Tag: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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    10 Free Comic Book Day Books You Need To Pick Up

    Free Comic Book DayEvery year, Free Comic Book Day grows by leaps and bounds. What started as just a few comic companies giving out a handful of comics has transformed into over 15 companies and 50+ comics! With many stores implementing strict limits on just how many books you can pick up, you need to make every choice count.

    Luckily, your friends at TFAW have come through with a list of the 10 comics you need to grab this Free Comic Book Day. Why 10? Because that just happens to be the number of comics we generously give at each of our retail locations.

    If you’re a Portland, Oregon or Los Angeles, Calfornia resident and want to join in on our Free Comic Book Day festivities, check us out on Facebook (Milwaukie , Portland, Beaverton, Universal Citywalk) for all the info you could want about our Free Comic Book Day event, including signing schedules. If you aren’t local, keep an eye on our website as we’re going to offer a sale you won’t want to miss starting on May 6th. Plus every order placed on May 6th will recive a Free Comic Book Day comic at random! (While supplies last)

    Want to visit your Local Comic Shop? Visit ComicShopLocator.com to find your nearest Comic Book Store!

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    Sins of the Past

    Everyone’s favorite vampire with a soul is back. Spinning out of appearances in the successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel & Faith series, Angel stars in his own solo series again.

    In Angel Season Eleven #1,  Angel and his longtime associate Fred investigate a haunting in a Dublin hotel. However, the investigation soon leads to memories from Angel’s very dark past.

    What do these memories mean and why are there so many bugs in them? These questions lead Angel and Fred on the mystery that forms the spine for the series’ first arc.

    Angel and Fred Team Up

    Angel’s past as the villainous vampire Angelus has always been ripe for story potential on TV and in comics. It’s a strong choice to make his backstory a cornerstone of this series. Angel is one of the most haunted characters in pop culture. Writer Corinna Bechko uses that to blaze forth a new storyline for him.

    The other interesting thing about the book is the inclusion of the character of Fred. Viewers of the TV show know Fred’s body was possessed by the ancient demon Illyria in the final season. In this new series Fred tries to share her body with Illyria.

    As you can imagine, a modern-day girl and an ancient demon don’t make the best pair of body-mates. However, with Illyria inside her, Fred is able to access powers important to revealing the truth about what’s going on in Dublin.

    Angel has always been a fan favorite character within the Buffy-verse. So, it’s nice to see him in his own series again. Based on this first issue it seems like a lot of narrative seeds have been planted. This makes for a large-scale adventure for the issues to come.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AND PRE-ORDER ANGEL SEASON ELEVEN #2 AND #3

    Angel Season Eleven #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release Date January 18, 2017, Written by Corinna Bechko, Art by Geraldo Borges, Colors by Michelle Madsen, Cover by Scott Fischer, $3.99

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    Between the Occult and the Detective

    Between the Occult and the Detective

    There are two comic themes that when combined can make for enthralling reading — detectives/private eyes and magic. This coupling of sleuthing and the supernatural (including religion, the occult, sorcery and more) is pervasive in comics and the noir characteristics just heighten the thrills.

    hellblazerAnd no one fits that bill better than the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Created originally in Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing in 1985, it wasn’t until 1988 when Hellblazer #1 hit the stands. Ever since, John has been working his magic in comics, on film in the Constantine movie, and in the short-lived and underrated Constantine television show. He’s  also part of pop culture in general (the Supernatural TV series borrows heavily from John Constantine for Castiel’s character).

    With 30-plus years of this character’s history, it can be daunting to know where to start. A good entry point is a graphic novel. Surprisingly, it’s not the  first volume — John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins, but the fifth volume: Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits. Written by longtime Hellblazer writer Garth Ennis, this volume actually inspired parts of the 2005 Constantine movie.

    The story is pretty simple — John’s dying. All those cigarettes have caused an advanced terminal lung cancer. Knowing that his soul is damned and Hell is ready for him, John moves to cure his disease and save himself. What happens after he sets down this course is truly amazing.

    Another must read Hellblazer arc was created by celebrated crime novelist, Ian Rankin, for Vertigo’s crime imprint called Dark Entries in 2009. This was the first Original Graphic Novel (also called an OGN), meaning it was never released as single issues. The plot involves John trying to figure out why a house on a reality TV program is haunted. Of course, he can’t stop production, so he joins the series and starts to unravel the mystery.

    One of the big draws is the inclusion of religion within the series. It’s not just focused on Christianity. Voodoo magic is used regularly not only by Constantine, but his frenemy Papa Midnight. Although Catholicism is most prominent, the series never ignores the idea of other religions in the world.

    Look Overseas for Great Horror Comics

    Hellblazer isn’t the only series to blend magic and religion. Around the same time, Italian writer Tiziano Sclavi was introducing the world to Dylan Dog. A self-proclaimed Nightmare Investigator, Dylan, unlike John Constantine, was likeable. By 2011, Dylan Dog reached 300 issues, but only a handful made it to the United States.

    Dylan’s occult interactions mainly revolve around the classic monsters like vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Although, demons have crossed paths with him a few times.

    Many were first introduced to this character in the Dylan Dog Case Files from Dark Horse Comics. This graphic novel featured selected stories that were translated and released just prior to the Dylan Dog: Dead of Night film that starred Brandon Routh. The Dylan Dog Case Files is a great compilation of stories from the Italian series, but up until September 2016 it was the only source of Dylan Dog stories available in the U.S. Now, new stories are starting to come out from Epicenter Comics. Reportedly, there will also be reprints of past stories.

    How to Steal a Ghost

    ghostedAnother series that blends crime and the occult is Joshua Williamson’s Ghosted. Williamson is currently heading up The Flash series in DC’s Rebirth, and it’s been great.

    Ghosted, published by Image Comics, is further evidence that Williamson is the real deal. The series follows one of the world’s greatest thieves as he’s pulled into the world of the occult. He’s broken out of prison and offered the chance to steal something no one else has — a ghost.

    Think equal parts Ocean’s 11 and The Shining. Things are never as they seem, and our hero has to rely on more than his wits to get out of this situation. Pulling together a team of experts to help him steal this ghost, he assembles a psychic, an occult historian, a tech guy to record the ghost, and a skeptic. Overall, if you want to add a little heist into your horror, Ghosted is for you.

    Don’t Fear, The Slayer is Here

    buffyWho could really forget about the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Buffy hunts vampires, but her adventures go WAY further than that including her best friend going into full-witch mode on her!

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is Buffy Summers, the chosen one in a long line of young women destined to battle evil forces. She becomes “The Slayer” giving her increased physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance. Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Giles, whose job is to train and assist the Slayers. Then it gets more complicated.

    But when the TV show ended, the fun didn’t. After the official comic book continuation of the series in Buffy Season 8, 9, and 10, we’re poised to jump into Buffy Season 11 in November 2016. Unencumbered by network television show budgets, this comic has gone to some great heights in recent years.

    The World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator

    hellboyHellboy is one of the longest running, most widely celebrated horror series. With hundreds of issues and dozens of spinoffs, Mike Mignola has done something really amazing with this series by creating a new universe.

    Aside from DC and Marvel, there really aren’t a lot of big universes in comics, especially ones that walk that horror/mystery line so well. Hellboy or the “Mignola-verse” is a rich tapestry that features a variety of complex characters set a world that draws on centuries of folk-tales, yarns, and fables.

    Hellboy remains one of the few series that begs you to re-read the stories regularly. It’s great for curling up with during inclement weather or when you find yourself with an extended weekend.

    There are plenty of other occult and horror comics that split their genre with detective and noir storytelling. What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.

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    TFAW Sponsors Karaoke Meet & Greet With Buffy’s Nicholas Brendon

    Nicholas Brendon Karaoke TFAW EventLike karaoke? Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer? TFAW and FanGeek are proud to announce a karaoke meet and greet in Portland, Oregon January 25 with actor Nicholas Brendon, whose portrayal of Xander Harris on television’s smash hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer was beloved by millions of fans worldwide.

    “I’m super excited about visiting Portland — I can’t wait to find out what songs the fans have in store for me,” said Brendon. “And I’m looking forward to stopping by to say hi to the TFAW team!”

    Nicholas Brendon received critical and popular acclaim for his portrayal of sensitive, wisecracking Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since Buffy wrapped, Nicholas has appeared in recurring roles on the hit dramas Criminal Minds and Private Practice, as a regular in the sitcom Kitchen Confidential, and in the made-for-TV movies Celeste in the City, Relative Chaos, My Neighbor’s Secret, and A Golden Christmas.

    Speaking of our favorite Scooby gang, did you know that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 is now available for pre-order? Get the continuing story of Buffy, Xander, and the rest in this acclaimed series, executive produced by Joss Whedon!

    Don’t miss the chance to share the karaoke stage with Nicholas Brendon January 25! A limited number of tickets are available for purchase here.

    PURCHASE TICKETS TO KARAOKE WITH NICHOLAS BRENDON

    PRE-ORDER BUFFY SEASON 10

    Are you excited to karaoke with Nicholas? Post your comments below!

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    Happy Birthday Buffy: Special Whedonverse Geek Trivia Night

    Happy Birthday Buffy: Whedonverse Geek TriviaBuffy Summers’ birthday is January 19, and to celebrate our very favorite vampire slayer, we’re throwing a very special Whedonverse Geek Trivia Night January 24 at McMenamins Kennedy School! Dark Horse Comics is donating some awesome Buffy giveaways, and there will be some amazing Buffy prizes, too!

    Awesome hosts Cort & Fatboy are currently scouring the Whedonverse for trivia questions that will leave you racking your brains, so make sure to study up on Buffy, Angel, Firefly, the Avengers movie, and maybe even his run on Astonishing X-Men and Runaways. Plus, Buffy Season 8 and 9 Editor Scott Allie will be contributing some special Buffy questions that will be worth double points!

    So come out to the Kennedy School January 24 to wish the Buffster a happy birthday and slay the competition! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the game begins at 9:00 p.m.

    RSVP ON FACEBOOK

    BROWSE BUFFY SEASON 8 & 9 COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Need a team? Post on the event page on Facebook and set it up!

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    Andrew Chambliss Dishes About Writing Buffy & Dollhouse Comics

    Buffy Season 9 ComicsWhen Dark Horse Comics launched Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 in 2007, it was a game changer for comics–and television–that’s still impacting the entertainment industry today. A direct continuation of the hit television show, executive produced (and sometimes written) by series creator Joss Whedon, Buffy Season 8 was a quantum leap forward for licensed comics and as popular (and as polarizing) as the original show.

    Buffy Season 8 was big. Huge! Not only did it swell far beyond its projected 25 issues (topping out at issue #40) and feature 10 different writers, but it cast Buffy as a leader of an immense slayer army, facing off against cosmic foes, ending with a gigantic climax that featured an earth-shattering reunion, a monumental death, and, oh yeah, the destruction of a mystical seed that got rid of most of the magic on Earth. You know those comic book events that promise to “Change everything forever?” Buffy Season 8 actually did it–in spades.

    So Buffy Season 9 is a different animal. Smaller. More human sized. Buffy’s on her own once again, fighting baddies while trying to balance the rest of her life–and figure out her tangled relationships with her loved ones. When she’s not avoiding the subject, of course (the more things change . . . ). Plus, this time out she’s in the hands of just two writers: after Whedon penned the first issue, he handed the reins to Dollhouse writer Andrew Chambliss.

    We chatted with Chambliss about Buffy and Dollhouse: Epitaphs, which concludes November 9, as part of Dark Horse Month–read on for his insights into Buffy, Alpha, and more! Plus, check out our four-page preview of Buffy Season 9 #3 and a three-page preview for Dollhouse: Epitaphs #5.

    SPOILER ALERT! CONTAINS SPOILERS!

    TFAW.com: What was your experience like, writing for the Dollhouse TV series?

    Dollhouse Epitaphs ComicsAndrew Chambliss: Writing for Dollhouse was a dream job. First off, I was lucky enough to get to work for Joss on a show whose premise thrilled every part of my geeky brain. Secondly, I got to work with a bunch of other really talented writers, many of whom I’m still good friends with and have worked with since (Jed and Mo, Craft and Fain, Steve DeKnight, just to name a few). Aside from the short-lived Bionic Woman, Dollhouse was my first television writing gig and I couldn’t think of a better group of writers to learn from.

    TFAW.com: How did that lead to writing Buffy Season 9?

    AC: I was writing the Dollhouse miniseries with Jed and Maurissa, and we were halfway through scripting that run when I got an e-mail from Joss. He said he had heard good things about my work on the Dollhouse book and wondered if I’d be interested in working on Buffy Season 9 with him. It took me all of about two minutes to write back with a resounding yes, and before I knew it I was going to a Buffy writers summit at Joss’ house so we could brainstorm ideas for the season with Dark Horse and other Whedonverse writers.

    TFAW.com: Were you familiar with the Buffy TV show and Season 8 comics before you took the job?

    AC: I’d always been a Buffy fan and was very familiar with the show. I had read some of Season 8 while I was working at Dollhouse, but I got pretty busy on the show and working on other projects so I got a bit behind on my reading. Within a couple days of getting the e-mail from Joss asking me to work on Season 9, I caught up on Season 8 and cracked open my Buffy boxed set so I could immerse myself in the show again. Even now that I’m caught up, I still re-read Season 8 and I’m always re-watching the TV series–just to keep myself in that world and keep the characters’ voices fresh in my head.

    Buffy Season 9 #3 Page 1TFAW.com: Buffy’s in a really interesting place right now: during Season 8 she was the big leader who everyone respected, with a giant army at her command. Is it anticlimactic for her to be on her own, working as a waitress by day and patrolling by night?

    AC: I don’t think it’s anti-climactic for Buffy to go from being a general with an army at her command to a waitress who patrols the city at night. In a way, I think that’s the fun of Season 9. It’s what makes it interesting. Buffy was so used to being able to focus entirely on the mission that she got pretty rusty at all those other pesky things that come along with life. When she’s juggling a job, roommates, and Slaying, it’s not as easy as turning to Satsu or Kennedy and ask them to take care of it. She’s got to figure out how to do both. And that’s what’s exciting for me about Season 9. I think it’s what a lot of people in their 20s end up having to figure out when they get out of school and realize they’re adults who have to balance family, work, friends, paying the bills, etc. Now imagine throwing patrolling into the mix on top of all that other stuff.

    TFAW.com: Buffy’s disappointed a lot of people in her life: most of the “Slayerettes” hate her, her relationship with Willow is strained, and Xander and Dawn are distancing themselves from the “Scooby gang” for a more normal life. Buffy seems to be plugging along and avoiding dealing with this–how long can she keep it up?

    Buffy Season 9 #3 Page 2AC: If it were up to Buffy, I think she’d be more than happy to avoid dealing with all the fallout from the events in Season 8. Usually life is just easier when you let things coast by. But that doesn’t mean Buffy’s friends (not to mention enemies) are going to let her to continue to pretend like the world hasn’t changed. Buffy’s got a wake up call coming very soon, and it’s going to be a big surprise to her.

    By issue #4 or #5, it’s going to be pretty clear to Buffy that she can’t avoid this stuff any longer. However, the one person she’s not going to avoid dealing with is Willow. With everything Buffy’s going through early in the season, Buffy needs her best friend, and she knows the only way to make that happen is to set things right with Willow. Of course, the one thing that will make Willow happy is regaining her ability to use magic, so mending thing between Buffy and Willow isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world.

    TFAW.com: At the end of Buffy Season 9 #2 (spoiler alert!) Buffy meets up with a mysterious individual who can turn vampires back into (dead) humans. As a longtime Whedon fan, I automatically think this isn’t as good as it looks on the surface. Am I right?

    AC: Severin’s power to turn vampires into dead corpses is definitely loaded with surprises. I don’t want to give them all away, but I will say that the thing that really intrigues me about his power is how, on the micro-level, it mimics what the seed did to the world. Severin’s power isn’t about adding magic to anything; instead it’s another instance where magic is getting sucked from the world–in this case, it’s affecting vampires who up until now seemed to be somewhat unaffected by the destruction of the seed.

    Buffy Season 9 #3 Page 3TFAW.com: Everything about Season 8 was big, but Season 9 is more a return to the roots of the TV show. What elements are you focusing on?

    AC: The focus of the season is really on the characters. For Buffy, it’s really about her coming to terms with what it means to be living a normal life and being a Slayer. She didn’t die saving the world and she never really thought about how she would live a life beyond that. What kind of job can you keep when you’re up patrolling all night? How do you break that news to your roommates? These are the kind of questions that remind me of some of the coolest arcs on the TV series, so these are the types of questions we’re going to ask this season.

    The other thing that’s a big focus of the season is rebuilding Buffy’s family. With everything that happened with the destruction of the seed (Slayers turning on Buffy, Willow giving her the cold shoulder, Dawn and Xander starting a normal life), Buffy’s trying to figure out how her friendships work again. Who’s going to be there as a friend? And who’s going to be there as a Scooby? Will the old gang stay intact as some characters try to have normal lives?

    TFAW.com: So far, it seems everyone (except Willow) would welcome a more “normal life”–Xander and Dawn are already moving in that direction, and Buffy jokes that she’d be fine with being “put out of a job.” Do you think ANY of these characters can really go back?

    Buffy Season 9 #3 Page 4AC: I don’t think any of these characters, short of having their memories erased, can ever truly go back to being normal. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try to settle into normal lives. Some of the characters are going to be more successful at building regular lives than others–and that’s definitely going to lead to conflict as those with normal lives try to maintain friendships with those who are still immersed in the supernatural. We’re already seeing it a little bit in issue #2 when Xander and Dawn don’t quite understand why Buffy didn’t just try to work things out with the police. And we’re going to see more of this conflict as Buffy makes alliances with some of the new characters we’ve introduced so far in the season.

    TFAW.com: Can you hint at any future developments with Buffy Season 9?

    AC: Pretty soon, Buffy is going to realize that she and Willow need to repair their friendship, and Buffy’s going to accept the fact that it might mean letting Willow go off on her own for a little while. Buffy’s also going to realize that there’s a new kind of vampire that’s being sired because the seed was destroyed. This is going to lead to an interesting relationship with the SFPD, once Buffy figures out a way to no longer be a fugitive . . .

    TFAW.com: I re-read Dollhouse #1-4 last night, and I’ve got to say–it’s really, really interesting! How is writing this affecting your perceptions of identity and personal autonomy?

    AC: One of the things that always fascinated me on Dollhouse was the question of how much a personality is affected by your personal history, your physical biology, your neurochemistry, etc. If I put my brain into someone else’s body, would I still be me? Or would I be fundamentally changed by being in another body? Likewise, if someone else’s brain was put in my body, would parts of me shine through? Or would their physiology take control?

    Dollhouse Epitaphs #5 Page 1It’s pretty heady stuff, but I suppose that was the point of Dollhouse. I do think a lot of these questions are a lot more present in my mind as I go about my daily life than they were before I worked on Dollhouse.

    TFAW.com: Since this takes place before “Epitaph Two: Return,” you do have some limits as to where the story can go. Does it feel restrictive?

    AC: We intentionally wrote “Epitaph Two: Return” in a way that left a lot of backstory unanswered. We wanted there to be a lot of blanks left to fill in case the series ever continued (either on TV or in comic form). Characters had undergone changes since “Epitaph Part One,” but we didn’t explain a lot of the how or why of these changes. That openness actually made it a lot of fun to write the Epitaphs miniseries because it meant we got to fill in those details. For instance, in the series finale, we never explained how it was that Alpha went from being the villain of the show to an unlikely ally. That gave Jed, Maurissa and I the space to create an arc for Alpha in the miniseries.

    TFAW.com: It looked like Alpha was getting it together, but after his attempted imprinting, he’s back to killing–and making deals to justify it, like an addict. What’s it like writing for this very fractured, flawed character again?

    AC: Writing Alpha is blast because he’s so unpredictable. Even when I sit down to write an Alpha scene, I’m often surprised with the direction a scene can take. The only time I actually got to write Alpha during the series was in “Epitaph Two,” so I can’t tell you how excited I was to get the chance to write for that character for an entire miniseries.

    Dollhouse Epitaphs #5 Page 2TFAW.com: I think my favorite part is the multiple Ivies and all of their issues and interactions. Was this a scenario that came up while you were working on the show?

    AC: The multiple Ivies was something that Jed, Maurissa, and I came up with when we had a brainstorm dinner to talk about the miniseries. Ivy was always a fun character to write, so she seemed like the natural choice when we were trying to decide who to have inhabit the bodies of multiple characters. In a way, I think the multiple Ivies is an outgrowth of the Victor/Topher character from the TV show.

    The idea of having two Ivies make out with one another is something I pitched way back on the show. Joss sent us home one night to think of the weirdest fantasies a Dollhouse client could ask for. I came in the next day and pitched the idea of a client hooking up with himself, and I just got blank stares from everyone. Apparently, that was a little too weird, even for Dollhouse–well, I guess not too weird for Dollhouse in comic book form.

    TFAW.com: Are there any plans for future Dollhouse comics, after #5?

    AC: Jed, Maurissa and I have spoken about ideas for a continuation to Epitaphs with Scott and Sierra. Right now it seems like the thing that’s limiting us is time. We’d all love to work together, but at the moment we’re all pretty busy and finding the time to all get together to break stories is a bit of a challenge. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Jed, Mo, and I have a strong connection to the Dollhouse characters and would love to explore what was going on with some of the characters we didn’t touch on in the miniseries. We’ve talked about a really cool idea for a Dominic/Adelle storyline, and we’d love to go back and explore Tony and Priya’s relationship.

    TFAW.com: Scott Allie has said on several occasions that it’s much easier to make the shift from screenwriting to comics than from prose writing. How has the learning curve been for you?

    Dollhouse Epitaphs #5 Page 3AC: I think that’s a fair assessment. TV and screenwriting is such a visual medium that it seems much closer to comics writing than any other kind. There was definitely a learning curve, but the Dark Horse team helped me through it (and continues to do so). I think the biggest challenge in going from screenwriting to comic writing is to think more like a writer/director than just a writer. In a TV or film script, there are lots of things that I would leave up to the director to fill in, but in comics I end up being much more specific.

    TFAW.com: Have you gotten the comics bug? Do you think you’ll embark on some creator-owned comics in the future?

    AC: I think I got the comics bug the first time I opened up the file that had the pencils for Dollhouse #1. There’s something really cool about seeing a talented artist create a world, especially something as crazy as the Dollhouse apocalypse. I would love to embark on some comics of my own, but that will probably have to wait until I’m further along with Buffy Season 9.

    Our thanks to Chambliss for the stellar interview! You can find all of the Joss Whedon-related comics, graphic novels, statues, and more you crave right here at TFAW.com–and save 10-50%!

    ORDER BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    ORDER DOLLHOUSE COMICS AND SAVE 10-20%

    VISIT OUR DARK HORSE MONTH PAGE

    Are you enjoying Buffy Season 9? Are you hoping for more Dollhouse comics? Post your comments below!

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    Comics Omnibus Collections: All You Could Ask for and Then Some

    Omnibuses at TFAW.comI’ve gotten a lot of friends who’ve asked me for recommendations for comics they should read. Usually I go on a little fact-finding mission and pair them up with a book I think they’ll connect with. Lately though, I’ve been turning people on to omnibuses (or omnibusen, if you’re so inclined).

    Why? Because they’re a great value and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Think about it: a $2.99 comic clocks in at 32 pages, and if my wizard-like math skills haven’t failed me, that’s about 10¢ a page. Depending on your reading abilities, you could be done with that issue pretty darn quick, only to return to your mundane existence 10 to 20 minutes later.

    That’s where omnibuses come in to save the day. Clocking in at 350-530+ pages each–most are $25-$60–they’re well worth the price of admission. They’re perfect for me because I’m impatient. Don’t get me wrong, I love monthlies. They do a great job at giving you exactly what you need and keep you coming back month after month (as long as the art and writing are there), but they always leave me wanting.

    There’s nothing quite like turning off your cell phone and curling up with a good omnibus. The closest comparison I have would be to equate it with a movie marathon. Ever watch the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Lord of the Rings trilogies in one sitting? That’s what I’m talking about. You get to escape to another world for a good long time, leaving all of your cares and concerns behind.

