Category: Archie Comics

Chris’ Comics: Obi-Wan & Anankin and Jughead

I would read that comic!

Obi-Wan_and_Anakin_1_cover_CBRStar Wars: Obi-5Wan and Anakin #1

Charles Soule, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa

Marvel $3.99

Hey look, another Star Wars comic drawn by Marco Checchetto, hope this one works out better than last time.

Coming out earlier than expected is the debut of the new Obi-Wan and Anakin mini-series, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Checchetto. Star Wars hype remain high in the Troy household, and I like the idea of mini-series set between installments of the prequel, so I figured I’d give this debut a shot. While I’m pretty cold towards Soule’s Marvel work (his creator owned stuff is great), I found a lot to enjoy with his contributions to this issue. His dialogue is solid, particularly in a scene set during Anakin’s training in the presence of Senator Palpatine, and his premise for the inaugural issue is fun, with some cool moments. Charles does a lot of things right with the tone and “directing” of this mini, succeeding in telling a captivating story with Obi-Wan and young Anakin where George Lucas has failed.

Like his work on Shattered Empire, Marco Checchetto does a great job of capturing the proper looks for the established characters in this mini, and really shines when it comes to creating new characters and ships. His art perfectly captures the swashing buckling spirit of Soule’s script, making this book a perfect blend of drama and action. I also like some of the smaller, subtle things he adds to the art, like having Anankin’s hair indicate with way the winds are blowing Also man, colorist Andres Mossa really give the book a sweeping, cinematic feel, and making the setting climate feel more harsh and dangerous, while giving the book a cool glow. His contributions to this book are crucial, as the final product would not look as good as it does thanks to what Mossa brings to the table.

Obi-Wan and Anakin is a solid comic set in a time period that made for some pretty awful Star War movies. It seems the creative team has a better handle on this scenario and it’s players, not to mention the hindsight as to what to avoid. Assuming the writing stay the same over the next four issues and Checchetto can stick the deadlines, we should be in for a fun little mini.

jughead2015_03-coverJughead #3

Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson

Archie $3.99

In non-Star Wars news, Jughead remains wonderful. No one is surprised, as I’ve been praising this book since day 1, what with it’s fantastic creative team, which makes reviewing it a bit of a pain. You can only praise a book so many times before sounding like a broken record, so thanks for being good at your jobs Chip and Erica.

Erica Henderson draws the hell out of this issue, which introduces Jughead’s parents and gives us some spy action as Jughead deals with his expulsion from high school. I love the outfits she throws the cast into throughout the book, as Henderson’s fashion sense is better than most creators, and makes the cast all the more believable. Her art is treat for anyone who can appreciate a more animated style for their comics, and for people who like their character wearing age appropriate clothing.

As for writer/noted Canadian Chip Zdarsky, surprise, he’s great too. Asking Zdarsky to writer jokes is like asking me to make grammatical errors, and it’s also frustrating to see him deliver so effortlessly. Part of the fun of this book is seeing what he pulls from when it comes to the dream sequences for this book, and bringing back the Man from A.R.C.H.I.E. is a cool bit of Archie history, not to mention gives the chance to have the writer to have some fun with acronyms.

Jughead joins Saga as one of those books you know you’re bound to get your money’s worth with. It’s 2 very talented people who are doing some career defining work across the medium coming together to create a super enjoyable comic.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Archie Vs Predator Hardcover Edition

Archie_vs._Predator_TPBArchie Vs Predator

Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jason Miller

Dark Horse/Archie Comics, $19.99

The “record shattering number” of Archie comics I buy this year continues to increase, as I now dive into the strange and wonderful world of Archie crossovers!

As I’ve mentioned in my Jughead reviews, I’ve never been much of an Archie guy. However, I’m a definitely the type of guy who’s into the Predator franchise, to the point where I’ve seen both Alien Vs Predator films in theaters on my own accord. You throw a Predator into something and you have my attention, especially when it comes to weird as hell crossovers.

