Hey All! We've moved the Blog portion of the ComicDorksCast over to The Fantasy Shop's Website! Just Click on Wallace The Dragon to find all our new articles. We will still be posting the episodes here as to not interrupt those who have subscribed through iTunes and various other podcatchers but all of our articles have found a new home. Come find us! We've got reviews on games as well and the message boards are once again alive and active!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

ComicDorksCast Episode 051

Episode 51
This is just a re-posting, for show notes go to: http://comicdorkscast.blogspot.com/2009/01/comicdorkscast-episode-051.html

The iTunes feed should be working again!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

This is a little taste of what's to come at a later date... tomorrow. "ARMPITS AND ASSHOLES"
I know somebody somewhere gets that. You would too if you've ever been punched in the face with them.

iTunes Problems

Alright folks, here's the happety-haps ... Feedburner (the service we at the ComicDorksCast used to get an RSS Feed for all the different podcatchers out there) has been owned by Google for a while but recently they have asked all the users to migrate their feed over to their new Google Feedburner service ... which sounded like an awesome idea and would have been done for us whether we wanted it or not eventually anyway. Things went off without a hitch ... mostly.

The problem we are encountering currently is that while most web based podcatchers haven't lost a step our iTunes store presence was based on our old feed url ... which has changed ever so slightly ... so if you know how to change things like the feed url of an iTunes podcast or can make sense of the gobbledygook that is on the iTunes trouble shooting page then please contact us as soon as possible ... until then please download the episodes directly from the website or try out Google Feedcatcher or something of the like. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I’m Reading Now: A Bit of Southern Lit.

Flannery O'Connor: The Complete Stories

It’s that time again to take a little break from the world of comics and dive into the world of literature, more specifically, Southern literature. Last semester, I took a course that was brief overview of American literature. In this class, I had the opportunity to read the works writers such as Thomas Paine, Edgar Allen Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Booker T. Washington, Jack London, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, and even Ishmael Reed. Some of these names I am sure you are familiar with and perhaps some you are seeing for the first time. But the most profound, beautiful, and moving piece of literature was written by a young, female, Georgia born writer, Flannery O’Connor (also know to myself as Flo’con) and was entitled, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” This simple, 16-page short story showed me the power the words can truly have and how important and moving short stories are to the literary world. Not only did this story open up my eyes to O’Connor’s works put also to all of Southern literature such as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Harper Lee. Southern literature is absolutely rich in heritage and offers great scenes and setting and a variety of complex characters for these short stories and novels. Upon reading O’Connor’s work, I decided to read the rest of her writings. A great publication of her work can be found at any local bookstore and is entitled Flannery O’Connor: The Complete Stories. The back cover solicit reads as follows:

"The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two short story collections O’Connor put together in her short lifetime – Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find. O’Connor published her first story, “The Germanium,” in 1946 while she was working on her master’s degree at the University of Iowa. This book, which is arranged chronologically, shows that her last story, “Judgment Day,” sent to her publisher shortly before her death, is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of “The Germanium.” Taken together, these reveal an amazingly live, imaginative, and penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction writing this century. Also included is an introduction and memoir by O’Connor’s long-time editor, Robert Giroux. What we lost when she died is bitter. What we have is astonishing; the stories burn brighter than ever, and strike deeper."
- Walter Clemons, Newsweek

As seen above, O’Connor has the amazing ability to inspire emotions in response to her characters and subject matter and is a fantastic writer and artist. She died on August 3, 1964, at the age of 39, of complications from lupus at Baldwin County Hospital and was buried in Milledgeville, Georgia, at Memory Hill Cemetery. And as the book explains, “When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers.”

Another Night @ The Billiken Club

So I did something potentially stupid Tuesday night (in theory, in practice nothing went wrong and I had a great time). I braved the snow and bad roads (it is never as bad as it looks ... allow me to assure you that I never once felt like my life was in danger) and made my way out to The Billiken Club (aka the little venue that could [and often does]) to see Springfield, Missouri's own, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I'd never seen them live before but have been enjoying their debut full length since sometime in late 2006 or early 2007.

I certainly expected to enjoy myself but I was thrilled beyond belief when I walked in and was greeted with (actually the second of the two openers, I missed Light Polution ... they must have only played for a half an hour) opening act Pico Vs Island Trees. It's not often that I have the "Man ... these guys are going to be huge someday" feeling but I was certainly struck with just that emotion when I heard them start playing. These guys are seriously good and I was immediately thinking that I was fortunate to be able to hear them this early in their careers at such a small venue. They had a bit of Vampire Weekend and a bit of The Strokes laced throughout their sound and performance as well as hints of Bishop Allen but all in all they were the kind of band that doesn't really wear their influences on their sleeves and it was really a delight to watch their set. All the guys from the band seemed really nice as well and I got a chance to talk with Bryan Carter and we chatted about the weather as well as my "Mark Waid is Evil" t-shirt and I told him that I would probably be using a song of theirs in a future episode of the podcast (listen for them very soon). All in all I would say that Pico Vs. Island Trees is likely to be one of my favorite new finds of the year regardless of what else I hear this year.

When Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin took the stage they had all the restrained electricity of a lightning bolt held back by scotchtape, they were instantly energizing and incredibly engaging. They played a great mix of songs from BROOM and Pershing (their newest release) and were clearly having a lot of fun onstage. If I thought I liked BROOM I was certian after hearing just two unfamiliar songs that I was going to love Pershing (which I do ... it's really a great record, a little short but very full of great music and an equal mix of promise and proof of talent). They played for a good solid hour and it was incredibly fun to be right in front (something I usually don't care for) watching the band interact and enjoy performing for a packed small venue. Each member of the band is really very talented and for the most part they are all talented on multiple instruments (with the exception of the very talented lead guitarist Will Knauer) I really think that if you haven't heard SSLYBY that you should head over to their MySpace and take a listen and once you've fallen in love it'd certainly be worth your hard earned moneys in this rough economy to get their records. I think some places online might be unjustly bashing these guys because they are something of music blog darlings but I really do think that they've got a lot of promise and a bright future ahead of themselves. So do a solid for some good Missouri boys done good. You know they'd do the same for you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Living Up To Expectations

The New Avengers # 49

Writer –Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils –Billy Tan

Well, here we are in a world of many different Avengers and the government-backed team is a bunch of whack jobs. I am still wondering why the hell Norman is in charge? I know the how but really… why is Norman in charge? And how does a country feel safe with an Avengers team hand picked by the Goblin? We are lucky that people like the New Avengers still give enough of a damn to see that we are safe from … well, ourselves. Issue # 48 ended with an interesting look at what Luke would do for his kid. Like most people he would do anything even join Norman’s team if it meant he got his kid back. You try and explain to Jessica that you refuse to be on a team of lunatics even though it meant she got her child back. So, we saw Luke make a deal but would he keep his end?

