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Archive for the 'Comics' Category

Best Comics of 2016

Best Comics of 2016It’s been a great year for comic book readers and a momentous one as well. DC’s ‘New 52’ branding came to a close while their line of ‘Rebirth’ titles made a big splash in stores. Some said it’s a bad sign that DC has rebooted yet again within a 5-year span. Others say it’s not a reboot at all, just part of DC’s master plan. Either way, it was one headline in the industry that certainly made a lot of noise. Marvel made their own waves with the release of Civil War II and let’s not forget that Valiant’s lead-off title came to a fitting end. Yet amidst all the titles on store shelves, there can only be one in each category that rise above the rest. Read on to see who takes the cake this year.

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Man, I Hate Cursive (Comic Review)

jim benton 160x160If my kindergarten teacher had promised me that I could tap into the dark arts and summon lemons from the pits of Hell thanks to learning and practicing cursive, I would have taken my cursive lessons a bit more seriously. In the end, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference, for my normal handwriting is still atrocious. That, and I still hate cursive. Moving on, Jim Benton is a madman. His comics are a brilliant breath of fresh air in a webcomics smoking lounge, but he’s still a madman nonetheless. The geniuses always are, unfortunately. Continue reading ‘Man, I Hate Cursive (Comic Review)’

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Batman: The Killing Joke – Who Had The Last Laugh? (Movie Review)

batman the killing joke 3The DC Animated Universe has been providing a lot of solid films to their library in recent years. They seem to lean heavily on Batman, which has its pros and cons, but given the mixed reaction to post-Nolan DC theatrical films, it has been nice to have at least one area that continues to deliver. Adapting Batman: The Killing Joke was always going to be a challenge. The controversial graphic novel is hailed as one of the best Batman/Joker stories ever, but the subject matter is certainly darker than the average Dark Knight tale. Sadly, despite good intentions involving changes and additions, the results feel poorly handled thematically and rushed visually.

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SDCC 2016: Spotlight on Jason Aaron

jasonaaronJason Aaron is one of the best writers in the game today. The Other Side really put him on the map back in ’06, and ever since then he’s been a runaway train of talent and hits. Scalped was his first running title, it’s a brutal, addicting saga about Native American politics. Scalped introduced me to Aaron’s work, and from the first issue on, I knew I’d buy everything he wrote. He hasn’t let me down yet. Aaron has now been writing Thor for years, and it is, with no hyperbole, literally the best Thor run I’ve ever read. Oh yeah, and he also writes a little title you may have heard of, goes by the name of Star Wars. On top of that, he’s remained true to his indie roots, writing both Southern Bastards, and The God Damned. The first being a football-centric tale of southern culture, and the latter being a biblical book set in the pre-flood world which has a brutal take on that mythology, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Jason Aaron, full of charisma, intellect, and best of all, news, hosted a “panel”, if you can call one writer talking candidly to his fans a panel. It went like this… Continue reading ‘SDCC 2016: Spotlight on Jason Aaron’

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SDCC 2016: Montress Volume One

Monstress_01-1Released today, Monstress Volume One is the latest and greatest from Image. Featuring blistering artwork from renowned artist Sana Takeda(X-23, Ms. Marvel) and a dense and richly packed story from the brilliant mind of Marjorie Liu(X-23, Black Widow). Monstress is one book you’ll want to get your hands on. I found myself blown away by the awe-inspiring complexity of Takeda’s beautiful artwork. I was immediately compelled to picked up a special edition hard copy at Comic-Con this year. Powerful, compelling, and chock-full of complex characters, Monstress feels like all the best parts of Final Fantasy, Game of Thrones, and Shadow of Colossus all rolled into one behemoth of a book. If you have any inkling of interest in this book pick it up immediately! Continue reading ‘SDCC 2016: Montress Volume One’

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SDCC 2016: Grant Morrison & Graphic India

grantGrant Morrison is one of the most iconic, accomplished writers in comics today. Beyond having written The Invisibles, All Star Superman, New X-men, Final Crisis, The Filth, and many more, he has also been the focus of a documentary, Talking with Gods. Further still, he wrote the enlightening book, Super Gods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. Recently Morrison has delved into Indian mythology, and spearheaded the publishing company Graphic India. I was lucky enough to hear him speak about it. Continue reading ‘SDCC 2016: Grant Morrison & Graphic India’

