Saturday, September 28, 2013

Impressive Interview with Hermes Press...

Hermes Press is best known for reprinting essential comic strips and producing high quality History of Comics and Illustrators books. The publisher has recently started to release new comics like Tails and Sparrow and Crowe, and got the Howard Chaykin to do an all new Buck Rogers mini series. CBNAH caught up with Alissa Fisher, Graphic Designer of Hermes Press to discuss the history of the company, Howard Chaykin’s all new Buck Rogers, and much more.

CBNAH: For people who are unfamiliar with Hermes Press, can you give us a brief history of the company?

AF: Hermes Press is a specialized publishing company founded by our Publisher, Daniel Herman, in 2000. Dan is an avid comic art collector, of all genres and his love of comics lead to the idea of starting a publishing company in order to preserve the classic material. The first book he self produced was Gil
Kane: The Art of Comics in 2001 and following that he produced Star Hawks, and here we are today! Troy and I jumped on board about 3-4 years ago and since then we've increased our production schedule and taken on most of the work.

CBNAH: Can you tell us a bit about Howard Chaykin's all new Buck Rogers?

AF: Howard Chaykin's Buck Rogers is a revival series comprised of four issues with a slightly different take than the original, classic Buck Rogers series — a little more provocative through the language and plot. This time around, a second civil war broke out in America that was pelaged with environmental
disaster and widespread tyranny that engulfed Europe, Asia and South America. Buck awakens to the futuristic world, five centuries later, of a barely populated America that is under siege by China.

CBNAH: What are some recent and upcoming releases of the History of Comics line?

AF: Right now, we don't have any new releases under the History of Comics line, but had intentions of doing a Funnies in the Comics. I can say if we publish it, it won't be for a long time though because of our current production schedule.

CBNAH: Any new information for a release date of Smokey Stover and Spooky the Cat: The Collected Sundays?

AF: Smokey Stover has been postponed for some time now. We have intentions of finishing the book, it's just hard to say when due to some technicalities surrounding interest in the title — the same goes for I Spy. It's very unfortunate though, because I receive numerous emails regarding interest in both titles. Reprinting classic comic strips has a very limited audience which makes publishing a title a little frustrating at times because it needs to be financially viable for us, as a company, to reprint.

CBNAH: Outside of the Pre-Code comics and the first volume of the newspaper strip, are there plans to release more volumes of Brenda Starr, Reporter?

AF: No, sadly, we are not coming out with another Brenda Starr collection, at least not any time soon.

CBNAH: Can you tell us about Tails and Sparrow and Crowe?

AF: Tails originated as a web comic created by Ethan Young. In 2011, Ethan self-published the collection of strips from his website and sent us a copy to look over and ultimately publish. We were immediately drawn to his graphic inking and over all style of the layout and agreed to publish Ethan's work.

Tails Book 1 is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel written and illustrated by Ethan Young, that tells the tale of Ethan, a quirky, hipster cartoonist trying to make it in New York City, working at an animal shelter. When the going gets tough, Ethan's side creation, Crusader Cat, begins to interact with him in
effort to help Ethan escape the heartache and stress of his everyday life. Ethan created a character that is easily identifiable with that evokes sympathy and hope for him to catch a break.

Ethan's story does have it's funny moments when he gets revenge, of specific characters, in his day dreams. It's a very enjoyable read with fantastic art work. I did an interview with Ethan last year you should check out — it's on our Tumblr account:

Sparrow and Crowe originated from creators David Accampo and Jeremy Roger's award winning, full cast audio drama, podcast series called Wormwood, it ran for three seasons consisting of 97 episodes(available on iTunes and Wormwood is a series about a former psychologist, Dr.
Xander Crowe, who had a terrible tragedy that sent him spiraling down a dark pathway. After having a strange vision, Doctor Crowe is lead to the hidden town of Wormwood, where shadows are lurking in every corner and evil stains the souls of every inhabitant.

Jared Souza, the comics' artist, got the job after submitting his fan art, which was concept art for a comic that followed the podcast series. From there, the idea of producing a comic that was a spin off of the Wormwood shows came to fruition.

We met the Sparrow and Crowe crew at the San Diego Comic Con in 2012 at an open portfolio review we held at our booth — they pitched their idea and gave us a sample of their comic and the rest is history!

