Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 9)

Escapology!

An a Atomic Moo Book Review!

Okay El Moochadores, I’m back to review another Titan Books classic. Well, new classic. Actually, it’s not that new. Titan sent me this book sometime ago to review, and I just recently finished it. d’oh. No disrespect to Titan Books, just my crappy life takes some maneuvering. And speaking of crappy lives: Let’s talk about Shock Pao! First, here’s a proper synopsis:

Shock Pao is not just any Haunt—he’s the best. There isn’t a system that he can’t crack into, no virtual lock he can’t pick, nothing he can’t steal for the right price. Outside virtual world the Slip, though, he’s a Fail—no degree, no job, no affiliations to protect him from angry ex-customers. Of which he has quite a few. So when his ex brings Shock a job which could help him escape his miserable existence, he accepts, little realizing that it will turn out to be his most impossible, illegal and incredible assignment yet.

Amiga works for Twist Calhoun, one of the toughest crime lords in the Gung, as a Cleaner—assassin. Trapped in a world of kill-or-be-killed, she wants out. But when Shock’s war comes to her, she doesn’t have a choice: it’s her job to bring him to Twist, dead or alive—or it’ll be her head in a bag in Twist’s vault.

Escapology really reminded me of mid-1990’s science fiction. Movies like Johnny Mnemonic, Virtuosity, (maybe) Hackers, or any thing else from that time that tried to cram young-ish punks, dystopian futures, and a crazy version of “future internet” into one story. I do (actually) dig those kind of stories, I can’t argue that they are any good, and the same goes for Escapology. Though Warom’s story starts out great with the introduction of (what I’m guessing is) a future hacker who also has massive self esteem/drug abuse problems, the story quickly starts to serve up a series of “what the fuck” moments.

There’s no real order to my list of gripes with Escapology, so this is going to be a ramble. Starting with: The world has been shattered, and now has giant floating land ships and pirates, but somehow kept, major cities, the internet (Future Internet!), and self abusing teenagers. Then (Spoilers!!!), somehow holograms from the unreal world can leap out of Shock’s eyes and start killing the really real people, even though they are holograms. Made of light. Then there is the inclusion of the now almost standard issue (for every fucking story now… go social justice!) female bad ass, Amiga. It seems in 2017 you can’t create a story with out including a little ninja chick to prove equality among the sexes. Which sucks, because Shock was already this interesting character stocked with tons of diversity, and “fuck the norm” attitude, that deserved way more attention than weird future sailors, and off the shelf feminism complete with a crossbow. Finally (again Spoilers!!!), there’s the big rally at the end of the story where all the groups come together to take down the big baddies. Just like in the 90’s future internet stories I mentioned before! Well, except virtuosity. Denzel mostly just outwits Russel Crowe, but it’s still worth a watch! Seriously, Crowe eats glass, Denzel get’s his arm blown off, and the world is denied easy made robo-whores in the worst way possible! Vituosity rocks!!! Wait… where was I?

Despite all of this; I still think Warom is a great writer, and has a lot of potential for future stories. Sure, I felt like Escapology “face plants” a bit, but it also demonstrates a ton of imagination for both character development and world building. Shock Pao by himself is a great read. As well as his interactions with his ex-lovers and past experiences. I feel it is a bit unfortunate more attention wasn’t paid to Shock and his problems. Instead, a shark jumped out of his face. Okay, I’m still a bit bugged by that one. Though if the story had been called “boy who shoots killer sharks out of his eyes” I would have loved it from the beginning, because I was expecting a kid who… yeah you get it.

I do have a copy of the second novel in the series, Virology, and I’m hoping some of the stuff like people eating holo-sharks, will be explained. You can get your own copy of Escapology at every major book seller, or online now at Titan Books. Now, everybody writing science fiction go rent (fuck, I am old…) download, or, stream Hackers and Johnny Mnemonic and then don’t do any of that in your story!

Thank You Comic Fest 2017!

