ALTERNATE REALITY, serving Chicago comic fandom since 1978  That's over 40 years of service!                                                                                                    We started at the Comicbook Emporium in February of 1978, Five & Dime Comics from 1983 to 1994 and Alternate Reality ever since, thats over 40 years of serving Chicago South Side Comic Fandom                                                                   SAVINGS! SERVICE! SELECTION! HISTORY! We have it all!

 

  COMIC REVIEWS
AT THE MOVIES
  KIDS CORNER REVIEWS
RASSLIN' REVIEWS
  REVIEWS HOME
REVIEW ARCHIVES
 
FREE COMICBOOK DAY REVIEW-A-PALOOZA!
"Saturday is Free Comic Book Day for 2006 and JR stopped by to help me review most of the 26 titles available at the store this weekend. And don't forget to check the bottom of the page (after you read our reviews) for a link to some SNEAKY PEEKIES of future titles""
AMELIA RULES…Last year I said that this was my favorite FCBD offering and…..drum roll please….it’s my pick again this year. Jimmy Gownley’s creation is a smile inducing wonder of a book. Funny, intelligent, witty and most importantly, insightful Amelia Rules is a comic that every parent should be putting into their daughters hands. Gownley taps into the mindset of a young girl. With all the feelings of joy, disappointment, apprehension, anxiety and laughter, this Amelia Rules targets an audience that is not always catered to in the comics business but with a quality book like this, should be. This is the kind of thing that Japanese anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki does so well; finds the heart of the human condition in the soul of a adolescent girl. I found this book to be hilarious and touching in equal measure. A gem. (JR)

ARCANA STUDIO PRESENTS…
the third offering from Arcana Studios includes previews of Kade, Ezra and 100 Girls. Kade is a demon hunter and in this brief tale we see the birth of a new foe amidst some shiny art. It should appeal to fans of Conan and is drawn in a more realistic style. Ezra gives us the tale of a female hero and here we get an origin story told with a fair share of whininess but hey, there’s a talking animal involves so it isn’t all bad. 100 Girls finishes things off with a self contained tale that gives us a sense of history around the characters and should serve as a better teaser for new fans than the other stories do. (Bo)

ARCHIE'S 65th ANNIVERSARY BASH...Incredible! These characters have not changed a lick in all the years I’ve read them. And maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with what works. Archie is still the “every-kid”. Reggie is still the snootie rich kid, Veronica is the hot one and Betty is the cute obtainable one. This is the comic book equivalent of comfort food and I loved every panel of it.  (JR)

BONGO COMICS FREE FOR ALL...the worst comic ever includes tales involving that man of men, Comic Book Guy as well as loads of funny short bits involving those folks from Springfield and a certain lush of a robot. (Bo)

BUZZBOY...John Gallagher has carved out a small niche in the industry with the character of Buzzboy. The title character is a young apprentice who has fun adventures while waiting for his mentor to handle the big issues. Here he saves a young girl and we meet more sidekicks along the way in a smart funny tale that only wants to entertain you. We also get a tutorial on comics how to make them along with a bonus action filled story. (Bo)

GI JOE: SIGMA 6...the regular limited series from Devil’s Due is over but here we get a short tale about the more kid friendly version of the Joe team. Here Duke is on vacation and as usual he’s interrupted to go on a mission to the happy land of Guam where some weird seismic activity is going on. It’s a cool story that’s in an issue filled with reminders of what Due is doing near this period and may get some more 6 adventures out there. (Bo)

DEADBEATS...Claypool Comics has had a rough year so take pity on them and check this out. If only a few people get hooked then this company can survive and remain in the Diamond Catalog. Included are tales from the vampire epic Deadbeats and Peter David’s Soulsearchers and Company along with a text page telling you what else the company does. (Bo)

FREE SCOTT PILGRIM...the Oni comics offering by way of the title returns Scott Pilgrim to comics’ pages in a tale that has him and his friends killing time before seeing Brokeback Mountain and getting into all sorts of trouble. We also get a bonus tale with the folks known as Free Fearless Griggs that sets up a limited series that from the looks of it will remind a lot of folks of Hellboy since the artist has a similar style. The teaser takes place in 1902 on an island off the English coast and packs a lot of excitement in this short offering. (Bo)

IMPACT UNIVERSITY 2...the second volume of the comic book tutorial includes instruction from Sean Chen, Peter David, Colleen Doran, Matt Haley, Greg Land, J. Peffer, Buddy Scalera and V. Shane. There are suggestions on how to draw faces, manga eyes, body types, using photo reference, beautiful women (Land’s contribution), bodies in motion (if the fight looks fake then you lose the effect), dragons and finishes things off with Peter David teaching us the three act structure. Everything here is a short version of what you can see in books so consider this a good teaser for what you need to be able to do once and if you want to enter the industry. (Bo)

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED…Here’s a fun little book that has no pretensions of being anything other than a great companion piece to the animated series that in itself is exemplary. Drawn in the exact style of the animated series the characters are all well represented and a real feeling of teamwork permeates the book. A fun comic for the kids and a decent read for JLA fans. Writer Adam Beechen knows that these characters are archetypal and gives each member an iconic moment. I found this book to be loads of fun. (JR)

