Tagged: 300

Marc Alan Fishman: Comics Are Good For Learnin’

So it came to my attention by way of an amazingly nice lass that some forward thinking teacher-types are slowly coming around the bend. Yup, they are looking toward comic books, those evil things, as potential fodder for their classrooms. Gasp! And, as it would seem, this very nice girl asked me – little old me – to give my two cents on the matter. And because I love killing two birds with one stone, I figured this outta make a great li’l rant to share with you, my adoring public. Of course, I realize now I admitted to the glee I feel when I commit aviaricide. Well, there went my fan-base. Tally ho!

I know back in the olden days, comics were largely seen as kitchy wastes of ink and paper. Kids buried in them were potentially violent sociopaths just waiting to commit crimes of laziness. But by the time I was in school they were starting to be called graphic novels. Thanks in large part to the artsy works of Art Spiegelman, Joe Kuburt, and Will Eisner, the medium as a whole was slowly pulling itself out of the low-bro.

That being said, I was never assigned a graphic novel to read for a class. Nor was I able to select one for independent book reports or the like. Even within the realm of studio art classes I was nixed the ability to cite Alex Ross as a major influence without scoffs. But as Bob Dylan sings, “The times, they are a changin’.”

If I were to suggest opening up a classroom to comics, well, it’s a simple issue – do it. Comics are easily one of the best gateways to literacy I can think of. Truth be told, the first books our parents read us (and I’m reading to my own boy now) are gloriously illustrated. Dr. Seuss, a one-time newspaper comics guy, is just panel borders away from sharing shelf space with Daniel Clowes. In the earliest of classroom settings I’d start with the recognizable. Art Baltazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans is as accessible a comic as I know of. But more than just being kid friendly, the book is funny, bright, and charming. So much so that I was an avid reader of it long before I was even married, let alone a father. And because it uses semi-recognizable super hero sidekicks, it’s easy for kids to relate, and learn to read.

Tiny Titans aside, there’s always Jeff Smith’s tome of toonage, Bone. The long running series blends laughs, mysteries, and adventure. If kids can’t find something to love there? Well, then I’ll eat my hat. Come to think of it, I don’t own hats anymore. Note to self…

Beyond the early readers, the always-tough-to-please nine year olds (perhaps through 13 or 14?) are going to start dividing themselves. Girls have cooties. Boys are messy. The division of the sexes may make many a teacher feel like comic books will degrade into the capes and cowls for the boys and leave nothing for the girls. Nay, I say. Nay! Both the boys and girls can take heed that I myself grew to love comics at this tender age due to the long-running Archie series. And Archie, unlike his more heroic counterparts, seems to have found a way to stay with the times, without diverging into the too-real, too-gritty, or too-angsty. Consider also the Adventures of TinTin. Long before it was a computer-animated movie, it was a comic. A great comic. And don’t we all laugh a bit when we recount the Scrooge McDuck comics of yesteryear? That book was doing Inception long before Chris Nolan was firing up the vomit-comet to film anti-gravity fight scenes.

The real meat and potatoes for me though come right at adolescence. Here, our kids are primed to learn that comics are more than just good fun. The Pulitizer Prize-winning Maus (by the aforementioned Spiegelman), Jew Gangster (by the late and beyond-great Kubert), and A Contract With God (by Will Eisner) all help teach that the medium of comics transcends the super power set. And sure, they all hold quite a bit of Jewish lore to them… so allow me to expand beyond Judaica.

Mike Gold himself turned me on to Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Kings in Disguise by Dan E. Burr. They are both amazing reads. And please, don’t get me wrong – comics at this tender age need not be without a twinge of the supernatural. Watchmen might as well be a high school freshman class in and of itself. Frank Miller’s Sin City and or 300 are far better on page than on screen, and on screen they were both pretty amazing.

And let’s not leave Marvel out of this. Kurt Busiek’s Marvels singlehandedly brought me out of a four year freeze of comic book reading. It’s insightful, and a beautiful take on super heroes from the human perspective. And I’ve little column space left to suggest even more here… Empire by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson, Astro City, Batman: Year One, Runaways and Y: The Last Man all spring to mind. But I digress.

Suffice to say, introducing comics to a literature program shouldn’t be that hard to tackle. The fact is the medium itself makes open discussion far easier to instigate. More work to enjoy than watching a movie, without the scariness of endless pages without something beyond words to look at means less barrier to entry. For those learning to read (or who have trouble with it) comics are a gateway drug to amazing new worlds. For those already well versed in literature, comics offer an endless string of independent authors bringing original takes on the world that combine their plots with art that tends to force us to stop and appreciate. Akin to indie films, comics at any age offer more than the commercial world. Thanks to a bit of knowledge gained at this year’s Harvey Awards (thank you, Ross Ritchie), I leave on this thought:

 “The French codified it well: they call it “The Ninth Art.” The first is architecture, the second sculpture. The third painting, the fourth dance, then there’s music, poetry, cinema, and television. And ninth is comic books.”

Now, the question is: if it is indeed the ninth art of our world, comics should not be considered for the classroom. They should be compulsory.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

 

REVIEW: “Jerusalem” by Guy Delisle

REVIEW: “Jerusalem” by Guy Delisle

Everyone has their niche, their two inches of ivory that they work over so closely with a fine-haired brush. Some niches are larger than others — project manager, superhero artist, war apologist, social novelist — but they all bind, more or less, around the edges. Some artists fight against that niche, and some embrace it.

Guy Delisle is a cartoonist — originally Canadian, though resident in France for some time — whose niche is creating books about the strange foreign cities he finds himself living and working in. First was Shenzhen (see my review), about time spent working as an animation supervisor in that Chinese city. Then came Pyongyang (see my review), in which the same job took him to that very odd, constricted North Korean capital. And then there was Burma Chronicles(see my review), by which point Delisle had transitioned to a full-time long-form cartoonist, and was accompanying his partner (a Médecins Sans Frontières administrator) to the capital of the country that wants the rest of us to call it Myanmar. (Somewhere in between, he also published two books of unsettling, mostly sex-role related cartoons — Aline and the Others and Albert and the Others — which I also reviewed.)

Delisle’s work typically has a crisp, clean line — as one would expect from an animator working in France — with a good eye for detail and enough description and narration to allow the drawing to be simple; he doesn’t try to cram everything into either words or art.

Recently, Delisle’s wife was posted by MSF to Israel for a year, and so, eventually, that experience turned itself into his most recent book, Jerusalem. It’s larger and more diffuse than those previous books, over 300 pages long, and filled with lots of small stories about Delisle’s and his family’s life in a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. (And that location is the first manifestation of what will be a major concern of Jerusalem: borders, both physical and mental, and how they interleave themselves, through walls and checkpoints and bus routes and roads and prejudices.)

Jerusalem doesn’t grapple directly with the legitimacy of the Israeli state, or of its treatment of Palestinians (or, conversely, with the actions of Palestinians and others against Israel), making it feel a bit politically naive at times. (Reading it in tandem with Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days Or Less — see my review — would be interesting; Glidden was in Israel for a short time, on a tour, specifically as a tourist on a heritage tour designed to make her intensely pro-Israel, and intensively questioned the Palestinian situation, while Delisle lived in Israel for a year, mostly among vaguely pro-Palestinian expatriates, and lives the physical discomfort of the occupation without engaging with it on a theoretical level.)

Delisle’s job — besides writing books like Jerusalem — is a house-husband; he had two small children during that year, and just taking care of small children (even if they are in day-care part of the time) is massively time-consuming in ways that it’s hard to describe. When you wake up with a toddler, you get through the day somehow, and then wonder, at the end, what you actually did during the last sixteen hours. So Delisle isn’t as free to move around this year as he was in Shenzhen and Pyongyang — but, then again, those were shorter trips, so he had more time to immerse himself in Jerusalem (and, before that, in Burma), more time to live in those places rather than just passing through them.

Jerusalem is a discursive, rambling book, equally about daily life as an expatriate in East Jerusalem and the physical problems of just moving around so militarized and controlled a country [1] as it is about Delisle’s continuing attempts to sketch and draw and work on his cartoons when he has time away from his young children. It’s a long, looping story, circling back to those same few concerns — time to sketch, physical access, which day things will be open — and is more obsessed with time (the right day, the right time of day, enough time to do something while the kids are in day-care) than one would expect. Throughout, Delisle is an interesting and thoughtful guide to Israel, showing us the things he did and saw and thought, and what it was like to live in that place for that time. I expect some people will be unhappy at Delisle’s take on the Israel-Palestine situation — people on either end of that argument, because as much as he engages with it, he’s somewhere in the middle — but that’s an occupational hazard when you create books about your time in odd, contested, unlikely places. Delisle is always honest, and shows us what he sees and feels: you can’t ask for more than that.

[1] His partner was posted in Gaza for most of this trip, and the one crossing into Gaza is more tightly controlled than any other gate in Israel.

Emily S. Whitten: Cleolinda Jones – Comic Book Movies in 15 Minutes

You don’t have to be born with a comic book in your hand to be a fan. As I’ve mentioned, my early exposure to comics was mostly in the form of movies and TV. These days, I read comics too; but I know a lot of fans who’ve primarily discovered comics through the movies, and often stay mostly with that medium.

Some of those people take that movie fandom and turn it into something awesome. One such is Cleolinda Jones, prolific blogger and author of numerous hilarious movie parodies called Movies in 15 Minutes (there’s also a book). Although one thing she’s known for is being the Internet’s top Twilight snarker, she also writes really interesting discussions of comic book movies.

Recently, there’s been a flurry of talk about who gets to be a geek, and I agree completely with John Scalzi’s assessment that anyone who shares a love of geeky things is just as much of a geek as anyone else, and that we can all come at our love of pop culture and fandoms from very different backgrounds and tastes. Given all that, I thought it might be fun to get the perspective of an awesome female author and blogger who’s so known in pop culture and geek circles that people have actually written articles studying her blogging habits  and who clearly fits into comic book fandom but doesn’t come at it from the usual angle of reading comics. Also Cleolinda is just awesome and fun to interview! So here we go!

What kind of exposure have you had to comics generally – as a reader, a viewer, etc.?

Um… there were some tiny comics that came with my She-Ra dolls? I remember walking past racks and racks of comics at the grocery store every weekend and being really intrigued, but I was a very quiet, bookish child, and didn’t even bother asking my mother if I could have one. When I was in my 20s, I started picking up graphic novels based on which movies I had become interested in, and Watchmen on its general reputation.

How did you get into comics movies, and what was the first one you watched (as a child, and/or in the modern resurgence of comics movies)?

I think it says a lot about the genre that I don’t think of them as “comics” movies – I think of them as superhero movies and thrillers and action movies and whatever genre the actual story happens to be. I mean, technically, you could say that The Dark Knight and Wanted and From Hell and 300 are all “comics movies,” but if you say “comics,” I’m generally going to think “superheroes.” And those are such a box-office staple that it’s hard to think of them as something you get into, you know? They’re just there, and everyone goes to see them, and there are so many of them that some of them are awesome and some of them aren’t.

The first superhero movie, certainly, that I remember was Tim Burton’s Batman in the summer of 1989. I was probably ten or eleven at the time, and didn’t actually see it until it was on HBO a year or so later, but I remember that it was a big damn deal at the time. That black and yellow logo was everywhere, as were the dulcet purple strains of “Batdance.” Maybe it’s the Tim Burton sensibility that really got me into Batman movies initially; Batman Returns is pretty much my favorite Christmas movie ever, shut up. I just straight-up refused to see the Schumachers at all.  But I’m a Christopher Nolan fangirl, so that got me back in. Which may be the roundabout answer to the question: I get into these movies depending on who’s making them and/or who’s playing the characters. Nothing I read or saw about Green Lantern really attracted me from a filmmaking point of view (well, I love what Martin Campbell did with Casino Royale, there is that), so, in a summer crowded with movies, I didn’t go see it. And, you know, I’ve had Green Lantern fans tell me they really enjoyed it; that’s just the kind of choice you end up making with the time and money you have when you’re more interested in movies as a medium than comics.

What are your thoughts on the accessibility of comics movies, as someone who doesn’t primarily read comics? Are there any you found incomprehensible or confusing because you didn’t know the source material? Which do you think has been most successful as an adaptation for non-comics-reading viewers?

Well, despite my lack of comics-reading background, I usually hit up Wikipedia to get a vague idea of what happened in the original storyline. So the moment I heard that Bane was the TDKR villain, I went and looked it up and immediately wailed, “Noooooo I don’t want to see Bane [SPOILER SPOILER’S SPOILERRRRR]!” Because I keep up with movie news very closely, I knew when Marion Cotillard was cast that she would probably be [SPOILER]. And then, of course, they mixed it up a little anyway.

I guess The Avengers could have been confusing – which was something I lampshaded a little in the Fifteen Minutes I did for it, the umpteen previously on bits. But I felt like they explained it fairly well as they went. I had randomly seen Captain America (“It’s hot. Which movie you wanna see?” “Uh… that one? Sure”), so I knew the Tesseract back story, but I didn’t see Thor until two weeks after I saw The Avengers. But pop cultural osmosis plus the explanations in the movie meant that I understood the Loki business just fine; all seeing Thor did was give me more specific punchlines. (I do think that humor relies on knowing what you’re talking about, so I usually do a little research after I’ve seen something when I’m going to write it up.) Really, though, it’s hard to say. I’m usually aware enough of the movie’s background by the time I see it that I’m not confused. I mean, I’m already aware that Iron Man 3 is using the Extremis storyline, and there’s some kind of nanotech involved, and an Iron Patriot? Something – not enough to be spoiled, per se, but enough to have a frame of reference going in.

