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DC Celebrates 80 Years of Robin with a 100-Page One Shot

Since the character’s introduction in Detective Comics #38 on March 6, 1940, Robin has become an icon to millions of comic book fans, establishing the “sidekick” as a permanent part of comic book lore. Since a young Dick Grayson donned the distinctive yellow cape and domino mask, many have taken on the mantle of Robin, joining The Batman in his war on crime, while also growing into their own and taking on new adventures, both solo and as part of other super-teams like the Teen Titans, the Justice League and others.

On March 11, 2020, DC celebrates Robin’s 80th anniversary with a landmark one-shot, Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular. This instant collectible includes stories from comics’ greatest Robin writers, paying tribute to the character in various guises, including Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne. The Talent list for these stories reads like a whos-who list of comic luminaries, such as Marv Wolfman, Tom Grummett, Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel, Devin Grayson, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin, James Tynion IV, Peter J. Tomasi, Judd Winick and others.

In addition to a dynamic cover by Lee Weeks, hardcore fans and collectors can also look forward to eight variant covers spotlighting Robin throughout the decades, drawn by some of comics’ premier artists:

  • 1940’s variant cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
  • 1950’s variant cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
  • 1960’s variant cover by Dustin Nguyen
  • 1970’s variant cover by Kaare Andrews
  • 1980’s variant cover by Frank Miller
  • 1990’s variant cover by Jim Cheung
  • 2000’s variant cover by Derrick Chew
  • 2010’s variant cover by Yasmine Putri

An equally impressive collection of artistic talent will honor Robin in a series of tribute images celebrating different incarnations of the character such as Kenneth Rocafort, Nicola Scott, Andy Kubert, and Frank Miller.

The Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a prestige format comic book retailing for $9.99 and available at local comic retailers and digital retailers on March 11, 2020

Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Preview: Garfield: Unreality TV OGN SC

Garfield: Unreality TV OGN SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers: Scott Nickel, Mark Evanier, Judd Winick
Artists: Scott Nickel, Mark Evanier, Judd Winick
Cover Artist: Andy Hirsch
Price: $9.99

It’s showtime in this second original graphic novel of Garfield! The infamous Fat Cat thinks Nermal is annoying, but he has no idea what’s in store as he becomes a contestant on a reality TV program. Join Garfield, Odie, and Jon in a series of all-new adventures from legendary Garfield and Friends show writer Mark Evanier, ongoing Garfield contributors Scott Nickel and Antonio Alfaro, and New York Times best-selling cartoonist Judd Winick (Hilo).

Review – DC Comics’ Katana #1, Batman #17 and Batman: The Night of Owls

Katana #1

Katana_1From the pages of Justice League of America and Birds of Prey, Katana gets her own ongoing series! Katana is a former assassin on a noble quest to restore the Outsiders to their former glory. Will she succeed, or will she be overcome by the power of her sword, the SoulTaker?

As a new series from DC Comics, I was very interested in seeing what the first issue would be like, I was very intrigued. Part of that came from the fact that I was completely blank as to who this character is and any of her history. I read some of Birds of Prey, but not enough that I know really anything about Katana and her backstory. With that being the case, one would hope a new series would be new reader friendly, even with a character established in another comic. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case here.

We’re dropped into he story with Katana on a mission. We’re given hints as to all of this, something about a sword, something about honor but it’s not really explained. The sword part is clear enough, but not the whole Outsiders thing.

Then there’s the story itself which attempts to have an Far Eastern style to it. Instead it comes off as choppy and at parts incoherent. It’s a good effort, but falls flat for me. And, we’re given little about the character. There’s not much there to get me to connect with her or care about her journey.

Add in some strange events, a trip to a madam and looking at some girl’s tattoos, a fight at the end which seems out of place. It’s a bit muddled and a mess.

The series tries to do some interesting things, but falls flat for me. Maybe it’s better for fans of the character, but as someone who is essentially a new reader, it fails in the first issue’s two objectives, to get me interested and caught up.

