Denver Comic Con 2016 has by far the best set up I have seen at a con. The layout of everything makes so much sense its crazy it has not been done before. I have already met a ton of cool people. Podcasters, Artists, Writers and many Cosplayers.
Highlights: Meeting Peter David, Alex Saviuk, Maurgritte Sauvage, and Shea Fontana.
Went to a panel on DC Super Hero Girls a new product, comic and tv show being launched by DC at the end of June geared directly toward young girls. A very awesome ideas here that I need to share. The DC Super Hero Girls focuses on an alternative DC universe that includes all of the DC universe characters but the twist is that some of the characters are young students in Super Hero High School and others are teachers. The series focuses primarily on 7 female students at the high school however male characters are featured as well. The 7 characters are Batgirl, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Katana, Super Girl and Wonder Woman. The first major event of the series has a funny name and gave me a serious chuckle, it is "Finals Crisis" a play on the famous Final Crisis DC event.
The Denver Comic Con craziness continued......
Met Steve Leialoha who signed my Spider-Woman #37 the first appearance of the X-woman Siryn. He also did an awesome sketch in a sketch book. A very nice and talented artist who I would recommend checking out.
I also picked up a sketch I ordered yesterday from Alex Saviuk which was an awesome Spider-Man sketch that I will share pictures of.
DC Rebirth Panel -
This was a huge panel that featured editor in Cheif Dan Didio and a group of DC artists on DC Rebirth.
Everyone is super excited for classic Super-Man's return, Wally West's return. I think generally everyone was very impressed with the art work and designs of the new Teen Titans. The new Harley Quinn series also got a lot of chuckles from the crowd. Romita awed the crowd with his work on two Bat-Man projects.
Also Didio mentioned a Raven mini-series is in the works.
If you are in any of my photos please email at ToylabHQ@gmail.com so I can ensure I attribute it to you.
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You've been Pledged
Wytches is a new series from Image Comics. The series is one of my favorite independent comic books and has entered my must read pile. I'm not the only one who likes it. It currently is one of gushed over books in comic book stores across the country. Wytches 1 and 2 are also going back to the printers so you will get a 2nd chance to check them out if you missed it.
Wytches like all horror items are not for everyone but even if you only like horror a little (Like me) you should give it a shot. There is something oddly refreshing about this book because it is so different than anything else out there.
Update May 31, 2017: Wytches Volume 2 is incoming!
Image+ is the prevew magazine that focuses on Image Comics. The magazine includes previews, short comic strips and creator interviews. The September 2017 issue of Image+ will include a preview for the upcoming launch of Wytches #2.
Wyches Volume 1 ended on a cliff hanger and fans of the series have eagerly awaiting Volume 2 to learn what happened to the main character Sailor. Image+ should provide some good clues for where the series is going.
What is Wytches?
I was asked to describe Wytches to a friend in one sentence and after thinking about it I said:
Wytches is the Bridge of Terabithia on acid
A family moves into a new town. The parents worry about their daughter is often anxious and borderline neurotic. A girl is viciously attacked in the forest by a bully, only to watch as the bully is pulled into a tree. Still suffering ptsd from the attack the girl is further horrified when their is a growth on her kneck that seems to have a mind of its own. The growth wants her to go into the forest to meet its parents, in the trees.
The father is attacked by a bizarre old woman, who says that Wytches are after his daughter. She tells him to find her when he is awake. When he awakens his daughter is missing. He finds a diary mentioning the woods and her growth........his nightmare begins.
All good horror stories play on our fears. They take fears that are in the back of our minds and bring them out in a tangible way so we can work through them and be entertained by them. The more a certain fear is paramount in your life, the more you are likely to be drawn to stories that play on that fear. The thematic fears of the Wytches story are the supernatural fears of a child, intermixing with the fears of a parent. In a sense its striking the read on two profound chords.
The Fear of supernatural monsters in the woods
The Fear of losing your children / loved ones
These are fears we all have.
Why Wytches stands out:
Art: The art in this book is different than anything out there. They draw crisp beautiful comics drawings and then layer in Water Color splash paintings over the top making each page look like a unique work of psychedelic art. The art gives even the calmer pages a wanton bizarre tone, that makes the reader uneasy.
Premise: There are many horror comics about the Monster. The monster is usually large, and tangible and wielding a large weapon. Here is the monster is hidden, you don't see this monster much, you just feel it out there and lurking. The idea of focusing on the parent is also interesting as it brings out all of those fears that are rarely touched upon in the horror genre.
Writing: The writing is personal. I think that is the best way to describe it. This is not a manufactured commercial project but a gritty, real passion project. You feel that in art, in the characters, and in the writing. The words, the interactions all feel very real and non cliche.
