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Tim Seeley

Free Comic Book Day 2019

For the fifth year in a row, I have brought Free Comic Book Day to my library. I pick up a good selection of titles from my favorite comic book store, Graham Crackers, and offer them to the library patrons when they come in. I also had some Star Wars and superhero crafts available for kids to do as well. I know, I know…I’m pretty awesome to offer such epicness to my library community, and this year we had the biggest crowd yet. As an added bonus, I love getting a sneak peek of the titles, and this year I choose seven.

Hope proved to be my favorite of the seven stories I picked up. It introduced the story about Julie, a mother who is secretly an Ultra and keeping her secret hero identity even from her husband and daughter. When a car accident with her family reveals her secret, Julie’s life is upended and her daughter is taken from her. This was strong introduction with very promising story lines, in addition to the bright clean art. Perhaps because I am a mom myself, I could imagine myself in her shoes (plus who doesn’t wonder what they’d do if they unexpectedly obtained super powers).

As soon as I saw a pug on the front cover, I knew immediately that Mike Norton of Revival fame was the illustrator, so this was a must read for me. This story is mash up of two existing comics- Grumble, with a physic and wisecracking pug, plus The Goon, a muscled fighter of supernatural creatures. It was odd pairing of characters, definitely more geared for existing fans of either series vs a new reader like myself. At the end there was a reprint of the story Hillbilly.

My Favorite Things Is Monsters took the comic world by storm and for good reason: the author/illustrator Emil Ferris is crazy talented. In this comic three vignettes are offered- one that describes Ferris’s path to publication, a short about Karen and her brother Deeze talking to neighbors and a how-to-draw-a-monster segment.

In this issue we get a small, touching scene between Nancy and Steve, as Nancy is concerned her little brother Mike is not coping well after their monstrous adventures. They try to draw him out by encouraging him to return to his involvement with his role playing games. There is an additional Black Hammer story afterwards, which introduced me to Madame Dragonfly.

This issue had a few Marvel stories in them, and like I said after reading last year’s FCBD issue, it can be hard for someone who is mostly a fan through the movies to connect with these stories that vary in author voice, illustration style and time period. The first story had some heroes that I don’t usually associate with the Avengers, such as Ghost Rider and Blade, so that was amusing at one level. The second story, The Savage Avengers, had a much grittier vibe and featured Wolverine.

This issue contains two stories- one about Venom and his reemergence, and the second one is a light hearted romp between original Spider-Man Peter and the younger Miles. The first story is very dark and violent, so I found it interesting that they paired it with the next story that was all about the two Spideys arguing over pizza and could be read by a younger demographic than the first story.

Blood Shot gets yet another revamp, this time under author Tim Seeley. I read Bloodshot: Salvation for the first time last year, and was intrigued by this soldier of fortune, who would just like to be free of the shadowy agency Project Rising Spirit and the super powers he had forced on him that transform him. In this story, he saves a scientist from a dangerous cult and it serves as a prequel to the upcoming series.

All in all, I felt I picked up some strong titles. I was most intrigued with Hope, and liked the peeks into Stranger Things and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. The others were good reading, but the free issues won’t make me pursue the series.

-Nancy

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Revival Movie!!!

 

Last Friday, when I reviewed the last volume of Revival, I said “My love affair with Revival has come to a close”. Little did I know that I was wrong- dead wrong. It was announced at the C2E2 Revival panel on Sunday that a live action film is in the works!!!  Tim Seeley and Sarah Fisher are writing the screenplay, and Luke Boyce will be directing through Shatterglass Films. Production starts in 2018, with no release date yet.

I am so very excited at this development, and am eager to hear who they will cast for Dana and Em. As for the pivotal role of Dr. McKay, I happen to know the perfect person to play her.  I shall patiently await a call from the director 😉

In the meantime, enjoy this teaser trailer that sets the tone for this outstanding supernatural thriller.

-Nancy

Revival Conclusion

My love affair with Revival has drawn to a close. When I discovered the series a year ago, there were six volumes already out, and I eagerly looked forward to the next two volumes as the story came to an epic conclusion.

