Archive for September, 2008

Last week Mike Allred announced that strangecandyink.com is crafting and selling Madman shirts featuring Frank Einstein’s iconic exclamation bolt symbol, and that more are on the way in the form of It-Girl, Mr. Gum and the Atomics shirts.  I make it a point to try and not overdue it with super-hero apparel, but this is one of those happy exceptions.  I actually own an “exclamation bolt” shirt already, but apparently I’m not done.

Check out the link for other styles.


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"Destiny by sinner sought, Tragedy by power wrought."

While I’m always excited to hear any Valkyrie Profile-related news, I’m that much more fired up after finding out that the game will be a Stragety RPG — as game-play trailers confirm.  Check that out, and the recent VP trailer, in the video section on the right side-bar.

Also, feel free to check out the Official JP Valkyrie Profile site, that’s complete with artwork, and impressive soundtrack samples.  The Japanese will be playing the game this October, and I’m hoping that we’ll see the stateside release in the first or second quarter of 2009.

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This week sees the release of the third volume in the Barks/Rosa Collection. Chances are you already own “The Golden Helmet” if you’ve been collecting Duck stories for any length of time, but this collection is well worth owning not only for the classic Barks tale, but also for the Don Rosa follow-up that’s complete with a new spit shine (higher production values).  Additionally, according to The Scoop, there’s a hefty amount of supplemental material that rounds out the value collection.

Read on for more info:

When one thinks of “Disney comics” and “villains,” the mind springs to tales of Mickey Mouse and Uncle Scrooge. Time after time, the famous rodent and tycoon are seen battling dangerous, often maniacally obsessive bad guys like Pegleg Pete, the Beagle Boys, the Phantom Blot, Tachyon Farflung, and Magica De Spell. Somehow Scrooge’s money and Mickey’s love of adventure always get them mixed up with pretty powerful enemies.

But what about Donald Duck? Somehow, while Mickey and Scrooge tend to battle earth shaking foes, temperamental Donald more often meets his match in simple antagonists: annoying or disruptive characters like Gladstone Gander, Neighbor Jones, or Fethry Duck. We’re not as used to seeing Donald take down wild megalomaniacs.

But he’s got one! And in The Barks/Rosa Collection Vol 3, a 72 page, $8.99 trade paperback from Gemstone Publishing coming out next week, you’ll get to see Donald square off with one of Disneydom’s most fiendish foes…Azure Blue!

Donald’s and Azure’s first conflict came in 1952, with Carl Barks’ renowned “The Golden Helmet!” When museum guard Donald finds an ancient Viking map in the crevices of an old ship, he learns that it leads to a spot where an incredible gold helmet lies buried, the helmet of Olaf the Blue! It seems Blue claimed North America himself before any other European came to the continent. Should one of his descendents unearth the helmet as proof, the old time “Law of Discovery” will allow that person to take over North America for him or her self! Alas, the menacing Azure Blue plans to do exactly that, and he’s got ruthless shyster Lawyer Sharky along with him to help make his case! Journey with Donald and the boys into the frozen North, where Donald can only beat the villain to the helmet by being rugged as the Vikings of old! Of course, should Donald find it first, he might feel tempted to become King of North America himself!

Decades later Don Rosa came up with his beloved follow-up story, “The Lost Charts of Columbus,” and it’s here too, relettered and recolored with higher production values than its previous English language printing. When lucky Gladstone wins a fishing voyage north, he ends up ineptly aiding Azure Blue in recovering Olaf’s long lost helmet! To save the continent this time, Donald and his nephews must discover an artifact proving that some earlier explorer got to North America before the Vikings! The trail leads Donald and the boys to an ancient Chinese teak wheel, an Irish abbot’s sacred cross, and a massive Phoenician stone slab. Alas, Azure Blue and Sharky are in the mix once again, and in no time an incredible battle for the relics has begun! With the help of Junior Woodchuck’s know how and Native American professor Ortez, Donald and the boys might save their world for the future…but can they save their necks?

“Golden Helmet” and “Columbus” themselves are the main attractions in Barks/Rosa 3, but we’d be remiss not to mention our lineup of supplementary features! A new article by Rosa outlines the development of “Columbus,” but that’s not all. We’ve got Rosa’s original “Columbus” cover, then numerous covers by other creators for both “Columbus” and “The Golden Helmet.” We’ve got a ten page, never before seen script sequence deleted from the “Columbus” story, showing how an original Don Rosa villain almost made it into the battle along with Blue and Sharky. We’ve got unused Rosa half pages from a serialized version of “Columbus” that was never published. And finally, we’re giving you a look at “Gensyn med den gyldne helm” (“Return of the Golden Helmet”), a rare alternate duck sequel that was published in Denmark only!

