Tag Archives: Stuart C. Paul

Ides of Blood #5

“Chains” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Stuart C. Paul
Artist: Christian Duce
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Michael Geiger

This is an incredibly dense comic. I’m not talking page-length, I’m talking story-wise. It takes me a while to get through the 22 pages of story but Paul has packed so much into those pages, I feel more than full when I’m done reading. It’s a great feeling!

Things slowed down significantly in this issue but rightfully so. Our characters are on their way to cracking the mystery at the heart of this story and Paul continues to add great twists and turns; even tragic ones. I won’t say who, but let’s just say at least one character doesn’t make out of this issue. It’s so cool when a creator is not afraid to end his creations. It raises the stakes of the story and shows that no one is safe. Plus, Paul does a great job of creating great characters in such a short amount of screen time. It actually sucked when I saw this character die. That’s great story-telling!

If I had any quip about this issue, and it’s very minor, it’s that I feel Christian Duce’s art didn’t seem the same with him coloring it. Don’t misunderstand me, his art is still amazing. It was just a very subtle change with him doing the interior work instead of having Carlos Badilla coloring for him like early on. But his art is still dead on for this story and he illustrates some great shots.

Even though things slowed down a bit, Paul doesn’t leave it like that the entire issue. As we get to the “master-plan” scene at the end of the book, we are treated to great confrontation between all the characters and yet another interesting twist as we find out how the Romans plan to end the vampires once and for all. It was a very interesting concept.

But Paul doesn’t let up even on the last page where we end on a very interesting cliffhanger as well. This one will leave you scratching your head until next issue. Without a doubt, this is the most under-rated title on the stands right now. I so hope this gets traded so more people can experience its awesomeness.

8 out of 10 (On it’s way to greatness!)

Ides of Blood #3

“Fangs, Romans, Countrymen” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Stuart C. Paul
Pencils: Christian Duce
Colors: Christian Duce
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton & Scott Peterson
Cover: Michael Geiger

This comic is kicking major @$$!!! It’s so refreshing to be reading a creator-owned work that this hitting it on all cylinders!

One thing I instantly appreciated about this issue is that I was able to finally grasp which characters were present and what their names were. Don’t misunderstand; this was not by Stuart Paul’s error in earlier issues at all. It’s just that this is such a dense comic I was getting lost with all the characters presented. Plus the fact that some of the Roman names of people and places are hard to pronounce here. But Paul does a great job of allowing us to recognize each of the characters and their roles now. For example, Anthony, the former friend of our main character Valen’s shows how truly brutal he can be. The opening scene between Anthony and Valen’s was highly cringe-inducing.

Remember how I’ve described this as Gladiator with vampires? Well, Stuart Paul is taking that premise and had so much fun with it in this issue. Imagine the scene with Russell Crowe in Gladiator where he first fights in a match and the colorful characters he’s matched up against. Now imagine those opponents are monstrous that are super strong and super fast. That’s the setting for the awesome battle Valens has during the course of this issue. Artist Christian Duce does an incredible job of illustrating some of these creatures and making an extremely action-packed and intense confrontation.

Stuart Paul has also done an excellent job of creating great dialogue and this issue is no exception. I did notice that Paul had more fun with the dialogue this issue. It seems as if he’s getting more comfortable in telling this story and how each character delivers their lines. The great dialogue mixed with amazing action made this one of the most fun reads I’ve picked up.

Even though the news of Wildstorm shutting down is sad, it’s great to see such a superb comic being one of the last to be printed under the imprint. Both Stuart Paul and Christian Duce are going to be sought after creators from here on out. And for those of you who are not checking out Ides of Blood now, you will be when these two guys make names for themselves. Mark my words!

9 out of 10 (Excellent!)

Ides of Blood #2

“Beware the Ides of March” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Stuart C. Paul
Pencils: Christian Duce
Colors: Carlos Badilla
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Michael Geiger

Stuart C. Paul and Christian Duce deliver another beautiful issue in this intriguing mini-series. Paul’s writing is flawless and Duce’s art continues to be amazing as we get arguably one of the most unique takes on one of the most infamous assassinations in history.

Paul’s skills as a writer shine here as the pacing is excellent. He is able to pack so much story into these issues so far that I really feel like I’m getting my money’s worth reading this comic. In a 32-page comic that only has 22-pages of actual story (standard because of the ads) you feel like you get twice as much story. I’d liken it to what Adam Beechen is doing over in Wildcats.

Don’t think this means Christian Duce is doing nothing but drawing small panels. The layout sizes vary enough to keep it visually interesting; including an awesome full-page shot of Valens and Caesar. There are also some great action pieces especially towards the end where some of the scenes are very superhero-like. Duce is also able to capture the desperation in those final pages as we end with a great cliffhanger.

