Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

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:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

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:

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EQUALIZER 2

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FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

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:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

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

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

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)

JACKIE ORMES

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:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Movie Poster of the Day! FURIOUS7

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This is a great image, and makes for a striking, if minimalist, poster. 

And while I’m no particular fan of the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise, I thought the 6th one by director justin lin was a lot of fun, and with James Wan (of INSIDIOUS, THE CONJURING, DEAD SILENCE, SAW fame) in the director’s chair for this latest film, I’m intrigued and enthused to see what he can bring to the table.

It’s been a busy 2015, and I haven’t been excited or interested enough to see much in the theaters.

FURIOUS7 I will see in the theaters. And if you intend to as well, shoot me a line with your thoughts on the film, and I’ll likewise post after seeing it.

AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE FANS OF THE SERIES, THERE IS A GREAT BLURAY DEAL ON ALL SIX MOVIES. STREAMING IS OKAY FOR SAMPLING THINGS, BUT FOR REWATCHING AND HAVING AND SEEING BELOVED FILMS IN THE BEST QUALITY, THERE’S NO REPLACEMENT FOR A GREAT BLURAY BOXSET. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS PRICED RIGHT.

CHECK OUT OUR AMAZON DEAL OF THE DAY HERE:Fast & Furious 6-Movie Collection (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

 

“Not many people realize this, but I’m a really squeamish guy. When I watch other horror films that are really over-the-top with their blood and guts, I cannot watch it. So if my threshold to something on-screen is at that level, you can imagine how my threshold is to all the pain and suffering that is happening in the real world.” – James Wan

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

 

You can order most items listed below (or earlier issues) by going here:

LONE STAR COMICS

or going here:

from this link you can search for everything else Highlighted in this installment.

IMAGE

Back Issue #81 (C: 0-1-1) -Well last installment we covered comics you can pre-order in March for May shipment, and covered some of the best from a variety of publishers. But we have saved the absolute best publisher and its best books for this installment.

 blksci14

As the Dimensionauts struggle to save a helpless reality from the chaos the Pillar has wrought, their newfound heroics are threatened by one of their own. Is Kadir up to his malicious old ways again?

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Rick Remender
  • Artist: Matteo Scalera, Moreno DiNisio
  • Product Code: MAR150556
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/6/2015

dyingatded5

‘THE CITY’ All our disparate players collide together in an underground City, and it all hinges on an ultimate betrayal.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
  • Product Code: MAR150562
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

inject1

Once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life. INJECTION is the new ongoing series created by the acclaimed creative team of Moon Knight. It is science fiction, tales of horror, strange crime fiction, techno-thriller, and ghost story all at the same time. A serialized sequence of graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting, about the wild future and the haunted past all crashing into the present day at once, and about five eccentric geniuses dealing with the paranormal and numinous as well as the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Warren Ellis
  • Artist: Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150468
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

Once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life. INJECTION is the new ongoing series created by the acclaimed creative team of Moon Knight. It is science fiction, tales of horror, strange crime fiction, techno-thriller, and ghost story all at the same time. A serialized sequence of graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting, about the wild future and the haunted past all crashing into the present day at once, and about five eccentric geniuses dealing with the paranormal and numinous as well as the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Warren Ellis
  • Artist: Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150468
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

 

intersecttpb

The terrifying, surreal journey of the Intersected begins in this volume! Start at the beginning with the book critics have called ‘truly original, truly unreplicable, and truly terrifying…’ Collects INTERSECT #1-6

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer/Artist/Cover: Ray Fawkes
  • Product Code: MAR150538
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

 

intersect

NEW STORY ARC A new chapter in the twisted world of Intersect brings readers to a disturbing new setting, following the story of the mysterious Lady Flock as she flees the remains of Detroit and navigates the new world…

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer/Artist/Cover: Ray Fawkes
  • Product Code: MAR150567
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

lazarus17

 

NEW STORY ARC: ‘POISON,’ Part One The Families are at war, Malcolm hovers at death’s door in the wake of Hock’s assassination attempt, and Forever must hold the line against enemies from without as well as within…including her siblings.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Greg Rucka
  • Artist: Michael Lark
  • Cover Artist: Owen Freeman
  • Product Code: MAR150572
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

manhattanproj3

‘UNRELIABLE’ If you’re depending on a lying robot not to get you into trouble with an intergalactic criminal science organization called the Library, then always bet on Black. The greatest FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE book in the long history of man returns in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS: THE SUN BEYOND THE STARS.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Artist: Nick Pitarra
  • Product Code: MAR150574
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

manifestdest16

One of the crew goes native, while the rest try not to lose their heads. Or get them ripped off. Or bitten off. An issue of unimaginable horror!

