Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hellblazer #298 "Death and Cigarettes Part 1" - Review

My favorite cover of the week (Simon Bisley on art)


John Constantine has been a staple of the comic book world since his appearance in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. There's no magician in comics with more attitude, wit, and cigarette butts behind him. As the final arc of the long running series begins, Constantine finds himself dreaming about his death. He's cheated his way out of it before, but that was devils and demons, this time it's the Fates themselves that have chosen his time to pass.

Peter Milligan's run on the popular Vertigo Comics character has been debated, but I really do enjoy his portrayal. It reminds me of the natural continuation of the Constantine from the Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis runs, and even has some of that Jamie Delano flair mixed into it. This issue finds him actually giving into death, which is something we've never seen the character do before.

Constantine is known for being the world's best con artist. If there was a way out, he would have found it. Instead he accepts that death is coming and tells his wife, Epiphany, that there's nothing he can do to prevent it. Without giving away too much of the story, there are some pleasant moments between the two of them in what Constantine believes to be his last five days on Earth.

The artwork by Giuseppe Camuncoli is some of my favorite that the series has ever had. Camuncoli's art style, which is very cartoon-based, is expressive and fits well with the strange tone of the book. The artwork isn't afraid to get gory, violent, or even tender for that matter. Most of the opening of this issue feels like a movie or TV show opening, which really pulled me. The mixture of Camuncoli's art and Milligan's writing really does make the perfect pair for Hellblazer.

Hellblazer isn't going to be around for much longer, but John Constantine will be having a new DC Comics title called, wait for it . . . Constantine. I have mixed feelings about it, but on the whole I'm willing to give it a shot. My biggest fear is that it'll be a watered down version of the character, but so far I've enjoyed Constantine in Justice League Dark. Jeff Lemire has brought new life into the book and it kind of feels like a Vertigo title without really being one.

If you're not familiar with Hellblazer and you like twisted stories of horror and magic, I recommend picking up any collection or issue. They're recently re-releasing and numbering the trade paperbacks, and it's the perfect time to become familiar with him before the character gets his new DC series.

Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Walking Dead the Official Magazine #1 - Review

The Walking Dead the Official Magazine #1 from Titan and Skybound

If there’s one thing that’s true about The Walking Dead, whether it’s the comics or the TV show, it’s that people can’t get enough of it. And there’s good reason for that statement. Robert Kirkman has created a storytelling juggernaut that’s taken the world by storm. If you've been looking for a new outlet for your fandom of Kirkman’s Walkers, then The Walking Dead the Official Magazine is the answer.

Published by Titan and Skybound, the magazine has articles that relate not just to the comic book and TV show, but also has pieces on the actors, merchandise, and extras like the TV show Talking Dead. Each piece is well written, concise, and professionally constructed.

The overall design of the magazine fits well with the motif of the TV series and comic book. It uses color, balance, alignment, and enclosure to create an effective magazine. It’s one of the few magazines that I've read cover-to-cover because I wanted to.

My favorite part about this first issue was the bonus story “Just another Day at the Office” by Jay Bonansinga. The addition of actual prose stories into the magazine is a very unique choice. It gives people new to the series an inside look at Philip Blake (The Governor), who will be a major part of the new season of the TV show.

The Walking Dead the Official Magazine is a publication that will please any fan of Kirkman’s zombie series. So while you’re waiting impatiently for the next issue of the comic book or the next episode of the TV series on AMC, reach for this magazine. The first issue is on newsstands now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Walking Dead - The Official Magazine


THE WALKING DEAD, THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
 LAUNCHES TOday!

Hotly anticipated first issue of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine hits newsstands and digital platforms.

The Walking Dead Official Magazine, Issue #1

Titan Magazines and Skybound’s premier issue of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine, based on Robert Kirkman's Eisner Award-winning comic book series, best-selling graphic novels and Emmy-winning AMC television series, hits newsstands and digital platforms on October 23.

This 100-page issue features an inside look at the TV show, comics and everything in-between: The Walking Dead creator/writer Robert Kirkman reveals what’s coming up next on the TV show, which broke basic cable records again with the season three premiere, and how the shocking events of issue #100 of The Walking Dead Comic will affect Rick and our favorite survivors; an exclusive interview with Danai Gurira, who plays the iconic character “Michonne”; an exclusive prologue to the new Walking Dead book, The Road to Woodbury, about the rise of Philip Blake aka The Governor written by Jay Bonansinga and Robert Kirkman; behind-the-scenes set visit report; executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara tells us why he’s so excited about season three; plus, all the latest news, revelations and tips for fans of the entire The Walking Dead universe.

The first issue debuted at this year’s New York Comic-Con with a special NYCC variant cover, and an additional nine variant covers are released tomorrow: a newsstand cover featuring “Michonne”; an alternative art cover by The Walking Dead comic artist, Charlie Adlard and colored by The Walking Dead comic colorist Cliff Rathburn; seven retail variant covers with stores Comickaze, Forbidden Planet, Midtown Comics, Redd Skull Comics, Ultimate Comics, Ultimate Treasures and Wade’s Comic Madness, each featuring art by Adlard and Rathburn.

Discussing what fans can expect from the magazine, Robert Kirkman, creator/writer of The Walking Dead, says, "We'll be talking about what's coming up on the TV show, we'll fill you in on what to expect from the comic and you'll hear from all the talented people who work on all the various Walking Dead projects. This magazine is going to rock!"

The magazine will also be available to read on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire starting tomorrow, giving Walking Dead fans an exciting alternative to the print edition and a high quality digital reading experience. Just search ‘The Walking Dead Magazine’ on your device’s newsstand or app store.

The magazine is currently offering fans an exclusive FREE The Walking Dead T-Shirt (not available in stores) with new print subscriptions. For more information on this subscription offer and other offers in your territory, visit the magazine website,www.TitanMagazines.com/WalkingDead. Readers can also join the magazine on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WalkingDeadMag and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WalkingDeadMagazine to keep up to date with news and special offers and www.Skybound.com, the source for all news on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and all Skybound titles.

The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine issue #1 will be available on newsstands and comic book stores in the U.S. on October 23, in the U.K. on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18. Digital editions will be available globally on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire from October 23.

Contact Details Of Stores With Variant Covers:
Comickaze Comics, San Diego, CA -www.comickazeonline.webs.com
Forbidden Planet, London, U.K. - www.forbiddenplanet.com
Midtown Comics, New York, NY - www.midtowncomics.com
Redd Skull Comics, Calgary, Canada - www.reddskull.com
Ultimate Comics, Durham, NC - www.ultimatecomics.com
Ultimate Treasures, 11240 Village Lane Clinton, MI 49236-9595
Wade's Comic Madness, Levittown, PA - www.comicmadness.com

About Robert Kirkman
Robert Kirkman's success and passionate advocacy for creator-owned comics led him to become the first person invited to become a partner at Image Comics since the company's inception twenty years ago. Kirkman is the creator/writer of the Eisner Award-winning The Walking Dead, long-running Invincible, all-agesSuper DinosaurThe Astounding Wolf-Man and Thief of Thieves. In 2010, Kirkman formed his own Image imprint, Skybound, which publishes his own work and Witch Doctor, Guarding the Globe andClone. Kirkman has earned the respect of the comic, writing and television communities and topped the New York Times bestseller list for graphic novels in 2011 and in April 2012, he took the top five spots on both the hardcover and paperback lists. He's the creator/executive producer and writer of the hit Emmy®-winning television show, AMC's The Walking Dead, the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time in the U.S, also an international success in 122 countries and 37 languages. AMC is developing Thief of Thieves as a potential series with Kirkman serving as creator/executive producer and writer. Your destination for all news and merchandise from Robert Kirkman, The Walking Deadand all Skybound titles is www.Skybound.com.

About Image Comics
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com

About The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine
Published by Titan Magazines and Skybound, The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine will be a complete, in-depth guide to The Walking Dead TV series and comics, featuring exclusive interviews with the show cast, as well as comic editors, illustrators and more. The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine is a must-have companion for fans.

Each 100-page edition also includes the latest revelations from The Walking Dead comic team, including interviews with the creators and features showcasing the creative process behind the art. Plus,The Walking Dead creator and writer/executive producer for the show, Robert Kirkman, reveals the latest news from the set and answers fans’ questions.

Issue #1 will be available on newsstands and in specialty comic book stores in the U.S. from October 23, U.K. from November 8 and Australia & New Zealand from December 18.

