Posts Tagged ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer

26
Mar
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 260: Superheroes Beyond Comics

Although comic books gave birth to the superhero as we know it, that doesn’t mean they’ve been restricted to the four-color pages all these years. This week, Blake and Kenny share their own top ten lists of superheroes who were born outside of comic books, then dive into some of your suggestions. In the picks, Kenny goes with Aquaman, and Blake chooses Wolverine and the X-Men and the final issue of Tiny Titans. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 260: Superheroes Beyond Comics

03
Aug
11

Classic EBI #102: How to Make a Couch Potato Read a Comic Book

In today’s all-new Everything But Imaginary column, I step back and take a look at the construction of Marvel Studios’ movie universe — and what they may have to do to keep it viable past the first generation of actors.

Everything But Imaginary #409: Making a Movie Universe

Going back to the classics, though, back in February 2005 I looked at ways to snare new readers from the realm of television, by using their favorite shows to identify comics that may be to their taste…

Classic EBI #102: How to Make a Couch Potato Read a Comic Book

As much as I’d like to, I’ve discovered that it is statistically impossible to read comic books all the time. (I learned this one Thursday morning at 3:45 a.m. halfway through Sandman: A Season of Mists when I suddenly gained the ability to see the music.) So last weekend I unwound by watching the first season DVD of the television show 24. Which, of course, made me think about comic books, because my mind is preposterously circular in that regard.

Although I had heard a lot of really good things about 24, I’d never been able to catch it at the beginning of a season and therefore have never watched it, but when an online retailer recently had the first season on sale for just $15, I saw no reason not to get it. By the second episode, I was hooked, and I wound up watching the entire 24-episode season in less than a week. The way the show works, in case you don’t know, is that each season chronicles one day in the life of Counter Terrorism Agent Jack Bauer (played with aplomb by Kiefer Sutherland). Each episode takes place in realtime and covers exactly one hour in Jack’s life. What really got me about the show was the challenge of writing such a thing, telling one story in 24 installments, making each episode make sense as a portrait of one hour, and still having each installment end at a point of high suspense without making it seem necessarily forced.

Once I’d seen the whole thing, though, I realized that I got a very similar feeling reading a comic book. Specifically, from the new Captain America series by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Now a comic can’t play with time the same way that a television series can, but many of the other elements that make 24 so great are present in this series. A story is being told in installments, each installment has moments of action and downtime, and each one ends at a point of maximum suspense. (The first episode of 24, for instance, ends with Jack’s daughter being kidnapped and an airplane blowing up, whereas the first issue of Captain America ends with Cap’s old nemesis, the Red Skull taking a bullet in the chest.)

That sort of action, the spy drama, the structure is a great thing, and it make me think about how I always say that there is a comic book out there for everyone, if only they knew where to look. So while you 24 fans are trying to get your buddies to read Captain America, I’m going to suggest a few more TV/movie analogues to some great comic books.

(And I’m not just going to suggest Star Wars fans read the Star Wars comics. That’s too easy. And if they haven’t made that leap by now, they’re not gonna.)

For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it would be easy to suggest Astonishing X-Men. The title is written by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, for one thing, and it’s got kind of the same “us against a world of evil” mentality, with a lot of drama, but a good bit of humor as well. However, I think an even better comic for Buffy fans may be Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways. The second series of this acclaimed title starts… well… today. The basic premise of the first series was that six kids discovered their parents were supervillains, part of a murderous cult that was planning to aid in the destruction of the world. The kids – some of them with inherited powers or talents, but others with nothing but their wits – set out on their own to save the world from their own parents. The second series picks up some time after the first, and I don’t yet know what angle the new version will take, but I’ve got no doubt that it will have that same feel that Buffy fans dig.

