Comicmaniacs Category



Comicmaniac Spotlight: The Black Parade Author Kyoko M.

Written by on Jul 8, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  1 Comment »

It’s been a while but I’m back with an all new Comicmaniac Spotlight. And the spotlight falls on the Nerdy novelist who loves Batman, Castle, comics, movies, fanfiction, and books

 

Kyoko M.

 

Me dolled up crop

The supernatural and sci-fi come together in  Kyoko’s upcoming urban fantasy novel titled The Black Parade. I had the opportunity to interview her and we discussed the novel, self-publishing, her love of writing and fan fiction, other projects that she’s working on, and much more.

Tali Adina: Can you give readers a brief description about The Black Parade and what was the inspiration for the title?

TheBlackParade_Revised_2 copy

Kyoko M:  The Black Parade is an urban fantasy novel about an unfortunate girl named Jordan Amador who accidentally kills a Seer: someone who can see and hear ghosts, angels, and demons. As penance, she is sentenced to help 100 souls with unfinished business find their final wishes and cross over to the other side within two years or her soul will be damned for all eternity. Right at her deadline, Jordan stumbles across a gorgeous but smart ass poltergeist named Michael. As she starts solving his case, she unknowingly unravels a plot concocted by demons that could throw the world into complete chaos.

The title is inspired by “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. The black parade is a metaphor for death, as in dying means that one becomes a member of the haunting marching masses heading towards the afterlife. I chose this title because it encompasses the idea of my main character. Jordan is sort of like a drum major for the black parade as she leads people through the process of death and towards their final resting place, whether it be heaven or hell.

TA: They say that writers write what they know. What inspires you to write?

KM: Honestly? Weird stuff. My very first inspiration to write came from ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ I watched the show religiously as a child and wrote oodles and oodles of fanfiction. I then moved on to ‘Batman Beyond’, which I still love even today, and then a huge bushel of different anime as I grew up. Besides Batman, though, is my own desire to create a world that I enjoy learning and talking about. Every new chapter I write is peeling back another layer of my brain and spreading it out. There are so many interesting avenues to explore when writing urban fantasy, especially the kind related to angels and demons and ghosts, and that is why I chose this as my first novel series.

However, the most direct inspirations for The Black Parade are Paradise Lost by John Milton and the feature film Constantine (2005) directed by Francis Lawrence. Both of these concepts collided in my head back in college and I absolutely had to run with the ideas once they hit. I wanted to put my own twist on the well-known figures from Christian mythology and explore the concepts incorporated in them as well as some of my own.

TA: Why write fanfiction? What about it do you love?

KM: Fanfiction is my home away from home. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. It’s like taking a Jacuzzi break for me. The reason I find it so relaxing is because I don’t have to stress about all the rules associated with creating an original character. I just have to concentrate on what I already know about a well-established character and work from there. All I do in my fanfiction is create new situations for the characters to face rather than working from scratch. I love writing scenarios that a cartoon or TV show or anime never got around to, but could realistically have done if given the chance. As I mentioned earlier, I am particularly fond of ‘Batman Beyond’, which had a decent 52-episode run, but I wanted even more than that because it spoke to me. The show took a concept that should have fallen straight on its face—Batman in high school, basically—and somehow built a unique, creative, surprisingly deep interpretation of a character I already adored and then added someone equally lovable to the Batclan.

Fanfiction also keeps my mind sharp in terms of the mechanics of writing. I still focus on character motivations, action, pacing, plot, and all the other important parts of writing, but just with less stress involved. It’s a fun hobby and I recommend it to any writers who can multitask without going bonkers.

TA: The Black Parade seems to have a mix of sci-fi and supernatural genres. Are those your favorite genres to write about?

KM:  Definitely. I am one of those awful writers who hasn’t seen most of the American classics—Gone with the Wind, Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane—but I’ve seen so many sci-fi films that it is ridiculous. I think the sheer amount of imagination that goes into science fiction and supernatural genres is what intrigues me the most. I love creativity. I love seeing something unexpectedly brilliant, like The Fifth Element or Titan A.E. or Treasure Planet or Inception or Van Helsing (shut up, I like it!). I love how the visuals are always an important part of enhancing the story and how mythologies and legends from different cultures inspire them.

TA: I know that you also have a two more books that you’re working on to follow this one. What can readers look forward to in this series?

KM:The Black Parade’ is going to be a trilogy. The second novel, ‘She Who Fights Monsters’, has already been written, but it still needs to be professionally edited. I can’t say much without spoiling things. I will simply say that there are a lot of trials ahead for Michael and Jordan that will simultaneously pull them apart and bring them closer together. It should be ready for release next year. I’m currently in the process of writing the third novel and it is slated to be finished by the end of the year, and released in 2015.

TA: What future goals do you hope to achieve with this series?

KM: I would really love to see this series do well because there are not nearly enough urban fantasy novels that are popular with a black female protagonist. There are so many of them out there, but unfortunately, they do not receive enough attention. I want to see other black female nerds bonding with each other and getting good press. The media does not get to see enough positive female characters of any ethnicity and I want that to happen because it should. It is not just about my novels. I want to shed light on other great series out there and help the public get interested in other writers like me, no matter what background they are.

TA: When did you fall in love with comics and what other geeky things are you into?

KM: I fell in love with comics as a munchkin, thanks to my father. The first comics I read as a kid were ‘The Death of Superman’ and ‘DC vs. Marvel.’ I used to sit in my brother’s room for hours pouring over them again and again because I loved seeing superheroes fighting for those without the power to fight for themselves. From there, I went on to read several dozen ‘X-Men’ titles, some extremely great runs on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Watchmen’, ‘Catwoman’ (excluding the awful new 52 version of her), and of course a ton of ‘Batman’ comics.

I’m also heavily into anime and manga, though my tastes are all over the place. I love all the classics—Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho, G Gundam, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z—but I’ve also fallen in love with some newer stuff like Kuroshitsuji, Ouran High School Host Club, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Beelzebub, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama, Great Teach Onizuka (GTO), Darker Than Black and Durarara!!! I seem to bounce between shoujo and josei and anything related to sci-fi or fantasy.

