Today I Read… Die Kitty Die

Today I read Die Kitty Die written by Fernando Ruiz and illustrated by Dan Parent.Image result for die kitty die

Kitty used to be the teen witch with the hottest comic around, but sales haven’t been so great lately. So the CEO of Kitty Comics has come up with a brilliant idea to generate interest and sell more Kitty comics. Kill Kitty- for real! Can Kitty survive old friends, old relatives, and worst of all old husbands? Or will Kitty die, Kitty, die?


The cover caught my eye at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this year, and I’m glad I picked it up. This is a satire of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, drawn of course by Dan Parent who drew the Archie comics. The entire book is set up like an Archie comic, with the one page shorts, fashion pages, and silly ads of the classic series, but with a more adult, sexual, satirical bent. The most obvious example is the recurring joke of Kitty’s enormous boobs. This is a book meant for adults who grew up on Archie comics, and definitely not a book for kids. You really need to have read Archie comics comics to get the jokes, as this book is very meta. This was a Kickstarter project, but I asked them and they are planning volume 2, which I for one am planning on keeping my eye out for. This is a hilarious look at what might happen if Sabrina was real and really pissed off about how she’s been treated in her own comics. Characters can get as sick of reboots as readers, you know. Maybe comic companies need to try being a little bit nicer to their characters. After all, you might not know who you’re dealing with…

Image result for die kitty die

Today I Read…The H.M.S. Bad Idea

Today I read The H.M.S. Bad Idea: an Anti-Self-Help Comic Collection by Peter Chiykowski.

HMS Bad IdeaHave you ever had a bad idea? How about an entire book filled with bad ideas? It’s quite a challenge, but Rock, Paper, Cynic artist Peter Chiykowski is up to it, with a little help from some friends (ok, 40+ guest artists, I’ll assume they’re friends if they appeared in his book. That’s safe, right? I mean, if you’re making a book, do you ask your mortal enemies to draw in it? Is that a thing? That doesn’t seem like a thing. I mean, a self-help book would probably say rely on your friends to help you, so would an anti-self-help book say rely on your enemies? Or is it the self part that’s important, as in help yourself, so is an anti-self-help book about letting other people help you? Now I’m confused. I better go eat bacon, because bacon. Read the book to find out why eating bacon is a special occasion).

From #725 “reply to that poor Nigerian prince who’s down on his luck” to #1191 “open the eldritch book with the cover made of human skin” to #1355 “use non-genetically mutated turtles to battle your local crime syndicate,” this book is the perfect guide for anyone’s life–just don’t do anything on the list. Especially, one suspects, #2010–give alcohol to cartoonists.

Also featuring the best of five years of Rock, Paper, Cynic, this is a great book for anyone who likes geeky humour, sardonic philosophy, and turtles. Because turtles are awesome.


RPC D&DI’ve known Peter casually for a few years now–he attends a lot of local sci-fi conventions selling his comics, and you get to know some of the regulars on the circuit. I usually try to stop by his table and see what’s new. I like his style–it’s brightly coloured and pithy and entertaining. I have a couple of his prints, but I like so much of his work that I was really happy when I saw that he had collected some of his favourites into a book. I dare anyone to read it and not smile.

teddy bears are better than most peopleRPC Fairy Tale

Actually, that’s the best praise I can give the book. It makes you smile.

RPC Happy

Also, I really want a secret bookcase-tunnel reading lair.

RPC Ebooks

Today I Read…Cubs in Toyland

Today I read Fables volume 18: Cubs in Toyland, written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Gene Ha, Andrew Pepey, and Dan Green. Cubs in Toyland

Fables is an award-winning comic book series created by Bill Willingham, in which fairy tale creatures fled their homelands to create a new home for themselves called Fabletown, located in the middle of New York. The series has won 14 Eisner awards.

Therese, daughter of Snow White and Bigby Wolf, is jealous. She’s so pretty, and yet her sister Winter was chosen to succeed their grandfather as the King of the North Wind. Then Therese’s toy boat tells her that she must come with him and rule a magical kingdom of her very own. When she gets to the island, it isn’t quite what she imagined–it’s dirty and muddy and all of the toys who live there are broken, and there’s nothing to eat. Soon Therese discovers the terrible secret of Toyland–all of the toys who live there are murderers, toys who accidentally killed their children, by catching fire or smothering them or drowning them or choking them or cutting them… She also discovers why they brought her there, because Toyland needs a living ruler to restore the land and its inhabitants. Too bad Therese is starving to death, since there is no food since toys don’t need to eat.

