This past Friday, as the nation inaugurated its 45th President; I attended another function at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Midtown Manhattan. One which the President himself designated for “losers.”
R. Sikoryak was on deck, signing copies of his dark satirical comic book pamphlet “The Unquotable Trump.”
“Robert Sikoryak is an American artist specializing in comic adaptations of literature classics, producing a mashup of high culture and low culture. Under Masterpiece Comics, he has produced “Crime and Punishment” rendered in Bob Kane–era Batman style, becoming Dostoyevsky Comics, starring Raskol; and Waiting for Godot mixed with Beavis and Butt-Head, becoming Waiting to Go.” (see Wikipedia).
As he elegantly signed and sketched my copy, we chatted for a while, expressing hope that our new President will at least try to do the right things for our nation, but expressing fear at what his past behavior forebodes; and that is what this little gloomy comic book is about.
It is a collection of some of Trump’s most horrific quotes mashed up with comic book villainy. You can magically hear the Darth Vader theme song in your head, as you flip through this slim book’s black and white drawn parody pages of famous comic book covers from the past.
My favorite is Trump portrayed as Magneto, in the iconic X-Men # 1 comic book cover from the nineties:
This one, however, gave me the heebie jeebies …
No matter whose side you are on, pick up a copy, if only to remind yourself of what led to this day, and to remain vigilant.
Last week a momentous event occurred in the history of comic books. Perhaps it was overlooked by most, but for me it was an occasion to celebrate. In all of the 35 plus years I’ve been reading comic books, not once have I ever read a superhero story set in my old home town of East New York in Brooklyn, New York–and if anyone knows of any others please let me know.
Then, yesterday, to keep the party going, Joseph Phillip Illidge and N. Steven Harris were on site, at Jim Hanley’s Universe (32nd Street, New York City location), to sign and promote their premiere issue of Solarman from Scout Comics.
I asked Illidge why East New York for our new hero’s home. His reply: (1) It has never been done before and should have; and (2) It’s the last holdout neighborhood in Brooklyn that has not been gentrified (I can testify to that if necessary, but with time that can change fast).
This latest iteration of Solarman is a far cry from the original (the character was created by David Oliphant and Deborah A. Kalman, and published by Marvel Comics as a two-issue series written in 1989 by Stan Lee with art by Mike Zeck). The Ben Tucker of today is a much more relatable character (a street-mart Black superhero hacker versus the historically dweebish artist), who can navigate the tough streets of East New York with aplomb, even if he has to take a beating every now and then. Plus, for the first time ever, the alien incursion begins in E.N.Y.
Get yourself a copy, you won’t regret it. The writing is solid, and the graphics are superb; and if your local comic book shop is out, then order it directly from Scout Comics.
I got to meet two more comic book greats at Jim Hanley’s Universe yesterday: Peter Tomasi and Ian Bertram who were on hand to promote their new book from Dark Horse Comics, Penance.
Our very own Christopher Scott already gave it a positive review that you can check out here. After reading it myself, I concur. Penance is Tomasi’s and Bertram’s take on the mythological story behind San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House, built by Sarah Winchester, the uber wealthy widow of gun baron William Wirt Winchester. Augmented by Bertram’s grim and macabre artwork, issue one lays the groundwork for the mystery behind Sarah’s madness and incessant infatuation with the construction of the house.
The team already have five issues penned and ready for printing, so go out and buy it, you won’t regret it!
Bonus! Tomasi also signed my copy of Superman #51:
Yet another awesome signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe (JHU). On Wednesday they had Fred Van Lente and Dennis Calero on site, promoting their latest Titan Comics release: Assassin’s Creed: Templars.
Based on the hit video game, it’s story focuses on the Assassins’ nemesis the Templars. It introduces a new character, the Black Cross, an effective killer, who is just as deadly as any member of the Assassin order. Add a beautifully drawn noirish 1927 China setting, and this book sells itself. Don’t just take my word for it, go out and buy it.
Fred Van Lente is a great writer I’ve been following for sometime, and he was even kind enough to sign my hard copy edition of Action Philosophers. If he keeps writing, I promise to keep on thinking.
And a special thanks, to Dennis Calero, who not to be outdone, threw in this awesome Black Cross sketch. I’m in for the next four issues.
Yet another Wednesday signing at Jim Hanley Universe (JHU). At first, I was going to skip it. I had plenty of excuses. Wednesday is hump day, I have a long commute from Mid-CT to NYC (and vice versa); and around 6 PM all I want to do is get on the train for my afternoon nap on the ride home. However, I already owned a signed copy of Brian Wood‘s the DMZVol. 1 TPB, and rationalized that the admission price of a signed $9.99 Starve TPB–even though I really had no interest in a book about a celebrity chef–was well worth the effort to get my copy of DMZVol. 2 TPB signed to add to my collection.
Man, was I so wrong on this one.
Wired and wide awake from the long cold walk from East 32nd to Grand Central; on the train ride home, I cracked open my signed copy of Starve to see what it was about.
