Beyond the Big 2: Preview Review

by Matt

Going through the Previews is one of my favorite things to do each month and I like to try something new almost every month, something that piques my interest that is not published by the "Big 2". After a long wait, some of those books have finally arrived and I have finally read them. Will they be as good as I thought they would be? This month's reviews include the highly anticipated (I was pretty excited) Freddie & Me, Fluffy and Charlatan Ball. Which got my pick for Book of the Month?

By Mike Dawson
Published by Bloomsbury

“When I think of Queen, I can remember my whole life.”

This sums up the book and my experiences perfectly. This combined two of my all-time favorite things, Queen and comic books. This would be the type of comic that I would write and I am absolutely jealous that I didn’t think of it first. My experiences were very similar to the author, and I think they are similar to the experiences of any hardcore Queen fan.

Reading this book was pure joy for me, for every experience that he had, it brought back some of my own memories. Now I don't have the exact same type of experiences he did (he sang Bohemian Rhapsody at a talent show) but there certainly was enough to keep my glued to this book. I also wanted to create comics, I also used Queen as an inspiration in my writing and in my AP Art class, I am around the same age and the similarities do not end there.

This is his story of how Queen affected his life, his friendships, his family life and his aspirations. Mike really puts his whole soul into every page and doesn't attempt to hide anything. I especially loved it when his imagination takes over, like when he drew Brian May reading this book and contacting him. This is something that every Queen fan imagines (I have had my own day dreams) and I hope comes true. It certainly makes me want to write about my experiences. As a Queen fan, I give this an A+. But you don’t have to be a Queen fan to really enjoy this book. If you are a hardcore fan of something, this will jog your memory to a time when you were captivated by it.


You can purchase Freddie & Me here.

By Simone Lia
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I was attracted to this book because I had a pet rabbit many years ago that I absolutely loved and I am partial to a book that features a bunny so I had to pick up this book. The book is very charming but at the same time has a tinge of sadness. I do not know if that was the author's purpose (even the cover of the book is a light blue) but at times I felt bad for each of the characters at least once. The relationships rang very true, even with David and his bunny. The artwork was unique and very soft and simple.

Even with the art simplified, Simone managed to convey emotion very easily, she did not have to use a lot of words to describe what was going on. She easily captured emotions with just a few simple lines.

I was a little disappointed with the ending, only because it happened so quickly and was resolved easily, but I understand that sometimes this is how it happens in real life as well. I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone but there is some good closure and the ending does make up for the gloomier aspects found in the rest of the book. I will definitely pick up more Fluffy. B-

You can purchase Fluffy here.

By Joe Casey and Andy Suriano
Published by Image Comics

I picked this up only because the solicitations looked wild and I was right, I was treated to a wild ride. The art certainly lives up to the story, very vivid colors and Kirby-esque figures. The story revolves around Chuck Amok, a street magician that is not very talented and he works in the local bars. In another dimension, where magic actually works a sinister being wants to win a major magic competition and grabs Chuck to his dimension to cause a distraction so he can win and ultimately rule the world. All this and a large, talking rabbit that gets transported with Chuck. There are certainly a lot of wild ideas and art being thrown around that I am curious to see where it goes. I'll probably pick up the first arc and decide if the book is right for me. I am giving this a C+ for the first issue, we'll see if that grade changes as the series progresses.

Next month I will return with a couple of new reviews. No Hero #0, Modern Masters Vol 18: John Romita Jr and hopefully more! I may sneak a review of another book that I read that doesn't come from Big 2.

We'll see you in the back of the Previews.

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