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Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for The World Is So Big - go buy it from Basheer Books at Bras Basah Complex. Run, don't walk.   Secret Wars #9 Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic Marvel Comics The comic event of 2015. This last issue was much delayed and it came out last week. But I didn’t want to review it until I read the whole series in one sitting to see how well it holds up.  Well, Jonathan Hickman has held up his side of bargain in telling one hell of a Marvel Universe ‘end of the world’ story that started with his Avengers/New Avengers run in 2012. The secret Avengers (The Illuminati) learned that the world is ending. The multiverse is clashing with each other. To save their universe from being destroyed during an Incursion, Black Panther, Namor, Dr Strange,...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 13 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 13 Jan 2016



It’s been a crazy week. Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Insexts #2 Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Ariela Kristantina AfterShock Comics Reading is contextual. Reading Insexts #2 a few hours after the terrorist attack in Jakarta is especially poignant because you know the ideas and freedom that allowed such a daring comic like Insexts is under threat by fundamentalism. The right to buy and read a comic like Insexts should not be taken for granted. It should be protected. Putting the politics aside, this second issue continues the winning streak of AfterShock Comics. One awaits the next issue with abated breath…Btw, the artist of Insexts, Ariela Kristantina, who is based in Jakarta, is safe and sound. (4 stars)     The Walking Dead #150 Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard Image Comics The Walking Dead reaches the landmark 150 th  issue. Who would...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016





Shipment was delayed by a day. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel and Vertigo Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Match Point Story: Adrian Teo Art: Ken Foo Self-published The political culture of Singapore is as such that we find it hard to laugh at ourselves, much less making fun of our political leaders which is a no-no since independence. Political cartoonists would satirize other countries' leaders but not our own. That is why the 'I don't give a flying xxxx' attitude of Adrian Teo and Ken Foo is refreshing in this stifling environment. They will make fun of any social situations, from the dating scene (Date King) to the competitive school sports environment in Match Point. This new book by the politically incorrect duo is a mix of high school romance, sports comic and shojo manga. Think Slam Dunk but it's female tennis players in super short...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015










Happy new year. Shipment was late this week, so instead of these being the last comic reviews of the year, they are the first comic reviews for 2016. Clearing the backlog I have to review. Do read more local and regional comics. Doesn't matter if they are from here or overseas. As long as they are good, go read them. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).     Peeping Through Jakarta Story/Art: Haryadhi, Sheila, Mice Octopus Garden It’s Sooooo Indonesian! Story/Art: Mice Octopus Garden Benny and Mice are the most famous cartooning duo in Jakarta whose weekly Sunday strips appeared in Kompas from 2003 to 2010. They have since gone their separate ways but both are still drawing. A few years ago, Benny drew a book about Singapore. Mice continues to draw for Kompas and his strips continue to hold up the savage mirror for all Jakartans to...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015



Merry Xmas. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). I bought my own copy of The Resident Tourist Vol 7, as you should, yeah? After all, it’s only Christmas.   The Resident Tourist Vol 7 Story/Art: Troy Chin Math Paper Press Just in time for Xmas. More than a year in the making, Troy continues to chronicle his life in public, something he has been doing for the past eight years since his return from NYC. He did well in school, went to U. Penn to do business studies, landed up in a dream job with a major record label. But he got depressed, started seeing a psychiatrist who advised him to draw. He returned to Singapore and drew comics. Troy is still unsure of himself, despite winning the Young Artist Award and meeting the president, and representing Singapore with other artists at the...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 Dec 2015





Away for 2 weeks, now back. Ratings out of 5 stars. Most comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Insexts #1 Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Ariela Kristantina Aftershock Comics Lots of buzz about Aftershock and really looking forward to this one. Insexts lives up to the hype and did not disappoint. Marguerite Bennett says she is not writing porn or at least not yet. Still this is one of the most sensual comics I have read in ages. Ariela’s art adds to the steaminess of forbidden fruits and all things taboo. Think Penny Dreadful but up a few notches of grey. NSFW and comic of the week. (although this came out last week) (4.5 stars) Web-Warriors #2 Story: Mike Costa Art: David Baldeon Marvel Comics I’m enjoying this more than the regular Spider-Gwen comic. It continues the Spider-Verse story. All’s not well when Electros across the multiverse banded together...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 25 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 25 Nov 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for DKIII: The Master Race DKIII: The Master Race Book One Story: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello Art: Andy Kubert and Klaus Jason DC Comics The comic to review this week. DKIII is highly anticipated and you have read all the hype about it. The original Dark Knight Returns was a classic and seminal series in all sense of the word. Together with Alan Moore, Frank Miller was the god of mainstream superhero comics. Everything he touched turned to gold – Daredevil Born Again, Batman Year One, Give Me Liberty, Hardboiled. Until they did not. Bad trips like Robocop, DKII, All-Star Batman and Robin, Holy Terror declare Miller to be a spent force. Throughout the 90s, fans kept faith with series like Sin City and The 300, which show Miller to be an innovative stylist in his...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 18 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 18 Nov 2015