Story: Ann Nocenti Art: Alex Sanchez

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Batman #17

BM_Cv17This is it: The stunning conclusion to “Death of the Family”! Who lives? Who dies? Who laughs last? Find out as Batman and The Joker face off one last time!

Scott Snyder has given the Batman franchise energy that’s been missing from the comics for some time. Not only do we have his brilliant introduction of new villains (see below), but there’s also the return of the Joker and his trail of destruction to get at Batman and his family.

Many have suspected that this issue would see the “death” of a character, but they seem to have taken the title of the story arc a bit too literal, not to reveal anything with that. Instead, this latest scheme by the Joker is to attack Batman by driving a wedge between him and the members of his family, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, etc. That’s the “death” Snyder is focused on.

Snyder takes on a topic that’s long debated, and so much more. How interconnected are Batman and the Joker? Does Batman need him more so than his allies? And why hasn’t he killed the Joker by this point?

This isn’t the drag out battle you’d expect. There is that, but this is much more about the relationship and dynamic between the hero and his arch-nemesis foe as well as that same hero and his friends and allies.

As we see in the final pages there’ll be a lot coming down the road as Batman and his family must recover and deal with the Joker’s latest scheme. The Joker’s return kicked the series into an even higher gear, just as Snyder has done for the entire Batman franchise.

With art by Greg Capullo, it’s not just the story that’s the draw. The art is stunning as expected with small details and scenes that just make you linger on the page. It’s an amazing pairing for the finale of what might be one of Batman’s best battles yet with the Joker.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo

Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Batman: The Night of Owls

BM_NOWLSIn this new hardcover, evil spreads across Gotham City as Batman’s allies, including Red Robin, Batwing, Robin, Batgirl, the Birds of Prey, Nightwing and even Catwoman find themselves in a battle coming from all sides. The Court of Owls makes its move against justice in this sprawling tale of corruption and violence.

I’ve always been an off and on Batman fan. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I’ve enjoyed reading some of the various runs or story arcs over the years. Lately though, I’ve been a fan, as Batman has been on a roll lately facing amazing villains and giving us classic stories like this one.

The Court of Owls and their assassins, the Talons, have presented a foe for Batman and his allies that feels like their match if not betters. We have an actual challenge that tests the groups’ abilities and in many cases leaves the group hobbling and on the run.

And behind it all the Court of Owls feel like proper Batman villains, manipulating Gotham from the shadows and directing it’s destiny without the citizens knowing. It’s part psychological thriller, part action story.

I fully expected the series to suffer, by being wedged into continuity, but the writers and team have somehow held that issue off, and actually enhanced the Batman mythos.

Before the New 52, I felt a lot of the recent Batman stories haven’t lived up to the hype, here though, it’s as good as they say if not more so. Great villains, great story, great addition to the Batman corner of the DCU.

Collects Batman #8-9, Batman Annual #1, Detective Comics #9, Batman: The Dark Knight #9, Batwing #9, Batman and Robin #9, Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, Birds of Prey #9, Batgirl #9, Nightwing #8-9 and All-Star Western #9.

Story:  Scott Snyder, James T Tynion IV, Tony S. Daniel, Judd Winick, Peter J. Tomasi, Duane Swierczynski, Gail Simone, Scott Lobdell, Kyle Higgins, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti Art: Greg Capullo, Jason Fabok, Tony S. Daniel, David Finch, Marcus To, Patrick Gleason, Travel Foreman, Ardian Syaf, Kenneth Rocafort, Guillem March, Eddy Barrows, Moritat

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and Fan Expo brought some solid news. Anything folks are excited for?  Here’s some news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – Morbius The Living Vampire #1 For January From Marvel… And More -I give it maybe 12 issues.

Bleeding Cool – DC Comics Announce Geoff Johns And David Finch’s Justice League Of America -Could be solid.

Los Angeles Times – Real-life masked crusaders fight crime their own way -I’m waiting for the first major mess up..

Bleeding Cool – Pete Woods Joins In The Liefeld Debate

Bleeding Cool – Now It’s Rob Liefeld Vs Scott Snyder – “Get Over Yourself You Pretentious Prick”

Bleeding Cool – Judd Winick Walks Off Batwing, Leaves DC Comics, For NowBatwing was decent.

