Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are Too Many Comics a Bad Thing?

Secret Avengers #13 - 365 Days of Comics
Secret Avengers #13 did not make the cut.
This past Wednesday Marvel filled the shelves with popular titles while swiftly emptying their readers pockets. My mostly Marvel pull was packed with the likes of Captain America, Secret Avengers, Secret Warriors, The Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Mighty Thor, The Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine, Venom and FF. Plus, I picked-up DC's Detective Comics and one comic book from last week that I forgot (Avengers). With many of the Marvel comics costing $3.99, my week came to a hefty price even with my local shop's 20%  discount for regulars. Though I love when my books come out, I've started hating these big weeks.

After a couple weeks, in one month, that total over $30 each I start doing what the publishers do not want me to do: I consider dropping some titles. When I add up how much I spend on comic books over the course of a month I get depressed. It's almost always around $100. If I had an extra $100 a month I could pay off my student loans quicker, move into the technology age and upgrade to a phone with a data plan, go to a sporting event more often and even set some money to the side for a vacation. Comic books are a great form of entertainment, but once they start taking away from other passions in my life...well, that's when I start to cut books. But what should I cut?

This past week is actually a great list to use for comic cutting. The Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine ended with this week's issue #6, so that one is gone. Secret Warriors ends after the next issue, thus making that cutting decision easy, as well. Now for the tougher cuts... I think it's time to cut Secret Avengers. I was getting it for Ed Brubaker's writing, but he has recently departed from the title and to be honest it never really was that interesting. I probably should have cut S.A. a while ago. This is why Marvel should try to spread out their release days a little better. If I wasn't just hit with a large bill I wouldn't have started removing books from my weekly pulls. Secret Avengers was sneaking by because I didn't mind spending a bit extra, once a month, to see if the next issue would be any good. Now, unfortunately, I can no longer take that chance. It better not get good next month!

Amazing Spider-Man is always safe on my list, and Hickman's FF has been so well written that dropping it is not a possibility. Venom, The Might Thor and Wolverine are sticking around for now because their creative teams include some of the best in comics right now (Remender, Fraction, Coipel, Aaron, and Acuna). I ended up cutting three books which seems like a good cut, but as we all know, there will always be new titles that get added to the purchase pile. This cut process will happen again, but it does not have to happen as often. If Marvel could try to space their popular titles a little better I wouldn't notice the obscene amount of money I spend weekly, and monthly, on comic books.

I'll gladly remain broke as long as I'm slowly drained of my money. It's like having a girlfriend as opposed to seeing a prostitute. With a girlfriend I slowly spend my money on her over time and am rewarded with joy when she is happy; however, with the prostitute I spend my money in bulk for moments of pleasure which make me feel good at the time, but very bad when the doctor tells me I just got venereal disease.

Please Marvel, don't give me a VD.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Invincible Iron Man #504

Invincible Iron Man #504 - 365 Days of Comics
The French mimes got really good.
On Sunday, I got to the last of my comic books (from last week) and ended-up enjoying my choice to conclude the week: Invincible Iron Man #504.

The reason for it being my last issue was that it is a tie-in comic book to Marvel's "Fear Itself" event. Often times, tie-in issues are not that great because they do not add anything to the overall event arc and there tends to be a lack of action; however, Invincible Iron Man #504 seems to get further into the "Fear Itself" story than the actual mini-series itself...fear!

After Tony and Pepper do their relationship dance, Tony goes to Paris to explore one of the many falling objects from space (we know to be hammers from Fear Itself). He gets to Paris and discovers that everything has been turned to stone...including people, who now appear as statues. As Tony starts to realize that something is very wrong he is attacked by a super-powered Grey Gargoyle who has discovered the hammer which fell to earth in Paris. The Hammer has boosted his powers to the extreme causing him to turn everything he sees into stone. For some reason Tony's armor is keeping him from transforming into a statue, and fortunately, it is also keeping him alive as he is thoroughly smashed on by the possessed Grey Gargoyle and his newly obtained hammer.

The battle is of course intense because it involves a huge beast of a stone-like character swinging a massive hammer at a man in a metal suite, but the battle also takes on a bit of tension as readers are highly aware that every time Iron Man gets knocked through a group of human statues, he is actually shattering any chance of saving the humans which are the statues. At the end of the battle Iron Man is nailed with a face-shot via a huge hammer, and when Tony wakes from his knock-out slumber he finds himself on a pile of crushed statues. The pile is several stories tall and goes on far off in the distance. Was the whole of Paris population killed? I can't wait to find out in Invincible Iron Man #505.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #661

The Amazing Spider-Man #661 - 365 Days of Comics
Teens are very different these days, Spidey.
While Dan Slott takes a 2 issue break to finish-up work on his upcoming "Spider Island" arc, Christos Gage steps in to pen a 2 part adventure which has Spider-Man, Marvel's first teen superhero, substitute teaching the teens from Avengers Academy. Gage writes some wonderfully funny dialog and creates standard awkward Spidey moments which seem to help define Spidey's lovable goofiness.

Oh, and the back-up 10 page story by Paul Benjamin and Javier Pulido, in The Amazing Spider-Man #661, is outstanding. The Sandman panel will blow you away.

Check-out my full review, with additional pictures, over at!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Funko Creates Sweet New Marvel Bobble-Heads

Funko Marvel Bobble-Heads

I must have these new Marvel bobble-heads from Funko! I like the character selection; however, I wonder why they decided to go with one villain. Most likely the choice for the villain being the Red Skull was due to the Captain America movie coming out soon, and the fact that the character's red skull makes for an interesting design to bobble about.

I would love to see Funko come out with more of these Marvel bobble heads. Here is a list of the top 5 additional characters I would like to see in Funko Marvel Bobble-Head form.
  1. A large scale bobble-head Galactus.
  2. A battle helmeted bobble-head Thor.
  3. A flaming skull bobble-head Ghost Rider.
  4. A horned helmeted bobble-head Loki.
  5. A miniature bobble-head Ant-man.
Which additional character would you like to see?

Check-out the current batch below!

Captain America Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
Hulk Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
Iron Man Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
Spider-Man Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
The Thing Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
Wolverine Funko Marvel Bobble-Head
Red Skull Funko Marvel Bobble-Head

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Free Comic Book Day at The Comic Bug

Yesterday was a huge day for entertainment. There were large sporting events such as the Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley boxing match (Manny won), a no-hitter was thrown by Justin Verlander (that's baseball for you nerds) and playoff basketball continued, as well; but, yesterday was not to be taken completely by sports. May 7th was also Free Comic Book Day.

I celebrated the day with my buddy Ryan on a trip to our local comic shop in Manhattan Beach, CA: the Comic Bug. The Bug is one of my favorite places to spend money (on non free days) because it is run by the nicest staff of any shop I've been to. I mean...once I went to a PF Changs and got free Banana Rolls, but even then I was like, "nice try, but you're no Comic Bug!" I threw the dessert in the server's face and stormed out to the music of Anamanaguchi.

Back to the Bug...

The last few years have been crazy at the Comic Bug, on Free Comic Day. With creators like Mike Mignola (HellBoy), Richard Starkings (Elephantmen), Chris Yost (TV's The Mighty Avengers and Wolverine and the X-Men...not the Spectacular Spider-Man like I foolishly asked...thankfully he was cool) and Phil Ortiz (The Simpsons comics) there was a line out the door for practically 5 hours. Inside, everything except new issues was 25% off (and some things 50% off) and there was a huge table of free comic books which kids and adults could load up on. I stuck with some free stuff, but Ryan picked up a couple of trades with a nice discount.

The Bug was also able to draw out some people who dress-up in comic-esk gear for all kinds of occasions. The cosplay I saw included: Wonder Woman, the Flash, Storm Troopers and Wonder Boy...who you will meet in one of the videos below.

Finally, just before I left the shop after being there for about 3 hours talking with friends and a few creators, Mike Wellman announced 2 raffle prizes for $100 gift certificates to the shop. Though I won last year, and at the last event (I've been lucky), I did not win this year; however, some of my pals did. I guess that's nice. F em'. Either way, I had a great time on Free Comic Book Day thanks to...The Comic Bug!

Continue to scroll to view some pics from the shop! I'm in blue...for people who haven't met me before.

Looking awesome at The Comic Bug

The Three Superhero protectors of The Comic Bug

With all of that running, of course the Flash has a tight ass - The Comic Bug

You are not a deeper thinker than me...uh huh, R 2! - The Comic Bug

Can I get 4 quarters? - The Comic Bug

The type of guys found at the Comic Bug

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dom's Comics for May 5th 2011

I thought I would share some quick thoughts on the books I pulled this week, at the comic shop. I haven't had the chance to read any of them yet, but I always have a quick thought, or two, on each one of the comic books I grab. I better considering I chose them instead of buying many packages of Keebler Elf cookies. Hopefully I made the right choice.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Spidey Sunday Spectacular - $3.99 - I know this comic is probably mostly filled with reprinted pages from the back-ups in past Amazing Spider-Man issues, but the issue is collecting all of Marcos Martin's beautiful art in one place. I couldn't pass on this one.

Fear Itself #2 (of 7) - $3.99 - Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen's mini-series is the Marvel event of the year. If it has the possibility to affect Marvel titles I read, I think it is probably necessary that I read it. Plus, I really enjoy Immonen's work and I will eat up any Marvel event Marvel tells me to anyway. Marvel kid syndrome.

Annihilators #3 (of 4) - $4.99 - Timothy Green II's Rocket Raccoon and Groot story sells me without even having a cover image (on the non-variant).

Herc #2 - $2.99 - I got the first issue for only a $1, and it was pretty good. Since the Taskmaster mini, Fred Van Lente's work has been outstanding, too.

Moon Knight #1 - $3.99 - The character has been dieing for a really good comic series, and with the superstar team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev I am hoping for the best.

Uncanny X-Force #9 - $3.99 - Rick Remender may be the best writer in comics right now. His Uncanny X-Force issues are the comics I most look forward to each month. Great characters handled well...what more can you ask for?

The Mighty Thor Saga - Free - With the midnight showing of Thor coming up in one day I thought I should grab one of Marvel's free "catch-up" handouts to keep up to date on my son of Odin knowledge.

DC Universe Online Legends #7 - $2.99 - This is one of the few DC titles I have been picking-up regularly. It's a great DC superhero read for comic book fans who don't normally read DC. It's like not reading comics, but still watching the DC cartoon television series: entertainment without having to know everything about the many characters.

Who is Jake Ellis #2, #3 - $2.99 x 2 - I bought the first issue from writer Nathan Edmondson at Wizard World Anaheim, had him sign it and then read it later that night. Okay Nathan...I'm interested. I'll finish out the 5 issue run.

The surprise of the week in The Comic Bug (my local comic shop) was the use of the new style of plastic bags for comic books. Each bag includes an adhesive strip which is used to seal the bag instead of using tape. I wonder how much this is going to cut into the profits of the Scotch corporation.

Finally, I would like to leave you with an amazing sketch Timothy Green II gave me for free at the recent Wizard World Anaheim show. He is without saying (but I will) talented, but by way of an interesting conversation, I also found him to be friendly and open about his artistic process. Check out his work in Annihilators #3, on sale this week!

Rocket Raccoon - Timothy Green II
What? You never heard of a gun-toting Raccoon named Rocket before?