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Archive for February, 2023

Comic Creator Autographs spring 2023

It’s that time again. Con season is starting up and you want to figure out your budget for the next show coming to your town! Well we’ve got a massive update in almost alphabetical order! However, it comes with the usual disclaimer. Some of this information may now be out of date, and I’ll just say I noticed a lot of those guys who were $5 pre-pandemic shoot up to $10 In fact, I was shocked at how many of them were $20!!! Congratulations guys. I’m skipping your table from now on. Keep that in mind. While I try to keep up to date as best I can, may be wrong here and there. Still, at least it lets you know who generally charges and who doesn’t. A lot of people have switched columns, and a lot of the offerings (i.e. “3 free then $ after that”) have also changed.  I’ll update as I can, and if I’ve got pricing wrong, please feel free to let me know.

As always, I’m trying not to discuss the pros and cons of comic professionals charging for autographs (although I’m starting to really be bothered by some of these higher priced ones and I’ll admit my general kevetching is starting to creep in). Ultimately, I’m acknowledging the reality of modern convention economics. This is a little something to help you know what to expect when you go to a con so you don’t get blindsided. A lot of artists don’t have autograph charges clearly displayed and frequently con websites either don’t have this information or are asked not to display it (something I find dishonest and am getting increasingly fed up with). Here’s my current list – in sort-of alphabetical order. It’s not exhaustive by any means, things may change next month or next year. We’ll update and repost from time to time (So check the timestamp and maybe do a quick site search to make sure this is the LATEST update!).

Amanda Conner – first 1 free, $5 each after that
Aaron Campbell – First 5 free, then $5 each
Aaron Lopresti – First 5 free, then $1 each

Me so excited to meet Gerry Conway I forgot to open my eyes!

Adam Hughes – 5 free, then $5 each
Adam Kubert – $10 each, $20 for witnessed
Alex Saviuk – $10
Arvell Jones – $5
Al Milgrom – $10 per book
Adam Hughes – first five free, then $5
Andrew Robinson – $5 each
Andy Kubert – $10 each, $20 for witnessed
Anna Zhuo – free, graded $10
Ant Lucia – 5 free, then $5 each
Ariel Diaz – $5 each
Ariel Olivetti – first 2 free; then $10 each
Arthur Adams – 3 free then $5 each
Bart Sears – $5 each
Brad Anderson – $5 each
Benjamin Percy – $5 each
Bill Sienkiewicz – $25 each
BILL MORRISON – has started charging $10
Brett Breeding -$5
Brian Azzarello – $5, except for graded items and Batman:Damned
Bo Hampton – $10 each
Bob Camp – $30
Bob Wiacek – $2 (He might make you a deal for multiple issues)
Bob Hall – free for the first issue, or if you purchase a something from the table, otherwise $5
Bob Layton- $5 for CGC graded signings, otherwise free

Kevin Eastman loved my Borg suit

Bob Mcloud – one for free, then $5
Bob Budiansky -first 5 free, then $5 each
Bill Sienkiewicz – two for free, then $3, $10 for CGC
Bob Camp – $10w
Bob Hall – $5 each
Bob McLeod – First $5, then $10 each
Bob Sharen – $2 each
Bob Wiacek – $5 each
Bret Blevins – 2 free then $5
Brett Breeding – $10 each
Brian Azzarello – $10
Bruce Timm $5 each
Carl Potts – 1 free personalized, then $30
Cary Nord – 3 free, then $5 each
Chad Hardin – $5 each
Charles Soule – first 3 free, then $5 each after that, $10 CGC grading signings
Chris Clarmont – first free, then $20
Chris Bachalo – $5 each, $10 for graded. $10 for sig and doodle, $25 for graded and doodle (though some shows only $2 each for charity)
Chris Warner – $5 each
Clay Mann – first 2 are free; $5 each after that
Clayton Crain – $5 each regular; $10 for Infinity (multicolored sigs) ; $10 witnessed
Cody Ziglar – $5 each
Craig Kyle – $10 each
Creees Lee – $5 each
Cully Hamner – 2 raw free, then $5 each.  Graded $10
D.G. Chichester – $5 per
Dan Slott – 2 free then $5
Dan Green – $5 each
Dan Jurgens – 2 free then $5
Dan Panosian – $5 each
Daniel Warren Johnson – raw free, duplicates $5, graded $20
Danny Fingeroth – first 5 are free, then $5 each unless you buy a book
Darryl Banks – Has recently started charging $5
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels – $50 per personal item, comics at table for $40 signed and posters for $20 signed
David Finch – $5
Dave Gibbons – $1 a book

Nolan signs some bat-issues!

Dave Johnson – 1 or 2 free; then $5
David Mack – $10 each
David Michelinie – $15
Dennis Culver – $5 each
Don Glut – $10
Donny Cates – $10
Don McGregor – $5 per signature
Drew Struzan – $80
Ed McGuinness – $10 each
Edgar Delgado – $5 CGC grading signings
Ed McGuinness – $10 each
Emanuela Lupacchino – $5 each
Esad Ribic – 1 free, $10 after
Evan “Doc” Shaner – 2 free, then $5 ea
Fabian Nicieza – $10 for anything Deadpool/New Mutants/X-Men/X-Force/Cable/Cable & Deadpool, $20 for witnessed, all other comics free
Fiona Staples – $20 CGC grading signings (otherwise free)
Frank Cho – $5 each
Frank Miller – $80 each for or $100 witnessed
Frank Tieri – $5
Garth Ennis – $5 each
Geoff Isherwood – I’ve heard $5 each (may sign 1 free with print purchase), but at Fantasticon 2023, he didn’t charge me at all for the three books I brought. Perhaps that’s show specific?
Graham Nolan – first one free, $5 after that
Greg Capullo – $10 each
Georges Jeanty – 5 free, then $5 ea  ($10 each for Mandalorian comics none free)
Gerry Conway – $20 each
Glenn Fabry – $10 each
Gerhard $10
Greg Horn – Comics before 2014: 1st 3 are free then $5 each….Comics after 2014: $10 each. Even new comics from his booth cost $10 more to sign.
Greg Land – First 3 free, then $5 each; $10 for multiple copies
Howard Chaykin – $10 each; $15 each for Star Wars, $20 graded
Howard Mackie – $10 each, $30 graded
Humberto Ramos – $10 each, $20 if graded
J Hammond – $30 sketch cards

With Dan DiDio!

JM DeMatteis – $5 each
J. Michael Straczynski – $10 each for some items
J Scott Campbell – first 1 is free, $15 each after that
Jae Lee – $10 each, $20 if graded
Jay Leisten – 1st free; then $5 each (he may make deal if personalized or larger stack)
James Tynion IV – first 3 free, $5 each after
Jason Fabok – 1st free, then $5 each
Jeff Dekal – 1 book free, then $5 each
Jeph Loeb – $20 each
Javier Saltares – Free if personalized or $5 if not
Jerry Bingham – $10 each
Jerry Ordway – $3 each
Jim Shooter – Ranges from free to $25, depending on agent at the show (Always been free when I’ve met him)
Joe Sinnott – $10 per book
Jim Lee – $50
Jim Starlin -$10 per book (goes to Heroes Initiative)
Joe Giella- $4 per book
J. O’Barr – $5
Jae Lee- $5
John Romita Jr – three for free, then $2. $10 for CGC grading.
Jose Delbo – $5
Joe Rubinstein – $20 ($50 for Wolverine)
Jimmy Palmiotti – first 1 free, $5 each after that


With the legendary Denny O’Neil!

