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RICH REVIEWS: MAD GENIUS

First Comics News - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 18:22

The Matrix meets Mr Robot in the most captivating and topical science fiction film of the year, MAD GENIUS, available on VOD July 3 from Film Mode Entertainment.

Mad genius and hacker, Mason Wells (Chris Mason, ”Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”) have a mission to “hack the human mind” in order to save humanity but first must reconcile his multiple alter egos. His most threatening alter ego, Finn (Scott Mechlowicz, Euro Trip) pushes Mason to do whatever is necessary to accomplish their mission including theft, bribery, and intimidation.

As their mission reaches the brink of danger, they become hunted by a nihilistic madman named Eden after they steal his technology and discover that he is working on the exact same project that they are. Ultimately, Mason discovers the only way to defeat Eden may be the ultimate hack, one he never thought imaginable.

Featuring a superlative cast, including Spencer Locke (Insidious: The Last Key) and Farin Tahir (Iron Man, Charlie Wilson’s War), MAD GENIUS is a visually-arresting and exhilarating depiction of the modern-day geniuses who risk everything to change the way society lives through science and technology.

From visionary new director Royce Gorsuch, a film that captures the voice of the ultra-connected generation, MAD GENIUS.

Available on VOD and on Demand July 3, 2018, from Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment.

Trailers:



Directed by:
Royce Gorsuch

Writing Credits:
Royce Gorsuch … (writer)

Cast:
Spencer Locke … Sawyer
Scott Mechlowicz … Finn
Faran Tahir … Eden
Gbenga Akinnagbe … Sun Moon
Levy Tran … Nicola
Chris Mason … Mason
Tehmina Sunny … Angel
Brandon Scott … Zip
Klement Tinaj … MA Trainer
Johnny Otto … Protester
Derek S. Orr … Parker
Noah Gildermaster … Protester
William Riedmann … Partier
Teddy Rodriguez  … Protester
OBie Sho … Asian Patron (as Obie Sho)
Keisuke Akizawa … Protester
Nicole Fahel … Protestor
Daye Smith … Party DJ
Matthew Paul William Smith … Protester

Produced by: 
Jared Tate Johnson … co-producer
Roxy Shih … producer
Sean Vawter … associate producer

Website: www.themadgeniusproject.com/
Run Time: 90 min
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Comments: One man wants to hack the human mind. The way he thinks to himself is done well and makes for interesting watching. Mason is unbalanced. He goes so far as to talk to himself but he actually sees other people that he knows are not real he just does not care.
The movie does need to explain itself more. it does get hard at times to tell what is real and what is in his mind. Somehow Finn Mason imaginary friend comes to life. Mason meanwhile is becoming more unhinged.
Eden is not explained either who he is. He seems to want the death of humanity.
Mason and the pink haired girl who for some unknown reason cares for Mason are together. She is helping him. Only briefly though. She is gorgeous.
Mason’s quest may not have been to fix humanity but himself.
The ending starts to get good and then it does not. This movie had such high aspirations yet it did not meet any of them.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Quake Alley Mayhem!

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:00

David Lewis Johnson has released the first adventure for his Gathox The Vertical Slum setting (read about it here): Quake Alley Mayhem. It's design for use with Swords & Wizardry, which means it will fit most retroclones well enough, and interestingly its a tournament module, so it's good for running at your local con, so people can see the sort of wild creative the OSR is about.

The setup is simple: The leader of the Purple Rockets has had a magical artifact (the Holy Driver--a big drill-thing like something a Dreadnok might use) by these cyclopean alien ne'er-do wells and he wants it back. They've hidden it in their trap-laden and dangerous "inverted tower" safehouse. Get it back, and you'll reap a reward, but you have to make it out alive.

Dave tells us the fatality rate in the playtests was well over 80%, so "mayhem" is well put. Further reason it would be perfect for a con or oneshot, though it obviously can be dropped into an ongoing campaign. The gonzo setting and weird gangs gives the whole enterprise a Heavy Metal magazine feel, or at least a Heavy Metal gloss on a grindhouse film. It's a very fitting approach and a strong answer to the question "what do you do with Gathox?"

Dave's artwork is rough, but never sloppy. It at once invokes an old school feel, but also a bit of a punk aesthetic that complete fits the material. The aesthetic continues to the pregen record sheets, but not to the map which is sensibly business-like and readily. The single column layout reads well in pdf.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should check out Quake Alley Mayhem. It's available at fine digital rpg sites everywhere (well, two of them).

