Monthly Archives: March 2014

Super-early Look at the Doctor Who comic series from Titan Comics

Call me “out of the loop” on comics, but I don’t think the existence of Titan Comics has ever crossed my radar. No, really, go ahead and call me “out of the loop”, that’s what this whole blog is about – a casual comics fan’s insight into the world of comics culture.

However, Titan Comics is the company that took over the Doctor Who license from IDW. I don’t know a ton about their plans for the series, but I do know this much: Read the rest of this entry

Weird Toys of the Week – Twilight Zone 3.75 Inch Action Figures from Biff Bang Pow

I can list at least a dozen TV series more deserving of action figures than “The Twilight Zone”. A fanatical collector (or someone willing to look those series up on Google) would probably tell me that those series already HAVE action figures. Toy companies are really scraping at this point.

So, here’s a line of toys I’m not sure anyone really wanted, but that I will remark upon anyway.

Twilight-Zone-Action-Figures-Bif-Bang-Pow

Without peeking at the individual pictures yet, here’s my guess at who these characters are. And remember, I really like sci-fi and used to watch the Twilight Zone on reruns. Left to right, we’ve got Burgess Meredith, Brain guy who has a book that turns out to be a cookbook (50-year old spoiler on that one), creepy little girl, fat alien, Moon Boy, and generic military investigator.

Now let’s see how I did:

Kanamit. From Biff Bang Pow

 

See? The card says “To Serve Man” – nailed it. I also like that his whole robe is articulated instead of him having legs under a cloth robe. Saves production costs and reminds me of the 70s action figures from lower budget films. Comes with cookbook accessory, which is cool.

Henry Bemis Action Figure. Twilight Zone Series. From Biff Bang Pow.

Henry Bemis. Yep, got this one right, too. Maybe if there was an apocalypse and I had all the time in the world, I’d finally be bored enough to recreate classic Twilight Zone with this guy. Until then… not so much. Comes with two books, which seems a little light. Biff Bang Pow should consider making a “broken glasses” variant, though.

Invader Action Figure. Twilight Zone Series. From Biff Bang Pow.

So, the box says this is “Invader” from Episode 51: The Invaders. That doesn’t really help. And I’m still not sure what those accessories are. All I can say is that inside that suit, it’s got to smell awful.

Talky Tina Action Figure. Twilight Zone Series. From Biff Bang Pow.

OK. Seeing this with the card, I remember Talky Tina – which makes me want to own this even less. How are you going to sleep at night if this creeptastic doll is in your home?

Gremlin Action Figure. Twilight Zone Series. From Biff Bang Pow.

Again, seeing this on the card, I get it. The Gremlin of”There’s a man on the wing of the plane!” infamy. Which means that the generic looking white guy from the group photo must be…

Bob Wilson Action Figure. Twilight Zone Series. From Biff Bang Pow.

Yep. William Shatner, er, Bob Wilson. So now you can recreate “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” from the comfort of your own home.  Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t seen Shatner with a waistline that slim in a long time, but there’s no way I ever recognize this figure loose from the card.

So there you are. Another batch of WTF toys, this time from the crew at Biff Bang Pow. Sometimes the toys are nightmarish hodge-podges of weirdness that seem designed solely to confuse or frighten. Sometimes – like with the Twilight Zone series – it’s simply a question of “does the world really need this property made into toys”?

If you’ve got weird toys that you think the world needs to question, feel free to add them in the comments section.

Until next time…

– CCG

Weird Comics Wednesday. 

Superman’s known weaknesses – Kryptonite, magic, and (less well-known) a bronze deer.

Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (March 26, 2014)

Ahhhh…. New Comic Book Day. Here we are again. You… me… some soft music.

You didn’t have to get all dressed up for me. Let’s dim the lights and just enjoy each other’s company for a bit.

Uber TPB #1

Uber TPB #1. By: Kieron Gillen, Canaan White. Avatar Press

I don’t know much about this particular title other than the following:

  • It sounds like a pretty cool alternate history book.
  • I really love Doctor Who and Amelia Pond was one of my favorite companions.

I can’t believe she’s writing comics now.

Here’s the solicit:

The first collection of KIERON GILLEN’s breakout hit reinvention of the alternative history genre is finally here! April 24, 1945, the world holds its breath as the war is only days away from ending. Russian troops move through Germany to the final objective… Hitler himself. As those around the mad dictator crumble, the much ridiculed threats of the ‘Wunderwafen’ finally materialize. A new weapon is delivered, one with unstoppable power – a weapon like no other and with a madman pulling the trigger. The Ubers change the direction of World War II providing a dark and uncompromising alternative history in a way that you’ve never seen. Kieron Gillen and Caanan White deliver one of the best new series of 2013 collected in a 176 page trade paperback. Uber Vol 1 collects issues #0 – 5 the startling first chapter of this new horror series that reimagines the super soldier in a stark new bloody vision.

