Author Archives: Brett

Check out the March Team Talking to the Los Angeles Times

March is the brilliant graphic novel trilogy chronicling the experiences by Congressman John Lewis during the Civil Rights Movement. Co-written by Andrew Aydin and Cong. Lewis with art by Nate Powell, the award-winning trio talked to the Los Angeles Times about the graphic novel on Facebook Live.

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Hello Silicon Valley Comic Con From all of Us at Graphic Policy!

This weekend sees Silicon Valley Comic Con being held at the San Jose Convention Center and while Graphic Policy isn’t physically there, we are digitally….

Automattic, the folks behind WordPress, the platform this site runs on, is displaying there with a booth and on one of their displays is this site for the convention to see!

So, HELLO SILICON VALLEY COMIC CON! And thank you Automattic!

And since this is being shown there, now to get meta…

Unboxing: Marvel Collector Corps April 2017 “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

We open up to show off Funko and Marvel’s latest Marvel Collector Corps box. The bimonthly premium box service features a theme of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” just in time for the movie to hit theaters!

We go over the contents including a variant comic, and some figures! Valued at over a $50 the box is perfect for fans of Marvel Comics.

You can sign up for the next one!

Secret Weapons Gets an Extended Preview in Valiant’s May 2017 Titles

Valiant has announced that it will include an extended seven-page sequence from June’s Secret Weapons #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of the hotly anticipated limited series putting Livewire in command of an extraordinary new team of heroes – in all of its May 2017 titles!

On June 28th, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer – writer of the internationally acclaimed, smash-hit motion picture Arrival, as well as Valiant’s upcoming HARBINGER and BLOODSHOT feature films from Sony Pictures – joins forces with Harvey Award-nominated artists Raul Allen and Patricia Martin to bring Livewire and her squad of superhuman outcasts out of hiding…and onto the frontline of the Valiant Universe’s coming battle against the cybernetic hunter called Rex-O!

Now, before the first issue hits stands on June 28th, find out why Secret Weapons #1 is one of the year’s most anticipated new series with an extended sneak preview in all of Valiant’s standard and Premium format series, including:

  • Faith #11 (on sale May 3rd)
  • Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1 (on sale May 10th)
  • Ninjak #27 (on sale May 17th)
  • X-O Manowar (2017) #3 (on sale May 24th)
  • Rapture #1 (on sale May 24th)

The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive disappointments. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rex-O seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…

Review: Sand + Bone

Sean Hitcher has just returned from war. He didn’t die in Iraq, but part of him wishes that he did. He’s home now, back in the small Midwestern town where he grew up. But he is haunted by nightmarish visions of killing and carnage that seem to be the result of severe PTSD. But are they? Is there something he’s missing…

As mysterious acts of violence spread throughout the town, Sean begins to wonder if there’s more going on than he originally thought. What terror did he experience on the battlefield, and what horrifying secret did he bring back with him?

Written by J.T. Krul with art by Andrea Mutti, Sand + Bone is a fascinating graphic novel being released at Barnes & Noble. Bringing together the Iraq War, PTSD, and a small town setting Krul has created a story which is perfect for horror fans and at the same time has a deeper theme of the horrors soldiers bring home with them.

What really impressed me about Krul’s writing is the fact I wasn’t sure what was really happening when it came to the acts of violence in the town. I had my guesses, and in the end the revelation is something I feel like I’ve seen before, but Krul keeps us guessing until the very end.

On a deeper level, Krul uses the horror themes of the story to explore the actual horrors of war. Mixing in flashbacks with flashes of violence, you can easily see the allegory going on, that war turns man into monsters and peaceful individuals into killers. It unleashes the monster within and we as a people need to recognize that and treat those who need it lest the monster is let loose back home.

Mutti’s art masterfully captures the depressed small town location while at the same time keeping the vibe consistent with the horror themes. The art provides us glimpses and flashes of what’s going on but never full spells it out, an excellent decision that adds to the mystery of it all.

