Comics Briefly: American Vampire #17, Secret Avengers #15, X-Men: Legacy #252

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



Favorite Issue This Week: American Vampire #17

All Issues were new in store on 7/27/11


American Vampire #17 (Ghost War Part 5)
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Rafael Albuqueque, Colors: Dave McCaig

There's a strong ramp up in tension in this issue, piling violent twist onto violent twist. I wish we'd gotten a hair more from some of the soldiers, especially after one interchange that seemed to be hinting at a reveal yet to come. The final splash page was expected, but welcome and satisfying. I am getting a bit tired of this arc, though.


Secret Avengers #15 
Writer: Nick Spencer, Penciler: Scot Eaton, Inker: Jaime Mendoza, Colorist: Frank D'Armata

I have mixed feelings about this issue. It had quite a bit more of a metatexual vibe than I generally prefer, although I think it was fairly well done. The premise: Black Widow debates the merits of comic book style death with a bunch of civilians. It flirted with the edge between intriguing commentary on the genre from inside the world and facile pretention, and I honestly can't decide which side I think it ends up falling on.


X-Men: Legacy #252
Writer: Mike Carey, Pencils: Khoi Pham, Inks: Tom Palmer, Colors: Marte Gracia

I had been liking this book, but I'm getting tired of just threads and bits of plot. The art is nice, but most of this issue was boring. This one might be next to fall off my pull list. X-Men: Schism, which I read in the store, had better writing, although it had inferior art.

The Silence of Medair

Monday, July 25, 2011



The Silence of Medair
Andrea K. Höst, 2010

Premise: Medair was a Herald for the Palladium Empire. When the far-off Ibisians' home is destroyed by wild magic, they come to the mainland, but instead of forging peace with the Palladians, they sweep through as an unstoppable army, threatening everything she knows. Medair is sent on a last-ditch mission to capture a magical artifact that could save them. She finds it, but soon discovers that she has returned too late - 500 years too late. The book opens about six months later.

Wow. I was just swept away by this book. It was so unique and beautifully written. I simply loved it.

There was one section near the climax that I thought struck an odd note, but other than that I loved every bit of this book. It's an exploration of honor and justice in the context of the sweep of history, juxtaposing truth and myth, personal prejudice and cultural shifts. Can you stay true to your beliefs when the entire world has changed without you? Should you?

I loved Medair, clinging to her pain and her fractured principles. This is the kind of book that large publishers are scared to take a chance on. I thank Ms. Host for bringing us her fragile, beautiful world, and telling this extraordinary story.

5 Stars - An Amazing Book

The Silence of Medair is available on Amazon.com

Comics Briefly: Avengers Academy #16, Batman: Gates of Gotham #3, Darkwing Duck #14, Power Girl #26

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Favorite Issue This Week: Power Girl #26

All issues were new in stores on 7/20/11

Last week's books were so strong that this week feels a bit like a let down, even though the issues are fine, overall.


Avengers Academy #16
Writer: Christos Gage, Penciler: Tom Raney, Inker: Andrew Hennessy, Colorist: Jeromy Cox

This came close to taking top marks this week. It's the second Avengers Academy/Fear Itself tie-in issue, but it isn't quite as strong as the last one. The first section, about Giant-Man fighting the (now-powered-up) Absorbing Man was fine, if a little simple. The second part, a small story about Veil trying to help one person in the warzone, was a touch predictable, but came quite close to being emotionally powerful. The hit-and-miss art on Veil's expressions holds it back for me, though.


Batman: Gates of Gotham #3
Story: Scott Snyder & Kyle Higgins, Writers: Kyle Higgins & Ryan Parrott, Artist: Trevor McCarthy, Colors: Guy Major

This miniseries is starting to slip a little in my opinion. I am much more interested in the historical plotline than the current events, and the art is not my cup of tea. That said, I like that the odd emphasis on hair makes the Bats here (Dick, Tim, Cass, Damian) look sort of related, which is cool. It's still good, just not quite as good as I want it to be.