Okay El Moochadores, it’s now been a week since San Diego Comic Fest 2017, and it was a pretty damn good con! I wanted to post about the convention sooner, but I had a busy work week, and then I got slammed by the con crud! I’m still a big snotty mess. Anywhat, we want to thank the convention organizers and all the attedees for an excellent con experience. Comic Fest was our sixth convention, and first con of 2017, and also a strong reminder of how awesome it feels to make art and have people actually buy it! Also, frigg’n great job on the Kirby Cafe. This years Comic Fest celebrated Kirby’s 100th birthday by decking out a bar/lounge with tons of Kirby art and covers! This was a cool con and we’re looking forward to next years convention, and hopefully a stronger portfolio of work.

Also, thank you very much to all those who signed up for our e-mail list. We’ll keep you updated with new con appearances, new illustration work, and anything else related to Atomic Moo and Murray Brothers Creative!

Anyways, I had to stay at the booth for most of the time were at the con, but here are some photos I pulled from the vastness of the internet to show some of the con happenings. Once again, not our images, but if you do a simple google search for San Diego Comic Fest, you can see where I pulled ’em from.

Cheers!

Atlantis: The Last Survivor: Episode 1

Hello El Moochadores! I’ve been trying to get this post written for the last couple of days now, but life keeps getting in the way. Anyways…

I recently finished reading Arin Leviti’s new indie comic Atlantis: The last Survivor, and its pretty damn good. Featuring illustrations by Giuseppe Cafaro and colors by Federico Blee, this fantasy story takes readers to the magic filled Atlantis and follows the adventure of lovers Agathon and Phile. Here’s the proper synopsis:

Agathon, the son of a member of the resistance, is kidnapped and taken to the capital where he discovers that everything his parents had taught him is true. His only hope rests on the mysterious demigoddess Phile and Temacles, a member of the resistance who has infiltrated the oligarchy.

Agathon and Phile, united by their love and the hope for a new beginning, fight a battle against time to restore the Flux, overthrow the High Priestess and save Atlantis from itself.

As far as independent works go this is definitively top tier. Carfaro and Blee’s talent as illustrators is on full display here and they do a great job of bring Leviti’s fantasy story to life. I really enjoyed this book. So much so, that I even went back (after getting a review copy) and paid for it just to make sure I do my part to keep the story going. Okay, true the books a bargain. You can get a digital copy of issue #1 on Comixology for only $0.99, but I’m broke right now! $1.00 is actually huge for me! It’s all relative folks. So, yeah, absolutely go pick up a copy of Atlantis: Last Survivor and have something cool to read over this nice holiday break. Well, nice for others. I gotta go back to work. damn.

Check out a few preview pages of Atlantis: Last Survivor below, but don’t forget to hit the link above and support independent comics!

Cheers!

Invasion!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Luke Rhinehart’s New Novel!

Aliens have come to Earth and they’re here to play! Seriously, just play. Well, not seriously at all, but weird and funny in this new novel from Titan Books by author Luke Rhinehart where in fuzzy – shape shifting aliens from another dimension have come to Earth to change human attitudes towards money, power, sex, and everything else through the art of fun and play. The book is collection of fictional narratives most of which surround one alien (Louie) and his adoptive family, The Morton’s. Louie, and a few thousand of his fellow FF’s (funny fish), hop into of all sorts of trouble with the establishment until they are eventually declared a national threat and labeled as terrorists. Hilarity ensues. Here’s the books proper synopsis before the mostly half thought review:


It’s pretty weird. That’s what old codger Billy Morton thinks when “Louie” lands in his fishing boat and follows him home. He, his wife and two boys come quickly to love this playful alien, but when “Louie” starts using their computer to hack into government and corporate accounts, learn all that the NSA knows, and steal millions from banks to give to others, they realize that Louie and his friends mean trouble. The life of Billy and his family begins a roller-coaster ride of fame, fortune, jail, death, resurrection, and a distinguished ranking high on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” List.

When people (readers) go into book stores, they are going to find Luke Rhinehart’s Invasion in the science fiction/fantasy section of the store. Which isn’t where the book should be. The book is more of a political satire that uses aliens to tell readers of our own political and social errors. So, yeah there are aliens in the book, but this novel is about as much science fiction as Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five is about time travel. Though like Slaughterhouse Five, Invasion is chuck full of satirical intelligent humor.

