Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Comics

An Introduction to Comic Book Binding

It’s been a long while since we’ve provided you, our fellow nerds, with a primer.  The purpose of this series is to take an in-depth look at specific sub-genres of nerd culture, and today’s article does not stray from that premise.  Without further adieu, let’s take a look at art of comic book binding.

History

I’m going to ask you to bear with me over this next paragraph, because we are going to have a tiny history lesson.  Unlike some of our previous primers, bookbinding goes back a long way.  Remember hearing about Johann Gutenberg in history class?  Well, he is responsible for creating the movable type printing press, which allowed for faster printing.  Faster printing meant more books, and more books meant more focus on the art of bookbinding, which really took off in the late 15th century.  Also happening in the 15th century: the Aztec and Inca empires were at the height of their power. Fun fact: initially, books were shelved with the spines facing inwards, and the title inked onto the edge of the pages.  It wasn’t until Jean Grolier commissioned beautiful bindings with with lettering on the spine that they began to shelve them spines out, as is the custom now (stay tuned for my next primer on watching paint dry!).

Look, I know this might be boring for some of you, and possibly jarring since you are here to figure out if you want to get your DOOP collection professionally bound, but we really take book-bindings as they are now for granted. You’re right, though… it’s time to move onto the next portion of this primer.

Choosing a Bindery

Deciding whether to get your comic books professionally bound is a big decision.  I imagine a good sized portion of the comic community cringes at the thought of someone cutting the spine off a book and stitching it to a bunch of its comic book brethren.  Having said that, comic book binding is great for collectors like me that don’t intend to sell their books, want to keep them easily accessible, and don’t consider short boxes home decor.

I decided to give binding a shot because I have four short boxes filled with modern era Valiant Comics sitting in the back of my closet next to an expired fire extinguisher, assorted batteries, and our winter coats. A one-of-a-kind hardback book (that I helped design, no less) filled with some of my favorite comics was just too good to pass up.  After doing some research on the Google, I decided to go with Herring and Robinson Book Binders. Herring and Robinson is a family owned library bindery that began business in 1920. Before I decided to pull the trigger, I gave them a call to learn about the binding process.  They graciously answered all my questions during my initial phone call, and stayed in touch via email throughout.  Ultimately, it was their customer service that won me over.

Prepping Your Books for Binding

First and foremost, it’s important to decide which series or event you are binding.  For my first foray into binding, I chose my X-O Manowar collection, which included issues #1-50, two #0 issues, and two annuals.  Once you choose your books, it’s time to get them into the order you want.  While each volume could be up to 2 1/2″ thick, I decided to break my collection into two volumes so the gutter loss would not be as bad.  The first volume would include issues #1-25, and the second volume would include #26-50, with the #0’s and annuals put in according to when they were released.

Now comes the hard part… if you want to take away some of the thickness, or you find it more aesthetically pleasing, you can remove the ads throughout the comic as long as it doesn’t include any of the actual panels. While yes, you are technically cutting into a comic book which could be considered blasphemous, it’s for the greater good.  I decided to remove the last few pages of each book, because these usually contained previews for upcoming Valiant titles, which I didn’t need.  To do this, I simply grabbed my trusty Wrath of the Eternal Warrior box-cutter, and cut just to the right of the center line to avoid the staples.  Some binderies also prefer the buyer to remove the staples prior to sending, but Herring and Robinson don’t require this.  Once the pages are removed put the issues back in the correct order, place some comic boards on the top and bottom to protect the pages, and wrap them with a few rubber-bands.

I have included some photos of how I prepped my books below.  They are not for the faint of heart…

The Eternal Warrior always wins

 

Placing Your Order

Herring and Robinson provides a myriad of options for customizing your book.  You can have double lines, single lines, die-stamps, lettering, and choose the placement of everything. Then you have to choose the type and color of the binding, and the color of the lines and lettering, add a ribbon or headband, it’s… let’s just say you have a lot to think about .  I spent a lot of time figuring out exactly how I wanted the spine to look.  I eventually settled on double lines at the top and bottom, sans-serif lettering, the buckram material in royal blue with silver lettering.  Herring and Robinson provides the following order form, that has a diagram of the spine and front cover, so you can show them exactly how you want it to look by sketching it out.

