Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday Pickups: The First Two Weeks of December (12/01/10 and 12/08/10)

Still playing catch up here so jumping right back in with December's books:

First up is an impulse pick after flipping through it at the shop, Batman: Orphans #1 of 2. Somewhat uncharacteristic of the dark knight, Batman starts recruiting any army of orphaned and runaway children to help him fight crime on the mean streets of Gotham. Keeping them in an undisclosed location, he is hiding them from even Dick (Nightwing) and Tim (Robin). The question is, Why? Have to admit I really picked this up because I flipped it open and the first page mislead me a bit. It turned out not to be a bad thing however as I really ended up enjoying the comic. Featuring two talents I haven't read much of before, Eddie Berganza (writing) and Carlo Barberi (pencils, did some awesome work on New Mutants Vol.2), who ended up really working well together. Looking forward to the second part soon.

Next up, and also from DC, is Brightest Day #15. Titled "Whatever Happened To The Manhunter From Mars?", this story takes a look at Martian Manhunter's new "life" on the revived mars quite a few years in the future. Another great one off from the Brightest Day crew, this one is also accessible to those not keeping up with the title if read as an Elseworlds One-shot. Probably would have ended up being a pick of the week if it wasn't against some of the stiff competition I'm about to talk about, I really recommend every one check out this issue for its great art and story.

Runner up this week is a "series" that is quickly becoming one of my favorites, Vertigo Resurrected: Winter's Edge One Shot. Another anthology like collection, this time featuring winter/holiday related stories that Vertigo has previously released in 3 issue mini-series, it once again blew me away. Perfect for those readers who have just come to Vertigo in the past few years and missed out on these stories the first time, like me for instance. A great read for a cold winter's night, make sure to pick it up if your shop has any left. Can't even pick a favorite out of this one, pretty much all the stories were top quality and well worth the price of admission.

Last up, and pick of the week by a slim margin over the last two books, is American Vampire #9. Concluding the "Devil in the Sand" arc, all the major players engage in a bloody free-for-all with not everyone living to see the sunrise. I pretty much been gushing about this title since the first issue, but what can I say Scott Snyder (writer) and Rafael Alburquerque (artist) have consistently been bringing their "A" game. Perfectly combing period set comics with the horror and gore of vampire books, this duo have a firm handle on how to keep a reader coming back for more. So if your still one of the few who has yet to check out this awesome book, do yourself a favor and pick up the recently released hardcover collection of the first two arcs.

Small but very quality stack this week, I love it when there isn't one book in the bunch that disappoints. Keeping it going though, here are the books from the 8th:

Starting off with the only Marvel book I picked up this week, we have Widowmaker #1 of 4. Essentially the title that is taking the place of Hawkeye and Mockingbird for a few months, this issue features someone new dawning the Ronin identity and killing international politicians. Not far behind, some of the most notable Marvel spies, Black Widow and Mockingbird (with Hawkeye in tow), are hot on his tail as they have had hits put out on them. All is all, a solid book. It really keeps the same feeling built in the H&M (or HaM if you prefer) and just drops Black Widow into the mix. Love what Jim McCann is doing with these characters and I hope he keeps their reigns for quite a while.

Venturing to a company that rarely graces my pull list (I buy their books in trades), Image brings us 27 #1 0f 4. This issue follows injured rock star Will Garland on his 27th birthday as he meets with an "alternative healer," looking for anyone that can get him back the use of his left hand. Little does he know, he just open a door to a world even weirder than that of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Initially drawn in by the awesome cover pictured above, I ended up digging the book. The story (written by Charles Soule) has got me interested enough to keep picking it up and the while the interior art (done by Renzo Podesta) isn't my favorite it fits well with the dark and mysterious tone of the book. Definitely recommend giving it a shot if your local shop still has it on the shelves.

Continuing with another awesome cover, we have Crossed: Family Values #6. This penultimate issue starts with a bang and pretty much beating you to the ground the whole way through. Adaline and Matt make it back to the rest of their group after their run in with the Crossed members of their family last issue but morale is hits rock bottom. What more can I say about this series that I haven't already? It's still superbly written, still spectacularly drawn, and continues to drags its readers through the mud while kicking them square in the junk (but in the best way possible. ) If you can't handle gore or only slightly do not read this book, but for those brave few that can or embrace it (you sickos know who you are ;)) this is a must read if only to see what new way Lapham and Barreno have come up with to disgust their readers. Also, I really didn't think any one particular Crossed would reach the level of infamy "Horse-cock" achieved, but I have got to say Mommy Pratt has topped him in every way possible.

Heading into the slightly more cheerful world of DCs capes and tights, we have Red Robin #18. Heading to Russia, following a lead about the supervillian communication grid Unternet, Tim meets with heroes and businessmen to gather intel not knowing who is really on his side if any of them are. Another great Red Robin issue from writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Marucs To, yet this book still flies under the radar of most DC fans. Sure it doesn't feature the big names of the other Bat-Family titles but its just as good, if not better. In conclusion, Buy It!

Next up if Justice League: Generation Lost #15. Back in the present, after last issues possible future, we find our favorite outcasts once again seeking refuge in an old J.L.I. base while, unbeknownst to them, a new threat tracks them down. Also, turns out Max Lord isn't the only person the most of the world forgot. Continuing its streak of awesomeness, this issue brings us another solid read. Another title I've praised to death and have run of good things to say about it, easily my favorite Justice League title in quite a while.

Lastly up, and pick of the week, is Booster Gold #39. In this issue that really hit me on personal level, Booster deals with his unresolved feelings over his best friend's (Blue Beetle) death. Not as humor filled as most issues but one that is equally important to the building of the character; Giffen, DeMantteis, Batista, and Perrotta bring us a stand alone issue that tugs on the heart strings and is a shinning example to be shown to anyone who claims superhero comics are "for little kids." Might not be as moving to those that haven't been keeping up with Booster but I still recommend everyone check out this book, if not this issue. Great story, character, and art that has its hooks deeper in me than pretty much any other DC book.

Well, that wraps up another two weeks of comics and brings me closer to getting back on track. Looking to do one more long post containing the last three weeks of December and put me back on track for the new year. Any questions, comments, or suggestions can be left below or sent to

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday Pickups: The Last Two Weeks of November (11/17/10 and 11/24/10)

Gonna try and get caught up on my large back log of unreviewed comics so let's get right to it.

First up is X-Men #5. Xarus' army of vampires, now including Wolverine, descend upon Utopia and look to have the X-Men back into a corner they won't make it out of. Of course old, sly Scott Summers expected as much and reveals his hidden weapons (one very much expected and the other a very clever use of a character) sparking a massive battle that between the two species. Not the greatest X-Men book going but still pretty enjoyable. Victor Gischler's story walks a fine line between predictable and clever, ultimately it just seems to keep enough interest for one to enjoy Paco Medina's art. This issue also features another great cover from Adi Granov, this guy really knows how make vampire covers snatch fresh blood. (see what I did there ;))

Heading over to DC, we have a Green Lantern double feature with the regular title and Green Lantern Corps. In Green Lantern #59 the Indigo tribe returns, finding a human host for their entity while Barry and Hal have a heart to heart over who the latter is keeping company with. Doug Mahnke's art is consistently knocking it out of the park! Emotional scenes, action scenes, large alien entities; this guy can handle it all. Not sure if its just me but Geoff Johns story just isn't as captivating as before and during Blackest Night. Going to keeping picking up the book for a little while hoping it changes for the better but I could easily see this being the result of Johns stretching himself to thin over everything he has his hands on at DC. Green Lantern Corps. #54, on the other hand, is just great overall. This issue features a ring-less battle between Kyle and Sinestro (although I have to call shenanigans on the end of it) and The Weaponer telling his origin to the captive Soranik Natu. Tony Bedard is really keeping the reader invested in these characters each issue while Tyler Kirkham and the art team are illustrating this glowing-spacey book to perfection.

Finishing up DC for the week is Brightest Day #14, one of my favorite of the series so far. This issue is all about the artist formerly known as Deadman as he takes to the mean streets of Gotham in search of the dark knight. Believing he has finally found the person to wield the white ring he is anxious to get rid of it but the ring has other plans. Boston Brand (Deadman) is easily one of the more interesting characters to come into the spotlight in Brightest Day and I really enjoy the creative team (would list them but there is quite a few) taking this whole issue to focus on him.

Jumping back to Marvel, or more specifically their Icon imprint, we have Superior #2. Simon tells Chris all about the space monkey and suddenly becoming Superior, this then leads to the two running through a power checklist for Simon with some interesting results. Still enjoying this original book from Mark Millar and Leinil Yu, I don't know if its quite "The most important comic book since 1938" but it is a fun and emotionally involving read none the less. One thing you have to give the books props for its handling of an impaired character gaining powers, while its been done before this books does it tastefully and with feeling rather than for a gimmick.

Next up is the latest Vertigo resurrection, The Extremist #1 (originally published as The Extremist 4 issue mini series.) The Extremist is one who takes pleasure in all things perverse and abnormal, who only serves others so that its own desires can be met, and most importantly of all The Extremist is not just a single person. Have to admit I didn't know exactly what I was getting into when I picked this up, but I ended up enjoying it. Peter Milligan crafts an interesting tale about the normalities and abnormalities of life while Ted McKeever's loose and rough art style provides the perfect accompanying visuals. Definitely not a book every one could get into but if you enjoy the examination of fetish and fringe life styles, this might be right up you alley.

