Feralia: Requiem of Mist available now!

Feralia Requiem of Mist Front CoverI’m happy to announce that after many long years, Feralia Book 2: Requiem of Mist is out today! Thank you to everyone for your support over the years and for your patience in getting the story released! I hope you enjoy continuing the adventure with Felix and the rest of our heroes!

The ebook editions are available now on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, kobo and Apple Books/iTunes.

Update: the paperback edition is now available. You can find it on Amazon or grab a signed copy from Alicia’s Anime!

Thanks again everyone!

-Clint

Cover art by Julia Lichty of Afterimages of Ghostfire

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Read the first adventure for free!

Feralia: Requiem of Mist comes out tomorrow! Read the first adventure, Feralia: Requiem of Mist for free for a limited time on iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook and kobo!
EDIT: Now available for free on Amazon Kindle as well!
feralia re front cover january 2019 update copy tn

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Come see me in PA at Setsucon this weekend!

Setsucon is January 25 & 26, 2020 in Altoona, Pennsylvania!

This weekend I’m looking forward to heading back to Setsucon! I’ll be at the Alicia’s Anime booth, where we’ll have copies of both Feralia books and a bunch of other cool stuff. This is always a nice, friendly event and the location is really nice as well!

Hope to see you there!

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Feralia.net blog. episode 76: Review: X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song

X-Cutioner's Song
The next collection in my X-Men Reading Order Project is X-Cutioner’s Song. This one was fun, and a little different than the stories I’ve read so far, in that it’s the first collection I already owned from years ago, and leads up to where I originally started reading the X-Men books in the 90’s. It was also the first story I would be reading for the second time, some 25 years later! So it would be interesting to see how it was on my second go-round after so much time had passed.

The edition I read is an older one (ISBN 0-7851-0025-3), which is full color and collects X-Men (series 2) #14-16, Uncanny X-Men #294-296, X-Factor #84-86 and X-Force #16-18.. There have been newer releases since then that are probably better quality and are at very reasonable price points, so you’d probably be better off checking one of those out, as they are pretty easy to find. For now though, I’ll be looking at my old collection, both to save a bit of money, and for the nostalgia (I really like the Stryfe cover art).

First up, I’ll be taking a quick look at the print and binding quality of my collection. The binding and pages are nice, but there are quite a few places where there are missing words and footnotes left out. They also took out the cover art to sort of make everything feel like one big story. I wouldn’t have minded this if they had included a cover gallery in the back. It’s really not a huge deal, but it would have been a really nice touch. It’s for these reasons I’d go ahead and check out a newer edition if you’re going to pick one up.

With that out of the way, let’s move onto what’s really important: the story. When I’d originally started reading the X-Men in the 90’s, I began right after this story. So I’d picked it up years ago to have the story leading up to my original start. Back then I really enjoyed it. Everything about it was super cool and the stakes were high This time? I actually loved it even more than I originally had. The big difference of course being that this time I knew all the stories leading up to this mega event. I’d gotten attached to the characters and was way more invested in them. So, while it was a great story on its own, having read the stories leading up to it made it that much better.

As usual, I won’t get into many story specifics to avoid spoilers for anyone who has yet to read it. I will say that some major things take place that tie in to events all the way back to Inferno, and, more recently End Game (which I talked about here). Characters such as Cyclops, Jean Grey and Cable are among those featured, and villains Stryfe and Mister Sinister (one of my favorite bad guys) are just a couple of the trouble-makers. By the end we’re left with major repercussions for years to come. The art is very 90’s, fun and well done, and the story arc across X-Books is well planned and executed.

So, I enjoyed it even more, years later, and would definitely recommend it!

5/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 75: Review: X-Men: Bishop’s Crossing

Bishop's Crossing
Next up on my X-Men Reading Project is Bishop’s Crossing. It’s ISBN 978-1302901707, which is 352 full color pages and collects Uncanny X-Men #281-293 and X-Men (series 2) #8.

The good thing about this collection is that it bridges much of the gap between the big stories The Muir Island Saga and X-Cutioner’s Song.