Thrilling Locations

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 07/22/2018 - 14:00

My ebay buying out of print game spree continued last week with me picking up most of the modules for the Indiana Jones rpg and getting a lot of James Bond stuff. The James Bond rpg has been justifiably praised, but one thing I don't seem people mention too much (at least not as much as the Q Manual) is the book Thrilling Locations.

Thrilling Locations is the equivalent of a very detailed "setting book" for the world of James Bond, or perhaps it's more the equivalent of the Flying Buffalo City Guides. It is very detailed, but it is also completely full of practical information of interest to players and GMs alike. Need to know the minimum bet on the roulette wheels in the American Room at the Casino de Monte Carlo? It's got you covered. How about the nightly rate for a suite at the Hotel de Paris when the Grand Prix is going on? It's got that too.

There are descriptions of how various gambling diversion work in the real world, a floorplan of the MGM Grand Hotel, a section on the features of luxury yachts, and the whole skinny on the Orient Express. While I can't vouch for the accuracy of all of this information, copyright notices in various places make me modern if this is a fairly accurate representation of the places and things covered circa 1985. If so, it makes it an interesting time capsule.

Thrilling Locations is an interesting read, and would be an indispensable research for a game set in the era dealing with the lifestyles of the wealthy and jett-setting.

Kim Dwinell Announces Surfside Girls Sequel for 2019

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:24

Second Volume of Acclaimed Middle-Grade Graphic Novel Series Brings
Supernatural New Adventures for California Tween Sleuths

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 20, 2018) — Top Shelf Productions announced today that Surfside Girls, Kim Dwinell’s celebrated graphic novel series for middle-grade readers about friendship, fun, and lost mysteries of the local landscape, will receive a full-length sequel next summer.

Surfside Girls (Book One): The Secret of Danger Point introduced readers to best friends Sam and Jade, who put together clues ranging from suspicious beachcombers to spooky ghosts to baby dinosaurs in order to save their town from an unexpected threat. Surfside Girls (Book Two): The Mystery at the Old Rancho, scheduled for June 2019, presents even more beautiful beaches, hidden secrets, distracting cuties, and wild adventures:

When one of the ghosts from Danger Point gets… spooked, it’s time for Sam and Jade to pull out the Journal of Weird and jump into action! Trying to solve this two-hundred-year-old mystery takes the girls all over their town and beyond, all while Surfside’s Annual Surf Competition is going on. Add to the mix a cute surfer boy, a mysterious mustached man with a guitar, and a very jealous Sam — can the surfing sleuths save the day again?

“I’ve had so much fun this last year watching readers of all ages discover Sam and Jade’s world,” says author Kim Dwinell. “I packed Surfside Girls with Southern California sunshine, and I hope everyone enjoys spending time with it as much as I do. I’m absolutely stoked to show you what the girls get up to in Book Two!”

Kim Dwinell will meet fans and sign Surfside Girls at Comic-Con International today, Friday July 20th, from 10am-11am and 4pm-5pm in booth 2743 (Top Shelf / IDW Publishing).

“Kim Dwinell’s Surfside Girls has a timeless quality. With its likable characters, sunny colors, and supernatural mystery, it’s a perfect summer read.” — Brigid Alverson, School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids

“Kim Dwinell supplies a great-looking world of infinite potential… Anyone fondly remembering the tenacious and good-hearted Nancy Drew adventures from their youth can locate a spiritual successor for their own children in Surfside Girls.” — Slings & Arrows

Surfside Girls (Book One): The Secret of Danger Point is now available wherever books are sold. Surfside Girls (Book Two): The Mystery at the Old Rancho will be published in June 2019 by Top Shelf Productions,

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SDCC 2018: JOSS WHEDON ANNOUNCES NEW “DR. HORRIBLE” ONE-SHOT

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:16

Dark Horse and Dr. Horrible are “Best Friends Forever”

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (July 20, 2018)—Announced by writer/director/producer Joss Whedon himself during today’s Hall H Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog 10th Anniversary Panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Dark Horse is thrilled to reveal art from the upcoming Dr. Horrible one-shot written by Joss Whedon! The horribly fantastic comic will feature art by José Maria Beroy (Versus) and Sara Soler (Red & Blue) with colors by Dan Jackson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), cover art by Fábio Moon (Two Brothers) and a variant cover by Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle).

