Thursday, February 28, 2013

Indies Preview for April Part 1 of 3

Thomm: Ah, the many and varied meanderings of Lee’s selections. What shall Spring’s wet month bring? Will we have blooms or merely mud?
Lee: Blooms!  It's always blooms.  It just later than normal this month.

:01 First Second
Feynman GN SC by (w) Jim Ottaviani (A/C) Leland Myrick
The #1 New York Times-bestseller, now available in paperback! In this substantial graphic novel biography, Feynman presents the larger-than-life exploits of Nobel-winning quantum physicist, adventurer, musician, and world-class raconteur Richard Feynman. Written by Jim Ottaviani and brilliantly illustrated by author Leland Myrick, Feynman tells the story of the great man's life from his childhood in Long Island to his work on the Manhattan Project and the Challenger disaster. Ottaviani tackles the bad with the good, leaving the reader delighted by Feynman's exuberant life and staggered at the loss humanity suffered with his death. Also available in hardcover. 272 pgs, 6x9, FC, $19.99  Visit the Myrick here and read the NPR review, with lots and lots of sample pages here.
Lee: Starting out with a bang…a big bang as it were. I’ve been enjoying a lot of bio books lately and this appears to be an excellent addition.  It doesn't hurt that I've been reading about his other-worldly exploits in Hickman's The Manhattan Projects.
Thomm: A bio of a guy I’ve never known but who appears to have lead a very interesting life is a good start for the month’s selections. Somehow I doubt I’ll be staggered at his death, seeing as it’s the end we’re all reaching at some point, and he seems to have lived a long time.

PS Magazine: The Best of The Preventive Maintenance Monthly

A little something out of the ordinary today.  Will Eisner, no fool he, didn't just do comics work.  Knowing the value of a steady stream of income Eisner, an Army veteran of WWII, obtained a contract with the Army that had him providing illustrations to help soldiers remember to maintain their equipment.  Eisner had the contract from 1951-1971, providing more than 20 years of his trademark style to help keep the troops informed on their responsibilities in not only keeping their gear in order but filing the proper paperwork about it.

To further his serious job Eisner used amusing examples of what could go wrong when the maintenance and its reporting weren't done properly.  He created several ongoing characters to do that, including Sgt Half-Mast McCanick and Pvt Joe Dope, both of whom pre-dated the start of PS and appeared in other Army publications Eisner did.  These were comedic characters, of course, who screwed up constantly.  The other major character he created for the work was Connie Rodd, the highly sexy woman who entreated the troops to correct their mistaken ways in maintaining the gear.

This hard bound book collects some of the best of the work.  It's not too many comics related publications that'll have an introduction from a retired general, but this one has General Peter J Schoomaker, USA (Ret.), as well as Ann Eisner and Eddie Campbell, the latter of whom provides a nice overview if the collection.

Truth of the matter is, I didn't finish this.  It's not a story.  It's a series of educational vignettes, and technical ones at that.  Eisner's art is great, as always, but it's a dry read if you're not looking to service 1950s and 1960s era Army equipment.  There is a nice bit where slip-up Joe Dope falls asleep on guard duty and dreams of all the mistakes he's made but is saved by various comic strip characters from a fatal, or even harmful, end.  Superman, Li'l Abner, Dick Tracy and several others all appear.

Eisner doesn't make it all fun and games, though.  Several of the examples do show how not maintaining equipment properly can lead to fatalities. 

If you like Eisner art, and I have since I was a kid, this is a nice little book to have.  If you want a story, this is a pass.  A little local angle for Marylanders, too.  The publication started in Aberdeen, MD before moving to other Army digs in 1955.  There's a nice photo of Eisner in Aberdeen consulting with some unnamed sergeants about one of his projects.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sparks The Graphic Novel – A Review

Sparks the movie is opening soon, you have to click on this link and check out the movie site and the trailer. A true independent movie that by all accounts and from every trailer I have watched the damn thing is killer. Alan Moore and Frank Miller are credited with making super heroes into a darker and grittier version of the genre. Some say they changed the industry forever, for good or ill, and comics become the domain of an older crowd forever leaving behind the 8-12 year old boy audience. What this graphic novel did and what the movie does is marry the film noir genre with the super hero ideal.

I have been fortunate enough to have become email friends with the creator of Sparks, Christopher Folino, I have also had the chance to do an interview with Chris, William Katt the executive producer and JM Ringuet who did the bulk of the artwork for the graphic novel.

The history of this project is almost as fascinating as the film. It was a comic book that never made it to the end of the mini-series. Next it was a motion comic and for my money the only motion comic I ever saw that had a true feeling of making the book come alive with a cinematic flair. Finally the movie has been made and the graphic novel has been completed.

Call your comic store and demand they carry it or hunt it down on Ebay or do whatever you need to do to get this story or click on this link. The movie may never make it to a wide release so set up the searches to await the DVD, the story is that good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Now These Books I Liked – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 4 of 4

Of course I did not read everything this week, but overall what I read had a lot of entertaining books. No matter how snarky or bitchy I get about many books there is a high amount of quality material being produced. So below I will list out a bunch of books and as I did with the number one issues I will give a reason why I’m buying the title.

Morbius #2 is probably not going to be a long lived title for me. I’m giving it a whirl mainly due to Joe Keatinge is writing the book. Joe writes Hell Yeah which is an interesting book that I’m also not 100% sold on, but I love giving new writers a chance. Often over time they get better and better. Elson’s art is nothing special and the story itself is somewhat pedestrian. Moribus is fighting a street level gang. It is a professional job but like I said nothing special. I will give it one more issue.

Indestructible Hulk #4 is on my list due to Mark Waid. I’m still not a fan of Yu’s scratchy style but it works okay. The story line is the real draw as Mark has constructed a good premise for the Hulk. Banner is now working to make things better and has a staff of scientists to help him. In exchange for funding and other support he acts as a weapon for Sheild. It is a cool premise as we no longer are dealing with the Bruce hates Hulk and vice versa theme of the book. As long as Mark can make this work it should be a fun ride. Waid has been at the top of his game lately and that is damn impressive given how long he has been in the game. I keep wondering when they will blow it up with a Hulk rampage, I hope never.

DC How Do I Hate Thee Let Me Count The Ways – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 3 of 4

This one will be a little short. I know I can talk about something until no one wants to hear another word about it. Ask my family about my complaints about Drone warfare and how we are building the next generation of people to hate us. Still DC was my former love and having been rejected I still can’t quite get over it.

