Changing Ways Volume 2 Review

At Broken Frontier is my review of Justin Randall’s sequel to his Changing Ways OGN.

Unmasked, and Dancer Reviews

Catch two recent reviews of mine at Broken Frontier, including the sleazy supervillainy of Unmasked #1, and the new surprise thriller mini-series Dancer, from Image.

His Dream of the Skyland Review

Perth publisher Gestalt’s latest OGN is a visual treat set in 1920s Hong Kong.

Read my review here.

The Deep in The West Australian

This was a happy accident. We get the newspapers delivered everyday at work, so during brekkie I was reading the arts pages, as I’m a highly cultured and sophisticated individual, and found something of a rarity – a review of a comic in The West Australian newspaper.

Perth publisher Gestalt has been increasing their diversity and output this year and The Deep by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer is one of their best works.

You can read the whole review at The West’s site (although they give it the wrong name), but do give it deserved praise.

To have captured the feel of a slick animated adventure so successfully in a graphic novel is not just impressive but a delight.

The Deep: Here Be Dragons introduces the Nekton family – cool mum, smart dad, crazy brother, canny sister (and Jeffrey the fish) – who explore the deep sea in their futuristic submarine.

Their adventure is absorbing and intriguing but what we really follow is this multiracial family and the bonds that keep them together and alive. They are involving and charming, subtle but quick-witted and all captured equally well in Tom Taylor’s tight writing and James Brouwer’s superb draftsmanship.

This adventure ends with the promise of more – making the ending even better.

The Eldritch Kid Review

I must admit, I enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting to. The latest OGN from Aussie publisher Gestalt is a scary and entertaining mix of the Western and supernatural genres. Read my review here.

Torn OGN Review

This 120 page, black and white OGN from Aussie publisher Gestalt (Rombies, The Deep) puts a good twist on the werewolf tale. Sure, I know you’ve probably heard that before, but I actually found myself enjoying the simplicity and barbaric, full on take on offer here. Written by newcomer Andrew Constant, and with art by Joh James (whose work you may have seen in the new series I.C.E from 12 Gauge Studios), this reminded me of the kind of films I grew up loving in the ’80s. It’s bold and unapologetic and lets us know who the baddies and goodies are straight away, urging the reader to cheer for he sympathetic hero as he serves out toothy justice.

Nicola Scott (Secret Six) does the art for prologue and even though it features a half naked man, and a bloody battle, it all looks very pleasing to the eyes. Having James provide the bulk of the book’s art is an interesting choice, as his frenetic, hard edged line work is in spectacular contrast to Scott’s delicate pencils. It makes sense though, as Torn is, as the title suggests, a rip roaring action/adventure story. James’ slightly rough, sketchy style uses the page creatively and he creates diverse layouts and dynamic action scenes rather well. He uses things like texture, silhouettes, and a flowing design that doesn’t often rely on traditional approaches to panels in sequential storytelling. It’s a dirty, harsh world in the pages of Torn, but it looks great. I wouldn’t want to live there though.

The cast of characters is streamlined, meaning Constant can focus on the also streamlined story. There’s some deft discussions on identity as the lead character, whose narration guides us, loses someone he loves, before being changed from a lycanthrope to a long haired man, and discovering the dangers of the new city he inhabits. The wolf/man meets Sarah, a young homeless girl and gets embroiled in the danger and dirt of her life before his past claws its way back to him. Even though he hardly speaks, the pair hit it off and he begins to see the power of friendship and humanity, with the memories of death and brutality that he’s witnessed not far from his thoughts. It could’ve easily been over the top and soppy, but Constant keeps the dialogue grounded and although it’s often bleak, it’s not depressing.

Given the thumbs up by scribes Greg Rucka and Gail Simone, I hope this catches people’s attention on the shelves. Sure, I’m a sucker for Australian made comics, but Torn is another good example from Gestalt, in showing that horror, action and drama can all sit together in an entertaining brew.

Check out some great preview pages from Torn here. Also out now from Gestalt is the Western OGN, The Eldritch Kid: Whisky and Hate.

Extra Sequential Podcast #53-The Deep & Century: 1969

50 mins. We focus on two very different comics this week, in Gestalt’s The Deep and Top Shelf’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969. Also, comic shops in Sydney, ping pong balls, The Rock and more.

LISTEN TO IT BELOW, DOWNLOAD IT HERE OR ON iTUNES

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

4:30 NEWS

The Annotated Sandman Volume 1

The White Rabbit Batman villainess

Robert Crumb cancels his Australian visit

Tanarus, the new Thor

13:16 FEATURE REVIEWS-THE DEEP & CENTURY: 1969

From Tom Taylor and James Brouwer comes this fun all-ages adventure about the Nekton family.

Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill bring us the latest, and certainly not all-ages, instalment in their increasingly strange League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.