Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, February 28, 2014

Steampunk and Dreams



Established in 1984 by Ben Dunn, Antarctic Press has turned out literally hundreds of titles-both in black and white and in color.
 
I’ve followed Antarctic’s progression over the years and I am constantly amazed how it is ahead of the curve when it comes to publishing comic books.

For example: Zombies-Antarctic did them first, American Manga: ditto, exclusive creators: likewise-the list goes on and on.

It says a lot about a company and its founding father when top tier talent stay loyal to it over the years.  Granted some have done additional work for the ‘Big 2’ but they still stay loyal to Antarctic and turn out some the best independent creator owned properties in the business.

While Ben Dunn is the proprietor of Antarctic Press he is also a talented artist and writer.
Paper Dreams: The Collected Art of Ben Dunn is a small square bound, paperback book containing not only Ben’s Antarctic work but a plethora of other projects and non-Antarctic comic book characters as envisioned by Ben.

It’s a remarkable collection of art from a true industry professional.

One of Antarctic Press’s longtime artists is Ron Espinosa.  Known for his incredible detailed drawings, Ron is a true workhorse turning out story after story in all genres.  He continually amazes me with his talent.  Is there nothing he cannot draw and draw well?

Gorgeous women?  No problem. Complex machinery? Piece of cake.  Grand vistas and towering architecture?  A walk in the park.

Recently Rod turned out four #1 issues all of them related to Steampunk.

Steampunk Halloween finds the shipwrecked crew of a royal ship on a deserted island.  After a run-in with its mutinous crew the surviving officers and royalty discover, to their dismay, that it’s not just the mutineers they need to worry about-can someone say the undead!?

Steampunk Red Riding Hood turns the fairy tale on its ear as Granny is transformed into a werewolf hunting techno-head, Red Riding Hood her Steampunk enhanced warrior and the wolves into Werewolf gangs that bully and blackmail the human population.

Eventually the two opposing sides unite against a common foe.

Steampunk Cinderella offers a new twist on happy ever after where Cinderella has a talent for technology, the Fairy God Mother is replaced by the ghost of her father and while she winds up not getting the prince she wanted she still gets the ‘royal’ treatment. 

Steampunk Corsairs finds the amorous female crew of a Victorian submarine plundering the treasure of the Spanish armada and stealing a valuable map to the mystical land of Europa.  Look for a lot of chills, spills, thrills and frills of the scantily clad Corsairs.

All of Rod Espinosa’s titles are pure delights to read and look over again and again.  Is it any wonder he has been nominated for an Eisner Award? 

Victorian Secret Girls of Steampunk Masquerade 2013 showcases the beautiful art of longtime Antarctic collaborator Brian Denham.  If you like looking at Victorian Steampunk beauties then this is the book for you and check out the Airship Enterprise.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Teen Titans Go! Mission To Misbehave



They're back! As the old saying goes, "You can't keep a good superhero team down."
The Teen Titans return in a brand new animated series from the Cartoon Network on DC Nation.

The old gang is back: Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire, although in a much more Chibi sort of way.

Sure the stories are fun and the action never stops but get ready for a lot more sight gags, rude childlike humor and a much more 'cartoony' take on DC Comics' favorite young heroes: The Teen Titans.

Besides fighting bad guys (old and new) the Titans like to kick back, eat, play video games, listen to music and behave just like (you guessed it) teenagers.

The Season 1, Part 1 DVD collection from Warner Bros. contains 26 all-new episodes and the original voice actors are back as well!  With over four hours of Teen Titans terrificity (is that a word?) get ready for laughs, nail-biting and more fun than you can shake a super villain at!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Previews, March 2014



COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
God Is Dead Volume 1 TP l Avatar Press
Spongebob Comics #32 l Bongo Comics/United Plankton
The Woods #1 l Boom! Studios
Chaos! #1 l D.E./Dynamite Entertainment
Doctor Spektor #1 l D.E./Dynamite Entertainment
Heart of the Beast 20th-Anniversary Edition HC l D.E./Dynamite Entertainment
Witzend HC Box Set l Fantagraphics Books
The Bunker Volume 1 TP l Oni Press
Brass Sun #1 l Rebellion
Rai #1 l Va liant Entertainment
All You Need Is Kill Volume 1 GN l Viz Media
High School DxD Volume 1 GN l Yen Press

