Monday, December 22, 2014 • Evening Edition • "All nerds welcome. Bring your own toilet paper."

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: Nocturnals Carnival of Beasts

Review: Nocturnals Carnival of Beasts

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on February 25, 2013

Cover Nocturnals Carnival of Beast is an one-shot from Dan Brereton's Nocturnals series. This book collects the stories Beasts, The Scrimshaw Crown and Night of the Candy Butchers. In this book Dan Brereton takes this motley crew and puts them in character centric stories. Here Doc Horror, Halloween Girl and Starfish get a chance to shine. How is it? I knew very little about Nocturnals coming into this book. However I didn't felt that it took much away from my enjoyment of the book. The recap of the characters at the beginning of the book, brings you up to date with the bare essentials of who's who. The first story is Beasts. This is the only where I felt that some continuity knowledge would bring something to the reading experience. Here Doc Horror takes most of the gang into the hoods looking for the carnival of beasts. There he finds an old foe and they end up having a bit of a rumble. This is my least favorite of the stories. On one hand it has great looking painted art, on the other the dialogue is somewhat wonky and the story moves at an awkward pace. Halloween Girl The Scrimshaw Crown, the second story, focus around Starfish and her short quest to help a lost soul find its peace. This story has absolutely gorgeous art. There is one single panel that tarnishes it a bit. In it someone forgot to draw Starfish's head, but apart from that it is absolutely wonderful. The story is a simple and short tale about doing a good deed. Starfish The last short story is Night of the Candy Butchers. I found this one to be a very sweet narration with cool looking art. This is one of those stories where what's narrated doesn't match whats being shown, but at the same time it does. The story is narrated by a very young Halloween Girl and she sees the world throw a kiddie lens. On the background Gunwitch and Polychrome fight the haunted occupations of a Halloween Fair. Verdict? I came into this book without any prior knowledge about the Nocturnals Universe but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. The dialogue might be a bit wonky at times and some character motivation not very clear, but its still entertaining. And the art is, for the most part, very good. I liked it, it entertained me. On a side note, I want to thank Nuno Amado and his blog for hosting the contest from were I won this book. Publisher: Image Comics Year: 2008 Pages: 64 Authors: Dan Brereton ASIN: B001G0JYA0 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-nocturnals-carnival-of-beasts.html

Preview: Legend of the Shadow Clan #2

Preview: Legend of the Shadow Clan #2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 22, 2013

CoverLEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #2David Wohl – Story / Cory Smith – Art / Jon Starr – ColorsWhat is the mystery of the LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN?The Himuras believed themselves to be just an average family, but everything changed the night that Dr. Richard Himura inadvertently found himself in a battle with well-armed assassins, and he not only survived, but he defeated them! Exhilarated and confused, Himura now discovers that this attack was not random, and that he and his family are anything but ordinary–they are members of an ancient and powerful ninja family known as the Shadowclan. But now that their secret has been discovered, they realize they are ALL in great danger!Writer David Wohl is joined by the artistic talents of Cory Smith and colorist John Starr, as they bring to you the thrilling new adventures of the LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover D LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #2 is in stores March 6th, 2013!Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/preview-legend-of-shadow-clan-2.html

