As we get ready for the new year one of my ‘jobs’ is to put together my list of what books I’ll be collecting in the coming year.
My plan is to collect about 50 comics a month which I do all for you, the Secret Identity listener. Today I’m going to put down the first ten books (in alphabetical order) that have made the cut to 2012. I’d love to know what you think about my choices so please let me know.
The list is alphabetical and not in order of favorites
1. Action Comics – sticking with it, but on a short leash!!!
2. All Star Western – just an awesome book
3. Animal Man – a surprise for me because its one of my favorites
4. Aquaman – love the humor and the all out fish action
5. Archie – an easy and fun read each month
6. Avengers – love Daniel Acuna’s art
7. New Avengers – solid book that keeps getting better
8. Secret Avengers – what started out great is in danger of the cut
9. Batgirl – replaced Avengers Academy which wasn’t doing it for me
10. Batman – the best Batman in years? Absolutely!
So what do you think?
I'm taking a page out of Matman's book as we head into 2012--I'm going to start doing some quick reviews on books I'm reading that we don't discuss on the podcast. I've been playing catch up for the last week or so, and I've also gone back and checked out some of the new DC 52 via the ComiXology app, since issues drop to $1.99 after the first month.
Without further ado:
Batgirl #1--I had been avoiding this book out of spite, still bitter over the loss of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. I recently read The Killing Joke for the first time, however (I know--super late to the party), and I decided to finally check out Gail Simone's Batgirl. I really enjoyed the first issue, and it actually flows really well after just having read The Killing Joke. In the new series, it's been three years since Barbara was shot, and she's just getting back into the superhero business again. I bought issues two and three right after reading the first one.
Deathstroke #4--I love this book. Kyle Higgins is writing a heck of an action story with Slade, and this issue comes out swinging as Deathstroke gets imprisoned on purpose just to carry a hit out on a warden. It's fun, fast paced and brutal.
GI Joe #4-7--This book has been sitting in my "to read pile" for a couple of months, and I finally figured out why--I'm just not enjoying it that much. The storyline feels like a cross between Larry Hama's A Real American Hero book, and the GI Joe: America's Elite series from a few years ago. In fact, I had déjà vu when reading a storyline about the Baroness being captured by the Joes, as they did the same thing in America's Elite. If I'm only picking up one GI Joe book, it's going to be Hama's A Real American Hero, as that one has been consistently good month in and month out.
Spider-Man: Marvel Adventures #16--A great one-and-done that sees Spidey teaming up with Doctor Strange to battle Baron Mordo and his army of creatures that are trying to pave the way for the elder beings to enter our dimension. A fun, all-ages adventure.
Well, that's it for this week. I'll be talking about The Killing Joke in our next Trade-Off episode, and I'll be back next week with another batch of quick hits.
Cartoon Network’s smash hit animated comedy series Adventure Time is coming to BOOM! Studios' all-ages imprint KaBOOM! in an ongoing monthly comic book series featuring all-new original stories! Hold on to your swords! Adventure Time #1 ships this February!
The highly-anticipated first issue from the monthly series features a story written by Ryan North, author of the smash-hit webcomic Dinosaur Comics, and drawn by Shelli Paroline, the artist of ICE AGE: ICED IN and MUPPET SNOW WHITE.
“It's quite exciting to bring this series to comics. My wife and I are huge fans and sing Marceline's 'Daddy, why'd you eat my fries?' song around the house all the time,” BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie said. “Pendleton Ward has created a brilliantly original voice in this show and it's a true 'All Ages' property that appeals both to kids and also has a substantial amount of adult fans. Watch for the waving snail!”
“It was like a bomb dropped in the office when we announced Adventure Time,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Everyone at BOOM! was just as excited as any fan. Adventure Time is such a classic story at its heart- a boy and his dog on different adventures – but the genius of the show allows us to take a simple concept and get really creative with the presentation. Everyone we've worked with is a huge fan of the show and creator Pen Ward has been instrumental in bringing this comic book to life. ”
The ADVENTURE TIME comic series will follow Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Princess Bubblegum and the other inhabitants of the Land of Ooo as they explore many varied adventures. Since its debut on Cartoon Network, Adventure Time has become a runaway hit, with explosive growth in ratings, huge critical and fan acclaim, a major presence at fan conventions and more, it's clear fandom is obsessed and 2012 is the Year of Adventure Time! Don't miss out on this new phenomenon—this first issue is sure to get snapped up! You can pre-order the books at your local comic shop. Don't know where it is? Go to www.comicshoplocator.com Or you can stop by BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com)and pre-order issue #1 or a subscription today!
ADVENTURE TIME #1 is written by Ryan North with art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. This title ships with three covers in a 75/25 split by Chris Houghton and Jeffrey Brown in a 1-in-10 incentive by Chris Houghton, a 1-in-20 incentive by Jeffrey Brown, and a 1-in-30 Chris Houghton Wraparound Cover. This title ships in February, featuring a price point of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of DEC110939.
Additional information about future books in the Adventure Time comic series from KaBOOM! will be available in the coming months.
As a lifelong KISS fan, I still feel the need to have every book of information about the band available! No matter what it is, if it has the logo i need to have it.
Sadly, with Ace Frehley being my favorite (not a shock to most of you), many books and accounts paint him as a casualty of the rock n roll lifestyle and over the years his role in KISS-tory seems to be diminished.
So how excited do you think I was when I found out the Space Ace would be releasing his own book? Yes…very!!!!
‘No Regrets’ is the story of the guitarist, straight from the horse’s mouth. So much has been made of Ace’s issues with drugs, alcohol and his relationship with Gene Simmons that I couldn’t wait to hear his side of the story. In the 300 plus pages, Ace does a pretty good job assembling the stories that created the legend and does it with humor and a lot of humility. He has made some messes in his life; hurt relationships and smashed up cars, but you can read within the words there is humbleness. As a young kid (and musician) I was captivated by Ace’s burning the candle in the middle behavior and as my self destructive behavior began to take its toll on me, I used his miscues as a wake up call.
What I got out of the book that i didn't know before are the insecurities that Ace dealt with during the heyday of KISS and how they crippled him creatively and emotionally. When you read how he thrived under the positive direction of producer Eddie Kramer yet would fall apart and fail when working with taskmasters like Bob Ezrin, it makes you feel sad. Sad for what could have been if he was just treated a little differently. Not that Ace was an angel by any means and made good choices all the time, but he was a simple guy who was part of a Fortune 500 machine. He was a guitar player that made it a little bigger than he wanted too and was powerless to slow down the ride.
Ace showed a lot of restraint in his comments about Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the entire KISS machine. I was waiting page after page for some serious attacks, but they weren’t there. Sure he commented on Gene’s womanizing, his lack of friends and his pursuit of money, but we already knew that.
I think the title ‘No Regret’ is a bit misleading. Within Ace’s words I could hear a lot of regrets. But I think the biggest regrets are from his fans including me. I know when I read the book all I could think about is the 'what ifs’? What if Ace was given a little more creative room in KISS? What if he was able to capitalize with the brilliant Frehley’s Comet? What if Gene and Paul listened to him when he said no to (Music From) The Elder?
An easy and excellent read and an absolute must read for KISS fans or for those who love to read a ‘rags to riches to rags to riches to sobriety’ story. Written with Joe Layden and John Ostrosky, ‘No Regret’ tells the stories we already knew, but gives you incite into the why they happened. But my favorite part of the book was reading the date September 15, 2006. That is Ace's sobriety date!
In case you were wondering, mine is April 15th, 1990!
Matman Rating – 5 out of 5 smokin’ guitars
For the first time since 2003, the Springfield Bolts are champions! By beating the Killjokers 279-117 in the championship game of the Secret Identity All-Stars league, the Bolts puts the end cap on a season that has been a roller coaster ride all the way through.
Earlier this year, the Bolts surged out to an 8-1 record and looked to run away with the regular season title, until a five-game losing streak saw them barely make the playoffs. Luckilly, the Bolts found their footing in the semifinals and took care of the Kentucky Moonshiners to advance to the championship game against the Killjokers.
In the other game of the week, regular season champs the Wheeling Ironmen finished off the Kentucky Moonshiners to take third place in the finsl standings.
Thanks to all who played this season, and stay tuned for news about the SI Fantasy Baseball League in a few short months!
I love Christmas traditions! But one of my favorites is sitting around a warm ‘telly’ to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special.
For me it will be hard to pass last years tear jerker, but y’know what… they did!
‘The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe’ finds the Doctor hiding out from a universe that thinks he’s dead. As he finds his way to England duting World War Two, we meet a woman who has just found out her RAF husband has been killed in action. To avoid German bombs, she takes her children in country where she plans on telling them about their father’s death. And this is where the Doctor gets involved.
In the fine tradition of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ the Doctor plans to let the children have one last happy day of innocence before they find out the news. Unfortunately this place is a planet that is about to be whipped out.
Written by the great Steven Moffat, this Christmas special is brilliant. Great story, crazy aliens, and unsolvable predicaments make this episode an incredible all ages ride. Following the heaviness of the last season, this is a great pallet cleanser to get us ready for the next one.
As always, Matt Smith is fantastic! He has not only proven he is a capable Doctor, he is the Doctor. Playing the widow is Claire Skinner who is no stranger to British television (I loved her on the much loved series Chef). She seems to be a little scatter brained but when she needs to save a planet of trees or be strong for her family, she is amazing.
An incredible episode that didn’t disappoint and stands up incredibly well with such amazing and must see Christmas specials like (in order of my favorites down) ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Voyage of the Damned’, and the ‘Next Doctor’.
Matman Rating – 4.5 out of 5 cool tree people
Hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy holiday! And don't forget that our holiday episode of Secret Identity is already wrapped and under the tree for you! It's like candy canes that you put in your ears!We're taking a little bit of a break over the next week, but we'll still have a new episode this Wednesday (12/30) and next Wednesday (1/7). We'll be returning to our twice-weekly schedule the week of January 12th. So, now's a great time to catch up on any episodes you may have missed while you were standing in line for Cabbage Patch Kids, or whatever the new hot toy is this year!
Press ReleaseNemo Publishing, publisher of Jay Piscopo’s “The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli” all-ages graphic novel series and “The Sea Ghost” comic book, has released its 4th annual Commander X-Mas “Commander X Adventures,” a collection of pulp adventure stories and artwork featuring the renowned time traveler, Commander X, who is an integral character in the “Capt’n Eli” series. This free comic book is available at – http://www.captneli.com/dailycomic.php. “Depression-era comics were promoted as ‘all in color for a dime,’ which meant you were getting more than you paid for,” noted Piscopo. “That same spirit and enthusiasm is what the creators behind ‘Commander X Adventures’ bring. In the Golden and Silver ages, the stories were very plot driven and action oriented and, in their own way, reflected the times. There was a lot of crudeness in the art and storytelling and a certain exuberance and imagination really carried the day. This free comic is a wonderful opportunity to re-experience the fun and excitement that came from Golden Age comics and the pulps. And we always add in a lot of Christmas-themed material just for fun.” Piscopo edited this free on-line comic book with a team of creators, including legendary writer Brian Augustyn with the debut of his new pulp character, Mr. Gabriel in “All Through the Night…A Mr. Gabriel, Angel of Broadway Adventure.” “I’m honored to have Brian’s contribution,” said Piscopo. “He’s one of my heroes in the comics business and it’s great to see him join the ranks of the new pulp writers. Pulps preceded Golden Age comics and were all about hard-boiled action and mystery and Brian captures that perfectly.” Regular contributor, Frank Schildiner, also wrote a story illustrated by Delfin Barral and there is a special Sunday strip by Robert J. Kelly and Dan O’Connor, the creators of the daily web comic “Ace Kilroy.” Pinups were created by comics greats Michael Netzer and Mort Todd, Marvel cover artist Mike Fyles, Joe Zierman and Randy “Sarge” Sargent, Pierre Villeneuve, Harold Cupec, Jim Mohan, and Jay Piscopo. Piscopo also wrote and illustrated a story called “SHIVA 99” in which fans meet Commander X as the Knight Avenger. In conjunction with this, Nemo Publishing has released the Knight Avenger as a limited edition Mego-style collectible action figure. “This year, I also had a lot of fun featuring public domain superheroes in cameos and guest shots with Commander X,” continued Piscopo. “This whole story is an homage to the Golden Age of superheroes, a large number of which are now in the public domain. The Knight Avenger is the seventh figure in the Commander X collectible action figure line. The other figures include: Golden Age Commander X, 1950s Commander X, Western Knight, Barbary Knight, Archer Knight, and the Undersea Knight. These eight-inch figures are created in a retro-style reminiscent of those made by the Mego Corporation in the 1970s and are designed by Piscopo and produced by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke. A short video about the variant collection can be viewed here. All seven figures are available exclusively at www.captneli.com at a special price of $15 (regularly $19.95) through February 15, 2011. On the World Wide Web: www.captneli.com www.TheSeaGhost.com
From our friends at the Inkwell Awards:Joe Sinnott. The name immediately evokes to mind many things: legendary inker, community-respected veteran artist, gentleman, fan-favorite and art partner of Jack Kirby. For the non-profit organization the Inkwell Awards, Joe is their Hall of Fame namesake and recipient, a living representation of what the art form of inking is really about with a decades-spanning career of work to prove it.
