Today is Halloween. It is a lot better Halloween than last year as it is much more possible to actually do stuff. That said, I still encourage everyone to take preventative actions against COVID-19 if they are going trick-or-treating/attending a party/etc. I hope everyone has a lovely and spooky holiday!
Sunday, October 31, 2021
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Lego is a big property. It's toys, theme parks, video-games, movies, and more. As far as an IP it has a lot to offer. Therefore, I am intrigued to hear that the Image imprint Skybound will be publishing a Lego comic in the near future. It will be an original Lego property that the company owns outright (not a brand they license from someone else), Ninjago. I am not that familiar with Ninjago but from what I understand the kids these days love it. The thing that interests me the most about this is if it goes well what else Lego might have Skybound publish for them. I'll be keeping my eye on all this for sure.
My mother is a huge fan of Prince and I am fond of his works too. I was quite sad when he passed some years ago, but his jams live on in their awesomeness. I don't really collect statues or such (no space or budget for them), but I admire some of the ones with amazing quality. PCS Collectibles is going to be releasing an extremely impressive statue, a 1:6 model of Prince with his purple motorcycle. It is a gorgeous statue and would make a lovely present for a fan of Prince...if you have $795 just laying around somewhere. I do not have that much extra scratch to drop on a statue, so I'll just admire it from afar. Now, if they came out with a statue of OutKast I would maybe really need to squeeze some pennies together to afford that, but we shall see.
Friday, October 29, 2021
I always give Tom King a chance. Ever since I read, "The Vision," I eagerly pick up whatever comic he is writing. Whenever one does that you're guaranteed amazing art and a story that either astounds you ("Omega Men," is another good example) a decent if flawed read ("Strange Adventures,") or an absolute mess ("Heroes in Crisis," springs to mind). King always gives it his all, however, and he and Greg Smallwood have something quite intriguing with this first issue of, "Human Target." This is a Black Label book so it is out of continuity, which makes sense as it follows Christopher Chance, a man whose whole gimmick is almost dying for people others are targeting...and now he's actually dying.
I won't spoil too much about who might have put Chance in the position of nearing death as when the possible suspects are revealed is when the book really clicked into place for me and became a comic I eagerly await the next issue of. Also, I won't spoil much as it seems this comic isn't on stands everywhere until next week. DC has had a very messy release schedule due to the paper shortage so some stores are getting stuff early, some late, and so forth. I've seen, "Human Target," #1 on some shelves but not on others. I can say that when it is supposed to be on sale everywhere next week you should pick it up.
King can run hot or cold, and here he seems to be running red-hot with a killer idea and a fantastic partner in the form of Greg Smallwood. Smallwood is among my favorite artists to draw Moon Knight and he excels at any task he's given. When drawing a variety of heroes and villains in the DC-Universe during this issue Smallwood continuously astounds. I can't say for sure that, "Human Target," will end as strongly as it has begun, but if it does, I'm eager to go on this wild ride.
5 out of 5 stars.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Officially known as the Gateway Arch, it is also referred to as, "The Saint Louis Arch." If you're a local and you're driving past it with someone you know it is mandatory to simply point at it and say, "There's the arch." However you refer to the landmark, it is 56 years old today! The last piece was put in place on this date, October 28th, back in 1965. For those wondering, construction started February 12, 1963, so that day is notable too in the arch's history.
I've been up in the arch and it provides a beautiful view of the region. If you ever have the chance to go up in the arch and don't mind a somewhat claustrophobic ride up in a weird egg-shaped elevator I'd recommend checking it out. Happy birthday, Gateway Arch!
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
MCU movies have morphed into required viewing for many. Even the less amazing ones are watchable, with, "Thor: The Dark World," being decent enough and the way too long runtime of, "Avengers: Endgame," being possible to withstand with a break or two as there are some standout bits. The latest Marvel flick is, "The Eternals," and it is getting reviews that range from average to a bit above average. The AV Club outright says it is, "Just another Marvel movie," for better or worse. Perhaps such a big team would be better served with a Disney+ show to introduce them? I don't know, but I'll still see it because it's a Marvel movie. It may not be among the most successful MCU films, but it will still probably make a lot of money too.
