Thursday, December 18, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Assholes welcome."

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: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

Review: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 16, 2014

Cover (close enough) The Marvel 2099 was an attempt to create a separate Universe, a possible future, for creators to play around with similar and new concepts. One of the first books to see the light of day was the Spider-Man 2099.The year was 1992 but it was only on 2009 that this series first got collected. Fulled by nostalgia I got it as soon as it hit the stores. I wasn't expecting much to be honest, these old stories aren't always up to par by these days standards. Memories often betrays us, but I was willing to experience these stories again for nostalgia sake.It came as a surprise when I just couldn't put the book down. It was really good., engaging, fast paced, and took a few liberties with the usual super-hero memes. I'm not saying it was a master piece, but it was really, really good, especially if you consider it was a 90s super-hero comic book.But 2009 was way before I started this blog, so no review for volume one (maybe one day).It took Marvel 4 years to release the second volume. Why? Who knows? Poor sales of the first volume? Change of strategy? Douchebaggery? Your guess is as good as mine.  But it was, eventually, released! (Huzzah!)Spider-Man 2099 tells the story of Miguel O'Hara, a scientist in one of the biggest corporations of the World that through a botched experiment gained Spide-Man like powers. There are a few differences, like he produces his own webs, but its basically the same set of powers. Miguel also creates one of the best looking Spider-Man outfit ever put on paper, apart from the arm-pit web one of course.In this volume Miguel is already comfortable in the Spider-Man shoes. Unlike the previous collection there isn't a grand story arc that encompasses the whole book. Instead we get several episodes of his superhero adventures with a social guideline to tie them together (albeit a bit loosely).You might ask "If there isn't a collection long story arc then what do I get?" Well what you get is pure Spider-Man super-heroic fun stories. The underdog superhero struggling to balance his personal life, with his work (aka revenge on Alchemax) and the protecting of 2099's average Joe.In these pages you'll get to experience the first appearances of Mutagen (a crazy man searching for the cleansing of the human gene pool), the Net Prophet (possibly someone from the 616 Timeline) and Thanatos (another crazy person with, as of yet, obscure motivation) Mutagen Net Prophet ThanatosArt wise its a though book to describe. On one hand it suffers from the 90s Marvel art style. On the other hand it has great costume designs (Mutagen is a exception), awesome mood, especially in the portrait of the high city versus the slums. I find it an example of the 90s style done right, but it's not perfect.There is an issue drawn by a different artist, and that issue stands out like a sore thumb. Its a shame really, because it tarnishes a good job by LeonardiIts a good bang for your buck. Cool stories, interesting characters and nice looking art. It was great to re-read these stories. Hope Marvel doesn't take another 4 years to publish the next volume.Publisher: Marvel ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 240Authors: Peter David, Rick LeonardiISBN: 0785185372Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-spider-man-2099-volume-2.html

Next on RGN #10

Next on RGN #10

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 14, 2014

Stack of Books New year, same resolutions. Read comics, make photos, travel, spend time with family and just try to be happy.This time we're going to take a look at independent books, well, almost.I love Kickstarter funded books. You never really know what you're getting, but its usually a labor of love. A personal work, sometime intimate, sometimes not, that has a different appeal from the more commercial books.Also a Brazilian book, that are very, VERY, hard to get here in Portugal. Sadly so, because this one is absolutely amazing.And a Superhero book, from my teen years.So, these are the next reviews: Spider-Man 2099 Vol 2 Astronauta Magnetar NAWRG Ungrounded PapaFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/next-on-rgn-10.html

Review: OZ: Road to OZ

Review: OZ: Road to OZ

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 12, 2014

Cover The sweetest Marvel book out there is back for another adventure. Eric Shanower and Skottie Young transport yet another heart warming L. Frank Baum book to sequential art format.This is the fourth adaptation of Baum's books. At this point, Baum's approach is a bit formulaic, something transports Dorothy and Toto to the Land of OZ. There they meet a bunch of strange an quirky characters and make a journey in search of something that will enable them to return.And, like previous stories, its the not the end that's the point to all this, but the journey.This time Dorothy and Toto gather the company of the Shaggy Man, a lovable homeless man, Button Bright, a little boy that is very intelligent but doesn't seem to know anything and Polychrome the daughter of the Rainbow. Dorothy's companions As previous stories, Dorothy's journey is a plot crutch to talk about about overcoming personal limitations, fears and just becoming a better person. Her companions are the story. Its almost like Doctor Who. Dorothy and the Doctor are the vessel through with the story is told, but the companions set the mood and add the substance.In this book there are some truly terrifying imagery. Skottie Young does a terrific job bring Baum's words to life. Young creates beautiful character models, gorgeous landscapes and his characters are very expressive. The art alone is a reason to buy these books, and Road to OZ is no exception.Eric Shanower's adaptations make for some great reading experiences, even if you don't have kids to read to. Of course the original work is very good, but he does a great job adapting it to the comics format. I'm loving the ride, and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys comics. King DoxPublisher: Marvel ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 136Authors: Skottie Young, Eric ShanowerISBN: 0785164057Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-oz-road-to-oz.html

Frogman Returns @Kickstarter

Frogman Returns @Kickstarter

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 6, 2014

RRRAGH!!!Frogman Returns! For those of us that read the original Frogman, this is great news. What?! You didn't?! Don't feel bad, you can catch up on it in my Frogman review.Matt Fitch and Mark Lewis are back with the sequel to the entertaining Frogman. This time with art by John Aggs.From the authors: Thanks to the generous support of the Kickstarter community, last year we were able to print and release our debut comic book, Frogman, which introduced the world to a not-so-super superhero who kicked, punched and shagged his way through his shitty life, sort of fighting crime and sort of saving the day. Now, due to popular demand, Frogman is back in ‘FROGMAN RETURNS’, filled with even more action, romance, jokes, puns, nerd-references and scenes of hardcore sex and violence. You can help this come true in the Frogman Returns project page.  In the meanwhile, here is a preview (from the same page). Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/frogman-returns-kickstarter.html

Transmetropolitan'o'ton #4

Transmetropolitan'o'ton #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 4, 2014

Cover Spider Jerusalem, his filthy assistants, The Word and The City have reached the 4th installment of this epic series alive and (for the most part) well. In this volume The Beast and The Smiler join in for some presidential campaign fun. While its not the first time these characters show, it is the first time they are interviewed by Spider. That is a show on itself and reason enough to read this book.Transmetropolitan Volume 4 The New Scum... Its the poor and the middle class. The voting citizen the one that can't be bothered to move his/hers ass to the voting booth and doodle a cross on a box. Its the uninformed and the uninterested. Its the blind and the unwilling to see. The new scum was written almost two decades ago, but could very well be written today. The new scum is me and you.The presidential campaign is in its final stretch. Only 2 weeks until election day and both candidates are playing their last trumps. And Spider gets trapped in the midst of their political games. Warren Ellis, once again, turned something that is inherently boring and tedious into a gripping word battle between Spider and the presidential candidates. And as a result the reader not only gets some very interesting moments, but also some much deserved character development that, until this point, was missing. Front-Biter 7-K Of course we all knew The Beast or The Smiler from previous volumes, but just from Spider's point of view. In this volume that changes and both gain something new and very scary. At the end of this book the next president is elected, Spider gets a bunch of new enemies and life goes on as usual. The party is on But the election is not the only topic. In this book Spider goes soft. This misogynist arrogate bastard journalist shows that he also has a sensible side. Not only he helps out a lost little girl, he also has a very kind and thoughtful gesture towards a secondary character. On top of that he proves that he does have a heart, when the death of Vita finally takes a tool on Spider.This is a great addition to the Transmetropolitan Universe. It expands on important characters, creates new threads for future stories and on top of that, it entertains the reader immensely.Publisher: VertigoYear: 2009Pages: 160Authors: Warren Ellis, Darick RobertsonISBN: 1401224903Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/transmetropolitanoton-4.html

Review: The Manhattan Projects Volume 2

Review: The Manhattan Projects Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 2, 2014

