Comic Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye


The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye
The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been watching The Walking Dead on AMC like everyone else has been and have completely loved what they are doing with it. Naturally, I had to read the comics to see how closely they have followed the original.

I wish I had started with the comic instead of the show. Having watched the show first, I now look at the book as deviating from the story, even though, it is the reverse. There are characters I barely recognize in the book from the show. So, how do I review something that I’ve already been given a slightly different version of? I can’t give the book a fair shake on the story line because I couldn’t get over the timeline changes and character differences, so I’ll focus on more of the artwork.

I enjoyed the story, but I felt it moved a little faster than I would have liked. It seems there could have been more detail provided with the story. Don’t get me wrong, I gave this first volume 4 stars because it was still a great read, but I wanted more detail.

The artwork was somewhat of a love hate moment for me. I love the zombies. Those images are awesome (sometimes I wish it were in color), but some of the characters are hard to recognize from time to time. There aren’t enough discerning features to recognize who is being pictured. That’s probably just the TV show getting in my way. That is why I didn’t drop another star.

Overall, the book is great. Can’t wait to dive into the next one.

View all my reviews

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Book Review: Ex-Heroes


Title: Ex-Heroes (Ex-Heros #1)
Author: Peter Clines
Book Format: Paperback
Published: February 26th 2013 by Crown Publishing Group
Pages: 310

★★★★☆

I noticed this book as I was scanning the Sci-Fi shelves at a local bookstore chain. I read the back cover and thought it looked interesting, but not interesting enough to buy. That took me back to my computer to search the local library and I came up with a big fat zero. So, I resolved to do what any good old honest person would do, I challenged myself to read the entire book while at the aforementioned bookstore. That began my 77 day quest to read a book entirely on my lunch breaks at a bookstore. (You read that right, it took me 77 days to read 310 pages)

Now on to the book, we can debate the ethics of my challenge in the comments should you feel so inclined.

This is a superhero, zombie, and apocalypse story all rolled into one. What could go wrong with that? Absolutely nothing is what. I love superheroes; I love zombies; I love the apocalypse (well, apocalypse stories that is).

We are introduced to a smattering of new superheroes that have been working to protect the world, or more notably the California area around Beverly Hills from a raging zombie infestation. We meet the likes of Regenerator, who can regenerate of course, Cerberus who is really a woman who operates a giant robotic suit similar to Iron Man, along with Stealth, St. Gorgon, Zzzap, as well as many others. This was nothing but fun and action throughout the entire story.

The heroes have to fight against Ex’s which is what they call zombies, as in Ex-Human which is creative and really sticks in your mind and by the end, doesn’t seem strange.

In any superhero story, there needs to be a villain that is what might seem to be an insurmountable opponent. Initially that villain is just the Ex’s but it soon becomes clear that Cline has a twist up his sleeve. This isn’t the time or the place for me to divulge that twist, but it is exciting and worth the read.

Overall, I felt the book was excellent. The most difficult part of the book was simply the number of characters. Trying to keep track of all of the new superhero characters, their alter-egos and their powers got a little hard for me, so I finally stopped worrying about who was who and just let the story be told.

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys zombies, superheros, and the apocalypse. Like I said before, what could go wrong with that idea? Absolutely nothing.

Book Review: Batman, Vol. 1| The Court of Owls


Title: Batman, Vol. 1 | The Court of Owls
Author: Scott Snyder,  Greg Capullo (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)
Book Format: Hardcover
Published: May 9th 2012
Pages: 176
★★★★★

WOW! I loved this book. I really loved it. The illustration work was phenomenal and the story was just as phenomenal. I should be clear, I actually read Batman: The Night of the Owls first, as I had won it in a giveaway so I was a little apprehensive that I was going to get bored going back to the beginning. I did not get bored one bit. I don’t recommend starting the way I did, but perhaps it allowed me to appreciate this volume even more.

Like I said, the artwork was mind blowing. It’s hard to believe people can draw like that. There was one point in which Batman is in the Labyrinth of the Court of Owls and he is fighting to retain his senses and you actually have to flip the book upside down to read. It was a simple trick, but it sure gave you a loss of direction. I completely lost my bearings and had to keep checking the cover of the book to see what direction to turn the page. That was really cool.

I cannot say enough great things about this book. I didn’t really find anything I didn’t like so that is the reason for the 5 stars. Go out and read this volume and then read the rest of the series.

Digital or Physical Comics?


Here’s my dilemma; I’ve been getting into comic books (graphic novels) a lot in the last month to two months now and I think I’m ready to start buying some. What I’d like to do is check out the DC Comics The New 52 series. I’ve read a couple of them and have really liked them. The problem is that I want to read all 52, or at least Volume 1 of all 52. As I see it. I have 4 options as noted below.

