Friday, March 28, 2008

Make your own FREE COMIC BOOK DAY commercial!



Check out YouTube for info about creating your own FCBD commercial and you could win $250 to spend at your favourite comic store (Curious Comics?). Free Comic Book Day is May 3rd so if you are handy with camera and a little creative this could be your road to everlasting fame and fortune! Or at least you'll have something to brag about at the comic store.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

ALL STAR SUPERMAN #10
ARMY OF DARKNESS XENA WHY NOT #1 (OF 4) (MR)
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #15
BLUE BEETLE #25
COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE #8 (OF 8)
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #5
DAN DARE #5 (OF 7)
DAREDEVIL #106
GREEN LANTERN #29
JACK OF FABLES #21 (MR)
JSA CLASSIFIED #36
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA SER 2 ASST
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #137
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #40
MIGHTY AVENGERS #11
MS MARVEL #25 SII
NEW AVENGERS #39 (SII)
NEW WARRIORS #10
PREVIEWS VOL XVIII #4
SHE-HULK 2 #27
SPAWN #176
SPIDER-MAN WITH GREAT POWER #3 (OF 5)
SPIRIT #15
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF OLD REPUBLIC #26 VECTOR PART 2
TEEN TITANS #57
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #52
ULTIMATE HUMAN #3 (OF 4)
ULTIMATE IRON MAN II #4 (OF 5)
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #120
ULTIMATE X-MEN #92
WIZARD MAGAZINE #199
WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #1
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #5
X-MEN LEGACY #209 (DWS)

Click here for a look at the complete list!



Monday, March 24, 2008

Free Comic Book Day Spotlight

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 3rd. Every few days I will post a spotlight on some of the FREE comics you can pick up.

HELLBOY/B.P.R.D.—FCBD 2008 EDITION
by Mike Mignola & Various

To celebrate the release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Dark Horse Comics presents an all-Hellboy/B.P.R.D. extravaganza for Free Comic Book Day 2008! Hellboy creator Mike Mignola teams up with Hellboy: Darkness Calls artist Duncan Fegredo for a look into Hellboy’s nightmares; Mignola also teams with his B.P.R.D. team of John Arcudi and Guy Davis for a breathtaking twist to recent events at the Bureau — a preview of the events in the upcoming series The Warning; and Hellboy Universe newcomers Joshua Dysart (Swamp Thing) and Paul Azaceta (Grounded) team with Mignola for another look into the world of their B.P.R.D.: 1946 series for an adventure from the early days of both the Bureau and its most famous member! A perfect jumping-on point for new readers and a terrific treat for seasoned fans of the rich Hellboy mythos!

Remember, if you don't like it we will give you a full refund!


BROKEN TRINITY PREVIEW—FCBD 2008 EDITION
by Ron Marz & Stjepan Sejic


Hot on the heels of last year's hit event First Born, Top Cow proudly unleashes Broken Trinity. The three-issue summer event will once more force the triumvirate of Witchblade, The Darkness, and The Angelus to collide over the fate of Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado's daughter, Hope. In the midst of all the chaos, a new Artifact will surface and alter the landscape of the Top Cow Universe! Brought to you by the First Born and Witchblade powerhouse creative team of Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic, with a cover by Kenneth Rocafort!

All for the low, low price of... FREE!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Reads of the Week!

ELFQUEST: BLOOD OF TEN CHIEFS #1
Something is wrong with Timmorn Yellow-Eyes. The half-elf half-wolf has led the Wolfriders for many turns of the seasons now, keeping them from starving to death in the season of white-cold... but now he hears a different song, one that speaks not to the wolf in him but the long-buried, nearly forgotten elf. He disappears into the forest, seeking the source of the song... and it will not be until many, many years pass that the most unexpected of individuals will finally discover whatever happened to Timmorn Yellow-Eyes.


Okay, okay -- so Blood of Ten Chiefs didn't actually come out this week... it came out on some long-lost Wednesday 15 years ago. But it did hit the Digital ElfQuest library this week (alongside a stack of other great ElfQuest stories), and that's why it's on this list. Here, ElfQuest co-creator Richard Pini gives us a self-contained story that speaks to the torment of the very first Wolfriders and the incredible sacrifices they were forced to make. Artist Janine Johnston delivers a wonderfully evocative watercolour treat, knocking me out page after page. Fantastic stuff -- and just one of many amazing stories waiting for you at the main ElfQuest site. Go now! Go often! Enjoy!


RED SONJA #31
In part 2 of a five-part arc featuring rotating writers and artists, Christos Gage gives us a glimpse into Sonja's past as she rides down the River Styx with the ferryman Charon, reflecting on her long and bloody career. This time, we hear about the one man who tempted Sonja to give up her adventuring ways and settle down... and no, this issue doesn't guest-star a certain Cimmerian. Artist Pablo Marcos seems a little off his game in this issue, but Gage's tight script provides enough momentum to get us past the awkward bits. A solid jumping-on point for new readers!

JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #269
Mega-City One's most famous lawman, Judge Dredd, travels to the Barge -- a maximum security prison floating thousands of kilometers out in the radioactive Black Atlantic -- to interrogate a sadistic perp he arrested forty years ago, and dig up a few old ghosts along the way. But that's not all -- you also get the latest from Brit-Cit Judge Armitage, Bob the Galactic Bum, the Undercity kook calling himself Tempest, and articles on new movies, new comics, and more. What are you waiting for? Grab the Big Meg while it lasts!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics

Here are some of the great new items arriving today @ Curious Comics:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #554
ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #5
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #5
BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC
BLEACH TP VOL 22
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #11
CAPTAIN AMERICA #36
CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 (OF 5) SII
CATWOMAN #77
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #6
DEATH NOTE NOVEL ANOTHER NOTE
DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #7 (OF 8)
FABLES #71 (MR)
FLASH #238
FRUITS BASKET GN VOL 19 (OF 22)
FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST TP VOL 16
GHOST RIDER #21
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #13
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #115
IRON MAN #27
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #19
ORDER #9
OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PG VOL 38
RED SONJA #31
ROBIN #172
SHADOWPACT #23
SIMPSONS COMICS #140
SUPERMAN BATMAN ANNUAL #2
SWORD #6
TANGENT SUPERMANS REIGN #1 (OF 12)
THOR #7
WAR IS HELL FIRST FLIGHT PHANTOM EAGLE #1 (OF 5) (MR)
WIZARD ANIME INSIDER #55
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #23

Click here for the complete list!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke passes away

One of the most important imaginations of the 20th century, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, passed away today at the age of 90.

In addition to being the mind behind the zeitgeist-altering
2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels, Mr Clarke brought us many more classics of the sci-fi genre -- incredible books like Rendezvous With Rama and The Nine Billion Names of God among them. Mr Clarke also had a direct and significant impact on the real world of the sciences... after all, it's not every science fiction author who can lay claim to the idea behind the communications satellite.

Mr Clarke had a massive influence on my reading and my thinking, starting at a very early age... I think JRR Tolkien is the only other creator to have reached me while I was still young enough to have my thinking processes permanently altered by a novel. Apart from getting me hooked on sci-fi, Mr Clarke helped foster my lifelong interest in astronomy, physics and engineering... I think I would be a different person today had Mr Clarke chosen to pursue a different career.

Of course, I am just one of many.

Thank you Mr Clarke... we all owe you more than we could say.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Too Much Fun: Chronoscope!


Reaper Miniatures, the premiere producer of lead-free pewter gaming minis in North America, has announced the launch of a brand-new line of non-fantasy miniatures set to hit the shelves later this year. To be released under the umbrella brand of Chronoscope, these minis will offer gamers a variety of unusual character pieces to choose from, including minis that will be right at home in a science fiction or western RPG or wargame.

Just looking at some of the figures in the first wave of releases gets me thinking about those nearly-abandoned plans for large-scale sci-fi gaming... some of these would look great alongside my Urban War figures, and could provide some grist for my long-in-the-making home-brewed Blade Runner game. Then there are the western characters promised in the press release... and, with little or no modification, wouldn't they be just perfect for a Serenity game? I can see the cracks appearing in my gaming budget already!



Thanks to Paul T. for the heads-up!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Coffee with Pikachu

Hello again everyone. Welcome back to one of our regular Curious Comics Blog features, where we invite comic book personalities of note to stop by, relax with a cup of coffee and reflect on their career. This week we're priveleged to have one of the most famous anthropomorphic cartoon characters in Japan, the Electric Mouse Pokemon known as Pikachu, at the table.

Pikachu, thanks for coming by.


PIKACHU:
Pika pika!



As I understand it, you're a little young for coffee, so I won't offer you any.


PIKACHU:
Pikachuuuu...


Sorry, kid. Would you like a glass of water instead?


PIKACHU: Chu!

I guess that's a no. Pikachu, you're one of the most recognizable comic characters in the world, but your appearances in print have been minimal -- limited to just a handful of manga serials. Is that something you'd like to address at some point?


PIKACHU: Pika... Pikachu!

How is your relationship with your Pokemon fans? It must get a little difficult, what with the "gotta catch 'em all" stuff and so many wannabe trainers gunning for you.

PIKACHU: Chu! Pika! Pikachu!



Okay... not really sure what that means. Um, anyway... you've had extensive experience with a number of comic related media, including television cartoon series, a successful video game franchise, collectible card games, and animated movies. Is there a medium you prefer, and if so, why?


PIKACHU:
Pika pika! Pikachu! Chu chu!


Uh huh. Interesting. What about the accusation that Pokemon uses unfair marketing methods to bypass parents and target kids who don't have the experience to tell truly useful products from indifferent ones? Care to comment on that?


PIKACHU:
Chuuu...! Sshyeah!



Wh... what did you just say?


PIKACHU:
Uh, I mean... pika! Pika pika!


Hang on! What's going on here? I thought you couldn't say anything other than "pika" and "chu"!

PIKACHU:
Er... Pika! Chu, chu!


Hey! Where do you think you're going? Come back here!


PIKACHU:
Pika!


You little yellow rat! You're nothing but a fraud! What else are you lying about? I bet you can't even fit inside that Poke-ball!


PIKACHU:
Pika drop it, chu! Pika defamation lawsuit, chu! Pika know where you live, chu!


You don't scare me, mouse boy. What's really going on here? Some kind of scheme to soften kids' brains and make them nice little mindless conscripts, maybe? What's next on the agenda for the Poke-Legion? What are you hiding, eh?


SMITH: Excuse me.

Wha... where the heck did you come from?


SMITH:
I was hiding behind that potted plant over there the whole time.
My name is Smith, and I represent the lawfirm of Tsuda, Hsu, Kadokawa & Smith; Mr Pikachu and his associates are our clients. I am afraid you're violating the terms of agreement under which this discussion was to be held; we will therefore be forced to draw today's encounter to a close without further comment.

Wait a minute... we were just getting started, there!


SMITH:
I am afraid not. Please step through to the next room, where we have Psyduck waiting to provide you with a complimentary experience in our Memory Editor (TM). Thank you for your cooperation!


PIKACHU:
Sucker. Pika pika! Pika... CHUUU!



Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Cardboard Warrior

- Hellblog -


I was roughly 12 when I'd first saw him, drawn on an envelope that some lucky reader had sent in to Wizard magazine to be published in their letters section. I honestly thought it was quite hokey, some red half-human, half-demon guy in a battered trench coat with a giant gun. Not to mention a gigantic, concrete, out-of-proportion right hand. It seemed like a reach for me at the time. And though for the years to come I would work in practically every comic shop our small town had in the time I grew up there, I still never became exposed to many titles. It would only be until some years later when I got my job at Curious Comics that I would discover what I'd been missing out on all these years.


In the first months while working at Curious, I would pillage the racks of graphic novels to find certain titles I'd never read but always heard about. Watchmen, Sandman, Strangers in Paradise, et al. But it was my fascination with World War II, the romanticism of a vast evil empire vying for control of the World by any means possible, and the tales of folk lore and mythology that I'd loved as a imaginative boy growing up that led me to my very favorite title, Hellboy.


My previous ignorance and naivety now expelled, I dove right into those pages of Mignola's demonic work. Summoned to this world by occult-crazed Nazis (awesome!) and a sorcerer with his own omnipotent desires, Hellboy was discovered first by the Allied Forces. Professor Bruttenholm, the man in charge of investigating these evil Nazi plots, takes initiative and adopts Hellboy. With the aid of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, he raises Hellboy to become an agent of good, to battle the secret Eldritch evils that lurk throughout our earthly domain.


That world in which Hellboy lives is a far-reaching realm of mysticism, obscure folk tales, and Homunculi with iron plate loincloths-slash-diapers. And frogmen. Can't forget the frogmen. The sheer research that Mike Mignola throws into his work is incredible, and it shows. Especially the efforts he makes to share far away legends and myths with his readers. I'm sure if I were a native of some forgotten Siberian tundra village, I would be amazed at how accurate and true his telling of my local folk lore would be, with the addition of a cranky demon prince sent to rid us of whichever monster/spirit/blood-drinking deity plagues us. Hellboy's adventures are also presented to the reader in a very fitting method. The first two trades share the origin of Hellboy and his struggle to discover what he really is. All the trades afterwards are compiled one-shots or miniseries each telling different tales along Hellboy's journey so each book always offers some new and obscure tale.


I also have a none-too-secret love affair with the style of art with which Mignola brings these tales to life. As a fledgling artist growing up, I was always trying new techniques and the crisp, eerie, black-ink-ridden panels that Mignola succeeds with were always the style of art I tried to grasp. Mignola himself would never admit to his talents as he is a very modest man, though nearly to a fault. His art is incredibly consistent and very detailed considering the minimalist style that it truly is. He conveys such grand scenes of action with the simplest employs of shadow and perspective, all while presenting each panel as an integral tool to parlay the moods of the lore to his readers.


Hellboy in recent years has enjoyed a lot of success with animated movies, toys and other merchandise and of course the live-action films. All are great mediums to share his creations with the public, however, as cliche as it may be to say, the book is where the true Hellboy shines. And if you've never read it, you're missing out. I never thought that a Nazi-summoned demon prince with a battered trench coat toting a large firearm in one hand and brandishing a stone hand that doubles as a key to the End of the World in the other would be so awesome. But then after reading that last sentence again, how could I have ever been so foolish!?

Now where did I put my iron diaper...

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Dave Sim Project - Judenhass - First Look


Judenhass is the German term for Jew hatred. Dave Sim's newest project, 3 years in the making, is a chronological story of the Holocaust. Over a background of photo-realistic drawings of suffering and atrocity the story unfolds of how the whole world, not just Germany, failed the Jewish people.

It's not an easy read but it is ultimately worthwhile to stay to the end. The art is first rate and the text depicts the inevitability of the Holocaust, or Shoah as the world looks on and does nothing. It is horrifying by today's standards to see how humanity viewed a people whose only crime was to be born Jewish.

This is, after all, a comic book (of sorts) and Sim starts out by asking where the artform would be if not for the Jewish comic pioneers like Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Joe Simon and others.

Judenhass is a 56 page square bound graphic novel with a price of only $4.00

For more info check the Judenhass website

"Judenhass is an astonishing piece of work. Painful and real and unflinching. I don't remember the last comic I read that made me cry, but this did."

Neil Gaiman

"Judenhass is endlessly disturbing, often unpleasant and incessantly horrifying in its stark coldness. The quotes should never be forgotten or made light of. It is why all people of good will say, 'Never again.'"

Marv Wolfman

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dave Stevens - He will be missed



It's a shame when someone dies before his time. Dave Stevens was only 52 when he passed away on March 10 after a long struggle with leukemia. Dave's Rocketeer comics are part of what brought me back into comics in the 80s.


Over the years I have followed his art (somewhat sparse due to his perfectionism) and especially enjoyed his Bettie Page pinups. After discovering Ms. Page was still alive and living near him he became her friend and benefactor and helped her obtain financial compensation for the use of her likeness.

I was able to meet and talk with him briefly once at a convention and found him to be a genuinely nice guy.

Rest in Peace, Dave

First Reads of the Week!

FANTASTIC FOUR #555
Ben goes on a date, Reed thinks about the end of the world and Johnny goes from fighting a sexy new super-villain to making out with her in the next installment of "World's Greatest". Mark Millar continues to shine here, giving us a vivid, idea-packed epic even as Bryan Hitch turns in his trademark top-notch art page after page. Pound for pound, FF under the new creative team is one of the best values for your comic dollar on the shelves today.

SERENITY: BETTER DAYS #1

Joss Whedon returns to his fan-favourite characters from the cult TV series Firefly with another 3-issue miniseries from Dark Horse. This time we catch up with Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew of the Serenity as they embark on an ambitious heist that, like so many of their other off-the-radar jobs, quickly turns into something bigger than they can handle. Series artist Will Conrad seems only to have improved since he illustrated Those Left Behind for us, and here he delivers a cleaner style that really captures the likenesses of the series stars. This is a great little Serenity treat for fans who -- like me -- just don't want to give up hope that we might see the crew return for another big project at some point in the future.

WOLVERINE #63
Mystique continues to put Wolverine through his paces even as we're treated to further flashbacks to their life together in the early part of the 20th century in part 2 of a four-part story. I've been looking forward to the continuation of this story for a month, and creators Jason Aaron and Ron Garney do not disappoint. Definitely a high point in the current lineup of X-family titles!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics

Please note: some items may not be available at all three stores.

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

30 DAYS OF NIGHT TP VOL 09 BEYOND BARROW (MR)
ABE SAPIEN THE DROWNING #2 (OF 5)
AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL #18
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #553
ANIMA GN VOL 07 (OF 10)
ANNIHILATION CONQUEST #5 (OF 6)
ART OF DRAWING ANATOMY SC
ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #5
ATOMIC ROBO #6 (OF 6)
AVENGERS FAIRY TALES #1 (OF 4)
AVENGERS INITIATIVE #10
AVENGERS INITIATIVE TP VOL 01 BASIC TRAINING
BADGER SAVES THE WORLD #3 (OF 5)
BAT LASH #4 (OF 6)
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #14
BATMAN STRIKES #43
BOOSTER GOLD #7
BPRD 1946 #3 (OF 5)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #34 DIRECTORS CUT
CEMETERY BLUES #2
CIVIL WAR CHRONICLES #9
COMIC BOOK COMICS #1
CONAN TP VOL 05 ROGUES IN THE HOUSE
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #7
COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #6 (OF 8)
CSI BAD RAP TP NEW PTG
DEAD OF NIGHT FEATURING MAN THING #2 (OF 4) (MR)
DMZ #29 (MR)
DMZ TP VOL 04 FRIENDLY FIRE (MR)
DOCTOR WHO #2
DONT BLAME ME GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (MR)
EMMA VOL 07
EMPOWERED TP VOL 03 (MR)
EVIL DEAD #3 (OF 4)
EXCEL SAGA TP VOL 17
FANTASTIC FOUR #555
FLCL NOVEL #1 (OF 3)
FURRLOUGH #180
GAMEKEEPER SERIES 2 #1
GEN 13 #18
GENE SIMMONS HOUSE OF HORRORS #3
GET BACKERS GN VOL 23 (OF 37) (MR)
GFT RETURN TO WONDERLAND CVR GALLERY #1 (MR)
GHOST RIDER TP VOL 04 REVELATIONS
GI JOE AMERICAS ELITE #33
GOON #22
GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #6 (OF 9)
GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #6
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #22
GRIMM FAIRY TALES #24 (MR)
GUMBY TP VOL 01
GUTSVILLE #3 (OF 6) (MR)
HANDS OFF DONT CALL US ANGELS GN VOL 02 (OF 2)
HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS TP VOL 03 HOT STUFF
HEDGE KNIGHT 2 SWORN SWORD #5 (OF 6)
HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS TP
INDIA AUTHENTIC TP VOL 02
IRON MAN ENTER MANDARIN #6 (OF 6)
J POP IDOL GN VOL 01 (OF 3)
JLA CLASSIFIED #54
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL HC
LAST DEFENDERS #1 (OF 6)
LOBO PORTRAIT OF A BASTICH TP
LOCKE & KEY #2
LOCUS #566
LONE RANGER AND TONTO #1
LUNAR LEGEND TSUKIHIME TP VOL 05
MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #7
MAGICIAN APPRENTICE PREM HC VOL 2
MAGICIAN APPRENTICE PREM HC VOL 2 DM ED
MAINTENANCE #9 (MR)
MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK #9
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #7
MARVEL ILLUSTRATED LAST OF THE MOHICANS PREM HC
MARVEL ILLUSTRATED MAN IN THE IRON MASK PREM HC
MARVEL ILLUSTRATED MOBY DICK #2 (OF 6)
MARVEL ILLUSTRATED TREASURE ISLAND PREM HC
ME & MY BROTHERS GN VOL 03 (OF 7)
MICHAEL RECYCLE HC
MIGHTY AVENGERS #10
MISSING NOVEL VOL 02 (OF 13) LETTER OF MISFORTUNE
NEW EXILES #3
NIGHTMARES AND FAIRY TALES #22 (MR)
NINJA HIGH SCHOOL #158
NOVA #11
ORFINA VOL 02 (MR)
ORION 4TH ED TP
PIQ MAGAZINE APR 2008 (Newtype)
POGROM #1 (OF 7)
PRINCESS AI GN VOL 01 (OF 3)
PUNISHER #55 (MR)
RAVE MASTER GN VOL 27 (OF 35)
REBIRTH COLLECTION VOL 1-3
REPLAY GN VOL 02 (OF 3) (MR)
ROBIN THE BIG LEAGUES TP
SALVATION RUN #5 (OF 7)
SCREAMLAND #1 (OF 5)
SERENITY BETTER DAYS #1 (OF 3)
SHANDA THE PANDA #47 (MR)
SHOWCASE PRESENTS PHANTOM STRANGER TP VOL 02
SIMON DARK #6
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #186
SPEED RACER TP VOL 03
SPIDER-MAN FAMILY TP UNTOLD TEAM UPS DIGEST
SPIDER-MAN RED SONJA PREM HC
SPOOKS #2
STAR WARS LEGACY #21
STAR WARS REBELLION #12
SUICIDE SQUAD RAISE THE FLAG #7 (OF 8)
SUPERMAN #674
SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #13
SWITCH GN VOL 01
SWITCH GN VOL 01
TERMINATOR OMNIBUS VOL 02
THIRD GN VOL 01 (OF 2) (MR)
THUNDERBOLTS #119
TINY TITANS #2
TOYFARE #129
TWELVE KINGDOMS HC VOL 02 (OF 7)
ULTIMATES 3 #2 (OF 5) 2ND PTG VAR
WALKING DEAD #47 (MR)
WARHAMMER 40K BLOOD & THUNDER #4 (OF 4)
WELCOME TO NHK GN VOL 06 (OF 8) (MR)
WILDSTORM REVELATIONS #5 (OF 6)
WITCHBLADE TP VOL 03
WOLVERINE #63 (DWS)
WONDER WOMAN #18
WORMWOOD TP VOL 02
X-FACTOR #29 (DWS)
X-MEN TP DIE BY THE SWORD
YOUR AND MY SECRET GN VOL 01 (OF 4)
YUBISAKI MILK TEA GN VOL 07 (OF 7) (MR)

