Adult, Books, Comics

Descender Vol 1. : Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

Comic book day!  Here is a review I did several weeks back now on the first Volume of Descender (Spoilers: I really like the art guys).

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Comic Title: Descender
Volume # & Title: 1: Tin Stars
Collected Issues: #1-6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 160
Genre: Science Fiction

 

Anybody else read Descender?  Anybody else as obsessed with literally everything that Image Comics publishes.  I swear to god they have so many great new imaginative things coming out every month and it hurts my heart and my wallet.

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Comics, Musings

My Comic Project

No, I’m not writing my own comic (although I have had ideas about one… I just don’t think my art is strong enough for that yet…).  I am however doing some art stuff for my home.

I bought two big things to do some art on to hang somewhere in my home eventually and the first one I wanted was to recreate some of my favorite comic cover art.  The first one is probably way too ambitious and I am probably going to tear my hair out over it but I’m at the very least going to try.

I might update you guys as I continue on it but for this first post I figured I would tell you how I am going about turning a comic book cover into a painting big enough to go on my wall.

The cover in question is from the third issue of Low:

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My first step, as I did not want to deface my comic, was to print out a picture of the cover that I could write on.  I then divided up the cover into a grid that I would use to assist me in transfering the image’s size.  (Trust me it super difficult to change the size of something without the grid because it helps keep everything relative to everything else.

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I labelled the grid and measured the size of the board I was tranferring to so that I could use a ruler and mark out a grid exactly like the one on my print out, but a little over three times larger.

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This of course was followed by me sketching out the image, which I am still technically in the profess of doing.  Once that is done I will use clear gesso to seal the board before I begin painting so that it doesn’t deteriorate.  Then come the fun part!  Paint.

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It might look a little like a mess right now, but soon friends I promise it will be something great for me to hang up in my home.

If anyone is interested in the continuation of this process as I work on it, just let me know and I will be glad to show some more pictures.

Just a reminder that this is not my original art, it is someone else’s.  I am not going to be selling this or making prints of it because it is not my art to do so with.  I simply wanted something beautiful to hang in my home.  It will not be a perfect replica because I am not half the artist that Greg Tocchini is but I will do my best.

Books, Comics, Musings

The Joy of #FreeComicBookDay

Now those of you who don’t come here for my weekly opinions on comics might not know that there is such a thing as free comic book day, but for those of us nerds who have fallen into the bottomless pit that is the comic world it is maybe the most exciting day of the year.

I wasn’t actually planning to go out this comic book day.  I hadn’t seen any comics that were being offered that I was particularly interested in but then I saw that one of the comic stores in the next state over were having a sale I figured it was for the best.  Then I dragged my siblings along with me! (I am the best at big sistering)

I think it worked out for the best thought because I bought them each a trade they were excited about and they got free comics.  Plus a local comic artist was there and did sketches of their favorite heroes (I got Red Hood… because my poor sweet baby :#) You can see those on my instagram if you are so inclined.

In any case if you aren’t sure what the event is, unfortunately you will have to wait a year for it to come back around again but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two this year.

If you happen to be part of the cosplay community then this is an event you might want to look into.  A lot of fans will dress up as their favorite supers and head down to the comic store to say high to all the mini nerds in training who are dragged along by their parents and spark some magic in their lives.

Like I said, sometimes local artists are there doing free sketches and showing off their own work.  The guy who did our sketches was also promoting a class he teaches once a week where he helps people learn how to make their own comics.  Which was awesome and might be something I try for myself one day, who knows.

Plus depending on the comic store you can grab a handful of comics that the publishers put out especially for that day to hook you into their currently running titles.  Its like a free sample of the sweetest most addicting cocaine you will ever taste, well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but my point still stands.

If you haven’t attended one, be sure to put it on the calendar for next year because its something worth doing in the nerd community and definitely something worth trying.  There are comics for every size, shape, age, and taste.  You will find something for you out there.  Whether it is the creator owned science fiction and fantasy stuff I gravitate toward, comics based on shows like the Serenity comic or the Simpsons comic, comics shows are based off like The Walking Dead or Jessica Jones, and of course the old standby, those superheroes.  There is something there that you will like and when all of the nerds are there they are going to be able to help you find something, even if it means talking too much about something you aren’t actually interested in for a bit before you get there, they are well meaning those nerds.  They just want to share with you something they love.  Allow them this day.

 

Books, Comics

April Monthly Pull

I was going to do a weekly pull, but I realized I don’t buy that many comics at once so it might be wiser to talk about what I read in a month.

