Category: Comics

Give Comics Hope Is Still Going Strong

Give Comics Hope Is Still Going Strong

As we head further into the weirdest Thanksgiving week in memory a lot of people are trying for some way to fill their time while frantically scrolling through an unending deluge of Black Friday ads, we are here to point out some great options from Give Comics Hope.

GIVE COMICS HOPE is an charitable initiative that is rallying together our comics community to help local comic book shops. Our own Ed Catto has been involved from the beginning and wrote about it here. There are plenty of eBay auctions going on for some excellent classic comics. The proceeds will go to support local comic shops in coordination with the Book Industry Charitable Donation (BINC).

The auctions are running through eBay from November 11th through December 11th. You can check out the auction pieces here. There are plenty of great books for the comic collector in your life, or maybe you just find the book for yourself that you’ve been looking for for a while. The best part is satisfying that comic book fix while helping out struggling small business owners.

Here are a few current auctions that we wanted to highlight. Give them a click and bid away.

Adventure Comics #346

The Double Life of Private Strong #1

Challengers of the Unknown #1

Justice League of America #3

Brainiac On Banjo #100: Wonder Woman Saves Lives! Really!

Brainiac On Banjo #100: Wonder Woman Saves Lives! Really!

Make a hawk a dove, Stop a war with love, Make a liar tell the truth. Wonder Woman, Get us out from under, Wonder Woman. All our hopes are pinned upon you. And the magic that you do.– Theme from the Wonder Woman television show, written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox

Yesterday (Wednesday, to the calendar-challenged), the folks on the Left Coast at WarnerMedia — those who still have jobs — announced that on Christmas Day they will be releasing Wonder Woman 1984 to those American theaters that may be open. This wasn’t a shock — it’s been in the can for about half of this year, and they’re probably tired of paying out all that interest. I don’t blame them one bit.

Surprisingly, they also announced they’ll be running the movie on their HBO Max streaming operation starting that very same day. They didn’t mention how long it will be available to pluck from the Cloud, but the media wonks feel that will be a month. Well, that’s damn cool. Happy New Year!

Shockingly, WarnerMedia also announced they will not be charging $30.00 for the privilege of watching the sequel to a movie that made almost nine-tenths of a billion dollars by putting people’s butts in theater seats. That’s how much Disney charged when they diverted their live-action Mulan to their Disney+ streamer, and they seem to have done pretty well with that.

So… get this! HBO Max will be charging absolutely nothing extra. They’re hoping they sell a lot of new subscriptions and renewals. I’ll bet right before Wonder Woman 1984 we’ll see a new trailer or three for their mostly-new five-hour “Snyder Cut” of the Justice League silver screen train wreck. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trailer for their new Wonder Girl teevee series as well.

Like many others (including Pop Culture Squad’s HBIC), I would prefer to see Wonder Woman 1984 on a big screen. I loved the first one — it inspired a lot of little girls in the audience, and it gave me hope. Well, in that case it was hope that Warner Bros can make another superhero movie that’s at least half as good as those made by Marvel. But, hey, times suck and we’ve got to adjust. Personally, I’d also like to drive from Connecticut to Kansas for some barbecue, and right now that ain’t gonna happen either.

A lot of people will be driving during Christmas and New Years, assuming those mathematics-denying flat-earthers don’t kill themselves or others at their huge, indoor family-infested Thanksgiving dinners, believing there is some unstated provision in the Constitution that allows them to murder their friends and relatives while keeping the Covid-19 virus fat and healthy.

But, now, there’s an out for some of the more intelligent and reasonable folks in those families. They just might buy some holiday candy and stay home to watch Wonder Woman 1984. After all, not everybody is willing to risk their lives for the honor of watching a bunch of football games with people they really don’t like and dare not speak with. This will not only prevent or delay some spread of Covid, it will also reduce the number of family manslaughter arrests and, if we’re lucky, some DUI issues as well.

WarnerMedia might be taking a bath on the movie, but it’s quite likely their decision will lives.

Besides… those people who were planning on seeing Wonder Woman 1984 by gawking at their computer screens at a shaky camera-copy bootleg? Hey, Warners, you just did them a solid!

