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Lurchibles "Lurchibles" (England)

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War Sweater
War Sweater
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great song, 29 July 2013
This review is from: War Sweater (MP3 Download)
Great song by a great band included on the soundtrack of One Tree Hill season 6. Definitely one to listen to!


Saga Volume 2
Saga Volume 2
by Brian K. Vaughan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "best original Sci-Fi title" keeps up the momentum, 22 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Saga Volume 2 (Paperback)
Saga Volume 2 is a collection of issues 7-12 of Image's blockbuster Sci-Fi series. If you're looking at this and haven't read the first book then my advice would be to pick that up and give it a read. Although my review is "spoiler free" this book is entirely a continuation of Saga Volume 1 TP and therefore makes it an essential pre-read.

There is an awful lot to love here, bold colours and simple line art create a semi-retro style (maybe an early-days Byrne) yet it feels modern because of the distinct variations in palette for the different characters and locations. Considering that quite a number of panels in this book take place in space, Staples has turned what could be a boring empty void into something very visually engaging with bold blacks and reds. Something that can be quite hard to achieve in Sci-Fi books.

The writing is fun and witty. Vaughan has a great handle on his characters as the backgrounds behind some of the distinctive personalities we met in Vol 1 are explored. The dialogue is very fluid, and although the story does jump between the various intertwining arcs it's a seamless transition (a process where Staples distinctive art really supports the sudden change).

So then why only 4 stars? It's a great book, and essential reading for anyone who enjoyed the first volume. However, as someone who absolutely loved the first volume, this time round I just find myself simply enjoying the journey. Which isn't that bad a thing. Vaughan and Staples haven't increased the momentum generated in the first volume, but at the same time they haven't lost any.

So in short, this is a great continuation of the most interesting Sci-Fi series in comics right now. If you enjoyed the first one, you should read this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2014 11:16 AM BST


Rebel Blood TP
Rebel Blood TP
by Alex Link
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by poor narrative and busy artwork, 29 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Rebel Blood TP (Paperback)
This was a 4 issue mini-series that I got into purely because I saw issue 1 on the shelf and thought: "That looks awesome!" The cover was of what can only be described as a "zombie deer-man-thing" and I picked it up just because it looked really cool. Zombies are really over-done in the entertainment industry, but Zombie-animals struck me as being new and exciting.

Lots of other people must've agreed with me, because the first issue went on to do a 2nd printing. Sadly though, other than the amazing cover art on issue 1, this was a really tough book to enjoy. Most of the artwork is great, but there are lots of extra lines that are completely unnecessary and give it a very "busy" feeling. The story is also sub-par and doesn't really have the traditional arcs you have in a 4 issue mini-series. It simply begins, contains 2 issues of filler, and then ends. You can take out the 2 issues in the middle and not really lose anything in terms of plot and character development.
The one redeeming feature of the story? There's a twist and you probably won't see it coming. Other than this twist there isn't really much of a story.

I'm quite tempted to give 2 stars, but that is unfair because the twist does redeem it somewhat. The artwork does get close to "great" at times, but the extra lines really do give it a horrible "busy" feeling. It doesn't really stand out in an overcrowded genre, so on that basis it's very difficult to recommend. 3 stars (but if there was a 2.5 star option I'd go for that).


Minimum Carnage
Minimum Carnage
by Cullen Bunn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carnage Unleashed, 23 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Minimum Carnage (Paperback)
Those of us who have been around for a few years will remember the "Maximum Carnage" story line in the early nineties (some of you may even remember the Megadrive game!) Maximum Carnage was a huge Marvel crossover that effectively pitched Venom and Spider-Man against the super-evil "Carnage" symbiote. That 14 issue epic is available in Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage TPB (Graphic Novel Pb), and if you're unfamiliar with Carnage as a super-villain then I definitely recommend that as a pre-requisite read.

Minimum Carnage is a crossover of slightly smaller scale, collecting issues #26-#27 of Venom, #10-#12 of Scarlet Spider and the Minimum Carnage "Alpha" & "Omega" one-shots. 6 comics might be significantly less than the 14 of the previous crossover, but it has been almost 20 years and arguably we're dealing with a darker more character-focused Marvel than years past. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity.

The story begins with the "Microns" (of the Microverse) aiding Carnage in his escape from prison (Venom put him there in Carnage, U.S.A.). Naturally, violence-ensues and draws the attention of Venom & the new Houston-based Scarlet Spider. Carnage escapes to the microverse and our heroes must pursue him to ensure the safety of our universe. Sounds pretty ridiculous right? The plot is "light" at best and has some serious holes in it that appear after a little scrutiny. With this being a Carnage book though, you wouldn't be buying it for the plot anyway right?

Carnage is one of the most intriguing super villains in the Marvel Universe. A serial killer in possession of a symbiote that gives him the powers of Spider-Man, Venom and even a few that neither of them possess. He kills masses with almost complete indifference, in fact the only emotion he does show is that of sadistic pleasure. And it's because he's so incredibly powerful and mentally unstable that he's so entertaining. Carnage isn't capable of holding back or of tactical actions, he can only be unleashed.

