Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Princess Ugg

Princess Ugg 
Written and Illustraded by Ted Naifeh
Colored and Lettered by Warren Wucinich
Published by Oni Press

Ulga, her parent's "bonny wee berzerker", is nervous.  Not because she's about to go into battle with frost giants, she's already killed six herself, but because she's about to leave her homeland in the north and go off to school.  Not just any school, but Princess School just like her own mother when she was a child.  And she's not happy about it.  Not at all.

Princess Ugg is a tale of "high adventure and higher education" starring Ulga, who is not your typical storybook princess by any means.  She's a princess but she's also a fierce warrior, and already quite accomplished in her homeland.  Picture a small, tweenage, vaguely Gaelic Conan who just happens to have a pet wooly mammoth named Snorri.  Now send that little girl off to a school very much like Hogwart's, but for princesses.  Are you onboard yet?

Early on in the first issue we're introduced to Ulga's father Odin, but it's intentionally left unclear as to his godhood.  In this story so far he's only a caring father who doesn't want his daughter to leave him and go down among the lowlanders.  It's a touching enough scene and I appreciate that his character isn't rudimentary, and like every other depiction of Odin in comics.  I've seen enough of that guy.

We're also introduced to Julifer, Princess of Atraesca, early on, as she is being awoke by a servant, surrounded by a luxurious bedroom, complete with servants to wait on her every need.  If that isn't enough on it's own to make you dislike her there's even a servant there to hold her tissue when she blows her nose.  This little gag works, and you're immediately rolling your eyes at her and her dim-witted dialogue.  Juxtapose this with a scene in which Ulga is woken up by her wooly mammoth dumping ice water on her, then diving into a frozen lake to bathe and it's instantly clear that these two characters are from the opposite ends of the princess spectrum.

Ulga, on her way to the Princess School, is whipped by one of Julifer's servants for not getting out of the way quick enough and is incensed enough to dish out a little education of her own on the guards.  It's a good scene and at the end of it, Julifer finds herself exactly where she needs to be.  There's a real sense of just desserts in that scene that I enjoyed a lot more than I would have expected.  It just works for me in a very saturday morning cartoon kinda way.  Julifer would make a pitch-perfect evil stepsister.

At the end of the first issue Julifer and Ulga are assigned as each other's roomates at the school and while I saw that plot point from a mile off, it wasn't something that I didn't want to see play out.  I think there's a lot of mileage there for future stories and I'd honestly like to read them.  I've read up to issue #2 now and the quality carries over.  If you liked number one, then keep on reading as I think it's going to continue to meet your expectations.

My only complaint would be that the school itself needs to be fleshed out a little more for my liking, along with the teachers.  The other princesses could also stand to be given more time in the spotlight, but this might just me being impatient.  "Daughters of kings turn up here to learn all sorts of things" is an interesting motto and I'd like to see the stories in Princess Ugg go off the rails a little and deal with some of those.

This book was a lot of fun to read. and while there's a lot to compare it to, I feel like it  totally stands up as something unique in the comics medium.  I feel like I'm constantly hearing how there are not enough comics for kids in the market, but this title is not only great for kids (so far) it is absolutely fantastic for girls who might not be into Disney princesses or reading about female characters who just wait around to be rescued.  I think Ulga is a fantastic introduction to a different way of thinking about princesses, and something that I will definitely get into the hands of my own daughters... After I read them of course.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Heroic Dose update!

A couple things have happened, and directly relate to the frequency I've been able to update Heroic Dose.  I thought I'd share, so here goes.

My youngest daughter Lily, who is 13 months old, has been diagnosed with CVI, or Cortical Vision Impairment and it's taken a front seat to the everyday happenings here at Rancho Relaxo.  It's at the top of my brain on a daily basis.

But we're at a good place now, and I should be writing some more very soon.  Nothing like the "once a week" or every other week I was shooting for, but hey... life.

There's also another very good reason why I might not be posting as often as I'd like here:  I'm writing for Panel Patter!  I'm very excited to be contributing to their site, as it seems like it's populated by some great comic-lovers who all just want to sing comic praises and spread the gospel.  The comic gospel, I wouldn't know anything about the other gospel.  So I'm psyched!  I should be writing for them 2 or 3 times a month and I'd like to do the same here.

There might be a little cross pollination going on as well because I want these rambling reviews to get out to the most people as possible.  But if you want to read some great reviews from a great group of people who love comics just as much as me... Panel Patter is where it's at people.

So there's my update!
Come follow along at Panel Patter for some really great reviews, and spread the word, it's really worth your time.  And there's cookies!

Gratuitous photo of summer shenanigans!
No babies were harmed in this photo.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three Fingers - Written and Illustrated by Rich Koslowski

Comic fanboys across the intertubes are straight trippin'.

Comixology's decision to do away with in-app purchases on iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone, iPad mini, and the iToilet (after their recent acquisition by Amazon) has the digital fanboys in a tizzy.  I personally think it's a shame because those are the devices I use even though I have a Kindle Fire HD available to me.  I just don't use that Kindle Fire HD because it's clunky as hell, and the iPad puts it to shame, straight up.  There's really no competition in my mind between the two devices or any other tablet I've experienced.  Apple products just work like I want them to, without hassles or crashes.

I prefer iOS,  I prefer Apple products in general, and I will never, ever buy another PC.  Guess that makes me a Mac fanboy.  Whatever.  I'm fine with that.  Debate it amongst yourselves without me, I've got comics to read.

Back on topic!

ADD is a real thing, people, sorry.

So while everyone else is busy complaining, and posting their angry see-ya-later's to Comixology's Facebook page, I took the 5 bucks they credited to every customer's account ("to help ease the transition") and bought something nice for myself... for free.  I highly recommend it.

I had heard the guys on the 11 o'clock Comics podcast talk about Three Fingers by Rich Koslowski a week or so ago and it sounded very interesting.  I'd never seen any of Koslowski's art or read any of his work, so I made a note to check it out.  And I'm glad I took the chance and did.

Personally, some "underground" or "indy" comics can be pretty hard for me to get into.  I'm not an exclusive capes & cowls comic reader by any means, but some autobiographical comics make me want to implode into a depression ball just like the ones their authors seem to live in.  I say this fully aware that I'm a Harvey Pekar fan.  I'm complicated.  I have layers.  I'm a big ole onion.

So anyway, I decided to spend that free money Comixology ponied up on Koslowski's Three Fingers, using up every penny except one, for what turned out to be 134 pages of genuine comic book genius.  For $4.99 this is a no-brainer.  This needs to be read, and at that price you're just silly for not having it on your digital bookshelf.

The premise is simple, it's written and drawn in a documentary style that is very familiar if you're a fan of that particular film genre.  Think pastiche, not parody.  Most of the story, which basically skirts around a mystery of sorts, is told as characters answer unheard questions from an "off screen" interviewer.  This mystery is the origin of why most popular cartoon characters only have three fingers and a thumb.  And it's completely, totally fascinating to watch the story unfold in this book.  It really is engrossing, and should cause you to ease through it in one enjoyable sitting just like I did.  Me, Saturday morning, a great graphic novel like Three Fingers, and a big cup of good coffee.  Nothing better.

Koslowski's art style for this particular book is pitch perfect, riding the line between cartoony and a more realistic style.  It's cartoons imagined as real people, without makeup, showing all their age after a long career in Hollywood, and all their insecurities and foibles.  And again, these characters are the ones spinning the tale for our entertainment through first-hand recollections.

After reading this book, there is absolutely nothing you can do to keep me away from rushing right out and experiencing more from Rich Koslowski.  You should follow suit.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gyakushu by Dan Hipp

Now for something a little more obscure...

Odds are Gyakushu, pronouced "Gahhh-Phhbbbblll'tttishu'paphfooie", is probably something that you've never seen or heard of before.  And that's a shame because it's definitely something that your eyes need bathing in.

You need to drink in the awesome goodness that is Dan Hipp's GYAKUSHU!

At it's core, Gyakushu is a take on a classic kung-fu fantasy style mashup revenge tale.  It would sit nicely beside some of my personal favorite revenge flicks such as Kill Bill Vols 1&2, Oldboy, Memento, and The Outlaw Josey Wales, but what sets Gyakushu apart, aside from the horrible name which I've already made fun of (and can't seem to stop), is the shear confidence and master-class artwork dropped onto the page like a slap in the face from Dan Hipp.

I just can't stop looking at it.  Staring at it.  Living inside those panels.  They're so full of drama and emotional resonance and balls-to-the-wall action that they're impossible to just breeze by them.  You want to spend time with them, to make yourself slow down and appreciate just what you're seeing, and not rush to the end like the average comic.  The art is just kinda perfect.  Usually I could nit-pick something about an artist's work like any other jerk, and say there is something they do that I'd prefer that they give up immediately (like Skottie Young drawing super babies), but there is absolutely nothing that Hipp does that doesn't strike me as brilliant.

