27 Jan

Year in Review: 2014

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For the week of January 26th 2015.

 

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· 2014 Year in Review:

If you listened to the Comics.Community year in review podcast, then you will have already heard my picks for best of 2014. Below are my notes from that podcast

Comics.Community – 2014 IN REVIEW

FAVORITE ONGOING SERIES 2014

-Favorite Pre-Established Ongoing Series – Your three favorite currently ongoing comic series that launched before 2014.

  1.      Saga
  2.      Manhattan Projects
  3.      Batgirl

Favorite New Ongoing Series – Your three favorite currently ongoing comic series that launched in 2014.

  1.      Gotham by Midnight
  2.      Thor
  3.      Ms. Marvel

 

FAVORITE MINI-SERIES

-Favorite Mini-Series – Your three favorite mini-series that launched in 2014.

  1.      Wild’s End
  2.      Squidder
  3.      Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America (1 shot)

 

FAVORITE EVENTS

-Favorite Events – Your three favorite “Events” that launched in 2014.

  1.      Multiversity
  2.      Original Sin
  3.      Death of Wolverine

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COLLECTIONS

-Favorite Collected Edition (TPB or HC): Your three favorite Collected Editions that were published in 2014. Collected Editions are reprinted material published as a collection. The content can be pre-2014, but the collection must have been published in 2014.

  1.      Thor: God of Thunder.
  2.      Moon Knight Vol 1
  3.      Black Science Vol 1

Favorite OGN (original graphic novel): Your three favorite OGN’s that were published in 2014. An OGN is a new story published for the first time as a as a TPB or HC.

  1.      Doomboy
  2.      Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
  3.      Rocket Girl Vol 1

 

COMICS-RELATED MOVIES/TV

-Favorite comic-based movie/TV show of 2014 – Your three favorite comic-based movies/TV shows released in 2014.

  1.      Winter Soldier
  2.      Agents of Shield
  3.      The Walking Dead

 

COMIC NEWS/COMICS INDUSTRY

-Favorite Comic News Stories of 2014: What announcements/industry-events had you most excited?

  1.      Spider bum.
  2.      Marvel Movie news.
  3.      Batman/Superman in East Lansing

 –Favorite Publishers: Your three favorite publishers in 2014.

  1.      Marvel
  2.      Image
  3.      DC

Biggest Comic Flops: So much promise… so little outcome. Your three biggest comic disappointments (books you looked forward to that didn’t live up to the hype).

  1.      Pop!
  2.      Batwoman
  3.      Fire & Stone

 –Sad Cancellations: Three titles you were sorry to see go away.

  1.      Hawkeye
  2.      She-Hulk
  3.      Grace Randolph’s SUPURBIA. (Not cancelled, but done)

 –Publisher Suggestion Box: (Finish the sentence) Dear publishers, please…

  1.      DC fix Batwoman.
  2.      Marvel & DC, less heroes, more villains.
  3.      Bring back Steve Rogers.

 –Favorite Comic/Pop Culture Website

  1.      Comic Book Resources
  2.      The Mary Sue
  3.      EW

Favorite Comic/Pop Culture Podcasts

  1.      Post Show Recaps
  2.      SU&SD
  3.      AMC Movie News

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2015

Most anticipated comic book series (print) of 2015.

  1.      Star Wars #1
  2.      Multiversity Guidebook (80 pages!)
  3.      S.H.I.E.L.D #1
  4.     Star Trek/ Planet of the Apes

 Most anticipated comic property (TV, movie) of 2015.

  1.      The Avengers: Age of Ultron
  2.      Marvel’s Agent Carter
  3.      Walking Dead

 

24 Oct

Graphic Details 10-24-2014

graphic

Warning! Here there be Spoilers!

Below are my full and detailed thoughts and reviews of various graphic novels and trades that I’ve read. Reading this is a good way for you to get caught up on what’s going on in comic books today, but it also contains major spoilers for some of today’s most popular books. So, don’t say I didn’t warn you that Graphic Details begins, now!

Doomboy HC (Magnetic Press)
Writer: Sandoval, Tony (Illustrator)
Artist: Sandoval, Tony
Cover Artist: Sandoval, Tony

Graphic novel originally published in French (2011). This is the first English printing. The translation is really good, in part because the themes of the story are very universal, but also because the art is so endearing.

I want to talk about the art and the book itself, because the production values on the book are gorgeous. We talked last week on the Comics.Community podcast about the fact that some people like physical books better than digital, and this is a prime example of how having a high quality book in your hands can make reading more pleasurable.

The gorgeous book compliments the wonderful art which is somewhat cartoonish but still very relatable, and in some places very powerful.

Examples: When ID first learns about his girlfriend there’s a great use of blank white space to show his isolation and pain. Then, when he’s on the beach and he hears the sound of “the other side” on a radio, there’s a beautiful page of SKY SQUIDS! And finally, there’s a gorgeous splash page near the end of the book of Doomboy unleashing all his pent up feelings into one perfect chord as energy just explodes from his guitar.

Doomboy is a heartfelt story about love and loneliness, with a bit of mysticism thrown in to serve as a metaphor for things that people feel but can’t quite describe.

It’s about a young man named ID, who learns that his girlfriend has died. This seems very sad, and it is, but the story glosses over some of what ID is feeling and moves along with showing other parts of his life, so the reader doesn’t really have time to be sad. To me, the story moving along without dwelling on the sadness reflects how the main character also moves along without really dealing with his grief.

This is when the mysticism comes in and ID learns that he suddenly has a hole in his chest where his heart used to be. And that the hole gets bigger if he talks about her. Very much a metaphor for what happens when someone in your life dies, it feels like they’ve taken a piece of you with them into the afterlife.

I don’t want to give away the whole story, but, In order to deal with the hole in his chest and his inability to talk about his lost girlfriend, ID decides to pour everything he has into a heavy metal guitar project that he calls Doom Metal. He also adopts the name of Doom Boy, which was a nickname his girlfriend gave to him.

Eventually, this very personal music gets accidentally re-broadcast to the entire city by ID’s best friend. The music really touches people and inspires them. IDs music also becomes so powerful that it actually reaches his girlfriend in the afterlife, and through the music he’s able to fill the hole in his chest.

So, the story is very symbolic and mystical, but also very relatable and very human all at the same time. It’s definitely the most emotionally gripping stories I’ve read in a long time and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

20 Oct

C.C. Show Notes Ep. 9

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For the week of October 20th 2014.

 

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· This Week’s Comic News:

-Marvel’s Civil War
(Variety.com)
It’s been confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. is going to have a large role in Captain America 3. This is fueling speculation that Marvel will bring their infamous Civil War storyline to the big screen.

Also fueling the Civil War speculation was an announcement on Monday Oct 13th from Marvel that they have plans to reboot the Civil War comic book miniseries in 2015, which, if true, will help introduce the story to new readers leading up to “Captain America 3.”

The original Civil War series was published in 2006, so it seems a bit soon to me, but if Marvel reboots their whole universe as is also speculated, then they can re-do any stories they want.

-DC Film Slate Released:
(deadline.com 10/15/2014)
On Weds Oct 15th, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed that there are “at least” 10 DC comic films planned through the year 2020.

Here’s the rundown:
The releases will kick off with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in 2016 as expected, but it was also confirmed that a “Suicide Squad” film will be released in 2016 as well.

2017 brings “Wonder Woman” — with Gal Gadot reprising her “Batman v Superman” role — and also in 2017 is a standalone “Justice League” film, Starring Gadot, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.

In 2018, the studio plans to two individual films, “The Flash” starring Ezra Miller (Not Grant Gustin from TV’s Flash) and also an “Aquaman,” film with Jason Momoa who was officially confirmed to star.

2019 slates the previously reported “Shazam” film and a “Justice League” sequel.

2020 will consist of “Cyborg” and a new “Green Lantern” film.

Finally, a tweet from Warner Bros. on the 15th stated that more Superman and Batman movies are on the way outside of the plan revealed by Tsujihara.

· Comics Worth Reading:

Death of Wolverine #4 (Marvel)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Steve McNiven
We finally find out how Wolverine dies, and he dies from whiplash because the story moves so fast it kills him. I seriously felt like I missed an issue between #3 & #4, and that’s exactly what happened. Except, I didn’t miss it, Marvel just forgot to write, draw and publish the issue.

The “death” is certainly unfulfilling as I was unclear on who this mysterious doctor was that wanted so badly to kill Wolverine. Ok, so he “created” wolverine by giving him his adamantium skeleton and now he wants a do-over with all new Weapon X’s.

Fine. I do understand that much, but this whole story arc left me with one big question. Why do I care? Wolverine didn’t die doing something important. he died basically trying to save his own skin. Sure, made a tiny heroic sacrifice at the end, but it wasn’t enough for me to care.

