Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."


No Fooling! We Have a Bombshell for April - KRONICkaren

April 2019 Bombshell KRONICkaren

This one is on us, dear readers. We've been so busy catching up with our office relocations, that we barely noticed the month had changed. So here we are, ankle deep into a new month, and only now getting around to presenting you with this month's cosplayer.

So we beg your forgiveness and indulgences, and hope you'll all agree it was worth the wait for our newest member to the Critical Blast Bombshell club. Now wait no more, and proceed on to meet our...


Critical Blast Bombshell, April 2019



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.


New In-Canon Tarzan Story Debuts Today: Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She

Tarzan Mysterious She Burroughs Tierney

How often have you wished you could get just one more story out of a favorite author who has passed on to that great bookbinding plant in the sky? One more Ray Bradbury thriller, one more Agatha Christie whodunnit.

One more Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure with Tarzan.

If you nodded wistfully to that last statement, you're in luck, because today marks the debut of a new Tarzan story by Burroughs -- with an assist by Michael Tierney. YOUNG TARZAN AND THE MYSTERIOUS SHE is the product of an unfinished Burroughs tale that made its way to light through Tierney's relationship with the Burroughs estate. Initially thought to be contradictory with current Tarzan canon -- Jane Porter being the first blonde woman Tarzan meets, per Burroughs orthodoxy -- the story posed a perlplexing problem, one that Tierney took on and resolved, using established Tarzan lore so that nothing contradicts anything else -- making this tale legitimate canon in the Tarzan universe.


Our March Bombshell is a Living Doll: The DC Doll!

Bombshell March 2019 DC Doll

The breezes of March are upon us, and in some of the southernmost parts of the country trees are already blossoming. (For those of you still buried under record snows, be patient.) The month that's noted for in like a lion, out like a lamb will have many turning their thoughts toward flying kites, playing baseball -- and getting the final touches on those cosplay costumes for the spring and summer convention circuit!

So as the temperatures outside begin to warm and strong winds bring a change of weather, find yourself a cozy spot and prepared to be blown away, as we proudly present to you, dear readers, the much anticipated...


Critical Blast Bombshell, March 2019

The DC Doll


Wakanda Forever: Chadwick Boseman Takes Best Film Actor for 2018

Best Film Actor 2018 Chadwick Boseman Critical Blast Awards

While it's been the norm for actors in superhero films to rank highly in our annual "Best Of" Awards, as decided by the readers of, this year's crop of nominees saw most of the costumed actors take a backseat to talent like RAMI MALEK (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY) and CHRISTIAN BALE (VICE). And to be sure, we had some strong showings by TOM HARDY (VENOM) as well as JASON MOMOA and AMBER HEARD (AQUAMAN), proving our readers aren't tired of the superhero genre yet.


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?


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.




Happy Valentine's Day from Our February Bombshell, Batgirlio!

Feb 2019 Bombshell Batgirlio

If Spring is when our thoughts and fancies are supposed to take a turn for the romantic, then why is Valentine's Day right smack dab in the middle of wintry February? Oh, who cares, when you have some gorgeous cosplay that's hot enough to melt the snow from your sidewalk?

So we're cutting out paper hearts, gluing on glitter and beads, writing rhymes in our fanciest cursive with red markers, and slipping this special Valentine into your decorated mailbox for all your little love notes and cards -- as we happily present to you, our readers, the...


Critical Blast Bombshell, February 2019



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.


Ring the Bell: "Mean" Gene Okerlund Passes at 76

Gene Okerlund

When you watched wrestling back in its heyday, before the WCW got gobbled up by the WWF (which later became the WWE), you had a host of colorful, unbridled, over-the-top personalities all itching to get at one another in the squared circle to combat each other and find out who would be victorious.

Riding herd on all of these men and women through his interviews and broadcasts was "Mean" Gene Okerlund, a man of little stature yet who towered large over the industry. He never backed down from the big guys, and always kept the audiences entertained.

Today, we ring the bell for Gene Okerlund, who has passed away at age 76. No cause of death has yet been listed, however Okerlund has had a history of kidney troubles requiring transplants in 1995 and again in 2004.

Godspeed, "Mean" Gene.


January Bombshell, Kelly Poynter, Hits Bulls-eye with Worthy Cosplay

Bombshell 2019 01 - Green Arrow

Wow. 2018 has just flown right by! Hard to believe we've seen twelve incredible cosplayers already, and with our January 2019 Critical Blast Bombshell, it looks like there's no end to the creative people who are out there making our heroes pop out of the pages and screens and into the real world!

And every once in a while, you find a cosplayer who does a character you not only merely recognize, but whom you would swear was lifted right out of the medium and placed into the world. This month's Bombshell is definitely in that category, and one month in is already on target to be our Bombshell of the Year for 2019. (Granted, he's in a field of one right now, and we'll be adding eleven more to the competition before the year is out -- but for the next 31 days, the odds are definitely in his favor!)

So let's draw back the curtain on a new year -- and a new cosplay Bombshell feature -- as we proudly present to you, our readers, the...



Santa Delivers Cosplay: December 2018 Critical Blast Bombshell, Spittani!

December 2018 Bombshell

Tis the season to be jolly, hang the holly, and oh! by golly get into the folly of...

You know, sometimes a line just doesn't go where you plan it to. But you get the idea. It's December, and everyone's thoughts are turning to that special person in the special outfit who brings us wonderful feelings of happiness.

Nope, not him. At least, not in the Critical Blast offices. We're still totally ready for Santa, sure, but it's our monthly cosplay model who is all the buzz today.

We couldn't wait until Christmas to unwrap this gift. So, please, gather round and feel the comfort and joy as Critical Blast presents to you our...


Critical Blast Bombshell, December 2018



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.


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.


The Hate U Give Makes Powerful Statement

The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is sixteen, with an older brother Seven and a younger brother Sekani.  Their father named them Starr, knowing she would shine, Seven, for perfection, and Sekani for joy.  The Carter family lives in Garden Heights, a poor black neighborhood with crime and drugs, but the children go to school in a suburban white neighborhood.  Starr believes she must act according to her environment in order to fit in and not draw attention to herself.  This creates an internal struggle for Starr which consumes her life.


Has the Indie Done Gone from Indiegogo?

Indiegogo. For months now it's been the go-to site for aspiring comic book creators to fund their dreams. Some have been failures. Some have been moderately successful. And some have simply exploded.

But a chilling effect went through the creative community yesterday when, suddenly, Indiegogo took down the Arkhaven Comics account, citing "unusual activity," and refunded all pledges for a $100,000 project being penned by Chuck Dixon. This happened on the same day that Bleeding Cool ran an article with Arkhaven's controversial publisher, Vox Day, an article the site took down that night, bowing to pressure.

We spoke with Arkhaven creator Jon Del Arroz about the event and what impact it could have on other Arkhaven projects -- and non-Arkhaven projects.


Is Your Kickstarter Data Secure?

Kickstarter Security

It’s something everyone worries about, even if only a little, when putting all your information into some online form: Will my data be kept secure? Who is going to see this other than myself and the agent on the other end? Can I trust this website?

For the most part, with trusted entities, that answer is yes. Barring the occasional intrusion from bad actors working outside the network of a company, you can usually trust that your information won't be mishandled. (Sold to other companies, sure, or even made available to the government -- but that's a story for another day, right Mr. Zuckerberg?) 

So it was a bit alarming when a comic book artist began posting on his social media account the screenshots of personal communiques between Kickstarter and Richard C. Meyer, aka YouTube personality and pariah Diversity & Comics.


October Bombshell Violette Verse: Big Cosplay Comes in Small Packages

Bombshell 2018 10 - Violette

As the Critical Blast Bombshell feature has grown over the years, we've seen all kinds of cosplay, running the gamut from heroes to game icons to cartoon characters to science fiction figures, done by cosplayers who've been at it for years or who have just entered the field. But we've never yet featured a cosplayer like Violette.

Violette is bundle of energy and optimism, which no costume can disguise, and her range of cosplay knows no limits. Wherever she goes, she makes people smile with her commitment to making the world a better place through superheroism.

She's done all this, and she's not even ten years old yet. Tremble at what she'll accomplish as she matures!


Why The Truth About Bert and Ernie Doesn't Matter

Anyone who knows anything about Frank Oz and especially Jim Henson should understand that they created the muppets to provide joy and entertainment to people of all ages.

What they mean to you is different than what they mean to your neighbor.

Recently former Sesame Street writer, Mark Saltzman, came out and said that Bert and Ernie are gay. What being gay means for a muppet is still yet to be determined, however, that was his point of view. Frank Oz, who created Bert and probably knows Jim Henson better than anyone outside of Henson's family, said that Bert isn't gay; he also questioned why their sexuality mattered?


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