Review: Radium Girls

Author/Artist: Cy
Publisher: Glenat
Released: August 26, 2020
Received: NetGalley

The odds are good that you’ve heard of the Radium Girls (Ghost Girls’), at least in passing. This is the true story of those women and everything they went through. Written and illustrated by Cy, Radium Girls gives their story a voice and visual elements.

It all began in 1918, with a bunch of women happily working together at a local watch factory. Their job was simple: they needed to paint the watch faces on. Their nickname, ‘ghost girls, ‘ stemmed from the glowing powder that would stick to their lips and later make their skin glow faintly – like a ghost.

We all know how tragic their story ends as they slowly die from radiation poisoning. Yet this telling gives them a voice and allows some of their happier moments to shine through alongside all of the bad.

I’ve read this story before, and yet there was something so powerful in the way that Cy portrayed it here. I think the art style had a lot to do with it. The colors are beautiful, but they are also ethereal. It was sobering and yet uplifting all in one.

I love that Cy made a choice to include happier moments alongside the bad. These moments yet their personalities shine so beautifully, and I think those are the moments we need to remember. We need to remember who these women were – not just what was done to them.

Thanks to Glenat and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Manga Monday: Penguin & House Volume 1

Author/Artist: Akiho Ieda
Publisher: Kosdansha Comics
Released: March 1, 2022
Received: NetGalley

Seriously, who can resist a cover as cute as Penguin & House Volume 1? I love everything about this cover. The title, the colors, the artwork! It’s all SO cute! So yeah, I grabbed it and happily dove on it.

Pen is, as you might have guessed, a Penguin. His owner is Hayakawa and Pen is determined to make him the happiest human ever. Pen does everything; he cooks, cleans, and is very doting. In short, he is the perfect penguin.

Unfortunately, Hayakawa is not as neat as Pen. He is, in fact, quite the slob. He shows up in dirty sports gear, happily eats junk, and misses out on all the sweet effort Pen makes for his favorite owner.

Ow. My heart. I adore Pen the Penguin so very, very much. That’s why it was so hard to read Penguin & House Volume 1. You see, Pen is a perfect penguin, but Hayakawa is not a good owner. Or a good friend.

He overlooks everything Pen does for him, frequently utterly messing up all the work Pen does around the house. It hurts to see him so disrespected, and it made it very difficult to enjoy this story as I expected. You see, I expected something lighthearted and fun. What I got was quite sad.

Thanks to Kodansha and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review – Farmhand #15 (Image Comics)

The Past Has Come Back to Haunt In Farmhand #15

After a short break, the ghastly tale of plants and implants is back in Farmhand #15. This is a world that has been steadily getting darker with time, and it looks like it’ll brighten up anytime soon. So if you’re looking for an original horror worth diving into, this is one to check out.

Once upon a time, the discovery of using plants to grow implants and prosthetics seemed like a miracle. Now it’s more like a nightmare, as the truth behind the entire process is steadily being revealed.

If only that was the only secret, this small town was hiding. In a series that blends family drama and horror, Farmhand is genuinely chilling – a fact that seems to become increasingly apparent.


Farmhand #15, like the rest of the series, was written by Rob Guillory until this point. His horrifying vision has come to life on the pages, and it is haunting. Thematically, I’ve loved this series from the start. The addition of family dynamics and drama has brought the series to new heights, especially in the last couple of issues.

The Knowledge of Good and Evil‘ primarily bounces back and forth between two moments in time. The present, where everything is going to hell. And the past, where it all began. It’s fascinating to see how the two tie together so strongly, as one character, in particular, learns the hidden truth of his family.

The revelations (and reactions) in this issue have left me with countless questions. I consider that to be a good thing. This series is easy to become emotionally invested in; all while curiosity is allowed to run free.

I sincerely cannot wait for the next issue in the series to drop, not just because I have questions I want answers to. But simply because I’m looking forward to seeing what is next, and how we’ll next be surprised.


As mentioned above, Rob Guillory was the writer for this issue – but that’s not all. He was also the lead artist, working alongside Rico Renzi (colors) and Kody Chamberlain (letters). Together they turned Farmhand #15 into something that is simultaneously stunning…and horrifying.

This series has never been afraid to dive into dark imagery, but it felt so much more accurate and haunting in this issue. That’s thanks, in no small part, to the art style they’ve been working with this whole time. The expressions and color palette did help to enhance the scene, of course.