I also have to publicly apologize to Shawn as we were working on a post about how to fix DC and I have not been able to pull that post together. DC has become a quickly moving target and I fear that we are so far into the new DCU that it may be something that is beyond repair – absent blowing the mutherfu whole thing up.

Anyway I wanted to give some quick thoughts on six DC

First up is Nightwing #17 by Kyle Higgins and Juan Jose Ryp. I have to thank them for saving me $3 a month going forward. This is the last issue of the book I’m getting. We are a year and half into the book and already doing a reset. The entire Dick Grayson fortune is gone, the circus is gone, his relationship with Sonia is gone and it is all because of the Joker. What the hell, I was trying to get into this new status quo for Nightwing and now the whole thing is erased. Dick is angry and he takes it out on some bad guys and Damian is the voice of reason that pulls him back. The part with Damian harkens back to when they were Batman and Robin and I enjoyed that but otherwise Nightwing is too far removed from who he was for me to care. On top of that the new status quo that had just been meticulous set up was blown up, I guess now I’m suppose to get behind the new one, no thanks. It is one thing when I’m not following a book to try out a new direction it is another when I was following the book. Nightwing in Chicago is a dumb idea and is also against the grand tradition of DC having imaginary cities for most of their heroes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Number Ones – Will I Still Love You Tomorrow? The Week of February 20 in Review Part 2 of 4

The comic companies are addicted to rolling out new series and I as a fan love trying out new books. Of course it has to have certain qualities to make me decide to take out a new book for a trial run.

Nova #1 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness is by all rights a book I should have passed on. Instead I decided to try it out. The first reason is because of all the drumming up of the “Cosmic Event” Marvel is brewing in hopes of riding the coattails of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie that is forthcoming. The second reason is that I had enjoyed the last Nova (Richard Ryder) and wanted to see why they were moving to a Kid Nova idea. Those factors were fighting against my dislike of anything by Jeph Loeb in the last decade and my dislike for the almost cartoon like quality of Ed McGuiness work. I’m not sure what it is about his style that I don’t like, but his Superman/Batman work was off-putting. I’m glad I tried it out. It was a nice story that gave as a connection to the kid and the Nova Corps. It showed us the Sam Alexander is a good kid and very responsible for his age. I now want to read the story and find out how Sam is going to end up being a Nova. The downside is that it feels like a typical decompressed story meaning I will have to pay $24 to get the first story arc and origin of the character. The AR sucked. The other problem is McGuiness portrayal of him makes him seem very young, yet he is in high school. I know based on the way they laid the timeline out Sam should be 17. At times he appears to be more like 12.

Comic Book Covers – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 1 of 4

This week was a huge week for me. The amount of books I got is insane. The final count was 42 books. There was no way I was ever going to read all of them in time to include in these posts. That is neither here nor there anyway because I wanted to talk about comic book covers to start off the week.

Of course before we hit that subject I have to point you to listings for next week’s books. We can start with the clean list over at CosmicComix and also the more elaborate with full solicitation copy over at MidtownComics. The ones that I’m happiest to see on the list are I Vampire, Answer, Legend of Luthor Strode, Uncanny Avengers, Batman Inc. and Before Watchmen Dr. Manhattan.

Okay with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, I wanted to talk about comic book covers. I was five or six years old when I first starting buying comic books. On Saturday night my Dad would drive to a local newsstand and buy the two Baltimore Sunday papers, the News American and the Baltimore Sun. It was a corner newsstand that had one magazine rack devoted to comic books. My Dad would usually give me up to a dollar to spend and that meant I could get up to eight comic books at 12 cents a shot. I had to choose and I could not take all day so it was the cover that helped make the decision. Over time I knew what series I wanted to follow and the cover was no longer a deciding factor, but if it was something new the cover could often sway my choice.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Week of February 20 Review Preview

This week we have four parts. Below a clip from Part 1 and the titles of the other parts.

Comic Book Covers – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 1 of 4

Okay with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, I wanted to talk about comic book covers. I was five or six years old when I first starting buying comic books. On Saturday night my Dad would drive to a local newsstand and buy the two Baltimore Sunday papers, the News American and the Baltimore Sun. It was a corner newsstand that had one magazine rack devoted to comic books. My Dad would usually give me up to a dollar to spend and that meant I could get up to eight comic books at 12 cents a shot. I had to choose and I could not take all day so it was the cover that helped make the decision. Over time I knew what series I wanted to follow and the cover was no longer a deciding factor, but if it was something new the cover could often sway my choice.

That was decades ago and the industry has radically changed and covers seem to serve multiple functions. We have variants, we have the WTF gatefold covers, we have enhanced covers, wraparound covers, blank covers and we are still awaiting the first talking cover and edible covers, but you get the point. Also we have a lot of artists who almost do exclusively covers. Adam Hughes, until his recent hiatus to draw an actual comic book, was only doing covers for years. Brian Bolland only does covers anymore. To me having one artist do the cover is a cheat, because the interior and the cover artist should be one and the same. Variant covers are BS also. Often I see some wonderful cover that is a variant and the regular cover is just okay. If the cover was meant to help sell a comic that best cover should be the main one. 

Number Ones – Will I Still Love You Tomorrow? The Week of February 20 in Review Part 2 of 4

DC How Do I Hate Thee Let Me Count The Ways – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 3 
of 4

Now These Books I Liked – The Week of February 20 in Review Part 4 of 4

Comic Covers Sunday: Turok

Last week I showcased the Eclipso series which had art by Bart Sears.  That reminded me of Bart's other great book during the 90s, Turok.  Bart didn't stay long but he drove sales on the issues he was on insane. 

Turok #1, July 1993
Pencils: Bart Sears
Inks: Randy Elliott
In case you didn't live it, this was a HUGE seller.  It was incredible how many copies stores were selling.  This was the heyday of shiny foil covers and this had one of the best. 

See what other great artists worked on the series below the break

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #004 – A Review

Well, my emergency post was very much needed last week as we were without internet for most of the day last Friday during the carpet install for our new and improved study.  I finally got around to populating the bookshelves with all sorts of goodies this past Monday – the Captain America tribute shelf is very cool.  When all the work is done, maybe I’ll share some pics (Sorry, no Dagwood couch).  The glass desk is amazing and this is the first opportunity to test it out for blogging.  I like the window seat, but my arms aren’t quite in the proper “position”.

