Tag Archives: Titan Comics

Review | Alien Legion: Dead and Buried

AlienLegionOmnibus_Dead_and_Buried_new_.jpg.size-600Alien Legion: Dead and Buried (Titan)
Written by Charles Dixon, Pencils by Larry Stroman

I love a good action comic—a book that has all the hallmarks of a summer blockbuster, but that can be held in my hand and enjoyed any time I feel like it. Alien Legion: Dead and Buried, from Titan Comics, fills that need and does so in all the right ways. This new trade paperback collects Alien Legion 1-12, originally printed by Epic in the mid 1980s. Continue reading

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Saturday Review: Death Sentence

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Imagine there were a disease that would kill its host in six months, guaranteed, but before it did the sick man could get any number of possible superpowers and those powers would continue to increase in intensity until shortly before the end. If you had that kind of power available to you, what would you do? That’s the question that Death Sentence, a new graphic novel by Monty Nero from Titan Comics,asks reads.

Death Sentence follows three very different characters, Monty, a narcissistic comedian, Weasel, a burned out, drug addicted, former rock star, and Verity, a young woman stuck in an art job she can’t stand. The only thing the group has in common, aside from the G+ virus, is that they are highly creative people. While Monty plunges into the depths of his narcissism, Weasel and Verity struggle to make use of their gifts, even as the virus heightens their creativity. While much of the plot is a bit farfetched, there are themes within the book that make it a worthwhile read. The frustration of Weasel and Verity is palpable. For someone with a creative gift, the most aggravating thing in the universe can be when he can’t make things come together the way he knows they should, which is a theme repeatedly shown in Death Sentence.  Throughout the entire book, Weasel is trying to write a new hit song, but he isn’t able to record anything with any value.

Monty’s story is an interesting exploration into what people are willing to do if they feel there are no consequences. Monty does whatever he wants because he feels he is entitled to do so and no one can stop him. The fact that he only has six months to live only drives his pursuits into darker places at near breakneck speeds. I was disappointed that Nero didn’t choose to follow up on some plot threads that were dropped towards the end of the book. I feel like they could have been interesting additions, though maybe they are part of some future project. If that’s the case, I’ll be patient.

Our introduction to Verity.

An introduction to Verity.

The art by Mike Dowling is solid. His style is animated, and seamlessly transitions from more abstract shots to very detailed up close panels. At no point did I have an issue following what was going on, and things flowed well from panel to panel. Dowling also makes effective use of color palates, changing them to suit the mood of the scene, but not so much that it was jarring or disruptive to the story.  Dowling does a good job of portraying all the ridiculous things that go on in this book without being overly obscene. Obviously there is quite a bit of adult content, but it never felt as though I were looking at animated porn. In fact it was clear that great care was taken to only show what needed to be shown and that the rest was implied. I also really enjoyed the portrayal of the drug aided creative surges that both Weasel and Verity experience. They were almost like acid trips, but far more productive and lacking the negative side effects.

Death Sentence isn’t a bad read, though in the end I was much more enthralled by the art than the story. The end of the book contains a commentary by Nero and Dowling that makes for an interesting read and provides a depth of insight that is hard to find elsewhere. Death Sentence goes on sale this Tuesday, July 22. 3/5 Death Stars

3 Death Stars

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Saturday Reviews | Psycho Gran

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David Leach’s Psycho Gran is not like anything else to be sure. This book consists of a series of one to five page shorts all featuring Psycho Gran, an elderly woman who is truly deserving of her name. The various stories range from amusingly possible to completely absurd, and are in general quite entertaining. There is something very amusing about seeing a character of that age acting like Psycho Gran does. Leach, being the creator, has a great sense of the character and has a lot of fun telling her stories. Leach’s dialogue and, to some extent his characterization display a particularly British sensibility.

Pyscho Gran up to her old tricks.

Pyscho Gran up to her old tricks.

Leach’s art has a style that is definitely in the same genre as R. Crumb, but it’s not a reproduction of Crumb’s work. I found that the coloring complimented the art extremely well. Although I’m not against black and white comics, I’ve always found comics (especially this style) more enjoyable with color. Psycho Gran is available on Comixology for only $1.99, and it’s worth a read, if for no other reason than to help expand comic book horizons and enjoy some really goofy and amusing shorts.

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Q&A with David Leach of Psycho Gran

Recently Therefore I Geek had the good fortune to poke the brain of David Leach, who is the writer, artist and creator of Psycho Gran, a wonderfully warped British comic that is making a return. Issue one came out just a few weeks ago. David provided us with some great insight into his creative process and the origins of Psycho Gran.

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TIG: What was your personal introduction to comics?

David: When I was about six I was given a copy of the Tintin book, King Ottakar’s Sceptre, which I still have. When I was nine I saved up all my school bus fare to purchase the 1972 Beano annual, which I still have and my sister gave me a copy of the 1975 Giles annual for a Christmas present, which I still have.

As a reader, I started with the humour comics like Cor, Whizzer and Chips, Buster and Topper, then moved over to Battle, Warlord, 2000AD, Starlord and Action. I didn’t come to American comics until much later. I’d read Marvel UK titles like Tomb of Dracula, Planet of the Apes and Frankenstein’s Monster and I vividly remember reading several pivotal issues of both the Hulk and Spider Man as well as Super Man and Batman, but I didn’t start reading US comics properly until Mike Zeck’s run on Master of Kung Fu. Back then I read just three US comics, MOKF, Legion of Super Heroes and Frank Miller’s Daredevil. Then a whole new world opened up for me and I was hooked.

 

TIG: How did you get started in the comic industry?

David: To quote Mafia Gangster, Henry Hill, “Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a cartoonist.”
All through my early years, nothing drove me more than that desire. But I didn’t want to draw super hero comics. I wanted to draw funny stuff, kids comics. I have a pathological obsession to make people laugh. So, after leaving Art College, I got a job working for animation legend, Bob Godfrey (creator of Rhubarb and Custard). He employed me as his ghost artist and for the next year, I pencilled all of the Henry’s Cat comic strips that appeared in the Halifax Young Savers magazine, the New of the World’s Sunday magazine, and Buttons comic, as well as other stuff too. Then I went freelance. I got a four-week gig drawing for Whizzer and Chips comic, which lead to Oink! and the publishing of my first comic strip under my name and starring my own character, Psycho Gran. Then I went on to work on Toxic! Which lead to working for Marvel US on the Toxic Crusaders, followed by more British stuff. Continue reading

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