Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncanny Avengers #1 - Review

Today marks the beginning of MARVEL NOW. Rick Remender and John Cassaday merge the X-men and The Avengers into the new age of Marvel. So how much of a gait is this first step carrying with it? Find out after the jump. SPOILERS FOR AVX AHEAD.

New Comics Day - October 10th, 2012. A big day for the big two.

   Today is new comics day! As always you can check over at ComicList for a complete rundown of new releases. Today is a big day for the big two. Find out why after the jump.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Drew Close Interview

I conducted an interview with my buddy down under,  Drew Close, about his projects and company Cape Billowing Publishing.

What is your earliest memory with comics?

I remember my dad buying me stack of old marvel comics at a garage (yard) sale. Lots of X-men, Spidey and GI Joe, guess that explains why I'm a Marvel guy.

More after the jump.

New Comics - October 3rd, 2012

I am pretty much the worst when it comes to keeping up with this thing. I've been super busy and a new job is making my hours erratic. I have tons of content planned, but don't know if I will get it up. If you have kept checking the site over this past month, thank you. I promise I will try my best to update regularly.

Today is new comics day and once again, you can check out what's out via COMIC LIST.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

This just in: Miles Morales = Everything a young character should be. Alpha? Not so much. REVIEWS!

This week saw two Spider-Man family releases featuring new, younger characters. Different lines. Completely different characters. One is a legacy hero, and the other? Well, I hope he doesn't have any sort of legacy at all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Comics - September 5th, 2012

The holiday weekend has not delayed new books! Tomorrow is Wednesday and once again, you can check out the list of new releases over at Comic List.new

This week, I will check out: New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes #1, Action Comics #0, Animal Man #0, Detective Comics #0, Earth 2 #0, Green Arrow #0, Green Lantern #0, Phantom Stranger #0, World's Finest #0, Hell Yeah #5, Amazing Spider-Man #693, Hawkeye #2, and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #14. What about you?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Art Spotlight - Daniel Vega

One of my favorite artists currently is Daniel Vega. I stumbled across his tumblr a while back by way of Renzo Podesta. Daniel's style is of a heavy anime influence, with a lot of horror injected into it. He's recently posted some images with the title Batman: The Cursed. I don't know if he's working on an original story or if this is just something he's doing for fun. Either way, it's AWESOME.
















Game Review - Marvel Avengers Alliance

I had never played a Facebook game until Marvel Avengers Alliance. I had seen numerous people get sucked into Farmville and things like it, and I'd always think to myself, "Never." Unfortunately, this game is addictive, and I know that I'm falling for its tricks.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indie Spotlight - John Pross & Pross Comics


 I recently conducted an interview with John Pross of Pross Comics. We discuss his upcoming books and plans for New York Comic Con. As always, more after the jump.


What is your earliest memory involving comics?

My Dad used to always go to this baseball card and comic book shop to collect his cards. I just remember going there with him and seeing my first TMNT comic. Had to have it.

When did you start reading comics as a serious hobby?

It wasn't until about 4th grade I really started getting into comics. It was right around Jim Lee's run on the X-men. I remember my friend bringing in the wraparound cover of X-men #1 and thinking if the story is half as good as the art then I need to start reading this series.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Comics Releases - August 15th, 2012

 It's Wednesday, and you know what that means. NEW COMICS!!!  Here are all the new releases for the day, brought to you by the gang over at Comic List.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Indie Spotlight - The Illumi-Nerdi Interview

Today's indie spotlight focuses on The Illumi-Nerdi. They're two guys with a blog and a dream and they've built quite a following for themselves so far.

 More questions after the jump:


1. Who are the members of your core group?

There are only two members that work on our blog: Phil Butehorn and Brian Harris. We both work at Ruby Tuesday while we attend graduate school (Phil at Brooklyn College, Brian at Queens College). Let me tell you, we are awesome at serving America. But if the fanboys want to read “Shepherd” then we will no longer need to be waiters. So please….be interested.