Jim Zub – 1st free, then $5 each
Joelle Jones – 1st three free, $5 each after, graded sigs $20
Joe Giella – $4 each; $15 graded
Joe Jusko – 2 free then $5 each
Joe Quesada – $50 each
Joe Rubinstein – $10 each
J Scott Campbell $10
John Cassandry $10
John Beatty – $5
Jim Sternako charges $50 per item last I checked – and that includes items and prints BOUGHT FROM HIS TABLE. Also, do not ask for a photo with him.
John Bolton – first 5 free, then $5 each
John Cassaday – $5 each
John Romita Jr – $20 each in June 2022;  $45 for Dragon Con 2022
John Timms – 3 free, then $5 each
John Giang – $15 per
Jonathon Glapion- $10 ea
Jonboy Meyers – 2 books free, then $5 per signature
Jose Delbo – $10 each; $25 if graded
Josh Cassara – 3 free, then $5
Josh Williamson – first 3 free; $5 each after that
Julian Tedesco – 1st free, then $5 each
Keith Champagne – $5 each
Keith Giffen – 1st free, then $5 each
Keith Williams – $5 each
Ken Lashley – $5 each
Keith Pollard – $20
Kevin Eastman – first is free, $20 after that (He also doodles on the items!)
Keith Giffen – 1st book free, $5 per book after
Klaus Janson– $10, $20
Kyle Hotz – $5
Len Wein – $5, $20 CGC grading signings, $25 for Hulk 181, Giant Size X-Men #1 or House of Secrets #92.


Larry Hama wondering what he’s gotten himself into….

Larry Hama will sign two items for free if personalized, then $20 each
Lee Bermejo – 3 free; Batman Damned is $25 per issue
Lee Weeks – 2 free (personalized), $5 each after
Liam Sharp – $10 each
Lovern Kindzierski – $5 each
Matteo Scalera – $20 CGC grading signings
MIKE ROYER – $5 (For cancer research)
Mike Zeck – $5
Marv Wolfman – one free (I’ve heard elsewhere it’s two for free, but in his last interview he said one), $5.00 after that
Mark Texeria- one personalized signature free, $10 per book after or unpersonalized
Marat Mychaels – $5 each
Marc Laming – $5 each
Marc Silvestri – $10 each
Marguerite Bennett – $5 each
Mark Bagley – Personalized are free, Non-personalized $10; Witnessed $20
Mark Brooks – first 3 free, then $5 after. CGC are $10, except Avengers 684 is $20
Mark Irwin – 1st free, then $5 each
Mark Waid – 2 free, then $5 ea, unless personalized
Marv Wolfman – $5 each
Matteo Scalera – 1 or 2 free then $5 each, $20 for witnessed
Matthew Clark – personalized free; non-personalized $10 each
Matthew Rosenberg – first 5 free, then $5 each
Meredith Finch – first 2 or 3 free per day, $5 each after that (at Fan expo Dallas 2018, Fri and Sat were 3 free, Sunday was 2 free)
Mico Suayan – $5
Mitch Gerads – 2 free, then $5
Michael Golden- $20 per book
Mike Grell – $10 each, $15 for CGC

Mike Huddleston – $5 raw, $25 graded
Mike Mayhew – $10 each
Mike McKone – Personalized are free, Non-personalized $10
Mike DeCarlo – $4 each
Mike del Mundo – $5 raw, $25 graded
Mike Zeck – $5 each, $10 for witnessed

Golden age artist Mike Royo! Magnus Robot Fighter for the win!

Mirka Andolfo – 1 free then $5
Mitch Gerads – 2 free then $5 each
Nick Spencer – 1st free, then $5 each
Olivier Coipel – $10 each
Pablo Marcos – $5 for 1; $12 for 3; or $30 for 10
Paris Cullins – $5 each
Pat Broderick – $10 each
Patrick Gleason – 1 free then $5 each
Paul Azaceta – First 5 free, then $5 each
Paul Gulacy – $5 each; $10 Master of Kung Fu
Paul Kupperberg – $10
Paul Pope – 2 free then $10 each
Peter Tomasi – $5 each
J Scott Campbell Signing Fee: $30
Ron Frenz -$3
Ron Lim – 1st book free, $10 per book after
Rob Liefeld -$40 each, $60 for X-Force 11, $80 for New Mutants 87, 98, add $20 for witnessed
Robert Kirkman – $50
Rags Morales – $5 each
Ramon Perez – 1 or 2 free; then $5
Randy Emberlin: $10 per book
Rick Hoberg – $10 each
Rod Reis – $5 each
Rodney Ramos – $5
Ron Garney – $10 each ($40 BRZRKR)
Ron Lim – $10 each
Ron Marz –  is now up to $10 each, $20 graded. So much for “Since it seems to be the topic of the day: no charge for signatures. If you bought the books, the least I can do is sign ’em.
Ron Wilson – $10 each
Rick Hoberg – $10 each

Jon Bogdanove scribbles on my Superman weddding album and Steel trade paperback!

Ron Lim – $10
Rudy Nebres – $5 each
Ryan Ottley – $20
Ryan Parrott – $5 each
Sal Velluto – $10 each, $25 for toys/funko
Sam De la Rosa – $10; $25 Venom LP #1
Sam Humphries – 3 free, then $5 each after
Sam Kieth – 2 free, then $10 each after
Scott Hanna – $20 each
Scott Lobdell – $5 for first group of 10 books, $10 for next group of 10 (sometimes signs free at smaller shows)
Scott Snyder – $10 each
Scott Williams – 1 free, then $
Sean Gordon Murphy – 5 free, then $5 each
Sergio Aragones – 1st 3 free, then $2 each
Shane Davis – $5 each
Shannon Maer – $20
Simon Bisley – $10 per signature
Skottie Young – $5 each at Heroes Con 2022
Sozomaika – $10 each
Stan Sakai – 1st 3 free, then $2 each
Stephanie Phillips – $5 ea ($10 Grim #1)
Stephen Segovia – 3 free then $10 each
Steve Englehart – $10 ea
Steve Geiger – $10 – be careful if you buy something off his table. He overcharges after signing and doubles his price.
Steve Lavigne – $10 each
Steve Orlando – $5 each
Simon Bisley – $10 per book
Terry Dodson – 5 free then $1 each after that
Terry Kavanagh – $5
Tim Townsend – $5 each
Tini Howard – 1st free, then $5 each
Todd Nauck – $5 for Phantom variants unless personalized, others free
Tom King – $5 each
Tommy Lee Edwards – $5 each
Tom Taylor – 2 free, then $5 each

Allen Bellman was there at the beginning!

