Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3258:
Would You believe that today's post is yet another blog on a publication that I found at the recent SGV Comic Book Festival that took place on Sunday, September 19th?!! As I've said here before...That 'little' comic con sure had a lot of creative comic book self-publishers on its exhibit floor!
Here is what Shawn Granger has on his web site as to what the graphic novels, (Vol. 1 & 2), are about:
FAMILY BONES Volume 1
King Tractor Press
Art by Orlando Baez, Kenneth Landgraf, Benito Olea Bellido, Mannie Abeleda, Pablo Agustin Lordi
FAMILY BONES is based on the TRUE STORY of the oldest couple of serial killers, as experienced one summer by their unwitting nephew.
This first volume collects issues 1 – 5 of the popular comic book series based on the lives of serial killers Ray and Faye Copeland. They were the kind, elderly grandparents who murders farm hands at their home.
Sean is trapped on the Copeland farm, a slave for his uncle. The heat simmers his skin to a full boil until the neighbor's beautiful daughter appears. Wendy quickly becomes his hope, desire, and fear; not to mention his one trusted friend. Together they discover each other and some very bloody family secrets.
FAMILY BONES Volume 2
This is the final volume of "Family Bones", a true crime graphic novel about the elderly serial murderers from Missouri. In their 70's, Ray and Faye Copeland were sentenced to death for the murder of many farm workers that lived with them.
The tale told through the eyes of their unwitting nephew comes to a gruesome conclusion. And through it all somehow this city boy finds young romance with a neighbor's daughter. Written by the actual great nephew of Ray and Faye Copeland, "Family Bones" is a gritty, fish-out-of-water American gothic that will send shivers down your spine.
Art by many of the rising stars in the comic book industry; including Brent Giles, Mannie Abeleda, Pablo Agustin Lordi, Stefano Cardoselli, Kyle Strahm, Will Caligan, & more.
(I'll show where you can purchase these at the end of my review.)
So what is 'My Take' on this two volume graphic novel / trade paperback series?
Well, here is the link to my 'take', (review), of Volume One.
Now here's my thoughts on Volume 2:
Since the format is being presented as a 'Trade PaperBack (TPB) / Graphic Novel (GN), I'm going to review it as such.
The Front Cover: I find that having the front cover in black and white goes together better with the black & white interior pages. There isn't the lack of color shock when a casual browser starts thumbing through the interior pages. I like this approach and the illustration is ably done by Kyle Strahm.
The Inside Front Cover is blank...
The first page is illustrated by Brent Giles, with no text.
The next page is the copyright info, and publisher info.
Then starts chapter 6 'Meat Grinder'. All the chapter are written by Shawn Granger, with different artists illustrating the chapters.
It had been a while since I read and reviewed the first volume, (Saturday, November 21st of 2009), and there was no 'recap' to remind me as a previous reader as to what had gone on before. Nor a 'story thus far' for a new reader to be brought up to date.
Yet I did find that the storyline picked up rather well from where I remember it ended...and the first chapter was illustrated very well by Brent Giles. This chapter drew me back in to the storyline.
Chapter 7 'Run Boy, Run' was illustrated by Mannie Abeleda. The heavy usage of 'blacks' colorings in the panels fit with the storyline of this chapter, but was a reminder that I was reading a type of 'anthology' where it was the same author, but different illustrators depicting the story.
Chapter 8 'Children of the Corn' - was illustrated by Pablo Agustin Lordi. This artist had a lot of close-ups of faces, and he really had the characters down pat in their looks. Good choice for this chapter!
Chapter 9 'Death Rides A Rusty Tractor' - was illustrated by Brent Giles again. The storyline turns a lot darker, and his style fits the text.
Chapter 10 'The End' - Art by Stefano Cardoselli. Which is a changeup in style once again...
After 'The End' are pages about Volume 2 and promo pages. It is here where the credits for the above mentioned chapters are shown. Plus what happened after 'The End' in real life. In addition, there is the 'Acknowledgements' page by the author. Ending up with a 'House Ad' for other series published by King Tractor Press.
As mentioned in my earlier blog post, this genre is not usually one I pick up for my own personal reading. Saying that, I found that this series of two TPB / GN format volumes was a compelling read.
The idea of having different artists illustrate the publications made this series a constant change in illustrations styles. Most of which fit the chapter being illustrated smoothly.
Some styles I personally liked more than others, but it seemed to all flow together coherently, and without sensationalistic gore or violence.
Having done some of my own 'genealogy research' in Northwest Missouri several years ago, I could 'tune in' to the setting where this story takes place. The Copeland Farm was on the East side of the I-35 running through Northwest Missouri in Livingston County, while my families lived on the West side, with just a few counties separating the two areas...So I have a pretty good 'picture' of what the story setting would look like in real life.
Again, this book, while not my favorite genre to read, makes a compelling visual and written story to follow. The format shows that comics don't have to be all 'superheroes' in genre to tell a story, and could be a good read for those that like crime stories like this one is.
My comic book grade for this publication is a VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 on a 10.0 comic book grading scale.
Here are the links to where you can buy both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Family Bones, as we don't have them in stock at our own online store at this time: Family Bones Volume 1: Based on a True Story. And: Family Bones Volume 2
Plus you can see other series from Shawn's King Tractor Press by clicking this link.
Thanks again, Shawn, for sharing your time and your publication with me at the recent San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival!
PLUS: My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over 3,255 total posts in number! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!
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~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book shop carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items at the link seen below.