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Super Pro K.O. Volume 3: Gold For Glory (Comic Review)

super pro ko vol3 160x160When I was in junior high, all my friends were into wrestling. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Goldberg were all familiar names to me, but I never watched the matches. I was informed at an early age by my parents that wrestling was fake and I should stay away from it, and so that nugget of information was firmly planted in my brain as I watched my naïve friends prance around at recess and perform backyard wrestling moves on each other like monkeys drunk on banana daiquiris. I tried telling them that I had it on good authority that it was fake, but they weren’t having it. Continue reading ‘Super Pro K.O. Volume 3: Gold For Glory (Comic Review)’

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Comic Review)

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensThere are some writers, some artists, and some properties which carry such gravitas it becomes all but impossible for a fan to pass by. An issue one of Star Wars, The Force Awakens, written by Chuck Wendig is a fine example. There was basically zero chance I was going to pass this book up. So it is with great disappointment that I must report that it brought absolutely nothing to the table.

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Stringers (Comic Review)

stringers_160x160For stringers, people who make a living arriving first on the scene and taking footage of crime scenes and ragging fires, they’re finally getting the cameras turned on themselves and their profession in the eye of pop culture. The film Nightcrawler debuted a few years ago, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, and the crime thriller garnered critical acclaim and even an Academy Award nomination. Meanwhile in the comic book medium, writer Marc Guggenheim got inspired to write Stringers after listening to an NPR story while driving to work at CSI: Miami. Continue reading ‘Stringers (Comic Review)’

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Blood Feud (Comic Review)

blood_feud_page160x160When the eventual vampire apocalypse comes, we had better hope that centuries of vampire lore from books, comics, and movies is accurate. It’s the only thing we cling to, with the proper use of garlic, stakes through the heart, and hoping they can’t cross running water. Of course, we’ve seen countless interpretations of vampires in comics over the years, so to bring something new and intriguing to the genre is a challenge to creators. Luckily with Blood Feud from Oni Press, the challenge was accepted and executed very well.

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Scarlet is Back! (Comic Review)

ScarletSix long years ago a little comic by the name of Scarlet first hit the shelves. I picked it up without ever having heard about it for two simple reasons. First, it was written by the tried and true Brian Michael Bendis, arguably one of the best, and hardest working writers in the business today. Second, it was illustrated by Alex Maleev, whose simultaneously raw yet refined style is undeniably top notch. As an added bonus, Bendis & Maleev have a history of working together, and their synergistic capabilities had proven to be stellar. So I picked up the book, and it instantly became one of my favorites…and then, five issues in…it ended. Fans were understandably disappointed, until 2013 when the duo served up two more issues, no worse for the time off, and that seemed to be well and truly it for Scarlet. So when I recently walked into the comic shop and saw the cover declaring itself on the shelf: “Scarlet is Back!” my jaw dropped and my eyes bugged out. After having read it, I’m here to tell you, this book is better than ever. Continue reading ‘Scarlet is Back! (Comic Review)’

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The Fix #2 (Comic Book Review)

The Fix #2Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Astonishing Ant Man) and Steve Lieber (Whiteout, Quantum and Woody Must Die) first teamed up back in 2013 with the sleeper hit The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, a book that had a good run but was sadly cancelled after 17 great issues. Superior Foes focused on some of the Z-list villains that plagued Spider-Man on a regular basis and showed us exactly why their plans never really worked out, while providing some great laughs at the same time. Thankfully the creators have teamed up once more for another hilarious look at criminals who are very bad at crime with The Fix. Continue reading ‘The Fix #2 (Comic Book Review)’

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Southern Bastards #14 (Comic Book Review)

Southern Bastards 14

Warning: if you aren’t yet caught up on Southern Bastards you may want to do so before reading on, there are some spoilers from early in the series ahead. (Seriously, though, if you’re not caught up on this book do yourself a favor and go read them all RIGHT NOW!)

