Thursday, March 28, 2013

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 9: Page 7

Story by Jer Alford. Art by Natalie Prayor.

MISC. MANGA, *Amala's Blade

A mix of both steampunk and cyberpunk, this manga styled comic series from Dark Horse begins with an Issue #0.

Amala is a sword for hire who is constantly haunted by all the people she ever killed, all while trying to axe the rebellious techno-pirate, Captain Cha'Kooh for her vizier. Amala manages to finally best the Santa Claus-looking swashbuckler, and takes control of what remains of his crew. The rest of the series has Amala’s adventures as a master assassin while still having all new ghosts to add to her entourage, including a steampunk cyber-monkey!

Newcomer writer Steve Horton does a nice job of blending the two main genres into a decent story, and equally new artist Micael Dialynas breathes a lot of life into the characters with his gripping style. Definitely look it up!

Friday, March 22, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Cathedral Child

In what could be seen as one of the very first official steampunk comics, this was part of what was called the Texas Steampunk trilogy, although only two of them where printed.

In 1897, a church has become the site of new kind of computer which is supposed to have artificial intelligence. This is left in the care of the beautiful but mysterious Glory, and her lover Sumner. As the years go by, we see how their relationship builds and nurtures the living computer called Cathedral. But it wants to be reborn in a human body and experience life.

Cathedral Child is a gripping romance mixed with a fantasy and a little sci-fi too. The next book, Clockwork Angels, deals with two lesbian detectives in the same era, though it is mostly unrelated to the original book. The first volume is available in print, and in its entirety as a webcomic.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 9: Page 6

Story by Jer Alford. Art by Natalie Prayor.

MISC. MANGA, *Mighty Tiny

This anthropomorphic comic by Ben Dunn is very influenced by the early works of Hiyao Miyazaki such as Nausicaa and Castle In The Sky This was a 5-issue mini-series and a one-shot special that has been collected into more than one graphic novel.

Set in an world divided by sentient mice and rats, the empires of Mousputa and Ratvaria have been at war for a generations, but they have finally managed to achieve an uneasy truce. However, a secret cabal known as the Triad plans to bring both nations back into the fray. Only the daring Captain Tiny and two youngsters can halt their plans and save rodentkind.

There are some impressive military designs, and seriously flipped airship battles. Plus the mouse people are just soooo cuuuute!

That's Tsundere!

Friday, March 15, 2013

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 9: Page 5

Story by Jer Alford. Art by Natalie Prayor.

MISC. MANGA, *Time Lincoln

Did you know that before he was a vampire hunter, Abe Lincoln was a goram Time Lord? Even though it allegedly has nothing to do with the Aqua Teen Huger Force movie, this was a series of one-shot specials that have been collected into a trade paperback.

Here, Abe Lincoln was being targeted on the night of his assassination by none other than Joseph Stalin, here called Void Stalin. Stalin stole time-travel powers from Rasputin, and travelled back to stop Lincoln from gaining the potential from stopping his conquest of time, but he doesn’t realize that this act is what actually gives Lincoln his time abilities. Lincoln then gets help from Einstein, Ben Franklin, George Washington Carver, Amelia Earhart, and Edison to stop Stalin and his forces.

Creator Fred Perry brings in some terrific anime elements to this, like Lincoln giving Hitler a big “Shoryuken” into another dimension. Be sure to get the graphic novel for this as opposed to the comic one-shots because it’s printed in chronological order.

Weird fact: Power Girl's boobs are bigger in anime!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy B-Day, D.N.A.

ANI-MOVIES, *The Great Mouse Detective

Another fun one from Disney is this adaptation of the Basil Of Baker Street children’s books by Eve Titus.

Basil is mouse that lives in Sherlock Holmes’ pad, and along with his new assistant Dr. Dawson has to help the adorable Olivia find her inventor father who had been abducted by the sinister Ratigan.

Vincent Price does a memorable performances as the Moriarty-themed Ratigan, who plans to make a robotic duplicate of the mouse queen so he can take over England. Ron Clements started his big career as a director on this, and it shows with some impressive action sequences than in most Disney films. The best are the airship chase near the end, along with the fight within Big Ben. One of the few steampunk movies the kids can enjoy.

