21 Comics that are better than DJT or How I spent inauguration day 2017

Rather than give the media any of my time this day, I chose instead, to spend my time in the comic cave reading some of my favorite comics. Some of the comics held a special political meaning for me while others were just plain fun to read. In any case, here’s my list:

img_58221. Wolverine vol. 3 “Old Man Logan” Issues 66-72
Mark Millar can have my money; I will throw it at him if he keeps writing great stories such as this. The premise: Logan has long since given up the Wolverine mantle and lives life on a post-apocalyptic frontier as a pacifist farmer. Enter Hawkeye with the promise of adventure, mayhem and some much-needed cash. img_5823

2. The Killer vol. 1
An assassin with no moral compass is available to the highest bidder in this tale of espionage and murder. Matz and Luc Jacamon provide an in-depth look at a man who operates in the shadows of the underworld, who kills without mercy and never asks questions.

img_58163. Granville vol. 1
Scotland Yard, chief inspectors and world domination on steampunk steroids. Granville is s tale of conspiracy and government covers up shown through the lens of anthropomorphic splendor by the talented Bryan Talbot. img_5819

4. Wild’s End
The country side of England is quiet, peaceful and full of fire from the sky. An unassuming retired community is terrorized by an invader from out of space. Afternoon tea will never be the same thanks to Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard.

img_58155. Mind MGMT
Matt Kindt takes us on a journey of mind control, secret societies, political espionage  and world domination. We are all being controlled, convinced that what we see isn’t really happening and what’s happening is beyond imagination. So, what’s to stop an investigative reporter from blowing the lid off the whole thing? img_5820

6. Just a Pilgrim
The world burned and took mankind with it. Staying alive is a daily goal, eating a decent meal is a distance second. Still, the Pilgrim isn’t phased, for he had a purpose and a guide through the good book. Will anything shake is faith? From the brilliant mind of Garth Ennis, prepare for the end is nigh.

img_58177. Proof vol 1 “Goatsucker” Issues 1-5
The government has a secret program used to address unnatural phenomena where ever it occurs. In this world created by Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo, Big Foot has a name, wears a suit and fears nothing as he protects mankind.screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-8-39-24-pm

8. Superman: King of the World
Superman takes over the world in a power grab to protect the innocent and thwart evil. Karl Kesel shows us what can happen when the man of steel takes over as ruler of Earth.

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-8-42-02-pm9. Y the Last Man
Brian K. Vaughan is no stranger to a well written saga (see what I did there?). In Y, we learn that a disease has wiped out all species with the y chromosome. Well except Yorick Brown, who wakes up and finds he is the last man on earth. How will the survivors, all women receive him?screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-19-26-pm

10. Rotten
It’s the wild west; guns, horses, cowboys, hold-ups and zombies? This comic was written back when a non popular vote president took office during the 2000s. Mark Rahner and Robert Horton pull no punches with political satire and familiar zombie faces.

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-22-01-pm11. Mystery Society
When Nick and Anastasia win the lottery, they pursue their dreams. They chase down conspiracy rumors, thwart the government and break into Area 51. What fun! Nick and Anastasia’s antics are beautifully illustrated by the fabulous Fiona Staples and wonderfully penned by Steve Niles. screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-25-45-pm

12. The Cape
What happens when a loser learns his childhood blanket posses super powers? He turns his life around, rights wrongs and fights for justice right? No that’s not how Eric does things. Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella take us on a dark ride of vengeance led by a man with super strength and the ability to fly.

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-26-44-pm13.  Astonishing X-men vol. 3 “Gifted” Issues 1-6
Cyclops forms a new team of X-men to watch over mutant youth. The team’s first assignment, stop an alien holding human hostages. Oh and a mad scientist has come up with a cure for the mutant gene. Joss Whedon writes the return of Kitty Pryde with style and flair.screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-18-22-pm

14. Rachel Rising
Go out for a night on the town and wake up in a shallow grave with a noose still tired around your neck; thus the beginning of Rachel Rising by the illustrious Terry Moore. Its a murder mystery and so much more as Rachel tries to find her killer while fighting the likes of Lilith and Malus.

img_582115. Superman: Red Son
In 2003, Mark Millar penned an elseworld story that imagined a baby Kal-El landing in the Ukraine during the age of Stalin. Comrade Superman is an easy pawn for a communist regime. screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-30-05-pm

16. All Star Superman
There’s nothing like a Superman comic written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quietly. Clark/Superman is oh so human, so compassionate, he shows his vulnerabilities, offers his powers to Lois and makes the ultimate sacrifice for a stranger.

