Showing posts from May, 2009

Dear Billy

Dear Billy collects the three issue World War II story that writer Garth Ennis and artist Peter Snejbjerg did through Dynamite Entertainment. Dear Billy is the story (fiction) of Carrie Sutton, who while nursing in Singapore, gets caught up in the Japanese invasion of that country and afterwards decides to enact her own revenge upon the Japanese for what was done to her.

Dear Billy is one of Garth Ennis' most powerful stories and doesn't have any of the gratuitous violence or over-the-top humor that for me mar some of his current work (The Boys and a lot of his Punisher). I don't think there's anything wrong with over-the-top humor or violence, but I've seen and read a lot of that already and have seen Ennis do it better in Preacher and Hitman (I understand that for a lot of people, The Boys and Punisher are their guilty pleasure titles and that's cool because we all have guilty pleasures). Anyway, by my measure, Ennis' best post Hellblazer / Preacher / Hi…

The Photographer

The Photographer is the new (well new here in the U.S.) graphic novel by Emmanuel Guibert, chronicling photographer Didier Lefevre's stay with Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan. Guibert's previous graphic novel, Alan's War, was my pick for best graphic novel of 2008, so when I'd read that his next book was about Doctors Without Borders, a nonprofit group of medicinal practitioners who provide their services to those in impoverished countries, I had been eagerly awaiting its arrival. In addition to writing and drawing The Photographer (full color, 270 pages for only $29.95), Guibert uses actual photographs taken by Didier Lefevre in Afghanistan of the country, it's people, and of the work that Doctors Without Borders did there.
Guibert was a friend of photographer Didier Lefevre and when Lefevre told him of his time in Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders, Guibert thought his story would be a great one to share. Reading The Photographer just reinforced to me…

T - Minus the race to the moon

This week, in addition to some fine superhero comics, saw the release of some big release original graphic novels. One of these was T - Minus the race to the moon, written by Jim Ottaviani and drawn by Zander and Kevin Cannon, published by Simon & Schuster, with 125 pages for only $12.99.

On the publisher information page there's a notation that T - Minus a race to the moon is a work of historical fiction, but the only fictional part of this graphic novel is some of the dialogue (because everything that was said by the various people involved wasn't recorded of course) and some of the characters are composites as there were too many people involved in making the landing on the moon possible to be included (as stated in the end liner notes, over 400,000 men and women worked on the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury missions!). I've got to think that it would be pretty difficult to produce any account of the U.S. goal to land on the moon before the 1960's closed (and before …

Superman / Batman & Supergirl

I haven't read Superman / Batman in a while, but I thought this cover was really striking so I started flipping through the issue and the interior art looked great as well. To my knowledge, artist Francis Manapul, is fairly new on the scene, but I think just based on this first chapter of this new story arc, he's going to be someone who is going to join the ranks of fan favorites very, very soon.

Superman / Batman is now written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson and their writing returns this title back to the over the top fun of the Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness period of this book. This storyline is called "Mash-Up" (think of this term in regards what people have been doing with different songs and you'll get an idea of what the this story is about) and I don't want to talk about any specifics of the story because it's better to experience the fun ride that is Superman / Batman #60 with very little fore knowledge. This title doesn't take place in curre…

Good-bye Hugo, hugs to Sierra

I never knew Hugo, but today my friend Sierra, who lives in Long Beach, wrote a blog entry that her friend and one-time fellow co-worker, Hugo had died. Hugo was only 26. I don't know how he died, but that's really none of my business and no matter how he died, 26 is waaaaaay too young to leave this mortal realm. Here's the link to Sierra's entry about Hugo:

Even though I never met Hugo, just from reading Sierra's writing about him, I'm really sad that he's no longer alive, because I've known Sierra since she was a baby and when she talks s vibrantly about someone, I know that person has to have had a magnetic personality. I usually like to read Sierra's blog entries early in the day because her colorful persdpectives on life gives my day that extra kick start. Reading about Hugo's death is going to make the rest of the day unfold in a very sluggsish manner, but I'm glad Sierra shared this because it serves…

Uhura, Ephemere Ale, & shiny!

Okay none of these three things in my subject header have anything to do with each other, other than they all are a part of my store this past week.

I had my friend, Rob, track down the four new Star Trek movie glasses from Burger King as I wasn't going to buy a meal there just to buy the glasses. The glass I'm drinking from features the lovely eye candy that is Zoe Salanda who plays Uhura in the new Star Trek movie. One of my favorite scenes in the aforementioned movie is when Uhura name drops my store name (grin)!
Rob bought this fine ale last week (he's such a spendthrift!) and we decided to to drink it from our new Star Trek glasses (see above photo). Before just now looking up what the difference between ale and beer (or lager) is, I didn't know what makes one beverage ale and another beer. Now that I've looked that up on the all-knowing interwebs, I know that basically it just depends on the fermentation process. From my reading on this, the terms "beer&q…

Today's reviews: the letter U

Today's new comic releases number among them the debut of three titles starting with the letter "U", The Unwritten, The Unknown, and Unthinkable. The writers on these three titles also share the letter "M" on their first names. None of this really means anything, or does it!?