CoverThe Manhattan Projects Volume 2 continues the saga of the alternative versions of the people involved with the original Manhattan Project, reinvented by the mind of Jonathan Hickman.This volume can be divided into three major stories, the first is the tale of Helmutt Gröttrup, where Hickman explorer the maxim “All men have masters”.By following the life of Helmutt Gröttrup from the moment the Oberammergau Castle is being stormed by the allied forces until the "present" time, we get a tale about the behavior of the individual in the group. Hickman explores the  inter-group relations through the eyes of an Omega almost to a sadistic level.This is my favorite story of this collection, mainly because it follows an unexpected protagonist and delivers a unapologetic take on the human condition. While this is not breaking any new ground, it is a very entertaining, off-beat take on the subject. Helmutt is captured by the Russians The second story, and by far the least interesting, is about a common struggle for power, between the established power of the USA and the World, and the new power, the Los Alamos Scientific community.To be fair this one is a bit tame. Its more silly than interesting, although it does make you giggle a bit seeing Harry Truman in the midst of an orgy in the Oval room, or Einstein torturing a Luchador. But in the end of the day it’s a forgettable plot that only exists to change the status quo of the series. While not a bad plot, it pales in comparison with the rest.Last but not least, there’s the Oppenheimer mind-fuck fest. There isn't much that can be said about this story without spoiling it. This is the trippiest story of The Manhattan Projects to date. It makes great use of the duality concept in the series (usually present though the coloring) and it paves the way to more Oppenheimer madness in the future. Starcity This is a good book. A bit shy of the greatness of the first volume, mainly because of the lackluster second story, but a very enjoyable book nonetheless.Art wise it’s the same as the first one. While I’m not the biggest fan of Nick Pitarra’s art style, he is coherent, and that is always a good thing. The coloring is a big part of the enjoyment of the book. It may be a bit gimmicky, but it does accentuate many of the twists of the plot and craziness of the characters, and it shines in the last story. Publisher: Image ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 152Authors: Jonathan Hickman, Nick PitarraISBN: 1607067269Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-manhattan-projects-volume-2.html

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #17

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #17

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 1, 2014

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #17 Vince Hernandez ­ Writer / Jordan Gunderson ­ Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsThe second part of Blood Origin!The Blood Origin three-part story line continues as Executive Assistant Daffodil learns the painful truth that a life devoted to the training of women in the art of killing can lead to unintended‹and fatal results. And, this lesson may prove to be her last, as the reality of this existence may prove too much to survive‹even for her!Covers by Jordan Gunderson, Tina Valentino and Mirka Andolfo.EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #17 is in stores December 31st, 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/2014/01/preview-executive-assistant-assassins-17.html

Top 10: Best books I've read in 2013

Top 10: Best books I've read in 2013

By Rui Esteves in Blog on December 27, 2013

Once Again the end of the year is upon us. This means its time to take a look at my top reads of this year.These are the best books I've read this year, not necessarily books that came out this year, just books that I've read for the first time in 2013. Top Reads 2013 O Baile 10 - O Baile A Portuguese secret police officer finds himself in the middle of a zombie invasion of a small village. Being a secret police officer he is unwelcome there. On top of that he has to fight his own inner demons.Cool art and a good plot make this fantasy story a great read.You can read the review here. Happy! 9 - Happy! Grant Morrison writes a story about a down on his luck gun for hire and his imaginary friend Happy. Happy is a blue flying horse that acts as a moral beacon for Nick.Sex, violence, and a man trying to do something good make up for a very enjoyable read.Click here to read the review. The Goon Vol 0 8 - The Goon Volume 0 Rough Stuff Eric Powell admits in the preface of this book that this isn't his best work. This is basically a compilation of his earlier The Goon stories. However they made such a good impression on me that I think it deserved a spot on my list.After I read this Volume 0 I surrendered to The Goon. Its a great series and, even if this isn't the first collection, it all started here.Read more about it here. Book of DA 7 - Book of DA A Kickstarter project that blossomed into a fabulous book. The wait was long but worthy.A truly graphical story that, using mostly images, conveys not only a story but also a wide array of felling such as a deeply sense of peace, urgency, danger and many more.Sure it has its flaws (like the print format) but the story and art more than make up for them.Review can be read here. Atomic Robo Vol 7 6 - Atomic Robo Volume 7 The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific Robo fights high tech Japanese air-forces over the Pacific with Jet-packs and the company of the She-Devils. Air piracy, explosions, action, drama, comedy, awesome art and the deepest story so far in Robo's printing history.What more can you ask from a Atomic Robo story?One of the best Volumes of Atomic Robo to date.  More about Atomic Robo here. Astro City Vol 1 5 - Astro City Volume 1 Life in the Big City This might be an oldie, and a classic to many, but I only got to read Astro City for the first time this year. I got this as a secret Santa gift. And it was love on first read.The way Busiek portraits super-heroes and his deconstruction of the genre is just a marvel to behold. Read my thoughts on this book here. The Manhattan Projects Vol 1 4 - The Manhattan Projects Volume 1 Science. Bad. I'm not the biggest fan of Jonathan Hickman's work. I find that most of his books showcase great concepts with tons of potential, but the execution is always lackluster.This however is a different story. I loved it since the first page. Originality never was a problem for Hickman, but this time he allied that to a great execution.Review can be found here. Batman/Judge Dredd 3 - Batman/Judge Dredd Collection Crossovers usually suck. They prey on the fanboy inside us all, and target that versus or team-up that feed many fan scripts out there in the web. That on itself is not a bad thing, but it tends to be delivered in uninspired and inconsequential story telling. However this is not the case here. Sure its inconsequential, but that's almost inevitable with crossovers, but the stories are very enjoyable. Mainly because none of the characters were emasculated in order to accommodate each other's alpha dog status. For more crossover opinion go here. Punk Rock Jesus 2 - Punk Rock Jesus Sean Murphy is an awesome artist. When he pencils a book I'm 95% convinced it will be worth my money. If the story is at least competent, then its highly probable that I'll buy the book.When the story is about a Jesus Christ clone that is raised in a Reality Show and that later on rebels against the established power and takes the world by storm, that's a no-brainer. Black and white art at its best and a (very) cool story that lures you into the false sense of chiché, just to turn around and finish with a bang. Catch the review here. Prophet Vol 1 1 - Prophet Volume 1 Remission I'm still not sure if this is one of the best or worst sci-fi books I've read, but there's no denying its an interesting one.This has everything to be a cult book, loved by some, hated by others. Edgy art and unorthodox story telling  usually doesn't gather much consensus. Love it or hate it its very much worth at least one read through.While it might not have the finest art or most intricate plot, this is the book that stuck with me the most after it was shelved. I think it very much deserves the top spot for 2013. For more sci-fi greatness go here.That's it for 2013. Lets see what comic book greatness 2014 has to offer.I would love to read about your top reads of 2013. Share them in the comments if you like.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/12/top-10-best-books-ive-read-in-2013.html

