Book Review: Archie, Volume 6 by Mark Waid

Archie, Volume 6
By: Mark Waid & Audrey Mok (Illustrator)

archie vol.6

After the events of Volume 5, this next volume sees the last book that is written by Mark Waid in this revamp of the Archie’s comics as a more graphic novel style. Volume 6 sees everyone trying to sort themselves out in time for homecoming whether its Archie trying to find a date, Veronica and Betty finding a friendship together or the Blossom siblings dealing with their family issues, things all coincide into the homecoming having a major event that shakes everyone up.

The art style and the change in its direction of the Archie comics has definitely been the highlight of this revamped story. It works on many levels and for fans like myself, who grew up with the much more comic-looking version, these books have been a joy to have matured with my own tastes. Suffice to say that this volume takes a much more drastic and dramatic end game with homecoming having a lock-down with a gun man ready with his own family issues to do some pay back. Its a much darker turn of events that somehow has its space because this version is more of a graphic novel and allows for something with that sort of flair and danger elements and changes the game from the more lighthearted and somehow binds the tone of Archie and the series Riverdale into the darker area.

However, this volume did bring in a lot of other elements. Somehow, its focus on Archie seems to have faded a little in the midst of the set-up of the whole situation making it fall a little short of the normal good pacing that it would have but giving it more on the other characters as well. It is nice to see that all the characters have their spotlight in the midst of this story as everyone scrambles to do what they need to do for the dance. In the world of high school students, it does feel like the little things like finding a date that will come through while letting the characters remain true to their nature. This time, all the characters do have their individuality especially as Betty and Veronica find themselves and their friendship while getting over Archie and as Archie tries to find a date, his usual clumsiness gets in the way with everything. There’s still a lightheartedness to the story throughout up until the big final dramatic bit.

There’s a lot to love with what Mark Waid has achieved in this volume (and the previous 5) which does have so much of a different feeling while still managing to use these wonderful characters from the original Archie comics and breathing new life to them. Of course, Archie by Mark Waid may be done but the revitalization continues in Archie by Nick Spencer and its all up in the air how that will be as the art style seems to also have changed.

Montreal Comiccon 2019 Haul

Montreal Comiccon is come to an end! As our final wrap-up piece after all the coverage, its going to be the fun shopping haul!

There was quite a few really nice vendors this year. They may have been there previous years but I just missed it because if anyone has been to any Comiccon, you know that its just a world of everything and information overload. I went back to the Artist Alley every single day and I kid you not that I always noticed something different that I didn’t in the previous day. Lots of creativity going on which is something that I love to see. It took quite a bit to restrain myself from buying everything that I liked (just take a look at my Day 1 on all the Artist Alley that I liked HERE).

Regardless, here is the shopping haul! If you follow my Instagram, then you probably have already seen it.

Ruin World by Derek Laufman

Derek Laufman

One of the things I’ve loved to find during Montreal Comiccon is the books and comics/graphic novels from indie artists and authors, because they are really interesting to see plus its always nice to discover something new. I’ve been into cute things lately (well, always have) so not only did the art attract me over to Derek Laufman’s booth in the first place but then I saw the colorful cover for Ruin World and just loved it. I’m really looking forward to reading it soon (and then I’ll have a review for it go up as well).

Fairy Bell/Fairy Glow Necklace by The Emerald Cauldron

fairy Bell Necklace The Emerald Cauldron

The Emerald Cauldron first caught my eye because of its pixie light necklace, which they call Fairy Glow on their site so I’ll use that. Of course, the debate behind that is battery power and when would I want to wear a necklace that glows in public. In the end, after a chat with them, I decided to get a smaller size pendant (sadly did not have a rose gold or titanium finish, which I would have preferred) so went with a silver finish and then chose the sacred heart shape along with Fairy Bells instead which just ring a little instead of glow. This option at $30 came with a replacement Fairy Glow LED light, which I honestly didn’t want so I asked to change it to another replacement fairy bell (which she asked for $5, which was fine since practicality mattered more than getting something I wouldn’t use). Still, she was great and still threw in a blue LED fairy glow. Service and patience here was fantastic. Not to mention, they had a good choice of colors both for the chimes (and some glow in the dark options) as well as LED light colors (and one that changes colors slowly). Anyways, I got the blue chime and the mint green chime with a sacred heart cage with a silver finish.

