5 Favorite/Game-Changing TV shows of the 21st Century!

The 21st century while it has been a stepback in many way in terms of human rights and personal liberties, in terms of art, in books, in comics, in cinema, in television, it has been very much a golden age. Art somehow thriving inthe pressure kettle of change that is the 21st century.

The 20th century, the birth century of televsion, brought us many wonders and marvels. Many that i feel still hold up and will continue to hold up.

I think the RIFLEMAN is a show that is as addictive and just plain good today as it was during its original run in 1958-1963. I think the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE TV series is a surprisingly intelligent and innovative and jaw dropping show, if you see it for the first time in 2018, as it was in 1966-1973. Indeed I think it plays better now, with the ability to rewind and really understand how much of a mindgame that show really was. While I love the Tom Cruise movies they are not as smart or as gleefully twisted and fun as the original series was. When the Mission Impossible crew got done screwing with a bad guy, that person was punked long before that word became a TV show. Catch the episodes courtesy of AMAZON PRIME. They are a must watch.

And the list goes on with shows such as DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT MAN, UFO, the first season of SPACE 1999, LONESOME DOVE, STAR TREK, TWILIGHT ZONE there was a lot of great TV in the 20th century.

And the 21st century has just raised the bar.

Here off the top of my head, if I had to quickly decide what 21st TV shows to save from complete destruction, they would be:

1/I would say the original, unedited UK version of SPOOKS is as good a spy show as has ever aired.At least thru the fist 8 or 9 seasons. Not many shows can say that. That and the original DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT MAN are a nice generational complement to each other.

2/ DAREDEVIL Season 1- The first season of DAREDEVIL changed and raised the bar on television. In terms of storytelling, choreography, and just pure filmmaking on the small screen.

3/ LUKE CAGE Season 1- As much as I love the 1st season of DAREDEVIL for being groundbreaking in how it is told, I think in many ways what Cheo Hodari Coker does with the first season of LUKE CAGE is ground breaking in what is told. A show that expresses arguably for the first time a new york, where multiple heroic characters of color can share a shot, and tell a riveting story, eloquently and elegantly. Predating what Coogler would do superbly on the big screen with BLACK PANTHER, Coker does it here on the small screen in a series hat deserves to be owned. Lets put it this way of all the Marvel/Netflix TV shows, I only own one on Blu-Ray. Yep, LUKE CAGE. You get more out of it, everytime you watch it. With DAREDEVIL once you know the reveals, you only revisit it to see select fight scenes. Though I do intend to pick up the first season of DAREDEVIL eventually.

4/FARGO Season 2-

5/LEGION Season 1

 

Those are the first 5 to come to mind. More to come!

 

 

Advertisements

15 Favorite Comic Book Related YouTube Channels! April 2018 Edition! UNDER CONSTRUCTION

OMNIBROS LIVE!

Fun channel. Starring Omnidog and others, offering reviews and recommendation and recent buys in a round-robin fashion.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_tgpCPZaMM0ZiO7Ii9IfVQ

 

GEMMINT COLLECTIBLES

One of the earliest Youtube Comic shows I watched, was this host Gem Mint showing off his man-cave. Impressive, as well as his episodes going over all the hardcovers/omnibuses released for specific characters.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC31fEeAOTnfRgvGFwYJsFUA

 

COMICTOM

I love how this guy takes a topic whether CGC or Stan Lee abuse and just disects it from every side.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqRVhjeLzR4PErfe_jOqHMA

I give the younger geheration crap a lot, for not doing homework, and not having any perspectve older than 5 minutes ago, or caring about anything other than themselves, so it is nice to see a young guy, really bring some journalistic chops to this Hobby.

MERCENAUT

I love this guy’s channel, and evidently so do a lot of other people. Lots of views, and for good reason. Very entertaining and informative hauls. And he has been doing this for a while. Very personable. And he has a backlog of old videos that are just great. Well Lit and photographed, something a lot of videos do not do well, and well presented by the host.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mercenaut/featured

WE LOVE COMICS

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjfQnpBccMDlcIHyGPAyWxA

I really enjoy this channel and this host.

I like his hauls and his grading, but more than anything I like that, in an age where so many of us not only do not learn from history… but do not know history, he brings a background and a perspective to his videos that I find exceedingly refreshing.

