GO-BOTS Return in All-New Comic Book Series

IDW Celebrates the 35th Anniversary of Classic Toy Line
with a Sci-Fi Epic Written and Drawn by Tom Scioli

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 20, 2018) – IDW Publishing is proud to announce that Tom Scioli, the visionary creator that brought you Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, will unleash his imagination on the wonderful world of Go-Bots! Launching in October, Go-Bots will be the first story to feature classic toy and cartoon characters like Leader-1, Scooter, Turbo, and Cy-Kill’s Renegades in over three decades!

In the new five-issue series, the existence of Go-Bots on Earth has changed humans’ way of life. They chauffeur us around. They protect us from harm. They do the jobs that are too boring or dangerous for us. They fight our wars for us. They are friends for the lonely. The only thing they don’t do is dream for us… but that could change any day now. For a generation, Leader-1 and the Guardians have said that they were here to help us… but as they become more integrated into our society, the question must be asked: Are they here to replace us?

“This is a dream project – I’m writing, drawing, coloring, and hand-lettering this book. It’s a labor of love,” says Scioli. “When these characters were conceived of in the ’80s, the idea of robots with human personalities was science fiction. Now, it’s history. The world of living machines is here – we’re living it. The time is right for Go-Bots!”

“Avant-garde creator Tom Scioli has been pushing the comic book storytelling medium for nearly two decades now and his work on Go-Bots is yet another watershed moment in his career,” says IDW Associate Publisher David Hedgecock. “It is a testament to the strong collaboration between IDW Publishing and Hasbro, that projects like this can exist on licensed properties.”

“Huh huh” Ooooooooooooooh” We’re Back!

When Regular Show reached its somber but brilliant conclusion it did so in a way that truly put a perfect ribbon on the entire program. Leaping ahead 25 years through flashforwards showing us Rigby and Mordecai’s lives up until a reunion at the park. We know that they’ve gone onto to have excellent marriages and have risen now grown children in their late teens to early 20s. I mean that is if you watched the show. If you didn’t though I can’t imagine why you would care about any Regular Show comic. The show had a strong enough fanbase though to not let that be the end and BOOM knew it.

Regular Show: 25 Years Later is a series that picks up directly from the final scene of the show. As the boys reminiscence they go off to to video shack. On the way there though Benson asks asks them to go them some ice since they’re all out and don’t have time to wait for a freezer to make some. This should be simple, they’re mature, older men now… go to to the store, get a bag of ice, simple.

This is still Regular Show and things don’t go as planned and then in well.. regular fashion, they get weird. Then they get weirder. Then they get really weird. Then just when it seems things seem okay, the cliffhanger ending of issue one hits and you have no clue where this story may go. It has many options, time travel, body switching, space, fantasy lands, pure ridiculousness.

Christopher Hastings who has written excellent issues of Adventure Time definitely understands the voices of Rig and Mord and for creating wackiness. The street art background of illustrator Anna Johnstone definitely allows for a super fun and different look to the well know characters while keeping them familiar and on point. Along with the subdued but colorful palette and hues of Joana Lafuente the book truly feels like a proper beginning to a new end for a friendly bird and raccoon and their entire friends and families saga.

Issue #1 of Regular Show: 25 Years Later is currently available in comic shops, for mail order through the BOOM! Studios site, as well as digitally through various sites.

Over the Garden Wall and Into Hollow Town (Press release)

 

BOOM! Studios is proud to announce OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN #1, beginning a new five issue limited series set in the world inspired by the Emmy® Award-winning Cartoon Network animated series Over The Garden Wall.

Writer Celia Lowenthal (The Storyteller: Fairies) and artist Jorge Monlongo (Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats) send Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice on an all-new adventure in the Unknown as they stumble on a small town inhabited entirely by eerie porcelain doll-people. After Greg loses a shoe to a pond-turtle, it’s up to Wirt to earn money for a new pair, leading him to babysit some doll-children that may cause Wirt to stay in town forever…

OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN #1 features a main cover by Celia Lowenthal, along with variant covers by Natalie Hall (Adventure Time) and Miguel Mercado (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers).

