Comic Review: Night Moves # 1

Night Moves is a new noir horror comic from IDW, written by V.J and Justin Boyd, illustrated by Clay McCormack. The writers use a flashback structure to tell a story about the present day, thus creating both intrigues in the past events of the main character, as well as in his present (our future).

Story:

This comic begins 40 years after the story does. A young boy, tweenish, by his look, pulls to a stop on a hoverboard and enters a house. He’s just about to open a door marked with some arcane symbols and someone grabs his hand. An old man lives in the house. The boy asks for a story and the man begins to tell one. It’s the story of how he lost his one, true love.

Readers go back in time to our current day and age in the teller’s memory… On a night, when he hits on a pretty police detective, three violent priests come in with guns and start shooting. The shooting sparks a series of discoveries and events that propel the assembled cast of characters down a path rife with occult spookiness.

Read the full review on Sequential Planet.

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Book Review: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Sometimes it’s just totally worth it to go back in time and read some of your childhood favorites. For anyone who isn’t living at the bottom of a bog, then you have at least heard of Terry Pratchett and picked up one of his books in a bookstore, been confused about where you should start his Discworld Series, then put the book back on its shelf. Lucky for me, I discovered the Discworld Emporium which breaks down each Discworld thread into something like chronological order. Before reading Equal Rites I’d read, Guards Guards!, Reaper Man, The Truth, Going Postal, Moving Pictures, Jingo, and The Color of Magic. (Now that I write them down I had no idea that I’d read so many over the years). Something that’s truly amazing about the Discworld Series is that none of them feel stale. None of them rehash old plot points or character development because they are all standalone novels as much as they are connected with each other.

So, Equal Rites. I picked this book up after reading a dialogue between Neal Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro about genre. Gaiman, who was a good friend of Sir Terry Pratchett’s and collaborated on books with him mentioned that Pratchett was frustrated by the confines of marketing in terms of “literature” versus “fantasy.”

“You know, you can do all you want, but you put in one fucking dragon and they call you a fantasy writer,” Gaiman recalls his friend’s frustration.

With this in mind, I picked up Equal Rites which is about witches, but it’s actually about women’s rights. It’s about institutions (or a specific institution) made by men for men that excludes and demeans the attempts of women to be a part of it. The university in Ankh-Morpork, Unseen University.

the book shows how the acts of women have always be placed aside from whatever men have deemed “acceptable” and or “worthy of academia” for no other reason than it’s “against the lore,” as many a wizard claims. “Against the lore,” meaning that it is not part of the status quo.

Given a change of scenery and era and, yes, genre, this story could also be told in the 19teens as fought for the right to vote and make their voices heard. Women were only granted the right to vote in 1920. Yeah. Not even 100 years ago. This story could also be told in the business sectors of our current day, or dare I say, in a Presidential Election.

Of course, any of these settings would quickly turn the book away from the humoristic and focus it on drama. Perhaps Pratchett’s stories only work so well and are digestible by the masses because of their “fantasy” status. Perhaps it is this status that enables him to address difficult subject matter without offending.

In the end, the curse of the genre is, perhaps, what makes this book succeed so easily. The subversion of tropes and finger pointing at the injustices the status quo produces is, sometimes, only heard when there are wizards and dragons involved.

Comic Review: Shadow Roads #5

 

The first arc of Shadow Roads, published by Oni Press and written by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, has come to a close. It’s been a nice ride and the comic will return in 2019.

Story:

The story revolves around two worlds. An American western world and a supernatural Native American world. Years back, a shaman devoured the flesh of a demon and became one himself. A collection of characters band together to try and put an end to this monster. It’s a pretty simple story. However, the magic that propels the story is intriguing and for an introductory arc, it’s well put together. in #5, the final showdown ensues, but the outcome raises more questions about the nature of this world and characters than it answers.

Check out the full review on Sequential Planet!