Well my friends... I think my pull list is about to get a big hit in terms of how many print books I get on a monthly basis. Here's the thing, last Christmas my wife gave me a NOOK from Barnes & Nobles as a present and, even though I loved it, I was kinda ignoring it because I felt that if I read too many digital comics I'd be turning my back on this medium that I love so much. As it turns out, prices on comics keep going up, page count keeps going down, plot lines are being dragged on way too long in order to sell trades and my bank account keeps suffering because of it I feel I have to support the comic book industry. So, last night I got my NOOK, charged it and I said to myself: "the heck with it"! Today i took my NOOK out at lunchtime, downloaded Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1, read it, took it all in and... I LOVED IT!!! The colors were as vibrant as they were intended to be, the pages moved just like a comic would, the prices are far less than the print versions and more importantly; I can carry 100+ books anywhere and everywhere I go without a problem. I absolutely love my NOOK. So, from this day on I solemnly swear that I'll cut my "pull list" at least in half and I'll be reading the trade version on my NOOK. Thanks Barnes & Nobles and thank you NOOK! (This read like a paid advertisement for NOOk and/or Barnes & Nobles but I swear it wasn't!) LOL!
If you recall, last week I wrote a blog entry here on the website regarding the importance of strong female characters in comic books (http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2013/07/the-importance-of-strong-female-lead-characters-in-comics.html), the importance of good role models in movies and comics for young ladies and I wanted to hear feedback from as many people as possible. So far I've received good feedback on that last blog, I've seen many people sharing the link on Facebook and I've also seen a very positive reaction to the blog entry which means I might be unto something.
One of the many who gave me feedback on the blog was our
good friend Mr. Tom Harris, host of the Radio Free Asgard Podcast. He actually dedicated the first half of his latest episode to our blog and gave us his honest opinions on the matter and I couldn't be more happy about it. Here's the link to the latest Radio Free Asgard Podcast episode: http://www.comicspodcasts.com/2013/07/18/radio-free-asgard-112/
Tom had some good points regarding my article and he mentioned that at least two of the characters I mentioned as good role models (Power Girl and Witchblade) are very much in the "T&A" style of making comics. While that is a valid point, Sara Pezzini (Witchblade) was a police officer and is now a detective and a single mother; which makes her a compelling character and in my opinion, a good role model. Kara (Power Girl) has a running joke about her ginormous boobs, but besides that, she's a self-made multi-millionaire business owner/entrepreneur, she's a single woman and she's powerful, beautiful and fun; all great qualities to find in any woman. The big boobs is something that's made to attract male readers, but many women have big breasts too, so as long as the characters are well written, big boobs shouldn't come into the equation. Regardless, I'd like to thank Mr. Tom Harris for dedicating half the episode to my blog and hopefully in the future we can do another episode of Radio Free Asgard and talk about my favorite character: The Mighty Thor! FOR ASGARD!!!!!!!!!
For a long time I've been trying to find comic books that are, not only appropriate for kids, but also challenge and provide good role models for them. As I embarked on this journey I came to the realization that most cartoons and movies are directed towards boys and that young girls are in dire need of strong role models, especially in comic books, cartoons and movies. So, I made it a point to look for, study and expose young girls to these strong independent female characters that they should be following on a regular basis.
The reality is that there are far too many female characters that simply don't get the exposure or the respect they deserve as legitimate characters with an established history, and it simply boggles the mind as to why exactly this happens. I can name many strong, independent female character in comics that could be great role models for young girls but simply don't get the push from their respective publishers, or at least I don't feel they do enough to promote their books to the masses like they do their male counterparts such as Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, etc. I feel it is my duty as a comic book fan to give a little PR to those characters that I feel are deserving of the public's money and attention; especially young girls! Now, if you ask me to name a few of these strong female characters I keep talking about, off the top of my head, my list would look a little something like this... in no particular order:
I truly believe that young girls need positive role models now more than ever. Think about it, what role models do they have? Beyonce, who only performs in skimpy outfits and all she does is shake her ass for the camera? Rihanna, who grabs her crotch more than Michael Jackson used to do? Or maybe Lady Gaga? Well, you get the idea. Young girls need to read about strong, positive and independent female characters and in my opinion, there's no better character suited for that task than the beautiful Asgardian Goddes of War known in the Nine Realms as Lady Sif!
Journey Into Mystery #646 ------------------->
Lady Sif was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and her first appearance was in Journey Into Mystery #102 (March 1964). As a supporting character of Thor, Sif was featured predominately through the pages of The Mighty Thor, beginning with issue #136 (January 1967). The character went on to make guest appearances in several series including The Avengers, Fantastic Four, The New Mutants, Silver Surfer and Thunderstrike. In June 2010, Sif starred in a self titled one-shot by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Ryan Stegman. The issue deals with the aftermath of Loki having taken control of her body and her consciousness being forced into the frame of a dying elderly woman. Deconnick said, "Well, this is pretty much the story of how she deals with that. She was a bit cowed at first and, for a woman as fierce and proud as Sif, that's insult added to injury. This is the story of how she comes to own that fury and rises to her full stature once again."
Beginning with issue #646 (November 2012), Journey into Mystery by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti shifted focus from Loki to Lady Sif. Editor Lauren Sankovitch said, "We had it Loki-centric... going forward with #646 we wanted to mix it up a little bit. Lady Sif’s been in the thick of it, she’s a born warrior, she’s got a lot of fight and verve and fire to her!." You're damn right Lady Sif's been in the thick of it Lauren, and this journey is just getting started. I have to say though, what Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti are doing with Journey into Mystery book could only be described with one word; MAGICAL!!!
With this current Journey into Mystery run, they've taken Lady Sif in a bold new direction that even I couldn't have predicted; and how sweet it is! Each story is lovingly crafted by every member of this creative team, and it absolutely shows. The new storyline involves Asgardian Berzerker warriors fighting giant mythical monsters, traveling to Midgard (Earth) through some sort of wormhole, Lady Sif being overwhelmed by blood lust after receiving Arnid's Berzerker spell, following the Berzerkers and the creatures to Midgard and encountering a familiar web crawler who happens to be curious as to why these Asgardians are destrying "his city". I mean seriously, how is this book not on everyone's pull list???
In this new Journey into Mystery run Lady Sif is portrayed as funny, courageous, independent, powerful and she's sexy without being slutty or without having to resort to any gratuitous T&A, talk about a breath of fresh air! Another thing I really enjoy about Sif is that, even though she loves Thor and she respects him as a man, she's outspoken, she demands respect and she's her own woman; something that The Mighty Thor truly admires of her.
For the record, young ladies... real men admire women who are like that. It's a great thing that you love your man (or woman for that matter), but you should love yourselves first and foremost, you should demand respect and you should do your own thing, make your own money if possible because real men love strong and independent women; just like Thor loves and respects Lady Sif!
I think young ladies could learn a great deal from a powerful female character like Lady Sif and many others throughout the comic book world, but it's our duty to introduce girls to such amazing characters and stories; our duty!!!
So, if you have a young lady in your life and you want to provide good reading material for her, good strong female role models to follow and have fun with, introduce her to Journey into Mystery #646 and up! Or maybe, you can browse your comic shop for these titles: Batgirl, Batwoman, World's Finest, Birds of Prey, Fearless Defenders, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Witchblade, Danger Girl, X-Men and many more.
If you hve any thoughts on this article please leave your comments below. Thanks for reading!
For those who interact with me on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is common knowledge that I'm the president of a non-profit organization called Comics For Christmas and that we had scheduled an event for this weekend. It was called The Comics For Christmas Free Comic Book Giveaway at The Book and Movie Exchange and we were going to give away at least 2,000 comics and candy to every kid that stopped by the store. But, what ended up happening was far from what we've expected and to be honest, it was quite upsetting to say the least.
The thing is, we do this because we care about kids, we want to encourage kids to read and we put a lot of effort behind this events, we invest our money and time trying to make this events as successful as humanly possible, but we need the support of the people involved with the events as well. We make the flyers, print them and provide the store owners with enough flyers to pass along to their customers and of course, we expect them to pass them along.
But how upsetting it is to stop by on the day of the event, have the store owner pull you aside and tell you: "I went on the website on the flyer and found photos that made me not pass the flyers". The photo in question was the one I posted to the right ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>
Pretty much every comic book fan knows that the character being portrayed by the model is none other than Sara Pezzini (aka Witchblade) and that Cosplay is in no way, shape or form pornography. I mean, if we want to get technical, there's far more offensive material in a DVD/Blue Ray store than on any Witchblade comic book, but regardless, because of our last Truthful Comics Spotlight the store owner didn't promote our Comics For Christmas event; AT ALL!!! As you might imagine I'm beyond upset and because of this we won't be visiting The Book and Movie Exchange tomorrow or ever again because we feel that it was totally unncesary and rude to have us pay for flyers and then basically throw them in the trash because you didn't bother to either contact me or do your research into who the character is or what the model is doing. This could've easily been avoided by giving us a call, e-mailing us or even massaged us through Facebook but to wait until we arrive at your store, after we've been promoting your store non-stop everywhere we go and we're ready for the event, and then you basically tell me that you don't know how many people will come because you didn't like a picture on my website and it made you not pass the flyers to the parents; that's unforgivable.
Regardless, kids did showed up and we handed out a few hundred books, candy, we had some great interactions with the parents and the kids who attended and we even left a few dozen comic books in case some kids show up tomorrow. I have to admit that I'm so disappointed with this whole situation that if it wasn't for the kids, I'd stop doing it but we have a mission and making kids happy is more important than wasting a few bucks and a few hours because of some people who lack vision.
I hope that we can find other establishments who are willing to open their doors to us and believe in our cause which I believe is so important. Kids need to learn to read, they need to love reading and what better way to instill that love of reading than to provide them with books filled with stories about their favorite characters. They'll follow their favorite superheroes on numerous adventures and hopefully they'll graduate into novels and so on. I want to help light that spark of imagination in their young minds and I'll use comic books to do the trick.
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
Press Release- Apr. 3, 2013 - OLATHE, Kan.
You can find out everything there is to know about the Nerdvana Network by visiting: http://nerdvananetwork.com/
Hello, fellow geekettes and geeks!
Here is another dose of the book of danger. I originally wrote this nearly two years ago reflecting on the passing of comic book superstar, Micheal Turner around the anniversary of his untimely death. As with the previous entry to the book of danger, it will remain mostly untouched, with just an updated comment here and there.
Here we go:
Time is moving.
Recently, I have been thinking over many things, especially in the creativity department. Slowly I had found myself looking at Micheal Turner art on the internet. Then I realized that I had lent my Turner stuff to a friend, and that after Turner's untimely death, I didn't even look at his artwork for a very long time.
Quite a few years back, I was in Bayamon (for you who know not, Bayamon is a pretty populated city here in Puerto Rico, about half an hour away from were I live). There used to be this kiosk in the bus terminal that sold old comics and magazines. I came across Supergirl #1 for 80 cents. It had a Micheal Turner cover on it, he had done the redesign for the character at the time. And it brought back many memories, because of Supergirl pages I drew a long time ago to try and put together a portfolio before my mind imploded (that's material for a different blog post, I guess), I actually was looking at A LOT of his stuff at the time. So, a year after his death, I picked up that issue and bought it, I dunno, it felt like it was a way of coming full circle and coming to terms in a way. Which got me thinking (surprise, surprise).
I thought how amazing something like time is. People live their lives sometimes, stuck in a moment. In a period of time. Either reliving good times, or perpetuating horrid memories that long should have been left behind. As if time has stood still. The earth stopped spinning around the orbit. It's just you, your memories, and thoughts about either how things used to be, or how things should have been, in contrast to how things really are.
You think how time has not moved for you, yet how it seems to move fine with people around you. Friends. Family. "Frienemies". I finally asked back for my Micheal Turner comics a few days after checking his artwork again online. I saw them, and it almost felt like I was looking at it for the first time again because, you guessed it, timed had moved on so fast at the seems since the last time I held them in my hands. Unfortunately, a couple of the Withblades covers had fallen off, and issue #1 of Fathom vol 1 was utterly destroyed in possession of my neighbor. I still have the pieces of that Fathom because I have not the heart to throw it away. Now after a few years, a couple of months ago as a gift, my girlfriend actually spent HOURS in different comic book shops in New York, and got me a TON of Withblade, Fathom, and Soul Fire comics. After the initial shock, I am grown up enough to admit, I cried. I felt like I was looking at his stuff for the first time again, and the emotions that someone took their time to surprise me in such a way. I got to drawing, and it felt like in a sense, times was moving for me again. But then I realized. It wasn't that time had started moving again, it was ME that started moving again. Because time never stops for anyone. It US that stop.
Time is moving.
And there you go, I hope you enjoyed it and please look forward to the next blog, stay cool, my friends!~Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Ortiz Jr