Trending Issues

Tue
25
Jun

Animal Rights Activists Get Their Own Heroes with Black Mask's Lab Raider

Lab Raider 1

Sarah and Jeanette have a calling. They are animal rights activists, willing to take things up a notch if it comes to hurting people in their pursuit of zoological justice.

The main story sees the pair breaking into an animal experimentation lab. We don't know why they experiment on animals. We learn they've recently begun to develop weapons for the government -- "Military contract from the new administration. You know." -- but whether they were a drug facility or something else isn't really important and extraneous to the fact that animals are being hurt. Let's assume it's for funsies.

As Sarah and Jeanette make their way through the facility -- conveniently left unsecured by an insider friend -- we are shown bits of their life through flashbacks. Which gets more confusing when the flashback has a flashback. Suffice it to say we are shown that they have had deadly run-ins with hunters, and have used seduction to trap and beat seal hunters for information.

Mon
24
Jun

Macri and Zanotti's The Wall Well-Intended, But Problematic

The Wall A Timeless Tale

In a colorful kingdom, the king takes a walk with his advisor, and discovers there are many people in the land who do not look like him. Wishing not to see them, he orders them banished, and when that is not enough, he calls for a wall to be built.

But he has already sent away the wall builders. Finding he needs them, he has them called back to do the work.

And that is the first flaw in Giancarlo Macri and Carolina Zanotti's children's book, THE WALL: A TIMELESS TALE, illustrated by Mauro Sacco and elisa Vallarino.

The story sets out with the noblest of intentions--to instill in children the lesson that people who look different are still people, and that they have talents and skills to be appreciated. Teaching children not to exclude based on looks is something all decent human beings want for the next generation.

Fri
21
Jun

Chernobyl: The Incredible HBO Miniseries About a Real Life Tragedy

Chernobyl

Mario Petkovski

So GAME OF THRONES had ended, causing quite a riot among fans, and NFL preseason schedule ain’t really enough to keep you entertained through the summer. What about watching an amazing HBO miniseries that is being a success worldwide and will also teach you some history?

The mini-series CHERNOBYL came through a small door and won the hearts of the audience overnight. Since its release on May 6th, people went crazy about it, making it one of the most popular series today. CHERNOBYL became the highest rated series of all time with an IMDb rating of 9.5 surpassing BREAKING BAD and GAME OF THRONES. But everyone is wondering: Why it is so popular?

Tue
21
May

Capes, Cowls, and Coming Out: History of the Batwoman

Batwoman from then to now

When the superheroes became popular, lo many decades ago, an attempt was made to draw in more readers by adding characters that would be (or so the theory went) relateable to girls. There was already Wonder Woman, Phantom Lady, and others, but none of them had quite the popularity of a Superman or a Batman.

And so the quick-and-easy path seemed to be to create female versions of these characters. It was a hit-or-miss process, with more misses than hits. In the Superman comics, a Superwoman was introduced in Action Comics #60 in 1943. She was easily forgotten (although has resurfaced in one incarnation or another over the years), and largely eclipsed when sixteen years later Kara Zor-El made her debut as Supergirl in the pages of Action Comics #252.

Mon
20
May

Cyberfrog is Officially Late. Or Is It?

Cyberfrog by Ethan Van Sciver

To date, there's only one comic book hero who, at the mere utterance of his name, has the ability to evoke either dreamlike awe or cold fury from the comics fan who hears it. His name is CyberFrog, and he's the creation of comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver.

Originally created in the 90s, CyberFrog is finding new life through an Indiegogo project which has drawn acclaim for its detailed preview artwork, and criticism for it being behind its self-imposed schedule. To date, CYBERFROG: BLOODHONEY is eight months behind. If this were a car, it would be repossessed by now.

Wed
08
May

Dangerous Opinions: Facebook Disconnects 250K Fans from Bounding Into Comics

BiC Censored

The landscape of opinion is a shifting mass of quicksand these days. The Internet, once a bastion of free speech -- and all the ugliness that comes with that -- has undergone a transformation to rein in opinions, protecting the eyes and ears of the many from anything that might be deemed offensive by the few.

It began with politics. When the deplatforming of Alex Jones and his InfoWars site occurred, the 1st Amendment let out an "oof" of having been punched in the stomach. No one heard it over all the cheering, however, and the social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter were emboldened to continue their pogrom against information and opinion.

The idea was to stifle politics with which the social media overseers disagreed. The inherent problem with that is this: everything is political. And so we find ourselves at a point where a comic book review website (not this one, yet) loses its presence on Facebook.

Fri
19
Apr

Black and White and Cute All Over: IMAX Pandas

IMAX Pandas

This nature documentary pops right off the screen, thanks tot he IMAX filming of the subjects and their lush settings.

