Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: Requiem

After the recent and sudden death of his wife, Tom Webster, a thirty-something school teacher, quits his job and journeys to Jerusalem in search of an old college friend.  While venturing through the city Tom battles inner demons and experiences mysterious visions of an old woman who seemingly wants to deliver him a message.  Before too long, a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls falls into his hands, which may  be the key to translating the mysterious vision/message he keeps receiving.  Already a nearly broken man from the sadness and guilt he is carrying, Tom is driven closer to the far edge of sanity by these wild visions that may or may not be the spirit of Mary Magdalene who is trying to reveal a long covered up secret about the Resurrection.

Ever since reading The Prestige, people have been telling me that I need to read something by Graham Joyce because he too can deliver a great fantasy tale that reads like "literature".  After some research, I figured Requiem would be as good a place as any to get a taste of Joyce's material.   What I found here was some strong prose and yarn-spinnin' ability, and a story that reminded me a bit of The DaVinci Code...except much more skillfully written and with more magic.

The biggest problem I had was that I never really felt that engaged by the characters or the plot.  Tom Webster is a total wreck of a man, he's a shitty husband, burnt out teacher, and there's a chance he's slept with one of his students...not exactly a laundry list of things that make me want to root for the guy.  Though I didn't care for Tom, I will say that he was a well developed character, just not one I cared about.

The other characters, namely his friend Sharon whom he visits in Jerusalem, wasn't that easy to relate to either.  When I can't connect with characters I experience a detachment from the story, and sorta go along with the flow, but never really get fully immersed in the narrative, and that was definitely the case here.

In the past I've been at least intrigued, if not enthralled by stories that tend to debunk or "spit the truth" about various spiritual/religious faiths, figures or events.  With that in mind, I figured the plot of Requiem would be entertaining for me, but I can't say that I ever got that into it.  This is partially a byproduct of the fact that I couldn't connect to the characters, but when major plot events would turn up, I was mostly ho-hum about it all.

For me, the most interesting aspect of the book was the slow unraveling of the story of Tom's past.  Joyce was quite masterful in slowly revealing what exactly happened with Tom's wife, why he quit his job, and whether or not there were illicit liaisons going on.  Sadly, this was more of a side plot and mostly served to explain Tom's frail mental state throughout the book.

Joyce clearly put in a lot of research effort into Requiem.  There were times when I really felt like I was in Jerusalem.  In the scenes where Tom is wandering the streets, Joyce bombards the reader's senses with tons of stimuli.  Joyce also handled the psychological unraveling and analysis of Tom quite well.  This was the one area where I actually felt a connection to Tom, as I got a sense of how mixed up his head was.  I still didn't really like the guy though, and I certainly didn't care much about what happened to him.

In the end, this one wound up as a mixed bag.  While there were some aspects of the book that I thought were handled well, I still didn't connect emotionally with the characters or the story, which left me with a mostly hollow reading experience.  Joyce is a strong writer, I think Requiem just wasn't for me.  This one does have plenty of strengths, and I think it could be enjoyed by other folks.

Grade: C+

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Comic Quickies: War and Tights

Peter Panzerfaust #1: This one here is my surprise of the week.  Why? Because even though it is written by Kurtis Wiebe, (who is pretty much the shiz in creator owned comics lately) I hadn't planned on picking this one up.  However, when I made my weekly pilgrimage to the comic shop I decided to give this bad boy the flip check and it really caught my attention.

First off, the art here is pretty cool.  It's got this loose energetic feel to it that fits very well with the narrative. What you have here is a hefty helping of WWII action and mayhem with a bit of a re-imagining of the Peter Pan story.

Yeah, the concept sounded a little iffy to me too, (I mean Peter Pan isn't exactly the coolest guy in school) but so far things are looking pretty good.  I'm not sure yet if Peter is all that magical, or if his feats just seem magical through the eyes of the other orphan boys in his crew. So far the guy is an enigma.  All in all this was a pretty solid first issue, and I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about the characters and seeing what else Peter Panzerfaust has to offer.

The Activity #3: I'm on a bit of an espionage/war kick right now (which you'll see manifest itself around here in the from of reviews prolly in March) and it all stems from  this comic.  I wasn't totally sold on the first issue of The Activity but over the past couple of months, this comic has slowly grown on me, and now I'm pretty much smitten.

