Tuesday, October 31, 2006
In breaking news, Jim Demonakos announced on his blog that he is leaving Image Comics. The bad news is that he is great at his job as PR and Marketing director. The good news is that he is coming back to Seattle to live, and will be spending time prepping the Emerald City Comicon. My best wishes go out to Jim as he makes this transition.
Over at Redhead Fangirl you will find great pictures from Halloween. I love the outfits! I wish we lived closer so I could have seen them in person.
It is time to go await trick or treaters and give out some serious candy. Have a scary but fun Halloween!
The list for this week is pretty mainstream, as follows:
52 Week 26 - half way there- where has the time gone?
American Virgin #8
Blue Beetle #8
Detective Comics #825
Ex Machina #24
Jonah Hex #13
Irredeemable Ant-Man #2
She-Hulk 2 #13
Uncanny X-Men #480
X-Men Phoenix Warsong #3 (of 5)
Strangers in Paradise #85
That is it for this week. I am looking forward to going and picking up my stack of books!
Have a wonderful week!
Monday, October 30, 2006
As impressed as I was with Lamb and his QEW friends, I knew that I had to find out more. Luckily for me, the crew there was very amiable to me sending them an interview and replying to my queries. Herein is my first completed interview with the very talented Mr. Lamb.
Comics Fairplay: How did you get into the industry?
Braden Lamb: I've been drawing since I was three years old, and have wanted to do something with my life that involved drawing. Most of my work was in an abstract, cartoony style. It wasn't until college that I started to attempt more realism. My friends and I were involved in a superhero role-playing game, and through them I discovered the more sophisticated themes and methods of story telling in comics. Since then, I have attended a few conventions and met people with similar interests with whom I am collaborating or hope to collaborate on different projects.
CF: Tell me about your influences?
BL: In middle school I was part of an after-school, cartoon and comic art class taught by Jim Woodring. My work at that time was unremarkable, but his work has continued to inspire me. Apart from Mr. Woodring, I draw inspiration from various artists and styles, mostly involving interesting use of line. P. Craig Russell, Stuart Immonen, and Guy Davis are some of my current favorites.
CF: What audience are you hoping to reach with your work?
BL: I don't mind doing work aimed at more mature audiences, but I'd like most of my efforts to be accessible to absolutely anyone, while retaining beneath the surface enough meat to satisfy the more-hungry mind.
CF: What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your
BL: I haven't been immersed in comics for the majority of my life, choosing instead to involve myself in film and animation, and I want to bring that perspective to the medium. I was an English major for a semester, having been hooked on the subject by my father, a book editor, so hopefully my skill in dealing with the language is apparent.
CF: What project are you currently working on?
BL: I'm in the middle of pencils for Yo-Yo, an action/mystery story about a girl who seeks justice with a gadget-laden yo-yo. Quenton Shaw is providing the script, Harry Thuran the inking, and Roberta Cupo the colors. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product, as this will be my first major published work. In my spare time I'm also doing the art for an old-school, brawler-style, 2-D video game based on Shadow Tracers, the flagship title for Rare Earth Comics.
CF: How many issues is your project and when do you foresee it being solicited?
Anything special you can mention right now?
BL: Yo-Yo is four issues long, and the first is scheduled to come out in 2007.
CF: What do you think about the industry today? Where do you see the industry
five years from now?
BL: I think the industry isn't taking full advantage of the fact that there is a whole generation of kids eager to read comics. Kids love Spider-man, for instance, but probably don't have any contact with him outside of the movies and the merchandise. There are a few good comics written for all ages that don't require much catching-up, but they're rarely available outside of
comic shops. An industry-wide ratings system that everyone can agree on will allow more stores to decide what kind of comics they want to carry. Kids deserve better entertainment than the card-collecting cartoons on TV. If we can get the kids to pick up comics on their own, we'll have a strong industry for years to come.
CF: Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with comic books but that people might find interesting or surprising?
BL: The modern Icelandic language has remained essentially unchanged since the days when the Vikings settled the island. I speak the language at roughly the same skill level at which a chicken plays chess.
CF: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
BL: I'd like to be writing and illustrating an ongoing comic, doing some art projects on the side, and probably doing some kind of education-related job to pay the bills in the meantime.
CF: Any closing comments?
BL: Have you seen The Magic Christian? You totally should. It's a movie about two rich guys (Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr) who use their fortune to play ironic pranks on the upper class. Raquel Welch plays the leather-clad slave driver on a ship. Sir Lawrence Harvey does a striptease to Hamlet's soliloquy. Yul Brynner does a drag act and seduces Roman Polanski. Something for everyone!
After reading Lamb’s responses, I am even more impressed with him. Knowing that a guy like this is the future of comics makes me optimistic for the coming years. Check out Lamb’s website here.
Stay tuned in later in the week when I bring you a Q&A with Yo-Yo inker Harry Thuran Jr.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
When I found out that Brian Azzarello, the brilliant mind behind 100 Bullets was on board for the new Deathblow series, it was a no-brainer to jump on board. Teamed with artist Carlos D’Anda, there is an immediate sense of danger about the book that marks it as Azzarello’s.
Starting out page one with a mysterious torturing and reaching out to the next sequence which reveals General Ruckus and Ivana, the head of I-O from back in the day. This can’t be a good sign for Deathblow. Next come the military on a top secret rescue mission- the only problem is the person they are looking for isn’t the series’ namesake. Interesting, but it doesn’t bode well, when the military decides that they have to bring someone, anyone back.
I really like the tone of the first issue. Fast paced and raw, the dialogue and art mesh well. D’Anda has moved away from a Jim Lee doppelganger to a more unique, grittier style more reminiscent of Bill Sienkiewicz. I prefer this newer tone, and think it works well with the theme and direction of the book. The colorist Carrie Strachan does an admirable job of covering the art with a fitting, contrasting dark tone. It all works very well to relay the content of the story being told.
My only problem with the series so far- I have no clue about Deathblow’s origins or continuity. So far, I don’t know if that is going to be a problem, but it does make me feel like I am at a disadvantage. I don’t know what makes this Michael Cray so dangerous, or why he ended up where he is, but I am hoping the story that unfolds will reveal that information to me.