Tom DeFalco $5 each for three or less. After that $20 (“Dealer’s Pricing”)
Tony Isabella $10
Tony Daniel – $10 each
Tony Harris – first free then $5
Tony Moore – $20 walking dead singles, $5 other books, $20 witnessed
Trevor Von Eeden – $10 each
Tyler Kirkham – $10 each, witnessed are more
William Messner-Lobes – $10 (Sometimes first one is free)
Whilce Portacio –$10 for 1st Bishop issues(fee waived with purchase). Other comics free up to 5.
Victor Olazaba – $10
Yanick Paquette – $5

Tip Jar – pay what you want
Some of these are for causes like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund or Heroes Initiative. Others are just personal. I urge you, respect the tip jar. (It’s so much better than autograph fees)

Alan Davis – free with Heroes Tip Jar (up to 10 comics)
Andrew Pepoy – Hero Initiative donation
Ann Nocenti – free with Heroes Initiative tip jar
Billy Tucci
Ben Templesmith
Barry Kitson
Chuck Dixon
Charlie Adlard
Dan Brereton – free with Heroes Tip Jar
Dan Fraga – free with Heroes Tip Jar
Jan Duursema
Jim Calafiore
Joe Staton – free, with tip jar for Hero Initiative
John Ostrander – free with Heroes Initiative tip jarKarl Kesel – free but tip jar for Hero Initiative
Kevin Nowlan – free with Heroes Tip jar
Mark Farmer – free with Heroes Tip Jar
Mark Schultz – free with Heroes Initiative tip jar
Larry Stroman
Peter David
Mike Barr
Mike Mignolia
Rick Leonardi – $1 each toward Hero Initiative
Roy Thomas

Rubinstein’s done just about everything!

Scott Koblish
Timothy Truman
Tom Grummett – Free, with Heroes Tip Jar
Tom Mandrake – free with Heroes Initiative tip jar
Walter Simonson – free with Heroes jar


Adriana Melo
Agnes Garbowska
Al Ewing
Ale Garza
Alex Maleev
Alex Ross – Free with 5 item limit
Alex Sinclair
Allison Sohn
Andrew Dalhouse
Andrew Mangum
Andy Smith
Anna Zhuo – free, graded $10
Ash Maczko
Ashley Witter
Ande Parks
Angel Mediea
Art Thibert
Bill Anderson
Brandon Montclare
Brian Michael Bendis (Be prepared to wait a long time in line)
Bill Willingham
Brendan Fletcher
Bob Almond
Baldemar Rivas
Becky Cloonan
Ben Dunn
Bernard Chang
Bill Anderson
Bill Reinhold
Bob Smith
Brandon Peterson
Brennan Wagner
Brent Peeples
Brian Augustyn
Brian Pulido
Brian Stelfreeze
Budd Root
Carlo Barberi
Cat Staggs
Charles Paul Wilson III
Chris Batista
Chris Marrinan
Chris Stevens
Chris Wictendal
Chuck Palahniuk
Cliff Chiang
Colleen Doran
Cullen Bunn
Christos Gage
Chad Townsend
Carla Speed McNeil
Clayton Crain
Cameron Stewart
Chip Zdarsky
Casey Jones
Dan Brereton
Dirk Manning
Dale Keown
Dan Parent
Darren Auck
Dave Bullock
Dave DeVries
Dave Dorman
David Baron
David F. Walker
Dawn McTeigue
Declan Shalvey
Dennis Hopeless
Diana Greenhalgh
Dexter Vines- free14900529_1294021037284083_6486392154139767345_n
Don Kramer – free
Doug Mahnke
Dustin Weaver
Edgar Delgado – free, $5 for witnessed
Eduardo Risso
Elliot S Maggin
Eric Basaldua EBAS – Free for 15x, then $5 ea
Erik Larsen
Emanuela Lupacchino
Erik Larsen
Evan Dorkin
Fred Van Lente (assuming you can catch him. He dosent do to many shows these days)
Fiona Staples – free, $20 for witnesseed
Francis Manapul
Francisco Herrera
Franco Aureliani
Freddie E Williams
Gerry Dugan
Giuseppe Camuncoli
Glenn Whitmore
Greg LaRocque
Greg Pak
Greg Smallwood
Guillem March
Gail Simone
Gene Ha
Greg Wright
Heather Antos
Ivan Reis


Shooter is still a legend!

Inhyuk Lee – 3 free
Jason Latour
John Ostrander
Joe Staton
Joshua Williamson
Jim Zub
Judd Winick
Jerry Duggan
Jason Aaron
Jeff Schultz
Jacob Chabot
Jonathan Hickman
Jenny Frison
Joe Kelly
Jack Purcell
Jai Nitz – free
James Robinson
Jason Aaron
Jason Latour
Jeff Lemire
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Parker
Jeffrey Moy
Jenny Frison
Jeremy Clark
Jill Thompson
Jim Calafiore
Jim Krueger
Jody Houser
Joe Carmagna
Joe Casey
Joe Corroney

Tony Isabella greets the fans!

Joe Eisma
Joe Prado
Joe Quinones
John Dell
John Layman
Johnny Desjardins
Jonathan Lau
Jonathan Hickman

Juan Doe
Karl Moline
Kelley Jones
Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin Maguire
Kristen Gudsnuk
Kyle Strahm
Karl Story
Kelley Jones
Kevin Maguire
Kevin Nowland
Keron Grant
Koi Pham
Kyle Higgins
Lela Gwenn
Lewis LaRosa
Louise Siminson


Don’t worry – it’s just a shadow from the gun – James didn’t actually give me a black eye!

Mike McKone – Personalized are free, Non-personalized $10
Michael Cho
Matt Miner
Matt Horak
Mike Mayhew
Mark McKenna
Mike Okamoto
Marc Sumerick
Mike Gustov
Mark Farmer
Mark Schultz
Micheal Conrad
Mike Choi
Mike Norton
Matt Fraction
Marguerite Bennett
Mike Hawthorne
Mark Evanier
Mark Russell
Matt “Batt” Banning
Matt Hawkins
Matt Wagner
Michael Dooney
Michael Lark
Mike & Laura Allred
Mike Baron
Mike Choi
Mike McKone
Mike Perkins
Morry Hollowell
Nei Ruffino
Neil Vokes


Marc Sumerick meets a fan!

Nick Derington
Nick Bradshaw
Nick Dragotta – free, duplicates $5, graded $20P.Craig Russell
Jorge Lucas
Jim Pasco
Phil Hester
Phil Noto
Paul Pelletier
Patricia Martin
Peter Gillis
Peter Kuper
Peter Steigerwald
Phil Jimenez
Phil Ortiz
Philip Moy
Philip Tan
Phil Noto
Pia Guerra
Pop Mhan
Rachael Stott
Raul Allen
Ray Lago
Richard Case
Richard Pini
Rico Renzi
Robert Venditti
Roger Stern
Rick Burchett
Rusty Gilligan – free, and gives away free signed promo cards
Rudy Obrero – Free (may not sign things though)
Russ Braun
Ryan Benjamin
Ryan Gary Browne
Rick Remender
Ron Fortier
Ramon Villalobos
Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Rafer Roberts
Steve Leialoha
Steve Mannion
Stephen Sharar
Scott Snyder
Steve McNiven – Free if personalized
Stefano Gaudiano
Stephen T. Seagle
Scott Kolins
Sanford Greene
Sean McKeever
Sean Von Gorman
Shawn McManus
Sorah Suhng
Stefano Gaudiano
Steve Epting
Steve Erwin
Steve Leialoha
Steven Butler
Stuart Immonen – free up to 20
Talent Caldwell
Tana Ford
Tim Seeley
Tom Richmond
Tom Smith67602223_2625952624115811_7500589555540557824_n
Tomeu Morey
Tone Rodriguez
Trevor Hairsine
Tula Lotay
Ty Templeton
Tim Seeley
Tom Mandrake (sometimes a tip jar for Hero Initiative, but not when he was at NEO in 2019)
Tim Bradstreet
Todd DeZago
Tim Truman
Walt Simonson – donations for quick sketches
Will Rosado
Wendy Pini


Week of 2/22/23

Right off the bat I’d like to make a statement that I don’t think should be controversial.

