Paper Garden Presents Hack/ Slash Omnibus


Title: Hack/Slash Omnibus
Author: Tim Seeley, Dave Crosland, Stefano Caselli
Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing
Year: 2008
Number of pages: 300 pages
Type: Paperback
Genre: graphic novel, horror, humour, fantasy, adult, urban fantasy

Summary:
At the end of every horror movie, one girl always survives… in this case, Cassie Hack not only survives, she turns the tables by hunting and destroying the horrible slashers that would do harm to the innocent Alongside the gentle giant known as Vlad, the two cut a bloody path through those who deserve to be put down… hard

Review:
Firstly, Hack/Slash isn’t porn. I know the cover is misleading, as even I was a little hesitant to pick it up because of the way the heroine (Cassie Hack) was posed and what she was wearing. Mind you there is a severed clown head right beside her, so you would have to be in some pretty kinky stuff.

Anywho, back to business!

Hack/Slash is all about horror, but I don’t mean the computer generated monsters and ghost of this day and age. I mean, the corny, campy horror that involved plenty of make up and rubber. Cassie and her companion Vlad hunt down and massacre, usually with the help of a baseball bat that has nails sticking out of it, serial killers who rise up from the dead. They fight all the classics, including Chuckie the psychotic doll.

Basically, if you don’t like blood and gore, you are not going to like this one. If you can’t stomach the following photo, find yourself another graphic novel because this is nothing:

Oh, did I mention that Cassie is a freaking badass! She is tough, sarcastic, and will do anything for Vlad, who would do the same for her. He is also very cool being big, green, and Hulk-like minus the invincibility. I liked Cassie. She came from a screwed up family, including a serial killer for a mother, and had some serious issues, as one does when you spend your life travelling across the country, hunting, and killing undead serial killers. She also isn’t a typical heroine, in which I mean she isn’t an “independent” woman that needs some hot guy to swoop in to save them at the last minute and then they fall in love. God am I sick of those stories. Cassie has a sort of crush on this one guy, but that lasts a single issue. The only person who saves her is Vlad, and he is not getting anywhere near her pants unless he is doing the laundry.

She is sort of a mix between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tank Girl.

Oh, remember when I said that this isn’t porn? It still isn’t, but there is some nudity… okay A LOT of nudity, but come now, with HBO and the Internet, you should all be used to some boob flashing… and lesbian make out scenes. Whatever.

Hack/Slash is funny, but in a cheesy, God-the-80s-called-and-they-want-their-material-back kind of way. I loved it just as much as I love horror and John Hughes movies.

Oh! I forgot to mention one little thing that I found a little annoying at the beginning, but then got used to it. The omnibus contains a bunch of stories, not all of which are drawn in the same way (there is one drawn like an Archie comic), and there are also little previews of stories that are really cool, but at the time I didn’t think they were going to be written. Luckily for me, they appeared in later omnibuses. Yay!

So, this may not be for everyone, but I loved it and I will keep reading it. Some people I know didn’t like it because they thought that it was too bloody or too much sexual content, but I found this series addictive and hilarious.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Michelle

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Michelle’s Paper Garden Presents Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile


Title: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Illustrator:Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, James Jean
Publisher: Vertigo
Year: 2002
Type: Paperback
Number of Pages: 128 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy, fairy tales, urban fantasy, mystery, folklore

Summary:
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21326.Fables_Vol_1]

Review:
I love fairy tales and mythology. If I could spend all of my time studying and reading mystical magical stories of heroes and monsters, I would be the happiest person in the world. For this and many other reasons, I fell completely in love with Fables. The idea of taking my favourite storybook characters and tossing them into a modern setting was exciting and new (well at least it was when I first read Fables). The characters had to adapt to living in the modern human world, and those who couldn’t were sent to the Farm which is basically made up of talking animals.

I liked Bigby (the humanized Big Bad Wolf turned detective) because he reminded me of those hard drinking, short-tempered detectives from all those old movies my dad used to make me watch. I like that style, so I thought he was cool and the ridiculous lines he has fit that style. His backstory is pretty interesting and the y later explain why he can blow houses down with his breath. The jokes were a little lame, but I like cheesy stuff so I giggled and moved on. Snow White was not what I expected. I figured she would be the annoying, high-pitched damsel from the Disney movie, and instead I got a hardass ice queen. Oh and Prince Charming is a dick, but that’s to be expected seeing as he has married virtually all of the princesses in Fabletown.

The cover art is beautiful! The art beyond that is pretty good, but of a different style.

The actual story is okay and the murder is meh, but I liked the book anyway, mostly because I kept fan girling over characters.

Okay, the only problem I had with this series is that by the fourth volume I had already figured out who the Adversary was. I am not gonna spoil anything for you, but it’s a little obvious.

