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Archive for August, 2011

The New 52 Reviews: Justice League #1

August 31st, 2011 Comments off

We Review Every #1 Issue of The New 52!

It’s here! DC Comics’ ambitious relaunch, The New 52, kicks off this week with Justice League #1, by Jim Lee and Geoff Johns. We review it below and tell you whether it’s Box-Worthy (something you’ve gotta read each month), Fence-Worthy (a title to check in with from time to time), or NOT Worthy (not worthy of your money).

We’ll be reviewing every #1 issue of The New 52 each week–MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So was Justice League #1 any good? Watch the review below, check out our new intro, and stay tuned for a special coupon at the end!

Justice League #1

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Have you read Justice League #1 yet? What did you think? Post your comments below!

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Gail Simone Talks Batgirl, Firestorm & Women in The New 52

August 24th, 2011 Comments off

Gail Simone BatgirlComics writer Gail Simone is not afraid to speak her mind–whether on Twitter, via her comics, or through her lightning rod of a website, Women in Refrigerators, which she created in the late 1990s. Women in Refrigerators, which is how I was first “introduced” to Simone back in the day, got its name from the brutal murder of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, and questioned the number of female comic book characters who were violently attacked or killed in the name of a good story. It caused an industry-wide furor. It also, according to several creators, made people rethink how they wrote for women.

Since then, Simone has risen through the comic book industry, writing a column for Comic Book Resources, scripting Simpsons comics for Bongo, and then moving on to Deadpool and Agent X for Marvel. For the past several years, she’s been the most prominent female writer at DC Comics, helming fan-favorite runs of Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Birds of Prey, and more. Now, with The New 52, she’s also the only female writer; her new series, Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm, will (re)launch this September.

This is hardly the only controversy generated by DC Comics’ ambitious reimagining of its superhero universe, so we asked Simone about her plans for Batgirl and Firestorm, how she feels about Barbara Gordon regaining the use of her legs, and what her stance is on the lack of female creators in the new DC Universe. Read on!

TFAW.com: Can you tell us where Barbara is in Batgirl #1, both emotionally and physically?

Gail Simone: Emotionally, she’s excited, a big part of her feels this is what she was meant to do. But she’s not without regrets and fears. And physically, yes, she’s a little rusty.

Gail Simone BatgirlTFAW.com: Barbara seems to have really grown up as a woman as Oracle, and as the leader of the Birds of Prey–is it a step back to return her to the “Batgirl” role?

GS: Oh, sure, that’s a fair position to take, but I think it makes an error in singling out one character. Nearly the entire DCU is being de-aged. Was the recent Star Trek movie taking a step back for Kirk and crew? I think it’s possible to feel both things–to miss Oracle and to love Babs as Batgirl.

TFAW.com: Barbara has been part of a team for a long time. How will she react to being a solo act again, if that’s what’s happening?

GS: Again, I think she can be both, she can be a Beatle and a solo act. The things that make Barbara so hugely loveable and compelling are there in both forms. As a retailer, I’m sure you know how intimidating it can be to new and returning readers to feel that there’s this wall of information that has to be understood to read a comic that catches your eyes. The relaunch is a chance to do a kind of hyper-focus on the central core, the fixative element, that makes each character.

TFAW.com: What’s her standing with the Birds of Prey in The New 52?

GS: I am not on that book and not in that loop. I believe she appears in an early issue, beyond that, I don’t really know.

TFAW.com: What are Barbara’s relationships like with Bruce, Dick, and her father in The New 52?

GS: We see her relationship with Jim right away, and the other two within the first six issues. There are some new dynamics for sure!

Batman: The Killing JokeTFAW.com: There are a lot of fans who are upset that Barbara is no longer a paraplegic. What’s your response to that?

GS: Again, if we focus on one character, then this looks like a deliberate attempt to anger or alienate the fans of that character. But if you move the entire DCU back, it really only makes sense to start with something closer to what they were created to be. It’s not applied completely evenly, and that upsets some people, too . . . understandably.

I have intentionally tried not to invalidate the opinions of people who feel she should stay in a chair forever. I believe in Oracle as a role model, I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. I refuse to reduce the feelings of these people to debate points. They feel what they feel; Oracle means more to them in the chair than Barbara means to them as Batgirl.

