Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baltimore Comic Con – My Artwork Extravaganza

It’s Lee’s fault. In my life my wife says everything is my fault and I have been surrounded by women my whole life who enjoy saying everything is my fault, most of the times in jest. So as far as independent material and art work I’m blaming Lee for getting me back into both and the Baltimore Comic-Con was my going nuts day for art. 

I picked up a lot of art work and bottom line it is all great stuff and I had blast spending a few minutes with each of the artists. I never plan to sell the stuff so I try and get signatures on every piece.

In advance, sorry if the pictures aren’t sharp but I’m still not 100% up and running and I’m making stuff work.

First up is a two page sequence by John K. Snyder with inks by Geoff Isherwood. I loved the Suicide Squad book so to get a two page sequence of the original art was a nice way to start my buying binge. Original art is just that, so for a collector no one else can have it, a one of kind item that you own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Arsenic Lullaby 10 Year Omnibus – A Review

I would have never gotten this book if it wasn’t for Lee and Douglas Paszkiewicz. See Lee and I were roaming around at the Baltimore Comic-Con. Lee drags me over to this guy Doug’s s table, as Doug is the writer/creator/artist of Arsenic Lullaby. “You should check this guy’s stuff out” says Lee. He apparently had been talking with Doug earlier and was now Doug’s salesman. Doug says Nazis or Boogie Man. Having tired of Nazis I opted for the Boogie Man and a four page story hooked me to plunk down $30 for the Omnibus. Doug draws a character of his from the book and signs it. Pretty cool. Doug if you read this blog ever, e-mail me as I want to do an interview with you about the book.

Now I take it home and as I said yesterday I’m moving and behind on my reading and everything else I normally do. Lee calls me, calls me – Lee hardly every calls, we communicate with e-mail 99% of the time. You have to read this book. I did and he was right. The best quote about this book is from Warren Ellis on the back of the Omnibus, where he says “God help me, it made smile.” Well I need even more help as this book made me smile, laugh and just have a god time reading, it is is funny as crap.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Week in Review – August 24

Where the heck have I ‘m been you may be asking or maybe you were hoping that I had finally had enough of pontificating and just quit. Nothing, so dramatic we (my wife and I) are in the process of trying to relocate to Florida. Not for retirement or anything else, but because that is where my wife wants to live and heck it has lots of pluses for me also, happy wife,  work from home (I hope), my daughters and their husbands are all in Florida, heck we even sent my dog to Florida already. So in the interim we are living in a condo since our house sold as we arrange the other pieces to get the whole move over with. All of that has caused me to have limited internet and I still have less access to the internet since I’m working off a tether from my iphone. Now that I have bored you with the details of my life let’s dive into what has been going on in comics.

The end of the DCU has been going on. For me this has been rather sad. DC has had a ton of soft reboots over the years with Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Byrne restart of Superman, the extremely soft reboot of Jason Todd in Batman and Batman Year One, One Year Later and other things, but nothing as dramatic as this. Marvel’s sliding scale of time slowly kills the characters for me, but this is bothering me a lot as any history or continuity I know of the characters is now totally up in the air. I have read a little of the interviews and plans but have almost purposely ignored the whole thing so I can come into the new DCU clean. DC keeps saying it is a re-launch and not a reboot, but it is obvious that Flashpoint is their gimmick to try and realign their Universe and they are trying to keep what they think fans like and fix what they thing needs fixing. The last issues of many of the books were killer as the writers were giving a last hurrah and they previewed a bunch of ideas they had for the books they were writing and I really want to read those JLA Adventure and the Batgirl stories. On the other hand the end of the current Superman stuff, Teen Titans and some others is a mercy killing. The problem I have is that any history I think I know about anybody is suspect. This is what Marvel did to Amazing Spider-Man with One More Day and DC appears to be doing it with their whole line.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Honor and Amusement Parks, Part 2

The other half of this amusement park detour.

