Feralia.net blog. episode 48: Writing update

I haven’t updated story progress in a while, so I wanted to share that I’m slowly but steadily coming along on my third book. I’m 15 chapters in, and my goal is to release it in the spring of 2021. I’m not quite ready to announce a title yet, but as I’m sure readers of Feralia: Requiem of Mist (Feralia Book 2) have surmised, it’s the third story in the Feralia series. 🙂

Are you working on a story or any other type of art or craft? If so, keep at it! Let me know what you’re working on in the Facebook comments!

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 47: Classic Review – Essential X-Men vol 2

essential xmen vol 2
In my ongoing quest to catch up on all of the major X-Men stories, I wanted to jump back just a bit to Essential X-Men vol 2 (ISBN 978-007851-2007-0). This collection is a massive 584 pages (black & white) and includes X-Men #120-141, Uncanny X-Men #142-144 (the same title, which just adds ‘Uncanny’ later on), and X-Men Annual #3-4. Included in this collection of amazing stories are The Proteus Saga, Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past. There’s also a cool team up with Spiderman vs. Arcade (which upon reading I realized must have been the source for the Super NES game Spiderman & The X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge).

After already having read Essential X-Men vol 1, The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past, I was initially going to skip this volume. I decided to go back, however, because it also includes the Proteus Saga, which I was unable to find collected in color. I was glad I did, not only because the Proteus Saga was a really good read, but also because it was nice to roll right into the very next issue where vol 1 left off. Having the context around all of the stories was nice.

The printing that I have has a cover price of $19.99, but I was able to find it for much, much cheaper. That’s the thing about these black & white collections – it’s disappointing having to read them not in color, but they can be found for ridiculously cheap, and are a great way to quickly catch up on some amazing stories at a great value.

In light of all this, I would definitely recommend picking this up. Although for The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past, I’d recommend picking up their full color trade paperback collections because they can still be found at very reasonable prices. While reading this collection, I actually skipped those storylines, having just read them recently.

5/5 despite being black & white because the stories are just that good!

Soon I’ll be putting together a guide to catch up on and collect all of these great stories at a decent value.

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 46: Review – Star Wars: Shattered Empire

Shattered Empire
As I slowly work down my gigantic stack of to-read books, I finally came to the graphic novel Star Wars: Shattered Empire, part of the “Journey to Star Was: The Force Awakens” and another one I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while. This was my first foray into the new Star Wars canon outside of the movies, and I was excited to jump directly into the moments after what was probably my favorite movie as a kid, Return of the Jedi. I’d read the older books which take place right after or not long after Jedi (The Truce at Bakura, The Courtship of Princess Leia and the original Thrawn Trilogy to name just a few – now all under the Star Wars Legends banner), and was quite interested to see where the new official storyline would take us.

This Marvel graphic novel collects the single issues Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1-4, and also includes Princess Leia #1 and Star Wars (1977) #1. (ISBN 978-0-7851-2), and has a cover price of $16.99.

I felt that the best thing about the book was the artwork. It was absolutely beautiful, and I’m glad to have added it to my collection just for that. The colors really add to the mood, which suits the Star Wars universe perfectly, while both my beloved classic characters and the new ones (including the Damerons) look great.

I found the story itself (or at least the overall events which take place), while well written, to be a bit run of the mill, and felt like Marvel was perhaps going through the motions as they put together this new official timeline.

Also included is Princess Leia #1, which was a nice addition to the main story (which was only 4 issues), and a good introduction to more reading material (the full page ad afterward for the Princess Leia TPB directs you right to it).

Lastly, also included was Star Wars (1977 comic series #1). I understand wanting to add a little more content, but this really felt out of place. The issue itself is fine, though very dated in comparison, and is followed by 4 full page ads for newly collected editions of old Marvel Star Wars comics, making it seems as though its inclusion was little more than a marketing maneuver. I fell like more content from “The Journey to Star Wars The Force Awakens” or anything from the new canon would have been much more appropriate than marketing for new collections of old material.

I look forward to continuing with the new canon of books and comics, but felt like this first one for me didn’t live up to the Legends stories before it.

3/5

-Clint

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Feralia.net blog. episode 45: Review – Lost at Sea, by Bryan Lee O’Malley

lost at sea

ISBN 978-1-932664-16-4 Oni Press

Lately I’ve been catching up and working on my gigantic pile of books and graphic novels, including titles that have been out for quite a while. One such that I finally read last week is Lost at Sea, by Bryan Lee O’Malley. I’ve been a huge fan of Scott Pilgrim for years (I loved both the graphic novels and the movie adaptation), so when I came across this earlier work of Bryan’s I was definitely interested. After reading the back cover, I was sold:
Lost at Sea rear cover

It’s a charming coming of age story about a girl who’s trying to make sense of herself.

First off I should mention the art – it’s black & white and absolutely adorable. It’s simple, clean and cute, and probably my favorite part of the book.
lostseapage
I also must say that the quality of the book I got was super high. Both the cover and pages are really thick and great quality. The cover price is only $11.99, which for 169 pages of art is a really good price.

Most of the text is in the thoughts of the main character Raleigh, often as if she’s writing to a certain someone (as usual I’ll steer clear of any potential spoilers), and even the fonts themselves are fun and unusual while still very easy to read. I personally found Raleigh to be weird (in all the best ways – I love weird) and lovable.