Additionally, I have a huge collection of Internet reviewers that I love to follow. That Guy with the Glasses deserves first mention, particularly Linkara, Spoony, and Todd in the Shadows because I met them in person and they are the nicest fellows you could ever hope to meet. I’m absolutely hooked on Two Best Friends Play and Rage Quit. Totally in love with the comedic duo Barats and Bereta, as well as Source Fed, Honest Trailers, and Cinema Sins on Youtube. I’m also friends with Michael Agrusso, aka ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, creator of the ‘Hi, I’m a Marvel and I’m a DC’ videos. I couldn’t be a bigger geek if I tried.

TA: Are there any other projects that you’re working on?

KM: Currently, I am working on a YA high fantasy novel that started out as just a little side novel and somehow turned into a George R. R. Martin-length epic fantasy tale. It is two-thirds of the way done and I am utterly excited about it because it is my first time ever writing in the high fantasy genre. It has been extremely challenging, but fulfilling all the same. It still does not have a permanent title, but I’ve been describing it to people as, “Avatar: The Last Airbender meets the X-Men, with a dash of Firefly.’ It has a long way to go before it is ready for publication, so I would say keep an eye out for it in 2014 or 2015 at the absolute latest.

After the Black Parade trilogy is wrapped up, I’ll be starting another urban fantasy novel about a teenage girl and her widower father hunting dragons. At this stage, it is just a lump of story and character notes, but I’m also eager to write it as well.

TA: What advice can you give writers?

KM: (1) Don’t write yourself off (excuse the pun, please). I did that for literally years. I wouldn’t admit to myself that I wanted to write novels for a living until sophomore year of college. Don’t do that, kids. If you have the love and the gift, accept it and don’t let fear rule your life. (2) Find a support system, writing related or not. You are not an island. You need people to help you and keep your head above water because this is by far one of the hardest ways to make a living and it is going to suck for an incredibly long time. (3) Read things that you love and then find something you hate and read that too. Both will make you a better writer. Read Jim Butcher, and then flip open some Stephanie Meyer right afterwards. You will immediately see the difference in quality, and that will help keep you from becoming a terrible writer. (4) Don’t be a dick. Chuck Wendig talks about this a lot and you should listen to him. One of the fastest ways to kill your career is to be a jerkoff. You don’t have to be an angel, but please, be mindful of others and don’t bully anyone.

TA: Who are the writers that inspire you?

KM: Good Lord, do you have enough space for all these names? Okay, you asked for it: Denny O’Neill, Christopher Nolan, Bruce Timm, Dwayne McDuffie (RIP, sir.), Paul Dini, Jim Butcher, Chuck Wendig, Andrew W. Marlowe, Brian Jacques (RIP, sir.), Alan Moore, Nobuhiro Watsuki, J. K. Rowling, Jane Green, Geoff Thorne, and Jackson Pearce. I will also begrudgingly add Laurell K. Hamilton to the list, but ONLY for the first nine Anita Blake novels. These writers have all shown me something different and incredible at different points in my life and I am so grateful for being exposed to them. My father and my writing sensei both scold me for watching or reading things repeatedly, but in truth that is what keeps me going. I read and watch these things in order to remember why I want to be an author and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I want to catch a sliver of the greatness pouring off of these writers someday.

TA: As a person of color and a woman in the writing industry what obstacles do you face?

KM: It’s rough out there for any woman writing urban fantasy with a female character, and it’s even harder with a black protagonist. Unfortunately, black authors tend to get lumped in together because society assumes all black writers write is terrible smut or books about how racism will never be over. It will be difficult to get anyone to take my work seriously since I am not well known and am a first time author, but I aim to misbehave and make a name for myself anyway.

There is also potential backlash because of the interracial relationship that is the core of my novel, and I will face it with a grin on my face because I happen to fully support interracial relationships. I love seeing people from different backgrounds coming together and finding similarities and falling in love. I have always believed that love is love and it cannot be categorized by skin color.

Lastly, it is extremely hard to set yourself apart as an urban fantasy writer because the genre is so popular and in vogue right now. Self-publishing is a great option, but it is also unfortunately too easy. Anyone can fart out a terrible urban fantasy novel and so it can steer away a lot of readers because they all assume your work is lousy. The most common stereotype associated with the genre is the cocky Mary Sue protagonist who is trendy, white, sassy, and well off financially. There are dozens of them. So it will be an uphill battle for me to get Jordan separated from the sheep herd and to get people to realize she has layers and issues and is worth a read.

TA: When will the book be released and how will readers be able to obtain a copy of the book?

KM: The Black Parade is slated for release in late July 2013. It will be available as an eBook on Amazon and as a hard copy there and on Smashwords as well.

 *You can now purchase the book on Create A Space and the book is now available on Amazon. So go forth and purchase this book!*

 

 

 

 

 

 




Comicmaniac Spotlight: Jason Coffee’s Warhawks

Written by on Mar 28, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  2 Comments »

Jason Coffee was a sci-fi writer who was trying to make it Hollywood. He was well on his way to achieving his dream as he had the awesome opportunity to analyze scripts for James Cameron, and work as an assistant on shows like Babylon 5 and Roswell. Several years ago, he passed away suddenly at the young age of 33. His last wish was for his voice to be heard.  Now, his friends have gotten together to make his wish come true. Theyre publishing a comic book based on one of his screenplays entitled Warhawks and are raising the funds through Kickstarter. One of his friends Doug Cohen reached out to me and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview him about Jason Coffee’s Warhawks.

Jason Coffee

When did you first meet Jason?

I met Jason during our first week in college in 1993. We were both film majors at Northwestern University in Chicago. I met him in a stairwell on the way up to an orientation meeting. I can still remember he was wearing a Jurassic Park T-shirt that said “Rap Attack” on it. I also remember he was anxiously waiting for his TV to be shipped to him so that he could catch the premiere of Seaquest DSV.

 

What made you decide to bring Jason’s project to life in the form of comics?

Jason loved two things: sci-fi and comics. He had a huge comic book collection and always had comics posters on his walls. When you read his short stories or screenplays, most of them have a comic book feel.  His screenplay Warhawks is about a team of cyborg superheroes. If we wanted to make it as a movie, it would have cost 200 million dollars. We still hope that someday Jason Coffee’s Warhawks will end up on the silver screen, but making a comic seemed like a great first step that we, as his friends, could achieve.

