All posts by scarey71

Fuji R.I.P

We call it “The inner circle”. I’ve always believed every comic shop has one. Folks that share a love of comics that goes back years. A traditional bond that has passed through childhood, into our teen years, and solidifies into a handful of strangers that goes to their local shop every Wednesday,the DAY new books came out ,not only to read and buy them, but to share the experience with guys(and some girls) who are just like us.You name a character..they know it.You name a storyline, and they know it.You name a first appearance…….and they probably know that too.You know 10 minutes after meeting them, usually confirmed with a casual glance to the rest of the group, …………..”They’re one of us.

I found out today we lost one of our own. I never really knew Fuji  on a personal level to be completely candid. We shared casual hello’s every Wednesday. He was part of more then one comic discussion /debate, and he was always there every week for the new batch of books coming in. He was usually at the same spot along the counter meticulously going through his books for the week. He was quiet,(a lot of us are) but within seconds of him opening his mouth for a conversation you could tell that he had a fountain of knowledge about the industry.

I love watching the shop as John and I do the show….. to see who perks up when certain subjects come up on the podcast. More then once, from my perch, I’d see Fuji’s head slightly turn when we would breach a new subject. I had thought more then once to invite him over to the third mic, and bring him into the conversation. I always hesitated because he seemed a guy of few words, but I regret that now as I suspect he would have brought a master class of knowledge to whatever subject we happened to have been discussing. A missed opportunity indeed.

Like John and myself , the inner circle is usually made up of buddies that hit it off and have a blast hanging out and immersing themselves in comic culture. A fellow circle member  Andrew was “Fujis” bud in that respect. I learned today that every Wednesday they picked up their books and heading over to Andrews house to read much like I and millions of other folks had done since we were kids with friends we knew had the same love for the genre that we did.

Andrew came in just before I left the shop tonight. There were just no words. I had no idea what to say. I simply can’t imagine the pain he’s feeling right now. I think I stammered something before I left, but I doubt there is anything anyone could say right now. He has my deepest sympathies though.As he does of everyone who knew “Fuji” on probably a more personal level then I did.

Every shop has an inner circle. Folks that know the comic industry inside out.I know it can seem intimidating ,but for the most part any one of us would answer questions for hours and would love every minute of it. Talk to us. You won’t regret it. It’s not going feel right in the weeks to come to be in the shop and not have Fuji there inspecting the weeks take. I do suspect more then one fond memory will be brought up that will only solidify what was a fact for the last 10+ years to the rest of the circle………………………You were one of us.

R.I.P

 

Raven:Daughter of Darkness #1 of 12- DC

Full disclosure. Not familiar with this character at all, other than really enjoying the look of Cover Artist Yanick Paquettes rendering for this title. Really Mythical looking cover that I suspect brought a few people to give this book a try. Another reason for me giving this book a read is , of course, a chance to read the writing of Comic legend Marv Wolfman (Amazing Spider-man, Daredevil, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Nightwing and much , much more).

I enjoyed the book overall, although I was bit lost to some of the references. If you have no background on this character, I would recommend doing a bit of research on her origin before diving right in. Some issue and serie’s references within the comic might have been helpful also. Mr. Wolfmans story was paced pretty well and parts of Raven’s past were illuminated via the storyline itself so some of the questions of the first few pages were answered by the end of the issue. I think it was Stan Lee who once said(correct me if not internet) to create a comic like it was the readers first experience. This book was a good example of that.

There were a few independently running storylines through out this issue that left the reader with questions for the second issue which is a good thing to me. Marv Wolfman did a pretty good job of introducing us to a supporting cast which is always important.I actually think it’s great that they have called this a limited series of 12 issues. We need more of these instead of running “series” that get to 7 issues and then the plug gets pulled(Hi Mickey!!) .”Limited series” are not bad words.

Artist Pop Khan has a nice style of art suited to this book.I can definitely see some Jim Lee influence in his renderings Facial expressions/reactions were done well and the paneling was well laid out for it. It felt a bit like a “70’s book ” in some parts in the vein of Marv’s Tomb of Dracula series. I’m not sure that was anything more than a happy accident but time will tell.

I’m not sure if I’d buy the second book but the art on this one brought me here so you never know. If you’re looking for a book with a supernatural vibe and a strong, though vulnerable, female lead this book may be for you. If you have a history with this character I suspect this would probably also be a series for you as DC seems to be gearing up a nice 12 issue run with Wolfman at the helm.

P.S Pop back by on Monday Jan.29th when I’m going to take a look at “Dissonance ” from the Image line.Until then.Cheers

 

 

X-Men Blue Annual #1- Marvel Review

After having had a not  very good read of the X-Men :Gold Annual, I wasn’t sure where this book was going to take me. Glad they are using this years annual as a story building component. Was pleasantly surprised, as it took me to the first chapter of a cross over between Venom and the squad from X-Men: Blue. It’s 6 parts in total and is called “Poison X”. If you familiar are with the Venomverse series you have probably already met the antagonists of this story arc. Give you a hint…Rhymes with “himbiote”

I enjoyed the prospect of this crossover, as Venom and the time displaced younger X-Men have never met to my knowledge(prove me wrong internet).They cover a lot of ground in this first part as they obviously had more pages to work with. Would love to see this done more often, even if they are debuting a new character which what many annuals tend to be used for. That, and debuting new artists and writers also. I do have a bit of symbiote fatigue after the Venomverse event from last year but this does have a unique look to it so we’ll see how it goes.

I enjoyed seeing how a cool part of X-Men lore in the “The Starjammers” played into the story. A unique position for them to be in as far as where they fit into the narrative. Writer Cullen Bunn paced the story pretty well, and I liked the fact that a few of “wilder’ members of X-Men Blue team got benched for this adventure(and explained away pretty well) to better show the contrast between Venom and the X-Men :Blue team. Also enjoyed the inner monologue interactions between Eddie Brock and the Symbiote as they struggled for a balance.  I was a bit disappointed in the hook for next issue as I feel this particular  plot device has been done to death.

Enjoyed Artist Edgar Salazars take on Venom. “Toothy but muscular” always suited the character well. Edgar had a 3 issue run in the Uncanny X-Men about 6 months ago that I suspect helped him get this job. His take on the younger X-Men made them seem less “minor leaguer ” in my eyes just from his presentation alone. The variant cover art for this series is pretty cool also. The second part of this cross over lands Feb.14th.

P.S Pop back by on Jan.27th as we take a look at DC’s Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

 

 

 

Days of Hate 1# of 12 – Image

I had heard a bit about this title before I read it and really wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. It’s actually a very “down to earth” book. I mean that, in that there is a focus on relationships, and how they are effected by political ideology as opposed to just the ideology by itself. It’s set not too far in the future, and sadly enough you can see seeds being planted in this reality now for this type of timeline, possibly, to come to fruition.

This first chapter takes us to a world that is simmering with the tensions of a societal civil war looming over it. The characters that we are introduced to have the same type of lives in many ways as characters you would see in “the Walking Dead ” now. No black and white answers. Only shades of grey. One of the most pleasant surprises of the book is that it didn’t seem one sided.All the characters you encounter are “humanized ” in some way by writer Ales Kot .They may not be the most savoury of individuals, but you are at least introduced to their point of view even if you don’t agree with it.

Sadly enough, this may very well be where the U.S could be heading in the next 10 years. Many of the source elements in this book already exist within our society now. We have always associated large-scale bombings and targeted assassinations with other parts of the world.This book brings those apparatuses to local problems in the U.S to great effect. Ales Kot puts a very human face on a very violent solution.

Artist Danijel Zezelj compliments the writing with a shady, murky style befitting a shady, murky story. There is a “splash page” at one of the pivotal moments of the book I thought was beautifully done. Lots of “charcoal fingerprint” shading was done around the edges of the art that fit the tone of the book wonderfully.If your a fan of the X-Men books I can see some definite similarities if you are looking  to try some “non-superhero” reading with that same “us against the world” vibe.

There were a few comments made about enforcement apparatuses that I believe were a bit harsh, but they are not made COMPLETELY without merit, and this is a future alternative. I  enjoyed this first issue and will be putting in my pull list. Next chapter drops Feb.28th/2018

P.S Drop back by on Jan.25th .I’ll be taking a look at X-Men :Blue Annual #1

 

 

X-men:Grand Design #1 – Marvel- Dec.20th-2017

I didn’t have this in my pull list, and I picked it up on a whim as I liked the cover and the “old timey” vibe to it. I’m glad I did.It’s a bit pricier then your monthly books by $2.00, but it’s got a very unique feel to it, and that’s getting rarer these days. Also, if you have interest in the X-Men after the Disney purchase, and you have no desire to purchase Marvels back catalogue, this is a relatively good “jumping on” point to start from.

This first chapter was written and pencilled by Ed Piskor. Ed Piskor is someone who you might call an “Alternative artist”. He is a former student of the Kubert School ,and has done a variety of underground “minicomics”. I vaguely remembered seeing some of his previous work on a book called MACEDONIA about 10 years .He’s got an interesting style in that X-Men: Grand Design, actually felt like it was  written in the 1940’s and the art harkened back to the comic strip style popularized then.

The story itself is a pretty comprehensive “Re-telling” of X-Men lore from the very beginning. Obviously there are spoilers aplenty in these pages ,so if your new to the X-Men this may not be the best place to start your journey on their history. Having said that, if your a “X-Men completionist” this is a pretty cool gift of their history told in a very unique format. As alluded to earlier ,it feels like a 1960’s X-Men story told in a 1940’s comic strip style. Original in that aspect to say the least.

I’m not usually a fan of  comic “gimmicks”. I’ve seen enough Gatefold/Foil/Embossed covers to last me a lifetime, but the “yellowed” paper effect that they have brought to this book makes for a pretty cool reading experience. It even smells like older newsprint paper.Definitely brings a sense of history and reverence to the subject if nothing else.

If you’ve been an X-Men fan for years there’s not much new brought to this book ,other then the aforementioned presentation. I even noticed at certain points that were a few liberties taken with that documentation. Definitely more a book of “experiencing ” the X-Men then reading any new material from them. There is a neat bibliography in the back listing the timeline and issues in which these events took place.I thought that was a nice historical reference.

This book is Part 1 of a trilogy. Chapter 2 is already out, and the rest of series is expected out later in 2018  It’s not a “must have” for me at this point in time, but it was a cool read .

 

P.S Pop back by on Jan.23rd as i’ll be taking a look at IMAGE Comic’s “Days of Hate” which came out just this past week. Cheers for now.

Marvel -Two-In-One #1 – Marvel

Marvel Two – In- One originally launched in January 1974 and was one of my favourite series(along with Marvel Team up) growing up. There was constantly new guests, so you never got bored with the line up. When they announced a new series via the “Legacy” imprint ,I knew I had to give it a shot.

Overall , I really enjoyed the first issue. There were a variety of reasons behind this. I THINK this is going to be a beginning of a return of a book I had have been waiting a few years to resurface.(that FOX sale definitely boosted the idea I suspect).I was hoping they would start off with a strong story and great art . They didn’t disappoint.

First, the story. Great dialogue from writer Chip Zdarsky. Even the minor characters got some great lines which speaks volumes to story depth. The sense of loss he was able to convey in Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm over(and this really isn’t a spoiler since it’s been over 6 months)the loss of Sue& Reed Richards and the kids was very well written.

There’s no knock down, drag out fights in this chapter really ,and that’s a good thing as it helped establish a strong, forboding mood and backbone for the series. It felt like a good first chapter of a “Homecoming” adventure, and set the tone for the story arc very well. Through a few, well placed, Flash back scenes Zdarsky got across strongly why the Fantastic Four was also known as “The First Family”. They take care of their own.

Jim Cheung on pencils was top-notch, and his attention to detail portraying strong facial expressions(and that’s saying something for Ben Grimm)helped convey the sense of melancholy and remorse that both Johnny and Ben have been feeling. Heck , the inkers also deserve kudos for some well placed shadowing during key moments.

I did have a few issues with a the book. There was a key reveal that I think could have been held off for a few issues, but I also understand they had to come strong out of the gate .To balance that, there was some pretty cool nostalgia, and some interesting Easter eggs(Who knew the car racing world had that many coincidences in it?).

I do plan on putting this book in my pull list. The first issue delivered well, and I’m interested to see where the story goes. It was released on Dec.20th so you might still find some copies on the shelf. Recommend taking a look. Was a great read.

P.S Pop back on Sunday Jan.21rst when I plan on taking a look at X-Men :Grand Design. Cheers for now.

Season 2 of Riverdale Trailer

 

I found this show to be one of the best surprises of the last year. Fantastic casting, great storylines and acting got it the second season that it deserved.
Season 2 looks to be starting off with a bang(Bit clique, but a well done bang)as the gang appears to be meeting a new player in town, and a place near and dear to the heart becomes a place of murder.
I’ve heard in more than one interview now that this second season is going to be “more dark” and “more intense”, and while I enjoy the adult nature they have brought to a series I loved as a kid I hope they do keep lighter aspects of the series that gave it the adult, albeit wholesome feel that it had in the first season.
On a side note Camilla Mendes and Madelaine Petsch HAD been scheduled for the Edmonton Expo righthereinEdmontonAlbertaCananda!!!!!(Thanks Mick) but have since been taken off the schedule due to I assume scheduling conflicts with the show. That’s a shame .A real shame…..

Please take a look at the Season 2 trailer below.