Posts Tagged ‘Ender’s Game


Classic EBI #80: The World’s Greatest Detectives?

In this week’s new EBI, I continue my attempt to make sense of comics that have been started and re-started so many times that… well… they no longer make sense.

Everything But Imaginary #390: Failing Math Part 3… Um… I Mean 2…

But in this week’s classic EBI, I look back at a time when some old friends were coming to comics, and I pondered who else may follow them.

Everything But Imaginary #80: The World’s Greatest Detectives?

The World’s Greatest Detectives?

I know I told you guys that there may be no EBI this week, due to the impending Hurricane Ivan. I know I broke your hearts, left you shattered, rendered you unable to speak. I know I’m toying with your emotions now, showing up out of the blue, and giving you your regularly-scheduled Everything But Imaginary after you’d already resigned yourselves to the fact that you wouldn’t have one today. But y’know, that nasty sucker Ivan is taking his sweet time, it seems, and I’ve got just enough time to dash off my thoughts for this week before I dash for higher ground.

A few weeks ago I read some really cool news online – two old buddies of mine are making their way back to comic books, a couple of fellas named Frank and Joe, better known as the Hardy Boys. I’ve always loved to read, from the earliest age I can remember, and one of the first things I read was a huge collection of reprints of the original Hardy Boys series, going all the way back to the first book, The Tower Treasure, that was released back in 1927.

Frank and Joe Hardy lasted through several series, hundreds of novels, encounters with other stalwarts of kid’s literature like Nancy Drew and Tom Swift and once (this was my favorite book) even thwarted the theft of some rare comic book art at the San Diego Comicon, conquering a group of crooks rigged up to mimic supervillains. I remember being impressed that one man, Franklin W. Dixon, had managed to keep the series going for so long, and that Carolyn Keene had accomplished a similar feat with Nancy Drew – this was before, of course, I realized these authors were both pen names for dozens of writers that contributed to the series over the years. I can understand the urge to give the series a feeling of continuity, especially to kids, but as I grew up and started writing myself I always thought it sort of unfair that the real writers never got credit, and that I’ll probably never know who wrote some of my favorite childhood novels.

But now, there will be new tales of Frank, Joe and Nancy, and the writers will get credit – NBM comics has announced its new Papercutz line, a series of titles aimed at “tween” readers. (I have to admit, I hate that term – it seems to refer to the demographic where a child is not yet a teenager but an irresponsible parent will allow her to dress and behave like Britney Spears.) Hardy Boys will be a monthly series by well-known comic stalwarts Scott Lobdell and Lea Hernandez. True to form with the classic stories, the comic will tell three-issue stories then dovetail right into the next mystery, with the arcs being collected in the digest comic size that is becoming increasingly popular again. It’s been a long time since the boys graced a comic book page – they had a four-issue run from Dell in the 50s based on the Disney TV show and another short run in the 70s, and that’s it.

Nancy Drew will be written by Stefan Petrucha with art by Sho Murase, and this will mark her first journey into our four-color world. Nancy’s adventures, though, will not be monthly – her comic will only be presented in the quarterly digest format. This took me aback at first. Why do the Hardys get the monthly treatment but Nancy doesn’t? The only explanation for this that I can think of is that the publisher thinks that boys are more geared to the monthly comic format, whereas girls will probably pass the comic by, but would be lured by the paperback-book sized graphic novel. (I ran this theory by Ronée, by the way, and she confirmed it for me.)

These graphic novels will be 84 pages for the Hardys and 96 for Nancy (a little balancing of the scales for you there, ladies) and will retail at a highly affordable $7.95, not much more than you’d pay for one of the prose books these days. I haven’t heard much about Papercutz’s marketing strategy, but I’ve got to hope they plan to try to shelve these near the other books in the children’s section of bookstores. Most stores, I suppose, will automatically shelve them next to the similarly-sized Manga titles, where they will be summarily ignored by young teenagers looking for the next Evangelion and kids flipping through them because they heard sometimes they draw boobies in those comics. I really think putting them with the other books, where they are being shown off to the built-in audience, is the best way to go.