Ratings out of 5 stars. Most comics can be found at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Arab of the Future Story/Art: Riad Sattouf Metropolitan Books I first read about The Arab of the Future in The New Yorker last month and ordered it immediately. It is touted as the book to read now in France, given the ethnic and religious tension in Europe recently. I had wanted to review the book last week but didn’t get round to do it. What a difference a week make. Over the weekend, the attacks in Paris and Beirut happened. I slept late on Friday night. 4 am to be precise. When I woke at 8 am, the attacks in Paris were over. Four hours made all the difference. And Beirut was attacked one day before Paris. Most media did not pick it up. We need to look at other media to understand...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed by a day but it is a good week for new mainstream comics, a slew of number ones – All-New Wolverine #1, The Goddamned #1 and All-New Hawkeye #1 courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Goddamned: Before the Flood #1 Story: Jason Aaron Art: r.m. Guera Image Comics Jason Aaron has been working hard – Ghost Rider (drawn by Tan Eng Huat), Star Wars, and the new female Thor. All star titles in recent years. Now he reteamed with r.m. Guera, his partner for Vertigo’s Scalped series to do their creator-own take on the Book of Genesis. Or what happened to the folks who left Eden. No more spoilers. Violent and great art by Guera. Has a Moebius feel to it. Go get. (4 stars) All-New Hawkeye #1 Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Ramon Pere z Marvel Comics One wonders if...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Snowpiercer and JJ's Science Adventure.   Snowpiercer Vol 1: The Escape Snowpiercer Vol 2: The Explorers Story: Jacques Lob (Vol 1) and Benjamin Legrand Art: Jean-Marc Rochette Titan Comics The Bong Joon-ho (The Host) directed movie starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton has brought worldwide attention to the original French bande dessinee first published in 1982. After the death of writer, Jacques Lob in 1990, Benjamin Legrand continued the story of Snowpiercer with artist Jean-Marc Rochette in The Explorers (1999) and The Crossing (2000). Last year, Titan Comics put out the translation of all three stories in 2 volumes – The Escape (Vol 1) contain the original graphic novel while The Explorers (Vol 2) contain the remaining two stories. News has just reached us that a fourth Snowpiercer bande dessinee, The Terminus, written by Olivier Bocquet...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015









Ratings out of 5 stars. These comics are courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) – Squirrel Girl #1, Uncanny Avengers #1, Black Magick #1, Lady Mechanika #6.   Black Magick Story: Greg Rucka Art: Nicola Scott Image Comics Greg Rucka is known for his excellent characterization of tough female heroes – Whiteout, Queen and Country, Gotham Central, Wonder Woman, The Question, Batwoman and more recently, Lazarus. Add Rowan Black, the white witch and police detective, to this list. Nicola Scott graced our shores a few years ago when she drew Earth 2. Recently, she did stuff for Alan Moore’s Electricomics and now this. Her style has changed and it suits moody tone of the book. Worth following. (4 stars) Lady Mechanika #6 Story: MM Chen Art: Joe Benitez Benitez Productions Joe Benitez draws like the late Michael Turner and this reminds me very much of a Top Cow comic. In...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 21 Oct 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 21 Oct 2015






Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Steve Ditko, Uber Vol 5 and Becoming Unbecoming.   Tokyo Ghost #2 Story: Rick Remender Art: Sean Murphy Image Comics Rick Remender can be a hit or miss. Thankfully, Tokyo Ghost #2 delivers the goods. If you had trouble following the action in #1, you are not the only one. It set the stage with lots of verbosity but it was not very memorable. This issue reveals what Tokyo Ghost is really about – a love story, a quest and samurais. Remender is still overloading us with too much text when he should just let Sean Murphy’s beautiful art breathe. Check out the splash pages at the end. I’m sold. (4 stars) Steve Ditko’s #2oww3oww Story/Art: Steve Ditko Self-Published The man is a legend. Don’t just know him as the creator of Spider-man and Squirrel Girl....
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for War Stories #13, Mythic #4 and Singapore Subterranean Grapevine Book 9.   Mythic #4 Story: Phil Hester Art: John McCrea Image Comics Released 3 weeks ago, this is still worth hunting down. Phil Hester and John McCrea get back together 10 years after their horror series, The Atheist, for Image Comics. Mythic deals with working class magicians trying to police the mythical world. You know, normal blokes like you and me and working towards our government pension and retirement. (of course, there is no more pension in Singapore, but if you believe in magic…) Imagine BPRD set in Britain and the team knocking back for a pint at the local pub after work, you get an idea of the world of Mythic. John McCrea (Hitman, The Boys) is pretty active recently. Drawing this and also regular...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Island #3, Perfect World Today, Roleplayers #1-3 and Paper Girls #1   Island #3 Story and art: Various Image Comics Another one too good to miss. Even though this came out on 16 September, 3 weeks ago, this is the comic to read now. Just like 8House is the brainchild of Brandon Graham, Island, the new oversized comic magazine (no ads!) published by Image, is conceived by Emma Rios and Graham. Comic magazines are rare these days – the other recent one is Meanwhile published by Soaring Penguin Press. I am really excited by Island’s esoteric stories. It is anything goes. From Kelly Sue DeConnick’s heartfelt essay (with illustrations by Ríos) about her friendship with the late writer and poet Maggie Estep in the first issue to Rios writing and drawing her own story in the...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 30 September 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 30 September 2015








