Tag Archives: Titan Comics

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.

NUMBERCRUNCHER OGN REVIEW – The Divine Math of Love

Numbercruncher #1 coveNUMBERCRUNCHER OGN
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: PJ Holden
Publisher: Titan Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

I had a very diverse religious background growing up. Catholic Father, Presbyterian Mother and a gaggle of Jewish friends (so many in fact they nicknamed me the Goy Toy). Despite this great theological mix I never found faith. My most comforting view of the afterlife and the answer to the great question of why came from Albert Brooks’, “Defending Your Life.” The movie basically made limbo EPCOT Center with the scale of judgment on our souls handled like an episode of L.A. Law. It’s important to understand my background because it gives context into why I enjoyed NUMBERCRUNCHER so much. I’m a man who finds peace in math and logic, even though I truly suck at number crunching. So, when you tell me that St. Peter is an accountant and God is merely a supercomputer calculating differentials, it warms my heart over any harps or stupid halos.

Well, it warmed my heart on the first few pages that is. Then I remembered my 1300 SAT score was carried 90% by the English side of the bubble sheet. You see, in the world of NUMBERCRUNCHER, you need some Hawking level skills (and I don’t mean with a Speak & Spell) if you want to escape the endless recycling of souls.

Before you think this is a lesson in calculus, you should know that NUMBERCRUNCHER isn’t all about math. In fact, I saw this as more of a love story than anything else. Well a love triangle to be specific, but to go forward I need to take a step back.

With math come rules, unbending and unwavering rules. The record keeper of these rules is our curmudgeonly St. Peter mentioned before, but the enforcers of the rules are the bailiffs. They’re a group of sad sods who were tricked by other bailiffs into eternal servitude for the Cosmic Accountancy office. Each bailiff when not enforcing the rules of the cosmic machine with their probability guns spends the rest of their time trying to sucker other souls into leaving the great machine’s soul recycling and become bailiffs themselves. One such Bailiff, Bastard Zane, is our protagonist and narrator into the specifics of the NUMBERCRUNCHER world. The antagonists (or maybe protagonists depending on your view) are a young couple in love.

The year is 1969; Jessica Reed is a young freewheeling hippy. She stands vigil by the bedside of her boyfriend, Richard Thyme, a brilliant mathematician who fortune put in the wrong side of the gene pool. When Richard passes at far too young of an age, the dirty ole’ Bastard Zane is his guide back into the soul recycler of the Cosmic Machine. Richard has other plans though. He agrees to go back in, but he wants to retain all of his memories of the life he just left so he can find Jessica again back on earth. A sub-plot that is vaguely reminiscent of the Robert Downy Jr. movie, “Chances Are.”

While our surly St. Peter agrees to the deal, it doesn’t come without caveats. For one, when Richard dies again he needs to become a bailiff for the rest of eternity. The only way out of this servitude is the Zero Clause, basically meaning he must live his life without sin. Sin being as subjective as it is, makes the Zero Clause very appropriately named – no one has ever been able to leverage it.

Richard comes back, but he comes back now – plus that ole’ bastard St. Peter decides to have Richard be reborn a world away in India. All of this means that by the time Richard is old enough to find Jessica again, she is on death’s doorstep since she’s now in her late eighties.

Bastard Zane, thinks he has a lock out of Cosmic Accountancy servitude, but Richard was already one step ahead by striking the same recycling deal with as many bailiffs as could ensuring each contract negated the one prior. So it continues…Richard keeps getting recycled with all of his memories and keeps trying to find ways to get close to Jessica whether he’s reborn in 1920 or 2020. Bastard in turn keeps popping Richard off with his probability gun.

Now, the part I found most soulful in this book (when I wasn’t laughing at Bastard and Richard’s game of cat and mouse) was the torment caused by love. Imagine each time you got close to a person, truly come to love that individual, they died in the most horrific way possible. Even if you had one loss in your life, you can guess the exponential torment caused to Jessica by Richard’s need to cheat death through math.

I won’t ruin the end of the book, but let’s just say Richard wins…and he doesn’t win. He does however learn that love, true love, is about sacrifice and sometimes the best way to love someone is to basically leave them the fuck alone.

