Thursday, November 27, 2014 • Morning Edition • "Who invited Spektre?"

Rui Esteves

Rui Esteves is definitely from Peru and has a blog!  Rui tries to find the good in everyone, which is difficult when he has to work for this hive of scum and villainy, but he makes do.   Rui does so enjoy graphic novels, as evident from the name of his blog:  Reading Graphic Novels, twitter handle: @RGNblog, and Facebook page: rgnblog.
 

 


Review: Red Star Volume 1 The Battle of Kar Dathras Gate

Review: Red Star Volume 1 The Battle of Kar Dathras Gate

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on March 17, 2013

  Red Star takes place in a world were Magic as been militarized and old Soviet WW II technology. Maya Antares recalls the battle of Kar Dathra. A battle where she lost her husband. Nine years after that battle she still doesn't know what really happened. Red Star will take you through the personal tragedy of Maya and Marcus Antares, the plight that war can inflict on the people and the mystic embodiment of the conflict that is devastating the Red Star World. How is it? When Maya Antares visits her husband's grave on a military cemetery,  she reminisces on the battle of Kar Dathra. This was the battle where she lost her husband and that changed her forever. The retelling of the battle is a somewhat simple war story. The story focuses on the effect the war has on its participants and less on the battle. There is no glorification of war. This is a very Apocalypse Now approach on the subject. Military Cemetery In the last act of the book things take a turn for the mystic and spiritual with the introduction of Troika and Pravda. The first is a dark figure that embodies lies and iron and the latter freedom and justice. There is little ambiguity in this first volume. Personally I like my stories to not be so clear cut in the moral department, but that is a minor issue with the overall story. I absolutely love the art. You can almost feel the steel under you feet, the heat from the furnaces and the taste of Soviet Communism on your lips.  You shiver in the presence of Troika and rejoice in the company of Pravda (The Red Woman). The ambiance that the art in Red Star creates is one of the reason this book has remained on of my favorites over the years. And the coloring is a big part of that. I especially like the color palette used when the story takes place in the Sky Furnaces (big battleships). The red, orange and yellow colors combined with the geometrical structures accentuate the feel of raw Soviet WW II era technology. Marcus Charges The one point I didn't like is the lettering. There are way to many different types of lettering to keep track of. Also there are some issues with the placement of the text. This happens in text heavy panels when the text overlaps the action of the panel. Verdict? I like this book a lot. Like I told on my Top 10 Sci-Fi books on My Shelves article, this was the first book I read after a 10 or so year hiatus I took from comics. The art is the strongest aspect in Red Star Volume 1 The Battle of Kar Dathras Gate. It is truly amazing. The plot might turn some off. If you don't like themes with that Soviet WW II feel then you probably won't enjoy this as much as I did. I first read this book in Portuguese, published by Devir. Sadly the following volumes were not published by Devir. Most Red Star books are still available for purchase. If you're interested I recommend the oversize editions. The art deserves them. In Portuguese Publisher: Archangel Studios Year: 2003 Authors: Christian Gossett ISBN: 9728631480 In English Publisher: Archangel Studios Year: 2001 Pages: 144 Authors: Christian Gossett ISBN: 1582401977 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-red-star-volume-1-battle-of-kar.html

