They're located at:
4801 Shore Drive, Suite D
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Today was one of those days when I just wanted to take my family out for a long drive without a specific destination and just wing it. Fill up the gas tank, lower the door windows, open the sun roof, turn the volume and just enjoy the ride; so that's what we did! We drove for a while and my wife spotted a dance studio (she's a professional dancer) and asked me if we could stop real quick, to which I replied: "Sure". Of course, I immediately spotted a book store right next to the dance studio and I told her I wanted to check it out afterwards. The books store was independently owned and it looked inviting.
There were tow male clerks who immediately acknowledge me and my family and were very courteous, something that employees from every field are missing more and more these days! I looked around for a few minutes and they asked me if I needed help, but before I could ask them, I noticed that one of the clerks had a pile of at least 50 comics in front of him! All I could say was "Yes you do!" He looked at me funny and I said "Comics, do you guys carry comic books?" And he said "Yes we do!" He showed me three aisles full of comics ranging from Batman to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The Mighty Thor to Wildcats! It was a beautiful thing!!!
As soon as I turned that corner where the clerk told me to, I was suddenly in front of what can only be described as a comic book hidden treasure! Even more so when it's located in Virginia Beach, so to me it felt like I was a pirate, and I discovered an abandoned treasure chest full of comic book gold! I'm talking about hundreds, if not thousands of comic books, and at great prices too! It's too bad that I had just went to my local comic shop and spent a pretty penny there, because I only had so much extra cash to spare. But rest assure, I'll be stopping by this book store on a more regular basis and I'll be getting a bunch of those comics they had in their store.
So, next time you're in Virginia Beach and get the mood to buy some comic books, visit AFK Books, Music and Movies.
They're located at:
4801 Shore Drive, Suite D
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
By Manuel A. Carmona
Two weeks ago I teased you all with the thought of me writing a series of blog entries about which actors/actresses I'd cast if I were given the opportunity to do the casting of a big budget movie and/or TV series. Last week i gave you my first entry, my version of the Justice League cast. This week, I decided to do what I'd really been wanting to do, cast my version of Batman and the entire Bat family. This are my choices, you may agree or disagree, but if you do, please... leave your comments below. Thanks
Let's start with the figure of the moment in the Bat family...
Damian Wayne/Robin- Kenton Duty
In order to portray the former child assassin, turned Robin, Damian Wayne, it'd take months of training and conditioning if they're going to accomplish that goal. But when it comes to looking the part, Kenton Duty is my pic for the role of Damian Wayne. He's played serious roles before in movies such as 2:13 and Forget Me Not and he had a role in the hit TV series Lost. So when it comes to a young actor who looks the part and has the acting chops to play Damian, my vote goes to Kenton.
Kate Kane/Batwoman- Laura Prepon
We've known Laura Prepon for her roles in the hit TV series That 70's Show and How I Met Your Mother, but I think she'd be an awesome Batwoman. Besides being a natural redhead, Laura has the... uhum... body to pull it off, she has a look that is sexy and dangerous at the same time. I totally see her as Kate Kane and I think men and women all over the world will fall in love with Batwoman.
Jason Todd/Red Hood- Zac Efron
Now, before all my geek guy friends freak out on me over my choice for the Red Hood, look at the pictures, after you do that, watch the movie Charlie St. Cloud and THEN, come back and tell me if the guy isn't a great actor. I think he'd be perfect to play our favorite not-so-dead-Robin turned into Red Hood, Jason Todd.
Stephanie Brown/Batgirl- Bridgit Mendler
Stephanie Brown is one of my top 10 favorite characters of all time, period! Her evolution as a hero is the stuff of legends and because of my deep love of the character, I searched the web for the perfect actress to portray my beloved Stephanie. I found her in the form of a real life Disney princess, her name; Bridgit Mendler! Of course she has a huge following because of her Disney popularity, but she's an all around great young actress with appearances in shows like House and General Hospital and she;s also been in hit movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. I think she's the perfect girl for the role of my favorite Batgirl!
Tim Drake/Robin- Thomas Dekker
Tim Drake is another character very dear and near to my heart and as such, I wanted a n actor who could portray all the qualities that make him so amazing. Thomas Dekker is, in my opinion, one such actor. We've seen him portray a badass hero in Terminator the TV Series, where he played John Connor and when you look at him, you see Tim Drake! This guy would be an awesome Robin in my opinion.
Barbara Gordon/Batgirl- Nina Droveb
Nina has been in numerous films as well as TV shows, but we know her best for her role in CW's The Vampire Diaries. She has the looks, the acting chops, the range and the fan following to make her my one and only choice to play Barbara Gordon.
Dick Grayson/Nightwing- Milo Ventimiglia
The character of Nightwing is one very dear to my heart and as such, I thought about this a lot. When I think of Dick Grayson i think of an adventurer without fear, a character full of optimism and joy, but at the same time I think of a big brother type figure. I think Milo Ventimiglia falls into all of the above mentioned categories effortlessly and he looks the part. We've seen him portray a hero and a big brother in the hit TV series Heroes and I wouldn't mind seeing him portray Batman's greatest triumph; Dick Grayson/Nightwing!
Selena Kyle/Catwoman- Rachel Bilson
Of course there has to be a love interest for Batman, and we all know who that is; Catwoman! I have only one choice for this role... Rachel Bilson! We all know she can act, she has an innocent and caring look to her, but we also know there's a dark side to her, much like Selena Kyle, and her looks... well, you be the judge. I know they'll be thousands of men falling in love with cats after this movie comes out!