The (relatively) new Venom and year-old Scarlet Spider are some of the darker heroes in the current Marvel line-up, which makes them oddly well suited to be dealing with such a dangerous character (as they have been known to be quite dangerous themselves!) Once again the line of what a hero must do to stop a villain is called into question, and with the histories behind these two characters it can be said they've been walking either side of the fine line since their inception.

So it's entertaining, if not especially deep. It's also absolutely packed with blood and gore. Definitely not a book for young children here, but teenagers are bound to love it. If you are a parent though, I'd really recommend doing some reading on the Carnage character before buying this book. Even though it's ridiculous most of the time, it can get quite dark.


Venom: The Savage Six
Venom: The Savage Six
by Cullen Bunn
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Savage Six: Remender goes out with a bang, 5 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Venom: The Savage Six (Paperback)
It's back on form for the Venom series in this graphic novel. Collecting issues 15-22 of the comic book this volume consists of Rick Remender's final arc before leaving the series.

Even though this series is still very young, it's clear from the previous two books that Flash's story is at its best when it's personal, and this book is very much about a personal vendetta. Our hero has managed to get on the radar of the new Crime Master in a bad way and Flash's family and friends are now being dragged into the centre of the conflict.

I don't want to spoil anything for you with my review, which is why I'm keeping it brief. If you enjoyed the first book or if you like your heroes to be vulnerable then this is a story you simply cannot miss. Remender leaves the series on a highpoint that some much older series' haven't even glimpsed - this is top quality story here, don't miss out.


Venom: Circle of Four
Venom: Circle of Four
by Rob Williams
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Circle of Four: A loss of momentum, 5 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Venom: Circle of Four (Paperback)
After a very strong introduction to our new hero in "Venom", and a brief appearance in "Amazing Spider-Man: Spider Island", Agent Venom returns for his first major storyline. Collecting issues 10-14 and 13.1-4 of the comic book, this fairly weighty book takes you through Flash's journey to hell and back (literally).

It's sad to say that after such a strong introduction in the first book, this book really struggles to keep up the momentum. The first few chapters (entitled "Road Trip") are primarily focused on the relationship between our hero and his nemesis (Jack O'Lantern) which makes for some fantastic scenes and really great dialogue. However, once the "Circle of Four" storyline kicks in this dynamic simply disappears and is replaced with a rather lackluster narrative.

Without spoiling anything that you wouldn't find out by reading the blurb, Venom teams up with Red Hulk, the new Ghost Rider and X-23 to try and prevent the spread of Hell on Earth. Unfortunately, when you put strong characters like Flash and Jack O'Lantern next to these characters they can't help but pale in comparison (with the exception being Red Hulk, who does have more than 2 dimensions). It doesn't help that although the plight our heroes are combating is undoubtedly one of epic proportions, it lacks a lot of the personal investment that was in the earlier issues of the series and doesn't feel as strong for it.

It's not a complete waste of your time though. The opening issues are great and there is some really good "hellish" artwork in the later stages (even though the narrative leaves a lot to be desired). It's a shame you can't pick up issues 10, 11 & 12 in their own volume because that's exactly what I'd recommend if it was possible (or you could chose to scour the internet for the individual issues). As it stands, this is probably worth picking up only if it's cheap and you want to read Flash's entire story. If you only have the money for one graphic novel though, I would recommend skipping this one and jumping straight into "Venom: The Savage Six".


Venom
Venom
by Rick Remender
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong introduction to a "darker" series from Marvel, 5 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Venom (Paperback)
This volume collects issues 1-5 of Rick Remender's superb "Venom" series that started in 2011. A standalone Venom series has been something fans of the parasite have wanted for a very long time, but has never really been successful in the past. The previous mini-series' have struggled to establish if they're writing a book about a villain or hero, if the symbiotic relationship should be portrayed as tragic or an epic "Joining of wills". In short, previous writers haven't really known what to do with the symbiote.

Enter Eugene "Flash" Thompson - probably (in my mind at least) one of the most unlikely characters from the Spider-Man universe to be given the symbiote. But this isn't the Flash of old - he's no longer a high school bully or your stereotypical "jock". Remender's Flash is a grown up alcoholic war veteran who lost both of his legs during combat. Gone is the "lightness" from Amazing Spider-Man comics of old. Flash is a tragic character, struggling with alcohol abuse, the loss of his limbs and strained relationships with his girlfriend and parents. This is Marvel doing a "darker" comic with a main character who has relatable difficulties (that can sometimes hit very close to home).

Flash becomes "Agent Venom" by bonding with the symbiote and undertaking covert missions for the US Army, on the proviso that he doesn't lose control of the symbiote or bond with it for too long (and become reliant on it). By becoming "Agent Vemon" he re-grows limbs and has the abilities of his hero Spider-Man, but there is also the constant risk of losing control as symbiote feeds on rage and anger turning them into destruction and anarchy. It makes for a very interesting dynamic as Flash has so much to gain from the symbiotic bond, and naturally the alien parasite is more than happy to oblige (but always at a cost).