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on February 20, 2013

Cover Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 mark the beginning of a Star Wars series by Star Wars set in a new era, free from continuity restraints. From Dark Horse's site: Here begins the tale of the dawn of the Jedi, the Star Wars of 25,000 years ago—before lightsabers, before hyperspace travel, before the Jedi spread throughout the galaxy, when connections to the Force were new.  On the planet Tython, a group of beings—scientists, philosophers, and warriors—strive to maintain peace and to balance the mystifying power known as the Force. But a stranger is coming, one who will disrupt the balance with his arrival and his own connection to the Force. Everything in their system is about to change . . . The doors to the galaxy have been opened! Collects Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi—Force Storm #1–#5. How is it? Wait What? A strange pyramidal ship (that is left unexplained) gathers a bunch of force sensitive people from several planets and brings them together at one planet that works as a force focal point. These people and their descendants will in time be called Je'daii. Unlike "modern" Jedi these strive to be in balance with the force, this is equals parts dark and light. On day a dark side of the force user drops by this planet and hell breaks loose. The rest of the book is fighty fighty, the force this and the dark side that. Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba and Gonzalo Flores made a good job making this book on par with the other Dark Horse Star Wars books. The myriad of alien races and different characters is really cool to see. The coloring, while not groundbreaking does a competent job. Overall the art department is very well taken care off. I really wanted to love this one. I'm a fan of the Star Wars mythos and usually enjoy the Ostrander / Duursema's books very much. But it seems that Ostrander has lost his Midas touch. The narrative is, for the most part, uninspired,  predictable and at times boring. Ostrander uses and abuses the made up names and force memes. It seems that every other panel there's a "balance of the force", "force storm" or "dark side". And the made up names make it nigh impossible to follow the story without going back and forward in the book checking who's who. I know these are Star Wars cliches, but in Dawn of the Jedi these artifices are used to the point of exhaustion. Look not lightsabers The worst part is that the book does not deliver what Dark Horse promised. This is set 25000 years Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) but everything looks more evolved than in the Knights of the Old Republic comics (check Dark Horse's Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 and Volume 2) that took place only 5000 years BBY. The Je'dii social structure is almost identical to what is found in the prequel trilogy (almost 25000 years later). There doesn't seem to be much difference in the technological field also. In fact, apart from the flying cars and intergalactic travel there doesn't seem to by any significant difference. Not what one would expect for a gap of 25000 years. Blade Rides "Butch" These Je'Daii seem to have a much stronger grasp of the force than any other era Jedi or Sith. And talking of the Sith, out of the blue the name is thrown around. This is really odd because Dawn of the Jedi is supposed to be from a time before the Jedi/Sith ever came to be. Then there are the lightsabers issue. In Tales of the Jedi (20000 years after this story) the few lightsabers that existed had external power packs while these one work on force will alone. In the tagline for this book it clearly reads before lightsabers but this book Ostrander introduced forcesabers, that are, for the lack of a better word, lightsabers. Really slick and original trilogy looking ones. Early Promo Verdict? I fell in love with this concept from the first promo image that Dark Horse put out. However this book doesn't even come close to the spirit of that early promo. Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 is a passable book at best. The art is good, but the writing is far from the best Ostrander and Dark Horse have produced in the past. Unless you're a die hard Star Wars fan give this one a pass. Publisher: Dark Horse Year: 2012 Pages: 128 Authors: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba, Gonzalo Flores ISBN: 1595829792 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-star-wars-dawn-of-jedi-volume-1.html

First look of Aspen Comics Jirni #1

First look of Aspen Comics Jirni #1

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 20, 2013

Aspen's newest 10 for 10 series debut!Discover a whole new world of adventure! Trekking through a violent and dangerous frontier of savage barbarians, devious thieves, and wild creatures, a warrior-princess named Ara searches for her mother, who was stolen away from her kingdom by a mysterious sorcerer with the help of his powerful D'jinn. What great and terrible secrets await her in the distant horizon? Prepare to experience an epic tale of fantasy and wonder without boundaries. This is Ara's quest. This is Ara's destiny. This is Ara's ... JIRNI. Jam Poster Cover A Cover B Sketch cover Ara Anjaha Character Sketch32 pages, $1, In stores on April 17.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/first-look-of-aspen-comics-jirni-1.html