Volume 7: Forward

There are entirely too many plot threads and characters in this next to last volume for me to imagine them adequately wrapped up in the upcoming final volume. Not only that, we were introduced to a few more…an Amish assassin and her daughter. What???

Now, I really enjoyed the what he/she wanted in life vs what they got storylines. Reality can end up being very different than what you envisioned, so this was great character development for some of the Wausau residents.

General Cale has rounded up the ghosts and continues to keep the Revivers in a holding facility, and it is unclear as to how much she really knows, and the motivations for her villainy. The ending of this volume throws everything into chaos, with many characters on the run. Not many puzzle pieces have fallen into place for me yet, so the ending of this series is anybody’s guess. I look forward to seeing how Seeley and Norton plan on wrapping up this intriguing series and hope that my favorite characters have a worthy conclusion to this mystery.

This is a picture of me!! I won a contest to have my cameo drawn into the last issue!

Volume 8: Just Stay A Little Bit Longer

The last volume was a poignant ending to the complete series, and felt true to the beginning. The series had such a promising start, and while I struggled a bit in the middle wondering where the mystery was headed and the climax was a bit rushed, it came together beautifully at the end.

There was a lot to cover in the conclusion of the series, as General Cale, the splinter militia groups and the escaped Revivers are in the woods and preparing for battle. Dana has finally put together the clues of who killed her sister Em (which made her a Reviver) and confronts that person (I resisted spoiling it for you!). She learns the connection between Em’s dead former lover Professor Weimar, the killer, and yet another character we have met; as the trio that caused the whole Reviver phenomenon.

Dana, the pregnant(!) Em and her killer head to the river to try to rectify the damage and stop the carnage, as death and chaos erupt nearby. Sacrifices are made, yet parting words of love are shared and the uneasy allegiance they had to strike to stop the madness works. The two page spread of an imagined future between two of the characters was so beautiful, that I teared up, and reread it several times simply to experience it’s emotional power again.

A sweet two year flash forward continues to show the resolution of the character arcs, and while one of my favorites didn’t live, their death was not in vain. A tease of a possible continuation of the story concludes this powerful and complex rural noir series.

As icing on the cake, I won a contest to have myself drawn in as a cameo in the last issue, and was thrilled to portray a doctor in two panels in the last pages. I will be talking about this honor and showing people my picture in the book until my dying day. Not only was that opportunity the very coolest, it was in one of my absolute favorite graphic novels!

I will be keeping my eyes out for future work from the skilled team of Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.  These talented men created an amazing fictional world that kept me enthralled for a year, for Seeley knew how to create a thrilling series, and Norton’s fantastic illustrations elevated the story to new heights.  So, if you  haven’t already, read for yourself the entire thrilling mystery!

-Nancy

Review of Deluxe Editions One, Two and Three.

How I got picked to get a Revival cameo.

*Disclosure- The Deluxe Edition Four is not out until May, but I used the cover, as that is how I have organized past reviews. (Look at the hands on the left, for it looks like two hands holding each other- symbolism??)

My Revival Cameo!

 

The last issue of Revival, written by Tim Seeley and illustrated by Mike Norton, was published yesterday and I was honored to have a cameo in it!

Last month I was surprised to be contacted by Mike Norton who let me know he had selected me from a contest that I had entered in December to have my likeness included in the concluding issue of the horror/supernatural series Revival. To say that I was thrilled was an understatement. I wrote a post about it, but being a pessimist in nature, I worried everyday that it wouldn’t be included. I headed to Graham Crackers as soon as I got off work, and the moment I walked in, the manager called me over and handed me a stack of the comics they had set aside for me. I flipped through it, and there I was, near the end!

Revival has been a favorite of mine since I first discovered it last April. I have reviewed the first six volumes (Deluxe Edition One, Two & Three) and plan to do another review post of volumes seven and eight once the eighth volume is released in graphic novel form in mid April. I also included it when Kathleen and I wrote our best graphic novels of 2016, before I even found out that I would be in the last issue. In fact, I think my hashtags on Twitter about this series, is what put me on Mike Norton’s radar. It obviously was meant to be.

