Monday, April 30, 2012

Printed Comic Books Are Not a Viable Business and Goon #39

So I keep telling Lee that my interest in the blog is waning and he says that has been true for a couple of years. I agree with him but one of the problems I also have is often I can bore myself. I have a clear opinion on comics and have made that viewpoint known over and over and over again. The capes bore me as we have no true advancement of the characters. Lee pointed out I want endings and he is again correct. Finally Lee said that I should just do the rants on this blog. Why Comic Books Suck was going to be that blog, but I was too ambitious and cannot generate enough bile and time to keep up that blog and write here. So this week’s column is Lee’s fault.

Lee was right about a few things, shocking, but lighting statistically speaking can strike the same place more then once regardless of the saying. This week brought along a minor revelation in the from of Goon #39 which lays out what is wrong with DC and Marvel and does so in an entertaining manner. Eric Powell’s column at the end of the book should be required reading and I will post it here for your edification.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Classic Comics

Another Sunday another batch of covers.  This week we look at one of the great comic book series, Classic Comics.  This would eventually become Classics Illustrated and the covers wouldn't be nearly as exciting.  But the first run produced some great ones.

Let's start with...

Classic Comics #1.  There's something appealing about this that I can't quite identify.  Maybe it's the simplicity of the line.  Maybe it's the inability of the inker.  No matter what it is, it's fun to look at.

Classic Comics #8.  Now this is just fantastic.  Great design and composition.  AND, because the title wasn't standardized yet, the artist incorporated it into the cover.  This is just perfect.

Classic Comics #11 is another cover in which the artist incorporated the title of the book into the page itself.  Stellar!

Classic Comics #18.  This has interesting use of perspective with a giant drooly dude.  I am pretty sure this was different from everything else on the stands that day.

Classic Comics #30.  It's a big fat budda dude.  What's not to like???

That's all folks, now go enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Assemble Avengers!

Okay, it's a very busy weekend for me with my older brother's wedding today (I get to be best man!) and a 90th birthday party for my wife's Aunt tomorrow (both events out of state).  So, I'm going lite today with some FUN photos of some of my Avengers toys.
Three of my original MEGOs from childhood.  It's amazing the Hulk is still intact after throwing him around so many times.

 As Lee likes to remind everyone, there's more after the jump.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Free Digital Comic

Ulimtates #9

Redemption Code


Go to and enjoy

Indies Previews For June Part 3 of 3

Lee: What a messed up month this is. Work got out of control so this intro paragraph isn't showing up until the final day of indies.  Sheesh.  But, it's been a great month with lots of cool books and this last batch is no exception.  Maybe we'll be more organized next month. 
Gwen:I just assumed we weren't doing an intro =P

:01 First Second
Marathon GN by (W) Boaz Yakin (A/C) Joe Infurnari
It was a turning point in ancient history. It inspires men to greatness. It was the foundation of one of the greatest and most prevailing global peace efforts of the 20th century. It was the greatest feat - and the tragic death - of a man whose legacy will never be forgotten. In 490 BCE, an Athenian messenger named Eucles ran 27 miles from Sparta to Athens, and in so doing preserved ancient Greek civilization from subjugation to the Persian Empire. $16.99
Lee: Let’s start with something that just looks cool and should be a winner. Why? (1) :01 Books is a great publisher of indie material. (2) Infurnari is an awesome artist. And finally (3) it just sounds interesting.
Gwen: Except I'm pretty sure most people don't know this story at all. Seeing how classical history isn't focused on very much anymore. This is a cool story and all but I'm worried it'll get over exaggerated like the 300.

The rest are below the break

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Indies Previews For June Part 2 of 3

Continuing the Indy Adventure!