I’ve never championed for an Archie Vs Predator crossover, but who am I to tell Dark Horse and Archie comics how to do business. The 4 issue mini-series is now collected in a nice hard cover, which I have purchased and will tell you about today. Please note that it’s also available in soft covered trade as well, but the hardcover comes with more extras and looks nicer on your bookshelf or coffee table in my opinion. Written by Alex de Campi and drawn in the traditional, pre-reboot Archie style by Fernando Ruiz, this archmpr1p2crossover pits Archie and the gang against one of the deadliest killing machines in the galaxy, and team Archie fares as well as you think they would in this scenario. It is fun stuff, assuming your definition of fun is watching fictional #TEENS getting their heads torn off, which SPOILERS, happens a lot in this book.

Alex DeCampi definitely had a blast writing this book, which you can tell from the dialogue. A lot of the classic Predator lines show up in this book, but refitted for Archie Gang. Which means you get to see Reggie call himself a “Gosh-Darn Sexual Tyrannosaur”, which is great, followed up by Jughead dropping the winner of the 2015 Sickest Burn witnessed by a Chris Troy. Much like the modern Classic Archie Vs Punisher (which gets a brief and welcomed reference in this mini), the whole thing is played straight, but cranked up to 11.

Let it be known that seeing Sabrina the Teenage Witch fall victim to a Mortal Kombat-esque fatality is SUPER JARRING when drawn in that traditional Archie style. Fernando Ruiz is fantastic on this book, channeling classic Archie while exposing them to modern terror. Everything looks so on model, even the Archie-ified Predator. Granted it feels a bit like a step back after seeing Erica Henderson and Fiona Staples work their magic on the Archie books, the book’s humor works all the better thanks to going old school. Ruzi, along with inker Rich Koslowski, and colorist Jason Miller give the reader some truly gruesome art,  but it comes off more as hilarious than it does as ultra-violent thanks to the cartoony 8A6IHTtone and style. It’s kind of the best.

Aside from the 4 issue mini-series, you get several other back up stories including team ups between other Archie and Dark Horse characters (Hellboy and Sabrina!), a cover gallery, a forward and afterword, and a page breakdown. For $20 its a nice collection of material that justifies spending the extra money. The story itself is wonderful, the back up material is solid and the quality of the packaging is superb. If you have an interest in any of these characters, or just like well produced and weird comics, Archie Vs Predator is worth your time in any format.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Jughead #2

Jughead2-webJughead #2

Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson

Archie $3.99

So aside from Phonogram: TIM and Spider-Woman, I had to choose between picking up Jughead and Ms Marvel this past week. I went with Jughead, as it’s a buck cheaper, I love the creative team, and I now have an excuse to pick up Ms Marvel in trade. It’s a win for everyone involved who’s not my checking account! Also I have bought 2 consecutive issues of an Archie comic in the year of our lord 2015, this is definitely a personal record of sorts! Be proud of me.

The 2nd issue of Jughead was something I found highly enjoyable. Jughead’s Time Police is something I’ve heard about in whispers for some now time, so seeing Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson tackle it in this reboot was certainly intriguing. Much like the previous issue, the issue is broken down by first act, “fantasy”-based second arc, the final act, and then a reprint of a classic Archie strip with an hilarious introduction from Chip. While the older material isn’t my cup of tea, I appreciate the format Zdarsky and Henderson have established, and the extra content certainly justifies the $4 price tag.

Jughead2015_02-11-666x1024The 2nd issue continues the debut issue of Jughead and his pals having to deal with the new over-zealous staff at their high school. First and foremost, I love how much Erica Henderson draws from current fashion for the cast’s looks. I’m already familiar with how expressive her art is from her work on Squirrel Girl , but with Jughead, she’s allowed to draw less super heroes and more every day clothing, which is rad. Of course, the stuff with the Time Police requires to take the book’s visuals in a different direction, which is fine, because Henderson’s experience with TUSG gives her some experience with the fantastic. I’m a fan of her colors, well at least I think I am, because I’m 98% certain half the copy I picked up was a victim of several errors when I was printed. But the stuff I’m positive wasn’t messed up come printing looks great, and looking at panels from the digital copy of the book confirmed that my book is sadly a victim of a printing press error.

Everything Chip Zdarsky contributes to this issue is gold. Obviously the humor is on point, which comes as no surprise, give his…well everything. Like go check his twitter account right now for proof. Okay back? Too bad, I’m continuing without you if you’re not. Anyway, Chip’s dialogue is great, chock full of snark and jokes, making this incarnation of Jughead very Spider-Man-esque with the amount of wisecracks per page. But it’s never Jughead2015_02-7overdone, as Zdarsky knows when to reel it back a bit as to not to interfere with the plot. And despite the teen rating due to a realtively dark twist at the end, the book is a clever read that I feel kids who watch stuff like Adventure Time and Steven Universe would dig.