It’s obvious Paul has done his research as he inserts various ideas surrounding the assassination of Caesar such as the “Ides of March” and omens like the two-headed calf being born. It’s amazing how much mythos has been built around this historical event. It’ll leave you wanting to head to Wikipedia to read up on all the details he’s inserted in the story.

I’m afraid this comic is going to fall under the radar for most people. I know money is tight for a lot of people but if you’ve got that one title you’ve wanted to drop, do it and add Ides of Blood to your pull. It’s only 6 issues and with what we’ve gotten so far, I anticipate that it will be a solid read all the way through. Give it a try if you’ve been on the fence about it. It’s worth the read!

9 out of 10 (Excellent!)

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 14

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast – Episode 14

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 14Subscribe to the show: RSS Feed | iTunes


Show Notes:
Welcome to another special episode of Wildstorm Addiction! Our resident Wildstorm experts Joe David Soliz & Benjamin Murphy talk about Ides of Blood on an exclusive interview with Stuart C. Paul.

00:00:34 – Ben welcomes everyone to Episode #14. He introduces Joe and our special guest for the evening, Stuart C. Paul, writer of Ides of Blood.

00:00:48 – Joe welcomes Stu and thanks him for being on our show.

00:01:16 – [WA – Ben] This is your first comic, correct?  Other than a few tv shows have you ever worked in any other forms of media?
00:01:44 – [Stuart] I should say this is my first published comic. I did work for another company which had the intentions of turning comics into feature films for Hollywood. Other mediums have been scripts for television and anything else you can think of that needs to be written.

00:03:00 – [WA – Ben] How has the transition been writing for a television shows versus writing for comics?
00:03:07 – [Stuart] It’s been freeing being able to be very descriptive for the artist versus writing for the screen where the director has his own idea of the look and feel.

00:04:38 – [WA – Joe] What made you decide to venture into the world of comics?
00:04:42 – [Stuart] I came in because of screen-writing experience and then fell in love with comic medium.

00:06:39 – [WA – Ben] Who are some of your influences as a writer?
00:06:50 – [Stuart] Some of my influences were Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman who got me reading comics. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a favorite because I really liked the story-telling. Some of my favorite movies include Sergio Leon’s The Good Bad and Ugly, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Inception.

00:11:16 – [WA – Joe] Where did the inspiration for Ides of Blood come from?
00:11:22 – [Stuart] I was thinking about genre stuff and thought vampire stuff was boring so I wanted to make them interesting. Julius Caesar came to mind and it was not done to take advantage of market. For the most part I felt vampires were presented as really stupid but there were a few movies I liked such as Salem’s Lot, Nosferatu, Georege Romero’s Martin. I have to say I hated The Lost Boys though.

00:18:05 – [WA – Ben] For a period piece like this, what kind of research did you have to do?
00:18:20 – [Stuart] I did lots of Roman research. I read the Handbook: Life in Ancient Rome and The Assassination of Julius Caesar, as well as other classic works. The Dacian culture was tough to find research on.

00:21:32 – [WA – Joe] How did you get hooked up with artist Christian Duce for this project?  What about cover artist Michael Geiger?
00: 21: 42 – [Stuart] Shannon Eric Denton hooked us up. He’s from Uraguay and he’s emailing everything. We’ve never met. Michael Geiger and I have also never communicated but he has done beautiful covers.

00:27:12 – [WA – Ben] Was Ides of Blood always going to be the first story you wanted to work on or were there other projects you wanted to get made before?
00:27:44 – [Stuart] I knew Ides of Blood would be first out. I did have a project called Dying Breed but that didn’t pan out.

00:31:59 – [WA – Joe] Does Ides of Blood end with the potential for a sequel?  Regardless, do you have any other projects in the pipe you can talk about?

00:33:18 – [Stuart] The beginning of this answer edited due to series ending spoiler. It definitely has sequel possibilities. I want to go to Egypt and do a Cleopatra story. I do have another project in the works called Bushido 44 but it doesn’t have a publisher yet (Wildstorm, you listening?).

00:37:33 – [WA – Ben] Are you familiar with Jim Lee’s Wildstorm Universe of characters and titles? Are there any characters in the Wildstorm Universe that you’d like to write?
00:37:48 – [Stuart] I’ve read the early Wildcats stuff as well as Alan Moore’s run. I’ve also read some of The Authority. (Joe mentions Stormwatch to Stu because of his interest in Deep Space Nine)

00:40:27 – [WA – Joe] Fun Question! Two-part question.  We already covered your favorite T.V./movie about vampires, but what’s your favorite movie or T.V. show depicting ancient Rome?
00:40:50 – [Stuart] I thought Rome on HBO was a masterpiece. I like Stanley Kubrick Spartacus. (Joe prompts Stu to mention Gladiator)

The opening and closing music is “Universal Domain” by Dreamline which can be found at http://www.musicalley.com.

Contact info:
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Wildstorm Addiction: http://twitter.com/wildstormaddict
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Email us at wildstormaddiction@gmail.com.