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Comic Review: Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters Of Turkey Hollow
Night Hob   |  

The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow reviewJim Henson’s The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow
Written by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl
Art by Roger Langridge
Colors by Ian Herring
Letters by Roger Langridge
Covers by Roger Langridge
Archaia Entertaintment
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Cover Price: $24.99

Before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show existed, Jim Henson and his writing partner Jerry Juhl were still trying to find their way into bigger television markets. After finishing up their first television project Sam and Friends, as the foreword to this book explains, they began plotting out new programs and feature length films. One of the programs, a Thanksgiving Day special, never made it to the air. But enough of the original material survived and found its way into comic form.

The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow follows a young boy named Timmy who comes across a group of monsters that speak in music. They help him learn guitar, which astonishes his sister Ann as her lessons didn’t seem to be taking hold. They also cause a bit of strife for Timmy, and Mr. Sump uses them as an excuse to get Timmy’s family kicked off their farm so he can have it all to himself. Rabbles are roused, hijinks ensue, and at least two shots are fired (don’t worry, no one gets hurt) in this tale of friendship and song.

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Comic Review: Hacktivist
Night Hob   |  

Hacktivist review header

Written by Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Art by Marcus To and David Cutler
Colors by Ian Herring
Letters by Deron Bennett
Covers by Marcus To
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

The revolution will be streaming.

Hacktivist is the story of Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft, two billionaire entrepreneurs who started a decentralized social networking site called YourLife. The idea is to keep information secure on the user’s own devices while still allowing them the communication power of Twitter or Facebook. Behind the scenes, however, the two use the YourLife servers to masquerade as a hacking collective known as “Sve_Urs3lf.” They have been helping revolutionaries in Tunisia organize and disseminate information for the Arab Spring uprising.

When the CIA comes around knocking for access to the servers, and “Sve_Urs3lf,” to supposedly help with the Tunisian uprising, the business partners and life-long friends Ed and Nate come to an ideological crossroad. Nate likes the dollar signs attached to the agreement, but Ed is cautious. He knows that absolute power corrupts absolutely and doesn’t want the government in his server room. Ed wins the argument, but the war is just getting started.

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Comic Review: The Last Broadcast #2
Night Hob   |  

The Last Broadcast #2 review header image

The Last Broadcast #2
Written by André Sirangelo
Art by Gabriel Iumazark
Letters by Deron Bennett
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: June 18, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

In The Last Broadcast, Niko and Harumi are urban explorers who have gotten themselves into hot water when they discover some information about a magician, Benjamin Blackhall, who was accidentally killed on stage in 1934. Ivan, himself a magician, has been thrown into the mystery when he also begins digging up information about Blackhall.

Now a friend of Ivan’s is missing, while Niko and Harumi have a psychic investigator following them. When their paths cross, will they be able to help each other unravel the mystery? Or doe Blackhall’s fate await them as well?

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Comic Review: Rubicon
Jimmy theMC   |  

Rubicon cover by Mario StillaRubicon
Based on an idea by Christopher McQuarrie
Story by Dan Capel
Written by Mark Long
Art by Mario Stilla
Colors by Howling Monkey Studios
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Archaia Entertainment/Archaia Black Label
Release Date: March 12, 2014
Cover Price: $14.99

Rubicon is the brainchild of Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Capel. Take the story of the Seven Samurai, bring it to Afghanistan, and appropriately, cast the US Navy SEALs in the role of the seven noble Samurai — a legendary story that has been playing out for close to ten years now.

Artist Mario Stilla paints a gritty world in a style which reminds me of early Frank Miller, only neater and less confused. The subjects that need to be gritty are almost lost in the detail of their clothing, but when addressing the women in the story, the lines are clean and even. Stilla displays both a proficiency at marrying different styles, and a clear intention that the art tell as much of the story as the words. Frame-by-frame, he shows you what to be focused on as writer Mark Long spins the tale.

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Comic Review: The Joyners in 3D

The Joyners in 3D coverThe Joyners in 3D
Story by R.J. Ryan
Art by David Marquez
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Cover Price: $29.95

To his colleagues and devoted followers, George Joyner is a brilliant inventor with bold, innovative ideas that could revolutionize the way we travel and change the world as we know it. But to his long-suffering family he is a mercurial figure, an aloof father figure and distant husband unable to establish any genuine emotional bond with the loved ones once crucial to his public relations-friendly image as a wonderful family man.

As his billionaire employer Quattrone prepares to launch his latest top secret invention – a creation that the company’s rivals would pay handsomely and break every law in the book to get their grimy hands on – George finds his family slowly breaking away from him. His estranged wife Sonya wants to take her terminally ill father David to see a renowned (and expensive) Indian medicine man at Yellowstone National Park in the hope that his life can be saved, while his son Rochester maintains a brave and calm front in the face of his family’s complete disentegration. The only person who has not given up on George yet is his autistic daughter Michelle. When Sonya and Rochester leave to take David on what could be his final trip George begins a relationship with Michelle’s longtime behavior counselor Jamie. His attempts to salvage what remains of his personal life will result in greater consequences than he could have ever imagined.