The cover for Farmhand #15 is quite possibly my favorite of the series thus far. The colors are a bit of a break from the norm (usually being dominated by green and other natural hues), but it works spectacularly in this case.


Farmhand #15 was a haunting tale, one that revealed the past to such a dramatic effect. It truly would not be the same series if they were to remove the family drama. Or the horror, for that matter. Together they merge and create something new and perfect.

There are many things I’ve been enjoying about Farmhand. The aesthetic, the themes, the tone. Then there’s the storytelling style, which is unpredictable yet solid. It’s everything I could have hoped for in such a dark series, and then some. That is why I’ve found myself so thoroughly entranced by it all.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review: Emma Dreams of Stars

Authors/Artists: Kan Takahama, Emmanuelle Maisonneuve, Julia Pavlowitch
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Released: November 30, 2021
Received: NetGalley

It isn’t every day that you get to see a graphic novel based on a true story, so when Emma Dreams of Stars popped up on my radar, I knew I had to give it a try. Created by Julia Pavlowitch, Kan Takahama, and Emmanuelle Maisonneuve, Emma Dreams of Stars tells the story of a former Michelin Guide Inspector.

Young Emma always had one dream in life: to find her way into the world of Michelin Guides by becoming a food inspector. It’s a dream she worked hard at, and now it seems to finally be about to come true. This is the true story of how she got here.

Remember, Emma is a real person, and this story really did happen. The depictions of the harsh life of a food critic are very much real, though most likely never thought to consider the details of those lives. I know I didn’t.

If you’ve ever been curious about what it is like to be a food critic (in France, no less!), then you really ought to read Emma Dreams of Stars. The fact that the story is told in a graphic novel format allows for visual elements and is an overall shorter read.

I enjoyed the format of Emma’s story. It added a lot to the visual side of things. Admittedly, I think more time could have been spent letting readers know Emma first. Perhaps this wouldn’t have been an issue if I went into it knowing more about her work? I can’t say.

Emma Dreams of Stars had a lot going for it, including the accurate portrayal of a person’s real life. This included many personal moments and industry-specific issues such as gender discrimination and the exhaustion/loneliness that can come from constant travel and isolation.

Thanks to Vertical Comics for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Manga Monday: The Abandoned Reincarnation Sage Volume 1

Author/Artist: Kurikaramaru and Miraijin A
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Released: April 5, 2022
Received: NetGalley

Yep! It’s another reincarnation tale, which I can’t get enough of. I’m going to blame My Next Life as a Villainess for that one. The Abandoned Reincarnation Sage Volume 1 is the latest in a long line of manga with this trend.

Once upon a time (actually, not that long ago), Belamus was a revered sage with great power. So excellent were his skills that he decided to cast a spell, one that would force his spirit to reincarnate. Only, things don’t go quite as planned.

While Belamus was born with all his memories, he was powerless to stop his father from abandoning his newborn form in the middle of the woods. That could have been the end of the story had a kind Goblin family not taken him in.

Hrm. On the one hand, I like this concept. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy The Abandoned Reincarnation Sage Volume 1 as much as I had hoped. Part of the problem is the pacing. We didn’t get to know Belamus before he died and was reincarnated. Likewise, we don’t really get to know him until he’s around five, at which point we’re already seeing everything that makes him unique.

The result is a shallow connection to his character, at least initially. Maybe further volumes would help grow this connection; I’m not sure. What I do know is that it did have some funny moments, which helped to carry it along.

Another bright side to The Abandoned Reincarnation Sage Volume 1 is the artwork. It’s colorful and highly detailed, meaning that there is more than enough to keep the eyes busy as you work your way through it.

Thanks to Kodansha and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review – Farmhand #14 (Image Comics)

The Hits Keep On Coming in Farmhand #14

Farmhand #14 continues the chilling tale of wayward prosthetics and plants. What at first seemed like a brilliant advancement in technology has quickly turned into a horror story. And the stakes keep getting raised.

This series combines horror with family drama, technology, and medical science in the best of ways. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to read a series that will forever leave you slightly afraid of the plants in your very own backyard, then this is a series for you.

For those that haven’t heard of the series, Farmhand follows one family through a series of increasingly dangerous adventures. At the core of it is the family business, the growing of implants and prosthetics. It seemed like a genius move to have plants grow all the spare parts we needed, but as it turns out, there is a cost to everything.