It isn't like Marvel movies can't still be inventive and weird. The oddly-somewhat-disliked-by-many movie, "Doctor Strange," astounded me in how off-kilter and odd it was. "Wandavision," was a Disney+ show as opposed to a movie but was utterly fantastic. I've heard that, 'Shang-Chi," is a hoot too and I plan to see it as soon as it is streamable on Disney+. Once I see, "The Eternals," I can offer my thoughts on where it goes right or wrong, but for now it seems that it is simply, "Okay," or, "Good," instead of, "Great," according to those who have seen it already.
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
America is facing of shortage of basically everything, and paper is included in that. It is not just toilet paper--remember when we all freaked-out about that the first time? Actual paper like for books and comics are in short supply and this has affected comic-book production. DC has delayed a number of titles at various points already a few weeks here and there due to a lack of supply. Manga has taken a hit. No publisher seems immune.
One really big piece of news is that Image Comics will not be doing second/third/etc. printings of their comics from this point. They'll do a first printing of a new title along with its variant covers and that's it. Now, one could point out stopping ratio variants could help with stores over-ordering these first prints to the point where comics will just sit around in their effort to get a rarer variant, but that is its own argument.
|The supply chain is affecting everything.|
The main thing is that for now Image will release a comic, and that's it until it is collected in a trade paperback. This could make some popular titles a bit more rare and folks might have to turn to eBay/Mercari/Whatnot/etc. for a new comic if they don't preorder it from their shop and find it sold out everywhere. One could say this is a cynical move by Image to boost orders for debut issues of books, and it maybe is slightly, but the bigger concern is the actual scarcity of paper which lends this some legitimacy. I can already see how crazy this might get if a hot comic has a single printing and gets allocated (e.g. stores don't get all the copies they ordered due to shortages). Lord help us all then.
Monday, October 25, 2021
It sounds like an affront to nature, but the popular sunflower seed brand known by my name, David, has created a flavored seed designed to resemble bacon mac and cheese. I saw a little bag when we were browsing Five Below the other day and my curiosity got the better of me so I bought it. Unlike that time I sampled wasabi on a lark (that stuff is nasty), I was quite pleased with bacon mac and cheese flavored sunflower seeds.
First off, the interior seed is still a normal sunflower seed, it is the outer shell that has the flavoring. Instead of sucking simply upon the salted shell before cracking it open, you suck on a surreal cheddar-ish flavor with a hint of smoky bacon. It is fascinating how pleasant it actually is for something some strangely artificial. I honestly thought after trying this I'd spit it out with disgust, but man if it isn't a treat. I guess taking a chance on a weird food idea sometimes pays off, unlike when I actually gave mustard an attempt in grade school and almost vomited from how awful it was. Anyways, look for these in your local grocery store.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
I played and loved the strange monster game, "Carrion," on the Nintendo Switch. It is a twist on most games as you play the actual monster. It finally has been released--oddly without much fanfare--for the PlayStation 4/PlayStation 5. I cannot recommend, "Carrion," enough if you like the idea of a horror game where you're the horror, solving some fun environmental puzzles whilst engaging in action-packed combat. I hope we get a sequel at some point!
Saturday, October 23, 2021
The other day a friend and I agreed "Immortal Hulk," issues #1-#25 are a masterpiece of storytelling. Full of philosophy, body horror, and general weirdness I loved reading it. The comic was written by the amazing Al Ewing and had art often by the now-disgraced Joe Bennett (more on that later). My friend and I also agreed on how issues #26-#50 were at times a bit slow or meandering, but still managed to entertain a great deal. With its finale completed, we're left with one of the best runs of a Hulk comic ever. This is arguably up there with the original stuff by Lee & Kirby, what Peter David gave us in the 1990s, and the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk stuff by Greg Pak.