Sparrow and Crowe is a five part mini series with Issue 4 coming out in November exclusively on Comixology. Here is what's a little sneak peak about what's going on:

The Sparrow and Crowe saga continues in Issue 4 with Amanda Marino, daughter of a Los Angeles mob boss, unwittingly conjured forth an evil spirit, which took possession of her body. Now, under the gun of Don Marino and armed with the Ring of Solomon, Doctor Xander Crowe enacts a harrowing ritual to confront his old enemy, the demon Adramelech, and expunge the spirit from Amanda’s wrecked body. That is, of course, unless the devil has another trick up his sleeve… or maybe even more than one...

If you check out Issue 1 and 2 of Sparrow and Crowe, you'll see a few original pages Jared submitted at the end we put in as extra art. I definitely suggest checking out the Wormwood podcast too! Sparrow and Crowe Issues 1-3 are available at

CBNAH: Is there any title that you would recommend for somebody who isn't familiar Hermes Press?

AF: Hmm... let's see. If you are a horror fan, since Halloween is around the corner, I'd suggest Sparrow and Crowe Issues 1-3 and the Sparrow and Crowe Halloween Special, which is great because it has a variety of artists and writers putting their own spooky twist on Sparrow and Crowe — definitely a great
piece to pick up! Also, the Famous Monsters of Filmland's Fear Book Volume 1 when the title is released in late October/November. If classics are more up your ally, try Johnny Hazard Volumes 1 and 2, and The Phantom Dailies have some good old fashioned humor, as well as, being one of the first super hero comic series. If any of the readers have kids, Scratch9 is fantastic! It's a comic about a cat who, through the work of a mad scientist, is able to summon his nine lives! Scratch9 Cat Tails #1 is a collection of stories based on the nine lives of Scratch — each story has it's own theme ranging from Bektah, the mummy cat of Egypt, the French feline, D'Argent, to a futuristic breed of superior cats lead by IX. It's a really cute, fun read. Cat Tails #2 is coming out soon, so if you liked Cat Tails #1, you'll love the second edition!

CBNAH: Are there any difficulties of transferring old comic strips or comic books into the digital format?

AF: Transferring old strips to a digital format is rather easy, however, editing them for the book can be the difficult part. I'll use The Phantom as an example — when we reproduce the dailies, although they are black and white images, after being scanned into the computer, the color scheme is in gray scale. To
get the final black and white strips found in our books, we have to clean out the gray matter out from the negative space and select the black channel to bump up the curve to make the inked lines black again. This sounds simple enough, which it can be, but we have to make sure the original art is unaltered in the process. The same applies to the colored strips, which are more tedious in editing. In some instances, we have to partially redraw images due to torn pages, lack of material, and most of all, poor printing quality. Over all, the better the material the less we have to edit. More times than not, since this material is very old, it is difficult to find in good condition. We do have several contacts and
collectors that provide us with fantastic material for The Phantom Dailies and Sundays and Buck Rogers series, and we thank them tremendously!

CBNAH: What does the future hold for Hermes Press?

AF: We are expanding our collection of books and starting to collaborate with Famous Monsters to reprint their annual editions, so we can only go up from here! I'm currently working on The Psychedelic Rock Art of Carl Lundgren, a well-known Detroit, Michigan based artist, who is known for his psychedelic rock posters as well as illustrating covers to novels for publishing companies such as
Image and Dark Horse, and is still active as an artist today. We hope to get more projects like this in the future — it's been really fun working on this type of book. Next years schedule should be equally exciting, as we are close to announcing an all new comic title!

Also, checkout Hermes Press at the official website:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Interv.w With Com.x

Since the early 2000s Com.x has been making waves in the comics industry. Releasing high quality and innovative titles like Cla$$war, Seeds, Passion's Requiem and many more. CBNAH did an interview with Eddie Deighton and Benjamin Shahrabani from Com.x to talk about the history of the company, the dark time period, upcoming titles and more!

CBNAH: First of all, Cla$$war was an awesome series you guys did in the early '00.

Benjamin Shahrabani: Thank you for the kind words. You made my day!

CBNAH: For those who are unfamiliar with Com.x, can you give us a brief history of the company?

BMS: Com.x was launched back in 2000. Bazooka Jules, Puncture, Razorjack, Cla$$war, Sky Between Branches, N-Jin and Codename: Babetool were the original launch titles. We took a break mid-2007, until we relaunched again in 2009. We then published Path which was nominated for a Russ Manning Award, along with a hardcover edition of the Cla$$war series and a collected edition of Razorjack. This was followed by [Forty-Five]45 which was released to much acclaim in 2011, followed by Monster Myths which debuted at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, and Babble earlier this year which has gotten some amazing press, and was also nominated for a Russ Manning Award (Most Promising Newcomer Artist award).