Lastly, and pick of the week by a mile, is Kill Shakespeare #7. In this issue, the players come to town to provide a little entertainment for those fighting the good fight against Richard. Shakespearean players never appear just to entertain however, as both Juliet and Hamlet reveal to the reader as well as each other their deep motivations. I know I have talked this book up a lot so far, but this issue just makes me want to repeat it all over again. Easily my favorite of the series so far with a great story, art, and cover all working in harmony this issue. If you haven't checked out this book yet, please do immediately! This issue wouldn't be a bad jumping on point and the previous 6 were recently collected if you wish to know the full story.

That is it for the 17ths books so let's jump right into those from the 24th.

Kicking off this week we have Skull Kickers #3. Our two favorite mercenaries try to catch up with chancellor's corpse while Dwarf suffers through an interesting bout of indigestion. A book for those looking for a bit of humor with their sword and sorcery, this issue deliver another helping of all three. The highlight of the issue, though, had to be Edwin Huang's indigestion dreams for Dwarf. Looking forward to even more of this medieval farce coming in 2011.

Heading over to DC for a large portion this week, we have Batman Beyond #6 of 6. Barley surviving their encounter with this new Hush last issue Bruce and Terry have just moments to regroup before he blows up the entire city. Luckily, their not the only ones with a score to settle as Dick Grayson, out of retirement for one time only, and the new Catwoman join up with our favorite future Batmen to help them stop this latest abomination created by Cadmus. Those who have been reading the blog, know I've really been digging this mini and that certainly continued into this final issue. Overall this was a great comeback for Batman Beyond and I am glad it sparked enough interest to warrant an ongoing series starting in January. It effect utilizes the world created by the TV show but isn't afraid to tell new stories, which is always refreshing from a comic based on something else. Needless to say I will definitely be checking out Batman Beyond #1 and you should be to.

Staying in Gotham but traveling back to the present we have Batman and Robin #17. Dick and Damien get dragged into a little murder-mystery party involving one of Bruce's old flames, but is she really dead or is someone just manipulating the dark knight and the boy wonder? Overall the comic was ok, nothing spectacular but bigger fans of this pairing might want to stick around. With a comic stack that I'm constantly adding to or trying new things in I have to trim the fat occasionally, and Batman and Robin have drawn the short straw this time around.

Keeping Robin in the picture, we move out west to Teen Titans #89. The team receives Damien as a new member, although neither side is really to happy with the arrangement, and end up tangling with a powerful telekinetic. Really digging Teen Titans since the creative team change to J.T. Krul (writer) and Nicola Scott (artist), and this issue keeps it going. Bringing the new Robin into the team will help keep things interesting story-wise and Scott's art is working wonders in showing the team as still teenagers. Looking forward to lots more from them and where they are going with this new scientist villain who is giving kids powers.

Finishing out the DC books this week is Justice League: Generation Lost #14. Due to absorbing the massive explosion last issue, Captain Atom is once again throw through the time stream and into the future. This time the world has become a wasteland through bio-warfare as well as battles between meta-humans, OMACs, and humans themselves and Captain Atom must help the Justice League to make one last attempt to bring down the OMACs. Like I've said many times before, still really loving this book and see no signs of that stopping any time soon. Easily the best thing to come out Brightest Day.

First up from Marvel this week is Ultimate Avengers 3 #4. In this issue Blade tells the remaining human Avengers everything he knows about the vampires, while the vampires themselves go through a leadership change. Not the best comic out there but a fun super-hero/vampire story, much in the vain of a movie that is so bad its funny. It was probably intended to be a little more serious than I take it but I am still enjoying it none the less. Even the colorists' (Matt Hollingsworth and Matthew Wilson) work seems to bright to be a serious horror tale and just amps up that hilarity of it all. So give it a go if your into that kind of thing and super heroes, although at this point it might just be smarter to wait till its collected.

The last four books of the week all contain the x-gene, starting with Namor: The First Mutant #4. Finishing out this first arc, Namor engages in a duel to the death with his un-dead grandfather, former ruler of Atlantis and current leader of the Aqeuous, for control of both peoples. Story wise, I enjoyed the issue despite it being predictable to the end it stuck with the depth of character that has been present through out the entire series so far. I do have a complaint with the art however, not that Andres Guinaldo's work is bad or anything but it really takes away from the arc when the first three are done by one guy (the fantastic Ariel Olivetti) and the last one is done by someone with a vastly different style. Think this just may be a fill in to keep the book on schedule but I honestly would have rather waited.

Next up is Uncanny X-Men #530. Starting off a new arc "Quarantine", we find most of the mutants on Utopia fighting off new disease targeting mutants. As a, you guessed it, quarantine goes into effect only a few X-Men are in San Fransisco making them the active team, meanwhile Emma and Kitty are dealing with Shaw. Really digging Greg Land's art and Matt Fraction's story matched up together. The only foreseeable problem I see is having to much going on for one book to handle, but I think Fraction will be able to reign it all in before it gets out of control. As good as this book is though, it takes the bronze in X-men group books this week.

The runner up is New Mutants #19, concluding "Fall of the New Mutants" arc sort of. After being quickly beaten last issue by General Ulysses' mutant soldiers this issue shows most of the group being tortured in one manner or another, with the only light at the end of the tunnel being a few of them escaping. Begining to sound like a broken record but like I said before, I'm still really loving this book. Zeb Wells story is awesome as he skillfully handles all the New Mutants while Leonard Kirk's art is sticking strong with him and being just as much of highlight for the book. I do question the rational in concluding the arc at this point only to end it with "to be continued" but that isn't going to keep me from coming back next month :P.

Last up, and no surprise as pick of the week, is Uncanny X-Force #2. Tracking Apocalypse and his minions to the far side of the moon, our favorite mutants with a license to kill head after him but aren't exactly welcomed with opened arms. After the first issue Remender (the writer) and Opena (the artist) had me hooked and the issue just sinks their claws in deeper. Great art, great story, great action, and great characters (well, except for Deadpool but even he is tolerable under Remender's Pen) this one has it all. I used to say if you were reading one "X" book it should be the only one with out and X (New Mutants), but going to have to change it this title from now on.

That is all for this time, slowly but surely catching up to the current week's comics again. And comments, critiques, or outlandish exclamations can be left below.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coming Soon: Rare Exports (2010)

Once again, thanks to Capone and the awesome people over at Ain't It Cool News, I got to check out another Oscilloscope Labs' film a few days before it hits most theaters and just in time for the holiday season, Rare Exports. A rare export in and of itself, this film from Finland tells the true story of Santa Claus.

Its December and for some strange reason an American excavation crew is digging around in the Korvatunturi mountains of Finland. What they find there, leads to one of the most enjoyable action/holiday comedies I have ever seen. Taking some of the original fables that old Saint Nick was based on, the film brings a "realistic" Santa to the modern world and you can be sure this old guy won't be doing Coke commercials any time soon. In addition to the fantastical and funny story the film features, it also doesn't slack in the technique department.

Boasting some awesome action cinematography and special effect scenes, no technical enthusiast will be leaving with coal in their stockings. The nice list also features some great dialogue which is equal parts hammy and hilarious.

Rare Exports is the perfect holiday film for the entire family* and while it probably won't be taking home any awards or accolades this year, it is one gift you need to share with your friends this holiday season. I personally really like it (giving it 4 out of 5 stars) and it is sure to be a film I'll be digging out at least once a year. To see when it is hitting a theater near you, click here.

*As long as your family is mature enough to see an R-rated comedy and can handle the truth about Santa ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Circle of Trust #4: Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

For those unfamiliar with this article series, it is where I review the DVDs I get as a member of Oscilloscope Laboratories' "Circle of Trust". For more info on Oscilloscope and the Circle of Trust check out there site located here. Their latest DVD release brings us one of the hottest and most talked about films from the Sundance Film Festival this year, Exit Through The Gift Shop.

Exit Through The Gift Shop took roots from one man's passion to film everything he saw, his discovery of the thrill of street art, and the subsequent journey those two things lead him on. In a quick description the film is a documentary covering the inside story of street art but one quickly realizes there is something more to it. Not content to just follow this man's journey or graffiti art, the film critiques and examines art in general as well as the modern art business that seems to be growing/corrupting world wide. Tackling all these subjects in one film is no easy task but the crew (the film is directed by the elusive street artist Banksy, edited by Chris King and Tom Fulford, and narration by Rhys Ifans) does a spectacular job blending it all together, creating not only a great film but a lasting piece of art about the fading world of it.

The DVD comes with a few extra features but isn't jam packed. Featuring deleted scenes, an early attempt at a graffiti documentary, a short based one particular street art show, and finally a short about the street art of the director Banksy. All of these give you a little more time in the world the documentary creates but aren't essential viewing. The DVD also comes with a few physical bonuses as well. In addition to the great inside art Oscilloscope normally features in a release, this film comes with 2 decals (for when you get that urge to start doing some street art), 2 postcards featuring art shown in the film, and a very special pair of 2-D glasses!

Final grade on the film is 5 out of 5 stars, a must see for fans of any art, and 4 out of 5 for the DVD itself, a really cool design that I think fans of the film will want to add to their collection but a commentary track from Banksy really would have made this a must own. Do not hesitate to check this film out as soon as you get the chance! Exit Through The Gift Shop should be available for purchase from the Oscilloscope site by the time you read this and available for instant streaming through Netflix. Check out the links below if you need any help finding it and leave a comment with your thoughts on the film, if you end up checking it out.

