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Much like last year, this Montreal Comiccon was filled to the brim with cosplayers of all kind this year. Once again, I was so proud of how my city came out and showed our passion for comics and all related genres!
But of all the great cosplays that I saw…really only one caught my eye, not once…but TWICE! This gorgeous girl in this absolutely perfect green and gold Phoenix costume was walking the floor on Friday and she simply had the stature and looks of Jean Grey down to a T (or should I say X?).
I was even more impressed the next day when I saw an equally amazing 90’s purple and black Catwoman cosplayer and after taking a picture and giving her an eXpertComics business card, she let me know that she was Phoenix the day before!
Her costumes were so professional looking and perfect that I literally did not recognize her!
Tantrim (Her full name is Tiffany Antrim…get it?) immediately became a hit on Facebook in the days after the convention and I knew I had to ask her for a Skype interview (Skyperview?). Read the rest of this entry »
I’m in the middle of reading the classic Neal Adams/Denny O’Neil classic, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali and while it’s not by any means a literary masterpiece, it is plenty of fun and I’m sure made many headlines back in its day. I mean, it was the book that had the world’s greatest champions in both real life and fiction squaring off!
I don’t know if comics made such a grasp for mainstream media attention before Superman/Ali, so it must have been a big deal.
What strikes me as unique about this mashup of pop culture and sports is the fact that it’s not like Ali is guest starring, he actually boxes against a de-powered Superman!
The thing is, Supes and Ali are good guys battling only to save the planet, I don’t particularly wanna see either get “whupped” (as Ali puts it) by the other!
This got me thinking…who would I love to see get their butts handed to them by comic book characters?! I can think of a few people in today’s headlines that need a good ‘ol spandex clad spankin’! Read the rest of this entry »
Usually when we do a column here at eXPress News & Reviews we have this whole drawn out lead in paragraph. It helps with the layout on Word Press, and it also sets up what we are going to be discussing. Today I’m doing away with that because first I haven’t done one of these for a while so there are a few things that I peeved about, and second I’m really peeved.
So what has got my shorts in a bunch? Marvel and DC Comics have decided in the infinite wisdom to do “gay” story lines. That in itself is a problem, they are publications that deal with the fantasy realms part of the comic book experience is about escapism, or getting away from “reality” !
Happy New Year, Bleederz! And welcome to 2012 (seriously, where are the flying cars already?!) and PART 2 of The Bleedie Awards where I look back at the year 2011 and give out an entirely imaginary trophy to all the comic book related stuff that I personally enjoyed over the last 12 months! Last week I gave out awards for Best New Character, Best Team and WTF Moment of the Year, but this week it’s time for BIG MONEY awards!
I hope you are all wearing tuxedos and evening gowns while reading this. I’m in a gorgeous strapless Vera Wang number while writing it, y’know.
How’s THAT for a creepy mental picture to start another wacky year with the Bleeder?!
You’re welcome. Without further ado, let us continue!
I know I’m gonna take some heat for this one. X-Men: First Class was a favorite for a lot of people. And I agree that it is a fun movie, and I enjoyed Captain America and even Green Lantern as well (I know, I’m a forgiving man), but there is something about the Thor movie (besides my crushes on EVERY female in the movie…follow Jaimie Alexander a.k.a. Sif, on Twitter, she’s awesome, y’all!) that makes me want to get a big toy hammer and a winged helmet and run around the house with a towel tied around my neck like a cape (I suppose I should say only when I was six years old I’d want to do these things…but I’m not sure that’s true).
Thor had an amazing cast, had alot of action and introduced the general masses to the more mystical aspects of the Marvel Universe. And I think it achieved this difficult feat very nicely without jumping any sort of shark. It’s a real superHERO movie (with a plot that reminds me of Superman II quite a bit, actually). This was a hard choice, guys…so I went with my heart.
Without a doubt this is the biggest event in comics all year, if not decade, if not 3 decades, if not EVER. When I heard of this “relaunch/reboot”, I didn’t believe it…DC must’ve been simply beginning their books at #1 after Flashpoint! It never made sense to me why a comic book company would work so many decades to build a shared universe, just to throw it all out the window to start over. Especially when not too much seemed broken to me. Sure, they weren’t making the same sales as Marvel…but DC has millions of fans that love their characters and always will. Not to mention probably more critical acclaim than ANY comic book publisher. Now, after it all happened, DC is now beating Marvel in sales and a good chunk of these new stories are getting great reactions, I can’t argue with this being a good move for DC. Would I have done it? Hell no. I love continuity and knowing that my old comics I grew up reading actually mean something. Call me weird. But okay okay, I’ll say it. DC, you done good. …Just fix Superman’s costume, please? I can’t take that thing he’s wearing for very much longer.
I had this beautiful cover as my desktop wallpaper for a while and my mother passed it once and said, “Wow. That’s beautiful. I’d like a t-shirt of it.” There ya go. It’s so pretty a middle-aged woman would wear it on a t-shirt. If that doesn’t deserve Cover of the Year, I don’t know what does.
In context of the Spider-Island story, it foreshadows a large event for Spider-Man, while completely out of context, it depicts the most recognizable landmarks in N.Y. honoring its greatest hero. A great piece of art impacts the audience from any point of view they may have. And a comic book cover should do the same thing. This one achieves that goal in a big way.
This was another doozy. How do you pick this!? There’s Cap (2 of them!), Thor, Wolverine, Invincible, Flash, Iron Man, Daredevil…all are great candidates, but only one guy proved this year that it’s not his powers or his costume that makes him a hero. And while I’m awarding this to Spider-Man, that guy is actually Peter Parker. See, Spider-Island was special simply because of its uniqueness. There were many superhero stories over the years about a hero losing his powers. This one was a story about what would happen if EVERYONE– soccer moms to lowly muggers —EVERYONE got the same powers as him!
Pete found himself in a scenario where putting on a costume and swinging around Manhattan meant NOTHING anymore. But being seen as a heroic Peter Parker would show the good folks of New York a lesson he learned when he became a wall-crawler decades ago: “with great power comes great responsibility”, inspiring them to stand up against the bad seeds that were using their powers to cause trouble. It was really awesome. For once, it wasn’t a superhero that was my favorite Hero of the Year, it was the man UNDER the mask.
I’m going to use this double-page spread instead of one with Batwoman smashing through a window and kicking ass. For one simple reason. Mr. Williams can make a simple two pages featuring Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham PD investigating a crime scene look like a beautiful piece you’d find in an art gallery.
This is what sets this artist apart from everyone else right now for me, and it’s abilities like that that inspires myself as an artist. His layouts aren’t traditional in any sense of the word, and some may have a hard time following them, but the way he weaves his Batwoman pages makes you feel like you are floating through a dream rather than reading a comic book. I think if he was announced for drawing a new Bouncing Boy ongoing, I’d be the first in line to buy it. No, really.
Okay, I guess I gushed over Spider-Island and Amazing Spider-Man a lot already. But I don’t feel that anyone took the reins on a title this year like Slott when he jumped onto Amazing. While I didn’t hate the way Amazing Spider-Man had been written over the last few years, Dan came in and truly brought a sense of fun and excitement to the book that Spidey comics hadn’t seen in quite a while. Slott is balancing nostalgia and evolution in a fun way that makes longtime, new and returning readers alike anticipating every new issue that hits the shelves.
And you can easily see in his work (and on his Twitter account) that he is having the time of his life as the writer of this legendary series. Who can blame him? It’ll be interesting to see what he has in store for 2012 for the wall-crawler and his supporting cast!
So, I guess you can see how this is going and there can only be one…
I hate to be redundant. I really do. But I loved this comic book more than any other this year. And you want me to be honest, right? And it’s not like alot of cool stories hit the shelves this year! I smiled seeing Wolverine claw his way out of Hell, I was astonished at seeing a world where The Flash never existed, I cheered seeing Daredevil single handedly take down an gang of Nazi-mechs and finally earning an Avengers membership, a part of me even enjoyed seeing DC’s legends meet one another once again for the very first time…but Spider-Man took on a whole city of Spider-Men!
Not only that, Spidey also battled the all-new Hobgoblin, faced a new gang of Spider-Slayers and at the request of his late pal, Johnny Storm, ushered in a new era with the Future Foundation! The addictive and hilarious plots and dialogue by Dan Slott and fun artwork by Humberto Ramos and Stefano Caselli just made this book a joy to read this year. And I personally thank them for making one of the greatest characters in history relevant once again in the industry that birthed him.
Well, that’s it for The Bleedies this year! Hope you all had fun reading this 2-part look at comics in 2011 and thank you all for reading The Bleed in its first year of mayhem! I have a LOT of awesomeness in store for 2012…heck, I may even find myself amongst some super-heroes for real!! HUH? What? What did I just say!? Hmmmm…oh, Bleeder-King, you are SO cryptic!! So long, guys! If YA GONNA BLEED, BLEED COMICS ALREADY!
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©2011 eXpertComics.com | Full Page Bleed
Welcome Bleederz to the 10th episode of Full Page Bleed! It feels kinda special, doesn’t it? Like I should have clowns and balloons and that cold cheeseless pizza (or is that just a Canadian thing?!)…truth is, all I have is a return to basics here. And by basics I mean, I am all out of pictures and interviews of pretty girls in tight latex or spandex. Or anything ending in ex. I’m sorry!! (I’m pretty sure if I post anymore pics of Green Lantern Girl, I think I would be legally a stalker) It is only temporary, I promise. I am currently in talks to have more awkward moments involving me and professional super hero costume wearers. I’m sure I’ll have more of those coming in a very short time.
On a happy note! This week I have many goodies and exclusives for you, my adoring readers. First off, I’d like to introduce a new weekly portion of FPB called The Blood Pack. Here I will highlight the comics I am anticipating reading every week, my read pile basically…I even made a pretty banner! So without further ado, here is……
(you can’t see it, but I threw into the banner my favorite issue of Alf from when I was a kid. Don’t judge me!!)
This was a no-brainer. I mean, it’s the first comic Joe Mad has completed in a while. I knooow, like many artists of his generation, he has taken a lot of heat over the years for not making deadlines and his books coming out late. Is his flashy & fun Manga/American comics hybrid style worth the long wait? I personally think so. But what do I know?! What I do know is, this is the only book in the Pack I’ve already read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It carries the same witty, fast pace as Amazing has been banking on lately. I don’t think there has been a more fun character to read in the past couple of years as Mayor Jonah Jameson. And he’s in full force here. Let’s just all hope Avenging #2 comes out before next Halloween.
As I have said many times, I have a special spot in my heart for J.H. Williams’ quirky layouts and dark, gothic art style. Any comic of his would make my pull list. Even if he was drawing Plastic Man. And I HATE Plastic Man.
Now I won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t read Fear Itself #7, but I’m very curious as to how Marvel is going to get themselves out of this mess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being negative…I’m one of those guys that LOVED F.I. But if you are going to just kill off characters WE KNOW you are going to bring back a week later…don’t bother. That’s all I’m sayin’. I also suggest you pick up 7.1 from last week. Butch Guice tore me a new one in that. He’s grown on me a lot over the years. And I’m not a regular Cap reader. Major Steranko influences there. Gotta love it.
Marvel Point One (One Shot) by Various Creators
Now, in part 2 of this edition of Bleed, I have opted to be the eXPress member to review Rage Against The Machine guitarist and The Nightwatchman himself, Tom Morello’s much buzz-worthy comic series, Orchid! The first issue of this comic published by Dark Horse sold like hotcakes (mmmm, hotcakes) and since I am a huge Rage-head, I jumped (literally jumped, it was impressive) at the opportunity to review both issues 1 and 2.
When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by the wild, from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful, who over-look swampland shantytowns from their fortresslike cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Welcome to the world of Orchid!
This is the premise of this apocalyptic tale from the mind of Morello, who is not only a rock star of the highest order (He was ranked #26 in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”), but also is a Harvard graduate and an avid social activist, often holding impromptu concerts at protests and rallies, most recently at Occupy Wall Street.
The story is a sci-fi/fantasy story about a young, tough-talking prostitute named Orchid who is supporting her mom and little brother in a world where there are very few options and the rich and corrupt rule all. It is soon discovered that she is stealing from what I assume is her pimp, who in revenge sells out her and her brother, along with a young revolutionary named Simon who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, to a slave camp. Simon also has in his possession this mask that holds a great and dangerous power. By the end of issue 2, this trio eventually escape and find themselves in the wilds of this fearsome and strangely evolved world.
When I heard Tom Morello was writing a comic book, I immediately expected a comic book more like Bendis’ Scarlet or V For Vendetta, something perhaps a little more blatantly reflecting his views. While this book does sing the tune of revolution, it is more reminiscent of Mad Max or Xenozoic Tales (Cadillacs & Dinosaurs for all you Saturday morning cartoon fans). I have to admit, I am quite hooked. Orchid is an interesting female character. You’d want her on your side in any situation. She has the word “PROPERTY” tattooed on her chest (her evil pimp seems to like to brands his girls), but in reality, she is nobody’s property. How’s that for ironic? I’d like to see how her relationship with Simon (who she immediately doesn’t trust but slowly is beginning to like) evolves. The tones of mysticism and dogma in this story are intriguing beyond words. I recommend the book, especially for people looking to read something a little different.
The art is by a young Canadian artist named Scott Hepburn. His style is a bit abstract at first, but it grows on you. His characters have a fluidity that reminded me a lot of the Aeon Flux animated series. It fits with the series quite well. The creatures he creates are very far-out and memorable (I have to admit a bear with a scorpion tail is pretty damned creepy.) Morello’s writing style is on-point as well. I can’t wait to see where these characters end up next.
What’s even cooler and original about Orchid is with each issue comes with a soundtrack! You actually get a code that you can enter into nightwatchmanmusic.com (actually issue 1 requires no code, you can go download the tune right now!) and you receive a track by Tom Morello himself! How awesome is that?! Bottom line, go check out Orchid as soon as you can. They sell out very fast!
The cover for Orchid #3! Look for it next month!
Finally, before I bid you all adieu (oh yeah, I threw some of my Quebec-ness on ya), I have some PREVIEWS for you. Marvel style! Cuz that’s how the Bleeder and eXpertcomics.com rolls! First off, here are some preview pages for Captain America# 6 by Ed Brubaker and (my personal fave artist of all of the times) ALAN DAVIS! Trust me, the pleasure is all mine.
(Alan Davis drawing a SWARM of Batroc The Leapers literally made me cry just now. Seriosusly, if you are able to keep your composure after looking at these pages, I don’t think you have a soul.)
Next, I also get to show you some amazing pages of Secret Avengers #22! Where we get to see their new lineup, featuring new members Venom, Hawkeye (decked out in his movie-esque threads! I’m sure he’s just there to hit on Valkyrie), Captain Britain?!? and is that…Human Torch?! Or perhaps Toro?! Well, okay then. I’m game, man. Especially that I know my other old-school fave, Arthur Adams will be lending his talents to this comic book! I’m a happy, happy boy.
(I believe the term is giggity giggity goo.)
Well, that was FPB for this week!! Stay tuned for next week where I have another Blood Pack, begin my Marvel Movie Revisited and more goodies…I may even marry a Kardashian for a few days. It all depends on if I can get a Kardashian to wear a Green Lantern costume. (I might as well get my Kardashian marriage joke in…)
Til then, if ya gonna bleed, BLEED COMICS! Take care!
©2011 eXpertComics.com | Full Page Bleed
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