Author Archives: Casual Comics Guy

Casual Comics Cast

You might ask yourself where I’ve been since the last update. I’ve been asking myself the same question.

Part of the answer is this – I’ve been working on a new podcast!

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The other 90% is laughing at old DC comics panels out of context.

Here’s “episode zero” of the new “Casual Comics Cast”, created with my co-host Mo.

A little bit about the podcast:

As you know, I know a lot about a very little cross-section of comics culture – Marvel comics, especially from the 80s and 90s, comic book movies and TV, and whatever I luck across on the comics racks on the occasions when I do get to hit the local comic book shop.

Mo knows even less – but she really wants to learn. So here’s the question… can someone who is really new to comics – including the movies and TV shows – get “into” comics, or is it still too exclusive and difficult to navigate?

We’ll explore a multitude of topics, but we’d love your comments and feedback on our pilot, wherein we try and figure out how to make a podcast a thing while also talking about the trailer for “Suicide Squad”.

Click here to listen to Episode Zero!

Please post comments below. We’re looking for your help in shaping the future of the podcast.

Thanks!

  • CCG
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Marvel Fans! Nathan Fillion is… ?

Marvel movie fans, here’s some great news. We all just got some casting news that (if you’re not) you should be very excited for.

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Even more excited than you were for Captain Hammer

Nathan Fillion is Simon Williams. (I’m listening for the resounding… “Who?”)

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He’s this guy, right here…

Anyone following me knows that I am madly in love with the Vision and Scarlet Witch series from the 80s/90s.

Simon Williams was also known as “Wonder Man”. This is going to get complicated, but stay with me. In the comics:

  • The original Human Torch (an android) “died
  • His body was snatched up by Ultron (from Avengers: Age of Ultron fame)
  • Ultron used the body of the Human Torch to create an offspring – for the mind, he used the recently deceased Power Man (aka Simon Williams)
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Then they became total SRDB4L (Synethezoid resurrected dude bros for life)

So, it sounds like we’re going deeper into the history of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. Hopefully, this all leads to the sitcom (on ABC) that this dysfunctional family deserves.

In the meantime, I’m hoping they find Nathan Fillion some sweet, ruby-colored shades like these.

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Keep it frosty, folks!

  • CCG

The Ultimate Guardians of the Galaxy Easter Egg Revealed

For months, James Gunn has been quotes as saying that there’s a Guardians of the Galaxy easter egg that no one has yet found. Check out the following headlines:

James Gunn: No One Found That ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Easter Egg |

James Gunn Says No One Found That ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Easter Egg and He’ll Never Reveal What It Is

And, when asked about if/when it would be revealed, Gunn said that he hopes no one ever uncovers it. 

But, those stories aren’t 100% accurate. The super-secret Guardians easter egg was revealed long ago – Gunn just hasn’t acknowledged it yet.

What is the easter egg in the Guardians of the Galaxy that no one is talking about? Check out this still right here.

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Not too long after the still appeared online, there was speculation that this being trapped by The Collector (over there, on the right – the one in orange) was Beta Ray Bill. Gunn quickly debunked that theory, but he strangely didn’t divulge who this mysterious being was. Marvel fans who scoured every nook and cranny of scenes in The Collector’s trophy gallery never followed up on this lead. Read the rest of this entry

The Vision #1 – Best Comic of the Year (so far)

Between moving my family across the country and taking care of a few side projects, I’ve been neglecting this blog. But, in addition to all the personal business, there just hasn’t been that much for a casual comics fan to rave about. Until now, that is…

The first issue of “The Vision” is a revelation. This single issue is the epitome of what a superhero / sci-fi comic can be – twisting what we think we know about heroes to create a mind-bending, thought-provoking, and slightly creepy tale.

The Vision #1. Writer: Tom King; Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Marvel Comics.

I’m not sure what people who only know of the character from Avengers: Age of Ultron will make of this book. It’s tough to say what the title can become, but one issue in it’s definitely not a standard superhero adventure book. Read the rest of this entry

Third and Tennant

Weirdly, I’m going to ask you to ignore this post – unless you are a fan of both Doctor Who and fantasy football.

I created a logo for my fantasy football team – “Third and Tennant” (get it?), which you can see below.

I’m posting it only because ESPN will not let me directly upload the image…

Third and Tennant

Aliens vs. Pooh

The Alien vs. Pooh webcomic is a special kind of genius. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out what happens when the best xenomorphs in cinematic history come to the Hundred Acre woods.

The pencil and crayon drawings are delightful and bring a layer of whimsy to a twisted tale.

I would love to see this in print.