Bleeding Cool – Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort. Oh, It’s On.

Bleeding Cool – Walmart To Release Exclusive Avengers Season One Original Graphic Novel With DVD And Blu-Ray -Sigh….


Around the Tubes Reviews:

Read Comic Books – Adventure Time #7

CBR – America’s Got Powers #3

Read Comic Books – Deadhorse #4

CBR – Punisher #14

Bleeding Cool – Spike #1

Talking Comics – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13

Read Comic Books – X-O Manowar #4

Around the Tubes

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From the buzz online it seems the DC comic reboot is working with reports of lots of sellouts and rationing of comics.  Did you get to your local shop and pick up some of the new books?  Anything good?  Here’s the news while you think about that.

Around the Blogs:

Death and Taxes – 9/11 Truther Comic ‘The Big Lie’ is About More Than 9/11 (Interview)I’ve never had a comic make me more angry.

Huffington Post – Interview: Judd Winick Talks Batwing, a New Batman Comic Set in AfricaThis is one of the DC new series I most look forward to.

Rap Ireland – B.o.B To Feature In Clothing Brand AKOO’s Graphic Novel! – Any spotlight on comic books is good.

Con Coverage:

MTV Geek – Dragon-Con 2011: Actress Virginia Hey Goes On The ‘Warrior’ Path

MTV Geek – Dragon-Con 2011: Taking Tokyo With Magic The Gathering Creator Richard Garfield

MTV Geek – Atlanta Comic Book Artists Converge At Dragon-Con

Washington City Paper – Meet an SPX Cartoonist: An Interview With Craig Thompson

Fantagraphics Book – SPXplosion!

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Action Comics #1

IGN – Detective Comics #1

CBR – Detective Comics #1

CBR – Swamp Thing #1

Wired – The Big Lie #1

This Week in the DC 52

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DC comics is undergoing the biggest shift in it’s line ever, relaunching 52 comic books with brand new number 1 issues and updating the characters for modern times.  It’s the prefect starting off point for new readers, but there’s numerous series and characters I could tell you anything about.  This is a breakdown each week of that week’s releases as well as suggestions on previous arcs that’ll get you introduced to the characters.

ACTION COMICS #1Writer: Grant Morrison, Art: Rags Morales and Rick Bryant

The one and only Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) returns to Superman, joined by sensational artist Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS), to bring you tales of The Man of Steel unlike any you’ve ever read! This extra-sized debut issue is the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe!

This is year 0 of the DC universe.  It chronicles the first hero and the public’s reaction to him.  I’ll admit I’m nervous about this one, as I didn’t dig Morrison’s work on Batman, but this is a pillar of the DC universe and it’s Superman.  He’s an iconic character who hopefully won’t be updated too much.

Key reads: All Star Superman, Vol. 1, All Star Superman, Vol. 2

ANIMAL MAN #1 – Writer: Jeff Lemire, Art: Travel Foreman and Dan Green

Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in this dramatic new series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist).

This is one of the series I know nothing about.  Jeff Lemire can write, but as a whole that first issue better really draw me in.  This is one of the series I put of there as a good chance to be cancelled.  That description does nothing to introduce me to the character who is able to borrow the abilities of animals around him.  It has potential, but who knows.  Grant Morrison had a well respected run on the character.

Key reads: Animal Man, Book 1 – Animal Man, Animal Man, Book 2 – Origin of the Species, Animal Man, Book 3 – Deus Ex Machina

BATGIRL #1 – Writer: Gail Simone, Art: Adrian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes

Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she’s going to have to face the city’s most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past. You won’t want to miss this stunning debut issue from fan-favorite BIRDS OF PREY writer Gail Simone!

Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl, which is odd since last we saw, Barbara was in a wheelchair.  But in the hands of Gail Simone, I expect a solid series that puts the once former Batgirl right back into the uniform.  I’d want it in the hands of no one else.  The drastic change in the character brought a lot of news with it, and a lot of criticism, here’s hoping Simone puts all of that to rest.

