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Old World Frights and a Scary Christmas to You! (Review)

Stash My Comics - Sat, 12/14/2019 - 03:07
Review by Tony Dillard Scary Christmas #1 Written by Mike Wolfer Art by Carola Borelli, Vincenzo Carratu & Mike Wolfer Letters by Natalie Jane Published by American Mythology Productions Retail: $3.99 If you think Krampus is the only demon that … Continue reading →
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Family Comic Friday: Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special 2019

Stash My Comics - Sat, 12/14/2019 - 00:07
Review written by Tony Dillard If you were expecting a Doctor Who holiday special for 2019,  sorry, it already happened! The New Year’s Day episode titled ‘Resolution’ was the only live action fun starring everyone’s favorite Timelord! But that doesn’t … Continue reading →
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Kung Fu Dark Sun

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 12:00
art by Eric BelisleStill on a wuxia kick and thinking about the arid lands of Northern China, it occurs to me that Dark Sun might be an interesting mashup with kung fu action. It is true that the default 80s barbarian film meets Mad Max aesthetic of Dark Sun doesn’t scream Crouching Tiger or Hidden Dragon, but that aside, I think it’s actually not a bad fit. Let me run the list:

  • The downgrading of weaponry due to the scarcity of metal in the setting leaves space for bare-handed martial arts.
  • The Elemental clerics thing can easily spun in a wuxia direction (as seen in Avatar: The Last Airbender).
  • The "fighting oppression" angle of Dark Sun dovetails nicely with with the "fighting corrupt authority" aspect of some wuxia.
  • There are Thri-Kreen who are praying mantis people, essentially, who would be natural practitioners of praying mantis kung fu
  • Athasian Dragons aren't common monsters but beings of immense power, like the Chinese conception of the creature (though Athas's is certainly not benevolent). 

Wednesday Comics: DC Special Series #21

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 12:00
We're going to be reviewing this issue on the upcoming Bronze Age Book Club podcast, so it seemed like a good time to revisit it here...


Super-Star Holiday Special
DC Special Series #21 (Spring 1980). Cover by Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez
Synopsis: Len Wein tells it like this:


Iffy history aside, it's a good enough intro for 4 seasonal tales in the DC universe.  First up, Jonah Hex:

"The Fawn and the Star" Written by Michael Fleisher, art by Dick Ayers & Romeo Tanghal

It's Christmas eve, and Jonah Hex is after the Tull brothers across the snowy wilderness. He comes across a little girl and her father fighting over whether to kill a fawn with a hurt leg. Uncharacteristically, Hex sides with the girl and even bandages the animal's wound. To mollify the father, Hex agrees to get him something else for the family's Christmas meal. Maybe Hex's show of softness is due to a similar episode in his childhood. He saves a raccoon from a trap and nursed it back to health in the family barn. When his father found it, it wound up on the families dinner table.

Hex follows the bright star in the south and comes to a cave. The Tull boys are hiding there. In a firefight, Hex blows them up with dynamite, but somehow manages not to mangle them too badly to collect his bounty or destroy their stuff--which includes a bunch of provisions for the trail he takes back to the relatively greatful family. We can only hope the Tull brothers learned the true meaning of Christmas before their deaths.

Next up, it's Christmas Eve in Gotham...

Written by Denny O'Neil, Art by Frank Miller & Steve Mitchell

Crime never takes the night off--someone even stole a star off the department store nativity scene-- but luckily neither does the Batman. He moves through the sleet-coated night to a party thrown by Matty Lasko. Lasko has a boat waiting in Gotham harbor and that's enough to raise Batman's suspicion.  After Batman roughs up some goons, Lasko tells him it was a favor for an old cell-mate: Boomer Katz.

At a soup kitchen in Crime Alley, one old timer asks another about Boomer Katz and finds out Katz has got a job as a Santa at Lee's department store. The old timer leaves an envelope surprisingly full of money, and sheds his disguise on the roof, revealing himself to be the Batman. He's certain the only reason Katz would have gotten a job at a department store is to case the joint, and Lasko must have arranged his escape. It's a shame , too; Even Batman believed Katz had finally gone straight.

At the department store, Lee is having second thoughts. When his boss praises his skill as a Santa, it brings a tear to his eye. Out by the nativity scene, he tells Fats (a bald guy that holds a cigarette holder like a German in a movie) he can't go through with it. Fats isn't cheered by this turn, and he and his goons pull guns then force Katz to get them in to the store's service entrance. They're after the store's daily receipts. When they've got them, they plan to kill Katz, but he throws a box of ornaments at the thug and runs away. He's shot in the shoulder but manages to escape.

