The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Gerard Way

Artist: Gabriel Ba

Dark Horse, 2008

14488I sure seem to be reading a lot of Dark Horse graphic novels, don’t I?

This is one of those cases where I find something unexpected.  Too bad that doesn’t happen more often.

This is a series about a team of very unusual super-heroes who were all born on the same day and adopted by a mysterious scientist known as The Monocle.  In this series, it’s not entirely clear what plans The Monocle has for these seven children but they grow up and all have certain powers… except for Number Seven who doesn’t seem to have anything special about her.

Until The Conductor finds her.

This is a truly splendid series and I can see why it’s so popular and successful.  Apparently there is a fair bit of merch that has appeared as well.  The writing…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Mike Mignola

Artist: John Arcudi

Dark Horse, 2012

16257This volume collects the second Lobster Johnson mini-series and, although good, falls short.

All of the required Lobster factors are here: gangsters, mysterious Orientals, supernatural enemy and even cannibals.  (No Nazis though. Odd.)  The Lobster begins to investigate a strange case of “Indian Ghosts” which turn out to be part of a scheme by a local gangster to clear out tenements along the East River.  When this doesn’t work, the gangster calls in beautiful Oriental woman and her consort who manipulates an eerie black flame.  With the aid of his comrades, the Lobster sets out to take down the gangster and his supernatural allies aided by a young woman reporter.

I’m not sure why this story didn’t come together as well for me as IRON PROMETHEUS.  Possibly because it didn’t have a strong ending.  The sense…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Matt Wagner

Artist: Guy Davis

DC, 2003

1656_400x600It would be hard for me to NOT like this book.

It contains so many things I enjoy from Golden Age superheroes to pulp action to crime noir to great art.  Something of a perfect storm for me.

I’ve been a fan of Wagner’s since his MAGE days and he manages to bring back to life a character that (at the time) most writers wouldn’t have wanted to even touch.  I mean, a non-superpowered hero who wore a green suit with a gas mask and knocked out the bad guys with sleeping gas?  It took Wagner to show the potential of the character which begins in this first volume of the 1993-98 series.

Young women are being kidnapped off of the streets of 1930s New York but when a friend of Dian Belmont, daughter of the DA…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Neil Gaiman

Artist: Michael Zulli

Dark Horse, 2004


CreaturesOfTheNight_Hardcover_1185751835This is a short volume containing two stories by Gaiman and Zulli.  I hadn’t known about this book until it was brought home by my wife as a candidate for the 365 Challenge but it’s a delightful read.

In the first story, “The Price”, a Gaiman like writer finds himself and his family adopted by a stray black cat who begins to turn up in the morning with scars from horrendous nocturnal battles.  Perplexed, the writer resolves to stay up and find out what the cat has been fighting but is not prepared for what he discovers.

The second story, “The Daughter of Owls”, is a more fairy tale type story.  A baby is discovered in a village one morning and it is believed that she is the child of owls so, despite the original temptation…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Conor McCreery & Anthony Del Col

Artist: Andy Belanger

IDW, 2010

Issue_1_KaganI’d never heard of this comic before so I came to it without any preconceptions which is somewhat refreshing for a change.

This is another example of the “shared universe” concept that’s become so popular since Alan Moore’s LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN series although, to be fair, I believe that Philip Jose Farmer started the genre with his RIVERWORLD series.  In any event, KILL SHAKESPEARE throws a bunch of the Bard’s characters together in a wide ranging story of duty, honor and betrayal.  You know, all the things Shakespeare liked to write about anyway.

We begin with everyone’s favorite Dane, Hamlet, leaving Denmark after having mistakenly killed Polonius. He sailing towards England when his ship is attacked by Pirates and he is rescued (?) by Richard the Third and becomes entangled in a complicated…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Steve Dillon

DC, Vertigo Comics, 1995

preacherWell, one of the reasons I’m doing this challenge is to get myself to read things that I normally wouldn’t and PREACHER sure qualifies for that!

I recall when this series first came out and the subsequent years of hearing people rave about it.  So I was understandably curious.  “Surely,” I thought, “there must be something here!”  But, sadly, there isn’t and don’t call me Shirley.

This storyline was the first six issues of the PREACHER comic so we do get in on the ground floor, so to speak.  The basic concept here is that Jesse Cutler is a not-very-good preacher who gets possessed or taken over by some creature named “Genesis” which we find out later is the offspring of a demon and angel.  The big secret that Heaven is protecting is that God has…

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The 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge


Writer: B. Clay Moore

Artist: Tony Harris

DC Comics, 2013

dc-comics-jsa-the-liberty-files-the-whistling-skull-tpb-1I don’t read DC comics anymore.  I mean, not at all.  I used to be a big fan of DC until the crap that was IDENTITY CRISIS.  That’s when I realized we had to break up.

But, like any ex-lover, I’d check in once in a while to see they were doing only to find that things kept getting worse.  The ‘make-over’ just made things sad.  So I thought I’d never have reason to read a ‘new’ DC comic again… until I found this book.

This was a recent addition to a new ‘series’ from DC that reimagined some of their Golden Age characters in WWII.  I’d enjoyed the previous titles in this ‘series’ so this one intrigued me.  I have to say that it was not what I expected.

Coming to this title blind, I thought that the…

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