Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fair Warning: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are coming!

from the official press release . . . . .

Smith Mewes BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 22, 2013 - That's right! Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will both be appearing at this year's show to promote their new animated feature, Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!

Best known for their roles as Jay and Silent Bob in the View Askewniverse films, which includes Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks 2, Smith and Mewes are fan-favorites among comic and movie enthusiasts alike. Their careers span appearances in film, television, and video games, as well as hosting a series of podcasts on their online network, SModcast. 

In addition to his acting career, Smith is a well-known comic writer, having worked on such titles as Batman: Cacophony, Batman: The Widening Gyre, The Bionic Man, Daredevil, Green Arrow, Green Hornet, and Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do. In 1998, he received a Harvey Award for Best New Talent.

jasbsgcm-poster--400x

View Askew and The Baltimore Comic-Con have arranged an amazing afternoon with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes on the Saturday of the show. This special three-hour event will include:  

  • A screening of the all-new animated film: Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie
  • A live podcast Q&A with Kevin and Jason

This three-hour special, private event will be available as a separate event ticket (separate from convention admission) and seating is limited.  As part of the Baltimore Comic-Con, admission to the show is also required.

Also available will be a SUPER GROOVY event ticket which will include early, priority seating at the event as well as an autographed exclusive print signed by BOTH Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes! (The prints will be signed ahead of the event - Jason and Kevin will not be available for additional autographs).

This will be Kevin and Jason's only appearance at the show, and the only opportunity for an autograph!

The 3-hour event will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 1:00 pm in the large upstairs programming room. The doors will open for seating at 12:30 pm with early, advanced seating to this private event starting at 12 noon.  

"We can hardly believe that it actually came together!  We are thrilled that both Kevin and Jason will be here to screen their new film at the show," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "Their characters, Jay and Silent Bob, are pop-culture icons and we just know that fans are going to be clamoring to be a part of this special event!"

General Admission Tickets for the event will run $40, and the limited, Super-Groovy exclusive tickets (which include early, advanced movie seating and the signed movie poster print) are $75 and are sure to go fast. Tickets can be purchased by visiting baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets.

Ed McGuinness is the latest guest at Baltimore Comic-Con

 from the official press release . . . . .

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 23, 2013 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is excited to announce that superstar artist, Ed McGuinness will be attending  this year's show, taking place September 7-8, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center. A fan-favorite artist, McGuinness will be making his first appearance at the Baltimore Comic-Con this year!

McGuinness GotGEd McGuinness broke into the comic industry in 1995, working on three issues of Harris Comics' Vengeance of Vampirella. After working on a few titles for Awesome Entertainment, including Fighting American and Youngblood, he took over art duties on Marvel Comics' Deadpool in 1998. Since then, he as worked on such titles as Captain America & Bucky, Captain Marvel, Mr. Majestic, ThunderCats, Ultimate Enemy, and World War Hulk: X-Men, as well as original covers for Wizard magazine.

Best known for his work on DC Comics' Superman, Superman/Batman and Marvel's Hulk working with long-time collaborator Jeph Loeb, McGuinness' expressive art style is one of the most well-recognized styles in comics today. His most recent work includes the Marvel miniseries, Avengers: X-Sanction and the Marvel NOW! titles, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy.

"We've had so many fan requests for Ed over the last few years that when the stars aligned and his schedule opened up, we jumped at the chance to have him at the show," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "His art is among the very best in the industry, and we can't wait for the fans to be able see him at this year's show!"

McGuinness joins our previously announced guests, including: Guest of Honor Stan Lee (Marvel comics), Brian Bolland (Dial H); Mark Buckingham (Fables); Jimmy Cheung (Avengers vs. X-Men); Frank Cho (Savage Wolverine); Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre); J.M. DeMatteis (Phantom Stranger); David Finch (Justice League of America); Dave Gibbons (The Secret Service); Keith Giffen (Masters of the Universe); Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan); Barry Kitson (Empire); Roger Langridge (Popeye); Paul Levitz (World's Finest); Kevin Maguire (World's Finest); Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob's Really Groovy Cartoon Movie); Mike Mignola (Hellboy In Hell); Jimmy Palmiotti (Batwing); George Perez (World's Finest); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Joe Prado (Earth 2); Ivan Reis (Aquaman); Chris Samnee (Daredevil); Louise Simonson (X-Factor); Walt Simonson (The Mighty Thor); Kevin Smith (Batman: The Widening Gyre); Allison Sohn (sketch card artist); Mark Waid (Indestructible Hulk), and Bill Willingham (Fables). 

Balt Comic Con logo

About The Baltimore Comic-Con

The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 14th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.
About The Harvey Awards

The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 25 years, the last 7 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org

Sunday, July 21, 2013

BURIED TREASURE 7/21: Older books worth digging for

  

DEADPOOL MAX #1-12 (Marvel, December 2010 – November 2011) David Lapham, writer. Kyle Baker, art. VC’s Clayton Cowles, letterer. Explicit Content.

                                                                        DeadpoDP 1ol remains enormously popular, as evidenced by the plethora of Marvel titles in which he appears.  Some of the more discerning readers have had our fill of the wacky mercenary with ninja skills and powers that make him incredibly difficult to kill, while other readers just can’t get enough.  Many of us recall fondly the early days of the title and some classic tales from Kelly, Priest, and Palmiotti.  Flash forward to 2010 and the Marvel Max line of books:  When a writer as skilled as David Lapham gets his hands on the character and gets the freedom to explore controversial subjects then we all need to pay attention.  DEADPOOL MAX is a juicy slice of dementia with a generous sprinkling of laughs laced through its fatty veins.

          In this version of the universe, The Deadpool is a secret C.I.A. side project to train and utilize mercenaries with no morals for assignments where killing and brutality may be essential.  Their top agent is Wade Wilson, Deadpool.  Action Officer Bob (a great creation) has been assigned to be Deadpool’s handler.  Deadpool lives in a fantasy world and Bob’s mission is to keep him focused on their assignments.  Bob quickly learns that Deadpool will quickly become coherent and efficient if he believes that the current mission is somehow connected to the Hydra organization, who he hates with a passion. Why Deadpool never turns on Bob, who wears a Hydra uniform without headgear throughout the issues, is a big mystery that doesn’t get attention until the final issue.

          Most of the issues can be read as stand-alone stories, although there is a plot thread that is woven through all of the issues that involves Cable, Domino, and a female Taskmaster.  Writer David Lapham puts his own spin on these Marvel characters and essentially mocks them in a funny way as he puts them through the paces.  Artist Kyle Baker is in fine form, utilizing a variation on his standard style here that retains a Mad-magazine type of physical depiction and adds a coloring style that almost looks painted. Perhaps it’s the muted inks that make it appear that way.  The only exception is Issue #9, which was drawn by Shawn Crystal in a style that is somewhat respectful of what Baker was trying to do but with a little more line definition. DP 4

          Issue #1 is a proper introduction to what’s in store, as Deadpool and Bob take out the Maggia boss Hammerhead (who Deadpool is led to believe is the new leader of Hydra) complete with extremely foul language, blood and gore, severed limbs and sick one-liners.  It would be a horror book if not for Baker’s light-hearted depiction of massacre.  Along with the blood, there is plenty of sex and drunken debauchery throughout this series, including two love affairs for Deadpool.  Although, they may be the same woman.  Is the mental patient Inez really someone else, or is this how Deadpool puts an irrational spin on everything he encounters?   The KKK, Nazis, and bigots everywhere get the satiric treatment in Issue #3.  The delightfully demented Lapham envisions a resurrected Baron Zemo as a cone-headed white supremacist leader of a new branch of the Klu Klux Klan.

          In what I consider the core of this series (Issues #4 through #8), Cable and Domino enter the fray, along with the Taskmaster/Taskmistress.  Both Bob and Deadpool get some intimate time with Domino, as they both have previous romantic ties to her.  Deadpool has a history with Taskmistress also, during his formative years as a young Camper Cub (a sly version of the Boy Scouts) when she had more influence on his development than his own mother.  Lapham morphs Marvel’s Moon Knight into an organization called the Crescent Moon Knights, a side branch of Eastern terrorists.  Deadpool spends a few issues drifting in and out of a fantasy world where he’s a father (Domino’s child) raising a young costumed Deadpool.  There’s a reoccurring plot thread where Deadpool and Bob are trying to stop the spread of a face-eating nerve gas called Liquid X.

DP 12

       

   Issues #9 through 11 are funny and demented, although they seem to drag in places.  Issue #12 is a great wrap-up to the series (which was followed by DEADPOOL MAX II #1 the following month).  The cover is a perfect depiction of the heart and tone of the entire series, as Deadpool and Bob toast each other with champagne glasses as a mushroom cloud erupts in the background.  This is a series worth seeking out, provided you don’t object to having familiar Marvel characters and settings mashed up in a blender of parody.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New publisher for mature crime graphic novels debuts . . . . .

Crystal Productions debuted in May 2013 with SILENCE AND COMPANY, an intense crime thriller centered around a disgruntled hitman who discovers and then exposes an international crime syndicate with deep roots. We received a preview copy courtesy of Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware and wrote a review which posted on their website. You can read the full review at this link . . . . . http://www.captainbluehen.com/2013/07/16/silence-and-co-a-hitman-uncovers-a-global-laundering-network/

Friday, July 19, 2013

Marvel House Of Ideas Panel at San Diego Comic Con

While I'd much prefer to be posting this live from the convention, thanks to the magic of a live blog invite I can share some of the news.

Marvel used their first House Of Ideas Panel today at SDCC to promote Infinite Comics, Marvel Unlimited, Marvel AR, and Marvel original video programming on the Marvel.com website.

Hosted by Arune Singh, the House Of Ideas panel included Ryan Penagos, Brian Michael Bendis, Axel Alonso, Ty Jefferson, Ron Perazza, and C.B. Cebulski.




Brian Michael Bendis talked about his Guardians Of The Galaxy Infinite Comic after a brief video for Infinite Comics was played. This digital-only comics provide single panels that reveal more detail and expand as the reader clicks on the images. He explained "we work Marvel style on the scripts, which is kind of like doing a book report on a book that doesn't exist and then letting the artist work with it."

Axel Alonso has high expectations for the format as he explained "with Infinite Comics we're not only changing the way you read comics but the way we make comics. For the last several decades, we've been working within the same constraint. Now we're opening new innovations up with technology. It's the new frontier."

Right now, The Wolverine:Japan's Most Wanted Infinite Comic by Jason Aaron, Jason Latour and Paco Diaz is being offered weekly for $2.99. In October Iron Man:Fatal Frontier Infinite Comics, tied into the current comic, begins weekly for $2.99.

Marvel Unlimited is a digital only subscription service that offers full access to 70 years of Marvel archives. "Somebody asked me what they should read on Marvel Unlimited," recalls Bendis. "Netflix is great for binge watching. This is that for comics. Some guy read my whole Avengers run last weekend. EIght years of my life! Read Nextwave, the craziest thing Marvel ever published. Old Man Logan is on there too!"

Other recommendations from panel members were Chris Claremont's X-Men (CB Cebulski), the current run of Spider-Man (Ron Perazza), Walt Simonson's Thor (TQ Jefferson), and Chris Claremont & Frank Miller's Wolverine (Ryan Penagos).

Marvel continues to upgrade its' video programs on www.Marvel.com. Earth's Mightiest Show, described as "a pop culture show through a Marvel lens" debuted on July 12. Hosted by Blair Butler, the fast-paced short show features news, talk and special guests like Seth Green (voice of Avon on Hulk & The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H.), Duncan Rouleau & Joe Casey (Avengers Assemble and Ben 10 cartoons), and Matt Smith (an upcoming episode). The show will also spotlight TV, movies, video games and gadgets.



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Saturday, July 13, 2013

A-1: A New Source for High Stimulus Weirdness

 

A-1 #2 (Titan Comics, August 2013 http://titan-comics.com/)

It’s nearly impossible to try and figure out what direction these tales are headed in.  The unpredictable  nature of A-1  is a big part of the charm and is responsible for its’ allure and quirky goodness. 

          The second issue of this science-fiction/fantasy themed anthology returns with the next chapter in the three serialized stories from the debut issue last month.  The high quality art and colors throughout all stories really draw attention to this title and dazzle with a vivid wash of colors on high quality paper.  A-1 Weirding     

             The overlapping of classic characters from literature continues in The Weirding Willows by editor Dave Elliott and illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda in a style that resembles painting on canvas.  Just as Mogwai made an appearance late in the story last issue, a famous doctor’s monstrous creation intrudes upon the final panels this time.  The setting is now confirmed as 19th century England amid attempts to subdue and control the latest cargo for Dr. Moreau’s animal surgical experiments, commissioned by a witchy woman with an interest in flying monkeys.  Moreau’s daughter, Alice, is lured away from the action by a well-dressed rabbit who can’t afford to be late.  Dr. Jekyll obtains the elixir he negotiated for when arranging for the animal delivery.  There are other characters to be recognized in little cameos (including a small version of the Cheshire Cat, and is that mean woman a tired version of Mary Poppins?).  It’s fun to see how many characters can be inserted into the story and to read how Eliott holds it all together.  However, I have absolutely no idea where this is going.

 A-1 Carpe       

           It’s another single issue episode for Carpe Diem, the gaggle of superheroes named for days of the week and led by The Eighth Day, the dapper dressed big boss with a black eight-ball for a head.  A gang of malicious clowns led by August Von Reichskanzler manage to steal the small derby hat favored by Eighth Day and kill super-spy agent Monday (he’ll be resurrected shortly).  We learn the back-story of first school-boy encounters between the two leaders and a continuing grudge match between them. There’s a blue-haired bespectacled mouse in a Sgt. Pepper coat at the control center for Carpe Diem. Von Reichskanzler communicates via a greenish clown phone with a happy face, and travels via a weapon fortress inside a giant floating cat.  Sir Tuesday (the hooligan) and Sir Thursday (the shaman) seize the day after smashing clown noses.  (Glad to see that! I don’t like clowns either.)  Don’t try to explain this series to others.  Just enjoy the crazy world brought to you by writer W. H. Rauf and artist/creator Rhoald Marcellius.       

A-1 Odyssey

        

           The most serious story in A-1 #2 is the next episode of Odyssey, a different spin on the patriotic hero by writer Dave Elliott and artist Garrie Gastonny.  The realistic art makes the story a bit more believable, although it’s still as strange as everything else in A-1.  Having survived the American forces’ attempt to kill him and prepare his husk for possession by a supernatural ally, Wilson goes on to rally the troops in WWII as Blazing Glory.  No one has determined if the experiment was successful or if Wilson shares his shell with angel or demon.  He helps U.S. soldiers in Berlin 1945 break through Hitler’s stronghold and dispatch Nazis in bloody fashion that might give a clue to his new strength.  And, he continues on as Blazing Glory (in patriotic battle uniform and helmet) right up to more recent times in 2003 when the White House contacts him.  What’s the next mission?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

BURIED TREASURE: Older Books Worth Digging For = J.L.I.



JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL VOLUME 1: THE SIGNAL MASTERS (DC, reprints #1-6 from 2011-2012) Dan Jurgens, writer. Aaron Lopresti + Marco Castiello, pencilers.

Much lighter in tone and presentation than JUSTICE LEAGUE (its’ brother/sister title), JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL was one of the early casualties of the DC New 52 and lasted just twelve issues. This trade paperback collection reprints the first six issues (story arc plus epilogue) and will provide a very entertaining read for anyone who missed this during the initial invasion of new titles. I suspect that may be exactly what happened to this book. It could be it just got lost in the glut of new team books that DC introduced in the same month. Based on the story here, that’s too bad. Dan Jurgens (an accomplished scripter who created the Booster Gold character who leads this new team) managed to squeeze in a large amount of character development while the story unfolded, and could have fleshed this out into a monthly worth following had he been given more time. While Lopresti is no showcase artist, his work here is very good and visually pleasing. It reminds me of the best of Tony Daniels.



Citing a lack of public confidence in authority, a United Nations group assembles its’ own superhero team from various nations in order to tackle global challenges. The thought process is that this team would be under the control of the United Nations (unlike the Justice League who work independently of any government) and if successful would help restore faith in government. Things don’t start out well. They suffer from initial misdirection and indecision after being thrown together quickly and rushed into an early assignment, which started out simple and become ultra-complex.

The team, led by a self-conscious Booster Gold who doubts his ability to lead, is comprised of Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Godiva from Great Britain, Ice from Norway, Vixen from Africa, Fire from South America, Rocket Red from Russia, and August General In Iron from China. Batman serves as an unofficial/unauthorized participant and team advisor. After losing their first encounter with Peraxxus, a new threat of Galactus-like proportions who threatens to strip the Earth of all resources, the team regroups for a second assault. In addition to the action-packed main storyline there are side plots involving incompatibility between Booster Gold and Guy Gardner, an ineffective and flirtatious Godiva, amorous intentions from Rocket Red, competition between Russia and China, and an internal U.N. team struggling to keep their concept intact from doubting U.N. officials who want to disband Justice League International before it gets off the ground. No worries there - - - the DC administrative pencil pushers already made that decision for them. So, if you have been looking for some good super-hero team books to read but don’t want to make a big monthly commitment - - just check out the two trade paperbacks of JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL.








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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Details on Baltimore Comic Con in September 2013





BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 6, 2013 - It's official! With the announcement last week that Stan Lee will be with us at the show, expanded ticket options are now available for the Baltimore Comic-Con. Online ticket sales are now open for the All-Star Baltimore Comic-Con Reception and Panel, the Stan Lee Excelsior Package, and Baltimore Comic-Con VIP tickets. In addition, weekend and daily general admission tickets are now on sale for the 14th Annual Baltimore Comic-Con, taking place September 7-8, 2013.




The Stan Lee Excelsior Package will include:
a Stan Lee Autograph,
a Professional photo-op including 8x10 photo with Stan,
a Stan Lee "Fast Pass" for additional autographs and photos, and
an Exclusive commemorative item which will be announced closer to the show.
Excelsior Packages are priced at $160.00 and do not include admission to the show, which is available separately (see details below).

In addition, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be hosting an All-Star Reception Starring Stan Lee on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm! An all-star lineup of special comics guests, including Mark Buckingham, Dave Gibbons, George Perez, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, and others welcome Stan Lee and YOU to the 2013 Baltimore Comic-Con. This private, limited event is only open to ticket holders of this special engagement and will include a panel discussion, catered light snacks & desserts, as well as a chance for Stan to sign your item Friday night! A cash bar will be available.

The All-Star Baltimore Comic-Con Reception and Panel Starring Stan Lee Package will include:
a Stan Lee autograph
a Voucher for photo to be done at the show,
a Stan Lee "Fast Pass" for additional autographs and photos during the show,
a Copy of the Baltimore Comic-Con 2013 Yearbook, and
an Exclusive commemorative item which will be announced closer to the show.
The All-Star Reception Package is priced at $300.00 and does not include admission to the show, which is available separately (see details below).

"There is no better way to kick off this year's show than at the All-Star Baltimore Comic-Con Reception Starring Stan Lee," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "We've got an amazing line-up of creators who will be attending the event and honoring one of the founding fathers of comics."

2013 Baltimore Comic-Con VIP Package will include:
"First on the Floor" VIP early admission at 9:30 am both days of the show,
VIP Priority Access to Panels and Presentations*,
a Baltimore Comic-Con 2013 T-shirt,
a Collectible Baltimore Comic-Con 2013 VIP Badge and lanyard,
a Collectible Baltimore Comic-Con 2013 Hardcover Yearbook, plus
More VIP goodies to be announced!
* Must be in the VIP line 30 minutes before scheduled presentation times; VIP Seating is guaranteed but not reserved. Not including special ticketed events.

VIP ticket packages are $99 and include entry both days of the show.

General Admission Tickets to the show will also be available for purchase at the following prices:

Two-Day Admission: $40.00
Saturday Admission (9/7): $25.00
Sunday Admission (9/8): $20.00

VIP Packages and admission tickets can be purchased online by visiting baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/.


Stan Lee joins our previously announced guests, including: Brian Bolland (Dial H); Mark Buckingham (Fables); Jimmy Cheung (Avengers vs. X-Men); Frank Cho (Savage Wolverine); Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre); J.M. DeMatteis (Phantom Stranger); David Finch (Justice League of America); Dave Gibbons (The Secret Service); Keith Giffen (Masters of the Universe); Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan); Barry Kitson (Empire); Roger Langridge (Popeye); Paul Levitz (World's Finest); Kevin Maguire (World's Finest); Mike Mignola (Hellboy In Hell); Jimmy Palmiotti (Batwing); George Perez (World's Finest); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Joe Prado (Earth 2); Ivan Reis (Aquaman); Chris Samnee (Daredevil); Louise Simonson (X-Factor); Walt Simonson (The Mighty Thor); Allison Sohn (sketch card artist); Mark Waid (Indestructible Hulk); and Bill Willingham (Fables).


In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 7-8, 2013. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 7th.

Contact Information
registrar@baltimorecomiccon.com - for inquiries about submitted registrations
harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com - for the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet
general@baltimorecomiccon.com - for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries

About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 14th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 7-8, 2013. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 9 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org
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