Archive for May, 2012
In this special episode I’m once again joined by Benjamin Grimm, and we talk The Hunger Games (2011), Battle Royale (2000), and The Running Man (1987). We discuss if one ripped the others off, if they’re just similar, and what story all three might have been inspired by. Spoilers!
Happy Memorial Day weekend! No Pick Of The Week this time around, but we do have a delightful Fast Five! Picks include Batman, Incorporated #1 (DC), CHEW #26 (Image), Fables #117 (Vertigo), Prophet #25 (Image), and Justice League Dark #9 (DC). Spoilers!
All-Star Western #9 by Ladrönn
While the brown earthy tones really dominate the cover, just that dash of clouds and sky really makes the illustration as a whole come together. While the Night of the Owls event is currently happening in the Bat-family books, it’s nice to see them make a cameo on this cover in their own Western garb. The flinging of the knives adds some great movement to the piece, as well as the assassin herself launching at Jonah Hex with a few more blades ready to go. Great cover, I eagerly await this outcome!
The Unwritten #37 by Yuko Shimizu
I gave you blood, blood, gallons of the stuff,
I gave you all that you can drink and it has never been enough.
I gave you blood, blood, blood,
I’m the kind of human wreckage that you love!
–Blood, My Chemical Romance
Batman, Incorporated #1 by Chris Burnham
So not only do we have the classic Batman & Robin action pose by the incredibly talented Chris Burnham, but as an added bonus we have a little hint of Jim Steranko surrounding the crosshairs. Not only that, but the colors red, yellow, and black mean ‘DANGER!’ in nature, so the implication of danger coming to the dynamic duo adds suspense. Then again, the crosshairs would be the obvious ‘duh’ here, huh?
Book Of The Month – May 2012
Written by Nate Cosby
Illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos
When one thinks of a classic Western movie, gun slingin’, cattle rustlin’, and spittoon spittin’ may come to mind. The notorious man with no name, or a lone ranger of sorts out on an epic journey through the plains, riding off into the sunset. Have I clichéd enough yet? Wonderful. The point I’m trying to make is this; the Western genre is one that embodies several recognizable traits which became implanted into our memories since childhood. The Stetsons (Stetsons are cool), the cactus, the bleached cattle skull; Whether you fondly remember playing Cowboys & Indians with your friends, or Cowboys & Aliens with your LARPing buddies, chances are you’ve felt like the living spirit of the Wild Wild West at one point or another in your life.
Upon reading Cow Boy by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos, I was hooked from title page alone. If it’s one thing that gives a Western that authentic feel, it’s the language. The vocabulary morphs that voice in your head as being read by Sam Elliot, and you’re mentally chewing on cud in between word balloons. However, with the protagonist Boyd Linney being ten-years old, a prepubescent Sam Elliot comes to mind instead, and makes me laugh just imagining it. The line that made me fall in love from the get-go was “Boyd’s exploits ain’t for those with weak bellies and genteel dispositions.” Absolute gold, and the entire book is bursting with it.
Boyd Linney is a ten-year old bounty hunter in the Old West, trying to wrangle-up his own crooked kin. For “Justice ain’t got no age,” and Boyd’s determined to see to it that every yellow-bellied possum of an outlaw that he calls ‘family’ is delivered straight to the clinker, and he collects the bounty. In this first volume, A Boy And His Horse, Boyd is on a mission to track down his father Dub Linney and his older brother Zeke Linney. I say first volume, because I’m dying to see him round up the rest of the clan in future volumes! We see flashbacks and interactions with his family when he’s a baby, and apparently babies hold the deepest grudges. Then again, you might as well if you were tossed into a pigpen at an early age, and the swine treated you with kindness your own brother never gave you.
If you’ve never be lucky enough to observe Chris Eliopoulos art, this would be a good graphic novel to start with and get a feel of what he’s about. I came to know his style through the Franklin Richards series over at Marvel, and it’s very reminiscent of Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz, which makes me feel all warm and nostalgic on the inside. It’s entertaining seeing this ten-year old kid strut around and act like an adult, while not being taken seriously in the slightest. Does he break character? Quite the opposite; he proves to everyone that he is in fact a bounty hunter, and will do whatever it takes to get his man. If Jonah Hex had a son, Boyd Linney would kick his ass. The customized pee-shooter / stick horse is a great ‘weapon’, and Boyd wields it like a pro.
This being an all ages title, it’s easy to pass along to a younger comics reader after you’re done enjoying it. The paper stock has a nice thick feel to it, and the mini comics in between stories done by the likes of Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Collen Coover and more are an added bonus. The Old West is alive and well in this title, and it makes me want to go watch something with Clint Eastwood in it now. If this isn’t nominated for an Eisner next year, I suggest we run that panel of judges, nay, varmints, out of town faster than a tumbleweed in a tornado.
Now getalong little doggies, and go pick-up and read Cow Boy today. It’s tremendous fun, it’s a Western, and it’s a comic. What more could you possibly want?
In this episode I once again interview writer Mark Andrew Smith. We discuss how he came to collaborate with James Stokoe on Sullivan’s Sluggers, Kickstarter in general, and how he would improve other boring sports.
Comic book fans, I have returned to you! Pick Of The Week goes to Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez for Locke & Key: Clockworks #6 (IDW)! Fast Five picks include Saga #3 (Image), Fantastic Four #605.1 (Marvel), Hardcore #1 (Top Cow), Scalped #58 (Vertigo), and The Manhattan Projects #3 (Image). Spoilers!
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine #1 by Duncan Fegredo
As soon as I saw the smoking cyborg demon, ‘The Devil’s Engine’ tagline made sense to me. If the devil’s engine was a living breathing thing, I’m pretty sure that mechanical maniacal monstrosity would be a fair representation of it. It almost looks like Hellboy, had he discovered steampunk in his rebellious years. Anyway, the different shades of red with the ominous plumes of smoke and fire engulfing the background really do it for me. That train better get up to speed, or else it’s totally screwed! Another wonderful job by Mr. Fegredo.
Scalped #58 by Jock
Maybe it’s the pearl necklace and earrings, but with that combo and the representation of her nose and mouth with the graveyard motif, it really reminds me of some of the Mexican skull art, only with flesh instead of bone. It’s a beautiful design, and wonderfully executed, but something about it still gives me the willies (only slightly). There’s a great use of color too, with the pinkish tones highlighting her eyes and the left side of her face. It says ‘graveyard’, ‘sunset’, ‘she worries’ to me. This being Scalped, all three are definitely a possibility.
Glory #26 by Ulises Farinas
Once again, I’m completely astounded by the level of detail Ulises Farinas puts into his covers. Every one I’ve seen illustrated by him is poster-worthy, for I find myself just in complete awe with his attention to detail. You can’t just quickly flip past a cover like this; like a fine wine, you must take it all in to really appreciate the amount of effort put into it. Bodies of all races, sizes, and species strewn across the battlefield and beyond; an entire kingdom conquered by a badass named Glory, and she’s coming for you the reader next…if you don’t buy this issue! Wonderful stuff, without even realizing it my hand made a dash for my wallet.
Dancer #1 by Nic Klein
Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today
-Elton John, Tiny Dancer
Fury MAX #2 by Dave Johnson
My favorite cover of the week, hands-down. Johnson strategically placing everything we need to know about this issue in the outline of a sexy French babe. Wearing the images like a dress, almost. Somewhere out there on the runway, Donatella Versace was just inspired for her spring collection (I didn’t even know she was a Nick Fury fan!). Beautiful and sexy, how every cover should be, Dave Johnson proves once again with ease why he’s the best.
In this special episode I interview both Chad Cicconi and Shawn Gabborin of Action Lab. We discuss the release of the Fracture TPB, what’s on the horizon for volume two, and comic geekiness in general.
Higher Earth #1 (Cover C) by Frazer Irving
First things first; I love the cooler colors popping-off the warmth of the circle behind them. This sword-wielding duo had me at ‘hello’ when I first saw the press release for this series a few months ago. I’m a big fan of Irving’s dynamic style, and the background images have their own story to tell as well to the careful observer. The positioning of the characters feels intense as they make their way up, up, and away! Fantastic cover to start things off with, and I love the overall intensity of this image.
Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #5 by Dave Johnson
Reminding me of the movie posters from days long gone, this cover does a superb job at capturing the look and feel of the time period. The protagonist, Lobster Johnson, firing his way through an army of undead ghouls, while the villains are highlighted front and center. It may just be the layout, but I love that there’s no panel borders keeping everything separate. The images are the boundaries themselves. It all flows together smoothly, and really captures your attention. Another job well done by the Reverend Dave Johnson!
Mystery In Space #1 by Mike Allred
So that’s where Tobias Fünke has been hanging out! Actually, the more I study this azure alien, the more it slightly reminds me of a cosmic Dr. Manhattan of sorts. The theme being space and mysteries and the combination of the two, I really enjoy the inclusion of the toy robots and rocketships. Forget whatever psychic waves or transmissions you’re picking up; there are some awesome retro toys floating right next to you! Play with them already! Great job to Mr. Allred, for this cover is truly…out of this world.
Wolverine #306 by Chris Samnee & Javier Rodriguez
I think the main thing that draws me to this cover is just how outright bizarre it is. As if the floating decapitated head with blood dripping from the nostrils wasn’t enough, let’s make it look like Logan’s having some sort of brain lobotomy by actual-yet-freaky brains. Don’t even get me started on the inconvenient location for that cabin! Overall the image is simple and effective, and absolutely intriguing. The veins/tentacles of the brains are enough to make your skin crawl, and the blank stare from Logan is the cherry on top. Great job Mr. Samnee, you sick bastard!
In this special episode I’m joined by Art (TV Division), Dommy (The House-Dwarf) and Matt (Duke of Douche) to discuss the first five episodes of Game of Thrones season two. We cover The North Remembers, The Night Lands, What Is Dead May Never Die, Garden of Bones, and The Ghost of Harrenhal. We also discuss the differences in George RR Martin’s novel A Clash Of Kings, so spoilers abound!
Dial H #1 by Brian Bolland
If there’s something strange, in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Brian Bolland! The thing I love about Bolland is that his style is always so consistent. Everything from the incredibly detailed characters, to the natural shine gleaming-off all skin. The creature in the top-right corner is particularly disturbing to me, with the long and pointy fingers. Reminds me slightly of a character in Locke & Key, which leaves me wanting a Bolland / Rodriguez team-up really badly. The dude is a master, as this cover clearly demonstrates.
Daredevil #12 by Paolo Rivera
Va-Va-VOOM! Oh Mr. Murdock, you naughty boy. Then again, I can see how having that special sense would come in handy on the dating scene. Fake, or natural? Matt Murdock is on the case! I just simply enjoy the mixed styles, with the radar-sense intertwining with the sexiness of the situation. “Here comes Daredevil” indeed!
Mind The Gap #1 by Rodin Esquejo & Sonia Oback
If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s vibrant colors mixing together. And to have them mix in someone’s hair?! Why aren’t girls rockin’ this ‘do’ yet?? I totally would if mine were long enough. I think it’s the rosy nose and pink, slightly-parted lips that completely sink their hooks into me, having me completely embrace this cover. Esquejo and Oback really knocked this one out of the park, and it’s just a complete joy to stare at (but not in a creepy way).
Spider #1 by Francesco Francavilla
My favorite cover of the week, hands-down. I don’t feel the need to explain my pick because it’s from the extremely talented Mr. Francavilla, and I’ve exhausted my thesaurus when it comes to praising him this week. So sit back, soak this masterpiece in, and thank whatever gods you worship that people like Francesco Francavilla exist in the world.
X-O Manowar #1 by Esad Ribic
When Ribic was on art duties with Jonathan Hickman’s Ultimates, I wasn’t that much of a fan of the slight shift in his art style. With his return to covers like this one though, he’s instantly won back my heart once more. With the faint illuminating glow from the electric sword, to capturing the intensity of the fight in facial expressions and body movement, Ribic does a superb job illustrating this cover. It helps get me pumped to read this new ongoing series again from Valiant; Esad Ribic leading the way with style!
In this special episode I interview the Creative Director for Action Lab Entertainment, Dave Dwonch. We talk about the upcoming Double Jumpers, his hit webcomic Space-Time Condominium, and more great stuff coming soon from Action Lab. WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT!