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 Jack Kirby was alive and in his prime today, would his books sell and/or would he be relevant in the comic book world? Before we go in depth on my thoughts on this matter, I feel is extremely important to give everyone a brief history on who was Jack Kirby and why he's consider by everyone in the comic book field as the "king" of comics.
Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium. Growing up poor in New York City, Kurtzberg entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s. He drew various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby, generally teamed with Simon, created numerous characters for that company and for National Comics, the company that later became DC Comics.
After serving in World War II, Kirby returned to comics and worked in a variety of genres. He produced work for a number of publishers, including DC, Harvey Comics,Hillman Periodicals and Crestwood Publications, where he and Simon created the genre of romance comics. He and Simon also launched their own short-lived comic company, Mainline Publications. Kirby ultimately found himself at Timely's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, soon to become Marvel. There, in the 1960s, he and writer-editor Stan Lee co-created many of Marvel's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, however, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC. There Kirby created his Fourth World saga, which spanned several comics titles. While these series proved commercially unsuccessful and were canceled, the Fourth World's New Gods have continued as a significant part of the DC Universe. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid-to-late 1970s, then ventured into television animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby, who has been called "the William Blake of comics", began receiving great recognition in the mainstream press for his career accomplishments, and in 1987 he was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor.
Recently, there have been conversations in a forum I frequent on a daily basis about the impact Jack Kirby would have, if any, if he was alive and in his prime in today's comics. Some comic book fans think that his books wouldn't sell and basically he wouldn't be relevant in any real way; to which I say thee nay! :) Now, if you look at Kirby's art for the first time it would be kind of jarring and off quilter, but to say that the books wouldn't sell or that the art in comics has gotten better... than Kirby's art, again... I SAY THEE NAY!!!
Let's look at the facts, Jack Kirby was, and still is to this day, the most creative person in the comic book world, and quite possibly any media. Look at the hundreds, if not thousands of characters, concepts and stories that he came up with, the amount of work he produced, the quality or his work, any way you look at it; he's known as the king for a reason. Another important fact that we cannot overlook is the amount of creators who've been directly influenced by Kirby. You can literally see and feel Kirby's influence in some of these creators' art style and they're some of the most respected professionals in the comics field today; to think that they're relevant, on top of their game and moving the comics world forward and think that Kirby wouldn't be relevant in today's comics is plain stupid.
Let's look at some of the creators who've been so heavily influenced by Jack Kirby shall we?
Bruce Walter Timm (born on February 8, 1961) is an American character designer, animator and producer. He is also a writer and artist working in comics, and is known for his contributions building the modern DC Comics animated franchise, the DC animated universe. Timm is known primarily for his work in animation, his first ambition was to become a comic-book artist. Although this dream did not materialize, leading him to a life in animation, nevertheless produced several one-shots and miniseries, mostly for DC Comics. In the 1980s, he made some mini-comics for Masters Of The Universe.In 1994, Timm and writer Paul Dini won the Eisner Award for Best Single Story for Batman Adventures: Mad Love. Timm won the same prize the next year as well, for Batman Adventures Holiday Special with Dini, Ronnie del Carmen and others. Later, Timm was involved with Batman Adventures and has also worked on Avengers and Vampirella. He is also a popular cover and pin-up artist.
Erik J. Larsen (born December 8, 1962) is an American comic book writer, artist and publisher. He is known for his work on Savage Dragon, as one of the founders of Image Comics, and for his work on Spider-Man for Marvel Comics. In 1992, seeking greater control and profit over the work they created, Larsen and six other illustrators left Marvel to form Image Comics, where Larsen launched a series featuring a reworked version of Savage Dragon. This time, the Dragon was a massively muscled green amnesiac, who joined the Chicago police department after being discovered in a burning field. Initially debuting in a three-issue miniseries, the series met with enough success to justify a monthly series, launched in 1993. To this day, Larsen continues to write and illustrate the series entirely by himself, and has maintained a reasonably consistent monthly schedule (save for occasional lapses) in comparison with the other original Image Comics titles.
Darwyn Cooke is a comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier, The Spirit and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter.
With just these three names alone it should be understood that Kirby is, and always will be the most important creator in comics, but the list doesn't end there, there are hundreds of creators who specifically point to Jack Kirby for their inspiration and view him as a teacher of the medium, and to say that a book drawn by Kirby wouldn't sell in this day and age is not only ridiculous, but also incredibly disrespectful. Another ridiculous statement is that art has gotten better with the years, to which I say not really. The art in comics specifically has gotten flashier and more colorful, but not necessarily better.
If you claim that the art has gotten better, how can you explain that some of the most coveted artwork, and most impressive I might add, is none other than George Perez's work from the 80's and early 90's. His art hasn't changed much in the last 30 years, but is it not at the top of the game still to this day? It absolutely is! Same goes with artists like Phil Jimenez, Howard Chaykin, Walt Simmonson or even Neal Adams. The same rule applies to Jack Kirby's work. In this day and age, inkers and colorists are much more talented and have more freedom to take the artwork and make it much better than what it originally was, and if Kirby would've had an inker like, oh let's say Danny Miki (Spawn, Batman) or Jonathan Glapion (Batman), or a colorist like Brian Haberlin (Spawn) or Nathan Eyring (Earth 2) and you'll see somthing you've never seen before, you'll see Kirby's pencils in a whole new light because they'll have that little "extra" push to it that will bring it to the current era of comics. But, this is all and educated guess knowing what I know about art and how comic book artwork gets done, others that might not have the knowledge or the art education might see Kirby's work as "old" or "dated" but all I see when I flip through a comic drawn by Jack Kirby is... genius!