Nathan Edmondson has taken a very realistic, non-glorified approach to espionage in this title and the results are pretty great.  While his previous effort Who is Jake Ellis was an adventure-romp, this one is much more gritty, and character driven.

So far, each issue has been more or less a stand alone, and has centered around a mission where the team goes in and gets the job done in an incredibly professional manner. However, in this third issue, the shit hit the fan on their latest mission, and what we get is the aftermath rehash and finger pointing session with bits of the actual mission mixed in.  It is a pretty cool way to tell a story, and Edmondson pulled it off quite well.  This guy is pretty impressive.  Looking forward to seeing more of this title.

Batwoman #6: This title is still the best thing to come out of the DCnU, even with an artist switcheroo for the second story arc.  Taking over the artistic duties for the next five issues is Amy Reeder.  I was disappointed to hear that she and J.H. Williams III would be trading art duties for the story arcs on this title, but it turns out Reeder is a pretty solid fill in, despite the monstrously huge shoes she has to fill.

This issue takes a unique story telling approach as it delivers the story through six different POV characters.  This was a little bit confusing at first, but once I got the gist of what was going on, I actually thought it was a creative idea and it worked out pretty well.

Like I said earlier, Reeder's art is pretty great.  Sure, her art is a step down from J.H. Williams III, but just about anyone would be a step down.  Anyway, Reeder still delivered on series art specialties like changing art styles depending on the story, and delivered six or seven double page spreads too.  Her art felt a little more cartoony than I'd like for this title, but some of the pages here are quite impressive.  Out of all the DCnU titles I've tried, this is the only one I can say I love.

Action Comics #6: The last time I talked about comics, I mentioned that it looked like Action Comics was about to take a turn towards more epicness, and that Grant Morrison needed to bring the thunder to this title...Well, be careful what you wish for!

This latest issue definitely got more epic, and Morrison definitely brought some extra thunder to the story, but I'm not so sure the results are positive.

This was a strange and confusing issue, despite having some very familiar Superman plot moments.  What goes down is that Superman punches some shit, gets poisoned by kryptonite, almost dies, then at the last minute doesn't die.  However, why these things are happening is anyone's guess.  Oh, and from what I can gather, all this shit is occurring sometime in the future, but some of the people involved are from even further in the future and already know how shit will turn out.  Uh huh.  Part of me thinks that I'm missing something, part of me thinks I'm over-thinking things too much.  Maybe the next issue will clear things up.  I'm putting my faith in you Grant Morrison.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken

About a year ago, at the Emerald City Comicon, Scott Kowalchuk told me I should check out some of the comics works by a writer/artist that goes solely by the name of Seth.  Kowalchuk is an incredibly solid dude, and I figured his comic recommendations would follow the solid trend, so I filed the name away in the back of my head, and kept my eye out for Seth's stuff anytime I was browsing the shelves in various shops around town.  It took a while to track something by Seth down, but I eventually wound up with a couple of his titles, and decided to read It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken first.

In this semi-autobiographical comic, Seth tells the story of himself and his obsession with tracking down comics by an obscure cartoonist from the 1940's by the name of Kalo.  Seth's compulsive search takes him on a journey of both distance and time and while on his search to find obscure comics, finds a bit of himself as well.

One of the things that most impressed me about this graphic novel was Seth's ability to tell an engaging story in a way that seems simplistic, yet upon further scrutiny, proves to be quite detailed.  Seth's art style is definitely on the cartoon side of things, but his buildings and locations all have a great power to evoke a strong sense of time a place.  His small towns, railway stations, living rooms, bookshops and cafe's all have an air of familiarity and warmth to them, which helped me feel right at home in the narrative.  This comfort opens up the door for the reader to pay more careful attention to the juxtaposition of Seth's personal development and his search for Kalo's comics.

Another impressive aspect about Seth's art is the amount of emotion he is able to portray in his panels.  To put it simply: his stuff is moody.  He achieves this through a combination of what the character is doing in a given panel, and what the character's surrounding environment is.  It seems like a simple feat to derive emotion in this way, but it's not something I've seen done very often or done as well.

