Today’s recommended Books, Movies, OTR

What I’m reading:

I’m making my way through the last few issus of Don Lomax’s VIETNAM JOURNAL series. A really strong series, with expressive, detailed art by Lomax, that completely complements his passionate, and seemingly authentic tales of men at war.

I just finished rereading WATCHMEN in preparation for the movie. Avoid the horrible motion comic, the voice actor ruins it. Making trite sounding what should be momentous. Stick to the graphic novel, if you want to prep yourself for the movie. I’ve been a fan of Snyder’s previous two movies so looking forward to his take on WATCHMEN.

I’m reading the massive SCUD THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN THE WHOLE SHEBANG. True to the title it collects and completes the whole 14 years in the making series. I was there when the first issue hit the stands, was impressed then, am impressed now. It’s an impressive trade (something like 700 pages I believe) and IMAGE COMICS should be complimented on its quality. I’m on issue #4 so have a long way to go.

I’m really enjoying the heck out of Sam Stall’s DRACULA’S HEIR, an interactive book by the fun folks of Quirk Books. I like the detailed art in this one much better than Lapham’s art for WAYNE MANOR, but both books sport fine writing.

I’m on the third book of the eight book BLACK SAMURAI series by Marc Olden. Love this series, but have been stalled on this particular book a while. Keep letting it get bumped for other reads. Which is funny, because all my Lawrence Block and Warren Murphy books, got bumped so I could finish this series. I’ll buckle down and finish book 3 this weekend, as I want to get to book 4 in the series.

What am I watching:

Archive.org. Thanks to this fine resource have watched some fun cinema, that I otherwise may not have made time to see. Among the highlights are:

TALES OF TOMORROW- early 50s live sci-fi tv show. Creaky but fun

WAY OUT- Another early TV show. Late 50s probably, only two or so episodes are available, and the quality is what it is, but I was quite impressed by both of the episodes I saw.

DAUGHTER OF HORROR- Fun experimental flick, early 60s I’d guess, also called Dementia. Some people don’t care for the voice-over version, I quite liked it. It gives it a fun radio drama feel.

What am I listening to:

Speaking of Radio Dramas, that’s primarily what I’ve been listening to these days. Currently listening to episodes of BOX 13 starring Alan Ladd. Also a short lived series called CREEPS BY NIGHT starring Boris Karloff.

That’s it for this update.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE! Recommendations & Reviews Comic books, Graphic Novels, DVDs, CDs, Books!

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Hola

Glad you stumbled in here! In this pretty snazzy section you’ll uncover things I love, things I like, and things I find intriguing, all available here for sale.

I hope to make this page a one-stop shop for people looking for interesting items on a daily basis.

And the idea is to update this page daily, YES I SAID DAILY, with new items! So after this week I’ll probably move this page to the list over there on your right. So while the blog proper, will not be updated every day, this specific page will be. But you’ll need to probably bookmark it, just so you can check it easily on a daily basis.

To keep me honest if I miss a single day and you point it out to me via email (“heroictimes at safe dash mail dot net” or by leaving a comment on this post), along with a suggestion for an item I should have posted that day, you win a free comic! Yes a free surprise comic of my choice!

Also the person who buys the most items through this page, in any given month wins the prize of the month.

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This month’s prize is a copy of the acclaimed, and Out of Print film noir book called THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR. A fantastic book edited by Ed Gorman, and packed with interviews, anecdotes, reviews, opinion, gossip on all things noir, from book to film to comics. (Since I’m posting this in the middle of December, we’ll call January 15th, the end of this month, for contest purposes.)

So onto todays items for sale:

If you see an item you’d like to try, please use the following links to buy the items as they help me generate revenue. So it’s a win-win situation. You get great items and I generate pennies to help keep this blog going and growing.

Thanks and Tendras un gran fin de semana.

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David Lapham- is one of those writers whose reputation, for me at least, is made on the strength of one book.

youngliarsThat book is STRAY BULLETS #1. I remember that issue, when it came out, nearly two decades ago if I’m not mistaken, and I remember being completely blown away by it.

No one had seen anything like that first issue. It predated SIN CITY, PREACHER, everything.

It was a dark, bottomless scream… with no end. With no end. And it changed the face of comics.

No one will admit to it. But overnight, everyone knew the bar had been raised.

Twenty years ago STRAY BULLETS #1 was the most powerful gutshot the comics world had ever seen. Unfortunately the 20+ issues of STRAY BULLETS that followed that opening, never equaled it, never came close.

And the medium in the 20 years since, has grown beyond STRAY BULLETS. And the medium is the better for it.


But that first issue of STRAY BULLETS remains a favorite, and its creator Dave Lapham, on the strength of that issue, remains a name I’m always ready to support.

That long winded intro brings us to the just released TPB of Dave Laphams, YOUNG LIARS. I’ve heard some good word of mouth about this series, and at $7.99 for six issues worth of material that’s a fantastic deal and one I’ll be picking up. Try a copy for yourself here!

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Next recommendation:

A book that has not been far from my corner table and I whole heartedly recommend is:

sightunseenSIGHT UNSEEN- by Robert Tinnell and Bo Hampton, is an Original Graphic Novel published by IMAGE COMICS. It’s slightly an odd choice for a holiday stocking stuffer, but if someone likes horror movies (specifically ghost stories) and Graphic Novels, you’ll have a hard time trying to find a better combination of the two, to give them as a present.

