Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meltdown in Berkeley--Nuclear Rabbit at 924 Gilman

Hello everyone. Apologies for my lack of communications this past week or two. I'm in the midst of writing a comic/graphic-novel/picture-book thing (whatever you want to call it) and unfortunately I'm trying to channel all my focus in that direction. So, sadly, I had to neglect you for a brief moment.

Not to worry, not to worry.

I have news that will excite the most mundane person in the world: Steve Jobs is dead.

Okay, now that that's said and done, I can move on to the REAL news:

Come celebrate the death of Steve Jobs at the Gilman in Berkeley, CA this Saturday night! The headline act is an amazing group of musicians/noise-makers definitely worthy of the name Nuclear Rabbit. These guys play shows maybe once or twice a year, if that, so hop on this opportunity like you'd hop on a rocket to the moon, or whatever that means. Here's a quick 14 second clip from one of their gigs. And honestly, if you can't squeeze 14-measly seconds out of your life to watch it, then what in the God's name are you doing reading this blog?

For more information on the show, 924 Gilman, ticket purchases, and Steve Jobs dead, rotting carcass, click here. Cheers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: "Dark Horse Presents" #4-- Beasts of Burden, Criminal Macabre, Age of Reptiles, and MORE!

When it comes to comics, anthologies are the best place for beginning readers. Take for instance the most popular comic anthology in our nation: the comics in the Sunday newspaper. Not all readers dive into the comics section of their paper knowing they like Zits over Blondie, or Peanuts over Garfield. Not all readers understand the office jokes in Dilbert and the political laughs in Doonesbury (I sure know I didn't as a kid). And most indefinitely, not all readers are lucky enough to pick up their favorite comic-strip from it's first printing through it's entirety. But as devoted anthology readers we understand our tastes tend to vary in the comic medium, and without the pairing of the good, the bad, and the ugly, we could never understand just what we like. Continuing this ritual, Dark Horse Comics released their 4th issue of an on-going monthly anthology called Dark Horse Presents.

This 80 page full color comic features a number of different artists and writers with the added bonus of NO adds (eat that, you DC $#*t-heads). The first reason I picked up this copy was for the all new eight page Beasts of Burden story, written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by Jill Thompson--I just can't get enough of those cute critters fighting paranormal oddities (click here for more Beasts of Burden). My second reason for the pick is Geoff Darrow's gorgeous cover illustration (just look at the cover pictured above, from his "Shaolin Cowboy" series, and the immense detail put into his work). Everything else in the comic was a complete mystery. New works by new artists and new writers. Just what any comic fanboy or fangirl needs.

Of course, with the obvious difference of opinion in anthologies, how does one go about critiquing it? Well, how about the orderly fashion of story by story "+" meaning good, "-" meaning bad.

"Beasts of Burden: Food Run,"
story by Evan Dorkin, art by Jill Thompson (+)

"Rotten Apple" Chapter 3,
story by Chuck Brown, art by Sanford Greene (-)

"The Adventures of Dog Mendoca and Pizzaboy" Chapter 1,
story by Felipe Melo, art by Juan Cavia (+)

"Number 13" Chaper 3,
story by Robert Love and Dave Walker, art by Robert Love (+)

"Resident Alien" Chapter 1,
story by Peter Hogan, art by Steve Parkhouse (+)

"Criminal Macabre: Die, Die, My Darling!" Chapter 1,
story by Steve Niles, art by Christopher Mitten (+)

"Marked Man" Chapter 4,
story and art by Howard Chaykin (+)

"Age of Reptiles: The Body,"
story an art by Ricardo Delgado (+)

"Finder: Third World" Chapter 4,
story and art by Carla Speed McNeil (-)

"The Protest,"
story by Dara Naragi and art by Victor Santos (+)

All in all, that's eight +'s and two -'s, giving this comic anthology an 80 percent. My only complaint is the price of this comic which happens to be $8, but if you look at it this way, you're actually getting your dollars worth and then some. Not convinced yet? Check out the following preview of five of the featured comics as well as two other variant covers by Fiona Staples and Michael Kaluta (all images courtesy of Dark Horse Comics).

For more information on Dark Horse Presents check out Dark Horse Comics website here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

San Francisco's APE (Alternative Press Expo) Returns this October 1st and 2nd

With all my heart-pulsing eagerness and excitement for Sac-Con and the 47th Annual Big Book Sale happening this week, I nearly forgot to announce another indie/comic/art/diy convention. Good thing I remembered because this event is coming up fast and you don't want to miss it! On October 1st and 2nd, APE (Alternative Pres Expo--a treasure trove of unique wonders and home-made gewgaws made for all fans of indie comics and art) returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, CA.

Special guests include:

Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!)

Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, David Boring, Art School Confidential)

Craig Thompson (Blankets, Good-bye Chunky Rice, Habibi)

Matthew Thurber (1-800 Mice)

Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, Scenes from an Impending Marriage)

Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man, The New Yorker)
If you claim to be a fan of independent comic book writers/artists/publishers and have NEVER attended APE, I strongly urge you to check it out. You will not leave the show unhappy. If anything you will gain humility for giving these starving artists the desired attention they need. For more information on programming and how to order tickets check out APE's official website here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Chillerama"--A Grindhouse Inspired Film

"Watching Grindhouse in theaters wasn't merely watching a movie. It was an experience."

I remember reading an offering like this in a magazine (probably from those wise, old bastards at Horrorhound) upon the announced Blu-Ray release of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 double-feature Grindhouse. Chances are you heard of this film and may have watched a segment of it (it was broken into two films when it hit store shelves, Planet Terror and Death Proof) Remember the girl with a machine-gun for a leg? Ahh, there it is. It's all jogging back to you, I see. The film was Rodriguez and Tarantino's post-modern homage to '70's midnight splatterfest/exploitation films (some of the most vile, disturbing, and head-tilting films to ever exist) and landed a gorgeous NC-17 rating and 191 minute running time. Both rarely unheard of in contemporary American cinema. And for those lucky few who reveled it's cinematic debut in theaters (remember guys, this film actually tanked in theaters), as the quote suggests, it truly was an experience to behold.

Fortunately those good times appear to be had once more with a Grindhouse inspired film, lovely titled Chillerama. The film is broken into four separate segments, written and directed by four different Hollywood filmmakers (Adam Green/Frozen, Joe Lynch/Wrong Turn 2, Adam Rifkin/Detroit Rock City, Tim Sullivan/2001 Maniacs), and has a decent run time of 1hr 55mins. I've heard mixed reviews so far but if the film rings true to the tone of the trailer, I'm all in.

Chillerama is currently working it's way through select theaters (click here for venues) until Image Entertainment releases it to DVD on November 29th. Until then, enjoy the awesome poster art and more bonuses like merchandise at Chillerama's official website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

47th Annual Big Book Sale in San Francisco, CA

Dude, we're friends right? Like friend friends? Like a couple of young white boys from the early ninetiescalling each other "Brothers from another mother" for the first time? Yeah. We're friends. At least that's how I see it.

And since we're friends, and seeing how we've known each other for such a long time, I thought I'd share a little secret. Of course, I don't know how secret this is anymore, seeing how the wind knows how to carry a tune--dee dat dat dee dat dat doo...


Oh, you still want to know that little secret of mine. Well, sure friend. Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Everyone loves a story. Especially you my friend. My friend...

This is a story about the Friends of the Library and a little book sale they've put together in San Francisco, CA. Alright, alright... Maybe the word "little" is a bit of an understatement, seeing how it is the largest book sale organized on the West Coast. Well, this "little" group of friends managed to round up a clever amount of unwanted, donated, and perfectly reusable books and media items to appease its general public at bargain rates. So little as $1, $2, or $3. Yes? That's right. They are a mighty group of friends.