Warhawks Issue #1 Cover

 

What was the process of putting together a team, and trying to obtain the funds necessary for this project?  

The team is made up of a group of Jason’s friends who all live in Los Angeles. We started meeting after Jason passed away to see how we could fulfill his last request, which was for his voice to be heard. In the beginning, we were funding it ourselves, but as we learned everything that is involved in creating and publishing a comic, we realized we would need to raise additional funds. We’re glad that Kickstarter came along, because it’s the perfect way to fulfill our mission. While we raise money for the project, we are simultaneously spreading Jason’s creative voice around the world.

 

Billy Tan is doing the cover, and Joel Gomez (former Wildstorm staff artist and assistant to Jim Lee) is doing the interior artwork for issue one. How did they become involved?

Cover Artist Billy Tan

None of us on the team had any experience making comics, but Jason’s friend Tom Cohen (no relation to me) knew some people in the industry.  He was able to connect us with a former Marvel Comics editor who suggested possible artists for the cover. One them was Billy Tan.  I contacted Billy and he immediately responded to our story. We were so excited that an artist of Billy’s caliber was willing to draw the cover. The fact that in between working on X-Men and Green Lantern, Billy took the time to do this awesome cover for Warhawks would have made Jason very happy.

Once we had our cover, we started looking for an interior artist. Billy recommended we contact Joel Gomez, who had done some assistant penciling for him in the past.  Again, we were fortunate to have such a great artist agree to work with us. Joel’s visual storytelling is amazing, but beyond that, he has become our mentor in the comics industry.  In the weeks leading up to our first convention, WonderCon, Joel has been telling us everything we need to do to prepare. We couldn’t have done it without him.

WARHAWKS is originally a screenplay, is it the desire of you and your friends to get Jason’s story eventually on the big screen?

Our goal is for the comic to become an ongoing series by bringing in other writers and artists to tell their own stories with the characters and universe Jason created. That would be awesome. But our even bigger goal is to fulfill his ultimate dream, which was for Warhawks to become a blockbuster movie, the kind of movie Jason would have lined up for on opening weekend.

When will issue one be available and where can people get it?

The plan is for Issue One to be completed early this summer. Distribution will initially be online and at comic book conventions.  Sometime after that, we hope to have it on the shelf at your local comic book store.

You all will be at WonderCon this weekend, can you let readers know where they can find you at the con and will you also be attending any other cons this year?

We will be at table 76 in the small press area. We hope people will come by to say hello and get to know the Warhawks universe by picking up a free copy of our preview comic for Issue One.

We are on the waitlist for ComiCon, and are hoping to find a way to exhibit there. We are also looking at Long Beach, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Jason’s hometown was Atlanta, so we also hope to hit Dragon*Con either this year or next.

 

What is one thing that you would like readers to know about Jason?

You expect your friends to be the people you grow old with. Losing Jason at such a young age was a shock to us all. I would like people to know that Jason was an intensely passionate fan and writer of sci-fi and comics. In college, when everybody else was writing comedies or sensitive dramas, he was writing his science fiction blockbusters. I watched him have to defend sci-fi as a valid art form, and he never wavered. Never one to self-promote, Jason worked slowly and meticulously toward his dream of writing science fiction that would be seen and read by people around the world.  If he had lived, I have no doubt that today you would be watching a movie or television show that he wrote. Talent and passion eventually win out, and Jason Coffee had large amounts of both.

 




Comicmanaic Spotlight: MegaCon 2013

Written by on Mar 22, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  No Comments »

This spotlight falls not on a person but on a event and that event is a cool  large multi-genre convention that caters to the comic booksci-fianimefantasy, and gaming communities, occurring between late February and early March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida:

MegaCon 2013

Last year was the first time I had attended the con in years. Whenever I went before I would always go on Sunday afternoons for a few hours walking around in the vendor area and buying a few things. Man have things gotten bigger since then. Last year I went Saturday and Sunday and I had a lot of  fun. This year I attended Friday and Saturday and there was more fun to be had.

Friday:

I attended a couple of panels that were all dedicated to writing. I felt as though I had attended a fun writing workshop.  The first panel was entitled Crafting the Character Arc: HOw to Successfully Navigate Your Character Through Your Narrative which was coducted by Jennie Jarvis.  For a morning panel on a Friday it was nearly full. The panel was interactive, fun, and extremely helpful.

After that panel I went to artist alley to say hello to some of my fellow Womanthology ladies Rachel Pandich of Aspire Comic and the upcoming Skin Crawling Horror Anthology, Kate Carleton & Josh Dykstra of Naughty Bicycle, and Danielle  Gransaull.  Next, I attended a panel called Crime Noir Panel II. Hosted by The Rack Pack Comics Podcast, this panel featured Darwyn Cooke, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri, Justin Gray, and Dave Johnson. They talked about the crime noir genre as well as shared some funny stories. It was a great panel. I wanted to say hello to Jimmy and Justin but I was too shy to (more on that later).  At the end of the panel, all the panelists did a small cheap shot of whiskey.

The last panel I attended for the day was World Building. The panel was hosted by local writers Glenda Finkelstein, T.S. Robinson, Phillip McCall, and Bill Htfield. This was another informative panel as the panelist gave advice and shared their experiences about creating dynamic environments, cultures, and challenges that will help writers drive their plot and develop their characters.

Only three panels attended? You say, well it was a long but fun day.  And then there was traffic, lots of traffic.

Saturday: 

Over 60,000 people were expected on this day and man there were a lot of folks at the con. And of course there was traffic lots and lots of it so by the time my sister and I got there we didn’t get to attend the panels that we wanted. We walked around and people watched. I have to say there were many attendees that did some amazing cosplay such as this The Fifth Element Ruby Rhod and entourage cosplay! I just wanted to go Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz!

My sis and I cosplayed as Supergirl and Young Justice’s Superboy. One big higlight of the day was that I finally worked up my nerve and said hello to Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray who were both very nice and gave me a copy of one of Creator Owned Heroes  and signed it. I was so excited about meeting them that I totally forgot to take a picture, oh well next time! Finally the last cool thing of the day was that my sister and I found a great pizza place around the corner from the con called Flippers. Their pizza is delicious!

So yes that was my MegaCon 2013 experience, not much to write about but I still had a good time despite the traffic and…well it was still good. Until next year!

