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The Edge of Extinction is… well, on the edge of extinction. Some of the art early on in the first issue captured my interest, but as the story progressed it seemed as though less and less care was given to each new panel.

I’d hoped at least for an interesting space odyssey, but unfortunately I felt the story lacking as well. It was like reading a late night, sci-fi B movie in comic form. I didn’t feel for any of the characters, I didn’t worry for their well being, or hope for their safe return.

While it’s certainly possible that the art and story might redeem themselves in future issues, I can’t say I particularly care to know what happens at this point, having read up to issue three.

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This week’s read is brought to us by one of the art instructors I work with on fairly regular occasion. We were discussing the different graphic novels we’d each read of late and Nowhere Men by Image Comics came up in the conversation. He didn’t particularly like it and I expressed sadness as it had been on my suggested list on I’d been looking forward to picking it up once I got through some of my current “To Read” stack. He then offered to bring it in the following day for me to have. Now, he has let me borrow books before but never just given me one, so that gave me an inkling of just how little he cared for it. He was true to his word and I had the book the next day. Continue reading


A strange thing happened at A Shop Called Quest, one of my favorite comic shops, a little while ago. I was exploring the manga, which I don’t do very often, and I picked up a title I’d never seen or heard of before. The spine alone caught my attention and stood out as different from the other works surrounding it, so I peeked inside and was pleasantly surprised with Mitsuhisa Kuji’s beautiful artwork.

I don’t know manga authors or illustrators very well at all yet, so I don’t feel terribly confident in my ability to judge a book by its cover (or a brief skimming of its gooey insides) at this point. Normally if I pick up something in the manga section it’s because I saw the anime by the same name, or a friend suggested the title, so this was a new experience for me. I asked the clerk and he said he hadn’t read it yet, just though it looked interesting, so I took a chance and took Wolfsmund home with me. Continue reading

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A little while ago I was perusing the aisles at Barnes & Noble when I happened upon a book called Machine of Death. I was intrigued, not only by the premise of the work (which I’ll get to in a moment), but also by how it came into being. In the words of the preface, “This book, unlike most others, started its life as an offhand comment made by a bright green Tyrannosaurus rex.”

Way back in December of 2005 Dinosaur Comics had T-Rex himself present us with an interesting question. What if there were a machine that could tell you how you were going to die? This comic got such a great response that they eventually got around to taking submissions. Writers were encouraged to share the worlds that they created from this curious concept, and the result is pretty amazing.

Machine of Death collects 34 stories selected from the more than 600 submissions that were received. They titles range from things as seemingly innocuous as “Almond” and “Vegetables” (which was my favorite) to the more visceral “Prison Knife Fight” and “Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions”. The stories themselves explore some worlds very similar to our own and some that are a far cry from this place we call home. In some stories it is mandatory that you are tested from birth, in others there are anti machine groups who feel knowing how you die takes away a measure of your free will, in one the government segregates people based on their machine reading to keep those with more peaceful deaths far away from those with violent ends. You might think the stories would get old and start repeating similar themes after a while, but I enjoyed the wide array of characters and worlds I was presented with, and was happily surprised up until the very end.

What would it mean if your print out read “Heat Death of the Universe” and what might it mean if your slip were blank? I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out.

Check out Zombie Kill Squad on Instagram where you can see what the Zombie Kill Squad – Cosplayers are up to at conventions and other awesome events!


I’m sure we’ve got a fair number of Whedon fans out there and I’m certain most of you already know about the Serenity comics, and the Buffy comics, etc., but am I the only one that didn’t know there were Dollhouse comics floating around out there?

Needless to say, I was rather pleasantly surprised to accidentally stumble across this book while looking at other readables on Like nearly every other amazing creation in the Whedonverse, Dollhouse was put on the chopping block long before it had really been given the chance to reach its true potential. I still had so many unanswered questions.

The stories collected in this volume take place between the show’s main series and the two season finales Epitaph One and Epitaph Two: Return. The book, appropriately titled Dollhouse: Epitaphs, helped fill in some big gaps for me. We start with Zone, Mag, and Griff, get a pretty healthy dose of Alpha, a triple shot of Ivy (there’s even a little Ivy on Ivy action), a bit of Ballard, and a little dash of Echo.

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the art in general, and occasionally had issues differentiating between characters in some sections, but I adored Phil Noto‘s covers, and enjoyed the work overall. While it didn’t answer all of the burning questions I had left about the show after it had been tourniqueted, it did help to fill a bit of the void that was left in the show’s absence. It’s definitely worth the read if you’re in need of a little more of the Dollhouse universe.

On Christmas day I had the pleasure of speaking with my cousin, whom I hadn’t had the chance to talk to for quite a number of months. As usual the conversation eventually made its way around to reading suggestions. I mentioned some fun reads I’d recently experienced, and my cousin mentioned Saga. I bought it the following day and was delighted to discover that it’s written by the author of another work that proved to be a favorite of mine, Y: The Last Man.

Y was actually the tale that sort of thrust me back into my passionate love of comic books, and Saga did not disappoint, quite the opposite in fact. Fiona Staples‘ art is breathtaking and perfectly illustrates Brian K. Vaughan‘s captivating story of two lovers on opposite sides of a planetary war and their struggle to survive with a new born child. 

It’s a magic filled, action packed, and well paced tale so far. I ate up both volumes 1 and 2 over that weekend ignoring friends and loved ones alike, and now I must begrudgingly wait for volume 3 which doesn’t come out until April. I guess it can be an early birthday present to myself! And I’d recommend you treat yourself to this awesome story as well.

Check out THE SQUIDDER, an original graphic novel about an old soldier from a forgotten war in a post-apocalyptic world that has left him behind. The book promises heavy horror, fantasy, and Lovecraftian elements, as well as black humor.

Written and drawn by Ben Templesmith, New York Times best selling comic book artist (creator/co-creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT with Steve Niles, FELL with Warren Ellis, WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE, and WELCOME TO HOXFORD). This is his first new creator-owned traditional comic in five years!

Don’t miss out! I’ve already made my pledge!

It’s a hot, breezy night in North Portland’s Cathedral Park, and Ryan Castro is being pummeled in the stomach by Dan Clark.

These aren’t two drunken louts swinging punches after leaving a nearby dive bar. They’re actors in “Trek in the Park,” the annual presentation by Atomic Arts of a classic 1960s “Star Trek” episode, which begins a month-long run Saturday in the natural amphitheater underneath the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland.

More info

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