Tag Archives: featured

TV Review: Gotham S1E5 Viper

gotham cast In the fifth episode of Gotham, Gordon and Bullock search for the source of a new street drug that causes euphoria then death. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot works his way deeper into Maroni’s inner circle and Fish Mooney continues to plot against Falcone.

The street drug aspect of the show is interesting, though a bit silly at times, and that doesn’t help with some of the dialogue that comes off as rather silly. But, as has been for the last couple of episodes all of that isn’t the draw of the episode. The real draw again is Cobblepot’s story.

Cobblepot, in an attempt to get ahead decides to out himself to his new bosses. This leads them to go grab Gordon to corroborate the story. This of course now puts Gordon in a spot, because now some mobsters know his story.

But, lets get back to that drug thing. The drug is called Viper…. you know that sounds a lot like a certain other drug… wink wink nod nod. Oh yeah, it’s mentioned, Venom gets a nod in the series. It was pretty obvious where the story was going with a drug that made people super strong, it’s just an example of Gotham the tv show feeling like it has to tie every little detail into the bigger Batman mythos.

Again, the series strength is when it focuses on Cobblepot, Gordon, and the mob. It again stumbles when it attempts to tie itself too much into the future Batman world. Stick to the basics, and the series would greatly improved. A story of mobsters, with Gotham as a background, is much better than trying to shoehorn in what we all know is coming. Letting it come organically, that seems to be the balance the series is trying to find.

Overall Score: 7

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Demo-Graphics: The Walking Dead

Its been almost a year since we last looked at The Walking Dead‘s demographics via Facebook’s data. With the new season underway, it felt like an appropriate time to see how things have changed for the record setting show, and best selling comic book series.

For this report, we’re looking at fans within the United States that enjoy The Walking Dead in comics, television, books, games, or even the characters. We’ll also compare the latest results to those of last year. Keep in mind though, while the terms are generally similar, Facebook’s  system has been upgraded and the data returned is more prevalent and richer.

Facebook Population: Over 17.8 million fans in the US

That’s an increase of over 5 million fans since last year. Spanish speakers account for 1.08 million fans, 6.07%. That’s a significant drop from last year of about 500,000 individuals, and the percentage has been cut in half.

Gender and Age

When it comes to gender in 2013Walking Dead fans break down 59.38% male and 40.63% females. In the year since, we’ve seen a surge of female fans with their now accounting for 47.19% compared to the men who now account for 52.81%. This is close to the changes we’ve also seen for the general comic population.

facebook gender 10.20.14Below is the trend line which looks at the age and gender of the individuals together.

facebook gender age 10.20.14

Below is the raw data for The Walking Dead fans. The population has shifted slightly older compared to last year, but not by much.

facebook gender age raw 10.20.14Relationship Status

The stats for relationships has expanded greatly since last year, with many more options, so it’s hard to compare the two statistics.

facebook relationship 10.20.14And for those that like pie charts.

facebook relationship pie chart 10.20.14Education

Like relationships, education has changed a lot since last year, so we can’t really compare this year’s stats to last year’s.

facebook education 10.20.14Gender Interest

Gender interest too has changed since last year. But generally those interested in the same sex for men and women has dipped from last year.

facebook gender interest 10.20.14But how does the fandom compare to itself based on how it’s being consumed? For The Beat, I compared how The Walking Dead stacked up in comics, television, games, and books. I return to see how the gender breaks down for each.

Interesting enough, the comic fandom has dropped since last year with video games and television both seeing an increase in overall fans. Both television and comics see women make major gains, while video games continue to be the domain of men who increased percentage wise. Books remain almost exactly the same when it comes to gender compared to last year.

twd media 10.20.14

And that wraps up the latest edition of the Facebook Fandom Spotlight.

Feast Your Eyes on Our Humongous New York Comic Con 2014 Toy Gallery

The cosplay and the movie stars get a lot of the love when the New York Comic Con rolls into the Jacob Javitz Center but the toy barrage doesn’t get as much attention. And that’s a shame, because if you’re a toy enthusiast the event can feel like the best museum on the planet with thousands of prototypes, new products and existing toys on display behind glass to tantalize and torture because no matter how much you beg, vendors will never let you take them all home.

In the included gallery, there are 250 pictures of some of NYCC’s coolest toys. It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, but I can tell you that both the Killer Clowns from Outer Space figs and the Chucky figs look scary as hell, Mezco‘s Batman figures are as awesome up close as they look in these pics, and NECA Toys impressed with their 1:6 scale Danny Devito Penguin, their Burt Ward Robin and the rest of their sizable case.

