Friday, September 07, 2007

No more... X-Men?

This just in (2 mins ago) from Marvel. So you probably DID see it here first!

Marko Djurdjevic up to his usual excellence. I'm intrigued by the upcoming crossover, but the name 'Disassembled' conjurs too many painful memories.
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With all the Spider-Pig craze going around the internet, let's not forget the Alpha Pig of comics: Pig from Pearls Before Swine

Today's strip:

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Parlliament Election Campaigns Made In Greece

This is an actual campaign video for TV for one of the lower upper-tier political parties in Greece (I think 5th in order) LA.O.S.. The video is for new candidate Efi Sarri, one of the trashiest Greek singers.

Allow me to translate, for a full enjoyment of the video:

I thought about it well,
and it won't take any more
again, we have to save our Greece

I thought about it a lot
to get into the Parliament
and everyone together, hand in hand to get on the step

Cross me (give me a cross/vote)
Cross me
On your arms
lift me up

If you want to save yourself
if you want to complain
you vote me
and then you'll see

If you want a voice
that is true
give your cross to LA.O.S.
to Efi Sarri

Cross me (give me a cross/vote)
Cross me
On your arms
lift me up


And I will fight
to get the right thing done

I believe in Greece
I believe in the Christ

The young people especially
if they want to be 'in'
they should join me
to turn on the light

Cross me (give me a cross/vote)
Cross me
On your arms
lift me up

Our parliament needs fun
give a cross to Efi
to Efi (x6)

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Black Canary: UNCENSORED

LYSAD has a major exclusive that we'd like to share with you: the original, uncensored covers to the BLACK CANARY mini-series

Forget these watered-down fakes that got published:

Here, for the first time on the internet, are the original covers, leaked from DC's editorial offices:

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Orange Wednesdays: Spike Lee

The third in our regular Wednesday series of specials

If you're lucky enough not to live in the UK, you have been deprived of one of the greatest movie theater inventions since buttered pop corn:


These are sponsored by the Orange mobile company and feature a different actor every few months trying to pitch their movie idea to the committee, only to have them -- well, you just watch.

This week, the unfortunate guest-star is Spike Lee:

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Black Canary or... Black Widow!

Am I the only one noticing the subtle absence of Ollie from the first two covers of GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY ?

Exhibit A: Cover to #1


The new Green Arrow/Black Canary team investigates the shocking results of the Wedding of the Century in an all-new adventure that brings the Star City-crossed lovers together!

Now, we know the united Super-villains are crashing the wedding in the next JLA issue, but could they really be offing the groom? Why else wouldn't Ollie be featured on the cover of the first issue?

Exhibit B: Cover to #2


Black Canary and Speedy head to Amazon Island, where a job offer from Athena seems to be the perfect opportunity for Dinah to focus some of her frustrations over what's happened to Green Arrow.

Again, no Ollie, but the rest of Team Arrow is present. Artist Cliff Chiang recently posted this cover on his blog, commenting that:

Plus, I can’t really preview much of the art for the book just yet.

Will DC kindly stop offing their characters library? It's been a death-a-month since Countdown started and I'm starting to get ticked off...

p.s. As a bonus, check out Cliff's pencils and inks for the second cover by clicking on the image in this link. Cliff Chiang on the book is the only thing that would make me read this despite Winnick's continuing presence...
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

American Virgin #18 review


Writer: Steve Seagle

Artist: Ryan Kelly


Around the World: Part 4 of 5: Delhi

The Series: Adam Chamberlain is the 'American Virgin': a 21-year old Born Again Christian preacher who is the poster boy for sexual abstinence until marriage, passing the message through TV appearance and conventions to kids his age that 'abstinence is cool'.

His whole world will be turned on its head when his girlfriend Cassie (whom he regarded as his intended soulmate, after God spoke to him in a dream) is beheaded while in a Peace mission in Africa. This sets of a chain of events that lead Adam on a journey of spiritual, sexual and religious discovery across the world, experiencing different worldviews towards sex and God.

Current story/issue: After last issue, and his sexy new spiritual tattoo, Adam is finally rid of the haunting ghost of his dead girlfriend. Now, accompanied by his new kinda-girlfriend Vanessa, they continue their world tour with their next stop: Delhi, India.