Side Note: Seriously, these god-awful Subway ads in the middle of all DC issues? I refuse to read them. I am tearing them out. Burning them. This has gone far enough.


Darkwing Duck #14
Writer: Ian Brill, Artist: James Silvani, Colorist: Lisa Moore

It pains me to say this, but this might have been the weakest book in my stack this week. I still really enjoy the art and the writing, and the plot is stronger than the last issue, but not quite coming together. This feels like more set-up, not like the beginning of a new arc yet, and I'm tired of set-up. Maybe next month's will be better.


Power Girl #26
Writer: Matthew Sturges, Artist: Hendry Prasetya, Colorist: Jessica Kholinne

This one-shot was so frickin' adorable! Is it corny here and there? Yes. Do I care? Hell, no! The art is sleek and pretty, the dialogue snappy and the action strong, the story is sweet and positive. And there's a platoon of earnest, excited PG cosplayers fighting a cranky alien lady in space. Consider me converted: I love Power Girl too.

March Upcountry and March to the Sea

Monday, July 18, 2011



March Upcountry (Empire of Man Book One)
March to the Sea (Empire of Man Book Two)
David Weber and John Ringo, 2001

This is a re-read for me, because I recently realized that I had the series in ebook format from a CD that came with another book.

Premise: Nobody thinks Prince Roger, third son of the Empress, is much of a prince, or much of a decent human being. Of course, with a political traitor for a father, no one has ever given him the benefit of the doubt either, and that includes the marines that form his bodyguard. But when sabotage means their ship is grounded on a low-tech planet full of warring aliens, Roger has a chance to grow up fast, and if he does, everyone has a chance to get off the rock alive.

One of main the reasons this series amuses me is that it's like a simplified history of warfare overlaid on an action-oriented sci-fi story. The marines start out with sci-fi weaponry: powered armor and plasma guns, but the humid climate soon damages their equipment. Between the need to keep themselves and their charge safe and the need to make allegiances with some of the cities and tribe they come upon, the humans pull from their history, eventually introducing everything from Roman spear-and-shield tactics to breech-loading rifles to better sailing ships.

It's a military sci-fi series, and yeah there's a little the-military-is-always-awesome vibe now and again, but it's more even handed than some others. (I love military sci-fi, but I get a little sick of plots where the non-military characters are always the idiots or the weaklings or the bad guys. Original Star Trek actually did this a surprising amount with its level of hatred for bureaucrats.)

This series has a strong ensemble of characters, all of whom get some time in the limelight. I don't always keep everyone straight, but I don't feel like it's a major flaw here.

I like the second one a bit more than the first; I think the politics and the character interactions are stronger. Overall, these are pretty darn fun to read.

March Upcountry – 3 Stars – A Good Book
March to the Sea – 4 Stars – A Really Good Book

These books are available for FREE on Baen.com
March Upcountry
March to the Sea

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop July 15

Friday, July 15, 2011


This is Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

Today's Question is:

Q. What do I do when I am not reading?

I assume this question refers to other leisure activities ;)

I watch geeky TV and Movies on Netflix (no cable for us!) and I make art. Check out my custom dolls and action figures on my other blog, The Blue Fairy's Workshop.



Book Blogger HopThe Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Crazy-For-Books.com

Today's Question is:


How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

The vast majority of my books come from the library. I don't have the space or money for it to be otherwise. One of the biggest things I love about living in New York City is the extensive library systems, and the fact that my closest branch is only a 5 minute walk from my front door! Next in line is the internet for free or cheap ebooks for my Kindle, usually found on either Amazon or Baen.com, or manybooks.net for public domain works.

Happy Hopping, everyone!

Comics Briefly: American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2, Batgirl #23, Dollhouse: Epitaphs #1

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Favorite Issue This Week: Batgirl, by a landslide!

All books new in stores on 7/12/11

American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Sean Murphy, Color: Dave Stewart

Solid second issue. More about Felicia and Cash's unease with their mutual history. Cash gets a pretty good scene to show off his smarts and bravado. Good cliffhanger. Entertaining, but not quite as good as Issue 1.


