The Kingdom Zone
Tales of the Kingdom Issue #1
A Graphic Novel Format Comic Book From KingdomComcsOnline.com!
Top Left Photo: The Logo to Kingdom Comics.
Above Top Photo: The Front Cover to the Graphic Novel: The Kingdom Zone - Tales of the Kingdom - Issue #1!
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TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3521:
Last Saturday I blogged about the upcoming Long Beach Comic & HoRRoR Con that is running October 29th & 30th in Long Beach, California.
The con's promoters had just added the 'HoRRoR' title to the name of the con, as the con keeps occuring during the Halloween period.
So I thought to continue this week with review blogs on HoRRor / MoNSTer / Sci-Fi comic books that have been given to me or mailed in for review. Here's the fifth one of this week's reviews:
Which, when looking at the top right photo of this blog post, might seem a little strange by including this title in such a genre of comics...
Yet the way this graphic novel / anthology / comic book unfolds puts it gently into this genre for me! I'll explain why in just a bit. First let me print what the Publisher says about this publication:
"This is a 64 page anthology consisting of 7 different short stories with a "Twilight Zone" flair, but coming from a Biblical perspective. Each story is narrated by a mysterious old man, as he explores the Biblical nature represented within the stories. The stories include an old retired pastor, who attends a very unique college reunion only to find a special surprise awaiting him. Another story involves a man who realizes that being the "best" is sometimes not good enough; Especially when approaching the Throne of God. This will be an ongoing series, with new stories every issue."
Okay... So now you can start to see why I'm including this graphic novel formatted comic book into this genre!
Just like the first comic book that was reviewed during this special week, (The Attic #1 from Main Enterprises), this publication also has a series host. In addition, just like 'The Attic', this is an anthology title. Plus the stories presented, although religiously oriented... Come across with a mix of 'HoRRoR' / 'Sci-Fi' twists and turns.
Yes, it is a 'strange' kind of mix for a presentation, especially with the front cover which looks at a first quick glance seems to be not of that genre...!
You would have to do a little bit more than just glance at the front cover to get the fact that 'The Kingdom Zone' inside is going to be more of a 'The Twilight Zone' presentation.
The inside front cover is the 'Table of Contents' page, which would have been a little more insightfull if the 'creators credits' had been included. This page just shows the page number... And the 'story title', with no credits.
The first page is used a 'splash page', which was good when introducing the host of the stories being presented in this issue.
'The World's Best Person' is written and illustrated by Brian Bradley, who is also the Editor and Publisher.
Which is followed by the story '7 Days', written by Brian Bradley and illustrated by Jeremy Atkins.
The third story 'The Time...' is written by Brian Bradley and illustrated by multiple artists, including Hal Jones, Kathleen Webb, Rob Marsh, and Frank Humprhies among others. That's because each page is separately illustrated, by one of the illustrators.
Page 31 starts the fourth story, again with art and story by Brian Bradley.
Page 43 is also a story titled 'Barabass' with art and story by Brian Bradley, which is based on a short story by an unknown author.
'The Guillotine' starts on page 48, with a story by Brian Bradley, and art by 'Just Mike'.
The final story starts on page 56, and is titled 'Go to Hades', with story by George Macas and art by Rob Marsh.
Okay... The reason I listed the above stories with the titles and credits, is to help explain why I'm including this 'graphic novel formatted comic book' in with the others I've review blogged during this week's theme.
When I first opened the package that this came in, I kind of got the idea of what might be in the interior pages from the cover, as the title 'The Kingdom Zone' was in a different font and did 'hit me' with being close to 'The Twilight Zone' in presentation. Especially with the black & white cover. It was the golden cross that kind of threw me off at first as to what I had in my hands...
But upon turning the cover and seeing the table of contents and splash page.. I quickly got the idea of what the Editor / Publisher was striving for.
Did he make it in covering the 'look' he was aiming for in this publication?
For me... I appreciated the effort to take these stories and present them in such a way as to appeal to a different reading audience that what one would think the stories would normally be produced for.
The table of contents could / should have included the creators credits in my opinion, especially as there was enough room on the inside front cover to do so.
The 'host' of the stories, who was first introduced on the 'splash / first' page, was a good idea to use, similar to having Rod Serling introduce stories on 'The Twilight Zone', both on the TV show and in the comic books that were based on the TV show. So I liked that use of a 'host'.
The stories that were published were well presented, and so was the dialogue.
As with any anthology comic book or graphic novel that is published, it is always hard to have a certain 'feel' or 'look' with the stories and artwork presented.
In this publication, I found that the stories presented all fit the 'feel', but the artwork didn't always work for me. The 'look' of the artwork in almost all of the stories was a little bit too 'underground comix' look for me.
I don't say that in a 'negative' sort of way... Because as long time readers of this Blog know... I have reviewed blogged several underground comix here.
It's just that the artwork in total didn't quite 'jell' for me when taking these stories and mixing them with a 'Twilight Zone' sort of presentation.
I liked the idea / concept of this publication, and the stories presented. However, being a reader of the original 'The Twilight Zone' comic books published by Gold Key Comics, from 1962 - 1979... I believe that the execution of the artwork presented in this volume would have been better presented in a more 'realistic' art style similiar to the Gold Key Comics, rather than an 'underground comix' artstyle.
Again, as I have stated here many time before... Reviewing anthology comics is one of the hardest things to do being a reviewer. I do believe that the artwork presented in this publication is all in the same style that the Editor wanted. There are no jarring styles conflicting with each other in this publication. The artwork presented in each story here meshes quite well with the others. So if this art style is one that you enjoy, then the concept and execution would be just fine for you, as it is a good representation of the art style mixed with the stories presented.
The opinion expressed above is just my own personal taste after reading the publication from cover to cover, and watching where the Editor / Publisher took this.
So... I'm giving this a VERY FINE (VF) 8.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grade, because of what I just mentioned above...
Where can you find this for sale?
You can find this publication with a color cover, with black and white interior pages at this Kingdom Comics web site link.
While you are there... Take a look at this comic book that was previously review blogged in this Blog, 'Faith Boy #1'. Here is my son's review link on it, plus a comment from me with my comic book grade, and here is the link to purchase it directly from the publisher.
I want to add the following that is found on the web site about Kingdom Comics:
"Kingdom Comics is a Christian comic book publishing company. Through the publication and distribution of our printed materials, it is our mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By presenting the Gospel in comic book format, we are able to reach a culture that may otherwise be unreached. While this includes adolescence and young adults, it has also included those incarcerated. In addition, our books have been used as teaching tools for youth ministries.
Kingdom Comics publishes comic book for entertainment, as well. Some books are more subtle in the Christian message than others; however, we always strive to offer stories of an uplifting and interesting nature. We attempt to offer comic books that are the alternative to what currently passes for mainstream. This includes comic books about superheroes, as well as comic books dealing with everyday people dealing with everyday circumstances."
For additional info and to be interactive with others interested in this Publisher's publications, feel free to 'Like' The Facebook Fan Page for Kingdom Comics.
Thanks to Publisher Brian Bradley for bringing this issue #1 to my attention!
~Michael D Hamersky On Comics!
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