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Posts tagged “Comic

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Whether it’s a video game, board game, role playing game, card game, dice game or LARPing, fun will be had by all! If you miss this meeting, do not pass “go” or collect $200!

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He-Man : the Sunbird Legacy

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This is an old one. I remember this being at school so I probably got it from the christmas shop at school, but I’m not sure.

This could possibly be the first graphic novel I ever got – It’s far more comic book than any of the other Golden books of the era. Interestingly enough, while this defiantely was written during the period that the cartoon was on, the imagry is strictly that of the toys. It still features characters lik the Socreress, and Prince Adam, looking a bit liek the cartoon, but King Randor looks far older and more regal. Many of the Golden books began to look more and more like the cartoon, they took great pains to replicate the look of the toys with this one. Teela is in her images2snake armor. Man At Arms is clean shaven, no moustache. Evil Lyn is bright yellow and she even turns into Screech – a character I don’t ever remember seeing in the cartoon.

The plot revolves around an ancient artifact that looks like a cross between images3a totem pole and a nuclear missile. It was disassembled and scattered across Eternia and it’s a race against the bad guys to reach it first.

Most He-Man fare from this era is very kid oriented, sometimes even silly ( the Marvel/Star comics immediately comes to mind). There’s some more serious mini comics in the first wave or two but after the cartoon defined the character the tone of the stories got a lot more watered down. This is surprisingly violent for the time period and for something so close to the cartoon. It’s refreshing actually, and one of the best stories from the time oeriod. I don’t see this getting reprinted any time soon, but you can frequently find these on eBay and I highly recommend picking this volume up.

 


This Weekend!

fooddrive2014THIS WEEKEND!

I’ll be heading out around 9pm to Carol and John’s comic shop for the annual Christmas party. If you want to pop in earlier that day though, starting right at 10am the following sales take place:

50% off ALL Back Issues
20% off ALL Graphic Novels
20% off ALL Action Figures, T-Shirts and Statues
10% off EVERYTHING else in the shop

but more importantly, All day long you will be able to participate in our art show / food drive for the Cleveland Food Bank (In conjunction with Pop The Comic Culture Club)

Bring in a can of food and get a ticket. (or) Donate a dollar and get a ticket. (They also do six tickets for $5) Tickets can be used in two ways. To buy comics out of the dollar bins or to be placed into a basket raffle to win custom covers by local artists including me. I’ve done up two covers and I would like nothing better than for one of my readers to walk away with one of them!

After the party, my daughter and I will be hopping over to White Castle at 3255 W. 117th St for our final trip there. They are closing down all the ones in Cleveland and while it’s not a particular favortie, i’ll still kind of missit (I always went when I had coupons).

Finally, we’ll be heading out to the Capitol Theatre for the midnight showing of Batman Returns, a great Christmas movie in it’s own right!

If you catch me at any of these stops, tap me on the shoulder and say hi! I hope to see as many of my Cleveland area readers there as I can!

And don’t forget to join us on Monday for the last new Violent Blue of the year!


Comicfest 2014

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I’ll admit I’ll do anything to get my kids into the comic shop, but I’ve really been loving the Halloween Comicfest the last few year. We headed out to Carol and John’s shop – primarily because they are an extremely kid-friendly environment. My wife and I went as Olaf and Kristoff  (to complement the girls costumes) and Maddie and Lydia donned their Anna and Elsa dresses and headed out!

I’m slowly going through the titles this year, and really loving the Boom! set. I can’t begin to express how happy the Scooby Doo Teamup with Batman made me. We’ll probably do some reviews later this week.

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After the comic shop, we hit the local flea market, which always does a great trick or treat program. Halloween is our favorite time of year so expect more pictures to come!

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Also don’t forget, new Halloween themed Violent Blue up today!


Lawn-Con 2014

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Finally! I’ve been wanting to make it out to Lawn-Con for three years, but it always fell the Saturday of Wasteland…and I’m not missing Wasteland. This year however, Chris Yambar moved it to Sunday to avoid a scheduling conflict with another show, so I did the unthinkable and crammed two cons into a single weekend.10351002_840455722665519_8204665829786687211_n

10703562_840451975999227_1597159163234946952_nThe venue was beautiful at the old B&O Railway station. I love these kind of places and they decorated it beautifully inside. a sort of tent town popped up outside of it with vendors and wares, along with a wrestling ring.  I believe the art show going on inside was separate but I’m actually not sure. Either way, they complemented each other and made for a great symbiosis.

I took the girls with me to this one, I’ve always heard it’s very kid friendly and wasn’t disappointed. They each got a book to take home and were fascinated by the art. They loved all the people in costume and for the very first time  they got to see a wresteling show.

