Showing posts from April, 2010

Where Will You Be On FCBD?

I will be exactly where I was one year ago on Free Comic Book Day - - at CAPTAIN BLUE HEN COMICS 280 E. Main Street, Newark, DELAWARE. From planning, promoting, to organization, the guest artists and writers, childrens activities, and their people-handling / traffic coordinating skills (they get a big crowd all day)they cover it thoroughly. I've never seen a store handle FCBD the way it's done here. So impressed was I that I'm coming back for more in 2010. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY will be held at Captain Blue Hen this Saturday, May 1 from Noon until 5 p.m. Everyone attending gets a free comic, with over 25 titles to choose from. If you bring a library card and /or a canned food item to donate to the Newark Food Bank you can get another free comic for each. Special Guest Artists include Rich Faber and John Gallagher (Buzzboy, Nascar Heroes, Roboy Red); Neil Vokes (Superman, Tarzan, Spider-Man); Scott Neely (Scooby-Doo, Cartoon Netwo

Final Crisis Aftermath

Woah.  When did the site layout change?  I have everything on my RSS feed, so I don't actually visit here unless I need to write something or check an old post--it's all brown now. Anyway.  I've been pretty vocal about my love for  Final Crisis .  Others didn't like it so much--they felt that it was too complicated, that it wasn't a suitable story for a big event, that it didn't have a traditional narrative.  I guess I can understand those, to a degree.  It  was a complicated story--but really, by now readers know what to expect from Grant Morrison, this shouldn't have been a surprise.  And since when is complication bad?  It  wasn't your typical crossover event--but it wasn't actually a crossover, either.  It was a single story, with a few selected tie-ins, meant to conclude both the story of the Multiverse, as it had been portrayed thus far, and the plot points and themes that Grant Morrison had developed over the past twenty years working at DC.

If you do the crime . . . . . . . . . .

DIE HARD: YEAR ONE VOLUME 1 hardcover DIE HARD: YEAR ONE Issue #1 – 4  (2009, BOOM Studios) Written by Howard Chaykin with art by Stephen Thompson. A SHORTCUT FOR IMPATIENT READERS:   If you enjoyed the DIE HARD film series beyond the explosions and action and also appreciated the comedic moments as well as the character development of hero John McClane, then you will want to investigate the comic series. FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY READING MORE IN-DEPTH REVIEWS OF COMICS:   Keep going . . . . .           The hard and sometimes difficult reality is that having good friends to share your hobby with can seriously inflate your comics budget.           Good friends share their findings (or “gems”).  I appreciate their generosity and try to reciprocate by sharing some of my “finds”.  The upside is that I get to read some great works that I wouldn’t have sought out on my own based on my comics budget.  The downside is that invariably I enjoy the “gems” so much that I end up adding ano

Comics I Read: Catching Up #27

Green Arrow 32: From the “they said it better than me” file, Savage Critic's Brian Hibbs (spoilers ahoy): There’s a few conventions of comics that don’t really withstand scrutiny — like “Secret Identities”, but that’s because seldom do comics underline just how…stupid they are. But, it is double-underlined here, then highlighted with an orange highlighter pen. “Gasp, you mean Green Arrow is ex-Mayor Oliver Queen? Wha-?!?”…Then there is the whole trial/verdict thing which was just unbelievably bad — “I’m tempted to overrule the jury, but, ah, what the hell, let’s just banish you.” How is that even remotely plausible anywhere anyhow?…“I saw part of me in Mia’s eyes”? Really, through the non-eye-showing mask? Really?…And the ending with Hal standing in for the JLA and saying, in essence, “we don’t care that you’re a murderer, since a biased jury let you off.”  Me again: I can't recommend this book, but the ending of "Brightest Day" #0 will make a little more sense if y

Logan keeps on running . . . . .

  LOGAN’S RUN: LAST DAY #2  (Bluewater Productions, April 2010)  Paul Salamoff writer; Daniel Gete, artist             Everything that made Issue #1 such a great read and visual treat is back again in Issue #2.  Writer Paul Salamoff continues to move the story along, uncovering more details and background as the plot gains momentum.  Still, he’s not about to tip his hand entirely.  It’s going to require returning for future issues of this title to see the entire hand he has in play.  Artist Daniel Gete gets a little more comfortable with the style he’ll be utilizing in this title and validates our reason to spotlight him as an upcoming creator to watch.            Issue #2 opens with a bang,  a devastating  explosion with radioactive consequences at the end of 2095 that leads to a “nuclear winterland” as the atmosphere becomes polluted while food and water become scarce. It’s a bit of “The Future History”  which actually occurs in  the past of this story.  These bits of backgr