(( I also want to give props to whoever decided Jughead should come off as asexual, but I’m not sure if that’s Chip or Mark Waid‘s doing. It may not be intention, but it’s cool to see a high school male character who’s not all girl crazy for a change, and has very little interest in smooching. ))

Jughead #2 is another fun installment of this really interesting Archie reboot. I really like the overarching “Jughead vs the man, but is still kinda lazy” plot of this new series, while weaving in some weirder elements of Archie’s publishing history into the narrative. It serves the spirit of classic Archie will, but also gives the franchise a much needed modern make over, resulting in a fun, relatively all ages experience.

 

 

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Chris’ Comics: Jughead #1 & Papergirls #1

DISCLAIMER: I will go on the record saying that I believe Chip Zdarsky is NICE MAN, but this comic was bought with my own money.

635793458419385897-Jughead-1RegCvrJughead #1

Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson

Archie Comics, $3.99

Jughead joins the ranks of Afterlife with Archie in being one of the 2 Archie books I’ve bought in the last 2 centuries. Much like Afterlife, the creators on this book warranted me at least checking out the first issue, despite not caring much for the lead character. The record will show that obviously I am a fan of Handsome-for-Canada writer Chip Zdarsky‘s output, and I’ve been enjoying Erica Henderson‘s work on the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  I haven’t been keeping up with the relaunched Archie title by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, so I wasn’t sure what this incarnation of Jughead was like, aside from his love of hamburgers, and chances are he wasn’t a zombie.

Jughead #1 turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Well not that much of a surprise, given the fact I just said I’m a big fan of these creators. I just really appreciated how Henderson and Zdarsky they managed to blend the spirit of these classic iconic comic characters while placing them in a modern setting.

Jughead2015_01-5-666x1024Erica Henderson drawing a teen comedy was a genius move on the behalf of Archie. She excels at drawing various body types and expressions, making her a perfect fit for this title. Her acting and costume designs make the book look like it takes place in 2015, and keeps the character recognizable it. Having her ink and color her own works also helps her art look clean and bold, not unlike Fiona Staples work on Archie proper.

And much like being assigned writing duties on Howard the Duck, Chip Zdarsky couldn’t be a better choice for Jughead. In the afterword, Chip goes on the record stating that he’s a huge fan of Jughead and Archie comics, and it shows in the book. His Jughead is very sarcastic and a bit of a slacker, but ultimately very likable. His dialogue is sharp and hilarious, again much like Howard, but a little more reserved, making it still a teen rated book, only because there’s some serious dept to the humor, and a big ol’ reference to a popular and violent fantasy TV show. It makes for a really fun read.

Jughead #1 is another stellar reinvention of a classic Archie character. I really enjoyed this debut issue, but I’m concerned how long the team with stick around what with Squirrel Girl returning soon, and Chip’s various comments to Marvel and Image comics. Hopefully the pair will be around for awhile, as this book is off to a great start.

 

294389._SX360_QL80_TTD_ Paper Girls #1

Cliff Chiang, Brian K Vaughan, Matt Wilson, Jared K. Fletcher

Image $2.99

Paper Girls #1 was THE comic everyone was talking about at NYCC this year. It’s the first new ongoing writer Brian K Vaughan has launched since Saga, and the first book artist Cliff Chiang has worked on after his Wonder Woman run. It’s been shrouded in secret since it’s announcement, with a premise no one knew much about aside from “suburban paper girls in the late 80s”, with rumors of some sort of bonkers twist to the whole thing. Those rumors were correct to an extent, leading to one of the BEST final page reveals of the year (sorry Invincible Iron Man) in an excellent first issue.

