Warship Jolly Roger

 

“Ahoy Mateys!!” – says no one in this book.

Warship Jolly cvr

Title: Warship Jolly Roger
Writer: Sylvain Runberg
Artist: Miquel (Miki) Montlló
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Keywords: Spaceships, revenge, Ship-hijacking, corrupt governments, creepy kids with unique powers, cinematic art
Type: Adobe Digital Edition via Netgalley

The year is 3852 and there has been a breach in the most maximum security prison. The prison holds the most notorious and baddest of the bad prisoners, including Jon Tiberius Munro. He escapes with three other prisoners, strangers to him, but due to circumstance they band together until they find a better opportunity to leave one another. The President (who kind of looks like Star Wars’ Tarkin) of the space confederacy is not pleased for he and Munro have a past.  Munro doesn’t give a crap about whatever resistance is happening, or the government’s corruption. All he cares about is taking down the man who ripped his family away from him and will stop at nothing until he’s dead.

Throughout the first volume you see Munro and his “crew” travel to find a ship and escape detection, which of course doesn’t happen. In between the present story, you get to see Munro’s past while he was in the military. Although a renowned commander, he was used as a scapegoat during an approved massacre of a territory that was part of a resistance cell. Munro wants his justice, but the President isn’t going to take it lying down. He sets up a dangerous trap to lure Munro out of the shadows, a trap that he knows Munro can’t resist. The trap works, a little too well, and now Munro wants blood.

The book is an animated movie waiting to happen. The landscapes, the explosions, the lighting…you expect the actions in the panels to start moving any second. If you like the visual style of Treasure Planet (okay I know that’s a very old reference for you whippersnappers, but it was the first thing that came to my mind when reading this), you’ll definitely enjoy looking at this book. Personally, I enjoy good ol’ fashioned hand drawn comics with the aid of the digital arts (can’t be helped nowadays), but every once in a while it’s nice to look at a book like this. I’ve been a huge fan of what Magnetic Press puts out and this book definitely fits their art-book graphic novel line perfectly.

The characters are pretty standard: we have the  protagonist who got Con-Air’d by the government, the tough woman mechanic who went to prison for fighting in the rebellion, the funny smuggler (who looks like a creepy trucker guy), and the creepy child who can control a mechanical Hedwig. And the child’s name is a number. Thirteen to be precise.

Munro’s escape and the flashbacks give you a good chance to see the worldbuilding in this story. Fans of space opera and sprawling space wars will dig the brief history you learn of this universe (if it is a different one from ours). The majority species seems to be human. Thirteen does meet a new species whose ancestors were human, but in order to adapt to their toxic planet evolved to something different entirely. They have evolved abilities such as telepathy, but I can’t help but notice the tribal look about them, dreadlock-like hair, tribal paint and all. And the fact they’re called ‘Parasites’ by the confederacy… Other than that, the cast is generally white (or at the very least look white), with the exception of the President’s secretary/assistant and maybe a soldier or two. Where are the different species? Are there different species? And if it is just humans, where are the other ethnicities? Perhaps this will be addressed in the next volume. After all, it’s hard to pack every aspect of your story in the first installment.

So this book is the start of an epic space opera, but still, I have to wonder….why the name “Jolly Roger”?  I’m not sure if this book is based on our future, but in this story the name still has a significant meaning and connection to freedom, living on the fringes, and flippin’ the bird to the authorities. Take a look at what Munro says when naming the ship:

That’s why I wanted to rename this ship. A name that symbolizes this new life ahead of us…and the freedom it will defend…as the most feared confederate renegade…the Jolly Roger!!!”

Verdict
★★★★

I’m always a sucker for revenge stories and a misfit crew who learn teamwork and screw over the status quo. Put it in space and I’m definitely going to read it. The action and art pop out of the pages and makes you wonder why this isn’t animated already. Then again, I feel the comic format fits this story pretty well. I hope to see more character development, hopefully more alien races, and just plain old diversity in the next volume.

On Drawing Strong Women: Kris Anka

To celebrate issue #1 of Captain Marvel in the new Marvel Universe, my LCS invited the artist of the new series, Kris Anka for a little Q&A.

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He talked about the process of becoming the artist for Captain Marvel (which he fanboyed over) and the even longer process of revamping the style for the series relaunch (not so much fanboying). The audience was able to see some of his initial sketches of character designs. I’m not too familiar with his art, but I love his clean style and how he draws the Captain particularly muscular (moar abs and moar buffer became the little joke throughout the discussion). Juliette, the comic store employee/moderator commented how she admired that aspect of Anka’s art while he just shrugged it off. “It’s not that difficult to draw different body types of women. I just actually put in the effort.” (Mic drop male gaze centric artists!!) Thanks to social media, artists can listen and get immediate feedback of their work from fans and Anka’s the type to listen. Although, he has no shame of admiring Rob Liefeld’s 90’s style work and would love to work with him (ah well, no one can be perfect I suppose).

It was a nice change to hear the experience of the artist. Anka delved a bit into his work schedule and the business side of the art, advising potential comic artists to “be nice and turn in your work on time”. There’s nothing worse than an unreliable artist who can’t hit a deadline.

Other things of note: his fashion style. He was rocking a bright plaid shirt with a flower patterned tie. Plus his bushy mustache. I dug it. Also, during the time he was visualizing the new costume of our beloved Captain, he noted his drawings had to pass by Marvel’s legal department because the outfit couldn’t be so drastically different that it wouldn’t match future licensed goods. That part made me fangirl a bit because I love that aspect of the publishing business.

The Q&A ended with signings and prints for sale that he drew for this event (yeees). I remember during the discussion he said one his of New Year’s resolution was to draw more women. I gotta say, Anka, you made me a believer and I’ll make it a point this year to look for your art.

The Pull

So…many…good…comics…

Read

Batman & Robin Eternal #13
Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Artist: Marcio Takara
Format: Digital

batmanandrobineternal13cvr

Cassandra’s origin story (in this “new” DCU) has arrived!!! I love it. I love the flashback scene between her and Batman and I’m really enjoying the growing relationship between her and Harper. I feel like there can be something more between the two, but I could be just reading into the subtext a bit too much…

As an aside, this was one of the first issues I read digitally on my new Surface Pro 4. Reading each page on a 12.3″ screen is pretty damn beautiful, but it is kinda awkward to hold in portrait mode. I am a bit bummed though there isn’t a Comixology app in the Windows Store. Guess I’ll finally use the backup feature on Comixology so I can read while in transit.

Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #1
Writer: Kate Leth
Art: Brittney Williams
Format: Print

hellcat cvr

I knew nothing about Hellcat and to be honest, I bought this on a whim not really expecting much. I was wrong. So wrong. Written in the fun upbeat tones of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Patsy is struggling to find a job and after stopping and converting a would be criminal (and getting a new place to stay, all in one go!) she decides to start a hiring agency for powered beings such as herself. The idea is so down to earth it is just too good. The writing is quirky and funny and art is…well just look at the cover and the teaser for issue 2!  I’m really enjoying Marvel’s stories of the street heroes who want to do good around them, but aren’t billionaires and don’t really want the spotlight and beat up crazy cosmic aliens. I think stories that mix the fantastical with the ordinary things, like finding a job makes it not so ordinary. Instead of using comics to truly escape from real life stuff, comics can reflect that these awesome, larger than life characters have to deal with this crap too, so it’s okay! We can do this! Yeah! Anyway, it’s nice to see the everyday issues pop up in comics; it just makes them more relatable (that being said, comics like The Ultimates are amazing too)

On Queue

Monstress #2
We Stand On Guard series
Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift

What’s in your queue? Please let me know!

 

 

Sunday Brunch Reads

Okay so brunch is over, but the relax, chill Sunday mood lasts all day! Here are interesting links I found the past week:

Comic inspired work out clothes
I am eyeing the Deadpool and/or Harley Quinn gear myself. Maybe someday she’ll do Silk or female Marvel heroes…

I thought this was a joke because the Final Fantasy series hasn’t been on Nintendo since FFVI (or III..whatever), but I’m not seeing anyone taking it back so…yeah awesome! I’m more of a FFVI/Terra fan myself, but it’s fun that FF is going to be in Smash. I’m sure Zack or Sephiroth won’t be too far behind…

Captain America in Spider-Gwen is an African American woman

snape approves

Any other interesting links? Give it to me!

Brunch Reads

I can’t believe it’s November. Where did the year go? Well, let’s start November off right with some geeky links in the web.

The Martian is pretty popular in Korea. In 20 days, the movie made $28.6 million dollars and was the fastest foreign release to sell four million tickets, on par with “Kingsmen: The Secret Service”. Just wondering, why Korea was so hyped about it.

