I’m back from the comic shop and I got 5 new comics this week. No hard cover collections because I just had to send Uncle Sam some tax money. I un-stimulated the economy :

  • Buffy Season Eight – 13
  • The Walking Dead – 48
  • Grendel Behold The Devil 5 (of 8)
  • Jack Staff – 15
  • American Splendor Vol 2 – 1
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “The Saga of the Seven Suns: Veiled Alliances” by Kevin J. Anderson and Robert Teranishi
  • “The Saga of the Seven Suns” is a series of sci-fi books that have been published over the last five or six years. I only know this because back when I was working in the offices of Marvel comics I stumbled onto the first book in the series lying about the place. Though I hadn’t read much sci-fi since my college days I thought I’d give it a read. I enjoyed the novel. It was written in a page turning style and kept me entertained. It annoyed me because, as many “series” books do, it had no real ending. Just a sort of “to be continued” ending but still the book was good. I never read any of the others though.

    “The Saga of the Seven Suns: Veiled Alliances” is a comic prequel to the series. It was published in 2004 and I remember seeing it on Amazon when, after I read the novel, I looked up some info about the series of books. This graphic novel didn’t get great reviews but they were mostly from fans of the novel and not comic fans. The comic was also said to have spoilers if you haven’t read the second book. I haven’t but damed if I know what the spoilers are.

    I picked this up on a slow comics week and really didn’t expect much of it. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not a great comic but it’s a good one. It held my attention all the way through.

    As a prequel it takes place before the events of the first book. It tells the story of how Earth people first met with an race of people from outer space. They are benevolent but still everybody faces challenges as we all have to get along and learn from each other. This book gives the “origins” of various factions of space traveling Earth people.

    The writing is good. As good as the novel I’d say since it’s the same author. It’s also written differently than a usual comic. It’s written in that page turning “best seller” novel style. It constantly changes scenes every four to six pages and you always want to see what is going to happen next. It’s plot driven just like the books in a way that comics usually aren’t. There is a lot happening and I’m not sure if someone who hasn’t read at least the first novel will get what’s going on.

    The artist, Robert Teranishi, I haven’t heard of before. The art looks like it is un-inked and colored and printed from the artist’s pencils. This is still a relatively new technique and as such has a tendency to look “unfinished” at times. It lets me down on occasion but overall the storytelling is good. The art also looks like it is coming from a “book cover illustration” place. By that I mean lots of floating heads some collage like elements. Normally I hate that sort of stuff on book covers but Teranishi make it work for me here because he integrates it well into the story telling. It’s a bit different from traditional comic storytelling.

    So here is another book that goes into the “pleasant surprise” category for me. It’s a well done graphic novel done in a style that’s not your everyday comic style. It even makes me want to read the other books in the novel series. If you’re looking for a fun sci-fi diversion give this a read.