Archive for November, 2009

It’s been awhile since I’ve had some Disney news to share (as thus far I have to admit that I’ve been a little underwhelmed with Boom’s! Disney material) but being that I’ve always enjoyed Donald, Scrooge, Mickey and the Gang’s Christmas stories a great deal — as made famous in their Christmas Parade collections of yester-year — I’m hoping for good things in this collection. That said, I’m going to have to take a page from Scrooge’s book and bemoan that $24.99 cover price!
Anyhow, here’s what Boom! Studios has to say about the collection:
Walt Disney’s Christmas Classics Hardcover

Writer(s): Al Taliaferro , Carl Barks, Don Gunn, Jack Hannah, Romano Scarpa
Artist(s): Al Taliaferro , Carl Barks, Don Gunn, Jack Hannah, Romano Scarpa, Walt Kelly

Don’t be a Scrooge McDuck this Christmas season! It’s the perfect present! BOOM! Kids has raided the Disney publishing archives and searched every nook and cranny this Christmas season to find the best and the greatest stories from Disney’s vast comic book publishing history for this “best of” compilation — Disney’s universally appealing characters starring in stories written and drawn by creators who are legends in the field! A timeless classic from the world’s most iconic characters that should be on every shelf, Walt Disney’s Christmas Classics are an essential this holiday season for family fun! 6.625 X 10.187, 112 pgs, FC, HC
ISBN13: 978-1-60886-548-2

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A long time coming, it appears that DC is finally ready to give “Zee” the spotlight she’s deserved for so many years by awarding her an ongoing series! That’s great news for long time fans and what’s more, according to Dan Didio in his Newsarama interview, Paul Dini will be scripting (awesome!), with the great Stephane Roux on the art:

Nrama: Is the Zatanna monthly series being scheduled now? It’s Paul Dini that’s doing that, right?

DiDio: It sure is. Paul Dini’s doing it. Stephane Roux is the artist to start the series, and Chad Hardin will be working with him as well. And that should be coming out beginning this coming April.

“I’m yllear gnikool drawrof ot siht!

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UY_HD1CBR chatted with Stan Sakai about Usagi Yojimbo’s 25th Anniversary recently and there’s a lot of great info. to glean for those that may be unfamiliar with the long-eared ronin, or those always ready to learn more, including his storytelling influences, his involvement with the Laird & Eastman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the longevity of the series and a little about Yokai, his 64-page fully painted graphic novel featuring Usagi and a host of Japan’s zaniest monsters which hits shelves later this month!

Jump to the article using the link above for more info. and a lengthy 10-page preview, but in the meantime, here’s what Sakai had to say about “A Town Called Hell,” from UY #125-126:

Issues #124-125 make up the two-part story arc ‘A Town Called Hell,’ which finds Usagi journeying to a small town where two warring factions struggle for control. ‘He aligns himself with one of the factions, and on the other side there’s a really skilled swordsman,’ Sakai said. ‘But I wanted to make a twist on that; usually, the two skilled guys, Usagi and the guy, would be very antagonistic toward each other. In this instance, I had them become friends. In the end, the other guy feels that Usagi has betrayed him, and that will pick up later on. I tried to make it so it’s not your typical sort of adventure story.’

Then, in issue 126, Usagi meets a floating head yokai, or haunt, but Sakai said this story is completely separate from the ‘Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai” graphic novel shipping in November. The artist said he is quite excited for the “Yokai” graphic novel, which he described as “my most ambitious Usagi project to date.’

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My first exposure to Ratchet & Clank was with Up Your Arsenal on the PS2. I remember wanting to try the series thanks to the (extremely) positive buzz it had been receiving and due to its concept as an action-adventure platformer with lovable characters, an entertaining story, and an arsenal of crazy weapons that could be upgraded along with other RPG elements. So, one day, after a Statistics class I was taking I thought I’d reward myself for one reason or another and picked it up. And after firing up the game I quickly found that it was all I was hoping it would be, and more. Enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I turned right around and played it all over again just to experience the New Game+ features and its many bonuses, as well as tracking down the original title, and Going Commando so that I could see what else I had missed.  Since, I’ve waited with child-like excitement for any announcement Insomniac Games has about the R&C series, I’ve played each of the games (many multiple times) and the series somehow manages to just get better and better.

Well, in addition to spending some time outdoors with my wife this weekend on one of our first warm/sunny days in quite some time, I was finally able to unwrap my own shiny copy of  Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3) and happily spent a good 4-5 hours over the next couple evenings (thanks daylights savings time!) immersed in Insomniac’s fantastic little world and Rachet & Clanks newest adventure. The visuals have been compared to the quality of a Pixar film and I can’t disagree – its stunning work. Similiarly the whole crew on R&C deserves credit for th way they’ve brought the storyline through Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty to fruition. It’s been an awful lot of fun and I’m hoping that this will prove a memorable conclusion to it – so far so good! The game play is as fun as ever in the Ratchet portions of the game (for this adventure the two are split for a good portion of the game) and I love the addition of the hover boots for jetting around in addition to all the frantic jumping and shooting as Ratchet nimbly takes it to the bad guys. Additionally, the guns are…uh…a blast and every bit as entertaining as they’ve been in the past (I think my favorite so far are the sniper rifle, the groovitron, and of course, Mr. Zurkon!). I don’t want to give too many story bits away but I’ve also enjoyed getting to know General Alister Azimuth (a Lombax survivor introduced in this game) and look forward to the inevitable twist and turns with his reveal as a Lombax survivor with a past connected to Ratchet. I’ve already encountered a couple, and a whopper of a reveal, and I’m sure there are a few turns left to take. What’s more, I also find that I’m loving the Clank portions of the game, because while Clank drips “cool” his game play portions in past games haven’t been as entertaining for me as the regular game play but this time I’m actually looking forward to the time I get to play as Clank thanks to his time manipulation abilities and the great time puzzles that allow you stretch your brain a little. The space travel is a pleasant surprise and traveling the galaxy in search of Zoni and other rewards is satisfying as all get out. There’s a ton to do in the game and in all honesty I haven’t even begun the exhaustive search for all the goodies it holds. Oh, and have I mentioned that Dr. freakin’ Nefarious is back yet!?

So, you can imagine that I’ll be playing this for a good while to come, juggling between it and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3; and also a fantastic game) for the foreseeable future. There have been allusions that with the conclusion of this 3 game-spanning storyline that this may be the last Ratchet & Clank game, and that the finale will give fans something to chew on in that regard, but I’m truly hoping this isn’t the last we’ll see of Ratchet & Clank and that there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek at the idea because it just keeps getting better and better.


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