Wednesday, September 25, 2013
As if all of this New Comics Wednesday feast of great comics wasn't enough, here's what else is happening tonight at Alternate Reality Comics, Friday night at Alternate, and this weekend:
Tonight from 5-8pm, Alternate Reality Comics will be having the opening reception of local artist, John Gamble and his amazing mechanical pencil creations! With complimentary snacks, wine, and other beverages while you visit with the artist and the other art lovers who will be showing up!
Friday, from 5-7pm, at Alternate, we're having artist Ryan Sook (B.P.R.D, Kamandi, Spectre, Zatanna, X Factor, and numerous covers for DC and Marvel) as our launch for this weekend's Las Vegas Comic Expo (and Ryan Sook will be doing free head sketches at the store - let's give him a BIG Vegas welcome!):
The second annual Las Vegas Comic Expo is happening this weekend at the Riviera Hotel and if you were at last years Expo, you know a fun time is in store! Lots of great guests, great exhibitors, panels, people in fun eye candy costumes, and just a great way to have a wonderful geekend! Alternate Reality Comics will be at adjoining booths 309 and 311, so stop by and say hi to Epstein puppet, myself and the Alternate Crew!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Written by F.J. Desanto and Bradley Cramp and drawn by Marcus To (he's done some DC comics like Flash, but nothing that's suggested he could do this level of art) and colored by Ian Herring, Cyborg 009 is an action packed story with a lot of heart and a person doesn't have to be familiar with previous / original incarnations of Cyborg 009 to appreciate this new graphic novel. As good as the story is, the real stars of Archaia's Cyborg 009 are artists Marcus To and colorist Ian Herring. The comic book medium has a lot of great artists and colorists, but To and Herring with their Cyborg 009, have created a graphic novel that's the closest thing to being an anime on paper that I've ever seen, with their great story-telling chops which makes Cyborg 009 a very kinetic experience.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
In addition to being a continuation of the Young Avengers characters, Children's Crusade is also the story that addressed what happened to the Scarlet Witch after what she did in the mini series, House of M. There's a lot going on in this nine issue series and a lot of characters running around, but Allan Heinberg gives all of the characters within chances to shine, there's great character interactions, and the villains (Doctor Doom and some would say Scarlet Witch, who is trying to redeem herself here) are apt threats to the power levels of these Young Avengers, and the ending is a good one, not a lackluster one or non-conclusive one as to many superhero story endings are (especially on event series).
Although this was Heinberg and Cheung's swan song on these characters as Heinberg went back to television writing and Jim Cheung is sadly too slow for any kind of regular series, the new Young Avengers series has some of the same characters and some interesting new ones and under the creative team of Kieron Gillen and Jaime McKelvie, is just as exciting and well drawn (and I'd argue that it's even more innovative) as when the Young Avengers first came on the scene.
A reminder: the Las Vegas Comic Expo is next weekend at the Riviera and original Young Avengers artist, Jim Cheung, will be one of the big featured guests!
Joe Hill is a horror short story and novel writer ( Heart Shaped Box, Horns) as well as a comic book writer, who also happens to be the son of best selling horror novelist, Stephen King. Joe Hill first came on the comic book scene with an adaptation of his short story, the Cape, which is one of the darkest things I've ever read. The Cape, as with his comic series (and series of graphic novels, of which there's five to date), Locke and Key is published by IDW.
The first volume of Locke & Key introduces us to the Locke family and what happens to them that and causes them to move to the small town of Lovecraft. They move into a house / mansion called Keyhouse and before this first volume concludes we find out that there are various keys which people with hidden agendas want. Horror definitely abounds in Locke & Key, there's a lot of mystery, but there's also good characters within and great, very expressive, spooky art by Gabriel Rodriguez. I'd put Locke & Key up there with series like Y The Last Man and Walking Dead because all three of these titles share great characters that actually develop over the course of issues / volumes, horror / suspense, and they're quite the page turners - after reading what ever issue you just finished, you can't wait for the next one.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
From Up On Poppy Hill is based on a manga of the same name that came out in 1980, the screenplay was co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki (and is light years ahead of Goro Miyazaki's debut Tales From EarthSea, which I couldn't even finish). All you need to know about From Up On Poppy Hill is that it is set in Japan, 1963, and is primarily about two young characters, Umi and Shun and... (watch the movie and let the story unravel without knowing anything else and your From Up On Poppy Hill experience will be all the richer!).