Key reads: Batman: The Killing Joke, Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Batgirl: Year One (Batman)

BATWING #1 –  Writer: Judd Winick, Art: Ben Oliver

Africa, a land of beauty – and of great horror. A land of creation and conflict. It is in desperate need of a defender, and from the ranks of Batman Incorporated comes a soldier to carry on the legacy of The Dark Knight in the most tumultuous region on Earth. Meet Batwing, the Batman of Africa!

There’s a lot of unknowns here and I’m pulling for the series to do well.  Winick is going to be tip-toeing a line with the latest franchisee in Batman Inc., this one centered in Africa.  It’ll either come off as completely missing the mark on African issues, being overly preachy or balance activism and story telling.

Key reads: Batman Incorporated, Vol. 1

DETECTIVE COMICS #1Writer: Tony S. Daniel, Art: Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn

A killer called The Gotham Ripper is on the loose on Batman’s home turf – leading The Dark Knight on a deadly game of cat and mouse.

I’m not quite sure where in Batman’s life this is taking place.  Is it in the beginning, where he’s a bit more inexperienced?  Is this post Batman, Inc.?  Batman is an iconic character like Superman, so a lot will be riding on this series.

Key reads: Batman: Year One, Batman R.I.P.

GREEN ARROW #1 – Writer : J.T. Krul, Art: Dan Jurgens and George Perez

Green Arrow is on the hunt. Driven by inner demons, Ollie Queen travels the world and brings outlaws to justice…by breaking every law.

Now, armed with cutting-edge weaponry and illegally gained intel (courtesy of his team at QCore), Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.

Green Arrow is the liberal ying to the Green Lantern’s conservative yang.  Billionaire Ollie Queen is the bow wielding hero who is out to stop crime and hopefully espousing his liberal views.

Key reads: Green Arrow Vol. 1: Into the Woods (Green Arrow (Graphic Novels)), Green Arrow: Year One, Green Arrow: Quiver (Book 1)

HAWK AND DOVE #1Writer: Sterling Gates, Art: Rob Liefeld

Hank Hall is not happy. He’s not happy to have Dawn Granger as a new partner in his war on crime. He’s not happy that she’s dating the ghostly Super Hero, Deadman. He’s not happy to learn that someone is trying to plunge the United States into a new civil war! Now it’s up to Hawk and Dove to root out the forces behind this conflict and stop them before they turn the U.S. into a wasteland!

And who is the monster lurking in the shadows, watching Hawk and Dove from afar? Find out in this new series from Sterling Gates (FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST) and artist Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood)!

Brightest Day set up a decent dynamic between Hawk and Dove with Dove’s interest in Deadman, and it looks like that’s carrying over.  There series will hopefully have a good buddy aspect to it, my worry is the art by Liefeld, which I’m not a fan of.

Key reads: Hawk and Dove, Brightest Day, Vol. 1, Brightest Day, Vol. 2, Brightest Day Vol. 3

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1Writer: Dan Jurgens, Art: Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan

With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International.

Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?

Not sure my thought about this series.  With Justice League and Stormwatch, I’m not sure if another major team like this is needed.  The roster seems interesting enough, but I’m not totally convinced.  The concept of a UN backed team though has me interested though.

Key reads: Justice League International, Vol. 1, Justice League International, Vol. 2, Justice League International, Vol. 3, Justice League International Vol. 4, Justice League International Vol. 5. (Justice League 5), Justice League International Vol. 6

MEN OF WAR #1Writer: Ivan Brandon, Art: Tom Derenick

On the ground and on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU’s Super-Villains? Find out in this explosive new series from Ivan Brandon (Viking, DOC SAVAGE) and Tom Derenick (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

This is the updated Sgt. Rock taking the war comic and updating it to modern times.  I’m pulling for this one to do well, mostly because I want to see a cool war comic on the shelves.

Key reads: The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 1 (DC Archive Editions), The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 2 (DC Archive Editions), The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 3 (DC Archive Editions)

O.M.A.C. #1Writer: Dan Didio and Keith Giffen, Art: Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish

The all-seeing Brother Eye satellite has unleashed a new beast upon the DC Universe in this smashing new series! Kevin Kho has become an unwilling participant in a war between Checkmate and Brother Eye as he is transformed into the One Machine Army Corp known only as O.M.A.C.!

