Showing posts from November, 2007

The Goon: Chinatown

No spoilers, just some impressions of Eric Powell's hardcover, the new Goon: Chinatown And The Mystery of Mr. Wicker follow:

The Goon: Chinatown was released last week and fills in a lot of the Goon's backstory. Eric Powell has been doing The Goon (creator, writer, artist) for some years now and there's six trade paperbacks collecting the other Goon stories. A person could pick up any volume or issue of The Goon and get a complete story (kind of similar to how it doesn't matter a how lot if you read the Hellboy or Sin City trades out of order).

The Goon is basically a hillbilly zombie comic usually with an emphasis on humor. The Goon: Chinatown doesn't have any of the usual humor, but it is a very strong story that fills in some of the blanks of the character's history. This is a very beautiful production and the only problem I have with the book is that there are no page numbers (a big pet peeve of mine).

This is an interior page from The Goon: Chinatown. Ther…

Sky painting!

Today has been mostly an overcast day here in Vegas, but the good thing about that is when the clouds start clearing and does so around the time the sun sets, we get skies that look like this. Just another reminder about why this is my favorite time of the year.

This photo was taken a few minutes after the one above. I wish there was a way for people to be able to click on these photos here on my blog and see them bigger, but that doesn't seem to happen anymore. When I first started this blog in June, you used to be able to click on the photo and it see it at a larger size, but either I've been using up too much space or I'm doing something different when importing photos here (as anyone who knows me knows, I'm fairly computer illiterate).

This is the same sunset reflected in my store's front windows.

While looking at this sunset, it really looks like someone splashed paint through the sky. For some reason seeing this sunset made me think of the great documentary on…

Extraordinary signing pt. 2!

Are these people having a great time at Alternate Reality Comics closing stop of the Kevin O' Neill signing - does Galactus eat planets (a nod to last week's Simpsons with it's many great comic book geek nods that we got to share with Kevin who wanted to see Alan Moore's appearance)!?

Little Davy Smuckers Johnson told me that he wants his parents, Heather and Scott, to read Black Dossier to him at bedtime!

The guy in dreads holding a sketchbook is uber cool Brent Cooper who celebrated his birthday at the signing by getting a great Mr. Hyde sketch from Kevin!

And here we have the last few lucky people getting their Black Dossiers signed. I want to say again how gratified I am that so many people are picking up Black Dossier because like the previous two League of Extrordinary Gentleman volumes and other Alan Moore works, I know that they'll be highly entertained and enriched after their reading experiences.

Group photo before Kevin and Dawn (Kevin's girlfriend, th…

Extraordinary signing pt. 1!

To say that my Kevin O'Neill (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier) signing was fantastic is an understatement! Kevin wrapped up his crazy breakneck tour of the U.S. at my store (8 days, 9 citiies, 10 stores!) and still somehow had the energy to draw a sketch in everyone's book!

Michelle was the first person in line and she got an awesome Mina drawing. Note the cool 3D glasses people are wearing (included in the Black Dossier for the incredible concluding chapter) ! Jason is too cool to wear the 3D glasses (ha-ha)!
I just want to say that I have the BEST customers at my store and want to thank everyone who came out for the signing! I'd also like to thank everyone who bought Black Dossier at my store, but couldn't make the signing. Black Dossier exceeded my expectations of how well it would do, making it already one of my very best selling books in my 12 years as a comic store owner in only a week of it's release.
The signing continues! Kevin was at m…

Happy B-Day Mother Box & Alan Moore!

Mother Box is a creation by Jack Kirby as part of his Fourth World concept (New Gods, Darkseid, Mr. Miracle, etc.) he did for DC in the 1970's. Mother Box is the name of the supercomputer that a lot of the New Gods use. I bought my Scion XB in November of 2005 and it was ready for me to pick up was November 18th, which I remember (being the huge geek that I am) because that day is Alan Moore's birthday. I've named my car Mother Box because of course, the Scion XB is shaped like a big box (and they have a lot of room which is great for when I pick up all of Wednesday's new comic day boxes from UPS).

