Thursday, November 27, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "Still Kardashian free!"

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.
 

 


Preview: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #2

Preview: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 23, 2013

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #2 David Wohl – Story / Alex Lei – Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsIris is back, but will she make it through the – Executive Extinction!The “Executive Extinction” crossover reaches a deadly turning point as Iris encounters an ALL NEW Executive Assistant--Jasmine—and the results are perilous! With her employer already kidnapped and held by the Russian Mafia, Iris makes a shocking decision that could end with her own death.EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS creator David Wohl is joined by newcomer Alex Lei and series vet Teo Gonzalez, to bring you the thrilling third volume as the “Executive Extinction” crossover event continues!Executive Assistant Iris (vol 3) #2 is in stores January 30th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover C Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/preview-executive-assistant-iris-vol-3-2.html

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 3

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 3

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on January 22, 2013

Cover The Marvel Summer event of 2012 comes to Wolverine and the X-Men. The mutants at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning have to choose what side they want to fight for. Wolverine tries to keep the normality of the School and the neutrality of his students, but something are just impossible to control. Students strand up against teachers and friends will fight friends. Will the school ever be the same?! How is it? Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 3 is a very disappointing book. If you read any of my previous Wolverine and the X-Men reviews you know I've loved the book from the start and have praised it a lot. If you haven't read them, this a good opportunity, check them in these links: Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 1 Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 2 Wolverine and the X-Men Alpha & Omega Sadly when judge this book by its own merits this book fails miserably. However Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo and Nick Bradshaw aren't to blame. They do their respective jobs as well as its possible. The problem is with Marvel editorial. This book was dragged into the crossover event du jour and as a consequence it lost even the slightest shred of story telling ability  Its a disjointed mess of chapters, where stuff happens off pages (probably in other books) that radically change the dynamic between the characters and, unless you read the main event in order or you're Sherlock Holmes, you're going to be dazed and confused (in the bad way). In order to be fair to the authors lets break this down in more manageable chunks. The Good Chris Bachalo's and Nick Bradshaw's art is amazing as it was in the previous volumes. Everything is vibrant and dynamic. The fights are really cool to watch. There are 3 characters they draw in a spectacular way: Ice Man, The Beast and Rachel Summers. It is ON! The latter is one of my favorite X-characters that as a bit of a spotlight in this volume. Rachel has to confront her past as a hunter of mutants when she is asked to do just the same. Jason Aaron does a good job fleshing out her inner conflict about using her mutant hunting ability to track down Hope. Orders are orders The last chapter is really good. Its about Warbird's origin. Ava'dara Naganandini, soldier of the Shi'ar Imperium, Royal Warbird, Deathbringer class is a much more complex character than she's had the chance to show. Once again Jason Aaron creates a very interesting background for a lesser character that not only fleshes her out as it opens a few door to future plots. I loved her sins, her depravity (its not what you're thinking) and her punishment  Saying more would spoil the best story in this collection. The Bad: Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 3 is, for the lack of a better word, a clusterfuck. Basically from chapter to chapter you get lost and confused. Lots of stuff happens in between chapters that you have no way to know, unless you're reading all the AVX books. Even if you were reading all the books that compose the AVX event, you'd have to read a chapter at a time from everyone of them. And it was up to you to figure out the correct reading order. The Ugly: Either Marvel had an enormous lack of vision or a disturbing lack of consideration for their readership. Publishing such a disjointed and disconnected book is a huge mistake. I want to think this was a lack of vision and a bit of incompetence but it feels more like they did it this way to "force" the reader to buy other books he doesn't want to in order to understand whats going on. Next time, please look how Dark Horse did it with Vector or how DC Comics did with Blackest Night. In Vector Dark Horse collect all the issues, in the proper reading order, in two easy to read volumes. DC opted for a different route. The involved tie in books had coherent narratives that contributed to the main event. When DC collected them, it read like a regular story arc that was readable and understandable on their own. Hi, I'm here to hijack  the story. Verdict? Unless you're following the Avengers Vs X-men event, don't bother with this one. In fact stay away! This is a mess. Publisher: Marvel Comics Year: 2012 Pages: 112 Authors: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Nick Bradshaw ISBN: 0785159991 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-wolverine-and-x-men-volume-3.html

