Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/31/13! Great mix edition!

Grant Morrison's last issue of Batman Inc. leads today's selections! Also a new Vertigo title, Collider, the third issue of Scott Snyder's The Wake, and a NEW issue of Optic Nerve (I'm sure this will be my favorite this week after I read it!)! Adventure Time Special #1 and finally a trade paperback collection of Jason Hall & Cliff Chiang's Beware The Creeper! (a very cool 1920's version of the Creeper!)

Marvel's offerings today are heavy on the X titles side, but if you were hoping an Avengers title would also be in the mix, you'll be sad (grin - I'm sure next week there'll be 24 of them!), as well as a new Daredevil, Guardians of the Galaxy (with Angela - what's she doing in the Marvel universe!?), and FF!

DC's got five annuals out this week, Flash, Batman, Detective, Superman, and Animal Man, and while it's a slower week for Image titles, Sex is out so things aren't all bad, right (grin)!? Also fresh red vines and everyone should stop by and meet Bat Gonzo!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Crow Skinning The Wolves; James O' Barr & Jim Terry

I've never really been much of a fan of The Crow comics or movie, but I picked up The Crow Skinning The Wolves because the art by Jim Terry really caught my eye and because it's a holocaust story. Actually, The Crow Skinning The Wolves isn't really a Crow story at all (writer, James O' Barr, who also  created The Crow, says this in his intro as well) and one doesn't have to know anything about said character to appreciate Skinning The Wolves for the great revenge against the horrible things nazis did story it is. After the story part of this graphic novel, there's many pages showing Jim Terry's pencil art with some commentary by him about what he was thinking while working on this story - I definitely want to read / see more comics / graphic novels drawn by Jim Terry!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

WE3; Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

 WE3 is a three issue Vertigo comic that Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely did years ago, that was also collected in an oversized graphic novel. WE3 is the story of three animals that have been bio-engineered for military use as weapons.

I remembered liking WE3 much more when I read it when it first came out in comic form. Re-reading it today, I don't think as a story it really works on any level and ultimately it's just a great showcase of how cinematic and kinetic Frank Quitely's art is. WE3 is widely regarded as a great sad story, but in retrospect, I think if people want a really good sad animal story, read Richard Adams' Plague Dogs (which was also made into a great sad animated movie - Adams is most known for Watership Down). I guess the entire premise of WE3, using a cat, dog, and rabbit and turning them into killing machines was too ridiculous for me today, even though this ridiculous premise may have been Morrison's way of showing just how ridiculous a lot of the thinking that goes on with making killing machines / weapons is. WE3 also reads waaaay to fast for a $24.99 graphic novel, but again, it does show what a master storyteller of an artist Frank Quitely is. 

I really expected that WE3 was going to be my favorite of the three graphic novels I revisited today, between that, Black Summer, and Courtney Crumrin, but I'd say out of the three, Courtney Crumrin was the best.

Black Summer; Warren Ellis & Juan Jose Ryp

Black Summer is another one of writer, Warren Ellis' dark looks at what people with superpowers would do in a real world setting beyond what super powered characters do in the Marvel and DC universes. This type of story was first most famously done in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen back in 1986, and while Ellis' forays into this arena aren't as artful or literary as Moore's are, they are still very interesting and dynamic examinations of what it means to be a superhero.

 Black Summer begins in typical shocking Ellis fashion, with one of the Seven Guns, John Horus, killing the President because of crimes he believes he has committed against the world's best interests. The rest of Black Summer is a reaction from the world and other members of the Seven Guns to what John Horus has done and their place as superheroes post this action of his. Like most of Warren Ellis' comics / graphic novels, Black Summer is an R rated production, but if you like your superhero stories to go to places they don't in the Marvel and DC universes, Black Summer is for you. And Ryp's art, with his hyper attention to detail that often approaches that of artist Geoff Darrow, is perfectly suited to the ultra violence and carnage on display in Black Summer.

Courtney Crumrin; Ted Naifeh & Warren Wucinich

 Today, in between going to the Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities car wash fund raiser for Shade Tree at the Pinball Hall of Fame and working out, I'm going to revisit three graphic novels, Courtney Crumrin, Black Summer, and WE3. Which one will I like best?

First up is Courtney Crumrin, written and drawn by Ted Naifeh and colored by local artist, Warren Wucinich.

Courtney Crumrin, is the story of Courtney Crumrin and her spooky adventures having moved to a mansion that some say is haunted, owned by one of her relatives. Courtney isn't one of those girls who fit in with everyone around her and she's mostly okay with that, actually she comes to embrace this quality. Courtney Crumrin is an all ages comic / graphic novel and will appeal to anyone who likes stories with mystery and light horror, with a good sampling of humor.

For me, the real star of Courtney Crumrin is the art and colors. Courtney Crumin was originally published in black and white, and as great as Ted Naifeh's art looked in the absence of color, anyone who even flips through this book will agree with me that Warren Wucinich's colors really amps up Naifeh's already fantastic art - seriously, this is some of the best coloring out there (and I'm not just saying that because Warren's a good friend!)!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/24/13; post San Diego edition!

 Welcome back San Diego Comic-Con attendees! This weeks comic menu will have you feasting on the Hawkeye Annual, with a spotlight on Kate Bishop, drawn by the ever amazing Javier Pulido, the first issue of Hunger (what does Galactus have to do with the future of the Ultimate universe!?), Young Avengers (such a great issue, with quite the last page!), New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, the second issue of Greg Rucka and Michael Larks' Lazarus,...

