Showing posts from April, 2009

FREE Comic Book Day & HUGE SALE!

This Saturday, May 2nd is the 9th annual Free Comic Book Day that is an industry event the first Saturday of May that exists to promote how wonderful comics are to the public at large, who may not have read a comic in a long time and or don't know how much they've changed.

At my store, Alternate Reality Comics, Free Comic Day is all day Saturday (May 2nd) from 11-7pm. In addition to the great selection the various companies produced this year, I'm having a HUGE .25 cents back issue sale! When was the last time you bought a comic for a quarter (ever?)!? With the help of my friend, Rob, the past month or so, I've finally been getting all of the boxes out of this storage unit I've had for way too long and we've been updating the dollar back issue boxes here at the store. Well the boxes are now full and there's still a number of comics that haven't seen the light of day in years so I'm going to put them out Saturday on two large tables to see if anyone w…

Why I Killed Peter

Why I Killed Peter is an autobiographical graphic novel that came out last year that somehow fell below my radar until I read a review recently in Comics Buyer's Guide. Written by Oliver Ka and illustrated (in color) by Alfred and published by NBM, Why I Killed Peter, recounts Oliver Ka's early life growing up, meeting a man named Peter, whom he befriends, and a disturbing thing that Peter does during one of the camps that Oliver attended when he was twelve.

While the disturbing thing that Peter does is very disturbing, it ultimately isn't as disturbing as it could have been (although still disturbing enough to alter a person's life) and Why I Killed Peter isn't sensationalistic and presents the subject matter in such a way that will stay with the reader without being as creepy as it could have been, at the same time not excusing what happened.

FreakAngels vol. 2

Yesterday, the second volume of Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's online comic FreakAngels arrived. Anyone who's read the first FreakAngels graphic novel or read it online knows that the level of quality established right from page one never lets up, rather it just intensifies.
I don't have anything new to add that I didn't already say in my blog entry towards the end of last year when the first FreakAngels collection came out, and really this art says way more than any combination of letters I can put together.
Click on this page to the left and above to see them in their larger glory. As a refresher for those who don't already know what FreakAngels is, basically it's an end of the world scenario, with very few people left alive and twelve of those have immense power (but FreakAngels isn't about super powered characters beating the crap out of each other - not that there's anything wrong with that).

Holy great Batman story, Robin!

Today the much delayed second part of Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened To The Cape Crusader arrived and I was shocked and amazed at what a great story this is. No Spoilers following:

I thought the first part of this Gaiman Batman story had some good scenes, but nothing that suggested that it would be considered one of the greatest Batman stories ever. I was also holding this story up against Alan Moore's Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, one of the all time best Superman stories, of which Gaiman's Batman story title pays homage to, and after reading the first chapter, I thought Gaiman's Batman story just was an okay story. Well that has completely changed with the second chapter, especially the last ten pages.

Whatever Happened To The Cape Crusader is one of the VERY BEST Batman stories I've ever read and people will fondly remember this story for a long time. Everything that happens in the second part of this story brings together what Gaiman presented in th…


Saturday night I went to my first ever live baseball game with my friends Rob and Drea. I've never liked baseball as I think it takes too long with not much really happening (from my perspective), but I do like baseball movies like Field of Dreams and Bull Duram and great anime baseball like Princess Nine, which is about a female baseball team. So the idea of actually going to a live baseball game never really would cross my mind as an entertaining way to spend an evening. I was looking for something different to do this weekend though especially after the yawnfest that was the Xanadu sci-fi con, so off to Cashman Field I went.

Surprisingly I wasn't bored at all from being at a baseball game, and with the game going on in the back (fore) ground, it was a good evening visiting with friends. I was also happy that they had beer that wasn't just Bud, Coors, or Miller (I had a Heifenweiser), but the pretzel I had must have been from last year (Drea said hers was one of the worst…

My other car is...

...your mom. I saw that on a license plate over at the Plaza Hotel when I got to the Xanadu sci-fi convention yesterday. Actually that was the best thing about the "convention" for me. I didn't have much in the way of expectations for what that convention was going to be, but I didn't expect it to be as much of a dud as it was. It was good seeing fantasy artist Brom and buying a couple of books from him though. I do hope the few people that I saw there had a good time.

Xanadu - Las Vegas sci-fi con

This weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 17-19), at the Plaza Hotel downtown, Xanadu Las Vegas will be the happening spot for those of you that want to check out a local science fiction convention. Xanadu will feature mostly actors from sci-fi television and sci-fi movies, but they've also got an exhibit room (I'll have a booth there as will Comic Oasis), a costume contest, screenings, and panel programming. The huge artist guest they have appearing is Brom, so for a lot of people that's an attraction unto itself. Unfortunately they don't have one day passes, so first check out to see if there's enough guests and programming you're interested to make the two or three day passes worthwhile for you.

