Advanced Review: Monty The Dinosaur #2

Monty The Dinosaur #2

Writer: Bob Frantz

Art: Jean Franco

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment

Release Date: 09/28/2016

Monty the Dinosaur from writer Bob Frantz  and artist Jean Franco is the story of a lone surviving Dinosaur in the 21st century who is dying to make a friend. Only problem, everyone’s afraid of him. Until he meets Sophie, an adventurous young girl who is not scared one bit by the friendly dinosaur. With new friend Sophie, Monty isn’t alone anymore. Issue one is broken up into two short stories. First, how Monty met Sophie and in the second story Monty and Sophie attend a birthday party together (and there’s cupcakes!). Issue two follows that same pattern with two short stories entitled School and Bananas.

In the story “School” Monty learns of a place that human children go to called School. Monty is pretty intrigued and then Sophie informs him that there is chocolate milk and Monty declares he has to go. What follows is a set of hilarious antics aimed at getting Monty enrolled in school (all for that chocolate milk, I’m sure).

The second short story is called “Bananas”. This story focuses on Monty and Sophie’s quest for, you guessed it, bananas! The duo is dismayed to find that they are all out of bananas at their home so they head to the local grocery store to buy some only to find they are out as well. So where do they go next to find their food of choice? Well, you’ll just have to buy the issue to find out. Make sure to ask for Monty The Dinosaur at your local comic shop.

Bob Frantz does an excellent job in this series of creating a character that is both funny to children and adults. Often times in series that are aimed at all ages, they either have main characters that appeal to children, or they have main characters that appeal to adults. Frantz has given us a character that excels at doing both. Monty the Dinosaur is layered in such a way that children can understand the jokes, like when Monty can’t do things because of his short arms. But also adults can read into it a bit further, like how it’s sort of a commentary on belonging in a society when you’re a bit  different than the norm. The art by Jean Franco is excellent. The character design for Monty is great, making a dinosaur that is as cute as Monty is is a feat in and of itself. I love the layouts and the structure the Franco uses. It adds another dimension to the story telling. The color choices by Franco bring a bright and vibrant palette sure to please children and adults a like.

All in all Monty the Dinosaur #2 is a fun all ages romp that is sure to delight the entire family. If you don’t have this series on your pull list then you better hurry and add it. You can order the trade due out in November here. Be sure to follow Bob Frantz on twitter for updates. You can get more news about Monty the Dinosaur and Action Lab’s other offerings here. Also, make sure to demand Monty the Dinosaur at your local comic shop.

409830._SX1280_QL80_TTD_.jpg

New Comic book Day Top 5: Sept 21st

Hello Revuers! Another great comic book day is upon us! Which means it’s time to take a look at my top 5 most anticipated comic coming out tomorrow. This week there was, once again, some stiff competition. But in the end there could be only 1…..er I mean 5! Tell me what you think of my picks in the comment section below, and let me know what’s on your pull list or what you are most looking forward to.

 

5: Horizon #3

687177_0b431418a3bcd08e04181660f861cfdf8ff140e7.jpg

Horizon from Writer Brandon Thomas and artist Juan Gedeon has been a fun and often surprising comic so far. It takes a very common place idea and puts a unique and fresh spin on it. The first two issues were very solid with great world building from Thomas and Gedeon. The third issue has promised to show us our first glimpse at a villain so I am excited for that. If you haven’t had this series on your pull list you may want to rethink your priorities.

 

4: Mighty Thor #11

690105_mighty-thor-11-prostate-awareness-month-variant.jpg

This series from the acclaimed team of Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson continues with what is being billed as the Team up no one expected. I have been following Thor since Jane Foster first took over the mantle after the events of Original Sin. Before that I had never been much of a Thor guy as I always found him to be sort of one note. This new Thor is an evolving, relateable character with a ton of nuance. We can thank Jason Aaron for that. This series is one of few that has always been on my pull list for the last two years and it’s looking like it’s place is firmly cemented there.

