Oh Comics, How I Hate You.

Yeah,  said it. As much as I love comics, and they’re very much a part of my life, there are certain things about the industry that just piss me off. Whether it’s something simple a publisher has done, whether it’s something that an industry as a whole is doing, a certain publisher or us as readers. There’s enough about comics that really piss me off that I felt the need to write it down in a convenient list form.

Side note: certain things that make my mind hurt about the industry deserve to be treated with more respect than the flippancy I’m treating the list with. This is merely designed to give you a bit of a mental break.

You ready? Continue reading “Oh Comics, How I Hate You.”

Weekly Wrap: Comics Released 9/21

Each week there are comics that come out that I just can’t wait to read, and some that I really don’t care about. You can find my reasons for being excited about these comics here. It was a relatively light week for me this time through (a little different from last week), but now that I’ve read the comics I was excited about, were they as good as I hoped? Were there others that surprised me?

Read on, and find out!

Continue reading “Weekly Wrap: Comics Released 9/21”

How Movies Teach Manhood

I came across this Ted Talk from 2012 (I think) in which Colin Stokes explores the impact of media on kids and the importance of positive female and male characters; characters who show the value of teamwork and respecting women. He urges us to seek out movies and TV shows that defy gender stereotypes and shares an easy way to do this with your family. It’s less than 15 minutes, and is well worth your time.

You can check the video out here.

 

Comics To Look Forward To: 9/21

Each week there are comics that come out that I just can’t wait to read, and some that I really don’t care about. And because this is a blog where I talk about comics, I thought why not take a look at some of the comics that I’m excited about this week in alphabetical order so as to avoid obvious favoritism… but there’s always going to be some comics that I just can’t wait to get my hands on more than others.

There’s no defined limit on the comics I’ll include here, it really just depends on what I’m excited about. This week there’s a lot of comics starting with the letter B… Continue reading “Comics To Look Forward To: 9/21”

Did You Ignore 2016’s Summer Events?

There are three publishers that are currently telling, or have told, an event story this year; Valiant, Marvel, and DC.

4001 A.D. coverValiant’s 4001 A.D. was absolutely fantastic. It may not be the best miniseries Valiant have published this year (Valiant‘s Divinity is head and shoulders above everything else right now from any publisher), 4001 A.D. was still bloody good. Of the tie-in comics released  about half have had relatively little to do with the main story, instead focusing a story that takes place on the periphery of the event – whether in the past or present – which has actually had the effect of enabling the tie-ins to be read independently of the overall arc, something that seems to be more and more infrequent with tie-in comics these days.

Marvel‘s Civil War II  is something that personally I have avoided because over the last five or so years I’ve become tired of the events from the Big Two, our fearless leader Brett has said that 4001 A.D. is running circles around yet another Marvel  story where it’s heroes are fighting each other. Graphic MAR169027 STL014758  CIVIL WAR II #1 CHO B&W VARPolicy’s review of the third issue was less than glowing, saying that “it has failed at any social commentary that it has attempted.” I’d love to say I’m surprised by that… but I’m honestly not. It has been a long time since I cared about a Marvel event, andCivil War II has done nothing to change that.

Conversely, over at DC something unexpectedly strange is happening. Rebirth, their line wide reboot, is actually a resounding success! How DC have been able to turn something that so many comic book fans were tired of into possibly the best line wide reboot/relaunch since Valiant returned to comics in 2005. DC have done the nigh unthinkable by not building their reboot around another miniseries; Rebirth was one 80 page comic that cost a whopping $2.99 (for a first print run – subsequent editions have doubled in cover price), followed by a series of character specific Rebirth specials that were utterly optional, albeit suggested if you intended to read that character’s series. But Rebirth isn’t really a summer event, is it?

DC-Universe-Rebirth-1-1-600x923By not having a traditional summer event, per se, DC  have had the most critically successful summer from either of the Big Two in a long, long time. But comparing Rebirth to either Civil War II or 4001 A.D.  is like comparing chalk and cheese. When DC  decided to have another reboot (or was it a de-boot?) instead of following the pattern of the past decade of miniseries event story followed by negligible change, when DC decided to erase the controversial New 52 reboot from 2011, rather than use another Flashpoint style storyline explaining how and why it would happen, DC just bloody did it. No need for fans to buy another six issues telling us how the Flash would change history that we could just read about online and get the gist of the story, instead DC published an 80 page single issue for $3 – and that was it. With one issue, the publisher changed everything.

One. Fucking. Issue.

They didn’t faff about wasting time and money telling an irrelevant story about how and/or why their comic book line would change (or not change as has often been the result of Marvel‘s big summer events) that many readers would invariably ignore only to jump on with the newest batch of number one issues that would come out long after the story to reboot the universe has started. By rebooting everything (or un-rebooting everything, depending on the side of the fence you stand) with one 80 page issue DC have shown Marvel just how a line wide reboot should be done.

How successful Rebirth will be for the publisher, as the old saying goes, only time will tell, but it’s off to a surprising start with almost all the series being published right now being both of a high quality, and most importantly, being accessible to new readers – despite obvious fears to the contrary with the continuity returning to the pre-New 52 era in the publisher’s history.

