Jeff McComsey’s Mother Russia is a zombie graphic novel that takes place in an alternate time in history (the 1940s) in which Soviet Russia has become victim to the Zombie apocalypse (there really isn’t an explanation for it either). The story mostly focuses on a female sniper in Russia who is trying to survive from the zombies, and she ends up rescuing a little boy only to also be saved by a former German soldier along with his pet German Shepard dog.
As far as zombie survival stories go, Mother Russia surely is an entertaining read with interesting characters and a nice concept. I most certainly recommend getting the graphic novel collection as after the main story ends, the collected edition includes bonus stories giving origins to all the main characters. They are all written by Jeff McComsey, but each one is illustrated by a different artist.
Speaking of the artwork, not only did Jeff McComsey create and write Mother Russia, he also drew it as well. His artwork in the interior pages are in black and white, and it is decent to look at, and fits the tone of the story very well. The bonus stories (like I said earlier in this review) are each illustrated by different artists. While each artist has a different style of penciling and inking, each one works for the respective stories they worked on, and doesn’t really distract from the fact that they are each a huge contrast to the main story’s art.
The only nitpick I have with Mother Russia is the ending. I won’t spoil how the ending goes, but I will warn that is does give the reader a “really? That quick?” vibe. It wasn’t a terrible ending, but I felt it could’ve been better.
While Mother Russia may not be something new, ground breaking, and mind blowing, it’s certainly a good enough read if you are someone who enjoys zombies and horror.
I give Mother Russia Two Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars.
Disclaimer: This review is a very short one. I normally try to have my reviews be long, but this one is an exception. I hope everyone is okay with that.
Horror in the West a western graphic novel anthology from Alterna Comics that contains 11 stories each by different creative teams. These stories include Star Calf, Under The Mountain, The Devil’s Promenade, Lawson, Brother’s Keeper, The Hunters, Pinkerton Express, Sacred Heart Of Hell, The Amulet, El Tigre, and Captured in a Flash.
Normally, I don’t read a lot of anthologies, so I tend to not be to knowledgeable of how they are suppose to be structured. With that said, I found Horror in the West to be average at best.
While each story is separate from one another, the one thing they all have in common is that their artwork is black in white. As far the art goes, some stories looked fine, while others looked a bit bad as far the artwork is concerned.
Each stories did have very good premises, but because of how short they are, I couldn’t really get invested into them. If the stories had been longer, than I would’ve gotten to appreciate them for.
For what Horror in the West is, it’s an interesting experiment in trying to combine horror with western (specially as an anthology with each story made by different teams), but in the end, it didn’t really leave much of an impact for me. I DID NOT hate it, but I’m glad to have at least read it just because I was curious.
I give Horror in the West 3/5 Stars.
In case you couldn’t already tell by the cover art, Empire of the Wolf is set during the times of ancient Rome, but adds a supernatural element to this story by including Werewolves in it. The reason for why Werewolves exist in this story is actually very fascinating as it even goes as far as to tie it into Roman mythology, but for the sake of this review, I will try to avoid spoiling any further details about it.
What works very well about Empire of the Wolf is that with the exception of the Werewolves and Roman Mythology aspects of it, the story is surprisingly historically accurate how and what went on during the times of Ancient Rome. Another part of Emipre of the Wolf that surprised me was the fact that its very story driven, and not just a Werewolves in Ancient Rome kind of plot. All the main characters have a decent amount of depth put into them, and there is a very good explanation for Werewolves to be in this story.
Now the biggest nitpick that I have to say about Empire of the Wolf however, is the artwork. The artwork isn’t necessarily awful, but it just didn’t fit with the story’s tone to me. Also, some parts of the art just looked odd (some of the dogs looked like black sheep with canine teeth, and one character looked like he belonged in Spawn instead of this). As far as the coloring goes though, the colors were great, and they certainly worked for the story.
Another Nitpick that I have with Empire of the Wolf is that the way it ended felt way too rushed in my opinion. I really wished more time was given to build up the ending as opposed to it just trying to get itself over with. But for what it was, it was okay. I just wanted it to be better that’s all.
Empire of the Wolf may not be something Award worthy, but it’s still a decent read none of the less. If you are interested in it, please check it out.
I give Empire of the Wolf 3/5 Stars.
The story of Bleen is about a teenage girl literally named Bleen who is sent to a mental facility called Mayber Hills Sanitarium along with her pet rabbit Mr. Wiggles. When one of the employees (as well the other patients) of the facility start mistreating her (and even cause harm to Mr. Wiggles), the monsters that she has been seeing as a young kid (and the reason why she’s sent to the facility) start to come back and haunt her.
Bleen is created and written by Jon A. Colunga, with black and white artwork by Landon Huber, it is also lettered by both Jon A. Colunga and Landon Huber, and is published by Alterna Comics.