Seriously. AT&T, owners of WarnerMedia which, in turn, owns Warner Bros which, in turn, owns DC Comics deserves serious appreciation. They might be thinking they’re doing the only thing they can given the situation, but they should be aware they’re also doing the right thing.

Saving lives… in the spirit of Wonder Woman.

With Further Ado #121: The Beauty and the King

With Further Ado #121: The Beauty and the King

Well, it’s taken long enough, even if it’s not quite right.

I finally saw the recent movie Seberg staring the miscast Kristen Stewart.  Jean Seberg’s life was tragic.  There is no denying that fact. In true Icarian fashion, she flew too close the sun, but it wasn’t her pride that did her in. It’s clear she was the victim of the harsh realities of the old Hollywood system (suffering abuse from director Otto Preminger) and the cruelties of a misguided FBI driven by the obsessive J. Edgar Hoover.

I know a little of her story.  I’m no expert and everything I learned about actress Jean Seberg came from two sources:

  • Way back when, I listened to a professor’s lecture before Breathless in a Cornell film studies course. I couldn’t officially fit that course into my college schedule, but my buddy Paul Haskell snuck me in. (Thanks again, Paul.)
  • Karina Longworth’s excellent You Must Remember This podcast. Longworth took a deep dive last year with a multi-part series examining the intertwined careers of Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg. As always, her meticulously researched podcast was, as it usually is, very educational and addictively entertaining.

Continue reading “With Further Ado #121: The Beauty and the King”

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

One of the interesting things about the extensive list of DC Comics characters is that there are plenty of characters that can be used to advance or deepen the story of lead characters. Since the dawn of stories, storytellers have been using the damage of “lesser” characters to add complexity to the protagonist by having them deal with the tragedy of those they care about.

In the case of Roy Harper, it has become an almost competitive sport to see who could do the most damage to the red-headed step child (literally) originally known as Speedy. The character was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp as the ward and sidekick of Green Arrow and originally debuted in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.

The Sordid Comic History of Roy Harper

The character’s torment began in earnest with one of the most famous and important socially aware stories of the seventies. In Green Lantern #85, the issue title “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, it was revealed that the teen sidekick of Green Arrow had become addicted to heroin. This fact has been retconned to alcohol addiction and back to drugs, but it remained in his history that Roy was an addict. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/18/20: Sea of Sorrows #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/18/20: Sea of Sorrows #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for this book.

This week we have a new series from Rich Douek and Alex Cormack called Sea of Sorrows from IDW Publishing.

You can find this book at your LCS on November 18, 2020.

Sea of Sorrows #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Rich Douek
Art by Alex Cormack
Colors by Cormack
Letters by Justin Birch
Cover Art by Cormack

Original Solicitation:

Deep sea adventure with a horrific twist! From the creative team behind last year’s hit horror series, ROAD OF BONES, comes an all-new tale of bone-chilling terror!

In the aftermath of the Great War, the North Atlantic is ripe for plunder by independent salvage crews. When a former naval officer hires the SS Vagabond, he leads the ship to a sunken U-boat, and a fortune in gold. Tensions mount as the crew prepares to double cross each other, but the darkness of the ocean floor holds deeper terrors than any of them have bargained for!

Plunge headfirst into the icy waters of dread with another historic tale of terror from writer Rich Douek, and artist Alex Cormack.

PCS Review:

Rich Douek and Alex Cormack are back with the spiritual successor to last year’s horror hit Road of Bones. This book is a gripping first salvo into an abyss of terror. The initial issue sets up several interesting conflicts and an intriguing overall concept. The character development is well done through dialogue without hitting you over the head with it. The tone of this book is best described as eerie.

Cormack follows up with the heavy white thematic visuals of Road of Bones with very heavy black theme for this book. The imagery is subdued and calming while also heightening the feeling of foreboding that permeates the book. The visual storytelling is expertly crafted, and Justin Birch does an excellent job lettering this book.

This book is a must read. There is a growing feeling of anticipation that builds as the pages turn, and when you get to the end, you will immediately be counting the days until you can get your hands on Issue Two.

