Welcome to the month ten roundup.

The counter on the website says I only have one month to go. I make it two but there is certainly a clock ticking.

This month there were no Thumbs Down titles. Thank goodness, I don’t want to waste my final days on rubbish.

There was one No Thumbs title. It’s been a long time since we saw one of those. Such an unexpected disappointment too.
Whiteout: Melt – Greg Rucka

We had twenty two Thumbs Up titles. Less than last month.
DMZ: (2) Body of a Journalist – Brian Wood
DMZ (5): The Hidden War – Brian Wood
DMZ (6): Blood in the Game – Brian Wood
DMZ (7): War Powers – Brian Wood
DMZ (9): M.I.A – Brian Wood
DMZ (10): Collective Punishment – Brian Wood
The Highwaymen – Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman
The Mystery Play – Grant Morrison
ORCS: Forged for War – Stan Nichols
Whiteout – Greg Rucka
DMZ (11): Free States Rising – Brian Wood
DMZ (12): The Five Nations of New York – Brian Wood
Half Dead – Barb Lien-Cooper & Park Cooper
The Boys: Volume 1 – The Name of the Game – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 2 – Get Some – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 3 – Good for the Soul – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 4 – We Gotta Go Now – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 5 – Herogasm – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 6 – Self Preservation Society – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 9 – The Big Ride – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 10 – Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 11 – Over the Hills with the Swords of a Thousand Men – Garth Ennis

This month we had eight Double Thumbs Up titles. Probably the most ever.
DMZ: (1) On the Ground – Brian Wood
DMZ (3): Public Works – Brian Wood
DMZ (4): Friendly Fire – Brian Wood
DMZ (8): Hearts and Minds – Brian Wood
Sleepwalk and Other Stories – Adrian Tomine
Rust – Royden Lepp
The Boys: Volume 7 – The Innocents – Garth Ennis
The Boys: Volume 8 – Highland Laddie – Garth Ennis

Another month gone. What hell am I going to do when this is all over? Start again maybe?

My star was The Boys as it is Ennis’ finest work that really gets under your skin. Rust was also a sheer delight. I actually gave it away as an Xmas present to a friend of mine who always complains she has no time for reading as it is such a light read you can zip through it in no time. But equally you can linger on the wonderful artwork and just soak up the idyllic rural atmosphere for ages.

See you next month

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Welcome to the month nine roundup.

I am finally into double figures. This brings all sorts of thoughts to mind. Like how am I going to fit all of the titles I still have left into my dwindling number of days? And more importantly what the hell am I going to do without a daily blog to suck up all my free time.

Plus, dear reader, we also have to think about how we are going to choose the final issue!

This month there were no Thumbs Down titles.

There were also zero No Thumbs titles.

We had twenty-twoThumbs Up titles.

Proof: Goatsucker – Alexander Grecian

Proof: The Company of Men – Alexander Grecian

Proof: Thunderbirds are Go! – Alexander Grecian

Proof: Blue Fairies – Alexander Grecian

Proof: Endangered – Alexander Grecian

American Vampire: volume 4 – Scott Snyder

Americus – MK Reed

Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Year of the Bastard – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: The New Scum – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Lonely City – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Gouge Away – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Spider’s Thrash – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: The Cure – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: One More Time – Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan: Tales of Human Waste – Warren Ellis

Powers 14: Gods – Brian Bendis

Axe Cop Volume Three – Ethan Nicolle & Malachai Nicolle

Crossed: Badlands – Garth Ennis & Jamie Delano

Walking Dead 17: Something to Fear – Robert Kirkman

The Chimpanzee Complex: Paradox – Richard Marazano

This month we had eight Double Thumbs Up titles. Could be the most ever.

Proof: Julia – Alexander Grecian

American Jesus – Mark Millar

The Tourist – Brian Wood

Transmetropolitan: Dirge – Warren Ellis

Axe Cop Volume One – Ethan Nicolle & Malachai Nicolle

Axe Cop Volume Two – Ethan Nicolle & Malachai Nicolle

Wet Moon – book 6: Yesterday’s Gone – Ross Campbell

Pride of Baghdad – Brian K. Vaughan

Another month down and some killer titles. Proof and Transmetropolitan have been on my radar for some time and it is great to finally get a chance to enjoy them both. There were some brilliant off the radar titles such as Americus, The Tourist, and The Chimpanzee Complex. Powers, Crossed, Walking Dead and Wet moon all prove that long established titles don’t necessarily lose their magic.

