Friday, August 18, 2006

Closing the week... the hated FAMILY GUY. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate! Feel it! Love it! Feed off of it at the main site!


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Didn't mean to take yesterday off, especially since I had read material and was ready to review it. But life got in the way, and we all know how that goes...

Anyway, back today with looks at two recent efforts from Viper Comics, VILLAINS and A DUMMY'S GUIDE TO DANGER. Click on over to the main site and check it out!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

History... back in 1992, I took a job as a movie and television critic. I got away from entertainment journalism for a while, but when I was writing for Comic Book Galaxy back in 01-02, I got back into it with a column called "The Aisle Seat" (which is where I prefer to sit, whether in a theatre or on a plane). Now, after four years, The Aisle Seat is returning!

Today's spotlight falls on EUREKA, which airs Tuesdays on the Sci-Fi Channel. Go to the main site and give the piece a read, won't you?


Monday, August 14, 2006

It's Monday, and that means... well, I don't know what that means. But I do have two new reviews posted at the main site: PHONOGRAM and DEATH JR 2. Check 'em out, if ya please...


Sunday, August 13, 2006


I don’t know what it says about me, but doing these has become one of the things I most look forward to at the site. I may need professional help.

This weekend, a look at four recent efforts from Arcana Studio, those wacky Canadians who thought they could, and have…

First up is 100 GIRLS: THE FIRST GIRL VOL.2, written by Adam Gallardo and Drawn by Todd Demong. GIRLS is the story of Sylvia Mark, an ordinary 13-year old girl who feels the traditional teenage alienation. However, hers turns out to have a bit more substance, as she not only turns out to have super-strength, but to also have 99 other super-powered versions of her running around somewhere in the world. Complicating the matter is that she tends to absorb her sisters and gain their memories and powers when she’s nearby, and there are a metric ton of bad guys out to kill her and her sisters. From the very beginning, this has been a terrific series, one which put a young girl into the lead without sexualizing her or sacrificing her character for “kewl”, and the conclusion to the first part of her tale changes nothing. The seeds are sown here for a greater story to be told down the road, and if it’s as good as this series has been, the creators will be in good shape.

Next, we turn to EZRA #1 (written by Sean O’Reilly and drawn by Alfonso Ruiz), the newest series featuring Arcana’s she-warrior with an attitude. The original EZRA series was entertaining enough for me to get past my distaste for its genre, and the character, who is basically a sexy member of the walking dead, is interesting. But O’Reilly is sabotaged here by the art, which is too cartoony in places to give the story the dramatic heft it needs. It also forces O’Reilly to lay on the exposition in at an almost Shooter/Marvel-era level, slowing the pace of the story down. Sometimes, this just happens, but no question, it’s fixable, and EZRA can get back on the right path easily enough.

Following along is GRUNTS #1 (written by Shannon Denton and Keith Giffen and drawn by Matt Jacobs), the story of some American soldiers who had a nasty close encounter with the Germans’ enjoyment for using weird science and the occult (though which of those it is isn’t made clear, a blip by the artist). GRUNTS is actually pretty hard-boiled in its approach to its cast of characters, though Denton and Giffen do an almost comical nod at including every central-casting stereotype, right down to the chubby guy being nicknamed “Fatty.” Denton handles the scripting, so the “bwa-ha-ha” is at a minimum, but the action quotient is pretty high, and Jacobs handles it well. I’d have liked for the Nazi’s “super-warriors” to be better defined, either through the art or a caption, especially with LOST SQUAD working in a similar vein, so this ranks as a high “okay”.

Closing it out, we arrive at DRAGON’S LAIR #1 (written by Andy Mangels and drawn by Fabio Laguna), based upon the classic video game and TV cartoon. This is a triple-sized debut, reprinting the issues that MVC produced a few years ago under one cover, making it an exceptional value for your five yanqui dollars. Mangels and Laguna do a pitch-perfect job of introducing the universe, the characters, and the plot with ease, which is excellent, considering I had never played the game or watched the cartoon. Dirk the Daring (who’s kinda dumb) protects Princess Daphne (who’s kinda smart), but their roles overlap here and there. In this story, she is kidnapped by Singe, the kahuna of all the dragons, because Singe is a little pissed about all of his children Dirk has killed. Rousing adventure follows. As someone who tends to yawn his way through sword-and-sorcery stories, I found this kind of fun, likely because the book has an art style that mimics the cartoon, and because Mangels keeps the pace moving very quickly. Fun for all ages.

That’s it for this week. See you during the week for site updates, and next weekend for a new CWR Weekend Blog Extra!