Friday, September 29, 2006

SUPER REAL NOTES - 9/29 Super Real Special


Ah yes, it's amazing what a day off to focus on the book can do for things... not only did I decide on a great cover concept for the variant on the Super Real Special (SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY), but I laid down what I think is the best script for it yet!
And really, I've been very impressed with the scripts I've already done!!

The special, five scripts by me, for five different artists, each focusing on participants 1 thru 5 of our Super Real cast, while also focusing on a different challenger inspired by comic book icons for each, has already been mostly planned out.
I have two sections completed, scripts and art (those two can be seen, except for their final, all-telling, pages, in the SDCC 06 preview book), and as I've catered each script to the artist, I've kind of organically created the foes/icons for each as I've scripted them for the artists. I mean, I've had ideas of what I wanted to cover, but specifically, things are hashed out as I know who I'm writing for, and let me just tell you, I don't know if it's the straight up action bent on this one, or that writing for someone else is liberating, or just the balls to the wall nature of the special, but I think I've come up with some of the best shit yet!!!

So, I've surprised even myself as I crank out what I think is another script, to top the previous ones, for the recently signed BIG NAME ARTIST that's now attached to the special. (I'm really having lots of fun coming up with crazy foes and situations for these stories!)
I'm not going to spill yet who it is, till we get further along, but he's a great fit, and should turn out a kick ass delivery!!

The special is now firmly on track for February... as with most things Super Real, the schedule has unfortunately slipped further than I originally hoped/planned, but also, has turned out much fucking better for it!!
With a February shelve date, that means I've got to get things together for Diamond by Thursday after next, and I must say, with the main cover almost tweaked to completion, and the variant cover now under way, along with the script for Ji... er the top secret artist completed last night, and only one script to write for the last awesome dood to jump on to go... well, we're solid fucking gold for February!
And really, February is right around the corner, just about 4 months.
Trust me, it'll be here before you know it, and well worth the wait!!

(And for those worried that the special won't have my chicken-scratch-deluxe artistic stylings, never fear, one section is penciled by some dood named... ME!)

the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Super Real Notes - 9/27

Today is the day!

Super Real issue 3 is in shops today folks, be sure and snag your copy.
If you can't find a copy, your friendly local comic shop owner can order one with these Diamond order codes:
COVER A and B (regular covers) - MAR063379
COVER C (free 1 for 5 incentive) - MAR068320

Or if you can't make it to a comic shop you can always pick copies up in the website STORE right now ;)

You can also find all the info you need on the latest issue, and more at the website HERE, including links to previews!

Since I haven't received my copies of the book from the printer yet, I picked up the book myself from my local comic shop (yes, I have Super Real on my pull list :p), to get my first look at the finished product.
They just had copies of the regular cover in my box, and on the rack, so haven't seen the variants yet, but the book looks great! There's very little difference between the new printer and the one I used on issues 1 and 2.

But what I really want to know are your thoughts on the book! What do you think of the enhancements (we get our first glimpse at them here)? What about the nano-skin suits? And how bout those crazy revelations at the end of the book?!?

Hope everyone likes it, the book goes to a whole 'nother level from here out!!!
Speaking of... has advanced looks at in process upcoming stuff!

Don't forget to keep tabs on my DeviantArt page if you want a glimpse of Super Real things to come. Right now you can see the in process cover designs for the upcoming SUPER REAL SPECIAL: SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY!

This is the special issue that follows issue number 3, and features artwork from other creators in stories written by me, focusing on each of our five participants genetic enhancements, where just for fun, the producers of the show set our cast against stand-ins for comic book icons.

Stay tuned for more details on the Special, including the signing of a featured big name artist to contribute, in what's destined to be one of the more wild comic book moments of 2007!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I SAW IT ON TV: New fall shows

Okay, the fall TV season debuts are in full swing, so thought I'd weigh in quickly on what I've seen...

HEROES - NBC: The debut episode was good. I like how they weave different elements coming together, the people with powers, the professor/conspiracy plot thread, the bigger picture purpose. I don't like how it's a hodge podge of X-Men and Rising Stars/Supreme Power. We'll see.

JERICHO - CBS: I love survival situations, zombie, nuclear war, anything that plays with those themes is interesting to me and worth a watch. That said, there was a lot to like here, but quite a bit to be leary of too. The concept and plot were great, most of the cast were good too (Gerald McRaney was great in Deadwood, and I like him from Simon and Simon back in the day, and Ashley Scott I've liked since Birds of Prey), but the script and some of the acting was suspect. As with all of these, and really any new show, the jury is still out. But I look forward to where this is going, and learning more about the mysteries the series sets up... just what has transpired?
SPOILER WARNING - My early guess, some kind of terrorist plot that's set off US nuclear silos. Otherwise, why was there no advance warning regarding the assumed nuclear explosions?

SMITH - CBS: This one boasts an all-star cast, with movie actors in all the roles, but the theme was a heist drama, and we got a lame attempt at that last season on NBC, so I was a bit leary coming in. After watching the debut, I was beyond impressed. I loved the cast and their characters (Simon Baker and his dementedly twisted character stood out, and Lioata in the lead is fabulously reserved as the Tony Soprano of the bunch), the writing, the plotting, everything. I love how there's more to it than just the heist/challenge driving things. Many layers. It's good. Not sure how they can do this on regular basis, network series schedule though. But wow, it was great!

STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP - NBC: So far it's been fun to watch. The writing's a bit too on the nose at times, but it's a good time. Not sure there's enough there to make a series out of, but I'll keep watching to find out.

Sunday, September 24, 2006



Don't forget, it's finally here! Issue 3 should be in shops this Wednesday.
This is the big one, where our cast get their enhancements, Super Real nano-skin jumpsuits, reveal secrets, and bring even more revelations! (Can you say, coolest super power/enhancement ever?!?)
Oh yeah, and there's ACTION too!
Woo hoo!
Go to the NEWS page for details, including the new Felipe Smith variant cover!!


I did a phone interview the other night with that's now available as an audio file/podcast HERE


To help spread the word about next week's release, there is a new 5 page preview of issue 3 on the web that isn't featured on the site.
You can check the preview out by visiting the fine folks at



Over on they featured a crazy cool new webcomic that debuted Friday, SCI-FU

Sci-Fu mixes animation sensibilities with flash technology to mirror printed comic book viewing on the web, and the concept is a fun mix of DJ, hip-hop, and sci-fi themes. The first issue is available now, and completely free to read, a full 21 page comic on the web. I read it and really liked it.

Though I'm not a fan of actually reading things on the web, I am a proponent of digital technology for the future of comics, and not only is Sci-Fu a great work, it's a snazzy digital package as well.

Check it out, again that link is HERE

Thursday, September 21, 2006


As much as I like to think my newsletter is the first source for news items, getting the real fans the inside track to all things Super Real, my blog is probably the actual spot for "you heard it hear first" in terms of Super Real... Well, on that theme...

ISSUE 3 confirmed in stores next Wednesday, 9/27!

It's official, I've confirmed with Diamond that Super Real issue 3 is in stock at their warehouses, and should be shipping next week to comic shops everywhere!!

After some delays and headaches with the new printer, they came through and got the books to the distributor on my drop dead date (and I literally almost dropped dead in anticipation).
As getting copies to Diamond was the key, I've yet to see a copy of the book myself. There's a good chance I'll be seeing it for the first time with the rest of you at the shops next Wednesday. (As I mentioned here before though, I did see the proofs and the book looks great.)

So, start those lines down the block in front of shops now to get your copies!! It's going to have the cast in uniform, using their enhancements, and more than a few revelations and surprises!!
Oh yeah, and quite possibly the coolest enhancement ever :)

For more details on the issue please hop over to the website, or check out this previous post

HEY DJ! - September Playlist

Haven't shared my playlist in a couple months, mostly because I hadn't picked up anything new, but I picked up a few discs lately, with my eye on a couple more...


- Peaches is about as dirty and raunchy as you can get, both lyrically and musically. It's old school rap, fat beats, and electro throwback at full volume, full of in your face sounds galore. Her latest disc is as impressive as her debut TEACHES OF PEACHES, and has some downright incredible tracks.

It also features more guitar driven tracks, collaborating with Joan Jett, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age on a couple. The best track is the instantly infectious DO YA, which was in heavy rotation as the soundtrack to recent Gap ads.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IMPEACH MY BUSH takes all the sexed out lyrics and bass heavy fun Peaches is known for and makes it fresh and new.


- The Rapture last bowed in 2003 with the party disc ECHOES that was 80's post punk art rock meets techno dance mix tape, and I've been dying for a follow up ever since. Pieces is a challenging offering that'll take repeated listens to fully grasp. Nothing jumps out as fresh or vibrant as what was found on the previous release, but it is very good, and could yet yield some future favorites (especially since a few tracks are produced by Danger Mouse, who I've found to be not so impressive at first blush, but quite rewarding in the long run)


- Muse return with another guitar driven sonic assault, mixing in new instruments and elements in later tracks. A great new age stadium rock record. KNIGHTS OF CYDONIA can be heard on alternative radio and is a great track.
RECOMMENDED if you've enjoyed previous Muse records, or Thom Yorke/Radiohead vocals/style.


- Speaking of Radiohead, this is the first solo release from their lead singer, Thom Yorke. I was hesitant to pick this up until I heard a track, I feared it might be too mellow and striped down for me. However, every track here are programmed beats and sounds, akin to the more experimental tracks on OK COMPUTER or KID A.
RECOMMENDED Especially if you like Radiohead or their more electronic experimental sounds.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Got a couple really nice pinups of Holly, so thought I'd share...

The first is by friend, and top notch artist Dennis Budd.

Dennis is co-creator and artist of Model Operandi, the debut of which is out later this month from After Hours Press. I really dug Model Operandi so check that one out in shops, it's a fun, sexy book that might surprise you!

This is the second pinup from Dennis, the first was a black and white group shot seen HERE, and this one is a full color shot of Holly (aka participant 1) in full Super Real uniform!

The second pin up is from frequent Super Real contributor, colorist Jukka Issakainen. This time Jukka adds the colors to Deviant Artist Funeralwind, and his take on Holly in her infamous Go-Go outfit!!

Jukka colored the winning piece from the Super Real Pin-Up-and-Coming Contest, that can be seen in issue 3 (in shops shortly).

He also colored a pinup by Daniel Campos that can be seen HERE

Thanks guys!
I'll be sure and find a home for these beautiful works in future issues of the book!

COMICS REVIEW: Ultimate Virgin!

Some quick thoughts on some books I've been reading lately, from mostly disappointing Ultimate Marvel, to mostly impressive Virgin debuts...

I'd signed up for a couple of the Virgin launch titles that sounded the most interesting, just to check them out. I didn't know what exactly to expect, but was fairly reserved in my expectations. After seeing previews of the material, and the first couple issues of the books I'd picked up, I was even less enthused, and tempted to cut the books off before I'd even read them.

This title for instance, looked very much like something of the failed Crossgen imprint, gods with gaudy golden costumes and burning insignias doing more talking than taking action. Boy am I glad I waited to read the books!

Turns out, upon delving into Devi, Virgin is crafting a first rate comic tale. The book has an impressive first issue, filled with spectacle, mythic story, and artwork and writing, though not to my usual taste, that's of a very high order.

After finishing the first three issues, I absolutely love this book, and can't wait for more. It's totally immersive, and different from most anything else you'll come across. It definitely plays to the strengths of the new companies directive for this particular line, comic book stories based around Indian mythology and by creators from around the globe.

Gaydos, who does the art here is great, but I dislike his taste in female facial tendencies, and with a book like his previous Alias, and now this current outing, where it's completely centered around a single lead female, that's a big problem for me.

Here he renders the lead more attractively than in Alias, and I've given the book a shot, and like Devi, I'm glad I did. Unlike Devi, this one doesn't impress as much, but it's still very good so far. A dark story unfolding at a good pace, leaving one curious to see where things lead.

The latest arc from Kirkman highlights again what isn't working for me on his run, his stories are too straightforward and lacking in pizazz to match the artists that've worked with him so far on the book. I really think if the artwork was of the brighter, lighter, more stylized variety, that's found with Ryan Ottley, his partner on Invincible, it would really help. However, the stories are still lacking, and overall this book is continuing to be very pedestrian and disappointing, since Millar left years ago...

Two arcs in these six issues here, the first, President Thor arc was decent, but the Frightful arc was all kinds of good! Overall I really enjoyed Millar's run on the title, and have been really enjoying the Ultimate FF throughout the shuffling creative teams so far.

Having read 3 out of 4 of the recent Ultimate Marvel annuals, year 2, it's become clear where these rate, and it's time to weigh in...

First off, last year's inaugural batch of annuals were fabulous. Great creators, and extra sized stories that were top notch, all packages that were truly worthy of the format. So, I'd had hopes that Marvel could repeat that again this year. They didn't. I've read all but the Spider-Man annual, and each one is lacking in all the aspects I mentioned above.

The artwork is lackluster, the stories are even worse, and all feel stretched out to fit the formats extended length. The Ultimates annual was particularly, painfully, bad, for too many reasons to delve into. Hopefully the Ultimate Spidey won't disappoint, as Bendis has yet to hit a sour note on that title, but even if it's great, it still can't erase the fact that this year's batch should have never happened. It's just a watered down attempt at recreating last years success.

Friday, September 15, 2006

HEY DJ! - Eagles of Death Metal Live

LIVE ...that's one of those words that can go either way, you know like READ?
Is it "live", as in live to tell or "live", as in live and direct?!
(What the fuck am I going on about?!) Just click HERE and you can listen to EODM live (as in live music in concert man)!!!
Local alternative station 94/7FM feature snipets of live acts from time to time, and Eagles of Death Metal are a personal fave!



I did an interview for PaperbackReader a while back, that can now be seen HERE

Issue 3 is now officially on track to be in shops around 9/27, about one week later than anticipated. However, despite the further delay, I can confirm it's been printed at this point, so it truly is due in shops immanently. Honest!

Please check with your retailers and tell your friends!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


MR. SCOOTLES - issue numbers 1-2

Mr. Scootles is created and published by H.C. Noel, a book that I'd heard about and been intrigued by the premise of some time ago, one of dozens of books I'd been meaning to pick up if I ever had the chance. Maybe you've heard of Mr. Scootles too? It's been featured on and in Wizard Edge. Well, turns out Howie (long for H.) was a friend of a friend, and we'd started talking shop online, so we set up a book swap, and I recently received the first two issues of the series (issue 3 will be available at the upcoming SPX). The book follows two animation students who "obtain" a really old reel of film featuring a lost cartoon character from the 1930's named Mr. Scootles. From there, things get strange, and set our story into motion.

Basically Scootles asks, "What becomes of your creations when you abandon them?", and sets out to answer that question. The story balances the plot line of the students who find the film, a professor on the campus (up to nefarious deeds), the 1930's backstory of Scootles through his creator (morbidly over the edge, and riddled with insanity), and Scootles' (the black and white cartoon character himself) journey from limbo to purgatory.

The storyline is decidedly dark, exploring themes of mental health, mortality, and the afterlife, however the book is handled with a light touch. Noel employs a sharp wit and skill in the script that offsets the heavy nature of the story, and an even lighter touch with the unique cartoonish, stylized artwork. Not only does this balance the elements nicely, it's this pure creative vision at play within, that makes for the best creator-owned comics. Noel's personality is ingrained in every element of the book, and that's what makes Scootles so strong, it's a vision and story unlike anything we've seen before. In a medium that blends words and pictures, to me, that's the highest praise a comic book can achieve. Comics as art.

Okay, I got a little heavy there, but my point is not that Scootles is fine art, but that it does what I look for from comics, it brings someone's crazy ideas to life, in a truly unique and interesting way. I can't wait for more!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Great concept, and themes. Heavy dark stuff, but told in a fun, witty way, with nicely stylized artwork.

You can preview the books, and learn more at the creator's website, HERE

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Ross Campbell

Over on there's a piece on one of my favorite new artist/creators, Ross Campbell.

Ross recently had his zombie manga, The Abandoned, released by Tokyopop, which was all kinds of crazy good.

He's also very active on DeviantArt, and his artwork is always impressive, he's definitely a creator to watch.

I myself still need to pick up his Wet Moon from Oni, but if you aren't familiar with him... what are you waiting for?
Check the links!!

Or check out my review for The Abandoned HERE

Monday, September 11, 2006

TALES FROM NETFLIX - Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis

Tales From Netflix are DVD picks that are off the beaten path, that I really enjoy, and wish the rest of the world would try... ha ha!!

Title - SARS Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis
Rating - not rated
Length - 95 minutes

Think this one sounds crazy??!?
It is!!
Crazy good too!

Sars Wars is a Thai film, and is subtitled, it's also a zombie movie of sorts, but as with other recent indy zombie outings (Dead and Breakfast, Undead), it puts a unique spin on the genre and/or uses zombies as an element in the story more than making it the main focus. So, if you're looking for a straight up zombie flick, Sars Wars doesn't quite deliver, but it does have plenty of zombie action, and some new takes on the genre as well.

The story centers on a hostage school girl, and her gangster father of sorts, looking to sidestep the kidnappers ransom, by employing a wily friends services. Enter our hero, Khun Krabi, a young man who just happens to wear bizarre spandex and crazy accessories... the fact that he splits his pants while wielding his sword fast enough to disarm, and defrock, the hired goons and everyone in the room should give you some indication of the tone. Sars Wars is a slap stick comedy, with horror, gore, action, and crazy ideas thrown around at breakneck pace.

Basically, Khun Krabi, and his elder master must navigate a condo filled with super Sars infected zombies, to find and rescue the girl from her captors. Along the way, avoiding and eventually joining forces with the doctors and commandos sent in to contain the outbreak.

But wait, oh yes, there's more, much more! For instance, besides the cool, wild, and vibrant cast of characters, actors, zombies, and CG creatures, besides the awesome character designs and costumes, besides the zippy editing, and crafty camerawork, there's also animation. The movie opens with a fun animation sequence, and also features a couple more during the film, acting as flashback sequences! The animation is well done, and a nice blend of western and eastern styles. Sort of like the Kill Bill animation sequence, only it's Sars Wars, so you know, more fun, and goofy.

If you enjoy genre bending, in your face, cutting edge cinema, or zombies, or action, or slapstick comedy movies, Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis is for you! A quote from the movie, "We have zombies, a bomb, and now a giant snake..." kind of sums it all up!!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Seek this one out, it's well worth the effort!!

You can learn more about the movie, including viewing the trailer, at it's site HERE

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

Sunday, September 10, 2006

COMICS REVIEW: Y the Last Man 32-48

Hello comic fiends, er friends!
Time for another review of one o' my favorite books...