I’ve spoken highly about BKV on this blog multiple times thanks to Saga. Same for colorist Matt Wilson, who’s also working on this book, and is unsurprisingly excellent. Whom I’ve never really talked about around these parts is Cliff Chiang, who’s the perfect artist for a period piece like this. Everything he draws in this debut issue is terrific; the spooky psychedelic dream that kicks this issue off, the character’s body language and dress, and the things related to the twist I dare not spoil. What’s also neat is the subtle but effective reminders that Chiang uses to let the readers know that this whole thing takes place is the 80s, without beating us over the head.  BKV also gets some credit for that, as his “perfect but still natural” dialogue never flirts with nostalgia or worries about being too period accurate. There is one major exception where a homophobic slur is dropped (consider this a trigger warning for the book), but it’s handled pretty well all things considering, as one of the character acknowledges the choice of wording is pretty messed up. It’s good to see that the creative team actually put some thought into that’s word use, instead of just dropping it in the comics and making up excuses for its presence.

Matt Wilson’s colors are gorgeous in this book. He uses a lot of dark blues/purples/pinks for the background, occasionally switching things up to a red or a yellow, and it’s all quite striking. Letter & designer Jared K. Fletcher is the unsung her of the book, contributing some really cool stuff I can’t talk about, but it really sets the book apart from a lot of comics out there. This is a stellar creative team on every level.

I honestly feel the less you know about Paper Girls’ premise, the better you know. What matters is that 4 creators have come together and created a fantastic first issue that’s worth your time and 3 bucks.

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Troy’s Toy, but with Comics: Afterlife Saga

LAST WEEK’S LATE REVIEW:

Secret-Avengers-2014-5Secret Avengers #5

Ales Kot/Michael Walsh/Matthew Wilson

Marvel $3.99

First and foremost, that cover is dope. Tradd Moore’s covers for this series have pretty top-notch so far, but when you toss in ammo crate in goat form with a Wolverine-fish, you get points in my book.

That being said, this book isn’t as light in tone as the cover suggests. There’s a murder mystery aboard the Helicarrier, and one of the Secret Avengers may be guilty. Also one of them may be getting a new super power while another one of them may be suffering from PTSD. There’s a ton of mistrust amongst the team, and this may not end well for S.H.I.E.L.D. once everything is said and done.

Issue 5 is particularly dark, but also incredibly smart. There’s a conversation between Maria Hill and M.O.D.O.K. that shows that Ales Kot isn’t afraid to draw parallels to the current state of the US Military and some of the ugliness that they can be capable of. It puts some blood on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s hand, making the organization a little more grey and grounded than it’s use to.

So yeah, this issue of Secret Avengers isn’t exactly a feel good issue, but it successfully builds tension and leads to interesting character interactions. Well worth the $4.

saga_21Saga #21

Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples

Image $2.99

Team Saga won a number of Eisners again this past Friday, much to the surprise of no one. Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples have yet to disappoint with this title,  and all acclaim given has definitely been earn.

That being said, this new issue of Saga isn’t the most upbeat of issues. There’s a great moment with Hazel, and some sexy times, but for the most part, it’s all building up for some bad stuff. BKV and Staples have been carefully building to an event spoken on the final page of the first chapter of this arc, driving us, the readers insane. The first hints were given last issue, and here they’re expanded up further, making the turning of each page each more dramatic. There’s also a new element tossed in, which is definitely not going to end well for our lead couple.

But like a car wreck on a highway or NASCAR racing event, you can’t help  but watch. It’s done so well, and we already know how it ends, and it’s going to be terrible. But again, BKV and Staples are on top of their games and the end product is craft so well.

Ultimately Saga continues to be great but, but ultimately one that’s going to send me to my grave early, weeeeeeeee!

 

Sabrina02Afterlife with Archie #6

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Francesco Francavilla

Archie $2.99

Spoilers: This was not the happiest of weeks for comics

A lot of comics fall into the habit of being cliche and predictable. You can see the outcome early  in an arc, the status quo is maintained, no one ever stays dead, etc.

Afterlife with Archie is not that book. It is the book that plays a zombie outbreak in Riverdale straight and has lead to some amazing moments. This issue is a done in one focused on Sabrina, the teenage witch. Sabrina is partially responsible for this mess, has been exiled from our realm, and wakes up in a nice house with padded walls.

And the final 2 pages of this story is amazing. There’s a huge twist that’s definitely setting up something big down the road in AwA and Francesco Francavilla draws the hell out of it. And the twist itself is brilliant. You can kind of see it coming if you’re familiar with a partial horror writer, but  it doesn’t take away from the final reveal, especially with how good it looks.