Darkwing Duck does not need 29 variant covers.
No, seriously. This is second issue. The SECOND issue especially should not need 29 FLUFFING variant covers! Look, this is a nice entertaing book. Standard storytelling. Fun but nothing special. Twenty nine covers. TWENTY NINE! Even if you don’t count duplicate images and BW ones, it still comes out to a whopping 19 different cover images! Dynamite execs? If you’re reading this? I’m not going to collect this book. All of those varient covers are going to end up in the dollar bins and confuse anyone wanting to put this run together. You’re DISCOURAGING me from buying it.

Second statement I’d like to make. She-Hulk? More of this please. Lots more.

I’m kind of at a point where I just want to see the casual pause books that come up between arcs. I’ve always been a sucker for them, but these are really what are giving me exactly what I want. Case in point, World’s Finest #12. Do you guys remember these panels from way back in issue #2?

Well in issue #12 we finally get the details. And boy, you can tell that Marc Waid has just been DYING to tell this story from day one. I keep talking up this series, and it more than just the nostalgia. there’s some really good writing going on here with some genuinely interesting character arcs happening. What’s REALLY interesting – Waid hasn’t just given Kara and Dick character arcs – he did it IN REVERSE. he presented the characters as they were, teased it, and then went back and cohesively showed how they got there. It’s absolutely a master work. Also, monkeys.

I Hate Fairyland #4 is also pulling off an impressive trick. Putting a average to kinda attractive female front and center in the issue, leaving her naked through most of it and being as gross as possible. 

And I mean as disgusting as can be. Skottie Young is known for being outrageous, but the gross outs are usually more gore focused and less scatological. This one leans heavily to the latter. It’s not for the faint of heart or those with a weak stomach.

Sadly, if that’s really all that stuck with me, then I can’t exactly say it’s a recommend either. Outrageousness is great when it serves the story. This issue seems transgressive just for the sake of it, not pushing the narrative much as we go.

Amazing Spider-Man #20 wraps up the winter getaway with Black Cat two-parter. It’s nice straightforward adventure and shenanigans, ruined only by White Rabbit’s really irritating characterization. honestly the dialogue in general for this issue drags down the story from fairly fun to kinda meh. It’s still loads better than the last six months of this book though. We needed a good compartmentalized mission like this, and here I had my hopes up for perhaps rekindling something with Felicia. I’m less hopeful after seeing the preview of the next issue’s cover with Mary Jane and Peter huddling together. I know I keep complaining about “Get back to the Status Quo, or at least tell me what’s going on and how we got here!” but it’s REALLY bothering me.

Speaking of status quo – I’ve been saving Superman for last, because I had such trepidation as to what’s going to go on with that book. I’ve seen the previews, the white suit, and whole bunch of “team Superman” heroes… the thing is, the more of these kind of derivitive characters you shoehorn in, the more you water down your original. Just look at what’s going on over in Spider man.

Nevertheless, that is a spectacular cover and things look pretty inviting, so I thought I’d give it a try. It starts off with some standard Superman heroics. A quickie fight with Livewire (a fan favorite that manage the jump from animation to comics).  With her safely put away, he notices that the minister officiating the wedding below him ran off in all of the chaos and proceeds to marry the couple himself. We get some funny photos from the reception, and it’s all very Superman. But I’m also really enjoying the emphasis on the supporting cast. This has always been one of the strongest elements of the Superman books. It’s something they understood for decades, that the unpowerd supporting cast,  the mere mortals rubbing shoulders with this demigod, they’re what really gave the book character and heart. We’ve got a new police chief in town which is interesting enough. A slick and modern look to him, with the button-down vest. I don’t know how hes getting away with that ponytail, But on all it’s a good look. I still miss the rumpled seventies detective look of Inspector Henderson, but Metropolis has frequently been portrayed as “the city of the future” and Chief Kekoa really fits the more modern esthetic.

We get some good bits with Jimmy and Lois, and Clark gets to do some very Clark Kent stuff as well. Sometimes writers forget how important these relationships are, so I enjoy seeing these front and center… I’mfar more interested in this than in a team with superpowered kids nipping at his heels.
There’s also some interesting set up… a future collaboration with Lex Luther certainly seems to be in the works. Moreover, there’s a mysterious threat in the background that definitely appears to be on the rise. It’s all good stuff, complimented by absolutely magnificent art. Jamal Campbell  Is absolutely knocking it out of the park. It’s stylized, but not ridiculously so. Superman is very recognizable, even as you can see it’s Campbell’s Superman. It’s the classic costume, complimented by a very classic attitude and  Handling by Joshua Williamson. I’m so pleased to how well this turned out. It’s very much the book that Superman  deserves. If you could just give me more of this for a few years, I’d be absolutely content perfect. However, truth is I’m probably gonna jump off the second the glowing white suit and the legion of super kids shows up,  But let’s not worry about that now. That’s in the future. For right now, let’s just enjoy some good Superman…. for as long as it last. Definitely pick this one up.



Invasion of the Pod People

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take Invasion of the Pod People seriously when it stars someone named Jessica Bork. That’s the sound the Swedish chef makes!

We start pretty by the numbers… A set of asteroids heading towards earth, and abandoned streets. We even get a news report about an asteroid hitting Monterey California. Wait a minute, isn’t that what happened in the Apocalypse movie we just watched?


It’s more than a coincidence probably, because pod people would be that directors next film. In fact, a great deal of this cast was also featured in Apocalypse… Not to mention an earlier film for the asylum called Transmorphers, which the director, Justin Jones, was an associate director on. That is to say, this cast is all very familiar with each other.


After some bizarre and gratuitous schtupping, we get a talent agent driving through California time eating with her boss. He’s demanding the pain new clients. She’s working at her desk, her boss brings in a strange plant to be passed along. It looks a bit like raw ginger or something (a quick check in the trivia section of IMDB reveals it’s EXACTLY that!). Of course, it’s an evil plant, and it walks away to go hatch a duplicate of the person that’s given to… then has to murder you.


Moran gratuitous boinking and a big argument between the girl and her boyfriend, because he travels for work. The thing is, she barely sees him when he’s not working either… she quickly gets her mind off of it though, when somebody breaks into her apartment and warns her if she’s not careful, they’ll be nobody like her left. Then he shoots himself.


Of course the strange thing is, she see someone who looks just like him standing on the street corner in the next day as she cruises through Hollywood. Probably best if she goes and buys a gun for protection.


People around her just seem to start getting weird… And one bunch of her friends invite her for a girls night out and get her drunk, Things get a little suspicious when they pull out our weird evil plant. Maybe some make out action will distract her?


Time to pass the plant on, while she steals some of the girls silverware to pass on to a cop. It’s supposed to come off as paranoid when she starts to describe them. Sexually aggressive, and vacant. She explains all this to the cop but he’s not entirely taking her seriously.


After another encounter with a pod people, she gets the cop the plant as well, warning her friends. Bad stock/CGI storm footage punctuates their escape. Is there? There’s no way of telling who’s in person or not… How can they possibly stop it?


We’ve got a very amateur sounding cast here. The delivery is stunted and fake. Most of these performances are just terrible, and made worse by the fact that we’re working with such low grade equipment. Tons of background distortion and it sure sound like he’s using the built in camera microphone rather than a boom mic. This really comes across in outdoors shots.


I still feel like I should still be cutting Jones some slack here. This is only his second feature film, and really hot on the heels of his first (I wouldn’t be surprised if these things were shot back to back) but on the other hand, he’s been in the industry for a while at this point, even if he hasn’t been doing the big job as much. Either way, the production values really drag this thing down. This story is not nearly well thought out enough to drive the sort of tension that you need for a body snatchers movie. It ends up being a fail on just about every level.

Annabelle Comes Home

64990528_2540000606044347_348829645983973376_n64762262_2540000602711014_1483390852595187712_nWhile I’m a fan of the Conjuring movies, I hadn’t gotten around to the Annabelle ones until recently, but when I got invited to an advance screening of Annabelle Comes Home, I figured it was time to change that, so I sat down and watched both Annabelle and Annabelle Creation before heading out to the film preview. It’s a great universe James Wan has created here, growing it slowly and organically. It works and while the Annabelle films aren’t perfect, they’ve always been good sequel fodder. Annabelle Comes Home changes all of that.

This movie is not only a great sequel, it’s also a great film in of itself. That’s a hard trick to pull off, but this move manages to fit into the mythology and push it forward, while simultaneously standing alone quite well and giving us a movie that is every bit as terrifying as the first Conjuring was.

I went into the film cold and was genuinely surprised to see Ed and Lorraine Warren so prominently featured. They don’t stick around long and are gone before the midpoint of the first act, but it’s organic – you don’t really even notice their exit (kind of 64577472_2540000639377677_8614501207932665856_nlike those “lite” episodes of Doctor Who, like Blink, where the Doctor is really just a supporting character and not really in the episode) as the focus shifts to their daughter Judy, and her two teen babysitters as they spend a terrifying night in the Warren’s home. The premise is simple; what if all those things locked away in the Warren’s occult museum clawed their way out of their basement for the night? In this way, the film trances the Annabelle franchise and becomes something more. It’s not really ANNABELLE comes home, but rather Annabelle COMES HOME.

While the previous Annabelle films have been somewhat doll-centric, focusing on the doll and the evil spirit that travels with it (It’s not really the doll that’s the evil – this isn’t Chucky, rather the doll is an avatar and a conduit for demonic entity(s) in these films) this movie unleashes a whole host of evil spirits, ghosts and demonic influences. This is a hardcore HAUNTING and it is terrifying. McKenna Grace in particular turns out a brilliant performance as 12-year-old Judy Warren, a role that requires a level of intensity that should be beyond her years. She thwarts the evil 64641742_2540043759373365_1027367885284048896_nwith prayers and crosses and is every bit a match for Annabelle herself.

The film never fails to be creepy, even when we’re doing the getting to know you thing in the second act, with laughs and aw shucks moments (Pizza Delivery guy, YOU’RE THE REAL MVP!) you can feel the dread creeping through, and by the time we hit act three, everything has turned upside down.  I watched the movie with a rowdy audience and as things rapidly spun out of control they shrieked and screamed in disbelief.

This is genuinely the best of the Annabelle movies and the only one that matters!



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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Hard Target 2

I’m so confused. I don’t understand. This is not a franchise! Not only is this not a franchise, making your second sequel 23 years out, it’s just a bad look.

The thing about Hard Target is, it was a simple premise, paired with an amazing Director in John Woo, and some absolutely legendary actors in Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, and even Wilford Brimley with his unbelievable Cajun accent. Add to that some genuinely good supporting cast in Yancy Butler, Arnold Vosaloo and Kasi Lemmons, with some over the top violence, and you ended up with something special. The problem with Hard Target 2, is that it’s missing all that, and is left with merely the simple premise.

This would be where Scott Adkins starts following in JCVD’s footsteps. He’d meet up with him in the Expendables 2 later on, as well as one of the five Universal Soldier sequels. He’s cast as a washed up MMA fighter, slumming it and doing street fights to get by. A promoter from Bankok shows up and offers him the opportunity of a lifetime… What Adkins doesn’t know is this is a hunt, not a fight. Along the way he picks up some of the locals in Miramar who act alternatively as hostages and as the cavalry.

The movie begins with black leather on motorcycles hunting someone with arrows and guns. It’s enough to remind you that this is trying to be Hard Target, but other than the premise of hunting a man, we don’t really see any other connective tissue until the very end where we get some Slo-mo shots of doves at the climax and the bad guy using the same single shot pistol that Henriksen used in the original.

The thing is, it’s not a bad action film. It’s well shot, with plenty of gunplay, fist fighting, and explosions… Adkins is very good at leaping away from explosions in slow motion… And even at an hour and 45 minutes, the pace never slows. I happen to be a horror movie fan, and I’m usually content to watch whatever low budget fare is tossed in front of me. If you’re an action movie fan like this, a movie like Hard Target 2 will absolutely satisfy. If on the other hand, you’re just a fan of the film Hard Target, you’re probably going to be a bit disappointed in the sequel.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Curse of the Scarecrow

Curse of the scarecrow starts with a recap of the legend, just white text on a black screen much like in the previous film. Then we get some news, people murdered by the scarecrow, grass and a forlorn fellow in a very welsh sweater. More rustic farm than usual, and sweater boy with a gun slung over his arm and crows flocking in the background.

We also have a 20 year old woman talking with her psychiatrist… Trying to work through trauma see her family killed when she was six. It’s suggested that this may be one of the people from the first film’s prologue and the shrink suggests she go back home to try and work out her fears. Her brother thinks this is a terrible idea, particularly since he still trying to hunt that scarecrow. Doesn’t matter though she’s coming anyhow, and he’s about to lose his last fight with the scarecrow.

With her brother dead, it’s time to make the pilgrimage home. The Scarecrow is waiting, killing time by murdering people who wander into the land, or try and make a nookie in the barn. You know, the usual stuff. She’s brought some friends with her as well that way we can have a higher body count. It’s always fun to see the Director, Louisa Warren taking a role in one her films. And I’m amused watching her run around the house at night in dalmatian pajamas.

In the morning, the therapist decides it would be a good idea to try hypnotism to try and get out the truth of what happened. She regresses her to the day that her parents died and she describes seeing a scarecrow murdering them as she and her brother hide in the barn.

In the meantime, best friend finds scarecrow in the barn, along with news clippings, every 20 years. She brings June down to look at the scarecrow kind of to try and Face her fears and it’s frustrating her therapist. Therapist finally decide to come up here, and drag her out, also to try and make her face her fears… grabbing a scarecrow and ripping the mask off of it. Except there’s the missing girl that the scarecrow killed the night before. All the sudden they realize it’s all real all of it. And now it’s a fight to survive the night. 

Actually is improvement over Bride of the Scarecrow. They’ve managed to go a great deal more creepy and really lean into the gloom and strangeness of the whole affair. It still makes the best use possible of returning monster and the franchise feel. It’s genuinely good stuff, and it’s got me excited for the final installment.




Week of 2/15/23

Daredevil issue 8 is  giving us that confrontation we were promised to be between The Punisher and Daredevil, and yet it feels almost like filler. 
It’s fine, it’s OK.
But I don’t know, I think I was expecting more than just OK.

On the other hand, it’s not nearly as bad as Harley Quinn Screws up the DC Universe. You know, I’m a sucker for these kind of concepts. Maybe it’s just some old nostalgia for Fred Hembeck destroys the Marvel Universe, but when it’s done right, it’s really a good story. The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe is a shockingly good tale, that really leans into both Punisher and the fantastic nature of the Marvel universe. This Harley Quinn book is none of those things. The story is meandering and a little amateur tonight, and the art is absolutely atrocious. When did the quality on Harley Quinn just fall off a cliff?Even when it was skewing more activist, the series itself still had good art and some sort of a compelling plot. Nowadays it’s just garbage. I keep coming back to it because I keep wanting it to be good, but it just isn’t!

Spider-Man on the other hand is getting better. At least, I’m starting to settle in. We get Spidey heading off on holiday with black cat, only to bump into MJ and the husband . Maybe it’s just my relief at the fact that Dark Web is over, but I really do enjoy the sort of quirky stories. Spider-Man has such a great supporting cast that it’s a shame  they’re not leaning into them more. This is a good step in that direction

Star Trek Resurgence continues to be the best of the Star Trek books out there right now. Maybe one of the best Star Trek series we’re seeing overall, even better than Prodigy. Perhaps it’s because we’ve got unique characters and a completely different crew, or maybe because it’s set in the era I’m most looking for… just post TNG. As a result, It gets to do it’s own thing with just a dash of nostalgia and familiar faces. not too much though. Not so many that it’s overwelming with a lineup that’s such a crazy mash-up it becomes off-putting. That’s the star trek main title is right now in a nutshell and also the even weirder Worf title that’s coming up. This story about  Leah Braun’s developing a new sort of warp drive in  Tularian space, it’s just been really good. Quite frankly, it’s got me ready to play the video game… and we all know I’m not a gamer!

I took a minute to go through the new WildC.A.T.S. series. Maybe it just feels weird to me to see them interact with DCU characters. I wanted this series to integrate better, and I still love Grifter, but something just feels a little off this time around. It’s just not quite giving me what I’m looking for. It’s not bad by any means though, and I still hope that it’s going to develop into something.  I think there’s room for a corporate driven superhero team in the DCU if they could just focus in on that.

Batgirls is actually still going pretty strong. It may be running out of gas a little bit, but it’s still clever and interesting enough for me to keep wanting to follow it. Steph kidnapped by her father, and Cassie on the way to rescue her. It was a good story complete with a little mindswap schtick… and then interrupted by this bizarre no text issue #14. You can just skip that thing. It was a total waste.

If I have any real complaints about this particular arc, it’s that it’s just a little too long. I feel like we could have resolved this with one issue fewer. Some of this action, some of the brooding could have been compressed. The jury still out as well, on Cluemaster. I get what they’re doing with him… I understand where they’re going. I’m just not sure if I like it or not. Actually, I’m not even sure if I care enough to like it or not. I know that sounds neutral, but it’s a bit of a negative. I should want to care. The story should make me care. It should make me like it or hate it… and it doesn’t do either of those things. It’s a very weird indifference. Nevertheless, I’m stoked and ready for the next arc. I don’t know how long this series is gonna last….. it feels like the sort of title that should have gotten the axe a while ago, but it’s continued on . I had much the same feelings about Nightwing in the late nineties,  and I can’t think of a much higher praise than that.

Joe Fixit #2  continues to be a solid book. Indeed, it feels like a flashback to the eighties, that’s sort of fun when the hulk and Spider-Man would show up in each other’s books and cartoons. you never know where the kingpin was gonna show up and where the whole situation could just be… well, it could be anything. I’m not entirely sure where this is going or how it’s going to end up, but I’m really enjoying the ride.. andisn’t that exactly what we read comic books for?

Speaking of a good ride, the Flash season premiere was excellent. Look, I was already on board with a whole Groundhog Day episode… but you throw in a proper comic accurate Captain Boomerang? Let me tell you something! I’ve been waiting nineyears to see Captain Boomerang finally shot on the Flash! I always resented that they deployed him on Arrow instead, because this is really a Flash villain, and one I grew fond of during John Ostrander’s run on Suicide Squad, And I’ve always enjoyed the new 52 revamp of the costume. So definitely get him on TV in a proper costume come up with  Grant Gustin and company, it’s just a real treat.

So how can they get the second episode this season so wrong? They’re doing wild bizarre things with Caitlin… neither Frost nor Caitlin, but a weird mess created from a terrible experiment. I’m not enjoying that storyline at all. Then we have a gender swapped Fiddler, and while I admit that the instrument itself is pretty spectacular (clear plastic electric violin with LEDs), It just smacks of The sort of modern day political driven changes that sunk the rest of The CW. And of course she’s after an old villain who is gay, very gay and make sure to point out that hes gay every chance that he gets. Do I mention, that hes gay? It’s vitally important to know that he’s gay. I only point this out, Because we hear more about him being gay and his boyfriend and how his gayness with his boyfriend has changed his life, way more about that than the sonic gauntlets that he uses. Being gay is really his only character trait.. and that’s not actually a characterization ( Unless perhaps you’re just one of those cardboard cut out characters in a horror movie that’s just being introduced so we can kill you off in half an hour). It’s just tokenization. It gets tiresome when the message is this in your face and taking priority over the adventure. We’ve only got half a season this year, can we please not waste it and get back to the business fighting the Red Death? Is that too much to ask?

I hope not. See you next week.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


ZipCon 2023

So I gotta say, the last time Maddie and I hit Zipcon, I was not impressed. I really like the Zipcon of old… a student run anime con, and a free one day event… that always worked for me. Then the management flipped, and there was more pressure to put in guests. More pressure to bring in names and with that comes expense. And that expense gets passed on to the attendees. Last year in particular, the show was just not worth the $10 admission. There were a bunch of problems, with lackluster panels… when those panels actually occurred. People blowing stuff off and just not showing up, Not enough help, not enough ratio of staff to visitors… it was just a mess. I really wasn’t interested in going back.

Of course, this was one of the last shows right before the government locked its citizens down, and Zipcon would not return for 2021 or 2022. When it came back on the schedule this year, Maddie in particular was really eager to go again. It’s not just that she wanted to do more conventions, she wanted to do more anime conventions, so off we went.

I will admit, it’s actually helped that we’ve had two years to watch a bunch of anime and get me caught up on modern series. I was in my Gran Torino costume, accompanying Maddie’s Eraser. The Gran Torino made a big enough splash that we hadn’t even made it into the show before the gentleman at the register desk looked at me in amazement. “Gran Torino! That’s a first for me!”

It might be fair to say that the two year break also did the panelists some good. Talks and skits and demonstrations that had been prepared two years ago had time to be refined and revisited before presenting them this year. We actually ended up hitting three different ones, all really good talks. I especially enjoyed seeing previews of upcoming stuff, as well as look back at some older anime that’s not necessary Studio Ghibli.

For whatever reason, the dealer’s room felt bigger too. I don’t think that it was physically, but I certainly felt like there was more to browse through, as we dug through booth after booth of brightly colored kawaii.

One of the stranger things that happened, we were walking down the promenade, And after stopping for some pictures, the photographer ran up to us and asked if we could come back with her and be in a group picture of My Hero Academia cosplayers. We happily followed her. It was a nice big group, not quite a dozen people. The thing is, the group kept growing. People would walk by and getting pulled in. We kept adding to this group, one my hero cosplayers after another… until it turned into this massive photo. I’ve looked on with envy over the years, friends joining these huge planned photo shoots. Batman family, Justice League, Mandalorians, that’s sort of thing. This was the biggest one I’ve ever gotten to be a part of and it was just amazing. It absolutely made Maddie’s convention.

For me, the highlights of this sort of thing is always seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a while. There are some people here that I haven’t seen since the lockdown.  Others may have popped up here and there, but a really nice day to catch everybody all at once. I got to apologize to my friend Allie for not recognizing her at a Hall of Fame City Comic-Con. That always bothered me, but then again, it’s a occupational hazard of cosplay. Also good to catch up with Chris, now 3 months newlywed.

Maddie and I rounded out of the day playing video games in the game room… Mario Kart projected on a giant screen which was absolutely amazing . We also had to catch up with The Confused Greenies Patchwork Players. This improv troop is one of Maddie’s favorite things about specialized. I’ve always enjoyed them, but they’ve always seem a little weird part of con programming, but always welcome and fun.

By the time 6 o’clock was rolling around, we were too tired to even look for the cosplay masquerade. It had been a long day, but a genuinely excellent way of kicking off convention season. Maddie’s done her own video review, which you’ll find down here, then jump past it for way too many pictures!


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania is really interesting in that they’ve taken a fundamentally  ensemble approach to a cosmic story. It’s important to get this out of the way from the beginning, because Quantumania is as far removed from the first Ant Man film as Star Wars is from American Graffiti. One of the things that really disappointed me about Ant Man and the Wasp , the second film of the series, was that it was such a departure from the first Ant Man. indeed, it really should have entitled the Wasp and Ant Man as Ant Man is basically a guest star in his own movie. If you want to make a movie about the Wasp, Go ahead and do that, but let me know when the title, instead of pulling a sort of bait and switch. And it’s not that the Wasp and Ant Man was a bad movie, it just wasn’t a good one. It’s not particularly memorable. It’s completely wastes the resources it has in Lawrence Fishbourne, and was really at the forefront of the MCU It fell right into the tropes of shifting focus to female characters, along with pulling gender swaps and diminishing legacy characters in order to try and make the women look better by comparison. (Which I always thought was a weird approach. You don’t build someone up by tearing somebody else down). With the exception of a few fun bits with Scott and Cassie at the very beginning, there’s just not a lot to talk about with the Wasp and Ant Man. I’ve watched that movie twice. Once in a theater, and once at home with my daughter. The first Ant Man on the other hand, I’ve watched more times than I can count. That’s the movie Quantumania really has to compare to.

So, does it?

Much to my surprise, it does. It really does. It also has the unenviable task of kicking off phase 5, while at the same time trying to reignite an interest in the MCU that’s very much run out of steam.  Sure, you can claim conspiracy theory when people talk about theaters screening Captain Marvel consistently empty despite supposedly high ticket sales. However, the advanced screening that I went to for Quantumania?  It was a ghost town. We actually arrived late, and still had our pick of just about any seats we wanted. By the time the film started to roll, My daughter and I still had empty spots on either side of us. That’s unthinkable for a free screening of a Marvel movie. At least, it would be unthinkable  before Infinity War. Or more of a, before captain Marvel. There is definite superhero fatigue, and the MCU has done a lot to drive its brand into the ground. What you can see though in Quantumania, is a real attempt to change that and win viewers back.

The ensemble approach works really well here. We have a cohesive team working together, much the way we’ve gotten used to seeing on the various CW shows like the Flash. Everybody gets a time to shine, everybody gets a character arc, everybody gets to grow. Everybody gets a chance to be heroic. I was particularly impressed by Cassie, Scott’s daughter, now grown up. She’s now trying to do some super heroine stuff in her own right. The film could have very easily been about her. In years past, it would have been, giving us a perfect hero, who’s instantly good at everything. Not so here. Cassie has flaws. Indeed, a lot of what’s going on in this movie may well be her fault. She doesn’t know everything, although she thinks she does. But as the film progresses, she discovers that she might just have a thing or two to learn about being a superhero from her dad. This is great characterization. There’s complexity and depth, It’s truly a breath of fresh air.

Gone also, is much of the identity politics and social messaging. Oh there’s still a bit here and there. A reference to “peaceful protesting” (but fiery?) And a quick gag about socialism. But this is the sort of stuff that we would have all pretty much just ignored and moved along with six years ago, before Hollywood sort of lost their mind and started prioritizing the message over storytelling.  Indeed, the film is actually a bit self aware. It understands that you’re coming in with some skeptical predispositions. I recall seeing Modock come on screen, and thinking “oh, they’re just  making him into a joke I see. Not sure I like that.” But before a 1/2 hour has passed, they’ve shifted, and he’s no longer a joke. He’s a serious threat. By the end of the film he’ll break your heart. This is a far cry from the way shows like She Hulk handled their criticism. Instead of attacking their fans and their critics the way She Hulk did, Quantumania takes you on a ride, seizeing your criticisms, and then addresses of them by twisting and morphing, turning into exactly what actually wanted it to be in the first place. Early on I found myself rolling my eyes wondering “who do they think they are? The next Guardians of the Galaxy?” but by the time we hit the 3rd act I was nodding my head.They had actually done it. This really is the next Guardians of the Galaxy.

Like Guardians of the Galaxy, this is one of those movies that you are really going to want to see in the theater. I don’t care how good your home theater set up is, to really appreciate the sprawling cityscapes and amazing environments of this lost universe, you have to see it on a big screen. And that’s what I’m hoping you’re going to do. Go see this in the theater. This is a genuinely good movie, And for the first time in quite a while, I have hope for the MCU. I’ll be heading back with my friends to see it again next week. I hope I’ll see you there too.

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania
opens Friday February 17th.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Devil Incarnate

I’m just saying, the name the Devil Incarnate is not subtle. A Baby with horns on the cover isn’t either. We get prologue in parchment, and then switch to a girl in interrogation discussing a videotape. She is the creepy next-door neighbor type and narrates a lot of the film

Oh crap, it’s going to be found footage isn’t it? (it’s not, but at the beginning, there sure is a lot of it)

A couple is on their honeymoon and the newlywed wife (a poor mans Dina Meyer lookalike) is looking for ghost tours and second greetings… Kind of like having a big heart me sign in to your back. She finds a creepy old witch who already knows her name… let’s just say it doesn’t go well. They discovered that she’s pregnant by the fact that she is bleeding internally afterwards and a horrifying scene, and that there is scar tissue causing the hemmorage .

Still the family is trying to prepare. The nursery set up, the party,… Then all the sudden we have freakouts… Including the nursery it’s self getting trashed.

Between excessively talky moments, there’s a few more freak out, With figures drawn on the wall in the blood of a dead dog but, other than the occasional touch of gore it’s very much a lifetime movie.

To try and get the curse lifted, the husband and the creepy roommate search for the witch, but the house is gone, As if it were never there.
We climax in a sort of exorcism, the film finally almost becoming The movie I want it to be… With a final scene that is beyond shocking, and a mid credits sequence that’s worth sticking around for.

At the end of the day it’s kind of a snore. Not really even one that has potential that it fails to live up to… It’s truth in a story and idea for what they’re trying to do, even at 76 minutes.



Some found footage

Catholics and/or Exorcism

85% of the cast is under 25

Moving to a new house

Stock DVD cover (Distributor’s similar House style)

The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm


indexThe Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm starts off with a disclaimer that they have relied on the truth of their participants, in other words… If it ain’t true it ain’t our fault. In the early 1990s. the property was bought by local business owner who is a prime suspect in the disappearance of a number of individuals in the Midwest. Authorities recovered more than 5000 human bone fragments on the property from as many as 17 victims. Only five were positively identified. (this backstory could be Rob Zombie‘s house for thousand corpses honestly!)

We open up with a car driving in and archived footage from the news.
The fact that this is a documentary may actually account for the 64 minute running time. We spend a good five minutes acquainting us with the background story through a variety of talking heads and news clips… They like to distort the noise and voices in the news clips to give this a creepier feel, and then we get into the paranormal investigation index2itself with psychics and demonologists and people to document the entire thing.

The entire film plays out as any good ghost detective show does, with them juxtaposing incidents over the investigators findings and theories, giving a disturbing narrative of Herbert Baumeister, The man Who was the prime suspect of being the alleged I70 serial killer.

It’s all pretty much exactly the sort of thing you expect to find a discovery channel any given week night. Around the halfway point they dispense with any narrative and it just index3becomes a pure ghost hunting show. As it stands alone, its an interesting bit of student filmmaking, but nothing more involved in that. Don’t let that deter you by the way, I much enjoy those type of shows like Ghost Hunters or  the Dead Files. It still makes some interesting viewing, and a great short diversion.


DollarindexIf you looked at John Cusack‘s face on the cover of the DVD for singularity, and thought “I bet they brought him in for one or two days of filming just so they could put him on the cover”  you’d be absolutely right. Despite being top billed, Cusack is really a little more than a hidden supporting character, But we’ll get to that later

Singularity could actually fit very nicely as a prequel to The Matrix. We’ve got a very similar set up where the machines decided to take over the earth glory. Our story focuses on young man, on the run, searching for the last tribe of humans living free in a hidden city. Along the way he finds himself accompanied by a young woman and together they face the perils of this new world.

The cover is it an entire lie, we do occasionally get giant mecha in ruined cities, all of the usually in full light since it’s easier to photograph. Cusack himself is a Bill Gates type of figure who leads the AI and the machines, after having digitized himself and uploaded his mind into the computer majors. All of his scenes take index2place in a couple of rooms in his office building… Or rather a holographic representation of his office building since the actual one would’ve been destroyed with the rest of the world. Most of his seems to take place within the mind of the computer. It’s actually a brilliant way to spread out those couple days of shooting so they have footage of him all throughout the movie. However what you end up with is a lot of shots of him staring at a screen or reacting to something that happened, and occasionally speaking with his brother who is the one who will actually leave the computer matrix and do some of the dirty work in the real world. These quick drop ins actually get annoying after a while, but all said, he does a fairly good job as an emotionless villain in this movie, and you can’t argue with the maximizing his appearance here. The ending is a bit of a twist, and well satisfying, imagesactually setting us up for a sequel that would never happen.

Still, as far as dollar store fare goes, this is actually not bad at all. If you’re a fan of The Matrix movies and have a kind of jones for more of that sort of world, this might be worth your for time. For my art, I’m actually glad to have it in my collection.

Underground Entertainment : The Movie

indexI never actually got to see Underground Entertainment when it was still in his incarnation as a television show, which makes me incredibly glad that Underground Entertainment : the movie exists.

This documentary chronicles the exploits of a couple of lunatic actor and filmmakers as they make a crazy B-movie based cable show, complete with clips and cameos. It shows how they managed to get exposure in the convention scene but most of all it’s just a marvelous slice of life. It captures that era of the 90s in genre and reminds me a lot of what it was like to live in that period.

Early days for Jim O’Rear, but you can tell this is someone who loves the genre and loves being a part of it and much of this show was his love letter to all things B-movie and psychotronic.

If you’re a fan of documentaries or of the underground horror scene in the 90s, this is one of those movies that you’re going to just sink right into and feel right at home. I know I did, that’s why It’s a high recommend.


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

Every Wednesday and Friday



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

Every Wednesday and Friday


Bride of the Scarecrow

Legends say victims have been taken when they walk his lands. Those that are lucky to escape will be haunted for the rest of your life.

Some aren’t so lucky.

A scarecrow walks the field searching for his bride, who died at the same time he did, in the wilds of the welsh farms.

A group of women, alone at the farm, are  just waiting for what’s happening… the time the scarecrow will rise. When he does, he’ll have 48 hours to kill anyone who runs his land., And it’s time for the youngest daughter to learn to be a protector as well.

Nevertheless, that night, they all disappear… And the property moves into the possession of the next of kin. A woman who is disillusioned with her job in life, but didn’t even know she’s a part of this family. She her friends go up to sign the papers and visit the property. In the distance, the scarecrow watches.

There’s blood in the stalls, and a creepy YouTuber up on the computer describing the legend of the scarecrow. In the barn, black crows caw ominously, and the owner gets her first glimpse of the scarecrow stored in that building. It’s playing possum for now, but slowly springs to life to watch her leave, and dispatch the local drifter who is acting as doomsayer for the film.

That evening, we hear a little bit more about the family curse, and one of the friends wants to do a séance to try and some of the scarecrow. This seems like a remarkably bad idea to me, but that’s kind of how these movies go. Outside, scarecrow is ready for action. Inside, he’s already set the scene yes he’s searching for his bride…

Rose petals on the bed boyfriend. Scarecrow is none too pleased to see the boyfriend kissing up on his woman, and goes to stalk some other areas of the house. Dissonant organ music plays in the back ground, and all the friends decide to go out and search for a missing person.

There’s a trail of flower petals in the stable in the area lights emanating. A note that the friends are invited to a wedding peers, and in a stall, they find girlfriend dressed as a bride and Shackled. 
It’s time for the killing to start.

The scarecrow is ever present, everywhere and unbound and unstoppable and the killing spree goes actually surprisingly quickly.

Finally, the girl comes searching for her friend. She looks enough like her ancestor that he’s mistaking her for incarnation. And they walk down the aisle, the hallway at the stables, lined with candles and the dead bodies of her friends. It’s beautifully framed and a great slasher look. Even the horse that they couldn’t hide in the background stall seems to be quite impressed. He keeps nodding his head all through the wedding ceremony. 

She manages to break free and escape, but will it be enough, and can she stop the curse in time?

I actually came into this in the wrong order.I watched the Tooth Fairy films first, even  though those don’t start until after the first two Scarecrow movies. That’s interesting, because we have this entire cast returning for the first installment of the tooth fairy series. Several of the film beats replicated, including the climax. Also, get used to this Farm and stables. You’re going to be seeing a lot of it in the next few films.

It’s not a perfect film. It’s clumsy in some ways, but you can see some real skill in lighting and cinematography here. It’s a simple story… Much simpler than some of the Warren’s world building that she’d dabble in later, but ultimately the film is satisfactory as a one-off.
Of course, it wasn’t a one-off… And I’m genuinely curious to see where we go now in the sequels.



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

Every Wednesday and Friday








Spring Break


Where all my lady tomatoes at????