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Now, pack the order form in with your books, make sure it’s well protected, and ship it off to Herring and Robinson.  The wait begins.

The Final Product

Their website says it will take 6-8 weeks for the order to be completed, but after only 4 weeks I received my invoice and tracking number.  I’m not going to lie, when I saw that my package was out for delivery and my mailman was running later than usual I stared out my window like Michael Scott stares at Toby.  The wait paid off when I pulled these beautiful books out of their package:

For a price tag of around $30 a book, I ended up with two beautiful, one-of-a-kind books that will look great on my nerd shelf.  The quality of these books is mind-boggling.  They are solidly constructed, and feel great to the touch.  But, is comic book binding for everyone? Probably not.  There are those that cringe at the thought of ravaging their comics with a razor blade.  Those of you, like me, who don’t plan on selling your collection, want to be able to display them proudly, and can make it through the prep, comic book binding is definitely worth it.  I am beyond happy with how my first foray into bound comics turned out, and I will definitely be sending more over the next few months.

4LN Video Podcast – Episode 1: Warcraft, E3, and Favorite New Comics

Welcome to the first ever 4LN Video Podcast! This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and after getting our feet wet with a couple of unboxing videos we decided it was time to give it a shot! We brought our good friends Tyler and Dave along to chat about the new Warcraft movie, what we’re looking forward to from E3, and which comics from the past week we really dug! Check it out and enjoy!

 

(Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded on Sunday, June 12th, so make sure to check out our E3 coverage from the past couple of days here and here.)

Branching Out in Comics: a Personal Journey

Falling in love with comics is a lot like falling in love with beer (I was going to say something like “without the social stigma”, but realized both can have a certain stigma attached to them). What I mean is that, like beer, when you first step into the comic pool you are tentative and very specific with what you read. There are thousands upon thousands of stories – you can’t just wade in half-cocked. Most people start with the big names out of necessity, availability, and name recognition. It is a lot easier to try something from the Big Two, like Batman or Superman (the equivalent of a generic but popular beer) than it is to start out with some wild independent book involving space, animal people, and a dark, terrifying plot (some crazy craft beer most likely brewed in Oregon. No offense Oregon.) I am not saying that there is something wrong with independent books, some of my favorite books are creator-owned Image books, but there is also more of a risk starting someone off in the deep end when they haven’t quite mastered how to swim.

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Side note: this article is broken up into two sections – the first part is for comic new comers, and the second is for the grizzled comic veterans.  I fall somewhere between the two groups.

I’ve noticed that over the last two years of reading comics my palate has matured. I look at it like an inverse pyramid, which is somewhat different than a lot of other hobbies. For instance, when I began playing Disc Golf years ago, I tried out a ridiculous number of different forms and discs but slowly began to narrow down how I threw and what I used (which was primarily an Innova Championship Wraith).  With comics, though, most people seem to start relatively simple then begin to diversify as time goes on.

I started thinking about this when I recently decided to borrow Nathan Edmonson’s run on Punisher, from Stephen.  When I first started reading comics I all but refused to read any stories involving anti-heroes (and yes, the legend is true… Stephen and I almost ended our 15+ year friendship over whether or not Batman was an anti-hero/superhero), and stuck almost primarily to the Big Two. I read a lot of Batman trade paperbacks, as well as a ridiculous amount of Superman and Thor. Now a majority of my pull list consists of independent Image titles, along with a majority of the Valiant lineup, while the Big Two has been relegated to the occasional read list since funds are limited (except for Star Wars… I am unable to refrain from buying every single Star Wars comic that comes out).

"We'll be taking those credits, thanks."

“We’ll be taking those credits, thanks.”

The anti-hero/villain-as-protagonist thing just isn’t in my nature. Whenever I play a game such as Mass Effect where you can be either good or evil, I can never play as a bad guy.  Even if I start the game bad, I end up trying to turn my character’s story into one of redemption.  Now though, I am able to get passed my own prejudices and enjoy stories that are outside of my comfort zone.  For instance, one series Stephen lent me was Jason Aaron’s Men of Wrath. Which, if you haven’t read it, is one of the cruelest books out there.  There is no redemptive aspect to that story at all… like AT. ALL.  After reading that, as well as Valiant’s Bloodshot, Punisher stories were a walk in the park.