Right off the bat, Bleen definitely has a good set-up for a decent psychological horror story, and with all honesty, it works well for what it is. Bleen isn’t really anything groundbreaking for the horror genre, but it’s also not awful. The writing in my opinion is average at best for this story.
Landon Huber’s art is done in a black and white style, and it works fine for the tone of the story, the inking has a lot of impressive detail to it, but the way the characters are drawn sometimes feel a bit too cartoony for the story. I’m aware that for a horror like this that way to draw characters is suppose to work, but for me, it just felt out of place. I don’t hate the way the characters are drawn, but it’s just not my cup of tea. Again, the inking is spectacular and even the monsters are drawn well.
The lettering in Bleen is very well-done and easy to look at. It’s also impressive to know that both Jon and Landon did the lettering as there really isn’t a difference between the two of their lettering styles, and for a horror comic it looks great. The dialogue the characters speak is also good.
I don’t want to spoil the ending of Bleen at all, but I gotta say that the last chapter is very anti-climactic and rushed. I wasn’t expecting the best ending ever, but I did hope that it would’ve been better.
Overall, Bleen is an average comic in the horror genre with decent writing and decent artwork. The inking and lettering are really amazing for sure, and while I didn’t love the story, I didn’t hate it, and I wouldn’t mind checking it out for yourself.
I give Bleen 3/5 Stars.
Judges is a self-published comic created and written by Ben Miller that features artwork by Cory Hamscher, lettering by Marshall Dillon, and coloring by Sean Forney and Thomas Mason, and is a story about three “Judges” (Jep, Deborah, and Ehud) who kill demons disguised as humans. The whole idea behind Judges is that the most evil people in the world are actually demons in disguise (which explains why they are evil). With a fascinating premise like that, I can certainly say that it succeeds in it as Judges is a fantastic independent creator-owned self-published comic.
Ben Miller’s writing for Judges is amazing as he was able to properly introduce the plot and characters in the span of only 4 issues. Each character is developed very well, and the story moves at a perfect pace by not rushing itself.
The artwork in Judges is also something to be amazed at. The pencil and inking by Cory Hamscher is very reminiscent of both Erik Larsen and (to some extant in my opinion) Walter Simonson. Each character is drawn very well, and the backgrounds are also detailed nicely. The action scenes are also illustrated very well, and even the violent scenes look nice. The coloring by Sean Forney and Thomas Mason helps to show how Cory Hamscher’s artwork in Judges is awesome as there coloring fits the tone of the story very well, and helps the artwork be seen by the readers very well without it looking out of place.
As for the lettering by Marshall Dillon, for what it is, it’s standard comic book lettering. I did really like though how the lettering style for the demon characters and the human characters looked very different as a means to show how differently they speak.
The only nitpick I have with Judges is that while it doesn’t end on a blatant cliffhanger, there is still obvious hints of there being another story, and while I don’t mind that, I would’ve like it a bit better had it not been too obvious that there will (or might be) another Judges story.
Overall, Ben Miller’s Judges is a fabulous comic book that I can certainly recommend spending money on as a means to both support Ben Miller himself, and to also read Judges. You will not be let down by it.
I give Judges 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.
R.R.H. is a comic book series published by Devil’s Due/1First Comics, and is written and created by Orlando Harding, and illustrated by Andres Esparza.
The series is about one of the many descendants of The Little Red Riding Hood named Sydney Woodman who ends up getting kidnapped by a werewolf, saved by an Ogre, and finds out that it is her destiny to slay werewolves just like her ancestors have done.
What makes Orlando Harding’s R.R.H. different from most re-tellings of The Little Red Riding Hood, is that while it does re-tell the fairy tail as a typical monster slaying story, there are a lot of twists and turns that help make it fresh. With R.R.H. Volume 1 being the very first story arc in the series, it does a great job at setting up the world, characters, and tone thanks to the spectacular writing by Orlando Harding.
The artwork by Andres Esparza has a very good amount of detail when it comes to how the characters and backgrounds look, and that is also helped by Steve Cobb’s awesome coloring he provides over Andres Esparza’s lineart. The action scenes that are featured in the story of R.R.H. Volume 1 are illustrated very well, and help support the dark and violent tone that the rest of R.R.H. has to offer (this series is very gory at times by the way).
I will not spoil the ending of R.R.H. Volume 1, but will at least say that it does a solid job of setting up R.R.H. Volume 2 for sure.
So if you are interested in reading an independent and creator-owned comic book series that does a very good job at re-telling The Little Red Riding Hood story, then please read Orlando Harding and Andres Esparza’s R.R.H. from Devil’s Due/1First Comics by starting with Volume 1 of course.
I give R.R.H. Volume 1 Two Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars.