30 June 2006

Marketing: Sam Jackson is my Bro!

Screw Superman on MySpace, this is viral marketing done right!

Ever since I heard that Sam Jackson might be uttering the line, "There are motherf***ing snakes on the motherf***ing plane!" in a movie called Snakes on a Plane, I knew I had to see it. (Finding out Julianna Margulies is also in it certainly helped, and makes it more likely that my wife will want to see it, too!) Then I noticed in DC's solicits for September that they were releasing a comic book tie-in, with the first of two issues releasing on my birthday (see below), and figured I'd pick them up, too. And now, this video for "Someone tell Sam Jackson he's my bro" sealed the deal.

I submit!

Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Gordon Purcell
Photo covers
Issue #1 Variant cover by J.G. Jones
Issue #2 Variant cover by Jerome Moore
You've heard the Internet buzz... seen the hair-raising trailer…now experience the comic of the sensational summer movie Snakes on a Plane, written by Chuck Dixon (NIGHTWING) with art by Gordon Purcell and painted covers by J.G. Jones (52) and Jerome K. Moore (JSA: LOST)!
Snakes on a Plane stars Samuel L. Jackson as an FBI agent assigned to escort a government witness on a flight to Los Angeles. But when a crimelord sets loose hundreds of deadly snakes during the flight, the agent must band together with the pilot, frightened crew and passengers in a desperate attempt to survive and protect his witness!
Why's it have to be snakes? Relax, they're first-class fliers. Retailers please note: Each issue will feature two covers; see order form for details.
Retrosolicited o Issue #1 on sale August 16; issue #2 on sale August 30 o 1 & 2 of 2 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o MATURE READERS
Does the "Mature Readers" label mean "There are motherf***ing snakes on the motherf***ing plane!" will actually appear in the comic book? I hope so!

29 June 2006

INFO: Categories, Advertising and Blog Watch

The revamp continues here at CBC, with the soothing sounds of construction reverberating throughout the site as I continue my efforts to expand this here blog into a micro-portal of sorts, for the discerning comics fan and casual reader alike.

1) del.icio.us category tagging is now up-to-date through yesterday's posts, and includes everything from general categories -- Reviews, Commentary, posts by Dan -- to specific columns -- On the Shelves, ménage à trois, Uncanny O-Man -- to hyper-specific topics -- Batman, Speakeasy, Vs. TCG. Click on any of them, or check out the master list and see what other cateogories I came up with!

2) Part of the reason for revamping the blog was to maximize the potential for actually making some money for all of the writing I do here, at least enough to cover the hosting costs and buy a trade paperback or two from Amazon! I'm using a combination of Google, Amazon, and Commission Junction right now, but by the beginning of next year, assuming traffic gets to a point where it's worth somebody's while to do so, I'm considering offering ad space to quality indie publishers.

3) Who's watching the bloggers? Anybody can now via Blog Watch, our combination blogroll and link-blogging page that I soft-launched last night while working some of the final bugs out. "The Watchtower", via Google Reader, is updated on-the-fly as the blogs I'm monitoring are updated, while the "Say What?" section is a best of selection from my link-blogging "Say What?" roundups. There's also the "Blogs of Note" blogroll, featuring a select group of must-read blogs that I'll update a few times a year as I come across new (to me) blogs. "The Watchtower" tracks those and a ton more, so you'll want to click over there anytime you check in here to see who else is talking about comics.

4) Finally, because I can get really geeky and anal when I get fixated on something, I even created custom error pages for 401, 403, 404 and 500 errors!

Review: The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #1


28 June 2006

Say What?: 6/28/06

"I felt that Marvel wasn't doing comics that reflected this generation. For better or worse, we live in the hip-hop era, and Spider-Man was the Beatles. I love Spider-Man and I love the Beatles, but what about kids who listen to Kanye West?"

"Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the stories about DC's new Batwoman, the thrust of the movie Superman's story and the character's ongoing appeal, the controversy over sexualized kid-lit characters in Lost Girls and questions about the shelving of certain kinds of manga all have kind of unspoken, little-articulated darker sides, including but not limited to accusations of ruining 'pure' creations for the sake of some abstract idea of political correctness, the notion that gay creators are out of control and unable to make art from a hetero point of view, the noxious and false notion that pedophilia is a mostly gay phenomenon, and that objections to depictions of sexuality are more justified if the sexuality in question is same-sex. Anyone else feeling this?"
--Tom Spurgeon, Comics On Culture War's Hidden Front

"People link to some things I write, too, occasionally because they like what I wrote, but recently, because they think I'm an idiot. The other day I came across a LiveJournal on which the writer claimed I can't review comics because I didn't remember that the Amazons had a purple healing ray. If you think that's stupid, well, you're not alone."
--Greg Burgas, In which Greg cops an attitude...

"Continuity's a double-edged sword, but when it comes right down to it, the only times I can remember being in an real uproar over mishandled continuity is when the story/characters weren't good enough to keep me from overlooking it."
--Chris, 2 Guys Buying Comics, On Continuity

"I feel a bit bad about Hawkgirl: I really ought to support Chaykin and Simonson, but just feel like title's treading water, with Chaykin looking dated and Simonson ill-adapting to the current decompressed climate. Before you say it: yes, I am neglecting two living legends while gleefully partaking in multiple Civil War tie-ins .... I know I'm killing comics."
--Mark Fossen, This Week's Releases: June 27, 2006

"I like how they defeat the Xorn energy cloud thing, by having the Sentry throw it into the sun. That should be the 'Plan A' for defeating every supervillain. Stiltman just rob a jewelry store? Have the Sentry throw him into the sun."
--Pat McCallum, NEW AVENGERS #20

"Because when you ask 'HOW ABOUT MAKING WRITERS AND AUTHORS STICK TO DEADLINES???' there clearly has to be an 'or else' built into the equation. And the honest 'or else' that I see based on your approach is that all of a sudden all of the best people are working for the competition, and their books are suddenly great, and Marvel's books suddenly stink, but come out regularly."
--Tom Breevort on Accountability

"Actually we found out some disturbing news today. While Image has record of receiving issue 3 of Emissary...they claim never to have received issue 2. That's right. It was sitting there at our ftp site for over a month and it was never snagged, never went to the printer, and no one asked us about it until we inquired today."
--Kris Simon on Emissary #2

"I see small publishers settling into comfortable niches, if they're lucky, but I don't seem [sic] many with active plans for building their markets or even many with worked out plans for generating a company identity, and among those that do, even fewer whose company identity is positively reflected by the books they publish."
--Steven Grant on Dog Days of Summer

"A world gets lost every few years. Gone are the early days of Mad Magazine, or the heyday of classic comics. But nothing in nature stands still; it either regenerates or degenerates, withers or grows. Right now, the graphic novel has stepped up as a major vehicle for human expression, a valid literary form, a valid artform, as well as [producing] some of the most exciting, edgy entertainment. Food for the soul and great beach reading."
--Mark Siegel, A New Era in Comics Publishing: A Roundtable

27 June 2006

COMMENT: Ebert on Superman Returns

Like Fantastic Four last summer, I feel no sense of urgency about seeing Superman Returns this weekend, if at all, unimpressed by the various trailers I've seen or glowing (yet often awkwardly vague, and not in the "avoiding spoilers" sense) reviews I've read -- but haven't really been able to put my finger on why, other than never having been a fan of the character and not agreeing with the primary casting choices.

