Tag Archives: featured

Bluey 5-Minute Stories is a cute collection of stories that kids and adults can enjoy

Cheese and crackers! This treasury includes 6 stories of Bluey and Bingo and their amazing adventures with their friends and family! It’s the perfect read for bedtime, when you’re on-the-go, and anytime in-between. This book includes the stories The Pool, Bingo, Charades, Hammerbarn, Typewriter, and Baby Race.

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Bookshop
Amazon
Kindle


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

SPX 2023: G.H.O.S.T. Agents Apocalyptico is a fun collection of spy action stories with amazing art

Across time and space, the clandestine organization called G.H.O.S.T. (Global Hierarchy Of Secret Tactics) sends its agents to combat threats with bad intentions- lycanthropic drug addicts, demons from the netherworld tearing into the space/time continuum, and the nihilistic, fashion obsessed terrorists collectively known as APOCALYPTICO.

Story: Rocko Jerome
Art: Chris Anderson, Ben Perkins, Barry Tan, Chris Fason, Christian J. Meesey (Meesimo), Adam Lemnah, John Burkett, Craig CK, Shawn Coots, Chris Humphreys, Dave Grom, Rick Lopez, Chris Fason, Danny Nicholas, Dave Praetorius, Miguel Galindo, Jason Foster, Peter Hensel, Tony Fero, Ken Landgraf, Sam J. Royale
Color: Meesimo

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Neighborhood Comics

Penguin Random House takes the fight to courts and sues Iowa

Penguin Random House logo

It feels like folks are finally fighting back against the rise of censorship and Penguin Random House is taking things to court. The publisher has announced it’s challenging recently enacted laws in Iowa (Senate File 496). They’re joined by the Iowa State Education Association and four authors whose books have been banned or removed in Iowa – Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak and Shout), John Green (Looking for Alaska and Fault in Our Stars), Malinda Lo (Last Night at the Telegraph Club and A Scatter of Light), and Jodi Picoult (19 Minutes) – three educators, a high school student, and parent.

The Iowa legislation was enacted in May 2023 and prohibits books that feature any depiction of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, regardless of context from public school and classroom libraries.

The lawsuit is seeking a federal court injunction on the grounds the law violates the First Amendment and free speech and Fourteenth Amendment and equal protection.

Underrated: Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown.


I don’t remember the first time I read this story, but it was likely in the UK reprint magazine Wolverine Unleashed in the mid to late 90’s. That was also the last time I read it, so when I saw the collected edition at my LCS for $15 I couldn’t pass it up – now because Wolverine is a little bit more marketable than Havok, the trade was just called Wolverine: Meltdown.

Originally published in the late 80’s, Meltdown was written by Walter and Louise Simonson, with illustrations by John J. Muth and Kent Williams. The story is set around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of the mid 80’s, and finds Havok and Wolverine caught up in the midst of a plot to end the world in nuclear war from the shadows. The art has a wonderful painted look to it at times, but the artists aren’t afraid to experiment with multiple forms of media throughout the book. It’s a choice that is divisive to some – I’ll freely admit when I was younger the art did nothing for me, but I enjoyed the story a fair bit, whereas now I find myself absorbed in the art more than the writing which is a strange twist on how I usually find myself feeling when coming back to stories I haven’t read in 20 some years.

It’s easy to imagine the way this story would have felt when initially released as it presents another possibility behind the Chernobyl disaster as an intentional act to snare the X-Men. Looking back now, it’s a great premise to a story, and one that still holds up despite the very specific time setting. Admittedly, I’ve no idea or memory as to how in continuity/canon this story is within the X-Universe but the story is entertaining enough to allow you to just enjoy it as is, and seeing Wolverine and Havok team up together is still a relatively rare event even today – and while I’m probably in the minority here, I’d love to see more chances for these two mutants to come together on the page.

The main reason I wanted to talk about this book today is solely because it’s a story that I’d completely forgotten about. This isn’t one of the classic Wolverine or X-Men stories that people will talk about, and honestly nor should it be, but it’s still an enjoyable tale that still stands the test of time; admittedly it’s the artwork that will pull you in more than the story, because this is a book that just looks utterly fantastic. The art is at times risky and pushes the envelope of what comics would typically feature 30 years ago (and yet is far more common today). Do yourself a favour and check this story out if you can – it’s a four issue mini series that shouldn’t break the bank if you hunt the individual issues.


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Scholastic, Graphic Novels, and a Porn Addiction – the latest lies to ban books targets Raina Telgemeier’s Drama

Drama

Did you know reading a graphic novel with two people kissing can lead to a porn addiction? That’s the claim by Lanah Burkhardt, a 20 something-year-old who blames Scholastic and Raina Telgemeier‘s graphic novel Drama for her troubles. Burkhardt testified in front of the Conroe Independent School District that when she was 11, she read the graphic novel that included the phrase” a single kiss” and pictures of characters kissing, and that led her to seek out pleasure elsewhere including the internet.

Due to her porn addiction, Burkhardt argued the school district should bad Drama that features a picture characters kissing. She further stressed to ban Scholastic Book Fairs as a whole to protect kids. Think about the children!

Burkhardt got her way with the Conroe Independent School District who voted to restrict access to Drama for students before high school.

But, a report from The Messenger throws up some questions about Burkhardt and her motives.

Burkhardt works for Brave Books, a Conroe-based publishing company that sells books that are “Pro-God, Pro-America” and sees itself as an alternative to “the progressive agenda.” Brave Books also has an offshoot, SkyTree Book Fairs which is attempting to compete with Scholastic’s attacking the publishers inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and stories.

Burkhardt has attempted to scrub this info from the internet, including Twitter and LinkedIn, since it was revealed she works as a Public relations coordinator for Brave Books and also turns out she was homeschooled as well. Drama was released in 2012 and Burkhardt has been described as in her early 20s… so at least that lines up. When pressed as to what image caused Burkhardt her spiral, she has only denied those shown and as of this article yet to respond with specifics.

Lana Burkhardt

During the same meeting, SkyTree’s President Riley Lee and Brave Books’ CEO and founder Trent Talbot also spoke and urged the switch to SkyTree’s book fair from Scholastic.

This is just an example of a move by the right to restrict and ban access to books, often motivated by profits like this or the want to increase privatization of education from which those pushing the bans would profit. As has been shown, a dark money network is funding campaigns against “Critical Race Theory”, something not being taught in schools. This book banning is an off-shoot of that showing these pushes are about as natural as an oral bowel movement. The “movement” is being used as a wedge issue to whip up voters by the right. It attempts to pit parents vs. bureaucrats (and teachers and librarians), a match that’s unfortunately pretty easy to get traction on. The movement has been working for decades and continues the right-wing push to take over at the local level, first at the state and now even lower to get their regressive agenda passed which includes pulling school and library funding and funnel that into private ventures which remain widely unregulated.

You can read more about this current banning, including bounties paid to find “objectionable” material, here.

Movie Review: Godzilla Minus One turns the iconic kaiju into the God of Monsters

Godzilla Minus One

From the very first trailer on, it was evident Godzilla Minus One was setting its sights on echoing the roaring debut of the nuclear monster back in 1954. Gojira, directed by Ishirō Honda, was a visceral kaiju allegory for the newly minted atom bomb world, a giant creature feature that turned the titular monster into a reminder of the position humanity put itself in by creating weapons of mass destruction. It looked at the state of things at a macro level, from a pretty frightening vantage point. Minus One goes for a more focused approach, putting soldiers and their PTSD at the forefront for a different look at the consequences of human-led devastation and the towering psychological obstacles it creates for those tasked with carrying out militaristic violence.

Godzilla Minus One, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, follows a soldier called Koichi (played by Ryunosuke Kamiki) as he comes home from the war with not just the trauma of his failed mission as a kamikaze pilot but also as a survivor of a battle against a young Godzilla. During that encounter, his inability to act in a key moment of the fight led to the deaths of several soldiers, a decision that’ll haunt him for almost the entirety of the film.

Koichi returns to his hometown only to see it buried under rubble, the victim of allied bombing. As he tries to salvage whatever he can to make his home again, he meets a woman called Noriko (played by Minami Hamabe), a woman in a precarious position that’s trying to survive with a baby in hand. He takes both of them in and time passes. Just as things start getting rebuilt, Godzilla is awakened by atomic bomb tests and Japan is reminded once more that wars never truly end. They just assume a different form.

Godzilla Minus One

From the very first Godzilla movie on, audiences have gotten uniquely different iterations of the classic kaiju. He’s gone from King of the Monsters to Japan’s protector to a parody of himself and back again. In Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higushi’s 2016 Shin Godzilla (widely considered as the best Godzilla movie after the 1954 original), for instance, he becomes a force of nature that exposes humanity’s inability to coordinate a unified response to solve a problem. The film mocks the government’s insistence on bureaucracy to problem-solve and how contradictory the efforts end up being. Godzilla represents the consequences of such dysfunction and how destructive it can be.

In Minus One, Godzilla is essentially turned into a god. He’s the ultimate expression of cataclysmic consequence. Director Yamazaki frames every scene he’s in with a sense of finality that absolutely terrifies. Godzilla’s arrival means humanity is about to get judged, harshly. It’s an impressive showcase of the giant monster that makes for one of the most tense-inducing portrayals of it in franchise history. It’s all reflected in his powers this time around. Without spoiling anything, just know you’re in for a few surprises that both make this version of the monster unique while updating certain aspects of it to make sure the metaphors on display hit harder.

The severity of Godzilla’s presence, what it implies, does an excellent job of imbuing the Japanese soldier experience with a sense of duty and hope that isn’t always given the attention it deserves in war movies. Koichi’s character, for instance, wears his PTSD on his sleeves, constantly reminding the audience his war is a constant and that it didn’t end with the armistice that brought the conflict itself to a close. Trauma does not sign off on this process and thus owes it no recognition. The film hits you over the head with this idea, but it’s in service of setting up a different outcome for the soldiers driving the story.

