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

Posts tagged “Comics


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



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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Halloween Comicfest


As I mentioned yesterday, we did the Halloween Comicfest over at Carol and John’s Comic shop.


hcf_logoLike on Free Comic book Day, publishers release special editions with the Halloween Comic Fest logo on them and these are distributed for free at participating retailers. It’s a way to especially get kids into comic shops these days. I’m still plowing my way through the stack of free comics I got, along with a couple I bought while I was there (I hate just showing up, grabbing the free stuff and leaving. Same as on Free comic book day, we make it a point to buy SOMETHING – even if just a couple issues from the quarter bin or dollar boxes), but here are some of my favorites so far….New_STK621002

Batman : Lil’Gotham.

I really haven’t been into this series. I suppose it’s fair to say it’s not aimed at me. Even worse, Damien is still alive in it and I hat him with such passion it’s unreasonable. There’s also something just ….wrong about cute gothamites. Batman villains just aren’t supposed to be…chibi.

This has some great moments in it though. Damien being completely unfamiliar with trick or treating so he goes and attacks kids in costumes….

it works as a fun kids book and was naturally one of the centerpieces of this years selections.

New_STK622248There was a My Little Pony book this year. I actually made a point to get to the comic shop kind of early In the day just to make sure I could snag this for my girls. Bronys are unpredictable and I could have easily seen this one getting sold out before we could manage to get in the shop. Thankfully, not only did both of my girls get a copy, I even got one myself.  It’s a reprint of one of the stories form earlier this year, but it’s a good bit of the story and nicely scary – appropriate for Halloween.

Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the only pony book out there this year.

New_STK621297Another book called “Vamplets” was out with a kind of “Ghostly Pony” look to it. I almost missed the thing entirely until Maddie pointed it out to me. This and the My Little Pony books are bothe mini comics – about half the size of a normal one. Ashcans we used to call them.  A lot of the kids stuff was set up this way.  Still, fun books and perfect for Halloween.

Next up is Art Baltazar’s new book. I know, I keep gravitating towards the kids New_STK621021stuff, but Ity bitty Hellboy is just not to be missed. I really loved Tiny Titians, and this is just more of the same only with different characters. In fact, I’m not always into Hellboy that much, but this book was too much fun for words.

I did get through the Thor issue they had available and would actually really like to hear someone else comment on it. I’m not a big fan of Thor in the first place – he appeal has always mystified me, and lately a lot of his titles really seem to emphasize the elements of him that I really don’t like in the first place- most notably the big dumb football player personality with the big chin and no neck….and this issue is no exception. It sets up a new story arc about someone or something who is going around the cosmos killing small “g” gods. It’s an interesting enough concept, but with no investment in the character and STK622037_TNa general dislike for beings who refer to themselves as gods or pantheon mythology in general this one really didn’t do a whole lot for me. Sorry guys. Like I said, I’d love to hear someone who’s a Thor fan chime in on this one. If I find something elsewhere, I may reblog it.

My last pick from the pack was Ultimate Spider-Man. This isn’t the actually Ultimate Spidey as in the Ultimate universe, or the Bendis run, this is more based on the cartoon that Disney and Marvel are currently running. I’ve watched it with my kids, it’s okay, and a good attempt to bring Spidey in to the Avenger’s universe. The book is divided into New_STK622038two features, beginning with an origin story, told as Spidey fights off the Shocker. Meh. The second feature where Spidey is shadowing an LMD of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury is much more fun. Inside are also a couple of one page gags where they’ve taken a page from the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics and redone the text pull things completely out of context. A really fun book.

Carl and John’s went the extra mile as well, also handing out candy and bookmarks and buttons (with Itty Bitty Hellboy on them). I’m really enjoying Halloweenfest, and I love that it makes Free Comic Book Day come twice a year now!





Zolastraya and the Bard


z1 87 Zolastraya and the Bard is quintessential 80’s fantasy. I’m not sure exactly where this was sold, but it wouldn’t have surprised me to see it in hobby shops and role playing game stores as well as comic shops.

I have issues two and three in the series and it’s a fun read. black and white indie fare, with passable artwork. The creators said they went with a more norse theme to distinguish themselves from the more typical Tolkienesque fantasy you would find in D&D or Forgotten Relms. If that was the intent, they failed. It feels EXACTLY like an RPG session. That’s not however, a BAD thing. It’s interesting to note, Zolastraya is also the authors cosplay, and features on several covers, not to mention in some of the notes in 1088249the back.

Zolastraya is on the run from the other Norse gods because she wouldn’t marry the god her father set her up with, and adventures ensue.

I found them both in quarter bins, many years ago, but a quick web search reveals they are available here and there online. I found the first three at for less than a dollar each. They’re worth that if you’re already putting in another order.

And don’t forget to check out today’s Violent Blue!


Lake Effect Comic Con This Sunday!


Just a reminder, Lake Effect Comic-Con is this Sunday. There’s free admission, free movie screenings, a costume contest, comic creators and TONS of sales. I want last year  ( and it was a great time, not to mention finding great deals. Maddie will be coming with me this year and it will be her first comic book convention! She’ wearing her She-Ra costume and I’m wearing my new Iron Man costume. Hope to see you there, then back here for new Violent Blue on Monday!


FCBD Tomorrow!

Don’t forget, Free Comic Book Day tomorrow! Head out and support you local Comic Book Shop! I’ve already got the girls costumes ready for them!

Made by Samsung DVC

Then that afternoon I’ll be hading down to Amherst Cinemas for Iron Man 3! Remember, Amherst is a $3.00 theatre, leaving me enough to go see Godzilla at the Cedar Lee! (If I don’t head over to Comics are Go for Heroclix that is)




RequieumThis started off as a last week’s pulls article, but I quickly found myself off-track. You see, I’ve been reading a lot of the Batman titles lately. The Requiem storyline caught me a little off guard, but let’s face it – I’m not reading this because it’s great storytelling, I’m reading it to make sure the little creep is really dead.

The truth is, I’ve wanted Damien gone for a good long time, but really I didn’t want him dead so much as I wanted him to never have existed. Damien gives me problems.  It’s not just the age thing, though four (or five) Robins in, it makes it a little difficult to believe Bruce Wayne is in his late 20’s or early 30’s. It also makes it seem like he has a Robin for a cruelly short period, six months to a year and then discards them. All of these are problems Damien creates or exacerbates. There is however, a much bigger issue here.

I see what they are going for here. Bruce lost a Robin and he’s sad and things will never be the same….and that worked really well.

In 1988.

lWhen Jason Todd died it was shocking, and the repercussions of that event reverberated over the decades. That case with Jason’s uniform in it? We first saw that in “The Dark Knight Returns” years before this happened. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy and that Frank Miller had the foresight to see this might happen sooner or later was chilling. Batman really never WAS the same. the idea that Robin could die was unthinkable and it changed the way he operated. When Tim Drake became Robin he noted “Everything Bruce has done is to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to me that happened to Jason”.

You could really argue that Jason’s death wasn’t Batman’s fault. You could equally argue that it was indeed his responsibility. Either way, you could forgive him.

In 2012/13 this doesn’t work the same way – not with Damien. We’ve seen it before…in fact, we’ve seen it to many times. Damien is the THIRD Robin to die. You can’t debate this any more – putting a kid in that suit after two or three other deaths, that’s tantamount to child abuse. It’s reckless endangerment. DC has played the dead Robin card too many times to the point that if you give any thought to it, Batman is reflected badly.

untitledI’d argue something similar when Stephanie Brown put on the Robin costume. It was even more insulting then because she was just tossed in to that story line to be thrown away. It cheapened the mantle. The fact that Jason Todd is back (Steph too for that matter,  though I haven’t actually seen her around much in the new 52 so she’s easier to ignore) essentially invalidated twenty years of pathos generated by his death.

Killing off Damien doesn’t fix this. It just muddies the water further.

With Jason, I and a lot of other folks transferred a lot of our affections from Dick to him. He was a little annoying, but it was actually a cool idea that someone else could step into the role of Robin. The problem of course, was he felt a little TOO contrived, too much like Dick and when they went back to retcon him, they actually made things worse.  Jason’s greatest contribution to the Batman storyline was his death. He became an honest-to-God martyr.

Damien never had my affection from the word go. It’s like Morrison went out of his way to make him unlikable. I never got the chemistry he was supposed to have with Dick (perhaps I would have bought into it more if we didn’t all know Bruce would be Batman again in a year or so….done as an Elseworlds story this might have worked better). It felt forced, like they were trying to hard to recreate the relationship Dick had with Tim.

Moreover, I missed Tim. I really do wish they hadn’t aged him. He was far more interesting at 14 than he was at 19 (in fact, in Teen Titans, he does look a little younger again, but not quite young enough – Robin always worked better for me at Jr. high age). I knew from his introduction Damien was going to become Robin and I was fairly certain he was going to be killed off as well. None of this ever worked for me. It just didn’t.

They could have fixed this. If Damien had ceased to exist in the new 52, I would have been the happiest boy in the world. I could have dealt with Dick back in the Robin suit even (though I would expect him to be back to Nightwing soon). The way they choose to handle this feels very wrong to me….and I’m not sure where Batman goes from here.

I think I’ll go work on some Violent Blue and think about how I would fix this.




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)


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?

In the discount bin…

Okay, not once, but TWICE now I’ve found autographed comics at Half Price books..and both times they’ve been…well, half price. Now I know comic book autographs aren’t going to make the down payment on a house…but seriously, Brian Michael Bendis is like, the biggest person in comics today! Joe Quesada? Head of Marvel comics and the man responsible for grinding their quality into the ground with event after event, not to mention”Brand New Day”?I mean, I could understand it it was autographed copies of Violent Blue…but these guys are both SOMEBODY in the business.

Someone at Half Price books isn’t paying close enough attention.

Hellblazer Annual 2011

  Image                                                                                             I got hopelessly behind on Hellblazer last year despite my best efforts. That’s a pity because the title was really getting good again. I still intend to hunt down all the old issues I missed (there’s about five I think), but when I saw the Annual, I grabbed it right up since I figured it would stand alone.

I say Simon Bisley’s name on it and was more than a little dissapointed. I’m not a fan of his work, nor of the subject matter he tackles. Same with Sam Keith. It’s too big, exaggerated, too much Lobo and Wolverine, not enough substance.

That said, this is some of Bisley’s best work I’ve seen. Wonderfully moody and nicely understated. It complements a well thought out story. I’m a fan of places that arn’t so much haunted as they are malevolent.

Grab this if you see it. They manage a sad subject, surpriseingly free of the vulgarities that Hellblazer is usually drenched with. Constintine is in full mystic mode andthe ending, while predictable is still satisfying.

Here’s hoping it’s enough to get me back into the Hellblazer reading mode. In the meantime, why don’t you get in the Violent Blue reading mode and check out the lastest strip!

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 :


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:

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;
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.
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.
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 :


and the new Whose Line here :

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:

New Strip Up

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

Visit us here.

Superman 900

I picked up Action Comics 900 last weekend. In it there’s a short story (not even the main feature for Christ’s sake!) where Superman goes to Iran to participate in a peacful protest. He just lands and stands with the crowd for 24 hours then leaves. I thought that was just so cool to see. Great story. Sure the Iranian government got pissed and complained, then the US goverment felt the need to talk to Superman. Same as usual. I’ve seen this before, “Secret Identity” handled it really well. We saw some of that in “Salvation Run” too. Then Superman stated to the government agent that he was going to the UN to renounce his citizenship.
I felt like someone had just punched me in the face.
Those of you who know me – really know me, know how big a deal Superman is to me. It’s fairly visible, The floor mats in my car, the stickers and the steering wheel cover. The constant parades of shirts. The Money clip my Wife found for me. The stacks and stacks of comics, not to mention the drawings of my own. But it’s the character that fascinates me. The character that uplifts and gives us something to aspire to. This isn’t it.
Don’t get me wrong. You can have a global worldview, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal culture, and Superman’s cultural heritage is far more American that alien. Who he is fundamentally is grounded in Pa Kent – and that’s nothing but American. “Superman : Peace on Earth” tackled these issues of mistrust as well, and what is notable was the realization that Clark Kent (in this case helping people reclaim farmland and plant crops) can sometimes be more effective than Superman. Clark the human, Clark the American. That’s at the core of my profound disappointment here. The action of renouncing his citizenship is antithetical to the character.
I have to question the motives at DC on this. I mean, it smacks of cosmopolitan Intellectualism, of people with such open minds that their brains have leaked out. This isn’t revolutionary, it’s not creative, this decision is cowardly. It says, “Lets try to appease the rest of the world by showing how ashamed we are of our homeland.” . America isn’t perfect. But it is a special place, a remarkable place. This is an experiment in liberty that most people 200 years ago never expected to succeed, and certainly never expected the US to become as influential as it has been. It deserves better than this.
You know what? So do I. Perhaps it’s time for me to renounce my citizenship in the DC Universe and immigrate over to Marvel.