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!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Better Late than Never - Sneak Peek Reviews: 4/28/09

Battle for the Cowl: The Underground 

Written by: Chris Yost 

Art by: Pablo Raimondi 

Where to start, where to start? 

I loved this comic. I really did. I know you're all getting very sick of hearing that, but I loved this comic. There was something about it that just struck the right chords with me. I have been fascinated with The Riddler ever since he stopped being a straight up super villain and became a private detective for the rich and famous, those whose cases had been abandoned by the police and ignored by Batman. Everything about the character has been interesting since then, and this issue focuses on him and one of my other favorite citizens of Gotham: Selina Kyle. Chris Yost, who will soon be taking over the reigns on Red Robin, really showed that he can do some kick-ass writing even if his writing partner Craig Kyle isn't along (not that there was any question about that once I read the first issue of Killer of Demons). And Pablo Raimondi has been one of my very favorite artists for a good long while now and seeing him work with Gotham as his canvas was really thrilling. I think that all of the Battle for the Cowl ancillary issues have been rather good when they weren't totally awesome. I commend all the creators involved with each of the books because there has been something about them that has really sung and I hope that everyone who decided not to read these books soon realize what a collossal mistake they made ... that wasn't pointed at anyone in particular ... really ... anyway ... 

Sherlock Holmes #1 

Written by: Leah Moore & John Reppion 

Art by: Aaron Campbell 

When I was in the third grade I read The Hobbit for the first time and it made me a fantasy fan for the rest of my life (my first exposure to fantasy had been the previous year when my teacher had read a sizely portion of The Chronicles of Narnia to my class and by reading The Hobbit I knew that it would be a love of the genre and not just C.S. Lewis). The book I read after I had finished The Hobbit was The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. So it's now big surprise that I have always had a love of mysteries and crime stories. When I heard that Dynamite was going to be doing a Sherlock Holmes series I was hesitantly thrilled. I've really enjoyed a lot of the properties that Dynamite has dealt with, books like Lone Ranger and Zorro being the best of the bunch in my own mind. And when I then heard that Leah Moore and her husband John Reppion were going to be penning the story I knew that I had very little to worry about. This was one really well done book and has a lot of the typical Holmesian tropes that fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work will recognize and enjoy. The artwork is stunningly good as well. Aaron Campbell, who I am completely unfamiliar with, brings a level of intricacy and talent the likes of I haven't seen in a very long time (his art actually reminds me a whole lot of Eric J). I really think that this book holds a hell of a lot of promise and I hope that everyone checks it out this week.    

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From The Dorks' Soundtrack: Music From Episode 63 - Man Butt

Music From Episode 63 - Man Butt

Artist - Bright Eyes

Song - At the Bottom of Everything

Album - I'm Wide Awake, it's Morning

There is something about the band Bright Eyes that makes people want to argue. Some people think that everything frontman Conor Oberst does is genius and that his 29 years belies his musical wisdom and his "old soul"; others think that he is a whiny emo good for nothing and that his songs are like what it must sound like when you try to drown a cat. I can't really say that I am of either camp. I think that a good sized percentage of Bright Eyes songs are really brilliant and beautiful while others are certainly not my taste. I think that anytime Conor and his band decide to tell a story that they bring an amazing level of craft and quality to each and every song. And thus the albums that are rife with those are clearly my favorites. albums like I'm Wide Awake, it's Morning and Cassadaga lead the pack and though I certainly appreciate the rest of their albums those two will always be my far and away favorites. 

When Conor Oberst released his most recent solo record it reminded me of the stuff from Bright Eyes that I loved the most and when I heard that he had a new record coming out soon I got excited and thought that I should probably take the opportunity to introduce people who might not be aware of the kind of really great music that he can produce to the many wonders that he encompasses. When Outer South comes out next week I think I will probably find myself rushing out and buying it ... but then again he is coming to Columbia later this summer and I might decide to wait and just get the record when I go to the show. Who knows. And when I think about the fact that there is a guy who is only about a year older than me who has already released around a dozen full length records it really blows my mind, and if in those dozen or so albums he hasn't wowed me with every song that is certainly no fault of his, I am a fickle music fan, at least mostly ... at least when it comes to the things I love ... and the things I don't ... like I said ... it's not his fault.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brief Mentions: The Fantastic and The Long Awaited

Detective Comics #853

Written By: Neil Gaiman

Art By: Andy Kubert

After the “death” of Batman at the end of Final Crisis, Detective Comics and Batman have taken an interesting turn. After a fantastic run by Paul Dini on Detective Comics the reins were handed over to Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert. This week we got the conclusion to “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” Gaiman gives a very fantastic approach to this classic character. Such detail goes into this story from the alternating death scenes to Mad Hatter’s buttons. It was great to see the different ways that Batman died all symbolizing the man behind the mask. Instead of rehashing the same origin story that we have all read hundreds of times, Gaiman puts a new spin on this old tale at gives it a whole new look. This story is a great read for any diehard Batman fans. Not only do we get to see a slew of minor characters but also past events in Batman’s life are explored and the book really does and excellent job explaining the importance of Batman in the DC universe. Also the prose throughout the comic is a lot more poetic that most Batman comics that have been produced. Also Andy Kubert refashions Gotham adding hints of fantasy and dark romanticism, very reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Gotham. Neil Gaiman does a fantastic job and provides a new, refreshing story that has been seen in a Batman issue for quite some time.

Star Wars: Dark Times

Written By: Mick Harrison

Art By: Douglas Wheatley

A long time ago, in a comic book store a couple miles away, Dark Times #12 came out. Many months later, Dark Horse Comics proudly presents Dark Times # 13 part one of the “Blue Harvest” story arc. When I was a kid, I always thought that the time that Darth Vader was hunting Jedi would have excellent story capabilities. That time has come. The story picks up after some events that occurred in Rebellion and Dass Jennir finds himself on the planet, Telerath. With Jennir being one of the last of a dying order, the story is very rich and exciting as compared to other titles where Jedi are numerous. Harrison explores the faulty view of the sith and their complex political practices…o… and it also has fighting, gangs and Jedis. This team really offers a great experience and does a great job of keeping the Star Wars universe and colorful and diverse as it really is. The Jedi order is quickly ending and Darth Vader is rising to power, read more to see what happens next.

ComicDorksCast Episode 063 - Man Butt

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

Running Time: 00:55:47

  • No Hero #5 shows the lengths that some might be willing to go to be thought of as a hero.
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: Viking #1.
  • Invincible #61 certainly shows that when you're invincible on the outside that getting hurt on the inside can be far more painful.
  • Savage Dragon #147 only proves to Scott that he's been missing out for the last 130+ issues.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Daredevil #118.
  • 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: "At The Bottom of Everything" by Bright Eyes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Living Up To Expectations

Ex Machina # 41

Writer –Brian K. Vaughan

Penciller - Tony Harris

Surprise… surprise another great issue from this amazing team. What can I really say about these guys that would really do them any justice? We all know BKV can spin a damned good yarn and Tony, well he is Tony or Jack or Kremlin or something. In short, both of these guys have a long list of material out there that is just waiting to penetrate, titillate, and stimulate your noggins. Now doesn’t that sound like something worth looking into?

Issue # 41 showed us Hundred’s plan for his next year in office. I have to say that watching this man’s growth over the past few years has been amazing. He seems to be the imaginary perfect politician. Sure he has his problems but he is only human… well except for the whole powers thing. Does he always have the answers? Does he always make the right decisions? Can he fix everything that needs fixing? Absolutely not but he is the kind of guy that will look you right in the face and tell you, we are fucked and if we don’t all work together we will find ourselves even more fucked. That my friends, is truth and that is what makes Hundred an imaginary perfect politician. But something tells me that the well being of New Yorkers is not the only issue Mayor Hundred will be dealing with this next year. Hey, at least, "Enemies stab you in the front."

Obviously, everybody should be checking Ex Machina out. It even has man eating rats.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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

Running Time: 01:20:47

  • Punisher #4 continues to rock face with Frank, Henry, and a surprise guest.
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: G.I. JOE: Cobra #2.
  • Captain America #49 touches base with Sharon Carter, and we all nearly cried.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Oracle: The Cure #2.
  • Scott and Darren talk about Zee and DMZ #41.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Action Comics #876.
  • Best Trades of Last Month!

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: "Doin' The Cockroach" by Modest Mouse.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

From The Dorks’ Soundtrack: Good News for People Who Love Good Music!

Modest Mouse

Song: "Doin' the

Album: The Lonesome Crowded West

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, an article about the legendary band, Modest Mouse (MM). MM has been hitting the music scene for 16 years now, from playing small clubs in Issaquah, Washington, to sold-out venues across the world. I first started listening to MM freshman year of high school when they released, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004). I have such a love for this band because that album was the first album that opened doors for me to start listening to newer/indie music. I immediately hunted down their entire discography and have been a fan ever since. But enough about me, it's all about the band.

