Tagged: Before Watchmen

Talking Comics with the Jersey Devil

Power STILL hasn’t been restored in my cave deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, but this is probably due to the fact that it never had any. I knew this was going to be a bad storm when the Jersey Devil showed up at my cave and asked if he could plug his phone into my charger.

I never knew the Jersey Devil was into comics. He had dropped by my cave a few times in the past to borrow sugar, and one time because his friends had baked him some brownies and couldn’t eat them all. When he saw Before Watchmen Silk Spectre on my coffee table, he freaked out.

“YEAH!” he hooted. “I had heard about these! Are they any good? Is there, like, an overall plot?”

Some are great, I said, some aren’t. NO, I said, they follow their own narratives. I told him I was getting pretty excited about Before Watchmen Moloch #1 coming out this week because it was drawn by Eduardo “100 Bullets” Risso.

“I liked that Spaceman book he just did. I used to love seeing his stuff in Heavy Metal,” said the Devil.

“That’s getting a deluxe hardcover edition this week from Vertigo,” I mentioned. “Wow! I didn’t know you liked comic books, The New Jersey Devil,” I said. He likes being called by his full name…he’s oddly formal like that.

“Bigfoot is really into them and he lent me some stuff,” he said.  “I’m really looking forward to Avenging Spider-Man #14 this week. Spidey’s going to team up with Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur!”

The New Jersey Devil has a pretty good point. Devil Dinosaur is awesome.

QUICK PICKS

Marvel is launching a new Iron Man title with a new #1 this week. Tony seems to be sporting his new Black and Gold armor he’ll be wearing in the most of the Marvel Now titles. I’m on board.

Few talk about Vertigo these days, but this week Vertigo is bringing a top tier table of titles. The first of their authorized Stieg Larsson graphic novel adaptations hits the shelves with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo TP, as well as the sequel to the comic which inspired the film Road to Perdition, the aptly named Return to Perdition.

The debut graphic novel Black Lung from Chris Wright and Fantagraphics books also looks intriguing. Black Lung is already garnering critical praise and getting some great press. ‘Tis a story of love and loss, and one man’s quest to commit as much unspeakable sin as he can in order to be reunited with his dead wife in Hell.

BOOKS WORTH A LOOK

There are also a couple of sweet art books hitting the shelves this week. Famed fantasy artist Brom has an original art novel called Krampus: The Yule Lord featuring everybody’s favorite Christmastime crazy, the Krampus! PLUS, a brand new book from Scott C. in the form of Great Showdowns.

Scott C. is a wonder! If you haven’t picked up Amazing Everything, Scott C.’s first book of fantastic illustrations, NOW would be a great time! The holidays are fast approaching, and there ain’t nobody that you know who wouldn’t want this book for their very own!

NEXT WEEK: The Disney/Lucas merger and what it means for us all. Till then, stay dry!

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

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The Beginning Is Nigh

There is only one significant comic book being released this week, and the title is Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1. What, why and how is this a fact? Here we go:

WHO IS RORSCHACH?

Walter Kovacs, a.k.a. Rorschach is the stand out crime fighter from the ensemble cast that is Alan Moore’s Watchmen. As the unloved runt son of a whore, Kovacs had to fight daily for survival and respect. Growing into an unfeeling, violent vigilante crime fighter, Rorschach is the tipping point for the narrative of Watchmen, as well as the moral compass, underdog anti-hero, and the benchmark against which all dark, violent comic book characters will forever be measured against.

WHAT IS BEFORE WATCHMEN?

DC comics is owned by Warner Brothers, which is currently losing out (badly) to Marvel in turning their highly profitable comic books into box office and merchandising gold. With few recognizable properties left to exploit, DC has greenlit prequel comics to Watchmen, as the film adaptation of the same was both a critical and box-office darling when it hit screens in 2009.

DC has hired top talents to work on these titles, hoping for new, original graphic novels they can flip into a lucrative film franchise. So far the books have been controversial, angering some and pleasing others.

