Friday, 15 April 2011

Comics Round-Up # 4


Written by S. Steven Struble

Art by Sina Grace

Published by Image Comics

You're No Rock N' Roll Fun. The Li'l Depressed Boy faces his greatest challenge: Jazmin's birthday party, where he doesn't know anyone. At least he doesn't have to fight trolls.

This is one of the best new comic series around. The Li'l Depressed Boy, whose name is not revealed (the other characters usually call him "L.D.B.") and is drawn as a living human-sized rag doll who all the other (human) characters treat as entirely normal. The on-going story revolves around L.D.B.'s romance with hip, lively girl Jazmin. The artwork is stylish and impressive and the script is sweet, funny, charming and effortlessly cool. In it's feel, it's reminiscent of the Scott Pilgrim comics. If you're not reading this yet, it is definitely worth checking out. This issue features an appearance by real-life Los Angeles rock band The Like.


Written by Brian Wood

Illustrated by Simon Gane

Published by Vertigo

The Siege of Paris, Part 3. In a conclusion of a three part story based on the real-life Viking Siege of Paris which lasted between 885 to 886, the Parisian defences have been breached and the Vikings prepare to sack the city while Mads is left to ponder the price of peace.

Northlanders is a series of comics telling fictional stories based around historical events during the Viking Age. It doesn't have a running central cast instead the main characters change with each storyline. The comic is very gruesome but beautifully illustrated with art that effectively captures the look of the paintings of the period (another hallmark with Northlanders is that the principal artists change with each storyline. The script is intelligent and witty. Mixing action wih an intelligent, historically based script, this is well worth checking out


Written by Chris Roberson

Illustrated by Shawn McManus

Published by Vertigo

Super-spy Cinderella has confronted the ruthless Dorothy Gale on three occasions, each time narrowly managing to escape with her life. This time Cinderella has to protect a defector from a rumoured shadow Fabletown. However Dorothy is after him as well and she isn't working alone.

This is a six issue spin-off from the Fables comics series. This story is a spy story set in the Fables universe. The title being a play on the 1956 James Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming. It works well actually, having a James Bond style spy narrative set in the world of magic and fairy-tales. There is plenty of humour and action, and Cinderella is an appealing lead. This is worth checking out.


Written by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Illustrated by Mike Carey, Bill Gross and Al Davison

Published by Vertigo

Stairway to Heaven. A selection of talking animals from all levels of story climb an infinite stairwell at the top of which they believe is a Golden Door, behind which may be Heaven. One night they encounter the vicious, foul-mouthed rabbit Mr. Bun who is determined to lead the group to the top for his own reasons, and heaven help anyone who tries to top him - or tries to help him.

This comic is a new one on me, but from this single issue story I'll certainly be checking out the others. Grotesque, surreal, violent and genuinely disturbing, this features some memorable artwork and characters.


Written by Mike Mignola

Illustrated by Kevin Nowlan

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Kansas, 1985: A farm is troubled by a bizarre series of cattle mutilations which could be attributed to a coven of teenage Satanists. When red-skinned, stone-handed demon Hellboy, of the Bureau of Paranormal Research, investigates, he quickly discovers that there is another reason for the mutilations.

This one off story is really strange, featuring impressive artwork and an entertaining script, which has a fun X-Files feel. Hellboy is an enjoyable character, and this story is pretty strange even by Hellboy standards. It should appeal to both fans and newcomers.


Written by Dennis O'Neil, Alan Grant and Paul Grist

Illustrated by Chris Swan, John Dell, Kevin Somers, Dave Taylor, Frank Teran, Carl Critchlow, Chris Chuckry, Coy Turnbull, Dan Davis, Kurt Hathaway and Gloria Vasquez

Published by DC Comics

This contains four stories revolving around the notorious Arkham Asylum in Gothan City. It opens with a very short piece illustrating the dark history of Gotham City. Then a guard becomes the prize in a macabre story contest involving the Joker, Killer Croc, the Riddler, Vox, the Scarecrow and Witch. Next a man is sentenced to Arkham following a brutal murder, but he protests his innocence, however he has to survive not only his fellow inmates but also the brutal treatments. Finally Batman recruits the Joker and friends to the Justice League of Arkham.

This is a great collection featuring some bizarre and genuinely disturbing tales. The two central stories in particular are definitely impressive. The "DC Presents" and "Vertigo Resurrected" lines are a really good way of reprinting older stories that don't fit into conventional grpahic novels or trade paperbacks.



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