Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BOOM! Studios is now 10 years old, and celebrating

Boom 10 logo   

BOOM! Studios will celebrate 10 years of innovative publishing this year. They are doing some interesting things to note this landmark achievement, including special offers and deals for fans of the publishing line.

On their website they are sharing their personal list of the top 10 moments in BOOM! history.  They have certainly come a long way from where they began in 2004 with just a handful of titles to where they are today.  They have earned the right to brag a little, and I don’t mind sharing some of that with BC Refugees followers.

SPECIAL OFFERS: For the balance of January 2015 BOOM! will offer free shipping on all direct orders over $10.  Any orders placed with 10 items or more also receives an additional 30% discount.

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         Select titles will also have special variant cover editions with a giant-sized numeral 10 prominently featured in the center.  See below . . . . . .

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ABOVE:  Burning Fields #1 and Feathers #1 10-year variant covers . . . . . .

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ABOVE:  Adventure Time: Marceline #1  and Munchkin #1 10-year variant covers . . . . .

Saturday, January 17, 2015

LOOKING FOR GROUP: Popular web comic gets monthly series

from the official press release . . . . . .

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January 12, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce that Looking For Group, the hilarious fantasy-themed web comic with a readership of millions, will be released as an ongoing comic book series, representing all strips from the very beginning.  Written by Ryan Sohmer and illustrated by Lar deSouza, Hawk, Ryan Dunlavey, and Ed Ryzowski, the upcoming Looking For Group series includes bonus stories from the Non-Playable Character and Tiny Dick Adventures spin-off series.  The debut issue will be released in April 2015, featuring brand new cover editions by industry veteran Ty Templeton (Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet) and Becky Dreisdadt.

          Looking For Group follows the adventures of Cale'Anon the elf and Richard the undead warlock, as well as their companions, through Fantasy, Pop Culture, and Gaming tropes, set in a reality and time unlike our own.  It's a place where the eating of small children is not necessarily frowned upon; where beings of extraordinary power can destroy entire villages with only "because I could" as an excuse; where magic and adventure are as commonplace as setting fire to, and then reanimating, a chipmunk into a skeletal minion (it happens more than you'd think); and an epic journey can begin by an accident of fate.

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          Ryan Sohmer, the writer and co-creator of Looking For Group, says, "We are really excited to present Looking For Group in a new format to a whole new audience in comic shops across North America, right from the start.  Putting it all together, it's been great to go back and re-live our particular brand of hilarious immolation.  Everyone at Dynamite has been great to work with, especially once they stopped screaming!"

          "Bringing LFG to print in comic stores is really exciting for me," says Lar deSouza, the artist and co-creator.  "Ever since I was a kid and rode my triceratops to the stone pharmacy to buy comic books for three bones and a rock apiece, I've dreamed of having my work on that stand too!  The point is, I'm old, but loveable.  And I'm really excited to bring LFG to comic stores.  Did I say that already?"

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          Since its launch on November 26, 2006, Looking For Group has garnered significant media and industry attention and won the 2008 Shuster Award for "Outstanding Canadian Web Comics Creators."  The web comic is read by millions online every week, along with its two spinoff comics Non-Playable Character and Tiny Dick Adventures, both of which launched to rave reviews in 2014.

          Looking For Group #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' February 2015 Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in April.   Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Looking For Group #1 with their local comic book retailers.  Looking For Group will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Recommended website article: History of Valiant Comics

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  There is a very well researched and documented article on the history of Valiant Comics on entertainment website Vulture.Com.  Anyone with an interest in the 2012 revival of this company and their mission to become the third largest publisher in the industry needs to read this piece.  I’m rooting for Valiant to take over the comics shelves.  Bravo!

 

http://www.vulture.com/2014/12/valiant-comics-dinesh-shamdasani.html#comments

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Friday, January 2, 2015

The Cabin in the Woods Movie Review *No Spoilers*


 Shortly before a better known Joss Whedon movie came out, there was The Cabin in the Woods.  Written in three days along with Drew Goddard, who also directed the film, the movie is a satire of slasher flicks.  