Rob Guillory has continued to surprise and terrify his fans in Farmhand #14. This issue brought with it many answers that we’ve been seeking. However, in the process, it feels like it’s raising even more questions in need of answering.

This issue was split into so many different parts and perspectives, yet it shockingly never feels rushed. It’s almost hard to believe how much Guillory was able to fit into the pages, given how smoothly it read.

As such, there were multiple threads of the same plot moving forward here. Given everything that has been going on, it was quite exciting to get a chance to see it all in context. The viewpoints provided also helped to establish what characters were involved in which specific elements, etc. You can tell that it was all carefully planned out.

One thing I do know about this series; it is steadily upping the ante and the tension. It feels like at any moment; the dam will burst. In this instance, the dam is slightly less figurative, as long as you’re good with picturing zombie plants instead of water.


As mentioned above, a lot is going on in Farmhand #14. But have no fear; the artwork had no trouble keeping up with it all. Honestly, I’m very impressed with the balance that was struck in this issue.

There were flashbacks and perspective shifts and several other storytelling techniques thrown into the mix. Each change came with a slight alteration to the artwork, creating a clear delineation between one moment and the next. It was subtle but precisely what was needed here.

Rob Guillory, alongside writing the entire series, is also the lead artist. Therefore, he’s the one responsible for the foreshadowing imagery and all of the little details that set the tone in this issue (and the series as a whole.).

Working alongside Guillory, you’ll find Rico Renzi (colorist) and Kody Chamberlain (letterer). Renzi’s colors take the series to new heights, as he has cleverly infused scenes with green hues in a way that has become remarkably alarming (think of the purple infusions whenever Killgrave is near). Meanwhile, Chamberlain’s letters perfectly support the flow of the story while providing unobtrusive insight.


Farmhand #14 was another chilling but brilliant addition to this series. It’s officially hit a point where I’m practically counting down the days until the next release. That’s how intense and fascinating this plot has become.

One of the best things about this series (aside from the eerie tone) is its completely unpredictable series. You can come up with countless theories for what is to come, and the odds are good that you’re not in the same mind space as Guillory.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review: Darkhawk: Airborne

Series: Darkhawk: Airborne
Authors: Kyle Higgins, Dan Abnett, Danny Fingeroth
Artists: Mike Manley, Juanan Ramirez
Pencils: Andrea Di Vito
Inker: Lebeau Underwood
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor, Erick Arciniega, Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Released: March 1, 2022
Received: Own

As a HUGE fan of Darkhawk, I was so unbelievably excited by the news that the series was getting a reboot. Yeah, I’ll be sad to see Chris go, but it happens, right? Plus, I already adore Connor Young. I’ve always felt that Darkhawk was a seriously underrated character, so it’s nice to see him getting some much needed love here.

Darkhawk: Airborne, is brought to you by a large and impressive group of creatives. Kyle Higgins, Dan Abnett, and Danny Fingeroth were all involved in the creation and writing. While artists included: Mike Manley, Juanan Ramirez, Andrea Di Vito, Chris Sotomayor, Erick Arciniega, Sebastian Cheng, and Travis Lanham.

This volume introduces a new version of Darkhawk (in case that wasn’t obvious): the mantle is officially being passed down to Connor Young. Conner Young was just your average teenage boy. Well, with a few exceptions. He’s a basketball star with so many plans waiting for him. But his life is about to get flipped upside down – in more than one way.

Connor’s origin story is full of emotion, pain, and so much more. It’s probably one of the strongest origin stories I’ve seen in recent years, and I personally really hope that we’ll see more of him in the future.


Wow. So there’s quite a lot to take in here. Darkhawk: Airborne goes beyond being a triumphant return. Kyle Higgins captured some very human elements when introducing this new hero. Conner Young’s story is immediately compelling, but it kicks off in ways I had not anticipated.
Long story short: there’s more going on in Conner’s life than basketball. A lot more. He’s dealing with medical issues, an uncertain future, and a few other surprises. It makes for a shockingly well-rounded character right out the gate.
Additionally, I love that Higgins reached out to those with this condition to write Connor’s story. It certainly added to the realism and impact of the situation while also giving a voice to the community.
I’m just going to say it, I always have and will always love it when heroes make surprise appearances in other series. In this case, having another hero show up helps add some legitimacy to the new Darkhawk and his adventures. At least, that is how I’m seeing it.