Horror movies, the adrenalin inducing scenes/scares that compose them… are very medium specific. They depend on pacing, and sound, and sudden motions… so it’s not something that translates into the static medium of slims (comics/graphic novels).

To generate a sense of momentum, and pacing, and unease, and perhaps even horror… is perhaps the hardest thing to do in comics.

Most horror comics, are about horrible contexts, but the book itself has no horror in it. It either leans toward the campy or tongue in cheek, ala EC comics, or just the wonderfully rendered image, ala the Warren books, and this is because making something that elicits feelings of trepidation out of words and static pictures, takes a unique melding of the craft. A unique marriage of the words and the images.

WALKING DEAD to its credit has done it. And SIGHT UNSEEN to its credit, is equally effective.

SIGHT UNSEEN might just be the most effective example, of Graphic Novel as a book of horror.

Robert Tinnel crafts a truly engaging, and compelling narrative, married to absolutely effective visuals… visuals that almost… move, by the great Bo Hampton.

It’s a fantastic ghost story that I will not go into details about, except to say… I keep looking for another Graphic novel half as good, and as effective… and have yet to find one.

Pick up the hardcover if it is available, this graphic novel deserves the hardcover treatment. It’s one you’ll want a copy to give as a present, and a copy to keep for yourself. Order your copies here before it sells out. You’ll thank me later. :).

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You can fit what I know about Tori Amos on the head of a pin, but I know a good value when I hear it, and Tori Amos’ COMIC BOOK TATTOO clearly qualifies. A wealth of talent, and a fantastic price point makes this book one that has been selling out all over the place. Pick up your copy here.

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I’m a real big fan of interactive books. I got hooked when I was a kid, on the “choose your own adventure type ” books. Books where depending on what you want to do, you jump to a particular page and read your ending of choice.

Just a great book for a kid, pre-video games. And I think even in our 21st century CGI, video-game obsessed society; it is still a good present.

So anyhow, huge fan of interactive books. So when I saw new publishing company, QUIRK had started putting out Interactive Mystery books starring iconic characters, I had to order them, and I think they’ll make a great present for adults and kids alike.

The titles are Dracula’s Heir HC (2008 Interactive Mystery) dheiravailable here, and Batman Murder at Wayne Manor HC (2008 Interactive Book) batmaninteractiveavailable here! So go pick em up, and tell them Heroic Times sent ya! 🙂 .

rexlibrisvol1Rex Libris Vol I- A book about a 2000 year old, Alien and Demon fighting, Librarian. What’s not to love? 🙂 . Amusing, fun, and with a nice intro by Dave Sim. Collects the first half dozen issues. Click here to get it on sale!

Books For Kids of all ages!

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AMELIA RULES- I picked an issue of this comic up for free, along with free versions of SIMPSONS, SCOTT PILGRIM and OWLY and a few other kid friendly comics; and while all those books are good, AMELIA RULES clearly stood out from the pack.

It was just such a fun, endearing book. So much so that I decided to pick up the AMELIA RULES: WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? trade. I have to say, that book will make you happy. It hits the Charlie Brown note of telling stories of a pack of neighborhood kids, but is its own animal, by including the misadventures of the adults as well.

It is a bittersweet, at times biting satire, but always heartwarming chronicle of a young bunch of friends, and their wonder years.

There are three trades currently and the fourth is on the way. Jimmy Gownley has yet to place a foot wrong, and if you’re looking for a great read for kids, as well as layered humor that will also make adults laugh out loud for different reasons then these are the books you want to buy. Highly Recommended!

(Example of that layered storytelling: In the Ninja Battle story of WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, there’s a line shouted by the character REGGIE as he tries to hold onto his presidency. It’s a line that kids will laugh at because it’s just a funny line, but politically savvy adults will laugh out loud at, because it satirizes a recent political reality. That is unbelievably difficult to do, write a multi-leveled work, that can be many things to many people. But Gownley in AMELIA RULES pulls it off.)Click here to buy Amelia Rules! Your funny bone will thank you!

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K-CHRONICLES-by Keith Knight. And speaking of satire. I had the great pleasure of meeting the author and artist of the K-CRONICLES, Keith Knight at a recent con, and purchasing two of his books from him. The books are Just funny, fantastic, insightful looks at the world, from a most unique 20something protagonist.

From making a living as a Michael Jackson impersonator to the finer points of Frat parties and beer bongs to that oddest of things called Californication (where people from California, want people from other states to stay the heck away) it’s just a great strip, to touch base with often.

Cartoons and cartoonists like this give me hope for the future of the medium. And thankfully there is now a thick compilation of all the previous slim K-CHRONICLE volumes. THIS IS A MUST HAVE! Because it might go out of print, then the used prices will shoot up, and you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t buy it when you had the chance.
So highly recommended the complete K-CHRONICLES.Click here to buy THE COMPLETE K-CHRONICLES! 500 pages of goodness!

And finally wrapping up this installment, please support the following auctions. You can find all the following items pictured below and more being auctioned off here!

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