Here is the toddling baby of that idea that hopefully will grow and flourish later… because its a bit of a mess right now.

Hope this wasn’t too cringe worthy.  I will be back on Friday for a review so get excited about that!

Adult, Books, Comics, Musings

East of West: We Are All One by Jonathan Hickman Review

So you are little bit intimidated by the scale of East of West, and rightfully so, I wanted to talk about my experience reading this comic as well as maybe help some folks who are little nervous get into it.

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Comic Title: East of West
Volume Title: Vol. 2: We Are All One
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image
Page #: 144
Genre: Science Fiction, Western

As I’m writing this post I’m not entirely certain whether I reviewed the first one or not but I’m leaning toward not.  The only reason I say that is that this is perhaps one of the most confusing comics I have read.  While that may seem intimidating hold on just a moment because I am going to tell you why its worth it.

I know that when I got back into comics and discovered Image as a company who put out a lot of things I love East of West put out a single issue that had all of the different factions mapped out.  I remember thinking, if you need a dramatis personae for your comic you probably aren’t doing it right.  While I do think having that would have been helpful when I picked up the first volume I no longer think that its such a bad thing.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who abandoned it because there were too many people, it was too confusing, etc. I mean I myself often talk about how too large a cast of characters is one of the main reasons I can’t ever seem to finish Game of Thrones, and yet… and yet.

I think that the artist did a really great job of illustrating each faction so that they visually represent something.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about them all being along racial lines, but at the same time it means that you see someone and you instantly understand where they are coming from and what their values are.  I think that this also allowed for interesting discussions on history, this world seems to share some portions of our own history, but somewhere along the lines separate but equal was taken to the extreme.

There are moments where I feel like it strays a bit into stereotyping but it always seems to push past that to something more.  The things that seem stereotypical have different motivations and lead somewhere that I wasn’t expecting.

While I wasn’t entirely sold on the art style I think that it has grown on me and I am actually very impressed by how many different characters there are that all are very distinct.  The problem with a huge cast of characters is that they can become confused and like I said not only is their style showing the faction they belong to but is entirely their own.  There is no confusing characters in this way.  Even Low, which I love, sometimes has a character whose design is so close to another’s that I momentarily forget who I’m looking at, and context usually irons it out for me, but I don’t even need that here.

In any case, I said in my goodreads review and I’ll say it again, I cannot wait to get the third volume. I am so excited.  This one was especially good and I hope that it keeps up the pace.

Books, Comics, Musings

A Super Late Comic Book Wednesday: Why I Signed up to get Previews and You Should Too!

Are you the type of person who sits and thinks to yourself, “Gosh there are just so many different comic publishers.  How can I keep track of them all, and what they are coming out with.  Should I check all of their websites every week.  I don’t really have the time for that.  What if I miss out on something that is really good?”

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Well have I got news for you.  The comic industry has solved this problem for you.  Each month a giant book called Previews comes out and will tell you all of the items that will be coming out in two months.  Some of the things they are pushing will have a couple of preview spreads and they will let you know if things that have been out of print will be reprinted.january2011previewscover

It is a great resource to find new comics, new comic book companies, or old stuff that was before your time being a collector that you now have a chance to snatch up for a reasonable price.

img_20150102_0001-page-0_zpsf2c77d58The new comic store I have subscribed to gives it free to their subscribers but if you need to pay for it, don’t worry it is the same price as your average comic book.

If you are new to comics and have no idea about any of this it can also be a good resource to see what you might like.  It will have many of the titles from all of the companies and if you find one that intrigues you then you can do more research on the wonderful interwebs.previews001

I have had absolutely not time this week at all.  Remember at the beginning of the week when I was like, I hope I have more time this week. HA! What a joke.  I will hopefully be able to film and edit a video tonight that will come out tomorrow morning then tomorrow Gretchen and I will film our wrap up for Sunday and I have to attempt to edit that.  I have no time guys.  Somebody figure out how to clone people so I can make the clone go to my second job and I can just blog and be a librarian.

Alright, that’s all I got.  Hopefully I won’t collapse from exhaustion.  I do have a vacation coming up so … that should be a relief.

Books, Comics, Musings

How to Find a Comic Store~!

Now, I know you know how to google or ask Siri, Cortana, or whoever to find comic stores near you, but how do you know if this particular comic store is the right store for you.  I mean, you can always go with your gut.  Do you feel at home there, yes, then maybe it is the right place for you, no, maybe move on to the next one.  Also, if there is only one store in a half an hour radius you are probably stuck with that one for better or for worse.

However, if you are lucky enough to have several withing a reasonable distance and you aren’t sure what to look for, this is the guide for you.

