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History & The Pulps are Featured in War Bears, A Comic Book Review!

21 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released Sept 05, 2018

With two incredible Canadian talents, Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy, get together to create a comic book, the industry better pay attention. Published by Dark Horse ComicsWar Bears offers two well-meaning stories than one; the main narrative sees Alain Zurakowski as a struggling artist in an era where life is a struggle. The early 20th century was tough for many; not only did a world have to deal with and recover from two World Wars, but also the Depression made getting employed tough. In a dog eat dog world of 1943, this young man manages to get a job at a Toronto-based comic book company (not New York, where the action was at) and has to deal with ornery coworkers. One particular individual steals this kid’s ideas, and the conflict may well run deeper in later issues.

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How to Train Your Dragon flies into Dragonvine, A Graphic Novel Review

24 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The next graphic novel in Dark Horse Comics’ How to Train Your Dragon series is now out in comic stores and will land online and at bookstores on September 4, 2018. Dragonvine finally brings a few details of to light which is very important in further developing each member of the Dragon Riders, Valka included. This tale takes place after the events of the second film. This story starts with Hiccup and gang fondly remembering Stoick the Vast.

This introduction can easily be made into an animated short. Dean DeBlois put in a lot of development to this interlude, and it shows. Together with Richard Ashley Hamilton, the first 17 pages is a story in itself. It blends some of that wonky humour from Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon and seriousness in Gift of the Night Fury. Artists Doug Wheatley and Francisco de Fuente contributed to this work. Their illustrative styles are different enough to make one-third of the book feel solid and the other not as consistent. I much prefer Wheatley’s solid and inspired look straight from the computer-animated series than the comic strip style of Fuente. Wes Dzioba‘s colours compliment Wheatley’s work much more fluidly too.

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100+ years of Cinema and the Sequential Art, A Primer

22 Aug

Blondie Movie PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Movies based on comic strips/books are big business, and not all of them were based on superheroes. The idea to adapt popular titles began way before Marvel and DC comics formed and this essay offers a highlight reel of these other popular works. In the early days of cinema, French journalist Georges Sadoul believed Louis Lumière‘s L’Arroseur Arrosé (1895) was an adaptation of L’Arroseur (The Gardener), a strip by artist Hermann Vogle. [1] The next work which followed was based on the British comic Ally Sloper (1867). Three films were made.

In the golden age of cinema, superheroes did not command the screen. Instead, these projections were humourous looks at everyday life. Harold Teen (1928) may well be the first to arrive on the big screen in North America. Blondie (1930) was immensely popular because of its look at middle-class suburbia. The early years followed the romance of this eponymous character to Dagwood, the comic relief, and the media buzz upon their marriage is comparable to the media hoopla when Peter Parker aka Spiderman married Mary Jane.

To be fair, certain key heroes like Batman and Superman will be explored. Also, television played an important role in popularizing this genre. Periodic looks at what happened on this front will also be offered.

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Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs & Eldritch Men, A Review

14 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Due to hit shelves August 22, 2018

Beasts of Burden is one of Dark Horse Comics‘ sweet gems which is very playful in its artistic depictions of the heroes, and cunning with the types of supernatural tales weaved. I became aware of this work by writer Evan Dorkin and artist Jill Thompson when I purchased the anthology collection, Dark Horse’s Book of Hauntings. Here, cats and dogs work together to deal with paranormal threats. Usually, the humans are nowhere to be seen. As they go about their daily life, a dangerous undercurrent takes place. In Burden Hill, these adorable animals are protectors of humanity from the evil that’s afoot.

The latest work teams Dorkin with Benjamin Dewey. Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men sees a different team at work. Canines are investigating why a fire salamander was captured. As innocent as this elemental is, the carnage resulting from him trying to escape his capture has Emrys, a Tibetan Terrier (the leader of the pack) investigate. This tale has all the hallmarks of a terrific detective novel. If the goblins one of these lads accidentally unleashed are any indication, perhaps trolls are next?

As the title implies, human wizards are using the forests around the Pocono Mountains to ferret out supernatural creatures. They manage to capture one, and when Emrys realizes what is going on, the team definitely has to prevent the evil from establishing a foothold in them thar hills. Just how this tale will unfold will take four comics to tell, and I am hooked with issue one, due out in shelves August 22nd.

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