Tagged: Dynamite

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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TRY SOMETHING NEW CHAPTER 6: Have Won Their First Victory.

So one of my co-workers today told me that they have no idea what it means when I write “RIYL” in my column. I guess I just thought that was something everyone knew. Seems not to be the case. This is like when I try and talk to my friends about… most of the things I try and talk to my friends about really. Blank stares. A sea of blank stares. An endless, bottomless, oppressive ocean of blank stares. Now I put my actual readership of this column at about 8 people split between the blog and the newsletter. One of those people is my dad for some reason. One is Forbidden Planet’s tech-wizard/dancing machine Tyler, who gently informed me “I only read it because I have to.” Then he thoughtfully added, “Stop mentioning me in your column.” No. Anyway, I now wonder if any of my 6 other readers have understood why every book recommendation ends with a series of letters and a list of other books. Is my writing that disjointed that when I lapse into code and nonsense nobody bats an eye? Either way RIYL stands for “Recommended If You Like.” It’s an acronym. TRY SOMETHING NEW has just taken it’s first step towards becoming educationalish.

Fun Fact: The word “acronym” is, in fact, an acronym. What is a.c.r.o.n.y.m. an a.c.r.o.n.y.m. for? Well you will have to use g.o.o.g.l.e. to find out the answer to that one. On with the show!

Bionic Man Vs Bionic Woman #1

BIONIC MAN VS. BIONIC WOMAN #1. I don’t know anything about this book. Didn’t read it. Didn’t read the BIONIC WOMAN comics that came before it. Didn’t read the BIONIC MAN comics that came before it. Never watched the TV shows those comics are based on. So why am I recommending this book? It was written by a man named Keith Champagne. That is the best, most badass name in all of comics. This guy must get invited to every party in the world. People probably offer him money to sleep with them. I bet Keith Champagne could kill a man on live tv and never be arrested. I bet he owns a submarine. He probably wouldn’t need a spacesuit on the moon. I feel like I got pregnant just talking about him. You know, I used to think Dennis Hopeless was the best name in comics. Boy was I wrong. Go buy Keith Champagne’s book so he gets more writing gigs and we can talk about him more.

R.I.Y.L: I have no idea. Running in slow motion? Track suits? People with robot parts? Men and women fighting each other? No. Recommended if you like Keith Champagne. R.I.Y.L.K.C.

Black Beetle #1 (of 4)

BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT #1 is out this week. Why are there two different comics with color coded beetles as the main character? Because humans as a species are all really close to running out of ideas. That doesn’t change the fact that Black Beetle is a very fun new series from superstar artist and sometimes writer Francesco Francavilla. With an art style that is most at home doing stylish and action packed noir stores, Mr. Francavilla has written a character that easily plays to his strengths. This pulp detective/superhero character has appeared in a few short stories in DARK HORSE PRESENTS that were collected as BLACK BEETLE #0, but now he heads out on his first longer case. If you have no exposure to this Black Beetle yet No Way Out #1 is a great place to jump on. Keith Champagne would want you to.

RIYL: Pulp stuff like THE SHADOW, THE ROCKETEER, or THE SPIDER, new superheroes who feel like old superheroes.

Harbinger (Ongoing) TP VOL 01 Omega Rising

HARBINGER vol 1. OMEGA RISING. I am a big supporter of Valiant. They took a bunch of dead properties that only a few diehard fans cared about and brought them back to life in a big way last year. Rather than going out and spending a ton of money on big names who would do rush jobs on their properties, Valiant spent wisely. They got not the biggest names, but some of the best names, to thoughtfully and carefully bring their books to life. ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, X-O MANOWAR, & BLOODSHOT were some of the best superhero titles released last year, with writers like Fred Van Lente (HERCULES, COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS), Robert Venditti (SURROGATES, THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE), Duane Swierczynski (PUNISHER, CABLE), (if they were smart they would hire Keith Champagne) making a smart and coherent universe for these characters. Fun, nice looking, and a good starting points without alienating old fans, the relaunch was well planned across the board. But the book that got me most excited, the book that shot my interest through the roof, was HARBINGER. Like a dark and cynical, yet compassionate take on the X-Men, Harbinger is the story of a superpowered teen who must learn to control his powers while others seek to use him for their own gains. This idea should be intriguing for any fan of capes comics, but I cared because Valiant went out and hired Joshua Dysart. Far from a household name but he should be, Mr. Dysart is probably best known for his run on SWAMP THING or writing the Neil Young comic that I didn’t read. But Mr. Dysart also wrote my favorite comic of the last 5 years, one of my favorite stories of all time actually, UNKNOWN SOLDIER. If you haven’t read UNKNOWN SOLDIER you are missing out on one of the great graphic narratives of our lifetime. I use a lot of hyperbole in this column but I kind of think that last sentence was true. It is hard for me to put into words how compelling and beautiful UNKNOWN SOLDIER is. HARBINGER, while no UNKNOWN SOLIDER, is however one of the best superhero setups we have seen in a long time and a reason to visit comic shops every month. Valiant are continuing their wonderful commitment to get people excited about their books by making this collection of the first 5 issues only $10. They are challenging you not to read it, daring you to continue to read the same old stuff when there is newer, better, and cheaper. Don’t let Valiant make you look like an idiot. Buy HARBINGER vol. 1 today. Or this week at least.