Just wanted to draw your attention to this online delight.

– CCG

Awesome Comic Find of the Month – Killer Queen Anthology

As the weather warms here in Ohio, it’s getting easier to get out and about. I’ll fill you in on the details of the Indie Comics Expo I attended today at some other time.

I’m far too excited to tell you about what I found.

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Killer Queen: A Comics Anthology, published by Red Stylo, is a really clever and unusual collection of comic stories from local, independent artists. The editor, Enrica Jang, explained that, on an annual basis, they challenge creators to develop one-shot comics around a particular theme. The theme for this issue? Stories inspired by the songs of Queen.

This is the perfect mash-up of rock and roll and comics. Queen’s songs are already lyrically rich, so it’s fascinating to see how literally the creators took the song when building a book. Some, like ’39 take the story as presented in the song and fill in the details.

Others, are intense and abstract. Flipping through the book, the story that convinced me to lay down the $30 to get the book was Don’t Stop Me Now which takes the power and energy of the song and slams it onto the page – a real rocketship on the way to Mars blasting into your eyeballs.

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Words can’t express my love for this page.

$30 might seem pretty steep. Believe me, as a casual comics fan, I’m not used to paying this much for a book. However, with contributions from over 40 writers and artists, the book collects 17 stories, as well as one-page Queen-themed artworks. This book is a great value for the price and comes with a “must-have” rating for any comic fans who love the music of Queen.

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You can find the book online at the publisher’s web site. Because I love each and every one of you like my own family, I’ll try and find out if I can wrangle a digital download sample for you all. They were giving away download codes at the show, so I’m hoping my limited social skills will be able to handle the task. But, if I were you, I’d rush Headlong  down the (digital) highway and order the book now.

Cheers!

– CCG

Hot Comics Picks of the Week (March 4, 2015 edition)

It’s not really fair to call it a preview if it comes out after the comics hit the shelves, so let’s call them “Hot Picks” for this week. Once again, you can thank the mighty men at Dragon’s Lair in Omaha for the picks this week.

As for me, I’m still trying to catch up on Kelly Sue DeConnick’s pretty takedown of the patriarchy in Bitch Planet #2 and 3, so I’m glad CJ sent me some hot comics to spotlight this week.

Princess Leia #1

Princess Leai #1. Writer: Mark Waid Art: Terry Dodson Cover: Terry Dodson . Marvel Comics.

Now that Marvel and Star Wars have been conquered and absorbed into the magic kingdom, things are consolidating faster than I expected. The last thing I need to see is another prequel to TOS, but if CJ says it’s worth checking out, I’ll go with it.

So what’s it all about?

When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire as a Rebel spy, she never betrayed her convictions, even in the face of the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, she grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire-the destruction of the Death Star. But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains…what is a princess without a world?

Guardians Team-up #1

Guardians Tean-Up #1. Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Arthur Adams Cover: Arthur Adams . Marvel Comics.

Such a gorgeous cover. I’m skeptical that every character appearing on that cover can possibly appear in the pages of this book, but it’s worth a look. I haven’t yet found a Guardians title that I like. Ever. However, since the movie was so awesome, I’ll give this one a try, too.

Day Men #6

Day Men #6. Writer: Matt Gagnon Art: Brian Stelfreeze Cover: Brian Stelfreeze. Boom Studios.

This is where the disconnect between a professional comics guy and a Casual Comics Guy becomes clear. I love the recommendations I get from CJ and the Lair professionals. I’m sure this is a great book. Here’s the solicit:

Kellen’s gambit is over: the Virgos’ last ditch attempt to find proof of the Scourge has failed, and Azalea will be subject to Justice by Day. But before that ultimate battle between Day Men occurs, David must race up to Vermont to save his mentor Blackwill from his betrayer, Lera.

This is probably an awesome story and a great title, but that whole thing means nothing to me. So, I’ll probably do the Casual Comics thing and wait for the trade paperback, hope that they carry it at Barnes and Noble, and then read it on a Saturday at the store while I drink a coffee (Venti decaf Americano, splash of soy, please…)

Even living on my own in Ohio, waiting for my family to move out here with me, I’ve barely got enough time to keep up on the comics. So, let’s look at the list of new comics and find a Casual Comics Pick of the Week.

Aaaaand, I found it.

Alex + Ada TPB Volume 2

Alex + Ada vol. 2 TPB. By Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughan. Image Comics.

Alex + Ada vol. 2 TPB. By Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughan. Image Comics.

