Tag Archives: Fabian Rangel Jr

This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best New Series

This was a year of great new comics and these were our ten favorites. Space warriors, space occultist, space terrorist, teens in space, teens in high school, teens in college, teens delivering papers, teens in a monarchy, teens in the avengers, teenage mummy’s on skateboards & Weird World. Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best New Series

Review of Jim Hensons The Storyteller Dragons #1

cby Daniel Bayliss & Fabian Rangel Jr

Jim Henson The Storyteller Dragons #1 is a wonderful allegory about fatherhood based in Native American legend and brought to life from Daniel Bayliss expressive and vibrant cartooning.

Dragons focuses on a son and father who are attacked by an ancient water dragon who ends up separating the pair and requires the father to make an incredible sacrifice to save his sons life. In between that, there’s talking birds and dogs mixed with some dynamic and visceral moments of action and wonder. Dragons is expertly paced for a single issue story and  subtly utilizes it’s mythology. Artist Daniel Bayliss, who came up with the story and did the colors in addition to illustrations, does brilliantly lively, fluid and eye popping visual story telling. He is equal parts adept at expressive humanism and lavishly detailed wide screen design. Writer Fabian Rangler Jr does well in sprinkling on dialogue when needed and giving a literal narration that feels natural and never intrusive.

Jim Hensons Storyteller Dragons is a great one shot story that is singular in style and execution in all the right ways. While there is no other comic like this one, there is a warm familiarity to it in it’s use of common allegory and themes of love and family. This is a comic worth engaging with.

Space Riders #4 Review

SpaceRiders4

by Alexis Ziritt, Fabian Rangel Jr, and Ryan Ferrier

Ziritt and Rangel Jr’s Sci-Fi adventure comes to a close in this issue.

As the villainous Hammerhead seeks to kill Captain Peligro, he attacks the headquarters of the Space Riders to draw him out. Peligro obliges and takes Hammerhead on alone while his faithful crew seek to wipe out Hammerhead’s forces. The good guys win, the Galaxy is safe, and cue inspiring action music.

It’s been so long since I read issue 3 of this series, but I couldn’t care less. Having no idea what was happening just added to the experience of reading the book.

It crystallized with this issue that the creative team is probably Adult Swim fans, the Adult programming block on Cartoon Network that routinely has disturbing/personal/grotesque/imaginative shows that push the boundaries of animation. I could see a comic like Space Riders being an Adult Swim cartoon, with its self-aware writing and mash-up premise. Maybe a cross between Super-Jail and Mary Shelly’s Frankenhole. 

The story plays pretty much like you would expect, with a few touches that make the book stand apart from its inspirations.

The art is the best mix of a six-year-old’s acid trip and old school cartooning. There’s a genuineness to the art, with the folds in the paper and coffee stains in the corner of the pages that make the book feel like a labor of love rather than a mass-produced commodity by corporations to sell merchandise. It feels more real than a book from the Big Two.

The art is rough, but carries a flair with it along with the neon colors and thick ink lines. Instantly retro but somehow fitting with the Post-Post-Modern we see occasionally.

Overall, a fun book that should be looked at by all to see what comics were and could be again; fun, trippy and weird.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Space Riders #3 Review

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by Fabian Rangel jr, Alexis Ziritt

Captain Peligro and his fellow Space Riders encounter stun rays, dead gods, and space priests in this phatasmogoric issue.

After a brief rumble on a robot ruled planet, the Space Riders learn of the Tomb of the Gods and a book chronicling their history on a hidden planet. As they arrive in search of the book, villains plot their demise, including the killer of Captian Peligro’s father.

The art is electrifying, with garish, neon colors and acid-tinged imagery. Ziritt’s art style is like a lost bridge between Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko in his imagination and approach to shape.

Overall, another fun Space romp with our motley heroes. The premise teased for next issue promises more action and all the excitement of running around a Space pyramid.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good,Great, Excellent

Space Riders #2 Review

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by Alexis Ziritt, Fabian Rangal Jr, Ryan Kelly

“Space Riders” is a special kind of comic. It wears its influences (Star Wars, Voltron, Battlestar Galatica, Starship Troopers, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin) on its sleeve, but still feels new yet recognizable.

The issue opens with a man named Peligro, from a cadet joining the Space Riders to his eventful battles as a Captain to meeting his current crew mates, a deadly cyborg and religious humanoid Baboon. Captain Pelogro leads them from one scenario to the next, from fighting an alien mob to being captured inside a giant robot-ship after saving a space whale.

The art is pulpy and striking, I could stare at it for hours. The colors are vibrant and flowing, like the best of Marvel comics during the 70s.

Although I love the art, in some panels a lack of contrast between colors had me confused at what I was looking at. Muted red next to pure neon green is not the best combo. Also, the art is perfect for capturing a single scene or moment but feels cramped when depicting a second.

Overall, an entertaining throwback Sci-Fi comic. I thoroughly enjoyed the crazy obstacles and the character interactions, as well as the groovy art. At times the visual story telling doesn’t fully coalesce, but they’re still a treat. Despite being the second issue, this is a great place to start and enjoy two creators jamming on power cosmic.

Advanced Review: Space Riders #1

cNo Spoilers

by Fabian Rangel Jr & Alexis Ziritt

Image Comics has created a near perfect system for themselves by having a strong eye for talent and a writer/artist friendly financial model. Years ago they published comics by then unknown creators such as Jonathan Hickman, Rick Remender & Matt Fraction, those creators made great comics at Image, Marvel noticed and signed said creators, creators go on to be some of Marvel’s most popular writers, writers go back to Image at height of popularity to publish creator owned work superior to their Marvel work, other famous creators notice and follow suit; and within a few short years Image has a catalogue of ongoing series from creators that have worked on/or are currently working on ultra popular properties such as The Avengers, Batman,  X-Men, Justice League, Star Wars, Superman, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine ect The question then becomes; where do the up and comers level up? Where are we going to find to find the next Hickman, Remender & Fraction if those spots are all filled at Image? Similar imprints like BOOM! & Oni seem content to pick up the creators from the big two that Image doesn’t have room to publish instead of taking chances on up and coming talent while Darkhorse, Dynamite & IDW are still driven by licensed content. So where are the next great comics creators coming up from? Enter Black Mask and the creative talents behind Space Riders, a company and creative team that has upended the circular nature of comics talent.

Continue reading Advanced Review: Space Riders #1