Friday, August 26, 2011

Coastal Comic Book Reading

New Mutants #98 - 365 Days of Comics
Deadpool's 1st appearance: New Mutants #98
When I read comic books on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio with Bone Thugs N' Harmony I didn't have this problem. When I read comic books in the east bay near Oakland, California with M.C. Hammer I didn't have this problem. When I read comic books in Long Beach, California with Snoop Dogg I didn't have a problem. But now, here in El Segundo, CA (near Manhattan Beach), with no hip hop legend, I have a problem.

When I  bring a comic book to my place, which is about a mile from the ocean, the comic book pages begin to warp and become wavy due to the moisture in the air. This happens without failure to everyone of my comic books. Some of my trades with thicker pages seem to hold-up better to the aerial assault, but even Richard Starkings' Elephantmen trades feel the warped ways of the Pacific ocean.

If I keep my books sealed in bags and boards they remain well kept. This is great for some older issues I have that may be worth a good amount of money if kept in a 9.8 to 9.6 grade. These issues consist of the first appearance of Deadpool, Cable, Venom and Carnage. These books are not worth a ton, but they do retain some value when left very crisp. The problem I have is that I would still like to be able to occasionally read these issues at my leisure. It seems ridiculous to take these books several miles inland just to open them up and read them.

My dilemma seems to be quite simple. Do I move a couple of miles inland so that I no longer have to worry about wavy books? Or, do I never open up my older books again, and live by the M.C. Hammer code: "Can't Touch This"?

Comic lovers, what should I do?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pulls and Quick Reviews for 8/24/2011

FF #8 - 365 Days of Comics
FF #8 - Cover by Daniel Acuña
Wolverine #14 - $3.99

Jason Aaron finally wraps up his "Wolverine's Revenge" story arc in a way only half expected. The Red Hand, the group throwing random fighters at Wolverine, plays their final card, and we learn something about the fighters Wolverine has taken down during the last several issues. I'm happy the story is basically over since I thought too many issues were wasted on the build-up, and I'm also pleased with what comes out of the arc. Jae Lee does another fin job with the cover as well; however, I'm not a huge fan of the claw-like finger tips. The dude already has adamantium claws, do his nails have to be long and pointy, as well? Rating: 3.5/5

Uncanny X-Force #13 - $3.99

Any time Remender has Fantomex pull a Jamie Kennedy on someone ("you just got x-ed") I know I'm going to enjoy Remender's issue. A well timed misdirection helps X-Force and the Age of Apocalypse good-guy crew get back to the 616 time-line. Granted when they get there they run into an unexpected welcoming party which is sure to add some action to issue #14. Maybe it's because I'm not a hardcore X-Men fan, but I get sick of this idea that Wolverine is obsessed with Jean...even a Jean from an alternate reality. By this time I feel like Wolverine could control his feelings, and understand the difference between his time-line and another. This issue gets docked a bit for mushiness, but overall it's still an action filled fun edition to the Uncanny X-Force run. Rating: 3.5/5

FF #8 - $2.99

I find it funny that one of Marvel's best books is only $2.99. There may be 2 less pages, but Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting (this issue's artist) add so much story-telling content that this book could easily shift to $3.99 and I wouldn't even notice. Hickman has a way of weaving so many plot lines together in the FF that I can't help but starve for the next issue as soon as I finish the current: the villains that have assembled to assist in getting rid of the alternate time-line Reeds begin to reveal their true colors, while the Inhumans' entrance into the battle becomes troubling, while the true Reed and Doom's plans fall apart. Things are heating-up as Hickman's FF run continues. Value and Steve Epting art alone give this issue a strong score. Rating: 4.5/5

The Ultimates (Three) #1 - $3.99 (purchased digitally)

Jonathan Hickman is kind of a big deal, so who better to reboot the Ultimate Universe's main title than Marvel's Ron Burgundy. Not only did Hickman write a fast paced exciting first issue, but his Ultimates partner Esad Ribic did an amazing job on the books art. The nature of the characters such as Tony Stark and Thor really comes out in this first issue. Ribic does a particularly fine job on defining the characters based on their body positioning, facial expressions and movement throughout the panels. The Ultimates #1 ends in entertaining chaos and is sure to continue with a large-scale adventure. Rating: 4.5/5

Captain America and Bucky #621

Yeah, the story is well written by one of my favorites Ed Brubaker, but this reason this book is almost a perfect comic is due to the amazing pencil work of Chris Samnee. His style sets the tone of the 40's based Cap and Bucky arc with a mastery that hasn't been seen in comics for some time now. Samnee has proven himself to be a once in a decade artist who's style tells a story so well that if his comics did not include any text, they would still be some of the most impressive books on the stands. Get this comic book! Unfortunately, I cannot give it a 5 out of 5 due to Marvel's horrible decision to use an Ed McGuinness cover. I would not usually recommend harming a comic book, but ripping off the cover and then bagging and boarding the rest may be a good idea. Rating: 4.5/5

Doctor Who Annual 2011 - 365 Days of Comics
DW Annual 2011
Warehouse 13 #1 - $3.99

I have yet to read this comic, but I like the I gave it a shot.

