Category: Contributors

Bunglers and Bummers

I’m not embarrassed to say I fell asleep with my computer open and lights on last night. Or that when I woke up this morning to finish writing, I fell asleep again sitting at my computer. Maybe a little embarrassed. Not enough, obviously, to stop me from mentioning how much I want to burrow inside a pile of blankets like a dog. Pillows piled high, next to a crackling space heater. I think I’m trying to live vicariously through my own words now. You work hard, now you should play hard by buying comics, and crawling into bed to read them.

Letter 44 #6When the conspiracies began to abound back on Earth, I was nervous President Blake was going to be, to borrow a phrase from real politics, a lame duck. But as the first arc of the series comes to a close, Blake has shown us that he will not back down. Nothing Charles Soule does in this story is drawn out, so President Blake kicks ass and takes names, but doesn’t take prisoners, but he’s all out of bubble gum so he might take some of that. Up in the big black emptiness, life has ended for some, and begun for others. Secrets of the aliens are revealed to the remaining crewmembers of the Clarke, but things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Sheltered #8- Sheltered makes you feel bad about yourself. It makes you feel bad because you watch some truly awful people to terrible, terrible things to one another. Instead of just feeling complacent like a reader usually does, I turn every page with trepidation; afraid of what I’ll find waiting for me. Maybe I feel too deeply, maybe Ed Brisson writes this cast with too much callous fervor, or maybe Johnnie Christmas illustrates with too much stylized energy that I can’t help but want to crawl into this comic and punch Lucas (the boy leading a coup against the parents of their pre-apocalyptic encampment for his own psychopathic entertainment). Or maybe I want to do that is because this it really is addictively aggravating to watch imminent disaster looming for these kids in their f’d up Lord of the Flies world, and hope that most of them burn when everything goes downhill.

Love Bunglers HC- All praises be to Jaime Hernandez, and the deliciously poignant masterpiece that is Love Bunglers. Backdoor brag, I’ve read A LOT of Hernandez brothers in my life, but this might possibly be my favorite epic about the girl from Hoppers, Maggie Chascarillo. Life for the Love and Rockets cast of characters has grown increasingly complicated over the 30+ years since its inception. This hardcover release collects all pieces of the Love Bunglers that originally appeared in the ongoing series, Love and Rockets New Stories. Years of character development, history, and heartbreak have culminated in a beautifully illustrated story that captures a slice of middle-aged life, rarely seen in media.

Hernandez_LoveRocketsCalendar-625x483

Brilliant Premiere HC Vol 1- The eternal struggle first contemplated by the great ancient philosophers of time: science and superheroes; can the two mix? I guess my definition of great philosopher would also be Brian Michael Bendis, which is probably why I almost failed it in college. (X-Men aren’t reliable sources when arguing sentiency of personhood). Regardless! In their first creator-owned series together, Bendis and Bagley pitted their own college geniuses against the mystery of superpowers, and had them tinker until the powers ticked back. Where does the true power of the world lie when all it’s seemingly magical doors are opened, and everyone’s nerves are exposed?

Bunker #3- I’ve started and stopped three times trying to write a preview as to why you should pick up this time traveling, conspiracy creating, and friendship unraveling, without giving something away. But I can’t do it. Fialkov is too good. He’s too smart, and no thread starts to pull in this series without the whole sweater (or you know, the world) falling apart.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Mall Rabbit edition

Happy Day Before Left Over Easter Candy Goes on sale, FPNYC Faithful! May you not be struck with the diabetes until you deem your own life meaningless.

Jesus Christ, that was a dark intro.

Anywho, Awesomecon & Wondercon are currently going down in Washington DC and Somewhere, CA, and I’m just tired looking at other people’s photos. I am getting old, and am  possibly still winded from PAX East. I suggest that you never get old dear reader, it is the worst.

Happy Fun Comics Review Time:

 

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_3_20Uncanny X-men #20

Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, Tim Towsend and others.

Marvel, $3.99

Let’s start this discussion by pointing out how sharp that cover it!  Oh sure it’s vaguely reminiscent of 3 Marvel Universe hand guide images overlapping each other, but it’s simplistic enough to work. Good job by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend on it.

The interior is also pretty great. After a false start, the X-Men vs SHEILD throw down we’ve been promised begins, with Scott Summers and friends firing off the first few rounds. The “renegade” X-Men finally begin to live up to their rep, but not in a way that makes them undesirable leads (Unless you’re one of those weirdos who’ve never liked Cyke, shame on you).