"Immortal Hulk," gave us a Hulk who was smart, scary, and either wanted to save the World, destroy it, or thought destroying it would save it. We saw different personalities of Bruce Banner/the Hulk, witnessed all kinds of fights and surreal imagery, dug deep into psychology, and in the end--sorta a spoiler--got to watch Hulk yell at God (or some version of him/her) about life and why the Hulk even exists if all the Hulk seems to do is annihilate all that exists around him. It was a fabulous run.
|Bennett's art was often amazing. He, unfortunately, is hateful.|
The one stain on this majestic comic would be that as these issues unfolded more and more was revealed about the comic's usual penciler, Joe Bennett. I turned out he had previously posted a number of homophobic, antisemitic, and generally offensive comments and drawings. It started being apparent there were problems as early as issue #43 of, "Immortal Hulk," itself which contained questionable imagery, encouraging folks to dig deeper and find some really unsavory stuff about Bennett. As more was learned Al Ewing said he would never work with Bennett again and Marvel said they were cutting ties with Bennett after, "Immortal Hulk." One could be a little snarky and point out Marvel waited until, "Immortal Hulk," was done to finally drop Bennett, but I said I could be snarky, not that I would be.
Controversy with Bennett aside, "Immortal Hulk," was a wonderful series that utterly amazed me for half its run and still was pretty great for its back-half before closing strong. I look forward to the inevitable omnibus in 2022 or 2023 and will save my pennies up for it. Now we get to see what Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley have in store for us in their unenviable position of following after this amazing run.
5 out of 5 stars (for the entire run).
Friday, October 22, 2021
I wrote before about getting some excellently packed comics from Asylum Press and recently reviewed a comic I enjoyed published by them in my latest capsule reviews. The head person of Asylum, Frank Forte, wrote me to thank me for the kind words I've been sharing and let me know that Asylum Press is actually currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund an assortment of snazzy horror comics. Known as the, "Halloween Horror Box," it is a collection of all new comics from Asylum press which backers can pick to get some or all of with assorted regular and spiffy variant covers.
I want to thank Frank for telling me about their Kickstarter as Aslyum Press puts out cool comics and these are bound to be great reads. Plus, as I said before, they pack stuff well. Therefore, the comics will be fun and packed safely for backers. The campaign actually has already achieved its funding goal, so now there are just awesome stretch goals left! Here is that link again so you can give it a look.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
I know I just wrote about another Image comic earlier today ("The Black Monday Murders," to be exact), but I have even more interesting news from Image to share. Two creators who previously did a lot of work at IDW are launching a new imprint at Image (in the same way there is the Skybound imprint) which will be known as Syzygy Publishing. This caught my attention as I love a lot of the old comics Ashley Wood was involved in (from his work on, "Uncanny X-Men," with Joe Casey to his solo IDW work like, "Popbot,") and Chris Ryall has created good stuff too ("Zombies VS Robots," with Ashely Wood). Neither of them is directly making the first comic from their new imprint, although Ashley Wood is contributing a gorgeous variant cover as can be seen a bit further below in this post.
The debut comic from Syzgy Publishing is, "Joe Hill's Rain." It is a five-issue mini-series that adapts a short story by the talented writer Joe Hill (as the title indicates). As for the actual creative team, the PR release says how, "The award-winning creative team consisting of writer David M. Booher (Killer Queens), artist Zoe Thorogood (The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott), colorist Chris O’Halloran (Ha Ha), and letterer Shawn Lee (Madman Artist’s Select) will come together to bring Joe Hill's Rain to sequential form. Ryall and Wood contribute editorial and logo/production design, respectively." Basically, this imprint allows Wood and Ryall to curate some talent to make cool comics, much in the same way Robert Kirkman uses Skybound to make comics he likes/wants to get adapted as most of his stuff is now.
|Ashley Wood makes great art.|
As a big fan of Ashely Wood, I am intrigued by all this. Plus, if it means we get some cool variant covers by Wood along with quality comics then I'm all for this. Bleedingcool claims Image has plans for even more imprints with big names, so I wonder what else might be coming down the pipeline. It sounds absurd, but it just occurred to me how I'd be quite amused if something crazy like former DC bigwig Dan Didio launching an imprint with Image happened. If that ever does occur I'm gonna claim I called it first.
