Monday, July 6, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015 Reviews 9: Tales Of Honor

Editor’s Note:  Why are we still reviewing Free Comic Book Day titles when that event is now two months in the past?  1) Because these books have a shelf life far beyond the event.  2) Collectors seek them out, and want complete sets of certain titles.  3) It’s an inexpensive way to check out some titles you might not want to risk spending your comics dollars on 4) The 2015 books have been exceptional, a banner year.  Just look at all the titles we gave high rankings too.  5) We are completists, and the job isn’t done yet!

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TALES OF HONOR VOLUME TWO, ISSUE ZERO  (Image /Top Cow May 2015)  Matt Hawkins, writer.  Linda Sejic, artist.  Troy Peteri, letterer.  Set in the Honorverse created by David Weber. www.tales-of-honor.com

COVER APPEAL: Simplistic yet appealing. A woman (the main character, Honor Harrington)  in a space-faring military outfit holds a big-ass gun with a spaceship exploding in the background.  Makes you curious to look inside. 2.5 Points.

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STORY: Based on the military science-fiction tales of David Weber featuring his signature female spaceship commander Captain Honor Harrington, this short tale set in the same universe in a great introduction to the genre. Space pirates. Slavers. Maneuvers and strategy.  I’ve read a few of Weber’s novels and this comics adaptation seems to make the heavy emphasis on military tactics a lot more interesting to me when there are illustrations rather than long, detailed explanations.  This lets you get into the story quicker without being bogged down with all the finer points. I actually like the comics adaptation better than the books.  3 Points.

ART: A very clean and stylish look.  It suits the subject matter.  The choice of panel sizes and positioning is particularly effective at moving the story along.  2.5 Points.

YOUTH APPEAL: Not sure at all that this will pull in young adults. Unless the visuals make a Star Wars like (not) connection and they get curious. 1.5 Points.

NEW READER APPEAL: It’s not hard at all to jump into this story and follow along without need of any background material. 3 points.

PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: All story and some cool graphics containing background info and maps.  The only promotion is for the other books in the series.  Nothing at all about what else Top Cow has to offer.  A missed opportunity here.  1 point.

BONUS POINTS: WOULD I PERSONALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Yes, with limitations.  OI would certainly suggest this to anyone I know who has an interest in space opera / military science fiction. It’s a great example of the genre and an easy introduction to novices. 2.5 Points.

FINAL RANKING FOR TALES OF HONOR:   16 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Sunday, July 5, 2015

“ASIAN PULP” Debuts from PRO SE PRODUCTIONS

asian pulp

from the official press release

In April 2013, Pro Se Productions released ‘Black Pulp’, a collection of stories written in classic pulp genres featuring lead characters of African descent.  Not only were readers captivated by the cast of characters featured in the book, they also saw the potential of future volumes, both of Black Pulp’, and collections featuring other ethnicities in much the same way. Pro Se Productions proudly announces the release of ‘Asian Pulp’, featuring seventeen of today’s best authors, in both print and digital format.

Leonard Chang, novelist and writer and co-producer of the TV crime drama ‘Justified’, states in his introduction to ‘Asian Pulp’, “The world of pulp fiction was a world that I understood—it was a reaction to trauma, both as art and as catharsis. Personal trauma. Emotional trauma. Physical trauma. National trauma. This is why I responded to it, why I immersed myself in it. And why, whenever I was in a personal and artistic crisis, it saved me. Fiction is a reflection of and commentary on life, and I needed to find a reflection of and commentary on my life.

That there weren't any Asian Americans in the pulp I was reading wasn't a problem (or if there were Asians they tended to be dismissible stereotypes) -- no, not a problem at all, but actually an opportunity. I've always viewed writing as providing myself with more reading material. I write what I can't find out there. Why not have a Korean American act as a private eye, and infuse in his character all the traits I wanted to see but haven't? Why not write about Korean American gangsters, criminals, and detectives? And this is where we, as writers, all began moving toward: writing about people we want to see on the page, in lives and stories that speak to us.”

