Marco Matrone’s art gives this book a feel of an Archie comic. School’s out for some, but for others, they’re trapped. He portrays these ghosts The Sixth Sense-style.
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Fortunately, nobody is serving detention in Richard A. Hamilton’s graphic novel FearbookClub. Whit Garcia is the new kid in middle school. He doesn’t gave friends. His concerned principal offers him a place at Yearbook clubsince he loves taking photos. This lad has a talent for getting snaps of ghostly figures too, something he tries to rationalise as dirt or anomalies of light.
It’s a detail I appreciate is in how careful Whit is with his “paranormal investigation.” He goes digging and discovers this school’s history says it all. For decades, youths have been disappearing. The reason they’re hiding is that they’ve been chased there, bullied by their peers (from various eras), and all of that has created a Freddy Krueger-like character who dampens their spirits. It doesn’t allow them to leave, and it’s the type of traditional horror trope which makes those tales truly terrifying!
The continuing adventures of Jim Lake Jr., aka the Trollhunter, is packed with lessons for young Atlas to learn from. Volume two, The Felled (by Dark Horse Comics) arrives on shelves today, and this story takes places after this lad failed to impress the Nunez family from the season two episode, “Hero with a Thousand Faces.”
These stories take place in between the broadcast episodes and continue the trend started in volume one. Jim is having a hard time balancing his life of a teen to that of a hero. Fortunately, his friends at Troll Market refer back to the lives of other Trollhunters and regale this lad with fun action filled and thoughtful moments about what they faced and how he can learn from it.
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.
I’ve been thinking about nothing but the 15th anniversary of Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) since last month and was very excited to see what Dark Horse Comics has plans on announcing this year. In addition to the artist and writer signings and giveaways at the show, there’s something always cool to be found when walking by! Had I gone to the main exhibit hall early in the morning, I might have walked away with a yellow tote bag, but alas, I was in another building awaiting photo ops with a few of this show’s entertainment guests.
Fortunately, I did not miss meeting artist Irene Koh (she’s illustrating the upcoming official Legend of Korra continuation due in shelves Jun 7) and writer Gene Luen Yang (Avatar: Last Airbender). I’ve been buying everything Avatar related this company puts out and plan on a huge binge-read. While waiting in line, I can only smile at how much of a strong fan base this series has, especially amongst the Asian community.
Also, I got to see Mike Mignola again and learn he’s working on a new work. The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed is out and it takes place in the Hellboy universe. While the stories about the title character are finished, thankfully there’s more to enjoy in this realm from other perspectives. One hope I had is to see all the Hellboy stories packaged together in an omnibus collection; sadly the representative said there are no immediate plans. The collections we have now is it for those preferring the trade paperback route. My mix of one-shots and owning certain storylines sometimes gets me lost as to where each story fits in.
If I had to decide between which How to Train your Dragon (HTTYD) comic book series to follow, my vote is for Dark Horse Comics‘ official follow-up. Penned by Dean DeBlois, director and showrunner of DreamWorks’ series, and Richard Hamilton (Star Wars: Dark Times), I’m enjoying the continuing adventures which take place after the second movie as it puts Hiccup into new adventures before he can even get comfortable with his new crown.
The Serpent’s Heir begins with everyone from the village of Berk helping to rebuild. After a few mishaps, King Hiccup gets a visitor from another island tribe. Calder’s village is being racked with earthquakes and while he expected to meet Stoick the Vast, he only finds the boy king. This young leader certainly has learned a lot from his dad, and he knows never to turn his back to those in need. Both he and his Dragon Riders travel to the island of Nepenthe to assist and find treachery in the midst.
While this first graphic novel is an easy short read, I feel these trials are just one of many in a series of books to help cement Hiccup as King of the Archipelago. News about Stoick’s death has not spread far, but it soon will. Other Vikings will come to challenge Hiccup. Unlike other burly soldiers who are hard to push over, this matchstick shaped lad may seem easy to bend.