Monday, November 30, 2009


Sorry about this, but since I have been backed-up during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I haven't been able to write a review for this week. I am intending on posting a review either Wednesday or Thursday evening... with the regularly scheduled review planned for Sunday.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Now it's time to gear-up for Christmas!

I'm also going to try and find a top 10 or 25 list that I can post on here for holiday shopping ideas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

ISBN: 9781593078225
Price: $15.95
Publisher/Year: Dark Horse, 2007
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Writer: Joss Whedon
Collects: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #'s 1-5

Rating: 3.5/5

Another pop culture phenomenon that I was a member of was that of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on television. I became a fan of the Whedon-verse, much like many who read my reviews. From Buffy to Angel. Firefly to Dollhouse. Joss knows how to write. It's too bad that they took Buffy, Angel and Firefly of TV before their time. Soon enough, Whedon was tapped by Dark Horse to continue the Buffy saga, thus beginning Season 8.

Picking-up where the television series left off, this first in the series of trades still provides the feeling of the TV series. Whedon has not lost anything writing the characters: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Dawn and a new selection of Slayers. I find it very amusing that the mysterious threat introduced in this series is called "Twilight". No relation to Stephanie Meyer's books.

Buffy is the leader of a much larger group on newbie Slayers. Now that Sunnydale has been laid to waste, they are headquartered in a castle in England and the group is huge. The Slayers also seem to be well funded as the tech gear they have at their disposal is well beyond anything they could've had in sunny California. Also, since Whedon doesn't have a television budget to worry about, the sky is the limit on what they can do and add to the series.

Jeanty's art is nice to look at, but sometimes I feel that the background characters... such as the multitude of Slayers... blend into the background and individuals get lost easily. There are a select few new Slayers that stick-out, but many of the rest of them seem to be simple duplicates. All in all, he does a good job to bring Whedon's vision to life.

I started reading the series with the first issues, and it won me out. Since Buffy, Angel and even Firefly had been cast aside on TV, this helped fill that hole. When I got behind on the monthly issues, I stopped buying them. Thank goodness for Dark Horse to publish the trades. As you can tell from my list of books to be reviewed, I've made sure to keep on top of the recent releases.
Joss Whedon's writing and Gerorges Jeanty's art help bring Buffy and her crew back in a good way. The series is definitely high on my list of what to read. If you were a fan of the TV series, you will probably love this book and enjoy the ongoing series. If you've actually never watched the series, I recommend watching it before reading Season 8 to get a better view of the Whedon-verse.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

List of current collection of Graphic Novels & Trade Paperbacks

Here is a list of what I currently have in my collection and will be reviewing, or already have been reviewed. Special thanks to Comic Collector Live for helping me keep an up-to-date record of my collections.
  • Angel: After the Fall Vol. 1
  • Angel: After the Fall Vol. 2
  • Angel: After the Fall Vol. 3
  • Angel: After the Fall Vol. 4
  • Angel: After the Fall Vol. 5
  • Batman R.I.P.: The Deluxe Edition
  • Batman Versus Predator: The Collected Edition
  • Batman: Bloodstorm
  • Batman: The Long Halloween
  • Bluntman & Chronic
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Predators and Prey
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Time of Your Life
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate
  • Chasing Dogma
  • Classic G.I. Joe Vol. 1
  • Classic G.I. Joe Vol. 2
  • Clerks
  • Constantine: The Hellblazer Collection
  • Death of Superman
  • Death: The High Cost of Living
  • Death: The Time of Your Life
  • Fray: Future Slayer
  • G.I. Joe
  • G.I. Joe: Origins
  • G.I. Joe: The Best of Snake Eyes
  • Ghost: Nocturnes
  • Hellboy: The Right Hand Of Doom
  • Sandman: A Game of You
  • Sandman: Brief Lives
  • Sandman: Dream Country
  • Sandman: Endless Nights
  • Sandman: Fables & Reflections
  • Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes
  • Sandman: Seaons of Mists
  • Sandman: The Doll's House
  • Sandman: The Dream Hunters
  • Sandman: The Kindly Ones
  • Sandman: The Wake
  • Sandman: Worlds' End
  • Spider-Man: Carnage
  • Spider-Man: The Other
  • Spike: After the Fall
  • Spike: Shadow Puppets
  • Ultimatum
  • Watchmen

I urge people who have been or are going to read my reviews to feel free to post comments and suggestions on other titles you think would make for good review material.

Right now, I have only my collection to pull from. Due to the economic changes over the past several years, my TPB/GN collection has fluctuated as I've been forced to sell some of it to pay the bills from time-to-time.