Batgirl #23
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller, Artist: Pere Perez, Colorist: Guy Major

This issue ROCKED! The super-jerks Steph has been fighting for the last year finally put their brains together enough to actually be dangerous. There is a lot of action, a dollop of pathos, a kicking cliffhanger and some truly excellent surprise guests. (Slight spoiler: Dear DC, for my birthday I would like an ongoing or a mini written by BQMiller about the Junior Birds. Teen Titanesses. Super-Chicks. Whatever. Pretty pretty please?)


Dollhouse: Epitaphs #1 (of 5)
Writer/Story: Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Pencils: Cliff Richards, Inks: Andy Owens, Colors: Michelle Madsen

Herein starts the miniseries promised by the one-shot from a few months back, and it picks up right where that left off. Alpha and the Ivys start training their one recruit, and we see more hints of Rossum's plan for their zombified hordes. It's pretty entertaining if you like the ideas from the series, but nothing amazing.


Also Considered:
Birds of Prey #14
Read through this issue in the store, and while it was really fun seeing Zinda interact with people from her own time, it wasn't good enough to buy. Fairly pretty, though.

X-Men: Schism #1
This was solidly written and fairly entertaining, but felt a little too much like more of the same X-stories they've been rewriting for years for me to plunk down five bucks.

Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Part Two!)


Read Part One first if you missed the introduction... Here's my analysis of the rest of our FCBD haul:

Path of the Planeswalker     Wizards of the Coast     
Not bad. More than a little disjointed, and I'm not all that interested in where it goes from here, but not a bad little issue.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Pep Comics     Archie     
BORING. But not quite offensively bad.     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Phazer: War of the Independents     Red Anvil     
Back Issue. WTF? The writer was giving this away at one of the comic shops we visited on FCBD. It's a mash-up of indie characters brought together for something, but the writing was terrible and I didn't understand the plot. Maybe you have to know all the characters already for this to make any sense? The internet tells me that this guy got permission to use all these characters, but it's a cheesy crossover for the sake of a cheesy crossover, obnoxiously incoherent, incredibly poorly written, and often poorly drawn. It definitely sabotages its main premise: it makes me much less interested in reading more indie comics.
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Rated Free For Everyone     Oni Press    
Two cute kid-friendly shorts: Sketch Monsters (girl's drawings come to life) and Power Lunch (boy gets superpowers based on food). Both are fun, but not exceptional. Decent fare for little kids.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Ruse #1     Marvel     
Actually an issue that came out earlier this year, this and  Sigil are part of Marvel's re-launch/exploration of the Crossgen properties. I bought this when it came out, see my reaction here. 
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Yup

Sigil #1     Marvel     
A pretty fun issue (see note for Ruse above). Dimension/time hopping? Magic powers? Strong writing? Color me intrigued.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Silver Scorpion     Liquid Comics     
Ok, this is going to sound mean. I think it's sweet that a bunch of “disabled students from America and Syria” got to hang out and brainstorm an idea for a new multicultural hero. However, that doesn't mean much if the guy who eventually writes the issue sucks. This is painfully badly written, though the art isn't terrible. 
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Sonic the Hedgehog     Archie     
Pretty darn fun, I'd say. Nice combination of an enjoyable action story (with an end) with a hook for pulling readers into what's happening next. Well Played.    
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Spontaneous     Oni Press     
Not terrible, not great. Kind of a middle of the road indie.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Super Dinosaur     Image     
Huh. Kind of cute, but this sample was just origin exposition, nothing to say what the actual series will be like. Seems okay, but not great.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Amazing Spiderman     Marvel     
This was a decent issue. The dialogue was fun, the premise intriguing. Erin mentioned that it made him interested in what is going on in current Spiderman, so it did its job.   
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