Krause Publications

Parents Guide to Best Kids Comics: Choosing Titles Children Love SC by (W) Scott Robins
Experts showcase in great detail 100 of the best comics currently available for young readers and identifies what attracts and entertains kids, all while creating a suggested reading list of hundreds of other outstanding titles. The reading level guide, clear comments, and accompanying comic samples guide users to the best choices for every child. Each entry includes key reading appeal points and associated genres, creating a recommended balance of reading for education and reading for recreation. $16.99
Lee: I periodically get questions about what books are good for kids so I think this is awesome! If the books shown on the cover are any indication the author has a really good handle on what is/ is not good for kids.
Gwen:It is nice to have someone else compile a list of kid friendly comic books. Not that I don't have a pretty solid list myself these days (after having bought comics for a lot of my friend's kids) but it's nice to see some stuff I wasn't previously familiar with.

And 7 more below the break

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indies Previews For June Part 1 of 3

Continued from yesterday!

Lee's just kidding - this is actually part 1.

Fantagraphics Books

Beta Testing the Apocalypse GN by (W/A/C) Tom Kaczynski
While Tom Kaczynski's comics share many of the obsessions found in the prose work of J.G. Ballard, with riffs on dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technology, Kaczynki's visual storytellingadds an architectural dimension that the written word alone lacks. Beta Testing The Apocalypse includes 10 short stories, depicting the immense political and technological structures and spaces we inhabit that subtly affect and define the limits of who we are and the freedoms we presume to enjoy. Tom Kaczynki is a new, unique voice in the comic firmament. $19.99  Visit the artist here.
Lee: Ok, here's what you need to know, Tom K is a new, unique voice.  Translated that means this is pretty much unlike anything you've read recently.  Meaning, it's gonna be out there.  If you like you comics off kilter and out there, then this is for you.
Gwen:Well I don't know if I like my comics off-kilter per say, but the concept does look as if it has potential to be very interesting.

Seven more below the break

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Shadow: Blood and Judgment

Lee's doing his utmost to remind me why my once fond memories of Howard Chaykin's work have receded so much. Sending me this four issue mini-series from 1986, I realize it's a good thing I hadn't read this before I read American Century, or I might never have read it.

As I recall, I read the ongoing series written by Andy Helfer and drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz in 1987-1989, but I never picked up this mini-series. I don't think Chaykin was on my radar at that point, and I wasn't keeping up with comics too much at the time due to being in college, but I'd guess I got the ongoing because of Sienkiewicz on the art. I was a big fan of his work on New Mutants back then.

While the ongoing series was set in the usual 1930s, Chaykin told his story in 1986, or thereabout. He crafted a rationale for Lamont Cranston still being alive, hale and hearty, by having The Shadow disappear more than 40 years prior. It's not a great rationale. The Shadow goes off into whatever mystical, mountainous land he was in when he first became The Shadow, where he doesn't age, but he does have a couple of sons, who are also adults now.

I don't really get the appeal of this land. It's supposed to be more advanced than the outside world, in technology and enlightenment. But the land Chaykin crafts seems to be populated mostly by cold blooded killers whose primary interest is keeping their technology from the outside world.

There's a whole back story with the actual Lamont Cranston, who's a low level scum who tosses his own girlfriend out of an airplane to save is ill gotten cargo. Naturally, this guy's still alive 40 years later, too, and trying to get back to the misty mountain hop to take all the technology.

There's also a story line involving The Shadow's girlfriend from the '30s and '40s, as well as his sidekick. Several of The Shadow's old associates have been killed. If memory serves, that's part of the scummy Lamont Cranston's plan to draw out The Shadow. No idea why The Shadow, with his mysoginistic and superior attitude would care much about these people he abandoned 40 years ago, but that's the raison d'etre.

The biggest problem with this book is that I cared not a whit about any of the characters. The most appealing was the one time sidekick, who at least kept alive the old Shadow mythos and shot his way out of trouble. The Shadow himself is a tool with no love for anyone, so far as I can see. His sons are just kind of there. There's no relationship between them, and I wouldn't have known they were his sons but for it being stated at some point. From the look of them their mother was Asian, which is fitting considering that's the location of the mystery land, but I guess any relationship between The Shadow and the mother wasn't worth mentioning.