PJ Holden made some interesting choices with the art, abandoning panel boundaries in heaven, but giving structure to earth. I was also surprised to see the book come half black and white and half color (B&W in the celestial, color on earth). I could have sworn after I highlighted this point in my very very early review of issue 1, Titan told me my comp was an unfinished version. Perhaps I misunderstood or perhaps this is another case of the Jock book I reviewed where so many people complimented the black and white the team just decided to forego color. I’ll roll with misunderstood since I can never believe the words of one reviewer will ever wield that level of power. Suffice to say, I like the choice and I’m glad it didn’t change from the comp.

If you find yourself bored with tights and capes and looking for a sweet and sour take on love, NUMBERCRUNCHER adds up in every way imaginable.

SNOWPIERCER VOL 1 REVIEW – Baby, It’s Armageddon Outside

snowpiercer_vol_1_the_escape_coverSNOWPIERCER VOL 1. THE ESCAPE (OGN) (January 2014)
Writer: Jacques Lob
Artist: Jean-Marc Rochette
Publisher: Titan Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t it Cool news)

Imagine if you will a train. Not a super train, that shit is soooooo 1970s. I’m talking about a train that embodies all of society, each car a sub-facet of our own culture carrying the virtues of and vices of humanity through a frozen wasteland, a train that is in a desperate search for salvation that could be nothing more than a fairytale. Sound familiar? Good, that means you are a fully actualized human being who will understand the allegory for the current and future state of mankind that SNOWPIERCER draws through this haunting mirror of a comic.

When I first saw the movie trailer for SNOWPIERCER before it was released in South Korea this past summer, I didn’t get it. That’s Hollywood for you though, taking everything meaningful from the original work so it ends up just being about a big fucking train plowing through snow. I also didn’t quite understand why humanity would rush for a train in the face of imminent doom and destruction and won’t the rails end pretty quickly? Then I remembered I’m an American and there’s other continents like Europe where this book was written, and Asia where the book takes place, and train travel is still quite popular in . I’m used to riding NJ Transit and SEPTA, with train cars barely fit for short durations much less long term living. Apparently though, there are trains that take luxury into account at every turn. Given this cultural education, I found the hyperbolic stretch about a train 1001 cars long complete with ghettos, aristocrats, synthetic meat vats and a religion that deifies the sacred life baring engine, much more palatable.

Our story starts with Proloff, a man condemned to the rear cars of the Snowpiercer. This area is starkly reminiscent of the trains that shuttled Jews to the concentration camps during WWII. Living conditions are deplorable, people sustain themselves on rat meat and little else. Proloff is able to escape this area, and we’ll learn at the end how and why, but for now he escapes and begins a long journey towards salvation at the front.

We don’t know how long since the cataclysm that made the land uninhabitable, but it has been less than a full generation. The train’s inhabitants still remember life before the endless winter and still imbibe some of the dwindling stock of pleasures like wine, food and cinema that make life worth living. It might not sound like a Herculean task to get from one end of a train to another, even a really big train, I mean hell hobos do it all the time. Imagine a train though, where every square inch is occupied, where narrow cars become even narrower. Also add in the human propensity to protect squatter rights and you get a feel for how arduous this journey will be. If you can’t imagine this scenario, Rochette’s fine black and white pencils will gladly paint the picture for you.

Rochette also portrays quite aptly the horrors of all classes when left with no ambition to better society and merely fritter away the days engaging in our most carnal instincts to pass the time. As Proloff moves to the front, with military escort and our enginue, a lovely liberal looking to help the ghetto cars named Adeline, we see how different classes in this future and today are all disgusting simply in different ways. The ghettos kill for staples, the upper class kill brain cells and their genitals for fun.

Eventually after some diversions past the vat grown meat car called Mama and the horticulture car, Proloff and Adeline meet the first class, specifically the President. This was the only part of the book I found predictable. The train is slowing down and must lose some cars to continue its journey. Even though it’s a perpetual motion engine, inertia will win unless the load is lightened. The President assures Proloff he will move the back passengers, but I guessed pretty quickly this guy was all evil and was going to simply cast the cars off without moving their residents forward.

