I was such a big X-men fanatic back in the 1980’s! Lets face it they were the most unique super team ever way back then. The only problem was that the comic book was so hot at the time that all of the classic issues featuring the second team were expensive as hell! So as a kid I wasn’t able to afford all the cool Claremont / Byrne stuff. Well lucky for all of us they reprinted all those issues under the title of Classic X-Men! Yep not only did these issues feature incredible brand new back up stories of the our favorite characters in their more “normal” everyday lives but they included brand spankin’ new covers as well!! Here is one of my favorites Classic X-Men #45 drawn by Steve Lightie proving once again that often times keeping a cover simple is often the most effective way to paint an incredible picture!
This issue reprints issue #139, here’s what the original looked like also a great cover by John Byrne:
I’ve been questioning some of the ways comic book artists are doing their “artwork” these days. Lets face it art has changed quite a bit from back when comic books were printed on newsprint and cost a mere sixty cents. Today our comic books cost four bucks and are full of computerized gloss. Hell I’m not even sure what they are printed on is actually real paper. But it got me thinking a lot on just how comic book art is produced these days for the bigger companies out there. It turns out a lot of artist out there are phototracing, meaning gathering photos online, shot from a digital camera or even other artists actual artwork, uploading them onto the computer or light box and tracing them, adding costumes different hair etc.
It seems this trend has a small debate forming on what exactly is real art in comic books these days? Is it real art when Alex Maleev uses a light box to do all of his city back grounds or David Mack tracing pictures of his characters? Or when an artist simply takes some celebrity photos and traces over them giving the characters their likeness? To me I’m a little disappointed to hear that this trend is becoming even more popular these days. I guess you don’t have to spend much time with perspective if you’re merely tracing a photo.
I guess the “Artist” these days has maybe actually become the inker? Don’t get me wrong there’s still good degree of skill and talent needed to make a trace job look real good. People have been photo referencing for years but tracing to me just doesn’t really make the cut. I love for a comic book to look good, heck if the comic has shitty generic artwork (as most do these days is seems) I flat out just won’t buy it.
Art is very important to me when dropping 4 bones a pop on a comic book these days the art and story better be top notch. What do you think? Do you care how the artwork was made in your comic book? Here’s a great video from IFanboy on the great debate of phototracing!
Savage Hulk is a series I have been waiting for a long time and finally yesterday it graced the shelves of comic book shops everywhere. I have been seriously missing me some Hulk by way of new comic books lately. The last few Hulk titles have been pretty forgettable. I usually start off buying the first few issues and then well just don’t really end up giving a shit what happens next. That’s a problem I seem to be running into more and more with Marvel titles these days.
So here we have Savage Hulk #1 which is a pretty decent first issue and pretty cool as it ties in directly with an old X-men / Hulk storyline from 1970. So what we have here is a full on old school Hulk story, which is a breath of fresh air. We’ve got some great artwork as well by veteran artist Alan Davis, a favorite of mine in the 1980’s, which make this book even more legit. We’ve also got the X-Men in their old school 70’s costumes and The Leader in his old purple suit and my favorite look for him, his big long ass head! We also have a great alternate cover by Alex Ross which is downright amazing…
I think this series is headed for some fun, I’m not sure if they’re going to follow the old school story types but I’m kinda hoping they do. There’s a ton of fun in an old school Hulk story that’s been missing from a lot of the current stuff. So I’ll be back for issue #2 as it looks like we’re going to get some Abomination action as well. Savage Hulk is a solid start, but it by no means is gonna blow your mind as the story is very simple as we basically have the Hulk on the run from the Hulkbusters, Professor X determined to help free Banner of The Hulk and The Leader determined to screw up everyone’s plan. It’s also nice because we haven’t over the years really seen the X-men and the Hulk cross paths as much as they should. It also made me realize that The Leader and Professor X are perfect arch rivals, I hope we get to see them square off in a battle of the minds! So Hulk fans go check this one out!
I finally saw Knights of Badassdom last night, a movie that I’ve been waiting to be released for years. It first started filming iway back in 2010. So the question remains, was it worth the long, long wait? You Betcha!! I’ll go ahead right now and say that this flick will easily be taking ranks in my top ten list in 2014. It’s really too bad that this one is getting such a limited release theatrically, because it’s better than half the comedies that are coming out these days and it works incredibly well as a horror movie too. When I first checked it out I wasn’t aware of how much the movie truly dabbled in the horror, genre I thought it was pretty much a straight up comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when the heads started rolling. Luckily I was able to catch it here in Portland, Oregon in the theater. I tried to see twice over the weekend but both times it was sold out. Finally we bough our tickets online! I was determined!
First though let me say the movie has a great cast, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau and Steve Zahn who I always love, serve up nonstop laughs from beginning to end. Dinklage has got to be the movie’s main draw and without him I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I did. I almost wonder if they’ve been waiting to release the movie because of how popular Dinklage has gotten in last few years with Game of Thrones and his upcoming role as the main bad guy in X-men: Days of Future Past?
The plot is ridiculously simple, metal head Joe, True blood’s Ryan Kwanten is dumped by his girlfriend and to cheer him up his friends get him ridiculously wasted and bring him along to their weekend LARPing outing. Joe’s a bit resistant until he notices his guild has the incredibly cute Gwen (Summer Glau) playing as well. To get the games started the Wizard of the group played By Steve Zahn chants a spell from a strange mystic book he found on Ebay and somehow awakens a succubus that greatly resembles Joe’s ex. She doesn’t show up til later though and in between we get a full on play by play from Dinklage of how to kick ass in the game of Live Action Role Playing that’s one of the movie’s finest moments as he continues throughout to steal the show.
