Posts Tagged jules rivera
Valkyrie Squadron – Anomaly
Written & Illustrated by Jules Rivera
52 Pages, $6.00
Strong female characters. That’s what we need more of in both comics, and webcomics. For too long has the fairer sex been nothing but the girlfriends to our superheroes, or the blonde bimbos that wear skimpy and revealing outfits. They’re never taken seriously, and if they are considered ‘strong’ or empowered, there’s always the one moment of weakness that makes them seem normal and not frightening to those readers who are used to the standard boys club mentality. How does a creator balance that fine line of Feminazi and floozy, creating an entertaining middle-ground? Simple; tell a good story with relatable characters, male or female be damned.
Spoiler warning; I may have a bit of a bias when it comes to Jules Rivera. I was a fan of her first webcomic Marsh Rocket, so obviously I’m going to follow her on whatever future projects she tackles. Was I extremely pleased that she’s doing more storytelling in the vein of science-fiction? Of course; it’s a no-brainer. If one is talented at telling exciting tales in a certain genre, and sticks to the same medium, what’s not to love? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Much like Marsh Rocket, Rivera stays the course with the format of collecting each chapter into an individual trade, making it easily accessible to those of us who still prefer paper to the high-tech touch-screen format. For sticking with the self-publishing route, Rivera still produces quite the quality product. She should be just as proud of the physical trade as she is the story inside.
So do you like gritty sci-fi action films like Starship Troopers, television shows like Battlestar Galactica, or video games like StarCraft? Those are some of the things I would put together in a blender just to get a slight taste and feel for what Valkyrie Squadron is like. Throw in some romance, a dash of mystery, and a good tablespoon of humor, and OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU JUST DO THAT?! Focusing on a crew of four women battling a war against the evil autodrones, we get introduced to the main players in this first volume collecting all of Chapter One. What seems like a routine rescue mission suddenly becomes something more as their newly acquired cargo seems to attract the attention of the higher-ups. Will everything remain hush-hush, or is the seeds to something bigger down the line? It doesn’t help that a pesky reporter is snooping around looking for “the truth” in this time of war and uncertainty.
As much as I enjoyed the story in this first trade, I went absolutely Ga-Ga over the art and colors. If it’s one thing that Rivera excels above all at, it’s the execution of the illustrations. The female form covered in body armor sends the overpowering message of, “I’m sexy, but I can and will kick your ass if needed.” If we were going to war with our robotic overlords, running around in a silver bikini while firing automatic weapons would not be the practical choice armor-wise, no matter how cool it may look to some. Rivera illustrates a sensible far-off future, where men and women are on a level playing field, and unfortunately Bros are still breeding. And I’m calling it now; hologram ear-pieces will be the must-have item next holiday season.
The great thing about collected webcomics is if you enjoyed what you read, you can go catch-up on the website for free. Same thing if you’re hesitant on purchasing the first volume; read it for free online, then support the creator by forking over some dough. It’s only $6, that’s about the same price as a Marvel comic, only you’re getting a helluva lot more bang for your buck with Valkyrie Squadron! The webcomic updates every Tuesday and Thursday, so there’s no reason to not have it bookmarked in your toolbar. Tell her that Cammy sent ya.
In this special one-year anniversary of Geeky Talky, I’m joined by Jules Rivera, Patrick McEvoy, Jeremy Awesome, Kat Rocha & Josh Finney. Drinking commences, and we discuss the first day of WonderCon, and oh so much more explicit topics of discussion. For instance, robot vaginas. EXPLICIT CONTENT!
I interview the artist Buzz at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Tales of Atomika, Ground Creeper, and more.
I interview creator Jules Rivera at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Marsh Rocket, Valkyrie Squadron, and hand sanitizer.
I interview artist Tim Bradstreet at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Raw Studios, Bad Planet, and more.
I interview creator Rebecca Hicks at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about her comic Little Vampires.
I interview creators Josh Finney and Kat Rocha at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Titanium Rain 2, Transcend, and more.
I interview writer Michael Colbert at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Crazy Mary, Tales of the Supernatural, and more.
I interview the creative team of Darkwing Duck from BOOM! Studios at Long Beach Comic Con 2010. Joining me is James Silvani, Ian Brill, and Tad Stones.
I interview writer Joshua Williamson at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Superman / Batman, Mirror, Mirror, and more.
I interview writer Richard Starkings at Long Beach Comic Con 2010 about Elephantmen and more.
Long Beach Comic Con 2010 wrap-up!
In this rambunctious episode, I’m joined by Josh Finney, Kat Rocha, Haley Manbat, Corissa Baker, Jules Rivera & more as we discuss a myriad of geeky topics over drinks. Rants on Mark Millar, Gojira, and 50’s lingerie are all topics of discussion, plus many more! WARNING: EXPLICIT TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ARE HAD!