Desensitization isn’t the only reason that I decided to give Mr. Castle a try.  As a reader I have simply decided to branch out and read books that I am less familiar with.  The Punisher is a character I never related too (not that I relate to Batman in particular), but now that the comic lines of morality have been blurred I can kind of see where he’s coming from.  If something tragically violent happened to my family it’d be hard to not hope for something like the Punisher to befall whoever did it.  He is a man who lost everything and is willing to risk everything, including his humanity, to try to ensure that the kinds of people that hurt and kill get what’s coming.  He is a vengeance based Karma.

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Ultimately what I am trying to get at here is that my journey into comicdom started out slow and safe.  Generally speaking, instead of reading anything and everything I started small and gradually built my visual palate until I began to enjoy books that I wouldn’t have if I read them too soon.  A beginner to comics (if they are in anyway like me) might burn out if they start too fast or too dark.  So friends (and I am specifically addressing the comic book veterans now), when bringing others into this beautiful world of panels and ink, remember to suggest books that you think they would enjoy, not just whatever you are into at the time.  Your horizons might have been widened so far that your suggestion could lead them into an entertainment wasteland and stifle their enjoyment of comics from the get-go.  Or, in slightly less dramatic wording, don’t recommend some dark, gritty indie comic if your friend’s interests aren’t compatible with that type of book.  It’d be like giving someone a high-gravity, bitter beer on their 21st birthday. Sure, you may love they way it tastes, but they might need to start a bit lighter.

Nerds In Bands: The Foxery

Welcome to a new ongoing series! We’re always on the lookout for ways to create unique and original content here at 4LN. One way we’ve tried to do that is by incorporating music as much as possible into our articles and posts, while keeping it closely relevant to nerd-culture. About a year and a half ago, 4LN writer (and my comic bae) Bill Clark did a Local Spotlight article on the band Daisyhead and I have to get that article credit for inspiring me to start this series. I love music. It’s always been a huge part of my life; just as big as my nerd-interests. I would even call myself a “music-nerd”, but *some people* think that you can’t be nerdy about something as general as music, but those people are sad and lonely and pity them…

ANYWAY! I really wanted to do this article so I reached out to John at Spartan Records (a killer indie label that you NEED to check out) and explained what I wanted to do. I asked him if he could connect me with any nerdy dudes or ladies in any of the bands that he works with. He was kind enough to take time to collaborate with me on this and now thanks to his generosity I present to you the first ever Nerds in Bands.

For our inaugural piece, we got Mike and Kyle from Louvisville, Ky’s The Foxery to talk to us about their love of comic books and what they’re into right now. Enjoy!

4LN: When did you first get into comics, and was there any specific issue or series that got you interested?
Mike: I first got into comics when I was a young one. I would buy whatever the local big box grocery store carried which rarely carried the same series two months in a row so I would just read parts of stories until I was old enough to learn the layout of our city and walk miles to our nearest comic book store which Kyle now works at 20 years later. Ha. The first comic I ever read was a Superman comic that had Doomsday in it which was a bigger deal than I realized at the time. I haven’t read a Superman comic since. 🙂

Kyle: Comics are one of the first things I ever read. My dad would take me into the comic book store all the time when I was little. The first comics I read that made me fall in love with them were Bone by Jeff Smith and Todd Mcfarlane’s Spider-Man.

4LN: Do you have an all-time favorite issue?
Mike: First series X-Factor #87. There’s a scene where Pietro is talking to a therapist who I believe is Doc Samson and he explains how in his world, he doesn’t have super speed, the world is just moving insanely slow around him which explains why he’s always so grouchy. That has always stuck with me as a really creative way of looking at super heroes with super speed because before that I was always bored by that super power.