But what Therese doesn’t know is that her brother Darien is also on the island looking for her, and that he will sacrifice everything to keep her safe…


Fables has never shied away from hard stories to read. It goes back to the original stories for source material, the bloody, violent, lust-filled stories where Cinderella’s stepsisters are pecked to death by birds and Bluebeard keeps his dead wives in his tower. Disney has no place in Fabletown. And while the Fables are essentially immortal, gaining their strength and longevity from humans who believe in them and tell their stories, they can still die.

Therese is a spoiled, selfish little girl who wishes for a kingdom, and ends up with subjects as spoiled and mean as she is. It takes her brother’s willing sacrifice so that she can live to open her eyes to what she is and make her change, and she drags the toys along with her. The bad toys got the queen they deserved, but she turned into the queen they needed. Darien may have been a bit of a bully to his younger brothers and sisters, but his father always told him to look after his packmates, so in the end he is a good big brother to Therese.

Fables is definitely a comic for adults, not children.Fans of mythology and legends and fairy tales may get a little more out of the references, but the general reader will still be able to follow the storyline. The series is very violent, but not gratuitously so–the violence is meant to hurt, not to become inured to. People die, and it’s supposed to be painful–you should be hurt when people die, even fictional people.


Today I Read…The Ultimates

UltimatesToday I read Marvel’s The Ultimates, written by Mark Millar and pencils by Bryan Hitch. This hardcover omnibus contains the first 13 issues of the Ultimates series and an introduction by Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers movie.

The world is getting more dangerous, and Nick Fury, director of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division has decided it’s time to put together a special response team, made up of very special people: Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, the World War 2 super soldier, recently found alive after being frozen in the Arctic Ocean for 52 years, who returns to life to discover that his family is long-since dead and his fiancée married his best friend. Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, the billionaire scientist and head of Stark International, who created the most advanced flying suit of armour in the world but cannot cure the brain tumour that is killing him. The Hulk, known by a select few as Dr. Bruce Banner, the nerdy geneticist with serious anger issues, desperate to recreate the super soldier serum that created Captain America in his quest to rid himself of his green, rage-filled alter ego. Giant Man and Wasp, Drs. Henry and Janet Pym, who can change size from tiny to enormous, and who have a terrific marriage other than the occasional spot of domestic violence. And Thor, Norse God of Thunder and Odinson, who will help fight after the American president doubles his international aid budget. Together they will save the world, if they don’t destroy each themselves first.


I’ve heard of The Ultimates before as a version of the Avengers, but I’d never read the original series until now. This is a gritty, modern, realistic take on superheroes, deeply flawed and troubled people with remarkable abilities that they don’t always use wisely. The Ultimates will be jarring to anyone who’s mainly familiar with the Marvel MovieVerse–Banner deliberately becomes the Hulk to attack (and eat) civilians, while Betty Ross wavers between airhead and manipulative media specialist. Cap is extremely violent and angry about losing his life in the ocean, and not quite as much the paragon of virtue he is in the movies. Henry beats Janet into the hospital after using her mutant blood in ‘his’ growing formula. Thor is a hippie activist and possibly a demented former mental patient won’t help save the world from an alien invasion until he gets his way. And Tony Stark is actually a little more stable than he is in the Iron Man movies, though still an alcoholic and a womanizer, and a highly respected businessman with a fairly good relationship with Fury.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of making superheroes all dark and gritty and ‘modern’ (yes, I realize I just complained that Kevin Keller was too shiny and perfect–he’s not a superhero, hush). People who wear brightly-coloured spandex, answer to silly names, and do things like fly and shape shift and shoot lasers from their hands? There is a little bit of inherent silliness in them, and a lot of larger-than-life characteristics–I don’t want them to be too dragged down into the grime of ordinary people. And on the other hand (what am I up to, three?), many of them are ordinary people given extraordinary and not always welcome gifts, and thrust circumstances and by fate into extraordinary situations. People aren’t perfect–it’s what they do when they have to that makes them heroes, or not. Sometimes it’s easier to fight aliens than say “I’m angry” or “I’m afraid” or “I’ m sorry”. That said, The Ultimates is an incredible piece of storytelling. The commentary with Millar and Hitch in the back of the volume explains some of their thought processes and memories of creating The Ultimates, and of course as a devoted Whedonite of long standing I love Joss’ introduction and the anecdote about his wanting to buy a piece of the original art for Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddie Prinze Jr.’s wedding. The casting scene is also interesting, since The Ultimates predates the Phase One movies, including the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Fury. In fact, it was after Jackson found out that Ultimates Fury was modelled after him that he asked to play Fury in any movies Marvel was planning.

