Grand Admiral Thrawn Steps into Canon on STAR WARS Rebels

thrawn

I’m going to guess I’m not the only person my age who did an unusual thing for them and sat around waiting for a live watching of an episode of a cartoon. In the name of Thrawn.

Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels starts in the middle of action with Steps into Shadow but I won’t be touching on any of that. You will with little doubt be able to get terrible full episode review write ups all around the web and you can listen to probably great commentary from places like Making Star Wars or Rebel Grrrl, two Star Wars podcasts I highly recommend. Add them both to your Itunes as soon as possible.

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Pocket Sized But Full Flavor Ice and Fire for Japanese Game of Thrones Fans

game of thrones

Ah… Game of Thrones in Japanese on marble in the house. Almost better than the Robb Report right here. Perfect credit at the Iron Bank.

I’m thinking it may be time to do a reread of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire since HBO hasn’t blessed us yet with a off-season spin-off, even though I need Robert’s Rebellion or Dunk and Egg stat, nor has Martin delivered Winds of Winter yet.

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Thought Bubble: Milligan and Ryp Enter the Mist in VALIANT’s New Britannia

… an Axius to grind.

Britannia

I should start that with that historical fiction is a hard sell for me in comics. Though not my favorites, there are gems in that genre in novels that I love by the likes of Umberto Eco and Jose Saramago, and as a kid I enjoyed Shogun by Clavell and I can even get down with more of a page-turner in Pressfield’s like Gates of Fire. 

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The Lost History of David Lapham’s DEFIANT Mongrel

… and why I care.

mongrel

So as you can tell I’m pretty excited about what Lemire and Kindt are doing in recent happenings in VALIANT comics, but before the current VALIANT universe one of, if not the the major player in the original universe from the ’90s, one Jim Shooter, was ousted and went on to create DEFIANT comics. Among those that went with him was David Lapham, an artist/writer who would go on to win Eisners for his independent work. Lapham would be the artist on the debut comic from DEFIANT, but before he did that, before anyone did anything we could put in our hands, we got Mongrel.

We never saw him again.

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Pure Jenius! Brandon Graham Macross/Robotech Art Day

… the two best pilots in the galaxy, Starbuck.

robotech

So… I’m a Macross/Robotech fan (yes, you can be both) but this is double the joy here mixing that with a piece of Brandon Graham art that I recently added to the coffers. This piece, which you can see colored by Graham at his tumblr, was a Kickstarter supporter reward commission from last year.

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The First Appearance and Impression of Daenerys Targaryen

…in Asimov’s Blood of the Dragon before Emilia Clarke made Dany bae.

asimovs magazine

Emilia Clarke has been heating up watercooler talk for five years now in HBO’s monster hit adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Game of Thrones. Even as a veteran multiple re-reader of all of the books in the series that jumped on the literture before the turn of the century, I never thought that I’d see the day that “Khaleesi” would enter pop culture vernacular, a thought that was smashed when I got my 8-year old niece, who knows the series better than you, an “I’m not a Princess I’m a Khaleesi” t-shirt. Move over Arthur C, Emilia is the Clarke of both speculative and reality affections.

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Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen Mic Drop

… thoughts and review of Steven Erikson’s wonderful Malazan Book of the Fallen.

gardens of the moon

I remember reading a book, the first book I’d ever review online, called Meditations on Middle on Earth, which was collection of essays from the who’s who cast of fantasy authors reflecting on The Lord of the Rings. When they read it, where they were, how it influenced them. Among them was Robin Hobb, who’d I also later interview, and she posed a question in her essay that was something to the effect of the thought of why even try (to write) something that has already been done at that level? I find myself, from the fan’s perspective, in a similar place. As a life long fan of epic fantasy, this guy, one Steven Erikson… he’s done it.

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Wizard Before Wizard Magazine – Prototype Before the Magic

… the pocked-sized bare bones backpack version before the the gloss and glitz of bad boy Wizard.

wizard magazine

Wizard Magazine is a publication that is now often talked about in a negative context by most of the same people who didn’t like the half decade or so that Wizard reflected and even influenced the comic book medium and culture, not to mention people who never read the magazine in its prime who echo anything negative because internet

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Wonder Woman: From DC Trinity to House Pantheon

my first world problems solved by Wonder Woman

wonder woman

For some time now I’ve been planning a theater room addition to one of my homes. I think often when such endeavors are planned we often start thinking about the least significant details first. After all, I won’t be the one doing the electrical work or heavy lifting, nor will I be laying down any foundation or building frames for walls. Much like when I was a kid, I would just be sitting around thinking about shit.

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Revisiting McFarlane’s Spawn #1 with Zero Love Loss

I revisit the summer of ’92 and perhaps the most successful single issue of any american indie comic ever.

spawn

1992 was an odd year for me.

