June 4th, 2009
The immaculate cover of House of Mystery #1A page from House of Mystery #1
A page from House of Mystery #2A page from House of Mystery #6

House of Mystery is an occult-horror comic published by DC Comics under the Vertigo label. Originally appearing in the 1950s and then again in the 1980s, House of Mystery laid dormant for years until writers Matthew Sturges (Shadowpact, Blue Beetle) and Bill Willingham (Fables) revived the series once again in 2008.

The House of Mystery is a place filled with interesting people. These are people from all walks of life, from all times — and timelines. Bethany “Fig” Keeler is one such person. She, like The House’s other residents, would like nothing more than to go back to their previous lives, but she is trapped. There are attempts at escaping made, but the harsh truth is that their only means of egress is when a mysterious man simply called “The Coachman” arrives at the front gates, in his own timing, to take them away. So the occupants of The House of Mystery, along with The House’s numerous visitors, must resign themselves to drinking their days and nights away in the bar room, where the drinks are free, so long as you have a story to share. And herein lies what makes The House of Mystery, as a comic book, so special: the stories. Sturges, Willingham, and/or the occasional guest writer, treat us to an average of two sub-stories per issues. Representing genres including fantasy, horror, science fiction, or sometimes even autobiographical accounts of events in the various characters’ lives, these stories have the capacity to disgust, frighten, fascinate, sadden, and warm the hearts of readers.

Though there is much history behind the House of Mystery series to which I am, regrettably, largely ignorant, I’ve absolutely loved each and every issue of this latest incarnation. The over-arching storyline is almost completely auxiliary to the sub-stories told by the characters in each issue, though that’s not to say I find the pages in between uninteresting. The whole book is magical. Even the paper used in printing feels right; I only hope that it’s also being used in the trade paperback collections being published, of which there are two, so far. “Room and Boredom” collects issues #1 – 5 while “Love Stories for Dead People” collects #6 – 10.

May 21st, 2009

Cover of The Punisher #58Valley Forge, Valley Forge is the final story that Garth Ennis wrote for The Punisher which spanned issues #55 – #60. The story’s art was done by Goran Parlov, with covers by Tim Bradstreet, and has been collected in a TPB as Punisher MAX Vol. 10 by Marvel.

Valley Forge, Valley Forge features two stories in one which parallel each other throughout the book. On one hand, and foremost, there is the story of Frank Castle who, with the help of Nick Fury, discovers that the source of the recent attempts on his life are eight senior Army and Air Force officers that have been trying to recover some damning evidence which Frank has come to possess. On the other, there’s a story told through a book from which this story’s name is derived, “Valley Forge, Valley Forge: The Slaughter of a U.S. Marine Garrison and the Birth of The Punisher”. Therein, author Michael Goodwin tells a Vietnam story as the brother of a soldier who served in a platoon under the leadership of Captain Frank Castle.

Though it was difficult to choose which Punisher story to feature, I was sure it would end up being one of Garth Ennis’. This may well be my favorite Punisher arc that he’s written, rivaling even those done with Steve Dillion. Valley Forge, Valley Forge marks the end of a sixty issue run on Punisher MAX, so although it ties up much of what Ennis laid the groundwork for over the years, there aren’t many references made that will go over your head. It’s a story that can stand alone, and it’s a must-read if you’re at all a fan of The Punisher.

April 2nd, 2009

Transhuman Vol. 1Transhuman is a four-issue science fiction comic book mini-series written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by J.M. Ringuet, published by Image Comics. It was collected into a trade paperback in January 2009.

Transhuman is a story about genetic engineering in humans told in the style of a mockumentary. Think This Is Spinal Tap, but not hilarious. Although a certain dark humor is apparent throughout, Transhuman takes a more serious tone as narrator Heinrich Dowidat guides readers through the story of two corporations racing to upgrade Humans to Posthumans. Along the way Heinrich gets first-hand accounts from the scientists, the suits, and test subjects that were involved in the genetic enhancement projects. Ultimately, Transhuman is a story about people, their ambitions, their hidden agendas, their politics, their spite, and their greed. It’s about capitalism.

Transhuman, just as Jonathan Hickman’s other works, blew my mind. Though beautifully illustrated by J.M. Ringuet, the book also features several of the signature layouts that Hickman’s books are famous for. Just as is the case with The Nightly News and the unfortunately scheduled A Red Mass For Mars, I can’t recommend Transhuman highly enough.

December 18th, 2008

Enough has gone on since August’s multi-purpose post that I think we can do with another one. I’ll catch you up on what I’ve been playing and reading most recently.


I’ve managed to finish some more games. My Xbox 360 and Playstation 2 have occupied most of my gaming time on the singleplayer front. After finishing Final Fantaxy XII I attempted to do things nice and backwards and move on to Final Fantasy IX. Using an LCD HDTV, however, PSOne games don’t look too hot. FFIX, as well as several other PSOne games I tested, were all plagued by gigantic dots which I think must be blown-up pixels. Pushing that aside until I could acquire an old SDTV, I moved on to Rogue Galaxy for the PS2.
Continue »

August 1st, 2008

Once in a while I stumble upon a comic creator that is so good at what they do that it’s very difficult not to obsess over them for a good long while. This has happened to me in the past with Garth Ennis, Robert Kirkman, Jay Faerber, and now it’s happening again with Jonathan Hickman. My initial experience with his creations was through the first issue of Transhuman that I pulled on a lark because the idea of a mockumentary comic sounded novel and the cover was interesting. Now I simply cannot get enough of this man’s work, and that’s unfortunate since most of it – including Transhuman as well as A Red Mass For Mars – has been heavily delayed.

Jonathan Hickman has completed one mini series so far, however, called The Nightly News. The original 6 issues first shipped between November of 2006 and July of 2007. Unfortunately, I was late to the party and didn’t find out about the book until I visited Hickman’s website, but I immediately put in an order for the trade paperback. It arrived this week.
Continue »

DoSu TeamDoSu Team


February 26th, 2008

smtpb.jpgWe’re all big fans of the Sam & Max games here, so we were excited to see that a TPB (that’s Trade Paper Back) collection of all Sam & Max comics and prints from 1987 to the present was released last Wednesday. I just got mine in the mail today (I get my comics shipped from across the country). It’s very pretty, as you can see; nice cover. I have never read the original comics and I have been looking to expand my TPB collection, so the timing on this is perfect. Just a heads up on the coming-out of this collection, to whom it may concern. You can pick it up from your local comic shop, or the usual places online like Amazon should be carrying it.