Tag Archives: Invincible

Emerald City Comic Con 2011

14 Mar

A cute kitty to start off the post!

Last weekend, thousands of people amassed in order to celebrate all things geeky at the Seattle convention center.  Naturally, I was there.  And, also naturally, I had a giant backpack full of things itching to get signed.  I had a single goal: to get everything signed and personalized to me.  Now, this of course meant that Lillian and I were at ComicCon for a giant 8 hours, but, you know, oh well.  So, I present to you, a graphic history of the day in chronological order with some commentary intermixed. By the by, if you want to see any of the pictures close up (like the art), just right click and choose “view image.”

Skottie Young

Going in, I knew I wanted to get a sketch by Skottie Young of Leonardo the Ninja Turtle because he’s my favorite character in all of comics and Skottie’s artwork is so idiosyncratic and imaginative.  His work on the Wizard of Oz series is so crazy good and his art really has its own little corner of the world staked out.  So here’s the commission he did:

I particularly enjoy that it’s a skinny Leonardo (gives me hope) and the sewer grate adds so much extra depth to the image.  Skottie was also pretty cool always referring me to as “dude” or “man” or something.  He was genuinely excited about everything.

Sergio Aragonés

I then waited in a very long line to meet Sergio Aragonés, the great MAD Magazine margin sketcher.  He was selling some of his books, but most of them were in Spanish.  Nevertheless, I snagged one of the last ones in English (“Fanboy”) and got it signed by him.  He was a genuinely neat guy who still spent a decent amount of time with me despite the giant line behind me.

Dream of the Endless

While I was standing in line for Kurt Busiek, I spotted Dream of the Endless and had to get a picture with him.  I typically don’t really like to get pictures with Cosplayers for some reason, but this was a damn cool costume.  Apparently Death of the Endless was at the show, too.  Unfortunately I never found her, but it would have been really neat to get a picture with the both of them.

Elliott Brown!

So, I ended up standing behind this girl once in the line for Mark Waid, and then another time for Kurt Busiek.  While I was kidding with Lillian she, at some point, exclaimed my name “Elliott!” and this girl swung her head around and was just like “what?”  Well, it turns out we have the same name!  And not just the same name but spelled, in our opinions, correctly!  We exchanged info, but I never really imagined how hard it would be to find Elliott Brown on Facebook.  So, if you’re out there Elliott, please contact me!  Because, really, we had a damn fun time while we hung out for a gigantic 30 minutes or so.  We actually ended up talking to Chrissie Zullo’s friend for awhile together.

Kurt Busiek

After chatting it up with Elliott for a bit, we both finally got to meet Kurt Busiek and we explained to him that we both recently met another Elliott and – for both of us – it was the first time we met someone with the same spelling.  Kurt was just like “Well, have you read the second issue of Astro City?  There’s an Elliott in there.”  This sort of made me feel really stupid because I’ve only read “Marvels” of his and he published that in the 90s.  I’ve thought about reading Astro City, but I just do not know where to begin.  Oh well.

Cully Hamner

Next up was Cully Hamner who did The Question back-up feature in Detective Comics as it was running the Batwoman feature.  He has this very blocky, strong-lined style that I really enjoy, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to read as much of his work as I would have liked.

Dave Stewart

I was super excited to meet Dave Stewart.  Super Excited.  He’s basically the best colorist in the business where he mixes color palettes and can work in multiple different styles.  He’s phenomenal.  I really wish I could have spent some time talking to him, but I had a schedule.  Hopefully he’ll be there at the Con next year and I can spend some time talking to him because he really did not have that long of a line.  He’s the guy that you go “Oh my god these colors are beautiful!” and you turn to the credits and realize, yet again, it’s Dave Stewart doing them.  Plus, I think I may have been one of the few people to get him to sign “Daytripper” for me.  He also helped me complete my perfect copy of Detective Comics #854 with Batwoman where I got everyone who worked on the art side of the comic (writer, artist, colorist, back up artist) to sign it.

 

Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola would have been great to talk to for a bit longer than I did.  I basically got him to sign my battered copy of the first Hellboy storyline and left.  It was mostly because I felt guilty for that being the only bit of work of his that I had read… (*wince*) However, I did really like it and plan on looking into some more of Hellboy.

 

John Aegard

So, I was just recently thinking about The Comfort Guide when I did a presentation on Airplane Safety Instruction Manuals.  However, I forgot who did them and what they were.  I just remembered the custom one from last ECCC of the proper etiquette to approach Leonard Nimoy.  So, I was glad to find him at the Con and buy some of his stuff.  Plus, Lillian in her Sailor Pluto costume with him is just priceless.

 

Sailor Jupitor and Pluto

Lillian had to go downstairs in order to buy her ticket to get a picture with James Marsters and Nicholas Brendon.  During this, she met another Sailor Scout!  Apparently, there was a handful of them, but by the time Lillian had changed into her outfit for her picture, she was out of costume when we saw all of them together.  Overall, though, it was pretty cool to see a couple other Sailor Scouts.

 

Chrissie Zullo

So, DC was doing something super cool, they were having their artists work at their booth and give out free sketches.  I, of course, had to go straight out and get all of my Leonardo sketches.  So, I felt a little bad to some artists who were totally out of their comfort zones with sketching Leonardo.  One artist, in particular was Chrissie Zullo.  She has done some beautiful art for covers of the spinoff Fables miniseries based around Cinderella.  They’re mostly pixie-esque stunning women.  So, here I am, asking for a Ninja Turtle!  Nevertheless, I had some reference material for the artists to work with, and Chrissie did a pretty good job working with that.  It was pretty impressive how quickly she could mimic the reference art.