Review: Green Lantern Emerald Dawn

Review: Green Lantern Emerald Dawn

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on January 21, 2013

Cover Green Lantern Emerald Dawn re-imagines the origin story of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft. One day, while working on a simulator he is snatched be a mysterious green light and flown to the desert. There he meets an alien that gives him a powerful green ring and dies before Hal can come to terms with whats happening. From an arrogant and irresponsible grounded test pilot to a galactic trainee cop, the journey of Hal Jordan is a whirlwind filled with aliens, new found responsibilities and introspection. How is it? Before we get into the book I should tell you that this is one of those books that remind me of my childhood. I actually bought this book twice, in 92/93 still on my allowance and again in 2005/2006. This book reminds me of Summer vacations. Not that it has anything to do with the story, but I first read it in in the Summer of 92/93 while lying down on the sand by the Atlantic (yes it got filled with sand, but I was a kid back then). I've read it more than a couple of times since. Call to OA Nowadays its common to hear voices against the use of Hal Jordan as Earth's Green Lantern, but 20 or so years ago (God, as it been that long?!)  he was a very popular character. In a time of near perfect heroes he was the imperfect one. He had family issues, work problems even his long time on-again off-again girlfriend tried to kill him many times. Hal was a Green Lantern, not because he was fearless, but because he could overcome his fear, and that made him unique. It starts with Hal Jordan in his flight simulator when suddenly it takes off flying, heading into the desert. Upon arrival he meets Abin Sur, a dying alien, that gives him his power ring. Abin Sur explains what are the Green Lanterns and why he was chosen. Shortly after Abin Sur dies and Hal is handed the most powerful weapon in the Universe. From here on Gerald Jones, Jim Owsley and Keith Giffen weave a story where Hal Jordan will have learn how to be a Green Lantern and take responsibility for his past and present actions. In a way this is a coming of age story. Hal never looses his trademark cockiness, but he does learn to accept new found responsibilities and handle the consequences that come with being a Green Lantern. In the beginning of Emerald Dawn Hal is driving while drunk and crashes is car against a sign near the road. As a result one of his friends is paralyzed. At first he doesn't take responsibility for that, but eventually Hal grows a conscience and tries to atone for that by giving himself up to the police. This is a symbolic moment that marks a turning point in Hal's life. He's finally growing up. Emerald Dawn is full of memorable moments. Among the best of them are: Hal getting the ring for the first time; Hal taking flight for the first time, Kilowog's training; the final battle against Legion and Hal turning himself in and going to jail. Kilowog is the man This book has great art. At the time it was top notch, but even 20 years later the art still manages to keep a high quality. The coloring on the other hand would benefit from an update. Panel layouts are not very imaginative by today's standards, but are not very static either. They change it a bit here and there. You will find few, but glorious, full pages panels. Verdict? To me this is the definitive origin story for Hal Jordan. It is also one of my favorite Green Lantern stories of all time. I admit to be bias towards this book, because it made a big impression on me when I was younger. If you are a fan of the Green Lantern mythos and  want to read more about Hal Jordan or just want to understand why he was such a popular character, then this book is a must read. If you're only interested in the current generation of Green Lanterns, then this won't add anything to that. Publisher: DC Comics Year: 1991 Pages: 144 Authors: Keith Giffen, Gerard Jones, Jim Owsley, M.D. Bright, Romeo Tanghal ISBN: 0930289889 Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-green-lantern-emerald-dawn.html

