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Category Archives: JP/Japer

An Artists & Writers Valentine Is In The “Full Bleed Vol. 1” On The Wednesday Run

When I first started reading comic books during the early 1980’s, I dove head first into the medium and then the artistic culture.

From those poly-bagged Marvel Comics and DC Comics two-for-one deals found on the local department store magazine rack, I deftly moved to the direct-market comic book store and all they had to offer.

It was there that I came across periodicals that featured sample chapters, biographies, focus articles and interviews with some of the writers and artists that I was just discovering – and growing to love. More than just monthly Batman comics, I was reading and adoring issues of The Comics Reader (1961-1984), Epic Illustrated (1980-1986) and The Comics Journal (1977-and still going, albeit online), full of tales of writers and artists and their influences, their work, and their craft.

Those sorts of industry and artistry periodicals have gone the way of most print zines, unfortunately – which is to say that they can now be found, somewhat fragmented, on online websites and blogs.

That twenty-first century paradigm is well and fine – but I do miss the hardcopy in-my-hand, comic book industry magazine, bought at the local comic book shop.

IDW Publishing looks to remedy that situation (along with distinctly twenty-first century tech) with the publication of the first hardcover volume of Full Bleed: The Comics & Culture Quarterly Volume 1

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Playing to ‘A New Standard’: Exclusive Interview With Jazz Pianist Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo

Among family, friends, and his many acquaintances, Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo is known for his infectiously positive spirit, his playful hijinks, and a smile that absolutely lights up a room.

But it’s the music that emanates deep within Egbo-Egbo’s soul his piano as a constant appendage, his jazz, classical and pop leanings and the constant intermingling and pushing of musical genres that reveals the creative standard of the man. As a Toronto-based pianist, composer, producer and sound designer, 2018 marks the official release of his new musical work, appropriately titled A New Standard.

The twelve-song album contains a wide selection of entries originally created by a number of legendary composers over the last two centuries. They are, naturally for Egbo-Egbo, culled from disparate genres: classical, jazz, and curiously, even rock music. In A New Standard, Egbo-Egbo lovingly performs a fun and up-temp version of Sigmund Romberg’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise,” as well as a rollicking account of John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” that merges brilliantly into the classically jazzy and beloved theme song from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon by composers Paul Webster and Robert Harris.

In a more contemporary sense, Egbo-Egbo’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s”Make You Feel My Love” brings a wonderfully fresh and emotional sense of affection to the beloved classic, but surprisingly, there’s also a perfectly lonely interpretation of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” found on the new compilation, whose aural sense of isolation any fan of the band might expect and adore. This time, it’s just with a piano.

Biff Bam Pop’s consulting editor and regular contributor, JP Fallavollita, got the chance to steal Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo away from his busy schedule to talk music, his home city of Toronto, and the release of his latest album, the shimmering and wonderful A New Standard. Read the rest of this entry

Brave The Cold Horror Of The “Swamp Thing Winter Special #1” On The Wednesday Run

I don’t know where you live, but Toronto just got dumped on with about ten centimeters of snow today.

Not a whole heck of a lot, I know, but it’s enough to make you realize that although the days are getting slightly longer, it’s still only February. Winter is still calling the shots around here.

Speaking of “winter” and “shots”, DC Comics, who have been on a veritable tear recently with a number of fascinating publications (many of which have been featured in this column), is releasing a winter-themed one-shot.

Perfect timing.

It’s written and illustrated by a couple of comicdom’s favourites.

And it’s starring one of DC’s most beloved, and yet currently not-regularly-published, characters.

Really, all things considered, it’s a stroke of genius from the publisher.

Because winter snow must equal the Swamp Thing Winter Special #1!

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Dine With ‘Hungry Ghosts #1’ on The Wednesday Run

A celebrated traveler, chef and self-proclaimed enthusiast.

A praised journalist and author.

A genre-defying and ground-breaking editor.

A host of luminously talented and beloved illustrators.

The launch of a new book publishing imprint.

Food, candles, samurai… and classic ghost stories.

That’s what’s on the menu today at local comic book shops everywhere today. It’s an event whose literary courses are sure to fill any reader’s appetite – from wonderful art to historical learning to spooky stories that keep you up at night.

Hungry Ghosts, co-written by Parts Unknown celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain and novelist Joel Rose (The Blackest Bird, Kill Kill Faster Faster) is the first release from new publisher, Berger Books.

And it’s much anticipated. This is the book to dine on, with the (candle) light turned low!

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Fearless And Powerful Is This ‘Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio’ on The Wednesday Run

Frankenstein (or Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus for you die-hard purists out there) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is, of course, a classic mi- nineteenth century Gothic novel of man’s hubris.

Without debate, it has stood the test of time. We all know Frankenstein and the Frankenstein monster.

A comic book adaptation of that novel was undertaken by the legendary Gothic-horror artist, Bernie Wrightson, who was also responsible for co-creating everyone’s favourite muck monster, Swamp Thing for DC Comics in the early 1970s. It took nearly a decade for Wrightson to produce his exquisitely detailed drawings for that adaptation, which looked like metal etchings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A perfect visual appeal for the corresponding text!

His Frankenstein was published by Marvel Comics to great acclaim in 1983 and remains a highly sought collector’s item.

In 2012, writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Wrightson began creating a much anticipated sequel to the original Shelley story.

Today, that sequel gets compiled for the first time as the Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio.

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Experience The Cinematic Horror Of “Gene Colan’s The Tomb Of Dracula Artist’s Edition” On The Wednesday Run

There are certain comic book titles that, regardless of their age, their genre, their publication format or their trade dress, always seem to come up again and again in conversation.

They’re ever-lasting, it seems. Undying works of art that are discovered and re-discovered by generations that follow the witnesses to the original release.

The Tomb of Dracula, featuring everyone’ favourite undying vampire is one such publication.

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

You should have. We’ve featured The Tomb of Dracula on Biff Bam Pop! a number of times. The late, great, Glenn Walker gave a fantastic historic account of the 1970’s Marvel Comics monthly horror series a while back, which you can find right here. Site contributor, Jason Shayer, also shared his love for the title in a Tales From The Longbox column a few years ago.

More recently, I too brought up The Tomb of Dracula in one of BBP’s 31 Days of Horror (the October 2017 edition) features. You can find that piece here.

But it’s today’s release of the sumptuous and absolutely stunning Gene Colan’s the Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition that’s got everyone talking – so long as they can stop their mouths from watering!

Here’s why:

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Heed The Call To ‘George Perez’s Sirens Hardcover’ On The Wednesday Run

Much loved old school comic books.

Created by much loved old school comic book talent.

That’s the kind of stuff many old school comic book fans love to read.

So, who are these old school folks?

Well, they’re people like me, and they’re people who write for this site, and many, many others that stop by this site to read articles, reviews, and editorials highlighting the stuff they enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. We all love new, modern storytelling takes in our comic book reading. But who doesn’t love those genre throw-back tales of high adventure, or fantasy or pulp fiction or sci-fi?

Nobody, that’s who!

And that’s why the much loved old-school writer/artist, George Perez and his new hardcover comic book compilation, Sirens, is the focus of this column, today!

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Dive Deep With “Nemo” On The Wednesday Run

One of the earliest childhood memories I have is heading out of cold, grey Toronto with my parents during March Break to spend a week in sunny, warm, Florida and visit Disney World.

What a sight that was! The Magic Castle, the rides, the fireworks and the cartoons, walking alongside, in real life! Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – especially Goofy!

Of all the rides I liked, I remember Pirates of the Caribbean as a top favourite. But there was another attraction that took hold of my young imagination, and now, nearly forty years later, still hasn’t let it go.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Inspired by the serialized novel of famed science fiction author Jules Verne 1869, I was taken with the design and functionality of the Nautilus ride at Disney, the fictional Captain Nemo’s famous sea monster-inspired submarine.

Today, imaginations around the world are fired up with the release of a new hardcover graphic novel, dedicated to the old Captain – and his awesome sub!

Today, Nemo hits the shelves!

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Fly High With “Hawkman Found” On The Wednesday Run

It’s the last Wednesday of 2017.

Sniff. Sniff.

Thanks for reading along with The Wednesday Run through the last three hundred and sixty-five days – well, fifty-two installments of it, anyway. Hopefully, there have been one or two comic books that we’ve featured here this year that you’ve dug as much as we have.

Good news!

2018 is just a week away, and, looking through all of the upcoming releases for the year, it looks like there’s plenty of comic books to highlight in this column and keep our fingers excitedly turning page after page!

But before we get into that, we’ve got one ore highlight to focus in on this year….and it’s like shining a light under a rock, because this particular character hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.

Good news, everybody! Hawkman’s been found in, well, Hawkman Found #1!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Gift Certificates

The store doors are open, your window is closing, and you’ve got no idea what gift to get that friend or loved one this Christmas!

What to do?

No worries…every year, it’s the same thing. We leave that last, hard or forgotten, gift idea to the very end. And before you know it, you have to be at Christmas Eve dinner within the hour!

Well, let’s get to it then- and there’s really only one thing for it:

Gift cards!

No, they’re not the cop out some might have you believe. In fact, they are a super thoughtful gift aimed straight at the fancy of the loved one you’re giving the gift card to! With it, their imagination could take flight!

Follow us through the aisles of your local shop and store, online and otherwise, for some of the best gift cards you could ever give this holiday season!

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