Author Archives: Brett Schenker

New York Times Bestselling Duo Return for First Full-Color Adventure Time Original Graphic Novel

BOOM! Studios has announced the latest Adventure Time original graphic novel, the fourth in the series!

This November Kate Leth and Zachary Sterling bring us Adventure Time Vol. 4: Bitter Sweets OGN, and this time it’s in full color.

This graphic novel is an all-new, self-contained story that plays out like an episode of the animated series. It’s that lovely time of year where Princess Bubblegum gets to leave the Candy Kingdom and venture out into the outer limits of Ooo. But when her annual quest to visit old friends takes a dark and unexpected  turn, it’s up to PB and Peppermint Butler to keep the peace by using the true power of friendship. Bitter Sweets is a deliciously twisted adventure with a surprising aftertaste.

The on-sale date for Adventure Time Vol. 4: Bitter Sweets OGN is November 5th. The cover is illustrated by Stephanie Gonzaga and it retails for $12.99.

Adventure Time Vol. 4 Bitter Sweets OGN

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The Battle Against ISIS with Comics

Suleiman Bakhit, speaking at the TEDGlobal 2011 TED Fellows Talks, Monday, July 11, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

Suleiman Bakhit, speaking at the TEDGlobal 2011 TED Fellows Talks, Monday, July 11, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

While bombs are being dropped, and bullets are flying in an attempt to stop Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), others are taking a more peaceful approach to shape the hearts and minds of those on the ground.

Suleiman Bakhit is a Jordanian social activist who thinks we can fight the terrorist organization with comics books. Bakhit thinks that narratives and myths are a key. Bakhit thinks that a toxic shame is a lot of what drives the violence.

In an interview with Wired.com UK, he explained:

Healthy shame is a source of learning, it lets you know boundaries. Toxic shame says you are unworthy as a human being, you are unworthy of human connection. This leads to violence in an attempt to replace that toxic shame with pride.

After Bakhit began publishing his own comics, he was attacked with a razor blade by extremists.

I had to cauterise my own wound with a piece of steel. But two good things came out of this. One, my dating life improved exponentially. And the second thing was that I realised that they were trying to mark me with shame, to transfer their own shame to me, and replace it with pride.

The idea of taking on the terrorists with comics came from asking kids who their heroes were. When first asked, they named people seen in extremist propaganda. Bakhit then gave out free comic books. Three months later, those extremists were replaced with comic book characters. The simple issue as he sees it, a huge need for positive role models and positive narratives. Fight extremist propaganda with a counter mythology filled with men and women, and most importantly make it positive and personal.

Bakhit ended his interview with this thought to ending the extremism.

The best way to accomplish this. The best technology we have to cultivate heroic motivation is this medium right here. The comic book.

Preview: Planet Gigantic #1

PLANET GIGANTIC #1

Writer(s): Eric Grissom
Artist Name(s): David Halvorson
Cover Artist(s): David Halvorson
32pgs./ FC/ All Ages
$3.99 (reg)

When two genetically-engineered teenagers crash-land on a strange planet, they must
learn to rely on themselves and their still-developing powers as they face down a giant rock
monster. Also in this issue: Lyana the Seeker braves a cursed tomb in search of the fabled Eye
of the Sun.

planetgigantic-1_1

TV Review: Comic Book Men S4E2 Walt’s Treehouse

comic book menIn this episode of Comic Book Men, a returning customer swings by the store with a toy Walt always wanted but never had. Also, an aspiring student brings in a book signed by comic greats.

If there’s a theme for the second episode of the fourth season, I guess it’d be about dreams. There’s two that’s touched upon, mixed in with the usual craziness of the show. Walt gets his hands on a toy he always wanted, and there’s the student who comes in to sell a comic so that he might have some money to go to school. Both show an interesting end of the spectrum, one of consuming, the other of letting something go.

There’s no doubt many of us can relate to Walt and his excitement as the toy he’s always wanted comes into the store. You’ll need to watch the episode to find out what that exactly is. To say I had no idea it existed is an understatement, it was a bit before my time. That magic is brought together by the same individual who appeared previously on the show with the G.I. Joe USS Flagg, which got Ming so excited. Watching Walt jump for joy is worth it, there’s something very kid like about it all, and it’s a bit infectious in the positive feeling.

