City Hall, Volume 4

City Hall, Volume 4

It took a while, but in October of last year it was finally released: the fourth volume in the ongoing City Hall storyline of the French steampunk manga series created by Rémi Guerin and Guillaume Lapeyre.

We revisit our heroes, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and Amelia Earhart, who are still trying to figure out just who or what the illusive Lord Blackfowl is and who else is behind his dastardly schemes of destruction that have plagued the city of London. Only this time events force the dynamic trio to move their investigations to Paris — which isn’t quite the Paris we know — via new and exciting means of transportation.

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Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror

Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror

It’s the fourth installment of IDW Publishing’s revamped Rocketeer series already and, to be honest, I’m still not sure where they’re taking it. I’m not even sure I like what they’re doing to the much beloved pulp superhero.

It’s not so much the fact that every story they change writers and artists that irks me. There is a lot of talent out there and it’s great that different people get a stab at The Rocketeer. As long as they’re competent storytellers and make excellent art, I’m fine with it.

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Walking Your Octopus

Walking Your Octopus

Welcome to the world of renowned steampunk Brian Kesinger, and in particular the world of two of his best known characters: Otto and Victoria.

The world of Otto and Victoria is a Victoriana world where cephalopods live on land as well as in water and are often seen as companions to humans.

It is this world we explore in Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod.

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City Hall, Volumes 1-3

City Hall

City Hall is a franga (French manga) created by writer Rémy Guérin and artist Guillaume Lapeyre. Set in an alternative Edwardian-era London, full of steampunk and fantastical marvels and terrors.

Imagine a world where paper has not only been replaced by the Steam-net but is also a dangerous weapon. Everything written down on it becoming reality, how dangerous and threatening as the writer deems appropriate or necessary. Only very few individuals still know how to write by traditional means, everyone else uses typewriters resembling the steampunk laptops and desktops computers.

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Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom

The third installment in the new Rocketeer series brings back the Rocketeer we have come to know and love. No more chronologically jumbled-up short stories by different artists and authors, but an all-new adventure written by Mark Waid with art by Chris Samnee, who previously participated in the first Rocketeer Adventures.

Originally a four-part comic story, this is the hardcover compilation of the “Cargo of Doom” story arc, which was previously released as a four-part comic adventure by IDW Publishing. Extras include 36 pages of storyboard sketches and art.

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Rocketeer Adventures, Volume 2

Rocketeer Adventures

Where the first volume had only the small downside of lack of chronology, volume 2 of the Rocketeer Adventures sadly does not live up to expectations.

There are a few beautifully drawn and strong stories in there, but overall it lacks the beauty and storytelling of the first release.

The lack of chronology has become downright annoying, as now you have short stories that are jumbled over two volumes time-wise, which is just bothersome. And in some cases the art is so subpar that the story can’t make up for it.

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Rocketeer Adventures

Rocketeer Adventures

Long after the unfortunate and untimely demise of the Rocketeer’s creator, Dave Stevens (1955-2008), his creation is back, resurrected by some of the sharpest talents in today’s comic-book business. Since then sixteen new volumes have been released, forming three all-new series.

It’s about the first of these, Rocketeer Adventures, I would like to talk in our last review of 2012.

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Nazis Take to the Moon in Iron Sky Prequel

Iron Sky

Dieselpunk fans will be familiar with the Iron Sky project. The independent film production will depict the Nazis plotting an invasion of Earth from their secret refuge on the Moon.

In anticipation of the film’s release, Iron Sky is releasing a prequel comic adventure.

The first issue, “Bad Moon Rising,” depicts the Third Reich’s survivors in Antarctica preparing to board UFOs bound for the Moon. They will build a base on the far side of the Moon to stage another attempt at conquering the planet.

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Ignition City

Ignition City

In 1930, three bold astronauts reach space. Fifteen years later, World War II is interrupted by a Martian invasion. As a consequences of those events, humanity starts exploring its Solar System and heroic astronauts contact alien species and have incredible adventures.

But that is the past.

The present is the year 1956, when no one cares about alien worlds and the final frontier anymore. Spaceports are being closed down and the only place from which rockets take off is Ignition City, a metropolis located on an artificial island on the equator. Here the last astronauts live in exile.

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The Invisible Frontier

The Invisible Frontier

While dieselpunk is commonly associated with a pulpy, noir-and-Jazz America, there remains a fascination in the subgenre for the crepuscular world of Interwar Europe.

It was a time of artistic ferment and architectural genius, of electricity and of the machine entwining themselves into the fabric of urban life, of cultural clashes and sexual politics, of ambitious administrators uttering proclamations and of humbled citizens trying to find a place in the brave new world.

It is this brief epoch, and the imaginative potential it nurtured, that finds a new home in the ethereal world of Les Cités Obscures.

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