Wait… So this isn’t Karen Gillen? Never mind… Here’s a picture of her anyway:

Geronimo!

Elfquest: The Final Quest #2

Elfquest: The Final Quest #2. By: Wendy Pini, Richard Pini. Dark Horse

Let me just say that it does my heart good to know that they’re still publishing Elfquest. Good for you Team Pini! I might have to pick up #1 and #2 and power read them this weekend.

Vandroid #2

Vandroid #2. By: Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith, Dan McDaid, Melissa Edwards. Dark Horse

Issue #1 was good, but not great. The potential was there, though, for this to be a breakout series. Let’s see what #2 has in store for us.

Vandroid ramps up in this no-holds-barred second issue! The Van Man is off the chain, but when he runs afoul of his creator’s loose ends-including his estranged wife and an old criminal acquaintance-he finds out that being human is more complicated than his programming indicated!

Imagine a newly discovered 80s movie starring Brian Bosworth, and you’re on the right track.

 

Sandman Overture #2 (of 6)

Sandman Overture #2. By: Neil Gaiman, J. H. Williams. DC Comics, Vertigo

Neil Gaiman is writing new Sandman comics. Either that means something to you, or you and I need to have a serious talk. It’s been forever-and-a-day since the first issue, so I get it if you’re waiting for the trade.

Garth Ennis Red Team TPB Vol. 01 Season One

Garth Ennis Red Team TPB Vol. 01 Season One. By: Garth Ennis, Craig Cermak, Ryan Sook. Dynamite Entertainment.

So, I’m having tons of fun with Garth Ennis’ Rover Red Charlie series. His Preacher got a little wobbly after a great start, if you ask me. And, The Boys went utterly insane in a way that starts with “bat” and ends in a word I can’t say since my daughters may read this blog.

I just found out about this series when the last single issue came out. But, I’m ready to dive into this one head-first. There’s no safety net with Ennis, so readers beware.

For this week, I’m all in on Garth. That’s the kind of week I’m having. And, that’s why the trade paperback, Red Team Vol. 01, is my official Casual Comics Guy Hot Pick of the Week.

BONUS HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!

Well, hello, there… This is a first. Just as I was closing the door for the night, someone else showed up to the party. And who could it be?

Alex + Ada #5

Alex + Ada #5 By: Jonathan Luna, Sara Vaughn. Image Comics

This is by far my comic crush of the year. And look at this solict:

Ada will never be the same again. 

Swoon…

I am not joking. This title has made me fall in love with comics all over again. I would give up movies. I would give up TV…. If all comics were this good, I’d give it all back.

Alex + Ada is now officially the pick of the week for every week it comes out until further notice.

– FIN! –

– CCG

 

I would pay real American dollars for this to be real. Kickstarter anyone?

Casual Comics Panel of the Week.

Thor discovers the hidden delights of Midgard. 

Marvel Comics.

Deadpool Team-Up Coming for Original Sin Event

OK, so maybe there have been other Deadpool team-ups in the past. I was browsing Comics Alliance, though, when I ran across this picture:

This is a team-up I can get behind.

This is the cover for Deadpool #30, coming in June. Marvel’s big event “Original Sin” should be in full swing by then, and this is the Deadpool tie-in.

Deadpool and Dazzler? Sign me up. I don’t know if Wade can play guitar worth a dang, but it should be a good show. I’d love to see areal band cosplay this at San Diego Comic Con and actually do a four-song set.

Anyway, that’s it. Saw the cover with Dazzler and I just had to share. Maybe I’ll peek in and see what Dazzler is up to in regular Marvel 616 continuity and get back with you later.

– CCG

 

Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (March 19, 2014)

Greetings, gang. It’s that day again. The best day of the week. New Comic Book Day! This week is a little light on titles, but the picks this week promise to be intriguing.

Batman 66 #9

Batman ’66 #9. By: Jeff Parker, Ruben Procopio, Michael Allred. DC Comics

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up an issue of Batman ’66. On a week that doesn’t have a ton that holds interest for a casual reader, you can always be sure that Batman ’66 is just the quick fix you need. Usually continuity-free and full of the same lovable banter you remember from the TV series, Batman ’66 is always an enjoyable read.