The Darkness: Confession     Top Cow     
I was annoyed that this was just a recap one-shot, and then I realized it's a recap one-shot AND an ad for the related video game. It was okay, for all that.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Intrepid Escape Goat/The Stuff of Legend     Th3rd World Studios     
The Intrepid Escape Goat was a cute, funny story. I approve. The teaser for The Stuff of Legend was pretty, as usual.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

The Misadventures of Adam West     BlueWater Comics     
Either poorly written, or poorly chosen sampling of this title. It doesn't have enough to make me interested in more. The other feature, Things to Come, makes no sense and had ugly art.     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

The New Avengers (FDNY Special)     Marvel     
This is a cute idea, but it is so not targeted at me. A bunch of kids are in Avengers mansion getting a safety lesson when supervillains show up. Most of it is about fire safety. It's fine for what it is, but what it is, is about 6 pages of incredibly cheesy dialogue. The whole comic (more than is in the handout) is online:     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Tick     NEC     
Wow, this was really disappointing. I wish this had been an actual issue, instead of a bunch of content designed to say “we've made a bunch of cool books that you should read, but this isn't one of them.”     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Probably Not

Time of the Twins #3     Devil's Due Press    
Back Issue. When I had the chance to snag a copy of this for free, I jumped. It's entertaining, although there is a major misstep in the translation of one of my favorite moments (probably for time, They adapted an entire novel into 3 issues!) and a handful of typos. Still quite fun.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Possible

Top Shelf Kids Club     Top Shelf     
There's a few false notes in this six-pack of shorts, but overall it's a strong issue. Man, I love Owly. Owly can tell a better, sweeter story in 4 pages than most comic books manage in 22. Korgi and Pirate Chicken vs. Ninja Chicken were both good as well.     
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

Wolverine #20     Marvel     
Back Issue. A little grim-and-gritty-er than I personally like my comics, but an intriguing and dark book, well constructed.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Worlds of Aspen     Aspen Comics    
I've read the Worlds of Aspen sampler every year, and it just doesn't get better. There just isn't enough of a sample of any one title to know whether I'd be interested in reading more. Crazy winged ladies fighting? Cool. Glamorous high-class assassins? Cool. Steampunk? Cool. But only seeing a page or three is not cool enough to convince me to buy more.    
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Young Justice/Batman TB&TB Super Sampler     DC     
Two shorts in this issue. The Young Justice was okay, a few nice moments, but mostly a heavy-handed mess.  Batman: The Brave and The Bold was better. It had a cute gimmick, but wasn't anything too special. Maybe fun for kids? Hard to say.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope







So, to sum up, 42 Issues. 4 excellent books rating a full 5 for me:
  Captain America & Thor
  Darkwing Duck/Rescue Rangers
  Mouse Guard/Dark Crystal
  Top Shelf Kids Club


5 books I'll definitely buy/already bought more of:
  Avatar: The Last Airbender
  Birds of Prey (Was Already Collecting)
  Darkwing Duck (Was Already Collecting)
  Mouse Guard (Was Already Collecting)
  Ruse (Was Already Collecting)

As well as a bunch that are now on my radar, new highlights include:
  Dark Crystal
  Locke & Key
  Sigil
  Elric

So, I didn't discover an all new love this year, but I enjoyed reading across the breadth of comic-dom.

Also, we got this:

Which is... well, it's something.

Top Ten Tuesday - Authors I'd Like to Meet

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and The Bookish

This Week's Prompt is:
Top Ten Authors I Would DIE to meet (living or dead)

Well, I'm going to agree with a few other posts I've seen this morning and say that "Die" is language I'm not willing to get behind here. Here are some authors I would go out of my way to meet:

1: Lois McMaster Bujold 
Because I'm a huge fan. Duh.

2: Louisa May Alcott (requires time-travel)
Because it would be interesting to find out whether she was pissed that her book which she personally disdained became what she is most known for.

3: Stephen King
Just because I think it would be interesting.

4: Peter S. Beagle
Because I'm not sure whether he's brilliant, or just really lucky, and it would be interesting to try to figure it out.

5: J. K. Rowling
Because the woman has fascinating business sense.