 ...the second issue of Pak & lee's Batman / Superman (we still have copies of issue one left!), Justice League Dark (third part of the Trinity War), Larfleeze, Constantine, a new Spidey title; Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, and a new issue of Doc oct as Spider-Man,...

 ...the second issue of Uncanny, a new Rocketeer (a meet up with the Spirit!), All Star Western, a new Fairest trade, Flash, Bounce, Unwritten, Captain America, Aquaman, Mind Mgmt., and a new Previews! See you all in a couple of hours!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Genius; Seagle & Kristiansen

 Genius is the new fantastic graphic novel by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen, published by First Second for a mere $17.99. Seagle and Kristiansen have collaborated on many of my favorite graphic novels like It's A Bird (an excellent, very different kind of Superman story), Red Diary (two WWI stories), and Vertigo's House of Secrets. With their new work, Genius, they do not disappoint.

 Genius is about Ted, who develops genius level intelligence very early in life, about puberty, family, and what happens when genius doesn't lead the possessor of said intelligence to rewards in the physical world. Ultimately, Genius is a beautiful book about a man who loves and cares about his family and wants to provide for them. His solution for doing this when he's no longer able to contribute in the realm of theory or big ideas is wonderful and there's several people I ca't wait to share Genius with.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/17/13 & Happy San Diego Comic-Con for those of you going!

Happy New Comics Wednesday to those of you that aren't going to the pop culture spectacle that is the San Diego International Comic-Con this week -  and to those of you going, say hi to all 125,000 people from me and Alternate Reality Comics! I hope everyone has a superFUN time at the big show, especially if this is your first San Diego Comic-Con!

Today's releases see a new issue of the pretty great Thanos Rising, Batwoman, Batman 1966 ( a really fun comic in the spirit of the 1960's television show!), Mysterious Strangers (a lot of you may know this comic as The Strangers from Free Comic Book day - issues one and two are out today), and two of the graphic novels I'm most looking forward to reading this year, Genius, by Seagle & Kristiansen (the did one of my favorite graphic novels of all time, It's A Bird) and Goddamn This War, by Tardi & Verney (the creators of the excellent WWI graphic novel It Was The War of the Trenches). 

Some other titles I'm looking forward to reading include: Ultimate Spider-Man, All New X-Men, Thor, Avengers, Beirut 1969, Trinity (actually I read this when it came out in hardcover and it's a great recounting of the creation of the atomic bomb)...

...a Paul Pope comic (!!), Nova (and I'm happy to report that the new creative team looks like a great transition from the previous team!), Fantastic Four, FF, Justice League of America (second part of the Trinity War), Wonder Woman, Powers Bureau, Scarlet (four Bendis titles this week!), Animal Man, Fables, and X Factor! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/10/13 - all the HIGH PROFILE titles are out today! And 80s Kids Artist Spotlight opening reception tonight!

This is one of those weeks in which the stars line up in a crazy way causing all of your favorite comics to come out on the same day! The only problem here is deciding which one to read first! I suggest shuffling your comics like cards and ten reading them from the top on down! Let me give you some idea of what I'm talking about:

The second issue of Gerard Way and Becky Cloonan's wild True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, another exciting East of West, a fab issue of Young Avengers, the second issue of Scott Snyder & Jim Lee's Superman Unchained, a new very special issue of Hawkeye drawn by one of my faves, Francesco Francavilla and the second Hawkeye trade (we also have copies of the first trade in stock if you want to see why this is one of the best books out there!),...

...the second chapter of Batman Zero Year (getting more and more interesting), Uncanny X-Men, Superior Spider-Man, 12 Reasons to Die, Suicide Squad, Walking Dead (this Negan guy is shaping up to be one of the most hardcore villains ever - when I read this issue I was thinking of Dennis Hopper's crazy character in the brilliant Blue Velvet!),...

...Solid State Tank Girl, a new Adventure Time mini series, Judge Dredd Classics, Star Wars, and two new Image titles, Sheltered and Ghosted! There's also a new issue of Daredevil that is FANTASTIC, the start of Trinity War in Justice League, a new issue of Astro City, Nightwing, Batgirl, Hulk, and's time for me to get back to reading these gems! But first this reminder:

Tonight, Wednesday, July 10th from 5-8pm, we hope you can join us at Alternate Reality Comics for the opening reception of the 80s Kids Artist Spotlight opening reception! Jacob and Ryan (the 80s Kids) have been creating art and prints celebrating their love of the decade that was the 1980s and we think you'll enjoy what they will be debuting tonight! We'll also have complimentary wine, snacks, and other beverages for your enjoyment while you take in the 80s Kids' art and chat with them!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Comics Wednesday 7/3/13!

Happy New Comics Wednesday, fellow comic book enthusiasts! This week we've got Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham back on Batman Inc, Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber, the third issue of the delightfully weird Ten Grand by JMS and Ben Templesmith, an Ugly Doll comic...

The second issue of Daredevil Dark Days (always a treat to see Lee Weeks art!), a new Avengers title called Avengers A.I that takes place right after Age of Ultron by writer Sam Humphries, a new Deadpool mini series called Deadpool Kills Deadpool (!?!), Hickman's Avengers, a Guardians of the Galaxy one shot, a What If asking what if Avengers VS. X-Men had ended differently, ...

 Detective Comics, Swamp Thing, A new Dark Horse superhero title called Catalyst, Earth 2, Green Lantern, the conclusion of Adventure Time Fionna and Cake, and a new Grimm Fairy Tales title called Oz. And we last week we got a restock in of the new and very cute...