InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-2-11

hp2211_fpInvestComics Comic Hot Picks for the week of 2-2-11

 

Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of InvestComics Comic Hot Picks. A bit of news to report on before we dive in..…. InvestComics started about 6 years ago as a free magazine that was printed at the local Staples or Kinko’s (whoever had the better sale that week, or a price break). It was distributed throughout South Florida in various comic shops. As of a few days ago, InvestComics has become a Corporation. InvestComics™ Inc. That’s kind of cool. It’s been quite the journey thus far, and the journey has just begun……

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Now let’s get to the Comic Hot Picks!

DC brings some interesting things to look for this week. With Superboy #4, Psionic Lad is back as a “new hero”, but if you really want his first appearance, check out Action Comics #892. Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 teams up Legends Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen for the first time in 20 years! The first time these 2 legends ever appeared in the same comic was in 1976. They first appeared together, not as a working creative team in Kamadi, The Last Boy on Earth #44. This comic is priced at only $16. The first creative collaboration came only a month or 2 later on All Star Comics #62. This comic will only set you back $28. Not a bad price tag for a couple of legends teaming up 35 years ago for the first time. Back to the Annual comic now, there is a re-intro of a character named Emerald Empress. Her very first appearance ever was in Adventure Comics #352 (1967). A $100 will snag this one from creators Jim Shooter and Curt Swan. Superman 80 Page Giant 2011 features some new talent in the industry taking on the Greatest Superhero ever. Check out what some of these rookies have to offer, and you’ll be getting many “first works” in this book, so buy it.

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The Independents rock and roll this week, and the featured guest of honor is H2O (One Shot) from Dynamite. This comic/graphic novel imprint will be a fantastic read from creators Grant Calof, Jeevan J. Kang and Liquid Comics. Get this, read it and enjoy it. It should be coming to your local theater near you in the future.  IDW has a hit on their hands. The first ever crossover event hits the Transformers in Transformers: Infestation #1. Look for this book to sell out quickly. Part 2 of the hit Obama/Palin team up in Archie continues this week in Archie #617.

All pricing on Comics in this article are courtesy of Comics Price Guide.com

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Okay that’s it for this week.

This week on InvestComics™ TV we bring you Andrew Zar of Darkbrain Comics. If you haven’t seen Darkbrain Web Comics yet, do yourself a huge favor and head on over right here……..what are you waiting for?? Click it!! Andrew is breaking new ground with an innovative new approach to motion comics, and it’s simply awesome. Still reading this? How about you click on Mirror, Mirror starring Tabitha Stevens below…….see ya!

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Invest wisely.

Jay K

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-25-11

freakshow1_fpFantastic Four is not the only HOT comic to come out this week. Better look for the Ape Entertainment book too! More inside…..

 

 

 

FF3_deathFF1_1961_80000As many of you have heard by now, Marvel is making news again. This week Marvel kills off one of their characters that have been gracing the pages of their book for 50 years. A member of the Fantastic four will kick the preverbal bucket. With the release of the Fantastic Four # 587, one of the 4 will not make it to issue number 589. So I’ll be waiting by the business phone early Tuesday morning to find out who dies. A quick special thanks to Tate’s Comics here in Florida for giving me the call in morning on the news! Not too sure why Marvel has decided to off one of the members though, for obliviously reasons sales, but there is probably a bigger picture here. Well at least that’s what we all hope, right? The biggest single event to hit Marvel since the Death of Captain America will happen on Tuesday (one day early release from the normal Wednesday release date). So are you ready? Maybe Marvel will really surprise everyone and have the number 3 they keep showing mean 3 deaths?!

Fantastic Four #1 (1961) $80,000. (Source: Comics Price Guide)

freakshow1Is there a bigger book this week than Fantastic Four #587? Well, this depends. Maybe! You see there is going to be a comic that will be completely overshadowed this week, a lower print run, and sell out. Look for Ape Entertainment’s Freakshow  #1, from the creative team of David Server, Jackson Lanzing, and Joe Suitor. With the comic getting very good reviews, and an appearance from the creative team at Golden Apple in L.A. on January 29, 2011, this comic will be sold out quick. Check out the coverage right here on the Golden Apple web site. The preview pages alone look amazing. Grab yourself a copy early, if you don’t you’ll just have to wait for the second print in a few weeks. 

