Friday, February 27, 2009

Motor City Comic Con 2009?

The con is still a few of months away, but as it stands right now, this is looking like a no-go. For the 20th Anniversary of Motor City Comic Con, the guest list as it stands now, is quite disappointing. This isn't an insult towards the creators, because there are some people I would like to see, but with the economy the way it is and the Canadian dollar going back in the crapper, I can't justify making the trip back down to Novi, Michigan, even for the one day like we've been doing for the past (especially a week after TCAF).

For the past three years, there has been at least one name that I could justify making the trip down for. In 2006, it was George Perez (even though I saw him less than a month earlier, at the Paradise Toronto Comicon). In 2007, it was Stan Sakai. In 2008, it was Herb Trimpe, although he cancelled his appearance... I was still set on going. This year, as of right now, there isn't that one name that'd do it for me.

Please keep in mind, I don't think the creators that are on the guest list right now are bad in any way. I would like to see many of them, but Toronto to Novi is pretty far (considering I don't take many road trips). Hopefully more names do get added, with the one that would turn my decision around.

Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2009

Where the hell have I been? The initial guest list was released a few weeks back, and even an update had occurred, and I wrote nothing about it. I did update the sidebar when those updates had occurred (or shortly after that).

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF from here on out) takes place from May 9th-10th, 2009, at the Toronto Reference Library. The Guest List can be found here.

I would make mention of the guests on the list, but there are just so many to go through (if I remember correctly, over 120 creators appearing!). I had a blast at the previous two TCAFs (2005 & 2007), so I'm hoping the trend continues.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - February 25th, 2009

G.I. Joe #2 (Incentive Cover) - Yeah, this came out two weeks ago, but it's the Retailer Incentive cover, by Adam Hughes. It's a wraparound cover of the Baroness cover image, which is also used for Cover B of this issue.

Green Lantern #38 - That Hal Jordan gets around, doesn't he? How many rings is he gonna wear? This issue wasn't as good as the last one, but still pretty good.

Justice Society of America #24 - Can't say that I fully enjoyed this issue. Maybe it's just that I don't care too much about Billy Batson. I dunno.

New Avengers #50 - Wow, fifty issues. Didn't think I'd still be able to continue collecting a title for so long (already dropped JLA, and will most likely drop JSA after Johns and Eaglesham leave the title). But here I am, with issue 50. This is a title I enjoy quite a bit, and this issue just adds to it. I started cracking up during the beginning, when Wolverine reveals the "Wolverine" on the Dark Avengers is his kid (see the preview of this issue, it's there).

Resistance #3 - Seriously, one of these days, I gotta play this game. Seems like shit hit the fan, so next issue should be interesting.

Street Fighter II Turbo #4 - The bulk of this issue was Chun-Li's battle in the Street Fighter Tournament. Enjoyed the back-up story, featuring Rufus. Looking forward to next month, with the back-up story featuring Crimson Viper.

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #4 - Lots of stuff happened in this issue, leading to the final two issue of this mini-series.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hobbystar's Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event Guest List

The initial Guest List for the 5th Annual Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event (put on by Hobbystar Marketing) was released earlier today. The event takes place April 18th-19th, 2009.

Bill Sienkiewicz
(Guest of Honour)

Steve Epting
(Captain America artist)

Doug Mahnke
(Final Crisis and Superman Beyond 3-D artist)

Alex Maleev
(Spider-Woman artist)

Todd Nauck
(Amazing Spider-Man artist)

Joe Benitez
(Titans, Soulfire artist)

Chris Sprouse
(Tom Strong artist)

Sal Abbinanti
(Atomika artist)

Francis Manapul
(Superman/Batman artist)

Kalman Andrasofszky
(NYX: No Way Home artist)

Ty Templeton
(Star Trek: Mission’s End writer)

Valentine De Landro
(X-Factor artist)

Paul Rivoche
(The Spirit artist)

Jeff Lemire
(Essex County Trilogy writer/artist)

Marcio Takara
(The Incredibles artist)

Dave Ross
(Angel: After the Fall artist)

Ramon Perez
(The Resistance artist)

Michael Cho
(Age of the Sentry artist)

Jason Armstrong
(Lobster Johnson artist)

Sam Agro
(Looney Tunes writer)

Willow Dawson
(No Girls Allowed artist)

Ray Fawkes
(Apocalipstix writer)

Andy B.

Agnes Garbowska

Kent Burles

Kurt Lehner

Shane Kirshenblatt

More to be announced.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Still need your help, Facebook users!

