Image Comics: A-I – Collected Editions Reviews
The Fade Out – Deluxe Edition
Writer: Ed Brubaker, Artist: Sean Phillips
An epic graphic novel of Hollywood in the early days of the Blacklist, THE FADE OUT tracks the murder of an up-and-coming starlet from studio backlots to the gutters of downtown Los Angeles, as shell-shocked front man Charlie Parish is caught between his own dying sense of morality and his best friend’s righteous sense of justice.
Collects The Fade Out #1-12
If somone asked me what my dream idea for a comic book is, I would probably say
Film noir, murder mystery, all set around old Hollywood. Well, Ed Brubaker has delivered. Question is, does this live up to the dream?
Very easy question to answer…1,000x yes!
It might even be my favourite Ed & Sean team up so far.
There is a lot going on in this plot. I will say that it does help to have a little bit of prior knowledge on what is going on in Hollywood at time. Luckiky, this is where I thrive as I’m a bit of a film geek.
Along side that you have our main character dealing with PTSD, writers getting blacklisted and dealing with communism in Hollywood.
So when these certain elements came up I knew what they were referring to. They also refer to many of the Hollywood stars of the time without mentioning them by name necessarily. My favourite being Montgomery Clift. The way his real life story is played out on the pages had me nerding out.
There is a character sheet at the beginning of the book that does come in handy as there are lot of players in this mystery.
Sean Philip captures the era perfectly using many famous actresses as references. I particularly liked like the way he used dreams/memory sequences – very misty and hazy, very cinematic. The colourist also set the mood perfectly. To be honest, it felt like a elegant cinematic HBO limited series. Perfection.
My only concerns are that the ending is slightly anticlimactic but if you asked me if it suits the story and the characters, I would say yes. This isn’t a superhero story, this is real life.
If you’re a fan of films like Sunset Boulevard, LA Confidential or have a general interest in Golden Age of Hollywood, what are you waiting for? This will be your new favourite graphic novel.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5Review: by Nine Panels, @nine.panels
Fire Power – Deluxe Edition vol.1
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artist: Chris Samnee
The one who wields the fire power is destined to save the world, but Owen Johnson has turned his back on that life. He doesn’t want the power, he never did. He only wants to raise his family and live his life, but unseen forces are at work to make that impossible. Danger lurks around every corner as Owen’s past comes back to haunt him.
Collects Fire Power vol.1: Prelude, Fire Power #1-12
You know those summer Blockbuster’s we used to get back in the day? When they aren’t trying to be groundbreaking or part of some shared universe. They’re just looking to show you a good time at the movies? Well this is that in comic form.
It’s a crowd pleaser and a complete blast from start to finish. The plot has many elements we have seen before in Shang Chi, Iron Fist, and even the Karate Kid. All of these influences are mixed into one. The familiarity of the story actually helps it. You settle in straight away, ready to start the ride and plays around with what you already know. As previously said, is not groundbreaking, it’s just popcorn done well.
That’s not to say there isn’t some twist and turns to be had, as there is many.
The story moves at a rapid pace, so there is no time to get bored. Kirkman has another hit for the masses on his hands.
It’s a story that’s relies heavily on martial arts and therefore the art is very important, but Samnee is the man for the job. The action flows nicely with plenty of splash pages (this is much as his story as it is Kirkman’s). There are many pages without dialogue so it relies completely on his ability to visually tell the story.
They both understand exactly what the vibe and style is, and come together to make a summer blockbuster of a comic.
I read this book within a couple of hours and so should you.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5Review: by Nine Panels, @nine.panels
Its Lonely At the Centre of the Earth
Writer & Artist: Zoe Thorogood
Cartoonist Zoe Thorogood records 6 months of her own life as it falls apart in a desperate attempt to put it back together again in the only way she knows how. It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is an intimate and metanarrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival.
Zoe Thorogood hit the ground running when she released her debut, THE IMPENDING BLINDNESS OF BILLIE SCOTT, in 2020. So when she announced a new comic on it’s way I was immediately intrigued to read more from her!
And when you have high hopes after reading such a great debut, it’s easy to get disappointed but that was far from the case with IT’S LONELY AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH.
It’s an OGN with a unique, yet very generational voice. It’s also an auto-biography so of course it can easily come across as self involved but it’s also very self deprecating but with tons of wittiness and even if Zoe isn’t ready to admit it to herself yet, she’s a really good story teller!
Though it tends to cross the line a little on the meta tropes, I really loved exploring her head and the art is simply wonderful.
I’m normally not the biggest fan of slice-of-life’s stories but at the same time I do love visiting someone else’s mind for a period, all their struggles, voices and warts and worms. I wont call the work relatable, because well, I think she’s heard that enough already about her work, but it felt nice reading it, eventhough you’re essentially reading someone struggling.
You feel like you wanna say to Zoe that it’s okay to accept herself, and at the same time you feel like, ah crap, maybe we need to tell ourselves that more as well.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5Review: by Lav, @lav_and_leia
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