Tag Archives: dc

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.

SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED: A CRISIS OF IMAGINATION 1 REVIEW – Not Just for Kids

Scribblenauts_Unmasked_1SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED: A CRISIS OF IMAGINATION 1
Writer: Josh Elder
Artist: Adam Archer
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News) 

I’ll be honest; I was ready to move right past this seemingly legoized version of the DC universe when it arrived in last weeks’ packet. I love Scribblenauts on my 3DS and I love DC. I also love peanut butter and pubes, but some things are simply best left separate, right? WRONG, because SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED is seriously awesome. Funny, fast paced and the sharpest lampoon of all things DC since Ambush Bug (the character, not the Ain’t It Cool editor).

Seriously, just forget the whole Scribblenaut connection all together. It comprises about only 30% of this book and it looks like this pattern will hold for the series to come. Yeah, Maxwell and his bitch ass notebook are the protagonist, but with each Scribble comes another harpoon at DC that are so Pixar nuanced and layered, parent and child will both laugh in glorious unison.

Issue one sets its scathing sites on Gotham, but not before starting the adventure in a place without place, the House of Mystery. Here, the Phantom Stranger gets tongue razzled by Madame Xanadu as she tells the Phantom he needs to go use his power of passiveness on Earth i (for imagination – if you get that, then you get the morality lesson this book delivers) to drive the Scribs to help the potato tot knight. This would be Crisis part, to stop the evil a’ brewin across all Earth i.

Once in Gotham the scribble trappings all end and Elder gets to have some real fun using his rapier wit on the entire Bat family and all of the big baddies they often battle. No one goes unscathed, not even my favorite bat character the bovinely delicious Bat-Cow. Special shout out to Optimous Superfan, Carlos Reyes, for alerting me the presence of the cloven hoofed one by posting a PR panel on the Fans of Bat-Cow group I admin on Facebook. Without him enticing my lizard brain allure for the beast I would have missed the other 99% of goodness inside.

This is a short review, because well frankly this is a short book, as it should be. We need books like SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED to ensure there will still be sequential art and word stories in the year 2030. There are a ton of kids’ comic books out there, and for some inexplicable reason people have asked me to review a lot of them. I turn down many because I believe comics are the original lapware for the whole family to enjoy, sadly so many books pander and any enjoyment is only had by the publisher who laughs their way to the bank. SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED makes the cut and is close to the top of my child approved comics…Optimous Douche’s Child Approved comics…just want to make that clear before any of you decide to abandon parental responsibilities.

Dear Rob Advice – Best Comic Movie, Superman III, The Dark Knight, Marvel/DC Collide

1146506_10151595136021149_2082735482_nHere are just some of the people I’ve helped already! Submit your questions in the comments or via email – because this is the face of caring!

 

Dear Rob,
Your favorite comic book movie & why?

Great Question Alex,
SUPERMAN III

The amount of love and care for the genres of comics and movies bleeds off of every frame.

superman-superdrunkIt also covered all the bases of life: alcoholism, psychotic break downs, skiing both literally and metaphorically (sniff sniff) and then there were the other cast members aside from Richard Pryor.

Also, this was the one when they realized Margot Kidder was really a transgender that only had long hair so they actually got Supes a love interest with female reproductive parts.

Second favorite, Supergirl (on mute without pants on).

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Dear Rob, 
Can you answer my question with your actual favorite comic book movie? I know it’s not the #ASKSROB way, but I would like to know.

Great Question Alex,
And honestly I kind of did with SUPERMAN III. I read so many comics each week, the movies are more about the experience than the movies themselves.

Honestly, with every comic movie I can point out scene-by-scene where it was done in comics…and always better.

My mind makes everything move in a comic, brings the pages to cinematic life. So when I sit in the movies even the tits crazy ones like AVENGERS I still ind of go, “meh…”

Jokers-Nicholson-LedgerSUPERMAN III was one of the many times, and one of the best, where Bob Patey and laughed our asses for two straight hours MST3King the shit out of the horrible acting and plot. Other notable favorites were SUPERMAN IV and GODFATHER III.

If i had to pick though, a comic movie I’ll watch any time it comes on, it’s a tie between BATMAN the original and BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT. I love the joker, both Ledger and Nicholson in their ways captured the embodiment of insanity for two different generations.

There…serious enough for you?

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marvel-dc-superman-spiderman-crossoverDear Rob,
Ok, a semi-serious one this time: of all the inter-company crossovers that Marvel/DC have done over the years, which was the best example?

Great Question Leo,
They all fucking suck. They distill the charters down to basic tropes and ride that one trick trip pony to hokey town.

JLA/Avengers by Busiek is the one I find tolerable, merely because Busiek is such a brilliant writer.

DR. MANHATTAN 4 REVIEW – Screw You Guys, I’m Outta Here

DR. MANHATTAN 4 COVERDR. MANHATTAN 4

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Adam Hughes
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

While there are still a few BEFORE WATCHMEN stragglers left to cross the finish line, I think we’re safe to declare the front runners and those that have valiantly moved us through the time before a time that never was. There frankly were no losers in my opinion, even MINUTEMEN which I didn’t give a good God damn about was a very well-crafted comic book. I respect those that ideologically objected to this series for purity of the story or in fear of offending Alan Moore’s beard, but please shut the fuck up already. We know, you object, but ultimately those objections mean nothing. The series still happened, comics have still continued, and the band plays on and on and on. This isn’t merely heady chiding on my part, more a purposeful segue into the infinite uncontrollable possibilities that were DR. MANHATTAN.

Despite my fervent enjoyment and subsequent defense of BEFORE WATCHMEN, I will cast one thorny barb; most of the tales were mired in a sameness of structure that was more than expected at the outset. After all, these were prequels and the human experience is what it is: I am born, I grow, I live, I die. Even DR. MANHATTAN, a being who scoffs at the constraints of time, needed to come down to our mortal plane to tell his tale of infinite possibilities. Now, where ole Doc zigged when every other story zagged, is that his timeline was an infinite parallel stack cascading to equally infinite destinations, if he so chose.

WATCHMEN, the original source material, remains revered to this day because it encompassed the spectrum of human experience in 9 panel layout. BEFORE WATCHMEN was merely a taffy pull of that original human resonance: SILK SPECTRE the human heart, COMEDIAN our lizard brain, OZYMANDIAS our civilized frontal lobe, RORSCHACH our fear, and DR. MANHATTAN the desire for all of us to find God within ourselves.

So where does God begin his tale? Anywhere he damn well pleases. Again though, for our understanding, JMS started the story with Osterman as a boy learning the watch making trade from his Father. We all know of course this is simply an analogy for the celestial mechanics that would one day allow him to rematerialize after his atoms were dispersed across the cosmos. This story lingered the least amount of time in “this is your life,” and the most amount of time on what could have been. Using the Schrodinger’s Cat theory to explain there are infinite possibilities until they are perceived, we spent the first three issues of this series with Dr. Manhattan perceiving and changing the events that turned him from geek to God. What if he never got to become a physicist and simply a watch maker – meh, boring, reset. What if he never forgot his coat in the tachyon (or whatever the fuck he was working on) chamber? A nice life, if not pedestrian. What if he never tried to slide his big blue hand up SILK SPECTRE’S costume? And on and on and on. I love a good “What If?” tale, and each issue of DR. MANHATTAN played the concept to the fullest.

Ultimately though, each scenario always led to the same place – the world devouring itself. Tempering human aggression seems to be even beyond the control of God. Of course this can lead us to even further speculations about a random universe versus a pre-determined course, but let’s save that ye ole theological debate for the TalkBacks and comments. So yes, DR. MANHATTAN ends where we expect it to – again folks, it’s a prequel. However, I do believe DR. MANHATTAN was unique in taking us one small step further than WATCHMEN, but this could be my lack of remembrance since it’s been close to fifteen years since I reread the book.

After the squid has attacked, after Rorschach is dust:

Ozymandias:  “But you’ve regained an interest in human life.”

Manhattan: “Yes, I have, Perhaps I’ll go create some.”

And away Manhattan goes to a galaxy far far away; and like Q at the end of Star Trek, he makes the first amino acids make sweet sweet love to other acids to form the beginnings of new sentient life in the galaxy.

While that’s the end of the series, I should mention an interesting convention JMS played with half-way through the issue to get us there. Like when BATMAN lost his mind so many months ago, JMS makes the pages go topsy-turvy to reach the finish line. When Doc goes to tell Ozymandias of his wonderful journey into infinite possibilities we see the inception of their partnership to create a fuel source independent of the nasty nuclear annihilation side effect. Here we go Hebrew, Memento, whatever you want to call it, as we count backwards through the events of WATCHMEN that led to New York becoming Calamari’s lunch and their last fateful meeting when Osterman tells the earth to take a flying leap. I’m sure JMS had a specific intent in mind when doing this page flipping, but I think it best left to reader interpretation as to why this happens. Personally, I see it as a way to shift the point-of-view from Doc’s infinite possibilities to Ozy’s oh so human perception of how time passes. Also, it’s a countdown akin to that famous clock that struck midnight from the original WATCHMEN. Finally, life doesn’t simply beget life. Death and entropy are an intrinsic part of the cycle…or are they?

DR. MANHATTAN gets the award for the most thought provoking of the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles and the most original use of structure. Adam Hughes was able to keep pace with a complex topic and surpassed his past accomplishments with the reverse page order in the back of this issue. It’s a shame this one was only a four-parter.

I’m Picking Up Good VIBErations – What’s the Frequency Johns?

VIBE 1 COVERVIBE 1

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka  Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

VIBE is an important book. Not just because this interdimensional conduit will be the go-to FLASH buster in the newly formed JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA, aka the real JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK (when you think about their mission). It’s also not because it puts Johns back in his wheelhouse of humanizing his heroes by focusing on the family dynamics that make all of really tick. I’d say  VIBE is most influential in showing us the panels we missed from JUSTICE LEAGUE 2…I mean…5…fuck, you know what I mean…years ago. I’ll also say that Johns dropped a few possible Easter eggs in here that could make VIBE the herald of the long promised opening of the Multiverse. Yes, the last point is utter conjecture on my part, but a girl can dream can’t she.

OK, VIBE, known for most of this issue as Carlos Ramone, is hired as the FLASH buster for Amanda Waller’s new JUSTICE LEAGUE buster JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA. Forgive me, I meant to say appropriate detainment measure in the event Flash requires persuasive assistance in future choices. It’s the least interesting part about Carlos, and it happens at the end of the book. Although, I will say it’s nice to see the naïve view of a team that’s essentially being founded out of cowardice towards change. For the real doings go see my review of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

Now, what I liked best was the book’s second virtue – family and genuine every day slices of life before our teeth get kicked in by the fantastic. It’s amazing how pivotal Detroit has become to the New 52, but I’ll allow this geographic narcissism since my first book is coming out soon and it’s set my home town, Philly. First rule of writing, write what you know. Personally I would rather see authenticity through experience than some of the trite clichés writers use about towns they haven’t been to (WE DO MORE THAN EAT CHEESESTEAKS). So once we’re intimate with the location we meet the Brothers Ramone. Good for DC on racial diversity, good for Johns for never turning to stereotypes. Between these guys, Baz and Billy though, I will say we’re having a run on of impoverished characters, but I’ve seen specials on Detroit, so this just might be closer to reality than I care to admit. Anyway, the Brothers Ramone were at ground zero when Darkseid attacked…2…I mean 5…I mean 7…dammnit…years ago. Carlos, his jocular older brother, who will be the salvation of the family by getting into college, and his younger gadfly Brother who just wants to play soccer and mooch are all the first victims of parademon bloodlust. Lil bro hides, big bro dies and Carlos is forever changed by being caught in the wake horizon of a Boom Tube. 5 years later, Carlos is trying to save more money when not phasing out of space time. It was pretty funny watching him work in an appliance store given his affliction for not showing up clearly on camera. These little moments made me care much more about Carlos’ fate when he unleashes his full VIBE awakening  on  the parademon  that killed his Brother.

Speaking of little moments. What Johns did in 4 pages in this issue, I didn’t once feel in the first 12 issues of JUSTICE LEAGUE. This was what we needed to see more of, less posturing and big attacks. I actually would have given JUSTICE LEAGUE, leagues of leeway had it a sister book like this being published in tandem at the same time. But, since other books were in the here and now, I mean then and when, all we got were the broad strokes. VIBE shows us just how much pain Darkseid wrought upon this world. I also would recommend EARTH 2 if you want to see another close intimate portrayal of the Darkseid invasion. It’s a pivotal moment that I always felt deserved more…justice.

Now again, this is mere conjecture on my part, but again I am going to conject. I could have sworn when the A.R.G.U.S. agent was explaining Carlos’ powers he said he exists between dimensions.  I could also have sworn he said that Boom Tubes are interdimensional gateways. I think when Carlos isn’t Flash busting it would be fun to see him traveling the 52 worlds. I don’t read Previews because playing out these scenarios is an important part of the hobby for me. As I understand  things Morrison won’t be doing DC books shortly, and short of getting Warren Ellis on board, it would be nice to see what  Johns and VIBE  can do with the most controversial revelation from FINAL CRISIS.

To say I dig VIBE is an understatement. I’ll admit I don’t love  his  costume, but Woods supported Johns pacing in  spades – to the point it sometimes in  felt like  individual panels were moving. Johns is the type of writer that works best on pages with more panels plain and simple. Woods just says show me where to draw.

Read KATANA and VIBE before you read JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. No matter what the covers say, trust me.