Although I did enjoy the satire, and I agree with most of the authors sentiment toward our ruling political parties, I thought the book was way too long and often redundant. Also, many of the chapters that were supposed to be written by different characters often read similar (the Billy Morton chapters being the exception) and had a very “preachy” quality. It’s like the novel had a weird decision making problem of either being a funny satire, or going full sci-fi with its weird dimension hopping aliens. All of that aside; I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers. Part of me hopes this’ll be read by others who will then go out and end evil things like private prisons, the war and drugs, and Disney’s control of Star Wars, but I mostly think the book is above the heads of our current generation of bearded-man bun sporting hipsters, that already have a solid handle on blowing off the real world for play.

You can find your own copy of Invasion in book stores now or get a copy online at Titanbooks.com

Cheers!

The Atomic Moocast #121!

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Lenox: The Return!

NEW FRIGG’N MOOCAST FOLKS! Hey El Moochadores, we got a great episode for you this time! For episode #121 we talk about our trip to SLCC 2016 and all the great stuff there. Good con and you can see some of the pictures from our tripCover here. Then, Jason Lenox is on the show! Lenox is now running Nittany Con in beautiful State College Pennsylvania! Actually, I have no idea what State College Pennsylvania looks like. Green? I don’t know, but they have a comic book convention and that’s awesome! The con is happening Tomorrow from 10am to 5pm and tickets… $5.00! That’s awesome! Kids five and under are free! Serious get out there and check it out! Also, gratz to Lenox for getting all his funding for Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #1 funded on the Kickstater! Good stuff.

So, here we go my fellow slors, shlebbs, and chubbs! Moocasts are rare and precious and you need to enjoy this one! So, go and grab a sugary snack and a bag full of salted whatnots! Then roll your self into a safe and comfortable spot where you can plug in and play the best damn podcast your friends don’t know about!

Enjoy!

Free music used by the Atomic Moo cast is royalty free and was created and composed by Kevin MacLeod and can be found at Incompetech.com. Please support this site!

Songs used:

  • Funk Game Loop
  • As I Figure
  • Who Likes to Party
  • Fast Talkin

Show Notes and Links

Lords of the Cosmos Images!

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Nittany Con Press Images

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Chudd’s Mini-Sketches!

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The Atomic Moocast #120!

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Interview with Andres Salazar!

New Moocast!!! We’re still getting settled from back to back conventions, but somehow I managed to finish this latest episode. I’m amazing. Anyways, on this grand spectacle of a Moocast we’re talking with indie comic creator, Andres Salazarcover about his graphic novel: Pariah Missouri! A great read chuck full of wagon chases and spooky happenings in the pre-civil war Missouri! Also, we’re talking a little Nerd Con 2016. We boothed at another convention, this time with a fellow brethren moo. Find out what happened!

So, here we go folks! Get to listen’n to this one while it still has that fresh “moocast” smell! Go now and grab every disgusting salty snack, and fizzy beverage, laying about your kitchen, then roll up into a comfy spot and plug into the best damn podcast your friends don’t know about!

Enjoy!

Free music used by the Atomic Moo cast is royalty free and was created and composed by Kevin MacLeod and can be found at Incompetech.com. Please support this site!

Songs used:

  • Funk Game Loop
  • As I Figure
  • Who Likes to Party
  • Fast Talkin

Show Notes, Links, and Photos

Pariah Missouri Sample Pages

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SLCC 2016!

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Some Photos from an Awesome Event!

