Category: Geek Chick

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    The Dark Knight vs. The Man of Steel!

    In anticipation of the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie, we asked the TFAW employees to share who they thought would take the trophy in a battle royale between these two iconic superheroes. The best submission not only gets to share their thoughts here on our blog, but also wins a great prize pack featuring some super swag from both heroes.  Congratulations Ally Wilson for giving us a great run down on this epic match up of who you think would win and why.

    Bats are black, the last son of Krypton is blue, but when placed side by side, how do you chose between the two?

    With the opening night of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” so near on the horizon, more and more attention is being given to my two favorite comic heroes. (And rightfully so!) From super strength and speed, to gizmos, gadgets and guile, these two characters rule the DC Universe in both power and popularity.

    While both Batman and Superman are amazing characters, I have to admit that I have been addicted to Superman for pretty much as long as I can remember.  One of my most prominent memories as a child is actually when I first saw the Superman movie, where I simultaneously fell promptly in love with the character of Superman, AND wanted to be Superman myself.  After climbing atop my kitchen play set in the basement to see if I too could fly, my dream (and my face) quickly came crashing to the ground.

    While I was disappointed that I was not in fact Kryptonian myself, I at least had a brand new universe full of amazing stories and characters to dive into and explore.  It wasn’t long until I started reading older “Worlds Finest” issues pairing the black bat with our man in blue, and was able to truly appreciate both characters as individuals, as well as the wonderful juxtaposition of the complimenting/contrasting nature between the two as a team.

    But, if it really came down to it, who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? 

    This is an age old question, right up there with “Kirk vs Picard” or “Who shot first?”, that is still as fiercely debated now as it was over 75 years ago, when the beloved Caped Crusader first earned his way onto the pages of his own ongoing comic series, and our hearts.  But, is this even a question worth asking?

    I mean, we’re talking about a human man, albeit a highly skilled and heavily accessorized man, against someone with God-like abilities.  Even Batman himself said, “In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all.  Then…he shoots fire from the skies, and it is difficult not to think of him as a God.  And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him.” (Superman/Batman #3/Public Enemies)

    Considering my Superman obsession, and the obviously uneven physical aspects of the two characters, I think the winner here is pretty obvious….

    BATMAN (Wait, what?)

    I know, I know, technically Superman could blast Batman from space before he could even say “Kryptonite”, let alone mount a defense; leaving poor Alfred quite the mess to clean up.  Apart from Batman launching a kryptonite-filled surprise attack, Superman could find a way to dominate in the majority of battle scenarios, so if we were just talking about abilities here, of course Superman would win.  But the question wasn’t, “Who would win in a fight, a Kryptonian or a badass billionaire with awesome gadgets?”

    If the question at hand is between Batman and Superman, then their respective powers and skills don’t even really enter the equation. Sure, Superman could destroy Batman without even breaking a sweat (do Kryptonians sweat?), but the real question to ask, is would he? Superman has spent his life using his abilities to help those in need, and knows that having the advantage against someone doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of your gifts against a weaker target just because you can.

    Without super powers of his own, Batman has had to learn to be more strategic, and take advantages that are presented to him. In a real fight between the two, Batman wouldn’t have the same qualms about doing whatever it takes to win. He would use all of his strength, intelligence, and any advantage he could get to make sure that he was the one coming out victorious at the end. Batman himself even admitted, “If Clark wanted to, he could use his superspeed and squish me into the cement. But I know how he thinks. Even more than Kryptonite, he’s got one big weakness. Deep down, Clark’s essentially a good person…and deep down, I’m not”. (Batman #612/Hush)

    When all is said and done, even with all of the weapons and abilities at their disposal, the real determining factor of the fight would be simple morals and values; giving Batman the only advantage he really needs to win.

    While the Big Blue Boy Scout may not be the winner of a no holds barred Batman v Superman beat down, he has most certainly won fan girl status from me for the simple fact that he could rule the world with an iron a steel fist if he was so inclined, and yet he is constantly striving to be more ‘human’ than the levels of humanity most of us mere mortals choose to display.

    About The Author:

    Ally Wilson is a full-time manager here at TFAW, and a part-time freelance writer with dreams of getting her own nerdy blog up and running.

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    7 Damsels NOT in Distress – Gift List Ideas

    Does your favorite fan have a thing for strong female characters that wield a Lasso of Truth, really big hammers, or a good sharp stake? Then we have the list to help you find that special gift!

    These lovely ladies are not waiting around for someone to swoop in and save the day–they’ve got it covered. TFAW is pleased to present 7 of our top Damsels that are taking care of business themselves. To paraphrase Aretha Franklin: thank you they’ll do it themselves.

    #1 – Wonder Woman – Queen of the Amazons

    Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 01 Not only can she hold her own, but sometimes she’s the one to swoop in and save the day when Superman and Batman can’t hack it. Check out this amazing Woman with a capital “W” out in the latest Sensation Comics series:

    Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 1

    Your Price: $13.49

    By: Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jimenez
    This book collects Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1-5 starting with a call from the oracle because all the Bat-heroes are on the sidelines.

    Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 2

    Your Price: $13.49

    By: Jae Lee
    Diana and Cheetah battle over a phoenix egg, a space mission to represent the Justice League, and a teenaged Diana takes a trip to Man’s World all in this exciting collection.

    Click for other in-stock  Wonder Woman Gifts or click to visit her Theme Page .

    #2 – Harley Quinn – Our Favorite Unbalanced Villainess

    Pop Arkham Asylum Nurse Harley Quinn Vinyl Figure While she might be a recurring resident at Arkham Asylum, this petite gal in red and black motley carries a big hammer, a mean punch, and a huge torch for the love of her life, Mr. J aka the Joker. She’s not even afraid of a big, six-foot, rat–I mean bat–that likes to ruin the plans of her and her Puddin’.

    Arkham Asylum Harley Quinn POP! Vinyl Figure

    Your Price: $9.89 (Stock May Be Limited)

    One of the many newer POP! Vinyl figures from DC’s Batman Universe.
    Click for other in-stock Harley Quinn Gifts .

    #3 – Mighty Thor – Wielding the Hammer Because SHE is Worthy!

    Mighty Thor #1 After the new Thor picks up the mighty Mjolnir, she is transformed into the Goddess of Thunder! Her new godhood comes with threats of war through the Ten Relms, more enemies, and even more personal threats. Check out this new issue 2015 #1 or the Premium Hard Cover that collects Thor 2014 Issues #1-5.

    Mighty Thor #1
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman

    Your Price: $4.49

    Thor Premium Hard Cover Volume 1 Goddess of Thunder
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman

    Your Price: $14.99

    Click for other in-stock Mighty Thor Gifts .

     

    #4 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 Vol. 3 - Love Dares you When you spent your high school years next to a Hellmouth you pick up certain skills in order to survive. Buffy has spent ten seasons putting a whole host of vampires and demons to rest personally. Catch up to the Slayer with these issues:

    Season Ten Vol. 3 — Love Dares You TPB

    By: Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, Rebekah Isaacs,
    Megan Levens, Dan Jackson, Steve Morris

    Your Price: $17.09

     Click for other in-stock  Buffy Gift Ideas

    #5 – Spider-Gwen

    Spider-Gwen #1 Imagine if Gwen Stacy not Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. Then take that story, add an amazing costume design, and then turn everything in her particular Spider-Verse a few degrees from what you might expect, and you end up with the fun and full-of-energy Spider-Gwen:

    Spider-Gwen #1
    By: Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez

    Your Price: $3.59

    Click for other in-stock Spider-Gwen Ideas

    #6 – Lara Croft

    Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen Some characters are lucky enough to become icons. Lara Croft is one of them. One part Indiana Jones, one part Black Widow, and a heady mix of pulp adventure; Lara has taken that formula and created a fan base all her own. Catch up with these titles:

    Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1
    By: Corinna Bechko, Randy Green, Andy Owens,
    Michael Atiyeh, Jean-Sebastien Rossbach

    Your Price: $3.59

    Click for other in-stock Lara Croft Ideas

    #7 – Rat Queens

    Rat Queens #13 Last but not least, if you are a Dungeons and Dragons or a Pathfinder fan, and haven’t read Rat Queens ; you’re missing out. This pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, are guaranteed to win you over. Funny, violent, smart, check out the Rat Queens here:

    Rat Queens #13
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Sejic

    Your Price: $3.59

    Click for other in-stock Rat Queens Ideas

    Still not sure what to get? A TFAW Gift Certificate is a one-size-fits all treat, or feel free to contact us directly via Live Chat at TFAW.com. You can also call us at 800-862-0052 or email us, and we’ll be glad to help you select the perfect gift for that special geek in your life. – See more gift list ideas at the TFAW Blog .

     

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    Greg Rucka’s Stumptown Returns + New Punisher Comics

    This week we’re shining a spotlight on Eisner Award-winning writer Greg Rucka, who has some fantastic books coming out this September. We were extremely excited to see that Stumptown, Rucka’s Portland-set detective-noir series with Matthew Southworth, returns September 12! In Stumptown Vol. 2 #1, Mim Bracca, guitar player for the Portland rock group Tailhook, returns home from a long tour–but not everything made it back with her. Can P.I. Dex Parios track down her missing baby?

    If you haven’t been reading Punisher, now’s the time–it’s coming out bi-weekly this summer, and it’s incredible: gritty and packed full of action and excitement. Punisher #15 features a climactic battle: Punisher vs. the NYPD, while issue #16 warns us to prepare for Punisher: War Zone, a five-issue series by Rucka and Marco Marco Chacchetto, starting this October! Don’t miss Rucka’s newest comics: pre-order them today and save 20%! SEE ALL GREG RUCKA COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS Are you excited for the return of Stumptown? What are your favorite Greg Rucka comics? Post your comments below!

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    DC Update: New Phantom Lady and Before Watchmen This Month

    Lots of good stuff is coming from DC Comics later this month, so let’s dig right in! First, one of the Golden Age’s first female superheroes returns in Phantom Lady #1, a four-issue miniseries by Justin Gray, Rich Perotta, and Amanda Conner. Co-starring Doll Man, this book looks like a lot of fun. Pre-order by August 29 and save 20%!

    Phantom Lady ComicsBefore Watchmen RorschachBefore Watchmen Dr. Manhattan

    Plus, two new Before Watchmen series are due August 15 and 22: Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1, by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermajo, and Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1, by J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes. Honestly, just the idea of Hughes doing interior art again makes us curious, and we’re curious to see what Rorschach was like earlier in his crime-fighting career.

    PRE-ORDER PHANTOM LADY AND SAVE 20%

    SEE ALL BEFORE WATCHMEN TITLES

    What titles are you looking forward to this month? Post your faves below!

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    Geek Chick: My Favorite Comic Book Duos

    Howdy! If you’re visiting us from Nerdpuddle, take a chance to get acquainted with TFAW–the world’s coolest online comic shop! If you’re a TFAW regular, make sure to check out Nerdpuddle–and Part 1 of this article–to enjoy some truly entertaining commentary on pop culture, gaming, movies, and more!

    We’re onto Part 2 of my favorite comic book duos. Note: these are not in order of importance! Am I biased? Of course. Do I know what I’m talking about? You decide! I’ll be looking for your comments and feedback, below.

    Batman and Robin Grant Morrison
    Dick and Damian: undercover brothers.

    5. Batman and Robin: Not Bruce and Dick. Dick and Damian. One of the things I’ll miss the most after DC’s The New 52 comes to town is the scratchy, often hilarious relationship between The Good Son and The Bad Seed.

    Dick Grayson set the gold standard–he’s the Robin every later version tried (and failed) to live up to, and Batman’s most trusted and beloved associate (except perhaps for Alfred). Damian Wayne is the antithesis of his father–a 10-year-old killer, violent, brilliant, and smug. Raised by assassins and cheated of a relationship with his father, he’s got a chip on his shoulder three times the size of his tiny body.

    With Bruce seemingly dead, Dick takes it upon himself to somehow manage Damian–installing him as Robin to his Batman. Did I mention that Damian seethes with a hatred and envy of Dick that burns like lava? Dick’s slow-building frustration vs. Damian’s snot-nosed digs was my favorite, favorite part of Grant Morrison’s run. Their reluctant brotherhood was rife with storyline possibilities, especially when Bruce returned–it’s a shame it will be cut short. Plus: it inspired adorable Damian “letters” to Dick, as seen on ComicsAlliance (go look–we’ll wait here for you).

    B.P.R.D. Graphic Novels
    Liz and Abe: fellow "freaks."

    4. Liz and Abe: Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien are two of the most interesting characters of the B.P.R.D.–and that’s saying something.

    They’re two misfits with more in common with each other than anyone else in the world–both spent time feeling like “lab experiments,” and both had close relationships with Hellboy, who abandoned the group.

    Both are regarded with mistrust by many of the “normal” members of the B.P.R.D. Is it any wonder they sometimes squabble like brother and sister?

    However, when confronted with a crisis of faith–for example, when Abe discovered his past life in the 1800s as Langdon Everett Caul, or when Liz is given apocalyptic visions of the future–they can depend on each other for some tough love.

    With all the monsters and action of B.P.R.D., it’s the family-like relationship of these characters that give readers an emotional base to latch onto.

    With all of the recent drama in the Hellboy universe (spoiler!), they’ll need each other more than ever.

    Hack/Slash comics
    Cassie and Vlad: slasher killers.

    3. Cassie Hack and Vlad: When I saw my first cover of Hack/Slash, I groaned. Great, I thought. More mindless exploitation comics. Then I took my head out of my ass and read it.

    Hack/Slash has gone awry occasionally, but the book’s strength is in the relationship between Cassie Hack, a vulnerable-yet-tough slasher killer, and Vlad, a sheltered misfit who has found his place with her.

    You see, Cassie started out as a misfit teen, and then discovered that her mother, the school lunch lady, was . . . The Lunch Lady, an undead slasher who killed the teens who tormented her daughter. Vlad, who was kept in seclusion his entire life, looks like a monster on the outside, but is a sweetheart on the inside. Their fellow outcast status has allowed these two to bond in a way they’ve never been able to with anyone else.

    Together, they travel the country, kill slashers, and work on their personal demons. When Cassie overworks herself to avoid any meaningful human interaction, Vlad is the only person she’ll (eventually) listen to. And when Vlad gets distracted by gorgeous demonic evil-doers, Cassie is there to smack him back to reality. What could be better?

    Superman comics
    Superman and Jimmy: good pals?

    2. Superman and Jimmy Olsen: I admit it: I’ve never been a faithful reader of the Superman comics–I’ve just loved the idea of silly Jimmy Olsen and his crazy Gold and Silver Age shenanigans.

    Superman, taken on his own, can be a bit of a stiff. But having to deal with a goofy teenager with a signal watch who tends to undergo ridiculous transformations? Um, Bizarro Jimmy Olsen? Elastic Lad? Colossal Boy? That’s hilarious.

    While I was a little offended when I revisited the Death of Superman and realized that Jimmy just kept snapping pictures while Superman lay dead in Lois’s arms–nice friend, Jimmy–it’s even more of a travesty how marginalized Jimmy has been in the present DCU. This made me appreciate his appearance in All-Star Superman, where in a clever callback to his “transformative” past, he was dressing as different people for his ” . . . For a Day” column. He even gets to save Superman!

    I’m hoping he’ll have a larger role in The New 52–since Supes is now going to be single, he’s going to need a good pal to talk to. Hopefully Jimmy won’t sell the info to the tabloids.

    Kitty Pryde and Wolverine
    Kitty and Wolverine: demon ninjas!

    1. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine: Have I mentioned how much I love Kitty Pryde? How her character, which was introduced in the Classic X-Men comics I cut my teeth on, is part of what hooked me on comics? She was 13. I was 14! She had brown hair. Me, too! She had a dangerous, powerful, cigar-smoking friend who taught her hand-to-hand combat. I . . . did not. But I really wanted one! (In my defense, I did not realize how skeevy that would come off in real life. Thank you, parents, for keeping me away from dangerous older men who specialize in killing people when I was a teenager.)

    Their relationship went beyond the cute-kid-befriends-the-killer schtick in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries, which I loved (except for cutting off poor Kitty’s hair). Kitty tries to help her shady father and travels to Japan, where she is possessed by a demon ninja! And only Wolverine can save her! By teaching her to hold a ninja sword in the air for days and days! And by going on arduous runs in the snow–and leaving her behind for dead when she gives up! But! Kitty made it back to safety, on her own, and she held that sword, and she evicted that demon ninja, so good job, Wolverine!

    In all seriousness, I loved this partnership, and how Kitty came to terms with the darker aspects of Logan’s personality as she matured. It made her a much better character, and softened Wolvie just a bit. But I frickin’ hated it when X-Men tried to establish the same kind of relationship between Wolverine and Jubilee! She sucked!

    Whew! So what do you think? Did you read Part 1 at Nerdpuddle yet? Leave your comments below!

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    My First (X-Men) Comics

    My very first X-Men comic books--still got 'em! Classic X-Men #33 and Uncanny X-Men #245.

    This is the story of when I fell in love with comics. Well, X-Men comics, anyway–Archie comics were my gateway drug.

    I’ve always been a voracious reader. From my first “chapter book,” Charlotte’s Web, when I was six, I dove into all of the children’s and YA literature I could get my hands on–particularly series. The idea of following a character like Laura Ingalls or Anne Shirley–or a girl detective like Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden–for years, was super appealing to me. The story never had to end!

    It was the year 1989. By the time I was 14, I had some experience with superhero comics. My older cousin, Bryan, had a large collection of Teen Titans and Warlord comics that I would pilfer when we visited–a practice that my Aunt Judy supported, as I was well-known as the family bookworm. The fact that Bryan, who was a big fan of Ozzy Osborne, seemed somehow threatening didn’t deter me: I would sneak into his room when he was out, grab gigantic handfuls of comics, and retreat to my cousin Danny’s room to read them in peace while he tinkered with his Commodore 64.

    But I digress. It was the year 1989, I was 14 and obsessed with Axl Rose, and I was on a trip to Hawaii with my parents and my younger brother. My parents, avid golfers, would occasionally leave my brother and me to our own devices, which for me, meant (surprise!) reading. Midweek, crisis struck: we had officially read all of the Archie comics the corner store had in stock, so I was forced to read two “boy comics” my little brother picked up: Classic X-Men #33, and Uncanny X-Men #245. This is when my life changed forever. This is literally the moment that led me to where I am today, working for Things From Another World and hanging out in the comics community of Portland, Oregon.

    Cyclops attacking the X-Men? Wha-a-a?Proteus has some mother issues.Havok is a bit of a freak, right?

    Classic X-Men #33, a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #127 (collected in the X-Men: Proteus Premiere HC, which I also own), was an action-packed entry into the X-Men. Brief recap: the X-Men are in Scotland, fighting Proteus, a terrifying and powerful enemy who just happens to be the secret son of their ally, Moira MacTaggart. And he kicks their butts, leaving the team shaken to the core, leading Cyclops to instigate a fight with Wolverine and the rest that is visually fun to read and showcases each member’s strengths and personalities.

    This was a great way to “meet” the team, and the drama of Moira steeling herself to kill her own son (who eventually took over the body of her estranged husband!) was intriguing to me. Chris Claremont’s rather wordy and character-focused writing style appealed to a girl who was ready to graduate from Anne of Green Gables. This issue also began my lifelong fealty to (some might say obsession with) the beautiful and exciting art of John Byrne.

    Note: This issue also had a bizarre and gory backup story starring Havok and Polaris, by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton, that freaked me out: Havok basically imagines them dying horrific deaths over and over, and then rejects life with the X-Men. I admit this story left me with a very bad impression of Havok for years.

    After reading Classic X-Men #33, Uncanny X-Men #245 was completely confusing. To anyone who hasn’t read this gem, titled “Men!”: this is a humorous issue after the drama of Inferno, drawn by a young Rob Liefeld (spelled “Leifeld”), in which inept aliens decide to take over the planet–beginning with Australia–while the men of the X-Men have a guys’ night out. Oh, and the aliens have a “Jean Bomb” that looks just like Jean Grey, which they claim will “fatally disrupt any and all relationships.” Since I hadn’t yet read the Dark Phoenix Saga or Inferno (something I would quickly remedy) the humor was lost on me.

    Can you find all of the Star Wars characters?

    While my brother and I enjoyed picking out various Star Wars characters that were extras on page 3 (Yoda! Jabba! Chewie!), we really didn’t know what to make of this. Was the Classic X-Men series the serious stories, and Uncanny was the funnybook? It was a headscratcher. My solution: to buy as many X-Men comics, past and present, as possible.

    These two comics lit a fire in me that caused me to seek out my local comic shop for the very first time. I started a box; first with just Uncanny X-Men, later expanding to Excalibur, X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force–the ’90s crossovers pulled me in. From that moment on, all of my extra funds were funneled into a back-issue collection I still have today. No lipgloss or tapes for me–I was spending my money on cardboard boxes, bags and boards, and comics; family vacations, to me, now meant the chance to seek out new comic shops that just might have that back issue I was missing. I was on a quest!

    Looking back, two things strike me: one, I wasn’t introduced to comics via a comic shop–we always bought our comics at convenience stores up to that point. Two, it took me several months to realize that I was the only female customer at my shop who wasn’t a mom or a bored girlfriend. We’ve come a long way, baby.

    So that’s my story: my name is Elisabeth Forsythe, and I’m a comics addict. What comics were your first love? Post your story below by August 16 and you could win a $20 gift certificate to buy more comics at TFAW! Standard contest rules apply. Open to Canadian and international customers, too!

    SEE ALL X-MEN COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

    SEE ALL JOHN BYRNE COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

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    Geek Chick: I Can’t Wait for IDW’s Star Trek Movie Omnibus

    When I pore through the Diamond catalog each month, every so often something jumps out and hits my sweet spot: the perfect blend of nostalgia, sci-fi, and good old-fashioned geekiness appears right before my eyes! In the September catalog, it was IDW’s Star Trek Movie Omnibus. Six Star Trek movie adaptations in one graphic novel? Perfect. It’s a portable movie marathon–ideal for road trips, long plane rides, or rainy Saturday afternoons. I’m in.

    Included are two three-part miniseries, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and 2009’s Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and then there are one-shots adapting Star Trek: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. I think I’m most excited to see the Star Trek gang hanging out in the ’80s with the whales. Dude!

    The Star Trek Movie Omnibus is out November 25 (a week after the new Star Trek movie comes out on DVD), but you can pre-order it for 20% off: just $19.99! That’s cheaper (and easier) than running out and renting all six movies. Plus, no late fees!

    What do you think of IDW’s Star Trek comics? Are they worthy of the series? Post your comments below!

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    Geek Chick: Wednesday Comics Is Here, and It’s Awesome

    I’ve been eager to check out Wednesday Comics ever since Kurt Busiek mentioned it to me during our interview at Emerald City, and when I got my hands on a copy of Wednesday Comics #1 this morning, not only were my expectations surpassed, but I was totally blown away. I felt like a kid in a comic shop for the first time! Wednesday Comics is fun, it looks cool, and it’s going to be amazing to read every week.

    The first thing I love about it: it’s on newspaper. Call it nostalgia, but I still prefer comics on newsprint–the paper just feels right. It starts as a standard-sized comic, but it unfolds until it’s newspaper sized–28″ x 20,” and each story has its own 14″ x 20″ page. This is like getting a month’s worth of incredible Sunday comics, with 15 stories every week, including favorites like Batman, Green Lantern, Catwoman, and Teen Titans, as well as some throwbacks like Kamandi, Metamorpho, Sgt. Rock, and Metal Men.

    Many of the stories are written and drawn in retro-comic fashion–half of The Flash, by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher, is a strip called Iris West and looks like an old Mary Worth or Apartment 3-G strip, complete with pixellated colors. On the other hand, Superman, written by John Arcudi, totally circumvents your expectations of what kind of artwork you expect to see on newsprint–Lee Bermejo’s art and Barbara Ciardo’s colors simply glow on the page.

    Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Wednesday Comics #1 before it sells out. With writers and artists like Kurt Busiek, Mike Allred, Paul Pope, Adam and Joe Kubert, and Walter Simonson on this series, it’s more than worth the money.

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    Geek Chick: Zombies, Monsters & Gore at Crypticon Seattle

    The worlds scariest clown.
    The world's scariest clown.

    I walked into the room, and monsters and severed heads were there to greet me! That’s right, the second annual Crypticon Horror Convention took place June 5-7 at the Seattle Center, and TFAW.com was there for all the action. Zombies, monsters, and gallons of fake blood were involved. I was there with Scott Allie and Todd Herman, writer and artist of The Fog, the 2005 graphic novel prequel to John Carpenter’s cult-classic movie.

    Why mention The Fog? The cast of the original 1980 movie were among the celebrity guests, including Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and Nancy Loomis. Other insanely terrifying guests included Michael Berryman, from the 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes, Ken Foree from Dawn of the Dead, and Elektra and Elise Avellan, better known as The Babysitter Twins from Grindhouse.

    However, the real stars of the show were the attendees–many in costume. Fake blood, adhesive silicone wounds, and zombie makeup ruled the day. One standout had bloody intestines hanging out of her dress. She proudly announced that she made the frighteningly realistic organs herself–from sausage casings and Jell-O. I was a little too horrified to take a picture, but I hope someone will post one soon.

    You've got something on your face . . .
    You've got something on your face . . .
    A little girl checks out the severed heads.
    A little girl checks out the severed heads.
    Does anyone have a screwdriver?
    Does anyone have a screwdriver?
    Uh you need a little moisturizer.
    Uh, you need a little moisturizer.

    Besides the guests and attendees, the convention hall was crowded with vendors, including Party @ Display & Costume, which sold adhesive silicone wounds and prosthetics, and Hidden Hand Tattoos, which did tattoos at the show all three days. One of my favorites was the amazing, multi-talented Dragon Dronet, who has worked on countless classic sci-fi and fantasy movies and television shows, including Conan the Barbarian, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alien Nation, Tales From the Crypt, and Alien: Resurrection, both as an actor and creator of countless weapons, props, and costumes. He’s got stories about ’em all–including details about working with a nude Sigourney Weaver–that were endlessly entertaining.

    Panels about horror movies and comics were offered, as were a host of movies, including The Revenant, Morgue Story, and Dead Snow. The Crypticon Seattle Costume Contest and Dance Extravaganza was another highlight, as guests wore their gutsiest finery and walked the runway to show it off! I also got the chance to chat with Tim Seeley, writer and cover artist for Hack/Slash, so stay tuned for the interview on Monday!

    So how was the event? It was the con’s second year, so it’s still pretty small, but they crammed a lot of fun and activities into it, so it’s definitely worth checking it out next year if you live in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe next year I’ll overcome my squeamishness and learn to apply fake blood and scary clown makeup!

    So who else was there? Did you remember to use the special TFAW.com Crypticon 2009 coupon attached to the Creepy and Vampirella comics we handed out? While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our horror comics, graphic novels, and toys! Who has pictures to share? Post below!

    The amazing Dragon Dronet.
    The amazing Dragon Dronet.
    The zombies got Raggedy Ann!
    The zombies got Raggedy Ann!
    Someone lost something . . .
    Someone lost something . . .
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    Geek Chick: My Picks for This Year’s Eisner Awards

    As many of you know, the 2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards will be announced at the end of July, during San Diego Comic Con. Known as the Oscars of comics awards (uh, at least by me), the Eisners are voted on by industry professionals and reward creative genius in American comics. Past winners have included such notable creators as Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore, Eric Powell, Alison Bechdel, and–oh yeah–Will Eisner himself!

    So who’s going to win this year? There are a lot of first-time nominees, which will make the outcome very interesting. I’ve got my picks, but since there are a whopping 45 categories (not including the Hall of Fame), I’m just going to talk about a few of them–my picks are in red!.

    Best Cover Artist

    It’s incredible to realize that Jo Chen hasn’t been nominated before–her gorgeous, nuanced Buffy covers are works of art in themselves. Need to see more before you decide? Just check out her cover gallery here. James Jean has won this category for the past five years–for good reason, of course, but it’s time to give him a rest. Chen has taken the challenge of having to depict well-known (and loved) actors, and she always renders them in such a way that they’re instantly recognizable, and yet her own unique creations.

    Best Coloring

    Full disclosure: I know Dave Stewart personally, but that’s not why I’m rooting for him. Just take a look at the various titles he’s worked on and compare the color palettes and techniques: while Hellboy has the look of a hand-tinted black-and-white photo, Solomon Kane looks like a series of watercolors. Contrast the retro primary colors of Captain America: White with the psychedelic explosion of Easter-egg shades in The Umbrella Academy. The only thing tying these coloring jobs together is that they’re all perfectly suited to the artwork and moods of the books. And yeah, I know he’s won this four of the past six years. He’s still showing us new things.

    Best Publication for Kids

    I love Tiny Titans so much it isn’t even funny. I picked it up on day “T” of our 28 Days of Comics Sale last February to blog about, and I was completely surprised by how much I loved it! The artwork is bright and colorful–simple, yet perfectly charming and expressive.

    If you have any history with Teen Titans and their ilk, you’ll get the sly in-jokes, but even if you don’t, this is funny, smart, and entertaining–like Muppet Babies crossed with Peanuts, with a smidge of Top Shelf’s Super F*ckers thrown in for good measure.

    So those are my off-the-top-of-my head picks, but there are 42 other categories to choose from–check out all of the nominees here. Who are you rooting for this Eisner season? Who was robbed of a nomination? Post your comments and opinions below!

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    Geek Chick: Stumptown Comics Fest Wrap-Up!

    By any measure, the sixth annual Stumptown Comics Fest was a huge success this weekend! Rumor has it that the number of attendees on Saturday alone of the two-day convention beat the total attendance in 2008, and I believe it.

    Thousands of people milled around the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel in Portland, OR, meeting hundreds of cartoonists and writers, from big names like Brian Michael Bendis and Jeff Smith to local talents like Carolyn Main (who has a story in MySpace Dark Horse Presents May 6) and Ian Smith. Fest-goers rubbed shoulders with publishers like Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, Top Shelf, and Fantagraphics, and web cartoonists and self-publishers came from as far away as Minneapolis and Chicago–and some even further!

    As a fan, the best part for me was the mixture of larger publishers and indie artists. I was able to pick up Ghost of Hoppers from the Fantagraphics table, and then turn around and buy BT Livermore’s Mustaches for Fun and Profit, a tiny, hilarious book from Robopocalypse. What else did I see? Web comics, web comics, web comics. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years, web comics are the future, especially since print newspapers (and their dearly beloved comics sections) are slowly dwindling.

    Of course, the cool thing about web comics is it’s pretty easy for almost anyone to create one and post it for all of her friends to see. Don’t believe me? Check out toonlet. Here, you can build your own characters, add dialogue, change the background color, and embed the resulting strips wherever you want (they’re also displayed on the toonlet site).

    “But wait,” you say. “I’m not a writer. Wherever will I come up with dialogue?” toonlet has solved this problem as well with its twittercomic feature. Simply search Twitter for whatever you want (I chose “TFAW,” natch), select the posts you want to use, choose your characters, clean it up a bit if you’d like, and bingo! I made the following comic in about two minutes (yes, it shows, I know!):

    TFAW you make me wish I had…

    related [twitter.com]

    So what do you think about this brave new world, readers? Are you planning on making it to Stumptown next year? Did you hit all of the after-parties, lavishly supplied with free beer from MacTarnahan’s? Did you fall in love with a brand-new web comic? Post your experiences below!

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    Geek Chick: Solicitation Copy of the Month

    As I was scooting through our upcoming graphic novels, I spotted some solicitation copy that knocked my socks off! I swear I did not write this*, and now I really want to take a look at Marvel Masterworks Human Torch HC Vol. 02 Variant Edition Vol. 113:

    “Hot dog! The swingin’ ’60s solo adventures of the Human Torch come to a cacophonous conclusion in this much-demanded Masterworks milestone!

    Written by the one-and-only sultan of the Silver Age, Stan Lee, and illustrated by the Bullpen’s professor of pencilling, Darlin’ Dick Ayers, these tales of the Torch (and his odd-couple partner, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing) are bona fide and certified cover-to-cover fun!

    Join in as the Torch tests his mettle against the Wizard, the riotous Rabble Rouser, and Plantman. Then, place your bets in the battle of fire and ice between Johnny Storm and the X-Men’s Iceman, illustrated by Jack Kirby!

    After that, it’s team-up time! The Thing joins the show, and it’s clobberin’ time vs. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Paste-Pot Pete, the Beetle (not those Beatles, they come later), the Mad Thinker, and the Puppet Master. And before we close it all down comes . . . the Watcher!

    Guest-starring the Amazing Spider-Man, the X-Men, four guys named John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and if that doesn’t sell you on it, then I’ve got five words that will: “Thing in a Beatle wig.” That’s it! We stuck a fork in ya. So reserve that copy today, True Believer!”

    Wow . . . the Thing in a Beatle wig? Multiple guest stars? $20 adjectives? How could I resist?

    What do you think, true believers? Is that the best blurb you’ve read all month or what?

    *There was, however, some editing on my part, for readability’s sake!

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