Ramble & Review: Charmed by Various

As a treat for myself on my Thirtieth Birthday I took the half-an-hour journey into Newcastle to a fancy café / bagel shop for breakfast, then to the only old school comic book store still around (Graphic Action Comics: 572 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302). The next closest shop would be in Sydney, a two-and-a-half-hour trip. Obviously, I can buy them online, but that is beside the point! If you want to walk into a shop and buy comics and you live in the Hunter, Lake Mac or Newcastle’s surrounding suburbs you must take the journey to Newcastle. I call it a journey as they’ve stopped the train running, so you either must fight for a spot on an overcrowded bus or drive in and do laps until you find a car park. I drove. I hate buses. I’ll do trains no worries, but not buses.

While browsing (this took well over an hour much to my husband’s disdain) I saw an ad for a Charmed Comic re-boot coming in march. I found this amusing as I was in the middle of rewatching the entire TV series, so I pre-ordered it. I sat down and watched the entire TV series when I first got the collection back in 2008 and being stuck on the couch feeding Ethan at all hours seemed like a good enough reason for a rewatch.

Once I got home I started googling the comic series, as before that fateful trip to town I hadn’t realised there had ever been one. Oops and I call myself a Charmed Fan, shame on me. I found it available in collected volumes on amazon (kindle) and promptly began reading.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 1 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 0-5) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge

Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil… or so they think.

Paperback, 176 pages. Published February 15th 2011 by Zenescope.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 2 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 6-12) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge, Raven Gregory, Dave Hoover

The girls are back in town! Season 9 of Charmed continues in the pages of this graphic novel from Zenescope. Follow along everyone’s favorite trio of witches as Paige, Phoebe, and Piper continue their adventures from the hit TV series.

Paperback, 184 pages. Published September 20th 2011 by Zenescope.

My Thoughts: Zenescope has managed to move the girls to the comic medium quite well. Reading the comics I felt like I was still watching the show. The comic’s time line has moved forward slightly from the 8th TV season. I loved seeing Chris and Wyatt (Piper’s boys) a little bit older and seeing the other two sisters with children also. The family dynamic is still strong, with Granddad Victor on babysitting duties as the hubbies jump in to help in the dramatic last battle of Season 9 volume 2. The hubbies may be joining the battles some of the time now, but it’s still very much a magical woman in charge vibe. A must for fans of the show.

At the end of issue twelve we are left with a Prue size cliff-hanger thanks to a conversation between Patty and Cole – which forced me to go and buy volume 3 and realise I’m probably going to want to read all the Zenescope comics before I read my pre-ordered Dynamite first issue. DAMN IT!

For those who don’t know: The Charmed TV show spanned Eight Seasons and aired from 1998 -2006. It focused on three sister witches kicking bad guy ass and finding love. It was all about girl power, sisterhood, doing what is right and staying true to one’s self. Heaps of action was had; the demon killing kind and men wrangling kind, with plenty of eye candy for both the male and female viewers. The Charmed Comic series by Zenescope print run lasted from 2010 to 2016. Season 9 as they called it came out as 24 issues between June 2010 and November 2012 and Season 10 came out as 20 issues between October 2014 and September 2016. Dynamite now owns the rights to CHARMED and will be releasing its first Comic on the 8th March 2017.

Charmed #1 by [Schultz, Erica]

Dynamite is proud to present a brand-new Charmed story by writer Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow & Lady Zorro, Revenge) and artist Maria Sanapo (Grimm, DC Comics Bombshells) that will CHARM returning fans and new alike! Based on the popular WB television series that ran from 1998 to 2006. CHARMED, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, had a cult following due to its supernatural fantasy storylines and strong female characters. Our debut series follows the characters played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan as they balance adult life with a new demon threat.

CHARMED #1: A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco and the only ones who can stop it are Phoebe, Paige, and Piper! Balancing work, witchcraft, and a life is never easy, and the Charmed Ones are stretched too thin. Meanwhile, a demon in the Underworld rallies the troops with a plan to take out the Charmed Ones forever.

