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Gimmick or Good? – Captain America #450

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far. We continue with the dual covers for Captain America #450…


Captain America #450 (published April 1996) – script by Mark Waid, art by Ron Garney

Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s initial run on Captain America was a short-lived affair sandwiched between Mark Gruenwald’s 10-year tenure as writer and the controversial Heroes Reborn/Rob Liefeld reboot in 1996. Still, in only a handful of issues, Waid and Garney (who would return in 1998 for Vol. 3 of the series) crafted a number of highly regarded stories, including Captain America #450, the first part of the “Man Without a Country” arc. To celebrate the “historic” 450th issue of the series (remember, in the 90s, any issue number that could be divided by 25 was considered important), the comic sported two covers: one of Steve Rogers pulling off his shirt to reveal his Captain America attire (a la Superman), and another of Cap in full costume on the front page of a fictitious news magazine (which coincidentally resembles Time’s format and color scheme).

But what about inside the comic?
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Sunday’s Sickbed Reviews

We are still recovering from Emerald City Con here– that show clobbered us. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 96: Yildiray Cinar, Part 3 – Noble Causes #39

03-16-2014 04;05;57PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Yildiray Cinar, and the issue is Noble Causes #39, which was published by Image and is cover dated February 2009. Enjoy!
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Comics Should Be Good 2014 March Madness: Final Round

Here is the Finals for this year’s Comics Should Be Good March Madness.

This year, you’re choosing which characters you think would win in a (non “to the death”) fight.

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Year of the Artist, Day 95: Yildiray Cinar, Part 2 – Tales of the Starlight Drive-In

03-16-2014 02;30;18PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Yildiray Cinar, and the story is “The Starlight Goes Pink” from Tales of the Starlight Drive-In, which was published by Image and is cover dated June 2008. Enjoy!
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House to Astonish – Live! For Alzheimer Scotland

As you may or may not know, House to Astonish is a Scottish-based podcast. We’ve been teasing something big on Twitter for the past few weeks, and in case you missed it, we’ve got a big announcement to make!

We’re incredibly pleased and proud to announce our first live show, on 31 May, in aid of Alzheimer Scotland.

Join me and Paul at City2, downstairs at the City Cafe, Edinburgh, for the recording of a very special episode We’ll be discussing the great and the good (and the not so good) of the world of comic books and answer the burning questions of the day. There will be a live Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, and possibly even special guests from the world of comics…

PLUS: How much do you REALLY know about comics? Do you know your Beetle and Booster from your Maggie and Hopey? Can you tell a New Warrior from a New Teen Titan? And how many Robins have there been anyway? Test your knowledge out with the House to Astonish Comics Quiz, and be in with a chance to win some sweet comics and graphic novels.

Tickets are £12, which includes admission to the live House to Astonish podcast, entry to the Comics Quiz and a buffet, and all profits from the sale of tickets will be donated to Alzheimer’s Scotland. Tickets are available to purchase here, and are already going fast.

As you’ll see one post down, I was interviewed by Bleeding Cool earlier this week about the upcoming live show, and you can find out more about the background, what we’ll be doing and why we chose the charity we did at this link.

We really hope you’ll be able to join us, and whether you are or not, please spread the word!

House to Astonish Episode 123

Paul and I are making the most of a quiet but spider-heavy couple of weeks this time round, with discussion of Original Sin 3.1-3.4, Original Sins, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Verse and Amazing Spider-Man‘s huge preorders, along with Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes’ new comic for the BBC and Vertigo’s new detective series Bodies. There are also reviews of Inhuman, Aquaman and the Others and Dead Letters (and as a minor warning, we do talk about one of the two twists in Dead Letters, so if you’d rather not be spoilered on that then skip 48:32 to 57:28), and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has got the cutest little babyface. All this plus Aquaman Etc, the X-Men’s door-to-door pamphlet campaign and tips for House to Astonish cosplay.

As always, we want to know what you think about the things we’ve discussed, including (but not limited to):

  • What comics creative teams from years gone by would you like to see reunite on a new project?
  • Is Marvel over-extending itself with the number of ongoing series it’s publishing?
  • What’s your favourite twist ending to a first issue?

As you’ll hear on the podcast, House to Astonish Live is taking place in Edinburgh on May 31; tickets are available here, with all profits going to Alzheimer Scotland, but that deserves its own post…

I also got interviewed this week by Amiable Alasdair Stuart of Bleeding Cool, about the live show and about the podcast in general, so you can check that out here.

On top of that, there’s our regular Redbubble store – the profits from that go to helping keep this show on the air. Internet. Whatever.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud.

Or the player right here:

House to Astonish Episode 123 – The Space Year 2013 by Housetoastonish on Mixcloud

Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter (where I’m @housetoastonish and Paul is @ifdestroyed), via email at housetoastonish@gmail.com or on our Facebook fan page.

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So the U.S. Government Actually Secretly Froze Captain America All Those Years?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Edward H., we take a look at the short-lived retcon that it was the United States government who froze Captain America during World War II…
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Captain America Legends Revealed!

In honor of Captain America’s new movie opening this weekend in the United States, we decided to spotlight past editions of Comic Book Legends Revealed that have featured Captain America over the years!

Check them all out below!
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Year of the Artist, Day 94: Yildiray Cinar, Part 1 – Nothingface

03-15-2014 02;24;48PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Yildiray Cinar, and the graphic novel is Nothingface, which was published by Digital Webbing and is cover dated November 2004. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #465

Welcome to the four hundred and sixty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and sixty-four. This week, did Jack Kirby design two new costumes for Captain America in case Marvel lost a lawsuit over the rights to Captain America? Learn the bizarre story of how EC Segar and Bud Sagendorf first met (a story they didn’t even know for years)! And finally, did Garfield really die in a comic strip?!

Let’s begin!

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The Line it is Drawn #184 – Comic Book Tribute to GWAR


Welcome to our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from YOUR suggestions!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas, Sonia Harris, Melissa K. and Ken H.

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 3pm Pacific Friday).

The topic is…

To celebrate their recent film, team-up or mash-up Muppets with comic book characters!

Read on for the sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

As suggested by CBR’s own Stephen Gerding, in honor of the passing of Dave Brockie, design a Gwar costume (or costumes) based on a comic book character or group of comic book characters. Like what would a Gwar costume based on Spider-Man look like?

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Year of the Artist, Day 93: Steve Pugh, Part 5 – Hotwire: Deep Cut #2

03-14-2014 10;52;44AM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Steve Pugh, and the issue is Hotwire: Deep Cut #2, which was published by Radical Comics and is cover dated October 2010. Enjoy!
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Comics Should Be Good 2014 March Madness: Final Four


Here is the Final Four for this year’s Comics Should Be Good March Madness.

This year, you’re choosing which characters you think would win in a (non “to the death”) fight.

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Cover Theme Game for 4/2

The cover theme game works like this: I’ll show you three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, a connection between all three characters, a locale, a trait all three creators share, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” “They are all Avengers (who ISN’T?)!” “They’re all dead (who HASN’T been killed off?)!” “They’ve all been cloned (who HASN’T been cloned?)!” “They’re all mutants! (who ISN’T a mutant?)” “They’re all legacy heroes (who ISN’T a legacy hero nowadays?)!” “They’re all by the same artist!” (too obvious) etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these themes. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond the covers. The connections will ONLY have to do with connections in the actual comic books (so no incidental connections like “they share the same last names of Vice Presidents,” etc. Now, if the three characters were each named Gerald Ford, that’d be another story, as that’d no longer be incidental).

If you come up with an answer that works outside of what I intended, I’ll give you credit (well, provided I think it fits, of course).

One more thing – if there are floating heads on the cover, ignore them! They don’t mean anything! Same thing with corner boxes!

If you think you know the answer, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t answer in the comments. This way, people who check in at different times of the day can still get credit for answering it correctly!

Here is an archive of all the past cover theme games, plus their answers. Before each new installment, I’ll post the answers to the previous week’s game.

Good luck and enjoy! Continue Reading »


Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

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