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KIDS CORNER REVIEWS FOR: NOVEMBER 2006

"COMICBOOK MAN"
"Parents, we get dozen's of kid friendly titles in every week. Which ones are gem's and which ones aren't? That's what the reviews below are for. Every week our crack review staff picks through that weeks releases and reviews the titles you may be interested."

MICKEY MOUSE AND BLOTMAN IN BLOTMAN RETURNS
a GEMSTONE Comic

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date: 112906

Here’s a terrific book that has fun with several different comic book genres at the same time. This is the second appearance of Blotman in Mickey Mouse comics. First time out he was a bad guy named the Phantom Blot. This time Mickey is accidentally sent to an alternate dimension where Blotman is a hero. His sidekick happens to be an alternate version of Mickey, who is a bit slovenly and looks like he hasn’t shaved in weeks. The book has gentle fun with the conventions of the Batman mythos: Blotman is the secret identity of a millionaire who just happens to have his crime-fighting headquarters in a cave beneath his mansion. The book could also be subtitled, “Mickey’s Crisis” in that it also takes a few jabs at the clichéd parallel universe concept that has been recently used rather well by DC. A backup story about a super powered Goofy is also worth a look. Storytelling and pacing is brisk, as you would expect from this sort of thing and the artwork is crisp and clean. This is a great place to start if you want the kids to get hooked on comics. This comes highly recommended.

MSRP: $5.99, Alternate Reality Price: $5.09 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
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MARVEL HOLIDAY DIGEST TP
a MARVEL Comics Trade Paperback

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date: 112206

Bah-humbug!! That’s right, kids. I’m the Marvel Scrooge, doing my best to decrease the surplus Marvel population. The Marvel Holiday Digest is a particularly cynical little Christmas ditty. Eight cliché-ridden, unimaginative stories, all reprints, in a Readers Digest size publication that will set you back eight bucks. Not one shred of new material. In fact, a large portion of the book is made of both the 2004 and 2005 holiday specials, repackaged smaller than ever. Truly the ghosts of Christmases past molded to look like the ghost of Christmas present. Which begs the question; what will the Marvel ghost of Christmas yet to come be like? It doesn’t take a bit of undigested beef to guess what that nightmare will be. Next year I envision a hardcover book: Marvel Masterworks Holiday Special, reprinting all the superhero Christmas stories. A glorious edition of lousy reprint material all trumped up in a fancy-shmancy hardcover for the low price of $50.00. So, if you hear a voice saying, “God bless us, everyone, excelsior true believers”, ignore him. It’s only Tiny Stan. If only he would get a late night visit from the ghost of Jack Kirby….

MSRP: $7.99
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DEATH JR VOL 2 #2 (OF 3)
an IMAGE Comics mini-series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date: 111506

Here’s a witty little book that caught me by surprise. Based on a video game, Death JR. takes the Grim Reaper and domesticates him. Turns out Death has a wife and son. He comes home from a hard day at the office where he rubber stamps the destinations of souls and discusses the days events at the dinner table. His son, who works at the same office as his dad, gets into trouble with the boss. The boss as it turns out, used to be one the FIVE horsemen of the apocalypse until, in Pete Best fashion decided to leave the group. The Four horsemen go on to great success and the boss looks to take his revenge on dear old deathly dad. The art is quite good. The character design is very reminiscent of the work of Tim Burton. Instead of the usual pop culture references that inundate kids comics, this book has some fairly sophisticated wit and charm. This one goes on the buy pile.

MSRP: $4.99
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HAPPY FEET CINEMANGA
a photo-novel adaptation of the Animated Film
Comic Review by: Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date: 110806

This book is based on the upcoming Warner Brothers CG animated movie. Here, penguins are sentient creatures that worship a penguin deity named Guin and have to learn their own individual Heartsong or they are not truly a penguin. The story centers on young Mumble. He becomes somewhat of an outcast because of his inability to sing. Without this he cannot find his Heartsong. But the one thing Mumble can do is….wait for it……tap dance. Yes. Tap dance. During his exile, he comes across another tribe of penguins. There he befriends the Amigos; a group of four Latino penguins that revere Mumble for his fancy foot work. This tribe is lead by Lovelace, an aged and wise old penguin that has a plastic 6 pack holder around his neck from a run in with humans early in his life. Mumble and his pals have to stop the humans from taking away all their fish. Mumble is captured and put in a zoo. When he shows off his tap dancing skills to the zoo patrons, he becomes a but of a celebrity and returned to his home. The humans decide that the penguins need the fish and so stop fishing in Mumbles region. If this sounds like a slightly skewed version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, then you’re on the same wavelength that I am. Nothing here for parents to worry about. The message is clear if heavy handed. No violence to speak of and the humor is gentle. Somewhat recommended.

MSRP: $5.99
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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #168
an ARCHIE Comics Ongoing Series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Writer: Ian Flynn  Artist: Tracy Yardley
Release Date: 110106

Yes. 168 issues. That’s 14 years of Sonic. This thing has almost as much back story as Star Trek. That is what poses a bit of a problem when reading this issue. If you’re a newbie, like myself, you’ll be completely lost. While the universe of these characters is decidedly vast, it is also a somewhat intimidating. Virtually every page of this issue has a reference to a previous issue. In some cases several references per page (hardly a self-contained story). It makes the comic feel like a footnote. That said, a backup story involving the death of a characters father is more touching than I would have expected from this sort of thing. After 14 years and 168 issues, Sonic’s world is huge, maybe too huge. Serviceable art along with the emotional secondary story makes this book somewhat recommended.

MSRP: $2.25, Alternate Reality Price: $1.79 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
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All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2006 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2006 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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