“Force 9” – A Comic Blast From The Past Has Arrived

I grew up with a lot of friends that could draw. Actually, I take that back. These guys were artists. Some of them went on to do some great work. Unfortunately the only things I could draw was the shark from JAWS and Albert, the alligator from the comic strip “Pogo.” In December 1982, young Joel D. Wynkoop turned out issues #42, 43 and 44 of his original comic series “Ray Blast.” Wynkoop has assembled these stories into a 60-plus page book entitled “Force 9.’ Filled with original super-heroes, and the occasional visitor or two from the Marvel Universe, the stories are a fun look back at a simpler time when young men with dreams put pen and ink to paper to capture them.

Printed on heavy glossy paper, with any and all blemishes still intact (words marked out with pen, constantly spelling nobody as “knowbody”), “Force 9” is a nostalgic trip down memory lane that will make readers recall their younger days of taking out pen and paper and creating. If you want to relive that moment again I suggest picking up a copy of “Force 9” by stopping by www.joeldwynkoop.com

Comic Book Review “Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird”

Author: Brandon Seifert
Illustrators: Karl Moline, Filipe Andrade
Series: Disney Kingdoms
Hardcover: 136 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: August 12, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I came across I was “Seekers of the Weird” one day when a friend brought over the first issue that was just released that morning and was so excited about it. He tell’s me that it was based off an abandoned concept envisioned by famous Walt Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump for Walt Disney in 1965 called, the Museum of the Weird, which that was to be built alongside the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. A creepy unseen side of Disney? Where do I sign up? This 5- issue series personally didn’t really bring the creepy in my opinion as it was much more adventure based. It is still nice to see these designs out there and getting some love. I think this would actually make a great movie Disney/Marvel…hint hint!

Official Premise: An all-new adventure inspired by Disney’s legendary but never built Museum of the Weird! When their parents are kidnapped, teens Maxwell and Melody are thrust into a thrilling race through the world’s most strange and dangerous museum, as they unite with their swashbuckling uncle to save their family and the world from an evil secret society! What lurks within the Wardens’ Library…and what is the Walking Chair? Who is the Shadow Society, and why do they want the Coffin Clock? In a catacomb of Mushroom People and a Séance Room under glass, our teen heroes discover the truth about the Museum – and their own destinies!

If seeing these concepts come to life (literally) is enough, the famous Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump actually gives an introduction to this book, which is actually quite awesome! Overall, this series is a good thing. It shows that Marvel and Disney are working together on different projects. Disney is slightly…slightly stepping out of their comfort zone here and trying something new. I think this series would have even been much cooler if it did take a turn for the darker but the adventure aspect works and makes it a quite fun ride. I loved reading about all these crazy..weird items that were in this museum. I hope that isn’t the last time we see Maxwell and Melody since they definitely are a bad-ass couple of kids. Did I mention already that this would make an epic film….hmm.

Comic Book Review “Disney Kingdoms: Figment #2″

Published: July 02, 2014
Rating: All Ages
Writer: Jim Zub
Cover Artist: John Tyler Christopher

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

After reading the first issue of “Figment” from the Marvel line of Disney Kingdoms, I couldn’t wait to start reading the second issue. If you are familiar with name of the ride inDisney World’s Epcot, “Journey Into Imagination”, then you will appreciate this issue because it follows the Blarion Mercurial and Figment into the imagination world. In the end of the last issue, they were both being sucked into a portal and this one starts off with them ending up in a strange world with many different creatures including the extremely cute Chimera.

This world of imagination looks so amazing and I couldn’t help but race to the next page. Kudos need to go to acclaimed creators Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel) for really creating this wonderful new world for these classic characters. When I first read that they were making a comic book series about Figment and angling it as a steampunk fantasy, I didn’t know what to expect but this has been quite the ride so far. I felt like I wanted a little more out of this second issue but it still continued to setup the pace well for future issues. Only three more to go in this series, I wish it doesn’t have to end so soon.

