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!
Here on planet earth, it’s a different story! Screams of fright, horror and joy abound when we’re talking about the Alien film franchise. You know, the one made famous by directors Ridley Scott and James Cameron: Alien in 1979 and Aliens in 1986. They were the first R-rated films that an under-age me needed to see. Well, those two and Canadian classic, Porky’s.
Those two highlight films have spun-off a flurry of pop culture gold that includes five other Alien-centered films of varying quality (two of which enthusiastically co-star the sci-fi classic Predator creature) with a new and eagerly-anticipated film in the horror franchise only a month away from release.
There’s even a day of the year dedicated to the Alien franchise, an unofficial holiday for fans around this planet: #AlienDay is today, April 26! Tweet out those chest-busters!
With pop culture supremacy, of course, come loads of comic books. Appropriately, then, today sees the release of the first issue of a new mini-series…Aliens: Dead Orbit #1, the perfect accompaniment to a day dedicated to everyone’s favourite xenomorph!
With the debut of the 1966 Batman television series, a craze of camp swept through pop culture, especially comic books, and would infect the world for more than a few years. Whether you lived through this era, or it’s brand new to you, this is the book that has it all: Hero-A-Go-Go! from TwoMorrows, a swinging journey through nostalgia for pop culture and comics fans alike!
Just ask any writer of Biff Bam Pop! Heck, ask just about any reader that frequents these digital pages. This site has a love for pop culture, sure, but there’s an underlying need and desire to listen, to read about, and to share favourite music.
Ask Andy Burns, Editor-In-Chief of Biff Bam Pop! and his ever-lasting love of prog-rockers, Yes. And yes, he was there in New York City last weekend when Yes finally entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ask Less Lee Moor, resident Managing Editor of this site as well as the Editor-In-Chief of Popshifter. Besides sharing her enthusiasm for all things music in her regular Pump Up The Jam column here on BBP!, you’ll find that she often waxes lovingly for Richard Oakes-era Suede on social media.
These are the bands, this is the music, that we all grew up with – specifically through our formative years.
And that bit of musical magic brings us straight to the excitement of The Complete Phonogram Hardcover, released today.
After several rainy, gloomy days in South Jersey, the clouds parted and the sun beamed brightly, just in time for Camden Comic Con 2017. It was a day filled with comics, cosplay, and fandom camaraderie.
One of my favourite comic books growing up in the 80s was The New Mutants. As a very young kid who fell in love with the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde thanks to Marvel’s Secret Wars II and Uncanny X-Men 196 (“What Was That?”), I loved seeing how the two teams interacted with one another, and reading about a team of teenagers who were older than me, but somehow still relatable. And when (SPOILER) The Beyonder killed them off in issue 37, it actually scared the hell out of me.
Co-created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod, the New Mutants was an easy access point for young mutant lovers, especially as the original X-Men were growing up, marrying and having children. When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the original series, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman were teens themselves, while the All-New, All-Different line-up was full of older and, in some case, most battle-hardened characters. With the New Mutants, Claremont and McLeod were able to bring being a teenage mutant into the 1980s, exploring all the angst that came along with it.
The bombs bursting in air!
OK. We’re talking about comic books, not the star-spangles banner of the United States of America – although the two, seemingly disparate elements, intermingle today.
We’ve all talked about his before: one of the great things about comic books is that they are ever-malleable in terms of art, design and story. Regardless of distribution method, or frequency, or shape, or size (all great aspects inherent to comics) there’s also no effects budget to hinder the artistic look of an individual issue. There’s no defined wall, no genre that a writer can’t hurdle a story over – or gloriously crash one through!
There’s proof through the night (and day) of this belief every time we pick up and read a comic book.
Today is Wednesday. It’s new comic book arrival day, a day all comic book readers eagerly look forward to. Let’s celebrate the first issue of a new volume of stories set in America’s nascent past that proves this point – again.
Let’s celebrate Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1
Under the pen of award-winning author, Neil Gaiman, you know that those seemingly disparate elements will make for a compelling story.
Heck, if you’ve read any of his comic book stories, let along his novels, it sounds a lot like the stuff you probably have in your long box collection: The Sandman, Stardust, Miracleman and Death: The High Cost of Living.
But this time, we’re talking about his Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy and Nebula Award-winning novel, American Gods – which, finally, gets adapted into the comic book forum in a new monthly series from Dark Horse Comics.
And the writer and artists behind that adaptation are as star-powered as the author who penned the original prose.
Today sees the release of American Gods: Shadows #1!
And teenage sleuths!
But these aren’t the teenage sleuths you thought you knew.
No, we all remember reading the investigative exploits of amateur detectives Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys during our formative, pre-pubescent years. If you’re at all into the mystery and noir genre today, these three characters probably play a significant role in the development of that interest. You know, along with Scooby Doo.
But Nancy Drew and bothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, were never ones for light and rollicking comedy. Their adventures often took them into the worlds of dark, shadowy and dastardly villains, and often around the world to far-flung locales.
Today sees their return with the release of Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1, a new series featuring these beloved, time-honoured characters, in a take that’s completely twenty-first century… but still totally noir!