The Comic Queen

Zip ribbons and word balloons, Wednesday bliss and Previews dreams. If these phrases mean anything to you, then you're in the right place. But if they don't -- hey stick around anyway. You might just like what you see.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Comics in the News: 5/31/2005

Here's a quick look at comic books in the news.

Comic Instructs Intellectually Disabled About Rights
An intellectually disabled London, Ontario, Canada man was sick of being treated poorly, so he wrote a comic book in hopes of preventing abuse for others. The book, It's a Matter of Rights, sets out to explain personal rights to other intellectually disabled folks in hopes of empowering them to stop abuse.
Read the full article at the London Free Press.

Vietnamese Comic Industry Makes Comeback
The Vietnamese comic market suffered set-backs at the hands of Japanese Manga books. The industry was viturtually extinct until one company launched a Vietnamese book and spawned a revival. The secret to their success was making a book with Japanese features, but captured Vietnamese national spirit.
Thanhnien News has the full story.

Christian Comic Books Gaining Popularity
Stateside, Christian comic books are getting more and more popular with Christian readers. There are now many monthly titles most produced by Christian comic book companies. The number of comics has more than doubled in the last year.
Read the full story from the Miami Herald.

Four to Watch at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival
The Toronto, Canada Comic Arts Festival was last weekend and a number of upcoming talents were featured there. Marc Bell, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geneviève Castrée, and Diana Tamblyn are featured by the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Read the whole article at their site.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bookshelf Comics

A new comic website, Bookshelf Comics, launched recently. They will cover graphic novels and trade paperbacks exclusively. I'll be writing a few reviews for them a month.

Go check out the site and read my reviews of Owly: Just a Little Blue and Owly: The Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Single-Panel Reviews: 5/25/05

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities #1
Written by Eric Powell; Art by Kyle Hotz; Colors by Eric Powell; Letters by Michael Heisler
Dark Horse Comics, $2.99

The Goon, usually hit or miss with me, has been great for the last few issues. Knowing Powell’s potential as a writer and having an interest in the romanticism of old west stories and legend, I knew that this book was a must buy for me. I wasn’t disappointed either. Powell’s story starts excellently and Hotz’s art is superb. In the book, a freak show ring master finds out that Billy the Kid survived his gun fight with Pat Garrett. The man finds the Kid and blackmails him into joining the troupe as they hunt for a precious jewel. The script is strong, with Billy playing the uncouth outlaw to the more civilized, but marginalized side show performers. The art and colors are great and Powell utilizes many earth tones to give the book that old Western feel. I recommend this book to all Powell fans and to those, like me, who don’t always appreciate the Goon.

Bottom Line: B+

Mary Jane: Homecoming #3
Written by Sean McKeever, Art by Taekshi Miyazawa; Colors by Christina Strain; Letters by Dave Sharpe
Marvel Comics, $2.99

I just don’t understand why this book isn’t more popular. Teen age and tween girls everywhere should be reading and loving this book. Heck, my ten year reunion is right around the corner and I adore both the story and the art here. In this issue, the boys play in the Homecoming game. Spiderman and the Vulture interrupt the game as they brawl once again. Finally the dance starts, but all is not as good as it could be. While I like the story, Miyazawa’s art is just so stunning. It is clear, bright and fun. He is able to portray emotion, but keeps it lighthearted, like a high school story should be. I hope more Mary Jane mini-series are forthcoming.

Bottom Line: A

PS238 #11
By Aaron Williams
Dork Storm Press, $2.99

Finally, I picked up my first issue of PS238. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Williams’ work and it was passed time that I gave it a chance. In this issue, a new student joins the school and Tyler must show him around. Malphast, the new student, is from another plane of existence and isn’t sure how human children act. Tyler sets about to show him a few games including an in depth look at four square. Most amusingly, the rules of four square are printed in the back of the book. This couldn’t have come at a better time either, as a friend and I were recently discussing four square and couldn’t remember very many rules. How did I like the book itself though? It was good. I was more impressed with the story than the art. Williams’ is very funny and the script shows it. I though the art took awhile to get used to. The backgrounds of most panels are faded or nonexistent. I would like to see the students in a clearer setting.

Bottom Line: B-

Monday, May 23, 2005

Ebay Comic Watch 5/23/05

Here is another edition of the ebay Comic Watch. This week I'll highlight comics about people or things in the news. Remember, you can find these particular auctions by pasting the item number in ebay’s search box. Note that the ending times are in PST, so calculate accordingly. Enjoy!

Michael Jackson Captain EO comic
Bidding at 99 cents, but shipping is a staggering $6.50
Item Number: 6534516228
Auction Ends: May-29-05 09:14:44 PDT
The 3D glasses are included with the book and have never been removed from the binding.

Giant Star Wars collection
Bidding starts at $75, no bids yet.
Item Number: 5977429238
Auction Ends: May-29-05 21:20:24 PDT
This auction is immense. The list of comics that are included is lengthy and includes a good portion of all Dark Horse Star Wars books.

Star Wars #1-6 (Marvel)
Bidding starts at $5
Item Number: 6534681407
Auction Ends: May-29-05 20:09:57 PDT
Nostalgic for the original? This is the best place to start.

The Life of Pope John Paul II
Bidding currently at $2.34, shipping is an out of this world $10
Item Number: 6533370596
Auction Ends: May-24-05 14:44:32 PDT
This book is from Marvel (!) and chronicles the Pope's life from his childhood to the assassination attempt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Comics in the News: Week of May 9-16

Here’s a roundup of comics news covered this week in mainstream outlets across the world.

Canadian Artist Turn Operas into Comic Books: Artist Lovern Kindzierski is developing a series of opera-based comic books with writer P. Craig Russell. The goal is to adapt the opera into comic book format in order to make the stories more accessible and reader friendly. Read the full story from CBC.

What's a Graphic Novel?: Writer Jane Henderson explores the phrase "graphic novel" and tries to define it. Read her interpretation on The Dominion.

Graphic Novel Primer: This article is sort of like "Graphic Novel for Dummies". It's kind of a How-to guide for reading the books. Check it out at the Harvard Independant.

Star Wars Obession: This article isn't directly about comic books. It's just so freaky that I had to share it. Eric Negron is a Star Wars Addict. He has tattoos, comic books, and loads and loads of other memorablia. This story is right out of the "At least I'm not this guy" file. Read about Eric at the New York Post Online.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ebay Comic Watch 5/16/05

Erin is on vacation, so you get to enjoy a "comic books that Kerry wants" theme this week. Remeber, you can find these particular auctions by pasting the item number in ebay’s search box. Note that the ending times are in PST, so calculate accordingly. Have fun.

Four 100 Bullets TPBs
Buy it now for $36.99
Item number: 6531932958
Ends: May-22-05 08:43:12 PDT

Spider-Man 2099 full run
Bidding currently at $12.50
Item number: 6531155216
Ends: May-18-05 19:15:02 PDT

Martian Manhunter full run
Bidding currently at $8
Item number: 6532560451
Ends: May-21-05 13:55:12 PDT

Star Wars Republic full run
Bidding currently at $3.25
Item number: 6532759932
Ends: May-22-05 21:00:00 PDT

Spider-Man's Tangeled Web full run
Starting bid is $20
Item number: 6531356540
Ends today!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Worst Comic Ever? The OJ Simpson Story

OJ from http://www.mycomicshop.com/ On Free Comic Book Day, I dug around in the quarter bin at my local book shop and found what might be the worst comic book ever. It's He Said/She Said #5: The OJ Simpson Story. Take a look at the cover and just let that sink in for a little bit.

Ok, now that you've digested the horror that is the cover, please note that when you flip this comic book over the back reveals The Nicole Simpson Story. Depending on the end you start at you are treated to the story from either OJ's or Nicole's point of view.

I didn't dare read the text of the book. The art was just so horrible that it convinced me not to try my hand at the text.