Upon its release in 2008, the Emmy and Hugo Award-winning Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog became a pop culture sensation. Created by Joss Whedon and written by Whedon, his brothers Zack and Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, this made-for-web movie musical tells the story of Dr. Horrible (played by Neil Patrick Harris), an aspiring supervillain; Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), his nemesis; and Penny (Felicia Day), a charity worker and their shared love interest.

In Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever, the time temptress herself, HOURGLASS, is in dire trouble and turns to that team of famous best friends, Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer, who are best friends, yes they’ve always been best friends why are you giving me that look?

“What a pleasure it is to be back in this world, putting words into these characters’ mouths and saying, ‘say these words, mouths’ and then they do,” said Whedon. “Each member of the Hammerverse—sorry, Doc, that’s what it’s called, he registered it—is a delightful, bigger than life character, but more importantly, on a very human level, they’re idiots. You will thrill to their adventures and weep for their pain, or maybe not weep, maybe just, I don’t know, itchy nose. Based on Actual Events.”

Whedon has proven to be a Comic-Con favorite since his first visit in 1997. He is the writer/director of the first two films in Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise, and wrote the acclaimed horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” and animated classic “Toy Story,” the latter of which earned him an Academy Award® nomination. On the television side, Whedon is the creator/producer of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” its spinoff “Angel,” cult hit “Firefly” and Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Earlier this month, HBO announced that the network landed Whedon’s upcoming high profile series “The Nevers,” which Whedon created and will write, produce and direct.

Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever goes on sale November 14, 2018, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

HEROES IN CRISIS WRITER TOM KING GETS PERSONAL AT SDCC

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:13

Creative Team of King, Mann and Gerads Confirmed for Limited Series

King Takes Dozens of Reporters Through a Therapeutic Sanctuary Experience Amidst the Chaos of Comic-Con

“Our Pain is Our Strength”

Burbank, CA (July 20, 2018) – There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by New York Times bestselling author Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? How do DC’s Trinity – Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman – handle massacres and mass shootings? This September, King explores these themes in HEROES IN CRISIS with artists Clay Mann (BATMAN) and Mitch Gerads (MISTER MIRACLE).

“I want to speak about, and to, this New War generation, the millions of people who have fought bravely overseas and have come home to try to return to their normal lives,” said King at an intimate press conference this morning at Comic-Con International: San Diego. “I want to talk about their hopes, their pains, their triumphs; I want to use DC’s heroes to tell their stories.”

At the core of HEROES IN CRISIS is Sanctuary, an ultra-secret space to help superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. King described the heroes walking the halls of Sanctuary — heroes like Aquaman, Superman, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Arsenal, Batman, and more — as anonymous, wearing robes and gold masks to hide their identities from each other. In the debut issue, something goes inexplicably wrong and heroes wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects.

“But this book isn’t actually about Sanctuary,” said King. “It’s about the failures of Sanctuary. In that way, I’m writing about this moment in our history. We felt safe. We had security. Then something went horribly wrong. Is it possible to repair that? To fight that?”

King served overseas as a CIA counterterrorism operations officer post-911 before changing careers to write critically acclaimed comics populated with themes of war and violence, notably THE OMEGA MEN, THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON and MISTER MIRACLE. King, Mann and Gerads will continue these themes in HEROES IN CRISIS. While Mann will draw the main issues of the limited series, Gerads will draw standalone issues strategically placed to give a deeper look into the overall story.

“HEROES IN CRISIS is about heroes who have to live through violence to save the world, and what that violence does to them,” concluded King. “They make a sacrifice every time they go out to fight the bad guys. That sacrifice is at the heart of the series.”

HEROES IN CRISIS #1 arrives on September 26, 2018.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN ‘66 #2 preview

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:12


ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN ‘66 #2

The historic crossover mini-series continues! Batman’s received a panicked call from Riverdale and he sends Robin and Batgirl with one caveat—they must disguise themselves as high school transfer students!

