Book Review: Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

In celebration of The Wolf Among Us FINALLY getting a sequel, I decided to also finally start reading its source material.

Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile
Written by: Bill Willingham
Artists: Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton

fables

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world. – Goodreads

Wow! Fables may possibly be one of my favorite graphic novels to date. I played The Wolf Among Us before I had read any of these books and I loved the play on the traditional characters and Bigsby Wolf being a detective and how being a wolf he links into all these stories. Its kind of like what TV series Once Upon A Time does. Changing up fairy tales are one of my favorite premises and Fables does it so well. Actually, Fables was everything I expected and so much more. Bigsby Wolf is a great character and a detective and gives off something of a more rugged Sherlock Holmes feeling where he does a lot of things that helps him deduct a situation but the finale turns out to be a huge reveal that wasn’t apparent but makes so much sense.

This first case was definitely a mystery and it was a nice introduction to the wide cast of fairy tale characters that we are all familiar with from the famous Snow White and her Prince Charming to Belle and Beast as well as one of the few scenes used in The Wolf Among Us where a pig from the Three Little Pigs try to make Bigsby Wolf guilty for being the one who took away their house. At the same time, we do have some play on other characters like Red Rose which turns out to be Snow White’s sister and also the victim in this case making it close to our hearts. The key characters are generally introduced here and they are all dynamic and full of possible character development.

This 10th anniversary edition includes the first five issues of the Vertigo series and includes a short story which really was a great reading experience altogether. The visuals/art style was fantastic and honestly, I’m into the tone and the detective investigation story here.

What did make it much more surprising in a great way is that Telltale Games did truly adapt the character of Bigsby Wolf well in its game while switching up the story and mystery however still retaining most of the characters and their personalities. The tone was great. I actually did an episodic and overall recap over at That Moment In so feel free to head over there to read it.

Reading this has made me even more excited about The Wolf Among Us 2 while still hoping to get my hands on Fables Volume 2 soon.

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.

Toronto Comicon Weekend Haul!

This past weekend was a fantasticLly awesome one as I headed out to Toronto for Comicon (just like last year). Its been a crazy process getting back and having everything cleaned and put away and getting back on routine so today, I am doing a simple one to talk about my haul.

I will take a few days this week (probably two) to share the Toronto experience because just like last year, as something of a reward or whatnot, I met up with Drew to hangout and visit Toronto and Comicon together. And just like true movie bloggers, we got in a movie as well amd even made it to a party (comicon related) as well as a sightseeing location. Lots of fun and a packed schedule but I think it turned out pretty great. Look for those posts while I get those new segments finalized (something I ran out of time last week for).

Lets check out what I picked up both before and at the Toronto Comicon.

Before the Comicon, I had a little bit of time before Drew arrived so I went out for a little shopping. I had a few stores on my list to hit and they were:

HMV
(because they are closing out of Canada so lots of discounts)

HMV

Disney Store
(never been to the one at Eaton Centre)

Disney Store Eaton Centre

David’s Tea
(spontaneously remembered  was running out at home)

David's Tea

Toronto Comicon was a weekend thing and we bought the weekend pass so we went on Friday to scout out the show and then did most of our shopping on Saturday after all the Q&A panels. Here’s what I picked up:

Movies & Video Games

I got a super sweet deal for Uncharted 4 at Iceman Video Games which was also there last year. I’m pretty happy about it. They had some awesome choices and selection.

However, I really want to talk about Raven Banner where we stopped by to look at horror movies. They were fantastic and we had a great talk about horror indie films in general. Not sure they’ll read this post but that chat was a highlight of the ComiCon for myself. It really defines why we do this movie blogging thing and meeting people who are equally passionate about this. It was a fun and enlightening chat.

Novel and Comics

Toronto Comicon

Let’s look at this from left to right.

  • Toronto Comics‘ Yonge at Heart is a Canadian comic author that sets in Toronto. This is a free preview to get a snippet of their comic for their Kickstarter campaign running right now till beginning of April, I believe. I saw them on Twitter before the trip and really liked the art style and the idea of using a Canadian setting. You can check out the Kickstarter here.
  • Remy’s Dilemma by Andrew Snook is a novel with this plot below from their website. A part of selling your work is being passionate about it. And Andrew does a great job at it. To be honest, his enthusiasm as he told his story and the joy he had recounting the story was so genuine that I could feel the awesomeness in the story. I haven’t started reading it yet but this looks like a fun journey with Remy especially when its set in two provinces in Canada that I’ve visited numerously  and live in.

The world is coming to an end. That’s what Remy believes, anyways. While double-checking his lifelong to-do list to ensure he has led a rich life, he realizes he hasn’t come close to completing his goals. Panicked and short on time, Remy embarks on a chaotic road trip to complete the most important item on his bucket list… – Snook Books

  • Moonshot & Titan from AH Comics: Moonshot is an Indigenous Comics Collection (Volume 1) with various stories from different artists. With the purchase of this one (inspired by my peaked curiosity after my playthrough of Never Alone a few weeks ago), they also gave the gift of their graphic novel Titan: An Alternate History, which is great because then they saved me having to decide on which one to get with my purchase.

Artwork

Foiled Art

Foiled Art makes this beautiful little pop culture pieces. They do a lot with gold or silver (or both for limited edition) but I honestly thought that this galaxy one looks superb. It really brings out the art and pops. This is going right over my work station at home because its so fantastically awesome!