Hipp's style is definitely manga influenced but I would say it is equally influenced by cartoon/anime/cell animations.  It just seems an inch away from popping off the page and coming to life as animation.

And Hipp isn't your typical comic book artist either, his style is so dissimilar to just about everyone else out there working that I can't think of a mainstream comic he'd likely fit on without mass fanboy suicide, but I'm sure he would crush whatever character or characters anyone gave to him. I'd pay my $3.99 to see this guy draw Sonic Adventures if that's what he wanted. That being said, I would definitely prefer Hipp do something that was creator-owned and original, something like Gyakushu, something straight out of his noggin with no filter.
I first came upon Hipp and Mark Andrew Smith’s Amazing Joy Buzzards graphic novel one day at my LCS, killing time in-between classes, and very quickly decided I had to have it.  To this day I don’t remember much about the story in Joy Buzzards, aside from a Yeti joke, but I DO remember the art.  So when I joined up and started an account with Comixology one of the first things I did was search for some of my favorite artists and writers - for books I might not be familiar with.  Turns out this was immensely easier than diving into comic book back issue boxes or even a google search PLUS I found Gyakushu by Dan Hipp!

The action delivered in this book is wicked, intense, and will leave you breathless.  It will drag you in, and not let you go until you wanna dress your head in bandages like the main protagonist and carry a sword down to the Quick-E-Mart on the corner just looking for trouble. The main character, and all the characters for that matter, look amazing - with an extra heaping of badassery poured into the bandaged protagonist. He's equal parts thief, samurai, ninja, and The Man With No Name. He is the ultimate anti-hero, a thief who was disfigured and left for dead, his family murdered, and who only craves revenge.
The dialogue however, is greatly lacking. Not the actual story mind you, the story is fine but sometimes when characters speak they just come off as very two-dimensional tropes. I actually prefer it when the characters don't speak. I only say this because it's kind of jarring at first, but either Hipp gets better at it as the three volumes come to a close, or by that time you're just desensitized to it. Either way, it feels like he gets better as it goes on, and that's all that counts in my opinion. The real draw here, is the art.
The villains again are very cookie-cutter, faceless ninja types but they're completely forgivable as encounters with these guys lead to kick-ass action sequences. I suppose there's an analogy to be made between Gyakushu and popcorn action movies, although not the horrible shakey-cam visual abortions that are becoming vogue. I mean good popcorn flicks like The Rock or Pitch Black. Something you can just sit back and experience. And there is nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with this book either.
As far as I'm concerned, this book is a classic.
Give it a try! As of this time it's only $5.99 for the first volume on Comixology and it seems like the only place you can actually get the 3rd volume, which never saw print and was released as a digital exclusive. If digital isn't your thing then the first two volumes are very easy to find via Amazon or eBay and the prices for them are very similar to the digital versions. Personally, I read it digitally on an iPad and it was an excellent experience. Guided view, along with storage issues for physical issues, is why I read 99% of everything digitally. I'll jump on a european work, as I know that's not usually happening for me digitally, but just about everything else I tend to read on an iPad, a Kindle Fire HD, or even my iPhone if I'm bored enough. And I never have to bag or board another comic. It's a win/win, and so is Gyakushu.

So check it out, and let me know what you think! Am I way off? Is it better than I said? I want to know! Also, if you enjoy my ramblings then please spread the word about this little bloggy blog so we can get some new readers and even some new writers! If you're interested in writing for the blog then please get in touch and we'll see what's what!
'Til next time!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man OGN Family Business by Mark Waid, James Robinson,Gabriele Dell Otto, and Werther Dell Edera

Confession time:  Spider-Man is my all-time favorite superhero.  Not just my favorite Marvel Comics superhero, but my all-time, all-inclusive superhero.  And he has been since I bought my first Spider-Man comic: The Amazing Spider-Man 261.

Another confession: I didn't really buy it.  Not with my own money.
But I DID beg for it sufficiently enough to warrant my father giving in and then shelling out a hard-earned 60 cents.  Was that really a lot of money back then?
Back then, with 60 cents, you could probably buy a better kid than me.  Maybe two of them.  Odds are at least one if them wouldn't whine about mowing the yard.

But I digress.

Spider-Man: Family Business is not only very easy on the eyes, but it is an incredible read.

There was a time, not too long ago it seems to me, that I wouldn't have identified myself as a Mark Waid fan.  He had written some things I'd liked, but just liked, not loved.  I liked his run on Flash.  I thought his Captain America was pretty good.  Kingdom Come was amazing.  Fluke?  Out of all those Crossgen titles I tried, Waid's Ruse was my favorite, but still not enough to really make me think of myself as a fan. L.E.G.I.O.N., Ka-Zar, Impulse... nothing seemed to stick out and say look at me. They were just "ok" comics in my opinion.  And there was nothing wrong with that, it just wasn't enough for me to include him in my favorite writers list.  Don't act like I'm the only one who has a list like that living in your head.

Then I read his Fantastic Four with Mike Weringo on art and remember being really impressed.  At the time the FF was a place where creators, stories and art went to be unnoticed.  It was the anti-flagship Marvel title despite being it's first.  Still, I couldn't, or wouldn't, give this dude his props.  I chalked up my affinity for his FF run to the amazing talents of Weringo.  (I've reread that series recently and boy was I wrong... it was truly FANTASTIC.)

Then I read Waid's Empire series.  The one where the villain analog of Dr. Doom won, and took over the world?  I think I might have been one of the few reading it, but this is where Waid started to become one of my favorite writers.  That book was amazing, and definitely needs to be read by you if you haven't had the opportunity.  Then came Irredeemable, and Daredevil, and Incorruptible, and Indestructible Hulk, and The Incredibles, Rocketeer, The Unknown, his work on Amazing Spider-Man, Superman: Birthright, and the immense undertaking of 52.  After so many incredible stories Mark Waid is sitting pretty high on my list of great writers, and deservedly so.

So this book was an immediate purchase for me just for Waid's name on the cover.  I've only ever really enjoyed James Robinson writing his series The Golden Age and Starman.  Everything else I've read of his has fallen short for me, making me wish for more Starman, or for a creator-owned project from him.  I think I might just be mad at Robinson for not giving me more Starman.  It seems personal to me.

The art in this book is stunning.  Dell'Otto is a beast!  The guy's artwork just exudes such a fantastic cinematic flair that makes it easy to trick your mind into believing you're watching a great film.  It's deep.  It has this great depth to it, that allows you to feel like it lets you in... like you're watching from inside the panels, and not holding a book or a tablet.

This is what I love about comics!  The writer comes up with the dialogue and pacing, the artist shows you the panels, the perspective, the beats of the story, but a big portion of the work in telling that story is still your responsibility!  All the action transpiring between the panels, the actions that tie the story together, that only takes place in your head.  Along with giving a voice to those characters, makes the act of reading a comic a bit of a creepy, intimate experience, and one that has always made comics my absolute favorite medium.

The actual story within Family Business revolves around Peter Parker's family: his S.H.I.E.L.D. super-spy parents, and another estranged member of the Parker clan.  I won't spoil it, but it seems like a "oh no they shouldn't do this" kind of moment and storyline, and not something I usually enjoy, but it just works here in this story.  It works because Waid makes you feel empathy for the new character, for Peter, and for their situation.  It works on every level.  By the end of the book I wanted more, and that's the best compliment for a story I can think of.

Also, to be clear, this is a Peter Parker story.  The actual Peter Parker, not ole Doc Oc, and it feels great to read a story featuring Peter again after the lengthy break we've had.  I'm really enjoying this Superior Spider-Man arc and I don't really feel like it needs to end this soon, but... it was nice to see Peter again.

I give the Spider-Man: Family Business OGN my highest recommendation.  It's made for Spider-Man fans, Marvel Zombies, fans of comics in general, and fans, like myself, of Mark Waid.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin

I'm still surprised just how few people, i.e. comic readers and fans of the medium, are aware of Private Eye given the immense fanbase of Vaughan for comic series such as Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man, Runaways, and currently with his Fiona Staple's epic space opera: Saga (which is phenomenal btw). Vaughan is also a working writer in Hollywood having written for Lost, and currently writing for Stephen King's Under The Dome.

See what I mean?  You should be reading this guy's stuff!

Tangent:  I read mostly digital comics these days because I've asked my wife and friends to schlep countless longboxes of comics in and out our houses as we've moved over the years.  They're also a pain in the ass to store.  They take up So. Much. Room.  It's like having another child.  I also read comics digitally now because of another key element: access.  I don't have to pull down 1400 comics in 4 boxes just to get to the box I need, only then finding myself having to pry comics out that are pressed so tightly you can barely fit your fingers between them.  The whole ordeal of bagging and boarding comics, alphabetizing them as well as filing them chronologically by publishing date... I don't miss it at all.  At. All.

Now, I bring up digital comics for a good reason, that being that The Private Eye is only published online and, according to the creators, it will always only be available online.  On top of this absolutely abnormal publishing scheme the price of The Private Eye is determined by the one person who never usually gets to decide how much they'll pay for a comic:  The reader.  When you go to their website Panel Syndicate you can pay market price of an average comic these days ($3.99 US), you can pay $1, or you can pay nothing.  It's totally up to you.  The creators are saying that this delivery method is working out just fine for them, as people are generally good natured and know that if they like it, and want more, then they're going to have to cough up some greenbacks.

Back on track, aside from the interesting delivery method and pricing, the book is a work of art.  A lot of times a book gets off to a shaky start and might have to find it's legs.  It's normal.  You can't usually have real drama without getting to know the characters a little, and that takes time.

The Private Eye is not your "normal" book by any means.  It comes out of the gate fully formed and racing away from the starting line, complete with characters that have real genuine emotions, backstories, and not to mention the fact the whole world of Private Eye is a futuristic, alternate reality where the internet told everyone's secrets and where EVERYONE now has a secret identity.  And personal information is the most closely guarded secret.

The protagonist is easily one of the most interesting new characters I've read about in 5 years.  The story takes place in the near future, but the protagonist is deeply infatuated with the 20th century.  Posters of The Maltese Falcon and vinyl by The Flaming Lips and other remnants of our time adorn his office and I'm sure a lot of his thoughts.  And he's your guy if you want pictures of someone without their disguise, or someone's real name and address.  Oh yeah, and private detectives are illegal.  That just adds to the fun.

I'd be remiss without talking about the fantastic art by Marcos Martin.  Not only is his cartooning some of my all-time favorite, but his art exceeds the norm.  His creativity is unchecked and it shows in every line of his art and every panel and layout of this book.  This guy should be a flippin' comic rock god.   A household name!   There's not a lot of people working in the industry today that are immediately recognizable and as unique as Martin.

Speaking of that, you can buy prints of his work from Private Eye on the Panel Syndicate site and they look amazing.  I haven't yet, but I've got to get at least one for my wall.

The first arc is the first 5 issues and I won't say too much about it plot-wise, as it is a mystery, but it reminds you immediately of The Big Sleep and Little Sister and maybe a dozen other hard boiled detective stories, all the while being very much it's own thing... and crushing it.

The series is supposed to run 10 issues and I think it would be a real shame if we only got that many. There are so many places I want to see this book go, so many stories they could tell, so many issues just waiting to be hatched.  But if we just get 10... they're going to be some of the very best issues you can find.

I'd also be just fine if they decided to put together a nice hardcover I could put on my shelf eventually. I read digital, but I'm not a soulless robot!

This series is something you can spend a lot of time with, making it worth far more than the $0.00 you could pay for it and a series that deserves your attention.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Battling Boy by Paul Pope


Paul Pope has delivered unto us, the huddled,starving comic-loving masses, yet another epic, astounding effort into our favorite medium and I couldn’t be happier.  

Me = Pig + Poop.  

Now, full disclosure, I’ve liked most everything Pope has done so far; 100%, Heavy Liquid, THB, Batman Year 100, and One Trick Rip Off/Deep Cuts... but this might be my favorite.  It has something a lot of those other works don't seem to have, or maybe it just has more of it than I've seen before. Regardless, this book is a must read.

For starters there is Pope's art. I love every line he lays down in this book. This guy is my art hero.  His level of cartooning and use of the medium in this book alone mark him as one of the greats in my opinion. The book is just beautiful.

The only thing wrong is the guy just doesn’t seem to put out enough work to make me happy, much like Frank Quitely, another great.  This might be because he’s slow (or slower than the average comic artist), or maybe he’s just choosy with what projects he finds the time for.  I don’t know, and I don’t care.  I just need more.  Like right now.  I needed more right after I turned the last page on this undersized little book full of immense talent.

If I have a complaint, that’s it: the format.  Why would anyone want to squeeze this beast of an artist into the tiniest cage possible?  It doesn’t do the work any justice, and I really do believe, as much as I enjoyed Battling Boy, I would’ve loved it even more if it had been regular sized or even larger like it deserves.  I know there are publishers out there (Oni, old Tokyopop, etc.) that believe comics should be "hipper" and come in smaller sizes, like someone is going to stuff them in a pocket or something, but that is just ridiculous.  Nobody has pockets even that big. Digest-sized comics might be okay for some people, but I prefer to be able to see and appreciate the art that someone like Paul Pope obviously labors over, and not be forced to look at some tiny thumbnails with text so small it’s almost illegible.  This format is an F- stain on an otherwise A+ grade book.

Now apparently Pope announced this project quite a while ago and there are some readers and proposed comic connoisseurs who think this matters.  It doesn’t.  Especially when you look at this guys art.  His line work looks so effortless, so free… I’d love to see him actually physically draw something.  It must be a thing of beauty.  I don’t know if he attends conventions, and given the air of rock n’ roll artist that I’ve heard he puts off or is put upon him, he probably doesn’t, but I’d like to shake the guys hand at one someday and just say thanks for all the hard work.  Man, he really does set fire to a page!

So now that I've gushed over the art lets talk about the writing.  

Not every artist we like can write a decent story... but Pope can and does in this very book. And it seems like he is pulling from all the things he (and the collective we) love. In this one book he gives us elements and homages to Akira and Moebius and the Batman TV show and Astro Boy and 80’s cartoon super powered t-shirts and a Kirby-like take on Pulp Heroes and Norse Mythology and all in what seems to be a semi-dystopian ragtag maybe-future... but is still recognizable and relatable.

Our her Battling Boy is being sent "rambling" to Earth on his "turning day", or a planet close enough to this one, by his father, a celestial godlike hero who might be who the Thor mythology is based around. This Thor is basically forcing Battling Boys origin story upon him as a rite of passage, one which Bb is kinda apathetic about at first but eventually warms up to. So this book is Battling Boys origin story in effect.  This is his call to adventure and although it’s force-fed to this unwilling would-be hero, it's a fascinating one. It's his job to clean up the monsters of Arcopolis.

This book is action packed, but not with the in vogue widescreen violence popularized in the last decade, this is more akin to rock 'em sock 'em silver age fisticuffs with a twist. Battling Boy is a straight-forward, take no crap, super powered t-shirt having kid who’s actually written and drawn as a kid, not an adult with a kids body, or a kid acting like no other kid would ever act ever… but a kid. 

In the end it's just a great romp and I would have no problem giving this to my 10 year old daughter to read. She's going to love it, and I think you will too if you pick it up and give it a chance.

MIssion Statement / Nerd Alert

I had a couple of reasons to start this blog really, maybe three.  Here goes.

Lets call this my New Year's resolution for 2014:  One post a week or so on a comic that I think needs me to sing it's praises to whoever might accidentally land here and feel like listening because it might not be catching enough eyes on the shelf...

So here's my secret origin, so you'll know who is trying to get you to spend your hard earned bit coins.

My name's Douglas and I very recently moved to an small, rural eastern Kentucky town.  And that is the nicest way of saying I'm easily more than an hour away from... just about anything and anyone I have any kind of relationship with aside from my wife and my 3 little girls.

Long origin story short:  My wife was offered a position at a local College, hidden away in a virtual Mayberry, as a Professor and a Librarian.  It was a College we have both always held in very high esteem for it's commitment to providing social mobility to those who would be unable to afford it so it was just an impossible opportunity to pass up.  It's a pretty awesome place to be a part of and I'm really proud of her.  It's also hands-down where we want our three little girls to go to college.

As an added bonus, I was also able to transfer and pursue my Criminology degree at a much more prestigious University with a great Criminal Justice program.  It was a no-brainer.

So as a side-effect of that move, I've ended up leaving my local comic shop, and all my nerdy comic book and movie film freak friends behind.  And it's rough.  ROUGH.  I'm the kid with nowhere and nobody to sit with in the lunchroom of life here now.

These girls I live with just don't seem to care about my views on Prometheus or how badass Brandon Graham is at writing / drawing Prophet.  They don't "get it" when I describe how Ready Player One was sent from the future to kill my bookshelf boredom.  They just don't care.

I've been reading comics regularly since I was 4 or 5 years old.  I don't think it's a habit I'm capable of breaking or one that I'd want to break... ever.  But part of the fun is sharing and discussing all the awesome tidbits, the ephemera, the minutia of it all.  And I've officially lost my comic book support group.

That's where this blog comes in... A HEROIC DOSE of all the things I think are badass and deserving of attention.  And an excuse to talk about it.

Hope to see you around, and make sure to subscribe!