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Win Graphic Novels from Insight Comics

He comic fans! We’ve teamed up with Insight Comics for you to win a bundle of their excellent graphic novels. Entry is simple, just go to this link and sign up for your chance to win!

The contest begins today and ends October 10, 2017.

Winners will receive a bundle of graphic novels that includes:

Siberia 56
Elves Vol. 1
Baker Street Four Vol.

It’s as simple as signing up.

Here’s the official rules:

1. Eligibility: This campaign is open only to those who are 18 years or older. Entrants must live in North America.

2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Insight Editions as final and binding as it relates to the content of this Campaign.

3. Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on Tuesday September 26th and ending Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM (PDT). All online entries must be received by Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM (PDT).

4. No purchase necessary.

Enter now for your chance to win!

Review: Ghoul Scouts Night of the Unliving Undead #4

ghoul_scouts_4-digital-1I admit that I’m kind of late to the Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead party, by three whole issues. I’m joining in at the end of an arc and with no knowledge of the series , issue #4 is a pretty nice stand alone entry into the series and a damn good reason to pick up the three issues that preceded it. Steve Bryant tells a very good tale of a group of kids trying to save their town from hordes the undead and some other supernatural creatures. He takes a story that has been done in a million ways and structures it in a way that seems original.Issue #4 of Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Living Undead focuses on our gang of underage zombie slayers trying to get through the woods , to gain access to a spooky manor, to stop the threat to their town. The whole scene is set up like the end stages of the original Lost Boys and that’s a damn good thing. We get to watch as our young heroes try and restore the town to the normal sleepy village it once was by going up against a small zombie army and a possible double agent wolf man.

Issue #4 of Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead focuses on our gang of underage zombie slayers trying to get through the woods , to gain access to a spooky manor, to stop the threat to their town. The whole scene is set up like the end stages of the original Lost Boys and that’s a damn good thing. We get to watch as our young heroes try and restore the town to the normal sleepy village it once was by going up against a small zombie army and a possible double agent wolf man.

Being kids they use what kids would use, frying pans, sling shots, a tater gun, a big stick and a baseball bat. It’s realism in a fun way. We’ve all thought about how we would survive the zombie apocalypse and while eyeing the panels of Thud, Krak, Whak and other requisite sounds that you would expect for several pages of fight scenes, you find yourself cheering for this group of zombie slaying misfits. There were just enough of these fight based sound panels to make them seem crucial to the story, it was like a visual remix that played as a soundtrack to our little heroes tale of woe.

I wanted to check out the comic based on the cover art and was expecting something completely different and a little bit more cheeky. I didn’t focus too much until I started reading the comic. The artwork on the cover was a pretty good summary of what to expect and it did what cover art is supposed to do, draw the reader in. Mark Stegbauer and Jason Millet artwork is great. Never too heavy and never too light. It showcases the peril and urgency and they know when to show everything and when to show little or nothing at all. Their artwork was as much a part of the storytelling as Steve’s words.

I decided to review it expecting a kiddy bop version of the walking dead for my tweenage daughter to read because Walking Dead is kind of heavy at times. I got that and so much more, it’s a solid read with good characters, a compelling and eerie story and some well-placed jump scares. The unmasking of the villain at the end turns out not to be an unmasking but, a way to add an extra layer to the story & propel it forward. There is no pandering, no coddling, lots of blood and gore and a great story. It’s a good read no matter what your age is but, if you know a kid or tween that’s all about the zombie apocalypse, you should direct them here. Ghoul Scouts serves up some Lost Boys, with a little Monster Squad and a dose of Walking Dead, sans all the rape and sex scenes. It’s not a bubble gum fun romp through zombie land, it’s a full-on brawl. I was entertained and found myself invested in our heroes journey.

Story: Steve Bryant Art: Mark Stegbauer and Jason Millet
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Best Reasons To Become Team Daryl Dixon

19This crossbow slinging badass really stands his ground in The Walking Dead tv series considering he was never even in the comics. Even as a survivalist with his tough as nails loner personality he still knows how to have a good time. I for one am all for this redneck, and for some damn good reasons.

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Oscar (Vincent Ward) - The Walking Dead_Season 3, Episode 2_"Sick" - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCHe will be your right hand in keeping that pesky hostage steady with trusty crossbow never far behind to strike a zombie with a arrow or just bash their skull in.

5He has proven time and time again to have everyone’s back, but he looks kick ass back to back with Rick. After all they are brothers now. Even with a high powered gun his crossbow is with him.

3This man takes pain like a champ. First he was grazed in the head by a bullet from the airhead blonde Andrea when she thought he was a zombie. Then he had a arrow through his stomach while rolling down a riven into water. Sometimes that trusty bow can be a real bitch.

6While out on a jaunt with Beth he decided screw it lets just climb into this plush death box for a nap, smiles and all. 9He can’t help but be a ladies man. There’s been plenty of hugs and kisses from Beth and Carol but he never made a single move in return. Makes a girl wonder, What’s up with that?

11Even this bad boy knows sometimes you just have to lay down and let it all out.

8He knows how to console you when you’ve had it rough. And I give him props for that comforting hug from behind without a boob grab. A+ for the perfect hand placement.

16Apparently he is a big softy for those bundles of joy, as he gives almost a dorky yet evil looking grin for little Asskicker Judith.

17Need a good time, well add some drinks and a fire and this man is itching go. Add his partner in crime Beth and they become a screw the world duo.

13He has your bad boy need filled with his leather wearing motorcycle getup. But what’s with the no leather chaps?

21He will hunt, skin, and cook almost anything for a meal without blinking a eye. He might though have a thing for snakes with the look in his eyes.

20How can you resist a man that is not afraid to rock a poncho, let alone a motorcycle riding, poncho wearing, crossbow wielding dude.

Whether you need a need the strong protector or the sexy badass, Daryl Dixon can take you all the way.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week, and we’re getting closer to SPX and New York Comic Con! We’re excited. Can you tell?

While you contemplate that, here’s some news and reviews from around the web to keep you buys.

Around the Tubes

NewsOK – Zombies refused to stay dead after 1950s ban in comics – A good read on some history.

The Outhousers – Whatever Happened to DC Comics? – Agree? Disagree?

The Outhousers –How To Screw Your Customers The Marvel Way – How to keep up market share, the Marvel way!


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – East of West #20

CBR – Stringers #1

Street Level Characters to the Rescue of Zombicide

zombicideLike most table-top gamers I have a huge problem with purchasing versus playing. By that I mean that I am likely to buy interesting looking games and then let them languish unopened on my shelf for months. In the past year I have either been given or bought a lot of high-profile games that I still haven’t had a chance to get into – for instance Twilight Struggle, Dominion, Clash of Cultures and Ticket to Ride. Part of the problem is time, as each game takes a certain amount of time to learn and then to play. Another problem is being behind in terms of the medium itself.  When I was a kid I kind of prided myself on a collection of board games numbering more than 100. After a while I lost interest, and so too did most of popular culture.  Tabletop gaming was being rapidly replaced by video games, which allows better player immersion and topical stories.

mr t board game

I pity the fool that plays this

It was not until I wandered by our city’s first board game café that I realized how much had changed. Certainly games based on any topic or theme were gone, but table top strategy games were making a resurgence. Though these had always been part of the medium, tracing as far back as with Axis and Allies or earlier games, the new wave of games were aimed at a different crowd. The days when games littered the walls of department stores were gone, but in their place were games that were either more intelligent or more entertaining and usually both.  Out was the Mr. T board game, in came Settlers of Catan.

