On Gear Live: The best wireless routers for streaming Netflix, Hulu, and more

James Bond LexiconMy pal Rich Handley at Hasslein Publishing has a big favor to ask. He publishes a great bunch of books on shows and movies like Planet of the Apes, Back To The Future, James Bond, Red Dwarf and lots of others. He's asked for a no-cost favor, so I'm posting it here, mostly verbatim.

"Paul and I at Hasslein Publishing are trying to qualify for one of 12 small-business grants from Chase in order to build up Hasslein into something bigger than it currently is. We need 250 votes within an eight-day period to qualify, so please vote before June 30!

"Each grant is for a whopping $250,000. It's a huge long-shot, as I'm sure a lot of people are submitting their companies to this program, but if we were to win one of the grants, we'd have a ton of money to do amazing things with our company, which would be a good thing.


Cerebus #11Years ago, I owned a piece of original Dave Sim art from Cerebus. It was a page from Cerebus #11. I bought it at a New York convention from Dave’s then-wife Deni who was selling pages at their table. It’s the page just before the very first full page appearance of Cockroach.

It was the multi-panel page where Cockroach is off-panel, ranting like a nutcase and Cerebus is going through a number of twisted facial expressions.

If I was a true collector, I would’ve bought the page with the actual first appearance of Cockroach. But I really liked all the different animated expressions on Cerebus’ face. It was a tour-de-force of character drawing.

I bought it for $15.

I framed it when I got back home and it hung on my wall through various moves over the years. When space got tight, thought, I sold it off.

Read More | Kickstarter via Bleeding Cool

Princess of Mars

Interested in a book that features Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Drew Struzan (Shawshank Redemption, Indiana Jones), Duncan Fegredo, Frank Quitely, Walter Simonson, Chris Weston, and Howard Chaykin? Of course you are. Then you’re in luck. My buddy Joel Meadows is prepping the 20th anniversary edition of Tripwire, his comics/TV/movies magazine, in a beautifully crafted 200-page hardcover book.

Says Meadows: “It will be filled with the sort of content that has garnered praise from many of the biggest and best names in genre over its twenty-year existence.”

Latest Gear Live Videos

Duster OGNMicah Ian Wright (you might remember him from his comic book work on Stormwatch: Team Achilles, or on the TV series The Angry Beavers and Constant Payne) is returning to comics.

The project is a big one, a 215-page graphic novel called Duster, and the fund-raising began this week at Kickstarter, my favorite site to find new and interesting comics. Micah’s posted the first 39 (!) pages for viewing at the site (in full color as a free download). You can’t go wrong with 39 pages of free comics.

Joining Micah on the book is his co-writer Jay Lender (who’s written for Phineas and Ferb and Spongebob Squarepants).

The book is being illustrated by a pair of excellent Argentine artists, Cristian Mallea (Gayolas, El Eternauta) and JOK (known for his work on Mixtape and Redball 6).

Says Micah, “Duster takes place at the close of the European conflict in World War II, and tells the story of a war-widowed female cropduster pilot who must defend her daughter and her neighbors against a planeload of escaping Nazis who have crashed in her West Texas town. The action-packed story examines women's changing roles in society during the war years and after.”

Detective Comics #27Yeah, yeah, Avengers-mania is dying down and we’re back to counting the days until San Diego, right? Well, I am. In the meantime, let's read:

Want some story-writing advice from the gang at Pixar? Of course you do.

There’s no doubt that without writer Bill Finger, Batman wouldn’t be Batman. Booksteve’s Library has read and enjoyed Bill, The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman. “Bob Kane was rather a self-serving individual who rarely did anything himself when he could get someone else to do it for him.” One of those someones was the writer Bill Finger.

Longbox Graveyard blogger Paul O’Connor has a companion gig: a regular column at Stash My Comics called The Dollar Box. Start here.

Dead West 1I love any kind of mash-up where genres that don’t normally go together are creatively intermingled: vampire detectives, robot boxers, super dinosaurs...

Writer Carl Elvis and artist Claudio Munoz have created Dead West, a combining of cowboys and monsters that looks right in my wagon wheelhouse. When a gold rush town starts attracting supernatural elements, Victor Frankenstein creates a “Frankenstein sheriff” to keep the peace along with his pals, a six-gun mummy and a Billy The Kid-style vampire.

The art looks great and the concept sounds like a lot of fun. They’re short on their Kickstarter funding, so if this seems as appealing to you as it does to me, give ‘em a hand, pardner.

[Artwork: Dead West]

Read More | Kickstarter

Sonny DragonActor-stuntman Ernie Reyes, Jr. has appeared in movies from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now he’s looking to crossover into comic books and he’s assembled quite a team to help him out.

Sonny Dragon and The Wuxia Knights is an all-ages comic. According to Ernie’s pitch: Detective Sonny Dragon joins “an elite team of martial arts superheroes known as the Wuxia Knights, after he traces the death of his master to a mystical martial arts kingdom hidden in the streets of San Francisco known as the Wuxiaverse.”

Ernie’s co-written the script with Samuel R. Barrera. Art is by TMNT veteran Jim Lawson, whose stuff is just fantastic. Just look at the sample art on the site. Coloring is by the Eisner-winning Steve Oliff with lettering by Harvey-winning Tom Orzechowski.

Read More | Kickstarter

Combat JacksMy old funnybook pal Mark McKenna has a great-looking project that you should take a look at on Kickstarter: Combat Jacks.

Created and written by Mark (who also inks) and pencilled by Jason Baroody, this looks like a really fun deal.

Mark says in his video that it’s a throwback to the old EC comics of the ‘50s - like Weird Science Fantasy meets Vault of Horror - but with a modern twist.

What’s it about? Space Marines Vs. Monster Jack O’Lanterns on a distant planet.

Read More | Kickstarter

People WatchingIn the world of instant digital books, this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Paul Moore went to the Phoenix Comic Con over the Memorial Day weekend, and took a bunch of photos. Then he created a three-volume series of Kindle e-books reproducing those photos. I got the first one from Amazon for free during a promotion (it may still be going on).

People Watching Comic Con Phoenix 2012 - Volume 1 is approximately 75 pages, and 70 of them are photographs from the con. According to Moore’s description, “There is nothing quite as fun as people watching that is not either fattening, illegal, or immoral.”