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Chris Dingess
  • Artist: Matthew Roberts, Owen Gieni
  • Product Code: MAR150575
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

 

material1

A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed. An actress receives an offer that can revive her career. A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement. A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Look around you. Everything is material.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Alex Kot
  • Artist: Will Tempest
  • Cover Artist: Tom Muller
  • Product Code: MAR150477
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

mythic1

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF $1.99! Science is a lie, an opiate for the masses. The truth is, magic makes the world go ’round. And when magic breaks, MYTHIC fixes it. Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma are the crack field team assigned with keeping the gears of the supernatural world turning, and more importantly, keeping you from ever knowing about it. Join Eisner nominee PHIL HESTER (Green Arrow, The Coffin) and Eisner winner JOHN McCREA (Hitman, The Boys) on their latest expedition to the dark heart of weird comics.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Phil Hester
  • Artist: John McCrea
  • Product Code: MAR150473
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/6/2015

 

nameless4

The world descends into chaos and the astronauts stranded in the Tunnels of Xibalba must endure unspeakable tortures when their captors finally reveal themselves. As all human hopes, fears, doubts, and dreams are subjected to the cruel and merciless scrutiny of an inhuman, sadistic intelligence, is reality collapsing? Or sanity?

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Grant Morrison
  • Artist: Chris Burnham
  • Product Code: MAR150580
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

outcast9

What lurks within.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Robert Kirkman
  • Artist: Paul Azaceta, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • Product Code: MAR150584
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

sex21

The next phase begins right here.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Joe Casey
  • Artist: Piotr Kowalski
  • Product Code: MAR150594
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

spread8

‘THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE’ There is a place that offers sanctuary from the Spread. The only problem? No and company need to escort a group of children through the Spread to get there.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Justin Jordan
  • Artist: Kyle Strahm, Felipe Sobreiro
  • Product Code: MAR150601
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

surface4

The city mutates. Nasia runs. The ghosts are more than ghosts now-they are real, and decisions are made.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ales Kot
  • Artist: Langdon Foss, Jordie Bellaire
  • Cover Artist: Langdon Foss & Various
  • Product Code: MAR150603
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

notlikeus6

CHAPTER SIX: ‘COMPLICATED SHADOWS’

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Eric Stephenson
  • Artist: Simon Gane, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150605
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

velvet13

Velvet’s answers begin falling into place, and everything is much worse than she ever thought it would be!

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ed Brubaker
  • Artist: Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • Product Code: MAR150612
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

walkingdead141

Opportunity.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Robert Kirkman
  • Artist: Charlie Adlard & Various
  • Cover Artist: Charlie Adlard, Dave Stewart
  • Product Code: MAR150613
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

 

wicked11

The end of Fandemonium. The end of Ragnarock. The end of the arc. The start of something else. Everything’s going to be okay.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Kieron Gillen
  • Artist: Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson
  • Cover Artist: Matthew Wilson, Jamie McKelvie
  • Product Code: MAR150616
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

wytchestpb

SPECIAL LOW INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF $9.99! When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry. Collects WYTCHES #1-6

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Scott Snyder
  • Artist: Jock
  • Product Code: MAR150524
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

zero17

There’s still time.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ales Kot
  • Artist: Robert Sammelin, Jordie Bellaire
  • Cover Artist: Robert Sammelin, Tom Muller
  • Product Code: MAR150617
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

the majority of titles listed i read, and the others i am interested in, and have pre-ordered to read. titles like velvet, lazarus, spread, wytches, outcast, manifest destiny are not just good comic books/slims, they are great books. surpassing the quality of most tv shows you’ll find, and the fact that one company, image, produces all these quality books is impressive, to say the least.

if new to graphic literature, or comic books, or slims (pick your name) there is no better company to start with and no better books to start with than those listed above.

use the above links to try them for yourself. We’re getting this month’s list out late, next month april, we’ll get our list out earlier. THANKS FOR PERUSING THIS segment, AND IF YOU FIND IT USEFUL SHOOT ME A MESSAGE.

HAPPY READING!