The problem with being behind the curve in games though is also the fact that the gaming industry has changed. Where once the games were mass-produced for a huge market, now they are niche entities. A lot of games rely not only on fan participation through purchasing but also through just getting the things started in the first place. Kickstarter became a major avenue by which game producers could get their product financed, and true to Kickstarter, financial support by fans often led to thank you in the form of exclusive content. Being a late-comer to the resurgence meant that I missed the opportunity to get involved at all with these Kickstarter campaigns, and in a lot of cases I lost a chance at exclusive material, the only other viable source for the material being on eBay, where complete sets of exclusive material can run in the hundreds of dollars.

ivyLast night I decided it was time to crack open a new game and to give it a try. I had been leaning heavily towards Thebes, a game about the golden age of archaeology, but I ended up on a completely different topic. After a quick video tutorial from Youtube I dived into Zombicide.  his is another Kickstarter funded game and one which has a fairly fun premise – guiding survivors through a zombie apocalypse. The first game ended in failure as my wife and I died pretty quickly, but in the second game we figured out a pretty good system and managed to beat the first scenario. This left us wanting a little more (despite that it was well past midnight.)  I got into researching the game and found out to my disappointment that the game’s expandable content, other than two expansions, was mostly all exclusive to Kickstarter supporters that was never released and never would be.

leaMost of this content was just additional player characters, and most of these were based on pop culture.  For instance, Ivy an assassin turned housewife is a direct rip-off of Angelina Jolie’s character from Mr. and Mrs. Smith. While not necessary to play the game, the additional character certainly would make it more fun, but the price would not be able to justify the benefit to the game. It is perhaps that the game makers (Guillotine Games) knew this. Among the other giveaways to the game, the company also produces blank character cards for individual customization. I looked up some of these and for instance certain people on DeviantArt have created some interesting looking characters. For someone artistically challenged as I am though, I came up with a different inspiration namely to mix two mediums of which I am a fan – board games and comic books.


The cover for Angel and Faith Season 10 #7

This is a much easier enterprise as comics has done all of the work for me in an artistic sense. Browsing through the new releases for the next few weeks I came across an image of Faith with a flamethrower. That Faith has not been ripped off yet is a bit surprising (though the character Lea is close enough to being Buffy). Being based in a universe where they battle all kinds of supernatural creatures, living such characters through a zombie apocalypse is a fun idea, and the expansion of this game to most street-level characters is a pretty natural one. Even such characters as for instance Sally of the Wasteland, from Titan Comics would be a great fit. In a sense therefore, the company has allowed me a chance to catch up as well, only one fueled by a bit of research and my own creativity.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone looking forward to? Did you notice something a bit different about the site?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – DC Cancels Six – Sad trombone.

Kotaku – It Takes Over 22,000 Bricks Build A LEGO Avengers’ Helicarrier – Wow, just wow.

Arlington Now – Pike Drivers Warned of ‘Zombies’ – This isn’t too far from GP HQ.

The Mary Sue – Gorgeous Superhero Watercolors To Class Up Your Living Space – Fancy.

ICv2 – ‘Walking Dead’ Litigants Fight Over Access – Ooph.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – All-New X-Men #27

The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics Halloween Giveaway!

Attention Fright Fans!  You have five places where you could win Yoe Books/IDW‘s complete Chilling Archives of Horror Comics! These spine-tingling collections of banned comics from the 1950s include Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein, Bob Powell’s Terror, Zombies, the brand new, Jack Cole’s Deadly Horror and the soon to be released Haunted Horror hardback! Enter your name each place for five chances to win!

The scary sponsoring blogs and Facebook page are The Horrors of it All, Four Color Shadows, The Fabulous Fifties, Yoe Books Facebook page and the IDW Publishing Facebook page. Go here to each of them to win…

  1. http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com
  2. http://fourcolorshadows.blogspot.com/
  3. http://allthingsger.blogspot.com/
  4. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yoe-Books/157174217659112
  5. https://www.facebook.com/idwpublishing/

Follow each blog’s individual instruction on how to enter your name in the contest.

