On the tenth anniversary of Free Comic Book Day, Blake and Kenny set up camp at BSI Comics in Metairie and chat with fans, pros, and fellow podcasters about everything! In this episode: a spoiler-free discussion of The Avengers, our thoughts on the DC Nation cartoon block including Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice, discussions of the free comics on sale, Kurt Amacker tells us about his new graphic novel Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid, and we chat with the hosts of the Nola Nerd podcast and Adam from the Graphic Panels podcast. In the picks, Adam recommends Earth 2 #1 and Blake (surprising virtually no one) talks about the first issue of the new X-O Manowar. And the free stuff isn’t over — Blake is giving away free downloads of his superhero novel Other People’s Heroes! Just go to Smashwords.com, use the coupon code XG56X, and download the book in your preferred eReader format! (Coupon expires on May 20, 2012.) Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Posts Tagged ‘X-O Manowar
Tags: 2 in 1 Showcase, Atomic Robo, Avengers, David Aja, Earth 2, Eternal Warrior, Free Comic Book Day, Green Lantern, Harbinger, Hawkeye, James Robinson, Kurt Amacker, Nicola Scott, Planetary, podcast, Rai, Spider-Man, Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid, The New 52, Valiant Comics, X-O Manowar, Young Justice
Tags: 2 in 1 Showcase, 2000 AD, Adventure Time, Animal Planet, Anti, Atomic Robo, Avengers, Bad Medicine, Barnaby, Buffy, Burt Ward, Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens, Disney, Donald Duck, Elvis Presley, Finding Gossamyr, Free Comic Book Day, Howard Cruse, Hypernaturals, Infernal Devices, Intrinsic, Jurassic Strikeforce 5, Labyrinth, Lady Death, Madman, Mega Man, Moomin, mouse guard, new 52, Peanuts, podcast, Revival, Rhiannon Frater, Serenity, Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Superman, the guild, Tinkerbell, TransFormers, Valiant Comics, Voltron, Witchblade, X-O Manowar, Yo Gabba Gabba, Young Justice, Zombie Kid, zombies
With just five days left before Geek Christmas, it’s time to gear up for Free Comic Book Day! Blake and Erin go through this year’s list of offerings and talk about which books they’re anticipating, which ones may not be to their taste, and whether or not there’s any reptile as awesome as Doctor Dinosaur. (Answer: No.) In the picks, Erin is absorbed in Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies series, and Blake urges you to watch Young Justice on Cartoon Network. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Not every comic book is about superheroes… and not all superheroes wear tights and capes. Today’s EBI looks at some of the alternatives.
Tags: 2 in 1 Showcase, Another Earth, Avengers, Avengers Vs. X-Men, Chronicle, Community, Dwayne McDuffie, Earth Two, Future Foundation, Hack/Slash, Hunger Games, Huntress, John Carter, Jonathan Hickman, Justice League, Mark Waid, Planet of the Apes, podcast, Power Girl, Power Pack, Ralph McQuarrie, Shade, Sheldon Moldoff, Tree of Life, Valiant Comics, World's Finest, X-Men, X-O Manowar
Blake and Erin get together this week to talk about movies. They give their thoughts on the recent film Chronicle and the newest DCU animated film Justice League: Doom, plus a few other films that have crossed their Netflix queues lately, and look forward to John Carter and The Hunger Games. Moving on to other talk, we say farewell to Sheldon Moldoff and Ralph McQuarrie, celebrate the return of Community, talk about the pre-orders for Avengers Vs. X-Men and the Earth Two costume designs and more! In the picks, we talk about Hack/Slash #13 and The Shade #5. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Tags: Amazon Kindle, Animal Man, Avengers, Avengers Vs. X-Men, Batman, Christmas, Cool Yule Comics, eBooks, Hack/Slash, Hatchet, Jerry Robinson, Joker, Marv Wolfman, Night Force, Operation eBook Drop, Permuted Press, Phoenix, Robin, Snowy Joey and the Christmas Dinosaurs, Tom Mandrake, Valiant Comics, X-Men, X-O Manowar
Blake and Erin talk about books both with and without pictures this week. New Kindle Convert Erin points you towards the “Black December” sale from the good folks at horror publisher Permuted Press, and Blake urges all writers to throw their support behind Operation eBook Drop. In comics chat, we discuss the passing of Jerry Robinson, the return of Valiant Comics and Marv Wolfman’s Night Force, and the next big thing at Marvel, Avengers Vs. X-Men. In the picks, Blake triples with Animal Man #4, Hack/Slash Annual #3, and Snowy Joey and the Christmas Dinosaurs. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.
Episode 248: Avengers Vs. X-Men and a Valiant Return
Tags: Astro City, Bill Willingham, Bone, Brian Augustyn, classic ebi, Doug TenNapel, EBI, Fables, Grant Morrison, Identity Crisis, Impulse, Jeff Smith, Jim Valentino, Johnny DC, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Looney Tunes, Mark Waid, Ninjak, Robin, Savage Dragon, Shadowhawk, Teen Titans Go!, Tommysaurus Rex, X-O Manowar
Last week, an independent comic creator put out a call to arms for other creators to take a shot at their own property, and not expend all their creative energy on corporate characters. While I agree in principle, as I explain in this week’s Everything But Imaginary, I think the finger is being pointed at the wrong target…
In this week’s classic EBI, though, it’s time for something pretty timely. DC Comics has just announced that they’re bringing back the long-lost, lamented letter pages to their comic books. So let’s go back to August 18, 2004, when I bemoaned the loss of those pages…
Comic Books By the Letters
I want to write comic books someday. I don’t think I’m giving away any top secret information in saying that — at least 25 percent of all comic fans, at some point or another, seriously harbor an urge to pursue a career as a writer or an artist, and if anyone in the other 75 percent tried to claim they had never at least thought about it, I would call them a liar and spray them with the garden hose.
I think it’s safe to say that the next generation of comic fans (wherever they wind up coming from) will come with those same ambitions and aspirations as well. However, there is one thing I can say about being a writer that future generations may not have the chance to, given the way things are. I can say that the first time something I wrote was published in a comic book, it was in the letter page.
Although I had occasionally dashed off letters to comic companies in my earlier years, it wasn’t until the year I graduated high school that one finally saw print. That first letter appeared in New ShadowHawk #1 from Image comics, and I was commenting on the powerful final issue of the original ShadowHawk series (creator Jim Valentino will be bringing the property back for a one-shot later this year, finally) and apparently, something I said was interesting enough to justify seeing print in the first issue of the new series, written by the man who would quickly become my favorite writer in comics, Kurt Busiek.
Well, I’ve got to tell you, seeing my name and my words in print emboldened me, and for the first year or two that I was in college, I was a ubiquitous letterhack. Oh, I was no Uncle Elvis, but I became a semi-regular presense in the letter page of a new title, Kurt Busieks’s Astro City. I also got a couple of letters in the pages of Jeff Smith’s Bone, and landed missives in other titles, including Ninjak (another Busiek title at the time), Impulse, Robin and even JLA (back during the Morrison years). Heck, at one point having my address appear in those back pages actually scored me a black-and-white preview of the resurrected X-O Manowar by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn — Acclaim Comics even wound up excerpting part of my reply for that preview into an ad for the comic. (It was the first time I was ever “blurbed,” long before my days as a reviewer at CX Pulp.)
Eventually, though, school, work, life and all those other things that prevent us from reading comic books all day interfered and my output lessened, although I still tried to drop a line to Astro City whenever it came out. It wasn’t really that big a tragedy — there was no shortage of letter-writers coming up from behind me to fill the ranks.
Then, a couple of years ago, DC Comics announced it was abandoning its letters pages entirely. Marvel never made an official announcement, but their pages began to dwindle to almost nil, and on those rare occasions they appeared, it almost felt like the editors cherry-picked gushing, glowing missives instead of working in a mix of enthusiasm and criticism like letters pages of yore had done. Part of the rationale DC gave for getting rid of the format is that Internet message boards — like this one — made the letters page irrelevant. I tend to disagree. I love message boards — heck, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have written 76 of these “Everything But Imaginary” columns and nearly 400 reviews for this website — but there’s something unique about the letters page.
Look at it this way — when you see your letter appear in the back of a comic book, you know that somebody involved with the production of that comic read it. If there’s a reply, that’s even better. Even if it’s the assistant editor’s assistant stapler, it passed through the eyeballs of somebody making a comic book happen.
Unless a creator takes the time to reply to you on a message board, you don’t know that your message is ever getting to the people you intend it for. Even on “official” message boards, there’s no way to know if the writer or artist or editor you’re addressing actually reads your post. You’re just shouting into the wind, hoping your message gets carried off.
Second… let’s be honest here, guys… there’s no sense of accomplishment in posting to a message board. All you need is an e-mail address and anybody can blather to their heart’s content. With a letter page, though, there’s a limited amount of space, and you know that, so if your letter shows up on that page it means somebody judged it superior to other missives, somebody found something in that letter that was clever or funny or thought-provoking enough to want to share it with the other people who read that title.
Third… there is that sense of community. Oh, we’ve got a great community right here on Comixtreme — Doug is the mayor, Brandon is the court jester, Ronée clearly is in charge of the house of worship, Craig runs the barber shop for some reason… but as many hits as we get here, very, very few threads ever get as many views as the print run of an average comic book. And even those that do, it’s the same pool of people reading and replying over and over again. Now there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but when it comes to getting your message out to the masses, having it printed in the comic itself is still far, far superior to anything the Internet has yet accomplished.
I think it’s nice to note that a great deal of comic book creators were just as upset as the fans when the letters pages went the way of the dinosaur. A number of them got their starts as letterhacks back in the day, after all, and they know everything I’ve already told you. People with creator-owned books like Savage Dragon have kept the letters page in defiance of these oh-so-sweeping winds of change. Fables and Robin writer Bill Willingham started online “letter pages” at his own website, and although those are essentially message boards themselves, it does have more of the feel of the “real” letter pages since each thread is devoted to a single issue of a single title and because Willingham himself frequently appears and answers questions the fans ask.
But, as is so often the case, there’s hope. And oddly enough, that hope is coming from DC Comics, the same people who made the biggest stink about losing the letter pages in the first place. DC has announced that, beginning in September, it will lump all of its titles based on animated properties (it seems a bit patronizing to call them “kid’s comics”) into a new line hosted by the return of their old mascot, Johnny DC. Johnny will be bringing you Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans Go!, Looney Tunes and other such comics every month…
…and with them, Johnny will have letter pages. In fact, he’s already showing up in comics and online asking kids to send in their letters.
I don’t know why, exactly, DC has decided to backtrack here and bring back the letter pages, at least for this small family of titles, but I hope it works. I hope it’s a huge success. I hope the demand gets so great that they start putting the letters back in every comic.
After all, not everyone is as lucky as I am — when I think a comic stinks, I can just write a column about it.
FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: August 11, 2004
Okay, look, I’ve given up on this one. Can we all just agree that any given week that features an issue of Identity Crisis, it’s going to win this award? Issue #3 was the best yet, featuring a spectacular fight scene with the Justice League and Deathstroke, some shocking (but utterly logical) revelations about the JLA’s past, and a last-page shocker that was as gut-wrenching as anything I’ve seen since… well… since Identity Crisis #1.
But since I feel like Brad Meltzer is being very selfish, writing a comic book so brilliant it can’t possibly lose this honor, I’m also going to point out the next-greatest book of the week… this time out it’s a one-shot graphic novel from Image, Doug TenNapel’s Tommysaurus Rex. TenNapel is most well-known for creating the video game and cartoon character Earthworm Jim, but a few years ago he put out an absolutely brilliant graphic novel called Creature Tech, which remains a favorite of mine to this day.
This time out he tells the story of a young boy who goes to spend the summer on his grandfather’s farm after his beloved dog is killed by a car… only to find, inexplicably, a living, breathing Tyrannasaurus Rex in the woods! He and the T-Rex befriend each other (this is a classic example of the “Boy and His Monster” comic I wrote about here in EBI a few weeks ago), and he quickly comes to realize that there may be even more to his new friend than he realized. This is a wonderful, touching story, the sort of thing you really can read with your kids. (Well… older kids, the scenes with the dog dying and other bits may be a bit too upsetting for younger children.) At any rate, it’s a beautiful graphic novel and gets my highest recommendation. And to make things even cooler, even before it came out last week, Universal Studios optioned the rights to make the movie. Now that rocks.
Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.
It’s the episode Blake and Chase have been hoping to record for over ten years now! (That’s right. Even before podcasting existed.) The Valiant Universe — home of heroes such as Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Archer and Armstrong and Rai and the Future Force — is slowly making a return with new hardcover editions, and the promise of new comics to come. This week, the guys tell you their favorite Valiant stories, cross their fingers for the return for Magnus: Robot Fighter and Solar: Man of the Atom to the line, and explain how they would resurrect Valiant as a line of ongoing comics. In the picks this week, Blake cheers for the return of Firebreather and Chase is still in love with Green Lantern: Secret Origin. In the next two weeks we’re going to talk Wanted and Mark Millar, then an episode focusing on our favorite Webcomics, so e-mail us with your comments, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com! And if you’ve got a Webcomic suggestion, be sure to include the URL!
Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network
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