Comic Last Week -Apr.28.13- Preview

This time my picks are some of my favorite but some are not but still they are comics that I like to read.

hellhaimHellheim #2 by Cullen Bunn and Joelle Jones. This issue is compelling as the first! Great art and story although it has an abrupt ending leaving you with a question if the people Ricard is sent by Bera to kill are actually villainous! In this issue we see how Ricard coming back from the dead as Draugr how much power in strength he has as he slaughters a group of wild men! This action scene is drawn in such detail both in art and storytelling, great sequence with raw slaughter! I believe as this story unfolds we will see more machinations and plots of what the witches are fighting for! It continues to be a good read!

Jupiter’s Legacy #1  by Mark Millar and Frank Quitley. The story

Jupiter Legacyis about superheroes holding aspects both by DC and Marvel comics but said in Mark Millar’s way! The pure Golden Age heroes are still around with their children continuing their legacy! But the children clearly live in a world similar to ours and brought into a legacy they didn’t choose, they don’t want to be superheroes! So conflicts appear among the first Golden age heroes as they face the dilemma live by the morals of an older age or accept the now and adjust their beliefs! The art by Quitely it’s so amazing to see him again in comic books and Peter Doherty’s coloring compliment his work in a great way that stun me! All in all it’s a great first issue and a promising for greater stories in the future!

The ShadowThe Shadow #12  by Victor Gischler and Giovanni Timpano. A standalone issue where the Shadow has to uncover a gang of bank robbers! The story is simple just showing how the Shadow uses his tactics and contacts to solve a series of crimes, how his mind works to influence in a good and bad way to get what he needs! Good story but simple! The art though is amazing! Pencils, colors and inks are a visual delight! All aspects of the art give you a perfect noir atmosphere!

Masks #6  by Chris Roberson and Dennis Calero. In this issue of Masksthe limited series the master behind the Justice Party starts to reveal his plans as the whole “Masks” team gathers together to fight back! The thing that I like about this comic book is that it’s filled with pulp vigilante heroes from another era.  Each have a mid forties noir appearance and behavior in and out of their superhero outfits. The story is good enough to flesh out each character and introduce them; the art is OK, with moments which are actually very good especially if it features the Shadow! In a sum it’s a limited series that gives you one fun team up of pulp characters which probably you wanted to read and finally you getting the chance to do a story-line that might not be amazing but it’s good enough to bring all these characters together!

Uncanny AvengersUncanny Avengers  by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Finally we see this team having some interesting interaction although they still nag and quarrel it seem only logical! Rick Remender shows us very nicely how diverse this roaster is; after all it’s a group of brooding mutants and popular powered humans who have to learn to work together! Now the Apocalypse twins are all grown up in this issue are fearsome and Daniel Acuna catches that to its extreme by showing us with his art the battle that rages in space! Also Acuna has a nice of way giving distinct different features and figures to each character which awesome! I liked this issue very much and I hope it gets even better in the future. I want the team around for a long time!

Scarlet Spider #16  by Chris Yost and Khoi Pham. In the past 16 Scarlet Spiderissues Kaine has been through a lot of turmoil but in this issue he’s getting a breather by going to the rodeo! It’s a funny issue with a lot of wise cracks The Armadillo guest stars in a kind of hilarious but romantic way …and Kaine also might have found love as well! The thing is the previous issue ended with a big change for Kaine for the worse even Aracely has become in a way creepier but it’s not dealt or mentioned to an extent in this issue! It’s not ignored but this issue was about having fun and Yost delivers it nicely although it ends in a most unexpected way. A good cliffhanger, you have to read it to know what I’m talking about… no spoilers! I have to say though my favorite spider person currently is the scarlet one he is not at all a bad negative copy of the amazing one and that’s more than cool!

KatanaKatana #3  by Ann Nocenti and Cliff Richards. In this issue Katana continues her warring quest and willing walks into a trap, a trap that’s been set up by Killer Croc and from who has been hiding in her sword all this time! It’s quite shocking how this issue ends because everything that Katana has been fighting for has been crumbled down; it seems she’s been working for someone else’s agenda! I have to say although Katana is an interesting character, now with this issue and especially its end, has gripped my interest to continue reading this comic! Glad that Nocenti gave such a great twist at the end of this issue!

Amala’s Blade #1  by Steve Horton and Michael Dialynas. I love Amala's Bladethis comic! Steve Horton has built a brilliant concept of a young female assassin who is the best at what she does but she also has a destiny to unite a fractured word, plus she speaks to ghosts! The art by Michael Dialynas is simply brilliant from all aspects coloring, pencils, panel sequences, lettering even the sound effects just blow your mind. There is so much good stuff going on in this comic that won’t fit in just a small preview synopsis so I’ll have to review it! Until then I suggest you find a copy of issues #0 and #1 and have a blast reading it!

That’s all folks! Enjoy all our gathering!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta

A city state named BlackAcre – comic review


In a post apocalyptic world a hundred years from now there is a city-state named BlackAcre! Its founders where the elite of a country which was in decay so they took the chance struck a deal and gained a big part of the federal land of the United States! The elite consisted of the most influential men from billionaires to political gurus so the city-state was destined to prosper and survive in a world that was falling apart! But within the walls of BlackAcre there had developed fractions especially within those who ruled! These fractions start to appear as an ex military man named Hull is sent on a secret mission beyond the walls of BlackAcre!

jk0001Hull was born and raised in the Ranks and grew up as a true and loyal soldier! His whole family was the Ranks and his only purpose was to protect the city-state and its citizens but above all to fight along and protect his military brothers who would do the exact same thing for him! So we have a true and honest man who doesn’t see yet the machinations and schemes that are being used to entangle him as a means in a way to succeed a goal! But luck was on his side and from early on in his mission he starts to see the threads of manipulation and deception!

This is the world that writer Duffy Boudreau and artist Wendell Cavalcanti have created in the comic book “BlackAcre” which is published by Image comics since December 2012! A comic book which within five issues has shown many layers of both the characters and the societies that exist in this world!

BlackAcre is just one part of this world. The other is the one that lives beyond its walls! The world that was left in destruction and helpless while a few survived in wealth! This world is divided in territories and clans and the strongest one which seems to expand in a violent way from the north is the Sacred Yoke, a clan which is based on a cult! The Sacred Yoke is the reason that another character is bought in the forefront, Lee a young girl in her teens!BA-01-07

Lee’s village was attacked by the Sacred Yoke. She saw her family being killed and although she escaped it wasn’t long before she was captured and brought to live among these fanatics! By issue 4 Hull is also captured and brought to live at the base of the Yoke where he meets not only Lee but someone else, the person who leads the cult. This meeting brings even more entanglements for the two protagonists in more ways they would never had expected!!!!

In general Duffy Boudreau has weaved a story with many unexpected twists and turns! He also has made in detail the world in which he is telling his story; you can see that from the fact that each character that appears has a significant role and background to further develop the story!  The whole first chapter consists of a cast that has only been introduced and will play a bigger part in future issues! This is what I liked in BlackAcre that all characters have something to say or hide just like in real life where the unexpected is waiting you right behind the corner and you do not know what and by whom the next situation you deal with will come from, good or bad!

Also Wendell Cavalcanti in each issue develops his art even further! The silent panels with only a face expression or a look in the eyes are so strong that grips me whenever I read BlackAcre!

I strongly recommend giving BlackAcre a chance! It’s a very intriguing comic which has so much going on that I like to think would be a perfect TV series although comics are better!

So if you are interested in reading BlackAcre a perfect jump on point will be issue seven coming out probably in June where the second chapter begins up to then you can read the first five issues in a collected trade paperback edition which will be released in May the first!

I’ll bet you’ll enjoy it!!!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta

Collateral Dear John – Interview with the illustrator Lee Taylor

We spotted a nice twelve issue comic book series that explores the side of a world ‘blessed’ with the presence of superheroes that is seldom seen: that of a family forced to deal with both the physical and emotional consequences of their often destructive actions. The illustrator is Lee Taylor and the writer is Matt Nicholls!

Collateral_FrontCoverFor far longer than he can remember, Lee Taylor has been consistently churning out and developing his work through a number of DIY projects in illustration, music, and zines, and it’s through the latter that he was introduced to and joined forces with the Australian writer Matt Nicholls, a union from which he subsequently began to transfer his affinity for fluid, narrative illustration into the comic-book format, and thus giving birth to the twelve-part drama series, ‘Collateral: Dear John’.


1. Are you planning to create your own comics/zines – as you already started to do – or work for a comic publishing company as a career?

To be honest, I’ve always been heavily into DIY, and self-publishing or self-releasing pretty much anything; it’s something that I’ve always had an affinity for, and when you’re truly passionate about something like art, I think having that very personal and intimate connection with it at every stage and level is quite a beautiful thing, so I do enjoy that involved process from concept to finished product. DIY certainly has it’s drawbacks though, with regards to limited distribution, reach, and so on, so that’s not to say I wouldn’t relish the opportunity to work with publishers, but I think I’ll always make zines and self-release music as a means of fulfilling that particular emotional requisite in my life. Ultimately though, I just love creating stuff and putting it out into the world. LarryFour

2. Who is the person that had the biggest influence on you and your comic work? Did this person have changed your work or the way you draw?

Like a great many artists I believe, there are a lot of scattered influences floating around in my visual history that have undoubtedly in some way, regardless of degree, impacted on the way I work, both in independent and published work. With regards to comic styling, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ combined efforts with ‘WATCHMEN’ have been infinitely inspiring, particularly with the quite genius interplay of word and image, and I looked at a lot of quite messy stuff during my studies, such as that of Ben Templesmith and Aadi Salman who worked on the ‘SILENT HILL’ comics. To name just a couple of other influences, Steve Larder who writes the zine ‘RUMLAD’ has a beautiful drawing style, and for expression and sheer intensity, the early 20th century painter Egon Schiele is an all-time favourite.

3. We see that you have a unique style of drawing. It’s an oxymoron grace playing between real photo and surreal sketch! How you ended up drawing like that? Actually are you self-taught or formally educated?

Ah, that drawing style that I’ve developed is consequent to a number of things, firstly the discovery and subsequent constant practise of blind-contour and continuous-line drawings, the latter of which is an aspect quite often identified as being characteristic of my drawings; also, a good deal of life-drawing from figures, locations, or anything I can find, which, as obvious as it may sound, I think is utterly key to developing any kind of realism within drawing; in addition to these assimilated processes, and outside of the physical  drawing aspect, I just like to think I learned how to look at things in a way that I could process and transfer to paper. And yes, I am indeed formally educated, and hold a first-class degree in illustration.

4. We’re certain that you have some numb drawing periods! Well, all artists have! What do you do to recharge your batteries and reach a state of mind in order to place your pencil back on the paper?

Haha yeah, I definitely have a lot of those! I do find they occur far more often if I spend too much time at once on a single project though, so as a means of deterring the occurrence of such things, I try to keep as many creative projects going at once as I possibly can, so that if I lose a little inspiration for the comic, I can still work on zines; then if my zine isn’t going so well, I can always record or mix some music, after which I’m likely ready to throw myself back into the comic. I have an incredibly negative attitude towards my own work, and sometimes just need a break from things, so I find having a range of fields to work within keeps me focused, productive, and largely emotionally stable.

5.OK! We’d love to hear from you a description of your typical work routine.

Most of the stuff I create happens in a partly-furnished shed in my back garden, which, relative to respective times of the year, is prone to being freezing cold, or stiflingly hot, meaning that I’m often working in far from ideal conditions! For the work I do on comics, I create the textured backgrounds using a bunch of media on some stretched paper, which I then scan, and layer underneath the line drawings which are created separately. Everything else is put together digitally using GIMP, as I can’t afford pretty much anything by Adobe. For more fine art, one-off pieces of work, I do everything in one; stretch up the paper, layer my found textures, prints, images, or other paper elements, throw on my mixed media, and finally work into it with pencil for the linework. Regardless of what I’m working on, I invariably draw from life, or from my own photographs.

6. What tools do you use to create your work and what makes them the “right tools” for you? Let us know if LarryThreeyou have a favorite brand of ink or type of paper.  

Apart from my Moleskine, which I use for location drawing and sketching, I’m loath to admit that I actually couldn’t point out any favourites! Without looking it up right now, I actually couldn’t tell you what brand my current large sketchbook is. I do avoid very cheap materials though, and tend to favour relatively heavy, at least slightly textured cartridge papers, and invariably draw in 2B pencil. I buy masking tape and emulsion from DIY stores, inks and acrylic paints from wherever I can find them, and everything else is found where, as, and when I come across them. Where I fully respect the importance of using the correct tools, I’m more concerned with what I’m trying to produce with the materials, than what brand I happen to be using.

7.Which artists or creators do you return to for a quick boost of inspiration?

Inspiration comes in a lot of forms to be honest; I often have some tunes on while I’m working away in my shed, so that helps to keep me going on those long Winter evenings, and I’m always trying to discover new bands and artists to keep things fresh in my ears. Cinema is another good one; for a number of reasons, pretty much all of the films by Studio Ghibli are an infinite source of inspiration, but if I’m after a quick boost, I’ll probably have a flick through either some zines, or some art books, of both contemporary and historical works in a number of fields, that are lying around in my shed.

8.What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?

Printed media. Whether printed at home or elsewhere, seeing anything I’ve worked on in print is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience; it’s largely what keeps me going with regards to creative endeavours.

9.What has been the most rewarding project in your career so far – in or out of comics – and why?

It’s difficult to pick any singular project, as every release of any piece of media that I’ve finished to date has been met with a great deal of personal joy, satisfaction, and above all, relief. I do think me and Matt’s comic ‘Collateral’ is well up there though, for a number of reasons: the teamwork involved, and the process of working from somebody else’s, and in this case very strong, clever, and ultimately inspiring writing; the quite professional feel that it has when printed, which is something that’s missing from pretty much all of my DIY works; and especially because it’s such a big project; much to Matt’s constant annoyance I’m sure, each issue takes me an eternity to complete, so every one down is a real milestone and great accomplishment.

10. We know your current project! Any upcoming projects?

I’m always working on and releasing new zines and music into the world, so the best way to keep up with anything I do would be to follow both my blog and my page on Facebook. As far as specific projects go though, ‘Collateral’ issue three is due shortly, I should have the sixth issue of my perzine ‘Larry’ coming out next month, another issue of my other zine ‘The Screever’ is due in June, and myriad CDs and cassettes should be coming out on my label ‘Glass of Spit Recordings’ alongside all of those. It’s going to be a busy year! LineOneTwoSmall

11. Sounds like a lot of work!  We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are working their asses off but still need and want to break through to the next level. What would you tell them? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator? What are YOU going to do for that?

I’m quite possibly one of the least confident artists working today, and I’m inclined to assume that such a characteristic has inhibited my ability to find work, or to gain more popularity in this ‘market’, so for anyone striving to find such things, I would recommend just doing what I invariably fail to do; believe in yourself, have faith in your own abilities, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from becoming what you want to be. As futile as it may often seem, I frequently utilise and live by the motto: ‘just keep going’.

12. Tell us about your last work. Describe it! Give us a quick glance of your partners, the writer and any other people who are getting involved with this project.

The comic I work on at the moment, ‘Collateral: Dear John’, is a twelve issue comic series that explores the side of a world ‘blessed’ with the presence of superheroes that is seldom seen: that of a family forced to deal with both the physical and emotional consequences of their often destructive actions. It’s written by Matt Nicholls in Australia, who I incidentally was introduced to through trading zines with his wife Natasha, and then I illustrate it over here in the UK. They’re actually a ridiculously productive family; Tash is a real zine-machine, and is the founder of a collective over there called ‘A Zine Thing’, and Matt writes a bunch of comics and mini-zines that he has illustrated by numerous artists. They’re amazing, supportive folk to know and work with; almost like an overseas, second family!

And now not a question! We’d love to know what do you think of eCharta as a design, as user interface functionality, as an online auction/exchanging PAPER ONLY platform. 

It’s probably become quite apparent by now, but I’m a big fan of physical, printed media, so having a place that stocks and sells such things exclusively is always going to be a pretty epic and exciting prospect. From what I can see so far, there’s a heavy slant on vintage, collectible, and memorabilia items, and the kind of things I’d be interested in utilising to form backgrounds to my work, but little in the way of contemporary artwork and comics; to my preference, with more in the way of the latter to create more of a dynamic and current creative marketplace, we could be seeing something very special indeed! An auspicious beginning though, with a lot of already quite wonderful products added to a seemingly functional and user-friendly auction site that’s already looking pretty vibrant.

In conclusion this is a remarkable comic book with its unique “curly” drawing style. I’m sure if you go in this comic book you’ll wait for the next issue. I do! You can see more about this:

KO for eCharta

25 Vintage Photos of Librarians Being Awesome

This is a completely made of paper post! Excellent findings!!!

Asking for food behind a stamp – Holocaust IV

Enjoy” a run of posts, a sequence of bad memories on paper that we certainly have to remember… 

Asking for food …the hard way! 

Although mail between concentration camp prisoners and their families was limited to one or two letters or cards per month each way, and Nazi censors checked all incoming and outgoing mail, some inmates occasionally managed to slip secret messages past the censors, risking severe punishment. The following piece belongs to Spungen Family Foundation.


Lorenz Janowski concealed a note to his wife beneath a pair of 6-pfennig stamps on this August 16, 1942, letter. Written in Polish, the secret message acknowledged receipt of clothing and asked for bread. The normal letter inside, written in German as required, contained only the permissible platitudes. Prisoners were allowed to request parcels from their loved ones, but they were not permitted to request specific items. 

The ingenuity and perseverance of the prisoners was unthinkable! Although bans and strict custody by Nazis, they have always found a way to communicate!

Primarolia for eCharta

Comic Last Week -Apr.20.13- Preview

This week’s list is all about mutants, monsters, warrior princes and vigilantes!

X-Men Legacy 009-000X-Men Legacy #9  by Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Hat! Legion continues his romancing with Blindfold going out on another date… which sadly doesn’t end quite happily!!! This issue hasn’t got that much action but still continues to be interesting as we see how Legion chooses on which path he will follow …alone! The art is getting better issue by issue!

Cable & X-Force #7  by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larocca! This comic book Cable and X-Force 07-000is getting better and better each issue! The art continues to be brilliant; the story is excellent with great action scenes and great character interaction!

Dr Nemesis is becoming my favorite member of the team and now I’m actually not bothered by the addition of Colossus on the roster! All in all a cool comic where Cable continues his quest to save the world. But don’t expect a daddy and son quarrel as Cyclops steps by… its interesting what father says to son!

Read it…


Venom #34  by Cullen Bunn and Declan Shalvey! The war between the symbiotes continues!!!  Venom and Toxin battle in a much raw splatter filled way…although still for all ages the art delivers perfectly the harsh violence in the battle!

This book is also getting better both art and story wise it seems Flash/Venom is here to stay unless he doesn’t make it out safe in next month’s fight!!! This issue is all action not enough of the inner demons that Flash dwells on and troubles him, but still it’s a cool read!

Godzilla #11  by Duane Swierczynski and Simon Gane! This issue is filled with all00 action battle scenes of monsters! Godzilla is all about the monsters and how Boxer and his team deals with them but in this issue we get more than enough awesome art of monsters doing what they were made for…destruction!!!

It’s a character driven comic but Simon Gane seems to get to have fun with his brilliant battle scenes that cannot despoint. A fun issue with excellent art!

The Black Beetle - No Way Out 003-001

Black Beetle #3  by Francesco Francavilla. This comic still amazes me from story to art to its lettering and coloring even the sound effects a simply amazing!

A preview is not enough to say what I want to say so when this arc is done I’ll tell it all in a review…until then just read it! This issues Black Beetle finds out that the dead are not so dead and the mystery thickens!

He Man and the Masters of the Universe #1  by Keith Giffen and Pop Mhan;  I was HeMan_1_TheGroup-000a big fan of the show as a kid so I had to read this new number one issue. It’s an O.K. issue…

Giffen has a great sense of humor and he uses it in a really balanced one in this comic! In a way its funny just at the points that it will bring laughter just as you would see it in an animated TV series, it’s not exaggerated and forced.

The art is great too although I would prefer a tone more realistic!

