Author Archives: Brett

Heroes vs. Mile High for Charity!

For those who might not know, there’s a rather big sporting event this weekend, the Super Bowl. The Carolina Panthers will be going against the Denver Broncos and with that match up, lots of bets will be flying all over.

Heroes and Mile High Comics are having some fun with it in the name of charity. Heroes announced in their newsletter:

Shelton has put together a fun and friendly wager with his pal Chuck Rozanski at Mile High Comics in Denver, CO. Since both our teams are playing in Super Bowl 50, we will both have auctions starting tonight and ending Monday with the losing city’s shop donating the proceeds to charity! We’re playing for Greg Olsen’s Heartest Yard and we’re auctioning off some very nice Deadpool books!

Both auctions start tonight and end Monday at 10PM Mountain Time. Check our Facebook and Twitter for direct links once the auctions are live!

We are putting up some key Deadpool issues with a bonus SuperPro Super Bowl Special!

Awesome to see them both doing this, and I hope folks join in on the fun and get some bids in.

Heroes Mile High Charity

Unboxing: Meisho Movie Realization “Ronin” Boba Fett

Tamashii Nation’s Meisho Movie Realization Star Wars line pays homage to the Samurai aesthetic in a fun new way and artfully reimagines key Empire characters from the iconic Star Wars films with feudal-style Japanese armor and weaponry. Each figure is exquisitely constructed with hybrid materials and features up to 15 points of articulation to create endless posing possibilities.

We crack open the “Ronin” Boba Fett figure, showing off what you get and giving impressions as to the quality.

You can get your own.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

All-New All-Different Marvel, Don’t Miss Out

Your favorite All-New, All-Different Marvel titles are blowing up the charts and selling out left and right. There’s never been a better time to dive into the Marvel Universe so jump on board the comics everyone is talking about. Be sure to tell your retailer you don’t want to miss an issue. If you did miss an issue, catch the exciting second printings of these hit series coming soon!

Marvel has put together this video so you know what you’ve been missing.

They’re Afraid of No Ghosts. LEGO Debuts the New LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1&2

There’s a new Ghostbusters hitting the big screen this summer and LEGO will be releasing a new LEGO set specifically for it. Today they released photos of the new LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1&2 as well as detailed shots of all of the minifigs that go with it.

Check it out below! We can’t wait to get our hands on it!

Kwanza Osajyefo Talks the Kickstarted Comic Black

black_cover01HIRES_by_Khary RandolphTimed to launch with Black History Month, BLACK is one of the hottest comics out there and is currently raising funds through Kickstarter (it already has met its goal). The original science fiction graphic novel by Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith III, and Jamal Igle asks the question, “In a world that already fears and hates them – what if only Black people had superpowers?” BLACK follows the story of a young man, Kareem Jenkins, who, having miraculously survived being shot by police, learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Kareem must decide whether it’s safer to keep history’s secret, or if the truth will set him free.

Also contributing to the project is Khary Randolph, who will contribute covers and additional artwork, and editor Sarah Litt, formerly of Vertigo and DC Comics.

I got a chance to talk to Kwanza about the project, how it came about, why Kickstarter was the way to go, and a certain guerrilla marketing campaign at New York Comic Con.

Graphic Policy: You’re working on Black with Tim Smith III, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, and Sarah Litt. How did this series come about and everyone get involved?

Kwanza Osajyefo

Kwanza Osajyefo

Kwanza Osajyefo: I came up with the idea about 10 years ago, but shelved it while I pursued my editorial career at DC. Tim and I had worked together at Marvel and connected again at MoCCA, I pitched him the idea because I really like his approach to character design. We batted it around off and on for years, until I finally said, let’s just do this.

Jamal worked with me on a project at DC, I was already a fan but the speed and skill he showed during the process made me admire him all the more. I’d made up my mind back then to get him on board, but didn’t approach him until I was well out of the mainstream. Tim and I popped by his place, showed him designs and the story concept – he was in.

Khary and I bonded over being confused for each other by people in the comics industry for years – just gonna leave that there…

I love his work. So at NYCC this year, I showed him the BLACK mobile site. He glanced at the summary and said, “I’m in.” Honestly, I thought it was alcohol talking, and asked him several times after to confirm. I couldn’t believe the team we’d formed but his cover is the real thing and dope as hell.

Sarah and I worked at DC together in NY, and when I moved to LA, I invited her to come as my assistant editor. Knowing I could trust her editorial instincts, she was a natural for this project.

GP: You’re launching the comic through Kickstarter, was that always the plan? Did you approach any publishers with it?

KO: No. The permission-based publishing model would not work for BLACK. We’re open to publishing partners, but didn’t think anyone would greenlight internally. Proving that that project has appeal through Kickstarter was necessary.

Also the comics industry parallels the systematic and cultural biases that still exists in the US, and inspire this story. The comics industry remains heavily influenced by a White-male aesthetic – that has started to change very recently, but not fast enough for BLACK to come out through a traditional comics publisher.

That stated, I think many would be receptive to BLACK but don’t have the internal person who would have seen the opportunity.

Jamal Igle

Jamal Igle

GP: You’re taking a very straight on approach with the story of Black people with powers, getting rid of metaphors. While it might be a simple idea, you haven’t seen this too often. Why do you  think that’s the case?

KO: Because there aren’t enough Black people working in comics with influential positions.

I don’t think many top publishers have a bench that could or would cultivate BLACK. I grouse about that a lot because it clearly impacts content.

Comics is already a small industry, but with output that influences media – how can the content appeal to a diverse audience when internal culture is not diverse.

Marvel has made recent efforts to address that, but got dinged in the press for cadging hip-hop album covers to sell comics. It highlighted that they hadn’t hired many Black creatives. I’ll keep it 100 – in my career I made a point to know as many Black creators as possible (as well as other ethnicities and women).

I did so partially because I’m Black, and partially because it was my job to find talent that will excite various audiences. It’s not difficult.

For the record, I don’t think it is intentional either. Just the result of having a homogenous, and at times exclusionary editorial culture – I lived it for a long time. In my decade-plus career, I never met another Black “full” editor.

I think it is part of why DC struggles with diversity among their core catalog, producing tone deaf characters like Simon Baz or elevating Black characters they’ve haven’t fleshed out enough to be engaging.

I know these are critical statements, but I don’t think they are untrue.

BLACKfunded_promoart_newGP: From the release, the story kicks off with the character Kareem Jenkins surviving being shot by police. That by itself can be a story without the superhero aspect. What issues are you looking to tackle in the series?

KO: Quite a few issues arise in tackling a story like this. Police brutality is a catalyst for this story – a theme that reflects real life. Xenophobia is also drives the narrative. There is also the fear in being a minority. Trying to survive in a world where you’re immediately suspect and under the constant threat of harm.

All with a sci-fi twist, of course.

GP: You helped launch Zuda Comics which was a bit ahead of its time. Did your experience with that help guide this project? Did you consider doing it as a webcomic at all?

KO: I think Zuda was a bit ahead of DC Comics’ time. The reason I landed that role is because worked in online at Marvel, and then a number of other digital companies. Understanding how web content works helped me be a good partner among awesome colleagues in my department.

Webcomics are great but weren’t a consideration for BLACK. I think they’re reaching a similar level to print, where they need a revolution. My thought is that it is mobile, and I considered platforms like Web Toons as means of content distribution. It might still be a little early to explore mobile comics, but I admire companies like ComiXology for being at the right place and time and delivering top class digital service.

GP: In the release you also said you’re “challenging the pop culture status quo, which is dominated by a White male aesthetic.” Can you talk about that a bit?

KO: Sure. I worked between Marvel and DC over the course of a decade and never met another Black editor. Assistants yes, but never one with agency to influence the creative culture. The boys club values that pervades results in a limited and self-perpetuating view of content.

Dwayne McDuffie’s work writing Justice League cartoons DEFINED classic characters that DC continues to lean on. Yet, when they had the opportunity to have him write the comic, he was hamstrung by arbitrary decisions that superseded telling a great story.