Comic Book Review “Metabarons Genesis: Castaka” by Alexandro Jodorowsky

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrator: Das Pastoras
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.
Release Date: March 26, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Not only a few months ago, I discovered and got to dive into the comic series “The Metabarons Ultimate Collection” and fell in love with it. It is really a fantastic blend of amazing storytelling along science fiction. Well, of course as a fan I was hungry for more, well my prayers were answered with “Metabarons Genesis: Castaka”, which is a prequel the first series. Like “The Metabarons”, it is a not an easy series to just pick up and read, it is deep like the work that Jodorowsky is know for and that is what makes it exciting and very interesting read. A must if you are a fan of “The Metabaron”.

Official Premise: “The Metabarons” recounted the extraordinary saga of the genealogy of the galaxy’s ultimate warrior. But his ancestors also had ancestors. And far from being noble warriors with an inflexible code, one will discover they were in fact disloyal, vengeful pirates born out of brutality and war. From legendary creator Alexandro Jodorowsky and artist Das Pastoras, and for all of those who dreamt of a sequel to “The Metabarons,” comes instead the origin tale of their first ancestor, Dayal de Castaka.

One thing that I did some a small problem with was that this did feel a little shorter than Jodorowsky other comic series but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. I was not widely familiar with the work of Das Pastoras but I did really enjoy the illustrations from this book. The colors were vibrant and it was well drawn. I have to admit though, after reading this I did go back and re-read the Ultimate Collection of “The Metabarons” and “The Incal” Complete Collection again. I warn you though, this book is definitely relient on your having read both of those books previous to this to really get the full effect.

Comic Book Review “The White Lama” by Alexandro Jodorowsky

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrator: Georges Bess
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.
Release: Date: May 7, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

So in case you follow this website at all, you should be started to think “Damn, this guy is reviewing a lot of Alexandro Jodorowsky’s comics. Well, that is thanks to the amazing people at Humanoids. They have been releasing his comics in complete hardback collection that really have been keeping me quite busy and being obsessed with this author’s work. “The White Lama” is one of the latest releases of Alexandro Jodorowsky’s work. This is a tale told taking place within a mystical adventure with martial arts and magic realism. If you enjoy this other work like “The Incal” and “The Metabarons”, this is another great series to check out.

Official Premise: Late 19th century Tibet. When the Grand Lama Mipam dies, the seeds of corruption are sown across the land. Raised by locals, Gabriel, the orphan of white explorers, is chosen as the reincarnation of the Grand Lama. Torn between two worlds, he must master the sacred ways, defeat his own personal demons, and battle a great evil. He will need to enlist the aid of warrior monks, yetis and the Lord of Cats if he is to save his adopted country from utter devastation.

If you aren’t familiar with Alexandro Jodorowsky as a comic book writer, you might be know him better as cult director of films like “Santa Sangre”, “El Top” and “Holy Mountain”. The illutration in this book are so unique and come from the award-winning team that created “Son of a Gun”. This series also travels a bit away from the world of sci-fi that Jodorowsky has conquered with his past comics but it does show his range and that he is able to show some great range. “The White Lama” is still a story that screams Alexandro Jodorowsky and I love that you can see that in his work. Can’t wait to see what Humanoids as planned next for Jodorowsky…keep them coming!!

Audio Book Reviews “Graphic Audio: Marvel”

Release Date: Jun 9, 2014 / Apr 7, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 5 / 6 Hours
Number of CDs: 5
Content Rating: Ages 13+

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Do you love comic books? Do you love audio books? Have you always wanted to hear your comics acted out like “a movie in your mind”? Well Graphic Audio now has your prayers answered. This year they have already released two fantastic comic books arcs for Marvel in audio book format. They have full casts, cinematic music and sound effects. While you are listening to these you literally can visualize the comic and you feel like you are right in the middle of the action. The most recent Marvel comic they released was the story of “Iron Man: Extremis”. This is a great choice for the character of Iron Man. The other earlier this year was “”The Ultimates: Against All Enemies”, which is a very epic series for Marvel. Graphic Audio has tons of other great products as well and I hope that they will be doing much more Marvel and DC comics in the near future. Might I suggest the recent “Original Sin” series next?!