Of all the “Worldstorm” books I have read, I feel that Deathblow is the strongest so far. The Midnighter is the only book I haven’t read, so that is the wildcard, but I really liked the synchronicity of the creative team here. This is a series I will continue to order and pick up. If Azzarello and D’Anda continue to deliver, consider me on board for the duration.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The questions are as follows:
1. What is your first reaction upon seeing variant covers?
a. Cool! Now I have a choice.
b. I wonder which will be the most valuable.
c. Crap! Now I have to buy them all.
d. It doesn’t matter; I just want to read the book.
e. Other- explain please!
2. How do you see variant covers?
a. An opportunity to showcase different artist’s work.
b. A marketing ploy.
c. A chance to bring in new readers.
d. A signal that this is a “special” issue.
e. Other- explain please!
3. What is the future of variant covers?
a. There will continue to be more- they are here to stay.
b. People will only buy one of the covers offered.
c. Speculators will cherry pick the market and offer said covers on eBay.
d. I hope they go away… forever this time.
e. Other- explain please!
I would like to report on the survey results next Friday, November 3. Please respond before then. I really appreciate your time on this!
Friday, October 27, 2006
TGIF!! After a long, hectic week, it is finally Friday evening. Yay!
I just wanted to give some shout outs and tie up some loose ends, so here we go!
In late, but very important and exciting news, Stykman creator Jonnie Allan and his wife celebrated the arrival of their son. Here is the official word:
"Those of you who visited us in San Diego noticed Miss Dawn wearing a STYKMAN T-Shirt that read "TWIG IN THE WAY." Well, he's here. On Monday, September 18 at 11:47 am Mr. Tyler James ("TJ") Allan was born and added to the Allan clan.
Tyler will begin making his convention appearances starting next year in March at Wizard World L.A.
Be sure and stop by to say hi and maybe, just maybe, get his autograph as well. "
Congratulations to Jonnie and Dawn Allan on this wonderful news! Check out Stykman #2 if you haven't already. I will try and get a review posted soon. See page one of Stykman #2 to the right.
I would also like to send belated congratulations to Laura over at Blogity-Blog-Blog-Blog. She celebrated her fourth anniversary of blogging on Sunday, October 22. That is an enviable and impressive accomplishment, and I remain a faithful reader. Here is to at least 4 more!
After reading issue one of Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures and really liking the story, I decided to order the first four books of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. I just went and picked up the set tonight. It comes in a very cool coffin shaped box, which makes it all that more interesting to me. I will let you know the scoop as soon as I get a few read.
In the near future, I will be bringing you interviews with up and coming creators. I am really excited about this, and will hopefully have my first one up before the end of the weekend.
In closing, I am kinda surprised at the lack of opinions on my last post on the Wizard Hot 10 Artists list. I figured it would be a flame waiting to burn, so I don't know whether to be relieved or not. If nothing else, at least I got my opinions out there, so I feel better.
That's it for tonight. I am off to start reading the first Anita Blake book, Guilty Pleasures. I am also hoping to get a review done for at least one comic by the end of the weekend. Ambitious plans- hopefully I can follow through.
Have a wonderful evening!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Then I get to the pages I dread: The Hot 10 Writers and Artists. I have come to loathe those lists. How in the heck the staff pick these creators is beyond me. It has become the same old tired group of folks month after month. I am dying to see new blood on the lists!!
To humor myself, I would first like to dissect the list of top ten artists. Agree or disagree, I gotta put it out there.
1. JIM LEE. No offense, but can we give the Jim Lee worship a rest? Maybe if Lee was dropped off the list, it would give him incentive to not over-commit to projects and concentrate on making deadlines. I respect Lee's work as a visionary, but feel that he needs to make a decision what to focus on.
2. ALEX ROSS. Let's just create a "Hall of Fame" list, put Alex on it, and retire him from the list, okay? Ross is in a class by himself, and we all know his work is wonderful, but it is time to give someone else a shot.
3. STEVE MCNIVEN. I have got to agree with this for the most part. While it is well known I am less then enchanted with Civil War, I can't fault McNiven's work on it. From his days as artist on Meridian at CrossGen, McNiven has really come into his own.
4. JOHN CASSADAY. I really love Cassaday's artwork, so I can't really argue with this one either.
5. BRYAN HITCH. No surprise here, I think "Hitchy" needs to be taken off the list for extreme lateness. His work is gorgeous, but his perfectionist ways have made me ambivalent. Give a new guy or girl a shot and take Hitch off the list.
6. FRANK QUIETELY. His work on All Star Superman has been nothing short of amazing and he has been solid on his bi-monthly schedule. I can't ask for more. I agree with this one.
7. MICHAEL TURNER. Turner needs a "turn" off the list. I admire how the man has handled a horrific battle with cancer and feel a great deal of empathy for the fact that he has been able to produce work. Bluntly, I am just really tired of his stuff. The evolution of his style has failed to impress me and I am really tired of seeing so many covers with his work on it. Time to be taken off the list.
8. ROB LIEFELD. I feel faint. If there was ever a case of being put on the list so the Wizard staff could kiss some butt, this is it. Yikes. Wizard, I am putting you on notice for this boldly horrible decision. I am still reeling from his god-awful work on Teen Titans #27 and 28.
9; ETHAN VAN SCIVER. He is a great draftsman, and I appreciate his art. It is too bad that he has been one of those guys whose work tends to be permanently tardy. I see Van Sciver as a guy for "limited" series on a long deadline.
10. GREG LAND. I enjoy Land's artwork a great deal. His work on Sojourn, Birds of Prey, and Nightwing never ceased to thrill me. As his style has evolved, I have been both fascinated and surprised. For now, his place on the list is solid with me.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ARTIST TO PUT ON THE LIST
1 SIMONE BIANCHI. Those covers on Detective Comics, and the incredible work on Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight still stands out in my mind. With Wolverine coming up, Bianchi is deserving.
2. J.H. WILLIAMS. His work on Seven Soldiers #1 is mind blowing. Williams deserves a shout out.
3. PAUL POPE. It doesn't all have to be "pretty art". Pope gives power to Batman Year 100. Check it out and let me know what you think.
