Tag: Graphic Novel Review

Latest stories

  • ,

    February Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Hawkeye #14 review at TFAW.comSweet Christmas! You guys have once again out done yourselves by sending in so many wonderful product reviews to choose from last month, it was nigh impossible to pick just three of you for this month’s picks. However, after reading through the hundreds and hundreds of great reviews, we have hand picked three of our favorites as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll find out who won from February’s Product Reviews. $25 TFAW gift certificates are on the way to the folks who posted them.

    Marina from Quail Valley, Ca stopped by with her five star review of Hawkeye #14:

    Hawkeye #14 follows the ongoing pattern with Fraction’s run, the writing is witty and expressive in a way suitable to the character. In this issue, we follow what happens to Kate in California- and we see what it really means to be a super hero sleuth. The art and writing correspond perfectly to her viewpoint and, to say without spoilers, it was an amazing issue overall.

    Elfquest: The Final Quest #1 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Candice from Carmi, IL. She had this to say about the Elfquest: The Final Quest #1:

    Been a fan since I was 13 yrs and it a very exceptional book in my opinion. It has a little bit of everything. I love to escape into the world of Elfquest; a vacation from the real world if you will. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

    Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Vol. 1 TPB - Force Storm review at TFAW.comLast but not least, Chris from Campbellford, ON wrote a review for the for Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Vol. 1 TPB – Force Storm that we had to share:

    This graphic novel captivates its reader with its awesome art work and in depth descriptions of emotions and scenes. I am very happy to have bought this book and will continue to follow the series with great intent. If you have not read this series but are a star wars fan old or new it will not let you down highly suggest this!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

    It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

    Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

    There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

    Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • , ,

    Graphic Content: Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)

    Fables TPB Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)It’s time for our latest Graphic Content “book club” meeting . . . well, my latest, anyway, since Josh is out enjoying a new addition to his family! We’re at Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)–one of my favorite Fables trade paperbacks thus far. Beware: since this is a book club, we assume you’ve done the required reading, so SPOILERS ARE AHEAD!!!

    In Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days), we finally meet some Fables from the Arabian Homelands, as Sinbad and his entourage of courtiers and slaves come to call. The Adversary is encroaching on their lands as well, so they’ve stepped through the gates into Baghdad and wish to meet with Prince Charming to form an alliance with Fabletown and get acquainted with Mundy ways. This does not go well, since Charming sent away Mowgli, the person Sinbad’s court had previously been negotiating with, and promptly forgot about the meeting. And no one speaks Arabian. Well, almost no one . . .

    Yes! My favorite part of this is that King Cole was needed to save Fabletown’s collective face. His in-depth knowledge of Arabian etiquette (and their language) and his brilliant negotiating skills finally showed why King Cole was Mayor for so many centuries. The mentor relationship he formed with Sinbad was delightful–to everyone but his wizard, Yusuf, who objected to dealing with “heathens” and setting their slaves free. His solution? To unleash a D’Jinn, or genie, to destroy Sinbad’s supporters and Fabletown, allowing Yusuf to take over!

    It was nice to see Prince Charming, Beauty, and her Beast cleverly trick Yusuf into defeating himself–most painfully–and it was glorious to see King Cole set off as Ambassador between the East and West Fables. He had a purpose again and was very much needed–quite the fairytale ending. However! What was with that kiss between Beauty and Prince Charming? A side effect of stress and overwork, or something more?

    The second story in this trade tells the story of two of Gepetto’s wooden creations, who fall in love and ask to be made flesh. They too get their “fairytale ending,” but at a terrible price: they are spying on Fabletown in the Mundy world, carrying out despicable acts while awaiting the birth of their first child. I hope their story is picked up again sometime down the road!

    On to the questions:

    What did you like best about Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)?

    EF: I really liked the traditional fairytale elements to these stories. Fables really read like . . . well, fables! There was intrigue, mystery, and a moral to both stories, to boot! I like how Charming, Beauty, and the Beast are coming into their own, successfully solving problems in their own way. Hopefully personal issues won’t get between them!

    What did you think of the kiss between Beauty and Prince Charming?

    EF: From the very beginning, Beauty and the Beast have been presented as a bickering couple–or, as Charming put it, “You [bicker at] him all the time.” That dynamic, plus the fact that they’ve been married for dozens of centuries and have both taken on stressful new jobs, would create cracks in any relationship. I liked that Beauty firmly shut Prince Charming down, but noticed she waited until after kissing him. And Bufkin was a witness!

    What do you think of Fabletown’s unique pathways of justice?