We’ll make it no secret: we’d rather own Barks/Rosa Collection Vol 3 than North America any day. Once you see it, you might agree!

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A number of years ago I wondered into my local bookstore and happened upon a large collection of handsome hardcover volumes by Little, Brown Young Readers collecting Hergé’s Tintin.  I flipped through a volume on the shelf and was immediately struck by the high production values, the clear  presentation of the story on the pages, and Hergé’s crisp  lines and art style (particulalry his “ligne claire” technique as I’d hear it referenced later).  It’s likely that I saw an episode or two from the animated series in my younger days because he seemed familiar.  But whatever the case I didn’t have the funds to splurge on additional books at the time (anybody purchased a college textbook in a while?) and regretfully put the book back on the shelf, filing it under the ‘check it out later’ file in my mind.  Since, I’ve done just that and learned a lot more about our hero and I’m rarin’ to start reading.  Having reigned in the number of new comics I was picking up, I’m now down to ~ 8 titles (give or take a couple each month) and am seeking out the majority of those in TPB, so I’ve got a few pennies left over to try out new things and by golly it’s time for me to give Tintin a try!  The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1 should arrive any day now and I really can’t wait to get started.  I always feel a little ashamed when I’m late to the party in cases like this, particularly given how beloved Hergé and the character are, but circumstances being what they are I’m just glad that I’m getting the chance to jump right in now.

And speaking of Tintin, no doubt most of you know that he’s getting the Big Screen treatment in 2010 in the form of a 3-D motion capture animated film by Steven Spielburg, Peter Jackson and Steven Moffat that’s  based on the classic series.  Back in 2007 Variety quoted Spielburg as saying:“Herge’s characters have been reborn as living beings, expressing emotion and a soul which goes far beyond anything we’ve seen to date with computer animated characters.” Sounds great, though I don’t know quite what to make of it yet given that I’ve not seen a screenshot of what they’re talking about as it relates to the film but I have to applaud the commitment.  Spielburg continued, saying “we want Tintin’s adventures to have the reality of a live-action film, and yet Peter and I felt that shooting them in a traditional live-action format would simply not honor the distinctive

look of the characters and world that Herge created.” Apparently there are at least two films being produced, one by Speilburg and one by Jackson, with a third film being seriously considered.  Looking foward to some more news soon, and hopefully excitement surrounding the film will lead to a release of The Adventures of Tintin DVD set so that I can see it in its entirety as well!

Let the adventure begin…

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Preview courtesy of the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo and Dark Horse Comics:

“People tend to ignore the homeless and destitute, but not Usagi–especially when he discovers the same beggar in every town to which he travels! Curious, Usagi begins a search to uncover the mendicant’s identity. Little does he know, the Neko Ninja Clan is after the beggar as well. Indeed, there is more to this figure than meets the eye, but no one would guess that the mystery leads all the way to the Shogun!”

Publication Date: September 24, 2008
Format: b&w, 24 pages
Price: $2.99

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Had the good fortune of coming home from work this evening to find that my copy of the Jake Parker Art Digest, and Flight Vol. 2 (featuring his popular ‘Robot and the Sparrow’ story) were waiting for me.  In addition to the sketches, I couldn’t resist owning the 10-page Lucy Nova, S.E. story, as well as the promise of an original sketch on the introductory page for anyone that ordered a copy.  Mr. Parker actually featured the sketch on his blog the other day and little did I know that it was the very one that I’d soon receive.  Very cool, and I wanted to publicly thank him for going the extra mile and encourage anyone interested in the digest & sketch to jump over to his site and pick up a copy while he still has some left.

Here’s what you can expect in the 48-page digest:

It’s a nice little book with a ton of great sketches, finished art, and a comic story in it. Nice print quality too. You can see a bunch of images of it here. And with every book ordered I draw a neat little sketch in the front cover…

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I wouldn’t be a good Cowboys fan if I didn’t take the opportunity to congratulate them (…and give the Eagles a little credit) on a fantastic win and for drawing the largest crowd for a cable television program – ever on ESPN’s Monday Night Football showdown.  As the Associated Press reported:

Mix in the backdrop of a rivalry and division supremacy, a few injuries, some questionable officiating calls, several big milestones and the historic nugget of this being the final Monday night game at Texas Stadium, and it’s no wonder the Cowboys were ratings gold yet again — a whopping 12.95 million homes and 18.6 million viewers, the largest audience ever for a program on cable television. It’s the second time in three years Dallas has set that mark.

I wasn’t able to watch last night as my cable is disconnected, but I followed it as best I could online and had my Dad talk me through the last few minutes over the phone.  And thanks to his foresight and DVR recorder I was able to catch the game earlier this evening.  What a game, and that DeMarcus Ware tackle (see image) on a pivotal 3rd down was a real sight to see.  That’s determination if I ever saw it.

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