 


If you are interested in hearing from the creator, we did a SquadCast Interview with Rich Douek earlier this year:

Click Here

With Further Ado #120: Bill Turner and Frazetta

With Further Ado #120: Bill Turner and Frazetta

Bill Turner is guy who’s been impressing me for over 40 years. I first met him when I was a kid attending the early ITHACON Comic Conventions.  As a college student, my school was located in town so I joined the Comic Club of Ithaca and helped out a bit on a few legendary ITHACON conventions. And now, teaching at Ithaca College, it’s a privilege and an honor to work with him again (along with Professor Katharine Kittredge, Carmela Merlo and many other impressive folks) on ITHACON.

And with that, I have a real treat this week.  I’m turning over the reins of With Further Ado to Bill Turner, as he’s the guest columnist this week with a fascinating tale of comics and fandom – from 1977.  Take it away, Bill!

Frazetta 1977

Sept. 10-11, 1977
Penn Stroud Hilton Inn, Stroudsburg PA

by Bill Turner
©2020 William R. Turner III – all rights reserved

Advertised guests of honor: Ellie Frazetta, Harvey Kurtzman

Other scheduled guests: Michael Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson, Charles Vess, Steve Hickman, Ken Kelley, Ian and Betty Ballantine

Surprise guests: Will Eisner, Burne Hogarth, Jerry Robinson

In September of 1977, I decided to attend the Frazetta 1977 exhibit in Stroudsburg, PA that was being organized by Charlie Roberts and Chuck Miller. I had met them both at the Lancaster Comic Art Convention that they held in 1975 and 1976, and I had bought an item or two of artwork from Charlie and the first of the Underwood-Miller books from Chuck, so I was on their mailing list. We had just bought a house, so I was quite busy and planned to go down only for Saturday; it was a bit over three hours each way, a day trip. I invited Tim Gray and Aaron Pichel to join me, and they accepted. We are three of the founding members of the Comic Book Club of Ithaca and had run two ITHACON conventions by that time, so of course we could talk about comics all day, any day. I was 25, Tim 24, and Aaron 15 years old. Continue reading “With Further Ado #120: Bill Turner and Frazetta”

DC Comics Announced Marie Javins Promoted to Editor-in-Chief 

DC Comics Announced Marie Javins Promoted to Editor-in-Chief 

Variety has reported that DC Comics has promoted Marie Javins to editor-in-chief.

The move was announced Monday by Daniel Cherry III, senior vice president and general manager of DC Comics, to whom Javins will report.

Javins will be tasked overseeing the execution of the company’s annual publishing schedule and growing all DC imprints.

This is a major public announcement regarding the restructuring fallout of the massive administrative and editorial layoff from earlier this summer.

According to the article, Javins will work closely with Jim Lee, DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, as well as Cherry to define and cultivate the character development and creative talent decisions for all DC Comics properties in the publishing area.

From the Variety announcement, Javins had this to say regarding her appointment:

“I’m incredibly honored by this responsibility, and will dedicate myself to supporting and challenging DC’s extended family of staff, talent, retailers, and partners around the world in our quest to tell innovative visual stories that both reflect and expand our world—and in some cases, our galaxy and multiverse.”

Source: DC Comics Promotes Marie Javins to Editor-in-Chief – Variety

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan

Today, we bring you a new spotlight interview. In this session, we spoke with comics writer Justin Jordan.

Justin has been a professional comic book writer for over a decade now and is the co-creator of fan favorite indie comics The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which has recently been optioned as film by Allnighter, and Spread among others. He has worked for DC Comics and Valiant Entertainment as well as other licensed properties while developing his creator owned comics.

In collaboration with artist John Amor and letterer Micah Myers, Justin has been publishing the webcomic Urban Animal on Webtoon.com for a couple of years now. He and John are bringing the webcomic to print through a kickstarter campaign in conjunction with Rocketship Entertainment. The campaign has hit its initial funding goal already and there are over 10 days to go before it ends.

We had a great conversation about the origins of Urban Animal, and his career. We talked about how this year has been different for everyone. We transcribed a good portion of the interview below, but there is plenty more in podcast.

You can find the audio recording of our discussion below. We hope you enjoy the conversation.


PopCultureSquad: Let’s talk about the kickstarter for Urban Animal. What are you looking to accomplish and how does that work with Webtoon, who publishes the digital comic on their platform?