The fun really begins once the succubus emerges from the shadows of the forest. Suddenly the movie starts feeling more like The Army of Darkness than a straight forward comedy. Something that I really enjoyed was all of the old school special effects. The movie features a little bit of well placed CG but by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering in your seat as the evil succubus becomes seriously a little less than human!
The movie is all out fun, the perfect Saturday night popcorn flick and it also delivers one hell of an ending that’s more than worth waiting for. It’s jam packed with, laughs, action, monsters, heavy metal and plenty of surprises! This one was directed by Joel Lynch who also did the awesome Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. If you see this playing near you check it out, it’s got a limited theatrical run before it’s released on Feb. 11th via VOD. I also hear this version may have been heavily edited so that’s just a little more incentive to check out the DVD when it drops!
So it’s been confirmed it seems by several sites that not only is Bruce Campbell set to reprise his role as Ash in “Army of Darkness 2” but now that Sam Raimi will indeed be directing it and is now hard at work on completing writing it’s script with his brother. So this is all WONDERFUL news right?! Another adventure with Ash is something I’ve really only ever dreamed would happen. So now that it that it’s going to happen let’s figure out what it really means. First, when was the last really good Sam Raimi movie? Personally I’d say it’d maybe have to be “The Gift” way back from 2000 or maybe “A Simple Plan” from 1998. Anything since then to me really either hasn’t aged well, was very mediocre or just plain sucked!
So really let’s be honest here, is Raimi really that awesome? Or did he happen to get lucky a few times and land a dream job directing the Spider-man movies? He tried to prove himself to his Evil Dead fans with “Drag Me to Hell” but an honest comparison to other more legitimately awesome current horror/ horror comedies revealed it really wasn’t anything that special. A decent attempt but still a flawed one. So what are the chances that we’re going to get the Evil Dead / Army of Darkness sequel we have all been waiting for? What are the chances it’ll be “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” of the Evil Dead franchise? I’m gonna say 50/50.
One of the problems is that Raimi seems way too far removed from that the genre he basically created that so many others have tried to copy. He’s a bit out of touch, as he’s so used to cranking out big glittery CG stuffed blockbusters I’m not sure he’d really know what to do with Ash this time around. Hopefully he keeps it old school-perhaps this recent Evil Dead reboot will give him a basic outline to follow of what he should do to give the fans what they want as he’s stated that this next Army of Darkness is really for the fans. I think a good sign is that Bruce Campbell seems to understand more than anyone what made the movies all so fun. So perhaps he can guide Raimi into not making a total pile of shit. Perhaps Fede Alvarez who directed the reboot can also talk some sense into the guy.
The fans want Ash plain and simple at least in Army of Darkness 2. Not some young hip side kick to accompany him. He’s the star and he doesn’t need anyone else there trying to make the movie more accessible to the teen or tween masses. The fans want to return to that old school vibe, they don’t want the movie to look like Ash green screening around Oz the Great & Powerful. Give the fans some ridiculous gore and DON’T resort to anymore wretchedly bad CG anvil scenes like we saw in Drag Me to Hell. That was fucking pathetic.
Do it right and don’t try to score a giant Hollywood hit with this movie, show everyone that deep down inside you’re still that hungry independent film maker of the 80’s. Set the new standard for all those newer directors who think they’ve one upped you at your own game. You’ve seen other big film makers try and revive their franchises and fail miserably, pissing off their fans and eternally tarnishing their greatest bodies of work. Let’s do this shit the right way this time! What do you think? Does Raimi still have it?!
I had to take a second here just to say how pumped I am that starting with issue #6 of The Indestructible Hulk we will be getting an old school artist taking the reigns. Yep Walt Simonson will be doing a three issue arc of the book which is also going to feature his old buddy The Mighty Thor which Walt is most famous for! So there’ve been a few preview panels / covers on the web so I thought I’d post ’em here as well. I’m excited about this as Simonson has been a fave of mine since I was just a kid. I’ll admit that his most recent work on The Avengers with Bendis seemed pretty rushed and sloppy. This however is a three issue stint and hopefully he took his time with the art. So far so good I would say though, wouldn’t you?
Simonson used to do some Hulk artwork in the old days too, mainly for The Rampaging Hulk, a Hulk magazine comic book which was one of my all time favorite reads..
The Millenium Bug boasts “No CGI” was used in the making of this monster movie. It’s really is quite clear upon viewing this one that indeed no CGI was anywhere near this one & perhaps that’s what gives this little indie monster film it’s charm. It’s clearly meant to be a throwback to the creature features of yesterday in pretty much every way imaginable. Be fore warned though, don’t take this one too seriously as you’re not likely to get any realism from the plot or the special effects.
It follows a family escaping the city during the Y2K hysteria who get abducted by a family of evil hillbillies. But wait folks, before you pass this off as another Texas Chainsaw rip I might add that a giant monster erupts from the earth and is hellbent on destroying everything in it’s path. This gargantuan monster bug looks like a missing nemesis from an old classic Godzilla flick! The entire movie was filmed on a tiny soundstage so it really has that old school movie vibe going for it. There’s something charming and sweet about movies filmed this way that’s largely missing from movies today. When the monster attacks it destroys tiny small scale model homes, trees and people. The effects are done nicely too, but as I said before this one lacks any grounding in the real world in look and plot. This movie knows exactly what it wants to be: big dumb loud fun by some people who hate modern cg drenched cinema…