 

3: Batman #7

687131_03781b04f6de35b2ffa2205d223990f4bb7cbf36.jpg

This issue starts a new arc for Tom King and sees a new artist, Riley Rossmo, take over art duties. The title of this arc is called NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN, and is a continuing story over all of the Batman titles. I don’t know much about this story arc other than it involves mad science monster. Really though, do I need to know any more than that? I love the writings of Tom King and the art of Riley Rossmo, so you know that I’m in 100%

 

2: Patsy Walker: AKA Hellcat #10

686970_cc06c382fd2e28935c1d7649b688cf677f621716.jpg

I have loved this series from the very first issue. Kate Leth, Brittany Williams and Megan Wilson have crafted a world that is so fun to explore each and every month. This issue sees the end of the series’ second arc! It has been an excellent series for the first 9 issues and I expect no different from this issue. I’m excited for the future of the series and saddened by the departure of Megan Wilson (if you would like to read the interview we did with her then click here)

 

1: Wicked & Divine 1831 (one shot)

687081_b5fe3185375d492fb35c7f32892455acc942bd24

I love this series. Thecreative team of Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson and Clayton Cawles can do no wrong in my mind. This issue looks interesting as it i a one shot set in the past. 1831 to be exact. I like the idea of a sort of anthology of the Pantheon, and looking at them in the past. I think that’s an interesting concept. The art in this issue is by Stephanie Hans (Journey Into Mystery, Angela), who I really enjoy. Should be a great issue!

 

So there you have it! Did your most anticipated books make the cut? Tell us in the comments below. We would also love to see you list of most anticipated comics!

 

-Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

Deja.Revue Review Episode 2

Hello Revuers! The second episode of Deja.Revue Review is live on iTunes. Check it out and tell us what you think.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/deja.revue-review/id1146317175?mt=2

 

In this episode Andrew Horton and Ian Maxton discuss what they like and don’t like about Stranger Things, and then profess their love of Star Trek. This episode features new music by Bianca Love Prod. by Debars. You can check out her work here: https://soundcloud.com/thebiancalove

 

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments below. If you rate and review our Podcast Andrew Horton will make you cookies.

Covers of the Week: Sept. 16th

Hello Revuers! It’s time for another installment on Covers of the Week. This segment is where I pick my favorite regular cover and variant cover of the week. This week provided a plethora of choices as great covers abounded. However, I narrowed it down to what I feel are the best covers. Of course art is subjective so if you disagree with me please let me know in the comments below.

 

My favorite cover of the week is:

The Forevers #1

687472_eb0d3c8e528faae46ccfa2f40938fa457577360e

This cover by Eric Pfeiffer is simply breathtaking. I love the painted appearance of the cover and the color choices are on point. I love the brush work on the waves which make them seem like they are alive and moving. In fact the brush work on the clouds is the same way. It makes the whole cover seem very dynamic and not stagnate. The series written by Curt Pires is about 5 friends who make a black magic pact in order to gain fame. What follows next is a well crafted thriller comic that I recommend you pick up.

 

My favorite variant cover is:

All-Star Batman #2

689944_all-star-batman-2-shalvey-variant-cover

This variant cover by Declan Shalvey is very indicative of what happens in this issue. All-Star Batman #2 features Batman and two face on a train fighting multiple villains. This cover has two face and Batman on a train heading through a tunnel with another train in the background carrying other mysterious figures. I love the positioning of Batman in the sky over the train by Shalvey. It  makes Batman seem menacing without seeming evil. I also liked the touch of Two Face’s coins bouncing away from him. Implying that he may be out of luck. The story by Scott Snyder with interiors by John Romita Jr. continues on from issue 1 with Batman and Two Face continuing their cross country trip, with Batman facing death at every turn. If you haven’t been reading this series I strongly recommend you pick it up and start now. It’s not something you want to miss.

 

Was your favorite cover on the list? If not tell me what your favorite of the week was in the comment section below!

 

New Comic Book Day top 5: Sept. 14th

Hello Revuers! It’s time to once again look at our top 5 most anticipated books of this upcoming week. This New Comic Book Day sees the release of a plethora of titles from DC, including a few titles that make this list. On the Marvel side of things, this weeks marks a week of even more Civil War 2 tie ins (spoiler alert, none of those make the list). Let’s dive right in:

 

5: The Forevers #1

687472_eb0d3c8e528faae46ccfa2f40938fa457577360e

This series is a bit of a mystery to me, albeit an intriguing one. The Forevers is written by Curt Pires with art from Eric Pfeiffer published by the fantastic folks at Black Mask . The premise is that 5 friends make a black magic sacrifice in order to gain fame and fortune. After awhile they start to lose their “glow”. After one of the members dies they realize that the “glow” is stronger. Setting up for a betrayal by one of the friends. I have not seen any interiors but this cover by Eric Pfeiffer is stunning. As I said I don’t know much about this one but the premise and the cover has me stoked.