Anyway, it’ll all be moot in 6 months when he’s back and it felt like he never actually left. On a final note, I will say that the art by Steve McNiven is some of the best that Marvel has to offer. So, there was that to care about.

Original Sin Annual #1 (Marvel)
STORY BY: Jason Latour (Winter Soldier 2013, Wolverine & the X-Men 2014)
ART BY: Enis Cisic (Newcomer)
This is an interesting story that stretches the limits of Marvel’s continuity by showing us that the 616 Earth has had powerful defenders dating back before Captain America or any other superhero that we know of.

Known as “The Men on the Wall” these heroes inexplicably had advanced technology such as rocket ships, laser guns, and moon bases, going back as far as the early 1900’s. There job was to be a secret force protecting Earth from hostile aliens.They did tis job well, but eventually they were killed off by alien agents one by one until there was only one man left.

If you’ve been reading the entire Original Sin storyline then you know who the last Man on the Wall eventually is, but this is more the story of the people who came before him.

Overall, I liked this comic. It was a fun stand-alone story, as any good Annual issue should be, and because of that I could figure out what was going on even though I only had a vague idea about what’s happening in the rest of Original Sin.

Wild’s End #2 (Boom!)
Writer: Abnett, Dan
Artist: Culbard, I. N. J.
Cover Artist: Culbard, I. N. J.
The cuteness and charm of the characters in this story makes for real fear in the reader when those same characters are faced with danger and  death posed by mechanical alien invaders.

Doomboy Vol. 1 HC (Magnetic Press)
Writer: Sandoval, Tony (Illustrator)
Artist: Sandoval, Tony
Cover Artist: Sandoval, Tony
This is a heartfelt story about love and loneliness, with a bit of mysticism thrown in to serve as a metaphor for things that people feel but can’t quite describe.
More on Doomboy next week!

·Topic of the Week:

Concerning Digital Comics:

Questions are:

• Do you read them? Why or why not?
Yes. I just recently started reading them because of Randy, actually. When I saw all the comics he had on his tablet and how convenient it was for him to just pull up any old issue from his collection, I wanted to get in on that.

• Are they good or bad for comics?
I think they’re good for comics. They give people another way to read them and can serve as advertising for the medium as a whole. I know several people who came back to comics because of the APPS installed on their phones and tablets allowed them to collect comics without the need for long boxes or trips to the book store.

• How do you acquire them/read them?
I buy DRM free through Humble Bundle & download my copies from Marvel to read on my Samsung Galaxy 10 tablet.

• How could the industry do them better?
I think more companies could do what Marvel does and put “free” digital copies in their floppies. This gets people used to the idea of digital and also helps them send free copies to a friend to get them interested.

• Should the price be same or less than print?
It seems like it should be less, because the price of printing seems higher than digital, but maybe all the fees to apple and the cost of the technology is as much as print. But it would be nice and I think more effective at gaining a larger audience if the price of all digital comics was the same as digital music. ($0.99- $1.99)

· This Week’s Highlights:

Goners #1 (Image)
Writer: Semahn, Jacob
Artist: Corona, Jorge
Cover Artist: Corona, Jorge
‘WE ALL FALL DOWN,’ Part One From the colonization of Roanoke to the Cold War, the world famous Latimer Family has been humanity’s lone defense against paranormal horrors for centuries…until tonight. A deadly assault on the lineage forces an unprepared brother and sister to solve their parents’ murder while trying to escape the grim landscape of horrors that stalk the children themselves.
TMNT Ghostbusters #1 (IDW)
Writer: Burnham, Erik
Artist: Schoening, Dan
Cover Artist: Schoening, Dan
When a new invention goes haywire, the Turtles are sent to a whole new type of New York City. One with a whole lot more ghosts… and Ghostbusters! The two teams will have to learn to get along quickly, because a new foe from the Turtles past has followed them and aims to conquer NYC!
Predator Fire and Stone #1 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Williamson, Joshua
Artist: Mooneyham, Chris
Cover Artist: Brown, Dan
As the Perses begins her long journey home, a deadly stowaway forces the crew into a savage conflict! While the crew defend themselves against this unseen predator, the hunter itself stalks a much more substantial game!

· Panelist Goodbye:

You can find me at zebunation.com. Also at Trollthedice.com for everyone’s favorite Dungeons & Dragon’s podcast.