Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zuda Invitational Ending

Today is the last full day of voting for the Zuda Invitational so if you haven't done so already, go vote. I know, I didn't get up my reviews for this one. It's a long story that I touched on in my last post. But hopefully you can decide on your own what you want to vote for. ;)

So go already.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Comic-Con and stuff

Yeah, I know that I've been pretty quiet as of late. I've had a lot going on as of late but it's mostly stuff I'd rather not blog about. Personal stuff and all that. Kinda weird huh, most people love to blog about their personal lives, I tend to keep it out of my blog.

So some random stuff from Comic-Con or wherever...

I was a little surprised reading Robert Kirkman's comments about becoming a partner at Image, mainly the ones aimed at Marvel and DC (not that I don't agree with some of the stuff he has to say, like the "event" led direction that Marvel and DC seem to be following). I do like a lot of the creator owned stuff coming out now or recently (Ex Machina, Y the Last Man,...) including some of Kirkman's (Invincible, the Walking Dead,...) so I'll be interested to see where Image goes.

Boom! Studios signing on to do a Muppet comic as well as Pixar Comics? Love it actually. I love news stories like this, where it's clear that the industry cares about attracting young readers into the mix. And with Pixar riding high, it seems like a great idea.

Supposedly Louis Letterier said that Edward Norton would be in the Avengers movie and Kevin Feige either said we haven't seen the last of the Hulk in movies or that we'll be seeing Incredible Hulk 2 (depending on what media outlet you believe). I liked the Incredible Hulk and whether it's Hulk 2 or Avengers, I'll be looking forward to some more Hulk action. I'd actually love for the first half (or maybe less) of the Avengers movie to be the team trying to take out the Hulk. Cap, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Thor VS the Hulk on the big screen? Gotta love that!

I saw the low quality version of the Wolverine footage online. It looks cool but I hope it's not too overloaded with such a huge cast of mutants.

The news about a Cloak and Dagger series by Valerie d'Orazio (of Occasional Superheroine/Friends of Lulu/several-other-things fame) was leaked just prior to Comic-Con. I've often been impressed by Valerie's passion for and knowledge of comics. So I'm happy for her to get this opportunity. I haven't really been a fan of Cloak and Dagger in the past. I didn't dislike them but I didn't buy any of their books either. But I'll be checking this one out.

And High Moon gets a second season on Zuda. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes.

I'm also happy to hear about a second series for the Umbrella Academy. I enjoyed the first one much more than I thought I would.

And less of a news item and more of a personal item, I was sent a copy of "Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories". I think it's supposed to be waiting for me when I get home today and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Of course, I'll let you know what I thought of it.

Yeah, there was a lot more going on but that's my initial brain dump. We'll see if I can get a second one done sometime this week. Feel free to share what you thought the big news stories were from Comic-Con.

Oh, and sorry about not providing links in the above. I'm feeling a little lazy. Let me know if there's something you can't find via google. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekly Comic Review -- July 23rd, 2008

I just have to laugh when a driver takes the time to roll down his window to apologize to me as he almost runs me over. It happened yesterday on my way to the comic store.

Anywho, I only had two books this week and unfortunately, I've only read one. I'm holding off on reading She-Hulk until I can track down a copy of the X-Factor book I missed. I didn't realize the crossover had already started. So it's just Elephantmen #13 this week.

Elephantmen #13 -- If you've read my last few reviews of this series you'll know that I'm pretty happy we've moved back to Hip, Ebony, et al. and the investigation of that meteor that crashed I don't know how many months ago (months our time, not comic book time). I liked this issue. I don't think it was their strongest but it started off this storyline strong. There were a few times where a panel didn't really hit me as too strong or the flow of the story or the narration got a bit choppy but it wasn't too jarring. And the ending made me eager to read the next issue. So all in all, a solid outing.

I'm trying to keep an eye on all the Comic-Con news as well, I was surprised by quite a few things and it'll be interesting to see where things go from here for individual comics and the industry as a whole. I was also happy to hear Umbrella Academy volume 2 is in the works as I just recently read volume 1 and enjoyed it.

But I guess that's it for now. Time to get back to work after spending lunch at the nearby mall thanks to yet another fire in the building.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 16th, 2008

Only two books this week, Mice Templar #5 and Spike: After the Fall #1.