Superior Spider-Man #004
Writer:  Dan Slott
Penciler:  Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker:  John Dell
Color Art: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99 (including “FREE” digital copy which I sold on eBay for $2.25)

It’s ironic that my LCS cited issue #004 of Superior Spider-Man as one of the standouts for the week, ranking it behind #002, which I gave an A+.  I wouldn’t go that far (and you can see my ranking at the end), but I did enjoy it a lot and the book left me very interested in what would come next. SPOILERS Follow.

If I get ambitious, I just might squeeze some comments on another book or two down below the break.  It was a really good week for comics and I still have four titles left to read.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Random Thoughts and Other Things I Have Read

If I have time on Friday I thought I would share my impressions of various stuff that I have run across during the week or stuff that does not fit to make a full fledged post on its own.

I picked up the Superman For Tomorrow trade by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee. I could not read this as single issues and dropped the book at the time. I decided that Azzarello is too good of a writer for this to not have had more merit then I gave it, but sure as hell I was not going to buy an Absolute edition. The trade was $30 for 12 issues so it was worth it from that standpoint and I didn’t pay retail, even better. Reading the entire story in a few sittinga made the story cohesive and it did hang hung together very well. It was an emotional story of Superman trying to save the world and his struggles with being a savior. Having a priest as his confessor was a nice touch as it added to the entire savior and Christian imagery that was being put into the book. I was not a huge fan of Jim Lee’s artwork, but it was dynamic and the fight scenes were outrageous. It is a Superman story that made me think and made me see Superman in a different light. It had parts in it that did not make 100% sense to me, but Azzarello does not explain everything in books that he writes. He allows the reader to piece some things together. All in all I would say this is one of the better Superman stories out there, but as an episodic comic, in my opinion, it failed. I think at this point I have to understand that certain books, as much as I prefer the monthly form, are now written as a complete story that needs to be read without 30 plus day breaks between chapters.

A side note is that it is always surprising to me when I try to think of all the great Superman stories and it comes down to Alan Moore’s two part goodbye to the Silver Age Superman and Morrison’s All Star Superman, an okay Loeb/Tim Sale book and a cool Darwyn Cooke story. DC needs to just commission some great creators to tell their Superman story. For a character with so much history it is slim picking for great Superman stories.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Goon in Virtue and the Grim Consequences Thereof

Hooray, another Goon trade obtained.  Published in 2010 and collecting issues 9-13, master of the affair, Eric Powell, has all cylinders clicking at this point.  Oh, this is the second edition of the trade.  The first came out in 2006.

The first two issues are stand alone stories.  It seems Goon played professional football for a year, until he and the rest of the team were shot just before the championship game.  It's a fun story about the assumptions people make, including mobsters who bet far too much money on less than sure things.  The issue also explains how Goon consolidated his control of the gangs and how the Zombie Priest got his undead army started.

The second issue is the best bastardization of A Christmas Carol ever.  I'll leave it at that.

The rest of the trade tells the story of how Dr Alloy started resembling Swiss cheese, was saved by Goon and Frankie taking a trip to another dimension, and reverted to his evil ways due to a problem with the metal used to save him.  His Spanish speaking lizard/man major domo is hilarious, even if you don't know a lot of Spanish.  Along the way Goon picks up his own version of the Baker Street Irregulars and spends some time in prison, where the warden hates him and the inmates revere him.

A bonus at the end is a prose Goon piece written by Thomas Lennon of Reno 911!  Powell does some illustrations with the piece, which is very much in keeping with Powell's own writing.

It's funny that the pull reviews on the back describe The Goon as horror meets comedy.  It's so over the top, even in the horror part, that I tend to view the whole thing as comedy.  Great comedy, too.  If anything it's a little poignant at times, especially when Goon's childhood comes up.

Read all the Goon you can.  You'll feel better.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Could Damian Wayne be checking out with Morrison?

I have a weird love/hate relationship with the current Robin Damian Wayne. I hated his initial introduction and his eventual replacement of Tim Drake as Robin. Part of this hate that I carried stemmed from DC's inability to give Drake a purpose post-Damian's promotion to Batman's partner. The Red Robin series was ok, but we are now a year and a half into the New52 and Red Robin cannot hang onto a regular costume from one series appearance to another, let alone have any meaningful character development in his Scott Lobdell written series.

Tim Drake was my favorite Robin and the one I always thought, after years of slow and consistent tragedy, could eventually replace Bruce in the hypothetical future. (The unfulfilled promise for all sidekicks.) I loved that over the years Tim had adopted many of Bruce's personality traits in the Teen Titans and other titles. Part of my distaste for Damian can be connected to the sidelining of one of my favorite characters.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Batman #17 – A Review – Death of Reality – The Week of February 13 in Review Part 3 of 3

Rounding out the week in review we come to the highly anticipated and often raved reviewed, Batman #17, the conclusion to the “Death of the The Family” arc. There are at least three different elements I see associated with this book. One it is an event as DC tied in a number of other series, two it is a major Joker story and three is the overall reaction to the book.

Let’s take the last first. CBR gave it five stars, others were raving about it as well. The Beat to its credit had a contrarian review. I think my biggest gut reaction to the story was – meh. It was not horrible, it was not earth shattering. It was a decent story that will probably plays better when I read just the Batman stories as a collected work. I loved the whole story at first but at the end of the day I think the super high praise is way out of line. There is almost a group mind at times in the comic industry and it has been decided that the Snyder / Capullo Batman book is a thing of genius. Personally I’m enjoying the run, but damn if O’Neil/Adams, Morrison and the Englehart/Rogers stuff wasn’t just as good and at this point the O’Neil/Adams and Grant Morrison material is superior. That is not a knock, it is a comparison. I’m just shocked at how great some people think it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and since it is an opinion of a commercial piece of art, essentially we all get to be right.

