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ADC Comic of the Day: AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE

27 Mar

by Orion Tippens

photoWriter: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artists: Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications
Start release: 2013 – ongoing
Frequency: monthly, ongoing

Synopsis:

Jughead is hungry…for human flesh?!

Yes. Afterlife with Archie is set in an alternate, less cartoonish continuity of popular Archie comics, where the small town of Riverdale is overrun with a horrific zombie epidemic; after local teenage witch Sabrina casts a necromancy spell in an attempt to revive Jughead’s dog, with unintended consequences. Living death spreads throughout Riverdale, sending America’s favorite teenager, Archie, and his non-infected friends fleeing for their lives. Their youthful life of milkshakes and sock hops is now a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

photo 1Thoughts:

Who would have thought that Archie Comics could be a source for modern horror, suspense, and drama? Yet here we are – and the result is terrifying, brilliant, and fun.

As a fan of horror and comics, I was hooked from the opening page. Not so much for the tired gimmick of zombies; but the attention to what makes the best of this sub-genre wonderful: the stage environment and the players present. We have suspense and supernatural horror mixed with casual social commentary. When done well, any overplayed genre can be made fresh and enjoyable.

Plus, I love the biting and screaming.

photo 2The Continue reading

Comic of the Day REVIEW: Doctor Who Special 2013 #1

10 Mar

(Another winning write-up by Orion, folks! Do the Doctor Who comics live up to the TV show’s greatness? Does the story’s young-female Doctor Companion function as a Mary Sue for a middle-aged British writer? Are comics readers and DW fans ALL Special Snowflakes? Read on, and find out…)

by Orion Tippens

photo 1ADC Comic of the Day: Doctor Who Special 2013 #1

Writer: Paul Cornell

Pencils: Johnny Broxton

Published by: IDW Publishing

Released: Dec. 2013

Notes: One-shot, self-contained story

STORY:

The Doctor meets…Doctor Who?!

After a mishap send the TARDIS astray, our favorite Time Lord stumbles upon a world most familiar to us readers.

photo 3This is our real world, or as the Doctor puts it; a world of “anti-fiction,” “non-fiction,” and “un-fiction.” Here, all of the exciting moments in the Doctor’s life are passed off through stories, through a fictional TV show called “Doctor Who” staged with special effects. “Doctor Who” is well-received by its huge fandom base, very popular at geek conventions, and a growing oncoming merchandising storm.

The Doctor is Continue reading

Comic of the Day: Shifter

24 Feb

Comics of the Day Review:

photo 2Shifter: Interactive Graphic Novel (for mobile devices, IOS version)

by Orion Tippens

Writer: Brian Haberlin and Brian Holguin

Pencils: Brian Haberlin, Geirrod VanDyke, Kunrons Yap, Chan Hyuk Lee

Letter: Francis Takenaga

Published by: Anomoly Productions

Date released: Jan 23, 2014

Pages: 875 panels of art, appendix text (book is 224 pages)

Rated: 12+

Notes: Also in print as a graphic novel with augmented reality options.

The UAR app for Shifter is a separate app and not a subject for this review. The app reviewed is currently the iOS version (Version 1.0) read on my iPad 2

The following review contains mild spoilers, and focuses on the story and app viewing technology.

photo 1Story:

Shifter is set on an ultra-modern-day planet Earth (after a mysterious prologue, that occurs six months later): we meet Noah Freeman, an everyman centered on his job of drone-controlled environmental data collection. All seems well with his secure job and upcoming engagement, until a casual hiking trip goes very wrong; Noah is thrown down a waterfall by a duo of sinister mystery men, and survives only to stumble upon a portal leading into some strange, other-dimensional plane of existence.

Here, Noah finds himself conversing with a sentient, spherical device. With that, he discovers a power within his surroundings to travel back to select times and places, but only through a choice of collected creatures and persons. Many specimens are extinct, and are of different sizes and personalities. One is human – a female Celtic warrior – with whom he develops a friendship. As a possessor of each specimen, he also shares its experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Such new explorations are exciting for Noah, but he seeks out a way to revisit to his old life. But he discovers himself wanted for murder – and a grand conspiracy behind it all. Now, he must use these new powers to set his original life right… Continue reading

Comic(s) of the Day: Injustice-Gods Among Us v2 #1-3

17 Feb

by Orion Tippens, ADC

Injustice 4Comics of the Day Review:

Injustice: Gods Among Us volume 2, #1-3 (single digital issues)

Writer: Tom Taylor

Pencils: Bruno Redondo

Inks: Julien Hugonard-Bert

Published by: DC Comics

Note: The single digital issues of Injustice are later collected and released in print.

Story:

Set in an alternate DC universe and based on a videogame (as a prequel, so far), Injustice: Gods Among Us brings us a familiar continuity gone horribly wrong.

Spoilers ahead:

These issues continue a long story from Injustice Gods: Among Us volume 1, in which Superman is now a megalomaniacal psychopath with murderous tendencies, much later after the death of his wife and unborn child. He declares himself sovereign of Earth and drug dealer of special performance enhancers – all for the making of his “better world.” Meanwhile, Batman is recovering from bad injuries, remains in hiding while building his own insurgency to this super-regime. Also, cosmic forces are showing an increasing interest in this developing situation.

Thoughts:

I am a huge fan of this series, my favorite guilty pleasure in mainstream comics: not so much for the videogame tie-in but for the creative writing and freedom involved. The writer from the very beginning took this control, and the destinies of our familiar DC universe cast, and ran away with it all. Injustice is Continue reading

Tonight in Portland: Batman ’66 signing!

2 Aug

by Mike Hansen

At Bridge City Comics, owned and operated by my homie Michael Ring. Check it:

Batman '66 signing poster

 

…Also, note the CORRECT use of the apostrophe in ’66 in the headline: none of this upside-down, lazy smart-quotes crap on this website. ONLY THE BEST FOR YOU.

Start the year with a great read

1 Jan

by Mike Hansen

It’s not comics, but it applies to comics as much as text books: Here’s a fantastic, award-winning essay on copyright and piracy, and how modern technology will make books as easy to copy and share as music and movies. (Don’t fear the length: it’s a smooth, fast read.)

Here’s a taste:

Neil Gaiman thinks that releasing a free digital copy of American Gods (2001) increased sales by three hundred per cent, and he no longer fears piracy. ‘It’s people lending books. And you can’t look at that as a lost sale,’ he says. ‘What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people. You’re raising awareness … And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.’ But he doesn’t know. Cory Doctorow says half a million free downloads of his Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003) helped the book through five physical print runs. ‘Giving away books costs me nothing, and actually makes me money,’ he says. Maybe he knows. There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence. But nobody really knows whether that kind of strategy will work for all books and all authors, or whether it will work for long.

Most comics get scanned and uploaded to the internet as soon as they’re released, but a digital screen (even a tablet) is still not preferable in most cases. Comixology and other services have developed some workarounds for the unusual size and shape of comics pages and panels, but few comics are optimized for digital viewing – at least, for now. The future’s going to be very interesting indeed…

The Best of 2012

31 Dec

by Orion Tippens

2012 movie imageLooking forward to 2013!! But looking back on 2012, here are my notations.

Best comics series of 2012 – Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Best comic book character of 2013 – Damian Wayne (Batman)

Best single-issue comic story of 2012 – Locke and Key: Grindhouse one-shot

Best cover artist of 2012 – J.H. Williams III (Batwoman)

Best comics writer of 2012 – Can’t decide between Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing, American Vampire) or John Layman (Chew, Detective Comics, Mars Attacks)

Best ongoing comic series of 2012 – Batman vol. 2 (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

Best colorist of 2012 – John Kalisz on Batman and Robin (vol. 2)

Best comic based on a non-comics franchise – Godzilla: Half Century War by James Stokoe

Most shocking way to end 2012 – I would say Chew #30, but I heard the spoilers to Amazing Spider-Man #700 – DAMN!!

Best apocalypse story of 2012 – Batman Inc. Vol. 2. #5 by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham

Biggest Disappointment – Doctor Who/ Star Trek: Assimilation crossover of 2012 – Wow, that story really is really going nowhere and really dry. So much potential…sigh.

Best new comics company of 2012 – Madefire Comics (iOS digital app)

Best digital innovation in comics storytelling of 2012 – Bottom of the Ninth by Ryan Woodward

Best traditional comics original series digital exclusive of 2012  – The Lookouts by Ben McCool

Best webcomic series of 2012 – JL8 by Yale Stewart

Best funny webcomic  of 2012 – The Oatmeal by Mathew Inman

Best movie based on a comic book of 2012 – Dredd (Judge Dredd)

Most campiest villain in a movie based on a comic book character of 2012 – Tie between Loki (Avengers) and Bane (Batman)

Most oddly hilarious line used in a movie based on a comic book of 2012 – “Crashing This Plane with No Survivors!” – Bane (Batman: Dark Knight Rises)

Best, most fun comics character to play in a cheap video game that otherwise sucks of 2012– The Flash in the Justice League: Earth’s Final Defense (iOS)

Note: I am sorry I have not caught up with any Marvel Comics and it’s very obvious I am a DC fan. Please recommend me some good Marvel Comics reads for 2013!

- Orion

Goodbye, 2012

31 Dec

by Mike Hansen

goodbye 2012Another year down already? Man, where does the time go? I miss the days when I could pack in a zillion things in one day and collapse at night, instead of just trying to make progress on a few things until the day’s over. Is this what old people feel like?

I was thinking about writing what I thought of comics in 2012, but I honestly don’t have much to say. (Which probably explains the lower frequency of posts on this site in the last several months!) There were a lot of good comics in 2012, and a few great comics, and way too many comics that could have (and should have) been better. The bottom line, though, is that I LOVE COMICS, and that’s never gonna change. Putting words and pictures together as a flexible, hybrid storytelling language is the most creative and direct way of communicating and entertaining people. Thanks to the internet, more creators are reaching more people. With digital publishing and print-on-demand, the costs and barriers of entry for both producers and consumers of comics are dropping. It’s only gonna get better, folks.

(And VERY SOON, I’ll be sharing some NEW comics work of my own. I’m finishing a script for a story that’s being drawn RIGHT NOW. Can’t wait to share it.)

Have a happy and safe New Year’s celebration, everyone!

News: Some people still buy back issues (at least Walking Dead, but probably not Deadpool)

6 Dec

by Mike Hansen

Deadpool by Liefeld

Who wants some freshly baked bread? Mmmm.

A few weeks ago, a grade-9.9 copy of The Walking Dead #1 sold for over $10,000. That is INSANE for any comic under 50 years old, much less one from a decade ago – I mean, even a 9.8 copy of Giant-Size X-Men #1 is offered at only $4,000 at Lone Star Comics! The Walking Dead is one of the few series that still has demand outpacing supply, despite the zillions of reprints in various formats (including Walking Dead Weekly, which even included the original letters pages!). I have a feeling that there’s a small group of very rich comics collector/investors out there buying this, probably the same folks who have been pushing up the prices of key 1930s-1960s comics like Action Comics #1 or X-Men #1 or whatever.

On the other end of the scale, folks are finally waking up to the fact that the first appearance of Deadpool in New Mutants #98 is WAY overpriced. I’ve been talking about this for years now – while most Marvel comics sell 10,000-50,000 copies these days, in the early ’90s they generally sold hundreds of thousands of copies. NM #98 is one of the most common back issues in comics history, but retailers have hoarded copies and jacked up prices because of a brief resurgence of interest in Deadpool stories after the Wolverine movie came out. Now there’s a website devoted to this absurdity! I love it.

The fact is, Continue reading

Go to Google’s home page, right now, today only!

15 Oct

by Mike Hansen

1906 Little Nemo in Slumberland cartoon by Win...

1906 Little Nemo in Slumberland cartoon by Winsor McCay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, Google.com has a stunning animated tribute to the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic strip by comics/animation genius Winsor McCay on its 107th anniversary that has to be seen to be believed. Go click now!

(Sorry for not updating the site in a few weeks – I’ll share all of the news over the next few days.)

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