Aspen’s “10 for 10” Continues at Emerald City Con

Aspen’s “10 for 10” Continues at Emerald City Con

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 20, 2013

Aspen Comics heads north to Seattle on March 1st – 3rd for the Emerald City Comicon 2013 and will be continuing their huge push for their “10 for 10” anniversary initiative at the show. Creators Frank Mastromauro (Shrugged, Awaken Skies/Overtaken), Peter Steigerwald (Zoo Hunters, Lady Mechanika), Siya Oum (Charismagic, Executive Assistant: Iris) and David Wohl (Legend of the Shadow Clan, Executive Assistant: Iris) will be appearing all weekend long at the Aspen Comics Booth #2206. Emerald City LSC 1 To celebrate the successful launch of the debut “10 for 10” title, Legend of the Shadow Clan, Aspen is making a special Emerald City variant for the second issue. The Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 Emerald City Comicon 2013 exclusive cover is fully illustrated by Seattle native Siya Oum and is limited to only 200 copies. Oum and Legend of the Shadow Clan creator Wohl will be at the Aspen Booth all weekend long to sign copies of this limited exclusive. Illustration In addition to all new editions of their industry-leading art prints for the con, Aspen will also be unveiling their second offering in their Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Edition series by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, which debuted earlier this year in Arizona to sold-out success. The Aspen Tour Print Anniversary Edition is limited to 125 editions. Aspen encourages fans to arrive early to ensure their print edition of this highly limited product. Aspen will also be offering two new Legend of the Shadow Clan prints by J. Scott Campbell and Cory Smith, respectively. The publisher will also feature an all new print featuring popular characters Aspen and Grace by Michael Turner and Peter Seigerwald, limited to 125 editions. LSC 2 LSC 3Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/aspens-10-for-10-continues-at-emerald.html

Review: Dungeons Dragons Volume 1 Shadowplague

Review: Dungeons Dragons Volume 1 Shadowplague

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on February 18, 2013

Cover Dungeons & Dragons Volume 1 Shadowplague marks the beginning of a new D&D inspired fantasy adventure from IDW. This book follows a band of heroes while they quest for the source of a mysterious dark force that is creating havoc in the world. They must get get to the bottom of the Shadowplague in order to more darkness from spilling into their world. Orcs, Elves, swords and sorcery, ancient magic and trans-world struggle for power are just a few of the aspects found in this first Volume. How is it? In good D&D fashion each of our heroes has a different race and class. Meet Adric the Human warrior and leader, Bree Three-Hands the Halfling thief, Varis the Elf ranger, Khal Khalundurrin the Dwarf Paladin and Tisha Swornheart the Tiefling Wizard. Flush! Luck is strong with Adric. His plans are notorious for being bad but coming together at the very last second. Bree is a very skilled thief and trap detector, Varis is the resident archer, Kahl is the poet and basically works as the tank of the group and Tisha is the power house. Varis and Kahl also work as the moral compass to Adric's decisions. Its a rich and diverse party indeed. One night at the tavern Adric's party is just having a drink when all of a sudden zombies break through the floor and all hell breaks loose. From there things get out of control and Adric, with the help of his party, must fight through Orc armies, ancient ghosts, evil dark elves and a myriad of other fantastic creatures. Dungeons & Dragons Volume 1 Shadowplague is a fun book to read, even more so if you have a natural affinity with the fantasy genre. You don't have to be fluent in D&D lingo or even in the game itself to enjoy this book. It is just a good and fun fantasy book that anyone can enjoy. However having played D&D will give you something extra. The Gang Sprints to Action There are many aspects of the game that are present here. Aspects like the class and race of the characters, the dungeons and their traps, the wizard vs sorcerer take on magic, Adric's luck, and many more. But John Rogers does a great job at keeping this under tight reins and accessible for everyone. Andrea Di Vito is in charge of the art in this book and he does an excellent job at it. The character models are spectacular, the detail in every panel is great. There are some awesome full page panel that are true delights to the eyes. My only complaint, if I can call it that, is that Andrea could have been  more adventurous with the panel dynamics. This hardcover is printed in a bigger size than standard american books. This makes the inside art look even more fantastic. This book is a delight to read, to look at and to touch. It also looks great on my shelf. Grabby Zombie Hands Verdict? I love this book. This is one of my, if not THE, favorite fantasy comic book. I can't recommend it enough. Don't be frightened at the D&D label. Buy it, read it, love it. Then buy another copy and give it away to someone you like. There should be more books like this one. Publisher: IDW Year: 2011 Pages: 132 Authors: John Rogers, Andrea Di Vito ISBN: 1600109225 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-dungeons-dragons-volume-1.html

Shelf Avengers got a new team mate - Yellowjacket

Shelf Avengers got a new team mate - Yellowjacket

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 16, 2013

Yellowjacket What do you get when you bring together comic book mythos, Eaglemoss and Planeta DeAgostini? Lots of cool figurines at an affordable price.My Yellowjacket finally arrived this week.Its a cool little figurine, with the classic yellow and black uniform, with the big black shoulder wings and a tiny Wasp in the left shoulder wing. The Wasp adds a cool detail that brings a touch of originality to this figurine.With this new addition my shelf Avengers finally get a 7 member roster. Avengers Assemble!Shelf Avengers ASSEMBLE!Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/shelf-avengers-got-new-team-mate.html