The scariest thing about the book though, is that it's number five in a series. Issue one is the Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafucco story. The rest are just as horrific.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Single-Panel Reviews: Free Comic Book Day Edition

We headed off to our local comic book shops a little after noon on the beautiful Saturday with our hearts full of promise and hope. First, we stopped at the smaller of the two shops in town. The atheists there chose not to celebrate Free Comic Book Day and we left a little disappointed. We knew that our favorite shop, Cosmic Comics, wouldn’t let us down though. We were right. A large counter was set up with a huge array of books and everyone was allowed to select three. Since we brought a friend, we happily snapped up nine titles. Here are my thoughts on the free swag:

Owly: Splashin’ Around
By Andy Runton
Top Shelf Productions

Owly, Top Shelf’s graphic novel series, also works well in this regular 32 page comic book format. In this story, Owly and Wormy continue to help their birdie friends by entering a bird bath contest at the local garden shop. I continue to be surprised just how much emotion Runton can get into a book with so few words and a seemingly simple topic. While I am definitely a softy, I actually teared up a bit when Owly and Wormy were sad. If a comic book could ever make me cry, it would be Owly. The story and characters are just so warm, genuine, and charming.

Bottom Line: A

Alternative Comics Presents
Anthology edition with stories by Robert Ullman, Derke Sakai, Damon Hurd and Tatiana Gill, and others. Cover by James Kochalka.

Alternative Comics Presents houses some great stories by extremely talented writers and artists. I enjoyed most of the volume, but the Story of the Eye-Hop by King Crab and Joel Orff was especially inspired. The story about a group of comic-loving grade school students and their war with a fellow classmate is hilarious. Another highlight is new Lunch Hour Comix by one of my favorites Robert Ullman. This book is a testament to the talent working with Alternative Comics.

Bottom Line: B+

Flight
Stories by Kazu Kibuishi and Jake Parker
Image Comics

Image highlights its Flight series with the Copper – Maiden Voyage story from volume one and Robot and Sparrow from volume two. Both these stories are of high quality, but I enjoyed Parker’s Robot story the most. In it a young robot makes friends with a sparrow and they spend must of a year hanging out and becoming friends. I’m not sure what’s best about this volume, the art or the story. I love how the book progresses through the seasons from spring to winter. The color schemes of these pages reflect the changes in nature. The robot is also extremely adorable. Finally, the script reads like a fairy tale. It’s a beautiful little story and this edition has convinced me I need to pick up the Flight volumes.

Bottom Line: A-

The Adventures of Paul
By Michel Rabagliati
Drawn and Quarterly

This book is my first exposure to Paul’s life and I’m completely sold. The book takes a few stories from the other Paul books including one from Paul Moves out which will be published this month. The first story, Paul apprentice about Paul visiting his father’s type shop is both touching at funny. Paul’s father shows Paul all aspects of work at the type shop with loving care and the curiosity of the young boy shows through. In the second story, my favorite, Paul and has friend tromp around the city having fun and making trouble. Again, this is a great story that portrays kids very accurately. It shows the boys imagination as they roam about. The final story, starring an adult Paul at a family member’s funeral is touching and classic. Rabagliati has no problem expressing the emotions of loss and grief on the page. Even if this little volume shows the very best of Paul, which I doubt, there is still a lot available. I’m hooked.

Bottom Line: A

Funny Book
Anthology featuring the work of Ivan Brunetti Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Pete Bagge, Daniel Clowes and others.
Fantagraphics Books.

I was looking forward to this book as I do all Fantagraphics work that I actually have to purchase. The book has a number of stories, short and long by the hottest Fantagraphics writers and artists. Something about this book just didn’t agree with me. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for reading it, but I just didn’t like any of the stories. Besides Ivan Brunetti’s open work “How to Draw Comics” and Richard Sala’s Peculia, I couldn’t wait for the book to end.

