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Cover Theme Game for 4/9

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 »

Manga in Minutes: Catchup Corner

Welcome to this weeks Manga in Minutes! As mentioned back in January, I’ll be playing around with some ideas and formats for the column over the coming year, and this week is one of those ideas! Every now and then, instead of a single weekly review, I’ll be posting multiple short reviews instead. But first, some news…

On to the first Catchup Corner, featuring Fairy Tail, Vols. 33 + 34, Knights of Sidonia, Vols. 3 + 4 and Trigun Maximum, Vol. 2!
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Year of the Artist, Day 99: Mahmud Asrar, Part 1 – Small Gods #2

03-20-2014 12;28;40PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mahmud Asrar, and the issue is Small Gods #2, which was published by Image and is cover dated June 2004. Enjoy!
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Committed: Interviewing Jason McNamara about The Rattler

040814_therattler2Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle have produced a strange comic book about a man on a mission. One dark night on a lost highway, a man loses everything. Decades later he finds it, and loses himself in the process.

In many ways the story and mood of The Rattler is one of a classic ’70’s horror movie feel, strongly tempered by McNamara’s characteristically bleak sense of humor. In mood I think it’s something like the movie “Cabin in the Woods”, but with more explicit sex and meaner jokes (if you can imagine such a thing).

Jason McNamara offered to answer a few impolite questions for me and so I took the opportunity to try and find out why on earth he’s doing this.

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Year of the Artist, Day 98: Yildiray Cinar, Part 5 – Batman/Superman #3

03-17-2014 06;59;13PM (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 Batman/Superman #3, which was published by DC and is cover dated October 2013. Enjoy!
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Comics Should Be Good 2014 March Madness: And the Winner Is…

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

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

Enjoy!
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Vote for Batman’s 75 Greatest Friends and Foes!

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re going to be doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman. Future installments will deal with Batman creators and stories, but this month will be about Batman friends and foes.

Batman has both a rich and varied supporting cast plus a killer Rogues Gallery, so here you will be casting your vote for who you feel are the greatest Batman villains as well as the greatest Batman friends/associates of all-time!

You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, April 18th. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the top 75 beginning April 21st.

Okay, here are the guidelines!
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Comic Book Six Degrees: The Rose to Rose

I name two comic book characters. You then have to connect the two using only shared appearances in comic books (official appearances in comics only – no cameos like Terry Austin sneaking Popeye into the background of a panel and no outside comic book appearances, like cartoons and the like). You have to do so using less than six comics total. Covers and pin-ups do not count – only actual appearances in the same comic book story (so it doesn’t count if they each appeared in separate stories inside the same anthology). Mythological characters, public domain characters (other than public domain comic book characters, they’re free game) and real people (by the way, unless a fake name is used for a real person, like Ronald Raygun or whatever, you can use the person even if they are not officially named in the comic) are unique to their own comic book appearances (so DC’s Thor is different than Marvel’s Thor, DC’s Ronald Reagan is different from Marvel’s Ronald Reagan, etc.). But a licensed character is the same in all of their various comic book companies (so the Marvel Red Sonja is the same as the Dynamite Red Sonja) and approved appearances by a real person can go across comic book companies, as well (so, for instance, you can use Marv Wolfman from his Teen Titans appearance to connect with Marv Wolfman in his Fantastic Four appearance – you just can’t use modern appearances by Jack Kirby from one company to connect to Jack Kirby appearances from Marvel Comics, since obviously Kirby can no longer give approval for his appearance). Approval tends to be the key.

Every week, whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next week’s match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly). Last time was Joshua Brand to Pow Wow Smith. Darryl M. was one of a couple of people who connected the two in five moves. Here is how Darryl connected the two…

NOTE: Before I begin, let me again request that when you folks send in your answers to please include your suggestion for next week if your answer is chosen. Oh, and it would be nice if you demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices. Thanks!

Joshua Brand met Jon Sable in Shaman’s Tears #5
Jon Sable met the Badger in Crossroads #2
The Badger met E-Man in War of the Independents #1
E-Man and Captain Atom were both in Ghost Manor #21
Captain Atom and Pow Wow Smith were both in Armageddon: The Alien Agenda #3

Darryl’s challenge is…

The Rose (the Spider-Man villain) to Rose (from Bone)

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of comics gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

Remember, only authorized appearances in comic books count (for instance, all the Marvel characters in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck do not count)!

Year of the Artist, Day 97: Yildiray Cinar, Part 4 – Legion of Super-Heroes #9

03-17-2014 01;45;46PM (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 Legion of Super-Heroes #9, which was published by DC and is cover dated March 2011. Enjoy!
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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…

Cap450_CoverACaptainAmerica450_Variant

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.

Enjoy!
Continue Reading »

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!
Continue Reading »

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!

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