Okay El Moochadores, my main computer is bugging out so I’m having to use an old laptop to write this post, but we’re back from Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 and it was frigg’n awesome! Who’d have thunk that those mountain dwelling, snow humpers could’ve put together such a cool comic book convention?IMG_0682 The con offered a huge exhibit hall, an excellent artist alley (made all the better by your favorite brothers moo), a huge celebrity turn out (including The Fonze!), and lots of panels, games, and other fun stuff! Also, cosplay! Tons of cosplay! Seriously! Those mormons can sew! …or tape, staple, and weld. Anyways, we even tried out some new stuff at this con. For the first time Jason and I started to draw mini-sketchesIMG_0665 and commissions from our booth. Check out some of the images below, and I gotta say I’m really looking forward to next year! Well, I’m not looking forward to telling my mom I’m getting a hotel next year. Our mom lives up in SLC and we spent the last week camping out on her living room floor. My back hurts really bad now. So, I need to come up with a really nice way to tell my elderly mother that I don’t want to stay with her next year – Giant breakfast and folded clothes be damned! However, we did save a ton of money, and mom did make Magic Bars… damn.

Enjoy!

Mini Sketches!

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The Cosplay!

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Duskfall

Duskfall

An Atomic Moo Book Review of Christopher Husberg’s New Novel!

Okay El Moochadoes, I just finished reading Duskfall (Titan Books, 2016) by author Christopher Husberg, and… I dug it. So get in a mode for magic and fantasy as I review a book about folksy elves, religious zealots, and an amnesiac pulled from icy waters only to start kicking ass across a whole continent. No, not Bourne.

So, I was only half joking about that “Bourne” comment. The book follows three main characters and begins with Knot, a man found floating in an icy lake with a few arrows sticking out of him. Knot has no memory of his past life, and is named “knot” by the elves that found him, because of his remarkable ability to… tie knots. The elves of this story have fallen on hard times, and are considered by most to be second class citizens, but Knot lives with them for awhile and even agrees to marry the daughter (Winter) of the elf that found him, which would have been great if strange men hadn’t shown up on the wedding day and started to kill everyone. During this attack Knot shows that he can do much more than tie knots, by quickly killing the attackers, and then just as quick, abandons his new elf-wife to go figure out why he’s so good at killing. When Winter learns of his leaving, she tries to follow, but on her journey she also learns she can do a type of magic, but only at the cost of a horrible addiction. Meanwhile, in another city a priestess learns that her sister has discovered some ancient scriptures and has been communicating with their goddess. Which would be all good and well, if that didn’t mean a holy inquisition wasn’t about to hit her and her family full in the face. The story follows from there and eventually brings the three main characters together on an adventure that will bring them all face to face with old gods and dark daemons! Which I think is a demon or maybe a goth kid with shitty parents… I don’t know.

For the most part I think Husberg did a great job of creating a new fantasy world. His spin on elves (called Tiellan’s) as a down trodden, and forgot folk was unique. I also really enjoyed his new take on magic as special mental abilities, and I think Winter’s story, of learning to use this magic while fighting addiction, were my favorite parts of the book. Husberg did a wonderful job a creating a dark, and cold, vibe for this story, and because of this the story had a feeling (for me at least) of a world where magic was sort of dying out, but you could still trip over the odd vampire every now and again. Then the weird stuff happens with Jane and Cinzia, and POW! World chuck full of magic again. Oh, yeah. About the vampire; I should also mention that I enjoyed the character of Astrid. As far as Draculias go, she’s pretty cool.

The only criticisms I have for this story (just two) are minor ones. First: I felt Knots back story, when revealed, was a little convoluted. I’m trying not to spoil much here, but I think he would’ve been a better character without the amnesia and later reveal of what makes Knot a Knot. I can’t say what it takes to make a believable character in fiction, but in a lot of these stories I read it seems (to me) like writers make way too many excuses to explain why their protagonist is an ultimate bad ass, and also a heck of a good guy. I think a vivid memory, and free will, would’ve made a much better hero for this story.

