Friday, June 22, 2007


Folks, if I was any more ahead on things today, I’d likely just disappear in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. This Friday’s site update goes hand-in-hand with the Blog Extra, so why not just make one post and kill two birds at the same time?

Over at the main site, a look at Arcana Studio’s STARKWEATHER, which is a half-good, half-frustrating reading experience. And here at the Blog Extra: two more books from Arcana.

I can see the smile on Sean O’Reilly’s face already.

DRAGON’S LAIR #2-3 are written by Andy Mangels and Ryan Foley and drawn by Fabio Laguna. Comics adapted from the worlds of video games or cartoons never seem to really capture the imagination and entertain, but DRAGON’S LAIR defies that. Dirk the Daring is such a breezily dopey protagonist that you can’t help but snicker your way through ludicrous challenge after ludicrous challenge. There’s never any true sense of a threat to his life, nor do you ever believe Singe the Dragon will do horrible things to Princess Daphne; and there shouldn’t be. It’s the ride that counts, and it’s a fun one. Even the traditional sequence where Dirk finds himself being seduced by a “siren” type rolls down easy, and the cheesecakey nature of the art there doesn’t offend. Fun stuff.

On the flip side, SHADOWFLAME #1-2, written and drawn by Joe Martino, are devoid of fun, and that’s a shame. SHADOWFLAME is the kind of book that should be a hoot, because it’s the sort of thing that makes you want to call it on the phone and say, “The 80s called, and they want their comics back.” Joe Wyatt is a cop who burns the candle at both ends, and it costs him when his wife Janice is murdered while he’s at work. When he attempts suicide, he’s instead transported to space by aliens who give him superpowers in the hopes he’ll defend Earth from an alien marauder on his way. That’s completely goofy and insane, of course, and the costume he’s stuck with is even goofier. You’d think Martino would then embrace one type of story or the other; either dive into the absurdity of a suicidal cop flying around and saving damsels or by reclaiming the cop’s soul and preparing him for the coming battle against a world-beater. But SHADOWFLAME does neither, instead putting him against a low-level mobster’s super-goons, and promising that the upcoming issue three (of four) still won’t bring the galactic threat. This book could be so much better than it is by getting away from the middle ground, and that’s a shame.

That’s it for this week! Join us here next week for main site updates, and next weekend for an all-new Blog Extra!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

David Petersen's magnificent MOUSE GUARD gets the hardcover collection treatment.

If you haven't read it yet, now is the time.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hitting the hump da bump... Nicolas Mahler's LONE RACER takes a small story and invests it with a lot of heart.

Run, Racer, run!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rich Koslowski returns, fresh off of recent successes like THE KING and 3 FINGERS. This time, he's written an actual novel, and it's a worthy read.

See if you're on THE LIST...


Monday, June 18, 2007

Manga Monday! REAL/FAKE PRINCESS draws to a close and almost manages to redeem itself with a strong final volume.