Monday, October 29, 2007

New Comic Day - Halloweed Edition - 10/31/07

Welcome to the week of Halloween, in which what looks like a relatively short list contains some nasty surprises in the form of shock and horror at the cover prices I'm likely to pay.

BATMAN #670 $2.99
TRIALS OF SHAZAM #9 (OF 12) $2.99


That's right... apparently 66% of my expected comic purchases are going to be above and beyond the $2.99 mark.


Seven comics are expected to cost me about $30. That's just painful. I might decide to re-think the DC Halloween special, but I have to confess a couple of mitigating factors here:

First off, I love Halloween. I think it's the greatest holiday of the year, from a perspective of pure fun. Christmas is great for loved ones, and reminiscing over the past year (assuming you've got anything worth reminiscing about) but I've got to tell you... it doesn't hold a candle to Halloween for sheer fun.

Secondly, I love holiday-themed comics. I've bought every Marvel and DC Holiday special I've seen since 2004's Marvel Holiday Special which featured J. Jonah Jameson visited by three ghosts in the forms of Captain America, the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing, and everybody's favorite Wall-Crawler as the ghost of Christmas future. This Halloween special would have to be absolutely horrid NOT to get my money.

So, I'm prepared to suffer for my comics this week. I'm just hoping I don't have to suffer through them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Possibly The Coolest Thing Ever

Maybe the fact that I'm fairly new to comics explains why the simple math of Black Bolt + Mind Control = WMD hadn't ever occurred to me before but this image (taken from What If? Planet Hulk, now on sale where Marvel comics are sold) just struck me with awe.

Sentry? Power of a thousand exploding suns? Not much compared to Black Bolt trying to refuse to speak. Too bad his refusal was vocal, eh?

But seriously... What If? Planet Hulk is a great read, and I thoroughly recommend it. Aside from watching Caiera go all, well, for lack of a better word, Hulk on the Earth, there's an awesome story of what might have happened if the Hulk had landed on the peaceful planet Reed promised. And as near as I can tell, everything is written by Greg Pak, who in the past year and a half, has turned the Hulk into something truly great.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calling Danger Ace! Calling Danger Ace!

When I checked my mail this evening, I was thrilled to find my copy of Danger Ace #0 waiting for me. I've talked to Chad a bit about the 'Ace and I'm glad to say that the finished comic is a great read.

And on top of the story, also included are all of the submissions made for the Small Press Idol contest, and the corresponding Judge's commentaries.

While I'll admit that this is the only book I bought from Small Press Idol, I think it's a shame it didn't nab the top spot. The concept, setting and character relationships are a very refreshing change from most 'heroic' comics.

Thanks, Chad, for a good read!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Comic Day 10/24/07

Here's what I figure I'll be picking up tomorrow:

BLUE BEETLE #20 $2.99
ROBIN #167 $2.99
SUPERMAN #669 $2.99
TEEN TITANS #52 $2.99

DAREDEVIL #101 $2.99
SHE-HULK 2 #22 $2.99
X-MEN #204 $2.99
X-MEN DIE BY THE SWORD #2 (OF 5) $2.99

I'm unsure about this X-Men Die By the Sword thing. I mean, on the one hand it's tugging pretty hard on what's left of my fond memories of Exiles, before the series fell into mediocrity. And I did enjoy New Excalibur... while it lasted, that is. But I'm really thinking to myself... do I need to read this? The answer isn't really coming up 'yes'.

In the meantime, I'm working on page breakdowns for my Flashback Universe story. It's a new experience for me. And while I'm not entirely used to any portion of creating a comic book, at the very least there's a structure to plotting that lends a little comfort, and confidence that I'm heading in the right direction. But breakdowns are entirely new to me, and I haven't really found a guide to them. But so far the feedback I've gotten has been pretty decent so I think I'm doing okay there. And the whole process is much more enjoyable than my 'job' so score another one for me. And a round of thanks to Chad for helping me get a better grip on how the art side of a comic comes about.

Monday, October 22, 2007

For anybody who doesn't know...

I'm trying my hand at actually writing a comic book. Jim Shelly over at Flashback Universe has been good enough to let me try my hand with one or two of his characters. It's proving to be an adventure but I'm loving every minute of it.

I don't think it's much of a secret that my 'day' job is something that I can't really invest any of myself in which makes me happy to have the chance to contribute to the Flashback Universe.

Thanks, Jim!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something I'm a Bit Excited About

Anybody who's talked to me at any length about comics probably knows that I use a database program purchased off the Internet to help keep things in some semblence of order.

In fact, I try to submit my new comics to the online database, including plot summaries in order to help other folks adding books to their collections. They can just download issues from the database online straight into their own local copy of the database. Until now, this hasn't benefitted anybody who doesn't use the same database program.

Until now.

I was peeking in at the Comic Collector Connect website, which until recently just stored statistical information about the database when I noticed a search box on the left hand side. The online database is now searchable via the web. It's got credit and character listings, and if anyone has submitted it, the plot synopsis as well as cover art. For long-running series it looks like it's only showing the last 49 issues or so, but I still think it's pretty neat. Especially considering the odds are good that any plots you read were my submissions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My buddy Chad, at his new home, is musing that the mythical holiday of Wednesday sounds less of a sirens' call in his heart.