  1. The People: I am putting this first because for me it is the most important.  While at school I was forced to buy my comics at a store where the owner didn’t believed I honestly liked comics for my own good.  He thought the only reason I would read comics was to trick a guy into falling for me.  Now, this is despite wearing a Deadpool hat, having several different comic pins on my jackets, wearing several different comic related shirts and the look about me that if I didn’t belong in a library I might next be found at some convention or other, but in any case, it made me uncomfortable to go there.  It was lucky for me that he hired a girl to work there on the weekends and she was entirely charming and worth visiting, but if the people are making you uncomfortable it is time to move on.
  2. Displays: The comic shop I normally use while I’m home has recently moved away from selling comics to marketing more niche things, like records, and nerdy clothing.  You want some mustache leggings, that is the place to be, you wan’t last weeks issue of Low, they probably can’t help you.  I knew I needed to find a new store when they took their already tiny comic display and went from three shelving units, to 1.  If they aren’t making the space to display the new comics, they aren’t going to be getting very many and that isn’t helpful to you.  The store should not only stock the comics you are interested but many others and it should be a resource for finding new ones.  Often comic shops are also game stores or hobby stores, and you can tell which section they care about by the space they devote to it.  Even distribution is fine, just make sure you can get what you want from them.
  3. Location: If you plan to subscribe to a certain comic you need to make sure you can get to the store once a month.  You might have found the perfect store but if it is an hour commute in the next state over, it might not be the best place for you as home base.  Now, again, I am putting this underneath the other two tips because sometimes we are willing to make the sacrifice of our hard earned gas money or bus fair for the perfect community space, but if you aren’t then this is something you need to keep in mind.  You might have to compromise on something else.

Those are the things that I rank as being particularly important when choosing a comic shop.  Of course there are smaller nuances that you might want to decide, as in if you prefer new or old comics, you might want to find stores that have huge back logs or carry more trade paperbacks, etc.  These are things specific to you and your needs and that is something you can keep in mind when picking.

I have found my new home, it is about 20 minutes away from me in a slightly larger city, tucked away in a strip mall.  It might not look like much on the outside but it was like my own personal candy store inside.  Hopefully next week I can do a pull for you guys so you can see the comics I have been picking up this winter season, and I might even discuss some of the ones I am interested in going into the spring!

I will be back on Friday to discuss my March Wrap Up. (Oh My God guys its almost April… where is this year going?)

Adult, Books, Comics

Tokyo Ghost: Vol. 1. Atomic Garden by Rick Remender Review

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge Update: 13/40
A Graphic Novel

You do not understand how nice it is to write a post.  With Gretchen on her way back I don’t have to make a million videos any more.  I AM FREE!  It isn’t that I don’t put the same amount of effort into both, its simply that making videos takes so much more time.

It is wednesday and I have a trade review for you guys.  Next week I’m going to talk about the comic shop that I chose because I have been shopping around for one that I trust and maybe I’ll do a weekly pull… who knows?  For now, let’s talk technologypocalypse.

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Comic Title: Tokyo Ghost
Volume Title: Vol. 1: The Atomic Garden
Collected Issues: #1-5
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Image
Page #: 136
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: M for Mature

If you have been following my comic reviews you probably saw this one coming.  I am a huge fan of Remender, I think with each comic of his that I have read I have seen him develop and really build on himself.  This is no exception, but I do want to talk about the few little issues I had with it.

If you don’t know, this series takes place in a particular future where technology has advanced so far that it has become and actual addiction for people.  They don’t have to think about the real world, they can escape into so many shows that are hovering right before their eyes.  Too weak, get enhanced, take shots or pills with particular tech in them to improve yourself.  Masturbating too hard?  There’s some tech for that.

Our protagonists are lovers who are on opposite sides of this technological spectrum.  A spunky little lady who has never taken part in any of this tech stuff and her best friend and lover who was so embarrassed by his weak nature that he enlisted into a sort of back alley police force in order to gain the tech necessary to make him large and strong and powerful.

At first I had a little bit of trouble with this comic because it seemed like such a cliche plot.  A story telling of the woes of technology (a theme that I honestly am bothered by most of the time) however it quickly turned into something else.  This is a story about guilt, addiction, and sacrifice.  This isn’t a story about love conquering all, at least so far it isn’t.  It did end on a bit of a cliff hanger, and I picked it up in the trade so I have no idea what happens next.  I appreciate it for that.  Remender is moving it somewhere unique and I think he is exploring interesting themes.  He is able to create so many interesting and unique worlds with issues stemming from so many places and I honestly applaud that ability.