Kyle: The two that come to mind are both by Matt Fraction. There is an issue during his Fantastic Four run where they’re all in space headed to Earth to defend the world from some threat and they leave their kids behind so they’re safe. The whole issue is the kids listening to the last messages their family has left them before they maybe die and Reed Richards says something like “I’m a scientist, I believe there’s no god. Therefore nothing matters. Therefore everything we do is literally all that matters. Remember that.” It’s so so powerful. The other is an issue of Hawkeye that is told through the perspective of a dog. The colors are only colors dogs can see and the words are only words dogs can understand. It’s just incredible.

4LN: Typically, comic readers will gravitate to certain writers and /or artists whose work they really enjoy. Which writers and artists do you feel most drawn to?
Mike: I like Robert Kirkman a lot. I also really love Jeffrey Brown. He makes comics that make me feel some type of way. He makes comics that hit you right in the feels and he also does Star Wars and giant robot comics so he’s rad all around!

Kyle: Obviously Matt Fraction haha. I also love Neil Gaiman, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie. I’m drawn towards artists that are bigger than life and think they’re some sort of huge entity, like Kanye West, so I also love Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

4LN: What is your favorite ongoing series right now?
Mike: I’m really digging Outcast by Robert Kirkman. That’s a fairly new one and a really dark and scary book. If our record, “Unless” we’re an instrumental record, it’d be the soundtrack to Outcast. I also get every Simpsons and Simpsons-related comic that ever comes out and I’ve never been disappointed by one yet.

Kyle: As far as superhero stuff it’s Batman by Snyder and Capullo, and for other stuff it’s by far The Wicked and The Divine by Gillen and McKelvie.

4LN: Switching gears, let’s talk about your band, The Foxery. How did you guys get started?
Mike: We are The Foxery from Louisville, KY. We’ve been playing in different incarnations for 8 years now but the current line-up which is solid and sticking around has been friends for years now. We started as a three piece and wanted to be heavier so we got a second guitar player; then we wanted to be prettier so we got a Fender Rhodes, and then we needed to be heavier again so we got a third guitar player and to balance all those guitars out, we started having Trav, our Rhodes player, play auxiliary drums as well.

4LN: You just released a new album “Unless.” Can you tell us a little bit about that project?
Mike: We started writing it a long time ago as a four piece and by the end of writing the record we were our current six piece line-up, so the record follows a story of growing and changing. It gets really dark and hopeless feeling which I think we felt at different times throughout the writing of it but ends on a hopeful note once we found this line-up and started putting more time into the band. We’re all really dedicated to exploring what we can do further and I know we’ll still write dark and heavy songs but we’ll be super stoked to be getting dark and heavy together! 🙂

4LN: Finally, do you have any touring plans on then horizon?
Mike: Our plan is to tour every chance we get. We are currently on tour as I type this but this tour ends in two days so we’re gonna start booking our next tour south. We’re shooting for late May/early June. We’re gonna be doing more touring with our Spartan labelmates, Shy, Low. We also want to tour to wherever the Stephen Colbert’s Late Show will be filmed and hopefully make a stop at the studio to play the show! 🙂

 

I want to thank Mike and Kyle for chatting with us about comics and their band. I took a listen to their brand new album “Unless” and I gotta say, I really loved it. It reminded me of early MewithoutYou (with some light Brand New vibes) and, having been a fan of MwY from the very beginning, I feel confident saying that if you like them then you’ll definitely like The Foxery. I highly recommend the tracks “Broken Vessel” and “The Filth II”. If you are interested in checking out more by The Foxery you can buy their album by clicking this link: The Foxery – Unless, and you can catch up with them at all of their various social media sites by using the links below.

Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr YouTube

Saturday Morning Review: Constantine #15

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Book: Constantine #15
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: ACO
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
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Summary from comixology: “John Constantine witnesses the horrifying reach of magic when he meets the world’s wealthiest mage–a woman who’s been draining all the good luck out of her home city of Hong Kong and benefiting from the suffering of millions.”

I have stated before that Constantine is one of my favorite DC characters. I even have a Constantine #1 from the original series… OK! It’s from a free comic book day… but, I’m not made of money! Anyhow, as much as I love John, I DO NOT love this series. I really enjoy Ray Fawkes as a writer, but I really don’t enjoy this book. I want to drop it but, honestly, ACO’s art is so fucking bad I keep buying the book to see how terrible it looks.

