Showing posts from February, 2010

JLA: Crisis On Two Earths

This week, fans of great Justice League animated stories written by Dwayne McDuffie, will be happy to know that Warner Home Video has released Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths, another in their fine series of almost movie length animated features with characters from the DC Universe (the running time of the main feature is 75 minutes).

Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths was originally a story that Dwayne McDuffie had written for the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series, but Cartoon Network ended that show before this could be developed (for whatever crazy reason as it is my understanding that the Justice League Unlimited cartoon did well). The story deals with the concept of worlds / Earths that exist parallel to ours, in which on one Earth for example, the villains were victorious over the heroes, and there exist evil opposites to the good versions of characters we know from the "main" DC Universe Earth. Besides some great action sequences that actually showcase wh…

Choker #1 & upcoming signing!

Today from writer Ben McCool and artist Ben Templesmith, sees the arrival of Choker, their new horror / crime noir series for Image Comics. Anyone who's followed the art and writing of Ben Templesmith on titles such as Welcome To Hoxford, 30 Days Of Niight, Fell, and Gloom Lake, knows that they're in for a great, crazy visual madness and mood ride as only Templesmith can deliver. Choker is the first big series for new writer Ben McCool and this story plays very well to artist Ben Templesmith's strengths.

At the heart of Choker is a mystery about a biotech crime with some escaped psychopaths throw into the mix (this takes place in th future, but the tone of the book is more crime / horror than science fiction) and the first issue moves at a great pace and does exactly what a first issue should - make you want to come back for the next issue!

Alternate Reality Comics (and me, Ralph) is excited to be part of the signing tour by the Choker creative team of Ben McCool and Ben Tem…

King; Ho Che Anderson

A few weeks ago, Fantagraphics released King The Special Edition, a graphic novel biography of Martin Luther King, written and drawn by Ho Che Anderson. King was originally released as three trade paperbacks, which Ho Che Anderson had worked on from 1991 through 2002. King The Special Edition is very much like a directors cut of a great movie, as it contains commentary by Anderson on the long road he'd taken to finish King, as well as presenting a sketchbook section and a couple of short stories that Anderson wrote and drew before undertaking his Martin Luther King biography.

Being as Martin Luther King was the engine of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's and such a charismatic figure, it would be hard for any biography of him and what he accomplished, to be anything short of a great narrative. Reading King The Special Edition (of which the biography narrative is 240 pages out of this edition's 300 pages), is much like reading a rich novel, as Ho Che Anderson doesn…

They're not hurting anyone...

...well maybe they're hurting themselves, but as long as they're not hurting anyone else, that's okay, right?

I need to get back to working on my monthly Diamond Comics order, not goofing around on the internet, so... carry on, there's nothing to see here...

Kick-Ass hardcover has landed!

If Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Death Proof) wrote a comic book, that comic book would be exactly like Kick-Ass. For those of you who somehow missed out on the comic book powerhouse that is Kick-Ass, today at finer comic book stores (and one that rhymes with Alternate Reality Comics - grin), the hardcover edition of the complete eight issue Kick-Ass creator-owned comic by Mark Millar and John Romita JR. is available for $24.99 (the same price as all of the eight individual comics). This is a very hard comic series of which to find all of the individual issues (several of which went to multiple printings) so having this collection available is going to make a lot of people happy.

Kick-Ass takes place in the "real" (our) world, not the Marvel Universe in which every other person has super powers. Kick-Ass does have characters that dress up in costumes though (mostly inspired by comics said characters have read) and attempt to fight crime. But Kick-Ass is written by Mark Millar…

Voice actors signing this Saturday!

This Saturday, February 20th, from 3-5pm, YuriLowenthal and Tara Platt will be signing their new book Voice-Over Voice Actor, at Alternate Reality Comics (across from UNLV of course).

Some of the anime / animated shows that Yuri Lowenthal has done voices for over the years are: Naruto, Afro Samurai, Bleach, Prince Of Tennis, Ben 10, Wolverine and the X-Men, and Mister Miracle (on Batman The Brave and the Bold). And that's just a small sampling of Yuri's voice work, check out his wiki page for the full listing.

Tara Platt, has an equally long varied list of anime / animated shows she's done voice work for, some of which include Bleach, Naruto, Monster, and the Legion of Superheroes. She also has a website and wiki page with her full voice acting credits.