CBNAH: From 2003 to 2007 the company went through a dark time period. How was the company able to make a comeback to publishing?

BMS: Eddie is actually the only original member of the team left standing (although I've been there for a long time and was also there during as what Ray Liotta in 'Goodfellas' may have described as 'These are the bad times…'). Perhaps he'd like to answer that one, as without him I don't think we'd be speaking…

Eddie Deighton: Yeah, I guess I'm the best one to answer that! I think the simple answer is faith, confidence and an unwavering passion. We did go through some tough times, both financially and structurally, but in my heart I've always wanted to publish comics so, no matter what we went through, I knew that if my heart was still in it, Com.x would always exist. Independent publishing is an extremely tough market - even more so with the dominance the majors have over the retail sector now - but we meet so many talented people with amazing stories to tell that my enthusiasm is still strong. Fortunately, Ben and Jon both feel the same way, so we're still committed to publishing interesting, unique stories that entertain the comic reader. For me, I still want Com.x to represent all that's interesting about comics and we always strive to do something different.

CBNAH: Is there any new information on the Cla$$war film adaptation?

BMS: The film thing has been a bit frustrating… But then again that's the film business for you. One of the biggest problems has been that, often times, when people in charge think about what property they want to make into a film, one of the things they look at is 'pre-awareness.' If we sold millions of copies, that wouldn't be a problem. Across all issues, Cla$$war sold very well for an independent, but it's a drop in the ocean compared to Marvel and DC superhero titles. Also, it's a superhero title, and even though the characters aren't superheroes (they are genetically engineered super-soldiers), it is close enough to where folks pass on Cla$$war because Marvel and DC do super-hero so well. So, we're thinking about approaching this a TV series now…

ED: If we had a dime for every conversation we've had in Hollywood about translating Cla$$war for the big screen, we probably could have funded our own film by now! Seriously, the project has been through so many media transitions that it's been hard to keep track over the last decade. The Mandeville option expired quite some time ago, so we're in negotiations with other parties at present.

The main issues have always been the budget it would take to realize Rob Williams' vision and the fact that, even though it was a highly-regarded and successful indie superhero book, that the sales (and heritage) you couldn't compare to something like a Marvel or DC title. It's easy with the bigger publishers to be able to look at book sales and readership and gauge expectations but that's harder to do on a smaller book. It needs more faith from the producer and studio, even if the reviews are outstanding. Also, you have to consider that most successful comic film properties have had decades to establish themselves and that's helped to build hype and awareness so I guess, looking at how many years it took to get Watchmen to the big screen, that we're not doing too badly.

Unfortunately we can't say too much about the status of the project but rest assured, we'll certainly be shouting from the rooftops when we can.

CBNAH: Can you give us any insight to the unreleased Silent Hill graphic novel? Did the story follow closely to the game or movie or was it more an original idea? Any chance it will ever be released?

ED: Yes, the graphic novel did follow the storyline closely (or one of storylines, at least). The book release hit a few corporate stumbling blocks when the game was released, hence it never seeing the light of day; it was certainly nothing to do with the quality of the production - it's just the way things go when you're dealing with global companies sometimes. We still have it as a production-ready file, so you never know. We've been discussing releasing it as a piece of fan art, with Konami's permission, some time in the future, so you may get to see it yet.

CBNAH: Is there any title that you would recommend for somebody who isn't familiar Com.X?

BMS: Well, you mentioned Cla$$war, so there's that. Of previous releases, 45 is a great primer to Com.x… If you can find a copy (note – it is available on a few digital formats – but we're big proponents of the print format). Andi Ewington's book is pretty unique because its a hybrid of sorts. Its one continuous story and each page is a splash page drawn by 45 different artists. It's a great, great story about a prospective father looking to find out what he might have in store if his child is born with superpowers.

ED: Hmmm… that's a tough one - I think it depends on the person asking the question. You'll see from the books we've published that there's a range of genres we've dipped into. We never wanted to be pigeon-holed with one particular genre and we've always strived to bring comics to the masses, hence supporting books such as Seeds and Monster Myths. Of course, with Cla$$war, Bazooka Jules and [Forty-Five]45 we've proven that we can do superhero as good as the next publisher, so we do feel we offer something for everyone's taste. I hope that's what makes us interesting.