 

4: Black Panther #6

690053_black-panther-6-udon-variant.jpg

The only Marvel title that makes the list this week is Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates with Art by Chris Sprouse and this fantastic variant cover by Brian Stelfreeze. This series hasn’t been what I expected from a Black Panther title, but has been a solid title. I am hoping that this issue sees a bit more action as the last few issues have dealt more with T’Challa as a diplomat more than T’Challa as a warrior. This variant cover by Brian Stelfreeze is beautiful. This is the second issue with Chris Sprouse on the interiors, the last issue he nailed it so I’m hoping that continues with this issue.

 

3: Flash #6

686995_fa6ae85a4ed01eb3f24dc35532aef05096420800

 

This issue written by Joshua Williamson and art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, is the culmination of the first story arc ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’. Finally we will see Barry Allen come face to face and head to head with Godspeed. I’m sure that Barry won’t be alone as he has been training a new generation of speedsters (who may or may not last). Godspeed has been an interesting villain that has a great character design. This story line has managed to feel fresh and yet familiar all at the same time. Great work over all by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico

 

2: Doom Patrol #1

687031_99d53766a6589843d339dddb2ab369ff4198765c.jpg

The first issue and series off of Gerard Way’s new imprint Young Animal, Doom Patrol looks and sounds fantastic. The art and cover art is from Nick Derington. I have never read any of the original Doom Patrol but I’ve heard great things about it. So this series is a bit of a mystery to me as well. That’s one of the things that’s exciting about comics. That every week you have the opportunity to try new books you’ve never tried before. This cover by Nick Derington is interesting and fun as well.

 

1: All-Star Batman #2

689944_all-star-batman-2-shalvey-variant-cover

All-Star Batman #1 was a fun filled joy ride (well for the reader, not Batman) it featured the spectacualr team of writer Scott Snyder and artist John Romita Jr.. The same team has returned for All-Star Batman #2. Issue #1 saw Batman on a road trip with Two-Face taking him to a yet unknown destination. Two-Face made everyone a proposition to kill Batman. Now everywhere they stop Batman is met with resistance. Can Batman survive attacks from everyone around him or has he finally met his match? I suppose you’ll have to buy the issue to find out.

 

Did your most anticipated books make the cut? Tell us in the comments below. We would also love to see you list of most anticipated comics!

Pictures and Music in Heaven and Hell: On The Incantations of Daniel Johnston

idj1

A confession: I often listen to music while I read comics. The music is not casually thrown on, but rather, considered – a soundtrack of sorts. The music is meant to compliment the text and images, not overwhelm them. This leads to my listening to mostly instrumental music as I read. For instance, I paired the music of John Fahey (specifically his album Death Chants, Break Downs, and Military Waltzes) with my reading of Harrow County a few weeks back. Companion to my reading of Descender was the music of electronic duo 2814 (both their most recent record, Rain Temple, and an earlier record, the title of which translates roughly to The Birth of a New Day).

So it is strange that, while reading a graphic novel that takes as its inspiration and subject a particular musician, I found it so evocative of the music and of the man behind it that I did not feel inclined to soundtrack my reading (though, to be sure, I listened to Daniel Johnston for hours on end after reading). Such is the power of The Incantations of Daniel Johnston by Ricardo Cavolo and Scott McClanahan.

To understand the excellence of the book, a word or two on Daniel Johnston. He is an artist and musician who emerged from the Austin, Texas music scene of the early 90s, though he was recording much earlier than that. Some would affix the word “outsider” before the words artist and musician in my previous sentence, but such labels are limiting and reductive for the artists behind them. However, the point is that Daniel Johnston (and other “outsider” artists and musicians) comes from a long tradition of unconventional and untrained artists who work almost entirely outside the commercial system. The limits of Johnston’s instrumental abilities are more than made up for by the simplicity, sincerity, soul of his compositions, which he would record on cheap cassettes and give out at his job at McDonald’s. One is tempted to describe his work as child-like, but it contains too many layers of cosmology, paranoia, anxiety, jubilation, heartbreak, and wisdom to have come from any child in this world. Listening to any given album by Daniel Johnston (my favorite is either Yip/Jump Music or 1990), is akin to feeling every emotion at once. The sounds, despite their simplicity, are often overwhelming.

But Daniel Johnston is troubled. He has been plagued by mental illness his entire life. The Incantations of Daniel Johnston does not shy away from this, but more importantly, it does not valorize or romanticize it either. It is no coincidence that Kurt Cobain, another over-romanticized, tragic figure of 90s alternative music, was often seen in a t-shirt emblazoned with Johnston’s art. To listen to Daniel Johnston’s music is to take part, in some small way, in his particular, fantastic, terrifying world – even if the spell only lasts the length of a pop song. And so it is with The Incantations of Daniel Johnston. The book presents itself as a spell of possession. A spell which allows you, like the music, to enter Daniel’s world, and to have his ghost dwell in you. It is a friendly haunting (like Casper), but a haunting nonetheless.

The art, much like Daniel Johnston’s music, is ecstatic and bright and grotesque all at once. The lines are simple, mirroring Johnston’s artwork without outright imitating it. The images pop and the colors sometimes bleed together. Everything is on fire. Everything is alive, with a beating heart, with throbbing lungs, with undulating intestines. There are king frogs, monsters, clouds with eyes in this fantasyland. But like any fantasyland, it has dark corners. Again, the book does not try to hide the darkness. Like the time Daniel pulls the keys out of an airplane in mid-flight. Like the time he fired his friend and manager Jeff. Like the times he enters mental institutions.

It is true though. It is sincere. In keeping with the music and spirit of Daniel Johnston the book is scattered, confused, funny, and heartbreaking. But the sadness never overwhelms – not completely. And though the darkness advances, though terrible things await – the book begs us to run, to lose hope – and though it promises that happy endings are just stories, lightness prevails. Because everything is just a story we tell ourselves, in a way. And if we can bear it, if we can take the curse upon ourselves, if we can be possessed by Daniel Johnston – a brilliant, sincere, sad, funny, troubled man, full of love – and take that possession out into the world, we can carry forth the lightness. Because, for all of the demons in his head, Daniel Johnston was still able to sing this:

Maybe we can too.

The Incantations of Daniel Johnston by Ricardo Cavolo and Scott McClanahan is available now from Two Dollar Radio (you should check out their other books as well, they’re great).

Covers of the Week: Sept. 7th

Hello Revuers! It’s that time of the week again where I select my favorite covers of the week. This week there was pretty strong competition across the board, but in the end my selections made the leap over the rest. As always if you agree or don’t agree let us know in the comments below. Now let’s jump right into it.

 

My favorite regular cover of the week is:

Daredevil #11

686754_5adf1671baaf0084c3b2b41985bdf4518d8b4d3a.jpg

Original story arc, for this volume of Daredevil, artist Ron Garney returns to the series after taking a break for a few issues. This cover is also by Garney, who absolutely nails it. The first story arc that Garney did art for was known for it’s tri-color palette and this cover continues that tradition. This story arc is about a serial killer who turns his victims into “works of art”, and it’s being billed as the creepiest Daredevil story arc of all time. judging by this cover it might very well be. The series itself has been hit or miss for me. However Daredevil #8 by Charles Soule and Goran Sudzuka may very well be my favorite single issue of the year. If you are looking for a Marvel series that’s outside of the norm Daredevil may be a perfect fit for you.

 

My favorite variant cover of the week is:

Supergirl #1

688883_supergirl-1-variant-cover

This variant cover is by the artist Bengal. This deceptively simple cover is beautiful, but more than that it’s complex. The longer that you look at it, the more details you notice. Like the color shading in the buildings or the shading of Supergirl’s boots and skirt. The sky is the same way with almost a photo realistic rendering of clouds. The palette is classic! with bright reds and dark blues that get lighter until the greyish blue at the bottom of the cover.  Bengal does simple right.

 

Was your favorite cover on the list? If not tell me what your favorite of the week was in the comment section below!