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Topics - The Adventurer

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General / A Dark Judges art commission I recently got
« on: 10 April, 2019, 01:59:26 AM »
I recently received a fun commission from a good art friend of mine Eric Shonborn (http://www.shonborn.net/) based on a cross-over idea I'd had rattling around in my head for a while.

Four Dark Judges have just appeared in 30th Century Metropolis to cause mayhem and their first encounter with the local super-hero population has gone as well as can be expected.

Just thought I'd share, because I think this is super cool. My friend Eric is currently open for commission work btw check out his site for details.

The Plan: To read a ton of Marvel comics I've never read before during the span of time between Onslaught and New Avengers, 1997 to 2004. From the introduction of Busiek's Thunderbolts to the end of David's Captain Marvel. I'm dubbing this era 'The World's Greatest Comics' era, because of a house banner Marvel put over their Marvel Universe titles for just 5 months in 1997. I realize this is a tenuous branding, and literally only Thunderbolts had this banner present in my reading list... But I had to call it something!

The Series (subject to change): I'm focusing on any title from this period that interested me in any way when I was a young teen with no money. Ones I lacked access to from 1997 to 2001, and ones I had felt I'd already missed the boat on from 2001 and beyond when I did have access and money (also, when I was to busy reading Image Comics and Crossgen, and being a snob about X-Men). As such, I won't be reading any Spider-Man or most X titles from the period. New X-Men and X-Statix getting special consideration for reasons of being different from the usual. I'm also not reading Heroes Return Fantastic Four and Iron Man, just to keep things... a little more sane (also I recall their runs being a bit choppier then the rest). This list of titles was largely drawn from what I remember was nuclear hot in the pages of Wizard Magazine at the time. When the comic industry was in turmoil from the comic crash of 1996 and Marvel in particular going bankrupt. When the grim and gritty 80s and 90s got a chance to modernize into something a bit more classic, yet also became a bit more nuanced.

The series I've planned out to tackle (so far) are...

Thunderbolts 1-75
Captain America 1-50
Avengers 1-45
Thor 1-79
Black Panther 1-62
Inhumans 1-12
Avengers Forever 1-12
Captain Marvel 1-36/1-25
Marvel Boy 1-6
The Sentry 1-5
X-Force/X-Statix 116-129 /1-26
New X-Men 114-154

This is roughly 480 comics, with enough wiggle room for Annuals and few other bits and bobs I'm sure to add in as I go (will I read the Maximum Security crossover? Do I have to????), that's nearly 500 comics already! The thing about this period of Marvel, is that most of these series were helmed by just one creative team for their huge runs, with only a few having two writers, or an artist change. That's some crazy consistency compared to some books today!

My plan is to read them in roughly, but not strictly, in publication order. I'm reading these comics via the Marvel Unlimited iOS app, and it does a good job of organizing single issues by publication date, even across different titles. So switching between books as I go is easy, giving me the real comic shop experience of reading many different titles at a time. Which is how I like it. Generally I'll read three or four issues of one title, until it comes to a natural break, then catch up on another. etc... etc... In the 2000-2001 period I'll be juggling probably ten series at once before it starts to taper off. Fantastic. Or insane. I'm not sure which.

Note: I am considering adding in the Kevin Smith/Joe Quesada/David Mack run of Daredevil because its somewhat short. I didn't really want to read the Bendis run though, the premise of this exercise is based on when Bendis got the keys to the kingdom in late 2004 my interest in Marvel basically died. I'll probably Read Daredevil #1 when I get to it and see what I think first. I may also add the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty maxi-series, since it was more Mark Waid Captain America form the time.

This Thread: I figure, if I'm going to be reading 500 comic books, it might be worth talking about them a little bit. I'm already about 16 month into the timeline, so I've already got something to talk about. My next post will cover the Onslaught aftermath, Heroes Reborn, and the arrival of Busiek and Bagley's newest super-team sensation, The Thunderbolts.

I hope this proves interesting for others.

