Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The New iPad & My Digital Comics

After a recent weekend in Vegas, my iPad 2 needed to be taken back to Best Buy so that I could take advantage of my 1 year damage warranty. The warranty gave me the option to replace the iPad 2 with the new iPad for free, so I of course did. With the new retina display, I was super excited to see the new device in action.

So after using the new iPad for a couple of days, what do I think? Well...it's alright.

The new retina display is definitely noticeable when viewing digital comics. While images are slightly sharper, it's the text that really take advantage of the new display. The smallest font now seems legible to the point where a comma and period are distinguishable. On the iPad 2 the font looked nice, but there were times when I was unsure if sentences stopped or paused. Pacing can be important for characterization and energy, so minor text details (such as punctuations) are very important for digital comic books.

iPad 2 Compared to the New iPad - 365 Days of Comics
Can you tell the difference?

The colors and images are very crisp and clean, but I honestly can't tell the difference. I'm sure if I looked at the same page, side by side, on an iPad 2 and a new iPad, I would be able to see a difference. But without that comparison I can't see any major image upgrades.

One other thing that is noticeable, besides the text, is the file size of each issue. The file is almost double the size on the new retina display iPad...which is why I spent a little extra to upgrade to a 32GB iPad. My iPad 2 was a 16GB, and that made it possible for me to have a lot of comics downloaded at one time. To maintain the same amount of downloads it was essential that I upgrade. So I did.

If someone is thinking about purchasing an iPad and they are on a budget, I recommend just getting the iPad 2. It only costs $399 for a 16GB Wifi only model. The new iPad isn't really worth it unless you get the $599 32GB model. For $200 more, I am unsure if the upgrade is necessary. With that said, having the most recent model is always nice when you consider using the iPad for other apps. If you can spend $599 get the new one, but if you need that $200 for coke to then put into lines on your iPad 2...you won't be disappointed with the 2nd gen model.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #26

Uncanny X-Force #26 - Opena Cover - 365 Days of Comics
Uncanny X-Force #26 - Opena Cover
"Steve Holt!"

There's nothing like an "Arrested Development" quote to make one question their peak level of enjoyment. How could I have already been loving this issue before Rick Remender threw in a Deadpool pop-culture reference? What's beyond love? That's where I am after "Steve Holt!"

Here's the thing about the quote: it isn't so much what that quote references, but rather it's the fact that Rick Remender knows it and gets it. It tells me that the writer has my taste when it comes to other aspects of entertainment. He gets me, and I get him.

What has Uncanny X-Force been since Rick Remender took over? It's been a series of getting the fan, and me (specifically). Remender understands what fans like. Fans like:
  • Wolverine - in get-claws-bloody-mode.
  • Deadpool - being part annoying towards his team mates and at times a "saving the day" team player.
  • Angel - when he was in Archangel-mode.
  • Cool rotating team members - Deathlok and Nightcrawler
  • Story lines involving cool bad guys - Apocalypse, Archangel, Omega Red type guy, Sabertooth (so it seems)
  • Issues with awesome artists. Any issue Jerome Opena graces is gold in my eyes.
  • Great dialog and character interactions in general.
Uncanny X-Force #26 has everything fans like: Phil Noto handles the interiors while Opena creates another stellar cover, there are sweet bad guys, Wolverine gets his claws red by way of his own blood, Nightcrawler is in the issue and Deadpool "Steve Holt's" it to cap the fun off (though he says that in the middle of the issue).

Great visuals, wonderful dialog and a fun story.

Steve Holt!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reviews: Harbinger #1, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 & The Amazing Spider-Man (Movie Comic) #1

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 - 365 Days of Comics
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1
I've been trying to add content more consistently for TheOutHousers.com, so last week I added 3 comic book reviews to the website's front page: Harbinger #1, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 & The Amazing Spider-Man (Movie Comic) #1. Below I have posted brief overviews. For my full reviews on the issues, please follow the links! Thank you for checking them out.

Harbinger #1 - 3.5/5

Think Jedi type characters with mind-powers, but no light sabers. The themes are not particularly original, but the book is still interesting and well done. The series is worthy of your dollars for a few more issues to determine if it's a keeper.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 - 5/5

Darwyn Cooke will make you think the Minutemen were his idea. Cooke's storytelling ability is second to none and his artistic styling seems made for stories that take place 50+ years ago. The perfect artist and writer for a daring project.

The Amazing Spider-Man (Movie Comic) #1 - 2/5

It's a fine effort by the creative team assigned to capitalize on the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie, but no seasoned comic book reader needs to read this comic book. If you wanted a closer look at Spidey's costume design then maybe you could still...nah.

Thanks for the read!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Diablo III: Sword of Justice

Diablo III: Sword of Justice #1 - 365 Days of Comics
Diablo III: Sword of Justice #1
I am one of the few people who is not yet playing Diablo III. I am one of the even smaller group of people who is not yet playing Diablo, yet played Diablo 2...like a lot!

Here's the skinny. I need to build a new computing rig before I can enter into a life engulfing experience, and that computing rig is going to cost me a little more than I want to pay at the moment. I will eventually buy a new components for my computer, but for now I will have to get by by watching my friends play and reading the DC comic book "Diablo III: Sword of Justice."

"Diablo III: Sword of Justice" (according to my pal) follows a storyline within Diablo III. In what way, I am not exactly sure, and nor do I care to find out until I play the game for myself. What I do currently know, after reading the first 3 issues in the 5 issue DC mini-series, is that the comic book is very cool. I enjoy the references to locations, characters and groupings of people/creatures, and feel like I am getting a deeper look into the world of Diablo before even entering the world. It's like reading a book about New Orleans and then going there.

Aaron Williams does a nice job of writing dialog that seems to fit the characters' race/type. The interactions and conversations have an easy reading flow that never give me thoughts of skipping ahead or considering passing over a brief monolog (let's face it...we know when we can skip a panel or two).

The highlight of "Diablo III: Sword of Justice" is Joseph Lacroix's art. His interiors have such a wonderful ruggedness to them that goes perfectly with the Diablo environment. His style reminds me a bit of Mike Mignola, which can't be bad when dealing with weird creatures, swords and bearded folk. I came to the comic book because of the story, but I am definitely hooked by the art. Oh, and a big shout-out to Dave Stewart and Lee Loughridge for their coloring contributions. They picked great tones and color pallets for their issues.

If you're a fan of Diablo, the video game not the Spanish Devil, I recommend checking out DC's "Diablo III: Sword of Justice." (The 4th issue is a new release this week, and there is only one issue to go.) It will keep you entertained during those sad times when you are not playing Diablo III online.