Tag Archives: Comic Books

Stjepan Sejic: Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #6 Cover (2012) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 06 APR 2013

This fantastic icky sticky situation cover art comes to us courtesy of Stjepan Sejic.

From the official synopsis given for Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #6: “The relationship between Calie and Violet continues to deteriorate as they flee to New York City hoping to evade the never-ending reach of Wonderland. But they find themselves falling into the clutches of something much worse than they imagined. Something has escaped from the realm of madness and it is intent on making the big city its own.”

Stjepan Sejic Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Wonderland issue 6 Cover 2012

Amy Reeder: Halloween Eve Cover (2012) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 01 JAN 2013

Eve has an imagination that’s more than active – it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real.

High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized 2012 holiday one-shot from Image Comics, written by Brandon Montclare with interior art by Eisner Award nominee Amy Reeder.

Amy’s fantastic work, which has also been on display in Batwoman and Madame Xanadu, was also roped in to provide this cover for Halloween Eve, a cover which for some reason makes me smile and think that it’s particularly clever. Not entirely sure why, but I do like it! :)

I Kind of Miss My Old Comic Book Collection My Life 28 DEC 2012

congorilla issue 2 dc comics vokesI was busy clearing out an old PC the other day when I stumbled across a backup of the old Excel Spreadsheet I used to keep, a carefully crafted document complete with arithmetic macros and all, all in the name of keeping track of my once burgeoning comic book collection.

At one point in time I had amassed a sizeable collection of well over 3,000 comic books and graphic novels, a great source of pride and joy for me taking into account how as a teenager I had laboured tirelessly in putting it together over the short space of a handful of years, with a major shortage of sources and severely limited funds to boot!

Obviously as you can tell by a lot of the content on this blog, I have a somewhat love affair with the art of comic books and as a youngster spent countless hours doodling, sketching and producing my own comic book art, a pastime which sadly has long since fallen away as my obligations in life began to pile up as the years went by.

Sadly, a girl that I was dating back in the day suffered from a strong form of depression, and as a result suffered from severe jealousy fits. Unfortunately for me, the cheesecake art (ready sexy women in skin tight costume pictures) that you often find in superhero comic books triggered a response from her, the end result of which saw me one day bagging the lot in a load of black refuse bags and leaving them downstairs in the block of flats’ reception area for anyone to grab if they wanted. I didn’t even have time to change my mind – they pretty much disappeared instantaneously. Lucky kids.

That was way back in 2004 if I remember correctly (give or take a year or two), and sadly for me, every now and then I hark back to a story or piece of art that I once had access to, only to remember that I tossed it all away on the whim of a girl that would eventually go on to cheat on me, thus ending the relationship due to her infidelity. Oh the irony.

Oh well. Fair enough, I probably wouldn’t have been able to store them in this currently little study of mine anyway, so all’s well that ends well then.


Comic Art: Rogue and the X-Men by Frank Cho Comic Book Art | Comic Books 01 NOV 2011

Frank Cho is a fantastically talented artist who has been entertaining us for years with his Liberty Meadows webcomic and of course his subsequent work done in the comic book industry. Incredibly detailed pencils and the ability to switch styles at the drop of a hat, Cho is also known for producing some of the best pinup girl artwork that you’ll ever come across.

This particular piece of artwork comes straight out of Marvel’s X-Men universe, showing off a busty Rogue in her new costume, displaying her prodigious super strength while Colossus, Wolverine and Cyclops faff around in the background! :P

Comic Book T-Shirt: The Flash Comic Books 24 JUL 2010

Pick ‘n Pay doesn’t just do Marvel t-shirts as this latest purchase of mine indicates – no, even DC Comic get their fair turn! This week’s comic book t-shirt features none other than the fastest man alive: the scarlet speedster, the iconic Flash!

Many have worn the mantle of the Flash, the Golden Age’s Jay Garrick, the Silver Age’s Barry Allen and of course the Modern Age’s Wally West, the Flash I’m most familiar with. One thing of course stays constant for these three heroes, namely the super speed each one is blessed with, the ability to move faster than sound, faster even than light in some cases.

