October 14th, 2014

crazy eyes.

Subscription Box: Comic Bento, September 2014

Subscription Box: Comic Bento, September 2014

Comic Bento is a monthly graphic novel subscription box to which my husband subscribes. Each box claims a minimum $50 value, and subscriptions start at just $20.00 per month so it's a pretty good deal. The boxes are mailed out at the end of the month, so the September box just arrived today, in the middle of October.

September's box was “Fantasy”, which Comic Bento Project Manager Costello described thus:
Fantasy is, more than most any genre, an exercise in imagination. Unreal is part of the job description. Artists render the inconceivable with a realistic weight and presence. Writers convey the rules of magic that breaks their rules of the world. Both humanize the inhuman.

Each subscriber received four comics, randomly selected from a pool of five or six titles. Here's what my husband received:

Alex Robinson's Lower Regions (Top Shelf Productions): Brace yourself for ALEX ROBINSON'S LOWER REGIONS! The award winning creator follows up his acclaimed graphic novels with a bold new direction: a pretty barbarian lady with an axe chopping her way through a dungeon filled with monsters! And if that doesn't make you curious, how about this: this bloody, funny 56-page story contains only one word: THOOOOM!. A unique blend of mayhem, cheesecake and humor, ALEX ROBINSON'S LOWER REGIONS will leave you breathless. $6.95.

The First Law: The Blade Itself, Vol. 1 by Joe Abercrombie, Chuck Dixon & Andie Tong (Blind Ferret): Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught up in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian, leaving nothing behind but some bad songs, a few dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules. Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, is cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government ... if he can stay alive long enough to follow it. The First Law is a trilogy that combines the best of fantasy adventure, mystery, magic, and an epic scale with realism, cynicism, visceral action, plenty of surprises, a focus on vivid characters, and a heavy dose of black humour. Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, bloody battles will be won and lost, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. This 128-page trade paperback features the first 4 issues of The Blade Itself comic book series, along with bonus pages that include behind-the-scenes production art and sketches and a character design section with commentary by Joe Abercrombie, as well as a foreword by Peter V. Brett. $14.95.

Beyond the Wall by Matt Venne & Gordon Purcell (IDW Publishing): It's the third century A.D. and the tentacles of the Roman Empire have entwined the British Isles. Marcus Malleoulus, veteran of countless military campaigns, has been betrayed by the whim of a tyrant. Now, banished beyond Hadrian's Wall, he faces untold dangers as he fights his way back... determined to survive until revenge is his! $17.99.

Grimwood's Daughter by Jan Strnad & Kevin Nowlan, (IDW Publishing): Grimwood's Daughter chronicles the last days of the elves in their desperate war against man, magician, and dragon. Artist Kevin Nowlan's powerful images elevate Jan Strnad's dark, cautionary tale into a true gem of fantasy fiction, a graphic fable that is compelling, timeless, and unforgettable. Includes a special section with Nowlan sketches and preliminaries! $12.99.

Beyond the Wall looks like my sort of comic – I love the Roman empire so virtually anything set in that time period will get my attention. With the exception of the Blind Ferret comic, which was published in February of this year, the comics are all a bit older and are probably old stock being cleared out. The box still meets its stated goal of $50 value, but the price tags are noticeably lower than previous boxes.

If you're interested in learning more about Comic Bento, visit their website. Boxes ship monthly, and subscriptions start at $20 per month, with discounts should you buy a three- or six-month subscription.

Peeking into the archives...today in:
2012: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
2011: Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir
2010: 10 DIY Projects for Old Books
2009: Random Ranting: Why is it so hard to find a good place to read?
2008: The Fire and the Light by Glen Craney