One of Busch Gardens's mistakes, in my opinion, is selling beer in the park. Not just at a few sit down restaurants but at carts thoughout the park. Of course, the park is owned by a beer company, so it's not going to stop selling beer anytime soon, especially when the cheapest, crappiest beer is sold at $6 per.

Here's the problem with so much beer in the park. Yak. Barf. Puke. To make matters worse, there are several locations in the park that sell unlimited smorgasbord's o' food. So, over filled stomachs plus beer plus thrill rides equals yak. In all my years going to Hershey I've never had a ride shut down for people barfing on it. Twice in one day we had that at Busch Gardens. Well, Alpengeist shut down altogether for the clean up, which entailed having all the people who had been loaded onto the ride get off so it could be cleaned and run empty, then those people loaded back on. Apollo's Chariot just had to sit extra time in the loading area while the staff got to clean the mess.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Teach your son well...

The best thing about being a father is teaching your kids useful stuff about life. I’m not talking about math, or science, or anything like that. I’m talking about important stuff like how to throw a baseball the real way (not that crazy, girlie way your mom taught you!), the comic differences between Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse and Carl Barks Ducks, and of course how to make fart noises. These are all important life lessons that would likely be learned incorrectly on the play ground if you don’t step in and provide guidance. Now, if you have a son, then you have added responsibilities like showing him how to pee in public and without getting in trouble.

An ariel view of Chambord
The thing about teaching your son how to pee in public is that it has to be done at the right time and at the right place. If you try to teach him too early he’ll start dropping his pants all the time and peeing in people’s plants. It may be cool in the college dorm, but it isn’t cool at McDonald’s. Boy finally got to the appropriate age this past year so I just had to wait for the right “place” to have the talk.

As luck would have it, living in France provides a lot more opportunities to discuss peeing in public than one would think. You see, French men view the world as their own personal toilet. You can’t walk three blocks in Paris with seeing some man peeing either directly into the gutter, or on a tree. And, yes it is very funny when a man and a dog are both peeing on two separate trees at the same time. The same goes for the highway! In America, if you need to pee on the side of the road, etiquette dictates that you find a bush in the distance. Not in France! Oh no, in France as long as you don’t pee into traffic it’s ok. We used to have a game to see who could count the most men peeing when we went on road trips. I was always slightly disturbed that Girl always seemed to win.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Indies Preview Review for October Part 3 of 3


Humanoids Inc

Zombies That Ate the World HC by (W) Jerry Frissen (A) Guy Davis
In Los Angeles in the year 2064, the dead have risen and corpses live again, cohabitating among us - well, somewhat. As a zombie apocalypse engulfs America, we follow a group of friends on a their journey to start a little business of they own, zombie catcher. Unfortunately, the job isn’t that simple: not only are zombie’s dead bodies walking, but they also have a terrible scent and an awful sense of humor. As a matter of fact, zombies just don’t care about anything, for their lives are behind them and they have an eternity to enjoy. Written by Jerry Frissen and illustrated by Guy Davis (B.P.R.D., The Marquis: Inferno), the two creators collaborate here to pay homage to the zombie genre, giving us a hilarious black comedy that will want you starved for more! Collects the first 4 issues of the DDP/Humanoids serial. $24.95
Lee: Humanoids continues to publish the cream of the European comics and this looks to be no exception. DDP started publishing this but it looks like Humanoids is going to finish it. How can you say no to a book loaded with black humor?
Gwen: I may be a little burnt out on the zombie genre - but this looks anything but run-of-the-mill. Even with the same old monsters creators can come up with some pretty cool ideas :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Batman - Gates of Gotham

So DC’s had a busy couple months finding work for 90’s Marvel cast offs and drawing unnecessary lines on some of the most iconic costumes in comics. But while someone was coming up with the brilliant idea that knee pads are what Superman needs to appeal to the kids of today are knee pads, some crafty editor in the Bat office managed to actually sneak a good book out the door.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A "Comics And..." 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive -- 16 Writers on One Panel

