Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recommended Reading: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief GN


Recommended Reading: Maus, A Survivor's Tale (I)


Recommended Reading: American Born Chinese


Recommended Reading: PRIDE OF BAGHDAD


Monday, March 19, 2012



Thursday, March 15, 2012


"TOP 100" will detail series that are on my
list of 'favorite series ever published.'

AVENGERS FOREVER was a maxi-series that
I consider to be a magnum opus for both writer
Kurt Busiek and artist Carlos Pacheco
(and praise cannot be adorned without speaking
of Jesus Merino on inks, and a host of great
colorists, letterers, and editors that
made this such a fine story.)

This is an epic that comics are meant to be!
Great story, dense and in-depth plot,
tons of characterization, a plenitude of
guest stars, fun, excitement, romance,
action, and the kitchen sink.
The greater story also serves as fan boy
aphrodisiac, undoing years of bad edits
and scrubbing clean many of the
problems in continuity that plagued the series!

Tons of B and C-listers show up
(which are among my faves)
and the sites are varied and far-reaching.
Busiek is a talented enough writer
in combination with his rich memory
banks that the tale doesn't feel forced or
There are some organic developments,
some common sense things added, and some
real surprises mixing things about.

A tremendous read from start to finish,
perfect for any Avengers fan--new or old,
any fan of epic space-fare,
and any fan of lush, beautiful art that
flows seamlessly and is deftly designed.


Wonder Woman in Batman the Brave and the Bold

Fun, fierce, and fabulous! Wondy never looked better, and the theme
music is a brilliant touch!

This was such a great show. Miss it! (Both of them!)


Friday, March 9, 2012

Amalgam: Best of Both Possible Worlds

In comics, at least, you can have your cake
and eat it, too!

The Amalgam project (DC and Marvel working in
unison to produce two series of one shots that
worked off the notion of a universe where the
two companies' characters and concepts had
been combined!) was pure magic.

A fan boy--and creator's--wet dream come true.

These are the titles from that project
that most attracted and wowed me.
(They were all enjoyable in their uniqueness and the
tremendous art, but some just had concepts
that appealed to me more.)

If you haven't already read and savored these
bad boys, check them out in back issue bins
or with the TPB collections!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flashback: The DC Explosion

As a young kid who had recently 'advanced'
into the more mature market of super-hero comics,
the 1970s were chock full of excitement and a plethora
of choices. (I still fondly partook of my prior faves,
all the Gold Key classics, Archies, Harveys, etc.,
but this was a new era, a new frontier.)

Even now, this is probably my favorite time of
comics creativity, in part because of my awestruck
whimsy as I scanned the spinner racks, pored over the
racks at the used book stores, and anxiously awaited
every week's new stockings at the drug store and
the various 7-11s.
No prior knowledge.
No cover art viewed a thousand times.
No creator interviews of what to expect.
No guarantee of what would be in stock.
Just pure discovery and chance!

So many great creators, characters, cover artists,
concepts, titles, and such a sense of fun and anticipation;
I felt truly a part of something, and was at that
magical place as a child where I was still
inexperienced and not yet (fully) jaded.
Comics were a wonderful oasis, and I still
came at them with complete abandon
and enmeshment of the fantasy.

The stories deeply imprinted on me, and the fact
that I knew (somewhere deep inside, anyhow!) that
these were fictional characters conceived of
and illustrated by writers and artists...well,
that was easily enough shuttled for the duration
of a trip to the store and the time it took to devour
the books.

(Which occurred in the back seat of the car, on the floor
of the living room, in a hammock in the back yard, on my
bed, scrunched up in a ball on the couch, in my hideyhole,
and a million other places. I devoured them over
and over again, as if discovering a new language and
needing the repetition.)

I was easily and willingly transported away from the mundane and
the horrible by the incredible series I was drawn to and
entertained by. There was something more accessible
and relateable about the DC Universe, to me at least,
back in the day. Maybe they just had a greater number
of titles I adored. Maybe my Earth-2 and and extra 20+
years of history had some influence.

Maybe the more realistic artwork of Chua, Buckler,
Adams, and others on the inviting covers fixed me with a
sense of a more possible, unified universe. I'm not
really big on the specifics of it, and maybe that's best.
I was a wide-eyed child, and this was a taste of
adventure and drama that was still palatable to me.

The characters were everywhere: TV, lunchboxes, Presto Magix,
Shrinky Dinx, Color forms, MEGO dolls, plushies, Slurpee cups,
posters, Dynamite magazine, stickers, and more.
I slept in a bed with a Wonder Woman sleeping bag
unzipped as a comforter. Pretty much everything I owned
showed joint ownership with DC licensing. It
seemed like an empire that would never crumble.

Then, without any warning, the news.
The Implosion occurred.
A large segment of DC's only recently expanded line
had been cut for cost savings.
Stories were stopped mid-stream (many that have never,
to this day been finished) and my weekly intake
was drastically altered.

This was probably the first invasion of the real
world into my private realm; there was no denying then
that this was still just a company, still manufacturing
product. It was a little bit devastating; those stories
interrupted mid-flow, no resolution was like
going to a friend's house and finding he'd moved with
no forwarding address.

Still, as I like to recall even now, although
things change, I will always have my fond memories.
Sometimes I wish I could transport back to a time
such as the late 1970s...when reality was still at
bay, and entertainment was cheap and easily available.

A time when complete immersion into escapist
tendencies--good, clean, mindless, zoning out
at the expense of all fears and worries--was still
a readily-achieved possibility.

I still get a thrill to look on the old favorites
and have a happy memory triggered.
Thanks, to all involved.