This is the last day to preorder books that will be shipping in December at a discount.
Here are my suggestions for the books worth your time:
Nothing. I can recommend nothing from Marvel Comics. Marvel is GROSSLY overpriced. Save your money and either pick up these issues for a $1 or $2 each in a few months, when they are no longer new, from the secondary market. Or wait till they get collected into trade paperbacks and read them from your local library for free. Or buy them used online for a fraction of what getting the individual issues would cost. I grew up with Marvel Comics, and i think they still have some fantastic creators I would love to read on a monthly basis, Ta-Nehisi Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA , comes to mind. After much hate from the moronic bigoted internet crowd, the moronic antisjw nazis, it turns out Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA is shaping up to be great. The same with just about anything Al Ewing touches. Unfortunately these great creators are sabotaged by a unsupportable comic price, and horrible editorial and marketing decisions.
The movies quite frankly are a lot better, and a lot less disorganized, stupid, and at times ingrained bigoted than the comics. The comics play lip service to diversity, and it is great to see creators like Coates and Walker get a chance to start their vision, but inevitably Editorial steps in and ruins/aborts their process/ending. The comics back pedal from everything to try to pander to the racist anti-change and anti-diversity mob, who typically don’t even read the comics they complain about.
The movies so far under Feige’s reign have embraced diversity with no back pedaling or moronic denigration that makes up so much of what goes on in the comics when it comes to characters of color (‘Oh Well we can’t have the Black Nick Fury be his own man. Let’s explain him away as the son of a White Nick fury.’ What????? Yeah this is the stupidity and racist great ideas that is happening in Marvel Comics, by there non-writers of color and editorial department.)
So yeah, so far the movies are actually better by far than the comics. So stick with them for now. Or until they start following the stupidity of the current comic books.
Unfortunately DC that was doing a good job of keeping their prices under $3 a comic, ever since hiring the trojan horse of Brian Bendis, they have adopted Marvel’s disastrous and customer offensive pricing policy. Of charging $4, $5, $6,and $7… for COMIC BOOKS!!!!
And I like Brian Michael Bendis as a creator, but I despise him as a shill for the company, and his arrogant frat boy attitude to companies milking the audience, and his basic ‘ah they will pay the higher price. Lower prices do not sell.’ I’m ten years of proving Bendis is wrong. It is not diversity that is the cause of Marvel Comics’ inability to keep from bleeding readers, it is the bloody price of their books. Add to that the over abundance of ads, poor placement of ads, and atrocious paper quality and you have a company that is repeatedly slapping their customers in the face, then wondering why the customers are not sticking around.
DC will soon find they will have the same issue as Marvel Comics. They will keep the die hards for a while, the sheep who buy multiple issues and variants, and the speculators, but that is a far cry from the millions of people a publishing arm of Times Warner should be reaching.
Besides their last $2.99 books, which word is they are going away soon… The only book over $3 that I get from DC, that I make an exception for, is Christopher Priest’s brilliant DEATHSTROKE. And that is going to change, as editorial has decided to reward the critical acclaim that series has received, by mixing it into their editorial marketing ploy, basically gutting Priest’s ability to tell unhindered stories with the character. Once Priest leaves, so do I.
So what is worth getting?
Here is my list for September Pre-orders:
|Beyonders 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Bitter Root Cvr D Williams 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cavewoman A Wizard A Sorceress And Meriem 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cemetery Beach 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|Cinema Purgatorio Vast Cvr 16||On order||1||$4.54|
|Dark Ark Cvr A Doe 11||On order||1||$2.59|
|Deathstroke (2016) Cvr B Var Ed 37||On order||1||$2.59|
|Dick Tracy Dead Or Alive Cvr B Tommaso 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|Feast Or Famine 1||On order||1||$0.98|
|Gideon Falls Cvr B Suayan 8||On order||1||$2.59|
|Hillbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Infinite Dark 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Infinity 8 7||On order||1||$2.59|
|Jook Joint 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Leviathan Cvr B Guillory 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Lightstep 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Lodger 2||On order||1||$2.59|
|Magic Order Cvr A Coipel 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Moth And Whisper 3||On order||1||$2.59|
|New World Cvr B Moore And Muller 5||On order||1||$2.59|
|No World Primer 2018||On order||1||$0.16|
|Oblivion Song 9||On order||1||$2.59|
|Outer Darkness 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Proxima Centauri 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Raid Cvr B Photo 4||On order||1||$2.59|
|Red Sonja Cvr A Caldwell 23||On order||1||$2.59|
|Rick And Morty Cvr A 44||On order||1||$2.59|
|Rick And Morty Presents Pickle Rick Cvr A 1||On order||1||$3.24|
|Shadowman Cvr C Veregge 9||On order||1||$2.59|
|Sideways 10||On order||1||$1.94|
|Silencer 11||On order||1||$1.94|
|Sink Cvr A Cormack 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Skyward 8||On order||1||$2.59|
|Spawn Cvr B Mattina 292||On order||1||$1.94|
|Stellar 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Terrifics 10||On order||1||$1.94|
|Unexpected 6||On order||1||$1.94|
|Walk Through Hell 6||On order||1||$2.59|
|Warning 1||On order||1||$2.59|
|Whispering Dark 2||On order||1||$2.59|
Order yours here:
And tell them HT sent ya!!!!
I have been off the movie radar for a bit.
I go in cycles like that.
Last movie I saw in the theater (twice) was the excellent BLACK PANTHER Directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by filmic juggernaut, Marvel Studios.
Today a few minutes ago I just got done watching AVENGERS INFINITY WAR courtesy of Amazon Prime, and streamed right in the comfort of my home.
It is definitely a movie that would have been great seen on a huge full size theatrical system, but as I said timing and interest sometimes works out for me to hit the theater, sometimes it doesn’t.
The movie, AVENGERS INFINITY WAR finally seen ( I avoided trailers, special features, reviews etc) it is ten years of Marvel Studios, and ten years of world building codified and paid tribute to; it is not just a great movie, it is a great mythology. It is that first story told around the raging fire to keep back the night. It is everything you want a film to be.
To call it just a superhero film is perhaps to miss the point, and the enduring power and place these four color heroes have held first on the comic page, and now the cinematic stage.
They are our modern myths writ large, and this film by the capable Russo Brothers improves and transcends the source material, to tell tales both of massive victories and massive defeats, but always managing to ground it on a very personal level.
The movie made me laugh, it made me cheer, it made me tear up, and it made me silent. A whole gamut of emotional states in a mere couple of hours. The Russo Brother’s have helmed yet another masterpiece and this one being their best and most haunting yet. Raising the stakes but not losing the man on the ground perspective, that make these films so relateable.
Tales of Gods and Monsters yes, but hinged on wheels of faith and loss and sacrifice and love.
The wheels all of us, can understand and be moved by.
There are reasons to be concerned about a monotheistic Movie Landscape, with all studios gobbled up by the mouse. I do not feel Disney acquiring Marvel Studios was a good thing. I do not feel the Lucas properties being engulfed by them is a good thing. I do not feel the Fox acquisition is a good thing.
I think in the long term this monotheistic film landscape is a very bad thing for culture, and choice, and competition. I think in the long term there are anti-trust and anti-competition issues that will affect all of us; whether fans or not, of these films. But those are fights and concerns separate from the actual review of this one singular film.
This one singular film, celebrating the 10th year of Marvel Studios unprecedented dynasty is filmmaking done as well as it can be done, on a scale and scope that is nearly as mythic as the story itself. I loved it. Full Stop. It is right in the mix with my top 5, being in no particular order AVENGERS, BLACK PANTHER, WINTER SOLDIER, CIVIL WAR, and this one… INFINITY WAR.
Grade: A+. As a fan of METROPOLIS and GREED and SEARCHERS and LION IN WINTER, even though this movie is a ‘Super-hero’ movie and a Blockbuster, and is popular, it is every bit as great and serious and beautiful a film as those lauded classics. It is a new minted classic, and will stand the test of time. From script, to direction, to special effects, to performances, especially performances, allowing the actors to act under those layers of makeup and costumes and CGI, the film is a rare achievement.
I look forward to the sequel. And I look forward to buying this film on DVD/Blu-Ray, and watching again, and enjoying the film commentary.
You can get your Blu-Ray here:
I just came from a sold out upscale theater showing of Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER for Marvel Studios.
I’m going to try to be brief. As someone who went into this having avoided all trailers, and spoilers, and special feature exposes (that in my experience is like pre-chewing your food before sitting down to eat, making it impossible for fan or reviewer to truly be surprised by a film) I was… blown away.
In terms of look, performance, direction, pathos, and humor, and rock solid action, it is without argument one of the best of the EIGHTEEN Marvel Studio Films released to date. I saw it in 3D and it is worth seeing in 3D. You don’t get the things flying into the audience effect, but the sense of looking down, and into chasms and waterfalls, plays up to 3Ds strengths. So I recommend seeing it at least once in 3D. I say once because like the original AVENGERS film, this is a film that deserves to be seen more than once.
I plan to see it in 2D when I go back next time.
This BLACK PANTHER film, released during Black History month, in my humble opinion is in a three way tie for the #1 Marvel Movie of all time; tied with the original AVENGERS by Josh Whedon and CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER by the Russo Brothers. Those three movies share one shining exquisite truth; they are not just great comic-book movies, they are great films… FULL STOP.
Okay that should be all you need, go see the film now.
Okay still here, the following contains minor spoilers.
BLACK PANTHER is a great film from first frame to last. It is masterfully done; weaving effortlessly between drama, pomp, circumstance, humor, horror, tragedy, and heroism and hope. Chadwick Boseman is astonishing as the titular character, playing him with understated grace and elegance, that carries effortlessly the weight of the film. He is the rock upon which our tale is moored.
Writer/Director Ryan Coogler in three films has catapulted himself as one of the defining directors of our age, and BLACK PANTHER is that talent writ large. This is the tale of the death of kings, of fathers and sons, and things lost in the fire, this is about nothing less than the fate of the world, and about nothing more than the grief of boys for their fathers, a beautifully developed thread in all of Coogler’s films, but never done so well as here.
Coogler takes the admonishment of Hamlet ‘The common theme of life, is death of fathers’ and uses it like a lover and a lance, to both caress and break your heart. And he takes King Henry’s complaint in THE LION OF WINTER ‘I could have conquered Europe all of it, but I had women in my life.’ and here makes of it the saving grace of the protagonist, the film, and the world.
It is the women in this film who save the world, who save the men from their self extinguishing thirst for conquest and vengeance. And taking that line from LION OF WINTER, to also mean parental and familial influence, the difference between T’Challa and Killmonger then ultimately is in their relations to their fathers, even to the structure of their afterlives, one is defined by the inspiration of his father, and one by the lack of his father, and both of them have become completely extraordinary men in staggeringly different ways because of these relations.
It makes for a film of unexpected emotional intensity and depth. Coogler as a filmmaker has my number, as tears unbidden came to my eyes in places in this film. But I would argue he has everyone’s number, if you have the heart to feel, be you Irish or Korean or Ethiopian or American, Coogler will find those places that bind us all,… and squeeze. And then he’ll hit you with the action, then the humor, and sometime when you are laughing, he will squeeze again, and the tears will rise and you will know this is a filmmaker.
And it is wonderful when a director finds his muse, and an actor finds the director that gets him, brings out his best. Coogler and Michael B. Jordan are that combination.
They join legendary director/star pairings such as:
- Ford and Wayne
- Hawks and Wayne
- Kurosawa and Mifune
- Hitchcock and Grant
- Lee and Washington
- Scorsese and Dinero
- Scott and Washington
- Woo and Yun-Fat
- Ayer and Smith
- Fuqua and Washington (It is not lost on me that Denzel Washington’s name appears with three different directors. It just shows the kind of fantastic actor he is, the longevity of his career, and that he can embody for many directors, the perfect actor).
Those pairings when they happen are the source of cinematic gold. And it happens in BLACK PANTHER with Coogler and Jordan, two of the respective best of their generation.
Simply a masterful film, with a stunning cast, and great performances. And Kudos to Kevin Feige who with 18 films under his belt, is not just producing films that transcend the source material, he has proved himself the most successful and influential film producer, in the history of the medium.Supplanting such names as Zanuck or Lewton.
It is a success richly earned.
That said, a lot of fans and reviewers care about the numbers, how much a movie makes. I do not. I could not care less if BLACK PANTHER made $1 or 1 Billion Dollars. In this day where studios own the films and the theaters; that is money that is being taken out of local economies. It is good the movie is successful in that we get more such movies from that director, that producer, those actors, but as far as making Disney richer, that does not concern me.
Now should we go back to the days of local and community owned theaters, then that matters, that we should support, because those dollars are staying in the community.
So I’m happy for the movie not because it does this much business, or that much business, I’m happy for the movie, because such visions raise us all, and the success allows such visionaries to keep telling stories.
Grade: An unqualified A+.
If you like this movie I recommend the following:
The following movies are too good, to trust in the ‘cloud’ or ‘streaming’ to always have them available, or always have them available in unchanged, unedited, or unaltered versions. The below movies deserve to be owned in physical form, in the age of digital.
Chadwick Boseman’s excellent A MESSAGE FROM THE KING
LION IN WINTER
CAPTAIN AMERICA : WINTER SOLDIER
CAPTAIN AMERICA : CIVIL WAR
This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.
Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:
I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:
FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:
- AMERICAN NINJA
- AMERICAN PICKERS
- LOVE IT OR LIST IT
- LETHAL WEAPON
- THE GRAND TOUR
FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017
The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.
In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:
TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)
STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses
LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE
And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.
And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.
BEST MUSIC OF 2017
I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.
BEST READS OF 2017
I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.
I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:
MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR
CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE
THE WOLVERTON BIBLE
ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)
THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE
SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI
In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.
In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.
In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA, basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.
I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.
So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.
The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.
As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.
They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.
And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:
COMIC GEEK SPEAK
WTF with Marc Maron
To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!
“You writers live too much out of the world.”
— Carol Reed’s THIRD MAN.
I just heard about Mr. McDuffie’s passing.
We had exchanged emails, a couple weeks ago, about doing an interview.
I wanted to discuss his work and discuss how DC Editorial had hampered his comic book work on JLA (as well as Marvel on FF), and the success of his animation work, and his future plans.
Life being life and we all being immortal, I had put off following up on the interview until we had more time.
Needless to say, time and tide continues to surprise us all.
A towering individual, not only in terms of height (he was 6’7″) but in terms of talent, and enthusiasm, he will be greatly missed by me and many.
I think in a medium that is ever less inclusive, that is going backwards rather than forwards (how DC and Marvel treated him is part and parcel of people who consider themselves liberal but are not, holding ever more egregious lines of pride and prejudice), he was a rare voice against the inherent prejudice, tokenism, and marginalization of people and more the presentation of people.
He had this outrageous idea that these tales of modern myth, could support more than the single token, and tokenized, character of color and instead provide a multiplicity of characters of color. In a medium that still follows to great degree the Disney model of segregation and marginalization, he wanted the myths and the mythmakers… to be better than that.
And to this end he made fantastic inroads into redefining the myths we feed our kids through shows like STATIC SHOCK and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, and with the latter expanding the scope/expectations of American televised animation. JLU is very much a cartoon that appeals to adults who grew up on these characters, as well as kids, and offers a storyline with scope. And remains a watershed work.
It is therefore sad, and inexplicable that with such a pedigree, the editorial department of DC and Marvel, refused to grant his comic work the same license and freedom as his Animation work, and all readers are the poorer for that… sabotage. DC’s actions seemingly more about getting the Milestone characters, completely under thumb, to no doubt like other multi-cultural friendly properties, such as ZUDA, be misused, marginalized and ultimately taken off the table, and buried from the sight of day.
I love all these keepers of a 50s status quo, of the white way, particularly at DC Comics Publishing wing, who come out now in the wake of his passing to praise McDuffie’s work, when they did nothing but their best to butcher his work while alive. Hypocrisy. Be honest now, in your heart of hearts, be honest. You stink just a little of hypocrisy.
Save your pretty lies, and if true sorrow feel, show it in your actions, and not in your primping words.
You did wrong by him in life, do right by him in death, and in so doing, do right by yourself.
Learn the contours of your own prejudice and your own culpability, so you can get past it. Be more open to characters and creators of color. use well the Milestone characters, and support diversity in your mainstream books. Stop trying to erase the good creators have done with characters of color, with Marvel it’s them tearing down all the great work Christopher Priest did (instead of making his BLACK PANTHER and CREW work available again, and better yet getting him back on BLACK PANTHER, Marvel seems committed to killing or marginalizing every strong male Black Character they have), with DC it’s them going back to the 50s in terms of all their mainstream characters.
Don’t wait till someone’s demise, to realize you’ve stunted not only their growth, but by doing so your growth, and my growth, and everyone’s. When new visions are sabotaged, the medium suffers. And the medium has suffered with the interference in Duffie’s comic book work.
But in the face of that, one ever to go forward, to shine lights, rather than curse darknesses, Dwayne McDuffie continued to tell stories. His recent CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS, being the best of the DC Animated Adaptations, and his Animated ABSOLUTE SUPERMAN on my list to see.
So Animation and comics has lost a great ambassador, proponent and crafter for these four colored adventures, but more it has lost a fighter against ignorance, and intolerance and stupidity and stereotyping, in a medium filled with too many people, too many editors and writers and decision makers, who live and die only by these inanities.
But for this one fighter lost, McDuffie’s work has served to introduce many to these fields of wonders and whimsy, and hopefully to inspire new mythmakers and new myths.
My best to him and his, as he precedes us into the Mystery.
I’m going to direct you to this recent 2 pt podcast interview with Christopher Priest, coutesy of the guys at Dollcast, as it touches a bit on Milestone, and is just an invaulable insight into a medium, that while little read, becomes ever more influential to other mediums.
Here’s PART I.
Here’s PART II
And once you listen to that feel free to go here for a listing of books written by Dwayne McDuffie.