the graphic story reader

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ONCE UPON A TIME : the reboot
by drew and menelaos

season 1, episode 8 : Heart of Gold

present : Having been taken into custody and growing desperate in the face of her upcoming trial, Mary Margaret agrees to Mr. Gold’s persuasions to allow him to be her lawyer, despite skepticism from Emma and Graham. Mary Margaret pleads innocent before Judge Lyman but the evidence against her is damning. All seems lost in the court room until Gold calls Sydney Glass to the stand, who falters under pressure until one small missing detail leads to the unraveling of the truth: Regina ordered Sydney to murder Zoe, plant the evidence, and falsify the DNA reports to frame Mary Margaret. Sydney confesses to disobeying Regina and locking Zoe away in his basement, tied and gagged, and using the heart of a deer instead. Zoe is rescued, Mary Margaret is set free, and temporary custody of Henry is granted to Emma while Sydney and Regina are locked away. Gold visits Regina in her jail cell and a conversational stalemate between them leads to a shocking revelation: the fairy tales are real, and both Gold and Regina know the truth.

past : A heart-to-heart conversation between Prince Charming and Princess Luciana leads to a journey to the edge of the deserted kingdom of Camelot to the Lake of Avalon. The waters of Avalon are rumored to break enchantments and Luciana hopes to use it to save her true love, Golidlocks of Dun Broch, a knight who was turned into solid gold by the touch of the furious King Midas. The protector of Avalon, the Lady of the Lake, transforms herself into Snow White in an attempt to seduce and drown Charming, but he avails and they collect a flask of the lake’s water. When they arrive at the site where Goldilocks is frozen, Midas arrives and gleefully drinks the Avalon water. Midas is horrified when he realizes that the water has broken his golden touch, killing him, and Luciana and Goldilocks are reunited. But everything is thrown into chaos when King George arrives and takes Charming prisoner, charging him with high treason for the murder of Midas. Luciana and Goldilocks find Snow White and they begin to gather her various friends to embark on a rescue mission.

‘once upon a time’ stars : Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen/Regina Mills, Emily Rose as Emma Swan, Jaimie Alexander as Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard, Henry Cavill as Prince Charming/David Nolan, Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archie Hopper, Richard Madden as the Huntsman/Sheriff Graham Buchanan, Naveen Andrews as the Magic Mirror/Sydney Glass, CJ Adams as Henry Mills, and Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold

guest stars include : Michael Emerson as Judge Lyman, Kylie Bunbury as Princess Luciana/Zoe Nolan, Mia Wasikowska as Goldilocks, Peter Mensah as King Midas, Emilia Fox as the Lady of the Lake

[ previously on once upon a time ] [ next ]

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Author Julia Alekseyeva’s great-grandmother Lola lived to be 100 years old – long enough to see the birth, and eventual collapse, of the USSR. Lola made a record of her life as a Jew in the Soviet Union, and now Alekseyeva has turned her great-grandmother’s memoirs into her debut graphic novel, Soviet Daughter.

Alekseyeva tells NPR that she chose to tell her great-grandmother’s story in the graphic novel format to help readers visualize her experience. She says, “I think it’s hard for a lot of people who didn’t grow up with the same imagery to really understand what these people were, what was going on in those regions — the uniforms, the parks. The idea of just Soviet living is so far, far removed from what most Americans expect.”

‘Soviet Daughter’: How A Great-Grandmother’s Diary Became A Graphic Novel

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Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels (2014)  

“One of the most popular writers in modern comics, Brian Michael Bendis reveals the tools and techniques he and other top creators use to create some of the most popular comic book and graphic novel stories of all time. Words for Pictures shows readers the creative methods of a writer at the very top of his field. Bendis guides aspiring creators through each step of the comics-making process—from idea to script to finished sequential art—for fan favorite comics like The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, and more. 

Along the way, tips and insights from other working writers, artists, and editors provide a rare, extensive look behind the creative curtain of the comics industry. With script samples, a glossary of must-know business terms for writers, and interactive comics-writing exercises,Words for Pictures provides the complete toolbox needed to jump start the next comics-writing success story. “ 

by Brian Michael Bendis

Get it here

Nature of Hell (for the Caffeine Challenge 24/02/17)

Caution to all readers: the following story contains graphic descriptions of extreme bodily harm and other assorted body horror. Please do not read if you are not comfortable with this. Thank you.


Nobody ever tells you how big empty is.

Not empty like an empty box or an empty room. We’re talking about the Empty. Tentatively known by humans as ‘Hell’. The eternal nothingness that is life after death.

When you die, you might expect to encounter… nothing. And you’d be right. Half right. Because what you’re expecting is an ending, a cut-off point, a sensory completion followed by total brain death and the loss of your personality. You, a whole human being, just gone. And maybe you’ve come to terms with that. Maybe you’re happy with it. Maybe you’re not. Whatever the case, the truth will surprise you.

When you die, you might expect to encounter… an afterlife. And you’d be right. Half right. Because what you’re expecting is a beginning, a new start, a total epiphany followed by pure human completion and the loss of your personality. You, a whole human being, just become pure love. And maybe you’ve earned that. Maybe you’ve done good in your time. Maybe you haven’t. Whatever the case, the truth will surprise you.

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