This is the series this week I’m most iffy about.  Keith Giffen is likely what will save it, but it reminds me of the numerous Kirby ideas that DC is grasping on to.

Key reads: Jack Kirby’s O.M.A.C., Checkmate Vol. 1: A King’s Game (DC Comics), Checkmate Vol. 2: Pawn Breaks (DC Comics), Checkmate Vol. 3: Fall of the Wall (DC Comics)

STATIC SHOCK #1Writer: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, Art: Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood

The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static!

A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs!

As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?

The most successful of Dwayne McDuffie’s Milestone comics, I’m cheering for the character and hope he does well.  This is a young character that has a following and has a good chance of being a new generation character that goes the distance and builds into something bigger.  I’m not holding my breath though.

Key reads: Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool

STORMWATCH #1Writer: Paul Cornell, Art: Miguel Sepulveda

They are Stormwatch, a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world Directly following the ominous events of SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the Stormwatch team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo! And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds…

This series is going to be one of the bigger ones in the long run, putting together a secret group that’ll eventually lock horns with the Justice League.  It’s been hinted that the next major event will come out of whatever happens in this book, which makes it that much more important.

Key reads: StormWatch, Vol. 1: Force of Nature, Stormwatch: Team Achilles, Vol. 2, StormWatch Vol. 3: Change or Die, StormWatch Vol. 4: A Finer World, StormWatch Vol. 5: Final Orbit, The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless, The Authority Book 2: Under New Management

SWAMP THING #1Writer: Scott Snyder, Art: Yanick Paquette

One of the world’s most iconic characters has returned to the heart of the DC Universe, and every step he takes will shake the foundations of the Earth!

Alec Holland has his life back…but the Green has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it!

It’s clear Swamp Thing is going to be a big deal in the new DCU.  Scott Snyder can do horror and hopefully the series keeps up a gothic horror feel to it.  If Snyder keeps it up and brings his “A” game, there’s a good chance we’ll see a modern day classic run of the series, but it’s got Alan Moore’s classic run hovering over it for comparison.

Key reads: Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One, Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 2, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book Three, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book 4, Swamp Thing Vol. 5: Earth to Earth, Swamp Thing Vol. 6: Reunion

CBLDF Announces Liberty Annual 2011!

Official Press Release

Support CBLDF With The Industry’s Greatest Creators in CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 from Image Comics

Berkeley, CA & New York, NY – 8 August 2011 United We Stand Against Censorship! That’s the message from Image Comics, over two dozen of the industry’s greatest creators, and our friends at DC Comics and Marvel Comics, who have all banded together to deliver the greatest CBLDF benefit comic yet — CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011!

Famed comics editor Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics, and Assistant Editor Greg Tumbarello view censorship as the ultimate form of bullying and have gathered an all-star team of comics creators to tell powerful stories that take a stand against censorship. CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 comprises 48 powerful pages of all new stories and art. The proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the ever-important First Amendment work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Schreck declares, “It’s an honor to be asked to edit LIBERTY ANNUAL! We wanted to show the human side of what it means to be censored, and we’re elated with how many powerful and heartfelt tales were delivered. With an American facing prosecution in Canada for the comics he reads, the work that CBLDF does is more important now than ever, and the CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL is essential tool in the fight against censorship.”

CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 collects incredible contributions, including original stories by superstars J. Michael Straczynski (Superman: Earth One), Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman), J.H. Williams III (Batwoman), Steve Niles (30 days of Night), Judd Winick (Catwoman), Mark Waid (Daredevil) and Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder). Look for all-new tales featuring Grendel by Matt Wagner, Cowboy Ninja Viking by AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo, and Elephantmen by Richard Starkings and Shaky Kane. Plus: a massive and first-ever full-color story from independent comics master Craig Thompson (Blankets)! Marvel and DC Comics have stepped up to show their support, with all-new pin-ups of Batman by Dustin Nguyen, X-Men by Greg Land, Green Lantern by Ivan Reis, and the Avengers by Greg Horn! It’s all topped off by incredible covers by John Cassaday, Matt Wagner, and two variant covers by Frank Quietly: a full-color, 1 in 25 cover, and a black and white, 1 in 50 cover!