My star was possibly Axe Cop for making me laugh for hours on end, Pride for the great art or The Tourist for proving that less truly is more. Plus the twist in American Jesus was out of this world.

See you next month. Not many of them left so make the most of it.

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BONUS REVIEW: The Chimpanzee Complex: Civilisation – Richard Marazano

Chimpanzee Complex 3The final volume in the series does an incredible job of building suspense and evoking atmosphere. With mostly two characters and a single location the pace slows right down and is eerily quiet. You get the Scott/ Cameron deserted spaceship vibe in spades here.

The art is of the same high standard with some great video-screen effects and astronomical vistas. You can predict the ending but aren’t disappointed by it.

A solid Thumbs Up!

BONUS REVIEW

BONUS REVIEW: The Chimpanzee Complex: The Sons of Ares – Richard Marazano

Chimpanzee Complex 2This volume follows on from the last and is every bit as gripping. It is a really tense and enthralling read. Although many of the ideas aren’t original you don’t know which direction the story will take. Having real historical figures involved, both alive and dead, is certainly unusual and might not be to everyone one’s taste. The dialogue is quirky in places but that may be the nature of the translation. The child character also seems to talk and think way above her years.

The art is good but as the locations require more hand drawing it sometimes breaks down. Having a photorealistic head inside a hand-drawn space suit messes with your mind somewhat. Oddly the surface of Mars is one of the most realistic looking settings.

Another fine Thumbs Up!

BONUS REVIEW

Welcome to the month eight roundup.

This month there were no Thumbs Down titles.

There were also zero No Thumbs titles.

We had twenty five Thumbs Up titles.

Powers 2: Roleplay – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 3: Little Deaths – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 5: Anarchy – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 8: Legends – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 9: Psychotic – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 10: Cosmic – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 11: Secret Identity– Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 12: 25 Coolest Dead Superheroes of All Time – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 13: Z – Brian Michael Bendis

Batman: Castle of the Bat – Jack C. Harris

Mr Punch – Neil Gaiman

Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday Book One – Jim Lee

Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday Book Two – Jim Lee

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai – Stan Sakai

Crossed: Wish You Were Here – Simon Spurrier

Ptolus: City by the Spire – Monte Cook

Ex Machina: Tag – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Fact v. Fiction – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: March to War – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Smoke Smoke – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Power Down – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Ex Cathedra – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Dirty Tricks – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Ring Out the Old – Brian K. Vaughan

Ex Machina: Term Limits – Brian K. Vaughan

 

This month we had six Double Thumbs Up titles.

Powers 1: Who Killed Retro Girl – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 4: Supergroup – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 6: The Sellouts – Brian Michael Bendis

Powers 7: Forever – Brian Michael Bendis

Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days – Brian K. Vaughan

Wimbledon Green – Seth

 

Another month bites the dust and with two big series eating up my days it has flown by. Powers was awesome but Ex Machina seemed to wander of course and didn’t sustain its terrific start. It is good to see another strong Crossed title finally.

My star was  undoubtedly Wimbledon Green that proves you don’t need fancy tricks to tell an engaging story.

See you next month when I will make the move to double figures with less than 100 books to go.

Welcome to the month seven roundup.

As you may have guessed this was Ladies Month focussing on Female Characters and sometimes Female Creators.

This month there were no Thumbs Down titles but some came close!

We had three No Thumbs titles.

Tomb Raider: Saga of the Medusa Mask – Dan Jurgens

Tomb Raider: Pieces of Zero – Dan Jurgens

Wet Moon – book 3: Further Realms of Fright – Ross Campbell

 

We had twenty Thumbs Up titles.