Review: Astro City Volume 1 Life in the Big City

Review: Astro City Volume 1 Life in the Big City

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on March 10, 2013

  Welcome to Astro City, home of superheroes, super-villains and simple people. Astro City is Metropolis and Gotham City all in one. Its bright and glorious but also dark and petty. Its filled with proud superheroes that, despite having godlike abilities, have very earthly life issues. Astro City Volume 1 Life in the Big City marks the beginning of Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross and Brent Anderson's take on superhero comics. How is it? Kurt Busiek chooses a very interesting approach to superheroes in Life in the Big City. Instead of the usual (DC and Marvel's) take on superheroes Busiek portraits his characters in a very mundane manner. The Superman like character only wishes to be happy and longs for the simplest of things. The Wonder Woman like character is just as insecure as you or me. Also the common Astro City citizen has hopes and dreams and fears, just like everyone. The parallelism between Astro City's characters, superheroes and locations their counterparts from DC and Marvel's Universe is evident. Most archetypes are present and Busiek makes the most of this. Its not a parody but a new take on most popular superhero mythos. The storytelling is not continuous like in most collections. There are no story arcs. Instead Busiek takes an episodic approach to the story. Each chapter (issue) tells one tale and the are no conducting line between them. This first volume seems to be about getting the reader up to date with what is Astro City. Its superheroes, its lore and its spirit. Samaritan The first chapter introduces the Samaritan. The Samaritan is Astro City's Superman. A boy scout with God like superpowers that lives with the weight of the world on his shoulders. But all he wants is to fly, that is what he truly loves. Then comes the story of the Silver Agent, a Captain America (i think) like character. This is told through flashbacks by Astro City's Perry White. In the third story we get to know the Gotham side of the city. In the third story a lowlife identically discovers the secret identity of a famous superhero but has a very hard time dealing with the situation. The result is certainly unique. The fourth and fifth chapters are my favorite. In the fourth we follow one day of a suburbia woman that works in Astro City. She lives conflicted between these two worlds and has to find her place in the world. The fifth chapter follows an alien that is evaluating the human race and reporting back to his masters. This story is hilarious and genius at the same time. Jack in the Box The sixth and last chapter is the tale of the date between The Samaritan (Superman) and Winged Victory (Wonder Woman). Its an interesting way to approach this subject, mainly because Busiek doesn't portrait his heroes like the pinnacle of all that's good and true and  that DC and Marvel many times do. Art wise Brent Anderson does a very good job. This book manages to hide its age due to great writing and very good art. I particularly love the difference between the Metropolis side of Astro City and its Gotham side. Its so distinguishable that its almost perfect. The character designs are also very good. The homage their DC or Marvel counterpart but at the same time are original and new. Alex Ross provides some glorious covers that are available in the cover galery at the back of the book. Verdict? This is one of the best superhero books I've had the pleasure to read. I know I'm 14 years late to the party, but this is as glorious today as (I imagine) it was back in 99 (the original issues are from 1996). Its aged fantastically well, in fact had I not looked for the publishing date I wound't have guessed it wasn't hot off the press. Very highly recommended. Publisher: Wildstorm Year: 1999 Pages: 192 Authors: Kurt Busiek, Brent E. Anderson, Alex Ross ISBN: 1563895517 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-astro-city-volume-1-life-in-big.html

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #9

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #9

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 9, 2013

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #9Vince Hernandez – Writer / Jordan Gunderson – Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorCan anyone hope to survive the Extinction?The massive “Executive Extinction” crossover begins to tear apart the bounds of friendship and loyalty, as Lily, Orchid and Aster arrive in Tokyo on their final push to eliminate Mazutsu and end his cycle of bloodshed. However, the arrival of Executive Assistant Ivy has created a challenge for the girls’ revenge plan, as her past reveals dark secrets which may lead to all of their demise!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #9 is in stores March 20th, 2013! FC                               32 pages                                $3.99 Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/preview-executive-assistant-assassins-9.html

