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    Wrap up your gifts with Comics

    Wrapping Gifts with Comics

    If you’re anything like me, you sometimes have stacks of comics that you might have doubles of, you won’t be reading again. Maybe you have some comics laying around that have cover damage or are otherwise a little beat up. Whatever your reason is for not needing them anymore, you can take those extra books and turn them into a unique gift exoskeleton ready to be torn into by the most visceral of recipients.

    Just like wrapping paper, this can be used for any situation. Does your kid like Steven Universe and have a birthday coming up? There are comics for that. Are you getting a gift for that horror fan in your life? How about past issues of Harrow County? Even if you’re low on comics in general and you don’t have a theme for what you’re doing, we have you covered.

    GRAB BAG COMICS ARE JUST 50¢ EACH

    TFAW’s 5-Step Comic Book Wrapping Process

    Let’s wrap a Conan Funko Pop using a recent issue of Cullen Bunn and Sergio Davila’s Conan: The Slayer.

    Step One: Remove The Pages.

    Gifting your present

    You’ll want to start in the center crease of the comic where the staples fold over. With a pair of pliers, a pen, or even a butter knife, bend the ends of the staple up so it’s easy to just slide the pages out.

    Step Two: Figure Out How Much Paper You’ll Need.

    Gifting your present

    Sometimes, just one page won’t cut it. You’ll typically need two or more to properly wrap an item. With something like a Funko Pop, I’ll need three full pages.

    Step Three: Attach pages together.

    Gifting your present

    Using clear tape, make sure to attach pages in at least four spots for support.

    Step Four: Wrap the gift.

    Gifting your present
    Gifting your present
    Gifting your present

    There are many styles of wrapping, but I try to keep it simple (because I’m not that good at it). Since comic pages are often thicker than wrapping paper, it can be a little harder to fold. You’ll want go for the simplest ways of covering the sides and corners, securely taping down ends when finished.

    Step Five: Present Gift!

    Gifting your present

    Now that the present is wrapped, let that person you care about tear up all your hard work.

    We hope this fun way to wrap your gifts helps out for whatever occasion you have in mind. Visit our Theme Pages to discover all sorts of comics that will make for the perfect wrapping paper.

    Happy holidays from all of us at Things From Another World.

    VISIT OUR THEME PAGES
    ORDER A 50¢ GRAB BAG COMIC

    Have you wrapped your gifts in comics? Send us photos of your wrapping!

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    Review: He-Man/Thundercats #1: The Right Tool for the Job

    He-Man/Thundercats #1 had to open with either He-Man thrashing Skeletor or Lion-O handing Mumm-Ra his backside. It just had to. Writers Lloyd Goldfine and Rob David decided on the latter scenario.

    After the fight, Mumm-Ra drags his broken, bleeding body to his black pyramid to be rejuvenated and convene with the Ancient Spirits of Evil. The Ancient Spirits have apparently lost their patience with Mumm-Ra’s inability to kill seven anthropomorphic cats and steal their Sword of Omens. They inform Mumm-Ra another magical sword exists. The Sword of Power, wielded by He-Man, might give Mumm-Ra the edge he needs to finally defeat the Thundercats. He’ll only need to travel through dimensions to an alternate universe and take it from the mightiest warrior in Eternia.

    Goldfine and David play heavily into nostalgia, knowing full well who their target audience is for this work. All those kids who woke up early on Saturday mornings in the 1980’s to watch nine hours of cartoons will get a kick out of this six-part series.

    While the script is heavy with callbacks to the television programs, the story is slightly more grown up than the material that was featured on those shows. There is a scene in this chapter where one of the principals gets stabbed through the chest. Nothing like that ever happened on Saturday morning.

    Freddie E. Williams II’s artwork is tight. Every panel is filled with an insane amount of detail. The characters all have impossibly hypertrophied physiques, which fit the genre perfectly. There is also some very creative use of gutters and panel frames to punctuate the action and emotion of the story.

    Reading this book, I’m actually surprised that as a kid I never noticed how similar these two properties are. Both mythos feature young, immature princes with talking pets that regularly undergo transformations into fierce warriors, wielding mystical, magical swords to fight nearly invincible evil undead heels. This crossover works on so many levels, it’s ridiculous.

    JOIN THE HE-MAN THUNDERCATS SERIES
    SEE ALL HE-MAN PRODUCTS

    He-Man/Thundercats #1, DC Comics, rated T, released October 5, 2016, written by Lloyd Goldfine and Rob David, art and cover by Freddie E. Williams II, color by Jeremy Colwell, letters by Derron Bennet, $3.19

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    Violent Love Mixes Romance and Crime

    Interview with Violent Love creators Frank J Barbiere and Victor Santos

    Daisy Jane and Rock Bradley were two of the most notorious bank robbers in the American Southwest. And then they fell in love. Sometimes you read a description of a new comic book and know a book is going to be something special. In less than 25 words, I was immediately hooked on the premise behind Violent Love, the newest pulp-infused criminal romance series by Frank J. Barbiere (Five Ghosts, The Revisionist) and Victor Santos (The Mice Templar, Polar).