CBNAH: I very much enjoyed Monster Myths! I can't help but think this would make a great video game series. Have you ever considered it?

ED: Hey, if Rockstar Games or Deep Silver ever wanted to discuss an adaptation, we'd be more than happy to accommodate! Of course, we'd love to see our books adapted for Games, TV or Film. Monster Myths would make a great game!

BMS: Do you have a great idea about how it might be adapted into a game, because it's never crossed our minds about how to do it? Perhaps 'Grand Theft Auto' style?

CBNAH: Can you give us any insight on the creative process you use? Or run us through a day in Com.x?

BMS: Eddie, Jon, and myself are Com.x… So we do everything between us. It's a small team, but we each have our strengths. We all do curating – deciding on submissions. If we can't all unanimously say we'd pay our hard earned dollar (or UK pound) for that book off the shelf, we have to turn the creators down. Besides editing (which we all do), I focus on promotion and marketing. Of course this is cyclical, as we only release 3-4 books a year… But during that time period we are solely focused on that single project… Which is very good from the creator's point of view, I think.

ED: In addition to the generic company chores my main role is the graphic design, lettering and production. Effectively, anything the creative team don't or can't do, I'm there to back them up on. I'll also offer that extra creative support when it comes to story editing or conceptualizing as you may be aware of previously on [Forty-Five]45, where I worked closely with Andi (Ewington) to make sure the book was a really 'tight' package. We worked so well together that we went on to write the BlueSpear one-shot between us. I'm honoured to have been allowed to design and letter most of our books - Cla$$war, Razorjack, Sky Between Branches, N-Jin, Babetool, BlueSpear, Babble and the upcoming Duppy'78.

CBNAH: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming titles Bushido Wasabi and DUPPY'78?

BMS: These titles have been in gestation for a while, but I'm pleased to say 'Duppy' is finally complete and, minus a couple of little tweaks, it should have been solicited by the time this article is published. Because all of our titles are a labor of love, they take quite a long time to come out, much like a baby (actually, much longer than a baby). How to describe? Duppy is 'The Harder They Come' meets 'Akira' meets 'Ju-On.' Got it? It's a supernatural Jamaican gangster tale where children have the power to control the 'duppy' - spirits in the Rastafarian culture known to cause mischief and harm… But I guarantee (no money back sadly) that by the time readers turn the last page they will be tearing up.

ED: It's too early to talk about Bushido, really, but it's kind of like Mad Max meets Samurai Jack - that's all I can say at the moment!

CBNAH: Can you tell us about the title "Seeds"? do you often find inspiration from actual events? And is donating proceeds to charity something you'll do again?

BMS: Awww, man. 'Seeds' blew me away when I read it. When you look at what we publish, at first glance it looks like it doesn't fit in with the rest of our titles, but it does when you think about our ethos. Look a little deeper, and one of the things you'll find is actually the lack of consistency of the subject matter which we publish. All our books are very different from one another.

Seeds felt like a book that should have been picked up by a Fantagraphics or a D&Q… But for whatever reason they didn't… And it came to us. At the time, all three of us at Com.x (Eddie Deighton, Jon Sloan, and myself) had been affected by Cancer indirectly in some way. It felt like it was important to get Ross Mackintosh's story out there. It resonated with us, and with readers. If we publish another book where it makes sense to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity, we would certainly do so.

ED: Yes, it was an interesting turn of events. Ross emailed us inquiring as to what our submissions procedure was. At the time, we weren't actively looking for more titles, but I told him we would consider reviewing samples pages, if he had any. That evening he sent through the entire graphic novel - written, drawn and lettered! I read it the next day and was so profoundly moved by the experience that I sent it straight to Jon and Ben to read. They both came back straight away and agreed that we needed to find a publishing slot for the book. That's the joy of independent-publishing - if it feels right and budget allows, you can find a place in your schedule for something that special.

CBNAH: What comics are you currently reading in your spare time?

ED: I've just finished the Daredevil Ultimate Collection #82-119 written by Brubaker and Rucka and illustrated by Lark, Gaudiano, Aja, etc. Wonderful stuff - Ed Brubaker wrote one of the most moving scenes I've read in comics for a long time. I've also just finished The Nao Of Brown and I'm a sucker for re-reading old Justice League and The Authority.