Justin Jordan: Well John Amor and I do a series called Urban Animal over at Webtoon.com. It’s about Joe Gomez who thinks he’s an ordinary kid until one day he turns into a sabre toothed tiger and finds out his life gets a whole lot weirder from there. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan”

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020

This month we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting in November. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you some more about the new comics in question.

This is a list of just some of the new series coming this month. Check with your LCS or wherever you get comics to make sure you find new things to thrill you. We hope you will take a look and think about giving these a try. We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 11/4/20
Week of 11/11/20
Week of 11/18/20
Week of 11/25/20


Week of November 4th


Crossover #1
Image Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw & Dee Cunniffe
Cover Art by Geoff Shaw & Dave Stewart

The creative powerhouses behind the bestselling, critically acclaimed GOD COUNTRY, Thanos Wins, and REDNECK returns for the biggest launch of the year.

Imagine everything you thought was fantasy…was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead…and anything is possible…

Release Date: November 4, 2020

PCS NOTES: This is a highly anticipated series that we have high hopes for. Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020”

With Further Ado #117: Horror Pix ‘n Mix

With Further Ado #117: Horror Pix ‘n Mix

Hosting spooky movies for my Screams & Screens series is one of my most favorite things to do. We’ve put it all on pause during Covid, of course, but in normal times, it’s a wonderful celebration of my favorite cinematic endeavors. And it’s all the more fun to see them on the big screen and to munch on movie theater popcorn.

So as I’m missing our kooky and creepy movie tradition, let me make up for it in this week’s column by celebrating creepy comics instead:

Count Crowley, Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter is a recent comic from Dark Horse, focusing on the misadventures of a monster movie host. It’s a lot of fun and just the thing for Halloween.

Bud Plant’s Incredible Catalog isn’t really a comic, but the most recent issue showcases an illustration from the new Bruce Timm book, The Big Tease. I don’t usually save these catalogs (hey, I’m not that obsessive) but I’m going to keep this catalog with my horror comics.

The DCYou mini-reboot from five years ago certainly wasn’t considered a big success, but there were a lot of creative folks producing creative work at that time.  And that’s why I like this oddball issue of Detective Comics (it’s vol. 2 #43 from 2015). Frances Manapul contributed a creepy cover- and he wasn’t afraid to utilize that white space either.

Back in the 70s, I only purchased black & white magazines. For me, the format difference somehow put them in a totally different category from comics. It’s taken decades, but I’ve finally gotten over that misguided mindset. This issue of Dracula Lives (#6 from 1974) is such a treat, with stories by Gene Colan, Dick Giordano and wonderful collaboration by Tony Isabella and John Buscema.

I don’t know anything about this series, Sword of Dracula, but I rescued this comic from a bargain box not too long ago. The cover provides such a fresh, unorthodox take on the Dracula legend — and it’s still pretty creepy!

I’ve long been outnumbered by women in my household. You don’t need a RealClearPolitics poll to tell you that with my three daughters and wife, any man would be outnumbered.  Even though we’re now empty nesters, we still get some fashion magazines and I am often impressed by their creative covers. That’s why I’m including this issue of Allure in my creepy covers list!  Love it!

Comics for Collectors in Ithaca is a shop I first started visiting in the 80s. Now that we’re living in the area gain, I’m so happy to be shopping there regularly. They usually have a fantastic bargain box. I was elated to rescue this issue of Dell’s Ghost Stories from a sad fate of being stuck there forever. I’m not sure who illustrated this creative cover, but I love the blocky lines and the negative effect of the specter in the foreground. It almost looks like something that a modern favorite, Chris Samnee, may have done.

And the Horror Pix N’ Mix imagery comes from ghastly Graham Humphreys. It’s one of the many stunning images from Korero Press’ Hung Drawn and Executed. It’s a book that deserves to be on your coffee table. And maybe  you’ll flip through this book of instead of raiding the trick-or-treater’s candy bowl.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

***

And as a way to avoid just being scared and actually doing something, Bill Schanes and his merry band have been working hard on Give Comics Hope. Have you jumped on board yet?  Check ‘em out and I’ll focus on them more next week!