I have included some of the messages and pictures from my communication with Mike Norton. My cameo was added in on his last day of drawing, so I quickly had to send him photographs of myself. He based most of my likeness off my first photo, and then refined it, once he had more photographs of me. Details like my green eyes, and beauty mark on my left chin were added in too. It was amazing to see my likeness in cartoon form, and to see the stages that it went through, from the first sketch to the final colored panels.

The last issue was a poignant ending to the complete series, and felt true to the beginning. The series had such a promising start, and while I struggled a bit in the middle wondering where the mystery was headed, it came together beautifully at the end. The resolution of the character arcs made sense, even if a favorite of mine didn’t live to the end. Thank you to Mike Norton for my cameo and bravo to the extended team who created this outstanding story!

-Nancy

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All pictures used with permission from Mike Norton/ Revival

 

I am going to to be in the last issue of Revival!!!

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Revival Issue 47- Image Comics

Back in December, I entered a contest through Crowdspire, in which the author Tim Seeley and illustrator Mike Norton of Revival paired with Patrick Rothfuss to raise money for Heifer International. If you sent in money to this worthy organization, you had a chance to have your likeness in the last issue of Revival, a horror- science fiction graphic novel with a rural noir feel.

Mike Norton contacted me today, and let me know that he choose me! ME!!! I sent him a few pictures, and he sent me back the two panels he drew me in. I’m not allowed to show his work until the issue is published, but I was thrilled with how it looked. Although I do know what character I’m drawn as, I do not know if I’ll be good or evil. I can not wait until February 22nd, when the last issue is released, and then in April when the issues are collected into graphic novel form.

I am thrilled and honored that I will play a small part in the Revival series, which I tagged as one of my Best Reads of 2016. Go ahead and catch up on the series by reading my reviews on Deluxe Edition One, Two and Three before the big finale!

Huge thanks to Mike Norton for choosing me!

-Nancy

**Edit- Here it is…check the final issue out! Dr. McKay is in the house!

 

Revival: Deluxe Edition Three

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Seeley, Tim & Mike Norton. Revival: Deluxe Edition Three. 2016.

We are now heading into the last half of the series, as it will end with volume eight. I am curious as to how the mystery will play out and how character arcs will conclude, as these middle volumes build towards the conclusion.

Volume 5: Gathering Of Waters

Frustrating read. Moral of this volume: trust no one. Do not trust the mayor’s wife, Edmund Holt, Jesse Blackdeer aka John Doe, Blaine Abel the exorcism guy, Ibrahaim, or the Feds. Don’t even trust the fish! (Aside- What was the deal in Chapter 29 when four pages changed illustration style, and then went back to normal afterwards?!)

Volume 6: Thy Loyal Sons and Daughters 

Still way too many questions about everything, with no clear answers being revealed. I’m thinking the ghosts hanging around are the souls of those who came back to life, and are waiting to be reunited with their owners, but yet there is still some murkiness about that explanation too. Such as- can souls be killed so they can’t be reunited with their original owner, leaving the body to eternal earthly life? And why is the Professor’s book a part of the mystery? I’d like more puzzle pieces please, so I am not so frustrated at the end of each volume.

 

As you can see, the middle volumes are a bit of an exasperating read for I want to be able to piece together clues by now, and just more layers have been added. I hope for clarification soon, and want to feel I am solving the puzzle alongside Officer Cypress. Never the less, I eagerly look forward to reading the concluding edition of this great series. The residents of the (fictionalized) town of Wausau, Wisconsin, have come to life in my mind, and I need to know how this all resolves for them!

-Nancy

*Reviews Of Deluxe Edition One , Two and Four

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Revival: Deluxe Edition Two

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Seeley, Tim & Mike Norton. Revival: Deluxe Collection Edition Two. 2014.

When I read the first volume of Revival, I knew I wanted to continue reading this rural noir series about how loved ones reviving, which could be a dream come true for some, will be a nightmare for many. Author Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton have stated the series will run eight volumes, with the seventh one coming out in September. Warning-  some (but not too many) spoilers!