Mini Reviews: Guardians and Good Neighbors

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2008-2010) #1 by Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett (Author’s), Clint Langley, Paul Pelletier, Rick Magyar (Illustrator’s)

Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Star-Lord and his squad of butt-kickers — the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy! Goodreads View.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the 2014 movie based on the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic book reboot so much that after watching it I had intended on going and getting my hands the comics. And I did! It just took me two years.

So 2008’s issue #1. The comic has the same humour I enjoyed from the movie! Some of characters look rather different in print to the way they are portrayed in the movie, but the imagery was easily readable and I had gotten to know who was who by the end. The story was entertaining and fast paced, with a teaser thrown in near the end that hints at a long term underlying plot. I will definitely be continuing with the series. 4/5-stars.

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Kith (The Good Neighbors #2) by Holly Black (Author), Ted Naifeh (Illustrator)

From the amazing imagination of bestselling author Holly Black, a mysterious and wonderful teen graphic novel masterpiece.

Rue Silver’s life is not what it appears to be. Her mother is a faerie, and has been taken back to the faerie realm. As Rue goes to bring her back, she must travel deep into an inhuman world. At the same time, the faerie realm is venturing into our world too, and taking its toll on those Rue loves. When her grandfather’s plans threaten Rue’s city, she realizes that she’s the only one who can stop him. But is Rue a human or a faerie? Where does she fit? How does she know the difference between love and enchantment? Goodreads View.

MY THOUGHTS: ME: Browsing the graphic novel/comic section of my local library “Holly Black I know that name”. Picks up book “Mmm a Holly Black graphic novel, that could be interesting”. Turns book over and reads the blurb “Yeah I’m gunna borrow it, sounds interesting enough”. Gets home and looks more closely at the cover “Ah f*** it says Book Two”. – I read it anyways. Obviously, as this is a review post.

Plot wise the whole 2nd in series thing wasn’t an issue. There was a page of straight text at the front that briefly summarised what had previously happened and the second book’s plot was quite easier to follow. I found the art work quite off putting. It was black and white only, which wasn’t the problem. Unfortunately It was quite dark and unreadable at times. Everyone, humans and fairies alike, all looked so similar it was a difficult at times to keep track of who was who. I’m not sorry I read it as it didn’t take long and was mildly entertaining, but the artwork brought down my enjoyment. 2/5-stars.

Review: Mer by Joelle Sellner

33825562After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human.

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh.

Expected publication: April 19th 2017 by Diamond Book Distributors. GOODREADS.

My Review is based on an uncorrected proof via Netgalley – Thank you Joelle Sellner and Diamond Book Distributors for the ARC.

My Thoughts mk3

I decided to read this comic because the synopsis caught my attention. I found the art work to be bright, colourful, clear and visually quite pleasant. Putting aside the cringe worthy insta-love between the two main characters I enjoyed reading this comic. I found the villain amusing and her demise was entertaining.

I think girls between 11-13 would eat this comic up. What tween doesn’t want a sexy teenage Mer-person to instantly fall in love with them and offer them a new magical home and the chance to be a Mer. 11-year-old me would have loved the idea of running away and becoming a mermaid! Hell, 30-year-old me still thinks It might be kind of fantastic.

We follow Aryn as she navigates a new school, new friends, new love and gets herself caught in the villain’s clutches, then back out again, with help.

Aryn bugged me early on in the story and I can’t decide whether I felt she was immature or unhinged. I felt quite detached from the story as she was going berserk at strangers in the school hall and at her father. Actually, her treatment of her father grated on me, but that’s the adult and parent in me. I don’t think the intended audience would feel this way and the younger teens would be siding with her.

Under the cheesy romance and friendship drama there was a deeper story with Aryn realising she loves and needs her family – so that was nice. The comic is only 66 pages long, so all in all it was a light and quick read.

