Wednesday, May 30, 2007


In keeping with my recent trend of letting the three of you who stop by this Blog on a regular basis (you know who you all are) up to date on what I read, I want to bring this book to every one's attention...

Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is published by Icon, which is a small imprint of Marvel Comics. As I've said before, crime fiction has held my imagination for the past couple of years and as my little obsession grows I get drawn to books like this.

The first story arc entitled "Coward" follows a pickpocket named Leo as he's drawn into a heist by an old partner's wife and some crooked cops. Leo hasn't done a job with a crew since the last one went bust five years ago and he's still haunted by the repercussions. What follows is a tight story filled with double-crosses and characterization that Hollywood studios should be tripping over themselves to bring to the big screen.

Ed Brubaker first came to my attention when a friend told me to give Gotham Central a try (more on that in a future post to be sure). Sean Phillips held my intrest on a run of comics called Wildcats a few years back. I never felt the need to hunt donw all the works of either creator but if the two paired together keep turing in work like this, I'll me more than happy to sacrifice my $2.99 to them each and every month. And if that isn't praise enough... this may just be the book I give to my girlfriend (A Law & Order junkie) to get her into reading a comic book. Ha!

Till next time...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


A few weeks ago I let readers here know about Warren Ellis and his crime comic Fell. This week I want to let readers in on another unique title from Warren Ellis and Marvel Comics called newuniversal.
Back in '84-'85 Marvel decided it was going to launch a new imprint they named the New Universe. These series of books were going to treat comics from a realistic standpoint of "what if random people on earth started gaining powers after a great cosmic event". Think the TV show Heroes but on a much larger scale.
With titles like DP7, Psi-Force, Nightmask, Justice, and Starbrand, these comics were ahead of their time, believe it or not. Over the two plus years they were published the heroes discovered their powers, formed groups, were drafted into the Army and fought a war. Eventually poor sales and a change in the guard at Marvel editorial did the books in. There would be some writers who would go back every few years and re-visit the New Universe characters but for the most part they were shut out of the regular Marvel Universe.
Now, thanks to the powers-that-be at Marvel, they've turned the entire line of characters over to Warren Ellis for newuniversal.
An updated take on comics twenty years old, newuniversal does the same thing the original line of books set out to do but with the science fiction and metaphysical twists only a writer like Ellis and bring. He even goes so far as to give an explanation of what happened and what went wrong to the original New Universe universe in issue #2. The art by former X-Men artist Salvador Larroca doesn't hurt to look at either. He does a superb job of illustrating the normal, scenes of every day life which fills a good two-thirds of the title. However, when the script calls for the fantastic, he can deliver that too.
Warren Ellis has gone on record as saying he doesn't like traditional superheroes and this book is anything but. For any of you out there that happen upon this, if you were glued to the edge of your seat all season while watching Heroes, please give this book a try. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Poison Ivy

My good friend JM Manion just sent me these shots of the amazing Andrea as the villainous vixen Poison Ivy...


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Firestorm, the Nuclear Man by my good friend Uko Smith. The man should be illustrating the regular series.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hellboy: Darkness Calls

I was recently shocked to learn that I am the only person at my store that has Hellboy on their pull list. I know this book isn't going to be every one's cup of tea but c'mon... its Hellboy.
Actually, when Hellboy first came out all those years ago I almost passed on the first issue. I had never been a Mike Mignola fan. In fact I really didn't like his art at all on many of his previous comics. I had a few Incredible Hulk issues of his from the 80's and thought they were junk. I think I still own one of his Cloak & Dagger fill-in issues as well. Anyhow, I just wasn't a fan of his "blocky" art style. I picked up Hellboy because it was written by John Byrne, a creator whose work is scattered throughout my entire collection.
I bought that first mini-series and I was amazed, not only at the story by Byrne (which was just as much Mignola's) but the art as well. It was the same style i never really liked but on steroids. It was dark and moody and for some reason it clicked with the story it was set to. I was hooked.
Since then I haven't missed an issue of Hellboy (or B.P.R.D.) and I couldn't be happier that Darkness Falls has finally arrived. If you're a fan of the book then you know the story behind why it's been so delayed and how Mignola chose artist Duncan Fegredo to take over as the artist. If you don't know... I won't bore you here. Just trust me when I say Duncan is probably the best choice Mike could have ever made as an artist for this new six issue series. I've already read the issue but I've picked it back up at least twice just to stare at the art. Not something I often do as a writer.
Set shortly after "The Island", this new Hellboy series doesn't waste any time getting into the wierd and throwing our hero right into a new supernatural adventure. If you've never read Hellboy before, this might not be the best starting point. The mythology Mike Mignola has created over the past thriteen years is astounding. Go grab some of the trade paperback collections which should be available at almost any comic book store worth its salt or you can find them at Amazon or any Barne's & Noble too.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


As I've grown older my tastes in reading have always shifted. In recent years I've been drawn more to crime drama. Not the kind you'll see on one of the six or seven Law & Order shows. Think stories like you see on The Shield on F/X where characters aren't always what they seem and there's a very thin, gray line drawn in the sand that keeps shifting as the characters (and authors) see fit. A good example of that kind of story is Andrew Vachss' Burke series (of which I'll have to talk about another day).
Right now I want to introduce anyone who stops by here to a little book published by Image Comics called FELL.
Written by genius and madman (the two go hand in hand more often than not) Warren Ellis, Fell is a about Detective Richard Fell who has crossed the bridge from the big city into Snowtown to escape his past.
While Richard Fell and his life on the job is the main focus of the book, the city of Snowtown is just as important, so much so that it's a character all on its own. Dark and twisted, it's almost like Gotham City on crack.
Each issue, Warren Ellis busts his balls to give us a complete-in-one, eighteen page story with back up materials that range from where he got the idea for this months tale, where he's going, where he's been, and letters from fans and all for $1.99 making it the best deal in comic stores today. Warren Ellis also takes a unique approach to storytelling in FELL. Each story is scripted on a traditional nine-panel grid format. While there may not be nine panels on every page, the action can be broken down into a nine panel grid if you look close enough.
At this time I'm not sure when the collected edition will be out. Most of you that want to start from the beginning will have to wait for that or be willing to shell out about $10 at a convention or bidding on eBay for issue #1. When it does hit, Fell Vol #1 will collect issues #1-8 plus I'm sure Mr. Ellis will throw in some additional materials for his fans and new readers alike.
Till next time...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blog of the Emissary

My good friend Deon has FINALLY decided to join the world wide web of "Blogging" (and here I thought I was late to get into the game). He's still new to all this so most of his posts are Iron Man movie related but stop on by anyways. He's sure to post some cool art every now and again.

The Immortal Iron Fist

Iron Fist. I've never really liked the character.
So when I first saw this book was coming out I passed on it. Then I started reading more and more about it and it grabbed my curiosity. Finally I caved when I saw it on the shelf at my local store and bought the first issue. I haven't been this happy with a impulse buy in a long time.
Created in the 70's by Marvel Comics as a way to capture some of the Kung-Fu craze, Iron Fist was martial artist who would focus his 'chi' into a powerful punch once a day. The core of that character hasn't changed in this new series but the new creative team of Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja have taken the character and his legend and expanded on it in a very cool way.
In two separate battles, Danny Rand as Iron Fist must fight the terrorist organization of Hydra and save his company. Quickly discovering his business rivals and Hydra are in league with each other he sets out to find why. The Iron Fist doesn't get too far when his powers fail him. From there we meet Orson Randall, the Iron Fist of World War Two and discover the secret history of Iron Fist, a history Danny never knew existed, and the origin of his amazing powers.
Even if you don't like you're regular, run of the mill superhero books, you'll like this. It reads very much like a plot for a modern day Kung-Fu flick and would be translated well into that medium. If you don't want to go and find the six issues (several of which have sold out nation wide) the collection of the first arc should be in stores sometime this summer. Grab it.. you won't be sorry.
Till next time.