Saturday, June 30, 2012

House of Five Leaves: Sei the Drifter

I read House of Five Leaves, Vol. 7

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin (which has free comics).


Friday, June 29, 2012

Titan Publishing Launches "The Walking Dead" Magazine This Fall


The Walking Dead Magazine – Coming Soon

Titan Magazines and Skybound are pleased to announce the launch of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine, based on Robert Kirkman's Eisner Award-winning comic book series, best-selling graphic novels and Emmy-winning AMC television series based upon them.

Following its transition from groundbreaking comic book to the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time, The Walking Dead has cemented its status, not only as a phenomenon with the wildly diverging fans of horror and of character-driven drama, but as a milestone in quality, mainstream television.

Robert Kirkman, creator/writer of The Walking Dead, debuted the groundbreaking Skybound/Image comic in 2003. In 2010, AMC debuted the hit television series, The Walking Dead, based upon the comic series. The television series became the highest-rated original basic cable drama of all time and an international success in 120 countries and 250 million homes, and counting. In 2011, The Walking Dead graphic novels were the best-selling graphic novels of the year. Now, in 2012, Titan Publishing/Skybound and AMC bring you The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine to answer the burning questions insatiable zombie-loving fans have about the Emmy-winning television show, comics and graphic novels.

The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine will feature an inside look at the comic and show as only a fully sanctioned quarterly can. No one will get more exclusives than this magazine. Get exclusive access to the most successful television adaptation of a comic ever, including in-depth interviews Kirkman, Executive Producer/Writer on the show; Glen Mazzara, Showrunner/ Executive Producer/Writer of the series and David Alpert, Executive Producer of the series. That's not all, readers will hear from all of the leads on the hit TV show beginning with Andrew Lincoln, who stars as Rick Grimes; Sarah Wayne Callies, who stars as Lori Grimes, and Jon Bernthal, who played fan-favorite bad boyShane.

To get behind-the-scenes on the set with co-Executive Producer Greg Nicotero and see how he creates the greatest on-screen zombies ever, fans should read The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine. The only way into the closed door writers’ room to learn about the scripting process lies within the magazine’s pages. Fans will also get the opportunity toask Kirkman what's coming up in future issues of The Walking Dead, or find out how the series artist Charlie Adlard keeps up with the fast pace of the monthly comic so brilliantly.

The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine debuts on October 23 with 100 pages of all access, no holds barred zombie festing and feasting. With all the latest news, revelations and tips for fans of the television show and the graphic novels. Get it, read it or be the last to know all the exclusive scoops for every incarnation of The Walking Dead.

Issue #1 of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine comes with an alternative cover featuring an exclusive, colored zombie scene by The Walking Dead comic artist, Charlie Adlard. This alternative collector’s edition is only available through comic stores. Retailers can order via August Diamond PREVIEWS.

Robert Kirkman commented, "This magazine will be your one stop destination for all the news pertaining to the comic, TV show, video game, toys, games, and whatever else exists in the ever-expanding Walking Dead universe! If it's happening, you'll find out all about it right here!"

Nick Landau, Titan Publisher, added: “We're very excited to be publishing the quarterly The Walking Dead Magazine with Robert Kirkman and Skybound, which will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans to get unlimited access to the show and comic."

Fans of the show are urged to join The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with exclusive developments and deals. The magazine is currently offering fans a special pre-order subscription saving 20% off the newsstand cover price! – click here

The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine issue #1 will be available on newsstands and in specialty comic book stores in the US on October 23, in the UK on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18.

For more information on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit: http://titanmagazines.com/t/the-walking-dead/


About Robert Kirkman
Robert Kirkman's success and passionate advocacy for creator-owned comics led him to before the first person invited to become a partner at Image Comics since the company's inception twenty years ago and he formed his own imprint there, Skybound, in 2010. Kirkman is the creator/writer of the Eisner Award-winning The Walking Dead, long-running Invincible, all-ages Super Dinosaur, The Astounding Wolf-Man, and new title Thief of Thieves, among many others. Kirkman has earned the respect of the comic, writing and television communities and topped the New York Times bestseller list for graphic novels in 2011 and in April 2012, he took the top five spots on both the hardcover and paperback lists. He's the creator/executive producer and writer of the hit television show, AMC's The Walking Dead, the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time in the U.S, also an international success in 120 countries and 250 million households. AMC is developingThief of Thieves as a potential series with Kirkman serving as creator/executive producer and writer. http://www.skybound.com/ is your destination for all news and merchandise for Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead and all Skybound titles.

For more information, visit: http://www.skybound.com/

About The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine
Published by Titan Magazines and Skybound, The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine will be a complete, in-depth guide to The Walking Dead, giving fans of the TV series and comics full access to the show and its creators. Featuring exclusive interviews with the cast, past and present, full access to the sets, detailed reports bringing fans up close to the filming, and uncensored behind-the-scenes features about the making of the series, The Walking Dead Magazine is a must-have companion for fans.

Each quarterly 100-page edition also includes the latest revelations from The Walking Dead comic team, including interviews with the creators and features showcasing the creative process behind the art. Plus, The Walking Dead creator and writer/executive producer for the show, Robert Kirkman, reveals the latest news from the set and answers fans’ questions.

Issue #1 will be available on newsstands and in specialty comic book stores in the US from October 23, UK from November 8 and Australia & New Zealand from December 18.

For more information on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit: http://titanmagazines.com/t/the-walking-dead/


Connect with The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadMagazine
Twitter - http://twitter.com/walkingdeadmag

For more information on Skybound, visit: http://www.skybound.com/

About Titan Magazines
Titan Magazines is the largest and most experienced publisher of licensed entertainment magazines and comics in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Licensing partners include: Aardman - ABC - BBC - Bongo - CBS - DC - Disney -Hasbro -LucasFilm - MGM - NBC - Nickelodeon - Paramount - Twentieth Century Fox - WWE - Mattel

For more information, visit: http://titanmagazines.com/

About The Walking Dead (TV series)
The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series developed for television by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman.

The series stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes who wakes up after being in a coma to find the world dominated by "walkers". He sets out to find his family and other survivors along the way.

For more information, visit: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Reads You Review: YOUNG JUSTICE #17

YOUNG JUSTICE #17
DC COMICS

WRITERS: Kevin Hopps and Greg Weisman
ART: Christopher Jones
COLORS: Zac Atkinson
LETTERS: Dezi Sienty
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Rated “E” for “Everyone”

“Young Justice” is an animated superhero television series currently airing on Cartoon Network (after debuting in 2010). Although it shares a name with the comic book series, “Young Justice” (published by DC Comics in the late 1990s and early 2000s), the television series uses characters and situations from the entire DC Universe.

“Young Justice” focuses on the lives and adventures of the sidekicks and protégés of some of DC Comics’ biggest superheroes, which includes such young heroes as Artemis (Green Arrow), Robin, and Aqualad, among others. DC Comics is publishing a comic book adaptation of “Young Justice,” also entitled Young Justice.

Young Justice #17 (“Uncommon Denominators”) continues from #16. Batman and Robin, Flash and Kid Flash, and Green Arrow and Artemis take on Lord Naga-Naga also known as Kobra. Kobra, whose real name is Jeffrey Burr, has kidnapped his fraternal twin brother, Jason, in order to use him for a mystical rite that will create a giant cobra. While the adult heroes race off to stop the giant cobra from destroy Minneapolis, Robin, Kid Flash and Artemis take on Kobra Cultists and siblings, Mammoth and Shimmer. But Kobra’s dangerous mumbo-jumbo doesn’t stop with a giant cobra.

I can mostly say the same thing about Young Justice #17 that I said about issue #16. The art by Christopher Jones (pencils and inks) and Zac Atkinson (colors) is pretty. The compositions and page design are also good. The storytelling is excellent; it just makes my eyes want to follow the flow of the narrative and keep going back for second looks.

The story by Kevin Hopps and Greg Weismann, who are also writers on the “Young Justice” TV series, is the same as it was the last issue. It’s light on drama and emphasizes action and superhero fights. Nothing against Hobbs and Weismann, but this is a comic book and the storytelling strength is in the art… exceptionally so.

