101 Artists to Listen to before you Die by Richardo Cavolo

What up ya’ll! Long time no talk to, been a busy lately moving into a new apartment and learning how to be a DJ. It’s a been a rewarding road so far. But I haven’t forgotten about you guys! Anyway, my friends over at Nobrow hooked my up with this new book.

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101 Artists to Listen to before you Die is the newest books from Richardo Cavolo. It is pictorial list of essential musical artists that should be listened to before you expire from this world. The beautiful thing about this book is that it is not a “how to guide” to music or someone author telling you why whatever he’s pitching is better than anything you could be into. It is a normal guy expressing his love for music and explaining his honest thoughts about how the music makes him feels when it hits him. Quite truthfully, the book is refreshing. It catalogs his experiences of music and he provides us with some vibrant, beautifully unconventional art. It’s all personal but it also invites you to think back to how you felt about whatever music might have shaped your life up to this point.

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Being an eclectic guy myself, I wanted to challenge myself and see out of the 101 artists, how many can I say that I have listened to, I came to the resounding number of just 40 artists. Not too shabby I thought, but I have decided that I want challenge myself.

From this day forward I will be listen to at least 2 artists a day in this book, chronologically, (Thank God For Apple Music!)  in order to not only say I have listened to them all, but to see how it makes me feel and see what I can learn from each artist, I will document what I’ve listened to and write what I’ve heard and felt on here! Hell maybe even one day I will write my own book about artist you all should listen to 😉

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So I went to Special Events Comic Con NY 2015 ……

This past weekend, I had the pleasant experience to attend Special Edition of New York City. This comic con is very similar to the annual one October, the major difference being its size and focus. But sometimes, big things come in small packages. I didn’t have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get a picture, or stand on long lines to get a glimpse of my favorite artist and writers, I walked directly up to them and conversed with them for a limited period of time. It gave me the opportunity to ask what inspires their work, ask them about their creative process and just have a friendly conversation. What I learned? Whether its indie comics or big publishers like DC or Marvel, its the same things as the readers that drives a lot of writers and artists. Either the stories’ theme is courage, moral greys, civil rights, humor or just bombastic fun, they have a story that they believe needs to be told.

The most memorable experience I had was meeting the artist and co-creator of one of my favorite comic books out right now, Bitch Planet. The artist, Valentine De Landro was one the kindest and most pleasant creators I have ever met at a convention, and I have been to a few. When I walked up to his booth, he was drawing a sketch of Iron Man for a young boy. He couldn’t stop smiling as De Landro asked to assist him in finishing the sketch. In an effort to not disrupt the process, the young boy carefully moved his hand up and down as De Landro instructed him on what lines to erase. In the end, De Landro jokingly told the young child he may need to hire him as his assistant eraser. After that exchange, my girlfriend and I met him and got the opportunity to not only to fanboy/girl out, but also to thank him for the important work that he and writer, Kelly Sue Deconnick have been doing. We explained that it is an important statement not only about women’s rights, but about women of color, the ignorance of men and how the book is a enlightenment to it’s readers of how ingrained these problems in society really are.

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I also got on opportunity to say hello to the King of Rock himself, DMC from Run DMC. And like the many other times I met him, it was great. He is so positive and so accompanying; he has a way of making everyone he meets, feel like they have known him for years.

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I volunteered for Midtown Comics and for early hours of the convention days, so didn’t get the opportunity to cover as much ground as I hoped for, but nevertheless, it was an extremely positive experience and it has me more than psyched for New York City Comic Con 2015!

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?

Quick Man Of Steel Review

 

Soooo, my young lovely friend and comic book fiend Sophia wrote this short but sweet review on the Man of Steel. Not only is it informative but it raises questions that i know everyone has had with the recent adaptation of Supes. Tell me what you think ?

So yesterday I saw the Man of Steel and it was fantastic! I was a little worried about this movie because the trailer wasn’t exciting (for me at first) and I didn’t know the actor (Henry Cavill). Also the suit modification, though taking out the red undies was a smart move lol. Anywho, it was a great movie because, well when I say this don’t be alarmed, it was like Skyfall (which I loved) and when I saw that I mean it brought a new tone to Superman, it was fresh and new but still having a classic touch. It was darker, not too dark like Nolan Batman Dark but to reassure this is the Superman of 2013. Christopher Reeve’s flawless 1978 Superman had a lighter tone (nothing wrong with that) but if we were to imitate that (like in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns ugh) it would be a disaster. It’s 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is ludicrous, the film was not bad it was different in a good way. It had some faults like too many action scenes like tone it down bit and make this scene more about triumph (SPOILERS: like that scene when he destroys that thing that weakens his powers and have a VoiceOver by Jonathan Kent or Jor-El I dunno that would be touching). That was one thing that bothered me but overall this movie was fantastic and totally recommended to anyone! #manofsteel #henrycavill #superman #moviereview