Wednesday, a mighty day, derived from Wotan's Day... Wotan being another spelling of Odin, the Allfather of the Norse pantheon. (Just as Thursday is derived from Thor's Day.) And how do we show praise and respect for the Allfather? We call it humpday.

Oh, and we buy comics.

New Comic day still feels to me like a small holiday you get once a week. You have to spend money, but the presents are all for you anyway. I love Wednesdays. They're an anchor for my week. (And when your working hours are completely fluid, I've learned that having one day that stays where it's put for another reason helps keep an objective measure of time.) I happen to note every Wednesday that passes, even if I can't make it to my local Comic Shoppe on that day. (If I can't, comic shopping becomes an errand of first opportunity.)

I hope Chad can find his Wednesday magic, but I can understand that as time marches on, bringing inevitable change that all magic fades. I hope he finds something nice waiting for him today. (Or whenever he makes it down to the Dragon.)

And as an addendum to my earlier speculations about my potential purchases, I wasn't aware that the Death of the New Gods was written by the Sterling Jim Starlin. As a man well acquainted with bringing stories of star-gods and cosmic doom I broke a personal vow to avoid anything that connected to Countdown even a little bit. And the first issue was pretty neat.

My condolences to MM for his loss.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Comic Day 10/17/07

CHECKMATE #19 $2.99
FABLES #66 (MR) $2.99
SHADOWPACT #18 $2.99

MARVEL ZOMBIES 2 #1 (OF 5) $2.99

I notice that the ratio of Marvel to DC stuff I've been buying has been increasing. This actually doesn't surprise me now as much as it would have a few months ago.

And worth noting, I just saw on Newsarama that Chuck Dixon is replacing Tony Bedard as the writer for the new Batman & The Outsiders title. This news alone may be enough to convince me to pick the first issue up when it hits.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Even A Blind Man Could See...

I recently got a little ragged on for not being personally acquainted with Mr. Matt Murdock, and his very good friend Mr. Frank Miller. Two noted Columbia comics bloggers took me to task for my ignorance of one of Marvel Comics' most notable set of books.

I had some familiarity with Frank's excellent work in superhero comics via The Dark Knight Returns and was also familiar with his recent... eccentricity regarding superhero comics as evidenced in All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder and The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

I'd heard from multiple sources just how good his run on Daredevil was. (It obviously launched his career, helping propel him to the point that he can pretty much do as he pleases.) But Daredevil had never really appealed to me. I'd thought about looking into the character, and Miller's work on the title, but it never seemed like an urgent thing. But I finally decided to give it a good look. After purchasing and devouring Miller's Born Again story, I decided to go big-time. I found an eBay auction of the Frank Miller/Klaus Janson Daredevil Omnibus, and scooped it up for a little more than half the list price.

I'm certainly not finished with the behemoth, but between it and Born Again, I think I'm starting to change my views on ol' Hornhead. It seems to me that one of the things I like about it is something that's fundamentally Marvel. In one issue, Daredevil has to deal with the Hulk. In this corner, eight hundred pounds of green muscle and rage. And in this corner, a blind man in a red suit. Let's have a clean fight, and no driving city busses into your opponent.

What I'm trying to illustrate here, is that Daredevil's got zero chance of taking the Hulk. None. Not on his very best day, even if it were also the Hulk's very worst. And yet, he refuses to give up, even though the end result is near death... even though he cheats and does in fact hit the Hulk with a city bus.

If this were a Batman story (and Batman is the closest DC analog I can come up with on the spur of the moment) Batman would approach the situation with self-assured confidence. He wouldn't falter, and ultimately there'd be no doubt of the outcome. Batman would find a way to outsmart or outmanuver the Hulk. My impression of most DC characters is that they're seldom outclassed, even the ones without powers. In a situation like this, I'd have very little doubt that Batman would fail and that undermines the storytelling a lot. Daredevil ultimately succeeds only because the Hulk realizes he's nearly killed someone who was trying to help him. I have trouble actually putting that one in the win column for Matt Murdock.

I'm enjoying these 'old' Daredevil stories so much, I think, because it genuinely feels like the outcome is less certain. Oh, sure, there are plenty of situations where I know Daredevil will come out on top... but throwing the Hulk in there helps to show that he's not prepared for everything.

I think I'm going to start looking into the current Daredevil stuff. But I'm definitely going to finish reading that Omnibus.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Comic Day 10/03/07

Well, here's what I anticipate trying to pick up next time I'm able to swing by ye olde Comic Shoppe. I'd be a bit more specific, but I have no clue what the rest of my work schedule looks like. I'm hoping to pick them up tomorrow.

NIGHTWING #137 $2.99

UNCANNY X-MEN #491 $2.99

Holy light week, Batman.

And incidentally... what's up with Cyborg Superman? The guy's been around for years now, and DC Editorial hasn't been able to come up with a better name for him? I'll admit, Hank Henshaw isn't really fear-inspiring... and it doesn't immediately hearken back to the Reign of the Supermen... but at least it's a bit more accurate, isn't it?

Flashback Universe has a Blog!

I doubt I'm telling anybody who doesn't somehow know of the coolness that is Jim Shelley's Flashback Universe. If somehow you don't, there is now a blog that can help illuminate you. There are some great people behind this new comics universe, and it's worth your time to check it out. It's free, so it's not like you can argue with the price.