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.

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

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.

Continue reading Behold The Man – VALIANT’s Divinity #1-4, a Flawed But Real Review of a Great Comic

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.

Continue reading Grand Admiral Thrawn Steps into Canon on STAR WARS Rebels

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.

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

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. 

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

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.

Continue reading The Lost History of David Lapham’s DEFIANT Mongrel

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.

Continue reading Pure Jenius! Brandon Graham Macross/Robotech Art Day

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.

Continue reading The First Appearance and Impression of Daenerys Targaryen

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.

Continue reading Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen Mic Drop

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.

Continue reading Revisiting McFarlane’s Spawn #1 with Zero Love Loss

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.

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

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.)

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

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.

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

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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STAR WARS Aftermath is like if Time Outs Were The Most Exciting Part of Your Favorite Sport

star wars

That I devoured STAR WARS Aftermath in just over a day probably speaks to how much I was anticipating it and my overall interest in where STAR WARS is going post-Return of the Jedi in the new canon, stepping on and all over Timothy Zahn’s galaxy and mythos expanding and just plain damn good Heir to the Empire from 1991.

Let’s make the jump to light speed and get to this — did Chuck Wendig fill the shoes?

Continue reading STAR WARS Aftermath is like if Time Outs Were The Most Exciting Part of Your Favorite Sport

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.

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