It was when the comic book fan who wouldn’t even read the established and iconic competition DC Comics and couldn’t give the least of cares about underground or independent comics took some of his money that was always and exclusively allocated for MARVEL comics, and without a second thought, added IMAGE comics to his weekly pull list. STRONG.

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Cover-Op – Riley Rossmo on the New Mutants of Sienkiewicz

The New Mutants had an incredibly diverse group of artists in its 100 issue run. But who had the best cover? Comic pro Riley Rossmo tells us.

new mutants1 Sienkiewicz marvel comics

When asked what the best comic covers are, I think most people try to choose something by one of the classic artists: Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, John Buscema, etc. But for me there is only one choice: Bill Sienkiewicz. I first noticed his art on the Moon Knight comics I was buying from quarter bins when I was eight years old. He was the first comic book creator whose name I knew.

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Night of Knives review – Picking up the Ian Cameron Esslemont debut again

I pick up Night of Knives again to relive a Shadow Moon is Malaz City again. Friends ruled the night.

night of knives

Huge fan of the everything Malazan. I am of the opinion that Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen is the single finest fantasy series this or any other world has ever seen, surpassing my past and still very much loved favorites by George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, Tolkien, and Patricia McKillip (because her Riddle of the Stars mesmerized me as a child.)

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Star Wars Boodline Review – No SW Sophomore Slump for Claudia Gray

Star Wars Bloodline and Claudia Gray reminds us that the Vader has two badass kids.

star wars

Up until recently only two new canon STAR WARS novels were books that I thought both captured what this thing of ours is and just added something potentially valuable to the mythos or how we understood it. Also, and this is important, were cool. The rest, of which I have read all off (excluding those aimed specifically at kids), were in various degrees problematic.

They were also both surprises.

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Cover Op – Chrissie Zullo rocks Jean & Umbrella

chrissie zullo fablesTo pick a favorite comic book cover isn’t easy– we’re bombarded with tons of new great images every week on the fronts of our favorite comic books. Even after I write this, I’ll go into my comic shop in a day and find just incredible artwork and new artists to look into on this weeks’ comics. So I’ll be biased this time, and pick a cover from one of my favorite artists, James Jean. To pick a favorite James Jean cover is a crime in itself, but his run on Umbrella Academy really stands together wonderfully as a set and beautiful individually. The covers were so narrative, and the characters had such personality, the world was so Mignola-esque. I loved the stylization and musical influence, you can tell Jean was having great fun working on these, and it showed through in the work.

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Standing on Shadowbridge

I’ve crossed Gregory Frost’s Shadowbridge, and I have a story to tell.

shadowbridge

The vision of a bridge probably invokes the feeling of simplicity, a means to go from A to B or vice versa, at time ornate, but more likely, sensible, serviceable, and functional, but bridges in fiction have led us to many memorable moments. Whether the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, Goats Gruff, Jon Orr, or perhaps most memorable to me, a standoff between brothers, Benedict and Brand, fans of speculative fiction have tread many bridges and with Shadow Bridge, Gregory Frost brings to us a world made of bridges, bringing a literal walkways to the figurative that exists all around us.

Before going further, check out my interview with Gregory Frost.

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Overthinking an Excerpt from Star Wars: Aftermath

… I have a bad feeling about this. Or do I?

star warsI’m not too into looking at excerpts – though sometimes I make exceptions – mostly because I get enough galleys/ARC’s to fulfill any desire — that I don’t even really have anyway — of checking out things that I want early to really even keep up with excerpt releases, much less read them.

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The Fall of Bloodshot is one of the Best Comics of the Year and one of the Best VALIANT Comics Ever

… one of the best single comics of 2015 is right here.

bloodshot

THIS is what I’m talking about right here. Couple this with how much I enjoyed IMAGE’s Island and I’m having a damn good comics week.

I LOVED VALIANT’s Legends of the Geomancer #1 and to a lesser extent enjoyed Book of Death #1 but I wasn’t all in on the execution and presentation for the latter as I was the concept for an event level comic, and The Fall of Bloodshot offers up more of everything what I liked and was just more clean of a book overall and stands as my favorite issue of Bloodshot, which oddly is something I’ve had quite the opposite reaction to in that I’ve thought the execution of his series, Bloodshot Reborn, has been terrific but in premise it wasn’t really my personal preference.

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Gal Gadot Fast & Furious as Wonder Woman, Classy Diana Prince — Dawn of Justice Trailer

… where Gal Gadot looks absolutely wonderous.

wonder woman

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer hit and I know most people are going to focus on the Batman and Superman part, and for sure there are some easter eggs and tidbits I want to get into at a later date but as a person who is definitely going to watch the movie but wasn’t really moved by the teaser released earlier in the year, it was really Wonder Woman that stole the trailer for me.