In addidtion to the wrestling, there were bands outside and inside. I weas really enjoying the acoustic duo as we wandered the station and only caught the tail end of one of the bands outside.

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The real treat on stage however was Jason Delfosse doing side show antics. My daughters were fascinated and transfixed as he lifted a boat anchor with a chain attached to his tongue and walked up aladder made of machates, or ate fire and jumped bare foot into broken glass.

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We all entered the costume contest and the girls were adorable. I think I like Maddie better in that Supergirl outfit, but Lydia puts her own spin on it. I actually heard one of the judges complement her choice in boots. Maddie’s Poison Ivy was a great unique choice as always.

I went up and stood next to Iron Man (who I met back at All Americon) along with my friends Riley, Stephanie and Josh. There were some stunning costumes up there . The dragon still wows me, and that Batman Beyond just looked sick. I looked down and noticed that part of my foot had broken off – I’d been shedding bits and pieces of Groot all day. That’s a rough costume to wear.1920577_840511529326605_7914649208502742619_n

Imagine my shock when I won first place. My jaw dropped. I never get first. I’m still feeling a bit gleeful.

We ended the day with some shopping. Maddie was in the Yambar booth and I suddenly heard her scream “JEANNIE!” I couldn’t believe it. She found I dream of Jeannie comics which Chris was gracious enough to sign.

This is a really fun show and I hope to get back to it again. If it stays on Sunday we definitely will, but I suspect that was an aberration. In any event we were stoked to get out there this time and recommend anyone who can make it check this show out!

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Lake Effect Comicon 2014!

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Last year  took Maddie to her first comicon….this one. I wanted to see if she’d like it and perhaps she’d talk it up a bit to her sister Lydia who would have to wait until the following year. Maddie took to the convention scene and has accompanied me to Akron Comicon as well, now it was Lydia’s turn.

Lake Effect is a great con to start out a kid on. It’s small, friendly and free, but has a full con experience with screenings, panels, comic professionals, New_100_5771game tournaments and a good dealers room.

I wasn’t sure how Lydia would like it. Maddie enjoys superheros and monsters far more than her sister, very much Daddys girl, while Lydia is growing up more of a lady like her mother (and that’s a good thing). But she had asked me for a Wonder Woman costume a while back and I created one I really liked for her. She dove in and984093_10152103817681478_6271077514251689320_n before we even mad it into the theatre, we’d already been stopped for pictures three times.

Transor Z was recognized even less here than at FCBD. Not that surprising I suppose. Lake Effect draws a younger crowd and really, if you don’t know the Mazinger series, you automatically associate him with one of the later series he helped inspire, like Transformers or Voltron.

We started off our day with a screening of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. The girls didn’t quite make it through though. Don Knotts was freaking Maddie out, so we hit the artist alley. A quick stop over at Marc Sumerak’s table so the girls could get some comic’s signed (He recently wrote a book for the Elyria Comic Book Initiative and they received them in school). Down the line Lydia had a lot of fun trying to capture Bob Ingersol.

New_IMG_0506The costume contest grows bigger each year. I lost to a spartan and he really deserved that win. All of the kids in teh under 13 constest won, which was nice. Lydia loved it. Ther was a great Star Wars robot in the 13-18 that won and the stunning Harley Quinn that my girls posed with won the Women’s!

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New_IMG_0525The Heroclix tournament was across the street in the Mall. Separate location, though technically still part of the con, so we walked, costumes an all through JC Penny’s and over to the comic shop to say hello to Sam, Jim and Eric. The girls were fascinated by the pieces and we took a walk through the store. They immediately found the Godzilla toys then went back out to watch the game.

Back to the convention to shop. Lydia found a perler beaded Wonder Woman logo and an Iceman figure. I was curious why she wanted the Iceman, I mean, they have played him in the X-Men vs Street Fighter game, but she never showed any real interest in him as a character. I figured it out later. He squirts water. She loves it.

New_IMG_0533The girls ended the day in the theater’s arcade. Both had a lot of fun an Lydia can’t wait for her next con.

For the most part, I experienced this convention through the eyes of my girls, and that’s fine. It’s actually an advantage because If I’d gone on my own, I might have been a little disappointed.

I’ve always said Lake Effect is a great place for deals. All the vendors bring their excess inventory to dump. I can usually find a bunch of .25 cent bins.  This time around there were two .50 cent boxes and that was it. (That’s not the cons fault really, and they always have some great vendors). The action figures were really good prices though. One of my friends walked away with a cratefull  for about $30.  I still loaded up on comics, scring 18 titles with some great silver age Avengers and a couple of All Star Squadron, not to mention some Iron Spider! The girls got to find some things too, and Lydia loves her purchases. The film selection was a little lacking this year as well. Little shop of Horrors (the original), some Faulty Towers and the aforementioned Ghost and Mr. Chicken. In the past they’ve done some interesting Anime, Big Trouble in Little China, Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein and Spirited Away.  You can see why I wasn’t real thrilled with the screenings. However, with both girls in tow, I don’t think I would have made any of the movies even if they had better ones.