B+

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

DC COMICS

APR120232 ALL STAR WESTERN #10 $3.99

APR120284 AMERICAN VAMPIRE #28 (MR) $2.99

APR120170 AQUAMAN #10 $2.99

MAR120306 ARKHAM CITY KILLER CROC DLX AF PI

MAR120304 ARKHAM CITY MR FREEZE DLX AF PI

APR128233 BATMAN #1 5TH PTG $2.99

APR128234 BATMAN #5 4TH PTG $2.99

SEP110178 BATMAN ARCHIVES HC VOL 08 $59.99

MAR120248 BATMAN ILLUSTRATED BY NEAL ADAMS TP VOL 01 $24.99

APR120189 BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 $2.99

APR120192 BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 COMBO PACK $3.99

APR120200 BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #10 $2.99

APR120155 BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (OF 4) (MR) $3.99

APR120158 BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (OF 4) COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

APR120176 FLASH #10 $2.99

APR120178 FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #10 $2.99

APR120276 GEARS OF WAR #24 $2.99

FEB120281 GET JIRO HC (MR) $24.99

MAR120250 GOTHAM CITY SIRENS TP VOL 03 STRANGE FRUIT $14.99

APR120215 GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #10 $2.99

APR120223 I VAMPIRE #10 $2.99

FEB120253 INFINITE CRISIS OMNIBUS HC $150.00

APR120161 JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 $3.99

APR120164 JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 COMBO PACK $4.99

APR128235 JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 2ND PTG $3.99

APR120219 JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10 $2.99

MAR120246 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES TP VOL 01 HOSTILE WORLD $14.99

APR120289 NEW DEADWARDIANS #4 (OF 8) (MR) $2.99

APR120180 SAVAGE HAWKMAN #10 $2.99

MAR120284 SCALPED #59 (MR) $2.99

APR120290 SPACEMAN #7 (OF 9) (MR) $2.99

APR120185 SUPERMAN #10 $2.99

APR120267 SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES #2 $2.99

APR120235 TEEN TITANS #10 $2.99

APR120231 VOODOO #10 $2.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

MARVEL COMICS

APR120620 AMAZING FANTASY 15 SPIDER-MAN $3.99

APR120615 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #688 $3.99

APR120623 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND IRON MAN #633 $2.99

APR120720 DEFENDERS BY MATT FRACTION TP VOL 01 $19.99

APR120659 DOROTHY AND WIZARD IN OZ #8 (OF 8) $3.99

APR120644 FF #19 $2.99

APR120706 FF BY JONATHAN HICKMAN PREM HC $19.99

FEB128208 HIT-GIRL #1 (OF 5) (MR) (PP #1017) $2.99

APR120641 INCREDIBLE HULK #10 $3.99

APR120658 JOHN CARTER GODS OF MARS #4 (OF 5) $2.99

APR120660 MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 $2.99

APR120657 MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTROY #4 (OF 5) $3.99

APR120633 MIGHTY THOR #16 $3.99

APR120692 MMW UNCANNY X-MEN TP VOL 05 $24.99

APR120693 MMW UNCANNY X-MEN TP VOL 05 DM VAR ED 40 $24.99

APR120724 MYSTERY MEN TP $14.99

APR120732 NICK FURY CLASSIC TP VOL 01 AGENT OF SHIELD $34.99

APR120728 PUNISHER OFFICIAL INDEX TO MARVEL UNIVERSE GN TP $24.99

APR120715 SPELLBINDERS SIGNS AND WONDERS TP $16.99

APR128250 SPIDER-MAN DEATH OF STACYS TP (PP #1026) $19.99

APR120606 SPIDER-MEN #2 (OF 5) $3.99

APR120601 ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #12 $3.99

JAN120716 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 DM BAGLEY VAR ED $99.99

APR120591 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #12 AVX $3.99

APR120726 WOLVERINE BEST THERE IS BROKEN QUARANTINE TP $19.99

APR120677 X-MEN #31 $3.99

APR120587 X-MEN LEGACY #269 AVX $2.99

APR120700 X-MEN LEGACY BACK TO SCHOOL PREM HC $19.99

APR120722 X-MEN SCHISM TP $19.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

IDW PUBLISHING

APR128349 STAR TREK TNG DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION #2 $3.99
MAR120400 ARCHIE AMERICANA HC VOL 04 BEST OF THE 70S $24.99
JAN120442 BERKELEY BREATHED OUTLAND COMP COLL HC $39.99
MAR120352 DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN ARTIST ED HC PI
MAR120343 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS FORGOTTEN REALMS #2 $3.99
APR120340 GI JOE ROOTS OF RETALIATION TP $14.99
MAR120358 LOCKE & KEY CARD GAME (RES) $30.00
MAR120324 MAGIC THE GATHERING SPELL THIEF #1 $4.99
APR120352 STAR TREK LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES HC DM EXCL ED $24.99
APR120344 STAR TREK ONGOING #10 $3.99
APR120362 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #11 $3.99
APR120358 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE ONGOING #6 $3.99
FEB120398 V WARS PROSE HC $24.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

DARK HORSE COMICS

APR120021 ANGEL & FAITH #11 REBEKAH ISAACS VAR CVR $2.99
APR120020 ANGEL & FAITH #11 STEVE MORRIS CVR $2.99
APR120024 BPRD HELL ON EARTH EXORCISM #1 (OF 2) $3.50
MAR120035 CHRONICLES OF CONAN TP VOL 22 REAVERS BORDERLAND $18.99
FEB120024 CONAN TP VOL 11 ROAD OF KINGS $19.99
APR120010 FATIMA THE BLOOD SPINNERS #1 (OF 4) HERNANDEZ CVR $3.99
FEB120041 GOON TP VOL 11 DEFORMED BODY & DEVIOUS MIND $16.99
MAR120025 GUILD TP VOL 02 $14.99
MAR120051 HOUSE OF NIGHT HC $14.99
APR120046 RESET #3 (OF 4) $3.50
APR120044 RESIDENT ALIEN #2 $3.50
APR120035 STAR WARS BLOOD TIES BOBA FETT IS DEAD #3 (OF 4) $3.50
FEB120047 TALES O/T BEANWORLD HC VOL 03.5 $14.99
MAR120029 USAGI YOJIMBO LTD HC VOL 26 TRAITORS O/T EARTH $59.99
MAR120028 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 26 TRAITORS O/T EARTH $16.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

IMAGE COMICS

APR128259 AMERICAS GOT POWERS #2 (OF 6) 2ND PTG $2.99
APR120536 FATALE #6 (MR) $3.50
APR120439 FATALE TP VOL 01 DEATH CHASES ME (MR) $14.99
APR128252 GRIM LEAPER #1 (OF 4) 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
APR120542 HELL YEAH #4 $2.99
JAN120520 MAGDALENA TP VOL 02 $19.99
APR120545 MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4 $3.50
APR120451 MORNING GLORIES TP VOL 03 P.E. $14.99
APR120553 PROPHET #26 $2.99
JAN120603 SAVAGE DRAGON #180 $3.50
APR120559 SUPREME #65 CVR A LARSEN $2.99
APR120560 SUPREME #65 CVR B HAMSCHER $2.99
MAR120524 WHISPERS #3 (MR) $2.99
MAR120525 WITCHBLADE #157 CVR A CHRISTOPER $2.99
MAR120526 WITCHBLADE #157 CVR B BERNARD & BENES $2.99

Comics and Magazines from Diamond Distributors for June 27 2012

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS
MAY120001 PREVIEWS #286 JULY 2012 PI

COMICS
MAY128105 HYPERNATURALS #1 MAIN CVRS $3.99

APR120987 ANNA AND FROGA WANT A GUMBALL HC $14.95

APR120801 ARCHIE #634 $2.99

APR120802 ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #17 $3.99

APR120803 ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #230 $3.99

APR121207 ATOMIC ROBO FLYING SHE DEVILS O/T PACIFIC #1 (OF 5) $3.50

MAR121174 ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #3 $2.75

MAR121101 ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 01 $10.99

APR120807 B & V FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #226 $3.99

APR121261 BAKUMAN TP VOL 11 $9.99

MAR120929 BARRY SONNENFELDS DINOSAURS VS ALIENS HC $19.99

APR120881 BART SIMPSON COMICS #72 $2.99

APR120805 BETTY & VERONICA #260 $2.99

APR120988 BIRDSEYE BRISTOE HC (MR) $19.95

APR121229 CLINT 2.0 #2 (MR) $6.99

APR121177 COURTNEY CRUMRIN ONGOING #3 $3.99

MAY120902 CROSSED BADLANDS #1 C2E2 CVR (MR) $5.99

MAY120903 CROSSED BADLANDS #5 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

MAY120904 CROSSED BADLANDS #6 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

MAY120824 DARK REVELATION #1 (OF 3) $3.99

APR121306 DROPS OF GOD GN VOL 04 $14.95

APR120981 EARTHLING SC $12.99

MAY120901 FERALS #4 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

MAY121177 FOUR HORSEMEN O/T APOCALYPSE SC VOL 01 (OF 3) (RES) (MR) $14.95

JAN121043 GAME OF THRONES GN VOL 01 (MR) $25.00

DEC111050 GLORIANA HC $19.95

APR120752 I FEEL SICK #1 (O/A) $3.95

APR120753 I FEEL SICK #2 (O/A) $3.95

MAR120890 ICE AGE WHERE THERES THUNDER ONE SHOT $3.99

APR120823 IDOLIZED #0 CVR A GUNNELL $2.50

APR120824 IDOLIZED #0 CVR B CLARK PHOTO $2.50

MAY121135 JASON HEY WAIT GN (NEW PTG) (MR) $12.95

DEC111124 JOURNALISM HC $29.00

APR120808 JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #182 $3.99

FEB120966 KIRBY GENESIS SILVER STAR #6 $3.99

MAY121000 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #15 AUXILIARY CVR (MR) $3.99

MAY121001 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #15 C2E2 CVR (MR) $9.99

MAY121002 LADY DEATH ORIGINS CURSED #1 (OF 3) TIMELESS BEAUTY (MR) $9.99

APR121232 LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 (MR) $9.95

FEB120914 LORD OF THE JUNGLE #5 (MR) $3.99

MAR121193 LOVELY HORRIBLE STUFF HC $14.95

MAR121090 M3 #1 $5.00

MAR120734 MADAGASCAR 3 PREQUEL DIGEST GN LONG LIVE KING $6.99

APR121132 MARDOCK SCRAMBLE GN VOL 05 $10.99

FEB121041 MR TWEE DEEDLE RAGGEDY ANN COUSIN GRUELLE HC (RES) $75.00

APR121317 OLYMPOS GN VOL 01 $18.99

FEB121144 PHAZER #3 $3.99

MAR121162 RICHELLE MEAD VAMPIRE ACADEMY GN VOL 02 FROSTBITE $12.99

APR120884 SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #15 $2.99

MAY121017 SONG OF ROLAND GN $20.00

APR120813 SONIC UNIVERSE #41 $2.99

APR120826 SOULFIRE HOPE #1 CVR A RYAN $3.99

APR120827 SOULFIRE HOPE #1 CVR B VARESE $3.99

MAR121189 SPANDEX HC (MR) $19.95

APR120974 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE TP VOL 10 (MR) $24.99

MAR121256 TENJO TENGE GN VOL 07 (MR) $17.99

MAR120973 VOLTRON #6 $3.99

MAR121302 WAKING DREAM END #2 A CVR GARZA (MR) $3.99

MAR121303 WAKING DREAM END #2 B CVR REYES (MR) $3.99

MAGAZINES
APR121374 ALTER EGO #110 $8.95
MAY121489 AVENGER DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 07 $14.95
APR121375 BACK ISSUE #57 $8.95
MAY121490 DOC SAVAGE DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 50 JAMES BAMA VAR SPECIAL $14.95
FEB121287 HOBBY JAPAN MAY 2012 $16.60
APR121405 SCREEM #24 PX ED $7.95
MAY121492 SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 62 $14.95
APR120741 TERRY MOORE HOW TO DRAW #4 FUNNY $4.99

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Reads You Review: SUMMER OF SPIDER-MAN SAMPLER #1

SUMMER OF SPIDER-MAN SAMPLER #1
MARVEL COMICS

WRITERS: Dan Slott, Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jeph Loeb
ART: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sara Pichelli, Terry Dodson, Simone Bianchi
ADDITIONAL ART: Rachel Dodson, Simone Peruzzi
28pp, Color, Free

Of course you know that Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures is just a little more than a week away (as of this writing) from releasing their latest Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, in movie theatres across the globe. As it did around the release of the earlier Spider-Man movies, Marvel Comics is also releasing multiple Spider-Man comic books and book collections.

Enter the Summer of Spider-Man Sampler #1. This is a free comic book that is available at comic book shops. It offers 5-page samples from upcoming Spider-Man comic books. We get five pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #688 (by Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli), in which Spider-Man takes on The Lizard (also the villain in the upcoming movie).

There are five pages from Spider-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. This is the five-issue miniseries that unites Peter Parker-Spider-Man with Ultimate Spider-Man-Miles Morales. The sample ends before Miles’ appearance in the story, but the first issue is already available at comic book shops.

Marvel’s recently launched Spider-Man team-up book makes an appearance with pages from Avenging Spider-Man #9 (by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Terry Dodson). Captain Marvel makes her debut in her new costume, which is a redesign of the one worn by Marvelman, the British comic book superhero whose rights Marvel acquired recently.

Summer of Spider-Man Sampler #1 is also a flip book. Turn to the back cover and flip this comic book, and you have a five-page preview of Wolverine #310 from writer Jeph Loeb and artist Simone Bianchi. This is the beginning of a new story arc that sees the return of Sabertooth, although the stars of the sample are Wolverine and Cloak (of Cloak and Dagger). I am not a fan of Loeb’s, but I have to admit that this is my favorite sample.

If the point of Summer of Spider-Man Sampler #1 is to whet comic book reading appetites, then, it is successful. I am hankering to purchase Wolverine #310 and Spider-Men #1. The Summer of Spider-Man Sampler #1 free. If you can still find it, get it if you don’t already have it.

A-

Friday, June 22, 2012

Valiant Comics Offers Four Titles for September 2012

VALIANT Solicitations For SEPTEMBER 2012

X-O MANOWAR #5
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by LEE GARBETT
Cover by MICO SUAYAN
Pullbox Exclusive Variant by PHILIP TAN
Interlocking Variants by PATRICK ZIRCHER

All new arc! X-O Manowar vs. Ninjak!

Jump on board the smash hit series of the summer as two legends of the Valiant Universe collide for the first time! The X-O Manowar armor has fallen to Earth... and now the world's most lethal intelligence agent has a new target. But who is the operative known only as Ninjak? And who – or what – has marked Aric of Dacia for death by his blade? Find out as the all-new Ninjak makes his shocking first appearance – and cuts his way to the forefront of the Valiant Universe.

$3.99/ T +/32 pgs.
ON SALE SEPTEMBER 12th!
--

HARBINGER #4
Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by KHARI EVANS & LEWIS LAROSA
Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER
Variant Cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE

School is out. Of control.

Inside the Harbinger Foundation, Peter Stanchek thought he would finally find freedom. Instead, he found a prison of his own design. As Peter begins to yearn for the comforts of his old life, he’s about to discover that leaving Harada’s program isn’t easy – it’s impossible. As rebellion brews among his pupils, Harada must ask himself: has he been building an ally in Peter all this time – or the perfect enemy?

$3.99/ T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE SEPTEMBER 12th!
--

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #2
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by CLAYTON HENRY
Cover by ARTURO LOZZI
Variant Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER

In the Valiant Universe, even secrets have secrets. Have you heard the one about The Michelangelo Code?

Inside a Masonic crypt beneath Wall Street, The 1% engineer a financial apocalypse that will save the dollar, but could destroy the world. Within the secret archives of the Vatican, The Spirituali shelter a secret that could crack history in half. And – in a bar somewhere – Archer & Armstrong are all that stands between the ancient conspiracy that binds these two group together. But can Archer survive a terrible betrayal from his own family – and the shocking revelation of Armstrong's closest ally? Get ready for a spreadsheet-shattering, kung-fu gripping action epic that will set the Valiant Universe aflame!

$3.99/ T +/32 pgs.
ON SALE SEPTEMBER 5th!
--

BLOODSHOT #3
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by MANUEL GARCIA & ARTURO LOZZI
Cover by ESAD RIBIC
Variant Cover by ARTURO LOZZI

Heroes aren’t born. They’re built.

You have no name, just a project designation. They call you Bloodshot, but the voices inside your head call you “daddy, “sir,” “commander,” “comrade” – whatever it takes to motivate you to get the job done. But after so many missions and so many lives, you’re finally ready to confront your handlers at Project Rising Spirit and find out who you really are. You’d better move quickly though, because your former masters don’t like it when a billion-dollar weapons project decides to go rogue. Can you discover the truth before their next deadly mind wipe takes you off the board for good? Let’s hope so…because everyone inside you is counting on it.

$3.99/ T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE SEPTEMBER 5th!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review - Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero

"High-Flying Tidbits and Anecdotes"
SUPERMAN: THE HIGH-FLYING HISTORY OF AMERICA’S MOST ENDURING HERO
RANDOM HOUSE

AUTHOR: Larry Tye
COVER: The Dynamic Duo/Corbin Images
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6866-1; hardcover
430pp, B&W, $27.00 U.S., $32.00 CAN

Random House, the publisher of Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero, bills the book as “the first full-fledged history not just of the Man of Steel but of the creators, designers, owners, and performers who made him the icon he is today.” The book is written by author, Larry Tye, a former journalist for The Boston Globe. Tye is perhaps best known for the book, Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, his 2009 biography of Negro League baseball pitcher, Satchel Paige.

In a sense, Random House is accurate in its description of Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero. This is a broad and comprehensive history of Superman and of the real life people who created him, published him, marketed him, and brought him to life in other mediums (like radio, film, and television). This book is less history than it is like a very long magazine feature full of information, tidbits, anecdotes, etc. that the casual Superman fan may not know, but the rabid or dedicated fans already know. For instance, I didn’t know that George Reeves of the famous 1950s television series, Adventures of Superman, slept in the nude. I didn’t know that Brandon Routh, who played Superman in the 2006 film, Superman Returns, wore Superman costumes so fitted to his body that he could not gain or lose an ounce until the film was released.

Tye’s Superman book is a history of Superman, sort of a fictional biography that looks at his allies and adversary, his powers, his struggles and ordeals – his mythology, if you will. However, Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero is also the story of the comic book creators, owners, writers, artists, and businessmen, as well as the people in television, film, and radio who made Superman into an international icon and one of the most famous fictional characters of the last one hundred years.

The story of Superman begins in America’s heartland, in the depths of the Great Depression. In Cleveland, Ohio, a shy, awkward teenager named Jerry Siegel dreamed up the hero he needed, but it turns out the world in which Jerry lived also desperately needed a hero just like the one he created. Joined by neighborhood pal and aspiring artist, Joe Shuster, Siegel brought to life Superman, the star of a hoped for newspaper comic strip. Fate brought Superman to a new medium, the comic book, and before long he was a media and merchandising star. Tye writes that he has drawn upon newly revealed sources (including Jerry Siegel’s unpublished memoir) to tell the story of Superman and the real-life people behind the superhero also known as the Man of Tomorrow.

Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero is not the kind of book that will compete for the Pulitzer Prize in the categories of “Biography or Autobiography,” “Feature Writing” or “History.” This book is a broad overview mostly about Superman and the people at National Comics Publications (which would later be named DC Comics) who would turn Superman from an idea and a few pages of comics produced by two young men in Cleveland into a global brand and icon. The book also covers the people who brought Superman to life on radio and in films, television series, and animation.

In that sense, Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero is essentially a book-length feature article with elements of history and biography, and that’s probably for the best when an author is trying to cover everything about Superman – fictional and real. There are over 70 years worth of multiple comic book series featuring the Man of Steel and spin-off characters, plus all the supporting characters, villains, and faux-mythology related both to the main character (Superman) and those spin-offs. As for the people behind Superman: well, that story that starts before Superman ever appeared in a comic book (Action Comics #1, April 1938); it goes back to the late 19th century and the birth of magazine entrepreneur, Harry Donenfeld, in Romania. Then, there are the people who, for over seven decades, have brought Superman to life in a variety of mass media formats: newspapers, television, film, etc.

There are so many people that Tye can only offer a few highlights (and low lights) about the prominent ones. Reading this, I get the idea that there are even better stories about a lot of these people that would fill a separate book. I know there’s a great book about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s relationship waiting to be written, to say nothing of the riveting read the tale of the relationship between Siegel and his boss, Jack Liebowitz, would be.

Still, this is a fun read. Tye’s foray into the life of actor George Reeves of the classic 1950s TV series, Adventures of Superman, seems to be right out of CBS’ “48 Hours” or “E’s True Hollywood Stories.” Tye’s account of the birth of Superman: The Movie is some of the best film history I’ve read in years.

I wished that there was more about certain individuals, but this is still a good book. People who want to know more about Superman will not go wrong with Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Reads You Review: Young Justice #16

"Christopher Jones Superstar"
YOUNG JUSTICE #16
DC COMICS

WRITERS: Kevin Hopps and Greg Weisman
ART: Christopher Jones
COLORS: Zac Atkinson
LETTERS: Dezi Sienty
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Rated "E" for "Everyone"

“Young Justice” is an animated cable television series that debuted on Cartoon Network in 2010. Although it shares a name with the DC Comics comic book series that debuted in 1998, “Young Justice” the television series is really an adaptation of the entire DC Universe of characters.

The series focuses on the lives and adventures of the sidekicks and protégés of some of DC Comics’ biggest superheroes. Characters such as Superboy, Robin, Aqualad, and others try to prove themselves while dealing with adolescent issues. As it has done with other animated series based on its comic book titles, DC Comics is publishing a comic book adaptation of “Young Justice,” also entitled Young Justice.

Young Justice #16 (“Common Denominators”) finds three different hero-sidekick combinations dealing with unusual robberies. In Star City, Green Arrow and protégé, Artemis, take on a band of well-armed thieves in Star City World History Museum. The next day, Flash and Kid Flash race through Central City on a mission to capture escaped animals at Central City Zoo? The story moves four days forward to Gotham City. Batman and Robin find thieves in the Gotham City Observatory, but these thieves aren’t after something; they’re after someone.

The first thing about this issue of Young Justice that stands out to me is the art. Christopher Jones is a highly-skilled artist, showing flexibility when dealing with figure drawing and dexterity in the layout of his pages. His compositions are lively, and the backgrounds are simple, clean, and evocative. The color by Zac Atkinson makes the art even more energetic and even makes the drawings pop off the page. This is a good effect for scenes like the splash page (Page 2) and ¾ splash (Page 20).

The art by Jones and Atkinson is what really gives weight and depth to this story, which is written by Kevin Hopps and Greg Weismann, who are also writers on the “Young Justice” TV series. It is not that this is a bad story; it is just slight. This is the kind of story that can only exist as a full story when drawn by a comic book artist. In fact, if this story were drawn by an artist less talented than Christopher Jones, “Common Denominators” would not be much of a story. This is a comic book, and Jones’ kind of comic book art is what makes it fun to read.

B+

-----------------------------


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

DC COMICS

APR120240 BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #5 $3.99

FEB120256 BATMAN VS THE BLACK GLOVE DLX ED HC (RES) $29.99

APR120203 BATWOMAN #10 $2.99

APR120149 BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99

APR120152 BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 (OF 6) COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

APR120207 BIRDS OF PREY #10 $2.99

APR120234 BLUE BEETLE #10 $2.99

APR120174 CAPTAIN ATOM #10 $2.99

APR120208 CATWOMAN #10 $2.99

FEB120263 CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN OMNIBUS BY KIRBY HC $39.99

MAR120296 DARK KNIGHT RISES BANE 1/6 SCALE ICON STATUE $129.99

MAR120293 DARK KNIGHT RISES BANE BUST $80.00

MAR120298 DARK KNIGHT RISES BATMAN 1/6 SCALE ICON STATUE $129.99

MAR120295 DARK KNIGHT RISES BATMAN BUST $80.00

MAR120297 DARK KNIGHT RISES CATWOMAN 1/6 SCALE ICON STATUE $129.99

MAR120294 DARK KNIGHT RISES CATWOMAN BUST $80.00

APR120175 DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #10 $2.99

APR120296 DOMINIQUE LAVEAU VOODOO CHILD #4 (MR) $2.99

APR120281 FABLES #118 (MR) $2.99

MAR120253 FIRST WAVE TP $24.99

MAR120244 FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE TP VOL 01 WAR MONSTERS $14.99

APR120214 GREEN LANTERN CORPS #10 $2.99

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MAR120279 HELLBLAZER TP VOL 03 THE FEAR MACHINE NEW ED (MR) $24.99

APR128194 JUSTICE LEAGUE BATMAN ACTION FIGURE WAVE 2 PI

APR120238 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #10 $2.99

APR120272 MAD MAGAZINE #516 $5.99

APR120209 NIGHTWING #10 $2.99

APR120210 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #10 $2.99

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APR120188 SUPERGIRL #10 $2.99

APR120295 UNWRITTEN #38 (MR) $2.99

APR120172 WONDER WOMAN #10 $2.99

APR120271 YOUNG JUSTICE #17 $2.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

MARVEL COMICS

APR120719 ALPHA FLIGHT COMPLETE SERIES BY PAK AND LENTE TP (RES) $29.99

APR120718 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN MOVIE PRELUDE TP $9.99

APR120665 ASTONISHING X-MEN #51 $3.99

APR120584 AVENGERS ACADEMY #32 AVX $2.99

APR128104 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #1 (OF 12) 4TH PTG CHEUNG VAR AVX (PP #102 $3.99

APR128105 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #2 (OF 12) 4TH PTG CHEUNG VAR AVX (PP #102 $3.99

APR120575 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6 (OF 12) AVX $3.99

APR120612 AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #8 ENDS $3.99

APR120681 CASANOVA AVARITIA #4 (OF 4) (MR) $4.99

APR120652 DAREDEVIL #14 $2.99

APR120599 DARK AVENGERS #176 $2.99

APR120621 DARK TOWER GUNSLINGER MAN IN BLACK #1 (OF 5) $3.99

APR120705 FEAR ITSELF FEARLESS PREM HC $34.99

APR120638 HULK #54 $2.99

APR120698 INCREDIBLE HULK BY JASON AARON HC VOL 01 $34.99

APR120647 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #519 $3.99

APR120709 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN PREM HC VOL 09 DEMON $19.99

APR120636 JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #640 $2.99

APR120661 MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS EARTHS HEROES #3 $2.99

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MAR128290 SILVER SURFER REBIRTH OF THANOS TP NEW PTG (PP #1023) $24.99

APR120710 SPIDER-MAN TROUBLE ON HORIZON PREM HC $19.99

APR128107 SPIDER-MEN #1 (OF 5) 2ND PTG CHEUNG VAR (PP #1024) $3.99

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APR120589 UNCANNY X-MEN #14 AVX $3.99

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APR120707 WOLVERINE BACK IN JAPAN PREM HC $24.99

APR120674 X-FACTOR #238 $2.99

APR120730 X-MAN MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH TP $34.99

APR120723 X-MEN X-CLUB TP $16.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

IDW PUBLISHING

FEB120400 BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 05 LTD SGN ED $50.00

APR120384 ETERNAL DESCENT VOL 2 #5 (OF 6) $3.99

APR120329 GHOSTBUSTERS ONGOING #10 $3.99

APR120331 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN TREASURY ED $9.99

APR120372 GODZILLA LEGENDS TP $19.99

APR120370 GODZILLA ONGOING #2 $3.99

APR120402 ILLUSTRATED MASQUES TP $19.99

MAR120396 LOVECRAFT LIBRARY HC VOL 02 CALL OF CTHULHU & OTHER TALES $16.99

APR120379 MAGIC THE GATHERING TP VOL 01 $17.99

APR120315 MARS ATTACKS #1 $3.99

APR120317 MARS ATTACKS BOXED SET #1 $199.95

APR120318 MARS ATTACKS CLASSICS TP VOL 01 $19.99

MAR120382 MEMORIAL #6 (OF 6) $3.99

APR120375 NEXT MEN AFTERMATH #44 $3.99

MAR120394 RIO HC $49.99

APR120334 SNAKE EYES & STORM SHADOW #14 $3.99

APR128111 STAR TREK TNG DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION #1 2ND PTG (PP #1025) $3.99

