Hey guys! This week I'm putting up my videos of the 100 Days of Making Comics, a challenge where you work on your comic for at least 30 minutes everyday. Here's the first week of my third run. Have fun!
The official Truthful Comics debut of JET BOY: DAWN OF K.R.O.N.O.S. has been set for June 29th, 2016. It will mark the first release under the Fite Klub Comics merger with Truthful Comics and will include additional pages and extras not found in last year's FKC release. Over the next few months, you can read up on the expanded Jet Boy Universe here on www.truthfulcomics.com
As you all may or may not know, I've been collecting comics since the early 90's and the other day while driving to a comic book shop here in Virginia; my friend and I were talking about how we began to collect comic books. You see, the beauty of having a lifelong friend who has a lot of the same hobbies you do is that; he might remember details of the past that you might have forgotten and vice versa. While i remembered our first steps into this larger world of comic book fandom he remembered that our first real collecting began not with comic books per se; but with comic book trading cards! When he told me this the memories came back like a tidal wave and nostalgia took over me in a way that I did not expected. As we arrived at the comic book shop (it was Zeno's Books), I got the books I was looking for and proceeded to search for something that was insanely popular in the 90's but not so much in this day and age... Marvel Universe trading cards!
Of course they had a few assorted cards in a box and unopened boxes as well but we left that day without buying them but as I went to be all I could think about was how much fun those trading cards were back in the day. Young people, let me help you understand why these cards were so cool and important for someone like myself as I ventured into this world of comic books and geekdom in general. See back in the day we didn't have Wikipedia to learn about all our favorite characters and also, we didn't have enough money to buy all the comics we wanted in order to learn everything about Spider-Man or Wolverine; what we did have were trading cards. Each card told us the character's stats, basic origin, allies, foes, powers and were usually beautifully illustrated by some of the best artists in the business! Another benefit was that they were easier to collect because they occupy far less space than comic books. But one of the things I enjoyed the most about trading cards was that you could exchange your doubles with your friends and complete the sets, making them even more engaging than comics. But how could such a wonderful hobby disappear the way trading cards did? Did fans got tired of them? What exactly happened to comic book trading cards?
I don't know what happened to the hobby of trading cards but i dod know one thing, I think I got bit by the trading card collecting bug again and I'm going in full force; I'm tracking down these trading card sets and collecting them. Hopefully I'll get a few people interested in the hobby again and who knows, maybe we start building a fan base again and companies take notice. Wishful thinking i guess but I think the time is perfect for trading cards to come back because with so many changes and company reboots, the only way fans could keep up with storylines is if A. they're rich or B. they have a trading card set that can tell the main stories in a few cards. So, with that said, here's a few pics of me and my boy opening our very first box of Marvel Universe Series III trading cards from way back in 1992!
P.S. Share with in the comments if you had or still have a collection of trading cards, what you think about them and/or if you'd like to see these make a comeback. Peace.
Before I start this review I want to get a few things straight...
1. I've never been a Deadpool fan.
2. I've never collected Deadpool comics or merch.
3. I've never read more than two Deadpool comics and
I don't intend to read any after watching the movie.
4. I'm no Deadpool expert.
Ok, now that I've come clean; we can begin our review. This movie was fantastic! The end. See ya'll next time. What? You want me to go in depth? Ok, this is my NON-Spoiler review of one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! First thing I'd like to say is that Ryan Reynolds was born to play this Deadpool. From the moment the movie starts till' the post credits scene (yes, there IS an after credits scene!) you can see how much Ryan loves this character. The script was perfect for this movie, the story is fun, action-packed and it has a lot of heart; a feat not easily accomplished in a movie such as this one and with a character as crazy as Deadpool is. Another great thing they took directly from the comics is the "breaking of the fourth wall", and just like in the comics; it was hilarious!
The cast in this movie was great as well. There's TJ Miller as a funny "sidekick" (who isn't really a sidekick), there's Colossus, there's Brianna Hildebrant as a cool mutant chick with a ridiculous name who's powers were very cool, there's Gina Carano playing a villain named Angel Dust (and a kickass villain at that!), there's Morena Baccarin as Deadpool's smoking hot love interest and the main villain Ajax is played by Ed Skrein; they all did a fantastic job! In all honesty, I haven't laughed this much watching a movie probably since Dumb and Dumber; and that's saying a lot! There's were great cameos, great lines in the movie referencing other properties in a super funny that didn't seem forced and there's also a love story at the core of all the craziness which makes you root for this insane merc with a mouth! If there's one thing you can take from me gushing over this movie is this, go see this movie, bring your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your brother(s), your friend(s) and prepare to laugh out loud. Trust me... it's a funny, funny movie!
Heeeey, everybody, happy 2016! I know it's a little late, but as most know SNOWMAGEDDON and school has taken a toll on my projects. But let's leave all the pish posh aside and get down to the nitty gritty: is the comic book industry stuck in the 90s again?
It seems like a continuous cycle now. Comics have always had it's highs and lows as an industry, and as the old saying goes, if you don't look back into the past, you're doomed to repeat it. And as far as I can tell, that's exactly what's happening.
"BUT Lance (people usually thinks my real name is actually Lance, so let's just go with it), but it's 2016! Comics are more progressive now than the lame 90s comics!" A fair point, but not all together accurate.
While people celebrate (and they should) characters like Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel, Miles Morales Spider-Man, etc, for their portrayal of minorities and strong female characters, but what about Milestone Media and Frank Miller's Martha Washington stories? And even though the "bad girl craze" of the 90s presented over sexualized female characters, in it;s own unique way, it started paving the way for more female oriented protagnists, despite the fact that yes, it was not exactly ideal at the time.
But in it's own way, the craze did evolve into concepts that were perhaps a bit ahead of it's time. Take Ultraverse's title Mantra, of a male warrior fighter that reincarnated in the body of a woman. I personally would love to somehow see that tackled in mainstream comics again. "But.,...LANCE...now established heroes are being switched into different gender and race roles I MYSELF can identify with! Not like in the silly 90s!" Except that as far back as the 70s there has been different versions of Thor, and least not forget the original What If..? issue that featured a Jane Foster as Thor. Thor has even been a frog, so, don't give up your hopes yet, furries!
The 90s was PLAGUED by different versions of characters and different costumes and characters being replaced. It's basically a trope and has been for years. And like we're seeing now, that both helped AND hurt the industry. Let's take a look.
Due to the huge success of the Batman movies, that helped spawn a handful of successful comic book movies, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and cult favorite The Crow, that helped lead to a huge boom in the comic books industry. Publisher smelling money like hammerhead sharks smelling blood in the water, got greedy and tried to milk the money out of buyers hands. Variant covers! MORE VARIANT COVERS! New issue number 1s! Reboot this character, reboot that character! Sound familiar?
As a result of publishers getting greedy, the bubble burst, and to this day the industry has been suffering. Much like mid to late 90s, everybody was upset. New fans had no idea what was going on, so they stopped buying, while older fans got alienated and they too stopped buying. That led to an interesting time in that era that also repeats itself and we're seeing more of that. Publishers, bleeding money now, and desperate to get a boost, turn to indie creators to give a shot in the arm in a particular series or two. And that itself brings it's own challenges.
A prime example of this was the Uncanny X-Men creative team that took over after Scott Lobdell and super star artist Joe Madureira left the book. The series was taken over by the creative team of Steven T. Seagle and Chris Bachalo, who at the time were mostly known for their work on DC Comics Vertigo line. Some indie creators fit in perfect with a mainstrea comic....and some simply can not gel in smoothly. Or are good, but not as great as they are with their original characters, especially if it's a creator not entirely keen on mainstream super hero stuff to begin with. And what follows is very awkward series. In the case of Uncanny X-Men it didn't take long for Marvel to turn to established veteran Alan Davis, who took over as writer and artist.
By then comics were losing money and coming under fire by extreme conservatives and the still looming presence of the comics code authority, though not as mighty as it was through the 60s ad 70s, but was still a force in the industry. Only now comics are being blasted by both extreme conservatives and extreme liberals as well.
Even the variant covers, which had taken a backseat for a few years after the 90s, have come back with a vengeance, like a bat out of hell! And even that has met controversy. Batgirl and Spider-Woman, anybody? Just look at Star Wars number 1 from Marvel. It was the first comic to reach the million orders mark since the 90s. How did it do it? On the strength of FIFTY variant covers.
"But...but...LANCE.....90s comics were SO pointlessly violent! Comics surely have evolved from that then! Especially violence against women! Women in refrigerators!!!!" All I have to say to that is Bitch Planet, Saga, and The Walking Dead. Not that any of those titles are bad, mind you, but it is inconsistent to claim hating violence in comics and violence towards a specific gender, and then make icons out of comics that do just that.
But, just as they survived in the 90s, I do believe they will survive now that the industry is in the same predicament, if not worse. Let me give a bit of context. Back in the 90s, a comic selling over 100,000 copies was deemed a failure and cancelled. Now a days, a 20,000 copy selling book might even land you in the top 50.
With all the backlash to reboots and re-imaginings, the industry can look back at the past and correct this now. Less is more. Create and nurture not just new characters, but new creators. ENOUGH OF ALL THE VARIANT COVERS (seriously. Stop. It.). Start listening more to fans again instead and hear what they want instead of just assuming what people that do not even like comics want. I'm not saying to not attract new readers by doing something different, different can be good, but use a HIGHER STANDARD for that. In the 90s NO ONE expected a Marvel or DC title to come out late, but as recently as Secret Wars, Marvel's' HUGE storyline.....the final issue came out late, even after some series already had starting being published and sold.
And just as some indie titles enjoyed success in the 90s because of the struggling big 2, now is the time for indie creators to step up and deliver as well, and this generation has a HUGE advantage indie creators did not have in the 90s: the internet.
You can self-publish and set-up your own online store. Not to mention reach readers that would have been virtually impossible to reach back then.
So yes, even though many things parallel the 90s and the 2010s. I do believe that the industry can change and survive, but it's not just up to the bog publishers, it's up to us as well, as creators and as fans. Thank you all for reading, hopefully I see you all next week if my finals exams permit it, take care and always remember, as cheesy as it is, you can be the change that you want. Peace and love and kitten whiskers.
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