Here is the cast for “Iron Man: Extremis”: Richard Rohan, Richard Cutting, Sherry Berg, Andy Brownstein, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Kimberly Gilbert, Michael John Casey, Scott Graham, Nora Achrati, Jacob Yeh, Steve Wannall, David Harris, Christopher Graybill, Evan Casey, Drew Kopas, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, Sasha Olinick, Nanette Savard, Rex Anderson, Rebecca Sheir, Matthew Schleigh, Tim Pabon and James Lewis

“Iron Man: Extremis” Official Premise: Advanced technology has given Iron Man life, but now that same future tech threatens to become Stark’s death. A dangerous terrorist has ingested a new techno-organic virus, transforming him into a superhuman killing machine. Now immensely powerful, but driven mad by the virus’ effects, the terrorist is seemingly unstoppable. To halt this madman’s psychotic rampage, Iron Man must face this dangerous new virus head-on…in a life-or-death battle that will forever alter Stark’s calculated balance between man and machine. Experience Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s blockbuster re-imagining of the armored Avenger like never before in this new adaptation!

Here is the cast for “The Ultimates: Against All Enemies”: Richard Rohan, James Keegan, Richard Cutting, Jefferson Russell, Eric Messner, Laura C. Harris, Danny Gavigan, Christopher Scheeren, Andy Brownstein, Bradley Smith, Steve Wannall, Nanette Savard, Diedra Starnes, Rex Anderson, Andy Clemence, Joe Brack, Jonathon Church, Rebecca Sheir, Daniel Sonntag, Joel David Santner, Eric Singdahlsen, Jonathan Watkins, Matthew Keenan, David Harris and Thomas Keegan

“The Ultimates: Against All Enemies” Official Premise: Stark Industries has developed a technology to detect the alien Chitauri using on-the-spot DNA screening. The American defence department intends to make the technology widely available, but someone in the government puts a stop to it. Captain America sees the government’s suppression of the Stark technology as evidence that the people making such decisions are themselves compromised. Using as his model Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive orders during World War II, he begins to gather power to himself and those Ultimates and government officials sympathetic to his authoritarian approach so that power can be concentrated in the hands of those capable of taking quick and decisive action. Hank Pym, who desperately wants back on the Ultimates team, has been feverishly working with his ants in the hopes of finding something that will help defeat the Chitauri. When his ants attack one of his research assistants, who turns out to be a Chitauri, Captain America resolves his differences with Pym and the new team begins work on what they call Operation High Hopes.

Comic Book Review “Disney Kingdoms: Figment #1”

Published: June 11, 2014
Rating: All Ages
Writer: Jim Zub
Cover Artist: John Tyler Christopher

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When I was a kid visiting Walt Disney World’s Epcot, I would run as fast as I could to “Journey into Imagination” starring the lovable purple dragon Figment. The character has also inspired me and hopefully many others to use and embrace their own imaginations. Since Marvel and Disney joined forces the superhero movies that we all know and love weren’t the only great thing to come out of the merger. The Disney Kingdoms line comics that Marvel is putting out is really expanding the world such great characters and Disney properties.

“Figment” is actually the second title in the new Disney Kingdoms line following the equally amazing “Seekers of the Weird”, which is based off an idea that Walt Disney had that never came to be about a collection of “unique” items that were protected by a family. A few months ago when I heard about “Figment”, I just knew that this was going to be a real knock out of the park hit. I just knew it. Well, it is not only a great read but it is beautifully drawn with a great style that allows Disney to show a new side to these characters.

In the first issue we get introduced to the character we all know and love, Dreamfinder, under the name of Blarion Mercurial. We met him when he is a young inventor at a very prestigious scientific London institution but is rather scrutinized for his irrational inventions. Of course due to these inventions we find out how the dragon Figment came to be. This is really a neat story, one that has never been told before by Disney. So it is new ground for these characters and if you love them like I do, I couldn’t recommend checking out this new series.

There are also a tons of little Easter eggs too for those hardcore Disney fans, so keep an eye out when reading. Honestly, as good as this issue was, I see such potential in the series and I have a feeling that Disney is really going to have a lot of room to expand this story and really give fans a great look into the work of the Dreamfinder and his friend Figment. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for issue 2 and also what other properties are they going to develop next after this one becomes a big success. I would like to suggest “The Haunted Mansion”!

Graphic Novel Review “The Technopriests: Supreme Collection”

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrators: Zoran Janjetov, Fred Beltran
Hardcover: 408 pages
Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.
Release Date: December 11, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Over the last few months, I have been exposed to new world that consists of comics of Alexandro Jodorowsky. This includes his epic titles like “The Metabarons” and “The Incal”. This latest one, “The Technopriests” is yet another epic ride. This “Supreme Collection” consists of an eight-issue comic book limited series. It available in its entirety and in its original format. Humanoids has been releasing these not only cool but actually amazing hardcover collections of his work over the last few years and I simply cannot get enough of it.

Originally released from 1998 to 2006, this series follows five really interesting and strong characters. We have Albino, who is the main focus of the story and the future Supreme Technopriest. There is Tinigrifi, who is Albino’s lifelong friend. Panepha is the former priestess and mother of Albino and also his older brother Almagro and younger sister Onyx.  There are three different stories intertwined together in “The Technopriests”. The first follows Albino leading 500,000 other young technopriests as they try and find the promised galaxy.  The second plot follows his rise to become the Supreme Technopriest and the third follows his family during that same time period.

Like I said before that “The Technopriests: Supreme Collection” consists of the originally released in 8 issues, which are “The Technopriests #1: Techno Pre-School”; “The Technopriests #2: Nohope Penitentiary School”, ‘The Technopriests #3: Planeta Games”; “The Technopriests #4: Halkattraz”; “The Technopriests #5: The Sect of the Techno-Bishops”; “The Technopriests #6: The Secrets of the Techno-Vatican”; “The Technopriests #7: The Perfect Game” and “The Technopriests #8: The Promised Galaxy”. I have never read any of these comics before, so once I got started I dove deep and didn’t come up for air until I have completed the entire collection. This sci-fi epic tale is a little different than Jodorowsky’s past work but equally mind-blowing.

I loved the look and style of this comic. It was illustrated by Zoran Janjetov, who also worked with  Jodorowsky on “Before Incal” as well. Speaking of “Before Incal”, that was just re-released by Humanoids as well along with “The Final Incal” as well. If you have never read an Jodorowsky comic, then you are really in for a real treat. When you experience a  Jodorowsky comic, you mind is expanded and you are not able to go back to just reading regular comic book.  What I realized with reading Jodorowsky in the last few months is that his work really requires you to engage yourself in these comics and not just flip and look at the pretty pictures. I love that about this work. I can’t wait to see what Humanoids has planned next.

Graphic Novel Review “Castle: Richard Castle’s Unholy Storm”

Author: Cullen Bunn
Series: Castle: Derrick Storm
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When I started watching “Castle” in 2009, I would have thought that it would have still be going so strong now 5 years later. The show just got renewed for a second season. There has been seven (with two more on the way) novels released which were spin off from the show’s characters Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm, as well as three e-books for Derrick Storm. Then I haven’t even gotten to the graphic novels yet. There been “Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm”, “Richard Castle’s Storm Season” and “Richard Castle’s A Calm Before Storm” released in comic book form. I swear every time I think about it I just get so excited with the success that this show has had. “Richard Castle’s Unholy Storm” is the latest graphic novel release based on the series and it is easily one of the best yet.

Official Premise: The best-selling graphic novel saga, based on the world of ABC’s hit prime-time series, continues! Derrick Storm is back. And he has a new, deadly case to solve. When the daughters of four high-powered international businessmen are discovered dead in NY, the NYPD scrambles to bring the murderer to justice. But when a fifth girl is found mutilated in a pool of her own blood, her prestigious French family hires Derrick Storm to run his own investigation and find the real killer. Storm has only one lead – a strange symbol drawn in blood. Storm enlists the help of the beautiful and daring Clara Strike, his CIA handler. Together they uncover a deep web of deception under the guise of mysticism and devotion. And in a race against time, this most unlikely pair unlock a mystery capable of creating global catastrophe!

