First Comics News

Subscribe to First Comics News feed First Comics News
Your First Place for Comic News
Updated: 4 days 23 hours ago

WWE SUPER SHOW-DOWN results

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 14:46

SmackDown Tag Team Title Match

The New Day (c) def. The Bar

 

SmackDown Women’s Title Match

Charlotte Flair def by DQ. Becky Lynch (c)

 

John Cena and Bobby Lashley def. Elias and Kevin Owens

 

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce def. Asuka and Naomi

 

WWE Title Match: No Count Outs, No Disqualifications

AJ Styles (c) def. Samoa Joe

 

The Bella Twins and RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey def. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan)

 

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match

Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander (c)

 

The Shield (Dean Ambrose, WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins, WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns) def. Braun Strowman, RAW Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre

 

#1 Contenders Match for a Future WWE Title Shot

Daniel Bryan def. The Miz

 

Triple H with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels def. The Undertaker with Kane

 

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Tak, A Beautiful Game

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 07:07

Every once in a while you find a game that absolutely has everything you want in a game.

Tak is one of those games for me.

Over on Board Game Geek, (BGG), I created a ‘geeklist’ for the best abstract strategy games of the current decade, and Tak slots in at number two, right behind Arimaa and in front of Yinsh.

I also have a ‘top-100’ list at BGG and Tak slots in at number three behind crokinole, and Arimaa.

So yes I love this game.

But what is Tak?

Well Tak is a board game which was originally mentioned in Patrick Rothfuss’ bestselling novel, The Wise Man’s Fear.

Rothfuss eventually teamed with James Ernest, a games designer with a range of game creation credits, to create the actual game.

The goal of Tak is to build a road, which is a string of pieces that connect opposite sides of the board. A road does not have to be a straight line. Diagonal spaces do not connect.

In general connection, games don’t generally excite me, but this one captured my imagination from the outset.

There are only two types of pieces in Tak: stones and capstones, and stones can be played in only two ways: flat or standing, so the basic rules are very simple, like many of the best abstract strategy games are.

Usually, stones are played flat, and it is flat stones can stack. They are also the only timepieces count as part of a road, which of course is the goal.

When you place a stone on end as a standing stone then nothing can be stacked on it, and standing stones don’t count as part of your road. Way

A standing stone is generally a way to slow an opponent, and as a result, they are often called walls in the game.

Capstones, a player may have one, or two depending on the size of the board being played on, combine the best aspects of standing and flat stones: they do count as part of a road, but they can’t have another piece stacked on top.

In addition, a capstone by itself has the power to flatten a standing stone, which can be useful to remodel a wall into a road piece.

Play is very simple. You can place a flat stone, a standing stone, or your capstone in any empty space on the board. (You never play a piece directly on another one. Stacks only form because of movement).

You can move one or more pieces in a stack that you control. A ‘stack’ of pieces can be any height, including just one piece. Control means that your piece is on top.

To move the stack, take any number of pieces off the top, up to the carry limit, and move them in a straight line, dropping at least one piece off the bottom in each space along the way. So in its simplest form, one piece can move atop an adjacent flat single piece or pile.

Taller stacks can move further, dropping pieces as they go.

There is no limit to the height of a stack, but there is a limit to the number of pieces that you can move. This “carry limit” is equal to the width of the board, so for example in a 5×5 game, you can carry no more than five pieces. That means if you start with a stack of seven, you must leave at least two of those pieces in the starting space.

Tak, which can be played without a board, although having one delineates the play area nicely, is generally played on boards 4×4, up to 8×8, although as a quirk not on 7×7. The larger the board, the greater the challenge is.

A quick game you opt for a small board, longer games with more options for more, and for mistakes, a larger board is used. You also get a second capstone and more pieces on a large board.

The pieces are wood, so that is aesthetically pleasing and a nice size in the two versions I have seen, so Tak is highly tactile as well.

Everything with this game is wonderful from the simple rules, the in-game strategy, the joy of success. A true gem.

Check it out at www/cheapass.com/tak

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Front Line No Komrades

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 06:53

Some games are not created with the hope of greatness.

Some games are simply created for fun.

I suspect that fun was the focus for creator Brian Niro when he came up with Front Line No Komrades.

No Komrades is what can only be described as a filler card game. There isn’t enough here that you would pull this one out for an evening’s entertainment, but it is a fine night starter as you await a straggler or two, or as a light wind-up after a couple of hours of a more brain-burning game.

A huge plus for No Komrades, published by Anvil Eight Games, is that it plays two to eight players. That is a ton of flexibility if you are having a games gathering.

The art by Kwanchai Moriya is great, especially in the character cards, which are rendered in a comic book caricature style that fits the focus of fun to a ‘T’.

So this is a card game, with a pretty simple premise; you and your ‘komrades’ are on the front line and you are trying to avoid being shot, or gassed, or stepping on a mine. In attempting to avoid the fates of life on the front lines you have come to the conclusion that hiding behind your mates, or maybe pushing them on to a landmine or two, are quite acceptable as ways to stay yourself.

Players have cards in hand that allow them to maneuver their player cards into safer spots on the ‘line’ or to forces others into spots of danger.

The danger each round comes from another stack of cards, fun things like snipers and gas attacks.

The theme is a tad dark, so it might not be for everyone, but it is carried out here with a healthy sense of whimsy that mitigates the darker aspects. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour, and a healthy sense of ‘get your buddies’ with this one, that makes it a fun filler.

Check it out at www.anvil-eight.com

Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Showdown! The Samurai Card Game!

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 05:24

“Gather your friends and pack your bags for a trip to feudal Japan, where only the fearless will flourish. Samurai, Ronin, and even Emperors lock eyes and dare one another to make a move, knowing only one will stand victorious! Duel each rival that comes your way as you make a name for yourself in a world where even an unknown wanderer can scrap her way to the top against the most capable of samurai.”

That is the website lead-in for Showdown! The Samurai Card Game! published by New Experience Workshop Games, and is just the sort of teaser that grabs me. Feudal Japan is a favourite game theme with Joraku, and Kanagawa in my top 25-games list, and Kendo and Tokaido making it into the top-50.

Now Showdown by designer Chris Amburn won’t be breaking into my top-100 list, but that isn’t to say the game doesn’t have its merits.

Showdown! The Samurai Card Game is for 2-6 players,

It is basically a reskin of Shootout! The High Noon Card Game, a western-themed game using the same mechanics which allows either to be played as a stand-alone game or pitted against for the ultimate duel between cowboys and samurai. The result of shuffling the two games together is that you can get the gang fighting cowboys with katanas against samurais with shotguns.

But I have only played Showdown, and I will start by applauding the artwork.

The feel of feudal Japan is rather stunningly captured, with several of the cards being fine enough in terms of art that an 8X10 print on the gaming wall would look great if they were available.

The rules here are pretty straightforward ending up in a card battle not so far removed from the old kid’s game of war.

Players look to build up a strong hand, then head into a head-to-head battle with an opponent, hoping you warrior and his weapons are strong enough to win, or that you have other cards that can twist the fate of battle in your favour.

The flavour of samurai’s battling comes across well enough, and the art is so strong it helps make the game enjoyable, but ultimately this is a lightweight filler game. There is nothing wrong with that as we always need games to fill down times on gaming night, and this one certainly fills that niche nicely.

Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Covil: The Dark Overlords

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 00:29

Not everyone at a gaming table will feel the same about every game that is pulled off the shelves.

Even at our small table the four of us have some rather lengthy discussions over the merits of certain games.

Covil: The Dark Overlords by designer Luís Brüeh was certainly one of those.

Covil is a game that is just a bit hard to arrive at a final viewpoint.

To begin with the art here, also by Brüeh, will either entice your interest or be a bit of a deterrent. When the game was originally launched on Kickstarter it was stated; “The game is a tribute to awesome 70’s, 80’s & 90’s cartoons, filled with references to our favorite and unforgettable characters.”

In the base came and add-ons there are for example homages to Leela from Futurama, The Brain from Pinky and the Brain, and ALF among others.

The cartoon inspired art is sort of cute but didn’t exactly win me over, although others at the table were satisfied.

The Kickstarter campaign also noted;In Covil: The Dark Overlords you will struggle for the supremacy of the regions surrounding an isolated town. Each player controls a Dark Overlord with unique powers and countless minions to “defend the world from enemy hordes” and bring “peace and security to the territories” — at a cost, of course!”

The game, published by Canadian publisher Vesuvius Media comes across as a bit grander than it actually is.

This is a fairly light worker placement/area control game, which players put over four segmented rounds.

In the opening couple of rounds, you have fewer minions to send out across the realms, and that limits what you can actually do. It is generally a build-up of forces that players generally must follow for fear of being under-manned in later rounds.

In the last couple of rounds, you have more options, battling other players, hoarding gold as such fun things, although there are limitations. The game allows a rather small treasury so players are always making rather frugal decisions.

The interesting aspect of this game is that various character cards have abilities which create synergies with certain attack styles, melee, or ranged, and with different terrains on the board. This means there is a learning curve. Some time spent with the cards outside of a game situation getting a grasp on what cards to go after to be able to chain effects will add to the game experience.

A pair of small expansions; The Outposts and Chaotic Evil, expand on things, and while some games only gain variety with added cards and options, with Covil it adds some interest by expanding the decisions. The chance to add fortresses and dragons to the troops is great, and sinister plots give each player hidden goals to go after, another bonus in play.

I rather liked the game at the basic level, more so than my gaming comrades, but with game time, and the expansions this is likely to satisfy most games in for some quick fun.

Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WWE Royal Rumble Tickets Available Friday, October 12

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 00:17

Travel Packages Available Wednesday, October 10

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced that tickets for the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble will be available on Friday, October 12 at 1PM ET/10AM PT. Royal Rumble takes place on Sunday, January 27, 2019, from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona and will be streamed live around the world on WWE Network.

Tickets for Royal Rumble will be available through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, at the Chase Field box office or by calling Ticketmaster charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

In addition, Royal Rumble travel packages, which will include tickets to all Royal Rumble Week events, will be available this Wednesday, October 10 at 10AM ET/7AM PT through RoyalRumbleTravel.com.

Royal Rumble is more than just a one-day event, it is a week-long celebration. In addition to Royal Rumble, other events include: three spectacular live events taking place at Talking Stick Resort Arena, including NXT® TakeOverMonday Night Raw® and SmackDown Live®Ticket information for these events will be announced in the near future.

In addition, Royal Rumble Week will also feature Royal Rumble Axxess, WWE’s interactive fan festival at the Phoenix Convention Center from Friday, January 25 – Sunday, January 27, as well as local community outreach programs, including Be a STAR bullying prevention rallies and hospital visits designed to leave a lasting impact throughout the region.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars # 3

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 00:12

Title: Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars # 3 (GN)
Publisher: Papercutz
Created/Writer/Artist by: Jessica Abel
Backgrounds and Design by: Lydia Roberts
Colors: Walter
Price: $ 15.99 US
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Website: www.papercutz.com, http://www.supergeniuscomics.com
Comments: Trish lives on Mars with her family and friends and mines water for a living. Her dream though is to hover skate. Trish’s life is filled with two things working and skating.
The story starts to drag on as it goes on and on about how important water is on Mars. There is a little to do with the derby skating as well but there needs to be more.
When Trish’s mother is pushed too far she decides to push back and the derby girls are going to help.
The Novas and the Bombers find themselves in a street game against each other to see who is the best. Now this game has a decidedly different ending and starts then you would think.
The art looks great showing off the world of Mars and the people who live there. The derby girls are shown as determined girls and the aliens do let you know Martians do exist and they are a lot like humans. A little cosmetic difference yet basically the same.
Trish is a wonderful girl who knows what she wants and she goes for it and gets it. This girl is amazing.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: The Black Knight # 1

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 00:02

Title: The Black Knight # 1
Publisher: Zenescope
Story: Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Dave Franchini, Terry Kavanagh
Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Artwork: Sergio Arino
Colors: Robby Bevard
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover: Sean Chen with Ivan Nunes
Variant Covers: Igor Vitorino with Hedwin Zaldivar, Jay Anaceleto with Ivan Nunes, Alan Quah with Komikaki Studio, Leonardo Colapieto, Blank Sketch Cover
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Website: www.zenescope.com
Comments: Peyton Parks is the Black Knight in the modern world. She is illustrated in black armor with it revealing enough to bring out her sexual side. The close-ups of her face show a strong and beautiful woman.
The story skips over the origin of this Black Knight way to fast. Then it lingers on the fact she is a lawyer and defending a criminal.
The Black Knight stands tall in court as she is the defender of those in danger. She is posed in some awesome poses that really show her off well. She even has a steed and mounted on it she is a sight to see. Peyton even in her normal clothes is stunning.
What is Nadia and what is Ursa the set up for when these two meet in battle is done with a nice build up of suspense?
The Black Knight is a feared warrior and Peyton keeps that part of the legend alive. The Black Knight is a feared countenance that will make mere mortals fear her.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Silver Screen Bottling Company Launches New Fear The Walking Dead Beer

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 23:29

The Original Augie’s Ale Sells for $12.99 per Six-Pack

October 5, 2018, Dallas, TX Fear The Walking Dead fans have a new beverage to enjoy while watching episodes of the popular AMC show. The Original Augie’s Ale, a blood orange farmhouse ale brewed in partnership with the award-winning Wicked Weed Brewing, is now available for presale online and will ship later this year.

The Original Augie’s Ale is named for Augie’s Brewing, the fictional beerhouse in the show operated by Jim Brauer, whose skills as a brewer are highly sought after by other characters in the show. In the current season, main character Morgan Jones encounters Jim, who is determined to be the wealthiest, most important man in the post-apocalyptic world. “History is built on beer,” says Jim, whose path to success is beer.

The Original Augie’s Ale is brewed by the world-renowned Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, N.C. Its ingredients include grapefruit sourced from Texas – where season four of the television show is primarily filmed.

The farmhouse ale is delicate in body, while boasting flavors and aromas of grapefruit, blood orange, and agave.  The spice of the agave mellows out the citrus punch and compliments the creamy mouthfeel from the flaked oats.  Refreshing and crisp, this delicately hazy brew is a perfect pour.

Six-packs of the bottles sell for $12.99 and are available for presale at www.augiesale.com. Packaging of the bottles invites fans to “Beer the Walking Dead.” Product will begin shipping later this year.

Under license by AMC, The Original Augie’s Ale is the latest release by Silver Screen Bottling Co., which has also launched spirit brands around other iconic fan-centric franchises like Star Trek and the Fallout videogame series. Links to purchase all Silver Screen Bottling Co. products can be found at www.silverscreenbottling.com.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Captain Kirk Crosses Paths With Fellow Captains Picard, Janeway, and Sisko in Star Trek: The Q Conflict

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 23:23

The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager Collide for the First Time in Six-Issue Comic Book Crossover

SAN DIEGO, CA (October 5, 2018) – For the first time ever, the beloved crews of four Star TrekTM incarnations – The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager – will be pitted against one another in IDW’s mind-blowing comic book miniseries, Star Trek: The Q Conflict. Debuting in January, this epic six-part event features the writing team of Scott and David Tipton (Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken) and art by David Messina (Cloak and Dagger, Star Trek: Countdown).

When a dispute between godlike beings threatens the galaxy, it will take all of Starfleet’s best captains to stop them. James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Kathryn Janeway, and Benjamin Sisko must go head-to-head in a competition rigged by the arrogant Q and his nigh-omnipotent cohorts.

“This is it – the biggest Star Trek series ever, spanning starships, centuries, and galaxies!” says Scott Tipton. “All of Starfleet’s most legendary officers join together for the first time against some of the greatest threats they’ve ever faced. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before!”

David Tipton adds, “But it wouldn’t be Star Trek if it wasn’t also about character, and with so many Starfleet legends crossing paths for the first time ever, The Q Conflict will give readers the opportunity to see all their favorite characters in a brand-new light.”

“Being at work on Star Trek: The Q Conflict is like coming home after a five-year mission away,” says David Messina. “To draw characters like Spock and Picard at a time that’s so exciting for the Star Trek franchise? It’s awesome.”

Star Trek: The Q Conflict #1, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will be available with multiple covers: connecting regular covers by David Messina, and retailer incentive variants by George Caltsoudas and J.K. Woodward.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Button Men

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 07:15

Button Men has been around for a while now. Debuting back in 1999 when the characters were actually on pin-backed buttons, which was a rather cool idea.

You wore your button, and others, during game conventions and the like, wore theirs. Players would meet up and start rolling dice in a game based on the ‘button men’s’ stats.

In brief, “Button Men is a dice game about fighting. Each fighter is represented by a set of dice, and players take turns capturing each other’s dice. It’s a compact game that only takes about 10-minutes,” details the ruleset.

The game was popular and won the Origins Award for Best Abstract Board Game and Best Graphics Presentation of a Board Game.

“Over the years there have been several expansions to the game, from Cheapass Games and many licensees. There are more than 300 characters in the game, with new ones being added all the time.”

Fast forward to 2017 and the game has been re-released sans buttons, with the characters now on cards. The game lost a touch of its character with the switchover, but there is a cost-saving to production I am sure.

The game setting is now one centered on gangsters.

“Selaria, better known as Fight City, is a lawless town on America’s Gulf Coast. The year is 1952, and Fight City is in the middle of a never-ending crime war,” details the rules sheet.

“Fight City was founded in 1788, by shipwright Solaris Kronauer, and it has always been a strange world unto itself. The city sits at the mouth of the Lawaree River, between Alabama and Mississippi. Fight City is a haven for crime, double-dealing, and shady characters from all walks of life.

“Needless to say, everyone in this city has a good reason to pick a fight with just about everyone else.”

Of course, the background doesn’t influence gameplay, but it is a nice add-on in terms of flavour.

Button Men does remain a strategy dice game. It was designed by James Ernest.

The new ‘starter set’ contains 48 characters and enough dice to play. The suggestion it is a starter hint at expansions to come, which is not surprising given the number of characters in the earlier button run.

While this is basically players rolling a handful of dice, D4s through to D20s, and comparing numbers, there are some nice options to play as well.

For example, poison dice are worth negative points. If you keep one of your own poison dice, subtract its full size from your score. If you capture an opponent’s poison die, subtract half its size.

Poison dice can often be the deciding factor in a game, and they do influence play when used.

Shadow dice are another option. They cannot make power attacks. Instead, they make shadow attacks, which works slightly differently: use one of your shadow dice to capture one enemy die. “The captured die must show a number greater than or equal to the attacking die, but not greater than the attacker’s size,” states the rules.

And there is a rush attack: “use one of your rush dice to capture two of your opponent’s dice. The numbers on the target dice must add up exactly to the number on the attacking die…

“Rush dice also have a weakness. They can be captured in a rush attack by any type of die.”

The game could benefit with some alternate coloured dice to easily designate the specialty dice, although most gamers have tons of dice on-hand.

You will have to play with the specialty dice because they add some nice strategy to an otherwise rather boring dice-rolling contest. With the special dice, the game is well worthy of exploring.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Dikarya

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 07:04

It is very hard to beat an abstract strategy game that has wood pieces and a wooden board as well. Aesthetically, it is the epitome of beauty for me in terms of board games.

So when I first laid hands on Dikarya from designer and craftsman Nick Ryan I was immediately smiling.

Of course, good looks only go so far.

A game should be fun to play, and in the case of an abstract strategy game, it should be challenging as well. Perfect information games, in particular, two-player games of the genre, should make you think as you play.

In the case of Dikarya I was first aware the game was very much a tweaked version of a much older game, so thanks to email, I asked Ryan about this game’s specific origins.

“Dikarya is basically latrunculi which is an ancient Roman game,” he explained via return email.

For those not familiar latrunculi, www.boardgamegeek.com gives a quick history; “roughly translated as ‘Robbers’, this abstract battle game was known to be played by the Romans, and versions of the same game may well have been played before by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and afterward by the Persians. Games archaeologists and historians disagree hotly about just about every aspect of this game: board size, number, and distribution of playing pieces, use of a king piece, age, priority, etc, etc; the list goes on. However, there is evidence that the game existed, both in literature and in archaeological finds.”

It was this ancient game from which Dikarya was born.

“I was searching for wholesale wooden pieces to purchase to produce my own Latrunculi game (Idyllwild games.com),” said Ryan. “I had a hard time finding the right pieces but did come across little mushroom-shaped wooden knobs, it sparked the idea of ‘Hey, I could make a mushroom themed Latrunculi!’(Dikarya is a subkingdom of fungi). Then I was thinking about the fungus theme and thought little spores would be a cool idea and would make the game unique.”

So how exactly does Dikarya play?

Each player places their 12 Soldiers along one side of the board and places their King on the row forward, four spaces from the right. Each player receives 3 Spores each, and are placed in the circles on their side of the board.

All pieces may move any number of spaces in the horizontal or vertical direction, except a placed Spore piece.

A single Soldier is captured if it is surrounded on two opposite sides. If a Soldier is “captured” remove it from the board.

Multiple Soldiers can be captured along a line.

Up to this point, the game mimics what many think the ancient game played like.

As Ryan noted the ‘spores’ add a new twist.

When an enemy Soldier is captured, the capturing player may place one of their Spores in the captured Soldier’s place.

When a Spore is placed, it becomes a “blockade” and cannot be moved for the remainder of the game.

A Spore placed on the field may be used – by either player – to capture another enemy Soldier(s).

The spores are an interesting addition to gameplay, adding a level of strategy regarding when to place them, and recognizing how that placement will affect the game moving forward.

Ryan said he developed the game because he likes the genre to start with.

“I love chess but when I played Latrunculi, I really loved the simple ‘back to basics’ gameplay,” he said. “It’s easy to teach newcomers. And if you like chess, Dikarya / Latrunculi is fresh, yet similar feeling.”

So are there tricks to being good at Dikarya.

“My wife is actually better than I am,” offered Ryan. “I would say stay focused and don’t be too aggressive. Also moving a piece to a square that is diagonal of an enemy piece is usually a good move.”

You will want to note the suggestion because this is a beautifully made game that really should be on a gamer’s want list.

Check it out at the above-mentioned website.

Thanks to fellow gamer Adam Daniels for his help in running through this game for review.

 

 

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

New Anti-Drug Awareness Video “A Single Moment Matters” Launches to Highlight the Devastating Effects of Drugs  

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 06:41

ELKS DAP (Drug Awareness program) and the DEA create new video in partnership with SMOSH and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment

 

 

October 4, 2018; ELKS DAP (Drug Awareness Program), the nation’s largest all volunteer drug education group, and the DEA, today released a national awareness video “A Single Moment Matters” as a powerful campaign to bring awareness to the long-term effects of drugs. The video will premiere on SMOSH, the largest digital comedy brand in the world, and was created in partnership with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment.

 

The video is available on SMOSH’s hugely popular SMOSH Pit YouTube channel starting today, October 4th 2018, along with additional content running on SMOSH’s Twitter & Instagram pages using the hashtag #ElksDAP. Viewers can watch the full video or a short overview using the following links:



 

The drug awareness video is created to show how easily a single moment in your life can put you on a path to drug addiction and severe consequences in your life. The video is shot using popular SMOSH talent. In the video the SMOSH cast members Courtney Miller, Keith Leak Jr., and Noah Grossman are thrust into a situation in which, unbeknownst to them, they will meet an alternate version of themselves and see what life could have been like for them had they gone down a different path. The stories show how easy it can be to slip into an addiction, with one story showing how Noah had become addicted to drugs after an accident.

 

Celebrity make-up artists helped depict the physical effects of various narcotics and prescription drugs on the young SMOSH talent to create a real-life before and after transformation of the actors, leading to dramatic and emotional reactions as they see themselves in these devastating situations. The video shows the shocking effects each drug has had on them and in each case the SMOSH actors struggle to grasp what they are seeing. The experience is shocking and genuinely emotional as they see their own reality recreated in such a dramatic and devastating way.

 

The video is produced by SMOSH, in partnership with ELKS DAP, the DEA and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment joined as a producing partner and was passionate about the project as co-founder Stan Lee has been including real-life issues in his superhero characters since the 1970’s. In 1971, Stan Lee was asked to include an anti-drug story line in the Spider-Man comics while at Marvel and now in 2018, Stan Lee and his company, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, continue this tradition by partnering with YouTube sensation SMOSH, the DEA and the nation’s largest all-volunteer drug awareness program ELKS DAP to create a very special anti-drug video for release on the SMOSH Pit YouTube Channel.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Two Major Franchises are Creating their own Exclusive Streaming Services. But is This a Move that Could Backfire?

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 06:31

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer. It’s a mantra that has seen the rise of many an internet streaming giant in the last ten or so years.

And now, we have two new contenders for our viewing dollars.

Officially launched on September 15, DC Universe ($7.99 per month or $74.99 Year) is a bright shiny new streaming service that promises subscribers a mix of “new original live-action and animated series,” along with “classic TV series and films, a curated selection of comic books, breaking news, an expansive encyclopedia, and access to exclusive merchandise.”

We all know how popular comic characters are these days, and Warner Bros is jumping in with both feet in an attempt to capitalize on the DC comic franchises.  https://www.dcuniverse.com/join/

Not simply a place to stream new TV shows and old episodes of DC properties. DC Universe also features “a rotating, curated selection of digital comic books” that you can read on your phone or tablet as well as plenty of merchandise offerings you won’t find anywhere else.

The crown jewel of this new streaming service is a gritty and dark series, Titans following

Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and a rag-tag group of soon-to-be superheroes including Starfire (Anna Diop), Raven (Teagan Croft), and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter).

Their initial offerings sound tempting but it should be noted that many of the DC properties and blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, or Justice League are still under contract with other streaming platforms. It’s unlikely they’ll be popping up on DC Universe any time soon. The same goes for the CW’s Arrowverse. This undercuts the “exclusivity” angle this service is aiming for and if their initial offerings are not enough to hold consumer interest, it is likely they’ll see subscription numbers decline quickly.

 

While DC Universe might have a huge mountain to climb to become a streaming giant in its own right, another major player, Disney is also developing their own exclusive streaming service. And unlike DC, they have plenty of exclusivities to offer right off the bat. Hello Disney Vault… Yeah, well played.

Disney Play – Will launch in 2019 (Estimated between $8 and $14 a month.)

In August of last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the company would soon pull its beloved animated titles from the streaming service and all other competitors.

CEO Bob Iger revealed that about 500 movies from the Disney library, along with about 7,000 episodes of Disney TV shows, will hit the service. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-ceo-bob-iger-says-marvel-star-wars-movies-will-be-streaming-service-1034566?_ga=2.77822932.1373301270.1538144346-7329109.1538144346

The entire output of the studio, animation, live action at Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars and all the Marvel films. Star Wars and Marvel fans will have plenty to be excited about.

Jon Favreau is making a live-action Star Wars series that’s set three years after Return of the Jedi. MCU fans can look forward to live-action Loki and Scarlet Witch shows, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/whats-on-disney-play-disneys-streaming-service

While Disney will launch with plenty of exclusivity, there will be some initial comingling of Disney owned properties as contracts and rights expire.

Netflix currently has a deal with Disney for the streaming rights to Marvel and Star Wars movies until 2020. This means after Ant-Man and the Wasp, there will be no more MCU movies on Netflix. Starting with Captain Marvel, Disney Play will be the only place to stream the franchise.

Netflix also holds streaming rights to the Netflix original series featuring Marvel characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. This is unlikely to change.

Hulu’s original Marvel series Runaways will also likely remain on Hulu, as Disney hasn’t indicated that it will be nabbing that series. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/business/media/disney-streaming-service-ricky-strauss.html

In addition to the Netflix and Hulu offerings, there will be some delay on Star Wars Movies reaching the Disney Play service. Television rights to Episodes 1-6 of the movie franchise are currently held by Turner Broadcasting and do not expire until 2024

It should be noted that the Disney brand is considered family friendly (though they own studios that produce adult oriented content) so there won’t be any R-rated movies on Disney Play platform

With all the exclusive content, these services seem like true contenders to the three giants currently dominating the internet streaming services. But I have to wonder if Warner Bros and Disney have considered the implications of adding to the glut of streaming services already available to consumers. What impact will this additional exclusivity mean in the digital marketplace? Would it have been more prudent to team up with a current giant and share in the profits?

Looking back at the impact of the rise of streaming media, there is a very clear correlation between cost and ease of access that allowed the current giants to get where they were.

In the early aught’s Cable reigned supreme offering upwards of 400 channels to consumers for roughly $200 a month. Then between 2006 and 2008 consumers were introduced to streaming services like Amazon Video(06), Netflix (07), Hulu (08).

Hulu, at $14.99 a month, promised next-day views of most current cable Television season shows.

Netflix, at $10.99 a month, promised full season binging at the click of a button as well as a huge list of popular movies.

Amazon, (Included with a Prime Membership) $8.99 monthly, hosted a seemingly unending library of movies, television, and niche documentaries.

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer.

These three giants changed the way we watched television. Their offerings overlapped some, but each had its specific target and hit the bullseye every time. Cost played a huge factor in consumers adopting the new platforms. Combined at just under $35 a month, consumers could stream all three for a fraction of the cable bill they were currently paying and switch to a lighter, and easier to afford internet service bill.

The rise of these three streaming services had another unexpected corollary effect. BitTorrent, commonly used to share files and known as a marketplace for media piracy began to see a serious decline. According to Sandvine’s new Global Internet Phenomena report: sandvine.com

In 2011, file sharing was huge on fixed networks and tiny on mobile. In the Americas, for example, 52.01% of upstream traffic on fixed networks and 3.83% of all upstream mobile traffic was BitTorrent. In Europe, it was even more, with 59.68% of upstream on fixed and 17.03% on mobile. By 2015, those numbers had fallen significantly, with Americas being 26.83% on the upstream and Europe being 21.08% on just fixed networks.

During the rise of the three major Streaming services (potentially unethical) file sharing via BitTorrent was on the decline. Pirate streaming sites like TVShack.net, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org and Ninjavideo.net, found their end between 2010 and 2012 (Some still continue to operate, though less trafficked today) as the three streaming giants beefed up their video offerings while keeping cost low.

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer.

Today there are countless streaming outlets and smart TV’s capable of connecting consumers with the shows they want, but the top three remain so because they have grown and adapted with the times.

New players emerged during the rise of streaming, offering specialty content, access to cable television channels without the high price tag, and seasonal favorites only available through their connection.

Showtime

Price: $11 per month, or $9 per month when purchased through certain services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.

HBO Now

Price: $15 per month.

Starz

Price: $9 per month.

Sling TV

Price: Sling Orange costs $25 per month; Sling Blue costs $25 per month. A combined package still costs $40 per month. Add-on packs cost $5 to $10 extra per month.

While these offerings are not a complete list, they are at the top of the list. They represent services that consumers use when they want exclusive content, and cancel when they’ve finished watching. HBO for example, with its hit series, Game of Thrones, sees its subscriber’s rise and decline yearly as the season runs its course.

When you add up all the potential channels and offerings, the resulting monthly cost begins to rise to the levels of Cable TV subscriptions. A fact the big Cable companies are aware of and use to lure consumers back to their annual contracts.

Along with the rising cost of accessing all this exclusive content, the corollary effect we saw between 2011 and 2015, with the decline of BitTorrent, has begun to reverse course in the last two years. The rising cost of specialty streaming services with exclusive content are beginning to push consumers to seek other methods of finding what they want without going over budget.

Too many services, not giving people easy access to what they want, while adding to consumer’s financial burden, will undoubtedly see their customer base dwindle.

The market is already flooded by an overwhelming assortment of specialty streaming services and piracy on the rise again. I have to wonder whether or not the exclusivity of these two new streaming platforms was truly the best idea. And as I asked above. Would it have been more prudent for these media giants to team up with the current streaming platforms? Would that have been the more profitable move? Only time will tell.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ART OF WRESTLING ROAD DIARIES 28. The Kingdom

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 06:10

Guests: Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia. The Kingdom has been a great stable for ROH for over two years. Colt and the whole crew get together and talk wrestling and life.

Sponsor:
www.BlueChew.com (Code: COLT)

Music:
www.youtube.com/TheUkuleleTeacher
www.superfunyeahyeahrocketship.com

Image Photo:
www.portraitofawrestler.com/

Image Design:
Jimmy Lee

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Action Lab Entertainment Exclusives For NYCC 2018

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 06:07

Limited edition comics are available for purchase while supplies last.

Action Lab Entertainment will be exhibiting several limited edition New York Comic Con exclusives at Booth 3044. In addition to their mature Danger Zone imprint exclusives, they’ll have an exclusive cover for MIRACULOUS ADVENTURES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR.

MIRACULOUS ADVENTURES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR #5
Created by: Thomas Astruc
Written by: Thomas Astruc, Mélanie Duval, Fred Lenoir, Bryan Seaton & Sébastien Thibaudeau
Artist Name(s): Zag Entertainment
Cover Artist(s): Brian Hess
Letters by: Justin Birch
Edited by: Nicole D’Andria and Bryan Seaton

This issue of Miraculous: Adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir collects four Zag Entertainment webisodes: “Inspiration”, “Busy Day”, “Homework Essay” and “The Notebook”. Join Marinette as she gets inspired by the amazing city of Paris, tries to bake enough macaroons in order to spend time with Adrien, writes an essay about a person who inspires her and helps Rose (along with the rest of her friends) try to feel better after Chloé insults her.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Krypton: Emmett J. Scanlan to Appear as Lobo

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 22:32

Let’s hear it for the Main Man!

At San Diego Comic-Con this summer, the producers of Krypton announced that Lobo, the intergalactic bounty hunter known for his mean attitude and meaner right hook, would be prominently featured in the SYFY Superman prequel’s second season. Today, it was announced that Irish actor Emmett J. Scanlan will be the man bringing the universe’s last Czarnian to life.

Krypton’s take on Lobo will be a ruthless bounty hunter who murdered his entire species, and who possesses a genius level intellect when it comes to matters of warfare, making him a deadly adversary. Imbued with superhuman strength and virtually immortal, Lobo will keep coming until the job is finished. His word is the only thing Lobo holds sacred; and although he’ll never violate the letter of an agreement, he might disregard its spirit from time to time!

That description sounds pretty true to Lobo’s comic book iteration as well. Lobo was born into the utopian society of Czarnia, but left after wiping out his entire race. Since then, he has worked as one of the universe’s most effective, relentless and violent bounty hunters. Part of what makes him so good at his job is his ridiculous power set. The guy has super strength that rivals Superman’s (and let’s not forget, in Krypton, Superman doesn’t yet exist), plus he has powerful regenerative healing and is essentially immortal. And that’s to say nothing about his practical skills. Lobo is one of the best brawlers in the universe, as well as an excellent tactician.

It remains to be seen how Lobo is portrayed on Krypton, but as his fans know, he isn’t always a villain, and lately has been portrayed as more of an antihero. While Lobo’s not above lying, cheating, stealing and killing, he is a man of his word when it comes to any contract he takes on, and sometimes those contracts are actually to the benefit of the universe. In fact, this code of his has allowed him to forge understandings and alliances with many of the DC Universe’s heroes, including some of the Green Lanterns, Superman and most recently, Batman, who enlisted Lobo into the Justice League of America.

Scanlan has had a long career in the Irish, British and American film and TV industries, with hefty roles in Safe, The Fall and long-running British soap Hollyoaks, and will appear in this season of Amazon’s Lore. On the film side, his most notable role was in Guardians of the Galaxy, but if he looks familiar to DC fans it’s likely because he played Det. Jim Corrigan in two episodes of NBC’s Constantine. (Sadly, though, we never got to see his Corrigan become host to the Spectre before the series was cancelled.)

While Lobo has appeared in a large number of DC’s animated series, including Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Young Justice and Justice League Action, as well as in 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, this will mark his very first appearance in live action.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

DC MEET THE PUBLISHERS PANEL FEATURED SURPRISE GUESTS WITH EXCITING NEWS TO KICK OFF NEW YORK COMIC CON

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 22:20

Acclaimed Writer Brian Michael Bendis Reveals His Curated Wonder Comics Imprint

DC Icon Marv Wolfman Talks About His Upcoming Comic Book Based on Funko’s New Line of DC Primal Age Action Figures

Whenever DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee host a “Meet the Publishers” panel to kick off New York Comic Con it’s always full of surprises for the fans who attend, and this afternoon’s curtain-raiser was no exception.

In addition to talking about the success of books like Tom King’s HEROES IN CRISIS and the success of the Walmart 100-Page Giant comics, the publishers revealed their first surprise to fans when they invited superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis to the stage to talk about his work on SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, as well as his creator-owned stories from Jinxworld.

But Bendis came with news of his own, revealing the first details of WONDER COMICS, his personally curated line of teen-focused, in-continuity comic books scheduled to debut in early 2019. The line will be anchored by the return of Impulse (Bart Allen) and Superboy (Conner Kent), teaming up with Robin (Tim Drake) as the nucleus of an all-new YOUNG JUSTICE, which Bendis will write with art by his ACTION COMICS partner in crime, Patrick Gleason. As a tease for his Saturday evening spotlight panel, Bendis also announced the rest of the first wave of titles:

  • NAOMI, which Bendis will co-write with David Walker (CYBORG), featuring art by Jamal Campbell (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: VIXEN)
  • WONDER TWINS, written by Mark Russell (THE FLINTSTONES, EXIT STAGE LEFT: THE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES, DC Black Label’s SECOND SON) with art by Stephen Byrne (JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS)
  • DIAL H FOR HERO, an updated take on the Silver Age classic series from the team of writer Sam Humphries (HARLEY QUINN, GREEN LANTERNS) and artist Joe Quinones (BLACK CANARY/ZATANNA)

The panel had even more surprises in store: Dan DiDio made reference to a recent interview on DC Daily where he talked about finding some old sketches and designs for a 1980s-era comic and toy line called Primal Age. With an announcement by Funko of a new retro-style barbarian fantasy-themed action figure line called DC Primal Age, Dan had to confess that the interview he did was part of a larger stunt and there was never a comic planned.

However, the joke was on Dan when DC writing icon Marv Wolfman took the stage. Wolfman spoke with Dan and Jim about his plans to write a comic book based on this new line of toys by Funko, with art provided by Scott Koblish. Titled DC PRIMAL AGE, Wolfman revealed initial details about his story, explaining the mythos behind the toy line and how it will be rooted in the sword and sorcery genre, reminiscent of DC comics like WARLORD and HERCULES UNBOUND. In addition, the DC PRIMAL AGE comic will also include several short stories featuring DC characters rendered in the style of Funko’s new action figure line.

Fans received a firsthand look at the new line and were treated to a special surprise, receiving a New York Comic Con exclusive Mr. Freeze DC PRIMAL AGE figure.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

KIRKMAN ANNOUNCES FINAL STORY ARC OF OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 21:18

PORTLAND, OR, 10/04/2018 — Robert Kirkman took to the stage today at New York Comic Con to announce the series’ final story arc of his co-created horror series with Paul Azaceta, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA. The final arc will kick off in December with issue #37.

The final arc will build to a crescendo of plot twists over the course of twelve issues and end on issue #48 will the long-planned ending to the psychological horror series first launched in 2014 to critical acclaim.

“It’s been a long road getting here–but I’ve said since the beginning Outcast was the first series I started where I had the ending planned before we began,” said Kirkman. “We’ve been building to what’s coming since the very first issue and it’s great to finally be at the point where we can tell this final epic storyline! Working with Paul has been an absolute thrill and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done together over what will be a five year journey.”

OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it.

OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #37 (Diamond Code OCT180225) will hit stores on Wednesday, December 19th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, November 26th.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Cullen Bunn and Laura Braga join the Archie Horror squad as two new mini-series launch!

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 19:34


BLOSSOMS 666 #1: CVR A Braga

BLOSSOMS 666 #1 cover art by Laura Braga

Comics horror-meister Cullen Bunn and artist Laura Braga are bringing the trouble-making Blossom twins into the Archie Horror stable with a brand new mini-series!

In BLOSSOM 666, launching January 2019, Cheryl and Jason Blossom seem like the wealthy, popular, and likeable teens we know and love, but in this world they harbor a deep, dark secret — one of them is the Anti-Christ! Both want the title, and no one in Riverdale is safe. As Cullen puts it, the new mini is “one part Omen, one part Cruel Intentions, all Archie!”

And Archie Horror has one more surprise up its sleeve next year — two popular series will collide in JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER VS. VAMPIRONICA! The mini-series, from the HUNGER creative team of writer Frank Tieri and artists Pat & Tim Kennedy, will be an all-fangs-bared fight to the gory finish as each world’s dominant monster faces a brutal challenge to the status quo. As Frank says, we can be pretty sure that “all hell breaks loose (maybe quite literally).”


JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER VS. VAMPIRONICA Teaser Art

JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER VS. VAMPIRONICA teaser art by Pat & Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, and Matt Herms

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Pages