Bottom Line: C

Ronin Hood of the 47 Samurai
Written by Jeff Amano; Pencils by Craig Rousseau; Inkes by Giulia Brusco
Beckett Comics

This offering from Beckett is an upcoming pick at the 96 page graphic novel Ronin Hood of the 47 Samurai. We are treated to the first 22 pages of this intriguing story, a samurai version of Robin Hood. Rousseau’s art is the standout in this book so far. The characters are full of life and take up much of the panels. I particularly enjoy the way the kimonos are decorated with bright pastels and small flower decorations. The most intriguing part of the book is the opening few pages where samurais fight in a snowstorm. It is quite beautiful and definitely beats the usual fight amongst cherry blossoms that we often see in samurai stories or movies. This preview is eye-catching and although I’m not quite sure how the story will pan out, the art makes it worth a look.

Bottom Line: B+


Superior Showcase #0
Anthology with stories by Joel Priddy, J. Chris Campbell, and Jack Soto
AdHouse Books

Generally, I really like anthology books with a few longer stories rather than many smaller ones. This format allows the reader to get into the story and explore the characters more than in a quick one page comic. This book, with its three stories of about equal length, fits this format well. The first two stories Priddy’s “The Amazing Life of Onion Jack” and Campbell’s “Found and Lost” are the strongest and are about the non-superhero side of a masked man’s life. Onion Jack, a biography about Onion Jack, is a joy. The art is small and cartoony and the story a lot of fun. Found is about a superhero and his relationship with his sidekick. The story is good, but less successful than Onion Jack. While I didn’t enjoy the third story in the book, the first two made up for not as interesting final story.

Bottom Line: B-

Comic Festival
Anthology with stories by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seth, Jim Rugg, Paige Braddock, Salgood Sam, Eric Kim, and others.
Quebecor World

This book, a collection of work by Canadian artists appearing at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, is an interesting idea for an anthology. I like the theme and it is a great promo for the show. Like I mentioned earlier though, I tend to appreciate books with three longer stories and this book has around 20 entries. The quality of work here is good though and the submissions from the Jane's World and Street Angel series are new and entertaining. The excerpt from Seth's Wimbledon Green story is also a highlight. It is nice to be exposed to so many artists in one volume, but as always with these short excerpts and stories, I'm left wanting more.

Bottom Line: B-

Monday, May 09, 2005

Kerry Reads Manga! IWGP #1

Story by Ira Ishida; Art by Sena Aritou
Digital Manga Publishing $12.95

Ikebukuro West Gate Park (IWGP), a trendy area of the city where the popular kids meet and hang out, is currently embroiled in scandal. A violent criminal is strangling and raping young girls picked up from the park. Makoto’s girlfriend becomes one of the strangler’s victims and he heads up a manhunt for the man. He enlists his friends and a gang for help patrolling the park and finding the killer before another girl is murdered.

I know I’m fairly new to manga and am not used to a lot of the styles and ideas commonly depicted within its pages. Although it is fairly common, I cannot stand it when panels are drawn at an angle so we can see up women’s skirts. It is quite ridiculous when it doesn’t have anything to do with the story. It’s plain distracting (not in a sexy way) and pulled me right out of the story. While I find this practice harmless, I’m more concerned with how Aritou portrayed the rape and murder victims in the story. The women were brutally beaten, raped, and then strangled to death, yet they are laid out in a sexy pose. I find it completely unrealistic and even offensive that the women have nary a mark on them and are displayed in such a manner. A certain grislyness is needed to portray just how horrible and serious the crime is. Now one could argue that in death, the women are drawn as the innocent young girls that they are, but I just don’t get the feeling that this was the artist’s intention. The way they are shown seems to make light of the situation.

Besides this disagreement with Aritou’s style, I think the art is very good. I particularly enjoyed any scene with the gang, the G Boys. They were drawn dark and menacing, just like they should have been. Any panel where Aritou was allowed to get a little more artistic and show city scenes blurred by the business of traffic or crowds is excellent. Many depictions of various characters where they are static are also quite artistic and good. He goes beyond what would be required to make a mediocre portrait and adds little details to make it excellent. The art however just didn’t save the book for me.