The movie opens when five friends, including characters portrayed by Chris Hemsworth and Dollhouse alum Fran Kranz, head into a remote cabin in the woods for vacation.  Eventually ending up in the basement, they find an old diary and read an incantation aloud summoning up the zombified corpses of a family of hillbillies who supposedly once resided in the cabin.  So far, you could be forgiven for thinking this is merely another cheesy horror movie.  However, you know from the beginning that the entire affair is being orchestrated from an underground government bunker that has wired the house with cameras. 

The movie is fairly gory but the juxtaposition between the horrors happening above ground with the humorous antics of the government workers, inured to the suffering that is just part of their jobs, nudges it, at times, into the comedic genre.  The standard Whedon sense of humor permeates the movie as one by one, the campers meet their doom.  Halfway through the movie, a twist (which is too good to spoil) sends the proceedings spiraling madly out of control.

The Cabin in the Woods received a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes with many reviewers saying it easily took best in genre for 2012.  Borrowing heavily from many other horror movies, this film could easily be mistaken for a Scary Movie ripoff from the previews which also, dare not give away the twist.  But make no mistake, Whedon’s melding of genres while mocking and reinventing them is far more clever than the slapstick schlock that the Scary Movie franchise traffics in. 

Now streaming on Netflix, this film is absolutely not to be missed.

Final rating (out of 5):

5_Star

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Season’s Greetings!

 

Happy Holidays! to all the BC Refugees readers.

Hope it’s a warm and relaxing break for you and family!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Nostalgic return to B-movie greatness: Escape from New York

 

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ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #1  (Boom! Studios, December 2014)  Writer: Christopher Sebela.  Artist: Diego Barreto.  Colorist: Marissa Louise.  Letterer: Ed Dukeshire.

     Reading Boom!’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK brought back fond B-movie memories and made me want to watch John Carpenter’s classic film one more time.  Alas,  my only copy was a VHS tape that I sold many years ago! 

     What made Carpenter’s film so memorable was iconic character Snake Plissken, so aptly portrayed by actor Kurt Russell.  That signature eye patch, swagger, and take-no-shit attitude made a real impression, just like a writhing snake tattoo might.  The film had style in capital letters.

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          ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK the comic has that same style stamped all over it.  Writer Christopher Sebela seems to have studied the film very closely.  You will believe this is Snake Plissken. He talks and acts exactly the same.  Fans of the classic film will love this book.  Those who have heard of the legend of Snake Plissken, but perhaps are too young to have experienced it,  can read this book and find out what all the fuss is about.

      The setting is near-future America, where the island of Manhattan has been fenced off and turned into a prison colony.  The film ended with Snake being pardoned by the President of the United States and then playing an embarrassing prank on the chief executive.  Issue #1 opens up with this same cassette-tape scenario.  However, in this version the action has real consequences.  It’s spoiled any chance of the USA brokering a peace and may lead to World War III.  The President immediately revokes the pardon, and brands Plissken a traitor.

   True to the boom efny01_coverbtitle, Plissken escapes and joins up with a team of rebels on their way to the separatist state of Florida, where individuals must enter and survive the Crucible to become a member. The story ends on a cliff-hanger.

    Snake wise-cracks, talks back, and fights his way through the issue in his trademark style. Artist Barreto is not going to supplant any upper-tier stylists as your new favorite artist, but he is to comics art what B-movies are to entertainment. Very functional. He moves the action along and gets his moments to show what he’s capable of. The more you study the art the more satisfying it becomes.  One of my favorite panels occurs early in the story when Snake takes over a seat  formerly occupied by  a helicopter pilot.  Turn the page to find out what happens to the pilot.  There’s a lot of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in that panel.  There’s a lot of Snake Plissken’s imprint on that panel.  That panel has swagger. 

