Comics and the Excellent, Really Good, Super Fun Day

Today was a great day for comics! And it’s not even a Wednesday, so that’s saying something.

First off, the Eisner awards were announced, and, as expected, the best comics available were nominated, including Hawkeye (with a notable well-deserved single-issue nomination for the Pizza Dog issue) Pretty Deadly, Sex Criminals, and, of course, Saga (but no single-issue recognition for the one with the giant alien scrotum).

And the ladies be representin’ at the Eisners, which is great to see, with Faith Erin Hicks (woo! Canada represent!), Kelly Sue Deconnick, Emma Rios being recognized for what they are — awesome storytellers. It’s still a giant sausage fest, but hey, the more inclusive the comics world is, the better.

Yeah. Well-deserved, Emma Rios.

You can read the whole list of nominations here, and order up the titles and read them before the ceremony here.

Also, Scalped is being adapted into a series for WGN, which is exciting for those of us who fell in love with the tale of Dashiell Bad Horse. If you haven’t read Scalped, but are a fan of tight storytelling, incredible art, unflinching violence and nearly unredeemable characters, you’ll want to pick up a trade or two of Scalped before the series starts.

One of the tamer panels.

Dick Grayson is doing stuff this summer, like shooting guns while spiraling downward or something while not being Nightwing. Guess that’s one way to celebrate the end of Forever Evil. Grayson #1 comes out in a few months and it looks awesome and so does this cover.

 

And, probably most excellently, YouTube channel How it Should Have Ended released “How Frozen Should Have Ended.” What does this have to do with comics? Watch it all the way through to the end. And then after the end.

 

 

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Awesome Comics Won at L.A. Times Book Festival

A couple of awesome graphic novels won a couple of awards at the L.A. Times Book Festival over the weekend, and you should probably pick them up right away. Then tell all your friends, because they’ll want to do the same.

Gene Luen Yang‘s Boxers & Saints won the top award for Young Adult Literature — the first graphic novel to ever win in a non-graphic novel category. Easily one of the best graphic novels in recent years, the two-book epic tells the story of both sides of China’s infamous Boxer Rebellion using Chinese mythology, brilliant art and scripting and sharp stabs of humour. It’s a fascinating tale weaved into a particularly divisive time in China’s history and a heck of a lot more interesting than many of the other tomes on the subject. Joan d’Arc even makes an appearance!

It also features super-cool matching covers, as you can see.

The other winner for Graphic Novels/Comics was Ulli Lust‘s Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. It begins as a lighthearted travel memoir about two broke Austrian girls making their way into Italy, it’s beaches and all the good times that come with it, and develops into an unflinching look at male privilege, sex, crime, drugs and the search for just one good-hearted person. While that may make it sound depressing, you’ll fall in love with the protagonist (the author’s 17-year-old self) and her refusal to accept the status quo, especially when it comes to men.

Both are equally deserving of a place on your bookshelf. Order them here.

 

A New Deleted Scene from Alien Shows Ridley Scott’s Feelings Towards Gingers

From an upcoming special edition DVD+Blu Ray+Time Capsule Combo Pack of Alien, this exclusive deleted scene shows Ridley Scott’s original, rather… unique take on the infamous chestburster scene.

ChestGingerI guess it’s nice to see that somethings don’t change over the years.

 

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Wolverine is (Maybe) Dying in a Few Months (or Something)

Hey there! It’s been a while. I shouldn’t’ve left you without a dope beat to step to. My bad.

Anyway, what’s up?

According to Comic Book Resources, Wolverine has “3 Months to Die” beginning in June.

For those following Wolverine’s current arc, this doesn’t come as a surprise, as it has been an exploration of our favourite dude with two first names’ mortality.

But, of course, there’s some ambiguity in the title — what’s the deadline? What happens then? Is it Logan that dies in three months? OMG what’s happening?!

As Marvel’s Axel Alonso says in the interview, laughing like the maniacal puppetmaster he is, “Of course, the title is ripe with implication.”

Stop toying with our heartstrings, Alonso! Just kidding. Keep it up; we love it.

It looks to be a solid title — one definitely worth adding to your file.

If nothing else, we get some sweet variant covers like this one:

Fuzzy fuzzy skulls everywhere

Wolverine #9 variant by Ryan Stegman (Image credit due to CBR, obvs)

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Oh, What to Think About X-Men: Days of Future Past

Have you seen the new X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer yet? If not, check it out:   Whaddaya think? Nervous? You’re not alone. Let me explain. We live in a world where the fuel of our biggest communications device seems to be knee-jerk hatred of anything pop culture. And, as the old saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and the wheel that is internet trolls/haters/bored teenagers is loud.  So it is with hesitance that I write out the reasons I’m nervous about X-Men: Days of Future Past. I don’t want to be one of the squeaky wheels, especially not one that starts complaining about a movie he hasn’t seen. But, here we go.

Reason 1: Everyone is in it

A whole shwack of mutants, not unlike a family reunion.

No, seriously, I was just looking for my cat. I’m pretty sure it ran behind that metal guy. If I could just… You know what? Forget it.

This may be regarded as a good thing to some folks — “OMG WOLVERINE! 2X MAGNETOZ AND XAVIERS FTW!!1!!1!” And it may very well be. That said, certainly we can be forgiven for being a little gun-shy after the last X-Men movie featuring everyone ever.

Reason 2: It Features Time Travel 

The most annoying group to which to deliver a pizza EVAR.

“I get cooler later, right Old Cyclops?” “No, Young Cyclops. But you DO get all the babes for some reason.”

Time travel is a tricky plot point to pull off successfully. Booster Gold did it for a while a few years ago, then his story took a sharp nose dive into a pile of confusing crap. Right now, the All New X-Men is doing some time travelling of its own, with mixed results (though some things stay the same — Scott Summers, for instance, whether old and evil or young and not evil, is an unbearable wiener). It’s certainly not easy to make a time travel story straightforward and engaging, but Bryan Singer did make the best X-Men movies yet, so… fingers crossed.

Reason 3: Lockheed Doesn’t Appear to be in it

OMG those abs tho

Notice that I said “appear.” There is still a possibility that Kitty Pryde’s alien-dragon-thing-with-a-classy-name could make a cameo. Perhaps in the post-credits scene? ARE YOU LISTENING, MARVEL?! All things considered, this movie does look wicked good. The cast is massive, sure, but also solid, featuring fan favourites and some newbies. The effects look absolutely unreal and, seriously, who doesn’t want to see Angsty Xavier?

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Captain America’s got Some Good Buzz

…And it’s not just his haircut.

Apparently Captain America: Winter Soldier, aside from stealing what would have been a great title for a Captain Canuck movie, is crazy good, even being heralded as “Marvel’s best yet.”

Based on the reactions of those lucky enough (see: Marvel’s writers/resident nerds) to see early screenings, it’s a solid movie, even with it’s over-two-hour run time. Apparently, the characters are awesome (especially Anthony Mackie as The Falcon — who would’ve guessed?), the action is spectacular and Scarlett Johansson is in it, doing her Black Widow thang.

Is this her Jean Grey impression?

Screen Crush has the most comprehensive list of all the lucky bastards previewers’ tweets, all of them singing high praise.

But really, you were gonna watch it anyway… So you could tweet the same.

But, for now, you can watch the first ten minutes or so right here.

Oh, and, as what is kind of an awesome cross-promotion, Skype now has Winter Soldier-themed icons for you to use, as well as a bunch of wallpapers and such. Check ’em out!

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Check out John Constantine V.1.NBC

Some dude from Assassin’s Creed IV is playing John Constantine on NBC’s upcoming adaptation of Hellblazer, called, uh, Constantine. His name’s Matt Ryan and this is what he looks like:

Even though this show is on NBC, it may actually be good, given that David S. Goyer and a bunch of other talented people are involved.

Now, let’s compare this fella to the source material.

A bit more addicted to stuff, a touch older, but quite similar.

Now, just for funzies, let’s see Keanu as ol’ J.C.

Cigarette number 3,508… of the day.

But… he’s not sad… WHO IS THIS KEANU?! I don’t trust it.

Now, let’s compare all these fellas to the original Constantine, Constantine the Great, ruler of the Roman Empire from 306 to 337.

He’s all like, “LULZ.”

He may win this round…

Regardless of what John Constantine ends up looking like, that’s only a very, very small part of the show. Can Matt Ryan embody the cynicism, the cleverness and the overall well-meaning dickishness that is the English trickster?

Only time will tell.

Until then, if you like your comics soaked in nicotine and theology, order up Hellblazer.

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RIP Nick Cardy

Today, the comic world lost a legend, as Nick Cardy passed away at 93.

Primarily known for his work during the Silver Age, Cardy was an artist on about a million titles for DC and is most well known for his work on Teen Titans and Batman.

He was a true talent. His work will live on through the thousands of artists he inspired.

Here are some tweets from notable people in the comic book world.

 

 

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X-Men: Days of Future Past Looks Awesome

Holy Blinktastic goodness! Double the Professor X! Double the Magneto! Double the ambiguous characters! If this doesn’t get you excited for next year’s X-Men, you have no heart.

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“Something Terrible” by Dean Trippe is Worth 100 Times its Price

Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry about that — things and stuff, am I right? Well, as my stampede wrestling opponents always tell me, let’s get down to it.

The best fiction parallels our life experiences — an obvious statement, to be sure.  It’s the basis for all fiction. Whether a story stars aliens that look like plungers or child soldiers in Mogadishu, it will keep us coming back if it has something, even a small something, we can relate to. An action or event will resonate with us and a character’s reaction to such action or event will grip us, keep us turning the page and the best — the absolute best — will inspire us in our own lives.

That’s the crux of Dean Trippe’s magnificent and simply beautiful comic “Something Terrible.”

Image

In what is primarily a love letter (and a promise) to his son, Trippe explains how Batman, probably the most well-known fictional victim of childhood trauma, inspired him and helped him get through his own pain and suffering.

For such a deeply personal story, it resonates on a broad scale with anyone who’s lost him or herself in a fictional universe. If you’re a nerd for anything, you’ll find something in “Something Terrible” for you.

Also, it’s 99 cents. So buy it. And if you like it, donate.

Readers with a heart, however, would do well to keep a tear-wiping sleeve nearby.

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