With their beginnings rooted in Issaquah, Washington, MM was composed of singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock (singer/lyricist/guitarist), drummer Jeremiah Green (drummer), and Eric Judy (bassist). In 1994, they released their first EP, Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect, and two years later came out with their first album This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996). This album was followed a year later by Lonesome Crowded West. Many fans hail this album as their “breakthrough” album and received many accolades claiming it to be one of the best albums of the decade. After the success of their second album, the band signed with Epic Records and in 2000 release their first album under that label, The Moon & Antarctica. Pitchfork Media ranked the album as the third best album of 2000, trailing Kid A by Radiohead and Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós. Brock also released an album with his side project, Ugly Casanova at this time.

With continued success the band created more unique music and sharpened their sound even more. In 2004, they released Good News for People Who Love Bad News. This album provided MM with mainstream notoriety. With hits such as, “The World At Large”, “Bukowski”, and of course “Float On”, MM received increased radio play from this platinum-selling album.

With commercial success at their back, MM sailed into their next album with a new addition, The Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr. MM and Marr released We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank in 2007. Brock describes this album and the introduction of Johnny Marr:

"He made a cautious commitment to write and record with us, and then the tighter we got, he was like, ‘okay, let's tour too'. Then he was pretty much a member of the band-- not pretty much. He's a full blown member of the band. It's really fuckin' nice." According to Brock, Marr was involved in songwriting on the album, and will even tour with the band in support of it. In the interview, Brock described We Were Dead... as a "nautical balalaika carnival romp". Johnny Marr later responded to Brock's comments by saying "Isaac contacted me and asked if I'd help Modest Mouse write the new album. I was intrigued and played with the band in Portland a couple of times. We hit it off and wrote three great songs straight away, something clicked, it felt right from the off. I have a new Healers album pretty much done, but we've been having such a good time playing these new Modest Mouse songs. When people hear the record they'll see why, we're very good together."

MM is also releasing No One's First and You're Next, an upcoming EP that will feature unreleased tracks and b-sides from their previous two studio albums. MM has made unique and genre-defying music for 16 years and I hope to see much more in the years to come.

This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996)
The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)
The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007)

Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect? (1994)
Interstate 8 (1996)

The Fruit That Ate Itself (1997)

Night on the Sun (1999)
Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks (2001)
No One's First and Your Next (2009)

Build Nothing Out of Something (2000)
Sad Sappy Sucker (2001)

Pictures: The Lonesome Crowded West, Isaac Brock, Johnny Marr, Modest Mouse

Brief Mentions: (Things Begin to End.)

Fables # 83

Writers – Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges

Pencils – Mark Buckingam

Cover - Joao Ruas

Well, “The Great Fables Crossover” has begun. And yes, it was a great start to something everybody should have been excited about for months. This issue gave us a fierce battle, which proved a point that will help use guys live happier lives. That point is that no matter what women wear the pants. Obviously, there were plenty of story telling animals, not to mention a face that was lost not all too long ago. The mystery of the dark one and the effects of his arrival unravel a little bit more, leaving a not so good feeling in my mouth. Needless to say, things are about to get a lot more interesting for or fabled friends. May they eventually find their happy ever after, until then my friends, you best prepare to kick a little ass. You know what they say about what you have to do if you want to get to heaven. Something tells me that the answer is in the long distance call.

Do I really have to tell you how good this creative team is? You just saw their names right?

100 Bullets # 100

Written by: Brian Azzarello

Illustrated by: Eduardo Risso

Cover by: Dave Johnson

The end has come to an amazing 100 issue run by Azzarello and Risso. Your hats should be off to them. What an enormous feat this is. I can’t wait to read this story again beginning to end and realize how much bigger this book really is. You see, one of my super powers in data dumping at light speed. (As if smelling the future is not enough) With that said, even though I loved reading this title monthly, I have no idea what the hell was really going on. The strange thing is that every month I couldn’t wait for the next issue to come out. Now, I will say something you should take straight to heart, a 100 Bullets issue is nothing short of a pure joy, to read. This book possesses all aspects of the emotional spectrum. Who would of thought a savage beating could be so hilarious? Anyway, if you don’t read this book there are trades that I suggest you pick up. That is if you would like to own 100 issues of solid story telling, solid art, and you basic general badassery.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

Howdy folks, it’s that time again. You know, where I spew some tripe and hope somebody out there is at least chuckling. Now, “Let’s turn this shit on and get the hell out of here!” But keep in mind, “I cannot remain vigilant if I’m distracted. For your own safety, please try to keep your hands off me.” I am but a man, “And besides… Just look at me. Do I look like I’m built for mobility?” I mean what do you want, geez… “Give me a break. My brain hasn’t caught up to my body yet.” I’ll tell you what I want or rather what I caught a whiff of from the near future when my partners in ComicDork crime say, “I hate everybody right now, which I guess means I’m turning into you.” In which, I will reply, “I don’t hate everybody. I think I’m better than everybody. It’s completely different.” “Being fabulous isn’t exactly a calling so much as a duty.” Speaking of dooty... “Whether we’re full of it, or digging ourselves out from under a pile of it… Shit happens.” That’s all the wit you get this week but until we meet again always remember, “You are but a gnat splattering on the windshield of destiny!” -Rob