I certainly enjoyed the first two movies -- and I have particularly fond memories of the "You'll Believe A Man Can Fly!" angle for the first one, because it did, in fact, make me believe -- even though I've never thought as highly of Christopher Reeve's performances as others apparently do. I was a kid then, of course, and those were simpler times when simpler heroes (and actors) were perhaps easier to swallow. So I was pleased to find Roger Ebert, of all people, with whom I disagree about as often as I agree, find the words for my intuitive lack of interest:

"As for Superman, he's a one-trick pony. To paraphrase Archimedes: 'Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the universe.' Superman doesn't need the lever or the place to stand, but as he positions himself in flight, straining to lift an airplane or a vast chunk or [sic] rock, we reflect that these activities aren't nearly as cinematic as what Batman and Spider-Man get up to. Watching Superman straining to hold a giant airliner, I'm wondering: Why does he strain? Does he have his limits? Would that new Airbus be too much for him? What about if he could stand somewhere?

Superman is vulnerable to one, and only one, substance: kryptonite. He knows this. We know this. Lex Luthor knows this. Yet he has been disabled by kryptonite in every one of the movies. Does he think Lex Luthor would pull another stunt without a supply on hand? Why doesn't he take the most elementary precautions? How can a middle-aged bald man stab the Man of Steel with kryptonite?"
It's a thoughtful review (including a potential spoiler towards the end) that avoids the over-sentimentilization of the first two movies many of the more positive reviews have been guilty of -- I swear there's an undercurrent of guilt over Reeve's paralysis and relatively recent death running through most of them -- and confirms many of my negative preconceptions about the movie.

I'm sure I'll catch it sometime down the road on DVD, but when it comes to summer movies I'm really looking forward to and plan to make an effort to see, Pirates of the Caribbean tops my list, as I suspect it will top the box office come summer's end.

* Action Comics #392 cover from SuperDickery.com

Comment: Spider-Man 3 Trailer

Needless to say, I'm really psyched about this trailer. F@*% Superman Returns, we want Spidey! Great move on Marvel's part to release the trailer publicly before the movie opens.

(Fill in fanboy rant here)

While surfing the web, I saw that everyone had pictures of Sandman and Spider-Man, but it seems that many people forgot poor Harry Osborne.

Well this one's for you, Harry!

On the Web: Spider-Man 3 Bootleg Trailer!

Who cares about Superman? Check this out. Sa-weeeet!

Thanks to Erech for the heads-up, and CBR for the screen capture.

EDIT: Bootleg no more! The infamous "they" made him take it down, but it's now available at apple.com in higher quality.

On The Shelves: 6/28/06

Support GOOD Comics! Try something new EVERY month.

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 6/28/06. The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]


Solo #11


According to Johanna at CWR, Archie will finally be releasing a collected edition of Tania Del Rio's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch this October. While I'm not really the audience for it, I'm a fan from a business perspective since Archie's distribution network reaches beyond the direct market and into supermarkets and the evil empire of Wal-Mart, places where I'd love to see the likes of Bumperboy and Amelia Rules! pop up!

Conan And The Demons Of Khitai TPB, $12.95

I've got the floppies but I highly encourage anyone who trade-waited this one to pick it up. I plan to get my father-in-law a copy as he's been a big fan of Dark Horse's revival of his favorite barbarian.

American Way #5 (Of 8), $2.99
Batman #654, $2.99
Blue Beetle #4, $2.99
Crisis Aftermath The Spectre #2 (Of 3), $2.99
DCU Brave New World #1, $1.00
Solo #11, $4.99
Warlord #5, $2.99

Because the last issue was a Pick of the Week, American Way #5 will have to settle for the unofficial "F*ck, yeah!" nod this time out. The first four issues are still available on eBay, while the first three and the fourth are available separately from another seller. Get on board with 2006's sleeper hit now! (NOTE: I'm not affiliated with any of those sellers; I just want more people to read this series!) *** The OYL "Face the Face" crossover wraps up here and it's going to have to pull out all of the stops to be memorable for anything other than hitting the big reset button on Gotham City and Batman's dickish attitude. The last few issues have been somewhat disappointing after a nice start, and while I'm going to give Grant Morrison and Paul Dini's respective runs a shot, I'm starting to think I should just stick to the peripheral, continuity-light mini-series for my Bat-fix. DC certainly publishes enough of them to keep me satisfied. And, of course, there's the outrageously over-the-top and consistently delayed ASBARTBW to always look forward to! *** Blue Beetle, like Firestorm, is clinging to my pull list as much on the strength of their lead characters being minorities as for the quality of the stories themselves. Both have a lot of potential and have been relatively entertaining so far, but when the budget's tight, it takes that extra oomph to justify not just reading them in the store like I did for the Red Hood nonsense in Batman and bits of OMAC and Villains United. *** Ditto the Spectre mini-series, which I'll probably stick with only because there's only two issues left. The first was solid, but if not for Crispus Allen being one of my favorite Gotham Central characters, I'd probably skip the rest. *** On the one hand, it's only one dollar, so why shouldn't I buy Brave New World? On the other hand, you often get what you pay for, and look what happened with Countdown? *** I still haven't finished reading Howard Chaykin's Solo effort from a while back -- the only issue I ever bought -- but there's no way I pass on Sergio Aragones' turn! I'm a big Groo fan and always loved Aragones' work in the margins of Mad Magazine. *** Warlord's been solicited through September with the promise that "a cast member dies" in that issue, #8. Judging by its sales and the lousy first issue, I'm guessing the series itself dies very soon thereafter.

Forgotten Realms Dark Elf Sojourn Seeley Cvr A #3 (Of 3), $4.95

How much of a sucker am I for the Forgotten Realms? I'm not even reading the single issues anymore, simply bagging them and adding them to the licenses portion of my collection, waiting for the trade to read in one shot.


Except for Fell, Hysteria: One Man Gang, Strange Girl and now Casanova, everything else I was reading from Image has been shifted to wait-for-the-trade. That said, there isn't anything on this week's list that I'm looking forward to reading.

All New Off Handbook Marvel Universe A To Z #6, $3.99
Avengers & Power Pack Assemble #3 (Of 4), $2.99
Black Panther #17, $2.99
Daredevil #86, $2.99
Marvel Milestones Rawhide Kid & Two Gun Kid, $3.99
Moon Knight #3, $2.99
Nextwave Agents Of Hate #6, $2.99
Storm #5 (Of 6), $2.99
X-Factor #8 Cw, $2.99
Young Avengers #12, $2.99

The Marvel Handbooks are all icing, and that's just fine with me! *** I really hope the Power Pack minis are getting some attention in digest form because they're the good clean fun so many people claim to want from their comics but so few seem to actually buy. My 5-year-old son is reading on his own now and I plan to get him a copy of all of the digests so far for his birthday in October. *** Black Panther's "Wedding of the Century" story arc continues to be a solid read that in less cynical times would probably be much better received than it has been. This is another series that I'm hoping is actually reaching its target audience outside of the direct market and isn't wholly dependent on the Civil War / Infinite Crisis fanboys to stay afloat. *** Under Ed Brubaker, Captain America has been a revelation and Daredevil is off to a good start, so I'm worried about some of the other projects he's working on for Marvel. Isn't this how Bendis started going downhill? *** The Marvel Westerns have been solid fun so far, though at $3.99 a pop, you can tell they knew the audience was somewhat limited. *** Charlie Huston's revival of Moon Knight continues and it looks like his new Profile character (and the return of the Committee, perhaps?) is about to play a big part. Should be fun! *** NextWave is officially on notice. It's fun, but it's inconsequential, and on a tight budget I need to feel like there's some consequences coming from the shared universe portion of my pull list. A little more icing on the already sweet cake, if you will. Ironically, if this were an independent series, I'd keep buying it without a second thought. *** I've been enjoying Eric Jerome Dickey's take on Storm, but the true test will be to see how it plays in the mainstream bookstores when shelved next to his novels without pictures. Will his large female fanbase give it a shot or has Halle Berry (or, to be fair, the writers of the three X-movies) ruined the character for them? *** Son of M ended up being a surprisingly effective bridge between House of M and Civil War, and now it spills over into X-Factor as Quicksilver makes an appearance. Peter David made Bendis' deus ex machina Layla Miller interesting, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with David Hine's intriguing work on Quicksilver. *** Young Avengers wraps up its first "year" with a Kree-Skrull war that presumably kills much less than the 800 hundred Stamfordians whose deaths led to the declaration of Civil War. (And presumably takes place before, assuming this series had shipped on time over the last six issues.) Seriously, for all of the editorial retreats these guys seem to have, you'd think they'd do a better job of managing the icing.

Bluesman Vol 1 GN New Ptg (AA), $8.95

I finally read Volumes 1 and 2 and highly recommend picking them both up and pre-ordering Volume 3 which is due out next month.

Villains #2 (Of 4), $3.25

The first issue of this was actually a pretty good read, shades of Stephen King's "Apt Pupil" from Adam Cogan, the co-writer of The Black Coat. Viper has a solid track record with me so I'm onboard for the full ride. If not for Solo, this would have been my Pick of the Week, so instead, it's my inaugural Sleeper Pick of the Week!

26 June 2006

CBC Quickees: Public Enema and more...

It's been a long time between reviews, yes? Between the revamp here and PopCultureShock's server crapping out for almost a week, I skipped my Pull List Propaganda column this month and the pile is growing again. I'm saving the TPBs -- including Bluesman Vol. 1 & 2 and East Coast Rising -- for next month's column, but here's six quickees for your consideration.

Thunderbolts #103 (Marvel, $2.99): The first Civil War tie-in I've read so far and it was actually better than the main event itself, which is really just a series of "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if...?" moments Mark Millar's stringing his plot-hammered story together with. (Civil War #2's big reveal had slightly more fanboy impact than Earth 2's Superman bursting off the last page of Infinite Crisis #1 -- which isn't saying much, of course -- but without seeing the thought that presumably went into the admittedly big decision over in his primary series, it lost some of its intended oomph.) I've been enjoying [New] Thunderbolts since I discovered it via the relaunched series' first TPB, One Step Forward, as Fabian Nicieza has nicely balanced the serial format with healthy doses of action and plot and character development. While not "new reader friendly" by today's revisionist standards -- really, most of the comics of the 70s were as steeped in continuity as today's are; just pick up Essential [Take Your Pick] for proof -- few current comics writers are as good as Nicieza at seeding just enough background information into every issue to snag a new reader's interest without resorting to forced expository dialogue (or thought bacaption boxes). From the team banter in the opening scene that quickly establishes several of the major players and the dynamics between them, to Zemo's deftly handled monologue midway through that hits the high points of the team's origins while clearly establishing him as a leader to be taken seriously, Nicieza delivers a story that clearly has many threads running through it, but like the best ensemble TV serials, he never let's any of them distract from the story at hand. Notably, his was one of the few House of M tie-ins that worked the crossover into its primary storyline, and he does an even better job here, almost seamlessly pulling Civil War into the story that's been unfolding for over a year now, and upstaging the big summer event with a big reveal of his own. Tom Grummett and Gary Erskine's art work is classic superhero and perfect for the tone Nicieza sets throughout, making this the best team book Marvel's currently publishing.

Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC, $2.99): Despite my ongoing pull list pruning, this managed to slip into my haul purely out of curiosity, thanks partly to my fondness for the Adam Strange mini-series a little while back and partly to my hopes that DC can pull off a good team book that doesn't suffer from the constraints that come with characters who either have their own series or are prominently featured in other high profile storylines. I read a couple of issues from the Recharge mini and thought they were solid, and I'm a sucker for superheroes in space, so I was pretty pleased with Dave Gibbons' first issue, a nice blend of table-setting and action with a rare sense of there being actual consequences for that action. Patrick Gleason and Prentis Rollins (with Moose Bauman on colors) do a nice job with the artwork, with energetic layouts and some effective money shots, bringing a surprising but appealingly less-polished style to the proceedings. It'll get another couple of issues to prove itself pull list-worthy, and may end up replacing Teen Titans if Geoff Johns goes too far with the Superboy cloning nonsense.

Robin #151 (DC, $2.99): I was worried about the direction Adam Beechen (and DC) was going with Cassandra Cain last issue, flipping the script and having her effectively become what I'd proposed they do with Tim Drake instead of Jason Todd -- becoming the one willing to go where Batman won't -- but he pulled back from the edge of the cliff this issue and kind of made it work. Some have argued this change falls into the same category as the senseless death of Spoiler and the tainting of Leslie Tompkins in the "War Games" / "War Crimes" fiasco a while back, but I don't think so, at least not in the context of the last year or so of Batgirl's run under Andersen Gabrych. Beechen also introduces a new hero to Gotham, hints at a forgotten Joker plot that may destroy the city, and nicely sets up his next arc featuring the new Captain Boomerang, the son of Tim's father's killer. Freddie Williams II is the best regular artist Robin has had since I first picked it up a few years back during the end of Daimon Scott's run, which got worse with each issue, particularly for his age-appropriate depictions of Robin, Cassandra and the loathsome Killa Nilla.


Casanova #1 (Image, $1.99): I'll have more thoughts on this one at a later date, but suffice to say it makes quite an impressive debut, with head-spinning action and intrigue, excellent two-color art, and a boatload of potential. It's like Fear Agent and Fell crossed with Godland, but better than all three. Kudos to Mssrs. Fraction and Bá!

Nightwolf #0 (Devil's Due, $0.99): Very impressive spin on werewolves, with the lead character attempting to atone for murdering his own parents by becoming a nocturnal vigilante, while his brother acts as his sidekick, tracking him during his hunts to keep him in check. Stephen L. Antczak's story is much more involved than that shorthand description makes it sound, and it's complemented by some unexpectedly beautiful black-and-white artwork from Nick Marinkovich. I'll be adding this one to my pull list.

Public Enemy #0 (American Mule Entertainment, $2.99): Um...I respect Chuck D and Public Enemy too much to bash on them for this comic book version of themselves -- emphasis on comic book, with every negative "Biff! Pow!" connotation it's ever had -- so I'll just say that my $2.99 would have been better spent elsewhere. It's arguably more embarassing than any scene in Flavor of Love, which at least only directly involved Flava Flav.