MISC. MERCHANDISE

ART OF SHUNYA YAMASHITA COCONA 1/7 SCALE PVC FIG
GI JOE COMIC 2 PACK AF ASST 200803
IN THE GAME 2007 08 BETWEEN THE PIPES HOCKEY T/C
JOURNAL APAK
JOURNAL DOMO PHOTO
NARUTO GROUP SHOT 10 IN WALL CLOCK
NARUTO GROUP TWIN BELL ALARM CLOCK
NARUTO NARUTO & SASUKE TWIN BELL ALARM CLOCK
NARUTO SOLO 10 IN WALL CLOCK
REACTIVATED SER 4 SUPER SQUAD AF
ST TOS 40TH ANN MINIMATES SERIES 3 ASST
ST TWOK EXC BATTLE DAMAGED ENTERPRISE
STATIONERY SET DOMO SELF MAILER
SUPER ROBOT WARS GESPENST MKII FINE SCALE MOD KIT
UDF RAIDEN METAL GEAR SOLID 2 VERSION AF
UDF SNAKE METAL GEAR SOLID 2 VERSION AF
UDF SNAKE METAL GEAR SOLID 3 VERSION AF
UDF SNAKE METAL GEAR SOLID 4 OTACON VER AF
UDF SNAKE METAL GEAR SOLID 4 VERSION AF

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Anime Review: Louie the Rune Soldier


Merrill, Genie and Melissa have a problem. They've managed to uncover a long-lost dungeon that, once cracked and raided, promises to deliver quite a payday... but there's a catch. The entrance to the tomb is locked with a spell that defies Merrill's training as a thief, Genie's abilities as a warrior, and even Melissa's powers as a cleric of Mylee. There's nothing else for it -- they're forced to travel to the nearest town and try to recruit a mage into their party. Unfortunately for them, the only mage available is Louie -- an overconfident, loudmouth buffoon more at home whacking zombies over the head with his wizard's staff than casting spells. Still, beggars can't be choosers...

Welcome to the world of Louie the Rune Soldier! Fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Elric of Melnibone and Lord of the Rings will find themselves right at home here in Louie's backyard -- populated as it is with goblins, elves, undead, hidden tombs and dire prophecies. But the western fantasy archetype gets an anime-centric twist that will keep anyone who liked Slayers, Inu Yasha or even Dragonball Z hooked as well. A great breezy series that makes a nice break between your more serious, in-depth anime viewing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Manga Review: Translucent

Meet Shizuka -- a quiet, introspective young junior high student in modern-day Japan. She has the usual batch of insecurities, worries and problems shared by most other teenages her age... but in addition to all that, she has a rare and medically unexplained condition that is slowly turning her body invisible. Shizuka must rely on her good friends Mamoru, Okouchi and Keiko as she pursues her dream of becoming an actress, despite her condition.

Writer/artist Kazuhiro Okamoto brings us the story of Shizuka and her friends in four or five self-contained chapters per book. Right from the start, Translucent impressed me with the clever idea of using a fictional disease of invisibility as a lens through which we can look at the various anxieties of teenagers... but once I started reading, I was surprised to discover a lot more within its pages. This is not your typical teen-centric series; stories focusing on both Shizuka's father and recurring twenty-something character Keiko help to broaden the book's focus, and Okamoto has an uncanny knack for taking the reader through Shizuka's emotional experience without falling into the usual shojo formula. This allows for some really strong moments in the series.

Translucent is a real eye-opener, and probably the best new manga series of the past year. Highly recommended!

Friday, March 7, 2008

ElfQuest: 30th Anniversary Gift to Fans

No Sunday Coffee for you this week, sportsfans... instead, here's something else for you to chew on:


ElfQuest is one of those great independent comics legends that helped to change the rules of the industry. Featuring the story of a small, hunted band of woodland elves bonded to a pack of wolves, ElfQuest broke new ground with its far-reaching story arcs, emotionally resonant characterisation, and mature story concepts... not to mention with the manner of the book's publication. EQ creators Wendy and Richard Pini, after being shut out by the big comic labels, decided to start up their own company called WaRP Graphics (and you get no points if you work out what that acronym stands for, smart guy).