I have a pet theory on why everyone is in love with the Snyder/Capullo run on Batman. First and foremost is the talent of the two individuals involved. Not only is Scott Snyder a great writer, Scott is a nice guy and very smart. He is a very skilled writer and works with his artists to make them the best they can be. He knows when to let the art talk and when to add the words. I love Snyder’s writing and will essentially read anything he does. From American Vampire, Severed, Swamp Thing, Detective and Batman, if the cover says Scott Snyder there is a 99.9% chance I’m buying it (I always leave a possibility of any writer doing something I won’t like). Second Greg Capullo along with his inker Jonathan Glapion is absolutely killing on this book. Hell, Greg has only not drawn one issue and it is not like he is phoning it in, his work is beautiful. The opening double page spread of the Joker having the Bat family at the dining room table is outrageous and so well done. He did an issue during the Court of Owls where Batman was stuck in a maze that was fantastic. So first and foremost this book is getting accolades because it is deserved.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Short Remarks – Part 2 of 3 - The Week of February 13 in Review

In order to cut to the chase on these books I will abandoned remarking on who the creators are all the time. I’m not trying to disrespect the creators as much as I just want to try and make some shorter remarks on a bunch of books and make it read a little faster. As I said in Part 1, I’m skipping books that were either just good or failed to incur my wrath, so in no particular order, onto the books.

Grace Randolph’s Supurbia #4 was fun. It cracks me up that she has her name over the title because outside of her doing a video post on comics and writing this book I have no clue who she is. At least with Garth Ennis, James Patterson or Tom Clancy stamping their names on things is to garner sales, in her case I guess she is trying to build a brand name. Thinking it through it is actually has a good idea doing it this way. Desperate Housewives meets the JLA is how I see this book. It is more about the soap opera then it is about the heroics, a great change of pace book.

Fatale #12 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips was a great one and done issue. See that, I break my own rules that I talked about already. I find rules to be suggested guidelines, so breaking them has never been an issue for me. This was a great one and done story talking about a prior Femme Fatale. Set in France in the 13th Century it was a well done story of this woman who is some sort of witch or demon. At the very least she is not human or mortal. It was a sad tales in many ways and you could not help but feel sorry for her. Fatale is a great series and it is Brubaker’s best work. The series becomes better and better the deeper we get into it as the scope of the book becomes larger. Yet for all of that I felt this book could have been read by anyone and you needed nothing to introduce the story.

Secret Avengers #1 – Epic Fail – The Week of February 13 in Review Part 1 of 3

A little explanation for regular readers, the Week in Review is being deconstructed again or something. I always feel the need to change things around. So this week will be what it is and that is more commentary oriented towards whatever is winding me up. That means I will leave many books I read lying in the dust. Many books that I read, I enjoy, but normally it is only a few which stirs my passion.

Of course I need to still give you the links for new week’s book. The clean and concise list from my good friends at Cosmic Comix, home of the great mail order service I now get and the detail listing of Midtown Comics. The books that are making me giddy with anticipation next week are Fever Ridge Macarthur Jungle War, Mind Mgmt., GI Joe (it is a re-launch and curiosity got the better of me), Happy, Thor and Hellblazer (the last issue of the Vertigo run). Check it out to see what is getting you all hot and sweaty.  Okay enough frivolity onto my review.

I guess I should thank Marvel for saving me $3.99 a month (or more as they publish as often as 18 issues of some books a year) by kicking me off Secret Avengers. I enjoyed the last iteration of the book and was curious as to where this version of the book would go. It didn’t take too many pages in for me to decide this was a one and done.

Before we get too deep into my opinion let me make it clear that I believe Nick Spencer is a decent comic book writer. He has yet to make me a huge fan of his work but he knows how to write a comic book. Next is the artist, Luke Ross is a good artist. Like many artists he knows how to tell a story. He is never going to make my list of artists I want to buy artwork from, but nevertheless a competent professional.

Now the flip side of that coin is that why do I want to pay $4 for an issue from the team of Nick Spencer and Luke Ross, neither are considered “A” list talent at this point in their careers. Sure I get a “free” digital copy for the extra buck and they have the “AR” feature in the book, but I think the $4 price point should be reserved for the top tier stuff.  I tried out two of the AR features, one was a joke piece and the second was Nick Spencer’s voiceover a page saying how this is going to be a great series and a lot of fun. Give me the creators talking about the book or why these characters are ones they love or something. The AR is very hit or miss. I will say this that at least Marvel is trying, DC does nothing cool with modern tech in their printed books.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Week in Review - Preview

Again a short blurb from Part 1 of 3 hitting on Monday at 12:01 AM US East Coast time. Part 1 focuses on the new Secret Avengers #1.

I guess I should thank Marvel for saving me $3.99 a month (or more as they publish as often as 18 issues of some books a year) by kicking me off this book. I enjoyed the last iteration of the book and was curious as to where this version of the book would go. It didn’t take too many pages in for me to decide this was a one and done.

Before we get too deep into my opinion let me make it clear that I believe Nick Spencer is a decent comic book writer. He has yet to make me a huge fan of his work but he knows how to write a comic book. Next is the artist, Luke Ross is a good artist. Like many artists he knows how to tell a story. He is never going to make my list of artists I want to buy artwork from, but nevertheless a competent professional.

Now the flip side of that coin is that why do I want to pay $4 for an issue from the team of Nick Spencer and Luke Ross, neither are considered “A” list talent at this point in their careers. Sure I get a “free” digital copy for the extra buck and they have the “AR” feature in the book, but I think the $4 price point should be reserved for the top tier stuff.  I tried out two of the AR features, one was a joke piece and the second was Nick Spencer’s voiceover a page saying how this is going to be a great series and a lot of fun. Give me the creators talking about the book or why these characters are ones they love or something. The AR is very hit or miss. I will say this that at least Marvel is trying, DC does nothing cool with modern tech in their printed books.

The rest as well as part 2 later in the day on Monday. 

Comic Covers Sunday: Eclipso

After all the feel-goody-ness of Supergirl, I decided to see what else DC had on the stands in the early 90's.  Low and behold I found the forgotten classic, Eclipso!  Growing out of the Eclipso: The Darkness Within mega crossover event in the summer of 1992 this was DCs attempt at creating a series staring a villain.  Basically,Eclipso takes over Parador, a tiny South American country and wants to use drugs to finance an army to take over the world.

Eclipso #2, December 1992
Pencils: Bart Sears
Inks: Ray Kryssing
Normally, I would show the first issue cover but this one was better.  Bart Sears was at the peak of his powers and rendered a cover that was just incredible.

This series went on to have not only a huge bodycount but some unbelievably bloody covers.  You've been warned.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In Case of Emergency BREAK GLASS!