2.5 Stars. It was a bit better than just OKAY, but just too cringey for me to be able to say I liked it as a whole. This one for the young teens only.

Mini Reviews: Four free Doctors, Sean & SAGA-37

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Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016 by Robbie Morrison

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Whether you’re a whizz with a Sonic Screwdriver or completely new to Who, this is the perfect Free Comic Book Day adventure for Sci-Fi fans of all ages! Written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, this is the ideal place to start reading!

Published July 5th 2016 by Titan Comics. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: What is better then a free comic? A free comic that is awesome! And this was most definitely awesome. With new adventures from the Doctors 12, 11, 10 & 9, it was a super fun read. I am so chuffed I came across it on amazon, still free I might add. I can see myself reading it again when I need a quick pick me up. FIVE “I will always love you #10 / Keep on keeping on you scallywag #12” STARS.

22327251Sean (Stuff Happens) by Will Kostakis

Stuff happens sometimes.
Everyday stuff.
At school, at home, with sport, with mates.

For Sean it happened starting at a new school.

Published August 27th 2014 by Penguin Australia. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Nawww adorable!! We follow fifth grader Sean as he tackles the terrifying task of starting at a new school and making new friends. Even though this book is aimed around 8-12 year-olds I still enjoyed it immensely. It was full of Kostakis’s entertaining and heart warming style that I know and love from his YA novels. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

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Saga #37 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples 

NEW STORY ARC! “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” PART ONE. SAGA is back with its most epic storyline yet, and to celebrate, FIONA STAPLES graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. This arc is a self-contained “event” we’ve been building to since our very first issue, so now is the perfect time for readers who love SAGA’s bestselling collections to join our monthly adventures! Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: 37 issues in and this comic is still brilliant! With over three years of awesomeness under It’s belt the saga that is SAGA just keeps on getting better and better. It is a visually splendid and extremely entertaining sci-fi comic series with some important cultural undertones.

I love the motley crew that makes up Hazels’s traveling family and I am looking forward to the adventures ahead of them in the new story arc that starts with this issue. Bring it on Vaughan & Staples. FIVE “I’m addicted and I love it” STARS.

Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short

30027064Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short #1-5) by Arvind Ethan David, Ilias Kyriazis (Contributor)

After the many and conflicting versions of the legendary Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams created Dirk Gently: a detective with a belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, a troubled relationship with the laws of probability and quantum physics, and a love of cats and pizza.
After the events of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea Time, but prior to the detective s relocation to California in The Interconnectedness of All Kings, Dirk finds himself investigating a bizarre case of poaching, dumbstruck tourists, and the inner membranes of a rhinoceros nose.” Goodreads View.
Expected publication: September 20th 2016 by IDW Publishing
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My Thoughts: I’m a big Hitchhiker’s fan, the original books, TV and movie adaptations, I love it all! I have attempted to read Douglas Adam’s first Dirk Gently novel, but I only managed to get the first three chapters in. I tried reading it during a rather stressful time and always vowed to try again one day. So when I saw Adam’s Dirk turned into a graphic novel on NetGalley, I couldn’t not give it a go – interconnectedness and all, I was meant to read this graphic novel 😛 :-). Thank you to IDW and Netgalley for a copy to read and review.

The time jumps from Dirk as a child and as an adult, and both story lines were interesting and easy to follow. In the end Dirk solves the case, but we are left with some loose ends to make as curious about the next edition. I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for the next Comic installment of Dirk Gently. I won’t saw much about the case Dirk works on throughout the story arch, no spoilers, but I quite enjoyed it. It was a fast and fun read.