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Comic Review: Hawken: Melee #1
Maximus Prime   |  

Hawken: Melee #1 cover by Tim BradstreetHawken: Melee #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Federico Dallocchio
Colored by Chris Northrop
Lettered by Julia Fung
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Boom! Studios
Release Date: December 4, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Back in April, I reviewed Hawken: Genesis, Archaia’s prequel tie-in to the hit, free online multi-player game, Hawken. Having never played an online multi-player game, I enjoyed the graphic novel so much that I even considered pursuing the world it’s set in some more within its main form of media. Well, Boom has just released issue one of the their sequel series, Hawken: Melee, and I obviously jumped at the chance to check out the newest venture into the gritty, war-torn world of Hawken. Does it live up to its predecessor? Find out below.

In Hawken: Melee #1, I was submerged into battle with a Mech (giant robot controlled by a human) pilot who was caught in the middle of a fast-paced attack from multiple opponents. “20 Seconds,” the first title in the five stand-alone issues series, literally takes place within the span of twenty seconds, though it feels much longer.

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Comic Review: Spera, Volumes 1 & 2
Maximus Prime   |  

Archaia Entertainment: Spera, Volume 2 cover by Afu ChanSpera
Volume 1: Hardcover
Volume 2: Hardcover
Written by Josh Tierney
Illustrated by Kyla Vanderklugt, Hwei, Emily Carroll, Olivier Pichard, Giannis Milonogiannis, Afu Chan and Timothy Weaver
Cover by Afu Chan
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95

It takes a lot of courage to to step into the unknown and pursue a new life, especially when all you’ve ever known is one of luxury. Spera, written by Josh Tierney and published by Archaia tells the tale of two princesses who have no other choice but to start anew — and it is not an easy road.

Princess Lono’s safe and secure life behind castle walls has come to an abrupt end. Her father, the King, has been murdered by the Queen of a neighboring kingdom. Pira, daughter of the Queen, and Yonder, her fire spirit dog and protector, rescue Lono in an attempt at preserving their very lives. Venturing beyond all comfort in search of the magical land of Spera, the three companions will face many perils: demons, monsters, ghosts, elemental spirits, and worst of all, the pursuit of the Queen in the form of a ridiculously creepy young boy.

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Comic Review: Cyborg 009 HC
seaberry   |  

Cyborg 009Cyborg 009
Written by F.J. Desanto and Bradley Camp
Illustrated by Marcus To
Colored by Ian Herring
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Designed by Jon Adams
Edited by Stephen Christy
Created by Shotaro Ishinomori
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95

Archaia Entertainment has updated Shotaro Ishinomori‘s manga about a multicultural group of cyborg outcasts, Cyborg 009. A young man known only as Cyborg 009 wakes up in a top-secret research facility. He has no memory of his previous life. He is immediately told to destroy his predecessors Cyborgs 001-008.

Eventually, the cyborgs escape along with Dr. Gilmore, one of the more sympathetic scientists involved in the cyborg soldier project. Cyborg 009 learns about his origin and the origins of the other 8 cyborgs. Most of them were randomly kidnapped and they have very diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. He has a bit of a rival in the group in the New-York born Jet Link, and a potential love interest in the French-born Francoise Arnoul. Cyborg 009 has to deal with an emotional tug-of-war between a longing for his old life, and the pressing need to unite with his cyborg brethren against Sekar, the villainous leader of the group that turned them all into cyborgs.

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Comic Review: Mouse Guard, Vol. 3: The Black Axe HC
Maximus Prime   |  

Mouse Guard, Vol. 3: The Black AxeMouse Guard, Vol. 3
The Black Axe
Written and Illustrated by David Petersen
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95

The legend lives on! Mouse Guard, Vol. 3: The Black Axe, the prequel chapter in David Petersen‘s epic saga has arrived. Join me as I recount my quest through the pages of this valiant tale.

It is Spring, 1115, 37 years before the events of the Fall and Winter of 1152. The Guard mouse by the name of Celanawe is recruited by his only living relative, an elderly mouse named Em, to venture out in search of the long-lost mythic Black Axe. Accompanied by a bitter, rugged ex-ship captain called Conrad — looking to reclaim his title and good fortune — the two set forth on a grand adventure that pits them against a group of vicious weasel hunters, deep sea creatures, thieving, murderous mice, and a giant fox. As Celanawe and Em embark on their journey, much is revealed about the legend of The Black Axe and what’s in store for the future of its next wielder.

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Comic Review: Strange Attractors HC
Waerloga69   |  

Strange AttractorsStrange Attractors
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Greg Scott
Colors by Art Lion & Matthew Petz
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Cover by Dan Duncan
Complexity Maps by Robert Saywitz
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Cover Price: $19.95

Every once in a great while I stumble upon a book or comic that truly amazes me. Whether it is the artwork or the storyline, sometimes I am simply flabbergasted. Strange Attractors has made it onto this short list. I read it the same afternoon that it arrived but found myself reading it again the next day. I’ve already loaned it out to a friend, something I seldom do, because the graphic novel is just that good and needs to be shared with the world.

Combining science fiction and mathematics, the story revolves around complexity theory as it applies to the metropolis of New York City. Basically, this means that every small action creates a chain reaction that affects the greater whole. The main character, Heller Wilson, is a young man working towards his postgraduate degree on this very concept. He seeks out a former professor from Columbia University, a Doctor Spencer Brownfield, who was a known expert on the subject before leaving his teaching position under mysterious circumstances.

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