You can make the argument that Comic Conventions are just big Pop-Ups, designed to promote all manner of geeky and unexpected treasures. Or you may say that they are more akin to treasure hunts. After all you just know that that one old comic or exclusive toy is out there somewhere on the dealer’s floor. For so many entrepreneurial businesses, they are the ultimate trade show: commerce wrapped up in the showy fashion of focused nerd-dom. To others, comic conventions are a way to scoop up amazing bargains. (Nobody likes diving into the bargain boxes more than me.) Continue reading “With Further Ado #051: Blah Blah at the Nerd Prom”
Reportedly, this latest incarnation of our favorite playing card-based villain has nothing to do with any other Joker in any version of the character in any manifestation of any of the overpopulated DCUs. The authenticity of that remains to be not seen. But it appears this DC-logoed movie has less in common with the comic book legend about to endure its 80th birthday than it does with James Bond playing baccarat at the Casino Royale.
That’s okay. The most overused character since Wolverine (who, I believe, showed up in a Planet Terry story arc), I can’t recognize The Joker from one bloated comic book story to the next. Great character, dumb character, confusing character… well, I never met the guy. And seeing that for the past 29 years Warners has been disinterested in making a Batman movie worthy of the cellulose acetate upon which it’s memorialized, I really don’t care. I’ve given up. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo 042: This Joke’s On You”
Not long ago (as in, a little over a week or so), Unshaven Comics tabled at a would-be decently attended Comic Con near the home of our resident writer and sell-o-matic Kyle Gnepper. Due to his proximity to said con, versus both Unshaven Matt and I being several hours away — and because the show wasn’t slated to demand a full court press by our little studio — we as a company agreed to let Kyle fly solo. Color me a shade of confused then, when checking in with Kyle after the first day of said show, that the unflappable Mr. Gnepper called me in a state that could only be described as quite flapped.
“I really wish you guys were here…” he started — with an unmistaken quiver to his normal timbre. At first I figured (nay, hoped) that his desire for backup was due to insane amount of demand. But alas, the now-shook-salesman reported that the show itself was more than a little problematic. Low attendance due to a then-moved metropolitan festival perhaps led to a lack of local fan support. It happens. But Unshaven Comics has suffered through a constrained con every now and again. Kyle continued. “It’s our neighbor. He… uhh. Well…” Continue reading “So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #042: Sticks and Stones”
Alex Paknadel is a rising star in the field of comics writing. In 2019, he has completed his highly acclaimed first series with Vault Comics called Friendo. He has continued as the writer of the Lion Forge book Kino, which is set in the Catalyst Prime universe. He also wrote a four-part mini-series for Valiant called Incursion.
After breaking into the comics scene in 2015 with Arcadia from Boom! Studios, he has developed a reputation for thought-provoking storytelling. Often his topics cover deep socio-political subjects, but he can write a super-hero fight scene with the best of them. If you follow our Preview Reviews or Everything We Read columns, you will find Alex show up regularly there.
We caught up with Alex in Chicago at C2E2 in March, and this interview was captured then.
PopCultureSquad: Recently [in March 2019] there was an announcement that you and your White Noise studio mates [Dan Watters, Ram V, and Ryan O’Sullivan] have new books coming from Vault Comics. What can you tell us about that?
Alex Paknadel: We’ve re-upped with Vault for another tranche of books for 2019-2020. Dan Watters and I have started work on a book called Earthcrosser, which is being gorgeously illustrated by a brilliant Scottish artist named Pablo Clark. Ram and Ryan’s plans for 2020 are well-advanced too, so expect great things.
PCS: Ok, and you guys know what you are doing? You are excited about the new books?
AP: Yeah, we were able to get fantastic creative teams for the first wave of books, and we have managed to at least equal the quality of creative talent for this next set if not go beyond that.
We have been viewing Vault, and I hope they don’t get upset for me saying this but, as sort of an outlet for our “Boutique Books”. These are the ones where we take big risks.