The art work was crisp, clear and easy on the eyes and there were sprinkles of humor the whole way through the story. I felt Dirk worked really well in the graphic novel median. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

Four Stars

Review: Klaw by Antoine Ozenam

image (2)A population of secret were-animals hide among us, and young Angel Tomassini is about to learn just how widespread — and dangerous — it is! Beautifully illustrated by Joel Jurion, best known throughout Europe and the worldwide animation industry for his gorgeous and dynamic character design, written by Antoine Ozenam, this exciting young adult series explores a world of ancient conflict hiding just under the surface of modern life as we know it. With identifiable coming of age themes overshadowed by thrilling action sequences and a deep, enthralling mythology, this book will introduce readers to a world unlike anything else on shelves today.

Klaw: The First Cycle byAntoine Ozenam(Writer), Joël Jurion(Illustrator), Yoann Guillé(Colorist), Mike Kennedy(Translator).

Collecting the first three chapters of this original ongoing series — AWAKENING, TABULA RASA, and UNIONS — this book comprises “THE FIRST CYCLE” in the epic, hidden universe of KLAW!image

Pre-order from Book Depository or Booktopia

 * * * * *  MY  THOUGHTS  * * * * *

Firstly, I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

When we first meet Angel Tomassini he is getting beaten up my bullies, he is set up to seem like an underdog but he came off more like a spoiled rich kid to me, but Angel redeemed himself.

The reader follows Angel as he finds out about the power that resides within him, learns who his allies and who his enemies are, finds out the truth about his father and goes on to become the vigilante/superhero known as ‘The Klaw’.

This graphic novel chucks at lot at the reader at rapid pace; Bullying, Friendship, First Loves, Shape-Shifting, Mythology, Astrology, Super Heroes, Mafia Men, Super Villains and Paranormal Government Agents.

I’m giving it THREE “I enjoyed it” STARS. The premise of the story was interesting, but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. As a whole the story felt a bit rushed and I would have liked more time spent on character development.

I really enjoyed the scenes showing Angel’s relationship with both his mentors, watching them train, the banter between them etc. Actually Angel and Dan hiding out in the warehouse training was my favorite part of the story, shame it didn’t last longer.

All in all, I’m glad I read it, but It didn’t blow me away.

Review: The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Carroll adapted by Moore & Reppion

Take one politely stubborn and opinionated young girl. Add an overactive imagination. Shake in a heavy mix of puzzling and bizarre guides. Reduce all morals and lessons to the nonsensical degree and send it all on a journey to nowhere…

These are the ingredients that Lewis Carroll combined to create a fairy tale unlike any another. Dynamite is proud to present for all ages The Complete Alice in Wonderland; the most vivid adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s genre bursting tale of young Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. It contains Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and the LOST chapter form Looking Glass “The Wasp in a Wig!”

Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice’s adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favorites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book’s latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again!Alice 1Published on the 19th April 2016, The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adapted by Leah Moore and John Reppion, illustrated by Erica Awano. GOODREADS

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I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a an honest review, THANK YOU.Alice 3

 * * *  MY  THOUGHTS * * *

Review: Faith by Jody Houser

28386991FAITH #1 (Faith) by Jody Houser

Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr!

But flying solo is going to be tougher than Zephyr ever thought when she uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off a full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head…or ready for her biggest challenge yet?

28679776FAITH #2 (Faith) by Jody Houser

Just as she uncovers a conspiracy in the Hollywood Hills that threatens the lives of her fellow psiots and new friends alike, Faith must also deal with the return of her ex-boyfriend and one-time teammate Torque…and a volatile new alien threat that nobody saw coming!

Be here as all-star creators Jody Houser (Orphan Black), Francis Portela (Green Lantern), and Marguerite Sauvage (DC Comics Bombshells) continue the groundbreaking, first-ever solo series for the Valiant Universe’s most extraordinary hero…the high-flying Faith!

“A superhero we can all admire.” -People Magazine
Faith on Goodreads
* * * *   M Y     T H O U G H T S   * * * *

Thank you Diamond Book Distributors and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review a partial galley (Issues 1 & 2) of Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine.

Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine will be released on the 26th July and it will contain FAITH Issues 1 – 4.