“Bob’s experience as an editor is hard to beat, and we’re proud to have him at the helm,” says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. “Bob made a book that has something to say, without being sentimental or preachy. He’s made a comic we can all be proud of, and that will go a long way towards advancing the CBLDF’s important work.”

Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson says, “It should go without saying that free speech is one of our most fundamental rights as citizens of this great country. Our right to free expression is challenged on a daily basis, though, and sometimes, those challenges occur within the comics world. Without the diligence of organizations like the CBLDF, everyone in the comics community would be much worse off. There are always bullies out there trying to keep people from enjoying the rights we’re all entitled to, but thankfully there are also people willing to stand up for those rights. I’m proud that Image is able to lend a hand.”

Join the fight against censorship by picking up your copy of CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 (AUG110415), a 48-page full color comic book benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, available from Image Comics on October 12, 2011, for $4.99.


Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics artform and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.


Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.


T-Shirts Debuted at Comic-Con Now Available Online

CBLDF debuted a number of new shirts during Comic-Con, including all new shirts from Matt Wagner and John Cassady and new colors and women’s sizes for CBLDF’s popular “I Read Banned Comics” shirt! If you missed us at Comic-Con, you can now get these shirts online!

The new shirts come courtesy of Graphitti Designs. Matt Wagner’s shirt delivers an incredible new image of Grendel leaping into action! John Cassaday’s Uncle Sam design makes a powerful statement about the fight to defend Free Speech!

Finally, CBLDF’s I Read Banned Comics shirt now comes in yellow on black in both men’s and women’s sizes. You can also get the shirt in blue on white in women’s sizes. The original shirt is available here.

These shirts are sure to move fast, so get yours now!

New Luchadore-Inspired BPAL Scents Now Available Online!

CBLDF, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and J. Gonzoscored a K.O. with their epic tag team debut of LA MANO DEL DESTINO and EL NUEVO PURITANO during Comic-Con International. If you missed us at Comic-Con, you can still jump in the ring: These CBLDF-exclusive scents are now available online!

About the fragrances:


Powerful Sumatran patchouli and enigmatic Brazilian copaiba with pao d’arco, cacao absolute, bourbon vanilla, Ceylon cinnamon, and tobacco


The wicked wrath of moral panic: unmoving, rigid oak, dry leather, tonka, gunpowder tea, and pious olibanum with a core of perverse and furtive vanilla bean, bay leaf, clove bud, and lime.

You can purchase each fragrance individually, here and here, or you can get them as a set. The set includes a gorgeous, limited-edition full-color print from J. Gonzo, inspired by his new 6-issue comic series La Mano del Destino. Help take censorship to the mat by picking up these CBLDF exclusive scents and print today!

DC’s Power Girl Introduces New Muslim Character. Right Rages In 3….2….1…

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MTV Geek broke news that DC comics Power Girl #24 sees the introduction of a new character Ahmad, who happens to also be a Muslim American.  The character is forced to use his metahuman abilities for the first time on a crashing plane, I imagine that’ll go over swell with conservatives who raise a stink any time a Muslim is depicted in comic books.  Writer Judd Winick is the one who gets the fun honor of being the target of pissed off bloggers this time.  But in his interview with MTV Geek, he actually seems like he’s handling a Muslim with super powers in an interesting way.

Winick is intelligently playing off the plane scenario.  The character hasn’t wanted to use his powers, but in this scenario he needs to in an attempt to save the plane and those on board.  This of course isn’t interpreted in the best ways.

He’s going to try and save everyone, but he knows it’s going to look like he’s taking the airplane down. And he’s hoping that afterwards he can explain, and everyone will see… And of course, Power Girl and Batman guide the plane down instead of him.

So he looks guilty, which is sort of where that’s where our story takes off, based on someone who suddenly looks like a super-powered terrorist; when he’s just a regular citizen who wanted to be left alone. Who didn’t want anything to do with any of this, and has now been imprisoned in a Guantanamo Bay like prison for about six months.