These 5 issues serve as a great introduction to the new Venom character with a strong start to quite an intense narrative. It's also nice to see the return of some minor bad guys as big players in this book. Jack O'Lantern is a great nemesis for Flash to have and he's introduced very well, as is the new Crime Master.

There's also some fantastic artwork here from Tony Moore, and some of the imagery used as Flash is struggling with his numerous troubles can be quite moving. All in all, this is a really strong introduction to the series and well worth picking up.


Saga Volume 1 (Saga (Comic Series))
Saga Volume 1 (Saga (Comic Series))
by Brian K. Vaughan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.25

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best original Sci-Fi title of 2012, 17 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This graphic novel collects the first 6 issues of Image's new comic "Saga". It's worth pointing out right away that the first issue is available to read for free on the "Comixology" website (give it a Google). By having a read of this you can immediately see if you're feeling either disgusted or intrigued by the "Saga" Universe.

I say "disgusted or intrigued" because those are the 2 reactions that I get from people after the first issue. This is a mature comic so there is a sex scene, and it starts off with a grizzly birth scene that can be a huge turn off for some people. At least you can read the first issue for free online and see if it's something you'd like to invest in :)

There is a lot of talent behind this comic. Vaughan has had a fantastic career and has written for a number of publishers(I know him best for his work on Vertigo's "Y: The Last Man")and also wrote for the TV series "Lost". Staples is undoubtedly one of the best upcoming female artists out there, who I know only from her work on IDW's "Mystery Society". She has a very definitive broad-stroke style that I personally find to be really fluid and clear.

The Universe "Saga" takes place in is exceptionally dark and twisted. The art style does a lot to turn what could be a dark/gritty setting into something a bit brighter, when this is combined with Vaughan's dark sense of humour it really gives the impression of a comic that doesn't take itself too seriously. I personally find this to be a bit of a relief in a field where it is hard to find humorousness when surrounded with gritty adult comics focussing on making as "mean" a world as possible.

The character design is great as well. Being a completely original piece of Sci-Fi work expect to see characters of all shapes and sizes! Some have wings and horns, others have 8 legs, some don't even need legs... It's nice to see such a diverse world and after finishing this 6 issue volume you can't help but wonder where they're going to go next! With so many directions to go in the potential for this comic is limitless.

After the first 5 pages of this Volume I found myself to be instantly hooked. I worked through it in one sitting and then re-read it the following morning on my way to work. The characters have great personalities,the art style is striking and beautiful, the story is intriguing and fast paced and I cannot wait to see where we go next. Vaughan & Staples have created something completely vibrant and unique here, and if you like the first issue then I strongly recommend picking this volume up.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2014 8:14 PM BST


Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening With Blue October
Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening With Blue October
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so "Ugly"..., 12 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Blue October already released the fantastic live album "Argue with a Tree" 6 years ago, so what makes this outing any different?

Well these recordings are all from live acoustic performances the band have made in the past year on their acoustic tour. The songs are mostly from the newer albums (Foiled and Approaching Normal) and they are all performed well with relatively good sound quality (it's about as good as it gets with live music).

But is it worth your money? Personally I don't regret my purchase, but seeing as all these recordings were taken at different times there doesn't seem to be much "flow" from song-to-song which is a bit annoying (as standalone tracks though, they're all great). If you're a fan of the band and already own most of the albums then you aren't really missing out on much here, but it'll still be worth getting at a slightly lower price. If you're relatively new to Blue October then pick up the studio albums, and if you want a great live album then purchase "Argue with a Tree" instead, it's a great 2-disc concert recording and the only live album that I listen to on a regular basis.

Just as an end-note, if you haven't listened to the "Consent to Treatment" album then you really should get hold of it. In my opinion, it's some of Justin's best material.


The Last Four Things
The Last Four Things
by Paul Hoffman
Edition: Hardcover

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good, if you "dig" the writing style and the first one!, 1 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Last Four Things (Hardcover)
"The Left Hand of God" was different. You can see that from the Amazon reviews, people either loved it or they hated it and there didn't seem to be much of a "middle ground" of people who thought it was OK. So is it worthwhile picking up the sequel?

Well before you buy this one, check out the first one. It's under £2 second hand from the Marketplace and it's a good insight into Paul Hoffman's writing style. It's definitely different, and for the first 5 or so chapters I wasn't quite sure if I enjoyed it or not. The language isn't overly complex and it's very easy to follow, the concepts aren't to difficult to grasp (as they can be in the more "hardcore" fantasy crowd) and it's an interesting read if sometimes a tad too religiously "dark". If you're up for something a bit different then pick it up.

If you've read the first one already then you already know if you like his style or not. If you don't like it then look away now because this is just more of the same stuff! If you enjoyed the first one then this is a continuation of Cale's story and you'd probably want to accompany him on it. The only issue I had with this book was that the pace was a bit too slow in some areas and a bit rushed in others, felt very much like "nothings happening, nothings happening, something's happened - it's over, nothings..." a few times in the 2nd and 4th fifths of the book.

It is a good continuation (considering the numerous directions it could've gone in after the first one) and fans should definitely check it out. If you're not a fan though then don't bother - there's no point in reading it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 28, 2011 4:52 PM BST


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