Thursday, November 20, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "At least we're not Bleeding Cool!"

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: Saga Volume 1

Review: Saga Volume 1

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 22, 2012

Cover A forbidden love births a forbidden child. In a galaxy where war is the norm and neibor species cannot coexist with each other Alana and Marko find a way to overcome the hate and discover love.Magic versus Science, Royalty with tv for heads and lies detecting cats. All this and more crayziness from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.This migh just be the start to a glorious new series.How good is it?This book is a delight to read. Simple as that.I was a bit fearful for all the hype Saga is getting, but luckily my fears were unfounded. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples present the reader with a masterpiece of the 9th art. In Saga Volume 1 you'll find sequential storytelling at its best.BKV creates a Universe at war. Two enemy races have been going at it for a long time. Why? Thus far your guess is as good as mine. The war isn't the center issue in Saga. Marko and Alana's forbidden love and their lovechild are. Saga follows our three main characters with they struggle to get away from the war and find a peaceful place to raise their child.In this first volume we're introduced to our protagonists, the antagonists, a planet wide sex district, bounty hunters, the war, ghosts and the grandparents. This might seem too much for a single volume but nothing is done in a contrived way. On the contrary, everything comes to be in a organic and dynamic way.Fiona Staples pencils are hard to describe. It takes a few pages to get used to. At first it seems sloppy and fuzzy. But as you turn the pages it grows on you and its hard not to fall in love with it. By the end of the first chapter you'll come to the conclusion that Fiona's art its not sloppy but subtle, its also not fuzzy but an entanglement of pastel backgrounds with vibrant character designs.While disturbing at times, the character designs are really original and a pleasure to look at. Fiona made a great job in creating a vast array of races of all shapes, colors and sizes, that fit the feel BKV gives to the story like a glove.This book is highly on sex and sexuality. There are several explicit sex scenes and dialogue as well as some nudes here and there. Its never cheesy or sexist about it, but it is there. This makes Saga Volume 1 not suited to younger audiences or reading on the train. Its a girl Sassy plants Would I recommend it?Saga Volume 1 is a great book. Original, interesting and very promising. BKV and Fiona might have created the beginning of a long and wonderful journey through the cosmos, exploring new and exciting worlds and cultures while simply trying to lead a peaceful and joyous live.This one is a must read for any sci-fi / fantasy buff or just about anyone who enjoys a good and exciting story, not about war but about life.Publisher: Image ComicsYear: 2012Pages: 160Authors: Brian K Vaughan, Fiona StaplesISBN: 1607066017 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-saga-volume-1.html

Review: Scars

Review: Scars

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 21, 2012

Cover How much of a monster do you have to become to hunt monsters?Scars follows Detective John Cain and his partner when they are faced with the investigation of a horrible murder of a eleven years old girl.This book dwells in the police thriller genre and aims at making the reader uncomfortable. Warren Ellis dwells in this genre using child abuse as the emotional driver for the protagonist.How good is it?Usually I'm not a great fan of police thrillers, even more so in comic book format. I picked this up on a whim and was not disappointed. The story has great pace, the art is clean and enjoyable and the overhaul package is nice.Warren Ellis does a good job in letting the read know who's who and whats whats in the first chapter. From there on its a fast pace story, with some twist and turns that makes sure to leave the reader uncomfortable page after page. Why? Because Ellis wanted so. To be honest, the unsettling felling one gets from reading Scars adds to the whole thriller idea. This is not a story to make the reader feel good. Its ugly and show a very bad side of our society.There are however two major problems with the book. One the mystery is given away for free half way in the book and the story shifts from finding the bad guy to getting the bad guy. Usually this isn't a problem, but something got lost in the shift because the first half of the book is much stronger than the second. Two the ending is a bit abrupt and somewhat predictable. It isn't bad or out of place, but the story deserved something stronger.In between chapter Warren Ellis and Steven Grant write some of their thoughts about Scars and the process that they had to go throw to get the book done. Its a cool read and it add a bit more to the book. Its like seeing a movie with the director commentaries on.Art wise the book is ok. Just like the story, its not perfect, its not the best B&W art out there, but is enjoyable and deserving of the readers time and money. Gory corpses And thus it startsWould I recommend it?Unfortunately Scars doesn't reach Ellis's usual greatness. Its not a bad book, it has its moments, but there's something missing. It does a good job making the reader uncomfortable with John Cain's journey into his own personal hell. But the mystery is given away too early in the story and all that is left afterwards is John's emotional turmoil.Its a good story, good art, just shy of greatness, but still very enjoyable. If you're a fan of the authors or the genre you should read it.Publisher: Avatar PressYear: 2004Pages: 160Authors: Warren Ellis, Jacen BurrowsISBN: 1592910513 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-scars.html

