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Beetles & Birds

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 09/07/2023 - 11:00

Beetle Milk Mead 

A beverage favored in the west of Gnydrion, beetle milk mead is made from the fermentation of a sugary liquid ("the milk") produced by a species of beetle native to the titanic trees of the coastal forests. These colonials insects have members of their community who function as living casks for their hive. They gorge themselves on food and store the liquid they produce in their abdomens so they distend to an incredible degree, having the appearance when full of plump fruit with a diameter as wide as the length of the first digit of a man's thumb. The milk is harvested from the engorged beetles and fermented. The resulting liquid is sometimes added to beer to sweeten it but can also be mixed with the local liquor to render that more enjoyable, as well.

The beetles are farmed by placing thick slices of the bark of their favored trees into beetlehouses. This practiced has allowed the production and enjoyment of beetle milk mead to spread to places where the trees do not grow.


Quaklus are the ubiquitous saddle birds of the Northwest region. It is assumed by most learned folk of the modern age, that the birds are a result of the puissant science of the ancients, though the pedants of the hwaopt have alleged that the quaklus are a distinct lineage from the creatures of humankin's homeworld and so must have been taken from some other world in the past.

Whatever their origins some quaklu, considered atavistic in the modern parlance, are more than just cunning animals and are capable of speech.  The accidental acquisition of such a gifted fowl is considered an unlucky turn due to their willingness to make their thoughts and wishes known--and unwelcome trait in a riding beast.

Judge Dredd Case Files 43 Now Available for Pre-Order!

First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 17:07
>Judge Dredd Case Files 43 is available for pre-order now, including the beginning of a classic story: Origins, by Dredd’s creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra! In this volume of…
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First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 15:24
The fan-favorite podcast returns with a character-centric format and a new host! LISTEN TO THE FIRST EPISODE HERE New York, NY— September 6, 2023 — On Wednesday, September 6, Marvel’s original podcast series Women…
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Silverline Comics Podcast: What effect does the collector’s market have on comics?

First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 15:08
The crew from That Silverline Show on Tuesday talk about the collector’s market and comics. Originally aired on Aug 1, 2023. Included in this episode are Tim T.K., Jose Fuentes,…
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Silverline Comics Podcast: Playing with art A.I.

First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 15:05
The Silver Sunday crew play with some art A.I. software. This is a very visual episode. Originally aired on July 30, 2023. Included in this episode are Thomas Florimonte, Roberta…
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REVIEW CORNER: Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville # 1

First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 14:58
Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville # 1 Writer: Joanne Starer Artist: Natacha Bustos Colorist: Tamara Bonvillain Letterer: Ariana Maher Cover Date: November 2023 Rating: This week, I will look…
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Climbing The Ranks:

First Comics News - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 14:18
The evolution of any enterprise is typically synonymous with the level of service or product uniqueness it brings to its chosen field. is one such platform that has continuously…
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Wednesday Comics: DC, December 1982 (week 2)

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 09/06/2023 - 11:00
I'm reading DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! Today, I'm looking at the comics at newsstands on the week of September 9, 1982. 

Batman #353: Batman has been declared a public menace by Mayor Hill and Commissioner Pauling, but despite a heightened police presence, the Dark Knight still manages to break into their office, and put them on notice that Deadshot spilled what he knows about them (which he hasn't). When Batman leaves the building, Pauling activates an alarm that alerts the officers about his presence and the police start shooting at Batman and hitting him. Still, Batman escapes.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thirteen shows Rupert Thorne the Hugo Strange haunting is a fake, done with holograms. Thorne jumps to the conclusion the responsible parties for this charade are his own pawns, Pauling and Hill.
Later, Alfred has to juggle an annoying Deadshot, who is being held prisoner and blindfolded in the Batcave, and tending Batman's wounds. Vicki Vale gets a phone call from a mysterious (cat) woman, who warns her to stay away from Bruce Wayne.
Thorne is drinking at his home and planning his revenge against his subordinates, when Batman appears and stands there is silence as Thorne rants. Unnerved, Thorne accidentally sets his house on fire. While Batman fights the blaze, Rupert Thorne gets away. Thorne goes to City Hall with a gun, ready to kill his lackeys. Batman arrives just in time to witness Thorne's murder of Pauling and the shooting of Thorne by one of Pauling's loyal cops. Batman disarms the cop and a fearful Mayor Hill promises he will reinstate Batman's special deputy status, but he won't be able to prove that he was ever involved with Thorne.
This Batman is, of course, Dick Grayson, as Bruce is still recovering. After a successful mission, Dick returns home, but someone else is watching Thorne get taken away to the hospital. The person is none other than Hugo Strange, who is very much alive!
This was a satisfying end to this arc by Conway and Newton.

Flash #316: Bates and Infantino continue the Goldface story with the Eradicator lurking in the background. The Flash tangles with Goldface twice and gets defeated. Goldface demands Flash leave town or he'll continue murdering people in Central City.. The Flash isn't about to leave, but he recruits the reformed Heatwave to help him try to take down the villain. They get closer, but again Goldface escapes, and Flash is left in peril of drowning. Meanwhile, the Eradicator makes short work of Goldface's goons that come after him, and Creed Philips discovers that the Eradicator killed his physician (he doesn't appear to know that he's the Eradicator).

G.I. Combat #248: No Mercenaries this month, but hey, more Haunted Tank! Joy. The first Tank story has an interesting high concept, if utterly predictable development in Kanigher style. The crew is leading 3 condemned soldiers to their execution. The three learn something of heroism from Jeb and his men, and then show it themselves by dying in battle giving our heroes a chance to escape the Germans. In the second story, the Haunted Tank manages to capture General Kuntz, "Rommel's right-hand man" and have to transport the injured general across the dangerous desert to command. 
The O.S.S. story is better than average. There is a traitor among four agents sent on a mission, and the still loyal agents have to discover who the turncoat is and complete the mission before the he takes them out. Drake and Trinidad round out the issue with a story about the lives of three individuals in different places and on different sides who wind up intersecting with the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Masters of the Universe #1: I reviewed this issue here back in 2015. One of the mysteries here is why Tuska is doing the art with Alcala only inking when Alcala did much cooler work in the mini-comics? Maybe a question of speed? 
Saga of the Swamp Thing #8: Swamp Thing, Dennis and Liz are stranded on an island where they encounter dream-like scenes out of movies. They have to deal with dinosaurs, hostile tribesmen, and King Kong and wander through Rick's Cafe American.
Abruptly we get an interlude. In New Jersey Karen "Casey" Clancy" looks much older and is more sure of her powers. Paul Feldner tells her he won't be a part of her plan. He slaps her and tries to run away before Karen uses her mind power to make him burst into flames. 
Back on the island, Dennis and Liz are finally able to confront dreamers and it is discovered they are Vietnam vets that came into contact with the defoliant, Agent Blue. Traumatized and unable to reintegrate into society, they re-enlisted. They were transferred on the USS New Hampshire, which exploded and sank, leaving them as the only survivors. It was then that the soldiers realized they could "create stuff outta thin air" just by thinking about it and decided to live out the fantasies of their imagination instead of returning to reality. Liz then scolds one of the vets for hiding from reality, essentially calling them all cowards unworthy of sympathy. The vets have a falling out over this, and their fantasies begins to fall apart along with the entire island dissolving. One of the soldiers creates a helicopter and he, Swamp Thing, Liz and Dennis escape while the other dreamers drown.
In the Barr/Carrillo Phantom Stranger backup, the Stranger takes Amanda Dove (the woman from last issue) to see the latest incarnation of her lover, a general, and tries to stop the war he is currently involved in.

New Teen Titans #26: Wolfman and Perez prove social relevance in comics wasn't just a 70s fad. The New Teen Titans return to Earth from Vega, and Robin, having revealed his true feelings during the battle, begins a tentative, romantic relationship with Starfire, and the other Titans get back to their civilian lives. Several weeks pass in a couple of captions. Then, Raven meets a young girl who has been the victim of domesticate abuse, presumably by a pimp. Dick and Kory, on a movie date, witness the accidental death of a drug-crazed youth who attacks D.A. Adrian Chase (who seems a bit to the right of Bronson's character in the Deathwish movies) and his wife before running into the path of a car. Cyborg and the others visit a home for runaways and basically get a PSA on the problem. The other The next day, at the site of the Statue of Liberty, Changeling battles a young costumed girl, who calls herself Terra. 
It's easy to view this kind message comic as sort of heavy-handed. I feel like it would have seemed hard-hitting and gritty had I read it as a young teen. In a way, I feel like this is better than the Vega arc before, though probably a little of it is going to go a long way.

Superman #378: Kupperberg and Swan introduce a character I only know from the Who's Who: Colonel Future. NASA scientist Edmond Hamilton (a name borrowed from the sci-fi writer) accidentally gains prophetic powers that warn him of a doom the Earth faces in the near future. He adopts the secret identity of Colonel Future and begins stealing devices to help him build a defense against it, but runs afoul of Superman. It turns out, interpreting visions is a tricky thing and Future actually causes a problem Superman has to prevent.

ARC: A Haunting on Mars preview

First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 17:21
ARC: A Haunting on Mars Created by Zach Chapman (House of Blood) and Ruairi Coleman (Superman: Son of Kal-El), A HAUNTING ON MARS is a cyberpunk horror 5 issue limited…
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First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 15:08
STAMFORD, Conn., September 5, 2023 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that Payback, which emanated from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, became the most-watched and highest-grossing Payback in company history.…
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RICH REVIEWS: Once Upon a Time at the End of the World # 9

First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 15:03
Title: Once Upon a Time at the End of the World # 9 Publisher: BOOM! Studios Written by: Jason Aaron Illustrated by: Leila Del Duca Colored by: Tamra Bonvillain Lettered…
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RICH REVIEWS: The Might Kaaw: The Crowmagnon # 1

First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 15:01
Title: The Might Kaaw: The Crowmagnon # 1 Publisher: Mr. Fish Comics Written and Illustrated by: Fish Lee Color Flats by: Hannah Shayne Cui Edited by: Laurie Foster Creative Consultants:…
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First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 14:40
DOCTOR WHO: ONCE UPON A TIME LORD Author: Dan Slott Illustrators: Christopher Jones and Matthew Dow Smith Publisher: Titan Comics HC, 64 pages, FC, $17.99 ISBN: 9781787738690 On sale October…
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Here Comes CALICO 7 is LIVE

First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 14:29
Here Comes CALICO – Issue 7 THE SOUTH BRONX! Mean Streets, USA. The birthplace of hip hop. NYC’s resident ANIMAL DEFENDER is back for more teeth-smashing, skull-cracking action! Follow Hector Gil as…
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Beyond the Screen: Exploring the Social Power of Gaming Forums and Communities

First Comics News - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 14:16
Online gaming has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years and in 2023 alone, the global online gaming market generated approximately $26.14 billion in revenues, representing a 9.8% growth compared to the…
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Legendary Comics Presents Sleep Terrors

First Comics News - Mon, 09/04/2023 - 21:30
A Gripping Adventure Horror Graphic Novel by Cavan Scott and Stephanie Son     LOS ANGELES, August 31, 2023 – Legendary Comics, a trailblazer in the world of graphic novels(Justice League…
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First Comics News - Mon, 09/04/2023 - 19:12
The staff of First Comics News wishes everyone a happy Labor Day… Alex Wright, Ben Herman, Bill Black, Bob Almond, Dærick Gröss Sr., Kallie Chris, Katie Salidas, Mat Kaufman, Michael…
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First Comics News - Mon, 09/04/2023 - 15:48
NECRONOMICON Henry Lovecraft, descendent of the notorious horror author, must journey with Spencer Holmes to find the most ancient and evil tome in the history of mankind–the Necronomicon. Believed to…
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RICH REVIEWS: Battlecats Vol 1: Hunt for the Dire Beast

First Comics News - Mon, 09/04/2023 - 15:26
Title: Battlecats Vol 1: Hunt for the Dire Beast  (TPB) Publisher: Mad Cave Studios Creator & Writer: Mark London Artist: Michael Camelo Editor: Chris Fernandez Book Designer & Letterer: Miguel…
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It Came From The Radio: Sandra Gimpel

First Comics News - Mon, 09/04/2023 - 15:23
Mark, Hassan Godwin, Jenny Feldy, and Filmmaker Lee Kolinsky discuss the news, a new Jaybird and Lee segment, a new Chris’ Pics segment for Chicken Soup for the soul, a…
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