And props to Brian Michael Bendis for being able to juggle so many plot lines in this issue without it becoming overbearing.  Seeds planted from earlier arc begins to blossom, and hopefully this is the arc where we finally get some answers.

I was kind of worried that the hot streak that Uncanny X-men has been one would come to an end once a multi-chapter arc started up, but I am happy to report that my concerns were for naught (so far). Chris Bachalo and his team of inkers continue to provide excellent art, much to the surprise of no one. And Bendis’ scripts continue to be the perfect blend of humor, action and drama. Ending this book on a Saga-worthy cliffhanger only makes this issue of Uncanny X-men more of a can’t miss, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for Cyclops and the others next month.

 

portrait_incredible (2)Ms. Marvel #3

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99

Years of sub par events and multi-chapter storylines have left me burnt out on decompressed comics for the most parts. Especially when it comes to origins stories that could be told in 1 or 2 chapters. But like Bendis, Bagely and Ultimate Spider-Man before them, Team Ms Marvel continues to deliver with the 3rd chapter of this 5 part  origin story.

 

There’s a lot of similar story beats between Spider-Man and Ms Marvel, and I mean that in the best sort of way. G. Willow Wilson and  Adrian Alphona are doing an excellent job building up both Kamala Khan and the world around her. They’ve realized that giving the new Ms. Marvel a good supporting cast and dynamic locale to operate in is crucial to good story telling, and Ian Harring‘s color art make it a vibrant setting . Much like Manhattan and Spidey, Jersey City and Ms Marvel compliment each other, and the comic is stronger because of it.

The incredibly diverse supporting cast consisting of Kamala’s family, friends and peers is not unlike Spidey’s various colleagues, but are very much their own characters. They come across as fresh faces, opposed being the archetype that Stan Lee & Steve Dikto established back when they redefined super hero comics in the early 60s.

With Kelly Sue Deconnick doing wonderful things with Carol Danvers over the last few years, it seemed difficult to think Marvel would be able to strike oil twice with characters titled Ms Marvel. But after 3 issues, it seems that team Ms Marvel are willing to defy everyone’s expectations, possibly surpassing the book it spun out of it. Which is great for both the creators and readers in the end.

 

All-New_Ultimates_1_Nakayama_Cover-600x899All New Ultimates #1

Michel Fiffe, Amilca Pinna, Nolan Woodward

Marvel $3.99

With the ol’ pull list looking a little thin over the new few weeks ( all my Image books are on hiatus, Hawkeye’s been delayed a month), I decided to revisit the Ultimate Universe this week. I haven’t purchased a Ultimate title in forever ( I have been following Miles over in USM via the Marvel Digital Unlimited thingie though), but when I heard Michel Fiffe of COPRA fame was penning an Ultimates relaunch, I was more than willing to give this book a shot.

 

Fefe, along with Amilcar Pinna and Nolan Woodard don’t do anything ground breaking with their debut issue, but there’s a ton of interesting ideas and concepts dropped within 20 pages. For example, there’s exactly 0 white dudes on this team, which says a lot, given how Caucasian heavy the 616 Avengers roster issue is. And the Ultimatization of several more obscure Dwayne McDuffie/Mark Gruenwald -created characters is welcomed, as there’s some potential for cool things to be done with them.

The surprisingly dense script is accompanied by some good visuals. Pinna’s art’s good for the most part, but there’s some off-looking panels here and there (like the 2 pages Kitty Pryde shows up on). Fortunately, Nolan Woodard’s colors are exceptionally strong and do a lot for the penciled and ink art. It’s very neon for a lack of better word, but not in a 80s revival way, and works for the “Warriors meets Taiyo Matsumoto” vibe Fife is going for.

Minor art issues aside, I really dug this book. While I’m not expecting the 2nd coming of COPRA or anything, I have high hopes for this series, and am excited to see what the creators have in store.

 

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Vita’s Last Tuesday Transmission.

On this weeks installment of the Tuesday Transmission we go over a bulk of the new releases, interview Burgess of the Druid Underground Film Festival, and say farewell to the wonderful Vita Ayala.

We will miss you Vita!

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Poetry in Motion

Here’s a poem about the Portland – Seattle bus trip I’m on right now:

Bolt Bus, you smell like booze
I think someone mistook you for a cruise.
You let us travel with free wi-fi,
But half the time it doesn’t work and I want to cry.
The sun is shining outside your windows,
But here I sit inside you, writing poetry, not prose.
Dude, the girl in front of you doesn’t want to talk,
I’m sorry you can’t take a hint, but you gonna walk.
Thank you, bolt bus, for cheap public transportation,
Are we there yet? I have to pee.

Also, a tip from the weekend:
When people tell you to drink a lot of water at a convention, and then volunteers proceed to hand you free water, don’t turn it down, you moron (me).

The Auteur #2- A new effing Auteur. I won’t lie, this is the comic I wish I had made, if I had ever attempted to make a comic. The art is humorously violent; the dialogue is reminiscent of a mental breakdown (maybe epiphany?) on a rampage; and characters are the best type of messed up, the type that have little redeemable characteristics, which is a rarity in any story. The story thus far: pure pandemonium! Our flop of a producer, Nathan T. Rex….holy shit, I’ve read his name so many times that I just realized his name, ugh I am a moron; anyways….Mr. Rex is trying to get his horror film Presidents Day off the ground, and hiring a real serial killer is sure to bring some realism to the project. Too bad he has to get him out of jail first, and make a mockery of the justice system. God bless America.

Solar Man of the Atom #1- Where Frank Barbiere goes, so I go too. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until I die (when my hyperbole’s will never be challenged). Picking up another Gold Key mantel under Dynamite, Barbiere brings back a fansinating superhero, Solar Man of the Atom. A physicist who is transformed into nuclear energy is having some problems with his super power and his estranged daughter might the only one who can save his power. This smartly written number one issue is part origin story, part destruction story, and combines the power of hard science with the flexibility of science fiction. Artist Joe Bennett is highly skilled in bringing superheroes to life with a slew of work under both Marvel and DC, but the homage to ‘60s pulp science, Solar’s beginning, lends itself to this book in everyone’s favor. With a lot of history behind the character from Gold Key, to Jim Shooter’s take with Valiant in the ‘90s, and even bouncing to Dark Horse, Barbiere has a lot of material to mine from. But he’s definitely managed to make his characters and the story brand new again.

 

Sex Criminals TPB Vol 1- This book doesn’t really need my help to sell. Judging by the fact that every single issue goes back to the printers around four times, and even 2nd printings of 4th cover printings. It doesn’t end with these two. Two being Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction. These two share a rapport that goes beyond their comics and the internet, and infuses itself in the characters that we as an audience are so rapt to follow to see what sex-capades they get up to in their pursuit of money, acceptance, and maybe a little love. Suzie and Jon are full of wit, and they are ready to hit it…with each other. More than just a funny sex book, these characters are some of the most complex I’ve ever seen on pages, and their special sex-having/time-stopping abilities aren’t their defining characterstics. It’s what creates the story, moves the plot, but there’s a lot of depth under the surface, which is what makes people keep coming back for more. That and brimping. The intense character building and the brimping. (They tell me a detailed explanation of brimping would be inappropriate for publication, so I guess you’ll have to read it to find out)


White Suits #3- Has it been long enough since I last talked about White Suits? If I’m not mentioned this Barbiere and Cypress book on a weekly, nay, daily basis, then I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Mob crime done right. The key to the success in his writing comes from his ability to cut all the stuff that doesn’t matter, and par the story down to the essential scenes that move the story along without page filing fluff. All of the writing necessary to a novel, does not translate into comics, which is why each panel is full of Russian mercenaries, the mysterious White Suits, and our main characters as hostages in Chinatown. Obivously there’s more than happens in between the lines of Toby Cypress’s impressionist and dreamlike work; the action is tightly coiled, and ready to spring at any moment. Cypress and Barbiere perfectly combine the show v. tell conundrum, that can render even the best comic story a humdrum.

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7th Annual Druid Undergeround Film Festival

Forbidden Planet is beyond stoked to be sponsoring The 7th Annual Druid Underground Film Festival. It’s just one short week away so prepare to have your minds melted!

DUFF

THE 7th ANNUAL DRUID UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

Check the facebook event page HERE!

Official website: www.druidundergroundfilmfestival.com

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave at 2nd St NYC 10003
Near Broadway-Lafayette St B,D,F,M Trains

Mon+Tues April 21st + 22nd 8pm

$10 Admission
FREE Raffle!

After a tour of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Druid Underground Film Festival plunges into New York to deliver a white-knuckle hell-ride of avant-weird short films from around the world! Anthology Film Archives hosts a non-stop cavalcade of outrageous films which recklessly skate through experimental, comedy and horror as DUFF rips into its 7th year of absurd and inspiring programming! Join us for a night of bizarre films and free raffle prizes and find out why Flavorpill says DUFF doesn’t so much “defy convention as mow it down, douse it in kerosene, and flick a Zippo at it”!

