Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

Technology is madness.

I’m really not sure how to classify Jeremy Thompson’s novel, Let's Destroy Investutech.  There are equal parts of romance, techno-thriller, eldritch horror, and a myriad of other styles crammed into his narrative.  Beginning with several short stories that have little to do with one another at first, we’re given many pieces of a world that is at once familiar and alien to us, one where technological marvels are the focus of each vignette.  We see the overreach of callous masterminds pushing the advancement of things they don’t fully understand intellectually or morally and the uniformly terrible events that result.  Once the main narrative begins, there is a weaving in of what came in the shorter stories, but not all at once. Rather, they’re feathered in as we go along.

Ho ho hooooo no.

I giggle every time I think of the premise of this book. It’s silly, irreverent, and simply perfect for the medium.  There’s nothing inside these pages that isn’t downright fun; the hard-drinking and side-splitting antics of the man named Santa are a joy to behold, but not the “to the world” type.  The peace that this Kringle is bringing is the more eternal sort, and the ride getting there is hysterical.  There’s not many stories that I can kick back and simply enjoy nowadays, but this series is certainly one of them.  Outfitted with crazy characters, crazier antics, and the craziest plot twists, this is a book that just wants to grab a beer and beat the living snot out of anything that cramps the Claus style.

Things get a little weird.

It’s no secret that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the adventures of the terror upon cute that is Gertrude, former Queen of Fairyland.  In this issue, Mr. Young brings in guest artist Jeffery “Chamba” Cruz who partners with series colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu to give us a sweet alternative kind of tale for our demonic damsel. (Sweet as in badass, not tea parties.)  We’re now into the series proper, and things are working well with the episodic nature. We now get to see Gert kick a little butt on the page instead of inferring between issues.

When you like your action slow, thoughtful, and callous.

There’s an obvious swing in comics towards physical perfection in male characters, and impossible contortions of anatomy and sense in female ones.  Mark Hobby’s book, Job Dun: Fat Assassin, eschews that standard in its main character, giving us an overlarge guy who bulls through a world that prides itself on looks and the application of social expectations that can boggle the mind.  Taking the path of least resistance in all things, Job Dun is like a foul-mouthed Buddha chucking fools to the afterlife while keeping after what’s important.

Who needs a whole seat when just the edge will do?

Mark Millar sets the galaxy on fire once again with the newest issue of Empress.  Having been separated from the children by slavers, Dane, Emporia, and Tor struggle to get out of a tricky situation, while the kids have to look to their own devices to figure a way out of their predicament.  This is the most action-packed issue yet, which is saying something if you’ve been reading the series, and the “Hell Yeah” moments are riddled throughout an issue which best exemplifies what we’ve seen so far.

You can’t take the sky from me.

I know I’ve gotten the Browncoats’ attention, and Warship Jolly Roger should have it, as well.  Spinning a tale of redemption and daring do, Sylvain Runberg has gathered the kind of core characters that can interest and fascinate anyone, while Miquel Montllo brings animation-caliber artwork to the game and gives it a beautiful and moving sense of life.  Four convicts who owe nothing to each other must find a way to survive and even thrive while they deal with the fallout from their lives and their removal from it.

S—t, allow me to introduce Fan.

With Flak gone and Davey running the show, we return to the prize jewel of the mighty, bloated, and downward-sliding empire, NeoTokyo.  Having reduced its natural splendor to a glaring, glittering nightmare, the march of the technology has finally covered the world.  With her loss recent in her mind and her body dealing with the fallout of that encounter, as well, it's time for all the chips to be laid out in this penultimate issue.

So, this is the end.

Stephen Hawking has warned that Singularity is coming, the defining moment where - if we continue to pursue AI - it will gain consciousness and propagate at a prodigious rate and basically follow its course of logic to become Ultron.  Apocalypse by machine has been the basis of some great cyberpunk stories, most noticeably in The Matrix Trilogy, but Jordan Hart has added a new wrinkle to the trope: a man whose actions have placed him outside of society to begin with is now the last vestige of that society.  When the machines took over, they left the artists - humans who could create something that the machines knew that they could not - and kept them to keep creating for the machines.

You’ve likely heard of the little phenomenon that is Pokemon GO by now. (I’m going with Pokenomenon.)  Whether you’re out walking to catch just one more Clefairy before heading back home or just amazed by the amount of people walking about parks, it’s unlikely that you’ve missed this unprecedented moment in gaming and social media history. 

This Christmas, every stocking will be filled with Santa’s foot in your a**.

I’ve always been of fan of people taking myth and using it in new stories. Jim Butcher mostly makes his living doing just that. I really don’t think that any myths are beyond the reach of such treatments, even ones we hold dear today like dear old Saint Nick. I mean, the Robot Santa episodes are some of my favorites in the run of Futurama.  Much like that fun take on the world’s most famous Elf, Sleigher: Heavy Metal Santa Claus from Action Lab: Danger Zone is full of charm, wit, and much, much a**-kicking.  If you wondered what it would be like if The Santa Clause starred Lemmy instead of Tim Allen, this is a book you’re gonna love.

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