Comic Review: Doctor Who (12th Doctor) #4

12D_04_Cover_A12D_04_preview

Previously on Doctor Who, The Doctor and Clara get a distress call from an old friend, Tiger Mathara so they head to India 2315 but by the time they got to him it’s too late and they find him dead at the hands of a Thugee. While investigating Maratha’s death, they meet Maratha’s daughter Priyanka and find out that Scindia, an organization that worships the deity Kali, are behind everything. The last we see our beloved character, The Doctor gets sent back in time to India 1825 where he is saved by a renegade amazon named Rani Jhulka while Clara and Priyanka are trapped in 2315 surrounded by a horde of Thugee.

Issue 4 starts with the Doctor and Rani, a female bodyguard to the daughter of a spice merchant. She tells the story of how she fell in love with the daughter and how she loses her. You then find that her lover was also killed by the Thugee. After giving her back story to the Doctor, they are ambushed by the Thugee.

[Read more…]

I’d Love to Draw! by Andrew Loomis

lovetodrawIn my generation, my comic book idols weren’t just the superheroes on the printed pages, but the artists who drew them.  And as an amateur wannabe artist, I tried drawing like Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri and Todd McFarlane.  As you can see below, I’m not a very good artist.

medrawingIf you want to learn how to draw, like everybody, you have to learn the basics.  One of those legendary art teachers in American history is Andrew Loomis.  He published several drawing books in 1930s-1940s that influenced many artists of today.  Thanks to Titan Books who have been republishing many of Andrew Loomis’ drawing books like this one, “I’d Love to Draw!”

[Read more…]

Charley’s War: A Boy Soldier in the Great War

charleyswaraboysoldierWar is neither romantic or fun.  Some of the greatest anti-war movies are films about war like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Born on the Fourth of July, and in the comic medium, two British comic legends, author Pat Mills (Marshal Law) and artist Joe Colquhoun (Johnny Red) detailed the heroic and horrific realities of World War I in Charley’s War, a comic strip that started its run on September 1979 and up to January of 1985.  This newly released collection by Titan Books, Charley’s War: A Boy Soldier in the Great War collects the first 4 volumes of the strip.

[Read more…]

The Art of Jim Burns: Hyperluminal

artjimburnsIf there’s a mention of Ridley Scott’s iconic film “Bladerunner” anywhere, I’m usually there in a heartbeat.  The early concept art and ideas of Bladerunner began with this man – Jim Burns.  The British award winning artist has the distinction of winning 3 Hugo awards and creating science fiction book covers for authors like George RR Martin, Peter F Hamilton and Anne McCaffrey.

JimBurns01 [Read more…]

The Art of Greg Spalenka

gregspalenkaIf you ever watch the animated movies like The Ant Bully (2006) or Escape From Planet Earth (2013), one of the concept artist behind it was Greg Spalenka.  The Art of Greg Spalenka:  Visions From The Mind’s Eye by Titan Books showcases Spalenka’s artistic career over the years in the many art mediums he uses, from paintings, drawings, sketches and photography.

++++++++++++++++++++

“Here was art with a purpose – communicating issues about humanity, from gun violence and racism to social welfare.  These images were speaking to thousands, and in some cases, millions of people.  I learned that the publishing world could be a powerful platform as well as an industry to work in.” – Greg Spalenka

++++++++++++++++++++

Greg00 [Read more…]

ALIEN: Seas of Sorrow by James A. Moore

aliensseasofsorrowThe ALIEN movie franchise has been a fan-favorite over the years and fans today still want more facehuggers!  20th Century FOX hopes to wet your appetite with 3 “official” novels based on the ALIEN and ALIENS films.  The first novel “Out of the Shadows” takes place at the end of first ALIEN movie and becomes the prequel to ALIENS.  Now, the stage is set for the second book by James A. Moore with ALIEN:  Sea of Sorrows.

The year is 2497, “Black Sand” is discovered on planet LV178 aka New Galveston and the Interstellar Commerce Commission (ICC) lead by Deputy Commissioner Alan Decker is on the scene.  The ICC is a governmental organization that provides rules and regulations for corporations terraforming planets for humans to live.  “Black Sand” aka Sea of Sorrows is a term used when a planet can’t be terraformed and somehow “Black Sand” has appeared on a build site.