I've got so much to say about this year's Baltimore Comic-Con that I can't possibly fit it into just one post. So be sure to check back next week for more, but today I wanted to share with you the results of my "crazy idea"/"great experiment" (and whatever other pitch lines I tried when asking people to participate.) This idea came to me while I was trying to fall back asleep after having set the alarm for 0100 to start recording my "AT40 -- The 70's" broadcast. Similar to a quickie con-sketch from an artist, I wanted to have the writer's do more than just sign their name on a comic. Then I remembered Amazing Spider-Man #45 (Feb 1966), which I happen to have in my collection:

Nice copy, isn't it? I'd say a 9.2 or higher with white pages to boot. Too bad I'll NEVER sell it now!

In this issue on page 19 in panel one, Stan intentionally left the dialogue blank for the readers to fill in themselves. My guess is it was just going to be too sappy to script himself or maybe he was just waiting for me to use it one day to get professional comic book writers to fill-in the balloons!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Indies Preview Review for October Part 2 of 3


12-Gauge Comics
Country Ass Whuppin: Tornado Relief Anthology (One-Shot) by (W) Aaron, Flanery, Edmondson, Various (A) Pearson, Stelfreeze, Latour, Various
Many of the industry's finest creators, all with roots or ties to the south, have banded together and donated their time for a uniquely southern anthology. Enjoy both tall-tales and true stories, told by some of the best in the business; including Jason Aaron, Sean Patrick Flanery, Cully Hamner, Brian Stelfreeze, Rebekah Isaacs, Jason Pearson, Nathan Edmondson, and many more. Don't miss this celebration of southern culture, while having fun and helping those in need. 100 of the proceeds from this book will go directly to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. $5.99
Lee: Wow! Check out the names associated with this book. That is just amazing. This looks to fantastic. And all the proceeds go to help those in need. A win-win for everyone.
Gwen: It does look like a good collection of creators. It's always nice to see charity comics as well - although it's an interesting theme for a book donating proceeds to the Red Cross.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Indies Preview Review for October Part 1 of 3

Lee: Another month of indies and another month of… the ordinary? This month it appeared that the larger indie houses, Fantagraphics, 2000AD, Humanoids, etc., dominated the selections. Not much from the really, really small publishers.

Gwen: Yeah, but even with the "larger" indie publishers I wouldn't call it ordinary. There's still quite a bit a variety and while not all of it appeals to me it's always fun to look at a wider genre selection.

Boom ! Studios
Roger Langridge's Snarked #1 by (W/A) Roger Langridge
FIRST ISSUE! Roger Langridge is back! The Harvey Award-winner behind The Muppet Show and Thor: The Mighty Avenger returns for an all-new, side-splitting adventure that can only be explained as Snarked! Journey with Langridge as he pulls the carpet out from under such Lewis Carroll classics as 'the Walrus and The Carpenter, 'through the Looking Glass, and 'the Hunting of the Snark, creating an all-new world of humorous grandeur. Join Princess Scarlett as she and her baby brother Rusty outwit the villainous royal advisors and team up with the infamous Walrus and Carpenter to set sail in search of their father, the Red King, who has been lost at sea for six months. It's a rip-roaring industry event you won't want to miss, featuring must-have connecting covers by Roger Langridge and a special 1:10 Thor: The Mighty Avenger homage variant, by fan-favorite Chris Samnee! $3.99
Lee: It’s Roger Langridge! Need I say more? No, but I will. This is a humorous romp through all the old tales, and stories that you know so well. Think Fables but funny and you have a good idea of what you are in for.
Gwen: Fables is funny sometimes... I was more thinking of this a Fables miniaturized - like the mini-sandman character stories. Perhaps more kid-friendly.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Honor and Amusement Parks, Part 1

Working a bit afield of the comics aspect of things, today's missive visits another land of imagination, the amusement park. I've always been a fan, and especially of roller coasters. My wife's not so into the roller coasters but likes a lot of the other rides, and my kids like just about all of the rides, especially the roller coasters. As a result, for several years we've had season passes to Hershey Park, which has 11 roller coasters and will have twelth in '12. For vacation this year we also went to Williamsburg, VA for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA (and Colonial Williamsburg, but I was the only one really interested in that part).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Getting Ready for the Show...

