Friday, August 31, 2007

My New Comics

This week’s best cover is Fall of Cthulhu #5.

Ninja Scroll #12, DC/Wildstorm. One Year!

Fall of Cthulhu #5, Boom Studios. I’m making a sanity roll already!

The 99 #1, Teshkeel. Free Preview comic. My favorite price.

The Walking Dead #41, Image. Wow! That was fast!

Trade paperbacks this time:

Jeremiah Harm, Vol #1, Boom Studios.

The Adventures of Red Sonja Vol #1, Dynamite Entertainment. Reprints of Marvel's first Red Sonja series from 1975-76, issues 1-7

The Adventures of Red Sonja Vol #2, Dynamite Entertainment. Reprints of Marvel's second Red Sonja series from 1977, issues 1-7



Who Wants To Be A Superhero… Week 6!

Being able to predict who is going home next is obviously not one of my skills. The Defuser is still here and Parthenon was sent packing, which I’m surprised about. To be completely honest this is the first time I’ve really disagreed with one of Stan’s decisions. Parthenon was not my favorite character by any stretch, but he’s always done pretty well. Some might give a knee jerk reaction and assume they had to kick the gay guy off, but I think it was really a case of keeping the only woman left on the show, that woman being Hygena. I really like Hygena, however her performance I felt was not as good as the others overall. You see, if we go with the criteria that Stan used last week to kick off Whip-Snap, that being the whole performance of the hero up to that point, then Parthenon should still be in the final three. Yeah, he blew it with the kids but so did Feedback in season one and he went on to win it. On side note, Parthenon was really positive during his interview with Feedback at He showed class and verve and I ended up liking him more as a person after the discussion.

What was good this week: Seeing the heroes interact with the kids in the classroom, and the heroes kenning a way out of the container trap even after a few mishaps.

What was not so good: Making the heroes look like fools in downtown LA.

I’m gonna pick the Defuser again because… well since Hyperstrike and Hygena were at the San Diego Comic Con promoting the show I get the feeling that they are the final two.

It’s interesting that next week is a 2-hour finale. Which means to me that the show is dragging and so SciFi wants to race to the end. Good Idea.

Promo for next week here.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some Gaming News

I was in Powell’s Books the other day and happened across a copy of the new Hawkmoon RPG by Mongoose. I didn’t have a lot of time to look through it but the art looked very amateurish, and the overall book design uninspiring. While I was happy to see familiar Basic Role-playing Stats I wasn’t impressed with the mutation rules. I filed that away. When I read a review at my doubts were confirmed.

the book is too short, the space between paragraphs is really huge and the page borders are enormous. This means that we have around 120 pages of real text, not enough for a traditional core book, and the consequences are huge. The rules are explained lightly, not improving the short descriptions from the SRD and lacking many examples, and the background is sparse.
The writing style is functional but never managed to catch my imagination, and the few interior illustrations are not good nor bad. At least the Tragic Europe map is adequate and well done…

…The game should be cool, but it's not, and I don't know what has happened. Maybe the Tragic Millennium is not suited for an RPG, or the book needed another focus and writing style.

For 30 bucks a pop it ought to be much better. Also, considering Mongoose is usually very good with design this is somewhat of a surprise. More books are coming so the world of Hawkmoon will be much more fleshed out and it’s compatible with all the other Runequest games published by Mongoose so that’s something. I guess I’ll wait for another edition down the road if I buy it at all.

Speaking of Mongoose, I’ve noticed that Conan 2nd Edition is a little late. It’s now coming out early September. I hope I still get the copy I ordered. Another Book, the Conan Bestiary has completely disappeared from their site. I was look forward to that one.

The big news that’s fired up the gamming community it the announcement of D&D 4th edition for 2008. From here:

Wizards of the Coast announced at Gen Con Indy Aug. 16 that the much-rumored fourth edition of the seminal role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons will be released in May 2008. However, several D&D support products…

D&D 4th Edition will continue to use the d20 game system — according to Wizards of the Coasts designers, the 4th Edition rules will be an “evolution of the system, not a revolution.” 4th Edition play is designed to be faster and easier for the Dungeon Master to adjudicate. Each character class will have a specific, defined role within an adventuring party, and the designers’ goal was to give each class interesting options for gameplay at every level. Character races have undergone a similar overhaul, with at least two new player races included in the Player's Handbook, and the core rules now go up to level 30 for characters; with the levels divided into three tiers: heroic for levels 1-10, paragon for 11-20, and epic for 21-30. One goal was to avoid having a single “sweet spot” — a specific range in levels where everyone wants to play. In D&D 3.5, this tends to be levels 7-13. For Dungeon Masters, the new edition includes new ways to build encounters by giving every monster in an encounter a role to play, and addresses or removes “game-stopping” rules like grappling in combat.

In addition to the physical rulebooks and supplements, a major component of 4th Edition will be digital. Wizards has launched a free beta version of Dungeons & Dragons Insider, the online component for 4th Edition, shortly after the Gen Con announcement. D&D Insider will change over to a subscription model around the time the new Player’s Handbook is released. For a monthly fee, D&D fans will have access to the online versions of Dragon and Dungeon magazines; online tools for players and DMs, including a character creator and map, encounter, and adventure building tools; D&D Anytime, a round-the-clock virtual game table which will allow gaming groups to get together and play D&D online; and forums and other community features.

I’m not mad I knew this was coming. I was thinking more like 2009. I’m not using the tons of 3.5 books I bought because I rarely role-play anyway. Oh well. It’s a good time to quit Dungeons and Dragons, although haven’t purchased anything new since 2006.

The future digital component of D&D explains why both Dragon and Dungeon magazines were cancelled. The final publication of these magazines was this month in fact. I thought about picking up that last Dragon, issue #359, because it’s supposed to have a retrospective, but most of it is info I wouldn’t use. So Long Dragon, I will miss the art.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Calls For Cthulhu


Dam You DC!

DC Comics has announced that the following Showcase Presents titles are CANCELLED. from here

Suicide Squad
Secret Society of Super-Villains
Jonah Hex Volume 2
The Great Disaster
Captain Carrot

As you know I was really looking forward to Captain Carrot. Plus, The Great Disaster, and Jonah Hex 2 were must haves for me. I guess DC just couldn’t tolerate the increased reprint rates for the creators.* Dam artists, and writers trying to make a living wage.


I had ordered these guys.

*see the thread


Speaking of Ray Harryhausen...


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jack Kirby's B-Day

Heidi MacDonald at The Beat has a nice post about Jack Kirby seeing as how today is his birthday… he would have been 90.

What can I say about Jack that others haven’t said in much more eloquent and appropriate prose? He was so important to the medium of comics it’s impossible to imagine what they’d be like without him. There was a time when I was young, when I though he style was passé, but of course I was immature and stupid. Now, I know he’s one of the greats. Everything I love about comics is tied to the energy and talent captured in his lifetime of work. Nowadays I can just stare at his art. It’s timeless. Jack’s the blue-collar Picasso. He captures a punch like Monet captures a water lily, or an explosion like Dali recreates a nightmare. You feel it in the gut and it flies off the page. He’s a cosmic armada and backstreet brawl all in one.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Countdown to Captain Carrot

Captain Carrot, for me, seems to be one of the few bright spots of this Countdown mess. There might be a few more, but as I have pretty much abandoned DCs new comics I wouldn’t know what they are. Well, let the turmoil swirl around the entire multiverse as it get destroyed again, as long as Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew have a chance to shine. The anthropomorphized animal superheroes are back! Yes!. There have been gripes and groans, by some who can’t take a joke, but for me with all the “serious” garbage going on in comics nowadays, it’s nice get into something that is simply fun. …And what’s a big part of fun? Funny, which I’m sure this Zoo Crew resurrection will be.

From DC's site:
The Zoo Crew is back in a 3-issue COUNTDOWN tie-in miniseries! Captain Carrot reunites the team to face a threat that begins at the "Sandy Eggo Comic-Con" and quickly menaces the entire world ! The gang's all here: Fastback, Pig-Iron, Yankee Poodle, American Eagle, Alley-Kat-Abra, and the Captain himself, taking on the Salamandroid!
I only have to wait until October!

Here’s a nice thread at Comic Book Resources with the lowdown. It’s great because Scott Shaw, the artist, is actually answering questions about the series. I’m tired of getting angry or sad when I read comics. I want a big fat smile on my face for a change and I feel, -NO- I believe, this series is gonna do it. I have a sneaky suspicion we will get a good parody of the DC craziness of late. It will be nice to read Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew: the Final Ark. They don't call 'em funny animals for nothing.

Now if we could just get a Captain Carrot-Spider-Ham crossover...!

Oh and don't miss the Showcase Presents collection that reprints the original Zoo Crew issues. It's coming in September. Yes, this is the 3rd time I'm mentioning this. …hmmmm maybe I really want this project to succeed.



Saturday, August 25, 2007

20 Million Miles to Earth

I had the distinct pleasure of watching Ray Harryhausen’s 20 Million Miles to Earth. This wonderful monster movie was recently re-released on DVD for it’s 50th anniversary in color. This was one of Harry’s films that I hadn’t seen yet and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a delectable 1950s, atomic horror treat.

A secret mission to Venus by the American Military spells trouble for Europe when a returning US Spaceship crashes off the coast Sicily. A reptilian alien, brought back by the crew, hatches from a gelatinous egg and grows unnaturally huge in earth’s atmosphere. Because of bungling and mistreatment the enraged creature rampages through Rome in a climatic battle causing death and destruction.

20 Million Miles to Earth has everything a classic science fiction fan could want; stiff acting, repressed sexual tension, “funny” foreigners, cold war allegories and amazing effects. Setting the film in Italy is pure genius; in fact it’s downright sexy! There’s just something so right about a cosmic beast battling troops in the remains of the forum and the coliseum. It’s a well-paced movie for a ‘50s film, and still exciting with tons of B-movie clichés twisted just enough to keep it interesting. It’s well done and a nice break from the overproduced sci-fi stuff we see today.

The DVD comes in a two-disk set with lots of goodies including, a retrospective documentary, a colorization process short and an interview with Harryhausen. The colorization of the film is quite good, although it's not as great as Ray Harryhausen raves it is. The monster and the coliseum are some of the best-colored parts of the film but there are some weak spots. For the purists, the DVD also includes the original black and white version.

20 Million Miles to Earth proves that without Ray Harryhausen, fantasy films would have been a whole lot less fun. This film was an international blockbuster in its day, and it’s easy to see why.

Note: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, It Came from Beneath the Sea, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms are all set to get the same colorization treatment.

Here is the theatrical trailer:


Friday, August 24, 2007

The Whip Snapped

Who Wants To Be A Superhero… Week 5!

Well, I called it… NOT. I picked the Defuser last week and it was Whip-Snap that went home. She just got too emotional one two many times. I should have recognized that, but due to the fact that she hadn’t been called up for possible elimination before I didn’t think it would be her. I like Whip-Snap. Her real life story seemed so powerful and inspirational, a gay African American woman who overcame poverty and all that, I would have liked to have known more. But this is contest, as Stan said, and superhero is supposed to be as positive as possible and all the blubbering just wasn’t cutting it.
But I still think the Defuser came very close to leaving. Whip-Snap did have the fastest time on the rat, snake, and spider hole crawl, but Stan has to take the heroes performance in total and the past performances have been lacking especially due to her breakdowns.

Her interaction with the kids at the restaurant was great though, that big smile showed that she could be positive. If only we saw more of that.

Additionally. Ok, Yes everybody, this season of Who Wants To Be A Superhero is not as good as it could be. There I said it. Are you happy? Maybe the 1st season moved faster, maybe the people were more interesting, or possibly the newness factor of the show really helped sell it the first time around. I would encourage folks who are kinda iffy on the premise to check out the first season, especially for Captain Victory’s antics.

Doctor Dark Still rules though, he’s making the show fun.

Because he committed the big booboo of giving part of his costume away, I’ll pick the Defuser again to be eliminated next week.

I’m seriously starting to think that Hyperstrike is going all the way, although my personal favorite is Hygena for some bizarre reason.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

My New Comics

This week’s best cover is Terminator 2: Infinity #2.

Savage Tales #3, Dynamite Entertainment.

Terminator 2: Infinity #2, Dynamite Entertainment.

Battlestar Galatica: Season Zero #1, Dynamite Entertainment.

Black Summer #2, Avatar.

The Walking Dead #40, Image.

Alter Ego #71, Twomorrows Publishing (magazine). Great article on Canada’s Golden Age Comics.

Got a trade paperback too:

Planetary Brigade, Vol #1, Boom Studios.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The New DC Implosion?

Wow, and I though Marvel was F***ing up. Apparently my “wait and see plan” on buying new comics (otherwise known as “buy the trade if the series gets a good response”) was a much better idea than I thought. Rumor has it (yuck, yuck) that Countdown sucks hard. It’s ill-conceived, poorly written, and totally unintelligible unless your reading dozens of other titles a month. Amazingly, DC has centered their whole line on this loser. Countdown is the Heaven’s Gate of Comic Books and no Director’s Cut is gonna save it.

Now, I’ve been reading the collected 52 trades as the response was positive, but I was weary after Identity crisis, Infinite Crisis, and a multitude “no resolution” miniseries. But now I realize that 52 was a fluke. We’re back to the murder and rape fest that’s typified mainstream comics of late.

Valerie D’Orazio's insightful post at Occasional Superheroine lays it bare in a 12-point argument that’s very illuminating. Dan Didio is in trouble. He knows it. We know it. Dogs know it.

After reading the Newsarama interview with Dan Didio, I have come to the conclusion that the situation at DC has become so dire that to continue to publically mock "Countdown" would be in bad taste.

Honestly, I do not see the current regime at the company lasting any more than 6-12 months tops. "Final Countdown" will indeed mark the end of an era, an era that started strongly -- if not controversially -- with "Identity Crisis," reached its peak with "52," and crashed and burned with "Countdown."

Some of her arguments really stand out for me such as: #3 Didio has helped launch a renaissance in feminist comic book activism. # 4. DC is just doing “the Crisis” over and over again (boring), #8 DC is pissing off the Big Dogs at Time/Warner with their “DC Hates Women” storylines. #10 Sales are tanking, and #12 investment in the short-term as opposed to the long-term (which has been one of my biggest gripes).

The “DC Hates Women” has gotten so bad it’s making its way into mainstream press. See here for the Mother Jones article that Valerie mentions. Also in a following post, she notes how the new Batwoman, a character I was really enjoying from 52, disappears from the DC universe. I guess the neo-con fundies can’t allow a gay character that’s related to one of the big three (Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman) and so DC caved. This tells me that that all the work that went into 52 was quickly undone by Countdown and other DC titles.

Oh and for the fanboys out there who defend the “DC Hates Women” storytelling lets use a little analogy. It would be like Uhura on Star Trek, who didn’t get a lot of screen time but was present and accounted for, suddenly getting raped and murdered to get a rise out Captain Kirk. Sure women in comics haven’t always been well presented but what’s happening now is altogether different. The difference in this case being sexism from the greater society reflected in comic stories vs. the misogyny of a few creators and editors that pull the strings. Do you get it now? The old stories were sexist. The new stories “hate women.” These are two separate issues, with the later being the most insidious.

So I guess I’ll buy the last two trades of 52 and wonder at what could have been.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Graded Comics make news… finally

The LA Times has an interesting article on slabbed comics by CGC.

The Captain Marvel and Donald Duck comic books that arrive at the offices of the Certified Guaranty Co. are treated like archival treasures of the highest order -- armed sentries guard the lobby, technicians and appraisers wear latex gloves as they carefully examine each page and a sophisticated sonic device is used to seal the books up in the sturdy plastic containers that some collectors call "coffins."

Depending on the age and pedigree of the book being appraised and "slabbed," CGC charges from $12 to $1,000 for its services and, in upcoming months, the 7-year-old company will slab its 1 millionth comic book. That book may be a 60-year-old issue of Detective Comics that costs as much as a Porsche but it could also be the latest $3 issue of World War Hulk -- about half of the books that come to CGC now are fresh from the printer and probably 80% of them have never been read.

All of this seems like heresy to many old-line comic book purists.

"It's changed the nature of the hobby, it's turned comic books into a medium of exchange instead of a medium of entertainment," groaned James Friel, who works at Comic Relief, the longtime landmark store in Berkeley. To Friel, who has been collecting comics since 1958, "it makes these books a sealed-up commodity. You can't read them. It makes me sad. Some of these books will be sealed up forever."

But As the article goes on to say it is nice bit of protection from fraud

Now, "doctored" books get a purple label in their CGC slabs, the funny-book equivalent to a scarlet letter to a significant number of collectors.

There’s good and bad about slabbed comics. The bad being that people aren’t reading comics and it brings back the investor quacks that only want to make money. The Good is that it keeps sellers honest as fraud and doctoring can be detected. Me I actually don’t care. I couldn’t afford the high priced comics before and I can’t afford to get them CGC-ed now. What I really want is to read the stories. With the trade paperbacks collecting old adventures I’m satisfied.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Stumptown is coming!

The Stumptown Comics Fest is coming a Sept 29th-30th. This year’s poster has been revealed. Check it out. :)

If you like arty, independent, and creator focused comics, this is the event for you. Hell, if you like a Portland comic convention that actually has scheduled events, this is the event for you.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Vagina Dialogues

I just had to post this vid from Atom Films (there is an ad at the beginning) Obviously an adult theme here.


Friday, August 17, 2007

My News Comics

This week’s best cover is Shadowpact #16.

20 million Miles More #2 Bluewater.

Shadowpact #16, DC Comics.

My shop’s weekly order got screwed up, so I think that there are a few books I’m missing. I’ll amend this post if I have to.


Garbage Gal Gone

Who Wants To Be A Superhero… Week 4!

No surprise this week as Basura left the lair, as she just wasn’t assertive enough. She’s defiantly an attractive woman. One of those arty types you might see on the East Side of Portland. I picked her to go and now Basura is gone. Despite the predictable elimination, I really enjoyed this episode as it had the same feeling as a first season show. When the costumed heroes have to walk around and ask the regular folks for favors, it’s always amusing. The extended Esureance commercial was kinda a surprising product placement on crack and maybe slightly annoying, but I hope they really did donate that $50,000 to that urban tree league. It’s gonna get tougher now as the remaining heroes all have more positive qualities than negative ones.

I must be enjoying this show much more than I thought, because I had a dream last night where I auditioned for a show called Who Wants to Be a Supervillain. I got to talk to Stan and the whole bit but I choked when I couldn’t come up with a good villain character, which is strange because I’ve got tons of ideas already. It must have been that comic con panel at see here

I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that the Defuser will be eliminated next.

Next episode video promo here.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hail to the King Baby

It's the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death... er, I mean disappearance. Long Live the King!

Thank you, thank you very much.

pic from here


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My father says "What the Fuck, Over"

I finished the 10th and final episode of John From Cincinnati.


Although I viewed the whole series, I still couldn’t tell you if it was any good, very absurdist stuff here. The show has something to do with surfing, family pain, miracles, and the end of the world. It’s impossible for me to describe John From Cincinnati. It was cancelled right after the season finale… that seems appropriate because from now on it will never any make sense... if it ever could.


Killraven is Back… Again… sorta…

I’m feeling very conflicted about the new Killraven series that’s been announced by Marvel As a fan of his original stories in Amazing Adventures, I should be real excited, right? Well, hold the phone. Robert Kirkman is writing it, which is OK, as I like his Walking Dead comic, but it’s being drawn by Rob (Kirby of the 90s) Liefeld… ugh.

The original (1970s) Killraven stories were set 20 years after the Martians conquered the world in 2001. The Martians in this case being the same aliens from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds returned for a second invasion and this time protected from earth’s germs. It was very wild and wahoo, as Killraven, an ex gladiator, tries to liberate the planet with his band of freemen. It had a very Gamma World-y feel with all manner of strange mutants and post-apocalyptic themes. Earth had become almost Barsoom-like. The series did suffer from a dizzying of array rotating creators before Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell got control of the title. It was cancelled before any kind of resolution, but some plotlines were resolved in a 1983 graphic novel. All these stories have been collected in Essential Killraven if you happen to care.

What hasn’t been depicted was how the Martians were overthrown and the earth liberated. As I said in my post about canceled comics, the Guardians of the Galaxy title was just about to reveal this when it got canceled. The Kirkman and Liefeld version is a whole new reality for the character
Kirkman was aware of the Killraven character before he landed the assignment but didn't know much about his back-story. "I've been reading some stuff to have a passing knowledge of it, but [the new miniseries] establishes a new continuity and new take on the character," Kirkman explained. "So, it's not going to be conflicting with any of the old stuff. I kind of just wanted to move forward with the basic concept of the character without having any kind of extra baggage."
From the CBR article here
OK, Killraven hasn’t been a big hit in the word of comics. He’s kinda a niche character that road the wave of post-apocalyptic comics of the 1970s. Plus, there wasn’t a Martian invasion in 2001, So understand why Kirkman would want to start from scratch, but there have already been other revamps of the character: the Alan Davis version and Avengers Forever version. Still, what I really want to see is how the Martians got kicked out in the original continuity but I guess… that boat has sailed for good. So, I’d be willing to shell out a few bucks for a totally revamped Killraven with crazy post-apocalyptic adventures if it weren’t for… Liefeld. Gawd, this guy art sucks. Learn perspective dude. Liefeld must be doing Killraven because Killraven is not a well-known character and so good old Rob is not gonna piss off a lot of people.

I might be desperate for Killraven stories… but I’m not THAT desperate.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo RIP

sad news from Newsarama here

The comics industry lost a luminary this weekend - Mike Wieringo passed away Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Details are still sketchy as of this time, but according to close sources, the acclaimed artist had chest pains at some point during the day and called 911, but the responders did not make it in time

Died at the age of 44, much too young. Reactions from Mark Waid and Todd Dezago

Mark Waid:
I have more to say--much, much more--but I'm just not up to it right this second. I'm fielding calls, I'm making calls, and I'm trying to adjust to this feeling that I've lost my right arm. I've never done better work than with Mike, and I probably never will. I miss you, buddy. Thanks for letting me be your partner.

Todd Dezago
comics were his life and he worked very hard on them.
sometimes 16 or 18 hours a day.
he loved comics and loved the people who read them.
he loved you.

he was my best friend.
he was my brother.
i will miss him more than i can say.

From here Here


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mark Waid Blabs about being BOOM! Studios Editor-In-Chief

One of the big bits of news that came out of Comic Con was that Mark Waid became Editor-in-Chief of Boom Studios. Well, here's a vid with some of his ideas for the company.

Boom Studios... this is the place to be, from Horror, to Humor and everything in-between. These guys are making great stuff!


The “New” Flash Gordon

“SCI FI is putting a 21st-century spin on one of science fiction's best-known names: Flash Gordon” –

…And boy howdy, if by 21st century they mean really boring and lame, SCI FI accomplished it with flying colors. Imagine Stargate with only one world to travel to, X-Files with only one mystery, or Eureka with only one weird experiment and you get an idea of how dull this show is. I could go on and on about how this program is disingenuous to the Flash Gordon tradition established in the original comic strip but it’s entirely disingenuous to science fiction fans in general. Basically, the SciFi channel wanted something with name recognition to use for it's own purposes and unlike, say, Battlestar Galactica, which has been pretty good, they didn’t want to spend any money on it.

Flash Gordon should be about wild, amazing adventures on an alien planet with strange creatures and dastardly menacing threats of cosmic proportions. It’s the first Star Wars or Star Trek. Any adaptation, whether it’s played strait (the serials, the ‘79 cartoon) or for laughs (the 80s movie) understands that you’ve got to have that pulp sentiment, and larger than life action for Flash Gordon to work. This show strips away everything from the Flash Gordon franchise except for a few names. The script is terrible and the acting robotic. The producers want this show to be funny and cool. But it can’t be funny if the pulp elements are removed and it can’t be cool if it’s got a budget of two bucks. A Winnebago and a Bowling Ally are not the stuff of epic space adventures and Vancouver B.C. is not a good stand in for the planet Mongo. We should have had Hawkmen and spaceships from the beginning.

They are really hoping that nobody will notice how awful the show is. Sorry SCI FI we’ve noticed.

If your interested in Flash Gordon do yourself a favor and read the original collected comic strips or watch any number of other adaptations including the Serials, the 80s film or the 1979 Filmation cartoon.

This cartoon opening from 1979 is hundred times more exciting than the whole hour and half of SCI FI show.

How can adventures in a Winnebago and a Bowling Ally compare with that!


Friday, August 10, 2007

Right & Wrong

Who Wants To Be A Superhero… Week 3!

Here’s a video of the show's Intro.

Well, I picked Mr. Mitzvah to be 86d and he was. No big shock there. He was always wimping out during the challenges, so it was only a matter of time. In fact, he would have been gone last week if Mindset hadn’t been such a jerk. The big surprise came when Stan had the super-folks come back to their power cubes for another, immediate elimination and poof, Ms. Limelight was gone too. She’s a nice person but she couldn’t take the pressure. Plus, her antics were getting old. I won't miss her. So, I was right and wrong with my prediction, although I did pick Ms. Limelight two weeks ago.

So we’re down to:

Hygena, Defuser, Whipsnap, Basura, Parthenon, and Hyperstrike.

Since I have to guess, I going with Basura to be eliminated next time.

Having a Supervillain directly involved with the challenges really adds to the fun, Doctor Dark rocks! …in goofy Silver Age Kinda way. Mu-hahaha

Who Wants To Be A Superhero is so cheesy, but I love it. The premise is so simple, but it really works for me. Part or the reason I have such an affinity for the show, I think, could possibly have something to do with dressing as a superhero and acting out the part. I might blog about this someday… I must stress might here.

Next episode video promo here.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

My New Comics

This week’s best cover is Army of Darkness: From the Ashes #1. Ash is back home after Marvel Zombies, but Evil Ash has trashed the place.

Red Sonja #25, Dynamite Entertainment.

Army of Darkness: From the Ashes #1, Dynamite Entertainment.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Guidebook #1, Marvel Comics. Handy reference for the Gunslinger Born series.

I also picked up two trade paperbacks

Showcase Presents: Adam Strange, Vol #1, DC Comics.

Conan: The Hall of the Dead, Dark Horse Comics. The forth volume in new Conan series. (Came out a while ago, but I just got it).


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Justice League: New Frontier Animated Preview

The Award winning DC: The New Frontier comic miniseries will be a DVD released movie next year titled Justice League: New Frontier.

If you know and love 1950s and early 1960s then this is the superhero movie for you. The Silver Age is back in a big bold way. I’m excited. (pandabonium take note ☺)


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Nixed Comics

I came across this list of “Top Ten... cancelled shows we miss” here. It was fun to read especially as it was from a British perspective, although something needs to go to make room for The Tick.

This got me thinking, what cancelled or unfinished comic series do I miss. Hmmmm…

Guardians of the Galaxy: I’ve always liked these sci-fi heroes from the 31st century. Their stories were set in an alternate timeline that’s a post-apocalyptic lovers wet dream, with the bionics Wars ala Deathlok, the Martian invasion (War of the Worlds) ala Killraven, and the Badoon conquerors nearly wiping out the human race. I also really liked the fact that these were space-fairing superheroes. Just when the Guardians title was gonna start tying up Killraven’s history with that of the Guardians of the Galaxy it got canned.

Hex: Hey I loved the scifi, and mad max action of this comic. Who cares if was in continuity or not. With Vietnam vets, road reapers, robot guard dogs, time travel, and the Jewish Batman how could you go wrong? I don’t care what anybody says, Jonah Hex’s bounty hunter characterization stayed true despite the fact he was blazing a trail across the irradiated wasteland and not the old west. It was cancelled with issue 18 so we never got to see how he made back to the 19th century… and what was up with those Dogs of War guys anyway?

Scout: A post-apocalyptic western, with Hopi mysticism and political disintegration. Great stuff. We got Tim Truman’s first two story arcs in Scout, and Scout: War Shaman then bam, the third series never appeared. I’m singing the blues, what happened Tim?

Squadron Supreme: After Mark Gruenwald’s magnum opus mini-series, “Squadron Supreme” about a Marvelized version of the JLA taking over the world to save it, I was expecting a regular series with these characters. Then Mark had to go and die… Later, Squadron Supreme: New World Order raised my hopes for a moment but it didn’t lead to anything.

1963: Alan Moore’s parody of Marvel Comics in the Silver Age. Great one shots like Mystery Incorporated, No-one Escapes the Fury, Horus Lord of Light, and Tales of the Uncanny were supposed to be tied up by an annual. Then Image went through big changes and the last part of project was shelved, never to return.

Miracleman: What can be said about Miracleman that hasn’t been said before. Hmmm.., How do you take a British rip-off of Captain Marvel and make it one of the best superhero stories ever written? Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, that’s how. Now have Eclipse Comics go bankrupt, a confusing distribution of rights and Todd Macfarlane, and then you get a character that’s perpetually stuck in litigation with an unfinished story.

Ambush Bug: This character and his comic series totally changed my perception of reality; on top of that, the bug is really funny. Rarely do you get a character that breaks the forth wall. I never even thought it was possible to do something like that until Ambush Bug came along. Through several mini-series, the fans were treated to some of the funniest tales that had ever been put in a comic book. A good analogy would be to say that this character is the Monty Python of Comics. Ambush Bug made such an impression on me that I actually photocopied one of the issues and read it in my speech class in high school. Well, DC has reduced Ambush Bug to minor appearances and sightings. Bring back the Ambush Bug mini-series DC! We could all use a good laugh.

Xenozoic Tales: the inspiration for the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs cartoon. Xenozoic Tales is Mark Schultz’s unfinished pulp masterpiece set in a future world were the Dinos have returned and Humans eke out a simple existence in the ruins of a past civilization. Well written and amazingly illustrated, this series captures the magic of 1930’s adventure strips with modern sci-fi edginess. (From the back of volume one of the collected stories) “Once you let the profound creativity of Xenozoic Tales sink it’s teeth into you, you’ll be screaming for more!” Uh, Mark, …I’m screaming for more here…

Claw the Unconquered: Ok nobody read this title or they dropped it quickly after getting the first issue , but I loved it. Perhaps folks didn’t like it because it wasn’t made clear that this title was a continuation of the Red Sonja/Claw crossover “Devil’s Hands.” I found the Sword and Sorcery action crossed with the curse of Valkin’s demon hand very compelling. The title character was like Conan mixed with Elric. We were just getting started when the whole title was brought to a quick end due to lack of sales. I blame Wildstorm for not handling the transition from the Red Sonja/Claw crossover to the claw series very well. Hmmm… perhaps Red Sonja can come back and rescue him in another mini… yeah right. Not gonna happen.

Sectaurs… Just Kidding

I was gonna pick Airboy too, but I just came across an announcement that it’s being revived by Moonstone. See here. I hope it's good.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Spiderman Cartoon and Iron Man Comic Con Trailers

The Fanboys came through and posted the con exclusive vids for Iron Man and the Spectacular Spider-Man Cartoon! It looks like the buzz with Iron Man is worth it so far and now we just might have a Spidey done in the same style as the WB Batman and Justice League. Great stuff!

