All posts by Diana Tamulevich

2024 CONVENTIONS!

Saturday, May 11th
HPL Haverhill Public Library Comic Con https://www.facebook.com/hplcon

Saturday June 22 – Sunday June 23
Rail City Fan Fest
https://www.railcityfanfest.com/

Saturday July 20th
Plastic City Comic Con
https://www.plasticcitycomiccon.com/

Saturday, September 21 – Sunday, September 22
Granite State Comic Con
http://www.granitecon.com/

Book Review

“Where Man and Monster Meet” is a collection of short stories written by Eric Tamburino, who is an up and coming author. The reader is taken on a journey from the very first story, “The City of the Lost” to the last story entitled “Where Man and Monster Meet ”, all under the guise of fairy tales and fantasy. The underlying truth each story holds, will give the reader a moment of pause to contemplate what makes a person who they are. Filled with moral dilemmas and tough choices, each story will take you on a pilgrimage of self-revelation. What would I do? This question is one in which I found asking myself throughout.

In each short story, the characters were well developed and believable Eric’s style of writing naturally woos the reader into each of his worlds. His ability to describe the worlds in which his character lives is outstanding. The endings to each of these well written short stories are unexpected and invoke an emotional response from the reader. 

Below is a quick synopsis of each short story. 

“The City of the Lost”

The protagonist, Matthias, an actor, lives in a city where everyone must wear a mask. The mask delineates the social status of Perdius’ population. No one knows when or why the population began to wear these masks. As the story continues, Matthias meets Anastasia and becomes smitten with her. Their romance continues until the pressure to remove his mask becomes too much for Matthias and their relationship is strained. The relevancy of wearing a mask still permeates in today’s society, perhaps even more so because the sophistication of  these masks make it difficult to see people for who they are. 

“The Legend of Polaris”

Think magic, romance, and friendship and the legend of Polaris, the North star. This is another thought provoking tale of two young men Christopher and David whose friendship is struggling over a beautiful princess named Adrienne. The story is set in Loredana, a small city with the Polaris mountain overlooking it. Despite his schoolmate and friends’ persistent nagging to ignore the princess, David continues to pursue her. The ending of this story, prompts the reader to contemplate what one would give to be with the one they love. 

“The Price of Beauty”

A city under siege with a young prince at the helm, a princess that yearned for a gift that cursed her for the rest of her life.  What should Prince Alexander’s decision be? To honor or to allow jealousy to get the best of him.  Princess Cassandra’s gift of  immortality, eternal youth and beauty granted to her by an enchantress overshadows her every thought. An element of palpable truth that resonates with audiences today gives readers another thought provoking tale insisting the readers look within themselves, do you see the monster?

“The Wolf” 

Werewolves, a grieving knight, a family protecting their own, including love and an unlikely friendship all center around Daniel, the protagonist, is not who he seems to be. Joshua and his wife Nora, a family living on a small pig farm, offer him shelter and food. Throughout this story, more details of Daniel unravel exposing him for who he really is. Susan their daughter begins to fall in love with Daniel. Deception from a long time family friend leads Daniel to battle the greatest of all werewovles. Tapping into our instincts to protect the ones we love at all costs, secrets revealed and decisions made, will keep the reader at the edge of their seats, turning page after page, as quickly as they can. 

“The Demon of St. Jude’s Abby”

Jude a harsh master, a kidnapped princess, a prince who is searching for her and a wayward demon dragon, makes this fairy tale an enjoyable read with a surprising ending.  Think ‘Beauty and the Beast’ meets the creative mind of Eric Tamburino! Set in an abandoned Abby, Princess Marianna awakes to find herself in an unknown place. The grim master who keeps himself hidden from her view, yet watches her from afar, sends chills up her spine. Day and night she continues to hope that her prince will soon find her, but as the days turn into weeks, she begins to lose hope. But hope prevails and love grows, demonstrating that true love holds no bounds. 

“Where Man and Monster Meet” 

An unnamed city, a beautiful specter named Chastity, a love lost and a man searching the depth of his soul. Perhaps odyssey is the best way to describe this last and final short story. This fairy tale will conjure up different emotions to different readers. For me, my eyes teared as I read about the journey the man was upon.  Eric’s insight and ability to write about the pain and loss, and the frailty of humanity is undeniably beautiful.  This hauntingly deep piece will cause you, the reader, to ponder your own existence, what makes you, you.  “People imagine the soul as an unseen heart, something which can be broken and crushed, but they are wrong. The soul is like blood. It moves through everything and gives life.” (Tamburino 214) 

“Where Man and Monster Meet,” is a must read if you enjoy fairytales and fantasies. Below is a link to Eric’s website. You can also find his books online at Amazon.com  

https://www.wheremanandmonstermeet.com/author

Comic Book Fest! Presented by The Athol Library and Hero Shack Press!