The Heroclix being separate was a bit of a pain, and next year, we probably won’t make the trip over. Finally, the guest list was okay, but no one I haven’t seen before. It’s disapointing, but not unexpected. It’s still a small show, but I watch it grow every year. I wouldn’t be surprised if in time it grew to the proportions of Akron Comicon. I do enjoy this convention and will be back next year.

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NightMask

This month we’re taking a look at an old favorite of mine, a title called Nightmask.

nm 86You may have seen a newer version of Nightmask floating around a few years ago as part of a series Marvel was referring to as “New Universal”. This was a re-imagining of it’s old “New Universe” where the superheros weren’t quite as super….

The New Universe was separate from the Marvel  616 universe. Technically it’s universe 555, but then again, back in the 80’s when this was being published, Marvel hadn’t really come up with the concept of a multiverse yet. Powers in the New universe were usually PSI based, grounded more in reality (or at least our current understanding of the paranormal as opposed to the fantastic nature of Spider-Man or Thor)

Of the New Universe titles, I always found Nightmask the most compelling. Keith Remsen and his sister survived an explosion which killed their parents and put Theodora in a wheelchair, but also helped unleash their telepathic powers to enter other people’s dreams. They spend the eleven issues helping people through dreams (where Keith appears as a superhero – Teddy is more an anchor – like Professor Stein in Firestorm) and occasionally unraveling mysteries.

This was during Jim Shooters era where most stories had to be resolved in one issue so it’s easy to pick up one of these and get a good feel for the character. I can see why it didn’t last, but it still intrigues me. I was disappointed that the reboot completely left these characters behind, I’d like to see more of them, especially now, grown up in the 21st century.

I found almost all of these in the fifty cent bin at Astonish! comics back in the 90’s. They may be harder to track down these days, but I almost guarantee you they’ll be bargain priced.  The next time you do some online shopping at a comic site like Mile High, check a few of these out and ad them to the order. They’re great light reading and a really interesting comic alternative.


Akron Comicon 2013

Conman

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I was looking forward to going to Akron Comicon this year. I really enjoyed myself there last year and this time around i was bringing my daughter Maddie. She wanted a Star Sapphire costume and had been bugging me to make her one for probably six months, certainly ever since Free Comic Book Day. She noticed a statue of the character at York Comics. I had my Spider-Ham costume all ready.

They were holding it at Quaker Square this year, and I really love that venue. i used to slip over there during Star Trek Conventions at The John S Knight center next door. Akron Comicon outgrew it’s venue before the first show had even finished last year so this made sense.

I arrived a little later than I had expected, but figured we’d rush in and New_100_5182maybe still make the costume contest. After all, one of the vendors had mentioned to the promoter that he should really only expect about maybe 200 more people in a second year.

He was wrong. The line stretched out the door, and according to one of the workers, it stayed that long until around 3:00. I’m not sure how to feel about this. I like this con, but I don’t like big…

Room was proving a problem again as well, I was unable to make the Siegle and Schuster Society panel and that was a big bummer. I’m still hoping to get video of that panel and maybe Chris Yambar’s as well.

Still, we had a nice time, and saw a lot of friends there. We did some shopping and Maddie got a My Little Pony book straight from the artist who drew it (Thomas Zahler who was nice enough to sign it for her).New_1466281_10201449045126071_1778503331_n I got most of my books signed myself. One of the highlights of the day was talking with Ron Frenz as he signed my Thunderstrike and Superman books. He loved the Spider-Ham costume and after he finished signing, he said “Okay, now I need to get a photo for Tom DeFalco!” yeah, that made my day.

My Spider-Ham costume was a really big hit by the way. I think I took more photos for people and with people than I ever have in any other costume. It’s not that I put an extraordinary amount of work into it…it’s just that not a lot New_IMG_0296of other people have ever decided to cosplay this character before. The costume was given to me but let’s face it; at my age and more importantly, at my girth, I can’t really pull off Spider-Man. A plump Spider-Pig on the other hand, is cute. About half of the people got it. A lot thought i was being the Spider-Pig from the Simpson’s movie. Every ten minuets I’d hear someone singing Homer’s Spider-Pig song at me and I’d start dancing….

I felt a little bad actually. I got a lot more attention than Maddie, but the people who looked at her and recognized her were the ones in the know and they loved it. Those were the people who really appreciated her costume. One of the best photos I took that day was of Maddie and one other cosplayer who New_IMG_0324had done herself up as an Indigo tribe, complete with glowing staff. She mentioned that she had heard about a Star Sapphire walking around the con and she had been looking for my Maddie. I made sure to get a picture of the two of them together.

Maddie got to participate in the comic book making workshop with the Elyria Comic Book Initive  this year, but it wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting. She came up with some interesting drawings though and we still had fun there.

My single biggest disappointment this year was with Jon Bodgnov. One of the iconic Superman artists of the 90’s he was probably my most wanted autographs. However I was also on a little bit of a time table as I had to have New_264587_10201449049086170_1890063562_nMaddie at a birthday party at 5:00 (and keeping my promise to my daughter was important). I didn’t make it over to Jon’s tale untill after the Superman panel, a little after 3.:00. he was busy with a sketch and his line was around the corner. I waited until 2:45 and never got any closer. I was a little heartbroken. However I was in line next to one of the members from the POP comic club I attend  so with great embarrassment and regret I passed him my two books and asked if he could get them signed (and I’ll pick them up in a week at the next Pop meeting). He was nice enough to say yes.

We had a lot of fun, despite the roadbumps, and to be fair, most of my problems at the con this year were of my own making (being chronically late and having my seven year old along caused most of it). It’s a growing con and one of the better ones in the area. It’s a remarkable con in that it seems to be growing very quickly yet has NO media guests, just comic book people. No TV or movie or anything like that…and I actually really like that. I hope it stays that way. It’s proven that it can be a success without them. I’ll be back next year, but I think I better get there a lot earlier and with more of a plan. I’ll also miss Quaker Square if it moves again (which I expect it will, due to size). I loved the brick look, but really wish the panel room and the EICB workshop room had been swapped.

TONS of photos follow (most were taken by seven-year-old Maddie, but I’ll admit I swiped a few from people on Facebook too).

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Herophoria

ConmanRemember back in April when I attended Shinboku Con? 1002733_10151691046943809_541453569_nThis weekend I headed out to Herophoria. It’s put on by the same folks.  This was meant to be a more comic themed convention – and a mini- con at that lasting only one day.

It’s the first year for this show and you can forgive a lot because of that.

Like Shinboku, they tried to have a lot of different stations. You entered the venue- the local college gym through an innocuous looking set of doors. I’m not familiar with the PE section of LCCC, so it took me a while to find it. Registration is right past the doors and halfway between the two sections of 100_4493the con. There were video games and Anime screenings in the rooms down one hall, then, if you headed the opposite direction, you’d find the cosplay area and stage (presumably where they had hoped to have panels – but those seemed to have fallen through) and further down, the main Gym area with vendors and table top gaming, along with a room dominated by a large wrestling ring.

1069887_682355591791664_1884980388_nThe vendors  selection was severly lacking. I remember this being my main complaint about Shinbokucon, and here it was even more sparse. I know that they definitely had at least one, maybe more 100_4483cancellations and that can’t have helped matters any. The local businesses were nicely represented though, I saw Scott from Comics are Go! (where I usually play heroclix) had a nice large space to vend.

Among the games that were demoing were the Munchkin card game along with Injustice and Marvel vs. Capcom in the video game room. I’ve seen both in action but it was really cool to see them projected on to huge screens while being played. The game room was friendly and everyone offered to let me 999024_10201434211753699_146904144_nplay, but I’m really not that great at games and am really content to watch. That and the fact that I can’t actually sit in my Iron Man costume. Still, it was a great place to kill time between the cosplay contest and the Heroclix tournament.

The cosplay tournament in particular was a great deal of fun. I got to meet a few people I know online from Pop! the comic club and that was really nice. Some cosplay contests can get really competitive, but this one was remarkably friendly. My Iron Man costume is incredibly hot and I have NO dexterity in 1000991_682364848457405_224287239_nthose gloves. I can’t pick something up, open my wallet or even scratch an itch (Lady Wolverine was nice enough to scratch my nose for me….with her claws….). My sunglasses kept sliding off….until the finally flew off my face and smashed on the ground, popping a lens out. Bane immediately grabbed them for me, slid the lens in and put them back on my face. Way beyond the call of duty, especially considering that I was a stranger.  Everyone was supportive and really seemed to want each other to win.  As the contest was starting, I saw all the guys from the Heroclix table filing in to support me and vote for me (they were measuring applause).  That absolutely made my day.

In the end, I took third place, losing out to a group of Sailor Scouts and a great looking Spawn. Seriously, I’ve really  got no argument with that!

After the costume contest I headed out to my car and peeled myself out of the 100_4485Iron Man costume – I’m pretty sure I lost twenty pounds in that thing – then returned for the Heroclix tournament. I had play tested my team at Keiths Comics in Elyria a few days prior, but that was a normal game. This was a con tourney. I lost. Not only did I lose, I lost epic. Shakespeare could write plays about the tragedy that was my team. On the other hand, I’m really glad I didn’t have to play that Master Mold and Sentinel team. Yikes.

100_4488As I previously mentioned, a good chunk of the gym was taken up by a large wrestling ring where the guys of the MCW fought it out. Of course, this being a comic book con, they did things a little diffrently. Most of the guys came out dressed as heroes! I saw a Green lantern and Ghostbusters. Wolverine came out and the heel wouldn’t fight so they set up a bet – if the heel lost, he had to dress up in a costume too. That costume ended up being a Supergirl outfit that he had to 100_4505wrestle Sailor Moon in!

Okay, I gotta admit, I have NEVER enjoyed wrestling. It’s just not my thing, but this was a great way of doing it and it’s a cool thing for a convention to try and do. It’s uncommon, and I applaud the innovation. The costumes made it a lot more fun for me to watch in between Heroclix matches. The absolute best bit was a wrestling match between Donkey Kong and Princess Peach where the ref was dressed as a giant banana. After she won the match, Princes Peach was kidnapped by Waluigi and Wario and spirited 971110_10200991160314329_1081396497_noff. Later on Mario and Luigi had to wrestle Wario and Waluigi to rescue her. They played the appropriate music and kept everyone in character. That was definitely fun.

With all that said, I have to admit; this thing could have been run a lot better.

The website didn’t give me nearly enough information- it says screenings but didn’t say anything about what or when. Guests weren’t really announced and no panel discussion topics were ever presented. (I suspect the panels were scrapped because they couldn’t get enough people involved) In fact, with this little info, I probably would have given this a pass if it hadn’t been in my neighborhood (ten minuet drive).  The Cosplay contest was late and kind of poorly run with no good method in place for judging winners, but  rather a series of eliminations. There also didn’t seem to be enough promotion, not enough people aware that this was going on. I definitely could have used a map of where we were in the college and where things were going to be. I also noticed the Injustice tournament went WICKED quick. A few more video game competitions may have helped.

The thing is, I don’t want to badmouth this con. Like I said, it was a first time for this kind of show and I can forgive most of this. You can see how hard these guys tried to put together a good con. This show has a lot of room to grow and a good deal of potential. I really do want to see where it goes from here and I’m very comfortable saying I’ll be back next year.

1070039_682360041791219_2131327669_n 100_4492 970083_10200991162314379_1779457233_n 100_44871331_682356261791597_331498496_n 64914_682364825124074_685607062_n 164639_681547245205832_1015341549_n 179129_10152045052580744_1389468466_n 546773_681546158539274_476952615_n 988249_681550181872205_910459868_n 988262_681544698539420_1111918083_n 995895_682359671791256_1585621110_n 1004060_10151580414963740_415921075_n 1069861_682355968458293_491628035_n1044348_10201004294642679_298838089_n988246_10201434189113133_685966660_n


Aside

Hey guys, check out my interview over at

Banner small dark copyHey guys, check out my interview over at R-Squared Comicz. I talk a little about Violent Blue, comics in general and some of my upcoming projects!

http://www.rsquaredcomicz.com/2013/04/29/christian-comic-creator-interview-74-matthew-skelly/

Then don’t forget to head back over to the main site for today’s Violent Blue!


Again?

 

Like I mentioned Tuesday, one of the reasons I go to conventions is to find interesting things.  This is one of those things I just will never understand. I found this comic in the .25 bins. It’s signed by the writer and also by the artist. 

Someone actually put some effort into this. The writer signed it back in 2001. The previous owner held on to it and met the artist in 2006 and got him to sign the cover as well.

Why is this in the bargin bins? I mean, I realize these guys arn’t current superstars in the industry like Geoff Johns or Brian Michael Bendis, but someone liked it enough to get it signed not once, but twice!  Like I said, it was in the discound boxes, so you know they didn’t get much money for it when they sold it. What’s the motivation for getting rid of this comic? Did it get lost in a stack that was going to the pawn shop? Did someone piss off thier girlfriend? I just want to know….because I just don’t understand it.


Lake Effect Comic Con

First time out to Lake Effect Comic Con, and I really wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen the pics from last year and while it didn’t look as lame as the Jeff Harper Cleveland Comic Con I went to a couple of months ago, it still looked very small and I wasn’t sure how much fun it would be. Still, they try harder, adding panels and guests and contests, and I DID advertise it last year in Violent Blue since my friend Jim was talking about it.  Finally I figured that if I was willing to drive three hours to PA for a horror con where I had to pay for a ticket to get in, that there was no reason I couldn’t drive the one hour to the east side of Cleveland for a free Comic Con.

I’m really glad I did. This was an incredibly fun convention. I’d still wish for better guests, but they did bring in Bob Ingersol and Frank Cho, so I really don’t have that much to complain about. Frank was nice enough to sign a piece of art he did for the He-Man box sets and I got to watch him draw for a while. That was very cool to see.

The movies were a surprise. I knew they were doing screenings all day – the con was IN a movie theatre and they had one of the screen all to themselves. I expected superhero movies. Instead they were doing “Despicable Me”, “Spirited Away” and “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” .I arrived too late for “Despicable Me”, but oh my GOD I got to see  “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” ON THE BIG SCREEN! Bela Lugosi, Glen Strange and Lon Chaney! I don’t care if this was one of the much maligned comedy monster gang movies…I’ve never gotten to see the real universal monsters on the big screen before. I’d have happily paid admission for that one!

I pulled out my Doc Ock costume for the costume contest. There were a lot of fun cosplayers there (not as many as I wanted to see, but the ones that were there were fun). I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t win. I mean, the Hugo Strange costume that did win was good, but really, it was almost the same as what I had on. White lab coat, shirt and tie, and dark sunglasses. Except my white lab coat also had FOUR METAL ARMS coming out of it!

As soon as Hugo was announced as the winner, he turned to me and said “Okay, I have GOT to get a picture with you!” Which was very cool. If I could have reached my phone I would have had them shoot a pic for me as well. Oh well, maybe it’ll turn up on facebook. His companion had the cutest Pinkie Pie (if she were Human) outfit on. Actually at first I was thinking it was Strawberry Shortcake. However when she announced it during the contest it made perfect sense. I actually thought my biggest competition was going to be the guy in the Mario costume with the turtle shells and box that made noise.

Of course the costume wasn’t without it’s problems. It was a windy day. I had just gotten the last arm on and suddenly I heard a *SNAP*! The wire that connects the arms together and allows the lower arms to move had broken off. This has happened before, but usually I had access to a glue gun or I could pop a hole through and tie it up. The wire has gotten a little to short for that this time, and the previous hole had been glued over.  It took some fiddling, but I eventually punched a new hole in the arm with my keys and clamped the line to a paperclip that I put inside the arm so it was too big to pull out. It held for the half hour or so I was in the suit, which was all I needed. I’m going to have to find a way to attach those more securely. Stupid wind. I blame Thor.

Throughout the day I did check in on the Heroclix tournament going on. I saw Sam who was surprised I wasn’t playing, but really, I’m not a competitive player and I honestly didn’t want to be stuck in t hat side room all day. I caught Sean on the way out who was in good spirits but mentioned he played terribly! I haven’t been out playing for about a month and it was nice to see everyone and to check out some of the new figures from Origins.

The dealers room worked surprisingly well in the small space. I’m pretty sure I saw a lot of these same vendors at the last con I went to, but I’m always on  the look out for interesting stuff and deals. I went a little nuts on the .25 bins….

I’m glad I made a couple of extra passes in that room though, because in one of the far corners, buried at the back of a table in a box where you couldn’t see what was in it, I found a bunch of the 2002 He-Man figures – $5 each. Right in the middle was a Teela.

Here’s the thing you have to understand. Mattel operates on the school of thought that girl figures don’t sell, so they get shorter production runs and are ALWAYS shortpacked. To make matters worse, the MOTU line was badly mishandled when it came to case ratios. instead of the promised “four commons, two girls and one rare”  packages , you might get “six commons and a girl” or “five commons and a rare”. (The numbers aren’t really accurate, but it’s a good example of what retailers went through on this line). This causes an artificial shortage. I never expected to own one of these (or an Evil Lynn for that matter) because the scalpers want $25 for them minimum. I think I see her at Jamies Flea Market for $30. I checked eBay last night and saw several for $60. I got mine for $5!

After finding more cosplayers to photograph, I finally wandered int to catch “Spirited Away” It was about 1/3 in, but the remainder was still amazing….and really messed up. It’s actually exactly what I remember loving about Anime. Probably not enough to get me back into it, but a really fascinating movie.

I plundered the freebie table for goodies to bring home to my girls.  It was funny, Lydia looked in the bag and said in a disdainful voice “You got me a button?” She and Maddie were both way more interested in the tattoos I brought home for them. Maddie wanted to put on the Supergirl and Wonder Woman ones  right away, but she still has four more days of school and it’s against the dress code. Soon. Very soon.

I pulled out the stack of comics and started to sort them – I want to get these entered in my database and shelved correctly so they don’t get lost. Maddie jumped up and asked “Can I help you sort them? I’m GOOD at sorting! I do it at school!” She was good at it. We had 60 new comics organized in no time, and they girls immediately took my new Teela figure to play with before I even got a chance to look at her!

All in all, this was a really nice show and I’m grateful to my friend Jim for letting me know about it. This will likely be a regular stop for me on the convention circuit from now on. I know last year wasn’t in the movie theatre, bu that was a great choice and I hope they do it like this in the future.


Lake Effect Comic Con this weekend

Come check out the Lake effect Comic Con this weekend! I’m planning on being there for movies and definately to meet Frank Cho!  (and while you’re waiting, check out the new Violent Blue this week)


Avengers!

I think the guys over at th PC Repair on Wheels blog may be right.  The Avengers merchandising has gotten a little out of control.

Still, not often I get a post that hits the interests of both Steve and Taylor from Violent Blue huh?


I did finally manage to get out to the Avengers movie this weekend. I loaded up the girls and we hit the local Drive-in. Now if I wanted to be controversial or appear overly intellectual, I could say I didn’t like it. However, that’s not really true. It was a fun movie, and it was everything it promised to be. A big spectical  superhero action flick that finally combines different franchises in a huge mash-up. It was fun.

But that’s where it stops.

In spectical , it lives up to the hype. But there’s really no story there. There’s not much in the way of character development.  It’s just….meh. It’s a mindless action film – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ahhhnald made a career of that. Stallone isn’t far behind. I don’t object to the movie being a check-your-brain-at-the-door action flick. I object to people saying it’s the greatest film ever. My friend Jim mentioned that it ruined him for all other movies! That’s a GREAT line, but this film doesn’t deserve that kind of praise.

I think I get it. You see, this is the kind of film that most of us have waited our entire lives for. I’m not just taking about pop culture junkies or comic book fanboys either. Anyone who went to see Superman in the theatre and then came home and watched Wonder Woman and Batman on TV and wondered “Why can’t they put all of these guys in the same movie?”(and seriously, was there anyone who’s under forty right now that DIDN’T do that?)…this is the film you’ve been waiting your entire life for (possibly without even knowing it). Even if you grew up and haven’t thought about superheros in twenty or thirty years, a part of you remembers. That part of you is affected and we react on a visceral level.

The cool  thing about all of this is that it’s a good payoff. You get elements from the Iron Man films, the Thor and Cap movies and it almost feels like a reunion. It definitely gets the flavor of each of those franchises right, without short-changing any of them. If anything, I think it’s the best Iron Man movie of all. Joss Whedon understands something that Jon Favreau does NOT. If your going to make a movie about superheros…SHOW THE SUPERHEROS! Iron Man spent probably half of the film in his armor as opposed to the ten minuets he was in the suit cumitivly over the two Iron Man movies. I like that, and didn’t feel shortchanged at all with less Tony and more Iron Man.

I want to say that you just can’t go wrong with Cap, but a history of terrible Cap films obviously proves me wrong. Nevertheless this was a GREAT outing for him. The current handling of him has been really well done and it actually sent chills down my spine when he was diving out of the plane and telling the pilot about Thor “There’s only one God, and he doesn’t dress like that.”. Speaking of Thor, he was used well, and not overused as I feared he might be. looking at the heroclix set, he’s the most powerful piece and I was a little afraid that might be represented too much in the movie. It wasn’t and I’m very happy with that.

I asked my girls what their favorite character in the movie was. Maddie immediately piped up “Silly Hulk! Smashing that bad guy!”. I’m not a huge Hulk fan, at least in the movies. I got to admit this was a great use of him. I was really surprised at how well they managed to use him and make him a more sympathetic character. He probably had the biggest laughs of the entire movie.

All in all, it’s a good movie. It shouldn’t win any awards and I would not consider it a contender for the top five best Superhero films of all time, but it absolutely kept it’s promises and was a true pay off to the other Marvel films. I’ll be looking forward to part two. I bet the guys over at Violent Blue are 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!

 


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.


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?


Faith, horror and comics….

I see that no one has taken a stab at that Whose Line caption yet. I feel really bad about that. Usually I can whip up two or three, but just haven’t had any inspiration over there. I hope someone can throw a strip or two up there before Ben has to change it.

However, we do have a new Violent Blue up, talking about how Christians seem to find each other in the strangest places. I was a little surprised the first time this happened at The Chamber Nightclub, but at this point it no longer freaks me out. It’s not just clubs either…I find the people of faith at Horror cons, comic shops, film and art festivals…and it’s never when I’m expecting it.

Speaking of comic shops, one of the guys I was playing Heroclix with Monday night told me there was a new one out in Lorain, so I slipped out there this week. Not a lot of local places sell modern Heroclix singles so I really wanted to check out the selection. The place is nice, clean and friendly, in fact, they were kind enough to hook me up with that FCDB Green lantern I missed out on! I’m thinking of stopping out there for game nights on the off weeks I don’t play at Warzone (Like the week of my wife’s monthly game night). Check out Get ‘Em Comics at this address :

http://getem-comics–games.webstorepowered.com/ref=sample_one

Finally, we got Taversia Top list back up on the comic site, so do me a favor and vote me up a bit over there huh? I’ve got some lost time to make up for.

 

You can find today’s Violent Blue here:

http://violentblue.thecomicseries.com/comics/271


The new 52, and others

I don’t really want to dwell on “the New 52”. I’ve stated elsewhere that it feels like DC has been taking over by Image comics circa 1991. That feeling hasn’t changed…if anything, it’s only increased. However a couple of things do bear mentioning;
BATGIRL
It’s a pity that some fanboys/fangirls have never gotten over Barbra Gordon not being Batgirl – so much so that she’s been returned to the mantle. I personally think she was far more effective both in the scope of her activities and thematically as a story when she was the crippled Oracle. It’s worth noting as well, Barbra was Oracle for longer than she was Batgirl. She spent so much time under the shadow of batgirl that we sometimes forget that. The new series essentially erases Oracle from history, stating that Babs was paralyzed for about 3 months. I get the impression we’ll have an explanation for that in upcoming issues.
SUPERMAN
I didn’t expect to like this and I was right. We don’t need to make Clark Kent into Peter Parker. I don’t LIKE peter Parker, but Clark Kent is my hero. At least he used to be…
I’m not really a fan of the costume either, though I’ll grant this; it looks kryptonian. I just think it would look better on a different kryptonian. By the way, what’s all this rejoicing over him losing the red underwear on the outside of his pants? It’s still there, it’s just the same color as the pants. I understand it if you plan on eliminating the briefs, but if you aren’t getting rid of them, why bother just changing the color scheme? All in all, the costume just doesn’t WORK for me. In fact, it’s one of the few redesigns that doesn’t. I like the new Wonder Woman costume. I like the new Batman costume.  I don’t get all the armor on EVERYONE in the DCU, (back to the Image comics feel) but I can deal with it…at least for a while.
JLI
I like the idea of the JLI existing along side the JLA as a separate entity controlled by the UN. I just wish someone had this idea about ten years ago or so. Too late now, not funny enough and Dan Jurgans is heading up the title. Three strikes and you’re out.
I feel like I MIGHT just come around to liking a lot of this stuff if I just give it a chance…except that’s the problem. Why should I have to WORK at liking it? Why should I stick around and slog through the dreck that this reboot will be mired down in (for at least the next six months while everyone get’s their footing and establishes a tone) while waiting for something to MAYBE emerge? No, I think, for the foreseeable future, I’m done with DC. I’ll be back when everything reverts to original numbering.

As far as my other pulls this week, I though I’d give Dynamite’s new Robocop Terminator series a chance. Run. Run as far from this one as you can. interesting concept, but no story, and the art is almost cartoonish. It’s an embarrassment. A really dynamic artist could have save this and won points for the ain’t-it-cool factor, but this team they’ve got on the book belongs in the newspaper funny pages. ugh.
On the other hand, The Lone Ranger still hasn’t failed to thrill me. I grabbed the fourth Lone Ranger and Tonto special. They’re doing a piece I’ve seen done with Batman a couple of times (They just did an animated version of a 70’s story like this in Gotham Knight) where you take different accounts of the character and try to reconcile them, showing different facets of the hero. The Lone ranger comics are simply the best thing going right now. I know that I’ve said it before, but it just never stops being true.

Okay. Off to draw some Violent Blue. See you Wednesday.


New strip up

There’s a new strip up over at Violent Blue. We’re almost out of this story arc, but f you’d prefer superhero antics, you can also check out the new strip up at Whose Line Anywhoo. Bonus points if you can figure out where the Joker’s speech comes from.

 

Visit the new Violent Blue here : http://violentblue.thecomicseries.com/comics/265

 

and the new Whose Line here : http://www.whoseline.thecomicseries.com/comics/151


The DC Reboot

So, predictably I’m sure, I’m not impressed with Justice League #1. It almost feels like I’m reading an old 90’s Image comic, but with DC characters insted – and that’s not a good thing. Image was long on flash and short on story. This new JLA is like that, what story there is feels a little juvenile and vacent. More than ever, I’m reasonably sure this is my jumping OFF point with DC (for a while at least).

 

However, don’t worry, there’s no reboot coming any time soon for Violent Blue….but a new strip will be up tomorrow.


More Invisible Woman…

I probably could have consolidated these two, but it’s kind of a diffrent tone. View the new Violent Blue strip here:

 

http://violentblue.thecomicseries.com/comics/260


New Strip Up

New Violent Blue today. Still trying to come up with someting for Whose Line.

Visit us here.

http://www.violentblue.thecomicseries.com/comics/259