Tag: Marvel Comics

With Further Ado #134: Believing the Truth – A Look at the New Stan Lee Bio

With Further Ado #134: Believing the Truth – A Look at the New Stan Lee Bio

Maybe it is all about the marketing. I’ve been very surprised by the vehement reaction of many fans to Abraham Reisman’s new Stan Lee bio True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee. The cover, designed by Barbara M. Bachman, showcases a less than flattering photo of Stan*.  The whole look, in fact, seems to evoke the feeling of dread that fills us when we realize there is an exposé of a beloved figure, designed to shock us with all the awful disclosures.

In fact, the pre-publication reactions I’ve seen to this book in some online fan groups have resulted in online cat fights. Some fans say they have no need to ever read that trash, while other collectors and fans, who may already think of ill of Stan Lee, are eager for more fuel for their ire.  I interjected a few times with posts like, “I’m reading it now. That’s not really what it’s about”.  But when a person is in the heat of an argument, they don’t want to listen to that sort of thing.

I’ve read it and enjoyed it quite a bit.  Like 99.9% percent of people of who have walked the earth, Stan was a guy who did some good things and did some less-than good things.  And while I will say this book isn’t a tell all, it does provide a frame of reference to better understand motivations at different stages of his life. If anything, I would say that the book shines a new and harsh light on many of Stan’s family members and business associates.

I’ve recently reviewed a few other books in the rapidly growing “Stan Lee Book Category”. Danny Fingeroth’s A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee was an exceptional and balanced read. John Morrow’s Kirby & Stan: Stuff Said was exceedingly well-researched and presented a detailed crazy-quilt of the public statements by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as a way to better understand who did what and why they said all the (often-contradictory) things they said.

Riesman’s True Believer takes a deep dive into Stan’s Marvel years, the time that most fans, I imagine, want to know more about.  It’s clear he’s engaged in exhaustive research. He’s also a clever writer. But to me, the most fascinating parts of Riesman’s book are the details about Stan’s later years. This was “new information” to me. Riesman paints a picture of a man struggling on many fronts and seemingly, to an outside observer, making so many bad decisions and engaging in (so many) unfortunate relationships.

I remember when Leonard Nimoy died, and his frequent co-star Bill Shatner didn’t make it to his funeral.  To casual fans, this was unthinkable!  Their onscreen characters would have done anything for the other in the name of friendship. In reality, Shatner and Nimoy, were at a stage in their relationship where they were again feuding.  It probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for Shatner to attend the funeral. I believe he sent his daughters, which was deemed the right thing to do for those who really know about these things.

Likewise, with a man like Stan, it’s often difficult for fans to reconcile his humanity with the overwhelming goodness, sense of justice and heroic decisiveness that many of the characters he created and co-created embody.  But for those of us who are eager to learn more, who want to know what made our favorites tick, and who aren’t afraid to better understand their failures, shortfalls and humanity, True Believer is a must read.

***

*I kept thinking about what my favorite book designer, Chip Kidd, would’ve done with a cover like this.

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in February. 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 about the new comics in question.

There are a bunch of great new and interesting series starting this month from AfterShock Comics, Boom! Studios, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Scout Comics, and Valiant Entertainment.

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 2/3/21
Week of 2/10/21
Week of 2/17/21
Week of 2/24/21

 


Week of February 3rd


 

Chained To The Grave #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Andrew Eschenbach & Brian Level
Art by Kate Sherron
Cover Art by Sherron

Outlaw Roy Mason has come back from the dead, chained to the headstone that marked his grave. It’s a lawless time, a magical time, and the undead Roy soon finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place as he sets out in search of treasure. But Roy, trying to do right by the wife and children he left behind, soon finds out that everything is not always as it seems…

Writers Brian Level & Andrew Eschenbach and artist Kate Sherron bring you a tail of intrigue, murder, magic, and the good ol’ wild, wild west!

Release Date: February 3, 2021

PCS NOTES: We really like the concept behind this book. 


Deep Beyond #1
Image Comics
Written by Mirka Andolfo & David Goy
Art by Andrea Broccardo
Cover Art by Broccardo

In an underpopulated future Earth, devastated by the dire consequences of the millennium bug, the survival of mankind – and, maybe, of the planet itself – is handled by a small number of people. Talented scientists who, despite the adverse situation and the stupid feuds that continue to divide the small number of people still alive, try to understand and study what is hidden in the depths of the abyss. Something mysterious and dangerous, which could eventually cause an even worse and more destructive catastrophe!

The 100 meets LOW, with a hint of Death Stranding in the brand-new sci-fi thriller series from acclaimed creator MIRKA ANDOLFO, teaming up with writer DAVID GOY and rising-star artist ANDREA BROCCARDO and colorist BARBARA NOSENZO.

Release Date: February 3, 2021

PCS NOTES: We have read this first issue and think you will enjoy it.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in January. 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 about the new comics in question.

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 1/6/21
Week of 1/13/21
Week of 1/20/21
Week of 1/27/21

 


Week of January 6th


Eternals #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Esad Ribić
Cover Art by Ribić

NEVER DIE. NEVER WIN. ETERNALS. What’s the point of an eternal battle? For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, we’d be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares. But today, Eternals face something new: change. Can they—or anyone on Earth—survive their discovery? From the thought provoking minds of Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribić comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: I have always enjoyed the Eternals storylines, and I can’t wait to see what Kieron Gillen does with it.


The Last Witch #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass
Cover Art by Glass

It’s the one time of the year when the witch known as Cailleach hunts the children of the village – so Saoirse, a brave and reckless young girl, decides this is the perfect opportunity to defy her father and discover the secrets of the witch’s tower!

But when the Cailleach captures Saoirse and her brother Brahm, their lives are forever changed in ways they never expected.
Now, Saoirse will have to save everyone she loves by discovering the truth about the mysterious mark on her shoulder – and embracing her secret magical powers!

Release Date: January 6, 2021


Scouts Honor #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by David Pepose
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Cover Art by Andy Clarke

Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes…and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.

A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to conquer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to history, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

From multiple Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida comes a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale that proves when all you know is a lie, a Scout’s Honor is the only way to move forward.

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: We are big fans of writer David Pepose and have been waiting to get our hands on this book for a while.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021”

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

We have made it to the end of 2020. Congratulations, it has not been an easy task. While I doubt many can say that it was a great year in general, there were some seriously good comic related things that happened.

The world has struggled with the catastrophic economic and health related consequences of pandemic not seen in a century. Despite that and a nearly two month pause in comic book distribution, the industry has survived and moved forward. When preparing for this column, I was looking for new books that came out in late spring and had forgotten that there were no new books in April and May. This year has felt like it has taken forever to get through.

In the year of almost no comic conventions, and massive layoffs and shakeups at major publishers, there managed to be some amazing comics produced. The big two delivered a couple of line wide crossover events, and the independent publishers continued to cultivate quality storytelling in a wide variety of genres.

The list you will find below is a selection of some of the best new series that I read this year. Some are limited series and some are new ongoing titles. This list is by no means exclusive of all the good comic books of the year. It is the books that I read and liked a lot.

In a normal year, I would have read more, but this year hit all of us in unexpected ways. You will find excellent story telling and art in books below. As always, we encourage you to find what you like and support it.

The list below is in alphabetical order. I added some notes to let you know why each book is on the list. Let us know what you think.


Alienated
Boom! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Chris Wildgoose
Colors by Andre May
Letters by Jim Campbell

Issue #1 released 2/12/20

PCS Notes: We were instantly smitten with this expertly crafted series. The technical maneuvers that were implemented to tell this cohesive story from multiple perspectives are fantastic.


Billionaire Island
Ahoy Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen

Issue #1 Released 3/4/20

PCS Notes: Mark Russell is a master of satire in comic form, and with Steve Pugh they lampoon the capitalist economic structure of the elites with an entertaining front story. Continue reading “YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020”

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in December. 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 about the new comics in question.

December is a relatively slow month for new series, and 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 12/2/20
Week of 12/9/20
Week of 12/16/20
Week of 12/23/20

Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020”

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”

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020

Welcome back to new month of New Number Ones!!

This is where we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting each month. 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.

There are a lot of excellent new series of interest starting in October. 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 are very excited for this list of books.

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. We hope that will help if you come back to check this list of books weekly.

Week of 10/7/20
Week of 10/14/20
Week of 10/21/20
Week of 10/28/20


 

Week of October 7th


American Ronin #1 (OF 5)
AWA / Upshot Studios
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Aco
Cover Art by Aco

War is over, democracy an illusion, real power now lies not with nation states but huge corporations engaged in a silent war for global domination. Their number one weapon: highly-skilled, technologically-enhanced operatives trained since childhood to pledge their allegiance to the corporate flag. But what happens when one such operative breaks free of his mental chains and decides to bring the whole system down? Can one “Ronin” make a difference?

Release Date: 10/7/20

PCS NOTES: Yeah.. Peter Milligan … I am in. Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020

Welcome back to new month of New Number Ones!!

This is where we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting each month. 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.

There are a lot of excellent new series of interest starting in August. 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 are very excited for this list of books.

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. We hope that will help if you come back to check this list of books weekly.

 


Week of September 2nd

 


BLACK WIDOW #1
MARVEL COMICS
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Elena Casagrande & Jordie Bellaire
Cover Art by Adam Hughes

Best-selling, Eisner-nominated writer Kelly Thompson and rising star artist Elena Casagrande launch a new BLACK WIDOW series that changes everything! Natasha Romanoff has been a spy almost as long as she’s been alive. And she’s never stopped running, whether she was working for the good guys…or the bad. But Natasha’s world is about to be upended. Beyond San Francisco’s Golden Gate lies a mystery that only the Marvel Universe’s greatest spy can solve. Don’t miss the heartbreaking thrill ride of 2020!

Release Date: 9/2/20

PCS NOTES: This book was a casualty of the Diamond shutdown and has finally been resolicited and makes its debut. Fans of the character should be excited to see what Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande have in store for Nat. Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Colorist Chris Sotomayor

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Colorist Chris Sotomayor

Welcome back to another spotlight interview. In this session, we spoke with comics colorist, artist, and teacher Christopher Sotomayor.

Chris has been part of the comic industry for twenty-five years. He has done a lot of work for Marvel and DC, including long runs on Captain Marvel, Nightwing, The Hulk, and more. You can find him currently doing colors for Deadpool, Batman Beyond, and The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage.

Chris teaches the online comic coloring classes with Comics Experience and has a new session coming up next month.

While we have interviewed Chris before, we reached out to him again to get his perspective on how the pandemic is affecting his work and the current state of the comics industry.

You can find the audio recording of our discussion below, and we transcribed a big portion of it for you as well.

We hope you enjoy the conversation.

Download

Pop Culture Squad: Let’s get started with talking about the books you working on these days.

Chris Sotomayor: I am working on whole range of different things, and I am excited about most of them. I want to say all of them, but if I am being honest, I am excited about most of them.

PCS: That is fine. We had talked about that Batman Beyond is coming to an end. Are you finished with it? Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Colorist Chris Sotomayor”

With Further Ado #107: The Marvelous Mister Beard

With Further Ado #107: The Marvelous Mister Beard

I’ve known Jim Beard for a while. He’s a dedicated creative writer with a plethora of passionate interests . He’s got his fingers in many pies, and I’m always excited when he teases new projects. We’ve worked together a few times, and I’m especially a big fan of his Sgt. Janus series.

With all that as background, there’s another writing gig that keeps Jim busy.  He’s been a writer for Marvel.com for years. It’s fascinating stuff, and I had to corral him and find out the story behind these stories.

Ed Catto: How did you get involved with Marvel.com?

Jim Beard: I tried to approach Marvel about writing for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series from back in the day, and they replied they didn’t currently have any openings, but did I possibly write press releases? I thought, huh, doesn’t sound too hard, and lied and told them yes. So, for about a year or so I wrote Marvel press releases for a variety of things and eventually they moved me over to the “dot com” to write content for that. Been there ever since.

EC: And how long have you been doing the “Didja Know?’ column for Marvel? 

JB: Every single week for, oh, I believe at least sixteen-seventeen years now? Longest job I’ve ever had, come to think of it now. Continue reading “With Further Ado #107: The Marvelous Mister Beard”