I give it a 4/5

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Runaways by Brian K Vaughan

Title: Runaways (Deluxe volume 1)
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Publisher: Marvel
Year: 2006
Type: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 448 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, young adult, superheroes, science fiction

Summary:
In Pride & Joy, six young friends discover their parents are all secretly super-powered villains Finding strength in one another, the shocked teens run away from home and straight into the adventure of their lives – vowing to turn the tables on their evil legacy. In Teenage Wasteland, the Runaways find a kindred spirit in a daring young stranger and welcome him into their fold. But will this dashing young man help the teenagers defeat their villainous parents… or tear them apart? Plus: who do you send to catch a group of missing, runaway teenage super-heroes? Marvel’s original teen runaway crimefighters, Cloak and Dagger, make their first major appearance in years In The Good Die Young, the world as we know it is about to end, and the Runaways are the only hope to prevent it Our fledgling teenage heroes have learned how their parents’ criminal organization began, and now they must decide how it should end. As the Runaways’ epic battle against their evil parents reaches its shocking conclusion, the team’s mole stands revealed, and blood must be shed. Which kids will still be standing when the smoke finally clears? Collecting issues #1-#18.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/234352.Runaways_Deluxe_Vol_1]

Review:
Brian K Vaughan is the coolest. This series has pretty much everyone you could hope for in a superhero story. There are mutants, evil god-like monsters, aliens, genetically altered dinosaurs, teenage delinquency, secret super villains, and cameos by notable Marvel heroes. At some point, there were even sewer people.

You need to be careful with this whole series because while there isn’t any nudity or excessive gore as there was in Saga, there are some pretty shocking character deaths. Try not to get attached to anyone. You very obviously will get attached, but I am forewarning you that you may have your heart ripped out and have it stomped on.

The art is appealing to the eye. The alien girl is a gorgeous cluster of different coloured lights and glitter (not lame vampire glitter, but awesome from another planet glitter). All of the characters with powers are very well illustrated, whether they use magic or freaky mutant powers. Their secret lair is pretty cool too.

The dialogue is a little cheesy at points, but they’re teenagers so whatever. Have you heard teenagers speak? They’re ridiculous. They make references to things that no adult would ever understand and they make stupid jokes. They are also really hormonal and impulsive, which made me hate them at times. I would keep yelling at the book demanding to know why they were being so idiotic. The answer is always because they are bloody teenagers.

As I mentioned before, there is a dinosaur who is by far my favourite character. Why? She is the cutest. The cutest I say!

The characters were interesting, though not overly complex. It is sort of obvious what they are going to do or react, with the exception of who the mole is because I never saw that one coming.

Oh, trust no one. It astounded me how many people the villains had under their control.

In short, I really liked this comic. It brought me back into the comic book world and has kept me there.

4/5

Sorry that this is short and not well written, but I am doing this late at night before I go out of town sooooooo yeah.

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan


Title: Saga Volume 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2012
Type: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160 pages
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, science fiction, romance, adult

Summary: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.”

Collects Saga issues #1-6

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15704307-saga-volume-1]

Review:
Where to begin? The art is fantastic and the character design is unbelievable. There is a character who is a grease monkey (slang for a mechanic) who is actually a monkey. I thought it was clever. One of the bad guys is a robot prince with a tv for a head, which is kind of weird but I assume that was the point, and another is a super creepy spider lady who invaded my nightmares for about a week and reminded me why I should not stay up until three in the morning reading scary comic books. Anyway, everything about this graphic novel was visually stunning.

Now, the story is a tale as old as time, but I like the classics so I was completely fine with the whole star-crossed lovers racket. Besides the non suicidal Romeo and Juliet plot, this comic contains a wisecracking ghost, a tree that turns into a rocket ship, magic, sarcasm everywhere, and bounty hunters. The star-crossed lovers thing is completely overshadowed by all the awesome.

Oh and the best thing about it is that it is entirely narrated by the lovers’ newborn baby, who is sarcastic and I loved it. Speaking of cool character, Lying Cat is the greatest. She can tell when you are lying and voices is by calling you a liar outright. I got attached to her. I also got extremely attached to Izabel,the ghost babysitter that helped save their lives and now follows them around. She’s sassy.

Oh I almost forgot. Remember I was praising the art before? Yeah, the artist (Fiona Staples) is very accurate with body parts. Mind all of the nudity because they show everything! If you freak out over a nip slip, then do not read this book because you will get the mother of all nose bleeds. There are a few sex scenes, as well as a brothel planet where no one is afraid to show anything off. Huh, I actually just noticed that there is some minor nudity on the front cover (everyone scroll up). Hey, breastfeeding counts.

Aside from the nudity, there is also a lot of blood and guts. At some point someone’s head explodes and there are a lot of battle scenes. There is a war going on, after all. Those who have read Hack/Slash won’t even bat an eyelash. Those who have read Runaways may be a little freaked out. You should all go and read both of those now. They are both fantastic, completely different from one another.

In short, this is a very funny and interesting graphic novel that kept me wanting more. I would recommend it and I would recommend Brian K. Vaughan’s other works, which I will eventually review. :)
5/5