While I love everything on the Conner side of the story, I wish there was more going on with the antagonists. I understand they are a threat (clearly), but something feels lacking in their presence. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.


The artwork for Darkhawk: Airborne is sublime. The colors, character designs, and lettering are like a perfect storm of artwork. Naturally, what first caught my attention was the cover itself: I love seeing Darkhawk with vibrant purple covers. I’ll never get over that thrill. I also adore all the variant covers available (and will be hunting as many of them down as possible, thank you very much).

I love the new take on Darkhawk designs. Likewise, the sense of motion in this graphic novel is stellar – which is pretty important, given that a.) Conner plays basketball, and b.) the way Darkhawk tends to move. Finally, I respect that bruises and other injuries are lingering on our characters. This is yet another grounding feature.

The colors in this volume perfectly match the story and tone. There are times when the colors are bold and bright, and others are almost respectfully somber. It’s a brilliant balance, though naturally, I’m more drawn to the brighter pages.

VC’s Travis Lanham’s lettering is perfect, as always. It’s easy to underestimate the value of lettering, but it is critical. Especially here.


Overall I would have to say that I was happy with Darkhawk: Airborne. It’s always nerve-wracking seeing a character (mantle) go back to the origin story stage, but I think this newest version is fascinating. I truly hope that we’ll see Connon again sometime, hopefully soon. I certainly feel as if his story is far from over.

Manga Monday: WIND BREAKER Volume 1

Author/Artist: Satoru Nii
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Released: April 26, 2022
Received: NetGalley

I’m not going to lie, I totally thought that WIND BREAKER Volume 1 would be a sports manga. Doesn’t the cover sort of give that impression? But nope, this one is all about fighting and becoming the best.

Haruka Sakura has very strong opinions about what makes a person weak or strong, himself included. That’s why he transferred over to Furin High School – to make himself stronger. Or more accurately, to test the strength of every other student there.

You see, Furin High School has a bit of a reputation. They’re known for being the worst humanity has to offer, nothing but fighters and jerks. That’s exactly what Haruka is looking for though, so it’s perfect.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m feeling very ambivalent about WIND BREAKER Volume 1. It’s okay, but it didn’t blow me away either. Haruka’s whole passion felt pretty shallow. I generally don’t mind the whole concept of fighting to prove oneself. I think I just wish we had gotten to know his character (and reasoning) more before it all kicked off?

However, if you enjoy a manga that is absolutely full to the brim of fun fight sequences, then I have some good news for you. WIND BREAKER Volume 1 will not disappoint on that front. There are a lot of really good looking fights here, and that makes up for a lot of the lacking elements, at least in my book.

Thanks to Kodansha and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review – Farmhand #13 (Image Comics)

The Rotted Core is Revealed in Farmhand #13

Farmhand #13 feels like the issue we’ve all been waiting for. The entirety of this series has been one intense buildup; this issue is the calm before the storm. Although it isn’t all that calm, is it?

This is a world where one company figured out how to use plants to create prosthetics and organ replacements. Only, it is quite a bit darker than that. They ignored all of the warning signs and kept plowing forward. Now one entire town must reap what has been sown.

Now, the secrets hidden by Jed and his accomplices are on the brink of coming out, all while upping the ante on the genuine risk at hand. The real question is, will they get to the bottom of this before it is too late?


Farmhand #13 is a chilling and fascinating issue. It went a long way in answering so many of my questions; while raising hundreds more. But that seems to be a particular talent of Rob Guillory’s. Here he’s written this complex organic horror series, where it looks like we can never quite get ahead of the flow of information.

And honestly? I love it. It adds to the intensity of the series, all while driving us to try and put the pieces of the plot together as we read. It’s not the sort of plot you idly read instead of demanding reader participation the whole way through.

There were a lot of significant elements in this issue. For one, the use of flashbacks to continue the story advancement. That was very carefully used, but it worked out brilliant here. There’s also a stronger sense of balance, with slightly more humorous moments helping to even out our emotions as we get ever deeper into this mystery.


Rob Guillory is not simply the writer of this series. He’s the lead artist as well. The artwork in Farmhand #13 proves that his control of this series directly results in his vision making it to the pages. And man is it a chilling vision.

Farmhand has always had this specific aesthetic to it, one that is simultaneously appealing and horrifying. It’s something that Guillory used to full effect, and frankly, the series wouldn’t be the same without it.