    We had the chance to chat with the Barbiere and Santos in an exclusive interview, and we think that you’ll fall in love with this series too — both creators are throwing their all at Violent Love and their passion comes through in the preview pages that are included below.

    TFAW: Victor, what’s it like going from a series you wrote and drew in Polar to just drawing this series?

    Victor Santos: Even though my career in Spain and France was as a complete author, I’ve worked mainly as artist in the USA. Polar books (and a little collaboration in the Boom! Regular Show series) have been my chance to write again, but they feel a little restricted because my native language is Spanish. I don’t think working with writers is an imposition, it’s a marvelous school for me. I’ve learned from Azzarello, Glass, Oeming, Van Lente, and all the people I’ve collaborated with. There isn’t a rulebook for this, so every writer has their method. I enjoy it. And most important: having another writer forces you to surpass your safe place and improve.

    And there’s something more readers don’t notice. Working with Frank is easy, the story is great and this is important, of course. But the world is full of talented writers, and in the day-by-day you mostly need an effective and generous collaborator. Frank’s vision of the story is so clear and direct, he really quickly evokes great images in my mind…I usually forget I’m reading in another language and believe me: this is an unusual talent!

    Violent Love Comics by Frank J. Barbiere & Victor SantosTFAW: People have likened this series to a Bonnie & Clyde or True Romace comic, would you say that’s a good comparison?

    Frank J. Barbiere: Both of those stories are extremely influential, but while this certainly is a “criminal romance” our story focuses a lot more on our female lead, Daisy Jane. There’s also a pretty unique frame story in play — the story of Daisy and Rock is being told to a young girl many years after it happened — and I think it gives the story a bit of a American folk tale vibe. It also leans into our “inspired by true events” tag line — we know we’re not going to see anything totally out of genre like aliens, monsters, etc., so the whole thing feels very authentic and like the reader is part of something bigger.

    Santos: Of course, this is a noir tradition! I could name Gun Crazy (1950) and Badlands (1973). Romance and crime have been linked often. We love to match the highest and the lowest feelings: true love vs. violence, generosity vs. greed. I’ve read a lot of good noir in comics in the latest years, the genre has been revitalized, but I always missed more romantic elements on it. Maybe all the characters were too amoral, darkly moody (in my own books too, even in the last Polar there is a romance subplot). So I really felt we need to recover these tales of “we’re together against the world, babe.”

    Violent Love is meant to really evoke a feeling of nostalgia and Americana.

    TFAW: You mentioned the tagline. Can you elaborate a bit on this story being inspired by true events?

    Santos: Well, I think I used the “Criminal Romance” title in some “concept art image” because I loved how it sounds…I’ll leave this mystery of true events to Frank (ha, ha).

    Barbiere: When Victor and I began developing Violent Love we both decided we’d love for it to have a “true crime” feel to it — to be a story that you could imagine happening in the real world, despite having exciting genre elements. By telling our readers upfront the story is inspired by true events we offer them an idea that the story has a feel of authenticity and that everything you’re seeing is being recalled — it gives it a very unique and fresh feel that also works in tandem with our frame story. Violent Love is meant to really evoke a feeling of nostalgia and Americana, and our “inspired by true events” tagline is another tool to help. In terms of the specifics…our readers will just have to do some thinking on their own to figure that out.

    Violent Love Preview Page 1TFAW: Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration for Violent Love?

    Santos: The movies we’ve discussed, pulp novels…I love the ambiance of Jim Thompson’s stuff, the spirit of the Wild West. Some ’60 and ’70s comics — I love the ’70s Marvel comics, with people like Gene Colan or Paul Gulacy, with more noir, blaxploitation and kung-fu. And classic romance magazines, with people like Alex Toth or Dan DeCarlo charming the female readers. There is something maybe is not so apparent: I love classic comics but at the same time, I belong to the manga and anime generation, so they have a big influence on my work. I find the expression of the emotions crucial, I put a big part of my efforts on it, and Japanese books play this game terrifically.

    Barbiere: Victor is one of my favorite artists working and I knew I wanted to dive into something with him when we wrapped Black Market at BOOM! Studios. Violent Love is the culmination of all of our interests and genre loves — it really is a dream project, and a very pure vision from us. We wanted to challenge ourselves to tell a love story within the genre as well, to grow and do something new. This book is a labor of love on our end and we’re extremely proud of it — we hope to keep readers on board for a very long time and constantly surprise them.

    Violent Love Preview Page 1TFAW: Victor, I loved the style you put into your Polar series, but it was different than your work on Mice Templar. Violent Love seems to be somehwere between, can you speak a little on that decision?

    Santos: I try to transform myself into the artist that every unique project I work on requires. Maybe it’s not the best decision for my career, maybe I should have a line/style totally unique and never change it…but it’s so boring! I love to change and experiment. Polar is pure styling, high contrasts of black and white, a world where almost superhuman hitmen live. Its storytelling is a exciting artifice and every page is like a jigsaw. Violent Love is more “on the ground,” it’s not completely realistic, but it plays in real places, real starting points, a real age. It needs more texture and a different color approach, with grain and sand.

    TFAW: Anything new on the horzion that we should be keeping an eye out for?

    This book is a labor of love on our end and we’re extremely proud of it.

    Barbiere: Violent Love is going to be a long haul for us so we’ll be promoting it for many months to come! It’s really become my focus — we’re both committed to telling the absolute best story we can, and I’m glad I’ve been able to hunker down and focus on it. I’m also working on a book called The Revisionist at Aftershock Comics that I’d love more people to check out — it’s the story of a time traveling assassin and does a lot of fun stuff with the genre.

    Santos: I just finished the third Polar: No Mercy for Sister Maria, and my plan is to close the trilogy there. Right now I’m also working with Dark Horse on the US edition of one of my Spanish noir graphic novels, Rashomon: A Case of Heigo Kobayashi. As you easily deduce, it’s a noir story set in the Feudal Japan, and it’s inspired by the tales of classical writer Ryonosuke Akutagawa (with a touch of James Ellroy). It will be published next year.

    Violent Love Preview Page 1TFAW: What are you most excited about with Violent Love?

    Barbiere: The chance to tell a story with Victor that we are both extremely passionate about with Image Comics. Image gives us 100% control of the material down to the type of paper we print it on, so this is a completely authentic vision from Victor and I. We really hope readers connect with it and care for these characters — this book encompasses everything we love about comics and genre, so we hope people follow us for many issues to come.

    Santos: I think this is a kind of story you would love if you are a classic noir fan, but at the same time a new reader will enjoy a lot. We have been working on a daring storytelling but accessible. That’s the kind of comics I love because even with the movie references I told you, it has that artisan and care level a movie never will have. This story is told with the resources, technique and heart make comics so fun.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Barbiere: I try to keep extremely current with the comic book industry, as well as always diving back and checking out things I’ve missed. I’m really enjoying Steve Orlando’s new Supergirl title and on the creator owned front I’ve been absolutely floored by Kill or be Killed and Black Monday Murders. In terms of prose, I’ve been reading The Fireman by Joe Hill.

    Santos: I love all the stuff from writers like Brian Azzarello, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Warren Ellis. A lot of creator-owned from publishers like Dark Horse, Image, and Boom.

    I’m not totally connected with what all the big publishers are doing, but I buy all the stuff that artists like Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Javier Rodriguez, Declan Shalvey, Chris Samnee or David Aja are doing in the US mainstream books. I’m superfan of the Panel Syndicate online, too. Outside the U.S., I’m reading books by Osamu Tezuka, Koike/Kojima reprints, or the French hit Lastman — they are some of my favorite books right now, too.

    We want to thank Frank and Victor for taking the time out of their busy schedules to chat with us about this exciting new series!

    ORDER VIOLENT LOVE COMICS NOW

    Have you checked out other books by Barbiere or Santos? Are you as excited about this new series as we are? Join the conversation by posting your thoughts below and use the buttons below to share this article.

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    Elektra Hunts Phil Coulson in Agents of SHIELD #9

    Agents of SHIELD #9 at TFAW.com

    Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show started back up this week and it was great to catch up with the gang. The thing is, they never went away. Imagine a world where there was no summer hiatus and no months of anxiously waiting for your favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents to come back. Agents of SHIELD #9 is a testament that these characters never truly went away.

    At this particular moment in time, the team is embroiled in Marvel’s Civil War II, which sees longtime teammates on opposite sides of a moral dilemma. You don’t need to concern yourself with the details if you haven’t been following along because this issue is just plain fun. Newbies are welcome.

    Agents of SHIELD #9 at TFAW.com

    Enough with the background. Marc Guggenheim wastes no time picking up where the previous issue left off. Fitz finds himself on the wrong end of Elektra’s sai and things look pretty bad. You’d think that she’s the villain, but you’d be wrong. Elektra is (once again) a member of S.H.I.E.L.D., and she’s taken over for Phil Coulson. Ward is back, Daisy is on the outs with the team, Coulson is being hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill, Simmons is in a struggle for her life — things are upside down, and I love it.

    If you’re a fan of the television show and you’re not reading this series…you’re missing out, bub. The Agents of SHIELD comic book series is unencumbered by a television budget or film rights to certain Marvel characters — we get a ton of action in each issue, which makes this series well worth the price of admission.

    Leaving off, it must be said that whoever put series artist Ario Anindito and color artist Rachelle Rosenberg together should be promoted. They’re a great team who’ve given us one hell of a comic. Order your copy of Agents of SHIELD #9 today!

    SEE AGENTS OF SHIELD COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Editor’s Note: Grant Ward is the worst. Even though I despise him for the whole Hydra thing, I find myself hooked by his role in this issue (no spoilers here, folks) and am interested in seeing how things play out in future issues. Great job Guggenheim!

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    This is the Suicide Squad We Deserve

    Every Wednesday, we pick a few of this week’s new releases that stand out from the crowd for our New Comic Book Day series of blog articles. If you’re looking to join a series or want to know what’s happening in today’s best comics, keep reading!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Action Comics at TFAW.com

    Action Comics #963
    By: Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher, Arif Prianto, Clay Mann

    Action Comics #963 kicks off the new “Superman Meets Clark Kent” story arc and picks up with Clark Kent investigating (read: I mean breaking into) a company named Geneticron. When I say Clark, I mean Clark, not Kal-El. No, it’s not Superman pretending to be an ordinary human.

    Lex Luthor’s Daily Planet newspaper recently outed Clark Kent as being Superman, but as true as that’s been in the past, at this moment in the DCU, it’s not. In all the confusion one thing for sure, this Clark Kent is not OUR Superman.

    Dan Jurgens gives us a well-paced issue with flashbacks that help provide context to the story. This is an exciting issue for any Superman fan, and a wonderful place to jump into the Action Comics series. The story has a very Golden Age feel to it. Patrick Zircher and Arif Prianto both do a great job with the art and colors, and exemplify what we’ve come to expect from DC comics. Great layout, bright colors, and solid linework. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN ACTION COMICS TODAY
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    SEE OTHER ISSUES THAT KICK OFF NEW STORY ARCS

    The Strain comics at TFAW.com

    The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter #1
    By: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, David Lapham
    Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, Dan Jackson

    Born as a mistake of a powerful vampire known as the Master, Mister Quinlan seeks to destroy the monster that sired him. This gory feud has lasted ages and can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire.

    If you’ve enjoyed The Strain novels, television series, or comic books, you’re going to fall over yourself to learn more about Mister Quinlan in the new five-issue The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter miniseries.

    The thing is: you don’t have to know anything about The Strain to enjoy this book. Lapham and team lead the reader down a journey of one boy’s birth in blood toward his destiny. It’s a fun and entertaining story in its own right and actually serves as a good entry into this universe — be careful, you will be drawn into this story.

    On their own, Salazar, Champagne, and Jackson are tremendously talented in their own right, but together, their art comes together in such a way that you can’t help but take a second look at the book once you finish. My only criticism is that I have to wait another month to see the next installment of The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter. This is the best book I’ve read this month. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    SEE THE STRAIN COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS AT TFAW

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #2
    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    The Suicide Squad is once again on a mission they can’t hope to survive. From the emptiness of space to the frigid waters of the Artic Ocean, Task Force X can’t seem to catch a break. They’re hunting a cosmic artifact and — of course — they aren’t told what it is. When they find out what it is, we see that they were sorely unprepared for it!

    The team has gotten out of more dangerous situations than this in the past, but Rob Williams may have just caused Task Force X to go extinct. Suicide Squad #2 also includes a short story that gives us insight into Boomerang’s past. It’s a fun piece by Rob Williams, Ivan Reis, and Marcelo Maiolo.

    Things are just starting to rev up, but it’s not too late to join the Suicide Squad! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SEE MORE SUICIDE SQUAD COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
    START A SUICIDE SQUAD COMIC BOOK SUBSCRIPTION AT TFAW
    LEARN MORE ABOUT SUBSCRIPTIONS AT TFAW

    How’d we do? What comics did you enjoy this week. Join the conversation by commenting below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 2 of 5 – Marvel

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    As we look forward to the new year, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released in 2015. What follows is the second in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed Part 1? Check it out here. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Marvel Comics is home to Jessica Jones, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and a host of other amazing characters. With millions of fans worldwide and decades of quality storytelling under its belt, the publisher is the largest comic book company in the United States.

    The Best of Marvel Comics (in no particular order):

    Silver Surfer
    By: Dan Slott, Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Joe Sabino

    The new Silver Surfer series by Dan Slott, Michael Allred, and Laura Allred has been a complete delight. I’ve been in love with this series from day one. You tell me that the Allreds are working on an ongoing story and I’m on board, but add in Dan Slott’s characteristic wit and you know you’re in for a great ride.

    The aspect of this series that really shines is that Slott grounds the cosmos-spanning series by pairing Norrin Radd with a loveable companion, Earth’s Dawn Greenwood. We get to discover the universe alongside Dawn, and marvel at the enormous power of the Surfer. Slott gives us exactly what we want in the form of Galactus, and as tensions rise, we see the greatness of his storytelling — but you’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about.

    Like I said, the Allreds are tremendously talented, and I couldn’t think of a better artistic pairing that would result in a light-hearted, fun series. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, trust me when I say you’ll LOVE this series. Lucky for us, a new story begins in January when Slott, Allred & Allred take us on a new/continuing journey. [Josh C.]

    Daredevil
    By: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee, Charles Soule & Ron Garney

    This was a big year for Daredevil, what with the series debut back in April, and the end of Mark Waid & Chris Samnee’s amazing 58 issue run. Then to top it off we had the return of Daredevil just last month after Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover event with Charles Soule and Ron Garney as the new creative team.

    I started reading Daredevil on a regular basis with Mark Waid’s run. It’s got that great edgy darkness in the writing that is just enough to please Miller fans. Yet, tied with Samnee’s pulp style visuals, it keeps the story from being all dark all the time. Charles Soule’ comics hint at the darkness found in the Daredevil television show and nods Brubaker/Benids runs. We’re only 2 issues in so far but it’s still got me begging for more. Ron Garney’s art is definitely more in line with the Alex Maleev/Micheal Lark style, and I dig it. [Martin M.]

    Star Wars comics at TFAW.com Star Wars and Vader
    By: Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Stuart Immonen, Simone Bianchi, Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca

    2015 saw the beginning of a new era for Star Wars comics and Marvel exploded out of the gates with superstar talents Jason Aaron and John Cassaday. This ongoing series follows the exploits of Luke Skywalker in the aftermath of his destruction of the Death Star. The whole gang joins him as the Rebel Alliance continues to fight against the Galactic Empire! With a classic mix of action and lighthearted moments, this story feels like Star Wars in every way.

    As the year went on, the hits kept coming with A-list artists Stuart Immonen and Simone Bianchi going the book. Bringing Mike Mayhew and Leinil Francis Yu on deck for 2016 (and it doesn’t look like Jason Aaron is going anywhere!) make it clear that Marvel is keeping Star Wars filled with top talent for the foreseeable future!

    There are two sides to every story. And fans have always wanted to see the story from Darth Vader’s perspective. Well, Marvel’s got them covered with a story line from the Sith Lord’s viewpoint in the ongoing Darth Vader comic book series. It’s the entire galaxy against Vader until he makes some unlikely allies who absolutely steal the show: Doctor Aphra and her droids! These are the sadistic yet charming villains that Kieron Gillen was born to write and one look at Salvador Larroca’s art will have you rooting for the bad guys! [Jeff B.]

    Mighty Thor comics at TFAW.com

    Thor
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Jorge Molina, Joe Sabino

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a better comic book than Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman’s Thor and Mighty Thor. Talk about heroics–Aaron expertly weaves the story of Jane Foster (Thor’s ex-girlfriend) as the new Mighty Thor.

    She’s been in the hero business ever since Marvel’s Original Sin, but the team really dialed things up this year. Foster’s cancer has gotten worse, and Thor’s old enemies have started attacking in earnest. In the face of all of this, her grace and bravery shines through.

    I’m really excited to see Russell Dauterman’s art each month. He’s a relative newcomer on the comics scene, but it feels like he and Aaron have been working together for decades. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself enamored with Dauterman’s depiction of facial expressions, the flow of lightning, and little pieces of Earth and flesh flying through the air. A truly magical series. [Josh C.]

    Spider-Gwen comics at TFAW.com Spider-Gwen
    By: Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez

    One of the hottest new characters actually spun out of Marvel’s Spider-Verse crossover (see what we did there?). When you get down to it, Spider-Gwen is a retelling of Spider-Man. Except that Gwen Stacy, got bit by the radioactive spider.

    What I really enjoy and connect with here is that it’s the same Parker-humor that we all love but coming from someone that we’ve all missed. I instantly connect with the character due to her strong ties in Spider-Man lore, while still being curious about her Earth (Earth-65 if you follow that sort of thing).

    One of my favorite moments came during Spider-Verse when Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man (Peter Parker of Earth-616) meet, there is this quick but very emotional panel that really pulled on my heart strings.

    This alternate Earth is one that is rich with past Marvel lore and new events that you’ve just got to discover. If you’re looking something old, new, but maybe not red and blue, you’ll want to pick this book up. [Martin M.]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting four more Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    Things From Another World Welcomes Aaron Lopresti

    Aaron Lopresti signing at Things From Another World

    Things From Another World is excited to host a signing with Aaron Lopresti, the accomplished artist behind such titles as DC’s Wonder Woman and Marvel’s X-Men, Captain Marvel, Planet Hulk and Ms. Marvel. Be sure to visit the Beaverton TFAW store on Wednesday, May 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. to meet the artist and get your very own sketch.

    Aaron Lopresti is now bringing his artistic vision to the soon-to-be-released Convergence #7 and Convergence: Wonder Woman #2 from DC Comics. In Convergence #7, the heroes of The New 52 join the largest battle in the history of the Multiverse. While in Convergence: Wonder Woman #2, Diana Prince takes on vampire versions of The Joker and the rest of the Red Rain ghouls.

    Copies of Convergence #7, Convergence: Wonder Woman #2 and graphic novels featuring Aaron Lopresti’s art will be available for purchase at the event.

    Stop by Beaverton TFAW on May 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. to meet this amazingly talented artist in person!

