Sunday, May 29, 2016


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Continuing a new feature, as we peruse the monthly PREVIEWS catalog and highlight some books we feel are worthy of your attention.

Your local comic shop depends on your pre-orders to make sure they have the books you want when you want them. Since business reality makes it impossible for a local comic shop to order some of everything, they depend on the comics readers to tell them what they want to see.  It’s a dice roll for them every month.  Won’t you help with the odds by at least telling them what you want to buy from them in two months?  Please give it a try.  We’ll do our best here to help you with those selections, from a BC Refugees point of view.  Not objective, but absolutely subjective.  

ALBATROSS FUNNYBOOKS page 262                                                                                 

HILLBILLY #3:  Writer/Artist/Cover Art Eric Powell.  It’s great to see the creator of THE GOON putting out new work under his own imprint.  We haven’t caught up to this title yet, but HILLBILLY cover 02 plan to very soon.  You can expect the usual weird and strange settings that permeate all of Powell’s work, with a healthy dose of that mesmerizing art style that embodies the best of yesteryear - - Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Will Eisner, and others.  

From the catalog;  “The Flesh Eating Witch Child of Hoodoo Ridge crosses paths with the tear stained traveler Rondell.


THREE STOOGES: RED WHITE & STOOGE #1:  We picked up the first Stooges comic from new publisher American MytA59a9d 5f7259abf52b4c548fbffbad08afbca7hology a few months ago and were impressed by how it managed to evoke memories of those classic black and white short film starring three wacky comrades in slapstick fun.  Especially how well it translated to the comics medium. This is very respectful of the source material, and a must if you are a Three Stooges fan or just like to read more pure comedy in comics that’s not super-hero based. 

From the catalog;  "If you have to vote for someone, you might as well make it a Stooge!  Larry, Moe, and Curly find themselves in the running for the highest offie in the land.  Now these three knuckleheads have to navigate the waters of political office and one of them will become the new POTUS, or in this case DOOFUS.  Cast a vote for your favorite Stooge by purchasing their cover and after we tally the final count (no hanging chads here), we’ll end the issue with the real vote results and announce our brand new President of the United Stooges!  Come join the fun and cast your vote!"

E13177896 1578802559116337 710205455746298460 nDGAR RICE BURROUGHS THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #2:  With a cover by the exceptional Mike Wolfer, who also scripted the story and art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo this looks promising indeed. Who doesn’t like ERB’s classic tale of a dinosaur island?  American Mythology also deserve a look if you  reside in the PA/DE/MD triangle, as the company is based locally in Bel Air, Maryland.

From the catalog;  “They have found the fabled island continent of Caspak . . . and now, they might be buried there!  Abby Tyler and her research team face an unfathomable scenario:  Somehow, they have traveled back in time and have come face-to-face with not only Bowen Tyler himself but also the evil Baron Von Schoenvorts and the crew of the U-33.  To their knowledge, World War I still rages outside the walls of Caspak, and Von Schoenvorts will stop at nothing to escape the island prison.  But will any of them survive being attacked by a pack of vicious Allosaurus?"

DARK TALES FROM THE VOKESVERSE #1:  New and old horror tinged stories illustrated by the pen of Neil Vokes is extremely exciting.  While his art style has been employed for more than 30 years at the service of various publishers and genres (including a run on Batman), it’s the horror genre that really brings out the best of his talents.

From the catalog:  “Neil Vokes has been illustrating comic book nightmares for over three decad178842 921114 3es.  Now his classic blood drenched creations are being unleashed in an incredible universe of monsters and mayhem!  Join a virtual army of horror writers who each bring a new vision of fear and fright to the forefront of the Vokesverse — including Robert (Black Forest) Tinnell, Todd (Wicked West) Livingston, Jack (Eagle) Herman, James (Freddy vs Jason vs Ash) Kuhoric, and more.  In addition to six frightful new and classic stories, we also dig up a 30 year old masterpiece that has lived in shadow and rumor since the mid-eighties - - beware the Falconer has returned!  These first fright-filled chapters will spin out into a new series to terrify the unwary reader.  Get on board now and experience the horror!"

There’s also a disclaimer at the bottom of the PREVIEWS catalog page that states “AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY supports your local Comic Book Shop with this exclusive edition only available to fans that subscribe to the series at the store.”  So if you want this book, you need to pre-order it. 

AMIGO COMICS  page 271

DRUMS VOLUME 1 TP  Writer El Torres. Artist Abel Garcia:  We were intrigued by the first issue of this supernatural, voodoo-tinged thriller when it was first pPrv8698 covublished in the U.S. by IMAGE COMICS in 2011, but lost track of the remaining issues in the glut of books on comic shop shelves.  We had picked up Issue #1 on a whim, and as we didn’t pre-order the remaining issues we lost track of it. Now everyone can read the full story, in a trade paperback edition from the writer’s own publishing house, Amigo Comics in Spain.

