Hellblazer is the second comic I ever collected, browsing my way through comic shops in the greater Los Angeles area as i attended UCLA in the early 1990s. Pulled in by Ennis, I got back issues whenever I could afford them, some by a writer I hadn’t heard of before by the name of Jamie Delano. Fast f
orward to NOW, and guess what’s happening? Vertigo says,
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first appearance of John Constantine, Jamie Delano – the very first HELLBLAZER writer – returns for a new original graphic novel! Joining him for the occasion is fan-favorite artist Jock (THE LOSERS), who – for the first time ever – uses the meticulous techniques he’s developed for his Eisner-nominated covers to illustrate a gripping horror story tailor-made for the 21st century.
You can be sure I’ve got my $25 tucked away for what will probably prove to be a fantastic and nostalgic romp thorugh the horror that is Delano’s Hellblazer. Stay tuned for our review, once I’ve devoured the book a couple of times.
The Videosyncratic store in Oxford is closing its doors for good. This is sad sad news as they were the last brick and mortar store to sell comic books, graphic novels, and bookcases in the Oxford area. Sure, they also did the DVD/video rental thing, but we focus on the comic side of things.
Videosyncratic will not be going out lightly though. On Monday (02/01/2010) evening, everything left in the store will be priced at ridiculous prices. Bands will play, people will buy, and a store will close. If you live in the Oxford area, head to Videosyncratic on Monday and snag some good deals and say your farewells.
We’ve got 3 copies of this bad boy to give away and all you need to do is comment below. Get your friends to join in! We’ll be giving away a different issue each week. Enjoy, and don’t forget to leave your email on the comment, so we can get your real address if you win.
Who wants a Flash and Green Lantern Ring? I sure as hell do! So here is the skinny on how to get some new jewelry for those fingers of your.
To get the Green Lantern ring you will need to get 10 of your closest friends and drag them to the comic store. Have that retailer order 10 copies of Green Lantern #53. Once this task is completed, the retailer should be able to order up as many of the Green Lantern rings they like.
To get the Flash ring you go through the same process as the Green Lantern ring. 10 friends, 10 pre-orders for Flash #1, and the ring can be ordered in mass quantities.
The one catch, treat that retailer right and buy those pre-orders. They were nice enough to hook you up, so hook them up and follow through on your end of the deal. It is a win win here!
There is an unusal amount of hatred for the iPad, and I think I know why. Almost everyone had already decided what they wanted it to do, and in traditional Apple form, they made it do what they wanted to. It is not a 2 way video chat device, it is not a hi definition cam corder, it is not a mini Microsoft Surface clone, and it is not a net book killer. If it didn’t meet your multi-tasking space tablet needs, then move on. You probably have a macbook and/or an iPhone. Apple has no love (or revenue) lost on you.
What it is is a platform to expand Apple’s already deep foothold on digital media distribution. It is also an alternative to the $500 netbook that does many things and none of them well. Apple guarantees they will do only a few things, but they will be done very well. If you need to use it as a laptop, then you can get the keyboard dock. If you need to get photos on it, you can sync it or use the adapter for it. There will be software the enables and further expands the device; that was the key to iPhone growth and will be key here. They have the killer price point, just need the killer app to go with it, and don’t kid yourself, devs have 60 days to do so and they are all knee deep in the iPad sim as we speak. Already VOIP over 3G is enabled in the 3.2 SDK and how long until a camera over bluetooth app is announced? To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, “Apps find a way”.
The most important aspect of the entire announcement, except the $499 price point.
So really, calm down. It’s almost like people are mad at it for just being bigger. I have 3 iphones, 2 macbook pros and 2 mac pros. I do not have an iTouch. But now, I would almost certainly buy a $499 iPad before I would buy a $399 iPod Touch (regardless of capacity differences.) Apple is going after that remainder market, not trying to cannibalize it’s existing market. It is a 3rd category, something that has the ability to run every app already out there (and don’t kid yourself, software sells hardware, not the other way around), and if they shift 5 million units of the $499 model, the revenue will justify hardware refreshes. Remember, Apple built it’s current empire on giving you just enough to need it, and only when it sold like hotcakes, did it become what you wanted. So you hate what they announced, and granted it was enough to send Apple stock down (after record profits) but remember, this is what this thing is for:
At the end of the day, for some people this will be a very satisfying book reader, and for me, the ability to store up to 64GB of CBR, CBZ, PDF, RAR, and/or ZIPS of my comic collection make this a zero day purchase. I already use myComics on the iPhone, and with the added benefit of local storage syncing on the iPad, the cumbersome upload process will be eliminated. I guarantee you the players in the digital comic market will compete ferociously on the iPad to bring a best of breed reader to market, and the winner of that war will be us.
Book: Kick Ass #8
Author: Mark Millar
Art: John Romita Jr.
Colors: Dean White
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: John Romita, Jr. Verdict: Something tells me there was a different ending before the movie was optioned.
Mark Millar is sort of the Garth Ennis for the masses, he has that violent streak but merges it with high concepts and after his initial Ultimates run, he is considered the father of wide-screen comic story telling. Kick-Ass was his attempt, I think, at a more realistic and gritty take on what a kid trying to be a super hero would actually be like (as a mirror image of his 1985 series, which asked what if the comics came into the real world) and started off with a very violent, black humor filled book – but ultimately a plausible version of this idea. During the long break between issues 5 and 6 and then 7 and 8, I get the feeling that due to the movie being optioned and produced during these hiatuses, the story may have shifted and therefore the last half of the series doesn’t quite feel as fresh and realistic as the beginning.
The book begins right where issue 7 left off, with the betrayal by a key character and the reaction by Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass to the beating they took. This is the revenge issue, no question. Suffice it to say that colorist Dean White probably had to bring an extra red pen to work on this one. The bulk of the story is the final battle between our two protagonists and the Genovese crime family and it is a blood bath. Hit-Girl has the best moments and lines (literally) although there is a call back reference to Kick-Ass that only makes sense if you have recently re-read the first issues again. After the ‘titans pimp-slap’ (as the cover so adeptly describes the issue) the family, we are abruptly thrown into epilogue mode where I feel the issue, and the overall arc of the story, seem to unravel. If the goal was to have Dave, Kick-Ass, simply be a punching bag with no real personal growth or lesson learned than the creators have succeeded. Or like when you call a big guy “tiny”, Millar is going for the ultimate irony where the person called “Kick-Ass” is really everything but. Still, there may have been a push to make the movie slightly different than the book, or to keep the ending more open and vague so as to satisfy the need for more material if the movie blows up. Whatever the reason, and I’m sure even if one is given, it will be the party line, ‘Book One’ of Kick-Ass is extremely fun as individual issues, but the overall arc just misses the mark of becoming a classic.
JR jr. has been around forever, my first exposure to him was on his early Iron Man run back around issue #141, and he has evolved quite a bit since then. I am honestly a fan of the man’s work, but there is a certain ‘Jack Davis like’ feel to his work when he seems rushed, and I sense he was on the clock here. Younger readers not used to his style may find it unappealing, but his sketch lines and exaggerated facial expressions fit the pulp feel of this story perfectly.