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Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves Review

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Review by Ermelinda

The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman has caught the television writing bug and his series Thief of Thieves proves it. Enjoying the efforts and fruits of collaboration with fellow writers, Kirkman decided to apply this method in creating his series Thief of Thieves, for Skybound an imprint of Image Comics. Kirkman assembled the writing talents of Nick Spencer (DC‘s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), and James Asmus (Marvel’s X-Men). These two talents are great on their own, but with Kirkman leading the story, arcs and dialogue are gritty, realistic, and at times very funny.

The cohesive fluid that keeps this plethora of talent flowing is the art of Shawn Martinbrough. Full disclosure, as a Native New Yorker, I always have a soft cheering spot for a fellow native. Yet, even if Martinbrough hadn’t been born in the Bronx, I would still go crazy praising this man’s artwork. Shawn Martinbrough has illustrated books for DC, Marvel, Vertigo, and now Image. He works a noir comic with his unique style, using the process of working with light and shadow, to visually enhance and evolve the story as it unfolds.

Without giving too much away, Thief of Thieves is the coarse, rough and tumble, unapologetic story of Conrad Paulson, also known as the master thief, Redmond. As Redmond, he is at the top of his game, executing well planned heists while attempting to stay retired. He dives with wisdom through the web of his past, where the an unfinished heist, the greatest of his career, haunts him. Redmond invites temptation by keeping close company with his sleek and sassy apprentice, Celia, who assists and entices him with every job. They feed off each other and the dialogue is electric.

As Conrad Paulson, Redmond is man whose world has gravitated away from his estranged wife and son that he still loves. Conrad’s son Augustus is a young man attempting quite unsuccessfully, to follow in the footsteps of a father he simultaneously admires and resents.

This is where Robert Kirkman’s voice shines. His ability to release a story with engaging, emotionally pivoting relationships shines through. You feel for Conrad and Augustus, rooting that they find common ground and reach some state of equilibrium.
The tension and strain of the drug cartel Augustus has involved himself in, pulls the suspense and gears their relationship to drop like an elevator descending into hell. A father and son journey, unleashing unyielding tough love, anger, caring, and distrust. Thief of thieves achieves the goal of humanizing Redmond, all while creating curiosity for the mental ability and physical agility it takes to achieve a grand heist while fighting off the law and the drug cartel.

It is an excellent addition to any Noir comic collector’s shelf, and a must read for Kirkman fans. As a side note, AMC and Robert Kirkman have been working on scripts to develop Thief of Thieves into a new series for the network. We shall see what Kirkmania at AMC brings forth.

 

 

 

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Saga #12 review

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Writing: Brian K. Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

Review by Melissa Megan

Oh, Saga, how you play with my emotions. The games this series plays are heartbreaking, thrilling, disturbing. The opening scene of issue #12 is a prime example. Prince Robot IV has been wounded in war and calls upon the aid of the medic, a mouse-like creature with healing skills. As the medic administers medicine, he explains that he’s not a native to the planet but is supporting Prince Robot’s forces in hopes of earning his degree and as thanks for their help on his home planet. It’s almost warm and fuzzy until a poisonous gas is released upon the unit and the medic reveals that he wasn’t given a mask to protect himself. It gets messy from there.

In the present day, Prince Robot is on a mission to track down Alana and Marko, like so many others. His government has their own reasons for wanting to dispose of the forbidden family. He’s landed on a solitary , foggy planet where he believes a reclusive author can lead him to the fugitives. Mister Heist wrote a romance novel that Alana and Marko are fans of; the book is believed to be a revolutionary text in disguise and Prince Robot thinks the novel was the inspiration behind the couple’s idea to run from their homes and duties.

The majority of issue #12 is focused on Prince Robot’s verbal chess game with the intelligent author, trying to surmise if he has knowledge of the whereabouts of Alana, Marko and Hazel. It’s not quite as much fun as the usual plethora of alien creatures and formidable planets, but it’s engaging and imperative to the story line. And as usual, the issue sets up an exciting and tense possibility for the next one to come. Holy shit, does this book perfect story telling. Magnificent artwork accompanying genius writing makes Saga an absolute masterpiece of a comic book. I’m not sure how many ways I can say that I love this series, but I’ll keep trying.