While it's not as arduous as moving your house (I empathize Jim), getting ready for the Baltimore Comic-Con can be a real chore (for me). I even took the day off yesterday to prepare. I've actually been piddling around in my "room" all week. You see my books had gotten way too unorganized and my closet was so cluttered I could hardly stand to be in there. My main objective was to secure some Amazing Spider-Man's to sell today. I think I have some good books still -- I hope so, because my funds were quickly extinguished last year and I've got a backed-up wish list.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Robin to Nightwing to Batman... to Nightwing?

So with DC's new 52 Dick is back as Nightwing (with not as cool a costume as the blue one, but oh well). The thing is, as much as I loved the Nightwing persona it was almost always, in the past 5-10 years, written poorly. Devin Grayson, Bruce Jones - even Marv Wolfman didn't seem to be able to recapture his previous quality portrayal of Dick. I feel that writers didn't know what to do with Nightwing and until he had the chance to be Batman with Damien as Robin I felt that I hadn't seen the "real" Dick Grayson in years. I worry that DC is taking this character a step backwards but only time will tell.

Now most everyone who reads comics knows that Dick Grayson started out as Batman's wise-cracking side kick, less permanently traumatized by witnessing his parents' death than Bats (in the sense he managed to still smile, where Bats takes everything very seriously). Many readers seem to be of the opinion that Nightwing is little more than the guy who used to be Robin. I think that with his time in the role of Batman it's been easier to see that Dick is very much his own kind of hero. Even in a role like Batman writers have taken the opportunity to show the differences in how Dick is Batman rather than writing a Bruce-like caped crusader. I can only hope that by throwing him back into the Nightwing role that the new creative teams don't forget how far this character has come.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marvel Preview Review for October Part 2 of 2

A short month...

X-MEN #1: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Written by Chris Claremont
Pencils and Cover by Jim Lee
In late 1991, bolstered by the popularity of Uncanny X-Men’s all-star creative team of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, Marvel launched a second monthly mutant title: X-Men! Now, twenty years later, the double-sized inaugural issue of that run is remastered, reimagined and recolored in modern style — gatefold cover and all — by colorist Thomas Mason! The X-Men’s all-new Blue and Gold teams have never looked more heroic, Magneto and his Acolytes have never seemed so dangerous, and Jim Lee’s kinetic action sequences practically leap off the page! Revisit a seminal moment in mutant history — like you’ve never seen it before! 48 Pgs./$3.99
Lee: Sadly, I remember the day this arrived on the stands. Still have 5 copies of it too, because of the different covers. But, I am pretty sure I can find a copy of this in the $1 box at my LCS. I am not sure I am ready to pay $4 for a re-colored comic. Not to mention, how can you re-imagine a reprint?
Greg: Lee, everyone has five copies of this. Once you decide you're interested in comics, mysterious men show up in your house in the night and hide them at the bottom of your closet. This is the definition of a comic that no one needs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Marvel Preview Review for October Part 1 of 2

Lee: Month 2 of Mr. Nice Nice. Definitely no promises this month!
Greg: Whatever!

Written by Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn & Chris Yost
Penciled by Mark Bagley & Paul Pelletier
Cover by Art Adams
Fear Itself Aftermath! A new twice-monthly series featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and heroes and villains across the entire Marvel Universe! In the wake of Fear Itself, CLASSIFIED. By the acclaimed writing team of Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost and the powerhouse art team of Mark Bagley and Paul Pelletier. 32 PGS./ $2.99
Lee: Didn’t Marvel learn anything from DC about bi-weekly books? That doesn’t mean this will be bad, just that it’s really hard to make it successful. If anyone can make it work, it’s this creative team so there is a good chance it will work.
Greg: Well its only 12 issues, so that's more encouraging. Also, they're not telling artists with histories of deadline problems to do 2 books at once. So that should, y'know, help.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IDW Preview Review for October Part 2 of 2

Continued from some other day.