Initially, I had mixed feelings after reading the first chapter. I was intrigued by the drug addled Gavin Cruikshank celebrity chef character, but a little put off by the dog episode. Still, I needed to know what happened next. About a half an hour later, a third of my train ride was over, and I was on Chapter 4 … like goddamn … this is pretty damn effin good.
At times the resolutions were a tad too neat, but the writing was superb, and it kept me awake the entire train ride home. This is no easy feat; usually the rhythmic motion of the train knocks me out cold in 15 minutes or less; but by the end of Chapter five (set in Brooklyn, my old stomping grounds), I was surprised to realize I was only about ten minutes away from my stop. I had been in the reading zone, where time flew by at a rapid clip unawares to me.
After reading it, I still didn’t know how to categorize it. A blurb on the back cover from Eater.com makes reference to a “golden era of food comics.” I’m not aware of any such genre, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
What is it about? It’s about a present-future dystopian society focused on a dysfunctional celebrity family, at odds with each other amidst a subversive society of uber shallow one percenters flaunting their wealth in the middle of a looming class war. It’s a gut wrenching horror story that brilliantly satirizes the reality tv programs of today. It’s a dark bloody and violent televised contest between the young and the old. It’s the heartwarming reconciliation story of an out of the closet 1970s queer coming to terms with his abandoned ex-wife, and barely 18 year old daughter. It’s all these things and more.
Zezelj’s art with Stewart’s colors is disturbing. It is tinted mauves, grayish blues, greens and yellows with heavy dark black inks. It is a visceral gory mess that you don’t want to look away from.
Don’t let this one pass you by like I almost did. Give Starve a chance.
And thanks again to Brian Wood for the sigs and the photo op! Now I gotta go and catch up on Season 2.
A little over two weeks ago, on December 30 of this this past year, at NYC’s Jim Hanley’s Universe (JHU), I got to meet one of my favorite writers from back in the day: Fabian Nicieza. Both Reilly Brown and he were there to sign their new Marvel Team-Up book DeadPool & Cable: Split Second #1.
The series was released digitally first, but I didn’t read it until I got the print version. Not because I’m some sort of Luddite, but rather because it’s a preference of mine to read comics in print. I have dabbled a bit on digital platforms, but for the most part I stick to purchased hard copies.
However, for this series I may have to do both. It has an interesting premise, in that the story will be able to be read both forwards and backwards from issues 1 – 4 and 4 – 1. Fabian and Reilly said it was a great idea, but admitted it turned out to be difficult to execute. This is going to be one of those newer stories that translates better in the digital space.
Also, to be fair, I went to this signing primarily to meet Fabian. It’s no secret that Fabian, together with Rob Liefeld, created Deadpool (who today is one of Marvel’s hottest and most violent heroes) and Shatterstar back in 1991.
It wasn’t my intent to disparage Reilly in any way. His art is fantastic; and to make up for my boorish behavior, I bought two excellent prints from him (the signed DeadPool and Lobo print to the right kicks ass).
Nonetheless, at this signing I was definitely the Asshole. I was the guy with the large stack of books primed for signing. I think the only thing I didn’t bring with me was Psi-Force 9, and that’s only because I stopped buying that series at issue 2 back in 1987 (Fabian started writing it at issue 9).
I’m not sure if I’ll ever do a repeat performance of this behavior again. It felt awkward and chaotic, with the line building up behind me. Going forward I’ll limit myself to three or four books at most.
Thankfully, JHU and Fabian were really nice in doing me the honors; and Reilly was swell too. I got a picture with Fabian; and I tried to sneak one in Reilly, but I ate up my time at the line.
I didn’t get everything I had with me signed but I got two key sets of issues autographed: my original copies of New Mutants #98 – 100 (including the first appearances of Deadpool and Shatterstar) and Alpha Flight #87 -90 (one of my favorite old arcs: Building Blocks); together with two copies of Deadpool & Cable #1.
Now all I have to do is track down Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee!
Action Lab is heading to New York Comic Con this week with convention exclusives, events and more. They’ll be located at booth #3126 and they’re bringing the convention excitement online too.
Action Labt and Action Lab Danger Zone are bringing a variety of exclusives to the show. Releases include a NYCC Exclusive Cover Variant for Jeremy Dale’s hit Skyward, the premiere of the space-spanning teens of Planet Gigantic with Planet Gigantic #0, Bo Plushy, Gangsta #1, and Con Exclusive Editions of “the streetwalking dead” Zombie Tramp and the retro-zombies of Night of the 80s Undead.
Timed for the convention, the publisher will debut their already announced digital series. Bo Plushy, Gangsta, Crimson Society, Zombie Tramp, Scum of the Earth, and Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land will all debut on October 10 the beginning of the convention.