Comics I Read: Catching Up #26 (Bat-edition)

Batman: Streets of Gotham 8-10: I guess they had some kind of deadline problem with #8-9, because guest writer Mike Benson’s story has clearly been on the shelf for a while. Even though the name isn’t used, Batman’s behavior and internal monologue are clearly Bruce Wayne and not Dick Grayson. (He’s drawn with longer hair when he’s out of costume, but he’s also in disguise then.) Furthermore, I didn’t really get why this was a Batman story at all. I do like straight crime stories with Batman (as opposed to costumed villains) but there isn’t anything he does in this story that a competent crime scene tech and an undercover police detective couldn’t have accomplished. We know there are cops that Gordon can trust – see “Gotham Central” for instance – so he didn’t need Batman for this case at all. (Other than that there wouldn’t have been a story, of course.) Fortunately, the return to Paul Dini’s ongoing story in #10 is a terrific chapter featuring Damian and a kid vigilante. Artist Dustin

Comics I Read: Catching Up #25 (X-Men edition)

X-Force 22-25: Overall, the “Necrosha” story was a failure for me. Besides having the unfortunate timing to raise the dead during “Blackest Night”, I didn’t feel any of the resurrected characters were used to good emotional effect. (Except for Doug Ramsey in “New Mutants” – those stories were excellent.) And maybe I’m just an old fart, but I didn’t quite follow the ending – I think they defeated Selene on the Native American spirit plane, but I’m not sure – and there are plenty of places, especially in #25, where Clayton Crain’s art is printed so dark that I can’t tell who’s doing what. That said, I do still like the idea of this series, and the fact that the secret is starting to come out in “Uncanny” should be a lot of fun. Edited to add:  Paul O'Brien has a good review of the storyline  here . X-Men Legacy 230-234: The ending to the Emplate story in #230 was fine and the “Necrosha” story with Proteus in #231-233 wasn’t bad either, although I find myself struggling to remember

Rondo awards announced

                     Winners of the 8th annual RONDO HATTON CLASSIC HORROR AWARDS have been announced. Over 3,000 fans participated in the voting this year.   The public is invited to vote for any of the nominees each year; and this year was a record for turn-out.  It was also the first year for me;  as well as being the first year I became aware of the awards.  I plan to participate again next year.  I’m already planning to investigate some of the winners of  2009.           You can view the entire list by going to the website at .            The winner in the BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK category was BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT by Steve Niles and Kelley Jones.  Runner up was horror anthology series VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS.  Honorable mentions went to Hellboy: The Wild Hunt; Carnival Of Souls; and The Goon.

Comics I Read: Catching Up #24

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man 7-8: Before reading these, I reread the first six issues in the new hardcover, and I really admire what Bendis has accomplished here. The series opens six months after “Ultimatum”, when enough of New York has been rebuilt for it to be officially open for business again. At first, it seems like Bendis has used the distance from the tragedy to essentially do the same book, but as the relaunch unfolds there’s an underlying sadness to all the characters (who after all, have all been through a trauma.) I especially like Aunt May’s taking in kids like Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake – instead of being a sitcom gimmick, it fills a deep need in May just like being Spider-Man does for Peter. That said, it also allows Bendis to do the Ultimate version of “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”, so the humor is still there too. I miss David Lafuente in these most recent two issues, but otherwise they’re a fun diversion following up on a thread from the “Ultimate Power” minise

Comics I Read: Catching Up #23

Booster Gold 27-30: The “Blackest Night” crossover in #27 ends well, with Booster getting a chance to make up for Ted Kord’s original funeral by staging his own memorial. I also really liked the Coast City arc in #28-30. Even though the mandate not to change the past has been explored before in the Barbara Gordon arc, I didn’t mind going over similar ground because it’s an entire city and therefore a much bigger moral dilemma. Plus it’s fun to see Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway revisit their “Death of Superman” days. Jurgens has one more issue left in his run, but his epilogue this issue seems to almost directly address the concerns about Giffen & DeMatteis taking over. (Old Booster: “…I’m living proof that things will work out fine. When the time is right – I’ll be back.”) Frankly, I do have concerns about their upcoming issues. Johns and Jurgens (not to mention the “52” writers) have worked really hard to change Booster into a deeper, more interesting character and I hope that does