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Showing posts from September, 2007

Epstein is Rorschach!

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This awesome image was done by Ron Horsley, who is a student at the Art Institute here in Las Vegas. Ron also created a poster with Epstein and my store info done up as a mock movie poster that's framed at my store, so if you're in the neighborhood stop by and check it out - it's a keeper!






Some background on Epstein: Epstein is my store logo / mascot. The artist who visually created Epstein is Keir Eastveld (a great guy who needs to keep in touch with some of the old gang better, but I know that life often gets in the way). I told Keir that I wanted a lizard wearing ska clothing exuding attitude, and his illustration more than captured what I was looking for. A few years back I had a sketchbook that I'd take to the San Diego conventions and I'd have artists draw their versions of Epstein and I've gotten quite a few great illos in that book (I actually stopped asking artists to draw Epstein because one day I came to the realization that as cool as the character …

Mushishi

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Mushishi started as a manga by Yuki Urushibara and later became a 26 episoded anime (currently there are two volumes of the manga and anime available here in the U.S.). Mushi are spirit type entities that can inhabit any living creature, including people, as well as the earth itself. Ginko is the central character and a Mushishi, a "master of the Mushi", which means he understands how they operate and can often exorcise them. Ginko is the only re-occuring character, as he is a traveler, going from village to village and various regions to help those that are having problems with Mushishi. Mushishi isn't a good versus evil story though and Ginko is not an all powerful magician, he's just out to help where he can.

Each volume of Mushishi contains five short stories that each work as really good self-contained short stories. This structure provides the reader of Mushishi with many different story-telling experiences. The anime is almost an exact frame for frame version o…

Big Guy & Rusty

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Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot was a two issue over sized comic book, published by Dark Horse, that Frank Miller wrote and Geoff Darrow drew in 1996 and there's a nice over sized volume that collects both issues. I hadn't read Big Guy and Rusty since it was first published and I was looking for something light and fun to read between doing some work and this certainly fills that criteria.

Basically Big Guy and Rusty is Miller and Darrow's ode to Japanese monster movies and Astro Boy. If it didn't say so in the credits, a person wouldn't know that this was written by Frank Miler because it's an all ages work, it's not dark, and Miller's politics aren't on exhibit (and while I don't agree with Miller's politics, I find many of his works very entertaining on a pure testosterone level and I like a lot of his art, even his more recent raw, crude style).

Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot was also made into a 26 episode Fox animated series (I didn'…

Morrissey a la Vegas

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Last night Morrissey played at the Pearl in The Palms and it was the best concert I'd seen this past week. We (Kate and myself) saw Modest Mouse last Saturday and thought that was just an okay show, probably not helped by the fact that it took them 50 minutes to get on stage after Matt Costa played (and his set would have played better in a coffee shop - I like acoustic sets, but his opening just didn't set the tone for the night, nor did it help that most of the music while we waited for the live acts to come on was really boring). We also saw Sinead O Conner this past Wednesday and her set definitely was nowhere near as good as when saw her back in 1997, and I'm a huge Sinead O Conner fan and before seeing her on Wednesday (and listening to her newest album Theology didn't help either, the only one of hers that I haven't liked), I thought everything she's done was gold. I'd still say Sinead O Conner has many great albums beyond her first two, The Lion an…

Cloth and Canvas art!

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Last night Cloth and Canvas, my store's neighbor, had a meet and greet with Nathaniel Ward, the artist whom they are featuring on their store walls this month.


Cloth and Canvas is a newly opened men and women clothing boutique / art gallery that's convieniently located on 4800 S. Maryland Parkway (a block from UNLV) right next to my comic shop, so if you're in the neighborhood checking out new comic releases, I'd recommend checking out Cloth and Canvas as well.

Cloth and Canvas is run by Cyndy and Rico (with Tim as their manager) and what they're looking to do with their store is to sell the finest in young men and women clothing at great prices combined with creating an awareness of local artists.

Nathaniel Ward, is Cloth and Canvas' first featured artist. Ward hails from Illinois, has lived here in Las Vegas for two years, and while having worked in illustration for years, has only been painting for two years. I was really surprised when he told me that beca…

Spoilers Alert!

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This is an image from a t-shirt I had on my computer desktop - I don't know where it's from, but I think it's pretty funny (not as funny as when my friend Joel told another friend, Dave, the ending of Citizen Kane right before he was going to watch it, but...)!

Vertigo's Sentences

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Last week DC/ Vertigo released Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, a graphic novel autobiography by hip-hop artist Percy Carey, with excellent art by Ronald Wimberly.

DC / Vertigo must be commended for publishing Sentences. I wasn't familiar with Percy Carey as an hip-hop artist or writer before Sentences, but while reading this book I was instantly sold on Carey's story-telling abilities (he had me at the first caption: "This is how it went down."). Percy Carey uses first person narration throughtout Sentences, probably my favorite writing style because it's more personal and to say he's led a colorful life is a huge understatement. Carey learned everything he knows the hard way and if Sentences were a movie it would be a hard R (I think a movie of Sentences would do really well and it's already perfectly storyboarded). The art by Ronald Wimberly evokes Edward Risso of 100 Bullets fame, actually Sentences reads and looks like a really really good 100 Bul…

Holocaust Survivors

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A really powerful book I read recently is titled I Was A Child Of Holocaust Survivors written by Bernice Eisenstein (who also does some illustrations throughout the book). Bernice Eisenstein was born in 1949, her parents having survived Auschwitz. This book is Eisenstein's examination of her lifelong struggle to understand the horrors that her parents endured and how this examination shaped her life.