[Read more…]

Brainquake by Samuel Fuller

brainquakecoverA-List directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino have been inspired by the works of Samuel Fuller (The Big Red One).  The World War II veteran, was both a director and author.  He wrote “Brainquake” in 1993 while living in France, and now fans can re-discover Fuller’s last novel published and translated into English by Titan Books and Hard Case Crime.

[Read more…]

The Art of Films: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes & Rise of the Planet of the Apes

gorillaapesAs I kid, I remember watching Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston on TV and like Star Wars, Star Trek and Buck Rogers made an sci-fi impression on me.  And then I got all excited in 2001, with Tim Burton’s vision of Planet of the Apes and that was hot mess of suck, kind of like X-Men 3: The Last Stand.  Now after many years, 20th Century FOX has gotten the re-boot Planet of the Apes franchise in the right direction.  To celebrate, Titan Books publishes The Art of the Films:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes & Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

IMG_1720 [Read more…]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Official Movie Novelization

dotpotacoverYou don’t have to, but if you are the type of person that needs to read every tie-in to the main book and want to read things in order, then make sure you read Greg Keyes prequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm.  By the end of “Firestorm”, the “Simian Flu” has spread worldwide causing millions of deaths, civil unrest and economic meltdown around the world,  while Caesar leads all the apes to safety into Muir Woods.  Based on the screenplay by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, author Alex Irvine pens the novelization Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

[Read more…]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm

planetofapesfirestormRise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was a successful reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise.  Capitalizing on the box-office smash, the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will open all across America this weekend.  If you’ve seen any of the trailers you know that the San Francisco/Bay Area and the world is in a post-apocalyptic turmoil.  How did it get this way?  Well, it’s all explained in this official prequel “Firestorm” by author Greg Keyes.

“Firestorm” picks up right after the end of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. During the memorable Golden Gate Bridge battle scene, where SFPD officers are fighting with the apes, Caesar leads his apes to escape into Muir Woods.  We find out that their has been a media blackout of the Golden Gate Bridge ape incident.  We are introduced to reporter David Flynn and his girlfriend primatogist Clancy.  She tells David that she’s been brought-in to find the apes and it’s all hush-hush, but she leaves some computer files for him if anything goes wrong.  David Flynn’s ex-girlfriend ER Doctor Talia Kosar finds herself with many patients with high fevers and sneezing up blood the past of couple of days.  Her colleagues from another hospital email her about the same situation and Talia alerts the CDC.  A mysterious military-style outfit has hired Clancy and hunter Malakai Youmans to find the apes in Muir Woods.

[Read more…]

Chicago Mobsters meet Lord of the Rings: Hot Lead, Cold Iron

hotleadcoldironThe “Underworld” of trench coats and Tommy guns meets the “Otherworld” of magic and the supernatural.  This is 1930s Chicago, where the mobsters run the town and Mick Oberon ain’t no ordinary dick, this P.I. got special powers.  Instead of a revolver to pump hot lead, he uses a magic wand, really, I’m not joking.  His wand of choice is the Luchtaine & Goodfellow Model 1592.  Worlds collide in Hot Lead, Cold Iron by author Ari Marmell.

[Read more…]

23 Short Stories from the Wild West: Dead Man’s Hand

deadmanshandAll we get now in the multiplexes and the TV screens are superheroes, zombies and vampires!  Hey, Hollywood, about some good old-fashion cowboy flicks?  That Johnny Depp “Lone Ranger” fail of a film did not count!  How about dropping some John Woo/Tarantino-style old west cowboy stories?  I can envision a pair of Colt .45’s blasting in slo-mo during a stage coach robbery scene.  Enough with the World War II movies, but I digress.  If you want your fill of the old wild west with a mix of weird and the wonderful, try “Dead Man’s Hand” an anthology of short stories collected and edited by John Joseph Adams.

[Read more…]

Borderline by Lawrence Block

borderlinecover

The sizzling pulp novel “Borderline” by prolific American crime author Lawrence Block sees the printed pages once again after 50 years of being out of print.  Four lives intersect on the border towns of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

Marty is a smart professional gambler always looking for a good card game in Juarez.  After a couple of years spent in a failed marriage, Meg is looking for some fun and action.  The beautiful blonde Lily is looking to make money and get out of the border towns.  The insane killer running from the law, Weaver is looking for his next bloody victim.  These 4 characters ultimately cross each others’ lives in “Borderline.”  The book also includes 3 Lawrence Block short stories:  1) The Burning Fury (1959); 2) A Fire At Night (1958); and 3) Stag Party Girl (1963).

