Thieves & Kings

Thieves & Kings is a classic fantasy adventure, with a young witch and a lost princess, a forgetful wizard and a boy thief, pirates and palace guards. Mark Oakley wonderfully creates the effect of another world. While I was reading the collections, anytime someone would interrupt, they’d ask if I’d been taking a nap, because surfacing from his kingdom was like returning from far away. The first volume begins with Rubel, the thief, coming back to Highborn after four years […]

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Middle Man #1

To promote their release of the Middle Man trade paperback, Viper Comics has made the first issue downloadable for free. That’s a great idea. Nothing sells product as well as a free sample, assuming that the product is any good, and this one looks like a good one. The first issue is well-done, with an interesting character with a distinctive voice. Wendy’s a temp who wants to be an artist, and because she’s disinterested in her day job answering phones […]

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Hopeless Savages: The B-Sides

B-Sides: The Origin of the Dusted Bunnies, the latest in the Hopeless Savages series, is a shorter sampler than the other graphic novels. It contains three flashback stories, all written by Jen Van Meter, about Zero’s friends and bandmates. “Flora” (art by Becky Noonan (Demo)) shows the origin of the band, set against a backdrop of preteen exclusion and school politics. Flora’s somewhat pretentious, with the vocabulary of a Dawson’s Creek refugee, but she’s got an in-story reason: Mom’s a […]

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Too Much Hopeless Savages

Too Much Hopeless Savages, the third book in the Hopeless Savages series, is written by Jen Van Meter and drawn by Christine Norrie and Ross Campbell. It begins with mom Nikki’s mother holding a protest on the family’s lawn. Gran has taken up with a religious type and, convinced that punk is sinful, calls the children names on TV. Arsenal and Twitch, meanwhile, are dating the Shi brothers (Claude and Henry, in a followup to “Romance #1” from the first […]

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Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero

Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero, the second book in the series written by Jen Van Meter, is illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim) with flashbacks by Andi Watson (Breakfast After Noon), Christine Norrie (Hopeless Savages Book 1), and Chynna Clugston (Blue Monday). Cover and chapter break art is by Terry Dodson. It focuses on Zero, the youngest child of the punk family, as she’s beginning to think about dating. It’s a touching, very real portrait of the problems of being […]

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Doctor Who Nostalgia

I ran across a cache of Doctor Who episodes from the first Peter Davison season. He’s always been my favorite, and it was a treat to think about watching his adventures from the beginning. Oh, I was so misguided. The first, Castrovalva, was terrible. I remembered them getting trapped in a town square that became wrapped around itself like an Escher image. That was still there, briefly, but I had to get through an awful lot of “oh, my regeneration […]

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Hopeless Savages

If you ever dreamed of having a hip family with cool siblings with attitude who still cared deeply for each other, you’ll love Hopeless Savages. Two former punks who grew up (but never grew out of the lifestyle) have a family of kids with names like Skank Zero, Arsenal Fierce, and Twitch Strummer. When the parents are kidnapped, the kids have to figure out how to save them. That means they have to reconnect with outcast brother Rat, who doesn’t […]

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Wandering Star

Wandering Star is a story of interstellar adventure that begins as a flashback, with an older Casandra Andrews recalling her activities during the war. Her father was President of the United Nations on a post-WW III Earth with a destroyed environment. Earth was asked to join the Galactic Alliance, but their people were considered second-class citizens and barbarians because of their aggression. Basically, Earth was allowed in because the other planets needed a thug on their side in order to […]

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