Among most of the big publishers, certainly all those in the front of Previews catalog, there seems to be a gentlemen's agreement to not kneecap the physical storefront direct market by offering digital content at lower prices. At least on release day, as several (Image, Dark Horse, IDW) do offer lower prices a month after release. The argument goes that the direct market is still the bread and butter sales generator of the big publishers, and to offer digital at a more logical lower price would draw sales away from that direct market, weakening local comic shops, cause them to fail, and therefor impact the publishers significantly. In short, having two price points causes competition with themselves, so they choose to make print more attractive since you get a physical object for the same price. For some (ie: me)that's not a deal breaker for digital and We pay the premium or wait for a price drop.

But Rebellion seems to have bucked these tread, offering the weekly comic at much lower price then cover (especially in North America) and print collections that can run 25 - 30 dollars are sold digitally for $10 or $13. I just got the brand new Summer Magic collection for a cool 10 dollars American, that'll get a sale from at release day every time.

Do you suppose this is because Rebellion sales are primarily at news agents and book stores, so propping up the direct market isn't a priority? Or are they just forward thinking to know growing the digital side with lower prices will help them stay strong in a growing digital future?

Well whatever the reason I approve, and wish more publishers were as flexible with their release day pricing. I'd certainly by more in quantity every week if that was the case. It's not really possible when the average price is $4 an issue these days. 

Books & Comics / 2016 in Comics
« on: 15 December, 2016, 04:39:34 AM »
It's getting to be that time of the year, the end of it. And that means taking a moment to look back at all the comic books we read in the course of said year.

As I was compiling my list I came to a couple of shocking realizations...

1) my pull list is at its lowest ebb in years, and...

2) Only one comic was new in 2016. Everything else I read had gotten its start in 2015 or earlier.

My monthly pull list basically looks like...

Savage Dragon
Spawn (off my pulls with the new year)
East of West
Paper Girls
Usagi Yojimbo
Dark Horse Presents (at least until the latest run of Carla Speed McNeil's FINDER ends)
Superwoman (my one 'new' comic)

This is more then a little... sad IMO. I'm not sure if its a statement on the general quality of new comics right now, my lack of interest in adding more comics to my pull list, or just general obliviousness. At the start of the year I caught myself up with both Paper Girls and Monstress, two excellent new Image titles. But since... not much. Superwoman by comic stalwart Phil Jimenez is probably one of the best super-hero titles out there. I actually get the sense that a lot of DC Rebirth has been exceptional. But I'm taking it slow.

What I've been reading has been excellent, no doubt, but there's a certain lack of excitement that I know was there just a few years ago.

Its just a little bit disheartening. I know things will pick up eventually, but for me 2016 in Comics seemed to just being going through the motions.

I did spend a bit of 2016 catching up on some older material, either via back-issues or new collections, Jerry Ordway's 90s Power of Shazam series is excellent stuff. And manga collections of Tsutomu Nihei's BLAME! and Hirohiko Araki's Jojo's Bizarre Adventure kept with thoroughly entertained and eager for more.

And of course the weekly comics I love so much in 2000 AD and Weekly Shonen Jump always filled the drier gaps of my month. 2000 AD has been solid with the exciting Prog 2000 hitting this year. WSJ on the other hand has been in pure turmoil for months now. With three long running series having come to an end and nothing yet to really replace them. 2017 WSJ is going to be an adventure from week to week I suspect.

I honestly just can't put a 'Favorite Comic of 2016' on anything this year. As I enjoyed everything mostly equally. But that's the problem isn't it?

General / Favorite New Series of the Last 5 Years
« on: 30 May, 2016, 08:52:38 PM »
On a whim I went back through the last 5 Years of 2000AD, going back to Prog 2010, to count up all the new series that had started up during that time. I was generally curious what was coming in, to replace what we've lost. Going over the last five years was some what interesting, as in that time strips like Shakara, Nikolia Dante, and Red Seas had concluded. Kingdom, Stickleback, and Zombo had continued to truck along, And Johnny Alpha and Indigo Prime had come back from the dead.  But it's the wholly new strips that interest me in this thread. I'll list them below... (Note, I've ignored all One-offs and 3Rillers, unless they lead to an ongoing. Though I did include spin-offs if they were sufficiently different from the original)