And for what reason have these friends come together? For what purpose do they share? Isn't there some feathered, maniacal shadow at work--for this must be a joke and some boogeyman waits to pounce. Or perhaps not? Perhaps things are as good as they sound? Because not all stories need a villain. And because all proceeds raised from this sale go to funding the San Francisco Public Library, where they are used to open new libraries, expand new and existing collections, benefit literacy programs and much more. But whomever--whomever in the world could this all be arranged for? Why non-other than you, my friend. My friend... 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: 'Batwoman' #1--Kiss Me, Kate Kane

Here we are. The third week in September and DC's new 52's continue to take the comic world by storm. Whether that's good or evil, I'll let you level headed readers decide for yourself or take it to the many discussion-boards devoted to such. Along with this week's batch of revamps comes one of the most long awaited series in the DC Universe, mainly because this character has yet to receive her own official run in a comic book. And yes, that character is a she. And that "she" happens to be non-other than Kate Kane, otherwise known as Batwoman. And (thank the almighty Cthulu!) she's back and ready for "action" in an all new five-issue starting series called "Hydrology."

After picking up a copy of Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's initial run with Batwoman in Detective Comics #854-863, I knew I was in love with this character. No, not in some freakishly put-a-crimson-red-wig-on-my-girl-friend-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of way (eww... what's wrong with you for thinking that?). But rather for DC's willingness to take a leap and spearhead the lacking attitude of homosexuals in mainstream comics. Of course this cultural issue is merely a small engraving in a greater landmark achievement and was helped drastically by Rucka's talented hand and the ever-alluring illustrations and mesmerizing layouts from Williams mind. However, when I first heard Rucka decided to work on more creator owned titles and left the helm of Batwoman, my heart plunged into an oxygen-deprived abyss to worry about the new series' rhythm and continuity. It helped to see Williams listed as a co-writer, but what about this W. Haden Blackman guy? In the world of comics, writers and artists come and go. Time to buckle up and take a ride with a new creative team.

Worry not. Batwoman issue 1 delivers.

Fans of the Detective Comics arc will be happy to know that this "first" issue is actually a continuation of Rucka's story. And what a story it is! Williams and Blackman continue to dabble in the paranormal/occult with the incorporation of Mexican folklore; the story of The Weeping Woman (aka La Llorona) as introduced to be a new Gotham villain. So far this villain is making quite the name for herself by kidnapping and drowning children by the masses. If this isn't haunting enough, then check out William's phenomenal artwork which is just pitch perfect for the eerie tone:

Of course anyone whose read Alan Moore's Promethea understands what to expect of Williams. But man-o-man is it great to see him work on a brand new monthly series! The seemingly simple story doesn't stop there. Other than the vile, ghostly woman, we are stolen for two pages to the Department of Extranormal Operations where Director Bones, a talking skeleton who smokes a cigar, gives Agent Chase orders to capture and unhood Batwoman. If there is anyone meant to depict Director Bones it has to be Williams--the plumes of smoke drifting from his eye-sockets is wonderfully executed. We are also given a glimpse at Kate's new role as mentor and trainer to Teen Titan's former member Flamebird, aka Bette Kane, who also happens to lose her costume in an "accidental" fire. Can this mean a new costume in the works? And to seal this comic with a kiss, we are left with a long overdue and most expected meeting between Batwoman and the Dark Knight himself. Bravo DC, bravo.

Don't worry, new readers. If you're afraid to submerge in an ongoing story, the creators of this issue give a very brief summation of the Detective Comics arc in this issue. As for everything else in the comic, it's all new  and meant as a new starting point. I strongly encourage all comic readers to pick this issue up. The art alone is worth the three dollars. Don't believe me? Take a glimpse at this:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Swamp Thing #1--The DC Reboot Begins with its Roots

"It's raining in Washington tonight. Plump, warm summer rain that covers the sidewalks with leopard spots. Downtown, elderly ladies carry houseplants to set them on the fire-escapes, as if they were infirm relatives or boy kings. I like that."--Alan MooreThe Saga of Swamp Thing issue #21.

I like that too.

Before reading DC's reboot of Swamp Thing issue 1, I went back to good ol' Saga of Swamp Thing issue #21, Alan Moore's masterpiece origin story, to remind me why old Swampy remains a classic DC character. I can ramble on about the artwork... the writing... the presentation... but in all due respect, we only live once, and that issue is better experienced than discussed. So on to newer and hopefully better things.

Scott Snyder managed to make quite the name of himself recently; in the past few years he’s penned Detective Comics, co-authored American Vampire with Stephen King, currently writes Swamp Thing AND Batman, and introduced another creator owned titled from Image, called Severed. It’s probably safe to presume Snyder’s name will remain ever-present in comics for the years to come. Obviously someone in the industry is happy with his work. But I’m not.

There’s nothing redeeming about Snyder’s writing. There. I said it.

The writing is not touching, moving, or gripping. It does not attribute voice to the characters, but painfully leaves them hollow like the stale, abandoned husk of an insect or like a ventriloquist carrying dead air through a dummy’s head. Snyder lacks poetics. He lacks life. He lacks the many talents of melodrama.

Of course I am biased by the works of Alan Moore and realize no one can fight the great contender. Yet I still await the day someone dares enter the ring and give him a good fight or at least dances around a bit. But even the most technical writing or the most juvenile can make-up in ease or difficulty with a good story. And unfortunately issue 1 offers a humming-bird’s egg of story—little and delicate, just enough to say it’s there but not enough to feed a grown man.

For most of Swamp Thing issue 1, I hoped to see the most pivotal character in the series—The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Okay, that wasn’t a very funny joke. But neither was seeing the Swamp Thing on only TWO pages (including the cover) of this 32-page comic (filled with 8-pages of ads). Of course, we have to keep in mind this is a reboot issue which hopes to offer a starting point for new readers. But still, I guarantee fans of the Dark Knight would crap their pants to find out Batman only shows his hood on two pages of Batman issue 1. New reader or not, give us the goods. goddamnit.

The only redeeming factor about this comic is Yanick Paquette’s artwork. His cover is quite astounding and remarkably beautiful. His choice of combing Art Nouveau with the abysmal and overdone style of superhero pop-art is refreshingly unique. However, it is not done enough. Only a few pages are well stylized to report on but even those are nothing as gorgeous as the cover. I was half expecting Paquette to go the path of J.H. Williams III and abandon conventional panels all together but sadly this did not happen.

I think this will remain my final run with Swamp Thing for a while. I am curious where Snyder decides to take the green “machine” for a ride, but not for Snyder’s sake but for ol’ Swampy. Perhaps we’ll meet again one day in the Green. Until then, farewell friend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: The Goon #35

When I first heard Evan Dorkin was writing a new issue of The Goon I scratched my head in confusion. "Oh, crap," I thought. "Eric Powell just returned to work on The Goon and he's already too lazy to write his own material." Keep in mind this was before I read anything written by Dorkin--yes, before I read my beloved Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites. So after reading that collection and becoming a bit more familiar with his twisted little words I had nothing more than high hopes for The Goon #35. Why, you ask? Because Evan Dorkin has plotted some of the most entertainingly creepy tales I've read in the past year. Tales that could frighten the whiskers off a witches' chin. Tales that could revive Ronald Reagan from cryogenics. Tales that make you want to eat Arby's. And that's frightening.

But this issue of The Goon never reached that ark-of-the-covenant-melting-point that his other works had. The issue begins with the beloved duo Franky and the Goon driving in the midst of a "job" when all of a sudden a stumpy no-legged man rushes across the road. Much to their misfortune, the two discover their car wrecked and seek vengeance against the little freak. From here on I expected the story-line to pick up into something a little stronger. Unfortunately things turned out a little predictable. Not to ruin the entire story for you, I'll stop with the plot there.

In my opinion the most distracting feature in this issue was the expectation of Powell's story-telling. I waited for one of his enormous and insurmountable splash pages to come along but unfortunately Dorkin/Powell never delivered. Even the comedy felt slightly hindered, like this tag-team duo rushed the script without properly planning the comedic timing. When I read a Goon comic I expect to laugh out loud. This time I did not. I wanted to but the comedy is hardly worth sharing to friends. Who knows whose fault it is--but sadly, unless you are Goon-head that can't miss a single issue (like me), this is one Goon comic you can pass on.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sacramento Sci-Fi/Horror Show and Sac-Con

Finally, something Cool is coming to Sacramento, CA. Yeah, that's right. Cool with a capital "C." Because where else in Northern California can you find a Sci-fi/Horror convention and a Comic/Toy/Anime show lumped into one amazing weekend? That's right, bitches. The answer is right here.

This September 24th and 25th at the Scottish Rite Center will offer plenty of entertainment, amazing guests, and a glorious safe haven for all Northern Californian nerds for the low admission cost of $6 (children ages 6 and younger are free).

Guests include: 

Mike Mignola---creator/writer/artist of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D, Baltimore, etc.

Marina Sirtis---actress from Star Trek: The Next Generation and voice of Desmona from Gargoyles

Sean Schemell---voice actor of Goku from Dragonball Z

Timothy Green II---artist of Annihilators, Skarr: Son of Hulk, Swamp Thing, etc.

Tad Williams---New York Times and London Sunday Times bestselling author

Mick Gray---Comic inker on Batman, Superman, Brightest Day, Promethea, The Flash, Green Lantern

Jim Sinclair---inker/illustrator for The Maxx

and one of my personal favorites

Richard Moore---creator/writer/artist of Boneyard, Chip, Gobs, Fire and Brimstone, etc.

If you're still uninterested then I'm afraid nothing will persuade your neanderthal-like mind. For more information on the events, directions, costs, hours, and all that technical mumbo jumbo, head over to and See you there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The High Stakes and Mistakes of 'Stake Land'

Every once and awhile a vampire movie comes along and dashes our seemingly tired expectations of the blood-sucker genre. In the past several years, with all the glittery, sparkly, vegetarian vampire crap conected to the Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, little to no hope prevails for true blood-letting vampire aficionados. A friend of mine recently asked on Facebook, "Anyone else sick to death of vampire movies?" Hell, with Twilight's introduction in our culture we now suffer from other teen vampire dramas, like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood (not to mention MTV's spin on werewolves in Teenwolf--but that's another story), how can anyone not be tired of the undead? However, like the vampire's curse, our hope remains eternal for a truly frightening and provocative new twist for our fanged fiends. This was exactly what I expected with Nick Damici and Jim Mickle's recent vampire film Stake Land.

Released in 2010, Stake Land is the tale of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by "vamps" (as they are generally referred to in the film). A vampire hunter known as Mister (Nick Damici) and his young apprentice/semi-adopted son, Martin (Connor Paolo), travel rough, desolate terrain in search of vampires and relief shelters, avoiding deadly religious fanatics, to ultimately find a safe zone called New Eden. If you think the plot of this film sounds a little true to that of Zombieland well... you are abso-freaking-lutely right. Which brings me to my first problem. 

I hoped to find something new in Stake Land. That's all. Quite simple, really. But the film was hardly anything new. With a wee tad bit of inspection, the film is really a cross genre of two separate titles. For starters we have Zombieland, where two stranded souls (Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg) launch cross country to anywhere and everywhere safe from zombies. Hmm. Kind of sounds like Stake Land. Then there is Cormac McCarthy's The Road, where a father and son stranded in a nuclear winter travel cross country to find food and supplies. Although there are no zombies, vampires, or religious fanatics in The Road, there are certainly cannibal rapists worthy of a couple scares. My point mentioning these two titles, although definitely different in their own ways, is to understand why the makers of Stake Land decided now was the best time to create the film. It's like in 1975 when Spielberg's Jaws hit theaters. Copycat after copycat decided to take on a film about a watery beast (if you don't believe me just check out this website called The Jaws Rip-Off Library). My point being that Stake Land is following a cliche line-up of films which does not allow it to make headway into new territory. Only something new and alluring like decent characters or monster design could lift this film up. Which brings us to problem two.

I was honestly surprised by the lack of creativity in Stake Land's vampire department. I mean, for Christs sake! Give us, the viewer, the paying audience, something new. These vampires are hardly anything cutting-edge. If anything they look like your average zombie with blood like black ichor frothing from their lips and a couple protruding fangs. The whole concept baffled me. Why not strive for something different and create a new creature design?  And then about half way through the film it dawns upon you how much this film is not about vampires--which is very strange for a vampire movie (the same way Monsters was not about monsters). Instead Stake Land manages to create a new villain--the eerie Klu-Klux-Klan-like religious fanatics as seen behind Mister (Damici) here.

These guys are the real reason to watch the film and they honestly stand out a helluva lot more than the vampires do. The acts of violence committed by these guys are just insane, completely horrifying and believable. Judging by the amount of detail that went into the insignia and wardrobe of these characters, I'm sure the director felt these were the true children of the night. I've got to give credit where credit is due and say these guys did a job well done on this small aspect of the film. However, the characters we are introduced to in the rest of the film have little to no back story. In my opinion this hinders the film completely. It is in characters that horror films strive the most. Without definitive and flushed out characters audiences sadly look upon a world without any dimension. It's a shame that's what these fictional apocalyptic worlds turn out to be and it's a shame that Stake Land is one of them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 Harvey Award Winners

On the heels of SDCC's Eisner Awards comes another comic book award ceremony, the Harvey Awards. My hat goes off to Jill Thompson and Evan Dorkin, the creators of Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, for getting the recognition they truly deserve. Mike Mignola is also well awarded Best Cover Artist--I mean, just look at his work! It causes my peepers to eye-jaculate. I'm still wavering on the importance of Vertigo's American Vampire series. Does anyone out there think some garlic-deterred, blood-suckers will stake a claim in our comic cannon the years to come? Well, at least the Harveys got Best Single Issue or Story right for the Ba brother's Daytripper. For those curious enough, here is the complete listing of winners.

2011 Harvey Award Winner List

Best Letterer
John Workman, Thor (Marvel)

Best Colorist
Jose Villarrubia, Cuba: My Revolution (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Best Syndicated Strip or Panel
Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau (Universal Press Syndicate)

Best Online Comics Work
Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton

Best American Edition of Foreign Material
Blacksad, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Best Inker
Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)

Best New Series
American Vampire, Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Most Promising New Talent
Chris Samnee, Thor: The Mighty Avenger(Marvel)

Special Award for Humor in Comics
Roger Langridge, The Muppet Show (BOOM! Studios)

Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers
Tiny Titans, Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani (DC Comics)

Best Graphic Album — Previously Published
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology
Popgun #4, edited by D.J. Kirkbride, Anthony Wu and Adam P. Knave (Image Comics)

Best Domestic Reprint Project
Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best Cover Artist
Mike Mignola, Hellboy (Dark Horse)

Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation
The Art Of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets Of Life And Death, Todd Hignite (Abrams ComicArts)

Special Award for Excellence in Presentation
Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best Graphic Album — Original
 Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)

Best Continuing or Limited Series
Love And Rockets, Vol. 3, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)

Best Writer
Roger Langridge, Thor: The Mighty Avenger (Marvel)

Best Artists
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)

Best Cartoonist
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)

Best Single Issue or Story
Daytripper, Fabio Moon and Gabiel Ba (Vertigo/DC Comics)

For more information on the Harvey Awards click here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Acoustic Night at the Cabin in Vacaville, CA

Normally my Thursday nights involve lazily watching the NBC comedy lineup (The Office, Community, Parks and Rec) but if you haven't been on this planet in awhile, it's still summer, and that means crappy repeats or boring reality television. So if you live in the Sacramento area of California, do yourself a favor this Thursday night and drive down to the Cabin in Elmira. Why? Because Jamie Havok presents Acoustic Night, where a grand concert of hollow stringed instruments shall be held for the lowly cost of $5. The line-up includes Zombie Gaucho, Sean Ryan, Jamie Havok, and Lauren Lavine. BEWARE these artists know how to kill! They also know how to play acoustic guitar. Which one will be featured at the show, you ask? Well, you'll just have to go and find out for yourself. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

San Jose Super Toy and Comic Book Show Tomorrow

Just thought I'd share a fun outing experience for anyone piss-stinking-bored this weekend. Time Tunnel Toys in San Jose, CA puts on a great toy and comic book show and it happens to be tomorrow--August 13th, 2011. The cost is cheap-- *only $5 bucks*-- and gives complete access to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds where vendor upon vendor will sell you old and new oddities, because we all need more crap, right? Plus cool artists like Emonic are in attendance.

More info can be found at Time Tunnel Toy's website or their blog. And don't forget to check out Emonic's blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: 'Hellboy: The Fury' #3

OMG OMG OMG!!! Okay, now that I have that out of my system and maybe if I try really hard, I can stop hyperventilating and write this review. Why the sudden panic attack of euphoria, you may wonder? Well, for the fans of Hellboy who've read the most recent issue published by Dark Horse Comics today, Hellboy: The Fury #3, creator Mike Mignola and artist Duncan Fegredo just raised the bar on this lil' humdinger of a series. And if you thought that bar was high before, then you haven't read the latest issue, have you? Smart ass.

The long and mildly torturous wait for fans of Hellboy ends today. What started as a strange sea farthing in 2005's Hellboy: The Third Wish and an adventurous walkabout in Africa in 2006's Hellboy: Makoma, the Big Red Guy has finally made his way to homeland in what is probably his biggest and longest running story-arc to date. Mainly because readers realize this Hellboy collective truly begins with the first Hellboy story way back in Seed of Destruction. Everything Mignola has introduced into his universe is fair game in these most recent issues. Since Hellboy's arrival on our earth, one heeding question has festered in the mind of Hellboy fans. Will we ever see the end? Will Hellboy be our destroyer? The answer is a yes and Hellboy: The Fury #3 is it. Finally, all of our questions are answered, our curiosities fulfilled.

As in any Hellboy comic, the artwork, story, colors, and layouts are absolutely wonderful. But Hellboy: The Fury is by far the best to date. The haunting quality in this small, three issue arc never lacks constant resonance for readers new or old. Nothing, absolutely nothing, amounts to what the readers of Hellboy face in The Fury #3 face, which is the series' inevitable apocalypse. And at the very forefront of this doomsday event is our anti-hero Hellboy. Is he a savior? Or is he a death-bringer? I'll leave that question up to you. But one thing is certain by the very end of this issue. Hellboy is dead.

Which brings us back to my moment of hyperventilation... OMG OMG OMG!!! How can Mignola do this to his most fan-loved creation? What will the Hellboy series become without the Hellboy? Where in all of Hell can Mignola be taking us with this? And as all of these questions are running through the heads of fans and readers while they flip through the last pages of Hellboy: The Fury #3, they see exactly where Mignola plans to take us. Alright, prepare to hyperventilate... In Hell.

For more information on Hellboy look to Mike Mignola's personal website or Dark Horse Comics' website.