Review: SCUD the Disposable Assassin, The Whole Shebang

Review: SCUD the Disposable Assassin, The Whole Shebang

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 16, 2012

Cover In the future everyone can buy a robot assassin from a common vending machine. The most popular are the SCUD heartbreaker series. The golden robots that get the job done and self-destruct as soon as the objective is achieved.SCUD the disposable assassin is one of those robots. In a unexpected turn of events this particular SCUD gained self-awareness and took measures to prevent his self-destruction. And from this point forward he became known as... SCUD.SCUD the Disposable Assassin, the Whole Shebang collects the full run of SCUD's adventures.How good is it?SCUD is a wonderful story about a innocent little assassin robot that managed to gain self-awareness and break his preordained destiny. All SCUDs are programmed to self-destruct once they kill their intended target. Our SCUD got a lucky break when he cough a glance at the sticker on his back that details the rules of the SCUDs. He decided to keep his target alive and thus preventing his own death by self-destruct.From this point on what can be expected is a storm of original and completely out-of-the-box storytelling.SCUD the Disposable Assassin is a labor of love of Rob Schrab. He is responsible for both art and story. Rob's joy and love for this work is clear on every page and every panel. This is his child and what a great parent he was. Rob created a whole universe filled with lots original characters and fulled with a dynamic story.The characters is one of the stronger points of this book. SCUD is as crazy but innocent robot but the brothers Mess, Drywall and System steal the show. Drywall in particular is a joy to read and captures the reader's heart in every panel. Sussudio the robosexual, Voodoo Ben Franklin the comicbookguy like villain  Jeff the first target or Hank Gritt SCUD's macho role model are just some of the wonderful and witty characters to find in this book.In the art department Rob is equally competent. He finds new and creative ways almost every chapter to make SCUD's robot face transmit emotion. Every character is very well defined and is instantly recognizable and a joy to look at.This is a Black & White book, and judging from the covers, this is a great thing. Rob made an excellent job creating SCUD's universe, every character design, but his pallets are a bit to bright, for me at least.Overhaul this is a very fun book. It has a massive page number but it will be very hard to put down until the very ending. You're going to Hell! Someone is going to get killed Would I recommend it?I read this in 2012 and was blown away by how good this book is and how little I heard of it till then. Its an absolute joy to read the pages of SCUD. Its funny and crazy and random but its heartfelt and a bit romantic at times.This is an awesome book, a great choice and a cool gift if you'r considering one. This one is a must have to any comic book fan. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-scud-disposable-assassin-whole.html

Review: Leviathan

Review: Leviathan

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 10, 2012

CoverLeviathan is the new jewel of the seas. A behemoth of a ship that has more resemblances with a floating city than a oceanic cruiser.On its maiden voyage it disappeared into a limbo like dimension before it could reach its destination. The year was 1928. Jump 20 years in the future and the Leviathan is still lost in limbo and a strange murder of a first class passenger triggers an investigation that will take the reader to the deepest secrets of the Leviathan.This 2000AD book also prints the Tales of the Leviathan short-stories that take place before the main story, with are:Chosen One McLean's Last Case Beyond the Blue Horizon How good is it?Leviathan is a horror story about the fate of the Leviathan ocean liner and its crew and passengers.The story starts 20 years after the sudden, and as of yet unexplained, exile of the Leviathan in some sort of limbo. Right from the start its clear that something is wrong with the ship itself and not only the current situation.After a mysterious murder of a first class passenger an old Interpol detective is brought into the case to find out what is going on. The investigation will unveil more than expected and the real secret of the Leviathan will be revealed.The story, while somewhat short, is very compelling and immersive. As soon as the reader turns to page 3 and the mystery is presented is very hard to put the book down.Tales of the Leviathan helps to flesh out the Leviathan Universe. In the three short stories we will learn how a certain something came to be for the first time, what happens when someone dies in the limbo like dimension and the story of Captain Mclean. This last one is the least consequential, but probably the most fun.Leviathan is a Black and White book.  D'Israeli art takes a few pages to get used to, but after that is a joy to look at. D'Israeli uses the B&W contrast masterfully, constantly changing from one type of contrast to another so it never feels stale.The Leviathan as a giant ship is made all the more believable by the detailed drawings of the ship from the inside to the outside.This collected edition also prints a sketch book where D'Israeli detail, among other thing, the making of the Leviathan ship itself. Its great to see how it was flesh out. A floating city That must have hurt Would I recommend it?Simply put its the best horror comic I've read in a while. So yes, if you like horror comics you should find the time and place for this one.If you don't, this might make you like the genre. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-leviathan.html