BOOKS
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History HC l Comics
The Quotable Doctor Who: Wise Words Across Time & Space HC l Doctor Who
Neil Gaiman: The Art of Neil Gaiman Visual Biography HC l Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman: The Truth Is in a Cave in the Black Mountains HC l Neil Gaiman
MAGAZINES
Marvel Chess Figurine Collection Magazine #9: Venom Black Pawn l Eaglemoss
Marvel Chess Figurine Collection Magazine #10: Luke Cage White Pawn l Eaglemoss
Topps 2014 Finest Baseball Trading Cards l Topps Compa ny
DC Comics: Epic Battles Trading Cards l Cryptozoic Entertainment
Game of Thrones Season Three Trading Cards l Rittenhouse Archives
APPAREL
Doctor Who: Warping TARDIS 3/4 Sleeve Raglan l Previews Exclusive Wear
Marvel: The Punisher: “Skinny Skull” Black T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Adventure Time: “Sword Time” White T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
My Little Pony: “Apples Get Apples” Red T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Marvel Defenders Navy/Black T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Deadpool: “Wordmark” Neo Cap l Previews Exclusive Wear
The Walking Dead: “Carl Walker” Black T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Marvel: “Venom Symbicash” Military Green T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Galactus Navy Heather T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Zenescope: Kere’s Lady Death Black T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Batman 75th-Anniversary Logo T-Shirt l Graphitti Designs
Harley Quinn: Silence T-Shirt l Graphitti Designs
TOYS & STATUES
Marvel: Deadpool Labbit l Designer Toys
Marvel: Ghost Rider Labbit l Dc Heroes
1966 Batman Model Kit l Dc Heroes
Gentle Giant: Star Lord Mini-Bust l Marvel Heroes
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: USS Defiant 1/420-Scale Model Kit l Star Trek
IMPORT TOYS
Marvel Comics: Avengers Now: Hawkeye ArtFX+ Statue l Kotobukiya
Kiki’s Delivery Service Diorama Table Clock l Studio Ghibli
DC Hero Sofubi: Swamp Thing l Dc Heroes
Nitro Super Sonico “Mouse Version” PVC Figure l Japa nese Culture
Star Trek Play Arts Kai: Captain Kirk Figure l Star Trek
Star Trek Play Arts Kai: Spock Figure l Star Trek
ThreeA X Iron Man: Origin Armor Figure l Threea
ThreeA X Iron Man: Silver Centurion Figure l Threea
Super Mario Bros.: Mario S.H.Figuarts l Ta mashii Nations
Super Mario Bros: S.H.Figuarts Diorama Playset A l Ta mashii Nations
Super Mario Bros: S.H.Figuarts Diorama Playset B l Ta mashii Nations
COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
Toon Tumblers DC Heroes Mini Glasses l DC Heroes
POP! Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Agent Phil Coulson Vinyl Figure l Marvel Cinematic Universe
Star Trek: USS Enterprise Black Bottle Opener l Star Trek
GAMES
Kill Shakespeare: The Board Game l Idw Games
Magic the Gathering TCG: Journey Into Nyx l Wizards Of The Coast
DC Heroclix: War of Light: Sinestro Corps War Scenario Pack l Wizkids/Neca
DVDS & DIGITAL MEDIA
Star Blazers 2199 Volume 1 l Anime
Ranma 1/2 Set 1 l Anime
Space Battleship Yamato Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack l Asian Cinema
Gotham City Serials DVD l Cult Classics

Friday, February 14, 2014

Alter Ego #123, March


This issue of Alter Ego from TwoMorrows focuses primarily on the career of writer Denny O’Neil and the books he created, reinterpreted and reinvented.  Contents include: 


Writer/Editorial: The Missouri Breaks
“I Feel Like My Career Has Gone Full Circle”
Dennis O’Neil talks to Richard J. Arndt about his first decade in comics as a writer & editor.
Seal Of Approval: The History Of The Comics Code
Beginning our lushly illustrated serialization of the 1998 book by Amy Kiste Nyberg.
Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt: Now That’s A Fan! (Part 2)
More nutty fans—both inside & outside comics—studied & prodded by Michael J. Gilbert.
Tributes To Lee Ames & George Gladir
re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections]
FCA (Fawcett Collectors Of America] #182 

Look for lots of original art, archival interiors and covers and interesting insights on the comic book industry form those who were (and are) a part of it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Royals Masters Of War #1



Imagine yourself living in a world (specifically Britain) where your royal family all possess super powers.  Now, picture the time as WWII.  The Germans have devastated your island kingdom, thousands of people are dying and yet the ‘Royals’ refuse to get involved-that is-except one.
 

Tensions and turmoil are at their peak.  But, the compassionate act of one super-powered Royal has devastating effects.  Once he uses his power to fight the enemy he becomes aware that it is not only England who has super-powered Royals.


Writer Rob Williams and artist Simon Coleby presents the very first number one issue of the newly relaunched Vertigo line from DCComics.


The Royals Masters Of War promises to be a series that will be full of surprises and with its unique take on ‘royalty’ and what it means when super beings make war this book is sure to be a huge hit with fans.


A great script, perfect art and subtle yet satisfying colors all combine to make the title a fun read.

Gravity



If you have not seen Warner Bros.’ Gravity at the movies you are in for a treat!  Warner Bros. has released its Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Ultraviolet Combo featuring the ‘The Best Movie Of The Year.” 

Nearly four years in the making, the movie is a triumph of powerful acting, spectacular special effects and visuals and a great story.

Sandra Bullock stars as Dr. Ryan Stone.  While on a Space Shuttle mission to repair a satellite/telescope, disaster strikes.

Several thousands miles away a foreign satellite is destroyed.  The debris from it is calculated to pass safely by the Space Shuttle.  The calculations are wrong.  The jagged metal debris smashes into the Shuttle killing everyone except Stone and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski.

Suddenly the two survivors find themselves in a life or death struggle to survive.  The tension mounts as their efforts to maneuver to a nearby foreign space station seems doomed from the very start.

Amidst the stygian blackness of outer space and hovering about the crystal blue sphere of Earth their brave attempts for survival pushes both to their limits-especially Dr. Stone.

The Combo pack also comes with nearly three hours of extras about the making of the film.  Extras include a featurette narrated by Ed Harris, a short film: Aningaaq, Shot Breakdowns and more.