The student on the other hand is a bit of a downer. Here we have someone who is giving up something very cool to help make their future possible. It’s something that Kevin Smith himself did to fund his first film Clerks. It’s a nice lesson to see, and again something many of us can relate to.

To have both of these in an episode is a nice juxtaposition that sets the show apart from just being Pawn Stars of comic geeks. As seen in this episode, there’s something a bit more than just business here, and that’s making it all relateable to us the viewer.

While the episode isn’t amazing, it’s another fine example of a “comic geek” show, that doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Overall rating: 7

TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E2 Strangers

walking-dead-5 photoWith Terminus burning behind them, Rick and his crew again are left wandering the woods for a destination unknown. With the group together, numerous answers are left out there, including Rick and Carol burying the hatchet, new members of the group, and what next? Not long into the episode many of these questions and issues are addressed, almost taking on previous season’s habits of stretching out storylines.

While the episode wraps up some threads, it also opens new ones, with the introduction of Father Gabriel Stokes, a character we’ve seen in the comics. For long time fans of the series, you immediately wonder what of the comic storyline the television series will pull in. Most immediately is the need for food, something that also carries over from Terminus. With supplies low, how far will individuals go? In this case, Rick and a small team head out to forage and look for food.

In all of that, it’s pretty clear Father Stokes is hiding something, with signs around the church he’s held up on that there’s something going on. But what’s his secret, especially with his freak out hinting at something more.

Speaking of storylines, Beth’s abduction is again brought up and for fans of the comic, that question of how much the television show will crib from the comic is answered towards the end of the episode. Oh it’s going to be a great season. From the creepy build up to the end, another amazing episode.

Overall rating: 9

Graphic Policy Radio Returns Live this Monday!

GP Radio pic MondayThis Monday is a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio, the show that mixes comics, geekdom, and politics. It’s been a bit since our last episode and we’re back to cover some of the latest releases as well as conventions. The show airs live at 10pm ET.

On tap this week is:

  • Batgirl got a new look, new location, a new status-quo in Batgirl #35. We discuss the change for the character.
  • Gotham Academy #1 came out and the series attempts to fill a much-needed gap in the DC Comics line-up. We talk about the new series’ first issue and recent changes for DC.
  • New York Comic Con recently descended on New York City’s Javitts Center. We talk about the convention and the numerous announcement that came out of it.

We’ll discuss the above and more in a brand new episode! We want to hear from you too. You can call (619) 768-2952 with your thoughts, or Tweet us @graphicpolicy.

Join Our Team!

Graphic Policy is always on the hunt for talented contributors. If you’re interested in becoming involved with one of the internet’s most unique, fastest-growing entertainment and pop culture websites, now’s your chance!

Please note that all of the positions offered by Graphic Policy are volunteer positions. Our staff runs this site because we love comics, politics, pop culture, games, movies, television and geekdom.

We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

Graphic Policy will open up its ability to obtain review copies, press passes and more for those who regularly post to the site. Your posts belong to you and you are free to post them here and other sites as well!

All applicants must be over the age of 18 years old and have excellent writing skills.

Please fill out the form below and let us know more about you, and what you’d like to write about and cover.






Preview: Zombies! Deadpools! Zombie Deadpools! Return of the Living Deadpool #1 is Coming!

This January, he rises from the grave! And this time, there are thousands of him! Prepare for an undead epic like you’ve never seen before in Return of the Living Deadpool #1 – the follow up to last year’s smash hit limited-series Night of the Living Deadpool! Fan-favorite writer Cullen Bunn and newcomer artist Nik Virella take you to a world overrun by undead Deadpools!

To “cure” the horror of a zombie outbreak, the Merc With a Mouth used his own healing factor to save the day. Any zombie that ate Deadpool transformed…into another Deadpool!