What if you like a western? Something like Unforgiven, A Fistful of Dollars, or especially a fantasy-western like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series? Then you should be giving a read to Beckett Comics’ The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty. The book takes the classic fairy tale and transplants it to the American west, but it takes up the story near the end. An entire town has fallen asleep due to some ancient curse and a young boy, the only one to escape, is in search of a man to break the spell. When the title opens we find the boy and our unlikely hero, Cole, about to dangle at the end of a hangman’s rope. Cole is your classic tortured western hero, a gunslinger with a dark past he’s trying to atone for, even though he never believes he can. This is the sort of title that shows you how sometimes you can take two very familiar stories or styles, combine them, and come up with something totally new.

If you’ve got kids who are into (or if you yourself are into) something like Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Oddparents, you might want to check out the upcoming Mike S. Miller series The Imaginaries. Beneath all the comedy and slapstick, Fairly Oddparents is a series about the power of the imagination, and The Imaginaries is going to drip with that stuff. Folks who saw the recent preview in the Two Bits anthology know the idea – what happens to an imaginary friend when the child who imagined him no longer needs him? The pain of his parents’ divorce makes a child give up his own imaginary friend, Superhero G, who finds himself lost in an entire city made up of discarded imaginary friends. I’ve used the word “imagination” about a zillion times in this paragraph, but get ready for one more – this is the kind of comic that really tests the limits of the imagination, and that’s an incredible thing.

Maybe you just want to laugh. You’re into sitcoms like Newsradio, Scrubs or classics like I Love Lucy or Laverne and Shirley? Well man, why aren’t you reading PVP? Scott Kurtz’s comic strip is your classic office comedy – a group of geeks (and one troll) working together in a video game magazine. Throw in things like a competing magazine, a passive aggressive supervillain, frequent misunderstandings, romantic subplots, harried husbands and young crushes, and you’ve got all of the elements of a situation comedy. Kurtz, in fact, will frequently take the sort of stock situation that can be used in virtually any sitcom – a child (or troll) “runs away” after an older sibling (or co-worker) says something to upset him, and the others set out to find him, not realizing he just ran away to the broom closet. But Kurtz always has a little twist, something that makes it different from just another sitcom, something that makes it pop.

Cop dramas are huge right now. In fact, scientists estimate that if you were to play “Remote Control Russian Roulette” between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight (Eastern time) you stand a 97.3 percent chance of landing on a channel showing an episode of either CSI, Law and Order or one of their various spin-offs. So while you’re spinning that dial, why not spin over to the comic shop and try an issue of Gotham Central? Greg Rucka and the (sadly) soon-to-be departing Ed Brubaker have done a masterful job with this series, detailing the trials and tribulations of two groups of police officers (the day shift and the night shift) who have to keep the peace in a city with all of the regular muggings, murders, robberies and drugs of any major metropolitan area, but on top of that, are forced to deal with homicidal clowns, mad scientists, plant-women who can control your mind with just a kiss and some lunatic dressed like a giant bat trying to do their job for them. It’s a unique take on an old idea, and it hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.

Then there are the soap operas. And with them all of the lying, scheming, backstabbing, deaths, resurrections and sex you could want in any given issue of Noble Causes. Like most soap operas, this one focuses on one powerful family. The twist here is that “powerful” is meant in a literal term – these guys are superheroes. There are the parents, Doc and Gaia. There’s their oldest son, Rusty, who is trapped in a robot body and whose wife Celeste has left him and he’s now dating Cosmic Rae, whom he doesn’t know is an android. Race, their younger son, died in the first issue, but his wife Liz found another dimension where he survived and she’s moved there and everything is back to normal. Zephyr is pregnant by Draconis, the family’s oldest enemy whom Doc killed, and whose son Krennick claimed he was the father because he’s in love with her and has a tendency to hire prostitutes who pretend to be her. Then of course there’s Gaia’s other son, Frost, the product of an affair after Rusty was born, except no one knew she had the affair with a version of Doc from an alternate dimension. Oh, and Frost’s affair with Celeste is what ended her marriage to Rusty.