The Good
As I previously mentioned, Ray Fawkes is a really good writer, and he makes the book enjoyable. I’m still not sure why DC decided to move John Constantine over to the main title instead of keeping him n Vertigo comics, or just in Justice League Dark even. This series has honestly just been a major disappointment. There really isn’t much good to be found except for Fawkes. The story is fun and interesting, but it’s not amazing. With NBC launching Constantine in the fall, I feel like this series should be top notch, but instead its just sub-par, and that disappoints me tremendously.

The Bad
Saying ACO’s art is terrible is an understatement. Constantine might be the master of the Occult, but ACO is ruining the Occult. At one point in the issue, Constantine is suppose to be smoking a cigarette, but it’s nowhere near his mouth. Every time we see John’s face in a panel he looks like he has a constant “derp” face going on. In issue 14 of the series there was a guest artist and the book was really enjoyable, but with issue 15 ACO returns to continue ruining vg the book. I’m serious when I say this, I 100% completely believe that ACO is the worse artist in the comic book industry. His art ruins this book. If ACO was not on the book, I believe it would be much more successful.

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The Final Say
The art will ruin the book for you. It’s not worth the $2.99 sticker price and I kick myself in the ass each time I buy this issue. I give this book a 1 out of 4. The art is so devastating to the title that I can’t look past it. If you see this book sitting on the shelf of your local comic shop next time you are picking up books… save three bucks and leave it on the shelf. Or, splurge and pick up Detective Comics 30-32, those are really good.

If you read this book and hated it OR loved it, leave your thoughts in the comments!

Amazing Spider-Man #1 Review

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Book: Amazing Spider-Man #1
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos

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Summary from Comixology: “The world may have changed since Spidey’s been gone, but so has Peter Parker. This is a man with a second chance at life, and he’s not wasting a moment of it. Same Parker Luck, new Parker attitude. Putting the “friendly” back in the neighborhood, the “hero” back into “super hero,” and the “amazing” back into “Spider-Man!” Also returning: The recharged and reenergized ELECTRO!”

Well my friends, it’s good to say, the king is back. Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott is the triumphant return of one of the most popular comic book characters in the history of the industry. This is the return that Peter Parker deserved, and it’s just in time for the film The Amazing Spider-Man 2! As a quick little backstory, Doc Ock switched minds with Peter (See Amazing Spider-Man 700) and finally killed him, but only physically. Peter’s mind remained in Doc Ock’s subconscious.

In order to read Amazing Spider-Man #1, that is pretty much all you really need to know. Now, I’m not a Spider-Man fan but I was super excited for this issue to come out. I told my friend Steve over at Comic Collector Live: The Store to pull #1 and the Martín variant for me, I also told him not to let me take this book off my pull for the next year, I’m going to force myself to like Spider-Man. And let me tell you, if the rest of the story is anything like this issue, I’m going to end up loving Spider-Man. I personally loved that this was a solid jumping on point for anyone who isn’t familiar with your neighborhood wall-crawler. You get a nice little background about what has happened in the previous issues, and the story flows naturally and doesn’t seemed forced at all.

I really enjoyed the humor that Dan Slott bring to Spider-Man. All the jokes in the story seem so natural and real. It didn’t feel scripted or pushed on you. A few times I laughed out loud and thought “Man, I would love to be that smart on my feet in a situation like that.” The humor was a major selling point for me.

The rest of the book consists of several more Spider-Man stories, and honestly it kind of feels like a party, a nice welcome back to Peter Parker. It’s jammed pack full! It’s 82 pages and only $5.99. I thought that was a very fair price for what you are getting. Over all, I loved this book. My only problem with the book was the cover. I thought it was really weak for such a loveable characters return, but hey, it’s still an awesome book. Go buy it, add this book to your pull, and see what’s going to happen with Peter over the next year. I’ll sure be reading this book for a while!

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This is the cover I don’t enjoy. It feels way to cartoon-ish. And looks like Andrew Garfield.

I’ve got to go with a 4 out of 4. This book was something special, and I think you’ll see that once you read it.

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It’s good to have you back.

A Beginner’s Guide to Comics from a Beginner

I have been into superheroes my whole life, but I am a Star Wars nerd at heart and that dominated a majority of my childhood (… and adulthood).  However, I have recently begun branching out and explore the vast fictional multiverse that is comic books and to say it can be a bit overwhelming would be an ENORMOUS understatement. Sure, I read some graphic novels here and there (a few of them may even make it onto this list), but I never followed a book issue to issue or read more than a few at a time.  So for those of you also beginning your trek into a larger (insanely more dangerous) world, these are a few of my favorites so far.

Superman for All Seasons– Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

This is probably one of my favorite comic runs of all time.  The story is broken up into four books correlating with the four seasons (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring), which all relate to the overall tone of each part of the story.  The art and the story work well together and bring a whimsical (but down to earth) tale that was an awesome read.  This is not a dark and gritty reboot that shows a depressed alien bludgeoning monsters into the ground.  It is a story about someone just trying to do what is right, assuming that someone is Superman.  It’s the simpleness of the plot and the art that really made this one of my favorites. (also check out Loeb and Sale’s Batman: the Long Halloween – much darker but also really good).

Thor: God of Thunder – Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic

This is the series that launched Thor into the upper echelon of my Hall of Favorite Heroes.  Jason Aaron does an incredible job blending the mythological and modern superhero aspects of Thor into a cohesive story.  I am particularly enjoying the current Last Days of Midgard arc, but really the whole series has been great.  The artist, Esad Ribic, is also killing it on this run.  Young Thor, Avengers era Thor, and Old King Thor all look distinct but familiar, and the set pieces are stunning.  They have collected the first 18 issues into three volumes so I would definitely recommend starting with Volume 1 and catching up.  (You can check out Stephen’s article on the series here).

Batman – Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

This one took me a little bit longer to get into and I don’t really have a good explanation as to why.  Bill let me borrow them and I read the first few issues and just gave them back without finishing them.  A couple months later I borrowed them again and now it’s one of the few comics that has made it onto my pull list.  Snyder is a great storyteller (and once the Court of Owls story arc takes off it REALLY takes off).  In the Death of the Family arc we get to see a terrifying iteration of the Joker that might give you nightmares, care of artist Greg Capullo (who is doing a phenomenal job on the art and on Twitter).  I read it right before going to sleep one night and had to turn on the TV to get the image of the Joker out of my head.  This series is probably the best DC has to offer as far as the New 52 goes, and it’s great.

Superman/Wonder Woman – Charles Soule and Tony Daniel

This might seem like a silly one to put on the list (at least to other more hardcore comic readers), but I have really enjoyed the first 7 issues and look forward to it each month.  The N52 reboot did wonders for Wonder Woman’s origin story and powers.  Gone are the days of the invisible jet, now she can fly and her strength seems comparable to Superman’s (oh and SPOILER ALERT she is now the God of War).  It’s actually been interesting to see these two (Clark especially) stumble through the beginnings of a relationship, while also defending Earth against some of Superman’s strongest villains.  Plus Superman punches Apollo out of a mountain after being blasted with sunlight (that’s a sentence I never expected to write).  The Wonder Woman title is also a good read.

Captain Midnight– Joshua Williamson and Fernando Dagnino

Captain Midnight could easily have turned into a rehash of Captain America, but ended up being a really fun read.   There are similarities between the comics (both fought in WWII, and both ended up being superheroes in the present), but there are some major differences in the style.  Captain Midnight is a very pulpy/adventure comic that has ghost Nazi’s, crazy weapons, and wild story-lines (It’s what you would have if Indiana Jones was a genius weapons designer who ended up in the present and fought… ghost Nazi’s).  Anyways, check it out if you want a fun read that’s a little off the beaten path.