The Dark Universe is a cinematic universe that is meant to connect the films of Universal's classic monsters. The first film meant to launch the universe is The Mummy but more actors and actresses have been revealed to play the various monsters.
So far the actors / characters include:
- Invisible Man - Johny Depp
- Frankenstein - Javier Bardem
- Nick Morton - Tom Cruise
- Dr. Henry Jekyll - Russell Crowe
- The Mummy - Sofia Boutella
I would like the Dark Universe to succeed but so far what I see from it is that Universal is just throwing money at this thing hoping it might do something. The universe seems to have 3 strategies.
1) Use old monster brands
2) Pay for lots of special effects
3) Pay for big name actors
4) Slap a cinematic universe on the front of it
I have one big critique of this and that is if the Monster Brand and the Universe Brand mean anything then they should not need to hire these A list actors. While seeing A list actors is cool and all I really don't like seeing them hired into a connected universe. Why? Because the fun of a connected universe is when someone from this movie, show up over here. If everyone in this universe is an A list actor then nobody is going to cross over from film to film. How many films are you signing these guys up for? 1? 2? This does not seem like a very long lived universe to me.
My other thought here is that biggest Monster name is Dracula. In 2014 the film Dracula Untold was released with actor Luke Evans. That film did pretty well at the Box Office but never recieved a sequel due to low critical reception. I actually kind of liked that film. It was not the best thing ever but it was fun. The beauty of that film is that it had a lower budget, and Luke Evans was talented but also available. You could hire that guy to show up in other films. Why the heck don't they make film like this? Also why the heck is this film not integrated into the Universe? Its not that old. Yes its not perfect but hey Incredible Hulk and Man of Steel were not either. Plus this is monsters we are dealing with, B List Movie, horror monsters, lets not get all haughty.
If Universal really wants to see this thing succeed I think they need to start thinking more along the lines of Underworld. Making lower budget, thrill, horror films that are fun and can easily recoup the cost. I could really see something like that being successful. When I see this list of actors I just can't help but think this thing is going to fall flat on its face. They will never recoup the cost of these guys. The Dark Universe looks like a dead man walking and the first film is not even out yet.
That said ok there are some good things about this thing. I do want it to succeed. I'd love to see Dark Universe comics, it'd be cool to see a Dark Universe TV show. Universal if your listening add some Clark Greggs, some Jaime Alexanders to this cast. Create an agreement like Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury so a character can make some cameos in multiple films. Otherwise why bother calling it a cinematic universe.
Just some thoughts, and I hope I am wrong.
Have you read Saga yet? Saga has become one of the top selling independent comics behind only the Walking Dead. Both the Walking Dead and Saga have a similar strategy. They both have consistent creative teams, and they have both consistently put out a single book, that is high in quality. Saga does not have 6 events each year, change staffs, rebooted infinity times, this book just rolls on. Its now at number 43. The book is now doing a big promotion in the way of a 25 cent comic. These 25 cent comics are a great way to check something like Saga out. You invest very little, and if you like it well then hey you got a steal of a deal.
I don't know about you but I'd rather buy a number 43 at this point then another #1 from a certain company thats name rythmes with Sharvel.
The primary reason I regulary buy Saga is because of the art work of Fiona Staples.
Saga has become well known in part due to the interesting story and characters but also due to the distinctive fantasy stylings of Fiona Staples. The book has made Fiona into being one of the top known artists in comicdom. Since starting Saga in 2011 she has won the Joe Shuster Award, Eisner Award, Hugo Award, Harvey Award and Inkwell Award. To put it flattly her peers think she is a bad ass. Saga is co-owned with its creators including Staples giving them great financial incentive to see the book do well and they have. Due to her ownership stake in the property its hard to see Staples going off to do something else. However, she did work on the 2015 relaunch of Archie that gave Archie some darker tones. That might sound familiar to Riverdale fans. I really think that work in particular actually inspired a lot of what Riverdale is. If you think Riverdale is brilliant then just know that some of that came the work of Staples. What I am trying to say is that Fiona Staples is a powerhouse in comics that you should be paying attention to.
Now with Saga #43 you have no excuse but to go and check it out. You can thank me later.
Saga can be in your face and shocking. I can tell you #43 is no exception. Right from the first page it will smack you with you something. It can give the series a love it or hate it quality. However, if you only spend 25 cents to learn that you hate something then hey thats likely money well spent.
Saga is known for in your face opening Splash Pages... here are few of my faves:
Tales from Free Comic Book Day
Independent Comics Corner