    Not knowing you, [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE], I’d have a hard time recommending an omnibus for you, but here are a few choice ones I’ve really enjoyed:

    • Hack/Slash Ommnibus Vols. 1-3–Tim Seeley’s book turns the typical slasher story on its head with Cassie Hack, the tough-as-nails young girl who hunts murderers, wackos, and monsters with her sweet sidekick, Vlad. Can’t go wrong!
    • Age of Reptiles Omnibus–Though there isn’t a single spoken word in this book, you feel yourself compelled to keep “reading” to see what happens to your favorite characters. The kid who loved dinosaurs in me is still very much alive, and this is a great book for kids of all ages. Super powerful. Warning, there is some death in the book, so use your discretion for younger readers.
    • Astonishing X-Men By Whedon & Cassaday Omnibus HC–This award-winning series was a hit with critics and fans throughout the Whedon/Cassaday run, and was collected into a massive tome that is wholly satisfying.
    • Superman Doomsday Omnibus TPB–There isn’t much to say about this book that hasn’t been said. It’s just really nice to read through all 412 pages of the Doomsday saga in one sitting.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer omnibuses–Yes, I’m a dude who likes Buffy. That being said, Dark Horse’s BTVS comics have always been top notch, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’re not a Buffy fan if you don’t have at least a few Buffy comics somewhere on a shelf (or standing upright in a polybag sleeve in a box in a dark, dry corner of your basement/spare room). These omnibuses are just too good to pass up, and don’t need to be read in order to be enjoyed.
    • B.P.R.D. Omnibus HC Vol. 1–The complete Plague of Frogs story is presented in all its glory. Many friends I’ve turned on to the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. universe tell me that they prefer the team dynamic in B.P.R.D. to Hellboy’s solo tales. This book is for those of you who’ve picked up a couple of Hellboy trades and are now looking for a good jumping-on point to to get into B.P.R.D..
    • Indiana Jones omnibuses–You can pretend that the fourth movie never came out and travel around the world with Indiana Jones as he hunts down relics and artifacts that belong in a museum!
    • Star Trek omnibuses–Boldly go with these awesome collections of exciting comics starring your favorite Trek characters. TOS was a great volume because it included Star Trek: Year Four.
    • Star Wars omnibuses–Hundreds of pages of Star Wars comics in each installment. What more could you ask for? What more do I need to tell you? Personal faves include Star Wars Omnibus: Menace Revealed, Star Wars Omnibus: Rise of the Sith, and Star Wars Omnibus: Quinlan Vos-Jedi in Darkness.

    What’s your favorite omnibus and why? Post your comment below and you might win one from my bookshelf.

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    ECCC ’11: James Marsters Panel

    Emerald City Comicon is in full swing, and we were lucky enough to get into the James Marsters panel! Here, the actor formerly known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer answered every question Pop Culture Zoo and the audience had for him–and we mean every question, from whether he’s read Buffy Season 8 (not so much) to whether he and his Hawaii Five-0 costar Alex O’Loughlin ever talk about their vampire pasts (they do–and it’s hilarious).

    Watch the video below! WARNING: SOME ADULT LANGUAGE, MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR VIEWERS UNDER 18.

    Spike

    SEE COVERAGE OF EMERALD CITY 2011

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    Are you swooning right now? We are! Post your comments below!

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    Happy Birthday Buffy! 60% off Nick & Dents Through 1/23

    Buffy Birthday PartyNot only did Buffy Season 8 conclude yesterday with the epic release of issue #40, but it was also the Buffster’s birthday! So to celebrate, we’re offering all of our Buffy Nick & Dents at 60% off through Sunday, January 23!

    Our Nick & Dents have an excellent reputation for quality–they might have a little wear and tear, such as a folded corner or dented spine, but they’re wonderful reading copies, and many of our satisfied customers claim they can’t find the nicks or dents.

    So go ahead and browse through our Buffy Omnibuses–each volume depicts original stories that take place during Seasons 1 through 7, written and drawn by some of the best creators in the business, including (of course) Joss Whedon, Eric Powell, Scott Lobdell, Christopher Golden, and Andi Watson! We’ve also included Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Panel to Panel, an oversized look at some of the most memorable artwork to grace the first decade of Buffy comics. If you’re new to Buffy Season 8, our Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight – The Long Way Home limited edition hardcover is 40% off–check it out!

