Showing posts from December, 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 13 th annual event! We are very proud to announce our initial guest list for what will surely become the largest Baltimore Comic-Con yet! 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 Kur

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 he

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 fro

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 s

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) 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'

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.            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

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.  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 f


  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 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

‘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 t

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.                     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