way
a hell of a sexy buzz
I’m trying to say thank-you
for an ungranted favor.

“ monk ”

a beat man
gone professional
even I stomp my foot
following his original tunes
songs full of everything –
it takes to make life
murdered in a famous birds bedroom
roving bathtub slayer
bad bad luck.

“ so close ”

the window was closing
the clock is counting down
but to what?
how will this day end –
so close and losing ground

“ dreaming in color ”

down on guarded knee
hot flashes
up and running
for that certain energy.

By: Cody Miller

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Secret Service #1

The Secret Service

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Co-plotter: Matthew Vaughn
Colorist: Angus Mckie

From 0 to 60 in one page. By page two I had fallen in love with Secret Service. Page five made me realize that I need to read as many Millar books as I possibly can in this lifetime. The CEO of The Hammond Comics Blog, William “Dollar Bill” Davis has been telling me that I need to read Kick-Ass, also written by Millar. That would be a good place to start, I would think. Now I believe I must and here’s why…

Mark Hamill is kidnapped.
British secret agent saves Skywalker
00 and Hamill escape on a snow mobile
Then page five happens

I was still in shock long after I read page five. I had to reread page six to the end. All I’m saying is find me a better page five and I’ll eat it.

The art was somewhere safely in the middle of the road. Maybe Dave Gibbons knew that after reading page five no one would remember his art work anyway….

If you’re into Bond, MI6, or butlers named Jeeves, buy this book. If you like writers with mighty big balls, buy this book.

Wait. Hold up a second. I went to two different Marvel panels at C2E2 on Saturday. One was about Spider-Man and the other one was Joe Quesada’s “super” panel of Marvels who’s who: Cup of Joe. It was almost a complete waste of time. All the guys at Marvel did was see how many times they could say “BUY THIS BOOK” in a single breath. It was such a turn off that William and I bailed on the Spider-Man panel about half way thru. If you knew how big of a Spider-Man fan I was you would know how big of a deal that is.

Blah Blah Blah “BUY THIS BOOK” Blah Blah “BUY THIS BOOK”
We have slides “BUY THIS BOOK” that say “BUY THIS BOOK”
Hawkeye is getting his own book “BUY THIS BOOK”….Yawn.

What a let down. How one of the mighty has fallen. At least the Independent creators didn’t beg. They had to create books worth being read. Marvel will put its name on just about anything these days. “BUY THIS BOOK” Isn’t it bad enough that I have to deal with 4-5 pages of your propaganda every time I pick up a Marvel issue? How many times are we going to beat that horse? Don’t annoy the fanboy that feeds you. Shame on you Marvel. Shame.

By Cody "Madman" Miller

Monday, April 16, 2012

Before Watchmen: All Access

This weekend I got an opportunity to visit the exclusive DC Before Watchmen: All Access panel at C2E2 (Chicago Comic Convention). My thoughts on the upcoming series were mixed to say to the least. Without a doubt, Gibbons and Moore brought us a series of comics that cannot be recreated, but DC decided they were going to give it a go anyway. The panel started with some brief introductions, and then Dan Didio asked the audience if anyone was "mildly skeptical" about the upcoming series. A quarter of the people in attendance raised their hands, and he chose one from the audience. It ended up being a guy in his early 20's and he was asked to come to the front where he got to look at a retailer exclusive "green book" full of almost finished pages and samples from the new series. After a short period of time he was asked if his skepticism was put to rest, and "mildly skeptical guy" answered that his skepticism was quelled. That was the answer that Didio wanted to hear. He prefaced the guy's response by saying something to the effect of, "I'm not going to let you go on and on but...". This made me think about what I would have said in the same situation; and also the roots of my own skepticism.

When first hearing about the project, I was initially excited. I feel that Watchmen as a comic, was the best superhero stuff ever written. It's entirely possible that nothing of greater quality in that particular genre will ever be created again. The recent film however, fell into the category of "the book was better", the category that so many films tend to get lumped into, but this one for good reason. "The book was better" might be the understatement of the century here. Synder did some things very well, but you will not find a bigger Watchmen fan out there and even I was bored by the end. I even made it to the midnight showing with Jimmy the Tadpole and another person I choose not to remember. None of us enjoyed the film very much, and the Tadpole and myself were disappointed to say the least. My point is that Moore and Gibbons hit the nail on the head; they created a comic that was as close to perfect as any comic that has ever been created. Nothing in the superhero genre even comes close. To use a film analogy, the main question that came to my mind was: Is Before Watchmen going to be Ghostbusters II or Godfather II? Gibbons did a great job with the art, but the art (the Chinaman) was not the issue here. The strength of the art was in the characters. Both Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are iconic and instantly recognizable figures in pop culture. That was the strength of the art, the creation of those characters, but the facts are that those characters can be recreated by most second year art students. The writing is where the wheels are going to come off the wagon, if applicable. "Mildly Skeptical Guy" was the moniker that Dan Didio gave that lucky fan, but to be honest, seeing a few panels, pages, or covers would do little to remove my skepticism. Of course I want more Watchmen comics, but only if those comics are as good or better than the original. I never had any doubt that the art would be great. Would Before Watchmen add or detract from Watchmen mythos? The writers' answers were very telling in that regard.

Adam Hughes was asked about his reaction to writing the new Dr. Manhattan series. His answer was not the cookie cutter response that I figured we would get about all of his wildest dreams coming true. To my surprise, he said that his favorite character was Nite Owl, and that he really wanted to write Nite Owl instead of Dr. Manhattan. He added a few more sentences about coping with that professional disappointment, and said that working on the Dr. Manhattan book was a positive experience, but the life lesson learned was that not always getting what you want can turn into a good thing. When Joe Kubert was asked about Nite Owl, his first words were that he was not familiar with the character when he was first given the assignment. They are both undeniably talented, but I couldn't help thinking that Will Dennis (Senior Editor) dropped the ball here. I suppose that a followup question to Dennis would have been apropos, but it was never asked. Putting the writer that was passionate about Nite Owl on the Nite Owl book might have been the best and most obvious move in my opinion, but I think that some issues need to hit the shelves before any determination is made there. Another stand-out for me was when Amanda Conner was asked about her Silk Spectre series. Once again, although I am aware that recording devices do exist, I did not bring one with me that particular day. She was asked about her process regarding the series, and she said something to the effect that she knew it would never be as good as Moore and Gibbons. I'm going to buy these books because of my OCD, but she sold neither the sizzle nor the steak with that answer. I think that the only other thing of note that was said about the series by Conner was that it was a "romance book, but with beatings". Huh, not impressed at all by that one either. Sorry. One thing that did impress me was Len Wein describing Ozymandis as "the spine" of the Watchmen story, and Azzarello following up with: "If Ozymandis is the spine, then Eddie (The Comedian) is the balls." Rest assured comic fans, Rorschach and The Comedian are in good hands with Brian Azzarello.

The panel concluded by releasing some never before seen images from the upcoming series, and they were pretty amazing. But my skepticism was compounded, not assuaged, by listening to the writers, artists, and editors discuss Before Watchmen for an hour. There is a possibility that this could be a great series of books. There is definitely enough talent. And to my surprise they did bring up Alan Moore and the fact that he was not happy about his artistic vision being co-opted by DC. Straczynski shocked me when he admitted to the entire room that Alan Moore got a bad contract. Then he went on to say that every comic creator there at one time signed a bad contract, but he also brought up a great point that had not crossed my mind before. He referenced The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and raised the question: Would Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have condoned Moore's use of the character Sherlock Holmes? I thought that was a great point. Watchmen characters are owned by DC and not in the public domain, but in reality I guess you can equate the upcoming DC series as bad fan fiction at the very least, and as an equally engaging and integral part of the Watchmen universe at it's very best. At this point, I cannot comment or speculate at great length as to my feelings about what we are going to see. The ultimate proof is going to be in the finished product. All of the images released at the con are now on the website, so check out for some teasers. One thing is for certain, the release of this highly anticipated series is right around the corner. When the first issue of Before Watchmen hits comic store shelves, Watchmen,DC, and the world of comics will be permanently changed, for better or worse. Attempting something of this magnitude takes balls, but at the same time this has the potential to seriously diminish one of the most critically acclaimed works in the history of comics. The doomsday clock is now five minutes until June.

