Oh, those marvelous Tuscan hills, ochre-tinted and rolling against a clear blue sky – how I want to stay again!
Oh, the endless panorama of the Barossa Valley – may the image be forever in my sight!
Oh, the cool and calming climate of the Valle de Casablanca – may I dream of you once more!
The connection to these four locales? It’s evident isn’t it?
Wine. Nectar of the capital “G” Gods. And if you’re anything like me, a good glass of wine makes for an enjoyable time.
Be it Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah or a Blanc, every glass of wine takes you to its place of origin, enlightening you to its landscape, its people and its history.
And that’s the premise to today’s release of the absolutely lovely and tasty Time & Vine #1!
It’s July 12th and that means that it’s my birthday! Yes! Thank you for all the birthday wishes…twenty-nine years young forever, I say, although it’s been “forever” for a number of years already.
But that’s one of the great things about being interested in, a fan of, and a part of, the pop culture community: you never really do grow old. With the comic books, movies, television programs, board and card games, toys, music, cartoons, and video games, you always seem to find a way to stay youthful.
At heart, at least.
And if you were to subtract twenty nine years from today’s date, and then subtract a few more, and then a few more for added measure, you’d have one of the greatest years of my youth – as well as many of you out there!
It’s the early 1980’s.
And you’re hanging out at the local arcade.
And your hair is long.
And it’s on purpose.
And you’re playing Centipede.
And it’s awesome!
Relive that youthful glory with today’s comic book-styled modern release of Centipede #1!
Inside the living room or outside on the backyard patio, single games of Monopoly would last for days, The Game of Life would last for hours, and games of Connect Four would be quick and energetic fancies in-between (although we sometimes turned them into larger, multiple-win tournaments).
But the game that would stay with me though my childhood days and nights, the game that would morph into mysterious DIY role-playing games, and cross boundaries and technology into VCR-led playing, movies, books and video games, was the murder-mystery game of Clue.
And for the first time ever, that Hasbro-published classic is making the jump into comic books!
As comic book lovers, now we can sleuth the sequential art mystery, beginning in today’s release of Clue #1!
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
A likely story, right?
No one can escape their reputation. Michael Corleone famously reminded us of that fact in The Godfather Part III: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Al Pacino is all kinds of awesome.
And Wilson Fisk, the “Kingpin” of crime in the Marvel Universe, is all kids of bad.
Can the arch-enemy of Daredevil (not to mention Spider-Man and the Punisher), go good? Can he change his disposition? Does he want to? Will the world let him?
A new series, appropriately titled Kingpin, aims to answer those questions, beginning with the first issue, out today!
Sure, Marvel had been knocking it out of the park, both critically and monetarily, with their series of interconnected film franchises. I mean… Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Avengers… how could you second-guess the brain trust that was making those kinds of studio decisions?
But Guardians of the Galaxy?
A gun-toting raccoon and a giant walking, somewhat talking, tree? In space?
Admittedly, I thought it would be a hot mess, singlehandedly signaling the demise of the superhero film franchise.
Boy, was I wrong.
Boy, was that an awesome film.
Boy, I can’t wait for the sequel next year!
To tide us over until then, today, Marvel Comics launches two new monthly series’ starring the coolest characters from the Guardians franchise: Gamora #1 and Star-Lord #1.
Well, it hasn’t been there for some time, really. We’ve been talking about it in semi-regular columns over the years here at Biff Bam Pop! The DC Comics “sophisticated” and “dark” imprint that gave us mature readings of Sandman, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, Fables, Lucifer, etc., etc., etc., etc.
There are so many. One of your all-time comic book favourites from any publisher is either on that list or should be.
But Vertigo, due to some neglect, some strategic misdirection, and a lot of parent-company interference, withered on the vine’s edge. Currently, the imprint is trying to reestablish itself with creator-owned properties, in the vein of Image Comics, and publishing critically acclaimed series like Sheriff of Babylon and Astro City among others. But it’s a long way from where it once was, when it released mature takes on DC superhero properties.
Today sees the first release of a new, mature, weird, and decidedly Vertigo-esque take on a DC Comics property…but under the umbrella of a new imprint.
Today sees the release of Doom Patrol #1!
Some of the monthly books that we love to read, highlighted in this very column, have made the “optioned” list: Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT, Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender and Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta’s Outcast (already renewed for a second season and regularly reviewed by Biff Bam Pop’s Marie Gilbert) are the first few that come to mind.
The entertainment industry is looking for new, exciting properties, and comic books are fertile grounds. It’s no big secret.
Well, today sees the release of the first issue of a new series that has already been put into production – this time from AMC.
Talk about hitting the fast track!!
Today, we get the absolutely hard-hitting and fascinating Briggs Land #1!
Here’s a new idea if you’re DC Comics:
Let’s start a brand new monthly series starring Batman! Readers are sure to flock to the title and sales will be huge! Let’s slap an “All Star” title on top of it and we’d be a sure-fire hit at the top of the publishing charts month in and month out! And we can tie it into this whole “Rebirth” re-launch idea! It’s perfect timing, I tell ‘ya!
Look, you might be forgiven if you’re a little cynical over such marketing efforts in the industry we love so much. It’s all been done before, i know. But the truth is, with this whole “Rebirth” branding across all the DC Comics titles the past few months, re-launching a new Batman series is a good idea. Putting “All Star” across the top of the cover page is a decent way to differentiate the comic from other ones starring the same character.
But the main draw for readers will always remain the creative team. And DC has gone out of their way to ensure greatness with this particular “All Star” title.
Today, finally, sees the much anticipated release of All Star Batman #1!