PCS: Are they the ones that are most personal? Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Alex Paknadel”
PCS was at the All-Star Comic Con in Tyson’s Corner, VA this weekend. It was the second year of the show and it was an improvement on an already really nice little local show. We were able to snap a few cosplay pics but there was so much more than we are able to show you.
If you are in the DMV area, or can get there, definitely look into attending next year.
The little Groot really stole the show on Saturday…
Photography by Shari Harrison
Hey Folks!! If you didn’t know, we were set-up at the East Coast Comicon this past weekend in Secaucus, NJ.
One of the great benefits of having a table is that fantastic cosplay continuously strolls past you all day long. We took tons of pictures and have a slideshow below of some of the best cosplay that we saw during the weekend.
We weeded out the many Deadpools, but overall there were a lot of interesting and creative costumes. Some of the kids were just magical.
Little Death was one of our favorites.
Just about every year, I spend a week in Louisiana. Sometimes I get over to New Orleans, but most of the time I’m with old friends in New Iberia parish. My pals are folks like Dave Robicheaux, his daughter Alafair and his best friend Clete Purcell. They are good people, but boy, do they get into a lot of trouble.
My visits are facilitated by author James Lee Burke, and he’s been writing about these characters for years. He’s prolific and his novels never disappoint. Have you read a James Lee Burke story yet? Ostensibly they are thrillers. He’s superb at ratcheting up the suspense each and every time. Beyond that, Burke also has a way to peer into humanity’s soul and wrap it all up in poetic prose. His brilliant writing is achingly beautiful.
I just finished the second most recent one, called Robicheaux. His newest, which I should read soon, is called New Iberia Blues. Burke also writes other books outside of this series, and I’ve been enthralled by them too. I’d strongly suggest you give them a try. Continue reading “With Further Ado #041: Making Comic Cons Look (Big) Easy”
Here is just some fantastic cosplay that we saw at Awesome-Con this year.
It was diverse and ubiquitous. There were some really unique an intricate designs that we saw on the floor this year in Washington. We hope you enjoy these and appreciate the effort put into making these costumes.
Photography by Shari Harrison and Adriane Nash
We will be bringing you the info from this panel live from Awesome-Con in Washington DC.
Eighty years after his debut, Batman continues to be one of the most iconic Super Heroes of all time. Meet some of the key players in the Dark Knight’s world who create and bring you the best Batman comics stories ever. Buckle up for an incredible ride in the Batmobile and hear what these creators have to say about one of your all-time favorite DC Super Heroes.
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Sup, nerds. I know I’ve been away for a tic, but you’ll forgive me right? I changed day jobs — and I’m sure you’d love to know all about that — and it put me in Austin last week. But I’m back in the saddle here in my newly upgraded Man-Cave/Actual-Adult-Office and ready to populate your brainstems with pop-culture thoughts and prayers.
I could wax poetic on Wrestlemania and the subsequent superstar shake-ups, but I’m saving that until next week. You’ve been warned. I could compare and contrast Captain Marvel to Shazam, but frankly it’d wind up being very mean to Shazam — because comparing the two flicks would be akin to comparing a fine meal at an upscale farm-to-table fast-casual restaurant… and Arby’s. I could detail my recent love affair with the binge-worthy Santa Clarita Diet but I just started season 3, and I don’t want 100 people to spoil things for me.
So, what does that leave me? Oh, how about the whole reason I have a column here in the first place? Independent comic bookery!
At the tail end of March, Unshaven Comics (my lil studio, don’t cha know) had a decent showing at the annual C2E2 comic con in our “home” city of Chicago. The con itself was plenty enjoyable. Our neighbors on both sides were fun, genial, and downright friendly. Our friends and fans came out in droves to give us well wishes and high fives. I personally minted a minor fortune (see also: gas and food money for a whopping 2 weeks, baby!) selling my PokeVengers cards. Please don’t alert The Pokemon Authority I’m making parody art. The best thing to come out our con experience though, was a sobering declaration. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game”