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October 21, 2020

Original draft cover for Tintin: The Blue Lotus to be auctioned

One of the original covers by Hergé for his fifth Tintin comic book Le Lotus Bleu (The Blue Lotus) from 1936 will on 21 November 2020 be auctioned by French auction house Artcurial. Tintin’s creator, Hergé, drew the cover for his fifth album of the adventures of Tintin in 1936. However, it was too expensive to mass produce the

Humor

Drainers (review)

Writer and artist: Alex Steacy Cloudscape, 2020 Poo smells bad – we want it gone and out of the house as quickly as possible. But the art of disappearance of the common human house poo involved more than a mere toilet and a flush. Some cities have subterranean labyrinths serving as conveyers of waste, out

Superheroes

X of Swords: Creation (1 of 22) (review)

Writers Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard Artist: Pepe Larraz  Marvel Comics, November 2020 One of the more formidable characters in Marvel Comics’ cast of mutant villains is a hulking figure called Apocalypse. As the name suggests, this apparently immortal being does not have an especially sunny disposition. This series appears to be concerned with events

Science fiction

Dune: The Official Comic Book Adaption (revisited)

Writer: Ralph Macchio Art: Bill Sienkiewicz Marvel Comics, 1984 There has been some genuine excitement about the trailer for the forthcoming motion picture, Dune. This forthcoming motion picture is however only the latest effort to convert the late Frank Herbert’s classic 1968 book into a movie. The first effort is somewhat notorious. It was produced in

Humor

Jonan the Barbarian (review)

Creator: Abel Alvarez Rejo 2020 is in desperate need of some good self-ironic comedy. Look no further than Jonan the Barbarian, a comic by writer and artist Abel Alvarez Rejo. Jonan is an obvious spoof on the classic and quite serious sword and sorcery concept, Conan the Barbarian (created by Robert E. Howard in 1932).

Franco-Belgian/Ligne Claire

Thoreau and Me (review)

Creator: Cédric Taling Self-Made Hero (English translation), 2020 For those middle-aged men who worry about the impact of global environmental degradation upon their ability to fend for their families (like the writer), casually reading up on what was once regarded as ultra-paranoid activities like prepping seems to have become de rigeur. Recently, fear of calamity

Asian

The Dark Side of Seoul – Weird Tales of Korean Lore (review)

Writer: Shawn Morrissey Artist: Tim Bauer Independently published, July 2020 It is quite an ingenious thing for a tour guide to capture the stories of a city in a comic book. That is what writer Shawn Morrissey, a long-term resident of Seoul in Korea, has done with his ghost tour. Mr Morrissey guides tourist around

Superheroes

Happy 10th birthday, Nemesis

Nemesis #1-4 May – December 2010, Icon Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics) Writer: Mark Millar Art: Steve McNiven Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s comic book Nemesis is, after four years of talk, being turned into a motion picture. Here is a synopsis from website Collider -https://collider.com/nemesis-movie-henry-joost-ariel-schulman-emerald-fennell/ : Hot off directing Project Power for Netflix, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman have signed

Independent/Self-Published

Super Team International ‘88 #1 (review)

Bronco Ink Comics, 2020 Written by Scott E. Brown Art by Carlos Gabriel Diaz Aficionados of American superhero comic books as the conclusion of what is called the Silver Age of Comics (around 1986) will recognised in this title a key indicia of its theme. The cover art consists of a main dynamic image framed

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Humor

Last Panel (review)

Written by Chuck Harp Art by CJ Lundbad Cam the Chameleon is the star of a now defunct comic book. Cam finds his comic book series discontinued, and sits in a bar called The Harp, drinking a martini, talking to a giant water bear (we think it is a water bear). Cam is done. He

Superheroes

Happy 80th birthday, Green Lantern

US publisher DC Comics have noted the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of superhero Green Lantern by publishing a special edition comic book, entitled, Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular. This is the publisher’s advertising copy: DC celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Emerald Knight with this new hardcover collection of the best Green

Humor

Earthbound: Between Two Breaths on Earth (review)

Written, drawn, coloured and letter by Narwhal (Per Berg) Narwhal Books LLC, 2019 This title has a grim premise. Two human mercenaries are periodically resuscitated from cryogenic suspension to perform deadly missions. They have spent the last four years in “stasis coffins”, the captives of aliens of the “Thirteenth Sponsor”. In this instance, the stakes

Fantasy

An update on the Netflix adaption of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

In 2019, writer Neil Gaiman announced that he had written an eleven episode series for content streamer Netflix, based on his classic comic book The Sandman. (We have not checked, but no doubt social media in 2019 was beside itself with casting speculation for all of the main characters.) Few readers of American comic books

Other media on comic books

Hadden Hall v Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams – a comparative review

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams Michael Allred and Steve Horton – writers; Laura Allred: Artist Insight Comics, January 2020 ** Hadden Hall: When David Made Bowie Writer and Artist: Néjib Self Made Hero, 2018. Comic book biographies of musicians are extremely rare creatures. In this comparative review, we look at two comic books published within

