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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Green Arrow and associates Comixology sale

Apologies for the long wait between posts.  Life has been rather busy lately.  I'm afraid I cannot give you a full review tonight, but I will point you towards another comixology sale, this time it is themed around the Arrow TV show.

Oliver Queen is known in comics as Green Arrow and I believe the TV show brings in a lot of other DC characters.  There are 166 issues in the sale, here are what I think are the best.  All links take you to the first issue in the story arc.  The sale runs for 7 days from 25th March.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Best of 2013: DC

This is the last in my Best of 2013 posts,  As such I decided to focus it on my beloved DC Comics  Anyone who listens to the Radio Bamf podcast or who follows me on twitter would be forgiven for thinking that DC's output for 2013 was all utter rot.  This is not the case.  I am susceptible for going off on a tangent and declaring the company's current direction rubbish, but that's not fair to them, as they have put some excellent series.  So let's look at them!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Best of 2013: Marvel

To finish off the Best of 2013 roundup I thought it would be worth mentioning DC's and Marvel's superhero offerings.  Today we shall look at two fine series from Marvel:

Fearless Defenders

 
















I absolutely cannot rate this series highly enough.  Fearless Defenders brings together a group of Marvel's female superheroes and has them defending the earth.  Front and centre in the group are Valkyrie (a character from Norse Mythology) and Misty Knight (black detective/martial arts expert with a bionic arm).  Valkyrie is tasked with reassembling the Valkyrior to defend the realm against mystic attacks.  Over the 12 issues that this series ran for they hang out with and recruit several other lady warriors, including some brand new lesbian characters.

The series is smart and funny.  It filled the gap that DC's Birds of Prey left and it's a crying shame that it was cancelled.  The covers were quite often satirical, often mocking the industry's predilection for tits and ass poses of women.  This was sometimes undermined by the art within the issues, which occasionally got a bit tits and assey, but the rest of it is so good it made up for that.  Written by Cullen Bunn, the plotting was tight and the characters were used effectively.  It is one of my most loved series.

All 12 published issues gave been released as two trades, you can buy them from Amazon or from your local comic shop:

Volume 1: Doom Maidens
ISBN: 0785168001
Price:£11.99

Volume 2: The Most Fabulous Fighting Team of All
ISBN: 0785168494
Price: £13.50

X-Men
In 2013 Marvel relaunched their X-Men series as an all female team.  I'm not sure if this was done as a gimmick or because it felt like natural evolution for the team.  Whatever the reason was, the readers got an excellent comic series full of action and great characters.  The team includes well known characters such as Storm, Kitty Pryde, and Rogue, as well as fan favourites like Jubilee and Psylocke who are probably less well known to non comic readers.

The series is written by Brian Wood and has been strong from the start.  Art is provided by Oliver Coipel (pencils and inks), Mark Morales (inks), Laura Martin (colours), Joe Caramagna (letters).  Issues 1 - 5 are collected in trade under the title 'Primer'.  They deal with an alien invasion and a new baby on the team.  It was one of the best superhero titles on sale in 2013.  Volume 2 should be out fairly soon.

Price: £10.99
ISBN: 0785168001

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Very cheap comics bundle available on Comixology - 1 day left

Comixology have just announced a sale on their Submit comics.  These are creator owned comics (not published or owned by Marvel, DC, Image or any other big companies) that creators submit to the site for sale to the general public.

There are 100 comics in this bundle, including some by Joshua Hale Falkov and Becky Cloonan.  The individual comics are normally priced at $333 but the sale price is $10 for the lot.  This is unbelievably good value.

Buy the bundle here.  The sale ends March 10th, 11pm EST.

Note - these are for digital comics to be read on your laptop/phone/tablet etc.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Best of 2013: Cinebook's Lament of the Lost Moors

Last year I had the pleasure of reading two books from Cinebook, publishers of English translations of Europe's finest comics, often called Bande Dessinée.  Bande Dessinée, or BD for short, means 'drawn strips'.  Comics are far more popular on the continent than in the UK, in fact Cinebook's website declares that 'one of every eight books sold in France is a comic book'.  I can only dream of such a situation in the UK!

Cinebook publish a wide range of European comics, from stuff created for kids to hardcore sci-fi, to fantasy, to romantic literature, to period drama and to crime.  You will find something for every taste in their catalogue.  All listings on their website give an age range as well, always helpful!

What follows is a short review of Lament of the Lost Moors: Siobhan.
 
Script: Jean Dufaux
Drawing: Grzegorz Rosinski
Colour work: Graza
Translator: Jerome Saincantin
Lettering and text layout: Patrice Leppert
Publisher: Cinebook

What's it about?
From the Cinebook website:
The land of Eruin Dulea is ruled by a powerful and merciless sorcerer. A generation ago, he defeated his last challenger to the throne, Wulf, in a titanic battle. Wulf’s widow, Lady O’Mara, and his daughter Siobhàn can finally stop hiding, though. By marrying Lord Blackmore, Lady O’Mara places herself under his protection. But Siobhan is a strong-willed young woman, more at ease with a sword than a spinning wheel, and Blackmore himself isn’t all he seems to be...

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Best of 2013: Cinebook's Empire of a Thousand Planets

Last year I had the pleasure of reading two books from Cinebook, publishers of English translations of Europe's finest comics, often called Bande Dessinée.  Bande Dessinée, or BD for short, means 'drawn strips'.  Comics are far more popular on the continent than in the UK, in fact Cinebook's website declares that 'one of every eight books sold in France is a comic book'.  I can only dream of such a situation in the UK!

Cinebook publish a wide range of European comics, from stuff created for kids to hardcore sci-fi, to fantasy, to romantic literature, to period drama and to crime.  You will find something for every taste in their catalogue.  All listings on their website give an age range as well, always helpful!

So over the next few days we will publish two short reviews of Valerian and Laureline: The Empire of a Thousand Planets and Lament of the Lost Moors: Siobhan.

Disclaimer: Cinebook kindly provided a free review copy of The Empire of a Thousand Planets for me when I bought Lament of the Lost Moors (review coming soon) at the November 2013 Thought Bubble comic convention.  However I can assure you that all views are my own, positive reviews cannot be bought!

Writer: P Christin
Artist: J. C. Meziere
Colour work: E. Tranle
Translator: Jerome Saincantin
Lettering and text layout: Imadjinn
Publisher: Cinebook

What's it about?
This is a sci-fi book about two space travellers, Valerian and Laureline, sent to explore a planet called Syrte to discover whether the Syrtians could threaten earth.  Syrte is a bit of a strange planet - it's the capital of an empire (hence the title of the book) and is a key trading point.  You can buy absolutely anything you want there.  The planet is ruled by an ancient dynasty but there seems to be a powerful religious sect with a lot of influence.  Our two heroes have to pass as locals and navigate Syrtian society to fully explore.  Of course they can't quite manage this and that's where the adventure begins.