Doctor Who: Annual 2011 - $7.99

I have yet to read this comic, but I like the I gave it a shot. Plus, the cover art looks cool!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 - $3.99

The turtles are back! In their first issue readers get to see a partial origin story and some lively combat between street thugs and the turtles. The issue jumps around a bit by going back several months to explain the team's reconstructed origin (this ain't your youth's TMNT origin) which has April O'Neil still wearing yellow, but with a very different job. The series, or at least the first arc, seems geared to continue with the looking-back storytelling since the book must explain how the fighting four was reduced to the fighting three. That's right, the team is one turtle down! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 is a nice starting point which includes lively art that is fine for an IDW book. The quality of art can be seen during non flashy panels involving a couple of people talking. There isn't great detail, but it'll do in terms of telling the story. I recommend checking out the book if you were ever a turtle fan. And let's face it...who wasn't? Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dominic and The Red Wing

The Red Wing #2 - 365 Days of Comics
Dom and The Red Wing
Some people don't care for their names. Those who self-hate either have ridiculous names like Pompillio (my father tried naming me that but my mother nixed that old-country name), or they have short boring names like Peter. I feel for those people because I was labeled with a truly wonderful first name: Dominic.

(Funny Side Note: There is no better way of dehumanizing myself than by referring to my naming process as "labeled.")

Dominic is a glorious name. It takes time to say, and lasts in the ears like one of those Star Trek 2: The Wraith of Khan mind controlling bugs. The only time it leaves your thoughts, and then ears, is when the name dies. Dominic is a flexible name. If you don't have the time to bask in it's greatness you can say "Dom." I always wanted to get the domain name just because of the way it rhymes and flows.

Dom and Dominic may be the same name, but when I introduce myself to people they have very different uses and implications. When I introduce myself to women I like to introduce myself as Dominic. The longer semi-unique name stays with them longer and it reminds women of a romantic Italian name. Their mind's short sexy-time stories almost always include the name Dominic. Also, they loved that little boy with a ferret from Kindergarten Cop...also named Dominic.

Dom, on the other hand, is a quick lively name. It implies fun and unpredictability. When a guy meets another guy named Dom, he feels like he can fit in with "the guys." I named my twitter handle @365Dom after this site and the short side of my name so that people would initially think I was fun, and thus, a person they would want to follow. Also, Vin Diesel is named Dom in the Fast and Furious movies. Say what you will about the man as an actor...he always plays a bad-ass. Remember Iron Giant? Diesel voices the Robot. Bad-ass.

(Another Side Note: I am not a bad-ass. How many bad-asses use a hyphen when typing the word "bad-ass?")

You can see I love having my name, but as you may have noticed, I also enjoy when my name is used in movies, television and literature. It's not a common name like Mike or Bob which is used in ever other story. Dominic is used sparingly. It's the name you don't want to overuse or burnout. It's the injured prized athlete of names which you want to take his/her time getting back to playing condition so that he/she doesn't have any setbacks. That's Dominic.

(Last Side Note: I used "her" and "she" as an example of a prized athlete. There are no prized women athletes. Sorry for that moment of equality)

The newest home to the majestic name Dominic, is the Jonathan Hickman 4 issue mini series, The Red Wing. The Red Wing is a time traveling, war, adventure story which is 2 issues complete. One of the main characters followed in the comic book is a legacy time-fighter-ship pilot named (drums please)...Dominic! His father (thus him being a legacy pilot) was a famous pilot who gets lost in time when his ship wrecks through and across time. By the end of the second issue we learn something crazy about Dominic and about how he changes as a person over time.

Story aside, I can't help but be compelled by my name. I really do wonder (because I'm conceded and an idiot) if my friends read The Red Wing and think of me every time they read my name. Again, it's not some common name. It's Dom! I know when I read about Spider in Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan I think of my good pal Spider from Pleasanton, California. Coincidentally enough, my bud Spider was almost named Pompillio, too.