There’s also a preview of a Sabrina solo book by Aguirre-Sacasa, which looks neat as well. It’s weird to see a spin off of a book that’s only six issues deep, but it makes sense once you read everything.

Afterlife with Archie continues to impress, and this is arguable the best looking comic of the year so far. Buy volume 1, and the pick up this issue immediately if you want to be caught up with one of the best horror books on the stands.

 

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What we do is secret… unless you watch the Tuesday Transmission.

Javier of Mini-Mate Minute fame joins me for a full episode.

“Can you see it? No wait, can you see it?”

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Dean Haspiel Signing January 8th

IMPORTANT! DATE CHANGE!

The Fox Signing will now be on the same day as our MINIMUM WAGE #1 on January 8th at the same time! YES!

 

We’re really digging Dean’s new series THE FOX, and to celebrate the new issue we’ll have the man/myth/legend himself on hand JANUARY 8th at 7p.m. to sign comics, draw some stuff, and whatever the heck else he feels like getting into.

FOXsigning-WEB

Here’s a trailer(!) the Archie crowd put together for issue numero tres:

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I have survived NYCC, also I have bought some comics.

1382380_10152054711929050_1301273322_nI survived New York Comic Con 2013 and all I got was….a butt ton of stuff actually. Roughly $180 worth or stuff. No regrets, YOLO and such, because if I review it, I can write it off come tax time, at least I think I can. I now hope my accountant does not read my articles.

And yes,  I’ve decided to use a photo of my wife as part of my convention recap once again, because I like her Spider-Woman costume and she looks SUPER CUTE next to her most favoritest writer Kelly Sue Deconnick, who’s comics I’ve praised often round these parts. NYCC ’13 was rad overall, as I got to enjoy 2 FXX related panels, heard of the return of Stephanie Brown, watched as Marvel announced a TON of new books with awesome female leads, did some cosplay things (Check me out in the NYCC edition of Time Out New York and the Business Insider) and like I said above, bought stuff. A good time was had by all, especially Visa, so let’s get with the talking of comics.

x-men-6X-men #6 (Marvel)

Brian Wood/ David Lopez

$3.99, 20 pages

REJOICE, AS CAPTAIN MARVEL VOLUME 2 RELAUNCHES IN MARCH 2014 WITH DAVID LOPEZ JOINING THE CREATIVE TEAM! BUT ALSO BE SLIGHTLY UPSET, BECAUSE THAT MEANS HE’S NOT DRAWING THE X-MEN AGAIN ANYTIME SOON.

X-Men #6 is proof of why the later sucks, because David is REALLY good at drawing mutants, even when there is a numerous amount of them. At this point in his career, it’s scary to think that he may only get better, because he’s pretty damn good right now. I’m not sure how much of this comic was fully scripted vs. Marvel style, but Lopez’s panels are dynamic, and they deliver the proper drama needed because there are 2 ZOMG! level twists in this book. Also a hilarious scene where a baby floats away in a hamster ball (sorta) and Rachel Grey and Psylocke both being badass. That isn’t to say Brian Wood is a slouch, because chapter 7’s script is a HUGE step up from Chapter 6’s , which is a fine issue, but the stakes are definitely raised in this issue, as secrets are revealed and the plot takes yet another interesting turn. With 3 issues to go, Battle of the Atom continues to deliver thanks to A+ creators like Lopez and Wood, and I’m excited to see how this all wraps up.

 

alwarchie1Afterlife with Archie (Archie Comics)

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/ Francesco Francavilla

$2.99, 20 pages

 

We now live in a world where the Riverdale Gang must survive the zombie apocalypse. Truly this is the best of times.

I couldn’t tell you what the last time I bought an comic published by Archie was, even though I’ve heard a number of their books in the last few years have been both extremely progressive and good. But then they go release a zombie comic drawn by Francesco Francavilla, and BLAM, bought on day 1. It could be the fact that I love zombies, but it’s probably more of the fact that I love Francavilla’s art, which is the pretty legit, and very much gives off that ol’ EC Horror Comics vibe. It’s great stuff, as Aguirre-Sacasa’s handling of the cast is definitely in-tune with their “canon” voices, but obviously this not the Archie you give to your kids, as this issue ends SPOILER with Zombie Jughead SPOILER. Also it is violent and spooky as hell, a little sexy. Well I think Sabrina is cute and man, now I feel extra creepy for typing that. Perfect for the season. Halloween that is, although the Walking Dead hype at NYCC is also fitting in a way.