How about the art?  I always like talking about the art when it is relevant.  I honestly found the way this comic was illustrated incredibly beautiful.  There are large spaces of black filled with pops of really vibrant color and fast moving actions.  There were panels that actually hit me really hard either in how incredibly poignant they were, or in how disturbing they were underneath all of that color.  It was an interesting experience.

My only problem was that I felt the female lead was a little bit too scantily clad.  Now, I have nothing against ladies wearing what they want and what they are comfortable with, I do however have a problem with designs being meant for the male audience to lust after or ogle those females.  Did it bother me enough to put down the book, no.  She isn’t often in risque poses or anything so I will forgive it that.  She looks cool, and that’s importan, I just wish she could be cool, with a little bit more clothes.  Personal taste probably.

All in all I really enjoyed this comic.  I still think Low is a better story, but I have been invested in it longer.  I will be picking up the next trade of this one when it comes out because I am still interested which is not something I could say about Black Science.  We shall see where the story goes.

I hope you guys are having a good week and I will talk to you again Friday!  I will be doing a bit of a weird one then because I haven’t been able to do a chatty Monday Musing wherein I talk about what it is like to work in a library after my first week.  I hope you guys are excited!

Books, Comics, Musings

Deadpool Movie Review!

Wednesday is comic book day and I wanna talk about me new favorite comic book movie.

*WARNING THIS IS NOT YOUR NORMAL SUPER HERO MOVIE.  THIS MOVIE EARNED ITS R RATING.  THERE IS ULTRA-VIOLENCE, BOOBS, BUTTS, AND EVEN SOME DICK, PLUS WAY MORE THAN 1 FUCK!  DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN TO THIS FILM.*

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Look at this movie poster and tell me this a movie to bring your kids to -.-

Title: Deadpool
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Director: Tim Miller
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller
Length: 108 Minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: R (HARD R)

Now, I don’t think anyone can do a review of this movie better than CBG19 so if you haven’t seen her’s GO DO THE THING~

That being said I will throw my two cents in.

This is THE Deadpool movie.  None of this entertaining but not cannon with little nods to the cannon as they move along.  This movie lives and breathes Deadpool.  I don’t think they could have done a better job.  It is a masterpiece.  From the very minute the opening credits start you are in for a wild ride of humor, every kind of indecent activity imaginable, and maybe even some Ryan Reynolds dick.

This is the best Marvel movie to come out and I was not expecting it to come from Fox who are somewhat notorious for their bad X-men movies.  Although X-men First Class and those that have followed it are doing better at it.  They are definitely learning and improving as time goes on, and have shown that they are willing to even make fun of themselves in this film.

Now.

As we all know.  I am a giant nerd.  I have been a giant nerd for years.  One of the things I was a giant nerd about forever, was Deadpool.

I even have this hat which I have owned for years (and most people will likely think is a fake geek girl thing now because he’s so popular).

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It might be barely visible here, but trust me that is a Deadpool hat, back when we filmed the first episode of Imbibliomancy.

Deadpool while not a completely underground character has never really been prominent in any Marvel ventures in the greater public.  He made a brief corrupted appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but other than that he was relegated to Comicon, Tumblr, and his comics.

I am so ecstatic that this movie was able to blow away the record for gross income of an R rated movie even though I’m sure some of those sales are from unassuming parents with their young ones expecting a happy jaunt through super hero action adventures.  That is not what they got.  You should have done your research folks, and listened when the people at the ticket booth said the film was rated R.

Super heroes in the cinematic universe seem to be, as comics were originally, assumed for young boys.  Comics as time has gone on has become much more geared toward all ages.  There are comics for kids, and there are comics for adults.  So to, should there be movies, and now there are, and it is glorious.

This might be the first Blu-ray I buy for myself because hot damn was this film a masterpiece.

The in references to Deadpool in all forms, the mocking of the actors and creators.  The blatant Ferris Beuller’s Day Off reference.  Flawless.

This was less a review and more of a gush but god damn do I love this movie.  I love that he was finally done right.  I love that Ryan Reynolds got to reprise his role and do things fabulously.  I don’t think anyone else could have done it the way he did.  He rides the line of attractive, funny, and annoying that Deadpool does normally.  It was great.

Have I said it was great enough?

Yes.

Well then I better go.  That’s all I have for you guys today!  Hope you didn’t mind my fangirling.  The feels are strong with this one.

Books, Comics, Musings

The Ultimate Comic Book Question: Marvel or DC?

The short answer:

Neither I prefer Image!