That’s all folks! Enjoy all our gathering!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta

Ken Garing – the creator; Planetoid – the comic.

Interview with the creator: Ken Garing by Con Barbatsis for eCharta

pg30 - CopyKen Garing took some time from his busy schedule to answer several questions giving us some insight on how’s and whys of his comic Planetoid! I thank him for that and I really appreciate it! 

1. How hard was it to do a comic book solely on your own?

It’s hard in the sense that it’s a lot of work. The actual making of the comic is mostly enjoyable, but there just a lot to keep track of. You have to be your own project manager and keep tabs on a lot of loose ends.

2. Making a comic from story to the lettering is something we usually see in European comic creators, so I have to ask who and what are your major influences story and art wise?

There are many influences. For Planetoid I looked at a lot of Italian comics, work by Serpieri, Liberatore, and Sergio Toppi. Also, Japanese artists like Otomo and Nihei. In terms of the story, Frank Herbert’s Dune was very influential.

3. Planetoid in its story has some strong moral issues about life and society how much was it a comic where you wanted to make a statement or just a story that you’ve been wanting to say?

There were certain themes regarding power, exploitation, community, etc that I wanted to explore from the outset but I’m reluctant to verbalize them in any detail. The story, imagery, and everything else was borne of those central themes.

4. Planetoid ends with issue 5, is it possible that we are going to see any future stories based in this universe and the current cast of characters?

Yes. There are two more arcs planned as well as some one-shots that will flesh out the back stories of some of the characters.

5. Any chance of seeing Planetoid in a collected edition soon?

I believe the collected trade paperback will be available in July.

6. Lastly would you like to tell us about any project you currently working on and if it’s about Planetoid?

The publisher of my next project will make an announcement at C2E2 in Chicago next week. It’s not Planetoid related.

We wait to hear THIS!!!

Thank you for your time Ken! 

The comic: Planetoid


Planetoid is a sci-fi creator owned comic published by Image comics! Art, story and lettering are all done by its creator Ken Garing something which is extremely hard to do unless you are a very talented person or you have more than enough experience in doing something like this! Garing in just five issues has succeed to create a whole new world, build social structures where it seemed there were none and pass many moral messages by telling a story in remarkable art and this was his first printed work! So he must be a very talented artist!

000The story starts with a crash of a spacecraft on an unidentified planet; its pilot ex-military turned smuggler Silas survives the crash and tries desperately to find a way off the planet! The planet has one of the most inhospitable environments; it seems like a huge abandoned factory plus a huge junkyard of many other crash sites. Soon Silas finds what dangers are hiding amidst this rubble of iron and metal junk. He succeeds in destroying a huge robotic monster but his condition is critical after the battle, lucky for him he is taken in and treated by another crash survivor who has been living on the planet for many years! Silas finds out by Mendel, the elderly crash survivor that he can never leave this planetoid due to its strong electromagnetic field and that he should accept this and try to make a new life with one of the nomadic tribes!

In this way Silas starts a new journey in his life as he meets nomadic tribes and solo survivors on an abandoned mining planet and succeeds in uniting them under a common threat, all the artificial intelligent life forms that are left behind! After the planetoid was drained of all its rich mineral resources the robots are used by the alien race Ono Mao as attackers and selectors of the only useful recourse which is the few remaining human survivors! Ono Mao uses the humans as lobotomized slaves and capitalizes on this! As an effect they are not pleased of the small new haven that Silas has created on their planet!

It’s remarkable how an ex-military man organizes and sees the uses of all people no matter their race, gender and age 017to construct a small society even in the most inhospitable environments in two months! Silas makes a well oiled society of people who have lived all their lives as loners. Each and every one despite their differences is a fundamental part in helping the other to survive and prosper no matter how hard and unwelcoming the place they live in is. Although Silas has united the people of this planetoid and given them a cause he still feels the need to escape this planet.


By the end of the story Silas is captured by the Ono Mao but he is rescued! All the way back to his small community he deals with dilemmas of how to survive, dilemmas which have to do with his ego! Even when his community is attacked by the robots he sees no reason to fight back because he knows that they have no chance of winning! He finds a way to escape but in the end he chooses to do the right thing, he sees the bigger picture and decides to sacrifice his only chance off the planetoid, he doesn’t feel alone anymore he doesn’t work on his own accord and selfish needs he is a part of a community now! He becomes a hero!

Ken Garing has shown with Planetoid that one person can actually make a huge difference! Maybe his story takes place in a sci-fi environment but it could easily be applied in our world. He shows us all the wrongs and how they can easily be put aside for the better cause, maybe it’s a utopia but still its food for thought. He unfolds the story with dialogues simple but true and real. Each and every panel is an essential part of the story even without word balloons you still get a part of where the story is taking place, who the characters are and why things are happening this way. In a word Planetoid is cinematic and Ken Garing’s remarkable illustrations help to give you that feeling!

Ken Garings art on Planetoid cannot be distinguished as pencils, colors and inks you have to see it as a whole you have to see it as an illustration. It’s detailed and simple with a balance in each panel serving the storytelling in almost a perfect way! It captures the atmosphere, the time and climate of when the story is taking place with its colors which grip you! Also you cannot help but be awed by the splash and spread pages especially when they are showing in much detail crash sites or parts of this abandoned factory world!

For me it’s rare to come across a comic book which its creative team consists of only one person and give me such a pleasing entertaining feeling! Ken Garing is a an artist which has  made a great comic book with its beginning, high point and end which cannot disappoint you! So I highly recommend reading this comic and if you cannot find the issues get the collected edition whenever it is published in whatever format it might be in!

It’s worth it and you’ll enjoy it!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta

Über 0 – Germany during WW2 just in middle of the battle of Berlin!

I’m a big fan of Kieron Gillen ever since a small preview about Phonogram got my attention. Since then I was blown away when I read the first issue! So I had to follow this creator’s course especially when he delved into my favorite genre, superhero comics! Recently I found out that he was doing a comic book for Avatar Press a publisher where I knew creators like Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis lurked creating dark comics with no hold back content! So what was Gillen doing here what was he writing about? The answer is Über! A comic book placed in Germany during WW2 just in middle of the battle of Berlin with a whole new twist!

Uber_0_4The twist is that this time the German army by using powered beings as weapons they win the battle but don’t expect to read it as a golden age superhero comic, it’s nothing like that, it has more substance! There is much deep behavioral aspects of what humans do in a time of war, what they do to survive or conquer by using violence.

Violence is a cruel behavior and in this issue of Über. We see it used


by different point of views, by people who it comes natural to them that do not see the wrong in it, by those who use it because they are forced by situations of life or death and by those who although they see the wrong in it and how it can corrupt you they also know it’s the only way to gain your goals in a time of war and conspiracy!


At first the comic didn’t catch my attention and that is only because I was not familiar with the detailed history of WW2 battles, armies, ranks and names, but as the story unfolded I was drawn into it without


realizing it! The main story develops in different threads in the same time which made me turn page after page in anticipation of what the final outcome will be. Finally all plots intersect at the most critical moment which is the battle! I won’t go into detail on who the characters are or what powered beings are being used. I will only say it is a story about soldiers and civilians in a cruel time of our history which Gillen delivers in a  most fascinating way. It shows that he has studied and worked hard to create a story using a lot of facts and references from that era to hold what he has to say all the more true!

The creative team on Über’s art consists of Canaan White doing pencils, Michael Dipascale colors and Keith Williams inking. It would be wrong of me to not mention on how much the art helped in saying this story!!! Although it is in many ways realistic you cannot go without noticing some aspects of darkish 80’s retro style, the storytelling is very good and the colors with the inking add atmosphere giving a full illustrated outcome!


So in conclusion this is a comic still at the beginning of its story and very promising! It’s raw it’s true and I do believe that in the future we will see much more twists and turns and more griping character development in one of the cruelest eras of our history! Über #0 may have super beings but their powers are the special effects, the power of human behavior is what the story is about!

Read it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!!!!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta

Bad Memories on Paper we Have to Remember – Holocaust Part III

Enjoy” a run of posts, a sequence of bad memories on paper that we certainly have to remember… 

Concentration Camp Dachau, SS takes command

In June 1933, SS-Oberführer Theodor Eicke became the Dachau commandant. In 1934, as the elite Nazi SS [Schutzstaffel – literally, protection squad; originally Adolf Hitler’s bodyguards] took control of the Gestapo and all the concentration camps, Eicke was placed in overall command of the camps. On the night of June 30-July 1, 1934, known to history as “Night of the Long Knives,” elite, ruthless Nazi SS men purged SA storm troopers in a grisly spree of mass assassination. Eicke personally executed SA chief Ernst Röhm in his cell at Munich. Promoted to SS-Gruppenführer, Eicke centralized administration, introduced torture and exemplary cruelty as deliberate methods of control, and propagated rules for the entire concentration camp system. From then until the defeat of Nazi Germany, all concentration camp guards were specially trained SS personnel. Central authority was headquartered at Dachau until October 1938, when it was removed to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp at Oranienburg. The 2 following pieces belong to Spungen Family Foundation.


Above: A cover mailed from the office of the Dachau commandant on February 18, 1935, to former prisoner Maier Schloss at Ingolstadt. Below: An October 3, 1934, inmate’s postcard from Schloss to his wife before he was released.   

KO for eCharta

Comic Last Week Preview

Wolverine-02Wolverine #2 by Paul Cornel and Alan Davies… in the plot thickens of this issue we see an interesting aspect of the new villain as it analyzes and finds Wolverines behavior in a way amusing and appealing! Cornell once again climaxes the story and gives us witty dialogues, Davies art is expressive with fluid storytelling. In a word it’s brilliant! By the end of the issue one brand new guest star arrives which is nice to see how Wolverine interacts with him and an old one giving a cliffhanger cause his presence foreshadows huge danger and changes…in a sum it was a cool comic which becomes more interesting as the story unfolds giving a much-needed freshens to Wolverine! Highlight Paul Cornell gives us an insight of why and how he took over Wolverine in the letters page!!! He’s a cool bloke!

Constantine #2 by Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire and Renato Guedes…..Constantine Constantine 02continues his quest in finding all parts of the Croydon Compass as he goes to Myanmar to find the Dial! He fights another villainous mage escapes in the last-minute only to deal with Specters wraith…he escapes that too! We continue in this issue to get a lot of insight of how Constantine thinks and behaves showing how much a deep multi-faceted personality he is that you still cannot trust! Guedes art is even better in this issue with more detail and even better storytelling!!! Yes Vertigo fans of Hellbazer you should read it and you will enjoy it…especially the cliffhanger!!! Danger waits in London!!!!

Secret_Avengers_03Secret Avengers #3 by Nick Spencer and Luke Ross….this is the book of black ops I always wanted in Marvel and we getting it by an Avengers title! It’s not there yet but it shows promise that it will be a great comic…it’s still in the introduction of the team on how it works and building up the threats they will be facing! I like the addition of Mockingbird; she seems a lot cooler; still not liking Daisy Johnson as director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Theremin #1 by Curt Pires and Dalton Rose….this is a comic book that you love Theremin 01for its spirit…you like it because it’s not mainstream…and hope it lasts for a long time! What is it about? Well a scientist who looks like he has escaped from the forties makes a new invention that takes him through time, space and dimension…and now starts his adventures!!! Have to say though that Dalton Rose does some magnificent coloring!!!

The Shadow 11The Shadow #11 by Victor Gischler and Aaron Campbell…this is the first time I read the Shadow in his own series (I read Masks excellent comic). The narration of story and art was so nicely done and interlocking that left me surprised…a very noir forties style comic that I’ll definitely be reading!!!

Fearless Defenders #3 by Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney…two reasons I started Fearless_Defenders_03reading this book: one is Dani Moonstar and the other is Hippolyta!!! This issue felt a little bigger than the previous ones… Hippolyta adds a lot more to the whole team; she is a bragging demigod, Misty’s comments  are becoming all the more wittier and Annabelle seems to be a new hero in making! Still seems weak… not story wise but it doesn’t feel like a team yet… I hope it’s established by the end of this arc cause it’s a really cool roster and I like so much Bunn’s and Sliney’s work!

Enjoy guys and girls!

Con Barbatsis for eCharta