From the catalog:  “FBI agent Martin Irons is tasked to investigate the bizarre deaths at a Santeria ritual in the heart of Florida.  As a foreboding storm swarms over the city, one of the victims comes back as a zombie and puts Irons’ case in  a whole new category.  With the Santeria drums beating as the thunder rolls, Irons and his team look to find answers for the deaths, while also trying to prevent more tragedy." 

June 2016 Pre-Order Picks: ACTION LAB, AFTERSHOCK

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Continuing a new feature, as we peruse the monthly PREVIEWS catalog and highlight some books we feel are worthy of your attention.

Your local comic shop depends on your pre-orders to make sure they have the books you want when you want them. Since business reality makes it impossible for a local comic shop to order some of everything, they depend on the comics readers to tell them what they want to see.  It’s a dice roll for them every month.  Won’t you help with the odds by at least telling them what you want to buy from them in two months?  Please give it a try.  We’ll do our best here to help you with those selections, from a BC Refugees point of view.  Not objective, but absolutely subjective.  

ACTION LAB page 248+

ACTION LAB, DOG OF WONDER #3 of 3  Now celebrating five years in the comics business, ACTION LAB is a company to keep an eye on.  ACTION LAB, DOG OF WONDER features their company mascot in an all-ages tale with something to appeal to everyone.  It’s one of our favorite books geared towards the younger readers. Even though this issue con66801 SX360 QL80 TTDcludes the first story arc, it’s reader-friendly enough that you could start here and still follow along without needing additional information.  Your local comic shop should be able to re-order Issues #1 and #2 through Diamond Distributors.  Why wait for the eventual trade paperback.  I’m planning on gifting my grandson with a copy of that when it becomes available so I have something cool to read to him  (10 months old).  BC posted an in-depth review and interview several months ago, which you can read here . . . . . .

From the catalog:  “It’s come down to this!  Action Lab is running out of time to save Armand.  And have we gone crazy?  Has Marguerite turned on Percy?  Be here for the last issue of our first story arc in the comic that everyone is talking about  Writers: Vito Delsante and Scott Fogg.  Artists Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt."
VORACIOUS VOL. 1: DINERS, DINOSAURS & DIVES Trade Paperback  Somehow we missed this four issue series, but are so glad we have a chance to catch up with this collected edition. We love the premise for this series. It’s been described as “Jurassic World Meets Top Chef”.  
13310333 352715831519425 9045496364401639950 n
From the catalog:  “Haunted by the death of his sister NYC Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook.  Forced to move back to his tiny hometown in Utah, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end.  But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited!
With a little help from his knife-wielding Grandmother Maribel, and friends Starlet and Captain Jim, Nate opens a restaurant that secretly serves dinosaur meat. Can he survive long enough to make it a success and turn his life around?"
AFTERSHOCK page 256+

ANIMOSITY #1  Marguerite Bennett, writer  Rafael De Latore, artist. If you read the quirky and disturbing INSEXTS with abused Victorian ladies getting empowered through extraterrestrial methods, then you’re very curious to see what the creative Bennett comes up with next.
From the catalog:  “One day, the Animals work up. They started thinking. They started talking. They started taking revenge. Now, a dog and his girl are trying to get away — out of New York City, and all the way to San Francisco to the only person who might be able to protect and save her.
From the writer of INSEXTS, A-FORCE and BOMBSHELLS and the artist of SUPERHERO, comes a new kind of road trip, a new kind of black comedy, and a new kind of coming-of-age story."
INSEXTS VOLUME 1  Marguerite Bennett, writer, Ariela Kristantina, artist.  MATURE READERS

From the catalog:  "Collecting the first seven issues of the hit series INSEXTS,  At the dusk of a century, a pair of vengeful Victorian vixens discover a horrifying power that transforms them into rich and strange new creatures.  Armed with their dark, evolving forms, they descend into a world of the cultured and occult, with new senses and new sensuality, to forge a life for themselves and the child of their love."

Saturday, May 28, 2016


The weather forecast is looking grim for any Memorial Day celebrations on Monday, May 30.

That include the now canceled outdoor comics flea market in the parking lot outside Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark Delaware.

20275357 illustration of cartoon clouds with thunder

Co-ordinator Paul wisely made the call early Saturday morning and contacted all the vendors signed up.

So, if you were counting on meeting the kind folks that bring you the BC REFUGEES blog site, we apologize,

Another and similar event is planned for the Labor Day weekend, and we just may be there selling books and meeting people. 