Batman hears the shots. He bursts through the window and saves the store manager from Fats, taking him down with a small Christmas tree. The manager tells Batman how the thugs forced Katz to help them and are now trying to kill him.

Inbeknowst to Batman, the thug has his gun to Katz's head and his holding him somewhere near the nativity scene. Batman has been unable to find Katz, but ironically, he's nearby talking to a cop. Batman looks up and notices the star is back on the nativity scene and its light is shining on--Katz and his would-be killer!

Batman saves Katz and takes out the thug. And that star?


Batman is pretty unconcerned, but I guess in a world with Superman and Green Lantern and what have you, stuff happens.

The holiday spirit moves us again, next week.

Geek Picks for December 11th, 2019!

Stash My Comics - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 01:14
Has the holiday season got you down? Worry not! Our amazing staff of comic book lovers has got the Geek Picks to put a smile on your face again! Brian: The Goon #7 The Goon has been on a break … Continue reading →
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

In Sly Took's Vault

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 12/09/2019 - 12:00

Our Land of Azurth 5e campaign continued last night with the party revising, then attempting there plan to break into the criminal vault of Sly Took (brother to Mapache Took of the Racoon Thieves Guild) to steal back the ill-gotten gold of former Mayor Gladhand. They decide on a classic "Trojan Horse" plan using the Armoire of Holding they acquired long ago as the horse.

Waylon and Kully play at delivering their presumably magic item stuffed armoire for safekeeping at the vault. The two meet with the vault manager Wotko (a red panda person, oddly) and everything goes smoothly at first. After depositing the armoire in their assigned vault, they get the moment they've been waiting for and attack Wotko and his subordinate to get their keycharms.

What they hadn't prepared for was the invisible stalker that guarded the vault. As soon as they attack Wotko, it attacks them. After a couple of rounds, Dagmar recalls she can abjure elemental spirits, and she turns it.


The party quickly grabs the keys. They take Gladhand's gold from another strongbox (all 600 lbs. of it!) and close up the armoire. Bell magically disguises herself as Wotko, just as a group of guards approach them...

Have A Harley Jolly Christmas (Harley Quinn #68 Review)

Stash My Comics - Sun, 12/08/2019 - 03:18
Review by Tony Dillard Harley Quinn finds herself a holiday fugitive in this festive issue! Harley Quinn #68 Written by Sam Humphries Art by: Sami Basri Covers by Guillem March, Frank Cho Published by DC Comics Retail: $3.99 This has not … Continue reading →
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“Black Widow” Teaser Trailer and Poster Released

First Comics News - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 15:43

Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow in Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow”—the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz as Melina. Directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige, “Black Widow” hits U.S. theaters on May 1, 2020.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MULTIPLE AWARD WINNING CREATORS ED BRUBAKER & SEAN PHILLIPS SPIN TALE OF ’30S ERA CRIME IN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL HARDCOVER PULP THIS MAY

First Comics News - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 15:25

PORTLAND, Ore. 12/03/2019 — The multiple Eisner Award winning creative powerhouse behind such hits as My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies and Bad Weekend—Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips—spin an original graphic novel tale of ’30s era crime in the forthcoming Pulp. This title will hit stores from Image Comics in May.

Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at five cents a word—tales of a Wild West outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same, when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past? Find out in this must-have thriller from one of comics’ most acclaimed creative teams, perfect for fans of The Fade Out and Criminal.

“When Sean and I decided to do something completely new for our next original graphic novel, he planted the idea of a Western in my head… And I found myself drawn to the era where that genre first hit big—the pulp magazines and the Great Depression,” said Brubaker. “I thought about all these writers telling fictionalized versions of the vanishing days of the Wild West, as their own world was going through one of its darkest hours… And suddenly I realized I had the makings of a really great pulp story, but one set in the real world. A story that I really wanted to tell.”

A darkly mysterious meditation on a life of violence, Pulp is unlike anything the award-winning team of Brubaker and Phillips have ever done. A celebration of pulp fiction, set in a world on the brink.

Phillips added: “I asked Ed to write me a Western and this is as close as he could get. Hopefully I don’t have to draw too many horses. Or hats. Or six-shooters. What was I thinking?’’

Pulp hardcover edition (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1644-7) will be available on Wednesday, May 20 and in bookstores on Tuesday, May 26. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shops on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.

Pulp will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

TEAM OF MUTANTS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE…

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:47

New York, NY— December 2, 2019 — This March, prepare to meet the most dysfunctional X-Men team you could possibly imagine! Just who are these guys? Visit Marvel’s official Twitter each day this week at noon ET starting tomorrow to find out!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #4 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:44
Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #4

writer: David Avallone | artist: Pasquale Qualano

covers: Francesco Francavilla (A), J. Bone (B)

Dave Acosta (C), Photo (D)

Francesco Francavilla (RI-Virgin), J. Bone (RI-Virgin)

Dave Acosta (RI-B/W), Photo Cover (RI-Virgin)

FC | 32 pages | Horror | $3.99 | Teen+

Maybe all film directors are megalomaniacs…but what do you do when you find out your movie was literally a cover for a plot to conquer the world? Elvira and Gill team up to escape the clutches of the creepy conspiracy that threw them together, in the final insane issue of THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Vengeance of Vampirella #3 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:44

Vengeance of Vampirella #3

writer: Thomas Sniegoski

artist: Michael Sta. Maria

covers: Lucio Parrillo (A), Ben Oliver (B)

Buzz & Dash Martin (C), Cosplay Variant (D)

Buzz & Dash Martin (RI-Virgin), Cosplay (RI-Virgin)

Ben Oliver (RI-B/W), Ben Oliver “Tinted” Cover (RI)

FC | 32 pages | Horror | $3.99 | Teen+

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

Tom Sniegoski’s return to Vampirella continues as the Vengeance series battles into its third issue.

This issue Hemorrhage prepares to strike and is reunited with Mistress Nyx while Pendragon attempts to restore Vampirella to her former self! But, will the Daughter of Drakulon be strong enough — or willful enough — to face this new combined threat and restore order to a world gone dead!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

James Bond #1 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:43
James Bond (2020) #1

writers: Vita Ayala & Danny Lore

artist: Eric Gapstur

covers: Jim Cheung (A)

Jim Cheung (RI-B/W), Jim Cheung Pencil Sketch (RI-B/W)

Jim Cheung Vintage Paperback Cover (RI)

FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Action/Adventure | Teen+

New series, new team, new missions! VITA AYALA (Morbius, Age Of X-Man), DANNY LORE (Queen Of Bad Dreams) and ERIC GAPSTUR (James Bond 007) present a fresh take on the world’s greatest secret agent. When a priceless piece of art is found to be fake, investigations lead down a rabbit hole of international crime and corruption. But what the hell does James Bond know about the world of art forgery?

Featuring a cover by superstar JIM CHEUNG (Justice League, Young Avengers), that will be revealed as an interlocking image over the first three issues!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

James Bond 007 Vol. 1 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:42
James Bond 007 Vol. 1

writer: Greg Pak

artists: Marc Laming & Stephen Mooney with Robert Carey

cover: Dave Johnson

FC | 144 pages | Action/Adventure | Standard Edition: $24.99 | Signed Edition: $39.99 | Teen +

The ODD JOB epic begins in a new ongoing James Bond comic series by superstars GREG PAK (Planet Hulk, Mech Cadet Yu), MARC LAMING (Star Wars, Wonder Woman), and STEPHEN MOONEY (Grayson, Angel)! Agent 007 tracks a smuggler into Singapore to secure a dangerous case, contents unknown. But a Korean mystery man wants the case as well, for very different reasons. And if Bond and this new rival don’t kill each other, the ruthless terrorist organization known as ORU will be more than happy to finish the job!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

James Bond: Felix Leiter TP preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:40

James Bond: Felix Leiter TP

writer: James Robinson

artist: Aaron Campbell

cover: Mike Perkins

FC | 152 pages | $19.99 | Action/Adventure | Teen +

Felix Leiter finds himself in Japan, tracking down a beautiful, Russian spy from his past. But when the mission takes a turn for the worse, he will discover that there are more deadly schemes afoot in Tokyo and beyond! From superstar creative team James Robinson (Starman, Red Sonja) and Aaron Campbell (The Shadow, Uncanny) comes the Bond spin-off highlighting 007’s American counterpart, blending spy thrills with the dark alleys and darker deeds of crime fiction!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Pathfinder Vol.4 Origins TP preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:39

Pathfinder Vol.4 Origins TP

writers: Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, F. Wesley Schneider

artists: Tom Garcia, Kevin Stokes, Leandro Oliviera

cover: Stjepan Sejic

FC | 192 pages | $19.99 | Fantasy | Teen+

To prove themselves to the Pathfinder Society, Valeros the fighter and his companions must recount tales of their early exploits in a world beset by magic and evil. Thrill to the solo adventures of Valeros, holy warrior Kyra, Seoni the sorcerer, martial artist Sijan, Harsk the dwarven ranger, and Ezren the wizard, as they journey treacherous lands, survive wild creatures and fairy magic, unearth ancient threats, and prove their heroism time and time again! With six captivating stories (each connected by a common narrative thread) and explosive artwork, this fourth volume in the Pathfinder graphic novel series expands upon the mythos of Paizo’s award-winning fantasy world, fiction line, and tabletop RPG.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Red Sonja Vol.5 #11 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:39
Red Sonja Vol.5 #11

writer: Mark Russell | artist: Mirko Colak

covers: Amanda Conner (A), Joseph Michael Linsner (B), Khoi Pham (C), Mirko Colak (D), Cosplay Variant (E), Andrew Pepoy “Seduction” Cover (RI)

Amanda Conner (RI-B/W), Joseph Michael Linsner (RI-B/W), Khoi Pham (RI-Virgin), Pepoy “Seduction” Cover (RI-B/W)

FC | 32 pages | Sword and Sorcery | $3.99 | Teen+

The penultimate chapter in Mark Russell’s first year of Red Sonja. Dragan The Magnificent’s complete victory is assured, save for one She-Devil, incapable of dying, unwilling to cede control of a bridge…

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Ant Warden

The Splintered Realm - Sun, 12/01/2019 - 22:18
So, let's do an update!
I submitted my dissertation draft on Tuesday night, meaning that (for the first time in three and a half years) I don't have anything I HAVE to do. I have literally had this massive project hanging over my head for about 1000 days. Any creative work I've been able to eke out in that time has been only to get away from the huge project that loomed. 
Now, it's done. It may need some revisions and a few tweaks, but I am very confident that about 90 days from now, I'll be Doctor Desing.
I'm pretty excited.
But I also felt something like a floodgate open in my head. Stuff that has been long percolating in there started to spill through. The first two pages of a new project, the Ant Warden, follow.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. But I absolutely love it.


Wednesday Comics: BABC Podcast: Korg 70,000 B.C. #9

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 11/27/2019 - 12:00
I new episode of the Bronze Age Book Podcast is out! Listen to us ramble about Korg: 70,0000 B.C. #9 on your podcast app of choice!


Listen to "Episode 10: KORG: 70,000 B.C. #9" on Spreaker.

Weird Revisited: The Elements of Bronze Age Four-Color Fantasy

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:00
By Bronze Age, I mean the Bronze Age of Comics, which largely conicides with the 1970s. Any readers of this blog will know that's an era I have some affection for [since I now do a podcast on it!]--particularly its fantasy comics. These comics (particularly when original to the comics medium and not adaptation) present a flavor of fantasy distinct from other fantasy genres or media.

I feel like this sort of fantasy would make for a good game, and I don't think that's really been done. Warriors & Warlocks supposedly set up to do this, but that supplement really winds up adapting a wider range of fantasy to the Mutant & Mastermind system. I've been trying to think of the elements/tropes of this sort of thing:

1. Very much a “Points of Light” thing with large stretches of wilderness and clusters of civilization.

2. Cities tend to look more fantastic ancient world/Arabian Knights/Cecil B. Demille spectacle than grotty Medievalism

3. Above ground ruins and natural obstacles as more common adventure locales than underground “dungeons.”

4. Fantastic terrain is more common (because it makes for good visuals).

5. Magic-users generally fall into 1 of three categories: 1) almost god-like patrons (who maybe secretly be of Type 2); 2) villains; 3) bumbling,  sometimes comedic helpers, makers of anachronistic references.

6. Magic tends to be visual and flashy.

7. Elves and dwarves (or Elfs and Dwarfs, more likely) are more Disney and Keebler than Tolkien. They are less powerful than humans and perhaps comedy relief.

8. Beings that stand between humans and gods (like Tolkien elves) are either extremely rare, degenerate, or both.

9. Monsters tend to be unique or very uncommon (even if of a recognized “type”). There are seldom nonhuman territories. More fairy tale naturalism than Gygaxian naturalism.

10. Magic items are rare and tend to be unique.

11. Frequent faux-Lovecraftian references, but virtually no cosmicism.

12. Sometimes, there's a Moorcockian as filtered through Starlin sense of cosmic struggle.

13. Armor is as a signifier of profession/role (soldier) or intention (the hero goes to war) rather than actual protection.

This is not an exhaustive list, I'm sure, and it bears some overlap with pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery and fantasy/sword & sandal films that influenced it, and rpg fantasy that arose around the same time, but I think it has elements on emphasis distinct from those forms.

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