Tag Archives: the walking dead

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited to check out?

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – Big Hero 6 Makes for Touching Flipbook Animation – So cool.

ICv2 – ‘Walking Dead’ Tops NFL for 3rd Week in a Row – Awesome!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Batgirl #36

CBR – Bitch Planet #1

Talking Comics – Deep State #1

CBR – She-Hulk #10

CBR – Thor #2

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TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E5 Self Help

walking-dead-5 photoAbraham and the group run into problems on their way to Washington, D.C.

For fans of The Walking Dead comic book, there’s some things we’ve been waiting for concerning the character Eugene. In this episode, the show drops, and the truth comes out as far as what Eugene knows. The moment is shocking for those who didn’t see it coming, and still a bit for those of us who did, but the show continues to shows off its strength. That strength is showing off the humanity in all of the chaos.

In this instance that humanity is focused on Abraham, who we get to see his past, and somewhat how he got to where he is. Through flashbacks we see Abraham’s past, especially his family, and what he had to deal with towards the beginning of the apocalypse.

Brilliantly though, the Abraham’s story is tied together with Eugene’s story, and we see what’s driving Abraham. It’s an amazing symbiotic relationship where Eugene’s misdirection is the driving force for Abraham. Whether or not he suspected the lie, Abraham needs Eugene, as that’s his motivation to keep going, as we see. It’s an amazing moment played out with subtle acting and writing, something the show isn’t given enough credit for.

The episode is an emotional one in many ways, and it’ll be interesting to see where this mission goes from here, and how Abraham’s group keeps going.

Overall rating: 8.5

Matchett’s Musings: Here Come the Girls Part 1

Here Come the Girls Part 1: Female characters

Good day folks, after a brief hiatus courtesy of a wonderful honeymoon I’m back with more of my thoughts.  For the first few articles I talked a little about launching my own comic and some thoughts from behind the comic creator curtain.  Today I wanted to take a break talk about some issues in the comic industry that are getting a lot of attention.

There are things I feel should be said that aren’t and if no one else is saying them I might as well do it.

Something that has been a major issue in comics for nearly as long as they’ve been around is gender and the balance between female characters vs. male characters and female creators vs. male creators.   Both are subjects that come up time and time again and I’d like talk about both, starting with female characters and how they are perceived/treated in the past, present and future.

Okay, hands up who can tell me who the character above is?  Don’t rush all at once now.  That’s right its Wonder Woman who is not only one of DC’s earliest characters (she was created way back in 1941) but is presented as one of their biggest.  Indeed it could be argued that Wonder Woman is one of the most recognizable fictional characters ever.

Show an image of the character to most people in the world and would at least be able to identify her as Wonder Woman.  This is because she is presented as one of DC’s ‘trinity’ alongside Batman and Superman.  She has featured in TV shows, cartoons and a lot of merchandising.  She’s also been a fairly regular member of the Justice League even at times when Batman and Superman weren’t.

The reason I talk about her now is that despite the fact she is so recognizable and she is represented by DC as a major character, her past often has her playing second fiddle to her main counterparts.  Despite being DC’s third most recognizable character, Wonder Woman has never quite had the same exposure in comics as Batman and Superman.

Almost since their creation, Batman and Superman have had at least two titles each per month and often, a lot more.  Usually Wonder Woman has one book that is her own, a title that in the past has had minimal sales success.  This is not for lack of trying on DC’s part. The company has tried everything from big name creators to relaunching to even having mainstream novelists take over writing duties to raise sales.  To date, every attempt has ultimately met with the same minimal success.

Even today, the Wonder Woman title is coming to the end of a creative run that has not only been critically acclaimed but commercially successful compared to past years.  Whether this will continue after the current team leaves is uncertain but the most recent issue’s sales numbers was available were from July 2014, when the title ranked 77, selling 37,431.

The third most recognizable character DC has to offer and she was outperformed by 76 other books that included the likes of Moon Knight and Archie.  I’m not here just to talk about Wonder Woman but I feel that she is the best way of illustrating my overall point.

No matter how well known they are it seems that female characters are almost treated as secondary to male leads.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t books out there that feature female leads that sell very well because there are lots of those.  However these books generally feature said leads as part of an ensemble cast.  Books like Justice League, Saga, Avenger’s, X-Men and Walking Dead all feature great female characters.  They are however associated with the overall brand rather than the main stars.  Even Wonder Woman’s own book is outsold by one where she is mentioned in the cover but gets second billing next to the books co-star Superman.

Currently the highest selling book that stars a female lead and presents itself as such is DC’s Harley Quinn which in August 2014 (leaving out September due to DC’s wacky 3D variants) number 7 on the chart and sold 71,522 copies on its most recent issue.  This meant that the female fan favorite outsold most of Batman’s books, Wolverine, Deadpool and the Guardians of the Galaxy among many others.

Harley Quinn has been a character that has always played against the odds and won.  A very good friend of mine and talented creator in his own right, Ray Goldfield once said ‘For every Harley Quinn you get 1000 Poochie’s.’  I agree that a female character with adoring fans like Harley is especially rare   The fact that her book is performing so fell on such a consistent basis is a surprise to many.

However, the next female led title is Batgirl which is a whopping fifty-three places below Harley’s Top Ten book at number Sixty, selling 34,590.  Below her is where we find Ms. Marvel at sixty-six and so on and so forth.  In-between are the books that feature female characters primarily as part of an ensemble cast.

For as long as I’ve been reading comics I’ve been hearing the same thing and I’m sure you have heard it too, ‘There should be more female characters in comics!’  Well there are many that feature in a variety of books but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support for them.

To their credit both Marvel and DC have made quite the effort to have more female led title’s in recent years.  Along with Harley Quinn we’ve also had books like Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman and more.  At the New York Comic Con it seemed that Marvel was intent on announcing a treasure trove of new female-led books because people are asking for them.  They’re even giving obscure characters like Squirrel Girl and new characters like Spider-Gwen/Silk their own titles to meet a demand that people insist is there and that the figures achieved by Harley Quinn would indicate.

Yet with the demand not supported by sales, Marvel has already announced the cancellation of She-Hulk after twelve issues and it could be a similar story for Captain Marvel/Black Widow (although either or both could be relaunched).

Title’s that have a female lead are certainly headline grabbers and do get a good bit of buzz initially.  It seems like a bit of an event when a new female book is announced…almost a novelty.  I think that’s what I find most strange about how female characters are often marketed.  No one would bat an eye if a character like say…Cyborg got his own book but if Thor gets a gender switch it’s time to stop the presses.

I have been fortunate enough to be complimented many times on my handling of female characters in Sparks and Living With Death.  Both books were created with female leads in mind and almost in every interview I’ve been asked ‘How do you write women well?’  I suppose the answer to this is the same reason that I’m writing this article.  I love female characters because I love characters period.  Some of my favorite characters just happen to be women, just like some of my favorite characters happen to be males.

Writer of Game Of Thrones (among many other things) George R.R Martin once said something I really liked when asked how he can embody characters like Daenery’s and Ayra with such life and power.  He simply said ‘I’ve always thought of women as people’.

I think that says it all.  To me we will truly have achieved equal standing for male and female characters when it isn’t talked about anymore.  There will be no headlines about Thor being a women or that Captain Marvel is getting her own movie.  It will just be considered part of the norm and that’s what I want to see., a comic market where female characters are treated the same as male characters.  It will no longer be a big deal that Marvel, DC, Image or anyone has a book with a female lead; it’ll simply be them launching a book like any other.  No one raises an eyebrow when Batman gets a new book but if Wonder Woman got a secondary title there would probably be national headlines.  That is not how it could, or should be.

In closing, yes things are changing.  There are now more female led titles than in the past but it has taken us nearly Seventy years to get to the point where these books are given a chance .  I don’t want to wait another Seventy for comics to take the next step.

Next:  Female creators

Many thanks to Mary Sheridan for helping me put this together!

Got any comments, suggestions or questions? Let me know! Also follow me on Twitter @glenn_matchett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E4 Slabtown

walking-dead-5 photoBeth finds herself in a hospital in the middle of Atlanta after being kidnapped by a car with a white cross.

What happened to Beth? Fans of The Walking Dead have been wondering for quite some time now what exactly happened to Beth and who was driving the mysterious car that kidnapped her?

This is the episode where we start to piece the puzzle together, brilliantly in a way. We only know as much as Beth, maybe just a little more since we saw the kidnapping take place. But, as she learns more and more about the world she’s a prisoner in, so do we.

That’s the amazing thing to me about this episode. I felt myself on the edge of my seat the entire time either muttering “oh my god,” or screaming at the television. This was an episode that was beyond tense and brilliantly had an homage to the beginning. The episode took us back to the beginning in many ways. We have a similar amount of information as we did in that first episode, five seasons in and it feels like the beginning. Just amazing.

Now, we also see Atlanta too! In a way the episode returns back to earlier in the show, and shows us what’s up with Atlanta now as well. So much time has passed, and we have an idea what else might be out there.

And that was one hell of an ending. What happened!? What’s going on!? We want to know!

Overall rating: 9

Demo-Graphics: Comics on TV

It’s Monday and that means another dive into Facebook‘s data. This week I decided to do another multi-part study where I gather data now, and then will look at it again down the road. This week I decided to dive into the data concerning television shows based on comic book shows that are currently on the air and have debuted. I’ll again look at the data during the fall break, the spring launch, and then when the seasons are complete.

I think you’ll see the data gets interesting, and isn’t when I expected (some I did). Arrow has the strongest female following, while it’s sister show on The CW, The Flash has the least. We’ll see if that changes over the season. I also included the percent of the individuals in the coveted 18-49 demographic. The Flash is the best when it comes to the 18-49 demographic, while Arrow is the worst.