So what the heck was the point of this post mostly about how I love my name, and very briefly about The Red Wing? This post was written in hopes that boring named people would think a bit before they name their children. Oh, and don't go watering the Dominic name down by naming your next born Dominic, as well. Only about 1 in 250 of you can do that. Talk amongst yourself or conduct a raffle to determine whose son will be awesome, and whose son will be just another Dick. Excuse me...I mean Richard.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Growing Up: Comic Book Posters

When I was younger my bedroom's walls were lined with comic book posters. Now that I am older the bedroom and living room walls of my apartment are not aloud to be covered in comic characters due to being an adult and occasionally wanting girls who are not as into comics as I am to come over. (Note that I said "wanting" and not "having"...things are gonna pick-up!) Now I fake being an adult by placing my comic characters in picture frames and spreading them out in the proper frame hanging distance.

"Ah, there's a matting. Now it's legit."

So my walls are more adult, but I am still a bit of a child at heart because I still have all of my comic book related posters from when I was a kid. (By "kid" I mean I bought posters from a young age up through my early 20's...I'm 28 now. I wear dress shoes at fancy restaurants and everything. I'm an adult now.) The reason I don't buy posters anymore (or often) isn't because I'm a big boy, rather it's because I'm cheap.

It's hard to bring myself to buy a poster these days unless it's a crazy special addition one. Case and in ever that phrase goes...I did shell out $35 each on the Marko Djurdjevic 9ft. long Spider-Man and Avengers posters from a year ago. Those were giant posters that I knew would not fit in my house. I instead brought them to work! Yet, regardless of where I brought them, the point is that they were the only 2 posters I've bought in the past 6 years.

Marko Djurdjevic's Avengers poster - 365 Days of Comics
Marko Djurdjevic's Avengers poster under the boss-man's window.
Posters are not very expensive, but I feel awkward paying for them. One of the main reasons is that they won't be hung-up at home, but another almost equally as important reason is because you can get posters for free. Many comic book conventions have publisher booths that give away free posters for promotional purposes. Plus, since I'm a Marvel fan, I luck out that Marvel happens to constantly provide comic book retailers with free mini poster handouts. The mini posters are perfect for putting up around my desk at work, and since they're free, when a new one is passed-out I can simply take down the old one, toss it, and put up the new poster.

I have always been a fan of comic book posters, but as I grow the space in which they can occupy has shrunk. Besides some space at work...the space for my comic book posters: old and new, big and small, expensive and free, has become the bottom of my closet or sadly...the bottom of a garbage can.

(Note: Who actually uses garbage "cans" any more? Waste baskets, garbage bins, and other containers are more accurate...sorry for the confusion.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dom's 8/10/2011 Comic Book Pull List

Last week wasn't too bad, but there appears to be a lot of comic books on my list this week. Oh my poor wallet...

The Amazing Spider-Man #667 - 365 Days of Comics
Spider powers come w/ a free Spider-Man shirt!
Amazing Spider-Man #667 - $3.99

The "Spider-Island" event officially starts with this week's issue. The story has had quite a bit of hype (advertised in almost every Marvel comic book), so I am curious to see if the hype is justified. But honestly, I just buy Amazing Spider-Man out of habit...regardless of the quality.

Detective Comics #881 - $3.99

This is it! The last Detective Comics issue before the DC reboot, and the last Detective Comics issue in Scott Snyder and Jock's wonderful run. This book will be great. Guaranteed. I am actually looking forward to when Jock and Snyder's TEC run gets collected into a hardcover so that I can get it for my bookshelf, and gift it for my friends.

Fear Itself #5 - $3.99

This issue is sure to be intense. When last we left Fear Itself, Thor was just about to do battle (hammer style) with the Thing and the Green Hulk. Some reviewers haven't been kind to the Fear Itself story telling, but I have enjoyed the title to this point. I recommend getting this issue just to witness the Stuart Immonen Thor, Hulk and the Thing layouts. You'll thank me later.

Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2 - $2.99

Honestly, I can't remember what is happening in this miniseries. All I know is that I like the current X-Force team. Nuff' said.

Hellboy: The Fury #3 - 365 Days of Comics
Hell powers do not include a free shirt.
Hellboy: The Fury #3 - $2.99

Word on the street is that big red kicks the bucket in this issue. Though popular characters can't stay dead in comics, I still feel like the issue will have some significance. Plus, Mike Mignola will be at my local comic shop, the Comic Bug, to sign copies of The Fury #3. Last time I saw him I won a $100 gift certificate from his daughter, so I owe it to him to make an appearance and buy his book.

