Monday, June 30, 2008

Archive: June 2008

First Reads of the Week: June 12

First Reads of the Week: June 19 - Graphic Novel Pick of the Week

First Reads of the Week: June 26

First Reads of the Week: June 27

Reaper's Chronoscope line expands...

It's only been a week since the first wave of Reaper Miniatures' new Chronoscope line of multi-genre miniatures hit the shelves, but we've already been treated to a sneak peek at what's coming up next.

With figures including more pulp-style adventurers, supervillains, modern-day wizards and even more characters for their already-impressive array of sci-fi military, Chronoscope is shaping up to be my pick for the new product launch of the year. Keep an eye on this one -- who knows where it will go!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Honourable Mention: First Reads o/t Week Pt 2!

MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA

Okay, I know we already did the whole first-reads thing this week, but I couldn't let this project pass without an official thumbs-up. Part of a thematically-linked series of one-shots by a single creative team, the Mythos series gives us origin stories for gently retconned, slightly updated versions of classic Marvel Comics characters. So far we've had the X-Men, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, Hulk... and this week we can add Captain America to the list.

This is the kind of Cap story I've always loved to read -- a book that features a smart, thoroughly decent Steve Rogers... his world-view informed by his experiences in World War II, his ideals untarnished by the latter half of the 20th century. Writers like Mark Waid and Cap's co-creator Jack Kirby were able to deliver that sort of character seemingly without effort, but it's amazing how so many other writers have trouble getting a grip on what makes this guy tick. But now we can add Paul Jenkins to that short list of writers -- because, if Mythos is anything to go by, this guy really understands his Captain America. The fully painted art by Paolo Rivera suits the story perfectly, delivering depth and warmth and just enough Kirby to keep everyone happy.

Why are you still reading this? Grab it... read it... and re-read it! Mythos: Captain America deserves to be a part of your comic book library.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Reads of the Week!


FINAL CRISIS #2
While I'm still not sure that this is the summer event to end all summer events, the second issue in Grant Morrison's DC Universe magnum opus, Final Crisis, shakes off a little of the dust left behind by the ho-hum debut issue with some interesting twists and turns. Strangely though, the bit I enjoyed the most was the opening part of the book -- which walked away from the Justice League characters in favour of some brand-new Japanese superheroes. Fun, quirky, classic Morrison -- but is it really blockbuster Crisis stuff? Time will tell...

YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS: HAWKEYE
The always-dependable Alan Davis joins writer Matt Fraction for a look at the world from the new Hawkeye's point of view, in the last of Marvel's six part miniseries. In a long-overdue meeting that actually deserved a stand-alone issue all to itself, former Hawkeye Clint Barton -- now known as Ronin of the New Avengers -- tracks down Kate Bishop, the Young Avengers' Hawkeye, for a little chat.

This issue, along with most of the rest of the YA Presents mini, really drives home the potential for these characters as successors to the original Avengers -- not just as a team, or as characters, but as a comic. The tone, style, and beat of this series has to be the closest thing to a real Avengers book I've read in ten years, and I think we could stand a little more of that in the current Marvel U. Hopefully, now that this miniseries is over, Marvel will do more with these characters than just put them back on the shelf.

A TRIBUTE TO MIKE WEIRINGO: WHAT IF THIS WAS THE FANTASTIC FOUR?
An all-star lineup of artists come together to complete Mike Weiringo's last unfinished Marvel Comics project with Jeff Parker, a What If story starring the temporary Fantastic Four from the 90s -- Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and the Incredible Hulk. Not only is this your last chance to enjoy a Mike Weiringo comic book -- which ought to be enough reason to buy it right there -- but it's also a benefit book for the Hero Initiative, the non-profit organization that helps out older comic book creators in need. What are you waiting for? Buy it already!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arriving Today at Curious Comics

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #14 (SI)
BATMAN GOTHAM AFTER MIDNITE #2 (OF 12)
BEYOND WONDERLAND #0 (OF 6)
BPRD ECTOPLASMIC MAN ONE SHOT
CAPTAIN AMERICA #39
CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #0
DAREDEVIL #108
FANTASTIC FOUR #558
FEAR AGENT #22 1 AGAINST 1 (PT 1 OF 6)
FINAL CRISIS #2 (OF 7)
GREEN LANTERN #32
HIDEYUKI KIKUCHIS VAMPIRE HUNTER D GN VOL 02 (MR)
HULK #4
HUNTRESS YEAR ONE #4 (OF 6)
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #16
INDIANA JONES ADVENTURES TP VOL 01
JACK OF FABLES #23 (MR)
JACK OF FABLES TP VOL 03 THE BAD PRINCE (MR)
JSA CLASSIFIED #39
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #140
MADAME XANADU #1 (MR)
MAN WITH NO NAME #2
MARVEL 1985 #2 (OF 6)
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #10
MIGHTY AVENGERS #15 (SI)
MS MARVEL #28 (SI)
MYTHOS CAPTAIN AMERICA
NEW AVENGERS #42 (SI)
NEW WARRIORS #13
NO HERO #0 (OF 7) (MR)
PREVIEWS VOL XVIII #7
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #4 (OF 7)
RUNAWAYS #30
SECRET INVASION RUNAWAYS YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (OF 3)
SHE-HULK 2 #30
STAR WARS DARK TIMES #12 VECTOR PART 6
SUPERMAN #677
TEEN TITANS #60
THOR AGES OF THUNDER REIGN OF BLOOD
THUNDERBOLTS #121
TRINITY #4
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123
ULTIMATES 3 #4 (OF 5)
UNCANNY X-MEN #499 DWS
WALKING DEAD TP VOL 08 MADE TO SUFFER (MR)
WHAT IF FANTASTIC FOUR TRIBUTE TO MIKE WIERINGO
WIZARD MAGAZINE #202
WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #4
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #26
WORLD OF WARCRAFT SER 2 AF ASST
WORLDS OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS #2
X-MEN LEGACY #213 DWS
YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #6 (OF 6)

Click here for the complete list!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ted Rall's new project...

Cartoonist Ted Rall, author of great books like Afghanistan & Back and Generalissimo Bush, has teamed up with BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast for an unusual new web-based comic project. Here's a quick peek...


Catch up with the rest of the cartoon -- and maybe some underreported politics as well -- at Greg Palast's website!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Free RPG Day!


Why are you reading this? It's Free RPG Day! Come down to your local Curious Comics ASAP and get your free stuff while it lasts! You lucky people.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Free RPG Day - Saturday June 21st!

Just when you thought the biggest RPG events of the year were safely behind you -- now that the release of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition and the latest round of communal gaming at the Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Day have both come and gone -- here comes Free RPG Day to knock you off-balance... with swag!

With free quick-start rulebooks and modules for your favourite RPGs (including a new d20 adventure from the folks at Paizo and a few new goodies for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons players), how can you go wrong?

Drop by any Curious Comics on Saturday June 21st to get your hands on this stuff... and come by Curious Comics Hillside if you feel like playing an adventure or two before you go home. See you there!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Graphic Novel Pick of the Week


Italian fashion designer Paolo Parente's brief miniseries DUST has finally been collected and hits the shelves this week, bringing readers a rapid-fire mix of alternate-history WWII sci-fi adventure and lavishly rendered visuals that will definitely leave you wanting more. This collection has been plumped up with a generous sketchbook section, a cover gallery, and other nice bonus goodies to keep you busy after you're done with the story.

Parente's world has already been licensed for a DUST Boardgame (available now) as well as DUST Tactics, a series of prepainted miniatures that will be playable with the AT-43 Miniatures Game rules and are planned for release later this year. Cool beans!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #563
ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #9
ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES #12 (OF 12)
ANNA MERCURY #2 (OF 5) (MR)
ASTONISHING X-MEN TP VOL 04 UNSTOPPABLE
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #8
BATTLE VIXENS GN VOL 13 (OF 13) (MR)
BIRDS OF PREY #119
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #14
CATWOMAN #80
DEAN KOONTZS FRANKENSTEIN VOL 01 #2 (OF 5)
DMZ #32 (MR)
DOT HACK XXXX GN VOL 01 (OF 2)
FIRST BORN AFTERMATH (ONE SHOT)
FLASH #241
GHOST RIDER #24
GOTHIC AND LOLITA BIBLE VOL 02 (OF 6)
GREEN LANTERN HC VOL 02 THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #2
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #118 SI
IRON MAN DIRECTOR OF SHIELD #30
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #22
PUNISHER #58 (MR)
RASL #2
SAIYUKI RELOAD GN VOL 08 (OF 8) (MR)
SECRET INVASION FANTASTIC FOUR #2 (OF 3) SI
SHOJO BEAT JULY 08
SPIRIT #18
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF OLD REPUBLIC #30
STAR WARS LEGACY #25
SUPERMAN BATMAN #49
TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE #5 (OF 6)
TRANSFORMERS MOVIE PREQUEL SPECIAL
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT CYCLONUS
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT WHEELIE
TRINITY #3
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #55
ULTIMATE X-MEN #95
WAR IS HELL FIRST FLIGHT PHANTOM EAGLE MAX #4
WOLVERINE #66 DWS
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #8
X-FACTOR #32 DWS
Y THE LAST MAN TP VOL 10 WHYS AND WHEREFORES

Click here for the complete list!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Demon Hunters RPG: First Look...

Here comes another new non-d20 RPG for you -- from the unlikely alliance of Margaret Weis (co-creator of the epic Dragonlance fantasy setting) and the Dead Gentlemen crew (the creative goofballs behind the best-selling The Gamers DVD), Demon Hunters promises to be a unique roleplaying experience.

But why wait? Find out what you can expect by checking out the first chapter right here!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Eldritch RPG: First Look...


With the advent of the new Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition rules set, I've been anticipating a wave of new proprietary RPG rules systems from all the gaming companies who made names for themselves publishing 3rd/3.5 Ed d20 tie-in material. I mean, with just a few of them were signing on to Wizards of the Coast's new 4th Ed licensing scheme, I figured the rest were unlikely to just fold up shop and walk away from the gaming industry.

Personally, I think diversity was the biggest casualty under the reign of 3rd Ed, and a return to the good old/bad old days of RPGs in the 1980s and 1990s would be a great thing for gamers as a whole -- I've long missed the days when every gaming company had its own system and setting, each with its own particular weaknesses and strengths. It might be obvious for me to say, but under 3rd Ed, everything was, well... same-y.

Well, not anymore. 4th Ed has arrived, and gaming companies everywhere are rolling out their own RPGs. To start us off, the folks at Goodman Games are bringing us the Eldritch RPG, a brand-new system with its own fantasy setting and core rulebook. Look for it on the shelves at your friendly neighbourhood Curious Comics soon... but until then, check out the free downloadable PDF containing quick-start rules and an introductory adventure.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tenacious Games Calls It Quits

In a surprise announcement on their website last month, Tenacious Games -- the folks behind the innovative Collectible Card Game, The Spoils -- have let us know they will be folding up shop. The short version of the story is that the fledgeling company's second round of financing came in too late and at too small an amount to help them keep the momentum on the game going.

This is a real shame -- Tenacious was a company with a lot of promise, full of smart people with new ideas on how to tackle the increasingly stagnant and predictable CCG market.

Farewell, Tenacious! You will be missed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Reads of the Week!

HULK: RAGING THUNDER
Classic 1960s Marvel character Thundra returns in a surprisingly entertaining one-shot co-starring the Hulk. The story opens in the distant future, as an army of women fight to defend their freshly minted time machine against an attacking mob of men long enough to send Thundra -- their beloved leader -- into the past... and straight into a confrontation with the Hulk. But what she really wants from the Green Goliath is the real twist. Writer Jeff Parker, better known for his all-ages stuff, gives us a fun story that actually leaves me wanting more, while artist Mitch Breitweiser does an outstanding job with the visuals. The second half of the book is a reprint of Fantastic Four #133, featuring a Thundra story from way back when by Gerry Conway and Ramona Fradon. Cool beans!

ETERNALS #1
Charles & Daniel Knauf pick up where Neil Gaiman & John Romita Jr left off, bringing us a new series featuring the classic Jack Kirby characters, The Eternals. The real star here is undeniably Daniel Acuna, whose photoshop-heavy art seems perfectly suited to deliver a new twist on the funky 1960s Kirby character designs. It still baffles me that fans of DC's Flash managed to successfully campaign to have him removed from that book; as far as I'm concerned, Acuna is one of the top talents in the industry today. Good for Marvel for snapping him up so quickly!

CAPTAIN BRITAIN & M.I.13 #2

Paul Cornell continues to carve his own little slice of Marvel Mutant history with some very able help from artist Leonard Kirk in the second installment of the new successor to Excalibur. After killing Captain Britain, the Skrulls continue their assault on England and work to bring all sources of Earth-based magic under their control. One of the things I like best about this series is that as prominently as it features the Skrull invasion, it focuses on an area that Bendis is not covering in his miniseries, his New Avengers or his Mighty Avengers and makes it completely unique to this title -- so much so that you could read CB & M.I.13 on its own and still get a complete and satisfying story. When was the last time you could say that about a Marvel crossover book?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

ABSOLUTE SANDMAN HC VOL 03
ACTION COMICS #866
AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL #21
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #562
ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #8
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #18
BOOSTER GOLD #10
BPRD WAR ON FROGS #1
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI 13 #2 SI
CHUCK #1 (OF 6)
ETERNALS #1
FEAR AGENT #21 HATCHET JOB (PT 5 OF 5)
GENEXT #2 (OF 5)
GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #9 (OF 9)
GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #9
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #25
HULK RAGING THUNDER
HUNTRESS YEAR ONE #3 (OF 6)
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 2ND PTG
IRON MAN LEGACY OF DOOM #3 (OF 4)
MOON KNIGHT #19
NEGIMA GN VOL 18 (MR)
NEW EXILES #7
NEWUNIVERSAL SHOCKFRONT #2 (OF 6)
PENNY ARCADE TP VOL 05 THE CASE OF THE MUMMYS GOLD
PUNISHER MAX LITTLE BLACK BOOK (MR)
SALVATION RUN #7 (OF 7)
SECRET INVASION #2 2ND PTG YU VAR
SECRET INVASION WHO DO YOU TRUST
SHAKUGAN NO SHANA TP VOL 03
SIMON DARK #9
SKAAR SON OF HULK #1
STAR WARS REBELLION #14 SMALL VICTORIES PART 4
TITANS #3
TOYFARE #132
TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED TRANSFORM & ROLL OUT MOVIE
TRINITY #2
TWELVE #6 (OF 12)
WONDER WOMAN #21
X-FORCE AINT NO DOG

