Archive for December, 2011
American Vampire #22 by Rafael Albuquerque
Eeeyyy! Grease Lightning, go Grease Lightnin’! So as the cover suggests, we now find our vampires in another decade (yet again). The stylings of a vampire greaser is oddly appealing-yet-fitting to me, and the typography is the cherry on top. I enjoy this series immensely, and I’m not worrying about it jumping the shark in this arc (That was a Fonzi reference, kiddos)! Really enjoyed the stylized simplicity that Rafael put into the cover.
Captain America & Bucky #625 by Francesco Francavilla
If you don’t follow Francesco on Twitter, you really should; every day he posts something new that he’s working on, and the result is always gorgeous. It’s like unwrapping a new present every day, and you still smile every single time. I remember a while back seeing some Captain America action interiors done by him and I was overjoyed. Then I see this cover, and my eyeballs instantly eyegasmed. Everything you need to know about this issue is presented to you on the cover; HYDRA, WW2, and Cap & Bucky. This I can definitely see as the cover they use on the eventual collection.
Haunt #20 by Nathan Fox
Not only is the direction for the series fresh, but the covers by Fox have grown by leaps and bounds as well. I’m instantly hooked by the bizarre array on the cover, and for those who know me, I’m always a sucker for blood-splatter and vibrant neon colors. It’s almost like looking at a 3D acid trip, slowly becoming immersed in this twisted and strange new world. Bottom-line is this; Nathan Fox really brings it with this cover.
The Mice Templar Volume III #6 by Michael Avon Oeming
Did I mention that I’m also a major sucker for watercolors? Because I totally am. Not just well done watercolors, but the combination of inks being incorporated in the flow of the image as well. Very excellent use of the colors on Oeming’s part, and the reds especially hit you with that good creepy feeling. Of mice and men for sure!
The Flash #4 by Francis Manapul
As usual, Barry Allen is the center of the universe. Apparently giving him his own title didn’t inflate his ego enough, so let’s just crank it up to 11 and make him the center of attention as well! Even the text seems drawn to his animal magnetism! I really enjoyed a lot of the white backgrounds this week, especially when there was tons of well-placed colors balancing the image as a whole at the same time. This cover looks great, and really does encapsulate the Flash as a character who is constantly in motion.
The Unwritten #32.5 by Yuko Shimizu
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down. Everyone else can go home, because Shimizu came, saw, and completely conquered the competition this week. How could you not want this framed on your wall? Shimizu puts such excruciating detail in her covers, that you can’t help but kneel before her greatness. I don’t want this just as a poster, I want it as a t-shirt and a way of life as well. Absolute eye-candy!
In this end of the year Drinky Talky wrap-up, I’m joined by a plethora of guests and we talk about a variety of topics; Amsterdam, how to dispose of a body, comic book porn parodies, and so much more! WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT!
Green Hornet #20 by Brian Denham
Sometimes, it’s just the simple color scheme that gets me. The blacks & greens just pop-off the red background, making the Green Hornet to appear simply striking and ready for action. The hints of yellow help capture the eye, and make the image as a whole feel complete. I can easily see this as the cover of the next collection.
Uncanny X-Force #19 by Rafael Grampá
Favorite cover of the week, without question. While I did enjoy the painted menacing feel of Esad Ribic’s covers, this Grampá cover takes it to a different level entirely. The multicolored smoke from Nightcrawler(?)’s bamfing really captures my attention, followed by the different action poses of the rest of the team. It feels so balanced with all that negative space, and the characters themselves look cool in their wave-type formation. Beautiful cover, and I want it as a poster immediately.
Fables #112 by Joao Ruas
Very good timing on Vertigo’s part, I must say! This cover has me wanting similar visions of sugarplums and the like dancing through my head come this weekend. Holy Christmas Trinity, Three Spirits, call them what you will, but they’re each beautifully rendered in their own special way. The tiny crown above Santa’s head is a nice little touch.
Lady Mechanika #3 by Joe Benitez
After completing an entire semester of English literature, I became fascinated with the Victorian era, and the influence the culture had on steampunk. Looking at this cover, it makes me happy that little touches of the steampunk culture are alive and well, and it helps having such a cool background design paired with it. This gal comes with all the accessories; gun, mask, and fan. Joe Benitez sure knows how to draw a sexy-yet-classy woman!
Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1 by Chris Burnham
What, are you dense? Are you robotic or something?! He’s the goddamn Batman (Inc)! While it’s a simple-yet-effective design, I really like the multiple layers of Batmen being lead by Batman. The lime green color also resonates with me, and I don’t know why. I just automatically smile when looking at this cover, and that’s always a good sign when I’m picking and choosing them every week. Well done, Mr. Burnham!