Y THE LAST MAN - issue numbers 32-48

Here's another title I like to read in large chunks... since Y is an ongoing and epic storyline, with longer arcs ranging from 2 to I don't know 6 issues each, it reads well in long doses. That said, as with most books, if you wait 2 years to catch up, that's too long. It's nice to have 17 or so issues to go through, but I remember virtually nothing from before. Oh sure, I remember Yorick being the last man on Earth, seeking to find the answer to why he survived the plague that killed off mankind, his monkey, his bodyguard 355, and all that stuff, but I forget why Ampersand is missing, or that Yorick had slept with a girl besides his beloved fiance that's half-way around the world... stuff like that. Ah well...

So, having absolutely loved the book up to this point, the richness in the details of this world without men, the motivations of the women who make up the ever growing cast, the situations Yorick and friends get into, the dialogue, the art... basically everything about the book, especially the concept, I can say the love affair continues in these issues as well.

Y the Last Man continues to be one of the best, most complex, and engaging books on the shelf. However, these issues do contain several books where we're simply being treated to backstories for some of the main cast, and while we're better for knowing the events and forces driving these characters, it does feel a little bit padded in retrospect. Maybe that's only because we know the book wraps up sooner than later, and we're anxious to see things unfold and resolve. Perhaps then, it's just another strong suit of the book, that writer Brian K Vaughan has such a strong world, cast, concept at play, he could spin things along much longer, and still tell great stories, but he's smart enough to move things to their climax any way.

I forget what issue number was announced as the final for the series, but I believe it's getting close at hand, and I'm as anxious as ever to see where things lead.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Y is a mature, down to Earth look at a sensational concept, and is a fun, smart, and tense read. It showcases the range and quality that comic books, or graphic fiction can achieve. Pick up the first trade if you haven't, and get started, you'll be glad you did.

And if you hurry, you can still bid on these bad boys HERE

Friday, September 08, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Felipe Smith VS Super Real

Hey everyone, first go HERE and get your read on!! It's a short strip by my man Felipe... and it's hilarious!!

Then read this (but read the other one first or you'll be lost - go on, click it!!):

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I SAW IT ON TV: Marvel TV that is...

A bit of a Marvel themed look at some recent television viewing, one show that's been on for a bit, and one that's just started...

BLADE the series - SPIKE 10PM Wednesdays

Blade started running on the cable network Spike (male-centric programming network) a couple months back, and I've been following it on DVR, watching the first several episodes in one block, and another chunk of episodes just this past weekend. I think I'm about 10 episodes in...

My wife and I were big fans of the movies, a cool blend of horror, action, and style, so I was always curious about the transition to episodic television. Blade the series has a lot in common with the movies, but due to the format change, it's wisely been retooled to work in broader arcs that carry on through a season. Much like any of the successful dramas of recent years, BTS creates a storyline, and moves it forward from episode to episode, along with a large cast of characters. Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the TV treatment to the story, is it's lack of focus on Blade himself, instead we get the Blade setup we know from the movies, but most of the story is focused on his current rivals, a faction of vampires in Detroit, and more specifically, a young woman they've recently converted. Sure, there are plenty of scenes with Blade doing his daywalking, vampire takedown tactics, and patented vampire slaying moves, but the Vampire Christa is of equal focus, as we follow her decent into the vampire lifestyle, and all of the politics and dilemmas that come with it.

So, how is the show? Well, I wouldn't be a dozen episodes in if I didn't like it. I don't hold it up to the same high regard as Battlestar Gallactica, or some of the better HBO dramas, not quite, but it is very solid. The plotlines that run through it are interesting, and the varied focus on differing characters is refreshing, especially since the titular character is a little weaker here than his big screen version. Kirk "Sticky" Jones is a good fit for the role, but he's no Wesley Snipes, and the series could never hold up if it was just Blade, decked out in black trenchcoat, slicing vampires week in and week out without deeper conflicts and motivations.

Give this one a shot if you enjoyed any of the films, or enjoy genre television done well. It carries the mythos of the movies forward, and is true to it's spirit, but also thankfully blazes it's own trail. BTS isn't perfect, but it's enjoyable, and keeps the viewer guessing for the most part, anxious to see where things lead. Also of note, being on Spike/cable, and later at night, the series is able to carry off a more mature tone, in keeping with the films, and has the occasional use of language and suggestive themes (not quite HBO, but not exactly network tv either).

FANTASTIC FOUR (animated series) - CARTOON NETWORK 8PM Saturdays

The other Marvel Comic property to make the jump to television (also after hitting the big screen) is Fantastic Four. This time, instead of a mature drama, it gets the all ages animation treatment.

Gotta tell ya, as a fan of animation, especially angular designs, or anime style, the designs for this show had me excited. As the premiere grew near (last Saturday), the media blitz was on, and advance reviews and buzz was positive. After having watched the debut episode, I was fairly satisfied, but not too impressed.

First off, if you dig the style, the animation is great. I mean, regardless of the style, the quality is top notch, so no complaints there. As I said, I was already a fan of the design, so the actual production was good as well. The show blends CG animation pretty darn seamlessly, and is visually impressive.

As for the show itself, it was okay. The first episode, Trial by Fire, was decent, nothing impressive, but fast and somewhat interesting. Really aimed at a pre-teen audience, with not much outside that zone in terms of themes or content. Of note, the show hits the ground running, there's no origin of this version of the FF, no backstory for any of the characters, or their interactions. We don't know if Reed and Sue are married, or what (that I recall). Perhaps the origin and backstory is coming, I don't know, but the viewer is assumed to have some familiarity with the concepts at play, which I found a bit odd for a first episode. Maybe if the story was so cool, that you don't care about any of that, but really it's just serviceable in showcasing our heroes abilities and character. Nothing great about it.

So, I'll tune in some more to get a better feel, but I'm on the fence. So far the show hasn't shown me there's anything in it for me, outside a love of the characters (and a taste for the animation). I can dig on contemporary remakes, and new spins on classic properties, but to this point, it's not aimed at all outside the demographic it's marketed to - Cartoon Network's Toonami audience (and especially not to fans of the old school comcis!).
We'll see...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Most everyone reads Wizard (all you comic heads at least), and I’ve been anxious to get some love there for Super Real since we debuted… especially in the SECRET STASH feature, where they hype an independent book each month.

Well, Wizard recently added a forum thread for Secret Stash, calling for fans and creators to give them suggestions for future books to be featured in the section. Now, I know there are a lot of fans out there down for the book, who also love to spread the word, so here’s your chance!! It would be sooooo cool if any fan of the book who wants to, could post some positive words about the book on the thread, and suggest it for the Secret Stash. I’ve already added my comments, and would really appreciate it if you would too!

The comment thread is located HERE
Singing up to comment is easy (just please be sure and follow the directions on the thread for comments/suggestions).

We gotta get Super Real into the Secret Stash to give the gazillions of Wizard readers an eyeful of what they’re missing!!!
Help me do this!

Not only that, but if Super Real gets selected, I’ll send out a sketch to everyone (and I do mean everyone) who put in some words!!! So once you’ve posted over there, just shoot me an email with your address, and I’ll gladly get you something for your effort!

Thanks in advance for your support, I know you guys and gals are some of the best fans going, let's do this!!

COMICS REVIEW: Invincible 18-34

There are a number of comics I follow, that don't get read on a monthly basis, either I like reading them in longer runs, or I just get behind (this mostly happens with limited series). Invincible is one such book for me.

I've read it since it first came out (I recall there were 3 or 4 titles, all new, all superheroes, that Image launched at the same time, and I think Invincible's the only one that made it... was Noble Causes launched at the same time?). Any way, although the themes in Invincible are tried and true, writer Robert Kirkman hits all the right notes, and creates an immersive world full of great characters and sub plots.

I can't believe it's been 2 years since I last caught up with the book!

So, how are the adventures of Mark Grayson, aka Invincible, proceeding since I left off? Is the series maintaining, is it improving?
The answers are undoubtedly yes!

Invincible continues to be one of the best ongoing super hero books out there. It's filled with great conflicts for the hero, both emotionally and literally. It's got multiple subplots that range from a couple issues, to the length of the series. Love triangles, family issues, cosmic adventure, drama, crisis, you name it! It's really great.

The art from Ryan Ottley is great too. His super clean lines and unique style are a pleasure, and his storytelling only ever enhances the great scripts that Kirkman provides. It's quite a combo.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Invincible is equal to, or maybe even better, than the similarly themed Ultimate Spider-man. It's the perfect, classic-style super hero comic book series.

Oh yeah, and I'm selling these issues on eBay right now if you'd like to give them a shot! Check em out HERE

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I WATCH ANIME: Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro

Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Released by: Manga Video
Available: 8/29/06
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Well folks, time for another new release from Manga Video, and another classic anime gets the DVD treatment. The latest to make the Manga catalog? Another high pedigree offering, this time from 1979, Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro, directed by none other than Hayao Miyazaki... yes, that Miyazaki, Academy Award winner Miyazaki. Only this is a feature he made before creating the now world renowned Studio Ghibli and landmark animations like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and many others! Lupin the III is a long running and popular manga and anime, but to my surprise, it was also the subject of Miyazaki's first feature-length animated film!With Cagliostro being over 25 years old, and an early work by Miazaki, the first questions I had before watching were, how good is the animation, and was Miazaki always at the top of his game? Would this Lupin feature leave me feeling less than impressed, something no Miazaki film has ever come even close to doing? Well, as soon as you press play, any doubts are washed away... Cagliostro is indeed an impressive work of animation, impressive movie, and a sure sign of things to come from one of the medium's masters. All of Miazaki's hallmark touches are found in spades, the crisp character designs, full of emotion, the sweeping scope of the landscapes, the artistic true-to-life details that send everything to another level. Cagliostro is charming and vibrant, and also, surprisingly timeless for a film created at the end of the trendy era that was the 70's. Sure some outfits and hairstyles are indicative of the time, but Miazaki grounds everything in classic styles and designs, from the cars to the enchanting castle set pieces.
Several scenes make great use of the titular castle, having it become as much a character as any of the "actors" in the film. And all this in a time before computers assisted with anything and everything of that nature.

Although the visuals are in the capable hands of Miazaki, he's no slouch in the story department either, and he takes part in adapting the story from the Monkey Punch originals, making the movie feel as much his as it is part of the Lupin cannon. Cagliostro is a great movie. It's not just moving to watch, it has a fun, and intricate story, with many scenes throughout that showcase action and wit, all in keeping with our hero, master thief Lupin III. Lupin is as smooth as they come, with a knack for the ladies, and getting out of just about any situation. He's got the gadgets, friends, and even enemies, to help whenever things look out of hand. No spot is to tight for Lupin, literally.
As for the offerings on the DVD, the main attraction here is the quality of the film remastering coupled with the 16x9 full widescreen picture, both a huge plus for a film with this pedigree in visuals. Otherwise the attractions are fairly light, with some productions stills, and an interview of the animation director, except for a full presentation of the original Hayao Miyazaki storyboards, complete with soundtrack. And while the disc is not rated, there's only some mild language, so it would be most likely a PG-13 rating.

Overall Lupin the III's Castle of Cagliostro is an impressive addition to any anime fans library, a true anime classic. Cagliostro is also a must watch for just about anyone else, filled with action, humor, car chases, and duels, Lupin is a down right good time, but it's also filled with heart and style, a unique balance not many films acheive, but something all of Hayao Mizaki's efforts exhude. So whether you love anime, Miyazaki, Lupin, or great films, Cagliostro's got you covered!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, a great blend of Miazaki's trademark production, with a fun franchise!