Judge Dredd Big Drokkin Treasury Ed

Judge Dredd Big Drokkin Treasury Ed. By: John Wagner, Mike McMahon, Cliff Robinson. IDW Publishing

It’s starting to look like throwback week here. Again, Judge Dredd is an old reliable title that always delivers the action and sci-fi goods. This smells like a collection of previously published 2000 AD material, but I could be wrong. Read the solicit and decide for yourself. (Or you could, you know, do a little more research than I did)

“An oversized array of classic Judge Dredd stories drawn by a murderer’s row of beloved 2000AD artists not yet published by IDW! ‘The Law According to Judge Dredd,’ Judge Minty, monkey business, zombies, Uncle Ump, and even Santa Claus all make an appearance in this big drokkin’ book. “

Daredevil #1

Daredevil #1. By: Mark Waid, Chris Samnee. Marvel Comics.

A new chapter starts in Matt Murdock’s life as the hero heads West. All the way West to California.

I’ve heard great things about Mark Waid’s run on the title. This looks like the perfect place for a casual fan to jump back into the adventures of ol’ hornhead.

Ms Marvel #2

Ms. Marvel #2. By: C. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Jamie McKelvie. Marvel Comics

I enjoyed the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel series, but it left me questioning whether the story can maintain momentum. It’s the moment of truth for Kamala Khan. I’ll buy this one and let you know whether the series is going to crash to Earth or soar into the clouds.

American Vampire Second Cycle #1

American Vampire Second Cycle #1. By: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque. DC Comics

Ohmygosh. American Vampire is back. Long story, but I got hooked on this title when I attended (quite by accident) an American Vampire panel at San Diego Comic Con in 2009. I was just sitting in the room waiting for the Rifftrax panel that was due to start later that afternoon.

While cooling my heels in the room, Snyder and Albuquerque talked about the comic for an hour and it looked pretty dang cool. Later that evening, I stopped by a booth to pick up a copy and Albuquerque just happened to be there. He signed my copy of the trade hardcover and drew a sketch on the inside of the cover.

I thought to myself, “I sure hope I like this book, because otherwise I wasted a lot of his time”. Luckily, the story was terrific and the art was awesome. I’m super-excited to see what the duo has in store for the new title.

That’s why American Vampire Second Cycle #1 is my pick for the Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Alternately…

Since there’s not a lot new out this week, keep your eyes peeled for She-Hulk #1-2, Secret Avengers #1, Deadly Class #1-2, and the Saga Trade Paperbacks. Those are just a few of the titles I’ve really enjoyed over the last few weeks.

Or, do what I’ve been doing and scour the old comics racks for copies of old titles that feature your favorite characters. Most recent addition to my library? Strange Tales (featuring Cloak and Dagger) #1-6.

Mmmmm… I love me some classic Cloak and Dagger.

Until next time – support your local comic book shops.

Cheers!

– CCG

 

Best of San Diego Comic Con 2013

Today’s the big day. Open registration for San Diego Comic Con 2014. For all those waiting in line, hoping to get a badge today, here’s my recap of the best stuff from SDCC 2013.

Best Art I Bought

Sara Richards

Got this lovely Doctor Who Print from Sara, along with an original piece – Amelie:

Sara Richard. Genius.

Sara Richard. Genius.

Mike Vasquez

You might recognize this art Mike did for me at SDCC.

New CCG logo. You like?

Mike Vazquez

Bordin Marsinkul

Classic Spidey

Classic Spidey

Best Panels

Tournament of Nerds: Live

The World’s End – The panel featured Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright talking about the movie for an hour. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Ode to Nerds – You can read more about it, but this was the biggest surprise to me at SDCC 2013. Charlie Jane Anders was a delightful moderator, and the panelists were intelligent and encouraging. I hope to see more panels hosted or featuring io9 staffers at SDCC 2014.

Best Cosplay

You can see the rest at my SDCC Cosplay page.

Best Parties

The Unofficial SDCC Blog’s #UndertheSDCC party

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Geek and Sundry

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You can read a full travelogue of all the parties and panels here.

Best Comics I Bought

Love and Capes TPB #1

Thomas Zahler is quite a nice guy, in addition to being a very talented writer and artist. I reviewed this TPB here.

100_2365

Atomic Robo #1-6

Another great find from a terrific publisher – Red Five. Reviewed here.

100_2335

Vision and Scarlet Witch (Vol 2) #1-12

And to wrap this all up, how can I resist?

CCG 002

Thanks, and good luck to all!

– CCG

Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (March 12, 2014)

Hello fellow comic fans. The big news this week is the opening of general registration for San Diego Comic Con. If you’re like me (and I know I am), you’ll be online waiting for the registration to open for about four hours on the coming Saturday.

Aside from listening to the awesome live video feed from SDCC Blog for constant updates on whether or not you’ll actually be able to get tickets, you might need some comic books to keep you company. Here’s what I’ll be reading. Join me, won’t you?