As always, with each new locale comes a whole new set of awkward and new sexual and religious taboos to challenge Adam's convictions. From the ancient Hindu's Worship of sex as a way towards Ascendance, to the modern day conservatism and casual genderist attitude against women. When the couple and their guide stumble upon a Hindu wedding, Adam has his first run-in with Hijra, the third Sex, a very respected and traditional form of transvestism in India.

Becky Cloonan is taking a month off from the art duties, and a perfect stand-in is selected in Ryan Kelly, the artist who succeeded Becky as Brian Wood's collaborator in the Demo/Local series. Due to Brian Miller's familiar two-tone palette taking dominance over the linework, I'm not actually sure I would have recognized the change in artists if I hadn't read about it in Ryan's blog. The art style and character designs remain extremely consistent, and editor Casey Seija deserves a nod of approval for managing to keep to a monthly schedule without compromising the quality of the book with inappropriate fill-ins. Still, having seen the uncolored art from both Becky and Ryan, I can't help wishing the art was reproduced straight from the inks for this series, as they are both artists who are used to working in black & white and their linework turns to lose its edge once colour is introduced.

American Virgin is one of the most enjoyable monthly reads from Vertigo. Adam is a very intense and controversial character, and the writer doesn't waste any chances to really push his beliefs and convictions to the breaking limit. This leads to entertaining and revealing stories about the nature of religion and the importance of sex in culture, and acts as a sort of Sex-centered National Geographic, with Adam as our impromptu guide through the different attitudes towards sex around the world.

As good as it, I'd be honestly surprised if it made it past issue 25. It's a convergence of different reasons. Low sales are one, naturally. The premise of the story itself is limiting to the amount of stories you can tell, as the title character keeps evolving and growing, and will inevitably grow out of the title premise. The story since 'Wet' has been speeding towards such a conclusion, with the introduction of Vanessa as the new love interest and Adam's 'intended'. Future solicitations and covers reveal that Adam may not remain an American Virgin for much longer, as well; and once that cherry has popped, the title will have reached its natural conclusion.

Still, I'm not discouraged. This is standard for writer Steve T. Seagle. He offers grand original concepts and creates an engaging cast, but it's always with an eye towards a specific ending, creating a very rich library of finite series, like House of Secrets and the Crusades, two of my all-time favorite Vertigo books.

Grade: 8/10

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Marvel Comics Advance Reviews for 5/9/07

Well, good news is I've been promoted to main Reviews Editor for the Comics Nexus

Bad news is this leaves me less time to do my own advance reviews, as I instead must edit, format and pretty up other people's reviews.

From now on I'll be focusing my energy on indy and mature readers titles, and posting guest reviews for the rest of the mainstream.

This week, advance review by Aaron Glazer and Iain Burnside for:

Ms Marvel #19

Marvel Adventures Spider-man #31

Uncanny X-Men #390

Incredible Hulk #110

Wolverine #57

all shipping this Thursday
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August 2007 H-O-T Grade

At the close of every month, LYSAD will be putting out the absolute and final word on what was H-O-T in comics.

August 2007 was a very busy month for comics (with 5 weeks of releases) and lots of great choices:

1. THE ORDER #2 (Marvel)

2. ASTONISHING X-MEN #22 (Marvel)

3. WOLVERINE #56 (Marvel)

4. CASANOVA #8 (Image)

5. PROGRAMME #2 (Wildstorm)

6. BLACK SUMMER #2 (Avatar)

7. FAKER #2 (Vertigo)



10. BATMAN #667-668 (DC)
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Vote for Panel of the Week 03.09.07

Each week I'll be posting the 3-4 most memorable panels from the week and putting them up for a public week-long vote. The winning panels gets posted on the sidebar and earns boasting privileges over lesser panels...

Last week Birds of Prey dominated the poll with a staggering 45%! New Gods + Steel bikini + Pokemon = the Love Equation!

Vote for your favorite this week, as DC dominates the panel wars, with some fun panels taken from some sub-par issues:

Panel A

P-ewww - Teen Titans #50 (Impulse)

Panel B

The Dateless Wonder - Teen Titans #50 (Blue Beetle)

Panel C

Super-hickey - Countdown #35

Panel D

Bizarro Jimmy Olsen Must Live, Him Am Great Photographer - Action Comics #855
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Wishes

A quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout to a certain special someone in Greece !

Σου έκλεψα ένα ροζ αρκουδάκι-λαγουδάκι για τα γενέθλια σου.

