Monday, 20 December 2010

What I Got and Why Last Week!

Sweet Tooth #14&16 - It’s all kicking off now! And now that I’ve picked up the issue that I didn’t realise I was missing, it makes a lot more %$*&ing sense! There’s a big ol’ showdown a-happening at the compound and a glut of arses are about to get thoroughly kicked! Verily I doth Proper love this series init bruv.

DC Presents Chase - Ash pointed this out to me in Orbital and I had to pick it up for the J.H. Williams III art. It’s his early stuff, but he’s still a total master of the comics page. No Idea what the book is actually about, aside from the fact that it is set in the DC Universe and has that cool skeleton-in-a-suit guy who was in that Justice Society of America book that I got from a bargain bin in one of those warehouse clearance discount book shops, you know the one. You don’t? I don’t know why I even bother with you! Anyway, looks fun!

As an aside, I want to point out that I’m digging these semi-Trade things that DC are publishing at the minute. It seemed to start with Vertigo Resurrected, but they’re doing them for quite a few mainstream DC titles too now. Essentially they’re three issues’ worth of stories bound as a cross between trade paperback and a comic, reprinting some out of print lesser heard of DC stories that aren’t long enough put into trade paperback format. I think they could do with being a quid or so cheaper, but it’s great to get these obscure stories back in circulation. Which leads me to...

Vertigo Resurrected: The Extremist - I didn’t actually but this, but the upshot of it being released is that the issues I was missing from the original mini series popped up in Orbital’s back issue boxes. I snapped them up for about a quid each. Nice! I’ll not say much about the story now, aside from the fact that it’s about ordinary people and the power of masked anonymity. By Ted McKeever.

V2K: Totems - I picked this up on a whim (it was cheap), it’s a one-shot crossover from 1999/2000 that sees different 90s Vertigo characters meeting up at John Constantine’s Millenium New Year’s Eve bash. Check out the full review what I has done.

Knight and Squire #3 - I don’t know what Action Ash is missing, but I’m loving this series. This issue the Potent Pair take on an evil army of cloned British Monarchs led by Shakespearian villain, Richard III. Sterling.

Jonah Hex - Jonah Hex drawn by Eduardo Risso. EDUARDO ****ING 100BULLETS ****ING RISSO! Yep you know I’m all over that like shit on a blanket (to paraphrase Lord Sugar).

Also I got a bit bored at home and ordered these beauties from Amazon.

Myspace Dark Horse Presents Vol.1 - I know Myspace is like so totally last week yeah? But short comic book stories from a fantastic selection of artists and writers don’t never go out of fashion. Well, maybe fashion was the wrong term, but you get the gist. Featuring bits and pieces from Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Gerrard Way, Joss Whedon, Steve Niles, Guy Davis, Cary Nord, Tony Millionaire, Don Heck, Ron Marz, Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer and others.

Beyond! - This little Marvel Universe team up mini series slipped under a lot of people’s radars when it came out but seems to be well regarded by those who did actually read it. The creative team is Milestone/Static/Justice League/JLU guru Dwayne McDuffie turning in a rare bit of marvel work and drawn by 2Badguys favourite Scott Kollins, so it should be a treat. Add to that the eclectic cast and the fact that it is a sort of sequel to the original Secret Wars story from the 80s and I’m hoping to find my Marvel Heroes itch well and truly scratched!

Ex Machina Vol.10 - This is it, the final volume of Ex Machina! I have to say that my interest in the series has waned over time but I’m eager to find out how it ends. Written by some guy called Brian K Vaughan, whom I’m led to believe used to be a comics writer?

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Werewolf by Night: My collection begins.

Action Ash
On Friday I arrived at Chaos City comics
to find that there were only three titles I wanted to purchase this week.

They were:

Conan: Road of Kings #1 - The new Conan series which continues where the Cimmerian's adventures were left in Conan the Cimmerian.

Mighty Samson #1 - Another Dark Horse revamp. I love the Magnus, Robot Fighter revamp and this looks similar so I think I'm going to love this too.

Chaos War #4 -
I still don't know
what the hell is going on.

The small size of my stack did not bother me however, because I knew
there was something else awaiting me on that cold winter day. A friend of mine, a mister Ian Hine of Dead Universe Comics, had obtained some titles I wanted to get my hands on and dropped them off in a long box at Chaos City. It contained some classic Marvel titles such as Marvel Spotlight #5 (first appearance of Ghost Rider) and Tomb of Dracula #1, but although these were cool, I was interested in something else.
Among the 60's and 70's Marvel wonders were some books I have wanted for a good few years, Marvel Spotlight #2-4 and Werewolf by Night #1!

It's safe to say that Werewolf by Night is one of my favourite comics.
Brilliantly written and beautifully drawn, it is a prime example of the days of Marvel past and a great chapter in Marvel's history. I am extremely happy now that I own these books and cannot wait until I acquire the full collection.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

What I got and why, by the aforementioned unsavoury beast.

Action Ash
I purchased quite a bit this week and after a weekend of drinking, chicken and finding out that my friends all think I'm a potential serial killer and/or sex offender, I'm ready to sit down and talk about comic books.

Flash #7 - This issue is a "rogue profile" which I believe means "filler issue". Could still be good though I suppose.

New Avengers #7 - Be prepared for 24 pages of conversation. It was a nice light read, however, with some amusing moments. In fact, it's probably my favourite issue so far. My favourite part *SPOILER* is a hint that Wolverine and Squirrel Girl, who is hired by Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to be their child's nanny, have a romantic past. Lulz

Knight and Squire #3 - I liked the last one but this series hasn't proven itself entirely to me yet. We'll see how it goes.

Strange Science Fantasy #6 - I have missed most of this series, in fact I only have one other issue apart from this one. This annoys me. I love it, it's brilliant and I'll probs buy it in trade if I can't get hold of the other issues first.

Thor #618 - This run is pretty good so far. This issue is good with some of the best art so far.

Marvel Spotlight #12 - The Son of Satan. I've not read much featuring this character, but what I have read, I have liked. Also he originates from that period in the 70's of Marvel's occult based characters, which I generally seem to enjoy.

Marvel Premiere #26 - I love the Prince of Power, so when I saw this old school offering of his might I just couldn't resist.

Defoe 1666 - Not having read 2000ad for a good few years I hadn't heard of this character before. After seeing this on the shelf I had a flick through and decided this is too up my alley for me not to purchase. So I bought it. Written by 2000ad legend Pat Mills, it follows Titus Defoe, Zombie Hunter General, fighting the undead in 17th century england. Wicked Sick!

As far as my non comic book purchases, I got:

Girl's Generation - Oh: Known in Asia as So Nyuh Shi Dae, this group have been storming the Korean, Chinese and Japanese charts with hits such as Gee and Oh. The album arrived in the post the other day. It's pretty damn good if you like oriental pop music. Oh...just me then?

Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation: I wanted to get hold of this for a while and now I finally have it. A great album from the hard partying thrashers, with brilliantly titled songs such as Unleash the Bastards and Terror Shark. Modern Thrash at it's finest.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

I went to Dublin and all I got...

Well How do, folks? I spent last weekend gallivanting around Dublin meeting up with some lovely friends and drinking in some lovely sites. I also managed to get to a comic shop and see what the Craic was there. My friend gave me a little list of the three comic shops in Dublin and I plotted course for the first. Sub City on Exchequer Street. Sadly neither of the other two were open; one was clearly closed down, the other locked up, with the surly chap in the Head shop downstairs telling me that it never really opens. Balls.

Sub City is a small shop, oddly reminiscent of Gosh! or Comics Showcase (RIP) when it was still on Neal Street. Sub City was pretty damn poor for new releases (I didn't find one book I wanted – this could be due to snow induced lack of delivery though, I didn't ask but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt) I did manage to pick up #2 of Hellblazer: City of Demons, which I missed last month, which was a stroke. Where Sub City excels is the extensive selection of Graphic Novels and trades, they had pretty much all a seasoned pro or an adventurous newbie could want. Having to save money for cigs, gigs and lock-ins (which went rather well indeed thanks for asking) I didn't go nuts but could well have; their Trades clearance sale was particularly enticing, and on the subject of bargains, they had a marvellous selection of discounted books, recent and old. It would have been rude not to, so I picked up a 1 Euro grab-bag enticed by the Marvel UK title visible. Little did I know the horrors I would unleash...

Grab Bag A Go Go!

Warheads #6 & 7 (Marvel UK)
When I were a wee lad in the early ‘90s there used to be a real selection of anthology books for the UK market. There was 2000AD and Judge Dredd the Megazaine obviously, and others like, Toxic (violent), Crisis (righteous) and two from Dark Horse; Aliens (reprints of their US mini series’) and an odd tittle called Total Carnage, which reprinted Grendel: War Child, The Mask, Batman vs Predator, and the Army of Darkness film adaptation (I loved that magazine hard). I’ll halt my digression there and save it for a later post, but one of my favourite UK anthologies was Marvel UK's Overkill. Overkill had a few strips per issue and featured stories set in the periphery of the Marvel Universe, characters like Death’s Head II, Motormouth & Killpower, Hell’s Angel, Black Axe and Warheads (all as X-Treeeeeme! as they sound). Each strip had its own monthly printed in the states in the standard US format, which were released to varying degrees of indifference.

The Warheads were clearly -lets be charitable- inspired by the Space Marines in Aliens, but instead of dicking around in space getting killed by Xenomorphs, they dick around other dimensions getting killed by Warhammer 40,000 Rejects. At the behest of the shadowy Masons-stand-in cabal that is the MysTech board, they jump from world to world with their sass-mouths Liefeld guns and high mortality rate. In these nigh-incomprehensible issues a bunch of characters get massacred, some have a fight with Death’s Head II, some try to kill an off-model Mephisto (Spoiler: They fail), a talking gun has an identity crisis and starts talking like a Madam from the deep south and others do... I dunno, other stuff. There’s even an upside down Silver Surfer cameo. It’s a fun old romp, and I did genuinely enjoy the issues but I have to say they weren't as good as I remember. I will maintain though that these characters are ripe for a revamp. A Tigon Liger-led Exiles team anyone? Oh sod you then.

Shadowman (Valiant) Anyone remember Night Man? From Valiant? Valiant? Anyone? He had a cross-over with Aerosmith? The band Aerosmith? Now you're just being obstinate. Anyway, my words can not even begin to do justice to this '90s anti-hero, so instead I'll treat you to this scan of the final page. Oh yeah, check out the November Rain hair and brooding. So strong, yet so sensitive, a warrior and a poet. How did this ever cancelled?

Gross Point Presents #11: Mystery Meat (DC)
With a sub heading like "He turns into a monster at the touch of a pretty girl!" I was expecting something fun, but sadly this sounds a lot better than it looks. Not much to say about it other than it doesn't seem to live up to the promise of the premise and that I have never heard of this series in my life. The art is very much not to my taste. I would even go so far as to say that it's a big bag o' shite.

Team Youngblood #9 (Image)
Listen up kiddies and I'll tell ye of a time when industry hack Rob Liefeld's creator-owned super-team Youngblood was popular enough to have not one, but two ongoing spin-off series; Youngblood: Strike File, and this little wonder, Team Youngblood! Team Youngblood, as far as I understand is the more internationally active branch of Youngblood, who were US based... I think, but to be honest this issue is set in the states and from what I gather from the opening page roster shots, this issue of 'Team Youngblood' focuses almost entirely on characters from Youngblood, the parent title.

Somehow this issue, though not without some perverse charms, manages to be worse than expected. I never like to jump on a hate-wagon (this is a lie), but Good Lord this is bad! I think this deserves post of its own. Every criticism anyone has levelled at Rob Liefeld's 'art style' (pronounced 'hyperactive ineptitude') is painfully apparent here:

Nonsensical Plot? Check
Poor Anatomy? Check
Character designs ripped off from Marvel? Check
Inconsistent costuming? Check
Lack of realistic 'acting'? Check
Inconsistent Hair? Check
Even worse anatomy? Check
Lack of feet? Check
Ridiculously-spined women? Check
Weird weird weird haircuts? Check
Gigantic implausibly hanging tits? Check
Excessive 'detail' lines to disguise technical failings? Check
Total inability to draw normal street clothes? Check
Only 2 facial expressions? Check
Obscenely large guns? Check
With square barrels? Check
Pouches? Oh hell check!

I really could go on all week, but I'll stop there.

And Finally...

When I got back I picked up the latest issues of iZombe, American Vampire and Sweet Tooth. All of which were chuffing good. Also I got the unsavoury beast that is Action Ash to pick me up a copy of Taskmaster #4. I hope it’s not soiled when it arrives.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

A miniature essay/rant about mobile comics

Action Ash

Since the late thirties, when publishers realised that comic books could be so much more than reprints of popular newspaper strips, the medium of comic books has remained fairly unchanged. That is until recently, with what could be the mediums greatest change just on the horizon.

Obviously comic books have always been mobile. With soft paper covers they can be carried around and read while commuting or at lunch time. I myself read them on the bus all the time, but would having a comic on some kind of mobile device be more convenient?

Converging with mobile media would indeed make it convenient for a lot of people to read comics. Readers who were not able to get to a comic shop could simply download the content for a price and the medium could be brought to a wider audience, especially if available in multiple languages.

There is also a novelty aspect to mobile comics. The idea of reading a comic digitally, on a mobile phone seems to excite some comic fans; however the reality is often less pleasing. Reading something that was designed to be read page by page can be tiresome to read panel by panel on a tiny screen. This is where the iPad comes in handy, with its much bigger screen. It seems a lot more enjoyable reading a comic on such a device, but in my opinion, still preferable to read an actual comic. So why bother with mobile comics at all?

The problem lies with the fact that the medium wasn’t designed to be read in this fashion. There needs to be a re-design, a re-formatting of content, for comics to be fully accepted on mobile devices. There are huge design issues when it comes to displaying comics on a mobile device, such as layout, composition, perception of story and established mood, which just haven’t been taken into account.

The key to the design of a truly great mobile comic is to figure out a whole new and inventive way of telling stories in comic book form that is specific to screens. The future of mobile comics depends on a yet to be discovered format that will take the medium in a completely new direction.

Friday, 3 December 2010

What I got and Why

Action Ash
Yo, yo, you turkeys. While Valhallahan is boogying on over to Ireland for the weekend, I'm left here with coursework to write and fish to monger. Oh, and I have a cold too. I needs me some escapism, and what better form could it take than a couple of films and a selection of this week's funny books.

Heroes for Hire #1 - Following on from all that Shadowland jazz and looking pretty sick on a flick through, there's no reason why I shouldn't buy it really. Just hope it's as good as it looks.

Shadowland #5 - The conclusion to the street level, ninja noir, epic is here. Time for DD to bow down and get what's coming to him.

Taskmaster #4 - Last issue! I'm sad to see this go. I think I could quite happily read an ongoing of this every month.

Batwoman #0 - Saw Valhallahan's review and took the recommendation. Simple as that.

On the non comic book side of the spectrum, I recently picked up the new special edition release of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Including an extra 25 mins of footage that, up until two years ago, was thought lost. You can now watch it as German audiences would have seen it in 1927. Super geil!

So Long Suckers!

I'm off to Dublin for the weekend.

So long suckers!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Hellblazer: City of Demons

Story by Si Spurrier

Art by Sean Murphy

This really is shaping up to be a rather enjoyable series. It's been so long since I first picked up Hellblazer that I forgot how one can get put off by the fact that so many issues have been published you don't know where to start. This is bollocks though; as long as you start at the beginning of a storyline, Hellblazer is easy to start cold and rarely continuity laden. Apart from the occasional story all you need to know to read Hellblazer is: John does Magic, John likes women, John's a bit of a prick. Ironically, having said that, this story does draw from Hellblazer history, in that the driving plot is that some nefarious types have got their hands on a sample of John's blood which Hellblazer readers know, (but is explained in the script for Hellblazer virgins) is tainted with the blood of a demon. It's this dodgy claret, being passed around unsuspecting members of the public, that's putting ordinary folk on killing sprees across London, and it's up to John to sort it out.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the spectacular Art by upcoming superstar Sean Murphy (Joe The Barbarian). He really captures modern London like no other artist has in a number of years, from public transport to public house; from Oxford Circus to suburban council estate he totally nails it. It was a two-parter by Sean Murphy and Jason Aaron a year or two ago that got me into Hellblazer again after having dropped it a few years prior during Mike Carey's run. I really hope to see more Hellblazer from him in the future. This guy is destined for greatness, or my name isn't Sheriff Buford T. Valhallahan!

This series, or the inevitable collection, is a great introduction to the type of story that Hellblazer does; gruesome adult entertainment with a gritty urban feel - supernatural horror for the modern reader - sort of like Get Carter if it was written by Clive Barker.

19 Snouts out of a possible 20 Silk Cut (John's brand, not mine).

Review: Batwoman #0

Story by J.H. Williams III & W. Hayden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III & Amy Reeder

I adored the Rucka/Williams III run on Detective, and have been looking forward to this series coming out. If anyone reading this hasn't read that, it's collected as "Elegy" and it's a fucking delight! Unfortunately Greg Rucka has Jumped Ship and this ongoing series will be written and drawn by J.H. Williams III with art assistance from Amy Reeder. This issue 0 is more of a recap/introduction to the character than the start of a new story, so it's a great jumping on point without undermining what will be the start of the series proper with issue 1. The story itself is light, just Batman checking Kate out from a distance trying to prove his (correct) theory about the identity of the mysterious new Batwoman, which is exactly what you need as a new reader. The fact that we only see Kate through the filter of Batman in this issue adds mystique and leaves something to be said when the series gets going. It really is a good intro issue.

The real star of the show here is the artwork on display by the inimitable J.H. Williams III, who incidentally is from a relative of the legendary country music pioneer Hank Williams which officially makes him royalty in my book. J.H. Williams proves time and again that he is the most versatile, innovative and design-savvy artist in the game. He really is the best there is at what he does...and what he does is very nice indeed! This strength sadly highlights the art’s one weakness which is the fill-in panels. For whatever reasons, one assumes time constraints, the majority of Kate's civilian-life panels are drawn by Reeder, who while not shit, is painfully outclassed. Just look at the panel of the disguised Bruce and compare it to any of William' images. This is a minor qualm though, because this book still stands streets ahead of almost everything else out there at the moment. Shocking that this level of quality is in a spin off title, when by all rights it should be as shit as Supergirl.

Four Batgirl: Year Ones* out of a possible Batman: Year One.

*Batgirl: Year One was actually really good.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

I tell you what, that Thor is ASTONISHING, isn't he?

Astonishing Thor #1

Written by Robert Rodi
Art by Mike Choi

Action Ash
I do love a bit of cosmic nonsense. It's been a while since Thor has been allowed to "get cosmic" (Yeah, I just invented that), having been fairly earth based in recent years. That has now been rectified.
Astonishing Thor is an epic tale of a god on a mission, starting with Thor beating up a tsunami and ending with a visit to Ego the living planet. Brilliant!

Although harkening back to a silver age style story, Astonishing Thor is told in a serious manner that drags you in and makes you feel you have begun to witness an epic in the making. As there are quite a few Thor mini series out at the moment (that will ready to be released as trades about the time the film is released. Coincidence? I doubt it), I expected this to be an OK attempt at money grabbing, but I have been proven wrong. It seems that Mr Rodi wanted to tell a good story about every one's favourite thunder god. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've read anything by Robert Rodi, and I would definitely read more.

On the aesthetic side of things, this book looks fantastic. Choi has out done himself and made it look and feel epic. From the sensational splash pages to the detailed flashback sequence, Choi has helped create immensely beautiful visuals with which to tell Rodi's star spanning story with.

At the back of the comic, I am told the next issue isn't until January, which feels like a long time to me. More importantly, will January's issue keep up the epic cosmic standard set by this first issue? Well, I guess we won't know until January.

This is exactly the type of story I think Thor needs right now. A truly great addition to Marvel's modern mythology.

4 and a half Norse gods giving natural disasters a beat down out of 5

Friday, 26 November 2010

What I got and Why

Action Ash
Let's take a look at which books are keeping me company during this cold winter week.

Detective Comics #871 - I bought this out of curiosity about the new creative team. Jock's cover for this issue is SICK!

Shadowland Power man #4 - I'm sad this has to come to an end... but it's ok. The Power man and Iron Fist series is starting in Feb and I'll be waiting.

Conan the Cimmerian #25 - Final Issue! That is until Darkhorse releases it's three new Conan series. I love the barbarian and everything, but I don't know if I want to read three different series about one character. Who am I kidding, I probably will. I don't know how Batman fans do it.

Astonishing Thor #1 - I like Thor. I like Choi. This better be good.

Legacies #5 and #6 - Missed these at the time they came out so just catching up. Amazing covers that link together to portray an epic battle from Crisis on infinite earths. Super Geil!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What I Got Cockney Week!

Cor Blimey Governor, my picks are a right bleedin' cockney knees up this week! To celebrate, the reviews are going to be done by some old scrote of a Cabbie I met in the pub.

Evenin' squires, I've gone an' got me some right kushti books this week, some real dark doin's. An 'ere's me thinkin' comics was just for kids, nonces and people who's backwards. Let's have a shufti shall we?

Helblazer: City of Demons #3 - There's a bit of argy bargy goin' on with John's shonky claret 'ere. Some dodgy docs have got their grubby mitts on it and and it's turning into a right carry on. The drawings a bloody master stroke an' all looks just like my old manor, ee aint half one talented Mick, that Sean Murphy. Someone needs to 'ave a word wiv whatever donut designed them tube turnstyles though they're about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Right good read though, I should cocoa!

Helblazer #273 - Right, so John's missus is stuck in the past with John the Punk from 1979. That's alright though, if you can’t trust your past self not to knock off your better half who can you trust? Oh bollocks! And while all that palaver's going on in the past, who's going to stop old Johnny yo-yo knickers from Knobbing that Succubus in the present? Himself? You’re having a bubble! Will that boy ever get spliced? It’s an outrage!

Knight and Squire #2 - So apparently this is our version of that Batman nonce. I dunno, at least vis one don't 'ang around wiv little boys. This Knight and Squire book's a right laugh, dunno about that Knight toff, but I'll give 'im the benefit of the doubt. This issue they're out in Scrumpy country givin' them inbreds what for! Tell you what mate, don't bear thinking about, what them rural types get up to. Geezers dancin' round poles wiv bells on their bonces? They deserve a kick up the Aris!

Anyway, I'm off. Be lucky!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Karl Urban is Judge Dredd! Photo Evidence!

What's the verdict folks?


What I Got and Why:Double Feature!

Dear all,

I've been busy as a bastard these last couple of weeks so I haven't been gracing you with my Funnybook Wisdom. I don't know what the venerable Action Ash's excuse is. Maybe there’s a new Zelda or some shit. Anyway folks, let's crack on with the Round up...

I got some darned good Marvel books lately, I've cut down dramatically on my Marvel consumption this past year, but what I am getting is pretty much awesome with chips. They are floating my boat and no mistake!

Chaos War #3 - Zeus Versus Galactus. 'Nuff Said. But to elaborate, Zeus Versus Galactus! If that isn't enough to sell it to you, I give up, I really do. Hot and sweaty God-on-God action as The Chaos King unleashed hell on earth. Because that’s how he do.

Taskmaster #3 - "The Town That Was Hitler" - this has to be my favourite Superhero series at the moment, it's action packed and willfully revels in the inherent silliness of the Marvel Universe. It's laugh out loud funny and genuinely touching in places. If you want a giggle and a thrill and to be touched in places, give this series a go!

Strange Tales 2 #2 - Los Bros Hernandez do Marvel. Yes, you read that right. Los Bros provide the stand out strips, and really go to town with the goofy, this is more akin to the oddball side stories like BEM or Music For Monsters rather than recent Locas or Palomar tales. Both set firmly in the Silver age, that both brothers' styles fit perfectly. I never thought I'd read an Iron Man story by the auteur behind Birdland *ahem*. Oh, and other people wrote and drew stuff too, some of it good.

Scarlet #3 - I'm still digging this even though the I'm not really sure what message Bendis is trying to put across here. It’s a good comic with an intriguing premise, but I’m still waiting for it to really knock my socks off.

Jonah Hex #61 - Another one off story and another written by 2Badguys fave Jordi Bernet. Seeing his work in Jonah Hex really makes me want to track down his work on Torpedo. Which by all accounts is several shades of bloomin' marvelous. Bernett is a great choice for capturing the mood of these brutal, dark settings but without the excessive murk or overwrought detail that so many artists do. This go round we get to meet Mai Ling the broad what Jonah hitched. She must've been drunk...

Sweet Tooth #15 - Great to get some new Sweet Tooth this month too. I'm in the strange situation that I’m loving this series but not able to explain why. The story is odd, the art is odder, the pace is hard to figure out and it's really bloody good. To paraphrase Cliff Richards or someone "I don't know why I love you but I do".

iZombie #7 & American Vampire #7 - these are both really enjoyable, fantastic looking books that take these overplayed Horror concepts and give us a fresh new spin. Where American Vampire plays it straight and gives us a ripping yarn about yankee vamps in the 1930s, iZombie takes us on a far out trip man with Zombies and Vampires and Weredogs - Oh My! A pair of thumbs up from me.

Pilot Season: 7 Days in Hell - The Stelfreeze Cover made this stand out for me and I'm glad it did. If you don’t already know, Top Cow's Pilot Season is there annual run of one issue try-out series, the winner gets a full run. This is definitely the best I've read the premise is good and you can see how a series would run from it, a bit like a supernatural 100 Bullets. The art is by Phil Noto, which means it's beautiful to look at, this bloke can do no wrong in my book. I have to say that although I can see it working as a series, for me one shot was probably enough. I heartily recommend reading it.

Yours Sincerely,


Friday, 19 November 2010

What I got and Why: The Return!

Action Ash
HAIL! All henchmen of Action Ash and Valhallahan.
Apologies for the lack of blog-age these last few weeks, I have been a busy little bad guy. Coursework, Fish mongering and generally being a bad guy takes up so much of my time. Never fear though droogs because now I'm back to tell you what I got... and why.

Flash #6 - About bloody time! It feels like a year since I read issue 5. On a flick through it looks like a good issue so I hope that will make up for the wait.

Morning Glories #4 -
Last issues events were intriguing to say the least so whatever happens next I'm itching to find out.

Knight and Squire #2 -
I didn't manage to get a copy before they sold out last week, but luckily I managed to get one this week. More superhero hi-jinks from old blighty. Love it!

Superior #2 -
The first ish was pretty damn good so I'm hoping Millar and Yu keep it up.

Delphine #4 - I know this is old but I've only been able to to get my hands on it recently. I love Richard Sala's work and this is text book Sala, however I think this book would have been better as a graphic novel.

Revenge of the Creature - It was seemingly impossible to find this film in the UK. Believe me, I tried. Imagine my surprise when I saw Gill-man staring back at me from the shelf in HMV on the cover of this classic sequel.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween weekend: Ash and Liam's most Expo-lent Adventure.

Action Ash
Standing on the platform of our home town's train station, waiting patiently in the Autumn sun with the occasional chill wind brushing our cheeks, the last thing we expected was to be set upon by a couple of street children wearing Halloween masks. Unprepared for such blackguard activities we stood uneasy as they demanded something from us with the cry of "trick or treat". We clearly had no sweets with us, for as Valhallahan later stated "The only people who carry sweets around with them are old people and paedophiles". Valhallahan gave them 50p and they jogged on leaving us feeling amused and conned at the same time.

This was the start of our Halloween weekend adventure.

After a fairly short train and tube journey we boarded the DLR (Docklands Light Rail). Practically tripping over the sailor fuku clad jail bait, we were trying not to laugh too hard at the awkward, gangly, nerdlinger wearing tights and an unconvincing wig as part of his cosplay.

Eventually we arrived at the Expo and, while waiting for Valhallahan to finish a cigarette, I watched the cosplayers, amazed at some people's ingenuity but saddened by the lack of western comics inspired cosplay.
We walked through the doors only for Valhallahan to realise that he hadn't any creds on his person. So we joined the cue for the ATM behind what I later realised was a boy, but at the time assumed to be a deeply unattractive girl.

After quite a long time we reached the front, withdrew the notes and Valhallahan decided he needed a beer. In the mean time I found a great Robin costume and an equally good but very shy Poison Ivy.

With his alcohol levels now topped up we proceeded to find the ticket booth. Instead we found an hour long cue.
Time passed slowly as I annoyed Val with some Cannibal Corpse and Thai pop in the form of Neko Jump (which was then stuck in his head for the rest of the day) and discussed the differences between fences and walls with the kids behind us.
Finally tickets were ours and we could leave the depressing cue room and move on.

We both felt agitated and when Val decided it was time for a smoke and another beer, I decided to join him. A cool beer would take the edge off.

Now it was time to get in there and see everything this geekfest had to offer. The first stall I looked at was selling Anime DVD's at which some jive sucka dressed as Mario proceeded to tell me how great Dragon Ball Z was as if it wasn't the most popular anime series ever made. I moved away as quickly as possible.

Then we came across the Delorean. It even had the Hover boards propped up against the side. Awesome!

Shortly afterwards we found Twinkies! =O It was exactly the sugar fix I needed. As you can see Val was happy too. We found a comic stall and I bought a Namor grab bag which contained an annual which was a fun read. Also at the back of it there was a Marvel Masterwork pin up by Mike Mignola.

We continued to wander until we came upon what is called the "Comics Village". There was a hole bunch of indie creators flogging their wares. We stopped by the Accent UK stall and had a nice chat with the guys there and I purchased Martin Fink's The Man of Glass which was a nice read. I especially enjoyed the art. Valhallahan bought Wolfmen II: Fall of the Wolfmen. We moved on and saw some famous creators such as Bernard Chang, while he was doing a sketch for someone.

Next we had a chinwag with David Hine, who was kind enough to sign a copy of The Bulletproof Coffin #1 for Valhallahan, which was nice of him. The Bulletproof Coffin is a brilliant series which you should pick up if you get the chance.

We saw the legendary Chris Claremont, if only from a distance. I was totally annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my copy of X-Men #135 (One of my favourite comic book covers ever) to get signed. Grr!

It was nearly time to go so we took on last look around and came across some great cosplayers such as...
...this Batman with Asian school girl genre combo. I think I had a dream a bit like this once but it was a lot more X-rated.

There was this great rendition of Rayne from the Bloodrayne series of video games (which I've never played). I know this has nothing to do with comics but just look at her. HAWT! This picture doesn't do her justice, srsly.

Also hot, was this fine young woman dressed as Black Canary, and looking pretty spot on.

This female Gambit costume was fantastic! The best Gambit I've seen.

I was impressed with the home made Invincible Costume and the brilliant female Dr Fate. I have no idea what the guy from Cats is all about, he just got in the picture. Dick.

It was finally time to leave. On the way out I caught a shot of a black Zatanna because I thought she worked it.

We ambled down the walk way towards the platform that adjoins the Excel centre, only to find security blocking the way. The platform was full and they weren't letting anyone else on. Because of this delay we failed to meet our friend in central and so we walked to soho. Thus began an amazing night out which including such antics as me giving 50p to a tramp who then took it upon himself to kiss me on the head =s, a brilliant gig from The Urban Voodoo Machine, an Addams Family themed burlesque act, being followed all the way to Old Street by an unknown Australian and finally ditching some acquaintances to make our way home.


6:00 am, Kings Cross station. Valhallahan scoffs a sausage and egg muffin from the golden arches while I sip coffee and get ready to devour a tasty pastry, happy and safe in the knowledge that we had a most excellent adventure.