Thursday, September 20, 2018

Superfish and Adult Time

Look! Deep in the ocean!  It’s a clam!  It’s squid!  It’s Superfish!  Slower than a sea snail!  More powerful than a clump of seaweed!  Able to swim over small pieces 
Sherman the Shark is back in his 23rd Sherman’s Lagoon Collection: The Adventures Of Superfish And His Superfishal Friends courtesy of Jim Toomey and Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Join our finny friends as they survive a lawsuit, play poker, paddleboard, save an endangered porpoise, play Twister and take part in some of the most outrageous underwater escapades imaginable.

Something fishy is going on and Sherman is right in the middle of it!

The 35th Baby Blue Collection: Adult Time, by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott give Mom and Dad MacPherson a break from their hyper-action and high-maintenance kids who always manage to make their lives interesting’.

This time around it’s tackling weight lose, exercise, dancing, report cards, library cards and a whole lot of other shenanigans and trials and tribulations of raising kids.

Be sure to look for the special border notes from the Baby Blues creators.  The collection includes daily and full-color Sunday strips as does Superfish.

Just imagination all that fun bound up in two oversize paperback books?  It’s doesn’t get any better than this!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor: The Many Lives Of Doctor

To state that the transformation of the 12th Doctor Who to a female 13th Doctor is controversial is a huge understatement.

Doctor Who fans around the world have either praised the move or loathed it.  Either way, like the Doctor, his/her newest manifestation has/will have its share of surprises.

Titan Comics and author Richard Dinnick and an impressive roster of top-notch artists present a retrospective of sorts of the Doctor’s various lives in Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor: The Many Lives Of Doctor.

Here’s the catch.  This is more than a hodgepodge conglomeration of short stories.  Each story drops clues as to why the 13th Doctor came about and why as a woman.

Strategically sprinkled throughout the various tales are cleverly hidden hints as to unexpected gender swap of the latest Doctor.

It takes a little detective work but the clues are there.  I had fun pulling out the various puzzle pieces and putting them together.  And I’m sure readers will too.

The Doctor is back and is exciting, full-of-surprises and as quirky as ever.  Don’t miss this very special issue.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Anime Impact and Eating Across America

Anime: Japanese animation.  It’s been around since World War II.  It was heavily influenced by American animation of the time mainly due to the U.S. occupation of Japan and slow Westernization of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Anime’s animation was sophomoric at first-little more than attempts to copy the styles of Disney, Warner Bros. and other American animation companies.

But, as time progressed Anime began to take on a personality all of its own.  Japanese animators slowly rejected copycat attempts and focused more on the Japanese culture, its people and their way of life.

Anime fans know that Anime is very symbolic, purposely methodical and definitely unique.

In the 1960s and early 1970s many of the more juvenile Anime successfully immigrated to the U.S with such shows as Kimba, Astro Boy, Eighth Man and Robotech, among others.  

American audiences were hesitant at first but after only a short period Anime successfully integrated itself into American Pop Culture.

Naturally as Anime matured so too did its stories and sophistication of animation and visual effects.

Classic Anime such as Akira, Spirited Away (and other Studio Ghibli films), along with episodic animated TV shows and even Japanese Anime takes on American comic book characters such as Batman, the X-Men and the like continues to bring in more fans.

Author Chris Stuckmann and Mango Publishing have compiled an impressive book filled with industry interviews and impressions, the history of Anime, its humble beginnings, how it has transformed animation in the U.S. and garnered a huge audience all around the world.

Anime Impact offers readers a fascinating trip inside the magical world of Anime.

Learn about the movies and shows that changed the world of Japanese animation.

I do not consider myself an expert on Anime but I do possess a working knowledge about the subject.  Still, there is so much to learn and absorb in this book that most stalwart and knowledgeable Anime fan will enjoy hours of reading.

When I was a boy many, many, MANY years ago I was told to never, ever eat food prepared at what was referred to as ‘roach coaches’.

Roach coaches were mobile food carts on wheels that usually frequented construction sites or the slightly ‘shady’ side of towns and cities.  The food was usually bad-not fresh, prone to being overcooked, prepared in ‘questionable’ sanitary surroundings and dirt cheap.

All of that has changed.  Food trucks and street food have become the darlings of Foodies.  Many offer unique and high-class gourmet foods, prepared fresh and fast.

In Eating Across America, author Daymon “Daym Drops” Patterson takes readers on a cross-county Foodie caravan to some of the best truck and street foods cuisine sites in each state.

Get ready to let your taste buds go bananas as full color photos spotlight the delectable and delicious foods available across America. 

Meet the people behind the culinary cross trek and visit the places that have redefined the term ‘street food’.
Break out your forks and spoons and get prepare to dig into some of the best food a Foodie could ever eat!