    EF: It’s hilarious to me that although Fabletown has strict laws, they enact them in a way that people get what they actually deserve. Little Boy Blue, although he (seemingly) stole magical items and ran away with them, was secretly on a mission for Charming and is a hero to the people. Therefore, his two years of “hard labor” at the Farm look like they’ll be productive and pleasant. Meanwhile, even though Sinbad brought in a weapon of mass destruction (the D’Jinn), he was keeping it from the Adversary and had no intention of using it against Fabletown. Therefore, while he is banned from Fabletown as a private citizen, he can certainly come and go as he pleases as the newly appointed Mayor of Fabletown East. Pretty sneaky.

    What were your impressions of “The Fable of Rodney and June”?

    EF: I loved Jim Fern and Jimmy Palmiotti’s art for this–it really looked like a classic fairytale, detailed and absolutely gorgeous. Rodney and June’s story was engaging and sweet, but you just knew there was going to be an ugly side to it. In the end, I felt badly for them, but they definitely made a deal with the devil, and now they have to live with it.

    So what did you think? Take a moment and comment below for a gift certificate! And make sure to meet back here next Friday for Fables TPB Vol. 8: Wolves.

    Please follow and like us:
  • , , ,

    Graphic Content: Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons

    Fables TPB Vol. 5: The Mean SeasonsIt’s time for another installment of our Graphic Content “book club.” We’re currently paging through a Fables trade paperback each Friday! How can you participate? Join the discussion by posting a comment below, and we’ll send you a special coupon code or gift certificate!

    In the fifth book, Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons, Willingham introduces us to Cindy (Cinderella). She’s one of three “tourists” who are actually undercover agents for Bigby. She’s charged with tracking down turncoat Fables and catching them in the act. Her target: Ichabod Crane. He was King Cole’s Deputy for over a century and he’s ready to spill the beans to The Adversary! Bigby shows up in the nick of time to catch “Icky” in the act and collar him for the caper.

    Then, guest artists Tony Akins and Jimmy Palmiotti take us back in time to Germany circa 1944. We follow “Dog Company” on Operation Chambermaid, deep behind enemy lines. The Führer has a secret warrior on his side who could turn the tide. He’s risen from the dead once already, and he’s nearly indestructible! Enter the wolfman! Bigby escorts Dog Company on their mission and takes out the threat.

    Finally, Willingham and Leialoha are back for a four-part “Mean Seasons” arc. Big changes are in the works, as Snow prepares to give birth and Charming replaces Cole as the Mayor of Fabletown. We follow Bigby as he rushes to the hospital to join Snow during her 44-hour labor. Six babies are born and they are cute! Only problem is that they don’t all look human, and the law is that they can’t be in the city if they don’t look human. Even though she’s been a career girl for most of her life in the Mundy world, Snow chooses to move up north to the Farm to raise the cubs. Yah, the Farm. But we all know that since Bigby isn’t allowed up there, this poses serious ramifications for an already tumultuous Bigby/Snow relationship. As Snow leaves for the Farm, Bigby begins his own journey–only we don’t find out where he’s going.

    When Snow and the cubs arrive at the Farm, they’re greeted by the whole community, and it’s not long before Bigby’s father catches wind of the birth of his grandkids. He travels from the Homelands to the farm, and we find out that the cubs have the ability to change from human to wolf, just like Bigby! Oh, yeah, they can also fly! Frau Totenkinder sends a note to Snow with an ominous warning: “I caution you not to assume that seven children is always a lucky number.”

    Seven? Well, the last five pages of this book are going to knock your socks off!

    Now it’s time to discuss your thoughts:

    How did The Mean Seasons stack up to previous Fables volumes?

    EF: For once, I loved the guest artist, Tony Akins. I thought he captured Cinderella’s spy mission and Bigby’s WWII tale very well. It was slightly different than Mark Buckingham’s work, but still felt like it took place within the Fables world.

    Geez, where to begin? I really liked this installment–there was so much going on, and it seemed even more humorous than usual. Snow giving birth to a litter of children, Beauty, Beast, and Prince Charming’s bumbling attempts to run Fabletown, and the beheaded wooden soldiers are always good for a laugh. Of course, there were some sad touches–King Cole was obviously devastated to lose out as Mayor after how many centuries? And Snow and Bigby’s parting–and her sending one of her children away–was sad.

    JC: A great volume. I’m a fan when they bring in shorter arcs to give us some breathing room. I was pretty used to the status quo, and this volume turned the Fables world upside down. Snow’s babies are so terribly cute, and it was pretty heart wrenching for Bigby and Snow to be forced away from each other. When she sent the seventh baby away to find Bigby, I too was saddened.

    How do you feel about Snow and Bigby’s evolving relationship? Do you agree that Snow is still waiting for a handsome prince?