Short week is short, but don’t worry, I’ll be back real soon to scream about the return of Hawkeye.

 

 

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Somewhere Around The Number Ten Best Comics That Nobody Told You About

Part 1:

I love Chris Ware. Bit redundant to say so this holiday season with everyone and their sister buying Building Stories, but with so much comic awesomeness that happened in 2012; between Charles Burn’s second installment to his X’ed Out trilogy, The Hive, and Brian K. Vaughn’s SagaSAGA… It’s too easy for amazing comics to get lost in the stacks, so I’m here to give my somewhere around the number 10 best comics of 2012 that nobody told you about…

LOSE #4

Michael DeForge might be the most prolific cartoonist working right now. He pumps more work and at a higher quality that would make any other cartoonist want to quit, or work harder…..no quit thats the correct response. On top of Lose #4 this year you can also see his work in the pages of Adventure Time comics, where he does the backgrounds,variant covers, anthology stories in  Nobrow 7 (more on that in a bit) and the newest  KUS, not to mention his on going serial Ant Comics, oh and his porn comic that he designs that features work by Johnny Negron, Brandon Graham, and Jillian Tamaki….more on all of them latter too…Bottom line, DeForge has a hand in everything and you’re probably a fan of his already, so read Lose, or Ant comics, or KUS, or Nobrow, or one of the million other things he worked on this year. King of comics 2012 goes to DeForge, no contest.

The Underwater Welder

Did I mention that DeForge is Canadian? Canadians….must be a universal sigh when cartoonist’s who aren’t Canadian talk about them. Jeff Lemire is another cartoonist hailing from The Great White North. Lemire had a full year of releases with Sweet Tooth Volume 4 and 5, the reprinting of his Xeric grant book Lost Dogs and Underwater Welder. Underwater Welder is for lovers of well paced, clear story telling, and the Twilight Zone. Lemire has an economy to his comics, the art is quick yet purposeful in the same manner as the writing, which rewards the reader with a world that they can envelope themselves in. Lemire is an odd school of cartooning, he’s not so deep into independent styled comics as DeForge, but he isn’t mainstream either (though he does write the only two books at DC still worth reading Animal Man, & Frankenstein Agent of Shade ). He’s a cartoonist in love with genre but doesn’t mistake comics to be only that.

Nipper Volume 3

Nipper Volume 3 finally came out! WOOOOOOO! I might be the only American to love Nipper so go buy it and prove my gross presumption wrong. Keeping in theme with brilliant Canadian cartoonists, Nipper volume 3 is the Canadian version of Family Circus, if Family Circus was anything like a real family and not so adorable that even your grandmother finds it lame. Always silent, black and white line work with one beautiful saturation of red dropped into each panel, Doug Wright creates multi-layered story telling, in the most simple yet still incredible complicated drawing. Just go look already, and then come meet me for coffee to talk about it, I’ll be here till next year trying to describe why it’s so effffffing smart.

Diary Comics 4

Dustin Harbin is yet another broken hearted cartoonist, upset that his nationality isn’t Canadian. Diary Comics 4 starts with Dustin talking about how amazing it is to be in attendance at the Doug Wright rewards (the Canadian version of the Eisners), and how he wishes we as American could take comics as seriously as they do. Why can’t we folks? Dustin’s beautifully minimalist drawings deceive readers with their simplicity, when they are really just the right amount of information needed, each mark done with purpose in mind and simply decroative. Go read em’ they’re good. And if your not a fan of memoir, you just like the punching and kicking comics, he did letter Casanova sooo…..I don’t know Matt Fraction wrote Iron Man for like a century right? See the full picture of creators not just the characters you like….