Winick has taken the interesting narrative choice of depicting the story from Ahmad’s perspective and thinks a good story will trump coming off as a preachy soapbox.  But it’s this answer in his interview that makes me think we’re in for another shitstorm.

He’s just a simple man who wanted to be left alone, and live his life. Things happen around him that make that impossible. So is he a villain? I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone feels more sick about it than him. As people read this story, I think they’ll see he has reasons for doing what he has to do – or thinks he has reasons for doing what he has to do. He doesn’t feel he’s asking too much.

He’s a man with a lot of ability, who really just wants this one thing. He’s asked for nothing, and he’s been persecuted unjustly… And when that one thing is denied him, then he’s gonna fight.

And I see this getting quoted a lot:

Geek: It does seem like the actual villain here is the American government in the issue. Or is it more complicated?

JW: I think it’s more complicated than that. I think this is a massive, massive misunderstanding. So many people are wrong on so many levels. The bottom line that mistakes were made. I don’t agree that the American government is the bad guy. If you’re a terrorist, yeah, we’re the bad guys. [Laughs] That’s where you’re coming from. But it turns out, this guy is not. He’s just being perceived as one. Those in control are not necessarily going about things the wrong way? They just have their suspicions.

Do I think that some people are being wrongly detained? Yeah, that’s been documented. Lots and lots of men and women have been wrongly detained. Those are the ones we hear about. Are there actual bad guys? Yeah, there are actual terrorists who are being justly detained. In this case, it’s an innocent man.

But it’s clear Winick’s goal is to tell a good story, not a perspective:

This is the era we’re living in right now, since 9/11. Arabs around the world, and Muslims, and Arab-Americans, and Muslim-Americans are people who are under a lot of scrutiny, victims of a lot of racism and prejudice. It makes it topical, it makes it something we want to discuss. Every decade, every era has their stories of people who are persecuted, and right now, there are a lot of American citizens who are taking a lot of crap for being born one way, for being born in another country, and that’s hard.

I mean… I’m not stupid. I’m perfectly aware there’s a war going on, and there are thousands of people who would like nothing better than to kill millions of us. I’m aware of that. And that’s not really the side I’m taking… This is a story about one perspective. The other one gets told a lot. This one just seems more interesting to me.

It’s a good interview where you get a good sense of what’s going on in the story teller’s head.  Head over to MTV Geek and read the full interview.

200+ Comic Creators Scheduled at Anaheim Comic Con

Official Press Release

Judd Winick, William Stout, Mike Grell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Arthur Suydam Among 200+ Top Comic Creators At Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con, April 29-30-May 1 At Anaheim Convention Center

Other Headliners Include Nathan Edmonson, Ethan Van Sciver, Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio, Dustin Nguyen, Phil Jimenez, Mark Texeira, Michael Golden, Greg Horn, Plus Eight “World Of Warcraft” Artists

NEW YORK and ANAHEIM, Calif., April 11, 2011 – More than 200 leading comic artists, writers and producers will be on hand as North America’s largest pop-culture tour continues at Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con at the Anaheim Convention Center, April 29 through May 1.  Huge industry names like Judd Winick, William Stout, Mike Grell, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Arthur Suydam will be joined by other comic superstars at the second annual event, which will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop culture, movies, comics, toys, video gaming, television, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Headliners Winick (“Power Girl, Justice League), Stout (“The Dinosaurs”), Grell (“Green Arrow,” “Green Lantern”), Sienkiewicz (“Elektra,” “Assassin”) and Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) will be complemented by Nathan Edmonson (“Who is Jake Ellis?” “The Light), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Superman/Batman”), Rob Liefeld (“Deadpool,” “Youngblood”), Whilce Portacio (“Artifacts,” “Uncanny X-Men”), Dustin Nguyen (“Justice League: Generation Lost,” “Batman: Streets Of Gotham”), Phil Jimenez (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “Astonishing X-Men”), Mark Texeira (“Wolverine,” “Moon Night”), Michael Golden (“Batman,” “Hulk”) and Greg Horn (“Spider-Man,” “Turn off the Dark”).

