Monday, December 23, 2013

Wow Time Flies!

Comics Never Stop, really they don't. I have a stack of awesome books waiting to be reviewed, but life has gotten in the way. So I will hopefully be back to a weekly review starting next week.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just Read - Aw Yeah Comics #4 & 5 by Baltazar and Franco

I’m not sure what else I can say about Aw Yeah Comics by Baltazar and Franco that I did not say in my original review, but issues #4 & 5 showed up in my PO  Box a couple of weeks ago and I was filled with joy. I was also filled with joy when I heard than the Aw Yeah Comic issue will be collected in trade form by Dark HorseComics sometime in 2014. I originally thought it was a shame that the only way to get these awesome books were through mail order or comic convention. Glad to see they will be making it to your local comic shop selves sometime in 2014.

Besides Baltazar and Franco hitting it out of the park with their stories in Aw Yeah Comics there are a bunch of other creators chipping in some excellent stories.

Denver Brubaker continues to deliver awesome 1-pagers each issue. I would love to see an all Brubaker issue, although I would probably miss the Baltazar and Franco stories quite a bit. Brubaker delivers a classic comic with modern sensibilities. I also love his coloring.

Scoot McMahon is right up there also. He creature such heart warming tales in such short space. I wish McMahon’s stories had a little more space in each issue. The lava story in issue #4 might be my favorite 2 pages in that entire issue.

I really enjoyed the Jaywalker story by Mahoney and Preitano in issue #5. I think it might just be a one-off appearance, but I hope to see more of this villain. In this story they covered one of my pet peeves perfectly, making it fun and enjoyable rather than preachy.
I really dig the jam style that each issue has. It’s not just a 16 page Baltazar and Franco story followed by a hand full of back-up. Sometime Baltazar and Franco are working with others, sometimes it is the two of them together. And the back-up stories are really splashed throughout the book and feel more like main features than back-ups. However they are doing it, a whole lot of heart is put into each and every issue of Aw Yeah Comics.

Aw Yeah Comics is great for all ages. That does not mean it is for kids, it really means all ages. I think anyone would get a kick out of this book, from a new reader just getting his/her feet wet to veteran who has been reading for 20+ years. After all I fall into the 20+ category and cannot wait for future issues to show up.

-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just Read - Love & Rockets New Stories #6 by The Hernandez Brothers

I’m not sure how long it has been since I started reading the works of the Hernandez Brothers. I would like to say it was since the beginning, because I feel like I have been reading them all my life. But truthfully it might have been about halfway through the original Love & Rockets series. Their work was so awesome and captivating then and still is today, but I have noticed that not many shops appear to stock their work. So I thought a quick review might introduce new readers to the wonderful worlds of Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez.

Once a year my P.O. Box is graced with an edition of Love & Rockets New Stories. This year was no different, although a little bit later in the year than usual. Love & Rockets New Stories #6 by The Hernandez Brothers showed up in my P.O. Box about a month ago and was placed on my to be read shelf where it sat since then. With only one book released each year, I try to wait for the perfect day to read each new issue. And when I say issue I mean 100 page book. It’s like getting 4 issues at once. I suppose I could only read a handful of pages here and there to make the book last, but once I start reading I cannot put the book down. I ignore my family, pets, work, hobbies, etc. Reading the new Love & Rockets takes over my life.

In this issue Jamie continues his story of Tonta a young, nobody girl who is just trying to make it by in her little world, without everything collapsing on her. Tonta is the sister of Vivian, who is one of Maggie’s friends. (Maggie is Jamie’s main character, who has been absent from the book for a while.) You see Jamie’s world of characters has evolved over the 30 plus years of publication.

Do you need to read all 30 plus years of stories to understand what is going on, No, but once you read an issue you will want to. Every new story adds details that as a reader you have been curious about. We find out information about Vivian through Tonta, a character we had not seen before issue #5. The story fills in holes, expand the characters and there personalities. Jamie’s world of characters is inviting and fun plus his art is super slick and beautiful to boot.

While I’m a bigger fan of Jamie’s work, Gilbert’s work holds it own in the mix. His characters throughout Love & Rockets history are as equally inviting as Jamie’s and their stories also very captivating. In this issue we follow Doralis one of Luba’s daughters (Luba is Gilbert’s main character.) In this story we find out new details about Luba’s history through Doralis and the history of Luba’s mother (Doralis’ grandmother.)  Gilbert's characters also have a rich 30 year history that is worth checking into.
The Hernandez Brother’s work is filled with very real character, all who act in very real ways. I feel sad for them and shed tears at times. I feel happy for them and find myself laughing and cheering at points throughout their stories. If you have never read a Hernandez Brother’s story and love independent comics. You need to get yourself an issue of Love & Rockets and check it out. Love & Rockets is published annually by Fantagraphics Books.

(I feel like I have over rambled in this post and still not even touch the surface of the Hernandez Brother’s work and this issue.)

-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.