By: William R. Davis Jr.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

So here it is, Avengers vs. X-men. When I first heard about the premise of this book…I’m pretty sure I groaned. It just smacked of Civil War 2. I felt like we had done this just a few years ago. Which is not inherently bad; I loved Civil War. But it’s far too soon to recycle plot devices. So I went into this with skepticism.

The Phoenix Force is coming back and it’s targeting Hope. We’ve had a few glimpses of the Phoenix Force having something to do with Hope in the past, but whatever doubts readers may have had are surely gone.

The book starts off with a half-dead Nova crashing to Earth with a warning - the Phoenix is coming. After talking with Wolverine about what he knows of the Phoenix Force and its former hosts, Captain America and Iron Man discuss plans with the government. They have figured out where it’s going, what it’s coming for and what it could mean for the people of Earth. It’s decided that Hope should be taken into protective custody and further plans will be made. I will leave it at that, and if you’ve been reading any X-men in the past ten years, you’ll know that this plan will obviously not sit well with Cyclops and many of the other X-men.

It was a set up issue, which is required. The good thing is, it only took one issue to set this event up. The next issue will start with a bang and it should be fun. Bendis does a fine job; nothing stellar or mind blowing. The justifications for everyone is sound, the actions of the characters make sense, which is one problem I thought I was going to have. I half-assumed that they were going to shoe horn motives in this event just to sell copies. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Romita’s art is as good as his art gets. I know a lot of people aren’t Romita fans, and nobody can blame them. He admittedly rushes and does a piss poor job sometimes. But his stuff was good, and he’s big on action scenes, of which I assume this event will have plenty.

So, this issue leaves me with a few questions which will probably never be addressed. For starters, Utopia is considered to be a sovereign nation. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s recognized as its own country, of which I can only assume Scott Summers is considered its leader, president, etc. I wonder what the legal ramifications are for US sanctioned agents (The Avengers) coming uninvited and demanding extradition of a teenage girl, who is technically an endangered species. I also question the political ramifications of Utopia harboring a known mutant terrorist war criminal (Magneto). These things would be very interesting topics to be tackled.

I am actually pretty excited as to where this will go. I loved Civil War, not only for its art, but also for the entire Super Hero Registration Act that fueled the event. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I like the grey moral areas Marvel likes to explore, and if this title is handled properly, we could have another Civil War type event on our hands. I have faith in Bendis; he has written more good than bad. I just worry that this will lead to deus ex machina cop-out. And no one wants that.

By: Josh Loe

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Whispers #2

Story and Art by Josh Luna

If you’ve read the comic The Sword then you are most likely already a Luna brothers fan. Whispers is all Joshua however. That curiosity alone was worth picking up the first issue, then I saw the cover and new I was buying it. I was even more impressed with the cover of the second issue (as seen to the left). I guess I could just make it easy and say the art within is all so amazing. Joshua captures the emotions of the character really well. He also writes them really well. How can I say that after only two issues? Simple. He does.

The main character is a guy named Sam. Sam has a well established debilitating case of obsessive compulsive disorder among other problems. Sam has found that his recent dreams of his friends weren’t just a dream, but an out of body experience. It seems Sam can visit anyone he already knows by simply thinking about them. He later finds he can hear the thoughts of people he knows and subtly influence their thoughts as well. In some ways I think that would be an amazing and adventurous gift but for every up there has to be a down. Sam visits his mother one night and hears her thoughts. Nothing good comes of it. So maybe now I’m thinking it would seem more like a curse.

