Tag Archives: comics

Anthony’s picks for Archie Comics for June 2011

Kevin Keller #1Here’s what I’m interested in for Archie for June 2011. As usual, the two dates are in order of comic shop and newsstand availability:

http://www.majorspoilers.com/solicitations-archie-comics-for-june-2011

Comics I’m buying:

  • Archie & Friends #156, on sale June 15/June 21, $3
  • Betty & Veronica Double Digest #192, on sale July 6/July 12, $4
  • Kevin Keller #1 (Veronica #207), on sale June 8/June 14, $3

Comics I’m considering buying:

  • Archie & Friends Double Digest #6, on sale June 15/June 21, $4
  • Betty & Veronica #254, on sale June 29/July 5, $3

Comments:

This month sees the introduction of gay character Kevin Keller’s own miniseries, which (from the odd looking listing) seems to be under the “Veronica” numbering/banner. I guess they’re treating it similar to how Chuck’s miniseries from a few years ago was sold under the “Archie & Friends” title, or Salem’s own miniseries a few years ago was under the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” numbering. I assume newsstands probably don’t want to clear room for yet another comic title, much less a miniseries, thus Archie going this route. Either way, I’ll be buying it!

The retro vibe continues for the look of the Archie titles, as “Betty & Veronica” seems to have regained its old 70s/80s-era logo, sans the old/outdated “Archie’s Girls” prefix. Meanwhile, on the cover of the “Jughead” comic, Ethel looks more like her older, ungainly self. This seems to veer a bit from Archie’s recent effort to update no-longer-”Big” Ethel. Or maybe it’s just how cover artist Fernando Ruiz wanted to draw her…

Finally, Sabrina appears in reprints in “Betty & Veronica Double Digest,” and makes a new appearance, alongside comic-geek Chuck, in “Archie & Friends.” This issue sees Riverdale get its first huge C2E2/San Diego-like comic-con. Should be an interesting story just from the cover alone.

Anthony’s picks for Marvel Comics for June 2011

Spider-Man #15Here’s my choices for what Marvel’s putting out for June 2011:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/marvel-june-2011-solicitations-110322.html

Comics I’ll be buying:

  • Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #15, $3
  • Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #15, $3

Comics I might buy:

  • Human Torch & Hulk: From the Marvel Vault #1, $4
  • Hulk-Sized Mini-Hulks #1, $3

Comments:

Lots of Thor and Captain America this month, per the two heroes’ movies being out this summer. “Super Heroes” features Cap, among others.

Meanwhile, “Spider-Man” features Spidey at the UN fighting some plot by Dr. Doom. Should be an interesting matchup.

“Hulk-Sized Mini-Hulks” is some compilation of backup humorous comic strips about the Hulk. Seems amusing looking, so might give it a go (even if I prefer the original green Hulk). Same goes for the Human Torch/Hulk story, which I’m guessing is just some old inventory story they’d been sitting on for years.

GLAAD awards this year’s “outstanding comic” to “X-Factor”

LGBT media watchdog group GLAAD’s announced its winners in this year’s award show. For the category of “outstanding comic,” the winner this year is Peter David’s “X-Factor,” one of the (875) monthly X-Men-related titles.

I was hoping for “Veronica” to win, given it’s broken ground by being a comic mainly aimed at children/preteens with a positive gay character introduced. Still, it’s nice (if unusual) to see an Archie title just get nominated nominated…

2011 C2E2: Saturday

Today was the biggest and longest day for C2E2. As such, I kept quite busy through the day. While I did try to keep the Twitter feed updated on my doings, unfortunately my phone’s battery died/came close to dying twice today (and I wasn’t able to recharge it for hours). The downsides of a first-generation Palm Pre, I suppose. Anyway, here’s the details of what I did today:

  • Buy stuff. Yes, that’s a given for a comic show, but I did buy some items. Among others: “Archie Americana: The 80s, book 2″; a “Power Pack/X-Men” story (despite the odd-sounding nature of the crossover, the cover claimed it was fun/family friendly, and it was cheap); a pair of Boris and Natasha bobbleheads; and a few random other comics.
  • I also visited the artists’ alley, where I got to see lots of comic artwork, plus (after buying an artists’ plastic tube-with-a-strap-on-it to store and carry rolled-up posters in) bought a few prints, as well as having them autographed. Considering buying picture frames for these and a few of the posters I already have at home.
  • I got plenty of photographs as well, which I’ll be posting to Flickr (and link to on here) after getting home tomorrow. Lots of creative costumes this year!
  • Today was quite crowded, given it’s not a work day. Lots of people packed the floor. Wonder what attendance figures will be like…
  • I attended a few panels: Chris Hemsworth’s panel promoting his starring role in the “Thor” movie; a panel (with a very long line) for general Marvel news (named “Cup of Joe”, after Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada); and a memorial to the late Dwayne McDuffie’s life and career. The Thor panel was busy (and answered the usual movie-based-on-a-comic questions), but the Marvel panel was packed to the gills, with a *very* long line to get in (I missed the first 15-20 minutes of it as a result). The Marvel panel itself was, per Marvel’s way, irreverent in tone but somewhat informative. “Read ‘Fear Itself’,” the latest Marvel crossover, was given often/glibly as an answer, and the fans in attendance were more critical of Marvel’s decisions than the DC panel’s fans were. I even got to see a preview of the latest Spider-Man cartoon, “Ultimate Spider-Man.” Due out in 2012, it looks like it’ll involve Spidey somehow working with SHIELD (and the African-American version of Nick Fury all of Marvel’s non-comics productions have latched onto in recent years, for some reason…). As for the McDuffie tribute, it was led by Mark Waid, and thoughtful. Unfortunately, it seemed a bit sparsely attended, though I suppose being at the end of the day might’ve been one factor; there were some coming into the tribute partway through.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at this year’s C2E2. Tomorrow morning, I’m heading back to Milwaukee (in lieu of going to only part of the last day of C2E2). While this year’s comic con seems like a success, not sure if I’ll be back for next year (if my current plan to relocate goes through).

2011 C2E2: Friday

After weeks of anticipation, I’m finally in Chicago for this year’s C2E2 comic convention.

Today’s experience at the comic convention found a few changes from last year’s show: the convention’s been moved to a different part of McCormick Place, with the main difference being there’s now a dedicated food court inside the convention hall. Food court food, of course, was a bit pricey. There’s also a dedicated shuttle bus running between the convention and various spots downtown, though I still took the regular CTA bus (route #3, which runs between the Loop and McCormick Place).

The convention floor itself was similar to last year’s show, with many of the same vendors… from the Chicago area and midwest, that is. While I couldn’t tell from some of the signs, I’m not sure if the vendors from farther away places such as Quebec came back this year.

I bought some cheap trade paperbacks, as well as a cheap archive (the Golden Age Superboy Archive DC came out with recently). My list of desired books isn’t as long as last year’s, plus some items I want don’t seem to be available from most of the vendors (good luck finding much from Archie; there’s also still more Marvel than DC trade paperbacks present, at least to me).

I was pleased there was a bigger variety of costumes this time around, whereas last year it felt like everyone went as the Joker (probably due to the influence of “The Dark Knight” movie). One of the best costumes I saw this year was someone dressed as the new African-American (well, Black, since he’s from Atlantis) version of Aqualad.

I went to one panel, the “DC Nation” one, which featured DC head honcho Dan DiDio and some other DC bigshots answering questions about what to expect from DC in upcoming months. Basically, a lot of “Flashpoint” hype and vaguely-defined “aftermath of ‘Flashpoint’” remarks. A few members of the audience seemed a bit more savvy (or longer-memoried) than DiDio, etc. figured; one person in the audience (after DiDio gave the “Flashpoint will change the past, get fixed, but with unknown differences remaining” bit) compared the story to “Zero Hour” (the lame mid-90s storyline that was a big continuity reboot that, like Flashpoint, also used time-travel to accomplish such). One annoying part: an audience member said they’d been reading kid-friendly 90s title “Batman Adventures” when they were in their 30s; DiDio made a joke about “we need to get you some more age-appropriate comics.” Never mind that was probably the best Batman title at the time (with a Batman that wasn’t an obnoxious jerk). Meh…

Tomorrow, I’ll give the artists’ alley a go, plus attend a few more panels. Hopefully, I’ll also get to see local Chicago TV icon Svengoolie (who’ll be appearing at the show for autographs), as well as take a few more photographs. And yes, my phone will be more fully charged, so I can keep giving Twitter updates… I hope. See you tomorrow!

