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Comixology Launches Comixology Unlimited Subscription Service

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Comixology just launched an all you can read [of a very limited selection of titles] subscription service.  I signed up for the free trial so I could look at what was being offered.  Honestly it doesn’t seem to be very much to me.  The top two publishers, Marvel and DC are not included in their offerings.

 The have some popular titles from Dynamite, IDW, Image and Oni Press, but most of them were things I’ve picked up in bundles that I already own copies of.  They have a few manga titles but no Shoujo titles that I could see or Romance titles from Harlequin Publishing.  The only thing I saw that I was somewhat interested in were the Archie Comics.

Personally at $5.99 a month it probably isn’t worth it to me personally.  That might change if they improve their selection of titles to include more of what I like.  Might be good if you like independent comics, but I think that Scribd has a better selection of comics if they haven’t dropped them anyway.

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Groupees Comic Bundles ~ 2 Days Left

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Groupees is running some great deals on digital comic book bundles right now, and they are up for 2 more days.

The first one is the Bundle of Independents containing a plethora of series starters:

For $5 Minimum You Get:

  1. The Boys Vol. 1
  2. Revival, Vol. 1
  3. Ciudad
  4. The Fuse, Vol. 1
  5. Locke & Key Vol. 1
  6. Chew Vol. 1
  7. A Boy and A Girl
  8. The Devilers #1-7

For $12 Minimum You Also Get:

  1. Richard Stark’s Parker Vol. 1
  2. Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland
  3. Shutter, Vol. 1
  4. Saga, Vol. 1
  5. Wasteland Vol. 1
  6. Devolution #1-2
  7. 30 Days of Night Vol. 1
  8. The Living Corpse
  9. Stumptown Vol. 1
  10. Uncanny Vol. 1: Season of Hungry Ghosts
  11. American Flagg! #1-5

For $25 Minimum You Also Get:

  1. Ragnarok Vol. 1
  2. Deadly Class, Vol. 1
  3. Starve Vol. 1
  4. Descender, Vol. 1
  5. Letter 44 Vol. 1
  6. The Sixth Gun Vol. 1
  7. Lost At Sea
  8. Ex-Con Vol. 1: Fading Lights
  9. Dreadstar #1-6
  10. The Complete Zombies vs. Robots
  11. Morning Glories, Volume 1
  12. Low, Vol 1
  13. The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures
  14. Danger Girl: Deluxe
  15. Ghost Projekt. V1

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The other bundle is The Dynamite Fantasy Bundle; and the nice thing about this one is that if you had missed the previous Dynamite bundles on Groupees this is your chance to pick them up because they are the other tiers on this deal.  I’m not going to go through those and list the comics because it’s just too many but you can click on the links to see the titles.

For $5 Minimum You Get:

  1. Game of Thrones #1-4
  2. Adventures of Red Sonja #1-7
  3. Army Of Darkness: Movie Adaptation
  4. Blood Queen #1-6
  5. John Carter: Warlord Of Mars #7-14
  6. Pathfinder: Origins #1-3
  7. Red Sonja (V3) #1-2
  8. Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1
  9. Pathfinder Special 2013

For $25 Minimum You Also Get:

Dynamite Bundle #3

For $40 Minimum You Also Get:

Dynamite Bundle #4

For $55 Minimum You Also Get:

Dynamite Bundle #1

Dynamite Bundle #2

 

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Rasputin, Volume 2 by Alex Grecian

Rasputin, Volume 2Rasputin, Volume 2 by Alex Grecian

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A somewhat interesting alternate fantasy history for historical figure Grigori Rasputin. Unfortunately this volume doesn’t stand up by itself and I found the whole thing rather confusing. The story jumps back and forth in time from present day America to the last days of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. Maybe if I’d read the first volume I would have loved it but I’m just not sure. It certainly seemed as if it had the potential to be quite fantastical but it ended up feeling like you just got preview scenes from a larger story.

Here’s Rasputin telling his life story to some reporter,  a decision I can’t quite wrap my head around to be honest.

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There are quite a few splash pages throughout the book similar to this with quotes on them.  I find them strangely compelling.

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This was the aspect of the book that I got pretty excited about but it didn’t go on long enough, just wetted your appetite for more.

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I received an advance reader copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now selections.

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Roche Limit Volume 2: Clandestiny by Michael Moreci

Roche Limit Volume 2: ClandestinyRoche Limit Volume 2: Clandestiny by Michael Moreci

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, so this is a sci-fi series about a military and science expedition out to this world where 75 years ago they had tried to start a colony and it somehow ended in flames. The small crew believes that they are the third expedition to the planet but they quickly find out that they are in fact the thirteenth. So… what happened to all those other crews? Something on the planet is starting to mess with their minds.

I really liked this a lot and found it interesting but there was never a point in the story where I was totally pulled into it. I also liked the art but didn’t fall in love with it. Really, it was pretty decent altogether — wish I could think of something better to say than I simply like it; but there it is. I liked it.

I have not actually read the first volume of this series but my understanding is that it doesn’t really involve the same set of people. I’m pretty curious now if it actually details the events of the failed colony or not. This whole volume is pretty mysterious in some respects. It flows well but there are a ton of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger ending to boot. Looks like we’ll be waiting a little while to find out what happens next, the story continues in March 2016.