He was public about his experience of dealing with the status quo.

BLACK goes into a territory publishers can’t touch without internalizing Black culture. Fully engaging that audience will remain out of reach because they lack Black experiences or must be cautious of producing something offensive.

I think Marvel’s efforts through Netflix may prove easier territory to tell those kinds of stories as the cinematic universe is less established and more palpable.

Black NYCCGP: There were some teasers for this series at New York Comic Con 2015 with text painted on sidewalks sending folks to a website. How long has this series been worked on and who came up with that marketing idea?

KO: Good eye. I originally intended to launch the campaign around NYCC, but after discussing it with Jamal, we thought February (Black History Month) 2016 made the most sense. We knew getting a head start on marketing would be beneficial, but wanted to be subtle in building an audience until then.

I wanted to do a little something during the convention, so I worked with a guerilla market agency to tag areas around the convention, and all the larger parties and events. Only ones I didn’t hit were Marvel’s and DC’s party locations.

GP: The launch of this has had a hell of a response. What’s your take on the reaction to it?

KO: A principle I lived by as an editor, and still do as an author: sincerity is better than pandering.

Be sincere and people will reciprocate ten-fold. I was a popular enough editor at DC because from my core I believed in the talent of people I worked with, told them the truth, and tried to help them bring forth their truths in the stories they wanted to tell.

BLACK has truth in it – that’s part of the secret sauce.

GP: Why do you think we don’t see more projects like this at comic publishers?

KO: I think we touched on that in you previous question, but to reiterate, it’s a lack of diversity among staff. BLACK was created because I have a perspective and experiences that the average comic book editor does not.

That expresses itself as content that may not even register in the mind of the mainstream editors. If it does register, the research needed to accurately tell that story may be too daunting. For example, I have ideas about stories heavily influenced by Asian culture, but I can’t do it yet because I still have a lot of reading to do to get it right.

GP: The Kickstarter is for a graphic novel in six chapters, but have you thought about continuing the world either with more graphic novels or even a monthly ongoing series?

KO: Definitely have a plan for subsequent graphic novels. I’m rather contrary to the traditional approach of serialized periodicals. They had their time and place, are still are a good source of reach and income, but as a storytelling platform they can exhaust general readers by their nature.

It’s tedious to repeat the same plots over and over, or have to fill-in an issue because of publishing schedules. I’d rather tell stories in a way that allows the characters grow. I can’t see Kareem and Juncture dealing with the same opposition every other year when the smarter option is to eliminate a threat.

Waiting every month for the next chapter is also a lot to ask of a general audience. We have so many options for content now, it’s difficult to justify $3-$5 when I can buy and full video game on my phone for less, or read equally good stories for free on Web Toons.

GP: Any other projects you’d like to plug?

KO: Not at the moment. I like to take a Pixar approach to my work rather than distract attention with a whole line of things.

I want people to read BLACK, so that’s my focus. There will be plenty of themes, characters, and places to explore in this world we’ve created.

We’ve had such an amazing reaction to the campaign, and will share some fun stretch goals we’re aiming for.

Please be on the lookout for more from BLACK!

The Avengers Revealed for Knight Model’s Marvel Universe Miniature Game

Today the Avengers have been revealed for Knight Model‘s upcoming tabletop game Marvel Universe Miniature Game. This comes the day after the Guardians of the Galaxy were revealed, and the X-Men preceded that. The game will be released with three starter sets, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and Avengers, that will each included four metal miniatures, character cards, and a mini rulebook.

The Avengers are made up of Steve Rogers as Captain America, Tony Stark as Iron Man, Thor, and Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow. We don’t know who will be in the blister that will be released along with the starter set.

Each character’s description sounds like they embody their comic counterparts. Captain America is a leader who provides boosts to his teammates. His Vibranium Shield acts to help boost his defense and can be used offensively attacking multiple enemies as it bounces off of them in the air. Iron Man is all about the suit which allows him to fly with speed, his built in offensive repulsor blasts, missiles, and the Unibeam. Thor fills the role of the flying tank in his strength, and Mjolnir. He can also bring down lightning and like Cap, use his hammer as a shield. Finally Black Widow is about the stealth and close combat. It sounds like she has an infiltrate ability and uses close combat, firearms, and her Widow’s Bite to take on her opponents.