Written by Capt Dale Dye (USMC, Ret); Julia Dewey Dye, PhD; John M. Del Vecchio, art and cover by Gerry Kissell, Amin Amat.
The leader of SEAL Team 6 uttered, "Geronimo," and the world let out a sigh of relief. The symbol of ultimate evil was no more. Code Word: Geronimo is the amazing, moment-by-moment story of the clandestine raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This historical keepsake commemorates the bravery and valor of SEAL Team 6 as it descends into a foreign land and achieves the near impossible. 88 pages, $15.99.
Lee: WOW! This didn’t take long to get into print. I thought it would have gone the autobio, NYT’s route but I’ll take it as a comic. I’m not sure it’s a “historical keepsake” but I bet it’s pretty good.
Thomm: A lot of gamble here, albeit for only $16. Still, I have no way of knowing how accurate or complete this will be. First tellings of previously untold tales don’t have a great track record for quality, especially when so close to the event in question.

Monday, August 15, 2011

IDW Preview Review for October Part 1 of 2

Lee: It’s IDW so it’s a little heavy on horror this month. That was mostly their doing and not mine. Although there is still a bunch of other good stuff too.
Thomm: I’d rather blame the messenger and say it’s your fault. IDW doesn’t care if I blame them.

Written by Chris Roberson, art by Jeffrey Moy, covers by Phil Jimenez, Keith Giffen.
The pairing you never thought could happen! IDW Publishing and DC Comics are proud to present the greatest tale of the 23rd century! Or is that the 31st century? As you'll see here, it's both. Eisner-nominated writer Chris Roberson and Star Trek and Legionnaires veteran artist Jeffrey Moy partner up to bring you the most bizarre partnership of any century! In this first issue, a group of Legionnaires end up lost in the 23rd century, but it's a universe that isn't familiar to either the Legion or the crew of the USS Enterprise! 32 pages, $3.99.
Lee: Combining two of the premiere futuristic space series into one book is just a great idea. I have no clue how they plan to pull this off but it’s piqued my interest.
Thomm: I like Roberson, so this has a chance, but this is a very strange idea. Ok, not as strange as Superman fighting Muhammad Ali, but right up there with, hmm, I’m not sure what it’s with. Actually, I could see this working. Q was something of a super villain after all.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cinderella: Fables are Forever

Another excellent mini done, another something to review. Suppose I could leave it at that, but for those wanting a bit more info, here we go.

Like the previous Cinderella mini, this one skips about in time quite a bit, though not the centuries that the last did. This one ranges from 1943 to the present, with the bits from the past told in flashback by Cindy herself.

As a matter of truth in adverstising, this story should be called Dorothy Gale, Assassin. The hero of the L Frank Baum classics is Cindy's adversary for these six issues. It's a little coy about who the opponent is at the beginning, but the story soon becomes Dorothy's story more than Cindy's story. From Fabletown with Love had a lot that developed who Cindy is and what she does. We know that now and spend our time on developing Dorothy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Daryl Gregory Interview -- Writer of BOOM! Studios' Planet of the Apes Part 2 of 2

We're back with part 2 of my interview with Daryl Gregory. If you missed the ape-centric part 1 go here! Oh, and if you haven't seen Rise of the POTA yet, you should. It's one of the best movies of the year. Absolutely FANTASTIC!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