While the plot, mourning boyfriend goes rogue to find girlfriend’s killer, there is just too many worthless pages added to the book to distract the reader. The first 80 pages were confusing and worthless to me. They didn’t set up the story or explain many of the character’s relationships. Worse still is that I didn’t get the feeling that Makoto even liked his girlfriend Rika until she turned up dead. No chemistry was concocted in the beginning of the book to make their relationship believable. The mechanics of the story, the idea that Makoto would go to any length to catch the strangler is believable, but not explored enough. If Ishida focused more these and less on extraneous characters it would have made for a much better story.

IWGP needed a lot of editing to make it a good book. It feels like the first three chapters were included just to add length. This made the story drag on and on. Coupled with my dislike of how the murder victims were displayed, I just can’t recommend the book.

Bottom Line: D

Friday, May 06, 2005

Free Comic Book Day!

Although Erin mentioned it yesterday and it's on every comic book website in the blogoverse, I thought, what's one more post? Here's my top five Free Comic Book Day picks:

Pick of the Litter - Top Shelf Productions: Owly Splashing Around
I love me some Owly. He's so freaking cute. Highlighting him in a shorter story will definitely attract new fans and hopefully a cadre of young readers.

Next four (in no particular order)

Fantagraphics Books: Funny Book
This book highlights Fantagraphics' 2005 releases. The goal is to show the wide-range of genres that Fantagraphics publishes. They don't put out any bad books, so this one will be fantastic. Plus, if they say it's funny, it probably is.

Alternative Comics: Alternative Comics Presents
This anthology features a number of Alternative Comics' creators including James Kochalka, Josh Nuefeld, and Robert Ullman. Kochalka and Ullman had me at hello, so I'm clamoring to get my hands on this book.

Drawn and Quarterly: The Adventures of Paul
I've heard nothing but good things about Michel Rabagliati’s Paul stories. This book collects his work from the D&Q anthologies and puts them in one free book for each and every one of us. That D&Q, they sure are thoughtful folks.

Image Comics: Flight Primer
Again, I've heard nothing but good things about Flight and I've yet to pick up a copy. I'm guessing this book will convince me. It's a compilation of stories from both volumes of Flight.

Now, how am I going to get my hands on all five of these Free Comic Book Day editions? Well, I'm not entirely sure. I've got about 24 hours to develop a plan. It might involve disguises.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Linktastic Clickery

Laura over at the Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog is holding a drawing to raise money for the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. For every $15 you donate, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a slew of different comics and GNs. A great cause and a great prize. Check it out.

Neil Kleid’s latest column is up over at Scryptic Studios. Kleid, who won a Xeric Foundation Grant in 2003 to publish “Ninety Candles,” says, “The one question I always find myself approached with … is ‘How did you do it?’ Everyone wants to know the magic spell I used to get myself a Xeric Grant my first time out. What’s the secret formula, they ask?” In the new column titled “BIG POND: Xeric 101,” Kleid shares his insights, as well as the ins and outs, of the Xeric Grant submission process.

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 7 (as if you didn’t already know). Write an email out to all your friends, release carrier pigeons to assail casual acquaintances, send singing telegrams to your enemies, do whatever it takes to get the comic initiated and the uninitiated to your local comic book store for the occasion.

Hey Grown Ups - Comics! has just been re-launched with a new URL, a new look and feel, and the site’s first ever three-prizes-up-for-grabs “Grand Re-Opening Readers Poll” where visitors can recommend the comic titles they’d like to see racked among the “regular” books at their local Barnes & Walden-Borders book store.

Yet Another Comics Blog is running a great giveaway during the entire month of May. Basically you just need to send David the titles of five comics that you like and his goal is to match up people with a comic that they haven't read but that they may like from his personal collection. Plus for each winner he will throw in a copy of the 32-page Free Comic Book Day Preview Edition of Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards.

