The Writer's, artist's & reader's Guild

Archive for March, 2016

Review: Faith by Valiant Comics

faith

 

 

 

 

Genre: Superhero

Publisher: Valiant

Writer: Jody Houser

Art: Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage

 

When looking out over Los Angeles one might see her soaring through the sky; Faith Herbert, also known as Zephyr of the Harbinger Resistance. Having left her friends and adopting a secret identity she drudges through life as Susan, working at an internet site eventually tasked with watching a reality show starring her ex-boyfriend Torque. When not stuck in her cubicle Faith flies around and stops crime even if it doesn’t quite turn out as in her vivid daydreams. When she realizes that someone is hunting psiots, that her ex is quite uninterested in superhero work she sets out to investigate it herself, but when she in an unguarded moment reveals herself, she becomes a target.

Faith is in many instances a perfect comic. It takes a female superhero and avoids all the stereotypical traps that they jump into without thought. The character of Faith is also exactly what happens when a true nerdy fan girl has supernatural powers and abilities. The story in this first collected issue appears, at first glance, to be quite basic with kidnappings and the like, but it is quickly revealed that there is depth here and an ingenuity that is refreshing. The artwork is nice and the juxtaposition between Faith’s reality and her daydreams is clever. Faith’s job at a buzzfeed like internet magazine and the reality show makes the comic close to its social context and it speaks to the reader showing that the writer, Jody Houser, is in tune with the trends of the day. Something that actually isn’t that common in the comic world of today. Another aspect that Valiant does so well is the use of the shared universe and the continuity they have created; Archer makes an appearance.

All in all; Faith is the comic book we all deserve and is clever, witty, exciting and entertaining.

 

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman

Advertisements

Review: Boston Lust by Wol-vriey

boston lust

 

 

 

 

 

Genre: Horror,bizarro, Science-Fiction

Publisher: Burning Bulb Publishing

Boston Lust is the third installment from Nigerian author Wol-vriey about the very hard- boiled Bud Malone and as the previous two it takes place in a not too distant future Boston. This time Malone is confronted with a serial killer who is praying on gay/bisexual women, leaving them both sexually spent as well as drained of blood. This foe does not show up in pictures and the puncture marks on the women’s bodies all point to the work of a vampire. It hits Malone a bit close to home when a woman he has previously helped, as well as had romantic dealings with, turns up as one of the victims. It becomes even more sinister once Malone realizes that the vampire has stolen a ring of great power that he himself retrieved from the Abstracta, a sort of parallel city intertwined with Boston.

Malone is contacted by the beautiful Trudi Carmen to venture into the Abstracta to pair the ring with a white version she is in possession of, but instead it becomes a hunt for the vampire leader who has been praying upon the women of Boston.

Boston Lust is a story filled with action, thrills and sex. It is part noir, part erotica and part science fiction all blended in quite the stew. It is obvious that Wol-vriey knows exactly what he is doing and that he possesses a great imagination. The characters surrounding Malone and the various creatures that he encounters, from golems and talking rats to godlike beings playing basketball on a court made from human skin all show a depth and complexity that adds very much to the tale. On the one hand this is the strength of Boston Lust, but on the other hand it is somewhat detrimental to it as well. There are many questions that never get answered, at least not here, it is very possible  that what the Abstracta really is and where the creatures come from is discussed in an earlier book, but in this one it leaves the reader wanting more. With quite a limited intrigue, this does cause the book to fall a bit flat. It would indeed have benefited from more meat and added dimensions.

There is also a good deal of graphic descriptions of sexual encounters, causing Boston Lust not to be for every reader, but for those who can handle scenes on par with Fifty Shades of Grey or Outlander this does not actually take away from the story, instead it enhances it.

All in all Boston Lust is a book that holds the reader’s interest for a good while. It never becomes dull, there are never any slow moving parts, so that while passes one quickly. It maybe doesn’t satisfy ones demand for finer literature or intrigue and it creates questions that one needs answered and maybe that gets the reader interested in Wol-vriey’s other work.

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


Review: Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash

monsterland

 

 

 

 

 

Genre: Horror, Science-Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Chelshire Inc.

Vincent Conrad is an entrepreneur, a visionary and a man who wants to persevere the wild monsters of the world and put them on display for everyone to see in his theme parks called Monsterland. Monsterland is built up of three areas based on the three monsters known to the world; Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies. The opening of these parks are a big deal and several dignitaries; like politicians and ambassadors from foreign countries are attending all over the nation.

At the same time a group of youngster are offered free tickets to the grand opening in their little town, an event to be attended by the president himself. The opening day is crowded and everyone is there, even the town sheriff who is skeptical of Conrad and his plan for the town or even his plan for the world.

Monsterland is an amazing place and it mixes animatronic beasts with the real deal. Swamps with controlled werewolves, areas with rocking vampires and pens with pathetic zombies, a scary place to be, but something goes horribly wrong.

Monsterland is your garden variety story of a theme park gone wrong, in essence following the formula we’ve seen from Jurassic Park to The Simpsons’ episode at Itchy and Scratchy land. The idea of having real monsters in the park is novel enough, but Cash just doesn’t take it to that level in where it becomes fresh. The book contains all the aspects that a reader has come to expect from this kind of tale; the group of young kids complete with a bullish jock type, the nerd and his brother both abandoned by their father and the cute girl. There is the small ton sheriff, who incidentally is the stepfather to the nerdy protagonist and the dark savior himself; the seemingly misguided Vincent Price character who created the park out of a naive dream.

Cash does try to give the story a deeper dimension than the exclusive theme park trope and lets the reader delve into the minds of certain werewolves, zombies and vampires and also adds a political spin to the story. There is a hint of a bigger picture, as well as more somber character building with some of the cast, but it is never truly pursued and that is unfortunate. The book would have benefited from a hundred pages more to follow these backgrounds and development of the political aspect, now it is more of only quick glance at what could have been a much more intriguing book that much like Harold Sipe and Héctor Casanov’s Screamland would have taken a familiar theme and  told an exciting story.