MORT in CHINA, Comic Series, Issue 1 by Vali T. C. Morrison (Author), Sun Xing (Translator), Charlie Tian (Author) and Skyla Bai (Editor)
The authors have initiated a series that has all of the indications of becoming a charmingly amusing, yet very informative string of stories. Admittedly the opening couple of pages provide some momentary initial questions with respect to the anticipated series, but the reaction quickly dissipates as Mort begins to develop. We discover him to be a mild mannered agent for Final Destination which is an ‘afterlife soul collection agency’ that unfortunately after 500 years of work, still is considered to be only ‘2nd best’. To rectify the situation, they decide to ‘shake things up a little’ and Mort’s boss sends him to root out and correct the efficiency issues in their China branch office. Upon arrival, he quickly realises that he is totally unqualified to deal with the nuances and pitfalls of Chinese culture and his personal nightmare begins.
The Mort in China project has been initiated by ALBA, a small indie-comic studio based in Beijing and is the brain child of Vali Morrison, a much travelled English/ American war veteran and Macedonian born Katerina Morrison, both of whom are fluent in Mandarin. For this reader who still enjoys the Sunday newspaper ‘Comics’, the proposed series offers not only an amusing cartoon possibility, but a huge number of possibilities for learning more about China as well. As such, it could well prove to be immensely informative at this crucial time in our country’s history with the growing intensity of our interrelationship with this country especially with respect to the Korean situation. It projects the possibility of a most interesting and worthwhile development as we learn more about this sprawling nation and its people in a laid back manner as we follow Mort’s adventures and misadventures as he attempts to adjust.
5* For anticipated series development.
The Maker ISBN: 9780991800346, Underdog Books, written and copyright by D. F. Anderson.
Nate Smith is a young teen whose mother and father recently separated ostensibly because of his dad’s frequent absences from home. Ted, a man who is not particularly enamored of Nate’s artistic ability which consists of drawing rather weird figures, has replaced him in the mother’s affections. Unfortunately, Ted does not share the father’s appreciation for Nate’s drawing and says he can no longer do so until certain goals are reached. That night the boy is kidnapped by aliens who whisk him away to another planet. Here on Meer his drawing abilities are put to a test and he is discovered to be one of a rare breed of individuals who can make tangible objects merely by picturing and drawing them. This is a desperately needed accomplishment for the planet, because most of the planet’s objects have been designed/made by the ‘Makers’ and all but four of them have been kidnapped, brainwashed and put to work by another alien group, the Gratches and their leader, Vichous who are devising a diabolical machine. This ‘Worm’ can bore into the very core of Meer, destroying it. They already have destroyed the planet Vot, Meer is next and will be followed by Earth. Nate discovers that his father has been one of Meer’s very prominent Makers, which explains his frequent absences, and is one of those captured by the Gratches and therefore one of the most prominent in devising the Worm. The Aliens strike before they are totally prepared and they have merely an hour or two to stop the Worm from drilling into their core and devastating their planet. He, along with the Grand Scientist of Meer and the other Makers, begin desperate action to save Meer and then to follow with a very dangerous attack devised by Nate. Even further, Nate actually demonstrates an ability to actually communicate individually with the Mica, the molecular sized living elements that actually are the builders of the objects Makers draw and render useable. This is a feat previously unheard of by the inhabitants of Meer and through Nate’s incredible ability, they are able to accomplish the required task and the story continues until a conclusion is reached that provides plenty of room for additional adventures.
This is a most unusual tale written by a person with an enormous imagination. It gathers aspects of nature, science, good and bad aliens and elements of sci-fi and fancifully mixes them together. The result is an enchantingly written, delightful, action-packed amalgamation with charming characters that should have great appeal for all of its targeted teenage audience.
5* Delightful action-packed fantasy/sci-fi for targeted teenage audience.