This is the most magical, delightful series I’ve read in ages. I’ve got a very short list of series that I would classify as “must owns” – books that inform the human condition while also telling an entertaining story with visuals that delight without overwhelming. Miracleman and Watchmen completed the 80s and 90s. If you want to be in on a series as important as those are, you should be reading this.

I don’t read many (read any) comics every month. I was reading this every single month… This was the comic that inspired me to create a pull list for the first time ever. Since I moved to Ohio, though, I lost track of which issues I’ve bought and which I need.

It’s time for me to just give in and get caught up on this magnificent series, even if I’m buying some issues for a second time.

I love me some Alex + Ada, and that’s why Alex + Ada TPB vol. 2 is my Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

I’ll be heading to Laughing Ogre comics in Columbus this weekend to get it. I hope you’ll also support you local comic book shop.

Cheers!

– CCG

Hot Comics of the Week – Snowed-in edition (Week of February 18, 2015)

This week, I decided to call in the big guns for the weekly picks. Once again, the guys at Dragon’s Lair in Omaha, NE have personally curated your selection of comics for this week.

I sent a message to CJ early in the week asking him if he could send over picks, and he graciously agreed. Then, he let me know mid-week that the comics were late arriving due to the weather, and so his picks would also be arriving later. I asked if he could just give me a list of the hot books before the shipment came in, to which he replied, “Tough to tell what’s gonna be good without actually seeing them.”

Reading the books before making the picks? I guess I learn something new every day.

So, this week, you get the insights of someone who has actually read the books being recommended here.

Silk#1

Silk #1. Writer: Robbie Thompson Art: Stacey Lee Cover: Dave Johnson . Marvel Comics.

Last week, I talked about my plans to catch up with the Spider Verse story arc. Based on the solicit for this book, I fear I may be too far behind for it to ever make sense.

Cindy Moon exploded out of her bunker and into the Marvel Universe when we first learned that she had been bitten by that same radioactive spider in the first arc of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. She then went on to save Peter Parker’s life (more than once!) and traverse the Spider-verse alongside Spider-Woman. Now, as SILK, Cindy is on her own in New York City, searching for her past, defining her own future, and webbing up wrong-doers along the way! Robbie Thompson (writer from TV’s Supernatural) fills this new ongoing series with his unique blend of antics and feels. Featuring stunning covers by Eisner Award winner Dave Johnson and interiors by future superstar Stacey Lee.

This sounds more complicated than the dreaded Clone Saga, but is far more widely acclaimed. Between Silk and Spider Gwen, I guess I have some catching up to do.

Legendary Star Lord #9

 

Legendary Star Lord #9. Writer: Sam Humphries Art: Paco Medina Cover: Paco Medina. Marvel Comics.

I’m glad CJ read this one, because this might win the award for “Worst Comic Cover of the Month”. Let’s count down the individual elements that add up to an awful comic book cover.

Whatever that artifact is that dominates the center of the cover looks ridiculous – something like an Oscar trophy modeled after Luke Cage and Deadmaus’ love-child.

  • Star-Lord’s ludicrous Firestorm hairdo.
  • Cyclops is not just a boring dud, but also appears to be a dumb mouth-breather here.
  • I have no idea who that space pirate behind Cyclops is. He sure seems happy, though.
  • Is Kitty Pryde preparing to fight or to give Storm a scalp massage? Read this thrilling issue to find out.
  • Just to the left of the space trophy… Is that Booster Gold? How did he get here?
  • Jean Grey looks like she’s ready to wash that man right out of her hair…
  • And, finally, the most egregious offense of this cover – The ridiculous pose in the lower right corner.

 

So, there you have it. Just two picks this time.  And they’re delivered late, to boot. But, at least this time they were carefully curated by someone who actually read the books before I recommended them. More to come once the Midwest thaws out…

 

Cheers!

– CCG

 

 

Awesome Comic-Related Release of the Week – Spider Gwen / Vinyl Single

OK – So, I have to admit, I haven’t read any of the Spider-Verse titles yet. I have called my (new) local comic book shop, Laughing Ogre in Columbus, OH, and asked them to pull the series for me.

Based on the love I’m hearing for the new character, Spider-Gwen, it seems like I’m getting into the title just in the nick of time.

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For the release of the first issue of her solo title, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find – a comic shop in Charlotte, NC – is having a release party that features the band “Married with Sea Monsters“. They’ll have a new 7” single with some rocking cover art. And, the single is white vinyl with a Spidey-themed label.

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Anyone in North Carolina able to go snag me a copy?

More details are here.

And you can listen to the song right here:

Bring the hype…  I’m extremely excited to catch up on the Spider-verse now.

– CCG