The Shadow's former girlfriend isn't very appealing, either. She's a once glamorous woman who seems washed up an beyond her prime. I don't much get her anger at The Shadow 40 years later. Is it worth holding onto for 40 years? No wonder she's not pleasant if she's been hanging onto that as the center of her existence all that time.

All in all, I didn't miss anything in not reading this 26 years ago. Just another nail in the coffin of my interest in Chaykin work.

If I stick to his series in Dark Horse Presents I'd be better off. That was pretty good.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Interview with Artist Alex Sheikman

Now for something different for a Monday post.

Dark Crystal Art
Jim: It has been since March 2008 when we last interviewed Alex and during that time we did get to see the next mini-series on Robotika. So let's get that out of the way first. Are both Robotika books still available and if yes where can we buy them? And is there a next chapter and when can we expect it?

Alex: The first volume of Robotika sold out and Archaia went back to press with the second edition, so both hardbound Robotika collections are still in print and should be available in the comic shops. Both volumes are also available on and I am sure that the individual floppies can be found in the quarter boxes across the land :)

(Jim: Note click on link for Robotika and Robotika for few Rubles More. These are both great stories and well worth the money.)

I have the plot worked out for the third (and final) Robotika instalment, but I have not started drawing it. My hope, at the moment, is to do some work for hire for as many publishers as I can in order to get some name recognition and after that I hope to finish the Robotika storyline.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday

This week it's Blue Beetle time!  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe because I was thinking about the great Lou Fine and he did the first cover to the series.  After that it descended into typical Golden Age silly covers which have got to be seen to be appreciated.

So, let's start with the cover to Blue Beetle #1, winter 1939-40 by Lou Fine.  This is widely considered a classic by many.  I have to agree because I love Lou Fine.  He was one of the greats of the Golden Age.

Cover #3, July-August 1940, is also a winner because it's by Joe Simon.  It's hard not to like a cover in which the hero shoots the bad guys through the roof of the car.

Cover #12, June 1942, is by Ramona Patenaude.  Her specialty was bondage covers!  I kid you not and if this cover is any indication of abilities... she was quite good at them.

Cover #19, March 1943, by unknown artist.  I'm not sure what is going on but it's hard not to like a character named Dascomb Dinsmore.  Maybe like is a strong word, how about "be curious about" instead.
Cover #54, March 1948, by artist unknown.  Oh I think you know why I picked this cover!

That's all folks, now go enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recent Reads Returns… … …RETURNS!!!

[Clears throat]  Sorry, I must have been channeling my inner Moopet when I selected this week’s title. [Shuffles imaginary papers] Well, here we are again with another installment of Recent Reads.  This normally highly sporadic “short post” (yeah, right) was last seen only two weeks ago.  I think that’s a record folks.  Perhaps this is the beginning of a regular feature or it may be just an indication that I’ve been reading a lot of comics, but no single book has been compelling me to spotlight it with a longer review.  That doesn’t mean the books have been duds.  Actually, most of them have been pretty good.

Here’s an abridged list of the last two weeks in no particular order:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Image Previews For June

Lee: Image is getting harder to pick. They have a lot of great books out right now but a bunch of them are mid story. Lucky for me, a bunch are being released as trades so Image will be taking a lot of my money this month. Again.
Thomm: I’m in the midst of several of the books but haven’t gotten many trades recently.

SPAWN #220
story Todd Mcfarlane art Szymon Kudranski
40 Pages / FC / $3.99
Todd Mcfarlane Returns To Spawn As Writer And Cover Artist!  Celebrate Spawn's 20th Anniversary with this special landmark release. Jim Downing has long been a man lost -- confused by his missing past, hounded at every turn and manipulated by forces beyond his control. No longer. With his past finally coming into focus and a full understanding of the man he once was just out of reach, Jim embraces the full might of his horrific hell-born powers to piece together a mystery that has ties to the very core of the Spawn universe. Old enemies will return. New dangers will emerge. And events woven within the complex fabric of Spawn's rich mythology will begin to coalesce. What happens from this point forward has been 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING!
Lee: I cannot believe Spawn has been around for 20 years. Incredible. But, I do find it highly amusing that my local store has loved the past year of the book because it was written by someone new. And that new person? None other than the Todd-man himself under an alias. Makes that first sentence about him returning as writer interesting indeed.
Thomm: I’ve never gotten into the character and only have a few things with it. It sounds like big doings if this is your thing, but I’ve got so much on the plate already I’ll not be adding this.