If you have room on your pull list add this title. After you read one issue Luna will have you by the balls but in a good way. The first step into Luna’s world is worth the risk.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Boys #65

Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Russ Braun; John McCrea; Keith Burns
Inks: Russ Braun; John McCrea; Keith Burns
Letters: Simon Bowland
Colors: Tony Avina
Cover: Darick Robertson

Garth Ennis has gotten quite the reputation. At this point, the man is almost like the Howard Stern of comic writers. His enemies will probably put Dynamite out of business at some point due to lawsuit after lawsuit contending that what he writes borders on pornography. And as much as I am an Ennis fan, in some cases I have to agree. Not pornography in the sense that it offends me, but after Ennis (A.E.) there will be no line that has not been Crossed in comics. This is what a lot of people know about Ennis, but what they do not know is that he is one of the best storytellers in the game today. Preacher is my favorite series of all time, and although pseudo-religious apocalypse stories are in high supply, Ennis was the first writer to take the torch from Gaiman and create a world so stunning, so shocking, so different, that the medium will never be the same again.

After 65 issues of The Boys, it is easy to say that without a doubt this is the series that will continue that legacy. Crossed and Jennifer Blood were both entertaining and well done, but The Boys has characters that matter to the readers, the world has it's own mythologies, and it is gorier and more shocking than almost anything he has written to date. With the final story arc about to start, I really can't say enough how much I love these books. And the best part is that the series is peaking right now. Each issue keeps bringing something new to the table, and it is one of those books that I look forward to each month, a book that has the power to turn even the shittiest of Wednesday's around.

The Boys are a group of clandestine Government employees that police a group of superheroes that were created by corporations to turn a profit, a core of "heroes" that are corrupted and awful and detrimental to the continued existence to humanity. Comic books are propaganda that paint the supes in a positive light, and The Boys are the only thing between them and an unsuspecting public. 65 was as good as Ennis gets; even if you haven't read a single issue of The Boys you would enjoy it immensely. They were on a tear of great covers, but this one is uninspired and average. That is this book's only flaw, but it is a minor one. This 5 dollar 36 page end of a major arc will be the best thing that you read all week, maybe all month, maybe even all year. You owe it to yourself to go pick this book up today.

By: William R. Davis Jr.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rebel Blood #1

Rebel Blood
Writer: Alex Link
Art: Riley Rossmo

First let me say that I’m a sucker for a good zombie. Give me a zombie before any other horror suspect on any day of the week. Zombies are “king” of the mountain that is pop culture at the present. For any true zombie fiend its Walking Dead first and foremost these days and rightfully so. I don’t think I’d be far from the truth by saying that solely based on the success of the Walking Dead comics and the television show that everyone is trying to shove zombies down our throats. Is that a bad thing? I mean sure, you have to sift through all the B.S. to find the few titles that are worth reading. That being said, I might be just a little bit biased.
I knew as soon as I opened the cover and say two Zombiefied birds picking at a severed (or rather half eaten) human head, I was going to love it. I was not disappointed as the reader is thrown head first into a five page battle to the death. Man with shotgun vs. zombie wolves from hell. The man is Chuck. He is a man whom had his problems just like everybody else and I’m not just talking about savage zombie wolves. Chuck’s a fireman that’s been banished to a remote fire tower in the middle of BFE. Everything goes mutant zombie and now Chuck must get home to check on his family. So begins the odyssey of Chuck “the fireman with a shot gun.”
In all fairness I liked Link’s writing and loved Rossmo’s art. The art is the selling point. It’s kind of cartoony and sketch like but in all the right ways. The very last page of this issue is probably the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen in a comic book.
I won’t say what’s on that page but trust me check it out for yourself. As far as Riley Rossmo’s zombies go they’re pretty unique. There were a lot of well drawn animal zombs. All the zombies, animal and human, have exposed brains. There is a “thing” complete with deer skull and antlers for a head and last but not least, the three-eyed owl rapping at Chuck’s window. The Zombies gets a 7.