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 9: Page 4

Story by Jer Alford. Art by Natalie Prayor.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Ame-Comi Girls

Taking the concept of the anime-themed action figure line, DC Comics decided to launch a new digital comic mini-series(and then ongoing series)of Ame-Comi Girls. This takes place in a different version of the DC Universe which is mostly populated by superheroines and supervillainesses.

It starts out with Wonder Woman defending Themyscara from invading armies from the country of Kasnia. She then goes to the U.N. to ask for help protecting her land from hostile forces, when Cheetah appears to challenge her. They scuffle, and Wonder Woman prevails, but it turns out Cheetah is in league with a group of bad girls lead by Duela Dent. Duela has had several incarnations over the years, as both a hero and villain, but in this world she is basically a female version of the Joker, but with a steampunk vibe to her. Duela's crew also includes Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman. They clash with Batgirl(who is this world's only "bat-hero")and a female Robin, but Batgirl is captured, and discovers Duela is secretly working with a female version of Brainiac that is planning on taking over the Earth. Catwoman defects to the good guys in order to save her own skin, and she frees Batgirl, only to have her take on an army of Braniac drones on her own. Robin makes contact with the female Steel and Flash(who here is Jesse Quick), and teams up with Catwoman to prepare for Brainiac. Meanwhile, Power Girl is basically this world's equivalent of Superman who first has to take down a fairly obvious Lex Luthor, even though they never say his name, and tosses him into the Phantom Zone. She then gets called to Smallville where a spacecraft has landed carrying none other than Supergirl, who here is Powergirl's older cousin, even though she didn't age any from her trip from Krypton to Earth. Their reunion is cut short by a squad of female Manhunter robots who try to arrest them for space traffic violations. This comes to a head when Brainiac finally lands, and the Kryptonian cousins team-up with the Manhunters to stop her. However, Brainiac uses a special Black Kryptonite to turn Supergirl evil and under her control. This spells trouble for Earth's heroes as she makes quick work of them as Power Girl goes to stop a device deep in the Earth's core. The bit of good news for them though is that Wonder Woman finally shows to stop the corrupt Supergirl.

This leads into the new regular comic series of Ame-Comi. Future issues include Jade as the official Green Lantern of Earth, plus other characters like Hawkgirl, Big Barda, Raven, Star Sapphire, plus female versions of Atom, Adam Strange, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Sinestro. It's worth looking into if you liked Marvel Mangaverse or Marvel Her-oes.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Soulless

Cail Garringer is known in steampunk fiction for her Parasol Protectorate series. The first volume of which has been adapted into a manga-styled graphic novel from Seven Seas.

This gothic fantasy is set in alternate Victorian London where creatures like werewolves and vampires are commonplace. The main character is Alexia who is a “soulless” woman in search of her missing husband. Alexia is a medium between our world and the supernatural. She attracts the affections of a werewolf lord after she accidently kills a vampire with her parasol, and because of it becomes the main suspect of a series of vampire murders.

While this might sound like a cheap grab at the Twilight crowd, it actually is a deep story with some witty and surprising turns to it. This was handled pretty well for an American manga, with art by artist Rem who also worked on the Vampire Kisses manga adaptation. Keep in mind though that its meant for mature readers due to some of the sexual content.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Long live the Princess! (P.S. Happy Derpy Day!)

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 9: Page 2

Story by Jer Alford. Art by Natalie Prayor.

MISC. MANGA, *The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel

Another manga-styled graphic novel tied to an American steampunk franchise, this is a prequel to Cassandra Clare’s series, The Moral Instruments. Infernal Devices is takes place over a century before this which has been adapted into this graphic novel series.

Set in London 1878 where magic users and supernatural beings referred to as Downworlder live in tandem with mundane people. Tessa Grey arrives in town looking for her brother, but gets abducted by the evil Dark Sisters who want to use her in their experiments of creating mechanical dolls made from human parts. Tessa is later rescued by the Shadowhunters, a team of specialists who are each gifted with powers that hunt down inhuman threats to the mundane world. Tessa realizes her own strange ability to assume other people’s forms, and is willing to help them in exchange for looking for her missing brother while evading the evil Magister, leader of the Downworlders.

The art is pretty good by Gossip Girl artist Hyekyung Baek, but the flow of the story doesn’t seem as even as it should be, at least not in the manga novelization of the original books. More supernatural than steampunk, but still acceptable.