Charismagic Retailer Covers

Charismagic Retailer Covers

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 9, 2013

Queen of Spades Aspen plans to kick off their summer with the fantasy adventure series Charismagic as the fourth release in their successful “10 for 10” initiative starting on May 1st. The debut $1 issue by creator and writer Vince Hernandez with art by Vincenzo Cucca and Emilio Lopez and will feature special Retailer Exclusive incentive covers. Aspen’s Frank Mastromauro discusses these special individualized covers: “Our retailer partners have been overwhelmingly supportive of our “10 for 10” initiative thus far, and especially towards the Retailer Exclusive cover incentive. Each store’s cover has been painstakingly designed to be unique for each and every retailer that participates. The response so far has been extremely positive and we expect to continue that trend with this awesome new Charismagic playing card themed cover.” Ace of Clubs Fans and new Aspen readers who add each of the “10 for 10” titles to their comic shop’s local subscription service will be eligible to receive the special Aspen Reserved Edition variant covers. Those fans who collect all ten Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers will receive a free full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” Jam Poster featuring all ten “10 for 10” covers on one image colored by superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. The Charismagic #1 Aspen Reserved Edition cover features artwork by volume one artist Khary Randolph with Steigerwald. Charismagic will also feature upcoming covers by J. Scott Campbell, Amanda Conner, Eric Basaldua and more to be announced.Aspen encourages everyone to check out the release of Charismagic #1 for only $1 on May 1st.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/charismagic-retailer-covers.html

Preview: Soulfire #4

Preview: Soulfire #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 8, 2013

CoverSOULFIRE (vol 4) #4 J.T. Krul – Story / Mike DeBalfo – Art / Nei Ruffino  - ColorsMichael Turner’s epic fantasy adventure surges forward into a new era!Possessed by the chaotic spirit of Oris, Grace seems all but unstoppable as her reign of terror storms across the globe. Cities are being destroyed. People are dying. In the Everlands, one of Malikai's closest friends is facing death from Grace's violence. Can the combined power of magic and technology save them? And if so, will the result be a miracle…or an abomination?"From veteran SOULFIRE scribe J.T. Krul, and featuring the amazing art of Michael DeBalfo along with fan favorite colorist Nei Ruffino, this is the SOULFIRE tale three volumes in the making! New and returning fans will NOT want to miss out as the biggest SOULFIRE story ever told continues right here!SOULFIRE (vol 4) #4 is in stores March 20th, 2013!FC                               32 pages                                 $3.99       Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/preview-soulfire-4.html

Preview: Executive Assistant: Iris #3

Preview: Executive Assistant: Iris #3

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 6, 2013

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #3David Wohl – Writer /Alex Lei– Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsThe Extinction continues!Working with the CIA, Iris learns that the powerful and malevolent arms dealer Mazutsu is off limits to the Agency, a fact that piques her interest further. Covertly, Iris heads to New Delhi, India in search of her friend Lotus, but surprisingly discovers a deadly battle already in progress, along with the arrival of some rather violent “friends” as well!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS vol 3 #3 is in stores March 13, 2013!  Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/preview-executive-assistant-iris-3.html

Fans Select Overtaken As New Aspen Comics “10 for 10” Series In August

Fans Select Overtaken As New Aspen Comics “10 for 10” Series In August

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 6, 2013

Cover Following a month-long online fan voting process to choose Aspen Comics’ next series, the publisher has announced that Overtaken has won the contest and will debut on August 21st as their “10 for 25,40 cm release for that month. Created by Frank Mastromauro, this all new sci-fi, action adventure series is described:Journalist Will Harden is well equipped for most situations, but nothing can prepare him for what’s about to come. Relocating from the big city to a small mountain town with his wife, everything is turned upside-down the moment she goes missing. Are the rumors of alien abductions true or did something far worse happen to his wife? No matter the cause, Harden will not stop until he uncovers the truth, or die trying.Overtaken will be written by Mastromauro with art by newcomer Marco Lorenzana. Aspen Editor-in-Chief Vince Hernandez discusses Lorenzana’s participation:“Marco has a truly amazing story on how he showed up on our radar. He was visiting Los Angeles and was staying with family, and on a whim he decided to take a chance and show up at our studio with his portfolio in hand. As it turned out, his artwork was outstanding and Frank asked him to stay. From that day forward Marco spent countless hours honing his craft in the studio and he just took off from there. We’re really excited to have Marco on the project and are eager to show everyone what he’s capable of.”Aspen will be supporting the release of Overtaken #1 will all of their successful “10 for 10” incentives including the Aspen Reserved Edition and Aspen Retailer Exclusive covers, as well as special variant covers by J. Scott Campbell, Eric Basaldua and more to be announced shortly. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/fans-select-overtaken-as-new-aspen.html

Review: Dungeons Dragons Volume 2 First Encounters

Review: Dungeons Dragons Volume 2 First Encounters

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on March 1, 2013

Dungeons & Dragon Volume 2 First Encounters continues the story of the last volume in the precise moment the previous one left off. Adric, Khal, Bree, Varis and Tisha are falling through the portal they entered in the last volume and end up in the Elven world. There we meet the Elven people and explore a little of their society and tribal rivalry. Find out how does a lost group of Elf ghosts are connected to our band of heroes and how does that affect Adric's "father-in-law". Explore the world of the Elves and discover Adric's and the gang's past. How is it? The story starts right when the last book ended, with our heroes going through a portal without knowing their destination. However, before we get to know what happened and where they ended up, we get to find out how the gang got together. This origin story plays a pivotal role in the overall plot, so pay attention to it. The Feywild In this second volume the plot revolves around Elves and Dark Elves, ancient dwarven science, old power plays and one unforgiving father-in-law. Lost in Feywild, the Elven World our heroes came face to face with old, thought of dead, foes and Elven political power plays that will have to escape from. On top of that Adric as to come to terms with is Elven "father-in-law". And neither will be happy with it. Sexy Tisha John Rogers manages to continue the great story told in the first volume and take it up a notch. He fleshes this Universe out with a number of new characters that have history with our heroes, new reveals, the rise of the winds of treason and the forging of new alliances. Adric's relationship with the Elven people is particularly interesting. If you read the first volume you already know that Adric is dating an Elven Sorcerer apprentice. In First Encounters you'll not only find out how they met, but also how's the relationship between her father and Adric. A hint, its not very peaceful. In the art department this volume is a tiny little bit weaker than the first. There are beautifully drawn environments, especially Feywild, the Elf World. The coloring is absolutely gorgeous. The different color pallets for the different Worlds and different times of day are a delight to see. The only chink in the armor is that there are a few pages that are drawn in a different style from the rest of the book. That stands out as a sore thumb, but in the end this is a minor issue. Just like the previous volume this book is printed in a glorious over-sized edition with a cool sketch gallery  covers and D&D gameplay reading material. Elven Magic Verdict I have nothing but great things to say about this series and this volume in particular. I think the first was very good, but this one tops it. The Universe is ritcher, the plots are more developed and we get to see how it all began. This is a great fantasy comic book, a true D&D history indeed. Highly recommended. Publisher: IDW Year: 2012 Pages: 152 Authors: John Rogers, Andrea Di Vito, Denis Medri, Juanan, Vicente Alcazar, Horacio Domingues, Guido Guidi, Nacho Arranz, Chris Mowry, Chris Mowry ISBN: 1613770847 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-dungeons-dragons-volume-2-first.html

Review: Orchid Volume 2

Review: Orchid Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on February 28, 2013

Cover Orchid and the rebels finally reach Fortress Penuel. Even after all that lost in their journey, their resolve remain strong. They're going to rescue Anzio the leader of the rebels, no mater the cost. In Orchid Volume 2 the truth about General China and his fate is revealed, former allies come into play, new alliances are forged and recent ones start to show signs of rupture. Tom Morello keeps fanning the fires of revolution in this post-apolitical Earth where the chasm between social classes is so abysmal yet so familiar. He keeps his heroes righteous and on the path of liberation though vindication. How is it? This second volume starts with a funny and imaginative, but very violent, way our heroes found to get in Fortress Penuel. In fact all of the first chapter is very violent. Glorious graphic violence, guts, heads and explosions, but violence nonetheless. Orchid Volume 2 is packed with action scenes, great reveals, some predictable, others not so much. Opal, Orchid and Simon finally enter Fortress Penuel. There both Orchid and Opal will find some acquaintance from their past. For one it will bring hilarious closure, for the other dilution. That it boys... look this way After thickening the rebels ranks with a few more able bodies, our heroes set to free Anzio that is scheduled to be executed in later that day. The rescue mission is an action packed blitz strike that goes as well as you might imagine. General China's magical mask takes the spotlight, by being the force behind the rebel force. Its because of its power that the rebels are able to make an escape. However there might not be a happy ending for all. Hooky makes BOOM In between all the fighting and running we find out what really happened to General China and how Tomo Wolfe's reached power. Sadly this is undermined by predictable storytelling and a somewhat hard to swallow story plot. Basically Tomo Wolfe is a big technological genius that uses mechanical animal beasts to enforce his. In the devastated world of Orchid there little technology available but then suddenly there's and army of mechanical horses and robotic giants spiders and so on. This took me a bit out of the story. But it might just be a pet peeve. Art wise this is as good as the first volume. All the characters are truly unique, the world is beautifully rendered, The class difference of the difference inhabitants of Fortress Penuel are wonderfully drawn and colored. I love how Winkle's face scream traitor (don't worry, its not a spoiler). As in the first volume, this book comes with codes to download Tom Morello's music. One music per chapter. Verdict? This is a good series. The first volume (you can check the review here) introduce a new original Universe with interesting characters and a simple but compelling story line. This second volume brings closure to some big questions and setup a couple more. Even with its faults I had good fun reading this book. Recommended. Publisher: Dark Horse Year: 2013 Pages: 112 Authors: Tom Morello, Scott Hepburn ISBN: 1595829660 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-orchid-volume-2.html

Aspen’S Shrugged #1 sells over 32K copies, personalized retailer exclusive covers revealed

Aspen’S Shrugged #1 sells over 32K copies, personalized retailer exclusive covers revealed

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 26, 2013

Covers Aspen is pleased to announce that the second release in their ambitious “10 for 10” initiative, Shrugged #1, has ordered in excess of over 32,000 copies and will feature a large array of retailer exclusive covers personalized for each individual store. Aspen Owner and President Frank Mastromauro discusses:“As the writer and co-creator of the series, I couldn’t be happier with the great response we’ve had to the long awaited return of Shrugged. After having it on the schedule for several years, seeing it come back as one of the ‘10 for 10’ launch titles is a complete thrill. This volume was born with an idea Michael Turner had for the sequel to our first volume of the series, and I couldn’t be more proud bringing to life for everyone!”Aspen is pricing each debut #1 “10 for 10” issue for the affordable price of only $1 and is also offering other incentives for each release such as original hand-drawn sketch covers, CGC editions, and special retailer incentive covers by popular artists J. Scott Campbell and Eric “Ebas” Basaldua.Fans and new Aspen readers who add each of the “10 for 10” titles to their comic shop’s local subscription service will be eligible to receive the special Aspen Reserved Edition variant covers. Those fans who collect all ten Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers will receive a free full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” Jam Poster featuring all ten “10 for 10” covers on one image colored by superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. The Shrugged #1 Aspen Reserved Edition cover features artwork by series artist Jonathan Marks and Steigerwald.Aspen encourages everyone to check out the release of Shrugged #1 for only $1 on March 13th. Captain Chuck's Comics Captain Comics 4 Color Fantasies Cleveland Comics Alterniverse Creative Comics Game On Comics Gem City Comic con 2013 Ghost Ship Comics Heroes Sale Heroes and Fantasies Keith's Komix Journey Into Comics My Comic Shop Mile High Comics Reader Copies Rupps Comics Stadium Comics The Source Uncanny Comics WV Pop Culture Con Warp 9 Wade's Comic MadnessFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/aspens-shrugged-1-sells-over-32k-copies.html

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