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-30-42-pm17. Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft
A tragedy in their home forces a family to relocate to an estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Soon it’s discovered there are forces in play that manipulate everyone associated with Key House. It’s the ultimate fight between good and evil, thanks to Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-33-50-pm

18. Stuff of Legend
Into the Dark to rescue the Boy, a group of toys and his pet dog venture to fight The Booegyman. Mike Racist, Brian Smith and Charles P Wilson compose a melancholy tale of courage and betrayal.

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-37-19-pm19. 30 Days of Night
It’s a vampire’s dream, a remote town full of warm blood and no sunlight in sight. All that’s needed is to cut off all communication inside and out and let the feeding begin. A master of horror tales Steve Niles hones a vampire narrative for the modern age; Ben Templesmith aptly provides the images.screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-36-51-pm

20. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 “Long Way Home” Issues 1-4
Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty bring us the eighth season of everyone’s favorite vampire slayer. Buffy is operating in a world full of other slayers yet the threat of world annihilation has not lessened. This comic picks up where the television show left off.

img_581821. RASL
On the surface, Jeff Smith introduces a character that appears to be a raging alcoholic art thief who has the means to travel between dimensions of earth. Who is RASL and how did he come upon The Drift?

All in all it was a day well spent.

Ahh the smell of Speculation

I try not to speculate about comics as I was one of many who was burned during the 90s bad girl foil limited edition variant cover shenanigans. I remember when Image had a few titles and Todd McFarland was still writing and drawing comics. That said, each Wednesday I check out Comic Book Scalping for shits and giggles.

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 9.35.27 AM.png
Image from Comic Book Scalping December 2016

Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by finding something interesting to add to my hunt list. Other times, I’m tickled to find that a comic I own is a hotly sought after item with high resale value. Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 10.07.10 AM.pngTake for instance this blurb about #GothamCitySirens. I had no idea it was so popular among speculators. Why? Because there’s going to be a movie with the same title, staring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. For me, it feels a little bit like The Walking Dead boom all over again (granted on a small scale but still). I picked up the variant back when it first hit the shelves because I liked the way J.G. Jones draw the ladies. Even if the suggested speculation price is inflated, any price over the $5.99 I paid is a bonus.

 

Many of the comics I like to read, turn up on this speculator’s list of books to look for; case in point “Postal” by Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-10-51-58-am
Image from Comic Book Scalping September 2016

Oh yeah and last week when I finally got to my local comic shop and discovered that I had 2 copies of the recalled issue of Saga… imagine my happiness! Seems I will soon be sending a group of books off to CBCS for grading!

Yes, I have been living under a rock as I was not aware that Skybound now has a quarterly subscription box service. If I had the spare cash, I would definitely sign up for this. Here is a link to the cool write up in Comic Book Scalping Skybound MegaBox.

Better Beginning

2016 was one of the most difficult years of my adult life. Things well out of my control spiraled downhill and no matter what I was stuck on that ride. So 2016 went bye bye yesterday, I won’t miss it and I hope to never repeat a year like it. I am hopeful… for a better beginning, for a better life and a better future. I hope to find the happiness and joy comics used to bring me. It will happen.screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-8-46-40-am

Bone the Great Adventure

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I’ve been reading some really good comics lately and it has helped as I recover from my depression. I have been tweeting about some of the stories but for the most part I want to mention them here. My current loves are: Clean Room, Giant Days, Postal, Saga, Mae, Black Hammer, Harrow County and Dept. H. I tried some new comics recently, “Spell on Wheels” and “Seven to Eternity”. So far I have been quite pleased with both. I imagine as I heal and am more myself, there will be more books added to my list. For now, this is good I think. img_5583

In between playing Pokémon Go (yes I still play though Niantic keeps updating the fun right out of it), I have been reading some olimg_5587d stuff and some new stuff. I revisited Bone, a truly wondrous tale by the great Jeff Smith.