 

Pete Woods

Another artist I got a sketch from was Pete Woods who is currently working on Action Comics with Lex Luthor.  To be honest, I haven’t really checked out much of his work, but I did really enjoy his depiction of Death of the Endless when she met with Lex.  When I whipped out my reference pictures and asked for a Ninja Turtle, the guy in line behind me went “Well done, man, well done!”  Apparently not that many people ask for Ninja Turtles (Smiley faced emoticon)!  I noticed while watching Woods draw was that he was mostly doing side profiles which was pretty interesting.  I’ll show some more sketches I got for free towards the end.

 

Marv Wolfman

Marv Wolfman and Sailor Pluto

We got dual pictures with Marv Wolfman!  I was pretty happy with meeting Marv Wolfman because I got my collected edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths signed (and personalized) as well as each individual issue (which I got all 12 at a garage sale for about $5).  Lillian was also excited because she is a big Teen Titans (primarily Raven) fan.  He also told us that he and artist George Perez are collaborating yet again on a new Teen Titans story that sounds pretty badass!

 

Steve Lieber

I was pretty pleased with meeting Steve Lieber.  While he was signing my copies of Whiteout, I explained to him that I read both of them while I was in Mexico which was a funny place to read books that take place in Antarctica.  I then told him that I showed my Grandma (and then my mother later on) his art because it was so beautiful and rugged.  It’s the type of art that has care in the chaos.  Fantastic.

 

Fab Batman and Robin!

Blurry Lillian and Sauron

Frank Quitely

So, I was actually surprised how easy it was to meet Frank Quitely.  Mind you, I met him at the DC Booth, but it was a relatively short line.  I really loved his Batman & Robin work as well as All-Star Superman.  Unfortunately, the copy of All-Star Superman I was going to buy at the bookstore was already gone two weeks before the Con.  So, I had to settle with JLA Earth 2 which was sort of his first foray with the DC Characters.  You could kind of see him struggling with drawing them and I didn’t care too much for it.  But, oh well, that’s what I got signed!  Then again, I did get the first three issues of Batman & Robin signed by him!  While we were waiting in line, Dustin Nguyen and this other guy were doing free sketches, but unfortunately they already put a cap on their line so I couldn’t get sketches from them.  Oh, and I could understand Frank’s accent!  It was weird because normally I can’t.

 

Pia Guerra

Next up was Pia Guerra the fantastic artist behind Y: The Last Man (check out my Super HeroiHOT of her character Agent 355).  Unfortunately, a nice little sign of her held some unfortunate circumstances.  Apparently, she had suffered a concussion and could barely speak up at the moment.  Yet, she trooped on.  Because of her concussion, I didn’t have the heart to ask her to sign on the inside of the cover.

 

Greg Rucka

Next up was my favorite writer: Greg Rucka.  Unfortunately, I have only read his independent stuff like Queen & Country and Stumptown as well as his Batwoman work that I was introduced to him by, but I’m planning on reading more of his superhero work.  He’s just a really neat guy with a knack for writing strong female voices which is something the comics industry always needs more of.  I also talked to him about speaking at schools and he said that he would definitely be interested.  I sure hope we can snag him!

 

Mark Waid

Mark Waid was actually the first person I saw at the con, but I forgot to get a picture with him.  I later ran into him while he was meeting up with Greg Rucka and he did this classic handshake pose.  I have got to say this: Mark Waid is one of the nicest guys in the business.  He genuinely cares about what he does and he’s warm and welcoming.  He’s just super friendly and it is really refreshing.  He’s a great writer, but he has not let that gone to his ego (I’m looking at you Geoff Johns).  If you are interested in comics and really want someone great to meet, then that person is Mark Waid.

 

Ryan Ottley

So, there was this massive line for Erik Larsen, and caught in the middle of it was Ryan Ottley.  So, I squeezed my way in between people and got him to sign almost all of the issues of The Viltrumite War for Invincible.  He was pretty cool but seemed a little beat.  I could imagine, it was 5 or 6 when I finally managed to get to him.  I complimented him on the amazing 10 or so dual page spreads in Invincible #75 and told him that I managed to stare at those for an incredibly long time.  I think I made him pretty happy with my compliments.

 

Lillian and Shane from Atomic Comics

Here’s a picture of Lillian with Shane at the Atomic Comics booth.  The best damn comic shop in Tacoma and the best and most friendly comic shop I’ve ever been in!

 

Batman eating a Subway sandwich

Cameron Stewart

Here’s a very energetic Cameron Stewart with me having absolutely no idea of what’s going on behind me.  He did a couple runs on Batman & Robin that were pretty great and I really love his style.  It’s reminiscent of a cleaner version of Frank Quitely but still completely his own.  To tell the truth, I almost liked his run on Batman & Robin more than Frank Quitely, but that’s a close race.

 

Becky from Tiny Kitten Teeth

So, before Lillian and I headed back to the car for her to change out of her Sailor Pluto costume and for me to drop off half of the books I was lugging around and switch off with the other half, I happened to spot someone doing $10 commissions.  Of course, this was a steal!  On top of that, they were insanely adorable commissions.  So, I got Becky from Tiny Kitten Teeth to draw me up a super cute Leonardo while we went and switched out.

 

 

Adorable, right!?

Her partner Frank and I also chatted it up a bit about the TV movie Turtles Forever.  It was pretty rad.  $10 for that thing!?  It was a steal, and I’ll gladly continue supporting them for a long time, it was probably one of the great discoveries at Comic Con.

 

One of the funniest costumes at the con. Beware the Metroid!

Obligatory Darth Vader

Lillian's Pride and Joy

So, one of the primary reasons Lillian came to ECCC was not only to dress up in her costume but to get a $90 picture with James Marsters and Nicholas Brendon otherwise known as Spike and Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  It’s kind of surprising how tall she is in comparison to them!  Well, the last hour of the Con was her getting the picture and waiting for it to be printed, but it was pretty gland.  You have no idea how excited she was after she got the picture, “I GOT TO HUG THEM!” or something of the sort.  Ahh, the world of the celebrity.  It was pretty awesome, all in all.

 

A special treat!

So, at some point during the Con, we managed to spot this treat from far away.  Lillian and I have a huge obsession over Scott Bakula.  His Quantum Leap days were fantastic.  So, imagine our surprise over a parody of Scott Pilgrim with Scott Bakula! Fantastic!

 

Evil Abraham Lincoln

Lillian got this free sketch from these guys dressed in fancy 18th century clothes with wigs!  It was grand.

 

Yanick Paquette's free sketch

This was my first free sketch from Yanick Paquette and his inker (who I did not really catch his name).  Yanick was very excited the whole time talking fast with his Canadian accent.  You could tell he genuinely enjoys drawing.  When I asked for my Turtle sketch he was just like, “you know, in the 17 years that I’ve been drawing, I have never once been asked to draw a Ninja Turtle” which I replied with “At least that makes me memorable!”  His inker also made fun of him for the turtle having a heaving chest with hardly any neck.  They had some pretty funny banter.

 

Jeff Lemire's turtle boy

So, I came to Jeff Lemire (which I was really looking for a copy of Essex County before going to the con but couldn’t find any) who does Sweet Tooth which is a darling yet poignant comic with human/animal hybrids, basically.  So, it would have just been unfair to ask him to draw a Ninja Turtle (even though I still did this with Chrissie Zullo, woops).  So, I asked him to imagine a boy in his world that had the characteristics of a turtle.  So, he came out with this.  Afterward he was just like, “Sorry, it kind of looks like a peanut.” I told him I still really liked it.  It’s pretty adorable in that weird, charming sort of way.

So that concludes our foray into Emerald City Comic Con 2011.  So, let me leave you with some observations:

  1. Out of everyone I saw it was obvious that there was one thing very striking about the situation.  The majority of comic book creators are White youngish to middle-aged men.  I only saw two female creators out of everyone and that was pretty surprising.  There were no black people that I saw (although, one guy was doing free sketches at the DC Booth, but I don’t know who it was) really at all behind the creators tables.  This wasn’t just me choosing to go around and avoid these people: there was a genuine lack of diversity with creators.
  2. I really need to spend some time at the LGBT booths and look at their stuff because I sort of missed out this year.
  3. Next year I also need to support more independent creators rather than just going all out on the big names.  As shown through Becky from Tiny Kitten Teeth, there are some fantastic creators out there that do not have a big name attached to them.
  4. It’s occasionally a little unfair to ask people to draw Ninja Turtles all of the time, but at least I provide references.
  5. The ECCC staff did an excellent job at remaining organized through the massive amounts of people.
  6. There was no big information releases by any of the companies and most of the panels seemed like character worshiping (this is of course through just what I’ve read rather than actual experience since I didn’t go to any panels).
  7. There’s a great potential to bond with people and meet new friends like Elliott (PLEASE CONTACT ME!), and I should come with a plan to meet creators but also keep a loose enough schedule to actually soak in the experience.
  8. I have this problem where I get overwhelmed by too much stimulus.  Comic Cons definitely have too much stimulus, but it’s so much that it’s almost welcoming.
  9. I need to spend more time actually talking to creators and have some questions prepared for them rather than just signing and leaving.  The ones they remember are the ones who care enough about their work in order to talk to them about it.
  10. Everyone there seemed very fun and friendly.

So, I hope you enjoyed living vicariously through Lillian and I, and I really encourage you to check out a Comic Con sometime in your life because they’re really amazing.

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Invincible #75: Review

3 Nov

You know, I waited a long time for this issue.

IT WAS WORTH IT.

Not only is it jam packed with extra content from Science Dog to Tech Jacket… It just delivers all around.

The Viltrumite War continues, and I was a little disappointed that the extra pages weren’t for more Invincible.  In retrospect, though, I’m okay with that.

Because what we did get of Invincible was fabulous.  There were at least 7 Splash Pages… DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW OFTEN THAT HAPPENS!?  I cannot think of a single time.  Plus, about 4 or 5 of them were in a row.  This story is epic.  This comic is epic.  Their fear is real.  And, holy fucking shit?  Did anyone see those two things coming?  Wow!

Oh, and we learn a thing or two about the Viltrumites.

So, the comic delivers.  I do have some issues with it, but I really cannot complain too much.

FYI, this is not a jumping on point for new readers.  The Viltrumite War has been building for quite awhile and this is straight in the middle of it.  However, if you do ever look into reading Invincible, this particular passage will not disappoint.

A whole new slew of comic reevus

9 Jun

Well, I didn’t get comics for a month or so… There was a lot waiting for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up Grizzly Shark and Sea Bear, Return of Bruce Wayne #2, and my LCS still hasn’t received Tales of the TMNT #69.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with my pulls, and I even went out on a limb and bought some Marvel which was, surprisingly, really good.

So, let’s start it off with the bad and move towards the awesome:

Green Lantern #54:

It’s really unfortunate that most of these scenes in this book were sort of seen in others (mostly Brightest Day), and I’m a little tired of Green Lantern.  Honestly, this book is testing my patience.  It looks pretty and Doug Mahnke does his best with trying to make the Star Sapphire costume look not so slutty, but I feel like Geoff Johns is just trying to outdo himself with the next big, cosmic event.  Therefore, character studies are shot down for a rather boring plot.  And Lobo, seriously?  I’m giving this comic three more tries.  If it fails twice in those three times, then it’s out.