Pope Hat #3

Pope Hat #3 by Ethan Rilly. Rilly is surprise surprise, another Canadian. Pope Hats is technically 3 issues deep but you really only need/want two and three. In Pope Hats Rilly tells the story of Franny, a young law clerk at a massive law firm, picture Wall Street with less Charlie Sheen….okay no Charlie Sheen, just that one part where he gets punched in the face by Michael Douglas… Rilly drawings show traces of his influences but they don’t unhinge the story. You can see traces of Doug Wright’s drapery in the clothing, and bits of Shultz popping up in the rendering of grass and clouds. It’s like a love letter to days past when cartooning was a profession and getting a weekly strip in a newspaper was the dream. Pope Hats narrative shares a similar tone of nostalgia with its drawing, that bitter sweet pain, from an old wound.

Thats the end of Part 1. Part 2 on Sunday 12/23/12.

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New Comics December 19th 2012

Two days before humanity faces the Rapture or enters The Supercontext or, most likely, just plain wakes up to  another Friday morning (EST, Greenwich Mean Time +2:00 if you’re in Botswana… your results may vary) we face another New Comic Wednesday!!!

Saga #8 8 Fiona Staples Brian K Vaughan

Here’s the full list of what Forbidden Planet NYC will be offering.  Highlights include Saga #8, All New X-Men #4, Avengers #2, Captain America #2, Django Unchained #1, FF #2, Happy #3, and a whole slew of other worthy works.

While I’m at it, why not link to my Graphic Novel pick of the week… The new Archaia printing of Jeremy Bastain’s suh-weeeeeet Cursed Pirate Girl.

This could be your last New Comic Day on this plane of existence.  Or not.  Either way, enjoy the hell out of it!

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D-Arts Mega Man Zero version 2 Review

Also known as Zero: WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOR edition.

This toy PROVES how much of a sucker I am. Yes, I bought X-1 Zero. Yes, I LOVE my X-1 Zero figure. But… but see, this one is the one from the other games! Yeah! I mean that TOTALLY justifies this purchase right?

Oh, who am I kidding, I just bought him because…

Yeah, it’s Zero again. Now with a new figure. Honestly, if I knew they were going to make this one in the first place I probably just would have waited. Overall he has more to offer, but in my opinion neither version of Zero is better than the other when it comes to accessories. I’ll get to that later, though.

In a strange way, the two figures kind of… complement each other. Like you need both of them in order to get the full experience of either toy. Remember how the first version of Zero had those hands that looked like he was giving a thumbs-up? Well, it turns out those are actually to hold the sword. It’s like Bandai was planning this all along! Sneaky.

Both figures have three faces, and while  the “default” faces are the same, the additional ones are different. Version 1 has teeth gritting and looking to the side, while version 2 has yelling and one that’s both gritting his teeth AND looking to the side. Of course, they’re all interchangeable.

The hair piece is the same between both figures. I don’t know why, but I’m still afraid I’m going to break it somehow… Also, the gem on his head is much shinier on the new figure.

From an articulation standpoint, the two are largely the same BUT version 2 has better shoulders. The design has more clearance, thus giving him a better range of movement. However, this comes at somewhat of a price, as they tend to pop out much easier now. Still, point goes to the new one.

One of the biggest advantages the new figure has is the removable parts: they don’t come off! Or at least, they stay on better on this version. This is great. He feels so much sturdier now; like I can actually play with him without him falling apart. Even the elbow guard on the right arm feels sturdier when you take it off to swap out his hand for the buster. It’s always good to see improvement. Continue reading

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DC/DC

DC has a few small comics coming out this week, no big deal. Just, you know, a couple of home-brewed, indie titles you might not care about…they’re so small and insignificant, they’ll prolly only sell a couple of copies. S’no biggie…just, uhm-

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 AND EARTH-2 #2 FEATURING GAY PEOPLE! CALL THE MEDIA! PUT DOWN THAT SANDWICH! YOWZA, GO GET EVERYBODY!

FAIR IS FAIR

Unkiedev is by no means anti-gimmick. If DC put out a comic book with 3D glasses so Batman’s pointy ears were coming right at’cha, or a scratch and sniff cover of Superman’s armpit, I would be the first in line to buy. I do have a problem, however, with lying.

For DC to pretend that Watchmen sequels, prequels, and any other “uels,” is anything more than an excuse to let today’s top talents play in Alan Moore’s sandbox while we the audience get to look on for a nominal fee, they are blowing smoke up our collective kilts.

Listen DC, just don’t tell me this is because you feel there’s an insatiable desire for the compelling stories that may arise. A gimmick is a gimmick. Be honest.

