Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3538:
This past weekend Tina and I attended the 3rd Annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con in Long Beach, California.
Before we finished walking through the Artists Alley of the exhibit floor there, we both attended two panels, one of which was the 'Monsterverse Comics Rips Open Flesh And Blood!'.
There I met again, Kerry Gammill and Sam F Park of Monsterverse. I had already review blogged their earlier publication, "Bela Lugosi's Tales From The Grave #1' and indeed proclaimed it 'The Best Anthology Comic Book of 2010 earlier this year!'.
So yes, I was very interested in seeing their newest title, 'Flesh And Blood', at this panel, as I hadn't yet been at their table in Artist Alley.
Kerry Gammill and Robert Tinnell were already there at the room when Tina and I arrived. When Sam walked in with more attendees that were sitting in the audience, the panel started.
What I saw on the screen for both 'Flesh And Blood', and 'Bela Lugosai's Tales From The Grave', reinforced the thought I had earlier that this Monsterverse company is one to watch! (And no, it is NOT a client of mine or Tina's.)
After the panel I met Robert Tinnell for the first time, who is the author of the main feature in this graphic novel, and the scripter of the second feature, which I'll mention in this review. (Neil Vokes, the artist of the first feature, wasn't attending this comic con.)
So what's this graphic novel about? Here's what the publisher has as a promo:
"From acclaimed writer and artist team Robert Tinnell and Neil Vokes (THE BLACK FOREST, THE WICKED WEST) comes a sensuous horror epic in the spirit of European horror cinema of the 1960s and '70s. The death of Carmilla, the seductive vampire, sets in motion events that lead to a monumental struggle between the forces of darkness and a brave band of mortals. Its members include a reluctant young Abraham Van Helsing and a mysterious monster hunter struggling to keep his own inner monster at bay. When Baron Frankenstein is recruited to add his scientific genius to the group's arsenal, Dracula and his undead kingdom face the possibility of total annihilation. Cover art by Dan Brereton."
So... What's 'My Take' on this graphic novel?
First up was the front cover. As stated above, it was illustrated / presented by Dan Brereton. The artwork on the cover was enticing enough to make me place this graphic novel on the top of my 'To Read / Possibly Review' stack, which grew even taller after walking the exhibit floor of the 2011 Long Beach Comic & Horror Con!
The Inside Front Cover - was the list of credits for this series, showing that once again, many hands were involved in bringing this project to fruition.
The Introduction - by Tim Lucas was next. It built up the backstory behind this series. Plus it presented that... "What Flesh And Blood is, in some respects, is the wish fulfillment of Hammer's fan base". (Referring to the Hammer Films company.)
The graphic novel story, chapter 1, started next. I was impressed by the colors right away on the first page. (Colors are by Matt Webb.) Then the following page's lettering, (by Mike Anderson and Rick Lebo), came into play. Nice addition to the mix!
Turning the page I found that this series is NOT intended for younger audiences, (NOT mentioned on the front or back covers!).
The writer, Robert Tinnell, immediately brings the reader into the story with Laura's encounter with Carmilla!
The introduction to the rest of the cast of characters flowed nicely by the writer, and the sequential illutrations by Neil combined to make this a fine intro to the series of graphic novels.
By Chapter 4, I am totally into this series! It is however the end of this main feature in Book One!
There is a three page text piece with illustrations next, titled 'Flesh... And Blood... And Fantasy' by Bruce G Hallenbeck, with more background history of Frankenstein, Carmilla Karnstein, and Count Dracula, with a tie-in to Hammer Films.
Then the reader is treated to a second feature titled 'Operation Satan' with cript by Robert Tinnell and art by Bob Hall, (Yes, THAT Bob Hall!), with tones by Kerry Gammill and letters by Rick Lebo. It is a five page feature, and yes... to be continued as well.
What follows that was a feature called 'Art of Flesh And Blood' with illustrations by others known in the comics field.
Then there was the Neil Vokes Flesh And Blood Sketch Gallery, a four page feature showing character sketches for characters used in the main feature.
The interior pages ended with 'The Creators' credits on Robert Tinnell, Neil Vokes, Bob Hall, and Matt Webb.
The inside back cover is dedicated to Ingrid Pitt, and the back cover had a one word review by Guillermo del Toro that wraps up Book One!
Whew! That's quite a presentation to what is basically is Book One of Four in this graphic novel series!
I enjoyed the back stories presented in the Intro, the section by Hallenbeck, and The Creators credits page. The art galleries were a nice touch also.
I'm not for sure why the story 'Operation Satan' is in this graphic novel series, but the artwork by Bob Hall with tones by Kerry Gammill is beautiful! Perhaps the Editor or the Publisher will explain why this second feature is in this graphic novel series in a future book of the series?
My comic book grade for this first book in a four book series is a NEAR MINT MINUS (NM-) 9.2 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.
You can find this graphic novel online for purchase at this link: Flesh and Blood (Book 1).
Here is the publishing info in case you wish to use another resource to purchase this at:
Paperback: 104 pages
My thanks to Sam F Park, Robert Tinnell, and Kerry Gammill for bringing this graphic novel series to my attention!
BTW, if YOU are in the Los Angeles Metro Area THIS upcoming weekend... Monsterverse will have a booth at the upcoming ComiKaze Expo, which I have blogged about at this link!
Again... You can find this graphic novel online for purchase at this link: Flesh and Blood (Book 1).
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