In the meantime, there is FIRST STATE COMIC CON to look forward to in June. More details to follow.

CAPTAIN BLUE HEN COMICS will still be open on Monday from 12 noon until 4 p.m., just in case you need some comics.

June 2016 Pre-Order Picks: A TO Z

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Trying out a new feature here.  We will go through the monthly PREVIEWS catalog from Diamond Distributors and highlight some books we feel are worthy of your attention. To follow along, please pick up a copy of the June 2016 PREVIEWS catalog from your local comic shop (available now).

 If this is your first time viewing the catalog, it lists all books to be published two months from now.  So, you get a chance in June to see what’s coming up in August 2016.  

Your local comic shop depends on your pre-orders to make sure they have the books you want when you want them.  In a perfect world, you could just visit your local store and the books you want would be there waiting for you to pull them off the shelf. It’s a great time for comics fans, as there are a variety of great titles in assorted genres from a growing group of publishers large and small.  Since business reality makes it impossible for a local comic shop to order some of everything, they depend on the comics readers to tell them what they want to see.

If you’re really new to this, then you need to understand that comic shops have to pre-order their books and pay for them in advance, also without the ability to send back any titles that don’t sell.  It’s a dice roll for them every month.  Won’t you help with the odds by at least telling them what you want to buy from them in two months?  Please give it a try.  We’ll do our best here to help you with those selections, from a BC Refugees point of view.  Not objective, but absolutely subjective.  

What better way to start this off than to focus on an anthology of short stories form real independent creators.  It’s also right behind AARDVARK ANAHEIM in the PREVIEW catalog.


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 The former INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE returns in a smaller format with less pages (48) and a lower price ($4.99).  Still featuring a selection of high quality black and white, short stories (completed in one issue, no continued tales)  by independent writers and artists.  

From the catalog listing:  “The adventure begins when Rick Bonn asks ‘Why Did the Caveman Cross the Sea?’.  Brad Ulrich’s mercenaries attempt a raid on Rectory VII, ‘At Galaxy’s Core’.  Terry Cronin plunges three college students on spring break into an underground world of bloodsucking women.  Gary Scott Beatty follows the Maketch Girl and elder gods into darkness. Michael R. Carr presents two aging adversaries converging for a final encounter.  And diesel punk meets modern world in Paul Bradford’s ‘The Night Errant.’  MATURE THEMES.

  More details about the creators and the various offerings from Aazurn Publishing can be found at this website:

If you like the idea of reading mini-previews of upcoming comics at BC Refugees, please let us know via the comments.

NEXT:  More of the pre-picks from publishers beginning with A.  There’s a lot of them!


Friday, May 27, 2016

A Valiant illustrative effort: FIFTY ARTISTS, ONE COVER

Valiant Reveals Record-Setting Jam Cover for X-O MANOWAR #50 – Coming in September!
Fifty Stunning Artists Team Together for Monumental Comics Milestone

from the official press release . . . . . . . . . .

50 epic issues. 50 superstar artists. 50 X-O Manowars. One colossal cover!

Valiant is proud to announce the X-O MANOWAR #50 All-Star Jam Cover – the biggest-ever jam cover in comics history, featuring 50 major comics talents in celebration of 50 earthshaking issues for Valiant's flagship series! Debuting as the standard shelf cover to September's oversized X-O MANOWAR #50 milestone issue, this never-before-attempted comics landmark features a breathtaking collection of top talents as they each deliver an all-new take on Valiant's leading hero in their own signature style. 

With masterful colors by Valiant-exclusive colorist David Baron (BLOODSHOT REBORN, DIVINITY II), the one-of-a-kind collection of artists featured on the X-O MANOWAR #50 All-Star Jam Cover spans the character's storied 25-year history and includes modern-day superstars, up-and-coming talents, and major comics luminaries, alongside numerous Valiant veterans that helped forge X-O Manowar's place in comics legend:

1. Neal Adams (Green Lantern/Green Arrow)
3. Al Barrionuevo (The Authority)
4. Diego Bernard (X-O MANOWAR)
5. Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS)
6. Dave Bullock (Wednesday Comics)
8. Eric Canete (RunLoveKill)
9. Carmen Carnero (X-Factor)
10. Sean Chen (Iron Man)
11. Collen Coover (Bandette)
12. Clayton Crain (4001 A.D., RAI)
13. Jay Fabares (Valiant cover artist)
14. Tom Fowler (QUANTUM AND WOODY)
15. Manuel Garcia (BLOODSHOT)
16. Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH)
17. Adam Gorham (Zero)
18. Butch Guice (BLOODSHOT REBORN)
19. Bob Hall (SHADOWMAN)
20. Rebekah Isaacs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
21. Phil Jimenez (DC Universe: Rebirth)
22. J.G. Jones (Final Crisis)
23. Kano (Gotham Central)
24. Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT)
25. Bob Layton (X-O MANOWAR)
26. Mike Leeke (X-O MANOWAR)
27. Jeff Lemire (Essex County)
28. Steve Lieber (The Fix)
29. Emanuela Lupacchino (Supergirl)
30. Mike McKone (Fantastic Four)
31. Stephen Mooney (Half Past Danger)
32. Cary Nord (X-O MANOWAR)
33. Pat Olliffe (Thor)
34. Pere Perez (FAITH)
35. Brandon Peterson (Uncanny X-Men)
36. Brent Peeples (Last of the Greats)
37. Stephen Platt (Prophet)
39. Paolo Rivera (THE VALIANT)
40. Riley Rossmo (Batman)
41. Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA)
42. Rafa Sandoval (X-O MANOWAR)
43. Donovan Santiago ("Valiant 8-Bit" cover artist)
44. Marguerite Sauvage (FAITH)
45. Joe St. Pierre (RAI)
46. Philip Tan (Batman & Robin)
47. Michael Walsh (The Vision)
48. Ryan Winn (DIVINITY)
49. Kevin VanHook (BLOODSHOT)
50. Ramon Villalobos (E is for Extinction)

In honor of the X-O MANOWAR #50 All-Star Jam Cover's star-studded debut, Valiant has partnered with leading YouTube channel Variant Comics at  for an exclusive video spotlight, highlighting each artist's respective contribution to the most ambitious jam project in decades.

"This cover represents more than a year's worth of hard work on the part of Valiant's editorial team and the extraordinary cast of artists you now see before you," said Valiant Associate Director of Digital Media & Development Josh Johns. "We wanted to celebrate X-O MANOWAR #50 in the biggest way we could, and this cover is only the first surprise we have in store."

The countdown to X-O MANOWAR #50 begins this June with “LONG LIVE THE KING” – a striking cosmic showdown beginning in X-O MANOWAR #47 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps) and acclaimed artists Joe Bennett (52) and Roberto de la Torre (Daredevil). September's X–O MANOWAR #50 will conclude Venditti's historic run on the series with an oversized milestone featuring many top-secret guest stars. Look for more details on the contents of X-O MANOWAR #50 to be revealed shortly.

Plus: In celebration of X-O Manowar’s landmark issue #50 finale, Valiant is proud to reveal the X-O MANOWAR #50 COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY – also beginning in June’s X-O MANOWAR #47! For no extra cost, each issue of “LONG LIVE THE KING” will come bagged with one of 50 exclusive, 4-by-6 inch “micro-prints” featuring the one and only X-O Manowar as realized by a sensational cast of comics’ biggest talents – or full-blown, beautifully rendered original artwork randomly inserted in each issue! TheX-O MANOWAR #50 COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY will continue all summer long across all issues of “LONG LIVE THE KING” – including the oversized, blockbuster issue #50 finale!

"X-O MANOWAR #50 will be, without a doubt, the single biggest milestone ever produced by Valiant," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "Beginning with the incredible jam cover, this issue will stand on its own as both a tribute to the character's vital place in the Valiant Universe and the entirety of the years-long epic that Robert Venditti – along with artists Cary Nord, Lee Garbett, Trevor Hairsine, Doug Braithwaite, Diego Bernard, Rafa Sandoval, Robert Gill, and Valiant's amazing editorial team– forged into one of the greatest narrative feats of the modern era. Big moments don't get much bigger than this."

Born into battle, Aric of Dacia – heir to the throne of the Visigoth Empire – never knew peace. Raised under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire in fifth-century Europe, Aric’s entire existence was spent fighting a never-ending insurgency against history’s most brutal empire…until a far more terrifying enemy revealed itself and changed his destiny forever.

Abducted by a brutal race of extraterrestrials known as the Vine, Aric was forced into slavery on an alien world. Torn from his family, his people and his nation, he spent years plotting his escape…until the day came that he was able to seize a weapon of incalculable destruction – a sentient suit of alien armor – and become X-O Manowar!

Returning to Earth only to find that 1,600 years have passed during his journey across the stars, the world’s most primitive man now wields the universe’s most powerful weapon. Working in concert with Earth’s governments and other super-powered heroes like himself, Aric has defended the planet, brokered peace amongst the powerful, and even rebuilt his kingdom from the ashes of history.

But now he faces a unthinkable new foe far more terrible than any that have come before… They are The Torment – and their name means death. Thought to be a legend by the Vine, they have now become Earth’s violent reality. As old as the universe itself, they have traveled for eons to reach us…in search of Aric of Dacia and the unstoppable X-O Manowar armor. Can Aric challenge a seemingly omnipotent threat with motives beyond the comprehension of mortal men? Will the armor truly be our world’s salvation, just as the Vine’s myths foretold? And is this the beginning of the end for X-O Manowar – or the beginning of something even bigger?

