Vacancy by Jen Lee

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Nobrow is a relatively new comic book distributor from the UK that is giving indie developers their own platform to publish comic book style short stories, illustrations and art comics. Nobrow’s aim is to publish eco friendly books with magnificent quality. With the turn of each page, the each book has the ability to engage majority of a person’s senses. The comics’ smell like fresh carved wood, each page is cool to the touch and not waxy like typical comic book issues, and each story has a major artistic value. I mean, you can take page out of any book and hang it at any art gallery. Many of the stories aren’t about superheroes, supernatural events or fantasy, but have qualities of Aesop Fables; they explore questions of history, insecurities, self-discovery and morals.

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The first book I picked up from their inventory was Vacancy by Jen Lee. Vacancy is a new comic short story about a dog with glasses in a post apocalyptic future that realizes after years of waiting for his owners to return home, he is alone and has to venture out into new big bad world for the first time without guidance. Along the way, he befriends a raccoon and a deer for adventures in the wild. I know it sounds like a plot from a 90’s Nickelodeon Tv show, but this story was incredibly charming and warm-hearted. The main character, Simon the dog, makes you care about him instantly. He questions the world around him, but never himself. I found myself quickly relating to Simon, it’s clear he’s trying to embrace change and grow but has his doubts. As he progresses into the wild he knows he has to brave. Once again, the story is short but strong. The color choice is perfect for the story, warm orange lights the evening sky while dark greens and blues illuminate the shrubby. Art invites you into it’s world, it knows it’s tone and how it wants to show it’s beauty yet contrast it with broken and beating down landscapes. The book cost only $6.00; where you can purchase here. it’s worth it to have it in the collection to remind yourself that world can be scary at first glance, but if you brave on, you will be just fine.

Here Comes Daredevil on Netflix….

The trailer for The Man Without Fear hit today, man and it is so satisfying. Frank Miller and Romita’s work is prevalent in the trailer alone. I think it’s incredible smart for Marvel to not include DareDevil’s classic blood -red outfit, it will be a refreshing surprise when it debuts. It will be more of a organic experience, it will raise the question – “is Matt a hero? or a Villain?” so when the outfit is donned, you will just see a man trying to make sense of his insanity. I’m calling it now, this show will be amazing.  If you were under a rock today, check out the trailer, you’ll be glad you did.

You haven’t had Christmas Stockings like these before!

These Christmas stockings are UNACCEPTABLE!

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Looking for a Christmas stocking? Can’t find one that isn’t cheesy and generic? Well you’re in luck, I have just the thing to save you from settling, The Super Sock Shop!
The Super Sock Shop is an online store that specializes in creating customized stockings and accessories based on comic book characters, manga and pop culture figures. Their items are all handmade and exclusive.
There are items for sale like Wonder Woman’s boot or Captain America navy blue mesh outfit fashioned into a Christmas stocking, even lesser known characters such as D.C Comic’s Mister Miracle‘s face crafted into a stocking. Don’t be fooled, this store doesn’t just have Christmas themed items, there are many things to choose from.
For example there is a hat-mask made in the likeness of Adventure Time’s Lemongrab’s face, Ramona Flowers’s infinite handbag and even bacon themed leggings are available. Each one of the items go for a reasonable price, especially since they are handmade and can be delivered to you just in time for the holidays. Check out the website here.
 

 

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{ Baby I’m your Hero, Donald 4 Spider-Man } Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Webbed Warriors

Finally Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) got his wish to play Spiderman, well sort of. Spider-Man: Webbed Warriors is special episode of Ultimate Spider-Man premiering this Sunday at 9am on Disney XD and it features the one and only Miles Morales voiced by Donald Glover! Remember way back when in 2010 when Glover expressed his feelings of unfairness via Twitter about not being able to portray America’s favorite arachnid in the then next live action movie Amazing Spiderman? He auditioned for the role which spawned the campaign/hastag #donald4spiderman. Stan Lee even supported the notion for him to audition. The campaign became so prevalent that Marvel eventually decided to create the first African American Spider-Man. Miles Morales was created in the likenesses of Glover, the character has become a staple in Marvel Comics. Below are screen shots from the episode and a quick teaser.

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{One huge thing that stuck out from this movie} The important use of music in Guardians of the Galaxy

So I recently saw Guardians of the Galaxy right? And I loved every minute of it! I could write a review about how fantastic the movie was, talk about how it has the perfect blend of action and comedy, a thrilling plot and instantly likable characters, but you could read that anywhere. It would just be my opinion anyway, but as a friend and a fan of comic books and especially good movies, GO SEE THIS MOVIE. Now, with that out of the way, I can explain in my opinion on what I think is the most impressive and important element of the movie, the use of the music. Not the orchestra score that is basically required every big budget movie but the classic rock/blues songs that are randomly featured. These songs continuously reflected the tone of the movie. Ok, briefly without royally spoiling movie, I’ll explain what I mean. In the movie, the main protagonist, Peter Quil (Chris Pratt), is abducted from earth at a young age. The only thing from his home planet that he is able to take with him is an old walkman that housed an “awesome” mixtape his mother created for him. The songs that feature on the mixtape, serve as the in- movie soundtrack. So in other words, whatever Peter Quil is listening to within his headphones or on his makeshift stereo, becomes the theme song to whatever moment he is in.

Whether he is escaping from a band of space pirates, exploring a moon’s dark crater or charming an extraterrestrial hottie, his music serves as the theme of the moment. Not only was this a clever way to display human attributes within the title character (that spends the entire movie among people that aren’t from earth); it explained that he is still tethered to earth in some form. Music was still a major influence to his mood and personality. It also gave the audience a chance to listen and appreciate music from decades ago. The audience got to hear some awesome cuts from Davie Bowie, The Runaways and Elvin Bishop. It was also a smart way for director James Gunn to use a recycled trick in movies. If you were watch a movie from two decades ago, every time there was a some sort of scene that suppose to exhibit emotion with the characters on screen (ideally a love scene), title music was used. For it’s time, it was the standard in all movies, that’s why you have all these awesome theme songs that remind you of classic movies, think Rocky with “eye of the tiger” or Top Gun “Take my breathe away”.

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As I said before, most of songs featured are older classic songs, so most likely you’ve heard them before. Maybe you might have heard it in a commercial, the supermarket or from an older relative. But overall the use of music was another brilliant part to an already breathtaking movie. And through the graces of the Marvel gods, Peter Quil’s “awesome” mixtape is available for download on Itunes, so you too can be a dancing fool. Check out of the track listing below…

Title Artist(s) Length
1. “Hooked on a Feeling” Blue Swede 2:52
2. “Go All the Way” Raspberries 3:21
3. “Spirit in the Sky” Norman Greenbaum 4:02
4. “Moonage Daydream” David Bowie 4:41
5. “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” Elvin Bishop 4:35
6. “I’m Not in Love” 10cc 6:03
7. “I Want You Back” The Jackson 5 2:58
8. “Come and Get Your Love” Redbone 3:26
9. “Cherry Bomb” The Runaways 2:17
10. “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” Rupert Holmes 4:37
11. “O-o-h Child” Five Stairsteps 3:13
12. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 2:29

Captain Marvel (Casual)

This is the Captain Marvel (Shazam) ensemble. I recently uploaded this outfit to my website but i decided to save re-edit it. With the red, brown and gold, this would be a great Autumn outfitShazam Revision Casual

Batman: Assault on Arkham

And DC comics does it again…

DC is coming out with their next animated movie, Batman: Assault on Arkham. The new animated feature t is about the Suicide Squad attempting to break into Arkham Asylum and butting heading with the Joker and of course, the Dark Knight himself. The same writer(Heath Corson) and director (Jay Olivia) of the previous animated movie are still on board, and iconic voice actors such as Troy Baker (The Penguin in Arkham Game Series) and the one and only Mr. Kevin Conroy. Unlike the darker tone the animated movies usually take, this story is told in a different manner. It has elements of crime heist comedy, think if the stooges were extremely dangerous and were going up against Batman. It’s black humor chock full of awesome, the movie comes out on Blu-Ray/ DVD August 12. Check out the clip released from SDCC down below.

Thanos? Being in love with a gay character?

Now I have a question for my readers. Answer it honestly. Would Thanos be less of a badass if Death (whom he is in love with) were a man? Many of you know the story of Thanos and how/ why he tried to destroy everything in the Marvel universe. If you don’t know here’s a link. You should know a little something about it if you plan on seeing The Guardians of Galaxy, hitting theaters this week. If you don’t know, I will give a quick rundown.

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Thanos was born of Saturn’s moon Titan, so yeah, this dude is a Titan. At first considered a pacifist, he was a nice kid, developing his super-genius level intellect that would make even Tony Stark look like a dunce, all while hanging with his brother (Starfox) and his pets. As he grew into a teenager he became fascinated with death. His interest evolved into worship it, worship transformed into infatuation and eventually he was in love with death. Death came to him physically embodied as a woman (Mistress Death) and declared that the only way to claim her affection was to kill as much as he possibly could, thus setting off the chain of events that would attract him the ultimate power in the universe, the cosmic cube (look for the correlation in the Marvel movies).

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Ok, now you have a quick overview of the mad Titan’s story, so consider this, would his story be any less impactful if the physical embodiment of death were a man instead of a woman? Now, I don’t think Marvel should change history or anything, but I am curious to see if the reader would find Thanos just as intimidating if he had a thing for a dude. This thought came to me months ago while reading a post on Facebook about DC’s decision to make Alan Scott a gay man (during their relaunch of their characters in ‘The New 52’) and get married to his male partner.

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As many of you know, when Alan Scott was originally written in the 40s and 50s, it was done so with him being straight. And of course DC did this to advise their readers of their stance on marriage equality. I saw the comments on this topic range from indifference, acceptance and ignorance, to insensitive and even hateful. I wondered if would it garner the same response if it this change were made to a different character? What about a character with extreme violence at his very core? There’s only one way to find out. So again I ask the question, would Thanos be less badass, or less respected and feared if he was in love with a man? Answer when you can peoples!

 

Comic Book Battle of the Week- Terry McGuiness Vs. Batman Sidekicks

The other night my girlfriend and I were watching Batman Beyond and remarking on how great the show was for it’s time. Warner Brothers were coming off of the win streak of the classic shows, Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. Fans were getting older and Warner knew it so they tried a different approach with Batman. They did the unthinkable; they fast-forwarded time 50 years into the future made Bruce Wayne an old man. They gave someone else the cape and cowl. Not only did they make him old, they had the audience witness his fading mortality and his growth into helplessness. The need for a new Batman was apparent, so spawned the creation of Terry McGuiness.

Terry McGuiness was a high school student and like most high school students he was defiant and had a penchant for trouble, but McGuiness wasn’t just any average kid. He was tough and had a natural ability for fighting. Within just the first episode, he suffered a traumatic loss with the death of his father. With such a loss, he demanded justice, so when his world crashed into Bruce Wayne’s’, it was only natural for the two to work together. The whole series takes place during the early stages of McGuiness being Batman, so we never know how great he becomes. We see the many screw-ups that he gets himself into and how he is able to think quickly on his feet. In many ways, he was extremely different than any of Batman’s other disciples. What all the Robins and Batgirl had in wit, discipline and intelligence, McGuiness made up for in courage and resourcefulness.

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So I question crossed my mind, out of all of the Batman’s former sidekicks, which one could Terry take out if he really needed to. So my girlfriend and I stated to go through the list, first is Dick Grayson. Besides being the most seasoned and oldest of the sidekicks, Grayson spent the most time with Batman and was the first to leave the nest. He was taught in a different way than all the others. He was taught at a time when Batman was younger and had less to offer. There wasn’t a precedent for their relationship. So they were both learning together by trial and error.

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Grayson had to learn for himself how he fit into the equation, how to stay alive, how to grow into himself without turning into Batman. So just with experience and knowledge of self, Dick’s got this one in the bag.

Winner: Dick Grayson

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Then you have Jason Todd, arguably Batman’s greatest failure. Todd was cleaver, strong and angry. After finding him in Crime Alley trying to steal one of the Batmobile’s tires, Batman thought he could help Todd channel all of his anger into something productive and useful. With the success of Dick Grayson, now Nightwing, Batman thought teaching Jason would only lead to something good. That is until Joker got a hold of him. The Joker murdered Jason Todd. Many years after, Todd was resurrected and became the anti-hero the Red Hood. Red Hood is lethal, cunning and unmerciful. He knows many of Batman’s tricks and weaknesses, but is very one track minded, which could cost him the fighter against McGuiness. Both opponents would walk away from the fight bloodied and bruised. Terry might even suffer broken bones and gun shot wounds. Todd is super- aggressive but McGuiness is tough and is able to think on his feet, unlike Todd which ultimately led to his death.

Loser: Jason Todd

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Long time after Jason Todd, a young man by the name of Tim Drake deduced that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one in the same. Drake believed that Batman shouldn’t be without a Robin and assumed the identity as the new, Teen Wonder.

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Drake is on the road to being the world’s best detective after Batman. He’s smart, his deduction skills are unbelievable and his reasoning ability is off the charts. He goes on to become Red Robin after his years with the teen titans. Batman understood Tim Drake’s strengths and honed them. He would make sure to put him on case that required much investigation and inquiry. So while he became an excellent detective, his fighting skills suffered, he cannot hold to candle to Terry McGuiness. Drake fights because he has to. Terry fights because in his on mind, he believes he can also win. Drake would be overwhelmed with the raw intensity and advanced technology that McGuiness will bring to the fight, like he did when faced Todd during the Battle of the Cowl.

Loser : Tim Drake

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The latest, and deceased Robin is the alleged son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne. He is genius and in the short 12 years of his life has learned at a rate that is nearly 50xs faster than Bruce Wayne. Being raised under the tutelage of the infamous Ra’s al Ghul, he is not only a genius but is a master martial artist and has been trained in every weapon known to mankind. I believe one look from Damian, Terry would easily lose the fight.

Winner: Damian Wayne

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Now onto Batgirl, Barbara “Babs” Gordon, the last and essential part of the central Batman family. Jim Gordon’s daughter, Babs, was the only sidekick that Batman himself, did not recruit. She watched her father struggle and become frustrated with the rules of the law within a broken city. When the vigilant known as The Batman started to bring his own brand of justice and create some changes within Gotham, she instantly became magnetized with vigilantism.

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Winner: Barbara Gordon

She loved the thrill of dangerous situations and seeing first hand the difference she could make in a person’s life. The Babs l I am referring to is the one that can walk of course, with that being said, now onto her abilities. Barbara Gordon is an expert in Judo and Karate, not a master, but an expert. She is also a magnificent gymnast, good enough to keep up with Dick Grayson. She is an intellectual and technological genius. With her photographic memory and immense knowledge of electronics and computers, she could very well disable Terry’s suit. Within a battle she could locate any technology around her, manipulate it and use it to bend Terry’s suit to her will and finish him off. Terry can be very resourceful, but that suit usually gives him the edge in all of his fights. Without it, he is just a tough kid with potential. Besides the strength increase and flight the suit provides, all of the other abilities of stealth and speed, the original sidekicks were able to master 50 years earlier. So with all these theories and information, who do you think Terry would be best suited to face?