Mice Templar #5 -- I think this series has a great story and some great art but for some reason, I find it missing the mark for me. I think there are a few issues I have when reading it. One is that I'm having a hard time keeping things straight. Perhaps this is due to the gaps between issues, I forget what was happening previously. Or perhaps it's the character designs, I still find it hard to identify who's who at times. They show a group of mice and I have no idea who they are or if I should even know them. And perhaps it's the ever shifting story which is good but in combination to the above makes me start to wonder "wait, who's the good guy now?" I know this can be a good thing but right now I'm just feeling more and more lost. Now a lot of this probably just has to do with me and my own issues, so it might be a great book for you. For me, I may be better off waiting for the story to finish (with the next issue) and read it all at once. I still think this series is good and definitely worth checking out, I just don't know if I'll be picking it up after next issue. I may wait to see if there are TPBs forthcoming.

Spike: After the Fall #1 -- Considering I haven't been the biggest fan of the Angel series, I didn't have high hopes for this one. I found the art a little better here, some of that may be due to the series centering on Spike and Ilyria/Fred (fewer characters to keep track of and such). But I still don't like the flow of the book. Too choppy and hard to follow with narrative telling us that should be shown. There were a few bright spots in the dialogue with Spike but one thing I didn't really like was having him narrate. I don't know, I kinda like not knowing what Spike is thinking and trying to infer from his body language and such. So far, I didn't find all that much to the story that I didn't already know but I guess that's good for people who aren't reading the Angel series (though I highly doubt there are many people picking this up who aren't already reading Angel). I'm still a little curious about the Ilyria/Fred thing and that's my main reason for picking up this series. I hope I'm not disappointed. As for recommending this book, I'm on the fence. I may have to wait and see how it plays out and recommend (or not) the TPB.

So that's it for the monthlies. I started reading Volume 10 of Fables and I'm really glad I read the 1001 Nights of Snowfall just prior to this. I think this one might be a tough book for me to get through as a fan of a particular character. But I won't spoil anything (and I hope nobody decides to spoil it for me with bad comments).

And one last thing, I won a sketch of the Araknid Kid by Josh Alves. I rock! Okay, all I did was sign up for his newsletter so I don't really rock but it's a cool sketch so I'm happy. And remember to vote for the Zuda Invitational.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dr Horrible online and available!!!

Yay! The legal issues were figured out and Dr. Horrible is available outside the US! Act 1 is up but I'll have to wait until later to watch it. Stupid meetings. >:(

Monday, July 14, 2008

Invincible on iTunes, MTV2, etc.

Checked out the preview clip here:

Invincible will be making an official jump from comic book to iTunes (among other outlets). I've been catching up on Invincible via TPBs and I'm really enjoying it but watching the video, I'm not entirely impressed. Trying to mash the comic panels into an animation seems to kill the flow of the story somewhat especially when everything seems to be going at a frantic pace, scenes that are meant to be drawn out are just rushed through. You lose that part of the narration. And sometimes it's hard to tell what's going on with the panels flying around. But it does kinda remind me of the old Marvel cartoons.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 9th, 2008

It was a really slow week for me with only one book coming out, Marvel Adventures Hulk #13. So let's get to it shall we...

Marvel Adventures Hulk #13 -- I found it rather fitting that issue #13 deals with something "supernatural", in this case having all the Marvel characters turned into mummies. First up, I liked the art. Sure, it was cartoony at times but it fit the fun nature of the book. And there was one panel that really made me happy but I don't want to spoil it by saying what it was. And for the most part, it was a fun story with some humorous moments. The Hulk's moment of brilliance (deducing a way to stop the villain even though I don't know how he overheard the villain's explanation of his power given the scenario) seemed rather odd given his low level of intelligence earlier but I guess that was just the Banner part shining through. All in all, a fun issue.

One thing I found funny was that it took me a minute before I got my head into "Marvel Adventures" mode. So when I first saw Cap and Thor I thought "Hey, Cap's dead!" and "Hey, Thor has a new costume!" It took me second before I smacked myself upside the head. I guess I was just really tired last night. :)

So yep, that's all the monthlies I bought yesterday. As for other reading, I got volume 8 of The Walking Dead on Monday and WOW! I did not see all that coming. I really do like that series but I think I'll stick to the TPBs as it doesn't seem to have a good schedule to it and the story is so decompressed I think I'd go crazy between issues, waiting to be able to read the full storyline. It's the same with Kirkman's other series, Invincible (did I mention a while back that I read volume 9 of that and enjoyed it? If not, I am now). I'm just finishing up "Kirby: King of Comics" and planning on getting "Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko".

I also have a stack of other non-comics to get through and I just started a political book (but I'll avoid going into politics here). If only work didn't get in the way of things. :)

And now I'm off to order more books (Fables volume 10 for instance).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Zuda and Other Stuff

In case you missed it, the Zuda Invitational has started so check it out and vote. I checked out the Araknid Kid and Spudman updates right away and they look great. I'll be taking a look at all of them and giving my reviews soon (I hope).