He’s not one of these moronic frat boys, ranting against diversity or usiing acronyms such as sjw to hide their inability to reason or think for themselves. I like that he understands that passion for a hobby is great, but when passion oversteps to you behaving badly or you defending a company behaving badly, it is a problem.

A problem with many things. but mainly a generation that does not understand monopolies are bad, and because a monopoly may or may not let you see a superhero crossover, is no reason to support or hope for a monopoly. It is the reasoning of slaves, bred to rail against freedom.

So a channel from a grown man, who understands history, and business, and life, and is not simply a man-child, tearing everything down, because he hasn’t lived long enough or well enough, to buid anything up.

In short, WE LOVE COMICS lives up to its nane. An enjoyable channel.

 

 

Stan Lee and the Hollywood Reporter

‘Growing old is no way, to stop being young’

—anon

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/stan-lee-needs-a-hero-elder-abuse-claims-a-battle-aging-marvel-creator-1101229

Stan Lee Needs a Hero: Elder Abuse Claims and a Battle Over the Aging Marvel Creator

We are all of us the culmination of the people and influences that shaped us.

Those moments brief and bright that taught us either to dream, or not to.

As an introverted kid, writers were always that gateway to that better world for me, what Lincoln called the better Angels of our nature.

There would be Baldwin and Bradbury and Asimov and Poe and Ellison, but the first writer that really lifted the ceiling of this world for me, who really said ‘here be marvels, join us’ was Stan Lee. Not so much as writer, because when I started in this four color hobby, the writers were Giffen and Kraft and and Moench and Claremont; however Stan Lee as Editor, and cheerleader, and Guide, he was very much an Affable, super excited Rod Serling, but rather than introducing you to the bizarre, he was introducing you to the wondrous.

A lot of people in an effort, I’ve said this before, to build up an artist who didn’t perhaps get as much accolades as he could, made a practice of trying to underplay and tear down Stan Lee.

Here’s the thing,  Stan Lee doesn’t get enough praise for what he did. He when NO ONE ELSE was championing the creators of these comics, when the publishers barely wanted you to know who created these books and wanted it to be a faceless assembly line process, Stan Lee was the man who championed, and nicknamed, and personalized these creators for us. In so doing he created a family, and invited all his readers to identify, and be excited by the work. Often the books which were okay or good, were made grand just by the share fervor and excitement that Stan imparted to you, the reader.

 

Growing up in the often unforgiving streets of a major city, it is easy to fall through the cracks, and go the wrong way. Two loving parents helped, a few good friends, crazy siblings, but a lot of what you become, a lot of your value, is defined in the private conversations that define your inner world.

 

That was defined by quite a few influences of film, music, comedy, writing, but if I am honest, one of the bigger influences is the childish four star values of comics, of right and wrong, and True Believers. The Alliterative, fun, bombastic, no-limits language and vivacity of Stan Lee, leapt off the page and helped by fits and starts to make me a kid who dreamed and smiled and knew no limits.

Decades removed from that kid, the man I am, the good in that man, the poetic and hopeful, owes a debt to quite a few people, and Stan Lee is one of those people.

I consider him a hero. Deserving here in his twilight years of all the fame and adoration and joy, earned in a career bringing joy, first to kids through comics, and then spending his later years pursuing getting these modern myths taken seriously and embraced by cinema and the larger world.

He has done that. Not easily and not alone, but with a lion-share of the work as spokesman for comics, on his shoulder, he has done it.

He has fought the long road culminating in Billion Dollar Marvel movies, and new Disney Superhero Themed Amusement parks, he had a dream, long before anyone believed in it, and he through many setbacks, has manifested that dream.

Here in 2018, should be the happiest of his years, a reward of a singular life, and faith confirmed.

So the Hollywood Reporter article comes as a blow.

My God, that you should go through life, and give, and love, and hope, and endure, only in the final hour, to have it all ripped from you, by the greedy, and the venal, to have it all besmirched. And that the horror should come from those who should ease your days, is an injustice too great to bear. That a man who recently lost the love of his live, should now, if the Hollywood Reporter article is correct, have to endure abuse and the loss of his liberty is evil beyond anything even comics has written about.

I don’t know how this can be made right.

Especially if tales of a Stan Lee that has been systematically isolated from any potential defenders, is true,

It is a horrible article.  But too important of an article not too be read:

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/stan-lee-needs-a-hero-elder-abuse-claims-a-battle-aging-marvel-creator-1101229

 

Stan Lee believed in dreams, not too much removed from the ‘Idea Space’ of Moore or Morrison, a place where good thoughts could make good lives. I’ll ask you, wherever you are reading this, to spare a minute in offering Stan Lee, your best thoughts.

My thought, if thoughts may manifest, would be for the man who believed that ‘with great Power comes Great Responsibility’, and instilled that mantra in generations of kids, is protected by the power of the State of California.  That these allegations of abuse and coercion be looked into, and if found true Stan be immediately removed from the suspect situation, or the negative elements removed, and Stan appointed medical and legal and security protection to assist him in seeing after his needs without duress.

For a man who gave so many of us great victories, and helped us believe in heroes, there must be a way to get him his victory, and maybe for once be the hero to the hero-maker.

 

If you have any thoughts to add, please do.

 

 

 

 

 

How to order comic books in the age of Digital!

“They are into their friends and their family more than the things they own.”

— I just like that quote

Okay first if you want to buy comics monthly, I strongly direct you to Lone Star Comics, courtesy of http://www.mycomicshop.com.

I didn’t get paid for that recommendation, those are the guys I use. They give pretty darn good discounts of 35%. There are a couple services that might offer even more of a discount, however for me the customer service of Lone Star Comics, and the lack of problems, makes them easily one of the best on-line retailers I have used. A bigger discount is not helpful if the customer service is poor, and the accounting questionable.

So how ordering comics work, is you go to your online retailer and  you preorder comics, that will be coming out in two months. Might initially seem like a delay, but once those comics start coming, it just becomes a nice monthly cycle.

Use the link below (you’ll need to create an account, if your first time):

And start going through each publisher selecting what you want to order. the discount is automatically calculated.

I usually keep a monthly budget of $50 or $60 for ordering comics.

I generally get all books by Canadian Publisher Chapter House, because their books are affordable at $2.99 or less an issue, and have talented characters and creators.

I get several books by Alterna Comics that offer books for under $2 on newstand.

I get a nice selection of IMAGE COMICS, This publisher has come a long way from the problem books that nearly sunk the industry thirty years ago, and I would say they are today one of the best publishers. Probably most of my books are Image Books. These are over my $3 cutoff, but unlike marvel they offer a better quality product, with more pages, and additional content in terms of letters pages and special features. Also they lack the obtrusive ads that MARVEL and DC litter their comics with. With the number of ads those books have, there is no reason their books should not be priced $2 a book. Just plain greed and price gouging.

Other companies to give the time of day to are Dark Horse and IDW and anything By Eric Powell. His HILLBILLY is great.

Here a sample of a recent order:

In this screen-shot you’ll see those Canadian Comics I mentioned. I’ve been enjoying them three times as much as any Marvel Book and they cost one third the price. That is what you call a no-brainer. I order those ChapterHouse Comics every month.You will also see a couple of DC’s 2.99 books on there as well as DEATHSTROKE (DCs best book, much better than the awful Tom King BATMAN book. Unfortunately they (DC Editorial) are about to ruin all of Christopher Priest’s great work by dragging DEATHSTROKE into the JLA. Well, that’s money I get to put back in my pocket, as i have no intention of reading Scott Snyder’s JLA. Priests run on that book was great, but when he leaves so do I.

Well go here to start ordering/checking it out. Order isn’t due till 25 April so take your time. You’ll be glad you did:

 

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice/previews

 

Another great thing about Lone Star Comics (aka MY COMICSHOP) is you can also buy and sell comics. Just a great site.  Here is a link to their inventory:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/comicbooks

 

I’ll go over my April previews, next installment! Till then, be well!

A few words on Comics….

I have been a comic book reader and collector for quite a while. Long enough to have been raised up in the hobby, spent years out of the hobby, and to have come back to the hobby.

One of the periods I went out of the hobby on, was the 90s. The exciting boom years of the late 80s and very early 90s, where comics were selling millions of copies and making creators millionaires, as well as putting money in every part of the chain from collectors to retailers. Everyone was bullish on comics, from the TV shows to wall street, and this initial high spotlight, created a desire for more and more and more. A desire across the board. Variant covers and the speculator market was born in this feeding frenzy. Comic publishers happy to keep inflating those sales #s by creating a demand for multiple covers of an issue, and Retailers likewise making money hands over fist by selling people multiple copies of the same book, and creating ‘rare’ varients that would put the customers kids thru college.

What became quickly evident is the books, filled with garish art and poor writing, were not very good. And when that lightbulb hit, and people rushed to cash out their ‘rare’ varients and books, they quickly found everyone was looking to sell and no one was looking to buy. There was very much a rush on the bank, and a lot of people found their pricely purchased books, were literally not worth the paper they were printed on.

It was a massive contraction, as the bull market turned into a catatonic bear, and fortunes and busineess that were rich only in belief, fell apart as the belief in the product crumbled almost overnight. Imagined Comic fortunes, sometimes leveraged against mortgages, disappeared, individual collectors and speculators were wiped out, comic shops were closed. and the person who just wanted good stories, left the comic medium, to find quality elsewhere.

It was a devastating culling, that left a medium, that had known great highs, brought to crashing lows.

But a few things saved the medium.

Quality. A few creators reinstilling faith and awe in this four color happy with books that just wowed everyone. Many creators, but most notably Alex Ross, his beautiful painted, Norman Rockwell influenced visuals, and the iconic nature of the tales he and his cocreators crafted, gave a much needed maturity and sophistication and credulity and awe factor to a medium that very much needed to be viewed seriously again.

More, Alex Ross’ visuals grabbed the eyeballs of noncomic readers, and creators in other mediums, who for the first time saw these heroes translatable to live action, and the big screen.

Alex Ross and his KINGDOM COME is the reason I came back to Comics. There is a line in that mini-series about ‘faith rewarded’, and that series I feel was very much that for the industry, it was a calling card to the naysayers and the lapsed and the burnt… to look up, good comics are back.

And in the two decades since that series, that faith has been rewarded. Comics across the board, the whiners and haters and bigits and johnny come latelys ignored, have never been better. The quality of artistsand writers, and the diversity of genres amd content and publishers and creators has never been better.

Comics are the idea space and driving impetus for all other mediums today. Studios are making billions and billions, because Mark Millar and John Cassaday, very much following in the mold of Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s KINGDOM COME created with the comic THE ULTIMATES, a blueprint, that steadfast genius cheerleaders like Stan Lee and Kevin Feige could use to show studios how these comics could be translated into films. A road that Stan Lee started Marvel on back in the 60s, and has been fighting in Hollywood ever since. So his cameos in those Marvel Movies are well eaned.

So Superheroes have never been more popular, comics of every stripe and genre have never been better, and never had more options. So we come to the 800lb gorilla in the room, if this is a golden age in terms of content and creators, where are the readers?

The market has gained new readers as it alwys does, but it continues to lose readers in equal if not slightly greater numbers.

If Comics are so good whay is this happening?

It’s simple. One of the boons of the direct market, was it took comics off the newstand, allowing them not to have to deal with returnability, increase their profit margin, and market to a more mature, specific audience. Allowing for sophisticated titles like Moench and Sienkiewicz’s Moonknight and Moench’s MASTER OF KUNG FU, Moore’s SWAMP THING and WATCHMEN, Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and Sim’s CEREBUS and Bruce Jones’ TWISTED TALES and many more. It allowed creators to have a more intimate conversation with their reader, with not having to make it kid friendly for the spinner rack. No kid would accidentally wander onto these titles, they were curated through the distributors (plural, there used to be more than one) who then put the realtor and the comic publications in the know.

Great for servicing a thriving existing readership, but a doubleedged sword in that model is decidedly not newbie friendly. Most people who work in comics or are fans of comics, were indoctrinated into it by spinner racks at Rite Aid (or insert drug/convenince store here). It was an onramp that evry day just brought new readers to the medium.