Jason Aaron (Scalped, Doctor Strange) and Jason Latour (The Expatriate, Spider-Gwen) announced their book Southern Bastards back at the Image Expo in July of 2013 to much excitement. Up until this point Aaron had been tied to Marvel in an exclusive contract, and the idea of him returning to the world of creator owned content was something to look forward to. After all, this is the man responsible for Scalped, one of the best crime stories to come out of the last decade. Soon after, we were treated with a book that not only lived up to the expectations set forth by Scalped, but actually surpassed it in every way. Continue reading ‘Southern Bastards #14 (Comic Book Review)’

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Weavers #1 Comic Book Review

Weavers_001_A_Main160x160Weavers is a new comic book from Simon Spurrier, the writer of the Eisner nominated The Spire and Cry Havoc, and recent newcomer, Dylan Burnett (Interceptor). It’s a story about a young man who found himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, as many of our favorite heroes are wont to do. Sid inherits the supernatural spider that once dwelt inside and empowered a high-ranking member of the Weavers crime family by virtue of being the nearest living thing after a bombing, a bombing that presumably was meant to kill the Weaver and anyone close enough to perpetuate the power imbued by the spectral arachnid. You see, nobody gets to choose who is or isn’t in the family, the spiders choose, and whoever they choose is a made man. The boss sends his daughter, Frankie (who has the power of suggestion, the ability to make people feel, think, or experience, things of her choosing), to test Sid’s loyalty and resolve. Continue reading ‘Weavers #1 Comic Book Review’

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Who Killed Kurt Cobain? (Comic Announcement)

WhoKilledKurtCobainThe release of the graphic novel Who Killed Kurt Cobain was recently announced at the Emerald City Comicon. This book, written by Nicolas Otero, will be published by IDW, and where better to make such an announcement than Seattle, Cobain’s old stomping grounds. The book, slated for release this October, is told from the perspective of Boddah, Cobain’s child hood imaginary friend (real in the sense that Cobain truly did reference this character throughout his life). While it’s clearly a fictional work, it’s also largely based on true events. Upon initially hearing this news I was immediately and enthusiastically excited about it, because this is Kurt Cobain we’re talking about. To this day, well after his death, he’s still a rock god, a timeless, revered legend. Then, after a little bit of time and consideration, I started to get nervous.

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Star Wars: C-3PO, The Phantom Limb (Comic Review)

Star_Wars_Special_C-3PO_coverIt seems safe to say that Star Wars, The Force Awakens, which currently tops the U.S. box office record, was seen by plenty of folks. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a spoiler that will not at all ruin the movie in any way shape or form. C-3PO, the obnoxiously worrisome sidekick to R2-D2, has a red arm. You couldn’t miss it in the movie, because 3PO goes out of his way to point it out. What we didn’t know until now was why. Star Wars C-3PO is a one off, single issue comic telling the tale of how 3PO acquired his crimson appendage.

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Weekly Comic Book Recommendations 4/13/16 (Comics)

Weekly Recs 4/13/16Well, ladies and gentlemen, another week is upon us, and with it comes a load of great new comic books. We’ve got everything from Vikings, anthropomorphism, and WWII fantasy, to far-future (or past) sci-fi, superheroes, and Victorian-steampunk-kaiju. There are four new #1s this week, as well as the start of a new story arc, and two exciting arcs that are wrapping up. April is off to an epic start and it doesn’t look to slow down next week, either. I know it can’t last, so let’s just ride it for as long as we can. Without further ado, or lily-gilding nonsense, I present my top picks for the week of April 13th, 2016….. Continue reading ‘Weekly Comic Book Recommendations 4/13/16 (Comics)’

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Black Panther #1 (Comic Review)

BP1It’s no surprise that Marvel has rebooted the Black Panther series. After all, they have their blockbuster movie, Captain America: Civil War, coming out May 6th, which will be introducing T’challa, the Black Panther, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not at all uncommon for Marvel to hype looming movies by pushing related video games, action figures, and comics leading up the release date. Sometimes these endeavors are more about raising awareness, and of course, making a buck, which can unfortunately compromise the integrity of the project. I’ve seen it many times before, which is why I’m so happy to report that Black Panther isn’t just a marketing device. It’s an ambitious, original, top notch book which has quickly become a must read for me.

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