So if you are looking for a hero who knows how to think fast on their feet, you certainly shouldn’t look further than the Flash! :)

As for the t-shirt for sale, feast your eyes on this piece of class:

Heh, this one ought to just fly off the shelves you know! :P

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_flash

Scion Comic Books | My Reviews 20 JUL 2009

Scion Issue 1 CoverHappily perusing through the wad of Crossgen Edge compedia I purchased quite some time ago, I stumbled across an excellent comic book series running under the title of Scion, principally written by long time comic-book scribe Ron Marz, pencilled by Jimmy Cheung and inked by Don Hillsman II. The series was published by Crossgen Comics and ran from July 2000 to April 2004, churning out 43 issues in total. Businessman Mark Alessi and Gina M. Villa are credited as its creators.

The story of Scion revolves around young prince Ethan, prince of the Heron Dynasty and the man directly responsible for the war that now rages between the Raven and Heron nations, thanks to his accidental injuring of the Raven prince Bron during a standard initiation ceremony. Of course, this was only the spark to ignite the latest round of battles between these two nations, both of which have been at war with one another for hundreds of years already.

A chance encounter with Princess Ashleigh of the Raven Dynasty forces Ethan to re-evaluate his life, particularly after the appearance of the powerful, enigmatic sigil that gets burnt upon his chest, granting him amazing powers and abilities, and in one stroke making him one of the most powerful players on the battlefield. Ashleigh however has an agenda of her own, that being the freedom of the enslaved lesser races, beings who have been genetically modified in order to better serve their human masters. Drawn into her ragged group and traveling with companions that include the diminutive Skink and the powerful bounty hunter Exeter, Ethan finds himself fighting for a new cause and defending his new loyalties against old friend and foe alike.

But all the time Bron is still waiting for his revenge – and now that he too has been granted a mysterious power for a secretive benefactor, this obsession may just become a realisation after all!

As I mentioned earlier, the extremely capable Ron Marz handles the scripting duties on this title and he churns out a wonderfully engaging story about a man growing up and seizing control of his own life, all painted on the beautifully etched out tapestry of epic war, drama and raging dynasties. Ron manages to paint an intricate and cleverly interleaved political landscape and fills it with characters that grow and manage to engage with the reader over the course of the story, and indeed, manages to paint a very realistic picture of the type of landscape one might have found say during the Middle Ages. One can’t help but liking Ethan and his band of fellow warriors and you soon find yourself hanging on the edge of each and every encounter that they undergo.

Jimmy Cheung, Marvel’s current hot superstar penciller, handles the pencilling duties for most of the series’ run and his strong, epic pencils match the sword and sorcery theme to absolute perfection, crafting some hauntingly beautiful visuals and powerful action sequences. Every now and then his character models do sport a perception flaw or two, but over the whole his fresh and detailed artwork is simply breathtaking to behold. In addition to Jimmy’s stunning pencils, Don Hillsman II proves once again that he is a master with the inks, adding extra depth and textures with exquisite ease to Chueng’s visuals. And lest we not forget, the amazing colorist team, that were behind the awesome looking colors that set all the CrossGen titles so much apart from their competitors’ releases for that time period, continue to do an absolutely stellar job in boosting the overall look and tone of an already awesome looking book.

So in summary, if you can get your hands on Scion and love an epic, sword-driven fantasy tale, then you certainly can do no wrong by picking this quite frankly awesome offering up and giving it a good read. Highly, highly recommended.

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scion_(comics)

Ruse Comic Books | My Reviews 15 JUL 2009

Ruse Issue 1 CoverRuse is one of those unfortunate comic book masterpieces that was cut down way too early in its prime, all thanks to its parent company CrossGen Comics going out of business. Damn it. The series ran from November 2001 to January 2004 for a total of 26 issues on its monthly schedule. The first half of the series was written by Mark Waid (of DC’s Flash and Marvel’s Captain America fame) and then followed up by Scott Beatty, better know for his work in the comic book encyclopedia world than anything else. Pencilling chores fell to Butch Guice, with inks by Mike Perkins and colors by Laura DePuy. Creation credits fell to CrossGen founders Mark Alessi and Gina M. Villa.

What sets Ruse aparts from others is its unique fantasy-fuelled, Victorian-era detective fiction genre, coupled with complex plots and some particularly witty repartee between its two main protagonists. The story revolves around super sleuth Simon Archard, a cold, logical and calculating man, and his assistant (or partner depending on whom you ask) Emma Bishop, a lady with her own fair share of secrets mind you, who run around solving mysteries in Partington, though at the same time are drawn ever deeper into the mysterious story of the artifact known only as the Enigmatic Prism, a powerful device that incites the most evil of desires within people. Of course, with someone of Simon’s great prowess, success rate, intellect and ability (as well as lack of people skills), the man is not without his fair share of arch-nemeses and often is forced to pit his wits and logical ability against these most nefarious (and sometimes magic-wielding) of foes!

