Tag Archives: comics to read

Zombie Tramp Volume 1 Review

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Thanks to a bad date arranged by her transvestite madame, Janey Belle, a high-priced and high-demand Hollywood call girl, gets attacked by a zombie.  She escapes, but not before getting bitten.  Now a zombie, Janey seeks vengeance on those that have wronged her.  It may seem odd for a zombie to target certain persons of interest.  But Janey is a rarity.  Her soul is intact, something you don’t usually see in zombies.  She is also exceptionally strong.

WARNING:  This title is for mature readers.  CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO READ ANY PARTS OF THIS COMIC BOOK.  This title is filled with bloodshed, exposed body organs and tissues, foul language, sexually explicit images (lots of big boobs), and all sorts of other good stuff for the mature audience.

Zombie Tramp, an indie comic series published by Action Lab Danger Zone, the mature readers comic book imprint by Action Lab Entertainment, will have you laughing and frightened at the same time.

Dan Mendoza is the writer and illustrator.  Great script with perfect timing.  Excellent character interactions.  The key players in this book are all funny, but dangerous.  From Xula, the beautiful voodoo queen, to the crooked sheriff and that crazed zombie son of his that he keeps chained up in his basement, you will appreciate each character and their distinct personalities.

By the way, my favorite characters in this volume are Xula and Sheriff Rudolf.

It is no secret that I support indie comics as much as I support mainstream comic books, and I will continue to blog and spread the word about good comics to read.  You can find volumes 1 and 2, and single issues on Comixology.  Issue #1 of volume 3 will be available soon.

VERDICT (drum roll please)
This title is good for anyone looking for horror, supernatural, zombies, and fun comics to read.  I strongly recommend this comic.  I am giving this comic book 5/5 stars.

 

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Seven Years in Dog-Land Review

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Alice Carroll is a 10 year-old girl who lives with her dad, Lewis Carroll.  Their relationship is cold and distant, and Alice doesn’t appear to have any recollection of her deceased mother.  When Alice’s pet Labrador Retriever, Charlie, runs away from home, Alice takes it extremely hard.

Alice eventually leaves home to search for Charlie.  During her search, she stumbles upon a magical world ruled by giant dogs.  In Cania, the canines talk and sapiens are their pets.  The sapiens resemble humans, but they’re filthy and act like savages.  The enslaved sapiens are used as household pets, circus acts, and whatever else their owners force on them.  The canines even breed sapiens.

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Alice is considered a special type of sapient because of her cleanliness, intelligence, and most of all, her ability to talk.  She is personable, and has caught the attention of Dulac, the sapiens pet trader.  Dulac decides to keep Alice for himself, and he’s as dirty as dirty can get.

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Not all of the canines are cruel.  There is an activist group that wants all sapiens to be free.

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But will Alice ever find Charlie?  Better yet, will she ever find her way back home?

Seven Years in Dog-Land is an indie comic created by Johny Tay.  Phenomenal script with amazing character interactions.  This enlightening fantasy pretty much resembles our world.  Dogs are kept as pets by humans.  We breed them, dress them up in clothing, and make them perform tricks.  As for selling the sick sapiens to the butcher.  Well, um, I often read about meat recalls.  Sick cows, pigs, green slime, etc.  Anyway, you know what I’m talking about.

The art is in black-and-white, and although I would like to see it in color, it doesn’t take from the story at all.  I especially like how Tay drew Alice to stand apart from the sapiens.  You can definitely tell she’s not one of those savages.

You can read the first half of Seven Years in Dog-Land for FREE online.  Check out Tay’s website for additional information such as a rundown of characters, and ordering information.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this title for dog lovers, readers of fantasy, or for those that are looking for a good indie comic to read.  I give this title 4.5/5 stars.

 

Comic Book Donations Should Not Include Fake Charities

I recall following Communities for Kids, a Twitter account that sought comic book donations for kids.  I was new to Twitter, so I don’t remember much about it.  But I strongly remember a Twitter account, Comics4Kids, surface with the same solicitations.  Even back then, I thought it was odd.  Eventually Communities for Kids faded away, but Comics4Kids remained.