25 June 2006

PANEL: Nightwolf #0

Nightwolf #0
Art by Nick Marinkovich
Written by Stephen L. Antczak
May 2006, Devil's Due Publishing

PANEL: Casanova #1

Casanova #1
Art by Gabriel Bá
Written by Matt Fraction
June 2006, Image Comics

23 June 2006

CONTEST: BOOM! Sampler Winner

"If winning Wizard's award for Best New Publisher didn't make them front and center of your buy pile, maybe my pleas will.

You need to buy their books. One visit to the website will show this isn't some normal run-of-the-mill I have friends in comics operation. They're one of the few remaining operations that gives me hope for comics not heading down the same stale path as today's movies.

Alright, I give up. They aren't the best new publisher in years. I just can't name another one that's better..."
Congratulations to Rob of The Definite Maybe for his winning entry in our BOOM! Sampler Giveaway. The nice balance of hype and snark is what cinched it for me.

Thanks to everyone who entered and/or helped promote the contest, especially those who did so purely for the benefit of others. Good karma's coming your way!

Be sure to check out BOOM! Studios for more information on their strong slate of comic books and graphic novels by talented creators like Mark Waid, Keith Giffen, Johanna Stokes, Joe Casey, Paul Azaceta, Kody Chamberlain and many others.

Also, bookmark www.comiccommentary.com and/or subscribe to one of our feeds:

ATOM: http://feeds.feedburner.com/loudpoet/YVAj
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/loudpoet/NhfG
Or, sign up for our our periodic eNewsletter, CBC UPDATE, and we'll keep you posted about our latest features and content as they're added.

Comic Book Commentary
Opinions, reviews, resources and links galore.

22 June 2006

Say What?: 6/22/06

"...the exact same phrase 'That stuff from Japan...' was used two weeks earlier on my last trip through Customs and my manga examined for the same reason; because Japanese manga is 'really filthy stuff.' The reason I was so heavily raided this time, I found out afterward, was one of the manga titles had the word 'boy' in the title, which 'alerted' them to pedophile materials."
--Elizabeth McClung, To Canadian Customs: X-men means X-rated (via Blog@Newsarama)

"I'm happy that the market is able to handle this many copies of anything, and I know I may receive some grief for this, but these results seems [sic] to me like it could be proof the Direct Market can hold a certain number of ping pong balls in its mouth more than evidence of a flowering of general DM health."
--Tom Spurgeon Those May Direct Market Numbers

"Unlike the relatively binary set-up of secret identities for superheroes (usually hero is lauded, secret identity is dumped on--the Superman/Clark Kent blueprint) which makes them such satisfyingly simple ego-fantasies, Stan [Lee] made that duality more complex: the happier Peter Parker would be in his personal life, the more fucked up things would get for Spidey, and vice-versa."
--Jeff Lester on Civil War #2

"It's always revealing when fans play backseat editor in those 'What would you do if you ran Marvel' threads, in that there tend to be three outcomes... 3) The fan puts together creative teams that simply wouldn't work in real life (Alex Ross painting any book monthly, or Peter David and John Byrne working on a series together.) Editors are mighty, but we don't possess strange mind-control powers."
--Tom Breevort on "The secrets of good comic book editing"

"To go into a few details [about what goes into working a convention]: I took the cover proofs of Debbie Huey's new Bumperboy book for her to review. I also had a quick conversation with Farel Dalrymple about his interest in doing Superior Showcase 2. Then, as you might have noticed, Mike Dawson had a preview copy of his Freddie & Me book sitting on the AdHouse table, so we kind of finalized our intentions of publishing it while at MoCCA."
--Chris Pitzer on AdHouse Books

"Look at the number of folks who have careers just because they just buckled down and did the work. Robert Kirkman didn't wait for anyone to offer him an opportunity--he grabbed it himself. He recruited artists, he wrote scripts, he put out books. The work was good so eventually publishers and fans noticed... The reality is, with the number of intelligent and talented people working in comics is [sic] growing every day and if you want a job in this industry, you don't have to be 'as good' as the people working today, you have to be better."
--James Lucas Jones on ONI'S 2006 TALENT SEARCH

"However, as nice as Scott's art is in X Isle, he's also got a Samuel L. Jackson-modeled guy in it. This rendition makes three I can think of off the top of my head, with The Ultimates one being the most public... I mean, there are other black people out there, right?"
--Andrew Wickliffe on X Isle #1

21 June 2006

HYPE: Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain

Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain
By Debbie Huey; Published by AdHouse Books
128 one-color pages
5.5" x 7"
$8.95 US funds
ISBN: 0-9766610-1-2
Ship date: July, 2006

Diamond Code: MAY06 2772

Crystal Ball: September 2006 Solicitations, Part I

Support GOOD Comics! Pre-order something new EVERY month.

My monthly look at select comic books being solicited for release in September 2006. The full solicitations for DC, Marvel and Image are available at Comic Book Resources. Dark Horse's solicitations are available at Comics Continuum. Independent publishers will follow in a separate post.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your local comic book shop (LCBS) offers a pre-ordering service, download a convenient order form from Diamond and be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]


The American Way #8

DC Comics

Written by Matt Wagner; Art and cover by Wagner
On sale September 27 o 2 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $3.50 US

Wagner's Batman and the Monster Men was a fantastic read, nailing the character and the milieu perfectly, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

Written by Steve Niles; Art and cover by Justiniano & Walden Wong
On sale September 6 o 2 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I didn't love Niles' take on Batman in Gotham County Line (TPB solicited for September) -- the jetpack still stands out as the most memorable thing -- but I like his writing in general and have always been curious about the Creeper.

Written by John Ridley; Art and cover by Georges Jeanty & Karl Story
On sale September 27 o 8 of 8 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Mark my words: Assuming the last four issues are on the same level as the first four, The American Way will go down as one of the most underrated comics of 2006. It's definitely on my short list for best of the year. If you're not already reading it, you're certainly not going to jump onboard for the last issue, and judging by the pathetic sales figures there's no guarantee of a TPB, so you better snag the first four issues from eBay while they're still available.

Written by Bill Willingham; Art by Charles Vess, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Michael Wm. Kaluta, James Jean, Tara McPherson, Derek Kirk Kim, Esao Andrews, Mark Buckingham, Mark Wheatley and Jill Thompson; Cover by James Jean
Advance-solicited; on sale October 18 o 144 pg, FC, $19.99 US o MATURE READERS Edited by Shelly Bond

I've read the first two TPBs so far and while I enjoyed them, I don't consider them to be essential reading. That said, this sounds like it might be really good: "Running the gamut from horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, FABLES: 1,001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL reveals the secret histories of familiar FABLES characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales." On a side note, DC is soliciting three other Fables-related comics this month, which suggests they see some real potential in the franchise. Can Hollywood be far behind, or is the premise generic enough that someone else can tweak it, Shrek-style, and produce it as their own "original" work?

Marvel Comics

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS; Pencils & Wraparound Cover by MARK BAGLEY; Variant Cover by MARK BAGLEY
64 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99

"CLONE SAGA" Seriously? I've only read the first TPB of this series -- and was underwhelmed -- but I just don't understand the appeal of remixing previously told stories for five years (six?) and acting like you've accomplished something worth noting. Isn't that what Invincible and all the other indie superheroes are for? If Bendis had any class, he'd step aside before breaking Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's record for longest running creative team on a Marvel comic. If not, the new "record" should come with a Barry Bonds-style asterisk.