[Read more…]

The Art of John Harris: Beyond The Horizon

johnharriscoverIf you read lots of science-fiction books from authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Nova, Orson Scott Card and John Scalzi, there is usually a beautifully painted cover book art of the galaxy, outer space world or spaceship and that artist is John Harris.  The Art of John Harris:  Beyond The Horizon is a collection of his many works since the 1970s.

johnharris 00 [Read more…]

Choose Your Own Adventure: Life’s Lottery

lifelotteryBram Stroker Award winner Kim Newman is known for his witty vampire series Anno Dracula has another book you might want to take a look at.  Kim Newman ponders one of life’s questions in “Life’s Lottery”: Is our human life “predetermined or can we really choose our own path in life?”  If your were a kid growing in the 1980s, you might remember those Find Your Fate: Transformers and G.I. Joe books that I made my mom buy for me.  Those kiddie books had you making the decisions, like if you think Optimus Prime should do this go to page 6, or if you think Optimus Prime should do that go to page 25.  Now instead of playing a Hasbro toy character, you play a real-world fictional character and help him make decisions that will alter his life from the ordinary or to the extra-ordinary.

In “Life’s Lottery” you are born into the world as Keith Oliver Marion, a British Caucasian male, and you’ve luck out, you come from a middle-class background.  You are stuck in the middle with an older sister Laraine and younger brother James.  As I approached page 20 where I would make the first life’s decision for Keith as a 6-year-old boy in school, I really had to reflect how I would come to these decisions and choices for Keith.  Do I make the same choices as I did as a kid in my own personal life growing up, which was the kid that got picked on and then bullied others?  Do I then make choices from my Christian-American cultural upbringing?  Do I just make the common sense decisions as the adult I am now?  Do you I use rationalization or just go with it?  How about I make the decisions like George Costanza in that episode of Seinfeld where he picked the opposite of everything he would do?  Man, this book had me using my brainwaves.

[Read more…]

Alien: The Official Movie Novelization by Alan Dean Foster

aliencoverWhen the James Cameron’s ALIENS flick hit the theaters in 1986, it blew me away and it made go back to take a look at the first ALIEN (1979) film by director Ridley Scott.  Now, if you don’t have the DVD or Blu-ray handy, or cannot find it streaming somewhere, then how about you go old-school and check out the official novelization of ALEIN with author Alan Dean Foster based on the screenplay by Dan O’Bannon.

[Read more…]

The Art of Ian Miller

ianmillerTitan Books collects various art pieces done by artist Ian Miller in this book, The Art of Ian Miller.  You might be asking who is Ian Miller?  Well, if you ever find yourself in the fantasy section at the bookstore, most of those Ray Bradbury and HP Lovecraft book covers of wizards, monsters, castles and alien worlds were illustrated by Ian Miller.

ianmiller00

[Read more…]

Darren Aronofsky & Ari Handel’s Noah

noahcoversDirector Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan, The Fountain) is known for making movie controversy and he does it again with his 2014 movie film Noah taken from the Bible.  Titan Books releases two novels based on the movie, the official novelization by Mark Morris and a YA (Young Adult) book titled Noah: Ila’s Story by Susan Korman based on the screenplay by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel.

The world has turned more dark and sinister, and Noah has a vision from the Creator that a great flood will come to wipe out the world.  He must build an ark to save his family and all the animals.  In the mist of all this, warlord leader Tubal-cain who killed Noah’s father Lamech comes back years later to try to take over Noah’s Ark with his army of soldiers.  The official novel by Mark Morris follows Noah’s journey like the PG-13 movie.

[Read more…]

The Art of Rio 1 & 2

artofrioA long time ago, I remember watching Pixar’s Toy Story in the theater and I was blown away by the CG animation and storytelling.  Over the years, many animation houses were looking to do the same and one is Blue Sky Studios (Epic, Ice Age).  The CG animated film Rio was a 2011 hit and surpassed the $400 million mark in box-office receipts, so obviously there is a sequel with Rio 2 arriving into US multiplexes on April 11, 2014.  Along the way, Titan Books has just released:  The Art of Rio – Featuring a Carnival of Art from Rio and Rio 2.

