Alichino Volume 3

I flipped through Alichino volume 3 by Kouyu Shurei. I can’t say read, because I can’t keep the characters straight and I have no idea what’s going on. It sure is gorgeous to look at, though, with beautifully detailed, gothically inspired pretty people arguing about souls, death, and revenge. I only picked it up because I thought it completed the series, and then I’d have the whole set. Imagine my surprise to read the short interview with the author at […]

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The Dead Boy Detectives

Jill Thompson brings together Sandman characters and shôjo manga in The Dead Boy Detectives. Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine are two British schoolboys who happen to be ghosts and who love investigating mysteries. They’re asked for help by Annika, a student at a prestigious Chicago boarding school, when her roommate goes missing. There’s a ton of entertainment in this packed original graphic novel, with jokes, character work, clues, and atmospheric illustration. Thompson does a terrific job capturing elements of the […]

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Human Target: Living in Amerika

Writer Peter Milligan uses human chameleon Christopher Chance to explore the nature of identity. Chance is the world’s best impersonator, and he takes the place of people in danger. In the first story in Human Target: Living in Amerika, he’s pretending to be Father Mike, a priest whose charity work among America’s undesirables — HIV patients, the homeless, immigrants — has made him a target. Next, in the book’s longest story, Chance is required to take the place of someone […]

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Doctor Who: The Tides of Time

Doctor Who: The Tides of Time says it’s the “complete run of Fifth Doctor comic strips from the pages of Doctor Who Monthly“. I can’t argue with that, but I had a bunch more questions after reading it. Since it started as serialized, it’s a dense read. I finished the first seven-part, 50+ page story feeling as though I’d completed a typical graphic novel, and I had six more stories to go. (I didn’t like any of them quite as […]

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The Awakening

The Awakening is a slasher film on paper. Lonely student Francesca starts attending a prestigious boarding school only to fall into a coma after she discovers another girl killed late at night. It takes the book a third of its length to get to this point, and that setup section was the part I enjoyed most. There are some well-executed character bits, so I found it even more of a shame that little of it was necessary or had any […]

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The Science of Superheroes

This readable popular science book has an interesting hook: superhero stories are used to introduce discussions of various scientific questions. Batman brings up gadgets and jetpacks; Spider-Man means spiders and cloning; Green Lantern, black holes and color theory. There’s also a chapter in The Science of Superheroes on the EC science fiction comics — although it sounds as though it’s more accurate to describe them as science-less morality tales — and DC’s Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space. The latter […]

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Doing Time

Doing Time‘s author spent three years in jail due to violating Japan’s gun possession laws, and he’s captured the time in excruciating detail. It’s very different from what one sees of American prisons in the media, since the Japanese prisoners are very regimented and well-behaved. Unfortunately, Kazuichi Hanawa, the author, shares little of his interior perceptions or feelings. There’s no insight into what brought him there or what he learned or how the experience changed him as a person, and […]

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1000 Steps To World Domination

It doesn’t surprise me at all that this, as a minicomic, was pushed by James Sime and as a book, was published by Larry Young. All three have in common a sense of importance orthogonal to reality and as a result, all three are achieving their goals based on building their own legends. 1000 Steps To World Domination is a series of mostly four-panel, one-page cartoons. They all revolve around Osborne’s desire to rule the world, although some connections are […]

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