Also, check back later tonight for the next installment of High Moon, is it the end? I hope not, it's my second favourite ongoing Zuda comic (sorry David, I just love Bayou too much).

And lastly, with the Zuda Invitational started Josh decided to see how the Araknid Kid would look in his own animated TV show. So go over to his blog, check it out, and say hello.

As for the "other stuff" I mentioned in the title, I've recently been looking at Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog and the upcoming Heroes Webisodes and I'm a little disappointed that these will start off by only being available inside the U.S. Yeah, I'm sure everyone will find a way around it and I'm also sure there is a whole heck of legal issues that surround why they are only available inside the U.S. but it still kinda bugs me. First up, I don't really want to have to work around it. I want to support these people by going to their official sites and watching it there as they intended. Secondly, I hate it when things on the Internet are restricted based on your location. It just seems contrary to how I perceive the World Wide Web. Now I'm sure someone can go through all the legal stuff and explain to me why it's not possible but that won't change the fact that I just don't like it.

And oh yeah, I still love how I can view the ads before the Heroes Webisode trailer only to have the message come up after the ads telling me I can't watch the actual video. Thanks for wasting my time NBC.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 2nd, 2008 -- SPOILERS

First up, Happy 4th of July to my American neighbours to the south. :)

Secondly, I'm going to try and keep spoilers to a minimum in my reviews from now on. I know that sometimes I'll break that rule (especially when I feel compelled to explain something I disliked in a book) but I want to try to be better about it. I want people looking for reviews so they can decide whether they want to read the book to not have the book ruined by my reviews.

And it was another busy week for me with 6 books. Two were final issues though.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16 -- I thought this issue was a strong start to a new storyline. I strongly suggest Buffy fans new to comics pick up the Fray TPB to catch up (plus, I really liked it). But you don't need to before reading this issue. It sets up things well. The dialogue is your usual Whedon stuff though sometimes I found myself going over certain parts a few times to try to understand some lines, those crazy kids and their lingo. The art was pretty solid though some of the characters seemed a little too thin or stretched out in some panels. All in all, I liked it a lot and I'm really looking forward to this storyline as well as the ongoing storylines that popped up nicely here.

Angel After the Fall #10 -- I remain somewhat disappointed with this series. I like a lot of the main storyline elements but I just think it's not being handled as well as it could have. Some of it is the writing for me and some of it is the art (though this issue was not drawn by Franco Urru, it still has some problems for me). This was one of the stronger issues for me but I still had problems with it. Some of it is simple artistic stuff like the layout of panels on one page in particular not being easy to follow. I'm eager to see how things tie up as we finish out the series but I'm hesitant to recommend it to others.

Echo #4 -- This series continues to go on at what seems like a snail's pace for me. I really do like pretty much every aspect of the book. The art is solid, the characters are interesting, the dialogue and storytelling are great. Yet every time I finish an issue I think "that's it???" And it's weird because I think back now and there actually was a fair amount thrown into this book but I don't know how much really pushed the story or the characters along. This book is actually getting dangerously close to falling off my monthly purchase list. It may be something I'll wait for TPBs for (if they even make them) so I can read more of a full story than what I'm getting every month.

Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #2 (of 5) -- To be honest I didn't remember much of the first issue so I'm glad Tek gave a very brief recap. And it turns out, it wasn't even all that necessary. But this was a fun issue. Yes, it's probably more geared towards fans of his show. Or at the very least, you should "get" Colbert in order to "get" Tek Jansen. But overall, I really enjoyed this book including the secondary story.

American Splendor Season 2 #4 (of 4) -- Season 2 comes to a close with more "excitement" as we spend some more time in Harvey Pekar's world. We have a visit to the doctor (including having to jump start his car again), taxes, organizing his recods, and trying to remember ideas for this comic. American Splendor isn't for everyone but I find it very addictive. Most of all, I love how Harvey has shown comics can be so much more than muscle men in tights and busty women in ... well, almost nothing. For people looking for something very different I recommend picking up the "American Splendor: Another Day" TPB or the American Splendor film.

Dark Tower: Long Road Home #5 (of 5) -- This was a pretty good concluding issue to this series. It had a lot of the usual "issues" for me that I've talked about too much I think. Overall, this series had some interesting stuff to it and some pretty artwork to look at. But I think this is the end of the road for me. I'll keep an eye on the next series and maybe pick up the TPB at the end but I just don't think it's for me. Though I think it's definitely a solid book that you might want to check out.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Zuda Winner for June, 2008

Congratulations to Michael for winning June's Zuda competition. In case you haven't already, check out the comic here or the Dual blog here.