Reading Graphic Novels - Kickstarter: PAPA

Reading Graphic Novels - Kickstarter: PAPA

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 16, 2013

Vera Greentea started another adventure in Kickstarter to fund the book PAPA. The book is written by Vera and the art is left at the capable hands of artists Ben Jelter, Lizzy John and Joseph Lacroix. PAPA is a 50 page collection of 3 dark fantasy stories PAPA, The Princess and the Robot and Nightbirds. Vera started the incentive rewards at $0 with some very cool free stuff in the comment section. That's right, you don't need to give anything to get something in return. But check out the incentive rewards, its a very rewarding project. PAPA Vera Greentea presents the project: You can became a backer of this project and help Vera Greentea get this book to the printers and to fathers around the world until the 13th of April, 2013.I found this concept intriguing. At least intriguing enough to be curious about the book, The art style is moody and enviousness a felling of desolation and loneliness. Usually I'm interested in stories about parenting, or parent - sons/daughters relationship, but when you throw in some dark fantasy in the mix then there is no resisting it.For more information check the Kickstarter project page. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/vera-greentea-started-another-adventure.html

Review: Team-ups of the Brave and the Bold

Review: Team-ups of the Brave and the Bold

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on February 15, 2013

Cover When J. Michael Sraczynski first joined DC Comics he was put in charge of The Brave and the Bold book. Team-ups of the Brave and the Bold collects the first 7 issues written by JMS for that book. Those are issues #27 of #33 of The Brave and the Bold. In this collection JMS explores different story dynamics with different characters in one issue long story arcs that has little to no restraints from continuity. How is it? Team-ups of the Brave and the Bold is a collection of 7 independent stories, so lets look at each one of them. Death of a Hero Dial H for Hero and Batman star in a story that dwells into what it takes to be a hero. Sometimes its only a matter of opportunity. When a common criminal gets his hands on the Dial H for Hero's special dial and turns into a superman he gets that opportunity. This is a good story with a moral tag line that is entertaining without being preachy. Firing Line The Geek The Flash (Barry Allen) travels back in time until the WWII era. With a broken leg he must team-up with the Blackhawks in order to survive. The Flash is confronted with a moral dilemma. How can he not kill when in the middle of a war and the lives of the Blackhawks depends on it?! This is a cool concept but needed more than a single issue to get to the point where the twist made any impact. As it is its a bit boring to be honest. Lost Stories of Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow Batman meets a revived and confused Brother Power/The Geek in the streets of Gotham. BP/Geek is a living mannequin with a 60s view of the world. Unavoidably he get disillusioned when seeing how the world really is. Batman has a "don't judge a book by its cover" moment. This is one of my favorite stories. I love tragic characters, and BP/Geek is one of those characters. But like Firing Line this could be a great story if it had a few more issues to grow. The Green & the Gold Dr. Fate Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, is in an anonymous alien planet being attacked by mechanical yellow birds, and the birds are winning. When all seems lost a Dr. Fate simulacrum sprouts out of his ring and saves the day. Apart from the action scene that I throughout enjoyed (3 panels long), this is an story of acceptance. Acceptance of your fate and its inevitability. This is the second least meaningful story in the bunch, but one I quite enjoyed. Small Problems The Atom is summoned to aid some doctors in operating a sick man from inside the brain. Without their help that man will die a slow and painful death. The problem his that man is the Joker. Of course the Atom won't let anyone die, even the Joker, so he jumps right into the Joker's mind. But the electrical discharges of the Joker neurons are hitting the Atom and transferring the Joker's memories to him. Get a glimpse at the Joker before he was the Joker and find out how is this going to affect the Atom. This one wins the best plot of the book award. It is quirky and unpredictable and very fun to read. Night Gods Joker This one is very weird. Basically Aquaman and Etrighan team up and fight zombies and Lovecraftian monsters under sea. Its entertaining enough but in the end its very forgettable. Ladies Night This is the only story in this book where some continuity knowledge is required in order to get the punch in the gut JMS delivers in the end. Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Batgirl go out to paint the town red on a girls night out of a lifetime. This story has the biggest impact of all that are collected in this book. Jesus Saiz does a great job in the art department. While his art is better suited to the dark and gritty Gotham environments, it did well portraying the deep seas and the other settings. He draws a glorious Dr. Fate. I loved the faces he draws. Especially in the last story when he conveys the joy of the girls in one panel and the deep sadness of a shared secret in the next. Verdict? This is not a must have book by any means. Its not relevant in any iteration of the DC Universe nor does it contain very deep or though provoking stories. It is however loads of fun to read. I bought it originally because of the Dr. Fate story (there are so few of those, and I'm a sucker for magic) and I'm glad I did. Most of the stories are really good, even if some could use some more pages to better tell their tale. So, you don't "have" to buy this book, but if you're looking for something entertaining, free of the shackles of continuity, then give this one a try. Publisher: DC Comics Year: 2010 Pages: 176 Authors: J. Michael Straczynski, Jesus Saiz ISBN: 1401227937 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-team-ups-of-brave-and-bold.html

