Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year !!! -- what conventions will you attend in 2012?

 

Fresh off the press - - the preliminary guest list for Baltimore Comic-Con 2012

Baltimore Comic-Con's Happy New Year!

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - December 31, 2011 - Happy New Year to the friends and partners of the Baltimore Comic-Con! The show may not be until September 8-9, 2012, but we've been very busy lately lining up some absolutely amazing guests for our 13th annual event!
We are very proud to announce our initial guest list for what will surely become the largest Baltimore Comic-Con yet!

Cho Avengers vs. Xmen

Avengers vs. X-Men #0 by Frank Cho.

Laura & Michael Allred - Madman, iZombie

Greg Capullo - Batman, Spawn

Frank Cho - Avengers vs. X-Men, Liberty Meadows

Steve Conley - Bloop

Rich Faber - Roboy Red

John Gallagher - Buzzboy

Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez - Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman

Keith Giffen - Superman, OMAC, Green Arrow

Larry Hama - G.I. Joe, Wolverine, The 'Nam

Dean Haspiel - Billy Dogma, ACT-I-VATE, Trip City

J.G. Jones - Wanted, Doc Savage

Scott Kurtz - PvPonline.com

David Mack - Kabuki

David Petersen - Mouse Guard

Frank Quitely - All Star Superman, Batman & Robin

Walter Simonson - Thor, Legion of Super-Heroes

Scott Snyder - Batman , Severed, Swamp Thing

Billy Tucci - A Child Is Born, Shi

Matt Wagner - Tower Chronicles, Mage, Grendel

Mark Waid - Daredevil, Incorruptible, Irredemable

If you are a comic book fan, you need to come to Baltimore this coming September! We cover the entire industry, bringing your favorite creators from yesterday, today, and tomorrow, publishers big and small, and retailers offering everything from gold, silver, bronze, and modern comics to videos to clothing and so much more.

In addition, we provide great programming at the show, including panels on creator spotlights, creative teams, publishers, techniques, and, of course, our extremely popular Costume Contest. Whether you are a die-hard cosplayer awaiting the chance to premiere your new creation, a casual participant, you have kids who want to dress up, or you just want to see some of the most creative costumes in the world, our costume contest is great fun for everybody!

Mark your calendars - September 8-9, 2012! And keep watching for more great news throughout the year on guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest information can always be found on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Don't forget to share this information with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Year in Review: PGHHEAD PICKS for 2011

 

DISCLAIMER:  This is not an attempt to categorize the “best” of 2011.  I’m not qualified to make that judgment since I have only read a very small percentage of what was published in 2011. Rather, these are personal recommendations - - those books of 2011 that are my absolute favorites and ones that I highly recommend to anyone interested in good comics reading/viewing.

As in my PGHHEAD PICKS for 2010, I used the same guideline / rules:

1) It has to be something that I wrote about on BC REFUGEES blog site.  That narrows the field, as I read more titles than I wrote about.  But, at least if I took the time to write about a book then something merited the extra attention. 

2) It has to be a book that I would personally recommend to a friend - - an exceptional work that I would gladly read a second, third, or fourth time.

3) Rather than select books to fit into pre-determined categories, this is only a list of books worthy of attention.  I am using categories, but mainly to help identify them further and add a little organization to this list.  I’ve also added the month (in captions)  in which I wrote the original review in case anyone wants to go back into the BC REFUGEES ARCHIVES and read more about each title.

THE PGHHEAD PICKS OF 2011

FAVORITE ADAPTATION – SCIENCE FICTION:    PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES  (IDW, hardcover graphic novel in 2011)   Harlan Ellison, writer.  Alan Robinson, art.   (January)

FAVORITE ADAPTATION OF A LICENSED PROPERTY:  PLANET OF THE APES  (Boom!)  Daryl Gregory, writer.  Carlos Magno, art.  (August)

FAVORITE ANTHOLOGY SERIES:  DARK HORSE PRESENTS  (Dark Horse) various writers and artists.  (May)

FAVORITE ARTIST:   LEONARDO MANCO  on DRIVER FOR THE DEAD min-series (Radical)  September

FAVORITE MATURE ADULT / CRIME SERIES:  BLUE ESTATE  (Image)  Viktor Kalvachev and Andrew Osborne.  Viktor Kalvachev, artist.  (September) 

FAVORITE DC NEW 52 TITLE:   ANIMAL MAN  (DC)  Jeff Lemire, writer.  Travel Foreman, artist.  (November) 

FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL REPRINT:  NIGHT ANIMALS  (Top Shelf)  Writer/artist Brecht Evens (January) 

FAVORITE ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL:  DISCORD  (AAM/Markosia)  Paul J. Salamoff, writer.  Giuseppe D’Elia, artist.  (June) 

FAVORITE HORROR SERIES:    FLESH AND BLOOD  (Monsterverse)  Robert Tinnell, writer.  Neil Vokes, artist. (November)

FAVORITE NEW CHARACTER – HORROR:   ALABASTER GRAVES in DRIVER FOR THE DEAD  (Radical)  John Heffernan, writer.  Leonardo Manco, artist.  (September) 

FAVORITE COMICS-RELATED NON-FICTION BOOK:  SUPERGODS  by Grant Morrison  (October) 

FAVORITE ORIGINAL MINI-SERIES:  SAMURAI’S BLOOD #1-6    (Image/Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, writer. Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Jessica Kholinne – artists.  (June) 

FAVORITE SPIN-OFF MINI-SERIES:  WARRIORS THREE #1-4  (Marvel)  Bill Willingham, writer.  Neil Edwards, artist.  (May)

FAVORITE PROLOGUE THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE MIN-SERIES IT WAS SETTING UP:  FEAR ITSELF – THE BOOK OF THE SKULL  (Marvel)  Ed Brubaker, writer.  Scot Easton, art.  (April)

FAVORITE PUBLISHER COLLABORATION:   INVADERS NOW  (Marvel / Dynamite)  Christos Gage and Alex Ross, story.  Caio Reis, artist.  (February)

FAVORITE REVIVAL/RE-BOOT OF A SUPER-HERO TITLE: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS  #1-12  Nick Spencer, writer.  Cafu, artist.  (May)

FAVORITE SINGLE ISSUE STORY:   SAMURAI’S BLOOD  #3  (Image/Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, writer.  Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Jessica Kholinne – art.  (July)

FAVORITE SINGLE ISSUE SUPER-HERO BOOK:  INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500.1  (Marvel)  Matt Fraction, writer.  Salvadore Larocca, artist.  (March)

FAVORITE SUPER-HERO TITLE: SUPERBOY (DC) Writer Jeff Lemire. Artist Pico Gallo. (January)

FAVORITE YOUNG ADULT SERIES:   SNARKED (Boom!)   Writer/artist Roger Langridge. (November)

I’d definitely be interested in learning what the favorite 2011 works of some of the BC REFUGEES writers and readers are - - so don’t be hesitant to post those here and comment.  Here’s to more fantastic reading in 2012 !!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Comics Bill Read: Hawken

It's a Christmas miracle: a shocking surprise guest appearance by (the legendary) Bill Broomall -- I swear he doesn't look a day over 72 -- as he's allowed me to share his emails to his friend Tim Truman about IDW's new title Hawken #1 & #2 by Tim and his son Ben.