Sand + Bone is an excellent example of using entertainment to explore current socio-political issues and raise awareness of work that needs to be done. My only knock is the abrupt ending that felt more like a curtain suddenly being dropped than a flowing ending. Hopefully, we’ll get more of this story or an exploration of the world where Krul and Mutti can continue to expound upon this solid start.

Story: J.T. Krul Art: Andrea Mutti
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

Adaptive Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

TV Review: Powerless S1E9 Emergency Punch-Up

powerlessbigThe team gears up to leave for a company retreat when supervillain Dr. Psycho releases a toxic gas in Charm City; Emily does her best to make the most of a terrible situation.

Powerless doesn’t bounce back from last week’s episode as this one is a bit… blah, at best. The episode basically has the team stuck in a room with the threat of their dying if they head out of it and breathe Dr. Psycho’s toxic gas. The point of the episode is for the team to be stuck in a situation where they’re force to bond, it’s a tv plot we’ve seen so many times before, and this version doesn’t add anything to the formula.

Part of the episode’s issue, beyond it being a reused plot and adds nothing to it, is that there weren’t any jokes. The humor comes from props and no one really pulls it off. The biggest jokes involve either t-shirts the team is supposed to wear or the fact that Emily has to wear the pee bucket on her head in an attempt to free everyone.

When it comes to the interactions or what’s said, there’s not much there. Van makes a joke about wiping his own butt and there’s a joke about Ron using his cuteness to disarm folks. That’s it.

The series was looking good, but things have slipped these last two episodes where the concept is better than the actual final product. Where once I thought the series was finding its voice, it definitely is struggling now. The concept is there, the writing just isn’t

Overall Rating: 5.85

Comic Creator Gisele Lagace Denied Entry into the US for C2E2

It was only a matter of time before this happened, but comic artist Gisele Lagace was denied entry into the United States to attend this weekend’s C2E2 which is taking place in Chicago. Lagace was to table there and have a signing for IDW on Saturday and Sunday.

As Lagace wrote on Facebook:

Welp, no C2E2 for me. Was refused entry at the border. They kept pressing about the comics I had and the sketches, and well, I had to be honest and said that I did get paid for commissions but before hand, but since they weren’t complete, it was considered work in the us. Comics wise, I had maybe $700 in value if I had sold everything. Honestly, it’s not a lot.

Was asked if I was the only one doing this as I looked surprised to be refused entry. I said no, many artists from around the world attend these to promote themselves. I don’t think they cared.

My car was searched and is a mess. And to top it off, I was body searched and finger printed too (they do that when you get refused entry apparently.) It was an awful experience.

Things then went worse when they searched me throughout and found 2 white pills in my wallet. There was no identification on them and I wasn’t sure what they were. Once I calmed down after being touched all over, I remembered they were generic acetaminophen from the dollar store that I carry around in case Marc gets a headache as it sometimes happen. I forgot they were even in there.

Anyway, I wasn’t turned around for the 2 acetaminophen, as they found those after I was refused entry for the comics in my car and the unfinished sketches but they kept us longer there until they were convinced they weren’t narcotics. I never took drugs in my life!

And to think we drove close to 2 days to get there. For nothing. (No, I didn’t get anything from that body search. Maybe Zii would think it’s a good deal.) Anyway… Driving back home.

Now that I’ve been refused entry in the US for this, it’s on file. Don’t expect to see me at a US con until I can figure out a way to get in and being absolutely certain this won’t happen.

Legace has done work for Marvel, Archie, IDW, and Dynamite, as well as numerous webcomics. The logic for denial of entry sounds similar as to what Italian band Soviet Soviet experienced when attempting to travel to SXSW, the question over what counts as “paid work.”

Expect fewer guests who live outside the US from attending shows until this is cleared up and it should be said, those who are attending from outside the US to be careful about accepting paid commissions while attending conventions.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America…

Review: Roughneck

Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage…and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind. Touching and harrowing, this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated story about family, heritage, and breaking the cycle of violence.