In an interview with Marvel.com, Bunn said:

So there are thousands of Deadpools, all of them originating from the one and only Wade Wilson. Every time a zombie takes a bite out of one of these Deadpools, the zombie becomes Deadpool. But the ‘copy’ is degrading from rebirth to rebirth. You know how Deadpool has numerous personalities? Well, these newly created Deadpools start to latch onto different aspects of Deadpool’s split psyche, forming factions. And these factions don’t all get along!

As hordes of Deadpools battle for undead supremacy against the zombie hordes, witness a world gone completely insane! Time to find out what’s worse – an army of flesh eating corpses, or an army of wisecracking Deadpools. You decide this January in Return of the Living Deadpool #1!

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by NIK VIRELLA
Cover by JAY SHAW
On Sale in January!

Return_of_the_Living_Deadpool_Cover_1

TV Review: Arrow S3E2 Sara

arrowAfter the shocking ending of the season premiere Team Arrow is in pursuit of a new villain who poses a threat to Starling City. Meanwhile, Oliver is worried about not having heard from Thea.

Arrow‘s second episode picks up soon after the shocking ending, with the rest of the team finding out about what’s befallen Sara. But, if that wasn’t shocking enough, we also see Amanda Waller’s first mission for Oliver five years ago in Hong Kong, that’s another wtf moment. The season so far has learned the mistakes of the previous two keeping us on our toes for what’s to come.

The episode introduces us to Komodo, a character familiar to fans of DC Comics’ Green Arrow. That along with Ray Palmer’s introduction last episode expands the show’s own version of the DCU. It also helps the show makes references like Qurac and Bludhaven, a country and city long time DC Comics fans will appreciate. There’s also nice touches like changing the green Q in Queen Consolidated to Ray Palmer’s signature blue. How long before we get to see Palmer suit up?

The episode has its issues, the use of real names around bad guys, the fact that Sara’s body looks a bit too good after falling off the roof of a building. But, the show is the type of entertainment where you’re not supposed to think about that.

The episode continues this season’s bigger mystery and at the same time reinforces the risk that Oliver takes in his dual role. For a comic book show, it also does well in attempting to ground the character’s lives in some sort of reality.

What’s actually really great about the episode is some solid stunt work including cool battles on motorcycles and some chase sequences with entertaining acrobatics.

Each season, and each episode the series seems to learn from what’s come before. It has no issues fixing issues, which includes offing characters, and is a series where anything might happen. If you need evidence of that, all you need is this episode’s last few moments.

Overall rating: 8

New York Comic Con 2014: In January Quantum and Woody Must Die from James Asmus and Steve Lieber

As revealed at New York Comic Con 2014, Valiant has announced Quantum and Woody Must Die! #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of a dastardly new limited series jumping-on point for the most nominated series of the 2014 Harvey Awards! The first in a new series of limited series for the world’s worst superhero team, start reading here as award-winning writer James Asmus and Eisner Award-winning artist Steve Lieber bring the most talked-about duo of semi-professional heroes in comics to a whole new high! (Unfortunately, there are a bunch of people that would like to kill them up there.)

They came. They saw. They pissed off a whole lotta folks. And now a team of mystery vigilantes has singled out the world’s worst superhero team out for complete and utter destruction. The first target: their minds! But who are all these all-new enemies? Are Quantum and Woody really hitting it off with a sexy duo of cat burglars? And, dear god, what have they done to the goat? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Sex Criminals isn’t the only comic that can quote Queen, comics fans – here come Quantum and Woody! (Or so they think! [Trippy, right?!])

Valiant’s a-number one team of super-hero misadventurers get it where it hurts – right in the cerebral cortex! – this January when James Asmus and Steve Lieber make their worst fears a reality in Quantum and Woody Must Die! #1 (of 4)! Featuring covers by Mike Hawthorne, Johnnie Christmas, and Eisner Award winner Chip Zdarsky, make with the sales on this one and we promise not to hurt the goat…maybe…

QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #1 (of 4)
Written by JAMES AMSUS
Art by STEVE LIEBER
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE
Variant Cover by JONNIE CHRISTMAS
Variant Cover by CHIP ZDARSKY
$3.99 | 32 pages. | T+ | COMING IN JANUARY!

QWMD_001_COVER_HAWTHORNE QWMD_001_VARIANT_ZDARSKY

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