I did enjoy the stories and art in this collection, especially because I hadn’t read them before, and because they lead up to shortly before where I’d first started reading the X-Men in the 90’s as a kid.

Would I say this collection is essential? Well, it’s much like the Dissolution and Rebirth collection I recently reviewed, in that it spans the time between bigger stories. If you’re just sticking to the big events, you could skip this one. Just be aware that Bishop is introduced and added to the team, so in the next story he’s right in on the action. So I’d say it’s optional, though it introduces a main character.

One other thing to note is that this is the beginning of the Blue and Gold strike teams. Uncanny X-men mainly featured the Gold Team, and you get to see the beginning of that here, which is also pretty cool. The Blue Team was featured in the new ongoing book which launched at the same time, X-Men (series 2), which can start to get a bit confusing. At any rate, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men ran together from this point for quite some time, complimenting each other as they mainly featured the two teams.

In conclusion, I’d check this collection out if you’re looking for a more detailed run of the X-Men between major storylines, and while nothing terribly critical occurs that would be necessary for future stories, the art, stories and characters are all good.

3/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 74: Classic Review: Essential X-Factor vol 5

Essential X-Factor vol 5

Well, this is it – the last of the black & white volumes I’ve collected in my X-Men Reading Project. From here on out (unless I discover something I need to go back to), everything I read & review will be in full color.

While I’m happy to be leaving black & white behind, I do have to say that Essential X-Factor vol 5 (ISBN 978-07851-6353-4) was exceptionally good. It’s 528 pages, and collects X-Factor #60-70 & Annual #6, Uncanny X-Men #270-272, 280 & material from Annual #15, and New Mutants #95-97 & material from Annual #7.

The print quality seemed to be better than the other Essential collections, and was able to show off the really great artwork even in black & white aside from a few exceptions. While the art and stories were great overall, there were a few times I had to look up and refer to issue summaries to be sure of what was going on.

Probably the best thing about this collection is that it includes three major stories: X-Tinction Agenda, End Game and The Muir Island Saga (not to mention a good Proteus story which I didn’t know existed!). As I mentioned in my previous review of X-Tinction Agenda, there is a full color collection that is reasonably priced. In my opinion it’s worth picking up that collection to read it in color. Still, having it here in Essential X-Factor vol 5 makes it an outstanding collection at a great value.

Having just read X-Tinction Agenda in color, I skipped it here and continued with the stories right after. First was a two issue story involving Iceman having to travel to Japan to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. While the story wasn’t critical, it was enjoyable.

Next up is a collection of stories in the Annuals. There’s one that is continued over different Annuals involving a mission for Freedom Force. I’ve never been a big fan of that team or most of it’s characters so I wasn’t really into it. (I have grown to like Mystique and Destiny, though.)

However, the annuals also include a really good Proteus story and I was was surprised how much I enjoyed it!

The volume ends with the two important stories End Game and The Muir Island Saga back to back, and I thought that both were awesome. They’re only a few issues long each, packed with action, and have some really important moments.

One minor complaint I had was that at the beginning of The Muir Island Saga material, X-factor #69, it mentions that it’s “The continuation of the Muir Island/Shadow King Saga begun in Uncanny X-Men #279.” I found it puzzling that Uncanny #279 was not included in this collection as it seems like it would be an important part of the story. Perhaps I’ll pick up that single issue later on.

One final thing to note is that this volume is right around the end of the legendary Chris Claremont era. It was weird to end X-Tinction Agenda with him still writing and then come to the next Uncanny X-Men issue included here to see his run on that title had ended after so long. I’m not sure exactly when his last issue was, but it was truly a great era that I really enjoyed.

Definitely recommended X-Men reading!

4/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 73: Classic Review: X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda

Xtinction Agenda older cover
My X-Men reading journey next brings me to X-Tinction Agenda. One thing to note this time around is that I found and reviewed an older collection (which I found on ebay for super cheap). Since then a newer collection has been released, making the story much easier to find, better print quality,  and at a good cover price. I’ll take a quick look at both.