 

GA8shazam_nonumberNY5_1DC Comics goes with the Black Green Arrow in Green Arrow #8, and that’s equals up to some awesomeness. Also check out the non-numbered Shazam issue from Cliff Richards and Eric Wallace, and New York Five #1 from Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly

The Indie’s will also have a couple of books coming out that you should keep an eye on besides the “sold out” Freakshow #1. IDW begins their very first crossover event with Infestation #1. This will be a very different event in many ways. Why you ask? The event involves the Star Trek crew, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and even the Ghostbusters. Is that enough of a “what the…?” for ya? Sounds like fun though, jump in! Darth Vader begins a solo miniseries in Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1.

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That’s it for this week! Check out the Debut of the NEW InvestComics TV web site at www.investcomicstv.com.

This week on InvestComics TV; Artist Sissy Pantelis!

Invest Wisely.

Jay Katz


InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-19-11

HPFP11911Comic Hot Picks for week of 1-19-11

 

 

 


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 If you haven’t heard by now, I will be writing a one shot for BlueWater Productions under the Vincent Price Presents title book. It’s called “Good Boy” and will feature an extraordinary talented team of Stefano Cardoselli on pencils/inks and Jeff Balke on colors. If you’d like to see the full press release, you can click here. If you’d like to see a preview page that is completely finished click here.

 

A special thanks to all of those who supported me when this news broke. I truly appreciate it, and look forward to sharing the process of building the comic with all of you.

 
Now off to the Weekly Hot Picks! Here’s a nice little quick nugget; Did you know it’s been over 5 years straight of the Weekly Comic Hot Picks in the magazine and InvestComics.com combined?! 

DC Comics; Supergirl #60 gets a new creative team. Artist Bernard Chang (Superman, Wonder Woman), and writer Nick Spencer of the wildly super hot series Morning Glories! A new and very cool animated series will coming out called Young Justice. Check out the first comic based off of this soon to be hit cartoon. Have to mention that Tony Daniels cover for Batman #706. That’s super cool.

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 Marvel; Amazing Spider-Man #652 brings back an old foe Alistair Smythe, a.k.a. Spider-Slayer. Check out Slayers first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985).  You probably could find this comic lying around in some $1 bin at your local comic book convention. Iron Man celebrates his anniversary issue with issue #500. Anniversary issues usually don’t fare that well in the aftermarket, so don’t look for the “regular issue” to command much on ebay, except for the variant from Joe Quesada. A steep $130 at some comic shops makes this a rare and hard book to get.

Independents; 3 books are highlighted this week. 27 #1 sold out quickly, so a second print variant will be hitting the shelves this week. Also check out Image Comics Memoir #1, a very interesting looking book with John Cassaday’s name attached to it, and Boys reaches its milestone 50th issue.

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InvestComics TV will be releasing Part 4 of 4 with Neal Adams this Wednesday! What a great series!

That’s it for this week, see you next week. Invest wisely

-Jay Katz

 

 

IndieCreator

BOB_HESKE_AVATARScary Talk with Jason Thorson @ Ravenous Monster Webzine

 

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Scary Talk with Jason Thorson @ Ravenous Monster Webzine

Harken Horror fans, there is a new horror website in town. And if you haven’t yet stumbled upon Ravenous Monster, you’re missing out on some eloquent, insightful writing and some bloody good fun. As Webzine Cryptkeeper Jason Thorson writes on the site, “This decrepit little corner of the web will cover the scary stuff from every angle, offering commentary, criticism, analysis, and information about our beloved and blasphemous genre.” I’m all in! Read on to get inside the head of the “Other Jason”, but tread carefully – it’s a dark, insidious place full of chills, thrills and blood spills. Enjoy!

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1. Tell us about Ravenous Monster. It’s a webzine that covers the gamut of horror, with a bent toward indie. How do you collect your material and what inspired you to take this on?

(JT:) RavenousMonster.com is a horror webzine and it’s probably weighted a bit toward movies right now, as that’s my area of expertise. I’m a writer myself, complete with the formal know-how and a couple of expensive college wall hangings to back me up. I’m still paying a monthly chunk of change for those. I’m also a huge horror fan.

Covering the horror genre dictates that I cover independent artists because the two are inseparable.

The horror genre, particularly horror film, has always been on the very leading edge of the storytelling blade. It’s truly the Wild West of filmmaking. Very few resources are required to tell a scary story via the camera. In many instances, horror filmmakers do things either because they don’t know any better or they have to creatively overcome said lack of resources, including (in some cases) a lack of formal knowledge.

Sometimes this results in brilliant new ways to tell a story on film, new techniques, and new movie trends in general, that eventually show up in mainstream movies. More often it results in a lot of poorly written and poorly acted horror movies as those are the two areas most affected by the lack of tried and true technique.