Buy the Exit Through The Gift Shop DVD from Oscilloscope Laboratories

Add Exit Through The Gift Shop to your Netflix Queue

Also if you dig around on Oscilloscope's twitter feed (@OscopeLabs) or find them on facebook, there might be a chance to win this DVD. Not going to make it to easy on you this time though ;)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Lost Art of the Double Feature: Box Elder (2008) & One Too Many Mornings (2010)

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis

Ok, you caught me. I don't really enjoy tea and rarely sit down to read a lengthy book but I do occasionally entertain the idea of doing so. Truth be told I am much more likely to snuggle up with a bottomless Big Gulp of soda and a couple DVDs (or VHSs) but I think the sentiment remains the same. Back in the "good old days" (aka when I didn't have things like job searching to steal my attention) I could watch two or three movies in a row with out a second thought and one of my favorite ways to do this was a Drive In that would play a double bill of modern films that had some sort of linking idea or them. So, in an attempt to partly relive that type of experience but at the same time share some of my favorite films with the small section of the world that wastes their time reading this blog, I chose to embark on this article series.

I decided to start with two recent films that are both hilarious but also creep up on you with how much they can relate to your life, well at least for me anyways. First up is one of my favorite independent films, Box Elder; The definitive college and/or slacker comedy of my generation. Written, staring, and directed by Todd Sklar this film follows a group of college bros coasting through their last few years of school. Dealing with all the goodies and problems available to them at this stage of life (booze, broads, betrayal, and BLTs), the film presents a comedic yet honest look at getting a "higher" education. While the film could rest on these laurels alone, Sklar strives for even more with some great cinematography and sound track selections. Lastly, I would be doing a grace injustice if I didn't mention the performance of Alex Rennie as himself who steals every scene he's in, everyone was great but he was the best. I instantly fell in love with the film when I saw it in college, and when I return to (which I do often) I am reminded of all those great times (even if they were just a few years ago.)

It is customary to take an intermission between the films of a double feature and I utilize that time to hit the bathroom (if necessary) and grab some fuel before round two. As you might have guessed if you lingered over the picture above, or have ever seen Box Elder, I elected to make a sandwich and partner it up with a tall glass of milk (although coke and/or alcohol are suitable substitutes if you're of age and so inclined to do so.) So if you also venture into this little double feature, make sure you have the necessary items on hand. Trust me, if there is one thing your urge you'll have after Box Elder it's for a sandwich or possibly to put a tie on your house hold pet.

The second film is One Too Many Mornings, an independent film that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and unfortunately has gotten as much attention as it deserves. Written and directed by Michael Mohan this dramedy examines two estranged high school friends, Peter and Fischer, who are finally being forced to grow up, even if life has to drag them kicking and screaming all the way. Opting for black and white over color film (although, I consider them separate but equal), the film has a natural feel to it (I would say "classic feel" but that is the one phrase everyone uses to describe a modern film shot in black and white) drawing the viewer lackadaisically into it's world before springing life on them and its characters. Again, I feel like I could really relate to this film because its sort of where I'm at now in that post-school world where one is supposed to be an adult but is holding out as long as they can. Not unlike Box Elder, this film also features some great cinematography and music (with the stellar band Capybara providing the sound track) but their similarities don't end there.

There are a ton of reasons why I feel these films make for a great double feature but the main one is the latter seems to pick up right where the former left off. Both are coming-of-age tales in a way, with Box Elder looking at the time when you first find out who you are away from home and One Too Many Mornings looking at how that person grows up to sink or swim. They also relate tonally; Box Elder keeps you laughing the whole way through while giving you a little warning that you have to grow up at some point and One Too Many Mornings continues the laughs but suddenly forces "grown up life" on you, helping you to realize you can stand it. While at first glance you might think it turns the whole experience into some sort of lesson, I can assure you it's a fun one (like those rare days you had class outside.) The films also bear a relation in my mind because I first heard about One Too Many Mornings from Todd Sklar on twitter (love me some tweets.)

Well, that concludes are first foray into double features with hopefully many more to come. I am including some links at the bottom of the post if you want to know more about the films or want to watch (which you really should.) I've got a few other ideas lined up for this feature but would also love suggestions of your favorite double features, to see what I can get from it. As always, I can be reached at (via email) or (twitter)

Box Elder Links:
-Add it to your Netflix Queue (Please do this one, it just got on there and demand for it would help the film and help it become available on here sooner)
-Follow Box Elder or its director Todd Sklar on Twitter
-Check out the official site of the film (Currently the DVD is on sale for $14! So get to gettin' while the gettin' is good.)

One Too Many Mornings Links:
-Add it to your Netflix Queue (Similar situation as Box Elder, come on you know your queue has room for two more films! Just take out Transformers 2 and The Last Air-bender, they both sucked.)
-Follow One Too Many Mornings on Twitter
-Check out the official site of the film (This one is only $9.99 for the DVD and $4.99 for the digital download.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Geek Lantern Corps Status Report

If you're a regular reader you might have noticed I haven't posted in a little while. The primary reason (all though, there are others) is a good friend of mine (and the first honorary Geek Lantern) passed away almost two weeks ago. Although he never did post/comment on here, he told me in person quite a few times how much he enjoyed the blog and looked forward to more on it. This brings me to my main point in posting this, the next few weeks are going to see a multitude of new posts. We have the mandatory Wednesday Pickups (covering the last three weeks of comics), two new features (I've Seen It Both Ways and The Lost Art of the Double Feature), the latest entry into the Circle of Trust, and maybe even some film or graphic novel reviews. In addition to that I've started ranking favorites of this year and most looking forward to things of next year so look for those in January. So keep your rss feeds tuned here, this Geek Lantern isn't out of juice just yet (although I could use a fresh supply of juice boxes if you have them, Hi-C Ecto-Cooler is preferred.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 11/10/10

Its that time of week once again, where one can enter their local comic shoppe and be treated to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes(?) of new comics. Here are the books that I checked out from last week that you might be interested in: (Yeah, they are one week old but their still so cute at that age)

First up, we have Marvel's Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3 of 9. Continuing the quest of Scarlet Witch's possibly re-incarnated children (the two Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed) to find her, this issue finds Quicksilver and Magneto jockeying for leadership and trust of the children and reveals where Wanda is. Still really enjoying this limited series. While the presentation of Wolverine seems a bit over the top, everyone else is spot on especially Quicksilver and Magneto. Allan Heinberg (the writer) and Jim Cheung (the penciler) are truly showing they can handle the rest of the Marvel Universe with the same skilled that have handled the Young Avengers.

Jumping over to the Ultimate Marvel U, we have Ultimate Thor #2. Continuing to unveil the history of the Norse god, this issue sees the Asguardians celebrating their victory over the Frost Giants in ancient times with gladiatorial games and the beginning of the Frost Giant's revenge (led by Zemo) years later during WWII. I'm enjoying the triple narrative in this title, even if it gets a bit confusing here and there. Judging by the ending of this one, some epic battles will be taking place next issue that should be a spectacular sight to see.

Heading over to DC, we have one of my favorite comic double features of Justice League: Generation Lost and Booster Gold. In JL:GL #13 Magog and Captain Atom mix it up in a battle that's sure to leave a mark on the city while Max Lord continues to pull the puppet strings. Said it many times before but I'm really digging this book. The art, story, and humor are doing it for me on all levels and I feel like I can never wait for the next issue. Judd Winick and friends are keeping this one of my favorite team books.

Over in Booster Gold #38 (the tie-in for those not in the know is that Booster is a member of JL:GL) Booster is taking care of business and knocking out Nazis! Rani, the young girl Booster saved from the distant future a few issues back) steals a time machine and goes back in time to WWII with a special mission in mind. Another fantastic issue from the team of Griffen, DeMatteis, Batista, and Perrotta. If your looking for a fun super hero book with hi-jinks and hilarity you can't go wrong with either of these two.

Next up is Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #5 of 5, finally the final issue. While the initial issue showed a lot of promise, the mini-series quickly deteriorated into length jokes that didn't pay off and the occasional one-liner that barley got a ha. The issue wraps up this sorted tale of course revealing the not so final fate of our favorite Android's Dungeon shop owner. If you were waiting for a collection of this, I highly recommend you just skip it all together.

Heading into the Vertigo books we have The Unwritten #19. Tommy and crew begin their search for their own personal white whale while Mr. Pullman drafts a new recruit in his quest to end Tommy's story once and for all. Another solid issue of this comic and Mike Carey and Peter Gross show no signs of letting up. If your still not reading this series do your self a favor and pick up the first trade paperback collection.

Taking a trip out to the early days, and also from Vertigo, we have American Vampire #8. Police Chief Cash McCogan finds out exactly who his visiting federal agents while tracking down the dying off investor's in the dam and Pearl Jones, back in California, is visited by similar agents. Scott Snyder (the writer) and Rafael Albuquerque (the artist) consistently present an awesome vampire story that doubles as a great period piece.

Lastly and pick of the week, we head back to DC for Red Robin #17. An epilogue to "The Hit List" arc, this issue follows Red Robin as he touches base with various allies. This issue does a great job of showing who Tim Drake has become since donning the Red Robin persona, in how he deal with the aloof former Batgirl Cassandra, the part temptress/possible enemy Lynx, and his mentor Batman back in action. Hint Hint: With this chapter coming to a close Issue #18 would be a great spot to jump on the title.

