Posts Tagged ‘Comic Books’

Harvey Pekar dies at 70.

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Harvey Pekar (70) was found dead in his home early Monday morning. An autopsy will later conclude the cause of death.

Harvey Pekar was an award winning comic book writer who celebrated the working class everyman. He is most known for his autobiographical comic book series “American Splendor” (which he started after becoming friends with comic artist Robert Crumb, who became the first artist to illustrate American Splendor) as well as his book length autobiographical “Our Cancer Year” which he wrote with his wife after being diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1990. In addition to being a cancer survivor, he was also diagnosed with high blood pressure, asthma, and depression which fueled his art but made often made his life painful.

He has worked on numerous projects, and has received critical acclaim for his achievements including The American Book Award in 1987 for his American Splendor anthology and the Harvey Award in 1995 for “Our Cancer Year”.

There was also a film made about his life also titled “American Splendor” which came out in 2003 featuring Paul Giamatti as Pekar, the film also had great reviews and response and earned a renewed interest in Pekar’s work.

He often saw the funny parts in boring everyday life, things that most people do not write about. He will be missed.

Wonder Woman gets a makeover, at 69.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

(NY Times) – Wednesday is a good day for Wonder Woman. This 69-year-old superheroine, published by DC Comics, will don a new, and less revealing, costume and enjoy the publication of Issue No. 600 of her monthly series.

The costume ties into an alternative history for the character devised by J. Michael Straczynski, the new writer of the series, and into a quest by DC to shine a critical and creative spotlight on the heroine, who stands with Superman and Batman in its primary triumvirate of superstars, despite her series’s modest sales.

In the reimagining of her story, Wonder Woman, instead of growing up on Paradise Island with her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and her Amazon sisters, is smuggled out as a baby when unknown forces destroy her home and slaughter its inhabitants.

Mr. Straczynski, who created the television show “Babylon 5” and wrote the screenplay for “Changeling” in 2008, starring Angelina Jolie, said in an e-mail message that he wanted to address “the wardrobe issue” as soon as he took the job.

“She’s been locked into pretty much the exact same outfit since her debut in 1941,” Mr. Straczynski wrote. “If you’re going to make a statement about bringing Wonder Woman into the 21st century, you need to be bold and you need to make it visual. I wanted to toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility.”

He added, “What woman only wears only one outfit for 60-plus years?”

Given Wonder Woman’s pre-eminence as a female character in the largely male superhero pantheon, her looks have always been a matter of more than casual interest, to both fanboys and feminists. In a 2006 interview about her work on the series, the novelist Jodi Picoult said: “One of the first things I did was ask if we could give her breast-reduction surgery, because as a woman, I know you wouldn’t fight crime in a bustier. But I was somehow shot down by DC.”

The new costume was designed by the artist Jim Lee, who in February was named co-publisher of DC, alongside Dan DiDio. Given the assignment, “my first reaction was, ‘Oh my gosh,’ ” Mr. Lee said in an interview. But he welcomed the challenge: “When these characters become so branded that you can’t change things, they become ossified.”

The new look, with an understated “W” insignia, a midnight blue jacket and a flinty fusion of black tights and boots — is darker than the famed swimsuit-style outfit, and aims to be contemporary, functional and, as Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” might say, less costumey.

Given the hope that the character will one day have her own international film franchise (a feature has long been gestating at Warner Entertainment, DC’s parent company), one test of the design was to imagine how it would look standing next to, say, Batman’s politically neutral ensemble. “The original costume was the American flag brought to life,” Mr. Lee said. “This one is a little more universal.”

Mr. Lee has drawn his share of sexy superheroines (the X-Men’s Rogue among them), some in skimpy costume, and knows what many fans will ask: “Why am I covering up her legs?” Ultimately, he wanted her to look strong “without screaming, ‘I’m a superhero.’ ”

The arrival of Issue 600 is a bit of comic-book sleight of hand, or, as DC calls it, a return to historical numbering. Wonder Woman’s first self-titled series, which begin in 1942, ended with No. 329. The character was then overhauled, her previous continuity erased, and she starred in Volume 2 as a heroine new to the world. That incarnation lasted 226 issues. Another new direction spurred a third volume (and, to collectors who care about such things, another Issue No. 1) that ran for 44 issues. Do the math, and what would have been Issue No. 45 is now Volume 1, No. 600.