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.
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, today we launched unto the interwebs our first effort from what is going to be the Truthful Comics Podcast. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while now and thankfully, I met Aaron Hoover, a master in the art of podcasting, through the magical world of Facebook and now I can truly say, we've become good friends. And what do friends do? They help each other out or course!
Being that he's such a wizard in the art of podcasting, I asked him to help me out with this little experiment and he agreed! No loopholes, no small print in a shady contract and no bribes, none of that was necessary for him to give me a helping hand; and I appreciate him for that. He not only co-hosts the podcast, but he's also is the driving force behind the editing and post-production of the episodes and all the technical stuff I have no idea how to deal with, plus he produced the intro to the podcast which I fell in love with as soon as I listened to it, being a HUGE Batman: Brave and the Bold fan. I think what he's doing with this podcast asa favor to me is incredible and the appreciation I feel for my friend is something I can't quite put into words, but I'll just say: Thank you Aaron!
Joining us on this crazy ride will be Ethan Parker who is Aaron's co-host on a podcast called Confessions of a Movie Snob (http://confessionsofamoviesnob.com/) as well as Batman super fan Cory Gaitan. So, without further further ado, I give you Issue #0 of Truthful Comics Podcast.
Truthful Comics Podcast Issue #0: http://www.truthfulcomics.com/podcast.html
We hope you enjoy our little podcast and we're looking forward to listening to your feedback. If you have questions or you want us to discuss anything in particular, send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ORDER is brought to you by RockBottom Studios and hosted on Truthful Comics, an opening tale of a coming satanic apocalypse. This web mini series gives a look into a world where all of the conspiracies and secrets of society are in fact spout from the lips of the King of Serpents himself. A cosmic event that tramples through lives and spins a universe into a dark and desolate future.
The web comic series ORDER carries an interesting take on the apocalyptic prelude of 2012. A subject that in genre isn’t always accepted with open arms. I do however enjoy the approach taken by Corey Davis, I like his style, his voice. Some of the dialogue could be tweaked, but his anatomy fits his fantasy spin and is a quick read. Surely a mere opening of curtains to a grander arena.
Set to debut in February 2013, Shadow Club Karma will rock the shelves as the first collaboration of Rocbottom Studios and Truthful Comics talents. Be sure to keep an eye out for it’s budding debut, and stay tuned for more from Truthful Comics as we will undoubtedly have more to share!
Review by AgromaniaWorldwide
By Manuel A. Carmona
After reading this much anticipated Batman #18 book I find myself feeling conflicting emotions; and here's why. I like Batman's reaction to his sons death, I understand what it's like to loose someone who means the world to you and feel like your entire world is crumbling around you. Honestly, all you feel is hate. Hate for the world, hate for humanity, even hate for God because in your mind, he's taking everything from you; or at least everything that's important in your life. I think Scott Snyder portrayed Batman in a very believable way and I really enjoyed it, atleast that aspect of the book. The tone of the book was very dark and you immediately felt Bruce Wayne/Batman's pain and his sense of loss and you almost want him to release that pain onto the scum of the world. The problem with that is that at some point, you start loosing sight of the person you were and the person you've become. I went through exactly that when my grandfather died. That experience, I feel, killed the innocence and joy I felt when I was with him and made me stronger in more ways than one. But... back to the story.
Now, this Harper Row character really bothers me, but not for the reasons you might expect; let me explain. Harper and her brother Cullen's story is a very interesting one, you can tell Snyder thought about their backstory quite bit, but thats where me liking this story ends. For example, here's a list of the things that I find oddly familiar about the character:
1. Harper being inspired by Batman.
2. Practicing martial arts, boxing, etc.
3. Training to be a superhero.
4. Going out at night on patrol.
5. Batman yelling at her because she's not ready.
6. Batman telling her that she will never be his partner.
7. Harper proving herself worthy of being Batman's partner.
8. Batman apologizing for treating her like crap.
This is not Harper Rose's story, this is Stephanie Brown!!!
Scott Snyder took what made Stephanie Brown (a.k.a. The Spoiler, Robin and Batgirl) the cool character she was and adapted it to "his character" and for that reason alone, I could never get behind this Harper Row/Stephanie Brown rip off . It's mind boggling to me how Dan Didio said that they probably wont be bringing Stephanie Brown back because the sales numbers don't justify it, and yet they "green light" a character that is obviously and blatantly a Stephanie Brown rip off!!! This happened simply because the character was pitched by DC Comics' "golden boy" Scott Synder.
//By the way, if I notice this I am sure every Stephanie Brown fan out there will notice this too.//
Besides my obvious issues with the whole "Stephanie Brown rip off" thing, I feel that the character interaction between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Harper Row was executed very well, but I've seen it before, almost word for word. The same arguments, the same problems, and even the fact that Harper and her brother Cullen's father is a scumbag. Wasn't Stephanie Brown's father a scumbag as well? Good Lord!!!
One of the highlights on this book to me was Andy Kubert drawing Batman again, which is something I can always appreciate. Also, Greg Capullo's cover is simply beautiful! Even my wife (who's not a comic book fan AT ALL) loved the cover. Even Alex Maleev's art , even though it wasn't on par with Kubert's or Capullo's artwork, it was still good. All in all, this was a well written book that I absolutely didn't like because of the reasons I mentioned before.
Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below and let us know what you thought of the book.
-Art: Kubert- 5/5 Maleev- 3/5
P.S. I want to thank my wife for helping me with this blog entry by typing all this on the computer ebcause my hands where hurting. Thanks baby!
This is the Blog about all things Truthful Comics. Looking forward to reading your posts!