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Role-Play Your Way To A Fluid “User” On The Wednesday Run

Remember the days when Vertigo Comics was regularly publishing comic book fiction that pushed the boundaries of the art form, giving voice to dozens of burgeoning writers and artists each month that would never have been heard from in mainstream publications?

It was probably the mid to late 1990’s or early 2000’s.

And you were probably in high school or college at the time – and my, oh my, weren’t those the glory days of comic book reading?

It’s a little strange then, that with all the great comics that Vertigo was publishing at the time, a title such as the 2001 three-issue miniseries, User, flew a bit under the radar, even though it won industry awards.

It’s stranger then, that the same title is compiled in a handsome hardcover format by an entirely different publisher (one who has taken up the philosophical mantle that Vertigo Comics once owned), over fifteen years later.

And that the story of User, released (again) today, still resonates!

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It’s A Lower Class Bug Out With ‘Bug!: The Adventures Of A Forager #1’ On The Wednesday Run

Hierarchical social categories and comic books.

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!   

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Facehug Your #AlienDay With ‘Aliens: Dead Orbit #1’ On The Wednesday Run

We’re told that “in space, no one can hear you scream.”

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!

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Pulp Novels Make For ‘The Greatest Adventure #1’ On The Wednesday Run

I was introduced to Tarzan of the Apes through the Ballantine softcover publications of the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp classics.

My father had collected and read collected those books during the mid-to-late 1970’s. in the early 1980’s, I found them on the shelf, dusted them off, and stared at the covers for what seemed like forever! The Beasts of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan and the Leopard Men, as well as the others, are remembered very, very fondly.

Those covers by artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, leapt off the page with thrills, menace and dramatic excitement! They introduced me to pulp adventure and fueled my imagination, leading me towards a burgeoning love of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

They also cemented a common pop culture bond between father and son.

Through Tarzan, other Burroughs classics came to my attention, chiefly, the strange and fascinating worlds of Barsoom and Pellucidar and all the characters that inhabited those continents.

Today sees a childhood imagination rekindled with the intermingling of disparate characters in the pop culture world of comic books.

Of course, that series would need to have the greatest pulp title ever devised…and it does with: The Greatest Adventure #1!
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Britpop & Magic & Comics Makes For ‘The Complete Phonogram HC’ On The Wednesday Run

Music is magic.

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.

Ask me about my love of Modern Life Is Rubbish-era Blur and the gothic-punk brilliance of the Manic Street Preachers seminal Holy Bible album.

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.

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End Of The World & Beginning Of Yuggoth In ‘Providence #12’ On The Wednesday Run

Let’s get to the point: it’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it?

Two years next month, in fact.

That’s when the first issue of Providence, the first of twelve bi-monthly issues, dropped into the pulpy hands of eagerly anticipating readers who love horror-themed graphic fiction. May of 2015.

But Providence is much more than just horror. It’s a fascinating take on American outsider culture during the early part of the twentieth century, on the eve of the war to end all wars, written and illustrated by two of the comic book industry’s greatest.

Finally, the series comes to a head: Providence #12.

And it is both the end of days and the beginning of a new, stranger, world!

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Your Childhood Cartoons Meets Comics In “Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1” & Others On The Wednesday Run

Never the two shall meet.

But it’s a little kid’s dream, isn’t it?

Those after school or Saturday morning cartoons – the ones that we ALL loved so much, made even more real, given a heightened sense of heroic justification, when intermingled with the heroes of the comic books we read!

I mean, we’d regularly have crossover adventures between cartoon and comic book heroes, universes, genres and pop culture mediums with the toys that we’d buy at the local store.

We were ahead of our time.

Green Lantern. Space Ghost. Suicide Squad. Banana Splits. Booster Gold. The Flintstones. Adam Strange. Jonny Quest.

Cartoons and comic books – never the two shall meet?

Not today – today we get ALL the meetings!

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The Flag Was Still There In “Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1” On The Wednesday Run

And the rocket’s red glare!

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

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Hit The Road With ‘American Gods: Shadows #1’ On The Wednesday Run

Gods, immigrants, the old world, the twenty-first century, road trips, deceits, magic and battles.

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!

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21st Century Noir Meets ‘Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1’ On The Wednesday Run

Murder!

Mystery!

Danger!

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!

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