Paper Cuts: 1/30/17

 

Richard Corben’s Shadows on the Grave #2 (Dark Horse)

This book still stands out with beautiful black and white, classic horror style art.

The first issue’s strength were the chapters coming before the main overarching tale. This issue’s strength came from the ongoing and absolutely terrifying and brutal art of the Cyclops monster.

This book is for any fan of classic horror art or films like Jason and the Argonauts.

Ratings: 3 out of 5

 

Norman: The First Slash #2 (Titan)

Norman is a series imported from Europe about an 8-year-old serial killer.  It is a blend of Dexter and Invader Zim.  The premise and art lends itself to be something you would see on an Adult Swim line up.

Overall, the book is a lot of fun with bright colors that really keep the book light-hearted and humorous despite the subject matter.

The only critique is that before learning this book was translated, the dialogue felt off and I believe that is because the first language was not English, but it was still very enjoyable overall.

If you never read any of the European Editions of this series, you can hop on with issue #1 of The First Slash and be fine.

Ratings: 3 out of 5

Die Kitty Die #4 (Chapter House)

The arc finished and I still cannot say enough good things about this series.

It was my favorite mini-series of 2016.  While issue #4 was a little less tongue-in-cheek and a little more adult, it still was extremely enjoyable.  The pinups and fake ads in this issue make this a must pick up for any comic art enthusiast.

I am looking forward to the next installment: Die, Kitty, Die: Hollywood or Bust, arriving in May 2017. Make sure to pre-order!

Ratings: 4 out 5

White #2 (1First Comics / Devil’s Due)

One of the strengths of this book may actually be the digital format.  The storyboard format helps build the suspense of what lurks in the water below.

On top of the sharks circling below our main character, there is another mystery happening which compels you to keep reading and wondering what is happening.

Sharks and comics are hard, but this series is really nailing it.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

Quick Cuts:

Hook Jaw #1 (Titan) was released, and, after reading White, it fell just a little flat.  It felt more like a Jaws: The Revenge or Deep Blue Sea.  Enjoyable, but missing some suspense.

Nailbiter #28 from Image Comics came out last week. It was another fantastic issue. The series is wrapping up with issue #30 and if you have not jumped on at this point, now is not the time to do it.  Check out the first trade for $10 on Amazon or at your local comic shop.  Be on the lookout while we try and celebrate the series once it has concluded!

Paper Cuts: 11/17/16

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Die Kitty Die #2 (Chapterhouse)

This may have been a little less impressive than the first issue – which was one of my stand-out books of the year – but still delivered a solid read and worthy of any pull list.

The story format continues to delight as the reader is first given a “flashback” comic to our main character Kitty’s heyday in comics, which sets up the story to come in the rest of the issue.  The writing in this issue was little more on the nose with its jokes and jabs at the overall comic industry.  The language was also turned up a little more. That aspect – combined with a couple of drug references – took away from some of the light-heartedness, but still continued to charm and deliver laughs.

The art shone throughout the entire book.  The flashback portion felt like an Archie book of the past, while the present story remained in that updated – yet classic – Archie feel.  Art this well done really helps move the story at a fantastic pace and never get bogged down.  There continued to be a little cheesecake to the art, but it added to the overall fun of the book without making it feel like staring into a 90s long box or a slightly creepy deviant art page.

The two-page spreads by J Bone are worth the price of admission alone.

Overall, this was still a treat to read and was easily the first book off my stack this week.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

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Spell on Wheels #2 (Dark Horse)

Spell on Wheels is doing something very special and commendable.

It gives the reader a fun tale of strong independent women, while delivering a feminist message that is not meant to be beaten over anyone’s head.

These characters are real women – living in this current day and age – but just happen to be a bunch of spell casting witches looking to reclaim their stolen items.

The X-Men taught a lot of us that it is alright to be a little different when we were growing up. Spell on Wheels is teaching us all how to live a little bit better.

It’s a great message.  A well written book and absolutely stunning cartooning.

I want more of this in comics and want to give those books to my nieces.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

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Lady Killer 2 #3 (Dark Horse)

At one point, Dexter was the best television show out there.  When the show was at its best, we knew who Dexter was and that was not going to change, but it was the pieces around our main character that made the show compelling and interesting.

While I enjoyed the first two issues of Lady Killer 2, it felt like perhaps this was just another romp in the world of this 60s mom serial murderer.  It’s always a fun time, but nothing super compelling.  Luckily, issue #3 added some new wrinkles and dropped in a little lurking mystery around some of our supporting characters.  Those wrinkles made it feel like a whole new world while still keeping us connected to our main character, whom we have come to root for.

Michelle Madsen on art continues to kill on art duties and gives this book a distinct feel.  The first two-page spread of this book is meant to be marveled and poured over.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

Paper Cuts: 10/21/16

If there was an Eisner for Best Week of Comics, this one would have to be nominated.

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Die Kitty Die #1 (Astro Comix / Chapter House)

The sign of good story tell can be when you are reading a first issue but you feel like you have known this character your whole life.

Die Kitty Die is the creation of two classic Archie creators who have an undeniable chemistry as a creative team.

The art in this book is simply incredible.  The book opens with a classic “throwback” style of art that resembles Archie comics of the 1960’s.  Here we are introduced to Kitty as a character.  The artwork in this section – paired with the editor’s note – really makes you think you are reading a re-print, and it is delightful.

From that intro, we fast-forward and find ourselves with modern day Kitty, complete with art reminiscent of the Life with Archie or Predator vs Archie series; no surprise considering both creators worked at Archie during that time.

Oh, and there is a beautiful two-page spread from J Bone in the middle of this issue and it is simply stunning.

The colors are bright and vibrant and it matches the story telling.  We meet Kitty, a semi-forgotten comic character who also happens to be a real life witch.  The story is accessible to anyone and is not shy about taking a couple jabs at the current state of comics.

This book was just so much fun and full of energy that I implore everyone to check out the creators’ Kickstarter happening right now.

Ratings: 5 out of 5

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Lord of Gore #1 (Devil’s Due)

The worst part about this book is having to wait until 2017 when the next issue comes out.

The art here is pretty good.  Daniel Leister definitely has an affinity towards Howard Chaykin and it comes through in the best possible way.

This was a fantastic first issue and really set up the world.  After reading the Lord of Gore background story in it, I was not too sure that this was not a real life horror franchise.

This is a fantastic tale of real life Hollywood and life of stars on the horror convention circuit.  If there ever was a perfect book for Horror-Writers, it is this book.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

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Spell on Wheels #1 (Darkhorse)

There have been many books and movies that have been trying to capture the same type of fun and coolness of the movie, The CraftSpell on Wheels finally is a worthy successor and really captures some of the same magic.

Artist Megan Levens delivers some wonderful art.  Her character design is fantastic.  Her cartooning style mixed with real-life-figure-proportions really grounds the book; no small feat, considering it is about witches with fantastical powers.

Writer Kate Leth really crafts a compelling first issue that deals with some real life fears that many women face, but still manages to keep the story light and not bogged down.

The creative team here is worthy of high praise for delivering a story of believable women in a fun road trip that really has some heart.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5