Kingdom Come – Alex Ross and Mark Waid

This is probably one of the most beautifully done comics in terms of art and storyline.  Alex Ross is by far one of the best artists in the business and his work on this book really spoiled me for a while.  Kingdom Come a post-apocalyptic tale that is told through the eyes of a preacher witnessing the end of the world via a civil war between DC’s greatest (and not so greatest) heroes.  It’s set in the future where Superman has retired, Batman runs Gotham with an iron fist (via Bat-Robots), and new “superheroes” who spend all their time fighting each other and killing whatever civilians get caught in the crossfire.  Superman returns (but this time it wasn’t Brandon Routh) which leads to a war between the old heroes, the new, and the rest of humanity.  It’s absolutely terrific and is definitely a must read.

Trillium – Jeff Lemire

I am only a few issues into this series so I guess it could blow up in my face and turn out to be terrible, but so far it’s awesome.  Lemire’s art is pretty out there, but it fits well with his story (which involves a WWI veteran turned explorer, a xenobiologist from the year 3797, killer viruses, and inter-dimensional time travel). Trillium has a very sci-fi, B movie type feel, which is one of the things that really drew me to the comic.  If you like the whole sci-fi/adventure genre this is definitely worth a look.

 

Like most things, there were definitely some false starts with a few books (I REALLY wanted to like the current runs on Superman but just couldn’t get into them), but it’s all personal preference.  That being said, I had a really hard time with Snyder’s Batman for the first few issues, and now it’s one of my favorite’s each month.  There are a lot of great stories to read so get out there and start reading.  If you need any additional advice (beyond what’s below) then feel free to comment or message us on Facebook.

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Thoughts on getting into comics by 4LN writer, Stephen Andrew

I’ve learned a few things in my time as a comic reader. I read Superman and X-men pretty regularly as a kid and then stopped as I became a teenager but got back into reading current books a few years ago. I’ve kept casually collecting most of my life, but this is the most dedicated to comics that I’ve really been. The best advice I can offer a new reader is this…

ORGANIZE!

Trust me… start doing this from the very beginning. It’s much easier to organize 20 comics than it is to organize 200 comics. Alphabetizing is a good place to start and then once you’ve amassed a larger collection you’ll want to start separating by publisher and any other criteria you deem necessary for you. Another good thing to do is to start a spreadsheet to help you keep your titles available whenever you need to remember if you have something, rather than digging through dozens of boxes for one book. I use a spreadsheet in Google Drive so that I can access it on my phone whenever I’m picking up back issues so that I don’t accidentally buy multiple copies of the same issue. These 2 pieces of practical advice will save you lots of headaches.

It’s important to find a shop that knows you.

When I got back into reading current issues, I started at a place that has comics but doesn’t really “specialize” in comics. They were good folks, and always would chat about books when they had time, which wasn’t very often due to how busy the store always was. It just wasn’t very personal. But on the other side of that, there were a couple of stores that I visited where the people running them were… how to say this delicately… assholes? Yeah that’s a good word. Typical “Comic Book Guy” dudes who will literally laugh in your face for buying a book THEY’RE F—ING SELLING! What? That doesn’t make any sense and, while some people may get along fine in that environment, it’s not for me.

I know we pimp them A LOT on here but, finding Comic Collector Live was the best thing that ever happened to me. You know, comic community wise. I’m contractually obligated to say that my wife and kids are the actual best thing that ever happened to me (but I’m not contractually obligated to mean it). Steve, Joe, Chance, and their whole crew have been awesome. I’m a Marvel guy, but I try to stick with at least one DC title at a time. It was Earth 2 for a while, but when I decided to give that up it was Steve from CCL who just started putting Harley Quinn in my pull box, and now I’m in love with it! (The book, not the character. See: previous “Contractual Obligation” comments.) Another bonus is that my guys know to just put #1’s and variants in my pull box. The collector in me loves first editions and variant covers. They don’t even ask anymore, they just know I’ll want it. I like to think that when I inevitably become one of those “I only read indie books” douchebags (that seems to be the natural evolution for us comic book nerds, we become comic book shitty-hipsters), I’ll still trust their advice on what indie books I’d like. You want a shop that you can trust that much; a shop that knows you well enough to put stuff in your pull box because they know you’ll want it. This brings me to my next point…

Step outside your comfort zone.

