Thursday, July 28, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you 5

Even though the next con, Wizard World Chicago (see me in artist alley 9169), is almost upon us, I'm still sharing some of the goods from San Diego.

We've already talked about that crazy manga kid (crazy cool), Felipe Smith's MBQ. Go to your local bookshop and grab that badboy!

And we peeked in on SHARKNIFE. Corey Lewis's truly inspired restaurant defending, monster smashing, fight comic. Also available in finer book shops.

Now it's time to talk about another book.
An art book.
But before you get all glazed over at the thought of some art history tome, filled with portraits and murals, this is a cool art book...
This is the latest limited art book from professional illustrator Celia Calle!

Volume No.2 "Pseudo"
If you're not familiar with the name, you might know the work. She did some comic covers for Marvel and Vertigo a couple years back, and her pro work is for some of the biggest in the biz.

Celia's got a style all of her own. A sexy, soft, inky, angular approach that moves all over the page. Looking at her work is kind of like viewing liquid mercury paintings of sexy girls, and guys. I also find her style similar to my all time fave, Peter Chung. Perhaps I need to find her influences...

Any way. Celia has been selling her stuff at San Diego Comic-Con since I've been going (this was my third year), and it was high time I picked up a book. I became an instant admirer the first time I saw the advance cover for Mekanix #1, Kitty Pride never looked so cool. The book I picked up is actually her second volume of illustrations. It's got 12 pages in a big over-sized, thick, rich, paper stock format. It's kind of like buying 12 prints for only $25.

I'd love to scan in some of the pages, but I don't want to damage the book on my user-un-friendly scanner. If you haven't seen her work, just do yourself a favor and check out her website HERE

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Just in case you're wondering...

The new J Scott Campbell joint drops (uh, sorry for the lingo)...
well just read the pic above!

J looks to bring back some fun and light-hearted fair to the game.
Can't wait!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Super Real at Wizard World Chicago!

Taken from my DeviantArt journal:

It's comin up Wizard Chicago time...
My first trip to the mid-west Wizard con, the second biggest in the nation, and also a stones throw from some family.

August 4th-7th

Artist Alley 9169

That's where I'll be!

I'm hangin with a cool comics posse, but I hear tell that they got our requests in on the late side, so our tables got split up and I think we're in the new "annex". Shuffled off to some side "game room".

I'm thinking we'll make a sign that says "free beer in here... while supplies last" to direct traffic our way.

Don't let any of that stop you from finding us, cause we're selling the last of our San Diego Con editions of the first issue. And before you go all, "you still have copies of that book from the SDCC? You must not be selling well!", I'll have you know we had to print up more for this show (alas, comiXpress couldn't turn around a special Wizard World cover in time)!

And while we're on the subject of my comic, Super Real. Keep your eyes peeled for the September Previews catalog, or on comic shops this November, because it will be making it's debut nationwide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's got a cool JOSH HOWARD variant cover an all that.
32 pages of my cool shit, and maybe even some ads from cool comics companies. FULL COLOR
All for the low low price of $3.25!!

That's all for now 8)


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you 4

Well the big piece of comic book heaven that is San Diego Comic-Con is getting to be a sweet sweet memory, as we're now more than a week removed, but I've still got some con goodies to share!

You've gotta say that with some pizzaz, SHARKNIFE, with some oomf, the title demands it, especially once you've read it.
Now Sharknife is not a new offering, it came out a few months back, but somehow my store missed my copy, and my reorder. This, on perhaps my most anticipated book of the year no less. If they weren't so good to me I'd skip shop...
but back to Sharknife!

I went ahead and scored my copy from Oni early one AM before the hall opened. I'd wanted to get a copy when the creator Corey Lewis was around, but in the madness that is exhibiting, I didn't want to take a chance that'd I'd miss picking one up altogether...

The first thing that grabs you about the book, is the incredible character design of it's titular character. Sharknife is the essence of cool, all pointy and aquatic, with seamless super hero design and punk rock elements all blended with an Eastern flair. He's way cool to look at

See what I mean?
And just like Popeye needed his spinach to get off, er ya know, bulk up, Sharknife needs a fortune cookie to transform from busboy Ceaser Halleluja to the Guangadong Factory's mystical protector! You see the Guangadong Factory is a giant restaurant that specializes in peach dumplings, but also is plagued with horrible creatures that spring from it's walls. That's a taste of the crazy-mad ideas at play here.