Pins by Art by DaDa

Pins at Art by DaDa

Seeing as I already have a lot of art and we are running out of wall space for any more prints to hang up and I wanted to support a college friend and her business, I went to Art by DaDa and got two pins. I’m a big fan of Lilo and Stitch and Fox and the Hound so these worked fine for me. I like them a ton. Plus, I think that her Disney art concept is brilliant and so creative. I always look forward to see what else she comes up with. Those pins went right onto my bag (which I use for work and going to cover events).

Tea by Sense and SensibiliTea

Sense and SensibiliTea

I honestly think its the first year we’re seeing tea booths at Montreal Comiccon. Being an Austen fan, the store name caught my attention right away. While I didn’t get any Austen themed tea, I did end up getting an Absinthe-flavored Green Tea, which is derived with ingredients from the vintage Absinthe mix which turned into this blend. The tea smells really good and I love green tea so it seemed like a good choice. When I was drafting up the Artist Alley highlights for Day 1, I landed on their Facebook page which talked about their new modern tea called Demogorgon’s Bane. I also happen to be a fan of Stranger Things so it was a decision between this one and their Princess Peach Tea (which smells like a fruit garden tisane). I’m not going to lie that I wanted to buy both but then I’m not a huge fan of tisane and who can resist the raspberry chocolate flavored Ceylon black tea, which is what Demogorgan’s Bane is. I have yet to try either of them but fun fact, all the teas are vegan which is nice for myself who has lactose intolerance.

That’s it for this shopping haul!
Definitely toned down from previous years but I think I made some pretty awesome purchases!

Road to Riverdale, Volume 2

If you missed the Volume 1 review, check it out HERE.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 2

Road to Riverdale

In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it’s only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the second issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie & Me, timed to the Season One Finale of the brand new CW series Riverdale. This volume also contains a new story based in the show’s universe as a bonus for viewers! – Goodreads

Its surprising to see the there is a volume 2 of Road of Riverdale. I had talked about it when I first bought this that I had gotten it online without looking carefully and realized that its just a snippet of the different volumes in the Archie comics universe. If you want to follow through just snippets of their lives, these ones give you a good idea of the stories of each of the characters with their own graphic novels in the revamped Riverdale. This one does acknowledge the link of the revamp to the CW series, Riverdale so they added in an extra story for it, which is pretty neat. I’m a fan of the TV show (although I am currently behind on Season 2), so it was a touch that I appreciated.

The purpose as it stands with the review of the first one is to really get an idea of the stylings of each of these characters and their own stories. What is nice is that while we get the focus on different characters, like Archie is different from the tone in Jughead, as Betty and Veronica is different from Josie and the Pussycats. These diverse characters give us a hint of a different version of high school lives of these teenagers living in Riverdale. That is the charm of reading Road to Riverdale. For myself, I already try to catch up mostly with Archie however I am planning on getting the volumes from Betty and Veronica and Josie and the Pussycats as well because of Road to Riverdale because those tones work for me. However, it keeps me in the loop with say the Reggie & Me and Jughead stories also, which I feel less invested in.

With that said, I had already reviewed the full volumes of Josie and the Pussycat snippet and the Archie snippet. You can find them below:

Archie, Volume 2
Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1

There honestly isn’t much to review here for Road to Riverdale. If you want a snapshot of Riverdale, these books are easier than having to follow 5 different series and still get the enjoyment as they pick the most standout story of the book (I would assume for the two that I didn’t read). Its a fun little trip to Riverdale. I still maintain that the revamped graphic novels are a modernized and stylistic version of the old comics as it retains the characters and their natures. While the TV series takes the characters but essentially changes them up quite a bit along with their back story and character arc. My best example always is that The Vampire Diaries did that and it worked out for an 8 season run so no reason that the TV series can’t do that. Putting aside the TV series (as this isn’t the discussion, that is coming up in a future TV binge post), Road to Riverdale has its benefits and charms for those looking for a quick visit to Riverdale.

Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1 by Hope Nicholson

All the backlog of 2017 is finally done with books! Moonshot is the first book of 2018 to be read. I’m going through my book hauls from last year so Toronto Comiccon yielded this book and another that I have just started to read as I’m writing this up. AH Comics are the ones who put this compilation out of Indigenous stories told by various illustrators and writers. I had picked up this one and gotten Titan: An Alternate History, where you can check out that review HERE.

Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1
by: Hope Nicholson

moonshot

From traditional stories to exciting new visions of the future, this collection presents some of the finest comic book and graphic novel work in North America. The traditional stories presented in the book are with the permission from the elders in their respective communities, making this a truly genuine, never-before-seen publication. MOONSHOT is an incredible collection that is sure to amaze, intrigue and entertain! – Goodreads

Moonshot is a beautiful indigenous comics collection. The variety and the diversity of its stories really had a wonderful touch to the traditions and storytelling nature that the culture has been known for. For myself, there is a lot of unknowns since I have never dug deep however ever since I’ve played the game Never Alone, its somewhat peaked my interest in learning more because there is just so much to learn from the different tribes (if that’s the right world). Each story is preceded with a blurb about the story’s origins and the approach it takes. Some of them stay true to the roots and look at possibly one angle of retelling while some has taken a story and injected into a futuristic world however still managing to portray its essence. Its genuine and knowledgeable while being entertaining as well.

Moonshot is a collection of 13 stories and while I really don’t want to have to evaluate each of them, here are the few that I liked the most:

  • Vision Quest: Echo: This story kicks off the compilation in such a creative way. It says in the beginning introduction blurb that its told uniquely in Indian Sign Language. There is a beauty of seeing the story unfold through elaborate pictures put together like a collage in some ways. Its a powerful and meaningful story told in such an effective way.
  • Ochek: What grabs me the most about this story is its art style and how it tells the story with anamorphic creatures heading out to look for warmth to help their families survive the cold harsh winter. It links it to the well-known constellations which adds on a new meaning and lessons to this story.
  • UE-Purcase: Water Master: A lovely twist of this story shows how lessons learned in these stories are timeless as this story is retold in the collection set in the distant future where people live out in space. The world here and the art along with the story is told so well.
  • Strike and Plot: Also set in the future, Strike and Plot resembles a lot of the story of God of Thunder and Lightning because here the sons posses the power of lightning and electricity respectively. They are sent on a mission that comes back with an unexpected outcome. The art and the world is very nice and the story is engaging.
  • Tlicho Nàowo: This story takes place on Halloween however, it is a story about paying respect to spirits and ancestor and the herds that feed them. The meaning stems deep and is a nice extension of how the indigenous Tlicho would celebrate their Halloween.
  • Ayanisach: Ayanisach means ‘he who tells stories of the past’ in Cree. With that said, this story uses a brilliant art style set in the future to emphasize the importance of storytelling to learn the past to improve on their future. Also one of the final dialogue in the story.

To be fair, a lot of the stories here are very stylistic. Whether it is the way that they choose to tell it in their words and/or the art style. These six are really the ones that appealed to me the most however, I was impressed by all of them. Its an enjoyable read and one that is very educational and entertaining as we learn about different groups (tribes? not sure how to say that) from different places in North America and their stories. Its definitely a creative way to share it.

Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1

I’ve been working through the reboot of the Archie Comics branches. After being caught up with Archie Volume 1 to 3 and Road to Riverdale, Volume 1, its time to get into something fun with Josie and the Pussycats.

Let’s check it out.

Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1
by: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio
Illustrated by: Audrey Mok

Josie and the Pussycats

Starting right from scratch, the reboot for Josie and the Pussycats start at the beginning from how they formed the band together. Josie’s sluggish solo career, Melody’s endless dating life and Valerie’s love of pets and great heart for the shelter are three very different personalities but somehow these three balance each other out to become this trio that found their agent fairly quickly and was hopefully on the road to fame.

Josie and the Pussycats is a very entertaining read. In fact, if you enjoy a graphic novel that breaks the fourth wall occassionally, this one is just for you. They are incredibly self-aware and because of that, it becomes very fun to be in this world. Reading about these three girls who don’t all know their dreams or where they want to go something of a coming of age experience for them. Perhaps its a relatibility thing here. They struggle for their careers and make some rash decisions that catch them in a snag and then they literally use comic book power to get out of it. They are also starting their friendship especially Josie and Melody with Valerie so they have arguments over who takes the lead and how to work together.

I’ve never read any of the original Josie and the Pussycats so how I have no comparison however, these three are three very interesting characters that could get decent arcs in future volumes. Josie struggles with love and sitting back to find a balance of talent with Valerie. Melody struggles to really keep the team together while Valerie doesn’t know what the future holds with mentions of being a veterinarian and now being in the band and performing. Three interesting characters are shown in volume 1.