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living Up To Expectations: The Reviews That I Forgot to Do for The Last Few Days

Let's start with my brief mentions from last week:

Captain Britain & MI:13 #12

Written by: Paul Cornell

Art by: Leonard Kirk

This book is so good that it gives me goosebumps sometimes. I mean seriously this is some kick ass comic-booking. Leonard Kirk does a great job on the art and depicts the characters with an excellent level of craft and talent 
(the only unfortunate thing is
 that there are often pages that he does not draw in issues or fill in artists who don't bring quite the level of craft at times [thankfully this issue is drawn entirely by Mr. Kirk]). And this book is really written with a level of craft that is woefully missing from a lot of other books, there is a sense of awareness of everything that is going on in the Marvel Universe without any necessary kowtowing to it, something that books like Daredevil, and Captain America do with ease and grace. This book also has DRACULA in it ... 
THAT'S RIGHT DRACULA! A nation of vampires living on the dark side of the moon who have made a tenuous deal with Dr. Doom to take over England. How awesome is that? And this book has the intellect to do all of this with the kind of coniving instinct with which vampires would actually comport themselves. There are secret agent vampires in this book ... allow me to repeat that Secret Agent Vampires. This is the kind of book that has the potential to change the landscape for comic bound bloodsuckers for quite some time to come. And all with Vlad Ţepeş at the helm. This is the kind of book that Marvel UK has needed for a long time and here's hoping that it will be around for a long time to come.

The Best Book You Didn't Read Last Week:

Ignition City #1

Written by: Warren Ellis

Art by: Gianluca Pagliarani

Warren Ellis is a mad genius. I think that even he would agree with that assessment. this book is ostensibly about understanding that your hero might not have been who you thought they were as well as what it feels like to grow up and exceed your parent's wildest expectations. Or at least that's what I read into it. Being the first issue of a Warren Ellis Avatar release is sort of like being a casting of runes, no one is really certain what it portends but plenty of people are willing to pontificate about it. I really think that if you liked Ellis works like Ministry of Space, Aetheric Mechanics, or any of Ellis' other Apparat releases that you'll probably really like the look and feel of this series, and I think that it's got a lot of hidden promise behind it's veneer of giant lizard diarrhea and food pellet constipation.

Sneak Peek Review:

You know what ... since you've already been to the comic store (I'll assume) I won't bother.

Living Up To Expectations:

Oracle: The Cure #2

Written by: Kevin Vanhook

Art by: Fernando Pasarin & Julian Lopez

It was only after reading the first issue and looking into Kevin Vanhook that I realized that he wrote on of my favorite guilty pleasure comics of all time ... and it's not a guilty pleasure in the sense that it was a bad book but that it was from a publisher that most poeple don't remember particularly fondly (and I only managed to put hands on the issues when they were collected into back issue collections at the store I shoped at in high school [and even then only when they were like 50% or 75% off ...]). Vanhook was the writer behind the first 39 issues of Bloodshot from Valiant Comics, I spent a long time in bed reading those books during a Christmas break back in Junior year of High School (there was a whole other reason for me being in bed that whole time but that is another story for another time ... maybe). I really, really like this book. I think that the artwork is fantastic and that the writing is very above average and has moments of brilliance (in my humble opinion). And I think that reading a story about Barbara Gordon without having to jump away to the action beats provided by Black Canary or The Huntress. The Oracle is one of my favorite characters currently in comics and I think that having her on the mainstage with this mini-series will be very rewarding. Also this gives a chance for The Calculator to be shown as a true foil to The Oracle and that is also very entertaining and very interesting. Does this book live up to my expectations? Yes, yes, yes, yes ... and then some.

From the Dorks’ Soundtrack (This Far Down South I Have No Self Control –Blind Melon)

