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?)