Monthly Archives: July 2012

Aspen Comics Debuts 1st Super Hero Series

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Got a new preview for you. IDOLIZED #1

Writer: David Schwartz ­
Art: Micah Gunnell ­
Colors: David Curiel

This just in…Aspen Comics proudly presents their first ever super-hero series, Idolized!

What would a real world filled with superheroes look like? In this all-new series it gets ugly, as a young, girl-next door named Joule reveals her tortured past and her desperate attempt for revenge, all while auditioning in front of the cameras and judges of the hot new TV show “SuperHero Idol.”

Idolized begins here, as we experience the initial audition that will make Joule a household name in homes across America, and we begin to learn the secrets she is hiding may lead to her shocking downfall!

Written and created by David Schwartz, with gorgeous art by Micah Gunnell and David Curiel, and featuring a cover by the legendary Art Adams, and a photo cover starring Supermodel Rachel Clark, you won’t want to miss out on this innovative new series only from Aspen Comics.

Idolized #1 is in stores August 8th, 2012.

SWTOR Goes Free to Play

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Written by Megan LeRose

Today EA and BioWare Austin announced that their MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic will have a new Free-to-Play option. This option will be added to the game this fall.

Here is the full press release: “BioWare announced today that it will be expanding the story-driven, massively multiplayer online game Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ by adding a new Free-to-Play option this fall. This option will give players access to each of the eight iconic Star Wars character class storylines, all the way up to level 50, with certain restrictions*. Unlimited game access, including new higher-level game content and new features, will be made available through individual purchases or through a subscription option.

“Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic™ universe,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic added, “Since launch, we’ve been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community.”

What, Me Archie?

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Written by Charles Meier

I like to rip on Archie.  Not a lot, mind you–it’s probably not even in my top five sequential-art whipping-boys.  There’s just way too much to dislike about the comics industry to spend too much time making fun of a stupid little book about a ginger who must be packing some serious heat in the bathing-suit area to have so many hot girls lusting after him.  So my distaste for Archie is minor, though present nonetheless.

This is in all likelihood ludicrously unfair of me.  As I’ve stated before, the sum total of my experience with Archie amounts to one issue.  And while said book’s absoludicrous premise has made it something of an industry punchline, the thing is…it’s not really that bad.  In fact, it’s kinda good.  It’s Frank Castle is uncharacteristically sentimental, sure, but it’s better than anything Mike Baron ever managed.  Even people who set out to make fun of this thing nearly always admit it doesn’t suck.

Also, the series has become something of a progressive standard-bearer in the industry in recent years.  With the introduction of Kevin Keller, Archie has taken the plunge into the gay-rights issue and come out (heh heh) on the side of the angels, a far cry from the reactionary fundamentalism of the Spire Comics series.  I try not to let my personal leanings influence my comics reading (not that I often succeed), but it’s always nice to see stuff like this.

Weekly Beat Down- CM Punk, the Good Bad Guy?

Written by Christian Miller Oh man, another week has come and gone. That can only mean one thing….Monday Night Raw tonight! It is sure to be an insane one also, as not only is it the first post-1000 three-hour episode, but it also marks the beginning of some crazy stuff based off of what happened on Raw 1000. So according to Raw’s Twitter feed, the show will be opening up with WWE Champion CM Punk explaining his actions on last weeks Raw. In case you missed it, CM Punk ended the show last week via a thunderous GTS to the legendary The Rock after he ran in to save Cena when Big Show interrupted Punk and Cena’s title match (by the way, I called it…Cena was the first person to unsuccessfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract.) By doing so, CM Punk instantly turned heel. You can’t just do something like to The Rock and not be a bad guy. It makes me wonder though.  Clearly the WWE is trying to emulate the infamous “pipe bomb” that CM Punk dropped on June 27, 2011. Which is smart. That was in all honesty one of the best promos in the history of wrestling. CM Punk is an amazing and natural bad guy, and that promo proved it. 

Days of Future Past – Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

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Written by Amanda Pampuro 

Sometimes it is perfectly justifiable to judge a DVD by its cover. Take Riki-Oh: The story of Ricky, which just below orange WordArt boasts, “Includes the hilarious exploding head scene as featured on Comedy Central’s the Daily Show.” Yep, that about sums it up. However if you’ve only seen that clip, you’ve been missing out on the other 89 minutes of impaled hands, shredded limbs, and a good old wood plane across the face.

Based off of the manga by Masahiko Takajo and Saruwatari Tetsuya, Riki-Oh carries the animated feel to the screen, subjecting its characters to physics-defying feats of torture and an interlude of musical leaves. If Zelda were ever actually made into a movie, I could only enjoy it as directed by Lam Nai-choi’s over the top style, especially if Link were played by an actor as dreamy as Fan Siu-wong.

Although filmed in 1991 and set ten years into the future, Riki-Oh makes no grandiose predictions about the technological wonders of 2001. The film is set in a plain, white prison with muddied cars and crude video monitors. Even Riki’s superhuman strength comes from his training in the centuries old art of Chico. I doubt the writers intended to send the message that the greatest technology of the future would be man, but I still like the thought.

The Walking Dead #97-99 Reprinting

Don’t you just love comic news, especially when it’s about one of the best books on the market.

Deeming it “Landscape of the Dead”, The Walking Dead’s  ”Something to Fear” story arc issues #97-99 have been given a reprint and release date and some brand spanking new, large-scale cover art. The reprint covers, by series artist Charlie Adlard, will combine to find a large, landscape image of villain Negan and his now-infamous baseball bat, Lucille. You can find the reprints in stores on August 22nd.

As we mentioned last week, The Walking Dead #100 became the best-selling comic in fifteen years when it sold more than 380,000 copies in July.

