Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

I have a little list.

I mentioned in the last issue review that things we’re awkwardly transitioning from a mostly self-contained story into a long-running series, and there’s a wonderful sight gag in this issue where Skottie Young owns it completely and forges on.  That’s one of the things that I love so much about this series, that much like other fourth-wall shattering heroes (not a hero), this book takes great fun in mocking itself and the medium with a gentle tongue-in-cheekiness that is endearing and a big relief for those who may be a little burned out by the cape and tights set.  He’s providing comic relief for the industry, because while certain tropes can be engaging if done right or turned on their head, for the most par,t they get repetitive. It’s wonderful to watch a keen wit send them up issue after issue.

Did you hear about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted?

It’s no secret to anyone who’s read my reviews before that I have a special place in my nerdy heart for the world of Krynn as told through the magnificent stories of Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  One of the biggest draws to the series was the frail Mage Raistlin Majere, a fascinating character who - during the adventure - chose to follow the dark god whose designs he was helping to foil.  The Dragonlance Legends told of his continuing ambitions and adventures, along with his brother Caramon and the Kender Tasselhoff Burrfoot.  Centering on Raistlin’s dark designs for the world, readers are in store for a time-traveling adventure of high fantasy wherein the gods themselves tremble at the repercussions.

Who you gonna call?  Well, if you're one subset of a certain franchise, it'll be the hilarious ladies lining up for their blockbuster release of the new Ghostbusters film.  If you're another subset, then you'll be calling said ladies some pretty terrible things, because Ghostbusters are obviously men, because women just aren't funny, right?  The whole point of Ghostbusters is that they actually have nuclear accelerated phalluses that they wave about maniacally, throwing plasma everywhere and caring not a whit for the fallout.  Obviously, women can't handle this kind of elevated humor, because men are just so much better at it.  It’s not that they don’t want to see them in the uniform, of course, just not with all the talky.  Like this.  That’s fine because women can pretend to be Ghostbusters (Ghostbustiers, perhaps?), but they have no right being Ghostbusters.  After all, that’s not how the franchise began, and you can’t change the nature of its identity without consulting the fans. After all, they’re the ones consuming it. You can’t just foist things they don’t want to see into the continuity. That would mean that if they don’t see, it they can’t be its fan anymore.

“We’ll make Pan’s kids like you…we’ll make the little buggers love you!”

I only knew Schismatic from that wonderfully handsome Fanbase Press Contributor Simply Jack and his winning smile, and now I’ve gotten the chance to check it out for myself.  The third issue of this excellently told tale is where we’re getting into the meat of the adventure, and Riolobo comes into his own with his causal and snarky demeanor, giving way to a mostly competent hero once the excrement hits the fan.  Idris and Amalia have been doggedly trying to find their children, and they’re finally on their way to determine their fate.  The question is, will what they discover at the end of their quest fill the hole in their hearts or tear it wider than can ever be repaired?

Sure, power corrupts, but if I could just get a taste…

I’d heard about Gutter Magic when it was three issues into its run, and though my local shop proprietor was very gung ho about it, I was so buried in other series and reviews that I couldn’t jump on it without falling way behind. When this trade came up for review, I knew that I had to jump on it.  It’s worth all the hype I had been hearing; it’s smart, fun, and an action-packed alternate history of our world stemming from WWII on.  It’s a whirlwind ride of wizards, magic, Steampunk aircraft, and a whole lot of wonder and backstabbery to boot.  It’s a great thing when you find a book where the team is so obvious in their passion for telling their story, and there’s no page that disappoints in this regard.

Well, that just happened...

When a soul weeps, it does so with blood.

Rick Remender and Sean Murphy are ramping things up yet again in their tense dystopia. Mr. Flak is dead, but it doesn't spell the end of the trouble that dear Debbie is in for.  Dear, sweet, mad Davey is still in the picture and now without the thin leash of authority on him...

Not all who wander are lost.

When I saw this listing from Dark Horse, I had to go for it. It was described as a “Retro flying adventure in the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki.”  Now, my love for Miyazaki is very high, so I had to know if it was true.  Following a young woman dealing with the loss of her grandfather and the mystery he left behind, Wandering Island is truly a stunning work of art that is a must read.  Slow-burn storytelling in a sleepy island chain off of Japan satisfies a rustic adventure that hearkens back to tales that one would make up on lazy summer days, where adventure could be sparked by any innocuous beginning.

Everything is always as it seems.

I had the privilege of diving into Joshua Hauke’s newest set of The Brother’s Three series, Potato-Brained Ideas.  Each time I get to reading one of these books, I’m instantly reminded of why I love them so much.  It’s the perfect illustration of family dichotomy: parents and children trying to outsmart each other, the dry wit of the adults balanced against the wild wackiness of the boys, and enough imagination to fuel both sides forever.  Experience and knowledge matched against youthful exuberance and willingness to buy into any situation is what drives the plots inside, and it never fails to entertain because the stories come from a place of truth.  Reading this, you fully expect to know how life is in the Hauke household through a lovely Muppet Babies-style filter, and the underlying love and fun of it is a wonderful thing to share with your own family.

I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands.

My first experience with Brandon Sanderson was with his completion of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time epic, and while the style was certainly a shift, the increased pace of the narrative only heightened my enjoyment of it tremendously. (I think it’s a pretty common belief that Winter’s Heart was hard to get through.)  Since then, I’ve sought out all of his works, and the Mistborn trilogy and its continuing world may be my favorite fantasy series going right now, so there was no question of picking up this title for a review opportunity.

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