Αν ήμουν εκεί θα σου έδινα ένα πραγματικό μαζί με ένα πελώριο φιλί!

Χρονιά πολλά, χαρούμενα και υγιή. Πάντα σε σκέφτομαι και σε νοιάζομαι

Και για να κάνω ακόμα πιο cute την ψευδοκάρτα μου:

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

True Story Swear To God vol.2 #8


Writer/Artist: Tom Beland

Image Comics

My regular comics store Travelling Man (typically) didn't get TTSTG in for me this week. They rarely get a shipment of it, though I preorder every month and they order it as well, seeing as Tom Beland is very popular in Manchester. Nevertheless, the main office doesn't send them copies in. It's an indie curse or whatever. (I'm building to a point, bare with me)

So I bite the bullet and head across the road to the dank and smelly cesspit basement (Forbidden Planet). (Big fan). They of course have loads of copies of TTSTG on display. I grab one and head to the counter (this is where I get to the point of my rant) and pay for it, cash. Two pounds.

Two pounds?

I never really notice how much comics cost every week, since I'm buying a healthy stack and pay by debit card. So the economics of how much different comics cost and how much I'm paying for each issue get lost in the excitement of getting that thick bag home with me.

Back to the point: Two Pounds.

For reading a comic about a guy's life. A comic book diary. It's what mainstream comics fans are most likely to make fun of in indie comics. "Boring geeks writing about their boring-ass geek lives, as if anything interesting happens or if anyone cares to read about it".

But, wait.

I'm buying this. Every month I'm giving two of my hard-earned (sic) pounds to read 22 pages about some geek's life in Puerto Rico. Read about his love for this woman he met by chance at DisneyWorld and how she changed his life. Read how they started dating long distance across different countries, how he eventually moved to Puerto Rico to live with her, how he managed to cope with the change of country and climate. Read about the problems their relationship has, about his sexual performance problems, his insecurities and his personality flaws. Read about his dream to publish a comic and follow the whole process intimately, from the first spark, to actually drawing it, showing it to people, sharing it and eventually publishing and distributing it.

And I keep on buying it. Is it the same fascination that once drove me to devotely watch reality shows on Greek television? Am I fascinated at the idea of peeking inside this guy's personal life? Nah.

Unlike reality shows and most indy biographies, the stories here have proper structure and pace. Each issue continues the story of Tom and Lily's romance, moving chronologically forward; yet each one adheres to a specific theme and event, focusing on one or two specific events from this small period. It's easy to get lost in the flow, and keep churning out issue after issue that just keeps several subplots going without focusing on a theme; it's easy to happen in fiction books, let alone a book based on reality where this is the natural way of daily life.

Funnily enough, despite the name of the book, and even despite having seen photos and videos of Tom and his wife, I still have trouble remembering that the cartoon people in this book are real living breathing people. I'll forget this is essentially a guy's diary he's sharing with the world. Then a small common experience reference from the world or the comics industry will turn up and I'll have a moment of clarity, before sinking back into the story. I'll see Diamond Comics distribution discussed,m or a reference to my favourite comics reviewers. Heck, this issue actually refers back to the review of the first issue of the book from . The review that got me reading this book in the first place!

It doesn't matter that it's a true story. It's a GREAT story, swear to God!

In this issue, Tom returns to a familiar theme in the book: Leaving. Lily's sister Eva is moving to Tampa with her family, but Lily is having a difficult time accepting this change, especially involving the matter of buying Eva's house for the couple to move in. The relationship is also once more in the microscope, by showing Tom and Lily (almost said 'the two characters' back there) talking to their respective friends over dinner about their joint life, going through the various quirks that drive each other insane, but reaching a happy conclusion. Tom doesn't just go through the daily notions with us, but he shares his thoughts and realizations from life with Lily, and that is the most endearing aspect of the comic.

So, do I regret shelling out two pounds every month to hear about a guy's love life in a different continent?

Hell, no.

In fact I'll do you one better. This is one of the books I'm most looking forward to every month. It's like expecting this monthly phone call from a friend you haven't seen in a while (or in this case never), telling you what's been going on with his life, sharing his innermost thoughts and confiding his problems. Tom builds a personal friendship with each of his readers that only strengthens each month, and it's something 'true'ly unique in this genre or any other.

Grade: oh who cares! Go buy it.
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