This was in 1978, decades before Dark Horse, Image, or any of those guys. Along the way Wendy and Richard helped turn the indie comics biz into a viable industry, paving the way for all creator-owned books that came after. As far as I'm concerned, WaRP's contribution to comics in the 1980s and 1990s cannot be underestimated -- they were zigging while everyone else was busy zagging, and if it hadn't been for them I would have chucked comics altogether when I was 12.

2008 marks EQ's 30th anniversary, and as a present to the book's legions of loyal fans (as well as fans-yet-to-be), Wendy & Richard will be making the entire series available to read on the ElfQuest.com website. If you're a complete newbie to EQ, or if you're a fan who missed out on a few of those long out-of-print stories, or even if you're a completist looking for an excuse to go back and reread one of the greatest comic books of all time -- then this is the year for you.

Go bookmark the site, sign up on their very friendly forum and check back often... you won't regret it!

Goodbye Gary Gygax

Much will be said this week about Gary Gygax, the imaginitive fellow who helped cook up the concept of a Tolkien-esque game that had some friends pretend to be other people in another world, using pencil and paper to keep track of belongings and injuries -- an idea that went on to become a multi-million dollar industry that crosses genres, technologies, international borders, language barriers and generations.

Mr Gygax, of course, was one of the creators of the landmark Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game. As I'm sure most readers will know, he passed away earlier this week after a long illness... and it's incredible to be told that he continued to run weekly D&D RPG sessions right up until the end of 2007. What a guy!

I really wish I'd had the opportunity to thank Mr Gygax for his efforts -- his books helped me to get inside story concepts at a very young age, to understand what made interesting characters, plot twists and story arcs in all fiction through the lens of D&D. I won't get the chance now.

I'll leave you all with this link, which you may have seen cross-posted quite a bit over the last few days... an in-game memorial for Mr Gygax in the Dungeons & Dragons Online MMORPG. What a send-off for a unique talent!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Reads of the Week!


ECHO #1
Terry Moore returns to independent comics! Julie is a photographer who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time -- specifically, out in the desert just as a US military research team decides to murder one of its pilots in what will eventually look like a test run gone wrong. Unfortunately for Julie, she winds up being exposed to a experimental component of the project -- a bizarre liquid metal that bonds with her skin before she can get it off!

Moore is easily one of the best storytellers in comics these days, and let's be honest -- if you've read any of his Strangers in Paradise before now, you've probably already grabbed Echo. For everyone else out there, do yourself a favour and pick up a great book!

LOGAN #1
Best-selling author Brian K Vaughan of Y: The Last Man and Pride of Baghdad fame teams up with 100 Bullets artist Eduardo Risso to take on Marvel Comics' most bankable character in this three-issue miniseries. After a framing sequence set in modern day, Logan flashes back to his brief time in a Japanese POW camp in the middle of World War II, his escape, the lady he fell for and the source of the subsequent grudge between him and his homicidal American co-fugitive.

The character is so over-exposed, it takes a lot for me to notice anything Wolverine-related these days... fortunately, this book has fits the bill. The fantastic watercolour-esque approach of colourist Dean White helps give Risso's great art a fresh new look, and Vaughan's script does not disappoint. This is more like what Wolverine: Origins ought to be... it's a shame Logan will only run three issues!

YOUNG LIARS #1
David Lapham, writer of Stray Bullets and Batman: City of Crime, takes a kick at the Vertigo can with this new ongoing mature-readers series. A brawl outside a bar turns unbelieveably nasty as one unarmed and slightly giddy girl named Sadie proceeds to mutilate two heavy bruisers well out of her weight class. That's when we find out she's physically incapable of feeling fear due to a bullet lodged in her brain -- but exactly how this happened and who is responsible will have to wait for a future issue, as just now we're too busy meeting her entourage of hopelessly screwed-up friends and watching several varieties of ugly trouble converge on her as she blissfully moshes the night away.

You can't go wrong with Lapham -- readers of Stray Bullets already know this guy has a knack for delivering vivid characters and vicious plot twists, and Young Liars promises more top-quality insanity of a similar pedigree. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics

Please note: some items may not be available at all three stores.

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

2000 AD #1573
2000 AD #1574
24 COLD WARRIORS
ALL NEW ATOM #21
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #552
ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES #9 (OF 12)
ARMY OF DARKNESS #7 LONG ROAD HOME
BE WITH YOU MANGA
BE WITH YOU SC NOVEL
BEAUTY POP TP VOL 07
BLACK CAT TP VOL 13
BOYS #16 (MR)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #12
CABLE #1 (DWS)
CABLE CLASSIC TP VOL 01
CASANOVA #12 (MR)
CEST BON ANTHOLOGY GN VOL 04 (MR)
CHRONICLES OF CONAN TP VOL 14
CLANDESTINE #2 (OF 5)
CLAYMORE TP VOL 11
CORY DOCTOROWS FUTURISTIC TALES HERE AND NOW #6 (OF 6)
COUNTDOWN LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS #5 (OF 6)
COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE #7 (OF 8)
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #8
CSI SERIAL TP NEW PTG
DARK SIDE #131 FEB MAR 2008
DARK TOWER LONG ROAD HOME #1 (OF 5)
DC SPECIAL RAVEN #1 (OF 5)
DEAD SPACE #1 (OF 6)
DETECTIVE COMICS #842
DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS #4
DOROTHY OF OZ GN VOL 02
DR WHO MAGAZINE #392
DYNAMO 5 #11
END LEAGUE #2
EXTERMINATORS #27 (MR)
FABLES 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL SC (MR)
FORGOTTEN REALMS TP VOL 06 HALFLINGS GEM
GENTLEMENS ALLIANCE TP VOL 05
GIN TAMA TP VOL 05
GOON FANCY PANTS LTD SGN HC VOL 02
GRAPHIC CLASSICS VOL 15 FANTASY CLASSICS
GRAVESLINGER #4 (OF 4)
GREEN LANTERN #28
GRIMM FAIRY TALES #23 (MR)
HALLOWEEN NIGHTDANCE #2
HANA KIMI GN VOL 22
HAZED GN (MR)
HIGH SCHOOL DEBUT GN VOL 02
HIGHWAYMEN TP
HONEY & CLOVER GN VOL 01
HUNTER X HUNTER TP VOL 19
INFINITY INC #7
INVINCIBLE PRESENTS ATOM EVE #2 (OF 2)
IRON MAN PREM HC DEMON IN A BOTTLE
IRON MAN PREM HC DEMON IN A BOTTLE DM ED
JONAH HEX #29
JUSTICE LEAGUE THE NEW FRONTIER SPECIAL
KAMIYADORI GN VOL 05 (OF 5) (MR)
KING OF HELL GN VOL 18 (OF 21)
KIRBY KING OF THE COMICS HC
KONG KING OF SKULL ISLAND #3 (OF 5)
LEES TOY REVIEW #185 MARCH 2008
LIFE GN VOL 08 (OF 14) (MR)
LOGAN #1 (OF 3)
LOGAN #1 (OF 3) BLACK AND WHITE VAR
LORDS OF AVALON SOD #2 (OF 6)
LOVE COM TP VOL 05
LUCKY LUKE TP VOL 09 WAGON TRAIN TP
MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #37
MIDNIGHTER #17
MODERN DOG 20 YEARS OF POSTER ART HC
MONKEY HIGH GN VOL 01
MOON KNIGHT #16
MPD PSYCHO TP VOL 04 (MR)
NANA TP VOL 09 (MR)
NAOKI URASAWAS MONSTER TP VOL 13
NARUTO TP VOL 28
NEGIMA GN VOL 17 (MR)
NEVER GIVE UP GN VOL 07 (OF 13)
NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SEASON ZERO #6
NEW DYNAMIX #1 (OF 5)
NIGHTWING #142
NORTHLANDERS #4 (MR)
OMEGA UNKNOWN #6 (OF 10)
ONE PIECE TP VOL 17
PAINKILLER JANE #5 (MR)
PAX ROMANA #2 (OF 4)
PENANCE RELENTLESS #5 (OF 5)
POWERS #28 (MR)
PRINCE OF TENNIS GN VOL 24
PUMPKIN SCISSORS GN VOL 02
PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #17
RED PROPHET TALES OF ALVIN MAKER VOL 1 TP
ROSE HIP ROSE GN VOL 01 (OF 4) (MR)
SA GN VOL 03
SABRINA VOL 2 #92
SAMURAI DEEPER KYO GN VOL 27 (OF 38) (MR)
SAVAGE TALES #6 (MR)
SCALPED #15 (MR)
SCRYE #119 MAY 2008
SCUD THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN #22
SEDUCTION MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN LOVE GN VOL 01 (OF 5) (MR)
SHAMAN KING TP VOL 15
SHONEN JUMP APR 08
SISTERHOOD #1 (OF 3) (MR)
SKIP BEAT TP VOL 11
SOCRATES IN LOVE SC NOVEL
SPEED RACER CHRONICLES O/T RACER #2
SPEED RACER TP VOL 02
SPIDER-MAN PETER PARKER TP BACK IN BLACK
SPY GODDESS GN VOL 01 CHASE FOR THE CHALICE
STAR TREK YEAR FOUR TP
STAR WARS INSIDER #100 PX ED
STAR WARS LEGACY TP VOL 02 SHARDS
STAR WARS REBELLION TP VOL 02 AHAKISTA GAMBIT
STREETS OF GLORY #4 (OF 6) (MR)
SUPERGIRL #27
TACTICS GN VOL 04 (OF 8)
TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE #3 (OF 6)
TERRY MOORES ECHO #1
TERU TERU X SHONEN VOL 01
TORCHWOOD MAGAZINE #1
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT MIRAGE
TWELVE #3 (OF 12)
ULTIMATE POWER HC
UNCANNY X-MEN #496 (DWS)
VAMPIRELLA QUARTERLY WINTER 2008
WILD ONES GN VOL 02
WITCHBLADE TP VOL 05 (BANDAI)
WONDER WOMAN WHO IS WONDER WOMAN HC
X-FORCE #2 (DWS)
X-MEN VS APOCALYPSE TP VOL 01 THE TWELVE
XXXHOLIC GN VOL 11
YOUNG LIARS #1 (MR)
YURARA TP VOL 04
ZIG ZAG GN VOL 02 (OF 5)
ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS VS AMAZONS #3 (OF 3)

MISC. MERCHANDISE


ART OF KISS 4K POSTER SET
BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN DEVIL BALLEEQ WHITE
BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN DEVIL BOXEEQ WHITE
BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN DEVIL EGGQ WHITE
BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN DEVIL SPRAY WHITE
BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN DEVIL TOYERBBQ WHITE
BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE STATUE FRANK MILLER
CROW WITH SOUND 18-IN AF
DARK TOWER LONG ROAD HOME POSTER
GI JOE COMIC 2 PACK AF ASST 200802
HALO SERIES 1 AF ASST
HALO SERIES 1 VEHICLE ASST
IKKI TOUSEN CERBERUS HAKUFU SONSAKU PVC FIGURE
PEZ 2008 NASCAR HELMETS
SCI-FI TITANIUM VEHICLE ASST 200802
ST TOS COMMUNICATOR
STARGATE SG1 JONAS QUINN PX AF
STARGATE SG1 SER 4 DESERT COMBAT AF ASST
TOKIDOKI THE CACTUS PUPS ASST

Monday, March 3, 2008

Magical Michelle's Reviews!