The original THE LITTLE MERMAID to be adapted for comics



from the official press release . . . . . .

Classic Hans Christian Andersen Story is Latest Graphic Novel from Acclaimed Scottish Creators

There’s no doubt that fairy tales are having a moment in pop culture. From popular television series like Grimm and Once Upon a Time to films like Maleficent and The Huntsman: Winter’s War to numerous books and graphic novels, fairy tales have never been more popular. And as that popularity has grown, writers and readers have returned to the source material and found stories that are significantly different than the childhood tales they remember. Case in point, THE LITTLE MERMAID.

For most, Disney’s animated film is their touch point for the character. But Andersen’s original story is a complex tale of love and loss with nary a talking crab or comic-relief fish in site. Instead, the original work has an almost ethereal quality, detailing the title character’s longing for human love and her quest for a soul. It’s a dark, profoundly moving work that seems tailor made for the Metaphrog team.

In the Fall of 2015, Papercutz published the duo’s first Andersen adaptation, THE RED SHOES AND OTHER TALES, which featured their unique takes on both the title story and THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. Critics and fans alike praised Metaphrog’s interpretation of the classic storyteller’s work, with publications like PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY and THE GUARDIAN calling the book “dark and alluring” and praising the team for “…bringing a more modern style to the original tale.” The response was so positive, that it was only natural for Metaphrog to want to revisit Andersen’s canon of stories. And what better material to pick for their next project than the Danish author’s most famous work?

“Thanks to the support of CREATIVE SCOTLAND and the success of our previous book, we were able to really sit down and immerse ourselves in all of Andersen’s work,” explained John Chalmers, one half of the Metaphrog team. “We were drawn to THE LITTLE MERMAID because of its spiritual undertones and universal themes. That feeling of being trapped in one world while longing for another and searching for one’s place in the scheme of things are as relevant now as 180 years ago. The aquatic environments also allowed my partner Sandra Marrs a chance to stretch her artistic muscles. THE RED SHOES is a very earthbound book, while this one is full of sea and air, something that’s reflected in the color palette and general tone of the book.” 

Papercutz has been gaining a reputation for producing beautiful and unique original graphic novels and Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier sees this book as an important addition to the company’s lineup. “I’ve been a fan of Metaphrog for years and THE RED SHOES really expose their work to a much larger audience. For THE LITTLE MERMAID, we wanted to duplicate the beautiful format that we had used for the previous book (which really shows off Sandra’s gorgeous artwork) while growing their readership even further. We’ve always talked about our books having ‘All Ages” material but a title like this really appeals to that crossover audience of adults and kids.”

Metaphrog debuted THE RED SHOES at the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival and have since appeared at numerous high profile events to promote the title. Papercutz VP of Marketing, Sven Larsen expects that the creators will be even more in demand when this new book is released. “In addition to being major talents, John and Sandra are also amazing educators,” explained Larsen. “That combination of skills has made them a hot ticket at everything from the Lakes Comics Festival to Aye Write! We’re already fielding invitations for 2017 appearances and fans can expect to see them anywhere and everywhere when the book comes out next year. There may even be some special editions of THE LITTLE MERMAID (like the limited edition of THE RED SHOES that we produced for the Edinburgh Festival) for fans to look out for. No matter what the final plans, readers can expect to see a very special package with striking artwork and a highly engaging story. In other words, the kind of work Metaphrog is known for!”

ABOUT PAPERCUTZ: Papercutz is celebrating ten innovative audience-expanding years of publishing great graphic novels for all ages. Papercutz graphic novels for kids, tweens, and teens include a wide range of genres from humor, action adventure, mystery, and horror to favorite licensed characters. It is proud to be the only publisher exclusively dedicated to children’s graphic novels, working every day to introduce young readers to the imaginative wonders waiting to be discovered in comics. To find out more visit
ABOUT THE CREATORS: Metaphrog are Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers.
Together, they have been creating comics and graphic novels since 1996. John is from Scotland and studied engineering and science, gaining three degrees, including a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in a branch of Opto-Electronics involving micro-machining. Sandra is from France and has a degree in Arts and Letters. In 1994, she moved to Scotland. That same year, John returned from working in the Netherlands. Their meeting was a catalyst, and within a few months, they created Metaphrog.
They tirelessly promote the medium of comics and their own work, travelling to deliver talks and workshops. They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy from 2013 until 2017, the first graphic novelists to fill such a role, and Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015.
To find out more visit


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Reviews: What have you been reading lately?