Just going by the numbers, it seems that The Dark Knight and The Avengers have been incredibly successful adaptations – and I don’t even mean in terms of money, but in terms of how many people flocked to those movies, saw them, enjoyed them, and were willing to see them again. You don’t make a billion dollars without repeat viewings. And that indicates to me that these movies were rewarding experiences for people, rather than frustrating or confusing (the Joker’s Xanatos gambits aside). And I think familiarity helped in both cases, though through different means. The Joker is obviously the most iconic Batman villain; in fact, The Dark Knight actually skips the slightest whiff of genuine back story there, instead showing the Joker as a sort of elemental chaos, almost a trickster god who comes out of nowhere and then, as far we viewers are concerned, vanishes. There’s no background for non-readers to catch up on; the TDK Joker is completely self-contained. Whereas Marvel’s approach with The Avengers was to get the public familiarized with the characters, very painstakingly, with this series of movies that built up Iron Man as the popular backbone, and then filled in the others around him, either in their own headlining movies or as supporting characters in someone else’s. One movie started out with very recognizable characters, and the other endeavored to make the characters recognizable by the time it came out.

Have you read a comic because you saw a movie about it? Or, have you read a comic because you were going to see a movie about it? How did that change your movie viewing and fan experience?

I got interested in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and read the trade paperback a few weeks before it came out – and then hated the movie. And you know, I think I would have actually enjoyed the silliness of it if I hadn’t “known better,” so to speak, so if it’s not already too late, I try to hold off on reading a book until after I’ve seen the movie. I did read Watchmen first – and did enjoy the movie. I think those are the only ones I’ve read beforehand, though. I did go pick up From Hell and a Sin City set, and I bought the second LXG series in single issues as well; I keep meaning to get V for Vendetta. I’ve never picked up a superhero comic. I just look at the vast history of Marvel and DC and think, where would I even start? (How could I even afford it? Do they have comics in libraries?) I’ve never even read the Sandman series, and that’s supposedly the traditional gateway drug for geek girls.

You write hilarious parodies about all sorts of movies; and the recent The Avengers in 15 Minutes is no exception. Can you talk a little about what it’s like writing the parodies (including how you started and your experience with that generally), and whether it’s any different for comics vs. other movies? Was there anything unique about writing The Avengers one?

Well, the short version is that I came home from Van Helsing (2004) and started writing a script-format bit on a whim; I thought it was just going to be one scene plunked into a Livejournal entry, but it took on a life of its own. I published a book of ten print-only parodies in 2005 with Gollancz; the original Spider-Man (2002) is in there, but there’s also fantasy, sci-fi, overly serious historical epic, etc., spread pretty evenly throughout. Looking back, I think The Avengers is the only other superhero movie I’ve done; 300, V for Vendetta, and Wanted might count generally. It helps for the movie to have some sense of silliness, or at the very least absurdity or over-seriousness. If nothing else, there’s something humorous about movies as a medium – the tropes they run on, the expectations, the necessary coincidences, the mundane things they conveniently skip, the way that this stuff just would not work in real life. And you can point this out and have fun with it without saying, “And that’s why this is a terrible movie.”

The real difference with the Avengers movie – the material it provided – was that it had all of these background movies leading up to it. So you immediately have more opportunities for cross-referencing and in-jokes, in addition to a running “previously on” setup. There were few comics-only jokes (although I did enough research to mention the Wasp and Ant-Man), because the movies themselves were plenty to deal with. Whereas the various Harry Potter in Fifteen Minutes writeups I’ve done played more on the “This Scene Was Cut for Time” idea, referencing the books and the plot holes incurred by leaving things out – what wasn’t there.

If anything, The Avengers was incredibly hard to do not because it was good, but because it was self-aware. I mean, I did Lord of the Rings, a trilogy I love, for the book, but I consider what I do to be “affectionate snark,” and… that’s kind of already built into The Avengers. So, while a gloriously absurd movie like Prometheus took four days and all I really had to do was describe exactly what happens, The Avengers took six weeks.

What’s your favorite comics storyline and/or character?

I seem to be drawn to characters who have just had enough and start wrecking shit. I think I’m so drawn to Batman not because I want to be rescued by him, but because I want to be him. I discussed last week how the Omnipotent Vigilante just can’t work in real life – but it works as a fantasy. Because every time I hear about something horrible on the news, or even just someone on the internet being a complete and utter asshole, I wish I could go be Batman and show up in the dark and scare the fear of God back into people (“Swear To Me!!!! 11!!”). Also, I didn’t really grow up with the more light-hearted TV version(s) of Catwoman; my frame of reference is Michelle Pfeiffer. And that’s a Catwoman whose story arc is almost a “vengeful ghost” story. She has been wronged, and now she’s back, and you are going to pay (maybe for great justice, maybe not). Whereas the Anne Hathaway Catwoman, while a really interesting character, is more about Selina wavering between conscience and self interest, not vengeance. And maybe that’s closer to the “cat burglar” origin of the character – which, again, speaks to how meeting these characters through movies may mean that you have a very different experience from a comics reader.

