Month: June 2012

You know it’s true

Damian Wayne is better than you.

Taken from Batman & Robin #10, art by Patrick Gleason

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Derby City Comic-Con is tomorrow, June 30th

For those of you that live in the Louisville Metro area, Derby City Comic-Con is tomorrow at the Kentucky International Convention Center.*  Admission is $10, and the event lasts from 10am-5pm.  This is the 2nd year that the event has taken place, but will be my first time attending.  I should have pictures from it posted Sunday or Monday.  Hope to see you there.

*I’m not certain why it has “International” in the name.  But, it’s same way with Louisville International Airport.  I’m pretty sure you can’t get an international flight unless you’re a UPS package.

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – 6/24/12 – “Nightmare in Red”

This week, there was a new episode of Avengers, but not of Ultimate Spider-man.  This week’s episode of Avengers is titled “Nightmare in Red.”  A new Red Hulk emerges, and brings destruction with him.  There was also a Marvel Master Class with J. Scott Campbell.

The Avengers:  Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – “Nightmare in Red.”  General Ross and Doc Samson arrive on the Helicarrier to meet with director Maria Hill.  Winter Soldier infiltrated a S.H.I.E.L.D. vault, and stole the blood of the Hulk.  Ross demands that Hill hand over a sample of the Hulk’s blood to the Hulkbusters so that they can find a way to take down the Hulk.  Hill tells Ross that the Hulk is an Avenger, and that Ross wants it just so he can create an army of Hulks.  Samson says that it wouldn’t work, because both he and the Hulk are accidents.  Hill says she’ll think about it.  Bruce Banner, on his one day as Bruce, is on a boat fishing, much to the annoyance of Hawkeye.  Winter Soldier injects someone with the sample of the Hulk’s blood, and they transform.  Hill is notified of an intruder, and see the devastation.  She goes to find what it is, and finds the Red Hulk.  Captain America and Wasp respond to Hill’s call for help from the attack by the Hulk.  They try to convince her that it can’t be the Hulk, but she doesn’t believe them.  Captain America tells Wasp that they shouldn’t inform Tony Stark about this yet.  They tell Hawkeye to return Bruce to the mansion.  They arrive at the Hellicarrier, and see this Red Hulk attacking.  (more…)

Larry Hama is coming to the Zone!

The Zone Comic Shop, the shop to which this blog is tied, is proud to announce that Larry Hama will be in the store on Friday, June 29, from 5pm to 9pm.  Here is the official announcement from The Zone’s owner, Dan Thompson:

We are proud to announce that comic book legend and all-around nice guy Mr. Larry Hama will be coming to The Zone Comic Shop on Friday June 29th. Mr. Hama is best known for writing nearly the entire Marvel G.I.JOE series and creating all of the characters for the comic and toy line. Mr. Hama had a lengthy run on Wolverine in the 90’s and has written or penciled various other comics throughout his illustrious career. He currently writes IDW’s G.I.JOE A Real American Hero comic (a continuation of the Marvel Comics series). He will be at the Zone from 5PM to 9PM Friday June 29th!!! Larry will also be appearing at the Derby City Comic Con on Saturday June 30th!!!

In another announcement, Dan asks that you not bring more than 5 items to be autographed.  Personally, I’m lucky enough that Hama has also written a few Batman comics, and will be having him sign my copy of Detective Comics #736.

This makes me happy

I found this story yesterday on Robot 6, and it warmed my heart.  As you probably know, I’m a huge Batman fan, and that fandom really started with Batman:  The Animated Series.  And once I became more aware of the people that developed the show, I became a fan of Paul Dini.  I’ve enjoyed almost everything he has written.  (There was that Countdown mess that he was overseer of.)  So, news that he’s going to be working on a Batman graphic novel makes me happy.

Actual details are sparse though, since it is very early in development.  Personally, I hope it’s a Batman story involving Zatanna.  It’s no secret that Dini has wanted to pair Batman and Zatanna up.  Of course, the fact that Dini is essentially married to Zatanna may have played a role in this.  But really, there’s not enough Dini-written Zatanna material.  Sure, there was a series that last 16 issues, until it was cancelled by the New 52, but I want more.

300 word rant: graphic novel vs. comic book

This is something that has bugged me for awhile.  Not a major problem, but rather an annoying little nuisance, poking at a nerve, like some of Marvel’s renumbering.  Like Fantastic Four #600 using the numbering from FF even though FF continued as a series, and now I hear that there is a Dark Avengers #175….GAH!  But I digress.  The minor annoyance I speak of today comes from a term that people use too often to describe things that aren’t actually it.  This term is graphic novel.

It is quite a prestigious sounding term.  Just think about it.  Which sounds more classy, graphic novel or comic book?  Graphic novel has this ring to it.  A graphic novel sounds like something that could be compared to the works of Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, and other authors you’re forced to read during school.  Whereas comic book sounds like something only a kid would read.  You can see why people would overuse graphic novel.  They want their passions to be taken seriously. But this leads to rampant misuse of the phrase.

For example, Watchmen is considered by many to be the greatest graphic novel ever written.  I’m here to tell you that that is incorrect.  This isn’t because Watchmen isn’t a good story, but rather because it’s not a graphic novel.  It was written and published as a series of issues, and later collected into a single volume.  In order for it to have been a graphic novel, it would have needed to be written and published as a single volume.  The fact that it is an ongoing story is irrelevant.  Things like Superman:  Earth One and Fables:  1001 Nights of Snowfall are graphic novels.  They written and published as the longer format.

So please, in the future, remember to use the correct term.  And especially don’t use graphic novel because you’re ashamed to say you read comic books.  Have some pride.

Around the Web

This month’s “Around the Web” features a comic titled “Cloudscratcher.”  The comic is written and drawn by Cody Baier.

On the comic’s FAQ page is the following description of the comic:

Cloudscratcher is the story of a group of freedom fighters in their struggles against the Margoth Empire. Squaring off in a world high above the clouds, where people build their civilizations atop craggy mountains and lifeless plateaus, the crew of the Cloudscratcher–a motley crew of various heroes of great skill, all united by lives torn apart by the Empire’s machinations–fight the seemingly endless fight for the future. It won’t be an easy fight, however, as the Margoth Empire boasts superior numbers, advanced technology, and leaders that are as skilled as they are ruthless. And making matters worse, a terrifying new Emperor has taken control, and under his rule, the Empire has grown even stronger, and their goal of complete global domination seems to creep ever-closer…

Cody also says that the comic was inspired by the 1990s Disney animated shows, and the Don Bluth animated movies from the time.  I can see that.  The art style is very reminisent of the Bluth films, while the content of the strip is pretty kid friendly.  But, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It is a serious story told in a lighthearted way.  With the opening dog fight (airplanes, not two dogs fighting, though one pilot is a dog) it is a death-free encounter because of villain blunders.  However, we do get some references to an Imperial nation (of snakes) that is seeking global conquest, and has already wiped out the Pig nation.  One of the pilots on the Cloudscratcher is a Pig, and revenge has been foreshadowed.

So yes, it is a story with cute animals as the main characters, but unlike so many other stories, there is actually substance behind it.  I believe that far too often, writers rely on blood and cussing to try to make their comic seem “edgy,” but they often forget that they are there to actually tell a story.  In closing, I recommend that you read this.  There’s only one chapter currently up, and it consists of 25 pages.