Happy Birthday, Alan Moore! This photo of Moore is from Wikipedia, it's not him signing at my store (actually he's really reclusive and basically doesn't leave Northhampton, England).

On tonight's episode of the Simpsons, Alan Moore will be on the show as himself (except as a yellow cartoon version!) along with Art Spiegleman (Maus) and Daniel Clowes (Ghost W…

Black Dossier - no spoilers!

Following are my impressions of Black Dossier:

I started reading The Black Dossier last night and planned to stay up all night to finish it, but after about three hours I was getting increasingly tired and couldn't focus on what was going on. So I spent about three more hours finishing The Black Dossier this morning. I wanted to read this as soon as I could because as many of those reading this blog know, I'm a huge Alan Moore fan (also insanely jealous of people who got the book before me last week - I'm looking at you Jason H!) and I wanted to partake in discussions about the book that are already taking place on the internet and elsewhere.

Heidi MacDonald in her online column, The Beat (which she does in connection with Publisher's Weekly), described The Black Dossier as "dense and delightful." defines the word dense as: "intense; extreme or difficult to understand or follow because of being closely packed with ideas or complexities of …

Dossier in 2 days and...

Only two more days until the long awaited League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier is released! Black Dossier is a 208 page hardcover book with an all new story exploring League of Extraordinary Gentlemen groups throughout history with Mina Harker and Allan Quartermain as our travel guides. This book will have a 3-D conclusion (glasses included) that's supposed to take 3-D to new places, a naughty Tijiuna bible, and is surely going to be the writerly (is that a word!?) and visual treat of the year! Sorry to be such a hype-monster!

In related Black Dossier news, I'm happy to report that I'll be one of the store hosts for artist Kevin O'Neill's crazy 8 days, 9 cities, and 10 store tour of the United States (he's from England)! Kevin's tour starts this Wednesday in New York City when the book debuts and ends at my store one week later (so we'll have gotten a chance to read it before his visit). Kevin will be at my store next Wednesday, Nov. 21st, fr…

Sweeney Todd

Friday night, Cristina (one of my best friends) and myself went to the Las Vegas Academy prduction of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The Las Vegas Academy is a Las Vegas high school that is art-centric and all the students that attend have to audition before being accepted as a student. Another of my best friends, Kim, recently transferred as a biology teacher to Las Vegas Academy and she knew that I liked musicals so she lined me up with tickets to the big show - and quite the big show it was!

Prior to seeing this production of Sweeney Todd, I knew little of the story, with my first introduction to it being in a great comic book horror anthology called Taboo. In Taboo #6 (1992) there was an insert of a comic adaptation that Neil Gaiman and artist Michael Zulli were going to do. Taboo closed up shop before the comic adaptation of Sweeney Todd happened and for whatever reason Gaiman and Zulli never took their idea to do this story as a comic anywhere else, which is reall…

Heroes, the comic

This week the Heroes hardcover, which collects the online comics that were done while the first season of Heroes aired, arrived. I think it's a really nice production and think that fans of the show will like this book as it is a good supplement of the characters and we get some back stories that reveal how things on the show have gotten to where they are (most of the stories, if not all of them are written by writers of the tv show). I hadn't read the online comics (I don't really like reading comics on the computer) so all of the stories were new to me. My favorite story was the second one in which we learn how Hiro got his name.

Speaking of Heroes, the tv show, this season has been a little off. I thought it was just me that was feeling this way, but recently I've been hearing more and more of the same reactions and that ratings haven't been what they were last year. Kate told me that one of the head writers even admitted that this season has been off. I was sur…

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Today, in England many celebrate the fifth of November as Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes, on November 5, 1605 attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliment in what was called the Gunpowder Plot (do you think he had some problems with the government!?).

Following is a verse from a contemporary condemnation (actually read by many, including anarchists, as a celebration) of Guy Fawkes:

Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

Guy Fawkes was one of the main inspirations for a lot of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V For Vendetta, and early on in the graphic novel V actually succeeds in blowing up the Houses of Parliment (England in the book is under Facist rule, unlike the Conservative rule portrayed in the movie).