Alfred Pennyworth- Ian Mckellen
I really don't have to justify my choice for Alfred because, well... Ian Mckellen is a BOSS!!! It doesn't matter what role you put him in, he's going to deliver the goods and when I think of Alfred, I think of a smart, strict and gentle soul, in my opinion, that's the precise definition of Sir Ian Mckellen.
Bruce Wayne/Batman- Ray Stevenson
I think that all the previous incarnations of Batman lack one key element of the character, an intimidating presence. Batman in my opinion should have rugged good looks, he should look serious to the point of being scary and he should have an imposing physique. My choice for Batman is none other than Ray Stevenson. We've seen his acting range when he portrayed Volstagg in the Thor movie and we've seen how intimidating and downright scary he can be in Punisher: War Zone, but he's also a very handsome man; the perfect combination to play Batman.
Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below!
Ok, there's been a lot of controversy around Marvel and DC trying to capitalize on President's Obama's statements on gay marriage and/or relationships and I'd like to give my thoughts on the matter. I believe this has been done in a cheap and forced way that diminish what could've been a move forward in comics, and turned out to be another ploy to make money. My opinions on the matter might be a little polarizing but they come from the heart so here we go.
I believe that what two people do in the bedroom should be their own business as should be who they choose to spend the rest of their lives with. I have nothing against gay people and I honestly don't care who they date or sleep with, that's their personal business and it shouldn't matter to me. I also believe that rational thinking adults have the right to choose right from wrong, whatever that may be to each individual, but when it comes to children being exposed to a gay marriage in a comic book, that's where I draw the line. Now, people might say that Astonishing X-Men is not intended for kids but, if you bring a kid to a comic book shop and they go through the covers and see the cover to Astonishing X-Men #51, there's no telling what effects that might have on them. I know it's up to the parents to teach their kids about the things in life, but there's things a kid shouldn't be exposed to at an early age, no matter what your views may be on the topic at hand, kid's minds are sponges and are gullible, hence showing them that a male superhero loves another man might confuse them into thinking they like little Timmy from down the street, when in reality, they might just be going through a phase or simply be confused by what they just saw at the comic shop/movie/tv show/etc. It's not only gay relationships I feel young kids shouldn't be exposed to at an early age, but also racism, sex, extreme violence and things that may be harmful to a mind that isn't fully developed. If you are an adult and you feel that you love another member of your own sex that's fine, but in my opinion it's not fine to tell a kid that a man falling in love with another man is right, that's crossing the line; but that's just my opinion. Let me be clear, I have a cousin that's gay and I love him dearly, I have two female friends and art colleagues that I greatly respect, but that doesn't mean I'm telling my son that it's ok for him to like our neighbor's boy; I'D NEVER TELL HIM IT'S OK!!!
Another thing I see wrong with the whole "gay superheroes" is that being gay is mainly a selling ploy rather than make it part of what the character's about. That's like putting out a Batman comic and promoting it as "Batman gets married to a sexy woman! He's the straight guy in the country club..." it doesn't feel natural, it feels like what it is; a money grab. Take Alan Scott (a.k.a. The original Green Lantern) for example. He's the latest character to be turned gay and I feel it's DC's way of trying to catch on with Marvel's "gay wedding". Alan Scott is one of the original DC characters being around since the beginning of comics and one with a rich and established history. Married, father of two, a very respected character in the DC Universe and an example of what every man should be. Now, for DC's New 52 and in order for them to ride the "being gay is cool" wave, the "powers that be" decided to erase his whole history and make him a gay man, and not only that, they're marketing the book based on his sexual orientation rather than his qualities and heroism, they're not trying to support gay people, they're trying to make a buck.
Like I said, I have nothing against the gay community and I don't have anything against DC, Marvel or any other company putting out gay characters in comics intended for adults, but please, make it something that's part of who the character is, don't make it WHAT the character is. It's like real life, you don't say "Wow, he/she's gay! Btw, he/she can sing as well", instead we say "Wow! What an incredible voice!!!" and after you get to know the person, you find out that he/she is also gay. Let's hope we keep moving forward as a people and comic publishers try to put more thought into their stories rather than put some stuff together to make a few bucks.
Manuel A. Carmona
Salutations, fellow geekettes and geeks, this is my first blog post of 2012. Hope you all had a wonderful new year's alongside the people you love. May this year be full of love, health, prosperity, and good fortune to all!
Reminiscing on this past year, I came to think of this little kid from the church I go to. The son of a friend. He's an avid gamer and likes to sing and draw and what not. He's about nine years old. About two years ago, he approached me after service because everybody knows about my affinity for art and comics. He asked me if I knew about "Tails", the side character in the Sonic The Hedgehog games. Of course being a gamer myself, I said yes.
His eyes beamed and started to glow, he almost levitated off the ground. Then he asks me if I could do a drawing of him. So next week, I give him a Tails sketch. He was besides himself in happiness.
Flash foward to one year later. I had stopped going to church as much due to my former day job, and then after the accident late last year and months of recovery, I find myself in church again. Upon my return after a year plus of not being able to go, the kid approaches me.
He says "hey, I still have the Tails drawing you did for me!". I go "really?". And he replies "yes, now, my friends from school and I are going to do our own comic books!".
And that reminded me, of how it's the little things in life, the details, that are so important in life. How one act can affect the life of someone, especially children.
So, in this new year, remember that the little things in life are what complete the big picture and gives us joy, and gives great memories to those around us. Spread the love. Especially the love of comics. See you all next time!
~Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Ortiz Jr