Issue # 49 picks up with Luke rolling around with Norman and his goons. Then we see a couple of our old friends, Skrulls, being interrogated and then eaten. That leads us to a warehouse or a secret meeting spot The Skrulls had during the invasion. It is there we see Luke face his daughter’s kidnapper, Skrarvis. I had to laugh because Skrarvis didn’t know what he done was wrong. He was given a baby and kept that baby safe. I believe Luke realizes this and tells Skrarvis if he makes it right he can beam back up to the Enterprise. Bullseye had other plans. Bullseye gets beat down. Luke Cage rules! Luke no longer works with Norman. Despite, Norman calling Luke names. I still have to wonder what he meant by “guess who just made the list.” At the end of this issue we get the New Avengers reaction to Norman’s Avengers playing dress up with other peoples clothes. Much like I thought Clint is not happy and the New Avengers may have found a reason to fight. What will happen when the New Avengers clash with the Newer Avengers? Guess you should probably read and find out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 1/27/09

Battlefields: Dear Billy #1
Written by: Garth Ennis
Art by: Peter Snejbjerg

I love war stories, I love War Stories as well (Garth Ennis' Vertigo series of short WWII stories now available in two awesome trade paperbacks), so it stands to reason that I would love Battlefields since it is for all intents and purposes an extension of the aforementioned War Stories ... but I never thought I would love it this much. Perhaps it's that it's been so long since I originally read War Stories or that I've just become so used to Ennis writing in the voice of Frank Castle and Wee Hughie ... but this book is terribly brilliant. It's also really interesting that for these first two stories that Ennis has chosen to write from the perspective of a female lead ... not something you immediately associate with a WWII story. Night Witches was a masterful telling of what it must have been to be on the Russian front, an effort of dismal attrition on both sides. I thought that after that I would be confronted with something entirely different with the second mini-series "Dear Billy". And I was. Here we are following the story of a young British woman in the Pacific theater who has undergone some really terrible encounters with the enemy, the kind that are only ever hinted at in most stories about this time but that we all secretly know must have been more frequent than we'd like to acknowledge. This mini-series is rather beautifully penciled by one of my favorite artists, Peter Snejbjerg. His way of working in a cartooning style mixed with comic style is reminiscent of creators like Darwyn Cooke and Chris Samnee ... I really think that this is a good marriage of writer and artist and that the story is going to be one you won't want to miss.

Faces of Evil: Kobra
Written by: Ivan Brandon
Art by: Julian Lopez

Fans of Geoff Johns' run on JSA will remember the death of Kobra at the hands of some of the cast of JSA who went on to question their decisions in many ways. Some of whom are still trying to get out from underneath the pall of their actions and subsequent decisions. Fans of Greg Rucka's Checkmate will remember that The Cult of Kali Yuga quite nearly destroyed the world and in the process created a handful of infants who would one day destroy the world. Despite their sometimes darker tendencies the royalty of the Checkmate organization decided to see if nurture could really overcome nature and kept the children secretly alive to see if they could be raised as forces for good. That leaves us pretty much where we are now. Ivan Brandon is a creator whose name is going to be mentioned more and more over the next year as he becomes one the kind of creator that a whole lot of people are going to want to read more from. He has this incredible skill for creating dastardly villains who also have really understandable motives, and showing aspects of heroes that most people would ignore or perhaps even more would just gloss over. He shows an insight into Superman in a short few pages that a lot of creators would never consider. Julian Lopez is an artist on the rise and should be getting more and more recognition from fans and the industry alike as he has an admirable eye for story-telling and form. Each one of these Faces of Evil one-shots have been really memorable and I think that they end on a really memorable note.

Avengers Initiative #21
Written by: Chris Gage
Art by: Humberto Ramos

Both Rob and I have spent a lot of time telling people that Avengers Initiative is a criminally overlooked book and I certainly don't think that things have changed all that much despite the creative team change on the title. Chris Gage is a phenomenally talented writer and he's getting more and more recognition among fans and the industry and it's all for good reason. He knows how to tell a story and he knows how to make characters very memorable and it's not like he's coming to this title cold, he's been co-writing the title with series creator Dan Slott for the last several issues and he certainly knows how each of these characters are unique and he does a very, very good job of keeping the tone and feel of the book consistent for those who have been following from the beginning. Add to it that there are finally no crossovers tying this book into unnecessary knots. The one thing that this book has been hamstrung by from day one is that it hasn't ever had the time to define itself and it's certainly not benefited from it. But now that The Dark Reign (read: Shit Storm) has come it's finally time to see what the recruits are really made of. There is nothing that I can say about artist Humberto Ramos that won't be controversial to someone. I will say that I have always been a fan of his and that this artwork is what I have come to know and love from Humberto but that I understand that some people might not find it as appealing as I do and that I hope that they can put that aside and read this title because it really is that good and more. I think that if you have an extra $3 tomorrow at the comic store that there are very few titles more deserving of your consideration.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ComicDorksCast Episode 051

(Download Directly: Right Click and choose "Save As..." and save locally on your computer)
Our 51st Episode is a very unique episode as there is some audio missing ... a lot of audio missing ... pretty specific audio missing ... I'll understand if you don't listen to the whole episode

Running Time: 01:09:06

  • Faces of Evil - Deathstroke puts the punctuation on DCU Last Will & Testament.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Mysterius, The Unfathomable #1
  • X-Factor #39 breaks some hearts
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Green Lantern #37
  • Final Crisis: Superman - Beyond 3-D #2 finally makes Rob understand ... sort of
  • E-Mail ... sort of
  • Brief Mentions
  • Anticipated Books

If you have any questions or comments drop us a line at: Comicdorkscast@gmail.com

Go to www.FantasyShopOnline.com and check out the growing community on the Message Boards.

Check out our website at ComicDorksCast.Blogspot.com.

The Music at the opening and closing of the show was: "Ghosts" by Neutral Milk Hotel.

The Best Books You're Not Reading: Ghost Rider #31

Ghost Rider #31
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Roland Boschi & Tan Eng Huat

Guys and girls (there are girls who listen to our podcast, they admitted it to Rob's very hairy face) ... it's time for you guys to start listening to some of the very sound advice that we dish out. When I tell you all that a book is fantastic you should give it some credence. I mean we've been at this whole podcast thing for right at a year now. I can't even begin to tell you how big a rush that is for me and while we've never had more than 40 people download a single episode I think that we do our very best to give a good overview of each and every book we talk about and that we only talk about books that we really and truly enjoy. We wouldn't talk about a book just because it wasn't selling well and we had a bunch of copies in the store, that's not our job. So when I come here and tell you guys that there are really great books that you aren't reading I'm doing it to try and give you all a more satisfying experience with your comics every week. I mean there are times when I have over 20 books in a week and I hear someone say, "Well, nothing for me this week." ... and that hurts my soul. I mean I understand that the number of people who are going to have 15+ books each and every week are going to be small and are going to be even fewer and further between during these times of economic strain, but every single week there is something on the shelf of your local comic store that is worth your $2.99 ... and too many of you are so stuck in this rut of buying your same old titles month in and month out that you've become blind to the rest of the variety on the shelves. I've talked here before that there are titles out there for every man, woman, and child out there who enjoy fiction ... regardless of what kind of fiction you enjoy. Seriously, just look at the books, ask a few questions and the weeks that you thought you could just write off and wander out of the store will be far less often and you'll always have something enjoyable to read.
Taking all of that into account I will now tell you that one of those books that you're missing out on is Ghost Rider. Jason Aaron is without question the most exciting new creator to grace the world of comics in the last 5 years. He takes more chances in a single issue than most writers take in an entire run on a title. And it's becoming more and more clear that he's being recognized by the higher ups at Marvel as he's being given more and more product to work on (when a writer is given the reigns on a new ongoing Wolverine title you know that their writing is loved by someone at Marvel). And it's (as I've said before) certainly a strange position for me to be in when I can honestly say that I am enjoying a Ghost Rider book. There is just something on each and every level of this book that excites the hell out of me from the art to the plot to the dialog to the production quality. I really think that if you aren't reading this book that you are missing out on something special from a book that has largely been known as The Punisher with powers for far too long.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Brief Mentions: I Hope The Dying Birds Don’t Become Prey, But I Think A Mighty Beginning Could Avenge Them Either Way.