We do plan to address this, in several big ways, one of which is making sure that one character no longer represents almost the entire disabled community in the DCU anymore.

TFAW.com: You’re also writing The Fury of Firestorm, with Ethan Van Sciver. How does your collaboration work?

GS: We discuss the plot together, and I write the scripts. Ethan loves the character, and wanted to do the book with me, and the fun thing is that it’s got a massive scope that unfolds–every issue reveals more and more how huge the Firestorm protocols are to the DCU.

TFAW.com: Having two writers working together as one is a pretty clever parallel to Firestorm himself. Was that on purpose, or a happy accident?

GS: It’s just a collaboration we wanted to have, but we were ironically aware the entire time, that there’re some definite parallels. I’m a tree-hugging lefty and Ethan’s far more conservative . . . it’s good fun and people keep remarking that it makes the pages spark.

Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneTFAW.com: How is Firestorm different in The New 52? How are Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond, and their relationship with each other, different?

GS: We really have to leave that a surprise for now . . . but it’s great fun, and the art by Yildiray Cinar is simply explosive.

TFAW.com: Are the events of Blackest Night, such as Ronnie killing Jason’s girlfriend, still in their past?

GS: Our Firestorm #1 is their first meeting.

TFAW.com: When did you first hear about DC’s plans for The New 52?

GS: Not sure of the date, but there had been some rumblings for a while. But the actual announcement to us came in secretive dribs and drabs for a bit, then woomph, was just sort of unloaded on us. I was very skeptical at first, until I started seeing some of the creative teams.

TFAW.com: Do you think this initiative will attract a lot of new or lapsed comics readers?

GS: Overall, considering the entire plan, yes, I do, we’re seeing large numbers of people giving the books a try.

I understand people being mad, but I just sat down an hour ago and read some of these first issues for the first time . . . not all are to my taste, but holy crap, some are just amazing. I hate for people to miss the fun of this, so I hope they give the new books a look.

TFAW.com: There’s been a lot of controversy about the scarcity of women creators in The New 52. As a prominent and popular female writer, what’s your take?

Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneGS: It’s complicated–I want the best possible writers for every job. On the other hand, with the number of talented women who have proven they can write and draw and carry a title, and are popular with readers, I was absolutely dumbfounded that in the first wave of 52 titles, there were only two female creators, and only one writer. I found that out the same day the readers did. Since female readers are one of the few growing demos in the industry, that seemed a huge mistake and I was very put out by it.

However, I knew some things that the readers didn’t . . . I knew that some major female talents had books in the pipeline, just not in the first wave, and that several others had been approached but had to decline because of the accelerated deadlines conflicting with their previous work.

So I knew that the picture wasn’t as skewed as it seemed, but I still feel we could have done better, and I do think we muffed the response to the question. DC, to their credit, took the criticism to heart and reached out to a lot more female creators.

TFAW.com: I finally read the end of Secret Six, and I have to know–will we ever know what happens to everyone? A couple of characters are already part of The New 52; what about the rest?

GS: My take on the final issues of the pre-relaunch books is, I didn’t want them to end with a huge WE ARE DONE NOW THIS IS THE END thing, I wanted to leave them with a feeling that the universe would continue, and that there are stories still out there. I think the end of S6 feels satisfying, but exactly what happens next is really up to the reader.

We want to thank Gail Simone for taking the time to answer all of our questions! You can pre-order Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm right here on our site, or pre-order all of The New 52 #1 and #2 issues for a limited time.

Are you excited for Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm? How do you feel about the status of women in comics–both on and “behind” the panels? Post your comments below!

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Meet Artist Georges Jeanty & Celebrate Buffy Season 9 in Portland

August 23rd, 2011 Comments off

Buffy Season 8 and 9 Comics

What: Buffy Season 9 Q&A and Release Party with Georges Jeanty and Scott Allie
Where: Hollywood TFAW: 4133 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR 97214
When: Wednesday, September 14 from 7-10 pm.

The events of Buffy Season 8 rocked our girl to the core, but you can’t keep a good Slayer down! Come to the our Portland TFAW store September 14 from 7-10 pm to celebrate the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 with an incredible Q&A and signing with series artist Georges Jeanty and editor Scott Allie. Plus, enjoy free beer from Columbia River Brewing Company and complimentary food!

Do you have questions about what’s in store for Buffy Season 9 and Angel & Faith? This is the place to be! Plus, Dark Horse Comics is generously offering up swag bags when you purchase Buffy Season 9 #1 at the event (while supplies last) that include goodies usually only available at conventions, like their exclusive Buffy paper dolls!

The Q&A starts at 7 pm sharp, so get there early to ask your question and grab your swag bag. Remember, you must be 21+ and present a valid ID before we’ll serve you beer.

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I Just Don’t Get These Superhero Comics: What’s the Big Deal About Cyborg, Ghost Rider & X-Factor

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off

I gotta say, I still love superhero comics. I enjoy checking out Spider-Man, Batman, and The Flash on a regular basis. I identify with these characters because they seem to grow as I’ve grown up. I can relate to the characters and understand why these books are still popular today.

I was thinking about that the other day and that got me thinking about characters that I just haven’t gotten into. Follow me on this journey, and maybe you can shed some much needed light on these characters for me.

DC's CyborgFor one reason or another, I’ve never been able to get in to Ghost Rider. It’s not been for lack of trying either. I’ve thumbed through a few issues and even read a trade or two, but the Ghost Rider bug just hasn’t bitten me. Sure, the guy (or gal) has a flaming skull and rides a badass chopper–I can get behind that because it’s awesome. I see the allure there, and understand Johnny Blaze’s motivations behind entering a deal with Mephisto, but beyond that, I just don’t get it.

I should dig the Spirit of Vengeance. I mean vengeance, that has much more catharsis than justice, right? I should be way more into Ghost Rider than I am into Batman. The reason why I’m not is still lost on me. Maybe it’s just because I have no interest in Hell. I’m not a fire and brimstone kind of guy. I don’t really relate to Johnny Blaze either. His character just doesn’t matter to me. That and I can’t scratch the image of Nicholas Cage out of my head whenever I try to crack an issue.

DC's CyborgI’m excited about the stuff they’re doing in Flashpoint, but I haven’t been able to shake the weird feeling that Cyborg is out of place. He’s a C character at best, and it seems like he’s been given the keys to the pre-relaunch kingdom.

His back story is typical of other superhero comics. His parents were scientists. He fell in with a bad crowd. He got injured, and his dad saved his life with cutting-edge technology. He’s had a hard time adjusting to how society treats those who are different. Cool, I get that. I just don’t understand why he’s still around. Also, why is he always teaming up with other people? Do his superpowers come with a severe need for belonging? Maybe it’s just because he can’t support a monthly title of his own. If you’re big on Cyborg, more power to you. I want to be there with you, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

X-FactorI love the X-Men. I love that the characters are so diverse and that they’re bonded by the fact that society hates and fears them. I dig that. I even enjoy its variations, like X-Force and Alpha Flight. I still find myself unable to get in on X-Factor, though.

I think my disdain for the book stems from the characters. I haven’t read the old X-Factor stuff, but I’m pretty friggin’ sure I’d read any superhero comics with the original team’s lineup of Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Iceman. But with the current lineup of Madrox the Multiple Man, Wolfsbane, Shatterstar, Richtor, Siryn, and Layla, I fail to see the appeal. Sure, I’m intrigued about what happened to the Madrox baby and all the fallout that probably happened as a result, but it hasn’t been enough to push me over the edge.

Do you love Ghost Rider, Cyborg or X-Factor? Good. I’m looking for a little education and maybe you can help. Have any recommendations for good stories to read starring any of these characters? I’m willing to do some required reading, all I need is a little guidance. Who knows, maybe this time next month, I’ll have one of these titles on my pull list. Please post your comments below. :)

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Josh Fialkov Takes Us Inside I, Vampire and DC’s The New 52

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off

I, Vampire ComicsIf you’re a fan of horror–real horror, the kind that taps into your primal fears and keeps you up at night–you should be reading Joshua Hale Fialkov’s comics. His original graphic novels, Tumor and Echoes, deal in scenarios that tip dangerously into everyday occurrences: what if a tumor can destroy everything you are? What if the seeds of your parents’ inner monsters are destined to bubble through your own skin, hurting your loved ones?

So we were very pleased when we noticed Fialkov is helming one DC’s The New 52 horror books, I, Vampire, updating the original House of Mystery series by J.M. DeMatteis. He took a break from writing to answer our questions, below:

TFAW.com: First off, I got a chance to see an advance copy of the Echoes hardcover–which turned out really nicely. How do you like it?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: I’m immensely proud of it. I’m devoted to the idea that if we want to beat the pirates and the downloaders, and to convert the new digital readers, we have to create true objects d’arte out of our books. And do it for a good price. I mean, sure, as comic fans we’re crazy enough to buy $150 oversized hardcovers, but, most folk won’t drop more than a twenty on a comic, so, it’s up to us to provide them something that screams value and quality. Both with Tumor and now with Echoes I think I’ve done that with my books.

TFAW.com: Reading Echoes again was also fantastic–it’s a book that changes a little each time you read it. How did you pull that off?

JHF: A lot of the credit goes to my amazing team. Rahsan [Ekedal, the artist] is just a talent beyond words, and there’s so much depth and detail in his work that you miss when you’re being hurtled along by it in the first read-through. I’m actually looking forward to the day when we can do an oversized version just so people can see the art at it’s original size the way Rahsan created it. It’s truly breathtaking.

DC Comics The New 52TFAW.com: When did you hear about The New 52? How did you get involved?

JHF: I had a meeting with editor Matt Idelson at Emerald City Comic Con this year, and that was about launching I, Vampire. I don’t know if I knew they were relaunching everything, but, the idea was definitely that there was a huge amount of outreach going on, and the goal of the company was to find new voices who have something to say about these characters and this world.

I grew up reading tons of horror comics, especially the House of Mystery and House of Secrets books (plus, I devoured Creepy and Eerie and all of those weird Charlton series, too.) So, this was just a great fit. I’m genuinely thrilled to get a chance to show what I can do to a much bigger audience.

TFAW.com: Where did the idea from I, Vampire come from? Can you introduce it to us?

JHF: From the brain of J.M. DeMatteis, really. I’m just taking what he did and contemporarizing it a tiny bit. But, really, the idea behind the book is already startlingly modern. Andrew Bennett was turned into a vampire about 400+ years ago. His first act was to turn his one true love, Mary into a vampire too. So, he retained his morality and his sense of humanity . . . she became evil incarnate.

Now, after years and years of fighting, Andrew and Mary have made peace, the vampires have gone into hiding, and everything is good in the world. Except . . . Mary is sick of being oppressed. She sees herself as one of the great civil rights leaders. She wants to liberate and free her oppressed people. Which is a great thing . . . except that it involves eating us! So, that’s really where our story starts, with Mary leading a revolution, and Andrew stuck in the middle because he loves her so much, and yet, has sworn to protect humanity.

I, Vampire Joshua Hale FialkovTFAW.com: Why do you think this series was included in The New 52? Where does it fit in the DCU?

JHF: It’s firmly entrenched in the DCU, definitely. You’re going to see the ramifications of the book show up elsewhere as time goes on. I’m buddies with a bunch of the other writers, and pretty much every conversation is me pitching their heroes fighting my vampires. And that’s the thing, it’s something that’s been missing from the DCU. Having this great little horror line with Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, Demon Knights, and I, Vampire, brings back what was at one time a huge part of the DCU in the horror line.

TFAW.com: How do you feel about being included in this major reimagining of the DCU?

JHF: Couldn’t be happier. Y’know, I remember Crisis, and I remember how afterwards, suddenly, I could read and understand DC comics. They became a huge passion for me, and I was thrilled to get in on the ground floor.

Now, comics are even more complicated and more difficult to follow, so having a clean start that still honors what came before is such a huge opportunity to bring fresh new readers into our world. That’s been a driving force for my whole career: how do I help to ensure that this industry continues to exist for a long, long time?

I think DC has taken a risky but amazingly courageous path in trying to ensure the industry’s future.

TFAW.com: There are a lot of vampire comics, TV shows, movies, and books these days–what sets I, Vampire apart?

JHF: I know this is sort of a cop-out answer, but, Andrea and I are the difference. This book is very much our vision, very much our voices. I could say that it’s got this cool radical social agenda, or that it’s a pure horror romance, but, really, like everything I do, this is a book about people. It’s a book about two conflicting points of view, both who have validity, coming to a complete head.

I, Vampire Andrea SorrentinoTFAW.com: What’s it like working with Andrea Sorrentino?