Following in the tradition of the best selling ‘Black Pulp’, from Today's Best Authors and up and coming writers comes ‘Asian Pulp’ from Pro Se Productions! A collection of stories featuring characters of Asian origin or descent in stories that run the gamut of genre fiction!
‘Asian Pulp’ includes works from Don Lee, Naomi Hirahara, Kimberly Richardson, Percival Constantine, William F. Wu, Gary Phillips, Calvin McMillin, Mark Finn, Dale Furutani, Steph Cha, Henry Chang, Sean Taylor, Gigi Pandian, Louise Herring-Jones, Alan J. Porter, and David C. Smith. The anthology opens with an introduction from Leonard Chang.

“As an author of color who writes genre fiction,” says Gigi Pandian, “I love finding books where there are diverse characters in exciting stories. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved reading mystery and adventure stories, but characters in the types of stories I enjoy rarely reflect my own ethnic heritage or the diversity around me (my father is an immigrant from India, and I grew up in California). When I became a writer, I naturally created characters that were part of my own life experience.  I enjoyed ‘Black Pulp’, so it was an honor to be invited to contribute a story for this new anthology. ‘Black Pulp’ was first and foremost a great collection of fiction--but I also loved how black writers and characters were brought into the spotlight. I hope ‘Asian Pulp’ does the same thing for Asian writers and characters.”

Mysteries, westerns, stories of crime and noir, and more, all with Asian characters in the lead! Between these covers are 17 tales of action, adventure, and thrills featuring heroes and heroines of a different shade that will appeal to audiences everywhere. ‘Asian Pulp’. From Pro Se Productions.

Featuring a fantastic, evocative cover by Adam Shaw and logo design and print formatting by Sean Ali, ‘Asian Pulp’ is available now at Amazon at      http://www.amazon.com/Asian-Pulp-Leonard-Chang/dp/1514752182/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436131934&sr=1-1&keywords=asian+pulp+chang  in print and for the Kindle,  and Pro Se’s own store at http://prose-press.com/                                     This historic collection of authors and tales is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Forrest Bryant and available for most digital formats via Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555805

2014 Report: Good News for the Comics Industry !

from the official press release . . . . .

Comics and Graphic Novel Sales Hit New 20-Year High

According to New Estimate by ICv2 and Comichron

The comics and graphic novel market hit another new high for the century in 2014, and a new high since the mid-90s, according to a new joint estimate by Comichron ' s John Jackson Miller and ICv2 ' s Milton Griepp.  Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada reached $935 million in 2014, a 7% increase over sales in 2013.
" It ' s a very exciting time in the comics business, " Griepp said.  " The broad range of titles being published, the wide variety of places they're sold, and the great exposure comics are getting from other media are all very positive for the industry. "
" The market ' s in great shape, " Miller said.  " According to our tracking at Comichron, 2014 was the biggest year for print since 1995, adjusting for inflation; without adjusting for inflation dollar sales hit a mark unseen since 1993.  And digital appears to be complementing, rather than cannibalizing, print. "
Increases were spread across all three formats.  Print grew $55 million to $835 million in 2014, or around 7% more than the $780 million in print sales in 2013.  That growth occurred in every channel and format except newsstand sales of periodical comics, which declined from $25 million to $20 million as Marvel withdrew from the market.
Sales of periodical comics through comic stores grew 4%, from $340 million to $355 million.  Sales of graphic novels through comic stores grew at a slightly faster pace, from just under $170 million to just over $175 million.
The book channel (bookstores, online, mass) was where the greatest growth was, with graphic novel sales in the book channel up 16%, from $245 to $285 million.
Download-to-own digital sales reached $100 million in 2014, but the growth rate declined to around an 11% increase over 2013's $90 million in sales, compared to a 29% growth rate in 2013, according to estimates released yesterday by ICv2.
So despite a slower growth rate in 2014 than in 2013, the signs of strength were broad, across channels and formats, a positive sign for the industry.
As presented above and in the accompanying infographic, the 2014 analysis by ICv2 and Comichron was divided up between periodical comics (what some call " floppies " or " pamphlets " ), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales.  All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup.  Digital sales do not include subscription or " all you can read " services.
This is the second joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first was last year for 2013 sales.
ICv2
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and showbiz on its Website,
www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn ' t something that can be left to chance--it's a basic necessity for being successful.  That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines.  ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.
Comichron
Comichron is the world ' s largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website,
http://www.comichron.com.  With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Scuttlebutt 3! New books coming July 8 and later

