• Category Archives Comic Books
  • Any and all posts pertaining to comic books.

  • Project Rebirth: Another Update

    Comic Book Longboxes
    Some of my comic book longboxes.

    Here is an update on Project Rebirth, but first:

    Lots of comics on the brain these days, both the creation of them and the publishing of them (the latter being the most difficult in the context of distribution; publishing them in general is a non-issue). I’m basically living in my head on the matter and have written notes where and when needed. An overall plan is starting to congeal but there are still a few missing elements which will no doubt present themselves the further I get into the process.

    I’m still waiting to hear back from some people on something that will dictate the winter schedule. I expect I’ll be hearing something soon thus helping things on my end.

    A good chunk of Project Rebirth is in the can, here is the update, lifting the list from this previous blog entry:

    Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: This has been back up and running for a while now and is just as enjoyable now and it was all the years I’ve been doing it. Please subscribe by going here. You get a free novelette as a thank you.

    A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: This has also been running for a bit now. It’s a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to provide exclusive content to my patrons. Please join the Patreon journey and get access to an ongoing serial novel (plus other things, depending on the tier you select), by going here.

    Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: The paperback is coming off the line at the printer’s right now so a pick up is in the near future. I will sign the books then send them to Jeff Burton for his signature before they go out to backers. The lettered edition is printed and signed on my end. I’m in the process of inserting a piece of exclusive art into the book. Once this is done, these will also go to Jeff Burton for signature then to backers. If you missed the kickstarter but want a copy of the book to complete your Axiom-man and/or Auroraman collection, please go here.

    Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: A list is made, but this is tied into the “more” below, so as it stands right now, I’m not moving on them just yet.

    Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: In process.

    Revving up public appearances and media again: To be looked at over the winter.

    New YouTube channel: The channel has been up for a short while with more videos being added as time goes on. Please subscribe here.

    More . . . : This “more” is tied into the “hearing back from some people” statement above. This step is a big part of my winter so I’m in a holding pattern until I know what’s going on. Watch this space for more info once I have it. I think a Web presence redesign was part of my original plan for “more” so that’s also complete both here on the blog and on social media.

    And that pretty much sums up where things are at with Project Rebirth. More news to come as things progress along.

    Reminder: A Tip Jar was set up yesterday on Patreon and on Ko-fi. The tips are meant to help fuel the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, YouTube videos, a weekly newsletter, and artwork). Thank you in advance for any beans you throw my way.


  • On Ten Graphic Novels

    I love comics. Below are my top ten graphic novels and/or graphic novel series in no particular order.

    1) Alec by Eddie Campbell
    2) From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
    3) Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
    4) The Crow by James O’Barr
    5) Sin City by Frank Miller
    6) Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson
    7) American Splendor by Harvey Pekar et al.
    8) King-Cat by John Porcellino
    9) Cerebus by Dave Sim and Gerhard
    10) Sunnyville Stories by Max West


  • Canister X Book Review #19: Sunnyville Stories, Vol. 2 by Max West

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Sunnyville Stories, Vol. 2
    by Max West
    5 out of 5

    Sunnyville Stories Vol. 2 is a great continuation of Max West’s landmark series. I’m a huge fan of the stories within this collection as well as Max’s art. It’s wonderful to find there is still good wholesome entertainment out there thanks to sagas like Sunnyville Stories. From what I hear, Sunnyville Stories is planned for 50 issues, which means there will be many more wonderful collections like this to come. Thanks, Max, for continuing to give us the further adventures of Sam and Rusty. Look forward to the next collection.


  • Canister X Book Review #18: Sunnyville Stories, Vol. 1 by Max West

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Sunnyville Stories, Vol. 1
    by Max West
    5 out of 5

    I’ve been following Max West on Twitter for quite sometime and finally got around to getting a copy of Sunnyville Stories Vol. 1.

    I love this book. It’s old-fashioned cartooning mixed with clever wit and wholesome storytelling. Most importantly, Max’s comic series has the one thing that’s missing from the mainstream comics of today: heart.