The Direct Market model, which as I stated had and has a lot of benefits, had one glaring negative, it blew up that onramp. Add to that the loss of multiple distributors and the current monopolistic distributor situation that currently exists in comics, and the bottle neck that has inhibited growth in comic for years is understandable. Add to that the greed and price gouging of publishers, particularly and most glariingly Marvel, that is now charging over $4 for its cheapest comic, and has recently added $5,$6, and $7 price teirs to a 20page book that may take you 5 minutes to read, and they have priced their comics out of business by even die hard grown ass men with jobs, much less a kid just looking for leisurely read. Even if we had newstand distribution back at 1970s levels, no one in those newstand would pick up Marvel Comics.

DC, Marvel’s estemmed competition, has done a much better job of keeping their books at $2.99, which for me is the cutoff amount. I buy no books from Marvel Comics due to their price gouging. I pick up 2 or 3 books fom DC, but even they have gone to $3.99 on some of their biooks (DEATHSTROKE by Priest is my favorite DC comic, their desire to have it now at $3.99 is disappointing. I’ll have to drop the singles and go to trade).

So at a time where millions of people rush out to see movies, and studios are swimming in money, and conventions are doing record numbers, the book itself through a confluence of bad and suspect factors, 1/ a distribution monopoly (competition is the life- blood a

2/ price gouging, $2.99 shpuld be the limit on the traditional comic/periodical

3/ not creating onroads to new readers (though the recent proliferation of Graphc Novels in Book Stores and Libraries and the rise of digital options such as Comixology, is Fantastic. But I still believe we need to do more to reach those who are not in this seemingly archaic circle of trust)

So by reigning in those three things, I think we can make a Marvel Comic Publishing that is as viable and cost effective and as enticing as their successful slate of films.

So yeah, in brief i wanted to discuss the market, and give my overview on where it stands, and what could be done to raise its standing in 2018.

What’s Hot and What’s Not on VOD this April 2018!

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.thrillandkill.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Masks-4-705x1024.jpg MASKS – This 2011 German film is just now breaking on American VOD shores, and a great poster, an inventive premise that homages Argento’s SUSPIRIA, and some catchy review blurbs, have me interested in seeing this film in April. Showing Free, on a big screen in your home, if you have Roku or Amazon Fire; and the Amazon Prime channel.

 

Teleios (2017)

BEYOND THE TREK (TELEIOS) – I mentioned in a previous post, besides the derivative and unimaginative Amazon Prime title (the original TELEIOS title isn’t that much better), the movie itself is surprisingly good. It’s right up there for me with DARKSIDE OF THE MOON and LIFEFORCE (and I would add in the first ALIEN) as the best of claustrophobic Cosmic Horror done right.

 

 

Movies that did not make the cut (I generally didn’t make it past the first 15 minutes of the following):

PRETTY FINE THINGS- chucking Slasher, no thanks. I’m not a slasher fan at the best of times.

BLOOD – looked like the poorly stitched together outtakes of a film.

THE STRANGENESS -tedious, and plodding,

 

DEMON WITCH CHILD- No one is going to confuse DEMON WITCH CHILD with a great film. Calling it a competent or good film is definitely a stretch. What it is however, is an audacious film, in its sheer ludicrousness and extremes and poor effects. It is not a good film, but it is oddly watchable in a WTF way. Far more watchable than it should be. Though around the 40 minute mark, its EXORCIST-want-to-be tropes… grow tired, and it seems to be getting too exploitative for anyone’s good. At that point I check out. Still it is an interesting curio of the type of wild, wacky and out of bound films that the 70s produced in droves.

THE GRACEFILED INCIDENT- Is ruined by what a lot of modern horror films are ruined by, an unlikeable cast, and a braindead plot, filled with moronic braindead characters. DEMON WITCH CHILD may be in bad taste and poorly filmed, but even that flawed film it preferable to the idiocy that passes for plot and thinking in THE GRACEFILED INCIDENT.

UNDERGROUND(2014)- Is the DESCENT if it had uninteresting characters, poor script and dialogue, inept direction and camera work, boring, plodding editing, and completely uninteresting monsters. In other words… not work finishing, which means it is not worth starting.

 

Enough with the bad movies, let’s wrap this post up with one more promising movie :

 

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.crisislab.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/DWTA_poster_laurels_700px.jpg

DINNER WITH THE ALCHEMIST – I quite liked the trailer for this film. Is quite high on my watch list. Watch it courtesy of Amazon Prime VOD.

Well that’s it for this installment!