Comics for Kids is/was/is/was/is/was (it goes from being open to closed over the past few days), a Twitter account that solicits comic books, original art, and monetary donations.  The books are supposed to be given to children to help promote literacy.  Art is supposed to be a prize for donors.  Monetary donations are supposed to be used for shipping the comics to kids.

Comics for Kids, or Comics4_Kids (this Twitter handle will not get hyperlinked anywhere on my blog), claims to be a non-profit organization based out of Tishomingo, MS.  Michael Whitehead is the CEO, and appears to be the only employee.  A few days ago, I began to read several tweets questioning the non-profit organization’s true motive.  I saw a tweet with a picture of a young boy holding a certificate.  I zoomed in on the picture to read the child’s name.  His last name is Whitehead.  I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if he’s related to Michael Whitehead.”  After reading a few more tweets, I learned the Twitter war apparently started from that picture.

The purported charity was asked if the child in the picture was related to the CEO.  It didn’t take long for Michael Whitehead to become enraged and start going off and blocking those who questioned his ethics.  He talked big-time smack, and even tweeted “You honestly make me sick,” to one individual, and “Fuck you (person’s name)” to another.  And guess what?  All of this was tweeted under the charity’s brand.

Here’s Bleeding Cool’s article about the chaotic Twitter war that expanded over a few days.

I became suspicious of this charity months ago.  The account always asks for comics (including CGC), rare comics, original art and money.  I have never seen pictures showing where the donations have gone.  Several times a month a picture is posted showing two stacks of USPS packages ready to ship, along with a tweet asking for money to ship them.  First of all, we don’t know what’s in those envelopes.  Second, it’s the same damn picture every time.  You don’t see any pictures of kids with their books, or the comic drives the organization claims to host.  Contest winners for original art are never announced.  The same two pictures of the same two original drawings are tweeted all the time.  So yeah, I was on to that Comics4Kids Twitter scam a while back.

By the way, there is no active website, and they removed their Facebook page.

The Twitter feud was so intense that Mark Waid, a well-known, respected, and influential comic creator, stepped in.  Waid is hotheaded, but he tells it like it is.  He was out with it and called Michael Whitehead out on key issues.

I am not known in the comic community, but I’m vocal whenever I feel the need.  I tweeted a couple of comments, basically telling Comics for Kids to show us they want to help kids.  I was blocked from their Twitter account a few hours later.

There is always someone looking for comics to read.  And there are several ways to get comic books in the hands of those who want them, including children.

  • Garage/yard sale
  • Mom2Mom sale.  These sales are gaining in popularity.  My family participated in two of these sales over the past year.  Kids went wild over the comic books.  We sold them for 25 cents each.  I gave a lot of them away, simply because we didn’t want to take anything back home.
  • Your local library.  Call and see if they accept donations.
  • Shelters
  • Physician offices
  • Hospitals.  Call the volunteer office, or Nurse Manager on a specific unit, and ask if they will accept comic books to be placed in the waiting rooms.  Volunteers may even take them into the patient rooms.  I work in an ER and our pediatric ER receives donated books all the time, including a few comics.  They’ll be getting more soon, because I’m in the process of going through my own kids comics.

You don’t need to send money to these so-called charities to help ship comics either.  Why do such a thing when there are kids in your own neighborhood that would love to have a comic book?  We’re surrounded by children, so let’s help them.  Sponsor a child by taking him or her to a comic shop, or giving them your child’s unwanted books.

I have a cousin with a daughter in middle school.  Her daughter often asks to stop by the comic shop on their way home, because it’s down the street from the school.  So of course I told my cousin that I will take her daughter to the store and let her get whatever book(s) she wants.

There are plenty of ways to help people, children and adults, obtain comic books.  Supporting a fake charity should not be one of them.