DC Preview review for October Part 2 of 2

Continued from Wednesday

Written by VARIOUS Art by VARIOUS Cover by JIM LEE
On sale DECEMBER 7
• 1,216 pg, FC, $150.00 US
In September, DC Comic will launch 52 new #1 issues starring the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes! In December, to commemorate this incredible event, DC is collecting every one of these debut issues in a once-in-a-lifetime massive hardcover that includes:
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
  • ACTION COMICS #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales
  • BATMAN #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
  • GREEN LANTERN #1 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
  • SWAMP THING #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
  • STORMWATCH #1 by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda
  • TEEN TITANS #1 by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth
  • And 45 more!
Jim: You have to be frelling kidding me. Any book this size is unreadable and serves better as a doorstop or a blunt instrument to be used to kill someone. Plus the only unifying theme is that it is all the number ones published in September, why would I buy it? It has no hook for me, cost too much and is a lousy format. As a historical memento of an event it has some sort of place, just not in my collection.
Gwen: Yes! An excellent instrument of death! But, seriously, I wouldn't even know what to do with this book.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Detective #881 – A Review

Detective #881

Writer Scott Snyder

Art Jock & Francesco Francavilla

Colors David Baron & Francesco Francavilla

The final issue of Scott Snyder’s run on the Dick Grayson as Batman came to a close with this issue. This is the definitive run of Dick Grayson as Batman, one of the best runs on Detective Comic in a very long time and just a damn good comic. Hate to see it end, but love that the story had a beginning, middle and an end. I could feel the material was there to make this run go on longer, but it was a satisfying conclusion.

This issue the story is about James Gordon Junior. He is a psychopath to the nth degree who enjoys hurting people just to hurt them. The short story is James Jr. captures Barbara Gordon (his sister) and is killing her. Batman and Commissioner Gordon save her and Gordon is forced to stop his own son.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DC Preview Review for October Part 1 of 2

Jim: I’m still burnt out from our September posting but it was enjoyable to see everyone else have comments on stuff also. Onto October and see if DC has anything left in the tank or if I do. Note I was trying a different approach for a few months, but will take a rest this month by going back to basics, pick a book and comment, pick a book and comment, wash, rinse, repeat.
Gwen: I'm still burnt out as well and overall I'm sad about the relaunch. The more I read the current DC stuff the more depressed I get - I'm really going to miss Stephanie as Batgirl.

On sale OCTOBER 12 • 1 of 6, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The adventures of Garbage Man and Tanga from WEIRD WORLDS continue – and now, these offbeat heroes are joined by the Robotman, who has a disturbing knack for self-destruction!
Jim: An anthology title. I give kudos to DC for continuing with this format, but I dropped Weird Worlds which had two of the same three characters. Matt Kindt is the only draw for me and my love of Robotman, but for $4 it feels like a pass.
Gwen: Eh, can't say I'm terribly interested. I also lack Jim's love of Robotman.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Killer Vol 2 - Reviewed AGAIN by a non Comic Guy

From yesterday… The Killer is good, but what's the difference between 'mediocre' and 'great'? What separates movies like 'Ghost Rider' and 'Dark Knight'?

Well, intent. Ghost Rider was a premise that held promise, but became a f**king mess. The Dark Knight was about Batman, but also about civilization, nihilism, civil liberties and security. It handled its themes deftly, so that it wasn't preachy, but you got the creator's message. The Dark Knight was indisputably great. The Killer aspires to the same level of seriousness, but, compared to something indisputably great, like The Watchmen, it fails.

Like an Oliver Stone movie, the book has all the right ingredients to be a masterpiece, but succumbs to its creator’s tendency to soapbox various propaganda and half baked conspiracy theories which derails its chances of becoming a masterpiece. But, even with the political leanings, a book can still be great if the story is good, and the story in this book is good. Basically, the Killer comes out of a beautiful beach retirement because he is tired of not killing people, and then accidentally gets caught up in some serious international espionage. OK, awesome, and the story plays out well and nothing feels to out of place, but there's just a glitch in the awesome matrix. I can't stand the protagonist.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Check Out A New Blog

Why Comic Books Suck
Something I'm playing with. More free form, it may or may not have a long life.