Looking for the latest Marvel NOW review?  Well, I'm sorry to disappoint this week, but I'm recovering from a long week of work, earning my last 8 PDH credits for my PE license, putting my house back together from importing numerous bookshelves from someone on Craigslist (and getting new carpet in two rooms), taking time out to celebrate Valentine's Day, and beginning to develop a nagging cough.  Hopefully things will get back to normal next week (Superior Spider-Man #4 is due out next week, you know -- can I go four for four?).  I seem to remember the Micronauts coming to my rescue last time!

Friday, February 15, 2013

IDW Previews for April

Lee: I am way behind in Previews. Oh well, never too late to catch up!
Thomm: ‘Course not. Why work ahead when you can ask me to get it done the same day you want it back. Lucky for you I’m not sick like I was on Tuesday.

Star Trek: John Byrne Collection
John Byrne (w / a / c)
Comics legend John Byrne has taken on four Star Trek titles, all collected in this oversized hardcover collection. "Assignment Earth" recounts the adventures of interstellar agent Gary Seven, "Crew" recounts a tale from the very beginnings of the United Federation of Planets, "Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor" is a collection of tales from this famous member of the Frontier Medics Program, and mystery, intrigue, and war abound in "Romulans: Pawns of War." HC • FC • $49.99 • 320 pages • 7” x 11”
Lee: This is interesting because I am not sure I care about Byrne anymore, but I’ve heard lots and lots of good things about the Star Trek series he did. In particular, I remember hearing really good things about the McCoy miniseries. This is an expensive way to go but it could be worth it.
Thomm: I’m still a fan of Star Trek but haven’t been following anything Byrne’s done in a couple decades. I’ve never been as big a fan of Star Trek that wasn’t TV or movies, either. Too rich for me.

4 more below the break

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Li'l Depressed Boy: She is Staggering

Sales.  They are the best way to get me trying some new reading.  This would be one of those times.

I've seen ads for The Li'l Depressed Boy in the various Image books I read monthly but hadn't sought out this series until this first trade was on sale.  I know nothing of writer S. Steven Struble and only know Sina Grace as the smart mouthed editor of the Kirkman titles I read.  He's moved on from that gig now, hitting more of the creative side of things again.

That's good because Grace is a good artist.  As you no doubt note, the star of this show is depicted a bit differently from the rest of the cast.  While everyone else looks human, in a stylized sort of way, LDB, as he's called by pretty much everyone, is a sort of formless.  This depection reflects his view of himself, I presume.  It's never explicit in the book.  It's a nice artistic choice, no doubt shaped by both creators, but it limits the expressive range of LDB.  Granted, he's depressed so his expressions tend to be limited anyway, but Grace does a nice job with those moments when other feelings are required.  Of course, he does well with the more human characters who have a greater range available, too.

So, story.  There's not a lot of that.  In fact, this is probably a book best read in trade form, if not something even longer.  In single issues I'd probably wonder when this was going anywhere.  Read together, this collection of issues 1-4 tells an arc.  I must say, it's deceptive, because there aren't many four issue arcs these days.  The damn things seem to go on for at least six issues now, with the exception of some titles like Northlanders or Fables that put in one or two issue stories on occasion. 

This arc relates how LDB meets a girl and falls in like.  He takes a good while, and several meetings, to even figure out her name.  Once he gets past that and hangs out with her a bit, falling more toward love, it all comes crashing down when he discovers she has a boyfriend.  It's all very small scale story, delving into the people rather than big events.

I liked this book and will check out some additional trades.  I need to find some small scale books that aren't overwhelmed by sad little lives, though.  There have to be some happy little lives out there.  Hell, I have one.

In addition to the four issues collected there are some extras, such as pin-ups and cut-outs.  I particularly liked the pin-up that referenced Say Anything.  That story had some happy little lives, too.  Well, mostly happy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

A brief review,
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Sean Howe. Harper Collins. 484 pages. $27.

This has got to be one of the most non-comic book books reviewed that I have ever seen.  In case you weren't aware this is nothing but words!  Can you believe it?  Trust me, I was surprised when I saw that too.   But, let me add my voice to everyone else who's said this book is great.  It really, really is must reading if you are a fan of comic book history, or if you just want to know about everything that goes on behind the scenes at a comic book company.

This isn't about the history of any of the heroes, or even any of the creators, it's just a history of Marvel, the company.  It starts when Martin Goodman, publisher of men's magazines, realizing he can make money with a new product called the comic book.  It shows how Stan Lee ran the comic book division in both the good, and bad times.  And finally, how the company grew to be the juggernaut it is today.

The book is broken into 5 sections, or time periods, which more or less correspond to the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, 80's and the 90s and beyond.  The GA section was interesting in the sense that it was heavy on how the industry was born and how Marvel (called Timely then) get into the business.  It's interesting in a factual sort of way.

The Silverage is when the story really started to become real to me.  When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby create the Fantastic Four and begin the creation of the modern Marvel Universe, it's near impossible to put the book down.  As I said, this isn't about the heroes, what this discusses are the people who made the characters and wrote the stories.  You can read about the huge egos run rampant.  You witness the end of Stan's relationship with both Kirby and Ditko.  You read about Roy Thomas, the new kid, coming in and trying to maintain the system.  There is also plenty of insight into how the "Marvel Style" was developed and which creators worked well in the system, and which ones didn't.

During the bronze age, you read about Jim Starlin and Steve Englehard being spaced out of their minds on acid wandering NYC thinking up new ideas!  It's during this time that you start to see Marvel transform from small company and creators working for fun into a true corporation.  After that, you get to read about the adventures of Jim Shooter, the advent of Jim Lee and others, and Marvel transforming itself into Disney lite.  Finally, you read how corporate raiders nearly destroyed Marvel. 

The amount of research that went into this book is incredible.  It's like Sean Howe read every fanzine and comic related publication from the 60's until today and compiled them into one book.  Not to mention the amount of interviews he must have conducted to get some of these stories.  This really is part oral history, part fact sheet.  What amazed me the most was how the creators slipped so much of the real world into the Marvel Universe.  I loved just reading about all the metatext that was stuffed into the Marvel U.

As much as I loved this book, I also hated it.  What is the old saying, "once you see behind the curtain..."  Well, this is certainly the case for me.  I've always been a comic book reader.  I read about my favorite characters and followed my favorite writers and artists.  But I never read Marvel Age, or Amazing Heroes, or Wizard magazine.  I just read the comics.  Well, after the Bronze age Marvel completed its transformation into corporate behemoth, the inner workings of the company got really nasty.  Actually it started before then but the worst was after the 70s.  As the Marvel coffers were drained to line the pockets of already rich men, it's like reading about friend being beaten.  It's sad.  It's depressing.  And, it makes me glad that I was blissfully ignorant at the time.

Even beyond the corporate silliness, it's incredible difficult to read how the men you admired had feet of clay and their own egos brought them down.  It's hard to read about people toiling away making the books I loved being treated badly over and over again.   It's especially bad once you get to the 90s and Marvel, the company, turns into a big, emotionless corporation.  I've always known that it happened, but to read about it just hurts. 

Would I recommend this book?  Heck yes!  The first half of the book captured all the wonder of building a new industry.  Even with the bumps along the way, there was a sense of fun.  The second half in which many, many people try to do nothing but strip Marvel of its intellectual property clearly shows you how comics got to the state they are currently in.  Be warned, after reading this book you won't be able to look at the industry the same way again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Week of February 6 in Review Part 2 of 2 – Everything Else I Read

Again I have to apologize if the week is weak as having a cold or whatever has sapped my energy to low levels. So this part is just some quick blurbs on everything else I read. It is a hodgepodge selection of books as I was almost reading books in a truly random fashion.

First up is Fearless Defenders #1 by Collen Bunn and Will Sliney. Let’s see, Misty Knight on a ship beating up some bad guys and she gets a mystical artifact and takes it back to female archeologist. Why the archeologist sent Misty for this and other plot points are lost. Dr. Annabelle Riggs turns on artifact, it raises dead Vikings, Valkyrie shows up and a battle ensues. A little girl on girl kissing, battle ends and I have no clue what is going on and no clue why I care and no desire to buy the second issue.

Guarding The Globe #6 was supposed to be an unlimited series by Phil Hester and Todd Nauck, instead it also dies after six issues (like the mini-series). It is being rebranded as Invincible Universe. I don’t know I sort of enjoy the book; sort of never know who is who, not sure where I’m going with this book. If the new series, The Invincible Universe is a different type of focus, like highlighting people who are not the focus in Invincible it might be a series to try. If it is more Guardians of the Globe then time to give up on it.

Superior Spider-Man #3 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman is actually pretty lame in my view. The book is written with convenient contrivances like Potto Parker being upset over the Vulture using children. We are supposed to believe a mass murder on Potto’s scale has some scruples. And Jiminy Cricket  Peter Parker’s ghost is just flat out annoying. I was almost ready to drop the book but Matthew’srave review and enthusiasm for book has me signing up for a couple more issues.

Monday, February 11, 2013


1)     Dan Didio  - Planning who needs planning
2)     Bob Harras – Check the Marvel books under his era
3)      Editorial mandates that change – okay you need to manage a line of comics, but have a plan that sticks
4)      52 is all we do – how dumb, locking into an artificial number. If all 52 were top flight books, you would turn down #53
5)      Channel 52 – What the hell is this crap, give us a letters page.
6)      Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, Ann Nocenti and Rob Liefeld (oh he is gone now but he was there at the start) maybe there is a reason they have not been writing comics anywhere else for decades.
7)      House style – way too prevalent.
8)      Vertigo - where for art thou Vertigo
9)      Year and half long stories.
10)   After Batman, Wonder Woman and now maybe Green Arrow – you've got nothing.

They are advertising WTF month, it has been WTF are you doing for years.
Needed to get that off my chest. 

The Week of February 6 in Review Part 1 of 2 – DC Books and Some Why DC Sucks Mini-Rants

As a brief introduction I’m sick with a cold this week and have limited energy. So the Week In Review maybe a little weak as I’m only covering what I read, so a ton of potential great stuff is missing.

Of course I still owe the links for next week’s book and here is for Cosmic Comix and here is the detailed listing from Midtown Comics. I keep swearing that I’m cutting down my list but I don’t see it with 18 items coming in from my other list and Marvel publishing 15 to 18 issues of a book a year. Next week’s highlights are Batman, Before Watchmen the Comedian, Fatale, Star Wars, Battlefields, Todd the Ugliest Kid, Fury Max and Uncanny X-Men.

Part 1 is about the DCU books I got this week and read. I have yet to read the best book from DC which is probably Detective, but I read most everything else. Now I will be mixing in some mini-rants about DC with the books and I still hope to pull together a post by Shawn and I ripping the DCU later this week, but DC is changing so fast I can’t keep up with it or even care to any more.

Animal Man #17 & Swamp Thing #17 is Rotworld Finale Part 1 & 2. The writers are Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire the two writers DC has as their stars right now. The artwork in Animal Man was by Steve Pugh, Timothy Green II and Joseph Silver. Swamp Thing was by Andy Belanger. It is hard for me to say this, because I’m a huge Snyder and Lemire fan, but this story went on way too long and it appears next issue wraps up the story. We knew Rotworld was an artificial future and had to be reset so the books had no impact. We are promised some impact next issue, but next issue is also Snyder’s last on Swamp Thing. The story ends with Swamp Thing and Animal Man jumping into a vortex which will go back in time and we will have to see what the war cost. Of course it will be something like Buddy losing Maxine and/or Abby still being dead, but nothing regarding the great DCU, which never has really existed within these books. 38 issues of books (including the 2 Annuals) and the payoff is not that great. I will never want the trades or a HC collection of this. Also Andy Belanger’s art is ill suited for Swamp Thing and to have the penultimate chapter being drawn this way made the whole thing feel like a joke.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Week of February 6 in Review Preview

I thought I would give you a clip from tomorrow's post as opposed to just covers.

This week is just two parts.

