Review: Black Bolt #1 Promises A Fine New Series

The new Black Bolt comic from Marvel is finally here, and it’s pretty great.

Written by Saladin Ahmed with art by Christian Ward, Issue #1 kicks the series off into a strangely lit, dark direction. I’ve been a fan of Ahmed’s writing ever since I picked up his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, during one of my “read all the Hugo nominees” phases, and I’ve been looking forward to this book for months. It was worth the wait.

Black Bolt #1 feels like the start of a big, mythic story about escaping a strange Underworld. Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, has woken up in a prison thanks to the schemes of his mad brother, Maximus. I love stories with chthonic themes, so this was a happy surprise.

The exposition at the beginning of the story plays with poetic devices, reading almost like song lyrics (very metal lyrics), using a repeating mechanism as Black Bolt slowly regains awareness.

He is a king but he walks in filth and darkness…

He is a king, but he wakes in filth and agony…

Black Bolt wakes in filth.

The sequence is pleasantly disturbing, Ahmed’s words laid over Christian Ward’s art, a psychedelic nightmare outlined in creeping pink lines.

This new book promises to be weird and disturbing and a damn good read. I want more. 

Good Stuff Friday – Movies and Books and Comics

skull beads - cheese and glory

skull beads - cheese and gloryI bought all the skull beads at the craft store on Tuesday, and now I’m rearranging my apartment for studio space to make jewelry, which I haven’t done in years.  It’s been a weird week.

Here are some of the good things that happened:

Godzilla Rage Across Time

There’s a new Godzilla comic out from IDW, and it is off to a great start.

I could gush for hours about how much I love this comic. Artist Matt Frank (Godzilla: Rulers of Earth) is back, paired with Jeremy Robinson (Project Nemesis), with this first entry into IDW’s new Godzilla anthology series.

Godzilla Rage Across Time will feature a different creative team in each issue, similar to last year’s surreal Godzilla In Hell series.

Rampage Across Time #1 is set in feudal Japan. Matt Frank captures the look and feel of old Japanese woodcuts in his panels. Robinson tells an exciting story with a twist on the historical invasion of Japan by Kublai Khan in the 13th century CE.
This is, without a doubt, my favorite comic this week.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is my favorite animated movie of the year.  The story and the characters are a delight, and the animation is breath taking.  As a hobby origamist, I did a bit of squeeing at Kubo’s magical creations.  It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s ambitious, and I want to see it again.

If you don’t have movie tickets for this weekend, I highly recommend seeing this movie, with or without kids.

The Hot Sauce Festival

I live in Austin, TX, and we have a festival dedicated to hot sauce on the last Sunday of August.  I dragged my partner out into the unseasonal, freakish rain to stand in line eating blue corn chips while tasting a line up of hot sauce submissions.  There was also very tasty ice cream.

I, like many festival goers, fell in love with the lime juice and Haitian peppers mix of Haitian Heat Spice’s Sexy Sauce, and came home with a bottle.  It’s delicious on red beans and rice.

Penny Dreadful

I finally started watching Penny Dreadful on Netflix, and we’re about halfway through the first season.  I can’t believe I never picked it up while it was on, as the show is practically nothing but jokes about classic Gothic and Romantic literature.  I’m enjoying it immensely so far.

Engraved on the Eye by Saladin Ahmed

One of my favorite people on Twitter, fantasy author Saladin Ahmed, has a free collection of short stories called Engraved on the Eye, available on Kindle.

If you aren’t familiar with Ahmed, this is a wonderful introduction to his writing.  It’s a quick read, with a variety of stories.

Mozzarella Sticks and Motivational Cats

mozzarella sticks

I’m being driven mad by a craving for mozzarella sticks and it is a very confusing experience.  I may have to get some sort of fried appetizer tonight when we see Suicide Squad.

man throws a typewriter to the floorI spent last night drinking beer and spitting out the first draft of a 2,000 word piece of flash fiction for Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenge.  Today I learned that I have to let such a thing sit for a day or two; I know what the story needs, but could not push my brain to do those things just yet.

The good thing about that is that I have now proven to myself that I can in fact produce something mostly coherent that includes a beginning, middle, and end.  I’ve been in doubt of that for some time.  Now I’ve murdered that particular demon in a spectacularly messy way and can get on with my quest to create a writing career.  Prepare yourselves.

Fried pickles might serve as an acceptable substitute.  With ranch to drown them in.

I’ve spent most of this week trying to automate various things that can help get me, and hopefully this blog, greater exposure.  It’s a mind numbing thing to do, but thankfully I’m a bit of a wonk for digital marketing and already know the process.

Speaking of which, I made a silly cat poster with a quote from author Saladin Ahmed yesterday, and this happened:


I wonder what’s involved in frying mozzarella?  Do they use an egg dip?  Is it corn meal, wheat flour, or a mix?

I hope Suicide Squad is a good time.  I’ve read the reviews and I have very low expectations that will be met if it’s better than Batman vs. Superman.  My opinion might be swayed more positively if I get to eat mozzarella sticks.