The Killer Vol 2 - Reviewed by a non Comic Guy

Hey boys and girls Jim is taking a week off - moving your house is a messy process - so instead we have a guest post from Ben.

My coworker Jim Martin, well know to everyone on this site, sent me a link to this blog a month or two ago. I had known Jim was a large comic book fan since I started working with him a year or so ago, his office is covered in action figures, and he lends out comic books to the nerds I work with all the time.

One morning to pass the time I casually asked if he had any of those EC Comic books, Tales from the Crypt, which I had as a kid and really enjoyed. To my surprise he did and when I came in the next day one was sitting on my disheveled desk. Clearly this guy was hardcore, since after I returned it the next day he mentioned he had the additional four volumes in the crappy series, that we're now mine for the borrowing if I wanted.

I didn't, but I respected his generosity, and from then on Jim was upgraded from ' creepy coworker who collects dolls' to 'acquaintance who is still kind of weird.' One day, desperately bored and willing to do anything to avoid actually working, I asked him if Watchmen was the best comic of all time, he replied it was not and the next day brought me 'The Killer.’ After reading it, I again decided work was less important than comic books and got the link to his blog. It then became apparent Jim's hobby was less a hobby and more an obsession, and that the Captain America replica shield in his office wasn't a gag gift.

So imagine my surprise when Jim, out of nowhere, asked if I would write a guest spot. Apparently he thinks that I am “so funny and awesome and good looking.” Well I could hardly turn him down after that! Now, I just needed a comic book to review. This was tricky, as I only own one comic book, The Watchmen, and have no idea where to even start in the medium. Save for those Tales From The Crypt comics, I hadn't read a complete comic in years, and a review of TFTC was out, because "it sucked" just wouldn't cut it and I felt obligated by other things to get at least a paragraph in. Then I remembered, after lending me the Killer and getting a positive reaction, Jim had lent me Volume 2. Which I had promptly put in my bookcase with the intent of stealing after Jim forgot he gave it to me. Perfect, I read it that evening.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The List - July 2011

Ah, a breather. Gotta like those months when Sunday is the last day. A little vacation didn't hurt, either. So, here we go.

1. American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest 2 - Much as I like Pearl and Skinner in the main book, I'm liking Felicia and Cash so much more. Felicia is total bad ass. Even in her nightmares, she's bad ass. The book opens with her taking a bath when she hears a noise, gets out and grabs a gun. Naked but for a towel realistically held, which is to say, to little effect, considering she was holding a gun with the other hand, she checks her windows, only to turn and find Skinner, who grabs her by the throat. She shoots him in the head, but that doesn't even slow him down. He tells her she can't stop him and is connected to him by blood from before she was born. She agrees and shoots herself in the head. Totally a dream and just an opening sequence, but hard core through and through is Felicia. The book only gets better with the arrival in Romania to find the cure for vampirism they think the Nazis have. Cash shows himself to be just as tough, yet both are not above feeling. Felicia feels bad that she didn't stop Skinner from infecting Cash's son while Cash is concerned about Felicia's nightmare. And then, we get a brigade of Nazi vampires! Excellent.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Daryl Gregory Interview -- Writer of BOOM! Studios' Planet of the Apes Part 1 of 2

SURPRISE!!! I've been keeping this one underwraps for a month now, but I e-mailed Daryl some (re: a LOT of) questions before leaving for vacation and I just got his responses this week -- just in time to coincide with the opening of Rise of the Planet of the Apes yesterday. I hope to actually see the film today myself. (I'm working on my Aunt's AOL dial-up in Kansas right now, so I may be a little lite on accompanying images. Actually, I'm going to have to move the images above later -- they just won't cut and paste right now.)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Image Preview Review for October

Lee: Image is really cranking out the series this year. This month has another big batch of new stuff to check out.

Thomm: See, aren’t you glad I bugged you about bringing Image back to its own post?

