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Showing posts from March, 2007

Inverloch (Volume 1)

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Sarah Ellerton

The first printed volume of the hit webcomic Inverloch is really a great all-ages read. It follows a young da'kor (a race of feared wolfish creatures) named Acheron, who by chance meets a young female elf one day and falls for her, promising to help her find the mate she lost when she was young. Acheron sets out on an adventure in a large fantastic world completely unknown to him, and learns the hardship of discrimination, intimidation and choosing your friends and enemies. This promises to be quite an epic adventure ala Lord of the Rings, with some great art from Ellerton that looks like it could rival some of the best Disney character designs out there. There's nothing particularly unique to this story that hasn't been seen in other similar fantasy stories, but I haven't seen anything quite like this in comic form, and it really is suited for the medium under the creator's guiding hand. The story unfolds in a great cinematic fashion that makes …

Manga Monday 28: To Terra!

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To Terra (Volume 1)
Keiko Takemiya

To Terra is a fantastic space soap opera epic. It was originally serialized between 1977 and 1980 in Japan, and its creator is considered an important figure in shaping modern shoujo manga. And as To Terra is an important historical manga, we of course have Vertical to thank for publishing the three volume Takemiya adventure. The story follows a few different young men who grow up in a time when people are pretty much manufactured to be perfect citizens and as such, not to question their place. Some humans are developing psychic powers as they are raised by foster parents on a nearby planet, and are seen as a threat to the Utopian paradise planned for Terra, or Earth. These psychic "Mu" are treated as outcasts and executed, although a small number has been gathering where they can not be reached, and they wish to get to Terra, or home, like everyone else. Keiko's art looks influenced by Osama Tezuka, and the story reminded me quite a bit …

New Releases 3/13 - 3/16

DVD Releases (Tues, 3/13)
Casino Royale
Eloise In Hollywood
The Holiday
I Love Lucy: Seasons 7-9
Shortbus
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4 (Original Series)

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: Stranger Than Fiction
Billboard Top DVD Sales: Flushed Away
My Barnes & Noble #1: The Secret

Music Releases (Tues, 3/6)
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Aqualung - Memory Man
The Corrs - Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection
The Fratellis - Costello Music
Hayley Westenra - Celtic Treasure
James Morrison - Undiscovered
Natalie MacMaster - Collection
Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall
William Tell - You Can Hold Me Down

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Daughtry - Daughtry
My Barnes & Noble #1: Norah Jones - Not Too Late

Comic Releases (Wed, 3/7)
American Elf (Volume 2): Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka
BPRD: Garden of Souls #1 (of 5)
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer #1
Complete Invincible Library (Volume 1) HC
Emma (Volume 3)
Franklin Richards: March Madness
New Excalibur (Volume 2): Last Days of Camelot
Wolv…

Manga Monday 27

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Just a couple of short reviews this week with a few manga I'm a few volumes into now...next week: To Terra!
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The Drifting Classroom (Volume 4)
Kazuo Umezu
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I was getting a little bored with this title, to be honest, but this volume kind of reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the over-the-top sci-fi adventure. In this volume, the monster attacks! Plus....lots of screaming, maiming, etc. that ends on a cliffhanger that truly has me on the edge of my seat for the next installment. A
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Death Note (Volume 10)
Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
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Death Note is a hard manga to review because it's such a plot-heavy book, but it's always a good read. It's more exciting at this point than it's been for awhile because it seems like things are getting a little out-of-control and any tiny little thing could topple Light from his throne. New characters join the cast, Kira's pursuers are closing in, and we're bound to have another climax soon because the tension is as thick as it's…

The Grave Robber's Daughter

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Richard Sala

Richard Sala is one of my favorite cartoonists and with this new title from Fantagraphics (which is also Evil Eye #14), we see Sala doing more of what he does best: setting up a creepy atmosphere amid great art and strange characters. There was something very unsettling about this book in particular. I think it had a lot to do with the clowns, which are generally creepy, but are used really effectively as scary antagonists here, grabbing at people and slinging little girls over their shoulders in bags. The noir atmosphere is thick here in an abandoned town where people hide and cower in fear of the clowns coming to take them away, with the exception of a handful of teenagers loitering around the local amusement park. And then there's our protagonist, Judy Grood, whose initial appearance in the book (with the publishing information) is of her saying "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" in her car, as it's broken down. And that's kind of who she is in a nutshell. …

New Releases 3/6 - 3/9

DVD Releases (Tues, 3/6)
Borat
Fast Food Nation
Hawaii Five-O: Season One
Let's Go To Prison
Moonlighting: Season Five
Northern Exposure: Season Six
Peter Pan
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Season One
Stargate: Atlantis: Season Two
South Park: Season Nine

Previous Week:
IMDb Top DVD Rental: Babel
Billboard Top DVD Sales: The Departed
My Barnes & Noble #1: The Secret

Music Releases (Tues, 3/6)
300 Original Score
Air - Pocket Symphony
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Duncan Sheik - Greatest Hits: Brighter
Gary Allan - Greatest Hits
Kelly Sweet - We Are One
Korn - MTV Unplugged
Mary Chapin-Carpenter - The Calling
Relient K - Five Score & Seven Years Ago
Ry Cooper - My Name Is Buddy
Sevendust - Alpha

Previous Week:
Billboard Top 200 #1: Norah Jones - Not Too Late
My Barnes & Noble #1: Norah Jones - Not Too Late

Comic Releases (Wed, 3/7)
Authority: Under New Management TP
Backstage Prince (Volume 1)
Bomb Queen III #1
Daredevil by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson Omnibus (Volume 1) HC
Darkness Ultimate Collection TP
Death…

Manga Monday 26: Until the Full Moon

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Until the Full Moon (Volumes 1 & 2)Sanami Matoh . I was really excited to read this manga because it has an awesome premise. I just happened to stumble upon it when I was researching werewolf comics for a Halloween post last year, and there it was at a used bookstore a few months ago just begging to be picked up. The story follows two young men: one is your normal super sexy self-assured vampire, David. The other, the main character of the two-volume manga, is a half-vampire, half-werewolf named Marlo. Unfortunately for Marlo, he's recently undergone some strange changes... During the full moon, instead of changing into a werewolf, he changes into a beautiful girl! His parents are reasonably upset (about the wrong things) and go see a respected doctor, David's father, Doctor Vincent, where the doctor's playboy son falls for the woman... Now, that premise is fantastic in my opinion. Great manga material. Unfortunately, Sanami Matoh doesn't play up the most interesting…

Runaways

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With this week's issue #24, an era ends as series creators Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona say goodbye and head on to other projects. The good news, of course, is that Joss Whedon is taking over writing chores, but still, it'll be strange reading the series under someone else's hand.

If you look back to the initial issues of Runaways, you may not have been very impressed with what you saw. But beginning with volume two of the book, Adrian Alphona really honed his craft and produced some beautiful art. The few fill-in issues that appeared during this second chapter of the Runaways' lives didn't really grab me, so it'll be interesting to see if the new artist, Michael Ryan, can capture what made this title special under Alphona's reign. Either way, I'm expecting something exceptional with Whedon writing, whether it's different or not. Here's a little catch-up in what's gone down in the title up through the final issue of Vaughan and Alphona…