If you want to read an event story that’s wiping the floor with anything either of the Big Two have put out in recent years, read 4001 A.D.. The page composition, artwork, and the comics that tie-in with the main miniseries, are superb, but it’s the potential consequences that the series holds in store for the future that really has me excited, especially when you look at some of the tie-in comics that have been released in conjunction with the event – specifically the War Mother and Bloodshot issues – Valiant‘s future is looking incredibly bright right now.

Marvel, however, much like they did with Secret Wars  last year have delayed Civil War II and green-lit an 8th issue. While the reason for the delay is a very good one (the book’s artist became a father), I have to wonder how it will impact the comics that were scheduled to be released after the story, and whether they’ll spoil the final events of Civil War II or not. Whether Marvel will have any lasting change after the end of Civil War II is honestly doubtful – although I’m more than happy to be proven wrong, and to be reminded why I used to love Marvel comics so much ten, fifteen years ago. But my inner cynic doesn’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Until it does, you’ll see a lot more Valiant and DC  in my pull list.

Weekly Wrap Up: Comics Released 9/14

Each week there are comics that come out that I just can’t wait to read, and some that I really don’t care about. You can find my reasons for being excited about these comics here.  Now that I’ve read the comics I was excited about, were they as good as I hoped? Were there others that surprised me?

Read on, and find out!


ac_cv963_dsAction Comics #963 (DC) There’s a human Clark Kent running around Metropolis who seems to genuinely believe he isn’t Superman. Which, considering we know he isn’t  the Superman we’ve been following since Rebirth began, is an intriguing proposition. One issue in, and this is shaping up to be a story that explores the impact of Superman on other character’s lives – something that really intrigues me.

All-Star Batman #2 (DC)  Despite the $4.99 price tag, this comic is so worth the money.

Dark Souls: Legends Of The Flame #1 (Titan Comics) I wasn’t expecting this to be an anthology, but it is, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by it. The individually stories are distinct in their illustration and story telling methods, and are neatly tied together to
make an in story connection to each other – and I’m sure I missed a couple more, as well. This comic may be aimed toward fans of the series, but it can also be enjoyed by those who have an interest in fantasy style comics.

Faith #3 (Valiant) I loved this comic. You can find out why here.

Green Lanterns #6 (DC) There’s a couple of great character building moments in this issue that, for me at least, make this the stronger of the two Green Lantern titles this week. The mycroft_02_cover_aback ad forth bickering between Simon and Jessica is entertaining, but also serves as a great narrative device to keep readers abreast of the situation while also providing a few laughs.

Kingway West #2 (Dark Horse) Not a bad issue… but it wasn’t as gripping as the first. Worth looking into if you’ve read the first issue.

Mycroft Holmes #1 & #2 (Titan) Why haven’t I been reading this already? I picked up the first issue when it came out… and forgot about it. Then the second came around, and I grabbed it, figuring it’ll be a quick diversion. Nope – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s writing a comic that fans of the Sherlock TV show, or the movies, can expect to love. Mycroft, unlike his brother, is a likeable scoundrel who just happens to be as intelligent as the great old-man-logan-11detective.

Old Man Logan #11 (Marvel) Holy shit. The art in this issue is fantastic. There’s a brilliant two page spread early on that I just stared at, marveling at how interesting the layout was. And then there’s another that’s even better! In two pages, with minimal dialogue Andrea Sorrentino tells the story of the same two men fighting a similar fight fifty years apart. It’s one of the most inventive and visually interesting pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #11 (Valiant) Another issue, another home run. Full review here.

Thought Of The Day: My Stupid Expensive Comic Arrived

Back in July, I wrote about how I was about to spend far too much money on a comic. Well, a little over a month later, I actually did it. The shipping was over half the price of the comic (but it was packaged incredibly well), so the price was a little higher than the comic alone – no option for free shipping here – but at the end of the day, I still got a comic signed by Stan Lee that also has the benefit of being CGC graded for around $230 US shipping included.

Was it worth the price? Continue reading “Thought Of The Day: My Stupid Expensive Comic Arrived”

A Blast From The Past #32: Oh The Things You Find…

Unlike every previous Blast From The Past which has focused exclusively on photographs of comic book creators, and Walt Disney, there’s something different for you this week. I found these at a charity shop/goodwill a week or two ago, and had a little hit of nostalgia at both the images from the movie, and the way they’d been plastered over the cereal boxes.

 

But after having a little chuckle at the old images, I took a look at the price tag, and realized that these boxes could be yours for $10 each. There was no bulk price for all four of them, so while $40 for old cereal boxes isn’t anything I’d ever be willing to spend, it was fun to have that little moment of nostalgia.

This likely won’t be the last non-comic photo featured in A Blast From The Past…

Comics To Look Forward To This Week For 9/14

Each week there are comics that come out that I just can’t wait to read, and some that I really don’t care about. And because this is a blog where I talk about comics, I thought why not take a look at some of the comics that I’m excited about this week in alphabetical order so as to avoid obvious favoritism… but there’s always going to be some comics that I just can’t wait to get my hands on more than others.

There’s no defined limit on the comics I’ll include here, and some weeks will be more empty than others – it really just depends on what I’m excited about.

Continue reading “Comics To Look Forward To This Week For 9/14”