Category Archives: JP/Japer
There are so many great comic book compilations available this holiday season, you’re sure to find something of interest for a friend or loved one (or yourself). The only thing you have going against you right now is time.
Still, it’s not too late to grab something and wrap it up before the holidays!
Here then, is the second installment of our great comic book compilation list. You can find the first one, published yesterday, right here. Of course, we have other comic recommendations for the holiday season here and here as well as more pricey picks here and here.
Follow me after the jump for some fantastic suggestions!
Over the last few weeks, our 2014 Gift Guide has detailed a number of comic book related ideas that you should consider wrapping up for that special pop-culture comic book fan in your life. You can check out two of those lists here and here.
Now, those selections are a little on the pricier side of things, but there are a number of fantastic – and affordable – comic book related compilations that you could lovingly give this holiday season.
Follow me after the jump, and I’ll run through eight different titles, in multiple collections, that everyone needs to reading!
Look, the DC Universe is a complex thing.
Despite the attempts of creative and quite brilliant writers, artists and editors to simplify a readers’ understanding of the various realities, superheroes and super villains that make up the history (and our enjoyment) of the DC Comics company, it’ll just have to remain convoluted. And mysterious. And fun. Blame the Flash of Two Worlds.
Understand: no amount of reboots or re-numberings can change that.
Still, today sees the seemingly incomprehensible DC Multiverse look more beautiful, more organized and more appealing than ever before.
Join me after the jump for Multiversity #1!
This whole Marvel NOW! initiative (Marvel Comics’ sort of re-boot and re-fresh answer to DC’s New 52 of a few years ago) has had some interesting results. Issues of Uncanny Avengers, Daredevil and Electra have been provocative. As has the design of the covers which aim to have each Marvel NOW! comic visually jump off the store shelves.
One of the more interesting launches has been Moon Knight, which, six-months later, wraps up its story.
Follow me after the jump for more info on that!
That’s right! He’s attending the 2014 Twin Peaks Festival in North Bend,Washington, and you can follow the blogging exploits of that adventure at Wrapped in Plastic: Twin Peaks And Andy Burns. Have a good time, Andy. And ekil uoy mug yojne.
That leaves me with the duty of predicting what could very well be the biggest opening box office weekend for a film in the history of all Augusts.
Follow me after the jump for this weekend’s galactic-sized predictions!
As I’m sure you know, Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest film in the Marvel Entertainment line of films, was released last night. Look for it to have a big weekend at the box office – our predictions for it (and the other films available this weekend) will be posted later this afternoon.
In the meantime, Marvel Entertainment has just released a five-plus minute trailer detailing the first and second phases of their movie franchises.
It’s an amazing tapestry of cinematic storytelling that catches you up to where we are right now. Catch it after the jump!
It’s a tough job to break down the single best comic book issues of all-time when you’ve been regularly reading comics for over three decades. I know there are some of you out there that have been reading for far longer. That’s a lot of monthly reading!
Still, when I give it some hard thought, I find the stories that moved me the most, for various reasons, quickly come to mind. Actually, they always seem to stay there.
They are the stories that I go back to and read regularly, again and again. They provide excitement and heartache. They elicit an inquisitiveness with life, and they stimulate an enhanced love for the art form.
For me, then, the following five comic books are my favourite single-issue comics of all time.
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
The creative team of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan were no strangers to a “weird world of terror” as they had collaborated on their successful 70-issue run on Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula, which was the longest running comic book horror series of all time (although I believe that honour now falls on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead).
I’ll admit from the start that I never read this series when it came out. My 11-year-old comic book budget didn’t allow me to push beyond my staples of the Amazing Spider-Man, the Uncanny X-Men, and the New Teen Titans.
What impressed me from a writing point-of-a-view was how Marv Wolfman, who was also writing the New Teen Titans book, could change gears and write a very different book that was not only a completely different genre, but a radically different cast of characters. What was also refreshing was that it was a clear shift from the superhero world. The cast of characters were everyday people who have had brushes with the supernatural or were gifted with paranormal abilities.
The story centered around the mysterious Baron Winters and his attempts to stave off an even more mysterious threat. From Wintergate Manor, Baron Winters would manipulate events and even use the time travelling powers of the manor to affect current events.
The cast of characters for their first outing was tabloid news reporter Jack Gold, granddaughter of Dracula’s nemesis Vanessa Van Helsing, and parapsychologist Donavan Cain. Cain worked for the United States government, trying to find a way to harness satanic forces for their own purposes which was a supernatural arms race with the Soviet Union. Vanessa turned out to a psychic focal point for these satanic forces and Donavan’s research quickly moved from helping the government to helping Vanessa and keeping her alive and sane. The stakes dramatically increase as Vanessa is abducted by the Soviets with their own designs of using her and kicks her teammates into motion to rescue her.
The idea behind the Night Force was that it would be rotating cast of characters the Baron would put together to deal with a supernatural threat. Unfortunately, the first story arc lasted 7.5 issues and was a bit too long as it didn’t allow the readers to see the concept they had in mind in action. Another significant problem was the lack of any kind of sympathy for Baron Winters. I felt his mysterious nature and master manipulator role worked against him. On the other hand, I did enjoy his side trips into the past as well as the hints at his immortality and the suggestion that there were other incarnations of the Night Force.
Night Force was cancelled due to falling sales with issue #14. In that issue’s letter column, Wolfman advertized that the series would continue as a four issue mini-series, published on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, Night Force wouldn’t get another chance until 1996 and despite that incarnation and one in 2012, the series just hasn’t been able to gain the foothold it needed to be successful. I can’t help but wonder if the title had started as a series of four issue story arcs, it would have fared better.
Jason Shayer has been trying his best not to grow up for that last 30 years and comics books are one of the best ways to keep him young at heart. He’s also known as the Marvel 1980s guy and has probably forgotten more than you’d ever want to know about that wonderfully creative era. Check out his blogs at: marvel1980s.blogspot.com and dc1980s.blogspot.com