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Preview Books From ComicCon:
notes from Mish'al Samman

Dang it. Mish'al has completely beaten me to the punch and started reviewing some of the Con exclusives or preview books that he picked up in San Diego. Please take a look, and when you buy these at your local comics shop, remember Fanboy Planet fondly.

By the way -- the nifty new planets for the rating systems? Courtesy of Mish'al, after a 1:30 a.m. text message "what is Saturn and why do I hate it?"

An intriguing reversal on an old story.

story and art: Mike Zagari

It's the very simple story of Jack and the beanstalk told from the giant's perspective. Except for the "Fee-Fi-Fo Fum" bit, this 16 page one-shot really has no dialogue, communicating everything through its art. Though obviously sympathetic to the giant, it still leaves much of the interpretation up to the reader.

Mood is this book's strong suit, and Zagari brings this about quite effectively and efficiently. The facial expressions and sketch-like art are reminiscent of some pieces from Sam Keith's The Maxx. With the original story being so well-known, it's not hard to get the general gist of what's going on here, and not all too difficult to sympathize with the giant, either. However, it's probably not to be told to the young'uns just yet.

Although more glum and shorter than I recall Jack and the Beanstalk being, you may find this book more interesting than otherwise imagined, for with it comes the giant's own tiny website at wakethegiant.com. You have to buy the book in order to get yourself into the secret area that holds conceptual art, script, and some 3D layouts of the scenes.

Since this independently published book is due out in September, you can catch more of Zagari at mikezagari.com, and in the pages of Reflux by Image Comics. So if you're into picking up an interesting indie book, check this one out.


Excited? Not as excited as Jean-Claude Van Damme...

writer: Ken Siu-Chong
artist: Alvin Lee

Anyone who knows me knows how little I think of zero issues being important or interesting. However, with Street Fighter being the big news from Udon Studios at the San Diego ComicCon, I had to check out the zero issue available at the Image Comics booth.

It was hard to shake my skepticism that a comic book adaptation of a video game would be good, yet we have a second #0 that caught me by surprise (Robotech being the other). Set sometime before Alpha, the story in #0 is a preview of what is yet to come.

Focused here on Ryu and his training in Japan, we catch a glimpse of the now more than ever popular manga style artwork Udon is particularly bringing to the foreground in American comics.

Combining the cartoon-style coloring and the descriptive narrative brings out what Street Fighter is all about. This issue sets the tone as Ryu fights his inner demons to be an honorable fighter, unlike someone from his master's past, namely Akuma.

This hubbub may in fact give the popular game franchise the fandom beyond the consoles it's been looking for in its past, but unfortunately lacked in some way or another. The story in Street Fighter #0 is only ten pages long; the second half of the book re-introduces some favorite characters from the Street Fighter universe with a poster shot and brief bio. Clearly, that leaves a lot more people to be brought into the future of the book.


Mish'al Samman

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