Popular Magical Series Charismagic Returns For Aspen’s Fourth “10 for 10” Release

Popular Magical Series Charismagic Returns For Aspen’s Fourth “10 for 10” Release

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 13, 2013

Cover Aspen Comics has revealed more info on their fourth release in their successful “10 for 10” anniversary initiative that has been met with both critical and commercial success, with both issue #1’s of their first two releases, Legend of the Shadow Clan and Shrugged, exceeding 30,000 copies. For their fourth release on May 1st, the week of Free Comic Book Day, Aspen will be offering the return of the acclaimed magical series Charismagic, by creator and writer Vince Hernandez (Executive Assistant: Assassins, Fathom: Kiani) with art by Vincenzo Cucca (She-Hulk) and Emilio Lopez (Charismagic: The Death Princess). The solicitation for the all-new Charismagic reads:Magician Hank Medley thought he had everything figured out. After saving the world from an ancient, ruinous evil, with the help of a Druid named Sudana and his magical talking cat Sparkles, Hank discovers the true nature of dark magic has arrived in his own realm—our world! Now, the trio must attempt to put an end to catastrophic events that will threaten to tear Earth apart under the weight of such a menace. Featuring a returning cast of Charismagic’s favorite characters along with several new and astonishing faces and creatures of magic, this new volume of CHARISMAGIC is a perfect jumping-on point for all!Hernandez discusses the new series:“We’re really excited to bring Charismagic back for more fun, and we have really upped the stakes on the story to match the fans’ tremendous support for the first volume. And to top it all off, the book will debut in stores on Free Comic Book Day week so it’s the perfect time for new readers to jump in and experience this magical adventure! With Vincenzo coming onboard and combining his amazing artistic talents with Emilio’s colors and design work, this new volume already looks truly amazing. I’m certain fans will agree once they see the finished product. They are once again in for a visual feast like only this book can provide!” Cover B The all-new volume of Charismagic will be written by Hernandez and will pair acclaimed international artist Vincenzo Cucca with returning, veteran colorist Emilio Lopez. Original series artist Khary Randolph will continue to deliver character designs and cover work for the series as well.As with all of Aspen’s “10 for 10” releases, the publisher will be offering a host of incentives for retailers and fans alike, including the extremely affordable price of only $1 for the first issue, Charismagic #1. Aspen will also be offering a special Aspen Reserved Edition cover for Charismagic #1 featuring art by Randolph and superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. Fans who reserve this all new Charismagic volume with their local retailers will be eligible to receive the Aspen Reserved Edition of Charismagic #1.Fans who collect all ten of Aspen’s “10 for 10” Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers each month through their local retailer will be eligible to receive the full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” jam poster absolutely free.In addition to the debut issue, Aspen is also offering an Aspen Reserved Edition cover for Charismagic #2 by Amanda Connor and Paul Mounts, along with a Charismagic #2 J. Scott Campbell Retailer Incentive cover available in June. Aspen will be releasing more info on further Charismagic incentives and Aspen’s “10 for 10” soon. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/popular-magical-series-charismagic.html

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