Comic Book Review: ‘Cleopatra in Space’

“But why are they in space? There’s no reason for them to be in space!”

Cleopatra in Space, written and illustrated by Mike Maihack. 3 vols. New York: Scholastic, 2014-2016.

We have before us a highly entertaining space opera swashbuckler aimed at a younger audience but also suitable for adults.

Author and illustrator Mike Maihack has worked on several different comics projects, including the webcomic Cow and Buffalo. He also produced an earlier webcomic version of the present story under the more facetious title of Cleopatra in SPAAAACE, which he halted abruptly in order to reimagine Cleopatra’s tale as a series of graphic novels, published through Scholastic’s Graphix Imprint. The stories of the graphic novels and webcomic differ in some details and do not overlap.

The series currently stands at four volumes, the fourth having released recently this year. I am here discussing only the first three, which are all I’ve got my hands on so far.

Continue reading “Comic Book Review: ‘Cleopatra in Space’”

‘Chaos Arena: Crystal Fighters’

Chaos Arena: Crystal Fighters, Chapter 1, written and illustrated by Jen and Tyler Bartel. Digital comic. Stēla. 2016.

This is a digital comic, new within the last few months, with a magical girl theme and an unusual premise. I’d like to be able to say more about it than I’m going to, but aside from its first chapter, it is, unfortunately, available only behind a paywall on the Stēla comic-reading app, which is available only on the iPhone.

I have an Android. So I’m going to discuss the first chapter (which you can read online for free) and say what I think so far, and then I’ll leave those of you with iPhones to decide if you want to shell out in order to read further yourselves. The Stēla people need to get their act together and port their app for the rest of us.

Also, you’ll notice I don’t have a link to Stēla’s website or the free first chapter. That’s because I read the chapter on my phone using the web browser, but now that I’ve sat down at my PC to write the review, I find that my anti-malware program has blocked Stēla’s site for malicious content. That could be an error on my end, or it could mean that the Stēla people really need to get their act together. Continue reading “‘Chaos Arena: Crystal Fighters’”