Saturday Simplicity

I wrote this over on my personal blog today, but I think people who read this will really get a kick out of it (once we get past the “Jules is ill” bit). I have bloody amazing children!

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I’m ill. I’m ill to the status of turning into a “sucky baby”. I don’t complain unless it is really bad. My Lupus is really trying to kick my ass, showing me no mercy. I haven’t had a flare last for this long in a very long time. Even so I always live with a good amount of pain, I had forgotten just how bad bad can be. I’ve been running a fever since I awoke yesterday. Today, I woke up with mouth ulcers. I’m grumpy. I’m irritable. I’m liable to lash out at any poor unsuspecting soul. But thank Bob for my children. At least they can keep me laughing through all of this.

It started this morning. I got up feeling like shit and as if someone beat the crap out of me in my sleep, yet again. I put on my glasses and hobbled down to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee. I sat down in front of my computer to check my email and Twitter while I waited for the blessed coffee to brew. Because I’m ill, my vision is also being affected and every thing was blurry and as if it had a white film across it. That is when the following conversation took place:

Me: Where are my glasses?

Kid2: What?

Me: I can’t find my glass. Help me find them. (Starts searching). Wait. Never mind. They are on my face.

Kid2: BWAHAHAHA! OMG! I thought that only happens in movies! Too funny. Mom, that was pro. You are so fail today! Way too funny, mom.

Shortly afterward, his dad picked him up to do some clothes shopping. Upon his return, I hear the following:

Kid2: Mom, look at this! I picked it out all on my own. You want it, don’t you? You’re jealous aren’t you? You’d wear this to your next convention, wouldn’t you?

Me: OMG! DUDE! That is so awesome! YES! I do want it! Man, you’re awesome!

Kid2: *giggles* I knew it!

And just now, the following conversation occurred while I was outside getting some fresh air as I’m burning up.

(After Kid2 and his friend rounded the corner into the backyard)

Kid2’s friend: I hear that you can walk on your hands.

Me: Yes, I can.

Kid2: She can also lick her elbows! I don’t know how she does it. It is freaky but still cool. Mom, show her!

Me: Honey, I’m not feeling well. My body really hurts right now. Otherwise, I’d love to show my freaky skills.

(Kid2 and Kid2’s friend try to lick their elbows while conversing over how they don’t understand how it is possible.)

Me: Fine! I’ll do it! (licks elbow).

Kid2’s friend: WOW!

Kid2: SEE! Told you! They say it isn’t possible to lick your elbows, but my mom can!

Me: Well, what “they” say is false. It isn’t impossible, it is just rare.

Kid2 to his friend: She makes a good point. My mom is a rare breed of person. It is one of the things that makes her so awesome. She’s rare and weird but in a really good way. (To Me) She also doesn’t believe that you squee’d when I showed you my Mario shirt.

Me: Yes, I did squee.

Kid2’s friend: Then you’d squee over my brother’s shirt as he has the same one.

Me: I probably would.

Kid2: Okay, mom. I have to go into the back forest now. I left my winter coat back there.

Me: Why is your winter coat back there?

Kid2: Because I needed it to sing The Mountain Climber song while climbing trees.

Despite feeling like death waiting to happen, at least I can look forward to a day filled with laughter.

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One of the things I really am appreciative of is that my children are both geeks. I wouldn’t say they are nerds but they are definitely geeks. I’ve never done anything to groom them as such. It is just how they have turned out (which is pretty damn awesome!). But what makes me appreciate all of this more, is that they are growing up in an age where it is accepted among their peers. Or maybe it is just accepted among their peers in my neck of the woods. They have never been teased for it or have been made to feel as if they are “weird” because of it. Or maybe they are but do not notice it because I’ve raised them to be very self-assured individuals. Most likely, it is a combo of both.

I also think it is rather fab that they have people in the media, outside of myself, who are nerds/geeks which they can look up to. I think I am a damn fine role model but it really is comforting to know they have some outside of me, something I did not really have growing up.

I think that is all I have to say about that. If I don’t stop vomiting out my thoughts now, this blog post would never end.

EDIT: Now that I actually think about it, Kid1 is a nerd and Kid2 is a geek.

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