Hey Timbo!! I am still here and I got your e-mail about Hawken so I ran to The Comic Book Shop in Delaware to get my reserved copy!

My first comment is that the cover is fantastic but as usual, owning a few of your originals, the coloring fails to capture the depth of your work. I know the original must have captured the light brown with the dark brown more in depth than what is reproduced. As I have stated before, this is always a problem in reproducing your work. This is all the way from the Grimjack days to Hawken. Technology just has not caught up with you.

At first, the black and white format took me aback, but as I made it to page 2, I noticed that the color would not add or subtract from the story. That is how powerful and masterful the story-telling was.

To Ben: I must say that it is a relief, forgive us "Old dogs", (Sorry Tim but we both are heading to that category) that someone from the next generation has picked up the mantle in keeping the Western genre going. No matter what form it may take.

I felt all the old archetypes as I went through the battle with Hawken. I saw the Man with No Name, Outlaw Josey Wales, John Wayne as the Shootist, all of them. Then the character won his individuality as he shoots the man praying and the priest...a different breed indeed.

Did not expect the Bulldog to [spoiler to issue #1 ending]. I know there is a story here!

Last but not least, I assume [possible spoiler]? I will have to see.

Ben, the idea the even the [spoiler] stay away from Hawken as he rides away was powerful indeed. Though the best scene was the last 4 panels. S*#T on all the bastards!! Love it!

I am in for the long haul as usual!! Hi-Ho!!!!
And about #2...
Have to send off a Merry X-mas to you and the family and of course a review of Hawken #2!

Just finished Hawken. The owners of The Comic Book Shop were able to read #1 and #2 in one sitting and loved it. They have sold out of #1 and #2 is going fast so it is doing well here. I noticed that it has picked up a nice audience.

First I must say the with #2 the paper quality was a major improvement. This paper enhances your line work and just adds to the power of the story. The story continues to flow perfectly. My only question goes with the picture on page 8 and 10. I feel I know my western history well but I do not place anyone in the photo. Is it something you just downloaded and put in the story to add to feeling of the period? (Which was very well done). Or is it someone we know in the story? Is it your great grandparents? You know I must ask these things.

Not much to add Timbo. The story is just flowing perfectly. Storytelling does not get any better than this! Keep the Western alive!! 
 You can check out a 7 page preview of Hawken #1 here. Happy Holidays and Merry New Year, all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BALTIMORE VOLUME 1: THE PLAGUE SHIPS trade paperback - - - If you haven’t encountered Mignola’s latest creation - - the vampire and monster slayer Sir Lord Baltimore  - -- then you are in for a treat. If you enjoy tales of a horrific nature you just can’t go wrong with his HELLBOY, B.P.R..D., etc. and now BALTIMORE.

BATMAN #4 - - - Scott Snyder has opened his run on BATMAN with an intriguing tale involving a secret society/cult of Owls with their claws into every aspect of modern Gotham - - and the threads run back all the way to Bruce Wayne’s grandfather’s time.   The art is just killer.

BATMAN INC:  THE LEVIATHIAN STRIKES one shot.  I enjoyed Grant Morrison’s globe trotting BATMAN, INC. and look forward to reading this.

BUZZBOY: SIDEKICKS RULE trade paperback:  John Gallagher’s indie creation gets better distribution (thanks to some Kickstarter funding).  Good for all ages.

DAREDEVIL #7:  Mark Waid has made this book interesting again - - and one of the few Marvel titles that I still care to follow.

DARK HORSE PRESENTS #7: The best anthology of continuing short series for the money.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #4:  I’m still not sold on this title, but I’m moving beyond my initial 3-issue trial based on sheer optimism.  Time will tell if this becomes a monthly must-have.

MEMORIAL #1 of 6:  A new original fantasy world from the mind of prolific writer Chris Roberson.  I saw a short preview of this that made me curious and wanting to see more.

PLANET OF THE APES #9:  A new story arc begins here, which makes this a good place to find out what everybody is so excited about.  Actually, you can pick up any single issue of this title and get a good read, provided you are at least familiar with the basic premise of PLANET OF THE APES.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS Vol 2 #2 of 6:  This mini-series had a great start with issue #1.  Trust writer Nick Spencer to keep things interesting and surprising.

WONDER WOMAN #4:  I’m in for a long haul on this title.  For the first time ever, I am very interesting in the adventures of WONDER WOMAN.  More to come.

The Reading Room: STAN LEE and MARVEL COMICS

 

STAN LEE AND THE RISE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN COMIC BOOK by Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon (Chicago Review Press, 2003)

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A lot has been said about Stan Lee, both pro and con.  He was the major impetus for the rise of Marvel Comics in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s.  As both writer and editor he turned the dormant comic book industry around, revived it’s heart, infused it with realism and soap-operatic drama but with a light-hearted touch.  He spoke directly to the reader.  Lee was equally revered for his enthusiasm and criticized for his hucksterism.  Lee was given credit for perhaps more than he accomplished and he accepted that.  Beyond being accused of not giving due credit to Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he later became embroiled in further controversy over artists’ rights to original art and accused of being a “company man” for not staying impartial rather than taking the creator’s side in the battle.

  I found this book to be one of the most objective biographies that I've read.  The authors don't make judgments -- they just give both sides and back it up with the details.  There is no denying the impact that Stan Lee has had on the modern comic book. His place in that history is reserved, and up front where it belongs.

I got the sense after reading this book that perhaps his best accomplishments were those he did to promote Marvel and the entire industry and bring both needed and deserved attention to this art form as well as new and more mature readership. 

Anyone who has an interest in the history of Marvel and/or a thorough background on Stan Lee's role will enjoy reading this .  It gives a critical appreciation of his accomplishments without the fanfare and fluff. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DC NEW 52 TRIALS: AQUAMAN is not all wet and soggy

AQUAMAN #1 – 3  (DC)  Geoff Johns, writer.  Ivan Reis, penciller.  Joe Prado, inker.  Rod Reis, colorist. Nick J. Napolitano, letterer.  Aquaman created by Paul Norris.

I’m sure there were a lot of readers who groaned (like I did) after reading the DC NEW 52 preview book and learned that DC was re-launching AQUAMAN yet again.  However after considering the dynamic duo writer/artist team and a synopsis that seemed interesting, I decided to give it the 3-issue chance. I’m glad I did.  So far, this is one of the best written and absolutely best illustrated of the NEW 52 titles. Ivan Reis is a superstar artist!, and Johns’ script here seems more organized and fluid than his work on the new JUSTICE LEAGUE does.

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So, what happens in this series? . . . . . .

This is a more aggressive, no-nonsense Aquaman as shown in the opening of Issue #1 where he majestically (full page) stands in the path of a stolen armored truck, lifts it with his trident and flips it onto its’ roof, wheels up and ready for apprehension of the criminals inside.   A more dangerous threat lurks in the depths of the ocean.  Something has occurred that arouses a previously unknown race of dagger-teethed gilled and webby humanoids ( like a cross between THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and PIRANHA) living in the deepest areas of the mid-Atlantic Trench.  They are extremely hungry and seem to be obsessed with the quest for food.  They meet up with humans on the surface and discover their new favorite delicacy.

Aquaman has never felt as if he belonged among true Atlanteans, due to his parentage ( 50/50). So, he’s made a decision to make a new life on land with Mera and leave Atlantis to find itself a new king.  A local police officer somewhat familiar with the legend of Aquaman searches every lighthouse near the Boston harbor until he locates him and recruits his help against the sea creatures.  What follows is very violent and bloody and Aquaman responds with equal ferocity and resolve.

What did I like? . . . . .

1) I’m enjoying how Geoff Johns brings up every single speculation as to why AQUAMAN isn’t as popular as other DC characters, and answers them in very humorous fashion.  He bashes as many stereotypes about Aquaman  as possible.  He even  includes the fictional objections and misconceptions from characters in the story (law enforcement as well as civilians) and squashes those as well.  It seems like even the general public as portrayed here doesn’t take AQUAMAN seriously.  These are very amusing and lend the book a light-hearted tone that helps offset the grimness of The Trench storyline.  Criminal: “Bye bye, tuna man.”  Policeman: “You need a glass of water or something?” Civilian: “Aquaman talks to fish. Everybody knows that.”  Blogger:  “How’s it feel to be nobody’s favorite super-hero?”  Police officer to Mera: “Or are you only a mermaid in water? Is that how it works?”

2) Ivan Reis!  Ivan Reis!  Ivan Reis!  Need I say more?  If you need convincing flip through any issue and spend some time admiring the full page, two-page art and inspect the intricate and realistic detail.  He is a master of depiction and leaves nothing out.  This just looks so real. 

What didn’t I like? . . . . . .

1) I’m perfectly okay with things as they are now.  I’m just wondering if the bashing of the AQUAMAN stereotypes is going to continue every single issue, which would turn it into a tired script device rather than a refreshing concept.  If that happens,  I won’t be sticking around.  I’m also curious what direction this book will take once the threat of The Trench is resolved.  Will Aquaman meet more monsters, start fighting crime, or become the champion and protector of the waterways and oceans?  I’d be most interested in that last direction, and not so much the other two.

2) I’m also a little concerned that the creatures from The Trench may be a little too one-dimensional to sustain a lengthy story arc.  They communicate to each other and sound like seals to the human ear. But their translated dialogue is very simplistic and centered solely on the quest for food. However, their attempt to entrap some humans in cocoons and transport them back to the Trench adds a little mystery, so we’ll see.

3) I like the way that Johns is slowly fleshing out the back-story of Aquaman’s origins, revealing a little piece at a time.  In addition to being raised mostly by his father  the lighthouse keeper there is a mysterious third party who helped Aquaman develop his powers but also threatened his life at some point.

My rating of this series . . . . . .

I’m having fun with this book.  I really like the story and love the art.   It’s a strong B+,  and worth checking out every month at this time.

and, another NEW 52 book that I abandoned before I got to Issue #3 . . . . .

VOODOO  #1 – 2  (DC)  Ron Marz, story.  Sami Basri, art on #1, with Hendry Prasetya on art for Issue #2.  Jessica Kholinne, color. Jared K. Fletcher, letters.  Voodoo created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi.

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It’s a little bit of  a shocker to find out in the opening pages that the main character is a beautiful pole-dancer and spend the first five pages admiring how the artist illustrates her stage routine.  And DC rates this T+ Teen Plus (which ought to bring the junior high crowd into stores to pick this up). What a disappointment for the government agent who arranges for a private dance behind the curtained area to learn pretty Voodoo is an alien shape-shifter. Wait, he already knew that because he and his female partner have been working surveillance on Voodoo.  (Guess he really wanted that lap dance.) 

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The soft, teasing adult content continues in Issue #2 as the two agents become bed partners.  But is one of them Voodoo?   After all the down-to-earth chit chat between government agents and real life / street life depictions the addition of super-hero forces in the latter part of Issue #2 feels out of place, like a real intrusion.  And next issue, Green Lantern gets involved?   Just sounds like an alien version of The Fugitive to me.  Not that this book isn’t written properly.  Ron Marz is no hack.  I just expected more from him.  See ya.  Not coming back to VOODOO. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, December 14, 2011?

 

SAMURAI’S BLOOD #6 of 6  (Image /Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, writer. Nam Kim, Matt Dalton, Sakti Yuwono, art team. 

“Not all destiny contains vengeance.  But all righteous vengeance is a part of destiny.”

This is the final issue of this outstanding mini-series, ending in dramatic fashion with a long 33-page final battle. 

SamuraisBlood#6_Cover

The artwork in this issue is the first thing that demands your attention; and this final issue is a perfect showcase for the cinematic style of this art team that has produced extremely high quality illustration,consistently issue after issue.  There are some awesome full page panels awaiting your viewing pleasure, full of superb detail in shading and depth, line definition and full facial expressions from fear to rage.  The art has always complimented and enhanced the story line, and served as a perfect illustrated example of the samurai philosophy expressed in the captions.  As with every issue of this series, writer Owen Wiseman presents an absorbing tale up front while focusing on various samurai concepts and tenets in the background.  Every issue is insightful and provides a lesson/parable as well.

The themes of Issue #6 are vengeance, destiny, fate, purpose and forgiveness. The three young survivors of Clan Sanjo have partnered with the Edo Ghost in one final effort to exact revenge against those who almost brought the entire family to an end.  They have crafted a method to infiltrate the stolen castle under the guidance of the Edo Ghost who has earned the trust of the evil overlord who now inhabits it with his army of supporters/followers.   I’m not going to spoil anything here and hint that everything works out or doesn’t work out,  except to say that this series deserved an ending that did not leave any plot threads hanging.  It does not. Everything is resolved, like it or not.

I previously praised SAMURAI’S BLOOD Issue #3 as the best stand-alone single issue comics story that I have read in 2011 - - and that remains so.  Now that the series has concluded  it is also a logical contender to be considered my favorite new series of 2011, or best mini-series,  best creative team, etc.  I’ve got friends and associates who don’t share my enthusiasm for comics and often ask me - - “why do you still read that stuff?”  They aren’t complete disbelievers; they are just skeptical – meaning they need some convincing.  If I want to show them a good current example  of the majestic heights of grandeur that this wonderful art form (comics and graphics novels) is capable of  - - then the SAMURAI’S BLOOD mini-series is the absolute best of 2011 that I can refer them to.

If you didn’t get on board for this series, then just wait for your chance to pick up  the trade paperback that Image will publish sometime in 2012.

OTHER BOOKS WORTH A LOOK THIS WEEK:  BATMAN AND ROBIN #4;  BATWOMAN #4;  BLUE ESTATE #8;  DEMON KNIGHTS #4;  GREEN LANTERN #4;  HAWKEN #2;  IRON MAN 2.0 #11;  THE OCCULTIST #2 of 3;  RESURRECTION MAN #4;  ROGER LANGRIDGE’S SNARKED #3;  THE STRAIN #1 of 11;  SUICIDE SQUAD #4;  and WAREHOUSE 13 #3.

Monday, December 12, 2011

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2012 PREVIEW: The Silver Books

 

There is truly something for everyone here, all ages, all genres, all interests.  If you find something you are interested in make sure to tell your local comics shop you’d like to get a copy.  Although most shops will order in the Gold books, Silver books are an option and they may be more selective.  These FCBD books are not free to the retailers (even though the per issue cost is low, it can add up) and they get more selective.  Don’t expect them to carry every single one of these.  Better to make a request. I’ve got my eye on that DUNE book!  Here’s the run down from the official FCBD press release . . . . . . . . .

 

Free Comic Book Day 2012 Silver Comic Books Announced

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From cool kids comics to the greatest super-hero fare, from classic reprints to the latest stories, it’s a wide spectrum of comics covered in the Silver comic books available for Free Comic Book Day 2012! (Click here to see the previously announced Gold comics)

The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Committee has now announced the Silver Sponsors and their comic books for FCBD 2012, which will be held Saturday, May 5, 2012.  

Selected by retailers who serve on the FCBD Committee, this year’s roster of Silver Sponsors and their books include a comic book for everyone’s tastes. See the full list below.

“There’s an incredible depth to this year’s Silver Sponsor offerings,” said FCBD spokesperson, Leslie Jackson. “The publishers have created a real opportunity for comic book fans—and those new to comic books—to come in and sample a wide variety of genres and stories with the titles they’re publishing.”

The complete listing of all FCBD titles, including the 11 Gold and 35 Silver comic books, along with WizKids' Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Movie FCBD figure, can be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog.

Look for more FCBD news and updates on the FCBD website, www.freecomicbookday.com; become a fan at Facebook: www.facebook.com/freecomicbook; and follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/freecomicbook.

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FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: SILVER COMICS:

Diary of a Zombie Kid

ANTARCTIC PRESS

Diary of a Zombie Kid

(W/A) David Hutchinson, Fred Perry (CA) David Hutchinson

All 6th-grader Bill Stokes wants is to get through middle school unnoticed so he can go on to become a big-time pro video-gamer. Then his mom comes home from her medical research volunteer job with a zombie virus. Now Bill has to deal with skin problems and body chemistry changes that make puberty look like a walk in the park! How's he supposed to realize his dream when his life has become a festering, rotting, undead nightmare?

Sonic the Hedgehog: Two Steps Back… Special Edition

ARCANA STUDIOS

Arcana Presents: The Intrinsic #1

(W) Sean O'Reilly, Casey Jones (A/CA) Various

Horrors from different worlds have assembled to bring about a global threat known only as “The End”. A Philosopher has recognized the signs in time to gather his own forces for Good — including an ordinary, powerless young woman. Only together can they avert disaster on a biblical scale. Every last one of them... is Intrinsic. The Intrinsic is a company crossover event bringing together characters from hundreds of titles beneath Arcana's library, an event of unprecedented ambition, unlike anything that has been attempted before!

Worlds of Aspen 2012

ASPEN MLT

Worlds of Aspen 2012

(W/A/CA) Various

Aspen's Newest Hit Series Debuts Here! A special issue showcasing Aspen’s new and returning properties for 2012, showcasing Scott Lobdell and Oliver Nome’s new series, Homecoming, along with previews and story outtakes from Aspen’s hottest and newest titles: David Schwartz's Idolized, Fathom: Kiani, Executive Assistant: Assassins, and returning favorites Fathom, Soulfire, Shrugged, andLady Mechanika! Plus: A preview of summer 2012's big Soulfire event, “The Search for the Light”, and much more!

Burt Ward, Boy Wonder #1

BLUEWATER PRODUCTIONS

Burt Ward, Boy Wonder #1

(W) Jeffrey Renaud (A/CA) Ramon Salas

From the creators of the hit Misadventures of Adam West series, comes the out-of-this-world spin-off series featuring everyone's favorite Boy Wonder, Burt Ward! After playing Robin in the classic ’60s Batman TV show, Burt still needs to be a hero. And along with a couple of friends, saves the world again and again!

Dune: Origins

BOOM! STUDIOS

Dune: Origins

(W) Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson (CA) Rael Lyra

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times best-selling authors of the legendary science fiction series Dune, reunite once more, this time to adapt their work at BOOM!. This FCBD edition will serve as an introduction to the Dune universe for fans of the Frank Herbert classic and new readers who aren't familiar with the rich Dune mythology; a must-have precursor to the epic launch of the adaptation of Dune books from BOOM! starting in July!

Lady Death: The Beginning

BOUNDLESS COMICS

Lady Death: The Beginning

(W) Brian Pulido, Mike Wolfer (A) Marcelo Mueller (CA) Jason Eden

Lady Death’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Starts Here! Lady Death’s travels have taken her down many different roads, but through it all, she has remained a mysterious and powerful figure. Now new readers can step into her story seamlessly with this 40 page introductory issue that brings readers up to speed with the current ongoing series. This special edition collects Lady Death Premiere and the #0 issue.

The Incredible Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-for-None

CAPSTONE

The Incredible Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-for-None

(W) Scott Nickel, Donald Lemke (A) C.S. Jennings, Doug Holgate (CA) Doug Holgate

Two awesome adventures for the price of… NONE! Meet the world's newest superheroes in this limited-edition, super-spectacular! First, who's mightier than marble? Who's greater than granite? Who's smarter than, uh… a rock…? It's Chip Stone, a.k.a. The Incredible Rockhead! Then hitch a ride with young Zack Allen as he takes his Zinc Alloy super-suit for a wild and wacky test-drive!

Muqtatafaht: A Middle East Comics Anthology

CAPTION BOX

Muqtatafaht: A Middle East Comics Anthology

(W/A/CA) Various

Featuring the work of nearly a dozen different Middle Eastern artists, this anthology (meaning "pieces" in Arabic) created in conjunction with the Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies' Outreach Center ranges from humorous insights into daily life in Beirut and Cairo, to responses to the occupation of the Palestinian territories, to personal reflections on life in Jordan. From the political to the fanciful, “the high brow to the raised brow.”

The Censored Howard Cruse

CBLDF

The Censored Howard Cruse

(W/A/CA) Howard Cruse

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in association with BOOM! Town presents The Censored Howard Cruse! He’s known for his gay comix, but that’s not all that’s been on Howard Cruse’s his mind! He’s also written and drawn about freedom of speech, civil rights, and drugs, as well as interesting uses for toothpaste. Now you can get a special sneak-peek at this summer’s upcoming graphic novel, The Other Sides of Howard Cruse — with just a few tastefully-placed black boxes! (You’ll have to get the OGN for the uncensored version.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer / The Guild Flip-Book (Buffy Cover)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer / The Guild Flip-Book (Guild Cover)

DARK HORSE COMICS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer / The Guild Flip-Book

(W) Andrew Chambliss, Felicia Day (A) Georges Jeanty, Jonathan Case, Dexter Vines

(C) Georges Jeanty, Adam Rex

Buffy has never so badly needed a vacation as she does now — with the world overrun with “zompires” and other fallout from Season 8. Luckily, Spike has got the perfect solution: a "spacecation"! Then, having lost their regular real-life meeting place, the Guildies are having a little trouble finding a new location which they can all agree upon. It all comes down to a little in-game battle to decide the new meeting place… and the circle follows the decree of the winner: the beach?!

DC Nation Super Sampler / Superman Family Adventures Flip-Book

DC COMICS

DC Nation Super Sampler / Superman Family Adventures Flip-Book

(W) Art Baltazar, Franco, Various (A) Dario Brizuela, Art Baltazar, Various

This super sampler is the place to check out Green Lantern Adventures and Young Justice, two sensational new comic series from the DC Kids line based on Warner Bros. Animation’s popular Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice, featured on the upcoming DC Nation programming block on Cartoon Network in 2012. The sampler includes two exciting, all-new stories that readers of all ages will enjoy. Plus, get a sneak-peek at the brand-new Superman Family Adventures monthly series from the Tiny Titans creative team!

Marble Season Preview

DRAWN & QUARTERLY

Marble Season Preview

(W/A/CA) Gilbert Hernandez

D+Q continues its FCBD tradition of offering the best free comics in the industry with this exclusive excerpt from its lead Fall 2012 book by Gilbert Hernandez of Love & Rockets fame! Marble Season is a semi-autobiographical epic about a group of kids growing up in the 1960's seen through the eyes of a young boy. Comics and popular culture of the day will dominate the proceedings and tell the untold story of one of the medium's greatest and most respected artists. This preview depicts no nudity or objectionable language and serves as a great introduction for what will be one of D+Q’s lead titles for 2012!

Moomin Color Special

DRAWN & QUARTERLY

Moomin Color Special

(W/A/CA) Tove Jansson

For the first time, Drawn & Quarterly offers a second FCBD title this year, featuring one of their most beloved and popular characters, Moomin! The Moomin Color Special will offer a sneak-peak at the brand new Moomin books — in color for the first time! Created by Tove Jansson, the Moomin characters have developed a dedicated fan base of both children and adults for over six decades. Originally published in black-and-white, these stories have now been re-colored! As a special bonus, this issue will also feature a preview of the new D+Q book, Anna & Froga, by Anouk Ricard!

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Family Comics

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Family Comics

(W/A/CA) Carl Barks

Three amazingly adventurous, thrillingly stupendous, wonderfully wondrous comics by one of the greatest cartoonists of all time, Carl Barks! CARL BARKS! The biggest name in cartoons, second to only Walt Disney! Find out what happens to Donald, Daisy, Uncle Scrooge, Gyro Gearloose, and the Nephews in these extremely entertaining and wonderfully told full-color comics!

Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Sampler

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Sampler

(W/A/CA) Crockett Johnson

Before Harold and the Purple Crayon there was Barnaby. Created by Crockett Johnson, Barnaby ran in newspapers for over ten years (1942-52). Its subtle ironies and playful allusions won many passionate readers as they followed the adventures of 5-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his cigar-chomping fairy godfather, Jackeen J. O'Malley.

Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace 2012

GEMSTONE PUBLISHING 

Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace 2012

(W) Robert M. Overstreet, J. C. Vaughn (CA) Vincent Spencer

The Walking Dead. Tales From The Crypt. Tomb of Dracula. Swamp Thing. Horror stories have been giving comic book fans the creeps for decades, yet they often fail to get their due. What defines horror? What's new in the genre? Now the team behind The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide takes an insightful look at the worlds of horror in this new CBM special. Great articles, interviews, and market snapshots focus on what makes reading and collecting horror comics so cool. Cover by Zombie-Proof artist, Vincent Spencer.

My Favorite Martian Special Edition

HERMES PRESS 

My Favorite Martian Special Edition

(A) Dan Spiegle

Uncle Martin (our favorite Martian) is a stowaway on a rocket to Mars in this excerpt from Hermes Press’ complete reprinting of the classic My Favorite Martian comics from the’60s. Featuring original art by Silver Age great Dan Spiegle along with supplementary artwork by Mike Arens, plus photographs from the original 1963-66 TV series starring Ray Walston and “David Banner” himself, Bill Bixby!

Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces

IMAGE COMICS

Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces

(W) Tim Seeley (A) Diego Bernard, Fred Benes (CA) John Tyler Christopher

Since the events of Artifacts, Sara Pezzini's entire life has been altered… living in a new city, and working at a new career. But one thing remains constant: the Witchblade, a mysterious, ancient artifact in the form of a powerful gauntlet, which serves as a magnet for all things supernatural. This FCBD edition gives fans an advanced look at "Unbalanced Pieces," the full-length story from the new creative team of Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Diego Bernard (The Man with No Name).

FCBD 2012 Dinosaurs versus Aliens

LIQUID COMICS

FCBD 2012 Dinosaurs versus Aliens

(W) Grant Morrison, Barry Sonnenfeld (A/CA) Mukesh Singh

From the minds of acclaimed filmmaker, Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black) and superstar graphic novel creator, Grant Morrison (Batman, The Invisibles), comes Dinosaurs Versus Aliens! When an alien invasion attacks Earth in the age of the dinosaurs, our planet's only saviors are the savage prehistoric beasts… which are much more intelligent than we ever imagined! Featuring artwork from acclaimed artist, Mukesh Singh (Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper).

Graphic Elvis Preview

LIQUID COMICS

Graphic Elvis Preview

(W) Stan Lee, Various (A) John Cassaday, Various (CA) Mukesh Singh

This FCBD Preview of the Graphic Elvis collector’s book features selected stories and excerpts from the deluxe hardcover edition! An illustrated homage to Elvis’ lifelong appreciation of comic books, Graphic Elvis also commemorates the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death in 2012. In the same way comic books inspired Elvis, this book allowed today’s premiere comic book creators to find inspiration from Elvis’ treasured archives at Graceland, creating a unique visual experience for his millions of fans.

Spider-Man: Season One

MARVEL COMICS

Spider-Man: Season One

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Neil Edwards (CA) Julian Totino Tedesco

It’s the Year of the Spider with Spidey’s 50th anniversary, the debut of the blockbuster film Amazing Spider-Man, and the all new original Spider-Man Season One Graphic Novel! Do not miss out. Get the first chapter of the eagerly anticipated Spider-Man: Season One graphic novel from Cullen Bunn and Neil Edwards!

Bad Medicine #1

ONI PRESS

Bad Medicine #1

(W) Nunzio DeFillipis, Christina Weir (A/CA) Christopher Mitten

Pulled out of exile from a dark corner of the world, renowned-surgeon-turned-fringe-medicine-eccentric Dr. Randal Horne must return to New York City to investigate a tragic research lab accident that’s left one man dead… and inexplicably headless. With the help of a distrusting NYPD detective, Horne must diagnose whether this strange case was truly a random act of misfortune, or the first calculated move by an invisible, psychotic murderer.

The Smurfs / Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip-Book (Smurfs Cover)
The Smurfs / Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip-Book (Tinker Bell Cover)

PAPERCUTZ / NBM PUBLISHING 

The Smurfs / Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip-Book

(W/A) Various

This special flip-comic book highlights kid-friendly, world famous characters such as Tinker Bell and Smurfette, as well as new titles from Papercutz such as Dance Class featuring dance students and best friends, Julie, Lucy, and Alia; and Ernest & Rebecca, which features a six-and-a-half-year-old Rebecca and her best friend, Ernest… who is a germ.

Under the Faerie Moon Preview

RADICAL PUBLISHING

Under the Faerie Moon Preview

(W) Terry Rossio (A) Various (CA) Ryohei Hase

From the co-writer of Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek comes an epic adventure set in the hidden land of Faerie. When the young faerie Weaver falls helplessly in love, she sets forth to prove her worth by recovering the lost Thrallstone of the Elves. But when Weaver sets free an imprisoned Wraith onthe promise he will help, has she unwittingly triggered the second Great Faerie War?

2000AD Judge Dredd Special

REBELLION

2000AD Judge Dredd Special

(W) Rob Williams, Various (A) Dom Reardon, Various

The UK's leading SF anthology comic, 2000AD, is back for its second year as a sponsor of FCBD, bringing you a fresh batch of Thrill-Powered strips from the biggest and best creators in the industry: Ichabod Azrael by Rob Williams & Dom Reardon; Zombo: The Day the Zombo Died by Al Ewing & Henry Flint; a classic Ro-Busters tale by Alan Moore and Steve Dillon, and a superhero-themed ‘Future Shock’ tale, Whatever Happened to the Green Pedestrian Palm? by Chris Weston! All this, plus an all-new Judge Dredd tale from John Wagner and a surprise guest artist!

Atomic Robo & Friends 2012

RED FIVE COMICS

Atomic Robo & Friends 2012

(W) Brian Clevinger (A/CA) Scott Wagner

Unanimously heralded by fans, creators, retailers and critics as the perfect first comic to give to a non-comic-reader, Atomic Robo is back to delight all audiences with the ultimate equation: Atomic Robo + Dr. Dinosaur = Team-Up!

Finding Gossamyr & The Stuff Of Legend IV (Gossamyr Cover)

TH3RD WORLD PRODUCTIONS

Finding Gossamyr & The Stuff Of Legend IV

(W) David Rodriguez, Various (A/CA) Sarah Ellerton, Charles Paul Wilson

When a brilliant young boy named Denny solves the most perplexing puzzle in the history of mankind, he and his caretaker sister, Jenna, are transported to the fantastic land of Gossamyr, where math is magic and the boy’s unique condition gives him incredible power. Finding Gossamyr is written by game designer/writer David A. Rodriguez and beautifully illustrated by talented newcomer Sarah Ellerton. Also in this issue: a special preview of The Stuff of Legend Volume 4!

Top Shelf Kids Club 2012

TOP SHELF COMICS

Top Shelf Kids Club 2012

(W/A) Andy Runton & Various (CA) Chris Eliopoulos

Top Shelf is proud to join the 2012 FCBD celebration with not one, but SIX all-ages tales! In this edition, we present adventures from our kid-favorite titles: Owly by Andy Runton, Johnny Boo by James Kochalka, Korgi by Christian Slade, Okie Dokie Donuts by Chris Eliopoulos, Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken by Ray Friesen, and Upside Down by Jess Smart Smiley. Perfect for everyone in the family, with a great cover by Ray Friesen this time around to boot!

Anti #1 Preview

12-GAUGE COMICS

Anti #1 Preview

(W) Peter Calloway, Nathan Edmondson (A) Daniel Hillyard(CA) Brian Stelfreeze

Legendary producer Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, Aliens, The Walking Dead) teams with 12-Gauge Comics to present the tale of Zachary, a faithless man forced to confront the reality that he’s the savior of the world. Chased by demons that have infiltrated earth disguised as humans, while grudgingly protected by demon-hunter Jordan, the journey for knowledge, survival and more begins here!Plus: The Ride returns from writer Nathan Edmondson, teasing the all-new series!

Valiant Comics 2012 Preview

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

Valiant Comics 2012 Preview

(W/A) TBD (CA) Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

The Valiant Universe returns! X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Harbinger! Some of the best-selling heroes of all time are back in a groundbreaking new beginning, helmed by an all-star roster of comic book superstars and visionaries. Journey through the heart of the Valiant Universe with brand new stories, character redesigns, and an exclusive first look into Valiant's bold first year. This FREE preview — featuring content you won't find anywhere else — hits the stands just as Valiant's best-selling titles return to stores worldwide!

Voltron Force: Shelter from the Storm

VIZ MEDIA

Voltron Force: Shelter from the Storm

(W) Brian Smith (A/CA) Jacob Chabot

After a mysterious disappearance, the mighty Voltron is back! Now the original Voltron pilots — Pidge, Hunk, Lance, Allura and Commander Keith — are training three new cadets: Daniel, Larmina and Vince. Each cadet brings something special to the team, and as they train, the depths of their gifts are revealed. And with King Lotor and his villainous minion Maahox out to destroy Voltron once and for all, the day that these new cadets must step up may be sooner than expected!

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel

YEN PRESS

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel

(W) Cassandra Clare (A/CA) Hye-Kyung Baek

A prequel to Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, the #1 New York Times best-selling The Infernal Devices is the story of Tessa Gray, a sixteen-year-old American girl traveling alone to Victorian London who runs afoul of the city's sordid supernatural underworld. Rescued by the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, Tessa quickly finds herself caught up in an intrigue that may very well destroy her new friends — including the two enigmatic young men, Jem and Will, who have taken her under their wing...

Animal Planet Presents: The World Most Dangerous Animals 2012

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT

Animal Planet Presents: The World Most Dangerous Animals 2012

(W) Joe Brusha (A)  Various (CA)  TBD

This Free Comic Book Day edition of Silver Dragon Books’ first Animal Planet graphic novel gives a sneak peak at terrifying encounters between man and beast, illustrating what happens when humans interact with the World's Most Dangerous Animals!

Jurassic Strikeforce 5 Preview

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT

Jurassic Strikeforce 5 Preview

(W) Joe Brusha (A) J.L. Giles-Rivera (CA) Mike Capprotti

Kept on ice for millions of years, the Earth's first team of heroes is back to protect the planet from the threat of the evil alien overlord Zalex and his band of mutated DinoSoldiers! In this Free Comic Book Day edition Jurassic StrikeForce 5's leader, Rex, tests his skills in a training session that gets out of control and that threatens to make the hero extinct!

© 2010 Diamond Comic Distributors and/or respective copyright holders. All rights reserved. - Privacy Statement

‘TIS THE SEASON: Impulse buys and risk-taking

To all you dedicated comics readers/fans:  How many times have you purchased a book based on some appealing cover art, or given a new title a chance based on the creative team involved, or ordered something through Previews simply because the description seemed interesting?

I do it all the time and I think its’ because  my individual comics hobby is nearly 95% impulse-driven.  I’m always doing those things I described in the first paragraph.  If it’s a new title  or a new comics company - -  even more so.

So, when I got wind of the offer below I acted immediately.  I’ve never even heard of this comics company from Alberta, Canada until today - - but based on what’s being offered here  - - new works based around classic horror concepts  - - I’m a sucker for it.   If I like what I read you can expect to see a review here on this blog site.

Is this a blatant commercial?  Am I endorsing this product?  Nope.  I can’t endorse something until I know what the quality level is.  So I’m not telling you to buy it.  1) I’m just giving you some insights into what makes my comic clock tick and 2) since this is a personal blog I’m sharing the news about this offer with my comics friends.  I wouldn’t be your friend if I didn’t share this type of news with you, would I?  The decision to check this out or not is solely your own.

Here is the official press release from RENEGADE . . . . . . . . . .

RENEGADE OFFERS THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT SET

With the end of 2011 approaching, and the build up to the Christmas festivities in full swing, Renegade Arts Entertainment has decided to get into the party spirit with a special gift package. For less than $20, until December 15th, you’ll receive one of every comic book and graphic novel Renegade has published in 2011.

Renegade_XMas

Included is SHAME, the best selling graphic novel from John Bolton (Hellraiser, Man-Bat) and Lovern Kindzierski (Animal Man); SHADES OF GREY: 24 HOURS IN LONDON, the action packed comic book from William Simpson (2000 AD, Transformers) and Alexander Finbow, based on the film directed by Finbow; the first issue of the horror tour de force CHANNEL EVIL from Alan Grant (Judge Dredd) and Shane Oakley (Albion, Cthulhu Tales); and the upcoming, April 2012, collected edition of Richmond Clements and Alex Moore's TURNING TIGER.

If that wasn’t enough, Renegade will also throw in a limited edition DVD of their award winning movie adaptation of HP Lovecraft's The Outsider directed by and starring Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), your choice of one DOUG BRADLEY’S SPINECHILLERS audiobook CD, two limited edition posters and a preview comic of THE LOXLEY’S AND THE WAR OF 1812, that has only been available to retailers, convention attendees and a very limited number of comic book stores in Canada.

That's more than $50 of perfectly crafted stories for less than the price of a round of drinks at the Christmas party! This special Christmas offer will disappear in a puff of smoke on December 15th so grab it whilst it still exists, and becomes the stuff of legend, only whispered about in the dead of night.

ABOUT RENEGADE ARTS ENTERTAINMENT

We publish comic books, but only a few and we are very discerning on our choices. The mix so far has been from experienced A list writers and artists and newer blood who pitched projects just too good to turn down.

Some of our projects have come from within Renegade itself, like Alan Grant' and Shane Oakley's Channel Evil and Alexander Finbow and William Simpson's Shades Of Gray. These are projects that our creators are passionate about and all of us at Renegade believe are of the highest quality. For more information, please visit www.renegadeartsentertainment.com.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DC NEW 52 trial run: DEMON KNIGHTS rates an A

 

DEMON KNIGHTS #1 – 3  (DC)  Paul Cornell, writer.  Diogenes Neves, penciller.  Oclair Albert, inker.  Marcelo Maiolo, colorist.  Jared K. Fletcher: letterer. Covers by Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey, and assist by Norm Rapmund on #3.  The Demon created by Jack Kirby.

DemonK1          DKnight2          DemonK3

I really like what the creative team is doing with this book.  They’ve  taken The Demon, Kirby’s displaced demonic anti-hero, and planted him in new surroundings closer to his place (Camelot) and time of origin (four centuries ago).  They’ve surrounded him with a complimentary cast of characters that are certain to provide a variety of interesting situations and sub-plots.  Writer Paul Cornell described them as  “the Medieval Magnificent Seven” and the tag line fits extremely well. 

So, what happens in DEMON KNIGHTS? . . . . .

As the castle of Camelot is under siege, a desperate Merlin releases the captive demon Etrigan, and imprisons him within the form of servant Jason of Norwich.  Meanwhile, the dedicated Sisters Of The Order transport the body of Arthur across the fabled lake to Avalon. Suddenly one of the nuns, Xanadu by name  (could it be one and the same?), dives into the lake and tries to retrieve the sword Excalibur.  Did she succeed?  Flash forward now to the Dark Ages where the “Horde of The QUESTING QUEEN marches North . . . . “

Jason and Xanadu are now partnered and try to pass themselves of as “pilgrims” as they enter a village that rests directly within the path of the marching Horde.  They eventually meet the other members of the “Seven Against The Dark” beginning with a younger and more mirthful Vandal Savage.  At this point in his immortal life he appears to be more interested initially in getting a pint to drink and being a participant in the coming events rather than the usual planner and puller-of-strings of centuries later.  (It isn’t until later when a bigger threat arises that he acts more like a field general and plans a defense.) Soon they are drinking together and then make the acquaintance of Sir Ystin  (The Shining Knight); Al Jabr from faraway lands (a Saracen?); the huge amazon Exoristos;  and the mysterious and incredibly accurate archer known as The Horsewoman.  Before long they are allied against the armies and dragons of The Queen and her wizard Mordru.

What do I like about this book? . . . . .

1) I’ve been craving to read a series set in a fantastic realm that isn’t tied into gaming or an already established canon.  This allows for a fresh start. 

2) I’m curious about the partnership between Jason/Etrigan and Xanada as well as the romantic triangle. As Jason converts to Etrigan to join in the bar fight he begins by kissing Xanadu.  As she pulls away from his embrace, The Demon asks “You’re still fooling him?  Telling him he fires your passion . . .?” and she finishes for him “. . . When I really prefer - - a bit of rough.”

3) The tongue-in-cheek nature of this book that remains restrained and funny - - never exceeding its bounds to become parody, or spoof,  or the dreaded pseudo-hip “campy”.

4) Dragons.  I forgot how much I missed them since the demise of SOJOURN ( the late Crossgen series, which THE DEMON reminds me of with its similar interplay between fatal danger and humor.) The added bonus here is that there are several varieties of dragons with different powers and abilities.

5) The gender-less nature of The Shining Knight. Many of the characters makes hints about it, which he/she  is well aware of and answers their jibes in a humorous fashion.  The trick here, which writer Cornell pulls off masterly, is to handle this subject in a mature fashion and keep it from appearing over done, prejudiced/bigoted, or homophobic.

6) The art of penciller Diogenes Neves and inker Oclair Albert.  Together, their style is perfectly suited to the fast-paced and somewhat light-hearted nature of this book.

7) Etrigan and Jason cannot exist on the same plane together. So, while one is on Earth the other is in Hell.  I’m sure that futures issues will feature some interesting subplots with Jason in Hell.

8)  I’ve had more FUN reading this title than some of the other excellent but more somber NEW 52 series.

What don’t I like about this book? . . . . . . .

1) It’s a pleasant problem.  I never anticipated that I would enjoy this many of the NEW 52 titles so far. I keep sampling new books and it’s dominating my reading as well as what I’m writing about (since I made a sort of commitment to follow 3 issues of various series, etc.)  I’m spending more than I wanted to on DC books, and since the first story arc of THE DEMON is just getting heated  (meaning you can still jump on and catch up)  I’ll have to come back for Issue #4 and more.  But I’m not crying about it; and please don’t shed any sympathy tears for me.  Marvel,  you have my permission to cry.

and, another book I tried an issue of and decided not to continue . . . .

THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN  #1  (DC)  Tony S. Daniel, writer.  Philip Tan, art.  Sunny Gho, colors. Travis Lanham, letters.  Hawkman created by Gardner Fox.

SHawkman1

THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN begins as a straightforward adventure story.  Many things change in the life of Carter Hall (aka Hawkman) and writer Tony Daniel relays all this information piece by piece without slowing the story down.  I don’t want to create the impression that I don’t appreciate his work or his writing skills.   I’ve just read so much over the years that seems similar that I can’t get interested.  There is no “hook” here for me. 

The art is first-class and the pacing is excellent.  The changes in Carter Hall’s life (he was seeming a little suicidal as the story opens and later revealed to be a little apathetic about his new address, etc.)  are somewhat bold.  There is no Hawkwoman apparently, making Carter a true loner.  He even tries to bury the Hawkman costume and walk away from his past.  This leads to a bond being forged between the Nth Metal and Carter that makes it possible for him to transform at will without having to don the harness and granting him some new powers.  The threat in this issue is another all-powerful alien life force that wants to suck the energy and special powers from Hawkman.  Since I’m already following one alien story line  (The Trench in AQUAMAN) I don’t feel like following another one.  Even the alien’s teeth look similar to the piranha-like Trenchers.