I don't see the need to make this a long list, partially because I often prefer books to stand on their own. Sometimes I find out something about an author (unpleasant political position, unpleasant personality, over-inflated sense of their own importance, etc...) and then have a hard time getting past it to look at their work independent of that. I think it's easier to mentally reconcile with deceased authors, but it's still a consideration. 

On the other hand, I don't feel as though authors are as far out of reach as maybe they once were. Many comic writers, and some novel writers as well, are on Twitter and take reader questions. Or they have a blog, or a newsletter. Readings, signings, conventions; if you really want to meet someone, in many cases you can. It's easy to feel connected these days.

Adulthood Rites and Imago (Xenogenesis Two and Three)

Monday, July 11, 2011



Adulthood Rites
Imago
Octavia E. Butler, 1988, 1989

Premise: The second and third book of the series variously called “Lilith's Brood” or “Xenogenesis”. These volumes concern the continuing intertwining of the remnants of Humanity and the alien species called the Oankali. Adulthood Rites follows Akin, Lilith's first son, and Imago follows Jodahs, one of her later children.

I really enjoyed these two books, although I didn't connect to the characters as much as I did with the first one, Dawn (review here).

This trilogy might be best understood as a sort of triptych. While the larger plot moves forward under the story of each book, each book has a different main character, and each character brings a new perspective on Human/Oankali relations.

Both Adulthood Rites and Imago deal largely with the unexpected results of the genetic blending; what it means for both races and how they can move on from where they stand. There's a dark undercurrent throughout in the contrast between the alien mentalities of the narrators and my human perspective as a reader. The moral quandaries and the slight thread of dystopia make a nice counterpoint to the aliens who on the surface fix the planet, heal the people, seem to love the people... as much as they can. They are moral, but their morals are not necessarily our morals. But are our morals actually any better?

This is a fascinating series, in which no perspective is without basis or without bias. It's tremendously thought provoking.

4 Stars - A Really Good Book 

Check out Lilith's Brood on Amazon.com

Follow Friday July 7

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This is Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

Today's Question is:


Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

Ever? Ever is a tall order. Some books I've absolutely hated in recent years include The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir and The Seven-Percent Solution, Twilight and Little Women.

I have problems with all of these books, although the most annoying to me personally might be Little Women. I don't think it quite qualifies as worst book ever, though. The worst book I ever finished I've probably forgotten the name of. I read a lot of terrible novels back in high school, not to mention some of the stuff I had to read for classes.

Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Part One)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Yes, this is quite belated, but I offer it nonetheless. Here are my thoughts on all 42 comics we received on Free Comic Book Day 2011. Most were specifically released for this year's event, but there are a scattering of back issues, recent and not-so-recent, that were on offer or in grab bags as well.

Same as last year, for each book I'll tell you the title, the publisher, what I thought, and how likely I am to buy an issue, based on the experience of reading the free one.

Atomic Robo     Red 5 Comics  
I always enjoy Atomic Robo on FCBD, but never quite enough to buy an actual issue. I think it's better in short bursts. This one was particularly cute, too. The previews of Foster Broussard and Moon Girl are each interesting, but the art in Moon Girl is too busy. Foster Broussard has a nice attitude, but it takes more than attitude to carry a whole series. Which is, again, why I don't collect Atomic Robo, despite how much fun it is.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Avatar The Last Airbender/Clone Wars     Dark Horse Comics  
YAY AVATAR! I really loved the two Avatar shorts. They were funny and sweet and the dialogue was almost precisely spot on: it sounded like the characters to me. The Star Wars preview on the other side was kind of lame and silly, though. The bad dude's name is Savage Opress?  Really? I know it's from the show, it must sound less stupid than it looks. So: Avatar:TLA: Great! Clone Wars: Boring.  
Rating:     (overall) 3     Buy another?      Yup (Avatar!)