New readers have come in the door, but so far Before Watchmen has not been the mainstream success story DC has hoped for.

WHY RORSCHACH?

Before Watchmen Rorschach is the BIG ONE! More than any other character, Rorschach has the most cultural resonance and break-out appeal. IF Rorschach sells the units DC expects, a film prequel will surely follow.

DC has reunited the creative team of Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermajo to work on this title. Fans will remember these two from their well received original graphic novel Joker, which sells well as it reads as a screenplay for a Joker spin-off movie staring Heath Ledger.

Azzarello is WONDERFUL, and is the only writer who has a hope of making this book work. Bermajo straddles the fence wonderfully between real life and comic book bravado, and makes a financially sound partner with Azzarello. Continue reading

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SDCC Preview Post

HOLY CRAP, WE’RE MOVING APPARENTLY!  There, consider that an early reminder. I’ll try to not to mention it again until after it happens and grand-opening things have been announced.

Anywho, happy post 4th of July everyone, hope you all enjoyed the holiday/”Amazing Spider-Man,” which I thought was neat. Definitely not a perfect film, nor as good as “The Avengers“, it could have been a ton worse. Remember “Spider-Man 3″? Yeah…..that, and Emma’s Gwen was 10000X better than Kristen’s Mary Jane. That being said, it’s July, which means one thing. SAN DIEGO COMIC CON? WILL I BE THERE, DELIVERING ALL OF THE LATEST NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS? NOPE, CAN’T AFFORD IT. WILL I LIST A BUNCH OF SWEET EXCLUSIVES THAT I WANT, AND WILL HOPEFULLY MAKE IT TO OUR STORE LIKE LAST YEAR? YUP, SURE WILL!

Let’s start off with DC Comics. Obviously they’ll have a lot to offer, what with “Dark Knight Rises“, the New 52, Before Watchmen, and their Cartoon Network programming. Expect to see a Gotham Siren/Polly Pocket set, a Tiny Titans figurine box set, and a plethora of exclusive DKR toys. What I’m most excited for is on the left: the new line of Convention Exclusive 3.75″ action figures from DC Collections (formerly known as DC Direct) featuring 2 Green Lanterns, and the much taller Death figure from the same company. Both will retail for about $25, but given how Kyle Rayner, Kilowog, and Death are ALL fan-favorites, they’re definitely a steal at that price compared to how much they’ll be going for post-show. Plus the Lanterns are in scale with the Marvel Universe figures, which means Kyle and Kilowog can team up with a different breed of Guardians… Continue reading

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Lepre-Seer

I have had MANY spectacular adventures writing about comics. I have been kidnapped by merpeople, (though they prefer the term H-2 Hombres) I have been transformed into a mummy, I have even been shrunken down to the size of a pretzel rod and eaten by a drunk. In all that time I can honestly say I have NEVER been pestered by a leprechaun…until last Tuesday.

Now he’s staying in my cave and he won’t leave me alone! He keeps poking me with sticks while I’m trying to sleep, and the most annoying part is that he denies he’s doing it. He puts the stick behind his back and shakes his head saying “No I’m Not, Boy-Oh.” DUDE, I can see the stick right behind you!

ADVANCED R&D

One of the few advantages to this arrangement is all the free comics I could wish for! See, Leprechauns LOVE comics, and they like to read them in advance, so he keeps using his Leprechaun magic to summon up the week’s titles BEFORE they hit the street! I’ve already read the SMASH first issue of IDW’s new relaunch of Mars Attacks #1! INCREDIBLE! I sure envy you guys reading that book for the first time this Wednesday, because Chew writer John Layman knocks it out of the PARK! That big secret thing that happens on page 7?! BRILLIANT!