Saturday, October 14th, was a pleasant fall day for the second annual Comic Book Fest! Families and fans alike came out to meet the seventeen Independent artists from a vairey of genres.

A new addition this year was the Cos-Play Contest! We had a great turnout by cosplayers ranging in ages 3-adult. The three age categories produced 1st, 2nd and 3rd place all were awarded a prize. The Cos-Play contest brought a very cool element to the fest.

We held creator panels again this year. Our guests did a great job answering questions. This is one part of the fest we tend to improve on for next year.

From inddependent comic book creators, authors, illustrators and artists, the fest was a huge success. We are already in the works of planning next years third annual Comic Book Fest!

A huge thank you to The Athol Public Library and a special thanks to Emily and Robin, and of course to all of the people who took part – we could not do this without all of you!

The Canadian Shield Issues 1 & 2

Blending Christianity and comic books seems an unlikely match, but Rick Piper at Cross Comics has done just that with his comic book series “The Canadian Shield.” Although there is a Jesus vibe to his stories, it’s not preachy. Rather, he uses various elements and plot structures to introduce an angel messenger from God who sends Canadian Shield off on missions of moral pursuit. But I am getting ahead of myself…

In his first issue of Canadian Shield, the reader is introduced to his protagonist, Man Like Cougar, the name reflects the character Indigenous heritage. Man Like Cougar, begins his journey with Jesus, but it’s not that simple. Add time travel and a suit that allows the wearer to become an enhanced version of himself with super powers then pepper in heroic adventures blessed by God, makes this comic book an interesting read!

Canadian Shield #2 uses the same protagonist, Man Like Cougar. In this issue he continues to receive heavenly orders and meets the antagonist, Toxico. This character is on a mission to destroy a nuclear power plant, possibly killing millions. Man Like Cougar aka the Canadian Shield is sent to stop Toxico. Throughout the narrative, Piper touches upon Christian theology, but again he does a good job of not shoving it down one’s throat, so to speak. Once again Canadian Shield, a superhero for God, takes down Toxico one punch at a time!

The Positives.


Rick Piper’s desire to combine his love for superheroes and his love for Jesus is appreciated. I enjoyed the quirkiness of his character’s and his creativity in the overall story arcs. The basic superhero plot structure is duly noted in both issues. The pacing in both issues was reasonable and it had enough dialogue/action to keep the reader engaged. I preferred the coloring, panel layout and dialogue boxes in issue 2, however, issue 1 idiosyncratic’s coloring, panel layout and lettering at times diverted my attention from the story.

Areas that need work.

The most notable area in issue 1 that should be addressed is the different styles of fonts used as well as the many typographical and grammatical errors. An editor would have been able to help in this area. Issue 2 on the other hand did not have those errors. I enjoyed the addition of Piper Pulpit, but the overall tone and word usage could use some tightening up. To take these stories to the next level and reach a wider audience, a solid comic book editor could really help.


Overall both issues were an interesting read and since I know the creator, I know how much of his heart and soul he puts into his work. I look forward to reading his next issue of Canadian Shield!

The Berge Sisters Tour The Neitherswarth – Book Review

Author JL DuRona’s love for mythical, macabre and peculiar does not disappoint in his fantastical tale entitled, “The Berge Sisters Tour The Neitherswarth.” He received his BA in Children’s Literature from Castleton University in 2007 and earned his MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies in 2011.
If you are a fan of books like Goosebumps, by R.L.Stine and The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier, then you are in for a wonderful journey into the wondrous world of the The Berge Sisters!
Stepsister’s Cal and Lacey have a tumultuous beginning but as they embark on a crazy journey into a world unknown located in the depths of her great uncle’s mysterious mansion their relationship grows into love and respect. Monster’s, spiritual forces and relatable themes are all found in this well-written, thoroughly engaging chapter book for the young adult population. Although, as an adult, I enjoyed the complexities of the characters and the interesting twists and turns that held my attention throughout.
JL DuRona birthed a wonderfully paced young adult story that will keep even adults turning the pages. His characters were well crafted, likable as well as relatable. The plot was suspenseful and engaging. He used contemporary themes such as step families, sibling rivalry and death of a parent and was able to write them in a way young adults can relate. His use of prose was brilliant! All in all, I give his first book five stars and I look forward to his next book!