Solicitations: Aspen Comics February 2012

Solicitations: Aspen Comics February 2012

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 9, 2012

Jam PosterAspen Comics February 2013 solicitations have arrived. CoverFATHOM: BLUE DESCENT TPB David Schwartz – Story / Alex Sanchez ; Scott Clark – Art / Peter Steigerwald ; John Starr - ColorsMichael Turner’s Fathom is explored to new depths in FATHOM: BLUE DESCENT!Aspen Matthews is the link between the world we know and the world below, but the secrets of her past have always remained shrouded in mystery-until now! Absaloma is Aspen’s father and a member of the Blue, searching for answers to his own purpose within the ever-changing landscape under the surface. However, his self-exploration takes a back seat for a search far more important to his livelihood - the search for his captive wife—and Aspen’s mother--Eilah! Kidnapped by the race known as The Black, Eilah's lurid nightmares of this mythical species came to horrifying life when their arrival indeed turned into a reality. Now, with a new focused determination and motivation, it is up to Abseloma and his trusted childhood friend Zo to rescue his wife!FATHOM: BLUE DESCENT TPB is in stores February 2013! CoverLEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #1 David Wohl – Story / Cory Smith – Art / Jon Starr - ColorsAspen’s Ten Year Anniversary kicks off with the debut of LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN!Meet the Arashi family. They are like any other family living in the city: kids in school, parents working to make ends meet. But unbeknownst to even them, their ancestors held a dark secret: they were a clan of ninja in feudal Japan, in the employ of a prominent leader. But when that leader was murdered under mysterious circumstances, the Arashi Clan was blamed, and forced to flee, going into hiding. Over the centuries, the descendants lost track of the ancient ways. They came to America, abandoning their sordid past to distant memory. However, recently, their secret has been discovered--their ancient enemy has returned, and won't rest until every member of the Arashi clan is killed. Now, the Arashi family must rediscover their long-forgotten birthright if they hope to have any chance of surviving the onslaught to come, and along the way, they will learn the LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN.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!LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #1 is in stores February 6th, 2013! CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #3 David 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 February 2013! CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #8  – Writer / Jordan Gunderson – Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsWill anyone survive the Extinction?Executive Assistant Lotus as Rose discover that trying to ambush a professional assassin in her home is easier said than done. When the arrival of Iris, Lily, Orchid and Aster creates an impossible situation for Rose, she must face the consequences of her actions, including torture at the hands of her once-close friends. Yet, the biggest threat still awaits the group of EA’s, as they learn that they are not the only assassins in search of Rose!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #8 is in stores February 2013! Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/solicitations-aspen-comics-february-2012.html

