The Price of Comics

Comics | Marvel Comics 0
Art by Javier Pulido

Art by Javier Pulido

Preface

This column discusses the business of comics. It’s a topic that is raised regularly by fans, but is often based on poor assumptions and bad data. For that reason it’s important to establish what is actually known and my professional background before attempting to address the topic. Read More

Drawn by Stuart Immonen

Preface This column discusses the business of comics. It’s a topic that is raised regularly by fans, but is often based on poor assumptions and bad data. For that reason it’s important to establish what is actually known and my professional background before attempting to address the topic.

Read More

Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser

Comics 0

Legend Comics Crew

Comic book fans are some of the best people in the world. There’s proof at Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE right now.

They are currently hosting the Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser. It is a month long drawing for a variety of prizes ending on Free Comic Book Day. Every year the store donates a significant comic along with various other prizes and donations from local businesses to be drawn for at $5 per ticket. All proceeds go directly to Make-A-Wish, while prizes, Paypal fees, manhours, and other costs are all paid for by the store. The homepage of the fundraiser can be found here. Read More

Legend Comics Crew

Comic book fans are some of the best people in the world. There’s proof at Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE right now. They are currently hosting the Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser. It is a month long drawing for a variety of prizes ending on Free Comic Book Day. Every year […]

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Getting Schooled

Comics 0

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 8.59.49 PM

About a month ago I published an article about the need for comics specific education and programs. I wrote that no current area of study fully encompassed the medium and what it is capable of. It is not the first time I have written on that subject and it will certainly not be the last. Only a week later the subject was raised in conversation with a friend of mine whom I respect a great deal. Upon hearing that I wanted to develop collegiate programs to study comics, he asked me what the benefit of those classes would be. Why should schools pay to fund those courses? Instead of providing an earnest answer, I responded flippantly, “They pay for film studies, so why not?”

The moment I said it, I regretted it. That answer isn’t good enough. Not even close. So I’m going to take a mulligan on this one. I’m going to answer the question the way it deserves to be answered. Read More

About a month ago I published an article about the need for comics specific education and programs. I wrote that no current area of study fully encompassed the medium and what it is capable of. It is not the first time I have written on that subject and it will certainly not be the last. […]

Read More

Dennis Hopeless on Avengers Underground

Comics | Interview 0

Dennis Hopeless

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Hopeless on Saturday. Hopeless’ new series, drawn by Kev Walker, Avengers Undercover debuted on March 12th. It’s the sequel to their previous collaboration Avengers Arena, picking up directly where its predecessor left off.

We spoke primarily about the transition between the two series and Hopeless process in constructing a book in the mainstream Marvel universe, as well as the themes that emerged from the conclusion of Avengers Arena and his collaboration with Kev Walker. Read More

Dennis Hopeless

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Hopeless on Saturday. Hopeless’ new series, drawn by Kev Walker, Avengers Undercover debuted on March 12th. It’s the sequel to their previous collaboration Avengers Arena, picking up directly where its predecessor left off. We spoke primarily about the transition […]

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The Shockingly Different Superhero Movie You Need to See

DC | Films 0

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You only need to open your eyes to see that animation and live-action are entirely different. One of the most difficult things about making a movie is properly framing a shot, doing it in a way that exudes competency but also creativity. Animating all your shots is a good way to remove the physical hurdles from that process. The creative ones are still there, but you can always, ahem, go back to the drawing board if it doesn’t look how you want it to.

So with that in mind, hear me out when I say that the most courageously awesome superhero-movie maker working today is not Joss Whedon or Chris Nolan or–for the love of God–Zack Snyder. It’s a California storyboard artist and animation director named Lauren Montgomery.

Read More

You only need to open your eyes to see that animation and live-action are entirely different. One of the most difficult things about making a movie is properly framing a shot, doing it in a way that exudes competency but also creativity. Animating all your shots is a good way to remove the physical hurdles […]

Read More

James Robinson on The Saviors

Comics | Image Comics | Interview 1

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 12.44.18 PM

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with James Robinson after a panel on Saturday. Robinson currently writes both All-New Invaders and Fantastic Four at Marvel Comics. He also launched a creator owned series with J. Bone called The Saviors at Image Comics last December.