Promoting literacy goes beyond just handing a book to a child.  Can the child read?  Is it age appropriate?  Is there any parent involvement?  You just can’t hand a book to a child and say you’re helping to promote literacy.  That’s why it’s a good idea to start helping kids to read comics at home.  By home, I mean with relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers.  They all have children that want comic books.  Start with the locals.

I have a co-worker whose 5 year-old son loves anything and everything Spider-Man.  My son reads and collects Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man.  A couple of times while at the comic shop, I bought an extra copy for her son.

A few months ago, a man took his young son into the comic shop to buy his first comic book.  The man had enough money for maybe one or two books.  I grabbed a $5 bill from my purse because I wanted to make sure that little boy did not leave the store without his first comic book(s).

If you insist on donating to charity (some like to do it for bragging rights), please play it safe and research the organization first.

Nowhere Man (Vol.1): You Don’t Know Jack Review

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Although police drama does not fit my current personal taste, I can honestly say that Nowhere Man (Vol. 1):  You Don’t Know Jack, has definitely captured my interest.

Nowhere Man, an indie comic published by Forward Comix, is a psychological thriller that is so deep, you will need a shovel to dig your way out.

The story follows NYPD Detective Jack Maguire, and his alter ego, Zade.  Jack is the host for Zade, a mysterious agent that targets advanced weapons traffickers.  The worst part is that Jack has no control over this unknown assassin, and he does not remember any of his missions.  It is unknown how Zade claimed Jack as a host.

The mystery deepens as the NYPD gets caught in the middle of a conspiracy.  A secret military operation unfolds, and all kinds of heck break loose. 

Several characters are introduced in the story, but the main key players are:

Jack Maguire.  NYPD Detective.  African-American.  A very fine piece of eye candy.  Determined to become the police chief.  Stubborn, over-ambitious.  Reckless.  Jack has a good heart, and is determined to honor the legacy of his father.

Jack also has super-human abilities.  Notice how the bullets pass through him in the picture below.  He also has an electric charge that he can use as a truth serum.  But he doesn’t have superhuman strength.

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Rose Yancey.  Jack’s partner.  In a clandestine relationship with him.  Niece of Captain Whittaker.  I don’t trust her one bit.

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Captain Whittaker.  Temperamental, belittles Jack every chance he gets, hard to get on his good side (I don’t think he has one).  Uncle of Rose Yancey.  I don’t trust him one bit either.

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Zade.  An unknown, mysterious agent.  Assassin.  Controls electromagnetic energy, ability to hack electronic and biological networks, phases through objects, and many other hi-tech abilities.

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Jerome Walford is the writer and illustrator.  Sharp dialogue and phenomenal character interactions. 

I can say only say one word about the art.  Amazing.  Walford has proven to be a very talented writer, as well as artist.

Verdict (drum roll please)

I strongly support the indie comic market, and I will do all I can to read and give my HONEST reviews on this blog.

So with that being said, I strongly recommend Nowhere Man as a comic to read for the mature audience.

I know that I mostly give high ratings.  Well that’s because I read good comic books, both mainstream and indie comics.  It’s not often that I read a book and find that I didn’t like it.  But it also proves that indie comics are just as good, if not better than, mainstream comics.

Nowhere Man  gets  5/5 stars.

My Replacement for Superior Spider-Man

Now that Doc Ock’s reign as Superior Spider-Man is over, it is time that I appoint a new protector in my Marvel comic life.  If you’ve read My Two Cents Worth on Superior Spider-Man blog post, then you know that Doc Ock’s successor WILL NOT be Peter Parker.

I recently tweeted the top three contenders.  It was difficult for me to decide which hardcore badass was going to have me breaking my neck to read his comic book every month.  Since I like a man who takes charge, I decided to choose all 3.  And they are:

3.  Magneto
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Written by Cullen Bunn, I was hooked on this mind-blowing title within the first pages of its debut issue.  I followed Bunn’s Fearless Defenders, Deadpool, and Carnage titles.  Magneto shows the serious side of Bunn’s writing.