Why would anyone unleash Deadpool on Halloween? With X-Men kids no less?! (It’s so hilarious though you have to watch this)

Found Supergirl’s other weakness: surrounded by puppies dressed as superheroes.

Comic about…Hero fashion? Come on. We all see the spiffy, awesome (or not so awesome) costumes heroes wear. This comic is about the true heroes who make the heroes look good while saving the world: the hero fashion designers. I for one am going to see what this comic is about.

As always, if there’s any cool geeky things going on, let me know!

Pull Gems – 10.20.15

My wallet hurt pretty bad after last week (Marvel I’m looking at you). This week doesn’t seem too bad. Here’s some comics that I read and what my next targets are:

Read

Last Days of Ms. Marvel (#19) – G. Willow Wilson; Adrian Alphona

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Soooo many feels  for this issue. This being the last day of the MCU (but as we all know not really because we see Kamala as an Avenger so hah!) there was a lot of closure: Kamala with her family, her BFF Nakia, Zoe, and Bruno. Love how potential “girl rivalry/mean girl” was sidestepped and that yes, young women can communicate responsibly and resolve issues with each other like awesome mature women they’ll eventually become thankyouverymuch. And the last scene with Bruno?! Such beauty. Great job shout out to Adrian for capturing a beautiful bittersweet moment between those two. And moral of the story? When the world is ending, you dance.

Next up

Sex Criminals – Matt Fraction; Chip Zdarsky

sex criminals vol 1 cvr

My local library finally notified me that they have it on hold for me. My LCS’ Valkyrie keeps mentioning how awesome this series is, so how can I resist? Never doubt a Valkyrie’s taste.

Snapshots of a Girl – Beldan Sezen

SnapshotsOfAGirl_coverTheir Words:

In this autobiographical graphic novel, Beldan Sezen revisits the various instances of her coming of age, and her coming out as lesbian, in both western and Islamic cultures (as the daughter of Turkish immigrants in western Europe)—to friends, family, and herself. Through a series of vignettes, she navigates the messy circumstances of her life, dealing with family issues, bad dates, and sexual politics with the raw honesty of a young woman looking for happiness. Snapshots is an amusing, thoroughly modern take on dyke life and cultural identity.

As a PoC, I support reading material that reflects the myriad of different perspectives our world is made of, despite what pop culture media wants me to believe. Give me more diverse voices in my books all-day-everyday.

My bookshelf is always looking for new friends. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to see what else is out there!

The Pull

Sometimes, I regret getting back into comics. There’s so many good things out there that it’s almost intimidating. Then I read another issue of something then I’m like:

stephen give it

So between LinkedIn stalking, work and family stuff, I was able to make a little list of what I’ve been reading on my downtime:

Read

Batman & Robin Eternal #1

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CAAAAAAASSSIE’S BACK!!! Seriously this was the only reason why I picked this up. But I was surprised how I enjoyed the story itself. With Batman out of the scene, his proteges must uncover a case that Robin (Grayson) and Batman thought they closed years ago. Who is Mother? I just hope DC doesn’t screw up Cassandra’s role in the DCU.

Silk #6 – Robbie Thompson, Stacey Lee

I’m such a huge fan of Thompson’s Silk. I love the journey Silk is having, struggling to navigate her way through connecting with society through tech and just normal conversation, both which she lacked during her time in the bunker. All this while searching for her family. All that aside, the main reason I loved this issue in particular was the fight between Silk and Black Cat. The art just made me feel the rage and how fed up Silk was at that point. Such a bad ass fight, probably one of the top fight scenes in comics in my book. I mean look at this panel!:

Silk_beatdown

Currently Reading

Angela: Asgar’d Assassin TPB 1: Priceless – Kieron Gillen/Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez/Stephanie Hans

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I looove everything about this book. To be honest, I never was interested in the Asgardian corner of the Marvel Universe, but after reading an issue of Angela (including the female!Thor) I was hooked. It also helps that it’s fact that Sera is the first transgender hero of the MU. Or, at the very least the first visible and admitted as transgender. Kudos for diversity! (I’m not letting the fact that a transgender character taking a major spotlight is only happening just recently rain my parade right now). And the art? Yuuum.

On Deck

Two Brothers – Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba

One of my graphic novel club’s next book is Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Ba. From what I see, it’s about well, two brothers where one was sent to relatives in Lebanon after a violent encounter with the brother. I enjoyed the narrative of Daytripper, so I’m intrigued about this graphic novel.