Click here for the complete list!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Reads of the Week!

DRAGON'S LAIR HARDCOVER COLLECTION
I fed far too many quarters into the guts of the Dragon's Lair arcade game when I was a little kid, desperate to find out how the damned story ended... little did I know, I only had to wait 20-odd years so I could buy this collection and get the story the easy way. Great visuals by Fabio Languna keep your eyes glued to the page, while the bonus interviews with Don Bluth and Gary Goldman and concept-art sections give you something to chew on once you're done with the main event.

STAR TREK: ASSIGNMENT EARTH #2
John Byrne continues the untold story of alien operative Gary Seven, his mysteriously powerful cat Isis and his assistant Roberta Lincoln as they safeguard Earth of the 1960s from all manner of otherworldy threats. In this issue, Byrne takes Seven and his crew behind the scenes of another episode from the classic Star Trek series, with our heroes sneaking around the background of the original story a la the much-loved Deep Space Nine "Trials and Tribble-ations" flashback episode). Byrne is in very good form here -- with a big, self-contained story to cram into his allotted pages, and his art and layouts still hitting all the right notes. Solid stuff for retro Trek fans!

TOR #2
Joe Kubert continues to wow us with the second installment of his new TOR miniseries. Here, after saving a strange kid from a tribal sacrifice at the hands of a bizarre four-armed monster, Tor heads off into the jungle with his new sidekick in tow -- but this is unfamililar territory for him, full of all kinds of strange beasts he has never seen before, and it is only a matter of time before he is in over his head. Great fantasy adventure from a master of the medium. Highly recommended!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

20th Anniversary Sale -- On Now!

Curious Comics is 20 years old as of this June -- and we hope you'll help us celebrate this milestone event by saving 20% on 20 of our best-selling games and 20 of our best-selling graphic novels!

This great deal won't last forever -- don't wait until our 40th anniversary! Swing by your friendly neighbourhood Curious Comics and check it out today!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Thief! Baggins! Er... New Line! We Hates It!

After a curious period of silence from the news media, The Times Online gives us an update on the court battle by Christopher Tolkien to stop Peter Jackson and New Line Pictures from making a Hobbit film and a further sequel. In case you haven't heard about it, here's the skinny...

In a contract very similar to Jackson's own agreement with New Line, Tolkien had agreed to allow the Lord of the Rings films to be made for a percentage of the total profits; but, even though the blockbuster trilogy has raked in more than $7 billion worldwide over the last decade, the Tolkien family have not seen one single penny of the profits. The case -- which I understand includes back-payments and a stop-production order on any further New Line films based on Tolkien's works -- comes up before the courts next week.

I for one hope that Christopher Tolkien wins his suit on all counts and that the court ensures the thieves running New Line are denied the opportunity to steal even more money from Tolkien's family... but what surprises and disappoints me the most is Peter Jackson's behaviour in all this.

It was just last year that Jackson finally settled his own lawsuit against New Line for breach of contract and non-payment of royalties... and, while the case went unresolved, I thought Jackson so justified in getting all the money he signed for that I even declined to purchase the Lord of the Rings films on DVD while the issue remained in dispute (not that New Line was really hurting for the lack of my $50, but there you are). And now that the issue is settled, Jackson's bank accounts are flush with fresh millions and he has been engaged to produce two more Middle Earth movies for New Line -- to my knowledge he has spectacularly failed to support Christopher Tolkien's complaint -- nearly identical in nature to Jackson's own -- in any way, shape or form.

Even as he pushes ahead on pre-production of more Middle Earth movies, Jackson's only comment on New Line's breach of Tolkien's contract (that I could find, anyway) seemed to indicate that, as far as Jackson was concerned, Tolkien had stayed out of the production of the first three films and was expected to continue to stay out of the production of future films -- hardly the expression of support one might expect from someone who had just fought a similar battle with the very same corporate troll.

Very disappointing behaviour, Mr Jackson. With any luck the courts will show you and what's left of New Line Pictures the door, and you can go back to dreaming about making King Kong 2.

Good luck to you, Mr Tolkien -- fingers crossed!

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