Some of the kind and not-so-kind things critics say about my stories:
GENE SIMMONS DOMINATRIX:
Gene Simmons is more than just a tongue and a pretty face for the legendary rock group Kiss. He's also a gifted creator of a fiction/fantasy genre as evidenced by his coming up with the idea of Dominique Stern, a young woman with no family, few friends, a past, and makes a profitable (albeit unusual) career in the sex industry as a professional dominatrix. A woman who inflicts pain and humiliation on her clients at their request -- and expense! It's while servicing a client that Dominique finds herself having to become a superhero and dealing with government arrogance, a diabolical cabal, and dangers to herself, her friends, and her country! Engagingly written by Sean Taylor, superbly illustrated by the team of Flavio Hoffe and Esteve Polls, colored by Debora Carita, and with a superb staff of cover artists, letterers, and editors, "Dominatrix: You Want Me" first appeared as a mini-series of individual comics from IDW Publishing that has now been collected together into a magnificent graphic novel format that is highly recommended for mature readers.
From Midwest Book Review
Click here for a review of Gene Simmons Dominatrix #5-6 from the podcast show Weekly Comics Spotlight #022, from The Comic Book Page.
The first story arc comes to a close, the wrap-up of Dominique's origin, in which she and her nemesis, Happy Jacq - recently revealed to be an alter ego of the homeless girl named BJ (the sexual subtlety here being non-existent) - duke it out in a no-holds-barred throwdown; a battle of two super-tough women that ends in a singular tragedy, which in turn leads to Dominique's ongoing status quo.
Color me impressed: Dominatrix consistently surprises, shattering all expectations (or complete lack thereof) by putting forth entertaining issue after entertaining issue. There's nothing extraordinary here, nothing boundary-breaking though it can be occasionally be thought-provoking, but what writer Sean Taylor and artist Esteve Polls truly succeed at is penning an unpredictable and disarmingly charming comic book pulp adventure, the likes of which hasn't, honestly, been seen in quite a while. The innocence of its flavor mixed with a constant salvo of severe themes (death, sex, conspiracy, derring-do) makes Dominatrix the pulpiest pulp on the stands today, capturing, oddly, the authentic sensibilities of that old-school style. Taylor's script is sometimes awkward, though his pacing keeps things captivating. Polls' pencils are detailed and classic, reminiscent of Steve Leiber (Whiteout). This final chapter offers one big action sequence followed by a believable series of consequences that set-up the conceit for the rest on the ongoing. A strong finish to a strong start to what will hopefully be a series that, in the spirit of its title subject matter, never weakens.
From Broken Frontiers
I know this isn't going to win me any fans, but normally I hate comics featuring, um, "strong female characters." Not because I have anything against strong women, for the most part, but mostly because they are always written by guys who have no idea how to write women - they replace "courage" with a ball-bustering, unlikable attitude, all wrapped in a bosom-heaving package, delivered in the name of faux-feminism. And while at first glance this is exactly what DOMINATRIX is, the difference is that this is all done without pretension. It knows it's a goofy book, acting as a satirical take on those big-breasted mythos without any apologies. Add to this the fact that Dominique who, while being a dominatrix, is actually a sweet and likable character in between the action, and you have a book that demands a second look. Appearances, in this case especially, can really be deceiving.
The lynchpin title of the line, Dominatrix, admittedly, on the surface, seems to be just the sort of trashy, ridiculous tripe one might expect from a celebrity-inspired comic. But it's also, as indicated by a fellow reviewer over at Ain't it Cool News.com, "mindless fun". Spotlighting a surprisingly homebody girl named Dominique, who moonlights as a professional dominatrix (her studio's in her basement), the series chronicles an accidental stumble into one of her client's over-the-top world of black ops. In order to survive, she's given a super-power enhancing drug that grants her strength, speed, and a spidy(sic)-sense-like early-warning ability. Including ninjas, mercenaries, super-spies, and a super-secret something that everyone seems to be gunning for, Dominatrix manages to focus on the sex, the inconsistent taboos of society, character development, and yet never once subsists in its ridiculous rillet of B-genre situations. It's a comic chock-full of action and long-loved elements, though its subject matter, of course, marks this as not for children. Writer Sean Taylor (author of The Veil and Last Chance School for Girls) pens a highly likable Dominique, though he sometimes overplays the asinine elements of the villains. Nevertheless, four issues have come and gone and...I'm...my god, but I think I'm hooked on a comic called "Dominatrix."... So a series that far surpassed my (I confess) rock bottom expectations, but did so in such a stellar way that I think I'm onboard for the foreseeable future.
