Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I Was Blurbed By Northwest Press For Their TPB Collection of, "Dash," and I'm Honored!

I've been blurbed on the back of comics and books occasionally; it is always a treat to see my name when something like that happens. It means someone appreciated my review enough they want others to see it. Well, one comic I have often sung the praises of titled, "Dash," has been collected by its publisher, Northwest Press. You can see it for sale on their site and should one look at the quotes on the back, there I am among other folks who loved it! Observe:

Written by my friend and talented wordsmith Dave Ebersole with art by a number of great creators including Delia Gable, "Dash," follows a former hero cop in the year 1940 who got kicked off the force when he was outed as gay and now works as a private detective. A supernatural mystery comes his way and things get pretty zany (a mummy is involved, mummies are always cool). I can't recommend, "Dash," or as it is titled for the full collection, "Dash: The Case of the Mysterious Zita Makara," enough. Request your bookstore or comic shop order it and you'll be glad you did!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Oscar Issac Might Play Marc Spector/Moon Knight and That Works For Me

I like Oscar Issac. He's a solid actor who has been in some good flicks. If Marvel portrays Marc Spector and Moon Knight as having multiple personalities you'd need someone skilled to portray essentially four people--Marc Spector, Jake Lockley, Steven Grant, and the Moon Knight persona itself as it is more than simply Spector in a suit. I'd think Issac could tackle such a job quite well, so hearing he is in talks to play Moon Knight (and one would assume other personas associated with the character) sounds pretty good to me. I look forward to possibly seeing him on Disney+ and in Marvel flicks.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 2020 Links and News

A Lovely Month

October is a favorite month of mine, as readers of this blog know. Nice weather, pumpkin flavors, Halloween, it all goes together well. I have some assorted interesting news and links to share with you all as well this month.

News and Links To Go With Your Pumpkin Spice

I always love relaxing on the Carousel of Progress at Disney World. Polygon's Petrana Radulovic wrote about its optimistic retro-futurism having a certain charm they appreciate as well.

AARP of all people did a hard-hitting article about the sad last days of Stan Lee. As his health declined and the end neared there were some rumors about things being bad, but I don't think people suspected straight-up elder abuse.

Kieron Gillen did a lot of writing about video-games before he wrote a variety of stellar comics. He recently talked with one of his old stomping-grounds, RockPaperShotgun, about what comics and games can learn from each other.

There is an upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spin-off comic set in the future called, "The Last Ronin." It has been delayed a number of times, the artist has changed, but it looks cool and there is a lot of hype for it. One annoying thing is that the publisher, IDW, decided on the print-run before FOC--meaning even if a store ordered a certain number of issues they may get less. This allocation has made the comic even more sought-after. It's a mess but sure to make anyone who actually gets a copy of, "The Last Ronin," grateful.

The PlayStation 5 will have a media remote that is much more streamlined than the one for the PS4. It still lacks a D-Pad, but otherwise looks pretty nice.

Let's close on one of my guilty pleasures. Week one and week two of the latest season of, "The Bachelorette," has passed, and clearly, Clare is gonna blow it up soon with somebody else coming in to clear the wreckage once she bails as a two-Bachelorette season (if rumors are to be believed). I know the show is trash, but I love it so.

Enjoy Fall

I hope as the temperatures continue to get cooler and the days shorter we all still enjoy Fall as safely as possible.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

"Runaways," is Back this Week!

One of my favorite ongoing comics is the current, "Runaways," series. Writer Rainbow Rowell has been amazing on the book since 2017 and I was worried that it was stealth-canceled. This is because an issue had not come out since the comic shutdown due to COVID-19 in March. Well, pleasant surprises are lacking in 2020, but we just got one--issue #32 is actually coming out this Wednesday, October 28th. Hopefully, this means other solicited issues will soon follow and we'll be seeing future ones in Previews before long. Considering how the book is more of a sleeper hit than a big seller I was worried it would be like other titles I love with a smaller readership and get canned (Marvel and DC can be pretty harsh that way). That isn't the case for now, though, so I'm overjoyed!

Friday, October 23, 2020

"Maids," By Katie Skelly Tells a Real-Life Horror Story With Gruesome Skill

Katie Skelly is a damn fine artist and a skilled storyteller. Whether she's giving us the tale of a vampire causing a ruckus or regaling us with yarns about a sexy spy agency, Skelly's comics are a delight. Her latest release, "Maids," is interesting in that it is a mixture of non-fiction (with embellishments) and horror. Skelly takes the very real case of the Papin sisters--two French maids who murdered a mother and daughter they worked for--and morphs it into a tale of class warfare and psychosis.