For more information on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit:

Connect with The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine:

About Titan Magazines
Titan Magazines is the largest and most experienced publisher of licensed entertainment magazines and comics in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Licensing partners include: Aardman - ABC - BBC - Bongo - CBS - DC - Disney - Hasbro - LucasFilm - MGM - NBC - Nickelodeon - Paramount - Twentieth Century Fox - WWE - Mattel

For more information, visit:

About The Walking Dead (TV series)
 “The Walking Dead” is the number one drama series in basic cable history for Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.  Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, “The Walking Dead” tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series, which garnered a 2010 Golden Globe® nomination for Best Television Series – Drama and won the 2011 and 2012 Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Prosthetic Make-Up, stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Scott Wilson, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira and David Morrissey.  Season three of "The Walking Dead" is executive produced by showrunner Glen Mazzara, Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncanny Avengers #1 - Review


Uncanny Avengers #1 - Team Roster: Thor, Havok, Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Captain America, and Wolverine.


The first book in the Marvel NOW! line of comics hit store shelves today and picks up where the events of “Avengers Vs. X-Men” left off. Captain America realizes that he’s been ignoring mutant rights and decides to restructure the Avengers to be comprised equally of X-Men. With Cyclops imprisoned for his crimes with the Phoenix Force, Alex Summers AKA Havok is chosen to help lead the new team.

But Summers isn’t ready to take the spotlight. And an old enemy has seen an opportunity in the current state of the world and it’s views on mutants. It’ll take the combined might of Earth’s mightiest heroes and strongest mutants to stop the threat.

Rick Remender and John Cassaday have knocked it out of the park with Uncanny Avengers. Since the release of the blockbuster movie, fans have been waiting for a fresh new take on Marvel’s premier team. This series is setup as being the bridge that needed to be built between the Avengers and the X-Men.

The characters in this first issue all feel genuine. Every character from Wolverine to Captain America feel like they’ve been plucked right from their own series. When the book starts, it seems that it’s going to be X-Men heavy, but ends up balancing the two different sets of characters so that everyone gets equal panel time.

If this is any indication of how Marvel NOW! is going to be, then we’re in for a real treat. It’s really just a change of creative teams and a bit of a shake-up in the Marvel Universe, but it makes a big difference.

Uncanny Avengers #1 is well worth the time for any X-Men or Avengers fan.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 - Review




Frank Miller’s seminal tale of Batman returning from retirement has gotten an animated film adaptation. And it’s glorious. For those not familiar with the story, it’s been a decade since Batman was last seen in Gotham City, and it’s worse than it ever was before. A horrible militant gang called the Mutants is killing anyone they cross, and the police are helpless against their numbers and firepower.

Bruce Wayne sees a world without Batman and won’t stand for it. Now, as an elderly man, Batman returns to Gotham City with new enemies and unlikely allies. If its war the Mutants want, its war they’re going to get.

Elderly Bruce and WAY old Alfred

 I can remember the first time I read Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Once you’ve experienced that graphic novel you can never look at Batman the same way again. The gritty characters, the much darker tone, and the natural progression of The Dark Knight make for one of the best sequential art pieces ever created.

Batman on his first night back out on patrol

 I was worried when the film was scheduled to be the next DC Universe animated feature, but after five minutes into the story I knew that it was one of the best Batman adaptations ever. Not only does it capture the essence of the graphic novel, it also digs deep into an elderly Bruce Wayne’s psyche. There are some scenes that are just plain mind-bending, and the film is exceptional because of those risky moments.

The Dark Knight and Robin take on the Mutant Leader

The voice cast is outstanding. Peter Weller (Robocop) plays Batman/Bruce Wayne and nails the old and gravel-filled voice of The Dark Knight. Ariel Winter (ParaNorman) voices Carrie Kelly/Robin and makes anyone who watches it believe that she’s the character through and through. The only thing that I wish I got more of, though I know it’s coming in the next film, is Michael Emerson (Lost) as the Joker. His closing line is completely worth the wait until the next installment.

Carrie Kelly - Robin

Here’s the bottom line – this isn’t your dad’s version of Batman. This is the book, paired with Watchmen, that helped usher in the new age of comics in the 80’s. It’s dark, powerful, and examines crime-fighters in a very realistic light while still being based in fantasy.

This adaptation is faithful and expands upon the original story in a brand new medium. If you thought The Dark Knight Rises was good, you should see the book it took most of its influences from.

RATING: 9.5/10

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14 - Review




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14 – Review

If there’s one thing that IDW Publishing does right, its licensed properties. I’ve been vocalizing how much I enjoy the ongoing Ghostbusters title that they put out each month, and I recently rediscovered how much I enjoy the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that they’ve been doing. It’s a re-imaging of the origin story by original creator Kevin Eastman, and it might be the update that older Turtle fans have been looking for.

With that said this issue by itself was very emotional and touching.

Casey Jones is much younger in this incarnation of the franchise, and has an abusive father who beats him within an inch of his life nearly every night. Raphael had rescued Casey before, and when Casey shows up with even worse injuries he rushes off to do the same to Mr. Jones.

But Splinter has a much different idea of how to handle the situation, and it results in a wonderful philosophic discussion about violence creating violence between the master and student. It’s also a wonderful story about how people who are physically abused by a parent feel that they have to deal with the pain and problems alone. Then goes on to help victims realize that there’s always someone willing to help, as long as you’re willing to let them in.

The story by Eastman and Tom Waltz is really heart-felt and makes for a great new take on the mutant heroes. Aside from the touching story about Casey Jones, we get a story of inter-dimensional conquest with Krang, who is set up as the next big villain in the series.

This issue is a great jumping on point for new readers. I had only read the first issue of the series and picked up #14 on a whim. I had no problem understanding what was going on, and I was immediately pulled in by the story and characters.

If you’re looking for a take on the heroes in half shell that you’ve never seen before, this is the material that you should be reading.

RATING: 9/10

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wonder Woman #0 - Review



Young Princess Diana is on a quest to prove herself as a true Amazon warrior by training with an unlikely ally. When she faces off against one of mythology's most powerful monsters, it'll take everything that Diana's teacher and the Amazons have shown her in the art of war.

This comic was just plain fun.

The new Wonder Woman title by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang has been dynamite, and this issue changed things up by returning to a more retro-styled comic book narrative. The whole thing reads like an adventure story from the 40's, which is a type of whimsical storytelling that sometimes gets overlooked in the modern world of gritty and dark comics.

The artwork by Chiang has a little bit of an older looking style this time around, but it really fits the story that Azzarello is telling. The characters are all very expressive and lively in every panel. The cartooning jumps off the page just as much on scenes where characters are just exchanging dialogue.

Diana has always been the heaviest hitting woman in the DC Universe. Her previous series have sometimes gotten shaky after a few issues, but the team on the New 52 version of the character knows how to treat the fairer member of the Trinity (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman).

If you're looking to get girls into comics, or if you just love retro storytelling, this issue is perfect.

RATING: 9/10

Monday, September 17, 2012

Justice League International Volume 1: The Signal Masters – Review


It's like pure 80's Action and Adventure




The world is changing. People with extraordinary abilities are showing up quickly on both sides of the law. The Justice League is here for our protection, but they don’t answer to the governments of the world. A radical new idea creates a new Justice League, an international team designed to work for the United Nations to combat threats. But before the JLI can stop the world from being destroyed by giant machines, they’ll have to learn to trust their shaky team leader, Booster Gold.

Written by Dan Jurgens, this whole series is a throwback to the wacky adventures of the DC Universe and its lesser known characters. The team consists of Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Godiva, August General in Iron, Rocket Red, Vixen, and Batman (unofficially).

Now if you don’t recognize some of those hero names, don’t be scared, neither did I. But I’ve always had a fascination with the B and C list characters, and this book uses them in a really creative way. It’s interesting to see the characters we never rely on to save the world take up arms against gigantic cosmic threats.

It’s all a part of what gives this series its charm and Jurgens seems to have a high respect for these characters.

The artwork by Aaron Lopresti has an open and classic feel to it. In fact, the whole book reads like a series from the 80’s. Which really makes it all the more fun to devour. The scenes where Booster Gold and Batman chat with each other are a treat in terms of comic book fandom.

The only thing that might detract readers from this book is that it doesn’t have many heavy hitting characters on the team. If you’re the type of person who won’t read anything that doesn’t have the main JL team involved, this isn’t the book for you.

But if you’re looking for something to read on a rainy day with lots of action and adventure, this would be a good book to pick up and have with a hot beverage.

RATING: 7/10


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Manhattan Projects #6 - Review



Jonathan Hickman’s alternate history epic about the men involved in the Manhattan projects is outstanding. Every issue has given us laughs, dark turns, and visions of a super science era that only exists in Hickman’s mind. This issue kept in line with the rest and gave us a peek at Star City, the hidden gem of the U.S.S.R.

This series reminds me of Doctor Who in the sense that it’s a great place for fans of history and fans of science fiction to meet in the middle. Hickman takes actual events and spins them into his own web of make believe that nearly convinces you that there are inter-dimensional gates and multiple alien encounters in our hidden history.

The artwork by Nick Pitarra is very expressive and original. The displays of violence, technology, and human emotion all seem to work flawlessly on the panels and pages. When you pair it with Jordie Bellaire’s colors, you get bright and expanding art that feels like it has a life of its own on the paper (or screen if you’re reading digital).

Image Comics has been pumping out books that are breaking the boundaries left and right, and The Manhattan Projects is one of the genre-bending series that shows that there’s more room in comic books for original concepts.

RATING: 9/10

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Attack Stack - 9/12/12

A Wednesday full of Emotions

This Wednesday didn't have nearly as many issues waiting for me in my pull box at the comic book store. But I was surprised at the amount of strong emotions I got in the few that did show up.

Out of the comics pictured, Batman, Batman and Robin, and Action Comics were the most poignant. American Vampire and Punk Rock Jesus were still great issues. All of them were great stories, but the first three really had strong and iconic moments this month.

BATMAN #0

In Batman #0 they explore one of Bruce Wayne's first missions as a vigilante, but without a costume or clear purpose. We also get to see The Red Hood in his early days, which is a real treat.

The part of the issue that was so powerful was the backup story about the different members of the bat-family when they were younger. Each of them experiences the idea of Batman in a different way and are finally inspired by the signal being flashed up in the sky. It really made me hope that the message and symbolism that Batman carries stands out to as many people as it does to me.

What does it mean?

It means something different to everyone. But the Batman symbol, at least to me, means standing against the darkness of the world and doing what you can to help others who can't fight back.

ACTION COMICS #0

A very similar sort of thing happened in Action Comics #0 this month. Now it didn't come out this week, I forgot to pick it up last Wednesday, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still really powerful. The main story has to deal with Superman losing his cape during one of his first conflicts, and a young kid taking the indestructible cloth home.

The kid who takes the cape home stands up to his abusive father (or his mom's boyfriend) and saves the lives of both himself and his brother. The story was about standing up to the bully, which the original incarnation of Superman was all about.

I think that people really forget that he was supposed to be the symbol of the oppressed. Much like how Batman's symbol means something that comes from the urge to fight back the darkness, Superman's symbol reminds us that if just one of us is willing to stand up to villains in the world, it would be a better place.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #0

I like Robin. There, I said it. I like all the Robins as a matter of fact. I think that the position of The Dark Knight's sidekick gets played down and dumped on a lot, but it's one of the most important in all of comic book lore.

This story focused on Damian, Bruce Wayne's son, who trains all his life to earn the right to know who his father is. There's an adorable and creepy moment where he discovers one of Bruce's old costumes and puts it on as a young child.

Damian has always been interesting because he's far more dangerous that Batman is. He has a taste for murder and is more likely to send someone to the hospital or the morgue than any other member of the bat-family. Even Jason Todd (The Red Hood), and that's saying something.

WRAP UP

I might talk a little bit about my Image titles that I didn't get to read, what with all the school work I had to do, but I just wanted to share these thoughts about these iconic characters.

I think that people forget that it's not so much about the punching and explosions when it comes to superheroes, but it's more about what they stand for. DC characters have always been about being people you could aspire to if given great power. These issues were examples of why it's important to remind everyone about them.

Marvel, that's a whole different set of importance for a different day.

Enjoy your Wednesday!



Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Which Mr. Ken Porter Becomes Spider-Man (Nearly)


AN ARACHNID FAKE-OUT


I was sitting in AuSable Hall at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, when I was given an incredible false hope. While my face was buried in a textbook about document design, I suddenly got a tingle in the back of my neck to look up from where I was sitting.

A spider was descending from the roof on a single thread of web.

-Dramatic Reenactment-

Some people are afraid of spiders. It’s supposedly a big deal. Personally I think spiders are wonderful for getting rid of flies. I mean really, spiders are silent, but flies are loud as hell and never leave you alone. It’s like the annoying person at work that wants to show you all their family photos when you could give two shits about them.

Hell, I don’t even give a single shit.

So anyway, back to my nerdy train of thought.

As the spider came down my first thought wasn’t, oh my god, here comes a spider, I need to get the hell out of his way. In fact, my real line of thought was, oh my god, here comes a spider, he’s going to dramatically bite me and give me superpowers.

It was just the perfect setup. Here I am, at a university, minding my own business AND wearing glasses, and BOOM! Spider bite.

It’s really unfortunate for the citizens of Michigan that it only rested on my hair before hopping down to the bench I was sitting on. A whole era of crime fighting ended with a spider that just didn’t have the balls to bite a young man with a laptop.

-This looks like it hurts-


Now I don’t have any way of proving that he would have given me powers. I’m not a scientist. But I do know science fiction, and the laws of science fiction really purely on coincidence and awesome made-up words.

So based on that style of logic it did have radioactive properties and I just missed out on an excuse to buy that skintight spandex suit I’ve always wanted. Although I feel like I might have a better chance at Christmas to get the suit if I’m good, and a relatively slim chance of this ever happening again with superpowers involved.



Zeroes to Heroes - Wednesday Attack Stack 9/5/12



WEDNESDAY ATTACK STACK


I always get incredibly excited for Wednesdays. Not only do I get to go to my local comic book shop to pick up the week’s releases (which I’ll talk about below), but I also get that rush for wanting to write my own comics to someday grace the racks across the country.

Until that happens I can deal with the methadone clinic type of satisfaction I get from new stories every week.

In terms of writing comic scripts and working on projects I’m nearly 100 percent back on track. I spent much of my free time, outside of work and school, working on pitches for a couple of stories that I had written.

After that I went into a writer’s block sort of state that my therapist tells me shouldn’t be disclosed openly on the web. Okay, so I might have caused a few pile-ups on the freeway, but I swear that the animals were escaping the zoo long before I pulled the switch to let them all out.

In short, I’m writing new stories and things couldn’t be better.

But that’s not all!

Since I’m starting to gain more momentum and actually work in the comics industry, I’ve decided to stop reviewing on my own site.

Now that doesn’t mean I won’t talk about books I recommend to other people, or about other forms of media that strike my fancy, but I need to stop critiquing so much.

Why?

Because I don’t feel comfortable telling other people in my field how to do their job when I’m trying to do the exact same thing. Plus, many of them are much better at it than I am right now and I don’t need to make any enemies.

So will there still be reviews? Yes. It’s called “Sequential Review.” I’d be stupid not to have them. But I’m going to start outsourcing my reviews to some of my friends. I know that makes my friends sound like a third world country, but I’m okay with that until one of them says something about it.

BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK

These are the books I read this week and some blurbs about how I felt about them. They’re not reviews. Although they might sound that way because I'm so used to doing it. I really just want to discuss the craft of sequential storytelling every Wednesday.

I’d say it’s more like you and I are sitting at a table, having a cup of coffee, and we’re going through my stack together. Maybe we catch a glance of a beautiful woman walking her dog outside the coffee shop window, and maybe you spill a frozen drink on my MacBook. Either way, we’re going to have a good time.

But you still owe me a new MacBook.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #14 – Marvel Comics


What can I say about Miles Morales that I haven’t already said? He’s a fun character who should have been in the Marvel Universe a long time ago, even if it is the Ultimate Universe.

He’s got a good back and forth with Ultimate Captain America, and I can’t wait to see how their training goes after Morales’ interesting approach against The Rhino.

PHANTOM STRANGER #0 – DC Comics


I bought A LOT of DC Comics this week. The zero issue bugs bit me and I fell into the marketing trap. But to be honest, I really enjoy DC and the characters they have in their stable.

The sad thing is that I just really didn’t enjoy this too much. He’s got an interesting angle, but it didn’t hook me.

I do think that people who like Dial H will enjoy this, so if you read that series you should pick this up.

GREEN LANTERN #0 – DC Comics


Green Lantern has been surprising me lately. I dropped off around the sixth issue, but I’m finding myself being drawn back in.

Simon Baz is the GL who is introduced in this issue, and has a very different back-story than many of the other characters that use a power ring.

Many people are just freaking out over the fact that he’s an Arab American, but that doesn’t define who he is. It’s a very different approach on the Green Lantern series, but I’ve found that every GL has their moment to shine.

Also, big props to Geoff Johns for throwing another Michigan city in there.

BATWING #0 – DC Comics


Batwing is a title I got into after the New 52 premier. I actually just read the first issue only a week ago. I just got the first trade paperback in the mail and I’m excited to read it.

I’ve been all about Batman Incorporated, but I haven’t delved into it as deeply as I should be.

The African setting and the whole new set of problems that this character has to deal with intrigue me.

EARTH 2 #0 – DC Comics


This is a series that I really enjoy, but I felt a little lost on this one. While I do remember the inclusion of the narrator of this issue in previous stories, I don’t feel like this was as naturally woven in as much of the other stuff.

Is Earth 2 still worth it? Of course it is. Just because I didn’t follow it doesn’t mean other people didn’t like it.

Side note – I really enjoy that they’re called “wonders” in this alternate universe. It makes Mr. 8, the 8th wonder of the world, have a little bit of a cool factor, even if he’s a version of Lex Luthor with a full head of hair. Though he might play a bigger role in the future.

GUARDING THE GLOBE – Vol. 2 #1 – Image Comics


I love the world that Robert Kirkman has built in Invincible. In this title we get to see some of the world’s greatest and strangest heroes fight evils of immense proportions.

And by that I mean the monsters that exist in everyday life.

Just a warning, the part about Brit’s child is a very sad read, but very inspiring.

ANIMAL MAN #0 – DC Comics


Buddy Baker’s newly fleshed out origin is detailed in this issue. Animal Man has been my favorite series for this whole past year. Grant Morrison made me love Baker with his run on the character and Jeff Lemire is expanding that appreciation.

The story is really all about family and how important it is to Baker and how he’ll do anything to protect them or others from harm. It gives him much more motivation for his heroic deeds against threats like The Rot.

It was an added bonus that we got to see The Tailors in an earlier issue to describe their role in making it look like an alien incident the first time around (to change the continuity to that of the New 52), so that it didn’t seem forced in at the last second.

I also love the fact that Baker ended up becoming more powerful on his own and recently received an upgrade to that of a true avatar of The Red in the most recent issues.

It’s made me rethink whose powers I would chose to have if I met a genie. Come on, the whole animal kingdom to mix and use at your disposal -- strength, speed, longer life, and regeneration? Sign me up!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I did pick up a ton of other books this week, but due to school and having that annoying habit of eating and sleeping I won’t be able to get to them.

One thing I will post about is an incredible treasure I found in a back issue box at my local comic book store.

Maybe I’ll replace my usual body functions so that I can post about it. I mean, who needs to breathe anyway?




Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Visionary Comics - Deadlands: Raven Kickstarter Press Release






Visionary is thrilled to announce their continuing partnership with Pinnacle Entertainment Group in the creation of ALL NEW original Deadlands comics! Our first four One-Shots, published by Image Comics, were a critical and financial success, and were hailed as the next wave of All-Star Westerns! These tales featured the industry's top talent for Western-Horror-Steampunk such as Jeff Mariotte, Steve Ellis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Ron Marz, Bart Sears, and more! Those books showed the range of the Deadlands world...now we want to dive deep into the history of its major players and events--starting with the tale of Raven himself!


After the success of the Deadlands One-Shots, we at Visionary decided we wanted to tell THE STORY of how Deadlands came to be...and the obvious place to start was with THE STORY of Raven! Raven is the enigmatic figure behind the Reckoning itself, the twisted shaman whose obsession with vengeance might doom the entire world. Think you already know Raven's tragic tale? We can't wait to show you the story you DON'T know!

We've assembled an ace creative team for this project...


 Matthew Cutter is the Brand-Manager for Deadlands and the main man behind its continuing development. C. Edward Sellner is the creator / writer for THE KID, the one-shot that introduced Billy the Kid into the Deadlands universe, and the CCO of Visionary.

The artist for this series is Greg LaRocque, one of the best known talents in the industry whose work in comics literally defined the look for a generation of fans of THE FLASH and LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Now, he's lending his considerable talent to making Raven the next great comics villain!

Check it out!



About Visionary Comics Studio: After debuting in 2006, Visionary Comics Studio is now one of the most popular, up and coming creative production studios and the largest digital exclusive publisher. By providing freelance talent representation, setting up projects for print publication, and through VCS’ own digital publishing line, VCS has worked with and provided services for just about every major comic publisher. For more information, go to our web site: www.visionarycomics.com

For interviews or review copies email our Vice-President of Marketing Chris McCay at - chrismccay@visionarycomics.com