GlitterBomb Vol 1: Red Carpet Review

Glitterbomb is the about a middle-aged actress named Farrah Durante who is desperately searching for her next role in Hollywood where youth is preferred over experience. Her emotional distress and frustrations attract something disturbing from the deep water that is looking to clean up the scum of the entertainment industry and the celebrity-crazed culture in general.

Writer Jim Zub (Wayward, Thunderbolts) and artist Djibril Morissette-Phan (The Ultimates, Archie) let you know in the first few pages the type of comic this is going to be which is gritty and raw. Some excellent opening dialogue with Farrah talking to her scum bag agent and the skill of Morissette’s art is evident right away.

Glitterbomb page

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We learn Farrah was once on a fairly popular TV called Space Farers about 20 years ago. It seemed to be the highlight and stifling of her career and turns out it wasn’t the greatest experience working on set with certain cast members.

On top of trying to find work to pay the bills and rent Farrah is a single mother to her four-year-old son Marty who is being constantly watched by his babysitter Kaydon. Kaydon watches him for long periods of time and Farrah is late with payments for her time and even late for compensation for the extra time.

This to me as an outsider from the Hollywood culture this comic seems like the most accurate depiction of how people treat each other and how business is handled. We all see bits and pieces of it in the media and online, but this feels authentic. I believe I read in an interview that Jim did that he said he had some friends or contacts that told him stories that helped influence Glitterbombs story.

It’s a very well-told story about real human emotions that deal with rejection, finding something you thought you have lost, resentment, hatred, jealously and insecurity. You really feel bad for Farrah then all of a sudden towards the end of the arc you go wow this is going to be interesting.

Glitterbomb Vol 1 is a part of Image Comics $9.99 (USD) initiative for first volume trade collections that they started a few years ago which is great It’s Certainly worth the price. The art, lettering, colours and writing are on point and is a different comic experience I enjoyed.

The next arc in the Glitterbomb universe will be “The Fame Game.”. The first issue will be out September 30th, 2017. You can pre-order now at your local comic shops.

If you missed the single issues of volume 1 pick up this trade and get caught up in time for the release of The Fame Game, you will not be disappointed.

9.5/10


If you are an aspiring comic book writer (like myself) or artist check out Jim Zub’s blog about the creative process, the economics of comics, how to “break in” to the business and more here

 

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Vessel #1 Review

Vessel is a dark fantasy inspired by the popular video game Dark Souls according to series writer Dave Cook who he and artist Rafael Desquitado Jr are big fans of.

Story Synopsis Via: cardsharkcomics.com

“A warrior named Wake who is being pursued by a destructive entity from another world. Wherever she goes it follows, leaving decay and death in its path. She has wandered for across the realm of Cairnthala for years as a vagrant, for fear of bringing misery to innocent people. She avoid cities, keeps herself hidden away and lives with her terrible burden.

That is, until she is captured by slavers and taken to Cairnthala’s capital city Stratum, which is densely populated, and of course not the best place for a destructive force to be unleashed. So Wake panics, and meets a craft thief called Marillon who has history with Wake’s demonic pursuer.

dreams and reality become blurred, trans-dimensional occurrences bleed into Cairnthala and the very planes of existence begin to warp and splinter around Wake.

A pilgrimage across the realm begins, and with new companion, G’Dala by her side, Wake journeys to destroy the source of her pursuer’s power once and for all. G’Dala is a Mind Keeper, scholar of a religion that has the power to enter dreams and interpret them to see the future.

What he can’t see, however, are the Vessels – five legendary warriors for another dimension based on the five senses. They stand between Wake and her goal, and will die to stop her from succeeding.

The question is, why?”

I like the concept of the story, but I honestly can’t get into this comic. The fantasy genre is hit and miss for me. That said I’m sure there are plenty of people who will enjoy it or give it a chance just because of the fact it’s a fantasy style comic or that’s it’s influenced by a massively popular video game.

The biggest negative to me is not the writing but the lettering. It is all over the place. Multiple font styles and varying sizes, which is fine if It’s done properly, but in my opinion, it was not. It made reading the comic a huge chore and irritated my eyes at times with a couple of the font styles. The art looked good at times and in other panels not so much, it would throw me off and take me out of the story. I took my time with this particular review because of the reasons I just mentioned. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t having an off day or whatever.

The colours in this comic worked well actually and are consistent.

 

Wake with guitar

Comics are a challenging beast to create, and the fact that this team created a 30 plus page comic and self-published should be commended.

So between the lettering issues and problems with the art, I had, i found it difficult to get invested in this world. That said, everyone is different and has varying tastes and opinions so if you’re a fan of indie comics and Dark Fantasy style comics give it a shot you can purchase a copy at the link on the top of this article.

Issue #2 of Vessel is due out in July sometime, and I am genuinely curious to see how much of an improvement it will be over issue #1.

5/10

Check out Cardshark Comics on Facebook

 

 

Spencer & Locke #2 Review

If you have not read Spencer & Locke #1 see if your local shop still has copies or get the digital version. All you need to know is that It is described by the creators as what if Calvin and Hobbes lived in Sin City. It is a very precise blend of both worlds. The story starts off with Detective Locke arriving at a crime scene in an alleyway only to discover the body is his childhood sweetheart Sophie Jenkins. Locke along with his partner Spencer begin a very personal investigation.

