[FVZA: The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency (Volume 1)] – (David Hine, Roy Allan Martinez, Wayne Nichols)
FVZA(Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency) is set in a alternative reality where Zombies and Vampires are real. The FVZA are a goverment agency tasked with the erradication of Vampires and Zombies. In the 1950’s they finally achieve this and the organization is disbanded. Back to the present day, the Vampires are breaking out of hiding and the Zombie virus is back so the goverment brings back the FVZA to prevent an apocalpse.
I was really impressed by this books treatment of Vampires and its attention to detail. It has a very real feel to it and the story really grabs you right up to its climatic ending. The artwork is gorgeous and helps to hammer home the stories shocking twists and turns. I thought this genre was totally played out but this book felt fresh and old school both at the same time. The characters are particularly well developed and believable. The extras are also really good with concept art, an interview with David Hine and some great covers from Clint Langley. Recommended and great value for money. [ISBN-13: 978-1935417057]. 9/10
[City of Dust : A Philip Khrome Story] – (Steve Niles, Brandon Chng, Zid, Garrie Gastonny, Clint Langley,Lucio Parillo)
Collects Issues #1 to 5. “City of Dust” is set in the future where the government have outlawed any form of fiction, religion or mythology. They have done this because they believe such things lead to war and conflict. The hero of the book “Philip Khrome” inadvertently had his father arrested when he was a small boy by revealing to a schoolmate a short fable his father had told him. Khrome is now a homicide detective employing the latest hi-tec technology to solve crimes but he is suddenly faced with data his equipment can’t handle and it seems monsters are once again stalking the earth.
The setting for this book is very much like blade runner and the art is soft focussed , dark and almost photorealistic at times. I normally prefer graphic novel art to be brighter and less muddy but there is no denying that this book looks gorgeous or that the style fits the story well. I like Steve Niles style of writing and this book is no exception. City of Dust is a mix of horror, sci-fi and crime genres and does all of them well. This TPB also has absolutely stunning cover art by the likes Clint Langley, Frederick Rambaud, Zid, Lucio Parillo, Patrick Reily, Michal Ivan, Arthur Suydan, Alex Ruiz, J.P Targete and Nick Percival. [ISBN-13: 978-0980233551]. 8/10
It might just have been my copy but I was disappointed that the spine started falling apart when I was reading it. I am extremely careful when reading books not to over stress the spine as I like to keep my copies in mint condition and this hasn’t happened to me in over 100 books .
[Slaine: The Books of Invasions: v. 3(Hardcover)] – (Pat Mills, Clint Langley)
The third volume in the stunning “Books of Invasions” series collects books 5 and 6. The standard of artwork is again fantastic and the stories are top notch too. I really enjoyed both the books. The first book “Odacon” is a very satisfying conclusion to the battle with his adversaries and ends with Slaine setting off to look for his son. Slaine finds his son working in a freak show in the second book “Carnival”. The story in this book is a bit of a departure from the other books in that it takes the form of a bit of a murder mystery. The story and artwork in this story are probably the best in the series. (ISBN-13: 978-1905437306). 8/10.
[Slaine: The Books of Invasions : Scota and Tara v. 2 (Hardcover)] – (Pat Mills, Clint Langley)
The second collection picks up nicely from where Volume One left off and it includes Books 3 and 4 of the Books of Invasions. Another well written and easy to read story with visually stunning art that is especially impressive on the monsters. Like the first two books there is plenty of gore and nudity but it is all tastefully done. Despite the unbelievably high quality art in the Book of Invasion series one thing has started to irritate me a bit while reading them. The faces of the characters in the book often don’t have appropriate expressions for the action or dialogue and they seem to be looking in random directions rather than at whatever the particular frame is concentrating on. In some ways it reminds me of those cheezy photo love stories you used to see in comics in the 70’s where the pictures and actors impressions never quite seemed to match the subject of the frame. Its only a minor niggle however and no doubt it is a by product of the digital manipulation. I reckon if you were to look carefully at the book you would find that the facial art is re-used a lot. It’s the only possible way Langley can maintain this level of detail otherwise each frame would take many many hours to draw. Special mention has to go to the Bonus Covers section of this volume where the art is absolutely stunning. (ISBN-13: 978-1904265924) . 7/10.
[Slaine – The Books of Invasions: Moloch and Golamh v. 1 (Hardcover)] – (Pat Mills, Clint Langley)
I used to read Slaine many years ago in 2000AD but it never looked like this. The artwork in this book is very detailed, colorful and unusual. Apparently Clint uses a combination of conventional art and digital manipulation to achieve the lush and often bizarre pictures. What you end up with is a comic strip with art quality and detail that would normally only be reserved for cover art. The two stories in this book are both very enjoyable and extremely violent. Classic Pat Mills work with grotesque characters and situations. (ISBN-13: 978-1904265825). 7/10