We spoke about his and J. Bone’s work on The Saviors for about fifteen minutes, discussing its origin, tone, connections of current affairs, and his collaboration with J. Bone. Read More

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with James Robinson after a panel on Saturday. Robinson currently writes both All-New Invaders and Fantastic Four at Marvel Comics. He also launched a creator owned series with J. Bone called The Saviors at Image Comics last December. We spoke about his […]

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Greg Rucka on: Kickstarter, Lazarus, Veil, and a Whole Lot More

Comics | Image Comics | Interview 3

Greg Rucka

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Greg Rucka before the show opened on Saturday. Rucka currently writes Lazarus (Image Comics), Veil (Dark Horse), and Lady Sabre. He is also the upcoming writer of Cyclops (Marvel) and is returning to Stumptown (Oni Press) in the fall.

We spoke about a wide variety of topics over the course of forty-five minutes including: Kickstarter, working at Image, world building, True Detective, and sex in American culture.

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Greg Rucka

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Greg Rucka before the show opened on Saturday. Rucka currently writes Lazarus (Image Comics), Veil (Dark Horse), and Lady Sabre. He is also the upcoming writer of Cyclops (Marvel) and is returning to Stumptown (Oni Press) in the fall. We […]

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Planet Comicon 2014

Comics | Convention | Jack Kirby 1

Planet Comicon Logo

Kansas City’s premiere comics convention Planet Comicon concluded its first three-day show on Sunday. For many the primary attractions were the media guests with all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast assembled in one place minus Patrick Stewart. Yet the collection of comics talent was incredible. Lines were few and far between, allowing attendees to discuss comics with some of their favorite creators or to commission a sketch.

Conventions like Planet Comicon have very little in the way of official announcements or reveals, which are typically saved for San Diego or New York. The best part of small and medium sized shows is the interaction between professional creators and the fans who love their work. The diversity of those fans was immense. Children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly all came to re-experience classic stories and discover new ones. Read More

Kansas City’s premiere comics convention Planet Comicon concluded its first three-day show on Sunday. For many the primary attractions were the media guests with all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast assembled in one place minus Patrick Stewart. Yet the collection of comics talent was incredible. Lines were few and far between, allowing attendees to discuss […]

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Coloring Comics with Jordie Bellaire

Comics 0

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 4.58.43 PM

Moon Knight #1 was released to much critical acclaim a little more than a week ago. It topped Reddit’s comic book pull list and received lofty reviews from most websites and blogs. Like many of the comics developed under Marvel editor Steve Wacker, it is a comic with a very distinctive personality and style. This is due to its immensely talented creative team. Warren Ellis, the writer, has been a comics’ darling for decades, creating seminal works like Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and Nextwave. Declan Shalvey, the artist, is a rising star. He comes from the British comics scene and has gained increasing prominence in Marvel titles like Deadpool. Both Ellis and Shalvey are immensely talented comics creators, but they aren’t the only contributors to the success of Moon Knight #1. One very important name has been largely left out of the conversation: Jordie Bellaire. Read More

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.02.54 PM

Moon Knight #1 was released to much critical acclaim a little more than a week ago. It topped Reddit’s comic book pull list and received lofty reviews from most websites and blogs. Like many of the comics developed under Marvel editor Steve Wacker, it is a comic with a very distinctive personality and style. This […]

Read More

The Real Thing

Comics | Image Comics 0

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 8.07.06 PM

Eric Stephenson delivered a speech at the ComicsPRO annual meeting that has received a lot of attention. He emphasized throughout the speech that direct market growth would stem from good comics. This is an opinion that should please a lot of comics readers and is backed up by Image’s incredible growth over the last few years. Some of his points were less popular, however.

Stephenson made a point of calling out trends he perceived as being bad for the industry. Some of these are ideas that have been lambasted for years. Crossovers, weekly comics, increased prices, and event-style books were all mentioned. These issues focus on the largest publishers of comics, Marvel and DC Comics, whose reliance on the superhero genre has not seen any real market growth in decades. Stephenson raised a more controversial point that took aim of more diverse publishers like IDW and Dark Horse. Read More

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 8.07.06 PM

Eric Stephenson delivered a speech at the ComicsPRO annual meeting that has received a lot of attention. He emphasized throughout the speech that direct market growth would stem from good comics. This is an opinion that should please a lot of comics readers and is backed up by Image’s incredible growth over the last few […]

Read More

What Makes the Medium?