2. How did the Illumi-Nerdi start? What was your original goal?

Sometimes being a waiter can get boring and we needed an escape. Right away, we had these enormous dreams like getting published by Image and having comic book groupies (that’s a real thing right?). Well, almost a year and half later we are no longer na├»ve. In the beginning, the purpose of the blog was to create a fan base so that we could introduce our comic book entitled “Shepherd”. Along the way, we have interviewed Matt Hawkins, Scott Lobdell, and Joe Esima. We ended up getting so caught up in doing interviews and creating Top 10 lists for heroes and villains, and our Artist/Writers Deathmatch. However, that is all about to change.

Comic Releases for August 8th 2012

Today is WEDNESDAY, meaning it's time for new comics! Today's pull list consists of:

Idolized #1
Batgirl#12
Batman #12
Batman and Robin #12
Suicide Squad #12
Superboy #12
It Girl and the Atomics #1
Gambit #1
Spider-Men #4


I don't have high hopes for a lot of the DC stuff this week as it's starting to fizzle out on the excitement level. Becky Cloonan on Batman should be great, though. Spider-Men #4 is awesome, as well. If you're not reading anything with Miles Morales, there is something wrong. You can tell when Bendis really enjoys what he's writing, because the quality is so much better.

For a complete list of today's releases, head on over to: ComicList

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Magnus von Tesla

Our current indie spotlight is on Magnus von Tesla, author of the webcomic My Life Without a Jetpack. More questions after the jump.

1. When did you start reading comics?

Let's see... when I started reading, basically... and even before that, I was looking at comics and "reading" the action. I come from a family where reading is something that's second nature, I grew up surrounded by books, and being the youngest of six siblings, when I was born I had two teenaged brothers who read comics, and they shared them with me.

So I was reading at age 5-6, and "reading the action" from age 2. 
 
2. What are your favorite comics/characters?

That's a long list! Green Lantern (Jordan), The Legion Of Super-Heroes, X-Men, Superman, Atomic Robo, Action Philosophers, Gypsy, Hellblazer, Hark! A Vagrant, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Doktor Sleepless, etc, etc.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - Review

This is not going to be a typical review. I saw The Dark Knight Rises and was thoroughly impressed. It was a satisfying and fitting close to the trilogy, and though it ran at two hours, I was left wanting more. To me, this was a better film as far as making me excited about what was going on. It wasn't as deep or as bleak as The Dark Knight, and some would argue was more "comic-book." Guess what? It may be the realistic "Nolan-verse" but it is still a movie based on a comic. That's probably what I liked about it. It maintained that world that has been set up, but added so much more flavor to it. I will touch upon a few things below the jump. I'm going to try and avoid spoilers as much as possible.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Avengers/X-Men and Captain Marvel - Reviews

Captain Marvel #1
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy

This is the week that Marvel releases Captain Marvel #1 upon the world, in a book that is looking to redefine Carol Danvers and her role in the Marvel Universe. After Marvel cancelled every book they had with a female lead, it's nice to see them trying to remedy that with this one and the recent announcement of a Red She-Hulk book.

So how's the book? Read more after the jump as well as a review of  Avengers vs. X-Men #8 and a bonus review!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quick Plug - Comix Lab Magazine Kickstarter

This is a plea to my readers to please check out the Kickstarter page for COMIX LAB MAGAZINE. This is being put together by a bunch of talented individuals and needs YOUR HELP to get off the ground. There are some great incentives for donating to the cause. The magazine will cover a wide range of topics, have a running comic, and will even include an article from yours truly. So please, please, please DONATE TODAY! I will be changing our banner to support Comix Lab!

Comix Lab on Facebook

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dynamic Duo Review - Batman #11 and Batman and Robin #11

 Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

It's all been building up to this. For the better part of a year, Scott Snyder's bestselling book has put Bruce Wayne through the ringer, culminating with the reveal that he could possibly have a long lost brother. Thomas Wayne Jr. aka Lincoln March is the beak of the Court of the Owls. He claims to have been abandoned by the Waynes and is here to reclaim his city.  The book is fast paced with huge set pieces, delivering a brutal fight between Batman and what seems to be the new incarnation of Owl Man. This makes sense as Owl Man was Bruce's evil doppelganger from another world.