In addition, eight artists from the popular “World of Warcraft” adventures by Blizzard Entertainment will be on hand.  Fans can interact with Thomas Denmark, Cole Eastburn, Lucas Graciano, Mike “Daarken” Lim, Glenn Rane, Tony Washington, Michael C. Hayes and Trent Kaniuga.

“Fans will appreciate the depth and breadth of comics talent assembled at Anaheim Comic Con,” said Gareb Shamus, Wizard World CEO.  “With more than 200 local, national and international creators, including some of the biggest names in the industry, there’s something for fans of all comics styles.”

Anaheim Comic Con is the fourth stop on Wizard World’s 2011 North American tour, which to date has 13 events scheduled.  Hours are Friday, March 29, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Tickets are available in advance online at www.wizardworld.com/anaheim.html at a savings over tickets purchased at the door.  Advance adult single-day tickets are $25 ($30 on site); three-day weekend tickets are $45 ($50 on site), and tickets are free for children age 10 and under when accompanied by a paid adult (limit two children per adult).  VIP packages with special entry and exclusive items are also available.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World is a producer of pop culture and multimedia conventions across North America that markets movies, TV shows, video games, technology, toys, social networking/gaming platforms, comic books and graphic novels. It has the rights to the names, marks, domains, customer lists and production rights for a portfolio of pop culture and multimedia conventions.

For the most recent event information please visit www.wizardworld.com and become an Anaheim Comic Con Fan on Facebook.

Around the Tubes

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It’s a packed edition of Around the Tubes with lots of stories we missed but also continuing WonderCon coverage and a flood of reviews.  Enjoy!

Around the Blogs:

Comics Alliance – Sean Phillips & Crime Novelist Don Winslow’s Free ‘Sunset on Sunset’ Comic [Preview]Philips’s work is some of the best out there.

Bleeding Cool – Live From The DMZ LaunchesOne of my favorite series gets a great website dedicated to it.  I can’t wait to see what it has in store.

Comic Book Resources – I Like Marvel’s Re-Numbering PlanI generally agree with this assessment.

Newsarama – New Doc to Explore Comics Code, Fredric Wertham ArchivesThis is a key moment in comic book history.  One every fan and free speech advocate should understand.

Bleeding Cool – A Comic Show – The Best Week In Comics Of The Year So FarA solid week of books.

WonderCon Coverage:

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Judd Winick

Examiner – WonderCon 2011: 35,000 fans, hundreds of superheroes go home happy (Video)

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Rick Remender

Graphic Novel Reporter – Happy Birthday, Wonder-Con: A Review of the Show

Comicvine – Wondercon 2011: The Cosplay Challenge

Comicvine – WonderCon2011: Mattel Booth Tour

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Joe Quesada

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Frank Quitely

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Spider-Man: Edge of Time Interview

GeekWeek – Wondercon ’11: Watch The New THUNDERCATS Trailer in HD

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Floor Wrap-Up

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: J.T. Krul (Part 1-DC Comics)

Comicvine – WonderCon 2011: Jeph Loeb

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Graphic Novel Reporter –Anya’s Ghost

Graphic Novel Reporter – Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon

Graphic Novel Reporter – Beauty and the Squat Bears

Seattle Pi – Elephant Man

Seattle Pi – The Complete Essex County

The Aaugh Blog – Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Graphic Novel Reporter – Hellblazer: Pandemonium

Graphic Novel Reporter – Lethe

Waking Brain Cells – Lost & Found: A Graphic Novel Wonderland

Graphic Novel Reporter – Lucille

ICv2 – Mercy Thompson: Moon Called’ Vol. 1 TP

North 40 – North 40

Seattle Pi – Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

Graphic Novel Reporter – The Rawhide Kid: The Sensational Seven

Seattle Pi – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Graphic Novel Reporter – Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki

Graphic Novel Reporter – Thor: The Mighty Avenger

GeekWeek – Time Bomb

Seattle Pi – Tumor

Graphic Novel Reporter – The Waking