Give me your opinion

Digital from DC Comics Direct

Price Per Book – $0.99
Total Cost for all – $52.00

Pros

  • Cheapest route
  • Guaranteed available (for the most part)
  • Very Portable
  • Backed up (can’t lose in a fire)
  • Cheap and easy to continue buying additional volumes (if they keep the price down)
  • Cheap enough I can buy the volumes I love in hardcover or paperback

Cons

  • Less nostalgic reading
  • Can’t share with friend
  • No guarantee the prices will remain down

DC Comics: The New 52 (contains all 52 volume 1’s in Hardcover)

Average Price Per Book – $2.26
Total Cost for all – $117.64

Pros

  • Cheapest physical route (not too far off from Digital)
  • Guaranteed available (for a limited time)
  • Nostalgia, but maybe not as much in a bundled format
  • Can share with friends

Cons

  • Big & Heavy
  • No guarantee the prices will remain down
  • No guarantee (unlikely) that all volumes will be bundled like this

Paperback from Amazon

Price Per Book – $10.00-$15.00
Total Cost for all – $520-$780

Pros

  • Availability but may be limited
  • Nostalgia
  • Can share with friends
  • Portable (not as portable as Digital)

Cons

  • Expensive (especially if wanting to buy more in series)
  • Not as durable

Hardcover from Amazon

Price Per Book – $17.00-$24.00
Total Cost for all – $884-$1,248

Pros

  • Availability but may be limited
  • Nostalgia
  • Can share with friends
  • Portable (not as portable as Digital)

Cons

  • Expensive (Out of my price range to get all 52)

I need your help. Which should I do? I’m leaning towards the electronic versions right now simply because it’s so cheap. Let me know by completing the poll I’ve attached to this article. Thank you for your help, if you participate. If you want, leave me feedback in the comments too as to why you like one over the other.

Book Review: Sin City | Family Values


Book Title: Sin City: Vol. 5 | Family Values (Sin City)
Author: Frank Miller
Book Format: Paperback
Published: January 1st 1997
Pages: 128
★★☆☆☆

This volume of the Frank Miller Sin City saga took me a long time to finish. Not because it’s long or difficult to read, I just had a lot of other stuff on my plate, so I took my time with it.

I found this one to be rather unremarkable. The story was interesting and all, but I didn’t find myself as interested in Miho as perhaps others might. Yes, she is an intriguing character, but the concept of a ruthless killer riding around on rollerblades is somewhat… well… lame. It just kept bringing me back to Heather Graham’s character in Boogey Nights and I couldn’t take it seriously.

The artwork was on par with the rest of Millers volumes in the series thus far, so I have no complaints there. I just found the story a bit fragmented from the rest of the volumes. It was, simply forgettable in my opinion. I’m hoping the next volume Sin City, Vol. 6: Booze, Broads, and Bullets will get back to what Miller did great in the first 4 volumes.

I had to come back to reality when I gave this book a rating. I originally gave it 3 of 5 stars, and then realized, I really just didn’t like the book that much, so I should rate it how I liked it. I hate to do it because I love Frank Millers work.

Get Superman #1 Free!


I recently signed up to be on the Amazon Comics Newsletter as I, of course, have an interest in Comic books etc. and because I signed up, I was able to get a free electronic (Kindle) copy of Superman #1

Get Superman No. 1 Now

This is DC Comics comic is from The New 52! series by George Pérez (Writer), Jesús Merino (Penciler/Ink).

I haven’t read it yet, but I did get it free yesterday. This is a limited time offer so you need to get the promotional code by July 21st 2013.

Offer Expires July 21st 2013

Let me know if you get it and what you think of the comic. I’ve not typically been a big Superman fan, but it’s free so you can’t go wrong there right?

Find Superman #1 on Goodreads.com

Book Review: Sin City | The Big Fat Kill


Book Title: Sin City: Vol. 3 | The Big Fat Kill (Sin City)
Author: Frank Miller
Book Format: Paperback
Published: 1995
Pages: 184

In this, Millers 3rd volume of the Sin City series we join up with Dwight who has just sent Jackie Boy running with his tale between his legs and a little skat on his face from Shellie’s apartment, but now he has to try to stop Jackie Boy from murdering some poor innocent girl.

The problem is, they’re headed for Old Town. Everyone knows you don’t go into Old Town looking for trouble, because you’ll find it. There are so many twists and turns in this volume that I would spoil it for you if I went through them all. What I can and will say is that this is a violent and graphic edition of the Sin City saga.

There isn’t much more to say about this or the other volumes of the Sin City graphic novels other than that they are truly provocative and worth investing some time to immerse yourself into the world of Frank Miller’s Sin City.