One of my good friends, Todd Murry, is lucky enough to have his birthday on Guy Fawkes Day, so I'd like to shout out Happy Birthday, Todd! And I know what his wife, Brandi, is getting hi…

Kim Deitch

As part of the Sixth Annual Vegas Bookfest this past weekend, Kim Deitch was one of the guests. Saturday morning Deitch gave a presentation on his origins as a cartoonist accompanied by a slide show from some of his comic work. In this photo Kim is holding up a drawing he did of his character Alias the Cat, which I was happy to buy from him after his presentation.

Kim Deitch had parents who strongly felt that a creative pursuit was the strongest ideal a person could attain. His father worked for years in the early animation industry and was an aspiring comic strip artist himself. While growing up, Kim aquired an interest in early comic strips (he was born at the end of WWII) and through his brother's continuing interest in superhero comics, Kim was there at the beginning of the Lee, Kirby, and Ditko Marvel era. Kim never did have a desire to do superhero comics, but one day in the 1960's New York, he was introduced to an underground comic strip called Captain High and thus beg…

First Friday / Vegas Bookfest

This past Friday I had a booth at First Friday which this year was tied in with the Sixth Annual Vegas Bookfest. First Friday is an arts event held in the downtown area of Las Vegas the first Friday of every month. It's been a while since I've gone, but I had a blast and will definitely be going back more often.

My booth was right next to the stage so I got to hear local band Clydesdale play (I've had their cd, but haven't gone out to see them live before last Friday). They played two sets and put on a fantastic show. Their sound is kind of in the country and western vein (and not that pop country crap they play on most radio stations) with a rock edge and sultry vocals by Paige Overton. Check out: for upcoming local shows updates and to listen to some of their songs.

One of my favorite things about having gone out to First Friday was seeing my old friend Keir (who designed / drew my store mascot Epstein). It was good catching up with him a…

Steve Ditko is 80!

Steve Ditko turned 80 this past Friday, November 2nd. Ditko is known mostly as the co-creator / artist of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and while he drew a good number of issues of both of these characters in the 1960's, he left the titles because his vision of where he wanted to take these characters differed from Stan Lee's. Steve Ditko has always been a very private person and has never taken part in any interviews. To understand the mindset of Steve Ditko, it helps if you've read the works of philosopher / novelist Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead), as he shares a world view with her. The Ditko character that is closest to Rand's writing is his Mr. A, which is his even more extreme version of The Question, another character he first worked on at Charlton (both of these characters were Alan Moore's inspiration for Rorschach from Watchmen).

After Ditko quit drawing Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, he still worked on other Marvel titles, but also worked for DC, Char…

Pink Vader!

I was reading this thread on costumes over on a retailer forum and someone posted a link to this little girl from Texas who didn't want to just be Darth Vader, she wanted to be a PINK Darth Vader! Well that rules! Maybe if Star Wars Episodes One, Two, and Three had used a pink Darth Vader they would have been better. I used to be a huge Star wars fan, but the last three were so horrible, oh well, Star Wars is Lucas' baby so of course he can do what he wants with the property.

Go Pink Vader!

Happy Nevada Day!

Actually, Happy post Nevada Day, as Nevada Day is on the same day as Halloween. Nevada Day, for those of you not living in Nevada, is the day that Nevada was admitted into the United States as a state (October 31, 1864). How cool and befitting is it that Nevada joined the United States on Halloween!?

This photo is of my friends Camila (on the left dressed as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo - Camila even drew on her mustache and uni-brow!), Martha (on the right, cosplaying as a character from the manga Vampire Knight), and her daughter, Lilly, dressed in her pretty purple costume.
I'm really bad with names so I don't remember who the viking gal is. I'm wearing a Greatest American Hero cape (it came with the box set of the tv series my friend Joel got me last year) that probably isn't real visible from the front.
The little green lizard guy is Jillian (spelling?) being held by his papa, Barney. Jillian also had on these really cool matching green shoes, but my other picture o…