Ever since I read the three e-books focusing on the character of Derrick Storm, I have been hooked. I love his smart ass attitude and wit. He also proves himself to be extremely sharp as well. I love the style for these graphic novels. I have always had a picture of Derrick Storm in my head and these illustrators completely nailed it. He is ruggedly handsome like you would expect and his CIA operative Strike is drawn quite voluptuous, as you would expect in a graphic novel aimed for guys. Throw in a little spy/detective work and some zombies/vampires and you have me hooked. My only complaint with this release is that I want more and I really don’t want to wait till next year for the next graphic novel. Luckily, we have never episodes of “Castle” and Nikki Heat’s latest novel with “Raging Heat” this ” September.

Book Review “The Metabarons: Ultimate Collection”

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrator: Juan Gimenez
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Humanoids Publishing
Relesae Date: November 13, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“The Metabarons” is the cult classic spin-off science fiction comic series from Alexandro Jodorowsky’s own cult classic series “The Incal”. The Ultimate Collection brings together this epic multi-part, multi-generational space opera that follows the Castaka Clan as their family rises to fame as the galaxy’s greatest warriors, the Metabarons. I recently feel in love with Alexandro Jodorowsky’s work after watching “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, which is an outstanding documentary on Alejandro’s failed film adapation of Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune” back in to the 70’s. Like “The Incal, “The Metabarons” is also heavily influenced by Frank Herbert’s “Dune” novels and includes aspects from Jodorowsky’s “Dune” as well. Again, if you are a sci-fi fan looking to discover something new or re-discover this cult classic, I highly recommend checking out this amazing collection.

Official Premise: A must-read cult spin-off of “The Incal,” by Moebius and Jodorowsky, centering around the fascinating lineage of the ultimate warrior. This collection introduces the Metabaron’s bloodline and reveals the origins of their deep-seated principles. Find out the source of the family’s vast wealth, learn why every Metabaron has cybernetic implants, and why the only way to become the next Metabaron is for him to defeat his own father in a mortal combat. Follow each successive generation as it struggles to overcome the forces amassed against it in a galaxy corrupted by greed, power, and terror. A true classic in the pantheon of graphic storytelling and Science Fiction as a whole.

Humanoid honestly does not mess around with their releases. This book is absolutely gorgeous and runs nearly 550 pages long at almost 2″ thick. No question, this is one of the most impressive comic releases that I have recently seen. If you’ve seen the film “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, and if you haven’t I HIGHLY recommend it, you will know that Alexandro developed a “book” for the film which includes the complete script wrapped around storyboards drafting out literally every scene and every character. There were originally only a handful of these made at the time but no only one or two are left. I believe that if Alexandro was ever to release that book to the world (which he really should), Humanoid would be the only company that would be able to do it justice. Just sayin’

The stories in this collection are so interesting and thought provoking. I really have a deeper appreciation for Jodorowsky’s work. This plays out like a space opera that is side acting as a futuristic Greek tragedy production. So there is a lot going on and it is so well tied together and delivered. The original French comics were reproduced in English in their original format. “The Metabarons Ultimate Collection” includes “Othon & Honorata”, “Aghnar & Oda”, “Steelhead & Doña Vicenta”, “Aghora & The Last Metabaron” plus two bonus short stories, “The Crest of Castaka” and “The Incal’s Dream”. So you get the works with this collection. If you are looking to get sucked and spit out by this incredible space opera, than I cannot recommend “The Metabarons” any more. I can’t wait to check out Humaoid’s release for “After the Incal” and “Final Incal” next.

Book Review “The Incal: Classic Collection”

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrator: Moebius
Hardcover: 308 pages
Publisher: Humanoids Publishing
Release Date: June 29, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

After watching “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, which is an outstanding documentary on Alejandro’s failed film adapation of Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune” back in to the 70’s. What I did learn from that film was that Alejandro Jodorowsky was still able to bring some of his vision from his work on that film to life in the medium of comic books. “The Incal” is the first in a series of science fiction comic books written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius. Jodorowsky’s work was so powerful and immense that his world created in these books we referred to as, a fictional universe, “Jodoverse”. These comics were originally written in French only, so thanks to Humanoids for bringing them to the US and keeping Jodorowsky’s vision alive and going strong. This is a must buy for any sci-fi fan.

Official Premise: John Difool, a low-class detective in a degenerate dystopian world, finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, mystical artifact called “The Incal.” Difool’s adventures will bring him into conflict with the galaxy’s greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and will pit him against the awesome powers of the Technopope. These encounters and many more make up a tale of comic and cosmic proportions that has Difool fighting for not only his very survival, but also the survival of the entire universe.

If you are unfamiliar with Alexandro Jodorowsky, you will most likely recongnize this work including cult films like “El Topo”, “Santa Sangre” and “The Holy Mountain”. Moebius is an internationally acclaimed illustrator endless amounts of graphic novels. He is also a film designer for films like “Alien” and “The Fifth Element”. Obviously you can see why the collaboration worked so well between these two. This project was spawned after a seven-year collaboration by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius dating back to between 1981 and 1988. The collection includes all six stories including “The Black Incal”, “The Luminous Incal”, “What Lies Beneath”, “What Is Above”, “The Fifth Essence Part One: The Dreaming Galaxy” and “The Fifth Essence Part Two: Planet DiFool”

“The Incal” is a strange and crazy French space opera mixed up with metaphysics and satire. The new Humanoids release came as a very sharp hardcover. It restored the original colouring and removed the censorship on the nudity. Humanoids also restored Jodorowsky’s “The Metabarons”, “After the Incal” and the last “Final Incal” comes out later this year in English. What I really enjoyed about this work is that you can’t just read this comic and look at the colorful pictures. It requires intelligence to be able to understand and really appreciate it. You have to experience each word of his very influential text. It is extremely cinematic and nothing like any other comic developed during its time.

Book Review “Alien – The Illustrated Story (Original Art Edition)

Author: Archie Goodwin
Illustrator: Walt Simonson
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.7 x 16.9 inches

When I first heard that “Alien – The Illustrated Story” was being released by Titan Books, I was sure excited because I am both a fan of Ridley Scott’s film “Alien” and also comic book artist Walt Simonson. But I got much more than I expected (in a good way). This good in the words of Buddy the Elf is “GINORMOUS”. But that is the charm of it I think, it clocks in at 13.8″ x 1 x 19.9″. If you can’t imagine it…just take my word its oversized. Though there is a reason for it, since it is scanned directly from Walt’s original art and reproduced at the same size. Since the pages are in fact scanned from the originals they even include all the corrections, paste-ups and even coffee stains. I was blown away that they would release this and very impressed.

But wait there is more. The story itself is only 64 pages. Also included is Archie Goodwin’s original script for the story, as well as Walt’s two page try-out for Fox (which actually featuring a very different alien). There is a great interview with Walt and letterer John Workman and closing with an afterword by Walt. If you don’t want the GIANT hardcover edition, then you can opt out for the totally not as cool softcover “Facsimile Cover Regular Edition”, which is also in color. I highly recommend this “Original Art Edition” it is an amazing companion piece to this movie book.

The book was written by the late Archie Goodwin, the comic book writer, known best for his Warren and Marvel Comics work. He was also the chief writer and editor of landmark horror anthology titles Creepy and Eerie. On a graphic novel, the illustrator is really the star of the show. Walt Simonson is the man behind this one and he has written, penciled or inked Batman, Fantastic Four, The Hulk and Superman just to name but a few!

Premise: Vacant. Two space helmets resting on chairs. Electronic hum. Lights on the helmets begin to signal one another. Moments of silence. A yellow light goes on. Electronic hum. A green light goes on in front of one helmet. Electronic pulsing sounds. A red light goes on in front of the other helmet. An electronic conversation ensues. Reaches a crescendo. Then silence. And when the silence is broken… the crew of the Nostromo must grapple with a terrifying life force they cannot leash, nor even comprehend – the Alien!

This book has been out of print for over thirty years, so this brand new edition timed perfectly with “Prometheus”, is a welcomed treat. It has been very carefully restored from original artwork in Walt Simonson’s studio and is presented here for the very first time in this definitive artist’s edition of the greatest sci-fi horror ever produced. So if you are a fan of “Alien”, sci-fi or event art…then this is a the book for you. Just make sure you have a very large coffee table – very large – because you will need it.