Comics 2

A Contract with God

Comics are becoming more widely accepted as a form of entertainment both critically and as a form of popular entertainment every year. It has been an ongoing trend since 1986, when Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and the first collected volume of Maus were all published. Yet the trend has increased in recent years and has managed to put much of the taint of the 90’s behind it. Yet as comics become more widely accepted, their place in popular culture, specifically in the arts, is undetermined. Many universities teach comics in their English departments, either as part of a wider study (Maus feature in Jewish literature courses as prominently as Elie Wiesel’s Night) or in their own special courses. Yet they are taught in a variety of other academic studies, such as media studies and design. Ivan Brunetti even teaches a specialized course in cartooning at Columbia in Chicago. So where do comics actually belong in the academic landscape? Are they a hodge-podge of other fields or a uniquely part of an existing one? Read More

Comics are becoming more widely accepted as a form of entertainment both critically and as a form of popular entertainment every year. It has been an ongoing trend since 1986, when Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and the first collected volume of Maus were all published. Yet the trend has increased in recent years and […]

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The Most Dangerous Game

Films 0

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What’s amazing about Zodiac, David Fincher’s 2007 mystery about the infamous killer who haunted the San Francisco Bay Area, is that its narrative structure tries, and often succeeds, to mimic what the detectives, reporters and intrigued civilians have experienced in their search for definitive answers regarding the Zodiac’s identity.

To proceed, it’s necessary to recognize two facts: the first is that, in the months following the Zodiac’s murders, there was every reason to believe he would be caught. He had sent numerous letters to the San Francisco Chronicle, the SFPD and others. At least one of his murders had witnesses. Two of his victims even survived, and one of them may have seen his face, if only for a moment.

The second is this: the Zodiac was never caught, there is no conclusive evidence as to who might have been responsible for the murders, and now, over four decades later, the chances of anything conclusive coming out are almost incalculably slim. Read More

What’s amazing about Zodiac, David Fincher’s 2007 mystery about the infamous killer who haunted the San Francisco Bay Area, is that its narrative structure tries, and often succeeds, to mimic what the detectives, reporters and intrigued civilians have experienced in their search for definitive answers regarding the Zodiac’s identity. To proceed, it’s necessary to recognize […]

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Reading Art

All Star Superman | Comics 6

There has been an ongoing conversation amongst some prominent comics creators and critics about the diminishing role of artists in the comics industry. Sean Murphy, one of the most distinctive and popular artists in modern comics, wrote a piece about how artists can establish themselves and manage their expectations. David Harper of Multiversity wrote a great article encouraging readers to pay as much attention to the artists that craft their favorite comics as the writers.

I initially wanted to throw in my two cents, but I would essentially just be agreeing with David Harper and he already wrote an article better than what I could have hoped to produce. Of course art is just as valuable as writing in comics. It’s a visual medium that conveys a story through a series of static pictures. You can have a comic without words, but not without art. It just seems so obvious to me, but that doesn’t mean it should be obvious to everyone else.

I don’t want to rant about the importance of art for one or two thousand words. I don’t think anyone wants to read that. An appreciation of art is absolutely intrinsic to appreciating comics, but you can’t create love and appreciation for art by shouting about it. You can help others love and appreciate art by sharing it.

This is my attempt to lead by example. Read More

AllStarSupermanNoText

There has been an ongoing conversation amongst some prominent comics creators and critics about the diminishing role of artists in the comics industry. Sean Murphy, one of the most distinctive and popular artists in modern comics, wrote a piece about how artists can establish themselves and manage their expectations. David Harper of Multiversity wrote a great […]

Read More

Review: Dario Argento’s Deep Red

Deep Red | Films 0

deepredshoe049_original

Last Sunday, at UNL’s Love Library, I picked up a copy of the classic Dario Argento giallo horror film Deep Red. I have a habit of renting movies from our library and then never watching them. But this time I was determined. I needed something to write about, after all.

So I made a plan. Every saturday night, my girlfriend and I meet up with a friend of ours and smoke pot in the woods. I love watching horror movies when I’m high, so it seemed like a golden opportunity. Read More

Last Sunday, at UNL’s Love Library, I picked up a copy of the classic Dario Argento giallo horror film Deep Red. I have a habit of renting movies from our library and then never watching them. But this time I was determined. I needed something to write about, after all. So I made a plan. […]

Read More

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Comics 0

SH - 1

She-Hulk #1 was published Wednesday and instantly stood out as the week’s top release. It featured the very best elements that Marvel has to offer: dynamic artwork, a concise story, lots of humor, and a little criticism tucked underneath it all. It’s an issue that is fun, without being outright silly and slick, without being superficial. Read More

SH - 1

She-Hulk #1 was published Wednesday and instantly stood out as the week’s top release. It featured the very best elements that Marvel has to offer: dynamic artwork, a concise story, lots of humor, and a little criticism tucked underneath it all. It’s an issue that is fun, without being outright silly and slick, without being superficial.