The Unwritten is a new Vertigo series by writer Mike Carey (Lucifer) and artist Peter Gross (artist on Lucifer and Millar's American Jesus). The first issue of The Unwritten is an extra-length comic for only one dollar. I really enjoyed the first issue, but I don't have a better description to sum this new title up than Carey's description, which is: "The Unwritten is the story behind all stories." Definitely a premise that opens up the series in regards to what kinds of stories can be told.
The Unknown by Mark Waid (who also writes the excellent Irredeemable for Boom Studios) was good, but not super strong out of the gate and it's not until the last page (actually …

Huge upcoming signing news!

Go over to your calendars and mark off Saturday, July 11th, as that will be the date for the big summer signing appearance of writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III at Alternate Reality Comics here in fabulous Las Vegas (actually it's going to be a joint signing in conjunction with Comic Oasis - stay tuned for times)! Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III, are, of course, the creative team on the new Batwoman series that will be debuting in Detective Comics at the end of June. More details coming soon, but remember to clear your calendar for Saturday, July 11th, because how often do you get to meet fantastic creative talent up close and personal and they also appreciate ego strokes from their fans!

Romita Sr. & Romita Jr.

Last Friday night at The Palms, Derrick of Comic Oasis (another great comic store here in Vegas), hosted artist John Romita Sr. and his son John Romita Jr. for a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club (and he had them at his store last Saturday for Free Comic Book Day). I'd never met either artist and have been huge fans of their work since I'd first seen their art so being able to see both Romitas in a smaller gathering (because you can believe that their appearance at Comic Oasis last Saturday and at conventions draws long lines) was a chance I wasn't going to pass up.

John Romita Sr. is most known as the artist that drew Amazing Spider-Man for years after Steve Ditko and for many he is THE Spider-Man artist, but he's drawn many Marvel characters throughout his career (as well as being Marvel's art director and drawing romance comics for DC). John Romita Jr. first started drawing for Marvel in the late 1970's and is an amazing artist in his own right. Romita Jr. …

LOEG Century: 1910

No spoilers following:

Today the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LOEG) makes its glorious debut at most comic book stores across the land. This new LOEG is titled Century because its three volumes span a century, with this first volume titled 1910, the second will be 1969, and the third will be 2010. All three volumes will be fairly self contained and eighty pages for a mere $7.95.

The three central characters of 1910 are Murray, Quartermain, and Orlando (who we've met in Black Dossier). I enjoyed 1910 even though I don't know who all the other characters are or everything that happened during this period of history which frames this volume. I think that most people who may have been a little scared off from the density and non-conventional narrative structure of Black Dossier, will enjoy 1910, which I think is satisfying unto itself, even though I get the feeling a good part of this chapter hints at what will come in the next two volumes. I especially enjoyed the parts o…

Star Trek - the movie; fascinating!

No spoilers following:

I just got back from a sneak preview of the new Star Trek movie and I give it the full Live Long and Prosper salute! I liked the original Star Trek television show when I wee lad quite a bit and enjoyed Star Trek Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, but didn't watch any of the other television series and of the Trek movies I've seen, none of them have really wowed me. This new re-visioning of the Star Trek franchise is going to do really well with just about all audience demographics, including lapsed sci-fi fans such as myself. The cast and story are great(with humor, suspense, great motivations and good chemistry between the actors / characters), as are the special effects. This new Star Trek movie gets up and going from the very start and doesn't let up at all. I just saw it on a regular sized movie screen, but I'd say if you get a chance to see this in IMAX - go for it!

People love free comics...

...well people who love the combination of words and pictures that takes their imaginations to new places and can also enlighten them as comics can tell any kind of story.

Free Comic Book Day was another resounding success here at Alternate Reality Comics. I haven't gone over all of my numbers yet and made comparisons to previous years, but early signs point to FCBD 2009 being my most successful to date. I know just looking at my sales transactions that I had more people buying books than previous years (all of which were strong in their own right) and that number doesn't include people who just came to pick up the free comics (of which there are many people who just do that and that's okay of course and I think this years' selection has a great chance for some of those people coming back for similar entertainment).

I'd like to thank everyone who showed up at my store for Free Comic Book Day 2009, my friends and helpers, Rob and Paul, and Kate (my wonderful wife who…