Archive for March, 2008

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So the heirs of Jerry Siegel have been awarded copyright of Action Comics #1. Lots of people seem to be freaking out about this. And it bothers me not one bit. Is DC gonna quit publishing Superman comics? Are the Siegels going to start publishing their own Superman comics in competition with DC? The answers to both questions are pretty obviously NO. Read this for some solid facts and info. This is nothing to get worried about, and it’s probably past time that the Siegel family got some of the money that the company owed their dad. This isn’t an injustice at all, and the Siegels aren’t the bad guys. This is a simple business dispute, and it’ll be resolved behind the scenes where it won’t affect our comics one smidgen.

In completely unrelated news:

* Behold Thor, God of Heavy Metal Thunder!

* The return of Classics Illustrated.

* The impact of Jewish creators on the comic book industry’s creation.

* Star Wars zombies!

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Houses of Horror

Let’s go ahead and hit the past few weeks’ worth of horror comics, with some stories about haunted mansions, haunted asylums, and haunted cabins…


Locke and Key #1

The guy who wrote this is named Joe Hill — not familiar? It’s Stephen King’s son. So I guess this is pedigreed horror.

The plot here spotlights Tyler Locke, eldest son of the Locke family. After a couple of unbalanced teens make a deranged attack on the family, Tyler and the other surviving Lockes move to Lovecraft, Massachusetts, to live in the family’s ancestral mansion, known for unspecified reasons as Keyhouse. There, Tyler tries to deal with the family trauma, piled on top of his own teen angst, while the lunatic killer makes deals with unsavory powers to escape the madhouse, and Tyler’s little brother Bode finds a key that unlocks a very dangerous door.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Definitely a good introduction. Good characters, good dialogue, lots of tension. The story is definitely rated M for Mature — this ain’t exactly the Groovie Ghoolies for pre-teens, ya know? Keyhouse is very interesting — I’ve got some suspicions about where the plot is about to go, but we’ll see, won’t we? I’m certainly looking forward to the rest of this comic — the first issue sold out awfully fast, and I hope I don’t miss any of the rest of the series.


B.P.R.D.: 1946 #3

It’s still 1946, and we’re still focused on the first major adventure of Professor Bruttenholm and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Last issue, we discovered a vampire in a barn and learned that Varvara, the adorable little girl who heads up the USSR’s occult research division, is actually a powerful demon. In this issue, the Americans and Russians visit an abandoned insane asylum, where over a hundred maniacs were injected with vampire blood to turn them into monsters. Of course, the half-vampires attack under cover of darkness, several people lose their lives, and Bruttenholm and Varvara meet up with a full-blood vampire who has his own dire plans.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely spooky, especially those scenes in the dark with half-vampires creeping up behind unsuspecting soldiers. Lone criticism: Things are a bit too chaotic, and it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on sometimes. Still, Varvara is such a horrible, horrible little girl, and Baron Konig is nicely creepy, too.


Evil Dead #3

This series continues its re-creation of Sam Raimi’s horror classic, as Ash and his friends are slowly whittled away by the demonic forces inhabiting the cabin. Ash tries to hold on to his own humanity as everyone else gets possessed and turned into Deadites, but it’s becoming more and more clear that his friends are beyond hope, and the only way for him to get out alive is to give in and start killing everyone…

Verdict: Thumbs up. I started out irritated that the series is so perfectly re-creating the movie, but I kept getting so into the groovy horror — it’s been years since I saw the movie, and it really does feel good to get re-acquainted with the story and the characters. And John Bolton’s paintings in this are fantastic. Can paintings of gory, horrific demon-possessed zombies be described as beautiful? I’m gonna go out on a (severed) limb here and say that they can, and they are.

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The Goblin Chronicles #1

This is a comic of local interest — the colorist is Will Terrell, the guy who runs the Lubbock Sketch Club.

This is a fantasy adventure, with four constantly warring races — the elves, the trolls, the goblins, and the shapeshifters — in a land dominated by the evil Dark Queen and plagued by marauding demons called the Host. Most of our story concerns Gorim, a young goblin who cares more for reading and tinkering than warfare. Sent on a hunting expedition, he meets up with Zara the troll, Sprig the shapeshifter, and Princess Gween the elf. Though they fight briefly, they find themselves recruited by a tree — actually Imtrix, a powerful wizard — to fulfill an ancient prophecy and liberate the Four Realms.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a standard fantasy plot, so it really needs good characters — and lo and behold, that’s what they’ve got. Gorim, Zara, Sprig and Gween are all archetypes, but they’re interesting, they’ve got good personalities, and they’re all written with humor. The artwork’s cute and cartoony — my primary complaint would be the similar appearance of goblins and trolls — the trolls all look like goblins on steroids.

How’s Will’s coloring? Well, it looks fine to me. I know that may sound like damning with faint praise, but that’s not my intention. I’m not an artist of any sort, so it’d be silly of me to pretend to talk meaningfully about the art of coloring a comic book. I’m more than happy with the way the book looks — gracious knows I’ve seen some badly colored comics in my day — either muddy colors that run together or garishly eye-straining to look at — but this one is easy on the eyes, gives a great look to the scenery, and adds its own boosts to the atmosphere and mood of the story.