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
3D DC Villain Week 2! Scott Snyder does a Riddler one shot and how about that Court of Owls cover!? Geoff Johns co-writes a Black Mantra one shot (and aren't we sad that he'll be leaving the writing on Aquaman shortly?)! The second JMS / Tom Mandrake Sidekicks - the first issue was pretty dark! Walking Dead the followup to last issues craziness and the lead in to #115's twelve part bi-weekly All Out War! East of West - first collection for only $9.99 - see what everyone's been talking about, this is such a great Hickman / Dragotta series!
Are you digging The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys? Kick Ass is nearing its end (this is the last mini series)! Third chapter of the Battle of the Atom, new Avengers title, Mighty Avengers debuts, and there's a tie-in mini series to Infinity, written by Matt Kindt, called Infinity Hunt as well as a new Hickman Avengers issue with a great cover! See you all at The Alternate in a few hours!
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Earlier this year, Jeff Lemire's excellent Vertigo series, Sweet Tooth, ended after 40 issues (collected in six trade paperbacks). I was reading it when it came out monthly, but somewhere I got behind (not for lack of loving what I'd read) and decided to wait until it was over and read the entire series in one go. Well today was that day and as I suspected, reading Sweet Tooth this way was a very enjoyable experience.
Jeff Lemire, is a modern day comic book writer / illustrator, creator, like Matt Kindt (Mind Mgt., Red Handed), who is telling / drawing comics unlike anyone else currently doing comics. Lemire, with his creator owned projects like Sweet Tooth and his new Vertigo series, Trillium, is always looking for new ways to create sequential art stories and his artistic experiments also very much serve the greater story he is telling.
Sweet Tooth is a post apocalyptic story in which people are dying in great numbers (an unexplained event called the Sickness) and a new species is being born called Hybrids, who have animal and human traits, such as Gus, one of the central characters, who has antlers on his head. Sweet Tooth is a very thrilling, fast past story, with lots of mystery, but it also has great characters for which you'll very early on become attached to and you'll be very invested in what happens to them. The entirety of Sweet Tooth is done without any missteps (there's also a couple of chapters drawn by Matt Kindt, that totally enhances the story being told) and the ending is perfect - need I say HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!?
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Happy New Comics Wednesday 9/4/13 - to say that today is a BIG release day is a HUGE understatement!
Second issue of Infinity! And Marvel tries to go one on one with DC's Forever Evil event by releasing X-Men Children of the Atom #1 and All New X-Men #16, which is chapter two of Children of the Atom. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, not many people signed up for X-Men Children of the Atom, which I think is odd as it is very "important" to what's going on in All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. Spidey 2099 pops up in Superior Spider-Man! - what's up with that (I haven't read this yet)!?
Sunday, September 1, 2013
This morning I FINALLY got around to reading the entirety of Chris Ware's Building Stories. Building Stories originally came out in October of 2012 and it's really surprising that I haven't read this prior to today, especially as Chris Ware is one of my favorite sequential art writer / artists. I think a part of me knew, based on the emotional drain that one gets from reading Ware's work, that Building Stories would have to wait until a great block of time could be devoted to it.
Building Stories, is a GIANT boxed production housing (pun intended) many different parts that combine into one graphic novel, HUGE fold out comics that are bigger than Sunday newspaper comics, small comic booklets, over-sized 16-25 page comics, and two hardcover "conventional" graphic novelettes. There is no directional key to direct the reader as to which way Building Stories should be read, so I just chose to read the big fold outs and little booklets first and ended with the two longer hardcover graphic novelettes (all of the various pieces of Building Stories are inter-connected and there's probably no right or wrong order in which to read them, but I'd recommend ending with the two hardcover books).
Anyone who has ever read any any Chris Ware graphic novel knows that he tells just about the saddest stories you'll ever read. Ware does this with every new graphic novel he does, but at the same time, all of these stories are different. Building Stories is mostly about this young woman (never named) who has an artificial leg, through various stages and experiences in her life. She leads a pretty uneventful life, sad (of course) life. This is all related throughout Building Stories in very interwoven ways, but also done somehow in beautiful minute detail fashion. Chis Ware's art, which often takes the form of many many panels per page, has always been terrific at showing a character's day to day activities, but he's really refined his prose in Building Stories to enhance the existential details of his characters. Actually the two hardcover books included in Building Stories also have pages in which the building / buildings narrate themselves as if they were living entities (and in a lot of ways they could be considered as such) and this is a further bonus to the experience that reading Building Stories is.
Yes, it can be exhausting reading about the unrelenting sadness that permeates Building Stories and Chris Ware's other works, such as his Acme Novelty Library graphic novels, but they are also rewarding as they will get you to reflect on your life, people around you, and how you interact with and treat others.