So, now that all three starter sets have been revealed, which will you be getting? I can’t decide, so I guess it’s all of them for me!

Avengers Marvel Universe Miniature Game

(via Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher)

TV Review: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S1E3 Blood Ties

Legends of Tomorrow PosterDC’s Legends of Tomorrow third episode Rip tries to weaken Vandal Savage by going after his financial assets. Rip and Sara infiltrate Savage’s bank but are discovered by his men. Meanwhile, Snart and Rory talk Jax into taking the jump ship back to Central City.

The episode continues an ok journey that has some decent moments, but still missing that special something that makes the show really jump out.

The team is out doing various tasks that spotlight them in different ways. Stein and Ray have a discussion about Ray’s confidence. Hawkgirl is still hurt. Sara and Rip talk about her bloodlust. It’s not bad in any ways, but it’s also rather boring and predictable.

What is special I think is Leonard Snart who attempts to use his time travel to make his life for the better. On The Flash, Snart has been shown to be abused as a kid, and he attempts to change that. This action is the type of thing that really adds depth to the character and with his acting, is something I’d like to see more of. So far, everyone else is cookie cutter heroes having conversations we’ve seen elsewhere. Snart though is the standout of the show.

The episode is kind of a gathering point where Rip lays out why he needs everyone and they can get their act together, which is needed, but still something isn’t clicking about the group as a whole. There’s something that’s missing, and maybe something too much, as in too many people.

I’m not ready to give up on the show yet, but it’s still clearly trying to find its legs.

Overall Rating: 7.0

Circuit-Breaker is an Electric Read

CIRCUIT-BREAKER #1Bestselling writer Kevin McCarthy and artist Kyle Baker team up for an all-new series, Circuit-Breaker, launching from Image Comics this March.

Circuit-Breaker #1 is set in the aftermath of World War IV, where the heroic robots that saved Japan during war are outlawed. Now they’re turning against mankind, waging a campaign of terror across the last city on Earth.

Meanwhile the vengeful robots’ original creator builds one more soldier—disguised as his teenaged granddaughter—and tasks her with dismantling the marauding mechanical militia. But as she begins to question her programming, will she be the last hope for humanity, or the final nail in our coffin?

Circuit-Breaker #1 (Diamond Code JAN160521) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, March 16. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book retailers is Monday, February 22.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are Revealed for Marvel Universe Miniature Game

I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on each starting team for the upcoming Knight Models game Marvel Universe Miniature Game. With the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy to choose from, it’ll be hard to decide which is the one to start with (so might as well start with them all).

We now know who will be in the Guardians of the Galaxy starter set. Each set comes with four miniatures as well as a mini-rulebook.

The Guardians will include Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket Raccoon. I’d assume Groot will be the miniature released in a blister along with the team.

From their description, the team looks to have a decent mix and shooting and close combat. Star-Lord fitting the quick (via his rocket boots) figure to get in position to fire off his Quad Laser and Element Gun. Rocket is all about his guns, as he should be. Gamora has a gun and her Vorpal Blade, mixed with stealth she too will be maneuvering around the board for the attack. Finally Drax is a tank and all about close combat, not just using his knives, but also acting as a bodyguard and soaking up damage for others. All of the team are the affiliation Cosmic/Hero.

With that equipment and abilities it’s easy to see how you’d play this team in the game, maneuvering with some as you shot, shooting at a distance with Rocket, and getting Drax in close for the kill.

Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Universe Miniature Game

(via Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher)

Unboxing: Board Game Bento Fantastic Rivals

The folks behind the top notch Comic Bento have launched a new service geared towards fans of board games, Board Game Bento.

We open up the fourth box of the new service and give our thoughts on what’s inside. The theme is “Fantastic Rivals” so expect pirates, ninjas, and some druids!

Subscribe to Board Game Bento today.

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