At one point I had 4 copies of the one volume edition, I gave one away (to encourage more fans), yet still have three. One is a reader copy, the one read through most recently and man did I finger those pages (haha). One is a limited edition leather volume with lovely gold foil.  My last copy is part of a limited edition box set that I never opened. I adore the thing too much to take the plastic off.

What starts off as a fun-filled silly adventure morphs into a ‘Lord of the Rings’ rival. It’s entertaining, full of drama and imaginative. Still re-reading Bone got me excited to finally read my copy of Bone: CODA. img_5589I love that it picked up right where the original tale left off. As a fan of this story and its creator, what a great way to start a new chapter.

Been too long

It’s been a while since I read a comic book, let alone posted about it. My twitter page has been quiet as well. This is attributed to problems in my personal life. I will try not to go into too much detail however in the interest of “self care,” here’s my story.

I used to think I worked for one of the best companies on the planet. I felt I had a promising career and future there. I was so into my company and enjoying my job that I volunteered personal time and joined projects without being asked. Things were going great until my old boss retired. The new boss was fine at first…it was business as usual and I was still loving life and my job. Then something changed, my boss started harassing me. Everyday it was something new, a constant moving target.

I persevered in rough conditions out of my control for two years. Needless to say things that used to bring me solace and joy no longer had effect. As things became more and more difficult for me, I lost interest in my wonderful hobby. This blog was the first casualty, then my social media presence and finally (hate to admit it) comics. Every now and then I walk into the comic cave and look at the bags of books I should be dying to read and at the boxes of graded comics I should be racing to open. Instead, I sit and stare at nothing or lay on the couch binge watching television. I’m startled by abrupt noises, I have headaches, hypersensitivity, nightmares, mood swings and a hard time concentrating, worst of all I’ve lost my sense of humor.

I am hopeful. I am getting help and I hope to recover, I hope to be myself again and I hope to find that old joy I used to get when Wednesdays rolled around. I’m hopeful.

Depth of Dept. H

Having been and still am a fan of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT, I was IMG_3947quick to add his latest creation to my monthly comic book pull list. Honestly it didn’t matter what the comic was going to be about, Matt and Sharlene Kindt’s names were on the cover, I couldn’t pass it up. The truth is, I would have snagged the first issue of Dept. H no matter what…because it’s a murder mystery. In addition to being a Kindt fan, I’m also not one to pass up a well scripted “who done it.” I cracked the cover of Dept. H and dove right in.

IMG_3948This comic has all the wonderful earmarks of an intriguing murder mystery: strong female protagonist, death under unusual circumstances, isolated list of suspects and everyone involved has personal history with the investigator. As I read through the pages, IMG_3949I imagined an atmosphere similar to that of “The Abyss.” As expected with a Kindt title no page goes to waste (sans advertisements). The front cover is used to describe the unique details of Mia’s deep dive suit. The back cover provides publisher and creator details.

 

I, for one, am looking forward to learning all about the crew of Dept. H, a science research facility located at the bottom of the ocean. Even more important, I want to know who and why someone would kill the smartest man on earth?  Issue two hits comics shelves May 18th, join me.

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Comic Diva’s Favorite New Comics from 2015

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I love comics. I’m down with the reading, with the collecting, and sometimes the speculating. I’m reflecting on comics that I really enjoyed in 2015. Oh, there were “tons” of them, and I can’t write about every one of them, so I narrowed the list to share the best. These were my guidelines:

I have 119 books on my 2015 “Pull List”; the majority of them are NOT DC or Marvel. The 2015 “Pull List” includes books from Boom Studios, Valiant, Image, Vertigo and Dark Horse. There are some smaller press books on the 2015 “Pull List”, though I admit the spectrum isn’t very broad. The books on this list have a release date within the year of 2015, despite the printed cover date. Also, I don’t include re-launched titles that start over with issue 1, because this is too gimmicky for me.  That’s it.  Ready?