In the New York Times article “A Comic Book Fantasy Made Real” (free registration required) reporter James Brooke investigates what he calls “the geisha for the comic book generation.” Apparently, in the Electric Town district of Tokyo, you can be served at a variety of cafes and restaurants by waitresses dressed up as anime-styled French maids. An entertaining article to check out.

Another Vancouver Comicon is coming up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 5, at Heritage Hall in Vancouver, B.C. (3102 Main St.). This cozy little comicon will feature Matt Haley (G.I. Spy, Firestorm, Birds of Prey), Corey “Rey” Lewis (Sharknife, Street Fighter), Steve Rolston (One Bad Day, Queen and Country, Pounded), Robin Bougie (Cinema Sewer), Verne Andru (Captain Canuck, Phantacea), Robin Thompson (Champions of Hell, Captain Spaceman) and a host of other creators. Admission is just $3 and free for kids under 14.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Single-Panel Reviews 5/4/05

Spellbinders #1
Written by Mike Carey; Penciled by Mike Perkins; Inked by Drew Hennessy
Marvel $2.99

This six-part series about a group of high-school witches is Marvel’s newest mini-series aimed at teenagers. Newcomer Kim is being scouted by both the witches’ clique and the anti-witches’ clique. She has just arrived at the school and weird things immediately start to happen. This story could end up being very good. It’s a book about high school, but is very unlike my other favorite Marvel goes to high-school comics Mary Jane and Spider-Girl. The school, the kids, and the problems are a lot darker and a lot less like your run-of-the-mill high-school students. It’s nice to see a Marvel book where the outcasts aren’t muties for once. This book shows promise.

Bottom Line: B-

Toxin #1
Written by Peter Milligan; Penciled by Darick Robertson; Inked by Rodney Ramos
Marvel $2.99

Although I don’t read New Avengers, I decided to pick up this tie-in because it indirectly relates to my favorite of all Spider-Man villains. You see, Venom begat Carnage and Carnage entered Cletus Kasady and used him to give birth to another symbiote, Toxin. Toxin, the symbiote grandson of Venom has entered Paul Mulligan and their relationship and this six-part series begins. The two are actually having a decent time coexisting. Sure, they argue, but it could be a heck of a lot worse. Paul and Toxin start out helping out the city by bringing down bad guy King Cobra. Spider-Man then asks for him to help out with a new armless psycho. Milligan injected a lot of humor into this script and if it continues into the rest of the series, it is sure to be worth buying. Between the great dialogue between Paul and Toxin and Robertson’s amazing portrayals of the symbiotic Toxin, I’m looking forward to next month’s issue.

Bottom Line: B+

The Goon #11
By Eric Powell
Dark Horse $2.99

Usually I love the art in the Goon, but am tepid towards the story. This issue though, where the Goon and Francis go to an alternate reality to help save Dr. Alloy, is fantastic. Powell outdoes himself on the script. Francis’ lines are especially inspired. Powell’s drawing is always fantastic. This issue has a very cool style as well. Many of the scenes in the alternate reality have a colorful background with bright hues while the Goon and Francis remain in black and white. Besides their outline, they don’t even appear to be inked. Their body and clothes are the texture of graphite. The look is very intriguing. I wish more issues of the Goon were like this.

Bottom Line: A

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Filler Review

Filler
AiT/Planet Lar; $12.95
Writer: Rick Spears; Artist: Rob G.

John Dough is used to being life’s filler. He doesn’t matter to anyone or himself. He gives blood and stands in police lineups to get by. But Dough’s just like anyone else, he’ll take some company when he can get it. Even though he knows better, Dough gets involved with Debra Cross, a hooker on the outs with her pimp. When Dough ends up in over his head, he gets “help” from another of his fellow lineup fillers, one R. Pike, who also happens to be a writer.

Dough’s life is black and white until it gets bloody – actually most literally. The art is done in black and white with red as an accent color. With this color treatment and the realistic artistry of the characters, Rob G.’s work emphasizes the fact that this is a literal book.

In fact, it may be a little too literal for some readers. It’s understandable to want something a little more substantive than a quick punchline-type wrap-up. Spears, however, stays true to what he sets up in this black and white world.