Invader Zim

He burnt down his home planet , he wants to be the best invader…..but how can he do that when he so small and green?!

Zim, a small green alien has been chosen to go out into the galaxy (actually the council forced him to do that to get him off their backs). Zim must set out into the unknown. After 6 months of riding in a spaceship with the ever so cute, but annoying robot Grrr, Zim stumbles upon earth.

After setting up a home in the middle of an alley way, Zim learns that he must make a disguise for himself, and act like a human child to learn about earth and how he can rule it…If only to were that simple. As Zim encounters the trouble of a classmate trying to capture him, popular girls harassing him, stalker friends, and everyay toils…he realizes that taking over this world is going to be a lot harder then he thought especially when you are at school all day

If you are looking for a good laugh and cuteness this is your show. I really like the 2-d animation and the adorable sound effects. Zim’s sarcasm and Grrr’s adorable personality will make you always want to continue to watch.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (out of 5 ♥’s)

Too Much Fun: What If Warlord...

A couple of years back, while experimenting with the popular freeware image editing program called the GIMP, I tripped over a surprisingly fun little side-project -- the creation of my own custom Warlord CCG cards.

Don't get me wrong -- I didn't invent the concept from scratch or anything. One of the site administrators of the Warlord fan site The Temple of Lore cooked up the original templates and posted them for all to see, borrow, create and enjoy. But once I started, I found creating my own cards stupidly entertaining... and especially with a flexible, easily modified rules set like Warlord's Rank & File system to work with, I found importing characters native to other worlds -- from Jedi Knights to the Eternal Champion -- natural, obvious and easy.

Discovering these homemade cards in an old folder on my hard drive -- just as AEG announces the cancellation, then later the licensing, of their Warlord CCG property -- really drives it home for me how much potential remained untapped in their Rank & File system. I don't mean to take anything away from the terrific success of the Warlord CCG over the 7 years of its run -- there are only a handful of other CCGs that made it half as far. But what if AEG had actively pursued new iterations of the game? I mean, why not go after the Star Wars license for a stand-alone set? Or Conan the Barbarian? Or Godzilla, or Battle Royale, or -- well, I think you probably get the picture. The Rank & File system could have gone anywhere.

But this is not the path AEG elected to follow. After repeatedly attempting to re-invent the wheel with the Initial D CCG, the Spycraft CCG, the bizarre Clout Fantasy game, and finally the City of Heroes CCG, I think the creativity and flexibility of the Rank & File system was probably lost amid a series of disappointments. It's a real shame... but with these great card templates and a nice printer, anyone could keep creating new cards as long as their imagination (or their colour cartridge) holds out.


Oh, and by the way -- anyone who missed the boat on the Warlord CCG but would still like to try it, or anyone who hasn't played Warlord in a while and is feeling a little nostalgic -- come by Curious Comics Hillside on any Friday night in March. I'll be there with a ton of different Warlord decks to borrow and play against, as well as free promo cards for everyone. These events won't be tournaments -- just a good time with a fun game. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Coffee With Black Bolt

Hello, everyone. This week we're honoured to have one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe visiting the Curious Comics Blog -- Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, please say hello.

BLACK BOLT: ...


Whoops, good catch. You almost got me there. For those readers who are unfamiliar with Black Bolt, he gained the power of projecting a wave of massive destructive power with his voice when he was exposed to the Terrigen Mists as a baby. Must have made teething quite an ordeal for your parents, eh?

BLACK BOLT: ...

Sorry. Bolt was raised in isolation, in order to protect his fellow Inhumans from his power... he was only released after many years of training and making a vow never to speak. Which is bound to make this interview a little one-sided. With that in mind, we'll try and keep this conversation brief... Black Bolt, before we start, can I interest you in a cup of coffee?

BLACK BOLT: ...

There you go. I'll assume you take it black. Heh.



Bolt, you and the rest of the Royal Family of the Inhumans have been a big part of Marvel history over the years, appearing alongside the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Avengers... heck, even Dazzler. But still, despite the early involvement of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the Inhumans have never really reached the same high sales numbers as similar groups of super-powered outsiders... like, say, the Uncanny X-Men. Why do you suppose that might be?


BLACK BOLT: ...

Hmm. Fair enough, moving on... shortly after the events of the Civil War -- which the Inhumans elected to avoid completely -- your kingdom fell into conflict with the United States over the theft of Terrigen Crystals from your city. Do you still think staying out of the situation on Earth is the best foreign policy for your people?


BLACK BOLT: ...

Still thinking about that one, maybe. Okay, changing tack and looking outward -- any chance the Inhumans might become embroiled in the intergalactic conflicts shown in Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest?

BLACK BOLT: ...

All right... I guess there's no decision on that yet. When the Hulk returned to Earth from his year-long interplanetary exile, his first stop was the Blue Area of the Moon and your doorstep. In the aftermath of that battle and the subsequent events of World War Hulk, do you regret your part in the decision to send Banner into space?


BLACK BOLT: ...

Maybe I'll interpret that as a 'no comment'. It was recently revealed that you were replaced by a Skrull at some point, and are in fact missing as far as your friends in the Illuminati and our family are concerned. Any thoughts on these developments? Or on the upcoming Secret Invasion in general?

BLACK BOLT: ...

... I suppose that's pretty self explanatory. Well, I can't believe we made it through this entire conversation without a power-related problem. Black Bolt, thanks very much for dropping by.

BLACK BOLT: You're welco --


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