Tomb Raider: The Merlin Stone – Dan Jurgens

Air: Flying Machine – G. Willow Wilson

Air: Pureland – G. Willow Wilson

Air: A History of the Future – G. Willow Wilson

The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci

Shekhar Kapur’s Snake Woman: Volume One – Zeb Wells

Shekhar Kapur’s Snake Woman: Volume Two – Zeb Wells

Shekhar Kapur’s Snake Woman: Volume Three – Zeb Wells

Valentine: Fully Loaded – Daniel Cooney

Where’s it at Sugar Kat? – The Thin of the Land – Ian Carney & Woodrow Phoenix

Empowered Volume 1 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 2 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 3 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 4 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 5 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 6 – Adam Warren

Empowered Volume 7 – Adam Warren

Wet Moon – book 2: Unseen Feet – Ross Campbell

Wet Moon – book 4: Further Realms of Fright – Ross Campbell

Wet Moon – book 5: Where All Stars Fail to Burn – Ross Campbell

 

This month we had seven Double Thumbs Up titles.

Ultra: Seven Days – The Luna Brothers

Air: Letters from Lost Countries – G. Willow Wilson

Wonder Woman: Blood – Brian Azzarello

Catwoman: The Game – Judd Winick

Shi: The Way of the Warrior – William Tucci

Vamps – Elaine Lee

Wet Moon – book 1: Feeble Wanderings – Ross Campbell

 

It has certainly been an entertaining month with the whole spectrum present  from big name properties to self publishing. Interesting to see long established characters like Wonder Woman and Catwoman still delivering top-notch drama. But celebrity is no guarantee of success as some dire Tomb Raider offerings proved.

My star was Catwoman for showing how female characters can be strong, sexy, smart and vulnerable at the same time and to the Wet Moon series for making real life seem so riveting.

See you next month (assuming I have any sanity left).

Welcome to the month six roundup. (The point of No Return.)

This month saw the glorious halfway point on my epic journey and made me realise how small a number from the vast pool of incredible works 365 actually covers. I was worried about running out of things to read. Now I am worried I won’t be able to finish them all in time as I have loads of series I still want to visit.

This month we also had no Thumbs Down titles. I certainly wouldn’t expect any.

We had zero No Thumbs titles too. Thank goodness.

We had 24 Thumbs Up titles.

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 1- Ronin – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 3 – The Wanderer’s Road – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 5 – Lone Goat and Kid – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 6 – Circles – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 7 – Gen’s Story – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 8 – Shades of Death – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 9 – Daisho – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 10 – The Brink of Life and Death – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 11 – Seasons – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 12 – Grasscutter – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 13 – Grey Shadows – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 16 – The Shrouded Moon – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 18 – Travels with Jotaro – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 20 – Glimpses of Death – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 21 – The Mother of Mountains – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 22 – Tomoe’s Story – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 23 – Bridge of Tears – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 24 – Return of the Black Soul – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 25 – Fox Hunt – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 26 – Traitors of the Earth – Stan Sakai

Space Usagi– Stan Sakai

Blacksad: Somewhere within the Shadows – Juan Diaz Canales

Blacksad: Arctic Nation – Juan Diaz Canales

Blacksad: Red Soul – Juan Diaz Canales

 

This month we had seven Double Thumbs Up titles, more than ever before.

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 2 – Samurai – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 4 – The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 14 – Demon Mask – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 15 – Grasscutter II – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 17 – Duel at Kitanoji – Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 19 – Fathers and Sons – Stan Sakai

Blacksad: A Silent Hell – Juan Diaz Canales

There is not much I can say with Usagi and Blacksad being such magnificent works it has been a real pleasure.

My star was actually the commentary on Blacksad: A Silent Hell which taught me so much about art and gave me an even greater respect for hard working artists.

See you next month (maybe).

365GN

 

BONUS REVIEW: The Art of Usagi Yojimbo – Stan Sakai

This is an oversized volume dedicated to the art and creative process behind the comic Usagi Yojimbo. There is a lengthy explanation of how the strip is drawn and what materials are used. This is presented in the form of an amusing cartoon strip drawn by and starring Stan Sakai himself.

There are examples of Usagi art from all throughout his more than a quarter century lifespan. There are the original concept sketches and dozens of illustrations from other magazines, convention programs and unpublished artwork. This is a real treasure trove of material. The covers from the first 20 collected editions are reproduced full size, full colour and without any text so you can see just what dramatic works of art they are. There is also a full colour strip depicting Usagi’s flight from the Battle of Achi Plain. This does feel a little jarring after 25 years of strict black and white however. There are also drawings of Usagi done by other famous comic book artists.