Ichabod Azrael (2010)
Damnation Station (2010)
Age of the Wolf (2010)
Dandridge (2009/2010)
Absolom (2011)
Angel Zero (2011)
Aquila (2012)
Grey Area (2012)
The Zaucer of Zilk (2012)
Brass Sun (2012)
Survival Geeks (2013)
Ulysses Sweet (2014)
Jaegir (2014)
Outlier (2014)
The Alienist (2014)
Black Shuck (2014)
The Order (2015)
Orlock, Agent of East-Meg 1 (2015)
Helium (2015)

For my money, Absolom, Jaegir, and Brass Sun have impressed me the most in their time in the Prog. And I feel The Alienist and the The Order have the potential to be great with a few more stories under their belts.

I think Age of the Wolf was the biggest let down of all the new series, as it never really made the most of its premise. IMO

Overall I think things have been surprisingly fairly strong over the last five years, writing all the new series down like this kind of helped put things into a bit more perspective. What do you think?

Today I bought a handful of comics off the iPad App to catch me up, and when I got onto the Rebellion site to download my DRM-Free copies, the download links lead to server error pages.

Anyone else having problems?

Website and Forum / Digital Progs going back 2004, but a slight problem
« on: 08 January, 2016, 06:13:38 AM »
Its great that Rebellion continues to add new back content the online Storefront, and the digital app. With Progs going back to 2004 now, it encompasses my entire personal history with 2000 AD. Which makes me want to go back to the beginning and work my forward digitally.

However, and this has been kind of an ongoing issue whenever Rebellion updates another back catalog year, without the Annual 200X Prog to kick off the year, you can't start a new year's worth of content on Chapter 1. I know Rebellion considers the yearly Prog part of the previous year's line-up (Prog 2004 is a 2003 issue, etc... and that being weird to me is neither here, nor there). But I would like to see it included with the latest content update. And I can't be the only one. I hope to see the back catalog grow further, maybe as far back as Prog 2000 and the Rebellion take over (maybe even further?!) But I'd really just like Prog 2004 to be added with the Year 2004 content. That's all.

Film & TV / Fall 2015 Anime Season
« on: 07 October, 2015, 06:49:43 PM »
Do you watch anime? I watch anime. If you like 2000AD you'd probably like anime.  This season is off to a rollicking strong start. Here's a couple of shows I'm really looking forward to.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans looks to wash the bad taste of Reconguista in G out of mecha fan's mouths with a gritty tale of child soldiers on Mars on a besieged escort mission to Earth. The first episode opens strong out the gate with violent imagery that tells you right off that this ain't no kid's Gundam. Solid mecha designs all around, and I kind of like the character designs too, there's something really familiar about them though. Can't put my finger on it. The best part about this series though is that its being streamed everywhere that matters, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Daisuki (I'm pretty sure you can watch it for free on Daisuki), and Hulu. So Sunrise is really doubling down on this series in terms of exposure.

One-Punch Man is based off the manga of the same name, and is possibly my single favorite comic in the world of the moment. It fuses a mix of both East and West style super-heroes together and throw it into a comedy mix all about over the top devastation. The first episodes basically covers the first 3 or 4 chapters of the manga, so its got a brisk pace about it. Oh and its animated by Madhouse, probably the only studio capable of capturing this series's pure action in motion. This series is also streaming on Hulu, Daisuki, and Viz.

Other series I'm somewhat, but less so, interested in; Young Black Jack, Lupin III, and maybe Concrete Revolutio (apparently this one is pretty weird). I'm not sure what licensing restricts might affect you Euro types (apparently the new Lupin III series actually premiered in Italy?!) but anime seems to be more avalible then ever on the various streaming services. Hulu in particular is giving a strong showing this season.

Here's a graphic of all the new shows this season...


Also, I pray to god SOMEONE brings Cyborg 009 vs Devilman the movie to North America, because GOOD GOD DAMN


Website and Forum / Prog 1942 not appearing on Rebellion Account site
« on: 06 August, 2015, 04:51:29 PM »
I've linked my Google Accout with my Rebellion Account so think week I decided to buy my Progs via the iPod app rather then the Future shop. After buying 1941 and 1942 I went to the Rebellion Acount site to download my CBR file.  1941 appeared just fine, but there is no reference to 1942 on the site. Is anyone else having this problem?

