Archive for July, 2009


This Wednesday I Realized Something Disturbing

July 30th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I am terrified of flying, hate any mention of planes in danger, and yet I found the strip of Streaky The Supercat taking the tail off an airplane because it had the picture of a mouse on it to be the most adorable thing I’ve seen this week.

I’m pretty sure that Amanda Conner needs to be classified as a deadly weapon.

Feel free to comment with your favorite part of Wednesday Comics below.

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Who Wants the Watchmen (Blu-ray)?

July 29th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

This’ll actually be our second Watchmen contest… here goes!

This one is easy. The kind folks at M80 want to give away a copy of Watchmen on Blu-ray. At some point over the past year, probably after I bought a PS3, BR became my favorite way to watch movies. Tons of special features, top notch quality, all that fun stuff that nitpickers love. I assume the Watchmen Blu-ray will be similar.

If you want it, here’s what you’ve gotta do. Leave a comment here with your first name (your actual first name, not your fake first name for the internet) and your favorite Watchmen character. You don’t have to justify it, you just have to name it. I’m going to go through the comments on Friday and randomly pick out a winner. I’ll email you for your address, you’ll send that to me, and then you’ll get a Watchmen Blu-ray in the mail.

A couple notes– US residents only, please! Also, please make sure you own a Blu-ray player. And if you don’t put a valid email address in the comments… I’ll have to pick someone else. So don’t put We’re not (ever) gonna spam you.

Our Wolverine contest from last week is up, and I’ll be emailing the winners tonight. Watch your mailboxes, and look for a post later this week on the best ones.

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Unsightly Paneling

July 29th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I’m generally of the opinion that the world would be much better if I ran it.  (What?  Like you’re not?)  This principle applies to panels, and all of the things said by all of the people on them.

It applied especially to the Sunday Conversation With Dan Didio panel at Comic-Con.  I generally like these panels very much because they leave aside the usual slideshow of covers that we will be seeing in eight months to two years and the painfully awkward questions.  Instead, they’re a bunch of people talking about comics.  Dan Didio generally does a great job of moderating the responses from the audience, and a panel of comics professionals cuts in with funny commentary.  It’s a really enjoyable panel.

One of the questions this year was, “What was a big ‘wow’ moment you’ve read in comics?”  That was where the panel spiralled down from something fun into the realms of what I can only describe as extreme unacceptability.  Every single reply was “When ____ got killed.”  Every one.

People!  Stop encouraging them!  We just barely got them to stop playing darts with the members of Young Justice!  Maybe it’s a question of when you started reading comics, but to me, standard character death that comes with every single big event is the most predictable and un-‘wow’ thing in the world.  You can practically set your watch by it.  How were any of those people shocked?

But what’s more, one of the other questions was, “What do you like to read in comics?”  My answer?  Fun.  A lot of it.  I want to have a blast when I’m reading.  I want the characters to have a blast.  I want the comic I’m reading to be so much fun that if you gave the reader the option of falling through the paper and joining the characters, they would do it in a heartbeat.

I don’t know if the panel was Bizarro World or if I’m truly that alone in preferring comics in which a hero’s death isn’t the most memorable event.  Aren’t there so many better things to remember?  And if there aren’t, shouldn’t there be?

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The Game Boy Comic: Now You’re Reading with Power! Portable Power!

July 28th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Back in the early 90’s, the comic company Valiant struck a deal with Nintendo. Over the next two years or so, Valiant would release a multitude of series based on Nintendo franchises. There were a couple that felt natural. Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda each had their own cartoons at the time, so they would get picked up. Captain N: The Game Master would also get his own comic, though transformed due to the inability to use videogame characters outside of Nintendo. There was even a series called Nintendo Comics System that acted like an anthology of stories featuring those I mentioned and miscellaneous games like Dr. Mario and Punch Out.