Review: Outer Orbit

Review: Outer Orbit

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 7, 2012

Cover What do a green ex-cop, a blue pizza guy and a brown intergalactic thief have in common?!Nothing, but in Outer Orbit they will have to learn how to live with each other, better yet, after each other.Being in the wrong place at the right time will take a whole new meaning.Spaceships, explosions, sleeping with sheeps, ancient idols, bounty hunters and the most unbelievable circumstances is what makes Outer Orbit such a delightfully fun misadventure.How good is it?Outer Orbit brings us the misadventures of Krunk a badass ex-cop and Quinn the luckiest guy in the Universe. By a wicked whim of fate these two end up together chasing a space hottie named Neoki. These two will cruise the Universe after Neoki and the golden Idol she stole in order to recover the normality of their lives. Well that and love.Krunk is a badass cop with mother issues and a self-made chastity belt turned ex-cop by refusing to have sex with Neoki. Quinn is a joly pizza deliver guy that lets himself to fall in love with the space libertine Neoki. Together they will make on the best or the worst team ever to hit the cosmos. It all depends whom you ask.Story wise Outer Orbit is a simple quest story filled with great twists and awesome humor. Its mostly told in flashbacks. Most of the times its really easy to follow, but from time to time it gets a bit confusing with flashback within flashbacks. Apart from that, its a good funny story.The art is very cartoony and colorful. In fact the coloring takes center stage here, almost overshadowing the pencils. The art direction in Outer Orbit reminds me of the old Freakazoid! cartoon. And it fits the tone of the book very well. Krunk's mother is a cool lady Naked and in prision Would I recommend it?Outer Orbit might not be a industry changer, but its a very funny and entertaining book. Simple but cool plot, good art and a fantastic sense of humor is what you'll find within the pages of this book. Having said that, I think this book would brighten the day of any reader.Yes, I recommend it. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-outer-orbit.html

Future Collection: FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4

Future Collection: FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 6, 2012

Cover AVince Hernandez – writer / Oliver Nome – art / John Starr - colorsThe Blue’s fiercest warrior returns as FATHOM: KIANI vol 2 concludes!It is civil war amongst the Blue under the surface and no one may survive in this Fathom Universe-shattering conclusion! Kiani and her dissidents find themselves with only one option left in their campaign against Siphon and the Elite Council—they must battle his immeasurable forces for their survival…or die! Yet, the tragedy of events leading to this regrettable war between their own-kind will pale to the shocking actions taken by those who Kiani once trusted! Alliances will be broken, cities will fall and the world of Fathom will never be the same again!Brought to you by the creative team of Vince Hernandez, Oliver Nome and John Starr, FATHOM: KIANI vol 2 #4 is a must have for any Fathom fan!FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4 is in stores November 21th, 2012! Preview Page 1 Cover B Preview Page 3 Preview Page 2 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/future-collection-fathom-kiani-vol-2-4.html

Off-Topic: I keep expecting Miguel O'Hara to pass by my window

Off-Topic: I keep expecting Miguel O'Hara to pass by my window

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 6, 2012

Greatings fellow comics lover,Reading Graphic Novels reached an important milestone. Its actually the first recorded one and by a whim of fate. A moment later and the moment would be lost. The future is now! 2099 pageviews (just under 1800 unique hits) in just one month of activity.While this is not something to write home about, is above my personal expectations, and for that I'm very grateful to everyone that reads or has read RGN. Thanks guys and gals. I hope you enjoy reading RGN as much as I enjoy writing for it.I'll keep looking out my window for Miguel O'Hara to swing by. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/off-topic-i-keep-expecting-miguel-ohara.html

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 2

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 4, 2012

Cover The second and last Tales of the Jedi omnibus from Dark Horse collects the following stories:The Freedon Nadd Uprising Dark Lords of the Sith The Sith War Redemption Or in other words, the fall of Ulic Qel-Droma, the rising of Nomi Sunrider and the perdition of Exar Kun. 4000 BBY the galaxy was a very different place. Jedi romance was not forbidden, space exploration was not fully developed and Sith plans were more brute force than political cunning. How good is it?This omnibus is all about three major characters, Ulic Qel-Droma, Nome Sunrider and Exar Kun. If these names don't ring a bell then you should go back and read Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1.Exar Kun is now fully corrupted by the dark side and rages a war on the Galaxy. Its up to the Jedi to stop him and restore peace to the galaxy. Exar Kun will shake the Jedi order to its core. This war path will take another bright Jedi along a dark path. Ulic Qel-Droma, with nothing but the best of intentions will go down a road to perdition and embrace the Sith as a means to an end.As predicted it doesn't go well for Ulic. However his journey is particularly interesting. Unlike most Jedi turned Sith, Ulic does believe to be working for a greater good, never seeing the error of his ways until it was too late. In the process he fights and maims his brother and leaves the love of his life heartbroken,Ulic Qel-Droma's rise and fall story is a classic (if not, it should be) Star Wars story. You can't help but to root for Ulic when he is getting into trouble with the Jedi, feel disappointed with him when he lets himself get corrupted by the Dark Side and feel a bit gloom by the end of it all.Star Wars stories are usually light on female characters but on Tales of the Jedi the reader is able to follow the chronicles of Nomi Sunrider, the woman that started as the wife of a murdered Jedi and grew to be the head of the Jedi Order.She is strong and determined in her ways, as a mother and a Jedi. If you must, you can see her as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Old Republic.Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider are some of my favorite Star Wars characters in comic book format and Tales of the Jedi is the only place I can read up on them. On top of this, the Old Republic is a really great era that drinks from the Star Wars lore without having to worry too much about the Movies and continuity problems.Art wise this is a bit weaker than the previous volume. On some chapters is even a bit bland. Overhaul is good, but there are moments where it could be better. In the Redemption story the art reaches its higher point. Ulic Cain Galaxy at WarWould I recommend it?Very Highly. In fact, if I could only read one Star Wars comic (collected edition of course) it would be this one I'ed pick.Great and epic stories, fantastic characters and great Star Wars era. This is what you'll find in this second Tales of the Jedi omnibus. This is a must read for any Star Wars fan.Don't forget to read Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 first. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-star-wars-omnibus-tales-of-jedi.html

Review: Doctor Strange Season One

Review: Doctor Strange Season One

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 1, 2012

Cover Marvel's Season One line focus on retelling of established superheros origin story. And this one retreads the penance path of Stephen Strange into enlightenment and magic.Stephen will have to learn to deal with a witty Ancient One, a arrogant Mordo, a reckless Wong and mysterious Sofia Di Cosimo.This adventure will take Stephen and the reader around the world and back, in search of 3 rings of power that together are able to control the Vishanti.How good is it?I went into Doctor Strange Season One with no expectations. I like reading comics that are Magic themed and also like the little I've read about Doctor Strange. It seemed a good choice.Greg Pak brings us the retelling of the origin of Doctor Strange. Right out of the box it starts telling us some very important events in Stephen's life instead of showing us. If the reader isn't familiarized with Doctor Strange's origin, it will be hard to understand the meaning of the journey.There are many leaps of faith the reader has to make during this story. Either Pak was to ambitious with his story or very careless, because the amount of events that happen just because is mind-boggling. For instance, the first time Mordo makes an appearance, and supposedly the first time he meets Stephen, he tells him about his plan to betray the Ancient One on the 5th phrase.The rest of the book feels like a Where is Carmen Sandiego cartoon. Our heroes skip around the world on a quest for 3 rings of power. It is all very convenient and straight forward. The best aspect of the story is the 3 ring owners that they find. One a rotten apple, one a giving man and a crazy old woman. Cool mix of ideas but, like the rest of the book, not very well executed.The absolute worst was how Stephen was able to beat Mordo in battle. Not going into details, but when I think Magic, and future Sorcerer Supreme, I don't think what happened in the book. Maybe Pak was trying to be funny or throw off the reader giving him something unexpected. He managed to do the latter but in a bad way.Emma Rios's art still has a long way to go before its great. It does the job, every character is distinguishable, but apart from that it leaves a bit to be desired. Usually is too muddy and undefined, especially when magic is being practiced. Clothes make the man Most fights with Mordo are a mess of green streaks and yellow dashes that are meant represent something but in many panels are very hard to understand. In the non action panels however the art is considerable better. Characters are better defined and emotions are transmitted to the reader in a competent way. Evil magic is evilThis hardcover also has the first issue of the new Defenders series. Well those pages would be better spend in the main story. Maybe that way Pak could have the time needed to flesh out plot. Would I recommend it?Unless you really have to read this, or are a die hard Doctor Strange fan, then I don't recommend this book.The story is too convenient most of the time. Character motivations are far from believable, and Stephen method of defeating Mordo took me right out of the story.Keep in mind that its not all bad, for example the dynamics between Wong and Stephen is a cool twist on the classic relationship. But if we put the good against the bad this book just isn't worth his price. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-doctor-strange-season-one.html

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