 

Art Book of the Day : FROM THE BLACK SEA THROUGH PERSIA AND INDIA by Edwin Lord Weeks

hourofprayer

Less an art book than a travelogue/diary and historical exploration of an at the time still largely mysterious region, FROM THE BLACK SEA THROUGH PERSIA AND INDIA is an 1890s scholarly work (done during a time of an earlier Afghanistan War)on that area between the lands of Nubia and Asia that today we call the Middle East, by one of the preeminent artists of the 19th century, Edwin Lord Weeks.

persian-empire-2

I first became aware of his glorious oil paintings when visiting the Richmond Art Museum a couple years back. His HOUR OF PRAYER painting in person, is simply massive in scale, and cannot truly be appreciated except in person (when you stand in front and beneath the painting, it’s like you could walk into it), carrying as it does not just the seminal strokes of a realist at the height of his powers, but the weight of history and a moment of time, and region, and culture (all of which is under threat of going away) preserved here; hauntingly captured.

For more on my first exposure to Edwin Lord Weeks go here!

I have since seen several other Edwin Lord Weeks paintings in person, Weeks was a very prolific artist, and another standout is INTERIOR OF THE MOSQUE AT CORDOVA.

While not as large as HOUR OF PRAYER it is a gorgeous painting at any size, unlike HOUR OF PRAYER where pictures on the web don’t do it justice. Part of what makes HOUR OF PRAYER the award winner that it was, is the play of yourself against its vast spaces. There is an alchemy that happens when you see that picture in person, that is not reproducible on your computer screen. INTERIOR OF THE MOSQUE AT CORDOVA, in contrast, is a far more repeatable image. What you see on the web or in a book, is a good approximation of what you’ll see in person.

edlordweeksml

Along with Virgil Finlay, Robert Duncanson, and Zdzislaw Beksinski; Edwin Lord Weeks quickly became one of those IT artists for me. A massive artistic talent whose work was largely unknown, or under appreciated to this day, and definitely still largely unheralded/uncollected in a comprehensive tome. He became an artist I set out to find books by and about.

Today’s selection is one of those books.

“With the permission from the War Department to visit Central Asia came an urgent telegram from the American legation at St. Petersburg, advising us not to go on account of the cholera which, after devastating Meshed, had left Persia and invaded the Russian provinces. We were then leaving for Constantinople by the Camboge, and finding that she would not proceed to Batoum, by reason of quarantine we were again forced to change our route. This time we elected to follow the old caravan from Trebizond on the Black Sea, to Tabreez, through the mountains of Kurdistan, that country of indefinite boundaries.

In short, there was no other route left open to us; we must either turn back, or, setting our face forward, head straight for the Persian frontier, five hundred miles away, and we decided to go on.”
—-Lord Edwin Weeks, from the preface to FROM THE BLACK SEA THROUGH PERSIA AND INDIA.

Being in the public domain there are numerous variations of this work online. The quality is all a bit less than stellar, as largely it looks to be photocopies of photocopies, and the pencil drawings/sketches that accompanies the words, all a bit muted… still there is enough there to get the brilliance, and you can flip to any page, read a paragraph and be entranced by Weeks’ evident love and romance for the region.

So until a proper tome dedicated to Lord Edwin Weeks is done, for reasons both historical and cultural this 462 page book, to any fan of the work of Weeks, is a must own.

Get your copy here:

From the Black Sea through Persia and India

Nineteenth-Century American Painting: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

And American Gallery offers a great look at Weeks’ paintings here.


Image, Picture of the Week!

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This picture was taken at this past weekend’s War of 1812 Commemoration, capturing a moment in one of the biggest firework celebrations on the Eastern Seaboard.

I like how it turned out, all mired in reflections of reflections.

I’ve been reading and observing Abelardo Morell’s seminal photography book/monograph titled CAMERA OBSCURA. And today’s picture has some of that concept, of the strange tricks that light plays.

 

Pick up your copy of CAMERA OBSCURA

Here!

COMIC OF THE DAY: Al Ewing and Greg Land’s MIGHTY AVENGERS and the Black White Nick Fury?!


Marvel Comics.

MIGHTYAVN2013001_HitchVar

You know them? They are owned by Disney, they are brother to Marvel Studios that produces those box office shattering movies that have been all the rage for the last several years.

Well Marvel Comics while not the money maker of the film or video division, is the idea-space for those other mediums, and as such has an importance that belies its modest publishing revenue. As such, they are not going any place.

That said they could be doing better. But at every turn the publishing arm seems to be almost antagonistic to their customer base.

Tactics such as over-saturation of the market and expensive cover price of its titles ($4 is way too much to pay for an ad strewn comic with no additional content) translates into the audience (me) making a conscious choice to avoid all their books at best, and limit my consumption to one or two titles at worst.

Enter… THE MIGHTY AVENGERS.

THE MIGHTY AVENGERS by Al Ewing and the criminally castigated and underrated Greg Land is my favorite Marvel Comic, and the only one I purchase monthly.

Now don’t get me wrong there are other Marvel books I like, Aaron’s THOR, Remender’s CAPTAIN AMERICA and UNCANNY AVENGERS, the new MOON KNIGHT and IRON FIST has me interested, and if all those titles were $2.99 rather than $3.99 I would pick them all up. But I really do feel if any company can successfully ‘hold the line at $2.99′[an euphemism for not raising prices]… it is Marvel Comics, and their refusal to do so… is a misplaced arrogance, a belief that the entrenched fan-base will buy the books regardless.

It is a price gouging mentality, and I am proof to the contrary.

Rather than them getting $15 a month from me for five $2.99 comics, they get $3.99 for one comic. That greed, that one dollar extra cover price, has cost them $11 from me, $11 that now gladly goes to Image Comics or Dark Horse Comics.

And more than that, I am now trained to wait. I’ll wait till a Marvel series gets collected and is available at my local library and I’ll read it for free. So yeah Marvel Comics, that $3.99 cover price… here is one concrete case where you have actually lost business because of it. So great job there.

And the one Marvel Comic that I do get, is Ewing and Land’s MIGHTY AVENGERS.

Al Ewing creating a frenetic and pulp-inspired book that every month delivers a satisfying story, and one of the only books on the stands that offers multiple characters of color, treated respectfully (rather than as punch-line’s such as other Marvel Books are doing. Example being ‘Nick Fury’ gate. :).

Movies made workable the character of Nick Fury, by using the popularity of actor Samuel Jackson.

Now Marvel Comics wants to integrate that successful character from the movies with the 1960s comicbook version. So the brilliant way Marvel Comics decides to do that is by labeling the Black Nick Fury as the ‘son’ of the White Nick Fury. Wtf? Really? :).

That’s the direction you’re going? Can you say demeaning, bigoted and stupid? Hey Marvel here’s a solution for you… How about they are both just Nick Fury, with no relationship to each. Nick Fury being a title, like ‘Christopher Chance’ that gets passed to whoever is worthy. Took me two seconds to come up with a better way for both Nick Fury’s to coincide without demeaning and denigrating the Samuel Jackson version.

Who would have thought it would be the movie Marvel Universe that would get it right, and the comic-book Marvel Universe that would increasingly be the disappointment.)

Which is why Al Ewing’s MIGHTY AVENGERS is such a treat and a surprise. Despite being hamstrung with having to participate in Marvel’s various events (could not be less interested in Marvel’s Crossovers) Al Ewing manages to use the handicap of the crossover as a springboard to tell his own highly imaginative and absorbing tales of werechickens (don’t laugh, it’s pretty cool)and inter-dimensional evils, while at its heart always being a very generational story. A book that is about… Fathers and Sons.

Add to this Greg Land, who has had to suffer the recriminations of people with not a fiftieth of his talent, self styled art ‘critics'(parrots jumping on a bandwagon) who unable to create art, and ignorant even of the process, yet think themselves schooled to heckle their betters.

If you think Greg Land uses ‘porn stars’ for some of his inspiration, I would say two things to you, 1/ who cares and 2/you probably watch way too much porn. :).

Every artist from Jack Kirby to Gene Colan had a little stock/trace file, for poses or buildings or cars or fashion. You know why? Because it is a bloody job and stock photography and images are tools, and drawing, making your deadlines, is a job. And being able to take those inspirations, regardless of where they come from, and craft a functional and beautiful story out of it, takes immense talent. Greg Land is an immense talent, and his work on MIGHTY AVENGERS is drop dead gorgeous, brimming as it is with 70s Indie Black Empowerment images.

mightyavengeers

So from writing to art, there is a one-two energy Ewing and Land have going here, that hopefully will continue for sometime. But when and if MIGHTY AVENGERS goes the way of other Marvel Titles, here’s hoping these guys create a similar creator owned title at Image.

I would love to see Al Ewing creating his own pulp-inspired or sci-fi tinged characters, and Greg Land drawing them. For all the good things Image has, a book with a majority of ethnic characters is not one of those things.

Perhaps it is time there was such a book.

So Marvel for all my bashing on them has to be applauded for THE MIGHTY AVENGERS. But if all involved really want the series to grow, 1/add a letters page and back-matter, 2/focus on stand-alone stories primarily, and 3/making it a $2.99 rather than $3.99 book wouldn’t work.

But other than that a fantastic read, month in and month out.

Oh and Al and Greg, two more suggestions, One/change the preamble that starts the book to be something with a little more import and oomph, and two/ Let Luke Cage take back the name Power Man. It’s a good name, and it’s his.

Thanks for reading and if intrigued by the above you can buy back copies of the Mighty Avengers or the Trades here:

http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=24852602&affid=200301p0
http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=25358810&affid=200301p0

Enjoy!

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

 

ACv3n13_cover-665x1024

MARVEL

What is worth buying Monthly: Al Ewing’s MIGHTY AVENGERS

Buy Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=24597149&affid=200301p0

At 3.99 and up, and with stories that don’t lend themselves to satisfying stand-alone monthly reads, Marvel Comics for me have largely priced themselves out of the monthly or periodical business.

The only exception being Al Ewing’s MIGHTY AVENGERS, the only book by Marvel Comics I seek out on a monthly basis. And even then I pre-order that title so I end up not paying the outrageous $3.99 retail price. And once that title is no longer, I will go back to, happily, getting 0 periodicals from Marvel.

Don’t get me wrong, Marvel has some fantastic writers and artists, from Remender’s UNCANNY AVENGERS to Aaron’s THOR, however at nearly $4 a pop for advertising strewn monthlies, from a company that has the margins of scale to hold the line at 2.99 but simply choose not to, I can’t justify paying $4 and up for their monthly comics. Which you invest all that time in, and the story ends up being derailed by editorial or a weak conclusion. Much better way to sample Marvel, I have found, is to wait till the stories are collected, do your homework by checking the reviews, and using resources like Amazon or your local comic store or library to purchase the collected editions at a sizable discount.

DC

What is worth buying Monthly: ASTRO CITY and GREEN ARROW, and the upcoming GRAYSON has me interested as well! Buy Here:
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22331595&affid=200301p0
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=24307845&affid=200301p0
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=25854386&affid=200301p0

Everything I said for Marvel goes for DC, with the exception DC has of late had far fewer creators or titles I’m interested in sampling at all. I think they followed up the initial high of the New 52 with largely a lot of uninspired and direction-less characters and books. Their flagship titles such as JLA, Superman, Batman, due to too many cooks (editorial influence) and over-saturation of the characters across multiple titles, are largely unreadable. However in the titles that are one-offs and left alone in the periphery, such as GREEN ARROW and ASTRO CITY that tell self contained stories with characters that are the singular vision of one creative team, if DC can do more of this they can right their flailing ship. Have 1 JLA title, 1 Green Lantern title, and no more than 2 Batman or Superman titles, but staff them with exciting creative teams, and that lack of confusion right there is a start. Add to that if they have more such titles at the $2.99 price-point, they can attract readers rather than alienating them.

DARK HORSE

What is worth buying Monthly: MIND MGMT, THE MASSIVE, GHOST, DARK HORSE PRESENTS, THE GOON OOR, POP, and SUNDOWNERS

Buy your Copy Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22803281&affid=200301p0

When it comes to the smaller publishers I’m more forgiving in regards to price. They don’t have the scale to set prices as a Marvel and DC do, but still try to provide lower prices, and even when the prices are the same, smaller publishers such as Dark Horse excel in giving you more pages, less ads, extra material, including letters pages, and best of all books that are the unique vision of a distinctive creative team, not typically beholden to company wide editorial events. The books as a whole are more mature, able to offer something more than another reworking of decades old super-hero stories.

Dark Horse makes some of the best hardcovers and collected editions, and recently they have excelled at making some of the best monthly books.

Among them MIND MGMT, THE MASSIVE, GHOST, DARK HORSE PRESENTS, THE GOON OOR, POP, SUNDOWNERS and the recently ended Brian Wood’s STAR WARS. At over half a dozen titles, it for me is clearly a more interesting company with more interesting titles than either Marvel or DC.

IDW

What is worth buying Monthly: WEIRD LOVE
Buy it Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=25619219&affid=200301p0

IDW makes great collected editions and art books. I’m less enamored of their monthly titles. One that does get my vote for solid entertainment month in and month out is WEIRD LOVE.

The last company to mention is IMAGE, and I left them for last because they are the best. I get more books from IMAGE than all the other companies combined. In part 2 of this installment we’ll devote it to covering all the great monthly books available from Image.

— to be continued–