Remember how I said I pretty much only read Superman and X-men as a kid? Guess what… I don’t read either of those now. They’re not really for me. As I grew up, my personality evolved, my tastes changed, and now my favorite books are Deadpool (which always has me laughing out loud), Thor: God of Thunder (because it’s so inexplicably bad ass), and the aforementioned Harley Quinn (because… well, because she’s like a female Deadpool and will just straight murder your face). But I didn’t start reading any of those books at first. Seriously. I started getting back into comic reading by collecting as many trades and graphic novels as I could, and reading those first.

 a trade paperback (often shortened to TPB or trade) is a collection of stories originally published in comic books, reprinted in book format, usually capturing one story arc from a single title or a series of stories with a connected story arc or common theme from one or more titles

Then, among the first series I started reading regularly were Spider-Man and Daredevil. Two characters that historically I have not really been all that into, and honestly haven’t kept up with. But that’s where I started again. Don’t assume that just because you don’t necessarily love, or like, a character, means you never will. Under the direction of a great writer, you may discover that a character you were indifferent to will become one of your favorites. Speaking of writers, find writers that you love and support their stuff. I’m a huge fan of guys like James Robinson (All-New Invaders, Fantastic Four), Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Thanos Rising), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool, Nova), etc. Before expanding my interests and allowing myself to be open to new books and characters, I didn’t know about any of these writers, and now I try to get my hands on everything they do.

Stepping outside you comfort zone also means being open to suggestions. Talk to your comic shop workers, and other comics readers, and see what they like. Maybe you’ll find something you didn’t even know you love.

Man of Steel Sequel Release Date Pushed Back!

It’s been announced by Warner Bros and DC that the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s Man of Steel has been pushed back from it’s original release date of July 17 2015 to May 06, 2016. The reason that’s being given is it’s so that it can provide “the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story.”

Source: “MAN OF STEEL” SEQUEL MOVED TO 2016

Additionally, the new release date is the same day that Marvel had announced they’d be releasing an as-yet-untitled project. That same month X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to release, in the following month Amazing Spider-Man 3 is on the docket, and then Marvel has ANOTHER movie set for July 8. Early summer 2016 is getting kind of crowded…

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that this has been announced as well…

 

That’s just too many superhero movies in one small block of time. Seriously. There’s 12 f—ing months in a year and these movie studios feel like they have to cram EVERY superhero movie into this 4 month box (May – August). I think what should happen is this:

X-Men and Spider-Man can stay where they are. I don’t really care about them. Not because I don’t think they’ll be good, I just don’t think they’ll be GREAT. Marvel should let WB and DC just have that date for the Man of Steel sequel, and they should push they’re projects back to July and August. Hell, they could even do July or August and then November. I’m sure whatever they have planned won’t have any real competition in those months and it’ll build hype between films.

Whatever the case may be, the main thing here is that it’s going to be A LOT longer before we get to see a glimpse of Batffleck, or Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman garb. That’s the thing that bums me out. I’m really curious what the costumes are gonna look like for those two.

Holy Batsuit Nipples, Batman!

Marvel Tour Coming to a City Near You!

dome-full-screen

Well, if you’ve never had the chance to take a trip down to Universal Studios Island of Adventure and check out the Marvel area, now you you don’t have to. Marvel and Hero Ventures just released some information on what is being called The Marvel Experience Tour. If your not sure what to expect, well here is a little snap shot. “From the outside, The Marvel Experience resembles a temporary S.H.I.E.L.D. installation or “Mobile Command Center,” with the facility’s apex towering more than six stories high. Inside, a maze of connected Domes will lead guests through an array of interactive games and original animated short films including the first- ever traveling motion-based ride, where guests become immersed in this original adventure only found in The Marvel Experience.. “

They haven’t discussed what cities will be visited, but we do know that it will be a US and Canada event. Hopefully this will roll through our hometown of Nashville, or at least somewhere close.

Considering that they have Aaron Sims on board to help bring this thing to life, it should be amazing. Forget going to the movies! Find the Marvel Experience tour and live them.

For the full press release go here:
http://themarvelexperiencetour.com/press-release-010913/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=dome&utm_term=&utm_content=