Review: Dr. Fate Countdown to Mystery

Review: Dr. Fate Countdown to Mystery

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on January 19, 2013

Cover The mantle of Dr. Fate has been without a bearer for a long time. Fate's helmet has been thrown into space and now returns to choose the new Dr. Fate. Fate dictated that the helmet finds his way to Dr. Kent V. Nelson, a distant relative of the original Dr. Fate. Kent Nelson is a good man that is in a truly low and bad moment of his life. Far are the days when he was a top psychiatrist, good father and husband with a nice house and a great life. Dr. Fate Countdown to Mystery was supposed to mark the start of a new era in the Dr. Fate legacy. This story sees Kent Nelson coming to terms with his personal fate and the beginning of the journey to rebuild his life. How is it? When Fate's helmet return to earth we find the good Dr. Kent V. Nelson in session of "Rumble Bums", this is, fighting another bum for money. He looses and gets scammed out of his share by his friend, who coincidentally was the other bum on the "Rumble Bums" fight. This leaves him passed out on a dumpster in the rain. Soon after he wakes up with the helmet by his side and puts it on for the first time. This puts him, and the reader, in a fast but enlightening journey through the recent history of the helmet. In doing this Steve Gerber ensures that this book is accessible for everyone, even for one that has never read a Dr. Fate story. Kent has the misfortune to go against the Demon Negal in his first time wearing the helmet. Its only with beginners luck that Kent manages to defeat Negal, but its only temporarily. All of this turns out to be too much for the, already frail, Kent Nelson to handle and he drifts back into the bottle. That leads to a series of events that bring together Kent and Inza (a throwback at the original Dr. Fate's wife). Inza is a struggling comic book creator (wink wink) and proud creator of the KillHead comics. She then takes on the unwilling role of the damsel in distress, and the rest is history. The Helmet Whispers the Spells Strange but familiar Sadly Steve Gerber passed away and he didn't had the chance to end this book. DC Comics called on Gail Simone, Adam Beechen, Mark Evanier and Mark Waid to write an ending to the truly great story Steve Gerber started. As a result there are 4 possible endings to this story. Its a shame there isn't a cannon ending to this story, but this doesn't mean Countdown to Mystery isn't worth your time, because it is, very much so. The lack of a definitive ending only downgrades this book from stellar to fantastic. The art is gorgeous. The expressiveness of the faces is great. You can almost taste Kent's misery in (almost) every shot. Justiniano and Walden Wong really bring Dr. Fate's costume to life. It is very simple, a full body blue suite and the usual yellow gloves, belt, amulet, helmet and cape, but its very powerful to see. When Dr. Fate appears he's both gracious and imposing. The contrast between Kent's world, Negal's dimension and KillHead's story is fantastic. These are three very  different aspects of Countdown to Mystery that are characterized with subtle but powerful differences in the art style that represents each one. Also worth mentioning is that the page composition is amazing  The panel layouts are unique for every page, creating great reading dynamic. I love the panel overlapping they used regularly. Symbolism Newbie Fate gets beaten Verdict? Dr. Fate Countdown to Mystery, even if unfinished, is a must read for any Dr. Fate or magic themed stories fan. I'm both so I love this one, so much so that I've read it more than a couple of times since I got it. My preferences apart, be it for the fantastic art or the compelling story this book is worth your attention. Publisher: DC Comics Year: 2008 Pages: 160 Authors: Steve Gerber, Justiniano, Walden Wong, Adam Beechen, Mark Evanier, Mark Waid, Gail Simone ISBN: 1401218407 Follow Reading Graphic Novels in Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-dr-fate-countdown-to-mystery.html

New Facebook and Twitter accounts

New Facebook and Twitter accounts

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 18, 2013

Reading Graphic Novels has been without its own Facebook and Twitter account for far too long. Today that changed. If you want to follow RGN's reviews and ramblings just hit LIKE or FOLLOW on the top right corner of the page. Like and Follow Or you can just visit the correspondent pages: Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-facebook-and-twitter-accounts.html

Review: Chew Volume 6 Space Cakes

Review: Chew Volume 6 Space Cakes

By Rui Esteves in Reviews on January 17, 2013

Cover Chew Volume 6 Space Cakes focus on Toni Chu, Tony Chu's sister. Tony is the usual main character, but this time its Toni's turn to take the lead. Toni is a agent of NASA, that after the events in Chew Volume 4 Flambé is the most powerful organization on Earth. In this story arc Toni joins John Colby and Caesar Valenzano in the pursuit of The Vampire, a villain in the making. Twists and turns await our protagonists when things do go according to plan for once. This volume also collects the awesomeness of the Chew: Secret Agent Poyo one-shot. How is it? I love Chew. First and foremost I love the art. Rob Guillory's art is like nothing I've seen. The closest I can remember is Skottie Young's art in the Oz books at Marvel (that I also adore). The character designs are truly unique and fresh. The faces Rob draws are nothing short of great, the resemblance yet uniqueness of the Chu family alone is worth praising. The weeding You know the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" right? Well it doesn't apply to Chew. The inside art is just as good as the cover art. I hate it when I pick up a book with stellar cover art and the inside pages have nothing to do with it, not even the style. But that isn't the case in this one. Chew profits from great and consistent art from cover to cover. Plot wise this is like a typical Chew with a Disney dark twist in it, then typical Chew again. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but think Bambi. John Layman is a master at cheerful plot with gloomy protagonist and delivering crushing blows to your spirit. In this 6th Volume Tony is in the Hopital (read volume 5 to know how he got there) and its up to his sister Toni to keep up the pursuit of the Cibopath known as The Vampire. Toni is a Cibovoyant (can see the future of the living things she eats), so, like her brother, she spends a good part of the story eating strange stuff. Tony is not is usual self In Space Cakes John Layman takes the most advantage of the Chew gimmick. Food related special abilities. Unlike Tony, when Toni uses her power the reader doesn't see what she sees. At first I didn't even notice it but halfway in the story it became evident that it was a plot device. This allows for some shock and a big awe further down the line. I must admit that I wasn't expecting to be surprised like this by Layman's writing but am very pleased I was. Toni's fiancee Toni is nothing like Tony. She is extroverted, a free spirit (really free), a nice person all around. During this story arc we get to know little pieces of her past. Turns out she's meet Caeser several times in the past but strongly denies it. This makes for a very humorous running joke through out the book. The journey Toni makes in this book is very engaging and interesting to read. I was glued to the book and only the long hours of the night made me put it down. In the end the Chu family will never be the same and the path is set for the next story arc. Space Cakes also collects the Chew: Secret Agent Poyo one-shot. This one shot is just what you imagine it to be. A full chapter of Poyo awesome kick-assery. Poyo (the cyborg roaster secret agent) is a former wrestler with the taste for big fights. He's ruthless and deadly. This one-shot is all about mindless fun when Poyo join the British secret services to take down a terrorist that threatens England and the World with a machine that makes farm animals rain down from the sky.  Great fun. Verdict? Chew Volume 6 Space Cakes is very much worth your time and money. This is a great series that has regained the awesome vibe it had the first 3 volumes. Chew is, and has been since launch, one of the best series out there. If you haven't check out the previous volumes given them a looksy. They're cheap and are very rewarding to read. Highly recommended. Publisher: Image Comics Year: 2013 Pages: 156 Authors: Rob Guillory, John Layman ISBN: 1607066211 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-chew-volume-6-space-cakes.html

Aspen Comics Kicks Off Their 2013 Convention Season and their “10 for 10” Initiative at Amazing Arizona Con

Aspen Comics Kicks Off Their 2013 Convention Season and their “10 for 10” Initiative at Amazing Arizona Con

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 16, 2013

Cover Aspen Comics is looking forward to attending their first convention of the new year, the upcoming Amazing Arizona Con 2013 on January 25th-27th, and the publisher is launching their all new “10 for 10” initiative over a week early at the show with the release of Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 and an appearance by series creator and writer David Wohl.Starting on February 6th, Aspen will be launching their “10 for 10” initiative featuring an all new series release for ten consecutive months, with each debut #1 issue offered for only $1. Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 will be the first offering for Aspen’s “10 for 10”, and is created by Wohl and Brad Foxhoven with art by Cory Smith and John Starr. Cover B Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 will be released nearly a week prior to its release date, featuring an exclusive cover by Soulfire artist Mike DeBalfo and colorist Peter Steigerwald, the Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 Amazing Arizona Con 2013 will be available at the Aspen Comics Booth all weekend long and is limited to 200 copies.The Aspen Comics Booth will see a host of Aspen’s creators and artists all weekend long including Frank Mastromauro (Shrugged, Dellec), Peter Steigerwald (Soulfire, Fathom), David Wohl (Legend of the Shadow Clan, EA: Iris), Mike DeBalfo (Soulfire), Nei Ruffino (Soulfire),Tony Parker (Dead Man’s Run) and Vince Hernandez (Charismagic, Executive Assistant: Assassins) Cover C Aspen will also be featuring all new editions of their industry-leading art prints available at the Aspen Booth all weekend long, including the year’s first edition of their anniversary flashback Aspen Tour Print 2013, featuring Aspen Matthews by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 100 editions. The publisher will also be offering a new Fathom print by Mike DeBalfo and Peter Steigerwald (Limited to 75), and two new Executive Assistant: Iris prints by Elizabeth Torque (Limited to 50).Aspen encourages fans to check out the release of Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 for only $1 on February 6th.For more information please check the following:www.aspencomicswww.aspenstore.comFacebook.com/aspencomicsTwitter.com/aspncomicsInstagram: aspencomics#Aspen10 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/aspen-comics-kicks-off-their-2013.html

The numbers behind RGN (AKA I'm bored) #1

The numbers behind RGN (AKA I'm bored) #1

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 16, 2013

Today I found myself with a severe boredom problem. So I gathered these numbers and decided to share them with you. Really bored todayI started RGN in 6 October of 2012. Why that date, well it is a special date for me and its as good as any other. All the stats were measured between 6th, October 2012 and 16th, January 2013. A) Reviews in numbers Reviews in numbers This is a very simple analysis that shows 2 things:I've only reviewed 27 books thus far; I'm getting faster at this reviewing thing. B) Reviews in numbers by publisher  Reviews in numbers by publisher This is a strange bunch of numbers. Why? Because I reviewed more Marvel books than any other publisher. It seems I read or have a higher inclination towards Marvel. That would be wrong.The 5 books I reviewed (and soon will review a 6th) are the only Marvel books I've read in 2012 and 2013 thus far (except for the Oz books).Superhero wise I only read one series by Marvel and nothing else. I do try to get the Classic books, but even that is getting shorter by the month.In 2013 I'll try to review more Dark Horse, Image, IDW and Avatar books. I would love to review more Star Wars, Chew, D&D and some Warren Ellis books. C) RGN's Global Stats RGN's Global Stats As websites metrics go, these are the ones I value the most. I've worked on some websites over the years but this is my first blog. TBH I don't have a benchmark to compare my blog to, so I went to Alexa and took a peek at some of my favorite blogs stats. Its not as bad as I anticipated.These numbers tell me that I haven't been able to create and captivate my target audience. At least not yet.The pages per visit doesn't worry me. Most my visitors land directly on content pages, read and leave. I don't post that regularly so its natural that my visitors only have one new post anytime they visit.Average time on site is lower than expected. Luckily it seems to be increasing. That can either mean my post are improving or harder to read. I hope its the first.Bounce rate is high but I believe that is a Google Analytics problem. Like I said most my visitors land in the content pages. They read and leave. Google Analytics interprets that as a bounce. Also I place my posts on social networks like StumbleUpon and Reddit and that increases the bounce rate very much. More on that latter.The percent of new reader I have no idea how to read. Should I be glad that 26.14% of my audience is recurring, or worried that RGN isn't captivating more readers? To better understand this I would be great to have a benchmark. D) Main Referral Sources Main Referral Sources This is perfect to illustrate the Quantity vs Quality of "advertisement". I've submitted less than 1/6 of RGN's posts to Reddit  but that generated 350% more traffic than all the other top 10 referral sites where 100% of my posts appear (in one form or another).The big difference is that most visitors that come from the other sites stay for longer and read more pages, thus having a better relationship with by blog. And for this I would like to thank each one for supporting RGN in on form or another. In no particular order:Blogger.com, Thanks for all that follow my blog Google.com, Thanks for all my share a circle with me on Google plus Bongop-leituras-bd.blogspot.pt, Thanks to Nuno Amaro for all the support he's given me in the short time we've e-meet. facebook.com, Thanks for all that friended me Aspencomics.com, Thanks to Aspen Comics for supporting the small blogs and to India Cosper for reaching out and being really nice Aventar.eu, Thanks for hosting the Blog of the Year contest.  bd-no-sotao.blogspot.pt, Thanks to André Azevedo for supporting RGN theouthousers.com, A special thanks to The OH and to Jude Terror for supporting my blog since day one E) Other stats If you're still reading, hang on a bit longer. There are only 2 numbers left:Review to post ratio = 50.94% Comments to post ratio = 143.40% To be honest it would be awesome to have more comments. Its great to interact with the readers, be it to discuss common likes or dislikes or to share constructive criticism or even just to say hi. Thanks for visiting RGN and return soon. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-numbers-behind-rgn-aka-im-bored-1.html

Aspen Comics To Bring Back Classic Series Shrugged For “10 for 10”

Aspen Comics To Bring Back Classic Series Shrugged For “10 for 10”

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 15, 2013

Cover As their second release in their tenth anniversary “10 for 10” initiative, Aspen Comics is returning to the world of Perspecta and their popular series Shrugged. Created by Michael Turner and Frank Mastromauro, Shrugged will feature a mix of both a returning and brand new art team. The official Aspen solicitation for the new series reads:You think you’re prepared, but you’re not. You’ve been decisive in your actions up to this point, but now things have been turned upside down. You feel you’ve conformed your mindset and are ready to accept what you’re about to experience, but you haven’t. That’s because SHRUGGED is back and ready to blow your mind!Theo and his friends are entering their final year of high school, and even though Ange and Dev are still along for the ride, a host of new characters have joined in on the adventure! But, everything isn’t all fun and games this time around as an evil force has also returned and is preparing to silence those voices inside their heads…permanently. If you thought you knew what fear was, you haven’t seen anything yet!Creator and writer Mastromauro discusses the new volume: Cover B “It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier working on Shrugged again. When we created this series almost eight years ago, Michael [Turner] always had an idea for where he wanted the story to go after the first volume was completed. I’ve kept that idea in mind ever since for when we were able to get the series scheduled back into production and back into stores for the fans and readers. Now that Aspen’s ten year anniversary is here, I’m thrilled to have Shrugged return as a part of that celebration, and I’m looking forward to bringing Michael’s incredible vision to everyone to the best of my ability.”This newest volume of Shrugged will be written by Mastromauro and will pair up-and-coming Aspen newcomer Jonathan Marks with returning, veteran colorist Beth Sotelo. Volume one artist Micah Gunnell will also return to provide a special lead-in to the new art team for this new volume.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, Shrugged #1. Aspen will also be offering a special Aspen Reserved Edition cover for Shrugged #1 featuring art by Marks and superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. Fans who reserve this all new Shrugged volume with their local retailers will be eligible to receive the Aspen Reserved Edition of Shrugged #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 Shrugged #2 by Gunnell and Sotelo, along with a Shrugged #2 J. Scott Campbell Retailer Incentive cover. Aspen will be releasing more info on further Shrugged incentives and Aspen’s “10 for 10” soon.#Aspen10Facebook.com/aspencomicsTwitter.com/aspencomicsInstagram: aspencomics Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/aspen-comics-to-bring-back-classic.html

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 13, 2013

Cover Magic the Gathering's (MTG) ongoing comic book continues in this volume.Dack Fayden continues his quest to find Sifa Grent and exact his revenge upon her.In Spell Thief Dack Fayden lifts a tiny bit of the veil of his past, how he came to be and why this quest for revenge is so important to him.Also Djins, negative stereotypes, Ogres, Goblins, Dragons and Bone Wall.How is it?In this second volume we continue to follow Dack Fayden while he desperately tries to catch up with Sifa Grent. Just like in the first volume Dack's quest is plagued my near misses and unfortunate sidetracking. The love interest Right off the bat Dack is captured by a giant man with an obsession with collecting unique items. I can't shake the felling that this giant man is suppose to represent the card collector. The MTG player that feels a great need to have the rarest of cards in his possession. The only good thing that came from this was the mob of Goblins and Ogres putting some fear in Dack's heart.Eventually Dack makes his way back to Innistrad and to the good people that gave him shelter the last time he was there. There we're present with a sequence of flashbacks that explain the why's, who's and what's of Dack's life. While its good to have backstory for the main character, this is done in a very confusing way. Some flashbacks pop up from nowhere and disappear the same way.Once again Matt Forbeck isn't able to build a seamless  narrative. The transitions between the current story and the flashbacks are very abrupt and confusing at times. Also, in the hurry to flesh out Dack's character, Matt contradicts himself. By now he established Dack as being uneducated on the ways of magic, but very adept at gaining new knowledge. However in one of the flashbacks Dack is an academic and a good one at that. All just to have some shock value little story that could be told in another setting just as well. This took me a bit out of the story to be honest. Bone Wall But not all is bad. By the last quarter of the book Dack visits Sifa's homeplane. This is a the best story of the book. Its well structure, has a much better pace and has a good payoff.Hopefully this is an indication that Matt Forbeck is getting better at writing this book. I'm going to have to wait for the next volume to be able to confirm that.This story is also prodigal with references to the card game. Bone Wall, Dragons and once again the Blue natural card buying ability (translated to the book as the sight of the past Dack has).Art wise this book is on the same level has the previous volume. Marvin Coccolo does a good job, even if he doesn't reach MTG usual standard. He does a good job distinguishing current time from the flashbacks. Returning to DrakestonVerdict?Like the previous volume this book doesn't reach the standards of MTG. Its not a bad book, but isn't going to win any awards either. The art is still the strongest aspect of Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief and the writing accentuates its faults with excessive fast pace and lack of characterization. However this is a better book than the first volume. There's still hope for this series.If you liked the first one, than this will be as enjoyable as the first one. If not, and you want to get into MTG lore, then check out the first volume.Publisher: IDWYear: 2012Pages: 104Authors: Martin Coccolo, Matt ForbeckISBN: 1613774141 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-magic-gathering-volume-2-spell.html

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