A Thief in the Broad Daylight

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Written by Charles Meier

Chris Roberson just might be the bravest man in the business.  Not many people could have made the decision he did, walking away from a successful career at DC over ethical concerns to strike out on his own, while being open and honest about his motivations.  This decision, like any other, carries with it some very real consequences–his tenure with DC ended even sooner than he’d planned, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever work for them again, not that he minds.  Roberson would elaborate further on the motivation for his decision to leave DC in subsequent interviews, highlighting such issues as sloppy crediting and how, while not so openly larcenous, the mainstream comics industry hasn’t moved nearly as far away from their sweatshop beginnings as they should have in the intervening seven decades.

Roberson has received numerous offers from other publishers in the days since; however, he’s opted to take things a step further, returning to his roots in independent publishing with the launch of Monkeybrain Comics this month.  Co-founded with his wife Allison Baker, Monkeybrain specializes in digital distribution of creator-owned works.  While the line’s seven launch titles all look to have potential, I’ve chosen to take my first look at this new imprint with Bandette #1And if this issue is any sort of indication, then Monkeybrain’s future looks very bright indeed. 

End of Line – July 28

Written by KD Shaw

Here’s your look at a few things around the world of pop culture this week.

My Guildies are Back!

The Guild Season 6 is coming to the Geek and Sundry channel on YouTube. Hooray for a new season! According to The Flog, The Guild’s new season will be here this fall. Oh, and Felicia isn’t a ginger anymore. Still gorgeous though.

Hold the Batphone

DC is delaying the release of the newest Batman comic that was due out on Wednesday, July 25th. Apparently, “TMZ obtained an email DC sent comic book retailers last night asking them to HOLD the new issue of “Batman Inc.” — a fairly new comic book line featuring the Caped Crusader.”

Batman Incorporated #3 will be held for one month due to some of the material being a bit insensitive to the recent events in Aurora. While I totally understand that we all need to rally around and help the victims’ families and survivors to get through this terrible tragedy, this is freaking Batman we are talking about. It’s not sensitive. It’s usually somewhere between violent and batshit crazy. Looks like we will need to hold on for the newest issue until August 22.

Things I Discovered This Week

Soulfire (vol 4) #1 Preview

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This just in….(I love you, Aspen Comics)

Written by J.T. Krul /Artwork by Mike DeBalfo  /Colorist Nei Ruffino

Michael Turner¹s epic fantasy adventure surges forward into a new era!

The Bearer of the Light, Malikai, is back–alive and well with his closest friends. The balance of magic has been restored to the world, but there are still signs of a coming chaos – one greater than anything ever seen before.

The Master and his greatest teacher, Grace, has fought for the light and all that encompasses it her entire life, but when the darkness takes a hold of her in the process– the entire Soulfire universe will fall into jeopardy as Dark Grace emerges!

From veteran Soulfire scribe J.T. Krul, and featuring the Aspen debut of ultra-exciting artist Michael DeBalfo along with fan favorite colorist Nei Ruffino, this is the Soulfire tale three volumes in the making! New and returning fans will NOT want to miss out as the biggest Soulfire story ever told premieres right here!

Soulfire (vol 4) #1 is in stores August 1st, 2012! Check out this preview:

Stuff I Read This Week, 7/22/12-7/28/12

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Written by Charles Meier

 

 

 

 

Mercy, written by J.M. DeMatteis, art by Paul Johnson

J.M. DeMatteis isn’t always a single-hat writer.  He is, after all, one of the persons responsible for Justice League International, one of the few Big Two examples of a superhero comedy done right.  For the most part, though, the “New Agey yearning for spiritual fulfillment” hat stays firmly on head, chin strap cinched as tight as it’ll go.  Heaven knows how he manages to eat anything.  I’ll admit he’s pretty good at this sort of story, even if I’d really rather just read JLI.  With Mercy, however, the schtick is officially old.

Confession time: I hate painted comics.  I really do.  The one that overdo it, at least, and most of them do.  So seldom do I see one that doesn’t end up looking stiff and pretentious–Alex Ross may be the most disgustingly overrated artist of his time.  But boy howdy were they popular back in 1993 when this thing came out.  All I need to say about Paul Johnson’s art is that this is a painted Vertigo comic from the 1990s.  If you have any familiarity with such, congratulations!  You know exactly what this comic looks like.

It’s rare I review a comic I actually bought on this feature, and while I don’t feel ripped off exactly–I got it from a Powell’s bargain bin for a buck–I doubt I’ll be rereading it anytime soon.  This comes from a time when Vertigo was pumping out anything remotely Sandman-y, and “remotely” is very much the operative word here.  There’s no plot, no characters, no dialogue, no real depth–just a bunch of portraits with inset text boxes talking about how nice it would be if everyone could be nice to one another for a change.  Life-altering stuff, that.

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, written by Harvey Pekar, art by Joseph Remnant

The loss American comics incurred with the death of Harvey Pekar in 2010 is incalculable.  The grand old man of diary comics, Pekar was a master of spinning straw into gold, teasing out the nugget of sublimity lurking in every banal moment and everyday occurrence.

In this posthumously-published work, Pekar takes us on a tour of the city he lived in his whole life.  Pekar charts the rise and (mostly) fall of Cleveland, interlinked with stories of his own life from childhood to near-end.  The parallels between the city and its arguably most notable citizen are unmistakable: both begin life suffused with potential, seemingly fail to live up to it, then finally come to approach life and greatness on their own terms, albeit while walking with a bit of a stoop.  All of this is tricked out with Remnant’s art, which while sometimes feeling like a less neurotic Crumb, still captures the faded and current glory of the book’s subjects with sad wonder.  Of all the creators whose stuff I’ll read this week, I doubt any will have quite the same impact on me as Pekar, nor carry the same load of personal investment.