Just reminding everyone that has a Facebook account (and that reads this blog), to head over to this link, and vote for my friend, Maggie. It's a daily vote, so please vote on a daily basis, and get her into first place. She's currently in second, but down just over 500 votes from first. So help me out, in helping her out. I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

House of the Dead: Overkill

Earlier this week, at the recommendation of a few co-workers, I decided to get House of the Dead: Overkill. I was a fan of the very first HOD, when my bro and I used to go to Sega City: Playdium, in Mississauga, get those time cards, and swipe the hell outta the game, just to try and clear the game.

I wasn't much into arcade games back when HOD2 came out, but was around, and working at my current job, when HOD3 and HOD4 came out. HOD3, I remember going on break, when the game was still new, and not set-up for regular play yet (had to install the swipe system), but I had keys into the game, so I just loaded the credits, and played until the game was cleared (and ended up in so much pain, because of the shotgun pumping throughout the game.

When HOD4 was released, I played, but was quite disappointed with the game. You start off with a machine gun, and really put no effort into the game. I believe I made it to the second level before, but never played through it. To this day, I'm still not pleased with it.

As for any HOD on console, I never played any, because I never really cared for them. But this one, after watching the game trailer, I did enjoy how they were playing it like a B-Movie, though still never intended on playing it. Then my co-workers told me about the dialogue for the game, and I was sold.

I've already cleared the game story mode once, and will be playing through again in the Director's Cut mode. I still would've preferred this game if it was free-roaming, but it keeps with the HOD style of gameplay, where you make to the section, stop to shoot things, and continue, stop to shoot thing, etc.

But as repetitive as this is, it's still quite fun, and much, much better than any of the other HOD games.

Disappointing Day #2

So after the SFIV stuff, I went out today for something unrelated. I went out to Brampton, to try and meet some Toronto Blue Jays Alumnus. Key word there is "try." The Alumnus in attendance, Kelly Gruber, Lloyd Moseby, and Duane Ward.

The address on the Jays website led me to what appeared to be a Rogers office building. So I already had bad feelings about this, because on the website, it states Rogers Plus, so I was thinking of a store. But whatever, I parked the car, and made the half-kilometre walk to the front doors.

I get inside, and see the sign advertising the signing. So I figured I was in the right place. Bad thing was, the sign was posted behind some security gates. I kindly ask the security guard at the front desk if the signing was opened to the public. He wasn't sure, and since I was not a Rogers employee, he was curious about how I knew. Stated the Jays website.

So he made a phone call to find out, and unfortunately for me, it was just for Rogers employees and their guests.

Bummer, because I was really trying to add more signatures to my bro's Alumni ball. Mainly Kelly Gruber, since he was my bro's favourite player growing up. I also had a ball for myself, depending on how long the line was, or if I was able to get both signed on the spot. But after being shut down, I made the half-kilometre walk back to my car, drove my ass back to Maple, gots me some McD's for breakfast/lunch, and drowned my sorrows away in grease of a Big Mac and two Double Cheeseburgers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best Buy, you are full of shit

Lemme start off by saying, this is the Woodbridge location of Best Buy.

Now, this all started last night, February 18th, 2009. I checked the Best Buy website for the Street Fighter IV Collector's Edition for the PS3. It said it was in stock, so I decided to check the store now. Now, the website also says the game is to be released on February 19th, 2009, but I decided to take the chance.

I get to the store, the signage at the front, as well as the cards that your take to the cashier for games locked in the cage, state that the game is to be released on February 19th, 2009. But, what the heck, I was there, so I asked about it. The employee there says that they'll be releasing the game on the 19th, both the collector's edition, and the regular game. Alright, I chanced it, and came back empty-handed.

So I figured I'd go today, February 19th, 2009. I got to the parking lot at 9:35AM, sat in my car, since no one was there. At about 9:55AM, I got out of my car, and waited at the door. Got in, and was the first to the cashier to ask about the game. She goes to the back, and comes out saying that they have sold out.

WHAT THE FUCK? Naturally, myself, and the others that were there asked how this was possible, since the advertised release day is today, and I WAS THE FIRST PERSON THERE! She explains that they received them early, and it was released on the 18th.

WHAT THE FUCK? I was there on the 18th, and was told it's in stock, but not released until the 19th, the day that Best Buy has been advertising all over the place.

I get that the game was released at other places on the 18th, but when you state that you'll be releasing shit on the 19th, hold it until the 19th.

Boughts and Thoughts - February 18th, 2009

Oops, just a day late. I didn't actually read the one book I got, until minutes ago. Spent last night trying to get a copy of Street Fighter IV Collector's Edition, but it turns out Best Buy and Future Shop are releasing them today (I'll be heading to a Best Buy shortly). Bro wasn't able to pick up his copy he put a deposit on, so let's see if I can get one, and get his deposit back.

Oh, and I was also playing House of the Dead: Overkill last night. More on that later. Until then, here is what I got.

Street Fighter IV #1 - Oh, I can't wait to play the game now. This series appears to focus more on the new characters, while SFII Turbo is focusing on the tournament. I'm liking Crimson Viper, and would like to know more of her back-story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facebook users, Help me out

Help me, help out a friend of mine. She's competing in an online contest, and the more votes she gets, the better she'll do. So, if you have a Facebook account already, please click on the link, and Vote For Maggie!. You can vote daily, so please help her out by voting everyday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Taken

Taken Movie PosterJudging by the postings on my blog, I don't take in too many movies. There are so many that I wish to see, but taking the time to watch them, or to go out and watch them, I just can't seem to do. Sure, I have spent countless hours on Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Nintendo Wii, doing pointless and repetitive tasks, but to watch movies I really want to see... can't seem to get my priorities straight.

I did manage to take in the movie, Taken. For those that don't know, it stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen. Maggie Grace plays Liam Neeson's 17-year old daughter that gets abducted, while on a trip to Paris. Neeson goes to find her.

Simple concept... but such a bad ass movie. I remember having a talk with Milo about this movie, and he compared this to Leon: The Professional. Now, that movie I fucking love, so I didn't set the bar that high. However, I did set it high.

Taken was damn good. To me, it wasn't as good at The Professional, but it was close. Lots and lots of action, and Liam Neeson in a pure bad ass state and kicking ass, GOLD!

Everyone should check this movie out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - February 11th, 2009

Batman #686 - WTF was with that Alfred story? Still made more sense than all of Batman: R.I.P. and Final Crisis. And is Neil Gaiman bringing in Death to this arc?

G.I. Joe #2 - Nice Adam Hughes cover of Baroness.

Mini Marvels: Secret Invasion - Quite an enjoyable collection of Mini Marvels. They are fun reads.

Thor #600 - Milestone issue. Not a regular Thor reader, but this was good. Still... wouldn't have gotten this issue, if it wasn't for the milestone. Also, quite disappointed that in the solicitations, the Chris Giarrusso Thor story that appeared in this issue, also appeared in the Mini Marvels: Secret Invasion digest. C'mon Marvel, you pimp it out for this, and whore it out to another book in the same week (though, a great collection)?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #3 - Okay... so they continue the trek to see the Wizard... you know, does this have to be eight-issues? Couldn't this have been done in like four? Still some awesome artwork by Skottie Young.

Monday, February 09, 2009

New York Comic Con News Round-Up

First off, I wasn't there. I've been following the news from by the great people over at Newsarama and Comic Book Resources.

I've been posting over at the Joe Shuster Awards website, about all the news related to Canadian Comic Book Creators. You can follow it by clicking on, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

The trend that appears to repeat itself on news related to Canadian Comic Book Creators are the following:

- Francis Manapul is working with Geoff Johns on Adventure Comics, which will be launching in June.
- Dale Eaglesham signs Exclusive with Marvel Comics, and will be working with Jonathan Hickman on the Fantastic Four, in September. Eaglesham will also be doing an eight-page story in Amazing Spider-Man, written by Joe Kelly.

Also, this seems pretty significant in my opinion.
- Ultimate Spider-Man to end with #133, and relaunced as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, with artwork by David Lafuente (Patsy Walker: Hellcat). This moves Stuart Immonen over to NEW AVENGERS, starting with #55.

To check the other news, just click on those links.

Now, for my opinion on these three pieces of news.
- Definitely quite excited to see Francis Manapul on Adventure Comics, working with Geoff Johns. That will be a title I will definitely pick up.
- Although I'm not a big Fantastic Four fan... at all... having Dale Eaglesham (2008 Joe Shuster Awards winner for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist) and Jonathan Hickman team up on this book has me all hopeful that I can be made a FF fan (Millar and Hitch didn't even do that for me). I've been loving Dale's artwork on JSA, though I may drop the title, after Dale and Geoff Johns leave the title. Also, after reading Secret Warriors this past week, I taking a liking to Jonathan Hickman's writing. I've never read any of his previous works (The Nightly News, Pax Romana, Transhuman, Red Mass For Mars), but I heard great things about all of them. It's all a matter of time now, to see whether I do pick up on FF.
- Stuart Immonen on New Avengers, I'm down with that. New Avengers has been a title I considered dropping, in favour of the collected editions, but that stopped after like two issues, and I continued with the singles since (and picked up those issues I did skip).

Lots of other great news coming from NYCC, but that's something I'd suggest you check out Newsarama and Comic Book Resources.

Runner-Up...

It turns out that I was named runner-up in Shane Heron's Best of 2008 under the Best Blog(s) category. I gotta say, I'm quite disappointed... especially since it was my bro that took top prize.

I wouldn't have mind the runner-up spot to any of Shane's other listings for Best Blog(s), but to my bro... that doesn't sit well with me. And to top that off, I'm pretty sure he used my computer to write his acceptance speech. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, bro, you're a bastard.

