THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN VOL 1 REVIEW: Pirate Tropes Walk the Plank!

THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN BOOK 1THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN – BOOK 1
Writer: Tristan Roulot
Artist: Patrick Henaff
Publisher: Tristan Roulot & Patrick Henaff
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News)

When Tristan Roulot wrote me last week about reviewing his foreign mega-success THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN BOOK 1 and giving some lip service to the ongoing Book 2 Kickstarter, I had immediate reservations.

One: I have issues with the French. My exposure was one haughty teacher for 6 years who made the country sound like a bunch of people staring at paintings all day while eating bread. The only phrases I remember are, “Robert shut up,” “Robert close your mouth,” “Please pass the butter,” and “Eat my pubes.”

Two: Kickstarters are always 50/50 on quality. Even those that meet goal are suspect between book quality, and simply a group of creators who have family and friends with deep pockets.

Three: Pirate stories leave me more drained than “blind scurvy Steve,” that guy who keeps sucking on squashes instead of oranges. It’s not that I hate pirates; I just usually hate pirate stories. It took me two readings of WATCHMEN before I finally broke down and read BLACK FREIGHTER. I felt “Pirates of the Caribbean” the ride was unending even at 5, and the movie was only redeemed by Michael Bolton and Lonely Island. There’s just something about stories on the water that I find unfulfilling without special appearances by Charo and Telly Savalas.

the will of captain crown interior 1

So why did I relent to THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN?

One: I opened the book because my lovely wife reminded me that to avoid hypocrisy in my life, I had to abandon all French comic predispositions after my glowing review of SNOWPIERCER. I can abide almost any flaws, never hypocrisy.

Two: One look at Roulot’s pedigree and Henaff’s art and you’ll quickly realize these guys are going solo by choice. This is Kickstarter in its truest form, giving amazing talent a chance to shape their destiny without having to walk the plank of exorbitant publisher percentages.

Also, Roulot has done a ton of books in his native French landia and now Canada land. In fact one of the main reasons the first Kickstarter took place was so that stupid North Americans could get the book in a palatable format. The foreign books are larger and thus give the page more room to breathe, to Mike TV miniaturize the books requires a long and arduous process of panel reshuffling. Keep dreaming of world peace you dumb hippies when we can’t even agree on a common paper size for printing books.

Three: This is quite simple like no other pirate story I have ever read. Deceptive twists and turns on every page helped steer this book away from the rocky shores of pirate tropes and general stupidity we’ve become accustomed to. The pageantry of piratedom exists, without the pomp. There’s whore a’ plenty, but these bed downs have grave consequences. There’s a ship, the Astarte, but this tale is more about her passengers. Finally there’s a Captain Crown, but he’s dead before the story begins.

THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN is not about the indeterminable mettle of a sea captain against gargantuan gales and octopuses. Nope, it’s a legal document…parchment…native skin, whatever they used back then to write on. It’s also a cautionary tale about reaping what you sow. Specifically, don’t knock 4 women up if you give them your real name, because twenty some odd years later you are going to have a tsunami of daddy issues aimed at your booty (both literal and figurative). Another mistake the old Captain and his bed partners make is inventing the acting of fisting with his leprosy-laden hand. This is one trope I’ll definitely concede to the creative team. If one was going to update the hook and peg leg, I can’t think of a better impediment than a hand that induces vomiting and mars future generations.

the will of captain crown interior 2Don’t think for a second though this book is all CW and RedTube combined, because the high seas action and the great heroes quest are most certainly on deck. Henaff beautifully recreates the majesty of the late 1800’s Caribbean immediately following Ole’ Rotty Fists last yo-ho…

The Captain’s first mate, Red, is charged with rounding up the 5 heirs and then unveiling where the booty beyond the Astarte truly lies. It’s better served to let the book introduce the character’s personalities and interdependencies, because that is also the heart of CAPTAIN CROWN’S unfolding mystery. Let’s just say the Captain remained sexually active his whole life giving the kids a wiiiiidde age gap, he wasn’t racist and he would gladly bed ladies as well as street urchins. This left children who ranged from crazy to cunning and all of them with just a bit more psychological damage because of their touch of skin rot.

As we learn more about the children, we learn more about the Captain and his ultimate heist. Again, to say too much here would give away many of the graphic novel’s surprises. Just know that this team delivers engaging and beautiful exposition by casting panel constraints to the wind letting the sea awash the double page.

No one is what they truly seem in THE WILL OF CAPTAIN CROWN, but their false faces are just as interesting as their ultimate deceptions. Again, we’re talking about pirate folk here, so it’s not like angels falling from their lofty cloud, more like the worst of the world becoming wholly deplorable. If you love pirate stories this book is for you, the boats are beautiful and there is enough high sea haughtiness to remember the pageantry of these pirates versus today’s simple Somalia boat jackers. If you are adverse to pirate stories, this book is for you, because the sea only serves as a receptacle for family blood.

Book two Kickstarter is rolling now folks and almost funded, chuck a couple galleons at the boys so you don’t have to pay retail and probably Value Added Tax since the book is coming from exotic foreign lands.

 

 

WAYWARD #1 COMIC REVIEW: Zub Kicks Barriers Instead of Skulls

Wayward01B-AlinaUrusovWAYWARD 1 (In Stores August 2014)
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings
Publisher: Image
Reviwer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t it Cool News) 

I find it hard to believe it’s been 4 years since I was first contacted by a lone Eastern Europeanish immigrant named Jim Zubkavich. Traveling by steamer ship from the same piece of shit country as Balki from Perfect Strangers, I received his telegraph requesting coverage of his book SKULL KICKERS, which would be his indentured servitude golden ticket to America.

Now he’s a shining example of the American Dream and how indentured servitude is really a great piece of currency, the kavich has left the building and Jim Zub delivers another comic problem solver with WAYWARD 1.

That’s right, a comic problem solver. Anyone can write a story or lasso words around editorial edicts, but the ones worth remembering always stand at the ready to fill a void or vacuum.

Back then, with SKULL KICKERS Kavich showed us that comics could be fun as his nameless D&D characters pretty much kicked a bunch of skulls inside the story wrappers of every fantasy trope imaginable. 2010 was a bummer fucking year as the Big 2 put their current universes in neutral and took all the top talent to the board room to usher in the Meticulously Measured Metrics Age of comics. Kavich said, no silly Americans, do not be sad the beetle blues has been shot by the Lord of Foldgers, laugh at my silly dwarf man instead.

Wayward01A-SteveCummings_RossACampbellToday, Zub fixes a problem that has been screaming at comics since the first bra was burned and yet amidst that screeching there is still so little problem solving – that’s right, I’m talking about some lady protagonisting. Not only does Zub go lady, he actually goes teenage lady, and I’ll tell you that it definitely works.

Rori Lane is not only about to undergo a fantastic journey filled with comic bookey stuff, but she’s also on a journey of discovery as a stranger in a strange land that I already find equally if not more intriguing than the fantasy. Her half Irish, half Japanese decent only lasted until her parents divorce. Mom gets Rori, so Rori gets to move to Tokyo.

Zub paints the perfect balance of wonderment and fear in Rori as she navigates a land that many foreigners will never quite “get,” until they actually experience it. However, the land of the rising sun also activates something in Rori that I can only best describe as Splinter Cell vision. Rori begins to see pathways, or when put to good use, a strategic line to overcome any point A to point B obstacle.

Now, where most assholes would simply use this ability to YouTube X-Treme Parkor, Rori’s mettle is actually tested her first afternoon in town by Turtles in a half shell with big ass slobbering teeth and ironically bird flu (OK I made up the last part). Until a girl with an uncanny ability to summon felines and become cat like herself mysteriously saves Rori and then quickly abandons her. Not before getting some strange milk from a vending machine to solidify once more how strange Eastern culture is to us Western world folks.

Wayward01D-AdamWarren_JohnRauchWhat this review is missing is how well Zub paints these moments. Rori’s journey, the loss of her parent’s love for each other, how bat shit crazy Japan is for first timers, because he does it all in masterful and authentic detail. Steve Cummings is simply a new God of comic drawing, my jaw continued to lower to the floor page after beautiful page.

Sorry to tease WAYWARD so far ahead of release, but that’s comics folks. Retailers must order now, they believe they are people too, and so they sometimes need a little help stocking the shelves before you consumer types start navigating them. There are a deluge of titles coming from every corner of comics and Image is certainly one of the most massive #1 producers in recent memory. Out of all those so many books of genesis I’ve enjoyed, WAYWARD is one of the first that I feel is as much needed as it is entertaining.

ADAM12 CHAPTERS 1-5 COMIC REVIEW: Philadelphia Fiefdom

ADAM 12 COMICADAM12 CHAPTERS 1-5
Writer: Gigio Longo
Artist: Nick Suders
Publisher: G. boTIC Productions
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche, Ain’t It cool News)

There’s something to be said for the special warmth one receives from comics set in your hometown, even if the time period, political climate and lead character present very different topographical and sociological maps of what you know.

ADAM12, a Wizard World Philly 2014 find, is the story of man stuck in the same malaise many succumb to as we leave behind early adulthood and settle into, “ohhhh, fuck, this is life.” Surrounding that trumpeting of servitude, Longo and Suders create a most probable tomorrow for America given our absolute lack of direction and societal ambition. The US government files for bankruptcy, the Chinese now own us, and class warfare is a literal manifestation instead of simply a news bumper before commercial break.

Adam has accepted this world, but simply can’t bring himself to live in it. Many daydream during their day jobs, Adam however is daydreaming of all his past lives. Nagging girlfriend, no problem he’s in Camelot. Boring bureaucratic paper pushing at work, no worries, there was always the Garden of Eden. These visions become more frequent and more vivid as Adam learns his visions are merely memories of his last tries in creating paradise.

There are many other kitschy Sci-Fi trappings throughout the title from mystical eggs of creation (felt a little like the Ukrainian blessing of the graves from when I was a kid), killer damsels trying to unlock creation and force Adam’s cooperation in the process.

There’s a lot of fun in this book and really the Philly stuff is just icing for hometown folks, you’ll still enjoy Adam’s journey through our near tomorrow even if you can’t tell a Pats from a Ginos.

I have but two suggestions for the creators to humbly consider for their sophomore effort. Suders definitely wields a more cartoon styled pen, which gave me concern after his writing counterpart described the dark, dire and dank world he had authored. It works though in keeping the book from becoming too morose. All I ask of Nick is that he keeps his pencils tight and true. Page 1, chapter 2 if you get my drift.

For Longo, I ask that he pockets a few concepts for future endeavors. There’s a lot packed into the pages of ADAM12, and while no concept was extraneous, I know I would have just been fine and dandy with a dude about to cycle through his 12th round of existence. Let Adam recreate the Garden of Eden in the here and now on South Street, because God knows we need it.

DEATH SENTENCE GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Celebrity, Superpowers, Life

Death Sentence CoverDEATH SENTENCE OGN
Writer: Monty Nero
Artist: Mike Dowling
Publisher: Titan Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News

We all contemplate the question, “why am I here” eventually in life. But the question becomes even more poignant when it is posed with a definitive expiration date set upon our exit. As normal humans the majority of us create our benign bucket lists with a few outliers trying to make one final mark in the foolish belief their actions will be remembered against the vast backdrop of human existence. DEATH SENTENCE flips this model. People infected with the G+ virus will eventually see system shut down before they check out 6 months after infection, but prior to that they get to live the life of pure comic book fantasy with a burst of greatness before they are finally extinguished.

Even though G+ is a global virus, we are told the 6 chapters of the OGN from those that will be most remembered when alien archeologists go through the records of this time period. Where most will get powers on the level of Grant Morrison contrived mutants; Weasel, Verity and Monty transcend the ordinary and in the process raze the world. What you unleash from G+ is tied to imagination, essentially in how and what ways can you see and manipulate the atomic kaleidoscope of the universe. Through these characters, Nero not only fucks up the Western Hemisphere on grand comic scale, he does it through the looking glass of those that torture themselves by creating.

Verity is by far the sympathetic epicenter of DEATH SENTENCE because she is most like us before the plague. I know a million Veritys, artists who sell their soul to graphic design jobs and sweat shop printers by day so they can keep food on the table at night. Her story is the most tragic because all she really wants is to have a life of normality. Weasel and Monty were special in our oh so Kardashian sense of the word prior to contracting G+. Weasel the rocker and Monty the Russell Brand type comedian/personality are distant from us, but Nero wisely chooses to show us snippets of their lives before and outside of the celebrity so we are fully vested in the end of days.

Most artists are slightly crazy, it just seems to be a side of effect of seeing into string of the universe where they can pluck ideas and give them tangible form. Monty is the hyperbole of the hyperbole. Since his career was based upon the shock of his words and sexual exploits, his was the most dangerous contraction of the disease. A man essentially whose bucket list had but one line item: anarchy.

Before you hate too much on Monty though, his rise to power is hilarious and his control of London though quite cruel, was also hilarious in the darkest sense of the word.

Weasel and Verity become the task force to take him out, but not before there own more personal trials and tribulations inside a facility meant to cultivate the finest of G+ powers to their fullest potential.

DEATH SENTENCE is one of the truest representations of super powers appearing overnight. The class lines would be instantly divided, the powerful would overcome the weak (even for a laugh) and like any other time in history there would be a culling before a new age could dawn.

I read the first issue of DEATH SENTENCE many moons ago and remembered loving the raw humanity almost more than the super powers. Like I was embarking on an “Angels In America” type journey without all of the bad Flock of Seagulls haircuts on the dying. What I realized after absorbing all 6 issues and the bevy of extras like a Q&A with the team dissecting pivotal moments, was that DEATH SENTENCE was going to transcend death to also unveil the meaning of life. Mission accomplished gents.

Avoiding Hypocrisy – Blogging the Bad for Once

rob-patey-sad-faceI blog with the highest of frequency and candor about my successes in life, so I want to avoid the traditional artist hypocrisy of cowering when my ego is suffering from the rawest bruise ever struck.

I parted ways with my employer today. We both had an inkling it wasn’t going to work out pretty much from day one, and I am almost thankful (though undeniably scared about my future) they broached the subject in a timely fashion. So when they said it wasn’t working out, I didn’t perform the traditional knee jerk defense because I truly wasn’t happy with the decision I made. Quite frankly, the only reason I didn’t leave sooner is I simply refuse to be the first to throw in the towel. I know in the grand scheme of an uninterrupted fifteen year career, I should consider this a quick 4 week anomaly. But your first rejection, when you kind of want to be rejected still stings a tad.

To be truly honest with myself it wasn’t losing the job that causes the sting to throb, it was quite frankly ignoring my gut on what the now clear voice of hindsight was telling during the interview process. Also, I am just now realizing how valued I was at my prior place of employment. Actually, I take that back, I realized how valued I was at my prior employer the moment I resigned. What I am dealing with now is seeing a support network via FaceBook from these folks that makes those past feelings shine so much more brighter.

Rejection should and could cut the human spirit like a scythe, we are after all social animals. If this day didn’t sting  I would be even more scared about who I am right now. Even when you join a tribe whose war paint clearly causes allergic reactions to your skin, the cognoscente person will take a moment of self reflection to ponder why. The sociopath will be unaffected, and only the truly blind with arrogance will deflect all fault to the other party.

What I chose to do as I sauntered away from this tribe in my coconut wheeled SUV, is take stock of not where I have been, but where I want to go next. Mistakes are only unforgivable when repeated.

Oh the places I want to go

  • Marketing – but let me be clear it must be content based. I must be with an organization that understands that capturing market share comes from invoking true emotion in prospects
  • Places that want a unique voice – My style is not for everyone, thankfully Google has awarded my style with the recent Penguin and Panda changes, but not all places will necessarily agree.
  • Team I must be part of a team –  I am too much of an extrovert, I feed off the energy of others and didn’t realize that my soul would truly suffer in solitude.
  • Technology, Entertainment and Advertising: These are my career loves, but again the future will be an exercise in ensuring those…I guess we can call them industries…are a truly honest and creative brand (or sincerely want me to make them that)

If you think my lament is admirable and honest and you want a content or lead ten marketer, here is my  resume (Robert T Patey Resume 06-14-2). I’ll also encourage you to read some of my marketing related content to ensure my voice resonates well with your eye holes.

When I bleed, I bleed ink and your readership truly helps cauterize the wound.

 

THE LAST WEST GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW! More uplifting than the fate of a Kennedy

the last west OGN coverTHE LAST WEST OGN
Writers: Evan Young & Lou Iovino
Artist: Novo Malgapo
Publisher: Alterna
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

For anyone who thinks the Kardashians are the First Family of the end days, I would like to introduce you to the Wests. A take on Kennedy Camelot, except the Wests turned back the course of the 20th century while the Kennedys pushed us (and their pelvises) forward.

My three regular readers know that my appetite for alternate realities and view askew history is more voracious than Cookie Monster 10 years into Type 2 Diabetes. When I met Lou Iovino at this year’s Wizard World Philadelphia, he asked me if it was the Xerox page power point slide with a thumbnail of Norman Reedus saying “He was not at this booth” that drew me in. Great lead in line, which spurred Lou and I to have a great chat. What drew me in though, was the haunting cover with atom bomb set against he falling sun. Once I knew that the THE LAST WEST was also an exploration of “what today would be like if the bomb never worked” I decided this would be my first read when I got home.

I appreciate every book that is given to me for reviews by creators, I like a few less, I covet only a fraction of that number. THE LAST WEST, I covet thee, because this book could have easily bore the Image logo (with one or two small caveats that I’ll get to). Big Kudos to Alterna for grabbing up this talented and smart property,

The Wests personify the human existence. We have never explosively propelled to our next evolution without first imploding on despair, tragedy and virtual oblivion of the species. It’s how I have always known God plays D&D, you can’t beat that kind of planetary class balancing.

While Lou and team chose to only focus on the Wests being the catalysts for Great American Fails like the Dust Bowl, WW I and the 1929 crash of the market. With Volume II already set ins tone as you’ll learn in a second I really see a world where the guys could serialize this bloodline. Pontius West, Columbus’ navigator, rat fucker West…you get the idea.

Now, where the Wests stop shaping history as we know it and start creating a Biff’s Casino temporal divergence is right when Robert Oppenheimer was ready to set the world on fire. It was in this moment the Wests said no more, sabotaged the blast, and then scuffled off into the realm of lore.

The Wests are selfish assholes. 2014 sucks. No bomb, no unlimited energy, no other real interest in looking at the nanoverse that allows us to carry porn and video games in our pockets. Instead of Google we have Graham where you have to call for a question and then wait days for an irrelevant answer (you know, like Bing). Instead of plastic cars, we still thrive on metal monstrosities. I would even guess that everyone still has copious amounts of pubes because they dress and have the same haircut as my Grandmother. Time is essentially on pause.

As for why the Wests withdrew at that moment in time is a mystery best left unraveled by Volume I. And it is a nice and tidy little mystery as one ordinary Joe navigates this strange world searching for clues that the Wests existed, while powerful puppets of the family try to keep the family’s name and apocalyptic shame a secret.

I can’t spoil the end of this book because there isn’t one, Lou and crew scadattle right at the top of Freytag’s pyramid. That’s OK, because THE LAST WEST Volume II (Apocalyptic Boogalo) is coming shortly – Kickstarter willing. And honestly, I would mark points against the book if there wasn’t another tale on the horizon. See, the book inventively counts chapters backwards starting at 10. I would think this was written by Zooey Daschanel after huffing glade if the book consisted solely of chapters 10-5.

Now, I must offer two cautions with THE LAST WEST to ensure a flawless experience when they use my Volume III ideas.

The art needs to be as bold throughout the whole title as it was on the first few pages. Through clever panel layout and then stopping time, THE LAST WEST sucks you in with A-Bomb implosion power. While I admit too many thematic panels like the atomic symbol on page one would get hokey, I would encourage Malgapo to try it one or two more times in an arc. Also, keep finding the subtle moments like when the ill fated countdown fizzled. Focal points will help excite some of the more talky moments that are necessity of alternate anythings.

The coloring needs a little more work. I get very uncomfortable around clowns and photo negatives of Al Jolsen, so please for the love of God ease up the “light.” Thomas Kincaid stores are closing for a reason and there does not need to be a comic equivalent of JJ Abrams lens flare.

I don’t think these two suggestions are big hurdles to surmount. It’s also a great compliment to a freshman effort that there are only two things to perk up. I have been much harsher on many books from more seasoned professionals with much larger budgets. THE LAST WEST deserves your time and more importantly your contemplation for what their fictional foible says about our real world circumstances.

 

 

 

WIZARD WORLD PHILADELPHIA 2014 RECAP

indie comicsPay close attention to this man’s shirt. He was selling nothing…except prophetic insight as to what will lie ahead in the realm of comics at Wizard World 2014.

It’s not a slight, merely a marker of where profitability now lies in the land of geek. The high-end talent at this years’ extravaganza inside the Philadelphia Convention Center were squarely in line with the interests’ of the masses. Dr. Who, Walking Dead, the allure of huffing in these stars’ pheromones is what enticed the city of brotherly love (and Jersey). Instead of letting the waned presence of DC, Marvel and Image booths bother me this year, I decided to revel in my own interests outside the funny books and enjoy the exuberant squeals of fans when Whoopi Goldberg, the cast from Firefly would appear around corners. Even Curtis Armstrong, Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, couldn’t walk six steps without a fan hitting his gate or stopping it completely.

I do believe both Marvel and DC should try to crush this bitch in ‘15 to prop up their incoming tsunami of serial movies. But that’s the future, in ’14 indie comics ruled and this even goes for those creators who sit or sat upon continuity high once. There were a handful of big guns, but 98% of them were more interested in passion projects and the future than what they are doing in the bigger publishing run books presently.

I also had so many WTF are the big two thinking conversations that I thought I was a Tron literally inside a message board. Many an indie publisher will be very happy in coming months at the invasion of talent looking to pillage their pages. I won’t drop the dime on any one creator; just know guys that if you could talk about this stuff amongst your circles you WILL find kindred spirits of frustration.

Comics – The Big Guns

neal adamsNeal Adams was on hand basically enjoying the just deserved spoils for his years of labor. Always willing to look up from commissions to share a story or an anecdote, he is the true pinnacle of what the golden comic years should be. His signature on material also isn’t that highly marked up. SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI was pretty close to retail. “Well, what about the creators that charge nothing Optimous?” They are rare and most are still working or talked about names.

JG JONES EMMA FROSTThis is the art of JG Jones. While I know his fame is steeped in DC and BKV I have a hard spot for Emma Frost. JG is working on something and will reveal it soon. He told me, but stole my phone and then slipped me a forget me now pill.

 

 

 

 

Jim Calafiore Jim Calafiore of X-MEN and many a’ other book fame, was on hand featuring a book he recently did with Gail Simone called LEAVING MEGAGOPOLIS. Spurred by fan outrage around the canceling of SECRET SIX, Jim and Gail decided to write a tale they wanted to tell about the safest city on earth until the heroes one day go bat shit. The part that intrigued me the most was the fact the entire story is told from the vantage point of normal folks trying to escape the city, which basically twists a one note concept into some high concept survival horror. Volume II is being talked about now.

 

 

mike s millerI’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – you want the pre 52 DC than look no further than INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US. Don’t be faked into thinking this is some video game tie-in bullshit, this story packs punch and Mike S. Miller’s art is just as much to do with this success as Taylor’s words. Mike let slip that this book will most likely encompass the five year span that kicks off to the video game (we are in year two right now, so still plenty of time folks) and we might be seeing this book delivered weekly soon in the coming months.

 

 

Agnes GarbowskaI felt really really bad for the things I said about MY LITTLE PONY on this Ain’t It Cool – Poptards – Spoiler Alert – @Mark_L_MILLER – robpatey.com – @mattadlercomics podcast after meeting the book’s delightful artist Agnes Garbowska.

 

 

 

 

zenescope girlsNow, for all my bitching about lack of booth size presence, I will give credit to Zenescope for once again buying a sizeable footprint of space. While there is the cheesecake, this is cheese steak local company who I always give a chance before I get dismissive about some lovely lady lumps. I really really enjoyed the WONDERLAND SERIES, and I’ll admit bias here because I wrote the back-up stories, but also Mark Miller’s JUNGLE BOOK.

 

 

Ethan Van Sciver and Greg Capullo were also on hand. Ethan’s table was buzzing with ton’s of commission work and perusing so I didn’t want to halt a man making money and Greg’s line was 14 miles long. Sorry, I wait in no lines.

Comics – Small Budgets, BIG IDEAS

Again, the ¼ of the hall that was devoted to comics was comprised of 98% indie books. I didn’t cover them all; in fact I didn’t cover many this year. Frankly, for the first time I was discerning and editorialized my coverage as I was investigating.

the last west volume II see a pattern after covering this beat for the past six years, there are some books that will live and die here. Hey, you dig rolling this way and you can profit off your footprint, rock on. I simply can’t cover the same story year after year. This is a cool one and our first foray into the aforementioned indie prevalence, THE LAST WEST is an awesome premise and a quite finely polished book for rolling off presses not fueled by movie or mouse money. What if one family drove all human innovation and then said fuck you once they almost gave us the bomb? A 2014 very different than the one we know. Co-writer, Lou Iovino said Volume II is coming. Oh, for all of you upstarts looking for a best-practice Kickstarter template, feast your peepers on Lou and crew.

 

Gigio LongoADAM12 is a book set in hometown Philly, an apocalyptic Chinese run Philly where a man is seeking to reignite the Garden of the Eden, but still Philly. Written by Gigio Longo with art by a fellow IUP theater grad, Nick Suders, you can catch the first five issues of the six-issue arc now and the final chapter soonJustin .

 

 

 

TRAILER PARK OF TERROR is my one exception to greeting show staples. This redneck Tales from the Crypt has spawned a pretty well done movie and is a really really fun read with a ton of volumes for noobs to dive into. I’ll also admit a personal bias in the fact I am very good friends with one of the stars in the movie, the very talented Trish Stahl who plays Larlene.

night_of_the_80_s_undeadArtist Bill McKay describes NIGHT OF THE 80’S UNDEAD as George Romero meets John Hughes. 3 issues in with fourth on the horizon, I don’t know any child of Reagan who wouldn’t have been drawn to the cover with a zombie filled Delorean just as I was. However, it takes a super nerd to see the Justice League International homage on issue 2.

 

 

 

 

empire christine kerrickI was drawn to Christine Kerrick’s booth because it was such a serene juxtaposition to the rest of the sensory cacophony. Her comic EMPIRE with the beautifully drawn ascending bride on the cover was another strong pull. EMPIRE is a 3 issues series about a girl tragically falling in love amidst the events from the Book of Revelations.

 

 

 

 

primal paper comicsPrimal Paper Comics heralds from Norfolk Virginia and are self described as basically Image with no money. I was able to speak with Justin Cristelli about his title RED KNIGHT. This is the story of a man who was once one of the best superheroes until the day the government required a license. I also spoke with Jeff Hewitt about his book THE ENDS. This is about superheroes at the end of the world, the C and D list heroes since all the good ones have left town. What I like best about PRIMAL PAPER is they are doing this for the love of the game with the appropriate level of dedication. You need more than A book folks for a comic series, the boys at primal are well on their way with many months of material.

quirk booksQuirk Books is at the end merely because they are not quite a comic publisher. They are however firmly steeped in geek and even more awesome they are local to old city. Their books like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND  ZOMBIES and WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S STAR WARS are awesome reads and deserve every bit of the national recognition that put them on the map. They also have a new book called THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO DATING that had one guy dressed as Blade and about as smart as Wesley Snipes afro believing he might actually touch a real woman.

The Merch

I have nothing against merch, in fact I love the world of branded items and statues. Sadly, I don’t have the square footage for cases and my freakish form means there is never a t-shirt or well…anything that can properly draw my 6’ 5” frame. This never stops my eye from wandering though. Now, despite my aversions, I am still aware and the marketer in me marveled at the utter stupidity of this year’s vendors.

cosplay girlsHere’s a tip, if you are selling something not in the realm of geekdom you still MUST have hot girls who are dressed in geek like fare. I’m talking to you foot insoles or iPhone paraphernalia. And even if you are hocking geek wares, still get some hot girls because folks like this dude, who was selling something Bluetooth related had more people in his stand than the rotund steampunk booth across the aisle. </sermon off>

 

 

 

stylinonline.com beltsStylinonline.com impressed me the most with their wide variety of wares. I hooked in by their several hundred feet of belts honoring all realms of geekdom. Dr. Who, superheroes, Sci-Fi…anything to keep pants aloft and butt cracks hidden.

Then, like any typical man, I saw stylinonline’s revealing lady ware. Since my cross-dressing has been relegated these days to Sundays and Christmas, my attention was easily drawn to these awesome robes. Be an Orange Lantern, be Robin, but most of all be comfy in these warm wraps. And yes, I felt the material. Where most merch is about as soft as cardboard, these were actually a really high thread count with a bit of down thrown in for good measure.

 

The Drive Away

Dr Who TardisIt was another great year at Wizard World Philadelphia, especially now that I have accepted the fact comics will no longer be the draw they once were. Honestly, I respecy Wizard immensely for not building false expectations. New York Comic Con has swung their percentages as well away from comics (percentage people, not raw numbers), but still keep the moniker in the title.

The world of geek is wide and vast and I will still valiantly try to get fans of geek TV shows into the comic book afterlife (talking to you bitchy chick dressed like Jane from Firefly who looked at me like I threw up on her shoes for even insinuating the continuity is moving forward at Dark Horse). Just as I was once entreated to watch an episode of Dr. Who after reviewing a comic book written by an episode author.