Greg Capullo is on top of his game here with his somewhat dark, murkier pallet still achieving a vibrant, animated quality. His Batman is tired and fed up with March showing no signs of quitting until the end.

I'm sure we have not seen the last of the Court of the Owls or Lincoln March. There is a nice moment between Bruce and Dick after it's all said and done. It just adds on to the mystery of whether or not Lincoln is actually Thomas Jr. This run has been a roller coaster ride, and now we are heading back up the slope as Snyder prepares to reintroduce The Joker into the New 52. Batman is constantly a must read and I hope Scott stays on for a while. He's kept the universe fresh and exciting since he's been given the reigns. 




Batman and Robin #11
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

This issue starts off strong, continuing with Damian's plan to take out all the previous Robin's, proving he's the best. I love Damian. He's possibly my favorite character in comics right now. The audacity of leaving a crow bar in Jason Todd's bed is one of those things that lets you know he's screwing around, but he's not. After Damian is through putting Jason through an exercise in tolerance, the story begins to go downhill as a ton of nobodies begin branding the citizens of Gotham with the bat logo. This is all part of some grand scheme by Terminus who was introduced last issue. We're no closer to figuring anything out about this villain as things just get whackier and whackier.

Patrick Gleason's layouts are ballin' in this issue and most of his scenes are rendered beautifully. There are some odd faces and expressions littered throughout, though, making it seemed rushed. I would really like to have a print of Damian riding around with the Red Hood's helmet as a hood ornament.

This story arc has seemed to veer away from the personal conflict of the first eight issues in favor of traditional super hero flare. I hope they will get back to the heart of the new direction of this book; the relationship between Bruce and Damian. The issue is worth it for the Damian and Jason brawl at the beginning, but there's not really much else to get excited about.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope everyone is staying safe and cool in the heat! Enjoy your food and freedom! Also, if people would like to start commenting on articles, that would be awesome.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man - Movie Review

The Amazing Spider-Man
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen


I'm really tired of reading advance reviews of this film and seeing "This was unnecessary," and "Raimi's movies are still on everyone's minds!" Those movies were Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. It was a classic take on the character, and there was a lot of cheese involved. They were great. Even the third one had its moments. There was a colossal problem for me, though. A Spider-Man Tobey Maguire does not make. I always wanted Topher Grace as Peter Parker. He would have been spot on. I was ticked that he got cast as Eddie Brock, but it makes sense in that he would be the complete opposite of Tobey's Peter. Enough with that rant, though.

Andrew Garfield plays a teenaged Peter Parker a la Ultimate Spider-Man, and he is wonderful. He's pretty amazing, actually. The whole film was amazing. I loved it. This was the Spider-Man movie I've been wanting to see. That's not to say I don't have some minor nitpicky things, though.

For the most part, the casting in this film was awesome. Again, Garfield is wonderful as Peter, with just the right bit of teenage awkwardness(and this guy is 28. What the hell?) that he is likeable, even when he does questionable things. The chemistry between him and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is electric. They are written like a real couple, with their drama stemming from Peter's moonlighting, but they as a couple really have no problems and are smitten with each other. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben has a couple of great moments and Sally Field as Aunt May is a welcome change from the ancient old-lady version of the character that is usually expected. Denis Leary stands out as Gwen's father, Captain Stacy, replacing J. Jonah Jameson as our anti-Spider-Man character. Then there's Rhys Ifans. While he does adequate work here, it was weird for me to buy him as Curt Connors/The Lizard. Maybe it's because Connors wasn't British? I don't know? Maybe it's because I kept anticipating Dylan Baker to finally go reptile in the old movies? Or maybe it's because Connors himself seems much more sinister than his comic counterpart?