Accomplishing a lot with limited supplies and resources, Magneto investigates crimes against mutants.

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Then serves justice.

2.  Moon Knight
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Written by Warren Ellis, I instantly became addicted to this smooth, maybe somewhat crazy, masked vigilante.  Moon Knight (Marc Spector) is sharp, clever and a damn good detective.

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See what I mean?

1.  The Punisher
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Written by Nathan Edmondson, there is not much for me to say about Frank Castle aka Punisher.  That’s because his actions tells all.  If you ask me about The Punisher, all I will do is hand you one of my books.  Not really.  I’ll give you my digital code or gift you a copy, because I don’t lend my comic books to anyone.  I don’t like smudges or fingerprints on them.

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Aren’t those panels just beautiful?  Thank you Mitch Gerads for the spectacular artwork.

So there you have it.  Magneto, Moon Knight and Punisher.  Three hardcore badasses you don’t want to mess with.  With these three on board, I know that I will be safe in the Marvel Universe.

By the way, if you’re looking for new comics to read, then I suggest these titles for the mature readers.

Scum of the Earth #1 and #2 Review

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This sci-fi, crime filled comic book depicting a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde hooked me at the beginning of the story.  Action-packed from cover-to-cover, both issues left me feigning for more.

Scum of the Earth is an indie comic published by Action Lab:  Danger Zone, a line of creator owned comic books for mature readers, from Action Lab Entertainment.  And Scum of the Earth fits into this category perfectly.

Laura and True are a crazy and ruthless couple that travels the south, leaving every destination they visit in mass chaos and bloodbath.  The best part about it is that they’re always happy and smiling about it.  Here’s a few panels from one of my favorite scenes in issue 2.

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Laura and True will smile at you one minute, but the next minute you could be getting your brains blown out.  And don’t let Laura’s pretty face and smile fool you, she’s actually worse than True.

Laura and True are not alone on their joyride crime sprees.  There’s a gun-toting robot from space that’s hot on their trail.  The psychotic couple is so hardcore, that even the robot called them ruthless mother***ers.  Turns out the space robot is a bounty hunter, and his target is True.

Who is this robot, and why is he gunning down a pair of human psychotic murderers?  Or are they human at all?

This strange and brutal, but fun, series is written by Mark Bertolini.  Sharp, mature dialogue with great character interactions.  The relationship between Bonnie and Clyde, I mean Laura and True, is phenomenal.  Strong, mature language makes the nature of this title even more appealing.

I am a fan of mature titles, so Bertolini is a writer I definitely plan to keep my eyes on.

Rob Croonenborghs did a fantastic job with the gruesome art, and I’m going to keep my eyes on his work as well.

Indie comics are just as good as, some are even better than, mainstream comics.  It’s not always about the superheroes.  Sometimes we just need a good laugh in a totally different direction, and Scum of the Earth is one of those comic books that does just that.

You can purchase Scum of the Earth on Comixology.

The series is currently on issue 5, and I plan to read issues 3-5 once I get caught up with my current reading.

Verdict (drum roll please)

Crime, sci-fi, action/adventure, great story execution and visuals.  I highly recommend this fast paced title for mature readers.  I’m giving this title 5/5 stars.

Ms. Marvel 2 Review

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We were introduced to Kamala Khan, a beautiful 16 year-old teenage girl, in the debut issue of Ms. Marvel.  Kamala is a Muslim who loves comic books.  She is also mouthy, assertive, and appears to stop at nothing to get what she wants.  She even snuck out of the house to attend a party.  In other words, Kamala Khan is a typical teenager in mainstream America.

But we don’t know how much longer all that will last, as Kamala was mysteriously transformed into Ms. Marvel.  So far she knows that she is able to shape-shift, grow, and shrink in size.

In the current issue of Ms. Marvel, Kamala tries to figure out what has happened to her, while at the same time trying to learn what her superpowers are, and how to use them.  But the most important question is, is it meant to be?  Was she purposely chosen to be the new Ms. Marvel?