Volume 3: A Faraway Place

Volume 2 of this series had no recap of the previous volume, so this book played it sly and had a recap done from Dana’s son’s perspective in comic book form to start us off. Some plot threads were followed more in depth such as trying to figure out Em’s killer, and explaining that the ghosts (most likely) were the unsettled spirits of the Revivers who didn’t die as expected. But there was so many other plots that were introduced or tangled up in one another. Who is the Reviver that followed Professor Weimar? How is the Professor involved in the situation? The teeth? So many questions, but perhaps this clue will help: The card that read “The Tree is Thirsty” came from Thomas Jefferson’s original statement “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The plot thickens…

Volume 4: Escape to Wisconsin

The saga continues…with new layers added and few to no answers resolved. Dana travels to NYC to follow up on a lead, for Anders Hine had escaped WI and headed across the country when his ruse of acting as if he were in a vegetative state was exposed. Dana finally sees the ghosts attached to the Revivers, when initially she scoffed at the idea when her son told her that he saw several ghosts. (Aside-why would she not believe her son about ghosts, when people coming back to life was a fact?!) The last part of the novel had a segment that was a crossover with another popular Image comic-Chew. Agent Tony Chu from the FDA came to help investigate this Reviver phenomenon with his tasting skills. Chu was made to match the Revival art style, but as I am not a reader of Chew I was initially very confused with this plot thread, as it had not matched the previous story. If you are a fan of Chew this cross over was very cool, otherwise, it might fall a little flat for you.

-Nancy

* Reviews of Deluxe Edition One , Three and Four

 

 

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Revival: Deluxe Edition One

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Seeley, Tim & Mike Norton. Revival: Deluxe Edition One. 2013.

I discovered a wonderful series that has it all- great story, outstanding art, a mystery and supernatural elements set in a rural landscape. I have a feeling that the Revival series will become a must read for me!

Volume 1: You’re Among Friends

Inexplicably, twenty three people come back to life in rural small town Wisconsin. The “Revivers” are not your typical zombies looking for braaaiins. Instead they quietly rejoin their former lives, not even realizing or remembering their deaths. Their new existence sets the town on edge, with media scrutiny, a government quarantine and religious fanatics taking over the region.

Officer Dana Cypress, a single mother and daughter of the sheriff, is asked to head The Revitalized Citizen Arbitration Team (RCAT). Dana proves to be a realistic main protagonist as her relationships with her father, younger sister, father of her son, and the towns people are built layer by layer, and affect the decisions she makes on this new task force. Dana discovers her sister, Martha (Em), is a Reviver when she is stabbed with a scythe and survives. Em does not know who murdered her, but as the story continues, hints are left that point to many different suspects. Dana is paired with a scientist of Muslim heritage (possible romantic interest), and along with the Hmong population in town, is a nice nod to diversity within the story. An unhinged religious demonologist and creepy ghost also play into the mystery- what are their connections to the Revivers?

The artwork in this self proclaimed rural noir is very well done. All the characters are unique in looks and personalities, with a good artistic representation of the different walks of life within a town’s inhabitants.  The variant art used to introduce each of the five chapters was beautiful and gave you a hint of what was to come.

Volume 2: Live Like You Mean It

The action picks up right where volume 1 left off with no recap- a handful of townspeople inexplicably revive after dying with no memory of their death, and the community and police try to piece together what happened. Officer Dana Cypress investigates several leads, with new people and situations being thrown into the mix. Revenge plots, ghosts, and harvesting of Reviver parts are added into the mystery; with more secrets being added than solved. This series will be like a large puzzle, with Dana and us, the readers, trying to put it all together so it makes sense.

Exceptional first volume in what will most likely be a long running series, for the characters and plot lines are set up for growth. I will definitely be reading future volumes to see how the idea of loved ones reviving, which could be a dream come true for some, will be a nightmare for many.

-Nancy

** Reviews for Deluxe Editions Two,  Three and Four

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