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1. Pickup A Graphic Novel
It can be hard to pick up a comic book for the first time. Many times you’re reading about a character who has a history spanning the last fifty years, which can cause difficulty in understanding the plot line and character’s motivations.
Graphic Novels are usually self-contained, meaning that in order to follow the plot and storyline, there is no prior comic book history knowledge required. All the characters, special powers, jargon, etc is all within the pages you hold in your hands.
If you like superhero stories with an edge, a great starting place is Watchmen. It was recently made into a film, so you can even get a headstart on your friends by reading the book, and surprise them with your clairvoyance.
Maybe you’re not a fan of super-heroes and want something more indie-flavored. Blankets is beautiful book about teen angst and a long distance relationship in the early 90’s grunge era. With quotes from songs by The Cure, it’s a can’t-miss.
And if you’d like something in between with superhero-like characters, an indie-edge, and a beautiful noir storyline; I’d suggest any of Frank Miller’s Sin City books. While you may have seen the movie, which is a spectacular translation of the work to film, the comics will introduce you to the format and structure of graphic novels.
Whenever someone tells me they think that comics are for kids, I usually give them a graphic novel to read. Though comics began with kids in mind, it has since changed drastically to include all age groups. While these are my favorites to give to friends and family, feel free to pick out whatever you find interesting.
The Marvel Comics mega-event “Secret Invasion” was very good. It won’t go down as one of the greatest in my opinion, but it was still very good. I think it’ll work better as a collected trade because the story seemed less episodic than limited series of the past.
To those of you who do not know the ending of “Secret Invasion,” do not read any further, but for those who have let’s discuss the aftermath - particularly Emma Frost the White Queen.
(Spoiler alert… wait… how can you spoil something that everyone already knows?)
So, Secret Invasion is over. Supposedly.The series is over and Dark Reign begins. But all this assumes that the comic companies believe that all their customers only read comics. See, comic stores are not like coffee shops. We are slaves to UPS and there is not much sense opening up hours before the Diamond shipment arrives. So I wake up in the morning and begin to read a newspaper, such as the New York Times. And lo and behold, on the second page of the Arts and Leisure section is an article on Secret Invasion. (Sarcasm alert) Comic delivery day is the only really day I have lots of work to do and any time-saver is appreciated.
Norm Osborn is the hero. Tony Stark is the goat. Janet is comic dead. Shield is kaput. The Avengers are leaderless. Even the Skrulls are up the creek. IN THE NEW YORK TIMES????
I’m a huge Wolverine fan. He is and always will be my favorite X-Man. So much so, my son’s middle name is Logan. (That’s everyone’s cue to yell FANBOY at their computer screens.)
When I first saw Hugh Jackman on-screen as Wolverine, I said to myself YES! Jackman’s casting as Wolverine ranks as one of the best in Hollywood in relation to super-hero comic book movies. Christopher Reeve as Superman is by far the all-time best.
Jackman was great in all three of the X-Men films (yes, I liked X-3.) and I looked forward to a solo Wolverine movie if they were to do one. Well, next year I get my wish and Marvel.com has posted some stills from the upcoming movie.
Read More | Marvel.com
I know that in the general scheme of things, getting any kind of decent movie made is something of a miracle, but when you look at the succession of comic-book-related movies we’ve had in the last decade or so, it strikes me as rather ridiculous that this Friday we’re about to get the third Punisher movie made since 1989, and from everything I’ve seen, it looks to be just as painful as the first two.
A slight caveat here, of course, is that I haven’t seen Punisher:War Zone, so it could actually be good… but if it is, the studio and their marketing team sure are doing everything possible to hide that fact, including the horrible and extremely loud heavy metal soundtrack that hits you when you go to the official movie site—click the link at your peril.
Read More | Punisher Movie Site
I finally got Iron Man on DVD the other day. Whenever I get a DVD of a comic book movie I ALWAYS get the double disc set because of the extras. I saw when I was ordering it online that this DVD had a history of the character in comics. I love comics and I love history so this was a win-win situation.
So I sat down one night and began watching the extras first before I even watched the film. I saw the film in the theater, so I could wait until I saw the extras first.
Now that we know that the casting of Will Smith as Captain America was just a rumor, we can continue to debate who we would like to see be cast as Captain America. Personally I would like to go with an unknown. Prior to the Richard Donner “Superman,” not many people knew of Christopher Reeve. Instead of going with a big name for the lead, they went with this unknown actor and surrounded him with well known actors like Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, and Glen Ford. The movie was of course a big success and is now a classic. In my opinion, it’s the best comic movie of all time. So I would go with an unknown, but here are some of the names floating around.
This week Diamond Comics shipped the paperback version of the classic JLA/AVENGERS saga. These came out in comic book form in 2003, but was only compiled in hardcover format for $75. Now we have a softcover at $19.99 and it is time to revisit this story.
I believed at the time that the entire concept was flawed. Kurt Busiek wrote a story in which every Avenger and every Justice Leaguer that ever existed made at least a token appearance. He succeeded in his mind, but not mine. By putting too many characters in a story, you lose the ability to focus deeply on any of them. Recall the series of Marvel/DC Crossover books. These stories usually had one hero and one villain from each universe and you had a real interaction among the heroes and villains. Remember Crossover One with a full Superman/Spider-Man story, Hulk/Superman, etc. You really got into how the characters reacted to each other. In Crossover 2 we had Batman/Punisher, Silver Surfer/Superman and Batman/Captain America. The other two books weren’t as good, but it is always fun to match heroes from different universes. In my opinion, confining the epic to 7 or so stars from each universe would have made things much less cluttered and a better read. Characters kept coming and going so quickly it is difficult to keep track.
The story itself starts as one of the generic contest of champions ideas we have seen a million times before. Mystic artifacts being sought by both sides being manipulated by cosmic beings. Ho-hum.
No real detail in the battles to get an artifact and the 12 items are quickly divided up. They we get a mish-mash of heroes from diferrent universes interacting in a confusing way and then A Crisis on Infinte Earths climax against the super-duper villian with everyone throwing in a few shots. Been to the Source, done that.
It was, I suppose, a noble effort and it is certainly a better buy at $20 rather than $75. But as the pundit said about Dicken’s Great Expectations, I hoped for more.
Most of the current media bemoans the fact that an increasing amount of movies and TV are based on the comic universe. We geeks and fanboys, of course, love this trend. But most of us are not mindless drones and still have the ability to separate quality from garbage. Spider-Man 1 - good. Spider-Man 2 - not so good. Spider-Man 3 - a waste of good sand. Batman Michael Keaton - good. Batman Val Kilmer - not so good. Batman George Clooney - a waste of good nipples. Heroes season one - good. Heroes season 2 - not so good. Heroes season 3 - a waste of good comic writers.
Recently, DC announced a prospective series entitled “The Flying Graysons”. Folks speculated that with an uncertain future for “Smallville”, we would need something for our superhero fix. But was Dick Grayson, before he became Robin, solving crimes traveling with the circus the best they could come up with?
So, I printed out the article from Variety and posted it at Phoenix Comics, your favorite neighborhood comic store. Now, remember, these are the same customers who wanted to lynch Marvel for the whole Brand New Day fiasco or put up a statue to Marvel for ending the Peter-Mary Jane marriage. And does anyone remember Birds of Prey? How could anyone mess up a TV show featuring three awesomely good looking girls in spandex. Couldn’t be done, could it?
Well, the polling is over and if the U.S. ran like this, we could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Nobody liked this idea. Not one customer. Nobody. And somehow DC must have gotten the message because they have canned the idea. Obviously I am only one store but still… maybe once in awhile they do listen to us.
Read More | Variety
I wonder if there will be comics in our future. The reason for this is that it seems that no one wants to write comics anymore. No, what they want to write is the Great American Comic Novel.
As the proud owner of Phoenix Comics in beautiful Eastchester, New York (shameless plug), I have the great fortune, or misfortune, of reading just about everything that DC and Marvel publish. Back in the day, going back as far as 10 cent comics, a huge percentage of books were what we would call today, stand alone stories. Batman caught the bank robber, jewelry store heister, or murderer in one issue. Superman battled the evil monster and/or fooled Lois about his secret identity in one book. A two-issue story was a major event. Even as a youngster, I realized Superman was fighting a never ending battle against evil and we all moved on to the next story.
Starting with “The Death of Captain Marvel,” the first mainstream graphic novel, everyone seems to be writing 120-page comic novels and slicing them into six parts. Before the ink is dry on part six, the whole thing is published in a trade paperback. At least you had a good read on an airplane. But even that doesn’t seem to be enough.
Now we have continuing sagas that seem to go on forever: Crisis on Infinite Earths to Infinite Crisis to Identity Crisis to 52 to Countdown to Final Crisis to….? And don’t even start with all the tie-ins. When they hit Final Bar Mitzvah I quit. Of course the X-Men books have been doing this for years. They even put numbers on the spine so you can keep reading, and reading, and reading and the story line goes on forever. At my age I have to keep reading the books because I would hate to miss a possible ending. Some of my customers have given up and just read the trades as they come out.
Is this progress?