The new costume will almost certainly be better received than the curveball thrown Wonder Woman in 1968, when she lost her powers, dressed mod and practiced martial arts. It took the attention of no less than Gloria Steinem to protest the change, and to help get the Amazon back into her star-spangled duds. Ms. Steinem went on to use Wonder Woman, resplendent in red, white and blue, on the cover of the first issue of Ms. magazine in 1972. A cover line proclaimed, “Wonder Woman for President.”

That’s the kind of attention Mr. Straczynski thinks she deserves: “Wonder Woman is a strong, dynamic, vibrant character who should be selling in the top 20, and I’m going to do all I can to get her there.”

Movie Review: Iron man 2

Monday, May 10th, 2010

By far, one of the best shots in the film.

So like most fan boys, I was pretty rearing to go to see the new Iron Man movie. Now don’t get me wrong, even though I am a cynical jerk and really bash a lot of the movies I watch… I was actually looking foward to seeing Iron Man 2. The first one was better than I expected, and I really wanted to see the bar raised for this one.

If the bar was raised… someone forgot to tell Marvel because they made a movie that reminds me of that girl in the tourist bar you always see. All hype… no follow through. You know the type, just out to score free drinks. In this sense.. the free drink is a 13 dollar movie ticket, and we all got taken for a ride.

Now don’t get me wrong. The movie is visually stunning. (Like said girl in a bar). It’s pretty to look at, there are scenes that are kind of cool if they lasted long enough. It’s just well… I think I saw more of Tony OUT of the suit than in it. They tried to tackle this plot of Tony Stark dying, but we didn’t care, we wanted some action. The story was a bastardized version of the comic (will we ever learn Marvel… it didn’t go down like that) and we comic fans have to put up with it so Joe Dumbass who never read a comic in his life can approve it…

That’s just it Marvel movie studio… if I NEVER read a comic book before, I guess I’d be impressed (ahem.. wanted anyone?)

On the cool though, Scarlett Johansson’s fine Tom Waits’ lovin’ self was damn gorgeous. They could have casted better, but at least she was something to look at.

SPOILER ALERT:
(more…)

Arkham Asylum getting it’s own action figure line

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Harley Quinn looking like a tasty tart!

How many action figures based on Batman do you think have been released? The answer for some of you might be, “Way too many,” and others might say, “Not close to enough.” Well we will soon have another set of figures based on the Caped Crusader. The magazine Toyfare (via the Previewsworld web site) has announced they will have the exclusive reveal of the Batman: Arkham Asylum action figures in their June 2010 issue.

The line, from DC Direct, is of course based on the hit Rocksteady-Eidos-Warner Brothers Interactive game from 2009 that will soon be re-released as a Game of the Year version in May. There’s not much info on what the action figure line will contain or when they will be available; obviously the magazine issue will be the first place to get the details.

Expect more details this year, we’d definitely like to get our hands on some of this.

[From BigDownload.com]

Mass Effect Redemption Sells Out!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Redemption bridges the gap between ME1 & ME2!

(Press Release) – Following up on last week’s news of the explosive first issue of Mass Effect: Redemption disappearing out of stores across the country, Dark Horse and EA announce that the series’ second issue will be reprinted as well.

Mass Effect: Redemption tells the exciting back-story that led up to the events of Mass Effect 2, the recently released video game developed by the award-winning creative team at BioWare. The game’s lead writer Mac Walters takes up the pen to give fans exclusive insight into the events that unfolded between the conclusion of the original Mass Effect, and the beginning of Mass Effect 2. Scripted by John Jackson Miller (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, The Invincible Iron Man) and drawn by Omar Francia (Star Wars Legacy), this four-part series explores the exotic and dangerous future Milky Way of Mass Effect, revealing previously unseen locations, aliens, and enemies of this rich science fiction landscape.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, stunning space exploration and emotionally engaging characters, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience. Mass Effect 2 was released on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe and has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘18+’ by PEGI (please visit www.esrb.org and www.pegi.eu for more information on ratings). For more news from the development team, please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masseffect2 or visit the game’s official website at www.masseffect.bioware.com.

“We knew we had something special on our hands with Mass Effect” said Dark Horse Director of Public Relations, Jeremy Atkins. “Even still, watching this series sell out issue by issue is exciting, indeed!”

For those who have yet to read the explosive first issue, it is also currently available for download on iTunes for just 99 cents.