Book Review: Sin City | A Dame to Kill For


Book Title: Sin City: Vol. 2 | A Dame to Kill For (Sin City)
Author: Frank Miller
Book Format: Paperback
Published: November 2nd 2010
Pages: 208

I finished reading this, the second volume, in Frank Miller’s Sin City at the beginning of May and have finally gotten around to posting a review of it.

Miller did not disappoint with the second installment. We meet many new characters and a few we already discovered such as Marv. The most difficult part of the story is figuring out where we are in time as this volume tells of a story that happened at the same time roughly as volume one.

The artwork was in my opinion better than the first. My one issue with the first book was that some of the artwork was difficult to distinguish what was happening. It seemed many of the frames simply didn’t have enough definition of each character and thus it was hard to recognize who was doing what. This was not an issue in this book.

The story itself is a little less recognizable if you’re trying to compare it to the movie. Hopefully you can get past that as the movie only gives you small piece of the pie.

I will give this volume 4 out of 5 stars namely because I felt the story was strong and the artwork was great.

Book Review: Sin City


Book Title: Sin City
Author: Frank Miller
Book Format: Paperback
Published: January 1st, 1993
Pages: 208

Sin City was the next Graphic Novel that seemed to make sense for me to experience. I’ve seen the movie and was utterly confused and entertained (by the movie that is). I figured I should see what the movie is based on.

Let’s get this out of the way first. Sin City has 7 volumes to it, so don’t watch the movie until you’ve read all of them. At least, that is my assumption. When I finished this first book and started to watch the movie again, the first scene in the movie is not in Volume 1. So get through all of them first, then watch the movie.

I was super excited to get started reading Sin City and the story Miller gave us does not disappoint. It’s gritty and dark and full of malice. Marv is the hero you are disgusted by but you root for him anyway.

Marv is scum in a city made for scum. He spends the night with Goldie, a bombshell of a woman he knows he could never have and she winds up dead in his bed. This sends Marv on a rampage to find and kill the guy who killed Goldie. The problem is that Goldie was ordered dead by the most powerful man in Sin City.

Again, the story was awesome. I managed to read the entire book in about two days. The problem for me was the artwork. It’s not that everything was in black and white as that I feel gives the story its darkness, it’s just there were lots of frames that were nearly impossible to see what was happening. Many of the fights were hard to determine who was who or if they even were people. Considering the majority of a Graphic Novel is pictures, I felt the story lacked in artwork, which is why I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The strange part, was that Miller seemed to be intent on getting every detail right when he drew the female characters nude. Perhaps I just don’t get the style, but some of the frames appeared, dare I say, sloppy. I am very excited to start Volume 2 though (Sin City, Vol. 2: A Dame to Kill For). I hope to read all seven volumes and then watch the movie to see how they compare.

Book Review: Batman: Night of the Owls



Title: Batman: Night of the Owls
Author: Scott SnyderJudd WinickJustin GrayDavid FinchPeter J. TomasiPat GleasonTony S. DanielScott Lobdell , Duane SwierczynskiJ.H. Williams IIIJimmy Palmiotti
Book Format: Hardcover
Pages: 360

This is the second Graphic Novel I’ve ever read (the first was Watchmen, which was awesome)and the first I’ve owned. This was a First Reads giveaway I won from Goodreads.com. I haven’t read the first installment “The Court of Owls” which concerned me at first that I wouldn’t be able to figure out where the story was at and would have to go buy the first book just to get up to speed.

Luckily, there was a brief summary at the beginning that did a decent job of summing up the first book. Once past the summary, I was confusingly thrown back into what appears to be the 1800’s wild west. I was immediately confused, which may have made more sense had I read book one. Once I got past that first chapter, the story started to flow much better and the time period jumps made a little more sense.

I enjoyed the story as Batman and his friends, along with Alfred work to thwart a monumental night of planned assassinations of key Gotham leaders by The Court of Owls. The first half of the book had very limited appearances from Batman himself, though. The story focused more on Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl. There are lots of the characters we’re all accustomed to such as Mr. Freeze, Robin, Alfred, and even The Penguin.

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The dialogue at times was a bit lacking in flow, but where the dialogue lacked, the artwork excelled in telling the story. I was mesmerized by the amazing imagery. My pictures I’ve provided do not do the artwork justice, but you cannot review a Graphic Novel without providing a brief glimpse into the artistry. I’ve rated this book at a 3 in my Goodreads account solely because of the sporadic jumping back and forth between time periods which was very confusing.

As noted, my experience with the world of comic books and Graphic Novels is limited to just two works, but I feel I’ve been lucky to have started with those I have as they have sparked an interest in this genre that I think I want to explore more. For those of you of read my review I would ask you to give me some recommendations for other Graphic Novels that you have found to stand above all others. Thanks in advance.