Sunday, December 31, 2006

IT'S 2007!!!!!!!!!!!

and even KFed dressed up!!HAPPY NEW YEARS FROM TSL!
(and KFed, because we care)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Cowabunga anyone?

In the early to mid 80's, a little black and white indy came along that I was fortunate enough to discover with the issue 1 2nd printing... it was love at first sight.

Since then, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have exploded and imploded time and again, with a new CGI feature film due next year that might be worth a look...
Here's hoping!

Friday, December 29, 2006


The COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK is my weekly rundown of comics I picked up for the given week, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then I invite everyone to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

Hey look! Another late week, but a big one, with a bunch from the previous week too...

WONDER MAN #1 - I really liked Wonder Man back in the day, the red trenchcoat and glasses era, with his own mini, so I thought I'd check this out. Terrible. My god, could it have any more needless text? I doubt it. Claremont thinks it was excessive! Canceled...
STREET FIGHTER LEGENDS: SAKURA #4 - I'm glad this is over. It was fun at first, but just never really went anywhere, at all. It would've made a good oversized one-shot, not a mini...
NEW AVENGERS ILLUMINATI #1 - What was I thinking? Jim Cheung artwork I guess... How could any book featuring this cast be more than tepid at best. Nice art though! Canceled...
DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH #3 - Vaughan's a fabulous writer, and Martin's artwork is fab too, but this is running long. If there weren't just 2 issues left, I'd cancel...
NEW AVENGERS #26 - At least we're out of the useless Civil War one-shots. But this is still a one-shot, little to do with ya know, New Avengers, it was good though. Great, and I mean great, Maleev artwork here!
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS #4 - Another fun issue, mostly...
ZOMBIE (MARVEL MAX) #4 - Great zombie series, a bit anti-climatic. It leads into another plot, that may or may not be produced, and would read better as a continuing series, or graphic novel, not a mini. Incredible Hotz artwork too!
ULTIMATE VISION #1 - I thought ol' she-vision's saga was done? Ya know the whole Ultimate Gah Lak Tus thing? He was defeated. Turns out they've cooked up a Vision sequel... Damn, Peterson's CG amplified artwork is incredible, just amazing to look at! Decent story too, this one was good!
PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND #3 - Rick Spears is a great comic writer, get schooled if you haven't. And the Vasilis Lolos art, and Cloonan variants make for one pretty package...
BOMB QUEEN II #3 - Great mature readers super powered action!
WALK IN #1 - Anything with a Celia Calle cover has my money! The book inside? It was pretty darn good too. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics?? Okay.

I didn't really like the first issue. It was solid, and Doug Mahnke is A-list artistic talent, but I just wasn't too excited about it. Issue 2, as I started in, had me ready to pull the plug, funny thing happened as I read it... it was a damn fine super powered comic book!

Gage drafts an intelligent, street level look at super powered action, that at once is faithful to the original Stormwatch and Wildstorm universe, but also taking it's own distinct path. The book is filled with characterization and application of larger than life ideas, in a real world setting. Taking you inside the "division" and the minds of it's characters. And hell, it even told an awesome one-and-done story!

I've loved just about every version of Stormwatch, and now I can say that about this one too! (and Doug Mahnke is awesome too!)

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Again, looking back at the year as we approach 2007, I realize I haven't talked about anime in a long while...

For the most part, I haven't watched too much, thus the lack of commenting, but I did go through a few viewings I haven't mentioned...

GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX: 2nd GIG - I've mentioned this many times, best anime series by far, but never talked about the second season finale.

The last few discs were simply spellbinding. As the season wound down to the final few episodes of the 26 part season, everything came together and rewarded you for following along all the intense plotting and developments over the course of the run. Testing the Major and Section 9 to the fullest, and even costing them some casualties.

One of the best television shows going, up there with Battlestar, the best of HBO, Lost and anything else you throw out!

TRINITY BLOOD - Started airing recently on Cartoon Network, and I've watched the first few episodes. The production of the show is great, and the concept, a near future where the Vatican does battle with vampires who've taken hold of Earth, is solid. The main character, a hero priest from the Vatican who has the ability to transform into a super powerful vampire himself, is otherwise pretty weak to root for. That's made up for with the ever unfolding cast of characters in service with him however.
So far, I'll go ahead with...

BLEACH - The other recent anime to get a start on Cartoon Network was Bleach. The popular Shonen Jump manga series gets translated into anime, and as a fan of the manga, I have to say I was disappointed. I only watched the first couple episodes, but since I haven't read past the first volume of the manga, and the production of the anime was pretty weak, I opted out fast.

JINKI: EXTEND - This was available from Anime Network on-demand, so I watched the first two episodes. Standard anime mecha fair, this time with a young girl pilot dropped into a world of giant robots she'd only ever dreamed of, as they're suddenly her destiny.

Not great, but solid production, and enjoyable enough to check out more (and it is just starting, so perhaps it does so slowly)...

GUYVER - The new updated series started recently on Anime Network as well. I watched episode one, and it was okay. Solid production, but the themes and concept are very familiar. I might check out more...

I really need to make more time for anime in 2007!

Friday, December 22, 2006


The COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK is my weekly rundown of comics I picked up for the given week, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then I invite everyone to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

Another late week, and one where I didn't get through much new stuff...

GEN13 #3 - It's official, I hate this book. I was going to devote a whole post to how bad this book was, from the god awful fill in artwork (no offense to the fill in artist, I'm sure they were rushed), to the ridiculous, and I mean ridiculous villains, and most of all, because the Gen13 kids run into hiding, at a soup kitchen?!? A SOUP KITCHEN?!? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!! It's issue 3, the series is just starting, and this is the best you can do!?!!?? NO!
No excuse.
Why would anyone ever want to read about a soup kitchen in a comic book, much less an action adventure, super hero, sci-fi comic?!?
The kids beg for food, get free clothes, meet the staff...
OUTER ORBIT #1 - I was really looking forward to this one... A fun looking sci-fi concept, with great art, too bad it's really squandered. It just didn't' click for me. The artwork and themes however will keep me around for the next issue...
X-MEN PHOENIX WARSONG #4 - This one's still pretty much a mess. It would've been a fun little series with better art (again, I don't think Kirkham's bad, but just capable of better, and not suited for this)...
ULTIMATE X-MEN #77 - Still a good arc, with Ultimate Cable and X-Force debuting, looking forward to next months conclusion...
UNCANNY X-MEN #481 - Brubaker and Tan's run has been great, but with the 12 issue arc, some issues are lighter than others, this being one of em. Mostly just plot points advancing here, but good...
GIRLS #20 - With Girls winding down towards it's finale, it's maintained an excellent draw throughout. It's good that it's ending soon though, because it is time for the big conclusion, and thankfully, unlike a similar television series built on mysteries, I think we'll get some payoff here...
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #4 - Again, not a huge JLA/DC guy, I like the books and characters when they're drawn outside the DC style, with some style and flair (which they are here), and the writing is good (which it is again). Everyone's complaining about the pacing here, but I don't mind it. Good stuff...
X-23: TARGET X #1 - Wow! I'm blown away by Choi's artwork digitally painted by Oback!! Amazing artwork here. Oh, and the story was fun too...

Pop Mhan's first OEL manga effort from Tpop is a good one. I've liked his work since Ghost Rider all those years ago, and Spy Boy. He's bounced around since then, changing styles a bit here and there, and quality, but he's in form here. It's standard manga/anime fair - amnesiac teenage spy shows up to protect a young high school girl, from what we don't know. Mhan fleshes out the story and the cast as we make our way through, making the familiar setup and situations sing with his skilled artistic abilities. It's fun, sexy, draws you in, and gets you ready for more. My only complaint is that he was obviously rushed in the last chapter, and the art there gets way too sloppy. Otherwise, it's a great manga read!

How about you, what's your pick this week???

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... more Grindhouse!

in action!
Kurt, looking tuff!


Probably the coolest movie coming next year, or in a long time, is the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse double-feature, Planet Terror, and Death Proof!
Along with the newly released posters (though everything released about Death Proof indicates the starring car is a Nova, the poster features a Camaro - which I'm sure is intentional, in a send up of drive-in movie ads kind of way, but I just dig on 67-68 Camaro's!) there's a new trailer up online:

For the uninitiated, this is Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's send up of 70's exploitation films, and is in fact two full length movies for the price of one. Featuring Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Naveen Andrews (of Lost fame), and many many more.

Now, Tarantino's half, Death Proof, was to star Mickey Rourke in the title role, as a hard driving killer on wheels, but he was later replaced by Russell. Though Rourke would've been perfect in the role, I'm a huge Kurt fan, and think he'll bring a whole nother kind of cool to the thing. Can't Wait!

Another anticipated film of 07 has to be Fantastic Four 2, and USA Today just released a shot of the Silver Surfer, who is featured in the sequel.Looks pretty cool, and very true to the comics, cept for the full on eyes, but at least they are not white, and still silver... (and I don't think there's anyone who doesn't think the Surfer is cool, so if they get him right, it's a big step in the right direction)
The first real trailer is coming soon on this.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


As 2006 winds down, 2007 winds up and up for Super Real!

Already officially on the schedule for February, the Super Real Special: SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY, needs to head to the printers shortly. So, as I decide on a printer, I'm getting the final pages squared away, things like the inside front cover, back covers, ads, maybe a TSL page, etc etc.

Here's a look at the inside front cover which is not quite final...
I'd originally hoped to do a page on each section's artist, but the stories ran longer, at mostly 6 pages each, so that ate up a bunch of space in a 32 page book. But hey, no one's going to complain about a few extra pages of story and art, the book should run at 29 pages. (Extra length - woo hoo! Bigger is better!)
I say "should" because well, I'm still finishing my section... and I'm not sure if it'll run 5 or 6 pages. We'll see shortly as it'll be done by next week.

Also, I just got the pages from Daniel's section, and he didn't have time to ink them, so I'm looking to get those either inked, or I'll digitally do them myself (resolving that right now)...

It's all coming together nicely though, and looking good for an early February release! The way Diamond works, you don't get the numbers until the month before the book is scheduled, so the first week of January I should see how it did. The idea was the concept, guest artists (featuring name talent), and a new number one would hopefully draw in some more eyes... we'll see! But I'm trying to have it ready to print once I get the PO from Diamond...


As I've mentioned, the next issue of the series is in the pipeline too. With it being solicited in next month's Previews (February, January's was the one that came out yesterday) for April release. I'm shooting for a quasi bi-monthly schedule in 07.

I say quasi, because there's another potential stealth project to follow number 4 in June... but it's still a bit soon to reveal that. However, it is very exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The plan would then be to follow that with number 5 in August, and so on...

Plus there's that other top secret thing I'm working on for April...
I guess it's no longer secret, it's official, but I'll wait till I have something more developed to reveal it. It'll be my first work outside of Super Real, published by someone else, and it's a very cool project! :D

So, lots of stuff happening in 2007, that I'm cookin up now!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The other day I shared the work in progress for the regular cover to the upcoming fourth issue, so today I thought I'd share the artwork for the variant cover...

This is artwork by Dennis Budd who recently released a cool little book Model Operandi (and has some new top secret project in the works).
The colors are by me.

Super Real issue 4 will be in the February Previews catalog for books shipping in April 2007.
As with the last couple issues, there will be a regular cover by me, and a 1 in 4 variant that's featured as a poster and interview with the creator in every copy of the book.

Hope you like it!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK is my weekly rundown of comics I picked up for the given week, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then I invite everyone to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

This week, I didn't get through many of the week's new books as I was traveling, and therefore caught up on a trade, manga, and run of issues. I also hit a comic shop in Old Town Sacramento, No Boundries Comics, and picked up a back issue and some local books I'll be taking a quick look at...

First, I'd like to start with the big 2 releases for the week I did make time for...

NEW UNIVERSAL #1 - Warren Ellis reimagining Marvel's aborted New Universe from the mid/late 80's? Yes please! Salvador Larroca turns in an evolved style here as well, and I find myself really liking the book. It's all setup though, and when that's done right, it makes for great comics. The trick is keeping that momentum... We'll see.
SPIDER-MAN REIGN #1 - This book is on most people's radars because it's a potential future epic for Spider-Man, in the style of Batman the Dark Knight. I was keen to grab it cause it features the return of one of the industries best artists, Kaare Andrews! Well, turns out it's more than in the vein of Dark Knight, it is Spider-Man Dark Knight, and Kaare Andrews isn't doing the art, Kaare Andrews by way of Frank Miller is what we have too. Wow. Whether the book is good, or bad, it's kind of hard to care when it's such a blatant homage/rip-off of Dark Knight... I mean, something inspired by it fine, but this seems wayyyyyy too derivative.
X-MEN #193 - This is the conclusion of the first Mike Carey Chris Bachalo arc (from the previous week)... Sorry but, snooze...
JEREMIAH HARM #1 - Picked this up in the back issue 50% off bin at the Sacramento comic shop cause I'd been looking to try it as I'd heard and seen good things. The art is great, but the story is a bit confusing, and the main character is more then a little lame. I'm much more into the villains he's chaising than I am Mr. Harm...
APOCRYPHA #1 - This was one of the books by a local creator I picked up in Sacramento. Features some decent black and white artwork in a mature story I'm not sure I get the point of yet. It's billed as six issues, and I hope they work them all out. I think there's enough talent there to keep pursuing further, but it's not ready for prime time...
SCOTT PILGRIM #3 - Scott Pilgrim, and it's not the pick of the week?!? Hey, maybe if I'd read this when it came out, cause it is of course great, but as you'll see, it was a tough week, with 3 really great things to choose from. Any way, another great installment of the Pilgrim storyline. Things are perhaps settling into a bit more familiar territory here, so some of the magic is curbed. It is a great and highly recommended book though...
BLAME! Volume 1 - Blame! is already 6 volumes in from Tokyopop, and I can't believe I haven't had a chance to read these yet... I wasn't too worried about investing in that many volumes of a book I'd yet to read though, because after seeing Tsutomu Nihei's Wolverine Snikt, I knew he was a creator I'd absolutely love to see the works that inspired that Marvel mini of. Volume 1 did not let down. It's immersive and engrossing. Just like Snikt, the protagonist wanders through a massive future architecture, that's so well realized you can't help but be thrust into their world and therefore engaged with it. There were a couple scenes where I utterly could not follow what transpired without repeated viewings, but other than that the book is masterful in it's simplicity. Turns out Nihei was an architecture student, and it shows, as constructs we traverse are richly conceived and depicted, and that's what really sells the concept. Can't wait to read the next volume!

So what was so good that I had to not pick two books I loved?!?

Since the second run of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday had reached it's halfway point recently, I thought it'd be a good time to get caught up there. I don't love everything Whedon does, Firefly and Fray, those are some of my favorite works in recent years, Buffy and Angel, not so much. But man, I love Whedon on the X-Men. His trademark scripting is showcased of course, but he also really gets the X-Men and the characters he's using, and the plotting is also phenomenal. Oftentimes, big time comic writers will impress with openings of arcs, or ideas, but falter in climax or execution (cough**Mark Millar**cough), but not Joss. He writes a tight story from start to finish, and this latest arc is by far his best yet.

Do I even need to mention the artwork of John Cassaday and colorist Laura Martin?!!

Great stuff, great X-Men, great comics!!

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I started thinking it was time to look at some "best of the year" lists, and realized I hadn't turned in a DVD pick in quite some time. I know there've been at least a couple of odd picks to throw out, so thought I'd look back over the last couple months rental activity and highlight some of those...

First up...

THE DOOM GENERATION (1995) - This one made Chris Gore's list of quick picks recently on Attack of the Show's DVDuesday, and I'd never seen it. Wow. It's well done, and quite an experience, but not one I'd recommend, at least without extreme caution. Doom Generation is an exercise in sex and violence. Literally. That's all the movie's about. You get one scene of sex, followed by violence, and then repeat till finished. And both escalate as we go. It's worth a watch if you're into demented films that catalog characters spiraling into hell, for instance Natural Born Killers comes to mind, but that's practically PG (or at least cartoonish) compared to what we get here. Also, there's some interesting casting, and I like how at one point a broader subplot that could carry the film is introduced, and then never returns. And the soundtrack, late 80's industrial to early 90's indy/alternative, is superb. But wow, this is in your face!

CLERKS 2 - Okay, this doesn't really qualify as a non-mainstream pick, but it definitely maintains the indy spirit of the original 1994 classic it follows. Man was I impressed by this movie. Kevin Smith is generally great, but can often times miss, and by wide margins. Here he's in his best form since Clerks, or Chasing Amy. Showcasing his gift for dialogue, with equal turns at glorifying and skewering geek culture, but also fleshing out real life characters with heart. Awesome movie. Loved it!

WHO KILLED BAMBI (2004) - This was a French thriller that was a Netflix recommendation based on giving the recent French horror film Calvaire high marks. Turns out it also features the star of that film, Laurent Lucas, this time taking a turn as the villain. It's quiet, slow, and a little long, but it's expertly directed and acted (Lucas again commands any scene he's in, and is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors), and holds your interest throughout.
Good stuff.

MINI'S FIRST TIME - This one was a DVD pick from Richard Roeper on Ebert and Roeper, as a film everyone missed, but was actually quite good. I agree. This is one of those simple black comedies, where the central character walks you through a complex series of events in their life. In this case, a young woman in Beverly Hills/LA, with a potent cocktail of neglectful parents and easy access to any number of harmful distractions. A great cast including Carrie-Anne Moss, Alec Baldwin (who's great, and everywhere these days), Luke Wilson, and Jeff Goldblum.

THE PUFFY CHAIR (2005) - An indy gem, featuring an impressive effort from the brothers who wrote, direct, and also star in the film (one directs, one acts). This is a road trip, that's also an intimate look at the ugly, funny, and confusing struggles of a couple that may or may not last the journey. Along the way we're treated to a quirky brother turned third wheel, and complications to the plot. It's simple, but straightforward, endearing, and true to life. Overall, it's great.

EDMOND (2005) - This was a recommendation on a DVD review column, for an adaptation of a David Mamet play featuring a bit of a cast in something similar to, but perhaps truer and darker than, the 90's business-man-goes-postal-film Falling Down. An interesting concept to return to, so I thought I'd check it out. Glad I did. It is similar to that setup, but instead of Michael Douglas and his short sleeved shirt and tie, you get William H Macy stepping out on his wife after a break up, just looking for female contact, but only if the price is right. He's on edge, and quickly falls off. It comes off like a play on morality, set to film, examining the human condition, which it is, but it does it well, and that's in no small part because of Macy's performance the whole thing hangs on. He's a great actor. A nice little trip into madness, where we the viewer gets to exercise some demons, but only the character has to pay the price.

And finally...
MASTERS OF HORROR: IMPRINT - So we started the list with one of the most fucked up films I've seen in a long time, and we'll end it with another. For those who don't have Showtime, last year they started a new series of short films in the horror genre, directed by some classic horror film directors. Season 2 is in full swing now (and is way down in quality from season 1), but this DVD features the one episode from season 1 that was never shown. And it was never shown for good reason. It's from Japanese director Takashi Miike, most famous (or infamous) for his darkly twisted sado masochist Yakuza film Ichi the Killer. Miike turns in another brutally dark work here, with some of the most disturbing imagery you'll find in film. He's also a creative genius, so if you can take the darkness, it's worth the reward. This story, based on a Japanese horror novel and set in a modern contemporary influenced version of 19th century Japan, is seriously fucked up, but it's also a good one, told well, and visually stunning (figuratively and literally). Miike is one of the best directors working today, with a style and tone all his own.

That's quite a list of some disturbing, and challenging films.
But hey, movies shouldn't just be an escape from reality, but also a reflection on it, or journery into areas we don't ourselves tred.
At least, I like my movies to sometimes take me places I'd otherwise not go, and this list definitely does that - from the hillarious man-on-beast action of Clerks 2, to the head popping revelations of Imprint - you're in for one crazy ride on this installment of Tales From Netflix (as always)!!

Check out previous Tales From Netflix:
Sars Wars
House of 9
2001 Maniacs

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Hey folks,

Early 2007 is shaping up to be a busy time for me...
As you know, the first ever Super Real Special hits comic shops in February.
Well, today I just submitted issue 4 to Diamond for the February Previews for products shipping in April (I'm tentatively working towards a bi-monthly schedule of sorts for next year, more details on that soon).
Also, I just confirmed I'll be taking part in my first work outside Super Real, and first work published by someone else! I don't want to say anything at this point, because things are still a bit early, but I'll have more info soon. It's going to be really cool, and out in around April as well.
If that weren't enough, I'm firming up my early 07 convention schedule, and will be again doing the west coast shuffle through March and April...
I've confirmed an artist alley space at Wondercon in San Francisco on 3/2-3/4, which should be along with my bud Randy Kintz from the local area (if he gets his act together and turns in his app ;).
I'm also going to be arranging an artist alley space at Wizard World LA on 3/16-3/18, which will hopefully be alongside my good friend Javier Hernandez (I hope)!
And then, I've already submitted my application for Emerald City Comicon in Seattle on 3/31-4/1.
Hope to see some friendly faces!!

Also, while arranging space at Wondercon I was told that San Diego Comic Con is already completely sold out... as of like ages ago. Although, the exhibits manager wasn't in, so I'm hoping I can talk to him next week and get some better news... grrrrrrrrr
Stupid shows selling out way too early... first New York Comicon, now this!!

Anyway, I've been posting on DeviantArt lately, and haven't shared here, so thought I'd add a link for that as well.
I just recently put up the preliminary cover art for issue 4 over there, you can check out, as well as doing some daily sketches recently of random comic characters, and sharing the crude sketches for the villains from the Super Real Special... CHECK IT OUT MAN!!!!

Super Real 4 cover A you pick by *jasinmartin on deviantART

That should do it for now,

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Time once again for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, a weekly rundown of my new comics, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then everyone is invited to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

This was a great week.

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #1 - Brubaker and Fraction split writing duties, Brubaker generally leaves me cold (except on Uncanny X-Men), and Fraction is a hoot. They're joined by David Aja, who's both photo realistic, but stylish... nice. The book though is solid, but just okay.
OUTLAW SCORN #1 - This one was a fun looking sci-fi romp from Arcana, with funky chunky art. It's okay, a bit hard to follow, and not too engaging, with a lot of that probably coming from the overdone production. Loud colors, crazy layouts, over active lettering, you name it. I'll check out another issue though...
NEXTWAVE #10 - This was an odd issue for the series, with even less happening than usual, as we get a presumably longer arc to climax the series with number 12. Still really enjoy it, just not shouting from any rooftops here...
DEAD SONJA #1 - Note to self, do a direct parody of a popular book... my local shop had multiple shelf copies of this (I assume since Red Sonja is a big seller). How often does a shop stock an indy for the shelf, let alone in quantity? Any way, thumbed through it and it looked readable, thanks to some unique slightly intriguing art, and ya know sexy lead zombie theme... that's hitting a lot of good notes. It was fun. Dumb fun sure, mostly, but an entertaining oversized black and white indy book done pretty well. I especially like the style and potential of third contributing artist Remy Mokhtar!
AVENGERS NEXT #2 - Another one I picked up on a whim. I like new spins on classic superheroes, and the Ringo cover grabbed my attention. Turns out it's a fun, classic superhero/Avengers yarn, told with new/different versions of Marvel icons, sort of Mangaverse without the manga style. I liked it.
DEATHBLOW #2 - So far, this is my favorite Wildstorm relaunch book. Another solid issue, with great art from D'Anda!
ZOMBIE #3 - Three issues in, and we still haven't seen anything new with the zombie storytelling, but it's a good story built around the zombies, and I love Kyle Hotz's art!! Can't wait for the finale...


What can I say, I love the Mangaverse approach on the Marvel U, and this massive book features an extra-length Spider-Clan story by Cebulski and Skottie Young. Skottie had a cool style when I first saw him fill in for then friend (and personal newcoming fave of mine) Kaare Andrews on an X-Men Unlimited issue. Since then he's continually developed and improved his style, and I just love it. The art here is awesome, with incredible colors making it sing. It was a fun story too! (But I won't even read the mostly reprints in the rest of the book) :)

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Monday, December 04, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Devil's DO digital

Over on this AM there was a piece on Josh Blaylock, publisher of Devil's Due Publishing, and his new online comics initiative

Pullbox is a new site for downloadable comics content, including many Devil's Due titles, but which is also open to the entire spectrum of comic books, with new content being actively sought out. Pullbox will focus initially on offering full comics in PDF or CBR format, available for download at an average price of .99 cents per title.

Other similar sites have already sprung up, launched not long ago, as well as another recent launch with offering comics content as well. So, Pullboxonline is not the first of it's kind, but it is in on the ground floor, and also, from my perceptions of the three recent launches, Pullbox has the most going for it. Both in terms of design, and more importantly price point.

I honestly can't see digital comics being offered at anything more than a dollar each to stand a chance against print in today's market. Digital content is significantly cheaper to produce, and therefore, like it or not, the future of comics (as I've gone on about time and again here), but right now, with the existing fanbase favoring physical copies to hold in hand, any serious online offering should be positioned at a significant discount to print to have a serious shot at capturing an audience. With the average comic priced at around $3 each, can you tell me, if you could get any and all books in digital form, 3 to 1 in terms of price, you wouldn't consider changing your stance on print versus digital? Or at least consider trying some digital content, or suplement part of your reading with it?

And of course, the internet marketplace is a boon for publishers, who've struggled for decades to regain an outlet into the mainstream market that was lost with the move from newsstands to comic shops in the 80's.

All of the big picture implications of digital on the comic industry aside, it'll be interesting to see how, if at all, PullboxOnline develops. If they'll be able to bring in a big enough range of content, and more importantly, if they'll find enough users to keep it afloat...

I know I'm currently looking for an opportunity to get Super Real back on the web/downloadable, so I'll be taking a closer look at them to see if perhaps this is a good fit for me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Wow, it's already December!!
Things are progressing nicely on the Super Real Special, and issue number 4.
I did another tweak on the main cover for the special (I just can't help myself), but I think it finally completes that (although I've thought that a couple times before, this time I really do)!!

What do you think?

I did more with the background, and tilted the image a bit to make it more dynamic and visually exciting. I'm diggin it!

I also just got the originals from Jim Mahfood for his section in the special, all six pages of them, via the post. I'd actually forgotten all about them, so it was a nice surprise. As much as I like the art and want to keep it (it's so awesome!), I could really use some cash, so I'm tempted to try and sell them. Being that the books not even out yet, I doubt there's a really big market for them though. Which is for the best. I'd love to get some extra cash some day soon and start framing all the original artwork I get from others for the book!

I've been working this weekend on the cover for issue 4, as I need to decide if I'll solicit it for April 07 by this week (the Diamond April shipping Previews submission cut off is Thursday). I'd tentatively planned a more aggressive schedule for next year, essentially bi-monthly, but I don't want to get behind like I did this year again... plus, even with an April solicit, there's still at least a 6 month gap between issues 3 and 4 (but there would only be 2 months between the special and number 4).
We'll see.

This morning when I got into my email, I had a surprise bunch of emails from an artist submitting works... I don't request submissions, but still occasionally get them (and always enjoy looking at them), usually from foreign lands. This time I think the artist, Richard Ramirez, is from Puerto Rico (or somewhere in Central America perhaps...)

Since his style doesn't really suit anything I do, I thought I'd share a couple works here ;)

He seems to like drawing sharks and the sea (check out his Namor)!!
Anyone interested in seeing more of his work, just comment me and I'll get you his email. :)

Also, Super Real got the review treatment this week on, where the four reviewers each gave their thoughts on issue 3. While issues 1 and 2 scored some of the highest grades on the site, issue 3 was rated at 3 and 1/4 stars, with the biggest complaint being the frequency of release (one of the better aspects to be criticized on, and one I'm working to remedy).

Check out the full review HERE

That's all for now, except to say, Clerks II was awesome!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Okay, another late week... so it's again past time for my COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, a weekly rundown of new comics, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then everyone is invited to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

My shop missed quite a few books on 11/22 (a multi shop mix up, they're a local chain), so I didn't get a couple books til yesterday, and my copy of Godland is still MIA (and it was a pick of the week last time)...

Each week, I should mention, quite a few books go unread, mostly stuff I like to read in chunks, or things I missed an issue on, or am behind on. Books like Noble Causes, Snakewoman, Street Fighter II, Uncle Sam, and Ultimate Spider-Man this week.

Lots of Image books this week too...
DRAIN #1 - I'd high hopes for this one, and it was just okay. The art was solid, but not as good as I thought, and the story/concept was pretty weak. Not bad (but the Finch cover I got was, I like his stuff, but not this cover)...
PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND #1 - Another solid issue, both in story and art. Still not on the level of Spears' Teenagers From Mars, but really good. TFM though still an ode to punk lifestyle, like POCI, had more story and heart, at least so far. Great getaway scene though (multiple gears in reverse, what an idea)!
CASANOVA #6 - This continues to be one of my favorites. Smart stories built around real world event/ideas, and phenomenal art from Gabriel Ba!! Spy comics done perfectly!!
HEROES FOR HIRE #4 - I'm still riding this out because it continues threads from Daughters of the Dragon, a mini from earlier this year that I loved...
WONDER WOMAN #3 - Never been a Wonder Woman fan, but enjoyed Heinberg's Young Avengers, and Dodson's art is gorgeous (cept for the Hughes inspired man-faced women). This issue though, was a really fun read, and amazingly rendered! Almost made pick of the week!
DEAD @17 #2 - Read this a week ago, and know I liked it, but can't remember much now. It does however sport a Super Real ad, so you know you should pick it up! Josh's stuff is always great.


As soon as I heard about Planet Hulk, the Hulk thrown out to the stars and landing on a world where he's made to fight gladiator style, and that it was scripted by Greg Pak, I knew I'd want in on it. I signed up for it, but my shop missed the first part, issue 92, so I'd been stacking these up, waiting for that issue!

Well, last week they found me a copy of 92, so I read the first two 4 part storylines, Exile, and Anarchy.

In Exile (issues 92-95) the Hulk touches down and is thrown into combat, joins with a group of other combatants, and eventually squares off against the Silver Surfer. Awesome!

In Anarchy (issues 96-99) the Hulk's crew is on the run from the ruling cast on the planet and flirting with a full scale rebelion. Pretty cool.

So far, Planet Hulk lives up to the great high concept, with occasional missteps or scenes on the cheesey side, but overall solid plotting. The artwork here is also good overall. Pagulayan on the first arc, and Lopresti on the second. I prefer Pagulayan, as I've always found Lopresti's stuff capable, if a little stiff, but here he's improved and very similar in style to Pagulayan (whom I've never heard of before this). There are great moments of raw Hulk power, often in explosive splash pages, that are a blast to see. Hulk does seem a bit out of character at times, but I haven't followed him regularly, except for a brief time with Jones and Romita JR's run, for 20 plus years.

It's a fun storyline, and one I look forward to following (eventually leading up to World War Hulk or whatever, next year). Pick this up if you're a fan of the Hulk, or epic science fiction!

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

INDUSTRY RANT: Comics activism

CBR links to a rant from Bomb Queen creator, Jimmie Robinson, over on I guess, their blog... HERE

In the post, Jimmie rants about doing more for comics than just reading them, in an attempt to stir things up, and get folks thinking (if they haven't already), about doing more for comics yourself. Spreading the word for the benefit of all. It's an interesting topic, and thre are some really great thoughts in the comments. Most of the replies take things too personally, and miss the point, but still make valid points of their own.

Look, I'm not saying these posters are wrong in there comments, or feelings, or that the article in question was brilliantly conceived, but to openly wail against it seems counterproductive, and perhaps misses the point. Admittedly though, any discusion is a good thing.

Comics, though recently more successful than they were, are still a niche market, and even though things are going great in terms of exposure and acceptance, or even recognition, in the outside market, they're still not reaching new audiences in any big number.

Jimmie's saying, do your part, if you truly care, do something besides just buying what you like. Think about what you buy, offer books to friends, talk about comics outside the comics community. Be an activist, be outspoken, etc.

Sure, it's not the only way comics can reach more people, perhaps it's not even the right way, but at least it's doing something. Anything.
Besides, ya know, reading Civil War, or Mouse Guard, and tucking it away in your closet, and repeating...

and I'm part of the problem.
In the beginning, before I launched Super Real, I was filled with the desire to creatively offer my book, via new channels, and methods, to seek out the widest audience, and help bring a new golden age to comics.
As time moves on, and as I've gotten the book set up in the main (and virtually only) distribution system, Diamond, my focus has moved away from breaking the system, to beating it, or more so, playing along with it.
I tried my hand at some things outside the direct market, to no affect. And sure, maybe those failures, limited in scope as they were, were failures of the book, or my own, but the bottom line is, a couple years into this thing, and I'm only focusing on the direct market, and making Diamond a success. I've become so consumed with just that, I've taken my focus away from other outlets almost completely. Which is a failure on my part, but the reality is I'm only one man, and have x amount of time and energy to spend (to say nothing of finances).
In the back of my mind however, it's been that, I can go back to trying innovation, and finding new markets, once I have a substantial offering, a trade collection. Because, realistically, a monthly format comic is not much to offer outside the direct market, and lord knows my schedule is anything but monthly.

I guess the other reason my passion, and focus, for moving the medium forward, and out of the direct market tar pit it's in (ya know, besides the fact that it is a viable market of it's own if you can crack it), is I've grown to see a light at the end of the tunnel. A change in format. To digital, cheap, accessible content, and books (or new format periodicals). The pamphlet will die, it's inevitable. Once digital media can be viewed more readily, beyond the current generation of formats it is today (monitors, PSP's, Ipod's, eReader's) there will be nothing holding us to print. Coupling the advancements in technology with the utter and complete reduction of costs insures this will happen (to say nothing of the potential for market outreach digital can provide). It's not a question of if, but when. Comics can once again become the cheap entertainment alternative that built the medium, industry, and genres. Because let's face it, they have something to offer, that no other medium can, but concurrently, they have limitations that other medias do not. To get people to read static images, as opposed to viewing live ones with sound, or hey, interactive ones, you have to position yourself as cheaper, or you'll forever be a niche (and well, you'll still be a niche, but potentially a much larger one).

A good example, or parallel, might be radio. Radio was king, in terms of entertainment, until the creation of television. Then it was relegated to a source for music, until TV took that mantle as well, relegating it to only being something chosen in a captive environment, mostly cars. But now, with growing internet prevalence and technology, you're seeing the renaissance of radio, the podcast. That is until the internet can more readily provide video content.

So, similar to radio, comics have a new chance via the digital world/marketplace (but also an advantage over radio in that they offer more).

Until we reach these crossroads however, comics are positioned well enough in the mindset of the mainstream, that we should be able to make some inroads outside the direct market, or that is, take bigger steps in growth. Sure, it's not just the fans or readers who have to bear this out, it's everyone. Creators, publishers, distributors, and retailers as well. I sure as hell wish the industry leaders were blazing the path here...

To Jimmie's point, and countless others before him, or any genuinely caring comics fan who takes the time to truly assess the industry, it is up to us all to do something, anything to help the industry. Because if you love and care for the medium, and you do nothing to help it, you've no one to blame but yourself if it collapses.

Many of the responses seem to suggest that they are doing these things, and believe many more do as well, but whether this is true or not, the numbers don't bear it out. The industry is maintaining, not growing by any large amount.

Let me clarify again, I can see why many have taken offense to his rant, it's offensive in nature, by design, and it's bound to receive knee jerk reactions (especially on the web). Many have brought up his resume, or called into question his current book, and quite a few take offense to a creator suggesting fans do more in support of their books. Irregardless of his work, or his views, the core message is do something for the industry if you really care. If you've already done something, great, the message isn't for you. If you take offense at his work, that's beside the point, at least in terms of the big picture that the core of the piece speaks to. And if you as a reader, and fan of comics, question a creator calling for more help spreading the word of a book, have you yourself published a comic book in today's market? Do you yourself understand what it's like to try and get attention for something new, outside the mainstream, in today's market? Well, then you probably don't know where he's coming from in that regard...

Let me just tell you, as someone who is publishing a new book in today's market, it's not easy, and you can use all the help you can get. It's easy to dismiss that viewpoint, claiming enough isn't spent on marketing, or that the material in question isn't good to begin with are a couple points that easily come to mind, but really understanding it takes a more intimate knowledge. For instance, one could easily spend vast amounts of money to get a book some attention in the market, but they would only see the smallest fraction returned in sales if successful. There are no easy answers. The best I've found is, create the best work you can, and try to inspire those who enjoy it, to help spread the word.

That's all Jimmie's really doing here. To be hypercritical of it is to miss the point, I think. And I plan to keep devoting time and energy to doing what I can to help. If you don't want to, that's fine, but perhaps just talking about it will inspire some, and there's nothing wrong with that.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I SAW IT ON TV: Rundown

Haven't posted about TV in a while, so here's a rundown of recent viewing...

Let's start with network TV...

HEROES continues to be one of the better shows on TV. It's not perfect, and some episodes and plots can be worse than others, but it's a great watch, and good TV viewing.

Last night we got to finally see the powered serial killer Sylar, and it turns out he's Tory's gay friend from So Notorious!! Woo hoo. Otherwise, we got the cool backstories on all our cast, in what could have easily felt forced, or lame, but was done well. Memo to the Heroes writing staff, don't follow the Lost formula and go back to the flashback well repeatedly, that would suck.

Some of last night's developments really bother me as they're very similar to some of the things I'm working towards with Super Real, but what can you do...

AMAZING RACE is great reality television. Although this is only my second season watching, as we reach the final four, I find myself again more engaged with the show just as things ramp up, in addition to thoroughly enjoying the full throttle trek around the globe...

SURVIVOR continues to add enough new variables to keep things entertaining. And though I've wondered if casting is lacking, I'm not sure it isn't just the fact we've been there done this so many times...

JERICHO has survived to become a regular show for me, unlike The Nine (yuck), or Studio 60 (boring). While it's far from perfect, at times its sappy, goofy, or downright dopey, its got a great concept and storyline. Not everything can achieve the quality of the better HBO programs (especially on network television), but Jericho has enough going for it to be a fun watch. Like any decent serialized show, you want to see where it's going.
Fit this one into your viewing if you've got the time.

LOST may have finished it's "fall season", but I'm anxious for more. I'm glad they broke it up (as many others are also now doing) into two uninterrupted chunks, I can't wait for 16 episodes in a row. As long as we're not left with as many doubts about the show as we are now by season end, and that this thing won't end up going the way of X-Files...

DAY BREAK which replaces Lost during it's hiatus, has been pretty good so far. At least enough to keep me watching. Diggs is a great lead, the supporting cast is solid, and the production is top notch (I love HD shows). We'll see if they can continue to skate the fine line the concept provides, or if they fall down trying...

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is a surprise watch for me. I didn't want to watch it, but heard good things, and I'm very glad I did. Due to the elections a couple weeks back, I missed an episode, so I haven't yet skipped past that and continued on... But this has a great cast (Kyle Chandler is great as the coach/lead), stellar production, and rich storylines. Give this one a shot if you haven't.

And now cable...

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA maintains it's high quality level now in the third season. Even while making bold moves and changes, picking up where season 2 left off, but now restoring things to status quo while also moving things forward considerably. Best show on TV.

MASTERS OF HORROR began it's second season, and while season one was a fun mix of quality horror based/themed offerings, season two seems weaker both in quality, and horror. It's still a fun series, like a twighlight zone, where you never know what you'll get, or where they'll take you.

And finally, Animation...

LEGION OF SUPERHEROES was a new cartoon I talked up a few weeks back, and while I still think it's a great cartoon, recent episodes have focused more on juvenile fun, than superheroic storytelling. This is shaping up to be less engaging for any age than I originally thought, and more just for a younger demographic (a Saturday morning cartoon just for kids, imagine that).

This was one of the stronger animated treatments of a comic I've seen. Definitely more mature than Saturday morning fare, but not too mature as to be for adults only, a good mix. The production and animation was superb throughout, and the designs by Sean Galloway were great, very much along the lines of Jeff Matsuda (current Batman Animated). The story also had very imaginative touches for a basic hero's journey setup, with really creative foes for Hellboy to square off against (a hallmark of the comic), yet being completely new for the movie (I believe). The third act was probably the biggest let down of the production though, not that it was bad, but things resolved in a very straightforward and predictable fashion, especially compared to the rest of the outing.
I myself don't really dig the Hellboy franchise, I think it's creative and fun, but I'm not too engaged with the main character or the core concept of the BPRD. That said, I'd recommended this to any fan of animation, comics, or Hellboy. It's a well done, fun, animated film!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Whoops! Got behind; holidays, work, marketing... So it's past time for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, my weekly rundown of new comics, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then everyone is invited to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

I'll make this quick this time...

Supergirl 11 had pretty art by Joe Benitez, loved that, the story though... eh
Bomb Queen II 2 was good, more over the top shenanigans from Jimmie Robinson...
Girls 19, things keep progressing, slowly, but the ride is quite enjoyable...
Day of the Dead: The Rising of Bub 1 was mostly cool, like how it weaved into the actual movie, and the art was pretty nice, but the colors and story were a bit confusing...
X-Men First Class 3 of 8 was another solid old school x-team yarn...
New Avengers 25 continued the Civil War theme where we focus on one team member dealing with the event... yawn, I've reemed these enough so I won't again this week... good art though...
Civil War 5, since it was a slow week, I wanted to make it my pick, but it was really just a string of "cool" moments, not much actually going on. I really dig Millar's stories, until the final act, where he always seems to let down, and here, even if he delivers on that, he's still off considerably with characterization. And, what the hell?!? Isn't this supposed to showcase the heavy hitters of the Marvel U?!?! If so, they've got a pretty lame bunch of C list characters to offer up...


Well, I had to pick something... so this gets it. It really wasn't that great, but the series is fun, and I like how the first lead up and into this new series. It's solid zombie storytelling, both in words and pictures, and I love zombies, but there's not much "new" and exciting going on here.

Worth a read if you're into zombies, or followed the first run.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



Hitting comic shops today is the brand new December edition of the Previews catalog, with solicitation and ordering information for the Super Real Special: SUPER REAL VS. THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY, in shops this coming February.

The listing is in the comics section, on page 320.

From the solicitation:
The critically acclaimed cult hit series takes on the comic book industry itself in this first-ever special. This tale features five brand new stories showcasing a genetically-enhanced reality show cast throwing down with familiar faces from various comic industry genres. Features four guest artists, including featured creator Jim Mahfood!
This special issue is also a great jumping on point for new readers!

The book is 32 pages (30 action packed story pages), black and white, matureness requested, and $3.50

Features two covers, a regular and a 1 in 5 Jim Mahfood variant.

Diamond Order Code DEC06 3864

This one is gonna be a real blast, promise!!
It's full throttle action and the entire cast using their enhancements for the first time (including the first Tool in action)!

Order now!

Pop on over to the main site for more information, and preview pages HERE

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



Another great review for the recent third issue HERE

Columnist Dan Head writes, "Jason Martin is a man who isn't afraid to delve into the ridiculous." You can't get much better than that!! :)
(But he does go on to say more favorable things...)

Tomorrow's a big day!

Make sure and go down to your local comic shop tomorrow and pick up a copy of the December Previews Catalog for comics shipping in February!!!
Well because the first ever Super Real Special: SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY will be listed for preorders...
stay tuned for more details tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Time again for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, my weekly rundown of new comics, where I pick the best of the bunch. Then everyone is invited to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

This was a pretty solid week...

Each week now I'm getting something from Wildstorm, as I've mentioned in the column, though I was a huge fan of the Wildstorm universe, the relaunch has just been good, not great. This week we had the Gen13 #2, which predictably followed the "Gail Simone Talent Caldwell new spin" on the classic story, to very lukewarm affect. Again, this may play better to someone not familiar to the original title, but as a fan of the original, it pales in comparison all around. Then we have Stormwatch #1, which was also prequeled in the Worldstorm special a few weeks back. The original run of Stormwatch took off about 10 years ago once Warren Ellis came on board and turned the franchise in a new direction, eventually spinning it into The Authority. After Ellis left, the series relaunched to great affect again, but was canceled mid run, and I've missed it ever since. This new version shows promise, and while it's a new direction again for the series, it builds on the previous volumes, while taking the concept and characters forward. Bonus points for that, and also, Mahnke is a GREAT artist. The first issue was a bit thick in setup/dialogue, but low on fun. So no picks here.

This week's X-book intake for me was Ultimate X-Men #76. Kirkman's run on the title has been lackluster, just as Vaughn before him. Both writers turning in low key, denim clad scripts that took a Saturday afternoon syndicated sci-fi/drama tv show vibe, playing well below the range of what comic book storytelling is capable of, and well below the quality the Ultimate line used to stand for. Part of that comes from the editorial missteps in the art department, and while the amazingly talented Ben Oliver returns on pencils here, his stuff is way too dry for the material. I can see the Marvel staffers thinking he's the next Bryan Hitch, and thus a great fit for the Ultimate line, and while he captures the skill of Hitch, his treatments just aren't bold or dynamic enough to reach that level. However, 2 issues into this 4 part Cable arc, this has been the best run from Kirkman yet on the title, and this issue was a lot of fun. It almost made the pick of the week...

Also in the stack this week was another good issue of Brian Vaughn's Doctor Strange: The Oath, issue 2 of 5. So far Vaughn is capturing the best of the sorcerer supreme in a tale that hasn't yet picked up a full head of steam, but the writing and artwork from Marcos Martin make it a joy.

This week also brought another great issue of Battlestar Galacticia, issue 3, from Dynamite Entertainment. So far their adaptations, with Greg Pak writing, and Nigel Raynor on art, have perfectly captured the spirit and voice of the phenomenal tv show, while operating in a limited framework between moments of in show continuity. This storyline has been full of fun moments and great ideas, but at times it's a bit hard to follow, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't already follow the show, as things would only be further compounded by not having a grasp on the characters and situations.

So what's the pick this week?

PICK OF THE WEEK: Rokkin #5 of 6

With the penultimate issue of the series, Rokkin has finally gone from good to really good. All of the characters introduced so far, the growing stash of acquired mystical artifacts, and overall arc of the story start to pay off. This was a great issue, filled with action galore (as always), creative fantasy, passion, and yes, even love. Looking forward to the big finale next month!

Check out this series if you haven't. Writer Andy Hartnell of Danger Girl fame has a penchant for 80's style sci-fi/action blockbuster storytelling, and artist Nick Bradshaw is incredibly talented, with awesome animation inspired visuals that are a sheer treat to take in.

So there you have it, another week, another pick.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Friday, November 10, 2006

HEY DJ! - October catch up!

Haven't updated my new music playlist in a while, and have picked up some great stuff recently, so here we go...
(as always, just click the pics to explore discs further on

TV ON THE RADIO - Return to Cookie Mountain (rock/alternative/electronic)
Dense, deep, and challenging sound and lyrics. Unique and full of new moments to experience further with each listen.

BECK - The Information (rock/alternative)

Beck continues his return to form that started with last year's Guero, which sparkled with a new found creative energy (thanks in no small part to a return of Odelay producers, the awesome Dust Brothers). This time though, whereas Guero stood on the success of several stellar tracks, The Information shines from the overall quality of the entire set (and the production of Nigel Godrich - OK Computer).
Really fuckin good!

TEDDYBEARS - Soft Machine (electronic/rock/pop)

Another electronic group you know, but don't know it. Tracks from Soft Machine can be found in commercials and TV shows all across your subconscious... with Cobrastyle, an infectious party anthem, being the main culprit (currently featured in Fox TV's BONES promos) and standout of the disc. Teddybears create another great wrinkle in the soundscape tapestry of electronic music, blending in "Krautrock" and live instrumentation.
This one could appeal to a large cross section of listeners, good stuff!

BASEMENT JAXX - Crazy Itch Radio (electronic/pop/funk)

Each new disc from the Jaxx takes me the further in the opposite direction I'd like to see them go, but I still come back for more. Crazy Itch is probably my least favorite, but they're still a fun inventive electronic group unafraid of creating their own funked out sound.

GOLDFRAPP - We Are Glitter (electronic/dance)

This remix CD of their 2006 release Supernature features choice mixes from the band themselves. I'd hopes that the remix outing would give the Goldfrapp follow up I'd originally anticipated after the incredible Black Cherry, infusing Supernature with that extra oompf it was missing, but no such luck here either. The remixes are mostly extended dance versions, with a few standout reworkings, but not the overall achievement I know they could bring.

JET - Shine On (rock)

I wasn't going to pick this up, but I did. I should've passed. I really like their previous release, Get Born, but the first couple tracks here are solid, and then the rest seemed very forgettable. Haven't had the desire to give it further listens...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



Doin this comic book thing just got a hell of a lot more fun!
I've published my own book, and with the upcoming (and uber super) special issue, I'll have had my first collaborative work published. It's one thing to write an draw and then pester a printer and distributor into doin up your books, that's awesome, but it's quite another thing to write a script, and have a different artist bring it to life for you.
With the Super Real special, that's exactly what I got to do, and it just seems to have come together so well. I was fortunate enough to come up with a roster of crazy talented artist doods, and also fortunate enough through, well fate to put it simply, to wind up also working with one all-star pro artist! Hey, I'm not saying the other 3 guys working on this special aren't just as talented, but what I am saying, that as cool as it was to work with them, and they did some awesome fucking pages, it's another level of cool to have an artist you've been a fan of, for like ever, to draw up your crazy comic concoctions.
Jim Mahfood.
Jim MotherF'n-Food!
I've dug his stuff since way back, and he's drawing pages for me!
Okay, geek moment over. (Thanks for indulging me :)

Reason I'm geeking on some 'Food?
Well, I got my first look at his pages for the special.
I'm on cloud nine.
Really, they're awesome.
He brings such a unique vibe, and it's so cool to collab, with him, and these others, and write stories that not only spin Super Real in the direction I want it to go, but to cater them for each unique artist.
For Jim, he brings the funk, so I did the goofiest of the five stories in the special, and sat back and waited.
I keep saying this, but let me say it again, this special is all kinds of fun. All kinds of cool. If this mother fucker doesn't turn some heads, well, I'll be bummed... I'm easy going.
But hey, I don't think I'll be bummed. I think everyone else will be just as stoked (okay, check that, no one can be as stoked as me, I know, but you know what I mean).

So, once again, stay tuned on this special issue, it's gonna be a good one!

Super Real Special #1: Super Real VS The Comic Book Industry
29 pages, 5 stories, 5 artists, black and white graphic goodness, $3.50 and out in comic shops worldwide February 2007 (the future you dig)!!

Watch the upcoming December Previews Catalog, dropping in shops 11/22 for the preorder lowdown. Sign up. Tell a friend.
Hype this shit!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Alright, I'm getting back on track with my weekly faves, and last week we had our first comments to this INTERACTIVE feature (hey H.C!)...

In case you've missed it, the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK is where I rundown my weekly intake of new comics, and pick the best of the bunch, then, and this is the interactive part, you post your comments on your favorites for the week!

Let's go:

First off, let me just say that nothing really stood out this week.

There were a couple X-books (for the record, I don't get close to all of them)... Uncanny X-Men #480, the latest in the excellent 12 part Brubaker run, but another of the Vulcan solo/fill-in art issues. It was okay at best... X-Men Phoenix Warsong #3 - I loved the first Pak Phoenix mini, but this one is mostly suffering from some terrible Kirkham artwork. His stuff's not bad, but he's stretched pretty thin here (which is odd for a Marvel showcase of Top Cow talent), and that makes for some bad comics...

Irredeemable Ant-Man #2 is fun, and I'm still onboard, but I'll need some further convincing to continue following this one...

The latest Wildstorm re-launch is Midnighter #1 by Ennis and Sprouse. Solid, but not great. Midnighter, who was a contemporary cool version of Batman when Ellis created him, is starting to look kind of silly 10 years in. A nice update to the costume here would've coincided nicely with his debut series...

Street Fighter Legends: Sakura #3 - this one was fun at first, and it still is, but it's also coming across pretty pointless. It ends soon right?

Local #7 - a couple issues in I realized there wasn't much more to this than the vignettes of Megan's wandering the country issue to issue, and while it's an interesting experiment, it only maintains interest via the strong, resonant writing of Wood, and the incredible work of Kelly on art (this issues was particularly nice)...

No picks there, so here we are...

PICK OF THE WEEK: Justice League of America 0-3

Another book I thought I'd signed up for, but missed issue 0 and 1, and started picking up with number 2. Since I'm a fool for team heroes, I try most any version offered, at least try. I've never followed JLA, I've sampled it from time to time, but I usually leave, I'm just not a big DC guy, but I thought I'd give Meltzer another shot since Benes was on art. Benes, whom in my first experience was a stiff T n A rip off of Campbell has matured into a nice Jim Lee influenced artist, his work is continually improving, and he looks great here with Sandra Hope on inks.

Anyway, I picked up issue 0 and 1, so I sat down and read through all 4 this week when number 3 came out. I really like it. The writing, while a bit tame, is great, and so far I'm liking the direction of the series. Many complain that it's too slow, but I've no problems with a slower pace as long as it's done well, and we get some pay off. So far it's very well done, and I suspect things will climax nicely. Count me in as long as it does!

So there you have it, that was last week in comics for me.

How about you, what was your favorite pick of the week???

Monday, November 06, 2006

I SAW IT ON TV: Legion of Superheroes

I only ever tuned in to the first episode of Justice League, saw a handful of Teen Titans, and missed Justice League Unlimited altogether (but heard plenty of good things about it), I have however caught all of the new Legion of Superheroes cartoon! Probably because I always loved the concept of Legion, and was never a big DC guy, so the notion of all their big guns in JL doesn't amp me up, and the recent Teen Titans cartoon, good as it was, was still aimed at tweens. To me, sci-fi superheroes is about as cool as it gets, I love science fiction, and love super heroes, so concepts that blend the two are perfect. As much as I love the concept, I've never much gotten into the LOSH comics, as DC editorial tastes fly against my own (particularly on this title), I did follow and love the recent Abnett and Lanning run on the title along with the fantastic art of Oliver Coipel (and was sad to see them replaced by the very vanilla, but accomplished stylings of Waid and Kitson).

Here though, the new Legion of Superheroes cartoon continues the superb legacy of DC cartoon adaptations that started in the early 90's with Batman, and though I think the driving creative forces on this new series are different than most any preceding it (I'm not entirely sure), it fits nicely in both style and tone. Classic clean animation, solid storytelling, great characterization, and a familiar house style. Only this time, it's applied to some of the coolest characters in the DC universe, with Superboy (dubbed Superman here for legal purposes) in tow.

Aside from the solid writing and production that's a hallmark of modern DC/Warner Bros. animation, what really stands out in this series is the remarkably choreographed super powered action and fisticuffs. The latest episode, featuring the evil Superman, Drax, highlights the phenomenal combat sequences that truly make the new LOSH a joy to watch for any fan of super powered action. The creators flesh the Legion members and their abilities out, and weave complex, smart, confrontations that show the real scope and impact these super abilities would afford. Coupled with the fantastic character designs and fun concept, it's really a treat to watch!

Check out this series if you haven't, it's good fun.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm slipping behind further, and further, but we're only a couple days into the new releases for 11/1, so I'm not too late to talk about last week!

Once again though, let me remind you all, this is an interactive feature :)
So start sharing, or I'm not going to play with you any more!!

Here we go, here's my pick of last weeks pack of comics...

Let's run it all down:

Civil War crap - New Avengers 24 continues the filler dreck, what shit, utter filler shit, oh well, at least it's got some gorgeous Pascual Ferry artwork - Civil War Choosing Sides plays out like the teaser trailer that it is for these CW spawned titles, but hey, it's got HOWARD THE FUCKING DUCK, making it a must have for me. No picks here... (oh yeah, and almost forgot about Heroes for Hire 3, what's that tell ya? Nice 1/3rd of a cover though...)

Marvel Zombie - I am a bit of one ya know? Zombie #2 from the Max imprint is fun, but a lot less going on then in the debut (especially in the unique to zomibie story 101 department)... X-Men #192 continues the cool debut of the new creative team (ya know, X-Men titles are like revolving doors, maybe we should just call em temps?), Bachalo sure does a pretty page, story's pretty good, we're almost to the climax, thumbs up... and Nextwave #9, another favorite of mine, but this issue seemed especially light. Great feed from Ellis's fucked up Marvel comics brainwaves, just hyper dumped this time. So, no winner here...

The rest -
Savage Brothers numbers 1 and 2, what can I say, scored these this week, after peeking the awesome artwork in issue 2... stories okay, it's zombies with great art, that makes it a buy, but not a pick.
Deathblow #1, almost picked this one, love D'Anda's art, and it's really nice here. Fun Azzarello story too, but the return of another book had me all extra smitten...


When Godland first came out I was really diggin it, but as the issues came month in month out, it lost some of that cosmic like wow fun that Casey and Scioli cum Kirby were dopely dolein out. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder, cause after a couple month hiatus, this new issue had me all cosmic tingly. Yay! Think it mostly had to do with the more way out cosmic bent of this issue, but this is a fun series, especially when it goes all out in the cosmic department, and I'm glad it's back!
(This review is clearly sponsored by the word COSMIC - Coz-mick)

Pick of the week 10/25 goes to you Godland, enjoy, I did ;)

So there you have it, that was last week in comics for me.

How about you, what was your favorite pick of the week???



This time over on Marc Mason's new site TheComicsWaitingRoom

While he's still anxious to see where things are going, he's down with the focus on characterization, and along for the ride.

Mark that as another review in the plus column!

Thursday, November 02, 2006



This time reviewer Brian Germain gives the love for the series with 4 out 5 on the overall score, and plenty of nice words for the book!

Check it out HERE

So far, issue 3 is 3 for 3 on reviews!
If you know of any other reviews of the book out there, please let me know!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Halloween may be already over, but I had to share this killer Halloween pick from my buddy Thom at the Third Rail Design Lab!
Click the pic to get a full view and check out his site!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Super Real Notes - 10/31/06

Today may be Halloween, but I got my "treats" early this year... at the Stumptown Comics Fest last weekend in the form of cool comics and ashcans (see yesterday's lengthy showcase), and also this swell pinup from my bud Randy Kintz...
You can check out his pinup of participant number 5 with my colors on it, and a Wonder Woman sketch I did at the show on my DeviantArt page HERE

Monday, October 30, 2006

Stumptown Rundown!

This past weekend was the third annual edition of the local Portland Oregon comic show, Stumptown Comics Fest.
Stumptown is a creator-centric indy comics convention, that draws a rather large contingent of NW area indy creators, as well as creators from abroad, and local publishers Oni Press, Dark Horse Comics, and Top Shelf. This year the show expanded to encompass two days, and a larger venue, taking up an exhibit hall at the Oregon Convention Center Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon.

I exhibited at the show last year, and although Super Real doesn't appeal to the indy crowd, it's still a great show for me to check out and pick up some cool indy wares. This year was no different, the new venue and increased size only made for a wider variety of enticing items. In addition to the dozen or so items I purchased, there were many others I'd have liked to of afforded, such as some really fine print makers with gorgeous offerings (such as the offerings from artist Kevin Dart and Fleet Street Scandal pictured above).

Here's a rundown of some of the cool items I picked up...

STAB KIDS by Corey (Rey) Lewis

$5 is the paid admission to this fine, sturdy ash can collection of tripped out Rey goodness. Stab Kids is the lead 14 page feature that follows the jelly-faced Aves Ives and eye-patched companion Coke Line as they go in search of mystical weaponry. Corey Lewis continues to incubate one of the most original art styles in comics today, heavy on the spaced manga by way of funked out Junko Mizuno in this outing. Also included are heavy doses of graphic style, guest friend pinups (including Rolston, and O'Malley), and many glimpses at other equally creatively vibrant Rey offerings in the works.
A must have for fans of The Rey! For those who haven't dug on the kid yet, get some Peng or Sharknife in your face pronto!

KILLED by Brandon Graham

KILLED is a collection of pinups, and shorts by creator Brandon Graham, all of which highlight not only his soft, curvy, simple-yet-detailed linework, but also his sharp humor, and expansive imagination! Also fun to follow is the influence between the studio/house mates Brandon and Corey Lewis. Here Brandon also works roommate Rey into a couple of the featured shorts to funny effect, and his pinups of characters, doodles, and drawings fill out this oversized collection that's a hell of a lot of fun for $5.
Watch for his upcoming book KING CITY from Tokyopop, and check out Brandon's work online HERE

DEADVALENTINES #0 by John C. Worsley

There are certainly no shortage of zombie comics, but it's such a rich, and popular genre, there's always room for more well told stories, especially one's that carve their own niche out. Deadvalentines is one such entry. Creator John Worsley sets up a cast and concept in 9 pages that show much promise. Focusing on a special agency charged with zombie cleanup, and the relationships of it's members, the book also features great writing and artwork. Worsley's style reminds me of Guy Davis, with perhaps some inky Cloonan thrown in as well, so yeah, that's good stuff. I'd love to see a series of this.
Check out Worley's work at

10 GEN: Battle of the Robot Planet - Atomic Underpants

10 Gen was a nice little $1 ashcan I scooped up with some decent looking sci-fi artwork reminiscent of Runners. An 8 page offering with a story by Steven Sylvain and art by Jonathan Siruno that appears to be the first 8 pages of an upcoming series. The book features some familiar elements, but the artwork and genre are played with enough charm to have me primed for more. I love sci-fi, so if you're a fan of sci-fi comics, then hopefully we'll all get a chance to see more from this team.
It looks like you can check out the book online at as a webcomic, with the first 4 pages currently available there now.

LOST ROBOTS by Clayton Hollifield

Local creator and friend Clayton Hollifield aka Clayholio has created many self published works, either on his own, or with writer collaborators, and has moved into webcomics, and is even now trying his had with cell phone content. One of his latest offerings, Lost Robots, is quirky and light humor offering. A full length comic at $3 features 3 shorts, and 3 robotic miss-adventures that include funkified robots, robots with ties, robots with beards, and robots with coconut-bikinis!

You can see more from Clay at his site HERE

NOTHING EVER LASTS from Chibi Comics

Chibi Comics were my neighbors, and I sat next to artist Ray Johnson, a really nice guy from the bay area. At one point Ray was sketching an interesting character that was featured in Nothing Ever Lasts, so I picked that up, as it was a superteam comic that had an interesting looking cast, with unique art and character designs. NEL is a solid independent take on the hero genre with some unique ideas at play in the concept. Worth checking out if you like your super heroes outside the big 2 publishers, or enjoy the art style featured.

Check out the variety of works CHIBI COMICS offer at their site HERE

Okay, that about sums up my haul from the show, aside from the Fear Agent volume 1 TPB I picked up from creator Rick Remender (who authors one of my current favorite titles, Strange Girl). Some good stuff!

I'll be back tomorrow with some of my sketches maybe, and a sketch from my buddy Randy who was cool enough to share his table with me!

Check out some of the websites here, they're worthy of your time, and a great variety of indy talents!