Saturday, May 31, 2014

Announcement of Sailor Moon Blog Posts and Primer

     Starting Thursday and then every Thursday there after I will be doing a blog post on Sailor Moon. The posts will be opinion based regarding the Japanese Uncut episodes released by Viz on Hulu, and each post will vary in length. I will compare these episodes with those that were English dubbed by DIC (DIC entertainment) back in the 1990s. However certain episodes were ignored by DIC, and the related posts will not be including comparisons in all of them because of this.

Slamming He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Issue 13 Spoilers

   Below be spoilers!




    No DC, bad DC! Your He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe Issue 13 shows why this title should have been given to a company like Archie or even IDW. You have turned King Grayskull into a veritable alcoholic and given him a death that is not by battle, but by treachery. Not only that this comic lacks a proper age rating for the graphic death scene. You have done things some MOTU fans can forgive like giving He-Man pants and making Teela a fake ginger. However, this is not something fans should forgive! DC you have foolishly made a cartoon & toy character based comic aimed at the fans into something almost totally unrecognizable. 

   As fans of the cartoons and toys know anything MOTU based should be fun, and able for children to adults to enjoy. Heck the Frank Langella and Dolph Lundgren movie was more fun and better rated than your current comics. Please DC stop trying to make things like this comic series dark and instead make this stuff fun like your Scribblenauts comics. I will give you a few more issues, but if I see another brutal stabbing or beloved character death I will give up on this series.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Double Advance Review Of Shadowman End Times Issue 2 and Harbinger 23 Spoilers

    The second issue of Valiant's Shadowman: End Times is written by Peter Milligan with Art, Inks Lettering , & Colors by Valentine De Landro, Livesay, Dave Lanphear,  & David Baron respectively. While I have no complaints about the issue in terms of Dave and/or David's work, I do have a small problem with the layout of the story. Peter Milligan while brilliant with the plot and dialogue creates a problem for Valentine. This problem is the jump cut* like feel of the story when transitioning between one scene to the next with time having apparently gone by. It is problematic due to the fact that we do not see how Shadowman is traveling so we do not see how much time has gone by from location to location. Now Valentine and Livesay handle this as best they can with some help from Dave and David providing a little work to the transitional feel of the story. *(Jump Cut is a term from movies that usually is used when a character or object leaves a scene, only to jump from out of nowhere into the same scene.)

    Now as for Harbinger # 23, I loved it and have no complaints except when can I buy the trade already. The entire series has rocked me from issue 1 to now and I think I will still be excited about this series after it ends and probably 20 years later still. I can only hope we see excitement and quality like this with whatever characters survive to appear in Valiant's upcoming new titles this year. There is an apparent death of a Renegade. However readers who have followed this series from issue 1 should expect some more twists and turns like the Coda at the end of this issue before the series ends.

    The Shadowman: End Times issue does add new layers to the current Shadowman mythos, while also offering a possible resurrection that will not violate Valiant's "Dead Is Dead" edict. I recommend this issue, or at least checking out the trade. As for Harbinger # 23 I recommend this issue as well but tentatively say do not expect the apparent death to be the real death, or at least the last one, because the wild Harbinger ride isn't over yet.


Friday, May 23, 2014

First List of 4 Interesting Comic Related Recommendations

1: The Journal Of Modok Studies; Part original Modok related satire and part fanzine. This is recommended due to the chef/spy satire in the first issue alone. Several issues are out and are probably easiest to track down through online sellers.

2: JLA Incarnations; Though a short Justice League series that is questionable in the previous DC continuity circa 2001, these one-shot stories are a good look at how DC characters can be edgy and fun.

3. Green Lantern # 129 by Judd Winick, Darryl Banks & Andy Smith. This single issue shows how to make a secret identity work for a hero. It also shows how to foreshadow and play up a supporting cast.

4. Talking with the Valiant Staff at conventions. This is recommended because they are fun to talk too and you can sometimes see art that has yet to be released to the press. Just try not to blab secrets or act over-excited.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Advance Review of X-O Manowar Issue 25 Spoilers

   This is an interesting issue because it is the first 25th issue of a Valiant comic series from the current incarnation of the company. Not only that but they give us a crossover between the X-O Manowar armor, without Aric mind you, and Top Shelf's Owly & Wormy. This very kid-friendly one-off story is even done by Owly & Wormy's creator Andy Runton. We also get a good bar buddies story featuring Aric and Shadowman. This story is more early teen to late teen friendly in feel. I can actually see people possibly buying this issue for these stories alone, and using them in an education course.

The rest of the stories and features are Teen Plus and range from an X-O origin summary with art to pin-ups and a cover gallery. This summary makes the issue very new reader friendly, as do the two stories mentioned previously. The following two stories after the origin feature Aric being late to a funeral, and the other has the Armor Hunters' funeral "rites." These are polar opposite reflections on how one can go on with a life after the passing of an insert blank. Aric decides to learn and grow, as for the Armor Hunters you will just have to pick up the issue and see.

This is a pretty good jumping on point, especially if you don't fancy going back and reading the past 24 issues. Though they are good!

Advance Review of Unity Issue 7 with Potential Spoilers

    Okay first off I did not read the previous issue Unity, but the summary at the beginning of issue 7 did a good job of catching me up. I had a problem with the mcguffin, I.E. the Silk virus, of this story until I saw what Dr. Silk's (the villain of the story arc) fictional virus infected victims did to non-infected people. The reaction being murdering those not infected, and those unable to be effected like the character Livewire, thus potentially resolving future resistance problems. The future resistance would presumably have been not able to be infected, or blind, or unable to read. Which speaking of reading the infected must have been very fast readers and/or good eyesight to be able to read a cue card. Though I am glad it was demonstrated this way versus something like the internet, because that has been done to death. (No pun intended.)

   The art by Cafu is great but digital does reduce the quality, so I suggest either buying this issue in print or trade waiting. I will say that those who appreciate art being done by one person will be pleased no matter what the format. The line work is constistent while clearly telling the story. Characters look expressive and individualized where needed and mob-like for the infected scenes. There are even subtle differences between the different Doctor Silk's shown.

Matt Kindt's scripts are a much better match in my opinion with an artist like Cafu than Clayton Crain due to how he paces a script. While Cafu could stand to have some of Clayton's kinetic motion for the action scenes, Clayton could use some more clarity for his work with Matt on Rai. Examples for Clayton can be found in my Rai review. Cafu had enough kinetic motion for the X-O Manowar and Eternal Warrior scenes, however the Ninjak fight scenes felt a little slow and staged. Ninjak should not be slow in a regular fight.

I recommended you pick this story arc up at some point, but I think those like myself who are unfamiliar with the original Dr. Silk should first check out the original run of Ninjak. That way you might appreciate the story more than I did.


P.S. I can't help wondering if the ending panel was a slight homage to 1993's Johnny's Golden Quest and the ending featuring Dr. Zin.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chris Claremont's X-Men Vimeo Links


Vimeo On Demand version of Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont's X-Men a documentary from Sequart Research and Literacy Organization and Respect Films. Below is the trailer.

Chris Claremont's X-Men - Trailer from Respect Films

(While I do work for Sequart at times, any press or promotional like this is not for my own work. I will always just post a link or update if it is my work with a comment about it being my work.)

For other personal downloads and DVDs of this and other movies go to Sequart.org and look at their store.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jen Blake Interview

Ripper: What was your first comic related experience in any medium?

Jenn: My first comic book experience goes back to some of my earliest memories, My dad was a huge comic book reader since he was very young back in the golden age of comics. As for me, I was exposed to them through bedtime stories; no Dr. Seuss for this girl, nope! I was read Justice League, Ghost Rider, you name it from DC and Marvel. Comics have been a part of my life since I can remember and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Ripper: How long would you say it took you as a My Little Pony artist to accept the Brony community as a good thing?

Jenn: The male fan base for My Little Pony was a pretty big shock for me at first. I was first informed of it before I even watched MLP: Friendship is Magic. I was selling some collector edition Star Wars LEGO sets to a father and son who have a really great vintage toy store. The son was telling me about this new version of MLP and how great it is. As somepony who grew up with the original Gen 1 MLP, it was very strange to hear this guy rave about ponies cause there was not a boy in my neighborhood that would have been caught dead watching MLP in the 80's. Once I started actively pursuing working on this franchise, I started to get more familiar with the male briny fandom. It can be a bit off putting at first, but I will say its nice to see how far we have come as a society. Growing up I was a huge fan of what most would consider "boys" cartoons like Transformers and Voltron and rarely did that ever make anyone go "what's wrong with this girl?". It's wonderful to see a show that is "girls only" resonate so strongly with both genders and all ages. Lauren Faust did an amazing job creating a new world that can bring us all together.

Ripper: Which comic character from any genre do you most identify with?

Jenn: Comic character I most identify with...that is a very tough one. I would say there is probably a lil more She-Hulk in me than I care to admit at times: there seems to be that struggle to control a giant green rage monster lol. More then not though, I seem to relate to more to "villain" characters like Catwoman who if I ever was to don a costume, I think I'd end up being Catwoman. That Inner struggle of doing the right thing and being "good"...plus her and I share a great love of kitties.