From Broken Frontiers
And click here for another Broken Frontiers review, this time of #1-2.
...a surprisingly sensitive comic. I was surprised that the book held out on the T&A until issue three, but the wait paid off in a fun sequence where the Dominatrix takes on a dozen mercs and distracts them with her ample assets.
From Ain't It Cool News
With all of that in mind, I feel like I ought to admit up front that Dominatrix is not my normal thing. After all, Mr. Simmons described his book as "T&A meets the CIA" in IDW's promo literature, whereas I tend to go for more of the pseudo-intellectual stuff-and Danger Girl. But I'll say this about Dominatrix: it's a Hell of a lot smarter than I thought it would be. I was expecting a nonsensical Brian Pulido-esque boobathon, but in fact, this is a story that's entirely sensible, well-crafted, and basically a heck of a lot of fun right from the start... And this is a cool story, sort of reminiscent of the movie They Live but with a hot chick in the Rowdy Roddy Piper role, and I'm intrigued to see what happens next. Honestly, the number of comics that I actually buy based on review copies that I'm sent is very, very close to zero percent, but in this case I think I'm gonna make an exception just because I happened to enjoy this book a whole bunch. I really want to know what's going on. And hey, if that's not a ringing endorsement, then I don't know what is.
From Paperback Reader
Now, let's be honest here...part of the appeal of this comic is a dominatrix superhero. This first issue does suffer from the perils of many a first issue, such as too much foreshadowing, but not enough action. There's a bit of action and plenty of character development, but I can excuse it here because it's a story of political intrigue. As Gene Simmons says, "it's T&A meets CIA". Hoffe's art is fast, dynamic, and sexy supporting the concept of a dominatrix superhero. Alex Garner's cover is beautiful and eye catching. Sean Taylor has already created a character we find interesting and care about, and plenty of mystery and intrigue. I would have, admittedly, preferred a longer first issue to get to know Dominique a little better, but we have a decent first issue here.
From The Blog Monster
Many people, understandingly so, were put off by the hefty price tag on Gene Simmons' House Of Horrors. Although you get 64 pages of incredible story and art, $9.99 is a serious commitment! Today, IDW and Simmons Comics Group introduce the Dominatrix! At a much lower price tag, Dominatrix is not so much a commitment as it is a guilty pleasure. Dominique Stern is an average girl who has a pretty boring life until she dons the leather, the whips and the attitude of a dominatrix. Typical yes, but what happens when she uncovers a plot that the United States is in grave danger? She gets involved as any red blooded American girl wearing a leather hood would do... SHE FIGHTS BACK! Writer Sean Taylor tells a story you would expect from Gene Simmons! Tantalizing and witty with a touch of family values (if this family is incredibly dysfunctional). Flavio Hoffe is an artistic star on the rise! He blends pin up beauty with butt kicking action and um... adult relations involving handcuffs. As a longtime Kiss fan and a student (but not a follower) of Gene Simmons philosophy, there is no reason you won't enjoy this comic. It's fun and doesn't take itself too serious. Comics aren't supposed to change the world, just give it something to read!
From Secret Identity News
Created by Gene Simmons (yes, of KISS), this is the story of a professional dominatrix that gets dragged into an X-Filesian world of conspiracies due to a client that tells her too much. Oh, and she gets super powers. Rare in the fact that it portrays someone that is into s/m as, gasp, a fairly normal person, I'm curious to see how this series shapes up. So far it's off to a decent start with writing that can jump from funny to scary and back again, and artwork that is the right amount of cheesecake and superhero for the genre niche it is attempting to find.
Click here for a review from the podcast show Weekly Comics Spotlight, from The Comic Book Page.
GENE SIMMONS HOUSE OF HORRORS, "NYMPH":
Sean Taylor's story, "Nymph", was a classic horror story with a twist, in which an environmentalist comes face to face with a spirit of the Earth while searching for her missing husband. Creative and fun, it delivers.
From Dan Grendell, Comics Pants
In "Nymph," it's Man versus Nature - and Nature fights dirty. This story pleasantly surprised me, as it developed and resolved itself opposite of the way one would expect in the contemporary fiction world.