APR120365 TMNT MICRO SERIES #5 SPLINTER $3.99

APR120326 TRUE BLOOD ONGOING #2 $3.99

APR120404 X-9 SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN HC VOL 04 $49.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

DARK HORSE COMICS

APR120022 ALABASTER WOLVES #3 (OF 5) $3.50
FEB120032 ANGEL & FAITH TP VOL 01 LIVE THROUGH THIS $17.99
APR120026 BALTIMORE DR LESKOVARS REMEDY #1 (OF 2) STENBECK CVR $3.50
APR120023 BPRD HELL ON EARTH DEVILS ENGINE #2 (OF 3) $3.50
APR120013 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #13 NOTO CVR $7.99
APR120014 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #13 SEELEY VAR CVR $7.99
FEB120076 DRAGON AGE II PLAYING CARDS (RES) $4.99
FEB120058 GANTZ TP VOL 23 $12.99
APR120028 RAGEMOOR #4 $3.50
FEB120055 SILVER STREAK ARCHIVES ORIGINAL DAREDEVIL HC VOL 01 $59.99
APR120038 STAR WARS DARTH VADER GHOST PRISON #2 (OF 5) $3.50
APR120039 STAR WARS DAWN O/T JEDI #5 FORCE STORM $3.50

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

IMAGE COMICS

APR120530 CHEW #27 2ND HELPING ED (MR) $2.99

APR120533 DARKNESS #104 (MR) $2.99

DEC110550 ELEPHANTMEN #40 (MR) $3.99

APR120537 GLORY #27 $2.99

APR120538 GRIM LEAPER #2 (OF 4) (MR) $3.50

APR128198 HARDCORE #1 2ND PTG $2.99

APR120442 LIBERTY MEADOWS SUNDAY COLL HC BOOK 01 $24.99

MAR120436 LOS ANGELES INK STAINS TP VOL 01 (MR) $29.99

JAN120596 NANCY IN HELL ON EARTH #3 (OF 4) (MR) $2.99

APR120549 NEAR DEATH #9 $2.99

APR120554 REBEL BLOOD #4 (OF 4) (MR) $3.50

FEB120518 REED GUNTHER #10 $2.99

APR120555 SAGA #4 (MR) $2.99

APR120462 SPAWN ORIGINS TP VOL 15 $14.99

APR120563 WALKING DEAD #99 (MR) $2.99

MAR120527 WITCHBLADE #152 TOP COW STORE EX VAR $10.00

Comics and Magazines from Diamond Distributors for June 20 2012

COMICS

APR128386 HIGHER EARTH #2 MAIN CVRS $3.99

APR120953 ADVENTURE TIME #1 ECCC EXCLUSIVE CVR $9.99

APR120950 ADVENTURE TIME #5 $3.99

APR120818 ATLAS UNIFIED #2 (RES) $2.99

MAR121100 BLOODY MONDAY GN VOL 06 $10.99

AUG111088 BUCK ROGERS IN 25TH CENTURY SUNDAYS HC VOL 02 1933-1937 $75.00

FEB121094 BUCKAROO BANZAI NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO HC $49.99

FEB121095 BUCKAROO BANZAI RETURN OF THE SCREW HC $39.99

APR120763 CAVEWOMAN BUNNY RANCH BUDD ROOT SP ED PI

OCT111222 COMP FLASH GORDON LIBRARY HC VOL 01 ON PLANET MONGO $39.95

APR120871 CRITTER (ONGOING) #1 $3.50

APR120842 CROSSED BADLANDS #8 (MR) $3.99

APR120844 CROSSED BADLANDS #8 TORTURE CVR (MR) $3.99

APR120843 CROSSED BADLANDS #8 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99

APR121039 DEJAH THORIS & WHITE APES OF MARS #3 (MR) $3.99

MAR121246 DEVIL & HER LOVE SONG GN VOL 03 $9.99

FEB121040 DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 03 NOON INFERNO GULCH $29.99

FEB121142 DROW TALES TP VOL 01 MOONLESS AGE (MR) $12.95

FEB120973 DYNAMITE ART OF ALEX ROSS HC SIGNED & REMARKED $199.99

MAR121103 FAIRY TAIL GN VOL 19 $10.99

APR121332 GFT ANGEL ONESHOT A CVR DEBALFO (MR) $5.99

APR121333 GFT ANGEL ONESHOT B CVR PHOTO (MR) $5.99

MAR121106 GHOST IN SHELL STAND ALONE COMPLEX GN VOL 03 (MR) $10.99

MAR121104 GON GN KODANSHA ED VOL 06 $10.99

MAR120944 GREEN HORNET TP VOL 04 RED HAND $19.99

APR121221 HERO PETZ GN $8.99

MAR121253 HOUSE OF FIVE LEAVES TP VOL 07 $12.99

APR120739 INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #5 (MR) $6.49

MAR121177 INTO THE VOLCANO SC $12.99

MAR121007 JIM BUTCHER DRESDEN FILES FOOL MOON #6 (RES) $3.99

NOV111097 JOHNNY RED HC VOL 02 RED DEVIL RISING $19.95

MAR121255 JORMUNGAND GN VOL 09 (MR) $12.99

MAR121171 JUDGE DREDD DIGEST TP CURSED EARTH SAGA $11.00

MAR121172 JUDGE DREDD DIGEST TP DAY THE LAW DIED $11.00

MAR120968 JUNGLE GIRL OMNIBUS TP $29.99

FEB120737 KADE MOURNING SUN GN (MR) $14.95

MAR121251 KAMISAMA KISS TP VOL 09 $9.99

APR121315 KOBATO GN VOL 06 (OF 6) $11.99

NOV110704 KUNG FU PANDA #6 (OF 6) $3.99

MAR121004 LAST PHANTOM TP VOL 02 JUNGLE RULES $19.99

MAR121008 LIVING CORPSE EXHUMED TP $19.99

FEB121158 LOST DOGS GN (MR) $9.95

MAR121070 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 01 (NEW PTG) (MAY083866) $14.99

APR121088 MARATHON GN $16.99

MAR120972 MERCILESS RISE OF MING #2 $3.99

APR121091 MESKIN OUT OF THE SHADOWS TP $26.99

FEB121038 NEW YORK MON AMOUR HC (MR) $19.99

MAR121242 NURA RISE O/T YOKAI CLAN GN VOL 09 $9.99

SEP111127 PHANTOM COMP DAILIES HC VOL 04 1940-1943 $60.00

APR120927 PLANET OF THE APES #15 $3.99

APR120784 RAMIEL WRATH OF GOD #3 (MR) $3.99

MAR121001 RED SONJA TP VOL 10 MACHINES OF EMPIRE $19.99

OCT110788 RICHIE RICH #6 $3.99

MAR121209 ROBERT JORDAN EYE OF THE WORLD HC VOL 02 $24.99

APR120958 ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #5 ECCC EXCLUSIVE CVR $9.99

APR120957 ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #9 $3.99

APR121182 SECRET HISTORY OF DB COOPER #4 $3.99

APR121003 SHADOW #3 $3.99

APR120882 SIMPSONS COMICS #191 $2.99

MAR121243 SLAM DUNK GN VOL 22 $9.99

MAR120767 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ARCHIVES TP VOL 18 $7.99

APR120828 SOULFIRE PRIMER #1 CVR A TURNER $1.00

APR121316 SUNSHINE SKETCH TP VOL 06 $11.99

MAR120899 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #74 DLX ED (MR) $19.99

MAR120722 TEAM CUL DE SAC HC $29.99

MAR121088 TRINITY GRAPHIC HISTORY OF FIRST ATOMIC BOMB GN $22.00

FEB120739 TRUMAN VIRUS GN (MR) $14.95

MAR121267 UNFORGIVING #5 $3.99

MAR120960 VAMPIRELLA VS DRACULA #5 $3.99

MAR121258 VOLTRON FORCE GN VOL 02 $7.99

FEB121196 WE WERE THERE GN VOL 14 $9.99

APR121318 WITCH & WIZARD MANGA GN VOL 02 $12.99

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APR128197 X-O MANOWAR (ONGOING) #1 2ND PTG WRAP CVR (PP #1025) $3.99

MAGAZINES
FEB121244 COMIC HEROES MAGAZINE #12 $18.99
APR121400 FANGORIA #315 $9.99
JAN121421 G FAN #99 $6.95
APR121354 JUXTAPOZ #138 JUL 2012 $5.99
APR121432 LOCUS #617 $6.95
APR121439 STAR WARS INSIDER #134 NEWSSTAND ED $7.99
APR121440 STAR WARS INSIDER #134 PX ED $7.99
FEB121309 VIDEO WATCHDOG #168 (MR) $8.95

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Leroy's Yaoi Review: Honey Darling

HONEY DARLING
SUBLIME

CARTOONIST: Norikazu Akira
TRANSLATION: Christine Dashiell
LETTERING: Sabrina Heep
ISBN: 978-1-4215-4343-7; paperback; Rated “M” for “Mature”
194pp, B&W, $12.99 U.S., $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK

Norikazu Akira is the creator of such manga Beast & Feast, Heart Strings, and Twin’s Labyrinth. SuBLime, a new global yaoi/boys’ love publisher that has partnered with VIZ Media, recently published an English-language edition of Norikazu Akira’s Honey Darling.

For those that don’t know, boys’ love (abbreviated as “BL”) manga is a comic book that features romance between male characters. “Yaoi manga” is a subset of BL that usually depicts explicit sex. Honey Darling is a stand-alone, yaoi graphic novel that tells the story of an idle young man whose rescue of a kitten brings him purpose and maybe love.

The focus of Honey Darling is Chihiro Takahashi, a young man who drifts through life with no purpose. One evening, shortly after leaving work, Chihiro finds an abandoned kitten in a box. Initially reluctant, he rescues the female kitten and names her Shiro. She becomes his surrogate daughter, and soon, he couldn’t imagine his life without her.

One evening, he arrives home to discover that Shiro has fallen ill. While searching aimlessly for an animal hospital, Chihiro runs into Daisuke Kumazawa, a local veterinarian who takes Shiro into his care. Watching Dr. Kumazawa in action, Chihiro realizes that he would like to work in a vet clinic. The good doctor hires him to work at Kumazawa Pet Clinic, but he also needs a live-in housekeeper. Soon, Chihiro has a new home, double-duty at the clinic and in Kumazawa’s home. But living with the handsome vet makes Chihiro feel really strange inside. Is this love?

Creator Norikazu Akira tells the story of Chihiro Takahashi and Daisuke Kumazawa (and Shiro, of course) over the course of a seven-chapter serial entitled, “Animal.” Individually, they read quite well, with each short story having a solid beginning, middle, and end. Collected as the graphic novel, Honey Darling, the offers the reader a chance to savor a slow building love story that is built around romantic cliffhangers accentuated with flower tones and effects.

Chihiro Takahashi is an especially likeable character, a sort of lovelorn, girlish, yet somewhat masculine man. Daisuke Kumazawa is a bit aloof, perhaps too aloof, which comes across in the story; I found that I sometimes could not warm to him. Shiro the kitten is a scene-stealer, almost turning this boys’ love manga into a cat manga.

Honey Darling is cute and charming and goes down like a cup of hot cocoa, but this is not a love story as empty calories. The romance does hit many bumpy moments – enough to keep the reader interested. Norikazu Akira saves the best, the hot sex, for last, and boy, is it hot. The passion is, however, a nice payoff for the patient reader, and Honey Darling will make for a happy reader.

A-

SuBLimeManga.com


Buy Honey Darling (Yaoi Manga)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

SuBLime Debuts "Honey Darling" and "Three Wolves Mountain"

GLOBAL YAOI/BOYS’ LOVE MANGA PUBLISHER SuBLime DEBUTS FIRST PRINT RELEASES WITH “HONEY DARLING” AND “THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN”

Bold Yaoi/Boys’ Love Manga Publisher Releases Two Acclaimed New Titles This June

SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), delivers its first pair of print editions with the worldwide debuts of HONEY DARLING, by Norikazu Akira, and THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN, by Bohra Naono. Both new manga (graphic novel) are available now, are rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers, and carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

Digital versions are available worldwide in a download-to-own format for $5.99 each from http://www.sublimemanga.com/, are viewable as a PDF on any enabled eReader device or computer, and also may be accessed via the online manga viewer found on the web site.

HONEY DARLING by Norikazu Akira • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN • Available Now!

Chihiro drifts through life with no purpose, going from girl to girl, until one day he finds an abandoned kitten in a box. He quickly falls in love with little Shiro and couldn’t imagine his life without her. One evening, Chihiro finds Shiro has fallen ill. While searching aimlessly for an animal hospital, he runs into Kumazawa, a local vet who takes Shiro into his care. Watching Kumazawa in action, Chihiro realizes he wishes to learn the value of life and asks Kumazawa to consider hiring him at the vet clinic. Kumazawa agrees, but only if Chihiro serves as his live-in housekeeper. Has Chihiro finally found his purpose in life, or will living with the handsome vet be a little too much to handle?

Norikazu Akira is also the creator of the manga series Twin’s Labyrinth, Heart Strings, and Beast & Feast.

THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN by Bohra Naono • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • MSRP: $12.99 US / $14.99 CAN • Available Now!

Way up in the mountains, far from any major cities or towns, Kaya Susugi runs a small café by day and guards a haunted cemetery by night. Then, one night, he comes across werewolf brothers Taro and Jiro. Cheerful but klutzy younger brother Jiro quickly falls head over heels for the capable loner Kaya. What results is a dive into the hot, tail-twitching delight of werewolf mating season!

Bohra Naono has created over 20 manga series, some of which have been adapted into drama CDs. She has also published “doujinshi” (independent comics) under the pen name of “NAIFU.” THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN is Bohra Naono's second English-language release, with her first being Yokai's Hunger.

“The summer heats up in a sexy way with our publication of THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN and HONEY DARLING in June,” says Jennifer LeBlanc, Editor, SuBLime. “THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN creator Bohra Naono is one of the most requested creators among yaoi fans. In THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN, readers will learn of all the strange things that go bump in the night at a foreboding cemetery as well as the love that binds two people together – even if one of them is a werewolf! HONEY DARLING is also not to be missed with its heartwarming tale of an unlikely love between a vet and his live-in housekeeper.”

For up-to-date news and release information, please visit the SuBLime website at http://www.sublimemanga.com/, or follow SuBLime on Twitter at @SuBLimeManga and Facebook at facebook.com/SuBLimeManga.


About SuBLime
SuBLime is a global yaoi/boys’ love manga publisher, and is a partnership between VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate). This bold, global publishing initiative will present English-speaking fans everywhere with a broad selection of high quality titles. SuBLime will offer titles digitally worldwide available at www.SuBLimeManga.com, with many available in Download-to-Own format, and selections in print also available in English-language editions worldwide.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carl Gibson's Open Letter to Democrats

Get Left or Be Left
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

09 June 12

Reader Supported News Perspective

An open letter to Democratic Party leaders.

Dear Democratic Party leaders,

Your lackluster 2012 recall performance in Wisconsin reminded me of another lackluster performance I saw in Mississippi in 2010.

At a local bar's karaoke night in downtown Jackson, a dopey-looking middle-aged man in a jet-black toupee sang "Gimme All Your Lovin" by ZZ Top, drunkenly and off-key, to a group of young women at a nearby table. He was really getting into it until he stumbled off of the stage, knocked over their drinks, and spilled beer all over himself. The music stopped, and the women started laughing at him instead of with him. He sat by himself in the back of the room for the rest of the night. That was the second most painful thing I've ever watched.

The most painful thing I ever watched was when Tom Barrett got his ass handed to him by a proto-fascist governor who ran on punishing working families to reward his wealthy campaign donors with the salaries of public servants. This happened despite massive populist protests in Madison, an army of volunteers getting 1,000,000 recall signatures in the dead of winter and tirelessly knocking on over 1,000,000 doors leading up to the election, and his opponent's brand being associated with corruption. Despite what should have been a slam-dunk at a time when the far right is losing the battle of public opinion, Barrett's recall attempt fell flat on its face.

The Dems lost to Walker but took back the Senate, so I don't blame the unions or the volunteers. I don't even fully blame Wisconsin's shameless corporate-owned media, Super PACs, Citizens United, or Scott Walker's campaign war chest. Rather, Democratic Party leaders simply ignored and dismissed the powerful economic populist narrative that united the world around the Wisconsin State Capitol and Wall Street Occupations of 2011, and proved how out of touch they are with the 99 percent.

President Obama and DNC leadership treated the Wisconsin recall like a statewide race that didn't have national significance and put it on the backburner while the president campaigned for himself in neighboring states. But the RNC and their fascist wing, the Tea Party, outsmarted you in Wisconsin, so their multi-state class war will continue unabated, and perhaps even exacerbated. You'll continue to get pounded until you nominate and fundraise for candidates that are as far to the left as Scott Walker is to the right. I'm talking the kind of candidates who make stump speeches in the same vein of anti-robber-baron populism as FDR in 1934, or Martin Luther King in 1968.

Even British media smelled the stink of your failure in Wisconsin, calling out Clinton and Barrett for their milquetoast, plain-vanilla pitch to crucial voters at a crucial campaign stop. When your opponents actively seek to crush working families and the institutions that protect them, you don't energize those workers by telling them you'll work hand-in-hand with their oppressors. Wisconsin voters didn't force a recall to seek consensus with Republicans. They forced a recall to make a statement against a corrupt Republican regime that cares more about punishing its political enemies than serving the public interest.

Even though Blue Dog Democrat Tom Barrett lost handily to Scott Walker in 2010, establishment leaders still tapped him as the nominee for the recall election. Answer this: Why would the same guy, saying the same things, somehow have a different result against the same opponent he already lost to not even two years beforehand? Would it have killed you to nominate a woman, a person of color, someone younger than sixty, or at the very least, someone who doesn't wear the same color tie as his opponent? Why did you have to pick a boring white male career politician to challenge another boring white male career politician in a historic recall attempt?

