A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea #2

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It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote a review for A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea, but I was given an opportunity to check out issue number two in advance, so I figured I would dust off the cobwebs on my keyboard and give the second issue a mini review. The second issue in the mini series continues the trend of mixing humor and mystery with an assorted gang of interesting characters that is hard to put down.

I won’t go into the general plot in this review since I covered that in first review. The first issue leaves you on a cliffhanger and this one picks right up from there. But if you can’t find the first issue at your local comic shop, you won’t be too lost since it was written in a way that you can pick it right up.

One thing that I will give the writer, Jason Burns, credit for is that he knows how to set up proper cliffhangers in each issue. The first issue leaves you with one, and the second issue continues that. Having good cliffhangers is very important in comics and I think Jason agrees with me in that regard. The end of this issue leaves you in a place where you just have to march down to your local nerd den and plop over the money that Big Oil was expecting that week. Continue reading “A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea #2”

Caught My Eye: Dracula vs. King Arthur

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If there is one comic that most influenced me over any others, then Dracula vs. King Arthur is it. I fully attribute my comic-buying decisions of the last two years to on this title. Before I met Christian at a small comic show in Dallas, I was curious about other comics published from outside the “Big 2” but I was afraid to dish out the money. I picked up issues 1 and 2 of Dracula vs. King Arthur and something changed in me. I saw for the first time that other types of stories were out there, and they were good!

Dracula vs. King Arthur was written by two brothers, Adam and Christian Beranek. They started the small press publishing company Silent Devil to help up-and-coming creators have an avenue to tell interesting and different stories. Dracula vs. King Arthur falls squarely in this category. At first glance, it sounds like it would be super-cheesy, but story is done very well. That’s what surprised me the most when I read it. I figured I was in for some over the top mash-up story, but it turned out to be an intriguing concept. It’s a bit of a mixture between the horror and history genres, but it doesn’t come across as hokey or absurd. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Dracula vs. King Arthur”

Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea

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I was recently given the opportunity to do an advance review of A Dummy’s guide to Danger: Lost at Sea, which is a comic book that I was already jazzed to read. I don’t normally like to review books that are offered to me, but I had a good feeling about this one since I just reviewed the mini series that this one spins out of. My initial feelings regarding this comic were well founded and I am glad I jumped at the chance to read it so I could report back to my faithful readers the good news. This one is for you Mom.

A Dummy’s guide to Danger: Lost at Sea is the sequel to a mini series that was titled A Dummy’s guide to Danger. First off, don’t let the fact that it is a sequel stop you from checking this title out. Very little from the first series is referenced and everything you need to know is explained in the opening scenes of this book. I was interested in seeing how Jason M. Burns was going to kick this series off for new readers and I am happy to say he did it well. For all purposes, you could read this series and never know that there was a previous mini series. That is something that all writers should strive for since you never want to leave your readers out in the cold. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea”

Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger Volume 1

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For the most part, every single idea that you can think of has already been thought of by someone else. Sadly, that’s just the way it is. So what else is left? Well, you can take a traditional idea and think of a hook that hasn’t been thought of yet and run with it. A Dummy’s Guide to Danger does just that, and does it well.

A Dummy’s Guide to Danger is a miniseries written by Jason M. Burns, drawn by Ron Chan, and published by small-press publisher Viper Comics. I recently picked up this series in its newly collected digest form at Wizard World Texas at the insistence of a good friend of mine, Joe Eisma (who happens to be drawing this title’s sequel.) The trade dress of the digest caught my eye and since Joe has a similar taste in comics as me, I decided to give it a try.

At the core of A Dummy’s Guide to Danger, you have a murder/mystery comic with a pinch of gore and a dash of comedy. Basically the makings of a fun guy movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is intended to entertain versus enlighten. The basic plot of this series follows a private investigator named Alan Sirois and his partner Mr. Bloomberg as they attempt to track down a gruesome killer by the name of the Flesh Collector. The catch is that Alan’s partner is not actually alive and is, in fact, a ventriloquist’s dummy. Now you see what I was referring to when I mentioned the hook! Continue reading “Caught My Eye: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger Volume 1”

Caught My Eye: Firebreather

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With this review, you may notice a little pattern with the comics that catch my eye. I suffer from a little-known affliction called “glutton for good comics.” Once I find a topic or creator that interests me, I can’t move on to another until that hunger is satisfied. The current creator that has me occupied is Phil Hester.