These pictures were taken by my sister Dorothy! Thanks!




Comicmaniac Spotlight: Marlene aka ilikecomicstoo

Written by on Feb 20, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  3 Comments »

I found this lady on her  YouTube channel talking about comics, movies, conventions, interviewing artists and even Stan Lee (twice!). She’s a fellow Nightcrawler lover so she’s definitely alright in my book. The spotlight falls on Marlene aka

ilikecomicstoo

How did you get into comics and other geeky things?
I get asked this question a lot! I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to start liking comics, but I do know the general timeline for how it happened.
I’ve loved cartoons and videogames since I was pretty young. I grew up watching shows like X-Men Evolution, Smallville and Toonami– the good stuff!
When I was finally old enough to stay up for Adult Swim on Cartoon Network (in high school), I took a serious liking to Japanese anime and manga. In college, this somehow transitioned to a passion for American comic books, I think when I started rediscovering those TV shows I used to love. And that’s where I am now!

Why did you start doing videos?
I kept meeting people in college that were surprised I enjoyed collecting comic books and attending conventions. It seemed difficult for them to grasp the idea that a girl– a girl!– could be into the hobby. I thought that was very silly. I originally created the “ilikecomicstoo” account just for kicks to say, “hey, I’m of the female persuasion and ‘I Like Comics Too.’” I wanted to put more of a female voice into the mix which, at the time, Youtube was somehow lacking.
I don’t know why but a lot of people seemed to enjoy my videos, so I kept doing them. :)

What can fans look forward from your site and your YouTube channel?
I’ve taken a lot of hiatuses on my blog, for several reasons. School, work, the dreaded Youtube comments section, feeling overwhelmed, etc. contributed to all the pauses in production. I’d like to get back on track and regularly produce videos sometime in the near future, especially to showcase all the independent comic book creators that are struggling to get the word out about their work. There are some seriously fantastic artists and writers out there, and it’s a shame they don’t get the recognition they deserve because of lack of exposure. So I’d like to highlight them more along with the mainstream titles, and maybe cover more conventions. SDCC is on my list for the first time this year!

You had the opportunity to interview Stan Lee twice!  What was were both experiences like?
Stan Lee is awesome! He’s the sweetest man, incredibly sharp and very funny. The first time I met him was at a gallery here in New York, where I had the chance to interview him while we were filming for MTV. He was a pleasure to interview, so much so that– and here’s something I haven’t shared publicly before– one of the managers had to frantically signal for me to wrap it up behind the camera. We hit it off so well that we were taking too long!
I also met him again at New York Comic Con one year and had the opportunity to take a photo with him. He was just as great as the time before.

You were also on the MTV series My Life As Liz. How did you get to be a part of that show and how was your experience?
I was part of My Life as Liz mostly just by chance and luck. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to show up on television, let alone on a channel like MTV. It was a really interesting experience and also very, very new to me. Being on a TV show is definitely nothing like being in front of a webcam for Youtube, let me tell you! I’m really glad I did it, though. I met some lovely people and connected with comic fans from all around the world as a result. To this day, though, I get comments on my blog and Youtube channel reading, “No way! You’re real?!” I guess folks assumed that the “Marlene with the comic book blog” on the show didn’t really exist. But that’s really me!

Do you have any upcoming projects?
Right now I’m trying to re-organize things on my blog so that I can get back to reviewing consistently. That’s my biggest goal. Hopefully great things will happen from there.

You’re a fellow Nightcrawler lover like myself, what did you think of his death, his AOA self, and do you think he should come back?


Why must you bring up sad things. :(
I think his death was poignant but, ultimately, unnecessary. It can be argued that no fictional character’s death is “necessary,” of course, but I think there might have been better ways to build tension and drama and amp up the gravity of Hope’s situation without killing off our Elf. Then again, I’m biased. I am glad that Marvel stuck to it and hasn’t brought him back, though. As much as I love 616 Kurt, his death means a lot more if it’s not cheapened with a resurrection. He was the voice of reason and the one against violence, after all. His loss is meant to be symbolic.
I think AoA Nightcrawler is nifty as a character, because of his past and how different he is from Kurt Wagner in virtually everything except for shape. He’s no Fuzzy, though.

In your opinion, have things changed for the better in the geek universe for lady geeks? And what things in your mind need fixing?
Oh yeah! When I started Youtubing, I don’t remember seeing nearly enough ladies putting their thoughts and opinions about geekdom on the Internet– or if they were, they weren’t getting nearly enough pageviews. That’s changed significantly in the last few years. Sites like The Mary Sue are dedicated almost entirely to the female perspective, and more and more geek girls are taking to Twitter, too. It makes me extraordinarily happy!
We have a long way to go, though. For some reason, it’s still “weird” or “new” for women to be into what have traditionally been defined as “boys’ club” hobbies. They can dress up in sexy cosplay but, otherwise, they’re “doing it wrong.” That’s nonsense.

What is your take on the fake geek girl controversy?
I have a lot of feelings on this thing.
First of all, it upsets me that there even is a fake geek girl controversy. Why can there only be female fake geeks? What’s the male equivalent? Why is it that a woman’s genuine interest in a hobby automatically comes into a question, but not a man’s? And why is that people think that women in these hobbies don’t exist?! 70% of the players in my World of Warcraft guild, for example, are chicks!
For me, there are no fake geek girls. There are people who like geeky things, some a little, some a lot, and there are people who don’t like them at all. That’s fine. Honest! Growing up, I was one out of two girls in my elementary school who liked “geeky” things. We were isolated because of that. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t nice either. Now, we live in a time where people with these kinds of interests can find each other, easily make new friends, obsess together, discover new shows and books and comics, and ultimately feel accepted. Why anyone would want to undermine these opportunities by creating categories for “real” and “fake” fans is beyond me.
Just because someone doesn’t like something with the same intensity as you do, whether that be comics or sports or what have you, doesn’t mean they are not a “real” fan. You should take this potential new friend as a chance to teach and grow and find common ground, rather than exclude.
I wrote a little about this on my blog, even before this “fake geek girl” thing blew up. You can read it here.

How can those of us who love comics encourage young girls and older ladies who want to to draw, write, or just be involved in comics?
One: READ. Find comics/graphic novels that you like, read them. Then find more and read those, too. Then recommend them to your friends. Then buy the ones that blew you away as birthday/holiday gifts for your family. Then find age-appropriate material and give it to your young’uns and start them early.