If you’ve watched enough soap operas to have the slightest clue what I said in that last paragraph, you should be reading Noble Causes.

The point of all this, friends, is that comics are a big, wide, diverse world. And if you look hard enough, you can find something for anyone. In fact, feel free to find some more – I’ll be interested to see what you all come up with.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: February 9, 2005

I had very, very low expectations for the winner of this week’s favorite award, which may be why I was so pleasantly surprised, but I thought the first issue of Young Avengers was a great read. Four teenagers with looks, powers and names that mimic Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk burst on to the scene, and J. Jonah Jameson wants the scoop. In addition to using Jameson, the book also picks up on the elder Avengers and the cast of The Pulse to investigate these kids, trying to figure out who they are and what they’re doing, all of it building up to a last page that legitimately surprised the heck out of me. Considering that Allan Heinberg has never written comics before, I think he’s off to a great start.

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. 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.

03
Apr
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 216: Green Lantern Footage and More From Wondercon

Blake and Erin chat this week about the new footage from Wondercon of the Green Lantern movie! Then, Blake reviews the new movie Limitless, Erin reviews Bomb Queen Vol. 1, and they talk about the rest of the Wondercon News — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DC’s Retro-Active specials, the Artist’s Edition of Walter Simonson‘s Thor, and much more! In the picks, Blake loved the Jimmy Olsen one-shot, and Erin is enjoying the novel John Dies at the End. Plus: more information about Blake’s new eBook! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 216: Green Lantern Footage and more from Wondercon

29
Apr
10

Photos from Nola Comic-Con 2010

I’m in kind of a time crunch today — working on a short story that I’m having some trouble piecing together. So I thought I’d give you guys some pictures to gaze upon. These were taken last weekend at the second annual Nola Comic-Con by myself, Mike “Technodunce” Bellamy, and Mike’s girlfriend Nicole…

Blake, Daniel, and Mike displaying the sort of professionalism the 2 in 1 Showcase podcast is known for.

The Harley and the Ivy.

The Harley and the Ivy.

Cooooo-braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Mike on a Mission

Nicole meets Our Favorite Sithlord.

BSI's Monty draws him some Deadpool.

Bet you never saw THIS come out of the Tardis before...

Best quote of the convention: when I heard this dad telling his kid, "No, you can't hold a lightsaber like that! You'll lose your hand!"

Ready to join... THE FRAY? (Man, I hope someone out there is nerdy enough to get that joke.)

Want to see more? Of course you do. You can view all of the pictures from Nola Comic-Con 2010 at my Flickr Album!

10
Feb
10

Everything But Imaginary #340: Glorified Fanfiction?

When I was younger, I tore through Star Trek and Star Wars novels. These days, I don’t have the urge to pick them up, even the ones that look really good? What’s the problem?

Everything But Imaginary #340: Glorified Fanfiction?

10
Jan
10

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 153: The All-New Showcase

The new era for the Showcase begins today! Driven by geek news and reader e-mails, the guys delve into a wealth of topics this week. In the mix: Disney’s Dreams Come True exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art, David Tennant‘s departure as Doctor Who, what’s going on in Buffy Season Eight and Blackest Night #6, thoughts on Batgirls past and present, and much more! In the picks, Mike (and listener Robert Willing) loved Justice League of America #40, Kenny picks Power Girl #7, and Blake provides the Graphic Novel pick: Mini-Marvels Ultimate Collection. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com!

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 153: The All-New Showcase
Inside This Episode:


02
Dec
09

Everything But Imaginary #331: Dear Santa…

Santa’s got a big job — making and delivering toys to every good little boy and girl in the world. And as we geeks know, there’s a lot more than just one world out there. This week, we at Everything But Imaginary Global Headquarters have gotten special permission to peek in at letters to Santa Claus from all over the multiverse!

Everything But Imaginary #331: Dear Santa
Inside This Column:

04
Oct
09

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 139: Dracula and the Vampire’s Redemption

As we roll into October, the Halloween Spooktacular is again upon us! The Showcase is undergoing some big changes this week, but Blake and Kenny sit down to talk about the immortal lord of the night, Count Dracula, from his classic movies, the legendary Tomb of Dracula comic, and his appearances in the DC Multiverse and elsewhere. The guys also talk about the rest of the Count’s vampire bretheren, some great vampire novels and comics from recent years, and desperately look for a way to save the Noble Nosferatu from being Twilight-ized. In the picks this week, Kenny goes with Blackest Night #3, and Blake takes the upcoming prose book Peter and Max: A Fables Novel. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com! (Special thanks to Jacob Bascle for the Spooktacular Album Art we’ll be sporting all month!)

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 139: Dracula and the Vampire’s Redemption
Inside This Episode:

11
Jul
09

What I’m Reading: Blackest Night #0

Blackest Night #0Since I’ve more or less decided to review all the chapters of Blackest Night here at Evertime Realms, I went back and pulled out the zero issue released in may for Free Comic Book Day. Produced by the same creative team — Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis — that will handle the regular miniseries, this issue takes place just after the Green Lantern #43 I reviewed the other day.

Hal Jordan is joined by his best friend, Barry Allen. Both the Green Lantern and the Flash are heroes who have come back from death, a feat that has been accomplished by a lot of people across the DC Universe. Today, though, they ponder those who haven’t come back from death’s door, and perhaps more importantly, why they did.

One of the central themes that Johns says will be explored in Blackest Night is the question of why so many superheroes seem to be able to cheat death again and again, and this issue sets up that theme nicely. It’s also a good focus on Hal and Barry as friends. Their own friendship is explored, as is their relationships to certain fallen heroes that we know will show their faces as Black Lanterns. (At this point at least five different Black Lanterns have been confirmed through solicitations and the like, but I won’t mention them here). Basically, the point of this book is to show the readers the chessboard. It reminds us where all the pieces are, who is in play and who isn’t, and gets us ready for the main event.

The book also features a series of pages drawn by Green Lantern artist Doug Mahnke. Each spread features a different one of the eight corps and points out the key players in each one. For those who may not have been reading the last two years of the two Green Lantern titles (more the fool you), it’ll get you up to speed quickly.

So that’s it. The prologues have been read, the players are all in place, and the Blackest Night is about to be unleashed. More than any time in my life of reading comics, I just can’t wait for Wednesday.

RATING: 7/10

Since we all do have to wait for Wednesday, though, how about you take a look at some of the other reviews I’ve written lately over at Comixtreme?

06
Jun
09

Reviews ‘n Stuff

Tomorrow, my girlfriend Erin comes in for one of our visits, and I can’t wait. We’re actually going to have a lot going on, beginning tomorrow with going to see The Floating Palace at the Bayou Playhouse (reportedly an excellent play that my sister, Heather, happens to be in). Next weekend, we’re travelling to Florida with my family for my cousin Lauren’s wedding. In-between… well, we’re gonna do stuff with my friends, stuff with just us… we’re gonna do stuff. In other words, I’ve got no idea what we’ll be doing all week. But it doesn’t matter, because we’ll be together.

Writing Life

Yesterday I finished a new short story for the eMuse Summer Madness contest. I’ve been telling you guys for some time now how awesome the work of J.C. Hutchins is, so I had to get involved when I heard about a writing contest centering on his upcoming novel Personal Effects: Dark Art. It’s just a quickie, really, something that popped into my head and I worked out really fast, but it was fun to take on a different story. I’ve also been hard at work on two things connected to Project Rebirth, and I’m getting more and more excited about it. Yeah. Still cryptic. Yeah, I know.

Reviews

I’ve also been firing away on the reviews over at Comixtreme.com. Here are some recent ones I’ve turned out:




Blake’s Twitter Feed

May 2022
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Blog Stats

  • 316,824 hits

Blake's Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.