Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula, by writer Marv Wolfman, artist Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer, was one of the more underrated, but still perhaps one of the best comic book series of the 1970s. Its mark in comics history goes far beyond an adaptation of everyone’s favorite king of the vampires, as it may have been a turning point for the industry itself when comes to horror, paving the way for the horror comics of today like The Walking Dead. Find out more after the jump.
I’m not a big fan of cartoons produced in the Japanese-styled Anime or Manga aesthetic. I know there are a lot out there that are. Some of those fans write for this very website. Still, growing up, I was a huge fan of Star Blazers and Robotech. Silver Hawks was a pretty cool show and Akira was amazing. These programs, and a few others, were able to make the jump across the Pacific and reach North America households to much acclaim. More importantly, they fuelled the imagination of kids and got them interested in Anime and Manga. Maybe that’s why I like the DC Entertainment-produced, Anime-styled, Batman: Gotham Knight, released in 2008, so much. We got to see a favourite character from a radically different perspective.
Not to be outdone, Marvel Entertainment took that same idea and expanded upon it, creating four separate, 12-episode series’, based on their most popular comic book characters.
Fan Expo 2012 is about to hit Toronto and for the weekend of August 23-26th, nerds will rule. This marks the 18th year of Fan Expo and probably the 3 or 4th time I’ve attended… going to comics, sci fi, horror, anime, gaming conferences steels you against the extremes of fandom.
I expect this to be another crazy, cosplay filled, celebrity spotting type of conference; certainly nothing out of the ordinary for Fan Expo.
For a quick look at what’s in store and schedule hilights, read on.
Over the past twelve months, since the launch of DC Comics’ “New 52” wherein the publishing company re-numbered every title with a new #1, writer Scott Snyder has been crafting a Batman tale long in the making. Well, long in comic book terms.
You see, he’s gone back to the origins of Gotham and reshaped the architecture of what we, as readers, had grown accustomed to: that the city was Batman’s. That no one knew its streets, alleyways, buildings and history as well as the Dark Knight Detective.
Over the last twelve months, Scott Snyder has made an overconfident Batman weak with his distinct lack of historical knowledge. He discovers, in essence, that he doesn’t know his own city! And we readers have followed the character in his naivety, making for some startling – and amazingly fun – reading!
Christopher Golden is a New York Times bestselling author who has put words into the mouths of iconic characters such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the X-Men. Recently, he’s been crafting the comic book exploits of Lord Baltimore, the character who first appeared in the novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Vampire, co-written by Golden and Mike Mignola. You can read our review for that classic book here. Christopher was kind enough to chat with me via email about the latest Baltimore mini-series from Dark Horse, Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy, his collaboration with Mike Mignola and artist Ben Stenbeck, he’s writing method, and much more.
Andy Burns: As someone who thought the original Baltimore novel was a wonderful and thoroughly engaging story, I’m wondering if the plan that you and Mike Mignola always had involved bringing the character to the comic book world? Or was there even a plan for him?
Christopher Golden: The only thing planned from the beginning was the novel. We had some very vague conversations about writing a sequel to the novel, even while I was writing the original, but nothing concrete. Once in a while, during the process of developing the initial Hollywood version that ended up not happening, we did sort of acknowledge to each other that one day it would be nice to fill in those missing years from the novel…that there were a lot of adventures to be told in that space. At some point, one of those conversations just turned into, “let’s do it,” though I can’t honestly remember when or how that happened.
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Oh, boy! I still remember the illumination of the “Filmation” animation company letters fall across my cathode ray tube television like colourful dominos, on some mid-week day, after school, in 1983.
How about these famous words: “Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said…”
No, it had nothing to do with puberty.
It was a cartoon, for heaven’s sake. Based on a line of action figures. Toys! It was He-Man and the Master of the Universe!
I remember, age ten, collecting the various He-Man set of action figures: He-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Ram-Man, Fisto, Extendar, Snout Spout, and Man-E-Faces amongst many others. Sure, they’re unfortunate (and somewhat homo-erotic) sounding names now, but for a while, they were right up with G.I. Joe and his swivel-arm battle grip.
But it was the cartoon series that sold me on all the toys.
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Every so often a film comes across my desk at ye olde Biff Bam Pop headquarters that I’m completely unaware of. Such was the case with the animated French film, The Prodigies, which hit DVD this past Tuesday. Based on a novel by French writer Bernard Lenteric, it’s the story of five brilliant and powerful teens with psychic powers who band together and seek revenge after one of their own is attacked. In the meantime, their would-be mentor who shares their skills contemplates joining with them. The film is clever and violent and definitely not something you’d see coming out of Disney.
But is it any good? Find out after the jump!
Here’s the thing about making the weekly Wednesday run to your local comic book shop: even though there are hundreds of new and great comic books, graphic novels and sequential art books to choose from on the store shelves, you’re still bound to miss something really interesting.
No. It’s not because the comic shop has sold out of a popular release, or that they forgot to order a hipster-in-the-know one-shot. Nope. It’s because, as I’m sure you’re very much aware, all the great stuff in this art form doesn’t necessarily see print these days.
And that’s why today, I’m suggesting you stay home. Instead of hitting the busy downtown corridor, hit the internet superhighway and make your way to Dark Horse Digital.