I’m probably going to have to go to the Forbidden Planet to buy the Mars Attacks: Classics Vol. 1 book of reprints from the past. Same goes for IDW’s Complete Bloom County Vol. 5, also available on new comics day. The Leprechaun can’t magic up reprints or collections. Weird. I’m not sure how he got that new copy of this week’s Chew #27, as it’s more of less a reprint…must be all the new material jam packed inside.

Whatever, I have plenty of other, magically summoned new issues to get through! The long delayed first issue of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in title Drusilla hits this week and, as promised, it is written by Drusilla herself, Juliet Landau. As a guy who read most of Anthony Daniel’s comics featuring C3-PO, I can tell you first hand that actors writing their own material doesn’t ALWAYS play out, but “HEY, If it’s on the crazy Leprechaun’s pull list, who am I to argue?” Continue reading

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U.D.’s Review-Dees

Before Watchmen Minutemen #1, Darwyn Cooke (W/A), DC

When a crime is committed, the courts attempt to find a jury comprised of impartial citizens with no knowledge of the people and the events involved to guaranteed a fair, unbiased trial. To review Before Watchmen Minutemen #1 with full impartiality, one would be required to find someone who hasn’t read a comic book in roughly 30 years.

The title alone illustrates why. As an unasked and controversial prequel to Watchmen, the 1987 graphic novel which redefined comic books, Before Watchmen cannot escape the magnitude of its source material.

Since its debut, Watchmen has never been matched for complexity, nuance, nor story; though not for lack of trying. It is hard to repeat true innovation.

No comparison between Before Watchmen and Watchmen could be made. That would be like swatting a fly with a nuke.

Darwyn Cooke, the talented writer/artist of Before Watchmen Minutemen, rose to prominence thanks to New Frontier, a spiffy DC graphic novel which mined the fifties and forties for retro super hero fun. Darwyn has since become to “Go-to” guy for a modern take on past flavors, and has become a fan favorite with his brisk, “Simple made complex” approach to storytelling. He seems a natural fit for a look back on Watchmen’s characters.

But again, we bring to our review of this title our love and understanding of Darwyn’s past body of work. Is it fair to compare Before Watchmen to New Frontier?

Fair or not, it doesn’t relect well. Next to Darwyn’s other titles, Before Watchmen fills you with the disappointment of a good creator treading thin water, repeating himself with every shallow stroke.

DC recently made vast headlines by rebooting their entire universe and starting over all titles with shiny new #1s. How does Before Watchmen Minutemen #1 contrast with DC’s other #1s? Does it inspire the reader to pick up another issue? Are we left with a desire to follow the story?

What is the story? Continue reading

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Before Watchmen Sale

It’s June and Before Watchmen, the controversial DC Comics event, kicks off this coming Wednesday with the debut of Minutemen #1.  To mark the occasion Forbidden Planet NYC is offering three editions of the classic, original graphic novel masterpiece by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons at 40% OFF in-store and online throughout the month!

Watchmen TP- $19.99 $11.99

Watchmen TP International Edition- $19.99 $11.99

Watchmen HC- $39.99 $23.99

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Alan Moore Reads, You Listen

Hey guys! I know you’re psyched about Before Watchmen, and why wouldn’t you be? Prequels are great! I mean, without The Phantom Menace, we would never have met Jar Jar Binks, beloved hero of all. And who could forget the sublime beauty and grace of Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd? But while you’re eagerly waiting to learn the Secret Origin of Bernard the Newspaper Salesman, Alan Moore is hard at work on the final chapters of his second prose novel, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be a metaphysical history of the Northampton neighborhood where Moore grew up, and will consist of over 600,000 words. (Without pictures! So weird.) Why Moore would write something so ambitious and original, instead of something profitable, like Before Rising Stars or Before 100 Bullets, is beyond me. I mean, this a guy so crazy that he believes in things like creator’s rights, and the inherent magic of creativity and imagination. Anyway, here’s a video of Moore sitting around while his mighty beard reads a chapter from the novel. Enjoy.

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