The best part of this comic, though, was Dex-Star (the Red Lantern Cat) kicking some ass.

Batgirl #11:

I’ll begin this by mentioning that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this issue.  I feel like Bryan Q. Miller is doing a knockout job developing a voice for Stephanie.  Sure, Lee Garbett & Pere Perez’s pencils sort of make Stephanie’s boobs fluctuate size on a nearly frame by frame basis, but the art’s overall good.  Everyone’s doing a good job.  My problem is that the comic is doing things that have been done before.  Sure, these are all sort of training exercises for Stephanie, but the stakes are obvious and I don’t feel like there’s any real big threat.  The Calculator is nice, but that’s more so Barbara’s villain.  Is Stephanie going to get any of her own.

As far as dream sequences go, this was one of the more interesting ones out of the thousands out there in comic land.

Girl Comics #2:

I feel like this comic should be longer than it is.  I feel like there should be more stories in it.  Hell, I’m being charged $5 goddamn dollars for it, I might as well get some more stories.  Plus, what’s up with the shipping delay?

Alright, refocus on what’s actually here in the comic.  Unfortunately, it was hit and miss.  I enjoyed the intro again even if it felt like I was rereading the intro from before (I really liked the variation of She-Hulk’s costume).  The Inhumans was kinda bleh.  However, I really liked the hairdressing story because it didn’t really feel like it was shoving the issue of “hey, girls like to get their hair done!” but more so a thing that they do that shows a different aspect of their lives.  I liked the art and coloring on the “Do You Ever?” story even if the script was a bit lacking.  The two page spread of MJ searching for another superhero boyfriend was delightfully taking stabs at the machismo behind many male superheroes which made me pretty giddy.  The Dr. Strange story was a major disappointment.  I just did not understand what was going on.

So, overall, okay, but nothing major.

Batman #700(!):

Alright, I had to dish out the $5 on this landmark issue.  I figured it would probably not be that great, but, strangely, I found it to be pretty gosh darn good.  Now, let me preface it with me walking home 3 and a half miles in the rain worrying about my comics getting wet.  Then, it began pouring – like Puget Sound every day in February pouring – and I sought refuge.  Enter coffee shop and a warm chai.

I opened it up, and found this time-spanning narrative not confusing but, despite being defined by time periods, timeless.  Grant Morrison hit the mark on portraying that, no matter what, there will always be a need for a Batman in comics/the comic world.  Naturally, Frank Quitely’s frenetic energy in his section made a major impression.  It was unfortunate that he couldn’t finish the whole “Today” section.  I feel like they could have simply put a “Tonight” label after the switch to slightly differentiate between the artists and acknowledge the change up.

Now, I’m not a fan of Damien becoming Batman in the future.  Particularly because I think the transition would be too easy for the character… and I don’t like his batsuit.  So, that part was kinda “hmm meh” for me.  However, 2-Face-2 was hilarious as was the final joke.

The “And Tomorrow” section was genius showing off all the different Batmen that have come, gone, or will pass.  I really like the Full masked, silver-emblazoned one.

Overall, this is a pretty good story for a Batman fan with a little bit for everyone.  Sometimes, it didn’t hit the mark.  When it did, though, it was lovely.

Heralds #s 1 & 2:

After reading Kelly Thompson’s review of Her-alds, I decided to give it a try.  And, honestly, I am so glad I did.

Some Superheroes who just all happen to be women get together through an interesting means, and then, all of a sudden, a clones (of scientists and historical figures creating some funny moments with Einstein and later Hitler), Dinosaur, chaotic thing happens.  They bond together over fighting and then come together in the second issue over Frankie Raye and how she plays in the overall importance of recent events.

The art on these issues is amazing.  Some commentators (anonymous comments on other people’s reviews) have said that the art style is too indie or doesn’t differentiate between the women.  I would have to counter this by stating that I am not familiar in any depth with the majority of these characters, and I could tell them apart through facial differences.  Plus, I really like the slim, short-haired She-Hulk.  I mean, she’s lean but with lots of muscle.  Who’s to say the Gamma radiation has to make her bulky just to give her immense strength?

At times, the plot can be a little overwhelming and the dialogue quick, but another read through brings along more enjoyment.  Trust me, the first read is still just as good as you’re briskly trying to read what’s next.  This got me to chuckle aloud, which, as said numerous times before, is a hard thing to do.  Check out the Thompson review to see some pages from the actual book to see the interior art.

Red Robin #13:

Tim Drake-Wayne.  Marriage fake.  Identity.  New duds.  Checklists.  Hard Decisions.  Worth it?

I know that this comic is worth it.  You barely have to be knowledgeable about Tim Drake or this series to still really enjoy it, and the twist is wonderful.  God, I love this comic (and the writer switch – Fabian Nicieza who’s written Tim Drake before – hardly altered anything; a nice transition).

Invincible #72:

Within the Invincible Universe, I feel like Kirkman is at his best with writing violence.  I believe this also probably gives Ryan Ottley much more to play around with.  Anyone noticed the similar attacks Conquest utilizes?  Come on, the frames are nearly the same.

This issue completely surprised me in a good way.  The melodrama’s out of the way, and now it’s just super hard hitting and awesome.  I never knew breathing could be so great!

The Walking Dead #72:

God, does Kirkman know how to nail that final page for every issue.  I mean, it also works really fluidly during the trades, too.  Still, I just love it.

This issue focuses pretty heavy on the adjustment process with emphasis on Michonne, Andrea, and Glenn.  Um, yeah… mostly my favorite characters.  It’s nice to not see any zombies for a bit; although, I’m sure that will change next issue.  This is just such a consistently great comic.

Wait… what happened? New comics…

18 Apr

I just spent a considerable amount of thought power writing my review of Kick-Ass, and now I just feel like bitching about something.  What better way to get my need for bitching about something than the slew of goddamn awful comics that came out in the last two weeks!?

Brightest Day #0:

Wow… I’m pretty sure DC just lost me as a customer of Brightest Day (excluding the first issue to get the last promotional ring) with this trite shit.  Honestly, I felt like I was looking at the solicitations for the next three months in comic form.  This was purely a promotional stunt and it made me feel pretty fucked over, honestly.

First up, the art is mediocre.  I can’t completely blame this on Fernando Pasarin because he also happened to have six (SIX!!!!) inkers on his work.  Way to piss all over making the art look continuous and flowing.  Nevertheless, Pasarin still had pretty bad facial expressions and ruined the refreshing portrayal of Mera (along with the writers… which is a little weird since Johns penned both) by Ivan Reis in Blackest Night.

Despite not actually knowing why Deadman’s still wearing his costume but just wearing a trench coat to cover it, the first 6 pages of the comic are the best because I like slow pacing to comics… and birds… Anyway, it’s all downhill from there as we cut instantly to the typical “hot naked woman waking up from bed to find that the husband is gone and she goes out to find him for some more nookie” scene.  How many times have I seen this?  Oh, I don’t know, somewhere up there in the couple hundreds.  Mera is no longer the strong, badass character, and now she relies fully on the man in the relationship.  She has gone from D-line to A/B-line back to about roughly C-line.  Seriously, covering up her naked, smiling body with bubbles as she dives into the ocean and still somehow manages to have an extraordinary amount of cleavage!? How the fuck is that possible?

A couple of not interesting things, then Maxwell Lord’s thing which was actually pretty badass.  Then we go to mars and see basically the most times J’onn J’onzz has ever smiled in about 4 pages.  Some more shit.  Some shitty shit.

THEN STAR CITY’S DESTRUCTION BEING IN THE SHAPE OF A STAR AND TURNING INTO A FUCKING FOREST.  Fucking dumb.  Fuck!  Ooh, and some even more Sinestro on top of that.  Then some more T & A and posed pictures for little boys to jack off to in the previews section.

Honestly, this hurt really bad.

I like how Boston Brand is the main character.  I don’t like how out of 3600 sectors the only ones revived were from 2814 (earth, basically) after so much death in Blackest Night.  I don’t like what’s happening.  Blackest Night was decent.  This is shit.

Invincible Returns:

How about we call this: A bunch of reasons why Invincible shouldn’t kill any more and why Cecil is a manipulating bastard and Atom Eve is still pregnant (surprise!) and let’s change back into an older costume!

Invincible is usually fairly reliable to land in the 3-5 star range, but this little reason gathering before Invincible enters the long-awaited Viltrumite War with a really bad recap back up was pretty damn awful.  There was just soooooo much text, and the action sequence thrown in was completely stilted and awkward.  There really was no furthering of the plot here and it just gave us more of what we already knew as regular readers.  In that sense, this would probably be considered a jumping on point for the series.  However, I would definitely not start reading Invincible based after this book.  It’s terrible and pretty, “hey, remember how awesome that was!?… well, something else awesome and surprising is going to happen… buy our book!”

Egh.  At least it had better, more original art than Brightest Day.

The Flash #1:

I bought this so I could get the Flash Ring which actually fit way better than any of the Corps rings.  Anyway, I won’t be being the second issue.  This comic, along with Flash Rebirth, still does not make a very convincing argument for the need to bring Barry Allen back.  Nevertheless, I’ve accepted the fact and moved on.  The problem with this issue is that the writing is really, really, really fucking bad.  I think Geoff Johns was probably sleeping and his drool wrote out this and he decided it would be great and thanks drool.  The only thing holding this issue up is Francis Manapul’s art.  Even then, though, I have some problems.  All of his faces sort of look the same after awhile unless they’re a main, main character or are of a different age range.  I like the clean, refreshing, and younger appeal of the new Barry Allen and what not, but there are some problems.  Nevertheless, Manapul brings a light to this comic that is missing in the writing and really knows how to portray speed in an interesting way.  I’m quite a big fan of the single page spread directly before the silent pacing page then the 2 page reveal of time-travel.  He’s running through traffic and has to jump up in order to miss getting hit by a car and I love his facial expression afterward.  It’s a really well designed page.

What really made me upset, though?  It was the two page teaser for next year’s Flash-event that Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert are doing.  Frankly, it looks really dumb, and the only reason I might read it is because of the White Lantern involved.  Otherwise, it just looks like a time-travel clusterfuck and nothing really fresh or new.

Batgirl #9:

A decent set-up issue for another storyline with good work on writing and pencilling duties.  Some really good work on characterization.  Nothing special, though, and that was my main problem with it.  Once again, Barbara Gordon’s hair as the strange capacity to change length and style on a whim.  They are creating a nice niche for Stephanie in Gotham that I’m appreciating.  However, a flood?  Hasn’t Gotham had enough natural disasters?  Why are people still living there?

Red Robin #11:

You know? Ra’s Al Ghul is such a badass.  This comic continues Ra’s targeting everyone who ever mattered to Bruce Wayne and Tim Drake-Wayne to get back at Tim for his betrayal.  Things continue to build in this issue (I actually thought this was the conclusion to the storyline, but I’m actually pretty glad for another issue) and my only problems were some coloring errors and Vicki Vale somehow being able to take out some League of Assassin trained ninjas.  So, some uncharacteristic things.  I enjoyed the quick face off between Tim and Damien which was lovely illustration.  Once again, torture comes up as an issue in this one, and it’s very interesting.  I really believe Marcus To is going to be great and I’m glad he’s on this book.  Like Batgirl, though, nothing extraordinary.  The comic is still a little messy, but with some cleaning up on both sides of the spectrum, it really could be great.

Batman and Robin #11:

I couldn’t find the awful Frank Quitely cover that the main comic was printed with because it’s bad.  You know? I’m glad this comic is only $2.99.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t buy it.  Morrison does provide a strong amount of twists and turns in this comic, but a dollar more just wouldn’t be worth it.  I really enjoy Andy Clarke’s visual style because it’s so distinctive within comics (despite it resembling a modern take on the many block prints of the early 20th and late 19th century).  Nevertheless, I really don’t like his design of Talia Al Ghul.  Morrison’s brief description countering claims of the even more expansive cavework underneath the mansion after the earthquake a couple years before is a little frustrating.  Well, his work with batman is a little frustrating.  Yet, he somehow manages to make it entertaining.  So, kudos for that.

Nothing extraordinary… and a lot of bad… and I need to go and eat.

ECCC10 – A Photo Experience

14 Mar

It seems that with any big event, you look back and think, “damn, wish I had taken more photos!”  Unless you’re one of those people that takes 1000 photos per hour…

Anyway, looking back on yesterday at Emerald City Comic Con, it would have been nice to have some photos of the crazy crowd/lines, maybe us heading into Seattle on the bus or getting a Piroshky in Pike Place.  Maybe a couple more pictures of some crazy costumes (although, I actually don’t recall as many people in costume – at least, phenomenal costumes – as last year).  I almost had another disastrous moment as losing my wallet last year when, a couple minutes before the bus picked Lillian and I up, I remembered that I left the ECCC tickets in my other bag (because I was originally going to take my photo bag instead of my backpack).  Luckily, my house was just around the corner.

Not actually my photo, but I figured it would be a good opener.

So, the lines were definitely not as bad this year to get in; I congratulate the ECCC crew on providing a better layout and more organized system of getting people in.  However, I also recognize that Lillian and I came about an hour later than I showed up last year to get in.

After reading Stumptown the night before, I knew I had to get one of the limited edition Stumptown prints from Matthew Southwarth as soon as I got in.  So, that was step number one for my ultimate satisfaction of the day.

I believe mine is 29/100

Last year, I was so overwhelmed with it being basically my first comic con and me losing my wallet earlier in the day that I really just went for the free stuff and wandered around with my head chopped off.  This year, I had a game plan.

So, first off, I spotted the Image booth with Ryan Ottley sitting with only a crowd of a couple people in front.  I moved in and looked at his folder of sketches which were super cheap!  I got one sketch that was him planning out the cover of Invincible #56 with some sketches of the body shape of Allen the Alien.  The other one was this wonderful piece of work which has an old man holding a cane with a mail box on top.  I asked him if it was from anything and he said, “well, my brain.  I was just doodling around and came up with it.”  I also got him to sign the resolution to the controversial issue in which Adam Eve dies (the one where she quickly resurrects #64) with him remarking, “oh, that one was fun!”

My brainstormin page has this in the size of a thumbnail, but is pretty close to the final product

Afterwards, Lillian and I rounded the corner of the same booth to find Kieron Gillen, writer behind Phonogram.  I bought Phonogram: The Singles Club, and he signed it and what not.  He was exceptionally charming.  I thought he had a Scottish accent, but Wikipedia says he’s a Brit.  So, I’m rather confused.  He talked about how the TPB of The Singles Club just came out that day so it was like his newborn baby he had to show off to the world.  As he was signing it, he made sure to get the spelling of my name right, and then he talked about how every publisher he’s worked for has misspelled his name at some point and how it’s really frustrating.  I’m fairly certain I remember calling them bastards or motherfuckers, but Lillian and I were staring dreamily into his eyes and weren’t able to notice.  I’m pretty sure, that, if given the opportunity, Lillian and I would have talked to him all day… preferably at a pool with drinks in hand.

Kieron really didn't look like this when we met him... I think he's trying to look like a super serious artist

After getting the picture I went, “oh fuck!” realizing that I never got a picture with Ryan Ottley.  He seemed a little indifferent to my charms (joking about him having to sit down all day probably wasn’t too wise), but still an all around cool guy.

Holding up the Old Man piece

Lillian and I went over to Atomic Comics booth and said “hi” to my favorite comic providers and talked about how hectic it was.  Lillian and the Woman who works there (I always forget her name) talked about Kieron Gillen and how Lillian did not want him stolen away from her.  The gal said that Lillian having Kieron was okay because “Geoff Johns is mine!”

Walking over to the creator alley, Lillian and I came upon some local and independent comic zines where I bought one of their things.  We also met Daniel M. Davis of Monster Commute who was super neat.  I talked to him about silkscreen, woodblock, and linoleum printing.  We also discussed the time differences between creating something digitally (his favorite would be through vectors which he has been doing for 15 years or so) and then through traditional mediums.  He was super neat and offered for me to hit him up through e-mail to talk about some art more and was interested at looking at some of my stuff.  I really don’t think any of my stuff (even though it’s drastically different) really compares to his, but I definitely appreciate the offer.  Lillian bought a print off of him of Abraham Lincoln as a Frankenstonian monster with “He’s watching You” at the bottom because she doesn’t really like good ol’ Honest Abe too much and thought it was hilarious. Check out Monster Commute!

I kept on getting distracted watching his mustache while talking to him

After finally making it to Artist/Creator Alley, I was about to peruse the booths of creators when a guy walked past us in a bright green costume.  Of course, he didn’t have the hood up over his face, but as he passed I went “wow, that is a bright green man.”  Then, it hit me.  GREEN MAN FROM ALWAYS SUNNY!  I turned around as I told Lillian to get the camera ready and yelled out “Green man!”  He promptly turned around and I went – to make sure – “from Always Sunny, right?”  He replied “yeah” and I asked for a picture.  Then, I promptly texted Monique imagining her seething jealousy (even if it wasn’t Charlie).

I wonder if those would be considered cut off gloves?

As we walked across the back counters, I found Steven T. Seagle.  Now, I’ve only read “It’s a Bird…” but I was blown away by it, and decided I needed a copy since I had only read a library copy.  Walking up to the booth, a guy was getting Steven to sign basically 60 comics.  The fan was really nice and allowed me to butt in to buy a copy of the book.  I mentioned to Mr. Seagle that I had read the comic over the summer and had e-mailed one of my Professors suggesting her to use the book in one of her essays because she studies how disease (particularly incurable) is portrayed in sequential art.  He replied, “well, I’m the guy for that!”  Then, he gave me his card suggesting for me to get my Prof to e-mail him when they were done with the essay because he was interested.  He then signed my book adding in a Superman diamond that had a question mark inside it.  The other fan and I both laughed when he did it, but I realized that that symbol basically summed up the entire meaning of the graphic novel.  It was pretty powerful.

I'm guessing someone said something really funny beforehand because I have a really stupid expression

We then continued down and met some independent publishers such as Erika Moen.  She was really nice and I saw that she did a comic conversation with Lucy Knisley (whom I love the work of and might travel down to Portland for the Stumptown Comics Fest just to meet).  Their art is kinda similar, and I really liked briefly talking to her, but Lillian and I were both already running low on cash.  Lillian almost bought a card that had two anemones fighting and it read “Let’s not be Anemones.”  The guy next to her was exhibiting some photographic nudes with octopus tentacles on their bodies.  It was really, really amazing.  Lillian was about to get one, but decided not to.  If anyone knows who this artist is, please let me know.  I really want to check out his other work.  Okay, I just looked, and Dylan Meconis was next to Erika Moen.  Her work is equally hilarious especially with the french revolutionaries, but I know there was a guy exhibiting between them, and I don’t remember who.  Awww shucks.

AH HA! (this is an update, by the way) I figured out the Octopus Photo mystery! Erika Moen was actually selling them and she’s the nude in the photographs!  Some of the photographs can be found at Visioluxus.

After figuring out the confusing (because you have to look over so many people), yet utterly simple organization of things, we finally located Greg Rucka and Matthew Southwarth who I really wanted to sign my recently purchased Stumptown print.  Well, Rucka was heading to lunch, but I got Matthew to sign it, and he was super friendly.  I didn’t get into any deep conversations with him past the standard “your art and portrayal of women is phenomenal,” but the overall experience was nice.

I'm pretty sure some creators get so tired of taking pictures that they just start making goofy faces

Right next door was J.H. Williams III, and I went over and looked at the art he was exhibiting.  It was phenomenal going through his inked work for Detective Comics/Batwoman and seeing his crazy original layouts in person.  However, I feel like I kinda pissed him off… I was looking at his book he had for sale (I’m pretty sure it was the last one he had) and I couldn’t afford it (with only 28/138 dollars in my pocket) if I wanted anything else at the show.  Then, after telling him that I couldn’t get it, but if I could get him to sign a comic and take a picture, he seemed a little peeved.  I felt really bad and a bit embarrassed afterward.  He was still open and sort of friendly, but just kinda terse.  Lillian really liked looking at his line work on the originals, too.

Dear Mr. Williams, I would have bought that book of yours if I had the money. I would have taken you out to dinner, too. I'm sorry if I made your day a little bit worse...

After getting the majority of the artists’ signatures or whatever that I wanted to (realizing only until after the show that I forgot about a handful including Doug Mahnke and Brian Azzarello) and not having the cash to get anything from Dustin Nguyen, Lillian and I braved all of the exhibitors selling their comics.

Really, there wasn’t anything that good this year.  I mean, I love it when they bring comics and have them for 50 cents each, but then they’re usually not organized.  Plus, with a backpack on, it was kinda hard to maneuver in the narrow passages to find the area I wanted to look at.  Lillian never found any Sailor Moon comics that she was looking for which sucked.

Then, as we were near the photo booth (where Stan Lee was behind… even though we never saw him) there was an exhibitor with a whole box of TMNT comics for $2 each, which is a fairly reasonable deal.  I bartered with the lady (by looking pitiful because of not having enough money) and got 13 comics for $20.  I was quite pleased that these included the micro-series for each turtle that were one-shots that came out right around when Vol. 1 was at about issue #9 or so.  These go for 10-30 dollars each on eBay, so I was rather proud.

We walked around trying to sneak a peak of Stan Lee or Leonard Nemoy in which Lillian reviewed her plan of deciding to interrupt a photo session with Nemoy and a fan by joining the picture and then tackling Spock himself.  A rather risky plan, but fucking hilarious when you imagine Lillian doing this.  The line to get pictures taken with them reached all the way outside the main rooms, and we knew right away that it just wasn’t worth it.  While trying to navigate our way back to see if Greg Rucka had come back, we passed Lou Ferrigno looking kind of miserable at his booth taking pictures with fans, autographing, and displaying a slew of press photos (mostly, sadly, from his time as The Incredible Hulk).  Nevertheless, it was quite impressive to see this 58 year old guy still have huge biceps and other muscles that could probably all break both of my femurs at the same time.

