This past weekend, my wife and I went to the Los Angeles Festival of Books, and although I was expecting to mostly find new sci-fi and fantasy novels to read, I was very pleasantly surprised to find a few comic companies there selling graphic novels. I made my way over to the Valiant booth to see what they had to offer. Apparently, Valiant was a huge comic book company back in the '90s when I was 6 years old, but it disappeared before I got into comics. Just this last year, they got back into the comics game, and have been systematically rebooting all of their characters for a new generation.
Pathfinder is a new comic series from Dynamite Entertainment and tabletop role-playing game maker Paizo Publishing. This series follows a group of adventurer-seekers as they seek out a source of evil causing trouble in the forest, and end up finding much more than they bargained for. Sounds like your typical fantasy story, filled with danger and daring heroes. That is probably what everyone expected when Paizo decided to make their incredibly popular role-playing game into a comic. Then, they hired Jim Zub of Skullkickers fame and Andrew Huerta, and what they got was anything but typical.
Wow! I have been loving this new G.I. Joe series so far, and Issue #3 is the best issue yet. Fred Van Lente takes us through a heartbreaking look at Duke’s past as he is forced to relive the best and worst moments of his life while Dr. Mindbender and Baroness try to break him. This is an excellent storytelling technique that not only moves forward the main arc, but also lets us delve into the hero’s backstory and see what makes him tick. Even better, the whole process is overseen by two of Cobra’s most interesting agents. The dialogue between Mindbender and Baroness is perfect and reveals quite a bit about them as well.
If you are anything like me, you have played a lot of tabletop RPGs in your lifetime. Over the years, you’ve collected miniatures, battle maps, and all sorts of other tools to improve your gaming experience. The one thing I’ve never been able to get right is audio accompaniment to add to the game. I’ve tried adding movie soundtracks or fantasy music to create a mood, but there have always been issues where the wrong song comes on at the wrong time and suddenly the love theme starts playing during your villain’s big speech, causing the players to break character in fits of laughter.
Loogie the Booger Genie is a new children’s book written by N.E. Castle with illustrations throughout by Bret Herholz. This book was a delightful, funny read about a young man who discovers a troublemaking genie. It delivers a wonderful mix of hilarious humor, awesome alliteration, and precocious pranks. Look, it even has me alliterating!
This is the G.I. Joe book I’ve been waiting for. This book has it all: Joes kicking butt, witty banter, methodical villains plotting evil schemes, and, of course, tons of explosions. Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth have delivered the perfect combination of action, humor, and drama to make any ordinary Joe happy.
Uncanny Skullkickers #1 is the new jumping-on point for Skullkickers, Jim Zub’s hilarious fantasy book about two mercenaries who may or may not have just saved the world. Skullkickers is everything that is awesome about comics today. It is an irreverent, creator-owned work of art by some of the hottest, up-and-coming professionals in the industry today.
The Simpsons is known for its wonderful supporting cast, and in Bongo Comics’ One-Shot Wonders line, readers get to go on adventures with some of the craziest characters in Springfield. This month we get three new stories featuring Springfield’s very own scientist supreme, Professor Frink. There’s even a special 3D story and Frink-O-Matic goggles to ensure maximum reading enjoyment.
I have to tell you the truth. I’ve never read a Simpsons comic before until Bongo asked me to start reviewing them, but like many people my age, I grew up on the Simpsons TV show. I have to say, these Bongo comics really capture the essence of those Simpsons episodes I grew up on. Even better, they deliver the humor of the Simpsons in a great, all-ages comic that grownups who remember the Simpsons from their youth can now share with their kids.
This week, IDW Publishing starts a three-month roll out of their three brand new G.I. Joe comic series. This is a soft relaunch that doesn’t get rid of what came before, but creates a new jumping on point for new readers to get involved. The Joes have reached a new status quo, having gone public with their activities, and now have to answer to the press and their new marketing team, as well as fight the forces of Cobra.