Author Archives: Todd

Incoming: BOOKS OF MAGIC VOL. 1

Image © DC Comics.

Just in, this trade paperback collection of the new series I’m lettering. It begins with THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 (lettered well by Simon Bowland), introducing all four books in the line, then the first six issues of the comic. I hadn’t seen the colors on those by Jordan Boyd before, and I like them, very painterly. The issue covers by Kai Carpenter are quite nice, too, I’d not seen all of them. Working digitally does have it’s quirks. I’m happy with the way this series is going, you should decide for yourself. On sale July 10 in shops.

And Then I Read: HEX WIVES #5

Image © Ben Blacker and DC Comics. Written by Ben Blacker, art by Mirka Andolfo,
colors by Marissa Louise, letters by Josh Reed, cover by Tula Lotay.

The plotting on this book is one where you can see things gradually going out of control despite the best efforts of the controllers, and the fun is in exactly how and when it will all blow up. We’re getting very close! The wives who have been carefully controlled by their husbands in this make-believe neighborhood are learning that spilling blood, their own or anyone’s will release strong magic powers in them, as well as anger. The husbands, who set up this situation and try to control things from a secret underground bunker, led by Aaron, are struggling to keep the women ignorant and separated, but are failing. Their boss has arrived from somewhere else, and Aaron has tasked his wife Iz with putting on a big dinner party for everyone, to show the boss, August, that they have the situation in hand. Instead, gathering everyone together in one house is only making things worse as the women exchange information. It’s been a great build up, and I expect the explosion will happen next issue.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE WHIZ MOB AND THE GRENADINE KID by Colin Meloy

Cover art by Carson Ellis.

Charlie Fisher has been around. His father is a diplomat, and Charlie travels with him. When they’re assigned to the city of Marseille on the French Riviera, Charlie is astonished one day to see a group of clever pickpockets working a crowded tourist square. One of them, Amir, even steals his monogrammed pen, but is caught by police. Charlie helps Amir, and in return, he’s invited to visit the Whiz Gang’s secret hideout, and soon allowed to join them on their pickpocketing adventures. Charlie has no local friends, and desperately wants to become one of the gang. Gradually they teach him how, even though some gang members think he can’t do it. Charlie works hard, and finally is allowed to pick pockets too. It all seems like a harmless, fun adventure until the day it becomes something quite different. That day Charlie learns he’s been carefully led into a really big con that will change everything. The only way to fix it is probably suicidal, but Charlie has to try.

In the first half of this book I kept feeling there was something wrong with the whole situation but couldn’t put my finger on it. When the penny dropped, this became an even better book, thrilling and hard to put down. I liked Meloy and Ellis’s “Wildwood” trilogy, but think the writing here is even better.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: 2 SISTERS by Matt Kindt

I don’t like Matt Kindt’s art. I find his writing difficult to follow. Despite that, his Super-Spy books like this 336-pager keep me reading and wondering what I will happen next to the very end.

There are several storylines here that may or may not connect. One follows an ancient Roman gold cup through history. One features a girl who joins the pirates who have captured the ship she was on. One features a group secretly building guided-missile rockets.

One features Elle and Anna, sisters living in the country with their alcoholic father, who has not recovered from the death of his wife. Anna is in love with a fine house beyond their woods, and declares she will live in it someday. Anna has a boyfriend, and Elle is jealous.

Later in time, we follow Elle to London during World War Two, where she takes a job as an ambulance driver. She meets a smart, charming man named Alan and they begin an affair, but tragedy strikes. Soon, Elle is recruited to be a spy, and begins to go on missions in Europe. Having lost Alan, Elle seems reckless and willing to do anything. What will she do when she finds out that Alan might not be dead after all?

I have to admit I would never have bought this book, it was a gift at last year’s ‘Ringo Awards ceremony. It took me this long to read it, and now I’m kind of glad I did even though the book left me with many unanswered questions.

Mildly recommended. If this is your kind of book, you’ll love it.

And Then I Read: HASHTAG: DANGER #2

Image © Ahoy Comics.

This comic is a funny take on superhero/science fiction teams along the lines of Doom Patrol. I guess it’s part of the humor that the cover has nothing to do with the contents. The main story by writer Tom Peyer and artist/letterer/colorist Chris Giarrusso has the three-member team trying to get some publicity for the baby Yeti they’ve captured, to the yawns of reporters. Meanwhile, the giant alien egg they found in the sewers is about to hatch and wreak havoc on their town of Cityburg. After that, it gets weirder in a funny way.

The backup Snelson story by writer Paul Constant and artist Fred Harper is weirdly funny in a different way, kind of Seinfeld in flavor, with more realistic art.

Of the text stories, I liked the one by Carol Lay the best.

Not a bad read, I can’t say I love it, but entertaining. Recommended.