4. DARICK ROBERTSON. His art on Transmetropolitan proved he could hold his own with Warren Ellis. Now on The Boys, he dazzles with continuous brilliance. His line work is simple but stunning.
5. MICHAEL LARK. Open a page of Daredevil. Notice that the gritty style works so well there that you tend to forget it is a comic book. That is how good the work by Lark is.
I am sure there are many more I could mention, but that is just off the top of my head. Please People in Charge At Wizard hear my pleas! Give someone new a chance. There are a lot of Hot artists out there, and you have made the list a lukeward butt kissing festival. I know that the creators listed are FOW (Friends of Wizard), but isn't it time to make some new ones?
Anyone care to debate or comment on this? Wanna make your own list? Let's do it!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
This is the second week in a row this has happened. Diamond blamed UPS once again. The problem with that particular excuse is that the shipping address on the box is wrong... so who does that mean made an error?? Quality control, People.
I am crossing my fingers that the books arrive tomorrow and that next week things go smoothly. I am not holding my breath!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
5. Merlin: I love the movie Excalibur, so this was a sure bet for me. Merlin was portrayed as more of a shaman then a classical magician, and to witness his rise, fall, and rise was astounding. I can watch this movie over and over again, so I agree with this choice.
4. Gandalf: Sir Ian McKellan brought the essence of the Lord of the Rings character to life in the big screen adaptation. I love the grace and simplicity that Sir Ian used to portray such a powerful character.
3. Aldus Dumbledore: As a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, it is sometimes hard for me to see Dumbledore portrayed on screen. Richard Harris came close, and Michael Gambon gives a good attempt, but the actors haven't surpassed the picture I have in my head of this great wizard.
2. The Wicked Witch of the West/East: Man, I had nightmares for years from this old girl! Every holiday season we would watch the Wizard of Oz, and each time the spot-on portrayal by Margaret Hamilton had me checking under my bed. My money is on the Wicked Witch.
1. Yoda: I didn't see that coming. I love it, but I had never really thought of Yoda as a magic man until Entertainment Weekly broached the subject. Powerful yes, magic… well, I have got to think about that. I always saw the Force as more organic then mystical, so that is quite a quandary.
One of the reasons I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly is that I love the great sidebars and notes that they come up with. It isn't just about excellent entertainment coverage with a minimum of gossip; it's about the little touches.
What are your thoughts?
Monday, October 23, 2006
Here is my list for the week:
52 Week 25 - Whoa! Was that an anagram of sorts?
Action Comics #844
Ion #7 (of 12)
Jack of Fables #4
JSA Classified #18
Justice #8 (of 12)
Secret Six #5 (of 6)
Seven Soldiers #1
Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #23
Superman Batman Annual #1
Trials of Shazam #3 (of 12)
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #4 (of 8)
Black Panther #21
New Excalibur #12
Utimate Spider-Man #101
Next week, 52 reaches it's halfway point. Has time really flown that fast?
Have a wonderful evening and a great week!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Written by Brett Matthews with gorgeous art by Sergio Cariello, The Lone Ranger paints a picture that is as fierce as the 1800’s wilderness. Gone are the images from my youth of a politically correct friendly masked man and his mild mannered Indian sidekick. In its place are a mighty warrior and the man he saves from certain death. The Tonto we are acquainted with from the old school television show is no more. In his place is a man of mystery and courage. I can hardly wait to see his secrets unfold.
Issue 2 of The Lone Ranger opens with a full page spread of Tonto that is as imposing as it is majestic. Left for dead, Texas Ranger John loses consciousness, only to find himself wake in the company of Tonto. Saved by this mysterious man, John can only wonder who is responsible for his woes and how his new friend entered the picture. Having lost his father and brother in a raid in issue one, there is a deeper, more troubling puzzle to solve.
The coloring and production in this issue is top notch. I have to give Dean White enormous credit for how he handled the varying degrees of daylight and fade outs. Each page is majestic. The art direction and covers by John Cassaday add sheen to an already professional masterpiece. Credit must also go to Cariello, whose work has never looked better. His line work is impeccable, and I appreciate his pacing and simple panel work.
As far as Western style comic books go, this has got to be the best modern example I have been privy to. The story being told is bleak but full of promise. The focus on the lead characters and the simple approach to putting the pieces together has made me a fan two issues into this series. If you haven’t had a chance to give it a look, plunk down the $2.99 cover price and give it a shot. It is worth the price of admission.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The press release is as follows:
Wonder Woman debuted in American comic books during World War II, and was the super-heroic star of a popular television series in the 1970s. Now, as a charity benefit for Portland's most protective women and children's shelters — Raphael House and Bradley-Angel House — Excalibur Comics will host "Wonder Woman Day" on Sunday, October 29th from 2pm to 6pm. The free all-ages event will include a trio of comic book artists signing Wonder Woman comics and special art prints, as well as a silent art auction with over 100 of the world's top artists contributing original art, plus raffles, costumes, rare memorabilia, and more!
Producing the event is best-selling author and DVD documentary director Andy Mangels, who is also the curator of the online Wonder Woman Museum, and one of the world's top experts on the famed super-heroine. "Wonder Woman represents peace, strength, equality, and honesty," Mangels said. "Her mission to promote those ideals has been detailed in comic books, novels, and television for over sixty years. This special event will allow fans and the public to celebrate the character and the people who create her adventures today, as well as to see and buy some incredible materials about the 'Amazing Amazon,' all while raising money for two incredibly worthy causes."
Full details about the event are included below.
Kristan Knapp, Development Director of Bradley-Angle House, says, "Because Wonder Woman is such an icon of independence and activism, Bradley-Angle House is thrilled to benefit from the festivities. Our portion of the proceeds will provide much needed funding for our advocacy and peer support programs. We hope that Wonder Woman fans throughout the Portland area will join us in celebrating the boundless possibilities for self-empowered women everywhere."
Jessica Elkin, Director of Development of Raphael House of Portland notes that the charity, "appreciates the opportunity to work with Andy Mangels on "Wonder Woman Day" and will work closely with our public relations committee, communications manager and the Public Relations Society of America to promote this event. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this provides an additional opportunity for media coverage and community involvement."