I like the art pretty well, but some of the faces have a lot of squiggly looking lines.  Wrinkles perhaps?  I do think a lot of the lighting effects in this volume are well done.

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Honestly for most of the story I wasn’t sure if this was a guy or a girl.  Think it’s a guy but honestly… still not sure.

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And is this a hallucination or reality?  This story delves down into the philosophical questions about what reality is.

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I obtained a copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now program in exchange for feedback and a review.

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Starve, Volume 1 by Brian Wood

Starve, Volume 1Starve, Volume 1 by Brian Wood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Starve is one of the most unique books I’ve read recently. It’s listed as being dystopian horror; but I didn’t find the story to be particularly horrific. It probably does have a certain ick factor for those who are squeamish about animal slaughter. So I guess it’s maybe horrific to vegetarians?

Set sometime in the not too distant future the book is about an uber famous chief named Gavin Cruikshank. Apparently at the cusp of his career and in the middle of taping his TV show STARVE, he decides to come out to his wife of like 20 years that he’s gay and then takes off halfway around the globe. Years pass and he’s living a sort of skeevy life of drug and alcohol addiction when the network finally catches up to him and he’s told he has to finish taping the season of STARVE he ran away from. So, Chief Gavin is forced to go back and face the wife and daughter he abandoned; and he also has to deal with the fact that his foodie television program has morphed into a exabitionist, over the top arena show for the super-rich.

Some of the things that go on on the TV show are just nutty. It really reminds me of the type of plots you sometimes see in Japanese manga. I’m trying to come up with a good way to describe it but it’s like it takes these mundane events to abnormal extremes. There are weird obsessions and high drama… I really actually thought the story was pretty compelling.

I just can’t say that I’m liking the art too much paired with this story. It’s very dark and stylised with extremely limited color pallets throughout. The kind of art that pairs best with crime noir and horror comics. I don’t hate the art, I just didn’t think it suited the story well. Maybe if the book had more horror elements in it? Or if the faces were drawn more expressive?

Near the front of the book, it’s very green…

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The story takes place in New York.

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His daughters supposed to be 18 or so I think.  She seems to be very mature for her age.
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I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now program in exchange for feedback and a review.

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Jupiter’s Circle, Vol. 1 by Mark Millar

Jupiter's Circle, Vol. 1Jupiter’s Circle, Vol. 1 by Mark Millar

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Even when I know that I’ve hated other works by an author there’s always the hope when I read a new graphic novel that I’ll just love this one. Maybe this story will be something I like. That didn’t happen here, and maybe I should have know better from the get go.

Mark Millar appears to have only one character archetype in his arsenal and that type is douchebag. This has got to be one of the most banal comics I’ve ever stumbled across. No mystery, no action, no heroes, and apparently no overarching plot. If there is any theme to be plucked out of this I guess it’s the exploration of people who weren’t conforming to mid century social values.

I dislike Mark Millar’s use of actual people in this story. He takes every opportunity to present everyone in the worst possible light. It annoys me. Is it so hard to make up your own characters for these roles?

Gee, where have I seen that building before?  Looks a lot like DC’s Hall of Justice to me. :-/

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J. Edgar Hoover plays the part of blackmailer.

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The Flare is a cheating scumbag.

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When Skyfox isn’t drinking himself silly he thinks it’s fun to steal his teammates apartments.

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Jupiter’s Circle is a prequel to another book called Jupiter’s Legacy. I got this book from the Humble Comics Bundle Image Featuring Creators Own Worlds. I’ve given it two stars primarily for the art and character designs that I liked.

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Kaptara, Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien by Chip Zdarsky

Kaptara, Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny AlienKaptara, Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien by Chip Zdarsky

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What did I just read? Uck. I didn’t like this. The description of this book said:

“Keith Kanga crash lands on KAPTARA, a world filled with danger and weird danger and dangerous weirdos! And if he can’t survive, then Earth, the place where YOU live, is doomed! Come check out this sci-fi comedy from Chip Zdarsky (SEX CRIMINALS) and Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung-Fu). Collects KAPTARA #1-5.”

I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this 1984-Saturday-Morning-Cartoons-on-Crack-Pink-and-Purple-Furies-Abound-Story. I don’t really know what else to call it, but mostly it reminds me of like a really crappy version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

And I didn’t find it funny. I didn’t even smile once. I’m sure that my overall expression was one of distaste. In the end I guess I’ll just say that this is just not my thing.

A few page samples so you can see the art style:

This is Keith, starting to feel guilty I guess.

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Keith meeting the Queen in her throne room.

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Cover showing I guess what could be  considered the adventuring party.

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I obtained this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now program at first but I also own a digital copy that was included in Humble Comics Bundle Image Featuring Creators Own Worlds.

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Humble Comics Bundle Image Featuring Creators Own Worlds

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If you do digital comics make sure not to miss Humble Comics Bundle Image Featuring Creators Own Worlds.  These are a great way to try comics you might not usually get on the cheap.   There is a huge incentive to go for the top tier on this one because it includes Invincible Issues #1-47 and Stray Bullets #1-41.