    Pictured above: the massive Buffy Birthday Party thrown by Dark Horse Comics at Portland’s Multnomah County Library! Editors Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn joined Assistant Editor Freddie Lins–and hundreds of fans–as they enjoyed birthday cake and punch, drew “Hush” pictionary, answered questions about the series, played trivia, and had a Buffy singalong!

    SHOP BUFFY’S BIRTHDAY SALE: 60% OFF NICK & DENTS THROUGH 1/23

    BUFFY SEASON 8 VOLUME 1 LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER: SAVE $20

    Have you read Buffy #40 yet? Are you excited for Season 9? Post your comments below!

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    December Product Review Contest Winners

    I can’t believe how many great product reviews we got last month. It was really difficult picking three winners for our Product Review Contest. This month, we’re sending out $25 TFAW gift certificates to the following winners:

    Joseph from New York reviewed Batman 80 Page Giant 2010 #1. Here’s what he had to say:

    I found most of the stories to be fairly underwhelming, with the exception of a rather creative vignette written by Sean Ryan and drawn by Joe Suitor and a quite delightfully sinister Joker story by Peter Miriani and Szymon Kudranski, which is in my opinion the highlight of the book. Which is not to say the other little tales are bad, all centering on slices of the lives of various villains, but they also strike me as fairly forgettable. Still, if you love seeing the Joker throw blood on the fourth wall you’ll have reason to pick up this issue.

    Margaret from New Hampshire wrote a helpful review for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Buffy Art Mug:

    I bought 3 of these for Christmas presents (big Buffy fans around here). When I was wrapping the mugs, I noticed on the bottom of the mugs that they are not microwave safe or dishwasher safe. Since most people use both, I’m recommending they do not use these and just display them. I wish you would have disclosed this on the website. It would have influenced my buying decision.

    Margaret’s review prompted us to contact the manufacturer regarding the microwave/dishwasher safety warning on the bottom of the mug. It turns out that the message was the result of an error at the manufacturing facility and we have been assured that the mugs can be used in the microwave and washed in the dishwasher. Just goes to show you that your reviews are being read and that we care very much about what you have to say.

    Last, but not least, there’s Daniel from our very own Portland, Oregon who captured our attention with his terrific review of the Cover Girls Of The DCU Harley Quinn Statue. Here’s what he had to say:

    I have every Cover Girls of the DCU since they’ve been coming out, and this is just another wonderful piece to add to the collection. The sculpting and paiting is actualy superb. Would definetly recommend to anyone a fan of the DCU or Adam Hughes.

    We want to thank all our customers for their product reviews last month. Good luck to you all for next month’s contest. Get those reviews in, you just may be next month’s winner! As always, we’re choosing our product reviews carefully. Please don’t submit duplicate reviews or submissions from other merchant websites. You don’t have to like the product to snag a winning review, so feel free to rant or gush.

    So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors, and us, sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

    HOW TO SUBMIT A PRODUCT REVIEW:
    It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

    Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

    There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

    Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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    WNR: Ex Machina, Buffy Riley One-Shot, Farscape, Brightest Day

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    We’ve got another great batch of Wednesday New Releases, including a long-awaited finale, a Buffyverse one-shot, and one of the coolest collectibles we’ve seen in a long time! Pull up a chair while TFAW reviews Ex Machina #50, New Avengers #3, Amazing Spider-Man #640 (“One Moment in Time”), Brightest Day #8, Chew #13, Farscape Ongoing #10, Shadowland: Power Man #1, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Riley One-Shot, Fables #97, Atlas #4, Supergirl #55, and The Umbrella Academy Pocket Watch and Statue Set.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Riley One-Shot

    CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S ARRIVALS

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    Questions? Comments? Post them below!

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    WNR: Batman #701, Lady Robotika #1, B.P.R.D. 1947 & More!

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    It’s the week before Comic-Con, and we’re getting psyched! Fortunately, there were a lot of good comics this week: TFAW.com reviews Lady Robotika #1, Deadpool Corps #4, X-Men Origins: Deadpool, X-Files 30 Days of Night #1, Chew #12, Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps HC Vol. 1 and 2, Batman #701, X-Men Second Coming #2, Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #6, Birds of Prey #3, Gorilla Man #1, B.P.R.D. 1947, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Throne of the Slayer Maquette!

    Batman #701

    CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S ARRIVALS

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