     This is a fun book.  So, have some fun. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Prestige Format redefined for new Valiant books

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Back in the 1980’s when the comics industry first began to experiment with different papers, DC Comic debuted the “prestige format”.  Prior to this, all comics were printed on cheap, pulpy, or composition paper (made of various grades of paper).  The DC prestige format printed its copies on a 1) heavier stock of paper, making it more durable and also 2) on paper that was whiter and less grainy than traditional, which made the colors more bright and vibrant.  DC only printed a select number of titles in their prestige format, usually charging a $1.00 more per copy than the standard comic. Now in the 21st Century, Valiant puts a new spin on the format with theier Valiant Prestige books.

from the official press release . . . . . .

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As VALIANT NEXT readies for the launch of six epic new ongoing series and prestige format projects beginning with the release of THE VALIANT #1 (of 4) on December 10th, Valiant is proud to reveal the first look inside the all-new VALIANT PRESTIGE format – a new form of deluxe packaging for Valiant's most important standalone limited series and events! 
Beginning with the release of THE VALIANT #1 (of 4) – the first issue of the four-issue epic from New York Times best-selling writers Jeff Lemire (Green Arrow, Animal Man) & Matt Kindt (RAI, Mind MGMT) and Eisner Award-winning artist Paolo Rivera (Daredevil) – next week, fans and retailers can look forward to a high-end presentation unlike anything else in comics today with each and every issue. Features for THE VALIANT #1 (of 4), the very first release to feature the VALIANT PRESTIGE format, will include:

  • Deluxe matte laminate card stock covers
  • Custom-designed heavyweight end sheets
  • An oversized, 25-page first chapter
  • An exclusive guide to THE VALIANT, detailing the backstory and origins of the series' principal players
  • Never-before-seen commentary and back matter, curated by Eisner Award winner Paolo Rivera
  • All complete with no advertisements and a standard $3.99 cover price!

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Each subsequent issue of THE VALIANT by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera will feature the same deluxe presentation, as will DIVINITY #1 (of 4) – the VALIANT NEXT prestige format limited series debuting in February from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (RAI, Mind MGMT) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis). Featuring the landmark debut of Valiant's first major new character, each issue of DIVINITY will feature covers by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Thor) and designer Tom Muller (Zero) in addition to an array specially crafted special features and behind-the-scenes insights into the development and design of Valiant's next pivotal hero.
"The thinking behind the VALIANT PRESTIGE format is simple – match the scale, scope, and dynamism of our most unique, most epic stories with an equally compelling presentation that practically leaps off the shelf," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce. "By design, the first two titles to receive this treatment – THE VALIANT and DIVINITY – are stories that couldn't be told in an ongoing book, or even as standard limited series. They truly are can't-miss excursions into the Valiant Universe, telling stories unlike anything Valiant has undertaken before. The presentation of our VALIANT PRESTIGE offerings – no ads, exclusive content, upgraded covers, end sheets, and more – designates these titles as special books within the Valiant line, and will give fans an extra-added layer of depth to the storytelling experience."

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"Over the past three years, Valiant has introduced several new innovations to great success – subscription-only Pullbox variants, expanded Plus Edition issues, QR code-enabled talking covers, and many more," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "VALIANT PRESTIGE is a central new addition that list. It's both a tribute to the great standalone, prestige format tales that helped inform our love of the medium, like Kingdom Come and Marvels, while, at the same time, a chance to break new ground by revitalizing and refining the concept of what prestige format can be for a whole new generation of readers. We have some truly special stuff in the offing for these titles, and we can't wait to see them on the shelf."
Look for more developments soon on each VALIANT PRESTIGE release, and visit your local retailer today to pre-order each epic VALIANT NEXT series. Beginning with THE VALIANT #1 (of 4) on December 10th, VALIANT NEXT continues with five blockbuster new series in 2015, starring Valiant’s biggest, most-demanded heroes alongside all-new, never before seen characters:

  • IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1 by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry in January
  • DIVINITY #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine in February
  • IMPERIUM #1 by Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite in February
  • NINJAK #1 by Matt Kindt and Clay Mann in March
  • BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan in April
  • DIVINITY_001_COVER-A_DJURDJEVIC