That's it for this week. Usual routine, comments of any kind are appreciated below. Now to get to reading this week's books (I actually already started you can look forward to an interesting creation of Holy Water.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 11/3/10

After last week's double post, this one is going to take a step back with only six books. The good news, however, is that all six were quality comics and well worth your money so lets get right to them.

First up is Marvel's first and my favorite avenging son, Namor: The First Mutant #3. Going on the offensive this issue, Namor and his Royal Guard take the battle to the Aqeuos (basically vampires under the sea, fun fact: they first appeared in deleted scenes from The Little Mermaid.) Their plan to ultimately deal with the vermin hits a snag however when a familiar face shows up. All in all, another solid issue of this series. Like I've said before I am really digging the way Stuart Moore is writing Namor as not just an eternally pissed off ruler. In perfect compliment, is the art from Ariel (resisting a second little mermaid reference only because this dude's art rocks) Olivetti and a few pages from Fernando Blanco. If your not reading this book, at least give it a flip through at the shop to see how awesome they handle drawing an underwater world.

Sticking with Marvel we have the final issue of a series I hope returns soon, Hawkeye & Mockingbird #6. When we last left this Bonnie and Clydesque couple they had decided to call it quits and head there separate ways; this issue goes into why they made that decision and whether it was the right one. Another book I've talked about in length here before, I just wish it didn't have to end so soon. Jim McCann (writer) and David Lopez (penciler) were really hitting a nice stride with the characters. Originally they were going to continue the series with #7 and #8 crossing over with Black Widow but it appears that was changed to both titles pausing for a mini-series titled Widowmaker. Not entirely sold on picking it up yet, but if McCann is writing I probably will.

Moving over to the distinguished competition, we have DC's Brightest Day #13. Now I know I harped on this book last issue for focusing on only one story line, hoping they would go back to spreading the panel time, but this issue really pulled it off in my opinion. Staying off world, like of Mars last issue, this time Hawkworld is the location with Hawkman and Hawkgirl taking center stage. Its probably just because I care about the main characters a bit more than Martian Manhunter, but this issue definitely brought me back into the book. Looking forward to next issue, with the possibility of certain caped crusader donning a white ring!

Speaking of caped crusaders, next up is Batman and Robin #16. Bruce is back, Dick has been shot in the head (giggle), Damien is still tearing sh*t up, and the final mysteries of Doctor Hurt's past are revealed! Everything Grant Morrison has been working to so far pays off leading into the next era of Batman, he's plans to go corporate and my resume is already in the mail. Art was great as well this issue with Cameron Stewart, Chris Burnham, and Frazer Irving all turning in pages; Irving's art was a lot more enjoyable in a smaller portions than running the length of the issue as in the past few. While I won't be picking up to many Batman Incorporated titles, I will be staying on Batman and Robin for a while to see what's in store for Dick and Damien.

Next up is America's favorite, new, red headed, rebel with a cause; Scarlet #3. Picking up right where she left off, Scarlet plans to further expose the corrupt police responsible for her lover's young life cut short. Her handy work from last issue has been found and the powers that be are looking to speak with her, but they might want to be careful what they wish for. Think I've said it previously, but I'm loving this latest Icon title from Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. The story and art just flow so smoothly and always leave one craving more. Still early in the series so I highly recommend you jump on this wild ride. It would have been my pick of the week but it was narrowly beat out by a comic that is no stranger to the top spot.

Pick of the week, even if I went by just covers, is Avatar Press' Crossed: Family Values #5. After the run in with the other beings that are still people, and I use the word lightly, last issue; the group holds up in a hospital for Hannah and Kate to each give birth. Still worried about their other brother Joesph, Addy and Matt head out to see if they can reach him before he gets to the hell that is New Paradise. I've said it before, I love this book even though most people would lose their lunch from viewing some of the images it contains. David Lapham (writer) and Javier Barreno (artist) continue to amaze me with this beautifully grotesque comic, not just with the unique ways of showing blood and guts but the way it examines humanity. I can't rightfully recommend this to every one, I would probably lose a lot of friends if I did, but if you think you can handle it, give it or the Crossed Vol.1 TPB a try. Just keep one thing in your mind while reading it, the Crossed do nothing humans haven't already done or still do.

That wraps another week of funny (or not so funny) pages goodness. Comments, critiques, and suggestions are all welcomed below. Now if you'll excuse me I hear some comics podcast calling my name. Check out Burnt Weiners and The Pull List, two awesome comics podcast. It's sort of like reading this blog except they're a lot funnier, more knowledgeable about the subject, and have crossed into the world of sound!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Circle of Trust #3: I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009)

If this is your first foray into this series, the gist of it is these are my reviews of the films distributed through Oscilloscope Laboratories and which I receive by being a member of the Circle of Trust. Here is a link to my first review to see what they're all about. This time I'm taking a look at I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale.

I first heard about I Knew It Was You shortly before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year and have been looking forward to seeing it ever since. I've really enjoyed Cazale's work ever since the first time I saw The Godfather. By the the time I saw The Godfather Part 2, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter, and The Conversation he had become one of my favorite actors. Due to the extremely niche market of the film, I knew I was in for a long wait for the film to make its way to me. Thanks to the awesome people at Oscilloscope that wait has ended and come tomorrow (11/9/10) this film while be available for purchase, but as a Circle of Trust member my wait ended last week.

I Knew It Was You tells the about the career of cult-favorite actor John Cazale, better known to the world as Fredo Corleone from The Godfather, through interviews with the phenomenal talent he worked with, the modern actors he has inspired, and the loved ones he spent his time with. Shedding the normal bio-documentary take of telling one's life story, this film shows the effect John had on everything he touched and is as personal and sweet as he himself is usually described. This fitting tribute to Mr. Cazale continues on into the bonus features on this DVD.

Starting us off is an audio commentary for the film done by the director Richard Shepard. If you have any question about the film, its pretty much answered in here from why he started the project to why someone isn't interviewed in the film. Next, is two extended interviews of which excerpts were shown in the film. The first is with Al Pacino, in which he tells few more personal stories, and the second is with Israel Horowitz, a playwright who often cast John which contains the full eulogy he wrote for him. Last and probably most hilarious are two shorts John worked on in the sixties, The American Way (which he acted in) and The Box (which he shot), both I had never seen before and plan to revisit often.

Another solid pick up from Oscilloscope, I give this film (and DVD) 4 out of 5 stars. Some might justify it as only a rental, complaining of its length (another issue addressed in the audio commentary) but its a must own for any John Cazale fan. As previously mentioned, it officially goes on sale tomorrow. Below are a few links to make sure you don't miss out on it.

The synopsis of I Knew It Was You on Oscilloscope's site (You should also be able to purchase it from here soon)

Add I Knew It Was You to your Netflix Queue

Win a copy of this DVD from the A.V. Club

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 10/20/10 & 10/27/10

Are you ready to experience possibly the most comics ever reviewed in one post? If not, I recommend you come back at a later date with your favorite drink and snack item because reading this post will challenge you right down to your soul! Or you could just skim it and read about the series you care about. With out further ado, here is my thoughts on 19 recent comics most coming out in the last two weeks.

Books from 10/20/10

We start off in the DCU with Batman and Robin #15. Still enjoying Grant Morrison story and the way he handles Dick, Damien, and the Joker. Frazer Irving's art has continued to grow on me and while it certainly is my favorite, I can see its value to the way this story is being told and respect its use. A lot of his panels almost seem perfect for a poster but at the same time that some times distracts from them fluidly moving the story. If you enjoy Morrison's stuff and are interested in the new Batman and Robin, this book won't disappoint.

Staying with in the Bat-family but skipping a number of years into its possible future we have Batman Beyond #5 of 6. Can't say much about this book I haven't already. Really enjoying both Adam Beechen's writing and Ryan Benjamin's pencils. It may be a bit formulaic, with this penultimate issue answering most questions to prepare for the action packed finale but that doesn't make it any less fun. Definitely a must read for any fans of the TV series but still accessible to those that haven't seen an episode.

From the shadows of current and future Gotham City, we move over to Brightest Day #12. Not the best issue, in my opinion, mainly due to focusing to much on just Martian Manhunter. I don't hate the character but usually find it some what of a task to read a comic mostly about him. Art is still great and the other bits of story were good, just hope they return to a more balanced act in future issues.

Also under the Brightest Day banner this week we have Green Lantern Corps#53. This issue starts a new arc, The Weaponer, and looks to be a good jumping on point for the series. I am big fan of the book, mainly due to getting my Kyle Rayner GL fix from it, and this looks to be the start of something good. The combined efforts of Tyler Kirkham's pencils, Batt's inks, and Nei Ruffino's colors work wonder's in a Green Lantern color scheme. I do have one slight reservation that the story might try and undermine one of my favorite character's development over the years. Hopefully I end up worrying for nothing but I don't know how any GL fan could say no to next issue anyway, with it looking to be an all out battle between Kyle and Sinestro.

Moving over to Marvel books we have Ultimate New Ultimates #4 (I hate typing that title.) Thor's return to the mortal world breathes a little life into this story that has relied on senseless action and Frank Cho's fantastic art to get it off the shelves. Definitely more interested in checking out the next issue of this series more than I have been for the last few, but that isn't saying much. Can't recommend any new readers jump on but you can wait for when they inevitably either launch Ultimate New Ultimates 2 #1 or try to come up with a stupider title.

Hopping over to the regular Marvel Universe we have New Mutants #18. Another book where I have little to say about because I've said it all before. Love the characters, love the story, and love the art! Zeb Wells (on writing duties) and Leonard Kirk (providing the art) are consistently knocking it out of the park and if it weren't for a certain special that got pick of the week this would have easily beaten the rest of the field.

Heading over to Marvel's imprint Icon, we have Superior #1. While Superior didn't come out this week, its the first chance I had to pick it up and take a look. Written by Mark Millar with pencils by Leinil Yu, Superior follows young teen Simon Pooni. After having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, life hasn't been easy for him but that all changes one night when he visited by a magical monkey from space. Magic space monkey, Ormon, tells he he has been selected out of every one on the planet to receive the magic wish and before Simon can respond he is transformed into his favorite fictional hero, Superior. Overall, I enjoyed the book but still am not sure if I am going to pick it up regularly, or as regularly as an Icon book comes out. Leinil Yu is another artist whose work I don't like a whole lot, although I did feel it had some brilliant moments in this first issue. So for now, the jury is still out on this book.

Sitting snugly between my Icon books this week is Image's latest title Skull Kickers #2. Picking up right where the #1 leaves off this issue treats us to even more action, humor, and brilliantly lettered sound effects by Marshall Dillon. This title is perfect for anyone who enjoys a little bit of guns and guts mixed in with their medieval mayhem. Also, I believe this series is the first I've seen of both Jim Zubkavich (the writer) and Edwin Huang (the artist) and I am looking forward to more from this delightful duo.

Next up is my other pick up from Icon, Kick-Ass 2 #1. Still not exactly how I feel about this book as it left me quite torn. Part of me really enjoys some of the humor and the super hero team aspect of which this book is approaching while the other half dreadfully feels like it is just a vehicle for the powers at be to make a sequel to the film based on the first Kick-Ass. Probably going to end up grabbing the second issue but if I'm still getting the same vibe will end up dropping it.

Last up for books from the 20th is the pick of the week, Vertigo Resurrected #1. This is a 100-page anthology of short stories previously put out by Vertigo in other books, and it is stocked full of awesomeness. The talent on this one alone should be enough to get people to pick it up; including the like of Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, Garth Ennis, and Peter Milligan just to name a few. Its honest been quite a while since I have picked up a comic containing short stories and thoroughly enjoyed each one. If by some chance of luck this is still on the shelves at your local shop make sure to pick it up, provided you can handle the adult nature of some of the stories.

Books from 10/27/10

Starting off with Marvel this time we have Ultimate Avengers 3 #3. Just above the other Ultimates book, in both content and ridiculousness of title, I have been mildly enjoying this book. Not sure if it is exactly what the creators were going for but it has a cheesy horror film vibe to it coming from both the cartoonish art style of Steve Dillion and the fact that every one is turning into a blood sucker. If your looking for pure comics gold like the first two volumes of The Ultimates, you won't find it here but this is an entertaining story set in that world.

Next up is Secret Avengers #6 by Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato. Now this is one Avengers books I am thoroughly enjoying. This issue kicks off a new arc, Eyes of the Dragon, and brings another recruit to the team Shang Chi. A covert team of heroes plot line-check, spectacular ninja fight scenes-check, bodacious heroines in skin tight and/or revealing clothing-check; this one has it all. If your not already picking up this book, I suggest you give this issue a try and you might just find yourself hooked.

Last book from Marvel this week is Uncanny X-Men #529. While I am still not crazy about Whilce Portacio's art it is serviceable and Matt Fraction's writing along with Terry and Rachel Dodson's covers are what is really keeping me in the book. Looking forward to the next issue to see how the book handles (presumably) the loss of the Hope storyline to the new Generation Hope series starting today.

Stepping away from the "House of Ideas", from Slave Labor Graphics we have The Royal Historian of Oz #2. For those not familiar with the title the cliff notes version is that its about a boy whose father desires to be the foremost authority on all things Oz, despite being ostracized by other "experts" on the subject. As it turns out, he travels to Oz and steals proof of its existence but needless to say this doesn't leave every one there to happy. This issue pick up from there with Ozites (sure, I'll call them Ozites) coming to our world. Still really enjoying the concept, story, and art of this book. It actually came out a few weeks back but my store didn't get theirs in until now, so hopefully I am preaching to the choir on this one.

Venturing back into the $1 trial books, I picked up the reprint of Hack/Slash #1. Not really a trial for me, since I have been getting into that world as of late but definitely a solid read for anyone interesting in checking out the title. Plus, who doesn't love a $1 price tag?

Rounding out the lesser known titles this week is Kill Shakespeare #6 from IDW. I will spare you all me going on again about how much I like this book, but just know that I do. The unique world Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, and Andy Belanger have created borrowing some of The Bard's old favorites it truly fantastic. Also, for those waiting for collected editions I believe the first TPB of the series came out today, so be on the look out. A definite contender for pick of the week but it was just barley nudged out by another favorite I will get to later.

Starting of a stellar set of DC books this week is Teen Titans #88. This issue brings the much anticipated (from me at least) creative team change to J.T. Krul writing and Nicola Scott on pencils, and I think they knocked it out of the park. It reminds me a bit of Johns run which I really enjoyed but I can tell its going to have its own flair with Ravager and "Robin" joining the team. Also, think I am in love with the way Nicola, along with Doug Hazlewood (the inker) and Jason Wright (the colorist), give each location its own unique feel. I don't have one bad word to say about this book, looks like Teen Titans will remain on the pull list for the foreseeable future.

Next up is Bruce Wayne: The Road Home-Ra's al Ghul one-shot. Picked this up for two reason the first being that I enjoy Ra's as a character and the second was too see how it tied in to and/or stood on its own from the other BW:TRH one-shot I read. Have to say it was a success on all fronts. It tells an interesting Ra's tale that could be read with out any other books but also ties into what Bruce Wayne is coming back to. Reading this one is really getting me thinking about picking up some of the other one shots in the series.

Last, and certainly not least, is the pick of the week; Justice League: Generation Lost #12. Those familiar with my blog should see it as no surprise since I have gushed about almost every issue of the series on here. This issue focuses on Ice, adding a bit of her past into the current story line. While I have never been her biggest fan, I love the way Judd Winick gives some of her history in brief to newer readers, of which he did the same for Captain Atom in an earlier issue. I know he as a writer is real hit or miss for some readers, but I think he has only brought his A-game to this book.

Whew! Well that is all for the last two weeks of comics. Be sure to leave comments with what you thought on these books or others I didn't check out and don't be afraid to make a recommendation if you think I might like something based on these reviews. Next week looks to be short on issues but I hoping to check out some graphic novels and get those up on here. *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Circle of Trust #2: Kisses (2008)

If this is your first time checking out the Circle of Trust, here is a link my first post in the series and what it is all about. This time I am checking out Kisses, an Irish film by writer/director Lance Daly.

Kisses follows two runaways on an adventure through the kind and mean streets of Dublin. Dylan, played by Shane Curry, comes from an abusive father and a home that hasn't quite been the same since his elder brother ran away, while Kylie, played by Kelly O'Neill, is the girl next door who comes from a home full of children and problems. Both turn in brilliant performances in this heartfelt tale that not only examines the city from the eyes of a child but connects with any viewer who has ever wanted to runaway. Daly's emotional story and characters carry a bulk of the weight but the technical aspects also shine in this Indie-Irish darling.

First, and probably my favorite part of the film, is the the changing color scale. The beginning and the end are pictured in old fashioned black-and-white while most of Dylan and Kylie's adventure is shown in full color, with transitional phases happening between each section. There are quite a few ways to read into such a stylistic choice but this reviewer see it as everyday life remembered in plain gray-scale, extraordinary events are captured in all the colors of the rainbow, and sometimes the two blend together when were not quite sure which is happening. Less in your face is the score to the film, a fantastic accompaniment to this tale. Part fantasy with magical melodies matched to the title scenes, part real world/folk grounded music with the raspy singing of Bob Dylan, and part everything in between. These and other such elements are going to have me re-watching the film every once in awhile for years to come.

The DVD, however, is a little less impressive with minimalist features, but that isn't to say they are interesting features.. The film comes with the standard fare of outtakes, a making of featurette, and commentary track but with its own little spin. Both the outtakes and featurette are less technically minded and more of seeing the production through the kid's eyes and in place of a director's commentary we get to listen to the two star enjoying the film, showing their chemistry even off screen and just having a good time.

Overall giving the film a 4 out of 5 stars, since I really enjoyed it and Oscilloscope continues its lengthy hot-streak in choice for me, but giving the DVD only 3 out of 5, fans of the film will enjoy it for the film and a once through on the features but not much there for others. I definitely recommend everyone check out the film although it might not capture every one as it has me, always been a sucker for those Irish films, but coming in at 78 minutes it is a great film to just put on and relax. If your still or now interested in the film check out the links below to get it into your hands.

Check out the trailer on YouTube

Add the film to your Neflix queue

Buy the film from Oscilloscope Laboratories or check out the rest of their films

Or try your hand at winning it from one of these two great sites: Cinespect and Film Junk

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 10/13/10

Ton of books this week, as you can see below, so let's get right into it.

We start off this week with Oni Press' Frenemy of the State #3. While not the greatest title out, its still a pretty fun book. The topic of under cover agents has been done to death but this title breaths some fresh life into it with its clever "pop princess" dialogue and the unique ways our protagonist maintains her cover.

Next up is Bongo Comics' Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #4 of 5. Not much to say about the book really. The art the same as the television show, neither better nor worse, and the story/humor have been in a steady decline since the first issue. It still has some funny moments but overall not worth the price of admission. Due to my collecting illness I will probably pick up the last issue when it comes out but I really recommend passing on it if your not already invested.

Kicking off a swarm of DC books we have Justice Society of America 80-page giant 2010. Overall an awesome one-shot of short stories. Didn't care to much for the tale of two Wildcats or Liberty Belle's story but the rest were great, with Christian Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis' Cyclone story being my favorite. Art from everyone was fantastic but I especially enjoyed Mateus Santolouco's Dr. Fate work (except for his velociraptor-like Power Girl.) A must check out for any JSA fan (especially of these characters) even if you have gotten away from the regular books recently like I have.

Up next is another DC one shot, Untold Tales of Blackest Night and I for one wasn't nearly as impressed with this one. While the art was good just like it was consistently through Blackest Night, but most of the stories just felt like scrapped ideas from it. Really enjoyed Ethan Van Sciver's Karu-Sil's story and the actual deleted scenes from Blackest Night, but the rest just left me unimpressed. If you want more of Blackest Night I can recommend it as your only current source but if you felt satisfied with the story there is nothing absolutely necessary here.

Rounding out these DC one-shots we have Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, Red Robin. I was pretty hesitant about picking this up, mainly because I thought this series of The Road Home one-shots would leave you feel like you were missing something if you only picked up one. I am really glad to say, that is no the case. While it ties in elements from both the other Road Home books and the Red Robin monthly title, it also tells an accessible stand alone story of Tim and Bruce testing each other. If you have ever been a fan of this particular duo, definitely recommend picking it up as it gives a nice perspective on where each of them is now.

Getting into the regular DC titles we have Green Lantern # 58. Solid issue, Doug Mahnke's art kills it as usual while Geoff Johns' story continually growing. Really enjoying Atrocitus getting to flex his vocal cords and his quoting of "The Dark Knight" film.

Heading over to another Brightest Day tie-in we have Justice League: Generation Lost #11. Another series that continues to pump out great issues. Featuring the Metal Men, this one turns into a hero vs. hero slobber knocker, which may seem a like a tired plot but is both fun and funny here. Quickly becoming one of my favorite super hero books that I hope continues for quite a while.

The perfect compliment to the last book in both characters and style is up next, Booster Gold #37. Giffen, DeMatteis, and company continuing tales of the greatest hero you've never heard off never cease to entertain an amuse me. Featuring a sexy prison break, Blue Beetle being eaten, and Booster solving the problem he got into from time traveling by traveling forward in time; this issue delivers another helping of awesome.

Moving over to the my only Marvel book this week, unless you count the Icon imprint, X-Men #4. Have to start off by talking about the gorgeous cover by Adi Granov. His portrait of vampire Wolverine is affective and bone chilling. On the matter of the actual comic, it is good but nothing spectacular. I enjoyed Paco Medina's art but find the story to be predictable while aiming for just the opposite, never been a big fan of that. I could end up eating my words if the story drastically changes but I doubt it.

Getting back into one-shots, this time from Image, we have Hack/Slash: Murder Messiah Annual. Per the norm for Hack/Slash, the cover and art are fantastically gory and sexy. The story was also really good but might probably isn't the best for any one to join in on or new comers to the universe such as myself. While I enjoyed it and just wanted to known more about these characters, I could see someone having the reverse reaction and totally losing interest in the book. Hopefully going to track down some early volumes of this book soon.

The almost but not quite pick of the week is The Unwritten #18. Just when we have figured out most of what is going on in The Unwritten, Mike Carey and Peter Gross open up a whole new and delightful can of worms. Spectacular art and story as always with yet another engrossing cover. Can't recommend this book enough, so if your still not checking it out rectify that immediately.

Lastly, just barely beating out The Unwritten, is Casanova #4 from Icon. What more can I say about this book that haven't in previous posts? Amazing art from Gabriel Ba, a Silly/Sci-Fi/Spy story by Matt Fraction, and even special features via an interview at the end of every issue. While I know not everyone will like this book, I am enjoying the hell out of it!

Well that is it for this week, and since this is going up late I can already tell you there are some great comics for next week. See you back here in six days (going to try to get this on a normal schedule of every Wednesday.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 10/6/10

Really small stack this week but it is full of some awesome comics.

First up from Veritgo is American Vampire #7. I have already gushed about this book in previous posts and this issue maintains that level of deserved praise, so just pretend I wrote it all again. Something I don't think I have mentioned yet is how great this book is at blending vampire stories into a time period. In the first arcs it was early Hollywood and "The West" while the current story line takes a look at the beginnings of sin city and the Hoover Dam being built. Overall this book is just another perfect example of the work Vertigo puts out every month.

Next up is DC's Brightest Day #11. Art is still awesome and the narrowing down to two story-lines per comic, something that has been solidifying over the last few issues, has really helped the flow of the overall narrative. This issue brings us the return of a few familiar faces, which I am not really excited about but don't hate either so I am willing to see where it goes.

Heading over to Marvel, we kick their books off with Hawkeye & Mockingbird #5. It has been said many places but this comic just oozes fun and you should definitely be giving it a shot. In addition to the fun factor, David Lopez's art every issue has been great especially the action sequences. Again the books leaves us with a great cliff hanger anxiously awaiting next's month's installment.

Moving into my new books, with this one only getting picked up after flipping through it at the shop, we have Ultimate Thor #1. Never been a big Thor fan and Ultimate Marvel books haven't been great recently so this should have been an easy pass for me. At the shop though the cover caught my eye, which got me to flip through it, which got me to buy it, which resulted in me really enjoying it. The combination of Jonathan Hickman's story and Carlos Pacheco's art has a real epic and grand feel that fits the Norse god of thunder, especially the battle scenes. Definitely going to pick up the next issue, hoping they keep it up.

Lastly and pick of the week is Uncanny X-Force #1. I was little hesitant when I first read about this comic as I had really come to enjoy the previous X-Force team, have no love for Deadpool, and haven't read anything from Rick Remender or Jerome Opena. It was inevitable that I would pick it up though since I couldn't miss Archangel and Psylocke being back together in the same book (and bed coincidentally.) Long story short: I Love This Book! It holds on to that the feeling of X-Force but Remender and Opena also manage to put their own personal touch on it that makes it feel unique. Can't wait to see where they these two creators go with two of my favorite x-men and one of my favorite x-villains. So if you were holding back or didn't want to pick up another x-book, I implore you to give Uncanny X-Force a shot. They even manage to make Deadpool bearable.

Closing time once again and while you don't have to go home, you do have to go out to your local shop and pick up next week's comics since I do as well. See you back in here in 7 days or less or the next post is free.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 9/29/10

Not a huge amount of books this week, but all were awesome save the one I was expecting not to like. Really hard to narrow it down to a pick of the week but through a number of coin flips, die rolls, and games of rock-paper-scissors (with myself) I was able to do just that. So with out further ado, the usual suspects:

Lets get the bad stuff out of the way first, Teen Titans #87. If you've been reading regularly, you know this title has been a disappointment as of late. The art isn't bad but the story and characters just seem shallow, boring, predictable, and humorless. Basically everything I liked about a Titans book has slowly been stripped away. All that said, I promised to (and still plan on) sticking around for the creative team change coming with the next issue. Hopefully with some fresh blood and some returning/new characters, this book can get back on track.

Heading over to the Marvel Universe, we have Namor: The First Mutant #2. I am enjoying everything about this book! The phenomenal art and cover art (by Ariel Olivetti and Jae Lee with June Chung respectively), the way the story ties into the other Curse of the Mutants branded books but can also be read by itself, and perhaps most of all the character development of Namor. While a lot of creators just write him off as the eternally pissed off king of the sea, Stuart Moore is doing a tremendous job of building personality back into the character. Instead of just letting his fury come out at the drop of a at as is his standard operating procedure, Namor instead restrains himself saving it for the heat of battle. Being the long time Sub-Mariner fan that I am, I am glad he is back in his own book under a great creative team.

Next up is part one in the duo of death both coming to a conclusion today, 1 Month 2 Live #5 of 5. This issue brings a nice and fitting end to this mini, which had me on the fence for a while but am now firmly on the side of liking it. It had its moments that I didn't like, but overall presented a great story which is a feat considering how many different creators were working on the title. I don't want to give away the ending here suffice to say that I really enjoyed it and that people should definitely pick this up when it gets collected.

Part 2 is little well less covered by most, coming from IDW, but is just as good, 5 Days to Die #5 of 5. In this final issue Andy Schmidt and Chee bring their bloody noir tale to its ultimate conclusion. While it was a bit predictable, that didn't effect the emotional or visual payoff when Ray finally caught his man and paid the price for doing his duty. Also, the cover of the final issue was worth the price of admission alone, perfectly summarizing this entire mini-series in one single image. If you get the chance, and this does get collected, I definitely recommend giving it a read.

Continuing with just a little more death, we have Crossed: Family Values #4. Now I am a huge fan of the Crossed books and this issue just builds on what is already a great series with a bit of a curve ball. The big story here is how this issue was very toned down in comparison to every other issue, with less blood and gore and almost no sexual content, shocking the audience this month with what wasn't in the book. Upon a second reading though, I found even more interesting the bulk of violence was normal humans against each other instead of the crossed wreaking havoc on them. While I know a lot of zombie/apocalyptic books broach this subject, I am really interested to see where David Lapham takes it in the crossed universe. All that said, art is still great from Javier Barreno and if you are a guts and gore fan, you need to be picking this book up. Really close to being pick of the week along with our next book, but both just barley fell short.

Venturing into the world of toys and the boogeyman, we have The Stuff of Legend Volume:II The Jungle, Part 2. Its been a while since the last issue, so for those who don't know this book it follows a group of toys loyal to their master who are trying to rescue him from the Boogeyman. Something of a cross between Toy Story and The Never Ending Story, this book continues to wow with spectacular art and design as well as interesting story with compelling characters. A perfect example of what non-superhero comics can be and why more people should be giving them a chance.

Last up and the pick of the week is Icon's Casanova: Luxuria III by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba. Casanova is a humor filled spy story that keeps me wanting more each month. From fantastic locals gorgeous robotic women, this one has it all. I'm a huge fan of Ba's art, whose work is not stranger to the pick of the week coming off of Daytripper, and am becoming a bigger fan of Fraction every issue, with his writing on this book as well his recent X-Men work. In addition to this being another great issue, it also features a little story/interview by Matt that was personal, touching, and inspiring. Even if the concept of the book doesn't sound like your kind of thing, check out this issue for a little insight in to Matt Fraction's life.

That wraps up another week of comics. Next week is looking a little light so I might finally get around to reviewing some of the recent indie comics I have been checking out. Until next time keep flopping those floppys.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Circle of Trust #1: La Loi (The Law) 1959

This is the first entry for what is going to be a regular series on my blog, almost monthly, and one I am really excited about. As I have mentioned quite a few times before I am in love with the film distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories. Every one of their films that I have seen is awesome and based on their upcoming releases I don't see that changing in the near future. Along with selling their DVDs through their online shop they also offer membership to a DVD club of sorts where they send you their releases automatically.

Called the Circle of Trust, membership nets you Oscilloscope's next 10 DVD releases about a week before they go on sale for the price of $150. Now I know that sounds like a lot, but for the value your getting it is really quite a deal. Each DVD comes out to fifteen bucks (had to break out the old calculator on that), is loaded with special features, and comes in a beautiful case (the cover art for The Law is featured below.) The next thing that jumps to mind is "but I don't know what movies I will be getting for that money", a somewhat true statement. Oscilloscope updates with news about their latest acquisitions as soon as there are acquired so you can sort of guess what movies you will be getting from them. Additionally, in my opinion, if I was having anyone pick out DVDs for me besides myself I would want it to be them. They have yet to distribute a terrible film from so I know they won't end up making me watch one, something I can't even say for the closest of friends. As an added little perk, members can also purchase a copy of each older Oscilloscope release at half price from shop, something I plan on taking advantage of quite a bit. Now, on to my review of the first DVD I received as a member, Jules Dassin's The Law.

The Law is a tale of lust, love, justice, and control all happening in a small Italian fishing village named Porto Manacore. With multiple story-lines and an amazing ensemble cast, The Law focuses primarily on two individuals. The first is Mariette (played by the gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida, seen above), a young female house keeper looking for love and freedom, and the other is Matteo Brigante (played by Yves Montand), a gang leader gaining power and status in the town so he can totally control it once the current Don passes. Part Italian neorealism and part soap opera, the film presents of an interesting blend of romanticism and politics that few films nowadays seem to attain.

In addition to its engaging story and brilliant acting, the film's technical aspects aren't to shabby either. From a great out doors long-shot early in them film (introducing us to many of the minor players) to the intense, close-up bar scene when the gentlemen play the drinking game The Law (providing insight into the community and from which the title comes) no shot seems to be without powerful meaning from behind the camera as well as in front of it. The spectacular backdrop of the southern Italian coast didn't hurt either, as it adds to how epic the film feels and looks.

In true Oscilloscope fashion the DVD comes with some great extras. Two critical essays on the DVD cover, an alternate ending, two television clips discussing the film and the book it was based of off, and a great little documentary about The Law as it is played today in southern Italy. While I didn't listen to the commentary track from film critic David Fear I look forward to checking that out next time I decided to take a trip back to Porto Manacore.

I am giving this film (and DVD) 4 out of 5 stars, as I really enjoyed it and I think it has something for everyone if your willing to look for it. Released on DVD yesterday, it is available for purchase from the previously linked Oscilloscope shop and for instant viewing through Netflix.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 9/22/10

Not a ton of new pick ups this week but still a bunch of good reads. Decided to change up the usual routine this week and start with everything non-superhero.

First up is Image's latest fantasy tale Skull Kickers #1 by Jim Zubkavich, Chris Stevens, and Edwin Huang. Two nameless mercenaries, one a gun wielding barbarian the other a quick tempered dwarf, embark on a journey to well... have fun and get paid. Skull Kickers presents a fantasy tale with over the top humor and graphic cartoon-like battles, it has sucked me and had me laughing quite a bit. Looking forward to more of this series.

Also from Image, I finally decided to check out the $1 reprint of Chew #1. Being a series that has received critical acclaim in addition to being recommended by my friends, I tried to keep my expectations from getting to high on this one. In the end that didn't really matter since this book is awesome! Chew, written and lettered by John Layman while drawn and coloured by Rob Guillory, follows detective Tony Chu who has the unique ability of being a cibopathic, meaning anything he eats gives him information about where it came from. Gore, illegal chicken, great one liners make this book a must read especially at a dollar. Probably going to invest in the trades of the series when I get the chance as well.

Moving into are weekly duo of death, we have 5 Days to Die #4 of 5. Not much more to add about this series besides what I have covered over the past three weeks. Still loving the combination of story and art, and can not wait to read the finale next week. Part two of the duo is none other that 1 Month 2 Live #4 of 5. Same goes for this one, really covered it over the past three weeks leaving little more to say till its finished. Interesting moment towards the end of this issue when they stayed true and didn't take the easy way out but the finale issue is really going to make or break this one for me.

Heading into the capes and tights department we have Uncanny X-Men #528. Interesting developments in every story line, and even a new one or two, except for Hope's visit to the newest mutant. I really think Matt Fraction is doing good job of handling the X-Men stable in showcasing some people, giving others a minor appearance or two, and letting others stay in the rest of the x-books. Had some problems with some of Whilce Portacio's art (there is a panel or two where Emma looks very manly) but over all it was still enjoyable.

Next up from Marvel is Secret Avengers #5. This issue explains how Nick "Max" Fury got into bed with the Shadow Council that is out to take down Steve and his covert ops team. Really enjoyed the art collaborating artists David Aja, Michael Lark, and Stefano Gaudiano; it gave the book that old-school/spy story feel which is perfect for the character. The story was good once you read the entire issue, starting out it feels like one of a dozen Fury stories I have read in the past. Still loving this series, never been a huge Avengers fan but Ed Brubaker is turning that around in a hurry.

Venturing over to DC we have Green Lantern Corps #52. The conclusion of Revolt of the Alpha Lanterns wasn't as great as the rest of the arc but still descent. My big problem with it was how the story seemed to take the easy way out of the corner it had been written in to and gets a happy ending. I was kind of hoping for something big that would have a lasting impact on the characters but it kind of went the safe way. Ardian Syaf's art was still fantastic through and made up for a less than stellar ending.

This brings us to the pick of the week, Justice League: Generation Lost #10. If you read my comments before you know I love everything about this book and that just continues into this issue. Also, loving the way it is tying into past DC stories (ala Kingdom Come) even if that is probably more of an editorial decision that Winick's alone. Joe Bennett is still bringing his A-game with the art and this issue features a nice cover by Cliff Chiang. If your not reading this book, start immediately!

That's it for this week's books, leave comments/recommendations/critiques through the usual means.

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Theaters: Buried (2010)

Attended a preview screening of this little gem last week, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Rodrigo Cortes. Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, an American truck driver working on in Iraq who wakes up inside a coffin. Realizing his situation and armed with only a cell phone and lighter, Paul races against the his depleting oxygen supply to get out or get himself rescued.

So let's get this out of the way first, yes the entire film takes place in the coffin. While most directors would avoid that idea like the plague for fear of boring viewers to death, Cortes embraces and uses it to create one of the most intense films I have seen in a while. Utilizing some spectacular cinematography from Eduard Grau and very little off screen sources of lighting (from what I could tell), Cortes keeps the audience invested in this thriller all the way through to end. Of course all that would be for naught with out a great performance from Reynolds.

Buried is probably my favorite Reynolds acting gig to date (would have to watch The Nines again to be sure.) Showcasing a range of emotions from fear and anger to compassion and love, Reynolds performance elevates this role that would have crushed a less talented actor. Staying true to his usual style, he even manages to cause a few laughs from an audience that is watching him suffocate to death. Really can't say enough about how much I enjoyed him in this film and look forward to seeing more of this caliber from in the future (crossing fingers for Green Lantern.)

Needless to sat at this point but I really enjoyed the hell out of this film, even if I was a little tentative about it at first. Giving it 4 out of 5 stars in my book, well really 4 out of 5 in my internet blog but you get the idea. I highly recommend you see this film in the theater if you get the chance, as it only adds to the ambiance of it. Pretty sure it is in select theaters now but widening out to more markets come October so look for it soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Theaters: Devil (2010)

"I was living in a devil town,
didn't know it was a devil town.
Oh Lord, it really brings me down about the devil town."
-Daniel Johnston

Got around to seeing Devil Monday after finally emerging from the basement I spent all weekend in playing Halo: Reach. It wasn't a film I was dying to see but the trailer and hearing the director & producer duo of the film (John and Drew Dowdle respectively) talk about it at Chicago Comic Con was enough to get me to see it in theaters, and I am glad I did.

The general premise of the film is that five people become trapped in an elevator and one of them may or may not be the title character. Not an overly complicated idea but greatly done in this film as a thriller/mystery with a dash of police procedural. It would fall flat on its face though with out the excellent cast. Headlined by Chris Messina and Logan Marshall-Green, this ensemble of recognizable performers, but non-house hold names really hold their own. Although with any film, movie magic played quite a large role as well.

Watching a film take place in primarily a small elevator would become boring and tiresome fast if not for the creative and interesting techniques the film utilizes. Ranging from multiple point of view shots, getting inside each character, to total black outs of the screen, bringing about the fear of the unknown, the viewer is constantly wondering who is perpetrating these events and why. These combined with the excellent sound mixing sustain the thrilling atmosphere all the way to credits.

I really enjoyed the film, enough so to give it a 4 out of 5 stars and as long as your next expecting the greatest film of all time I think you'll enjoy it as well. To those out there who have been staying away from it after not enjoying Shyamalan's last few films (The Last Air Bender, The Happening, The Village), keep in mind he only wrote the story and produced, so he didn't control anywhere near as much in this film and its more reminiscent of his earlier better films (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Lady in the Water.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday Pickups 9/15/10

This week's books (plus a few from previous weeks) were amazing! Add those to a few other goodies and it going to be quite lengthy post today, so grab your beverage of choice and turn on some Dido to set the mood.

First up is our fortnightly does of brightness, Brightest Day #10. This issue focuses on Aqualad and one of my favorite new odd couples, Firestorm. Both stories begin to heat up and boil (double bad pun useage for the win) as one pulls a semi-Darth Vader while the other brings back one of the best characters from Blackest Night (hint: his new name is so stupid its awesome.) Keeping up with quility of work this series has been putting out can't be easy task of this band of artists but they some how manage it. Art is still awesome, with a particularly striking cover, and going with only two story lines per issue is really helping the writing to shine.

Staying in the DCU but heading into a future (the future is a lot harder to get to), we have Batman Beyond #4 of 6. Terry meets up with a former partner of Bruce's and sees the real cost of the working with him while the new Catwoman shows she is not a one trick pussycat. Oh yeah, and the new Hush reveals his or her identity! I am going to reserve judgment on that till the end of the mini but still really enjoying the book. One (of the many) things the creative team, lead by Adam Beechen at the type writer and Ryan Benjamin on the pencils, is good at is subtly making references to the TV show. Both in the story and in the visuals it is their for long time fans to appreciate but doesn't exclude those who may just be getting into the Batman Beyond world.

Moving from the dark and grim future of Gotham City to the dark and grim future of the Marvel universe we have Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #4 of 4. While I was some what skeptical about this mini at first it really ended up being an enjoyable read. Part dark comedy, part "true" Punisher story, this tale doesn't try to redefine Frank but show him in his true light in another world. This final issue really brings it all together nicely and satisfies with out making you desire a sequel. However, I do hope Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov team up for something else soon.

Meanwhile back in the current Marvel universe things are going almost as badly for our favorite band of young mutants in New Mutants #17. Illyana feels "a disturbance in the force" and realizes young Pixie has been kidnapped by General Ulysses, his unit, and "the babies." Taking charge, she leads the team against these Limbo-hardened warriors and by issue's end things are going so well. Have to start off by saying how much I love this cover! Not sure if it is how strong and colorful the image looks or my obsession with young Russian women with awesome names but Dave Wilkins gives us a cover you can't help but notice on the stands. As for everything inside the cover, awesome as usual. Can't wait to see what happens with these "babies" when everything is said and done. Also loved how Cypher nonchalantly translates everything said in limboese in the book, just adds to my fondness for him and Magick and gratefulness at having them both back in the X-verse.

Last up from Marvel is 1 Month 2 Live #3 of 5. This week Dennis Sykes, or Flux as he was recently dubbed, goes adventuring with Marvel's first family while his family drift further apart. Really liked Shane White's art in this issue, has that classic Fantastic Four feel to it and goes with the adventure. An interesting guest-star of the week type tale, this book is consistently fun and the creative team changes keep the reader vested as well, but I am not sure how its going to finish up in two issues with out feeling rushed or losing impact. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.

Changing companies to other dying protagnist, we have 5 Days To Die #3 of 5. Contiuing this weekly noir tale Ray confronts Mr. Hoverman but doesn't get his revenge just yet. Is revenge really warranted though, is Frank even seeing reality anymore after his injury? Meanwhile, in the hospital his daughter wakes up and is not to thrilled about his absence. Really digging the art on this book, its dark tones with occasional red splashed panels creates a feel not available anywhere else on the stands. While I feel like I know where right where this one is going, there still might be a surprise or two in store, and I am sticking around to see it to its bloody finale.

From one bloody tale to another, we have Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #3 & 4 of 4 (missed 3 at some point resulting in this little double feature this week.) Cassie Hack gets to the bottom of the happenings at the old Fig Farm and finds her place in this monster filled world. For my first venture into the Hack/Slash books this mini really pulled me in. Full of sexy babes, horror film humor, and character development this book delivers on all fronts. Already looking at picking up some of the collected editions and I can tell by the covers I am in for a treat. If you like horror movies or like to laugh at them, I can't recommend this book enough. I am sure it will be out in trade paper back soon enough, and be showcasing a provocative new cover no doubt.

Next up is another $1 preview comic from Radical, Mata Hari. A fictional tale based on the real person, famous during World War I as a performer turned "double agent" or government scapegoat depending on who you ask. Not only does this comic feature beautiful art but its page and panel layout is amazing. Busy pages line up and flow perfectly with out seeming crowed and over stuff. The story of this book is interesting as well, featuring an article at the end of the comic by the author and why he had to write this tale. Mata Hari is set as a hardcover graphic novel release in spring 2011 and I will definitely be picking it up then. The only problem I see with it is their release of this preview so early, closer to the release of the actual book would seemingly have gotten them much more sales from buzz about it.

Last to books of this week both come Vertigo and both are awesome, yes I realize saying something is from Vertigo and is awesome is redundant but some people don't know this yet and need to be converted. First up is Joe the Barbarian #7 of 8. In this penultimate chapter, Joe finally gets to the item that could make every thing right again but will it work for both worlds? I've said it before but this mini-series is just chock full of awesomeness! From all the classic heroes we see doing battle to the the mirroring of the real world in his world to the humorous mythical names given to locations, this one has all the makings of a great dream-scape adventure. Can't wait to see how it all wraps up in the next and final issue.

Last book, and no suprise as pick of the week since its no longer competing with Day Tripper, is The Unwritten #17. Taking a different approach with this issue, Mike Carey and Peter Gross present us with a choose your own adventure comic. Complete with non-sequential pages and choices that lead to different endings, this is just another example of how special and unique this comic is. It goes places other haven't or won't all while telling an engrossing narrative. The art, both interior and covers, is amazing as well of which this month's cover is a fine example. If your not already reading this comic, seriously stop reading and go check out the first collected volume!

That brings us to the end of my comics for the week but I also bought a few other things which you might find of interest.

First up is the Halo Reach Limited Edition set. I wouldn't call myself a huge Halo fan but I do enjoy the campaigns as well the multiplayer modes of all the ones I have played. The real reason I wanted to pick this up/showcase it here (besides playing it obviously) is how sweet this set really is. First is all comes in a black box type case which goes well with this game being about the fall of Reach In addition to the case it comes with a journal of one of the supporting characters in the game that dives deep into the creation of the Spartans as well as the research happening on reach. Now they could have just produced it like a normal book and it would have been fine but it is made to look like an actual journal down to the page feel and sketches inside! Going even beyond that, tons of little news stories or memos are stuffed into the journal and can be taken out, some of which I arranged in the picture below but I couldn't even fit all of them on the table. As some of you might now, I have a fondness for movie or game collector's editions I can easily say this is one of the finest I have ever seen.

Next to Halo Reach is an impulse buy graphic novel/memoir from this week, Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz. Can't say to much about this one, as I haven't gotten around to reading it yet but the cover and title really drew me in. Flipping through it in the store really sold, while it was simply illustrated I just got this cool personal feel from the writing. Looking forward to sitting down with it in the next few days, maybe even tonight.

Last is yet another example of my sickness in collecting collector's editions, the Alan Wake Limited Edition. I haven't tired the game at all and actually no very little about it outside its comparisons to Twin Peaks but just couldn't pass up this awesome looking edition on sale. This one, all shown in the picture below, comes with a novel "written" by the main character in the game about the happenings in the game, the soundtrack of the game, some bonus downloads for your Xbox 360, not to mention the game itself. On top of that, it comes packed in what looks like an over sized book (the protagonist is a writer.) Not quite as awesome as the Reach set but very cool indeed.

Well, that is it for this week. You know the routine, any comment is greatly appreciated. Suggestions, critiques, and even off color jokes are all accepted. If your not the type to comment email is also an option, send them to Untill next time, stay literate my friends.

-The least interesting comic reader in the world