Mark Waid introduces the reader to a wonderfully detailed, authentic-feeling Victorian-ages time period, painting us a picture of what life during that age may very well have been like, even though the world of Arcadia is slightly tainted by the ever presence of magic and mythical beings, things that Simon doesn’t particularly care to believe in funnily enough. Waid manages to script some delightful, twisted and complex plots and ends up delivering one of the finest examples of detective-fiction coupled with a hint of magical drama and mystery just for kicks. A particularly strong point is the extremely good characterization of all the main players in the story, and his fine sense for witty repartee between Simon and Emma makes for a thoroughly entertaining read. The stories and mysteries are dark enough to elicit a sort of urgency to them all, but at the same time get marvelously balanced out by apt moments of comedy, wit and wonderment, enough to leave you hanging on each and every single page.

Butch Guice is a legend with the pencil, producing some of the most life-like, detailed visuals you could ever ask for, particularly suited to this Victorian-age setting. His characters, their clothes and hairstyles, the buildings and the props, all just ooze the correct time frame and his incredible focus on detail makes one want to linger over each and every panel, far longer than what you would normally care to do for any other artist. His female depictions are a thing of beauty and his action sequences particularly well carried out, in fact, there is hardly anything one can even dare to fault him on!

Thankfully his beautiful pencils are equally adeptly handled by the British inker Mike Perkins who manages only to enrich Guice’s already stunning visuals and panel layouts and on top of that, Laura DePuy takes everything one step further by adding the last depth and effect thanks to her solid colouring efforts.

In other words, if you can lay your hands on Ruse then you really, really should. It is extremely clever, extremely witty, extremely engaging, it looks absolutely fantastic and reads like a real detective fiction yarn should. Different from most and well worth the time and effort of working your way through it, simply put, it’s one of those comic book must reads that you always hear people going on about!

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruse_(comics)

Planet of the Apes: Blood Lines Comic Books | My Reviews 25 MAY 2008

Planet of the ApesThe quest for answers continues as Esau, Seneca, Attar, and the human woman, Crow, flee from the vicious pursuit of ape soldiers. A mysterious forest legend, a warrior in black armour, may provide a rescue…but will he be saving our heroes for a worse fate? New battles spark a new war between the ape nation and the collaborative ape-human resistance. But some allegiances — and destinies — are still left undefined. Will Attar, the once imposing military captain, return to Derkein to try to stop the bloodshed? Or, will he continue his consuming, idealistic quest for Ari? Will Seneca, formerly of the ape senate, lead the resistance forces proudly against his ape brothers? And, will Esau stand at Seneca’s side, or make an unpredictable move to bolster solely human forces, and rid the planet of their ape overlords…forever?!

Planet of the Apes: Blood Lines collects issue #4-#6 of the ongoing Dark Horse Comics’ Planet of the Apes series and continues on from the Planet of the Apes: Old Gods trade paperback.

This time our four protagonists have escaped from the clutches of the vicious Chimera half-breeds, only to now be once again chased by yet more Gorillas on horseback. Wonderful. This time however they get saved by a mysterious ‘ghost’ warrior who takes them back to a forest-dwelling human camp where they invariably get drawn into the age old struggle between the ape-hating humans and the human-hating apes. And as this series tends to do, we end off in a gigantic battle for survival between the human camp and the marauding apes.

Unfortunately Blood Lines reads almost the same as the first story arc told in Old Gods, and the addition of acclaimed British Horror and Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer Dan Abnett to the already legendary British comic book scripter Ian Edginton fails to bring anything substantial or new to this already wallowing series. It reads like a typical action comic and is not particularly horrible or bad or anything like that – just very mediocre.

However, it must be said that the mediocre feeling that Blood Lines brings is actually not the script’s fault – rather it is the inconsistent art that brings it to its knees, and this is pretty much thanks to the go ahead in using no less than four different pencillers, all with wildly different styles, and three separate inkers to tackle three issues’ worth of material.