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 Back to Amberle & Brooks’ The Elfstones – MTV’s Shannara Chronicles Trailer 

… I may need Wishsong in my life.

shannara chronicles

I will admit that I’m pretty easy to please but this thing looks better than I could have imagined. I’d consider myself very well entrenched in the world(s) of Terry Brooks, including and perhaps mostly his Shannara output, even though I’m not a mega fan in that way being a The Lord of the Rings diehard won’t allow. That said, I’ve never been someone who doesn’t acknowledge both the historical significance of Terry Brooks as it relates to direct impact on the modern fantasy publishing landscape and market and that I used to check for Brooks every time I was in the Walden Books paper back section to see if the next Shannara installment had hit.

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The Wake: Chapter Two | Sandman Meditations

neil gaiman

Three years have passed. Not in The Sandman, but here between these meditations. Within only a few installments of finishing the central series, I couldn’t go on. I read chapter two of The Wake and could think of nothing to say. Characters from all the books were coming back, congregating, ready to pay respects. I wasn’t ready.

What has changed? Everything. Nothing. Years have passed. Can I think of something to say now? Perhaps. Is it worth saying? I don’t know. (But then, I never know.)

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – The Thorn of Camorr Returns

… the one where Scott Lynch writes the best fantasy Oceans 11 movie ever.

red seas under red skies

We find the remnants of our band stalking the pits of the Sinspire, patiently and calculatingly ascending lady luck’s ladder in Lynch’s Monte Carlo, the city-state Tal Verrar, marked on any map as the destination for the apex of high society and high stakes. The absurdity of the back in-saddle starting point exhibits the author’s greatest strength, his decisions on how to pace a novel. The cuts to the recent past, giving us the anatomy of the scheme and farther back to moments transpiring in the direct aftermath of The Lies of Locke Lamora are perfectly placed, once again functioning as a new door to open just before the occupied space stagnates. You seem to never be anywhere but where you want to be, Lynch just doesn’t let you in on the fact until a chapter later, and the reader isn’t sprinting or running a marathon as much as they are in a literary shuttle run. The initial perceived thoughtlessness is rectified as our ‘hero’ is doing the only thing any reader should expect as an aftermath to the first book…

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Enter Sansa Fierce

GRRM drops an Alayne chapter excerpt from Winds of Winter and I have thoughts, also any excuse to put up a Sophie Turner pic.

sansa stark

George R.R. Martin dropped another excerpt/sample chapter from The Winds of Winter today and I just wanted to jot down some thoughts on the Alayne/Sansa POV, as we go back to the Eyrie and see what Petyr has brewing, as the Vale has for the most part been lounging during The War of the Five Kings. I know I said more Game of Thrones related content was coming but I didn’t mean quite this soon when I mentioned it this morning.

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Macross Cynicism Pause | Sony Pushes for Robotech Movie

… and my dreams may be coming true.

robotech

I’m half Japanese. I’m an american. I’ve lived in Japan for a lot of my earlier childhood and 1/4 of my life. I have land there. I knew ramen was life since the ’80s, and not cheap college student menu before U.S. hipsters of the past several years did. I even rocked a bento strong in elementary school, some of which were Macross branded. I was introduced to Macross through Robotech though, as I suspect most people in the U.S. were, but in my years in Japan, I’ve never come across anyone (the count is officially zero) who seem to care more about how Robotech came into being as I have in english speaking messaegeboards in the 21st century. They have theirs, we have ours. As a child of both worlds it was never really a conflict, so it’s always puzzled me why it’s a point of actual active contention for anyone. Especially people who have to be grown to even know what either of these franchises are or were. If you look at any news related topics involving Robotech and Harmony Gold it is almost impossible not to go three reactions down until finding an, again, oddly American, Macross flag waving rebuttal to your enthusiasm. It’s not even a remotely personal subject. How can it be?

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The Wake: Part 1 by Neil Gaiman | Sandman Meditations

sandman

Sometimes, the English language plays along. A god-like king of dreams has died, and so there is a wake. Dreams, in the literal sense at least, die upon the dreamer’s waking, and so, too, in The Sandman when Morpheus is no more: the dreamers wake.

There is a sense of quiet throughout this chapter, a quietude. And more so: gravity. Not for lack of words; there are plenty of words throughout these pages. Instead, the quiet, grave, pensive sorrow filling each panel seeps from the pencil lines and muted hues, the scored shadows along most of the edges, and all the downcast eyes. Though the chapter is not rich with plot, it gives an inescapable sense of motion, an undercurrent — the characters are all drawn toward the last page, the last panel. It’s the greatest, grandest view of the Endless we’ve yet seen, but also in many ways the coldest, for they look like stone monuments against a slate sky. “They are the family,” a character says.

Continue reading The Wake: Part 1 by Neil Gaiman | Sandman Meditations