Scott Walker made a mockery of the Badger State by ruling as the manager of the Midwest subsidiary for Koch Industries instead of serving as the Governor of Wisconsin. He proudly replaced union workers with prison labor, and oversaw the loss of over 30,000 jobs while middle class wages decreased and corporate profits have never been higher. Democrats chose instead to play defense to Walker's lies.

Even though corporate tax collections in Wisconsin are lower than the national average, Democratic Party leaders never forced the conversation about all the millions of dollars wasted on corporate tax breaks and subsidies that only exacerbated the jobs crisis in Wisconsin, growing wealth inequality, or the troublesome Orwellian police state Wisconsin Republicans gleefully brought about by arresting silent protesters in the Assembly gallery. In a state as polarized as Wisconsin, that type of rhetoric is exactly what was needed to motivate and energize the base. President Obama polled better than Barrett in Wisconsin: if he made good on his promise to put on his walking shoes and march like he said he would when collective bargaining was under attack, or if he used his presidential bully pulpit to oppose Walker's class war, if he did anything more than tweet for Barrett on election day, it may have made the difference.

People like those who run the DNC are the same reason my generation hates Democrats just as much as we hate Republicans, and why we're so turned off by the electoral process. You want votes from young, energetic 21st-century citizens? Stop running old and tired 20th-century candidates and 20th-century messaging. Leave the leadership up to the young leaders who haven't forgotten how to organize for meaningful change.

In the meantime, labor leaders should defy the outdated Taft-Hartley law and call for a nationwide general strike in the wake of the Democrats' recall flop. If the 1 percent is determined to wage class war, let's fight back. It's time to lead the Democrats where we want to go, instead of waiting for them to lead us.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at carl@rsnorg.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, at blogtalkradio.com/swag-the-dog.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Bleach: Heart

I read Bleach, Vol. 41 (Bleach (Graphic Novels))

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin (which has free comics).


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

DC COMICS

MAR120308 AME COMI BLACK FLASH PVC FIGURE (RES) $70.00

APR120283 AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #1 (OF 5) (MR) $2.99

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APR120241 BATMAN ARKHAM UNHINGED #3 $2.99

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FEB120246 BATWOMAN HC VOL 01 HYDROLOGY $22.99

APR120143 BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #1 (OF 4) (MR) $3.99

APR120146 BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #1 (OF 4) COMBO PACK (MR) $4.99

MAR120249 BIRDS OF PREY TP VOL 01 END RUN $14.99

APR120268 DC COMICS PRESENTS SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #1 $7.99

APR120228 DEATHSTROKE #10 $2.99

APR120225 DEMON KNIGHTS #10 $2.99

APR120222 FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #10 $2.99

APR120211 GREEN LANTERN #10 $2.99

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MAR120309 GREEN LANTERN ANIMATED SER ATROCITUS MAQUETTE (RES) $125.00

APR120266 GREEN LANTERN THE ANIMATED SERIES #3 $2.99

APR120229 GRIFTER #10 $2.99

MAR120254 JUSTICE TP $29.99

APR120237 LEGION LOST #10 $2.99

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APR120233 RAVAGERS #2 $2.99

APR120224 RESURRECTION MAN #10 $2.99

APR120291 SAUCER COUNTRY #4 (MR) $2.99

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FEB120309 SUPERMAN PATINA MINI STATUE (RES) $95.00

MAR120269 TINY TITANS GROWING UP TINY TP $12.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

MARVEL COMICS

APR120609 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #687 ENDS $3.99

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APR120614 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN MOVIE #2 $2.99

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APR120702 AVENGING SPIDER-MAN PREM HC FRIENDS BEAT UP YOUR FRIENDS $24.99

APR120567 AVX VS #3 (OF 6) $3.99

APR120721 BATTLE SCARS TP $16.99

APR120624 CAPTAIN AMERICA #13 $3.99

APR120622 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND HAWKEYE #632 $2.99

APR120699 CARNAGE USA HC $24.99

JAN120736 CLOAK DAGGER CRIME PUNISHMENT PREM HC $29.99

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APR120733 ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 11 $19.99

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APR120675 X-MEN #30 $3.99

APR120585 X-MEN LEGACY #268 AVX $2.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

IDW PUBLISHING

APR120336 COBRA ONGOING #14 $3.99
APR120382 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CLASSICS TP VOL 03 $24.99
APR120322 KISS #1 $3.99
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APR120364 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES COLOR CLASSICS #2 $3.99
APR120367 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO SERIES TP VOL 01 $17.99
APR120357 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE TP VOL 01 $19.99
APR120360 TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE ONGOING #6 $3.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

DARK HORSE COMICS

APR120019 BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #10 JEANTY VAR CVR $2.99
APR120018 BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #10 NOTO CVR $2.99
APR120032 CONAN THE BARBARIAN #5 $3.50
APR120008 MASSIVE #1 WOOD CVR $3.50
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APR120036 STAR WARS KNIGHT ERRANT ESCAPE #1 (OF 5) CARRE CVR $3.50
APR120029 STRAIN #5 (OF 12) (MR) $3.50

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

IMAGE COMICS

FEB120494 ALPHA GIRL #3 (MR) $2.99
MAR120477 BULLETPROOF COFFIN DISINTERRED #5 (OF 6) (MR) $3.99
APR128084 DANCER #1 2ND PTG $3.50
APR120531 DANCER #2 $3.50
APR128085 DANGER CLUB #2 2ND PTG $2.99
MAR120488 INVINCIBLE #92 $2.99
APR128086 MANHATTAN PROJECTS #3 2ND PTG $3.50
APR120546 MIND THE GAP #2 CVR A $2.99
APR120547 MIND THE GAP #2 CVR B FRANCAVILLA $2.99
FEB120453 MYSTERIOUS WAYS TP $19.99
APR120441 ORC STAIN TP VOL 01 (MAY100457) (MR) $17.99
APR120419 PLANETOID #1 $2.99
APR128195 SAGA #1 5TH PTG (MR) $2.99
APR128087 SAGA #3 2ND PTG (MR) $2.99
APR120558 SKULLKICKERS #15 $3.50
APR128088 THIEF OF THIEVES #1 4TH PTG $2.99
APR128089 THIEF OF THIEVES #2 4TH PTG $2.99
APR128090 THIEF OF THIEVES #3 4TH PTG $2.99
APR128091 THIEF OF THIEVES #4 3RD PTG $2.99

Comics and Magazines from Diamond Distributors for June 13 2012

COMICS

FEB121136 2000 AD #1779 $5.25

FEB121137 2000 AD #1780 $5.25

MAR121164 2000 AD #1781 $5.25

MAR121244 ARATA THE LEGEND TP VOL 10 $9.99

APR121179 BAD MEDICINE #1 REG ED $3.99

APR121180 BAD MEDICINE #2 $3.99

MAR121011 BAD TEACHERS EQUATION GN VOL 04 (OF 5) (MR) $19.95

MAR120759 BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #202 $3.99

MAR121250 BLACK BIRD GN VOL 14 $9.99

FEB120700 BOY WHO MADE SILENCE GN (MR) $22.99

APR121020 BOYS #67 (MR) $3.99

APR121021 BOYS TP VOL 11 OVER THE HILL W/T SWORDS OF A THOUSAND MEN $19.99

MAR120718 CAVEWOMAN 2008 HEROES SIGNED SKETCHBOOK (MR) PI

FEB120728 CAVEWOMAN BUNNY RANCH ONE SHOT $3.75

APR120856 CROSSED BADLANDS #4 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

JAN120807 DARK AXIS RISE O/T OVERMEN TP (MR) $14.99

MAR121248 DAWN OF THE ARCANA TP VOL 04 $9.99

MAR121034 DF SHADOW #2 EXC CHAYKIN LINE ART CVR $14.99

APR120857 DICKS COLOR ED #5 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) $3.99

APR120858 DICKS COLOR ED #5 OFFENSIVE CVR (MR) $3.99

MAR121042 DOG X CAT GN VOL 03 (A) $15.95

FEB120974 DYNAMITE ART OF ALEX ROSS HC SIGNED ED $69.99

MAR121247 EARL AND FAIRY GN VOL 02 $9.99

APR120896 ELRIC THE BALANCE LOST TP VOL 02 $14.99

APR121160 FAIRY TALES OF OSCAR WILDE HC LTD SGN ED VOL 05 $50.00

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FEB120781 FATHOM VOL 4 #6 CVR B GUNNELL $3.50

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APR121331 GRIMM FAIRY TALES ANNUAL 2012 B CVR SEJIC (MR) $5.99

MAR121190 HONEY DARLING GN (MR) $12.99

FEB121096 HONEY WEST #6 (RES) $3.99

MAR120858 INCORRUPTIBLE #30 $3.99

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MAR121245 KEKKAISHI GN VOL 32 $9.99

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MAR121096 KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #187 $5.99

APR120970 LADY DEATH ORIGINS CURSED #3 (OF 3) (MR) $3.99

APR120971 LADY DEATH ORIGINS CURSED #3 (OF 3) SULTRY CVR (MR) $3.99

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MAR120743 LOST GIRL GN (ARCANA) (MR) $14.95

APR121209 LOXLEYS AND THE WAR OF 1812 HC $19.99

MAR120744 LUCAS GN (MR) $14.95

MAR120766 MEGA MAN #14 $2.99

APR120996 PANTHA #1 $3.99

DEC111084 PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 05 1945-1946 $29.99

MAR120999 RED SONJA WITCHBLADE #4 $3.99

SEP110729 RICHIE RICH #5 $3.99

MAR121252 SAKURA HIME LEGEND OF PRINCESS SAKURA GN VOL 08 $9.99

MAR121010 SAME DIFFERENCE GN (MR) $12.95

APR120798 SECRET HISTORY BOOK 20 (MR) $5.95

JAN120825 SIEGFRIED HC VOL 01 (RES) $24.95

APR121181 SIXTH GUN #23 $3.99

APR120886 SPONGEBOB COMICS #9 $2.99

APR120935 STEED AND MRS PEEL #6 (OF 6) $3.99

MAR120794 STITCHED #5 (MR) $3.99

MAR120795 STITCHED #5 GORE CVR (MR) $3.99

MAR120796 STITCHED #5 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99

FEB120701 TALES FROM THE CLOCKWORK EMPIRE GN $17.99

APR121059 THE LONE RANGER #6 $3.99

APR120999 THE SPIDER #2 $3.99

MAR121191 THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN GN (MR) $12.99

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FEB120930 VAMPIRELLA #18 $3.99

APR121052 VOLTRON YEAR ONE #3 $3.99

MAR120904 WAR GODDESS #8 (MR) $3.99

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JAN121045 WARLORD OF MARS #18 (MR) $3.99

FEB120928 WARRIORS OF MARS #3 (MR) $3.99

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FEB121243 CLASSIC MARVEL FIG COLL MAG #174 ARACHNE $14.00
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MAR121344 DR WHO MAGAZINE #447 $8.99
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APR121427 SUPERNATURAL MAGAZINE #33 PX ED $9.99
MAR121870 WHITE DWARF #389 PI

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Reads You Review: ROCKETEER ADVENTURES VOL. 2 #3

ROCKETEER ADVENTURES VOL. 2 #3
IDW PUBLISHING

WRITERS: David Lapham, Kyle Baker, Matt Wagner
ARTISTS: Chris Sprouse, Kyle Baker, Eric Canete
INKS: Karl Story
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire, Eric Canete and Cassandra Poulson
LETTERS: Shawn Lee, Kyle Baker
PIN-UP: Eric Powell with Dave Stewart
EDITOR: Scott Dunbier
COVERS: Darwyn Cooke (A, C), Dave Stevens (B)
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S.

The Rocketeer is a comic book character created by artist and illustrator, Dave Stevens, who died in March of 2008. The Rocketeer is Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a mysterious jet pack that allows him to fly, and his adventures are set mainly in Los Angeles in and after the year 1938.

The Rocketeer returned to comic books in 2011 in Rocketeer Adventures. Edited by Scott Dunbier and published by IDW Publishing, this four-issue, anthology comic book was a tribute to Stevens and featured Rocketeer short stories (about 8 pages in length) from some of the premiere creators in American comic books. The tributes continue in Rocketeer Adventures Vol. 2.

Rocketeer Adventures Vol. 2 #3 opens with “Coulda Been…,” a story by David Lapham with art by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, that finds Cliff Second and his girlfriend, Betty Page, imagining what their lives could be like. In “Butch Saves Betty,” the brilliant cartoonist Kyle Baker introduces Cliff and company to a shadowy client. Then, writer Matt Wagner and artist Eric Canete take readers to the future for a “History Lesson.”

David Lapham is a popular comic book creator, but I wonder if people really appreciate what a good writer he is. I see him as a comic book scribe who can always put an imaginative twist on the character/ensemble drama. Read 30 Days of Night: 30 Days ‘Til Death; it could have been just another vampire comic book, but isn’t. His “Coulda Been…” shows why making comic book characters “grow up,” especially those grounded in fantasy, is a mistake. The reason is that when you make characters act like real-world adults that fundamentally changes those characters, sometimes to the point in which they become different from what they were originally. Another good thing about this story is that the artist is the talented and under-utilized Chris Sprouse.

There is nothing special about the other two stories, other than that Kyle Baker draws one of them. What is special is the pin-up by Eric Powell (with colors by Dave Stewart). I could stare at a Powell drawing for an hour and not consider that a waste of time.

B

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ray Bradbury Has Died

American science fiction and fantasy author, Ray Bradbury, died Tuesday, June 5 2012, at the age of 91.  I first encountered his work in the late 1970s in the form of a film based upon his book, The Illustrated Man, and a television miniseries based another book, The Martian Chronicles.  Over time, I encountered more films, television, and even comic books based upon Bradbury's work.  His novel, Fahrenheit 451, is one of my favorite novels.

This Associated Press article (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) has details on his life and career, including this tidbit:

Bradbury was so poor during those years that he didn't have an office or even a telephone. He wrote "Fahrenheit 451" at the UCLA library, on typewriters that rented for 10 cents a half hour. He said he carried a sack full of dimes and completed the book in nine days, at a cost of $9.80.

Although some academics doubted that account, saying he could not have created such a masterpiece in such a rapid, seemingly cavalier fashion, Bradbury maintained in several interviews with the AP over the years that that was exactly how he did it.

I won't put into words what his work meant to me, but I will say Rest in Peace, Mr. Bradbury.

Nura: Tono Monogatari

I read Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 9

I posted a review at the ComicBookBin (which has free comics).


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Reads You Review: STAR WARS: Darth Plagueis

STAR WARS: DARTH PLAGUEIS
DEL REY/BALLANTINE BOOKS

AUTHOR: James Luceno
COVER: Torstein Nordstrand
ISBN: 978-0-345-51128-7; hardcover
394pp, B&W, $27.00 U.S., $29.00 CAN

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis is a 2012 science fiction novel written by James Luceno and is set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The novel belongs to the “Rise of the Empire Era,” which is the one thousand year period before the events depicted in the original Star Wars film (1977), also known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis also takes place over the 35-period that leads into Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. However, of the last 30 pages of this novel, 22 pages transpire during the events depicted in The Phantom Menace and 8 pages occur immediately afterwards.

Darth Plagueis is the Sith Lord of legend mentioned by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker about mid-way through Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Now, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis tells the story of Darth Plagueis, one of the most brilliant Sith Lords ever to live. He is Hego Damask, a member of the powerful Banking Clan, and as an apprentice to the Dark Side, Damask embraced the ruthless ways of the Sith. After killing his master, Darth Tenebrous, however, Damask is determined to never suffer the same fate. He wants power over both life and death.

Using his vast financial resources, Damask plunges into wicked scientific research. He even meets the young man, Palpatine, scion of a noble family from the resource-rich planet of Naboo. Palpatine eventually becomes Plagueis’ apprentice, Darth Sidious, and the master sets his apprentice on course to one day rule the galactic government. In the meantime, Sidious is determined to learn the secrets of the Sith, the ones of which even Plagueis is unaware and also the ones his master wishes to keep from him. The ultimate goal of both Sith is the destruction of the Jedi Order, but this quest is a path fraught with peril as the traps they set for their enemies also threaten to ensnare them.

For me, Star Wars novels take the science fiction action and adventure of the films and transform that into riveting prose. That prose is supposed to help me mentally visualize something similar to what I’ve seen (countless times) in six Star Wars movies. James Luceno does not do that for me with Star Wars: Darth Plagueis; he wrote something different. I was initially disappointed, especially while reading the early chapters of the book, but like the father in that classic television series, Luceno knows best.

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis is a political novel. Call it a political thriller, a political conspiracy drama, or even a political character drama, but this novel is filled with backstage politicking, back-biting, back-stabbing, subterfuge, manipulation, political assassination, trumped-up wars, etc. In creating this kind of story, Luceno could not rely on X-Wing dogfights and space battles. He has to focus on characters, and so he fills this novel with an ensemble of engaging characters. They are the kind of sly and salty players that you will love even when you are thinking that you would like to put them to the lightsaber. Either Plagueis or Sidious alone could carry an entire novel, and despite what the title says, this novel is more about Sidious than it is about his master. To me, it is clear that Luceno loves Sidious, and it is hard not to love the man who would become Emperor of the known galaxy. Palpatine is the thinking man’s bastard: always plotting, surprisingly droll, witty and thoughtful, and always three steps ahead of everyone else.

Readers will be interested to know that we learn about the young Palpatine, which is his family’s surname, but we don’t learn his first name. The origin of Darth Maul is presented, and we see how Nute Gunray moved up the Trade Federation ladder. There are lots of other tidbits, but I leave that up to you, dear reader, to discover, because this book is worth reading. I will tell you, however, that Star Wars: Darth Plagueis is the Star Wars novel that takes you to the halls of power and to the places where secret deals are made. You’ll find blood on the floor, bodies around every corner, and a story that will grab you by the neck. Plus, there is some kind of creepy Anakin reveal that I’d rather not think about again. Go. Read.

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