Passing a tractor trailer on the highway yanks your car violently and you need to jerk the steering wheel in an opposite direction just to keep yourself from running into the culvert at the side of the road. Whew!
Lazily canoeing across the cottage lake while a strong wind blows you off course from the dock you need to get to. How’d I get here?
Watching a Tour de France cycle team ride in single file, switching up leaders from time to time in order to conserve energy for each individual rider. Sweet science.
Experiencing the violent effects when a nasty Chicago hitman crosses paths with a downtrodden Seattle housewife – in a most unusual way!
That’s the premise behind today’s release of Crosswind #1…and let me emphasize the phrase “unusual way”!
His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”
How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?
You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.
Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.
This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!
This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!
Here in Toronto, Canada, the sun is shining and the clock excitedly ticks down to quitting time when many of us make our weekly pilgrimage to the local comic book shop to grab our fill of the world’s best pop culture, visual storytelling, medium.
While some might be excited about today’s release of the ninth – and concluding chapter of DKIII (finally!), others might be looking for a new read. One that won’t be hampered by regular delays (hopefully!) but is also backed up by a proven artistic team.
And you know that we here at Biff Bam Pop! like our horror.
We like it psychological, and dreadful, and full of monsters, and covens, and secrets, and nasty things that play in the dark.
It just so happens that’s what we get today with the release of the first issue of…The Unsound.
How’s that for inspiring dread?!?
I was so blown away by my first Marvel Legends action figure, Captain America to be precise, that I wrote a movie about it. Okay, so the figure was more of a McGuffin than a central aspect of the plot, but the point is I loved the thing. I should add, that while this may seem like a piece on a child’s nostalgia for a cherished play thing, but these are actually the reflections of a then 20 year old man that still bought toys.
We’re hearing that it’s full of action, adventure, tears and joy – and that there are <a-hem> pardon the pun – wonderful performances throughout the film!
Yesterday, Biff Bam Pop! Editor-In-Chief, Andy Burns, predicated a $105 million bankroll for the film in its first weekend of release. That’s a hefty and, frankly, outstanding sum of coin for this film and a number that can only be deemed a victory for the DC Cinematic Universe. There’s a lot riding on the Wonder Woman film both creatively and monetarily.
But Wonder Woman is more than just a single film. The character is a 75-year old pop culture icon of strength, love, hope, and will – not to mention an number of other positive and engaging adjectives!
Did you know that today, June 3, is #WonderWomanDay?!
Perfect timing, really…and there are a number of things you, or someone you love, can do to participate in the worldwide celebrations!
“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon
Greetings and welcome to another installment of The Ten Percent! Every two weeks (well, roughly), Ensley F. Guffey and I use this space to take a look at the inverse of Sturgeon’s Law; in other words, the small portion of everything which is not crud. Viewed as a whole, Sturgeon was, sadly, right – the vast majority of movies, television, writing, art, and so on really is crud (trust me on this, I just saw Baywatch for the movie show I co-host) – but there has always been that slim li’l piece of heaven. The Ten Percent crosses genre boundaries, mostly because these rare gems are high quality productions which demand more of their viewer than just passive reception.
In my last column, I discussed Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which, at the time, was just about to begin its run on the Starz network. I am currently caught up on episodes and am also avidly following the comic version. American Gods just makes me smile and the high quality of the work in multiple Media (hi, Gillian Anderson!) is a revelation of how magnificent storytelling can completely transcend genre. The show has already been renewed for a second season, which reassures me that they’ll take their time telling this convoluted tale.
Much of Gaiman’s work belongs in the Ten Percent.* The last column touched on his best-known work, Vertigo’s Sandman, and if you haven’t read that (slowly, thoughtfully, and with great deliberate intent), you have an amazing treat in store for you and I’m jealous that you get to experience the Endless for the first time. However, I wanted to bring your attention to several other works of Gaiman’s that you might not know about. Yes, he’s written for Babylon 5, Doctor Who, and several of his works have been adapted for the silver screen with more on the way. But why wait?
Early reviews have been positive to absolutely glowing – and that sense of affirmation is just the vaccination that the DC Extended Universe film franchise has desperately needed! With the tent pole Justice League film dropping later this year and the cinematic debut of Aquaman now firmly in production, the Wonder Woman film had a massive pop culture encumbrance to bear on its shoulders.
Indeed, perhaps unfairly, the future of Warner Brother’s comic book universe of films was in absolute jeopardy due to previously dark and critically lackluster movies.
Thankfully, that sentiment is not the same in the comic book world – the wellspring of these globally recognized pop culture icons.
This Saturday, June 3, is appropriately, #WonderWomanDay. Fans around the world will be celebrating the feminist icon with comic book readings, cosplay, theater-goings and much, much more.
But you can get an early start on the festivities today with the release of Wonder Woman Annual #1 – a fantastic introduction to the character for readers of any age!
And by “official” I mean something on social media – from the sitting President of the United States. If anyone were to read government classified material and leak it at 2 a.m. via Twitter, it would be Trump, don’t you think?
But that hasn’t happened. Yet.
Maybe he’s been too busy hiring and firing.
Maybe he’s been too busy with his own office shenanigans.
Then again, maybe that classified material we all think exists – doesn’t after all. And what a major disappointment that would be.
Still, while waiting for that late-night tweet, there’s a government-alien-conspiracy comic book we should all be reading…and the first issue of a brand new volume drops today with Saucer State #1!
Status, ruling class, and sub species.
And “King” Jack Kirby.
The theme of social status was the starting point of Kirby’s New Gods comic book title when he strode across the publishing divide, walking away from Marvel Comics and turning his talents and ideas to rival DC Comics.
And boy did he bring ideas and characters that still reverberate nearly five decades later: Darkseid, the Anti-Life Equation, New Genesis, Apokolips, gods, monsters, destiny… and politics.
Not to mention the visionary publishing invention of interlocking titles that constitute one, finite story.
Still, social status was only one of the themes of Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” series of those interlocking comic book titles that included New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olson.
That story of social status continues, with a new generation of great creators in this week’s release of Bug!: The Adventures Of A Forager #1!
They leave a lasting effect in the mind, don’t they?
Why, just last week, this very column highlighted the highly anticipated release of the new Aliens: Dead Orbit series, published by Dark Horse Comics. That one starred, arguably, the greatest and most horrific alien to ever chest-burst its way on to the silver scree. The comic book release happily coincided with #AlienDay and you can catch that particular column here, if you missed it the first time around.
But there’s another cinematic alien every bit as popular as the double-mawed creature of our nightmares.
And today, Dark Horse Comics is once again behind the furthering of that creature’s pop culture legend.
Today sees the release of the universe’s biggest and baddest big-game hunter with Predator: Hunters #1!