Ratings out of 5 Stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for 8house #3.   8HOUSE #3 Story and art: Brandon Graham and Xurxo G. Penalta Image Comics One of the most exciting titles in the market now, 8house is a high level sci-fi concept series with rotating creatives and a different kind of scheduling. To quip: There are four 8HOUSE stories. Arclight is created by Marian Churchland and Brandon Graham, and its first two chapters ran in 8HOUSE #1 and #2. Kiem is created by Xurxo G. Penalta and Brandon Graham, and its first chapter ran in 8HOUSE #3. Yorris is created by Helen Maier and Fil Barlow, and its first two chapters will run in 8HOUSE #4 and #5. Finally, Mirror, created by Emma Ríos and the Malaysian artist, Hwei Lim, will run in its entirety from 8HOUSE #6-9. After that, the finales for the remaining...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 23 September 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 23 September 2015



Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). A slow week according to Absolute Comics, so only 3 comics were provided for reviews. All from DC.   We Are Robin #4 Story: Lee Bermejo Art: James Harvey DC Comics A few months ago, I bought an oversized Image one-shot, Masterplasty by James Harvey. It was an orgasm of colours and wackiness done by a pop art cartoonist on drugs. You can imagine my surprise when I picked this up to find it’s the same James Harvey running havoc in this standalone issue of We Are Robin. So kudos to the stuffy suits at DC, who show that the mainstream can still take a walk on the wild side. We are Robin borrows the Kickass concept of kids becoming superheroes to protect their city and extends it to Gotham City. In this issue, one of the Robins...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 16 September 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 16 September 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Sex Criminals #11.   Harley Qinn #20 Story: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Art: John Timms DC Comics Hot favourite Harley Qinn is on a roll. She flies to the West Coast to rescue a girl kidnapped by a cult. Along the way, she had a bad dream about flying coach with the rest of the DC heroes with the Joker and Poison Ivy as the pilots. But soon she is back to her usual self, putting a rude airport staff in her place (literally) and hanging out with the cowboys, pimps and hookers. This one is pretty much for fans as the comic is too text heavy. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti do not allow the art by John Timms to breath. A typical page would have an average of six panels. Some of them...
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Popcon Asia 2015

Popcon Asia 2015


As Singapore gears up for STGCC and the General Elections in September, the region is going abuzz with comic and toy conventions, which gives you an idea of the kind of creatives we have in Southeast Asia and the big money that is generated through pop culture. For some of us, pop matters more than politics. In the month of August itself, two major conventions took place in Jakarta, Indonesia and in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The latter was held Komikon Indieket 2015 at Pasig City while the city of Jakarta played host to Popcon Asia 2015. I had the privilege to attend Popcon Asia 2015, which was a great event for local comics and original IP. Held over three days at the Jakarta Convention Centre, this was my second time to Popcon and it was bigger than ever. Estimates given were that 37,000 attended this 4th edition of Popcon...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 9 Sept 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 9 Sept 2015



Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #2 Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie Colourist: Matthew Wilson Image Comics Comic of the week. It’s almost meaningless to summarize what Phonogram is about. Like that 3-minute pop song that has changed your life, to provide a synopsis of the first two volumes of Phonogram is to miss the whole bloody point. All you need to know is that this is the series to broke Gillen and McKelvie to the mainstream, paving the way for their Marvel work. They have continued to work their mojo in The Wicked + The Divine (also Image Comics) while Gillen has turned in pretty nasty stuff for Avatar Comics in Uber, the WWII superhero comic. The release of this third volume of Phonogram has gotten notices from The Guardian, Pitch Fork and Paste magazine. Music is...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 2 Sept 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 2 Sept 2015




  Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) DC Comics Bombshells #2 Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Stephen Mooney, Laura Braga, Ted Naifeh DC Comics DC Comics return to an excellent idea from the 1990s that they have not revisited for quite some time - the Elseworlds concept which allows writers and artists to tell familiar stories in an offbeat way. We get a retelling of Wonder Woman leaving Paradise Island with Steve Trevor in a WWII setting and Mera from Atlantis came along for the ride. (see cover) What is unique about the book is that the different sections are drawn by different artists. So Laura Braga handled the Paradise Island portion while Stephen Mooney depicted the Soviet Supergirl and Stargirl. Ted Naifeh shows what Posion Ivy and Zatanna are up to in Nazi Germany. There is even a cameo by John Constantine. But this comic is...
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