Sunday, June 26, 2022

Three Great Comic Shops in Colorado Springs

I was recently on a trip to visit some of my wife's family in Colorado Springs. While were there I had a smidgen of time that I used to visit Three fantastic comics shops in the region! There were even more stores I did not have a chance to stop by (maybe on another visit), but the three I had a chance to explore were all lovely. Here they are in the order I visited them...

Video Game Exchange and Comics

Just some of the comics and books for sale!

This shop had a lot of cool newer and older comics in addition to selling a bunch of video-games, toys, and Funko Pops. The owner was incredibly nice and the comics were all priced very reasonably. I enjoyed digging through the comics for sale and admiring how much neat stuff there was within the store! The sheer amount of video-games present was just plain awesome as well, making this a haven for gamers as well as comic-book aficionados.

KaPow Comics and Coffee

If you love comics and coffee--like me--then this is the store for you! We met Matt, who handles the comic-book aspects of the store while his sister handles the coffee and such (she wasn't there when we stopped by). The shop had a bunch of new releases, tons of older stuff, and ample dollar bins! Plus, the names of various coffee drinks were inspired by comics which was really neat! There were some Funko Pops here as well and Samii bought a cute one themed for a Coca-Cola can!

EntertainMart Colorado Springs

Interestingly enough, EntertainMart is owned by the same parent company that has Vintage Stock (which we have in Saint Louis). This location was incredibly large, however, and chock full of items. Movies, music, books, games, toys, and the thing that I was after--comics! There were some more expensive books in the locked cabinets that an employee was kind enough to let me inspect and a bunch of good reads in the general back issues section as well. It was a fun place to close out my browsing adventures. I hope the next time I get back out here I can visit some more fun shops!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

I Am Excited for, "Westworld," to Return Tomorrow

Ah, "Westworld." I enjoyed the first season, loved the second season, and liked the third season despite its flaws (a lot of folks apparently hated it). The fourth season is here tomorrow and even if it is an imperfect program, I'm excited for it to be back. The cast is amazing, the ideas are often clever, and the execution is at times a good deal flawed, but I still am a fan. The fourth season premieres tomorrow and I hope to watch it then or perhaps Monday (via HBO MAX) if I don't have time Sunday night.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Flashback Friday: "Giants: Citizen Kabuto," Was a Pleasantly Weird Game

I had this post ready to be the only one for Friday before all the disturbing news. I still wanted to post something more cheery to try to help with how awful the World is looking, though. Therefore, I observe how nowadays you can get really weird and fun games from indie creators. Back when I was a young whippersnapper, however, really weird stuff only came along once in a while, I'd argue. I was thinking about this the other day when I remembered one of the strangest older games I'd ever played. It was called, "Giants: Citizen Kabuto," and it was interesting. 

You play three different kinds of humanoid races who all handle quite differently from using jetpacks or being more water-based or a giant creature that stomps around and eats stuff. The plot involves an island floating through space and the game dabbles in various genres like action and real-time strategy. It sounds messy, and it was, but it was fun too. The game was also horrendously buggy. Glitches aside, it was a good time and really bizarre. You can get it for your computer on GOG or Steam if you want to give it a try sometime. I'd recommend it if you want something just plain bonkers to try out.

I'm Disturbed and Disgusted Today

I already said a lot of what I had to say about abortion rights being overturned back in May when a Supreme Court draft leaked that made it look like we were due for this mess. Now it is June and here we are, Roe is overturned despite all those far-right justices assuring us such a thing wouldn't happen. They were lying through their teeth, no surprise. Now one big goal conservatives have had in mind for decades has been achieved. 

A chunk of people wanted to take away a person's control over their reproductive rights and now there is no Federal protection. I'm doing a sarcastic, "Congratulatory," slow clap right now. A number of states have trigger laws in place that have basically outlawed abortion in all but the most extreme of cases--and even people in those cases might face absurd amounts of red tape and could very well die if in need of an abortion to save their life. I'm incredibly disturbed and disgusted today. There is not much else to state.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

"Black Adam," #1 Kicks off the Limited Series With Immense Energy

The solicitations for this, "Black Adam," maxi-series gave away the reveal at the end of the first issue so--spoiler alert--I will as well. Basically, Black Adam is dying despite supposedly being immortal and someone related to him who was unaware of the link is going to be offered his power/legacy/etc. It sounds straightforward, but with the immensely talented Christopher Priest writing the story it absolutely crackles with the same kind of lightning Black Adam summons. Priest discussed he was apparently wary to take on the character, but this first issue makes me happy he did. With Rafa Sandoval providing some fantastic artwork, this is a stupendous first of twelve issues.

Priest quickly establishes how Blac Adam and the nation he rules--Kahndaq--are viewed with fear by other countries as he has powers that rival Superman and little interest in holding back his powers when feeling he or his land is threatened. Again, though, it seems Black Adam is dying and needs to potentially pass on his legacy. Priest and Sandoval work together spectacularly as political insights and jokes sync with fight scenes or imagery of Black Adam's skin suffering from some surreal necrosis all in a perfect synchronicity. It's a fantastic start, and I'd recommend checking out this debut!

5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Why a, "Kraven," Movie?

I've been wrong about movies before. I predicted, "Venom," would flop only to find it--and the sequel--did gangbusters at the box office. The, "Venom," movies were actually pretty solid too. Now, "Morbius," did get a lukewarm box office take, but the star (Jared Leto) has fans split between those who like him or hate him, and the movie apparently was just kind of meh (it spawned a lot of memes, though). Therefore, when I ask why we are getting a, "Kraven," movie I am perhaps being overly negative and it'll be a hit. That said, Kraven, really?

Kraven's whole gimmick is that he is a dude who likes to hunt stuff. I can only think of two good Kraven stories off the top of my head. "Kraven's Last Hunt," which resulted in him dying for a number of years after he thought he had, "Defeated," Spider-Man and proven himself the best hunter ever. Then, in the modern age we've got when he popped-up in, "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl," almost more as a form of comedic relief than a villain. We are getting a Kraven movie though that may very well tie in a bit with, "Venom," and, "Morbius," as Sony seemingly attempts to set up a group of villains (they have the rights to) who will go up against Spider-Man at some point. Still, why a, "Kraven," movie? I guess I could also ask why we're getting an, "El Muerto," flick as well even though in the end the answer is, "Because Sony has these characters and wants to make money with them." Fair enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Rights to Conan the Barbarian Are Incredibly Confusing

Conan the Barbarian is in the public domain in the UK but not yet in the United States for a handful more years. The rights to the character are held by Heroic Signatures and Conan has bounced around so many publishers (with or without their support) that it boggles the mind. You've had Conan at Marvel, Dark Horse, those Abalze comics that carefully walk the line of not infringing on copyright, and now the rights have been given to Titan, although Marvel can still use Conan for some time in titles such as the fantastic, "Savage Avengers." It is incredibly messy and once we hit January 1st, 2028 (I think it is then) all the original stories and the basic likeness of Conan will be available for anyone to use in America too. Till then, we gotta squeeze every last dollar out of the rights that we can, I guess!

Monday, June 20, 2022

It's Bad When Your Game is so Buggy it Can't Be Completed...and You Knew About it

Aspry, the developer/porter behind the Nintendo Switch version of, "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II," was confronted by fans recently. You see, people were playing the game and noticed a major glitch. Namely, it is impossible to finish the game because it always freezes at a point halfway through. How the dickens did this happen?

Normally a studio has quality assurance people and bug testers who should notice that a game--you know--stops working halfway through. The studio acknowledged it is aware of this major issue and is working on a fix. The ETA for that fix is, "Dunno, sometime?" Clearly, Aspry was aware the game was a mess and still released it to the digital Nintendo store. The whole thing is pretty embarrassing to witness.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Today is Juneteenth and Father's Day!

Two holidays occur today. It is both Juneteenth and Father's Day! To summarize the holidays, Juneteenth celebrates how some of the last enslaved people within the United States were freed in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation thanks to troops forcing slave owners in Texas to free their, “Property.” Father's Day honors dads and father figures. For those who want to learn more about Juneteenth or how to acknowledge it, Charles M. Blow has a fantastic opinion piece discussing, "How to Celebrate Juneteenth." As for how to celebrate Father's Day, ask your Dad or Father figure what you can do to help the day be special for them! We will be relaxing and taking Clarkson to play at a kid's gym/play place, so that will be nice.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

I Had a Blast at the St. Louis Comic-Con Today!

The St. Louis Comic-Con runs through the weekend but I won't be able to attend tomorrow/Sunday, so I figured I'd write about all the fun I had today when I attended! I got there early in the morning and was pleased to see a variety of vendors--plenty selling comics, toys, and other cool stuff. I ran into my friend Larry of Bug's Comics and Games shortly after arriving at the show and picked up a cool, "Venom: Lethal Protector," variant cover from him. Check it out:
As I started walking around I visited the booth of Tango Comics. They make a variety of cool sci-fi, super-hero, and pulp-style comics in addition to promoting literacy for everyone younger to older. As I kept exploring I saw Big Dog Ink, a publisher whose work I've reviewed on previous occasions. They had a bunch of books for sale and discussed how they'd had great success with Kickstarter in regards to launching new titles. My chum, Bruce Reynolds was selling comics always is fun to speak with. I also met Edward Sims of Kensai Productions. I told him I remembered how I had bought a comic from him before on Etsy and discussed it on my blog. He was excited to hear this and I purchased the second issue of, "Rising Sun," as I'd read the first one previously. Here is a picture:

I continued exploring the show floor and I bought a tasty snack from Dave of House Family Homestead, some freeze-dried Skittles! We talked about the process of freeze-drying and how comic cons often loved his delicious items! I visited the booth of 1 More Round Entertainment and talked with them about their comic, "Evolusion," and how it was a blend of heroics and sci-fi in a World where things start evolving at an alarming rate and in wild ways. Chris, "ToyMan," McQuillen was at the con and I told him how I was eager for the upcoming ToyMan show on July 10th!  My friend and skilled comic creator Tom Nguyen was at the show as well, showcasing his awesome works. He was a joy to catch up with as I hadn't seen him in quite a while due to the pandemic. Here's a snapshot of him as well as a fun photo of us:
I had a lot of fun shopping the various booths at this year's St. Louis Comic-Con and chatting with the many creators showcasing their works. It was wonderful to have the Saint Louis Comic-Con back after a long (forced) break due to COVID-19 impacting the World what feels like forever ago. The show is still going on tomorrow so if you're in the area and able to attend I'd highly encourage you to do so!