Category: Review

Green Lantern Creators Unite Panel

Some days you get to sit in a room with comic book royalty and listen to them talk about the things that they have created.  On this day at Colorado Springs Comic Con we got to sit and listen to five of the most influential Green Lantern creators: Mike Grell, Pat Broderick, Darryl Banks, Ron Marz, and Joe St.Pierre.  Each had an influence in the direction and history of Green Lantern, but probably none quite as large as Ron Marz and Darryl Banks.

In the wake of the breaking of Batman and the Death of Superman, DC wanted a new take on Green Lantern.  So, with Gardner Fox being taken off the book and Gil Kane stepping down on art DC approached Ron Marz to write the Emerald Twilight story.  He knew that it would over all be a very controversial story, so he took his time thinking about taking the job. There was one important part of the deal though, when he was done with Emerald Twilight he would have carte blanche, to remake Green Lantern.

He had to take the job, so there was mad rush to get the three-issue arc done.  With the help of Darryl Banks and two other artists (because the three-issue run had to be fast tracked in an intense way), Emerald Twilight was churned out and Green Lantern was reinvented into Kyle Rayner.  Marz said he was given no direction other than they wanted The Lantern to still be human and remain a male. They wanted change, but no too much change.

Mike Grell talked about how much he loved Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams’ run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow and how he had always wanted to do the characters.  Soon he was able to pick up the book and started drawing both characters in his run, often presented in the same dual branded format that O’Neil’s run had.

Finally, Ron Marz touched a little on the “Fridging” trope.  He said two things about it. The first was that he understands the point of view that people have, but that at the time comics was a very male driven medium, and he had to write for that audience.  He told the story of how he killed off a pivotal male character in Witchblade and they received one letter, and no outrage. His male readers weren’t moved by male deaths.

Darryl Banks had drawn the scene in question, the whole body of Alexandra DeWitt in the fridge.  Not mutilated or violated, just dead. When the page was sent to the Comics Code Authority they felt that the page was too gruesome and made Banks redraw the page with the door of the fridge partially shut.  The letters they received talked about the dismembered body of Alexandra behind the door, when in face Banks had never draw it that way, people’s imaginations just cause people to perceive that.

Overall it was a very interesting look at the history of Green Lantern (particularly in the Modern era).  Be sure to check out the full panel on YouTube and Subscribe.

NERRRRRRDS! A Panel With The Cast of Revenge of The Nerds

Day two of Colorado Springs Comic Con gave all of us the opportunity to experience something amazing!  We all got to spend some time with a good chunk of the cast of the cult hit Revenge of the Nerds. Members of the panel were Andrew Cassese, Brian Tochi, Curtis Armstrong, Donald Gibb, Julia Montgomery, Larry Scott and Robert Carradine.  Seven people on a stage all moderated by bad ass podcaster hero Eric G. Hollis from BitFaced Podcast, and boy did he start the panel off with a bang.

From the crowded stage his chair slid to the edge and slipped right off.  He took a tumble to the floor, hitting the speaker which for a moment wobbled precariously.  First to the scene was “nerd hating” Donald Gibb, quick to offer him a hand up and ask him if he was OK.  The moment couldn’t have been staged better, and with everyone safe and sound it became an ongoing joke for the rest of the day’s panels.  He’s a hero among men to not get so embarrassed that he just quit the panel, but that is the power of nerds!

The cast regaled us with stories of the partying that happened on the set of Revenge of the Nerds with Robert Carradine making the statement that they, “Shot the movie in between partying.”  Lots of drinking happened in hotels and off set, and each morning the cast would line up with a medical professional to get their shots of Vitamin B12, so they could function for the day. Donald Gibb of course stayed in his room, “Practicing his lines.”

The loose nature of the script dictated that much of what was put to film was unscripted and adlibbed.  Actor Billy Tochi talked of the moment when the jocks shove a jock strap down on his head. The moment wasn’t in the script and was completely unexpected, garnering a reaction from him that was genuine and grossed out, “The least he could have done was wash it first,” he laughed.  Donald Gibb of course spent the time they were adlibbing, “Practicing his lines.”

Larry B. Scott who played the black homosexual (truly an oddity in the world of film at that time) lamented the he is in fact not gay, and that it really hurt his game when it came to getting girl on set (and after the movie became popular), but that the role was exactly the kind of role that he wanted to take as a black man.  It was his first chance to challenge himself as an actor, by not have to play a street thug whose only line was, “I’ll cut you!” There was repercussion to the role though, other black guys were excited to see someone playing a different role on scree too but would have preferred more of the leading man type than the gay nerd. Donald Gibb of course had no problem with, “Picking up chicks.”

The role of Booger being a pivotal part of the film, actor Curtis Armstrong had a couple of great stories about the film.  The first had to do with the infamous belching contest. When looking for a belch that would be up to the task the sound designers were forced to look to the animal kingdom for the level of noise that they wanted.  A burp was not the noise that they found, instead the belch is a combination of a human burp and a camel having an orgasm. At the time Donald Gibb was busy, “Picking up chicks.”

The second tale was about the moment that he realized that the only role that was left in the film was that of Booger, “I’m a classically trained actor, I have done Shakespeare, I will not go on film and belch and pick my nose.  If they call and tell you that they want to offer me the role of Booger, tell them NO!” He then was offered the role of Booger and immediately took the role, “Sometimes you just have to feel like you are in control when you aren’t.” Donald Gibb also was reticent to take the role but he knew he would be able to, “Pick up chicks.”

The cast was amazing and truly have a chemistry that has lasted through the years.  All of them talked about how one of the best parts of being in the film was the life long friends that they have made.  That is something that you could see in every moment of the panel. What they created has been a touchstone for nerd culture for years!  Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for the full panel, where you can hear about Donald Gibb, “Practicing his lines and picking up chicks.

New Comics for August 29th 2018

Hey everyone! We ride the last wave of August this week, which also happens to be the 5th week of the month, so lots of annuals and specials, etc, but still some neat stuff to be excited about! Lets dig in shall we?

From Boom! Studios this week, Bone Parish #2, Cullen Bunn’s crime/horror books about a drug manufactured from human remains his the stands this week, along with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Shattered Grid #1. Kyle Higgins writes the conclusion to the first Power Rangers comic book even, and everything changes!

  

From DC this week, the Looney Tunes/DC mash-ups continue! This week, Catwoman Tweety & Sylvester Special #1, Harley Quinn Gossamer Special #1, Joker Daffy Duck Special #1 and Lex Luthor Porky Pig Special #1 all hit the stands to bring you a weirdly hilarious blend of two vastly different genres!

 

 

Also this week, Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld imprint adds a new title! Scarlet #1 (of 5) lands this week. From the creative team that brought you Daredevil and Infamous Iron Man comes the latest explosive chapter in their creator-owned epic, which IGN called one of the best comics on the stands. SCARLET tells the story of a woman whose life has been ripped apart by police corruption. When she pushes back, she starts a chain reaction of events that will bring about the next American Revolution. In this brand-new, new reader-friendly chapter, fully painted by Eisner Award-winning artist Alex Maleev, SCARLET tells the story of what happens when one young woman is pushed too far-and what one country will do to stop her.

From IDW and Oni this week, comes another mash-up that we didn’t know that we needed kicks off with Rick & Morty Vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1 (of 4). When Morty needs to learn how to play D&D to keep up with the cool kids, his hard-drinking, old school-gaming, mad science-making grandpa is happy to teach him how to roll the dice, but neither of them is prepared for the saving throws they’re about to fail or the true quest yet to come. Strap on a +1 longsword and grab your 10-foot pole, because this is going to be a gaming gauntlet like no other!

From Marvel this week, the hunt for Wolverine is over…or is it? Hunt for Wovlerine Dead Ends #1 hits racks this week. Now the time has come to put the pieces together and see what was learned. Kitty Pryde, Daredevil, Tony Stark and Sabretooth may have found what they were looking for…but it wasn’t what they expected. Where has Wolverine been? What has he been doing?

Also from Marvel this week, lots of Venom love coming your way! Venom First Host #1 (of 5) launches and is written by Mike Costa with art by Mark Bagley. Before the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN…before VENOM… There was the FIRST HOST. And that First Host has returned in need of Venom’s help – only by reuniting can the two avert cosmic ruin! Can Eddie and the symbiote trust one another long enough to save the galaxy, or will the FIRST HOST prove to be Venom’s undoing?!

And lastly from Marvel, spinning out of the pages of Venom, Web of Venom Ve Nam #1 hits racks this week! As the United States of America struggled through the Vietnam War, Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. needed a secret weapon – and when an ancient creature was discovered at an archaeological dig site, he was sure he’d found it. In reality, the discovery was an ancestor of the Klyntar symbiotes…and would become a waking nightmare for a platoon of American soldiers!

From AfterShock this week, Beyonders #1 kicks off and is written by Paul Jenkins with art by Wesley St. Claire. A young boy obsessed with crop circles and cryptography finds his boring life turned upside-down when he discovers that all of his conspiracy theories are true, sending him on the ultimate treasure hunt for an ancient secret spanning thousands of years. What is the connection between a lost mountaineer, an indecipherable manuscript, and the lost library of Alexandria? How is this connected to a one-eyed, flatulent Welsh Corgi and endless plates of corned beef sandwiches? Find out in…Beyonders!

From Eric Powell at Albatross Exploding Funnybooks Hilbilly: Red Eyed Witchery from Beyond #1 (of 4) makes its debut this week. The next chapter in the adventures of Rondel the wanderer! A terror from the sky plagues the hills and the wielder of the Devil’s Cleaver may be the only one who can stop it!

Here is your complete list:

Boom! Studios

Bone Parish #2

Jim Henson Fraggle Rock #4

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Shattered Grid #1

Dark Horse

Blackwood #4

Modern Fantasy #3

Starcraft Scavengers #2

DC

Batgirl #26

Batgirl Annual #2

Catwoman Tweety & Sylvester Special #1

Harley Quinn Gossamer Special #1

Joker Daffy Duck Special #1

Lex Luthor Porky Pig Special #1

Nightwing Annual #1

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2

Scarlet #1

Silencer Annual #1

Dynamite

Red Sonja #20

Swashbucklers Saga Continues #5

IDW

Dungeons & Dragons Evil at Baldurs Gate #5

Euthanauts #2

GI Joe A Real American Hero #255

House Amok #1

Judge Dredd Under Siege #4

My Little Pony Ponyville Mysteries #4

Rick & Morty Vs Dungeons & Dragons #1

Star Wars Adventures #13

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #5

Transformers Bumblebee Prequel #3

Uncle Scrooge #39

X-Files Case Files Hoot Goes There #2

Image

Cyber Force #5

Isola #5

New World #2

Wayward #28

Marvel

Daredevil Annual #1

Deadpool Assassin #6

Edge of Spider Geddon #2

Exiles #7

Extermination #2

Hunt for Wolverine Dead Ends #1

Marvel Two In One #9

Moon Knight #198

Ms Marvel #33

New Mutants Dead Souls #6

Runaways #12

Star Wars Lando Double or Nothing #4

Star Wars Poe Dameron Annual #2

Venom First Host #1

Web of Venom Ve Nam #1

X-23 #3

X-Men Blue #34

X-Men Grand Design Second Genesis #2

Action Lab

Zombie Tramp Ongoing #51

AfterShock Comics

Beyonders #1

Brothers Dracul #5

Walk Through Hell #4

Albatross Funnybooks

Hilbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond #1

Archie Comics

Archie & Me Comics Digest #10

Aspen MLT Inc

Dissension War Eternal #2

Benitez Productions

Lady Mechaniak Dame Sans Merci #2

Coffin Comics

La Muerta Retribution #1

Golden Apple Books

Adventure Van #1

Lion Forge

Catalyst Prime Kino #9

Oni Press

Rick & Morty #41

Titan Comics

Penny Dreadful #11

Tank Girl All Stars #3

Valiant Entertainment

Harbinger Wars 2 #4

X-O Manowar #18

Vault Comics

Submerged #2

Zenescope

Monster Hunters Survival Guide Case Files Wendigo #1

Paradise Court #2

Colorado Springs Comic Con – Cult Comedies

Cult Comedies with Shannon Elizabeth and Brian O’Halloran

It is hard to deny that two of the most important “late night” comedies of the 90’s are Clerks and American Pie (and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  At Colorado Springs Comic Con this Friday we got the chance to sit in a panel with Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie and Brian O’Halloran of Clerks. Both actors came out to a rousing ovation and regaled us with their times with Kevin Smith, what it takes to be an actor, and the best way to keep a crew happy on a budget; not to mention Shannon’s work with animals in Africa.

Both had kind words to say about director Kevin Smith, O’Halloran as a principal actor in both Clerks films, and Elizabeth from her role in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  Brian talked about how during the filming of the first Clerks film Smith was much more interested in the dialogue being exact than for the second Clerks film, where Jeff Anderson and O’Halloran were given a little more leeway with their dialogue.  Shannon talk about how fun it was to develop the Justice character, and that Smith was very surprised with how much effort she put into developing the character. She went so far as to wear glasses, because, “Justice is blind.”

When asked what it takes to get in front of the camera O’Halloran was very matter fact.  He talked about how important it is to take acting classes. That one of the best ways to get really involved is also through visiting film festivals.  Like we say on our show, if there is something that you think isn’t out there in the market that should be, make it. He also talked about the ease with which a movie can be made now with reasonably priced cameras and even cell phones.

As far as keeping your crew happy on a low budget he said the key to it is having great craft services, and that they don’t need to be from the same place every day.  Ask the crew if there is a mom or grandma that can make one great meal, then see if someone else has a person they know that would be interested, “If you are going to ask them to stay for a long day, they should at least know that they are getting a great meal at the end of the day,” he said.

When asked about Clerks III falling apart O’Halloran was very candid about the movie falling apart.  So much of what made cult films like Clerks and American Pie so successful was the secondary video market (insert old man, back in my day, VHS joke here).  With the falling of the video market and the rise of streaming services that pay significantly less per stream. When the financials came through for the actors Jeff Anderson was unpleased with the amount that they we offered (O’Halloran said that the offer was “insulting”), so Anderson decided to back out of the project in spectacular fashion and that is what got Clerks III shut down, as Smith didn’t want to go on with the project without Anderson.

Set stories were brought up in a question, and Shannon had the best one from the set of Love Actually. On the final day of filming the whole cast was on set for an airport scene that they were all in.  Costuming had dressed her and co-star Denise Richards in the British equivalent of what they thought midwestern girls look like. While at craft services they were eating, and Hugh Grant walked up to them.  They were excited to meet him, and Richards said, “I’m so embarrassed that I’m dressed like a whore.” To which Grant replied, “Oh, my favorite.”

This was a hilarious panel, but it ended on a serious and positive note.  Shannon Elizabeth has dedicated herself to work with animals.

What started out as a rescue for dog and cats in the Los Angeles area, but after 10 years of that work she decided to find a way to expand the organization to help as many animals as possible.  She began to learn about the poaching crisis in Africa, and in 2016 she moved to South Africa to be close to the work of saving animals.

Everything that she had to say about her organization displayed the passion and hear that she has for what she does.  This is her true calling and a truly admirable reason to make public appearances. Be sure to check out what she does at www.animalavengers.com.

Some Time with Team Bestie

Some Time with Team Bestie

It isn’t every day that you get to sit in a room and listen to two icons of professional wrestling chat about their time in the WWE.  Today at Colorado Springs Comic Con we got to sit in a room with two icons and a few of our new friends. Trish Stratus, Amy Dumas (aka Lita), and Amy’s adorable puppy sat down for an intimate panel as Team Bestie.  With a conversation that was well off the rails in a few minutes and ranged from Tigger impressions to the time Amy “saved Trish’s life”.

First off, the timing of the panel was weird.  It started at the very opening of the con, and with the structure of the con’s space (which is in a mall) made finding the space for the panel a little hard to find.  As consequence by time the panel had started there were very few people in the room, but no matter, Trish and Amy got a rousing response when they came into the room.

Because it was so sparsely attended at first Trish and Amy felt comfortable to joke and talk about the fun that they had at the convention last year with a guy that they had met the year before.  He was funny and regaled us with his Alex Trebek, and Tigger impressions. Then we all got chance to ask questions.

Trish and Lita told us about their time in the WWE and how they feel they fit into the picture as some of the trail blazers of women’s wrestling in the modern era.  When asked how they felt about the WWE’s rules on men and women not fighting each other in the same way that they do on some of the indie promotions, they were both quick to remind us that in their time they were going toe to toe with the male wrestlers.

When an audience member asked if they would ever be on the show Total Divas (or if they ever had been for that matter) they mentioned something interesting about the show.  They have been told that the viewership of Total Divas is largely made up of non-wrestling fans. As far as being on the show, it sounds like they are just going to stick with wrestling.

Trish even regaled us with the story of the time Amy saved her life.  After defeating Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson during the WCW/WWF Invasion angle, Trish was backing up the V shaped ramp back into the locker rooms when she stepped back into a void where the two ramps met.  As she was falling Amy caught her by the elbow and rescued here from embarrassment and possibly death as Trish says (it all takes place at about 11:30 in the video below).

Their excitement for their upcoming matches coming on the WWe’s first all-female Pay Per View Evolution is palpable.  Stratus even talked about how she found out in the moment that she would be facing Alexa Bliss.  That when it was announced on Raw, her surprise was genuine. Her and Amy talked about how nervous they were to be in the pay per view to which the audience chanted, “You Still Got It!”

They do still got it!  From The Attitude Era until the first all-women’s pay per view on WWE; Trish Stratus and Amy Dumas have been there through it all, and hopefully they will be there through a whole lot more!

New Comics for August 22nd 2018

New Comics Release for 8/22/18

From DC this week, a new mini series kicks off with Batman Kings of Fear #1 (of 6) written by Scott Peterson with art by Kelley Jones. Batman’s been overseeing Gotham City for years now and isn’t sure how much of a difference he’s making. Doubt, fear and insecurity are starting to take over. And as all of those negative feelings set in the Scarecrow orchestrates a riot at Arkham Asylum to give the Dark Knight one of his greatest challenges yet! This six-issue miniseries will see the Scarecrow in a horrifying new way that you’ll have to read to believe.

Justice League Dark #2 also hits the racks this week. Plagued by a rash of otherworldly resurrections, the new JLD team begins scouring the shadowy corners of the DCU looking for leads. Turns out, this latest mystery ties back to the Tree of Wonder, last seen laying down roots in JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE-and it bears poisoned fruit to boot. The Tree serves as a doorway from the Realm of Magic to our world, and the Upside Down Man is just the first of many all-powerful mystic entities looking for a new haunt. It’s gonna take a major twist of fate for our heroes to get out of this one…

Lastly, from DC this week, Suicide Squad Annual #1 lands this week. Thrown together to apprehend an escaped inmate, Solomon Grundy, Rag Doll and Merlyn head into the muck surrounding Belle Reve, but no one is prepared for a meeting with the Swamp Thing. Bodies decay quickly in the bayous of Louisiana, and the avatar of the Green doesn’t care if the Squad makes it out alive. Written by Cullen Bunn with art by Ronan Cliquet!

From Image this week, Cullen Bunn has another new miniseries launching called Cold Spots #1 (of 5). Psychological terror, the undead, and a supernaturally bitter cold come together in this spine-tingling new series from CULLEN BUNN (REGRESSION, Harrow County) and MARK TORRES (Zombies vs. Robots: Undercity). 10 years ago, Dan Kerr turned his back on his wife and unborn daughter. Now, both mother and child have gone missing, and Dan must face cosmic terrors to find them again. He soon finds that ghosts stir when his estranged daughter is near. And as the dead grow restless, the cold deepens…

Also new this week, Die Die Die #2! Last month Robert Kirkman suddenly released a BRAND NEW SERIES. Well, the SURPRISES continue in August, as our secret cabal within the US government sends their elite assassins on a new mission. Last issue we cut off some guy’s nose. What happens in this one?

From Marvel this week, Punisher finally gets his new #1! YOU CAN TAKE THE PUNISHER OUT OF THE WAR MACHINE…Punisher no longer has the War Machine armor, but he retained his newly acquired taste for big game, and he’s hungry for more. However, the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use otherworldly help on his way up to the world stage. MATTHEW ROSENBERG continues pushing the boundaries of the Punisher, and now joined by acclaimed artist RICCARDO BURCHIELLI (DMZ, Northlanders), this is the book Punisher fans will be talking about for years to come!

Also from Marvel this week, West Coast Avengers #1 kicks off and is written by Kelly Thompson with art by Stefano Caselli. A NEW ERA DAWNS…AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! HAWKEYE (KATE BISHOP). HAWKEYE (CLINT BARTON). A guy named FUSE. Never have they ever been called “the big three” of…anything. And now here they are, reunited for, okay, well, it’s only the second time ever. Thank god they also brought AMERICA CHAVEZ, GWENPOOL and KID OMEGA. Wait. What? That’s right, it’s the new West Coast Avengers, son. And you better hope they can figure out how to save the world because BIG things are headed for the West Coast.

Here is your complete list:

Boom! Studios

Amazing world of Gumball Grab Bag 2018

Big Trouble in Little China Old Man Jack #12

Jim Henson Labyrinth Coronation #6

Lumberjanes #53

Regular Show 25 Years Later #3

Thrilling Adventure Hour #2

Dark Horse

Beasts of Burden Wise Dogs & Eldritch Men #1

Bedtime Games #3

Black Hammer Age of Doom #4

Buffy Season 12 #3

DC

Action Comics #1002

Batman Beyond #23

Batman Kings of Fear #1

Damage Annual #1

Detective Comics #987

Flash #53

Justice League Dark #2

Mother Panic Gotham AD #6

Raven Daughter of Darkness #7

Scooby Doo Team Up #41

Silencer #8

Suicide Squad Annual #1

Teen Titans #21

Terrifics #7

Wonder Woman #53

Dynamite

Barbarella #9

Red Sonja Tarzan #4

IDW

DuckTales #11

Real Science Adventures Nicodemus Job #2

TMNT Bebop Rocksteady Hit the Road #4

TMNT Ongoing #85

Image

Aphrodite V #2

Cold Spots #1

Curse Words Summer Special #1

Days of Hate #7

Die Die Die #1

Gasolina #11

Hack Slash Resurrection #10

Hit Girl #7

Redneck #14

Royal City #14

Shanghai Red #3

Witchblade #7

Marvel

Avengers #6

Black Panther #3

Daredevil #607

Hunt For Wolverine Mystery in Madripoor #4

Life of Captain Marvel #2

Marvel Super Hero Adventures Inferno #1

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #34

Mr and Mrs X #2

Old Man Hawkeye #8

Old Man Logan #46

Punisher #1

Sentry #3

Star Wars Darth Vader #20

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #23

Venom #5

Wakanda Forever Avengers #1

West Coast Avengers #1

X-Men Gold #34

X-Men Red #7

Action Lab

Aberrant #3

Double Jumpers Full Circle Jerks #1

Twelve Devils Dancing #2

American Mythology Productions

Pink Panther Presents the And & the Aardvark #1

Amigo Comics

Apocalypse Girl #3

Rogues Shadow over Gerada #1

Titan #3

Antarctic Press

Black Hops USA GI #2

Gold Digger Summer Fun Special One Shot

Trials and Tribulations of Miss Tilney #1

Archie Comics

Betty & Veronica Vixens #9

Jughead the Hunger #8

World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #81

Aspen MLT Inc

Artifact One #0

Executive Assistant Iris Vol 5 #4

Soulfire Vol 7 #2

Boundless Comics

Jungle Fantasy Secrets #2

Lion Forge

Catalyst Prime Incidentals #11

Scout Comics

Obliv18n #1

Zinnober #3

Titan Comics

Mike Hammer #3

Udon Entertainment

Mega Man Mastermix #3

Valiant Entertainment

Britannia Lost Eagles of Rome #2

Quantum & Woody #9

Shadowman #6

Vault Comics

Wasted Space #4

Zenescope

Grimm Fairy Tales #19

New Comics for August 15th 2018

New Comics Release for 8/815/18

Hey Everyone! Here we go heading midway into August! Lots of fun stuff out this week, some new books, some crossovers, some new event miniseries, so lets dive right in shall we?

From DC this week, Aquaman #39 continues the “Sink Atlantis” story arc! Guest-starring Task Force X, and continuing from SUICIDE SQUAD #45, also on sale this month! After Atlantis rises to the surface once more, Aquaman finds himself outnumbered and outgunned when Amanda Waller sends in the worst of the worst-the Suicide Squad-to send the Lost City straight to Hell in “Sink Atlantis!” part two!

Batgirl #25 also hits stands this week and sees Barbara returning to Gotham! Barbara must come to terms with her complicated feelings about the city that made her Batgirl and turns to her friend, Dick Grayson for help. Does Dick have time for a heart-to-heart while subbing as Batman when Bruce Wayne is out of action? This extra-sized anniversary issue also offers a look at the next arc of the series by Mairghread Scott and Paul Pelletier as the monstrous villain Grotesque returns to murder wealthy art owners and defile their bodies to create his own “art.” And since this is the issue that keeps on giving, also look for a special backup story by Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini and artist Emanuela Lupacchino.

Lastly, from DC this week, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos team up for the first title in Bendis’ “Jinxworld” imprint called Pearl #1 (of 6). PEARL is the story of an exceptional tattoo artist and accidental assassin for one of the modern-day San Francisco Yakuza. She was born into one life, but another is calling to her. When Pearl accidentally meets one of her peers, her doppelgänger from another clan, she starts to dream of a better life. But Pearl has a very special ability that keeps pulling her back into the violent world she is desperate to escape.

From Image Comics this week, Chris Sebela and Ro Stein debut a new series with Crowded #1! Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days-or their lives-are over.

From Marvel this week, Edge of Spider-Geddon #1 (of 4 ) fires off its first salvo. Spider-Punk is back and better than ever. After SPIDER-VERSE, Hobie Brown was a Web Warrior, but that didn’t mean things back in his universe were solved. The writer of the SPIDER-PUNK story in SPIDER-VERSE is back and joined by VENOM’S Gerardo Sandoval! Spider-Punk’s Earth is under attack both on the ground and from space, meaning his responsibility seems to outweigh his power. Don’t miss this first shot of the SPIDER-EVENT of 2018!

Also from Marvel this week, another event kicks off with Extermination #1 (of 5). Cyclops. Iceman. Angel. Beast. Marvel Girl. The original team of teen mutants brought together by Professor Charles Xavier many years ago have been shunted through time to find a world they barely recognize but were determined to help. Now, finding themselves targeted for death, the future of mutantkind lies squarely in the hands of its past. Writer Ed Brisson and artist Pepe Larraz answer the biggest question of all: can the fate of the X-Men be changed?

PLUS Astonishing X-Men Annual #1, AND Cable Deadpool Annual #1, AND Star Wars Beckett #1 land from the House of Ideas this week!

  

From AfterShock this week Volition #1 makes its debut! In a not-too-distant future, artificial intelligence has spawned a race of robots that serve all of humanity. Robots are considered second class citizens, but a few in the A.I. community are fighting back in a constant struggle for equal rights. When a debilitating virus called “Rust” threatens all artificial life, salvation lies in the most unlikely of robotic heroes-not a warrior or an solider, but in an obsolete construction worker and a dedicated caregiver. Together, HALE-19 and AMBER-7T embark on a perilous journey in search of a cure that could potentially change the balance of power on Earth forever.

Here is your complete list:

Boom! Studios

By Night #3

Coda #4

Fence #9

Beneath the Dark Crystal #2

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #30

Ruinworld #2

Steven Universe Ongoing #19

WWE #20

Dark Horse

Incredibles 2 #2

Ether Copper Golems #4

Halo Collateral Damage #3

Terminator Sector War #1

Usagi Yojimbo #5

Witchfinder Gates of Heaven #4

DC

Aquaman #39

Batgirl #25

Batman #53

Batwoman #18

Cave Carson has an Interstellar Eye #6

Damage #8

Green Lanterns #53

Harley Quinn #48

Injustice 2 #32

Injustice Vs Masters of the Universe #2

Justice League #6

New Challengers #4

Pearl #1

Scooby Doo Where Are You #94

Teen Titans Go #29

Wild Storm #16

Dynamite

Game of Thrones Clash of Kings #12

Jeepers Creepers #4

Sherlock Holmes Vanishing Man #4

IDW

Sonic the Hedgehog #8

Star Trek TNG Terra Incognita #2

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #3

TMNT Urban Legends #4

Walt Disney Showcase #6

Image

Analog #5

Coyotes #5

Crowded #1

Crude #5

Evolution #9

Flavor #4

Gideon Falls #6

Gravediggers Union #9

Ice Cream Man #6

Mage Hero Denied #11

Magic Order #3

Manifest Destiny #36

Proxima Centauri #3

Rumble #6

Skyward #5

Stellar #3

Weatherman #3

Wicked & Divine #38

Marvel

Astonishing X-Men Annual #1

Cable Deadpool Annual #1

Deadpool Assassin #5

Doctor Strange #4

Edge of Spider Geddon #1

Extermination #1

Hunt for Wolverine Claws of a Killer #4

Infinity Wars #2

Multiple Man #3

Peter Parker Spectacular Spider Man #308

Star Wars Beckett #1

Star Wars Poe Dameron #30

Thor #4

Tony Stark Iron Man #3

Weapon H #6

Weapon X #22

Aftershock Comics

Babyteeth #12

Lost City Explorers #3

Volition #1

Amryl Entertainment

Cavewoman Raptorellas Revenge #2

Antarctic Press

Gold Digger #255

Archie Comics

Archie Meets Batman 66 #2

Jughead the Hunger #7

Marvel Comics Digest #8

Aspen MLT Inc

Nu Way #2

Avatar Press

Cinema Purgatorio #15

Bongo Comics

Bartmans Spectacularly Super Secret Saga

Boundless Comics

Lookers Ember #10

Devils Due/1First Comics

Larks Killer #9

Fantagraphics Books

Tongues #1

Lion Forge

Catalyst Prime Summit #8

Catalyst Prime Superb #12

Wrapped Up #10

Magnetic Collection

Infinity 8 #5

Scout Comics

Shiver Bureau #5

Source Point Press

Rejected One Shot

Starburns Industries Press

Hellicious #2

Titan Comics

Girl Who Danced With Death Mill Saga #1

Rivers of London Water Weed #3

Robotech #12

Udon Entertainment

Street Fighter Summer Sports Special #1

Valiant Entertainment

Ninjak #10

Vault Comics

Vagrant Queen #3

Zenescope

Revenge of Wonderland #2

The Return Of Mego

So, for a generation of collectors that didn’t grow up in the 70’s an introduction to the Mego Corporation is in order.  In the 1950’s the Mego Corporation started as a purveyor of dime store toys, the kind of silly novelty that you would now see in a dollar store.  In 1971, son of original owners, Marty Abrams took over the company and took the Mego Corporation in a whole new direction.

So was born the classic Mego Toy.  An eight-inch action figure that could be a standard across all toy lines.  The toy could be changed into any property with a simple head and costume change, and Mego was buying up licenses like crazy.  Most notably were the DC and Marvel properties, but soon after there was everything from sports icons to the Micronauts.

With their popularity cemented with the license of the Planets of the Apes toys, Mego was on the ascent until the fateful moment that they decided to not take on a new sci-fi B movie license for a little movie called Star Wars.  While initially making plenty of money on their Micronauts line, Mego began losing ground to Kenner and their new line of action figures. Mego tried to adapt to the market but by 1982 they were filing for bankruptcy.

Between 1982 and today a lot has happened with the Mego line.  Companies like Figures Toy and Neca have been making their version of Mego toys with an incredibly wide array of characters.  Unlike Mego these toys are designed for collectors that are looking at having toys for specific properties. Neca has a heavy focus on horror and science fiction properties. Figures tends towards directly knocking off the Mego style.

This lack of original Megos in the market along with the rising of nostalgic and collector culture gave new life to the Mego brand.  Original Megos began to pop up on eBay selling for exorbitant prices. Pop culture taste makers like Kevin Smith and Chris Hardwick talked about their love of Mego toys publicly, and soon there was a desire for the Mego brand to return.

With the help of Paul Clarke (Doctor Mego), Marty Abrams has relaunched the Mego brand to a wide audience via a release in Target stores all around the country, and Mego chose the biggest stage in pop culture to roll out their toys: Comic Con International San Diego.

The show attended the panel with Paul Clark, Marty Abrams and football legend Joe Namath at SDCC and it was truly something to behold.  Not only was the entire room packed to the gills with fans of Mego, and “Broadway” Joe, but it was full of positive emotion. Often fans of a license or a product can be very negative around anything that they perceive as a cash grab or pandering, but this roll out is no that.

Abrams talked at length about his love for Mego, and the fan base that it has developed.  He also talked extensively about his desire for the toy to remain a toy. That he isn’t overly interested in the collectors or the secondary market, and therefore they have driven towards mass production and will be available in Target.

The crowd was lapping it up.  Add to the equation the fandom that comes with Joe Namath being on the panel.  Spry and witty, as would be expected from someone of his caliber and familiarity with being in front of people.  He was cracking jokes and having fun but was moved by the adoration that his fans were displaying in the Q&A segment of the panel.  Many people came forward to talk about how not only Joe Namath, but Mego both helped them through hard times in their life. One woman was moved to tears just to have the opportunity to talk to Namath, that woman received the thrill of her life when Joe Namath got up from his place on the panel, walked down to her seat and gave her a hug.

It is a gesture from celebrity to fan that you don’t see as often in sports as I think you do in pop-culture.  It seems to me that the separation between athlete and fan is much starker in that world, and our access to the people that create the comic books, movies, TV and even toys that we love is so much more open.  That is something that we as pop-culture fans often take for granted.

At the end of the panel I got to see something that I literally have never seen happen in a panel room.  As the end was being signaled by the moderator, and Adams, Namath and Clark were getting up, half of the audience was mobbing the front of the room.  Everyone in there was desperate for a chance to talk to one of their heroes. Whether it be the toy creators, or the sports icon people were hungry for a chance to just tell them how much they loved them.

The whole room felt that love.

You can see at their facebook page, Mego Corporationwhat they are up to with the roll out in Target.  At www.target.com you can find a whole line of Mego toys ready to buy and play with!

Be sure to check out our interview with Marty Abrams and Paul Clark here at www.totlb.com or in you local podcast app.

DC Universe – Post Comic Con International

So there is currently a massive marketing blitz for DC’s new product DC Universe.  With trailers coming out at Comic Con International San Diego and constant Facebook ads, but what does your $75 a year really get you?  Let’s dig into what we know about DC Universe.

-TV-

Probably the biggest selling point that they are pushing is access to exclusive new television content.  With five featured shows in the DC Universe trailer including three that are are slated for live action and two that are animated.

Titans had its trailer released at SDCC (the now infamous “Fuck Batman” trailer).  Showing us a dark and gritty DC world that we have come to know from the movies and in a lot of ways the CW shows.  This could go either way as far as entertainment goes. Will it lean too heavily on violence and language than story?  Only time will tell.

Grant Morrison’s version of the Doom Patrol seems like the natural choice for source material for the proposed Doom Patrol show.  If you aren’t familiar with this IP than you are in for a treat. This strange group of Super Hero/Trauma Victims had a fantastic run under Morrison, and is currently enjoying a great run under Eisner winner Gerard Way.  Do yourself a favor and check it out, because that will get you excited for what a show can be.

