Tag Archives: Graphic Novel

How to Satisfy a Halloween Craving with Graphic Novels

20 Oct

Neil Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples : Gaiman, Neil, Doran, Colleen:  Amazon.ca: BooksBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Halloween 2021 can still be about staying at home with a good book to read because of the pandemic, or going out and wearing a ghoulish face mask up since it’s appropriate to. After a year of being told by health boards about what to do and not to, I’m sure a revolt will happen. Events are taking place with restrictions in mind. All of that is fine and dandy, and for those who just want to be safe, I have the following book recommendations. The links provided go to Amazon USA, to which I’m an affiliate with, for those interested in purchasing.

Snow, Grass, Apples
Dark Horse Comics

This graphic novel adaptation of Snow White retells the tale from the point of view of the stepmother. It’s an eerie gothic style take which then steps into the realm of high romanticism. We are introduced to her as though she’s the heroine, rather than the wicked witch. She fell in love with the king, and he in turn took her in to be one of his many lovers. When we finally meet the daughter–who has vampyric tastes–the tale takes on a unique look at the tale most readers should be familiar with.

What makes this tale horrific is in how it ties to the seasons. The events take on various feelings of melancholy, cheer and rebirth. Colleen Doran’s art is exceptional in this piece as it plays with the motifs. The pictures’ mosaic-like quality looks like it should belong in the Sistine Chapel!

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Malika Warrior Queen Slashes Her Way into Bookstores Today!

8 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Horse Comics
Available Now

Volume One available to purchase on Amazon USA and Volume two (Dec 22, 2021) available to pre-order.

Malika Warrior Queen has a Dark Horse behind it to help captivate a new generation of readers about African history and mythology. This work really can’t be read in one night, but in what I could finish, I was amazed and educated at the same time. While the main protagonist is a Xena-like character, if I had to make comparisons, the real inspiration is with Queen Anima of Zazzau, a real warrior queen who lived in the 15th century.

Not everyone will know YouNeek Studio‘s teaser trailer to bring her story into the animated front. It has the feel of Black Panther’s world being further expanded upon. After all, Africa is vast, with many tribal nations covering the jungle and desert expanse. The wars they have amongst one another and within the family say it all. I can only imagine Frank Miller did a lot of research into the outlying regions to get a feel of how terrifying, dramatic, mystic and warlike this world was before deciding that a tale of the Persian Empire is easier. Writer Roye Okupe crafted a tale that’s nicely broken up into units, and I’m not finished with this saga to say how it all cumulates. The fact this this reprint is also venturing off into the future suggests fantastic things when considering the fate of this new ruler.  Continue reading

Saving the Child in Nie Jun’s Seekers of the Aweto

13 May

Amazon.com: The Hunt Is On: Book 1 (Seekers of the Aweto) (9781728420219):  Jun, Nie, Jun, Nie: BooksBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Lerner Books
Available to Purchase on Amazon USA 

“The Hunt is On” for Nie Jun’s Seekers of the Aweto. This herb heals any ailment a human has. Rumours say it also grants immortality, but only one out of many has that celestial ability. This plant grows on the heads of a chadolo, multi-coloured earth elementals and to remove it can incurs the wrath of Buddha. Locals believe they contain the soul of the soil that makes up the land, and they will do everything they can to save them.

Xinyue is a seeker of this plant since it’s his family’s business, but he’s something of a bard. He can play the drums and insects will swarm to him to do his bidding. They help him find an Aweto, but when he sees its alive and as cute  as The Child in The Mandalorian, he can’t kill it, and nor can he see it get harmed. The adventure he has with it is as wild as the said Star Wars television show and the Asian flavour lays in how exotic this locale is.

When considering this young lad makes a promise to protect it, to dishonour this land deity can mean bad things for his afterlife. His elder brother Qiliu doesn’t care; The family trade is to locate and sell it to the highest bidder. Volume one sets up the conflict still to come–it’s him and the plant, or him and his brother. The matriarch believes he’ll do what’s right, and it’s no surprise she passes on in this tale. Nobody can dictate what he can do.

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In Search for that MPLS Sound…

27 Apr

MPLS Sound - Softcover TradeBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Life Drawn Publishing

Available to order on Amazon USA

Spoiler Alert

Some graphic novels can benefit from having that MPLS Sound if pressing those cheap plastic vinyl records is possible. This book could have been brought up a notch had it included a soundtrack too, as an insert or digital code, so readers can benefit from listening to the music that defined that Minneapolis style.

In this book’s case by Joseph P. Illidge & Hannibal Tabu, it’s about why Starchild aka Theresa Booker became a musician. she fell in love with the music that not only Jimi Hendrix made famous but also Prince. It’s also an indirect look at who the musician Prince is and what he represents. Not everyone knows his origin story, and Theresa’s tale is supposed to represent his struggles as a musician. After reading this illustrated work, however, I have to revisit Purple Rain. Both works examine how tough it is to become respected in the music industry. The fictional characters introduced in this book felt very real.

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Godzilla and Kong in Print; The Clash of the Prequels

28 Mar

 

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Legendary Comics
Release Date:
April 6, 2021

Godzilla vs Kong is a tale of two titans that one movie cannot fulfill alone. The previous films show how terrifying they are separate, and these beasts will clash. It’s been foretold! We’ve seen this in King of the Monsters, in a very short act where Dr. Ishirō Serizawa and his pilot found an Atlantean-like ruin depicting a time where the titans ran amok, and the humans back then disappeared. 

The graphic novels Godzilla: Dominion and Kingdom Kong add a layer of lore. Both of the works serve as a prequel to the showdown coming to select cinemas and HBO Max. It’s amazing that Godzilla faced many creatures in the past, but yet they don’t hold a candle to the mightiest ape. 

Godzilla: Dominion is a huge exposition. What readers get is a fantastic look back at how long he survived the epochs and who he once fought. We are presented with monsters who may have been creatures from myth once. The biblical leviathan is one, and Tiamat is another. While they are nothing like the myths paint them as and if the film series can continue, I’d love to see how past civilizations worshipped or feared these titans.

Writer Greg Keyes delivers a nicely written wrestling ring style narrative that captions over the action and artist Drew Edward Johnson imagines the beast just like the last movie. Allan Passalaqua‘s colours highlight the titan’s might as the veritable demons they are. Much of the work is done with the creative team of Barnaby Legg, Josh Parker, Katie Aguilar and Brian Hoffman handling development of the lore in this Monsterverse to ensure continuity. 

The pinups and concept sketches by Johnson in this book look better in black and white than in colour. The designs are terrifying! I can only dream of having the action figures, but I doubt they will be made. Not every fan will be aware of this extension to the Monsterverse. If you’re one, I recommend it for the cover art by Art Adams alone. He’s a long time devotee, and any product with his endorsement is worth obtaining.

PREVIEW

 

(cont’d on page two)

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