The Mighty Avengers

Writer- Dan Slott

Penciler –Khoi Pham

“Earth’s Mightiest” Part 1
“The Smartest Man in the Room”

I have to say, “Thus far the Mighty Avengers run has been just okay.” Not, that it hasn’t been enjoyable to read it just felt like the backburner Avenger book to me. We got, what three arcs before the Invasion began? Then, all this Skrull tomfoolery started and we got a lot of flashback issues. (Which, I thought were great and had some of my favorite Invasion stories.) Presently, we have survived the Invasion but are left with a “shit storm” in which, one of the most level headed of men is running the show. At least, from the government’s side but we all know the saying about the number of sides to every story.

Mighty Avengers #21 is a new beginning to this book. We have a new team, creative and otherwise, and a whole new look at the Marvel U. Obviously, I was really excited to see Slott and Pham on this cover and a little surprised to see the lady in red, as well. Khoi Pham’s art kind of just speaks for it’s self and I have been a huge Dan Slott fan for a few years now. He was introduced to me through a Spidey/ Torch mini but I fell in love with his work on She-Hulk and then right on up through the Initiative. I feel there is no better writer to be working on an Avenger book than Slott. He is the “readers writer”… if you know what I mean. Example: in this issue I got to see the Young Avengers, New York streets running with blood, some people in different suits, (some are fucking posers others… or one is glorious) Omega Flight… eh, a cold angry Hulk, a crying cow, some kick ass flash backs, a returning character who actually gathers a good looking group of people, many different versions of Avengers (as in old, new, dark, and mighty… of course.) and the realization (which I have know for years) that Jarvis is the most important Avenger of all. I didn’t mention Herc. There, now I have.

So here it is what you will see when The Mighty Avengers Assemble. Jarvis, The Wasp (Hank Pym and it is fucking awesome he is calling himself that… so says I), Hercules, Amadeus Cho (the 7th smartest mind on Earth), Jocasta, Vision (the young avenger’s flavor), Hulk, U. S. Agent (John Walker… that name is ironic on many levels but all are true), Cassie Lang (Stature), and The Scarlet Witch. It all sounds awesome to me and it should to you too. I highly recommend checking this book out as well as any thing else Dan Slott and Khoi Pham have worked on.

Birds of Prey #126

Writer –Tony Bedard

Penciller – Claude St. Aubin

“Silicon Avatar”

Due to the fact this is the second to last issue of this wonderful book and I want to talk about the murder of this book when it actually occurs, I will only say a few words about it. Calculator, bad ass, internet killer dudes, big ass computer robot, web traveler, new powers, new face made out of Babs’ electronics, and execute.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whatever You Want: Point Blank and Sleeper

Add Image I never expected to like Point Blank and Sleeper. In fact, it didn't seem to be my taste when Rob suggested it. I wrinkled my nose, but, desperate for something to read (and not wanting to piss him off), I picked up Sleeper. One of the reasons I love Ed Brubaker is the fact that during the entire book, I felt like Cole Cash, finding out things as they happen. I'm not a great detective, so I would have had the same problems he did getting anywhere. The book opens up with Cole waiting in a bar with the feeling like he's forgotten something. He knows he's supposed to meet Lynch, but something feels like it's slipped his mind. He decides to leave the bar and go to Lynch's hotel room. Along the way he find Lynch at the scene of a crime, only Lynch is the victim of a shooting. Rushed to the ER, Cole is shocked to hear that Lynch's brain is beginning to fix itself. Cole takes it upon himself to figure out who shot Lynch. While he is following leads, Cole is contacted by Holden Carver, a member of Tao's organization. Holden explains that he was put into Tao's organization as a sleeper agent that only Lynch knows about. With Lynch in a coma, Holden is screwed and wants Cole to help him out. This is when we see how absolutely wicked awesome Ed Brubaker truly is. You know how at the end of Fight Club the movie takes a sudden twist, very cliche in movies, but holy cow does it work in this book.

All right, I was suckered in, just point me to the next book. Sleeper starts about the same time as Point Blank. This one follows Holden Carver as Lynch inserts him into Tao's organization. Now what I forgot to mention is just about everyone in this book is a post human, most are given some sort of chemical known as the Gen-factor. Holden was fused with some alien technology that allows him not to feel pain, but he can store it up and pass it on to other people through skin contact. Just the kind of person you want to shake hands with, right? When Lynch gets shot, Holden's up crap creek without a paddle. So now he has to make do. He starts working up the ranks of Tao's little family of super baddies. He falls in love with Miss Misery, a woman who has to be bad to live (no really). Things are looking good for Holden, despite being a sleeper agent in an enemy organization with no way out. Then poop hits the fan. Tao finds out and Holden is force to run and hide. But there is no hiding from Tao, so Holden rejoins the organization as a true criminal just in time for Lynch to wake up from his coma. Now things are starting to get interesting. I'm ripping through these books like they are going out of style.

I start a conversation with Rob one day with, "I hate Ed Brubaker!" I thought he was going to pop a blood vessel. I give him just enough time to contemplate where he can dump my dead body before letting him know that I only hate that Brubaker is just too damn good at his job. We were out of the next book of Sleeper and I had to wait, impatiently, for one to come in. Finally, I get to go on. While out with his lower ranking team, Holden gets contacted by Lynch, now out of a coma. Defect from Tao and I can rid you of your alien tech, no really, here's one of the aliens to prove it; that's the claim. Can someone say rock and hard place. Hunted down by Tao or hunted down by I. O. for staying, what a choice. Holden opts for choice three, playing both sides against each other.

I'm not going to ruin the end for you. That's not what I do. These books will end up on my ever growing shelf of comics, with Point Blank in its proper place ahead of Sleeper. I agree with Rob (just don't let him know or he'll get a big head) that to get more enjoyment out of Sleeper that you should read Point Blank first, if for nothing else to realize what a bad man Tao is and what a great writer Ed Brubaker truly is. Not to mention that some of the pictures in it look like surveillance photos and that just adds to the depth of the book. This was one of the surprising finds off of my ever growing list of comics to catch up on; I never in a million years expected that a gritty, tough comic would be enjoyable to read.

This is Ed Brubaker, the writer I have a love/hate relationship with.

From The Dork’s Soundtrack: Where Are You Jeff?

Neutral Milk Hotel
Song: "Ghost"

Album: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

There are many bands who seem to last forever, playing shows and venues all around the world for years and years leaving a lasting impact on the world of music. But every once in awhile, a band is dying star that shines brightly but then quickly dies out and leaves only a memory. This is especially true with Neutral Milk Hotel. The band’s chief songwriter, Jeff Mangum, originally formed NMH as a side project to his main band, Synthetic Flying Machine. In 1994, NMH released their first recorded work in an EP entitled Everything Is. A year later, Mangum decided to leave Synthetic Flying Machine to focus more on his own work with NMH. In 1996, NMH came out with their debut album entitled On Avery Island. With the release of this album, NMH became a full-fledged band featuring: Jeff Mangum (guitar, vocals), Julian Koster (saw, accordion, bass, and banjo) Scott Spillane (trumpet, euphonium, flugelhorn, and guitar); Jeremy Barnes (drummer). And yes, Julian Koster does play the saw and it fucking rocks. With their band solidified, NMH began to focus on their next album, which in 1998 came in the form of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. It is with this album that NMH gained incredible success and attention. It is also from this album that the song from episode #51, Ghost, is featured. Many songs on this album also paint vivid images of the fate of Anne Frank. With a variety of positive reviews from critics, NMH had been quickly thrust into the limelight. It was this quick rise to fame that ultimately became the band’s undoing.

The success of the album and their ascension to fame took a toll on Jeff Mangum, who in 1998, disbanded NMH and went on an indefinite hiatus, only playing a handful of shows at various locations. When asked in an interview if he intends to write another album, Mangum said, "I don't know. It would be nice, but sometimes I kind of doubt it." It’s been over a decade since NMH have played a live show and it seems the future holds no refuge for NMH fans. So for now, Neutral Milk Hotel has died out from the music scene only leaving its unique tone and inspirational message in its wake.

* Center picture - Neutral Milk Hotel. From left to right: Jeff Mangum, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster and Jeremy Barnes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

Howdy folks, it is that time again. Yep, 11:59 Friday night and you know what that means… the muthafuckin qwizzle of the muthafuckin wizzle. I would like to start by saying I am “A man, dammit. A king.” Actually, I would like to start with asking “Do you always smell like that?” All right let’s get on with this thang. First, lets talk about things you don’t want to say. “To old to be a schoolgirl, ain’t you?” Why would you say something like that? “What’s so funny?” That’s just awkward. “It’s not fun if you just give it away.” That is a lie. “Finally.” Sure it sounds excited but also desperate. “EUREKA.” Depending on the situation it could just make you look like an ass. Now, one thing that falls into the, “you can say depending on circumstance” category is “Who is that?” Let us move onto some things you don’t want to hear. “Not by a long shot.” That’s just plain harsh. “Oh I can smell what your problem is.” Followed by “That’s going to need some very heavy-duty penicillin.” Goddamned scary I tell you. “They were this close to nailin’ us!” Nobody deserves missed opportunities. “… And don’t wait up.” That sounds a little shady. “Move slowly, you prick.” Whatever happened to keeping up? “Good Lord. So much carnage… in so little time.” That just sounds so absolutely tragic. “I sucked the Capitalist Cock.” Shocked? Yeah, I am too. The truth hurts and I believe we all have done that at one time or another. Let’s lighten this up a little bit with some things you might want to hear. “Soaking wet”… use your imagination. “That was swordplay worthy of the most ferocious Antlantean warrior.” Again with your imaginations and using them. Lastly, depending on the situation “This was an act of war” might be cool to hear. Now, I know you people who read this stuff are thinking, goddamned Rob and his inyourendos! And I’ll admit you could see them like that if you want too. “Is sex all you think about?” Sorry but I had to ask. I assure you, all of these quotes came out of books that came out this week and have nothing to do with sex or fucking. Unless… you want it to be about that, you know if that’s how you roll? I am not here to judge.
P.S.S. Beware all you ridin dirty folks. "Just cause your paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What I’m Reading Now: Simply Astounding

Astounding Wolf-Man
Written By: Robert Kirkman
Art By: Jason Howard

He shocked us in the pages of the survival story The Walking Dead. He won our hearts over to his superhero family in Invincible. And he had us laughing in the books Ant-Man and Battle Pope. So the next logical step in Kirkman’s career is werewolves, right? In 2007, Kirkman agreed. On May 5th 2007, Robert Kirkman along with talented artist Jason Howard set out to tell the story of Gary Hampton, The Astounding Wolf-Man. The story starts at an alarmingly fast pace. The first page opens up to Gary already attacked by a werewolf of unknown origins. One of the many critiques I hear about this book is how fast-paced the story is. Within the first issue, the origin story is almost completely solidified. There are multiple gaps of time missing in which Gary is busy training with his new teacher Zechariah, who is able to understand Gary’s “curse”. I sympathize with these critiques because I would love to see further description of the relationships between Zechariah, Gary, and the rest of his family as well as to really understand the characters as was so well portrayed in books such as The Walking Dead and Invincible. But in Kirkman’s defense, Astounding Wolf-Man is a different story and a different experience from Kirkman’s previous titles. While Kirkman, in previous works, deals heavily with the human experience and story telling through emotion, this title tells the story through the actions of the characters that makes this story heavily action based. This type of story telling leads for a book to be faster paced than other comics. Another great strength of Kirkman’s that has developed through the years is the Image universe. It helps Kirkman to “sell” his other books and also rewards faithful readers by featuring cameos of characters from other titles such as the costume maker and references to Invincible (see issue 9*). Astounding Wolf-man #11 was also a cross over issue with his highly acclaimed series, Invincible. This interconnected story telling provides the reader a real, tangible universe to travel to and also gives the book a great base. Writing aside, Jason Howard does an excellent job with pencils on this book and offers a unique look to this comic much as do Charlie Adlard and Ryan Ottley to there respective titles. Kirkman and Image Comics is slowly creating a universe that is both dense and astounding.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Living Up To Expectations: Tiny Titans #12

Tiny Titans #12
Written by: Art Baltazar & Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

It's funny when I think back to the beginnings of The ComicDorksCast and I remember that Darren's first Pick of the Week was Tiny Titans #1 and since then we haven't really talked much about one of the best books to ever bear the DC logo. We talk an awful lot about books that would be too complex or too mature for little kids ... Heck, we read a whole lot of books that are just inappropriate for the "All-Ages" audience. But Tiny Titans is so much more than an "All-Ages" book, it's really and truly a great comic book. Anyone who reads DC comics would love the "Finals Crisis" that occurs in this issue and the in-jokes are abundant for readers of all different levels of familiarity with the DCU. Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani have crafted some of the most fun and funny comic booking in years and I think that it goes unnoticed by so much of the comics reading population that it is downright criminal. Honestly if you are ever looking for a really fun read that can take your mind off of the current craziness going on in the other titles that you are reading and just make you smile and laugh then Tiny Titans really should be a part of your regular reading. This week's issue features one of my favorite covers in recent memory, playing off of the Faces of Evil event that is going on with the rest of the DC line we see Dr. Light, the Science Teacher, Mr. Trigon, the Substitue Teacher, and Mr. Slade, the Principal ... each a formidable character on their own but together they are known as ... The Faces of Mischief. The book goes on to really just be heartwarming and satisfying on each and every page and I think that if we are going to have a next generation of comic readers that it is going to be because of books precisely like this, something that talks to kids on their own level that also manages to be entertaining for the parents who might be saddled with reading the book to their kids. I think that Franco and Art have crafted a near perfect comic book and I look forward to another year of Tiny Titans as they work month in and month out trying to make us all smile. And if you haven't started reading Tiny Titans yet be sure to check out their first Trade Paperback that comes out the first week of February "Welcome to the Treehouse"!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 01/20/09