Seth sort of lures the reader in with a slow burning start to the story, and maintains a relaxed pace throughout.  To be honest, the writing here didn't impress me nearly as much as the art.  I didn't relate so well to Seth's character, and didn't care too much about whether or not he found more Kalo comics either.  I more or less just cruised along reading the story, but was never very engaged by it. Still, the cruise was a comfortable one, and relatively pleasing as well.

It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken is more about the journey than the destination, and it's an artful journey for the reader.  The illustrations here will most likely provide the lion's share of entertainment value as the story itself is not as strong.  Still, this graphic novel is a fine example of how comics, and the art side of the medium can really tell an evocative story.  Trust me, or trust Scott Kowalchuk, Seth's work is worth a look.  Definitely something different from the mainstream norm.

Grade: B

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: The Knight

I've been told by a lot of people that I need to read something by Gene Wolfe.  I've heard a lot of good things about the author, but I've also heard that his books can be challenging reads because he uses unreliable narrators, and hides meanings and such within the narrative, which sometimes I like, but other times I dislike, especially if I feel like I'm not "getting it", which can be an especially frustrating feeling.  So, I was a bit torn as to whether or not I should answer the call of the Wolfe.  Eventually curiosity got the better of me.

The Knight features an unnamed adolescent boy who gets magically transported from our world, into a magical realm.  Soon after arrival he meets a lovely aelf maiden named Disiri, and she hooks him up with the knightly name, Sir Able of High Heart, and transforms him into a handsome, muscle bound manly man.  She also promises him the magical sword Eterne, with the caveat that all he has to do is face down a dragon to get it.  With that, Sir Able promises his undying love to Disiri and sets off on his quest to become a great knight, and to find his sword of destiny.

A lot happens along the way, and reading The Knight sorta made me feel like I was reading someone play an RPG like Skyrim.  Like my rpg adventures, Able would set out to do one thing, then see something else that catches his fancy and head off in a completely different direction.  This tangential plot movement was a bit of a double edged sword because while it could be frustrating to feel like I was getting dragged along by a blundering imbecile, the plot never slowed down and the pacing was fantastic.

The Knight is told, for better or worse, through Able's first person perspective.  I definitely had a hard time trusting him as a reliable narrator though.  Even though he was magically given a man's body, Able is still very much a confused, sometimes stupid adolescent.  As a reader I was pretty much at his mercy for figuring out what was going on, and there are plenty of times when he doesn't describe things so well, or seemingly omits details, or just completely skips over things he doesn't want to talk about.  This led to a few "wait a minute..." moments where I could tell something was fishy, but wasn't quite sure what it was.

Because of Able's whimsical nature, his journeys take him all over, on land, sea, and even to different levels of reality, which are stacked on top of each other, and Mythgarthr, (the realm Abel got transported to), happens to be right in the middle of.  Along the way he meets some interesting people like Bold Berthold, a noble peasant who calls Able his brother.  Able also acquires some allies like a dog that is more than a dog, a sailor turned faithful servant, and many others.  You never know who he's gonna meet or what kind of situations he's gonna get into because his wanderings could lead him anywhere.  This free spirit-like approach to adventuring helps flesh out the world, and brings in some interesting characters that help add some life to the novel.

Despite tipping the scales at over 500 pages, I sorta feel like nothing really happened in this novel.  There's not really any plot to speak of the and the narrative is the definition of willy-nilly.  However, I still kinda liked it.  This book is such an enigma though; It's an enigma in the sense that Able's narration and recollection of events is sometimes accurate, sometimes misleading and sometimes veiled, but also in the sense that I'm not totally sure whether I liked it or not. I'm definitely torn as to whether or not I'll read the second novel in the duology, The Wizard.  Part of me thinks I should because it'll clear up all the confusion, and another part of me thinks I'll only be more frustrated.  The jury is deliberating in my brain.

For now I'll just say that my first Gene Wolfe reading experience was met with mixed emotions.  His writing chops are definitely quite good, but I'm not totally sure I'm all that into his style of story telling.  I'm gonna stew on it some more.  If there's other Gene Wolfe readers out there, feel free to try and sway me one way or another...

Grade: B-

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Shaky Kane's Monster Truck

Have I mentioned before that I love me some Shaky Kane art?  Well, I do.  It is weird, awkward, disturbing and beautiful all at the same time.  Shaky Kane's art has probably never been more weird, awkward, disturbing and beautiful than in Monster Truck.