New Avengers #15 - $3.99

I just enjoy Bendis books. Plus, this team has characters I really enjoy: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cage, Spider-Woman, etc.

The Red Wing #2 - $3.50

It's Hickman. I'm getting this comic book miniseries purely based on my Hickman Secret Warriors (which has ended) and FF love.

Reed Gunther #3 - $2.99

This is the best all ages book in stores. I actually already own this book in a black and white printing, but I started getting it for a co-worker's child. It really is a great gateway comic book. In another year or so I think their kid may be ready for Punisher MAX.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wolverine #13 - OutHousers Review

Wolverine #13 - 365 Days of Comics
What you don't see is the pool below them.
If you follow my link for Room With a Review: Wolverine #13, you will get my thoughts on Jason Aaron's dragging Wolverine storyline. Plus (there's always a plus), I gush over Jae Lee's cover art, and I recall a scene from Austin Powers which Jason Aaron could learn from.

Read on! ...or not.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Moon Knight: Read This Comic Book

Moon Knight #4 - 365 Days of Comics
How does Moon Knight keep that cape so white?
If you are more of a real world comic book reader who doesn't usually care for tales of men in tights or super-powered beings, I recommend a book about a superhero titled, Moon Knight. Moon Knight follows Marc Spector, a superhero who has moved out to LA to produce a TV show loosely based on his adventures as Moon Knight. After some time in LA Spector gets mixed-up in a mystery involving the LA crime scene and an Ultron head (Ultron is an evil AI robot who constantly tries to destroy humans...for you non-superhero readers).

So why am I suggesting this title to the non-cape-reading community? The book is grounded. I'm not talking no flying characters grounded...I'm talking about a story which could actually take place. Marc Spector (Moon Knight) comes off as if he isn't so much a superhero, but rather, Spector is written with more of a PI tone. Plus, he has multiple personality disorder which takes him out of that cookie-cutter superhero mold.

Click on to read my full gush fest over Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's Moon Knight.

Comics You Should Be Reading: Moon Knight

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SDCC 2011 Purchase: Eric Canete's Egg Sketchbook

Eric Cante: Egg Sketchbook - 365 Days of Comics
Back and Front of Eric Canete's "Egg" Sketchbook

Often times when I attend comic book conventions I end-up buying a bunch of sketchbooks, prints or comics, but the San Diego Comic Convention is so overwhelming in terms of  awesomeness everywhere you look that I couldn't pull the trigger on purchasing anything (well, almost). Fortunately, before the zombie storm of product bombardment hit me I got off one round and ended-up with a truly pleasing item.

Eric Cantete: Egg Sketchbook

Since reading Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin a few weeks back I have been in wonder of Eric Canete's lively art work. His characters seem to jump off the page at you in a way I haven't felt since I first discovered Chris Bachalo's work. Like Bachalo, Cantete has a unique slightly exaggerated (Bachalo's are a bit more exaggerated) design style. The characters feel real, yet are infused with an energy that is purely comic book like. Canete's art is perfect for the pages of comics. With that said, once I spotted Eric Canete on the far wall of Comic Con I made a beeline for his table.

I played it cool.

"I have to say, your work on the Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin changed my life...I mean. It had a lot of life and energy. I liked it a lot!"


"Thanks," Eric Canete said with a welcoming smile as he looked-up from a piece he was commissioned to draw. He then looked back down and continued to do his work while I flipped through his portfolio of original pages. The pages were out of my price range, but so thrilling to look at. I then moved to his sketchbook "Egg" which was in my price range ($25). Though the cover was slightly scuffed and dented, Canete only had 2 left...and it was only Friday!

I was so excited to get a copy and say thanks, I forgot to have him sign it! I didn't even relize that I had forgotten until this week when I was looking through the sketch book again. At that point I had "Egg" in my hands and on my face.


Signature aside, "Egg" is a masterful sketch book. I particularly love all of his Marvel work since I follow Marvel Comics' characters pretty closely. I am admittedly still a bit of a child at heart when it comes to nude drawings...something that there are several pages of in Eric Canete's "Egg." They are well done figure drawings and...


Sorry. Like I said...a bit of a child.

I may have only purchased one thing at the San Diego Comic Con 2011, but it was a purchase I am supremely happy with. Take a look at one of the Avengers sketches from inside of Eric Canete's "Egg" below. Enjoy!

Eric Canete: Egg Sketchbook - Avengers Sketch - 365 Days of Comics
Eric Cante: Egg Sketchbook - Intricate Avengers Sketch