Narrated by Kristen Bell, IMAX PANDAS takes the audience into the world of the endangered Giant Panda, and the efforts to repopulate them in the wild. We get to see baby pandas, born in captivity and nurtured at a panda preserve in China, and learn of the efforts to wean the captive pandas back into their natural habitat. But that is no simple task.

Sun
10
Mar

Tales to Astonish No One: Parody of Comicsgate Figures Fails to Create an Audience

Astonishing Gaters

If you are a comics fan who goes to your local shop, checks the shelves for new items, spends a few minutes in the back issue boxes, and goes home to enjoy your purchase, you live in the best of all possible worlds.

If you have a social media account, you've shattered that utopia, and have likely been told to pick a side in the ongoing culture wars -- or been forced into a side whether you chose or not. It's called ComicsGate, 

In much the same way an irritant in an oyster causes the generation of a pearl, the mainstream comic industry and the creators who  have aligned with ComicsGate have worked together -- reluctantly, unwittingly, unknowingly, anything but admittedly -- to create some gems (and some malformations) through the crowdfunding platforms that have financed their own comics, several of them to the tune of six-figures.

Wed
20
Feb

How Much is That Child Porn in My Comic Book?

Savage Dragon 236

We've seen it happen before in comics and animation. Some artist gets bored, slips in a sly little reference to this or that, just to see how many people it will slip past before it gets caught, if ever. In UNIVERSE X SPIDEY #1, artist Al Milgrom famously hid a secret message telling off his old boss, Bob Harras. NEW MUTANTS had some spicy conversations in it, if one bothered to translate the demon-language substitution cipher of lettering. And don't even get us started on all the rumors about what people think they see in Disney animated films.

But there's no real guessing at what's involved in Image Comics' SAVAGE DRAGON #236, which features the four offspring of the titular character. The storyline, called "Savage Little Dragons" finds they tykes doing various kid activities -- crawling out of the crib, fighting with each other, watching underage rape porn on the television.

Wait. What?

Mon
18
Feb

Did Pensacon's Threat Report Just Blow Up in Their Face?

Pensacola Image

The tale of voice talent VIC MIGNOGNA is fascinating in and of itself. But it's one of the spin-off stories that has taken turns more bizarre than the decomposing Jussie Smollett saga.

It's seems that a Florida fan convention, PENSACON, took umbrage at fans who prepared online to stand up for Mignogna, and threatened anyone doing so verbally with arrest. This incensed several people in the fan community, who took to Twitter and YouTube with their own message of support and/or outcry. One of these was comic book artist and upstart YouTube personality  ETHAN VAN SCIVER, whose statements earned replies from the convention itself, stating that they were concerned about far more than just fans saying they were going to question scheduled guest MONICA RIAL, one of those currently accusing Mignogna of sexual misconduct.

Wed
13
Feb

The ComicsGate Culture Battle Shifts from Cold War to Hot

Simeti Targeted

Fans of Alterna Comics got more than they bargained for with their nightly livestream. Some time around 10pm on February 12, Publisher Peter Simeti was discussing what was new with the comics from Alterna, when the livestream was interrupted.

By the police.

 

 

Sat
26
Jan

State of the Comics Industry, with LCS Owner Michael Tierney and Alterna Publisher Peter Simeti

Tierney, Simeti

One's in the system trying to make a buck. The other is trying to buck the system.

Michael Tierney is the owner of two comic shops -- The Comic Book Store in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas. With 37 years experience running the business and as a contributor to the Overstreet Price Guide, he has a keen insight into the state of the comics industry from the front lines.

Peter Simeti is the publisher of Alterna Comics, an independent producer of comics done on newsprint with a price point unheard of since 1985 -- and he's got some radical ideas for changing the accepted dynamics of the comic book distribution model.

We've been keen on getting both of these guys on a livestream, but then it hit us: What if we brought them together on the SAME livestream, to bounce ideas off each other and maybe, just maybe, come up with one or two good ones.

The results were better than we could have hoped.

Thu
24
Jan

Jesus Christ: Super...Hero?

Second Coming

As the 1980s were drawing to a close, DC Comics mature imprint, Vertigo, had a series called SWAMP THING. Rick Veitch was writing it, and his story arc had the plant elemental on a journey backward through time, having him wind up in historically important events to the DC timeline.

SWAMP THING #88 was intended to be "Morning of the Magician," which would have placed Swamp Thing at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. DC pulled the plug on the issue and Veitch walked away. While there was nothing seemingly blasphemous about Christ's appearance in the story, DC was shy of the controversy, since they had a SWAMP THING television series in development.