    There’s a soul to this book, one that made me feel good inside when reading it. The art is classic cartooning, with that down-to-earth quality that I love about indie comics. The stories are simple, relatable and enjoyable.

    Do I want to read the next volume of Sunnyville Stories? You bet I do!

    Count me a fan. This book is good stuff.

    Recommended.


  • Canister X Book Review #17: Von Herling, Vampire Hunter by Max West

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Von Herling, Vampire Hunter
    by Max West
    4 out of 5

    As a fan of Max West’s Sunnyville Stories, I was excited to give this yarn a read. Max does not disappoint. Von Herling is a classic vampire tale that sports thrills and chills all the while being acted out through anthropomorphic animals done is Max’s patented style. There’s rumors of a sequel so here’s hoping Max hits the drawing board and comes through. Always looking for more from this creator. Well done, Max.


  • Canister X Book Review #16: The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    The Hospital Suite
    by John Porcellino
    5 out of 5

    This book is, quite simply, amazing. I’ve been a fan of John Porcellino’s work for several years and when this book arrived in the mail, I got to reading it as soon as I could. John’s honest portrayal of working through his illness and the aftermath that followed struck a chord with me on several levels. In fact, I just sent an email to John going into those things more in depth.

    On the cartooning front, John is a masterful cartoonist and storyteller. This book kept me gripped from beginning to end and the art within complimented the story John was telling.

    This book is highly recommended. Do yourself a favor: read it.


  • Canister X Book Review #14: Stargazer, Vol. 1 by Von Allan

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Stargazer Volume 1
    by Von Allan
    5 out of 5

    After the passing of her grandmother, heartbroken Marni is having a hard time dealing with her loss. Her friends Sophie and Elora come to her side and try and comfort her. All Marni has to remember her grandmother by is a strange-looking artifact that looks more like an antique vacuum cleaner without the hose or cords than anything else.

    In an effort to get back to a normal life, Marni and her friends have a campout in the backyard and Marni brings the artifact with them into the tent. After a brief tussle, the artifact transports them to a mysterious world, tent and all. The three girls now need to find a way home. The question is how? Perhaps the cute robot they discover can help them. He seems pretty handy, giving them food and all, but he better act quick because a foul beast lurks somewhere in the dark and Marni and her friends will be doomed if they don’t stop it first.

    This is my first exposure to Von Allan’s work aside from what I’ve seen on his website (which I think I found while Googling Canadian cartoonists). I’m very pleased and Stargazer was better than I anticipated.

    The writing: very solid. Allan’s pacing is spot on and his delivery of information is succinct and gets you from point A to B without any clutter. I was very impressed with how he was able to convey what are very detailed story points, characters and the world they inhabit without him over-explaining everything. His word choice and placement does the work for you and tells you what you need to know when you need to know it.

    The art: Lately I’ve been falling in love with black-and-white comic books and Stargazer further convinced me that the black-and-white comic book medium is an arena that needs to be explored by comic book enthusiasts everywhere. Von Allan’s artwork is natural, shaded well, inked clearly and is detailed enough so you know what you’re looking at, without you getting lost in endless black lines. His proportions are bang on and regardless of the camera angle chosen, each scene unfolds smoothly and easily.

    The book: Well put together and well bound. I particularly enjoyed the non-standard size of the book (I think it was around 6×9 thereabouts) which made for easy handling when reading.

    Von Allan also included extras in the back: a character gallery (very cool posters here); plot outline; brainstorming sessions; and even a few pages of sample script. I’ve always been a fan of behind-the-scenes material for books and comics and Allan’s little package at the back of Stargazer was well put together.

    I’m looking forward to what will no doubt be a dynamite Volume Two from a talented storyteller.

    Keep ’em coming, Mr. Allan.


