The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Archive for March, 2012

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_025


Zombies.

Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies

Sorry. It’s almost time for Cinema Wasteland. Maybe I can pass some time by reading the new Violent Blue….. or…….

Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies Zombies


Why?

Come on Reb Brown, why you gotta break my heart? All I wanted was an autograph on that 8×11 I sent you so I could get Lana Wood on it too this weekend at Cinema Wasteland!

But you never replied. One return to sender and one no replay at all. *sniff*

Why you gotta be like that?

Forget it. I’m going to go read some Violent Blue.


So for a while there I was alternating my gaming between Warzone in Parma and Get’em Comics in Lorain. Get’em is closed now, but right before the last game nights there I decided it might be fun to whip up a 3D map of the shop for them.

I’ll bet the shop in Violent Blue looks a lot like this too….


New old comics!

I decided I wanted to go through my comics and reorganize this weekend. I’ve been getting too many doubles lately and wanted something  on paper listing what I have. My wife came home while I was about half way into the organization and told me her mom had sent home a stack of comics for me.

I don’t know where my Mother-In-Law found these. She eBays and these were probably originally ment for a lot, or bought included in a big mess of stuff that she was planning on selling. The condition wasn’t great on a lot of these and she decided it wasn’t worth her time to divide it up, price it and list it.

There’s a bunch of 60’s and 70’s World finest in here and that really excited me! I’ve never owned a World’s Finest, and always wanted to explore the series. Lately I’ve really been getting into Silver Age stuff, even though i’m more of a Bronze Age fan. Some of these have torn covers, missing covers, and a lot of wear. I’m a reader thoguh, not a collector and I’m fine with age.

Under the World’s Finest, there was a stack of old Spider-Man comics.

Oh my God.

Are you kidding me?

That’s the first appearance of the Punisher! I’ve had a reprint of that since I was 12! Condition is fair to good. Not terrible. Ant that! Is that REALLY the death of Gwen Stacy? No, seriously? And again, in decent condition….probably because it’s double bagged with a Marvel Tales reprint of the same issue!

They arn’t near mint by any stretch of the imaginaton. They arn’t going to be worth the hundreds that they would be in better condition, but still exciting to get! So thank you to Sherrie, I’m really happy to have these!

 


There’s nothing like starting the day off with a power supply bursting into flames… Power on the PC, smoke starts billowing out of the case……

Then I checked this morning’s Violent Blue to make sure it posted. I schedule two weeks to a month of strips at a time (much like a syndicated artist does) so I don’t worry about posting them manually every day. I also work about a year ahead of the current strip so it’s easy to lose track of what gets posted when.

Todays strip is just a little too close to recent events around us for me to be entirely comfortable about it. Also too many page views for me to just pull it. Synchronicity is a drag.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, cool. If you know exactly what I’m talking about, rest assured no slight was ment, this was completely unintentional. Yes, I am that mean, but if I’d done it on purpose I’d be taking credit for it, not making excuses.

That one’s gonna be up all weekend too isn’t it? Maybe it’s time for some filler art to get it off the main page.


Kick A$$

So I actually skipped the Super Bowl last month (big surprise) and decided to catch up on movies  instead. The wife was out at a superbowl party and the kids were upstairs watching some insipid princess thing. I finished a recent film on Netflix and an unbelievably boring documentary on Dracula, and was scrolling through trying to deiced what to watch next.

Kick Ass is one of those movies that’s required viewing for Comic fans. I never bothered with it before because I didn’t think there’d be anything there that interested me. I followed the comic through issue four or five, and it just didn’t do much for me. But there it was on Netflix available for instant viewing, and I had nothing better to do. Let’s give this a try.

I still wasn’t expecting to really like it and the first chunk of the film didn’t do much to prove me wrong, but by the middle of the movie I found myself liking it way more than I expected. By the end, I realized this had actually been a good movie.

The thing is, everyone says Hit Girl steals the movie. They’re right, but perhaps not for the reasons you expect. It’s not her skill or the foul mouth that I find so fascinating…it’s that she SO much her fathers daughter. That speaks to me deeply. I want my daughters to become two little Hit Girls – not necessarily the gun toting , blade wielding assassin type. But it delights me when I walk into the library and there is Lydia, sitting watching He-Man. Or when Maddie wants to draw with me and color zombies. I’m secretly elated that Maddie wants to be She-Ra for Halloween (She and Lydia have both taken turns being Rainbow Brite). I’m alternately appalled and yet still proud that when my wife is flipping through channels, Lydia demands that she go back to the station playing the zombie movie. It’s unbelievable amusing to watch Maddie describe the scene from a horror movie  : “That monster just made that guy dead!”.

I want them to grow into girls that want me to take them to the comic shop or watch monster movies with them. Hit Girl is the embodiment of her fathers dreams and ambitions, and that’s what connects with me.

I love my two little hit girls.

And I’m pretty sure that if anything happened to me, they would avenge my death….


Beowulf

Christopher Lambert has the coolest laugh dosen’t he? I’ve been doing a staggered marathon of his films over the last week or so starting with Forteress 2 and finally arriving at Beowulf. This is my first time seeing the movie, though I’ve caught snippets of it on Sy-Fy. It’s one of those I wouldn’t stop to watch a part of because I really preferred to see the whole thing.

I really liked this. It’s a little surprising because I’m wary of anything on Sy-Fy. That’s one strike. I’m also a little wary of reimagined classics-paticularly amid the absolute crowd of Beowulf productions in the last ten years or so. Two strikes.

Nevertheless, this hit all the right notes of a fun action movie. It almost had a superhero vibe to it and I wonder if they were trying for a franchise. I kind of wish they had. I’d like to see more of these in this continuity.

One of it’s biggest strength is in it’s minimal use of CG. They enhance makeups and suits, and occasionally we have a full on CG creature, but rarely for long. The one exception is the climax where the monster is entirely CG with the exception of a few close up shots that don’t quite match up well. Still, it’s forgivable. This was a creature that couldn’t have been achieved practically and if it hadn’t been CG it would have been poor stop motion on a rod puppet. That it’s  so badly done almost makes it more forgivable. They didn’t try to trick you or make you think it was better than it was, they just asked you to suspend disbelief, after all you’ve already come this far huh?

The CG isn’t it’s only problem. I get that they probably didn’t have enough cash to achieve that effect, but the entire film lacks a cohesive look. I don’t believe in the world because there’s no consistent design language – it’s too thrown together without a guiding hand to make it all fit.

Still, all in all, I enjoyed it and will probably get a copy to keep with my other Lambert films. It’s worth checking out if you see it on TV or at the Library. And after that, go check out the new Violent Blue. We’re not doing Sci-Fi action today…but you never know what you might catch the squirrel doing tomorrow….


FOUND IT!

So over the weekend, my guitar malfunctioned. Not sure when it happened, but when we plugged it in on Sunday morning, all I got was a loud buzz. After elimating the cord, direct box and pedal we foundit was a problem in the guitar. Fritz was nice enough to loan me a Fender Stratocaster with a revolting blue picguard to finish the set with, but I was still a little heart broken. I like Fenders, I have a strat myself, one that belonged to my Grandfather. But this guitar is a custom made strat clone built by Bob Hartman himself. When the lead guitarist of your all-time favorite band builds you a guitar with his own hands….that’s special.

I got the input jack off – I figured that’s where the problem lay. If I’d blown out one of the pots, there’d be no sound at all. I’d hear static if there was an issue with the volume knobs. Got inside it and found one of the two wires (The black one)  had worked it’s way off. This can happen when you’ve got a loose nut around the jack and you keep screwing it back in by hand. Bringing my soldering kit home from work tonight to put things back together.


Didn’t I say sketchy?

Seriously. Did I call it with what I said about Cleveland Comic, Card & Nostalgia Show(Formerly Saturday’s Child).  Did I ever!

It was kind of like visiting the flea market, but with more Archies. So many Archies… I don’t really get the appeal – there’s better relationship and high school comics out there. But they were there at like, every booth!

So many Archies.

It wasn’t a complete waste of my time however. I found one of the Nightmare on Elm Street novels that were released around the time Freddy v. Jason was in theatres. These things had a single printing and were on the shelf of bookstores for about half an hour. They currently go on Amazon for 15-20 dollars used, and jump into the 100-150 dollar range new(ish). The one I got is one of the more common ones, but I got it for a dollar. I’m pleased. I plundered the quarter bins and even put up fifty cents apiece for some lovely Hellraiser issues (those prestige format editions Epic used to put out every six weeks in the very early 90’s) and filled some holes in my Green Hornet, Outsiders and bad Image collections. I even got a handfull of Avengers and a really fun Captian Americia from 1979 where he meets the Punisher. 50 Cents! Yes please.

Every booth was pretty much the same, : Silver Age, Golden Age, longbox after longbox.  A poster or two. Maybe a couple of toys and a discount bin. You either go to these things looking for something rare, or you go looking for cheap stuff (that’s me). I was fortunate to find both. The Freddy novel pretty much was worth the price of admission (which they had WRONG by the way. It was $3.00 not $4.00!) There were Door prizes every two hours or so, but honestly, I don’t see enough to keep someone occupied there long enough to collect one.  This wasn’t a convention. It was a  trade show. It woudln’t take much to turn it into a respectable con, a panal or two, a couple of local guests, how about just a projector playing superhero trailers on a screen in one corner of the room and a guy with a laptop playing DJ in the other. Throw in a Heroclix, magic or Rock Band tourny and you might have something here.

All in all, it wasn’t bad, but still I don’t think I’ll bother with any Jeff Harper Productions in the future.

Not uless they start promoting Violent Blue anyhow.


Happy Saint Patricks Day…almost.

We’re talking a bit about St. Patrick’s Day over at Violent Blue today, and since I don’t usually blog during the weekend, I thought I’d comment over here too.

This was actually meant to be the first color comic in the series, but I missed my window a while back when we were still all black and white. I think it would make the gag about wearing Orange on St. Patrick’s day a bit funnier. Really it’s mostly to amuse mysef though.

I do this every year. While wearing green is a tradition for most people on St. Patricks day, that actually started as a Catholic tradition. For Protestants, the tradition is to wear orange. It’s a bearly remembered tradition, which is why I enjoy it.

I’m really beginning to fall behind by the way. My buffer of comics has just slipped to under a year and I’m not liking that. Been doing as lot of work this week to try and fill that up a bit, focusing mainly on the story arcs for year four. That’s been fun, especially working with some characters that will come in to play then.

I’ve been getting a little restless though, and am really getting into preproduction on my next project. I’m hoping to be deep into drawing that by the end of the year. Synopsis is done and the events have been orginized. I’m really beginning to get excited about it. More about that in coming months.

Finally, I was just made aware of the Cleveland Comic, Card & Nostalgia Show(Formerly Saturday’s Child).  I’m planning on going Sunday, but really, it looks a little sketchy. My definition of a convention involves panels, screenings and/or guests. This looks more like a bazaar, with the admission really only giving you a chance to come in and buy stuff. Still, it’s only $4 and a few of the guys from Northeast Ohio Clix Corps are coming so it might not be a complete waste of time. If nothing else I’ll know not to go again.  I’ll let you all know next week.

Oh look. There’s a letter for me on the table from Great Britian. I wonder who that could be from?


An Americian Werewolf in London this weekend

Seriously. Would you believe I’ve never seen this? I mean, I’ve seen Basket Case twice, gotten long hand written letters from Angus Scrimm, met Jack Hill and created my own Zombie makeup  that would make Savini do a double take.

Some how this one has always just slipped through the cracks. Well, I can’t think of a better way to remedy this than to go see it on the big screen at the Capitol this Saturday at midnight. If you live in the Cleveland area, come and hang out! If not, there’s always new Violent Blue!


We’re talking vampire movies over at Violent Blue today.

 
Vince Rotolo over at the B Movie Cast mentioned that Netflix was streaming Dark Shadows on instant. They start with Barnabas’ entry into the series, about a year into it. It’s SO slow. It takes forever to get anywhere and I’m actually having a hard time getting through it, but it’s still better than Twilight. Seriously, imagine if Twilight was your gateway to fantasy horror and vampires and then you discover quality stuff like this…I’d be pissed.
 
 My previous exposure to Dark shadows (outside of seeing posters and books at every horror and sci-fi con I’ve ever been to) was the revial in the 90’s.  Back when Maddie was a baby, I was a stay at home dad and was getting up with her for the early morning feedings. I dediced I wanted to make this a more positive experiance so I cued up the Dark Shadows revival series (thank you to Jennifer for giveing me that set by the way) on the VCR in her room and we watched Barnabas terrorize the Collins family every morning while she had her bottle. A feeding would take about half an episode (serials were great for this. An episode of the Green Hornet or The Shadow was EXACTLY the amount of time it took Maddie to finish a bottle).  We finished the revival without me ever seeing the original.

When I heard about it being on Netflix, I figured it was finally time to see the original. I also watched the film “House of Dark Shadows” which does in 90 minuets what the series takes thirty episodes to do. Sometimes it’s better, while other times it lacks the depth of the TV show.

I’m not sure what to think of the new movie with Johnny Depp.

 
We’ll see you tomorrow with a new blog and Friday with another Violent Blue strip!

Since I’m not going out tonight, I thought we’d look back at a game a couple of months ago.

I was really trying for a Mad Scientist/Robot team. The game was 1000 points and each figure needed to be over 100 points. I’m really not used to playing with such high numbers, but it gave me a chance to use some figures I normal hold in reserve. I decieded against using the 300 point Superman, because if Caff over at Get’em comics taught me anything, it’s that Superman is just a target with a great big “Kick Me” sign on his back. I really wanted to try to fit Supergirl in there though. I just couldn’t fit her in – that’s okay, I ended up using her the next time (see the previous Clix Heros post “girly clix”). I threw in all my iron man suits including FCBD War machine (love this piece) and Iron Patriot. My Hulk had really busted some heads a couple of weeks earlier at the sealed tourny  so I wanted to try him again with a Hulk robot. The Lex and Braniac figure had served me well in the past too.

All in all, I though I had a good team going.

Then Aaron busted out his GALACTUS figure.  Remeber wha I said earlier about Superman having a great big “Kick Me” sign on his back? Yeah. It looked like the plan was immediately going to become dogpile on Galactus.

It ended up with me and Jesse really trying to get that last hit in on Galactus. Jesse distracted me by tossing a Juggernaut my way, but I don’t really think it made that much difference, it was roll of the dice. He ended up taking Galactus off the board, but it was still a blast to actually play against the giant.

I kind of wonder though, what the discussion between Lex Luthor and Tony Stark was just before that team up, don’t you? I think it would have gone a little like this:


totaled

I totaled my car today. I mean totalled. It was a wet road and I couldn’t stop.Much to my surprise I insured it for collision. I rarely do that as we rarely have cars worth insuring past liability. I don’t remember doing that, but the low millage may have prompted the decision when I was initially setting this car up on our insurance. It remains to be seen whether or not it helps. That means no Clix for me tomorrow at Infinite Monkey, though I may still try to make the midnight movie at the Cedar Lee this weekend.

I’m really sore and feeling a little upset by this,but don’t worry. I’ll still have a new blog post up tomorrow and a new Violent Blue strip up on Wednesday.

By the way, if anyone was wondering what I was planning on playing Tuesday night, here’s my cheat sheet. I put together one of these whenever I put together a team, so I can carry it around for a day or two and consider my strategy.


Maddie’s Zombie

Maddie sometimes just wants to color, so she asks me to draw her something. This time she asked me to draw her a zombie. I love that she painted him with so much green!I’m not sure if it’s meant to be FOR me or if it’s actually meant to BE me…. I’m pretty cool with it either way.

Oh and the Zombie told me he wants you to go over and read some Violent Blue!


Finally got to try out my Amanda Waller figure last night over at Infinite Monkey Comics. I was very pleased at how she preformed, though it probably helped that it was a low point (300) game so the targets were a little easier. She’s mostly a support piece but she can hit a low point target that comes to close. I wasn’t in trouble until she got based with the human target….he was wailing on Deadshot too.

Speaking of Deadshot, the newer version with the “Setting up the Shot” power packs a surprisingly nice punch. Slow, but if he’s stelthed, you’ve got the time. Between him and (brightest day) Captian Boomerang, they managed to take a out a Kryptonian soldier. Not bad for a little Suicide Squad.

Thanks to Jessie for both the Deadshot and Amanda Waller.


New Violent Blue

 

We’ve been heading full speed ahead lately over at Violent Blue, beginning new storylines and adding characters. While Justin is a completely new additon, we are seeing a new face this week that isn’t quite a NEW one…

You all remember Molly from last year? (If you don’t you can click here: http://violentblue.thecomicseries.com/comics/275)
Now in reference to Chloe’s movie pics, this is one of those places where we diverge. I don’t dig revenge flicks, especially rape/revenge films (I wouldn’t even own a copy of “Last House on the Left” if I hadn’t found that autographed copy at Goodwill). As such, I’ve never actually seen “I spit on your grave”, though I’ve had several opportunities. It’s on one of my trailer compilations though, and I feel perfectly fulfilled just watching the trailer.
I HAVE seen Zombie Abomination. It’s a cult favorite, but that all I can say about it. The director is a master of self promotion and the movie (Along with it’s sequel) is a testament  to his ability to practically talk a project into existence.


Sugar Shack in color

Painted in the watercolors. Added grain to the walls and a lot of texture to the trees and grass, while making the mountains and sky smooth. I will say this….you can tell that’s a tin roof now, and the smoke stack sticks out way better. I do dig the door and windows, but all in all I think I preferred this without color. That’s an old preference, I usually feel that when I add color to something that it messes it up…the main exception being Violent Blue. I do think color adds to the comic strip. However this piece? Not so much. Just as well that I’m not keeping it. Client was happy and I’m glad to be done with it.


Thank you John Erwin!

A big thanks to John Erwin for sending me a couple autographed pictures! This was my second try at getting him and the last of the folks from Masters of the Universe that I was trying to get. (Other than the movie) that collection is complete.

I didn’t think I was going to get this one back and I’m so happy with it that if I never got another autograph I’d still be perfectly content.

Just a side note, one of his autographs just sold on eBay for $79. I got mine for postage (and straight from the source for that matter, no middle man).

I don’t think I’m going to work on any Violent Blue today. I think I’ll just sit and stare at my new autograph.


Sugar Shack

Just finshed the inks on the Sugar Shack comission I’m working on. I plan on painting it in watercolor next.

The good thing about doing commissions like this is that I end up drawing things I never would have drawn otherwise. The bad thing about doing commissions like this is that I end up drawing things I NEVER WOULD HAVE DRAWN OTHERWISE!

I may need to draw some Violent Blue after this to cleanse my pallet….


Girly Clix

So the game was 400 points, and all pieces had to be female. I had a decent team set up except I had this little  21 points or so left over. I decided to throw in a figure I never thought i’d use…Mary Jane Watson. She’s 15 points and I figured …Meat sheild right? I didn’t expect them to take that so litirally…

So Pheonix…this 300 point figure unleashes an attack on my team, targeting Supergirl, Batgirl….and MJ (Wonder Woman was either out of line of sight or off the board…). Pheonix hits, but not enough to do any damage past Supergirls invunrability. Batgirl rolls Shapechange and evades the attack – can’t be targeted. So Phenoix dumps all six clix of damage on poor little 15 point three click Mary Jane. I could almost hear the civillian screaming. I’m also pretty sure I could hear Batgirl snicker.

This would never happen if they played Heroclix in Violent Blue. Hmmm. Taylor runs a comic shop. I wonder if they play there?