BMS: Comics wise, I just finished reading 'Unlikely' by Jeffrey Brown, and just picked up 'Dream Thief' by Jai Nitz. Both are really unlike each other…but I guess showcase my diverse taste. I'm also reading a lot of prose right now. I'm hooked on the work of Walter Tevis – he wrote 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' and 'The Color of Money'. I'M reading some of his other work like 'The Steps of the Sun' and 'Queens Gambit'. Sooooo good. I just wish he had written more!

CBNAH: Thank you, for your time.

ED: Thank you!

BMS: Me too!

Also, checkout Com.x official website and on Twitter

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday...

Grendel: Devil by the Deed
By Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner created Grendel thirty years ago. After much thought about the stagnating comic scene he went about creating to of his lasting characters, Kevin Matchstick(From Mage) and Grendel. Grendel was born out of the idea that a book about the villain of the story could be more compelling than the one told about the hero. By making Hunter Rose a suave, beautiful, cold, cunning and incredibly intelligent, Wagner had all the things he needed to create one of the most memorable characters to come out of the 80s. All he needed now was a book, sadly due to funding issues at Comico, Grendel's first story was never finished. But Wagner sat on his idea until he could find a place to tell his story. The opportunity came when he was writing and drawing Mage. 

“Devil by the Deed” started out as a backup story in Mage. Four pages every issue that slowly delved into the fascinatingly tragic story of Hunter Rose. Wager had a lot of story to cover and not a lot of ground in which to cover it. In an experiment that many people (including Alan Moore) was original and fascinating. Mixing prose and sequential art, Wagner's tale of Grendel was a sight to behold. While this technique may not be the most original, it is certainly one of the best executed. The art and text flow together so well it does not feel as though it slows down the story. The book moves at a brisk clip and rarely lets up. While Wagner's early art may be a bit jarring to some readers who are familiar with his current style, it is still fantastic cartooning. With characters who move fluidly and whose posture reflect what the text doesn't spell out for you, Wagner's more cartoony style works with this story so well you may forget how any misgiving preciously held. 
Minor spoilers ahead, I will try and not give too much away, but there is a lot of ground covered and it isn't a very long book. 

Hunter Rose is destined to fail from page one. The story is told post postmortem by a reporter named Christine Spar, who has some connection to Hunter. The three central characters of the book are Hunter Rose, the enigmatic assassin and crime lord, Argent a three hundred year old wolf man who is the city's protector, and Stacy Palumbo, a young child who Hunter adopts and who also has a strong bond with Argent. 
Little is known about Hunter Rose's early life and it is glossed over rather quickly, yet the seeds of what he will become are planted there. Rose is exceptionally smart, a gifted fencer, and everything comes naturally to him. Losing the love of his life at seventeen he embarks on the only challenge left to him, dominating the world the surrounds him. Adopting the guise of Grendel and with his electrified bladed fork, he become the most dangerous and feared crime boss on the east coast. The rise of Grendel is great to behold but his fall is even more fantastic. He doesn't fail because the wolf Argent is such a great detective and deduces everything. He doesn't fail due to incompetence in his organization. He fails because he underestimated the one closest to him, because of his ego and because of his own heart. 

Matt Wagner's opening tale in the greater world of Grendel is wonderful. Thankfully even though Hunter Rose may have perished, there are still other stories told with him. Even though the mantle and curse of Grendel is passed on throughout the centuries, Hunter Rose remains a favorite of most Grendel fans. Is it because he is what a villain should be? Charismatic, intelligent, suave, beautiful and deadly? Is it the simple and elegant costume? It could be all these and more, but it seems clear that Hunter is the Grendel most glom onto. 
If you are curious about Grendel then “Devil by the Deed” is a great place to start. If you want more Hunter Rose there are a few other stories that focus on him , “Behold the Devil” is a favorite of mine. There are also two anthologies, “Black, White and Red”, and “Red, White and Black” both delve deeper into Hunter Rose's past and also have some fantastic art from creators like: Jill Thompson, Tim Sale, Duncan Fegredo, Mike Allred and a ton more. All of Hunter's exploits are also available in a handy digest sized omnibus which is well worth it. Grendel has been around for thirty years, and while not every Grendel is as charming as Hunter, they are all fascinating and as long as Matt Wagner will tell his stories, I will keep reading them.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marvel Zombies: Are You Game?