BSRB_004_001BSRB_004_COVER-A_SUAYAN

BLOODSHOT REBORN #4  Written by JEFF LEMIRE.  Art by MICO SUAYAN with JEFF LEMIRE
New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Descender) and rising superstar Mico Suayan (Moon Knight) bring the synapse-shattering first act of Bloodshot’s return to a knockout conclusion!   With each nanite-infected killer Bloodshot confronts, he loses more of his humanity, but with killers wreaking havoc across Colorado, does he have a choice? Meanwhile, the mysterious figure called Magic makes a move to restore Ray Garrison’s soul – but can he let go of the demons of his past? Does he even want to?   $3.99 | 32 pages | T+ | On sale JULY 8

UNITY_020_COVER_KANOUNITY_020_VARIANT_HENRY

UNITY #20 Written by MATT KINDT.  Art by JOSÉ LUIS.
 Out of the darkest recesses of the 20th century…the War-Monger returns to rage against the combined might of Valiant’s most elite superteam!   For thousands of years, the Eternal Warrior has waged battle; and for thousands of years, one spirit has vexed him…the spirit of warfare itself. nToday, Gilad Anni-Padda and his teammates in Unity must reckon with a long-thought-forgotten enemy–unseen since Unit-Y faced it in World War II–now returned to bring destruction and death to the heroes once and for all.  Unity may not survive the coming of War-Monger!  $3.99 | 32 pages | T+ | On sale JULY 8

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NICKELODEON AND JHONEN VASQUEZ’S LANDMARK ANIMATED SERIES RETURNS IN COMIC FORM NEXT WEEK WITH A MASSIVE SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON APPEARANCE AND A NUMBER OF VARIANT COVERS FROM FAN-FAVORITE ARTISTS

PORTLAND, OR July 1, 2015 – Oni Press, Portland’s premier independent comic book publisher, is set to launch the first issue of the sure-to-be hit Invader Zim comic series next week on Wednesday, July 8th.  The comic will launch with a number of activities at San Diego Comic-Con and several alternate covers from fan-favorite artists.

Invader Zim #1 will arrive in stores next Wednesday, July 8th, just in time to make San Diego Comic-Con a major event for Invader Zim fans. Oni Press will host a panel, The Return of Invader Zim, Saturday 7/11 at 2 pm in Room 29AB that features original creator Jhonen Vasquez, original show staff and creative staff on the new Zim comic Aaron Alexovich, original show writer and comic staff Eric Trueheart, Inker on the new Invader Zim comic Megan Lawton, and Oni Press Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones.  Questions for the panel will be accepted via responses to a specific message on Oni Press’ Twitter in the week leading up to Comic-Con, with those whose questions are selected winning a copy of Invader Zim #1.  Invader Zim cosplayers visiting Oni Press’ booth (#1833) at SDCC will also receive Invader Zim #1.  Bryan Konietzko (creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and staff member on original Invader Zim show) has produced a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive cover for the first issue that will be available exclusively at Oni Press’ SDCC booth.  Finally, Oni Press will host  signings for the Invader Zim comic creative team at their SDCC booth #1833.

 

 

Moonstone Nov ’15 release     The Black Bat Returns

Authors: Ron Fortier, Bobby Nash    Cover art: Mike Fyles

6” x 9”, sc, 270pgs, $13.95    ISBN: 978-1-936814-97-8(51395)

BlackBatReturns100

 

The original Black Bat returns in this thrilling collection of all NEW action-crime stories.
Read the character that was created at the SAME TIME as Batman!

Ex-District Attorney Tony Quinn is blinded in a courtroom assault.

He now seeks justice outside of the law as the relentless hero who can see in the dark: The Black Bat.

Guest-starring: The Green Lama, Domino Lady, and Golden Amazon.

Stories by Ron Fortier, Bobby Nash, Adam L. Garcia, Colin B. Harvey, Sean Taylor, James Palmer, David Boop, David White, and Josh Vogt.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Scuttlebutt: news from around the comics globe

compiled from news articles, websites, and press releases . . . .

SDCC logo

SAN DIEGO COMIC CONVENTION 2015 will take place from July 9th through July 13th at the San Diego Convention Center.

