Sunday, 31 July 2016

Lucifer (Graphic Novel Series) by Mike Carey

I  have made several unsuccessful attempts to get into graphic novels but this is the first series that has really gotten my attention. Lucifer is the fallen angel (and coincidentally a spinoff character from an earlier Marvel series: "Sandman"). At the start of the series Lucifer is retired from Hell and is running a nightclub in LA with his demon sidekick / lover Mazikeen but when God comes knocking with an offer he can't refuse he is tempted to re-enter the fray.

There is some seriously inventive storytelling here populated by a great list of characters. This was originally serialised in 75 episodes but is now available in 11 volumes. I am only two volumes in so far and loving it. 

The funny thing is that I have come to the realisation that I have forgotten how to read comics despite all of the time I spent with the publications of DC Thomson and their American equivalents in my childhood. It is a much leaner form of storytelling than a written novel. It is said that a picture can speak a thousand words but in comics they have to because there simply isn't enough space to outline all of the incidental details. A few sparse panels must set the stage, develop the characters and advance the plot. It is quite a feat to interpret all of this particularly when the story and setting are as complex as the one in Lucifer. This complexity is further enhanced by the serial format in which an overarching story is filled with a myriad of mini plot lines all overlapping and interacting. I am still re-learning  how to read comics and I find myself often going back to review earlier panels for vital clues I missed. 

Two volumes read so far: 
Vol 1: Devil in the Gateway
Vol 2: Children and Monsters

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Expanse Series by James S. A. Corey

I have really enjoyed the first five books  in this thoroughly enjoyable space opera series set in a near future solar system where mankind has expanded out to the asteroid belt between Earth and Mars. The hardy "Belters" who inhabit the various ships and stations in the belt are fiercely independent and live by their wits but they have long been exploited by the United Nations of Earth and the independent planet of Mars who use their military might to keep the Belters down. Earth and Mars themselves maintain an uneasy peace always just one mishap away from deteriorating into war. The Expanse has recently been made into a TV series by SyFy. The series is well made and very faithful to the books so far which is great if you are a fan of the novels but perhaps confusing to those who are less familiar with them.

By the way James S.A Corey is actually two people: Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank writing in collaboration.
Leviathan Awakes
Caliban's War
Abaddon's Gate
Cibola Burn
Nemesis Games