Baltimore/Criminal Macabre     Dark Horse Comics
This was pretty good! Baltimore was stylish and nicely creepy, Criminal Macabre had good attitude and nice coloring. I do appreciate books that fit entire short stories into their FCBD issues  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Birds of Prey #85     DC
A solid back issue. I actually have this in a graphic novel, but it's fun to also have this format. It's a great issue and the end of an arc, too: Oracle is laid low by the Brainiac virus, and the Birds and friends take on the Silk Brothers.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Yup

Bongo Comics Free-for-All     Bongo
Not quite as bad as the Bongo Simpsons comics have been in years past, but not good.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Captain America & Thor     Marvel  
Oh, I loved this! (Although some part of it might be that I had just seen Thor, and loved that...) The Cap/Thor story is fun, all ages friendly, action-packed and moving. When Marvel really nails their all-ages stuff, it's amazing. The short preview at the end for Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was just okay, but I really liked main story.
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

Captain America: Hail Hydra #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. I liked this; a solid classic-style Captain America story.    
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Civil War Adventure     History Graphics Press  
Huh. This was okay. I mean it's sort of educational, and sort of interesting, sort of good and sort of dumb. Fine overall.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Daredevil Yellow #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. Solid 'Year-One' style story. Quite well done  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Darkwing Duck/Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers     Boom!  
This is a reprint of two issues I already have: Darkwing Duck #1 and Rescue Rangers #1. Both of these are good issues, although in my opinion while Darkwing keeps up the quality, Rescue Rangers isn't as enjoyable after this issue. Still, a very nice FCBD treat for anyone who hasn't been following these titles.
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Yup

Elric: The Balance Lost     Boom!  
This preview was pretty interesting, actually. I'm not familiar with the character, so the write-up of the history in the back was more intriguing than the actual comic part. Still, maybe worth keeping an eye on.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Geronimo Stilton/The Smurfs     Papercut  
Okay. Just okay. I don't know if these comics lose something vital in translation, since both are translated into English. As they are, they are mediocre and forgettable. Smurfs is a bit better than the other, surprisingly.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Green Lantern/Flashpoint     DC  
A reprint of Geoff Johns GL: Secret Origin Issue two, and a tiny preview of Flashpoint, which didn't help me decide whether I am interested in the event at all. The GL issue is a good issue, but I've read it before, and it doesn't make me want to buy more comics. The Flashpoint Preview is the one with the character white-washing/editing-fail. (More info here.) Come on DC, your FCBD content is severely lacking so far...
Rating:     4 (for GL)     Buy another?      Probably Not

Herc #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. How completely odd. And uninteresting. That too.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

JLA/Avengers     Marvel/DC  
Back Issue. Super fun, well written, Marvel/DC crossover. Nice.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Kung Fu Panda/Richie Rich     Ape Entertainment  
Unsurprisingly, the Kung Fu Panda was less obnoxious than the Richie Rich, but neither really reached above derivative platitudes. Boring    
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Legion of Superheroes #1     DC  
Back Issue. First issue of the relaunched series, one of the times it's been relaunched. I must say I did really enjoy the tone here: very superheroic.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Locke & Key     IDW  
Intriguing and fun. An interesting concept (family living in a house full of locked doors that give you different powers, some of which are highly dangerous) helped by a good amount of dark magic. One of the best surprises of FCBD 2011!  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Mickey Mouse     Fantagraphics  
Pretty Cute! It's basically an ad for the compilations, but the comics chosen in the issue were pretty decent.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Mouse Guard/Dark Crystal     Archaia
Sweet! An original Mouse Guard short that was quite adorable and hardcore. (It's that constant juxtaposition that Mouse Guard does so insanely well.) Also, the Dark Crystal short was very beautiful and intriguing. I can take or leave the little preview for the next Dapper Men book, but the teaser for A Tale of Sand makes me very interested indeed.  
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Yup

Overstreet Guide     Gemstone Publishing  
Despicable. A guide to collecting comics (as in, paying money for back issues, grading, re-selling style collecting) targeted at little kids. Yuck. Read comics. Read issues, read them online, read them in graphic novels. Don't buy into the antiquated hype of buying back issues for their resale value.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way


Coming Soon: PART TWO