 BOOM! Studios can be found at Booth #229.  Their schedule can be found here . . .

http://blog.boom-studios.com/2015/06/boom-studios-celebrates-10-years-of-publishing-at-san-diego-comic-con/?utm_source=BOOM%21+Studios+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e3c4179133-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_695cb333f6-e3c4179133-26033118&mc_cid=e3c4179133&mc_eid=1755b821bd

If you want to get a sketch the details can be found on the above link. If you want the sketch done on one of the special blank (title logo only) boards, you need to place that order by Monday, July 6.

The annual mega-convention, now in its 46th year, will remain in San Diego at least until 2018.  Website Deadline reports that the City Mayor secured a two-year extension by announcing an expansion plan that includes special hotel rates.  The San Diego Comics Convention was being courted by both Los Angeles and Anaheim to move to those cities.  Per the web article (as well as content at Paste online magazine) more that 130,000 fans brought $135 in revenue to San Diego by attending the 2014 convention.   You can read Deadline’s full article here . . . . .

http://deadline.com/2015/07/comic-con-staying-san-diego-through-2018-1201467337/

Diamond Comics Distributors, suppliers of print edition of weekly comics  and gifts to local comic book shops and bookstores across the nation, can be found at Booth #2401, where they will feature many SDCC exclusives, giveaways, creator signings, photos with Star Wars characters, a Retailer Appreciation Lunch and several Previews panels.

On Thursday July 9th, Diamond will host its own PREVIEWSworld Panel from 12:30-1:30pm PST in Room 8.  The panel will give a detailed look inside the pages of PREVIEWS, information on how PREVIEWSworld.com interacts with the catalog, a look at the new “How To Order” comic, followed by an interactive Q&A session.  The panel will be led by PREVIEWS Editor Marty Grosser, PREVIEWSworld.com Editor Vince Brusio and Diamond Consumer Marketing Manager Andy Mueller.  Panel attendees will get a free copy of the July issue of PREVIEWS and have a chance to win many other great prizes.

On Friday July 10th, Diamond will also host a Retailer Appreciation Lunch from 12:00PM-2:30PM in room 31A.  Lunch sponsors Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Marvel Comics, BOOM! Studios, Titan Publishing, and Valiant Entertainment will make presentations, announcing their upcoming editorial plans and other news in addition to Diamond presenting its new initiatives for retailers. 

For more information about Diamond’s SDCC Exclusives and where to find them, in addition to learning more about Diamond’s Comic-Con activities, visit www.previewsworld.com.

DYNAMITE ANNOUNCES FULL CREATIVE TEAM FOR ALIENS / VAMPIRELLA, THE UPCOMING CROSSOVER OF TWO CLASSIC HORROR PROPERTIES

July 2, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the full creative team for  Aliens / Vampirella, the upcoming horror crossover between their classic comic book heroine and the Xenomorph monsters from Dark Horse Comics' long-running comic book, based on the renowned film series.  Corinna Bechko ( Star Wars: Legacy) will steer the series with her scripts, while artist Javier García-Miranda will provide the atmophere and action. Also, artist Gabriel Hardman will proviAliensVampi01-Cov-A-Hardmande the distinctive covers worthy of the tradition of horror excellence that both long-standing terror icons represent.

As established in Aliens / Vampirella #1, humans have begun to colonize Mars, but something ancient and sinister got there first. Vampirella, a supernatural exterminator, is faced with a mystery only she can solve... and the bloody realization that some monsters should never be awakened.
 
Aliens / Vampirella #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July  Previews catalog.  Aliens / Vampirella will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

 

 

Valiant and Swyft Media Announce Valiant Heroes Emoji Digital Stickers 

Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce it is working with Swyft Media, the company driving the emojification of brand marketing, to bring Valiant's best-selling comic book icons directly to fans' mobile devices around the world with the Valiant Heroes Emoji – the first in a new line of digital sticker packs featuring emoji-style renditions of X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, Faith, and more of Valiant's greatest superheroes.

Valiant emoji

Available now in the iOS App and Google Play stores, fans can add a nanite-enhanced new element to their mobile messages by expressing themselves with the heroes of the Valiant Universe! Straight from the pages of Valiant’s award-winning comics and graphic novels, grab exclusive digital sticker packs to text friends and family with all-new, never-before-seen Valiant emojis – including Apologetic Ninjak, Frustrated Bloodshot, Exclamation Archer, and more than 20 other designs for  $1.99.

Fully compatible with Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, LINE, Skype, WhatsApp, and more, as well as standard texting and SMS, send these stickers through your favorite mobile texting platform to let all of your friends, family, and loved ones just how Valiant you are feeling!  Standard text and data rates may apply.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Scuttlebutt! . . . . the latest from Dynamite Entertainment

 

Scuttlebutt (a slang name for gossip) will be an infrequent column on BC Refugees containing industry news and rumors, usually noteworthy but not worthy of a dedicated column. Most of the notes will be culled from various press releases.  In our debut edition, we focus on some upcoming titles from Dynamite Entertainment. . . . .

THE GODFATHER OF SHOCK ROCK FACES EVIL ERNIE AND THE CHAOS! COMICS FIENDS  IN THE UPCOMING MINISERIES, ALICE COOPER VS. CHAOS!
June 29, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the upcoming September launch of Alice Cooper vs. Chaos!, a five-issue miniseries pitting the world-renowned rock 'n' roll icon against the comic book industry's premiere horror franchise.  Tim Seeley ( Hack/Slash, Batman: Eternal) and Jim Terry ( The Crow: Skinning the Wolves) share writing duties for the event series, with Terry performing double-duty as the series artist. Joyce Chin ( Swords of Sorrow) will provide covers for the entirety of the series.
AliceChaos01-Cov-A-Chin
Alice Cooper vs. Chaos! follows upon the success of Dynamite's 2014  Alice Cooper, a miniseries that reimagines the rock legend as the supernatural Lord of Nightmares, responsible for visiting the vilest men and women of the world with nocturnal horrors. In comics, no one is more vile than Evil Ernie, Chastity, and Purgatori... the fiends of the Chaos! Comics universe. Plagued by bizarre nightmares, these terrifying undead monsters put aside their personal differences and join the teen monsters known as The Chosen to hunt down the one-and-only Alice Cooper.
The Chaos! Comics horror line launched in 1991 with Evil Ernie #1, originally published by Eternity Comics and subsequently by Chaos! Comics and later Dynamite Entertainment. Tens of millions of Chaos! comic books have sold intAliceChaos01-01o the marketplace, making its distinctive creature characters instantly recognizable to an entire generation of comic fans. Since 2012, Dynamite has reimagined the entire line with series dedicated to Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity, Lady Demon, and more.


Renowned as the Godfather of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper is an icon of rock 'n roll with a career spanning five decades.  A Detroit native, Cooper has released 26 albums over the course of his illustrious career, and maintains a reputation as one of the most theatrical live performers in history, often incorporating elaborate horror movie and vaudeville sensibilities into his stage shows.  In addition to his musical career, he is an avid golfer, film actor, restaurateur, and radio DJ.

 

WRITER CULLEN BUNN HEADLINES CREATIVE TEAM FOR  ALL-NEW VOLTRON: FROM THE ASHES COMIC BOOK SERIES

VoltronAshes01-Cov-Milne

June 29, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the return of the Voltron Force in the pages of Voltron: From the Ashes, an all-new six-issue miniseries written by Cullen Bunn ( Deadpool, Captain America) and illustrated by Blacky Shepherd ( 3 Days in Darkness). Set two hundred years after the events of Dynamite's previous  Voltron series, the miniseries will introduce a new team to pilot the five lions that form the Defender of the Universe. The debut issue will launch in September 2015 and feature cover artwork from acclaimed Transformers artist Alex Milne.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe launched as a cartoon series in the United States in 1984, quickly rising to become a top-rated animated series. Its premise involves a team of brave space explorers chosen to pilot five robot lions that combine into the mighty metallic hero Voltron, and their fight to protect the planet Arus, ruled by Princess Allura, from the evil King Zarkon on Planet Doom and his monstrous Robeasts. The series celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2014.

DYNAMITE IS DOWN WITH THE HOMIESANNOUNCING DEAL FOR HISTORY OF THE HOMIES ART BOOK, COMICS, AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

July 29th, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite is proud to announce an agreement with Surge Licensing, Inc. and Homieshop, LLC to create the first-ever officially licensed Homies publications. The deal includes rights for a " History of the Homies" comprehensive retrospective hardcover art book, which will feature all of the toys ever released, along with behind-the-scenes art, info, and photos on the development of the characters, brand, and merchandise, including interviews with its creator, David Gonzales, and the story of how the  Homies blew up! In addition, the deal includes the right to create original comics and graphic novels in all sizes, as well as reprint existing comic material.

HOMIES Dynamite deal intro

The  Homies first began as an underground comic strip created by artist David Gonzales that ran in Lowrider Magazine in 1978 and was based on his friends and lifestyle.  The merchandising of  Homies began in 1994 when trend-savvy retailer Hot Topic offered the shirts for sale, which soon became hot tees in their stores. Following on the heels of a successful T-shirt run,  Homies was licensed for figurines in the vending machine toy industry, where all sales records were broken, with over 150 million figurines sold worldwide. The licensing program soon spread to products such as action figures, remote and die-cast cars, notebooks, posters, plush, Halloween masks, video games, music and more, and were carried by specialty and mass retailers, such as Walmart, K-mart, Kay-bee Toys, Spencer Gifts, Walgreens and many others.  Today, the  Homies are enjoying a comeback with new T-shirts, toys and more in the works.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Evil Dead Reboot BluRay Review



David and his girlfriend have traveled to their family’s cabin in an effort to help rehabilitate his drug-addicted younger sister, Mia.  Along with a nurse and another friend, the four discuss how they plan to help Mia by keeping her locked in the cabin and away from old friends and negative influences until she finally kicks.  These drastic measures have come about since Mia’s last overdose which left her clinically dead for almost a minute.  The friends make a pact that they are not leaving no matter how much Mia begs and pleads with them.  But after a short escape attempt into the woods leaves Mia in a near catatonic state, they discover leaving was never an option. 

This Evil Dead movie is a big departure from the original but is still fantastic in that this was the movie Evil Dead was always supposed to be.  More horror than action-adventure and more likely to produce gasps of disbelief than belly laughs, the reboot of this movie is something to behold for anyone who can momentarily suspend their discomfort at a classic being redone for a new generation. 

The staples are all here.  A door chained above the basement as a woman peers out with evil in her eye, the only bridge being washed away and, of course, a woman being violated by plant life.  A demonic book is discovered and an incantation is unwisely read aloud.  The demonic presence then proceeds to work its way through the group until the last (very un-Ash-like) man is standing.  Although the final character lacks Bruce Campbell’s DIY approach to killing necromorphs, you still root for him, or are at least rendered speechless by the gallons of blood and cords of sinew that soak this entire movie.  While not purely a torture porn movie (Saw, Hostel, etc.), it definitely owes a tip of the hat to that genre for its unflinching style in portraying the horrific injuries that take down the group.  One character in particular is almost Campbellian (copyright pending) in his ability to take damage but somehow limp through the proceedings.

Just when you think the movie is done and a reasonably happy ending has been had (well, as happy as one can be with the bodies of your dismembered, deceased friends littering your family cabin), the movie takes a twist that even the most jaded fanboy won’t see coming. 

Although the reboot of this movie will surely let down those looking for the campyness of the first three, it is a terrifying horror movie that eschews the use of CGI and has a real gritty feel to it.  The last fifteen minutes also shows off the director’s ability to straddle the line of staying true to the original and ratcheting up the reboot in a smart way.

Note:  Be sure to watch the post-credit scene with Bruce Campbell. 


Final rating (out of 5):



Friday, June 12, 2015

Top Products Ordered For MAY 2015 released by Diamond Distributors

<b>EDITOR'S NOTES: I believe this is the same information that Diamond posts in PREVIEWS every month plus some additional stats and analysis. It's a subject of interest to me and one that I will share some of my own thoughts about soon.In the meantime, here is the full release.

From the official press release . . . .

Diamond Announces Top Products For May 2015



(BALTIMORE, MD) — (June 12, 2015) — The multiverse faces collapse and worlds collide in Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic's Secret Wars #1 from Marvel Comics, the best-selling comic book of May 2015 according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world's largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.

Marvel Comics was May's top publisher with a 40.17% dollar share and a 41.11% unit share. DC Entertainment was the month's number two publisher with a 25.43% dollar share and a 26.04% unit share. May's number three publisher was Image Comics with a 8.89% dollar share and a 10.28% unit share. In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 5.06% dollar share and a 3.82% unit share. BOOM! Studios placed fifth for the month with a 3.96% dollar share and a 7.16% unit share, and Dark Horse Comics was sixth with a 3.83% dollar share and a 3.43% unit share.