Corey's layouts and artwork are as wild and imaginative as the story, the book sings along as Sharknife defends the restaurant from one escalating attack to the next. My only complaint is that I wish the book were a bit bigger, or in color. I think Corey's (or the Reyyy as he's sometimes known) artwork would look just that much better. But I understand ONI's going for a manga thing here with the b&w paperback format. Maybe they just need a better binding so the pages don't overlap so much at the center...

But enough quibbling, if you're still reading, why haven't you clicked over to his site yet and checked out the book further?! Go on over HERE and have a look, NOW! Sharknife should be on everyone's must read list, it's too much fun, and has a broad appeal. I look forward to more, I'll just make sure my shop doesn't screw up next time!

An' hey, don't forget to peep the prior SDCC features if you haven't:
Felipe Smith's MBQ (see below)
Con Report
Con Photos

Monday, July 25, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... The Devils Rejects escape from the House of 1000 Corpses!

The second Rob Zombie movie, The Devils Rejects is out in theatres, and I felt a burning need to go back and see his first film, House of 1000 Corpses.

The first viewing, when it came out on DVD was a memorable experience. I found the characters, settings, and directing, wildy and visually imaginative. From Captain Spaulding - the explosive foul mouthed roadside attraction clown clerk, Baby - the gleefully laughing murderous amazon blonde, to the straight-from-comics design of the mysterious Dr. Satan, to the climatic flight of one of the unfortunate "kids" dressed in Alice in Wonderland motif. House had tons of images and scenes that stick with you long after the film, and for me, it filled me with a nervous energy at what would transpire next, like most horror films should, but never do. Really the only horror movie to affect me in that way since my youth. That by itself is reason enough to herald the film, as I like and watch a lot of horror movies, but none are actually scary.

The second time through the film was still thoroughly enjoyable, and it's primed my thirst for the sequel even more. Or as Sid Haig, the actor who played Captain Spaulding (pictured above) in the first film, told my wife at San Diego Comic Con, "The Devils Rejects isn't a sequel, it's a continuation of the first film, it picks up the story where House of 1000 Corpses left off."

House of 1000 Corpses is the "Pulp Fiction" of horror films, an explosive, raunchy, character filled film, with visionary direction. Check it out if you haven't (and you have a strong stomach)...
Go HERE to for more info.


Tales From Netflix are DVD reviews, where I tell you if a DVD is worth putting in your Netflix rental queue, moving it to the top, burying it at the bottom, or not even bothering in the first place.


Constantine starts off really well, and features a ton of great cinematography, directing, and effects, the story's halfway decent too. I'm not at all familiar with the comic, having never picked it up, so I can't say how badly the movie followed it (but I hear it's not very faithful, no pun intended).

A little bit Blade, a little bit MIB/Hellboy, but yet different enough to entice. Keanu worked well for me in this role (again, don't know the original character), and I thought it was one of his better performances. Unfortunately by the end though, I found it dragging on a bit.

I'd still recommend you move Constantine to the top of your QUEUE


My wife had on Hellraiser VI not too long ago, on digital cable on-demand, and it was a decent watch. I'd never really seen many of the Hellraiser movies, and didn't realize they were more phychological than overt horror.

VII is in that vein, this time we have a female journalist protagonist exploring a new bizzare cult in the UK.

It's watchable, but not much more. Put it at the bottom of your QUEUE


I caught a glimpse of Immortal via the DVD review on G4TV's Attack of the Show, and the cg/live action sci-fi premise was all I needed to queue this one up...

Turns out Immortal is a French (I believe) adaptation of a Graphic Album (European comic book), and the premise is as dizzying as the reviewers led me to believe. Just know that there are ancient gods come to future Earth in their hovering pyramid, and the story unfolds from there.

Immortal was visually stunning, and totaly immersive. The mix of CG and live action is a bit odd, mostly along the lines of Sky Captain, where you have live actors in front of cg effects, but also includes a fair amount of CG characters. So some scenes actually feature live actors with CG actors, all human/humanoid... odd.

Immortal is very similar in spirit to The Fifth Element, both being European sci-fi. Go ahead and move it to the top of your QUEUE. It's a great experience.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you 3

Yesterday we covered some insider tips for navigating San Diego and the con.

Before that I shared some pics of crazy characters at the table.

Today, we begin to talk about some of the cool books I picked up at the show. Though admittedly, these books weren't necessarily new or unique to the show, they're mostly one's my shopp'd missed for me that I'd been dying to get my hands on.

Up first we have MBQ, the new TokyoPop manga from Felipe Smith, a US creator (or manga-ka) of Jamaican-Argentine decent.

I'd featured MBQ on TSL previously, since I'd had my eye on Felipe after seeing his original manga, Money, from an internet contest a ways back.

Felipe works in a bold manga flavored style, with some SERIOUS storytelling chops, and a wicked cool filter. MBQ and the characters within spring to life, it's more like being in the scenes than reading them. Felipe's talent for immersing you into the story and making you feel the work is astounding. This worked to especially strong effect in one scene where he had a girl throwing up, but the way it's played, at first you're not sure what's going on, he takes you on the ride with her, til she drunkingly spews all over herself in a hallway halfway to the restroom...

Oh yeah, MBQ does not play it safe, it lives over the edge, as much as it explores all the little details inbetween.

MBQ is at heart though, a character piece, filled with several diverse, unique characters; from the artist Omario (who appears to be patterned at least loosely around Felipe), to the massive MBQ star employee (and I do mean massive) Jeff, to the over the top Irish wunderkind police officer O'Malley, they're all fully realized. At this point in the story, he's just setting up all the players, we're not really sure where they're going yet.

Felipe even manages to get in some thoughts on the state of US comics, be they traditional or manga, and some good natured nudging for others to fully explore the MEDIUM. No wonder I like this guy so much. Or maybe I'm biased after meeting him at the con, and seeing he's just as wild, cool, and engaging in person as his craft. Either way, check out MBQ, it's a strong first effort and volume, leaving me just as anxious for more Felipe as I was coming in!

You can check out more of the man and the book HERE at his website, or go HERE to dig on the book at TokyoPop!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you 2

Yesterday I showed you a sampling of pics of some of the cool characters running around the mega-show!

Today we have a full CON REPORT for you!!

Find out all the inside tips on setting up at the show, hotels, food, and more!

Tune in tomorrow as I start to share some of the goodies I scored at the con!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you

Over the next few days I'll be sharing a ton of fun from the big San Diego Comic-Con 2005.


- A photo parade of all the oddities that pass by your table during the show
- A con wrap up with all the inside info for those who haven't been
- And last but not least, I'll share some of the cool swag I picked up at the show!

So to kick things off, click HERE for some photos!

Tune in tomorrow for the con report, with even more photo-ey goodness, and maybe even some tips for you newbies out there!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Fantastic Four of the Worlds

Just wanted to report in on the movie viewing we took in during our Anaheim vacation prior to the big San Diego con thing...

First up

The Fantastic Four

Not even the happiest place on earth could keep me from checking out Kirby and Lee's foursome on the big screen (not to mention the horrible buzz), so we went ahead and took in the show on the opening weekend.

It was everything I'd feared, horrible directing, and a hodgepodge dumb-ass script. However, it did have it's moments of fun, with the dude playing the Torch standing out as the best performance, followed closely by the Nip Tuck dude saddled by the horrible made-for-TV version of Doom, and Chiklis would've been perfect if not for the terrible, browless, rubber-suited thing (yes, you see the rubber wrinkle every time he moves his head).

Oh my god, and don't even get me started on the horrible, wretched scenes with Ben Grimm's fiancee...

I think it's quite amusing that week one's numbers were heralded for saving Hollywood, and that week two was on track for a 68% drop (or some such) in revenue. All the comic fans went regardless of the reviews the first week, and the rest of America apparently listened and stopped showing up...


War of the Worlds

I wanted to check this out in the theatres when it came out, but a couple weeks later when my wife suggested it on the trip, I was not so excited. But I am not one to turn down a chance to go to the movies...

I'm glad we went. I had a really fun time watching the movie. Spielberg and the actors made the events transpiring on the screen big and engrossing. The movie clipped along with the Cruise family dodging lasers left and right and only falling into a couple weak moments.

The ending was too Hollywood, and some of the later scenes of alien effects were a touch on the cheesy side, but all in all it was a total blast! No, not a great movie, but a fun one...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


If you've been missing updates for TSL, stay tuned...
I'm currently at the big San Diego Comic Con, so new updates will return the week of the 18th!!
Look for my wrap up of the nation's biggest pop culture con!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Due to the fireworks festivities, new comics hit tomorrow.
Here's a look at some of the highlights (click HERE to see the whole shebang at Diamond):

VILLAINS UNITED #2 SECOND PTG - Enjoyed the first issue, but missed the first printing of number two, so I'll be picking this up...
Y THE LAST MAN #35 - Great series!
BATTLE POPE COLOR #1 - I might pick this up...
BONEREST #1 - Been looking forward to this, heard great things about it long before it was translated and released by Image...
STRANGE GIRL #2 - After hearing and seeing so much of the first issue, I was a bit let down, hopefully number two will pick up the slack...
WILDGUARD FOOLS GOLD #1 (OF 2) - That OTHER reality TV comic. But seriously, I had the pleasure of being next to Mr. Nauck at the WWLA con, and he's a great guy... consequently, so's his book!
IRON MAN HOUSE OF M #1 - Whole lot'a House of M... Heard good things about FF and Iron Man, and still waiting for some semblence of a story in the main book (if we don't get one now, I may bail)...
SHANNA THE SHE DEVIL #6 - Great, gorgeous, stuff!
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #79 - The only Spidey for me (if you don't count New Avengers)

I SAW IT ON TV: Real World flow chart of love...

One thing is clear after watching the third episode of the Real World Austin, it's hard to keep straight who's attracted to who. So in an effort to help those of you who may be struggling to keep up, here's a chart that show's the latest... (red arrows are denials, etc.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Tales From Netflix are DVD reviews, where I tell you if a DVD is worth putting in your Netflix rental queue, moving it to the top, burying it at the bottom, or not even bothering in the first place.
This is a new format, instead of updating with single reviews for DVDs I've watched via Netflix, I'll put out one list of reviews per week. This way, instead of skipping reviews for movies I don't feel like talking about, I can give a quick word for all of them, and get you the appropriate Netflix queue levels!

CURSED - Unrated/Uncut
Cursed is the latest horror flick from genre innovator Wes Craven. Cursed felt very much like it was striving for the same successful formula of the first Scream film, but it misses that mark by a wide amount. You have the Hollywood backdrop standing in for the horror cliches, Shannon Elizabeth for the opening death sequence instead of Drew Barrymore, and even Scott Baio filling in for the Fonz.

What you don't get is a good movie. Instead you get a very predictable, incredibly obvious script. The only highlights of the film are the sequence when Mya is being chased by the Werewolf in the parking garage elevator, and the brief scene with Craig Kilborn.

Don't put this one in your queue.
Oh yeah, and one of the main characters is a high school nerd, so of course his bedroom is littered with comic books!

DEBS is a DVD I came across in an online review section, that I'd otherwise never heard of. The concept being that the SAT's are used to cull an elite percetage of those predispositioned to spying, and in this case focusing on group of the girls finishing up the schooling that the chosen must complete. Basically, yet another spin on the spy genre, and more on the spoof side.

There is nothing groundbreaking to be found, but the concept, charcters, actors, and set up are all fun. Otherwise the movie really flounders, with next to no plot. If you are inclined to fun characters, schoolgirls, spy genre, etc., it's still a worthwhile view. It also features a pretty decent soundtrack.

Put DEBS in the middle of your queue.

Hostage is a return to familiar territory for Bruce Willis, the cop-with-family-in-danger genre. This time, instead of saving a high rise, or airport, or city, Willis must save families from a home invasion hostage situation.

The first half of the movie plays out well, and has quite a few clever twists, but from that point on it gets more and more ridiculous until by the end, it's laugh out loud bad.

I think they could've saved this one and had a smart simple little movie if they'd played for a more straightforward resolution, and cut out about a half hour of the bullshit ending. It's too bad, could've been a good little movie...

Put Hostage in the bottom of your queue.


Comics Buyers Guide is the long running industry newspaper that recently changed formats to become a news-magazine. Now, since they made the change in format (what's going on 1 or 2 years, I forget), I haven't noticed CBG in virtually any comic shops (same as with the newspaper), but I have noticed them on quite a few newsstands. Now the baffling lack of direct market penetration aside, CBG has thrown into the comics internet community with the newly launched CBGXTRA.COM.

I haven't had a chance to dig into it yet, but at first glance it looks like yet another site to fish out news items from the comics industry, with perhaps a focus on community. Go see for yourselves HERE