They've apparently gotten over their shyness, because now Vertigo is releasing what is intended to be a six-issue miniseries, SECOND COMING,

Thu
10
Jan

Blatant Extortion: Blogger Promises More Favorable Write-ups in Exchange for Payout from Ethan Van Sciver

A UK blogger may have taken social media relations a step too far today when she offered to write about comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver "more favourably in the future" in exchange for him making "reparations by donating to my bigotry box."

Going by the name "This Girl Roars," the blogger maintains a blog hosted from which she roars in anonymity (her website is registered by Identity Protection Limited in Guildford, Surrey, UK), publishing her dissertation that meanders from one media personality to another, from Paul Joseph Watson to Professor Jordan Peterson. Along the way, she makes mention of "Ethan Van Skyler" (sic) and Jeremy Griggs of Geeks + Gamers for the explosive growth of their YouTube channels, which she attributes to practiced and preached misogyny.

Tue
01
Jan

Wanted: Man Who Stole $100,000 in Comics in Las Vegas

Comic Book Thief

It's like a scene from COMIC BOOK VILLAINS -- but it's sadly all too real.

A collector in Las Vegas, Nevada, was robbed last night when thieves sawed into his storage unit and made off with over $100,000 in collectible comic books -- some of which had been earmarked for a charity, Critical Care Comics.

Surveillance footage captured the face of the driver as he made his getaway with the longboxes sticking out of his trunk, which must surely have him making number two in his skivvies, so let's get his face out there a little bit more, okay, and help bring justice for one of our own.

Wed
21
Nov

A Generation Ago, Kitty Pryde Spoke Truth to Power; Year's Later, Twitter Loses Its Mind

Kitty Pryde Truth to Power

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” 
― George Orwell, 1984

We communicate with words. We may communicate crudely or eloquently, but nevertheless we do it with words. And as we mature, we learn there are words that are better than others, and there are words that are not spoken in polite society.

And then there are words that are not only looked down upon, but they are controlled. They can be said, but only by certain people. This act of protectionism embues a word with power, ideally to remove the power of hate from it when used by those who would use it thusly.

We know the most prominent of these words by their first letters. The F-word. The N-word. Say them in the wrong place, or be the wrong person, and your environment can quickly change.

Which is why it was such a shocking moment when X-Man Kitty Pryde dropped one of these bombs in the classic X-Men graphic novel, GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS.

Sun
11
Nov

The Great Divorce: Ethan Van Sciver Parts Ways with Comicsgate

It's Over

For the better part of the last year, the face and voice of Comicsgate has been Ethan Van Sciver, whose YouTube channel "ComicArtistPro Secrets" garnered massive audiences for livestreams (with over 80,000 subscribers) and became, by default and by name, Comicsgate Live.

Tue
06
Nov

Mark Waid's Move to Dismiss Lawsuit: Did He Forget, or Did He Lie?

Mark Waid

The latest twist in the case of MEYER VS. WAID, which alleges comics writer Mark Waid engaged in tortious interference (more about that here), has been filed by his attorney, Mark S. Zaid. Zaid has filed a motion for dismissal, based on the claims that the suit is filed in the wrong jurisdiction, citing that Waid is a citizen of Calfornia, and has no business contacts in Texas. Specifically, in places, the motion states:

"Plaintiff brought this suit against Mr. Waid, a California citizen with no contacts with Texas..."

"Plaintiff's Complaint fails to identify any allegegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas."

Fri
26
Oct

The $75,000 Question: Mark Waid Crowdfunds Legal Defense Against Jawbreakers Lawsuit

Meyer v Waid

We've reported in the past on the civil war brewing in the comics community, with the lines being drawn between what is termed "Comicsgate" and "everyone else."

One of the biggest touchstones of the ongoing friction, and one that has all eyes in the comics community watching, is the lawsuit filed by Richard C. Meyer against Mark Waid for tortious interference in regards to Meyer's contract with Antarctic Press to publish his independent graphic novel, JAWBREAKERS: LOST SOULS. The allegation is that, after Waid publicly admitted to reaching out to the publisher, AP summarily reversed their decision to publish the book, prompting Meyer to sue for damages.

Wed
24
Oct

Not Just Toys – Just How Important is Merchandising?

Movie Merchandising

As kids, we loved new movies not just for the films themselves, but for the inevitable merchandising which would help us reenact some of the thrills at home. Whether through Happy Meals or coloring books, there were dozens of avenues that would help keep us entertained, while building significant profit and interest back in the original property. Often underestimated even to this day, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the most famous merchandising efforts, and the amount of profit and interest they have returned to the starting brand.

Not So Long Ago

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