In this special episode I interview Brandon Seifert, writer of the comic Witch Doctor from Image Comics. Join us as we discuss the method behind his madness, what’s it like having Brian Michael Bendis as a teacher, and what’s next for the hit series.
Book Of The Month – December 2011
Gladstone’s School For World Conquerors – Vol. 1
Written by Mark Andrew Smith
Illustrated by Armand Villavert
You’d be surprised how many people have contacted me asking for a good ‘all ages’ comic book that I can recommend for their child. Now that’s always a tricky subject; how old are we talking? Are they enjoying titles like Dragon Puncher and Tiny Titans, or are they a little more mature and think Super Dinosaur is the bees-knees? You don’t want them to feel like you’re babying them by giving them a title like Owlie, when in fact they’re reading something like Runaways. It’s a fine line, and there are very few titles that will please everyone.
Imagine my sigh of relief when I picked-up the first issue of Gladstone’s School For World Conquerors earlier this year. From the get-go it read like a fun comic I could let my younger cousin borrow as soon as I was done reading it, and we could both talk about what we loved about the series. While other comics from Marvel and DC might have decades of continuity attached to the characters, with Gladstone’s you get a completely new universe to play in, with enough exposition to keep you interested and excited to find out more about the characters.
And talk about a batch of characters! While with other teen superhero teams, it’s all about training them to be the best they can be to take care of the supervillains, Gladstone’s is the exact opposite; the teen supervillains are in classes learning how to be the ultimate world conquerors (as the title suggests). We follow the team of Kid Nefarious, Ghost Girl, Martian Jones, Mummy Girl, and the Skull Brothers as they idolize their parents and supervillains of old, while accidentally discovering banned materials known as ‘comic books’, portraying their parents as bumbling morons. Infuriated, they then make it their mission to get revenge on those heroes who painted their parents in such a bad light. Little do they know however, that there’s been a treaty between heroes and villains, and all the fights they see on television are actually staged for entertainment. Will the students make a dreadful mistake that upsets the balance between good and evil that’s been protected for all these years? Well, you’ll just have to pick-up the trade and find out!
Gladstone’s School For World Conquerors is such a spectacular display of everything you could want in a teen supervillain book. The character designs and stunning visuals by Armand Villavert are such fun to look at, and this universe that Mark Andrew Smith has created is so magnificent to explore, that I can hardly wait for the next volume to start in 2012! If you’re looking for something fresh and new when it comes to superpowered beings, the first volume of Gladstone’s is definitely worth your money.
Doctor Who #12 by Mark Buckingham
Just to get us all in the holiday spirit, why not start things off with everyone’s favorite Time Lord? Those Santas do not look friendly, so maybe all they really need to warm their robotic hearts is a little loving from The Doctor? I like Buckingham’s old-timey Christmas feel in this cover, no matter how perilous the situation seems to be. Are you my Santa? Saaaanta!
Batwoman #4 by J.H. Williams III
Like a phoenix (or Flamebird) rising from the ashes when Batwoman told her to get lost, this cover has so much happening on it. What I find most unsettling is the hooked hand with blood on it, curved around its next possible target. It’s J.H. Williams III, enough said. You’re just a Grade-A fool if you’re not picking this comic up for the cover alone.
American Vampire #21 by Raphael Albuquerque
As if Albuquerque’s washes weren’t beautiful enough, he continues with the action happening in the character outlines for this past arc. Just the details of the starry night over the massacre alone is enough to hook me, everything else is just an added bonus. Great color scheme, great use of space, this cover is definitely a homerun.
Green Lantern #4 by Francis Manapul
While the story has been lacking, this variant cover alone redeems these past four issues in my opinion. Just the Hal / Sinestro amalgamation is beautifully depicted by Manapul, who really goes to town on the splatters and crisscrossing colors. I found myself studying this cover for several minutes, because I was so entranced in its glory. I choose this as my favorite cover of the week.
The Walking Dead #92 by Charlie Adlard
Zombies to the left of me, Abraham to the right, here I am (stuck in the middle with Michonne)! It’ll be a hit on iTunes, just you nay-sayers wait!
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #4 by J.G. Jones
With this diverse cast of horror misfits, it’s only appropriate (given their current situation) to have them depicted in a horror movie cover from the 1950’s. I would go see this movie in a heart-beat, popcorn at the ready! While I want to say the typography at the bottom really sells me on it, look at Franky with his claymore over his shoulder; the dude reeks of badassery.
In this episode I’m joined once again by Benjamin Grimm to compare and contrast the 1982 & 2011 versions of The Thing (Universal). Basically, we watch the prequel so you don’t have to. Spoilers!
Join the titans of comics media, the comics podcasters, for the 6th annual gathering at the San Diego Comic-Con. Get a front row seat to see some of your favorite comics podcasters discuss everything from the latest in comics industry news to behind-the-scenes stories. Podcasters appearing on the panel include Cameron Hatheway (Cammy’s Comic Corner), John Mayo (The Comic Book Page), Brian “Pants” Christman (Comic Geek Speak), Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider), Conor Kilpatrick (iFanboy), John Siuntres (Word Balloon), and Pat Loika (Loikamania!). Recorded at Comic-Con International, Thursday, July 21 2011.
For the audio version, check-out Word Balloon‘s recording!
Sweet Tooth #28 by Jeff Lemire
This is why beastiality is wrong. In all seriousness though, I really like the old-timey feel to the cover. It conveys that this is Gus’ real mother, and his place of birth is in Alaska (I hear that he can see Russia from his pouch!). I’m always a fan of blood-splatter, so just to see it sprayed across the picture sends a very powerful message to the viewer of what else to expect this issue. Even from an early age, Gus doesn’t go looking for trouble, he appears to walk right Inuit.
Hack/Slash #10 by Becky Cloonan
‘Cover B’? I’m sorry, but that must be a mistake. For you see, Becky Cloonan is one of my favorite comic artists of all time, because she is constantly amazing with her very rebellious-yet-always-sexy style. So while I agree that her influence goes hand-in-hand with a character like Cassie, you do not give her second billing with an alternate cover. ‘Cover B’? The mere thought of it makes me want to puke, eat the puke back up, then puke it all out again. Look at this cover, now look back at me. Go Google ‘Cover A’, then look at ‘Cover B’. See the difference? You’re right! Cover A should be switched with Cover B, because people like Becky Cloonan. If you’re currently in the proximity of someone who disagrees with me, eat their soul, and tell them that Cammy sent you. All kidding aside though, Cloonan really needs to do more Hack/Slash covers! Love it!
iZombie #10 by Michael Allred
If I was strolling through the supermarket and spied this cover on the rack by the checkout stand, I’d do a double-take, throw my head back and laugh, then add it to my items. I don’t care if it’s ’15 Items or Less’, that old hag behind me can wait another goddamn minute, because I don’t go around telling her to hurry up and die already! Anyways, I like how the cover feels a bit dated, yet the colors are still the right kind of vibrant. It nails all the usual questions and headlines you see on Cosmopolitan and Vogue, only Allred is obviously having fun with creating the drama with his own characters. I can see this as a poster on the walls of every The Walking Dead and Dawn of the Dead fan for sure.
Venom #10 by Tony Moore
Symbiotes of Anarchy, on FX. Think about it, then start sending me my royalty checks for my brilliant idea. You’re welcome, America.
In this episode I’m joined once again by Art (Fourth Wall Comics Podcast) and Matt (Squire of Sponging) to discuss the next four episodes of the second season of The Walking Dead on AMC. We discuss Cherokee Rose, Chupacabra, Secrets, and Pretty Much Dead Already. Spoilers!
In this special episode, Cammy the elf once again helps you with some gift suggestions for that special geek in your life. New this year; I highlight Kids / Young Adult comics!
Haunt #19 by Nathan Fox
One of the main things I like about this cover is the style of the new ongoing artist. Nathan Fox is his own beast, so kiss the Ryan Ottley / Todd McFarlane styles good-bye, and say hello to something new and radical for Haunt! This debut cover really hooks me, with the simple layout and radiant colors. The blending of blue and red with a touch of possession in the magical smoke really goes a long way, and is hard to look away from. Nathan Fox, I wait in anticipation for not only the interior art, but the future covers as well.
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 by Alex Ross
It’s been awhile since an Alex Ross cover popped-up on my radar, but I definitely found myself drawn towards this one in particular. Two of the most vile, ruthless dictators the universe has ever seen, and Flash Gordon caught in the middle, once again our only hope of salvation. I like how Ross used both color and black and white to accommodate the settings for each time period, and even had a Schindler’s List homage (don’t know if it was intentional) with Gordon’s ship being the only colored vehicle in the fleet. Very powerful cover, I can certainly see it as the cover to the future collected hardcover as well.
Green Wake #7 by Riley Rossmo
Being a big fan of Rossmo’s short-but-beautiful run on Daken, it brought me immense pleasure seeing his creepy and psychedelic touch to this cover. Bloody children, the sketchy negative and positive effects, it just reeks of overall eerie. While this cover presents so many questions of what to expect of the story inside, one thing is for certain; it’s not going to be a happy ending, methinks.
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 by Francesco Francavilla
I am simply at a loss for words. Just when I thought I could write an entire essay on how beautifully fantastic this cover is, he shuts me up by make me examine it for hours, basking in all its glory. This cover is the epitome of science fiction, pulp, and adventure rolled into one. Francavilla is a genius, and I can’t seem to emphasize that enough; I’ll keep shouting it from the rooftops of the internet until the deaf people tell me to put a sock in it!