Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Graphic Novels I've Enjoyed Recently: The Sequel

John Constantine Hellblazer: Freezes Over - w: Brian Azzarello a: various. Constantine is snowed in a roadside diner with three desperate criminals. Guess who leaves alive? It's fun watching Constantine manipulate all and sundry.

Afro Samurai 1 - w/a: Takashi Okazaki. A son sees his father killed and grows up seeking vengeance. Get ready for some kick-ass fight scenes.

Dark Entries - w: Ian Rankin a: Werther Dell'Edera. John Constantine in a reality television show set in a haunted mansion. Let the fun begin.

Filthy Rich - w: Brian Azzarello a: Victor Santos. A classic noir tale of lust, money, greed and bad choices. Wonderful atmosphere, and a well told story.

X-Men: Phoenix Endsong - w: Greg Pak a: Greg Land. Interesting story that tries to explain why the Phoenix Force keeps attacking the X-Men. Pak writes a good story but Land's artwork is overly posed and his characters look lifeless.

The Best of Wolverine Volume 1 - w/a: various. Some early Wolverine stories showing why he's the best at what he does.

Captain America: The Man With No Face - w: Ed Brubaker a: various. Bucky Barnes' past catches up with him as old enemies gather for revenge.

Star Wars Omnibus: Rise of the Sith - w/a: various. Stories set before The Phantom Menace involving Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Mace Windu, Aurra Sing and Darth Maul.

Star Wars Omnibus: Emissaries & Assassins - w/a: various. Stories set just after The Phantom Menace starring the usual suspects.

The Big Book of Barry Ween Boy Genius - a/w: Judd Winick. This hilarious graphic novel follows the adventures of Barry and his friend Jeremy. Garth Ennis describes Barry Ween as "Calvin & Hobbes on PCP with a copy of Mein Kampf thrown into the mix." Laugh out loud jokes and pop culture references and a reluctant hero with a very bad mouth is a winning combination.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quick Reviews

Here are some books I've enjoyed recently.

Retribution Falls - Chris Wooding. Join the crew of the Ketty Jay as they find themselves up to their eyebrows in trouble. One for Firefly Fans.

Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman travels across America visiting the places where rock musicians have died for an article in Spin magazine. Along the way Klosterman tries to understand how a musician dying can be so powerful for people. (Best line in the book: 'as a rock critic, you make a living out of reviewing your mail.')

The Campaigns of Napoleon - David Chandler. This massive book is an amazing in-depth look at how Napoleon fought his battles. Lots of information and lots of maps make this a delight.

The Day of Battle - Rick Atkinson. A very detailed look at the Allied invasion of Italy during WWII. Well researched and well told.

Heart of Veridon - Tim Akers. A strange package leads disgraced pilot Jacob Burn into a mystery. An interesting novel that slowly draws you in and weaves a web around you. Great read.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction - David Michaels. Sure it's a book based on a computer game but it's a fun nights entertainment. Sam Fisher is going rogue, or is he?

The Naming of the Beasts - Mike Carey. I like Felix Castor even though he owes a lot to John Constantine. Castor has to exorcise a demon that is riding shotgun on his best friends soul. As usual Castor will be put through the wringer.

The Second World War - John Keegan. Well written and immensely readable history of WWII. Covers all the theatres of battle in just enough detail for a one volume history.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter 1152

David Petersen's amazing Mouse Guard series continues in Winter 1152, following on from Fall 1152. After the attack of Midnight's traitor mice the Mouse Territories are trying to survive a harsh winter. Mouse Guard patrols have been sent out to gather supplies and the story focuses on the exploits of one of these patrols.
Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam, Sadie and the old greyfur Celanawe find themselves under attack on the way back to Lockhaven carrying much needed medical supplies. We see our heroes separated as Lieam and Celanawe battle an owl, and Saxon, Kenzie and Sadie fight bats underground in an old weasel warren.

After much adventure they return to Lockhaven except for Celawane who falls fighting the owl. But this leads Lieam to find out more about himself as he makes a decision that will have a huge impact on his future.

David Petersen is an amazing artist and storyteller and Winter 1152 is such an atmospheric piece that I urge people to go out and find the Mouse Guard series and have a read for themselves. I can't recommend this any more highly.