New additions since the last outing on the pencilling front include Sanford Greene and the established Pop Mhan, both of which are actually quite enjoyable to look at and it would actually have been nice to see either one of these dynamic and fairly clean line artists to have picked up the title. As it is Paco Medina is back again and his style, although chunky and exaggerated is always nice to view, but unfortunately so is the disaster that is known as Adrian Sibar. Once again his wildly exaggerated and ‘stylish’ drawing looks like a child was handling the pencil or at least that there was an overexcited monkey on his back while drawing because once again it is simply terrible. There isn’t anything good to say about his child-like, simplistic visuals and unfortunately it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and pretty much brings down the quality of the entire publication.

So to sum it all up, Planet of the Apes: Blood Lines picks up exactly where Old Gods left off and is your typical action-orientated fight fest (though with a little more visual gore this time around) with substandard visuals (only when Sibar is on pencilling duties mind you – the rest is actually pretty nice to look at). Again a lesson in mediocre comic book storytelling, this release probably only appeals to those who actually follow the Planet of the Apes franchise in the first place.

You can probably leave this one in the bargain bin where you found it then.

Related Link: http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=11-711

Planet of the Apes: Old Gods Comic Books | My Reviews 17 MAY 2008

Planet of the ApesAnything that could have possibly gone wrong since The Human War did. The human rebel Esau and the ape leader Seneca are facing a trial for crimes against the ape state. Once triumphant, they now await a hangman’s noose. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would be rescued mere seconds from certain death by the once great gorilla warrior, Attar! But Attar has an ulterior motive. Usually reclusive, he has received a cryptic message that could finally lead him to his friend, the long-disappeared chimp, Ari. Soon hunted by the implacable Commander Kharim, Esau, Seneca, and Attar head deep into the uncharted wilds where they find a besieged outpost of apes and humans, masters and servants, fighting side by side in a battle with a primal, ancient evil…one that reveals the dark side to the origins of ape and human alike!

Planet of the Apes – Old Gods collects the first three issues of Dark Horse Comics’ ongoing Planet of the Apes comic book series and is written by Ian Edginton, pencilled by Adrian Sibar and Paco Medina and inked by Norman Lee and Juan Vlasco.

Planet of the Apes – Old Gods focuses on rebel leaders Seneca and Esau, the human and the ape that would see the human slavery overthrown and apekind living side by side with humankind as equals, will to use whatever force necessary to see their visions realised. Unfortunately for them, apekind is far superior in almost every way and their rebellion is soon crushed and their forces scattered. The two themselves are captured and taken back to the ape stronghold to face execution.

However, they receive assistance from the unlikeliest of sources and are soon embroiled in a mad dash for freedom where unfortunately they are led to a path that sees them face one of the greatest threats to both human and apes alike. Yup, if it sounds like your typical, action-driven comic book story then you are 100% right.

Ian Edginton is an extremely successful and brilliant British writer who bucked the trend and became famous in American comics before coming back to Britain and achieves success writing for 2000AD and its related franchises. He is known for a lot of franchise writing, having written a lot of the Predator, Xena and Aliens comic book series.

Planet of the Apes may not be his best writing ever, but it is a solid and enjoyable story, even if it feels a little clichéd in places and filled with moments of some real cringe-worthy one-liners and character dialogue. Of course, working with Apes doesn’t give him all that much scope to develop a very deep dramatic sense in his story (apes really seem fairly one-dimensional, honour bound critters) but he does the best with what he has.

Unfortunately his story isn’t helped by the simply appalling and uneven art, pretty much all the fault of the, in my opinion, untalented Adrian Sibar who ‘stylised’ approach to drawn is so over-simplified that it looks like a child scribbled it in places. The inkers have done the best that they could, but honestly Sibar’s less than mediocre artwork only serves to bring the entire publication down. Thankfully though he only get to draw half of the collection as Paco Medina (who has worked on quite a couple of the X-Men universe titles) steps in to save some face, also applying the same sort of exaggerated art style that Sibar tries to utilise but only with a truckload more success.

It is a pity that Medina didn’t get to handle the art chores all on his own because even though he is one of those over stylish, exaggerated and chunky visuals artists, his work is competent and enjoyable enough to be quirky and stand out as some good comic book entertainment.

In short, Planet of the Apes – Old Gods is not a masterpiece and probably will only really appeal to fans of the age old Planet of the Apes franchise. The story is fairly mediocre and enjoyable enough, it is just that the art is more than a little of a letdown.

Related Link: http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=11-563