July 12, 2014

"NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles. Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike."

So, here are a few short reviews of books supplied by NetGalley. This week I'll be posting the rest of my "influent" reviews (Hellboy in Hell Vol.1: The Descent; Black Science Vol.1; Pretty Deadly Vol.1; Glory: The Complete Saga; Black Canary and Zatanna: Blodspell and Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World).

Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
IDW Publishing, 2014
192 pages, cmyk, digital

This final chapter of Locke and Key brings closure. Usually when a story ends, the reader can be left with a sense of sadness and disappointment. This final volume is the culmination of Joe Hill's overarching story about the Locke family and their particular relationship with a set of keys that endow their owners with special abilities. There's a catch, they don't work for adults and when you reach adulthood you forget everything you knew about those gifts. Quite the nifty metaphor about innocence. 
Put aside the usual struggle between good and evil and this would still be a good story. Why? Because of its characters and their capacity for growth. Because the reader has learned to understand them and what motivates them. Good or evil, each character has their unique voice.
Gabriel Rodriguez's art was an acquired taste but most of the things you love are actually like that. Solid and competent, Rodriguez's gift for storytelling and character design shines through each of these books. 
If you want to read a book about people who just happen to have their lives thrown into desarray by circumstances bigger than themselves, this is the book for you. Plus, there are monsters and crazy action, all the small things I personally enjoy.

P.s.:Shame on you, Hollywood, for not making the tv series! It was everyone's loss.

Brandon Graham et al.
Image Comics, 2014
128 pages, cmyk, digital

The third volume of Prophet collects numbers 32 and 34 to 38 of the regular comic book series. 
In this version of Prophet there is a clear distancing from the aesthetics of the original series created by Rob Liefeld in the 90s. There is, furthermore, a complete break with the recurring themes of superheroism. This incarnation is now a science fiction comic, reminiscent of classics like Dune and its european counterparts (the works of Jodorowsky and Moebius come to mind) in terms of plot and structure. 
Prophet blossoms with each issue, and in this volume we have a better notion of where the narrative might be going to. Clear factions are established, we learn more about the characters and there is the odd homage to the older version of the series.
The strongest point of the book is its ambience. The third person narration, the small details that are offered to the reader about the various creatures and mechanics of this universe are never done in a boring, straightforward way. A different penciler for different sections of the narrative while avoiding a mangled, mashed up whole. Everything is very organic and fluid. This is a very special book, with a "personality" rarely seen in american comics. I'm buying the next one and you should too.

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