And to you, "Motherfuckin'" Heron... that's a pretty snazzy drawing of the award. Totally can't wait to see mine. Dude, Zatanna in April... see ya at the Fan Appreciation show.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Joe Shuster Awards: "Links to Canadian Creators" Page is Live

Over the past few months, basically since I joined up with the Joe Shuster Awards, I've been compiling a list of links to Canadian Creators, in addition to working on the 2008 Eligible Creators List (English Language Publication).

Well, although it's not complete, here is the Links to Canadian Creators page, on the Joe Shuster Awards website. I've only posting creators with the last names beginning with A-L, and hope to get the rest of the list up soon.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - February 4th, 2009

Disappointed that my shop didn't order any Scott Pilgrim vol. 5. I must have one.

Adventure Comics #0 - Wow, I totally didn't expect that ending for the Geoff Johns/Francis Manapul story at the back of this issue. Should've expected something, because of the cover.

Grimm Fairy Tales #34 - Damn, I caved for the chase cover, AGAIN. This was actually a good issue, so I don't have any regrets picking it up. That being said, if that chase cover wasn't there, I wouldn't have picked up this book.

Locke & Key: Head Games #2 - Continues to be a good story, with a weird ending to this issue. What the hell... no one noticed the keyhole at the back of the kid's neck before?

Secret Warriors #1 - Didn't know what to expect with this book, but I thought I'd try it out. After reading this, I highly enjoyed it. Oh, and a certain President of the United States makes an appearance in this book... face is covered in the shadow, like in his other appearances he's made, since Obama appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #583.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hobbystar's Winter Toronto ComiCON Report

Hobbystar's Winter Toronto ComiCON - Sunday February 1st, 2009Sunday February 1st, 2009 was the Winter Toronto ComiCON put on by Hobbystar Marketing. As usual, Bro and I went down for the con. Got to the Convention Centre just after 10AM, because bro wanted to secure himself a Push toque, which was one of the promotional items given away at the opening of the convention.

The line-up prior to the opening of the doors, was pretty long. I've never seen that long of a line for one of these one-day shows. Glad we got there when we did.

As soon as the show opened, I headed over to the line for special guest, Kevin Maguire. The line for him only got longer, and wrapped out to the back hallway of the con.

Since bro went into detail about the Kevin Maguire sketches, I won't mention it here. Sadly, I was hoping for a Zatanna sketch, or a Wonder Woman, but neither were there, so I personally, did not pick one up. There were many nice ones, but I was gunning for one of these two characters.

Wolverine by Marvin Law (2009)The first sketch I got at the convention, was by Marvin Law. I first met Marvin Law back in 2004, during the Bright Anvil Studio days. B.A.S. was one of the first online comic forums that I joined and participated in. And since then, Marvin has been such as awesome person to be around. Sadly, I have only gotten one sketch from him, but the man was always busy drawing for other people, so I opted to skip getting a sketch from him, to allow others to get sketches from him... until now! My turn. :)

And as bro mentioned, Marvin showed us his kick ass pages of artwork he will be bringing to New York Comic Con next week. All the best to you Marvin!

Catwoman, Batman, Zatanna (3 on a Soda) by Agnes Garbowska (2009)Next is a piece that I've been kicking around in the ol' noggin'. This turned out much better than I was expecting. Oh Batman, you playboy...

The reason I was kicking around the idea in my head, was because I was trying to come up with three characters that can fit into this spoof of an Archie classic, 3 on a Soda. So many to choose from, but ultimately, I wanted Zatanna in it.

As usual, Agnes Garbowska turned out an amazingly beautiful piece.

Green Lantern by Francis Manapul (2009)The last piece of the day, came from Francis Manapul. Have you seen the preview for Francis' upcoming work on Superman/Batman? Wow! The ink washes add to the already awesome artwork.

I think many people have seen the previews, and if they didn't, they probably saw the pages at the con. OMFG! Gorgeous. This did lead to many Batman requests for Francis. To be honest, Batman didn't even cross my mind. I had two characters in mind, but chose Green Lantern, because I thought it'd be cool, and since I haven't actually seen one by Francis. This totally rocked!

As for the rest of the con, for the first half of the day, it was busy inside. Right after seeing Kevin Maguire, I was back in the lobby, because of the crowd. I did head back in eventually, to rummage through the bins. I didn't pick up anything too spectacular, just a bunch of random books, mainly for covers. The bulk of my purchases, once again, came from All New Comics.

In the end, bro and I called it a day, about an hour before close. As I mentioned before, I had to work last night, so went home to do some scanning, and eat dinner, before taking off for work.

Thanks to all involved with the convention, and to Marvin Law, Agnes Garbowska, and Francis Manapul!