“An entertaining parade of talent that is hard to find… a hilarious must-see!” – Campus Circle
“Velvety surrealism… appallingly funny” – LA City Beat
“DUFF strikes new territory… left me electric for days” – Sean Carnage
“Packs a lot of weird shit into two hours of screenings” – LA Weekly

PROGRAM:

NIGHT I
Monday April 21st
8pm

Part 1: DUFF’s Found Footage Assault
A hardcore, one-hour hell-ride mega-mash up of absurd footage sourced from VHS tapes of police self defense, Christian propaganda and “real” demonic possession!

Part 2: Shorts Program:

Damon Packard: “The Great Packard Lincoln Breakdown”
Darren Herczeg: “Psychic Lawyer”
Brennan Hill: “Hero/Psycho”
Danilo Parra: “Laundry”
Charles Pieper: “Earl of Bureaus”
Danilo Parra: “Torture Room”
Vitamin Wig C: “Tear Light”
Rich Polysorbate: “Smerdly’s Seahorse”
Ignacio Genzon: “Handy Man”
John Geary: “Devil’s Arrest”
Michael Park: “Clown Town”

NIGHT II
Tuesday April 22nd
8pm

Part 1: Shorts Program:

Brent Weinbach: “My Buddy Commercial”
Brent Weinbach: “Gangster Party Line”
Danny Plotnick “Skate Witches”
Sander Maran “Lollipop Massacre”
Jan Soldat “Law and Order”
Melissa Piekaar “Waiting”
Brent Weinbach “Squeeze”
Aimee Goguen “Pterodaktulos Sound”
Lindsay Laven and Gina@Odpoledne TV “An Instrument of Ritual Part 3”
Andrew H. Shirley “Fuck Bike #001”
Martynka Wawrzyniak “Chocolate”
Anthony Cerniello “Danielle”

Part 2: The Whore Church Mixtape Vol. 1
The Whore Church, a Boston-based VHS mixtape collective, has created a cacophony of over-the-top action shots, cheap gore, gross porno and American propaganda intercut with sleazy 80’s dialog, nasty jungle rhythms and death metal edited from over 600 video & 100 audio sources! Seriously sick and awesome!

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Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Figures

Marvel has released the following image of Hasbro’s forthcoming (tentatively scheduled mid/late July 2014) Guardians of the Galaxy figures. Guardians of the Galaxy Toy, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Starlord

I’m probably more excited for this flick more than any other movie Marvel’s got on its slate, so the sight of these toys has only got me more excited. You?

In classic Marvel Legends fashion each standard figure comes with a piece of Groot, so you’ve got to collect them all to put him together. But doesn’t he look so fantastically Grooty?

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April 16th 8PM Turkish Captain America @ Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers

Horror Boobs‘ Matt Desiderio and Mike Hunchback are back at the Alamo baby! Can’t get enough of Captain America, well how about Turkish Captain America! If that doesn’t tickle your fancy we’ll throw Turkish Spider-Man and Santo the Luchador in there too.

In this installment of the Video Vortex series we are treated to 3 Dev Adam! Screened from VHS and tickets only a buck, what more can you ask for? Let’s get bonkers in Yonkers!

Horror Boobs Presents Turkish Captain American and Santo Vs Turkish Spider-Man A.K.A 3 Dev Adam
Wednesday April 16th 8PM
1 Dollor (Wow that’s cheap!}
Alamo Drafthouse
2548 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10710

Tickets available HERE.

Join the Facebook event page HERE

3DEVADAM

 

Why do people keep making movies about Marvel super-heroes when the best one already exists? A maniacal psychopath known as Spider-Man is on a crime spree. He steals golden statues, attacks strippers in strip clubs, and murders people with shower nozzles, speedboat motors, and guinea pigs. In addition, Spider-Man’s bushy eyebrows pop through his mask-holes and he prefers a switchblade over web-shooters. Naturally, the legendary super-hero team of Captain America and El Santo are called in to take care of business. AND THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS. Upside down drop kicks in karate dojos! Fistfights on top of speeding cars! Spider-Man’s ability to clone himself at will (and often)! With non-stop fights and a total disregard for logic, this movie illustrates the proper way to realize the dreams of a thirteen-year-old without spending two hundred bazillion dollars doing it. At one point, Spider-Man and his girlfriend make love through his costume. Three puppets show up and start laughing. By the way, this movie is Turkish. (Joseph A. Ziemba)

 

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Captain America 2 is the Political Commentary War Movie of Our Generation