Monster Truck is a graphic novel with heavy emphasis on the graphics.  This artistic wonder takes the reader on a widescreen cruise through a tripped out psychedelic landscape in the cab of a yellow monster truck.  If you want to see some incredibly strange (yet strikingly beautiful) pages of art, and some sweet looking classic cars, colored in ultra bright hues, this is your fix right here.

Aside from incredibly unique visuals, this graphic novel takes a unique approach to design.  Each and every page of art is really just one piece of an epically long, continuous 50 page piece of art.  What I mean by that is that if you cut out each individual page, and laid them out next to each other in one long line, they'd all connect into one massive art piece without any gaps or breaks in the illustration.  I was sorely temped to buy two copies and do just that, and put it up as a border in my room. In the end, I decided the money would be better spend on other comics instead.

The cover of Monster Truck promises "automobiles monsters and mayhem", and boy, it sure does deliver. There is lots of weirdness to be had here, which may or may not be for everyone, but it sure did tickle my fancy.  I find myself picking this up from time to time and just flipping to a random page, just see what kind of random thrills or chills it will provide.  

One thing is certain, Monster Truck rockets my imagination off to new places.  This is one of those rare artistic works where the artist managed to cut free of any creative restraints and deliver a work of unbridled imagination.  I appreciate seeing and experiencing such border-less works of art.  

I think the reason I enjoy Kane's art so much is that he seems to break from reality into his wild imagination with such ease.  It is a refreshing and inspiring thing to see an adult create art that is so unabashedly weird and unique.  Oh, and a lot of fun too!

Grade: A

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Anniversary Black Sabbath!

Forty-two years ago today, Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album, Black Sabbath.  Not only is today the anniversary of an incredible album, and one of my favorites, but many would argue that today is also the 42nd birthday of Metal.  A lot of folks say Black Sabbath was the first ever metal album, who am I to argue? So...Happy Anniversary Black Sabbath, and Happy Birthday Metal!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: Where I'm Calling From

It's no mystery that every now and then I like to shake things up and read something that doesn't fall under the fantasy/sf/comic umbrella.  Well, I had one of those times recently, and in order to slake my thirst, I prescribed a healthy dose of short fiction by Raymond Carver, from the Where I'm Calling From collection.

This reading experience had a bit of a supernova-like feel to it.  It started out hot, tapered off quickly, and left me feeling cold by the end.  The reason is that Carver seems to like to work in one or more of a few particular themes into nearly every single short story.  Those themes are: drug/alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, failed love, and fractured/failed humans.  

These themes can be incredibly interesting and powerful when written well, and Carver does write very well.  The problem is that it was too much of the same stuff over and over for thirty seven stories, and it eventually began to wear away at my soul.  Though I enjoyed many of the stories in the early going, by the end I felt like I was just plowing through the rest of the collection, just for the sake of completion.

This reading experience was by no means a total bust though, because Carver is one hell of a writer, and it was nice to experience such a high level of skill.  Carver has a minimalist writing style, and he has pretty much mastered the short form. His passages are short and terse, with very few descriptors, but somehow he manages to write incredibly vivid stories.  Though I got sick of him covering the same themes over and over again, I don't think I'd ever get tired of reading his stories about fishing.

I think that if I read Carver in smaller doses, I'd have an easier time digesting his intense themes.  He truly is a fantastic writer, and his stories can be incredibly captivating.  I'm definitely glad I gave this a go.

Grade: B-

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Hark! A Vagrant

I've been a fan of Kate Beaton's webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant for quite some time, and check her site often for updates.  As much as I love reading her comics when she posts them online, I most definitely prefer to do my reading the old timey way, on paper.  So when Drawn and Quarterly decided to collect a bunch of Beaton's comic strips and release them in a snazzy hardcover book, I wanted it like Gollum wants his precious.

Lucky for me, I have a wonderful lady, who probably noticed me cradling this book in my arms at a bookstore, and decided to buy it for me as a Holiday time nifty gifty.

What you get here are 166 pages of hilarious Hark! A Vagrant comic strips.  Pretty awesome.

If you are unfamiliar with Beaton's work, you should head over to the website and check it out.  It will make your day better.