IMG_2632Giant Days
I have really enjoyed some titles from Boom Studios. Their IMG_2347solicitations are truly unique, ranging from kid-friendly to mature, and much between. I really love the YA drama of Giant Days, and–honestly– some of the funny antics showcased in the book truly remind me of my college youth. Dating, roommates, drama IMG_2433fields, lost love, and secret crushes are all tackled in this engaging, ongoing series by John Allison and Lissa Treiman. IMG_2346Included in the mix are strong young women who push at social stereotypes, acknowledge self-doubt, and develop strong personal character. Initially solicited as a six-part mini series, Giant Days’ success was rewarded when the creative team was asked to extend the series to 12 issues. The comic was so popular that it’s now an on-going series with an updated creative team. I’m in it for the long haul as I find Giant Days too much fun to pass up.

 

IMG_2633Harrow County
When I first read about Harrow County in Previews, I immediately added it to my regular pull list. IMG_1623I instantly recognized this comic book was going to be something I’d love to read. Young Miss Emmy has a mind of her own and a soft heart for the dark souls that inhabit the creepy places of Harrow County. She can speak to the haints (haunts), and what she says to them is typically motivating, if not compassionate. Have a ghoul IMG_1626kicking up a fuss in your attic? Emmy will gladly quell the behavior. Just know, she’ll do it by letting the ghoul know it’s welcome, and by inviting it to stay put. Emmy has a strong streak of “right” versus “wrong”, and she condemns those that would use her for something evil. She adheres to the “live and let live” motto, even if it does not always work out for her. The writer, Cullen Bunn solidified his space on my “read everything” list when he penned “The Sixth Gun.” IMG_1399He truly is a fantastic writer and I’m a happy fan. I first came across the artist, Tyler Crook, while reading WitchFinder (another Dark Horse favorite). Tyler’s drawing style and color blends match so perfectly with Cullen’s words that their joint work has uncanny flow. They’re a creative combination paired in heaven, I say.

IMG_2634Postal
Eden, Wyoming is an intriguing place. It’s a layover town full of criminals. IMG_0515Throw in several random acts of violence, a dirty FBI agent, a postman with Asperger’s, and dark family secrets, and you have the backdrop for the comic Postal, written by Matt Hawkins & Bryan Hill, drawn by Isaac Goodhart. Mark is IMG_0516the local postman with Asperger’s. Actually, he’s the only postman in town. Mark pays attention to who gets what in the mail, and reports this information to the mayor, who “just happens to be” his mother. By way of post, the mayor collects the town secrets and uses what she knows to keep everyone in line. When things don’t go her way, the mayor calls in the sheriff. Can you guess with whom the mayor’s having an affair? Postal is more than family drama though,IMG_0835 the series is on issue… and so far what readers have learned about the townspeople is: there’s a former meth dealer in residence, a cheating federal agent on-site, the murderer of Mark’s sister on the loose, and a suspected child molester in hiding. Oh yeah! There’s so much going on, so many sub-plots in this comic, I can’t help but keep reading it.

Coming in Part 2: Head Lopper, Chrononauts, and Descender. (By the way, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line about your favorite comic book from 2015. I welcome the discussion.) ****Update****

I would have loved to continue this discussion but truth is, I let the time slip past me. With that understanding, here are the books I really enjoyed in 2015:

  • Descender
  • Chrononauts
  • Head Lopper
  • We Stand on Guard
  • Dark Corridor
  • Paper Girls
  • Clean Room
  • Black Magick
  • Monstress
  • The Goddamed
  • Toyko Ghost

Leaving Megalopolis

IMG_2452Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writers: Gail Simone
Artist: J. Calafiore

Super heroes no longer fight crime, protect the public or seek justice. Instead, all the super-beings in this world have been infected with a virus. A virus that turns them against the people they once protected, and whom they now hunt for sport. Carnage and death ensue.IMG_2453

The story starts with a lone police officer walking cautiously down a deserted city street, chaos and destruction is all around her. What follows sets the tone for the story: a human body falls from the sky and splatters on the ground in the officer’s vicinity. Leaving Megalopolis is a tale of survival in modern America. A small band of people attempt escape the city limits while being dogged, if not herded, by murderous capes and tights.

Leaving Megalopolis focuses the human mind and how it behaves under extreme duress, and that is exactly what you get in this dark tale written by the illustrious Gail Simone. IMG_2456The story is jammed packed with all kinds of delicious details. All the action takes place within the city limits, and there’s a hidden twist at the end. (No spoilers!) Plus, we learn about human will, self-sacrifice, personal loss, treachery and redemption.

Cool Factor:
Can you speak, move, or breath quietly enough so as not to attract the attention of a killer with super-hearing?IMG_2455

Format:
Hardcover, Trade paperback

I love a good con…Comic Con that is

I’ve had the privilege of attending several cons in my day; from C2E2, Wizard World Philly (back when it was good), to New York Comic Con and Baltimore. Based on my experience, not all cons are the same, so here’s my take.

IMG_2301New York Comic Con – If you are interested in large scale, tons of pop culture, celebrities (old & new), and don’t mind lines that sore feet, New York Comic Con is your bag, baby. From rare con exclusives to big name announcement, and celebrities galore, New York has grown so large it’s crowds dwarf San Diego. Getting tickets is difficult, but worth it for the number of events, swag, and sheer comic fandom to be had. In 2014, it was rumored that 150,000 people per day entered the doors of the Jarvis Center for New York Comic Con.

C2E2 – Let’s say you want something a little less hectic, IMG_2300marginally smaller, but not small?  Then, C2E2 is for you. There are huge crowds, but not so daunting as to impede your con enjoyment. C2E2 is a spring con that hosts a number of comic and pop culture flare, a little bit of something for everyone. There are even big name celebrities, though not as may as… say… New York.

IMG_2302Baltimore – If you are a true comic book fan, looking for a comic con that really means, “comic readers con,” then Baltimore is the show for you (and me). The focus at Baltimore is comic books and comic book fans. While walking the floor of the show I overheard a self-publisher say, “This is a great con for creator-owned works. I’ve sold more books at this con than any other.” In my opinion, he was likely telling the truth. The draw of Baltimore is the pure focus on comics and the people who like to read comic books. It’s also good ground for those willing to try new things (new reads, new characters, the unknown). While the “big two” publishers may not appear at the con, the smaller presses have a field day. Additionally, Baltimore’s VIP pass is the only ticket in the field that actually gets the passholder early admission. Most VIP tickets mention something about “first access” to the con, but this is smoke and mirrors.  For other cons, “first access” is simply a ploy, as convention organizers don’t actually mean early admission.  They mean that… maybe… the first spots in line (if you get there first) at the door before opening might be available and open for you to stand and wait like everyone else, granting just a few moments more to the holder, before swarms teem in at your heels.

IMG_2299Wizard World Comic Con Philly – Interested in a mix bag of celebrities, sci-fi, wrestling figures, and comics? Any of the Wizard World cons is just for you. A-listers, B-listers and some of those in-between appear at Wizard cons. A draw for some has been Wizard’s ongoing agreement with Image Comics, allowing the continuous re-issuing of The Walking Dead Issue 1. Each Wizard World con has a new variant cover of the hugely popular comic book series. I haven’t attended a Wizard con since 2007, so I can’t say with assurance that this is still true. However, there have been fewer and fewer top-notch comic book guests and more pop culture guest appearing at these cons. Wizard cons aren’t overly expensive and have many locations thus making it still a good draw.

I’ve still some cons on my comic con buckets list: Emerald City Comic, Toronto Fan Expo, and perhaps–if I’m willing to take out a second mortgage on my home, give up my aversion to crowds–San Diego Comic Con. I’ve been hearing good things about Dragon Con, that may be in my future as well. We will see.

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