Like WALKING DEAD, this is apocalypse done right. It focuses on the human reaction to abandonment of societal constraints rather than the inciting event. The rest of the book is a big surprise, nothing ends well for anyone. Yet, there’s still a glimmer of…not exactly hope, but the belief that humans can overcome any adversity. Or perhaps we would rather suffer in the known rather than shuffle lose our mortal coil and roll the dice against eternal darkness. Either way, I have no doubt this team will tackle both possibilities when volume 2 is translated to English for those of us who used to fall asleep in French class.

New York Comic Con 2013 Day 2 Report

cosplayersIf you missed my first Con Report from this years’ New York Comic Con follow this link here and then come back and read this second chapter in my trek! Day One ruined my feet; this is what happens when one dresses for style versus comfort. I applaud the Cosplay girls (and I guess some of the guys) who hit this thing in seven inch fuck me pumps. Though to be fair, they spend most of the day posturing and posing whereas I moved across the entire center between Artist Alley and the Main Floor to talk to as many creators as I could before the closing bell.

Given the fact my pinky toes were bleeding into my shoes (literally), I took a slightly more relaxed approach to this day. Spending a little more time with creators, banging out a scheduled interview, and actually sitting in on a panel.

First stop though was the main floor while I had some energy!

kill shakespereKILL SHAKESPEARE – I have a personal history with this title. As a theater major in college I grew to abhor the bard, so I have dickishly avoided all requests to review this book that is actually wildly successful and well praised. I asked the guys how they would sway a naysayer like myself to imbibe the three volumes already available, they kindly said, “it’s an awesome action adventure if you like books like FABLES. If you hate the bard, look at your 8th grade teacher and shake you your fist at them for making you that way.” I retorted I’ll bite my thumb in protest or throw a cabbage. Nerd laughter ensues. Pictured are creators Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery.

ryan browneRyan Browne – Ryan was signing some MANHATTAN PROJECTS issues and hocking his new title GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS from Image. This time around Ryan is taking on writing and art duties to tell the tale of super powered narcissist who are charged with policing barn storming farmers who keep trying to launch themselves into now commoditized space. There’s also talking bears and other crazy shit. Originally a Web comic, this hard cover collects the entire series with some surprise guest artists thrown in for good measure. If you’re too cheap to buy the book you can read it online.

 

 

dave schulner

David Schulner – Author of CLONE from Image about a protagonist who is part of a government cloning conspiracy. With eleven issues under its belt, the book was just picked up by NBC for a series with David and Robert Kirkman at the helm.

 

 

 

 

monty nero

Monty NeroDEATH SENTENCE is Monty’s brainchild from Titan Comics. The book explores a world where an AIDS like virus gives you superpowers for 6 months before you shuffle off your mortal coil. What would you do with that precious time and who would try to stop your before your 6 months are up?

Smoke, 2 Tanqueray & Tonics break so shit can get real down in artist alley where no PR wonks are around to keep things moving.

ben-templesmithBen Templesmith – I loved Templesmith’s work on TEN GRAND, but he’s no longer on that anymore. A big to-do amongst con chatter by the way. Here’s Ben doing some great technique with blood work on the page for a commission. He basically spits it through a straw for a true splatter effect. Get a commission, get some Ben DNA. I also like this picture because I feel like I genuinely made him laugh and spit some blood on the table.

 

 

 

peter tomasiPeter Tomasi – Peter worked his career in reverse from editor to writer and frankly I couldn’t be happier. Damian Wayne basically lived in two books in the New 52, BATMAN INC and BATMAN & ROBIN. All along though, BATMAN & ROBIN stood shoulders above for the heart and trueness of a little boy fighting against his gruesome nurture. I tried to get Peter to spill the beans on when the BATMAN & INSERT SOMEONE ELSE HERE would be ending and he said soon. When I asked him if it would be Carrie Kelly, he laughed at me and mimed zipping his lips. You won today Tomasi.

 

 

bad karmaBAD KARMA – Kickstarter done good. This 200 page hardcover is the culmination of four creators bringing together their ideas in one beautifully rendered trade. The guys were mum on the overall plot, but I did peruse some of the art and it is beautiful. Pictured are Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore, and Seth Peck.

 

 

 

 

JMSJ. Michael Straczynski Panel – My devotion to JMS stories is no secret. We’ve done about 6 interviews together and I always pester him personally when I know a new book is on the way. Here’s the thing though, instead of ignoring me, he actually responds. Granted if it’s a book like EARTH 1 we need to vet things through proper PR channels, but when it comes to creator owned stuff like JOE’S COMICS, the man is a machine of deep and honest responses to even my most ridiculous of questions.

I abhor panels and I hate lines even more. Thankfully they put JMS in a big enough hall there was no line and secondly once the door shut, this was a conversation not some PT Barnum like spectacle like the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY screening (and screaming happening next door).

As much as I’ve “hung” with Joe and read his work, I realize I am but balls deep in one of Joe’s many genres. When he finally opened up the floor for questions the Babylon 5 flood gates opened wide, along with a shit ton of movie questions. There was also some Dutch kid that kept trying to make him eat cookies. I would say I wish I were tripping if it I didn’t feel like I already was. Joe ended the, hell let’s call it what it is, the discussion, with some very uplifting words about following one’s dreams and handing out copies of the newest Joe’s Comics title, PROTECTORS INC #1.

With the panel over and an hour to kill before my Scott Snyder interview soon…

Back to Artists’ Alley I go!

glen brunswickGlen Brunswick – I love talking to creators who offer me a copy of a their book and my quote is already on the cover. To be fair though, I only read issue 1 of Brunswick’s NON HUMANS. We still had a good laugh though. I rectified my 1/5 review and gave the full TPB the review treatment last week. I love the concept of dolls coming to life spurred by humanity’s imagination so I was happy to see the tale come to a close. In addition to volume 2 of NON HUMANS coming out in April, Glen also recently wrote REALITY CHECK, the story of a creator’s super hero coming to life and not having a freaking clue what to do.

daniel coreyDaniel Corey – Author of MORIARTY from Image was selling the recently dropped trade. In Corey’s world, Moriarty wins at the falls and must find meaning without his greatest nemesis. For anyone who read the first two volumes and enjoyed them, help Daniel out by contributing to the volume 3 Kickstarter campaign.

 

 

 

 

peter davidPeter David – I simply love this man, he hits all the East coast cons and hasn’t seemed to age a day in the 7 years I’ve been pestering him for Ain’t It Cool (An even more remarkable feat at this con giving the recent stroke nonsense. Personally, I don’t buy it, he was Peter through and through) The coolest thing about Peter is that he talks all original properties at his table despite having written one of the best X-titles of all time, X-FACTOR. At this show Peter was all about SIR APROPOS OF NOTHING, the tale of an amoral knight thrust into destiny despite his best efforts to simply make a galleon. IDW has released the graphic novel version or you can read some of those non picture books to learn more about this less than chivalrous knight.

james tynionJames Tynion IV – It would almost be easier to list what isn’t Scott Snyder’s protégé doing right now for DC? Starting as a back-up writer for one of the best runs DETECTIVE Comics has ever seen, he has now moved into the big chair in RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS and the recently announced BATMAN ETERNAL (for more on B.E. read my interview with Scott Snyder). In Artist Alley though, the guys like to talk pet projects; James’ is a web series called THE EIGHTH SEAL where politics is infested by things that go bump in the night.

 

 

Scott-Snyder-Rob-PateyIronically I now had to run across the building (make that hobble) for my 3:15 with Tynion’s Obi-Wan, Scott Snyder. I’m not retyping the full interview, just go here to read it.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been to enough cons now to know when the shift times flip. After my interview with Scott I knew I had an hour to kill before there would be new folks to talk to in Artist Alley. I hunkered down in the press room with my cohorts Ambush Bug and Matt Adler to plan the evening’s shenanigans.

Drunk, I’m now drunk. Fuck you, Ambush Bug. And fuck you Matt Adler for laughing at the lushes. My feet feeling fine at this point I stumble to artist alley in hopes of some last few coherent conversations. All of you have my deepest apologies from this point forward.

ed brissonEd Brisson – While best known for his new Image book called SHELTERED, a tale of the pre post apocalypse gone wrong, Brisson was also at the con showing off some of his pre-discovery titles like MURDER BOOK and COMEBACK.

 

 

 

 

brian clevengerBrian ClevingerATOMIC ROBO is the name of the book and it is already 8 volumes strong. I know a ton of people who are fans of this little indie that could which is an amalgam of every 80s adventure you could imagine all wrapped into…a robot, so this is shot is for you folks.

 

 

 

 

unmaskedUNMASKED – Mike Sarro and John Broglia. Another Kickstarter team done good. UNMASKED is about a young journalist going around unmasking new heroes who have no problem with killing. She does it all in hopes for a return to the true golden age of heroes. Get volume 1 now from Arch Enemy Entertainment before volume 2 launches.

 

 

 

joe harris Joe Harris – Last, but certainly not least Joe Harris showed off his Image series GREAT PACIFIC, his IDW X-FILES project and GHOST PROJECT from Oni Press. GHOST PROJECT was intriguing not only for the fact it is being courted for TV, but also it’s just a cool concept about weaponized supernatural beings built by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Flash-forward to today and the cadre is unleashed on the world by a few bumbling thieves.

And with that the closing bell rang and I hobbled back to my hotel to recharge for an evening of parties and glad-handing. NY Comic Con 2013 I thank you for an experience I will never forget.

New York Comic Con 2013 Day One Report

Valiant Booth130,000 – Take a minute to absorb that number. This is how many fans descended upon the Javits Center two  weekends ago for New York Comic Con, or #NYCC if you followed the great Twitter hijacking “conspiracy” that brought this geek coveted event into the eyes of the mainstream (read agreements folks, don’t just click “accept”).

The number isn’t as big as the San Diego draw, but the sheer concentration of fan love can’t be denied. When the top selling books these days clock in at 300,000 copies, 130,000 fans paying homage is a fairly dense representation of that love. Sure there were a shit load of girls wearing fuzzy cat ears and tails, widening their eyes and meowing in a reverse anthropomorphism homage to cutesy anime, but the spandex set still clearly outnumbered all.

star-trekKahn…I mean Con, the Undiscovered Country

For me, Cons are about unsung or at least under appreciated talent. I love the stuff done by Marvel and DC, but they get more than enough mainstream press they really don’t need any more. The Marvel booth was practically impenetrable as fans lined up to sniff the seat of Agent Coulson’s Stingray convertible. Also, Marvel really doesn’t give two shits about talking to press. DC offered us plenty of opportunities to do interviews like my one with Scott Snyder, but again their antithesis of Marvel’s press hate mantra allowed me to cover most of their announcements even before the con opened its doors.

Show Floor Javits CenterHere’s a basic map that shows how I hit the event. My feet became a cacophony of blisters as I traversed from creator shifts between artist alley and the main floor. Actually, the big company booths on the main floor were not the place to really get face-time with creators. They were managed tightly by PR wonks and hired hands to get books signed and keep the line moving.

I did however have a few good conversations with some brave indie souls willing to spit in the face of ROI and buy a footprint in here in the name of awareness. Here are a few of the folks that caught the ole’ Patey eye.

first law of mad science oliver metzFIRST LAW OF MAD SCIENCEDon in a lab coat and cackling like…well a mad scientist at passersby, I couldn’t help but give Oliver Metz and his books a moment simply on the “A for effort” principle. FLMS is the story of a world where people are given cybernetic eyes to enhance their field of vision. Made cheap, they become more common than lasik surgery with 2/3 of the world sporting enhanced vision. However, this eventually turns south as the eyes start to provide visions of little evil creatures. Four issues are out right now. Comp received – Full review coming soon.

telikos-protocolTELIKOS PROTOCOLThe imagery grabbed me on this booth. Really gorgeous stuff. The story is set 300 years in the future where the world is an ecological wasteland.  As a result we burrowed underground to form I, ROBOT (the book, not movie) like cities. Once underground and used to dark light we start sniffing around the sea bed where we discover alien technology that could deliver us to a new earth. Problem is the aliens lowjacked their shit and now they have come back to repo what’s theirs. Part disaster story, part alien ass kicking. I mentioned the really pretty art too right? Issues 1 & 2 are done and 3 is on the way. Hefty books as well clocking in at 44 pages. Pictured is writer Peter Cooper and illustrator Adam Burn.

Doctor Atlantis

DOCTOR ATLANTIS Written by Ian Ally-Seals and drawn by Carl Mefferd we set sail into high seas steam punk. The world is flat, the ocean is endless, Star Trek on the above Dave Jones’ Locker.

God Dyslexic Dog

GOD THE DYSLEXIC DOGI’m a dog nut, especially for retrievers. The pretty art drew me in (again), I can’t wait to dig into the story of God coming to earth as a dog who is adopted by a dyslexic dik…I mean kid.Comp received – review coming soon.  

 

Smoke break

valiant 8 bit cover pitfall

Matthew Wait (sic) – The dude that has been doing the 8 bit covers for Valiant. As a fangeezer I love this shit, especially the next ETERNAL WARRIOR one that for legal reasons we can only say is an homage to a game that rhymes with Schmitball.

 

Time to switch gears and head to Artist Alley. 

Ivan Dacosta IconsIvan DaCosta – ICONS is the name of the book Ivan put together that will coincide with a huge gallery exhibit in Brazil this November. The focus is letting today’s superstars like Rafael Albuquerque, Sean Murphy, Ben Templesmith and a 100 others unleash on their favorite characters and explain why they love them so. Produced both in Spanish and English this is one I can’t wait to dig into. The picture doesn’t do the sheer heft and density this book caries. Comp received – Full review coming soon

Justin-reich-baby-zombie

BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF ZOMBIESBabies are like zombies and turn their parents into zombies. I’ll admit, I went and spoke to creator Justin Reich simply because I love it when people actually tell it like it is when it comes to kids. I can’t really do a full review of it since it’s a kid’s book that basically correlates baby traits to zombie traits, but I can say it was damn cute. It was also a damn sight better than the crap I know my friends have to read their kids.

Luthor-Strode-Team

STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHOR STRODE TEAM – We love it and we’ve reviewed it a thousand times here on Ain’t It Cool. This is the book that got Jordan a chance at the big leagues. It’s kind of like KICK-ASS, but actually makes sense since the hero waits for powers before he puts himself in the line of danger. It’s also amazingly bloody and gory. Check out Justin Jordan and Felipe Sobreiro’s great work. The gang was also giddier than Japanese schoolgirls at the Hello kitty booths over being together for the first time.

hoax hunters

HOAX HUNTERS – Myth busters meets X-Files is eleven issues with a volume one ending at issue 13. Catch-up PDFs available for volumes one and two on the site. Pictured above creators Moreci and Seeley.


deadly class

DEADLY CLASSHigh school for assassins tale coming out in January from Image written by the great Rick Remender. Despite the obvious Wanted comparisons I’m willing to give anything Remender does at least one issue.

rocket-girl

ROCKET GIRL – Teen cop from the future who comes back to the 80s to whack down some time criminals. To add to kookiness it all takes place in an alternate 2013 where everything promised to us in Back to the Future actually came to fruition. Weird with copious 80s should appeal to all.  Or at least all over 35. Pictured are creators Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare.

chris-claremontChris Claremont – Chris was a jovial sort, sharing some 80s work called MARADA THE SHE-WOLF being reprinted by Titan. Also, Chris is making his way back to X-Men this November to celebrate the mighty mutants 50th anniversary. Comp received – review coming soon

 

shane-davis

Shane Davis – Famed EARTH 1 artist doing some sketches and hocking a new book with Max Brooks from Legendary pictures promoting SHADOW WALK. Mark Waid writing, Max doing concept, Shane on art, yeah I’m in.

charles-soule

Charles Soule – A lot going on for this guy. STRANGE ATTRACTORS from Archaia, two mathematicians that turn NYC into a machine. More than it already is I guess. Charles was also pushing LETTER 44 from Oni Press. Click the link to hear our Podcast review of a President who gets a succession letter that changes everything.

Two Tangaray and tonics break. Back to the main floor.

kelly sue deconnik

Kelly Sue Deconnick – New comic PRETTY DEADLY from Image is a mythic Western coming out in October. It’s being released in the CRIMINAL mold with five issue arcs.

patrick-riley

Patrick Riley – THE MISADVENTURES OF ELECTROLYTE AND THE JUSTICE PURVEYORS is a superhero who…cures hangovers. There’s also a telepath who can only finishes sentences, a shrink hero that is not more than a mite and a billionaire who uses his money to bribe criminals not to commit crimes. Six issues and a trade are now available.

 

 

 

josh-ortega-greg-goldsteinMy feet blistered and shoulder sore from overflowing man bag, I went back to my hotel Yotel for a shower, a foot soak, and power nap. The evening ended spending some time at the Toy Tokyo Underground launch party of THE OTHER DEAD from IDW. A good time, but alas I was exhausted. I drank three complimentary ales and quickly proceeded to crash for Day Two festivities. Pictured are writer/creator Joshua Ortega and IDW President /COO Greg Goldstein.

 

IT CAME 2 & 3 REVIEW – Science!!!!!

IT_CAME_03_CoverIT CAME 2 & 3
Writer & Artist: Dan Boultwood
Publisher: Titan Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

IT CAME…all over the country side. IT CAME…and we saw misogyny was alive, well, and British. IT CAME…and didn’t even offer a towel for clean-up. Confused? Join the club; the characters of IT CAME, the story of a giant robot come to terrorize the 1950’s English countryside live in confusion throughout all three issues of this hilarious miniseries.

Boultwood, their creator, paints a canvas of double-entendre, giving a modern sensibility looking glass at a time when women were merely objects of affection and men were always right and in charge. I compared the first issue to Mystery Science Theater, but the more I think about it that’s the lazy man’s slugline. Boultwood has done more here than simply shoot holes at poorly crafted movies like Tom, Crow and Joel used to do. He has enveloped himself inside the 1950’s B-Movie and develops a compelling narrative from the simple concept of a pissed off giant robot.

The characters are what make IT CAME a delight. Dr. Boy Brett is a master of science. What kind, don’t ask, I don’t think even he knows. However, he has a pipe in his mouth and patches on his elbows so he must be really smart. His assistant, the lovely Doris, serves as the cheesecake and piñata for all of Boy’s well-intentioned in flattery, but still obscenely misogynistic analyses of the situation and the world. Together, the two discover the giant robot, its mothership, and what they have come to harvest.  Here’s a clue what the aliens are looking for: it can only be found in Britain – it’s never been dunked, but often gets moist – it helps to cover a flaw that medical plans have painfully ignored.

This isn’t about the destination though; it’s about the vicars with vices, the bumbling British military and the delightfully ridiculous ole’ boy, ole gal and ole badger quips Dr. Brett throws out whenever he addresses someone. It’s also about the presentation. Boultwood keeps the B-Movie theme alive by placing himself as the director and taking many breaks for old time advertisers and behind the scene moments with the stars.  These little niceties help keep the tongue in cheek alive and a DVD extras feel in a time when extras were merely fodder for the casting couch. Boultwood is also no slouch on artistic duties, while definitively cartoon in nature he has a keen eye for detail when warranted – when things go all alien, you can see that the cartoons in prior panels are a stylistic choice as opposed to a crutch. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the coloring in this book. There’s a blue he to all the pages that are reminiscent of old movies and England.

IT CAME is just one morsel of the phenomenal work coming out of Titan Comics. The older properties like FIRST KINGDOM are perfect hook to get readers engrossed in original pieces like IT CAME and NUMBER CRUNCHERS.  Give Titan a chance, even though they came out of nowhere this past year they are definitively moving somewhere in 2014.

Dear Rob Advice: Comic Marketing, 3rd World, Maturing Taste

Ask Dear Rob Here 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,

As you can see from my most recent post, one of my Facebook friends is looking to contract the G+ virus, probably thinking he’s getting back at Google for having such a shitty social network. 

How do I delicately explain that I would instead have to ride him bareback and take our budding bromance to the next level?

Great Question Jesse,
First let me do some level setting for our non-comic brethren in the audience.

DEATH SENTENCE is a comic being released tomorrow by Titan Comics. The premise of the book is set square on the shoulders of the fear of AIDS in the early 80’s before RENT made AIDS cool.

GPLUS VIRUSThe virus in DEATH SENTENCE is called G+. Now, while AIDS just kills you, G+ actually grants you superhuman abilities as you shuffle lose your mortal coil. So instead of getting weaker and all bruisey, you could learn to fly or gain super strength….etc…you get the picture.

So not only do the world governments need to deal with the population dying off (because people just can’t stop fucking), but also some major collateral damage as well.

A little more ground setting: When reviewers are sent books they are often accompanied by letters that the PR pray we will simply cut & paste on our media outlet. It’s a way to level set, issue embargo dates and hopefully control the message. I never read them.

With DEATH SENTENCE though, Titian cleverly made the PR letter your very own test results coming back negative for the disease (at least mine was negative). In 7 years of reviewing I’ve received thousands of these letters, but have proudly never read one all the way to the end. This one though, I read start to finish. That’s the panacea of marketing folks and Titan should be commended.

As for your friend who wants to get the virus, you should explain to him this is merely fiction. If he won’t relent, show him your AIDS bruises and ask if it still looks cool. If he believes your AIDS bruises are the start of your super power camouflage you really have no other choice but to bend him over and give him what he asks for.

Or, you could let him read your preview of the book and hope he doesn’t think it’s a history book. If he does believe it’s a piece of actual history the world is better off without him wouldn’t you agree?

====================================

Dear Ann Landers: Scratch that. Dear Rob:

We just visited a 3rd world country and I’m sure I know what a 1st world country is. Is there a 2nd world country and where is that? Also, is there a 4th, 5th,etc. countries? Would your father enjoy vacationing in one of these?

Great Question Uncle Keith,
The categorization of countries actually goes all the way to a 100th world experience. This of course is judged solely by Americans for Americans with Bob Patey being the main arbitrator in times of disagreement.

According to the Bob Patey Scale:

2nd world countries: England – the TV is shit because they talk to fast and don’t kill and or screw enough things, the meat is boiled and the accommodations are tiny.

Sweden…Denmark…France…you know what let’s just say Europe. Pretty much because of TV and food.

bob-heaven3rd World Countries: Obviously as you know all too well and we heard about in length would be St. Kits because of the copious amounts of chickens.

Other include Singapore because of the smell, Australia because of the flight time and anywhere in the American Midwest.

100th World Countries: Anything in South America, he won’t even go. Also the moon would count.

As for what my Father enjoys, you can’t judge by his mouth. His discerning eye for quality would find something to complain about if he was sitting in a kiddie pool of his favorite ice cream with a 200 inch 3-D TV in front of me while he was being waited on and serviced by every Barker Beauty from the Price is Right.

If I had to guess the ice cream would be too fucking cold and the naked blondes keep walking in front of the TV.

==================================================

Dear Rob:

I find that as I get older, my tastes in entertainment have changed and matured as well. While I was never big in hardcore “gangsta” rap as a child, I was an aficianado of hip-hop, and the like. 

(Then came Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”…)

Back to the point: what causes a person to apprieciate things that seem outside their circle of influence? I used to find the sophomoric antics of SOUTH PARK hilarious, but now prefer the more urbane wit and humor of JEEVES AND WOOSTER. Is there a reasoning behind this, or am I turning into an old man?

Great Question Leo,
Popular theories from leading brain institutes believe that the human mind does not reach full maturation until our late twenties or early thirties (for men this is believed mid 40s).

lost-saucerGiven this, just as you found Mr. Rogers insipid in your twenties, what enticed you a generation ago will no longer compute into your more evolved cerebellum.

Nostalgia will allow you to look at the entertainment of yore with a fond remembrance and a brief chuckle, but as for being truly entertaining….nay. That time has passed.

Except Lost Saucer with Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzy – that shit is the bomb yo