Gory details: Contest closes on the stroke of MIDNIGHT October 29th. Winners will be announced on the above URL”s on Halloween so check in each place!  (Only continental U.S. residents eligible, you can enter the contest all five places, but you can only win one set of books. Void where prohibited by law. Judge’s decision final. YO! Are you not feeling lucky because a black cat crossed your path?! You can still have a Happy Halloween: fearlessly order the books for yourself (and everyone on your Halloween gift list) at the Yoe Books site.

Movie Review: World War Z

World_War_Z_posterI loved Max Brooks‘ book World War Z and to see that on the big screen would have been the start of zombie movies for adults, as it’s a book that breaks the mold and has the genre “growing up” from it’s generally non-respected roots. That book and this movie have little in common other than a name. That’s the first thing about this summer’s Brad Pitt attempt at a blockbuster, going in thinking you’re about to see an adaptation of the book is a mistake.

World War Z isn’t bad at all. I expected a disaster and it’s far from that. But, just because it’s not bad, doesn’t make it good. The movie was just so-so for me. There’s some good stuff here and great action sequences, but a sequence or two doesn’t make a movie. The movie itself is an amalgamation, a Frankenstein of a movie.

The movie has a habit of borrowing from numerous movies that have come before. This is noticeable from the beginning when during the credits the music playing evokes The Exorcist and it goes on from there. Take 28 Days Later mix it with Contagion, add in a little of I Am Legend and then take the title from a popular book and you get this movie.

And that’s part of what frustrates me about the movie. It would be one thing if it changed the book improving on it, but it doesn’t. Instead it generally chucks it’s source material, picking from the movies listed. A scene in a building evokes 28 Days Later. Scenes with people debating the cause is Contagion and the general plot and ending are I Am Legend (which itself made changes from the original material and not for the better.

Then there’s the idea of a “white guy” saving the world. Brooks’ book was international in scope showing heroes from across the world. Here, the main characters, other than one UN official, are all white. The movie white washes the source material in a horrible way. For a star with a global scope in doing good, it seems to have not played a part when it comes to casting.

There is a way to save this movie in the long run and the answer is sequels. By making this movie one story in the bigger picture, it comes closer to Brooks’ original book and by tying in the movies slightly even more so. We’ll see how far the movie gets past its opening weekend. As a summer movie it’s ok, but with so many other and better choices out there, this wouldn’t be close to a must see movie of the summer.

Direction: 7 Acting: 6 Plot: 5 Overall: 6.5

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Zombies

It’s Monday, which means a new look at comic book fans on Facebook. This week we check out fans of Zombies! With World War Z opening this week, it only seems appropriate for us to look at the shambling fans out there.

This is a bit different in that I looked at the term “zombies” as well as movies, games, books and more that featured them.This mixes in The Walking Dead, World War Z, Night of the Living Dead and more!

Facebook Zombie Fan Population: Over 19,200,000 in the United States

This is the largest population we’ve studied to date.

Spanish speakers account for 840,000, 4.38%. That’s towards the higher end of these types of studies for the United States. I guess they know how to do more than moan!

Gender and Age

The breakdown of men and women isn’t shocking, lining up pretty well with the other types of studies we’ve done in the past. In this case, men hold the majority of 61.46% of fans while women are 40.63%. Yes, that’s over 100% as the numbers for some reason this has happened again.

zombie fans gender 6.17.13

Zombie Fans

zombie fans gender and age line graph 6.17.13


Here’s the full raw numbers as far as age and gender.

zombie fans age raw 6.17.13

Relationship Status

I guess zombies bring relationships, as more folks are in relationships or married percentage wise compared to the previous populations we’ve looked at.

zombies relationship 6.17.13

And for those that like pie charts.

zombie relationship pie chart 6.17.13


Much like many of the previous studies, the education breakdown is very similar to what we’ve seen previously in other studies.

zombies education 6.17.13

Gender Interest

The gender interest is more like Superman fans than anything else with even more women identifying themselves as interested in women.

zombie fans gender interest 6.17.13

And that wraps up this report! Join us next week when we look at fans of indie comics!

Almost American
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