Throughout the Fantagraphics-published, "Maids," tension slowly builds, with it clear Christine and Lea have a deep well of rage bubbling up in them. Is it warranted for their horrific long hours and abusive conditions? Are they insane? Could it be a mixture of both madness and legitimate anger led to the gruesome results? Skelly doesn't outright point to one reason, but does make it clear a darkness was always present in the sisters; a darkness not helped by terrible employers.

Skelly's artwork always has a colorful and flowing appearance, which makes it all the more shocking when things turn violent and grotesque. Skelly doesn't shy away from how nasty the murders were but also doesn't bathe the book in blood--instead giving a hint of the gore to come at the opening and then saving the closing pages for the gruesome murders. We are outright told they are coming on the back of the book, leaving the final result never in doubt, but watching the slow way the violent climax sneaks-up is wonderfully tense and with Skelly's amazing artwork it is always great to look at.

"Maids," is another phenomenal work by Katie Skelly and serves as yet another example of how she is among the most talented folks currently making comics. Both beautiful and grotesque, "Maids," is a must-read for those into true-crime, horror, or simply great comics.

5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

We All Saw This Coming--Quibi is Dead

It had some good ideas, some neat shows, but it just couldn't make it work. Yes, I'm talking about Quibi. It is dead. Well, it is still kind of on right now, but it is a shambling corpse as of this moment. The pandemic takes a little bit of the blame, but in all honestly Quibi just was flawed. I hope the shows people liked find a home somewhere. Now we all get to argue if the reason Quibi died was a fluke due to its issues or a sign that the streaming market is getting overcrowded and we might see other services crash and burn soon too. Sorry you didn't make it, Quibi, you had a good six months. Well, not good...you had six months.

The Last Debate of This God-Forsaken Election is Today

The first Presidential debate was such a mess I thought it might be the only one. When our poor excuse for our President became infected with COVID-19 the townhall debate morphed into a virtual one before being canceled for dueling town hall events. Despite all odds, however, the last debate is going to occur. Mics will be muted at certain points to stop Trump from constantly interrupting everyone, but it'll probably still be a shitshow. I hope Joe Biden manages to keep his cool and show why he's the better (and frankly, only logical) choice for President. As for if any flies appear to cause some hubbub, we will see.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today is my Fifth Wedding Anniversary!

I met my wife on October 8th and we were married on October 21st (some years later, it wasn't all in the same year). Today is the fifth anniversary of our being wed. I continue to love Samii so much and our beautiful son, Clarkson. I am eternally grateful for both of them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

"The Scumbag," Review

A dark comedy with a twist of espionage from writer Rick Remender and a different artist each issue in an interesting twist (Lewis LaRosa illustrates the first), "The Scumbag," is hilarious and a bit pitiful to read. Ernie Ray Clemintine is a man almost anyone who meets hates. He's rude, crude, on enough drugs its surprisingly he's alive, and is just a jerk. He also ends-up literally stumbling into the membership of a big spy organization and now one of the worst people on planet Earth has to save it, as we learn.

"The Scumbag," is darkly funny, with Clementine being such an abhorrent individual that in order for him to do any kind of good it has to greatly benefit him--and even then he might screw you over. LaRosa's artwork in great for this debut issue, making Clemintine look suitably worn-down and disgusting, as the text of the comic describes him to be. It takes until the end of the issue for the spy-shenanigans to really get going, but I'm thinking it'll be pretty fun to witness Clementine expected to play the hero when he really just wants to follow his own agenda. Pick the issue up this week (it comes out tomorrow) and give it a read, it's worth trying out!

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Yet Even More Comic Distribution Shake-Ups Are Happening

DC Comics used Diamond for years to distribute their comics. Then during the pandemic shut-down, they helped create two new distributors for solely their books--UCS and Lunar. Once the pandemic ended DC shifted away from Diamond to solely using its distributors except in the UK where they used Diamond UK (Penguin took over TPB distribution). It's been messy, but things have at least somewhat stabilized. That is, till now. Suddenly today DC pulled the plug on having UCS distribute comics for them and just like that if you want DC comics sent to your comic shop you'll now be using Lunar. 

UCS distributes nothing but DC comics, yet in an email says it is not closing down and it'll soon be distributing other things, which is...odd. Also, now Lunar will require stores to buy $500 worth of DC comics a month to get anything shipped to them, which is...troubling. Really smaller comic stores that just do preorders for some customers and get a couple, "Shelf copies," of notable DC titles could very well not qualify to carry DC floppies, and due to this new rule find themselves unable to stock DC's monthly comics. UCS no longer will carry DC titles at the start of 2021 and then Lunar will have to essentially double its workload. 

This just is a huge mess and makes me wonder if DC will eventually come back to Diamond at some point to save itself all this trouble (and Diamond will be a big evil monopoly again, but things will be somewhat calmer). I have no idea what is going on right now with DC and its comic distribution, with everyone else seeming equally perplexed. I just hope this all shakes out okay.