Ripper: What do you think should be done to fight sexist views in the pop culture community?

Jenn: Fighting sexist views, I will say we have come a long way as far as battling a lot of those issues. Sadly though, It will always be part of any fandom out there.
 I think the more publishers take chances on female writers, artists, even inkers, colorists and letterers, the better the fans will come to see us as equals in these fields. In genre films, we can see a trend thanks to Hunger Games of a strong female character that can make a film work. I think it would go a long way for DC and WB to really get a Wonder Woman film out, even if its not a billion dollar grossing film. Just what it could do for young girls would, I think, be a great thing. The only thing that can really ever fight sexist views is strong women getting out there and not giving up on their dreams. I can recall many times when I first started this journey to work in comics, the less than kind reception I would get from some male artists and writers at cons. There were days I thought "Why bother? I'll never be taken seriously and it will always be 'are you here with your boyfriend' stereotype". Happily, now that I've gotten some published work out there and am on the other side of the table, I have met so many amazing creators and fans that just see my art and not that I'm a girl. I think in a few more years we will see even better progress on the issue of sexism.  

Ripper: What do you hope for when dealing with an editor you haven't worked with before?

Jenn: I've so far only have dealt with a few, but I always hope to work with an editor or a writer that is very keen on collaboration: really letting the artist put their thoughts and ideas into the mix. Comics is one of those few mediums where a comic has to tell a story in pictures so that if no words were to be there, you could still tell what is happening from page to page. I think the biggest thing I'd hope for in any editor is a very good line of communication so when questions arise or when art is sent in, you would get a timely response so as to be able to get the work off to the inkers or writers ASAP. I will say, so far, I have nothing but good things to say about the IDW Limited team. They are some of the most amazing and helpful people I've worked with and they are definitely doing it right.



Jenn Blake's webpage is ponygoddess.deviantart.com

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bloodshot And H.A.R.D.corps # 22 Early Review Potential Spoilers

    This issue sees Duffy Boudreau joining Christos Gage on writing duty, and while there are slight changes to the feel of the book it is remarkably the same cool read! We even get the slightly new tech term of "Jail-broken" in the summary that has been updated for oncoming readers. The art by Al Barrionuevo is consistent in terms of line work and character features. Colored and Lettered with no apparent mistakes by Colorist Matt Milla & Letterer Dave Sharpe. This is a creative onslaught of coolness.


Spoilers beyond this point!
-
-
-
-

     As for the actual story we get Bloodshot betrayed, deceptions aplenty, and cast members dying in gruesome ways. Also a scene from the Harbinger Wars crossover is referenced, though this time in a kill or be killed way. For fans of the original H.A.R.D.corps series from the 1990s, you will finally get a moment you have been waiting for since Bloodshot and H.A.R.D.Corps became a single joint title. If you are still on the fence about this Valiant title then try this issue out this coming week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Main Problem I Had With Son Of Batman Animated Movie

  As stated in the title I have problems with this animated movie. Partly due to the hodgepodge of comic elements including actual quotations from various comic story arcs. However, the main problem is with the PG-13 rating when there is implied date rape. This is implicated by Talia when talking about how she got Batman to conceive Damien with her. He even confirms the lack of consent on his part due having been drugged. This raises the question are DC Entertainment's head creators and suits afraid to put out kid accessible products besides Tiny Titans comics?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rai # 1 Sold Out At Distributor Level Causes Second Print

This means while you can still find the first print in select stores, those of you who can't will be able to get the second printing. Not only that you will be able to get it the same day as Rai # 2's first print. Assuming Diamond does not screw up your local comic store's shipment. This all happens on June 4th.

Valiant has mostly got positive reviews for this first issue of Rai from the big comic news sites. So pick up a copy of Rai 1 and 2 and see whether you like the comic or not.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rai Issue 1 Review Possible Spoilers

The Police Officer, Spylocke, and the problem of too much to start with: 

    There are several problems with the art and story of Rai # 1. To start with the police officer at the beginning of the issue is referred to as having some kind of identifying and recording device. This device is never explicitly pointed out, unless you consider a weird futuristic chain mail a security device of the future. The second problem with this officer is that she is not clearly portrayed as a female. These are both artistic problems due most likely to script choices made by Matt Kindt, as well as the style Clayton Crain uses for his art. However the real problem here is the ambiguous look the officer has due to how her position in most panels is too close up.

    Another series of problems is the lack of integration for the mysterious Spylocke who is towards the end of the first issue. He is than given a rushed backstory in a separate montage story, which leads to the lacking through line within the main story. Though the introduction of Spylocke is a bit of an info dump, it is nothing compared to the issue as a whole. For example there are too many diary/journal entries for the character who will probably turn out to be Rai's helper/sidekick. Also the background art is very busy and a little too kinetic.