STAR WARS/CONAN FLIP BOOK…Dark Horse gives a flip book of their two most popular franchises. On the Star Wars side, Randy Stradley gives us a story that takes place during the Clone Wars. It’s a straight up action piece with very little actual narrative. If that’s your thing…enjoy. I found it fairly empty. The art by Doug Wheatley is very detailed if a little stiff. Disappointing stuff. Turning to the Conan portion of the book, when I saw Tim Trumans name I was hoping for great things. I’ve always loved Trumans highly detailed and evocative artwork. Unfortunately, Truman does not provide the artwork. He is the story’s writer. It’s a very wordy piece with little to no action. The art by Paul Lee is generic. Truman needs to be drawing this book. Either side of Dark Horse’s flip book left me cold. (JR)

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #1…A “straight up” reprint of the first issue of the current series; nothing new here if you already own the series. If you’re new to the title, this is the perfect jumping on point. Jeph Loeb nails the two main characters. His writing is workmanlike but his handling of the dialogue between Supes and Bats is what makes this book work. It’s an uneasy alliance these two have, but work together they do. Ed McGuinness’s art is a bit on the cartoony side for my taste, but still serviceable. For those of you readers old enough to remember DC’s Worlds Finest comics, the nostalgia value of having these two top tier heroes together in one monthly book is high. New readers are likely to get hooked by this issue. (JR)

TOKYOPOP SNEAKS...there are three short tales here from books I have no interest in but for all you manga fans out there you may get hooked. Kat 7 Mouse is a mystery written by Smoke’s Alex De Campi, Mail Order Ninja gives an unpopular kid his own ninja (how he got thru the mail is questionable) and Sea Princess Azuri is self explanatory. (Bo)

TRANSFORMERS...I don’t get the appeal of the Transformers and I guess I never will but if you want to see what the big summer event is then you have to pick this up because here is where you will be mesmerized and tempted into watching cars turn into stuff. (Bo)

VIPER COMICS PRESENTS...three tales involving characters you may not have heard of and a new Dead at 17story that makes this worth picking up. I will also say that any book that features a homicidal dummy can’t be all bad either. We also get teases of future offerings so take a chance on this. (Bo)

WIZARD TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACKS OF ALL TIME…This seems to be the route that Wizard is going to take with FCBD. They did the same thing last year as well. As I’m not a big fan of lists, I do think this serves as a fairly representative primer for seeking out the cream of the crop of comics. It’s the rankings that get under my skin a little. Placing Ultimate Spiderman Vol. 1 at No. 5 on the list over Miracleman and Daredevil: Born Again amongst others is a head-scratcher. Crises on Infinite Earths at No. 80? Kingdom Come at No. 40 and Marvels at No. 8? C’mon!! Still rankings aside, this will help to point potential new readers in some interesting and essential directions. (JR)

WORLDS OF ASPEN...Michael Turner’s Aspen join FCBD with an offering packed with short tales from Soulfire (two series), Fathom and Shrugged. Two of the offerings here are segments of current series but we do get a look at Shrugged (also previewed in last month’s Wizard) and Soulfire: Chaos Reign that should wet our whistle for the debuts of both. As always, the art is damn pretty. (Bo)

X-MEN/RUNAWAYS…Marvels offering this year is all over the map; a real mish-mash of a book. The first part of the book is a Runaways story. I am a fan of writer Brian K. Vaughan’s work in Ex Machina and Y The Last Man. This is my first exposure to Runaways and I must say I like what I see. Witty dialogue and fun characters is something we don’t usually get from Marvel, so this was a breath of fresh air. Scottie Young’s art is stylish and somewhat anime inspired. Terrific stuff. Next comes a Franklin Richards short piece. The less said the better. Why Bill Waterson isn’t suing the living crap out of Marvel for ripping off the look of Calvin and Hobbes is beyond me. Next up is a god-awful boring Avengers story by Jeff Parker. Pirate gags and banal dialogue do not go very far in getting people to want to read your work. Lastly is a 12 page recap of the entire run of Ultimate Spiderman. Using a prose style and wordless panels it takes us through the run of the book up until the most recent story arc. Big time filler. Outside of the Runaways segment, the Marvel FCBD book is pretty much a mess. Which exemplifies Marvel’s current state overall in my opinion. (JR)

BEST OF THE REST
Comic Genesis is a primer showing us what the company has to offer and what they are all about, the Preposterous Voyages of Iron Hide Tom give us monsters and sea tales involving a small boy, Mr. Jean returns this year with solid tales of life and relationships, Keenspot Spotlight 2006 tosses so many things at us that you have to find something good in it, Bluff contains offerings from Narwain and we get dogs, manga and more before finishing things out with Funny Book which has stories for adults, not kids. (Bo)
"See, I told you I'd be down here. We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

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.

RETURN TO TOP

 

 
25% OFF
2 NEW FIRST ISSUES
7 FULL DAYS
25% OFF OUR KIDS BOOK OF THE WEEK AND 25% OFF OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK

ALL WEEK LONG
EVERY WEEK!
20% OFF EVERY 20TH
SAVE 20% ON THE 20TH OF EACH MONTH!
EVERY SUNDAY
ALL KIDS CORNER COMICS & BOOKS 20% OFF
LADIES DAY THURSDAY
EVERY THURSDAY LADIES SAVE 20% OFF!
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION BUCKS
GOOD FOR VARIANT SETS, CLEARANCE COMICS & BACK ISSUES!
GOOD GRADES DESERVE A REWARD
BRING IN YOUR REPORT CARD!