“With OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN, I’ve been trying to lean into and expand upon some of the great aspects of the show: adolescent social anxiety, patterns and tropes from fairytales, and – of course – spooky things from the woods that aren’t quite what they seem,” said Celia Lowenthal. “Over The Garden Wall is just such a good story; it’s really awesome to get to play around in its universe and, hopefully, do something new and fun!”

“I love everything about Over The Garden Wall –  the characters, colors, music… and the way horror and tenderness blend together,” said Jorge Monlongo. “Working on this new series so exciting.I enjoy drawing old houses and antique clothes, malefic trees, sinister creatures and frogs. But what I love the most is drawing Greg!”

OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ award-winning KaBOOM! imprint, home to comics for middle grade and younger readers including licensed series such as Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Peanuts, and Garfield, along with original series like Mega Princess by Kelly Thompson and  Brianne Drouhard, Bodie Troll by Jay Fosgitt, and The Deepby Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.

“I’m excited to head back to The Unknown for more adventures with Wirt, Greg and Beatrice,” said Whitney Leopard, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Pat McHale created an amazing world with Over The Garden Wall and we’re really excited about this chance to introduce readers to more adventures with these amazing characters. Celia and Jorge have created a special story in OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN about family, responsibility and the true dangers of strange dolls, you don’t want to miss is.”

Print copies of OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN will be available for sale in September 2018 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

For more on OVER THE GARDEN WALL: HOLLOW TOWN and more from KaBOOM!, please visit www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.

Back into the Brush with Icons on Icons

Rarely does this website just use a press release but this is such amazing news.
Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill present
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV:
THE TEMPEST

Six-issue miniseries will serve as “swan song” not only to award-winning LEAGUE series but also to creators’ careers

San Diego, CA (July 20, 2017) – After an epic seventeen-year journey through the entirety of human culture – the biggest cross-continuity ‘universe’ that is conceivable – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill will conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series’ spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest.

Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team will use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyse, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure.

Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha’s lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of ‘We’ on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero’s Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast-list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories.

Commencing as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children’s comics that will make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus will also reprint classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reaches of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: THE TEMPEST.

— a 6-issue mini-series, each issue 32 pages in (mostly) full color, saddle stitched, 6 5/8” x 10 1/8” (standard comic-book size), $4.99 (US). Issue #1 is scheduled for June 2018.

Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).

The Group of Sadly Forgotten Weirdos who did evil things

Comics have a history of weird, wacky, unusual or even actually lame, annoying and “maybe we’d be better off without but were stuck with them so we better learn to live with it” characters. Some of them only existing for one issue, others despite their complete nuttiness and/or annoying and/or pointlessness lasting for decades. These characters run the gamut from good guys to bad guys to sidekicks to henchmen and even just supporting characters (such as Steve Lombard of DC Comics’ Daily Planet in Superman comics). Some of these characters were just also not as awesome as others, so because of one thing or another they’ve been less highlighted and become lesser known then their counterparts.

In the second volume of a series from Quirk Books by Jon Morris, titled The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains, the author highlights many of these characters on the “evil” side of the board from the Golden Age to today’s comics including Image and Dark Horse. As the introduction suggests, much like in the first volume, these characters are less regrettable then they are possibly forgettable or more unpopular. Per that a slightly more well known Marvel villain Batroc the Leaper is featured in the The Silver Age section of the book. He of maybe anyone in the book seems almost out of place as he’s been featured in a variety of cartoons, had a toy and was even portrayed by one of the few household names in MMA, Georges St. Pierre in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Despite this, the profiles in The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains, are entertaining, at times informative and a wonderful collection focusing on characters what else-wise get the short shaft.

