Erik Cheski

Erik Cheski

No man is an island.

The last time we saw the Goon, he was waiting for the end to come in a manner most . . . well, it sure wasn’t gonna be all sunshine and tea with biscuits.  Sitting down on a bench near the bus station, Goon sits down with a classic novel, and Eric Powell teaches us that novel in a way that no classroom ever has.

A dream is a wish your heart makes . . .

There are a lot of people who would rather live the dream than the real world.  There, we can be anything, and being able to control that dream . . . you can be a god.  There are a lot of things going on in this first issue that are very disparate and seem to be setting up quite an interesting world.  We meet four people, three of whom have power in the waking world, and one that seems trapped in it.  When they fall ill, the fourth is caught into their realm, where things take a decidedly strange turn.

I think we need a bigger boat.

Rawr!  Here there be dragons, and when your sulky, less-powered brother gets turned into one, you reason with him to help him find the error his ways and utilize his new form to heal the wounds he’s caused.  And then, Oprah gives everyone a car.

When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back.

Lots of folks have wondered which worlds lie at the back of old closets ever since C. S. Lewis first gave us a glance at Narnia.  A day trip in the outside world, no one the wiser that the children had lived full, adventurous lives and returned a few hours later.  A clean, well-tied up tale.  Not so in Joshua Williamson’s high fantasy adventure.  What if you crossed into that other world, and you didn’t come back?  What happens to those left behind?  And, what happens when something comes the other way?

There must be some kind of way out of here . . .

The second issue of Dark Horse’s time traveling and unraveling tale keeps the action tight and focused from the first page and starts building a better picture of what we’re really getting into.  Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson have crafted an elegant and exciting mystery and are revealing it in a fantastic way.  Far from the meat of the story, we’ve been given a larger view, a slow pulling back of the camera, giving us a wider picture.  We stray from our nameless protagonist to visit different places and times and start getting a sense of how massive and intricate this world could be.

A tale from a tail . . .

Once again, it’s time for David Petersen to let some folks play in his world, and the results are as awesome as you could hope for.  A few mice have let their tab run high into their stay at the June Alley Inn, and, in a way to collect what is owed, the mice are offered a chance to wipe their debt clean with the best tale told, while all others are now on the clock for payment.  It's a fun excuse to get some great talent to give us different views of life in the Mouse Territories, and this first issue has three tales spun for our approval.

What’s behind door number . . .

Welcome to the world of The Undergrounds, where an average family moves into a desolate neighborhood with a secret.  While playing, the children find their way into an underground (Not really a spoiler there; it’s kind of in the title.) tunnel filled with uncountable doors, each leading to a wondrous and fantastic location.  Treasures are plundered, but, soon, the children realize that the doors can swing both ways, when some of the less-than-good-guys come through to their side.

Telephone time boxes that aren’t bigger on the inside . . . ?

The Adventures of one Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan continue in this epic series from BOOM! Studios.  When last we saw the titular band mates, they had just won San Dimas’ Battle of the Bands along with Death, Station, and the Princesses, spreading their message of surfer-infused love and understanding throughout the world to usher in a peaceful and most righteous existence for humanity.  But, the lackadaisical and lovable losers have one big problem:  How do they do that?

Sitting somewhere between Manga, a comic book, and a freemium app, The True Masters Chronicles is a bold step in distribution and content for the medium.  Telling a tale out of a feudal Japanese setting, a region of eight districts protected by leaders of shrines is under attack by a ninth "Shadow" region.  The son of the last free shrine has come home from the greater war to see his father, the head of the shrine, who lies on his death bed.  With only the respect that the Elephant God, leader of the dark faction, has for his father standing in the way of his taking the last free temple, our young reluctant hero sets out to find a way to beat back the darkness.

Change comes to us all.

It's hard to read this beautifully styled work and not be struck immediately by the fable aspect. Arthur De Pins certainly wants us to identify with his protagonist, little crustaceans, and, on the surface, that seems to be the thrust of the book.  But, as you continue to read, we are presented with correlations in many species (including our own) that seem to suffer under a similar, if not identical, obstacle.  There's a real beauty to the storytelling in this volume, and it was a pleasure to read.

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