Godzilla Minus One

Koichi’s supporting cast does an incredible job of exploring the range of trauma and disillusionment that ailed soldiers in the postwar period. One character of note is Sosaku Tachibana, played by Munetaka Aoki, a soldier that also survived the first Godzilla attack along with Koichi. His trauma manifests as anger, making his own war one of disappointment in his brother in arms. The way the movie tackles the diversity of trauma, though, is by highlighting the things soldiers have in common rather than the things that separate them.

By turning trauma into a unifying force, Minus One opens the doors for hope and healing to come through as real and attainable things. War movies dealing with the similar themes rarely opt for hope. Minus One does and it makes for a welcome deviation from the norm. It actually makes the Godzilla scenes feel scarier as the possibility of surviving the giant monster raises the stakes considerably. The audience is encouraged to cheer for the story’s heroes more so than in other stories that deal in war.

Naoki Satô pulls all this together with one of the best Godzilla scores to date. It’s surprisingly restrained but possessed by an epic sense of dread and momentousness that captures the god-like terror of the iconic creature. There’s one particular sequence that feels ripped straight out of Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws that ramps up the horror of facing a giant monster at sea by relying on doom-charged sounds that slightly quicken whenever Godzilla gets closer to the boat he’s chasing. Not a single musical cue is wasted in this regard, giving individual action sequences their own identities. Even when the requisite theme music from the original Gojira (composed by Akira Ifukube) kicks in during one sequence, it doesn’t overshadow Satô’s score. In fact, I wanted to see how that particular sequence would’ve played out with Satô’s score accompanying it.

Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One is a triumph. It earns a spot among the greatest Godzilla movies ever made, right next to the original one and Shin Godzilla. It’s integration of multiple war metaphors along with tense kaiju action lets it stand on its own. What makes it soar, though, is how it manages to turn an already iconic monster into an even more impressive and colossal version of itself. The age of the King of Monsters is over. The age of the God of Monsters has begun.

Dungeons & Dragons comes to US stamps in 2024 to celebrate 50 years

The U.S. Postal Service announced four new stamp “subjects” for 2024 with more reveals to come. To celebrate 50 years of Dungeons & Dragons, 10 stamp designs will be released highlighting characters, creatures, and encounters from the “world’s greatest role-playing game.”

Greg Breeding, an art director for USPS, designed the stamps and pane (which features 20 stamps) with existing illustrations. The original artists weren’t credited in the announcement.

Dungeons & Dragons stamps

Yo Joe! We unbox Mezco’s One:12 Collective Roadblock!

Enter Roadblock, the heavy machine gunner and latest addition to the One:12 Collective!

The One:12 Collective Roadblock is battle-ready, outfitted in a tank top, cargo pants with thigh holsters, combat kneecaps, and combat boots. Switch up his look with the included tactical vest with knife sheath or chest harness. Roadblock features three head portraits – a triumphant grin, a teeth-gritting scowl, and an angry glare.

The master marksman totes an impressive artillery, complete with a modified machine gun with detachable tripod that can be stored in his wearable ammo pack, modified light machine gun, multiple hand grenades, and more.

We open up and show off the figure!

Check it out and then get your own!

Mezco Toyz (waitlist)
Big Bad Toy Store

Yokohama Station SF Vol. 3 is a nice ending to the series

YOKOHAMA STATION HAS SWALLOWED 99% OF MAINLAND JAPAN With help from Keiha Nijo of the Dodger Alliance, Hiroto has followed the Professor’s whispered int imat ions to Exit 42 in the mountainous interior of Yokohama Stat ion. There, in the heart of the beast, an ancient monitor flickers to life, and an image of the Professor in his youth, a haunting digital simulacrum, awakens from its slumber. And just nearby, there is a button—one that, when pressed, could end the Yokohama Station Hiroto has always relied on and has now come to know. Would activating it mean overthrowing a tyrant, or would it mean extinguishing the life-giving sun? In this final volume, turnstiles crawl the hallways, electric guns pierce the station’s hum, and secrets are revealed…

Story: Yuba Isukari
Art: Gonbe Shinkawa
Translation: Stephen Paul
Letterer: Adnazeer S. Macalangcom

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Bookshop
Amazon
Kindle


Yen Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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

Exclusive Preview: Star Wars #41

Star Wars #41

(W) Charles Soule (A) Madibek Musabekov
(C) Rachelle Rosenberg (L) Clayton Cowles
(CA) Stephen Segovia (VCA) Lee Garbett, John Tyler Christopher, Rod Reis
Rated T
In Shops: Dec 06, 2023
SRP: $4.99

LANDO LOST! – A DARK DROIDS TIE-IN!
With the final mission to rescue LOBOT from the terrors of THE SCOURGE underway, galactic ne’er-do-well LANDO CALRISSIAN must finally reckon with the sins of his past. Will he be the SCOUNDREL he’s always been or the HERO he could be?

Star Wars #41
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