From the Goodreads summary . . . .

THE RUINS by Scott Smith

Hardcover, 319 pages   Adult thriller, horror, survival


Published July 18th 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published 2006) 

Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine. Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there


It starts a little slow, but picks up after the first 20 pages and begins to build and build on the suspense for the next 80 pages before it kicks into high gear. Smith really fleshes out the story as it moves along, planting seeds of doubt and anxiety all the way. Disturbing and very graphic in parts. 
I expected it to end the way it did - hopeless. Overall a good read. I'm a little disappointed that the Ruins wasn't further explained. However, Smith milks the mysterious nature of the plants to full effect. Telling too much would take away from that. I agree with Horror Aficionado group member Jennifer that the characters weren't that likable, but Smith does a good job of letting us learn what makes them tick. It's easy to empathize with their situation. The root of THE RUINS exposes a damn good survival tale. I certainly don't regret reading this. Looking forward to next month's pick.


TH18656036E FEVER by Megan Abbott
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.
As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.
A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire, The Fever affirms Megan Abbot's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation" (Laura Lippman).

Dark and disturbing. Deals with friendship, alliances/pack mentality, jealousy, possessiveness, and growing sexual awareness among teenage girls in small town. One popular girl goes down with convulsive fits and ends up hospitalized. This starts an epidemic of illness among first her friends and associates and then scores of young women. Drugs, contaminated water supplies, polluted air -- various theories arise as to the cause. Megan Abbott writes believable characters and seems to have a real understanding of the adolescent psyche. This is borderline horror, but not in the traditional sense. Call it a thriller, and enjoy a very satisfying read.


Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Harper Collins
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it. (less)

A quick read. Unique in that it's written by a dog. Very uplifting with an extremely satisfying ending. Dogs are intuitive and are the best supporters of their masters/owners/companions. About having a dream and not giving up in spite of numerous set-backs. I highly recommend this. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Valiant has planned for your summer

EDITOR’S NOTE:  More #1 debut issues are coming from Valiant. Thankfully, the press contact at Valiant has let us in on the news so we can share it with you.  That first FAITH trade paperback is a bargain that’s hard to pass up . . . .

from the official press release . . . . . . 

She’s saved the world, made international headlines, and inspired a growing legion of fans... Now, Valiant's stratosphere-shattering hero is soaring into her next comics landmark: her first-ever ongoing series.

     ValianFAITH ONGOING 001 COVER A WADAt is proud to present your first look inside FAITH #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of an ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES and a colossal comics milestone from rising star Jody Houser (Orphan Black), Harvey Award-nominated sensation Pere Perez (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and acclaimed artist Marguerite Sauvage (DC Comics Bombshells).  On July 20th, jump on board the high-spirited, high-flying adventures of Faith "Zephyr" Herbert here as she fulfills her dream of becoming Los Angeles' beloved, number-one superhero…only to slam headfirst into her first arch-nemesis.

From The Atlantic and Cosmopolitan to The Guardian and The New York Times to People and The Today Show, start reading here to find out why Faith's ascent into solo superstardom has captured the imagination of the world – and, after five staggering printings of her sold-out limited series, created a unstoppable comics phenomenon like no other. 
In a city under siege by robots, aliens, monsters and even worse… celebrities, there is only one woman the people of Los Angeles can count on: the stratospheric superhero called Faith.  Aspiring reporter by day and dedicated crime-fighter by night, Faith has tackled every obstacle in her path with confidence – like those crushing deadlines at work, the long-distance boyfriend half a world away, and the missing back issues that plague her comics collection.  But, unbeknownst to her, Faith is about to collide with the one force she never saw coming: an up-and-coming super-villain bent on snuffing her out once and for all.  But who is lurking behind the mask of her new foe…and could they just be the one person capable of rendering Faith powerless?

THE FUTURE OF VALIANT starts here on July 20th with the history-making debut of Faith's first ongoing series, only in FAITH #1 – featuring a stunning slate of covers from Kevin Wada (Scarlet Witch), Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Thor), Eisner Award winner Cary Nord (X-O MANOWAR), Emanuela Lupacchino (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Harvey Award nominee Pere Perez (IVAR, TIMEWALKER), Kano (Gotham Central), and Eisner Award winner Colleen Coover (Bandette)!

Then, in the wake of FAITH #1THE FUTURE OF VALIANT continues with an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents! Beginning in July with FAITH #1THE FUTURE OF VALIANT will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody Houser, Pere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay MooreClayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December 
Plus: Don’t miss the stratospheric limited series that first took the world by storm with FAITH VOL. 1: HOLLYWOOD & VINE TPB.  Collecting the five-time sold-out series that FAITH ONGOING 001 003rocketed HARBINGER's heart and soul into comics history, start at the beginning and relive Faith's first foray as a blogger by day, superhero by night here with rising star Jody Houser (Orphan Black) and explosive artists Francis Portela (Green Lantern) and Marguerite Sauvage (DC Comics Bombshells) – all for the low introductory price of just $9.99.

TV celebrity scripts first comic with MONSTERS AMONG US

from the official press release . . . . . . .

Reality TV Star Andrew Shayde, from the Emmy award-winning The Amazing Race, will be releasing his first comic book this week called Monsters Among Us


In Monsters Among Us urban legends are real. Billionaire Solomon Kane believes his family has been charged by God to rid of the world of mythical creatures. A mysterious crew comprised of gentle beasts including Bigfoot, a Chupacabra, and the Mothman must now unite and fight to survive.

 Written by Andrew Shayde with art by Levi Zimer and Magic Eye Studio.  The 1st issue will feature two covers. 

 “I was a young na├»ve kid from Kentucky on The Amazing Race, but that wild experience really opened my eyes to a million things out there in the world. One thing I fell in love with is folklore from other countries. Monsters Among Us takes some of the coolest urban legends from around the world, like Bigfoot and the Chupacabra, and pits them in a battle for survival. Those that watched my season of The Amazing Race remember my dad and I had some serious issues to fight through around religion and that is the concept for which the entire comic book series is based. In the series I threw in some Amazing Race nods for my fellow fans out there.” says Shayde.

 “I’ve always had an inquisitive mind into the unknowns like Bigfoot and Loch Ness. These are what inspired the story of Monsters Among Us. I wanted to tell a story that could bring a handful of these mysterious creatures together in something that was fun and exciting but I also wanted a heavier message in it.” mentioned Andrew. 

 “I love urban legends. Stories about Bigfoot or Nessie I can’t get enough of. There is a part of me that really hopes there is magic and mystery left in this world. This hope is why I wrote the series Monster Among Us. Throughout the series readers see dozens of mythical creatures and end up, most likely, rooting for them. But behind Monsters there is a very clear message about minorities and their treatment from those in power. It’s something our country is dealing with in big explosive ways right now like the Black Lives Matter movement and the backlash on the Transgender bathroom laws.” Shayde continued. 

 Storm Entertainment has worked with other reality stars in the past such as the Fabulous Beekman Boys and Les Stroud: Survivorman.

 Monsters Among Us #1 Is available for $3.99 on your e-reader from iTunes, Kindle, Nook, ComiXology, DriveThru Comics, Google Play, Trajectory, My Digital Comics, Overdrive, Iverse, Biblioboard, ComicBin, Axis360, Blio, Entitle, Comicblender, Kobo and wherever eBooks are sold.

 The french publisher WETTA will also be releasing the comic book day and date in France. 

 You can get the print copies at Comic Flea Market by clicking here:

  About Andrew Shayde:


Andrew grew up in Kentucky and is a former National Champion Cheerleader featured twice on ESPN. Later, Andrew appeared on the Emmy Winning series The Amazing Race and several independent films and stage plays. Andrew has appeared in many national magazines and spoken at events such as New York City Pride. 

Andrew now works in social services planning events that have raised over 5 million dollars for non-profit organizations.

Currently, Andrew can be heard around Oregon on his radio segment and his first comic book series, he wrote and created, is available called Monsters Among Us.     

About Storm Entertainment

Formerly known as Bluewater Comics, Storm delivers a multimedia experience unparalleled in the burgeoning graphic fiction and nonfiction marketplace. Dynamic storytelling coupled with groundbreaking art delivers an experience like no other. Stories are told through multiple platforms and genres, gracing the pages of graphic novels, novelizations, engaging audio dramas, cutting-edge film projects, and more. Diversity defines Storm’s offerings in the burgeoning pop culture marketplace, offering fresh voices and innovative storytellers.

 As oneUnspecified of the top independent publishers of comic book and graphic novels, Storm Entertainment unites cutting-edge art and engagingories produced by the publishing industry’s most exciting artists and writers. Its extensive catalog of comic book titles includes the bestsellers 10th Muse and The Legend of Isis, complimented by a line of young adult books and audiobooks. Storm’s publishing partnerships include entertainment icon William Shatner (TekWar Chronicles), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (Wrath of the TitansSinbad: Rogue of MarsJason and the Argonauts, and more), novelists S.E. Hinton (The Puppy Sister) and William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), and celebrated actors Vincent Price (Vincent Price Presents), Dirk Benedict of the original Battlestar Galactica (Dirk Benedict in the 25th Century), and Adam West of 1966’s Batman fame (The Misadventures of Adam West). Storm also publishes a highly-successful line of biographical comics under the titles OrbitFameBeyondTributeFemale Force, and Political Power.








Monday, May 23, 2016

Baltimore Comic Con announces preliminary 2016 guest list

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We usually only manage to attend one comic convention per year, and that’s this one.  But, should we be fortunate enough to attend two in the same year, one of those would still be the Baltimore Comic-Con.  If you have never participated, then you are really missing something special. Just take a look at the preliminary guest list for this year’s con, September 2, 3, and 4 at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Start your Labor Day holiday weekend off right!

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In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year's confirmed guests for the show include: 

Neal Adams (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen); Scott Ethan Ambruson (Azteca: Ciudad Paradiso);

Jeff Blake (Zombies vs Cheerleaders: St. Patty's Day Special); Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl); Marty Baumann (Pixar artist); Carolyn Belefski (Curls); Christy Blanch (The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood); Danica Bradshaw (Wayward); Nick Bradshaw (Spidey); Reilly Brown (Deadpool); Harold Buchholz (Archie Comics);

Ben Caldwell (Scooby Apocalypse); Chris Campana (The Accelerators); Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown); Mike Cavallaro (The Fox); Howard Chaykin (Imperium); Lee Cherolis (Little Guardians); Frank Cho (The Totally Awesome Hulk); Amy Chu (Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death); Steve Conley (Bloop); Stephen Coughlin (Sanctuary);

J. Robert Deans (Crass Fed); Jeff Dekal (New Avengers); Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts); Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark);

Joe Eisma (Morning Glories); Tod Emko (A Piggy's Tale); Joe Endres (Colossians); Steve Englehart, courtesy of Hero Initiative (Captain America);

David Finch (Wonder Woman); Meredith Finch (Wonder Woman); Chris Flick (Capes & Babes); Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie); Franco (Aw Yeah Comics: Action Cat!);

John Gallagher (Buzzboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Batman '66: The Lost Episode); Jason Gounger (Legio Ex Mortis); Anna Gownley and Jimmy Gownley (The Dumbest Idea Ever!); Stephen Green (The Legacy of Luther Strode); Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred); Rob Guillory (Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo); Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit);

Dean Haspiel (The Fox); Jason Horn (Ninjasaur); Ken Hunt (Talon); JG Jones (Strange Fruit);

Dan Jurgens (Action Comics, Saturday & Sunday only);

Tom King (Batman); Barry Kitson (Empire: Uprising); Samantha Kyle (Paul & Olly);

John Layman (Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo); Paul Levitz (Doctor Fate); Mike Lilly (Red Agent); Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space);

Mark Mariano (The Other Side of Hugless Hill); Ron Marz (Convergence: Batman and Robin); Ed McGuinness (Spider-Man/Deadpool); Mark Morales (Convergence); Joe Mulvey (SCAM);

Jamar Nicholas (Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America);

Chris Otto (A Dog's Life); Greg Pak (Teen Titans);

Tom Palmer (Doctor Strange); Yanick Paquette (Batman/Superman); Dan Parsons (Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle); Brent Peeples (Gold Key: Alliance); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Brandon Peterson (Uncanny Inhumans); Mark Poulton (A Cat Named Haiku); Eric Powell (The Goon); Kyle Puttkammer (Hero Cats: Midnight Over Stellar City);

Ron Randall (Convergence: Catwoman); Khary Randolph (Robin War); Tom Raney (Ninjak); Paul Renaud (Superman/Wonder Woman); Emily Romano (Comic Art House); Craig Rousseau (Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl); Stephane Roux (Harley Quinn and Power Girl); Joe Rubinstein (Convergence: Batman and Robin);

Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man newspaper strip); Stuart Sayger (Hellboy 100); Bart Sears (Bloodshot); Jeff Shultz (Betty and Veronica); Louise Simonson (Convergence: Superman - The Man of Steel); Walter Simonson (Ragnarok); Matt Slay (TMNT Micro-Series); Brian Smith (SpongeBob Comics); Charles Soule (Star Wars: Poe Dameron);

Babs Tarr (Batgirl); Ben Templesmith (Blackholers); Chad Thomas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures); Frank Tieri (Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys); Vivek J. Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle); David Trustman (The Rise); James Tynion (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles);

Rick Veitch (Miracleman); Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens);

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Mark Waid (All-New, All-Different Avengers); Michael Watkins (Pantha); Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics); Mark Wheatley (Doctor Who); Matt Wieringo ('Ringo Scholarship Fund); Marcus Williams (Hero Cats); Rich Woodall (Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl);

Sasha Yosselani (Comic Art House);

and Thom Zahler (My Little Pony: Friends Forever). 

About The Baltimore Comic-Con

The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 17th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit