BKV’s The Escapists – Going Back to a Coming of Age

escapists

While often times I think fans of comics and thus their creators are a bit too preoccupied with the same ailment that some Fantasy and Science Fiction writers and tend to trade the walking stick for the mirror often and further, stand so close they fog up the picture. Thus my conclusion is that one Brian K. Vaughan has no reflection but truly exists in both worlds, one the fan, one the creator, all the skills, that he has taken on a project spurned on by the creation of another planewalker, Michael Chabon, whose Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay certainly won the Pulitzer throughout the Multiverse in a socially acceptable double dip. Either that, or he doesn’t breath.

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Before Youtube, Ninjak Debuts with a Bloodshot Problem in VALIANT Comics

… ahhh classic VALIANT.

ninjak

Okay, so Ninjak is going to be featured in an upcoming live action webseries on Youtube by Bat in the Sun, which considering they don’t do cosmetics tutorials is a reasonably big channel on youtube and has more subscribers/watchers than any American comic book has. I say American because I think One Piece still keeps comics alive and hovers around that 7 figure readership. I follow some entertainment channels on Youtube obsessively but can’t claim to have heard of them until the Ninjak announcement, which is no shade, this is just not really my type of thing, though I will admit that I did see an Epic Rap Battle pitting George R.R. Martin against J.R.R. Tolkien which was one of the funniest (and passed my fact check) things I’ve seen all year.

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Thought Bubble (VALIANT edition): Sony Swaps Harbinger and Bloodshot.

… I’m available to play Toyo.

harbinger

So word has dropped that Sony may be fast tracking VALIANT into our lives after a couple years ago having to prematurely announce a possible slate due to the Sony hacks. The Wrap indicates that Harbinger has shifted places with Bloodshot, the long thought to be launch title for a VALIANT shared cinematic universe, and now Bloodshot will follow Harbinger, though the story will be based on the Bloodshot run that began in 2012.

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I Need The Thorn of Emberlain. Because Republic of Thieves was…

… I’m reposting some stuff

republic of thieves

Okay. So let me be clear, I dig me some Scott Lynch books. I really liked his debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I think I might find myself in the minority when I say I enjoyed the follow-up in his Gentlemen Bastard cycle, Red Seas Under Red Skies, even more. I go back when it comes to reading about the exploits of the Thorn of Camorr. I was on this probably just after choice frameshifters were after hearing about it from other authors I was interviewing who had read early drafts/manuscripts and were telling me behind the scenes that Scott Lynch was what was next. I have documentation.

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VALIANT Beyond Gold Key – Early Harbinger, X-Manowar, & Rai Revisited

harbinger

In a recent post about Toyo Harada I talked about the order of VALIANT character appearances in the original VALIANT universe from the early 1990s. I thought about it some and decided to piece together three reviews I did of first three original (post-Magnus and Solar) VALIANT properties in their initial arcs as titles. Please note that these are several years old so some of the references might not be up to date and I’m not a good writer now, so you can imagine how I was then. These cover the two hardcovers that the current VALIANT owner released of the classic material, Harbinger: The Beginning and X-O Manowar: Birth, along with the classic first TPB of Rai from the ‘90s.

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Thought Bubble: Know I’m Late But I Just Caught NBC’s This Is Us…

this is us

I very rarely catch any network TV. I don’t say that from an annoying hipster friend vantage point, it’s just that I typically don’t watch any shows that aren’t called Game of Thrones as they first air so rarely ever have to watch cable, and any consumption of  TV I do is usually on any of the major streaming providers who have their own, and often, better original content. Hell, it’s hard to get me off Youtube as we have this odd thing occurring where the discussion of some shows or film are actually more entertaining and convenient than the actual shows or films themselves. Continue reading Thought Bubble: Know I’m Late But I Just Caught NBC’s This Is Us…

Almost 30 Years Later, Let’s Remember the G.I. Joe Rawhides

gi joe

Back in 1987 fans of G.I. Joe got an animated film that has gone on to become a pretty divisive movie during a time which was probably the height of the popularity for the G.I. Joe brand. Much like the Transformers animated film from the previous year it can quite plainly be seen as a feature length commercial for a new wave, maybe even a generation, of characters. I was overseas as a kid and when one of my friends got this on VHS it was HUGE news in my circle, a part of a close knit U.S. military community in Italy. Back then it was just awesome and when you click it on now you realize that the intro remains one of the best in cartoon history.

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Vos and Asajj Golden in STAR WARS Dark Disciple

dark disciple star wars

I want to get the basics out of the way first. If you don’t like or want spoilers don’t read on. I will tell you the point of a person reading a book and then sitting down to write up about what they didn’t just read when there is one. Seems like a waste of time to me, so go read the book and watch Thrawn return to new canon like any good Star Wars fan this week and come back here.

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The Wonders of Jonathan Carroll’s Wooden Sea

… perhaps the best catalog of any american fantasy author alive?

the wooden seaJonathan Carroll is one of, and perhaps the first writer who went on that list of “all I need to know is that the book is out” authors. I don’t need to know what it’s about. I don’t need to know where or when it takes place. I don’t need to know if it’s called fantasy, mystery, horror or science fiction — because such questions, such words, cannot contain Carroll.
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Behold The Man – VALIANT’s Divinity #1-4, a Flawed But Real Review of a Great Comic

… because major comic book site reviews serve no discernible function.

divinity

Much like waiting for the trade I decided to combine my reviews of the first four issues of VALIANT’s Divinity, the Matt Kindt written introduction of a new character into the VALIANT universe, and as an aside, one of the best comics of last year. Why should you care? Well, I’m pretty smart so you should read my reviews. Actually, I’m actually not smart at all but I do actually try to give my thoughts and convey my experience from reading the comic and not just summarize them, and I enjoy people who do the same so you might too. Or you might hate it, and that’s totally cool too. I should remind people that I did these as the single issues came out, so if I look dumb with some, well tbh most, of my guesses it’s because I didn’t just read a trade and review the issues.

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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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