In The Ultimates , the heroes aren’t always likeable, but they are very, very watchable.


Today I Read…Kevin Keller

Kevin KellerToday I read Archie’s Pal Kevin Keller, with story and pencils by Dan Parent, which contains the first 6 issues of the Kevin Keller series.

Riverdale has a new resident, and he’s quick to fit in with Archie and the gang. Kevin Keller has eating contests with Jughead, talks journalism with Betty, pals around with Archie, and has Veronica panting after him. Too bad she doesn’t have a chance with him, but they all make great friends! Will Kevin become a journalist after high school, or join the military like his father, or become the president? Who knows? Right now, he’s having a great time with his new friends in good old Riverdale!


Kevin Keller is, of course, the well-publicized new gay character in the world of Archie. He was introduced in February 2012, and won the 2013 GLAAD Media Award, which celebrates outstanding images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the media. He’s a little bit of a Marty Sue character, since he’s perfect in just about every way, but that actually makes him fit in with the rest of the Archie cast quite nicely, so I’ll forgive him for that. On one hand, the worst thing that ever happens to him is that the odd bigot tells him to try out for the girls’ track team and he throws up when he has to speak in public–not exactly realistic. On the other hand, it shows a strong, positive role model–Kevin is kind to others, smart, athletic, ambitious, and has a loving, supportive family and friends who accept him for who he is. Kevin Keller is what happens after “It Gets Better”. While it is clear that Kevin is a gay character, it is also clear that he is not only ‘the gay character’–that he has more sides to his identity that just his sexual orientation. All in all, he’s a welcome addition to Archie’s gang in the 21st century.

Today I Read… Doctor Who

So things got busy. I have a backlog of reviews, which will go up…eventually.

Today I read Doctor Who: Series 2, Volume 2: When Worlds Collide, written by Tony Lee and art by Mark Buckingham and Matthew Dow Smith.

This graphic novel trade paperback features the story When Worlds Collide, featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy and Rory. While en route to the football game, the TARDIS gets there a little early–by about a thousand years. After Rory has a football shoot-out against a Viking for Amy’s hand, they end up in the Old West, with dinosaurs and Nazis. Then things get crazy.

This story contains a lot of elements that were later used on the show, with Nazis from Series Six’s “Let’s Kill Hitler” and dinosaurs and the Old West featuring in the current Series Seven. No Vikings yet, though. This is a highly entertaining story, and one well-suited to the comic medium, since it would be insanely expensive to pull off the special effects on the show. It’s always nice to see new adventures of the Doctor and his Companions, especially with the strange schedule the show seems to be on now.

Today I Read…Doctor Who

Today I read Doctor Who: Series 2, Volume 1: The Ripper. This is a graphic novel trade paperback consisting of the stories “Spam Filtered” and “Ripper’s Curse”, both written by Tony Lee, art by Andrew Currie, Richard Piers Rayner, Horacio Domingues, and Tim Hamilton.

In “Spam Filtered” Amy and Rory learn why they shouldn’t check their email on the TARDIS. In “Ripper’s Curse” the Doctor and his companions travel to 1888 London and find that the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper may come from out of town…really far out of town.

While 11 isn’t my favourite Doctor (ah 10, how I miss you!), and I can’t wait for Amy to leave at the end of the upcoming season (Rory can stay though), I really enjoyed “Spam Filtered.” All of Amy and Rory’s spam emails come to life and start chasing them around the TARDIS and a planet inhabited by hard light holograms. This story will be funny to anyone who’s ever received spam email. And someone FINALLY found a use for that bloody annoying stapler help thing from MS Word! Which may well be the most impressive part of the story…

“Ripper’s Curse” felt more like an episode, since it was 3 chapters long instead of 1 like “Spam Filtered,” which was more of a running joke. Amy wants to save the Ripper’s victims while the Doctor wants to keep the timeline undisturbed by making sure he kills the same women, but then the Doctor wants to catch him and return him to his home planet. The usual pop culture alias, arguments about the integrity of the timeline, running from danger, and having to rescue Amy after she gets captured by the insane alien serial killer.

Stargate: SG-1 and the Quest for the Long-Lost Library of TBN

SG1 and the Quest for the Long-Lost Library of TBN

This is an online graphic novel project we had to do for school. It was actually kinda fun, especially when I was taking pictures of my action figures out in the garden and all of my elderly neighbours out for their evening walks were stopping to stare at the grown woman playing with toys in the dirt.