Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Videos -U2

Since I am currently in Dublin, I thought I'd spread some Irish cheer. Check out the highlights from last month's U2 global webcast on YouTube. It was a heck of a show!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Indy Book of the Week - Angel

I was going to try and stay away from licensed comics in my weekly indy recommendations, but since I am off to Dublin this week, I thought it would be cool to spotlight an Irish talent.

Artist Stephen Mooney saved IDW's Angel series from being removed from my pull list. When the "After the Fall" story arc began depicting "official" events after the tv series, I was not wowed by what I was reading. However, I do think the book has gotten better as it has continued and I strongly recommend the current arc, "Boys and Their Toys." Beginning with issue #26, Angel and Spike check out Comic-Con to save the geeks from the freaks, but it is not so easy to tell the difference. Brian Lynch and Stephen Mooney have a lot of fun in this arc, and there's plenty of fanboy easter eggs and cameos throughout. I am pleased to say that Angel is climbing to the top of the stack to hang with Dark Horse's Buffy: Season Eight series.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ten Persons Born on November 9th Who Are Not Me

Happy Belated Birthday to ten folks that share my day!

Hedy Lamarr (1913)
Might be the most beautiful person to have ever been born on 11/9.

Whitey Herzog (1931)
MLB Outfielder & Manager

Carl Perkins (1932)
Don't step on his Blue Suede Shoes.

Carl Sagan (1934)
Cosmic "Billionaire"

Bob Gibson (1935)
Hall of Famer

Lou Ferrigno (1951)
Don't make him angry.

Robert Duncan McNeill (1964)
Lt. Tom Paris

Pepa (1969)
Shake yo thang! Owww!

Chris Jericho (1970)
Break the Walls Down!

Aleksandr (2009)
I am very happy to introduce one of the newest member of the November 9th club! Michelle's sister gave birth to a handsome baby boy on Monday. Both mother and son are in fine health! Welcome to the world Alex! I am honored to share my day with you. As you can see you are already in fine company!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Indy Book of the Week - Titanium Rain

That last genre on the planet that I would expect to be successful in a sequential art format is an aerial combat story. Perhaps that is one of the main reasons I am impressed with Titanium Rain from Archaia Studios Press. Josh Finney and Kat Rocha have risen to the challenge of depicting dogfights and so much more for a unique comic experience. The series is set in a not-too-far-future global conflict and centers around a US fighter pilot. The art style is very cinematic and the flight sequences are absolutely breathtaking. It feels like a mashup of Top Gun, Black Hawk Down, and Blade Runner - and I mean that in the best way possible.

Titainium Rain Double-Size Issue #3-4 arrived in stores last week, but if you missed out on #1-2, not to worry. All four chapters will soon be available in a premium hardcover (hopefully in time for Indy Comic Book Week). For more information, check out the official site. There is also a couple of video promos posted on

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Be prepared for Indy Comic Book Week!

So now that Halloween is over, I've decided to give some attention to another upcoming event, Indy Comic Book Week! What is that? I'm glad you asked! According to the website:
Indy Comic Book Week is not only an event, but also a call to action.

Diamond Comic Distributors announced they will not ship any new comics for the last week of December. This company is the primary distributor of comic books in North America. What some would call a sad week without our favorite mainstream titles, we are calling an opportunity. This vacancy allows independent and small press comic book creators to claim this week as their own.

We challenge writers and artists to self publish new material for this week, and offer it to their local stores. We ask for retailers to take this as an opportunity to showcase local independent talent on the new release shelves. We encourage fans to break from their buying habits and try something new.
Unfortunately, my current project will not be ready for release December 30, 2009 (though there will be an announcement soon!). So I have decided to post my own personal recommondations of some Indy books every Tuesday from now until the end of the year. Why Tuesday? Since comics arrive at stores on Wednesday, you can look for my recommended reads at your LCS when you go to pick up the latest and greatest. And if they do not have it on the shelf, you can ask for them to order it for December 30th!

I will start with one of my favorite Indy books of the last couple of years, Wasteland. Created and written by Antony Johnston with incredible artwork by Christopher Mitten, this series has it all! Mystery, suspense, political intrigue, superpowers, action, adventure, social commentary and even some romance all in a post-apocalyptic future. There are familiar elements, but the way the epic story is unraveling is original. I could go on endlessly about this book, but don't take my word for it. You can check out the first issue for FREE at Oni Press' site. Issue #26 just hit the stands, but it should be easy to catch up as the trades are readily available. If your LCS does not have them in stock, ask him/her to order some in time for Indy Comic Book Day!

Halloween '09 - The Aftermath

Another Halloween has come and gone! This year was a great one, though I did not go to any parties nor did I dress up. The weather on Saturday was pretty foul as well, so we did not get a lot of TRTers, but the ones that did brave the cold rain were very enthusiastic about the comics. We had a ton of candy and comics leftover, that is until a few kids came by the next day wanting more comics! I took it upon myself to take care of most of the leftover sweets, and I am still feeling the effects of that three days later.

This year's Monster Mike's Movie Marathon was one of the best yet (and certainly one of the longest)! In addition to the selections I have already mentioned, I began the night by watching the 1910 version of Frankenstein. It was directed by J. Searle Dawley and produced by Edison Studios. If you are a fan of early silent movies or Mary Shelley's characters, you should enjoy this. I am a fan of both and I was pleased to hear that the film survived the years, and even more so that you could watch the entire 12-minute feature on YouTube. It was an interesting experience to watch the pioneers of cinema tackle this story and a great way to begin the evening!

Another late addition was The Batman vs Dracula. I've been curious about this movie for years. I know many fans of Batman and/or Dracula, but none had ever mentioned this seeing this since it was released direct to DVD in 2005. I figured it was either pretty bad else just slipped by everyone's radar. I myself had watched the first season of The Batman, but did not continue because the series was trying to sell toys more than tell good stories. Every episode featured Batman with a different costume or gadget. I am pleased to report that this film is pretty darn good. Despite being "for kids," the film had an edge to it and the villian himself was quite threatening. If you can find it cheap (like I did), it is well worth a looksee. And if you can get it with the two figures (like I did), bonus!

Next up was Isle of the Dead, which was the biggest surprise of the night. I thought the film was a classic monster flick, but it is actually more of a psychological thriller. Boris Karloff is quite engaging and had the production as a whole matched his performance, this film would have been one for the ages. As it is, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but it does not have much rewatch appeal.

Last of the night was Horror of Dracula. As I've mentioned before, this is the first time I've seen an Hammer film in its entirety and it will not be my last! It was not an extremely faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, but it had some thrilling moments. The end battle between Van Helsing and Dracula is outstanding! I believe that this is the first of six Dracula Hammer movies and I've already added the others to my Netflix queue!

Last, but certainly not least, was Dr. Syn, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. Since this was going to be a three-hour event, I waited until Sunday to watch this series. Actually, I've waited over 25 years to watch this series! And it was worth the wait! It is a good adventure tale told by the Disney Studios at its peak! My only complaint is that "film" did not have a satisfactory ending. Much like a series that was cancelled much too soon. I borrowed this DVD from a friend and must get my own copy!

Great flicks! Great comics! Too much great candy! This year's Halloween definitely had more treats than tricks! I had a ton of fun with my daily posts. And I am extremely honored to have been part of the Countdown to Halloween! My lil' ol' blog got many more hits than usual and if you're reading this - THANK YOU! Can't wait to do it again next year!