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Showing posts from January, 2014

Short Fiction Reviews - - - Crime, Science Fiction, Mystery, Horror . . . . . . . . .

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Joyland (Hard Case Crime) Paperback                                                                                                            by Stephen King(Author)
          There is just enough crime and supernatural in this story to justify some of the advertising descriptions, but what is there is very good.It's typical King fare - - good characterization, great descriptions, an engaging mystery and story.King knows how to immerse the reader in his world and does it effortlessly.His skills are so good you don't realize how easily he hooks readers into his plots. I think anything that he writes is worth checking out, especially if you have writing aspirations of your own.  King is a writer that you should study.The story takes place in a carnival setting in the early 1970's and centers around the main character's coming of age, personal development and discoveries.His attitudes and philosophy are shaped by the events that occur while he works as an amusement park e…

What’s New Wednesday 1/29/2014: The Other Dead #5

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THE OTHER DEAD #5  of 6  ( IDW, January 2014)  Writer/Co-Creator: Joshua Ortega.  Co-Creator: Digger T Mesch.  Art: Qing Ping Mui.  Colors:  Blond.  Letters: Tom B. Long  Creative Consultant:  Kevin Eastman.  Based on a film treatment by Digger T Mesch. Before you can even open to the first page, the great art assaults you.  There are three covers for Issue #5.  All three are great and serve as good hints/teasers for the inside contents.  Art lovers will want to have all three.  (Editor’s Note:  A bad time for me to get practical instead of impulsive.)  ART BY PAT DAVID – REGULAR COVER VARIANT COVER BY SAM SHEARONabove leftVARIANT COVER BY KEVIN EASTMANWITH DAVID MILLGATE. COLORS BY BLOND.     above right                                            Issue #4 ended with our unlikely band of survivors holed up inside redneck Chet’s house.  Issue #5 is an all-out zombie animal assault on the house with enough action and killing to last another two issues.  The setting might even be a hom…
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ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL 
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Ryan Sook
DC Comics | Graphic Novel | $14.99 Review by From the Booth‘s own Ken Arkham Asylum: Living Hell is the first 6 issue arc of Arkham Asylum. Although I haven’t read the rest of the series, I had to pick up the first trade, which was written by Dan Slott who has been writing Amazing Spider-Man successfully. He recently pulled off two major and critically acclaimed events in that universe: “Spider-Island” and “The Ends of the Earth”. Anyone who could make Spider-Man a great book again has got to be worth reading when he gets his paws on Batman. Ironically, Batman plays a minor role in this arc, but it didn’t bother me in the least. The book instead focuses on Batman’s rogue gallery and how they pass the time between their inevitable escapes. Dr. Arkham and Aaron Cash, familiar to anyone who has played the video game Arkham Asylum, round out the institution as the only people dedicated to keeping order in this madhouse. Warren “The…

Advance Preview: SOLAR, MAN OF THE ATOM debuts in April

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from the official press release . . . . . .January 23, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite proudly announces that the new ongoing Solar: Man of the Atom comic book series, written by Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts) and illustrated by Joe Bennett (Iron Man), will launch its first issue on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.   Solar: Man of the Atom #1 marks the third highly-anticipated title release in Dynamite's "Gold Key" line of comic books, which also includes Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (debuting in February 2014),  Magnus: Robot Fighter (March 2014), and Doctor Spektor, a revival of beloved comic book heroes courtesy of Dynamite's licensing agreement with DreamWorks Classics.          In Solar: Man of the Atom, brilliant scientist Dr. Phil Seleski is granted unbelievable powers after being flooded with an experimental radiation.  Driven to unlock the secrets of the universe, he begrudgingly becomes a hero along the way… but can a single man be trusted with near-limitless abilities? …

Comixology: digital comics platform keeps setting records

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Comixology continues to grow, which some view as bad for conventional comics business (print) and others view as the future marketing platform for comics development and distribution.  We like that they are expanding the audience base and drawing in new readers, helping to perpetuate comics as a viable medium throughout the 21st Century. We also appreciate that they recognize the contribution that comic book stores can still make to increasing readership.  Most comic stores have a link to Comixology on their own websites.  By clicking the link to visit Comixology via your favorite comic shop’s web page  a portion of the sale is returned to the comic store.from the official press release . . . . . .Monday, January 20th, 2014 – New York, NY – Last week you learned that comiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform, charted as iTunes’ #1 Top Grossing non-game iPad App for 2013 in the U.S.  This week comiXology reveals that they also charted as the Top-G…

Trailer released for 300: Rise Of An Empire

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Courtesy of Legendary Pictures . . . . . . . . .Scheduled Release Date  March 7,  2014Editor’s Note:  The first film was visually stunning, with a simple yet engaging story. I have high hopes for this sequel.  Will you be in the audience when this comes out?  300: Rise Of An Empire
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CARNAGE: FAMILY FEUD
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Clayton Crain
Marvel Comics | graphic novel | $19.99 Review by From the Booth‘s own KEN It’s no secret that I’m a huge Carnage fan. A big part of that is me misremembering Maximum Carnage which I read sometime around my ninth birthday. Upon rereading it, it was terrible. But the combo of Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain on a number of Carnage books (Carnage: Family Feud, Venom vs. Carnage, Carnage USA) was more than enough for me to rediscover my love for everyone’s favorite symbiotic serial killer. Zeb Wells has written so many great books it’s impossible to squeeze them into this review but the highlights are Daredevil: Battlin’ Jack MurdockAvenging Spider-ManAmazing Spider-Man and New Mutants. He also is an actor and writer on the amazing show, Robot ChickenClayton Crain is best known for Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation and Sensational Spider-Man. Crain is a somewhat polarizing figure since he uses digital painting techniques in his art. Al…

SHADOWMAN: The dark side of Valiant

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SHADOWMAN #14  (Valiant Entertainment, release date 01/08/2014)  Writer: Peter Milligan.  Art: Roberto de la Torre.  Letters: Dave Lanphear.  Color Art: David Baron.SHADOWMAN #13 ended in a bad way, with the voodoo priestess Punk Mambo failing to separate Jack Boniface from the Shadowman loa.  That loa was also establishing itself as the stronger of the two sides to Jack Boniface, speaking (internally) to him and calling for blood, exorting him to seek and destroy.  I was anticipating a very bad start to Issue #14, with Jack/Shadowman tearing apart everyone in sight, including the priestess as well as Alyssa, Jack’s only sympathizer and friend.           Instead, the crafty scripter Peter Milligan open up the issue by revealing another layer of the history of the Shadowmen and the link to the Boniface family.  Trust Milligan to never opt for the obvious.  Instead of a bloody battle on the surface world, we are treated to a brutal internal battle for possession of Jack Boniface, body a…

New Books January 8, 2014 : QUANTUM AND WOODY #7

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Should I visit my local comics store today?’ Are you going to ask me that question every single day now?  The answer never changes = of course! Wednesday always brings something fresh and different to read on New Comics Day. Why not stop by your local comics shop and see for yourself? Here are four good books that come out tomorrow that just may give you justification to make the trip. QUANTUM AND WOODY! #7 (Valiant, January 08, 2014 release date) Writer: James Asmus. Art: Ming Doyle. Colors: Jordie Bellaire. Letters: Dave Lanphear.          If you enjoy Marvel’s DEADPOOL, then you should also be reading QUANTUM AND WOODY for some regular monthly chuckles.  It’s the closest thing that Valiant has to a bonafide super-hero book (capes and costumes), yet it’s a humorous one that doesn’t take itself seriously at all.  Some of the humor is middle-school caliber, but it’s a step up from DEADPOOL and also includes a generous amount of mild (usually) satire.            It’s the satire that b…

Advance Preview: BLOODSHOT and H.A.R.D. CORPS #18

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“Should I go to the comics store tomorrow?  (January 08, 2014)”Are you going to ask me that question every single week?  The answer never changes = of course! Wednesday always brings something fresh and different to read on New Comics Day.  Why not stop by your local comics shop and see for yourself?  Here’s just one of many titles coming out tomorrow that may be of interest to readers looking for something a little different . . . . . .BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #18 (Valiant, January 08 release date)  “Get Some” by Writers: Christos Gage & Joshua Dysart. Art: Bart Sears. Flashback Art: ChrisCross & Victor Olazaba. Color Art: Matt Milla & Allen Passalaqua. Letters: Dave Sharpe.          This issue marks the beginning of a new story arc, and a good “jump on” point for new readers. However, Valiant does such a good job with their opening summaries on the inside credits page that readers never have to worry about being lost in the middle of a story.  They are always well wr…

Guardians Of The Galaxy movie news : stills and synopsis

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(Rocket Racoon looks pretty realistic for a CGI creation. At least they made him to the proper scale. However the only way a racoon would be that tall is when it is upright and begging for scraps. ) Images and Text from the marvel.com and paste.com web sites . . . . . . . . . . .Editor’s Note:  Here is the official synopsis of the film, just released a few days ago and described by various sources as “Avengers in Space”.  From the marvel.com website:        “From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team--the Guardians of the Galaxy.  An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.  To eva…

GHASTLY AWARDS 2013 Nominees announced

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from the official press release . . . . .EDITOR”S NOTES:  2013 was a very good year for horror in comics.  It’s now time for the Ghastly Awards to decide where the top honors will go.  While I wasn’t able to read everything that was nominated, I am familiar with most of these works, and have added my recommendations/comments in italics to give it a local/personal flavor . . . . .           The Ghastly Award Judges are proud to announce the 2013 Ghastly Award Nominees.   The nominees, chosen by the Ghastly Award Judges, reflect the wide range of horror material being published in print and web comic form today.  All Nominees were selected from work that was submitted by comic Publishers and Creators throughout the year for Ghastly Award consideration.
Named after acclaimed comics creator “Ghastly” Graham Ingels, the awards are now in their 3rd year.          Fan and Creator Voting will be open from January 10, 2014 until January 24, 2014 at www.ghastlyawards.com.   You may only vote onc…

SAGA - - - a critical analysis of the impact on the industry

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  I was hoping to begin posting several articles covering the Best of 2013 beginning on New Years Eve (12/31/2013) and continuing into January 2014.  Those plans were scrapped by some unplanned travel, which I’m feeling compelled to write about (it’s not comics related at all) and may still do although I’m holding back at present.  In the meantime, SAGA at Image Comics, following the receipt of numerous Harvey Awards in 2013 continues to captivate the attention of many comics blogs and has been mentioned again on many Best of 2013 lists.   I have not been following SAGA but feel that it deserves some mention here on the BCREFUGEES site.   I did purchase and read Issue #1 but was not impressed and decided not to continue. After hearing it mentioned so often, and following the Harvey Awards receipts - - I reconsidered my decision and then  purchased the first volume/story arc in trade paperback.  However, I still haven’t read it.  There have been several well done reviews …