About the Wonder Woman Day event, M. Pete Marston says, "Speaking as the son of W. M. Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, and, being the oldest living contributor to the early scripting of the Wonder Woman comic, I have to say that the "Wonder Woman Day" event in Portland sounds just terrific! I truly hope that both Raphael House and Bradley-Angle House benefit greatly from the day. In fact, it would be fantastic if you could establish a national event for similar organizations. Great Hera, wouldn't that be something?"
Full Event Details:
Wonder Woman Day
Sunday, October 29, 2006 -- 2pm-6pm, FREE
Excalibur Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon
An ALL AGES benefit and celebration for two shelters for Women and Children!
Raphael House of Portland and Bradley-Angle House
A part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
SPECIAL GUESTS SIGNING:
Guests will have special Prints to sign, given away Free
* Terry Dodson (current artist of Wonder Woman) 2-4pm only
* Matthew Clark (current artist of Superman, past artist of Wonder Woman)
* Anne Timmons (current artist of Go Girl!)
SILENT ART AUCTION
Over 100 artists from the comic book, newspaper comic strip, animation, and fine art worlds have donated original art depicting Wonder Woman for this event. All original art will be on display at Excalibur Comics until the event, and at the Wonder Woman Museum website! The Silent Auction will take place the day of the event. Bidders need not be present to win, however, their bid must be on the bid sheet. Details about PROXY bidding, to allow for off-site bids, will be on the website from October 23-28th.
Artists contributing include such luminaries as Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman), Alex Ross (Justice, Kingdom Come), Bill Morrison (The Simpsons), Dan Piraro (Bizarro comic strip), David Lloyd (V For Vendetta), Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets), Jaime Hernandez (Love & Rockets), and John Romita Sr. (Spider-Man).
Additional art showcases the incredible talents of Aaron Sowd, Alex Robinson, Allison Sohn, Anne Timmons, Arnold Pander, Bernie Mireault, Bill Black, Bill Maus, Bill Morrison, Billy Tan, Bob McCleod, Brad Rader, Brian Williamson, Bryan Hitch, Carla Speed McNeil, Chaz Truog, Colleen Coover, Colleen Doran, Dan Panosian, Dan Parent, Darwyn Cooke, Dave Hoover, Dave Johnson, David Chelsea, David Hahn, Dennis Janke, Denys Cowan, Dick Giordano, Don Perlin, Donna Barr, Eduardo Pansica, Eric Wight, Eric Wolfe Hanson, Franchesco, Fred Hembeck, Gary Frank, Gary Martin, Geof Isherwood, Greg Horn, Greg Moutafis, Guy Davis, Howard Bender, Howard Cruse, Ivan Velez Jr, J.A. Fludd, Janet Hetherington, Jay Stephens, Jerry Carr, Jim Mahfood, Jim Mooney, Joe Benitez, Joe Rubinstein, Joe Staton, John McCrea, José Carlos, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Joseph Linsner, Marat Mychaels, Mark Nagata, Mark Pennington, Mark Spears, Mark Wheatley, Matt Clark, Matt Haley, Michael Dooney, Michael T. Gilbert, Mike Allred, Milton Knight, Norm Breyfogle, Paige Braddock, Pat Moriarity, Patrick Fillion, Paul Guinan, Paul Gulacy, Paul T. Gould, Phil Yeh, Randy Emberlin, Richard Howell, Roberta Gregory, Rodney Buchemi, Ronn Sutton, Ryan Sook, Sam Glanzman, Shannon Wheeler, Shawn McManus, Steve Lieber, Steve Rolston, Steve Rude, Steve Sadowski, Terry Dodson, Tod Smith, Todd Nauck, and more to come!
* Most of the art will be matted, and some framed, thanks to donations by Jason Jones and Aeroframe Gallery in Oregon City. The event poster was designed by Richard J. Fowlks, and printing was donated by Documart Printing and TIS Grafx.
* autographed Miss America book, CD, & photos from Katie Harman, Miss America 2002
* a signed Allan Heinberg Wonder Woman comic book script and rare variant comic book
* an art piece of a woman warrior by Brian Snoddy
* prints and greeting cards by David Delamare
* merchandise and greeting cards from John Lustig at www.LastKissComics.com
plus merchandise and promotional items from:
* DC Comics and DC Direct
* Diamond Comic Distributors
* Graphitti Designs (Wonder Woman t-shirts)
* Pocket Books (JLA and Wonder Woman books)
* Vandor (Wonder Woman limited edition cookie jar, metal boxes, mirror)
* Junk Food Apparel (Wonder Woman t-shirts and sweats-wear)
* Andrews McMeel Publishing (DC Covergirls 2007 Calendar)
* Upper Deck Entertainment (VS JLA card game packs)
* Ink & Paint DVDs (He-Man and She-Ra DVDs)
* Pendant Productions (full-cast audio drama Wonder Woman CDs)
* Fans can take photos with a gorgeous "Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman" mannequin.
* Attendees can see an exhibit of rare Wonder Woman collectibles.
* Anyone of any age who comes dressed in a super-hero costume will get free prizes!
* The Canadian TV crew from the show FANatical will be filming the event
for a Wonder Woman-themed episode spotlighting comic professionals/collectors Andy Mangels and Anina Bennett!
* More excitement to be announced!"
Wow. I want to go so bad! Doesn't that sound like an incredible amount of fun, as well as an opportunity to help a good cause?
Pass it on!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This isn't the end of the world by any means, but I am finding that when I go and visit other blogs, there are excellent reviews up, as well as thought-provoking comments. As much as I appreciate this, it can end up being spoiler-ridden, which I try and avoid.
I guess I just need to keep to myself... or read the stuff I picked up in Seattle. Yeah, that's the ticket!
At any rate, this is the third time in five weeks that our two retailers have had their Diamond orders shipped to the wrong place. As a business person, I would have made Diamond track those boxes down and get them to me next day, but my retailers tell me that Diamond won't do that. Okay, that is great for business- damn monopoly. Once again I find that being a comic book reader makes me the lowest common denominator in the industry. The big two are busy making money off movies, and the distributor can't be bothered to step up it's quality control. Nice.
