Strange Detective Tales #1

I’m no fan of zombie comics, but this one caught my attention favorably due to the odd combination of elements in the premise. In 1958 Los Angeles, Igor Vorlic (as in Frankenstein) and Renfield (as in Dracula) are struggling private detectives, serving a community of monsters and zombies hanging around the movie community. Just as the main characters are best known for supporting bigger stars, they work with those left around the edges of Hollywood. Their client is the ghost […]

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Clan Apis

Clan Apis is the biography of a honeybee. It’s educational, as you might guess, but it teaches more than biology facts. Each chapter of the story also illustrates a life lesson as well as being wonderfully entertaining. I never thought I could care so much about, or learn so much from, a bee. The story opens with a bee’s version of the creation of the universe, which turns out to be a tale an older bee, Dvorah, is telling Nyuki, […]

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Armageddon & Son

Doonald Feeney wants to be tough, but he’s a selfish loser. He’s never known his dad, until one day, Father Feeney reappears in Armageddon & Son. It turns out that Dad is a supervillain out to destroy the world, only he’s not as good at it as he portrays himself to be. As a result, some of his cohorts have stolen his plan, so he enlists Doonald to help him save the world (because if he can’t destroy it, no […]

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Nancy Drew: The Demon of River Heights

This graphic novel take on the classic detective heroine opens with Nancy, her boyfriend Ned, and her best friends George and Bess making a monster movie. George is technologically savvy, while Bess is boy-crazy. Conveniently, that leads the three into a mystery, as the other students Bess was flirting with have disappeared. The girls set off to find out what happened in Nancy Drew: The Demon of River Heights. While following their trail through the woods, the three come face-to-face […]

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Embroideries

The author of Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi, returns with a light collection of stories involving the sex lives of her female relatives, Embroideries. After a family meal, as the women clean up, they discuss the history of their loves and relationships. There’s a certain amount of prurient interest involved in hearing these respectable foreign women talk about their most intimate secrets. The introduction reveals the grandmother, the instigator of the discussion, to be a thrice-married opium addict, setting the stage. The […]

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BPRD: Hollow Earth & Other Stories

The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is the quasi-governmental investigative group that Hellboy works for, but this book focuses on his supporting cast: Liz Sherman, a firestarter; Abe Sapien, a fish-man; Roger, a homunculus; and Kate Corrigan, the group’s leader. She’s trying to hold the team together in the wake of Hellboy’s departure and a general sense of mistrust. Liz has sought refuge in a remote monastery, seeking greater control of her power. When Abe receives a disturbing vision […]

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Waterwise

Waterwise by Joel Orff is an experience to lose yourself in. The protagonist is drawing his ex-girlfriend by the side of a lake. His sketch builds slowly, in companionship to his thoughts of her as he realizes that their relationship is truly over. Then an old friend, a girl he had a crush on when they were younger, breaks his reverie. Orff’s style is dense and primitive but strong in its skill. It’s brilliant at establishing mood on a wordless […]

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Long Hot Summer

Writer Eric Stephenson’s Long Hot Summer is a story about two friends during the summer a woman came between them. Readers may find themselves expecting an Oni Press label on this graphic novel, given the subject matter, format, art style, and the characters’ interests in music and scooters, but Stephenson is Image’s Executive Director, so this becomes another example of that publisher’s diversity. Ken is a mooch. He’s always bumming drinks, cigarettes, and rides from Steve. One day, he shows […]

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