RIYL: The more personal X-MEN stories, MORNING GLORIES, or RISING STARS.

One Trick Rip Off Deep Cuts HC

ONE TRICK RIP-OFF. Paul Pope is one of those artists who has reached a level of success which means he doesn’t have to put out a lot of work and it only increases peoples excitement. There are a few folks operating in this class now; Geoff Darrow, Ashley Wood, Darwyn Cooke, Charles Burns, folks like that. Paul Pope definitely leads the pack though. Sure they do things here and there from time to time, a shirt, a magazine cover, a short story, but a new book is a cause for serious celebration and excitement. Well Paul Pope has a new book this week. ONE TRICK RIP-OFF. And here’s the thing. It’s not even a new book and I am disturbingly excited. Originally it was published as short stories in DARK HORSE PRESENTS and later collected in the mid 90’s, but this is the first time this story has been printed in color, and the first time it has been available at an affordable price in more than a decade. Containing the whole story, plus over 150 pages of other shorts, art, and rarities from Mr. Pope, this book is a no-brainer for people who want to study the work of one of the pioneers of modern comic visuals. Mr. Pope is a true badass in the comics world today and he rarely sticks his head out long enough for us to get work from him. Also, not as cool a name as Keith Champagne, but Paul Pope is a pretty awesome guy name. Grab this one while you can.

R.I.Y.L: Great art that is also really cool. Cooler than you or me.

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The Lion and the Unicorn

By Unkiedev

W.I.L.D.C.A.T.S #1 gold foil variant cover
W.I.L.D.C.A.T.S #1 cover

The nineties comic book boom (and subsequent crash) was based on two factors that are still cavorting through the forest of comics today. One is the Unicorn of variant covers, the other is the lion of investor speculation. See how nimbly they prance!

The resale of comic books was viewed as a big business, and the launch of Image comics meant that savvy comic book buyers could get in on the ground floor of a gold mine by purchasing every #1 Image had to publish. Soon, Image and other companies started to publish massive amounts of variant covers to rake in the cash from this wave of speculation.

Since then things have changed…but the Unicorn still dances. Now variant covers are the big marketing tool of the least expected: Marvel and DC. The big two release a theme of variant covers almost weekly to promote upcoming events, movie tie-ins and to spotlight characters.

When Tron was in the theaters Marvel had a wave of TRON themed covers. When they felt like promoting Wolvie a bit more they did variant covers to every single title they had with the chuggin’ canuk on the cover. Do yourself a favor and google “JLApe” if you were too young to remember the time when every DC title had a monkey variant cover. Continue reading

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Hack Slash Crossover Craziness

There has been a rash of Hack/Slash crossovers recently and I’m loving it!  Reminds me of Cassie and Vlad’s early days, getting mixed up with Evil Ernie one week, fighting Chucky the next.  This coming Wednesday marks the release of Hack Slash Meets Zombies Vs Cheerleaders, who also had a cool crossover of their own with none other than Rich Koslowski’s The 3 Geeks! With a title like Zombies Vs Cheerleaders a Cassie Hack appearance was inevitable.

Here is a sweet colorless version of the cover I found on the awesome unofficial website Hack/Slash Inc.

Writer: Steven L Frank

Artist: Benjamin Glendenning

Publisher: Moonstone

Cassie and Vlad go undercover at a Washington State high school to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several students. Hilarity and mayhem ensue as Cassie joins the cheerleading squad and Vlad gets recruited for the football team!

If you read the title of the comic, you might be able to figure out what is going on at this particular high school, but is it really so crystal clear?

We also still have copies of last week’s Hack Slash Eva Monster’s Ball #1.

Writer: Brandon Jerwa

Artist: Cezar Razek

Publisher: Dynamite

Eva: a time-lost warrior who believes that God wants her to rid our world of the foul things that lurk in the shadows.

Cassie Hack: a 21st century anti-heroine who has devoted her life to the elimination of ‘slashers’ who kill without mercy or reason.

These lethal ladies and their monstrous majordomos Michael and Vlad may seem like two sides of the same coin, but they’re as different as night and day. When a mysterious figure brings them together, the whole world’s going to be reminded that Hell hath no fury like two women on a mission in a city full of monsters!

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