Script: Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci
Art: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Michael Allred, Laura Allred
Variant Covers: Rick Burchett and Rosario “Tito” Peña, Matthew Dow Smith, Robert Hack, Wilfredo Torres and Kelly Fitzpatrick, Michael Walsh
On Sale Date: 8/15
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SCOTT SNYDER ANNOUNCES ‘THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS’ MINISERIES

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:01

Six-Issue Miniseries to Feature Art by Jock

Today’s DC Justice League panel at San Diego Comic-Con featured a host of talent from the “New Justice” family of titles: JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSSEY, TEEN TITANS and TITANS. New Justice architect and JUSTICE LEAGUE writer Scott Snyder was on hand to talk with fans about his current run, including the creation of the Legion of Doom, Sinestro’s discovery of the Ultraviolet Spectrum and Lex Luthor dispatching Vandal Savage with a doorknob.

But he really stirred the crowd’s interest with the announcement that he would be teaming up with artist Jock to create a six-issue miniseries based on the popular character from DARK NIGHTS: METAL, The Batman Who Laughs. Scheduled for November, this is a story Snyder has been eager to write, featuring two of his favorite characters. This six-issue miniseries pits Batman against the culmination of all his fears from the Dark Multiverse, an evil amalgamation of himself and his greatest nemesis, The Joker.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

STAR TREK DISCOVERY SEASON 2 TRAILER

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 12:25

Discover the next adventure of Starfleet in this first look at the season 2 premiere, coming early 2019. Season 1 is now streaming on @cbsallaccess: https://t.co/bsr8pO1vnM #StarTrekDiscovery pic.twitter.com/1Ir7vc00bH

— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) July 20, 2018

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SDCC 2018: Life Is Strange comic creative team announced!

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 00:58

(July 20, 2018, San Diego Comic Con) Titan Comics and SQUARE ENIX® are delighted to announce the creative team of the all-new comic book series set in the world of the acclaimed videogame series, LIFE IS STRANGE™.

The first issue of the four-part comic miniseries launches in November 2018.

Titan Comics’ LIFE IS STRANGE returns readers to Arcadia Bay in the company of fan-favorite characters Max Caulfield and Chloe Price, charting the shocking course of a possible future after one of the two endings of the game.

The first game in the series, LIFE IS STRANGE, which connects directly to this new comics series, follows the story of Max Caulfield, a senior majoring in photography who discovers that she can rewind time when trying to save her best friend Chloe Price. The pair investigate the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber, and uncover a dark side to the life in Arcadia Bay. Meanwhile, Max quickly learns that changing the past can sometimes lead to a devastating future.

The multi-award winning LIFE IS STRANGE, is available on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, XBOX, iOS, and is releasing on Android via the Google Play Store in July. THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT, a 100% free narrative experience demo that links to LIFE IS STRANGE 2, is available now on XBOX ONE, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC/Steam.  LIFE IS STRANGE 2 will release on September 27th for XBOX ONE, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC/Steam and is available for pre-order now

Titan’s new comic series is written by Emma Vieceli (Olivia Twist, Breaks, Doctor Who, Back to the Future) with interior art and covers by Claudia Leonardi of IHQ Studios, and colors by Andrea Izzo. The series will launch with a cover by superstar Manda Schank, with more to be revealed.

“Like so many players all over the world, I fell hard for Max and her story from the release of episode one, and every chapter brought more heartache, tears and emotional rollercoasters,” said Life Is Strange writer Emma Vieceli, “One of the wonders of the series is that every player may have taken Max and Chloe on a unique journey, and so distilling their possible futures into one mini-series is a huge thing. Importantly, as with the game, it must always be remembered that what we’re creating here is one possibility out of many. I’m excited with the story we’ve opted for, and I hope readers will be too!”

LIFE IS STRANGE #1 will be available to order from the September Diamond Previews catalogue, listings for which go live August 22.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

GO-BOTS Return in All-New Comic Book Series

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 00:56

IDW Celebrates the 35th Anniversary of Classic Toy line with a Sci-Fi Epic Written and Drawn by Tom Scioli

 