Music from Episode # 61

Song –Lemonade

Performed by –Blind Melon

Off The Album –Soup

I believe I must have been in middle school when I discovered this wonderful band. I was a hip kid with sweet sock hats and humongous pants (which, I was made fun of for until I hit high school and realized too big of pants suck only to find the very people who poked fun wearing stupidly huge pants… and looking like idiots.) Of course, I watched MTV to add to my coolness. Back then it was The Maxx, Daria, Beavis and Butthead, 120 minutes, Kennedy (yeah that chick we all had crushes on) and videos called “Buzz Cuts.” Lucky for me, one of these “Buzz Cuts” was No Rain off of Blind Melon’s self title album. You who know what I’m talking about remember the dancing bee girl. Besides her, I heard a really great sound that I had never heard before. Amongst all the grunge and boy bands was a band that rocked, with obvious roots to good old rock and roll as well as folk and plenty of other styles of music. That’s when I began to believe in love at first sight. Now Shannon was pretty hot but I am speaking about the love for Blind Melon’s Sound.
Blind Melon is one of them bands that take’s me strolling down Memory Lane, to many different periods in my life. One of the best is one summer’s soundtrack that consisted of the album Nico. (Over and over and over and over and over again) The point is that most nostalgia bands take you to one specific time where Blind Melon has me all over the place. Some good and others bad, but all are worthwhile nonetheless. What is it about this band that keeps me coming back? Maybe it’s the fact there are two great guitar players that rarely play any chords. Maybe it’s Hoon’s bittersweet writing. Maybe it just that Blind Melon had something special. You know when the planets align and people get together and produce something that had to be put out there but these guys, specifically, had to do it. Nobody else could. Fate? You tell me. Not to mention that here was a band that could rock and I mean rock in their very own way and then bust out acoustics, banjos, mandolins, and kazoos. Blind Melon’s growth can plainly be heard from album to album, which is the sign of a good band… you heard?
Unfortunately, Blind Melon suffered the tragic loss of Richard Shannon Hoon on October 21, 1995 at the age of 28. Blind Melon was touring to support their release of Soup. Hoon, just out of rehab was pressured by his label (that’s the story I heard. I wasn’t there so how could I possibly know if it’s true or not. I choose to believe it… more fuel for the hate game.) to tour despite the thoughts of his drug councilor. Obviously, the road and rehabbing don’t tend to mix well. A month into the tour Hoon was found dead in the bus near Bourbon Street. On a side note, the word on the street is that that very bus was Wilco’s first tour bus. Sad state of affairs but the real tragedy is that he left behind a daughter and his lady. This Begs to raise the question, are drugs helpful in a person’s creativity and is it worth the price? Drugs may tear down apprehension that would hold you back from writing what you really are thinking but those thoughts are already in you. Maybe the secret to life is to conquer that fear of judgment naturally, sober, and with out hesitation. Not to say it is an easy task; due to the body count of very talented folks, it seems an overdose is easier.
During, their time I feel Blind Melon left a forever-lasting stamp on rock and roll. I know I will return to them from time to time for the rest of my life. Just as I will to all the wonderful memories of being a dumbass kid, a dumbass teenager, a dumbass twenty something, a dumbass adult, a dumbass middle-ager, and a dumbass geriatric. So if you like bands that consist of great people who are amazing at what they do, under great writing you should be a Blind Melon fan. The remaining members did pick up a new singer for a bit but I’m not sure if they are still rocking it. They came through St. Louis last year but I felt to see Blind Melon without Hoon would be a sacrilegious slap in the face. The Youtube I watched sounded good, though. The band still had the power of rock. If nothing else you should take away on sweet little line, "When life is hard you have to change."
"I know we can't all stay here forever
So I want to write my words on the face of today
And they'll paint it"
* For further reading here is a link to an article that Robert Hunter (Dead fans should be excited now) did with Blind melon at his home for Creem Magazine. Enjoy!
Current members
Christopher Thorn – guitar, steel guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Rogers Stevens – guitar, piano
Brad Smith – bass, flute, backing vocals
Glen Graham – drum kit, percussion

Former members
Shannon Hoon – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica (1991–1995, deceased)
Travis Warren – vocals, acoustic guitar (2006-2008)
Studio albums
Blind Melon (September 22, 1992) [4X Platinum] 4X Platinum in Canada
Soup (August 15, 1995) Gold in Canada
Nico (November 12, 1996)
For My Friends (April 22, 2008)
Compilation albums
Classic Masters: Blind Melon (January 29, 2002)
The Best of Blind Melon (September 27, 2005)

Live albums
Live at the Palace (April 4, 2006)

And a pretty cool DVD called "Letters From A Porcupine"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Episode 061 - Keanubot

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

Running Time: 01:21:45

  • Rob and Darren really seemed to love Dark Reign: Hawkeye #1 ... did Scott miss out?
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: Exiles #1.
  • Darren and Scott loved The Sword #16, the Luna Brothers craziness continues.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Superman: World of New Krypton #2.
  • Green Lantern #39 kicks off the Agent Orange storyline ... and it's Mine ... all mine.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Secret Six #8.
  • 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: "Lemonade" by Blind Melon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of Last Week)

“The only thing kept clean in this room are your guns.” If only I had a nickel for every time I was told this. I mean look at this fine piece of man meat with fun bags, below. Not to mention, those legs that seem to go on fornever. Respect the moobies! - Rob

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Whatever You Want: The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place

By Sean Kelly McKeever

I should know better than to be skeptical of books Scotty hands me. But there's something that screams "Run away!" about them when he hands me a stack of books and says, "You'll like these. They're set in Wisconsin." I'm from Wisconsin. From a small town. Waiting Place is set in a small town. I moved out of my hometown as fast as humanly possible. These books reminded me why I did that.

