Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Princep's Fury

Princeps' Fury (Codex Alera, #5)Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If there's one thing that can be said for what Jim Butcher does in this series, it is that he's absolutely great at the big moments; whether those moments are ones of revelations or of the payoffs of an emotional journey, he sticks the landing every time. The characters grow and change, they succeed or fail, and, unlike some other book series out there, they face the consequences of both success and failure. The other thing I think Butcher really nails in this installment in particular is making us feel what the characters feel. Tavi and his friends and, really, every character in the story are facing not just a life or death struggle but the end of their entire world, and there is an appropriate sense of tension throughout the book that is very real and very palpable. I felt so pulled along by things that I picked up the final installment the very second after I finished reading this one. Sounds like the mark of a great book and a great author to me.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Panel of the Week: 6-17-15

Another week of slim pickings. I actually had three potential choices this week but they were all of the "best of a bad situation variety." So the winner this week, beating out an Optimus Prime ass-kicking and the death of Beta Ray Bill is... Apocalypse.

This full-page spread is the last-page cliffhanger from this week's Old Man Logan #2, written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Andrea Sorrentino. I love everything about this panel. Sorrentino's art throughout the issue is gorgeous, but it really captures the menace and grandeur of Apocalypse. And the fact that an old, naked Logan, having been but through a hell of a wringer already, would find himself at the feet of the first mutant in his own Age of Apocalypse world is just great.

But as great as it is, I'm definitely hoping for better choices in upcoming weeks...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - The Darkling Child

The Darkling Child (The Defenders of Shannara #2)The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My biggest gripe with this book is the same I've had with the last few book Terry Brooks has written: they feel too light. Not necessarily the page count, but the content; it felt like the story flew through without a lot of events happening. Older installments of the series felt denser, like they were more packed with action and story beats than this one. Perhaps it could be described as pacing issues, I don't know, as the passage of time between chapters is at times unclear. That gripe aside, I loved everything else. I love the world of Shanarra as much as ever, and all the myth and lore that goes with it. I enjoyed the characters, they felt fleshed out and real, with the possible exception of Reyn, who, up until the end felt kind of one-note. Paxon and Arcannen are great characters, and the way their stories are orbiting this trilogy-that-isn't is fantastic. As always, this Shanarra story left me hungry for the next one.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Panel of the Week: 6/10/15

Slim pickings this week, folks. Between Superman being out of costume and Batman looking like a giant robot bunny now, DC had nothing good to offer (not that DC ever really has anything good to offer in general though); the indies I read this week were unimpressive from an art standpoint (except Saga, which always has beautiful art but nothing memorable this week); and things at Marvel are all about Secret Wars, an event a lot of the top tier artists seem to be sitting out. Still, there has to be a winner and it comes from Marvel, not so much because it's a great artistic piece but I love the visual and the idea of it:

Dessicated Hungry Zombie Juggernaut!

This idea and image from Secret Wars: Marvel Zombies #1, written by Simon Spurrier, art by Kev Walker, is just begging to be made into a very detailed, very twisted statue. I'd buy it!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Spellstorm

SpellstormSpellstorm by Ed Greenwood

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You know what people want when they pick up a Forgotten Realms novel starring Elminster, the greatest wizard of that world? A book full of magic, of spell battles, and of magical creatures. What they probably don't want is a murder mystery where magic is rendered useless and the main characters spend most of their time running back and forth through a giant house talking about food, cooking, and washing dishes. Honestly, this is probably the most repetitive book I've ever read (even more so than the last few Terry Goodkind novels, and that's saying something). Everything from scenes to jokes to action beats is repeated time and again, all while the characters act out the simplest murder mystery I've ever read; seriously, the reveal at the end was no surprise at all. I know, I shouldn't be judging the book on what I wanted it to be but on what it is... unfortunately, what it is just isn't that good.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Panel of the Week: 6/3/15

Anybody out there remember Blade, starring Wesley Snipes? I'm sure you do; for a long time it was probably the best comic book movie ever made. It features one of the best bits of casting ever, great action, and great dialogue, especially Blade's crowning one-liner as he wins the final fight:

It's a classic. I bring it up because the winning panel of this week's batch of books comes from Secret Wars - Battleworld #2, from the first story in the book written by David F. Walker and art by J.J. Kirby. It's a story about Blade (from the 70's, afro and all) hunting vampires in Howard the Duck's land. Which, yes, means he's hunting vampire ducks. But, one thing Blade doesn't take into account and is shocked to see, is that there's a duck version of him there who saves his ass in the nick of time, leading to this week's winner:

'Nuff said.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Goodreads Book Review - Captain's Fury

Captain's Fury (Codex Alera, #4)Captain's Fury by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was pretty damn riveting. As the revelations about Tavi are revealed, not to the readers but finally to himself and to those around him, there are some pretty thrilling moments. And they are moments that feel completely earned through the journeys the characters have gone through. Butcher writes such realistic, vibrant characters that it is very easy to identify with and support them... or to feel completely betrayed and disgusted by one of them, as happens with one of the characters here; I'll avoid saying who for the sake of spoilers. The action scenes are good as well, but it's the plotting and characters that are, as with the Dresden Files, Butcher's greatest strengths. I'm still disappointed at the real lack of diversity between the furies and what can be done with them, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't hurt the series at all. I'm looking forward to diving into the next one soon.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 1, 2015

Panel of the Week: 5/27/15

And here we go, finally caught up to date on this column, managing to get the previous week's one up a whole two days before the next batch of comics comes out. I enjoy doing this despite the lack of real interest or interaction (much like the rest of my blog as a whole), but it ain't easy on the full schedule I have. Anyway, enough of my whining. This week's winner comes from Sandman: Overture #5, written by the incomparable Neil Gaiman, with art by J.H. Williams III. This book, the first time Gaiman's returned to one of the characters that made him famous in years, only comes out once every few months. Which is maddening but completely worth it when the results manage to look like this:

Aside from how breathtakingly beautiful the art itself is, and aside from the scale that beauty exists on... that isn't just a panel, people, it's a full two-page spread, and it ain't alone in the issue... take a moment to think about what's being done here on a story-telling level. The story of the comic is taking place here inside a book that exists inside the comic that it's taking place in. Yeah. The ability to do something like that is a prime example of the beauty of the kind of sequential story-telling comics allows is a perfect example of why comic books are an art form, and is why this panel wins this week.