“Interesting Drug” will be your next favorite time travel story. Meet Andrew. One day, he’s a retail clerk. And the next, he’s a mad scientist. It’s all a matter of timing. This graphic novel, created and written by Shaun Manning and illustrated by Anna Wieszczyk, is published by Boom! Studios and is part of its Archaia line.
Category Archives: Archaia Entertainment
Review: INTERESTING DRUG
BOOM! Studios Merges With Archaia Entertainment
Regular comics readers are familiar with Archaia Entertainment and Boom! Studios and so a merger between the two will come as a pleasant surprise.
A press release from Archaia Entertainment follows:
Filed under Archaia Entertainment, Boom! Studios, Comics News
Review: ‘Strange Attractors’ created by Charles Soule
“Strange Attractors,” a new graphic novel published by Archaia Entertainment, is the perfect thing for all us out there who love New York City and what it means to love New York City. You may not be crushing on NYC the way I am, but you may be into sci-fi or a good mystery or a gritty adventure so that may be reason for you to pick up this book. Yes, it does help to appreciate the Big Apple too. But, here’s the thing about the Big Apple that may turn around anyone on the fence. The thing about it is that it defies easy categorization. It transcends any label. In a world where it seems like everything is within easy reach within a gadget, you still have a metropolis that is so multi-layered that you can never fully understand it. If you’re not the curious sort, then NYC can’t help you. But, if you have an inquisitive mind, you will quickly pick up on the fact that a whole universe awaits your exploration.
It is this kind of enthusiasm for New York City that creator Charles Soule brings to this work. Soule marveled over the fact that, within a year after the tragic events of 9/11, New York City was back on its feet and functioning while, years after Katrina, New Orleans continued to struggle. What was so special about NYC? It has known some colossal setbacks. In 1975, for example, the city was on the brink of bankruptcy. There’s that famous headline from The Daily News after Pres. Ford denied NYC a federal bailout: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” And after several disasters, NYC has always managed to bounce back. This led to “Strange Attractors,” that proposes that there are forces at work that keep such a complex organism as NYC functioning properly. Our story features Dr. Spencer Brownfield, a seemingly mad scientist, who sure looks like he knows more about what keeps NYC alive and thriving than is humanly possible to know.
But Brownfield must be on the right track. He’s a genius, after all. That’s what Heller Wilson keeps telling himself. He’s a brilliant grad student, studying Complexity Theory, at Columbia who has managed to track down the legendary Brownfield, who was ousted from Columbia some thirty years ago. If Brownfield is starting to sound like Doc Brown and Heller is starting to sound like Marty McFly, that’s a good thing. There is definitely that sort of fun chemistry while working within a moody and intellectual atmosphere. If you enjoy offbeat comics, yeah, this is for you.
Artist Greg Scott and writer Charles Soule make a great team. The chemistry between them reminds me of stuff like writer Brett Lewis and artist John Paul Leon’s “The Winter Men,” published by DC Comics under their Wildstorm imprint. It is a similar case of a story with an intricate plot that keeps all the little details running smoothly for the reader through engaging dialogue and a quirky gritty realism. You find that you’ve entered a world that you want to be a part of.
Heller Wilson has one close friend, Tim, a host of a local radio station and self-appointed kingmaker to local bands. Heller and Tim could spend the rest of their lives together discussing the finer points of pop music. Enter Grace, a soccer coach at Columbia and Heller’s chance at a happy life now and maybe in the future. And then Heller has to go and cross paths with Doc Brown and his life feels less and less his own.
There are few warm and fuzzy moments here although the mission at hand, to help save the city from itself, is pretty fanciful. But that’s how this story rolls. At every step of the way, Heller gets dragged deeper and deeper into Doc Brownfield’s mathematically calculated random acts of kindness. The acts themselves sure look random and not particularly kind but, based on the complexity theory, the cause and effect of each of these acts is essential. And the stakes keep getting higher and the crazy acts keep getting crazier. Only in New York, right? That’s a big part of this book. There are certain leaps of faith that must be taken, especially for the sake of such a city.
Visit our friends at Archaia Entertainment. “Strange Attractors” is a 152-page graphic novel, priced at $19.95. Check out “Strange Attractors” here.
Review: EVERLAST by CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY
“EVERLAST” is the debut graphic novel by writer and actor, Chad Michael Murray, known for his role on “One Tree Hill.” This is a pre-apocalyptic story with a great deal of style, an impressive narrative and interesting characters. Published by Archaia Entertainment, this book has an expressive quality in art and text that is a hallmark of this publisher. For those of you who are fans of Murray, you may be wondering how he would handle a graphic novel. That’s fair enough. The truth is, the former star of “One Tree Hill” knows exactly what he’s doing in the comics medium. He has taken a story to heart, like a good writer should.
“Everlast” invites you to accept that the center of Earth is hollow and is the home of a paradise, a “haven,” for the souls that will be saved during the Apocalypse. And it is Derek Everlast who is one of the soldiers tasked with saving souls. In fact, as our story unfolds, he is on his last mission to save the very last soul, a girl by the name of Melissa. And, as it turns out, Melissa is much more than the last soul saved. She is the key to the salvation of all of humanity.
Murray says that the premise for the story originated with a knock at his door. Murray was greeted by a man proclaiming that the End Times were near and that exactly one hundred and forty-four thousand souls would be saved. What a curious figure. What a curious man. The door shut on that odd scene and another door opened. “Everlast” was born.
Our hero, Derek Everlast, is a bit of a bar fly, all leather and stringy long hair, big, dark, handsome, half his body probably covered in tats, and with a primitive connection with any social graces. He’s the perfect dude. The perfect drifter in a world turned upside down where souls are dropping like flies. There’s no time for girlfriends. No time for any friends. All he can do is try to save as many souls before time runs out. He’s part of a celestial clean up crew!
The best thing about the book is the character of Everlast. He’s much in the same vein as the lone gunslinger in Westerns. He doesn’t have to say much and he never really does. He lets his actions speak for him. When he does talk, it’s usually something important that he’s let bottle up inside him. He’s a realist and yet he’s also an idealist and, like a faithful dog, will go straight into the burning flames to save that one last soul.
Archaia publishes an excellent line of comics, much of which share a certain quirky outlook. It’s something fans of the publisher can count on. They can also count on offbeat and expressive artwork. “Everlast” does something special. It breaks the story down into various perspectives. At the start, you’re pretty much seeing things through the eyes of Everlast and you have a dark and realistic tone. Later on, Melissa takes over and we see things from a young girl’s eyes, fresh and animated. Then, the villain emerges, Stavros, who has other plans on how to save the world, and things look dark and twisted. Finally, we focus on Naomi, a beautiful young woman, one step away from being sweet on Everlast. Here we see things with a more hopeful vibe. The line up of artists is Danijel Zezelj, known for his work on the graphic novel, “Luna Park,” from DC Vertigo; Robbi Rodriguez, a fresh new talent; Andrew Huerta, who has worked with a variety of publishers including IDW; J. K. Woodward, who has done a ton of work including “X-Men Origins: Beast”; and Trevor Hairsine, a veteran artist who has done everything from “Judge Dredd” to “X-Men.” That, my friend, is quite a cast of artistic talent.
“Everlast” keeps you on your toes up to the very end. But the end is only the beginning. There is more to come so stay tuned. Start by picking up a copy of this excellent book.
And a quick editor’s note: If you’re into “Everlast,” then consider “A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories” It has a similar vibe in many ways. Check it out here.
Filed under Archaia Entertainment, Chad Michael Murray, Comics
Review: THE REALIST by Asaf Hanuka
For the last four years, Asaf Hanuka has been doing auto-biographical webcomics about his life in Tel Aviv, Israel, entitled, “The Realist.” In many ways, this is a pretty straightforward narrative but, as in any life, things can gain, at any moment, a razor-sharp specificity and intensity. This is, after all, one of the most watched war-torn areas in the world.
So, when a morning can simply consist of a father goading his little boy to eat his toast, that already carries potentially more weight than a similar moment somewhere else. That said, Hanuka seems to carry himself like a man on a mission wherever he might live. The Realist has now been collected for the first time in English as a graphic novel, published by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios.
Comparable to the work of R. Crumb and Daniel Clowes, Hanuka has a keen sense for depictions of everyday life. What really matters is that he’s FUNNY!
I actually laughed out loud from reading his comics. He wears his version of the average Joe quite well. There’s one strip where we follow Hanuka throughout his day, as if following the daily routine of a computer from start up to sleep mode. At each point of the day, he has options to choose: engage or ignore the bus driver, the neighbor, the co-worker, his son, his wife. End. Repeat the next day. It strikes close to home, and it’s hilarious.
They say that if if you try to call attention to your merits, people will gladly ignore you. However, if you revel in self-deprecation, suddenly you have a following. Well, Hanuka definitely has a following. But it’s more than having readers relate to your problems. Hanuka has an engaging style with his artwork. It’s a crisp rendering of his life that you can’t help but want to know more about.
“The Realist” is an original 192-page hardcover graphic novel, priced at $24.99, arriving in comic shops from Archaia on April 22nd with a cover by creator Asaf Hanuka. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.
Filed under Archaia Entertainment, Asaf Hanuka, Boom! Studios, Comics, Family, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Israel, Middle East, War, Webcomics
Tagged as Asaf Hanuka, Boom! Studios, comics, Daniel Clowes, Entertainment, Family, graphic novels, Humor, Israel, Middle East, Pop Culture, Social Commentary, Tel Aviv, War, webcomics