EDIT AGAIN: I found another copy of the IRON MAN trailer, not as good as the first one but here goes (Thanks to Sequentially Speaking):



Blog Positivity Day...

Rascally Heidi Meeley at Comic Fairplay has put the word out for Blog Positivity Day just to counter some of that negative comics backlash we might be feeling towards the industry. See here for the details.

Well, most of my special comic book moments have already been mentioned in this blog, but I guess I’ve got a few things I'd like to speak to.

Right now I am reading 52 via trade paperback. I decided not to pickup the individual issues, and I discovered it was worth the wait. The tight plotting demanded by the original weekly schedule and the ability to read each story one after another, makes for a satisfying comics experience. Much like having the DVDs to a whole season of a beloved TV show. 52 actually reads like the third season of a series, with Identity Crisis, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis and a myriad of other mini-series and issues being the second season (none of this impedes enjoyment though). Of Course the first season would have to be the rest of DC comics history, and Paul Levtiz, in the first story afterword, basically says that 52 is a collaboration across time with all the creators that have ever worked at DC over the years. That’s another thing that I like about the trades too, each issue gets and afterword.

I had given up on crossover stories. I was disappointed with the way Infinite Crisis played out and found most of the lead in and lead out mini-series unsatisfying with little or no story resolutions. I know the ultimate end of the 52 series, that the multiverse is back with 52 alternate universes, but that knowledge isn’t ruining it for me. In fact that’s the reason I decided to pick it up in the first place. I’m an alternate universe kinda guy. Only the first two trades are out now, so the whole series could go to crap but I got the feeling it doesn’t.

After all this blabbing the real positive thing I actually wanted to talk about was the depiction of Batwoman. I remember last year when there was this entire hullabaloo about her being a lesbian. News story after news story speaking about how sensational it was. I groaned to myself thinking it was another gimmick. Well, all these months later I’ve discovered it was really well done and the sensationalism came from the news organizations themselves rather than DC. What really worked for me was the meeting between Renee Montoya and Kate Kane in week 7; the look in their eyes, and the recognition of a deep history between the two really sold the scene for me. I’m a fan of Love and Rockets and the exchange between the two really borrows some of that old school, girl love from Las Locas.

A few other comic book moments:

Volume 12 of the Chronicles of Conan. I’ve read the original Queen of the Black Coast story by Howard, but the death of Bêlit in Roy Thomas’ comic adaptation still broke my heart. This trade clinched it for me that Conan the Barbarian is the best mainstream comic book of the 1970s (IMHO).

I am really happy that Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew is getting a new miniseries and past issues are being collected in the Showcase trade.

I have to mention She-Hulk #20 that just came out. That has got to be one of the best covers ever. On top of that, Dan Slott ties up most of the loose ends from his run, which is much appreciated. Most of the book is exposition, but it’s the most entertaining exposition I’ve ever read. Weird Huh!

I’m totally stoked for the Great Disaster collection as well. I’ve always wanted to read the Atomic Knights stories and Hercules Unbound as well. Wild and Wahoo post-apocalyptic adventures are the best!


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Who Wants To Be Eliminated? ...Mindset

Who Wants To Be Superhero… Week Two.

Wow, I would have picked Mindset to be eliminated if I had known that guy was such a clueless dick. Talk about no social skills and no empathy. How could he possibly think Stan made the wrong decision kicking him off when he insulted Ms. Limelight, and deliberately threw a challenge? It’s like he was playing a game in his own fantasy universe rather than dealing with what was really going on. Hey, Mindset get outta the basement and interact with humanity. This wasn’t a role-playing game. Bees were really stinging your teammates.

On A side note, I like the fact that there is a lot more supervillains this season. That was really missing from last time around. The fake news stories are a nice touch too.

I’m picking Mr. Mitzvah to get 86d for next time ‘cause his personality quirks aren’t funny anymore. I like his Stan designed suit the best of all the heroes though.


My New Comics

This week’s best cover is She-Hulk #20. Lot's of in jokes for the fanboys.

Spider-man / Red Sonja #1, Marvel & Dynamite Entertainment. This is not their first team up!

Star Trek: Klingons: Blood Will Tell #4, IDW.

Wrath of the Titans #2, Bluewater.

She-Hulk #20, Marvel Comics.

Jonah Hex #22, DC Comics.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #7, Marvel Comics.