Dark Avengers #1
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Call me "Captain Hesitant" but these days I have become more and more apprehensive about new Marvel titles. Even ones written by BMB ... a guy I used to have boat-loads of respect for but who lately has been too much of a corporate flag-bearer and a little to little of the daring ne'er do-well indie writer who got the keys to the castle that I used to love so much. All that said though, Dark Avengers #1 was pretty good. I think it seems pretty clear that Bendis saw what Ellis and others had done with The Thunderbolts (or knowing the way that he sort of guided a whole lot of the good ship Secret Invasion and it's lead up perhaps he set up the story beats and then they were given to the writers who took over the title) and thought "Imagine that on a larger scale!". Dark Avengers seems appropriatly big in scale for a new Marvel #1 these days and it certainly touches on a whole lot of pre-established concepts that had been in the cards for quite a while but I think that in all reality that Mr. Bendis wound up finding a way to make, what other writers and what a whole lot of fans probably saw as, a jumble of random events and make them not only coincide but work on a pretty grand level. There weren't a whole lot of revalatory moments as far as who was under the masks of the line-up ... I mean it was shown so far before the release that there was plenty of time to speculate. But I think that Mr. Deodato Jr. has done an admirable job as well depicting in an interesting fashion what was primarily a whole lot of exposition and flashback and not a whole lot of fighting or explosions. I do worry that this book is going to have a little too much schemeing and not enough combat ... or when we do see combat I am a little worried about who it is going to be against ... are they heroes? Are they Villains? If they are heroes then they've certainly got a lot to deal with in their own personal lives before they can be seen as such on all levels. I also wonder if they aren't going to be heroes then how long can they reasonably expect government funding ...

A lot to wonder ... but a pretty good book.

Mysterius, The Unfathomable #1
Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Tom Fowler

Little do you know but the two guys responsible for this book are some of my all-time favorite creators. Jeff Parker for his underrated phenomenon Agents of Atlas (which people clearly took note of since he's being given an ongoing for the samesaid characters) and Tom Fowler for his work with Judd Winick on his nearly forgotten (and criminally so) mini-series Caper. I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book but what I found was something very akin to something else I have been enjoying lately: Dr. Who. Imagine if the good Doctor was a fantasy show as opposed to a sci-fi show. If The Doctor was an immortal who took on assistants who all took the name Delfi and assisted him in different capacities based on their own unique personalities. The book is actually a little more complex than that but it holds a whole lot of promise for future stories and perhaps a Hellboy like run of mini-series. I think that if any other two creators had tried to do something like this that they would have created something far more derivative and far less satisfying. Fowler's ability to create incredibly appealing cartooning is really at the center of the story and his ability to convey so much with a facial expression is just as effective in a close up as it is in from a distance. Parker's sense of humor and capability to craft interesting characters and interweave serious consequences is really the kind of writing that draws me in every time and I think that fans of books like Hellboy, BPRD, Doctor Who, Hellblazer and others will find themselves intrinsically attracted to the story telling style affected for this book. I congratulate Wildstorm for this book and hope that they have the wherewithall to tie these two to doing more than just this mini-series. And I hope even more that the reading public will have the willingness to try something a little different ... I think they'll find themselves richly rewarded.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ComicDorksCast Episode 050

(Download Directly: Right Click and choose "Save As..." and save locally on your computer)
Our 50th Episode Extravaganza comes to you virtually unedited. Both so you can enjoy our inane ramblings and also because I was far too tired to do any editing.
Running Time: 01:47:02

  • Titans #9 continues the trend of that book getting better and better each issue
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: Locke & Key: Head Games #1
  • Batman Confidential #25 brings a satisfying story to a satisfying conclusion
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Death Defying 'Devil #2
  • Faces of Evil: Prometheus almost caused Scott to quit the show
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Faces of Evil Grundy
  • Best Trades of the Month
  • Brief Mentions
  • Anticipated Books

If you have any questions or comments drop us a line at: Comicdorkscast@gmail.com

Go to www.FantasyShopOnline.com and check out the growing community on the Message Boards.

Check out our website at ComicDorksCast.Blogspot.com.

The Music at the opening and closing of the show was: "Joyboy" by 88 Fingers Louie.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From The Dorks’ Soundtrack: (Who says it’s now or never?)

Music from
episode # 50


Rocked by:
88 Fingers Louie

In honor of a beautiful, bouncing baby boy being born Monday evening (No, his name is not Solomon); I choose a song I felt appropriate to him and my bro, the baby’s daddy. I feel a little saddened by the fact I couldn’t choose a song to celebrate Scotty and Darren’s 50th episode. But, as it turns out, depending how you listen to the song in could be appropriate for both occasions. I recommended listening to it both ways. Tell me, can you beat a 2 for 1… of course not. So sit back, listen, enjoy, and revel in a birth and a 50th episode.

This story is set in the windy city. The year was 1993 and some guys thought it would be a good idea to start a band… for fun… for themselves. Turns out they kicked fucking ass! No shit… they kick fucking ass! I believe the fist time I heard 88 was on an underground punk compilation called the River City Rocket. This disc was made in a home unknown, by two punkers that are so punk rock that they aren’t even punks anymore. Anyway, it was love at first hear. A little bit later I got to see a VHS of 88 playing at The Fireside Bowl (is that the place?) and it was amazing. Seeing a band (even on tape) is different than hearing a band. (even on ipods) What I saw was four guys having a kickass time kicking the crowds ass with kickass jams. (Good songs kind of jam not the long solo kind of jam.)