And then you have someone like Wolverine – I think my favorite scene in the entire series is in the second movie, where he ends up having to defend the school pretty much entirely by himself. You wish you could be that badass, in defense of yourself or someone (everyone) else. This also may be why I saw X-Men: First Class and kind of wanted an entire Magneto Hunts Nazis movie – and maybe why Magneto, even as an antagonist, is so compelling in the Bryan Singer movies. The X-Men universe has some genuinely interesting moral ambiguities, you know? Gandalf has a few legitimate grievances and now he is tired of your shit. *CAR FLIP*

Also, I have a little bit of grey hair at my temple that I wish would grow into a Rogue streak.

Marvel, DC, or neither?

You know, as much as I love Batman, I tend to be more interested in Marvel characters as a whole; not sure what’s up with that. Actually, it may be that Marvel has been so much more pro-active about getting movies made and characters out there; I like about three of the X-Men movies a lot, the first two Spider-Man movies are good (the reboot was good except for the feeling that half the story got chopped out, I thought), and now the Avengers-based movies are turning out really well. There’s just more to chose from on the Marvel side at this point.

Do you have more of a desire to pick up paper (or digital) comics to read after seeing a comics movie? Or do you prefer sticking with the movies?

I seem to be more interested in reading stand-alone stories, which is probably why I picked up Alan Moore books pretty quickly. Even if it’s a somewhat self-contained Marvel/DC storyline, it’s like… do I need to have read twenty years of story before this? Can I just walk in and start reading this, or am I missing volumes and volumes of context? And then, if I get really into this, are they just going to reboot the universe and wipe all of this out? And then you have to figure out what the movie was based on in the first place. I might be interested in reading the comics a particular movie is based on – but then you say, well, The Dark Knight Rises was inspired by ten different comics. If you put all that into a boxed set with a big The Dark Knight Rises Collection plastered across it, I would be more likely to buy that than if you shoved me into a comics store (complete with disdainful clerk) and said, “There Is The Batman Section, Chew Your Own Way Out.” The decades of stories and do-overs and reboots, the sheer flexibility and weight and history, are what appeal to a lot of comics readers, I guess, but they’re exactly what bewilder movie viewers, leaving them no idea where to start.

 

What comics movie are you most looking forward to in the near future; and is there a comic book story or character you’d like to see a movie about who doesn’t have one yet?

I’m curious to see how Man of Steel turns out, even though Superman has never done that much for me as a character. (That said, I always talk about “going into the Fortress of Solitude” when I try to seriously get some work done.) I once heard that Metropolis and Gotham are, metaphorically, the same city – one by day and the other by night – and I don’t know that there would be enough sunlight in a “gritty” Superman reboot, if that makes any sense. And I was just fascinated by the idea of Darren Aronofsky doing The Wolverine, of all things, but it looks like James Mangold is directing that now. And, you know, in checking on that, I see “based on the 1982 limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.” I see the words “limited series” and “trade paperback rated Must Have” and I think, okay, maybe this is something I have a chance of catching up on first.

I would really, really like to see a Black Widow movie, at this point. As much as I liked Anne Hathaway’s Selina, I wonder if a character that arch doesn’t work better in small doses. I mean, I’d still like to see them try a spinoff movie, but somehow, I think Black Widow might work out better. Everyone’s remarked on how great a year it’s been for people actually going to see movies with active heroines – Katniss, Merida, Selina, Natasha, even warrior princess Snow White – and I’m hoping that idea sticks. I know that the comics industry in general has a problem both in writing about and marketing to women. Maybe movies can lead the way on that.

Thanks for a fascinating perspective on your comics (and movie) fandom, Cleo!

If you haven’t done so, check out Cleo’s comics thoughts and parodies and, until next time:

Servo Lectio!

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis and the Death of Batman

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Goes To A Party!

Your Avengers Movie Roundup

You know you’re saving up to buy Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled but now you might need to save a little longer once you see the packaging. As revealed yesterday at MTV’s Splash Page. The package looks pretty sweet.

Additionally, Entertainment Weekly showed off the poster promoting the short film Item 47, which will be found on the Avengers Blu-ray disc. Copies of the poster will be given away following an Exclusive Premiere Screening at San Diego Comic Con later this week.

Here are the promotional details surrounding this event:

In anticipation of upcoming home entertainment release of Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel is unleashing an all-new alternate reality game (ARG)  that ultimately grants the first 300 fans with special access to an exclusive, premiere screening of Item 47, a Marvel One-Shot , fan experience & Special Filmmaker/Talent Q&A at Comic-Con.

Beginning on July 6th, Comic-Con attendees can download the all-new App – The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App (at the iTunes store) – that will not only garner fans unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release but also give them access to partake in the alternate reality game (ARG) at Comic-Con.