This will be my first time at a convention that isn't comic centric so I really don't know what to expect, but I like to think this will be an interesting mix of people (the hotel itself is sold out), having looked at th…

Sub-Mariner 70th Anniversary

Wow, and I thought I was old! This year Marvel Comics is 70 years old (from 1939 - 1961 they were called Timely). Captain American, Sub-Mariner, and Human Torch (not the one in the Fantastic Four) were amongst their first super hero characters so Marvel is producing one shot specials for the occasion. A couple of weeks ago the Captain America one shot came out by James Robinson (Starman) and fantastic artist Marcos Martin (Batgirl Year One and Robin Year One) and today the Sub-Mariner one shot graces ye old comic shoppe.

Sub-Mariner Comics #1 (this is what the one shot is called) has two new stories and a short reprint by Bill Everett. The lead story is written by Roy Thomas (who's written many Marvel and DC super hero comics but is probably best known for his long stint on Conan when Marvel was publishing it) with beautiful art by Mitch Breitweiser and colors by his wife Elizabeth. The story is set in WWII so of course it features Nazis and it's one of the best Namor (Sub-Mari…

Funny Misshapen Body

Last week, Jeffrey Brown's new graphic novel, Funny Misshapen Body, arrived at comic stores last week that don't just stock super hero titles. Brown is known in alternative comic circles for his Top Shelf books, Clumsy, Unlikey, Bighead, and Sulk, amongst others. His Funny Misshapen Body is his longest graphic novel to date (310 pages), and his most autobiographical.

Jeffrey Brown's art is of the scratchy, raw, primal variety, which is a style that goes well with his simple (and I don't mean that in any derogatory way), honest life vignettes. Funny Misshapen Body is about Brown's childhood battle with Crohn's disease, the various odd jobs he's had (such as working at a wooden shoe factory) before be became a full time graphic novelist, and finding his artistic voice during his school years and in his comic work. Jeffrey Brown is still a fairly young cartoonist and as good as his comic work is presently, I think he's really going to be a cartoonist to wa…


This wall, which the lighted Joker poster is hanging upon, is the center point of my store. I'd gotten an idea of how to do some "simple" punch up things for the store from a workshop I attended at the ComicsPro retailer meeting in Memphis a few weeks ago. This is the before work commenced photo.
Yesterday morning I started painting and didn't cover anything, but quickly found out how stupid that was because, of course, most comics already have enough color without me making paint variants. I was also having a bitch of a time painting as I hadn't cleaned the brushes I was using that well after using them on a house project last week and I hadn't thought that I was going to have to use a primer before applying my new color on the existing grey.

So after doing about 5% of the wall and deciding it looked like crap, went back to the paint store and got some better brushes. Then my friend and new helper here at the store, fearless Rob Perez, came in and originally…

The Color of Earth

A few months ago I'd seen a preview copy of The Color of Earth and was eagerly awaiting its release. Today The Color of Earth came out and it was / is FANTASTIC! The Color of Earth is a 312 page manhwa (the Korean word for manga / comics) by Kim Dong Hwa and published by First Second.

Cartoonist Kim Dong Hwa is male, not female, and I think this is an interesting aside (of which I didn't know until I read the liner notes at the end of the book) because The Color of Earth seems to have a complete understanding of what it is to be a young girl and a young woman (and I should add that of course I don't have these insights that I'm assuming Hwa has, never having been of the female gender myself and that of course men have written books from the female point of view just as women have written books from the male point of view probably almost since the written word was first put to paper). Anyway, I'm fairly certain that women of any age will love The Color of Earth as …

Kirby Krackle!

One of my fave purchases at this past February's San Francisco Wondercon was a cd by two young lads that go by the name Kirby Krackle. I bought this cd without even listening to it first because, hey, if two guys are going to represent art god Jack Kirby by naming their band after him, well I wanted to support that (of course it would have sucked if their music sucked and they ended up dragging Kirby's name through the mud - but no worries, that's not what you get when you listen to Kirby Krackle). Before writing this post I did a little research on Jim Demonakos and Kyle Stevens who make up Kirby Krackle and found out that Demonakos organizes the Seattle Emerald City Convention which I've heard great things about and co-owns a chain of comic stores in Washington called The Comic Stop.

Here's a link to one of their youtube's for a song called Another New Crisis Most of their songs are very comic book centric, with titl…

Flash: Rebirth

This week saw the debut of Flash: Rebirth, a five issue mini-series by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, that returns Barry Allen as the main Flash in the DC universe. The Flash comic book has been really lame these past few years as different creative teams tried to re-invent the character post Infinite Crisis. I guess if I had to pick a favorite super hero character it would be the Flash as it was the first super hero title I followed regularly and I like the concept of being faster than anyone else so it's good to have a creative team of Johns and Sciver's caliber to put this title back on top of the must read super hero pile.

My initial thought upon hearing that Barry Allen (who was "dead") would be back as the Flash was to roll my eyes and remark that no one stays dead in comics so it then makes any future comic character's deaths have less impact because you know that they'll all be back. Then I remembered that writer Geoff Johns made the return of Hal …