General / Your favorite 2000 AD 'Twists' - Major spoilers within
« on: 05 August, 2015, 07:22:02 PM »
With Spurrier's The Vort reprinted with this month's Megazine it got me thinking of all the surprise endings/twists I've seen in my years on reading 2000 AD. I'm not talking about Future Shock endings or the like, but the sensation of reading one strip, only to realize you've been reading another all along. Biggest examples of course being...

The Dead Man is Dredd - Before my time, but I actually sat down to read the whole thing in prep for writing this list. Unfortunately its twist has been loooooooooong spoiled for me. So I'd be curious to hear from anyone who was caught by surprise by this strip.

Malone is Flanagan Sinister - Probably my first surprise twist, Hell Shall Suffer No Dumb Minions had ended in such a cluster funt I wasn't sure how the series was going to come back. Early on in this strips run people started to figure out that 'Cal Hamilton' was a pseudonym of Dan Abnett, but I'm not sure if anyone saw the reveal coming and the continuation of Sinister-Dexter's next chapter. Using someone like Simon Coleby, a very not Sin-Dex style artist also helped keep the scent off of it.

Crispy is Lobster Random - What sparked this thread, Spurrier again used a pseudonym to cover his trail, but honestly I'm not sure why he did. The Vort was so different then Lobster Random, and with D'Isreali on art, he could have just treated it like another of his wild strip ideas and still shocked the world at the end.

Dead Eyes was an Indigo Prime story all along - Now, John Smith, he managed to pull this off without resorted to covering his name up. Because really, was anyone expecting the long dormant Indigo Prime to suddenly just return in the last pages of a random John Smith strip? This strip was interesting in that for 90% of its run it treated itself entirely as its own thing, and then suddenly everything the protagonist has been working toward doesn't matter because the reality goes toxic. Brilliant.

Trifecta - Probably the latest mega twist. When three different Dreddworld strips were running at the same time I was a bit eh about it. Afterall, that's what the Megazine's for yeah? And we had just had the return of Lenny Zero a few months before, no suddenly both Low Life and Simping Detective are back? And why isn't Simping in the Megazine where it belongs? And then Dredd kicks Point's door down. And we're off to the races.

Which was your favorite? I'm weird and going to give it to Malone because of how utterly shocked I was at the time that I could have the wool so thoroughly pulled over my eyes. I was a young reader then, easily impressed I suppose. The Vort came a little to close to the heels of that to have quite the same impact. And I'm not sure I cared enough about Indigo Prime when that reveal happened to really understand why I should be excited about that. The follow up made me a fan. And Trifecta was just masterful. But still, Malone.

Hey gang, about a week ago Hawkmonger and I decided to take a dry run at a new Podcast idea. One where we just casually review the weekly comics we've read in the prior month. At the moment that primarily entails the UK's own 2000 AD, and the English arm of Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump.

I'm still working on hosting solutions, but as its been a week and the show's content is getting staler by the day I figured I should get it up in front of relevant interested listeners (IE: You guys). So below is a direct link to the MP3 file of the episode. You can listen to it directly in your browser, or download it to your MP3 player. Whichever you prefer.

This episode we talk about Progs 1931 to 1934. And Weekly Shonen Jump 2015 issues 25 - 28. We also take time to talk about League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, and Charley's War.

Weekly Comics, Monthly! - Episode 01

TIMESTAMPS for episode content are as follows
05:31 - 2000 AD Progs 1931 - 1934
35:32 - Weekly Shonen Jump 25 - 28
01:18:52 - League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century
01:25:01 - Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency Part 1
01:36:44 - Charley's War

If you have any questions, suggestions, or any other comics, feel free to send us a message to WEEKLYCOMICSMONTHLY@GMAIL.COM We would love to hear from you.  And I do hope to have an actual website for this in the near future. Not to mention be on iTunes, and possibly Youtube.

Books & Comics / Favorite Comics of 2014
« on: 27 December, 2014, 08:44:23 AM »
So 2014 is drawing to a close, and there sure were a lot of comic books in the last year. So here's a thread where we can post our favorites! No nominations, no voting. Just throw out whatever categories make the most sense to you.

Favorite Single Issue
Mega Man 35 (Archie) - I'm not shy about stating that Archie's Mega Man is easily one of the best super-hero comics on the stands for all ages. But this issue is a step even beyond its normal greatness. Coming off the previous arc Mega Man struggles to over come a deep seated sense of fear, meanwhile Protoman struggles with a sense of abandonment from his father Dr. Light. The amount of shear EMOTION that writer Ian Flynn can get out of these characters is just ASTOUNDING. You'll believe a cartoon fighting robot can cry.
Runner Up: Savage Dragon 199 (Image) - Savage Dragon 200 was a fantastic capend to a fantastic year, and a grand celebration of over 20 years of Savage Dragon. But Savage Dragon 199 gets my vote as best SD issue of the year, as Erik Larsen does what he always does takes a crazy idea and kicks it up a notch. 20 pages of story, every single one a double page spread. Amazing.

Favorite First Issue
The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw 1 (Image) - Kurt Buisek is obviously a great creator, having written some of the greatest comics of the modern era. As good as he is, I almost passed on his latest from Image. And thank god I didn't, there are very few comics, let alone first issues that I finish, and then immediately want to read again. Tooth & Claw 1 is one of those rare comics. It helps a lot that the first issue is an over-sized 32 pages in length (for $3!), so there is lots and lots of extra room for the set up to this epic fantasy yarn to breath. And epic is is. In just 32 short pages Buisek sets up this vast and varied fantasy world, introduces the principle players of the story, and then turns it all on its head. Just an exercise in perfect comic execution.
Runner-Up: Multiversity 1 (DC) - Dino Cop. Nuff' Said.

Favorite New Series
Copperhead (Image) - Sci-fi westerns are a pretty common trope, but they are actually pretty tricky to pull off IMO. But then Jay Faeber comes along and makes it look easy. A mother with a past... and a badge, her estranged alien deputy, a frontier colony with more then a few mysteries... I think what I like most about this series is how unlikable the main character is, she's not cruel or crooked or anything. She's just kind of an asshole. I have to say I'm also thrilled to be reading a Jay Faeber title again, I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't super into his last series, Near Death, even though I'm a massive fan of the man as a writer.

Favorite Collected Edition
Zenith Book 1 (Rebellion) - Very nearly the last frontier for me when it comes to 2000 AD's historical canon. Long out of print Rebellion has finally brought one of Grant Morrison's most important early works back to availability.

Favorite 'It's New To Me!' Comic
Jojo' Bizzare Adventure - Phantom Arc (VIZ) - So the Jojo train has finally arrived in North America. It certainly took long enough, especially after that false start back in the early 2000s. God damn they tried. But the latest anime series has finally caught the imagination of the public, and we're finally getting Jojo from the beginning. And I sure am glad, because these early adventures in the late 19th century read like Castlevania on crack. Its pure over rendered, over the top FUN. And knowing that I have litterally DECADES worth of this series to look forward to makes the experience all the sweeter. Now if only we could get Jolion into Weekly Shonen Jump...

Favorite New Series that Didn't Last
Stealth Symphony (VIZ) - Weekly Shonen Jump 2014 really started off with a bang with this fantastic little manga series. In a world of magic, dragons, and bureaucracy. With an amazingly diverse set of character, over the top action, a solid mix of seriousness and comedy, and an art style to die for; Stealth Symphony was my break out hit of 2014. But its lead character wasn't a high school student with a harem of girls after him, so OBVIOUSLY it would poll at the bottom of the weekly vote in Japan for its entire run. OBVIOUSLY. But at least it ended it a satisfying way.
Runner Up: EGOs (Image) - I'm cheating a tiny bit putting this hear, as the series is set to return spring of 2015. But this series ran 4 issues in the first half of this year, and then just... stopped. Worrisome! Every year I'm always on the look out for my 'Best Legion of Super-Heroes Comic of the Year'. Last year it The Hypernaturals. This year its EGOs. A troubled team of cosmic heroes has to come together to stop a living galaxy from wreaking the universe. There ain't much better formula then that. And writer Stuart Moore and artist Gus Storms really brought something special out of it.

Favorite Mini-Series
Usagi Yojimbo - Senso (Dark Horse) - Stan Sakai's rabbit ronin is BACK after a long absence (don't get me wrong, Sakai's 47 Ronin was pretty great too). But this series, about an older Usagi and Co. dealing with the invasion of the Martians of HG Well's War of the Worlds during the Edo period of Japan. Its some of the best Usagi's ever been, and it unfortunate that Sakai's year has been so sad in dealing with the loss of his wife to brain cancer.

Favorite Continuing Series
Savage Dragon (Image) - 2014 was a hell of a year for Savage Dragon. Dragon's son Malcolm has finally come into his own and officially taken over the book as the lead character and 2014 has seen the title finally reach its issue 200 mile stone. Having been new to Dragon when the lead up to issue 100 was in full swing its pretty amazing that I've been on this title for over 100 monthly issues. I won't lie that I'm a mega fan about this title (I host and honest to god monthly PODCAST about this damn book for god's sake) and it never ceases to amaze me the passion that creator Erik Larsen pours into this title. If there's any person in comics to learn anything from when it comes to following your gut and never compromising, its Erik Larsen.
Runner-Up:Saga (Image) - I'm actually surprised to see this title even make Runner-Up in my Favorites of 2014. The previous arc of Saga actually put me on the brink of dropping the title. The problems the characters were dealing with weren't ringing true and I was afraid the BKV curse was finally rearing its ugly head (in that I've never seen a BKV title to conclusion, they all lose me within 10 or 20 issues due to some nonsense I can't deal with, Safeword... I'm looking at you.) But the arc resolved satisfactory, and shot the title back to the top. So shame on me for doubting on this insane series.

The Worst Comic I read in 2014....
Nisekoi False Love (Viz) - Oh my god. Oh my god I hate this (weekly!) series so much. Oh my god. Its Ranma 1/2 without anything interesting about it. Its the most stock Harem Manga can possibly get. Its creepy and sexist and there is nothing good about it (well... except for that two-part crossover with My Love Story. But only because My Love Story looks like an incredibly charming romantic comedy that bucks all cliches intentionally. See: Everything Nisekoi is not.). And of course its the most popular franchise in Japan right now. THERE IS NO JUSTICE.

Comics I'm looking Forward to in 2015...

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice in 2000 AD
The return of EGOs in the spring
The conclusion of Fables
Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Unite mega crossover
More Jojo
More One-Punch Man
And of course... More Savage Dragon!

Books & Comics / Humble Bundle: IDW Transformers GNs and Skybound
« on: 25 July, 2014, 08:56:37 AM »
Humble Bundle is doing two comics bundles right now.

First is IDW Transformers comics. The first 4 volumes of Transformers Classics for 1 penny! Pay at least $15 and get a whole bunch more. All DRM-Free!

Second sale is a bunch of Robert Kirkman/Skybound collections. Walking Dead, Invincible, etc... All DRM-Free!

I personally jumped on the Transformers sale. Because that's NUTS.

Books & Comics / Kek-W has a new one-shot comic, Cap'n Dinosaur
« on: 15 July, 2014, 09:42:29 AM »
Kek-W, Shaky Kane, Image Comics. I have no real idea what this book is about, I stumbled upon it coming out this week by accident. But it looks neat!

COMPLETE, ALL NEW CAP’N DINOSAUR TALE IN THIS ISSUE! When a mysterious drowned man falls out of the clear blue sky, The Cap’n and Honey Moon follow a trail which leads them to a deserted Amusement park. Writer KEK-W (2000 AD, Ruddy Rucker’s Flurb) and THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN’s SHAKY KANE take the law into their own hands in this two-fisted tale of Murder, Muscle Marys, and Mail-order Mystery. WARNING: Contains Pop Culture references and Impact wounds.

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