The movie retells the origin with a slightly different tune than Raimi's first flick. Peter is trying to uncover the mystery of his murdered parents, which leads him to Oscorp and his run-in with the spider that gives him his powers. The web shooters are non-organic this time around, which the film gets major points for. However, I've got to deduct a few, because there's never an issue where Peter runs out of webbing. There is an instance that one of his shooters doesn't work, but it's not due to lack of fluid. There should have at least been that little nod to the classic comic conundrum of Pete running out of webbing. Speaking of, his webbing is pretty much a stolen product from Oscorp. Granted, he tweaks it a bit, but this Peter Parker isn't the total genius he leads people to believe.

The action is great, and The Lizard feels like a genuine threat to Spider-Man. He is big, strong, mean, and can match Peter in speed. The fight scenes are frantic and Spider-Man's movements are way better than the static, basic fights from the old films. There are a lot of video game inspired moves to be seen. Every now and then, the camera will switch to first person, but this isn't used much at all. I've seen some people complain, but I feel like they were just needing something to gripe about. It's not really distracting at all. Just odd. It makes sense when you realize it was done mostly for the 3D aspect of it all.

Speaking of which, the 3D in the movie was not needed at all and didn't really do anything to impress. I barely noticed it. I saw it in IMAX 3D, so I was forced to wear the glasses the whole time. All this did was make the film a little darker. I saw when it was intended to be 3D, but it never felt like it to me. I'm so tired of 3D movies anyway. I prefer my experiences to be 2D viewing, and had that been the option for this screening, I would have been way happier.

Back to the good things. This was not "Twilight" or "Emo" Spider-Man. When pictures of Garfield first hit the net, people were up in arms. Well, you know what? He's not very brooding at all. He's kind of just a normal teenager. He gets picked on, but brushes it off without thinking too much about it. He deals with it. He crushes on Gwen, maybe even borderline stalks her, but it never feels forced or cheesy, and a lot of that is because of the chemistry between Garfield and Stone. They play so well off each other that you could believe they were really dating. That's probably why they are now.

I'm not a fan of CG use in movies. I came from the era where puppets, models, and matte paintings reigned supreme. I like it when there's actually something there for the actors to interact with. I like sets and the work that goes into making all of these fantastic things and places a reality. That said, I was pretty impressed with the CG in the movie. It never bothered me, and that was probably because I was so wrapped up in what was going on on the screen and in the story.

I loved The Amazing Spider-Man. It's right up there in quality with The Avengers and this is a solid start to reworking the franchise. The cast was great, effects were good, and the story wasn't bad at all. There are some nice teases of things to come in the future, such as a certain character mentioned several times but never really seen. Stay after the credits, but not all the way to the end.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indie Spotlight - The Punk Boy's Aneurysm

  The Punk Boy's Aneurysm is one of the most intriguing webcomics I've ever read. Written and drawn by Argentinian native Renzo Podesta, the story follows a masked boy and his band of misfit friends in a world that has changed from what we know. There are also mysterious events beginning to unfold that will surely put the characters to the test.




 Gorgeous black and white artwork that is reminiscent of the best mangas I've read lends itself to this story. Podesta's portfolio of work is pretty varied, but this is the stuff that caught my eye the most.

No.

The story is released on a weekly basis and is broken down into chapters and episodes. The English version was overseen by Javier Gomez. Chapter five is being released right now, and you can read the first four chapters on various websites and blogs. The first four chapters are also available for download as well as several wallpapers and pinups by other artists.


The Punk Boy's Aneurysm already has quite the following, and the varied amount of guest art shows that this group of characters has the potential to break out beyond the internet. When I read the comic, it's highly animated in my mind, and I could definitely see it being adapted to a feature length film or series.
Just one of the many strange events in the story.
The opening chapter starts off with a fight scene right away, and the format of the comic allows Podesta to tell his story via eclectic layouts. It leads up to one of my favorite comic pages ever, which I'll try to let you guess for yourself when you read it. I would definitely like to have a well-done print of it eventually.  The other chapters involve a giant squid and a break-in to steal the most unlikely of objects, as well as the appearance of a mysterious man who is much more than he seems.

 I'm on board with this story for the foreseeable future and I recommend following along if you are tired of typical comics.

Read The Punk Boy's Aneurysm
Renzo Podesta on Facebook
Renzo Podesta's Website

Friday, June 15, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Elaine Haygood

I recently interviewed Elaine Haygood,owner of Lens Cap Productions and creator of And the Coming of Nighttime.

What projects are you currently working on?

Along with Issue #3 of ATCON, I’m doing preliminary work on an animated short called “Grey Day”. Think “Twilight Zone” meets Aesop’s Fables. I’m also working on a project with George Lopez (A Distant Battlefield) currently titled, “Codename: Raptor”, but I can’t say much more than it doesn’t have Werewolves in it, but it WILL have plenty of butt-kicking ACTION in it.

I’m also developing a web series that will be done kind of like a Ken Burns-style documentary which I hope to be able to begin pre-production next year. There’ll be a Kickstarter campaign for that one.

Do you prefer writing or doing artwork?
I prefer both, actually-I’m a control freak and I LOVE taking a project from conception to completion and I just can’t see myself not doing both no matter what type of project I’m working on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quickfire DC Comics Reviews- Batman, Batman and Robin, Superboy


Batman #10
Written by Scott Synder
Art by Greg Capullo

“Night of the Owls” reaches its boiling point with a huge reveal this week that could change Bruce Wayne’s life forever. Snyder’s been building up to this moment since his first issue of the relaunched title. This story, while only running for the past year, is every bit as ambitious and mythos redefining as anything Grant Morrison has done to Batman in the past few years. This is why the Batman titles have been consistently awesome. Amazing writers actually progressing the character and his world. The tension is high as the reveal builds up. Greg Capullo is spot on as usual. His dark, gritty looking art was a perfect fit for this book. Awesome read.

Read my reviews for Batman and Robin #10 and Superboy #10 after the jump.

Late Review- Earth 2 #2


Earth 2 #2
Written by James Robinson
Penciled by Nicola Scott

If you haven’t read issue 1 of Earth 2, you should go do it. It was an excellent book, although it did have a lot of build up to get us to where James Robinson wanted us to be. This review will reference prior events, so it will be placed after the jump to avoid spoilers.

Update

credit: mysanantonio.com
Sorry for the lack of updates over the past few days. I've been having some issues as far as online accessibility. I've got a slew of updates coming up including but not limited to: reviews for Earth 2 #2, World's Finest #2, Batman #10, Spider-Men #1, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1, Superman vs. the Elite, and the latest episodes of Young Justice and True Blood.

There will also be some exciting announcements coming up, so stick with me and you won't be sorry.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Michael Waggoner

Michael Waggoner
  Continuing with our coverage and general promotion for the upcoming indie series TITANS, I interviewed colorist Michael Waggoner about the project and his general interests.

What attracted you to TITANS?

It would have to be the fusion of the multiple mythologies. Johnny has brought in these Gods and Goddesses from Norse, Egyptian, Greek and Roman folklore into this massive tale with unlimited possibilities. Plus the premise of the book is interesting. What if God was to retire...who would take over? It's going to be one wild ride.

What is your approach to working on the book?

We had some pretty lengthy discussions about the direction of book and the over all tone we wanted to portray. Both being fans of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant work, we decided that we wanted to go “old school” with the colors and Sean's artwork really mashed well with that concept. Limiting the color palette and using flat colors really gave it it's own voice. Few books take that approach these days, Paul Grist's Mudman is one of those and has been a great read by the way. Utilizing that limited color scheme to add depth and clarity has been a challenge. Not that we were trying to re-invent the wheel or anything...we just wanted to do something a bit different.

How long will you be on the project?

Titans #1 pg1 preview.
As long as Johnny wants me working on it, I'll be there.  

What tools do you use for coloring projects?

In the old days I used Martins dyes and painted the pages. Now I'm using Photoshop and sometimes GIMP for computer coloring. 

When did you get into comics?

I started reading comics in the early 80's. Whatever I could talk my mom into buying at the local Winn-Dixie or Safe-Way during our weekly grocery shopping trip was what came home with me. Like most kids, I instantly started writing and drawing my own comics. I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher, Chris Herrington, back in junior high who kept pushing me and my degenerate friends to write and draw comics at a time when many were getting out of it. I later got a job at the local baseball card shop and convinced them to carry new comics. I worked for there nearly 15 years, during those years, we set-up and promoted comic cons and trade shows. Giving me the opportunity to make friends in the comic business and I learned much from talking to the top pros.