Beginning on Friday, July 13th, fans will be able to start solving special codes, that when unlocked, will guide them to their next clue. The App will also have a built in map of the Gas Lamp District in Downtown San Diego that will guide them to their location spots. There will be a total of 4 spots.  Fans must complete the entire ARG experience in order to redeem access to the special screening.

Robert L. Washington III Laid To Rest

Robert L. Washington III, drawn by Chris IvyThanks to the efforts of the Hero Initiative and comics fans and pros, Robert L. Washington was able to receive a proper funeral.

On Monday, June 25th, a funeral service was held for Robert L. Washington III in the Bronx borough of New York City, with a second service to come in Detroit, Michigan. The service was attended by various comic book creators, classmates, and friends from Robert’s various creative, work, and hobby circles.

Through the actions of Robert’s friends from Milestone Media, Inc. and his classmates from The Roeper School, The Hero Initiative was able to use all of your donations to pay for the service and provide Robert’s mother and two of his sisters with the means to travel from Detroit, Michigan to New York and give him a proper funeral.

The Hero Intitiative

via The Hero Initiative.

There were over 300 contributors to his cause, and we honor them below. But the work of the Hero Initiative is not done, and they can always use more funds.  Consider donating today.

Contributors:

A. Michael Koloshinsky, Abhay Khosla, Al Ewing, Al Ewing, Alan Lee, Alex Bickmore, Alex Joss, Alex Ostroumov, Alexander Varney, Alexandra Alberstadt, Ali Kokmen, Amy Perry, Amy Voigt, Ande Tucker, Andreas Giannoukakis, Andrew Dahlhouse, Andrew Maniotes, Andrew Pepoy, Andrew Willis, Andy Khouri, Ann Busiek, Anthony Arevalo, Archi Fagan, Ardian Reynolds, Ariana Maher, Aruneshwar Singh, Ashwin Pande, Ben Slipman, Benjamin Corey, Benjamin Wilikins, Benny Gelillo, Blair Shed, Bob Heer, Braille Tshirts .com, Brandon Yates, Brian Covey, Brian Holst, Brian Rust, Brian Wood, Bruce Venne, Bryant Kotyk, C. David McDermott, C. Wichtendahl, Carl Andrew, Carlos del Rosario, Carson Rizor, Caryn Martinez, Catherine Bedard, Chapel Hill Comics, Charles Anderson, Charles Schenley, Charlotte McDuffie, Chris Baird, Chris Escobedo, Christian Berntsen, Christian Martinez-Kay, Christopher Adams, Christopher Fuller, Christopher Golden, Christopher Howard, Christopher Keels, Christopher Thorn, Claire M. Schwartz, Clayton Cowles, Colin O’Neil, Colleen Doran, Comics Conspiracy, Conjoined Comics, Courtney Wilson, Craig Hicks, Cullen Kiker, Damian Duffy, Daniel Cordon, Daniel Fish, Dark Tower Comics, Darrin Robinson, Darryl Pearle, David Brothers, David Ditmeyer, David Feig, David Fooden, David Goldfarb, David Lyons, David McCullough, David Snyder, David Worrell, Deborah Woodrum, Denis Sarrazin, Dennis Sarrazin, Derek Dingle, Derek Morton, Derek Richardson, Dewey’s Comic City, Diana Post, Don Reisig, Don Satow, Donna Herren, Donna Hutt-Stapfer, Doug Shank, Dylan Todd, Edward Barton, Egg Embry, Eric Huberty, Eric Siegel, Eric Wood, Evan Skolnick, Evelyn Lucas, Fernando Ospina, Flidget Jerome, Flop Productions, Frank Graves, Frank Jr, Gail Harris, George Kish, George Morrow, Glenn Carrere, Grady W. Smithey, Greg Matiasevich, Greg McElhatton, Greg Pak, Gregory Cashman, Gregory Secaur, Gregory Wright, Heather McKinney, Heidi MadDonald, Henry Malter, Howard Cohen, Howard Gold, Hughes Beaulne, Ian Gonzales, Ian Toledo, Jacob Boucher, Jacob Levy, Jacqueline Ching, James Mathurin, James Melvin, James Tan, Jamie Lawson, Janelle Asselin, Janet Harvey, Jared Fletcher, Jared Nelson, Jason Brice, Jason Deitcher, Jason Fliegel, Jason Medley, Jason VanSlycke, JBC Innovations, Jean Farmer, Jed Wasserman, Jeffrey Baumert, Jeffrey Bell, Jeffrey Lester, Jennifer Hachigan, Jennifer Killmer, Jeremy Beebe, Jesse Post, Jessica Hogan, Jim McLauchlin, Joan Beardslee, Joan Lucas, Joe Illidge, Joe Soares, Joey Robinson, John Evelev, John Figueroa, John Fortune, John Newcom, John Pappas, John Polojac, Jonathan Gelatt, Jonathan Schnabel, Jose Ferro, Joseph Cohen, Joseph Young, Josh Chamot, Joshua Reynolds, Juan Pablo Schultz, Judith Bogdanove, Justin Doherty, Justin Kim, Karen Walkowiak, Karsten Lawson, Katherine Hayes, Kathryn Fairman, Kelly Thompson, Ken Barnes, Kenneth Bartlett, Kenyon Chung, Kevin Huxford, Kevin Kluck, Kevin Maroney, Kimberly Stoltzfus, Kumate Works, Kurt Hellmuth, Kyle Gnepper, Lara Thompson, Larry Marder, Lea Harnandez, Leighton Connor, Leland Dugger, Lenette Herzog, Leon Feder, Lewis Smith, Lia Kinane, Linda Clark, Linda Dagenais, Lindsey Ljungquist, Little Shop of Comics, Lonie Beck, Luke Addington, Mackenzie Walton, Marc Dunning, Marc Siry, Marco Cordova, Margaret Lark Russell, Marie Javins, Mark Foo, Mark Lopez, Mark Smith, Marni Rachmiel, Martin Costello, Mary Glazek, Mary Sue Renfrow, Matthew Cary, Matthew Dale, Matthew Hesslin, Matthew Jackson, Matthew Rossetti, Maxwell Warner, Mayer Brenner, Megan Geldhof, Meghan Morse, Melanie Nazelrod, Miaoran Li, Michael Brisbois, Michael Hanretty, Michael Hoskin, Michael McGee, Michael Miller, Michael Perry, Michelle C. Smith, Mike and Carrie Nielsen, Mike Frame, Morgan Piatt, Nancy Porat, Nat Gertler, Nathan Alderman, Neil Cameron, Neil Curry, Nicholas Doyle, Nicole Dubuc, Nine Edgerton, Olajide Kuye, Owen Ryan, P. Jude LoCasto, Patricia M. Cotton, Patrick Gleason, Patrick McCuen, Patrick O’Connor, Patrick Pascual, Patrick Ridings, Patrick Stewart, Paul Burne, Paul Fosten, Paul Salvi, Pauline Weiss, Pedro Tejada, Peter Krause, Peter Lange, Phil Hester, Philip Lloyd, Philip Pearce, Phillip Suttkus, Rafi Stephan, Rajesh Shah, Randall Golden, Ray Cornwall, Ray Kosarin, Renee Crowl, Rens Houben, Reyes Delgado Jr., Ricardo Ruiz-Dana, Rich Thigpen, Richard Fowlie, Richard Nelson, Richard Starkings, Robert Alexander, Robert Dean, Robert Yoder, Robon Horasanian, Roger O’Donnell, Romaine Colston, Ronald Hood, Roshan Abraham, Ross Campbell, Roy Richardson, Ryan McKern, Sahar Tirband Dastgerdi, Sail Byrnes, Sail Music, Samarcand Books, Sandor Silverman, Sapna Sharma, Sarah Abraham, Sarah Worman, Saul Hansell, Scott Goeke, Scott Rowland, Sean Coverdell, Sean Darby, Sevan Ficici, Shane Hutchinson, Sharmylae Taffe-Fletcher, Shawn Manion, Shobha Kazinka, Simon Brewer, Stanley Willis, Stephanie Fisher, Stephanie Grant, Stephanie Hsieh, Stephen Barghusen, Stephen David Wark, Stephen Finch, Stephen Gerding, Steve Niles, Steve Pheley, Steven Shure, Suzanne Moran, Terry Allen, Thomas Barichella, Thomas Spurgeon, Tiara Daughtry, Tim Stacey, Tim Utsler, Timothy Finn, Tom Murphy, Tomas Bolino, Tommy Sanchez, Trisha Sebastian, Troy-David Phillips, Valentin Mata, Valerie D’Orazio, Veronne Sorensen, Walt Simonson, Warren Wannamaker, Wilfred Santiago, William Clarke III, William Cockrell, William Cucinota, William De Witt, William Messick, Wizard’s Asylum, Zachary Gabriel, and eleven anonymous contributors.

UPDATED: Vote In The Finals of the Mix NSFW Webcomics Tournament– Go Get A Roomie vs. Oglaf!

UPDATE 3 AM, 6/22: Holy cow, a lot of money has come in this round– $65.75 for Oglaf and $500 for Go Get A Roomie! We’ve modified the vote totals accordingly, adding 263 votes to Oglaf and 2000 to GGAR, but there’s still time for your favorite to win, either by voting, getting your friends to vote, or by buying votes with proceeds going to the CBLDF!


At long long LONG last– the Finals of the Mix May Mayhem (well, it’s not May anymore) NSFW Webcomics Tournament!

So far, we’ve raised over $650 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and now we’re down to the final two contestants– Go Get A Roomie going head to head against Oglaf!

Here are the updated brackets… and remember, these are NSFW comics, so be careful when you click through to look and read them! (more…)

1 Day Left to Enter our Father’s Day Contest

We’ve partnered with Warner Home Video to offer three lucky readers to win a Blu-ray disc, either Blood Work, U.S Marshals, or A Perfect World. Here’s how you can enter the contest: tell us what, in 300 words or less, Father’s Day means to you.

The contest ends tomorrow night at 11:59 and we want to make sure you remember to enter and hopefully win.

Dracula World Order goes Direct to Shops and Digital

Former BOOM! Stuidos exec/writer Ian Brill has been teasing us all week with some images and today he finally unveiled what he’s been up to. His new book is bypassing the Diamond distribution system and while he’s not alone in this bold step, he is one of the ore high profile people doing this. Here’s the formal release:

June 8th 2012 – Los Angeles – When Ian Brill set out to write a new vision of Dracula, he called on some of the greatest talents in comics to bring it to life —Tonci Zonjic (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?), Rahsan Ekedal (ECHOES, SOLOMN KANE), Declan Shalvey (THUNDERBOLTS, 28 DAYS LATER), and Gabriel Hardman (HULK, BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES). This June 13th, comic fans everywhere can find DRACULA WORLD ORDER at select retailers across the North America and exclusively worldwide digitally on comiXology across their entire platform including iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and the web.

Following in the foot steps of Sam Humphries’ OUR LOVE IS REAL and SACRIFICE, Ian Brill’s DRACULA WORLD ORDER is self-published by the author and is offered digitally on comiXology while at the same time a very limited 300 copy print run will be available from these retailers:

  • 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, CA
  • The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada
  • Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka and Pasadena, CA
  • Comix Experience in San Francisco, CA
  • Desert Island in Brooklyn, NY
  • Laughing Ogre Comics in Lansdowne, VA, Fairfax, VA and Columbus, OH
  • Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, CA
  • Midtown Comics in New York City, NY
  • Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman, OK
  • It can also be purchased online from Things From Another World.

Featuring an all star cast of today’s best artists and written by Ian Brill, DRACULA WORLD ORDER tells the story of how the greatest villain of all, Count Dracula, takes advantage of a world on the brink of economic collapse. In a world where the top 1% of the population are vampires, the rest of the human race are prisoners…or the 1%’s next meal. Dracula’s own son Alexandru leads the 99% in rebellion against the Vampire elite – in a battle that will leave you breathless.

Within four startling chapters Tonci Zonjic (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?), Rahsan Ekedal (ECHOES, SOLOMN KANE), Declan Shalvey (THUNDERBOLTS, 28 DAYS LATER), and Gabriel Hardman (HULK, BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) bring their amazing talents to Brill’s story. With Zonjic, Jordie Bellaire (BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, FANTASTIC FOUR), and Stephen Downer (DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS, DRACULA THE UNCONQUERED) bring searing color art, with the amazing Josh Krach lettering the book. All of this under an amazing cover by Shalvey and Bellaire.

Advance praise for DRACULA WORLD ORDER:

“This would be incredibly cool even if it didn’t have some of my favorite artists working! Brill is making one of those books that get me excited about comics, and I would like to read a lot more of this. Read DWO and spread the word, this is the real deal!” says Jeff Parker, writer of HULK and THUNDERBOLTS.

Brill will be celebrating the release of DRACULA WORLD ORDER is dual signings on the release date.  He will be at Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, CA from 12-2 and Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka, CA from 5-8.

 

CONTEST: Win a copy of Blood Work, U.S Marshals, or A Perfect World

In time for Father’s Day, Warner Home Video is releasing Blu-ray editions of three overlooked films by some of our favorite performers – Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee, Jones, and Robert Downey, Jr. To celebrate these films, being released on Tuesday, we have one (1) Blu-ray copy of each of the following movies: Blood Work, U.S Marshals, and A Perfect World to give away.

Here’s how you can enter the contest: tell us what, in 300 words or less, Father’s Day means to you. You can write from any perspective you wish, without profanity please, and post your entry no later than 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

Three winners will be selected but you must live in the United States and P.O. Box addresses will not be accepted. The judgment of ComicMix‘s panel of experts will be final.

To refresh your memory, here are synopses of the three movies: (more…)

Vote In The Semi-Finals of the Mix May Mayhem NSFW Webcomics Tournament!

At long last– Round 4!

Sorry it took a while, some of the donations for votes came in without saying who the money was going for, so we wanted to wait until we could come to final totals. So far, we’ve raised over $650 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund— and we’re down to the final four contestants!

Here are the updated brackets… and remember, these are NSFW comics, so be careful when you click through to look and read them! (more…)