5 more very cool books below the break!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free Digital Comics

Avengers vs X-Men #2

Redemption Code


Go to and enjoy

Mega Library III

By the time anyone reads this I'll have long forgotten what I said, writing on Leap Day as I am. Unless Lee swipes my post for earlier usage, of course. I live to serve.

So, the Baltimore County Public Library has provided another nice selection. This time I'm going through them in the order I read them.

First up, Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby. With that cover I thought the title had a Brer Rabbit connotation. You know, all those dark figures luck like the tar baby from the story. Of course, I was wrong. It's a prophylactic use of rubber. The protagonist in the story is Toland Polk, a young man coming of age in the segregated South. He hangs out with a free wheeling crowd of desgregationists, though he's actually rather ambivalent about the movement. Of far greater concern to him is that he's gay. He doesn't think he wants to be gay, so he convinces himself he loves a woman in the movement. Their apparently one and only sexual encounter results in a pregnancy, the birth of a baby, and giving up said baby for adoption. There's a lot more going on in the story, too, with a large, well developed cast of characters. It's a very interesting tale told by a middle aged Toland, with some assists from his significant other. The one thing I couldn't figure out is who they're telling the story. No one's shown to be present as an audience. I guess they're just speaking directly to the reader. I thought maybe it was the child given up for adoption, but there's nothing in the story to suggest that might be the case. Anyway, highly recommend as an engaging read, though Toland's not the most sympathetic of leads.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

IDW Previews For June

Lee: This is a huge month for IDW so no intro, just books books books.
Thomm: I read the Previews and the number of books seems about the same. I’m thinking it’s just a big month for peaking your interest.

Dungeons & Dragons Vol. 01: Shadowplague SC by (W) John Rogers (A) Andrea DiVito (C) Wayne Reynolds
Join writer John Rogers (Blue Beetle) and artist Andrea Di Vito (Annihilation) as they bring us a tale of high adventure and deep secrets. Adric Fell leads a band of heroes in a world where civilization has been reduced to a few scattered points of light amid a rising tide of shadows. $19.99
Lee: If you had told me 6 months ago that this would interest me, I would have laughed at you. But here I am getting ready to order this. There’s been steady praise from several of the reviewers I read about this series. If it had been one I would have ignored it, but 3 or 4? I’ve gotta try it now.
Thomm: You do that. I read some D&D non-picture books long ago. That pretty well got the whole D&D thing out of my system.

Six more books below the break...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Three Number Ones – Secret, Alabaster Wolves and The Secret Service


The Monday column was getting overly long so I decided to do a second post this week, as you may have noticed both Greg and Gwen has stopped doing columns for various reasons that we hope will end soon, leaving poor Lee to have to do more then normal.

Secret #1 published by Image is by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Ryan Bodeheim was a great start. I love Hickman’s ideas and often feel that the pure execution of the ideas often fall a little flat, are written 100% for the last page or are sometimes too long of a road to get to the point. It all doesn’t matter because Hickman has so many great ideas and fantastic (pun intended) plots that even a miss is better then some other books. Ryan’s art is better then his Red Wing work and his story telling ability was fantastic given that much of what had to be conveyed was without any sort of action shots. The story is just unfolding and is about a security firm that is playing some guy by first being the ones that attack him and then being the firm he hires to protect him. Part of the price for protection is open access to all of his business records which contain secrets for many important people. So much intrigue and suspense is already built up and we are also hip deep into developing a lot of the main characters. In 20 pages of story and art this series has already set up you up with the desire to find out just what the hell is going on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Free Digital Comics

Avenging Spider-Man #6

Redemption Code


Go to and enjoy

Falling Behind Again and the Digital Revolution


Alas I have managed to catch up on most categories of comic reading only to fall behind yet again. I belong to a book club and next week-end my wife and I are going on a short getaway to celebrate our eight year anniversary, for those of you playing along at home, this not my first marriage. Those things and my unrelenting real job continue to push my comic book reading to the back burner. Next Monday I have an interview running with Alex Sheikman writer/artist of Roboticka, artist on Dark Crystal, a Mouse Guard short and more. Alex is slowly becoming a name that more and more people will come to recognize as a great talent in the field and he is a heck of a nice guy.

On the comic book front my top priority reading has become the independents and Image has been launching title after title after title. With books like Chew, Luthor Strode, Hell Yeah, Danger Club, America’s Got Powers, Thief of Thieves, Morning Glories, Secret, Fatale, Manhattan Projects and more I have gotten into the habit of wanting to read their books first.

Danger Club #1 was a great start to a new mini-series. You have to remember that the model for many books is to do a mini-series and if it sells to do a second series and on and on as long as the run last. BPRD has to be the gold standard as that series has well with over 80 individual issues to its credit. Like most books Danger Club is a derivative of what has come before with analogs of Superman and Batman, except done as a Teen Titan type of thing. Derivative does not mean bad as some of the best series ever done were built on what has come before like All Star Superman, Planetary, Watchmen, Dark Knight and basically every super hero book on the stands. Danger Club has the Batman analog character getting his ass kicked by the Superman analog character until the Batman like character pulls the rabbit out of his hat and takes out the super powered guy. They are all the younger heroes as their mentors were killed and the kids went Lord of the Flies on us. Robin (or whatever he was called) took out the power mad Apollo (no copyright can be obtain on that name) and told the kids, whatever killed our mentors is still coming, get onboard or get out. The story by Landry Jones grabbed me from page one and while the art by Eric Jones will not be award winning it told the story and had some great shots mixed in. That sounds like faint praise for Eric Jones, but the work was good, but I just get the sense he is only going to get better. What was also nice is I just dropped Teen Titans off my list and this book rocks while Teen Titans was stale even with the fresh coat of DCU paint that was put on it. I see DC under Harras going backwards and Image is rocking our world with fresh takes on things. This is book that deserves your attention.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday

Another Sunday and more cool covers to look at.  I am always amazed how much Golden Age books changed over a very short amount of time.  Take for example, All Top Comics #1.  It's a wonderful funny animal book.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yesterday in NYC

Just got back from NYC for an art field trip with my oldest daughter.  Unfortunately, we didn't see any of the Doctor Who filming that was going on around town (we tried), but we still had fun.  Here are some comic related pics.  Whew, three minutes to spare before post time and time for bed.  Enjoy!

Times Square Toys R Us

Friday, April 13, 2012

DC Preview Review for June Part 2 of 2


As promised we have the second part of 2 part, which is therefore the conclusion of the June DC Preview Review.

Advance solicited • On sale NOVEMBER 21, 488 pg, FC, 8.25” x 12.5”, $99.99 US
• The entire run of BATMAN AND ROBIN by writer GRANT MORRISON is collected in an oversized, slipcased ABSOLUTE EDITION!
• The DYNAMIC DUO battle the CIRCUS OF STRANGE and investigate the abduction of a child by the mysterious DOMINO KILLER!
• With BRUCE WAYNE absent from GOTHAM CITY, the new Batman and Robin must deal with the deadly return of THE JOKER!
• Collects BATMAN AND ROBIN #1-16 and BATMAN: THE RETURN #1!

Jim: That sucking sound you here is me being drawn in for a high end hard cover. This was a fantastic run and now I regret that I purchased the deluxe hard covers. I know they are going up on E-Bay soon.
Gwen: Ah the continuation of the hardcover escalation game!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What I Read – Apr 10

Where do the weeks go?  Seriously, as I get older the time seems to go faster... and faster.  Since I had a birthday this past weekend (still younger than Jim) it seems like life is moving at light speed. 

