Category Archives: Reviews – AiT/PlanetLar

Winds of War

White Death original softcover graphic novel
Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Publisher: AiT/PlanetLar
Price: $12.95 US

I see Image Comics released a hardcover edition of this graphic novel at the end of August. I didn’t pick it up, mainly because I already have a softcover edition of the book. Indy publisher AiT/PlanetLar originally published this creator-owned graphic novel back in 2002, and I was a devotee of AiT/PlanetLar books at the time. I’ve been writing comics reviews for a long time, and I recalled I already penned some thoughts about this book 12 years ago. Rather than write a new review, I found the original review, which I’ve reproduced below (with a couple of minor edits). When I was reviewing on at the time, I wrote many more reviews each week and wrote in a much more brief format than I do today.

When I saw this solicited in Previews, I figured, ‘What the hey.’ I enjoyed Adlard’s art, and publisher Larry Young has a solid track record. I’ve been wanting to wade into more original graphic novels and collected editions lately anyway. Little did I know I was ordering one of the most amazing war comics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Those who enjoyed and appreciated the craft behind Garth Ennis’s recent War Story one-shots will be awe-struck by the quality and vivid storytelling and characterization to be found in White Death.

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Highway to Hell

The Black Diamond: Get in the Car and Go trade paperback
Writer: Larry Young
Artist/Colors: Jon Proctor
Cover photographer: Mimi Rosenheim
Publisher: AiT/Planet Lar
Price: $19.95 US

AiT/Planet Lar graphic novels have always been worth a look. Publishers Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim have an eye for unusual projects and strong creative voices. Among the talent they’ve worked with are now high-profile names in the industry, such as Matt (Invincible Iron Man) Fraction and Brian (DMZ) Wood. AiT/Planet Lar first got off the ground with Young’s Astronauts in Trouble title, and he returned to writing comics recently with this title, collected here. While AiT/Planet Lar was built mainly on the philosophy of publishing original graphic novels, it’s strayed from that model from time to time, and this is the most recent instance of that. I liked the premise of The Black Diamond in that its premise flows from socio-political issues, and that real-world, smart quality is to be found throughout this book. Unfortunately, the story is derailed in part by the artwork. Jon Proctor’s stiff illustration is appealing at times, but the action doesn’t unfold clearly at all. Without vital cues in the dialogue, there are times when it’s impossible to tell what’s going on. The story’s pacing is a bit off as well, but I’m pretty sure I understand why that might have been something of a necessary evil.

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Rock Bottom original graphic novel
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist/Cover artist: Charlie Adlard
Greytones: Charlie Adlard & Paul Peart
Letters: Josh Richardson
Publisher: AiT/PlanetLar
Price: $12.95 US

We don’t hear as much hype coming out of AiT/PlanetLar these days as we once did; perhaps publisher/propagandist Larry Young is busy with more pressing matters these days. Nevertheless, when I saw that the small publisher was releasing a new Joe Casey/Charlie Adlard project, I had to take a look. It’s too bad Young has dialed down the hype machine, because this project definitely merits the hullabaloo. It has the potential to appeal to a broad audience, not only to the fans of the industry’s dominant super-hero genre, but to supporters of strong, character-based, indy-comics storytelling. Casey’s script makes the idea of a man turning to stone more and more believable as the book progresses. Though this book boasts super-hero elements, it’s not a super-hero story. It’s about a man coming to terms with a health crisis and how the people around him see it as a tragedy and yet an opportunity as well.

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