The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode #1 (of 6)

(W) Justin Jordan (A/C) Tradd Moore

Luther Strode is just your average nerd until he sends away for a bodybuilding course from an old comic book, one that works a whole lot better than he ever imagined. His newfound strength and strange talents make school a lot easier, but they’ve also caused some very, very bad people to take a very, very keen interest in him. Things will never be the same for Luther Strode…if he survives. 32 Pages / FC / $2.99. Visit Tradd Moore here and see sample pages.

Lee: This looks, and sounds, really cool. I really like the idea of gaining superpowers from the old “gain muscles” ads. Moore’s art looks solid enough to try to the first issue.

Thomm: Excellent premise. Image is killing me with good looking books to check out.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Marvel Comics Presents ... Glenn Beck's Ultimate Nightmare!

I hope you like the witty title. I know. It's horribly clever. So, right then. Ultimate Fallout #4. It’s been getting a bit of media attention, hasn’t it?

I figure since I’ve got the Wednesday night slot, I’ll get my two thoughts in before someone on here says something stupid. Like that’s it underwhelming. Or how Flashpoint is a better comic. Both of those things would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Simply put, Ultimate Fallout #4 is an extremely good comic, but not for the reasons you may think.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dark Horse Preview Review for October

Lee: A wide range of offerings from DH this month. Maybe they heard us complaining and upped the ante. Could be!
Thomm: The voice of the people has been heard! All two of us.

Aliens: Fast Track To Heaven HC

Liam Sharp (W/A)

FC, 40 pages, $10.99

Beneath the ice of Jupiter's moon, life teems in lightless oceans. But more spectacular discoveries elsewhere in the cosmos have left Europa's research facilities underfunded and ignored, a lonely wayside with an orbital station and a decaying space elevator. When one of the elevators stops midway, the rescue team discovers a deadly cargo that threatens life on Europa and on Earth.

Lee: I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aliens franchise. I wonder when DH is going to put some of these series in a deluxe hc edition. Liam Sharp is an excellent artist and perfectly suited for the material. A little pricey but I bet it will be worth the money.

Thomm: Eleven bucks for 40 pages is quite pricey. I checked out of this franchise after Aliens, so no interest for me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hard Cover Addiction

Hi, I’m Jim Martin and I’m an addict. Not an alcoholic, although there were a few years there where I was drinking too much, not smoking as I quit that about 15 or more years ago, and not regular comic books as I now mail those away to family and friends after I read them. It is hard cover collections and their sibling trades which I can’t seem to kick.

Over the next few months I have ordered way too many of these things and worse is I have just recently been involved in packing my collection for an impending move and I have a ton of books already. Heck I have stopped getting Creepy Archives at Volume 10, stop getting most of the Marvel Masterworks as Marvel is very thin on material that I care to see in a hard cover and I have slowed down on DC, if Vertigo doesn’t count.

In an effort to shame myself I will now justify why I want all of these collections I have ordered that are due between now and October.

Blackjacked & Pistol Whipped: A Crime Does Not Pay Primer. First off it is from Dark Horse and they are usually one of the highest quality producers of reprints. Second it is only $20, so you can’t go too far wrong. Plus it is a bit of comics’ history as it collects some of the “best” from a comic that inspired EC Comics and was a target of Frederic Wertham in the witch hunt from the fifties.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Week of July 27 in Review

What a week it has been, madness at work, packing up our house for an impending move, loss of a pet for my one daughter, impending motherhood for another daughter so stuff is going on everywhere. A mad week, so I was almost hoping there would not be too many books I wanted to talk about, I was wrong. It was a great week with lots of good stuff, so let’s get into it.

Criminal The Last of the Innocent #2 was another great issue. Archie’s plan to kill Veronica was so well done, I’m sorry I mean Riley’s plan to kill Felix was amazing. Not only are we getting the story of how he is planning the murder and his alibi we are getting the emotional content of what is in Riley’s head. Mapping this story on top of the old Archie stories allows Brubaker to play with what we know and at the same time make those stories have vibrancy and a reality bent to them like never before.