This is first in a number a post that I'm going to put out on the comics that purchased at TCAF. My plan is to post reviews of a few comics at a time over the next few weeks. If I can manage that, then I should be able to start posting about my Denver Comic Con purchases by Labor Day.
To be fair, this first round of reviews will be comics the I purchased in Toronto, but outside of TCAF. Some were purchased at the Little Island, and others were purchased direct from artists that weren't exhibiting at TCAF this year, but still had a few books available to sell. Without any further delay, let's talk about some comics.
Silly Kingdom: Alengrimrickshaw's 211th Birthday and A New Steed Indeed by Katie and Steven Shanahan
Two comic fantasy tales by the Shanahan's. In Alengrimrickshaw's 211th Birthday, the Princess decides that the court wizard has been far too dour of late, and decides to hold a birthday party for him. Alengrimrickshaw, the wizard, is offended when he hears that they plan to invite Markus, the Jester, to perform "magic" tricks at the party. Alen decides to make it rain (fire) to spoil the party, and things get out of control. In A New Steed Indeed, the Prince is jealous of Peatrid, Prince of Belfront, and his new unicorn steed. Unhappy with his kingdom's traditional mount (a llama), the Prince sets out with Markus to capture a unicorn of his own. It turns out, the unicorns are super jerks, and the Prince is in over his head.
Both stories are fun, but if I were forced to pick, I would say that A New Steed Indeed is the stronger book. The dialogue and situations create a humorous atmosphere, but I think Katie's ability to stretch the emotional expressions of the characters really bring this to another level. If you get a chance to purchase these comics, I highly recommend it.
Overall: 4.5 / 5
Batgirl No. 35 by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr, and Maris Wicks
This is the first Batgirl issue that is part of the "New 52" series from DC Comics. To be honest, I have never gotten really big into anything from DC or Marvel in the past. The last time I tried was in the late '90's when the current Spider-Man story was the Clone Saga, and the weirdness of that story really turned me off on the whole thing. However, when I saw the first images posted for the new Batgirl character design, I was intrigued. I've yet to visit my local comics shop, but when I saw this on the rack in Toronto, I decided to take a chance on it. I'm glad I did. This issue was fun, and piqued my interest in the characters, such that I'm looking at picking up the rest of the back issues. I enjoy that Barbara Gordon is written like an actual young person who happens to be a crime fighter. And Tarr's art is a lot of fun.
Overall: 4 / 5
Giant Days No.1 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar
This comic is written by John Allison (yes, that John Allison), so it promises to be interesting. To be honest, I'm at a bit of a loss to describe it. So far, the story is centered on three women who are just starting at university. There are some hints of supernatural events in the past that occurs before the story, but nothing really strange has happened on screen so far. The characters are fun and the art is lots of fun. I love the description of one of the girls as "50% hair, 100% not ready for this mean old world". This has been a great introduction to the story, and I'm gonna try to find the rest of it.
Overall: 4 / 5
Lumberjanes No. 5 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Watters
I've saved my favorite for last. Lumberjanes speaks to me in a lot of ways. I grew up in the Boy Scouts, and in games of make believe in the woods. Lumberjanes is basically that, except all the monsters are real. All of the main characters are women (in fact, there are no male characters for the first few issues), and they are hugely variable. Because there are so many women characters, none of them ends up being completely responsible for "representing" all women. I picked up the first 4 issues when they were available on Humble Bundle, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
Overall: 5 / 5