Joshua Hale Fialkov

Purveyor of sheer awesomeness.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Harvey, Eisner, and Emmy Award nominated writer of graphic novels, animation, video games, film, and television, including:


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The Quarter Bin is keen on Alibi

» Blog Archive » Review: ALIBI

Alibi thankfully doesn’t start off with any lengthy explanations, but instead throws the reader right into the story, assuming he or she can follow along. Fialkov understands that showing the reader is more important (although usually more difficult) than simply telling the reader, and luckily he knows how to make it work. Even though it’s a serious story, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the small moments of humor are much appreciated. The story is intriguing and the dialogue is well written; it’s pretty much all you could ask for in a new book.

Comicvine on Alibi (with five page preview)

Comicvine: The Latest In Comic Book News and Blogs

That is not the case here. So where as we are told the basic gist of the story, we are left with a pretty big cliffhanger on the last page. It's pretty much a "holy crap, how will they get out of this one?"

So I have to say, for me, this is one of the main contenders so far.

More at the link.

Book Review - Making Movies

Making Movies Making Movies by Sidney Lumet

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of my all time favorite 'theory' books, mostly because Lumet handles the content from a much more practical stand point then the usual writer. He manages to sum up not just the roles of the director and writer, but, everybody up and down the credit list, and to do it with practical examples, and to clearly define just what film is capable of, and why it so rarely achieves those goals.

I reread this book at least once a year, and every year find myself finding more and more applicable to my work and creative process.

View all my reviews.

Book Reviews - On Directing Film

On Directing Film On Directing Film by David Mamet

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
While suffering a bit from his own inexperience, and his angry young man routine, young Mamet says much current Mamet would agree with. I think that a lot of the really intelligent thoughtful information gets clouded by the "The producers are brainless monkeys and deserve to die!" diatribes.

That being said, he manages to merge a lot of great stuff from a wealth of sources into one short, concise book with a clear line of insight into what directing a film is like. Certainly worth the read, although not necessarily the book's steep price.

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Book Review - Naoki Urasawa's Monster Vol. 1

Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Vol. 1 Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Urasawa's use of suspense is second to none. A complete and utter piece of genius, Monster gives proof not just to readers but to creators of manga and graphic novels that this medium is ready to be used and abused for much grander things than we've seen before.

A complete masterwork that'll leave you aching for Viz to finish releasing the series.

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Book Review - Death Note, Vol. 1

Death Note, Volume 1 Death Note, Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
The best. The absolute, 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt best use of graphic storytelling in the past five years. Sophisticated storytelling, an amazingly compelling concept, and characters you hate, love, suspect, trust, believe in, and despise.

Be forewarned, after reading the first volume, you won't be able to stop.

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Book Review - Death Note: Another Note

Death Note: Another Note (Novel) Death Note: Another Note by Ishin Nishio

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
If this were made in America, it would be terrible. A spinoff prose novel of the beloved manga Death Note. But, Japan just knows better. It's an amazingly executed novel that perfectly uses the literary medium, creating something so much more compelling than you'd ever imagine it to be.

Non-essential for enjoying Death Note, but, it really does add so much more to the experience.

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Book Review - The Drifting Classroom Vol. 1

The Drifting Classroom Vol. 1 (Drifting Classroom) The Drifting Classroom Vol. 1 by Kazuo Umezu

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
A simple concept, not quite executed to it's fullest. Unfortunately, the characters, motivations, and reactions are all just out of whack. Lots of 60's style EXCLAMATION! POINTS! AFTER! EVERY! SENTENCE! which is, I guess, sort of a nice retro thing, but, when you take these kids and throw them into such an out of this world situation, some slightly more grounded handling of the characters is in order to really keep you into the story.

Still debating on whether to continue or not, I'm probably willing to give it another volume or so, just to see where the story goes.

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Book Review - Parsyte Vol. 11

Parasyte, Volume 1 Parasyte, Volume 1 by Hitoshi Iwaaki

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
A whole lot of fun to be had in Parasyte. Somewhere between a wacky sex comedy, action adventure, and sci-fi/horror, Parasyte is yet another wholly unique experience in manga form. While not particularly deep or thoughtful, the book manages to be the most fun I've had reading a manga in some time.

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Book Review - Color of Rage

Color of Rage Color of Rage by Kazuo Koike

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a big fan of Lone Wolf and Cub, when I read the back of this book, I knew I had to give it a try. Essentially, it's the Defiant Ones, set in feudal Japan. A somewhat graceful look at race, freedom, and morality, through the eyes of an African American man trapped in Japan.

I'm not sure if this is the sole volume, as it feels fairly open ended at the end. In any event, it's beautiful story telling and very compelling action from one of the fathers of manga. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews.

Analyzing Postcards

Long(ish) form dissection of each story from Postcards, including my story, seen here: ARTIFACT AND ARTIFICE: CULTURAL STUDIES OF THE TEXTUAL CITY: Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened

This story also invokes the idea of the city, since it is set in Paris and location is a focal point in the story – Marj wants to go home, Frank admires the skyline and calls it “paradise”, and the large last panel is Marj left alone, dwarfed under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Once again, here the city is an imposing, important ‘character’ in the story, where people can lose themselves or take on new identities.

I do a lot of these...

The "Where I've Been" posts, that is.  I've been incredibly swamped the past week or two with getting ready for New York Comic Con, and the coming months of cons and deadlines. in the next few weeks, I've got a couple of books coming out, and, hopefully, a few more announcements of things to come.  I've gotten a bunch of Manga jobs, adapting and creating OEL's, so I've been spending my time catching up on some of the more popular manga on the shelf.

I drifted away from it a few years ago for a few reasons, primarily lack of cash, but, I felt like so much of the manga that made it here was sort of the cliche-laden version of manga, rather than the stuff I fell in love with as a child.  For every Iron Wok Jan, there was three dozen faceless stories about boys with magical powers.

So, with that in mind I entered into reading Death Note with great hesitation.  Plus, it's so insanely popular that it more or less has to suck, one would imagine.

But it doesn't.  It's superb.  It's some of the most sophisticated long term storytelling I've seen in comics of any kind in years.  The way that the concept of the book manages to be turned on it's ear again and again, each time turning the book into something brand new.

It's completely worth checking out.

I'm also pouring through Uzumaki (also amazing... some of the best straight horror I've ever read in comics form, in fact.)

As to what I'm working on... Mark and I turned in the third Cleaners script to Dark Horse this week, I'm on the 2nd draft of my last Vampirella, which should be a doozey, and I'm just getting started on Cyblade #2.  I've got one of those aforementioned manga projects cooking that's alarmingly cool (and has been LOTS of fun, thus far), and a few other unannounced iron-made trinkets

So, yeah, keeping busy.

I'll post my NYCC schedule in a few days.  East Coast here I come.

Movies, TV, etc.

Since getting rid of cable and becoming a shut in, I've been watching fewer and fewer New Releases of any kind.  Here's a few things I've watched that are, ahem, new to me. Be Kind Rewind - I'm not sure what's wrong with everybody.  The movie is fantastic.  It's not as good as Eternal Sunshine, obviously, but, it's still a work of near genius.  The big complaint seems to be how the movie is awkwardly put together.  That's on purpose.  The movie feels like a story that's been Sweded.  It's fucking genius.  It's got heart, soul, and is funny as fuck.  I'm glad that Gondry is back from the self-indulgent nightmare of Science of Sleep.

Newhart - Season 1 -  Ah Bob.  No better sitcom comedian has ever graced tv.  While not as organic as the 70's Bob Newhart Show, the 'new' Newhart is still fucking amazing.  Of course, it'll be a season or two before the cast we all remember shows up, but, considering how long it took us to get the first four of TBNS, and this first season, it might be a while.

No Direction Home - I somehow managed to miss this doc when it aired on PBS.  One of those "I'll watch it eventually" things.  It's Scorsese Documentary excellence mixed with the longest interview Dylan's ever given.  It's masterfully put together, and the archival stuff they found is simply amazing.  Footage of Woody Guthrie playing, Dylan getting booed, and recordings of the early pre-star Dylan tapes... wow.  If you have any interest in folk culture, Dylan, or the 60's, definitely worth watching.

Torchwood - What a difference a year makes.  Last season (which is linked here) was... okay.  The second half really managed to off set the mediocre first half.  But, it still wasn't there.  This season... they get it.  The show is purposefully juvenille, filled with ridiculous and unrealistic sexuality that really manages to make the whole thing feel like everybody is being guided by the oversexed aura of Captain Jack.  So, sure, they do weird illogical shit, but, dammit, Captain Jack is there.  I'm REALLY looking forward to the new Season of Doctor Who, simply to see it all tie together.

Lost - What a difference a year makes.  Last season was... okay. (Hey look at me.  I'm reusing the above review!)  Anyways, this season has been exactly what it needed to be.  We're making huge progress in story and character, and the twists and revelations feel substantial.  I'm glad I stuck around, and this season has made it fairly certain I'm not going anywhere.

The X-Files - So, this is going to be a bit ridiculous.  I never made it through the X-Files before.  I watched Season One when it aired, and my punk rocky teenage self had no use for it.  Consequently, aside from the assorted episodes here and there, I just never got through the whole show.  While working on The Cleaners, and a few other procedural horror type things, I decided it was time.  So, I started from the beginning.  I'm about halfway through the second season, and holy shit... really fantastic.  It's a little campy, and the stand alone episodes feel like they get in the way of the continuing plot (which unlike most people, I'm actually really into, thus far.)  So, yeah.  Go pick up that giant box set.

So hopefully, I'll get to see the Oscar movies shortly.  Until then, that's all I got.

Comics I've Enjoyed

So, I haven't actually been reading many comics the past few months, as I've been equal parts busy and poor. The past two weeks or so I've gotten time to catch up. Here's a few things I really enjoyed. The Darkness - I know right? Company man all of the sudden. Phil Hester, in case you don't know, is the best writer in comics. He has skills beyond those of mortal man, and everything he touches is gold. His work on The Darkness is... jesus... amazing. Really some of the best superheroing I've read in a long time. Get over the predisposition against it. It's great.  The link isn't to Phil's stuff.  I'm sure his trade'll be out in a few months, tho.

Criminal - Preaching to the choir, I suppose. The relaunch of the book is probably the best issue to date. The only thing I can say negatively about it is that it's not quite as good as Stray Bullets. But, as Stray Bullets is probably the best comic of the past ten years, that's really more of a compliment than anything else.

Y: The Last Man - Again. Choir, listen up. BKV continues to be amazing, and I miss the book already.

'76 - I've been working on a few comics set in the 70's (or, done in the style of the 70's) and it's an era (and style) that's more or less unmatched for me. I often times think I was born twenty years too late. Anyways, B. Clay Moore, Seth Peck, and the gang have a fun take on the time period, that's definitely worth checking out.

Captain Marvel - Alright. So, come on. This is ridiculous coming from me. But, seriously, Brian Reed, friend, statesman, hero to many, is writing one of the most fun superhero books in a LONG time, and the fact that it's tied into one of ten million cross overs, features continuity nearly a decade old, and is a character I could give two shits about is mere evidence to how fucking excellent it is. Go read it.

The Highwaymen TPB - Comes out next week some time in the next few weeks, and I finally finished reading the issues. It's a goddamn thrill ride. Despite it being well travelled territory it never feels old hat. Really just great storytelling by two future mighty men of comics.

Doctor Who Classics - IDW's publishing the old awesome 80's Marvel Doctor Who stuff. It's Dave Gibbons for fuck sake. Get on it.

Okay. That's it for now. I may do a thing about tv I'm watching next.

Comics Should Be Good Likes Punks

Comics Should Be Good! » What I bought - 28 December 2007

Fialkov is obviously having a blast writing almost stream-of-consciousness stuff, and Chamberlain uses random pictures smashed together to give it a dream-like feel (check out the cover for an example). It’s a wild book, and I encourage you to hunt it down. Get to it!

Hooray for Jesus and CBR!