Eisenstein writes: "Without my family's knowledge or even understanding, their past has shaped my loneliness and anger, and sculpted the meaning of loss and love. I have inherited the unbearable lightness of being a child of Holocaust surviviors. Cursed and blessed. Black, white, and shadowed."

Throughout most of my adult life I've sought out stories (mostly non fiction books and documentaries) that have as their subject people who've experienced the horrors of WWII, specifically concentration camps. These stories, for me, illustrate some of the worst horrors tha…

Watchmen movie site

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I just stumbled across what looks to be a pretty good Watchmen movie site: www.watchmencomicmovie.com, not to be confused with: www.watchmenmovie.com, which is the official movie site. The former site seems to be the site to go to for all things happening and forthcoming with the Watchmen movie and they look to have a pretty good message board also.

As I've said before, in my perfect world, if someone has to do a Watchmen feature I'd like to see it done as an anime series, but that's not going to happen, nor is an HBO series, or a series of movies going to happen - it's just going to somehow be one movie. I still can not imagine how Watchmen can be made into one movie (even a three hour movie, which probably won't happen) because even with the pirate segments removed, there's still too much story for one movie. I never cared if Watchmen became a movie or not, actually I'd probably choose not except for the fact that even the mention of a comic work like V …

Crossing Midnight

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Crossing Midnight #10, which came out a couple of weeks ago, is the start of a new storyline and a great jumping on place for new readers as well as people who just like great, original stories.

Crossing Midnight is written by Mike Carey (Lucifer) with great art on this story arc by Eric Nguyen (at first when I heard that regular artist Jim Fern wasn't drawing this arc I was worried, but I'm happy that my fears were unfounded). Bedtime Stories is about the disturbing teenage prostitution phenomenon in Japan called telephone clubs in which men can go to these phone clubs and call numbers posted there and even actually meet up with the girls. Mike Carey also has an interesting essay at the end of the issue on the genesis for this story. Take a look at Crossing Midnight #10 at your favorite comic and or bookstore and odds are you'll want to pick up the first trade which is only ten bucks. I apologize for using Ich Liebe Comics to play the saleperson, but I like to think that …

Infinity surprise

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This week Infinity Inc. #1 was released and although I've enjoyed Peter Milligan's writing in the past, I wasn't really expecting this book to be good at all. Firstly, it's a title that sprung from last year's 52 and I was always yawning my head off when this new version of Infinity Inc. would be a part of that story. I think the new team as launched being members of Lex Luthor's everybody with super powers concept was a good idea, it's just the execution didn't go into any interesting new directions in 52. Also I think Lex Luthor is overused at DC, especially in the Superman titles and if I were running the DC show, I'd put a lid on the character and not use him for something like three years (and pay Superman writers extra to come up with some good new villains).

So I read Infinity Inc. #1 just to see how lame the first issue would be and was quickly surprised with how much I enjoyed what Peter Milligan and new artist sensation Max Fiumara produced…

Why, Y, why!?

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No spoilers in this entry. So after reading Y The Last Man #58 yesterday I wished I'd read this comic last because any other comic I read was going to pale in comparison. There's only two more issues left and I can't begin to guess how things are going to wrap up, but I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting for them! The last time I felt like this on a monthly basis was when Preacher was coming out. This week's Y The Last Man also had my favorite bit of dialogue with Yorik saying: "I knew I wanted to keep living in any world that you were a part of. but that was hard to admit to myself...and not just because it ended with a proposition." Those of you who haven't read this issue yet, will know why this entry is titled as such.

Anime Vegas pt.3

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Evil bunny!!























Kate and Ralph saying good-bye (and good buys!) to another fantastic Anime Vegas!

Anime Vegas cosplay pt.2

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Anime Vegas cosplay pt.1

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The gal with the broom is cosplaying as Kiki from Hayao Miyazaki's excellent anime Kiki's Delivery Service.






I'm going to let the rest of the photos here speak for themselves partly because I don't know who the characters are.



Anime Vegas 2007!

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Anime Vegas 2007, from my vantage point was a huge success and fun time all around! The person in this photo gets my vote for best cosplay of the show. She's dressed as Black Jack, a renegade doctor character created by the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka. I don't know if she entered the costume contest, but if she did she should have won something. Sadly, I'm going to guess that most of the attendees don't know who Black Jack is or even are familiar with the other works of Osamu Tezuka.

Tezuka is most known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimbo The White Lion (which Disney's Lion King "borrowed" heavily from). Some of Tezuka's greatest mangas are: Buddha, Phoenix (of which there's apparently an anime series which I didn't know about before this year's Anime Vegas - I'll have to look that up), Apollo's Song, Ode To Kirhito, and Adolf. Tezuka was very prolific and did mangas in every genre, and manga and anime as we know them would look…

Yoko Ishida stops by my store!

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So I'm having a Tuesday afternoon here at my store when much to my surprise, Yoko Ishida comes in (with some other people)! Yoko Ishida is a huge J Pop (pop / rock singer) sensation from Japan and she was in town for AnimeVegas this weekend. She gave an afternoon performance Sunday afternoon at AnimeVegas, but I didn't make her show as I was working my booth. I heard it was a packed show with every attendee getting a program book with lyrics so that they could sing along (which they did). Two of the biggest animes that Yoko Ishida performed themes for are: Ah! My Goddess and Ai Yori Aoshi.

A staff member from AnimeVegas was showing Yoko Ishida around town and they were somewhere on Maryland Parkway when he had the brilliant idea of taking her to my store! Yoko Ishida and her friends were checking out my store and I saw her looking at some manga (specifically Oh My Goddess) so I dashed in my backroom where my cd's are and frantically looked for the cd I had of hers (and my …