At least I know the books are supposed to show up tomorrow. Like I said, it's not the end of the world, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is irritating. I keep a tight schedule at my job and can't just go to the comic book shop at the drop of a hat, so I have had to re-set my appointments tomorrow so that Jim and I can go together to run errands and pick them up.
BOTTOM LINE: Not life threatening but slightly maddening.
"We've been keeping this under our hat for awhile; you Flog! readers are the first to hear this news: this weekend in the happenin' Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown, we are doing something we've wanted to do for years. We're opening our own Fantagraphics storefront. The store unofficially opens Saturday. I say "unofficially," because although it will be open to the public effective this weekend,it will be a "soft" opening as we continue to fine tune, add signage, fixtures, etc. But the books will be there and the doors will be open this weekend.
We will really pull out all the stops beginning in November, with a grand opening in early December. What I can tell you now: The store will contain everything Fantagraphics has in print, including our soon-to-be-legendary damaged room, featuring discounted and often out-of-print books unavailable anywhere else. The space also has room for exhibitions, which we'll have more news about very soon.
We'll post some pictures at the end of the week along with more details. But the store has an exhibition space as well, and look for a lot of great shows and events to come in 2007. Start making your Seattle vacation plans NOW, and if you have friends in Seattle that might be interested, please pass on the news.
Here's the 411:
1201 South Vale Street
Seattle, WA 98108
Mon. - Sat 11:30 - 8
Sun 11:30 - 5
This post by Eric Reynolds is an awesome one. I just wish Jim and I could go to Seattle two weeks in a row, as between the Fantagraphics Mega Mart opening and The Comic Stop's Charity Poker Tournament, that city is going to be packed with comic book fan action.
If anyone attends either of these events, let me know. I am dying to hear!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
At the show, I picked up Pride of Baghdad. It is a Vertigo original hard cover graphic novel that was recently released. Written by Brian K. Vaughan and beautifully illustrated by Niko Hendrichon, the book struck me as very compelling. The tale takes place during a bombing raid in Baghdad in the Spring 2003. Based on a news story that the creator read, he takes an intimate look at the Pride of four lions that must venture into the streets on their own. This novel is heart-wrenching and beautifully illustrated. I was a bit hesistant to give it a try at first because of personal politics, but the story transcends political boundaries.
I also picked up Transmetropolitan: Back On The Street, the first trade of that series. Somehow I missed out on this title the first time through, so I figured this was my chance to see what the hype is about.
Sleeper's first two collections were available at 20% off, so I grabbed those as well. Since I have been enjoying Ed Brubaker's work on Captain America and Daredevil, I figured I would give this book a try.
The suspense was killing me, so I acquired the Infinite Crisis hardback collection. It was a bit different, but still read very well. I need to take a closer look to really see what has been tweaked.
Two other trades I got where Queen & Country- Operation Broken Ground and Rex Mundi Book Three: The Lost Kings. I have the single issues of the Q & C book, but have always wanted to own the trade, so it was nice to pick that up. I have also been curious about Rex Mundi, so this will give me a chance to see if I like it.
My purchase of the show is Sensation Comics #38 which is pictured. I have always wanted to own an issue of that series, so when Jim and I saw the book was there, we had to have it. I paid an okay price, and now have a book from 1945. Pretty sweet.
My final acquisitions were Justice League of America #26 and #35. I am looking for several issues to fill out my run, and these were in good shape.
It was a wonderful show for shopping to be sure. I am really looking forward to reading these books and hopefully reviewing them down the road. I feel very fortunate to have them, and will hoard them for many years to come.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I need to start this by saying that if I gush a bit, it isn't by accident. Between the mix of great people and excellent deals, it was pretty much nirvana for me. For fun and networking, it was one of the best shows I have been to.
We arrived in town Saturday afternoon and called the incomparable Brian, a friend whom Jim had met at the CrossGen and Broken Frontier boards back in the day. I have gotten to know Brian as well, and we really think a lot of him.
Being the sweetheard that he is, Brian took us to Zanadu Comics on 3rd Avenue. Jim and I drooled like country hicks upon seeing the available inventory they had. We couldn't believe the great selection in statues and comics. I found several comics there I could never have impulse purchased at my local shop. It definitely took self control to not spend too much!
After that, Brian took us to three different Irish pubs. I can't remember the name of the first one, but the black and tan beer I had there was sublime. We then walked over to Kell's Irish Restaurant, where I had another black and tan and we ate dinner. We rounded out the night at the White Horse, which is a place I absolutely adored.
The next morning, we got up and carb loaded before heading over to the Seattle Center. We met up with Brian, and wandered in. Jim and I were fortunate enough to get passes, so we met up with Quenton Shaw, the force of nature behind QEW Publishing. He and his crew had a couple of tables there, and they did a wonderful job.
I had mentioned Ben Hansen in a previous post, but would like to emphasize that this guy is talented. He is working on Dark Powers for QEW and Angel Gate. Ben has five issues done of a six issue mini-series, and is hard at work on number six. I can hardly wait to see his finished series, and will let you know when it is being solicited. His art is pictured with this post. Jim and I also got to meet his fiance' Jo, who was a total sweetheart.
Chris Anderson, the artist for Void Zanadu, was also there. His art is so incredible, and fits the story so well, that it made me feel really eager to see the finished product. I guarantee that he is a name you will hear more from.
Rounding out the QEW Publishing artists, Braden Lamb also made an appearance. He is another one to watch. His book Yo-Yo is in production, and the preview pages we saw were unique and stylish. Braden is young, but very dedicated. He is another up and comer.
We were thrilled to see Randy Emberlin and his lovely wife Joan at the show. Randy is a super nice guy, and keeps very busy. He mentioned that he will be inking Ivan Reis' pencils in the future. Randy had previously worked with Reis on Thing/She-Hulk: The Longest Night, and it was absolutely gorgeous, so I am really looking forward to seeing their future work.
Karl Kesel was also present. He was very congenial, and took the time to talk to the fans. He was sketching, and had original art for sale at a reasonable price. Every time I have been fortunate enough to see Karl, he has always been very pleasant and has a great sense of humor.
A highlight of the show for me was meeting Greg Hatcher from Comics Should Be Good and his very nice wife Julie. We had a great discussion and were fortunate enough to be able to view his student's art. Greg is a wonderful teacher and his students really seem to love their class. I believe that there were five students at the show, and they were just great. Greg shared the art with us, and I was blown away. He is teaching the artists of the future, and we couldn't ask for a better guiding hand. Greg, Julie, and his students will be at the Emerald City Comicon, and I am really looking forward to seeing them there.
I met a fabulous lady named Dawn M. Kravagna. She has a book out called Cattle Capers: Caper #1: Search for the MooMoo Pearl. Each chapter had great art, and the story I have read so far is very clever. Dawn is an interesting and kind lady, and I really enjoyed speaking with her. If you get a chance, go check out her website.
Jim and I got to see our favorite retailers, John and Randy from Randy's Readers. These guys are the best of the best. They offer reader copies, as well as better grades for the best prices around. They are both also very nice men. I was thrilled to meet John's wife Mary.
Jim and I were able to stay at the show all day, which was great. Normally we run in and out, but we made a pact to stay the entire show, which worked out well. I had a chance to have a super conversation with Quenton, and got to know Ben and Jo. Jim had a great time talking to Randy and Karl, as he and Brian were over there quite awhile at different parts of the day.
Steve Miner and his gang ran a great show. The room was full of dealers, and the fans that I observed were there to buy. The aisles got a bit crowded for awhile, but the mood was good, so there didn't appear to be any snarking going on.
I can't say enough about this show. We had such a good time we didn't want it to end. Special thanks to Brian for your amazing hospitality, and to Quenton for making us feel so welcome in your space.
I can hardly wait for the next show!
TOMORROW: A look at the swag!
Ben Hansen has his own series, Dark Powers, which will be published through Angel Gate Press as part of the Dark Angel line. With this beautiful piece as a preview, it really makes me look forward to seeing a lot more of his work in the future.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I will have a comicard show report tomorrow, but for tonight, it is time to list this week's comics.
100 Bullets #77
52 Week 24
Birds of Prey #99
Catwoman #60 (see earlier blog entries for more on this)
Desolation Jones #7
Fables 1001 Nights of Snowfall
Flash The Fastest Man Alive #5
Noble Causes #24
Claws #3 (of 3)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #35
Union Jack #2 (of 4)
CSI Dying in the Gutters #3 (of 5) - see fantastic cover featuring Gail Simone at right!
Lone Ranger #2
Queen & Country #31
Ramayan 3392 AD #2
Red Sonja #15
Whew! What a week! I am really psyched to check out the new Wildstorm titles, and am following CSI: Dying in the Gutters with much interest.
Have a great week!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
"Richard just found out that he's being evicted in 30 days.
So he's scrambling to come up with cash for the
move. I'll get the PayPal info for anyone in the group who
wants a sketchbook. In the meantime,
he's selling most of his past covers; anyone
interested should post here which cover
they're interested in, and make an offer. He might try Ebay,
but he thought of giving us a first crack at it here in the group.
So Help Richard everybody!"
Here is the information on where to provide the help.
"He's get back to me with more info on which covers, prices, etc. (and
yes, the football cover is available), but for right now, as for the
the PayPal account is right here.
Both sketchbooks are still available, $10 for one or $15 for both.
Free sketches in them, no extra charge.
But I'll be off-line for the next three days in South Dakota.
I'll be back on Sunday, with more info on covers and how to complete
the sketchbook thingy."
I know this may sound cliche' but please help if you can. Moore's book Boneyard has brought a lot of joy to my household. We want to support him any way we can. Spread the word, and help if you can.
Friday, October 13, 2006
"THE COMIC STOP, the leading comic book and pop culture shop in Seattle's north end, is thrilled to announce a huge signing and charity poker event happening on Saturday, October 21st at The Comic Stop's Lynnwood location with Scott Kurtz (pvponline.com) and Gabe & Tycho (penny-arcade.com)!
Beginning at 6:00pm, Scott Kurtz and Gabe & Tycho will begin signing and sketching for fans. Kurtz has been publishing PvP through Image Comics for over three years, while the guys from Penny Arcade have just debuted their second graphic novel through Dark Horse Comics. For those who don't bring their own, all the PvP and Penny Arcade graphic novels will be available for purchase at the store.
"We're overjoyed to be back at the Comic Stop," said Tycho from Penny Arcade. "We debuted our first graphic novel here, and this store always feels like home to us."
At 9:00pm, the charity event begins.
The Comic Stop has teamed up with Child's Play, an organization which helps put video games and systems in to hospitals, to host a charity poker tournament, featuring your chance to play poker alongside Kurtz, Gabe, Tycho and others!
"This will be the only time it's good if I lose at poker, because either way, it's all for a good cause," laughs Kurtz. "Plus, any excuse to come out to Seattle is great, I love this city and I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the Emerald City ComiCon, which I'll be out for in 2007!"
The minimum donation to play is $20 and there are some great prizes to be won, including a Cardboard Tube Samurai Limited Edition print, a PvP Limited Edition Laser Cel, a Dr. Raven Dark Talon Blood print and more! Any one who wants to play needs to RSVP by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds will go to Child's Play, and if any one wants to bring any new and sealed video games to donate, those will be accepted at the event as well.
"Working with the guys at The Comic Stop for this poker tournament is a fun way to kick off our fundraising efforts for the holiday season," says Kristin Lindsay, Event Coordinator for ChildÕs Play . "We expect a record year this year for donations and hope that comic book fans and gamers can find some small way to contribute to the foundation."
More details can be found at The Comic Stop's website - www.comicstoponline.com. The event begins at 6pm on Saturday, October 21st at the The Comic Stop in Lynnwood, located at 3333 184th St SW, Suite G, Lynnwood, WA 98037. We hope to see you there!"
How cool is this? If you are in the area, or just looking for an excuse to make a trip, this is perfect. See you there?
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Marvel press release reads as follows:
"Michael Turner’s Variant for Civil War #5 has been revealed as the next issue of Civil War gets closer and closer.
Civil War #5 is fast approaching and is on track for its on-sale date of November 15th, when the comic world is sure to be rocked by the next important chapter in this universe-changing event.
The Punisher enters the war in Civil War #5, but whose side is Frank Castle on? Is he even on anybody’s side? The Punisher always works alone, but will a war among super-heroes cause him to rethink his position as the lone wolf?
Plus, the villains of the Marvel Universe make their presence known and change the balance of power in the war. But who or what are they targeting?"
Dang! Carl, what do you think, Buddy?
What about the rest of you comic fans out there?
I have to admit, seeing this makes me want to go buy the next issue, if for no other reason then to watch Frank Castle kick some serious butt.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The "One Year Later" premise of Selina Kyle becoming a mother and handing over the Catwoman reigns to her friend Holly is intriguing to say the least. Add the speculation as to who the father of darling baby Helena is, and there is a slew of mystery going on to top it off.
As a huge Silver Age Huntress fan, I love the fact that the Catwoman of continuity has had a baby girl and named her so aptly. I see it as a shout out of sorts to Huntress creators Paul Levitz and Joe Staton. It is absolutely too good to be true.
Above and beyond the Silver Age nod, I appreciate the high quality scripting done by Pfeifer. He has kept the momentum going started at the reboot of the Catwoman series. She is a much more gray character then I had thought possible, and the fact that one day she could turn back to a life of crime makes her edgier then most conventional DC females. Infinite Crisis brought out the deep secret that Zatanna had zapped her mind. Instead of leaving it at that, Selena brought Zatanna back to get some payback, and I loved that.
Artwise, I absolutely drool for Lopez' art. I loved it on Fallen Angel, and adore it here. Portraying Selena realistically after the birth of her baby was a nice change. Seeing her struggle with her weight and not be at her best fit the story well. Pfeifer and Lopez are a great synergistic team.
If you haven't been reading Catwoman, give it a try. Issue #60 features a jail break and a serial killer running amok. Excitement is sure to follow!
It's like "Hey! My eyes are up here!"
I guess the cover gets 'em in the door and the interior keeps 'em there. Hmmm...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
If you are going to be in the Seattle area on Sunday, October 15, make your way to the Seattle Center for the Fall edition of the Seattle Comicard Show. EVEN if you weren't going to be in the area, but decide to take a nice Fall drive, it would be a good excuse to attend.
The guest list has been announced as follows, to further entice you.
KARL KESEL- artist/inker: Jack Kirby's Galactic Bounty Hunters; writer: Fantastic Four: A Death in the Family; artist/inker: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man; writer of Fantastic Four Annual (pictured)
RANDY EMBERLIN- artist/inker: Amazing Spider-Man; artist/inker: Man With the Screaming Brain & Ghost
BEN HANSEN- artist: Dark Powers
BRADEN LAMB- artist: Yo-yo
CHAD DU LAC- creator/artist: The Gifted
CHRIS ANDERSON- artist: Void Xanadu
SCOTT SANDERS- writer: Burn and Void Xanadu
To make things even more exciting, my husband and I will be there as well! If anyone wants to meet up, or come by and say "hi", we will be at the QEW PUBLISHING area and then shopping at our favorite dealer RANDY'S READER'S. Drop me an e-mail or just say "hi". My hubby will be wearing his Kyle Rayner shirt, and I will be wearing shorts in any weather! It will be a quick trip over and back for us, but it should be fun!
The Seattle Comicard show is being held at the Rainier Room at the Seattle Center. The show starts at 10 a.m and ends at 5 p.m.
I hope to see you there!
Monday, October 09, 2006
I printed out the list of new stuff for the week, and it is packed chock full of good stuff. My list is as follows:
52 Week 23
Firestorm the Nuclear Man #30
Gen 13 #1
Green Arrow #67
Green Lantern Corps #5
JLA Classified #28
Martian Manhunter #3 (of 8)
Tales of The Unexpected #1 (of 8)
New X-Men #31
Ultimate Power #1 (of 9)
Ultimate X-Men #75
Uncanny X-Men #479
Wolverine Origins #7
Whew! It is another good week to read comics.
On that note, I am off to eat some dinner- I am starving!
Have a great week!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Fantastic Four #540 showcased a nine page fight that made a 41 year marriage splinter. Tell me how that is right? I just can't justify it.
Number one problem: The dialogue was contrived and cheesy. Sample 1:
Reed: "We have to talk."
Sue: "I think we're a little past talking now, don't you think, Reed?"
Reed: "I'm doing this for the same reason I've done anything Sue! Because it's the law Because it's right!"
Sue: "It's not right, can't you see that?"
Reed: "Damn it, listen to me.."
Reed: "Can't you understand, Sue?"
Reed: "I'm doing this because I'm trying to protect you!"
Sue: "Protect Me?"
BAM! Invisible tube crunches through entire building.
Sue: "Do I look like I need protecting, Reed? Do I?"
As a reader, I can't reconcile myself to their emotions. It feels very cut and paste, without any heart. Making Sue out to be a badass while Reed tries to justify his lack of balls is disheartening to say the least.
Number two problem: Tying the story into Amazing Spider-Man #535 to make the pieces fit just makes it seem forced. The ending here and in that issue- using some random uncle of Reed's involved in the 1950's Congressional Communist witch hunt- is really reaching. Why haven't we heard about this guy before? Reed has been through so much adversity before, that it is strange to me that we are just now hearing about said uncle.
When Reed decided to take over Latveria from issues #503 to #508, where was this concern for following government orders? Back then, Sue felt it was wrong, and Reed was the badass. How did we go through such a 180 degree personality turn since then? In that story arc, Reed pretty much told the U.S. govenment to shove it.
Number Three Problem: Ben going to Canada seems like a desperate last resort. As the most sane person in this Civil War mess, I appreciate his refusal to take sides, but it is disapointing to me that they would take him out of the game. I also can't imagine that Ben would let Sue and Reed split without more then a question. This is a family, after all?
Number Four Problem: Where were Franklin and Valeria? Did Reed and Sue just shuffle them off to the moon with the Inhumans? I can't imagine that their children wouldn't be more important to them then that. How do the kids feel? Who is caring for them? I refuse to accept the fact that Sue and Reed would just ignore them and fight it out. Sue would never cause the property damage she did knowing that her children would be exposed to it. It just doesn't ring true.
