Tag Archives: Pacing

The end of an era: Tales of the TMNT #70 Review

9 Jun

My mouth was held agape for the majority of reading this comic.  I wondered how they could somehow end on such a perfect note.  I wondered, how could this be so damn good?

Tales of the TMNT #70 represents one of the most noble and best ways to end a series/possibly even a comic franchise: without doing anything other than producing a book of the highest quality possible.

Now, I’m not going to deny the fact that I’m biased over all things TMNT and that this being the final issue of all comics TMNT (for, at least, a very long time) will affect my review.  But, putting that aside, this is a really great comic.

The book is completely upfront that it’s revisiting events that have already been depicted.  Hell, the first seven pages are recap.  However, this recap is from a completely different perspective and camera angle, and are in the form of flashbacks and other time manipulations perfectly shown with an all black transitioning frame bridging between the past and present.  The recap definitely helps for new readers, and allow this book to be open to anyone interested (although a previous knowledge of the storyline provides many easter eggs).

I went ahead and read this issue, and then went back and read all of Return to New York with this issue fitting in.  I kid you not, but all of the positioning and fighting moves (although some of them are now original or not shown before) are spot on to how they were in the originals!  Plus, this story fills in many gaps.

Hell, with Return to New York being so frantically action-heavy and wonderful, it’s nice to have something that provides more perspective on the comic.

The work Lawson and Talbot put into the artwork and the half-tone/duo-shade is sweepingly magnificent.  Lawson creates one of the most bizarre, imaginative, and beautiful fight sequences I have ever seen involving a single chain and a single, dangling turtle.  Once again, Lawson’s art is extremely detailed while having enough self-awareness on when to focus in on key things.  There are many silent panels, and these always stand out to me as stark, menacing, and add such a creative pacing to the comic.

The writing wins.  The art wins.

The turtles crew ended their (hopefully not but possibly) very last comic on a bang.  I’m so glad I’ve been here to read it.  I’m so glad I got the opportunity to interview Dan and Jim.  I’m so glad to even read some of the best independent work out there.  To me, the Ninja Turtles have never been a gimmick, and I hope that, at some point, other comic readers can recognize the heavily saturated creativity that bubbles out of the Ninja Turtles and their comics.

Tales of the TMNT #70, you really did it for me.  I’m welling up a little now that it’s over.  But, I know I can always revisit my old friends.  Thanks Mirage.


“Smile” Reevu

8 Jun

A brilliant work!

I just zipped through Raina Telgemeier’s Smile today, and, I’ll admit, this young adult genre’d work pleases on a multitude of levels.

Now, consider that this graphic novel follows a young girl (Raina herself considering this is a short teeth-related memoir) through middle school and into high school.  Frankly, I’ve always had a problem revisiting these years in the things I read.  However, this graphic novel triumphantly captures the convoluted ups and downs of growing up… with a twist.

Raina knocked both of her teeth out in a completely unawesome, typical, nothing special way (racing), and we follow her through her dental mishaps and adjustments.  Her fears and doubts rise to the surface about – not only boys or school or friends – her teeth and the perception other people must have of her physically.

The art is simplistic but very emotionally charged.  Frames may seem familiar but completely different, and it really emphasizes that Raina has mastered this style.  I also really enjoy the coloring (and when the coloring breaks the formula on the jean patterns).

One of my favorite things about this work is its beats, layouts, and pacing (all of which are fairly interconnected).  Raina really knows how to hit right on the mark for when to stop, begin, speed up, slow down, and punctuate the story; this may be accredited to Smile beginning as a web comic.

Delightfully funny while having a great awareness.

This graphic novel really works for me.  As someone who doesn’t really delve too much into the young adult genre of literature or graphic novels, I have to say that I’m thoroughly pleased.  This graphic novel obtained the rare event of getting me to smile, chuckle, wince, and feel hopeful.  Although best suited for young adults or teenagers, this work is and should be accessible to anyone in any range.  The wonderful amount of respect and awareness to and of its content really raises the bar for what sequential art can accomplish in this frank, honest, and beautiful work.

Funny that my review began with “Smile Around the Face” by Four Tet…

Check out some more of Raina’s work and Smile right here!

Donatello: The Brain Thief #2

22 Oct


It was a little disgusting how long it took me to find a photo of this cover… especially for it to turn out too small, but fairly enlightening in terms of 1.) how little fan base there seems to be for the TMNT when compared to something that has many fewer interesting stories like… I don’t know, Batman or Spiderman.  and 2.) a thumbnail picture of me appeared on the second page of every google search… weird.

Nevertheless, this miniseries is quickly turning into one of the best of the year.

Click to read the review.

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