A Hand of Fingers provides readers with some insightful and funny stories with its collected works from creator John Robbins. These short stories and comics traverse a wide range of interesting and odd tales that are quite unique, offering some profound moments in life.
The zombie genre has been fighting to stay relevant for some time now, often endlessly repeating the same tropes, drawing the same conclusions about humanity, and - when in desperate straits - resorting to empty, gruesome violence. There’s been very little truly original in the zombie genre since George Romero’s seminal films which not only kicked off the craze but stayed ahead of the curve and continue to put most attempts to shame. Aside from the occasional television or cinematic victory, eventually, all genre fare falls into this cycle, struggling to find an original voice. Without something to drive the story forward that isn’t zombies, you can expect standard biting and chewing of human flesh. All of that has its place, but as a reader (viewer), I like to be excited, surprised and thrilled. The Walking Dead swings back and fourth dramatically from one end of the spectrum to the other, Shaun of the Dead mattered because it poked fun at all of those tropes while finding its own emotional center, and World War Z (the book) grounded the zombie apocalypse in a real-world setting with real world consequences.
It’s Adventure Time, Lumpy Space Princess style! Everyone’s favorite purple gal embarks on a treasure hunt with the lovable Tree Trunks as her guide; Finn, Jake, and BMO decide to follow in order “keep an eye on them” (definitely not spying). Writer Josh Trujillo makes excellent use of the series’ main cast while expanding upon Tree Trunks’ rough-and-tumble past and her role as mother to an adorable, giant, soul-stealing lich baby. Returning characters like the androgynous and musical Guildmaster as a nemesis to LSP and new characters Cameron and Tess the Zombie (fraternal) Twins round out the cast.
This month brings the final issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse, written by Chris Roberson and featuring the art of Georges Jeanty, in what will surely be a bittersweet ending for fans who’ve been following along.
In the alternate fictional reality of Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem #1, Prince Dracula was not defeated by Van Helsing and company. Instead, he became the ruler of Great Britain, which encouraged vampires to emerge from the darkness, making for a Victorian London rampant with vampires. Dracula has ruled for 10 years now, and a resistance group is making plans to overthrow him, while others are planning his jubilee. The premise for this tale is brilliant in the way that Prince Dracula essentially becomes a political figure with those who publically celebrate him in contrast to those who want to usurp him. Adding the animal creatures that Dracula also commands demonstrates his complete power over man, animal, and undead. Kim Newman’s plot is a wonderful spin on the Victorian Gothic vampire problem.
"What do you know about this mendacity thing? Hell! I could write a book on it! I could write a book on it and still not cover the subject. Think of all the lies I got to put up with!–Pretenses! Ain’t that mendacity? Having to pretend stuff you don’t think or feel or have any idea of?" This line from Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, artfully encapsulates the quagmire with which we find ourselves in relationships, as a society, and - horrifyingly - within the political climate of our country: forced to survive within an unending battle of truth and lies, all for varying purposes, leaving us struggling to clarify fact from illusion - either finding our place within the world or succumbing to the madness it provokes. It is this exhausting battle for honesty that influences the characters of The Antaeus Theatre Company's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which recently inaugurated the company's new home at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale, CA. In a powerful production that expertly examines the depths to which humans will augment, reshape, and blatantly disregard the truth to maintain their place in the world, avoid their fate, or willfully remain ignorant of its costs, Antaeus' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof deftly tackles one of Williams' most incredible masterpieces at a significant time in our history, when mendacity knows no bounds and threatens to be our undoing.
I’ve always been fascinated by the henchpeople employed by supervillains in superhero stories. They’re usually just background, incidental to the action: an obstacle for the hero to overcome before moving on to bigger game. But what drives someone to go into that line of work? What are their lives like outside of their jobs? Does it pay well? Henchgirl attempts to answer some of these questions and weaves a thoroughly entertaining story in the process.
I reviewed the first issue of this comic in July of last year. Then, due to various circumstances, I never had a chance to continue the story. I very much wanted to, though, which is why I was excited for the chance to review this first volume, collecting the first six issues of the comic together. Though it wasn’t perfect, I saw a lot of potential in the first issue, and I’m happy to report that subsequent issues have lived up to that potential admirably.
Orphan Black: Deviations #1 shows us what would happen if Sarah had saved Beth from committing suicide on the train platform. Despite this major twist in plot, this issue still really feels like the TV show. Heli Kennedy keeps much of the familiar plot in tact. The key players are introduced, and they reference several complications likely to fully develop in upcoming issues. This issue is jam-packed with exciting moments. It brings me back to the early episodes of season 1 of the show. My main question is: How will Beth alter things to come? I can’t imagine that the story proceeds exactly as it did on the show with Beth added into the mix. She is an original member of Clone Club who has lots of resources. She should definitely impact some of the drama yet to unfold. And I also look forward to how Kennedy will imagine the dynamic between Beth and Helena.