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Kolchak Tales: Ghost Stories (B)
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/27/2013 13:58:22
Carl Kolchak, hard-bitten reporter of the supernatural from the TV series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” of the 1970s returns to action courtesy of an ongoing series of comic books and graphic novels from Moonstone Books. This time, Carl’s been fired by the owner of the newspaper that used to employ him, and he must find another way to make ends meet. He’s approached by a young couple, Otto and Mo Brerhahrer, who are ghost hunters in their spare time, and Kolchak can hardly say no, particularly when they offer to buy him lunch.

Through three related vignettes, the reader learns more about Kolchak, and why he has such a close connection to the supernatural. The first, titled “Fifteen Minutes,” find Kolchak at his wits end regarding where his next meal is coming from. He decides to get in touch with a young couple he met at a recent funeral – their interest in the supernatural seemed fortuitous, and at the time they had expressed an interest in hiring him to do some writing work for them. As it turns out, the offer wasn’t completely genuine but it was sincere, and Kolchak is intrigued.

In the second story, “Blood,” Kolchak is attempting to network with other reporters at a press conference to find work. The company holding forth, Windsor Chemical, is being investigated for illegal dumping. Abandoning the networking effort as a lost cause, Kolchak heads home; later that night, a mysterious and beautiful woman visits him, wanting to hire him to investigate the circumstances surrounding Windsor Chemicals. What Kolchak finds is murder, and more deaths to come.

In story number three, “A Clue To The Truth,” Kolchak is sent by Otto Brerhahrer – a ghost hunter from the first tale – to interview a local expert on the supernatural in order to give himself a better background understanding of ghosts. Kolchak finds himself losing track of the time during his lengthy conversation with Doctor Robert M. Carter; he finally excuses himself hours after he arrived, thanking Dr. Carter profusely for being such an engaging conversationalist. When he meets with Otto the next morning, Otto has news that shocks Kolchak to the core.

This is an entertaining series of tales, and I found myself at the end wishing there was more to read and enjoy.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kolchak Tales: Ghost Stories (B)
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Return of the Monsters: Black Bat vs Dracula
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2013 00:45:47
Well - uh -

Boy, do I hate to say it. Maybe I can make this a little kinder.

It could have been better.

The writer starts from the assumption that every reader knows who these characters are. An incorrect assumption, as this is an issue that most people will pick up even if they don't know any character but Dracula. Let's face it: Hardly anything with "Dracula" in the title is going to lose money.

But how many people know who the Black Bat is/was? And who's this Rachel dressed as an even-more badly designed Azrael-Batman? Why is Dracula in this particular city at this time, and why is Rachel hunting him? What's her relation, if any, to Black Bat? (They seem to know each other.) The story seems to be chase, chase, chase, fight, chase some more, fight, stop the story before it ends.

It's really hard to tell what's going on sometimes. The art is very pretty, and filled with lots of extra lines which aren't needed. (Alex Toth would have a fit!) But the artist seems to want to fill up space and show off his/her art - not tell a story.

SPOILER WARNINGS!!!

The plot is: Dracula is killing prostitutes. Rachel hunts Dracula. He almost successfully seduces her but Black Bat saves her. (Surprised?) Dracula is driven away by a Really Badly Drawn Schtick. (The items used to drive him away are not the items which would drive him away, nor do they look like them.)

We don't get to know the Bat. We don't get to know Dracula. (We just assume he's like the most cliched movie version.) And we don't get to know Rachel, other than - like a stereotyped woman hero, she comes from an abusive background. Look, it worked well enough with Red Sonja, but does EVERY abused person put on a costume and go hunting bad guys and monsters? In far too many comics, they do -- and that's all we ever see into their character.

Every person seeing this title, especially if they know who Black Bat was, really wants to read this book and hungrily wants to like it. We were ready to forgive a lot, and we have to if we want to finish the story. (Which doesn't finish, using the stereotyped "The End?" blurb.) We have come to expect so much from Moonstone.

It could've been a contender. The best I can say is "It's not as bad as it could have been."

I really - REALLY - wanted to like this.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Monsters: Black Bat vs Dracula
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Kolchak Tales: Frankenstein Agenda #1
by Aaron B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2012 05:17:36
I was pleasantly surprised by this comic. I'd watched a bit of the original TV series, and this does a good job of keeping that general atmosphere.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kolchak Tales: Frankenstein Agenda #1
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Robin Hood and the Minstrel
by Scott C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2012 00:24:52
Gorgeous art accompanies fun, believable, and likeable characters!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Robin Hood and the Minstrel
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Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon
by Scott C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2012 19:30:37
A fun and thrilling adventure and the only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because it was a little too sexy for me.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon
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Vampire the Masquerade: Blood & Loyalty
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2012 12:56:33
I think these are the best of the vampire comics. The other ones are a bit iffy, but these really focus on the heavy hitters of the classic world of darkness world and I enjoyed reading about them. Sometimes the plot is a bit complicated and you need some backstory, so 3/5 for that, but other than that, it was a good deal for the amount of pages gotten. :)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Blood & Loyalty
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Werewolf the Apocalypse: Fang & Claw Volume 1 Trade
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2012 12:55:29
The art is good, the stories are pretty interesting and it definitely sticks to the werewolf genre. I enjoyed it. Its cheap compared to the fact that you get multiple comics and in general it's just a pretty nice book. I enjoyed it in the end and felt that it was worth it to support the people who made it to actually buy it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf the Apocalypse: Fang & Claw Volume 1 Trade
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Werewolf the Apocalypse: Fang & Claw Volume 2 Trade
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2012 12:54:06
I enjoyed this product. The scanning was well done, it was a fun read and it was very cheap for over 100 pages of some really good comics. I enjoyed it, and if you like the werewolf genre, you'll probably like it too. It's nothing stunning but it's still good.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf the Apocalypse: Fang & Claw Volume 2 Trade
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Kolchak: The Night Stalker: The Lovecraftian Horror
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2012 23:13:05
I was a huge fan of the "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" series on TV when I was a kid back in the 70's. So when I found this book, I was, of course intrigued. Add to that the fact that it brings in HP Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos" -- my favorite RPG -- and I was sold. Originally, I thought I was getting a role-playing supplement, and after that first flash of disappointment (what could be better than roleplaying Kolchak up against mighty Cthulhu?), I continued to read -- I could almost hear Darren McGavin's and Simon Oakland's ("Tony Vicenzo") voices during much of the early part of the book. It was an awesome tour de force, and very much in keeping with the spirit of the movies Night Stalker and Night Strangler, and the best of the Night Stalker shows. I'd cheerfully buy any more of these if they exist or are being written. This was one of the best $4.00 buys I've made in years! My only regret is that it wasn't substantially longer!

Doing a little research, I discovered that Moonstone has been working this stuff since 2007. Well good for them! It's a great franchise, and it's a terrible pity we'll never see another new Night Stalker episode from Darren and Simon and the gang.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kolchak: The Night Stalker: The Lovecraftian Horror
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Twilight Crusade: Gabriel
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2011 13:03:36
Set in a grim modern day, this Comic grips you from the beginning. It has an interesting spin on the battle between Heaven and Hell, adding a third group into the mix. I liked it, as you aren't sure where it's headed. The graphics are well done and some of the thought into the story is definitely intriguing. If you enjoy an action/puzzler based comic then this one should satisfy you. If you don't like theological questions of good vs evil in gray terms then don't read this book. With a price tag of free, and readers deciding whether it will continue, I'd encourage people to give it a read and then decide for yourself.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Twilight Crusade: Gabriel
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Twilight Crusade: Gabriel
by matt b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2011 05:48:08
Mysterious enough and the premise is extremely interesting. However, I don't have a lot of buy-in with the characters yet. So far it is just your typical guns-blazing heroine. It almost feels like they were trying to write a script where the actors would fill in a lot of these blanks. I would be interested in reading the others but, truthfully, not for $3.99 a digital download--maybe 99 cents.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire the Masquerade: Beckett
by Maxim T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2011 02:07:40
The dialogue feels like it was written by Tommy Wiseu (who coincidentally bears a strong physical resemblance to the protatonist in this instance), and the pacing is no less jarring and awkward. The dialogue in the fight scene with the two goons, oh my god don't get me started. The ending seemed to imagine itself as climactic, but the twist (I guess?) wasn't impactful and it was all very rushed.

The scan is fine, the service was (as always) great, but the story was certainly not the best.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Beckett
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The Phantom #1
by Aditya T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2011 23:13:31
All ok. I just need to re download since my laptop was stolen.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Phantom #1
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Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/15/2011 21:16:47
Moonstone’s run of Vampire and Werewolf comics were a well-realised project, focusing on either a single Clan/Tribe, or on a signature character. In Giovanni, the plot revolves around an art auction, for a ‘lost’ piece of art created by a Kindred painter. Pietro, Madeleine and Isabel take centre stage and those familiar with the Giovanni will already know these names. There is room for character development and there are some very nice insights into how these individuals work on a very personal level. The plot is simple on the surface but makes use of a number of threads that are all woven into the main story. The artwork, whilst not on par with heavy-hitters like Marvel or DC, is still pleasing (and on the same level as most Vertigo titles) and presented in colour. The authors obviously have a good grasp of the medium and write well for this format.
I’ve collected together the print copies of most of the Moonstone comics and they are uniformly good. At this price, there is no reason to skip over them. They are also reusable in terms of giving you some plot ideas, or even a spark for a new character, so they are just as useful as anything else on your gaming shelf. Lastly, you might even consider buying a few for new gamers to give them a taste of the respective games as they are quite faithful to the oWoD.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni
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Werewolf the Apocalypse: Black Furies
by Jonathan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2011 15:59:41
In W:tA, the Black Furies have always had a strong theme of protecting women. This publication dives right into this theme, latches on, and never lets go even at the very end. It is a tired story with heavy stereotypes and a contrived turn of events.

However, as with all W:tA books, the artwork is fantastic and inspiring. Because of the art I do not regret my purchase.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf the Apocalypse: Black Furies
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