Marvel Zombies: Are You Game?

Attention SHIELD Agents! This is Neil, kicking off this li'l segment about the online Marvel games that have us gaming zombies addicted- the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance & the action MMORPG Marvel Heroes! So while on Tuesdays Jeff Hodges slays the consoles, every Wednesday I'll bring the latest news, discussions, tips, images, & what-have-you on both these games for the more casual gamers out here. And I may do another post on the weekends too so keep your eyes peeled!

I know there's quite a good number of MAA addicts out here, so how far ahead into Spec Ops 13 "Infinity" are you guys? Right now I'm stuck on task 24 that's to 3 star the 3 missions. Anyone managed to get the latest Lockbox hero Thane already? If so, feel free to comment on how you'll opened the boxes. I've got 4 covers with no dupes from 48 boxes, using the same tactic that I used for Elektra's boxes. It's actually Oz's trick - you open a 10x box & then 5 boxes as singles followed by another 10x & so on...

But wait- who the heck is Thane? For those unaware, Thane happens to be the son of Thanos, hiding within an Inhuman community from his father, who is on a hunt to destroy him. In MAA, Thane becomes the 1st hero to be added who hasn't been featured in the comics yet. He will be appearing soon in the currently ongoing Infinity storyline, so this becomes like a teaser for readers...

This move may seem a bit strange to us gamers as all of us have our lists ready of currently existing Marvel comic book heroes we want to see in the game. But if you look at it from a marketing perspective it makes sense- It would help pique the interest of existing readers who are following the ongoing storyline, AND players who don't read the comics may feel encouraged to learn more about Thane & thus pick up the books. Of course, there's also that part of them revealing BIG spoilers though, which ,as Oz puts it, is "kind of retarded".

So what do you guys think about this move on Playdom's part? Should they just stick to releasing heroes that already exist in the comics or would you like to recruit more characters that have yet to be published? And which heroes, announced or not, are you'll looking forward to see in MAA? For me personally, I'm dying for Mystique Lockboxes!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Console Slayer..!

Welcome to The Console Slayer!

This is a new feature about a subject a lot of us are passionate about: video games!

Today’s subject will be about old school versus modern games.

A lot of us video game nerds are familiar with modern games. Some of us might not have experience with “retro” games though. In a lot of cases this is due to age. Lets define “retro” though because it could be relative. By retro I mean anything from ancient systems like Magnavox Odyssey, Colecovision, Atari systems and NES through say the fifth generation consoles like the PS1 or N64.

For those of us that are familiar with retro games as well as modern games, let me pose this question: Are retro games more difficult than modern games? I'm of the opinion that they are.

Modern games are rife with multiple difficulty settings (standard these days), adaptive/on-the-fly difficulty scaling, automatic checkpoints and the ability to save your game. On the other hand, what about games like the Ninja Gaiden series (modern), MGS, Demon Souls/Dark Souls and Super Meat Boy though? These are some of the most widely acknowledged, most difficult of modern games.

What about old school games with the limited programming and hardware capabilities, lack of saving whenever one wants, unreliable physical mediums and more widespread glitches? Some examples of the most difficult retro games for reference: Ghosts 'N Goblins, Battletoads, (Mike Tyson's) Punch Out, Gradius series, TMNT, Contra (series) and Ninja Gaiden (original series).

What do you guys and gals think? (Discuss here or in the CBNAH Console Slayer Facebook Group Discussion) It doesn't really matter which is more difficult but its an interesting discussion both of gaming history and of gamers themselves.

I've also decided to always leave you with a little tidbit of my favorite game music/chiptunes with every post.
Labeled the 'Final Boss' it is actually the Shiar stage theme from X-Men on Sega Genesis:
(Best listened to in 720p)

ARTISTS ASSEMBLE: V for Vendetta...

Artists Assemble

A weekly event where members of the CBNAH Facebook group can submit art based on a specific theme. 
Last week's theme was V for Vendetta.

Jason Graziano

Richard Chin

MK Merc

Thorsten Schmitz

Dennis Mendoza

Thorsten Schmitz

Jason Graziano

Brett Buffington

Rodney Celerio

Christopher Masson

Melbert Martin

Kevin Miller

Adam Bayes

Jason Hendrickson 
Thorsten Schmitz 

Thorsten Schmitz

Thorsten Schmitz

All Skill Levels, Art Mediums Welcome. Must Be Your Own Work.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Parenting with the Soylent Greens: A Nerds Guide

Firstly I have to apologize for the format. I am working towards a video format that will include the kids giving their reviews but editing is confusing to me at the moment. I will eventually get there though.