The true highlight of the book is the Golden Age section as if delves deep beyond Marvel and DC to many of the strange and varied companies of the time that published what are now obscure buried treasures in the regrettable factor is that it is regrettable they are not more easily accessible for readers of all pockets and locales. The Golden age has had a fair share of new collections, notably The Green Llama by Dark Horse and the work of Fletcher Hanks (whose character Lepus is featured on the cover of Legion) from Fantagraphics and most recently Craig Yoe’s Super Weird Heroes, a great companion to The Legion of Regrettable Super Villians , in which the originals are remastered, but a lot of the titles featured in Jon Morris’ books have not had that privilege. Therefore the pages and profiles he provides to a far gone past of crazy creation is most welcome as many of these comics would costs 1000s to own because of rarity of existence in this day and ageTo promote the book, Jon has also drawn illios of the first of  the book’s profiles (these excellent illustrations unfortunately are not in the book itself).  One of the editors at Quirk, Rick Chilot has done some as well for marketing. Here are three that I liked (but I like all of them).  Go to @calamityjon and @rickchillot on Twitter for more.

from the anthropomorphic version of Fawcett’s Captain Marvel AKA Shazam titled Hoppy, The Marvel Bunny. Created by Chad Grothkopf, a quality artist of the 30-40’s who also worked on DC Comics

a true golden age classic the book provides pages from the unsung Prize Comics this character was in. the book credits Paul Norris and Dick Sprang, major players in DC’s Golden Age as the creators.

Not to be confused with Batman, he appeared in Police Comics-the home of Jack Cole’s Plastic Man. A creation of what could be also a regrettable creator George Brenner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains by Jon Morris will be available wherever you like to buy books on March 28, 2017 from Quirk Books.  You will regret it if you don’t pick it up for yourself to devour, learn, discover, rediscover, laugh and maybe even cry over these amazing characters of yesteryear and today who coulda been contenders but barely even made it to the ring.

(this review was written from an advance copy of the finished product)

Deaths in Pop-Culture- Jan 2017

2016 was such a hard hitting year of notable actors, authors, musicians, politicians and more that the deaths of 2017 will possibly seem so much less.  Especially in the turmoil of everything happening and when we want to look up the upside of all the fun, exciting good things to come.  Yet, so far alone in the first 25 days of this year we’ve had a share of passings that most of all pop-culture around the world would feel and some in lesser circles but still notable.

In no particular order here are some of them with minor to major details.

Alfonso Wong – A Hong Kong artist born in mainland China, became famous in Asia for the creation Old Master Q.  While not widely known elsewhere it has been translated into English and his work known by fans and inspired creators worldwide.  The BBC did a wonderful covering on his career upon his passing.

Tony Rosato – Comedic Canadian actor who was on SCTV as well as SNL regular for Season 7.  He was also a noted voice actor best known for his role as Luigi in Super Mario cartoons.  He also sadly did a two year stint in prison instead of being given mental health he desperately needed for committing a minor charge of “harassment” against his own wife and slipping through Justice’s cracks

Lynn Phillips – A television writer and journalist.

Babette Cole – British Children’s Author and Artist.

Bill Marshall – Canadian Producer, helped found the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as well other Canadian film and television mainstays

Phillip Bond – British actor with appearances in Doctor Who (The First), The Avengers, and The Onedin Line

Gorden Kaye – Star of ‘Allo, ‘Allo

Manlio Rocchetti – Italian make-up artist who received the Academy and Emmy award for his work.

Timothy Alan Smith – Professional wrestler who worked under the names Rex King and in the WWE as Timothy Well, 1/2 of the tag team Well Dunn.  (His partner Steve Doll, known as Steve Dunn, passed away in ’09)

Francine York – Beautiful character actress of television and film, notably in Jerry Lewis films.

 Lamar Dupré Calhoun – Rap producer for the group WC and The Madd Circle under the name Crazy Toones.

Buddy Greco –  Recording artist of all genres.  A contemporary of Sinatra and Presley, but never as famous as either.

Pascal Garry – Belgian cartoonist, took over from Peyo on The Smurfs after a two year apprenticeship in Peyo’s studio .

Jimmy Snuka – Fijian professional wrestler known as “Supafly”.  Also a murder suspect and known criminal, passed away without indictment on a reopended trial after being declared mentally unfit.

William Margold – prolific porn actor and director

Butch Trunks – One of the two drummers in The Allman Brothers craziness.

Miguel Ferrer – American actor of film and television including cartoon voice over work.  Major notable roles in Robocop, DC cartoons, Twin Peaks and his final role as Granger, the much loved boss on NCIS: Los Angeles.