For the most part, Beaton focuses on history, and historical figures to make up most of her subject matter, but also mixes in a healthy dose of literary characters, and some comic characters for good measure.  Whatever she happens to be focusing her attention on, it usually has hilarious outcomes.

Not only are almost all of her comics hilarious (I can't say they are all funny; I don't get the ones about Canadian political leaders!)  but her art is quite great too.  It seems like she can draw whatever her comic demands, and let me tell you, her strips can call for a very wide variety of people, animals, and locations.  Not only that, but she nails the period styles of dress and fashion quite well too.  

More than anything, the greatest aspect of Hark! A Vagrant is the humor.  As a kid I would read the comic strip section of the newspaper every morning as I ate breakfast.  Some of those strips like Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, and The Far Side had a lot to do with shaping my tastes in humor and entertained me on a daily basis.  Over the years I've gotten out of the habit of reading the comic strips, (probably because those aforementioned titles don't exist anymore) but with Hark! A Vagrant Kate Beaton has recaptured a large amount of the magic of those earlier comics. 

This stuff is definitely worth checking out, whether you do it electronically, or in print is entirely up to you, but one way or the other, you're sure to get a chuckle.  

Grade: A

Monday, February 6, 2012

Comic Quickies: Re-imaging Origins

Action Comics #5: Grant Morrison gets another crack at telling Superman's origin story in this issue, and unlike his previous effort in All Star Superman, which only took up a single page, this one get's a full issue's worth of story.

It's a pretty damn good origin story too.  We get to see a little bit of the downfall of planet Krypton, and even some Ma and Pa Kent in their younger days.  (Good job stickin' it to the man Ma and Pa!) There's also some very cryptic foreshadowing going on here, pointing towards some epic stuff in the future for the title.  Which is about time if you ask me.

Morrison has spent the first four issues telling a cute little Superman story about his youthful struggles, but so far the story hasn't been nearly big enough for a character like Superman.  I'm not saying the first four issues weren't good, they were good, but Grant needs to really bring the thunder from here on out.  I have faith in the man.  Looking forward to seeing what he's got up his sleeves.

 Batman #5: I'll make this really simple.  This is the single best Batman comic I've ever read.

It's like this: Batman is stuck in a massive labyrinth, no bat belt, no food, no contact with the outside world, and the only water to be found is likely drugged.  Oh, and he's been in there for at least eight days so far.

Aside from an insanely tense story, what you get here is a journey through delusion and starvation with one of the normally most sharp minded guys around.  When all of Batman's mental walls start to break down due to exhaustion and hunger, it is a crazy trip, and an incredible read.

Accompanying the fantastic writing by Scott Snyder here is by far the best art I've seen from Greg Capullo yet.  I know, I haven't been so easy on the guy in the past, but he not only impressed me here, but pretty much blew my mind with his depiction of the events in this story.  Capullo does a fantastic job of showing the unhinging of Batman's mind, and puts the reader right there next to the big guy.

It's not easy to describe the amazingness of this issue, it really needs to be experienced, and I highly recommend, even if you aren't a comic reader, or a Batman fan, that you go out and give this issue a read.  It is quite amazing, and pretty fucking awesome to look at too.

All Star Western #5: I'm sad to say this, but I think I'm beginning to get tired of this title.  I've started to realize that there isn't much character depth to Jonah Hex, and each issue bears a striking resemblance to those that came before it: Jonah Hex gets in huge fight, and either A) kicks total ass or B) gets in life threatening situation with no feasible way out, and somehow survives to kick more ass.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

I think I failed to notice this routine for so long because I was enjoying Moritat's art so much, but sad to say, even that has begun to falter in the last couple of issues.  I wonder if he's having a hard time keeping up with the monthly schedule because it seems to me that his art is a little rushed looking these past months.  I don't know, hopefully this one will pull itself together, but right now this one is moving towards being dropped.

Prophet #21: Yes, this is technically the twenty-first issue of Prophet, but it is also the first in a new era for the title.  I guess this was a Rob Liefeld comic back in the day and ran for 21 issues, and has lain dormant like a Balrog for some years. Now it's back, freed from the dungeons of Liefeld-dur (Rob Liefeld's castle of shitty comic artistry and writing) and being written by one of my comic creating heroes, Brandon Graham.