JHF: Great! Andrea’s going to be a huge star, and I’m just glad I get to ride his coattails.

TFAW.com: If sales of I, Vampire on TFAW.com are any indication, this is going to be your biggest-selling book to date, which means this is going to be your first introduction to a lot of readers. Do you have anything you’d like to say to them?

JHF: If you like I, Vampire, then please, please, please, check out my independent work. I love both equally, but, there’s a level of freedom to creator-owned work that you just can’t have anywhere else. Those books are things I do for passion and the love, and I’d love for more people to experience them.

TFAW.com: With The Cleaners, Echoes, and now I, Vampire, you’re carving quite a career for yourself in the horror genre. Is that the path you see yourself continuing?

JHF: I’d argue that Tumor and Elk’s Run are both in the same genre as the rest, but, I’d say it’s more in the Thriller/Suspense side of Horror, and honestly, that’s the approach I’m taking with I, Vampire, too. I want it to be a romantic thriller more than anything else.

Look, I love monsters and monster stories, but, the reality is that what’s really scary are the people next door. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is way scarier than Nightmare on Elm Street, for me, in other words, and that’s where my writing has always gravitated. I’ve had a few folk describe what I do as Noir Horror, and I feel like that’s probably as close as you can come to identifying what I do.

That being said, with Last of the Greats, from Image, I’m doing my version of a superhero story, which again is pretty horrific, overall, and, I’ve got a sci-fi comedy book over at Oni Press due out next year . . . I’m definitely starting to stretch beyond the boundaries of the Noir Horror thing I’ve been doing, but that’ll always be my roots, I think.

Echoes Joshua Hale FialkovTFAW.com: What elements of horror are you most attracted to?

JHF: Almost every book I do starts from one simple question. What’s the worst thing that could happen? So, with Tumor it was “What if I lost the use of the one thing I depend on for both my livelihood and my identity?” Then you go to, well, nobody wants to read a book about a writer who’s got a brain tumor, at least not in comic book form, so, what do we have? Who else needs their brain the way I do as a writer? Which led me to a private investigator.

With Echoes it was, what if every mistake and flaw I see in myself was passed on to my kid? With I, Vampire, it’s what if the person you loved turns out to be the worst person in the history of time? It’s all very personal, small stuff, that I think we all feel and worry about, taken to a sort of orchestral swell, storywise, but with that core driving it forward.

TFAW.com: How is I, Vampire different from your previous books?

JHF: In a lot of ways, it’s not. There’s definitely the more magical mystical side, which I don’t explore a lot in my other work, and it’s been such a huge blast to do on this, that I’m already working on some more stuff that leans that way. Probably the biggest difference is the canvas size. I’ve got an entire world to play with, and the joy of the DC Universe to play it all against. There’s a lot of brilliant stuff being done by the various creators at DC and I’m made better by being in proximity to them, I think.

TFAW.com: Do you have a reunion in the works with Rahsan Ekedal, your partner in crime for Echoes and The Cleaners?

JHF: We have a couple, actually, we’re doing a one shot for Top Cow’s Pilot Season, called Test, and then we have a six-pager in Vertigo’s upcoming Unexpected anthology. And, strange as it sounds, I had a crazy dream last night that looked like Rahsan drew it, so, maybe there’s a new original graphic novels in our not-too-distant future.

Last of the Greats Joshua Hale FialkovTFAW.com: What’s up next for you?

JHF: Last of the Greats over at Image is taking up a huge chunk of my time right now, as well as Noel Tuazon and my follow up to Tumor, which should be also coming from Image later this year. I just finished a run on Superman/Batman with artists Adriana Melo and Tomas Giorello, that was a huge amount of fun. I’m hoping to get another crack at those guys very, very soon. You can follow along with all of that stuff at my Twitter, @joshfialkov or on my recently revamped blog, TheFialkov.com.

Our thanks to Joshua for giving us a peek inside his upcoming stories! We can’t wait to read I, Vampire: you can pre-order issues #1 and #2 of I, Vampire right here at TFAW.com.

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“How I Fell in Love With Comics” Contest Winner Announced

August 18th, 2011 Comments off

Sandman Preludes and NocturnesWe got a lot of amazing stories on our blog in response to our “How I Fell in Love With Comics” contest, and we’re happy to announce that we selected Anne C. of Ohio as our favorite! Anne will receive a $20 gift certificate to TFAW.com as a thank-you for sharing her story and taking the time to comment. Here’s a snippet of her story:

I wasn’t into comics as a child. Honestly, I wasn’t ever exposed to them. No one I knew read comics. They were never around my house or any of my friends houses. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was introduced to my first graphic novel.

My husband and I had gotten pregnant with our first child. I developed preeclampsia along with a few other problems which made carrying our daughter to full term an impossibility. The doctors felt my daughter’s best chance at survival was a C-section when I was only 6 months along.

One day as I was sitting in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) I happen to ask one of the nurses, whom I’d become friendly with, if she had anything I could read. A book, a magazine, something. She asked me if I liked comics. I told her I’d never really read any, but I’d give it a shot. She came back with Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes.

You can read the rest of Anne’s story–as well as some other wonderful tales–on the original My First (X-Men) Comics post.

Thanks again to Anne and everyone who posted, we loved reading your stories!

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Whedon Sale + Donate to Equality Now August 20!

August 16th, 2011 Comments off

Donate to Equality Now August 20In honor of Can’t Stop the Serenity, PDX Browncoats’ annual fundraiser for Equality Now, the Hollywood Things From Another World at 4133 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR is throwing a huge Whedon sale August 19-21. Plus, when you check-in at Hollywood via Facebook Places on August 20 and redeem your Charity Deal, we’ll donate $1 to Equality Now on your behalf!

Our Whedon Sale will feature these excellent deals (and more):

  • $7-$14 Serenity TPBs and HCs – so shiny!
  • $20 Serenity Reaver Ornaments – the best Christmas decorations in the ‘Verse
  • $12 Buffy Season 8 TPBs – get caught up before Season 9
  • $17 Buffy Omnibusses – a whole lotta awesome for a small price
  • $5 Angel Aftermath Vol. 5 HCs – IDW’s done a great job with this format
  • $1 Angel Variant Comics – ’nuff said!

Donate to Equality Now:

Equality Now, Joss Whedon’s preferred charity, fights to end violence and discrimination towards women and girls. On August 20, we’ll donate $1 toward this amazing organization for every check-in via Facebook Places at the Hollywood TFAW: just make sure to claim your “Charity Deal” when you check in. It’s a simple–almost effortless–way to make a difference.

Can’t Stop the Serenity Pre-Funk:

If it’s not on your calendar yet, make plans to go to Can’t Stop the Serenity at the Hollywood Theatre August 20 at 7:00 pm. They’ll be screening Serenity and Doctor Horrible, with special guest Patric Reynolds, the artist behind Serenity: Float Out! But first, stop by the Hollywood TFAW: beginning at 5:00 pm, we’re hosting a meet and greet with snacks and a costume contest run by the ever-creative PDX Browncoats.

Whew! That’s a lot of information about some pretty cool stuff. Hope to see you there!

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Archie & Friends #157 Preview: The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.

August 16th, 2011 Comments off

Archie & Friends #157Thanks to the awesome Robot 6 blog over at CBR, we have an amazing five-page preview of Archie & Friends #157, which reprints two classic “The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.” stories from the 1960s in honor of Archie’s 70th anniversary!

These spy parodies, inspired by such shows as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., depict Archie–ahem, I mean A.R.C.H.I.E.–and his friends as agents of P.O.P. (Protect Our Planet) from the oppressive forces of C.R.U.S.H.

The first story, “The Nose Knows,” is by Frank Doyle, Archie’s head writer for more than three decades, and artist Bob White, who was also instrumental in Archie’s superhero adventures as “Pureheart the Powerful.”

The clean lines and goofy humor of the ’60s are fully intact, as you can see below (click on each to enlarge):

Sidebar: I’ve had the pleasure of reading Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers, and learning a fascinating amount of behind-the-scenes information about the company and the various creators who created the Archie “look” over the years, including Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo, Harry Lucey, and Bob White. I recommend it wholeheartedly to any Archie fans who might be reading this.

You can pre-order Archie & Friends #157 right now and save 20%. Or, create an Archie subscription and lock in that 20% savings every month!

Are you excited by the return of The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.? Post your comments below!

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Save 30-70% on Action Figures & More During Our Toy Sale!