Raleigh and the 3 other main characters seem to wander aimlessly for the majority of the story, and the ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting or hoping for, but it’s one of those stories where it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Lost at Sea was a really quick read for me – I actually finished it in one sitting.

One last thing I should make mention of is the strong language. F-bombs aplenty are dropped, usually casually. So often so, that I was surprised that the book (at least the edition I got) had no age rating printed on it. What seems like a good story for young adults of any age would be more appropriate, in my opinion at least, for older teens and up, if only because of the language.

In conclusion, it’s a short, sweet story, at a good price point with wonderful art and super quality printing.

4/5

-Clint

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Feralia.net blog. episode 44: Review – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Days of Future Past
On my reading journey to catch up on all of the major X-Men stories (with a goal of eventually getting current), my next story was Days of Future Past, by Chirs Claremont, John Byrne, and others. The collection I read is a nice, full color trade paperback which collects Uncanny X-Men #138-143 and X-Men annual #4. (ISBN 978-0-7851-6453-1)

One nice thing about this collection is that it picks up with the very next issue from the previous collection I’d just finished reading, The Dark Phoenix Saga. This issue (#138) not only deals with the fallout from the Dark Phoenix Saga and it’s effect on the team, but also includes a really nice summary of the entire X-Men saga up to that point as told by Cyclops. I was surprised how much detail Cyke’s summary covered in such a short time, and really enjoyed the issue.

One thing that’s been surprising to me is how short these epic stories actually are. When I had left off reading comics, the events were normally spanned over multiple titles and sometimes dozens of issues. Days of Future Past, like Dark Phoenix, takes place over just 2 issues. However, both of those stories did have a lot building up to it, so it’s nice to have those issues collected before and after, not only for some context, but to get to know the characters better as well.

That brings me to the next thing I enjoyed about this collection – getting to know Kitty Pryde for the first time, and from the beginning of her story. When I was reading in the 90’s, Kitty had moved on to other teams and places, and was rarely featured in the main X-Men books I was reading at the time. I can see why she’s such a fan favorite, as she’s quickly becoming one of mine.

One other character I appreciate so much more having gone back and reading these stories is Cyclops. At times I used to find him a bit annoying, but now I really sympathize with and appreciate him much more.

As usual, I won’t get much into the story for fear of spoilers (and at this point there’s really been enough said about this classic). I will say that it’s a nice follow up to the Dark Phoenix Saga, and like that story, is well deserved of its great reputation. It’s another classic that any X-Men fan owes it to themselves to read!

Up next I’ll be jumping back just a bit to Essential X-Men volume 2 to cover some important issues that I was unable to find in trade paperback form (namely the Proteus Saga). I’ll also be making a chart that maps out this journey, hopefully helping to make the complicated timeline of the X-Men a little easier to collect and read affordably, without having to do all the research I’ve been putting into it.

-Clint

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New buttons added!

 

Today our new buttons for Feralia: Requiem of Mist arrived! You can get them on Alicia’s Anime for just $1 each! Featuring the beautiful cover art by Julia Lichty of Aterimages of Ghostfire. We’ll also have them at conventions, starting this weekend with Fairfax Comic Con!

More designs on the way!

-Clint

Posted in News

Feralia.net blog. episode 43: Review – X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

Lately I’ve been talking a lot about getting back into my favorite super heroes, the X-Men. Long story short, I started and fell in love with the comics in the 90’s, and later fell away from them. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get back into them I started again, but decided to go back to before I started (close to the beginning) since I’d missed out on so many legendary stories.

Perhaps the biggest and most and important story I had missed out on is the Dark Phoenix Saga.
Dark Phoenix Saga
The edition I read is a collection reprinted in 2019 (ISBN 978-0-7851-6241-0) and collects Uncanny X-Men #129-137.

After starting with Essential X-Men volume 1, which is in black and white, this was quite a different experience. After reading 528 pages in b&w, this was a special treat. I really appreciated getting to experience this saga in vibrant full-color. It was a much nicer experience (even though the previous stories were great, too).

Like many other X-Men fans who started around the same time as me or later, I already knew quite a bit about The Dark Phoenix Saga. At least I thought I did. I knew of the main result of the story (like pretty much everyone does as this point), but not how it exactly, physically occurred.

The creative team of Claremont, Byrne and others really shines in this collection as they create one of their greatest works, also considered widely to be one of the greatest stories in comics in general. The writing, art and character development are all top-notch. Even though I knew a lot of the outcome beforehand, reading it was still a really great experience. I won’t say anything specific, but seeing some of my most beloved characters going through such an ordeal first hand was really moving at times, and while knowing what was going to eventually happen definitely softened the blow, it still made me really feel for them.

This collection features not only Professor X’s then current team of Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus & Banshee, along with Phoenix of course, but also the first appearance of Kitty Pryde (aka Sprite, and later, Shadowcat)!

The tale definitely lives up to its reputation, and if you haven’t read it I would definitely recommend doing so. I’m excited and happy that I finally got to experience The Dark Phoenix Saga, and can’t wait to continue catching up with the X-Men! The cover price is $24.99, which is really a steal for such an awesome collection. (I got my copy from House of Pop Culture in Waldorf, Maryland. They have an amazing selection of not only X-Men Trade Paperbacks, but comics in general. If you’re anywhere near the area, check them out!)

Next up in comics I’ll be moving on to another legendary X-Men story: Days of Future Past.

-Clint

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