Unkiedev is, as well, not opposed to capitalism. If it was good enough for Ben “Master Turkey Baster” Franklin, it’s good enough for yours truly. I WANT the comic book industry to make money, to thrive and survive. I want great comic book shops like Forbidden Planet to keep the lights on and the registers ringing. I want super-talented writers and artists to earn their living in the industry I love.

I just wish we didn’t need to stoop so low as new Watchmen comics in order to put a dent into the collective attention of mainstream audiences. Breakaway titles, such as Walking Dead, 30 Days of Night, Scott Pilgrim, and Kick-Ass have proven that comics still play just as well to the masses when given the proper room to shine!

AND FOR THE RECORD, Unkiedev is not opposed to being a hypocrite. I will eat an entire bag of Frito corn chips and tell you, all the while, that I hate them. I can’t stand smoking…except for cigars, and pipes, and the occasional “jazz cigarette.”

With one hand I will be waving a finger at myself, accusing “shame” with every waggle as my other hand passes the cash to the cashier in order to get my copy of Before Watchmen The Minutemen #1.

I can hate the sin, and like the sinner, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to like these sinful comics despite myself.

QUEER AS SUPERFOLKS

Similarly, if DC’s publicity department hasn’t ruined the surprise for you, an old DC stalwart is coming out of the titanium closet in Earth-2 #2. I WON’T BE TELLING YOU WHO, but here’s a hint: it’s not LOBO. The New York Times and several other media outlets have beaten me to that punch, but I will be asking a few questions.

Why couldn’t this have happened sooner? Why couldn’t it happen to a current character, not an Earth-2 reboot character? Why did DC feel the need to tell every paper in town about their “little secret?” Is this about storytelling or marketing?

Comics is a business, I can accept that. Marvel made a big public splash getting ink off of the gay marriage between the Alpha-Flight member Northstar and his boyfriend, and Archie comics did the same with their token GLBT character Kevin Keller.

When Marvel announced a few years back that old-timey western comics hero the Rawhide Kid was gay it seemed less like a marketing ploy and more like an interesting story. NOTE TO ANYONE WHO READ THOSE ISSUES: too bad it wasn’t a good story.

And that’s the point. I will support my favorite comics companies, their books, and the stores that sell them…I just wish the industry was getting ink in the press over great stories and not gimmicks, reruns, and controversies.

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More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com

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Saturday May 5th is Free Comic Book Day for 2012!

Forbidden Planet NYC will be giving away bags containing one of each Free Comic Book Day comic that we receive, as well as a coupon for purchases both in-store and online! These are on a first come, first served basis, so ARRIVE EARLY! All-Ages bags will also be provided so that comics fans young and old can enjoy Free Comic Book Day. Once we give out all complete bags we will then distribute any remaining FCBD comics at our discretion. PLUS, we may also have some unannounced stuffs to give away as well.

These goodie bags go fast, so once again: ARRIVE EARLY!

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Comics And Pop Music Panel at C2E2 This Friday

Going to this weekend’s Chicago Con, C2E2?  Dig comics?  Dig music?  Then you’ll want to hit up the Comics and Pop Music Panel, moderated by our buddy Patrick Reed, this Friday night.  Aside from being super knowledgeable and enthusiastic (an understatement) about both subjects, Patrick’s put together quite an eclectic and interesting group of speakers to rap about it.  Here’s the deets:

Speakers: Charles Soule (author, Twenty-Seven, Image Comics), Chris Powell (executive director of business development, Diamond Comics distributors), Dan Parent (artist, Archie Meets Kiss, Archie Comics), Jen VanMeter (author, Image Comics, Oni Press)

Description:
Comic Books and pop music started out as disposable forms delivered in small doses.  Both forms became emblematic of youth culture and rebellion in the mid 20th century, faced endless censorship attempts, and have suffered critical reception from dismissive to derisive.  Here, Patrick Reed (editor of Depth Of Field magazine) brings together and moderates a panel of artists and publishers to discuss the ties between music and graphic storytelling, their common inspirations, the creative and commercial potential in combining the two media, and the history of pop comics– from the Beatlemania tie-ins of the 60s to today’s fan-favorite titles.

Time/Location: Friday, April 13, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, room N426b

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