What is parenting with the soylent greens? As a parent I spend a lot o my time sharing my interests with my family and friends but as I have 2 small girls I cant always show the full extent of nerd culture for reasons ranging from explicit images to the use of bad language. I also find that as I've grown up so has a lot of the material making it quite inaccessible for younger viewers. Parenting with the Soylent Greens aims to level the playing field for us adults a bit by finding the best FAMILY FRIENDLY material. This means material that you as parents can enjoy WITH your family.

For this first feature we took the time to read Itty Bity Hellboy (Artist: Art Baltazar Story: Art Baltazar, Franco). This was a great find for me as a huge Hellboy fan and so it gave me a chance to introduce the character to my kids without any of the darker elements or quite frankly older themes of the original comic books.

Mat: I'm a huge Hellboy fan especially when Mignola himself is on art so this book was really exciting to me. The first thing that took me was the cover art showing some of Hellboys more exciting friends including Lobster Johnson and Abe Sapien. The interior artwork is bright and colourful and hits you right in the eye, nothing like the original source material but not in a bad way. The child like element of the art adds to the flavour of the book but I did really miss hellboy's classic brooding look, there's just something missing without the heavy shading. The story is broken up into a couple of shorter stories that could act as a comic strip in its own right but then adds up to a bigger overall story. This wasn't a bad thing because i noticed that Megan couldn't possibly read the whole thing in one go. This style let her read what she could manage to concentrate, without needing to sacrifice the story.

Megan: I like this comic because it was easy to read and I liked the story and colours. I like it because daddy likes Hellboy and its like the film but without the monsters and its funny.

Overall the comic has earned a very respectable 7/10 as an average score from the Soylent Greens. Whilst it appealed to the Megan, it did suffer from missing the quirks that make Hellboy who he is and I found that the characters came across as bratty. I will be buying the rest of the mini series however because it is accessible to younger readers and you just cant say no to the artwork.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

BIRD IS THE WORD..! Psylocke Appreciation

Family Ties

So, my next two segments are going to be rather short and sweet since I am hunkering down trying to get my costume ready for next weekend's expo.

Today I am doing a quick introduction of the Braddock siblings, the children of Sir James Braddock, member of the Captain Britain Corps and denizen of Otherworld, and Lady Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe. She is the twin sister of Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain. Yes, you heard that right. Elizabeth was not born Eurasian. She was born a Caucasian and later made into the Eurasian woman she is today, but more on that in later segments. Her first appearance was in the UK comic book Captain Britain #8. At the time, she was working as a charter pilot. This was in the beginning when her only known power was precognition, which seemed to have been unlocked when the siblings were attacked by Dr. Synne (more on that later).

Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britian was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe and originally appeared in Captain Britain Weekly. After the death of their parents, Brian took up fellowship at Darkmoor nuclear research center. When the center was attacked by The Reaver, Brian escaped on his motorcycle and tried to find help, only to end up in a near fatal accident. It was then that Merlyn and his daughter, the Omniversal Guardian, Roma appear to the badly injured Brian and gave him the chance to become the superhero Captain Britian. His superpowers are superhuman strength, speed, endurance, agility, durability, reflexes, and senses, force fields, and flight.

Jamie Braddock is the eldest of the three siblings (10 years older than them). He was created by Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida. Jamie Braddock first appears in Captain Britain #9. He wasn't known to have any powers at first. He is also the crazy one of the family (every family has to have one right? Just be thankful I didn't post his white thong pictures, lol), but I'll get to his reason for insanity in a moment. In the beginning, Jamie was a top Formula 1 racing driver and was very good at it, winning several championships. That life soon took a turn when Jamie was implicated with several illegal crimes until the arrival of the African lord, Doctor Crocodile with the help of the Witch-Woman. Tortured by Crocodile and Witch-Woman, Jamie's latent mutant ability to reshape reality around him manifested itself at the same moment that he lost grip on sanity. Jamie's powers are cosmic awareness, dimensional manipulation, enhance mutation, genetic manipulation, necromancy, reality manipulation, teleportation.

Discuss the Braddock family and Psylocke with Caroline here or the Facebook group @ ..!