The other criticism is more of personal one, and though I’m totally going to muck it up, I still kind of wanted to explain why it soured this book for me a bit. At a certain point in this story I suspected the author was LDS (Mormon), and although his being religious doesn’t bug me, having his religion pop in the story kind of does. I was raised in an LDS family, and I even did my missionary work in Brazil. Shortly after which I left the church. I’ve spent the better part of twenty years getting as far away from that religion (or any) as I can, so having it swing around again (even in the form of fantasy story) kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, brain. Anyways; I don’t think these elements would hurt the story for any other reader, and it shouldn’t, but… eh, kind of took me out of the story, and it was hard to get back into it after that. It also has me pondering my personal biases and how I’ll expect enjoyment from any off the shelf fantasy novel I’ll pick up, but how quickly I turn my nose up at stories that contain any of my own past/personal religious myths. Which means that since reading this fantasy story, I’ve been spending too much time in the dusty parts of my brain, and I don’t like that. Though, Husberg did do an amazingly progressive spin on the Joe Smith story, and using priestesses, goddesses, and a little inquisition, made for a better story than the crud I had to sit through in Sunday school.

All the same though, readers can find of copy of Duskfall at all major book stores now, or you can get your own copy online at Titanbooks.comM. Check out a complete synopsis below!

Cheers!


Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl. As he is nursed back to health by a local fisherman, two things become very clear: he has no idea who he is, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease.
The fisherman is a tiellan, a race which has long been oppressed and grown wary of humans. His daughter, Winter, is a seemingly quiet young woman, but behind her placid mask she has her demons. She is addicted to frostfire – a substance that both threatens to destroy her and simultaneously gives her phenomenal power.
A young priestess, Cinzia, hears the troubling news of an uprising in her native city of Navone. Absconding from the cloistered life that she has kept for the last seven years, she knows she must make the long journey home. The flames of rebellion threatening her church and all that she believes in are bad enough, but far worse is the knowledge that the heretic who sparked the fire is her own sister.
These three characters may have set out on different paths, but fate will bring them together on one thrilling and perilous adventure.

Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #1

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New Kickstarter from Jason Lenox and Ugli Studios!

UGLI Studios just announced their new Kickstarter campaign for Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #1. This is a “super-sized” comic book from indie comic creator, Jason Lenox described as “A love letter to action figures, Saturday morning cartoons, prizes in cereal boxes, and cheap comic books your mom would throw out.”

Very heavily influenced by the fantasy and science fiction mash ups of the 1980’s, Lord’s of the CosmosSide is set on the world of Aiden where the sentient disease, Umex has returned to cause all sorts of havoc, and now its up to the Aiden’s heroes to stop him. I don’t think it get’s better than that…

The Kickstarter just launched a couple of days ago, and we’re working on getting Lenox back on the Moocast sometime before the campaign ends, but until then; Click the link above to learn more about the campaign and possible rewards for contributing. Below I’ve posted a short synopsis along with the KS promotional video and some sample art.

Enjoy!

Lords Of The Cosmos is the tale of the exotic planet Aiden, a planet lost to space and time, where all manner of escaped supervillains, heinous inter-dimensional demons, exiled Earth gods, ancient biowiazrds and corrupt war kings struggle on a hostile world that is the under the control of a sentient, planet-wide machine. Sound fun? It isn’t. But it makes for a heckuva story.

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The Atomic Moocast #119!

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Comic Con, Yestercon, and Sir Noel!?!

New Moocast Mother Fuggers!!! Yeah, it took awhile, but here it is, Atomic Moocast #119. On this episode we kick things off with a “roadcast” discussion of San Diego Comic Con 2016 and all it’s happenings. Well, some of it’s happenings… Anyways, Image_Three You can see some images from the event here, and I’ll post a few below as well. Then, fellow brethren moo and Destiny Comix creator, Sir Brandon Noel joins the show to talk about some of his new projects, life, the universe and everything else.

Its been too damn long to keep blathering when we have an Atomic Moocast to listen to! So, get ready folks! You know the drill: Salty snacks, fizzy drinks, comfy chairs, and quick tap on your listening device and suddenly you’re in moo heaven.

Enjoy!

Free music used by the Atomic Moo cast is royalty free and was created and composed by Kevin MacLeod and can be found at Incompetech.com. Please support this site!

Songs used:

  • Funk Game Loop
  • As I Figure
  • Who Likes to Party
  • Fast Talkin

Show Notes and Links

Destiny Comix’s Images

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Some Comic Con Photos

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