Dick Gautier – American actor and voice over actor best known for his work on G.I. Joe and Transformers.

William Peter Blatty – American novelist, screenwriter and director.  Most famous for The Exorcist.  I personally loved John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!

John Watkiss – British Comics and storyboard artist.  Worked for DC Comics, as well as a multitude of movie studios including Disney.  Was working on Surgeon X from Image till his passing.

Harry J. Middleton – best known as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s right hand man.

Yanni Alexis Mardas aka Magic Alex – a guy who somehow convinced The Beatles to let him be part of their entourage and spend lots of Apple Studios money, yet never contributing anything successful other then being that guy who tricked the Beatles.

Shigeru Kōyama – Japanese actor who appeared in many films and television including a Zaotichi, a Godzilla and Ridley’s Scott’s Black Rain.

And as I wrote this entry Mary Tyler Moore, world beloved actress of stage, film and small screen passed away after a long illness.  For many she will be considered the first important death of this year, but I feel all these are as are any I might’ve missed.

In a world of pop-culture with music, television, comics, wrestling, video games, movies and more… there are important figures from agents, to publicists who shall pass.  They all made their mark and all were important so sometimes we must find time to acknowledge them.

 

2017: A Look Ahead

2016 is near its end or it’s over based on when you read this. It was a rough year in many respects, but it gave us a ton of excellent pop-culture. 2017 as of now promises to do the same. There’s SO much to look forward to. To list it ALL would take forever so I thought I’d just focus on a few things here and there.

NETFLIX is hitting hard with a multitude of shows debuting or returning. Amongst them:
Degrassi: Next Class Season 3 – Available January 6, 2017.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1 – Available Jan. 13
Santa Clarita Diet: Season 1 – Available Feb. 3
Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 1 – Available March 17
Sense8: Season 2 – Available May 17
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later- Date TBA

In terms of Network television I can highly recommend the 12th and final season of BONES on FOX premiering Jan 3rd. I’ve seen the first three episodes and they are very hard to comment on without spoilers, but plot twists, reveals, robots and one of the greatest actors of any generation Hal Holbrook are involved.

The reimaginging of the L. Frank Baum saga by Matthew Arnold finally happens with David Schulner (creator of Do No Harm) and so far poorly reviewed but keeps getting work Tarsem Singh at the helm. If anything NBC’s Emerald City looks like it’ll be definite event TV or fail drastically and get cancelled before all 10 episodes even air. One or the other should be fascinating to watch.

legobatman

In terms of films I’d have to say LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is high on my anticipated list. Sure it’s not by the actual writer/directors of Lego Movie (they’re busy making Lego Movie 2) but it has a good pedigree and every teaser and trailer has me excited.

I’m also intrigued by Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. For his first follow-up to Instellar to be a WWII flick is fascinating. It’s also his first SOLO project since Inception as brother Jonathan was busy creating and developing the excellent Westworld. Equally fascinating is the amount of work put into this film. It’s not a remake of the late 60’s film, so it’ll truly interesting to see what stories Nolan chose to build upon to coney emotion, gravitas, and character even when the lead character is still the operation and Dunkirk itself (the film was actually filmed there).

Also pulled in by the adaptation of Dave Egger’s The Circle with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. James Pontsold makes visually enticing, perfectly paced films and chose the easiest and simplest yet not simple Eggers novels to turn into a film.

There’s a ton of amazing video games coming 2017 too but this site is still without an XBoxOne or PS4 so the focus is on PC games but those that will not require a $5000 rig to run.

First up on the excitement board is Full Throttle Remastered the next rebuild of the classic Lucasart’s games designed by Tim Schaeffer which Double Fine was able to get the IP rights back for. I’m really curious to see how they update some of the worse parts of the game like the combat and the maze puzzles. I’m not completely sold on the art actually but I’ve been happy with DF so far, so I’m in.

Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier (First Chapter out, but the rest hits 2017) is awesome. I already reviewed it and I’m excited for the rest.

thimbleweedAlso excited for platform point & clicker A NIGHT IN THE WOODS.
Third person action adventure co-op player TROLL AND I.
2-D Shooter with old school animation CUPHEAD.

and most especially, Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick, David Fox and teams’ THIMBLEWEED PARK, the pixel point & click dream of a game I think many thought Broken Age would be. I loved Broken Age, always will, but Thimbleweed Park is looking bigger and better then I ever imagined it could be. I didn’t get to back when I wanted to, but I wouldn’t been able to back what I wanted anyways. This is probably number one on my experiences for 2017 I look forward to.

There’s a share of BOOKS coming out as well.

First up two genius female writers tackling heroes from Marvel and DC.

Shannon Hale (with Dean Hale) does The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Meets World and Gwenda Bond comes forth with a third in her awesome Lois Lane series with Tripleflaminglips Threat.

There’s a really cool STEVEN UNIVERSE ORIGINAL GN coming out called TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL by the show’s co-creator Ian Jones-Quarterly, Jeremy Sorese, Asiey Barbie and Josceline Fenton

Michael Crichton’s never before published posthumous novel DRAGON TEETH comes out May 23rd. It’s a Western during western times but about dinosaurs!

Neil Gaiman ventures into both old and new territory retelling the tales of Odin, Thor, Loki and more in NORSE MYTHOLOGY scheduled for February 17.

George Saunders first ever complete novel, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO comes out February 14In music I’m mainly excited for one album.

The new The Flaming Lips titled Oczy Mlody. AFAIK I believe I’m seeing them live in March as well so that makes 2017 awesome.

2016: The Year That Was (Making The Best of a Bad Thing)

2016 isn’t over but it will be soon. It’s been a really rough year for many folks, for pop-culture, for the world as a whole. Yet, many of us still stand and we can’t just stop. We must keep going. On that fact I want to reflect on the good things that happened in 2016. For myself, for my friends, for pop-culture, so I’ll do my best. In terms of movies, TV and music I’ll only mention those that were at least from my view less mixed and truly favorable opinions of what was delivered and even if some mixed what I felt were a really nice thing to make 2017 look happy and smiley. These are incomplete lists, not definitive and just trying to capture some of the good in such a bad year. This also was an incredible year for professional wrestling. From debuts, to folks making it to a bigger show, to smaller shows becoming bigger, it truly was way too many grand things to truly list.

MOVIES (this list should probably be longer, but I’m way too critical and also have not seen many of the films being given FYCs for Awards)
Zootopia
Deadpool
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Kubo and the Two Strings
Hardcore Henry
The Jungle Book
Zoolander 2
Captain America: Civil War
Keanu
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass
The Secret Life of Pets
Nerdland
La La Land

TELEVISION (both Network, Cable, and Internet)
Mr. Robot Season 2
Gravity Falls – “Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls”
Regular Show in Space
Grease Live
The Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Trial
Westworld
Suits
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Elementary
The DCTV CW Crossover (and all of Supergirl, Flash, Legends… only some of Arrow)
Luke Cage
Shut Eye
Fuller House
Preacher
Blindspot
Gotham
Timeless
Lucha Underground
Devs Play by Double Fine X 2 Player Productions
The Venture Bros.
Braindead
Planet Earth II
Dreamcorp. LLC
Royal Pains final season
Steven Universe
Blunt Talk
Girl Meets World
Degrassi: Next Class

MUSIC (This is way more a personal thing)
Green Day – Revolution Radio
Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
Sixx A.M. – Prayers For The Damned and Prayers for the Blessed
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Panic at the Disco – Death of a Bachelor
Miike Snow – iii
Sia – This Is Acting
Animal Collective – Painting with
Cheap Trick – Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello
Pet Shop Boys – Super
Travis – Everything At Once
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
Sabrina Carpenter – EVOLution
Waterparks – Double Dare
David Bowie- Blackstar
DNCE

VIDEO GAMES (again this is personal and to stuff I played & loved and stuff I wish I gto play but didn’t have the console of required PC power)
Oxenfree
Not A Hero
Uncharted 4
Firewatch
Amateur Surgeon 4
Batman – The Telltale Series
Slayaway Camp
Dots and Co.
Watch Dogs 2
Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Samorost 3
Quantum Break
The Final Station
Dishonored 2
Headlander
Kathy Rain
The Witness
Small Radios Big Televisions
Mother Russia Bleeds
The Banner Saga 2
Quadrilateral Cowboy
This is the Police
No Man’s Sky
Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre
Obduction
Mafia III
Let it Die
The Last Guardian
The Walking Dead – The Telltale Series: Season Three
INSIDE
Yakuza 6