Facebook comic tv showsAnd that wraps up the latest edition of the Facebook Fandom Spotlight.

Fashion Spotlight: The Walking Angels, TL Shipping & Logistics, and Grand Walking Dead

Ript Apparel has three designs today for fans of The Walking Dead and Doctor Who. The Walking Angels, TL Shipping & Logistics, and Grand Walking Dead from foureyedesign, bomdesignz, and Theduc will be for sale on October 27, 2014 only!

The Walking Angels by foureyedesign

The Walking Angels

TL Shipping & Logistics by bomdesignz

TL Shipping & Logistics

Grand Walking Dead by Theduc

Grand Walking Dead

TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E3 Four Walls and a Roof

walking-dead-5 photoAs Bob fights for his life, Rick and the group take a stand to defend the church against Gareth and his gang of cannibals.

Right away the episode kicks off catching up with Bob and Gareth as Gareth continues to rant about eating people. Bob then drops a bomb on them about his condition, something I wondered about during last episode. But, moving from him back to Rick’s crew, it’s clear that someone is watching them. Finally Gabriel admits what he did. All of this is within the first 10 minutes of the The Walking Dead, one hell of a start.

We also get the first butting of heads between Abraham and Rick, something that’s been brewing for a bit. It’s clear there’s two alpha males, and they won’t always agree. Interesting enough though, Glenn steps in, continuing his interesting role in the group dynamic.

What plays out is some amazing strategy played out between Rick and Gareth with some highly tense moments played out in very dark quarters. To say it’s all cathartic is an understatement with Rick completing a promise he made to Gareth. Just beyond cathartic.

But here’s the question, with the violence shown and committed, is Rick’s crew any better than Gareth? Both are done out of necessity. Both are done out of survival. The difference really plays out at the end between Bob and Rick. If you want to know if there’s a difference between Gareth and Rick’s actions, it’s summed up by Bob.

It’s the last 10 minutes of the show that hits you. If you can watch the end, and not tear up a little, you have no heart. Truly the end of the episode sums up what the series is all about. The Walking Dead might have zombies, and scares, and lots of blood and death, but at its heart, the show is about people and humanity. A stellar episode, one of the best of the series.

Overall rating: 10

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

memetic_001_coveraWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in! Below are ten suggestions of comics, graphic novels, or trade paperbacks you should spend some extra time checking out and think about picking up. And this is a week that this list could easily be double the size.

Pick of the Week: Memetic #1 (BOOM! Studios) – BOOM! teased us the hypno-sloth, and this week the world gets to see what it’s finally about. Writer James Tynion IV has been rocking it with The Woods, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

Arkham Manor #1 (DC Comics) – DC Comics has shaken things up with two recent out-of-the-box releases in the revamped Batgirl and Gotham Academy. Can they go 3 for 3 with this one?

Avengers #37 (Marvel) – The jump ahead in time has been fascinating, and there feels like something big is coming. This has been teased for quite some time, and we finally are seeing the master plan pay off for Marvel’s Avengers line of comics.

The Delinquents #3 (Valiant) – Take Archer & Armstrong and have them team up with Quantum & Woody. The result is a hilarious comic that’s beyond fun and entertaining.

Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldurs Gate #1 (IDW Publishing) – Jim Zub tackles a refreshed Dungeons & Dragons. There brand is back and more popular than ever. Looking forward to seeing what Zub does, especially since he’s shown off his fantasy talents with similar titles Skullkickers and Pathfinder.

Letter 44 #11 (Oni Press) – Writer Charles Soule continues to brilliantly mix politics and science fiction. Every issue is fantastic, both entertaining and thought provoking.

Southern Dog #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – It seems like forever since we read the first issue of this series, and we finally get a chance to read the second. Mix werewolves with the South, and you get an interesting story!

Stumptown Vol. 3 #2 (Oni Press) – We love noir/detective stories, and Greg Rucka‘s Stumptown has never disappointed.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters #1 (IDW Publishing) – Two of our favorite things to come out of the 80s come together!

The Walking Dead #133 (Skybound) – The end of last issue…. nuff said.

Skybound, Wizard World Announce The Walking Dead Series for 2015

The Walking DeadSkybound’s The Walking Dead created by Robert Kirkman continues to captivate audiences worldwide. With the debut of Season 5 of the television series, Skybound, Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, and Wizard World, Inc. announced the launch of an entirely new series of Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Covers of popular issues of The Walking Dead comic, to be provided free to all full-price attendees at every Wizard World Comic Con event in 2015.

Superstar artists who regularly appear at Wizard World events will draw the unique covers for each of the 24 shows scheduled to date, beginning with Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con, January 9-11 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The artists for each book will be announced as they are selected. A similar series in 2013 featuring exclusives of The Walking Dead #1 proved to be wildly popular with fans.

The exclusive The Walking Dead editions will be produced in extremely limited quantities and are available at registration to fans only while supplies last at each Wizard World convention. VIP attendees will receive an additional black & white sketch version of the comic.

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.

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