The first pay what you want tier includes:

ODY-C Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction, Christian Ward
Virgil by Steve Orlando, JD Faith
Self-Obsessed by Sina Grace
No Mercy by Alex de Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, Jenn Manley Lee
Phonogram Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie
Wolf Vol. 1 by Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, Lee Loughridge
Kaptara Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky, Kagan Mcleod
Sunstone Vol.1 by Stjepan Sejic
Wytches Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, JOCK
Image Comics Humble Bundle Preview Book 2016
Image Comics New Issues + New Arcs Pack

The second tier priced at $15.65 includes the first tier plus:

Injection Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey
Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Just The Tips by Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky
Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman, Paul Azaceta
Nowhere Men Vol. 1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire
Jupiter’s Circle Vol. 1 by Mark Millar, Wilfredo Torres, Davide Gianfelice
Trees Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, Jason Howard
Rat Queens Special: Braga #1 Tess Fowler, Roc Upchurch
Saga Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Phonogram Vol. 2 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie
Descender Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen

And the top tier is priced at $20 or more and includes the first two tiers plus:

Low Vol. 1 by Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini
Bitch Planet Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV
Wayward Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Jim Zub, Steve Cummings, John Rauch, Tamra Bonvillain
Invincible Compendium (Issues #1-47) by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Cory Walker
Stray Bullets #1-41 by David Lapham

 

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The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin

The Private Eye: The Cloudburst EditionThe Private Eye: The Cloudburst Edition by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have some mixed thoughts about this book. On one hand if I was judging this based on some of the sentiments expressed within it I would probably just one star it. It’s mainly the barrage on anti-internet propaganda speech that I found annoying and preachy sounding. I’m considering if it’s intended to be satire, but I just can’t tell. It’s ambiguity and thinking too hard about it made me grumpy. On the other hand the pacing is good, the art sort of grew on me, and otherwise the technical aspects are fairly well done. It’s just the subject matter that I couldn’t entirely get down with.

There is a fair amount of profanity and adult content, but I didn’t feel that it derailed the story.  I would consider this one inappropriate for children.

I suppose you could consider this a dystopia; the whole premise of the story is that at some point in the future. The digital “Cloud” bursts and all of society’s dirty little secrets come pouring out. What follows is apparently the rise of the tin foil hat society. Oh, the horror! The humanity! Everyone’s life is ruined! The internet is EVIL, therefore we must ban it all! We must protect our privacy at all costs. Now we will all wear costumes and create alias to hide behind. It’s ridiculous reactionary nonsense, so it’s kind of hard for me to get into.

I sort of had to shove logic into the ether and concentrate on the futuristic crime noir aspects. This is the portion of the story that worked for me. A beautiful woman walks into a P.l.’s office. She has a job for him. He reluctantly takes the job but no sooner than he’s started she ends up dead. What has the dead woman gotten him into? It has a few nice twists and turns as the P.I. is blackmailed by his client’s sister into investigating her death.

A few notes about the artwork. First off they used a wide format for it. It’s nice for digital reading but I have no idea how it translated into printed form because of that. Most of the comic is bright, and some of the color combinations took some getting used to. I noted a fair amount of undetailed backgrounds. I didn’t like the art at first but warmed up to it… it’s hard to describe really. Somewhat cartoony? Slightly cute? I think it works with the story.

P.I. working a job.

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There are some interesting costumes shown in the book.  I like the masks these guys are wearing, sort of reminds me of the Rocketeer.

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Why so many bandaids, I wonder?

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I did really like some of the vehicle shown.  They have a bit of that mid century chrome and frills look to them.

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I selected this book from NetGalley’s Read It Now program in exchange for feedback and a review.

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Danger Club, Vol. 1: Death by Landry Q. Walker, Eric Jones

Danger Club, Vol. 1: DeathDanger Club, Vol. 1: Death by Landry Q. Walker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like a 2.5 stars really. I’m a little confused about the writer’s vision to be honest. What were they going for? Parody? Mashup? A study in archetypes? I’m not really sure but I’ve been left with the lingering feeling that I’ve already read this book somewhere before. Obviously I haven’t but it just feels like that. Because the vision isn’t obvious it feels unoriginal. Many of the sidekicks are like more depressing junior versions of well known characters across many different comic companies.

I’m not sure if Danger Club is an ongoing or a limited series. Only issues #1-4 were included in this collection. I would kind of like to read the next volume and see where it goes. I really can’t decide whether this was any good or not.

I liked the art alright but most of the story is depictions of fight scenes, explosions and acts of violence making it all feel extremely short.  I mean yes occasionally we want a nice large detailed splash page but those should be impactful and used to accentuate the story.  There’s too much wasted space in this book that could have been used for character development and world building.

I use random.org to generate random page numbers to sample when I do my reviews… As you can see, nicely drawn pictures with little or no text.

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Another pretty but pointless page taking up prime real estate…

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And another full page with no text.  This could have been easily condensed down to a half page.

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I chose this title from NetGalley’s Read It Now selections in exchange for feedback and a review.

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