COMICS (this is personal as because of limited funds and the higher cost of comics while pay checks stay the same I don’t get to read as much as I like these days and hence do not get Previews to explore independents more then I’d like)
West Coast Avengers
Howard the Duck
Future Quest, Wacky Raceland, The Flintstones, and even Scooby Apocalypse (the HB reboots)
Sugar & Spike-Metahuman Investigator from Legends of Tomorrow
The Adventures of Miru
The Twilight Children (Darwyn Cooke’s final published to date interior art work)
CAGE by Genndy Tartovsky & Stephen DeStefano
Superfuckers Forever by James Kochalka
The Red Hook by Dean Haspiel

and here’s a few PERSONAL highlights for the author of this (me)
Kaiju Big Battel with Liza followed by FTW Wrestling where I hung with the workers during. Saw Scotty Too Hotty do the worm.
Day out at mall in CT with mom, Al’s and Al’s family.
Becki’s Moving Party.
Passover with mom, Al and Al’s family.
Mike and Lauren moving into a house.
Trip to Philly with Nick and Terri.
Best man at Nick and Terri’s wedding.
Guns n Roses: Once in a Lifetime with David S.
Tarin becoming a full fledged hairstylist.
Hanging out with Brad at my place and his place and other places.
Hanging out with David at his places, other people’s places, parties, events.
Robots Will Kill 15 Year Anniversary.
Ad Hoc 10th Anniversary party.

Here’s hoping 2017 will be better in the ways that 2016 was not and that in terms of pop-culture things will continue to be excellent.

BEA 2016: What I’d Get If I Was There

I won’t be able to attend BEA this year. I could not expense for airfare to Chicago as well as hotel near convention center + expenses for 3-5 days, not to mention whatever the costs even with book rate to mail all the following books I’d want (and more) back to NYC. That didn’t stop me from imagining if I was there and writing a little bit of stuff I think folks going should be aware of.

I’m not dropping table numbers or times, if you’re going to BEA you can go the website, log in and use my info that I spent time on to just create your own itinerary  of people who will be there that I want to meet, meet again, and get their latest work in some format.  The list is focused on what I like personally but I like a lot of things so there should be something,.

So without further to do:

Jeffrey Brown, the cartoonist behind many an awesome comics including Bighead and Incredible Change-Bots but who really blew up with his Star Wars humor books debuts the first full length edition of his new series Lucy & Andy Neanderthal.

Jay McInerney (most famous still for Bright Lights, Big City but has six other novels and tons of colums) with Bright, Precious Days… a follow up to The Good Life. (also scheduled to come out in August)

George Saunders, the noted essayist with his DEBUT novel Lincoln in the Bardo, not coming out till Feb 2017. There’s lots of books I’d want at BEA, but this to have in hand so early AND to meet Saunders? *sigh *

Gene Luen Yang with a second Secret Coders book. Really fun stuff here.

Eoin Colfer‘s IRON MAN aka Iron Man:The Gauntlet scheduled to come out in October and which has been a very hyped book makes it ARC debut and Eoin will be in attendance to sign too. The Gauntlet seems like a great read.

Bill Ayers, former member of the weatherman group, professor and political activist will be there with his latest Impossible! A Radical Manifesto.

Aaron Reynolds, a great Children’s book author gets teamed up with awesome artists always, for his next book coming out and presented at BEA, President Squid, he worked with Sara Varon, so totally a picture book I’d be happy to own.

Skottie Young will have the collected I Hate Fairyland Vol. 1 that he’ll be signing. I LOVED this book in floppy. To have a collected edition with probably a little sketch in it too? But again alas.

Here’s a major one, Ransom Riggs, author of Pecular Children (also a major upcoming film) will be there with upcoming hotly anticipated Tales of the Peculiar. An awesome side book.

Judd Winnick, of Marvel comics, Frumpy the Clown, Barry Ween fame will be at the Expo promoting book two in his awesome HILO series.

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close will be there with his latest Here I Am scheduled for a September release.

Kenny Loggins, the musician extraordinaire has turned Footloose into a a children’s book.

Raina Tegelmeier, the artist/writer of Smile, Drama, and Sisters brings her latest Ghosts, which comes out in September.

Dav Pilkey, of Captain Underpants fame, brings the latest side comic “created by George and Harold” with Dog Man scheduled for August.
Matthew Reinhart, king of the pop-up, tackles LEGO in his latest which comes out September.

Box Brown, cartoonist of Andre, Legend, Bellen and more, tells another comic book story of a major icon with Tetris! Out in October.

And as a final note, on an Author stage:

Berkeley Breathed, the Bloom County cartoonist, collects the NEW strips and presents them in a talk with Scott Dunbier.

All of you going to BEA who read this.  Have fun.  Those of you in my place, well, there you are.

BATTLING BOY is truly an epic!

Paul Pope has done some awesome comics. Some of my favorite comics of all time actually. From his beginnings of Sin Titulo to the magic of THB, his mainstream work with an issue of the long lamented Spider-Man’s Tangled Web to his amazing Batman: Year 100 I was riding along. I was fortunate along that ride to have met him and spent time with not just as a fan but as an acquaintance and colleague so while we joke about it all the time, we go way back. It was things like his issue of SOLO and the 2007 PulpHope collection that cemented as a lifelong fan.

In 2012 though I saw a side of him I never realized existed. His work has always been dark, maybe even depressing and definitely adult. That year though he actually contributed a charming tale to the Adventure Time comic from BOOM! Kids which showed me he had heartwarming sensibilities that were still decisively Paul Pope.

Now with the upcoming BATTLING BOY (October 9th, 2013 with a a premiere release days later at New York Comic Con) he has shown me what charming, all ages work from Paul Pope can truly be with original characters, fisticuffs, fantasy, magic, and even sexiness in an accessible way while keeping that trademark style of heavy black inks, intricately detailed designs and just over the top weirdness.

BATTLING BOY seems to be telling two stories in one, but truly it is just one large story about that coming of age which can occur at various ages and for a variety of reasons.

Before we even meet the  eponymous character at around what would be around the 10th page of issue 2 if this was released as a comic instead of a GN we meet a ton of characters, but most importantly a girl who soon has to grow up faster than she ever planned to in the most tragic of circumstances. One who feels she is both more than ready and who will never be ready for the challenges about to come her way. The city/world that BATTLING BOY exists in is fraught with danger, monsters, creatures, and even cosmic gods. Aurora West and her travails and tribulations are as important here as the ones we soon meet with the young Battling Boy. This lead character is from a lineage of warriors who force their young men to start adulthood early and possibly too early, but this is their way and it always has been. I almost feel like despite the very appropriate material for ages 10 & up that Paul is putting a little commentary in here. He could just of been influenced by some of the the greatest science fiction and fantasy novels of all time, but those themselves were social commentary.

What is so wonderful about BATTLING BOY is that as Paul intercedes this two young lives together with believability and a proper pacing, he also gives us insight into the everything surrounding them. We get an understanding of the government, the situations that the soldiers must deal with in a city under constant monster bombardment and we even peek into the minds and social lives of the evil ugly baddies at their secret shared watering hole.

On top of all that is the battle scenes. These are some of the best battle scenes ever. It helps that Battling Boy has a cool power associated with character shirts. It’s some really more hinted at in this first volume but knowing Paul it’ll really come to a head in the second. Luckily, based on my last conversation with Paul (at a watering hole actually) he’s deep into that second volume with even longer, better, crazier battles and I’m sure more of that great character and story.

BATTLING BOY is a hit out of the ballpark, grab it on October 9th at your local comic or book store (softcover $15.99/hardcover $24.99_ or if you’ll be at New York Comic Con grab it from First Second and since you’re in town head out to Society of Illustrators on October 11th for a special Paul Pope/Battling Boy event. Check out their site for more information and if you head to the Battling Boy book site you can also order the book there and see a preview from Issuu.