Bob’s Burgers: Medium Rare

26778329Bob’s Burgers: Medium Rare

by Loren Bouchard, Adam Beechen, Ben Dickerson, Jeff Drake, Brian Hall,Rachel Hastings, Justin Hook, John McNamee , Mike Olsen, Mark Von Der Heide, Anneliese Waddington, Chad Brewster, Frank Forte, Anthony Aguinaldo (Illustrations), Marcelo Benavides (Illustrations), Tom Connor(Illustrations), Mario D’Anna (Illustrations), Mike Guerena (Illustrations), Joe Healy (Illustrations), Adam Philipps (Illustrations), Hector Reynoso(Illustrations), Tom Riggin (Illustrations), Emiko Sawanobori (Illustrations),Steven Theis (Illustrations), Robin Brigstocke (Illustrations), Bernard Derriman (Illustrations) 
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I was given a ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review, THANK YOU.

Publication: November 17th 2015 by Dynamic Forces

* * * *    ****    Synopsis    ****    * * * *

While Bob and Linda Belcher have their hands full running the family business, their kids Tina, Gene, and Louise have adventures that you won’t believe!

The producers, writers, and animators of the hit animated show Bob’s Burgers proudly present all-original comic book stories, including hilarious installments of “Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries & Curious Curiosities,” “Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction,” and “Gene’s Rhymey Rhymes That Could One Day Be Songs.”

Whether it’s Tina’s daydreams of cloning back-up dancers or jungle misadventures, Louise’s explorations of underground tunnels and time-stopping Wonder Wharf rides, Gene’s lyrics that reimagine boring Aunt Gayle visits as epic journeys to fantasy worlds, the Belcher family hijinx are guaranteed to make you laugh! Goodreads

* * * *    ****    My Thoughts    ****    * * * *

This was a really fun and quick read. A perfect pick me up on a dull day.

The highlights for me were the multiple Tina clones set loose on Jimmy Jr. Louise’s secret tunnels and time stopping amusement rides. Gene’s musical rendition of Narnia.

The lowlights, there were none. Even the variant cover art is a crack up and the pin ups are definitely worthy of pinning up.

Fans of the show will love this collection as it captures the spirit of the show. Even if you’re not familiar with the show, I guarantee it’ll brighten your day.

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Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Down Town

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Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Down Town

Written by: Jim Butcher, Mark Powers

Illustrated by: Carlos E. Gomez

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Release Date: October 7, 2015

I received an eBook copy from NetGalley and Dynamite Entertainment in exchange for an honest review, so thank you.

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Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden and his new apprentice, Molly Carpenter, intend to end the havoc caused by a mad sorcerer – one whose ambitions would have the Windy City streets carved out as his own private kingdom. But when the magical upstart enters into an alliance with the notorious mob boss “Gentleman Johnnie” Marcone, will the fast-and-loose Dresden and his young charge survive unscathed?

“The perfect mix of mystery, thrills, humor, and magic. Highest possible recommendation.” – SciFiPulse

“A great blend of CSI and the supernatural.” – Big Glasgow Comic Page

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Amazon Pre-order & Jim’s Website / Twitter / Goodreads

My Thoughts mk3

I had never heard of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files until Down Town came up on NetGalley, so I had to do some research. The Dresden Files is an urban fantasy series telling the story of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only Wizard P.I. The files currently comprise of 15 novels (books), each book being a standalone story and 6 graphic novels (comics), two of which are graphic versions of first two novels and the rest being standalone stories.

Down Town is a standalone graphic novel set after White Night, book 9. Some people have said that the series should be read in order, as each story has references to the previous. I could still follow the story and understand what was going on without having read any of the others.

I liked the artwork and was entertained by the story line. The golem was interesting, as was the whole “under town” concept. If I had read some of the earlier books I may have had more of a connection to the characters and enjoyed this story even more.

So while I wasn’t blown away with Down Town I did enjoy reading it and am going to give Storm Front the first in the series a go. Three “I liked it” Stars – Worth a look at if you’re a paranormal vigilante lover.