Comic Review – The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw Vol. 1

When I see the words “Kurt Busiek” and “new series” used in the same sentence, I take notice.  Kurt Busiek has been one of my favorite writers ever since I took a chance and read the first Astro City trade, to see what all the fuss was about.  Since then I have really enjoyed just about everything that Busiek has put out since.  The numerous Astro City stories, his run on Avengers with George PerezJLA\Avengers, his work on Superman, and one of my personal favorites Superman: Secret Identity.
His work with Benjamin Dewey on The Autumnlands Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw is no exception.
This is a work of fantasy, with some sci-fi elements as well. This contains issues #1-6 of the first story arc,  and tells a tale of a world whose residents are humanoid animals.  The higher caste of society uses magic like technology to serve their gods, while the “lesser ones” provide all the labor that is need for whatever that magic can’t provide. The tension between the two grows daily.  When one wizard realizes that their magic is fading the faster they use it, she convinces their greatest talents to band their magic together to bring back the Great Champion that legends told brought magic to their lands.  The plan, however; does not go as they wished.
I really enjoyed this series, and read it as it came out originally.  When I saw that the trade that collected the series came out soon after the first arc ended, I had to have in my library.
Once again Kurt Busiek uses his skill at world building to put together an engaging tale that was hard to put down.  The art from Benjamin Dewey is the master stroke that makes this series all the more enjoyable to read.  One of my favorite parts of this series is that somewhere in the beginning of each issue there is a piece of what I assume is painted art, accompanied by a piece of prose that fleshed out some bit of the world that the book is set in.  I am not sure if that has ever been done before, but it really adds a lot to the experience.  At least to me.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys fantasy, or at the very least the work of Kurt Busiek.  You will not be disappointed.
This is rated R, for language, nudity and violence.  So it’s not really safe for the kids.

Comic Book Review – Black Science Vol. 1

Black Science Vol. 1
Once in a while I read something that makes my brain buzz with a kind of euphoria its just so good. When it is a comic book it has to be something pretty unique. Such was Black Science Vol. 1 by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera.

Anyone that knows me knows that my usual MO in comic books is the superhero genre.  However, I am also a big fan of science fiction, and when I read the description of the this book on Comixology during a half off sale; I just had to give it a shot.
Collects BLACK SCIENCE #1-6 Anarchist scientist Grant McKay has done the impossible! Using the Pillar, he has punched a hole through the barriers between dimensions, allowing travel to all possible universes. But now Grant and his team are trapped in the folds of infinity, the Pillar sending them careening through a million universes of unimaginable adventure, sanity-flaying danger and no way home… Presenting the first mind-warping chapter of the critically acclaimed sci-fi epic by superstar creative team of writer RICK REMENDER (Uncanny Avengers, Captain America) and artist MATTEO SCALERA (Secret Avengers).
One thing Comixology has been good at since it started is exposed me to all kinds of different material that for whatever reason I wasn’t exposed to or just never heard of.  I have picked up several good reads over the years in sales like this, and ended up finding books I continued to read past my first exposure.
To say that I was pleasantly surprised with this book is a gross understatement.  Saying that the story grabbed me by the balls and got my undivided attention would be a more accurate description.  Without giving away any of the plot I would call it a cross of the late 90’s TV series Sliders and Game of Thrones TV series.  This series about dimension hopping scientists has a breakneck speed that is completely unpredictable from one moment to the next, and much like Game of Thrones; no character is safe from a horrible fate. Besides the sci-fi elements, it is the raw (almost savage) way that the story is told that left me feeling at times that I was run over a truck, but in a good way. I enjoyed  this book so much, that after reading this in digital format, I immediately ordered Vol. 1 and 2 in print, and preordered Vol 3 so I could add it to my collection.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of adult science fiction, and tales of adventure.  For those that do podcast, the guys and I did a read of the first issue, and you can find it here: Episode 197: Spotlight on Image Comics: Black Science #1 (2013)
I give this book (using the movie scale) an R rating for language and violence, so it’s not safe for the kiddies.