Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Blackest Night

This week is what is known in the comic book industry as a skip week. For the holiday or whatever reason, there is no comic book delivery this week. So those in the know who wait for every Wednesday to get their weekly fix. But this week is a little bit different – there is one comic in stores this week – Blackest Night #6.

For the uninitiated, Blackest Night is the newest crossover mini-series event from DC Comics. A Green Lantern story where the dead are coming back and take the living back with them. I’m oversimplifying yes, but it’s not really the story that is the story here.

The story is that this issue of this mini-series brought the fans and readers into the comics shops on a day when it might usually have been deserted. The title, by fan favorite writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis, has taken heat for being overly horrific, a downward spiral into death and just a depressing experience.

Issue #6 is the turning point however, and Johns pulls it off flawlessly. For the hardcore comics readers there are moments of triumph, like when the Flash says while outrunning certain death, “but I’m faster,” and also fanboy who’d-win moments like where Aquaman’s beloved Mera wonders out loud if Wonder Woman could actually defeat her. This is the good stuff.

Things have looked grim, but now that changes. After all it’s a writing rule that the worst thing that can happen always does – and that real heroes win against impossible odds. Here’s the part where that win begins. Do you have your copy yet? And wait until you see those last two pages…

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French Fry Diary 74: Big John’s CheeseSteaks & More, Cherry Hill NJ

Nexus Animated

For decades there had been talk of an animated version of Nexus, the amazing science fiction superhero created by Mike Baron and Steve Rude. There was apparently some footage shot that was draped in rumor for years. Now (and for a couple years actually) these infamous few minutes are available in DVD form from Steve Rude Art.

It’s short, mind-bogglingly short, possibly the shortest DVD I own or have ever seen, and yet it is sooo worth it. Padded with additional footage about the creation of the Nexus comic, the animation is stylized with Alex Toth Space Ghost flair and even incorporates sound effects from the cartoon. Honestly, knowing the connection between the characters, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this.

And you will too, long time fan of Nexus or not, this is hot. I’m ashamed it took me so long to get this. Maybe if enough copies sell, someone will take a hint and make the series. I think I’d rather see Nexus on TV than just about anything else out there. Order your copy here.

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Belgian Fries Conquer Abu Dhabi

Avenged Sevenfold Drummer Dead

Praised by some as one of the world’s best drummers, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold was found dead in his home yesterday. No cause of death has been revealed as yet.

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CSI: Idaho

Avatar

Avatar ~ Movie fans have waited a long time for a new film from writer/director James Cameron, and I’m sure many haven’t been disappointed with his newest reputedly $280 million offering Avatar.

This is a good movie, a really good movie, but I think the hype may have killed it for me. I had friends rave when they initially saw the trailer. I read much about the money spent and the effects process involved. I was impressed, yes, but I’m unsure if the product really lives up to the hype. Based on box office (phenomenal, but surely not as phenomenal as the producers might have expected, or wanted), I have to wonder if I’m alone.

The plot has Cameron taking a pseudo-political stance, and its preachy bits are one of the places where he loses me. The human race in 2154 is strip-mining the planet Pandora where the indigenous population is psychically linked to every living thing on their world. A paraplegic takes on the role of one of the genetically created inhabitants to live among them and learn more about them – and eventually leads them against the human oppressors. I’m not giving much away, as predictability is one thing Avatar excels in. That’s not bad though, there’s a lot that makes up for it.

Other nitpicks would be that the deus ex machina at the end is a literal deus ex machina, which is a bit of a letdown. I like to see characters triumph against impossible odds on their own – after all, that’s what makes them heroes. And the prayer scenes almost made me break out in laughter as I was reminded of old kaiju eiga – the way they were chanting I kept waiting for Mothra to show up.

It’s not all bad though, by no means at all really. Visually, Avatar is stunning. The special effects of having actors shine through their CGI forms is mind-boggling. Truly alien constructs display and react as the real actors would and look like their puppet masters flawlessly while maintaining their fantasy forms. The backgrounds like the floating islands are staggering. I wouldn’t recommend not seeing this film in IMAX or 3D – it must be seen in full effect.

This is an outstanding film, a definite must-see for the eye candy alone, but the battle sequences go on much too long and my eyes really started rolling when the it got preachy. It’s no Terminator or Aliens or even Titanic. I’m glad I saw it, but in hindsight, I wish I’d seen Sherlock Holmes Christmas night instead, or maybe even The Squeakquel.

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French Fry Diary 73: McCormick & Schmick’s, Atlantic City

Avengers Forever Holiday Chat Schedule 2009

From the Avengers Forever website:

The Avengers Forever Chatroom is open for the holidays! Some of us are lucky enough to have a bunch o’ time off from work and or school for the holidays so we thought it might be a good time to dust off the chat room and have at it!

That said below is a tentative schedule that includes chat room dates, times and topics. Please feel free to stop on by for some great conversation over the holidays!

New Avengers Chat
Saturday, December 26 @ 8:00 PM (EST)

Mighty Avengers Chat
Sunday, December 27 @ 8:00 PM (EST)

Dark Avengers Chat
Monday, December 28 @ 8:00 PM (EST)

Avengers Volume Three Chat
Tuesday, December 29 @ 8:00 PM (EST)

West Coast Avengers Chat
Wednesday, December 30 @ 8:00 PM (EST)

Enter the Chatroom here!

Hope to see you soon! Happy Holidays! And Avengers Assemble!

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Comic Fan! #5

Comic Fan! #5 is now available from Main Enterprises.

This Silver Age Tribute Issue is a 156-page monster, perfect bound, featuring articles and art on Nick Cardy, by Sam Gafford, Ramona Fradon by Dennis Kininger, Spider-Man by Nic Carcieri, Superboy by Rob Imes, Captain Marvel by Mike Tuz, Charlton Premiere by Steve Skeates, Ant-Man by Steve Keeter, The Mighty Heroes by Marc Haines, and Harvey Hits, by Rick and Al Limacher.

There are also Stumptown 09 and SPACE 09 con reports by Richard Krausss and Allen Freeman respectively, (with a supplemental SPACE photos section by Lance Boucher and Wade Busby), a massive SPINNER RACK review section of over 30 pages, guest editorial by Robert Sodaro on the passing of John Carbonaro, Sez Me! by Sam Gafford (on the real beginning and end of the silver age), Comic Memories by Larry Tisch, letters section, The Larry Blake Silver Age Portfolio, and reproductions of pages of original comic art by many who helped make the silver age so great.

All this plus covers by Jim Mooney/Dave Farley/Noor Hafizah… Dick Ayers/Marc Haines… Michael Grassia… Terry Pavlet… and interior art by Hal Jones, Dan Taylor, Carl Taylor, Lance Boucher, Al and Rick Limacher, Tony Lorenz, Rob Imes, Tim Temmel, Dave Farley, John Lambert, Larry DuCheney, Kevin Duncan… what a massive book!

Place your orders here!

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