Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Lion of Rora: A Dad and Daughter Review

The Lion Of Rora is a new original graphic novel written by Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage, part of the writing team for the Netflix hit, Daredevil.  It is drawn by Jackie Lewis, and artist I was not previously familiar with but have some nice things to say about in a couple of paragraphs.

I don’t want to summarize too much of the book and spoil it for you, so I will let the websites words give you the basics for me.
Based on true events, [Lion of Rora] tells the story of Joshua Janavel and the Waldensians, the first people in European history to rebel against their ruler for the purpose of religious freedom.

When the Waldensians were threatened, Janavel went from being a simple, unassuming farmer to what Napoleon called the greatest military tactician in history. Through their skill and bravery, winning battles against overwhelming odds, Janavel and the Waldensians won the admiration of people throughout the world.

The Gages have crafted a fast paced interesting history book that I could not put down.  Stories involving religion can put people off, but this book is about a group of people who want to be free and are forced to fight for that freedom.  You do not have to be interested in any specific religious struggle or religion at all to enjoy The Lion of Rora

I think the best thing I can say about the art is that while reading Rora I kept being reminded of another book, Joe Sacco’s The Great War, a 24 foot fold-out book depicting the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  If you are not familiar with Sacco’s work, trust me, this is high praise.  Jackie Lewis’ art is not identical to Sacco’s but there are plenty of busy battle scenes in Rora and Lewis makes the close ups and the distant shots clear, informative and exciting, like Sacco did in his book.  This is a carefully researched book, both by the authors and the illustrator.  The clothing, references and tools all feel authentic (granted, I’m taking their word for it, but everything seems right). 

As I write this my ten year old daughter is reading my copy of the book.  I have asked her questions to check her comprehension as she reads and she is getting it.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing this into my classroom for my ten year old students (I’ve had parents complain about the sex and violence in BONE) but any reader mature enough to watch a movie like The Hobbit should be able to handle the action and violence of The Lion of Rora. There is death and violence in The Lion of Rora, as any book about revolt and war will surely have, but the brutality is not depicted in a gory way and there is no cursing or nudity.

 I was entertained and educated while I read it and my daughter is feeling the same way right now.  She was unfamiliar with the problems that faced the early protestant churches, but I did not have to say much – the book does a great job of giving readers enough information to follow the story.  The official website for the book has
more information on the history of the Waldensians and a study guide as well.  Any class studying the Protestant Reformation or the history of revolts in general could use this book and guide.

To finish off, words from my daughter, who just now finished reading the book:

Mariah: I really liked it. It was interesting how it told about the fight people have to keep their churches.  Also, I liked when Janavel’s young son said that each other and the family bible was all they needed.  “Everything that’s important is still here.  This was just a house.”

The Lion of Rora is published by Oni Press.

Scott Tingley
September 12, 2015 
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Friday, April 18, 2014


-Press Release-

April 17,  2014 - Los Angeles, CA - New York Times bestselling author Kate Leth (ADVENTURE TIME VOL 3: SEEING RED) is pulling on her giant blue gloves and getting in touch with her inner Emotion Lord in preparation for taking over as the new series writer for KaBOOM! comics title BRAVEST WARRIORS, starting with issue #21 in June. The Bravest Warriors are always up for saving the universe, but Leth joins forces with new series artist Ian McGinty (ADVENTURE TIME) to see just what happens when the universe has to save them! It’s sure to be a crazy mission, and if the universe isn’t up for it, then hopefully Catbug will come up with something...right?

Leth is firmly entrenched in the world of comics. She keeps a busy schedule by working at comic shop Strange Adventures in Nova Scotia; creating the biweekly Kate or Die strip for Comics Alliance; working on various comics projects; and running The Valkyries, a network of women working in comic shops around the world. Leth has worked on various KaBOOM! and BOOM! Box projects, including ADVENTURE TIME WITH FIONNA AND CAKE, THE MIDAS FLESH, and LUMBERJANES.

BRAVEST WARRIORS is an animated web series created by Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) and produced by Frederator Studios about four, teenage heroes who save the galaxy time and time again through the power of friendship, emotions, and…weaponized animal hybrids! KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, began publishing the BRAVEST WARRIOR comics in October 2012.
“Kate is on a hot streak right now, having recently placed on the New York Times bestseller list with her ADVENTURE TIME: SEEING RED original graphic novel and her Emerald City Comic Con exclusive cover for LUMBERJANES #1 completely selling out,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We can’t wait for her to bring her talent to BRAVEST WARRIORS and take Chris, Wallow, Beth, and Danny on some awesome new adventures!”

BRAVEST WARRIORS #21 arrives in comic shops on June 25th with a price of $3.99, featuring covers illustrated by Mady Martin, Rachael Hunt, and Jason Adams. It is listed under Diamond Order Code APR141026. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use or to find one! It’s also available for order directly from

Scott Tingley

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

East Coast Comic Expo 2013 Roundup

The first annual East Coast Comic Expo has come and gone and it was just about perfect.  I was able to help out with it and every vendor and artist I had a chance to talk to had a good time and a successful day.

The event was held at the Beaver Curling Club in Moncton, NB, which was a really good venue but it is being shut down so a new place will need to be found for next year. The picture below was taken near the end of the day when things were slowing down, but we reached 700+ attendees which beat what we were needed to attend in order to make it a success and worth doing again.

