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.
First and foremost I want to say that this is not a list of the best comic books being published, this is a list of the comics I've been enjoying the most; in no particular order. There are a lot amazing books out there that I don't currently buy for many reasons (The Flash, The Walking Dead, Wonder Woman, etc.) but that doesn't mean I'm not going to pick them up in the near future. I hope you enjoy my list and maybe, if you're not reading them, it'll spark that curiosity and make you give it a try. God I love comics!!!
For the past two months me and two of my internet buddies have been doing a podcast delving into the world of comic books, movies, video games and everything else pertaining our geek culture. I've decided to announce it here on the blog now because I wanted to make sure we were going to stick with it and also, see if it would even work and so far; it has! We still got a lot to learn in the world of podcasting but we'll have fun getting there and hopefully you'll join us along for the ride. I'd like to introduce the Truthful Comics Podcast crew to everyone and the reasoning why we decided to do this.
First off we have the man with the most podcasting knowledge, the mastermind if you will, Aaron Hoover (a.k.a. Uncool Aaron). This is the man responsible for the recording and editing the podcast as well as being the master of ceremony if you will. But that's not all he does, Aaron is the co-host of another podcast called confessions of a Movie Snob and he recently launched the Nerdvana Network, a website dedicated to all things geek that also serves as homebase to his podcast as well as his blog. If you like movies, comic books and everything else geek, you should check it out: http://nerdvananetwork.com/
Then there's our young ward, Nolan's Batman #1 fan and Truthful Comics Podcast's boy wonder himself: Cory A. Gaitan! This dude has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nolan Batman Universe as well as anything related to the Dark Knight. This self proclaimed DC fanboy is also writing his own comic book as well, so pretty soon we'll all be reading his work alongside our regular comic books. Cory is also an avid gamer and DC Comics connoisseur, so if you're thinking about picking up any DC book or maybe jumping into the New 52, it might do you a lot of good to listen to this young man.
And last but not least is me, Manuel A. Carmona. As you might or might not know, I'm the co-founder of Truthful Comics as well as President of a non-profit organization called Comics For Christmas (http://www.truthfulcomics.com/comics-for-christmas.html) and I'm also a comic book artist (Captain Action, Phazer, Project: New Wave). I'm a huge Star Wars fan as well as a longtime comic book fan. I read comic books on many genres and companies from Marvel to DC to Image to Dynamite and I'm a self proclaimed crusader of Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales), The Mighty Thor and Stephanie Brown (Batgirl) LOL!
Listen to the Truthful Comics Podcast HERE: http://www.truthfulcomics.com/podcast.html
I hope you join us on this crazy ride and enjoy our podcasting shenanigans. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them on our comments section, we'd really appreciate it!
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
The other night I was reminded why I love the internet so much! I've been a comic book fan since the early 90's and I've loved every minute of it. Of course I always follow artists since I'm an artist myself, and there have been a few that have always stayed at the top of my list in terms of the greats in my book. Jack Kirby is the first to pop in my head because of his importance to the comic book medium itself, but one of the most influential artists in the history of comics has to be the one I'm talking about today; Mr. George Perez!
His style is one of the most recognizable in the comics industry and I'd describe it as very "busy", because Mr. Perez has the gift of being able to put 10-15 characters in a page/panel and, not only make it work; but make it look amazing! Now, in the back of my mind I've always thought that Mr. Perez was from Puerto Rico not only because of his last name (Perez) but also for the fact that it'd be amazing if he was from the place I was born in. For those of you who don't know, Perez is a very Puertorican last name, it's almost like Smith or Johnson to the United States, so I had very hopes that this was the case. So, after all the years I've thought about this, only recently was I bold enough to apprach Mr. George Perez with my inquiry. Here's how the conversation went down...
Me- Mr. Perez, I'm a longtime fan of yours and I'm also a omic book artist. I'm currently working on my own book and I have a small indy label called Truthful Comics. But that's not why Im writing you, the reason for my email is to find something out that's been in my head for quite a while. My question is this, are you of Puertorican descent? I ask because I'm Puertorican and Perez is a very Puertorican last name. I could be wrong. Thank you for your time sir.
In case you don't know who George Perez is, here's a list of the books he's worked on throughout the years:
I wanted to share this with all my friends because I was so excited, I felt I was about to explode! Now, I can tell my son "You see these comic books, how amazing they look, well they were drawn by one of the greats. And guess what? He's a Boricua just like you and me. He made it, he became a legend, and if he did... so can you".
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/
Well, some of you may know and some of you may not, but we started a Facebook page dedicated to giving a spotlight to the many incredible artists around the world known as Cosplayers. I have the privilege to know quite a few Cosplayers personally and they're incredible people with amazing talents and we wanted to give them a forum in which to not only show their incredible costumes, but also where they could interact with their fans, promote themselves and have a community in which there would be no drama whatsoever. This place is called Universal Cosplay Page! But for know, I'd like to introduce to you one of the superstar Cosplayers in the United States, she goes by the name AZ Powergirl and her most famous Cosplay is... you guessed it; Power Girl!
Recently we asked her if we could interview her and she immediately got back to us and kindly agreed to do the interview. So, not only is she beautiful, but she's also a very humble and sweet human being. We couldn't be happier to have her be our 1st ever Truthful Comics Cosplay Spotlight!
Truthful Comics- First of all I want to thank you for being so kind and give us this interview on such short notice. You're very kind. So, let's get to it, shall we? First question, how long have you been Cosplaying?
AZ Powergirl- 2 1/2 years
TC- That's it! Wow!!! You've become very popular in a very short period of time. What kind of Cosplayer do you consider yourself to be?
AZ- There are "kinds"?
TC- LOL! I guess there aren't. Cosplay or Crossplay? Or both?
AZ- I would love to do some crossplay. Already have a few things in mind.
TC- Ohhh... nice! So... why do you Cosplay?
AZ- I love working with the kids for charity. I also really dig bringing a character to life. I take creative license when I want. It's my art.
TC- That's awesome that you work with kids and charity, we also do a lot of cjarity work through our non-profit organization Comics For Christmas. Maybe we could do something together in the near future for the kids. Btw, Cosplay IS an art, and you are a very talented artist. Now let me ask you this, is Cosplay a hobby you consider yourself doing for a long time?
AZ- I think I'll be doing it in some form or another for quite a while.
TC- That's good to hear. Now, I don't think this'll happen to you, let's say hypothetically, if someone told you they hated your Cosplay, what would you do? Be honest now!
AZ- Oh no! Somebody hates something?! Never!!!
TC- Jajaja Fair enough. Let's switch the question, if someone told you they loved your Cosplay, what would you do?
AZ- Oh I see that I can lie here. Hmmm....
TC- OK. Homemade Cosplay or bought/commissioned Cosplay?
AZ- Both. I use the phrase "modified parts".
TC- Cool. There is a lot of debate if western/asians should Cosplay. Your thoughts?
AZ- Of course not! Only Bulgarian midgits should Cosplay.
TC- That's what I say!!! LOL! Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
AZ- I'm a one woman wolf pack. Nothing like trying to go to the bathroom and being trapped in your own costume. AHHHHH!!!
TC- I'm sure you don't have a problem finding a helping hand with getting on, or taking off a costume. Do you have a current Cosplay favorite?
AZ- Jennifer Bliss from my book (ok not totally MY book, but I work on it) Project: Shadows. People think I actually look like her.
TC- Oh cool! I need to buy that book btw. What is your most expensive Cosplay?
AZ- Probably Powergirl, just because I have so many variations. I mix and match things on her all the time.
TC- What Cosplay has gotten more attention from your fans?
AZ- Powergirl! Except in Albuquerque, they love my Jill Valentine.
TC- What is a Cosplay pet peeve of yours?
AZ- When they insist on putting wristbands on your wrists and you're wearing gloves over a long sleeve and you have to pee and you cant get around it so you just have to hold it till the event's over. That SUX!
TC- LOL! That does suck! If you could Cosplay anywhere in the world, where would it be?
AZ- In the Jungle. the mighty jungle.
TC- What was your first convention? What was the reaction?
AZ- Phoenix Comiccon 2010. I won geek prom queen and had tons of video and pics taken of me. IT WAS AWESOME!!
TC- That's cool! What was your last convention? What was the reaction?
AZ- Last was hmmmm... Galaxy Fest in Colorado Springs. I was a celebrity guest and it was a great show. I had fans that came down and did some panels. It was a great weekend. And the hotel manager gave me free food for taking pics with his baby.
TC- Nice!!! Meeting the fans must've been great, but free food is always a plus! What is Cosplay to you?
AZ- It is the sun, It is the air, it is my pizza when I'm drowning in sorrow. Dude, it's grown people dressing up in costume. But seriously, Cosplay has evolved into an art of it's own. It lets the layman create what only Hollywood used to.
TC- Totally agree. What do you prefer, Photoshopped or un-photoshopped images?
TC- How do you view yourself as a Cosplayer?
AZ- Sometimes I view myself in a mirror, sometimes the back of a spoon, often I glance into a reflective window.
TC- You're killing me!!! Jeje How far are you willing to go while in Cosplay? At the end of the day, are you "YOU" or are you the character?
AZ- What character? Oh you don't know...I AM actually Powergirl. Don't tell anybody ok.
TC- Don't tell anybody what? How do you pay for your Cosplays?
AZ- In BLOOD! Or money. People still take money right?
TC- Not that I know of. When do you do Cosplays? At conventions only?
AZ- Usually at circle K. But that's typiclly on my way to a con or a charity event. Or a store signing, or a public appearance, or a fair, or a promo event, or to MC something. So yea, Circle K.
TC- What got you into Cosplaying?
AZ- I started out in a charity group. That simple. Did PCC and blew up. Next thing ya know, I'm at SanDiego Comicon working for Marvel.
TC- That's life, sometimes this just happen. Well, thank you for allowing us to interview you, we know you're a very busy woman. Maybe next time we'll do a video interview! For all of you who want to follow AZ Powergirl, you can visit her Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AZPowergirl?fref=ts and remember to look for her comic book Project: Shadows!!!
This is the Blog about all things Truthful Comics. Looking forward to reading your posts!