Molly Danger Saves New York! Action Lab has partnered with legendary artist Jamal Igle to publish Molly Danger in a beautiful hardcover edition and to celebrate and at the same time benefit a good cause, they are partnering with Jim Hanley’s Universe to host a benefit signing party to raise money for the Hero Initiative during New York Comic Con! Great comics for a great cause, and get a signed copy of Molly Danger of your very own! Saturday October 12th at Jim Hanley’s Universe comic store in Manhattan! Plus Jamal will be signing copies of Molly Danger all con long!
ACTION LAB is READY to ROCK your NEW YORK COMIC CON experience with great comics, con exclusives and signings and a brand new digital initiative! Come see us at BOOTH 3126!
BOOM! is debuting Bravest Warriors #1 at New York Comic Con with an exclusive cover at the Bravest Warriors Launch Party on Friday October 12th, at Jim Hanley’s Universe. Created by Adventure Time creator, Pendleton Ward, Bravest Warriors is the first animated series debuting on Cartoon Hangover on YouTube in October and follows the adventures of four 16-year-old heroes-for-hire in space!
Featuring exclusive cover art by animator Bob Flynn, this limited edition issue #1 will be available two weeks prior to Bravest Warriors#1 arriving in stores on October 24, 2012. Fans attending the Bravest Warriors Launch Party will have an opportunity to get the first issue signed by cover artist Flynn and Bravest Warriors writer/producer and Executive Producer, Breehn Burns on Friday night. The party, being put on by BOOM! Studios, Channel Frederator and Jim Hanley’s Universe will take place from 6pm – 9pm. In addition to the opportunity to get Bravest Warriors #1 before anyone else, fans will have the chance to enjoy a screening of the first episode of Bravest Warriors, enter a costume contest for fabulous prizes, and enjoy food and drink while mingling with staff from BOOM! and Frederator. Jim Hanley’s Universe is located conveniently just 1.2 miles from Jacob Javits Center at 4 West 33rd Street Manhattan, NY 10001. They can be reached at (212) 268-7088 or www.jhuniverse.com on the web.
Fans of Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors will also not want to miss a chance to check out the Chevy Sonic wrapped in amazing art from both series. The car will be displayed in the lobby of Jacob Javits Center during New York Comic Con and provides a unique photo op! Inspired by the whimsical spirit of adventure in both of creator Pendleton Ward’s cartoon series’, Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors, the talented cartoonists’ working kaBOOM! Studios have created unique interpretations of the characters and worlds of both series. The wrapped Chevy Sonic will feature art by Chris Houghton, Kassandra Heller, Tyson Hesse, Nick Edwards, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb and Zack Sterling and is sponsored by BOOM! Studios, Cartoon Network, and Channel Frederator.
Lastly, the BOOM! team is thrilled to invite their fans to join them at the BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!/BOOM! Town panel taking place on Saturday, October 13th, from 5:15pm-6:15pm in room 1A07! Join Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon, Managing Editor Bryce Carlson and VP of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik along with surprise guest creators as they run down the most exciting new projects and reveal upcoming titles from BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM!, and BOOM! Town! Get the inside scoop on upcoming series like Bravest Warriors, Deathmatch, Supurbia, and many, many more before anyone else!
ComiXology and IDW Publishing Host Dungeons & Dragons Gaming at Jim Hanley’s Universe
November 23rd in NYC to Celebrate the Latest Release of Dungeons & Dragons on Comics by comiXology
November 21st, 2011 – New York, New York – Harken to the call of adventure as comiXology, IDW Publishing, and legendary comic shop Jim Hanley’s Universe team up for an unprecedented Dungeons & Dragon’s gaming event!
In honor of the latest release of IDW’s massive collection of fantastic Dungeon & Dragons comics on Comics by comiXology, comiXology and IDW Publishing will be hosting an evening of classic Dungeons & Dragons gaming at Jim Hanley’s Universe in New York City! Gaming oversight provided by Tavis Allison of http://www.adventuringparties.com/
When: November 23rd, 2011 6:00pm
Where: Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, right next to The Empire State Building in New York City.
What: Come prepared with a Dungeons & Dragons Digital Comic already downloaded on your device and receive a free comiXology t-shirt that adds + 5 to your base Awesome factor!
Didn’t understand that last joke? Worry not as players need not be experienced in the grand tradition of D&D to play. Adventurers of all levels are invited to take part in an evening filled with magic, adventure and a whole lot of geeky fun. So gather up thy lucky dice, digital devices, and whatever else one might need to slay Orcs or hunt for treasure and come join us on November 23rd at Jim Hanley’s Universe.
Since 2007 comiXology has been developing the technological infrastructure to bring comics into the digital mainstream and expose new audiences to the rich history and culture of the industry. Through partnerships with top comic book publishers including Archaia Entertainment, BOOM! Studios, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics and Marvel Comics as well as their own mobile and web apps which host over 14,000 digital titles, comiXology has become a leader in digital comic book proliferation. Also focused on creating strong ties with retail stores through its technology solutions, comiXology continues to transform the previously fragmented comic ecosystem into a vibrant and cohesive marketplace.