I'm pretty interested in Science Fiction. Not just in terms of looking at the fantasy of science fiction, but I love researching all things sci-fi. I'm a huge junkie reading about space colonization/exploration, I love reading about "future weapons," artificial intelligence and more. When Jarred Lujan (Dryfoot) DMed me a birthday present (which I forgot about because of my painkillers) and then I finally got to check out his new project, this is going to hit a lot of the right notes for me...and you'll find out why below!
Crash and Troy (Action Lab-Danger Zone)
The book opens in what appears to be the middle of some sort of heist or break-in/out. We meet the titular characters Crash (a human mutant) and Troy 3.0 (who is a human consciousness turned into AI software).
I instantly know I'm going to love the book for two reasons. First, are the small things we get to know about the characters (like in Dryfoot). Second, the banter back and forth between Crash and Troy is absolutely hilarious as they are working through whatever their plan may be!
I definitely think you should check this book out if you enjoy high action books, science fiction books, or just hilarious dialogue. I love the premise of Crash and Troy, but the way Jared has written a buddy-mercenary-comedy is really next level. What Troy does to get he and Crash apprehended made me laugh at length. The number of shots fired between the partners-in-crime had me in stitches.
Kyler's art is able to both accentuate some high-stakes action sequences as well as embrace the absurdity of the dialogue (watching cat videos while fighting android guards). I really think there is a strong connection between the artist and the writer, and it shows that they've been really developing this idea to be truly kick-ass (see Jared's newsletter for their origin story).
Today's title is Heavens Decoded (part 1) which has just recently launched on Kickstarter.
(If some of this seems incoherent, I'll remind you that I'm on painkillers right now after my dental surgery =-). )
The Creative Team
Rony Lescouflair- Experienced author, this is his first comic!
J.R. Harris-Artist (Henry Graves, Astronaut Highschooler, The New Luminaries, Paragon, and Ginger Star).
Jerome Gagnon-Letterer (Puerto Rico Strong fundraising anthology, Blood, Skulls & Bones' Kickstarter Campaign and Broke Down and 4 Dead Bodies (#1-4))
Chuck Pineau-Editor (Welcome to the Void, Belial, and Essence House, and host of Chuck's Raw Reviews)
The very next day on another planet, we meet a "dirty dozen" style team who are tracking someone/something in the goal of procuring more knowledge. What transpires across the next 15 pages turns any understanding we may have of humans vs. aliens in this universe on its head. (This is incredibly difficult to write about without spoiling anything....)
So, in in short, you have a sci-fi tale that shows us the real expansiveness of the universe, gives us a potential epic source of conflict or alien reclamation of space, and some humans who may become increasingly more relevant throughout issues two and three.
My thoughts on the creative team
Harris' art is intense. One of my favorite series of panels is when the humanoid crew boards the distressed ship, and I get those classic "Alien" style chills from the bright red blood smeared on the ship walls showing the horror which is on the horizon. The environment of Zanrid is where we see his display of one of our alien factions, and the illustration of their inner conflict is phenomenal. And holy crap, the final two pages when the sheer enormity of the coming events are revealed, I've never been more terrified in anything I've read.
Gagnon's lettering is the cherry on top. The subtle use of different colored speech balloons may make it easier to determine who is on which side. In heavier moments where dialogue builds the action, you can feel an emotional rush created by his decisions on the page.
The three of these folks sing together quite well and have produced a high quality book!
1. I'm hooked so hard by the final 2 pages, I'm sold on issues 2 and 3 already.
2. It is super affordable. For as low as $3-5 you are getting 2-4 digital texts. The print tiers also have several added benefits for a ridiculously low cost!
3. The book is already finished. I literally just read a completed comic, which means the return of rewards will be done quite quickly as it is a question of kickstarter releasing the funds, sending the book to the printer, and then distributing all of the additional rewards.
I definitely think this book is worth supporting at any tier of your choosing. Right now, I'm looking at the Teacher's tier because there are an amazing collection of physical and digital rewards....and you get a shirt, which you know I'm a huge sucker for!
This book has 30 days, and $750 to reach its goal. Let's help this team make it a reality!
(Depending on how quickly I can comfortably talk again, I'd love to interview them on my channel!
For as pretty cool as I think the Inhyuk Lee cover to number 2 was, I think this is my favorite cover from the entire series thus far. There's just something about the shades of blue, the black cat and the introduction of a character that I find particularly compelling.
While I've been fairly in tune with issues 1-3, looking at this cover of issue 4, it is very clue that there is yet another angle of the world that Hornett and his team have built in Ketiyama. Which is amazing given you can keep driving the plot AND world build 4 issues in.
Grey: Chapter 4 By: Kris Hornett, Ardee Arollado, Edited by Lisa Taylor and Cover/Additional Art by: Nicholas Sen, Kenet Guevarra
Villainous #2 (Mad Cave Studios)
By: Stonie Williams, Jef Sadzinski, Joana Lafuente, Justin Birch and Miguel Angel Zapata
I think Williams has created something stellar here. Who is really good and who is really bad? This play on Duality of good vs evil or hero vs. villain is an excellent thought discussion, especially when you add in the question of if the Media serves as a buffer for the Coalition's actions while equally desparaging the Shadow Order. Tilly has quite the Sophie's Choice to deal with in this book.
Sadzinski and Lafuente create a compelling virtual narrative to match the story. The recruitment video looks and sounds like every tacky HR video we've ever had to deal with. They also create awesome authentic facial features to match the emotions of the Shadow Order in not really believing they are in the wrong, the general concern they have for what they're doing is breathtaking. Some of the power displays (which I don't want to spoil) make this book worth the price of admission alone!!!!
What preview would be complete without a shout-out to the letterer? I love the subtle shift in font used from the dialogue text to the information we get from the recruitment video and how it shifts again when we see some passages read from files. All of the different backgrounds in each of the text passages are also amazing, and a certain Bald Bearded Bird informed me that Justin did that all himself!!!!! That is AMAZING!!!!
Go find a copy of #1 and pre-order #2 which comes out on November 11th.
The Nitty Gritty
The story focuses on Haley and Max. Haley is deaf and until they land in their new home, Max serves as her primary sign-language interpreter and protector. Life begins anew when they land at their new home, the Wafair Academy for Special Needs (which Haley hates the name, but she gets by). It immediately feels like home, as there are multiple people who can communicate with her with ease. Both of them are welcomed instantly with ease into a small friend group. Immediately, they become thick as thieves...eventually they become actual Thieves with a taste for justice. But as we learn throughout the rest of the book is like a taste for Lays potato chips...."I bet you can't have just one!"
There are several things to love about this story. First the way Haley's deafness is written into the story and used in the art is phenomenal from the squiggled lines of those actually speaking, the slight motions in the hands to show sign-language occurring, and the heavy reliance on text-messaging as a means of communication are all eloquently done. Additionally, there may be one of the first non-binary characters I've seen in a comic book without an storyline which focuses on Queerness and identity.
The art is both subtle and stunning, and the colorist and letterer both bring their talents to heighten your understanding of the characters' perspectives and makes life at the Wayfair Academy for Special Needs something you desire and wouldn't want to be torn away from.
This book speaks to everyone. Even if you are not intrinsically in love with comics, this is a story which feels relatable to everyone who's ever felt different for any reason. I'm excited to hold a physical issue of this in my hands and fall in love with it all over again on November 4th!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...
Rimmey is a high school history/government teacher & speech and debate coach in Kansas. He has slowly been rediscovering his love for comics since June of 2019.
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