Dynasty Season One

They‘re back!  The uber-rich and powerful, high-society, skeletons in their closets Harringtons and Colbys are back in a brand new take on the Dynasty TV show popular in the 1980s.

All the stab-you-in-the-back, lies, manipulations and bed-hopping are kicked up a notch in 22 full episodes in the Dynasty Season One DVD Collection from CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment.

There are even a few extra features thrown in for good measure such as deleted scenes and a gag reel.

If you loved the original Dynasty series you’re sure to get a guilty pleasure out of watching the 21st Century version of two families plagued by jealousy, envy, wealth, wickedness, family squabbles, business underhand dealings and ever vice and lust known to man.  

When Fallon Carrington sets her sights on being the new CEO of the Blake Carrington Empire she is in a store for a nasty surprise when she discovers her father has remarried to Cristal, who is principled, driven, publicity savvy and truly loves Blake Barrington and is almost the same age as Fallon.

Get ready for a battle royal of wits, manipulations and in-your-face confrontations.

Dynasty: you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Friday, September 14, 2018


One of my all-time Batman stories is the one-shot graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by the super-talented Brian Bolland.
Produced in the mid-1980s the graphic novel: The Killing Joke pits Batman against his greatest foe: The Joker.  If you haven’t read The Killing Joke, I highly recommend it.  It successfully redefined the relationship between Batman and The Joker and changed the DC Comics Batman franchise forever-the effects of which are still being felt today.

There’s also an excellent animated adaptation by Warner Bros. Animation on Blu-ray/DVD.

I first took notice of Brian Bolland’s artwork when I picked up his run on Judge Dredd when it was released here in the United States.  It still sends chills up my spin when I look at his interpretation of Judge Death and his fellow supernatural Judges.

Brian caught the attention of DC Comics and was part of the British Invasion prevalent in the mid-1980s.  

One of the first projects he did for DC Comics was the 12-part Camelot 3000 project that placed the return of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table, Morgan le Fey and Merlin in the future.

Plagued by delays the series ended after two years instead of one-but it was worth the wait just to see Bolland’s artwork.

Over the years Brian has done a number of issues and covers for DC Comics.

To commemorate 20 Years of DC Collectibles a very special Batman Mini-Statue has been created by sculptor David Giruad.  The statue, with base, stands approximately 8 ½ inches tall.

Made of polyresin the statue really captures the look of Brian Bolland’s rendition of Batman and is limited to 5,000 copies.  Get yours soon-they are going fast!.

Brian Bolland is a perfectionist and it shows in his art.  Every detail from the folds in Batman’s cape to his characteristic sneer is spot-on.

The DC Collectibles statue is no less impressive. But, let’s start with the packaging first.

The statue comes in a four-side, heavy stock box, with a right front clipped edge sporting a gold DC Collectibles logo. 

The box opens easily using its flip-lid secured with fold-in tab.  Other Batman statues are spotlighted on the back of the box.

Inside is a form-fitted Styrofoam container that holds the statue.  The front and back pieces are held in place with clear plastic tape wrapped around the mid-seam.

The figures and base are wrapped in clear plastic bags and both fit snuggly into the form-fitted Styrofoam.  

Polyresin can be easily broken if dropped and with the extra protection afforded by the statue's box and packing the chance of that happening is practically nil.

As a 2D artist I am in awe of sculptors who can take a 2D illustration and successfully translate it into a 3D piece of art and the Batman statue is a masterpiece of sculpting.

The sculptor captures perfectly the stance, and attitude of the Brian Bolland Dark Knight.

Dressed in his characteristic and classic light grey and blue attire the Batman statue exudes authority and respect.

Batman stands with his legs spread.  His arms are crossed and he holds a Joker playing card in his extended right hand.  Just look at the detail!
Every finger, arm muscle and upper and lower torso muscle is perfect.

The details are so fine that you can read the Joker card face, see the amused scowl on Batman’s face and the squint of his white eyes through his cowl.

Moving down the figure I was immediately struck by Batman’s utility cape-simple and elegant with its wide, yellow interpretation.

Batman wears his front tipped knee boots, three wing-tip gloves and light grey leotards decorated with the Bat symbol (no yellow circle).

The figure fits firmly on its black base with Bat emblem and is held in place by a single rod extending from Batman’s right foot.

Batman’s cape is a marvel of sculpting.  

Like Bolland’s interpretation the cape gathers at the shoulders and then sweeps down over Batman's body ending in long, bat wing tips.  Every fold is perfectly placed and accurate.  The cape flows slightly to Batman’s left.

I especially like that Batman’s cowl that sports long bat ears attributed to artists Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams and of course: Brian Bolland. 

In my opinion this is one of the best Batman statues I’ve seen and is a remarkable piece of sculpture that captures the look and feel of Bain Bolland’s Caped Crusader seen in The Killing Joke.