Conclusion: Breaking up a marriage for the sake of artistic license stinks. Hey, let's break up the Fantastic Four so that Civil War can be more dramatic! The readers will eat it up with a spoon. They're just a bunch of Marvel zombies anyway, and we know what is best for them.
I wish this Civil War crap would get over with. I also wish that J. Michael Straczynski's tenure would end much sooner then it is. It is a shame to have a great artist like Mike McKone draw such drivel.
Once again Marvel is driving me away from a book I have loved for years. I am not going to pretend to like it.
Friday, October 06, 2006
"Who Wants To Be A Super Hero?" has been renewed for a second season. YAY!
Here is the official Sci-Fi press release:
"SCI FI Channel has ordered up an expanded second season of its hit original reality series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, starring Stan Lee. The second season, which is slated to air next summer, will expand from six to 10 one-hour episodes. The show is produced by Bruce Nash's Nash Entertainment and Lee's POW! Entertainment, Inc.
"Who Wants to Be a Superhero? was a success for us on many levels last summer," Mark Stern, SCI FI's executive vice president, original programming, said in a statement. "The show garnered great reviews, attracted a record-breaking number of younger viewers to the channel and held its own against some very stiff competition on Thursday nights."
The first season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? averaged a 1.1 household rating (1.5 million total viewers), more than doubled the year-to-date time-period average among viewers aged 18-34, increased the number of 18-49 viewers by more than 74 percent and grew the 25-54 audience by more than 44 percent. "
How cool is that?
Now if we could only resurrect Blade, my life would be complete!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I am doing The Fat Smash Diet by Dr. Ian Smith. I heard about it watching Celebrity Fit Club, and it sounded like it would work pretty well. The first nine days are basically fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, and beans. After that the program resembles a pretty regular diet program- no processed crap. sugar, or booze; just the simple four food groups in moderation.
After having a bad last three months and gaining ten pounds, I wanted to get it back off before the holidays hit. Cross your fingers for me.
The diet also means that I am back in the gym in a big way. Instead of an hour maximum, my workouts are going back up to an hour and a half at minimum. I feel like I need to be pretty serious about things.
This is the price I pay for wanting to be trim and fit. It is hard as hell at first, but ends up being worth it in the end.
If my blogging is sporadic, and maybe not real clear at times, it is just the first nine days of a diet to blame. From what I understand, I may get a bit of a headache, and my digestive system will be going through changes. Neat.
Have a great evening! I will keep you posted on how it goes.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I have the cover here, and it shows two girls ready to kiss. I can understand that maybe the shop owner didn't want younger kids to see it. He has young teenage children of his own.
My question is this though: Why put this particular book behind the counter, but leave out books like last month's 100 Bullets, which featured violence and boobs, or The Boys #3, which came in today and pictured naked man behind?
For the record, I don't have a problem with adult content; after all, I am all grown up and can make my own buying decisions. I just found it odd that one book would be hidden while the others are left out on the counter for anyone to page through.
I was going to ask my retailer about it today, but he was busy helping several sports card customers.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I think I have it.
Why She-Hulk, you might ask? Well, she is one of my favorite Marvel characters. Also, I kind of like the idea of bring She-Hulk to the masses- at my work they only know about Bruce Banner. It might be fun to let non-comics readers know about Jen.
My other reason? She-Hulk is more my body type- more muscular. It seems like a natural fit. For two seconds I thought about dressing up as Power Girl, but decided the outfit is way too unforgiving for me!
What about the rest of you? What are you going to dress up as? Do you have any ideas that might help the rest of us that might not have decided yet?
Let's talk costumes.
Monday, October 02, 2006
The list for new stuff this week is smaller then last week, which is a huge relief. We about cried when we saw our bill.
Here is the list!
52 Week 22 (pictured)
All New Atom #4
Boys #3 - YAY!
Detective Comics #824
Jonah Hex #12
Y The Last Man #50 - who killed the men is revealed!
Hunter Killer #8
Fantastic Four #540
Irredeemable Ant-Man #1
X-Men Phoenix Warsong #2 (of 5)
Fallen Angel #9
That is it! Have a great week and a wonderful evening!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Written by Tony Bedard with art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, the tale is a fast-paced romp, interspersed with revelations from the past. I especially appreciated the dialogue between Rex and his wife Wendi, and the way with which the closeness of their relationship, and their reconnection was played. To see a tale being told from a more family-oriented angle, and to see the repercussions of the elder Tyler’s youthful studies really added an impact.
I liked McDaniel’s artistic rendering of Bane, and am a big fan of his ability to draw fight scenes. His characters are in perpetual motion, and his pacing is true and sure. The exaggerated and overstated movements coupled with the powerful rendering of size and scale of the characters was a nice touch. Andy Owens is a perfect partner to McDaniel, and it is nice to see the symbiosis therein.
“The Venom Connection” is a two part story, and with a journey to Santa Prisca imminent, the stakes are only sure to be raised. With the revelations in this issue, I can only wonder how it will affect the upcoming Justice Society of America series. From what I understand, Rick is the Tyler in this new incarnation, so what happens to him here is anyone’s guess. The connection to Bane and what happens to him as a result of this tale is another thing I am interested in seeing.
Looking at the series as a whole, I would say that JSA Classified has found its niche. Focusing on shorter stories that focus on one or a few members rather then the team makes this book a compelling companion read to the main series. Starting with the Power Girl arc, and following up with an Injustice Society tale worked well for me. I also enjoyed the Flash/Wildcat team up and the Vandal Savage tale. Seeing that after this arc is a Dr. Midnite spotlight leads me to believe that this book is on the right path.
JSA Classified has been much more successful in my eyes then the other similar title JLA Classified. I am dropping the JLA title, because I am really disillusioned by the focus on team stories there. The past few arcs in that book have been lame, and this new arc doesn’t appear to be any better. I would rather see the focus be on a few members, or a solo spotlight like happens here in the JSA book.
Having quality two issue tales like this one featuring the father and son Hourmans is where I would rather spend my $2.99. I am looking forward to seeing more stories like this in the future. A shorter story with an in-continuity focus is where I have seen more success, and what I want to support.