Yuri and Tara will have copies of their Voice-Over Voice Actor at the signing this Saturday (from 3-5pm) for a mere $19.95. Voice-Over Voice Actor is a great book for anyone remotely interested in how voice acting is done, ho…

BookScan, what is BookScan?

Today's entry will only be of interest to those of you who read my blog who are interested in the behind-the-curtain aspects of the comic book industry. It's true that some people (including myself) probably concern themselves too much with how the magic trick works rather than just enjoying the magic trick unto itself (kind of how a lot of people are obsessed with weekend movie box office totals), but that's a topic for another day.

BookScan is a tracking operation for bookstore sales of books sold, meaning not just how many they ordered, but rather how many copies they actually sold. BookScan's data tracks sales information from just "regular" bookstores, not comic bookstores (Diamond Comics has their own top sellers listings for direct market stores they service, but they only have order numbers, not sell through numbers unfortunately). Not all bookstores (or places that sell books) report their sales to BookScan (for example Walmart and supermarket store…


This week Drawn and Quarterly released Dylan Horrocks revised edition of Hicksville. Hicksville originally appeared in comic form by Horrocks in his comic Pickle in the mid-to-late 1990's and is about a fictional small town in New Zealand where everyone loves comics as being the ultimate art platform (sigh - if only that was such a place). This new edition of Hicksville has a new twelve page comic strip introduction by Dylan Horrocks about his life-long love of the comic book medium and he touches on his bouts with cartooning block (more on this later).

Hicksville opens with comic journalist, Leonard Batts, going to New Zealand to search for the legendary cartoonist, Dick Burger. I loved Pickle / Hicksville when it originally came out, but when I first started re-reading Hicksville, other than the new introduction, I was thinking that it wasn't as great as I'd remembered it being. For some reason, it took me a little longer to get into what Horrocks was doing with Hicksvill…

Daytripper #3

Daytripper has, in just three issues, easily leaped to the top of my favorite monthly comic book series being published today. Daytripper #3, subtitled "28", opens with a sad ending of a relationship, but the central character learns that his future isn't destined to be as bleak as the ending of this relationship suggests things may be. As I was reading Daytripper #3, I was thinking of a friend who has been going through an especially rough patch and I'm hoping that this person, after reading Daytripper #3, can also see the possibilities that the future holds.

Daytripper #3, is another beautiful, self-contained story written and drawn by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, but with each issue, more of a bigger tapestry is being revealed. I'm not seeing how the individual issues are going to connect to this bigger picture yet, as I'm just enjoying each issue onto themselves, but I know that I'll be even more amazed with what Moon and Ba are doing with Daytripper whe…

Of Mule And Man

Last November I visited my friends, Rick and Zena, in Florida, and got to share the wonderful Miami International Book Fair with them. Mike Farrell was supposed to be one of the many author guests and being that I was a big fan of the television show M.A.S.H., of which he was one of the central characters, I was especially looking forward to hearing him speak and seeing him in person. Well for whatever reason, Mike Farrell had to cancel, but as I started reading through one of his books his publisher, Akashic Books, had at their booth, I was instantly wanting to read more so I bought Of Mule And Man (there were other books in my reading stack that made me only just now having gotten to actually reading it this past week though).

Of Mule And Man is actually a follow up novel to Mike Farrell's Just Call Me Mike: A journey to Actor and Activist (which I haven't read yet). The "Mule" in the title, refers to the Prius hybrid car that Mike Farrell rented to travel across …


Smile is a new graphic novel by cartoonist Raina Tegemeier about dental adventures / misadventures when she was a young lass. Smile is published in full color by Scholastic, but it's not just a great graphic novel for kids, it's a great, funny, wonderfully drawn graphic novel for anyone who has ever been to the dentist.

I've never had braces, but I did have a lot of dental work done a few years ago to correct / fix my years of bad dental hygiene from my youth. I went to the dentist regularly as a kid (always had lots of cavities), but didn't brush or floss my teeth as much as I should have. As an adult I've been better about brushing my teeth regularly, but damage was already done, so as I said, I needed a LOT of dental work. I'm probably the biggest baby when it comes to going to the dentist because I HATE all the having to keep your mouth open really wide, the scrapping and the drilling that goes on.

So reading Smile, with Raina's accounts of all she went …