Book Of The Month – August
Written & Drawn by Jules Rivera
Little known fact; before I dived into the world of comic books, I was a huge fan of webcomics. I had at least twenty different sites bookmarked, and would visit them daily. They are free, come out on a regular basis, and there’s one for whatever might interest you (most of them were about real life or video games, but the cream always rises to the top). A fun thing to do is look at the first comic that was put up, then jump ahead to the current comic just to see how much the art or story has improved after all these years. Some change drastically (Questionable Content), while some stay the same because the art may be simplistic to begin with (Cyanide & Happiness). Bottom line is, webcomics shouldn’t be treated as the redheaded step-child of comic books, because the amount of work that goes into this medium can greatly surpass multiple titles being put out by the major comic publishers of today. As a matter of fact, many of your favorite webcomics have been published in collected editions by the same comic publishers in the past few years!
But alas, on to the Book Of The Month selection for August 2010.
Marsh Rocket is one of those webcomics-tuned-published works that I’ve been talking about, only the creator Jules Rivera had that whole plan in mind from the start. Could she be ahead of the bandwagon of others switching to the published graphic novel format? Perhaps. Will anyone else let her take credit for said-possible idea? Perhaps not. Do I know what I’m talking about? No.
Moving on, Marsh Rocket made its debut on the web back in 2006, and has been going strong ever since. The first storyline has been collected in three trade paperbacks, with the second story starting-up just a few weeks ago. It takes place in the future, and deals with corporate mercenaries trying to earn a buck in a still chaotic world. The main characters we focus on are Victor Black, experienced-ex-soldier-turned-merc, Marsh Rocket, the lovable hero who gets into trouble, and Ross Tiburon, their boss who writes the checks while trying to deal with his dysfunctional family. Ross Tiburon takes over the company when his father is placed in jail after it’s discovered that he has his own team of mercenaries taking out the competition / anyone on the board of directors who might be putting the company in jeopardy. When Ross inherits the mercenaries, he figures their skills could be useful to him in the future.
Victor Black is the leader of the company’s alpha squadron with Marsh, and whatever Ross says goes. Unfortunately for Marsh, he has a loan shark by the name of The Baron on his tail due to his insufficient funds. So while the corporate mercenaries aren’t supposed to take outside jobs, you do what you need to do in order to get some extra cash. The Baron is amused at the fact that Marsh is a corporate merc, so he sends him on a mission to retrieve a briefcase of his stolen by the Zodiac Mafia. This mission takes Marsh out in the middle of the desert at the luxurious Hotel Zinnia, and it all seems to be going well until the Zodiac Mafia enter the picture, then it appears to be too much for Marsh to handle alone.
Can Marsh get the persistent bodyguard Rose off his case? Will Victor arrive in time to help him escape? Will Ross get his family’s affairs in order? Well I don’t want to give it away to you, so if you’re interested go buy the trades or read it online for free!
I had immense amounts of fun while reading this story. The action and tone capture a magnificent blend of pulp and sci-fi, with a touch of Japanese animation thrown into the mix. Fans of Cowboy Bebop and The Fifth Element will find lots to enjoy, but just keep in mind it’s not an all ages title. While I enjoyed the story just fine, what really made me fall in love was the art, and more specifically the different colors Jules plays around with every page. Black & white, then primary and secondary colors exactly where they need to be. I can enjoy a page for what seems like hours because of the combinations she uses throughout. The cherry on top is the fact that she’s all self-taught. Whatta woman!
Like I pointed out before, the entire series is free to read and enjoy online at her website www.Marsh-Rocket.com or you could do yourself a favor and buy the box set collecting all three trades. With that box set, you get them all signed along with a sketch card. It’s the whole kit-n-caboodle for a very satisfy price of $36. Plus you’re helping out such a talented artist, you feel good supporting the little guy (err, girl).
With the start of the second story arc just happening, there’s no reason to not catch-up and have it on your bookmarks. Read, love, and spread the word.
Also, if you happen to find a suitcase with a severed hand inside, please return it to Albatross as soon as possible. He’d really appreciate it.
In this special episode I’m coming to you LIVE from Rising Sun Creations, where I interview Jules Rivera (Marsh Rocket) and Kat Rocha & Josh Finney (Titanium Rain).
Sit back and listen as we discuss comics, The Human Centipede, and furries.
In this exciting and special episode I interview Kat Rocha and Josh Finney, the creative team of the hit comic Titanium Rain (Archaia Studio Press), and Jules Rivera of the wonderful webcomic Marsh Rocket (www.marsh-rocket.com).
Join us as we talk of comics, romance, and road trips to Tijuana…or just comics.