In May, Marvel Comics had seven titles in the top ten, including Secret Wars #2 at #3, Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli's Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars #1 at #5, and G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett's A-Force #1 at #6. DC Comics had two titles in the top ten, led by Jeff King and Andy Kubert's Convergence #5 at #9. Also in May's top ten was BOOM! Studios' John Omohundro and Eryk Donovan's Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1 at #2.

Batman faces new threats from the Riddler and Killer Croc in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's original graphic novel, Batman: Earth One Volume 2 from DC Entertainment, the best-selling graphic novel of May. Marvel Comics had three titles among the top ten, including Night Nurse at #2 and Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Civil War at #5. Image Comics had four titles, including Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch, and Stjepan Sejic's Rat Queens Volume 2 at #3; Jason Aaron and Jason Latour's Southern Bastards Volume 2 at #4, and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga Volume 4 at #6.

Drawing on the in-game materials from the best-selling video games, Dark Horse Comics' Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2 was May's best-selling book. In total, Dark Horse had three titles among the top ten, including the perennial favorite Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia at #4 and The World of The Witcher at #5.

Kotobukiya's Marvel Now: Deadpool ArtFX+ Statue was May's best-selling toy product and one of the manufacturer's two products in the top ten. DC Collectibles had seven products in the top ten, led by the DC Comics: The New 52: Harley Quinn Action Figure at #3.

The Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Assemble Booster Brick from WizKids/NECA was May's best-selling game product.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
PUBLISHER
DOLLAR
SHARE
UNIT
SHARE

MARVEL COMICS
40.17%
41.11%
DC ENTERTAINMENT
25.43%
26.04%
IMAGE COMICS
8.89%
10.28%
IDW PUBLISHING
5.06%
3.82%
BOOM! STUDIOS
3.96%
7.16%
DARK HORSE COMICS
3.83%
3.43%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
2.22%
1.82%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD
1.16%
0.27%
VIZ MEDIA
1.01%
0.33%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
0.85%
0.92%
OTHER NON-TOP 10
7.43%
4.81%
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
PUBLISHER
COMICS SHIPPED
GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED
MAGAZINES SHIPPED
TOTAL
SHIPPED
MARVEL COMICS

71
35
0
106
DC ENTERTAINMENT
74
25
0
99
IMAGE COMICS
58
10
0
68
IDW PUBLISHING
42
21
0
63
DARK HORSE COMICS
33
17
0
50
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT
28
6
0
34
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
26
2
0
28
EAGLEMOSS
0
0
27
27
VIZ MEDIA
0
19
0
19
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
11
2
0
13
OTHER NON-TOP 10
93
91
17
201
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS
UNITS
MAY 2015 VS. APRIL 2014
COMICS
-10.58%
-9.60%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
-21.11%
-19.41%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
-13.81%
-10.38%
MAY 2015 VS. MAY 2014
COMICS
19.94%
19.53%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
-0.29%
9.90%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
13.49%
18.78%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014
COMICS
16.48%
16.90%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
3.41%
-1.13%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
12.31%
15.35%
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1

SECRET WARS #1
$4.99
FEB150650-M
MAR
2
BRAVEST WARRIORS: TALES OF HOLO JOHN #1
$4.99
MAR151109-M
BOO
3
SECRET WARS #2
$4.99
MAR150618-M
MAR
4
STAR WARS #5
$3.99
MAR150683-M
MAR
5
DEADPOOL'S SECRET SECRET WARS #1
$4.99
MAR150644-M
MAR
6
A-FORCE #1
$3.99
MAR150665-M
MAR
7
OLD MAN LOGAN #1
$4.99
MAR150656-M
MAR
8
DARTH VADER #5
$3.99
MAR150688-M
MAR
9
CONVERGENCE #5 [*]
$3.99
MAR150155-M
DC
10
CONVERGENCE #6 [*]
$3.99
MAR150159-M
DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1