Jeff Lemire writes and provides art in this new graphic novel which defies expectations and presents a story about family and an abusive past. The story isn’t flashy, it’s about family drama and an individual’s choice as to how they deal with what’s in front of them.

At its heart, Roughneck is a story about abuse, and by setting it in Canada, Lemire layers the story on top of the history of abuse faced by people of the First Nations in Canada. The story itself is a discussion of the cyclical nature of things and the abuse faced by those individuals by the colonizing white individuals. In this case, the microcosm is Derek and his sister Beth, and the abuse by their father.

At first read, the story is about two individuals and their adversity, but when you dive deeper into it Lemire creates an allegory for history and the reverberation that’s felt today by some of the people of Canada. As a whole, the story is a haunting one that leaves the reader in a funk, like a depressing drama, but its ability to create emotion in the reader is a sign at the talent of Lemire who is one of the most consistent writers in the comic business.

The art by Lemire matches the haunting nature of the story with a minimal use of color in Lemire’s distinct style. I absolutely love his art in general and find myself lingering on every page to catch all of the detail. Lemire is one who only puts what’s needed on the page, and in some cases some of that transcends the graphic novel with works of art that deserve to be hung on walls to be admired.

While set in Canada, Roughneck is enjoyable by all with a story that focuses on the pain of two individuals. But, beneath that Lemire explores the abuse of a nation towards its people. Easily one of the best graphic novels released this year so far.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Jeff Lemire
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Gallery 13 provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

DC Comics Goes from Rebirth to Dark Matter with Five Brand New Series

DC Comics feels like its dropped the gauntlet down at today’s Diamond Retailer Summit before C2E2 as they announced a new line of books called Dark Matter that emphasizes artists along with writers, with a whole bunch of new characters. The initiative comes after Marvel was criticized for saying artists don’t sell books. At the announcement were Jim Lee, John Romita, Jr. and Andy Kubert.

The initiative comes out of the company’s latest creator summit and fills what they thought was missing from comics and was a chance to “create something different than maybe fans of this generation hadn’t see before.”

The line kicks off in August with Dark Nights: Metal which will be written by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the duo who gave a shot in the arm to Batman and made his series consistently one of DC’s best selling comics. That comic is the launching pad for the rest of the line.

One series is Sideways about a teleporting teenager who was changed during those events. It will be co-written by Justin Jordan and Dan DiDio with art by Kenneth Rocafort. Also launching is The Silencer written by Dan Abnett and drawn by John Romita, Jr. That series is about Honor Guest, the former world’s deadliest assassin trying to live a quiet life in the suburbs before her former life comes back to haunt her. Both of those debut in September.

October sees the launch of Immortal Men by James Tynion IV and Jim Lee. The story is about five immortal siblings who operate in the shadows to recruit individuals to prevent Armageddon. That month also sees Damage written by Robert Venditti with art by Tony S. Daniel. In that series army recruit Ethan Avery is granted the power to unleash an unstoppable monster for one hour at a time.

finally, New Challengers debuts in December written by Snyder with art by Andy Kubert. The comic is a reboot of the classic Challengers of the Unknown with a “new cast” and “new mission.”

At the event Lee said more talent and series would be coming down the road later this year.

 

Knight Models Reveals Darkseid, Parademons, Shazam, Professor Pyg, and Falcones for DC Universe Miniature Game and Batman Miniature Game

Knight Models has revealed the latest releases for its DC Universe Miniature Game and Batman Miniature Game.

The DC Universe Miniature Game gets some villains and a new hero. Darkseid, Parademons, and Shazam make their debut. The Parademons come in a three figure set, one of which can be used in the Batman Miniature Game. Shazam is level 15, Parademons are each level 6, and Darkseid is a monstrous level 25. The game also gets a spray template to use during gameplay.

The Batman Miniature Game gets two new gangs and one figure to go with one of them. Professor Pyg & the Dollotrons features four figures, the Falcone Crime Family features Carmine Falcone and three other mob members, and Alberto Falcone rounds out the new releases.

Check out the images of the figures below and pre-order them today.

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