Anyway, Saturday was the big day so we went on a family hike up one of the local mountains.  3 hrs up, and 2 hrs down.  It was a doozey.  I mostly spent the walk up with the girls, and the walk down with the boy. 

Boy, far and away had the best comments, but you can decide for yourself which one is better.  You choices are:

#1) Just as we are starting down, Boy turns to me and says "hold on dad, I'll be right back. I have to go fertilize the grass with my ray-gun."

I can honestly tell you I have never referred to my privates, or his privates, as a ray-gun.   Ya gotta love the things they learn in school.  And, honestly, it's more of a bazooka.

#2) About half way down, as we were looking for a stick that he had gotten rid of earlier on the walk
Boy: Sigh. I really wish I had my stick back.  It was such a cool stick but I had to throw my stick away.
Me: Yeah, that's true.
Boy: It's was so cool with these markings on it that looked like cool stuff.  But Mom made me throw it away. I wish I still had it.
Me: You do know Mom made you throw away the stick because you hit her in the head with it right?
Boy: Yeah. But it was a really cool stick and I only hit her once and I didn't do it on purpose.

It's a really tough choice.

Anyway, as for books, this week I read Blue Estate Volume 1, James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems, and Planet of the Apes Vol 1.

You can see what I thought of the rest of the books below the break.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DC Preview Review June Part 1 of 2

Jim: Damn, these things come around like clockwork. When I think of DC now I think Elseworlds (the new DCU), Vertigo (great stuff) and hardcover disappointment as so much of their library is untapped and the quality of their hard cover program has gone in the crapper.
Gwen: Vertigo, one of the only things I still thoroughly enjoy from DC.

Backup story written by LEN WEIN
Art and cover by DARWYN COOKE
Backup story art by JOHN HIGGINS
1:25 Variant cover by MICHAEL GOLDEN
1:200 Variant cover by JIM LEE
On sale JUNE 6 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
“Little did we know that poor boy would lead to the end of us all.”
Plus: Don’t miss the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup story by writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!

Jim:.I get that people think Watchmen is some sort of story that should never be touched, but let’s remember the work that Moore did was derivative itself. Alan Moore took analogs of the Charlton characters DC had purchased and made them over. On the good side DC is doing preludes as opposed to trying to continue the story. Plus Watchmen made Moore a ton of money and probably the reason he is allowed to be the crotchety old crazy guy he is today. Finally Darwyn Cooke is a fantastic creator so I’m sold.
Gwen: No way for me. While the original Watchmen was a great story (if for nothing else that then the bad guy explaining things only after his plan already happened) I could care less about anything happening before Watchmen. It wasn't the setting I enjoyed from the original material but the quality of the story.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Here's an interesting thing. I've been sitting on reviewing Terry Moore's Echo for a few months now. At first it was that I had other things that needed to be addressed sooner, such as the Library books. I own the Echo books. No need to return them on deadline, or sign them out again.

But here's the other thing. This is a great series. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, it's almost hard to write about it. How many superlatives can I toss around before the reader gets bored? How many before I get bored? The perils of being a critic, even an unpaid one.

But, put simply this is a great piece of science fiction. It's not great in the grand space opera scale of a Star Wars or Star Trek. It's great in the story of believable, relatable, even likeable characters who live in a world much like our own. In fact, it's science fiction elements are so well done a layman like me is hard pressed to say that it's suppositions aren't scientifically possible.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Weak in Review

I called it weak because I have so much to do this week-end and little time to get it all done. Plus I just got my comics this Friday and have so much real work stacking up again; I know I sound like a broken record, so I have reviewed what I read. On with the show, this is it, Oh monsieur light the lights, wrong opening. Nothing up my sleeve “Presto”, gotta get a new hat, still wrong opening. First person to guess where those two lines come from and send me an e-mail with a snail mail address and I will send you a trade paperback, really. I used to run contests all the time on this site back when I started the whole thing. Fellow Comic And writers are not eligible to win Matthew.

I picked up Avengers vs X-Men #1 and was wondering will it be crap or will it be good. The multiple writer approach has its plus and minuses, but one scripter makes it better.  The writers are all of the Marvel promoted big names Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction, the scripter Bendis, art by John Romita Jr and Scott Hanna (so nice to see him getting a huge book like this), with colors by Laura Martin. I’m actually not a fan of Romita Jr., but damn if he does not impress when he brings his “A” game and since he is not doing all the issues I’m happy with the art, it has big bold panels, great storytelling, solid emotions being registered. All is all the art is a solid B. Not an A because stylistically I think there are better artists out there, technically Jr. does a great job. The story itself was well done also. I remembered the DC series 52 was by a staff of writers and that was a solid series and this started out very well. It was a nice straight line story that the Phoenix force is headed to earth. The Avengers believe they should hold Hope to protect her and Earth. The X-Men believe that it is a mutant issue and they should protect Hope.  Cap and Cyclops face off and Cyclops shoot an eye blast at Cap and the stage is set. Bendis had some stupid dialogue moments here and there but all in all this was a great read with solid art. Instead of dreading the series, it now looks like it could be fun. They won me over for now. In some ways I feel like the eternal sucker for being drawn in and in other ways I look for the cape and cowl set to just be light entertainment and this fits that premise. By the way I will be publishing the digital comic codes on here and face book for every issue as I will never use them so if you get it first congrats.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday

Sorta thematic this week.  Since it was my birthday yesterday, baseball started, and it's Easter too there's alot of variety in styles this week. 

Let's start simple and classic.  I might never read the inside but the appeal of the book is undeniable.  And, an excellent composition too!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Really Recent Reads (2012 Spring Break Edition)

It’s Spring Break and it’s time to head to the sunny Florida beaches with my brood of six children and stay at Jim’s house!  Just kidding…  We are traveling this weekend, going down to Richmond to celebrate Easter with my mother and do some fun stuff around my hometown.  So, I don’t have much time to cobble together a post; therefore, I’ll try to keep it short and sour…I mean “sweet”, which leads us to another installment of Recent Reads.
One of the difficulties of catching up on your reading (as Jim has been doing) is generating a huge backlog of stuff to blog about.  I’ve just finished the Captain Britain Omnibus (very good) and while I hope to spotlight it someday in the future, I don’t have the time right now to do it justice.  The real problem develops the more time that passes between when you finish a book and get around to discussing it.  Enthusiasm wanes, details get fuzzy, etc.  If you read something, but don’t blog about it, was is really worth it?  We’ll leave that question for the philosophers.

Anyway, Wednesday was my first day off for the break and I was at the store right at 1100, having just downed a White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, with a generous helping of books I really enjoy in my box.  I even had time to read all of them that afternoon.  Unfortunately, I had problems with most of them.  (Maybe it was my strange melancholy mood and innate fatigue.)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Free Digital Comics

Free Digital Copy of Avengers v X-Men #1

Code is ATMC1ZVATF14

go to

First there wins. Of course I posted this on facebook also.

The New DCU Seven Plus Months Later

I know, I know I have cried and complained about the new DCU enough on my Monday columns, what the hell “do we” need with yet another complaining column. Well I need it as a form of cathartic writing therapy. See I have often found that when I get upset or something is bothering me writing it out helps me get over what ever it is that is bothering me and the new DCU is just killing me.

A little history, Marvel made me fall in love with comics and DC ended becoming my true love as I got older. Now I feel like I have no loves left in my life as Marvel can still be attractive after a few drinks, but I’m not getting back into bed with them. The new DCU is like I’m sleeping in the same bed with them, but there is no true feeling of love anymore. It is like the body snatchers came and took my love away.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Dark Horse Previews For June

Lee: Thomm’s out this week so welcome back our own resident Statler, Jim.

Jim: What the hell, you are Waldorf them. Frigger fracking young whippersnapper.