Superheroes

Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #1 (Review)

Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #1Writer: Dan JurgensDC Comics, 15 July 2020 Shazam!: Lightning Strikes is a new comic book miniseries that revolves around the eponymous magical superhero, Shazam. The franchise has a long, messy history involving trademark disputes, but the character itself is kid-friendly and uncomplicated: an orphaned boy named Billy Batson transforms into a magical

Superheroes

Batman: Last Knight on Earth (collected edition) (review)

Writer: Scott Snyder Penciller: Greg Capullo DC Comics Black Label imprint, 2020 Too many parents with babies know that crows like exploring old diapers. The birds have a bad habit of getting into garbage bins, left on the roadside for emptying by sanitation workers, with the lid ajar. A crow will strew the contents down

Superheroes

Planetary revisited (plus, a note on the accusations made against Warren Ellis)

Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: John Cassidy DC Comics / WildStorm, 1999-2009 We had for some time been seeking to revisit Planetary. This is a comic book series which ran intermittently from 1999 to 2009, published by WildStorm, an imprint of American comic book publisher DC Comics. The irony of exploring a comic book which explored

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Franco-Belgian/Ligne Claire

Altitude (review)

Jean-Marc Rochette  and Olivier Bocquet  Self Made Hero, June 2020 The copy for this autobiographical comic from the Amazon website reads as follows: At sixteen, bivouacked on a mountainside beneath a sky filled with stars, Jean-Marc Rochette has already begun measuring himself against some of Europe’s highest peaks. The Aiguille Dibona, the Coup de Saber,

Miscellania

In Waves (review)

Writer and artist: AJ Mungo NoBrow Press, 2019 When we write reviews of comics for this website, we use the second person narrative, “we”, so as to present the impression of objectivity and be brutally honest. It is also a tool to avoid self-indulgence. “We” filters fan blind spots and personal foibles. For this comic,

Humor

Bug Slugger: Cricket Army #1 (review)

Writers: Loch Ness and Wes Locher Artist: Loch Ness Independent, 2018 Comic books, like so many other forms of art and entertainment ranging from poetry to architecture, tend to reflect prevailing trends in contemporary politics and and society values. Some of this is abundantly obvious: the Milan train station built by Mussolini boasts Fascist grandeur,

Horror

British Ice (review)

Writer and artist: Owen D. Pomery Top Shelf Productions, 2020 In this age of republics, the absolutism of “Empire” seems like an archaic concept. Empires involve conquest of territory and subjugation of peoples. The political order following World War Two has generally meant sovereign boundaries are respected. Overt colonial disregard for indigenous people fell away

Asian

Goblin Slayer (Review)

Goblin SlayerWriter: Kosuke KurosePublisher: Square Enix, May 25, 2016-Present Most manga readers will be familiar with the Goblin Slayer brand via the controversial anime, which attracted a lot of attention when it first debuted due to graphic scenes involving the brutal mauling, sexual assault, and massacre of several characters at the hands of goblins. The manga version

Superheroes

The Rocketeer v All-Star Squadron: a comparative review

In this comparative review, we compare two quite different American titles, with action set in the late 1930s and early 1940s, published within a year of each other in the early 1980s. Our conclusion is that they share a surprisingly similar core premise. We cover only two periods of each title: the original series of

Independent/Self-Published

Samurai v Dinosaurs (review)

Writer: Michael Murphy Artist: Sergio Calvet Chibi Comics, 2020 This is, if you like, a remastered version of the collaboration between writer Michael Murphy and artist Sergio Calver from 2010. The story is summarised in the Indiegogo pitch, and is reasonably straightforward: “Samurai and Dinosaurs focuses on an elite group of Samurai dispatched into the

Japan

Japan cracks down on manga piracy

Japan has passed an amendment to its copyright laws that will make it illegal to specifically download manga, magazines and academic texts without authorisation. The law comes into effect on 1 January 2021. The penalties for downloading these materials without authorisation will be up to two years jail and two million yen (about AUD27,000). Also

Fantasy

The Wicked + The Divine: Okay (volume 9) (review)

Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Jamie McKelvie Image Comics, October 2019 It has, with respect, been a bumpy ride for committed readers of The Wicked + The Divine. This highly innovative series written by Kieron Gillen and with art by Jamie McKelvie  began with the premise of a 90 year cycle of archetypes plucked from The

Franco-Belgian/Ligne Claire

SNOWPIERCER. THE PREQUEL. PART ONE: EXTINCTION.

Writer: Matz Line work: Jean-Marc Rochette Colours: José Villarrubia Letters: Lauren Bowes Translation: Mark McKenzie-Ray Snowpiercer is based on an original idea by Jacques Lob. Titan Comics, September 2019. First off, full confession. I’m a HUGE fan of the Snowpiercer franchise. I loved all three volumes of the French graphic novel and the 2013 film

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