August 16th, 2011 Comments off

Did you hear the news? We’re throwing our biggest toy sale ever in August! From now until August 31, you’ll save 30-70% on hundreds of action figures, vinyl toys, plush collectibles, and more.

With so many products to choose from, I thought I’d pick a few of my favorites and share them with you all:

Pop Vinyl FiguresPop Vinyl Figures: I have been coveting these adorable little vinyl figures since we had them at our booth at WonderCon this year. So cute! These pint-sized cuties are great for your office or home and are sure to attract plenty of attention, and now they’re just $7 each for a limited time.

We’ve got a bunch of the Pop Star Wars Bobble Heads in the sale, as well as a teeny-tiny Loki and, yes, both a ’50s and a ’70s version of Elvis. Again, adorable!

Star Trek Classic CommunicatorStar Trek Classic Communicator: If you’re like me, you’re wondering where the h#!! our Star Trek communicator cell phones are, amirite? (P.S. If you are like me, God help you.)

We can’t help you there (yet!), but we do have the Star Trek Classic Communicator at 40% off–just $20.99! You can just buy it and pretend it’s a cell phone (plus, cover up the fact that you like to talk to the voices in your head in public–WHAT?!?). In any case, it’s modeled after the original Star Trek TOS prop and comes complete with sound effects.

We’ve also got some amazing Star Trek action figures, bobble heads, and more in our sale.

Ghostbusters FiguresGhostbusters Figures: As a kid who grew up in the ’80s, Ghostbusters will always have a special place in my heart. I saw the first movie at a drive-in theater (remember those?) and screamed my lungs out during the old-lady-ghost-in-the-library scene. The followup cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters (wait, was there another Ghostbusters cartoon they needed to distinguish themselves from? Answer: yes!), was more than worthy of my Saturday-morning cartoon-watching time.

That’s why I’m glad to see these Ghostbusters Wave 1 Retro Action Figures in our sale for 40-70% off! At just $12-$15.59, you can afford the whole team.

Looking at this list, my first thought is . . . wow, I’m a nerd! But my second thought is, this is a pretty sweet sale. Make sure to shop between now and August 31 to add some great toys to your collection. Pro tip: we have extremely limited quantities of most of these toys, so the sooner, the better!

What are your favorite picks from our toy sale? Post yours below!

SHOP OUR TOY SALE AND SAVE 30-70% THRU AUGUST 31

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New Hulk Visionaries: Peter David TPB Available Now

August 12th, 2011 Comments off

Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Graphic NovelsEisner-winning comics writer Peter David has been getting rave reviews for his work on X-Factor (both back in the ’90s and today) and Stephen King’s Dark Tower comics, but he also received recognition from ComicsAlliance this week, which reviewed his run on The Incredible Hulk in honor of Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 8, which came out yesterday. Here’s what they had to say:

From ComicsAlliance:
Though some of the choices in Marvel’s Visionaries line of collections seem a little dubious, Peter David’s run on The Incredible Hulk is not. Over the course of his decade-plus tenure on the title, David reshaped the inarticulate slab of the Hulk into an action-packed psychological study; Bruce Banner and his opposite were fully-realized characters locked in a fascinating tug-of-war that dragged the readers through studies of personality disorders and abuse. And it was hilarious.

It was David who introduced “Grey Hulk,” also known as Mr. Fixit, a quantum leap in terms of character development for the Hulk:

The Gray Hulk was smarter, meaner, more cunning than Green Hulk. No longer a dumbfounded toddler lashing out at the world, he became the sharp-tongued teenager no longer afraid of his dad. Mr. Fixit, as Gray Hulk came to be known, was clever, brash, and always looking for an advantage.

Their verdict? Hulk Visionaries: Peter David is required reading:

The Hulk that emerged in the final years of David’s story blended the best elements of each personality. Banner’s intellect combined with the Green Hulk’s power and Mr. Fixit’s assertiveness. A man transformed, an adult who been to his darkest places and embraced them, and returned, at last, complete.

You can read the entire review over at ComicsAlliance now. It convinced me to go back and re-read it–how about you? What’s your favorite Hulk creative team? Post your opinion below!

BROWSE HULK VISIONARIES: PETER DAVID GRAPHIC NOVELS

SEE ALL PETER DAVID COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

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