Ghost #2

Ghost #2. By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Sebela, Ryan Sook. Dark Horse

Here’s one that I’m checking out based on… well, I’m not sure exactly. I’ve been hearing a ton of good things about Kelly Sue DeConnick from all different sources. Her name has cropped up at least a dozen times over the last month, but I’ve never read any of her work. So, when I came across Ghost #2, I figured this is the title where I’ll put the rumors of her brilliance to the test.

Garth Ennis Red Team #7

Garth Ennis Red Team. By: Garth Ennis, Craig Cermak, Howard Chaykin. Dynamite Entertainment.

I’ve been having a ton of fun with Rover Red Charlie, and here’s another Garth Ennis title that I ran across. As I’ve previously documented, Ennis can go off the rails in spectacularly horrifying ways. However, there’s an adrenaline rush that comes with not knowing when the next stomach-turning moment is coming.

 

X-Files Conspiracy Crow #1

X-Files Conspiracy Crow #1. By: Denton J. Tipton, Vic Malhotra, Miran Kim. IDW Publishing

Aaaaand, regardless of what I just said about not being a fan of TV adaptations, how can you resist the premise of this book. The Lone Gunmen from the X-Files series investigating The Crow. Maybe they can track down the truth behind this supernatural force and how/why it forces teens to be so gloomy all the time.

Avengers TPB Vol. 02 Absolute Vision

This one’s just for me.

I love the Vision. Even more when he’s with the Scarlet Witch. And here’s what dirty deeds he was up to when most of the Marvel heroes were called away to the Secret War. 80s Vision = cheesy sci-fi/adventure. Irresistable (unless you already have the individual issues in a longbox somewhere). Enjoy the goodness that is…

The Vision takes command! As many of Earth’s Mightiest are whisked away to fight in the Secret Wars, the newly assertive synthezoid seizes the chair. He has changes in store when the heroes return, not least his idea for a new team of Avengers on the West Coast. But there are Dire Wraiths and demons to deal with back East, not to mention an army of Hulks and Thanos’ monstrous minions the Blood Brothers! Hercules and Black Knight return to the fold, while Starfox discovers an uncanny connection to the Eternals just in time to face the menace of Maelstrom. But as Vision’s true plan unfolds, are even two teams of Avengers enough to handle one of their own? Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #242-254 and ANNUAL #13. 

Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #1. By: Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, Tradd Moore. Marvel Comics

I’ve been sucked in too many times with Avengers titles over the last year. But I’ll be first in line for Secret Avengers… just in case. So who’s in the Secret Avengers now? Looks like Fury, Hawkeye, the Black Widow, Spider Woman. Could be a cool espionage tale. Is that M.O.D.O.K. back there with Coulson? What’s that all about? Guess we’ll all find out together on New Comic Book Day.

Fantastic Four #2

Fantastic Four #2. By: James Robinson, Leonard Kirk. Marvel Comics

Fantastic Four #1 was one of the best titles I’ve read from Marvel in a loooooong time. I’m looking forward to seeing if they can keep up the energy, wonder, and awe that the first issue delivered. This is the first Fantastic Four title that reminds me of the comic I grew up with.

There’s only one thing standing in the way of the FF being my hot pick of the week, and that’s…

Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #1

I’m not a huge fan of properties moving from TV to the comics, but I’ll give Steve Austin a shot. Vandroid was a blast from the past, so I’m in the mood to see if they capture the essence of the 70s with this new comic series based off one of my favorite shows from my youth.

They’re off to a good start by putting Maskatron on the cover. Remember him?

Sounds like he’s going to be an integral part of this story. Check out the description:

For The Six Millions Dollar Man’s 40th anniversary comes the direct continuation of the classic television series with Season 6! Better. Stronger. Faster. The original Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin was a man barely alive until the OSI turned him into the world’s first Bionic Man. Now he and Oscar Goldman are the most effective team in National Security. But a rogue faction in the OSI is making a power play for that position with a new type of infiltration agent – one that is completely obedient and robotic. Can a soulless machine that wears Steve Austin’s very face make the Six Million Dollar Man obsolete? For the 1st Time EVER! Fan favorite toy-line character Maskatron makes his Six Million Dollar Man debut and becomes a part of the classic television series mythology with a violent and terrifying purpose. And as Steve’s world is threatened from within, his very actions unknowingly release an alien menace upon an unsuspecting world…

This cheese-tastic description drove The Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #1 to the top of my must-buy list for the week. So, Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, and the OSI team are the stars of the official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Until next time, remember to support your local comic book shop.

Cheers!

– CCG