I have written a number of times about my concerns regarding how, "The Black Monday Murders," was horribly delayed. A mystery/sci-fi/horror blend of a comic about how the stock market survives with literal human sacrifice, it was a fantastically weird read by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker. However, Coker having health issues delayed things, then Hickman kept doing other big comic gigs. I worried we'd never see the final issues of, "The Black Monday Murders." Today, however, there was some good news.
It seems Jonathan Hickman has finished writing all the remaining issues of the series and Tomm Coker has been working at getting the artwork wrapped for them. Once everything is completed the comic's ninth through twelfth issues will finally be solicited and released. I'm being as patient as I can, so I eagerly await the eventual conclusion of this fantastic and odd series.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
I remember when Snoop Dogg was, "Dangerous." He was thought of as a gangster who was tried (but acquitted) for a murder, and folks thought of him as edgy and scary. Today he turns 50. Now, he's a grandfather, gives ample money to charity, founded a youth football league, hangs out with Martha Stewart (who is, in fact, a convicted felon and has a longer rap sheet than Snoop), and promotes all kinds of fun products on television as some sort of family-friendly personality.
I'm not mad at Snoop, I wouldn't knock his hustle. I like his old music and some of his new stuff. It's just funny to think that in the 1990's he was raising Hell and causing so much drama, but now he's like a lovable older dude. Hell, the fact he loves cannabis isn't even controversial anymore with plenty of people around his age enjoying the substance for medicinal or recreational purposes. Snoop is 50, I'm 33, we're all getting older and growing as people, generally for the better. It just all made me think.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
It's Been Some Time
I realized I have not done some of my beloved/reviled capsule reviews since the start of this year, so why don't I whip some up for you right now to enjoy? Let's review some recent-ish comics and examine what I liked and what left me wanting.
A Smattering of Comics
I blogged recently about how great an experience I had ordering this comic from Asylum Press, and I finally had the chance to read it. Collecting an assortment of great stories, this one-shot of adventures features Warlash, a character who is a bit like Batman meets Judge Dredd, but with his own interesting quirks and complexities too. I really loved the first story which featured art by the amazing Steve Mannion as it told the dark tale (written by Frank Forte) of a man named Grubbs who also has monstrous mutations. The other yarns are great too and this is a lovely one-shot about a character whose adventures I continue to enjoy.
5 out of 5 stars.
Well, that was an anti-climatic ending. For those who have yet to read this final issue of the latest Tom King maxi-series (he's done some solid 12-issue series) or want to read the story in full, I won't spoil too much. The whole series was a bit about trauma, PTSD, and how it can affect us as a person. That was interesting. There was a lot of Mr. Terrific too. That was good too. The story had some twists and turns, but just kind of deflated in this final issue with the whole maxi-series clearly not being about Adam Strange so much as using him to tell an at first intriguing but overall just kind of melancholy yarn. It was an alright way to spend 12 issues, even if we peter out a lot here at the finish line. At least the alternating art with Doc Shaner and Mitch Gerards (one for past, one for present) was consistently a treat.
3 out of 5 stars.
This was the first comic I've read from Advent Comics. It was solid. This first issue is by Tony Kittrell and Chepe Rios, who make a good team. It follows a somewhat Punisher-style hero named Dalton Malone who tries to keep Washington DC clean of criminals. There's a lot of blood, gunfire, some nudity, and the comic has a nice edgy feel without being over-the-top gritty as it works in some humor too. Apparently, Advent Comics has been around 10 years and has been gaining in popularity, now it is big enough to be distributed with other larger indie comics. If, "Southside," is a good indicator of quality I'm interested in checking out some of their other books in the future!
5 out of 5 stars.