The best I saved for last and that is Green Arrow #1 #17 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. I love Sorrentino’s art so the book looked great. Jeff Lemire tossed the whole new Green Arrow concept in the trashcan and started over again. A good thing to do with this book and I have no clue if this will jibe with the new JLA, but I could care. It is interesting because I have been watching the Arrow TV show and it is okay for what it is, but the comic seems to be aligning itself a little more to the TV shpw. Since I do not know who this Green Arrow is I was surprised to find out his being stranded on an island is still part of the overall origin. Anyway Lemire strips way his wealth, his high tech supports group and has a mysterious stranger show up and kick Ollie’s ass. Just as the mysterious Komodo is about to kill Ollie the mysterious Magus shows up to save Ollie. I know I said enough with the mysteries, but mysteries are okay if you are telling a story and Lemire is telling a linear story. These new elements are unknown to Ollie also. Magus also reveals that Ollie was never supposed to leave the island. It was a great opening and now I can comfortably get into this version of Green Arrow.

Part 1 tomorrow and part 2 Tuesday.

Comic Covers Sunday: Supergirl

Last time, I talked about Superboy but let's not forget his lovely companion in super capes!  The girl of steel herself, Supergirl.  Supergirl has been around forever and has had more bad comics than just about any other hero I can think of.  Actually, her original 50's stuff is great (My girls give it 2 thumbs up!) and her 70's stuff was atrocious.    Peter David's run in the 90's was one of the best and is still very, very readable today.

Here's a selection of some of her best covers. 

Supergirl #1, September 1996
Pencils: Gary Frank
Inks: Cam Smith
The cover that launched a whole new SG series, and it's great !  I think it captures the elements of Sueprgirl with an added twist of grunge.  Best of all, it isn't slutty Supergirl.  She actually looks like a normal person. 

More below the break.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #003 – A Review

I was all set to shatter the glass and pull out an emergency post this week as I’m really swamped with earning my PDHs for license renewal and our house is in a shambles trying to find places for numerous bookshelves and other things (like a new record player!) that we bought this week. But then I read Superior Spider-Man #003 last night and I just had to write about it again! SPOILERS Follow.

Superior Spider-Man #003
Writer:  Dan Slott
Artist:   Ryan Stegman
Color Art: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99 (including “FREE” digital copy)

Look!  Up in the sky! Is it a bird -- a plane?  No … (dramatic pause) … it’s the SPIDER-SIGNAL!  Seriously.   That cover image wasn’t just thematic.  We get to see an actual spider-signal light up the sky and it was AWESOME GREAT!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Seriously Bad Ideas

Ok, if you want happy, go read today's earlier post.  But there are some things that are just so ridiculous I have to say something.  I am an art guy, so when the art goes bad it ruins the story.  IMO, good art can save a bad story whereas good writing cannot save bad art.

That said, there were a couple of moments in comics that made me want to bang my head against a brick wall they were so bad.

You've been warned!   See what I am talking about below the break.

Good Books You Probably Aren't Reading

So, after Wednesday's rant, Jim told me I needed to write something positive.  Ick!  But, he had a point.  This isn't about telling you all the things about comics that bore me, this is about trying to get you to read new and better comics.  Over the past week or so I've managed to read some great things so let me share those with you today.

Over the past few weeks I've managed to read Shadow #7-8, Shadow Special #1, the latest OMAC tpb, and Ralph Azham.

You can see what I thought about them below the break

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The List - January 2013

irst List of the new year.  I found January to have fewer of the regular titles I'd been getting so I tried out a few new things.  Only one of them has been a particular gem so far, but it's early.  Off we go, then.

Stumptown #5 - Comic Book Cover1. Stumptown: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case 5 - Starting off with a conclusion, we have the consistently great Stumptown.  Not that this is actually a conclusion to the series.  It's just the end of the second chapter.  That's the best way to look at the first two Stumptown installments - chapters in a larger novel.  More so than the first chapter, this one ended with clear indication that there's a lot more to come.  Dex's retrieval of Mim's missing guitar, Baby, exposes a meth smuggling ring and brings back a heavy hitter from the first chapter who's clearly not going to be pleased with Dex's involvement, as we'll no doubt see in coming chapters.  If you have any fondness at all for PI stories, from Sherlock Holmes to Stephanie Plum, I can't recommend this series from Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth, and Rico Renzi highly enough.  On top of a great story, the creators have been providing insights, in each issue, into their processes in creating the story.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

X-Factor, reminding me why I like superheroes

It should come as no surprise that there was another heated discussion behind the scenes here at Comicsand. It was the usual state of comics and the need for change in characters. The details aren’t important but I came to conclusion that's what I hate about superheroes; I get older, they stay the same age.

So how did I come to this conclusion? It started when I read X-Factor 241 -246, which comprised the ‘Breaking Points’ storyline.  I realized that while there was nothing wrong with the story, there really wasn't anything really new either.

Was it good? Yeah, for the most part it was. Peter David needed to reset the team so it’s a 5 issue arc kicking out the deadwood and streamlining the membership. Did I enjoy it? Eh, not really. Why? It starts with Peter David. I’ve been reading Peter David for over 25 years now. I know the cadence of his dialogue and the rhythm of his storylines. I know the tics of his plotting and characterization.  It’s like putting on an old pair of underwear. It’s still snug in all the right places and just loose enough in the areas that need it. But, at the end of the day, it's still an old pair of underwear. I felt I could replace Havok with Captain Marvel, or the Hulk, or Aquaman and it would be the same story.

Past the writing, I realized these are the exact same characters from 20 years ago going through the same motions.  Sure there are some changes, but I am not sure they were for the better, nor could I tell you why they happened.

In X-Factor #241, Strong Guy gets the boot. Apparently he’s no longer happy go lucky guy. Now he’s moody and depressed guy because he sold his soul. When? Couldn’t tell ya. Why? Couldn’t tell ya. The book neither explained it, nor gave me a hint as to where to go look to find the answer. Honestly, I liked old Strong Guy better. There's enough grim and gritty in the real world, I really don't need yet another hero acting that way.  And then the villains were just alternate universe versions of the core characters. I know creators don’t like to give up intellectual property but this is the best they got?  So, I had character growth which was good, but in a direction I didn't like and I had villains that were only sorta new. 

In X-Factor #242, Rahne gets the boot. Apparently she’s had a baby and Darwin tries to kill him. It was well executed but since we’re writing characters out it’s really hard to care. Not to mention, it appears to be variation #247 of Days of Future Past.

In X-Factor #243, no one gets the boot but we set the stage for Havok to go. Polaris learns she may have been responsible for killing her parents, freaks out, and starts the break up of the Havok/Polaris relationship.  I’ve been reading about their relationship for 25 years now, it's great their breaking up.  This feels like a change.  The problem is that I don't have a great deal of love for either character.  Nothing wrong with them but nothing all that exciting either.  It's another fine issue.