The book starts out on the first day of school, outlining the various lives of the people you'll get to know in the books. There's Jeffery, the new kid in school (I love when they use music lyrics in books to get the emotions of the character across); Lora, the rebel; Jill, the good girl with a few problems; and Kyle, the bad boy. And then there's Scott, a man who just can't let go of the past.

There isn't anything in this town for the kids to do but party, no movie theaters or anything. It's just a tourist trap during the summer. At time the book is scarily accurate about living in a small town (parents going to the coaches and badgering them into letting their kid play, calling the parents of the clerk in the video store because they want him to stay open a few minutes later so they can come in, etc.). At other times, it's just slightly over the top. And the worst thing about living in a small town, everyone knows just about everything about you. Take Jill for instance: all everyone talks about when they see her is how she tried to commit suicide, poor girl. That's the kind of crap that sent me running for the hills after graduation.

All in all, it's a good slice of life story that a lot of people can gravitate towards. You know someone who's like at least one of the characters (or a mix of two or three of them). I knew someone like everyone in the books, which almost made it too hard to read.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From The Dorks' Soundtrack: The Wonders of Pandora

Music from Episode 60 - Potato Salad

Band: El Ten Eleven

Album: El Ten Eleven

Song: My Only Swerving

Lately I've been listening to Pandora a whole lot. When I'm at work at the shop there is no better alternative to the radio than Pandora these days. When I managed the Fairview Heights store we listened to a whole lot of CD's and while that certainly holds it's own appeal it doesn't hold the spontaneity of the radio and unfortunately the radio these days doesn't resemble anything like the kinds of music I actually care about and is so repetitive and filled with commercials that I find it borderline intolerable (with the exception of NPR and local public radio). So when I first got here to South County I started experimenting with Pandora again and when I started creating my own radio station for the store I found that it was so enriching and enjoyable that I couldn't begin to imagine the workday without it. At first there was a whole lot of music that I was already familiar with which was not altogether a bad thing but as things got more complex with the mix of bands I was feeding into the seeding of the station the more new bands started to pop up and I started hearing really exciting bands that I was not at all accquainted with and some that I had forgotten about. Some bands that I immediately latched onto were groups like The Spinto Band, Low, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Album Leaf, and El Ten Eleven.

I'm pretty sure that they arrived on my Pandora station because of the Ratatat seed and I started falling in love with the similarities between the two as well as the differences. The band got together in 2003 and released their first album in 2004 and then rereleased it in 2005 through Bar/None Records. The music that they produce is sort of pure rock bliss. I wish I could speak more intelligently about them but I've only really just started listening to them with any sort of frequency recently and I've yet to see them live (though I will be doing so when they come to town next week and grace the little venue that can The Firebird).

So, expect to hear more about them in the nearish future.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 04/07/09

Warlord #1

Written by: Mike Grell

Art by: Joe Prado

In 1975 Warlord’s Travis Morgan made his first appearance, and with it began an epic quest from imperiled USAF pilot to warrior legend of Skartaris, a mythical world he arrives at when he parachutes from his plummeting SR-71 Black Charger. The original series ran from 1976 until 1989 and is considered a fan favorite even today. So when it was announced that Grell would return to helm a new Warrior ongoing it was to some excitement and adulation. The first issue jumps right into some Indiana Jones like action with all new characters finding a portal to another world, one we will assume (for this review at least) leads to Skartaris. Once they’ve passed through the event horizon we jump to the perspective of our titular hero, Travis “The Warlord” Morgan. The issue does a great job of being introductory while also engaging and full of new material. It’s clear that Grell has not lost a step when it comes to crafting a story and anyone who is familiar with the work he has done over at www.comicmix.com should know that already. What’s really rather nice is that Joe Prado has a lot of Grell influence in his work and so it immediately hearkens back to the style that those familiar with the previous series will recognize. I think that anyone looking for a great sword and sorcery fantasy series would be doing themselves a favor by picking up this book, and anyone looking for something that isn’t tied into a dozen other titles in these days of everyone screaming “EVENT FATIGUE” (a concept that I admit I do not grasp) then they would also be doing themselves a favor. I think that this book has a lot of promise and that it would be criminal not to support it especially with its $2.99 price-tag.

Wolverine: Weapon X #1

Written by: Jason Aaron

Art by: Ron Garney

It’s not often that I review a Wolverine book … in fact in the history of doing written reviews this is only the third time I have ever reviewed a Wolverine book if I remember correctly. There is a very good reason behind that; I am not a Wolverine fan. I think that more often than not people grossly misuse the character and that he has become, because of fervent fan adoration, the most overused character in comic book history. Of the three times I have reviewed a Wolverine book two share a striking similarity; they were written by Jason Aaron. Jason Aaron is the kind of writer that I one day long to be. He knows how to pen characters that have a moral compass while navigating a life of amoral action. They realize the right things to do and the wrong things to do but often … they just don’t care whether what they’re doing is ultimately right or wrong. His work on books like Scalped, The Other Side, Ghost Rider, and his previous work on Wolverine have all given me goose-bumps. The few times I have talked to the man he has been engaging, interesting, kind, impassioned, and overall fun to talk to. So when I heard that Marvel was making the incredibly smart decision of letting him pen the launch of their new Wolverine book to coincide with the upcoming release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Re-teaming him with artist Ron Garney was also a master stroke. The two of them together have a way of drawing you into Wolverine’s ultra-violent world without making you shake your head from transition. If I were to compare the work of Jason Aaron and Ron Garney on Wolverine to any other creative team that has ever worked on the character it would most closely resemble the work that Greg Rucka and Darrick Robertson did when Marvel re-launched the Wolverine book in 2003. So take that for what you will. This is going to be a book of Wolverine not as superhero but as everything else Wolverine has ever fit into, horror, sci-fi, suspense, espionage, detective, etc. He might be wearing the costume, but consider it his work clothes, it’s form fitting and black and grey, it doesn’t give an opponent much to grab onto in a fight and it’s dark so it’s stealthy … so … yeah … BUY IT! (side note: This is one of Marvel’s new $3.99 books and it is still only 22 pages, although this issue does include a 6 page preview of the upcoming mini-series Ghost Rider: Heaven’s on Fire as well as guidebook information about the character Maverick and the organization Weapon X … so I am conflicted recommending this book but I think that for the creative team and the fresh take on Wolverine that it is worth the price of admission.)

Exiles #1

Written by: Jeff Parker

Art by: Salva Espin

The (New) Exiles are dead, long live The Exiles. In 2001 Judd Winick launched an ambitious new series at Marvel called The Exiles, it featured 6 characters pulled from separate alternate realities who had been brought together to fix some mishaps of the Marvel Multiverse … excuse me for stealing a phrase. The book was incredibly fun and great for people who liked mutants but didn’t want to have to know all the minutiae of decades of the characters histories, it was also great for people who liked the shows Sliders and Quantum Leap (and I was a fan of both). Winick wrote the series for 37 issues before Chuck Austen took over … things remained passably good and fun for that time. With issue 46 Tony Bedard took over and the book amped up a bit but unfortunately became a little repetitive. When issue 89 rolled around Chris Claremont took over … and I stopped reading the title. A book I had faithfully followed for 88 issues was now borderline unreadable. It remained unreadable for 11 issues until it was cancelled … only to unfortunately be combined with Claremont’s New Excalibur book and relabeled “New Exiles” which ran for 18 issues before being canceled. And for a while I breathed a sigh of relief that a book I had come to love and characters that I had grown ever so fond of were done being abused. Then Marvel announced that there was going to be a new Exiles ongoing. The cringe that followed could probably have been seen from space. Then they announced that Jeff Parker was going to be writing it and the “WOO-HOO!!!” could probably be heard from Mars. Jeff Parker is the perfect writer to take on this kind of book and I couldn’t be happier to see the title in his capable hands. The art by Salva Espin is gorgeous as well, I kind of wish that they had let him do the covers because I worry that some people might look at Dave Bullock’s cover and be put off by his very stylized look, but I think that it is plenty exciting and should be enough to draw the reader’s eye. This is pretty much a wholesale re-launch of the book and I think that anyone who liked what Winick did with the book would be remiss in missing this book.

Is there a character whose popularity you just can’t figure out? I'd love to know, email me at ComicDorksCast@gmail.com

ComicDorksCast Episode 60 - Potato Salad

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

Running Time: 01:26:47

  • Flash: Rebirth #1 wowed, amazed, and left us with questions.
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: Scalped #27.
  • Scott and Rob wax poetic on the many wonders of Agents of Atlas #3.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Captain America 70th Anniversary One-Shot.
  • Secret Warriors #3 continues to bring the thunder.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2.
  • Previews Time.
  • 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: "My Only Swerving" by El Ten Eleven.

Brief Mentions: Kirkman… You Scare Me…

Destroyer #1

Written By: Robert Kirkman

Art By: Corey Walker

This book almost passed me by. I did not even know of this book until 3 hours after I had already purchased my books for the week. A few days later, I returned to my local comic shop and purchased Destroyer #1. After some intense research, (going to wikipedia) I found some interesting information on this long forgotten hero of yesteryear. Destroyer’s origin is very similar to that of Captain America and was created in 1941 under Marvels old moniker, Timely Comics. Behind the mask is American Journalist, Keen Marlow, who is captured by Nazis during WWII. An anti-Nazi German scientist gives Marlow the super soldier serum and Marlow joins the ranks of superhumans. Since his debut in the 40’s, Destroyer slowly fell from the comic pages and forever trapped in the pages of the golden age, until now. Creative team Robert Kirkman and Corey Walker (Invincible anyone?), decide to revive this long dead superhero under the MAX comics banner. Here is some advice… KEEP THIS COMIC FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR out of reach of children. The MAX title is not a joke. I haven’t seen this much blood since…o wait… I guess the last issue of Invincible… but it’s still really bloody. Kirkman really jumps into the story and develops and excellent first issue and raises many plot devices and questions. Corey Walker’s art is simply astounding and is able to make gore even gorier. This five issue miniseries is going to be a great read and a very intense rollercoaster ride. Witness the resurrection of Destroyer!

The Invincible Iron Man #12

Written By: Matt Fraction

Art By: Salvador Larroca

The reign of darkness continues and things are becoming bleaker for our ironclad hero. Norman Osborn is now the center of American defenses. And Pepper Potts: Superhero? Eleven issues ago I did not read Iron Man and had no prior reading experience with the character. I never personally cared for the character of Tony Stark because he caused the demise of one of the most beloved comic characters of all time. He just seemed like a drunk that I could not relate to…. O how wrong I was. With just twelve issues, Fraction and Larroca has truly made me come to love this character. Every hero is a definition of the hardships they face (I promise I’m not quoting zoom) and Stark’s heroism is being put to the test. Also seeing Pepper Potts in an iron man suit is one of the coolest ideas seen in comics in a long time. I loved Pepper Potts in The Order and am glad to see that the character didn’t disappear into nothingness. If there is anyone out there who loves this book and hasn’t read The Order…. GO READ IT NOW!!!! The Order was the first exposure I ever had to Matt Fraction’s work and I have been a fan ever since. I don’t think I need to say that Larroca’s art continues to be stunning as always and really helps the book come to life. As we know (from the KC PlanetComicon special) things are going to get worse for Tony but hey… he’s made of iron for a reason right?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Whatever You Want: Milk and Cookies

I'm still reading this week's book for whatever You Want, so it has been delayed. Have some milk and cookies to tide you over.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Living Up to Expectations: snoitatcepxE ot pU gniviL. (Anyway You Spell It Comics Are For Losers.)

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four # 2

Writer –Jonathan Hickman

Pencils- Sean Chen

What can I say? Who gives a rats ass about a bunch of stupid heroes who cause trouble and then defeat it. Do you know how many times Reed has almost destroyed our planet? Well, I don’t have specific stats, but I know it has been a lot. I feel saddened that Hickman finally gets into Marvel only to find the worst new title on the shelf. Come on people let’s lay this trifle down. Look what they do to their children. What about the children? Will they ever grow up to be cowboys? No! Because, their genius dad will build a device that blows up our planet ruining any chance for any one to be any thing. For crying out loud people how much can we take? And Sean is that your real poop on the pages or someone else’s?

Secret Warriors # 3

Story –Bendis and Hickman

Script –Jonathan Hickman

Art –Stefano Caselli

Somebody kill Fury please. His one-eyed ass has turned into a mounted Eagle. Here’s an idea. Since, I am old and have one eye I will have kids fight my meaningless battles and hopefully some kids will die. Now… Hasselhoff, that was a Fury you could get behind. But, here we are with this old bastard smoking cigars while children do his bidding. Seriously, Hickman are you trying to make me stop reading comics. These characters suck bring back the skrulls. Four words in a musical fashion; dum dum… dum dum… How many people does it take to make a stupid book? I always thought one but apparently it takes more when Fury is involved. Hey, Stefano why not throw some puke in the mix?

* AHAHAHAHA I FOOLED YOU BIG DUMMIES AHAHAHAHAHA! I know... worst blog ever! Listen to me if you don’t read these books you need to rethink your station in life. Great writing and great art is happening at Marvel, right now. If you don’t know about it fix that. And, a happy April 1st to y’all.