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Color me curious about this one. Robert Rodi's Tomb of Dracula mini-series a couple of years back was a solid if unremarkable ensemble story that has the dubious distinction of being the rare Marvel mini-series to not get a TPB, and it featured a prominent but surprisingly underpromoted Blade presence, so I'm still surprised to see him get an ongoing series. I've always liked the idea of the character, though, and I know he was one of those, like Moon Knight, for whom they were waiting for the "right pitch" so I'll check it out to see what Guggenheim's got to offer. Chaykin is both a weird and interesting choice of artists.

Written by CHARLIE HUSTON; Pencils & Cover by DAVID FINCH; Bloody Variant Cover by DAVID FINCH
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99

Bloody variant cover? Yeesh. Marvel's doing everything they can to turn me against this series. I have faith in Huston, though.

144 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$15.99; ISBN: 0-7851-1944-2

This has been a suprisingly entertaining mini-series, and as long as they don't screw up the final issue, should make for a great escape from the Civil War madness that grips the majority of September's offerings.

Image Comics

story by MICHAEL AVON OEMING & IVAN BRANDON; art & cover by MICHAEL AVON OEMING; variant cover by ESAD RIBIC
32 pg; FC; September 7; $2.99

Yikes! I'm always leery of comics that attempt to portray the Bronx, and Oeming's appallingly derivative gangsta tale, Wings of Anansi, left a foul taste in my mouth that still lingers, but I loved Brandon's NYC Mech so...I'm curious. EDIT: Check out this great trailer for the mini-series. I'm a little more than curious now!

DEATH, JR., VOL. II #2 (of 3)
48 pg; FC; September 13; $4.99

Death Jr's first go-round was a delightfully morbid romp that made me want to go out and buy the video game it was based on, but I don't do PlayStation so that didn't work out. Fortunately, Whitta's back for another round and I'm looking forward to it.

story CHRISTOPHER E. LONG; art & cover JUAN E. FERREYRA; created & co-plotted by JIM VALENTINO
32 pg; FC; September 27; $3.50

What's with Valentino and the creator merry-go-round over at Shadowline? First he goes through two writers in 10 issues of ShadowHawk before taking over the writing himself, and now The Emissary gets a new writer as of the 5th issue? With the first issue's sales not exactly burning up the charts, how long before Ferreyra is replaced and the series is cancelled outright? Oh, and the solicit for ShadowHawk #15, which Valentino is now writing and drawing himself, suggests yet another change in tone for the directionless series: "Eddie gets laid. Finally." Who says creator-owned means better comics?

Dark Horse Comics

Written by Kurt Busiek, art and cover by Greg Ruth.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Sept. 20.

Written by Joe R. Lansdale, art by Timothy Truman, colored by Dave Stewart.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Sept. 20.

Busiek returns to Conan for another of his superb "Portrait of the Barbarian as a Young Man" done-in-ones, the inevitable collection of which will be as good a read as any regular Conan story arc. Meanwhile, new Conan writer Timothy Truman works both sides of aisle taking on the art chores on the latest Conan spinoff mini-series in which "famous horror and western writer Joe R. Lansdale continues to give [him] the most hard-hided sword-and-sorcery scenes ever drawn." Sign me up!

Written and art by Tony Millionaire.
24 pages, black and white, $2.99.

I love Millionaire's Maakies comic strip, and I've always liked his Sock Monkey visuals, so I'm curious about this one.

20 June 2006

On the Shelves: 6/21/06

Support GOOD Comics! Try something new EVERY month.

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 6/21/06. The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]


Fallen Angel #6

Black Coat Call To Arms #3 (Of 4), $2.99

So much better than a black-and-white period piece with a throwback storytelling sensibility has any right to be, I can't imagine that Hollywood won't come calling at some point, and deservedly so. Unlike too many recent comics written by aspiring or slumming screenwriters -- with their high concept plots, awkward pacing and presumptuous photo-referenced casting -- Black Coat stands firmly on its own two feet as a comic book. If you're waiting for the trade on this one -- and you'll probably have to at this point if you didn't pre-order, as this is apparently the issue that was being solicited when Speakeasy went under -- you're in for a genuine treat if/when it comes out.

X Isle #1 (Of 5), $2.99

Speaking of "high concept plots, awkward pacing and presumptuous photo-referenced casting", X Isle hits the trifecta as TV Writer/Producer Andrew Cosby and co-writer Michael A. Nelson attempt to duplicate the magic of Cosby's damn nation -- his engaging Dark Horse mini-series now in production for a 2007 theatrical release (interestingly, with Boom!'s Ross Richie as Executive Producer...) -- and fall disappointingly short. In this oft-lamented age of decompression, they make the mistake of trying to squeeze too much into this first issue, overly focused on setting up the mildly intriguing plot ("alien" whale washes ashore, mysterious storm traps ensemble cast on uncharted island full of similar creatures...) while paying only cursory attention to characterization. Artist Greg Scott's "casting" of Sam Jackson, The Rock, Josh Lucas and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- the most obvious ones my wife and I were able to pick out -- serves as a distracting bit of shorthand to make up for it, but at the same time raises the "it's a movie pitch not a comic book" flag that I find increasingly off-putting.

Comic Book Holocaust GN, $9.95

I'm not familiar with Johnny Ryan's work, but the title's catchy for all the wrong reasons. Some words are simply too loaded with meaning to play clever with, you know?

Conan #29, $2.99
Conan Book Of Thoth #4 (Of 4), $4.99
Star Wars Legacy #1, $2.99

I'm not sure which is worse, Conan's steadily declining sales or the fact that Red Sonja is still outselling it, if only barely (and then only because of its decreasingly effective variant cover gimmick). Be interesting to see what happens with this issue, the first non-Busiek-scripted of the run, and how it holds up over the next six months or so. It still generally outsells Dark Horse's Star Wars comics -- though there's far more of them and they're the model of consistency -- and its spinoffs, like Khitai and the higher-priced Thoth, tend to retain a majority of the main series' audience, so it shouldn't be in any danger of cancellation. I'd imagine the collections do well, too, as even my father-in-law enjoys those hefty chunks of graphic barbarian goodness. *** Speaking of Star Wars, despite the simultaneously over and underwhelming #0 "guidebook" a couple of weeks ago -- people who complain about Marvel and DC's inaccessible continuity have probably never cracked open a Star Wars tie-in! -- I'm still a bit intrigued by Legacy, not just for the Ostrander/Duursema team-up that sets my nostalgia glands a'tingling, but for the potential of the concept, set 100 years after Return of the Jedi with a "What if Han Solo were a Jedi?" spin.