  • Canister X Book Review #8: MegaMan NT Warrior, Vol. 1 by Ryo Takamisaki

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    MegaMan NT Warrior, Vol. 1
    by Ryo Takamisaki
    5 out of 5

    In the year 200X, the whole world is connected to the Cyber Network. People jack in to the Net using handheld PCs called PETs, and each person has their own artificially intelligent avatar called a NetNavi.

    Lan Hikari’s is MegaMan, a truly sophisticated and powerful NetNavi programmed by his father.

    Like any fifth grader in DenTech City, Lan passes the time by having NetBattles with his fellow classmates, pitting MegaMan up against any who would challenge him. The problem is, NetBattling is illegal unless you have a special license. But that’s only part of the Lan’s and MegaMan’s problem. An evil organization called World Three is infecting computers with sinister viruses with the hope of one day taking over the world.

    Lan jacks in and sends MegaMan to stop these viruses before it’s too late.

    This manga, which is similar to the anime of the same name, was a blast to read. Ryo Takamisaki’s storytelling is topnotch—quick, exciting and a whirlwind of adventure from beginning to end. His art is your classic manga but with a cartoon flare, and the dialogue is perfect, conveying to us everything we need to know about the story, without it coming off as long-winded explanations for “what’s happening.”

    The banter between Lan and MegaMan is pricelss, even better than in the anime.

    This volume also contains a very intriguing cliffhanger ending and fun bonus story.

    Recommended.


  • Canister X Book Review #7: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, Vol. 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, Vol. 1
    by Nobuhiro Watsuki
    4 out of 5

    A mysterious warrior named Hitokiri Battôsai arose in Kyoto 140 years ago. A fiercesome warrior, he slew countless men, his efforts helping bring to a close the Bakumatsu era and bringing in the age of the Meiji.

    Then he disappeared.

    In the 11th year of the Meiji, a rurouni—a vagabond—named Himura Kenshin surfaces in Tokyo and befriends the spunky Kaoru, the owner of a student-less dojo.

    With the aid of young new friend Yahiko, a boy wanting to be a samurai himself, Kenshin and Kaoru must ward off those looking to kill them.

    And so the story begins . . .

    Despite its label being a “romantic comedy,” this is by far the most serious out of the manga I read. Nobuhiro Watsuki has crafted an incredible tale, an important story, one that had captured my full attention the second Kenshin showed up in Tokyo (which is pretty much the first page of the book).

    His art is stellar. The detail is astounding (even after the first 22 pages when the art goes from ultra detailed to “just” super detailed). His rendering of Japan from 140 years ago is believable, each panel transporting you directly to the past.

    The big deal about this book is the fight sequences, each chapter in this volume containing at least one battle. I’ve never seen action like this before—so huge, so intense, so detailed, so explosive, with speed-lines everywhere—AMAZING!

    This volumes also includes a special bonus story that was originally published about a year before the now-complete-twenty-eight-volume series began.

    This is a great opening story to what is sure to be a fantastic saga this reviewer looks forward to finishing. (I’m also now eager to check out the anime for this.)


  • Canister X Book Review #5: Rizzo: Year One by Chris Riseley and Sean Simmans

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Rizzo: Year One
    by Chris Riseley and Sean Simmans
    5 out of 5

    What do you get when you team up a struggling writer and an artist who wears a dinosaur costume all day long? You get Rizzo, a hilarious collection of the syndicated comic strip.

    Rizzo, the character, writes. W. Bill Czolgosz, the character, draws, and these strips follow them on their adventure of trying to make their mark in a world that doesn’t appreciate them or their “art.”

    The gags are brief, about 3-4 panels long, and you find yourself laughing out loud for most of them and laughing on the inside for all of them.

    This humor, part simple silliness and part commentary, is smart, witty and, to a degree, “observational” ala Seinfeld.

    Rizzo burst onto the scene a few years back and appears in many newspapers across the country.

    This book is a “best of” collection, chosen from over 900 strips. (There are about 300 strips in the book.)

    Too funny. Read it.