“I said these words last year,” says Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director, “and I really can't top that description of Joe and his value to and contributions within the comic book community.” Last year's Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge was a huge success for the non-profit Inkwell Awards organization, bringing in many veteran and contemporary artists to help our mission to educate the public about the art form of inking with before and after examples of pencils to inks, ultimately showcasing what ink artists bring to the table. This year The Inkwells will continue our Sinnott Inking Challenge and utilize eBay to raise more funds for operational expenses.
For those not familiar with the program, the idea was inspired by Steve Morger, promoter of the Big Wow Comicfest (formerly the Super-Con) where he had an annual Inker Panel at his San Jose, California-based show and each ink artist would ink a copy of a pencil drawing which went to charity. This resulted in a popular forum among the fans as legendary artists were involved such asAdam Hughes, Ernie Chan, Allison Sohn, Mark Shultz, Michael Golden, Tim Vigil, Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Alex Nino, Pablo Marcos, Stuart Sayger, and more.
“Being that Joe Sinnott, namesake and recipient of our Hall of Fame Award, had previously donated two uninked pencils pieces of Namor and Dr. Doom for our auctions,” continues Bob, “I decided, with his enthusiastic consent of course, to welcome artists to take a crack at inking the ‘Joltin' One’ himself over blueline images of the pencil work. This brought in the likes of Klaus Janson, Mike Allred, Ernie Chan, Bob McLeod, Jack Purcell, Dan Parsons, and many others. This year we're using donated pencil images of Captain America and Thor, two characters to have recent blockbuster success on the big screen. Many return participants from last year include Terry Austin, Keith Williams, Mark McKenna, Kent Archer, Bob Wiacek, Josef Rubenstein, Marc Deering, Tom Schloendorn, Jose Marzan, Jr., and others as well as new contributors like Neil Vokes, Mike Pascale, Rick Hoberg, Scott Koblish, Mark Stegbauer, John Floyd, Trevor Von Eeden, Ken Branch, Michael W. Kellar, Gerry Acerno, Michael L. Peters, and other surprises! It's tough to list everyone because while these generous creators are pumped to ink Joe's lavish linework, they have to find time within their scheduled paying gigs to do so, so some artists are still tentative. But it's fascinating to see their approaches, with some staying somewhat faithful to the original lines while others really running with it and create something different but special. So you decide, who will meet the challenge?"Joe Sinnott himself comments "I must say that after embellishing the likes of Kirby, Buscema, Romita, Steranko, Colan, Kane, Perez, Byrne, Frenz and so many other greats for the past 50 plus years, I'm on cloud 9 that my pencils are being rendered by the elite of the inkers profession.
What a list of the greats, and to have them work on my pencils makes me proud to have been selected by Bob for this great assignment. I can't say it enough, they're all great and I appreciate their contributions to The Inkwell Awards."
All of this art from last year up to the recent pieces are posted at the inking advocacy's ComicArtFans gallery at http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryDetail.asp?GCat=35444. The first wave of inked blueline pieces from the latest Sinnott Challenge will are up now on the eBay auction block at http://www.ebay.com/sch/merchant/theinkwellawards where they run auctions every other week. This wave of auctions ends on 12/24. Following this, another wave will go up following the holidays starting January 7th. Also available will be a gallery book collection with all of the donations from the first year, along with an introduction and cover by Joe and a forward by long-time friend Terry Austin. It will be 106 over-sized pages and be available soon with a donation of $10 and a limited edition signed by Joe for $25. Please check the Inkwell Awards web-site for info on it's release and availability.