From J. W. DeBolt Jr., ComicCritique.com
All the stories are short and sweet, with writers and artwork that is actually beautifully varied and fitting. But here's the catch: Besides the fact that many people can't stand Simmons, the book also has a cover price of $9.99. It's kind of fitting, considering the Simmons Comics Group logo is a bag of money, but you know what? ... It's totally worth it. At least he knows how to at least pack a book with value. The ends certainly justify the means in this case.
From Louis Fowler, Bookgasm
FISHNET ANGEL: JANE DOE:
In the hands of a less able writer the multi levels going on here would prove to be too much and so it is a tribute to the writing abilities of Sean Taylor that the story develops and works as well as it does. The pace is perfect and the character/reader confusion is well maintained. It borders on, but is always prevented from, becoming too bewildering. ... As I have already said this is a masterful piece of story telling, original, creative and controlled. The fact that we actually identify with Mark and the rest of the characters who inhabit his female body is a testimony to how well written this tale is.
From Steve Saville, Silver Bullet Comics
Yes, a gender-bending comic book about an amnesiac super-heroine named "Fishnet Angel." I swear I am not making this up. The plotting here, though coherent, is all over the place as well. There's a lot going on in the title character's world here, each element seemingly more fantastic and even ludicrous as the next. Still, I have togive writer Sean [Taylor] credit; he injects a lot of personality into the characters. The narration, in the memory-less hero/heroine's "voice," conveys the main character's confidence quite clearly. I'm also intrigued by the secrecy among the hospital staff when it comes to their unusual patient's treatment and education about who she is... I'll give Sean Taylor credit for one thing: this is an accessible read. This first issue reads like the first chapter in the latest limited series featuring this character, not the character's first appearance altogether. Despite the over-the-top nature of the character's background, it' easy to delve into the story.
From Don MacPherson, Critiques on Infinite Earths
SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY:
"Sean Taylor & JP Dupras' '38 Hours' has strong inflections of ASTRO CITY."
From Steven Grant, Permanent Damage
"With 'Passing in the Night', I was completely shocked to see the unique female superheroics in this story, that fell into a more human drama that touches upon a couple who break up, try to make each other jealous with their so-called dates and when the couple are apart, there is still love in the air and there is also loneliness. Sort of a sad story that most readers are able to relate to. Very well done."
From Paul Dale Roberts, Silver Bullet Comics
The editors of Shooting Star are smart, though, in opening and closing the book with their strongest stories. "38 Days" by Sean Taylor and J.P. Dupras is a story that reads not unlike an Astro City tale, about a super-criminal who breaks out 38 days before his release to chase down some mysterious goal. It's not a completely unpredictable ending, nor a story structure I've never seen before, but Taylor makes Strongarm, his lead sympathetic, and Dupras' artwork is very effective, with a sort of sketchy stylized background style that I quite liked. Of all the creators in this book, these are the two guys who look like they could become polished mainstream creators.
From Randy Lander, Snap Judgments
"The anthology ends on up notes, though, with Sean Taylor, Loraine Sammy & Luis Alonso's "Passing In The Night," a superhero comic that transforms into a romance tearjerker, with the sort of romantic twist Stan [Lee] used to put in his comics..."
From Steven Grant, Permanent Damage
"Also enjoyable were Scott Rogers' "Bedbug" -- a Tick-esque super-hero piece -- and writer Sean Taylor and artist J.P. Dupras's "38 Days," which puts one in mind of Kurt Busiek's Astro City."
From Don MacPherson, Critiques on Infinite Earths
A PRIVATE LITTLE CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE:
"A Private Little Corner of the Universe is edited by Sean Taylor and includes stories by Tom Waltz, Bill Purcell, and Sean Taylor. We are introduced to heroes who must deal with some of the scariest villains ever to exist -- the inhuman concepts of drug abuse, rape, failure, and death. These villains don't have capes and boots and doomsday devices, but they are as sinister and pervasive as a foe could be.
"But the book isn't all grimness and gloom. The accidental transsexual, tagged with the moniker Fishnet [Angel] by a reporter, makes for an amusing look at what can happen when one is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and how the press can be as exasperating as a rash. The book is also about love, and the story 'Once Upon a Time' in which the superheroine Starlight must face any parent's worst fear, stands out to me as a piece that is at once chilling and emotional."
From Christine Morgan, Saddledrake Magazine
Causes Sean Taylor Supports
Literacy, Habitat for Humanity, Reading Is Fundamental, Hero Initiative, Unscrewed!