While perusing the shelves looking for something to read, I decided to try out Batman: Catwoman’s Classroom of Claws. Obviously I wanted to read it because it has my favorite villain, Catwoman.
The story follows Robin, who is trying to get into a villain’s school to find out who’s behind it. He is forced to pretend to beat up Batman and fit in among the up and coming villains of Gotham to get in good with the Headmistress. In the end, he finds out that Catwoman is behind the school because she wants her own sidekicks.
It’s a quick read, five chapters in total. There are full page pictures to go along with the story every couple of pages, and the onomatopoeias are written just like in the comics. There is a glossary in the back for some of the bigger words, as well as a dossier on Catwoman. There are also writing prompts and discussion questions to facilitate critical thinking.
If you have a kid who’s at the age to start chapter books, or are a kid at heart like me, these are a bunch of great books to check out.
This is the best new comic series from IDW since Locke & Key. Is that hyperbole? I really and genuinely don't think so. I am often seen as eternally sunny in the world of comics. As though there is always something positive to be said about a comic when talking to me. It's simply not the case. And these days as much as I still love comics I am super behind on a lot of things. I try to keep up with some things more than others but haven't had the time between all the work it takes to keep a store going on the trajectory that the South County store has been on and the recent resurgence in interest that I've had in Magic the Gathering. There is only so many hours that a person can devote to consuming media and my interests these days are so varied that I have had a reduction in the number of comics with which I can actively continue to be current.
So when I say all of that and then I say that I cannot wait, cannot flipping wait, to read Wild Blue Yonder #2 you will hopefully understand my excitement.
Written by Mike Raicht, Austin Harrison, & Zach Howard with art by Zach Howard Wild Blue Yonder is exactly the kind of comic that makes me get incredibly excited. The world building that has been done prior to the release of the first issue makes the world in which you are stepping in to feel completely realized. I imagine that each character that the book introduces you to, no matter how central or peripheral, has a whole life story. This is what makes a great reading experience, it's what makes a great viewing experience in television and film as well. But I should probably get around to talking about the book itself.
Raicht, Harrison, & Howard have created a wonderful world and populate it with interesting characters. The story takes place in a world that has become increasingly uninhabitable to humans and as a result society has moved further and further into the stratosphere. Those who are a little less well off wind up working in mines on the surface where the quality of life has become less and less and people grow more and more desperate. Those who live among the clouds are often aboard skyships or live high on mountains. The introduction speaks of pilots and jet pack warriors and of the fleet that dominates the sky, which is lead by The Judge, they are pirates of the worst kind, who take what they need and prey on the weak. In the skies only the fittest may survive.
The characters we are introduced to are Cola, a young female pilot from the skyship The Dawn, a ship that flies the skies on the power of the sun, who is on the look out for a promising young "Gun Type" (or jet pack warrior/tail gunner) to replace a recently deceased crewman. Carter the owner/proprietor of The Peak, a bar and restaurant high atop a mountain, which serves as a rest stop for those who fly among the clouds as well as an communication station and place to find new crew who want to try to make their lives among the skies. We also meet Tug a young man who has left the mining crew that he worked with when they stopped at The Peak and has been looking for new work and a new life, and happens to be interested in serving as Cola's new Gun.
Then we see a great sky battle where ships from The Judge's fleet have found and are attacking The Dawn and her crew and we meet Scram, one of the Guns from The Dawn who wears a jet-pack and flies from ship to ship to try to attack opposing pilots, in Scram's case with his trusty axe ... that sometimes gets him into trouble.
I'll leave the rest of the book for you to read but I will say that it is a stunning achievement of both world building and story telling that immediately reminded me of the incredibly memorable world of Meridian from the now defunct CrossGen comics (and boy howdy do I miss that book) with elements of The Rocketeer and the very best of pulp sci-fi.
Everything about this book appeals to me. I would give it my highest recommendation and would love to see it continue beyond the solicited 5 issue mini-series. (Even more so I would love to see material released that would allow me to utilize this world as a role playing setting.)
I've been on an anime and manga kick lately. To make it worse, it's been a super cute, girly anime kick. I'm sorry.
Young Miss Holmes
Everything you love about Sherlock Holmes wrapped up in a whip smart little girl.
Crystal "Christie" Margaret Hope is the niece of Sherlock Holmes. With both parents in India, she pretty much has the house to herself. What's a ten year old girl supposed to do? She, along with her faithful hound (and sometimes steed) Nelson, join her uncle Sherlock on some of his more interesting cases.
The books are perfect for taking everywhere. They are divided up into two casebooks a piece, and each casebook has more than one story. Each story has multiple chapters, which is perfect for me when I only have a couple of minutes to read. Most of the stories are new, providing a fresh take on the detective, but there are a few old favorites, most notably The Hound of the Baskervilles.
I'll admit, I'm a little late to the Sailor Moon party. With the rerelease of the manga, I decided it was time to try it out. I'm disappointed that I didn't read this sooner.
Usagi Tsukino is a 14 year old, crybaby who over sleeps, and loves playing video games. That is until she has a chance encounter with a black cat with a crescent moon on her forehead. The cat's name is Luna and she tells Tsukino that she is Sailor Moon, the champion for justice.
Tsukino can transform into Sailor Moon and her job is to save the world (mostly Japan because that's where the book was written) from the Enemy and to find the "Legendary Silver Crystal". To help her, Sailor Moon gets some nifty toys: her tiara that's a boomerang, the Moon Stick, and a pen that gives her disguises. Along the way, she finds some Sailor Scouts (friends and acquaintances that turn into Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter), each with their own special powers.
All in all, it's been a fun read and I can't wait to finish collecting the series to find out what happens.
Six-Gun Gorilla #1
Story by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Jeff Stokley
Colors by: Andre May
Letters by: Steve Wands
Cover by: Ramón Pérez, James Harren, Rico Renzi, Jeff Stokely
Publisher: Boom! Studios
How can you go wrong with a title like that! This issue is "Firefly" meets "The Running Man." Right from the start you are thrust into a bizarre Old Wild West story, where we are introduced to soldiers waiting on the cusp of battle. They nervously chatter about what brought them to enlist in the first place. Now's the fun part, we quickly realize this isn't your usual war story, these aint noble soldiers about to die heroically for flag and country. Nope they are going to die for money! This is a new twist on the old "He bought the farm" idea. Now it gets intriguing, you see, these soldiers have been implanted with a camera so that all the lazy non-combatants get to view there grizzly last minutes like some kind of ultra-violence reality show that would make Alex from Clockwork Orange all tingly. This is all from the view point of our protagonist; known only as "Blue-3425." Without giving too much more away, Simon Spurrier weaves a wondrously fascinating tale, which involves humor, horror, old timey romance and sci-fi grittiness. The story unfolds quickly, and we are made aware of a world that feels very familiar and simultaneously unreal all at the same time. Let's not forget Jeff Stokely, his art is fantastic as always. His gritty style of cartoonish realism is a perfect mix for Spurrier's wildly fascinating story. Oh yeah, I bet you're wondering about the gun toting gorilla? You get a glimpse of him, which in my opinion leaves me wanting more. If you haven't read this book, you should! It's got a frickin’ Gorilla who wields some blazing Six-Shooters! Need I say more? Go read “Six-Gun Gorilla” #1 right now.