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 20, 2018) – IDW Publishing is proud to announce that Tom Scioli, the visionary creator that brought you Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, will unleash his imagination on the wonderful world of Go-Bots! Launching in October, Go-Bots will be the first story to feature classic toy and cartoon characters like Leader-1, Scooter, Turbo, and Cy-Kill’s Renegades in over three decades!In the new five-issue series, the existence of Go-Bots on Earth has changed humans’ way of life. They chauffeur us around. They protect us from harm. They do the jobs that are too boring or dangerous for us. They fight our wars for us. They are friends for the lonely. The only thing they don’t do is dream for us… but that could change any day now. For a generation, Leader-1 and the Guardians have said that they were here to help us… but as they become more integrated into our society, the question must be asked: Are they here to replace us?“This is a dream project – I’m writing, drawing, coloring, and hand-lettering this book. It’s a labor of love,” says Scioli. “When these characters were conceived of in the ’80s, the idea of robots with human personalities was science fiction. Now, it’s history. The world of living machines is here – we’re living it. The time is right for Go-Bots!”“Avant-garde creator Tom Scioli has been pushing the comic book storytelling medium for nearly two decades now and his work on Go-Bots is yet another watershed moment in his career,” says IDW Associate Publisher David Hedgecock. “It is a testament to the strong collaboration between IDW Publishing and Hasbro, that projects like this can exist on licensed properties.”

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Tales from Vader’s Castle Celebrates Spooky Stories in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 00:22

Campfire Ghost Stories Get a Star Wars Adventures Spin in Weekly October Event

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 18, 2018) – IDW Publishing invites readers of all ages to explore the creepiest corners of the Star Wars universe in Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle, a thrilling five-part comic book event with new issues hitting stands every Wednesday in October. Fan-favorites Cavan Scott and Derek Charm team up with an incredible roster of guest artists for this special miniseries, just in time for Halloween.“I’ve always loved scary stories, and where better to tell them than the lair of Darth Vader himself?” says writer Cavan Scott. “Being asked to write any Star Wars character is a joy, but tackling the Dark Lord of the Sith? That’s a childhood dream… or should I say, a nightmare! Vader terrified me growing up, and I can’t wait to add to the legacy of Star Wars’ villain, providing frightening new scares for the next generation.”The weekly series features beloved characters from throughout the galaxy, including Rebels stars Hera, Kanan, and Chopper; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku; Han Solo and Chewbacca; and the Ewoks! What frights and scares await them in Darth Vader’s castle?Artist Derek Charm says, “Since this is a spookier story about these characters stranded on this nightmarish planet, it’s been fun really pushing the horror aspect in the art. The shadows are heavier, the colors are harsher, and everything has this apocalyptic vibe… like things may not work out for our heroes!”Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla provides cover artwork for each Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle issue, while different renowned creators (Kelley Jones, Chris Fenoglio, Corin Howell, Robert Hack, and Charles Paul Wilson III) lend their distinctive styles to spooky tales over the course of the five weeks.“We’re thrilled to welcome the creepy Cavan Scott, the frightening Francesco Francavilla, and an array of eerie artists into the creepiest corners of the Star Wars universe for Tales from Vader’s Castle,” says Michael Siglain, Creative Director of Publishing for Lucasfilm. “There’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than with these spooky stories from a galaxy far, far away.”

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SDCC 2018: Long-Awaited Official The Prisoner Sequel To Be Published By Titan!

First Comics News - Sat, 07/21/2018 - 00:20

(July 20, 2018, San Diego Comic Con) Cult classic THE PRISONER has been captivating audiences and firing imaginations since it first aired in the UK in 1967 and in the US the following year. Now fans can go even deeper into The Village with this official graphic novel sequel set twenty years after the events of the iconic TV series.

Originally published in 1988, SHATTERED VISAGE tells the story of former secret agent Alice Drake, whose round-the-world solo voyage is interrupted when she is accidentally shipwrecked and washes up on the shores of The Village. There she encounters Number Six, finds out what has become of Number Two, and discovers the true purpose of The Village.

Titan Comics, a licensee of ITV Studios Global Entertainment, are delighted to release this long out-of-print classic with new material, including character sketches and notes from writer/artist Dean Motter . Fans can finally get their hands on the unmissable next chapter in THE PRISONER saga for the first time in years.

Writer/Artist Dean Motter says:

“When I was approached to do a series based on The Prisoner, I leapt at the chance. It was one of my favourite TV shows when it first aired … My thinking turned to doing it as a post-modernist fable – one that took place in the current era, but that would re-open the questions from the original saga.

However, doing the research was going to take more resources than I had – so I drafted my friend and colleague Mark Askwith to help me with that aspect of the project. It became a collaboration almost instantly. I am honoured to see it re-presented as part of Titan’s ongoing celebration of The Prisoner‘s ongoing 50th anniversary.”

SHATTERED VISAGE joins Titan’s line of titles based on THE PRISONER, which includes the previously unavailable masterpiece THE PRISONER ART EDITION, showcasing never-before-seen artwork from graphic novel legends Jack Kirby and Gil Kane – as well as THE PRISONER: THE UNCERTAINTY MACHINE, a brand new mini-series by writer Peter Milligan and artist Colin Lorimer.

SHATTERED VISAGE will be available to order through the Diamond PREVIEWS catalogue later this year.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

More Armchair Planet Who's Who Art

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:00
I just got these pieces this week, and I have been too busy to color them, so here they are in their line art glory:


These representatives of that race extradimensional dealmaker and powerbrokers known to superstitious folk as the Devils as rendered by Jason Sholtis.


And here are members of the hidden race of variant humanity that inspired the legends of elves, dwarves, goblins, and the like: the entourage and exiled royals of the astonishing Abhumans! Art by Agustin Calcagno.

Wednesday Comics: Batman by Grant Morrison

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 11:00

I'm laid low by sinusitis, but I wanted to at least nominally honor my (self-imposed) Wednesday comic book duties. Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Volume One is out now. It promises to be the first of three collecting Morrison's work with the character, though I assume that means his run including Batman & Robin and Batman Incorporated, but not older stories he wrote with the character (like "Gothic"), since the first omnibus dives right in with the "Batman & Son" storyline.

While I've always liked the character, I've never been a big reader of Batman comics, but Morrison's run was really enjoyable. It's often a bit like Silver Age or goof Bronze Age with a modern sensibility, similar in goal if not in presentation to All-Star Superman. It is dark in spots, true, but it brings back a lot of elements from earlier eras that have largely been tossed from continuity, and once the "event tie-in" stuff is out of the way, it gets much tighter and, I think better. In fact, the ending of his entire saga, made me feel that the "R.I.P" portion of the storyline had faltered less than when I first read it.

Total Party Jam Kills the Blue Meanie

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 11:00

Our 5e Land od Azurth game continued last night with the party re-united (after the explosive ending of last session) in the strange Blue Pagoda on the Misty Isle of the Meanies. They were faced with a door which they had been told would lead to the chamber of the Supreme Blueness. Inside, they found yet more of the guards, who they slaughtered pretty quickly after the obligatory attempt at deception, spoiled once more by the Meanies noting the musical instruments carried. The Meanies hate music.

Beyond that when was another door, and a larger Blue Meanie sitting in a floating egg chair. Again, the party tries to get information from his  and deceive him, and again the fact that the bard is still carrying his guitar visibly spoils the deal. The Meanies (again) hate music!

So, the party goes about killing the few guards here. A giant flying glove emerges from behind the throne to smack down Erekose a couple of times. Shade's rain of arrows softens up all their foes for the rest of the party to finish off. In the end, their is only the Supreme Blueness and his right hand Meanie, Max.


The leader laughs at calls for his surrender. He assures the party reinforcements are on the way. He also proclaims that he is utterly immune to their attacks and magic. The party claims to discount this, yet no one attacks him to prove otherwise. For a few rounds, their is a stalemate while the party tries to figure out what to do.

Then, Waylon the Thief, acting on a hunch, whips out his banjo and starts planning. His Supreme Blueness cries out and writhes in pain. Kully the Bard starts playing his guitar and Shade the Ranger her flute. Dagmar and Erekose begin singing (probably badly), and Kairon casts Thaumaturgy to create music at an amplified volume. Under this assault, the Supreme Blueness withers to nothing.

With his passing, the mists recede from the isle, and the people who were turned to stone are restored. The party finds a fancy, handle-bar mustache in a velvet box, and hope to locate someone who can point them in the way of the Land of Under Sea.

G.I. Joe Role-Playing Games

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 14:00

I've mentioned before on this blog that I made a G.I. Joe role-playing game (based on the 80s incarnation) back in the day. Revisiting the era of the action tables with Indiana Jones brought that to mind and got me interested in just what was out their in terms of unauthorized Joe role-playing. Here's what I found:

Technohol 13 has statted ip the Joes, COBRA, and even the Oktober Guard in FASERIP. He's broken them down by year (presumably of release of the toys).

Jay Libby has done this one based on the FUIZON system (remember that from the late 90s?). It's pretty comprehensive, as well.

Finally, here's one Ben Lathrop did using Mutants & Masterminds.


There are a couple of games that are G.I. Joe-ish but nor G.I. Joe, so they could be officially published. Crafty Games did Real America H.E.R.O.es for its Spycraft. They have a bundle of other cartoon-themed Spycraft conversions, misnamed "Saturday Morning Spycraft" because most of the cartoons they are homaging were syndicated afternoon fare.

Strike Force 7 by Super Genius Games is for Savage Worlds. It appears to be not as direct a pastiche as Real American H.E.R.O.es, but the G.I. Joe inspirations is still clearly there.

RICH REVIEWS: Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other Vol. 1

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:43

Title: Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other Vol. 1
Publisher: Makwa Enewed/Sovereign Traces Series
Written by: various
Artist by: various
Book and Cover Design by: Charlie Sharp
Cover Artwork by: Elizabeth LaPensee
Price: $ 29.95 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: http://www.msupress.org
Comments: “Werewolves on the Moon” Written by Stephen Graham Jones and illustrated by Delicia Williams.
Now, this is a werewolf story and beautifully illustrated. It is unlike any other werewolf story you have read. If you want to read a short story about werewolves and enjoy the artwork this is for you.
“The Prisoner of Haiku” Written by Gordon Henry Jr. and illustration & colors by Neal Shannacappo.
One boy believes in his history and he will not give it up, his native language is important to him. He has faith in who he is and no one can take that away from him. He brought his art to life as a way for the ancestors of his people to strike back at a society that was threatening it.  The art brings out this man’s passion for his people.
“Ice Tricksters” Written by Gerald Vizenor and illustration & colors by GMB Chomichuk.
This story flows along so smoothly. Do you know what a Trickster is well after reading this story you might almost know. Nice use of blue in the art here. The art brings out the atmosphere of this story.
“An Athabasca Story” Written by Warren Cariou, illustration & colors by Nicholas Burns.
Here we see Elder Brother and that he is a man in need of warmth. He does as the white man and steals from the earth to warm himself. One man though does not have the power of the white people. Elder Brother though does live on and he can still be heard wanting his freedom. This story does not make total sense. The art looks good illustrating the Elder Brother.
“Trickster Reflections” Written by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and illustration & illustration & colors by GMB Chomichuk.
This story is about a man and a Trickster. It does not really go anywhere. The art is done in such a way that it is hard to fully make out at times.
“The Strange People” Written by Louise Erdrich and illustration & colors Elizabeth LaPensee.
This short story is about love. The art uses colors really well to accentuate the art.
“Deer Dancer” Written by Joy Harpo and illustration & color by Weshoyot Alvitre.
A beautiful woman dances fully nude in a bar and then leaves. Was she a woman or a deer? The woman’s skin is pasty looking at how it is colored. The deer now looks amazing. It is drawn very lifelike.
“Mermaids” Written by Richard Van Camp, illustration by Scott B. Henderson and colors by Donovan Yaciuk.
Why did God kill the mermaids? This story is about mermaids and merman but also about love. Yes, two people can find it anywhere. Just pure love. This is a touching story filled with wonderful art.
“Just Another Naming Ceremony” Written by Gwen Neil Westerman and illustration & colors by Tara Ogaick.
This story comes across as fun yet it makes no sense. The art is done in an amateur way.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Katie Cook to Deliver 2018 Ringo Awards Keynote Address

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:36

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – July 11, 2018 – The 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards will be presented at the Ringo Awards Banquet and Ceremony in conjunction with the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con on the evening of Saturday, September 29, 2018. The final ballot is now open to comic book creative professionals to submit their votes. A limited number of tickets are available to the public to attend the Banquet and Award Ceremony and spend a fun evening, share a drink, and enjoy a meal with the comic book professional community.

Ringo Awards tickets include a full cocktail hour (cash bar), a full service dinner (featuring a Baltimore crab cake), the awards ceremony, and a gift bag, and are now available for $125. Please visit our website to purchase with credit card: baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets The Ringo Awards Committee is proud to announce the addition of Katie Cook to the 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards ceremony as the Keynote Address speaker! Katie Cook is a comic artist and writer that has been in the industry for a while. She’d list just how long here, but isn’t that a faux pas of admitting that she’s old? I mean you can always Wikipedia her birthday if you want to get stuck on this topic. Why are we still talking about this?

She is the creator of the comic Nothing Special on LINE WEBTOON, an all-ages adventure about a girl, a boy with fairy wings, and a dead Radish. It’s her favorite thing and you should read it. Katie also wrote and drew the webcomic Gronk: A Monster’s Story, which lost several awards but is still delightful.

In mainstream comics, Katie has carved out quite the little gallery of titles she’s worked on… Did you ever watch that documentary about this fascinating woman in NYC that puts on a bizarre mix of costume jewelry and eclectic clothes every day? Iris? That’s Katie’s career… A little over here at IDW, a little over there at LucasFilm Press, who thought Katie was a good idea for a Sex Criminals cover, oh look now she’s drawing Spider-Man? A mixed bag of adorable all over this place.

Katie spent several years as one of the primary writers on IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and has also done projects with Marvel, BOOM! Studios, and more (she apologizes for referring to some of you as “and more”). She’s also illustrated several Star Wars children’s books for Disney LucasFilm Press, and created artwork for the Disney Wonderground Gallery. Artist and writer! Double threat! (She thinks a triple threat in comics would be when someone is also an excellent editor, but any editor that has ever worked with her will attest that she thinks spell-check is something from Harry Potter.)

Her mother thinks she is funny. Sometimes. Maybe. “Mike Wieringo once said, ‘I just try to keep things fun. I like to do fun comics’ and that’s the attitude that I love in comics,” said Cook. “It’s my own goal as well… Comics are so many things to so many people, but for me, they are fun. I am thrilled that I was asked to be a part of the Ringo Awards this year as the Keynote speaker, and I hope to get a chance to talk about the things I love in this industry that are bright and wonderful to me and make you to sit in a room and listen to me talk about them. I swear, if I see you get up during it to sneak to the bar, I will call you out – just try me Andy Price. Also, polite applause is mandatory.” “Katie was my first and only choice to be our Keynote speaker this year,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter. “She’s witty and entertaining, and I’m sure will give a great speech.”

Voting on the 2018 Final Ballot is restricted to the comic book industry creative community — anyone involved in and credited with creating comics professionally. Don’t miss the presentation of final ballot winners, Fan-Only Favorites, Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement and Dick Giordano Humanitarian Awards, and the Mike Wieringo Spirit Award on the evening of Saturday, September 29th, 2018!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SDCC: SPENCER & LOCKE 2 Puts New Spin on Classic Strips with Roach Riley

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:35


His partner’s imaginary… but the
madness is all real! Can Spencer and
Locke survive their deadliest foe yet?

SPENCER & LOCKE 2, Due in Stores

and Digital Devices Winter 2019
from Action Lab: Danger Zone

Writer: David Pepose

Artist: Jorge Santiago, Jr.

Colorist: Jasen Smith

Letterer: Colin Bell

Main Covers by Jorge Santiago, Jr., Variant Covers by Maan House and Joe Mulvey

The Ringo-nominated saga returns in SPENCER & LOCKE 2, written by David Pepose and illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr.! Suspended by Internal Affairs, Detective Locke continues to wrestle with the demons of his past alongside his trusty partner, his talking imaginary panther Spencer. But when Spencer and Locke face Roach Riley, a scarred former soldier set on violence and terror, will their partnership become the latest casualty on Roach’s hit list? Find out when the twisted nostalgia of Action Lab’s SPENCER & LOCKE 2 arrives in comic shops and digital devices Winter 2019, or be one of the first to enjoy the story at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive variant of SPENCER & LOCKE 2 #1 by artist Joe Mulvey!

“We’ve told fans from the beginning that there was a much larger universe for SPENCER & LOCKE to explore — and we’re excited to expand their world further with their latest adversary, Roach Riley,” Pepose said. “Half The Deer Hunter, half Heath Ledger’s Joker, Roach is only the beginning of Locke’s latest gauntlet, as every classic comic strip from your childhood will be fair game for parody in our action-packed sequel.”

“I think people that enjoyed the first volume will love where SPENCER & LOCKE 2 takes them,” added Santiago. “In both scale and scope, Spencer and Locke will have a lot more riding on things with Roach lurking in the shadows.”

The first volume of SPENCER & LOCKE recently earned five nominations at the 2018 Ringo Awards, including Best Series, Best Writer, Best Cover Artist, Best Colorist and Best Letterer.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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