Ex Machina #21, $2.99
Flash The Fastest Man Alive #1, $2.99
Green Lantern Corps Recharge TPB, $12.99
Robin #151, $2.99
Shadowpact #2, $2.99

I'm pretty sure that when the current Ex Machina story arc ends -- or is this the beginning of one? -- I'll be switching to a wait for the trade policy. I still enjoy it, but I no longer look forward to it. *** The Flash is yet another DC icon I've never connected with, and unless Kurt Addams' highly unlikely speculation that the new Flash is actually Black Lightning is correct, I don't see that changing anytime soon. *** Green Lantern Corps #1 was actually a pretty solid read, and I did enjoy a couple of random issues of the Recharge mini, so the TPB is reluctantly on my radar. How am I supposed to pare down my pull list when I'm constantly discovering new comics to add? *** The revelation about the fate of Cassandra Cain (#5 on my Top 5 DC Characters list) in the last issue of Robin tweaked my fanboy buttons a bit, but I decided to see how it plays out before getting up in arms about it, primarily because, while I don't love the idea, it does make more than the usual sense in context. *** Thanks to my ongoing pull list purge, Shadowpact will have to quickly prove itself a keeper with this second issue, after a solid, if surprisingly continuity challenged, debut.

How To Self Publish Comics #4 (Of 4), $4.95

I love "How to" books, and unlike some others who've tackled this subject, Josh Blaylock's got a solid platform with Devil's Due to speak from, so I'm curious to check out the inevitable TPB collection. Anyone buying it as it came out?

Doomed Magazine #1 (AA), $6.99
Fallen Angel Idw #6, $3.99

While not really my cup of tea, I was rather impressed with the first two issues of Doomed. This appears to be a re-offering of the first issue, which includes a short featuring artwork from Supermarket's Kristian Donaldson. For horror fans, I'd say it's recommended. *** On the heels of its remarkable last issue -- which I failed to remark upon at all, but Jake, of 2GuysBuyingComics, didn't -- Fallen Angel follows up with what I believe is the first of two standalone issues, both perfect jumping-on points in anticipation of the TPB collecting the first 5 issues of the IDW run which is due out in August, as well as DC's re-release of the TPB collecting the first six issues from the first volume. It's officially on my short list for best of 2006.

Casanova #1, $1.99
Fear Agent Vol 1 Reignition TPB, $9.99

The $1.99 experiment worked out nicely with Fell, but Fell would be a great read for $2.99, so it'll be interesting to see what Casanova brings to the table. I have no expectations one way or the other. *** Nice to see Fear Agent get a quick turnaround on the TPB, but judging by the series' sales numbers and this bargain $9.99 cover price, I'm curious what Image's TPB contracts look like and whether or not Remender is underwriting this one. If you skipped it the first time around, Fear Agent is easily one of the most entertaining comics on the shelves right now.

Captain America #19, $2.99
Eternals #1 (Of 6), $3.99
Eternals 1 For 50 Romita Jr Sketch Variant #1 (Of 6), AR
Eternals Coipel Variant Ltd Ed #1 (Of 6), $3.99
Eternals Romita Jr Variant #1 (Of 6), $3.99

Giant Size Hulk #1, $4.99
Haunt Of Horror Edgar Allan Poe #2 (Of 3), $3.99
Marvel Westerns Outlaw Files, $3.99

Captain America continues to be one of the most consistently entertaining reads, spandex set or otherwise, and I am on the verge of becoming an official member of the Ed Brubaker fan club. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the upcoming Civil War tie-in, and how smoothly it fits into the larger story he's been telling since he took over the Super Soldier and made him interesting for the first time. *** Three variant covers for the Eternals, including a "1 for 50" sketch cover that guarantees a Top 20, if not Top 10, slot for the first issue. From there, though, it'll be interesting to see how far and how quickly it falls. Because seriously, who was asking for this? I'd be surprised if it doesn't lose at least 50% of the first issue's sales by the time the mini-series finishes. *** I've honestly been surprised by how much I'm enjoying the "Planet Hulk" storyline, and I've been wanting to sample Peter David's acclaimed run on the green goliath for a while now, so Giant Size Hulk #1 is perfectly timed. *** The first issue of Richard Corben's Poe adaptation didn't work for me at all; a major disappointment, but a relatively easy cut from the pull list. *** I still haven't read last week's Western one-shot, but I'm a sucker for these directory-style comics so I'll probably pick this one up. So much for pull list management!


Is anyone reading any Narwain titles? I haven't noticed any buzz at all for them, and I'm long past flipping through their titles after being unimpressed with the first wave.

19 June 2006

Say What?: 6/19/06

"Spider-Man is an unusual franchise; just when you think it's run out of sharks to jump, Marvel unveil a new aquarium."
--Paul O'Brien, Article 10, 19 June 2006

"For that matter, should Peter Parker wear any kind of a costume now? Once the world knows your true identity, what's the point of wearing a mask?"
--Jake on "Spidey's Revealing Outfit"

"Superheroes should not lie to their nearest and dearest about the most important thing in their lives. That's pathological. ...not to mention a bad example for a hero who values truth to set."
--Johanna Draper Carlson on "Why Secret Identities Are Stupid"

"The reason that Nostalgia is a bastard, my friends, is because it blinds you to simple facts like 'Steve Englehart was wonderful in his prime...but he hasn't written anything really great in quite some time, and anyway, that Detroit League? How many other suckers bought this because they were 11 when the Detroit League [debuted] and didn't know any better?'"
--Graeme MacMillan on JLA: Classified #21

"I've heard rumors of an unofficial policy in place at DC - writers are to refer to events in other books without directly saying where or when they occurred, effectively making it so that a reader will only completely 'get' the story if they've picked up other books at the time of their publication, and that sort of in-jokeyness probably appeals to a lot of the people who spend the majority of their entertainment dollar on pamphlets of spandex material."
--BeaucoupKevin in "Randomized Superhero Comic Thoughts"

18 June 2006

INFO: Categories are del.icio.us!

Phase One of our total revamp of the site is more than halfway through as I've spent most of this weekend tagging every single post from November 2004 through December 2005, enabling everyone (myself included) to easily sort through and access our content, regardless of how old it is. I played around with Technorati tags on Friday, but wanted something more self-contained and del.icio.us, which has been on my radar for a while now, turned out to be the solution I needed.

Our main categories are listed/linked over in the left column now, but if you click over to the full list (aka "All Categories" on the left), you'll see that I've come up with 61 different tags so far, and grouped many of them into six different bundles.

I also updated a bunch of posts to redirect internal links from blogspot.com and/or to clean up incorrectly translated characters like my é, ñ, and ménage à trois, the latter which changed the URLs for all of those entries. (For those of you on the feed, that's why you've seen a flurry of old "updates" popping up.)

Up next -- after I finish tagging all of 2006's posts! -- are the Publisher Profiles, Creators Directory and Comics Links sections which, when completed, will hopefully represent an invaluable resource for fans, aspiring creators/publishers, and journalists. I've got big plans for that first section in particular, one of those "Why hasn't anyone else done this?" ideas that hit me the other day.

Thanks to everyone who has updated their links to the new URL -- http://www.comiccommentary.com -- and/or specifically promoted our redesign/relaunch. Keep an eye out on the Comics Links section for an old school Yahoo!-style directory.

16 June 2006

CONTEST: BOOM! Sampler Giveaway Extended

Due to light response so far -- and our continued absence from the Comic Weblog Linkatron 5000 since the move from blogspot.com -- I'm extending our BOOM! Sampler Giveaway another full week to June 23, 2006. Details at the original post, where all entries should be submitted.

Many thanks to those who've promoted the contest so far, especially to those who did so purely out of spreading the love of free comics.

"What's that, Guy? Did you say 'FREE COMICS'!?!"

"Why yes, that's exactly what I said. FREE. COMICS."
WTF, people? Get on the stick.

Jeremiah Harm #1-3
Hero Squared #1
Cthulhu Tales #1
What Were They Thinking?! Some People Never Learn #1
War of the Worlds: Second Wave #1-3

MARKETING: Superman Joins MySpace

The Superman Returns marketing onslaught continues...

Man Of Steel Seeks Friends

AN AMERICAN CULTURAL ICON HAS landed in the leading American social networking site with the posting of a MySpace profile to promote the new "Superman Returns," premiering June 28.

By Thursday evening, just five days after the site quietly went live, the profile had attracted 12,719 MySpace "friends," many responding to the site's slogan, "Show us your 'S'," with photos of themselves striking the iconic shirt-ripping pose to reveal the well-known symbol--including at least one fan who had the "S" tattooed directly on his chest.

The Web site also offers a basket of downloadable extras like "Superman" wallpaper, ring tones including the famous theme as well as songs from the new soundtrack, buddy icons, and official photos. Visitors can watch 5 TV ads and view photo galleries of other MySpace members showing their Superman loyalty.
As of this posting, Superman Returns has 18,422 friends, including Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and, oddly enough, Superman himself. A quick glance at his friends list suggests the Big Blue Boy Scout isn't nearly as white bread as some might think; ie: check out namsucker's [possibly not work safe] profile.

As marketing plans go, hooking up with MySpace like this is a smart viral effort, if a bit overly corporate and contrived, but I don't imagine it will make a significant difference in the film's opening box office or how good its legs are moving forward. Barring any high-profile scathing reviews, my guess is that it will open big, in the neighborhood of $90m over the first 5 days, and then fade relatively quickly, ending up somewhere around the $200-215m mark. (As a Batman fan, I'm hoping it comes up short of $200m!)

The most disappointing aspect of the promotion, though, is that there's not a single reference to the comics, neither the ongoings (understandable) nor any TPBs of note. I'm not a big Superman fan, but even I enjoyed Superman: Birthright. Plus, there's the movie tie-ins DC's publishing, which would seem to be the "Duh!" thing to plug, but no dice.* There's not even a prominent link to DC's web site!

The more I've seen of the movie, the less interested I am in it, similar to my response last summer to Fantastic Four, which I still haven't seen. None of the leads work for me as Routh and Bosworth are both too young to be believable in their roles, and I still haven't forgiven Spacey for his part in the overrated American Beauty. I do like Bryan Singer's past work, though, and there's the usual combination of fanboy curiosity and the possiblity of witnessing a train wreck firsthand, so I'm still on the fence.

* On a related note, DC really missed an opportunity by waiting this late in the game to publish the tie-ins in serial form, with #2 just coming out last week and #4 scheduled for release on the same day the movie opens. They should have released the floppies a couple of months ago and then had a TPB in stores a week or two before the movie's release in order to capitalize on the promotion around it in mainstream bookstores. How much more compelling is a prominent Superman display at Barnes & Noble when it's centered around a direct movie tie-in instead of a bunch of random TPBs?

15 June 2006

LINK: Sent Forth from the Power

It usually takes me a few issues after I drop something from my pull list to lose the phantom limb feeling whenever I'm picking up my weekly stash, but in the case of 52, I miss it about as much as I miss Mo Vaughn playing for the Mets. I am still enjoying Douglas Wolk's weekly dissection of the increasingly convoluted storyline, though, and this week's entry was particularly good, in that same way I enjoy seeing an "0-4; 3 Ks" stat line for Alex Rodriguez.

Wolk breaks down Grant Morrison's Great Ten, exposing the lazy research that apparently went into conceiving them and spotlighting a great comment from an earlier entry that ripped it apart. The best line:

Is it too much to ask DC to do their homework when writing about other cultures? To talk to the Chinese-American intern in Accounting, who could maybe call her grandpa and ask real quick?

At least Devin Grayson's handling Batwoman, so there's a slim chance the character won't end up being as embarassing, assuming of course that Greg Rucka doesn't screw up her impending 52 debut in a few weeks, which, in context, is arguably a sucker's bet.

As for the rest of the issue, Wolk's page-by-page notes made me a little dizzy and confirmed that 52 is really only for the diehard DCU fan. Check out Fossen's latest 52 on 52 for a screenshot featuring Booster Gold and a couple of chalkboards headlined "Time is Broken" if you don't believe me.

Something's broken all right...

13 June 2006

On The Shelves: 6/14/06

Support GOOD Comics! Try something new EVERY month.

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 6/14/06. The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]


G.I. Joe: America's Elite #12

Public Enemy #0, $2.99

Call me cynical, but after the lameness of last year's Mr. T comic book -- mercifully aborted when AP Comics folded -- I can't help but be nervous about a four-color version of P.E., especially based on American Mule's low-budget web site. Early press coverage for it claimed that "an exclusive CD of new PE material" would be included with the comic, but at $2.99, I'm guessing that's not happening with this issue, at least. The real question, though, is which Flava Flav shows up? If it's the one from Flava of Love, then I'm in!

Lady Death Abandon All Hope #1 Ryp Litho, $29.99
Medieval Lady Death #2 Siqueira Serenity Litho, $29.99

Avatar's only releasing two things this week? Surely a sign of the apocalypse.

Ex Machina Special #2 (Of 2), $2.99
Firestorm The Nuclear Man #26, $2.99
Green Lantern Corps #1, $2.99

Am I the only one who feels like Ex Machina's been running in place the last few issues or so? I still mostly enjoy it, but it's no longer top of the reading pile material. *** OYL Firestorm has been a rather pleasant read; competent superheroing with an appealing cast, the kind of thing so many people claim to want to see more of and yet don't support, gobbling up the convoluted likes of 52 instead. Go figure. *** Even though I'm in the midst of pruning back my pull list significantly, I am a bit intrigued by the Green Lantern Corps. I like the basic premise well enough, and while I've never been a big fan of Guy Gardner, I've always wanted to be. (And it's not like John Stewart's going to get his own series any time soon, you know!) On the other hand, I've been rather unimpressed with most of DC's OYL efforts so far, so I'm on the fence here.

GI Joe Americas Elite #12, $2.95
Nightwolf #0, $0.99

The current G.I. Joe arc, featuring the death/resurrection/villaining of Snake Eyes, wraps up this week and it's been a surprisingly fun ride to-date. With the return of Cobra Commander on deck, Joe Casey's got a certifiable hit on his hands that more people should be reading. *** I'm leery of werewolf comics in general, but I like Devil's Due and the introductory issue of Nightwolf is sporting a great Georges Jeanty cover, so the $0.99 ploy is going to work for me this week.

Supermarket #3 (Of 4), $3.99

Loved the first two issues, and while I'm not quite ready to jump on the Brian Wood bandwagon, if he closes this mini-series out satisfactorily, I may have to check out his The Couriers series which I've heard is similar in tone.

Fear Agent #5 (resolicited), $2.99

Should I or shouldn't I? Thanks to their inconsistent shipping schedules, I'm thisclose to switching to a TPB-only policy with all Image Comics. Guilt by association sucks, but as the saying goes, oncetwicethriceseveral times burned, understandably shy.

Civil War #2 (Of 7), $2.99
Marvel Westerns Two Gun Kid, $3.99
Thunderbolts #103, $2.99

You'd think after the underwhelming House of M and the craptastic Infinite Crisis train wreck, that I'd just leave these overblown, universe-changing crossovers alone. You'd think... *** Ever since Clint Eastwood's masterful Unforgiven -- which I've just added to my Wish List...hint, hint! -- I've been something of a closet fan of Westerns, so Marvel's Western one-shots have been on my radar since they were first announced. *** So Marvel screwed up and sent out Thunderbolts #103 to retailers last week as part of their First Look package, overlooking an apparently huge spoiler for Civil War #2 contained therein, and then sent out a threatening email insisting that no one try to "scoop" the spoiler lest they be denied future access to any of the CW creators and preview artwork. Surprisingly, even Rich Johnston played ball. I have to admit that it was enough to keep Civil War on my pull list, but at the same time, it's raised the stakes to a level the reality likely won't be able to match unless it involves the irreversible death of Mary Jane.

Last Sin Of Mark Grimm #1 (Of 4), $3.00

After the surprisingly good Death Comes to Dillinger a couple of weeks ago, and the fact that they will be publishing future installments of Monkey In A Wagon vs. Lemur On A Big Wheel, Silent Devil has attained guaranteed flip-through status for all of their titles. It helps that Last Sin Of Mark Grimm actually looks pretty good.

Super F$$$$$S #3, $5.00

Cult of personality is an always interesting phenomenon, and it's the only way I can explain the acclaim this juvenile riff on superhero comics has received. It's Project: Superior done the wrong way, superheroes for alt-comix fans who are too ashamed to admit they still like Batman and Spider-Man.

Comic Book Nerd #1, $8.95

TwoMorrow publishes Back Issue, my favorite comics magazine, so I'm inclined to check out this MAD Magazine-style spoof of fan mags. The 16-page sample, though, suggests something a bit more one-note than I'm willing to spend nine bucks on. Never mind the fact that its target is almost too easy.

Omar's Random Thoughts: Wonder Woman & Metamorpho

Goddamn. Someone should write a review about Wonder Woman volume 3 number 1. That was a good read. Inner Fanboy enjoyed it very much.

That fanboy zeal, of course, makes me worried that it's totally inaccessible to a new reader. Does Wonder Woman get new readers that don't know a lot about her to begin with?


Does anyone else think it's funny that so many of us nerds were imprinted with Lynda Carter being the ideal woman? I mean, she was wearing an adult diaper.


The other day, I was standing around thinking, "Do I know enough about Metamorpho?! Do I?!" I certainly don't.

Showcase Presents: Metamorpho, Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Metamorpho) boasts 500 pages of Metamorpho. It's time to start educating!

12 June 2006

CONTEST: BOOM! Sampler Giveaway

In honor of our new look and impending relaunch (and in a shameless attempt at generating some traffic to bear witness), I'm giving away a sampler of comics from Wizard Magazine's "Best New Publisher," Boom! Studios.

Jeremiah Harm #1-3
Hero Squared #1
Cthulhu Tales #1
What Were They Thinking?! Some People Never Learn #1
War of the Worlds: Second Wave #1-3

How can you win this fine assortment of four-color entertainment? Rather simply, actually: you just have to lower your odds of winning by spreading the news!

There's two ways to do this:

1) Mention this contest on your own blog, with a direct link back to this post, and then leave a comment here with a link back to your post.

2) Hit your favorite comics message board's Indie Comics section, find (or start) a thread about any of Boom! Studios' titles (or the company itself) and mention this contest, with a direct link back to this post, and then leave a comment here with a link back to your post. (NOTE: Please do not spam any message boards. There's a ton of them out there, so make sure someone else hasn't already posted about this contest before you do.)
Get creative with your post because the best-written one (as judged by me) will win the sampler pack. The contest will close and ONE winner will be selected at 3PM EST on June 16, 2006 [extended to] June 23, 2006.

Free comic books! What's not to love?

Details: Boom! Studios is not affiliated with this contest. The best post, as judged by me, will win. Comics will be shipped FREE via First Class mail, within one week of the contest's ending.

11 June 2006

COMMENT: So Ashamed!

I found a cosplay woman attractive. I'm officially lost in nerddom. Help me. Someone please, take away the comics!

If you don't know what cosplay is, you are a better man than I.

COMMENT: Where It's At!



Head down to your local 7-Eleven for some Superhero Slurpee action! To my surprise last Friday I found these plastic heros at my local 7-Eleven. They have 3 different regular 32oz. cups available, and an "S" Shield cup. I also found some leftover X-Men cups, and picked up one featuring Wolverine / Angel. Looks like the X-Men got ripped off with their promotion, getting only a 22oz. Slurpee. 7-Eleven has two flavors to tie in with Superman Returns: Kryptonite Ice and Arctic Blast.

In my effort to find a good picture of the Superman Collector cups, I ran across this coupon that should please you. I thought it was a hoax, but according to Superman Homepage, it's legit.

Enjoy your Slurpee, because it may be the best thing that comes out of Superman Returns...the movie being included!

Edit: I just realized this but on the X-Men cup, Angel is leather-clad in an X-Men uniform. I guess they'll do anything for a promo. Unless there are deleted scenes...?

10 June 2006

INFO: CBC's New Look

A little late-Spring cleaning here in the CBC offices as I've finally made the long-anticipated move from blogspot.com to hosting the blog on my own site. As you can tell from a quick look around, I've got plans for a bit more than just the blog, some of which will come to fruition sooner than later. For now, go ahead and bookmark http://www.comiccommentary.com, which will bring you straight here to the blog until the rest of the site is up and running.

Be sure to update your links and site feed info, too:

ATOM: http://feeds.feedburner.com/loudpoet/YVAj

RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/loudpoet/NhfG

PS: Sign up for our our periodic eNewsletter, CBC UPDATE, and we'll keep you posted about new features and content as they're added.

09 June 2006

HYPE: Artesia

A proper review is forthcoming soon, but I couldn't contain my excitement about my latest, greatest discovery: Mark Smylie's Artesia. It's the perfect combination of compelling lead character, richly detailed setting and absolutely beautiful artwork that marks the best epic fantasy tales.

I picked up Artesia: Besieged #1 on a lark last week, having enjoyed several of the other titles Smylie's Archaia Studio Press has recently released -- The Lone and Level Sands, Robotika and Mouse Guard -- and was totally captivated by it. I bought the first TPB, Artesia, last night and devoured it on the train ride home, not the least bit concerned about anyone catching a glimpse of the not-so-occasional panel of nudity (male and female, including full frontal) because the presentation is so clearly artistic, and the overall tone of the series is refreshingly mature. Even my wife noted the beautiful artwork while flipping through it briefly, especially impressed with Artesia herself.

If you enjoy the fantasy genre at all, then you should give Artesia a look-see, because Smylie has created an immersive world that will absolutely suck you in. There's even a role playing game based on it, the highly regarded Artesia: Adventures In The Known World, which is now on my Wish List because I love reading a good RPG manual nearly as much as I enjoy a good fantasy story. Feel free to buy it for me as a Father's Day present! ;-)

EDIT: Act fast and you can snag a set of the original floppies from 1999 on eBay.

EDIT: There's a new hardcover edition of the first volume coming out in August, and I've updated the Amazon link above. I've also reviewed Artesia Besieged #1, the first installment of the Fourth Book of Dooms.