Please don’t kill me for that response!  It is true at this point in time that when I go into the comic store I am probably there to pick up an Image comic.  However, I do not discriminate, I have picked up issues from both Marvel and DC recently and throughout my life.  In fact it wasn’t until two years ago that I really started reading almost exclusively image, so lets get down to the real question yeah?  Why is there such a rivalry between these two companies and which side should you take.

In order to answer this for myself I’m going to have to talk about my relationship to comics and super heroes in general.  My first introduction to the world of super heroes unsurprisingly was not with comics but with television.  I would watch the CW on Saturday mornings to catch Batman the Animated Series and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This was my first introduction to the concept of super heroes in general.  One of which, was decidedly on the DC side.

After that, or maybe even concurrently with it, I was watching a lot of Cartoon Network.  This was partially because my mother had blocked Nickelodeon from me (She thought Angelica from the Rugrats was a bad role model and seemed to ignore the fact that I most identified with Chuckie) so I was watching Cartoon Network instead while growing up (which is probably weird, because those shows were a lot crazier and weirder than the Nickelodeon ones).  In any case, it is there that we saw the much adored and sorely missed Teen Titans (no matter what anyone says I will stand by the fact that the current Teen Titans Go! show is a great show, even if it doesn’t have the same emotional tone as the original).  Now Teen Titans was a real love.  I looked forward to Batman the Animated Series but I loved Teen Titans, I watched that show religiously.

It was not long after that when I started going to garage sales and flea markets with my grandfather.  It was here that I found out my beloved television heroes came in a book form.  Even if it was covered in pictures, I didn’t mind.  It meant I could spend more time with them.  He would buy me a handful of old issues so I have some random issues of 90s Robin and Detective Comics that people were getting rid of.  No complete story arcs though.  It was like a piece of a story.

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When I got to high school I had researched comics enough to know that I could go to a store and get the new ones as they were coming out.  I was reading mostly Batman still but I soon branched out.  This was probably caused by my having watched a lot of superhero movies in middle school and now knew about the X-Men and Spiderman.  This was my first brush with Marvel and I think everyone agrees that the movies that were coming out back then were not the greatest, no offense to Toby McGuire or Hugh Jackman.  I was pulling a couple female comics as well such as Catwoman.  As I read I also fell in love with heroes like Deadpool who had never made an appearance on the screen. (I saw the movie by the way and you should all go see it, I will be doing a review of that for you guys next week so look forward to that).

Unfortunately I began to fall out of love with comics by the end of high school.  I had stopped going to pick up issues.  I had felt that the stories were getting repetitive and weren’t as strong as they were when I had first started reading.  Maybe I had just grown out of the stage where I fell head over heels in love with them.  They were moving to that part of my heart that held the great child hood loves but I was becoming an adult and not everything breaches that gap.

For my first two years of college I did not read any comics.  None, whatsoever.  Despite the fact that some of my closest friends and roommates read them and pulled them.  Then I saw an image on twitter for a new comic from Image.  I fell in love with the art then and there and that one comic was a hole that I fell into.  I started collecting volumes of back issues so I could start pulling again.  I was reading Low, and Pretty Deadly, and Sex Criminals, and The Wicked + The Divine there were all of these stories that were so different and unique and creator owned.  I was in my person comic book heaven.

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Eventually I even started pulling some super hero or super hero adjacent comics like Gotham by Midnight and Gotham Academy, Spider Gwen and Silk.  My love still sits decidedly with Image but I can see the value in some stories of the super hero variety, it was where my love first stemmed after all.

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That was a long story and it told you a lot about me but did it really answer the question?

Probably not.  Let me give this a try.  In all of my years of reading from both companies this is how I would describe the difference between them.  DC is the company that you will love if you are a person who prefers character oriented stories, I feel like their characters are designed better, have interesting back stories, but their plots can get kind of repetitive.  You read DC comics for the characters.  On the other hand you would be a Marvel reading if you prefer great stories.  The characters can just sometimes feel a bit one note.  That isn’t to say there aren’t really great stand out characters in Marvel, there are, but by and large it doesn’t matter what character you are reading because the story will be unique and great, the characters are just vehicles for that.  They don’t matter as much.

Now when it comes to Image they have it all: interesting and unique characters who are in completely original and new stories.  So if you want the whole package I might look there, but there are far less super heroes in the mix.

So that’s it then.  That’s my answer to the question and my rambling story of why I read comics.  It took a while didn’t it.  Maybe I talked too much.  Oh well, next week will be a nice neat one as I talk about my opinions of the new Deadpool movie!  I’m so excited for that.  Just wait and see.