These things being said I am still willing to give the second issue a try in part because Matt Kindt & Clayton Crain have done good work in the past on other titles. Also I am interested to see just how closely the characters Bloodshot and Rai are related. (Cause they may even be the same character this time around.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Official Valiant RPG Press Release Text

(Note from Rip: This is the first press release from Valiant's Entertainment to be featured, minus the promotional art on this blog. Comment If in the future you would like some art included.)

In concert with award-winning comic book publisher Valiant EntertainmentCatalyst Game Labs is proud to announce the Valiant Universe RPG Digital Initiative—an all-new, digital-first gaming rollout presenting a red-hot array of select characters and scenarios from the upcoming Valiant Universe RPGbefore Valiant’s first long-awaited tabletop game goes live on July 5th!

With several releases set to debut during the lead-up to Free RPG Day on June 21st 2014, the initiative begins today with the release of Valiant Universe RPG Quick-Start Rules: Unity—recreating the first landmark confrontation between X-O Manowar and Valiant’s premier superteam Unity and available now at www.catalygamelabs.com/valiant and DriveThruRPG.com.

Then, on May 17th, relive the staggering events of Valiant’s best-selling crossover event, Harbinger Wars, with the Valiant Universe RPG QSR Supplemental: Harbinger Wars (Bloodshot). Grab the rules from the Unity QSR and just plug in these characters and Events for more fun and action!

And, arriving on Free RPG Day – June 21st, 2014 – Valiant’s intrepid team of teenage heroes join the fight with Valiant Universe RPG Quick-Start Rules: Harbinger Wars (Renegades)—available in print at participating retailers nationwide!

“From the get-go, Catalyst Game Labs has embraced the digital side of gaming,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs. “By preceding the release of the upcoming Valiant Universe RPG on store shelves in August with the release of Valiant comics at DriveThruComics and an unprecedented rollout of QSR content online, we’re adding to the excitement for anxious fans, while ensuring the best possible experience for players interested in checking the game out. It’s been brilliant working with Valiant and DriveThru to bring this together.”

“Already, fans all over the world are clamoring to see what Catalyst has up its sleeve for the Valiant Universe RPG,” said Russell A. Brown, Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales. “These Quick Start previews are a perfect introduction to the nuanced and high-stakes world of Valiant’s indomitable heroes. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Valiant’s characters, or meeting them for the very first time, get ready for a new experience in gameplay unlike anything else out there today.”

Look for print pre-orders and PDF copies of the complete Valiant Universe RPG to debut on July 5th, with the book to follow in August.

Full details on the upcoming QSR PDF supplementals can be found within the Quick-Start Rules at www.catalygamelabs.com/valiant and DriveThruRPG.com. Additionally, check out the Valiant Universe RPG landing page on DriveThruComics.com.

Look to www.catalystgamelabs.com as well as Facebook, on Twitter and on Tumblr for more details surrounding Valiant Universe games!
 
For more information on Valiant’s award-winning library of characters, visit Valiant on Facebook, on Twitter, on Tumblr, and at ValiantUniverse.com.

For Valiant merchandise and more, visit ValiantStore.com.
 
###
 
 
About Valiant Entertainment
Valiant is a leading character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,750 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman and many more. Established in 1989, Valiant has sold over 80 million comic books, and today its characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Since its summer 2012 relaunch, Valiant has returned to the fore as one of the most highly regarded publishers in comics, winning a 2012 Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year.
 
About Catalyst Game Labs
Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes-all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games and fiction readers to enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader. Find Catalyst Game Labs online at www.catalystgamelabs.com.
 
About DriveThruRPG/DriveThruComics
DriveThruRPG.com is part of a family of sites operated by OneBookShelf. From games to comics to fiction to cards, starting an account on any of the OneBookShelf sites gives you access to thousands of titles to satisfy the inner geek, grognard, or gamer in all of us. It started in 2001 (the same year Apple launched iTunes) when James Mathe launched RPGNow. It may be common today to download a book and read it on a computer, tablet, or phone, but RPGNow and a handful of roleplaying game publishers pioneered downloadable PDFs in the gaming community. For each site, the goal is to offer the widest selection possible to enthusiasts around the world, 24/7, at a click (or touch). DriveThruRPG/DrivethruComics is proud to support publishers and creators by giving them a place to share their work with and receive economic support from fans around the world.
 

BLOODSHOT (2019) BOOK 1 TRADE PAPER BACK REVIEW

  The supplemental section is a relatively decent mix of materials. While the overall creative quality ranged from good to somewhat okay in ...