The Magicians: Alice’s Story Based on the novel The Magicians by Lev Grossman Hardcover
Written by Lilah Sturges
Art by Pius Bak
Colors by Dan Jackson
Letters by Mike Fiorentino
Cover by Scott Newman
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Before I dive into the review of The Magicians: Alice’s Story, I would like to give you a bit of the history of the source material. I was a store manager for a Waldenbooks, but little did I realize how close to the end that company was. In those days we got ARCs (advance reader copies) of virtually everything and let me tell you, that is no small perk. So when an ARC came in that was touted as an adult Harry Potter-esque book about a magical college, I was intrigued. I have some vague memories of starting it during a lunch break and being swept away by the realism of it all. Lev Grossman‘s book grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go. The book became a trilogy, then later a SyFy series that is spectacular in its own way. So yeah, this graphic novel only adds one more dimension to an already breathtaking franchise. Allow me to elaborate!
Evil Empire #1 Written by Max Bemis
Art by Ransom Getty
Color by Christ Blythe
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover by Jay Shaw BOOM! Studios
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99
As a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories, I’m always pining for the next Walking Dead or Jericho that’ll satisfy my primal curiosities about a world where the material comforts of modern suburbia have been ripped away. Enter writer Max Bemis’ new series Evil Empire. Perhaps my expectations of fire and brimstone were misplaced; what we get is more TMZ than DMZ. And, yet, that’s not a bad thing.
Evil Empire follows the rise of a totalitarian regime in a near-future America. Reese is a rap star whose politically charged lyrics brand her as a lone, dissenting salmon swimming against the rip tide of political conformity. Just as Reese scoffs at a vacuous political commercial, the star of the ad, Sam Duggins, makes a surprise appearance backstage. The aspiring politician seeks to tap into the energy of Reese’s fanbase by befriending her and, presumably, winning her endorsement. After some hokey cardboard cheesing that’s typical of a big-name politician, Duggins intrigues Reese enough to win her reluctant attention.
Mumbai Confidential Book One: Good Cop, Bad Cop
Written by Saurav Mohapatra
Illustrated by Vivek Shinde
Additional Art by Sid Kotian, Saumin Patel, Vinay Brahmania and Devaki Neogi
Design by Howling Monkey Studio
Edited by Rebecca Taylor
Production Manager Scott Newman
Introduction by Ron Marz Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 8, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95
Mumbai Confidential begins at its climactic finale. Tough-as-nails Heroic-cop whose Fallen-from-grace, Arjun Kadam stares down the barrel of a gun. Flashback to when this case began a few weeks before when this case began. Flashback again to five years before that to when Kadams Fall began. Set in Mumbai, Indias most populated metropolis with a notorious criminal underworld, this is story that tattoos its hardboiled tropes on its sleeve.
Illustrator Vivek Shindes art lovingly evokes grim and ultra-serious pulp fiction. Every page, every panel looks like it should be on the cover of a trashy paperback found on a rickety wire rack 50 or 60 years ago. The color is so washed out that all you can see is the grit and grime on the page. Fans of David Fincher: this book is for you.
The Grand Duke Written by Yann
Illustrations by Romain Hugault
Edited by Paul Morrissey
Translation by Edward Gauvin
Letters by Thomas Mauer Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Cover Price $24.99
The solicit for Archaias’ new European import The Grand Duke describes the book as “A Romeo-and-Juliet story set against WWII aerial dogfights.”
If that does not immediately grab your attention, then we’re looking for entirely different stories in our comics, you and I. Well, it got my attention and while that’s maybe not a 100 percent honest way of pitching the story, it got it’s foot in the door for what turned out to be an astonishingly great read.
Set along the Eastern front beginning in 1943, Luftwaffe Oberleutnant (Read: German [Read: NAZI!]) Adolph Wulf and Comrade Lilya (Read: Commie!) of the dreaded 588th known as the “Night Witches” – an all women battalion that, apparently, was a thing – have grown rather disillusioned with their situations in the war. Wulf, rather palatably, despises the Third Reich and fights solely for love of his homeland and motherless daughter. Lilya is realizing that even in Stalin’s socialist paradise there are still glass ceilings for women even after they’ve held bloody and terrible front lines down.