Chasing Artwork

Howl’s Moving Castle by Chasing Artwork

I love love love Miyazaki art and Chasing Artwork is a great artist. There are two comics out currently which I passed up on but these pieces are so atmospheric and creative. I actually stood there pondering which to get. He also has one for Nausicaa which just took my breath away. I’m personally a huge fan of Howl’s Moving Castle so this one is great.

Archie Dan Parent

Betty and Veronica by Dan Parent (with autograph)

For those of you who don’t know (which you might not because I don’t review comics), I love Archie comics and really I haven’t looked much at the newer ones although they do look cool but these traditional ones. I know I have a few volumes sitting in a box after we moved. I just can’t remember where so I couldn’t take it with me but Dan Parent was there who does a ton of these illustrations. I particularly loved this print and look he signed it also. Consider me a little star strucked when I saw him because I wanted to say a ton and just couldn’t.

The haul could have been so much more. There was so many great writers and artists that the choice was hard to make. However, I retain the idea of picking up stuff from the ones that I skipped but has an Etsy shop or other form of online retail. I have to say this was a pretty successful weekend!

What do you think about the haul? Anything that catches your eye?

Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm (A Graphic Novel Anthology)

A little change in plans but still, this contributes to the 2015 Reading Challenge I had posted about before.  I haven’t had quite the concentration and energy to get into the next scheduled novel quite yet so I sat down one night after rearranging my books on the shelf in my den and pulled this graphic novel that I picked up after I saw the movie, Prince of Persia a few years back.  I love the games on Playstation, even though I think I’m halfaway through the last one.  I should get back to that.  Regardless, I picked this up because graphic novels are just fancy comic books to me 😉

Let’s check it out!

Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm
(A Graphic Novel Anthology)

Prince of Persia Before the Sandstorm

By: Jordan Mechner

Art by:
Tim Fowler, David Lopez, Bernard Chang, Tommy Lee Edwards,
Cameron Stewart, Niko Henrichon, Pete Pantazis, Dave Stewart

Five very different people are about to be put to death for a crime they didn’t commit.  Well, one of them may have done it.  But the only way they can escape the hangman’s noose is to find the common thread that ties them together  The one man they have all encountered, and who changed their lives — Dastan, the prince of Persia! – Before the Sandstorm book cover

Prince of Persia are fabulous games.  They are fun and entertaining. The story is great and even though some of them have slightly frustrating gameplay, its still decent.  I haven’t revisited the movie since maybe 3-4 years ago when I bought it.  From what I remember, it was forgettable because all I remember is Jake Gyllenhaal…and nothing much else.  This graphic novel is a compilation of six stories sprouted from the people involved in this bigger story of their connection to Dastan before the events of the movie/game, whichever you can relate to more 😉 Since the film is an adaptation of the game, right?

I’m pretty sure Prince of Persia isn’t the cornerstones of what a great graphic novel is.  Despite the art from 8 different artists, there is a similar style and all of it is pretty.  It reflects what the story and its colorful and just done really well.  I can’t exactly say the same about the story.  Its not exactly a thrill ride to read.  Its probably why I did it it over a couple of days, reading one or two stories a day.  Its not a bad story but it never really has much uniqueness to it.

This is a pretty short graphic novel and its just like an equivalent of a short story anthology just for graphic novel style. So I’ll keep it short.

While I didn’t fill like it was the best, I’m not going to hate on it either.  And its not going to ruin my exploration of future graphic novels, which I intend to do. The art is really good and that will make me want to check out more in this genre.

Are you a fan of graphic novels? Any suggestions? Have you read Prince of Persia Before the Sandstorm?

 Happy Easter! 🙂

Genre Grandeur – Young and Dangerous (1995)

Check out my review on Young and Dangerous for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur in the month of June. This time, our genre is comic book or superhero movies. Since everyone already had their share of superheros review, I figured I’d go a little different and share one that may not be the best in quality but its great to me because this series has been such a success. Maybe I’ll do as I did for Infernal Affairs and have a little marathon once I gather all the movies ;).

Remember to check out the other reviews from other bloggers for this genre and next month’s genre will be on alien. If you have any review you’d like to share, remember to send it to Rob. I know I’ll think something up 🙂

Thanks to Rob for putting this together. As usual, I had a lot of fun revisiting this one.

For the next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Comic book / superhero movies, here is Kim from Tranquil Dreams with a review of Young and Dangerous (1995).  If you don’t currently follow Kim’s site, I strongly recommend that you do so. Her site features great movie reviews, awesome travel stories, new recipes and photo challenges

If anyone still is planning on sending me a submission for this month’s genre, please do so by tomorrow.

Next month’s Genre (chosen by Cara) will be alien movies – so start sending me your reviews for Alien genre movies to aliens@movierob.net

Without further ado…here’s Kim’s review

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young and dangerous posterYoung and Dangerous (1995)

Director: Andrew Wai-Keung Lau

Cast: Ekin Cheng, Francis Ng, Jordan Chan, Gigi Lai, Michael Tse, Chi Hung Ng, Simon Yam

Based on a popular Chinese graphic novel called Teddy Boy, Young and Dangerous is a low budget movie showing the…

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