The Edition I read (pictured above) is ISBN 0-87135-922-7. It’s full color, 224 pages, and collects Uncanny X-Men #270-272, The New Mutants #95-97 and X-Factor #60-62. Interestingly, it seems to be in the same printing format as the Cable & The New Mutants collection I reviewed recently. This gives it the same features and problems as that collection: the binding is really nice, featuring thick pages and a cover with fancy, reflective foil. However, it has the same issue with the printing, where every so often a word is missing, leaving a blank space in the text, and there are footnotes that are empty or missing as well. Also like the Cable & The New Mutants collection, the covers of each issue are converted into a matching color and style and and scaled down to fit a theme, but this makes the actual covers hard to make out.

It’s mainly for this reason that I’d recommend picking up the recently released Milestones Edition, which is also full color, and includes all of the issues collection in the older edition I read, plus Uncanny X-Men #235-238 as well (ISBN 978-1302919689).
X-tinction milestone
While I haven’t gotten a look at it myself, I’m going to assume Marvel has went ahead and made sure all of the issues with the text are no longer present. (The Milestones Collection for Inferno that I read was really great quality all around, with no text issues.)

As for the story itself, I’d definitely recommend reading it, as it’s one of the major events. As usual, I won’t spoil anything, but I did enjoy it. Featured is the Island Nation of Genosha, where mutants are enslaved. Several X-Men are captured, bringing the X-Men, X-Factor and the New Mutants together to rescue them. The main villain is Cameron Hodge, this time in a crazy new form. He’s pretty over the top, but it’s one of those wacky things that makes the story fun.

Whether you’re on a quest to catch up on all the major X-Men stories like myself, or just want to read a major event if you haven’t yet, I’d recommend this one.

4/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 72: Classic Review: X-Men: Dissolution & Rebirth

X-Men dissolution
The next stop on my X-Men Reading Project is X-Men Epic Collection: Dissolution & Rebirth (ISBN978-1-302-91847-7). It’s 488 pages, full color, and collects Uncanny X-Men 248-267.

This collection bridges most of the gap between the major stories Inferno and X-Tinction Agenda. Initially I had skipped over these stories, and read the aforementioned storylines, but I found that a lot had happened in between and wanted some answers. For example, Jubilee and Gambit had both joined the team when I started X-Tinction Agenda. When I finished Inferno, they hadn’t been introduced yet. This collection also includes the tale of the Seige Perilous, so later references to it will make a lot more sense having read it. It also sets up things for up for the next big story (X-tinction Agenda), as well.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy the stories as much as anything in the X-Men up to this point. The writing and art are good quality, it’s just that the collection is so long, and the idea of having the team so split up and scattered just wasn’t as fun to me personally.

As far as a recommendation, I’d say this one depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re only reading the major X-Men stories, you’ll be fine skipping this one. Just be aware that a lot happens and some important characters (Jubilee and Gambit) are either introduced for the first time or have their first important parts, and also it covers a lot of in-between stuff.

If you want to keep up with the team in more detail, then definitely check this one out. This will keep you from wondering about things as you move onto X-Tinction Agenda.

So while not my favorite stories, a lot does happen here that you’ll want to consider reading depending on how in depth of an X-Men reading experience you’re looking for.

3/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 71: Adding to the stack

It seems that no matter how many books I’m able to read, I’m just as easily able to add to the stack of to-read books. I’m really looking forward to delving into my latest additions.

One of them is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary. One of the things that I loved about TRoS is that it added a wealth of new lore. So much, in fact, that there’s not enough time to explain a lot of it in depth during the movie. The visual dictionary does this in great detail, not only with physical things like droids and ships, but also in much of the exciting new ideas and revelations revealed in the film. I’ve already used it as a reference quite a bit and have really enjoyed it.

The other is Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi. It’s written from the perspective of Luke Skywalker and sort of reads as his journal on his research of the Jedi. Not only is this just cool (Luke has been my favorite since childhood), but it also sheds some new light and confirms some things that we may have only assumed took place over the years between Return of The Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

I’ll try and post final reviews (including content and the nice quality printing and binding) once I’ve finished them.

-Clint

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