It seems like a minor tragedy that Graham isn't doing the art here too, that is until you actually flip open this issue and see the amazing artwork by Simon Roy.  Graham gives Roy's art lots of room to breathe, and I found myself having eye-gasm after eye-gasm as I journeyed through this issue.  Roy's art is simply wonderful.

Graham's writing is pretty flippin' awesome too.  He took sort of a minimalist approach here, with little dialog, or narration boxes, but his scripting is great, and he works in some great fantasy and sci-fi elements that are as creative as anything China Mieville has cooked up.  I definitely wish I had a Dol Mantle (a symbiotic shawl-like creature that appears to have many versatile advantages).  There's plenty of other great ideas to be had in Prophet, and this issue definitely left me hungry for more.

More than anything else, this comic reaffirmed to me how wonderful and creative comics can be when done well.  Graham seems to be well on his way to creating a true gem of the medium.  This is one of the best single comics I've ever read. Check it out!

The Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred #1: Yay!  More Bulletproof Coffin!

The first arc of The Bulletproof Coffin was one of my favorite titles from previous years, so I'm thrilled to see new material hitting the shelves.  I'm a big fan of the David Hine and Shaky Kane writer/artist combo, so I have high hopes for this series.

The first issue seemed to mostly lay out the origin story for The Shield, and felt like it was mostly a stand-alone comic, but it worked in a few other angles that makes me think the six issues in this arc will interconnect in some way.

I'm hoping to see more of the strange pulp-style heroes that only played limited role in the last arc in this current arc.  So far, this one is off to a great start.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tickets I Bought


Not only are two of my favorite metal bands playing together, but they'll also be playing at The Paramount, one of the very best and classiest venues in the city.   The show isn't until April 30th, so I've got some waiting to do, but I wanted to lock down tickets as soon as possible because this is too awesome of a show to miss.  This concert is likely to be the metal show of the year for me.  Expecting Epicness.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Whiteout

Whiteout by Greg Rucka is a story about hitting bottom.  When you are a US Marshall, and you're posted in Antarctica, it literally doesn't get any lower than that.  But when you're sent there because it'll keep you from screwing up again, you hit bottom in more than one way.  That's the life for Carrie Stetko, a US Marshall in one of the most desolate places on Earth.

In the vast desolation, Carrie has been trying to make peace with her past. However, when there's a murder committed on her turf, her chances at peaceful resolutions are past.

The dead body is that of a scientist who is part of a research team and had been doing some deep ice core drilling.  At the murder site, Carrie finds that several deep ice samples have been taken nearby, which points to some sort of notable discovery.  Before she can hardly begin her investigation, Lily Sharpe, a British Intelligence agent, turns up asking questions.  With her boss breathing down her back, storms setting in, and a thin trail of clues, Carrie and Lily must hustle to find the killer.

Hoping to build off the strength of my Batwoman and Stumptown reads I decided to give another Greg Rucka penned graphic novel a go.  As it turns out, my instincts are occasionally quite accurate.  Though written much earlier in his career, Whiteout has many of the hallmarks I've come to expect from the works of Greg Rucka.

For one, it features a wonderful female protagonist that is remarkably real, and someone who is incredibly interesting to read about.  I was pretty much immediately taken by Carrie, and wanted to know more about her.  She's smart, tough, resourceful, and clever which makes for an interesting protagonist on any given day,  but Rucka has an uncanny knack for instilling his women with these qualities and still making them remain feminine.  There's none of that "strong female characters" bullshit here, which is a wonderful thing to see.

The other thing Rucka does quite well here is write a hum-dinger of a crime-mystery-drama.  I will say that the mystery elements in Whiteout aren't as polished as they are in his more recent works, but this is still some very good crime writing, and I as I mentioned earlier, I was very intrigued by the events in that take place in the story.

The art by Steve Lieber is pretty solid here too.  Whiteout, appropriately, is done in black and white, which instills the antarctic setting with a strong sense of desolation and frostiness.  Lieber's art in Whiteout can deliver some chills.  My one gripe would be that his action sequences were at times a bit fuzzy and hard to interpret.  This led to some confusing moments for me with the narrative, which meant I had to go back and re-examine the artwork for clarification, something I'm not a fan of doing.

All told, this was another positive Rucka reading experience, and I'm happy to say I have more of his stuff sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.  I'll be diving in soon enough.

Grade: B+