88 is an interesting sound. They range from, rocking pop punk songs to hard fucking core but they spend their time mostly in a healthy mix of them both. I will be the first to tell you I don’t like “hardcore growling can’t understand a word they say if they even use words” type of music. With the exception of the few songs 88 do and a few another band, Reggie and the Full Effect, do. (Really it is Common Denominator but that’s a story for another time.) The genius that is 88 Fingers Louie is that on top of an amazing guitar player (Dan Wlekinski aka"Mr. Precision”), a few great drummers (From Dom and Glenn to John) a rocking bass (Joe Principe) and an undeniable voice (Denis Buckley) their lyrics are very astute. Good on some days, life saving on others. Like most punk bands 88 popped in and out. They lasted from 1993 to 1996 then two years later they lasted from 1998 to 1999. The split resulted in the guys going and doing things like Rise Against, The Story So far, Zero to Sixty, Alkaline Trio, and teaching music to elementary students. Maybe its best for a punk band to get in and out. Tradition tells us that punk bands are good for three maybe four albums then the punk grows up and the rock mellows out. Obviously, there are a few bands that are exceptions to that rule. If nothing else I thank 88 fingers Louie for the many great sing-a-longs we have had throughout the years and will have in the years to come. And, because of you I will always remember to keep my piss off the stage.
-Cap’n Clet

*And yes, you might recognize their name from the Flintstones episode “The Hot Piano” and yes "it’s a living." Just look at the proof. Members

Denis Buckley - Vocals
Dan Wlekinski - Guitar
Joe Principe - Bass
John Carroll - Drums
Dominic Vallone (original drummer)
Glenn Porter


Debut self-distributed EP (unknown title) - 1993
Go Away EP (Fat Wreck Chords) - 1993
Wanted EP (Fat Wreck Chords) - 1993
Totin' 40s and Fucking Shit Up 10" (Rocco Records) - 1994
Behind Bars (Hopeless Records) - 1995
The Teacher Gets It EP (Fat Wreck Chords) - 1997
The Dom Years 10" (Fat Wreck Chords) - 1997
88 Fingers Up Your Ass (Hopeless Records) - 1997
Back on the Streets (Hopeless Records) - 1998
88 Fingers Louie/Kid Dynamite split EP with Kid Dynamite (Sub City Records) - 1999


I'd like to welcome Dawn to our ranks

Ladies and Gentleman I'd like to welcome a new columnist to our ranks!

It took a long time and a whole lot of nagging but we've finally got a female opinion to share among the sausage-fest that this blog had become (hopefully she'll bring a whole new level of class and quality to our masculine measuring contest). Dawn is not just new to our ranks she's also newer to comics than any of we fair ComicDorks! She's really going to be something of a breath of fresh air for us all. I think that if you are nice she'll keep posting and maybe just maybe she'll start telling us about the books she's been tearing through on her mythic "List" of books to read. Maybe the DorksNation can add some more to her ever growing list of books to catch up on.

Thank you for your time Dawn, thank you for your your time DorksNation ...

We return you to your regularly scheduled programming!

(Let's just hope she's more consistent than Donut *laugh*)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Out of the Milkcrates: Project Superpowers or Project Awesome?)

Project Superpowers

Plot, Covers and Art Direction by –Alex Ross

Plot and Script by –Jim Krueger

Interior Art –Carlos Paul (most of the time), Stephen Sadowski, Doug Klauba, and Alex Ross (sometimes)

So, I have just reread Project Superpowers. And it was absolutely, positively, and with out a doubt one of the most satisfying superhero stories I have ever read. In my opinion, the idea of letting these guys create a universe all their own using old forgotten characters could be one of the best ideas in superhero comic’s history. I have said it before and I will say it again. “Project Superpowers is better than Kingdom Come. Not that Kingdom Come isn’t a great book but Project Superpowers is the birth of a universe, as to a universe slightly modified.” With that said I will now say there is only 8 ½ Project Superpowers issues out… right now. (If you don’t count the spin-offs, which I highly recommend.)

The story goes like this. I will try to do this as vaguely as possible using Robnotes, so I don’t ruin it for you. This Old guy did a bad thing along time ago. Now faced with old age he is confronted by a patriotic spirit and the promise of death. He feels horrible about his past sins and decides to fix it. You see he had trapped all his hero friends in a Pandora urn. He had his reasons. (Read to find them out.) His answer is to throw the urn on the ground. So he did and it broke but nothing happened. Yeah right. Golden Age characters start popping up all over the globe. Many dislike the old guy. They have their reasons. (Read to find out.) With these heroes now in a new time and not really sure what the hell is going on must figure out what the hell is going on. One thing they find is that the times have not changed, in the worst ways. Are the heroes or villains? (Read to find out) Does the old man die? (Read to find out) Is it about a death or about a birth? (Read to find out) These pages are packed with a wonderful history of a time long forgotten placed within pictures of great beauty. It is definitely a must for anyone who loves superhero comics. And every issue includes a journal entry by The Fighting Yank, which gives us backgrounds on the characters plus Alex Ross penciled portraits of some very fascinating heroes.

I put this book up their with JSA, Kingdom Come, New Frontier, and Justice (obviously) amongst many other great team books. Admittedly, I felt like I was a little kid reading the beginning of the JSA while reading Project Superpowers. It was a pretty great feeling since I have been in a superhero rut for the last few weeks. There is an amazing looking hardcover available that includes issues 0 thru 7. It does not have the Wizard ½ issue or the Free Comic Book Day. Those issues are not absolutely necessary if you are not me. They are just short stories with extra information about a few characters. I highly recommend you get on board to the fantastic stuff happening over there at Dynamite. Currently there are two spin-off books, The Death Defying Devil (Scripted by Joe Casey and interior art by Edgar Salazar) and The Black Terror (Scripted by Jim Krueger and interior art by Mike Lilly) with a Masquerade (Scripted by Phil Hester and interior art by Carlos Paul) due to come out real soon. So get on it.


The characters include:
The American Spirit
The Arrow, Ralph Payne
The Black Terror, Bob Benton
The Claw, Now a multi-bodied terrorist organization
The Crusaders, soldiers with the same powers as the American Crusader
The Death-Defying ’Devil, Bart Hill
Dynamic Man, Curt Cowan/Bert McQuade
Dynamic Boy
Dynamic Woman
Fighting Yank, Bruce Carter III
The Flame, Gary Preston
The F-Troop, based with the same design from Frankenstein’s monster
Green Lama, Jethro “Jet” Dumont
Hydro, Bob Blake
Masquerade, Diana Adams
Mister Face, Tony Trent
The Owl, Nick Terry
Pyroman Dick Martin
The Scarab, Amon Khadul - loosely based on the Scarab (Nedor)
The Supremacy
The Target, Niles Reed, Dave Brown and Tom Foster
V-Man, Jerry Steele

Whatever You Want: An intro and Madame Xanadu

At the behest of Rob and Scott, and so Rob stops mocking me for not posting, I am posting my first comic dorks blog. I am Dawn, aka the clerk without fear at the St. Charles store. Scott mentioned that I should post blogs on the dorks' site because I have been reading lots of comics in a frantic effort to catch up to continuity. When I asked him what I should write about, he said, "Whatever you want." And so is born my blog log. It will be part new stuff, part old, and, of course, whatever you want.

My first review will be Madame Xanadu. I know Darren mentioned her in the past, but I've been talking and thinking about the comic a lot lately, so I figured it would be a good jumping off point. One of the things I love/ hate about this comic is that each arc of time is only two comics long. While it allows for the comic to progress at a fairly good and consistent rate, it feels like things may be falling through the cracks. It opens right before the fall of Camelot and the first two books set the stage for Nimue's confrontation with her sister Morgana. The end of the first two comics sees Merlin cursing Nimue for tricking him.

At the beginning of the second story arc, we get to see the full effect of Merlin's curse. Nimue is no longer immortal. She has to take the drugs that used to only preserve her youth in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, we skip from the fall of Camelot to the court of Kublai Khan. What happened in between is only briefly touched upon. I personally would have liked a longer than one page explanation, but it would've curbed the flow of the story. Nimue has taken on the name Madame Xanadu from the name of the Khan's summer palace. The most important part of this story arc is the arrival of Marco Polo and her cryptic talks with the Phantom Stranger.

Comic five sees us speeding ahead to the time of Marie Antoinette. Madame Xanadu seems to love ingraining herself with people in high places. This story arc is by far my favorite. Not only does it take place at the end of one of my favorite time in history, it also has one of my favorite Vertigo characters in it. That's right folks, Death. Madame Xanadu has a discussion with Death and offers to do a tarot card reading. The cards don't fall the way Death believes they were going to and gives Madame Xanadu a boon. I love Death, she is the only character that calls Nimue Madame X. She has a very expressive quality about her, and well, I could wax poetic about the character, but that's not this review.

The final comic to have come out to date is number seven, which, once again, speeds us through time. This time we land in London during the time of Jack the Ripper. Instead of ingraining herself with someone in power, Madame Xanadu tries to protect the ladies of the night.
I know I haven't done this book the justice it deserves by even half. I highly suggest that anyone who likes Vertigo comics in general and Sandman (the Neil Gaiman one) in particular should go and pick up this book. I don't know where it will take me, but I'm up for the ride.

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

*From the desk of Rob -Hello, “How you doin’, then?” Here is a quote of the week. You may or may not have noticed that I pleaded the 5th on my quote last week. To spare a long fictional excuse I will say, um… no good ideas came to me. (You should send me ideas, if you want. It would help a great deal. It’s hard to come up with pure gold every week, you know.) “Fuck it…!” All right let’s get to it. “Warf”

What an exciting week for comics. A lot of great stuffed happened and… an Obama and Spidey fist bump over shadowed it all. Some may say, “Oi, Terror. Terror, Mate.” Strangely, we can find comfort in Dayron’s best pal Lex coming through with some pretty hardcore badassary. Not to mention, a pink cover on Invincible just for Dayron. Dayron just logged off and is thinking, “Sorry I just couldn’t listen to that loon for one more minute. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Am I right?” That’s it for now. I know... short but it was sweet. I will leave you with words. Words you never want to hear. “Crap. I pulled back too late… Mom’s going to kill me.” How about “Batman go boom?” Smell you later. Til then remember, “There is an unholy night approaching. As black as the undead’s blood.”
*That picture was stolen, by me, from Ethan but is intended to be a shout out to Dayron. Now it's your move in this endless battle of wits.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog Log #2 (Sending Out A S.O.S To the World… HELP ME!)

Due to the fact I am being held hostage, the “Quote of the Week” will be a day late. If everything goes according to plan I will escape sometime around 4’o clock tomorrow.
Sorry for the inconvenience. Now, I leave you with this picture in a desperate attempt win your love back.

Living Up To Expectations: Born on a Monday

Solomon Grundy
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Scott Kolins

Throughout the DCU there are characters we adore, such as Jack Knight, Wesley Dodds, and Tommy Monaghan. Others we love to hate like The Turtle, Toyman, and The Mist. And then there are some characters that just scare the shit out of us such as Junior, Sheldon the Shark, and of course… Solomon Grundy. Fashioned after the famous children’s nursery rhyme from the 19th century, Grundy is born again this week in the Faces of Evil Solomon Grundy One-Shot. From the minds of the Flash creative team Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, this one-shot provides a look into the seven issue miniseries to be released in March both written and drawn by Scott Kolins. Last time we left Grundy he was dead on Hell Planet in the Salvation Run mini-series. But like most comic characters, especially Solomon Grundy, that doesn’t mean he is gone for good. Johns provides and excellent background story reaching all the way back to his first confrontation with Alan Scott (Green Lantern Earth-2) and also features the one and only Jack Knight….’s cosmic rod. This issue also has great sequences with Grundy and time counting down till midnight. And much like Matt Wagner’s Madame Xanadu, Johns and Kolins set out to tell the story of a DC character whom little is known about. And as always, Scott Kolins provides some great pencils to the book and makes me reminisce of the great days of Flash. Geoff Johns does an excellent job setting up the book and making it unbearable to wait two more months for this book…. so thank you Geoff for that. It is another great installment in the faces of evil event, which has been exceedingly fun and innovative. So pick this book up and be prepared to see the seven days of Solomon Grundy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ComicDorksCast Episode 049

(Download Directly: Right Click and choose "Save As..." and save locally on your computer)

WARNING! This is the most ramble filled episode of the ComicDorksCast ever ... if you are at all offended by three guys laughing uncontrollably then you may not want to listen to this episode. Consider yourself warned

Running Time: 01:20:40

  • House of Mystery #9 has the power to break the show.
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: Black Lightning: Year One #1
  • There is something about No Hero #3 that makes us think that drugs are bad.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Punisher #1.
  • Scott talks about Secret Invasion: War of Kings all on his lonesome.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #2
  • The Best Single Issues of Last Month!
  • Brief Mentions
  • Anticipated Books

If you have any questions or comments drop us a line at: Comicdorkscast@gmail.com

Go to www.FantasyShopOnline.com and check out the growing community on the Message Boards.

Check out our website at ComicDorksCast.Blogspot.com.

The Music at the opening and closing of the show was: "The Next Time Around" by Little Joy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 01/13/09

Faces of Evil: Prometheus
Written by: Sterling Gates
Art by: Federico Dallocchio

Sterling Gates is certainly doing an admirable job of establishing himself as more than just "Geoff Johns protege". Between his work on Supergirl, a really great story in the most recent DCU Holiday Special, and his debut work Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime he has amassed a pretty admirable body of work. And then he was given the reigns on re-establishing one of the most undervalued and overlooked villains of recent memory: Prometheus. When Grant Morrison and Arne Jorgensen created the character during Morrison's run on JLA (Actually for [coincedentally enough] a Supervillain themed series of one-shots from 1998 called New Year's Evil ... 11 years later he makes his serious return in another one-shot during January ... curious) and he quite nearly took out the entire Justice League. He was widely known as The Anti-Batman. His parents hippies who went on a Bonnie & Clyde style killing spree and when they were killed by a slew of police officers in a final brutal shootout. Now he seeks to take down Justice of any kind. Morrison really knew what he was doing with the character and in a whole lot of ways he epitomizes the kinds of villains that Morrison is known for and I think that anyone who missed out on that story definitely go back and read at least JLA Vol. 4 Strength in Numbers where he debuts and World War III where we see, what we come to know in this issue, is the last time we saw the real Prometheus. A character who can take out the entire Justice League certainly got his head handed to him by his own fair share of characters after Morrison was done with him and what Gates does with this one issue makes it all finally make sense and with it also manages to make Prometheus one of the most frightening villains in the DCU ... and these days that's saying something. This is really an automatic pick up for most everyone who likes DC these days and add to it the fact that Federico Dallocchio is really doing a fantastic job on the artwork for this single issue and I think you'll realize that for $2.99 (a one-shot for $2.99 you say?!?!? Must not be Marvel) it is worth the price of admission and then some.

Locke & Key: Head Games #1
Written by: Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez

You know those books that you just cannot wait to read? That nothing will keep you from pouncing upon when you see them? The books that really just make you salivate ... Locke & Key is one of those books for me. Seriously I never thought that a book written by anyone related to Stephen King would make me this excited (I'm not the biggest King fan ... he's good, just not GREAT). Gabriel Rodriguez had me when I saw his artwork on Clive Barker's Great and Secret Show that was also published by IDW and once I heard about this book Locke & Key I was interested ... but because of Gabriel Rodriguez. So I think that probably makes me a member of a very small portion of the readership. Then I read the first issue of the first mini-series and I flipped (not literally ... I fall off ladders ... the one time I ever tried to do a real flip I wound up falling on my head on the floor of my concrete garage when I was like 6 ... TMI? I thought so). Hill knows how to craft a page turner. He knows how to craft a comic and it is clear that while he may not have the most experience writing comics that he has certainly read his fair share because he really knows how to draw you in and keep you in a trance. The second mini-series of his Locke & Key series was certainly worth the wait. From the first page I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen as the story progressed and that it is not told from the perspective of any of the Locke family really makes it special. It's clear that Hill has crafted an entire world for his series and I think that anyone who likes horror of any kind should pick this book up ... and if you're feeling froggy jump in and buy the Hardcover for the first mini-series as well because it is really, really well put together and is well worth it's $24.99 price tag. Seriously, Joe Hill just might be one of my favorite writers of recent memory ... and this mini-series is going to show whether the proof is in the pudding.

Brief Mentions: Faces of Evil Extravaganza

Secret Six #5
Written By: Gail Simone
Art By: Nicola Scott

Two days late… that’s not too bad. I’ve been gone a while and a lot of things have changed since I left. The ComicDorks have entered into Bizarro month, which I am very excited about. Hopefully it will give us the chance to give some just recognition to books that take the sidelines on the podcast and hopefully give you the chance to check out these great titles. I just picked up the last two weeks of books yesterday and I read them all in one sitting… a lot of good stuff. But two books that really caught my eye were both faces of evil titles. The first one I wanted to talk about was Secret Six #5. Gail Simone continues to stun and amaze… did I mention stun?? With this issue, I’ve recognized that Simone has instilled in me a sense of love for the character Bane. I never really gave much thought to this character or what happened to him but now I often find myself rooting for him throughout these pages. Simone has also created one of the creepiest characters to date…Junior. His endless pursuit for the “get out of jail free” card provides for some excellent… torturing scenes. It was also great to get inside the mind of Floyd Lawton and Bane. Gail Simone continues to flesh out this already well-established Secret Six team and only further details the relationships between each character. As stated once before on the podcast… THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS COMING OUT and I would go as far as to state that it is THE best superhero team book on the shelves. Not only is there an amazingly talented writer on this book but also words cannot describe Nicola Scott’s artwork. I was absolutely blown by the first issue but it only seems to get better and better. So pick up this book and discover why Nicola Scott was considered for best talent deserving wider recognition in the 2008 poll. I guess that’s all there is to say… o yea… “He is my sister!”

Detective Comics #852
Written By: Paul Dini
Art By: Dustin Nguyen

As we move onward, Hush graces the cover of this next issue, which is none other than Detective Comics #852. So I know many Batman fans may be confused has to how a Batman book can good… without Batman. Well it is true, Gotham’s Dark Knight is no longer suiting up and kicking super-villain ass but that doesn’t mean that a Batman book can’t be good. As seen in the Batman series with Nightwing taking over, the book has taken many interesting turns. The same can be said for Detective Comics. We open up to find Thomas Elliot a broken man. After being defeated by Batman (in a flying chair**) and having his fortune stripped away by Catwoman, Hush is on the edge of despair. After a failed attempt at suicide, Hush discovers how much power he still processes by looking like Bruce Wayne. It is from this point on the we see the Hush that we’ve grown to know and hate as he lies, steals, and kills his way back to the top. Paul Dini continues to rock face on this book as he has been for many, many months. Dustin Nguyen is rocking equal face via pencils and is really giving this Batman book a dark, gritty feel. Well that is the brief mentions for the week; I guess there is only one more face of evil to show… Enjoy!

Oops... We Did It Again

Due to my incessant globetrotting to the Caribbean, this week's episode will unfortunately be postponed till Tuesday/Wednesday. But do not fret, it is perhaps one of our greatest episodes to date so be sure to tune in. As a matter a fact, I will give you a little...taste... as of what this show will feature...

Yes... that is in fact... a Broccoli Quiche! ... we have lost our minds

Saturday, January 10, 2009

From the Dorks' Soundtrack: Little Joy

Music from Episode #49

Band: Little Joy

Album: Little Joy

Song: The Next Time Around

So I think it would be pretty obvious that I am a fan of The Strokes. Sure they were supposed to be saviors of all things rock and roll but they knew going in that they weren't going to be anything more than a really great band with really catchy lyrics and a keen ear for a good hook. They even had the good humor to title their first album "Is This It" after being touted as the next rock and roll messiah's by everything short of the Vatican itself. They have released 3 full length albums since 2001 and are currently on hiatus.

The hiatus has left time for members of the band to start their own side-projects and they have been just as enjoyable as the band itself and in many ways prove the talent that each of the individual members really have. First was guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s solo effort Yours To Keep and then last year's follow up ¿Cómo Te Llama? both of which were really strong efforts and memorable albums.

In November Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti's side project Little Joy released their first album and yesterday I bought it at Vintage Vinyl on Delmar. Moretti is joined by Rodrigo Amarante from Los Hermanos and newcomer Binki Shapiro and between the three of them they have managed to craft one of the most relaxed and relaxing albums that I have heard in the last year. I put it in once I got back to my car and I was instantly wishing that I was on a beach somewhere with nothing to do and no where to go. Each of them is incredibly talented and really put on a showcase of how to create music without sounding like they are trying too hard. Many of the songs comes across as though they are an old classic that you've never heard before just being sung by friends sitting around the living room or maybe the campfire. Amarante's vocals put you immediately at ease and he has sort of a crooner mixed with ... well (Strokes lead singer) Julian Casablancas, but very much his own. The songs where Shapiro sings really have a bit of restrained magic to them as well, she sounds like she could break into tears or laughter at any moment and somehow that dichotomy manages to come across as perfect.

I really think that this is going to be an album that is consistent rotation for me for a long time to come. There is something about it that instantly evokes The Beach Boys mixed with a little more garage rock sound. I really feel like it would have been one of my favorite albums of 2008 if I had picked it up on the day it came out but I think that it will be comfortable on my list of overlooked albums of 2008. I think that when The Strokes go back into the studio later this year they'll be hard pressed to not include some of the sounds that the individual members have created on their own during their hiatus. I know I'll be sure to check out their next album and I also know that I look forward to the next side-project release from bassist Nikolai Fraiture and his band Nickel Eye which comes out later this January.