Thank you and pass the word.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

G.I. Joe: Origins #1

Title: G.I. Joe: Origins #1
ISBN: 9781600104978
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2009
Artist: Mike Hawthorne
Writer: Larry Hama
Collects: G.I. Joe: Origins #'s 1-5

Rating: 4/5

As I mentioned in my previous review, I was a huge fan of the original G.I. Joe material. The comics, published by Marvel, were the creative work of mastermind Larry Hama. When IDW claimed the publication rights to the G.I. Joe line, they enlisted Hama to create a new back-story for the G.I. Joe characters. And he did just that.
Origins is the tale of how the new version of the team came to being. No fancy headquarters. No depot of weapons and vehicles. And at this time, only 8 people in the team. Cobra hasn't been introduced, yet. You still don't get a good sense of what Snake Eyes is capable of, but that's all a part of the mystery that he is. You do get a sense that these people will be able to function well as a team.
Though IDW tapped Hama for new origins and stories for the G.I. Joe team, they didn't throwback to the old style of artwork from the 80's... which is good. Mike Hawthorne brings a fresh new appearance to some of our favorite characters. He successfully brought the characters from the 80's to the modern day.
I give G.I. Joe: Origins high marks for being able to draw the reader into the story and keep them wanting more. Hama was always good at this, and it's obvious he hasn't lost his touch at the art of writing. Combined with Hawthorne's artwork, this TPB is well worth picking-up a copy for your collection.
I'd like to take this time to apologize to anyone who is reading this and wondering if I will get to any reviews of something other than G.I. Joe. The answer is that I will. These have been the most recent TPB's that I've read, and so the experience is still fresh in my mind. I promise more diversity of the trades that I write reviews for soon. Look forward to reviews of the following titles:
  • Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
  • Angel: After the Fall
  • Sandman
  • Death
  • Spike: Shadow Puppets 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Adaptation

Title: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Adaptation
ISBN: 9781600104688
Price: $17.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2009
Artist: Casey Maloney
Writer: Denton J. Tipton
Collects: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Adaptation #'s 1-4

Rating: 2/5

Growing up in the 80's, I was a HUGE fan of the G.I. Joe products. Comic books. Action figures. The cartoon series. I read, collected and watched religiously. I still have some of my action figures and vehicles and I also still have the original comics that my Dad bought me when I was sick and the local grocery store was out of copies of MAD magazines. Those were the days when my friends and I would get home from school, rush over to Steve's house, and make sure we watched every episode of the original cartoon series. Between my friends and I, we had nearly all the toys from the early to mid 80's. Sure, a few of them fell prey to firecrackers and M-80's, but those were only the figures we didn't like.

When I first heard that Hasbro was making a live-action G.I. Joe movie, I was skeptical like most fans. I was already collecting the 25th anniversary line of action figures and trying to complete my collection of the original Marvel comic books, so Hasbro had my attention anyways. I vowed that I would see it, no matter what.

When IDW started publishing the new series of G.I. Joe comic books, I jumped on the bandwagon with no regrets thanks to my local comic store; Tony's Kingdom of Comics. Through their excellent subscription service and customer service, there have been very few issues from the various IDW series that I have missed. I was a kid again. Sure, the stories were new and the characters had been modernized, but they still had the feel I fell in love with as a child.

I took the day off to make sure I could watch G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie on the first day. I had been planning to make the midnight showing... but the fact that I couldn't stay awake past 9pm precluded me from participating. So, I made the first matinee.

There were a few items I wouldn't have minded being changed, but all-in-all, the movie was excellent. When the TPB was released, I couldn't wait to read it to see the comic book spin. I was disappointed.

The TPB followed the same plot, and had much of the key elements of the movie, but it lacked much of the substance and story that was brought to life in the movie. I found it hard to believe that I was reading was supposed to be what I had viewed in the theatre. Big holes in the story. Much of the back story was left out. The fight scenes between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were covered in too few panels. The script was a little hard to follow at times, if you hadn't already watched the movie. The part with Ripcord flying down the 2 nanomite missiles was treated in a few panels that didn't quite have the same impact as it did in the movie.

I feel that had the adaptation been able to be presented in 5 or 6 issues rather than only 4, Denton Tipton may have had better success. The art was well done, but I feel that Casey Maloney doesn't like to draw backgrounds. There are quite a few panels where the characters are in the middle of color rather than a place, while not distracting, just mildly bothersome.

My recommendation is to either check this out at your local library, or find a friend who has already invested their money into it and borrow it to see for yourself. I would also suggest watching the movie either before or after reading it so you have a sense of what has been left out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Comic Collector Live - Buy, Sell, Organize Comic Books, Action Figures, Comic Art, and More

Comic Collector Live - Buy, Sell, Organize Comic Books, Action Figures, Comic Art, and More

Zanziber's Point-Of-View

Welcome to the initial posting for "Zanziber's Point-Of-View", a resource for non-biased reviews of graphic novels and trade paperbacks.

A little background...

I've been collecting comic books, action figures, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, trading/collectible cards for the past 25 years at this point in time. I have dabbled in both writing and inking comic books since graduating high school. Over the past few years, I have written a few reviews for role playing games on the local gaming store website,

Why blog?

I've been reading quite a few trade paperbacks recently, and I decided that I should start airing my views on them. This came about when I finished reading a comic book adaptation of a pop culture movie that had been released earlier this Summer. This will be the topic of my first review.

I have also been thinking about pitching the idea of a weekly column to the local newspaper, as they have published several articles on comics and graphic novels in the past. (They actually tagged me for an interview for one of them. I'll re-post the article here soon.) Perhaps, if this blog garners the following I am hoping to acquire, the newspaper will see a fruitful prospect in my idea.

I always welcome feedback. If you agree or disagree with my opinion, feel free to post your Point-Of-View.

Look forward to my first review soon, and thank you for reading.