And I sincerely hope this experiment works, because as I’ve said time and again, we’ve got to find new ways to get kids reading comic books. I actually intend to check out at least the first paperback editions of each of these two series, partly because I’m a big kid myself and partly because I want to be able to opine with authority as to whether or not this effort to lure younger readers is on the right track.

The good news is, Papercutz has great backing – NBM has published offbeat American and foreign graphic novels for 20 years now, they know how to sell their titles and if they throw themselves into this product and put quality writers and artists to them there’s no reason the titles couldn’t prosper. And if they do prosper, I’d like to see them branch out and try other popular children’s series.

Some children’s series, like “Lemony Snicket”’s Series of Unfortunate Events, would be difficult to work in as a comic book, unless they did a straight adaptation. Each novel in the series takes place in a very tight timeframe, and the books take place one after the other, leaving no downtime to inject “extra” stories. Others would leave more room – Goosebumps is a series of totally unrelated scary stories, it would be simplicity itself to write new ones (or adapt existing ones) and print them under that label. Comic mastermind Neil Gaiman has his own children’s novel, Coraline, that may be interesting to expand and adapt. There’s plenty of room to mine stuff like Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game or Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books. (2011 Note: Both Ender’s Game and Artemis Fowl have found their way to comics since I wrote this column, as did Coraline, although that was more an illustrated novel than a true comic book.)

Then, of course, there is the children’s lit juggernaut, Harry Potter. Although the books have a very specific time frame, each one of them takes place over an entire school year, from September to June. Even when the novel clocks in at 800 pages, you know J.K. Rowling hasn’t chronicled every single minute of the year. While chances are she’s too busy to write comics herself, it would be interesting to see other writers – writers she would trust with her baby – come in and tell some stories that could “fill in the blanks,” so to speak. Show an unseen Quidditch match, a potions experiment gone awry. Titles like this, that fill in blanks of an established series (be it movies, novels or television) usually don’t have the luxury of making deep or lasting changes to the mythos, but as any Star Wars comic fan can tell you, it can be a great way to explore the world outside of the lives of our main characters or develop their characters a bit more through adventures we didn’t get to see.

Papercutz is definitely on the right track, and I hope that the quality of these two new series lives up to the great idea they started with. Comics aren’t just for kids anymore – that’s a crippling stereotype that the whole industry has to fight. But the reality that there are so few good comics for kids is even worse. They’re coming back. Uncle Scrooge. Courtney Crumrin. Writer J.M. DeMatteis is even fighting to get back the rights to his brilliant Abadazad series and resurrect it outside of the doomed halls of CrossGen.

This is another stepping stone. We’ve still got a long way to go.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: September 8 2004

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, because I never stop talking about what a great comic book She-Hulk is. Do you know why I never stop talking about what a great comic book She-Hulk is? Because not enough of you are reading it yet! Issue #7, which came out last week, is the first of a new storyline in which Jennifer Walters, the spectacular She-Hulk, is offered a position as a magistrate on a cosmic level, meting out judgment as a subordinate of the incarnation of Justice, the Living Tribunal. Although there are some rumors of cancellation, writer Dan Slott has said that the book has been “picked up” at least through issue #15 (and even better, that Paul Pelletier will take over as the new regular penciller with issue #9) – that means you guys have eight issues more to figure out how great a comic it is. This is one of the funniest comics out there, consistently entertaining, and a real celebration of the rich tapestry that the Marvel universe is. And if that’s not enough for you – hot, green women in swimsuits. Oh, and Forbush Man is on the cover. There, satisfied? Go read it.

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 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.


Everything But Imaginary #335: The Best of 2009

The new year has begun, friends, but before we put 2009 to bed, let’s look at some of the best in comics of the year. It’s time for my annual look at my personal favorites in comics, TV, movies, and prose novels in this week’s Everything But Imaginary!

Everything But Imaginary #335: The Best of 2009


Everything But Imaginary #334: Ghosts of Christmas Comics 2009

As has become my tradition, with the last Everything But Imaginary before Christmas, I’m running down all the Christmas comics I could get my hands on this year… and this year friends, there are a lot of them! Take a look!

Everything But Imaginary #334: Ghosts of Christmas Comics 2009

Inside This Column:


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 138: Age of Apocalypse

Because you demanded it! People have long asked us to do an episode delving into the classic X-Men storyline, The Age of Apocalypse, and we at the showcase aim to please! This week, Blake and Chase talk about the overall storyline, our favorites of the individual issues, and which elements from the Age of Apocalypse managed to transcend “alternate reality” status and become part of the regular X-Men lore. In the picks, Blake loved the first issue of Ender’s Game: Command School, while Chase gives us the graphic novel pick, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One. Contact us with comments, suggestions, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

2 in1 Showcase Episode 138: Age of Apocalypse
Inside This Episode:


Some reviews to tide you over…

Hey, gang. I’ve got a class in about an hour, leeching up my precious summer in the name of, y’know, getting teaching certification. So I don’t have time for a real post this morning. I’ll try to have something more substantial for you guys this afternoon, but how about some reviews to tide you over? First of all, you can check out my review of the new film The Hangover over at Comixtreme.

Next, how about some comic book reviews?


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.


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



Once again, I thought I would regale you with some of my recent reviews over at As prolific as I am here at Evertime Realms, I also write a ton of stuff for CX, including mucho comic book reviews, and the occasional movie and DVD review. In fact, after I catch Star Trek tonight with the guys, I’ll be reviewing that one for CX. I also recently reviewed the DVD of PVP The Series: Season One. It was pretty good, for the most part. PVP, as you may know, is one of my favorite webcomics, and I enjoyed the webisodes that were produced a while back. Hopefully this DVD will do well enough to justify a second season.

And how about all the comic book reviews I write? Here’s a batch of the most recent.


Everything But Imaginary #300: Then and Now

Six years and 299 columns later, I sit down to write the 30oth installment of Everything But Imaginary. This week, I look at how the comic book landscape has changed since the first column came out, comparing comics THEN to comics NOW. Plus, my pick of the week: Ender’s Game: Battle School #4!

Everything But Imaginary #300: Then and Now
Inside This Column:


2 in 1 Showcase #100: Showcase Centennial Celebration!

It’s been 100 episodes, and they said it wouldn’t last! For their Centennial Celebration, Blake, Chase and Kenny camp out at BSI Comics on the first New Comic Day of the year! The guys tell the Secret Origin of the podcast, Blake gives you 2 in 1 Showcase By the Numbers, the guys read a lot of your e-mails, chat with the staff and customers, and get into a bitter debate over the original leader of the Voltron force! Because that’s how we roll. Also, beginning this week, we’re asking you guys to write in with your own Picks of the Week! Thanks to Robert Willing for the suggestion, and for giving us the first pick! In the regular picks, Chase dives into the back issue bin for Swamp Thing #37-39, Blake finds himself enjoying Ender’s Shadow: Battle School #1, and Kenny loved the Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: Magog one-shot. Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 100: Showcase Centennial Celebration
Inside This Episode:


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 97: The Spirit of Will Eisner

On Christmas day, movie theaters will burst open with Frank Miller‘s big-screen adaptation of The Spirit. This week, Blake and Chase talk about the character’s history in comics, his current status in DC comics, and how the legendary Will Eisner turned a guy in a blue three-piece suit into one of the most innovative superheroes ever created. In the picks this week, Blake recommends Archer and Armstrong: First Impressions, and Chase is still loving the new Flash Gordon series. Don’t forget to send us your votes for our Best of 2008 episode! You can find the categories and nominees in Episode 95! E-mail us with your votes, as well as comments, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 97: The Spirit of Will Eisner
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: In Week in Geek #3, Blake picks up the microphone to discuss the recently-announced Fables TV show. How does he feel about his favorite comic book being made into a weekly TV series? And then, he gives a quick review of the new DVD release of a childhood favorite, Jim Henson’s The Christmas Toy.

Week In Geek #3: Fables TV and The Christmas Toy

New Reviews:

Just so you guys don’t have to go through this day with no new Christmas content from me, why not check out my review of this year’s edition of Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade? Gemstone Comics has upheld the classic tradition of Disney Christmas comics, and this year’s book is a fine one.

And while we’re at it, here are a few more comics I’ve reviewed lately:

May 2023

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