Tag: Ex Machina

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

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

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

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Riley One-Shot



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    WNR: Avengers #1, Marvel Heroic Age, Brightest Day #2

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!Follow TFAW on Twitter

    This is a week of complete awesomeness–so many new first issues of new books, fantastic issues of present series, and all-around comics goodness. This week we review Avengers #1, Deadpool #23, Atlas #1, Brightest Day #2, Age of Heroes #1, Enter the Heroic Age #1, Supernatural: Beginning’s End #5 and Walking Dead #72. Plus, we briefly mentioned Ex Machina #49 (the penultimate issue, which I’ve been able to read now–it’s excellent!), Ex Machina Deluxe HC #3, Dark Tower: Gunslinger #1, Girl Comics #2, and Creepy #3.

    Avengers #1



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    Wednesday New Releases: Iron Man 2, Secret Six, Cable

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!Follow TFAW on Twitter

    It’s our last edition of Wednesday New Releases . . . before Emerald City ComiCon! Psyche! We’ve got a slew of awesome comics and more today, including some Alice in Wonderland plushes, Secret Six #19, Farscape D’Argo’s Quest #4, B.P.R.D. King of Fear #3, Cable #24, Batman & Robin #10, Iron Man 2 Spotlight, Ex Machina #48, Angel: A Hole in the World #4, and the Art of Hack/Slash Volume 2!

    Batman and Robin #10



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    Wednesday New Releases: Chew, Ex Machina, Spike Omnibus, Sugarshock

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    Josh and I threw on some bling–the Blackest Night Lantern Rings, to be precise–for this week’s Wednesday New Releases. Featured this week is Chew #5, Sugarshock, Ex Machina #46, Cowboy Ninja Viking #1, the Spike Omnibus, B.P.R.D. The Black Goddess TPB, and the latest Blackest Night action figures. Watch the video below for more:

    Chew #5



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    Tony Harris Talks About His 20 Years in Comics

    Eisner Award-winning artist Tony Harris has lent his dynamic skills to many comics over the past 20 years, including Starman, Ex Machina, Conan, Spider-Man, and many more. Now you can get a comprehensive overview of his artwork, plus Harris’ own commentary and testimonials from his peers, in Tony Harris Art & Skulduggery, which will be released by Desperado Publishing in November.

    We got a chance to ask Harris about his lengthy career in comics, how he feels he’s evolved in two decades, and what the upcoming Obergeist Essential Edition will be like. Read on:

    TFAW.com: Hi Tony, thanks for talking with TFAW.com! What was it like compiling 20 years of work for Tony Harris Art & Skulduggery?

    Tony Harris: A lot of work!! Mostly on Joe’s part, along Tony Shasteen, a few interns scanning art, Kevin Anderson from 12 Gauge Comics. The book has been “in” production for about two or three years. Lots of stops and starts, but we are finally in the home stretch. It really has made me take stock in what I have been a part of over the years, and see it for what it really is. Once you have stepped away from the work for a period of time, and the working relationships you had while doing it, you see it in a very different light. Sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. I was so pleased that all of my publishers over the years were so cooperative regarding the usage of my work in this book.

    TFAW.com: What are some of the main comics featured in this book?

    TH: Well, all of them. From Darkhold, to Nightbreed, to Hulk, to Spider-Man. Obergeist, Lazarus 5, Ex Machina, Starman, JSA: The Liberty Files, and its sequel, JSA: The Unholy Three. Vampirella, Sword of Dracula, Classics Illustrated, Batman, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Mummy, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and lots of obscure books, too.

    TFAW.com: Do you have particular favorites in this collection? What are you most proud of?

    TH: No. It sounds cheesy, but when you create art, they really are like your children. It would be like saying which of my kids is my fave. Not gonna happen. They all bring me joy, and pain, in some way or another. But I do have high-water marks throughout my career. Properties that I was able to be a part of that were dear to me. Like Conan, or Indiana Jones. You know, sort of bucket-list jobs that I can scratch off my list.

    TFAW.com: What drives you, what has attracted you to various projects these past 20 years?

    TH: The need to be creative. To strive to improve as a creator, day to day. I guess to search out those opportunities that will push me to produce the best work I can. Also the weird, offbeat stuff that I am known for. Skirting the mainstream, and then going back into creator-owned stuff, and then back again. It’s a nice balance to be able to do Spider-Man, then off to do something like Ex Machina for five years.

    TFAW.com: Is there anything that surprised you while working on this project?

    TH: Yep. Just how much I have done over 20 years. It’s a lot of work. And it’s diverse. It’s not all horror, or superheroes, or even all comics. There really is a good range here. And also, the testimonials that my buddy Seabon Mercer compiled with dozens of friends and collaborators that will be peppered throughout the book. Really honest stuff, not all of it positive, either. Just real.

    TFAW.com: What’s the most obscure piece of artwork in Tony Harris Art & Skulduggery?

    TH: I dunno about one. But there are a lot of previously unpublished pieces in here. Paintings, family portraits, anniversary cards, illustrations, and design work. Hopefully it’s more of an insight into my little corner of the world than previously seen. I’m trying, with Joe’s help, to produce the kind of art book that I would want to buy for myself.

    TFAW.com: How do you feel your style has evolved over the years?

    TH: Well I certainly have gotten better at it! It took years, but I think I found my voice as an illustrator. I truly think that when you see my work, it is singular. And I have tried very hard to be original. Of course I had my missteps early on like all young artists. But I am fairly comfortable as an illustrator now. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I keep working at it. And I have never worked in one style. I try and let the job dictate to me what it needs to look like.

    TFAW.com: What have your influences been?

    TH: Mostly turn-of-the-century American illustrators, as I didn’t start reading comics until I was about 19, and I am 40 now, so I have had a lot of catching up to do with you guys that have been following comics since you were small. Once I did become a fan, I would have to say, Mike Mignola, Bernie Wrightson, Kevin Nowlan, P. Craig Russell, Frank Frazetta, Rudy Nebres, Adam Hughes, and the one guy that has shaped me as a comic-book artist has to be Al Williamson.

    TFAW.com: Brian K. Vaughn recently mentioned that you’ve started inking yourself for Ex Machina. Is that new for you, and if so, why now?

    TH: Well, necessity is the mother of invention. Our inker quit the book mid-issue, so rather than have all the pages Fed Exed out to one or more inkers, and then have them inked and shipped back Fed Ex, just wasn’t feasible. Time would have killed us.

    So I decided to switch to a softer lead in my pencil, pencil tighter, then scan the pages in, and adjust them to look like an inked line, then dump my blacks in digitally. So all the pages from issue #44 on to #50 will remain in pencil form. It’s great. I really am not a fan of digital inking, so I tried to come up with a way to do it that didn’t suck. Everyone from fans, to editors, etc. have said they actually prefer this. That it’s my work undiluted.

    Now, I am happy with the results, but I don’t think anything can replace a good inked line. Sometimes as I am drawing pages I actually ink stuff instead of taking the time to pencil it anyway, because it’s just quicker. But for the time being, all the art chores are mine! And I have always inked my own cover work traditionally, so the real inking isn’t all gone from the mix.

    TFAW.com: Your other big upcoming release with Desperado is the Obergeist Essential Edition. What would you tell a new reader about this title?

    TH: Well, it’s overdue. I am really proud of this one. It’s a lesser-known project from me, but one dear to me. We’re printing the book in black and white, with a hardcover, and maybe a dust jacket.

    TFAW.com: You originally drew the artwork for Obergeist in 2001. How has your style changed since then?

    TH: It hasn’t, it’s just adjusted to whatever work I’m doing. That was a very cartoony style that used in Geist. It was an experiment. One that led to the style that I am using on the Roundeye book I’m doing, and that graces the cover to this book.

    But I still use my photo-real style too. I use a more open version of the photo-real look on Ex Machina, because of the subject matter. But I plan on going back to more heavy blacks, and a noir look on my next series after Machina: back to what I was doing on JSA: The Liberty File for DC. But I am still using that more animation/cartoony style on Roundeye, which I have been working on for years now.

    TFAW.com: The storyline deals with almost biblical themes like atonement and redemption. How was that reflected in your art?

    TH: That was part of the reason for doing the style so cartoony. I felt it brought levity to a very heavy subject matter. If I had done the book in my photo-real look, I just don’t think it would have resonated with fans the way it did. Or with me and Dan Jolley.

    TFAW.com: What’s different and new about this version of Obergeist?

    TH: We did a one-shot after the initial six-issue mini called Obergeist: The Empty Locket. This one-shot was chopped up for the trade paperback, and inserted between issues as flashbacks. So here we wanna print it in its entirety as a prequel in the front of the book, with the complete six issues to follow.

    TFAW.com: What does extras does this book include?

    TH: All of the line art I did for promo, and design work for the series, will be collected in the back. A lot of which has never been published. And last, but certainly not least . . . a brand-new cover by me and my colorist JD Mettler! Howzat sound?

    TFAW.com: Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing these books!

    TH: Thanks to you!

    Questions? Comments? Leave ’em below! And while you’re here, make sure to check out Tony Harris Art & Skulduggery and Obergeist Essential Edition and save 20% off the retail price until November 24! You can also check out Harris’ message board, Ships and Giggles, Jolly Roger Studio, and the excellent MachinaComics.com!

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    Tony Harris Interview Live on Monday!

    Art of Tony HarrisHey, Ex Machina and Starman fans! Dynamic artist Tony Harris sat down and answered some questions recently, and the interview will be live on our site at 8:00 a.m. PST Monday, October 5!

    I got to ask him about his upcoming career retrospective, Tony Harris: Art & Skulduggery and the Obergeist Essential Edition, both out November 25 from Desperado Publishing. He also talked about how his artwork has evolved over the past 20 years, what drives him as an artist, and much more!

    So make sure to be back here Monday, and in the meantime, browse our collection of Tony Harris’ works!

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    Brian K. Vaughan Shares His Thoughts on the End of Ex Machina

    Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ Ex Machina burst onto the scene in 2004, telling the story of Mitchell Hundred, a New York City civil engineer who is gifted, during a freak accident, with the power to talk to and command machines. At first styling himself as a superhero named “The Great Machine,” Hundred later decides to run for mayor of NYC, which he wins, after he saves one of the Twin Towers during 9/11.

    Half high-flying superhero adventure, half thoughtful discussion of modern politics, Ex Machina has been a bright spot on the comics scene for the past five years, with Vaughan’s flashback-filled, tightly plotted stories perfectly offset by Harris’ richly detailed art. If you haven’t had a chance to start this series yet, now’s the time: issue #45 came out this month, which means there are only five more issues before Ex Machina concludes for good. Fortunately for me, Vaughan found a rare free hour to answer some questions for us:

    TFAW.com: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Brian!

    Brian K. Vaughan: My pleasure, I’m really honored you guys decided to take a closer look at Ex Machina as we enter the homestretch.

    TFAW.com: So let’s start from the beginning: what triggered Ex Machina?

    BKV: I wanted to somehow write about 9/11 after watching the towers fall from the roof of my apartment in Brooklyn, but I wasn’t sure that comics were the right medium. But the political landscape obviously started to change after September 11th, and whether it was George Bush in his flightsuit or Kerry running on his war record or Schwartzenegger getting elected governor, it seemed like Americans were suddenly craving leaders who were also “heroes.” And comics, particularly superhero comics, have always been a great vehicle for discussing the nature of heroism, and whether such an ideal can be attained or is just a fiction we unfairly impose on people.

    TFAW.com: Why the mix of superhero adventures and politics?

    BKV: I love combining the fantastic with the mundane. And in Ex Machina, the politics usually represent the fantastic, while the superhero “adventures” are a little more mundane.

    TFAW.com: I love that “The Great Machine” is a throwback to the old-school, do-it-yourself superheroes, with his homemade gadgets. Why did you choose that angle, instead of making him more like Superman or Green Lantern?

    BKV: That was 100% artist and co-creator Tony Harris. I had always pictured the Great Machine being a more archetypal, cape-wearing do-gooder, but it was Tony’s brilliant suggestion to make our hero more like his namesake: mechanical, bulky, and beautifully grounded in the real world.

    TFAW.com: At first glance, Mitchell Hundred reminds me of JFK: handsome, young, charismatic. Did you model Hundred on any real-life politicians?

    BKV: He has attributes of many of NYC’s prior mayors, but no, he’s not based on any real-life figure.

    TFAW.com: Now that we’re nearing the final six issues, I have one question: how the heck are you going to resolve everything? Are you going to wrap up all of these plotlines/mysteries, or will you leave them open ended?

    BKV: Actually, if you go back and reread the series, I think you’ll find that many questions have already been answered. But yes, all will be made clear before our story is over.

    TFAW.com: Are we finally going to discover the origin of Hundred’s superpowers?

    BKV: See above!

    TFAW.com: Are there any new characters you have yet to introduce, or are you bringing any past characters back?

    BKV: We’ll meet one important new character in the very last issue, but even that character isn’t exactly “new.” Beyond that, our final story is going to focus on our major players, almost all of whom were introduced in the first pages of our very first issue, including our unexpected new villain.

    TFAW.com: Why is Kremlin so obsessed with destroying Hundred’s political career? Does he know more about the consequences of someone with Hundred’s powers being in political power, or does he just miss being Alfred to Mitchell’s Batman?

    BKV: A bit of both, don’t you think?

    TFAW.com: Does January’s hatred of Hundred solely stem from her sister, Journal’s, death? Why does she blame Hundred so completely? Why hasn’t Hundred picked up on at least a little of her enmity?

    BKV: I think January is looking for someone to hate for her sister’s death, and she’s chosen Mayor Hundred, irrational as that may be. As for why Hundred hasn’t picked up on her enmity, it’s becoming increasingly clear that that are certain aspects of his own life that Hundred willfully chooses to ignore.

    TFAW.com: Continuing in that vein, Hundred seems possessed by almost blind idealism at times. Why do you think he’s like this? Do you think there should be more of his type of idealism in politics, and do you think it can actually spur change?

    BKV: Well, I never discuss my own politics, but I will say that they don’t share a great deal in common with Hundred’s. As for why the mayor is the way he is, your interpretation is always more important than my intent.

    TFAW.com: Ex Machina is set during the Bush administration, but there’s very little critique of it, at least by the central characters. Was there a reason for this?

    BKV: I just think local politics are much sexier than national politics. The difference between being mayor and being president is the difference between being a beat cop and sitting behind a desk as a sergeant. Which story would you rather read?

    TFAW.com: Do you think this story could have been told during the Obama administration?

    BKV: Maybe, but it certainly would have been told differently.

    TFAW.com: A lot of people surrounding Mitchell Hundred tend to go crazy–either a little (Kremlin) or a lot (Trouble). Is this a side effect of his powers, the after effects of living through 9/11, or just a byproduct of living in New York City?

    BKV: All of the above.

    TFAW.com: Speaking of 9/11, we just passed the 8th anniversary of the attack, which was a large part of Ex Machina‘s story. How do you feel this event has shaped the country, years later?

    BKV: I think I’d rather let the last few issues of the book speak for themselves on this front.

    TFAW.com: Why did you have Hundred save one of the Twin Towers in Ex Machina?

    BKV: Because I wanted to say something about the world we live in by showing a world one DNA strand removed from our own.

    TFAW.com: In issue #44, we were introduced to the “White Box,” which appears to have the power to compel loyalty from others. Is this why Bradbury has been so devoted to Hundred?

    BKV: I think Bradbury has been devoted to Hundred since the day of the accident, but the White Box is indeed the “dark secret” that we’ve always been hinting Bradbury and Mitchell shared.

    TFAW.com: There is a lot of speculation about Hundred’s sexuality, and it seems like it’s deliberately been left vague. Do you think it’s important to the story to know whether Hundred is gay or not, and will we get an answer?

    BKV: Do you think he is? Is it important to you that you get a definitive answer? If so, why?

    TFAW.com: Who created the “member of the Seraphim” who was controlling the animals of NYC?

    BKV: That question was partially answered in issue #44, with more details on the way.

    TFAW.com: It appears that Hundred was supposed to use his power over machines to make way for an invasion of Earth. Is this subconsciously why he chose to go into politics? Has he been a tool of whoever gave him his powers all along?

    BKV: Stay tuned, True Believer.

    TFAW.com: Where do you see Commissioner Angotti, Dave Wylie, and Candice Braving today, in 2009?

    BKV: Who says any of them are going to make it out of 2005 alive?

    TFAW.com: Is there any chance of a continuation of Ex Machina sometime down the road?

    BKV: I’m afraid not. Endings are what give stories meaning.

    TFAW.com: What comes next for you?

    BKV: More television, more movies, but most importantly, more comics.

    TFAW.com: What can you tell us about the Y: The Last Man movie, which is officially “in development”?

    BKV: Nothing, unfortunately.

    TFAW.com: Thanks again, Brian!

    BKV: Thank you!

    If you’re new to Ex Machina, stock up on our selection of graphic novels, or pre-order upcoming issues!

    So what do you think will happen in the final five issues of this series? Are you sad to see it go (I am)? Did I miss any burning questions? Post below!

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    Wednesday New Releases: Blackest Night, Archie, Capt. America

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    Hey there, true believers! Pull up a chair and watch our latest Wednesday New Releases video blog! Here, Josh and I quickly review Blackest Night #3, Walking Dead #65, Battlestar Galactica 1980 #1, Archie #601 (the wedding issue!), Ex Machina #45, and Captain America: Reborn #3:

    Wednesday New Releases



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    Today’s 28 Days of Comics–Brought to You by the Letter “E”

    28 Days of Comics Sale Excellent! I’m here to blog about today’s 28 Days of Comics selection: all comics, graphic novels, hardcovers, and trade paperbacks from 2008 and earlier that start with the letter “E” are 28% off!

    Marvel Essential Trade PaperbacksThis is an essential day of the sale for hard-core Marvel fans–every Marvel Essential trade paperback is 28% off until midnight tonight!

    These gigantic, black-and-white digests can take you back to the early days of well-known titles like Avengers, Spider-Man, and Uncanny X-Men, but you can also explore niche titles like Tomb of Dracula, Dazzler, and Marvel Team-Up. It’s a great way to fill in any holes in your collection quickly and inexpensively!

    Another excellent title to check out today is WildStorm’s Ex Machina. This series, written by Brian K. Vaughan and penciled by Tony Harris, is one of my very favorite titles, and it’s got a stack of Eisner Awards to back me up. It’s an old-fashioned superhero epic mixed with a political drama, but mainly, it’s one of the best-written and -drawn comics out there. It’s slated to finish with issue #50, and issue #40 just shipped in December, so this is a great time to jump in and catch up before the big finale.

    Make sure to come back tomorrow for all of your “F” titles, like Fantastic Four, Final Crisis, and Fables! Also, we want to know how our 28 Days of Comics sale is treating you so far. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it even better? Post your comments below!

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