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    January Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Batman Arkham Asylum Poison Ivy Statue review at TFAW.comIt’s that time again! Every month, our customers submit hundreds of product reviews that help others determine how great (or not-so-hot) certain comics, graphic novels, and other collectibles are. We took a look at the reviews that were submitted in January and are awarding $25 gift certificates as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. And now, without further adieu, the winners are (insert drum roll here):

    Our first contest winner is Devyn in Colorado Springs, CO is brand new to collecting comics! Devyn wrote a review for the immensely popular new comic from Dark Horse Comics Lady Killer #1 by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich that we just had to share:

    This was my first comic book purchase ever, and I’m very pleased! The art and story are equally awesome. Love the whole idea of this and plan to get every issue! So rad!

    Birthright #1 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Ruth from New York, NY. She had this to say about Aquaman #37 by Jeff Parker:

    Aquaman’s mother story of arriving to the land of the Gorilla is interesting cause we see the connection to how the Atleantians travel through the land and how she met the Gorilla’s. I’m hoping that there would be more of a connection to Atlantis and the Surface world through out the centuries

    Nemesis HC review at TFAW.comLast but not least, Shane from Portland, OR dropped by to share his thoughts about the Animal Man Omnibus HC:

    Though it may be pricey, this really is the best way to read the groundbreaking re-invention of Animal Man by Grant Morrison. Most of these large-scale omnibus editions, especially from Vertigo, are so large and awkward that they are hard to read, but this one is just the perfect size that it is not clunky at all. All the art is beautifully reproduced on great paper stock, and there is a fun introduction from Morrison. These issues are meant to be read all together, and finally there is a collection that allows for that!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors 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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    February Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Hawkeye #14 review at TFAW.comSweet Christmas! You guys have once again out done yourselves by sending in so many wonderful product reviews to choose from last month, it was nigh impossible to pick just three of you for this month’s picks. However, after reading through the hundreds and hundreds of great reviews, we have hand picked three of our favorites as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll find out who won from February’s Product Reviews. $25 TFAW gift certificates are on the way to the folks who posted them.

    Marina from Quail Valley, Ca stopped by with her five star review of Hawkeye #14:

    Hawkeye #14 follows the ongoing pattern with Fraction’s run, the writing is witty and expressive in a way suitable to the character. In this issue, we follow what happens to Kate in California- and we see what it really means to be a super hero sleuth. The art and writing correspond perfectly to her viewpoint and, to say without spoilers, it was an amazing issue overall.

    Elfquest: The Final Quest #1 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Candice from Carmi, IL. She had this to say about the Elfquest: The Final Quest #1:

    Been a fan since I was 13 yrs and it a very exceptional book in my opinion. It has a little bit of everything. I love to escape into the world of Elfquest; a vacation from the real world if you will. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

    Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Vol. 1 TPB - Force Storm review at TFAW.comLast but not least, Chris from Campbellford, ON wrote a review for the for Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Vol. 1 TPB – Force Storm that we had to share:

    This graphic novel captivates its reader with its awesome art work and in depth descriptions of emotions and scenes. I am very happy to have bought this book and will continue to follow the series with great intent. If you have not read this series but are a star wars fan old or new it will not let you down highly suggest this!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors 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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    December Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Empowered Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC review at TFAW.comGreat Odin’s Raven! With so many amazing product reviews to choose from last month, it was nearly impossible to narrow the field down for this month’s picks. However, we’ve sifted through the hundreds and hundreds of great reviews and hand picked three of our favorites as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll see who won from December’s Product Reviews. $25 TFAW gift certificates are on the way to the folks who posted them.

    Jeff from Charleston, WV stopped by with his five star review of Dark Horse Comics’s The Star Wars #2 :

    I’ve always wanted to see this attempted, to see it so fully realized is great. Interesting to see so many earlier characters and situations from the movies and their original place in Lucas’ earlier version. It really makes you realize how Episodes I-III are more like Lucas’ original vision of the saga.

    Afterlife With Archie #1 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Thomas from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. He had this to say about the Amazing Spider-Man Venom Unbound Fine Art Statue:

    Great detail on this statue sculpted by Erick Sosa based on the good old Mcfarlane Venom I grew up on. This isn’t the skinny Topher Grace Venom that today’s silly kids know from the movie. Sosa’s sculpt is a little bit over the top in the muscle department, looking like a bodybuilder all jacked up on juice; of course, old Eddie Brock was hitting the weights rather hard after he lost his job due to web head, so I think it fits perfectly. Five stars for the statue and five stars for the great packing job and speedy delivery from TFAW. I used to frequent the Beaverton store about 25 years ago back when it was Pegasus Comics and Pat ran the show. Unfortunately, I had to move to California. I had such fond memories of the place that I visited it a couple of years ago in a road trip. Double thumbs up!

    Velvet #1 review at TFAW.comLast but not least, John from East Hartford, CT wrote a review for the Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Limited Edition by Vivek J. Tiwary that we had to share:

    It is no accident that this book rocketed to number 1 on the New York Times best seller list. Both imaginative and colorful, it deals with the man dedicated to seeing the Beatles become bigger than Elvis — Brian Epstein. The author of this book will be bringing this story to the cinema soon and I am sure his efforts have helped Brian Epstein secure a well deserved place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors 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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    May Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Zero Killer Nick and Dent TPB review at TFAW.comWe get hundreds of really great product reviews each month, and it’s our privilege to pore through them and pick three winners as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll see who won from April’s Product Reviews. We’ll be sending $25 gift certificates to the people who posted them.

    Kyle from Saint College Park, MD is the first of this month’s winners. Here’s his review of the Batman Dark Knight Returns Call To Arms Statue:

    The first statue I received had minor damages to it however after an incredibly painless interaction with customer service it was replaced immediately with no additional charges. The new statue is in great shape and I was incredibly pleased with how easy and understanding the staff was to deal with. This is an amazing piece and gorgeously detailed. It brings one of my all time favorite panels to life and is totally worth it. Amazing

    MIB 3 Agent G Bishoujo Statue review at TFAW.comOur second winner is John from Chicago, IL. John had this to say about the Incal Classic Collection HC (Humanoids Ed):

    Very nice edition of a very influential graphic novel. The combination of the story line and the illustrations is perfect. Highly recommended.

    Superior Spider-man #9  review at TFAW.comLast but not least, there’s Zoia, from Ozone Park, NY, who’s review for Superior Spider-Man #9 really spoke to us.

    Dan Slott changes everything with Spider-Man in this issue! You don’t want to miss this!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    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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  • , , , ,

    Andy Diggle and Aaron Campbell Have the Uncanny Ability to Create Great Comics

    Uncanny #1 at TFAW.comWhat would you do if you had the uncanny ability to access and use the skill sets, memories, and abilities of different people around you? Andy Diggle’s new series, Uncanny, shows us just what a man can do when he puts his mind to it.

    The exciting new crime series follows a character named Weaver, as he plays a dangerous game of international intrigue where the rules keep changing, the players are hidden, and the first thing he stands to lose is his life.

    We had the chance to talk with Diggle and series artist Aaron Campbell about Uncanny, which hits the shelves on June 26 from Dynamite Entertainment. Check it out below, as well as our four-page preview!

    TFAW.com: Without tipping your cards too much, can you tell us a little bit about your newest series, Uncanny?

    Andy Diggle: It’s a crime thriller with just a hint of the paranormal. Weaver is a professional con man, gambler and thief-for-hire who possesses a special ability. He can steal a victim’s knowledge, skills, and abilities for a short time — their ability to crack a safe, hack a computer, practice taekwondo, or whatever else he needs to complete his mission. But the clock is always ticking. He has to finish the job before his time runs out and he loses his stolen skill-set. Then he’s in trouble.

    TFAW.com: Weaver sounds like a really unique and interesting character. How long has this idea been percolating? What was the final piece to fall in line so that you could tell this story?

    Uncanny Preview Page 1Diggle: Nick Barrucci approached me last year with a view to being part of Dynamite’s fledgling Crime Line, and I jumped at the chance. It’s exactly the kind of project I’d been looking for. When I first started developing the story, Weaver had a different name, and was more of a small-time loser. Making him more of a self-confident con-man type, and opening up the scale of the story, was when it really started to come to life for me. I realized he’d been conning himself. He’s spent his whole life running away, and we join him at the point in his life where he finally finds something to run towards. Even if it is trying to kill him.

    TFAW.com: You’re no stranger to the crime genre, having written books like Snapshot, Six Guns, Rat Catcher, and The Losers. How has this series challenged you creatively compared to previous projects?

    Diggle: I guess the biggest challenge when working in a specific genre is not to fall into cliché. There are certain tropes and conventions that crime fans might expect, so you have to steer around those traps, or invert them. That’s one of the benefits of having this subtle supernatural angle to the book–you can use it to hook out the clichés and spin them off into new and unexpected directions.

    TFAW.com: How many issues do you have planned at this point? Does this series have a distinct end?

    Diggle: I have the first six issues all mapped out, and we’re all hoping so see it continue long term. The first story introduces us to Weaver and his abilities, and opens up a whole new world for him. We can spend as long as we want exploring that world.

    TFAW.com: You’re working on several books at once. Can you tell us a bit about how you move between projects?

    Diggle: It’s a bit of a juggling act. In addition to Uncanny, I’m currently writing Doctor Who for IDW and Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman at Skybound, plus developing some new projects which I can’t really talk about just yet — including a second crime title at Dynamite. The key to keeping it all running smoothly is to lock down the story outline well in advance. Once the publisher approves it, they can just let you get on with it, and you can hit a steady rhythm of writing an issue a week. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for rewrites, though, so you pretty much have to get it right first time.

    TFAW.com: How did Aaron Campbell come to work on the series? How has he been as a collaborator?

    Uncanny Preview Page 2Diggle: Aaron’s been doing great work on Dynamite’s The Shadow, so it made a lot of sense for him to jump onto Uncanny, which has a similarly noirish feel, albeit contemporary. He’s been a pleasure to work with. I always try to strike up a correspondence with the artists I’m working with — usually we’re on different continents — and Aaron’s been a gent. He sends me his thumbnail layouts before he goes to pencils, which helps me iron out any kinks in my scripting before they make it onto the page.

    TFAW.com: Hi Aaron! How involved were you with the character design process for Uncanny?

    Campbell: Save for one small caveat, the Weaver you’ll see in the book was all my design based on Andy’s written description of him. The covers had already been completed, which I had not seen yet. So when I designed the character I drew him with very dark hair, while on the covers he is depicted with lighter hair. So I lightened his hair. Not a particularly interesting story, is it?

    TFAW.com: Ha! No it’s always interesting knowing those little details. Can you take us through your process? After you get the script, how do you get your head in the game?

    Campbell: Well, assuming that my head ever has the opportunity to come out of the game, I would imagine that my process isn’t too different from anyone else whose style is based more on realism. I start with layouts, though typically I don’t do them all at once. I break the book in chunks based on the different locations in the script and focus on them one at a time. Once I get approval on that set of layouts, I’ll design the space and shoot my photo reference. I then do my pencils digitally, print them out blueline, and ink over the digital print. Something new I’m doing for this book, though, is working at a Golden Age scale. My original pages measure 14.25″ x 22″. I’m really liking it, too. I can get in there with big tools and really work the page over with much more of a fluid line.

    TFAW.com: You’ve worked on a bunch of Dynamite books, from Dark Shadows and Sherlock Holmes to pulp books like Green Hornet and The Shadow. Has Uncanny posed any unique challenges compared to your other work?

    Uncanny Preview Page 3Campbell: For the first time ever I’m working in the here and now. I get to hang up my trenchcoats and fedoras and put away my classic car models. And I no longer have to pore through research trying to reconstruct what some place might have looked like back in the 1930s. Not that I wouldn’t want to do more period work in the future, but it’s quite a relief actually to take a break from it.

    TFAW.com: How’s it been working with the folks at Dynamite, Andy?

    Diggle: Blissfully stress-free, I’m happy to say. They pay me well and on time, and they don’t mess around with the story. What more could a writer wish for?

    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite part about working in the comic book industry, Aaron?

    Campbell: There are so many great things about working in the comics industry that it’s hard to pick a favorite. For one thing, I get to do what I love to do. I get to work from home. I get to go to awesome cons and meet great fans and become friends with amazing creators. It’s really a dream career.

    Uncanny Preview Page 4TFAW.com: When you picture the person reading Uncanny, what other books would you say they’re reading right now?

    Diggle: Comics-wise, they’d probably be into Garth Ennis, Ed Brubaker, Jason Aaron, and Greg Rucka. That’s good company to be in.

    TFAW.com: What are the favorite comics that you’re reading right now?

    Diggle: I’m not reading a lot of monthly titles these days — I have a stack of trades still waiting to be read, and I haven’t even cracked open my Marvel Unlimited account yet. It’s mostly indy genre books that draw my interest — Fatale, Manhattan Projects, Saga. I was a big fan of Thief of Thieves even before I was invited to join the team, so that was a real thrill. I don’t read a lot of spandex these days, but Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye is fantastic — and pretty much spandex-free, now that I think of it. It reads more like a smart, postmodern crime book than a superhero comic. Highly recommended.

    Campbell: Right now I’m reading Fatale, Andy’s other book Snapshot, Hellboy, Hawkeye, and that’s about all I have time for. And I can go on for a very long time about all the artists that inspire me. But if I’m just talking about people who were working today, Sean Phillips, Jock, Tommy Lee Edwards, David Aja, and JH Williams are a definitely on the short list of artists I’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately.

    TFAW.com: What else are you excited about/what other projects do you have coming up?

    Diggle: The final issue of our creator-owned thriller Snapshot is out in May, which is incredibly exciting for me and Jock. The first three issues have done better than we ever hoped, and I can’t wait to see the trade. I’m also developing another Crime Line book at Dynamite over the next few weeks. It’s about sex, power, and crime, so that should be good, not-so-clean fun. I’m also developing an action thriller for another publisher, which I can’t talk about just yet. Plus I’m writing a new creator-owned miniseries this summer. So I’m crazy busy — and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Campbell: I really don’t have much time to devote to any other projects right now, but there’s a possibility that you might be seeing more of me on Dynamite covers this year. I’m also very excited for the con season and will be attending HeroesCon this year for the first time. So if you’re in Charlotte in June, come by!

    We want to thank Andy Diggle and Aaron Campbell for taking time out their busy schedules for this interview! Make sure to pre-order your copy of Uncanny #1 by April 30 to save 35% off the first issue as part of this month’s featured discounts!

    ORDER YOUR COPY OF UNCANNY TODAY!

    What do you think about Uncanny? Going to add it to your pull list? We’re definitely on board. Please post your comments below.

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