Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Read - Fear My Dear by Dean Haspiel

Today I will take a quick look at Fear My Dear, a Billy Dogma Experience by Dean Haspiel. I say quick look because Billy Dogma is one of my favorite comic characters. I seem to remember my first encounter with the Billy Dogma being in a mini-comic that I some how acquired, probably through mail order, back in 1996.

Back then, Billy’s stories were short 8 pager, which dealt with romance, love and the silliness (for lack of a better term) of the real world. Fear My Dear is essentially the same thing, just more grown up. Which make perfect sense Billy himself has grown up and looks to be in his 40’s or 50’s in the Fear My Dear stories. The length of the stories have also changed also from 8 pagers to 30+.

But what hasn’t changed is Dean wonderful and insightful storytelling. His views on romance/love are touching and heart breaking. The dialog between Billy Dogma and his girlfriend Jane Legit is a little campy at times but fits the characters perfectly and reminds me of those goofy sweet nothing I say to my wife.

Haspiel is a master storyteller. He utilizes the 4 panel grid to perfection in these stories. Keeping the storyline and action constantly moving, yet still including some quiet reflective moments for both the reader and the characters. At one point in the story Billy is alone by himself minus Jane and the story switches from 3 colors (Black, White and Red) to 2 colors (Black and White) to show the absence of Jane in Billy’s life, “Pure Genius!” I say.

Fear My Dear consists of 2 stories. The first is Immortal, where Billy and Jane face down a monster set on destroying love. The second is Fear My Dear where Billy realizes he has discovered the 8th deadly sin ‘Love’ and comes face to face with his hero Tommy Rocket only to find out that they share some common history.

Overall, Fear my Dear by Dean Haspiel is an excellent comic and well worth the price of admission.
Fear My Dear is one of the first books published by Z2 Comics. I hope this book sells boatloads and we get to see more Billy Dogma on a regular basis. Also if you enjoy this book, there is another older Billy Dogma collection, Daydream Lullabies is well worth hunting down.

-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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Just Read - Third Wheel and Internal Affairs

Okay like the majority of stuff you find on the internet, I stumbled upon these books a couple of weeks ago. New Frontier Third Wheel 1 by Hanna K and Internal Affairs by Patrick Crotty both caught my interest with in days of each other and it turned out they were both published by a Swedish publisher called Peow. So I ordered both books and kinds forgot about them because eI figured it would take some time for them to make it to my house. Imagine my shock when they showed up yesterday and wondering what I had received from Sweden (oh yeah those books that was fast.)

New Frontier Third Wheel 1 by Hanna K was an interesting little book. I found that it was set in the future of 2007 kind funny, not sure if that was the goal but it seems like a tip of the hat to all those 80’s doomsday ideas that the world would massively change in the early 2000’s. The story is about 2 books trying to survive a future where the population appears to be have been experimented with and sent into space. Follow the adventures of Hegarth and Tommen as they try to survive in this new environment. Join them as they discover a strange girl and run from the police.

New Frontier Third Wheel is a fun little book with great storytelling by Hanna K. It feels like a European comic mixed with manga. Hanna’s art is filled with emotion. Each panel helps tell the larger story and helps you to feel what the main characters are going through. The story is the start of something bigger, but can be enjoyed as a stand alone issue.   

Internal Affairs by Patrick Crotty was a fun romp. The story revolves around an inter who is asked to do some extra work, because his boss is to lazy to do it. The extra work just happens to involve piloting a new mech and handing out gift bags at cell phone release party. Needless to say all does not go as planned.

Patrick’s art on Internal Affairs is a great mix of super sparse cartoon  and quickly drawn technology that mix just perfect together. While the story telling is not super solid, I found this book to be filled with life and possibilities. It seems that Patrick goes from one idea to another trying to follow the plot a loosely as possible, I really enjoyed this book and found that there is another version that was published in 2013, so I quickly ordered it.

Both New Frontier Third Wheel and Internal Affairs were published by Peow. A risograph machine was used to print the books and some of the printing is a little off giving the books a nice little charm. They look super professional with some minor imperfections. Also do not let the Swedish prices scare you, but realizes they will cost you a little more than you might expect to pay for a comic of this size.

-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.

Okay We Are Back (or I am at least)

The title says it all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Okay -

It has been a while - life got in the way. I'm hoping to get this back up and running with regular reviews and content in June. No promises.

Sorry for the delay,


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kickstarter - Doc Unknown

Another Kickstarter I have backed. 
If you have not read Doc Unknown you are missing out!

Going through some personal stuff right now. 
Hoping to get back to reviews here sooner rather than later.
Thanx for the support!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Just Read - Palookavile 21 by Seth

I never really got into Seth’s comics. I mean I liked his art style, but every time I bought an issue of Palookaville I just felt like I wanted more out of an issue. Then a couple of years ago I bought his Wimbledon Green book and I was hooked. I just needed a bigger serving of Seth than the original Palookavilles offered. Enter the new reformatted, hard cover editions of Palookaville.

Palookaville #21 came out late 2013 and it is packed with Seth goodness. The next chapter of Clyde Fans (30+ pages), selections of his Rubber Stamp Diary (20+ pages) and the first chapter of Nothing Lasts (30+pages). It’s about 100 pages of seth goodness or one outstanding evening of reading.

Seth’s storytelling is in top shape. He guides the reader at a very slow but deliberate pace through his stories. This gives his characters a chance to breath and think on the page, something most artist miss. This type of storytelling also gives the reader a chance to think a little more about the story as it progresses.

Like his storytelling, Seth’s art is simple but deliberate. No line is wasted. At first glance it looks like anyone could draw like him, but after trying I realized that it was a lot more difficult than it appears. Seth prescribes to the less is more school of cartooning and tend to leave out the ton of noodle details that so many artist tend to use to cover up their short falls.

My favorite part of this book might have been Seth’s Rubber Stamp Diary selections. I really wish he would print the whole collection of Rubber Stamp Diaries. A little glimpse into the artist’s life was just not enough for me. I love the simplicity of the strips and the way he just uses actual rubber stamp images that he has designed to help him tell his story. I though these were pieces of genius and intend on stealing this idea of the rubber stamps in the future.

The Clyde Fans chapter moved the story along. Although I’m not very familiar with what is actually happening. I did enjoy this story quite a bit and I have considered hunting down the past issues of Palookaville to read it from the start. I also enjoyed the first chapter of Nothing Lasts quite a bit and hope to see more of this story in future volumes.

If I have one negative thing to say about Palookaville is that it was 3 years between book 20 and 21 (20 is the first issue that was in the new hard cover format,)  I hope that we do not have to wait that long for the next issue. Palookaville is published by Drawn and Quarterly.

-Denny Riccellicreates 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.