Oooh, and before I forget, I got a sketch from Will when I was buying this book. Check it out — this is our hero, Gorim.


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Friday Night Fights: Bat Booted!

I already used a fight from this comic last Friday, but this one was just too good to pass up.

From the story “The Greater Good” by Darwyn Cooke in DC’s Justice League: The New Frontier Special: Batman gives Superman a nice little boot to the head:


It’s just one panel, but I suspect Bahlactus approves.

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Beetle Juiced

Just one review for today, but when you’ve got a comic as great as this one, that’s really all you need.


Blue Beetle #25

People, as far as I can tell, this is the best comic book, and the best storyline, that I’ve seen in a superhero comic in at least a year, probably longer.

When last we left Jaime Reyes, he was trapped on the spaceship of the evil alien conquerors called the Reach, his Scarab stripped away, powerless, while the aliens tried to kill his family and friends. Sure, Jaime still has a few tricks up his sleeve, but can he manage to get the Scarab back, beat back the aliens, stop the Earth from being destroyed, and get back home? We get a reunion of the old Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League, we get some absolutely killer lines (“That’s right, baby girl. I’m the crazy one” and “I am going to hit you with this stick until you get the #&%$ off my planet” are probably the best of the batch), and we get drama, romance, danger, and suspense up the whazoo.

If you haven’t gotten this one yet, go get it now. Go buy the trade paperbacks, go get every back issue you can. If the local shop’s sold out, beg them to order you some more. I ain’t askin’, I’m tellin’. John Rogers and Rafael Albuquerque have worked their butts off to make this brilliant and insanely awesome comic book, and I’m not going to let you miss out on the fun. Go get it. Now.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ten million thumbs up.

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Assembled Avengers


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #22

I lost track of this one for several months, but there was a spare copy or two at the store last week, so this seems as good a time as any to get back on the bandwagon. What is it? It’s part of Marvel’s all-ages line of comics that’s not so tied down by continuity. The members of the team include Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Storm, and Giant-Girl (basically, she’s what the Wasp woulda been if Janet van Dyne had been more interested in stomping buildings flat than in fashion).

This issue puts most of the focus on Wolverine and Storm, because the Avengers travel to Wakanda, home of Storm’s semi-ex-boyfriend the Black Panther, and try to track down Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth. And… well, that’s pretty much the gist of the plot. Ain’t nothing wrong with simple and straightforward.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of good superhero-ey action and nice artwork. Wolverine’s personality is a bit stereotyped (“Grr, I have to get Sabretooth on my own because he’s my responsibility, for some reason no one knows. And because I’m moody.”), but Storm is a good deal more interesting. The Black Panther is cool, and his costume is just about the best one I’ve ever seen designed for him. And every time I look at this, I get more and more impressed by, of all things, the coloring work by Ulises Arreola, especially in the night scenes, when the light from the moon hits all the right highlights. I had a heck of a lot of fun reading this.


Tangent: Superman’s Reign #1

Okay, back in ’97, DC came up with a temporary new imprint called “Tangent Comics” for one of their “fifth-week” events. The gimmick with Tangent was that it was an all-new superhero universe, built using new characters with familiar names — the Flash was a light-based superheroine; the Atom was an atomic powerhouse; Superman was a hyper-evolved psychic cop; the Joker was an anarchic female hero. The Tangent Universe has been established as Earth-9 in the post-“52” universe, and references to it have popped up occasionally, but this is its first major series since a short Tangent series in ’98.

The Tangent Universe is a lot different place than it used to be. Superman has taken over and is trying to “reform” most of the world’s heroes and villains, against their will. The Joker has lost most of her sense of humor under the totalitarian parole system, and Green Lantern has lost her Green Lantern, leaving her at death’s door. Manhunter and the Spectre, meanwhile, are trying to rescue the missing Atom. And over in the regular DC Universe, our Flash meets the Tangent Flash, and they and Green Lantern take Green Lantern’s Green Lantern (umm, what?) into the Tangent Universe to see what’s up.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve always kinda liked the idea of the Tangent Universe, though I’m worried that all the duplicate names is gonna make it rough to describe what’s going on.

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Ya ever heard of a 24-hour comic? Basically just what it sounds like — a full-length comic book created, from the first line of the script to last ink on the cover, in just 24 hours.

And Lubbock is about to host its first-ever 24-hour comic event.

Let’s turn it over to the organizer, Brandon Adkins, for all the details.

24 Hours In Lubbock: Lubbock’s first official 24-hour comic event!

Doors open: Begins: Friday, March 28th at 9:30pm (Asbury Center/Hope Shalom off of 19th and Ave T)

Doors close at 10:00pm, sorry no latecomers.

Ends: Saturday, March 29th, at 10:00pm (Freebirds World Burrito on South Loop 289)

What is a 24-hour comic?

The ultimate comicbook creating marathon. A virtual rite of passage for any comics creator.

All you have to do is make something that usually takes 24 days in 24 hours…

Make a comic, 24 pages (+ cover) in 24 hours from start to finish. No preparation, outlines, layouts, character designs, or script.

What you need:

Your well-rested, punctual self.
Whatever paper and art supplies you feel comfortable using to make comics.

Transportation to the event.

Optional, but useful:

Your favorite caffeinated beverage, and snack food (if you’re picky or want to share)
A pillow (If you’re the powernapping type)

A seat cushion (remember you’ll be sitting a lot)

Snacks, drinks and basic art supplies will be available, but if you’d like to bring some to share, that would be keen!

Transportation from the event is available (just let us know beforehand). Please don’t plan to drive back from this event as we don’t want any accidents.

The Lubbock Sketch Club will be hosting this 24-hour comic event to jumpstart our local comics creators in preparation for the Lubbock Comics Expo. You can publish the results of your 24 hour comics, or use the ideas and characters to publish a more “finished” piece.

If you let us know you’re attending, before the big day, we will send you a special, nifty, neato, spiffy keen email (at least Brandon thinks so) in response. If you don’t have email, a slightly less spiffy printout will be provided at the event with your name emblazoned in glorious marker. Either way, you will have our undying gratitude.

For details check out our website at: or send an email to:

So there you got it. Comic creators and aspiring artists, be there or be square. It’s not like you were planning on sleeping during the weekend, were ya?!

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Bloody Good


The Goon #22

There’s a new Zombie Priest in town, and he’s got the zombies givin’ the old Zombie Priest the bizness. He’s also got some bad news in store for the rest of town, too. More of the more docile zombies around town are starting to go bad — and I don’t mean smelly — and Momma Norton, the crazy gypsy mother of the local pub owner, is gunned down, possibly by Labrazio, a guy who the Goon killed years ago. But if it’s not Labrazio, who’s behind the killing? What will Norton do to get revenge? Will the Goon get to beat anyone to pieces with a shovel before the end of this?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not quite as much riotously funny stuff as in previous issues. This is really a dead serious story, with lots of emotion, from Momma Norton’s bloody prediction of death to Norton’s complete sorrow over his momma’s passing. Even the Goon is deeply affected by all this — he cries twice, whether from sadness for Momma Norton or his own tortured past with Labrazio. It’s easy to forget that this is a horror comic, what with all the crazy, funny stuff that happens here, but it’s clear that some truly horrific stuff is on the way.


Justice League of America #19

The Justice League heads out to the prison planet where the government has been stashing supervillains (in the “Salvation Run” series). They take along Rick Flag, a government agent who helped put the villains away. Unfortunately, when they finally arrive at the planet the government has been sending everyone to, they find it deserted, except for a few illusions of supervillains. They are taken prisoner by strange glowing tentacles of energy that only Hawkgirl is able to escape from. It turns out that their captor is the mostly useless space-tyrant Kanjar Ro, and he reveals that the villains’ teleport beams were intercepted by teleport beams from… somewhere else… before they arrived here. After that, the heroes escape and, um, I guess they go back home.

Verdict: Thumbs down. So much awfulness. Kanjar Ro? What, was Crazy Quilt not available? And he uses energy “drawn from the fabric of space-time” that just happens to be weakened by Hawkgirl’s all-purpose “Nth Element?” Isn’t that fairly stupidly convenient? And finally, I’m just completely sick to death of Ed Benes’ plastic, Michael-Turneresque penciling.


The Flash #238

Flash and his family are having money troubles — Wally can’t get a job, and being a superhero doesn’t really pay very well. There’s a new supervillain in town called Spin who can turn people’s fears real — he actually causes an earthquake by latching onto people’s fears of an earlier quake. And when Flash gets caught on camera complaining about his money woes, the media launches the soundbite into a major scandal. And when Wally goes after Spin, the villain manages to use his power to turn people’s fears about Flash selling out into reality.

Verdict: Thumbs up, more or less. Spin is, honestly, a fairly lame villain, but I liked the way they introduced Wally’s money troubles. One of the things that’s always bugged me about superheroes is that most of them, as written, should be unable to keep a job and just a shade above abject poverty anyway. So it’s not at all bad, but Spin is just a lousy villain.

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Comic Book Expo coming to Lubbock!

If you ain’t heard the news, mark your calendars for May 3rd.


The official site is here.

Looks like most activities will be taking place at Lubbock’s Science Spectrum, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 3. That’s the same day as Free Comic Book Day, and the day after the “Iron Man” movie hits theaters.

Admission fees are just $3 per person, or two people for five bucks. Kids under 12 are free, but you gotta come with an adult. And if you come in costume, admission is free, too.

Don’t come expecting a huge mega-con. The Expo’s being kept fairly small on purpose — most of us have never run a convention before, so it’s best to keep it small and friendly. Besides, there’s going to be as much emphasis on education and community-building as there will be on geekery.

Will there be special guests? Maybe. That’s still being determined.

More news to come, I’m sure. But for now, mark your calendars: Saturday, May 3, at the Science Spectrum.

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Happy Bunny Day!

Merry Easter! And you know what Easter means on a comic book blog, right? Other than eating those awesome Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs?

That’s right. Bunny pictures.








Happy Easter, kids!

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