Comic Review: Hum

Graphic Novel
Written By Scott Marcano and Tom Lenoci
Illustrated by Renzo Podesta
Diablo Productions
Cover price: $15.95; 250 pages, B&W w/ partial Color
March 2009

Throughout the history of humans, also apparent in our own everyday experience, the affluent have taken advantage of the downtrodden. Humans are also great adapters. We eventually, as a people, make the best of the situation we find ourselves in. We are also susceptible to the promise of ease and ecstasy. Well, off world and in the future people are no different.

Such is the story of Hum which is slowly, masterfully untwined over the first few chapters of the book. Earthling colonists travel through space and find what they believe to be a perfect new world. However, most of the population is debilitated by a natural element of the planet. The non-afflicted take this as a sign of their superiority and use the disadvantaged to do their bidding. This is a story all too familiar in our human history. It seems like a natural extension of our progeny. Just as it is that the afflicted rise to overcome their disabilities and begin to live life anew and begin…hum. But the masters won’t give up easily, using their own people with the vices of the time and planet, to fight their battles for them.

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Comic Review: ‘Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead’

Hotwire; Requiem for the Dead
#3 of 4
Written, Illustrated and lettered by Steve Pugh
Created by Warren Ellis and Steve Pugh
Radical Publishing, Inc.
Cover price: $2.99; On-sale date: May 2009

Blue-Lights have started to penetrate the suppressor fields into the cities and are possessing the living. The living are being turned into “Ghost-Bombs,” capable of enormous damage. When the dead threaten the living, you call the police and they have a department of One to take care of the problem. The Detective Exorcist, Alice Hotwire.

This is the foreword on this Warren Ellis and Steve Pugh created miniseries. Newcomer Radical Publishing is producing this comic, based on a story by Warren Ellis, which, judging by the intense, strange, vivid world and equally traited characters, is not hard to believe. Steve Pugh is handling the rest of the series though, by writing, illustrating and even lettering this futuristic/technological ghost/zombie story.

It’s tough picking up what’s going on at the beginning of the book without having read the first two issues of the miniseries, so I recommend you do so before reading this ish. The scene does slowly evolve and it shines on some very unconventional future ghosts. Or are they the dead that have been brought back to life through artificial intelligence? That may be a fine line no matter what.

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DVD Review: American Gladiators Ultimate Workout

American Gladiators Ultimate Workout
Exercise DVD
Starring Gina Carano, Monica Carlson, Michael O’Hearn, Tanoai Reed, Jennifer Widerstrom
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 16, 2008

Are you ready to get your fit on with some of your favorites from the American Gladiators TV Show? Then get your oil and dumbbells ready because Jet, Titan, Wolf, Phoenix, Toa, and Crush are ready to pump … you up.

The American Gladiators Ultimate Workout DVD consists of 3 separate workouts for both men and women. I have confirmed this because my wife did each workout right alongside me and she really impressed the hell out of me! It also includes 3 short target zone sessions that each focus on a certain part of the body. Yes, they are the important ones”¦ and each workout is performed by the Gladiators right on the set of the TV show!

In muscle Madness Strength 1, Titan, Phoenix, and Wolf each take turns pushing you with their own distinct style. The Gladiators have fun with you and each other in this muscle workout that winds up giving you some cardio as well. This is really a great combination of not only muscle building and cardio exercises, but there are calisthenics, stretching, and even yoga elements as well thanks to the lovely Phoenix. Most exercises employ dumbbells as the muscle resistance. This works out well because each person can customize their workout using the appropriate weight for their specific level and goals. My wife used 40% of the weight I used.

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Comic Review: Samurai Elf Vol. 1 & 2

Samurai Elf
Written by Miguel Guerra, Suzy Dias
Art by Miguel Guerra
Samurai Elf, Vol. 1: Set Apart
Release date: November 1, 2006
Samurai Elf, Vol. 2: Bulls Eye
Release date: November 4, 2008
Iberian Press

Samurai Elf follows the adventures of the last elf on the planet Tyr. Ardan knows nothing about his past, but he suddenly becomes a very popular being. Problem is, not all of his “fans” have his best interest at heart. Thus begins Ardan’s tale of self-discovery and world adventure. Volume 1: Set Apart, keeps it simple by introducing the main influences in Ardan’s life, from a master Samurai Dwarf, who’s training Ardan really finds draining, to Keegan, a feisty, female samurai who takes a liking to Ardan and realizes her life has been too boring for too long, decides to share his quest for answers and destiny.

Along the way we also meet some of the Hordes horrific minions. Enhanced robotic humans who have allowed themselves to be transformed into hideous killing machines in order to do their “Fury’s” bidding. Namely, capture Ardan. But some of them are willing to risk “recycling” to gain vengeance on the last elf.

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Comic Review: Black Ghost Apple Factory

Black Ghost Apple Factory
Written and Drawn by Jeremy Tinder
Top Shelf Productions
Cover price: $5.00; Available now

Be warned, if you love apples you may not want to be made aware of where they really come from…

Black Ghost Apple Factory consists of seven short comic stories all written and drawn by Jeremy Tinder. The handwriting guidelines on the cover of the book, which Tinder does not follow, belies the mature tone of the stories in Black Ghost Apple Factory, all of which are about love and relationships. Is Tinder exposing himself when he anthropomorphizes, and robotpomorphizes, his feelings or is he making excuses for them? I wish I could blame my sudden lack of feelings for a woman on a “patch” I “downloaded.”

Black Apple Ghost Factory leads off the pack and immediately introduces the relationship theme. Black Ghost seems very excited about his new relationship, but he still has to continue with his everyday responsibilities. And not everybody is as excited about his new relationship as he is.

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