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!
“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 – but there has always been that slim slice of sublime. The Ten Percent isn’t limited by genre – I think our previous columns have proven that point – and that’s because these rare gems are high quality productions which demand more of their viewer than simple passive reception.
I have, on occasion, discussed an entry that makes the cut on The Ten Percent in more than one category, such as a book and the movie made from the book. It’s hard enough to create ONE fantastic thing; to create a Ten-Percent-worthy work in more than a single medium is truly catching lightning in a bottle.
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!
In many ways, the comic book annual is a thing of the past – the last refuge of a special excitement for regular readers of an ongoing comic book series. For the most part, the “Annual” magic died out in the mid-1990’s. That makes for at least two generations of young comic book readers that have never really known the thrill of the double-sized, more experimental, stories that “Annuals” often produced.
Today, the “Annual” has generally been replaced by the one-shot issue, the miniseries, or completely wiped from existence in lieu of publishing multi-part stories within an ongoing comic book, that can be easily collected into trade paperbacks or hardcovers. With market-driven forces changed and thin margins and full workloads, there is no appetite for the back-end work needed to create a separate visual tale within the story of an ongoing series.
But there was a time when comic books were madcap fun – and the “Annual” was a staple and eagerly anticipated part of comic book lore.
One series aims to return to those glory days.
Today sees the release of the thrilling, multi-faceted, multi-part, Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual!
And all of comic book fandom rejoices!
You can find the first part of our trilogy of lists here, which showcases a number of more affordable trade paperback collections.
Last week, the second installment focused on hardcover collections, although slightly more expensive. You can find that list right here.
Today, we’re getting into the crème-de-la-crème of comic book collections. Save these for someone you really care for…or for even someone like yourself! Who wouldn’t want these tomes wrapped up?
With only a few days to go before Christmas, and without further ado, here is the final installment of our list of comic book collections for the 201 6holiday season!
With Kong: Skull Island on the horizon, and a rematch between King Kong and Godzilla in the planning stages, the world may be ready to go ape again, but King Kong has always been here, meet me after the jump for some gift ideas that may make you go ape!
From Seven to Eternity to Black Science to Saga to Monstress, to Red Thorn to name only a few! There’s a litany of amazing reads available to us each and every week, and we here at Biff Bam Pop! love every single one of them!
And since there’s so much love to go around, why not add another to your fervent reading pile?
This week sees the release of Ether #1 from the critically acclaimed (and one of The Wednesday Run’s favorites) writer and artist, Matt Kindt!
As Biff Bam Pop! continues it’s 2016 edition of 31 Days Of Horror, this week, the Wednesday Run column gives you yet another in-season choice to read.
Imagine then, a small town in rural America, beset by a dreadful history of witchcraft and malevolent magic that is plagued in present day life by an unending series of “Haints” – inhuman creatures, ghosts, goblins and monsters!
Harrow County is an absolutely beautiful monthly horror series from publisher Dark Horse Comics, and one this site has recommended before. If you need to catch up, there have been three volumes collected already, with a fourth on the way, early next year. (Just so you know, Harrow Country is also in development as a television series!)
That said, the scary season is upon us and that means that the comic book to pick up this week is Harrow County #17!
Fan Expo Canada happened over four days in the city, as it does every year at the end of the summer, and all was good.
One of the major highlights during the convention happened on Saturday, September 4th, with the worldwide release of the first volume of the Angel Catbird graphic novel series, written by acclaimed Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood.
You may know her works through high school, college, or university course readings, or you may have simply read her for pleasure: The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and many others.
Today sees the worldwide release of the novelist’s first graphic novel, Angel Catbird!