Lillian and I stood in line to get the free stuff at the DC booth, and she went a little overboard.  At this point, I also got a text from my equivalent to Voldemort (I shudder at making a Harry Potter reference) which was fairly spiteful.  It almost ruined my day, but FUCK! I was at Comic Con.  Still, it hurts that someone I was so close with could be so hateful towards me when I never did anything explicitly wrong and they did.  Anyway, DC was giving out a bunch of free stuff including a bunch of comics (Joe the Barbarian, the Authority, Batman and Robin, DEMO, and Daytripper to name a few).  Looking back, we forgot to get the exclusive free comics at BOOM! and Image, but oh well.  After getting our stock and some buttons, we went over to see if Greg Rucka had come back.

Greg Rucka looking quite composed after running around the booth

Luckily, we got in just as a large line formed.  Lillian decided to go and buy and Owly shirt and apparently talked to Andy Runton for awhile about the comic.  She came back just in time for when I got up to Greg after a guy who Greg had gone, “Oh sheesh!,” over because of all the comics he had for him to sign which Greg limited down to 5 or 10.  However, right as I walked up, Greg was just like “oh hey, can you wait just a sec!  Don’t worry, I’ll come right back!”  So, I was left waiting at his booth with my Detective Comics (that Williams had already signed) and Stumptown print.  He ran over and had a brief conversation with J.H. Williams III, and Matthew Southwarth looked over at me and was just like, “so, Greg’s deserting you, huh?”  I shrugged and went, “well, I guess so!”  Greg came back doing a sort of run, ballet action with his arms slightly outstretched navigating the backpacks and chairs behind the booths.  He said “Sorry about that!” Then, he signed my stuff, and as doing so saw a person dressed up as the Scarlet Witch and said, “You know, some people… There are things that you dress up in at home… for your significant other… and then there are things you just never put on in public.”  We laughed and I made some comment, then he did his dance around the booth to come out and take a picture with me.  He observed the line waiting to meet him and said, “Hold your horses!  You’ll get me in a sec!”

He was pretty funny, but in a way that you could tell he was covertly making fun of the whole convention scene which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Therefore, I propose this, Greg Rucka, can we become friends?

Lillian and I took one last walk to see if we could spot Stan Lee or Leonard Nemoy, but failed in our great quest for Stan The Man and Spock.

Geoff Johns and Ian Sattler

We decided to leave, but, as we were leaving, I spotted that the DC Nation panel was going on.  We caught about the last 5 minutes of it where Riddler was announced as the main villain in the first Batman: Earth One graphic novels and one of the last people asking a question asked about the panel’s opinions over the XXX Batman movie coming out.  Ian Sattler jokingly kicked him off the mic.  So, at the last moment, Lillian and I got to see Geoff Johns, Brian Azzarello, Peter Tomasi, and James Robinson.

We left, went to H+M and Urban Outfitters, but we didn’t get anything.  Then, we got on the bus and headed back to Tacoma.  On a bus transfer, we had time to go across the street to the Mad Hat Tea Company which was really neat and had some great drinks.

Lillian and Monster Abe: A Matchmaker's Dream

We came back to my place and read some of our free comics as Sabretooth laid across them, and then we watched an episode of Quantum Leap as we ate dinner.  Some more comics reading, and then we played Upwords where she kicked my ass.

Sabretooth and Abe making the same ominous face

Lillian rather excited

Taking a break from reading so many comics

Overall, we had a pretty damn good day with a lot of new artwork (to now spend money on the frames) to hang up and admire.  I’m counting for next year’s ECCC (which will now be a 3 day event) to be just as awesome.

What did I get from that MYTHICAL Beast? – The Dumpster

22 Feb

Ready to enter amidst the sun.

I’m listening to Starlight Mints’ “Change Remains” and it is super fattttttttyyyyy.  I’m loving it.  Still distinctly them but pretty different.  Who knew they could always be so badass, experimental, and pop-y!?

Anyway, I figured I’d list out the books I got from the Dumpster (for free!).

  • The Bourne Identity (bent with a conk shell on its cover that happens to have a… RAILROAD SPIKE right through it!)
  • Robinson Crusoe (yeah, you bet it has some faded 50s illustrations)
  • Paradise Lost (seriously, I’ve already gotten all of this!)
  • Moby Dick (with a sweet ass inner cover design tracking the ship and the whale as they travel on the map of the world with the power of dashed lines!)
  • One Hundred and One Famous POEMS (included above every poem by a single author is a weird looking portrait of them… totally enhances the experience)
  • Nature and the Universe (I got this mostly for the illustrations… they look like really sweet block prints)
  • 536 Puzzles & Curious Problems (I will probably never open this… I will probably give it away as a present some day to get it off my shelf… but boy, does it have some tough puzzles!)

Yeah, that’s right… all of that, I got from a dumpster.  All I had to do was climb in.  Sure, the only gruff I had to put up with was from cars (near the freeway entrance) honking or yelling things… which was mostly at Michaela because apparently they didn’t like my sexy ass up in the air… or diving in the books.

Imagine the books as sand but with corners and easier to clean off and much lovelier to take home and snuggle with

The other things I got on Saturday:

  • American Born Chinese
  • Justice League: New Frontier (the film)
  • The TV Set
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Batgirl #7
  • Green Lantern #51
  • Green Lantern Corps #45
  • Invincible #70

Catching up On My Comics

10 Sep

I’m about to unveil a slew of comics… a slew!

Spurred by the whole Disney/Marvel $4 billion dollar deal and Warner Bros. announcing their introduction of DC Entertainment with Paul Levitz (and his mustache) stepping down as President of DC, I decided it was about time that I unveiled my many comics I’ve been reading in Review format.  I’m going to keep these reviews shorter just for the whole enormity of all of the comics I’m reviewing…  Plus, I’m mostly just posting reviews of the good ones.

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