Overread's comic reading adventures!


Searching for a flower
Aug 22, 2007
Hunting in the woods
So as I've found myself reading comics more so and since comics are not as slow to get through as books (at least for those that are not 10 years old with hundreds to thousands of issues) I find that I'm reading but not talking about a fair few - so I thought instead of spamming the section with dozens of threads I'd start up one where I can at least post my views and impressions on various comic series that I've read through!

I'll try and keep this to series that I've only completed or at least completed a story/issue/series arc rather than my currently reading pile (so it will be a long time before something like Witchblade appears here). That said I will throw in mentions from series that I fail to finish or which seem to be lacking something that makes me not finish them or those that are just a bit off the mark. I'm also going to do my best to avoid any spoilers (if anyone wants to we can start a thread to discuss any comic in depth) so it will be a rough overview:

ARMIES by Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret and Jean-Claude Gal - published by Humanoids:

First let me say that the artwork in this comic is fantastic; high detail and very well drawn with a clear and pleasing style that works well with the sweeping vistas and large armies/beasties on show.
The story structure is strange though as its not following any heroes and instead is a recounting of a series of events that befall the legions of a conquering nation; a nation held in great mystery. This comic really does focus purely upon whittling down the stories of these legions into shorter events that work well. Each block (each comic issue has several blocks it seems) seems to be paced well to cover the story; and yet it feels lacking.

I think for me its the lack of a binding story to link the events together coupled with a lack of characters to engage with. It's a very curious and unique way to write a comic, but I'm not sure if it will work. I've thus only got as far as the first issue. I'm unsure if I will read more, I might on the offchance that it develops itself or just because of the artwork and that each little story is like a short-story from an anthology collection when reading.

CHILD OF THE STORM by Didier Poli, Manuel Bichebois and Giulio Zeloni - published by Humanoids:

This is a complete run of 5 volumes that covers the whole story presented. The artwork is good, strong detail and a cartoony vibe to it without being childish which makes for a very enjoyable read visually speaking. The characters that live within this world are humanoids with an elfish/animalish shift in their faces which adds a touch of difference that helps make this story that bit more fantasy without going into fully anthropomorphic and without feeling like its a story "just about elves" (which its not).

The story is well paced through the first four volumes and follows a selection of lead characters through a world in troubled war times. The series makes use of time-jumps in the pacing which allows it to cover quite an extensive period of history within the lifespan of the lead characters. You see them grow up from a time of joy to one of turmoil, sadness and struggle.
The last volume can feel a touch rushed in some ways; partly in the larger time jump that takes place - however honestly its not a poor representation and paces out well toward the final and explosive conclusion.

I'd honestly strongly recommend this one and as complete story arc its one you can really sink your teeth into reading in one go without having to worry about cliffhanger ending leaving you in suspense for weeks/months. It's got happy moments, struggles, sad moments, bitter revenge and more - a real emotional journey with memorable lead characters.
This is one of those stories where I would have loved to see it really strung out longer (proviso - I'm an epic fantasy fan so chances are I might end up saying this a lot ;)) and where there is honestly potential to do so - however the story does not suffer for the lack of deeper development of specific events.

CREATURE COPS by Rob Anderson, Steve Bird, Novo Malgapo and Fernando Melek published by IDW:

This is short run of 4 comics (also collected into a single complete volume) which goes into a world where animals have been put through a blender. Rhino-dogs - tiger-dogs panda-cats and even gatorsnakes! It makes for a rather crazy world which has to add to the duties of the police in controlling these new genetic results of commercial "pets" for the public.
Set in an alternate modern world and following the case of a murder investigated by the animal catchers of this world. The artwork is solid and clear and the story well paced and by the end I found myself wishing for more cases and adventures to follow the established characters.

It's a fun read and the twist at the end will have some chuckling at the rather insane ideas that some get when they realise that they can splice animals together.

It's a shorter read but one I'd recommend for a fun read.

DEATH VIGIL by Stjepan Sejic - published by Top Cow
This comic is also up for free download on the creators deviant art; though I'd strongly recommend purchasing it too help support and work toward a second season!
http://nebezial.deviantart.com/art/...ay-496921638?q=gallery:nebezial/47267490&qo=0 (other issues also present)

The first volume is out and complete and is a joyful read! This is one series I'd strongly recommend as Stjepan has a great talent in establishing interesting living feeling characters. This series, despite some of its dark leanings and twists manages to put a very up-beat feel to the reading and life of characters in the early parts even when the story is heading down toward darkness and disaster.
There is also a rare thing in that Stjepan is working in not only story arcs that complete within this first volume, but also longer reaching story elements which are left unfinished at the end. This is a risky thing in comics, but really makes you want to keep reading even at the very end and leaves you much to mull and wonder over as to what might happen in the future.

It's hard to really go into what appeals so much without giving it away and spoiling it; but if you read nothing else read this one - esp as its freely accessible online.

RAT QUEENS by Kurtis J Wiebe and Roc Upchurch - published by Shadowline

Keeping the theme with "upbeat" styled comics is Rat Queens which is a neat take on the DnD adventure style comic. A more modern comic with clear artwork which follows a band of four all female characters through their adventures and quests.

Anyone with a fondness for older DnD comics or just Dungeons and Dragons style adventures in general should get a nice read out of this in-progress series. I've personally read up to the current issues and there are several more yet to be published (new year one hopes) which will complete the current second story arch in the first volume.

Note that this season has mature elements to it (written and artwork) so wouldn't be best recommended for younger readers - despite its upbeat angle its very much a comic for teens to adults.
Izuna Izuna Vol. 1: Kamigakushi - Comics by comiXology: Web UK
Written by Bruno Letizia and Saverio Tenuta

Art by Carlita Lupatelli

Published by Humanoids

A full series released in two volumes (first linked above).

If the front page (linked above) doesn't already give you a hint as to what I'm going to compare this to then you've already missed out on a fantastic bit of cinema and I'd, in addition to Izuna, heartily recommend you to go see the film Princess Mononoke by Studio Ghibli.

And that's where I'm going to compare Izuma to, because the artwork, the style and character designs all scream out that it was a strong inspiration. Even through to the depiction of darkness and light; the whole story oozes with the inspiration.

And yet Izuma is no weak attempt at copycatting; its not trying to be anything but its own thing and in that it stands strong. For what is only two comics, only just around 100 pages, it packs in powerful story of change within a mythical world of Japan. The story is set within the same world as Saverio Tenuta's Legend of the Scarlet Blades (also published on Comixology); yet as one who has not read the source material I was not left lost. Izuna collects its story well within itself and stands strong on its own; indeed the artwork alone is worth the price and with the story its a fantastic package.

If I were to be critical (and I fully admit I'm an "epic" fantasy fan and thus always eager for more) it would be that 100 page is too few and there's a bit of a time jump speed up between the two volumes, but nothing too extreme that the reader is left confused. I would honestly love more and often feel that the last issue of a series ends too fast for my liking.

Izuma is something I feel is special and I really hope to see more set within this world and style of artwork.