In X-Factor #244, Banshee gets the boot. Something occurred and she made some sacrifice that was supposed to save someone I guess. I mean this was supposed to be M-A-J-O-R. Now, here’s my snit about continuity, I have no idea the importance of what she did because David offered no explanation and the event was mired in continuity. Who was the villainess? Couldn’t tell ya. What was the big deal? Couldn’t tell ya. The book neither explained it, nor gave me a hint as to where to go look.  Honestly, unless you've been reading the last 5+ years of X-Factor, this issue was a waste of time.

Finally, X-Factor #245, the final team members leave, old ones return and.... I felt a great big nothing. 

Granted, this probably wasn't the place to start reading X-Factor after a long hiatus.  I have to say that all the issues were well executed in terms of art and story. 

But, this story didn't feel any different than Peter David's X-Factor issue #71 from October 1991.  It was the same characters.  It was the same team.  The only thing that changed were the villains... and they weren't even new villains!  If I were to say, in over 20 years, the only thing that changed were the costumes and the haircuts.
As a critic, I would say the storyline was fine and it achieved the desired task, reseting the team.  As a long time fanboy, I gotta say I wasn't thrilled.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Congratulations Baltimore!!!

Stitch Photo taken by the official Jim Martin stand-in
It's amazing what you can see when you take a walk in Charm City!

"I'd like to thank Jim Martin for moving to Florida!  Without him living in Baltimore all this was made possible" -- Rey Louis

Just kidding, Jim.  Hope you enjoy the photo.  It was quite an experience and I don't even like football.

The Week of January 30 in Review Part 2 of 2 – The Spandex Set

The second half of the review will focus on DC and Marvel, with DC dominating what I read this week. There were some good books, but in general I felt the week was just okay.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 by Peter Tomasi and Chriscross on pencils was decent. It wrapped up the Rise of the Third Army and pits the Lanterns against the Guardians. We see the return of Mogo, we see Baz and the chipmunk go into the black lantern book to find Hal and Sinestro and we see the release of the mysterious first lantern. I’m bored. The story is decent, the art is very good, it pulls together a lot of the plots but this story, like so many DC books, has been going on forever. It was not an ending, it was the end of the first part of this overly long epic tale. Next we have the Wrath of the First Lantern and then we will have part 3, where my guess is the heretofore unknown second set of Guardians will take over and run the corps in less of a dictator fashion. I can’t believe how much talent and months and months of issues are being used to never get to the point of a story.

Superior Spider-Man #2 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman was a decent issue. Matthew’s review makes me more excited about the book then when I actually read it. So instead of me talking about it; read his review here.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Week of January 30 in Review Part 1 of 2 – The Non Standard Stuff

Hello and welcome back to yet another week in review. After going nuts and doing a ton of solo spotlights this week is just two posts. They fall into the standard stuff and what I classify as non-standard stuff. I’m looking to make these short blurbs on a bunch of books this week.

Of course we need to get to the list for next week. The clean and concise list is at Cosmic Comix and for all the solicitation copy and info on variants you can go to Midtown Comics. The books I’m looking forward to the most are Green Arrow as Jeff Lemire takes over, Superior Spider-Man (yikes I just read issue #2), Garth Ennis Red Team, Snapshot (an Andy Diggle / Jock Image book), and Harbinger. I find it amusing the DC is already doing some resets of book less than a year and half in.

Anyway let’s get onto the review. SPOILERS exist.

Invincible #100 by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley teased the death of Invincible in the first three pages and then explained it all as being a set-up by Dinosaurus immediately afterward. It did a nice job of moving Mark Grayson’s character forward. Seeing how he will react to Eve being pregnant is going to be interesting. I like that this book shows Mark growing up, albeit slowly, but what has happened in his life affects who he is and makes him different as time goes on. It is the thing I always wish happened in other comics but never does. What happens in every issue of Invincible matters and has impact, sometimes immediately, sometimes down the road and not always as one would expect. This is one of the best super hero comic books on the stands.

Punisher War Zone #4 (of 5) by Greg Rucka and Carmine Di Giandomenico was another well done book. This is really a continuation of the Rucka series that wraps up next issue. This was a “truer” Punisher book set in the Marvel Universe and I liked this book more the longer I stayed with it. I abandoned the book about a year and half in as it seemed to be moving too slow, but when I jumped back on I realized that I have read the Ennis and Aaron Punisher for so long that I had forgotten who the character is in the regular MU. It has shown that the Punisher is very smart and tactically brilliant. In the final analysis I believe the character’s time has come and gone, but Rucka made me second guess that assumption.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Week of January 30 in Review Preview

This week will just be in two parts. Part 1 is what I call the non-standard stuff. Some of the books I'm remarking on are:

Facing Shadows

Okay, I was going to save this for another day, but I don't see Lee's cover post this morning and this IS a cover post too AND close enough to Groundhog's Day to use it.  If you're Bill Murry you might still be reliving it.  So enjoy!

You may not realize it, because Hallmark hasn't created cards for it yet, but today is a very special holiday.  It's Groundhog's Day!!!  The most celebrated day in February, next to that one with hearts and flowers.  When I was single, Valentines Day was always a drag, but I did send out once a 12th Day of Groundhog letter to someone special (two plus twelve equals fourteen, you know).  It must have made a lasting impression, because she later married me.  Anyway, as is our custom around here to rest on holidays (and put together really quick posts), you get to be treated to an extra dose of Comic Covers (borrowing from Lee's shtick)!  The theme for today is of course SHADOWS!!!  Unlike Lee, I'm not going to provide a bunch of cool research like who drew them.  I may not even provide commentary, because I'm writing this on Sunday (Jan 27) and I'm hoping to take my nap soon.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #002 – A Review

It’s Groundhog’s Day and I had a special Covers post all queued up for you today to celebrate the holiday and to mark the beginning of my fourth year with Comics And.  Well, you may see it next week or next year, but I could not let a week go by without talking about this book.  It was AWESOME and it’s bound to cause a number of people (Shawn) some indigestion as they eat their unkind words toward the Superior Spider-Man storyline.  As always, there will be SPOILERS!

Superior Spider-Man #002
Writer:  Dan Slott
Artist:   Ryan Stegman
Color Art: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99 (including “FREE” digital copy)