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Showing posts from March, 2010

Days Missing, do not miss this graphic novel!

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The Days Missing hardcover that was released a couple of weeks ago by Archaia Publishing, collects the five issues of the same named mini series that came out last year and may very well be the most unjustifiably overlooked series of 2009. Actually, I am amongst those that originally overlooked Days Missing, because although I read the first issue when it came out and really enjoyed it, for whatever reason I didn't follow up on the other issues as they came out. A few days ago, Archaia sent Mel Caylo, their marketing manager, to the ComicsPro retailer trade show in Memphis (and I'll have a blog entry overview on that meeting within the next couple of days, but I just want to briefly say that the meeting was very productive and left me feeling more positive about the future of comic stores and the future of comic books in printed form) and he supplied all of the retailers that attended with their own copy of Days Missing (thanks Mel!).

So on the flight back from Memphis, I devou…

Templesmith & McCool signing wrap...

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The Las Vegas Choker (Ben McCool & Ben Templesmith, natch) tour at Alternate Reality Comics was a great time with a great turnout! Both Bens have been on a crazy cross country tour with their Choker promotion and I was happy to be a part of the excitement. Ben McCool told me that Choker #2, which just came out this week also sold out at the distributor level, so now both issues are going to a second print. It's always great to see a new writer with a fresh voice (writing style) break out like this so strongly right out of the gate. Hopefully someday artist Ben Templesmith will get his big break - ha, just my feeble attempt at humor, everyone who's a fan of maniacal horror art knows that Ben Templesmith is an Artist with a capital A!

In this first photo, over to the right is Tyler (one of Las Vegas' biggest original art connoisseurs) watching Ben Templesmith do up a sketch for him (besides being a great artist, Templesmith is a FAST artist!).

Tyler's completed sketch …

Kick Ass movie - Kick Awesome!

No spoilers following:

Just saw an advance screening of the Kick Ass movie (it hits theaters on April 16th), based on the comic / graphic novel by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. and it was a TON of fun! There are changes, but I thought the changes were fine and I wouldn't say that I liked the graphic novel better or the movie better, they both are totally entertaining onto themselves. With the changes, one can read the Kick Ass graphic novel and watch the movie and they aren't total reruns of each other. The movie, like the Kick Ass graphic novel, definitely doesn't shy away from its R rating and everyone who likes stylized ultra violence similar to Quentin Tarantino movies should eat the Kick Ass movie up and want more. If this movie doesn't make some good coin at the box office, I'd be very surprised. I can't wait to hear other people's reactions after seeing the Kick Ass movie!

Also kick ass will be the signing by Ben Templesmith and Ben McCool (was that …

McCool & Templesmith signing Thursday and...!

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Just four days away from the big Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith signing at Alternate Reality Comics! Ben and Ben are doing a tour to promote their new Image crime noir / horror series, Choker, so come on down to Alternate Reality Comics this Thursday, March 18th from 5-7pm to give them a big welcome! The second issue of Choker arrives this week so I'll have that on hand as well as issue #1 (which is going to a second printing, but I still have first printings left) and Superman 80 Page Giant, which has a short story written by Ben McCool. And...

...this week only, in celebration of the Templesmith / McCool signing, all of their titles, comics, graphic novels will be on sale for 20% off cover price (sale ends at close of signing on Thursday)!! This sale includes fantastic Ben Templesmith titles such as: Wormwood Gentleman Corpse, Welcome To Hoxford, 30 Days of Night, Groom Lake, Fell, and The Presidents of the United States as well as Choker, written by Ben McCool. Seriously, all of…

Mountains Beyond Mountains

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Mountains Beyond Mountains is a 2003 novel by Tracy Kidder about Dr. Paul Farmer, a truly remarkable doctor, Harvard professor, humanist, anthropologist, and just all around real life saint of a person. My friend Zena gave me Mountains Beyond Mountains when I visited her and my friend Rick last November (Lorraine, their daughter, had given her this book originally) and just the past couple of weeks it's come up in my reading queue. Attending a presentation by author, Tracy Kidder, about Mountains Beyond Mountains and his follow up novel (also a biography), Strength In What Remains (which was released last year), was one of the highlights of last year's Miami International Book Festival for me.

In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Kidder does provide some background on Dr. Paul Farmer's early life growing up in a large, poor family that moved around a lot (amongst the places they lived was in Alabama and around the Gulf of Mexico region), but the focus of Mountain Beyond Mountain…

Daytripper #4

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Daytripper #4 is titled 41 and is another fine fine example of how to do a comic book in twenty-two pages that gives you a beginning, middle, and end in one single issue (all of the issues of Daytripper can be read as GREAT single issues, but they are also pieces of a bigger whole). Reading Daytripper will enrich your day. I hope everyone who is reading Daytripper shares this great series by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (published by Vertigo) with others as I really believe it has universal appeal. I love that Daytripper comes out on the same day as Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's Punishermax (their run may very well go down as the VERY best Punisher stories ever told) because Daytripper is the yin to Punisher's yang. Go team comics!

Page After Page: a tribute

Page After Page was the name of a comic book store that Lyn Pederson owned from 1982 until about 1995 here in fabulous Las Vegas. I strongly believe that my store (Alternate Reality Comics, of course) wouldn't be a tenth as good as it is (and I'm not fishing for compliments for my store here) if it weren't for the existence of Page After Page, a truly pioneering comic book store. I've been meaning to write this tribute blog entry about Page After Page for some time now, but my memory isn't what I'd like it to be and I've been trying to organize my thoughts before just randomly typing words. Well, this morning I just thought "damn the torpedoes!" and decided that I was going to share my memories (as faulty as they are) of Page After Page and hopefully give people an impression of what a landmark store it was (if they weren't lucky enough to have gotten a chance to visit said store).

I moved to Las Vegas in 1981 and remembered going to Page After…

American Splendor: Unsung Hero

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The other day I was getting Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar and his wife Joyce Brabner off of my shelf for a friend to borrow and also pulled off American Splendor Unsung Hero to revisit. Unsung Hero is the story of Robert McNeill, who when he was 19 years old, was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and this book recounts his stint in Vietnam in 1970. Robert McNeill, like most young people that served in the military during the Vietnam War, didn't join because he had some burning patriotic urge to do so, rather he joined because he saw it as something to do with his life that school wasn't providing for him. McNeill was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal for his work as a Rifleman during combat operations while in Vietnam.

As Robert NcNeill recounts to Harvey Pekar in Unsung Hero, Vietnam was quite the culture shock from life in the U.S. Of course Vietnam was also a really dangerous day to day existence, especially if you were involved in any combat positions. S…