Around that time, Nintendo’s Game Boy was still fresh on the scene and they wanted to do whatever they could to get the word out. Sure, advertising was easy for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Captain N was one big commercial for the console and all its games. Well, all the games that weren’t on that crappy knockoff cartoon Power Team (anyone else remember that? It had the monster truck Bigfoot, a basketball player and a talking tomato). Anyway, outside of commercials and magazine ads, how do you advertise what is essentially a lesser NES that you can carry around with you?

With the Captain N cartoon, they eventually introduced a Slimer-like character named Game Boy who was one, big, annoying Game Boy levitating around. With Valiant, they went in another direction. They gave it its own comic book.

I’m sure by now you’re already asking the million dollar question: “How exactly does a Game Boy comic work?” That’s a very good question and having found out the answer, I just had to get my hands on this 4-issue series.

Read the rest of this entry �

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This Crowd Would Be Fantastic if it Weren’t for all the People

July 28th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Last weekend was my third Comic-Con and the first one in which I couldn’t get into the panels I wanted to.  David, on the last fourcast, disagreed with my belief that the Con has grown too crowded to be effective, but I met a few people who agreed with me and we all had different theories on why the Con seemed to have reached critical mass and exploded into something unwieldy.

I had heard that Comic-Con had reduced the number of tickets sold, and when I went online to buy my own tickets, I found that the four day passes were almost sold out much earlier than last year.  I thought that would make it easy to get into panels.  Sadly, on Thursday I saw that the Con had gotten so crowded that any tv or movie panels had a two to four hour line and that many of the comics panels had a one hour line.  Even if you were willing to wait, it was often a toss-up as to whether you got to see the panels you wanted to.

My theory is that the early sell-out of tickets meant that the Con had started attracting hardcore fans.  People, like me, who had been there several times before.  Not only would they target panels more specifically, they’d know to get in line early, and when that failed, get in line even earlier.  Not to mention the recent recession might have driven people away from the vendors and up to the panels.

A friend of mine, Graeme McMillan from io9, thought that there were the same amount of tickets sold, but that everyone showed up this time around, instead of the regular percentage of no-shows that any event gets.

And then, of course, there were the outright cynics who thought that the Con would sell tickets to the entire population of the world if it could, and it did, and there was no use acting surprised that things were overcrowded.

Although everyone I met at this Con was wonderful, and I did enjoy seeing writers and editors close up, I feel like maybe I should hold off on San Diego next year.  Granted, I won’t get a chance to get an over-sized Dr. Who bag at another Con, and I won’t see the life-sized lego replicas of Boba Fett, but I’d sacrifice that to get into the panels I want to see without waiting for hours in a line that snakes around the entire building first.

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Fourcast 09!: Live from San Diego

July 28th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Esther and I went to San Diego Comic-con and came back with stories and a few interviews. This is just the first of two fourcasts from SDCC. Pardon the quality– the mics pick up everything, and I think we can be heard clearly, but there’s a fair amount of noise on the line. Yowza.

-We talk a little about the con in general
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental
-I interview Jason McNamara, author of The Martian Confederacy. Jason’s a great guy, super funny, and always a pleasure to speak to.
-Leigh Walton, similarly to Jason, is another great guy in the comics industry. He does marketing for Top Shelf and is one of my favorite people to talk about comics with. He runs down Top Shelf’s line-up at the con and we nerd it out a bit over paper quality (so nice to find a kindred spirit).
-We come back to me and Esther, conversation already in progress. We talk about the Dwayne McDuffie and Darwyn Cooke panels at SDCC, discuss the future success and current failings of comics, and then ditch the podcast to go see the Women of Marvel panel.

Surprises to come! In the meantime, read the podcast boilerplate:
If you’re new to the Fourcast!, subscribe to the podcast-specific RSS feed or subscribe on iTunes. Our full-blown RSS, with space-age things like “text” and “images” is here. Befriend us on Facebook, too!

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Wolverine Contest, Adam Warren Interview

July 27th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’m back from the con, barely, and I’ve got some reminders.

