So I’ve been reading and watching a lot of stuff lately, and I want to say things about that stuff, but everything I want to say won’t justify its own post, so here’s just a bunch of stuff I want to review.
Pride of Baghdad
Pride of Baghdad is a graphic novel written by Brain K. Vaughan and drawn by Niko Henrichon about a pride of lions who escape the Baghdad Zoo during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Its a solid war story with an usual premise that, if nothing else, makes it worth checking out, even if most the story is a foregone conclusion. That being said its a nice read, has good art, and pulls off well even its most overused of cliches, so its more than worth a read if you have the time.
Have you ever thought “I would love to see magic and science be locked in a never ending cosmic war in the back ground of a much better done science fantasy Romeo-and-Juliet-starcrossed-lovers-plot.”? Because Brain K. Vaughan did! So he teamed up Fiona Staples to create the insanely awesome Saga. I have almost no complaints about this one. It is more than worth your time and attention. The first three volumes are out now and may even be in your local library, the fourth is coming out later this year, and the series is currently on going from Image Comics. All that being said it is for mature readers, so parental advisory, you have been warned yadda yadda. Now go read Saga!
An old (where old means “from 2003”) MTV cartoon about a high school full of clones of famous historical figures. It sadly only ran for one season, and I’ve only been able to find it on youtube, but it is by far one of the funniest and most entertaining things I’ve seen recently. What surprised me was how funny it was on its own, like they actually wanted to make a parody of teen dramas and after school specials, and some person said “hey, lets make everybody clones of famous people from history” and the rest of the creative team said “YES!”. With that in mind they make use of the premise to make jokes, and have fun even if the cast is mostly archetypes. All in all its definitely worth your time if you’re looking for a good laugh.
Because what the world needs is more than one narrative about a high school for clones of historical figures (actually yes, the world does more of this.). The difference between Afterschool Charisma and Clone High is that Afterschool Charisma plays the premise for drama, and is also a manga written and drawn by Kumiko Suekane. I want more out of this to be honest. Where I let Clone High get away with not being deep because its just so freaking funny, I find myself wanting more from Afterschool Charisma. I want to see the great personalities of history come together, interact, and go through puberty together, is that really so much to ask? That being said, I’m already on like volume three, so its doing something right and I find it enjoyable. If you’re a fan of history and manga its worth at least checking out.
Cloaks is a currently running comic miniseries by Caleb Monroe and drawn by Mariano Navarro. This series is kinda interesting, but suffers from being unable to pick which of its very interesting setups it wants to go with, and thus tries to do both while not wholly succeeding, but still not failing. Cloaks is about a modern day Robin Hood living on Wall Street and using magic to con and steal from the rich for the benefit of the poor, all of which is a nice solid premise that has a lot of story potential. However Cloaks decides to instead be a magic based modern day spy adventure story, which is a very good and entertaining premise on its own. Both of these could have worked in one series, provided it had lots of time to grown and develop and we see our Robin Hood get recruited by a spy organization because they really need his skills and he realizes he needs to fight a bigger threat that he can only do through the organization; or we can see our James Bond magician grown disillusioned with his spy group and decides to fight injustice outside of the law or organized governments. Sadly Cloaks is only four issues, so it feels like all this is happening way too fast. Still looking forward to how it all turns out though.