I can also tell you that McFarlane‘s Walking Dead line is taking a great leap forward with the upcoming RV playset and the 10″ deluxe Rick Grimes figure that I was unfortunately unable to get a good picture of since I found myself by the McFarlane booth when it was swarmed by fans who wanted to get a look at Todd McFarlane himself, who was making an appearance.

The QMx booth also drew some crowds, but I’m pretty sure that that was all about the astonishing film scale (1:124) replica of Serenity from the film of the same name and Firefly. Luckily, we got some super up-close shots of the $7,495 “toy” and a look inside its interiors, which feature miniature versions of the Firefly cast. We’ve also got some great pics of QMx’s other Firefly products, which are damn shiny.

Enough words, check out the pics!

Comic-Graphics: Weekly Facebook Page Stats

It’s Monday which means a new Marketing Monday and checking out how the various Facebook fanpages have grown or shrunk over the past two weeks. After a week off we’re back and there’s been some impressive changes over the two weeks.

Overall, the pages continued to grow, this week gaining 1,818,501 individuals total, a 4.84% increase. That’s a massive increase, driven almost entirely by the generic “manga” page which saw over a million people like it over the two week period. We checked it multiple times, and something caused a massive frenzy to like the page.

There was lots of movement as far as ranks this week. Many pages hopped multiple spots. Arrows are present to indicate if a page has increased in ranking from the previous week.

facebook overall 10.20.14Manga, with its massive growth dethroned ComicBook.com for the top spot. The latter continues to buy likes, and has begun touting their page size in their “about” section on their website. What’s important isn’t necessarily page size, but instead the reach and activity of that page.

facebook new likes 10.20.14Magnetic Press jumped to the top spot with some impressive growth, almost a quarter of the page’s previous size. Manga moved into second, followed by 12-Gauge Comics, Small Press Expo, and Titan Comics. It’s been a great two weeks for small publishers.

facebook percent growth 10.20.14

Review: Father’s Day #1

fd 001Father’s Day tells the story of a man on the run and a lost long lost daughter that is trying to find him.  While the story opens with a bang and finishes with one, there is little going on in the middle.  For those familiar with comics as a medium, they are likely to see parallels here with a more famous entry, A History of ViolenceA History of Violence (later made into a movie) tells a similar story of a man on the hideout from a violent past, who is once again thrown back into his old life by events outside of his control.

Father’s Day is similar in a lot of ways to this story, at least on the surface and the unique aspects of the story, at least from the first issue seem mostly superficial.  Instead of a blue collar father with a loving family, this is a man on the run whose daughter discovers him, and it is the daughter where any originality in this story might come.  Unfortunately for the story the daughter comes off as mostly two dimensional and although she is portrayed as edgy, it doesn’t really come through for the character either.  The resulting tension between father and daughter is therefore more of an afterthought to the two of them being chased by random mob hitmen.  As with the case of other series, it is therefore likely the same with this one that while it offers this story over four issues, it might have been better to go for more and to build up the characters first as opposed to this story we were immediately demanded to care about the father and daughter that we know almost nothing about.

In a sense there is nothing really wrong with this story, but at the same time it lacking in both originality for its content and in the approachability of the characters.  There is some promise here, as with such randomly presented characters, that indeed something could come of this by the second issue, but equally there is probably not enough of a hook here for the first issue to draw in the readers for another try.

Story: Mike Richardson Art: Gabriel Guzmán
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Will Senator Patrick Leahy be in Batman v Superman?

patrick leahy dark knightThe President Pro Tempore (pro tem) of the United States Senate Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) is a long time fan of Batman becoming a fan at a young age. 50 year later the Senator can still quote from the comic books he grew up on. The Senator who has stood up for and fought for Hollywood when it comes to things like intellectual property protection has also appeared in numerous Batman films including standing up to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. This conflict has raised some questions on Hollywood’s influence on the Senator.

But, with a new film around the corner starring the Dark Knight, will we see Senator Leahy in the film?

“It’s a fascinating movie. It will have superb actors in it,” Leahy told ABC News, stressing the word “superb,” in an interview posted Friday.

“My intuition says you’re in it, so we’ll leave it at that,” correspondent Jeff Zeleny replies to Leahy.

“We’ll leave it at that,” the lawmaker says with a grin.

 

When the film hits theaters next year keep an eye out for him. In between, we’ll see how many pieces of legislation the Senator pushes for his Hollywood friends.

(via The Hill)

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.

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.

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