In my last review, I checked out the comic Thirteen Steps, written by Phil Hester and Chuck Satterlee. That introduced me to Hester’s writing ability, where before I had only known his art. I was pretty impressed with the different type of story it was and wanted to see what else he had up his sleeve. I went to Wizard World Texas in November and saw that he had a book called Firebreather, and I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Firebreather is a creator-owned book that Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn worked on together. Until I discovered this series, Andy Kuhn wasn’t really known to me (but I’m not the most knowledgeable on various creators yet). I will say that I’ll be following him a little more now since I’m a fan of the style he draws in. If you’re not familiar with his work, his most recent projects include Blue Beetle, Brit, Hulk and Power Pack, and Marvel Team Up. What I like about his style, and others who draw similarly, is that it’s a cartoony look that is not overly realistic, but at the same time not kid stuff either. I really don’t have the comic technical vocabulary to describe it, but it’s my favorite type of comic art. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Firebreather”

Caught My Eye: Thirteen Steps

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As promised, this review is over the newly released comic, Thirteen Steps. It is a horror comic at the root, but it’s pretty much unlike any others on the stands today. It follows the story of a man who is a minor league baseball player by day and a werewolf by night. The main hook is that he feels pretty horrible for what he does in his altered state and needs someone who will listen to him and try to understand, but that doesn’t happen until he stumbles on an A.A.-like program called Thirteen Steps, where he can learn to deal with his affliction.

In the last review, I covered a title called GearHead, which was drawn by Kevin Mellon. When I saw this comic in Previews several months ago and noticed it was drawn by the same artist, I was pretty curious. Add to the pot that this is written by one of my favorite artists and is a horror comic and you have a combination that I couldn’t pass up. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Thirteen Steps”

Caught My Eye: GearHead

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First of all, I’d like to apologize for my absence. Recently, I started a new job, moved across state, and have been living with my in-laws while waiting for my last house to sell. Needless to say, it’s been hectic these last couple of months. Now that I turned in my tardy slip, let’s get on to the comic review, shall we?

The comic that brought me screaming and kicking back to comic reviewing is called GearHead. Basically, the premise is that the world is drastically different from the one that we know and love in that the civilized society lives in the few large cities across the country, and in the outskirts reside the outlaws and undesirables. It kind of resembles a mixture of movies along the line of Mad Max.

The main character is the mechanic daughter of a vigilante named GearHead who gets a dose of reality when she’s thrust into dangers that far exceed that of a cracked block or blown head gasket. Due to extenuating circumstances, she takes up the mantle of her lost father and begins to peel back the mystery of how messed up her world really is. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: GearHead”

Caught My Eye: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special

First of all, let me start out by saying that all I know about the Green Lantern is what can be seen on the Justice League cartoons. I’m not a huge fan of space-related comics simply because they’re so fantastical and far removed from reality that I have a hard time getting emotionally involved in the plot. I can count on one hand the number of space comics that I enjoyed and didn’t feel like I was being punished by reading them.

Sinestro Corps was an interesting venture for me because I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. The $4.99 price tag certainly was a gamble, but I’ve been craving something by Ethan Van Sciver so I decided to take the plunge.

The art was the most enjoyable aspect of the comic. Every page was filled with huge visuals that remind me of the summer blockbusters that I love. I felt like a kid looking at the coveted Toys“R”Us big book of toys that comes out at Christmastime every year. It really was that good. Ethan Van Sciver took his time with this comic and it shows. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special”

Caught My Eye: Flash, The Fastest Man Alive #13

Looks pretty bad, huh? Well, this is only the third page
DC Comics

Where do I start? Yeah, I’m looking at you, DC Comics, and your wonderful editorial direction! You’d better run and take cover, because I’m coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear???

It is going to be very difficult for me to discuss this comic without spoiling it for the few of you who stuck with this title post–Infinite Crisis, but I’ll do my best to keep this review spoiler-free.

This issue marks the last in this volume’s thirteen-issue run. I started reading this title with the conclusion to the huge DC Comics blockbuster from last summer, Infinite Crisis. The One Year Later storyline was a gimmick where all of the in-continuity titles advanced a year. It promised to be a radically different gimmick than what we were used to. I for one was really interested in what was going on in the world of DC. Flash was a character I had wanted to check out for some time, since he was one of my favorites in the Justice League animated show on Cartoon Network. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Flash, The Fastest Man Alive #13”

Caught My Eye: Scar Tissue Volume One

A page from Scar Tissue
Dial R Studios

Scar Tissue is a small-press comic published by Dial R Studios. Now, when I say it’s “small press,” I don’t mean that it’s small on quality, because it’s quite the opposite.

So what is this comic about? Good question. It’s about a sick boy named Ben who is in a rough place. He’s needed a heart transplant for many years, and the time has come that he either gets one or he dies. Fortunately, one arrives in the nick of time. It comes with a catch, though: it belongs to a recently deceased supervillain named Lord Grundoom. With this new heart, Ben is able to heal more quickly than a regular heart recipient and begins to gain the powers of the late Grundoom. The book, written by Jim Clark and drawn by David Wachter, follows Ben as he comes to terms with these new powers and his struggle with the emotions and conflicts you might assume would occur.

The story is easy to get into. I quickly found myself interested in Ben’s predicament and wanted to keep reading more. Before I knew it, I had read half of the trade paperback. One of this comic’s biggest strengths is its dialog. That was the very first thing I noticed. The interaction between Ben and his brothers, as well as his internal struggles, is spot on. The way the characters interact with one another feels very natural, and it seems like you’re right there with them. There were only two characters that seemed kind of stiff to me, but everyone else could have been people I knew. Continue reading “Caught My Eye: Scar Tissue Volume One”