Working alongside Guillory, you’ll find Jeremy Treece (colorist) and Kody Chamberlain (letterer). Treece’s sense of colors truly enhances this series. There’s this blend between an organic color palette (naturally) and a horror one. The merger is effective, and I honestly adore every bit about it.

Then there’s the Chamberlain, who did an excellent job of keeping this story together. There’s a lot of show and tell in this issue, which can be tough to keep organized. Yet there’s never any sense of disjoint or interference, as we read along.


Farmhand #13 was a chilling and delightful issue to read. That sounds like a contradiction, I know. But any horror fan out there knows what I mean by that.

This series has been so much fun to read, and I’m honestly looking forward to seeing what will happen next. Though I can’t even begin to guess at what the next dramatic revelation will be.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review: Captain Marvel Vol.7: The Last of the Marvels

Author: Kelly Thompson
Pencils: Sergio Davila
Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa
Inker: Sean Parsons, Roberto Poggi
Colorist: Ian Herring, Jesus Aburtov, Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Series: Captain Marvel 2019
Released: April 12, 2022
Received: Own

It’s hard to ignore a title like The Last of the Marvels. It promises many things – a peek at other characters with the Marvel moniker. A threat. And even…hope? It’s hard to explain how this title made me feel; mere words don’t feel like enough.

Captain Marvel Vol.7 was written by Kelly Thompson. At this point, Thompson is one of my favorite Marvel writers. She is also one of my favorite Captain Marvel authors, which I feel is saying something.

Working alongside Thompson, we have Takeshi Miyazawa (art), Sergio Davila (pencils), Sean Parsons (inks), Roberto Poggi (inks), Ian Herring (colors), Jesus Aburtov (colors), Erick Arciniega (colors), and VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters).

The Last of the Marvels is a lot. It’s the first big adventure after Carol and Rhodey worked things out (if you don’t know what that is about, check out volume 6!), and thus it should have offered Carol a break. Only we know that’s never going to happen, right? This woman is a workaholic, and the universe always finds a way to demand her help. It looks like an enemy is not as gone as we had thought, and he’s making big moves.


Captain Marvel Vol.7: The Last of the Marvels is a lot, and I mean that in a good way. Kelly Thompson has packed SO much into this narrative that it can take a bit to digest all of it. Granted, most fans might have gone into it feel a little emotionally compromised/sappy since Carol and Rhodey are back together again (spoiler alert?). I don’t know about you, but that is something my heart needed.

At a glance, it may seem like there are a couple of plots weaving through this volume. However, once you crest the main plot arc, it suddenly starts to make sense. How it all connects, and how we got here. Yes, I still have questions, but I do not doubt that Thompson will answer those in the future (likely soon, given some of the covers I’ve been seeing).

Personally, I never felt like the Vox Supreme threat was over, so it was satisfying to see him come back around. Only this time, the Avengers and everyone else got to work WITH Carol, which felt like justice, if that makes sense. There were a lot of satisfying moments that stemmed from this fact, which I’m sure Kelly Thompson included for the sake of the fans.

A few major surprises were thrown into the mix, which I won’t spoil for readers. I cannot wait to see the implications of these moments or where they will ultimately lead. Things like this are why I love Captain Marvel’s plots so much.


The artwork in Captain Marvel Vol.7: The Last of the Marvels is perfection, if I may say so. I’ve always loved the bolder colors of her series, but I feel like they were taken to a whole new level in this volume. Though perhaps that is the contrast (both literally and figuratively).

Working on this volume, we have Sergio Davila (pencils), Takeshi Miyazawa (artist), Sean Parsons (inks), Roberto Poggi (inks), Ian Herring (colors), Jesus Aburtov (colors), Erick Arciniega (colors) and VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). It’s a huge crew, but the payout is so worth it.

The colors are arguably my favorite part, obviously. There’s a lot of depth to them while still having that eye-catching element that I adore. Then there’s the artwork itself. I’m a massive sucker for cameos, and there are a ton here. As a fan of many of the characters gracing these pages, I have to say that the collective artists did a fantastic job representing them all. Likewise, I enjoyed seeing the different minor renditions of the Vox suits. It was a nice touch.


Fans of Captain Marvel should absolutely make a point of reading Captain Marvel Vol.7: The Last of the Marvels. There are many different parts of this story that could ultimately make big waves in Marvel continuity, so I would keep my eyes on where this one goes.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