Things just got a lot darker in issue 2 which is what you expect from a comic influenced by Frank Miller‘s Sin City. We get a little more of locke’s already traumatic childhood and a new disturbing event that happened during it. Loke’s dark side also comes out as he gets somewhat violent on his childhood bully Stanley. This is an enjoyment for most victims and Locke certainly got some payback and satisfaction.

After getting some information out of Stanley Spencer & Locke find themselves in one of the few places in the city where you can find the worst of the worst. The Red Rose.

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We are now at the mid-way point of the 4-issue mini and so far so good. While I could see this story going beyond 4 issues, I am interested to see how much content we are going to get out of 3 and 4 and the quality of it. While for some they might be thinking they know how this is going to end I personally like to think it’s going to be different from the standards of most noir stories. While it’s always the hope of the creative team (for the most part) to have a mini turn into another possibly longer mini and ultimately if all the pieces are clicking they want an ongoing series.

To me, this is the world that could easily provide a tonne of story content. What some comic fans fail to realise with comics from publishers is that they need sales to justify the creation and cost of an ongoing monthly title. That means buying the single issues and the trades. So if you like this series so far keep supporting and encourage others who may like this particular comic.

David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, Jasen Smith, and Colin Bell have made a solid comic that will make you stick with the series to the end. I look forward to issue 3 and 4

8/10

Wretches #1 & #2 Review

I’m all about the indie and creator-owned comics these days. One of the best Sci-Fi comic series out right now that you may or may not have heard of is Wretches. Thanks to the powerful platform of Kickstarter this series was able to exist for public purchasing. It was also good enough to get on comics largest Digital platform Comixology. I’m combining the reviews of issue 1 and 2 because 1 was released last year and 2 was released a couple weeks ago. Both are available for purchase (physical and digital) I will have links at the end of the review.

Wretches #1 was made possible by the creative team of writer James E. Roche artist Salomon Farias, colourists Chunlin Zhao and letterer Jamie Me.

Synopsis via James E Roche website:

Wretches, at its core, is a story about family, sacrifice, and loss. Siblings, Shea and Sean, were forced to grow up on the streets of an alien city, far from the lifeless planet they’d once called home. Now, all grown up, they capture other beings for the promise of reward – specialising in hunting the robots they’d once shared their home planet with. Still suffering emotionally from the loss of everything they’d ever known and loved, these siblings have nothing else in the universe but each other. Until they no longer even have that. Once one of them is kidnapped, the other will tear the entire galaxy apart to get them back.

The opening of Wretches starts with dialogue all too familiar with people. The somewhat stereotypical declarations parents tell us as children. That nothing bad will ever happen to us, promising they will always be there for us and many other promises. You see our main characters Shea and Sean struggle to make a life for themselves while working together to make a living as bounty hunters.

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We start off with some background on the two siblings Shea and Sean, as they are trying to escape their childhood planet working a job. As the story progresses, you get a good sense of the kind of relationship Shea and Sean have and that the fact the no longer have their parents has made them closer. With things eventually leading to the start of a new challenging chapter in their relationship.

Wretches is a well written with an awesome Man in Black reference which is always a plus for me. The art is decent although there are a few panels where the autonomy of some characters throws me off a bit but not enough to ruin the comic.

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Wretches # 1  is a good introduction to a brand new series and universe. It’s worth checking out especially if you’re a Sci-Fi fan looking for something a little different from the current norm.

7.5/10

wretches#2

 

The first thing you will notice when you read Wretches #2 is the massive improvement in all departments. Like I said in the issue 1 review I had some issues with the art, this time around I got nothing to criticise! Which makes me happy because I can’t draw beyond stick figures. It’s a catch 22 for me I know minimal about actual drawing but spent a lot of time reading comics and looking at original art. I have a but of artist experience with cooking and that’s about it. I just know what I like and what I don’t. This I like a lot and much more than issue one.

The story style is completely different from issue one. It’s a different pace, and it works. It’s not just laying out event 1,2,3 James E. Roche gives you 1,1.2,1.3 and so on. The same event but different angles, perspectives and interactions every few panels. It’s kinda refreshing in a comic because I can’t recall one recently that I have read that’s done that or as good as this. It’s very Tarantino which is always a compliment when I say that.

wretches pic 1

This issue takes us to our first intergalactic bar in the Wretches universe. It’s full of Degenerates and junkies. Fuses are short manners lacking, so you know some sort of vicious violence or theft is going to ensue. Shea makes her way to this bar to meet with someone with potential information about her brother’s location and we, of course, get to see some interesting new characters.

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With such an improvement from issue one, it’s safe for me to recommend this comic series to any Sci-fi or indie comic fan. It’s clear the more time this team works together the better the comic is. So please support them and the Kickstarter for issue 3 whenever that gets announced.

9/10

To purchase physical issues of Wretches #1 and #2 click here

You can purchase digital copies (Issue #1 is just $0.99 US) on Comixology

Follow writer James E. Roche on Twitter