Book Review “All-Action Classics No. 4: The Wizard of Oz”

Author: Ben Caldwell
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books; Elibron Classics series edition
Release Date: September 4, 2012

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

There is never a shortage of new content for “The Wizard of Oz”.  L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz back in 1900.  Sterling Children’s Books’ is behind the new release in their fourth All-Action Classics installment with “The Wizard of Oz”. It is presented in the form of a graphic novel! I was not a mega fan of the animation style but it is bright and colorful and will sure to excite kids.  I have to give some credit to this take on L. Frank Baum’s classic fantasy, it is a unique retelling of this great story. Fans of “The Wizard of Oz” will definitely eat this up, at least until next year’s “Oz, The Great and Powerful” by Sam Raimi.

The author that adapted this book is Ben Caldwell, who is a former Marvel comic artist.  He tries his best to captures the charm of Baum’s work.  I just wasn’t a majot fan of his depiction of Dorothy and the Munchkins. The book is a decent quick read though and most importantly it was very simple for kids to jump right into. Caldwell also worked with Sterling on their first three adaptations as well in the All-Action Classics series like “Dracula”, “Tom Sawyer” and “The Odyssey”.  I am curious to see what Sterling is going to be coming up with next.

Book Review “Alien – The Illustrated Story”

Author: Archie Goodwin
Illustrator: Walt Simonson
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 4, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

From the moment that I opened this book, I was in love. I was immediately transported back to my childhood days of comic book readings. There was just something about this that immediately captured me. I am not sure if it was the design style, the animation or maybe just colors. This book was original done back in 1979 and has been out of print for over thirty years. This edition is brand new and has been completely and meticulously restored using the original Simonson’s original artwork.

The book was written by the late Archie Goodwin, the comic book writer, known best for his Warren and Marvel Comics work. He was also the chief writer and editor of landmark horror anthology titles Creepy and Eerie. On a graphic novel, the illustrator is really the star of the show. Walt Simonson is the man behind this one and he has written, penciled or inked Batman, Fantastic Four, The Hulk and Superman just to name but a few!

I remember watching this film sneaking behind my parents back and being absolutely terrified. I have found that this excitement and terror was immediately brought back after reading this stunning color graphic novel of Ridley Scott’s legendary sci-fi thriller! Overall if you are looking to get transported through time back to your childhood, then this is for you at at a low price of around $10. If you are looking for the Original Art Hardcover Edition, it will also be released by Titan Books on October 30, 2012 timed with the Blu-ray release of “Prometheus”.

Premise: Vacant. Two space helmets resting on chairs. Electronic hum. Lights on the helmets begin to signal one another. Moments of silence. A yellow light goes on. Electronic hum. A green light goes on in front of one helmet. Electronic pulsing sounds. A red light goes on in front of the other helmet. An electronic conversation ensues. Reaches a crescendo. Then silence. And when the silence is broken… the crew of the Nostromo must grapple with a terrifying life force they cannot leash, nor even comprehend – the Alien!

Book Review “The James Bond Omnibus 002”

Author: Ian Fleming
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 12, 2011

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love James Band.  Ever since I saw my first Bond film “Goldfinger”, I was hooked.  There is just something about this character that is just timeless throughout generations.  Ian Fleming has easily created the world’s most famous secret agent.  This book is the second volume in a collection of James Bond original daily comic strips.  This book is easily one of the best in the series as well.  You can read out past reviews here for “Omnibus 001” and “Omnibus 003“.  If you love yourself some James Bond, than these books are sure win.

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This volume contains seven of Iam Fleming’s stories and contains where “Omnibus 001” left off bringing us the comics based on the novels that inspired the movies. If you are a fan of these that you are going to love a chance to read these in the original comic format.  The stories included are: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, “You Only Live Twice”, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “The Living Daylights”, “Octopussy”, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “The Hildebrand Rarity”. This is the very first time that these comic strips have been available in one format.

” Omnibus 002″ is the longest in the three volume series to date.  It matches “Omnibus 003” with seven stories but less than “Omnibus 001” with eleven stories.  James Bond has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years and this just proves that it will continue for many more.  Titans Books is well known for releasing high quality work and this one definitely does not stray from its norm.  Like its previous volumes, it has very sharp and clear black and white color and the paper feels like an old newspaper.  This is really a treat and very much recommended to any true 007 fan.

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