The kick may be at the end, but really the clues are there pretty plainly throughout the book. In fact at one point, Dough even says, “Things have gotten a little out of control. I’m stuck as the main character in someone else’s story.”

John Dough. Debra Cross. R. Pike. Or is that John Doe, Double Crossed, with a Right Turn?

Bottom Line: B+

Monday, May 02, 2005

Meatcake #14 Review

By Dame Darcy
Fantagraphics Books $3.95

The cover of Dame Darcy’s latest issue of Meatcake states that the book is “for weird mature readers.” I’m known to be weird. Occasionally, I am also mature. With this in mind, I picked up the book. I’ve never even seen issues 1-13 of Meatcake, so I didn’t know what to expect from the book’s interior.

The book itself isn’t one cohesive story, but is instead an anthology of sorts. There are a few short stories, some two-panel movie reviews, instructions on making dolls and various other strange bits. The book reads more like a heavily illustrated zine than a comic book.

The book has a very personal feel, like we are looking directly in on Dame Darcy’s interests. In addition to being a comic book writer and illustrator, Dame Darcy is also a doll maker. Her love of dolls and the Victorian era are evident throughout the book. Some of the book's stories feel like they might be ripped from the author’s dreams or nightmares. The personal nature of the book is one of its biggest strengths as it made me feel like I had some secret connection to the artist through the book.

It did take me awhile to get used to Darcy’s drawing style. While the cover, with its shimmery mermaids is very attractive, some panels are less so. The body proportions of some of the women seemed to be off with many having abnormally long legs. I did enjoy the macabre and dark Victorian feel that many of the stories had. The women are often rotund with luxurious hair styles and full-length costumes. The hundreds of small details throughout the book also give the reader a lot to look at.

Darcy’s strange sense of humor is another enjoyable part of the book. Many panels had me laughing and wondering exactly how Darcy even thought up a particular story or idea. She is completely creative and a true artist in her work. She uses every inch of space on the page to entertain. Although some of the book is beyond my perception of entertainment and seems “out there,” I’m glad I picked it up.

Much of the book is definitely “for weird and mature readers” just as the cover states.
It may have had more weird than I was looking for, but it is definitely an enjoyable trip. It was great to pick up a challenging yet fun read for once.

Bottom Line: B

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Ebay Comic Watch 05/01/05

Here’s the latest installment of Ebay Comic Watch. You can find these particular auctions by pasting the item number in ebay’s search box. Note that the ending times are in PST, so calculate accordingly.

So, for the hell of it, I’ve decided to go with a theme this week. I present to you ebay comic auctions that are from, inspired by, or involve in any way TV shows. Enjoy.

Xena Comics Issues 1-12
Bidding was at GBP 4.99 a bit ago, shipping varies
Item number: 6527413633
Ends May-02-05 04:09:53 PDT

Rare “The Brady Bunch” Comic #1
Bidding was at $20.51 a bit ago, shipping is $3.50
Item number: 6526669501
Ends May-02-05 19:45:00 PDT

Five Various “Dark Shadows” Gold Key Comics
Bidding starts at $29.95, with BIN at $34.95, shipping is free
Item number: 6528528753
Ends May-04-05 09:54:00 PDT

Two Comics Featured in the TV Show “Lost”: Flash/Green Lantern Limited Series
Bidding was at $0.99 a bit ago, shipping is $5
Item number: 6528710388
Ends May-05-05 06:52:32 PDT

A-Team Issues #1-3 Still in Original Wrapper
Bidding starts at $0.99, shipping is $3.25
Item number: 6529263128
Ends May-07-05 18:58:08 PDT

Lot of Five “Mr. Ed” Comics (I know, who knew they existed?)
Bidding starts at $4.99, shipping is $3.85
Item number: 6529443477
Ends May-08-05 13:55:01 PDT

“Saved by the Bell” Comic #1
BIN $1, starts at $2.50
Item number: 6529277479
Ebay store, no end date