Rio 00 [Read more…]

The Art of Titanfall

titanfall 00Who doesn’t like piloting big bad mecha-robots?  It brings back memories of playing Virtual On on Sega Saturn or Gundam Side Story 0079 on the Sega Dreamcast!  This FPS shooter Titanfall isn’t even out yet, but has over 80-plus awards from critics already.  The game launches March 11, 2014 on the Xbox One and PC and Titan Books releases – The Art of Titanfall.

2014-02-19 09.21.582014-02-19 09.23.56

[Read more…]

300: Rise of an Empire – The Art of the Film

300 rise of an empireI remember sitting in the multiplexes eagerly waiting to watch 300 and by the end of the movie I was blown away and it made me cry out:  “Spartans!”  Well, now its 2014 and a sequel of sorts will be coming out to the movie theaters – 300:  Rise of an Empire.  Titan Books has released of a companion book to the movie with 300: Rise of an Empire – The Art of the Film.  This 160 page beautifully over-sized hardbound art book will have everything you want from the 300: Rise of an Empire film.

300 00 [Read more…]

Garth Ennis Presents – Battle Classics

battleclasscisOn this side of the pond, we get lots of War World II stories from the press and Hollywood, but not much from the British POV.  Comic book writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, Hitman) with Titan Books gathers an incredible collection of World War II comic book stories from the British perspective.  “Battle” was published weekly from 1975 to 1988 and left a mark in British comic book history and gave comic book talents like John Wagner, Mike Western, Cam Kennedy, John Cooper, Alan Hebden and David Hunt freedom to tell honest life and death tales from World War II.

++++++++

“… I believe HMS Nightshade to be its writer’s most important work:  it is about something that counts.  It is not about fantasy of future lawmen, interplanetary bounty-hunters, or assassins in a game of murder.”  Garth Ennis, Garth Ennis Presents Battle Classics

++++++++

[Read more…]

Alien: Out of the Shadows

alienAs 80s kids, my brother and me were blown away when we first watched James Cameron’s epic ALIENS (1986) and then we had to grab a VHS copy of Ridley Scott’s ALIEN (1979) to fill in the blanks, because Sigourney Weaver played the iconic scientist hero Ellen Ripley who was such a bad-ass.  In our minds Aliens 3, Alien Resurrection and Aliens vs Predator never happened, just like Brett Ratners’ X-Men 3.  My head hurts just thinking about this, but I digress.  After watching the first two films, you wondered if anything happened to Ellen Ripley during her 57 years of sleep?  This “official novel” enlightens ALIEN fans on what happened to Ripley from the end of the first ALIEN film and the start of the second ALIENS film.

[Read more…]

The Wrong Quarry

quarryOver the weekend, I was excited to get my hands the new Quarry book “The Wrong Quarry” by author Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition).  His long-running series is about a former US Marine sniper Quarry (no need to know his real name) turned professional hitman.  Quarry offers clients that are marked-for-death a unique service, dependent on the fee paid, he gets rid of the hit team after the clients and investigates who hired the hit.

[Read more…]

The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

newburyhobbesI am ready to kick off the New Year with more Retrenders stuff, but I had some left overs from last year, like this George Mann book of short stories – The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes, Volume 1.  Over the weekend, as I watched American playoff football in-between breaks, I was able to finally finish reading it.

I am new to the Newbury & Hobbes books and the various characters created in this universe.  I was a little weary reading these all-new short stories in this collection, wondering if I needed to read the “The Affinity Bridge”, “The Osiris Ritual” and “The Immorality Engine” to get what is going on, but I was well relieved by Mr. Mann kicking off with nice introduction chapter about his characters and his first book.  Newbury & Hobbes revolves around 3 main characters, the sleuth Sir Maurice Newbury, assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes and police friend Sir Charles Bainbridge as they solve crimes and murders in Victorian London.  The book collects 15 short stories as Newbury and Hobbes face the weird and strange crimes.  Mr. Mann also includes a helpful timeline of where these short stories took place over the course of his 3 books and a chapter of story notes on all the short stories (they include spoilers, so please read the short stories first!).

[Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: