Trespasser Issue #2 – A Review

Trespasser Issue #2 – A Review

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At the end of the last issue we saw Hector and Maria carrying on with their life after their visitor of the extra-terrestrial kind. Hector looking somewhat downhearted that the alien had gone without him being able to communicate with it properly, which begs the question are Hector and Maria completely alone? The lone survivors of an outbreak of some kind?

Unfortunately I didn’t get the answers to these questions in this issue, but I did get pulled in once more. The issue opens with Hector burying the alien’s spacesuit and gun. It’s immediately followed by Hector telling Maria about how he met her mum, the wording is interesting that Hector uses, it suggests that she hasn’t ever attended a school, which raises more questions about how long Maria has been living in this world where there’s radiation and food is sparse.

The big thing about this issue is the fact that Hector notices blisters on his arms which seems to send him into a panic. Again, it’s not fully clear whether this is down to the world they’re living in or something passed to Hector from the alien but Hector asks Maria to check herself and starts to grow weaker. Left to fend for herself Maria hears a noise and sees a shadow under the door, she shoots at the door and Hector stumbles out of bed and finds a strange symbol carved into the floor, another empty and bloodied spacesuit on top of it.

This was another great issue, the artwork and story really pulled me in, so many questions, so much intrigue and it ends perfectly, leaving me wanting more. I can’t wait to get stuck into Issue 3.

Trespasser is published by Alterna Comics and is available to buy on Comixology

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The Magicians – A Review

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

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This is a book that has been on my ‘To Read’ list for a long while now; it intrigued me as soon as I saw it being described as an ‘adult Harry Potter’. I just think people should stop making bold statements that compare average books to some of the world’s finest literature because I was utterly disappointed and I didn’t want to be.

Quentin Coldwater finds himself enrolled in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, Quentin begins to realise that magic actually takes a lot of work, I honestly thought there would be more to the life at Brakebills but with the exception of one particularly gripping chapter called ‘The Beast’ there isn’t much mention as the author tends to skip through the ‘years’ quite quickly, with the more interesting characters like Alice becoming a footnote. As protagonists go there was nothing likeable or enjoyably unlikeable, about Quentin. He’s flat, boring – kind of like the story line.

After that it all gets a tad ridiculous, I know with books one has to suspend belief and allow for imaginations to run wild but there are story lines that aren’t fully formed and the most ridiculous things happen (turning into geese and shitting on the floor) I just found the whole thing really disappointing and found the obvious references to Harry Potter rather insulting, at some points I couldn’t tell whether the author had written the book as a joke or as something he intended to be taken seriously. Needless to say by the end I didn’t feel any desire to read the next in the series and failed to see how (with the exception of mentions about sex/alcohol/drugs) where it was remotely an ‘adult’ Harry Potter. The only thing that stops this book from getting a lower rating are the few characters who are interesting but don’t get the time or energy they deserved. I don’t even want to check out the TV series after reading the book, which is saying something!

Star Rating out of 5: 2.5

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‘If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so.’

Have you read it and had a different opinion? Perhaps I’m looking at it the wrong way, either way get in touch with your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy reading!

x

Splinter – A Review

I’m slowly getting back into blogging again, apologies I’ve been a little quiet, I lost my reading funk for a while, but I’ve got it back now, thankfully.

Splinter by Sebastian Fitzek.

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In theory this book sounded great, almost like a more intense and ‘gripping’ version of the 2004 film ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ sadly it didn’t deliver and live up to the hype.

It follows the story of Marc Lucas who has been wracked with grief since the car accident that killed his wife and unborn child. He’s approached one day by a Dr from a clinic who claims that they have the answer to his problems, the ability to permanently erase painful memories. Intrigued Marc goes to the clinic to find out more, only to leave and go home and find his wife alive and the locks to his apartment changed. Like I said, intriguing and a potentially a gripping storyline, however the writing style and characters never felt fully formed for me. I didn’t feel any kind of empathy with Marc as he struggled to find out what had happened and why his wife was alive.

In fact I’d go as far as to say, that although I could see what the author wanted to achieve there were entire sections of the book that felt incredibly convoluted and by the end I felt more confused and relieved than anything else. Not ‘gripping’ just lots of unnecessary running around and not even half formed characters, the only saving grace was that the chapters are quite short so it’s easy to pick up and put down without losing where you’re up to.

Star Rating out of 5: 1.5

Has anyone else out there read it? Please feel free to leave your thoughts/comments below.

Happy reading!

x

Trespasser – A Refreshing Comic

Comic books have become increasingly popular over the years, with many titles being adapted into television series and films.  Preacher by Garth Ennis is the most recent one to be translated to the small screen (an incredible series that I urge you to check out) so I’m always on the lookout for new things to read.

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The first thing that struck me about Trespasser was the artwork by the talented Kristian Rossi, it’s not overly complicated but detailed and striking. The story starts off with a father and daughter in a cabin that seems isolated from the rest of society and it’s here that things get really interesting and I found myself getting pulled in. As the father ventures outside in search of food I found myself asking questions like why is he being so cautious? Why is he taking readings of radiation levels? But this isn’t even the start of it, what the protagonist finds in one of his bear traps completely blew me away.

I’ll be honest I was expecting this to be another zombie comic (not that there’s anything wrong with them but the story has been told in so many different variations that there’s nothing fresh anymore) but it’s not zombie, it’s an alien. What happens next is the main character looking after it, trying to communicate and understand it. I won’t give away the ending because I want you to read it, but this debut comic left me wanting more and left me with plenty of questions which I hope (and I’m sure) will get answered along the way. Refreshing, intriguing and unusual Trespasser is definitely one you should check out. I was lucky enough to get some time with the writer Justin M.Ryan and here’s what he had to say.

Where did the idea come from?
The first image that came into my mind and eventually grew into Trespasser was of the alien stuck in the bear trap. The rest of the story grew as necessary around that situation, and the moral quandary it presented to the protagonists. 

What made you want to sit down and tell this story?
I’m a genre fiction writer through and through so sooner or later I was going to write a story about aliens visiting Earth. I don’t enjoy writing anything that feels like it’s been done a hundred times before though, so it had to have a unique angle. Once I started expanding on the original idea, I ended up with a setting and cast of characters that added a lot to the base plot and I really enjoyed writing. This allowed me to expand the story past the initial idea and explore the relationship between Hector and Maria more in the following issues and how the events of the visit impacted them in the future.

How difficult was it putting all the pieces together?
It actually went pretty smoothly, much more so than I’m used to! Story wise there aren’t very many ingredients so I was able to focus on the key elements and let them all move at their own pace. As far as actually producing the book, I was very lucky to find the team I did pretty quickly as well, and got my first choice with both. Kristian and David both responded to help wanted ads, and were able to fill their initial roles and then some to great effect. Keeping the team small has also helped make sure we don’t design a camel, as there’s a consistent style that we can maintain all the way through pencils, inks, colors, and then lettering, lay out, and design without worrying over much about miscommunication or anyone stepping on anyone else’s toes. 

Could you visualise how you wanted the protagonist to look or did you leave that to the artist (Kristian Rossi – who is incredibly talented by the way)?
I had an image in mind and a very loose description of all the characters in the script, but I think Kristian might be a mind reader as they came out perfect on his first try. In fact, the sample page he did before we started is in the final book without any changes. His work keeps getting better too!

It felt quite isolated, will the entire series take part in the house or will the characters venture outside?
The majority of the series will take place either in the house or the areas directly surrounding it. Saying any more ventures into spoiler territory though! I will say there was an early version of the scripts which saw Hector and Maria hitting the road for the last couple of issues but I ultimately scrapped the idea since it felt too much like other post apocalyptic road stories and lost a lot of Trespasser’s unique feel. I ultimately decided that the isolation and tighter narrative lens were necessary and served the plot and characters better.   

What’s next?
Hard to say! I’ve got a finished script for a graphic novel called Fifty Teeth that I’m going to work on once Trespasser’s over and a few other projects at varying stages of completion which I won’t mention for fear of cursing them.

Published by Alterna comics. The second issue was released in April, and the upcoming issue 3 will be released on June 15th. The final issue will be available in August, either the 10th or 17th. It’s available on Comixology  I will be reviewing the remaining issues on here too, so to avoid any spoilers why not read it yourself?!