Archive for April 17th, 2012



First Look At AVX VS #2 – An AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Tie-In!

Written by on Apr 17, 2012
Filed in: Marvel Comics News  |  1 Comment »

First Look At AVX VS #2 - An AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Tie-In!

Marvel and the Fanboy Buzz are proud to present your first look at, AVX: VS #2, the explosive, no holds barred, action packed tie-in to the smash-hit blockbuster event of the year – Avengers VS. X-Men! From acclaimed creators, Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca & Steve McNiven; catch the cover to cover battles – featuring unimaginable chaos as Spider-Man takes on Colossus & Captain America faces off against the ragin’ Cajun, Gambit! Don’t miss out on all the pulse-pounding action in AVX: VS #2, available in comic shops worldwide and on the Marvel Comics app this May!

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX!

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

AVX: VS #2 (MAR120528)

Written by KIERON GILLEN & STEVE MCNIVEN

Art by STEVE MCNIVEN & SALVADOR LARROCA

Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA

Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN

Rated T+…$3.99

FOC –4/23/2012, ON SALE – 5/16/2012




Presenting the world of music, comics, and more….

Written by on Apr 17, 2012
Filed in: Comic Book News  |  1 Comment »

Presenting the world of music, comics, and more....

PRESS RELEASE

New pop culture expo to host media guests, artists, publishers and manufacturers

HERSHEY, Pa – USA Theatres, which operates a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theatre in Central Pennsylvania, will be presenting the world of music, comics, movies, television, toys and more, with the launch of the American Music & Pop Culture Expo.

According to the company, the expo will feature numerous vendors buying, selling and trading a variety of popular culture merchandise, such as DVDs, posters, books, magazines, autographs, comics, trading cards, photos, artwork, jewelry, t-shirts, toys, games, pins, buttons, lunchboxes, advertising items, rare LP vinyl records, CDs, albums and singles (33s, 45s, 78s), players and musical instruments.

Previous shows and conventions, organized by USA Theatres, included a non-sports card convention, which featured various exhibitors from the non-sports industry, and an antique toy and coin-op show, which featured quality exhibitors of fine antiques and collectible toys, including coin-operated items such as jukeboxes.

“All of the events that we organize exhibit the retro factor,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres. “From the King of Rock and Roll to the King of Pop, from Star Trek to Star Wars, through Beatlemania and Batmania, Pac-Mania and Hulkamania, the American Music & Pop Culture Expo will appeal to all age groups.”

According to Vastola, the event will also feature media guests, artists, manufacturers and publishers, such as Non-Sport Update, a bi-monthly magazine for collectors of non-sport trading cards (cards that focus on movies, television, sci-fi, comics, music, etc. — anything other than sports).

Attendees will have the unique opportunity for a chance to win a brand new classic style full-size jukebox (MSRP: $1495.95), provided by RetroWonders.com, an online retailer of Crosley Radio products, according to Vastola.

The American Music & Pop Culture Expo is set to debut on Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, 2013, at the Granada Avenue Gymnasium, located at 30 East Granada Avenue in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“Hershey is a great geographic location to host an event,” Vastola said. “It is conveniently located to most major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, and can easily attract pop culture enthusiasts from Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and of course, Pennsylvania.”

Although it is early, Vastola anticipates 75 vendor spaces to be utilized. “Vendor space will sell out fast,” he said.

Early buyers are welcome Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. and also Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. for $25 per person each day, while general admission on Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, college students and active military (Photo I.D. required). Children 11 and under will be admitted for free, accompanied by a paying adult. Parking is free.

“The show will be promoted and marketed through various media outlets, such as television, radio, Internet websites, newspapers, trade publications, and direct market mailers,” Vastola said. “We will also be promoting this event all summer long on the 40 foot tall ‘Turkey Hill Screen’.”

A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at the show, provided by Joemomma Foods, Inc. of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“It’s going to be another brisk and fantastic show,” Vastola added.

Want to exhibit?

6 ft. by 9 ft. vendor spaces are currently available for $65 each and include one 6 ft. table, two chairs, and two exhibitor badges (discounts offered for larger vendor spaces).

For more information, call (717) 542-0567 or email usatheatres@yahoo.com

You may also visit the website, www.usatheatres.com/conventions




’68 Scars #1 Review

Written by on Apr 17, 2012
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Image Comics Reviews  |  11 Comments »

'68 Scars #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: Image Comics
Publisher Website: http://www.imagecomics.com/

Writer: Mark Kidwell
Pencils: Nat Jones
Inks: Nat Jones
Colors: Jay Fotos
Number of Pages: 36
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similiar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Saigon is in flames. Private Kuen Yam is alone and screaming. A handful of human survivors maintains a weakening hold on the only gateway to the skies and escape from Vietnam…and the muddy waters of the Mekong Delta churn like a hellish river Styx as the bloated dead rise from the depths.

Few will survive the nightmares of 1968…and those who do…will bear its mark.

Join creators MARK KIDWELL, NAT JONES and JAY FOTOS as they return to a world of military/zombie horror in this second part of the ongoing ’68 series. ’68: SCARS!

Reviewer’s Comments:
’68 Scars is an action packed gory slaughter fest of epic purport ions. Set in 1968, this comic combines the horrors of the Vietnam War with the addition of reanimated corpses. This issue is the first of the four in the second part of the ongoing series.

I haven’t read the first part of the series but I got the picture of what this story was about pretty quick. This issue was an eye opener. I loved that the story is set in one of the most talked about wars in history (since I love history) and the fact that the soldiers not only have to worry about the enemy killing them but zombies as well just made this an interesting tale.

The story was for the most part easy to get into and understand. Writer Mark Kidwell does an excellent job expressing the voices of each character. It’s as though while you’re reading you can actually hear how each person would sound. Nat Jones and Jay Fotos artwork is visually grotesque and scary. I could see this series becoming a TV show or a set of films.

I do have a few minor issues with the comic. I didn’t really feel as though I knew each of the characters, and I also wanted to know what caused the zombies. I think that reading the first part of the ongoing series would give me and other readers the answers that I’m looking for.

Overall ’68 Scars is good book and I think readers will enjoy it.




Hypergirl Hardcover Release

Written by on Apr 17, 2012
Filed in: Comic Book News  |  No Comments »

Hypergirl Hardcover Release

AWARD WINNING “HYPERGIRL” GETS HARDCOVER RELEASE FROM MARKOSIA!

Orang Utan Comics are pleased to announce the forthcoming hardcover collection of their award winning comic Hypergirl!

Hypergirl introduces us to the strange and unusual world of Wierdsville, a city where almost anything can happen. We meet bored teenage girl Charley Matthews who has no idea that a chance encounter with the dying Doc Hyperpower is about to change her life forever. Will she rise to the occasion and defeat the evil of Pharaonicus, or will she lock herself in her bedroom and listen to The Cure? Find out in the senses shattering debut of Weirdsville’s newest hero – Hypergirl!

“With Hypergirl we’ve tried to do something a little different,” explains co-creator, Ian Sharman. “She’s a teenage girl, but you won’t find any cheesecake in the pages of this comic, and her costume doesn’t have any convenient holes in it to show off her assets. She’s a regular girl, someone I think any reader can identify with. I think anyone, young or old, male or female, will find something to enjoy in the pages of Hypergirl.”

Hypergirl was co-created by two veritable giants of the UK indie comics scene, Ian Sharman (Alpha Gods, Hero: 9 to 5) and David Wynne (Particle Fiction), and originally appeared as part of Orang Utan Comics’ acclaimed monthly web comic, Particle Fiction. It was initially conceived as a sixteen page story, just like every other Particle Fiction story, but the tale grew in the telling, and became the 32 page Hypergirl #1, and once Markosia saw it, a 128 page collected work was soon commissioned. The hardcover includes 96 full colour story pages, plus a whole wealth of background material detailing the history of Weirdsville.

Hypergirl creators Sharman and Wynne were given a huge boost on New Year’s Day when they awoke to find that they had beaten out the likes of Justice League Dark, Takio by Brian Michael Bendis and Kirby Genesis by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross to tie in first place with The Strange Talent of Luther Strode for the Comixology Comixologist’s Choice Award for Best Debut Comic Series, as voted for by Comixology’s twitter followers.

This signed and numbered, strictly limited edition collectible hardback edition of Hypergirl will only be available directly from Markosia, and at the Markosia and Orang Utan Comics stands at various comic conventions around the UK while stocks last. To ensure that you don’t miss out please pre-order the book for pick up at the Bristol Comic Expo and Kapow, or for delivery via UK and International mail order, from the Markosia website now. You’ll find all of the ordering details here – http://www.markosia.com/wordpress/titles/hypergirl/

Check out www.orangutancomics.co.uk for more information on Orang Utan Comics.




B&N Week 69: Creator or Consumer Mindset?

Written by on Apr 17, 2012
Filed in: Bolts & Nuts (Syndicated Column)  |  No Comments »

Tuesdays are pretty special to me. They go by too fast, too. I mean, I wait all week long, just to have a chance to spend some time with you, and before you know it, our time is over. Can’t we make Tuesday stretch over 48 hours or so?

Anyway, I want to talk about something that you’re all going to have to come to terms with, whether you realize it or not. I’m talking about your mindset. The basic question to answer is this: are you a consumer posing as a creator, or are you a creator who wants to give things to consumers?

Let’s explore the Bolts Nuts of that, and see if we can’t see what your mindset is, and what you can do to change it [if it needs changing].

As a creator, the world has to be broken into two segments: consumers, and content creators. Content creators are those who, for whatever reason, feel the need to create something that other people can enjoy and/or learn from. Content creators are all around us: every news site you visit, every time you go to the movies, turn on your television, read a book or magazine—all of that content is created by someone with the intent of it being consumed by someone.

Okay, let’s get a little closer to home. You come to this site every week to hear the writers spout off on one subject or another. All of the writers here are content creators, and we’re wanting you to consume what we’ve created, in the hopes that you’ll then go out and create your own content for consumption.

Consumers? Consumers consume. They go out and they buy stuff that we create, or they read for free what we give away.

Consumers are difficult, to say the least. The overwhelming majority of them don’t know what they want until we tell them. Then, there’s the very vocal minority that know what they want, and do their best to shape what the rest of the majority wants, in order to fit the needs and whims of the few. (Steven, did you just call the majority of the population sheep?) [Yes. The majority of the population are “sheeple.” This isn’t just in comics. This is in everything. Look around and see: political lobbyists, special interest groups, single individuals that take it upon themselves to try and change the world, or who change the world because of a wrong done to them. Sheeple aren’t difficult to find. I’m one, in a way, and so are you.]

The vocal minority will do everything in their power to get what they want. What they want is power over the content creator to provide the content that they want to read. Never mind what the creator wants to provide—that has no bearing on the conversation. They want what they want, and the creator has to do their best to resist the urge to give in to the minority and serve both themselves and the silent majority.

It just gets extremely tough, because the creator doesn’t know what the silent majority wants. [Hence, “silent majority.”] They should just create, and let the chips fall where they may.

Then comes the problem. [You knew it was coming, right?] (I was waiting for it.)

Content creators are also consumers, and most often, part of the silent majority.

What does this mean?

This means that, as a creator, you have an opinion as to how you want your content disseminated, and are often in a position to make sure it gets done the way you want it to. You look at the market, you see what’s being done, and say, “I’m going to do it differently.” Sometimes, “differently” means shooting yourself in the foot. And if you haven’t guessed, shooting yourself in the foot is not a good thing.

There are some extremely uncomfortable realities that, as a creator, you need to understand:

· The comic book market is dominated by two companies—Marvel and DC. Without these two companies, everything else crumbles.

· Comic book shops buy from these two companies first. This is how their shop makes money. Everything else is a secondary consideration. Image? Secondary. Boom!? Secondary. Dark Horse? (Secondary?) [Exactly. Secondary.]

· As yet, there is no money in digital comics. Graphic.ly just got out of the storefront business, leaving comiXology as the digital equivalent of Diamond.

· The direct market is dominated by Diamond. Most comic shops won’t carry a book that isn’t carried by Diamond. The larger the shop, the lower the possibility that it will carry your independently created comic.

· Diamond is in business to make money. If your book is not of quality, they will not carry it for distribution. And make no mistake, Diamond watches the market, they watch comics, and the reps, even though they have their own tastes, know what they’re talking about. If they passed, it means they can’t make money off your book.

· Webcomics are a dime a dozen, and it takes a lot to not only create one, but maintain it in obscurity long enough for it to gain an audience and for the creator to start making money from it.

See that? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve read that and understood it, you would see that your options are extremely limited.

With limited options of getting your book seen, why are you doing things to make sure your book continues to wallow in obscurity? (No I’m not! There are just certain things I think I can achieve by doing things my way, that’s all.) Yes, I know. And “your way” will make it harder for your book to catch on and break even, if not make a profit.

You’ve spent a lot of time and money in getting Pen-Man off the ground. If you’ve listened to me, this is what you’ve done: you’ve done a lot of prep work in getting the script ready to be written while saving your money; after you’ve written the script, you hired an editor to help you get it polished and ready for the creative team; you’ve hired a creative team within your means so that you can bring a new book into the world. Now what? Remember that creating comics is expensive in both time and money. Ever see the movie The Money Pit? Tom Hanks and Shelly Long pour tons of money into this house with hilarious results.

Comics is a money pit, and you’re going to have to work long and hard in order to make your investment back. Why make it harder on yourself than absolutely necessary? Why not give your creation every opportunity to thrive, even if it means doing something you normally wouldn’t do?

What you’re doing is letting your silent majority consumerist opinion influence your content creator stance. Extremely often, the two do not mesh. It’s a dog with two bones, and you’re going to be forced to make a choice.

As a content creator, it is your job not to just create content, but to give that content the best chance possible of being consumed. That means you have to do everything in your power to give the content the widest dissemination possible. As a content creator, that is your job. Never forget that.

Your silent majority consumerist opinion can and should be informing your content creative mind, but it shouldn’t be skewing it in such a way that it hampers your ability to sell or give away your content. And that happens all too often.

Take a look at Mark Millar. He’s a shill, selling himself as his brand so that he can sell his comics. He knows that people want to be entertained, and want to be entertained well. It works for him. Why? Because he’s telling quality stories, and they sell in droves. The silent majority has spoken with their wallets, and that has led Millar’s stories to be made into movies.

Do you have to be a shill? No, not at all. But it doesn’t hurt. Not as long as you have a quality product backing you up.

Don’t throw money and time away. Give your content every opportunity to thrive. Step outside of the box your consumer mind has put your creator mind into. Take every avenue, every possibility, every opportunity to get your work in front of people.

You’re a content creator. It’s time for you to start thinking like one.

No homework this week. Enjoy the break.

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