    EF: Unfortunately, I’m still not really feeling Snow and Bigby as a couple. I feel like the writer is telling us they’re connected, rather than showing us. What, they have sex one time–without remembering it–Snow gives birth, and then Bigby leaves town? I felt bad for Bigby–because most of his children didn’t look human, they had to move to the Farm, where he’s not allowed–but after centuries of serving Fabletown, I feel like he should have gotten a break. I think the writer separated Snow and Bigby–again–because he didn’t know what to do with them, or he wanted to drag out the tortured romance bit as long as he could.

    JC: I really like their relationship. We haven’t seen much of them in their “alone time” so it feels like their relationship is just shy of where it needs to be. Bigby is a stand-up guy, and from what I gather from the story so far, he genuinely loves Snow. I’m not sure the feelings are 100% recriprocated, but I’m looking forward to the two becoming a strong unit in the future. There’s a lot of angst there. I like it.

    What do you think of Snow helping her “zephyr” child get away with murder?

    EF: I was entirely sympathetic. The newborn zephyr obviously didn’t realize he/she were killing people–or the consequences–and Snow looked devastated that one, she didn’t realize she had a seventh child, and two, that if the others had caught the child, it would have been put to death. Sidenote: hilarious that Snow White had seven children, what with the Seven Dwarfs and all.

    JC: Agreed. The baby didn’t know what he/she was doing and I would have done the same thing in her situation. I just hope the baby finds Bigby soon!

    So what did you think of this volume? Let us know below, and don’t forget that we’re giving away special discounts and coupons to people who comment!

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Geek Chick: Why I Love Daredevil: Born Again

    Daredevil: Born Again, the seminal, legendary story by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, starts off in the thick of the action and doesn’t stop, ripping through Daredevil issues #227 through #233, taking the reader on a searing, gut-wrenching ride that’s provoking and thoroughly entertaining. It makes you question: what makes a hero? What makes a friend? A lover? An honorable man? A patriot? How low can a man (or woman) be taken (or take himself) and still survive? When there’s no hope, no fear, what’s left in the ashes?

    I was introduced to this story arc by a good friend last year, and just picking up the Daredevil: Born Again premium hardcover edition sent a chill up my spine. This is no Ben-Affleckted trope. It’s a true classic, a story that makes me remember why I love Frank Miller. Want to give yourself a treat? After you read it the first time, go through again and check each title page of the first six issues. Apocalypse. Purgatory. Pariah! Born Again. Saved. God and Country. Each page is a beautifully crafted portrait of Matt Murdock, the man who would be Daredevil, and a snapshot of his journey to hell and back.

    Karen Page, Murdock’s former girlfriend, sells Daredevil’s secret identity for a fix. Matt Murdock, his cover blown, finds his life–and sanity–blown apart by the Kingpin in a matter of days, without friends, money, housing, or even his costume. And Ben Urich, reporter, allows himself to be scared away from a story, throwing away his integrity like a small, desperate animal. The individual journeys of these three characters snake throughout the narrative, intersecting in a truly satisfying way that feels real, with very few traditional “superhero” trappings.

    In addition to issues #227 through #233, the Daredevil: Born Again premium hardcover edition includes Miller and Mazzuchelli’s lead-in, issue #226, as well as a cover gallery, layouts, and the script to issue #233. It’s a beautiful collector’s piece that would be at home in any Daredevil fan’s library.

    Has anyone else out there read it? Do you plan to? Post your comments below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Geek Chick: Stuff I’m Looking Forward To

    One of my favorite parts of working at TFAW.com is going through Previews every month, looking for cool stuff to read and talk about. Here are two things that caught my eye this month:

    I first got a glimpse of Julia Wertz’s work last April when I caught The Fart Party at the Stumptown Comics Fest here in Portland. I admit, the title made me cringe, but her sense of humor and simple-yet-expressive artwork charmed me–and the attendees of the festival, since the book won the Mystery Award that weekend. Now, Wertz has edited an anthology out this February, I Saw You . . . Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections, from Three Rivers Press. The book, starring a number of up-and-coming cartoonists, takes on a subject matter well-suited to Wertz’s slice-of-life sensibilities: missed connection ads. Who doesn’t like to browse through these in the local paper, imagining that the cute guy (or girl) you spotted on the bus is trying to catch your attention?

    If I were a little tougher (and more coordinated), I would totally be a roller-derby chick. Everything seems tailor-made for me–costumes, clever nicknames, performing for a crowd–except for the getting-knocked-on-your-ass part. So my roller-derby envy means I’m definitely going to check out True Tales of the Roller Derby: Doppelganger at the Hanger from Oni Press. Based on Portland’s own roller-derby team, the Rose City Rollers, and created by Lisa Titan and Dennis Culver, this looks like Scooby Doo meets the Stepford Wives and is also out this February.

    So what are you guys looking forward to? Any new or underground titles you’d care to share with us? Post your comments and recommendations below!

    Please follow and like us: