Showing posts from March, 2014

Book Review: STOP ME

STOP ME by Richard Jay Parker Trade paperback, 320 pages Allison & Busby, publishers January, 2010           The premise is different.  A serial killer sends emails to family members of his victims, suggesting they forward it like a chain letter to ten recipients.  If the chain email finds its' way back to the killer, he will spare the victim.           Eleven women have died.  When Leo Sharpe's wife is abducted from under his nose and he receives the Vacation Killer's email - - he gets frantic.  He turns into an obsessive compulsive as weeks and months go by and his wife's body never turns up.  Is she still alive?  Was she spared, perhaps because the chain email got back to the serial killer?           This book kept me guessing right up to the end.  I was totally baffled.  It went in several directions I never expected.  Just when you think you can predict where this will go, RIchard Jay Parker puts a different spin on events.           As Leo Sharpe continues to try…

A Crashing Climax To THE OTHER DEAD

THE OTHER DEAD #6 of 6 (IDW, March 19, 2014 release date) Writer/Co-Creator: Joshua Ortega. Co-Creator: Digger T Mesch. Art: Qing Ping Mui. Art (Epilogue): Mike Shoykhet. Inks: Jose Aviles, James Lyle, and Qing Ping Mui. Colors: Blond. Letters: Tom B. Long

The good news is that you don’t have to be a regular reader of THE OTHERDEAD in order to appreciate the contents of Issue #6. In fact, if you’ve stayed on the sidelines all this time you can still get a pretty good feel for the atmosphere and tone of the mini-series by jumping on right here. What you will be treated to is an intense story of human survival against impossible odds. Issue #6 spins a grisly yarn that pits the team of seven remaining characters against one nasty obstacle after another until the final resolution some 23 pages later.

The bad news (well, for some of us) is that it ends without any explanation of the events that caused the animal epidemic to occur. There is also no indication that the contagion has …

BCC Adds: Dezago, Rosa, Rousseau, Rubinstein also to appear

From the official press release . . . . .

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - March 24, 2014 - The Baltimore Comic-Con returns to the Inner Harbor in 2014 for its premiere inaugural three-day event the weekend of September 5-7 at the Baltimore Convention Center!

We continue to add fantastic talent to our slate of guests attending the 2014 show! This week, we are pleased to announce the addition of Todd Dezago, Don Rosa, Craig Rousseau, and Joe Rubinstein to the guest list!

Comics writer Todd Dezago has been a noteworthy contributor to Image, DC, and Marvel Comics. In addition to working on such titles as Sensational Spider-Man, Super Hero Squad, and Marvel Adventures at Marvel Comics and Impulse, Teen Titans, and Young Justice at DC Comics, Dezago's creator-owned titles Tellos and Perhapanauts, both published through Image Comics, have garnered much attention and kudos.

Eisner Award-winning Don Rosa can hardly be mentioned without evoking images of Walt Disney's Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, an…

Advanced advance preview: THE AUTEUR #2 is outrageous fun

THE AUTEUR #2  (ONI PRESS, April 16,  2014 release date)  Written by Rick Spears.  Illustrated by James Callahan. Colored by Luigi Anderson.  Lettered by Sick Rears (ha!)  - - - Publisher’s Disclaimer = The Shocking Scenes You Are About To See Are Not Suggested For The Weak Or Immature.(Editor’s Notes:  It’s rare to find a comic that combines humor and satire and does it well these days.  The list is very short - - say, just THE AUTEUR and TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH.  I can’ think of anything else that hits the mark like these books.   For that reason I want to give lovers of good satire a heads-up notice to get their order in today for THE AUTEUR #2 before the opportunity ends this week.  Issue #1 is close to selling out in stores, and since smaller publishers determine their print runs based on advance orders, we need to get the word out about this book so everyone who might enjoy it gets their chance.  The kind folks at ONI PRESS provided me with an advance copy so I could writ…

Noteworthy First Issues and Debuts, part two

ALL-NEW INVADERS #1 – 3  (Marvel, March through May, 2014)  James Robinson: Writer.  Steve Pugh: Penciled.  GURU-eFX: Colorist.  Cory Petit: Letterer.          It’s so good to see the wonderful work of artist Steve Pugh on a monthly basis.  This new series intends to bring the World War II team of The Invaders to the modern world and base their new adventures there, with some occasional flashback sequences.  And James Robinson, the man who brought the formerly bland Justice Society to invigorated life at DC, will most likely achieve the same thing with this veteran team.  There’s already some nice developments and insights into the character of Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch.  I can’t wait to see what he does with Bucky Barnes before he turns to Cap and Namor, as well as the secondary characters that will certainly be part of this book. (He’s already introduced Major Liberty and Aarkus, the original Vision with more to be added later.)         The first story arc, titled “Gods …

ONI Press unveils plans for 2014 and beyond

from the official press release . . . . . .To put it mildly, we ARE FLIPPING OUT about what 2014 holds for Oni Press and its creators, so we decided to let it (almost) all out!   We've got a lot of awesome things on the docket, so without further ado, here's a chronological look at many (but not all) of the new things fans and retailers can expect to see hitting shelves in the coming months. THE LIFE AFTER
July 2014In an infinite city fueled by despair, there is one man capable of breaking free.  The Life After tells the story of Jude, a unique man who will fight good, evil, and bureaucracy to escape purgatory and save humanity.  Kicking off in July after a special preview issue at WonderCon in April, this dazzling, unique, new ongoing series comes from the deft hands of writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Gabo and features covers by The Manhattan ProjectsNick Pitarra! I WAS THE CAT
August 2014To Burma, having nine lives means having nine chances to conquer the globe.  Wri…

Old school entertainment: CHRONOS COMMANDOS

CHRONOS COMANDOS: DAWN PATROL #1 – 5  (Titan Comics, August 2013 through December 2013)  Created, Written and Illustrated by Stuart Jennett.  Logo Design and Lettering Assists by Donna Jennett.  Also available March 2014 in a 144 page hardcover collection with additional material = ISBN: 978-17982760061 What’s in store for readers who pick up CHRONOS COMMANDOS?  A quick, entertaining read.  Pure escapism with no frills.  Dynamic artwork that pulls no punches when it comes to vivid, graphic violence and bloodshed.  No complicated side plots.  A main story that proceeds at a straightforward pace until its conclusion, without trying to explain its outlandish premise with elaborate details or diagrams.  Just check your rational analytical mind at the door and unleash the inner child to frolic at random.     Ever read any 1960’s or earlier comics?  Remember how they always told a rapid-fire pace story in 32 pages or less, never getting into character development beyond the surface details …

Valiant announces upcoming line of role-playing games

from the official March 17 press release . . . . . .VALIANT and CATALYST GAME LABS Partner for New Line of Comic Book-Based Tabletop Games

Artwork by Tom Raney          Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce that it has partnered with Catalyst Game Labs to produce role-playing and tabletop games featuring Valiant’s award-winning library of comic book superheroes.  The partnership will lead off in mid-2014 with the release of the Valiant Universe RPG—Valiant’s first-ever role-playing game, designed for the Cue System (the Origins and ENnie awards-nominated system first published in Catalyst’s 1950s Rockets/Rayguns/Robots RPG, Cosmic Patrol).  Subsequent releases, spotlighting a wide array of Valiant properties, will follow in 2015 and beyond.
The edge between superhero and villain has never been sharper.  In the Valiant Universe RPG, players will immerse themselves in a dark and gritty world where every mission and every battle has deadly consequences.  Whether playing X-O Manowar, …

"Different" is a mild word for THE AUTEUR

THE AUTEUR #1 of 5. (ONI Press, March 2014). Adult content suggested for mature readers.

What catches attention immediately is the eye-popping cover, done in a glaring vivid style that evokes memories of the underground comics of the 1960's.

Coincidentally (perhaps) "auteur" is a French word originating in the 1960's and used to describe "a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film it's personal and unique stamp." (Definition courtesy of Indeed, THE AUTEUR is the story of a "dirtbag" Hollywood producer out of fresh ideas and seeking out fringe remedies to start his creative juices flowing once again. The creative team on this book is all-out in its efforts to gain your attention. THE AUTEUR is outrageous, over the top, and in your face.
Writer Rick Spears (also lettering the book as "Sick Rears") details his main character (producer Nathan …

Wednesday, March 12, 2014: New and Noteworthy, Part Two

MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #1 (Dynamite, March 2014). Fred Van Lente, writer. Cory Smith, artist. Mauricio Wallace, colorist. Marshall Dillon, letterer.

This is the second of the Gold Key properties to be re-booted into the Dynamite universe. While it's not as interesting as TUROK, DINOSAUR HUNTER (which debuted last month) it also holds much promise and merits a close watch.

Writer Fred Van Lente has made some changes since the last version. As the issue begins, Russell Magnus (is that first name a tribute to original creator/writer/artist Russ Manning?) lives with his pregnant wife in a quiet country village called Maurey's Peak in the year 2045. He makes his living as a history teacher. Robots perform menial tasks and serve the humans, all monitored and controlled by the 1A operating system which appears on video screens as a grandfather type presence. Apparently it's the only place where robots and humans live together in co-operation.

Magnus escapes an attack on Mau…

Baltimore Con adds Zeck, Golden, Wittenstaetter . . . . .

from the official press release . . . . . . BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - March 10, 2014 - The Baltimore Comic-Con makes its annual return to the Inner Harbor the weekend of September 5-7, 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center for its first 3-day event!In addition to adding the much-requested Friday to our pop culture weekend of comic book goodness, we are excited to welcome back Michael Golden and Renee Witterstaetter to the show, and present the premiere appearance of Mike Zeck at the Baltimore Comic-Con!Mike Zeck began his storied career in comics with Charlton Comics with their animation-related line of titles before moving to Marvel Comics to leave an indelible mark.   Zeck provided art to unforgettable characters and titles such as 1987's "Kraven's Last Hunt" in the Spider-Man titles, "Circle of Blood" in The Punisher, and the classic Secret Wars featuring Zeck's design on the classic black costume for Spider-Man (and later adopted by Venom).  Zeck'…

Film explores the inspirational power of BATMAN . . . . .

LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT is a documentary film that tells the story of various individuals who have overcome great challenges and obstacles through the inspiration provided by their love of Batman.  Just as a young and devastated Bruce Wayne became inspired to become a dark knight for justice in the Batman stories  - - - “each one of us has the ability to overcome our own challenges and to make a positive difference” (information obtained from the official website). one night only, a special screening of the film benefits AUTISM DELAWARE.  Running time is approximately 80 minutes.  The film is not rated, but is appropriate for all ages.LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT will be shown this Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Penn Cinema Riverfront, located at 401 S. Madison Street in Wilmington, Delaware 19801Reservations are required. Tickets will not be available at the door.  Tickets are $11.00 and can be reserved at . . . . .

Noteworthy First Issues and Debuts, part one

THE FUSE #1  Image, February 2014)  Written by Antony Johnston. Illustrated by Justin GreenwoodLook, what I’m trying to say is that THE FUSE  is a big mash-up of a lot of things I  - - - love.  Detective stories;  dirty, lived-in sci-fi;  American cop shows;  and, duh, comics.”                                       Antony Johnston January 2014That is exactly what readers will find within the pages of THE FUSE.  All good detective stories use their opening chapter or chapters to set the stage, introduce the main players, and reveal the conflict or problem.  Everything is devoted or concentrated on getting the reader engaged, eager and willing to keep turning the pages to find out what happens and how everything gets resolved.  That is exactly what Johnston has done within Issue #1, subtitled The Russian Shift, Part 1. However, there is a lot more to THE FUSE than a simple crime story in an outer-space setting. The opening issue raises many questions that make it worth following this b…

Big Announcement from Comixology at SXSW 2014

NOTE: The South By SouthWest (SXSW) Convention is an annual gathering in Austin, Texas where indie music artists from all over the globe converge for a week of concerts on various stages throughout the city. In recent years, a film festival has also EDITOR’S run in conjunction with the music festival. It has opened up this year to embrace all the arts.  ComiXology made a big presence there with some special events plus a booth at the SXSW Gaming Expo.  And now, they make a crazy generous offer like the one outlined below.  I recommend you take them up on it- - that’s only 10 cents per book.from the official press release . . . . . . . . .Comixology’s Submit Self-Publishing Platform Celebrates One-Year Anniversary With Special Offer: 100 Books For 10 BucksMarch 8, 2014 - New York, NY, /Austin, TX  –  Celebrating the one-year anniversary of comiXology Submit at SXSW today, comiXology co-founders David Steinberger (CEO) and John D. Roberts (Director of Submit) announced the availability …

Last Son

Just in time to ride the hype from the upcoming Superman movie, DC has published two classic Action Comics arcs in one big trade.  Collecting ACTION COMICS #844-846#851, 866-870, and ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #11, this trade covers some of Geoff John’s best arcs from his time on the title. The first arc covers the escape of General Zod from the Phantom Zone with Richard Donner co-writing and drastically re-imagining the second Superman movie. The second arc reinvents the Brainiac character as he attempts to destroy Earth. Although I’m not a fan of Big Blue, Geoff Johns teaming with Richard Donner is not to be missed and when paired with Kubert art, you know the book is going to be gorgeous. The storyline in the first arc begins with the appearance of a starship crash landing to Earth.  The only occupant of the small ship is a young child who seems to be Kryptonian in origin. Superman barely has time to put glasses on the child to hide his identity before he learns that this kid is actual…

“ . . . It was a double-shot of my BLOODSHOT love . . .”

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #19  (Valiant, February 2014)  Writers: Christos Gage & Joshua Dysart.  Art: Bart Sears.  Flashback Art: ChrisCross & Victor Olazaba.  Color Art: Matt Milla.  Letters: Dave Sharpe.          So impressive is this issue that I offer BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #19 as Exhibit A evidence in answer to the question “Why should I read any Valiant books?”  The answer is that they consistently pack a full load of story and character development into every issue and accompany that with very good art.  It’s a one-two punch that satisfies without pain.  All the Valiant titles are reader-friendly enough that you can pick one up at random and find an engaging story to follow without confusion.           Following up from the events in Issue #18, deposed Project Rising Sun director Simon Oreck’s Specialists team beats current CEO Morris Kozol’s H.A.R.D. Corps team in a showdown and snatches co-leader Charlie Palmer, Genius and Flatline.  Oreck’s game plan is to …