 I helped run the kid's art corner for the morning.  We had a balloon twister and a face painter as well as colouring pages (all drawn by artists attending that day) and blank comic pages for some comic day creating.  I can't wait to see what this section can become next year.
Brenda Hickey and Troy Little came over for the day and they were very busy.  Brenda (below) is working on a My Little Pony comic for IDW, so she was a big hit.  Her husband, Troy was not able to tell us about his big new project, but he really really wanted to.  IDW publishes original work as well as licensed characters, so my guess is that he will be working on a licensed character soon. Or not - either way I look forward to it.

Becky Cloonan and her husband Andy Belanger came in from the weekend as well.  They were great.

I got a Thor/Viking sketch card from Brenda and I got to watch Andy draw this Swamp Thing picture for some lucky fan.

Nick Bradshaw and his Wolverine and the Xmen partner, Ramon Perez were very busy all day.  I just missed getting a sketch from Ramone on Saturday I did get my copy of  his Eisner award winning book, Tale of Sand signed with a sketch on Sunday.

My only complaint about the day is that I made the kids t-shirts for the day but it was so cold they couldn't take their sweaters off all morning.

 I kept the Fan-Boy inside me settled until right at the end of the wrap-up guest/volunteer dinner on Sunday.  As everyone was leaving I saw this on the table.  A napkin with a Batman and Mole-man picture drawn by Becky Cloonan.  Awesome!

What a great day.  Stay tuned for what's coming next.

Scott Tingley

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ernest and Rebecca: A Mariah Review

Ernest and Rebecca: Vol 1 and Vol 2

The following is a review of the first two books in the Earnest and Rebecca comic series from Papercutz.  It was written by Grade 3 student, Mariah.

I first was introduced to these books at the 2012 Free Comic Book Day.  I was looking at a comic book when I spied the FCBD Ernest and Rebecca story.  I started looking through that part of the comic and I thought it was great.  Then for the Christmas of 2012 my dad got me the first book, My Best Friend Is A Germ.  I read the whole thing and I kept reading it and reading it.

The books are about a little girl named Rebecca and a shape-shifting microbe germ named Ernest.  During a frog hunt in the first book she saw him sitting under a tree.  She thought he was a frog but then he started talking to her.  He called her a little piglet and she started chasing him around outside her house!  She finally caught him and took him inside. They became best friends and he helps Rebecca deal with her fighting parents.

In book 2, Sam the Repulsive, Rebecca’s parents get separated and the mother gets a new boyfriend named Sam.  Rebecca tries to get her parents back together with her new germy friend, Ernest the microbe.  When mom invites the boyfriend over for tea Earnest and Rebecca see this as their big chance to get rid of Sam.  So, they try to dump some frogs on his head but they are too late – he was early and already went into the house and they have to try a different way to get rid of him.  Nothing works, it’s no use, Sam is still in the picture.  In the end Rebecca starts to like Sam because he started to act not what she expected.  

These books are written really funny.  Guillaume Bianco does a good job.  They try to trick Dr. Fakbert into thinking she has green lumps on her head with the help of Ernest’s imitation and shape-shifting abilities.  In one part Rebecca bites the Dr’s hand because she didn’t like the tongue depressor he was putting in her mouth.  These books are really interesting for children to read.

I really like the details the artist did on the drawings.  Antonello Dalena makes the hair on Rebecca’s head so real and cool.  I like how the artist draws everything so cute and silly but when the parents are fighting I can feel Rebecca’s sadness.

That is why I like the first two books in the Ernest and Rebecca series.

This review of Ernest and Rebecca is by Mariah, age 8.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Free Comic Book Day is this Week!

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday at your local participating comic shop.

You're welcome.

Scott Tingley

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sonic Saga: Vol 2 review by Jack, age 6

My son, Jack just discovered the world of Sonic through a few old Free Comic Book Day Sonic issues I had put in a box of comics for him.  He has been nearly obsessed with them for the two weeks since. He can’t quite read the books (he is 6 and in grade one), but he sure is loving them.  I think that something about the storytelling abilities of the artist and writing team that a new reader can follow the Sonic stories.

Here is the Press Release information on the book provided by the publisher, Archie Comics:

Sonic’s epic adventures aren’t just stories, they’re SAGAS! Blast into the action at Sonic speed with the continuation of the all-new Sonic Saga series! The mysterious villain known only as Anonymous finally makes his play after months of careful plotting, and hero and villain alike are caught in his grasp! Friends and family are put in peril! And if that wasn’t enough, Anonymous has gathered every Chaos Emerald in the universe!
Nothing will be the same as lives are lost, whole dimensions re-written, and alliances put to the test. Sonic must cross time and space to reunite families, while his dark rival, Shadow the Hedgehog, finally confronts Dr. Eggman… and his legacy!

 Here is my interview/review with my son.

Dad: What book are you reading?

Jack: Sonic Saga – the new one.  I like it.

Dad: What do you like best about it?

Jack: I like Shadow – At night he turns into a were-hog or something. [keeps reading...] Whaat?!?  A GIANT CRAB!

Dad: Lobster.

Jack: Yeah, I get mixed up.  The big headed nose guy has it.  He’s a bad guy.
And I like Sonic and the robots.  There is lots of action.  There are two guys that are fast – Sonic and Shadow.
Dad, stop writing – I want to keep reading.

I think that is a ringing endorsement for Sonic Comics in general.

SONIC SAGA VOL. 2 collects selected stories from Sonic the Hedgehog #168-172.
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, Tracy Yardley!, James Fry, Tania Del Rio, Gary Bedell, Jim Amash, Rich Koslowski, John Workman, Josh & Aimee Ray, and Jason Jensen
Cover by Tracy Yardley!, Jim Amash, and Jason Jensen
isbn: 978-1-936975-40-2
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
Trade Paperback
112 pp, full color
Direct Market On-sale: 3/13

-Scott Tingley

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