Two: DISCUSS. Go to signings and thank/chat up your favorite creators. Go to conventions and meet people with similar interests. Find book clubs. Find comic social gatherings. Get on forums. Get on Twitter. Follow some blogs and comment (politely) on them. Go to your local comic book shop and hang out and talk to people and ask them what they’re reading. Repeat step one.

Three: CREATE. You have more imagination in you than you think. If you like comics, if you really want to get involved in them, create something. Write, draw, sketch, ink, letter, color, panel, edit… There are a hundred different roles you can fill. Plan something out and do it. Publish it as a webcomic. Start a Kickstarter and get funded if you need the help. If you’re an artist, start a deviantArt page and upload your work there so people can see it. Take your portfolio with you and go to conventions and make appointments to have people look at it. Get an internship at a comic book company– Marvel’s a great place to work at, and I can say that honestly. Get the word out about your stuff. Try harder and get the word out more. Nope, you can still spread the word even more!

For women, specifically, I’m not sure what I can say except that, as a woman, you may have to work a little harder to get the same respect you deserve. This “fake geek girl” nonsense has shown just how ignorant people can be. That’s not okay, but I have faith in you. I really do. You keep loving comics and making comics, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t. Anyone give you trouble and you send them to me, you hear? I’ll take care of ‘em.




Comicmanaic Spotlight: Grace Randolph

Written by on Feb 19, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  1 Comment »

Grace Randolph is the host of two Youtube Channels: Think About The Ink and Beyond the Trailer. She’s also the creator and writer of the awesome comic book SUPURBIA which is published by BOOM! Studios. I had the opportunity to interview her and I asked her about the comic and what fans have to look forward to, as well as her web shows, and much more.

What inspired SUPURBIA?

Real Housewives!  I’d never watched any before the Beverly Hills edition, and that’s the still the only one I watch, but I thought it was interesting how each version changed based on the city it was located.  So jokingly, I wondered what it would be like if there was a focus on superhero spouses.  Then I was like “Hey, that’s no joke! That’s a good idea for a comic!”

Russell's Designs for the character Aso

Russell’s Designs for the character Aso

What can fans look forward to with the series?

Really strong character development.  That’s important to me as a comic book reader so it’s also important to me as a writer.  Plus I’m very lucky to be working with Russell Dauterman, who’s such a talented artist that we can have these great character beats that don’t need dialogue.  Yes, even though I’m the writer, I believe that sometimes it’s best to let the visuals do the talking!

As for what fans can look forward to storywise, there’s Tia Jenkins’ return to being a superhero – Aso – which will have huge repercussions!  I can also tell you we’ll be visiting deep space, a tropical island, and London – all in the next arc!

Russell's designs for Tia and Dion.

Russell’s designs for Tia and Dion.

What inspires you to write?

Honestly, my love of reading comics.  And I know I’m not alone.  When you really love something, it’s natural to want to contribute to the medium.  In fact, I get my strongest desire to write after reading my weekly stack on Wednesdays!  That, and seeing Russell’s pages come in!

What advice can you give writers who want to break into comics?

Be patient.  It took me a long time to break in myself, and I had to do a lot of legwork.  Plus don’t take rejection personally.  I had a ton of ideas that couldn’t get off the ground!  It really is a matter of just finding the RIGHT idea, and then you’ll see things start to click.  I also highly recommend doing to comic book conventions and networking.  That’s HUGE.

What comics are you reading?

I read a lot of comics!  So I guess I’ll list my favorites: Batman & Robin, All New X-Men, Hawkeye, Saga and The Sixth Gun.

Like a lot of fans, I was introduced to you by watching the YouTube series you hosted-The Watcher on Marvel’s YouTube channel. When you were fired many fans thought you were fired unfairly. Do you have anything you would like to say about that?

Ah, I appreciate you asking.  The thing is, Marvel decided to stay quiet about their reasoning and, as a professional, I need to respect that.  But I have to say it was a tough period of time and the tremendous support from viewers is what got me through it.  Them and Rich Johnston from BleedingCool.com, who not only covered what happened but helped me to launch my new web show on YouTube, Think About The Ink.

You’re now on your own YouTube channel ThinkAboutTheInk doing two shows: STACKTASTIC! and BETWEEN THE PAGES. How did this come about and what can fans look forward to?

Think About The Ink exists literally because of the viewers.  When Marvel fired me, many viewers encouraged me to start my own show and when Rich then offered to host it I decided to give it a go.  It was very nerve-wracking and I was nervous about how it would be received, but now I’m so happy I did it.  Also I get a lot of great messages from viewers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube who say I’m getting them into comics and that’s very rewarding.

 

In your opinion, have things changed for the better in the geek universe for lady geeks and what things in your mind need fixing? What is your take on the fake geek girl controversy?

TheMarySue.com posted a great article about this:
http://www.themarysue.com/psychology-of-the-fake-geek-girl/

It would be hard to sum it up better than that!  But I will add that I think some men need to stop thinking women are only interested in comics to meet guys or help their careers.  How about women just enjoy good superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories too?  Do I think things are getting better?  Yes and no.  Geek Girls are becoming a bigger part of the community, but that’s also creating a harsh backlash…

How can those of us who love comics encourage young girls and older ladies who want to to draw, write, or just be involved in comics?

Don’t let anyone discourage you.  Comics exist on the page, so who knows if a man or woman is creating them?  Good work stands on its own, and if you’re creating good work eventually you’ll win out.

What other projects are you working on?

Besides Supurbia and Think About The Ink, I also have a movie news web show on YouTube called Beyond The Trailer.  I hope everyone will at least stop by once and check it out! :)




Comicmaniac Spotlight: Black Tribbles

Written by on Jan 30, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  1 Comment »

In May of last year, I was introduced to the Black Tribbles for the first time when I read an article in the Philadelphia Weekly which you need to read here. After reading the article, I listened to their show and a few weeks later I called in and officially became a member of Tribble Nation (my Tribble name is Hela Tribble).

Whether they’re talking about comics, reviewing films, talking about their favorite sci-fi films, or speaking to folks like Carl Lumbly (ALIAS and the voice of the Martian Manhunter among other things), they’ve got you covered in all things geek with a huge spoonful of humor. They are too cool to be geeks to cute to be nerds. They are the

Black Tribbles

Black Tribbles: Top Left Kennedy, Randy, Len, Eric, & in the middle Jay
Photo by J.R. Blackwell

Can you each introduce yourselves to the readers?

Kennedy: Kennedy Allen, 28 Philadelphia, PA.

Jay: I am the amazing, spectacular, Jay Rich aka Spider Tribble.

Erik: I am Erik Mack, independent filmmaker & entertainer from Philly.

Len: Certainly. My name is Len aka Cruze aka the BatTribble, producer and host of the Black Tribbles.

Randy: Randy Green AKA SuperTribble AKA R-SON the Voice of Reason. MC, Comic book store manager, head of security, and father of two of the most amazing kids in the world.

What gave you all the idea to start Black Tribbles and how did all of you meet?

K: I met Len through an improv troupe we were involved with. When he along with Erik were developing the idea, he brought me aboard!

J: Well, I was friends with Kennedy aka Storm Tribble. She told me about the radio show that she was a part of and wanted to know if I would be interested since I’m known as wacky and nerdy in one neat package.

E: It was quite the chain of events.  I actually worked with Len before.  It was at ‘Nightmares on Broad St.’, a haunted house attraction, utilizing local talent. Sometime thereafter he directed a short independent film in which Kennedy was an actress sporting a rainbow afro wig, no less.  She brought in Jay to replace a previous mistake and we’ve been magic ever since.

L: The REC spoke to my appreciation of music, poetry and grass-roots activism and the Pleazure Principle let me talk about sex openly and frankly but at my heart, I’m a geek. I love comic books, cartoons, movies, sci-fi; all that and I wanted to finally do a show dedicated solely to that! When a fellow geek and friend (at the time) asked me about doing a music show on G-Town Radio, I proposed he help me on this geek show idea and I’ll help develop his idea. The geek idea stuck.

We knew we didn’t want to be called ‘geeks’ or ‘nerds’ because we didn’t think that described who we really were. We settled on ‘tribbles’ from Star Trek lore and the rest is history. Erik was a buddy of ours so we brought him in. Randy was my guest on The REC in 2010 to talk about his music and we spent the show talking Superman instead so we asked him to chime in whenever he was able. Kennedy was an old improv comedy buddy of mine who had to remind me how much of a geek she was (a fact she never lets me forget) so she was natural to round out the troupe.

We did 2 shows (plus one secret late night taping) to see how we’d do together and the mix was off, to say the least. Two hosts in general couldn’t put personal issues between them to the side and one chose to leave rather than work things out. Kennedy stepped up and nominated her drinking buddy Jason to take his place. In all honesty, Jay did one show where he got his bearings, learned our names, felt things out and after that, we were gold. The chemistry was perfect and the show began to take shape.

R: I met Len when I came on to his old radio show The Rec. He was a fan of a track that I had sent in and we spent most of the show talking about comics. About a week or so later, we were talking about doing a geek-centric show…

Is the person who left the show “He who shall not be named”? I’ve heard you all mention this person a couple of times and I think there was a Tribbles After Dark about it.

L: The guy left after our 3rd show primarily due to personal beef with Erik and me. He asked to be disassociated with the show but over a year later in August 2012, he started something called Black Tribbles TV on FB and YouTube. We’re taking legal action against him now.

How did you all get into comics and other cool geeky things?

K: After watching comic-based animated shows, I got into the original storylines through comics. My mom’s a big ol’ nerd, too, so I was raised on Star Trek other sci-fi, action flicks, and other geeky stuff.

J: I was always surrounded by comics, and computers. Even at the young age of 12 I was developing games on the Apple IIe. I eventually turned towards drawing and writing comics.

E:  I’ve never really been that much into comic books personally.  But like every red blooded American, I love superheroes and also movies.  Plus I have a wide knowledge base of pop culture. Moreover, discussing alternate realities/possibilities of said culture is a favorite pastime of mine.

L: I don’t remember what my first comic book was but it was likely a 100-page spectacular issue of Batman. I loved the Batman TV show and cartoons. I remember coming home from elementary school to watch Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Superboy and Lone Ranger cartoons. Then it was Marine Boy, The Space Giants, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot on the Wee Willy Weber Show (yeah, I’m LEGITIMATELY the Gray Tribble). I collected Richie Rich comics; ALL of them! Probably because those and the Archie comics digest were at the checkout counters of the supermarket and closest I could get my Mom to buy comics for me.

My neighborhood friend Fred aka Boo-Boo collected Marvel Comics only. I had never heard of Marvel Comics. He lent me a treasury size Marvel special that had Iron Man versus Sub-Mariner, Daredevil vs. Sub-Mariner as well (drawn by the incomparable Wally Wood) and the epic Hulk vs the Thing with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to boot! Stan Lee! Jack Kirby! My comic book collection quickly exploded to gargantuan proportions.

Watching Mork & Mindy gave me the license to just be as insane, wild and unfiltered as Robin Williams was every Thursday night @ 8. I fell in love with the freedom. Never again would I repress my ‘geekier’ leanings. It wasn’t always easy but it wasn’t all that hard either.

R: I’ve been a comics fan since I was around 5. Some of the first things I read were comics. Sci-fi and other such things just came naturally. My cousin got me playing D&D when I was around 7 so it all just came together.

Being a geek who happens to be black, I know for me has it challenges. I was made fun of growing up and the majority of my family doesn’t understand me, my sister, or our few cousins who are geeks. What has been your experience?

K: Growing up Black and articulate in this country has its downsides and its upsides like anything else in life. Being a Black, articulate, nerdy woman, if nothing else, has taught me tolerance, patience, and a nerdy righteous indignation. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

J: It has been a terrible, terrible struggle. I lost my color. As I continued to explore what is now geek culture, I was removed from what was perceived as black culture. I was told that I am trying too hard not be white. That seriously bothered me because I refuse to think that acting white meant having ambition and improving your mind. Does that mean failure and ignorance is the representation of being a person of color? The worst part of it was having people of your “shade” consider you a race traitor for wanting to better yourself.

E: To be honest, while growing up. I never considered myself to be a geek.  Probably b/c my grades didn’t reflect the title.  But I still got picked on nonetheless, b/c of my height. But I never took a step back and analyzed myself back then.  My interests were what I was into and I pursued them regardless of anything or anyone.

L: I really don’t remember being picked on much. Because I was a good artist, my classmates were after me to draw Godzilla or superhero pictures for them. My family never balked at anything I did; my parents always supported any individuality that my sisters, my brother or I showed. I think what helped was that, while I reading comics and stuff, I was outside playing basketball and football with all the boys as well. I never played organized sports but I was always at the playground with a ball, getting my Doctor J on. I liked girls and had reasonable success at my age.

I think, also, the hip-hop of my day showed more nuance and diversity of style, technique and lyricism, born of the differing backgrounds of the artists. That individuality was applauded and mirrored in African-American neighborhoods. That would soon change but by then I was in college and very comfortable in my skin.

R: I come from a geek family and most of the dudes on my block and in my school had at least a little bit of geek in them. I watched ST: TNG with two or three other guys (Brian, Darren and Mike) every week. Star Trek, Star Wars, D&D, comics, we did it all.  We also did conventions and movies and comic book stores all the time too.

In your opinion, have things changed for the better in the geek universe for lady geeks and what things in your mind need fixing? What is your take on the fake geek girl controversy?

K: Technology has enabled geeky women to find each other and build a sense of community. Fake nerd girls, I guess are welcome to the party – I just hope you know we can smell a fraud a mile away.

J: Things have changed, but new problems have arrived. The acceptance of lady geeks exists, but their treatment of them is horrific. The belittling of women is deplorable. I don’t understand why guys aren’t happy that their are women openly and honestly loving geek culture. Ungrateful jerks. I love that my wife is a geek and a hot one! Beauty and brains is the best ever! How about gorgeous and geeky? Yeah I like that one.

L: I don’t know what the ‘fake geek girl controversy’ is but it SOUNDS like its about girls wearing the trappings of a geek but not being a geek at heart. That’s true of male geeks too, I think, but maybe not to the same extent. But I could be totally wrong so better to say nothing.

As far as lady geeks, the sky is the limit at this point. The internet has leveled the playing field for all science fiction minorities (women, African-Americans, hispanics etc) and there are more and more women behind the scene in comics, movies, television and literature; roles of significance and power. Their contribution is being appreciated. There were just as many men as women who e-shouted about the Gail Simone/DC Comics incident. Fiona Staples is doing amazing artwork on Saga. The women are doing work.

Its the men that have to get it together; who have to stop drawing spandex porn stars in compromising positions. Who have to stop supporting work of that sort. Who have to begin writing realistic level-headed independent women who aren’t bitches or sex-hungry vixens. WE are the ones that are fucked up. We are the ones that need fixing. The ladies are fine.

R: It’s kind of funny. It seems easier to get into it all because the guys want you around but then some of the same guys feel like you have to prove your “geek” twice as much as they would ever have to. I think a lot of the guys need to just relax a bit about the girls in the culture and just deal with them as they would any other dude. Obviously, there’s going to be some tension as there is in any male/female relationships but it’s up the guys who make up the great majority of the cultures to make it more welcoming.

How can those of us in the geek community encourage LBGT’s, people of color, and women who are interested and want to join and be included?

K: Just apply the golden rule: Do unto others as you’d want done to yourself. Treat all nerds as equal, cuz we all had to worry about getting stuffed in that locker.

J: Support projects that are made by the smaller groups and companies because THEY are the ones trying to make a difference. For those who want to be a part of the culture create a group of like minded folk so that you can be each other’s support.

E:  I think the easiest way to get everyone involved is to simply invite them via Facebook to come and be a part of the conversation.  At least one of our upcoming show topics will be sure to provoke their interest.

L: Not to pat ourselves on the back, but I’ve heard a lot of podcasts start filtering in some feminine color into their lineup as Black Tribbles has grown in popularity. We recognized right from door the need to have a woman’s voice as part of our chorus and that realization is growing. We have an open door policy to our show, allowing any of our fans to sit in on a show and get in on the fun.

And like I said earlier, the internet has leveled the playing field. There is no longer a reason for any community to go unrepresented. We do our shows in studios but we do just as many via a mobile recorder or even an iPhone. YOUR VOICE can be heard. If you need help, holla at me. I’d be glad to help.

R: Like I said, make it more welcoming. Way too many geeks (who, let’s face it, are straight white males) feel like everything in their culture of choice has to reflect them or it’s not as cool. From a creative standpoint, more “minority” (I hate that word) creators should be allowed to tell their stories and not just of “minority” characters. I remember Dwayne McDuffie (R.I.P.) got a lot of flack for writing a JLA book that had 4 black characters (Vixen, Firestorm, Black Lightning and John Stewart). Ignoring the fact that there were TEN other members! More characters, more creators, more input and we’ll have a greater diversity in the audience.

What are your future goals for Black Tribbles, and what can Tribble Nation look forward to?

K: We’re taking over. You can’t deny us. Kirk tried. He failed.

J: Expansion of the Tribble Nation! Welcome your brothers and sisters. Plus the show there will get more of my sexy.

E: Well Tribble Nation has Butt loads to look forward to.  We recently started a show on 900am WURD.  So expect some great achievements on that front and even on a TV screen near you. One day.

L: Content-wise, coming up we have Robert Greenberger, author of The Unauthorized History of Star Trek; the witty and controversial Husbands web-series and comic book; the art of Young Justice; SYFY Channel’s Movies of the Week; Bill Nye, the Science Guy, an amazing March Madness Tournament special and tons more. We’re also planning to do a tour of Philadelphia comic book stores. And we’re preparing to do our first convention in September 2013, a joint venture with Jason’s J1 Studios called INDEPENDICON. I don’t want to give too many details just yet but its mission is to spotlight the independent creator of comics, music, films and literature. It promises to be big, fun and unique.

Its not really a secret that we’d like to expand the world of Black Tribbles Productions LLC beyond G-town Radio and 900am WURD in Philadelphia. We’re looking into developing a TV component and possibly shopping the show to other national radio stations. We’ve been blessed by the press coverage we’ve had with Philadelphia Weekly and Wizard World and want desperately to build on that momentum. So that means we need representation. Holla at us – blacktribbles@gmail.com.

R: We’re trying to expand in any and every direction possible. There’s a world of POC geeks and many of them don’t know that they’re not alone. We’re coming to save them all!

Besides working on Black Tribbles, each of you have other areas of expertise that you work hard and are extremely talented at. Would you care to let Tribble Nation and Comicmaniacs be aware of them?

K: I’m a trained actor and vocalist with seven years of professional experience in improvised comedy and improvised musical theatre in the Philadelphia area. I’m in the process of writing several projects, including film scripts and a sci-fi trilogy that has already mutated several times over. I intend to bring my talents to Hollywood, where I will promptly kick down the door and begin revolutionizing the movie industry.

J: I started a company called J1 Studios. J1 Studios is an entertainment hub that provides, news, reviews, (our own) comics, music, events and more everyday. (www.j1studios.com)

E: As I stated earlier I am an Independent filmmaker.  So look for anything produced by AMD Entertainment and love it to death.  If you wouldn’t mind.

L: I still do freelance graphic design and art commissions as much as I can. And I enjoy working at G-town Radio a great deal but Black Tribbles has become a 24-7 concern and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I flex my graphic muscles creating the promo flyers and the website, my producing muscles scheduling the shows and booking guests (with Kennedy) and my geek heart talking with the guys and Tribble Nation. Thats all you need to know. You see me, say HEY and lets talk Batman. Marvel. DS9. Whatever…..except Doctor Who.

R:  I’m an MC. Been rhyming since kindergarten but really started to take it seriously when I went to PSU and met a cat named Lou (who went on to become known as louislogic) who really got me into it again. Since then I’ve released a solo ep, an album with my partner Ad-Liberal (collectively we’re known as the Flight Brothers) and most recently started rocking the whole world as the touring MC for the bluegrass hip-hop band Gangstagrass. We just put out an album in June and we’re headed back on the road next month. Check us out at gangstagrass.com for show dates. Plus, I’m the father of the two coolest Triblets in the world, ShmooperTribble (my daughter Amaryllis) and AremixTribble (my son Aaron). They make everything I do worthwhile and a bit more awesome.

You can listen to the Black Tribbles live:

LIVE Thursdays @ 9-11p on G-Town Radio and www.gtownradio.com; (215) 609-4301, AOL/Yahoo IM: gtownradio

LIVE Sunday @ 10-11p on 900AM-WURDnd and 900amWURD.com; Join the Conversation – 866-361-0900 or 215-634-8065

If you missed the live show you can listen to their podcast via iTunes, Podomatic, Stitcher,  & Zune .

Follow them on Twitter:  @BlackTribbles

Like them on Facebook

Subscribe to their YouTube Channel




The Comicmaniac Five: The Top Five Movie News

Written by on Jan 26, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  No Comments »

The Comicmaniac Five is a new Feature to my Comicmaniacs Column on the Fanboybuzz.com. Each week I bring viewers a top five list of a geeky topic. This week I count down the top five movie news of the week.




Comicmaniac Update #1

Written by on Jan 25, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  No Comments »

Happy New Year my fellow Comicmaniacs! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this column. Last year was really hetic and just a mess but this year I’m back and the column will continue!

I have interviews from the geek community coming soon and I’m going to try a new feature for this column so entitled the Comicmaniac Five so stay tuned for that. Alright catch you later.




Classic Comic Review #11 Batman: FROM THE 30s TO THE 70s 1971

Written by on Jul 20, 2012
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  No Comments »

In honor of The Dark Knight Rises debuting in theaters today, this classic review is dedicated to the Batman fans around the world.

Batman: FROM THE 30s TO THE 70s 1971

Introduction by E. Nelson Bridwell  Editor and Writer of Batman newspaper strip.

1971 National Periodical Publications Inc.


I learned of this cool book from my co-worker Albert who got this book as a kid. It’s such a cool book as it has comic book issues from Batman and Detective comics from the 1930’s to the 70’s! If you don’t know about Batman this is an excellent way to learn of his origin and read about some of his early adventures. The majority of the comic book stories are in black and white but that doesn’t take away from any of the stories. I haven’t finished reading the entire book but so far I’m definitely enjoying it.

Now onto something important.

As you may have heard, at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado  there was a mass shooting and 12 people were killed and 59 were injured by a lone gunman who told police that he was the Joker. Now as we go forward we’re gonna hear people blame comics and movies for the violence and even blame a gun ownership laws or a  lack Christian values in our country for what happened early this morning. Let me just clarify something right now: all those reasons are bullshit. There’s a saying (from a movie I believe) which states: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” and that is very true. This act was done by one person and one person alone. Don’t blame other people or industries. People were killing people way before comics and movies were around.

The question is what should we do now? If you were planning to go see The Dark Knight Rises like I am, go see it! Don’t let the actions of one individual stop you. If you would like to help the victims go here to learn how. Also I hear that the Denver Comic-Con is working on ways to help the victims.

That brings this Classic Comic Review to end. Stay safe, stay positive and I hope you enjoy the film.




Classic Comic Review #10: Spider-Man, Storm and Power Man…Battle Smokescreen!

Written by on Jul 4, 2012
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  No Comments »

In honor of The Amazing Spider-Man Film arriving in theaters and the many fans who will sit down and watch it this Fourth of July weekend, the Classic Comic Review presents:

Spider-Man, Storm and Power Man…Battle Smokescreen! 1982

Publisher: Marvel Comics Group

No one knows who the creative team was. There’s no listing for a writer, penciller, inker, etc. So it’s all a mystery.

The story is basically a PSA (Public Service Announcement) alerting comic book readers about the dangers of smoking. It features Power Man aka Luke Cage whose coaching a track team in the inner city. The star of the team Bret keeps performing worse and worse and it’s revealed that he’s been smoking. Power Man follows the teen to a club where he discovers this as well as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The two heroes enlist the help of the X-man Storm.

Readers find out about the bad guys plan when they’re introduced to the villains’ leader Smokescreen. He plans to influence the results of the high school track meet in order to control the local betting scene. Smokescreen intends to that by getting Bret hooked on cigarettes until he’s physically out of shape. Of course our heroes help out and stop Smokescreen’s plan.

For its time, it was a good PSA. The art is nice and the story though a little cheesy, is a good one.

It was nice to read and it was awesome to see Spider-Man, Power Man, and Storm.






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