What series do you read?

Currently I'm reading the Batman tiles, Legion of Super Heroes, Legion Lost, Sixth Gun, X-Factor, Animal Man, Mudman and Saga...as far as monthly titles from the majors go. The new Dial H and G.I. Combat had me reminiscing about the days of buying Action Comics and the first G.I. Combat run back in the 80's. I'm very excited about the VALIANT relaunch and have enjoyed the first two X-O Manowar and the first Harbinger. There are way too many indies to list here...many of which will be covered in the up-coming Comix Lab zine though.

Who are your favorite writers/artists?

This could be a long list...here's the short hand version. Bill Sienkiewicz, Jae Lee, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Matt Feazell, Dave Sim, Mike Weringo, Peter David, Joe R. Lansdale, Jeff Lemire, Ernie Chan, Tony DeZunia and Jim Shooter...to name a few

What characters would you like to draw?

Batman and company for sure, Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, a solo Rocket Raccoon, Iron Fist, Magick, Justice Machine, Elementals and American Eagle.


What writers would you like to work with?

Jeff Lemire, Cullen Bunn, Mark Waid, Rick Remender, Palmiotti and Gray, DnA and Paul Levitz would all be nice to work with. Joe R. Lansdale is one hell of a writer and a good friend who has allowed be the option to adapt his works in to comics form, so that one may be coming true in the very near future. My pal Jai Nitz should also be on the list. I got to say that Johnny Brown is tearing it up on Titans and that it's a pleasure to be working on that.

If you'd like to donate to help launch TITANS at Gen Con, you can visit its Indiegogo Page.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Before Watchmen - Minutemen #1 Review

Minutemen #1 - Darwyn Cooke Cover
 BEFORE WATCHMEN  Minutemen #1
written and drawn by DARWYN COOKE


Before Watchmen is the biggest comics event in the past ten years. It's bigger than any massive crossover by either of the big two companies. It's bigger than the launch of the Ultimate Marvel line or the relaunch of DC's entire catalog. This is Watchmen for crying out loud. You know, that little graphic novel that was consistently a top-selling book?

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original opus is widely regarded as the single greatest piece of comic fiction of all time. It is incredibly deep and detailed, rich with hidden little things on every page. It has been analyzed time and time again. It is a cherished thing among many people.

I am not one of those people. Don't get me wrong. I love the book. I love the characters. I did not, however, get to experience it firsthand. I didn't read Watchmen until I was eighteen years old. By then, I had gotten my fill of realistic, brooding, gritty superheroes and their lives out from behind a mask. By the time I read the book, I had already read a million different quotes from Alan Moore damning DC Comics to Hell. I get it Alan, you got screwed. I know.  It's hard for me to pick a side, because any creator being screwed over is no good. I'm all for creators rights. However, I also think from a business standpoint at times, so I can see why DC did what they did. There is no right or wrong here, for me at least. Both parties could have handled this situation better over the years.

Despite Moore's numerous protests and non-support, Watchmen was finally made into a movie. At this point, I really didn't care. I thought it'd be exciting to see on screen. You know what? It was. It was awesome. Zack Snyder made what I think is the closest adaptation we'll ever see of that original story outside of a massive, panel for panel animated version.

When DC made the announcement for Before Watchmen, the entire comic world let out a collective "OH EXPLETIVE DELETED!!" Whether they were in favor of it or not, they were talking. This is a series with characters that people have only seen in the original material, a roleplaying game, and ill-conceived video games that tied in with the movie. They had to be excited to see these characters again. Then the creators were announced. That's when it was apparent that DC was not screwing around. Whether this was for money or love of the material, it was ballsy and they putting their balls to the wall.  The preview art firmly established that the people selected for each project were a perfect fit. I really would like to have video recordings of every creator's reaction when they were offered this job.

Yesterday saw the first release in this ambitious undertaking in the form of Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen. I have been a fan of his since New Frontier and was extremely excited he would be tackling the old school heroes of this universe. Cooke pulls double duty as writer and artist here, and his work is just as vivid as ever.

Minutemen #1 cover by Michael Golden


The books plays out a series of vignettes narrated by Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. They detail each hero's background and gives them each a distinct personality. The exposition never gets boring as most scenes are backed by action. There are hints that this book will get a little more violent as it goes along.

We didn't get to see the original Minutemen do too much as far as actually operating as a unit in the original book, so it will be great to see them working together as the series progresses. This is basically the Justice League of the Watchmen universe. The big hitters, so to speak.

Cooke's retro-ish art style was the best choice for a book like this, surely to be steeped in history and the America of old.

This was a great lead-off, and with Cooke and Amanda Conner's Silk Spectre releasing next week, the event is kicking off with a bang.

 Controversial? Of course. If you really love these characters, though, get ready for a wild ride, because I'm sure peoples' opinions are going to be the most varied you'll ever hear. Either way, DC has accomplished their mission. This will sell, and it will have people talking.

UPDATE: I will be covering the back-up story Curse of the Crimson Corsair as a whole when the series is completed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Johnny Mack Interview

Johnny Mack, the creator of upcoming book TITANS answered some questions for me. I'm here to help promote and support my fellow creators. Johnny is a member of the Wonderfunders! facebook group, the group responsible for my upcoming comic. So sit back and enjoy this interview, check out the links, and support Johnny in his endeavors!








When did you start reading comics?



My earliest memory of reading a comic was about five or six (circa 85-86). There was a Spiderman cartoon that would come on and of course Superfriends etc. I was given a ton of comics for Christmas that year because I said I wanted them. So My parents bought em for me…and thus my love affair with comics began.



What are your favorite comics?


Frenemy of the State which is by Rashida Jones (daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton of Mod Squad fame) Sailor Moon, Spell Checkers, Artifice, Johnny Saturn, and Teahouse (the last three are web comics.)



Who are your favorite writers?


That’s a tough question for me because writers in the comic medium don’t really get a lot of recognition at times unless they draw as well. I do in just general novelist; I love so many it’s hard to narrow the field.



When did you start writing comics?


I started back in the mid 90’s. Things were so different back then, internet was in its infancy and crowdfunding as well as digital/pod printing didn’t even exist. My friend John Cummings who is a talented artist in his own right and I tried to do a comic. Needless to say no one is buying copies of “Alternate 8” (lol)



Where do you draw your inspiration from?


From family and friends, the world around us, folklore, mythology and religion. Also, film genres of all kinds. I feed off a lot of things and places for inspiration.



When and how did you conceptualize TITANS?


The idea for it (TITANS) came from me writing for solace. My mother had just passed some time before that and I was writing a totally different comic based on a table top Mutants and Masterminds game my best friend Scott was running. It was so slow trying to write the script because it never felt organic…I couldn’t even get people to want to work on it with me or to at least stay a while to work on it. One day like out of left field the idea came to me for “TITANS” and I began to write it and never looked back.



What can you tell us about the book without giving too much away?


Ok, so God has decided he is going to retire from being the “Supreme Ruler” so he decides to open his job up to other pantheon of gods, demi-gods and heroes. Only thing is that they have to fight to the death for the job…but of course there is more than meets the eye to all this. So if you want to know more folks, please read our baby when it comes out this summer (lol).



What is your goal for the length of the series? Ongoing or is there a definite ending you're working towards?


I view it (the comic) like a tv series. I have planned five seasons the first arch consisting of twelve issues with the rest being somewhere between 18-24 issues. Audacious I know! Also, there will be four graphic novels in between each arch and some special mini archs. So, needless to say the comic will be around for a while .



Tell us about the team working on the book.


I have an amazing team of people behind me; I have Sean Hill who does the amazing artwork, Michael Waggoner on the colors and Stephen Schilling who does, lettering, layout & design. I also can’t forget my web guy Michael Surma and my editor Jessica Fishburn.


Preview art from TITANS #1


What is your plan to publish the book?


We are going to self-produce and publish this baby under our own banner "Underground Comix". It’s scary and exciting all in the same time.



Are you currently working on anything else?


Yeah, Waggoner and I have assembled a team together to produce a comic magazine called “Comix Lab” and I got a few other comic ideas brewing and coming together.



What are your career goes in regards to writing? Do you wish to remain in the realm of comics or expand into other mediums?


Well, I writer screenplays and I am gearing up to write some cookbooks as I love to cook and am a foodie/ food scientist. So I hope to continue to write in all three mediums as they all are exciting, challenging and rewarding in their own right.



What comic artists would you like to work with in the future?


There are some killer artist that I have meet through a group I am involved with on Facebook (Wonderfunders) and I have to say the one I am dying to work with is Brian Germain. I so want him to do a book or at least a cover…something!

Young Justice: Invasion - Bloodlines - Recap

Young Justice was a consistently great show in its first season. The five-year jump between seasons 1 and 2 have led people to wonder if the quality would remain at the same level. Six episodes in, and so far so good. This week saw a fan favorite character join the show and moved a background plot forward quite a bit. Spoilers lie after the jump, so beware.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Aquaman # 9 Thoughts

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for Aquaman #9 and the latest season of Young Justice on Cartoon Network.







  I love the new Aquaman series. It's been my favorite of the DC Comics relaunch. It's one of the things Geoff Johns is doing right. It made Aquaman an awesome character for the first time in a while. Issue #9 came out not too long ago and has re-imagined the relationship between Arthur and Manta. SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read it. Take the jump to read more.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Batman Annual #1 Review



Batman Annual #1 hits just shy of the one year anniversary of the relaunched DC Universe. There has been a lot of confusion as to the status of several Bat-characters and the timeline of the bat-books. This annual serves to reintroduce Mr. Freeze into the DCU with a few changes in store.

We start off with a thirty year flashback as a young Victor Fries walks with his mother across a snowy field. Only it’s not just a snowy field; it’s a frozen body of water. Victor’s mother disappears under the ice but is recovered according to Victor, who is now speaking with a therapist in Arkham Asylum. As one could guess, Mr. Freeze makes his escape and goes on a murderous rampage until he’s out of the facility. He goes a little Sub-Zero on everyone, even using a breath attack that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen. He inhales an ice blast and blows it out of his mouth. We’ll pretend he could always do that, but his helmet prevented it.

Freeze pays a visit to the Penguin, who is not happy that Victor neglects to walk through the front door and instead drives through it. He retrieves his weapons from Oswald and sets out for vengeance on Bruce Wayne. There is another flashback that enters familiar territory as Fries was a scientist (this time working for Wayne Enterprises) employee who was researching cryogenics in the hopes of curing Nora.

There is a welcome appearance by Nightwing(I still don’t dig the red and black) and Robin, which is a nice nod to their partnership prior to the New52 launch. I love these two together, but Freeze gets the best of them before a final confrontation with Batman that reveals a new twist to his story. It takes the origin established by Paul Dini in BTAS, which has been one of the best contributions from the series, and flips it into an unexpected place. I’m not sure if I enjoy it because of the things it takes away from Freeze. It definitely puts him into crazy villain territory.

Jason Fabok brings down the house with great art throughout the issue and Peter Steigerwald’s blue palette with the occasional splash of color fits the tone of the story. I enjoyed this team throughout the book.

The redesign of Mr. Freeze is pretty great as well. I love the strip of hair on top and his less-armored look gives him the feel of being more of a physical threat than just another “two-bit gadget villain from Gotham City” as Hal Jordan would put it.(If you got that reference, then good for you!)

This oversized issue was welcome as a nice diversion from the ongoing “Night of the Owls” storyline running through all the bat-books. Although mentioned, and Freeze plays a direct part in the Court’s plan, there are no Talons to be seen, and it’s a good thing.  I’ll be glad for Scott Snyder to jump back into the established Batman playground and maybe re-tool some of the other rogues.

Verdict: Solid book all around.