Brian Wood (W/Cover), Kristian Donaldson (A/Cover), Dave Stewart (C), and Rafael Grampá (Variant cover)
FC, 32 pages, $3.50, Ongoing
In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental-action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sister ship, The Massive. Captain Callum Israel, a man who has dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself—as our planet dies—what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s ended. Callum and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. Can you save a planet that's already doomed?
Lee: I’m always up for a good post apocalyptic story. I can’t seem to get enough of them. And, with Wood writing it I am sure it will be good. This is an easy pickup.
Jim: Have to agree, seeing Brian Wood’s name on it and I’m always looking forward to end of the world stories, for some reason they usually make good reading. I wonder if Dinosaurs use to read post apocalypse stories. Oh wait need to get into character. When I was your age, the world was ending, but we fought the big one to save your assses.

4 more books below the break and not a one an obvious pick like this!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What I Read This Week – Apr 3

Not a lot of intro this week because I am running out of time and need to post this. But I did see a couple of things worth noting on the web.
First, is the passing of Jean Giraud who most people know as Moebius. And before you say “eh, who cares” you should realize that he is as influential as Kirby was in America, or Tezuka in Japan. And, it should be noted many of today’s artists can trace their influence back to him, either directly or indirectly. I am not going to even try and do him justice because it was done better here.

And, one of his short stories is here. I cannot recommend it enough and yes, it is that awesome.

Anyway, as for books, this week I read Infinite Kung Fu, Whispers in the Walls, and The Path #1-9

You can see what I thought of the rest of the books below the break.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The List - March 2012

You put down a few new books on your pull list, and all of a sudden you're swamped in books. So far the new ones look good, though. A few of them even made the top ten. Off we go.

1. Scalped 57 - Oh, the cover to this issues. Dogs play an important part in Sioux history. Before the arrival of Europeans dogs were the primary beast of burden for the tribes. Once horses were the number one animal, dogs still played important roles in the nomadic society, though. In this issue, dogs are the reason Dash is in big trouble. Falls Down gives him a fighting chance, though. No one liked or missed Deisel. Still, all those issues ago when Dash killed him you knew it would come back on him at some point. With Dino now a player on the rez, and Red Crow not wanting to save his own skin in prison, there's chaos on the rez. Catcher working his vendetta against the council members who, with Red Crow, stole large sums from the tribe, is only adding to the confusion and to Falls Down's problems. You knew the peaceful, happy life couldn't last too long for Dash.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Catching Up Can Be Maddening

So this week I managed to get caught up on quite a few comics and yet fell slightly behind on my Marvels, Indies and Vertigo books. I still have till Thursday to get that resolved, but it was a big week of comics and I felt it was necessary to whittle away on some of the DC books as well as wipe out my backlog of Mars books from Dynamite. Seeing Dynamite being sued by Burroughs people is a sad testimony that Dynamite appears to be preying on public domain material. Of course I’m still not sure how I feel about the idea of things being copyrighted forever and I also don’t like creators getting nothing when someone else exploits the characters.

The Mars books themselves are funny in some ways in that the Dejah Thoris’ artist draws her so ridiculously posed at times I’m surprised she can stand up. The Warriors of Mars book seems to be a pure expansion of what Burroughs did, but since the last few books after the first trilogy are somewhat of a blur to me I could be wrong. Avrid Nelson seems to have the best handle on the characters and is doing fateful adaptations with a little modernization here and there and touches of humor. All in all it is nice to see what I long considered Burroughs best, but most under rated work be given so much time in the sun. Marvel’s official adaptations, the movie and Dynamite have all helped make John Carter at least be a name that is known as opposed to everyone only knowing Tarzan.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Free Digital Comics

Some comics are giving me a code for a free digital version of it. I will post the code here sometimes and on my facebook page other times.

I'm guessing first come wins the free digital version.

Enjoy. This code is for Ultimates #8


Go to

Comic Covers Sunday

This Sunday, instead of digging into the past, we shall travel overseas and see the best of what the Brits have to offer.  It's 2000AD people, what's not to like.

Even the Brits love giant monkeys!  But their's are robotic which may make them a wee bit cooler.  We'd have to ask the resident monkey expert, Jim, for an opinion to know which is better.