Missed Todd McFarlane's New York Comic Con 2015 panel or simply couldn't go to the con? Truthful Comics' got your back!!! This video is almost an hour long and is the entire panel (except for a couple of minutes at the start that Todd was talking with fans in the front row). Enjoy!
Back in the days before the internet was accessible to everybody, us geeks had to get our comic book news from magazines. Most of us would, of course, turn to Wizard magazine.
It's kind of hard to imagine now, but Wizard was incredibly influential in the comic book industry back in the day. With their witty banter, creator interviews, top 10 lists, future hottest creators lists, breaking news, contests, fan awards, Wizard was the MTV of comics in magazine form. You know, when MTV was about the music (yes, it's an easy target, so what?).
This intro sounds like it's more for Wizard magazine, I know, and one day I just make a blog about Wizard magazine, but for now, I want to concentrate on one of my all time favorite issues of Wizard. It was published February 1998, issue number 78.
The cover was done by one of my all time favorite Spider-Man artists, Steve Skroce. The story behind the cover was how Wizard would fix the problems the Spider-Man books were having at the time, struggling after the debacle that the Clone Saga was. It was one of the best articles ever written in Wizard IMO. It also had it's usual freebies, but one thing took the industry by storm in this issue.
Joe Madureira of Uncanny X-men fame. J Scott Campbell of Gen 13 fame. Humberto Ramos of Impulse fame. They were gathered together to discuss the formation of a studio within Jim Lee's Wildstrom studio, Cliffhanger! Comics.
It was like the second coming of Image. Three of the hottest young superstars banded together to form their own line of comics. It was announced Joe Mad would do a fantasy book named Battle Chasers. J Scott Campbell would do a spy, campy comic named Danger Girl. While Ramos would do a vampire book named Crimson.
A mere month later, in issue 79, Wizard gave away an exclusive look at the designs of the characters. It was absolutely mind blowing. All my friends went nuts. I went through my own copy so much that the cover is on the verge of falling off it's staples.
There was always some debate between my friends though. "Humberto Ramos? He's cool, I guess, but why not Michael Turner?" Though little did we know at the time he was extended an invitation to join, but didn't because of his commitments to Marc Silvestri's Top Cow studios.
I always found that a bit unfair that Ramos was looked at as the odd man in. Especially since I had chills go down my spine when I saw the pencils to some of the pages of issue 1 of Crimson in this sketchbook. Oddly enough, even though I was raised pretty much on horror movies when I was a kid, and loved vampire movies before they were, you know, sparkly, I was never really into horror or vampire comics. But by this time I was a huge Ramos fan because of his work on DC Comics' Impulse, so I was just as eager to read Crimson. Only problem was, that was at a time the supermarkets and pharmacies stopped selling comics, and the closest comic book shop to me was three cities away. So, when Cliffhanger launched, I missed out on it.
Crimson came out and it was a surprise hit hit. When I was finally able to get my hands on it, three issues had already came out. I was able to get it (along with Battle Chasers and Danger Girl) at a collector's fair at the local mall close to my mom's house. I got it and the book was just gorgeous. It was the best artwork Ramos had done up to that point and it showed just how much passion he had for this story, which was being written by Impulse co-writer, Brian Augustyn.
The story centers around Alex Elder, who gets turned into a vampire on a night he and his friends go out for a ride. His friends turn into vampire chow while Alex survives thanks in part being saved by an ancient creature named Ekimus. Alex wants no part in being a vampire and wants his normal life back. But things turn for the worse when somebody close to him gets murdered and he discovers he is the key part in an upcoming battle where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. So, yeah, not your traditional vampire story, and I loved every bit of it. We get introduced to various supporting characters like Joe the Indian, Scarlett, various angels, God, Satan, the mother of all vampires. No, literally, the mother of all vampires. Sometimes I have to admit, Ramos' art is so expressive and so bright, it somehow felt a little at odds with the dark, sometimes gruesome story. But to me, that's just a minor nitpick.
The series only lasted 24 issues not including 2 specials (a Scarlett X one-shot and a sourcebook of the Crimson universe), and was not only the only Cliffhanger title to come out regularly, it was the longest running Cliffhanger title (the second longest belonging to Ramos's own Out There, which lasted 18 issues). The series was collected into 4 beautiful trade paper backs, which I still own and flip through. Nearly two years ago, I had the incredible pleasure of getting them signed by the man himself, Humberto Ramos. He is such a great and humble guy, he actually blushed when I told him it was the first vampire series I ever collected and thanked him for it. He also signed that beaten up copy of the Wizard magazine insert of Cliffhanger #0, he was the only signature missing, so now all three original Cliffhanger artists has signed it, and it's one of my most precious treasures.
Crimson to me was not just an extraordinary comic book story, it was an extraordinary story of a comic book artist that never quit. An artist that took a chance and went on to be arguably one of the most influential artists of the past decades, and will go down in history as one of the best Spider-Man artists ever. As always, I tried to avoid as many spoilers as possible in case you have not read this series, and I encourage you to find these issues (you can find the trades if you want to, but as it turns out they're pretty rare now and could be a bit costly, so finding single issues are actually easier on your wallet in the long run). As for me, I'm going to sit back, turn a lamp on, keep my pencil and sketchbook close just again, cuddle up to volume 1 of the trade, and feel like I'm back in college again, wen the world was an empty canvas, everything and anything was possible, and the "odd man in", the artist that never quit, started blazing his trail as a legend. Thank you for reading, take care and see you next time!
After the death of Mike Wieringo, as I mentioned, I was numb. By that time I had already stopped buying mainstream comics and just did not follow up on my favorite artists online after the blog entry his brother made that I mentioned last week's blog. There are very few things that I regret in life, and not keeping up with Michael Turner is one of them.
I did not know of his passing until like a year later after his death. I was starting to get into the groove of checking out my favorite artists, and he was one of my all-time favorites.I went online and googled what he was up to, and that's how I found out. I felt like someone had punched my stomach until I was left gasping for air on the floor. I had this image of him being, untouchable somehow. He faced cancer before, and came back an even better artist than ever. In my mind there was no way he was eventually going to lose his battle with cancer at any point.
He's only the second artist I ever cried over when I learned of his death, and having lost my grandparents and an aunt to this dreaded cancer, it hit me all the more. I've written about Michael Turner here and there, but nothing too much into detail. So aside this blog being a tribute, this blog is my own personal therapy. The best kind, too. Art therapy.
After graduating from the International Performing Arts Academy,
Turner moved to San Diego where he got interested in comics. Top Cow and Image Comics co-founder discovered him at a convention, and he was hired initially as a background artist before he co-created what would become arguably Top Cow's most iconic character: Witchblade.
Image comics wouldn't always be ordered at the pharmacy where I would get my stash, but for a brief while, they actually started bringing Witchblade. I was absolutely captivated by his artwork. To me, there was this sense of timelessness, of class, that just made it impossible for me to turn away from his pages. I was enamored by his artwork and became a quick fan of his. I followed as much as I could and then I had to stop once the pharmacy stopped bringing comics all together. Whenever I hanged out my friends and ventured to a couple cities over, I'd hit the comic book shop and catch up on Witchblade, and of course, Fathom after he announced he would leave Witchblade in favor of his first creator owned comic within Top Cow.
He actually upped his artwork to a whole new level on Fathom. The artwork was absolutely gorgeous, to me it was simply breathtaking. To me, this was a work of art, of mastery.. The elegant lines, the layout, the character designs, it was a visual masterpiece.
But then, in the middle of the mega crossover between Witchblade, Fathom, and Tomb Raider, the video game property that Top Cow was able to licence into comic books, Michael Turner, after suffering a skiing accident, was discovered he had cancer.
After treatments Turner, who would sketch on his bed during that time, returned to comics two years later, wrapping up the crossover. When he came back, he also decided after thinking over as he recovered, that it was time he struck out on his own, and founded Aspen MLT Inc. A different creative team would take over Fathom while he worked on hi newest title, the fantasy book Soulfire.
Turner had done it again. He elevated his artwork for this title to a height I couldn't even, well, fathom. The intricate designs, the fantasy/post apocalyptic setting, this was artistry. The series was just visually stunning as his work kept evolving even more.
During this time he branched out more, too, doing artwork for DC Comics, most notably his brief run on Batman/Superman, where he designed a new Supergirl, as well as do covers for the mini-series Identity Crisis and Flash. His studio also briefly took over Superman as well.
Later on he would do covers for Marvel comics, and was set to become the artist on Wolverine Origins and later was slated to do the art on Ultimate Wolverine, but unfortunately, he would not do those works with the iconic Marvel character.
Michael Turner died June 27, 2008 at the Santa Monica Hospital in California, of complications from bone cancer. He was only 37 years old.
In the days that followed when I found out about his passing, I spent hours going through old artwork and tributes sites online. I kept looking over and over at old issues and old interviews from the Wizard magazines. It's almost as if my hands wanted to just somehow absorb his artwork. He was definitely an artist I would've given anything to meet.
Actually, a few years later I met the person that would eventually become my girlfriend through a mutual friend. After we officially got into a relationship I told her about Michael Turner and showed her various of his images. She's mostly a casual fan of comics, she is much more into manga and anime. But unbeknownst to me, she had made it her mission to get me the comics I had been missing from him. So on birthdays, Christmases and sometimes just because she would coincidentally run into something, I ended owing various trades of Witchblade, Fathom, and Soulfire. At the first New York Comic Con I went with her, we found the tribute book that Aspen released. I was able to get it and get various signatures from a lot of the participating artists. It is one of my most prized possessions. And I will always be grateful to her. The only thing that surpasses that gratefulness is my love for her.
His art inspired me like with so many people out there. As well as the other artists I gave tribute to this past month. If only there is one thing I want you all to take from this is, it's to realize that life is such a fragile, fickle thing. But also one of great opportunity and wonder. If there is an artist you admire, past or present, I invite you to share that inspiration with others in any way you can, and most of all, to enjoy and appreciate it while you can. And even better, if you can create your own worlds, do it. Do not let anything stop you or put you down. Only you can tell your own story and the world just might be a more creative place if you do. Thank you all for reading, this will be the last installment of these tributes (unless you ask for more for a particular artist or writer), it's been a great ride looking back at these wonderful legacies, and I hope you enjoyed it as well. See you all next week, until then, thank you.
Confession: when I first saw Mike Wieringo's work on Flash and Robin, I was pretty meh about it. Not that I hated it, just for some odd reason I kind of didn't find it too appealing, which is weird, because
I usually love that kind of cartoony, expressive, high energy art. I mean, I loved Mike Parobeck and I was getting into Humberto Ramos, especially when Impulse began his solo series (Wieringo designed and co-created Impulse, BTW). I don't know if the issue was I didn't quite see him as a right fit for either title for some geeky fanboy reason. But let's start at the beginning now that I got that out of the way.
Mike Wieringo was introduced into comics by his father, who was a fan of the medium. Wieringo got so into it that he began drawing his own comics when he was eleven years old. He eventually went on to study fashion illustration at Virginia Commonwealth University. He considered working in comics after graduating but then decided that comics was on the path of dying out and decided to not pursue it. After deciding that he did not have the fortitude to do commercial art, he once again considered a career in comics, which took him to San Diego Comic Con in 1992, where he showed his samples to then group editor of DC Comics, Neil Ponzer. He showed Wieringo's samples around to other DC editors and he scored his first comic book work, drawing a story in Justice League Quarterly numbers 11 and 12. Afterwards, Flash editor Brian Agustyne asked Wieringo to submit samples of the Flash.
After submitting samples of Flash in action, he became the artist on the book joining the writer that would later collaborate with him again, Mark Waid. His run on Flash was acclaimed and his star was rising. After he finished his run on Flash, he had a brief stint on Robin as well as doing the art on the Marvel Comics' mini-series for X-Men character Rogue. Keeping busy around this time he also did a cover and a story for Malibu Comics as well as a cover for Explorer Press. Then Amalgam happened.
Amalgam came from the mega-crossover between Marvel and DC, it was a universe that combined heroes from both companies. Wieringo was tapped to draw Spider-Boy, a combination (amalgamation, if you will) of Spider-Man and Superboy. And it was all kinds of awesome. I remember this was the first time I saw his art and just went "wow". I thought to myself that maybe he'd be better off drawing Superboy (Conner Kent 90's clone version with the jacket) or even Spider-Man.
It's as if the Comic Book Gods had heard my thought as if it was a silent prayer, who knows, maybe it was just that. Not long after Spider-Boy, Wieringo became the artist of the still young new title of The Sensational Spider-Man. And his Spidey was just....perfect. In the aftermath of the mess that the Spider-Clone saga was, writer Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo made Spider-Man something he had not been for a long while: fun.
This was back when I first forgave (yes, I am that entitled with Spidey) Marvel for the clone saga because the titles had great artistic teams on the books, from John Romita Jr to Steve Skroce, Spidey was making a big comeback. As eventually Joe Quesada said on the Spider-Man dvd , once they gave us good Spidey, we forgave them (too bad he'd take it away again with the story I shall never mention again by name). Wieringo's Spidey was just bursting with energy and fun! It was everything Spider-Man was supposed to be.
After his two-year exclusive deal ended in 1999, Wieringo, along with Dezago, re-teamed to create the Image Comic fantasy book Tellos. Once again and I hate to use this word as much, but I really can't find another word for it. It was fun! It was just a fun title from the writing to the art. It also brings back great memories. My best friends were comic geeks too. And they of course, loved Tellos. But they affectionately would call the book "Kellogs" instead, because "the tiger just reminds me of Tony the Tiger!"
The run lasted ten issues and Wieringo would return to DC briefly with a short run on Adventures of Superman, back when DC was making a huge effort on getting big creative teams on Superman. But he would return to Marvel and reunite with writer Mark Waid on what was arguably his greatest run of his career.
In 2002, Waid and Wieringo were reunited on Fantastic Four number 51. It was like he was born to draw the FF. In my opinion Marvel's first family never looked better. He again brought his fun style and there was an air of nobility in the work that just commanded respect. His flowing, energetic style, the expressions, just everything about his art was amazing on FF.
Waid is an extraordinary writer who unfortunately at the time, had some rough patches in Marvel. The abrupt exit from X-Men after one issue. His Captain America (with artist Ron Garney) that was becoming very popular, but got replaced when Heroes Reborn happened and Rob Liefeld took over (and eventually Jim Lee's Wildstorm). He later on wrote Captain America again but problems once again were getting tense and when Waid was taken off FF, Wieringo also decided to leave. Marvel was met with huge backlash at the time from fans who were already testy because of the time Waid was replaced on Captain America. Fortunately, Marvel would reverse on the decision and Waid along with Wieringo stayed on the book.
After Waid and Wieringo finished their run on FF, Wieringo would return to Spidey with the title Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and started work on the mini-series Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. In 2007, he was working on a What If? story based on the replacement Fantastic Four, which consisted of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, and Ghost Rider. Sadly, he only completed seven pages of that story.
On August 12, 2007, Michael Lance Wieringo, aka Mike 'Ringo, died of an aortic dissection. He was only 44 years old. The industry and fans were shocked at the news. I remember being online when the news broke out. I felt absolutely numb when I read the news. It was somehow not real to me that it had happened. I don't know how much of it was disbelief or how much of it was denial. I had just started following his website/blog where he would post sketches and wonderful pieces of artwork. How could it be possible?
In the days that followed Wieringo's brother would update the website's blog to keep fans posted on memorials and tributes. And it wasn't until one post in particular that I finally accepted it. It was a post about his brother cleaning out the home where Wieringo lived. He had gone into the bedroom at one point and mentioned Mike Wieringo's cat. Ever since he had been organizing things in the house, for the majority of the time the cat would just lay on Wieringo's bed, in the spot he would sleep, and the cat barely ever moved from that spot after Wieringo was gone. I read that and it finally hit me. Mike Wieringo was dead, and I started crying. I cried the whole night through after reading that post. It was the first time I had ever cried over somebody's death that I didn't personally know the person. Even now writing this, my eyes can't help but water up.
I read many stories of fans and professionals about what an exceptional person he was. I never had the honor of meeting him, but I would like to say that as a professional, he was truly an inspiration. In an industry that dwelled so much in darkness and even today it's so grim, his work was not only just a breath of fresh air, it was a necessity. It was a reminder. That no matter how dark, and grim, and hopeless things looked like, if you looked a little closer, there will always be that ray of light that will bring you comfort. And that was what his art mean, means to mean, that there will always be comfort. I would like to end this blog with a quote by Wieringo himself describing his style. Thank you all for reading and stay safe. Next week I finish my series of remembrances with Michael Turner.
"I just try to keep things fun. I like to do fun comics. It doesn't have to be realistic to be believable. In fact, I sometimes think that funny [material] might actually add something to certain books."- Mike "'Ringo" Wieringo
As I mentioned last week, it's a tragedy when an artist dies and especially so young. Nick Manabat was discovered by Whilce Portacio in the Philippines after he won the First Super Hero Art Competition. He was 20 years old and he was offered work within Wildstorm's Studios very own Homage Studios. Originally he was going to do Wetworks along with Portacio, but after Jim Lee took over the title into the Wildstorm stable, Manabat was given his own title, Cybernary.
Cybernary appeared as the flipside to Jim Lee's Deathblow. And it was awesome. Dark, moody, full of shadows and a grim story, Manabat's art commanded respect. Even more impressive was that this was his first comic book title, and to me, he hit the ball waaaay out of the park with this one, ran after the ball, caught up with it and caught the ball, threw it back in direction to the park, ran again towards the park only to hit the ball out again. Yeah, I liked his art. A lot. In a time Image was all about the, well, image, Deathblow/Cybernary REALLY stood out from the pack with Lee's attempt at b&w Frank Miller style art, and Manabat that oozed fantasy/Heavy Metal out of his pages.
But unfortunately, Cybernary would only last four issues. Nick was diagnosed with Hodgskin Disease. He would move from his home in Australia to the UCLA Hospital, where he spent a year having treatments, operations, and a bone marrow transplant. He passed away on November 5, 1995. He was cremated and his remains went to Australia.
Nick Manabat was just 23 when he passed away. He would sketch in those days he was hospitalized. The news of his death absolutely shocked me. He was well on his way to stardom and had such an established style. It's truly a shame he left at such a young age. So much potential especially as I mentioned earlier, Cybernary was his first full comic book work, I can't even begin to imagine how he would've evolved had he had a long life, a long career.
As always, thank you for reading and next week my small tributes continue with the GREAT Mike Wieringo.
A few days ago a well known geek website came up with a "Top 25 Best Superhero List" and it got me thinking, is there such a thing as a "Top 25" hero list? Out of the blue my brother from another mother, Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr messages me with the idea of our very own Top 5 Marvel Heroes list since we were both pretty meh about the aforementioned list. This is what happened next...
Me- So... the people from ____ came up with a list of the top 25 Best Marvel Superheroes.
Alvaro- Yes! It's Marvel's 75th birthday! So, to celebrate this, let's geek out! What's your personal top 10 favorite heroes and why?
Me- Describe the list with one word.
A- That list in one word... awkward. Lol!
Me- In word... meh.
A- It felt like they were trying to appeal to a broad audience rather than genuinely making a good list.
A- My Top 5 would be messed up. Lol! My #5 is
actually Night Thrasher, the leader of the
New Warriors from the 90's.
Me- Ok. Tell me who he is cause' I've seen
the character, but I've never actually read any of
A- He's like Nightwing in a way. I don;t think he
ever had his own book besides New Warriors, maybe
a mini series.
Me- A black Nightwing? Ok. Why haven't I read
this before? LOL!
A- Yeah, he had billy clubs, a skateboard and a badass costume! And before Milestone Media, it was one of the few black characters that had an important role on a somewhat popular book.
Me- Ok. I need to check that out cause' it sounds like an interesting character that I know NOTHING about. My #5 would be none other than the half Black/half Puertorican Spider-Man from the Ultimate Universe... Miles Morales. One of the best characters in recent history... in my opinion at least jeje.
A- Miles is a great character!
Me- Yeah he is! Bendis did an amazing job creating him.
A- I have to catch up on the series. Pichelli was great
on Spidey. My #4 is another odd one, Darkhawk.
That was a very underrated series from the 90s too.
Me- Darkhawk?!? I've never read one of his
A- Darkhawk, from issue #1 all the way through
maybe issue #20 was great, almost as good as
Robin; then it just got weird. Lol!
Me- REALLY?!?!?! As good as Robin?!? WOW!
Now I'm really curious.
A- Almost!!! Actually, the artist left Darkhawk to
draw Batman, back when Azrael took over as
Batman in issue #500; during the Knightfall saga.
Me- Interesting. I remember the cover to #1 with the foil embossed cover and him jumping at the reader.
A- Marvel tried HARD to push him, he even teamed with Spider-Man once. Lol!
Me- God I love comics from the 90's! Ok, my #4 is none other than Wolverine!
A- Wolverine is great, he just needs to die for one year at least and return as the loner bad ass from the 80s, not this Uncle Wolvie, Avengers member and teacher at Xavier's!
Me- Yessir! THAT'S Wolverine, not this school principal crap! So, who's your #3?
A- Dardevil, Frank Miller before losing his mind, John Romita Jr, Mark Waid, and the chemiclas that blinded him created the Teenage Mutangt Ninja Turtles!
Me- Yes Daredevil! I like Matt Murdock, we actually talked about him on our last Cosmic Portal 2.0 podcast because of the upcoming Netflix tv show.
A- And not that horrible movie!
Me- Jaja! I actually enjoyed the movie of what it was. It could've been much better; but I've watched it at least 20 times!
A- Jennifer Garner made it at least somewhat watchable for me.
A- I always thought Matt Damon would've been a badass Daredevil.
Me- Really? Yeah, I guess you're right He does look kinda like him, he can act and kick ass as well.
A- And The Bourne Identity confirmed it for me!
Me- Ok, my #3 is Captain America.
A- The good Captain!
Me- Yeah man, the moral compass of the Marvel Universe. The one human that even a god will follow to the gates of hell! Cap to me goes beyond comic books, he is what we should all aspire to be; rather than Batman.
A- Yeah, in events in the US his character seems to transcend. One of the most emotional scenes ever in comics to me was the 9/11 issue of Spider-Man, when Captain America doesn't even have words.
Me- When he died, Wolverine was in denial. Wolverine!!! In Civil War The Punisher let Cap beat him down and didn't throw a single punch back because of how high he thinks of Cap. That speaks volumes!
Me- In the Ultimate Universe there's a scene when Miles Morales is confronted by Cap and he, as powerful as he already is; nearly pissed his pants because of who Cap is. That tells you right there... Cap is something else.
A- He commands the ultimate (no pun intended) respect! My #2 is Thor, especially the Dan Jurgens with John Romita Jr. run from the 90s, Jurgens worked his Superman magic with Thor, I wish Marvel would've let Jurgens do more in the Marvel Universe.
Me- THOR!!!!!!!!! He's actually my #1, but
you should've known that; you probably did.
A- It's ok, you should know my #1 lol!
Me- If you liked the Jurgens run, you'd love
the Fraction/Coipiel run, it's the stuff of legend! Fraction's run made me proud to be a Thor fan.
A- I have to read Fraction's trades.
Me- Yes you do! I mean in the Fraction run he fights Silver Surfer, Galactus and we get Fear Itself... EPIC STUFF!!!
Me- Yeah so, talk to me about Peter
A- He's the everyman, perhaps the most identifiable character ever created.
Me- It's very hard not to like him.
A- And actually, my #1 spot is shared, Spider-Man and actually... Firestar!
A- Yes! Unless it's One More Day Peter Parker lol! Yes, of course her introduction was in the cartoon with Spidey, so we have history.
Me- What about her makes her your #1B?
A- She was the Harley Quinn of her times, created for the Spider-Man and his amazing friends cartoon series, then got popular and was introduced into the comics.
Me- Did she ever take off in the comics? I haven't read anything with her on it.
A- Sort of. She went on to be in New Warriors from the 90's but really got lost in the shuffle. I loved the New Warriors from the 90's!
Me- I was just gonna say, you must've loved that New warriors series!
A- Now, tell us about your #1.
Me- My #1, the Asgardian god of Thunder and true powerhouse of the Marvel Universe... The Mighty Thor! Thor has been my favorite since before I knew he was my favorite character. I fell in love with the character with the 60's cartoon series that I watch in re-runs with my uncle back in Puerto Rico.
A- Oh wow, yeah!
Me- Thor is so powerful and yet so noble that he almost allows himself to get hurt by characters like the Hulk because in his heart, he cares about Banner. If he really wanted to, he could decimate everyone in the Marvel Universe, and it doesn't matter the cost; he'll put his life on the line if it means that his friends will be ok... I just love that about him!
A- One of my favorite Marvel animated projects was Hulk vs Thor!
Me- Yes! You see there, Thor is holding back; and Hulk is just pummeling him! It's mainly because of Thor's heart, he doesn’t want to hurt him; or kill him.
A- That was great, and he was a frog!
Me- I'll forget you said that. Jeje. But we've seen how powerful Thor is when he fought Galactus and basically blew his brains out in the Fraction/Coipiel run.
A- I really have to read that!
Me- That's the beauty of comic books, we all have our own favorite characters.
So, to all the arrogant people out there thinking they have the "definitive top 25 marvel characters list"... there is no such thing!!!
Me- So, I guess this has been a good discussion on who our top 5 Marvel heroes are, and I already have a topic for us to discuss next time! :)
A- Cool! Honorable mentions to Wolverine, Gambit, and Rogue, but they have changed so much these last 15 years I just don't care anymore lol!
Me- I hear ya. Alright my brother I guess this will wrap our discussion. Until next time...
stay Truthful people!
So, today was our first Comics For Christmas event of the year and I have to say... it was an amazing experience! The staff was very welcoming and appreciative, the parents were also very happy with us for, as one mother told us, "taking the time to brighten up our kid's day" and more importantly; the kids we're happy. Amongst the things we brought for the kids were: back packs, pencils, note pads, toys, coloring books, crayons, color pencils and of course comic books! It was great watching the kids going through the items inside their brand new back packs and seeing their eyes light up when they recognized Spider-Man or the Hulk! We loved every minute of it!
But we didm't just bring them gifts, we also played video games with them, drew some sketches for the kids that wanted one, interacted with them and made them laugh. At first we were a bit overwhelmed because you just don't know exactly how sick the kids might be or what level of pain they may be going through, but once we were introduced and the kids acknowledge us; it was all smooth sailing from there on out. We met this wonderful little boy named Gideon whom we found out, wears a cape with a big letter "G" on it every time he's getting shots. His mom approached us a asked if we could make a sketch for her representing that cape with the big letter "G" on and of course; we had to comply! You can see the results in the picture below. :)
It's safe to say that the event was a success when the staff already invites you to come back for as many times as we'd like and they want us to set dates for next year! We are so blessed to have been allowed the opportunity to interact with such wonderful parents, kids and staff that we immediately agreed to come back! Days like this make all the sacrifices, the long hours, the back pain, the reading the comics to make sure they're appropriate for children... seeing the reactions on those little kid's faces, seeing those smiles on the parents faces; seeing how grateful the staff was; it makes it all worth it! This is only the beginning, expect a lot more from Comics For Christmas!
So tonight I was talking with one of my best friends and colleagues Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr. about comics, the way they're being published and how I came to a point where I decided to drop "floppies" altogether. For those of you reading that don't know what "floppies" mean, it's basically what we comic book geeks call single comic books. This was our conversation, uncut, uncensored and we decided to post it as a blog entry. Hope you enjoy it!
Me: Bro!!! I have an album called I Love 90's Comics... cause' I do! Here's the link: http://www.pinterest.com/dumerill/i-love-90s-comics/
I Love 90's Comics
Alvaro- They were awesome bro! They were fun. Sometimes comics take themselves too seriously now a days. I love Scott Snyder's writing but God I was exhausted by Zero Year, I'm so glad it's over, I'm going to have to read the trade of The Ray from the 90s just to lighten up lol!
Alvaro- Court of Owls was fun, Death o the Family wasn't as strong as it could've been but had it's fun moments, but God, did we really need to know the origin of Commissioner Gordon's coat? Really?! It all felt like deleted scenes or a super long cut of Batman Begins!
Me- I'll describe the event in one word: Unnecesary! Was it gonna be better than Frank Miller's masterpiece Batman: Year One? No? Then why waist our time?
Alvaro- It had potential, buy it dragged on waaaaay to long. 5... maybe even 6 issues is pushing it but it would've been ok; but a whole year? Unless it's something like Court of Owls, that was new, original and fun,. And that was 10 issues! Zero Year should've been a graphic novel.
Me- 12 issues? Are they high? Not even Capullo's artwork could keep me buying the book!
Btw, I dropped all my weekly comics except Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man.
Alvaro- I've been dropping too lol but had to get Superman for John Romita Jr!
Me- I hear ya! I've been buyin more digital books for my Nook HD. There's a sale going on right now on Barnes & Nobles, a bunch of DC Comics digital trades are only $5!!!! In print they range from $15-$25 bucks! I'll be buying a bunch of those!
Alvaro- On Batman Day Comixology had 750 Batman books for $1 each!!!!
Alvaro- I might eventually go that way too, I think eventually I'll wait for trades because that's how the "big 2" write comics now anyway, for the trades.
Me- Exactly, it takes a year to finish a story, it costs you $40+ to finish a story in single issues, they always spoil the ending and the trades costs $15-$20? The math don't add up!
Alvaro- And trades have extra goodies sometimes with sketches or scripts, and it's easier to organize on a bookshelf in print or save on an external sd card to read later.
Me- All around better experience. This cutting down on weekly comics has also given me an oportunity to focus on books I've been wanting to read for a while now, like the Usagi Yojimbo saga from the beginning to the current books.
Alvaro- Awesome! Oh damn, Usagi! Back to Zero Year, if every issue was exactly $3.99 without tax and changing the fact that a few issues were actually 4.99 and 5.99, if it was just $3.99 at the bare minimum, I spent over the course of 1 year for one story $47.88 On Zero Year alone. IF it was $3.99 for the entire run, which it wasn't. This isn't The Walking Dead, this is the Goddamn Batman!!!! LOL! Christopher Nolan was a blessing AND a curse to Batman lol!
Me- Because of the seriousness?
Alvaro- Yes. Dark Knight was about as perfect as a Batman movie could ever be, but Batman Begins and Dark Knight Rises has the big fault of being borderline pretentious and taking itself too seriously. I hope the next arc is simpler.
Me- I hear ya. I got to a point where it wasn't fun anymore, it made me tired to read the damn book and at that point... why am I reading it again?
Alvaro- And it suffered what all flashback stories suffer from.... you know it will sort itself out! I wanted Batman to beat the hell out of Riddler not because he was a pain in the ass, it was for the story to end already! Court of Owls and Death of The Family, and going even further, Black Mirror which is still my fave Snyder Batman story, it was fresh and exciting because you didn't know what was going to happen!
Me- Precisely! You know what comic I'm really enjoying, and I lied, I am getting another book monthly, and that is Infinity Man and the Forever People, a Jack Kirby creation published by DC Comics. Bro, it's like reading a Kirby book, it's fun! Plain and simple.
Alvaro- Yeah, I heard a lot about that one! Hell, She Hulk is fun!!! And even Silver Surfer!
Me- Yeah I've heard good things about those books as well. I was loving Moon Knight, man that books has been amazing! But, as of last issue the creative team is leaving. Sigh... there goes Moon Knight being awesome again.
Alvaro- Yeah, I was curious about it until I read they were leaving already lol! To Snyder and Capullo's credit, they have stayed loyal on one title like in the good old days of the 80s and the 90s! Capullo was really amazing on Zero Year, I think it was the right call in the end for him to ask for Danni Miki to ink his pencils again. But creative teams barely last a year anymore if that.
Me- Unfortunately they don't. Well, I'm thinking I'll turn this conversation into a blog. You mind?
Alvaro- I don't mind it at all.
This is the Blog about all things Truthful Comics. Looking forward to reading your posts!