Josie and the Pussycats show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where they go next with this series. So far the reboots I’ve read have been very good. Its been exciting to catch up to this world in their different forms.

Book Review: Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Maybe not a book but a comic/graphic novel. If you’re new here or missed it, I’ve been checking out the revamped Archie comics. So far, I’ve been incredibly impressed.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Road to Riverdale

ROAD TO RIVERDALE is an entry-level collection featuring the first issues of all modern-day Archie relaunches. – Goodreads

Road to Riverdale was apparently timed alongside the launch of the Riverdale TVseries (which I seem to have a hard time drafting up for some odd reason). I’m a fan and I personally had misunderstood what this comic was when I first bought it. Its intention is great because it actually is like a first look at each of the branches of the Archie comic reboot from not only the first issue of Archie but also Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me.

What is really nice is that in one book, it gives you an idea of the tone and the art style and also what angle its going for in each of these characters and their story arcs. Of course, in Reggie and Me and Betty and Veronica, it has Reggie’s pet and Jughead’s pooch Hot Dog doing the background narrative. Its cool.

Archie: You can find my thoughts on the Archie, all available volumes right now. I’m definitely a fan. The art style and tone work so well in modernizing it.

Jughead: I personally love Jughead as a character especially in the TV series Riverdale. Something about this series works but is missing a little something more. At least from just this first issue section.

Betty and Veronica: The art style here is the most unique of all these branches. As mentioned before, it is narrated oddly by Hot Dog, Jughead’s dog. That also gives is a nice twist especially when it doesn’t objectify these ladies and has these funny snippets in between. Its a fun one. Not surprising since I did like the original Betty and Veronica comics also.

Josie and the Pussycats: This one comes a little more mid-range. Josie is a fun character because she’s kind of silly and the entertainment value is on point. Plus, this one takes the origin story point where we see how Josie and the Pussycats form.

Reggie and Me: I like bad boys and villainous characters and yet somehow, I’ve never been into the Reggie character much. While I do think this is a decent comic, I wasn’t as drawn into it as the other ones.

Road to Riverdale is an entry point to get a taste of all the branches of the Archie reboot and see if all or which works beat for you. However, it does seem that they are expanding this into multiple volumes and I’m not sure how the second volume works. If that’s the case, this can be either a cash grab or a convenient collection. It really depends on how you look at it.

Archie, Volume 2 by Mark Waid

If you missed the review for Volume 1, you can find it HERE.

After a whole ordeal of getting this book in my hands, it finally got here and after a tiring week (or weeks), I’ve been in the mood for lighter reads and comic/graphic novels fit that bill perfectly. I’m actually thinking of diving into my other comics sitting around the house for a change of pace. I do have a pretty cool TBR list for this year that I hope to complete. Maybe I should post it so that you all can keep me accountable.

Regardless, back on track, I enjoyed the revamp of Archie. I still like the old comics and they give me fond memories and so much nostalgia when I see them around but the first book impressed me. I’m ready for the second one.

Let’s check it out!

Archie, Volume 2
By: Mark Waid (writer) & Veronica Fish (illustrator)

Archie, Volume 2

In the second volume, we are back to somewhat of a more traditional familiar territory. Archie is now determined to find any way to convince Mr. Lodge that he is useful and worthy of Veronica. At the same time, Betty amd Archie’s friendship is still cracked.

While I love the original Archie comics, Volume 1 did capture me quite a bit. Modernizing the characters but keeping the essence of their personality still there is probably incredibly hard and they did do a great job in the first one. It have us a look again at who everyone is and sets the stage for the story which is good for old and new people starting this series. Volume 2 was so much fun to read and I finished the book excited for the next one. This book had a lot of the silly Archie bits and showed us a story arc for Archie and Veronica while still giving space for Betty’s side. It worked really well.

Visually, Volume 2 still has wonderful illustrations. The color palette and the environment help with the tone and atmosphere. There are some pretty dramatic moments and it does a great job and reflecting it.

Overall, I don’t have a whole lot to say but I do urge those still unsure to give it a shot. It feels like the writer is truly finding his footing as to where to take the story and I am excited to read Volume 3 which was just released a few days ago and since my bookstore here had an online discount, I already put in my order for it. Hopefully it will be on its way.

On the same note of Archie, I have also wrapped up Season 1 of Riverdale and the TV binge post is coming up.

Have you read the modernized Archie comics? What do you think of it?