Whilst this adds no new story or revelations – unless you are a budding comic artist – this does feel very special. It is a reward for your devotion in following this rabbit through all his adventures. It is nice to get a glimpse behind the curtain and so deserves a Thumbs Up!

Bonus Review

Welcome to the month five roundup. (Please make it stop now!)

This month we had no Thumbs Down titles again. I will have to find a barrel to scrape.

We had four No Thumbs titles. Quite a lot really.

Mercedes – Mike Friedland

CSI: Intern at Your Own Risk – Sekou Hamilton

The Pitt – John Byrne & Mark Gruenwald

Combat Zone: True Tales of GI’s In Iraq – Karl Zinsmeister 

We had twenty-one Thumbs Up titles.

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defence – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 7: The Calm Before – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 9: Here We Remain – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 10: What We Become – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 12: Life Among Them – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 13: Too Far Gone – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 14: No Way Out – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 15: We Find Ourselves – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 16: A Larger World – Robert Kirkman

The Hedge Knight – George R. R. Martin

Morning Glories: Volume One – Nick Spencer

Morning Glories: Volume Two – Nick Spencer

Drafted – Mark Powers

Hellgate London – Ian Edginton

Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat Comedian – Alexi Sayle

The Last Winter – Larry Fessenden

This month we had six Double Thumbs Up titles, I think that’s a record!

The Walking Dead Volume 8: Made to Suffer – Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Volume 11: Fear the Hunters – Robert Kirkman

Morning Glories: Volume Three – Nick Spencer

Midnight Nation – J. Michael Straczynski

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. – Warren Ellis

The Originals – Dave Gibbons

It has been an interesting month with one amazing series and some outstanding stand-alone titles.

My star was The Walking Dead series and probably Morning Glories too. I am desperate for the next volume of that I can tell you. Special mention goes to J. Michael Straczynski’s introduction on Midnight Nation. Profound.

See you next month, and I haven’t found any Olympic titles so if you have any suggestions…

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Welcome to the month four roundup.

Has it really been four months? Really? That means I am a third of the way through. This feels like both a long and a short time to have been doing this.

This month we also had no Thumbs Down titles thankfully. I wonder if I am going soft?

We had one No Thumbs title.

Even the mighty Warren Ellis has bad days.

Stormwatch Volume Five: Final Orbit – Warren Ellis

We had twenty-six Thumbs Up titles.

Everything has gone all middle-of-the-road it seems.

Crossed Volume 3: Psychopath – David Lapham

Chew Volume Two: International Flavour – John Layman

Chew Volume Three: Just Deserts – John Layman

Chew Volume Four: Flambé – John Layman

Chew Volume Five: Major League Chew – John Layman

The Interactives – Peter Rogers

American Vampire: Volume One – Scott Snyder & Stephen King

American Vampire: Volume Two – Scott Snyder

American Vampire: Volume Three – Scott Snyder   

Hero 9 to 5 – Ian Sharman

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – Alice & Joel Schick

Malcolm X: The Angriest Man in America – Wayne Massop

Seven Miles a Second – David Wojnarowicz & James Romerger

Yuri’s Day – Andrew King

Video Clips – Gaetano Liberatore

Stormwatch Volume One: Force of Nature – Warren Ellis

Stormwatch Volume Two: Lightning Strikes – Warren Ellis

Stormwatch Volume Three: Change or Die – Warren Ellis

Stormwatch Volume Four: A Finer World – Warren Ellis

Stormwatch Team Achilles: Book Two – Micah Ian Wright

Stormwatch Post Human Division: Volume One – Christos Gage

Stormwatch Post Human Division: Volume Two – Christos Gage

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Martin Powell

Iraq: Operation Corporate Takeover – Sean Michael Wilson

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets – Herge

Tintin in the Congo – Herge

This month we had just three Double Thumbs Up titles, less than ever before.

Chew Volume One: Taster’s Choice – John Layman

Incognegro – Mat Johnson

Stormwatch Team Achilles: Book One – Micah Ian Wright

It has certainly been a varied month with three strong series, a lot of nonfiction works, some British smaller press titles, and some really bizarre reads.

My star was probably the Chew series.

See you next month (hopefully).

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