Comic Review: ‘Formera’ Vol. 1

Formera Vol. 1 TPB
Written and illustrated by Andrew Dobson
Alterna Comics
Cover price: $9.95; Available Now

So imagine this: You fall from the sky smack down in the middle of an ocean, that’s how it starts. You’re then rescued by a girl, looks more or less your age, fair hair, has the whole survivor look going for her/against her (points of view I guess). There you are, soaked, on a boat with Jane Savage talking gibberish and with no clue where you are or how you got there. That’s the plot of Formera.

You start by meeting Darien and Keisha (survivor chick) on a boat filled with fish. It all seems like the perfect set up for marine life to start singing, building them up to an awkward kiss, instead what you get is a lot of “Yikes” and other primal sound reactions followed constantly by questions that never really get answered. That’s where I started having a problem with the book. It seemed to force the unknown variable far too deep, far too fast down my throat. That being said, the whole experience seems fun from the get go. Andrew Dobson does a great job giving distinct voices to each character and by the time you finish the first volume you’ll feel like you understand most of them.

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Comic Review: Atomic Robo #5

Atomic Robo #5
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Jeff Powell
Red 5 Comics
Cover price: $2.95; On sale: Feb. 13, 2008

There is no question that characterisation is one of the most important parts and crucial key in building a successful story. It can make or break your work. If the main character or the main cast of characters are bland and simply uninteresting it won’t really matter how or where your story is going, people won’t follow, mostly because they’ll have a hard time believing or identifying with the characters and their motivations.

In a comic book you do have a little help, by “you” I mean the writer. He’s aided on this so important task by the rest of the creative team: penciler, inker, and colorist to flesh out these characters and make them interesting drivers getting us from start to finish without having to ask for directions along the way. Then you have those characters that take it a bit further, they will not only drive you there, they’ll open the door for you and make you so smitten that before you know it you’re following them from book to book, team to team, just so you can get another glimpse of them. I’m sure that, before he became the go to joke on the subject, that’s what happened to Wolverine. So, from time to time you get a character that has the drive to become iconic, that’s how I see Atomic Robo.

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Comic Review: Krystal #1

Krystal #1
Story and Letters by Jaymes Reed
Pencils by Rob Baumer
Inks by Travis Stephens
Colors by NichX
Cover by Brock L. Hor, Jr.
IK Comics
Cover Price: $1.00; Available Now

Krystal isn’t for me, pure and simple. From the get-go, if you’re one of those people who have been getting on everyone’s nerves complaining about how women are somehow wrongly portrayed in comics for male gratification, you will probably not love this comic book, then again, maybe you can use it as therapy and move on to the next argument on your list or just find some comics you do like to read and leave us to our complaint-free reading.

The reason Krystal isn’t for me is mainly the fact that I do not like Rambo. It’s true. Now I realize that my distaste for a cult film like Rambo might be viewed by some as bad taste but in truth, I don’t really care. I do not like Rambo and i find it hard to like any Ramboesque type character. In comics, the medium being so varied, it’s easy to create any type of story imaginable, it’s a perfect way to give in to the imagination and try to make people enjoy the reality you build. It’s quite amazing to be able to draw people into your world and share your stories in a way that’s accessible to most, so, from that point of view Krystal does it’s job, I just don’t think it does it well enough.

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Comic Review: Hybrid Bastards

Hybrid Bastards
Written by Tom Pinchuk
Art by Kate Glasheen
Archaia Studios Press
Cover Price: $3.50; On sale: Dec. 12, 2007

There’s a story that gets told a lot where I live, it goes something around these lines: One Kid, his name doesn’t matter as far as storytelling is concerned, isn’t having his best day ever, in fact, he feels morose and he finds himself longing for something even if he doesn’t quite know what that something is, but that’s true for a lot of us. Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to say that this story is not intended to serve as a moral lesson in any shape or form, moving on…

The kid’s father, we’ll call him Dad, isn’t having his best day either, maybe it was a general state of mind around the time this story was taking place even if the time itself isn’t important either, maybe it was because Dad and Kid had a fight a few hours earlier, I don’t know and again, it doesn’t matter to the purpose of this story. If, however, you feel like you need a reason to explain the mindset of these two fascinating characters we can say that earlier that day they saw a cat kill a rat in the middle of the street, bite off its head and happily walk away, then a pigeon flew down from whatever porch it was standing on and ate a bit of the rat only to throw up a few seconds later. Finally, a drunk, not paying much attention to his surroundings, not that he was in any condition to, stepped on the collective goo that was the dead headless rat and the pigeon’s vomit and tripped like an unfunny banana peel sketch, landed on the driveway pavement only to be run over by a passing Toyota Hybrid.

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Comic Review: Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #2

Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #2
Written by Cory Doctorow
Adapted by J.C. Vaughn
Art by Daniel Warner
Colors by Scott Morse
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Cover by Scott Morse
IDW Publishing
Cover price: $3.99; Available Now

Have you ever had that gut wrenching feeling when you’re doing whatever it is you do online, that everyone will be able to know what you’re up to? That nothing you do is truly confidential no matter how many times a given website assures you that your information will be kept safe? Especially nowadays when so many news pieces are released stating that some kind of arrest of a certain individual was partially thanks to the “power” of the Internet — our gateway to everywhere. Not that I do anything illegal… seriously. It really is astounding what can be done with it. It might just be me, but even small operations like ordering a book from Canada make me feel like the world is getting smaller and I leave it to everyone to decide if that’s a good thing. “The Geeks shall inherit the Earth” — a popular saying that everyone knows by now, so what if they do?

Being completely honest, I have never read anything by Cory Doctorow. Not his blog, not any of his short stories, but the adaptation to the comic book format caught my attention though and this is my first look into his work. Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now from IDW manages to capture the geek in all of us, in a primal form, and put it on the page and in issue one that worked wonderfully. Issue two left me somewhat disappointed but I’ll get to that.

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