Read More

R.I.P., P.S.H. (1967-2014)

Films 0

Actor-Philip-Seymour-Hoffman-1527808

I was walking mindlessly around Wal-Mart when I heard the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman. My first thought was, “it has to be untrue. He can’t be dead.”

It’s weird, most of the time when I hear about celebrity deaths, I just accept it. That’s the difference between someone you know dying and a stranger dying. But when I heard PSH had died, I immediately entered the first stage of grief: denial. I couldn’t let it be true. I didn’t realize it but I was beginning a brief journey. Read More

I was walking mindlessly around Wal-Mart when I heard the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman. My first thought was, “it has to be untrue. He can’t be dead.” It’s weird, most of the time when I hear about celebrity deaths, I just accept it. That’s the difference between someone you know dying and a stranger […]

Read More

Jack Kirby: Twenty Years Gone

Comics | Jack Kirby 0

Kirby - Portrait

Twenty years ago today, Jack Kirby died. If he were alive now, he would be 96. When he passed away, he had proven to be one of the most influential creators, not only in comics, but also the 20th Century. If comic fans ought to know one name, one story, out of all those people who helped to form the comics medium, then it is Jack Kirby’s. Read More

Kirby - Portrait

Twenty years ago today, Jack Kirby died. If he were alive now, he would be 96. When he passed away, he had proven to be one of the most influential creators, not only in comics, but also the 20th Century. If comic fans ought to know one name, one story, out of all those people […]

Read More

The Best Films of 2013: Part Two

Films | Uncategorized 0

american-hustle-poster

Last week I saw Inside Llweyn Davis, and consequently had to make a last-minute change to my top five line-up. Regrettably, an excellent Paul Greengrass picture, for which I had already written a blurb, lost its spot.

But nevertheless, looking back on 2013 for me is looking back on a year filled with amazing movie-viewing experiences. I’ve never been happier to call myself a movie buff. Read More

Last week I saw Inside Llweyn Davis, and consequently had to make a last-minute change to my top five line-up. Regrettably, an excellent Paul Greengrass picture, for which I had already written a blurb, lost its spot. But nevertheless, looking back on 2013 for me is looking back on a year filled with amazing movie-viewing […]

Read More

Image-nation

Comics | Image Comics 0

Image Comics - Logo

Three weeks ago the second Image Expo took place in San Francisco, CA. Editor Eric Stephenson and various creators announced a total of twenty new titles to be released throughout 2014. There were also announcements of longtime DC/Vertigo creators coming onboard, like Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) and Bill Willingham (Fables), and the five-year exclusive deal signed by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Fatale, Criminal).

All of this excitement served only to provide a nice end cap to Image’s best year ever. In 2013, the publisher debuted 50 new titles, securing 8% of dollars in the comics market and 8.49% of units sold. Those numbers represent a 20% and 40% increase respectively. Critics and new sites have begun to replace the phrase “Big Two” (referring to Marvel and DC Comics) with “Big Three”. The Walking Dead had both the best selling collected volume and single issue of 2012, while Saga continued to make the majority of top ten lists. Image is clearly the comics publisher to watch. Read More

Three weeks ago the second Image Expo took place in San Francisco, CA. Editor Eric Stephenson and various creators announced a total of twenty new titles to be released throughout 2014. There were also announcements of longtime DC/Vertigo creators coming onboard, like Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) and Bill Willingham (Fables), and the five-year exclusive […]

Read More

The Best Films of 2013: Part One

Films 0

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I lost count of how many weeks it’s been since I’ve written my weekly piece for The Nerd Cave. I didn’t say anything to my Nerdy overlords and just dropped off the face of the Earth. I feel terrible about that. The end of my first semester of college was as tumultuous as the weeks that preceded it, without even including my legally mandated community service and final exams.

But I’m back. I love writing about movies and I don’t ever want to stop. And now I actually have new movies to write about. The month of November was a slow one; December was far more eventful and January looks to be even better. So, in preparation for an excellent year of film writing, here’s part one of my top ten favorite movies of 2013. Cliche, yes, but you people love lists and we both know it. Enjoy. Read More

I lost count of how many weeks it’s been since I’ve written my weekly piece for The Nerd Cave. I didn’t say anything to my Nerdy overlords and just dropped off the face of the Earth. I feel terrible about that. The end of my first semester of college was as tumultuous as the weeks […]

Read More
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