Two days until C2E2: fan-made promos

Only two days left until I depart for Chicago and C2E2. Yes, I’ll be posting photos, blog thoughts, and Twitter remarks on the whole thing… enough material to keep me going on blog topics for, well, several days at least!

Before I depart, I thought I’d post one or two of the ads made to promote C2E2. This one apparently is what it’d be like if some trendy New York ad agency/fashion designer were creating ads pitching comic conventions:

Last year’s ad by the same creator (“ItsJustSomeRandomGuy,” who’ll also be appearing as a C2E2 panelist), as part of his series of Marvel and DC character parodies (Spider-Man villain the Green Goblin visits Chicago, and has a less-than-fun time):

 

Anthony roots the Nook Color

After some thought, and seeing that Barnes and Noble seems to be dragging their feet on introducing their own app store for the Nook Color (as they promised to do months ago), I’ve decided to go ahead and root my Nook. The Nook Color’s been quite popular among tech enthusiasts, as it’s easy to root, and thus allows one to turn it into a cheap, mostly-full-fledged Android tablet. With the rooting, of course, comes access to the Android Market and its various apps (most of which work with the Nook). In terms of ebooks, it’s also possible to install an app that’ll allow you to read ebooks made for the Kindle. In my case, I’m interested in reading comics on the Nook without having to convert them to PDFs first, thus a comic reader app was part of my motivation for rooting.

Here are the sites with the instructions I followed for rooting the Nook Color:

http://nookdevs.com/NookColor_Rooting

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2011/02/howto-root-a-nook-color-to-transform-it-into-an-android-tablet.ars/

The most difficult part I had was using the “dd” Unix/Linux terminal command to copy the disk image to the MicroSD card, though somebody online helped me out on that point.

Otherwise, things went smoothly, and I was easily able to root/set up the Nook Color. I installed a few apps, including the Droid Comic Reader and Angry Birds. I’d heard much about Angry Birds, but never gotten a chance to play it until now. I can see why it’s popular; like Frozen Bubble, it’s simple, but addictive.

As for Droid Comic Reader, it worked nicely…for awhile at least. I say “for awhile” because unfortunately, it started to throw up “out of memory” errors. I’ll check online to see if there’s any alternate comic readers, or if there’s a way to fix Droid Comic Reader, though from the looks of what I’m seeing so far, it doesn’t seem likely (the “out of memory” error/bug seems to have been around for awhile).

I’ve also installed the Android Comixology app, which works quite nicely, downloading my already-purchased comics to the Nook. The app (and the Nook) is much nicer to read comics on than Comixology’s website/within my laptop’s browser.

Overall, it’s nice to see my Nook Color now has a lot more functionality to it. I’ll report more on my experiences with the rooted Nook in the future.

Update: Think I might’ve found a better app for reading comics, “Perfect Viewer.” Lofty-minded name (and the programmer doesn’t seem to speak English as his primary language), but it seems to work much better with CBR/CBZ files (no out-of-memory errors so far). I’ll post another update if that proves not to be the case.

2011 C2E2 panels of interest

This year’s C2E2 is only a few weeks away, but I’m already looking over my travel plans and the schedule of panels for the show. As for when I’ll be there, I’m attending Friday and Saturday only; Sunday morning, I’ll be heading back to Milwaukee. After seeing how much slower Sunday was last year, plus some other factors, I figure I won’t miss much by skipping Sunday.

As for what panels and events I want to see (or might see), here’s a list of the more interesting ones so far. No guarantee (or likelihood) I’ll go to all of them, of course, but I’ll be carrying the schedule with me on my Palm Pre. A full schedule of events, including their descriptions, may be seen here. Suite numbers are in parentheses:

Friday:

3:30 PM-4:30 PM: Black Comix: African-American comics Art and Culture (473)
4:30 PM-5:30 PM: Food and Comics (470a)
5 PM-6 PM: J.J. Sedelmaier Hosts Showing of “Jerry Beck’s Worst Cartoons Ever!” (476)
6 PM-7 PM: ItsJustSomeRandomGuy (475b)
6:30 PM-7:30: PM DC Nation (470b)

Saturday:

11:30 AM-12:30 PM: Reading With Pictures – LIVE! (Stage)
11:30 AM-12:30 PM: DC Universe (474)
12 PM-1 PM: State of the Comicsphere (475a)
1 PM-2 PM: IDW Publishing Digital Update–Transformers, Digital Graphic Novels and More! (474)
2 PM-3:30 PM: CSC: Otherness in America (473)
2:30 PM-3:30 PM: DC Icons (474)
4:30 PM-5:30 PM: CSC: You Want to Study What?! Studying and Teaching Comics in College (473)
5:30 PM-7 PM: CSC: The Difficulty of Definition: Autobiographical Comics, Black Sci-Fi, Comics in the Classroom (473)
5:30 PM-6:30 PM: Marvel: Cup O’ Joe (471)
6 PM-7 PM: Zombies! They Just Crack Us Up! (475a)
7 PM-8 PM: Dwayne McDuffie Memorial (470a)

A few observations about this year’s panels/events schedule:

  • I’m disappointed to see there’s no Archie panel at this year’s show.
  • Also disappointed to see there’s no LGBT oriented panel this year (a few of the above ones look like they might deal with LGBT issues as a subcategory).
  • I’m told the layout of the show this year will be different from last year’s. Hope it makes it easier/less of a hike to get to some events (or to the food court for lunch!), and gives everyone more space.

I wonder if the change in the panels makeup might reflect some vendors/comic companies not feeling last year’s was worth the trip to Chicago (and paying McCormick Place prices)? I didn’t mind the show being held at McCormick Place (beats some distant suburb that’s hard to get to by the L train/public transit), but I can see why some might be hesitant to return this year, espeically in this economy.

Also wonder if the timing of this year’s show discouraged some from attending. Mid-March means there’s still some snow or slush on the ground here in the midwest, plus C2E2 falls between two other sizable conventions, Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon (held this weekend) and San Francisco’s Wondercon (the first weekend in April). On a lesser note, I suppose there’ll also be some lingering St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities.

Finally, I’m glad to see they’ve scheduled a memorial for the recently deceased comics creator and commentator Dwayne McDuffie.

RIP Dwayne McDuffie

StaticI and the rest of the comics/animation enthusiast world was surprised today by the news that Dwayne McDuffie has died, due to complications from a surgical procedure. Comic Book Resources has this nice summary of McDuffie’s career.

I was introduced to McDuffie’s work through reading the Milestone Comics line of characters when I was in high school, though I preferred Icon and Rocket over Static, not suspecting the latter would become the line’s most successful character. When “Static Shock” came to television, I enjoyed watching Virgil’s animated adventures.

Recently, I’d read some of McDuffie’s thoughts about the comics industry, per his heavy involvement in online venues. One example of his commentary, via satire, is here. Another is this anecdote about Archie’s former attitudes toward interracial dating (as recently as the 90s).

Comic review: Tiny Titans #37

Tiny Titans #37Tiny Titans #37

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

This month’s issue features the “Shazam Family” (or “(Captain) Marvel Family” of course, if it weren’t for Marvel Comics trademarking the use of “Marvel” on a comic book cover).

The overall story features Mr. Talky Tawny, the talking tiger, serving as a substitute teacher at the Titans’ school. There’s also various jokes about how the Marvels change into their identities via their magic words, which gets Psimon involved. We also get to see Mister Mind, the “world’s wickedest worm,” discover the existence of Pet Club and want in, which *also* gets Psimon involved.

Freddy in his regular identity is shown with a wheelchair here instead of a crutch (as in older appearances). Freddy also uses a wheelchair in “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam” (a comic also worked on by “Tiny Titans”‘s creators) and some other modern appearances. Mary here also looks somewhat like her “Magic of Shazam” self.

As in the previous few months’ worth of Johnny DC titles, more Archie digital comic ads appear in this issue.