I swear, Bad Idea Comics puts out some good stuff and if they let their books speak for themselves without doing dumb P.R. stunts they'd still get plenty of ink written about them for their quality titles. That said, they keep doing weird stuff that overshadows how clever and fun some of their comics are. "Monster Kill Squad," is one of those good times, focusing on a team that kills horrific beings that started appearing at a rapid rate after the opening of the literal Pandora's Box. It's a good read with a winking tone from Christos Gage (sometimes a little too eager to crack a joke) and absolutely gorgeous artwork by Tomas Giorello. I just wish Bad Idea made their books easier to read for those who actually want to you, you know, enjoy them!
4 out of 5 stars.
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have collaborated a bunch of times and rarely disappoint. "Primordial," imagines an alternate universe where something went horribly wrong with our space programs early on and something was discovered that resulted in the U.S. and Soviet Union shutting everything down. What exactly happened is a mystery, but it involves the animals sent to space by our nations and what exactly took them. Lemire and Sorrentino give us something creepy and delightfully sci-fi. No matter what publisher they're with (in this case Image) they almost always make awesome stuff!
5 out of 5 stars.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Grilled cheese you cook in a toaster. It sound insane, but Lily's Toaster Grills are exactly that and they are delicious. They are incredibly easy to prepare as you simply pop them out of the box and their plastic packaging, microwave them 30 seconds, put them in the toaster with it at medium-high, and then enjoy. They are as tasty as they are an ease to make and I was surprised how buttery and rich they were. I also was concerned about cheese leaking out of these into the toaster, but that did not happen at all (thankfully)!
I've only tried the grilled American cheese, but there are many other varieties. They've got ones with ham, turkey, other kinds of cheeses, and more! I also like that Lily's Toaster Grills donates a portion of all sandwiches made to those in need via their nonprofit, LuvFromLily. That's awesome too. I plan to try some more Lily's Toaster Grills in the near future as these were a delight.
Note: As I always add to assure people I wasn't asked to do paid content, this is a pure opinion post. I wrote this as I really loved Lily's Toaster Grills. I bought them at the store and found them to be a treat, I was not contacted by anyone to write a post or such. Of course, if Lily's wants to send me some coupons I wouldn't say no, however!
Sunday, October 17, 2021
I had a blast today at the Saint Charles Quad Con. The Olympia event center in which it was held had a ton of space for the crowd that started out a little quiet at first and really grew once the afternoon hit. Here are some pics before it got a chunk more busy:
I started the show saying hi to some of the big guests of the con. I chatted with the talented Rags Morales, whose artwork on, "Action Comics," during the New 52 relaunch with Grant Morrison really wowed me. I also met Pixel Dan who had some awesome toys and a book about all the classic He-Man toys which was big and beautiful. Here's Dan:
I saw friend of the blog, acclaimed wrestler and actor Bishop Stevens as well. He was his usual friendly and fun self. We talked about how he had been doing since I'd last seen him pre-pandemic:
There were an immense number of vendors and creators too. When I entered the show I ran into my old friend Drew of CoMo comics. I bought a snazzy copy of the first issue of Spawn from his booth:
I met the acquaintance of Matt Cargal whose comic book about a stand-up comedian that gains superpowers, "The Comic," will be running a Kickstarter campaign for its latest issue soon:
Author Cathy Jackson was the next person I had the pleasure of meeting. She creates what she described as, "Uplifting and encouraging romance." She had a great assortment of books in various sub-genres of romance and shared how it was actually the loss of her mother that inspired her to start writing more as a way to unpack her feelings and process everything. Her husband who helped to design much of her book, Matthew Jackson of Mad Celt Designs was at the show too! They were both great to speak with. Here is Cathy:
Justin Mosley of Wayne Kent Comics was at the show--on his birthday no less--cutting his usual stellar deals. I also so my buddy Bruce Reynolds who was kind enough to pose for a pic:
My friend Jack of Trade Up Comics was selling all kinds of cool books too:
James Doe of Cabal Books had a number of cool books. I bought some from him as you can see with this pic of him and some of his, "Wall books," as they are called:
I met Cosmic Comics for the first time and they were awesome! They let me snap a pic of one of their cool shirts and I have a picture of some of the snazzy books I got from them:
MWS Comics was new to me as well and they chatted with me about how they also clean and press comics:
I saw some really cool comics created by Biff! Bam! Boom! Comics. He was showing off a super-hero book that was a bit like the Justice League, a sci-fi one, and a title geared towards younger readers with a Teen Titans-vibe as he described it. I ran into Christa from Hearts Adorned Designs as well. She is very talented at creating costumes and cosplay with custom clothing alterations being something she specializes in too:
Larry of Bug's Comics and Games was present, and we discussed how I continue to be excited for the grand opening of his new store at the end of October--expect me to be there and report on it! Royalcomic had a bunch of cool comics too and I bought this snazzy, "Marvel Knights Wave 2, "comic with an early appearance of Yelena Belova:
I had a fantastic time at the Saint Charles Quad con today! There were tons of awesome comics for sale (and some I had the pleasure of buying, as I showed), stellar guests, impressive creators, and it was a stupendous day! I can't wait for the next show and will be sure to keep everyone informed of future events!
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Even though in-person comic conventions are coming back it is still popular to do virtual ones (which I think is good as they help those who can't always afford or physically access in-person cons). DC held its latest Fandome today and a whole lot of interesting things were revealed to the in-person and digital crowd.
In terms of movies and streaming, there was a new trailer for the oft-delayed but now arriving in March 2022, "The Batman," movie. A teaser was released for that standalone, "The Flash," flick which will feature Micheal Keaton's return as Batman. "Peacemaker," got a hilarious trailer for its HBO MAX show. Dwayne Johnson showed off, "Black Adam," footage. Season 3 of the, "Harley Quinn," cartoon is being made with the animators hard at work too.
With comics it was revealed Superman will now say how he stands for, "Truth, justice, and a better tomorrow," as opposed to that last one being, "The American way," so expect pointless controversy over that. More Milestone titles are coming, and a Wonder Woman event, "Trial of the Amazons," will be released too. More than those things were discussed, but that is what caught my eye.
Friday, October 15, 2021
My wife and I were able to visit a really cool location today. Known as the Main Event, they are located all around the United States and are incredibly fun. The one here in Chesterfield was a massive building full of over 150 arcade games, laser tag, bowling, a restaurant with a bar, billiards, gravity ropes, and more! Whether you're there by yourself, with your family, or booking a school event (or corporate gathering), the Main Event is really cool.
We tried out a number of the arcade games and won enough tickets to get some baby shark plushes as well as a mug (shoutout to Shelly in the redemption area, she was really cool). Here we are in front of a crane game:
We did not eat at Main Event today, but we did try their speciality Shirley Temples (they've got alcohol as well but we weren't hankering for any booze). Served with ginger ale, grenadine, a piece of candy, and a blue sugar rim, it was as tasty to drink as it was fun to look at. Observe:
After playing some more arcade games we headed out, but we had a ton of fun at Main Event. Samii remarked how enjoyable it was and I agreed with her. The assortment of arcade games, activities, and menu loaded with delicious foods (which we will try in the future) shows just how great a time you can have at Main Event! Check them out online and if you live in this area or have another location near you I'd recommend you visit Main Event in the near future!
Thursday, October 14, 2021
It was announced by DC that in an upcoming issue of, "Superman: Son of Kal-El," that Superman's son will come out as bisexual. People do not realize that Superman and Lois Lane have a son, that his name is Jon, and that he shares the title of Superman with his father. This led to countless confused new articles written in a clickbait-y manner about the Clark Kent Superman being gay. The general populace is confused, so as I clarified, this is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and he is bisexual, and that's perfectly normal and fine so quit whining online, or if you're going to pointlessly complain at least get the character you're bitching about right. Thank you and that is all.