If any West Coast readers accidentally read this, maybe they’ll accidentally go to a new show that’s popping up in Portland this weekend. It’s called Linework NW, and it’s a free to the public, one-day show that has been currated by some fine fine Portland folks. There’s also a main opening reception to showcase the highlighted works of Jim Woodring and Michael Deforge. So, if you can travel to the cartoonist mecca this weekend, look up Linework NW and stop on by. Fun for the whole family! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Lumberjanes #1- Lumberjanes reminds me of being a kid, growing up and camping in various Washington State Parks with the Girl Scouts and churchy stuff. Hanging out with pals, making lanyards, watching all the cool kids swim. Alright, so Lumberjanes is probably nothing like my awkward tween camping memories because they do awesome stuff like defeat Yetis, monster wolves and solve mysteries. Headed up by the incessantly charming Noelle Stevenson, and Grace Ellis, with art by Brooke Allen, the new Boom! Box imprint is rolling out its second title (behind the fan fav Midas Touch), with captivating characters and stories that keep reminding you how much fun you’re actually having reading these comics.

Shutter #1- Kate Kristopher’s life is mixed with ancient gods of legend, nest-building urban dinosaurs, and demons on coffee dates, and then things get weird. The daughter of a famed explorer left her fantastical days behind her after a terrible tragedy, but ninja phantasms threaten to pull her back into the thick of things. Joe Keatinge’s a busy man lately, but he and artist/co-creator Leila del Duca have managed to carve out a fantasy/adventure hybrid with modern concerns of a 27 year old New Yorker. Those concerns just happen to include weird family secrets, loneliness, and an energy spewing metal monopoly man. Actually, those sound like concerns of a 27 year old New Yorker. Carry on!

Cosplayers One-Shot- It’s not too often Fantagraphics publishes floppies anymore, so when they do I get pumped. Cartoonist Dash Shaw is known for looking at slices of life with an unusual perspective, one that combines and off-beat humor with growing pains. Cosplayers

cosplayers-600x928examines a culture that is now as tied to comic book culture as….ugh, I can’t think of anything clever enough, you know what I mean. Cosplaying is a really big thing now! And the main characters who are aspiring actors and filmmakers decide to use unsuspecting extras in their quest to achieve top cosplaying levels. But they’re just teens, so nothing will go wrong, right?

 

East of West Vol 2 TP

Reminder to all you trade waiters out there that the second volume of one of the most interesting and compelling comic series is out today. Jonathan Hickman’s fantasy/sci-fi western has the cast splintered, and traversing the dystopian America trying to stop the Chosen from completely destroying the world. If you just can’t stand waiting for the next trade to come out after this one, you’re in luck! Issue #11 also drops today.

 

I feel bad even writing about the next few books, because they really don’t need my help to sell, they’ll probably be the highest selling books of the week, with no help from me. But I’m just so gosh excited that they’re coming out. This week definitely belongs to Marvel:

 

All New Doop #1- We all know it, he’s you’re favorite X-Men, he’s my favorite X-Men, and now the weird little green guy, Doop, is getting in front of the camera. Doop, created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, has a weird history. A weird, butt-brain, affair having, sometimes voyeuristically inclined, history. The X-Men have always suspected that this soviet mutant creation is possibly the most powerful among them. In his own series he’s poised to take center stage when he gets involved with Kitty Pryde. Also, this mini series ties into the Battle of the Atom, if you follow that kind of thing. Peter Milligan is writing it again, bringing his surreal qualities to the usually-maintain-but-now-looks-pretty-crazy-in-a-cool-way art of Marvel career artist David Lafuente. With covers by Mike Allred!

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1- You know how things go, old comic gets picked up for TV show, we get new comics! Given the success that Netflix has had lately with producing their own content, I am fully on board with the upcoming Iron Fist series. I’m also fully on board with the new series that comes out this week with art AND words by Kaare Andrews. They’re not going all the way back to rehash his origin story, but people unfamiliar with the kung-fu master and possessor of mystical dragon fists, will get a taste of his past, while Andrews engages the future troubles for the hero. I don’t know how closely they’ll tie the Netflix stuff with the new comic stuff, but I’m hoping for an eventual team up with past partner Luke Cage, another Marvel character getting his own screen time. And I’ll admit, I’ll be kinda bummed if there’s no Power Man.

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Game of Thrones Collectibles available from Forbidden Planet

I’m sure a TON of you out there were waiting for, and have now devoured, last night’s Game of Thrones Season 4 premier episode. Well, now’s as good a time as any to explore the breadth of GoT related product Forbidden Planet NYC has to offer.

Game of Thrones Funko blind box

 

The hottest Thrones related item in the store right now? Funko blind boxes (pictured above).

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