The Wolverine Contest is still on. Go, enter, and win a free book or two. It ends tomorrow, so go ahead and get your entries in.
-I interviewed Adam Warren after discussing his Dirty Pair and Gen 13/Livewires work. It’s a good read. He went above and beyond in answering all those questions.
-Podcast is due to return in the middle of this week. We’ve got a couple of special guest stars this time around, and it required a little more time than usual.
-Lone Wolf & Cub has been on unannounced hiatus for the past couple weeks. I hope to get back to it this coming Sunday, but at worst, it’ll begin again on August 9th. San Diego Con and a few other things bearing down on me meant that something had to give, and LW&C ended up being the victim.
-I totally screwed up my back at the con. Yow.

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Fun with Street Fighter 4 Mods

July 27th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Recently, Street Fighter 4 came out for the PC. Because of that, people have been able to hack into the game and change the character appearances. For some it means giving Akuma a pink gi and Dan’s moveset. For some it means nuding up the female cast. For one awesome guy, it means making Zangief into Mr. T. But for now, check these out.

I also saw Sagat as John Stewart GL (when we all know Sagat would be a Red Lantern) and Cammy as Psylocke, Arachne and Harley Quinn.

On a similar note, hopefully sometime tonight I should have a new article up that’s also about comics and videogames. No, not Street Fighter or any of its ilk. Rather, it’s something more mainstream and yet far more out of left field.

Plus Ultimatum #5 comes out this week. We all know what that leads to.

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Current Events with the Dark Avengers

July 24th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Follow-up #1
Follow-up #2
Follow-up #3
Follow-up #4
Follow-up #5

(Don’t read #4 if you intend on seeing that Orphan movie any time soon)

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San Diego Comic-con

July 23rd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’m here! And judging by my voice mails, Esther is here, too!

I’m going to be walking the floor today, attending only a few panels. Here’s a brief list:

10:30-11:30 Science Fiction That Will Change Your Life— The staff of, Eisner Award–winning author Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics), and others talk about science fiction from the last year that does more than blow things up. It might also blow your mind. What science fiction should you be reading and watching if you want your brain to grow so big it pops out of the top of your skull and starts throbbing and shooting lasers? The panelists have some tips. Room 8

12:30-1:30 Crime: Usual and Unusual— The heart of crime fiction is a crime committed against people or institutions—but the range of subgenres is diverse and fascinating. Panelists: Max Allan Collins (The Goliath Bone), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Cold Black Hearts), Alexander Irvine (Buyout), Gregg Hurwitz (Trust No One), Thomas Greanias (The Atlantis Revelation), and Kat Richardson (Vanished) cover traditional mysteries, espionage, paranormal mystery, and more. Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy. Room 3

2:00-3:00 A Darker Shade of Ink: Crime and Noir in Comics— Crime comics are back with a bang! Darwyn Cooke (Parker: The Hunter), Greg Rucka (Gotham Central), and Steve Lieber (Whiteout) join moderator/noted mystery and comics writer Max Allan Collins (The Road to Perdition) to talk about the new incarnations of crime and noir in comics. Room 5AB

5:30-6:30 All-Stars of Comics Podcasting— Comics podcasting has grown from a novelty to a force within the industry, providing an outlet for reviews, interviews, news and general entertainment for comic book fans. Comic book podcasting veterans Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider), Charlito (Indie Spinner Rack), Brian “Pants” Christman (Comic Geek Speak), Bob Bretall (Comic Book Page—who will be giving away comics to the first 200 people to attend the panel), and Ron Richards (iFanboy) discuss the future of comics podcasting. You never know what may happen in podcasting, so be sure to come as some surprise guests may be appearing! Plus this is your chance to meet and talk to your favorite podcasters! Room 32AB

If you see me, say hello. I’m sure Esther will be at every DC-related panel ever. You can email me or twitter at me if you like.

I’ve pretty much got everything I want out of the con, as you can see here.

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