G. Willow Wilson is the writer of this title, published by Marvel Comics.  Realistic dialogue,  and phenomenal character interactions.  I especially like the distinctive voices of the characters, Kamala’s family most notably.

Here are a couple of pages from the current issue, showcasing sharp dialogue among Kamala’s family.

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The creative art time includes Adrian Alphona (artist) and Ian Herring (colors).  Superb art, especially the transformation into Ms. Marvel.  I especially like the distinctive coloring on both Kamala and Ms. Marvel.  Brown skin vs. white, dark hair vs. blonde.  I also liked the panels where Kamala didn’t realize she shape-shifted back to herself, as she snuck back into her home and faced her brother.   Alphona and Herring makes a great visual storytelling team.

To let their work speak for itself, here are a few pages from the current issue of Ms. Marvel.

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Ms. Marvel is more than a superhero comic book.  It also focuses on family values.  Kamala is torn between abiding by the principles upon which she was raised, and that of mainstream society.  The comic is centered around a Muslim family, but there are themes in the book that applies to every family, no matter what culture or religion you belong to.

Last Friday at the shopping mall, I met a lady that was standing outside the library handing out literature.  She greeted me with a smile and asked if I was interested in some reading.  She pointed inside the library, and I saw a small group of women sitting at a table with pamphlets and books.  The lady said they were trying to get out and meet people, and talk to them, because a lot of people don’t know who they are, and what they are about.  They were Muslims.

I said, “You may find it funny, because a lot of people do when they find out, but I read comic books.”  She laughed, leaned forward and said, “I have a secret too!”  She told me what she reads and we burst with loud laughter.  As soon as I mentioned Ms. Marvel, she said they all knew about the book, but didn’t know that it was already out.

I told her that I had been curious since I started reading Ms. Marvel, and wanted to learn more about Muslims in hopes of me getting a better understanding of the story.  I then started telling her about the comic.  She was very excited and asked where she could find a comic book shop.  I told her the locations of the two that are in the area, but I could tell she wasn’t familiar with the streets.  She asked if she could buy it online and read it, because she really wanted to read the book.

I also mentioned a physician that I work with, who’s from Pakistan.  I told her we occasionally discuss world issues.  He will mention what the Quran says, then ask me what the Bible says.  She asked his name and immediately knew who I was speaking about!

She invited me invited me inside the library to meet the other ladies.  She told them that I read the comic, and mentioned my co-worker.  They were all very friendly and said the Muslim community knew about the comic, and they wanted to read it.  I told them I wouldn’t be able to make it to their informational meeting later on, so they let me grab whatever handouts I wanted from the table, including a copy of the English translated Quran.

When I picked my son up from school a few minutes later, we went to the nearest comic shop to look for Ms. Marvel.  We found a copy of the first issue, second print.  I purchased the book, and took it to the group at the mall.  The lady I met and spoke with first wasn’t there.  It was a different group.  But they were already aware of me, and said they would make sure that she read the book first.

By the way, the comic was placed into a Free Comic Book Day bag.  Hopefully that bag will attract new comic book readers!

I have another physician co-worker that is from Yemen.  He purchased a home last summer in a high-demand area.  He was outside building a retaining wall, when he sensed that he was being watched.  Sure enough, he turned and saw his next-door-neighbors staring at him from their fence.

He immediately walked over to the fence, smiled, stuck out his hand for a handshake, and introduced himself.  He killed the heck out of them with kindness.  That quickly ended all the staring and whispering.

When you ask people what they wish for, a lot of them always say world peace.  It’s not difficult to achieve world peace.  We have to be at peace with ourselves first, then be at peace with our neighbors.

I am definitely going to continue reading this awesome new title.  If you are looking for new comics to read, I strongly suggest Ms. Marvel.

Verdict (drum roll please)

There is no doubt that this issue gets 5/5 stars.