The big question mark is the live action Swamp Thing series.  Very little has been said about this, and it could end up being anywhere between “horrible beyond belief” and “the best show of all time”.  James Wan (writer of Saw, and executive producer on Aquaman) is attached to the project and that is positive. Also attached to the show are writers Gary Dauberman (writer on It and Annabelle) and Mark Verheiden (writer and executive producer on Ash vs. Evil Dead, Daredevil and Constantine).  They have stacked this with some horror and comic heavyweights so this has the stink of good on it. It also isn’t lost in translation that Verheiden was a writer and executive producer on Constantine which could make for a great through line to relaunching Constantine on DC Universe.

Young Justice Outsiders and Harley Quinn are the two announced animated shows.  Young Justice Outsiders is going to be starting on the third season of the very popular show.  Where Harley Quinn will be a new animated show. Curious to see if this will be stylistically more like the animated series that the character was born from, or the newer version that has been presented over the last few years.

On top of the exclusive new shows they will also be streaming a lot of their classic content which could have and incredibly wide range.  I could have anything from a rebooted Powerless to bingeable streams of Batman 66 or Smallville. There is a lot of DC content out there and that is without even looking at the slate of CW shows.

-Movies-

So far the announcements for movies have revolved around the available DC content from the past.  Everything from the fantastic animated movies that have been coming out over the last few years, to the original Batman and Superman films.  There is a lot that they can draw on for this segment of the service.

It will be interesting to see what they do with newer properties like the latest of the super hero films to come out in the theatre.  Will they begin to have exclusive DC Universe releases? Will there be early streaming access for users? There hasn’t been much information about this other than the clips that are included in trailers for the service.  

-Comics-

There will also be a comics aspect to the service.  Claiming that this will be a “curated” list of some of the best that DC has to offer, on demand to your device.  By creating this segment the service becomes something more than just another streaming service. Much of the push has been to cross platform and cross reference content.  Read a Batman comic on your phone or tablet, then watch the movie or animated show that was inspired by the run of comics that you just read. This is a really interesting idea and it seems like it could be a really great way to convert the eyes that see video content into eyes that read comic books.  

-Merch/Social Media-

So the platform is also slated to have some interesting aspects to it that no other streaming platform has ever really included.  Access to exclusive merchandise, a social media platform that gives you direct access to DC creators and the chance to earn exclusives and prizes.  This rounds out what the DC Universe can be, but will it be to much? These have the potential to be the lurking place of super fans that constantly neg the service they are paying for (looking at you WWE Network), or it could be a really interesting new take on what a media company can do with their properties.

For the price of $7.99 a month or $75 a year this is on the same price point as streaming services like Hulu or Netflix.  Will it be able to produce the same level or amount of content? Will this be worth it for casual DC fans or will this only be for the mega fan?  What happens when Marvel announces its service?

There are a lot of questions going into the DC Universe but they are taking pre-orders right now at the DC Universe page!

Comic Con International – Day 1 – Make “Fuck You” Music

Comic Con International – Day 1 – Make Fuck You Music

I usually wake up at like four thirty in the morning to get ready for work, so waking up at 6am Pacific time was a little bit of a treat.  The sky was grey and dreary when I got up this morning, but man did that kind of visual mood pass away as the day went on.  

So I’m not going to give you a full rundown of the things that I did today.  There were a lot of interviews and a couple of panels but amongst all of that (that will come out on forthcoming episodes of Thinking Outside the Long Box) were these really big moments.

One of the first things that I did today was go to the From the Bridge panel.  The big takeaway was, “We win.” All those years of getting called a nerd or a geek, of getting beat up because you played D&D, or whatever.  That all paid off, because now we are the ones that are the dominant force for entertainment and pop-culture, and that is kind of a crazy thought. At that panel, Nichelle Nichols was awarded the Inkpot award, which has a list of recipients that is a who’s who of genre work.  This couldn’t go to a more deserving a wonderful person.

YouTube has some amazing original programing coming out with the shows Impulse and Origin, but at those panels I saw Tom Felton (one of the leads in Origin) take some time out of his day to be an amazing human being.  At the end of his panel a woman in a Rascal holding a Draco Malfoy Pop rode up to the little divider (that I had just been shooed away from) and started calling out “Tom, Tom.” He saw her, and much to his handler’s chagrin came over to sign her pop and chat with her for a second.  

Moments of kindness and humanness aren’t what celebrity are typically known for, but you would (well you probably wouldn’t but the average person would be) amazed how kind celebrity in this world are.

Got a chance to sit (poolside) with Pia Guerra and chat with her about her book of political comics coming out with Image called “Me the People.”  She and I have very similar politics, and it was refreshing to hear that people out there are still pretty angry about the direction this country has taken, but that they still manage to hold out hope that we can right the shit.  What a kind and empathetic person (surprise), Pia was.

Finally.  I got to sit in on a small press conference with Rick Remender about his upcoming show Deadly Class.  Our readers/listeners will obviously know this as the TV adaptation of Remender’s phenomenal comic book of the same title, and from the sounds of it the show is in good hands at SYFY…his. This conversation was about a lot more though.  It was about music, politics, and how we seem to have lost track of what rock and roll is all about.  It is about doing it all yourself and making music that just says fuck you.

So you have a task today!  Go find your favorite Fuck You music and play it loud.  It’s what Rick Remender would want you to do!