Review: Chew Volume 7 Bad Apples

Review: Chew Volume 7 Bad Apples

By Rui Esteves in Blog on December 26, 2013

Cover The Chew franchise reached its seventh volume.  Who new this original take on cop stories would stick with us for this long?Not me, but I'm very happy it did. Its with big anticipation that I wait for every Chew volume to arrive and thus far I have not been disappointed. Sure it lost a bit of steam in the past 2 or 3 volumes, but it never got stale.This time Layman and Guillory recaptured the original magic and even managed to one up the original story. Agent Chu recovers his mojo and then some in this 7th volume of one of the freshest and most original comics out there.How is it?Ever wonder what it would be like if Tony Chu ever got sick of being pushed around and decided to take control of everything and in the process became a major Badass? This is basically what happens in this story arc.After the demise of Toni (Tony's sister) in the last volume, Tony's heart hardens and he stop staking bullshit. Be it from his family, his boss, his partner and even from his enemies. Regardless of what everyone says he decides to hunt the Vampire down and make him pay for killing his sister. Me Tarzan, you Chu! This change of focus brings a refreshing twist to an already quirky Universe. Not that it need one, but in doing do they opened a new bunch of opportunities that indicate a bright future for the series. Also, some loose threads finally start to get some closure. Can't wait to see Olive get some real impact in the story and Savoy regain relevance. Lovesick If there's one thing that these author books have that is great (versus publisher owned titles) is that the book is its authors and the authors are the book. This usually means no fill in artists, strong identity and (thank God) no editorial mandates. If you like it, great, if not, its a bummer. In this case I love it. Its always top notch and it stays consistent throughout the book.Verdict?This book has a place in everyone's reading pile, wishlist or shelf. It continues to bring fresh and original stories and if quirky is your thing, then Chew is your book. This is probably one of the best TPB of the series thus far and things look promising for the future. Chew is a sure bet. get it, read it and you're (most probably) going to love it.Publisher: Image ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 128Authors: Rob Guillory, John LaymanISBN: 1607067676Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/12/review-chew-volume-7-bad-apples.html

Merry Christmas Everybody

Merry Christmas Everybody

By Rui Esteves in Blog on December 23, 2013

Santa Spider Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Jolly whatever you celebrate.Doesn't really matter what deity each of us prays to, it only matters that we all get along, are happy and read good comics. Be it blistering hot or chillingly cold where you are, just enjoy the moment and be with your loved ones.If you happen to receive awesome gifts great, but if you remembered to give heartfelt memories even better.Just have fun and read good comics.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/12/merry-christmas-everybody.html

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