Mass Effect: Redemption is the fifth title to arrive in Dark Horse’s ever-growing stable of comics available on the iPhone platform. Other titles available now include Gerard Way’s smash hit Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Terminator: Death Valley, and multiple titles the critically acclaimed line of Star Wars comics.

DARK HORSE AND EA ANNOUNCE MASS EFFECT : REDEMPTION

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Mass Effect : Redemption

THE YEAR’S MOST ANTICIPATED NEW COMIC SERIES EXPLODES OFF OF THE PAGE AND ONTO YOUR iPHONE!

(Press Release) – Tomorrow, the year’s most anticipated video game Mass Effect 2 is released nationwide. In celebration, Dark Horse and Electronic Arts Inc. announced that the comic will be released to the iPhone mobile comics platform.

Mass Effect: Redemption tells the exciting back-story that led up to the events of Mass Effect 2, the eagerly anticipated video game developed by the award-winning creative team at BioWare. The game’s lead writer Mac Walters takes up the pen to give fans exclusive insight into the events that unfolded between the conclusion of the original Mass Effect, and the beginning of Mass Effect 2. Scripted by John Jackson Miller (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, The Invincible Iron Man) and drawn by Omar Francia (Star Wars Legacy), this four-part series explores the exotic and dangerous future Milky Way of Mass Effect, revealing previously unseen locations, aliens, and enemies of this rich science fiction landscape.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, stunning space exploration and emotionally engaging characters, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience. Mass Effect 2 is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe and has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘18+’ by PEGI (please visit www.esrb.org and www.pegi.eu for more information on ratings). For more news from the development team, please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masseffect2 or visit the game’s official website at www.masseffect.bioware.com.

“We’ve been trying to figure out a way to not only profit from these new technologies, but to use them in a way that it would drive customers into the stores of our loyal retailers” said Dark Horse Director of Communications, Dirk Wood. “We came up with the idea of this staggered release in hopes of accomplishing just that.”

Mass Effect: Redemption is the fifth title to arrive in Dark Horse’s ever-growing stable of comics available on the iPhone platform. Other titles available now include Gerard Way’s smash hit Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Terminator: Death Valley, and multiple titles the critically acclaimed line of Star Wars comics. The first issue will hit iTunes February 3rd, just in time for the release of second issue of the series.

For more information, please visit www.darkhorse.com/Features/Mobile.

Comic Relief

Saturday, December 19th, 2009
Can't keep America's hero down!

Can't keep America's hero down!

Like most people plugged in these days, we here at BG can tell you what day of the week it is by what is going on… For instance… new DVDs and music… that comes out on Tuesdays. New movies? That’s Friday unless it’s a blockbuster, then it’s a Thursday showing. Saturday? That’s when our new Hangovers are due… But Wednesdays, now that’s something special. Because Wednesdays my dear friends… is comic book day.

2009 saw some doozies… here’s our favorite comic happenings for the year:

THE BEST

1. Captain America – He is back. Yeah… after about 3 years of being dead… turns out he’s only mostly dead.

2. Battlefields – It’s WAR! It’s Comics! And it’s written by Garth Ennis of Preacher fame.

3. The “Oz” series – It all started with “The Wizard Of Oz” that was adapted more closely to the books, now it’s growing to include the other Oz books. Best part? The art is by Skottie Young.

4. Batman – Shenanigans… Bruce isn’t here any more… Dick Grayson has taken the mantle of the bat. Bruce’s son is the new Robin, and the old Robin… he’s now Red Robin. Beautiful art and writing in the new “Batman and Robin” series… Fans are a talkin’.

5. Image United – Remember the 90’s? So do tons of others. The original Image creators are back, and Image United has been selling out. Best thing? Al Simmons is back.

THE WORST

1. HULK – This is hard for me… I love the Hulk character… but they need to cut out this Red Hulk business. I’ve never been more bored in my life.

2. The “she characters of Marvel” – Red She hulk and Lady Deadpool. Let’s stop beating a dead horse.

I've got a bad feeling about this...

I've got a bad feeling about this...

3. Xmen Forever – Chris Claremont picks up from his 90’s Xmen run. It’s hit or miss. Sometimes it’s interesting… and other times… he kills off Wolverine and gives Kitty a claw. That spells lame.

4. Wolverine Origins – It’s just bad, people.

5. The great comic book company buyout of 2009 – WB bought DC. Disney buys Marvel. We are still awaiting the fallout. I don’t care what anyone says. Never trust the man, The mouse is gonna kill comics eventually. I may be sounding like that crazy bum outside the train station with a “End is Near” sign… But comics are a dying art form. I doubt a company as money hungry as these two are going to keep a traditional medium like comics.

-Timothy Danger

Interview: Matt Busch at Star Wars Fan Days III

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
And this is an attention getter!

And this is an attention getter!

I met Matt Busch at Star Wars Fan Days in late October. Fan Days is great for the Star Wars fan. There are celebrities to meet, collectables to buy, and artwork to get from Star Wars sanctioned artists. One such artist was Matt Busch who impressed us with his “Learn to Draw Star Wars DVDs” and Zombie themed SW prints. Matt took some time from his schedule to hang and chat with us… here’s the result of that.

BG: So how’s Fan Days going for you so far?
MB: Fan Days is rocking. I’m having a blast, last year was my first year I had fun then and I’m having even more fun this year. I love Texas, love the show, I’m having a blast.

BG: So this is your second year?
MB: It is. The show is great the folks that run the show, Ben Stevens in particular who runs the show, Mark Walters, they really treat the artists like royalty. I like the program they do with the sketch cards I think it’s really neat. It’s a neat way for fans to be able to afford an original piece of official art. It’s really kick ass that people can take advantage of that. Collectables are great I think it’s awesome. I’m a collector myself I think it’s cool to have a show like this.

BG: You know I talk to a lot of artists at things like this. Some artists say sometimes the prints are the bigger sellers, sometimes the original art. What do you think is your biggest seller?
MB: Gosh. I think for me, kinda what’s been my blessing is that I’ve been a jack of all trades, master of none. Honestly it’s been a sampling of art, sketch cards, DVDs, books of my work, it’s been a pretty random sampling this year.

Matt Busch and BG's Timothy Danger at Star Wars Fan Days III

Matt Busch and BG's Timothy Danger at Star Wars Fan Days III

BG: Let’s talk about the “You can draw Star Wars” DVD you have here… can you tell me about it?
MB: Sure. It started as a book that was written by Bonnie Burton, I did some of the artwork, Tom Hodges who is also here did some of the artwork…and there was an opportunity to make video episodes for star wars.com and their website and it really kind of started from that. Then I had 7 episodes for the 1st season for a limited edition DVD, I did another season that was collected on DVD, I’m about to start the 3rd season I’m starting work on that right now, it’s been blast. They are a pretty big hit online. I love it. They are real educational for people who want to learn how to draw I mean what cooler thing than drawing Star Wars for learning how to draw. I mean they are the books and DVDs I didn’t have as a kid. Well I didn’t have any DVDs as a kid because they didn’t exist yet… but you know it’s all the stuff I wish I had when I was a kid. The ability to make some of that stuff and inspire children of all ages from ages 4 to 81 it’s a dream come true it’s been a lot of fun.

BG: I have to ask… who’s your favorite to draw?
MB: Well the easiest to draw is stromtroopers there isn’t a lot you know they are all white. The hardest to draw is either C3PO or Darth Vader. Darth Vader is easy to paint but he’s hard to draw.

BG: That’s interesting… You mentioned painting what’s your favorite type of medium to use?
MB: Normally most of my painted work is acrylics with a little bit of color pencil on top for details. Here at the show I have some color markers to touch up sketch cards. Otherwise I like all the mediums really I think it keeps me from getting bored to pull out a different medium you know pull out charcoal pencils or pen and ink to keep from getting in a rut and have everything look the same.

Every TV boy's fantasy!

Every TV boy's fantasy!

BG: Things like your drumsticks here… is that something you thought on your own?
MB: No I was actually contacted by a company called pinup sticks that wanted me to illustrate some hot ladies and make some sexy drumsticks. I Had a lot of fun doing that. So far the three that are available are METAL MISTRISS, BUILT FOR POUNDING (my personal favorite), and SOUTHERN BELLE, and the other one coming out is PERCUSSION CONCUSSION.

BG: So the work you do is it mostly freelance?
MB: Yea it’s mostly freelance I think I prefer that to having a full time job where I’m working on the same kind of stuff all the time. You know for years and years paid my dues where I basically said yes to every job. Even if it was things like Kibbles and Bits storyboards. Now I’m at the point where I can pick and choose. I’m been blessed and really lucky I can do the stuff I love I get paid to draw stuff that I got in trouble for in grade school It’s pretty wild.

BG: Do you have any tips for aspiring artists trying to break in?
MB: The biggest tip I can give is to stay with it. I believe there is enough work for everyone. I think if you stay with it, don’t give up I truly believe there is enough work for everyone I think you need to find your niche and find where that is. But as soon as you give up obviously you’ll never get any work. Everytime you send out your work to another company you just increased your chances by 100 percent. Stay with it practice makes perfect. In addition to sending your work out there always refine your skills try to see what you can do to get better. You know I’m a student for life I don’t know it all I am continually learning and evolving and enjoying the process I think that kind of attitude will help me grow.

BG: so Matt Busch dot com?
MB: Yeah I mean I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace but the easiest is www.mattbusch.com, Busch is spelled like the beer not like the shrub.

BG: nice.. and do you have anything we should be looking out for?
MB: Well right now the most recent thing is the SW zombie posters I am showing here, they seem to be a big hit. I’m working on Planet of the Apes stuff. I’m all over the place.

BG: Well hey Matt, thanks for talking with us, we appreciate it…
MB: Sure… No problem thanks for sharing the love.


See artwork for sale, galleries and blog info for Matt at www.MattBusch.com. Matt appeared at Star Wars Fan Days III in Plano, Texas courtesy of Lucas Arts where this interview was conducted.

THE HERO INITIATIVE USES WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON TO INCREASE INDUSTRY SUPPORT

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
www.HeroInititave.org

www.HeroInitiative.org

The Hero Initiative will be on site for Toronto Comic Con & Chicago Comic Con

(New York, NY) – The Hero Initiative and Wizard World Comic Con will partner in 2010 to maximize the reach to fans for this important comic industry charity organization, Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York-based Wizard Entertainment and producer of Wizard World Comic Con tour, announces today.

“It’s important to support The Hero Initiative since they support so many of the folks in our industry. Without this industry support many artists wouldn’t be able to keep producing the wonderful work we love,” said Shamus.

The Hero Initiative will have a booth at Toronto Comic Con and Chicago Comic Con in 2010 to raise awareness among fans of the importance of their continued industry support. They will also invite special comic book guests to sign at their booth to help increase donations for the organization and art auctions will be part of convention programming with proceeds going to The Hero Initiative.

“Being on location at Wizard World Comic Con events helps us reach many fans when they are in a place to understand their role in the industry, and how if you love something, you have the power and the obligation to support it, like our organization does,” said Christina Zietsma, Associate Development Director at The Hero Initiative. “Partnering with Wizard World on a larger scale, outside of only the convention appearances, is strategic move by the organization to maximize awareness and impact for The Hero Initiative.”

More programming and special guest details for The Hero Initiative at Wizard World Comic Con events will be announced soon.

The Hero Initiative is also selling tickets for all Wizard World 2010 Comic Con events with part of the proceeds going back to the charity. Go to www.heroinitiative.org to buy your tickets now for Toronto Comic Con, Anaheim Comic Con and Philadelphia Comic Con. More events will be added as they go on sale.

For more information on the Wizard World Comic Con tour, including show dates, locations and guests go to www.wizardworld.com.

About The Hero Initiative:
The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit over 40 creators and their families with over $400,000 worth of much-needed aid, fueled by fan contributions. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Champions Online Free Play Weekend

Monday, October 26th, 2009
Champions Online Free Play Weekend 10-31 to 11-02

Champions Online Free Play Weekend 10-31 to 11-02

Next weekend, if you haven’t bought your Halloween costume yet, whip you up a superhero suit on Champions Online and spend some time making the city streets a better place by paticipating in their free weekend play session.

From Friday October 30th to Monday November 2nd, Cryptic is opening up Champions Online to any and all who want to come try it out. Simply head over to the free play promo page, sign up for an account, download the client, and then start desiging your hero.

The free play weekend coincides with Champions ”Blood Moon” Halloween event, which introduces invading zombie hordes and the introduction of the new Celestial power set. The event begins for current subscribers on the 27th. Free players can play around with it once the weekend starts.

Since MMO’s are an ongoing monthy investment, anytime the free downloads and plays are available we’d say “hey your crazy not to give it a whirl”.

[Source]

-BG Crew










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