BATMAN: EARTH-ONE VOLUME 2 HC
$24.99
JAN150232
DC
2
NIGHT NURSE
$7.99
MAR150754
MAR
3
RAT QUEENS VOLUME 2: THE FAR REACHING TENTACLES OF N'RYGOTH TP (MR)
$14.99
SEP140647
IMA
4
SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOLUME 2: GRIDIRON TP (MR)
$9.99
FEB150542
IMA
5
CIVIL WAR TP
$24.99
JAN072436
MAR
6
SAGA VOLUME 4 TP (MR)
$14.99
OCT140644
IMA
7
LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST GN
$19.99
MAR151495
VIZ
8
DEADPOOL VOLUME 8: ALL GOOD THINGS TP
$24.99
MAR150804
MAR
9
THE VALIANT TP
$9.99
MAR151614
VAL
10
SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)
$9.99
AUG120491
IMA
TOP 10 BOOKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1

DRAGON AGE: THE WORLD OF THEDAS VOLUME 2 HC
$39.99
DEC140101
DAR
2
ATTACK ON TITAN: BEFORE THE FALL: KYKLO NOVEL
$14.95
MAR151665
RAN
3
ESSENTIAL EVANGELION CHRONICLE: SIDE A SC
$39.99
JAN151635
UDO
4
LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC
$34.99
SEP120055
DAR
5
THE WORLD OF THE WITCHER HC
$39.99
OCT140122
DAR
6
MARVEL: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON POP-UP BOOK HC
$14.99
MAR151735
HAC
7
THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: A HANDBOOK FOR GIRL GEEKS HC
$15.95
MAR151759
RAN
8
TH ECOMPLETE GUIDE TO SELF PUBLISHING COMICS SC
$24.99
MAR151750
RAN
9
WOMEN OF WONDER: CELEBRATING WOMEN CREATORS OF FANTASTIC ART
$24.95
MAR151727
PUB
10
BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE & DO SC
$12.99
MAR151492
VIZ
TOP 10 TOYS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1

MARVEL NOW: DEADPOOL ARTFX+ STATUE
SEP142328
KOT
2
THE DARK KNIGHT: THE JOKER MAF EX FIGURE
APR148224
MED
3
DC COMICS: THE NEW 52: HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE
DEC140434
DC
4
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT: BATMAN ACTION FIGURE
SEP140356
DC
5
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT: HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE
SEP140357
DC
6
MARVEL: WOLVERINE DANGER ROOM SESSIONS STATUE
AUG142465
KOT
7
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: MERA STATUE
NOV140352
DC
8
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT: SCARECROW ACTION FIGURE
SEP140358
DC
9
THE FLASH ACTION FIGURE
OCT140413
DC
10
DC COMICS: SUPERMAN & BATMAN BOOKENDS
NOV140347
DC
TOP 10 GAMES
RANK
DESCRIPTION
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1

MARVEL HEROCLIX: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE BOOSTER BRICK
MAR152655
NEC
2
MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: DRAGONS OF TARKIR BOOSTER PACKS
JAN158366
WIZ
3
YU-GI-OH! HEROCLIX SERIES THREE
SEP142619
NEC
4
HARLEY QUINN PUZZLE
MAR152470
NMR
5
THE WALKING DEAD: PRISON BOARD GAME
JUN142630
MEG
6
STAR WARS ARMADA: VICTORY CLASS STAR DESTROYER EXPANSION
JAN152641
FAN
7
MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: DRAGONS OF TARKIR FAT PACK
JAN158368
WIZ
8
STAR WARS ARMADA: ASSAULT FRIGATE MARK II EXPANSION
JAN152634
FAN
9
MINECRAFT: OFFICIAL MOJANG COMBAT HANDBOOK HC
FEB142547
SCH
10
MINECRAFT: OFFICIAL MOJANG CONSTRUCTION HANDBOOK HC
FEB142548
SCH

How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty retailers may be included as well.

Unit and dollar market shares are calculated based upon orders for comic books, graphic novels, and magazines invoiced and shipped to Diamond customers during any given month, which comprises pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable. Please note that comics marked with an asterisk (*) have had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect.

The New Titles Count Chart includes all titles that were invoiced by Diamond to retailers for the first time during the month and is not the official solicited title count for the month. Variant edition comic books and graphic novels at the same price point count as a single SKU. Variant edition comic books, lenticular covers, digital combo packs, and graphic novels at different price points count as separate SKUs for each edition.

***

ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD)—Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing thousands of specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.

© 2015 Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. All rights reserved. Diamond, the Diamond logo, Diamond Books logo, and PREVIEWS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Diamond Comic Distributors in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective copyright owners.


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