I’m constantly trying to reconcile the genre’s weaknesses with its strengths, looking for those relatively rare examples of brilliant horror. I want to expose the very best the genre has to offer, and discuss the failings of bad horror. My goal is for Ravenous Monster to help hold the genre’s feet to the fire. Having said all that, I like a lot of bad movies, but I’m honest about their merits.

ScreenHunter_09_Jan._14_10.282. Are you a one-man show, or do you have other contributors?

(JT:) I currently have two other contributors and there have been a handful of people who’ve contacted me about doing some writing. I’m always looking for more like-minded horror fans who’d like to share their insights. For anyone who’s interested, all that’s required is that you have some writing chops and a passion for horror. You can contact me via the “Contact Us” link on RavenousMonster.com.

3. I noticed you started the site in November 2010. How has traffic to the site been thus far? And why didn’t you launch on October 31st? ;-)!

(JT:) The traffic’s been decent. I’ve never been known for my patience so I want everyone to visit my site all at once, every day, all the time.  But it’s been good so far. A lot of work went into the development of the site, beginning in May of 2010. The goal was to launch in October, but things fell behind. My friend, Brian Orcutt of CuttDesign.com picked my brain and designed the look of the site accordingly. He did it as a favor after I helped him with some marketing for his own site and some sites INDC114113he’s designed for his clients. So obviously, I was OK with my site sitting low on the priority list since I wasn’t paying cold hard cash.

4. What are your top 10 indie horror films of all time (budgets of $5 million or less)?

(JT:) Honestly, I make a habit of avoiding lists, both other peoples’ and my own. There are hundreds of horror movies released every year so listing the very best ten ever is difficult. But I do think there are some incredibly important films that’d have to be included on any best-of list such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Night of the Living Dead”, and “The Evil Dead”.  I’m also a fan of “Deranged” and “Maniac”. More recently, I’ve enjoyed “Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer” and “Murder Loves Killers Too”. The ultimate indie success story has to be the zombie flick, “Colin” which cost the equivalent of $70.00 to make and blew up at Cannes a couple years ago. And my favorite genre flick of 2010 was “Monsters which does a hell of a lot for about $15,000.00. It’s a great movie.

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5. If you found yourself trapped in a movie, which horror monster (creature or man) would you want to massacre you?

(JT:)  I’d say Bruce. It’d be the finale to what I assume would be an adventure on the high seas to go out Captain Quint-style, getting devoured by a giant Great White shark.

6. Best movie, comic book, game and band of 2010?

(JT:) I reviewed “Monsters” last year and I liked it quite a bit. “True Grit” was great as well. The latter is obviously not horror, but neither is “Monsters”, really. I think the Buffy comics have remained strong all year and I enjoyed the Avatar Press stuff – check out their titles if you’re not familiar with them. The best game of 2010 is hands down “Red Dead Redemption”, plus the downloadable content, “Undead Nightmare” is better than most other stand alone horror games. You can’t beat zombies in the old west.  The best band of 2010 would have to be Phobia – old school American Grindcore. “Unrelenting” is a ridiculous album. Honorable mention goes to Cee Lo Green because the single,” Fuck You” from “The Lady Killer” album is brilliant in every way.

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7. You also are a screenwriter and have done reviews for drivethrucomics.com. Tell us about these other endeavors.

(JT:) I’m a screenwriter insofar as I paid money to learn the form, among others. But I’ve spent a great deal more time since my college days critiquing actual screenwriters rather than writing my own screenplays. I do still dabble in fiction, but nothing substantial for the time being.

Matt McElroy, the public relations and marketing manager at Drivethrucomics, is a friend of mine.  He’s also based out of Madison, WI and he runs a horror and dark fantasy webzine called FlamesRising.com that’s geared toward RPGs and small press publications. I’m a regular contributor to Flames, mainly covering movies and comics and I’m a featured reviewer at Drivethrucomics.  When time permits, I read and review random titles that are sold at DTC, all of which are digital.  It’s a pretty groundbreaking approach to selling comics and graphic novels, and it’s been fun to be a part of it.

8. Does your girlfriend have a horror fetish too, or does she just think you’re twisted?

(JT:) Actually, I’m married to a wonderful woman, Jessica, who does in fact think I’m twisted. She’s not as into horror as I am, but she does love Buffy, Angel, True Blood, and a bunch of other more accessible genre stuff. And she accompanies me to the theatre for “dates” where we watch horror flicks, usually of my choosing. So she’s supportive and patient and I can only be considered lucky.

9. Come on … is Twilight really a horror film?

 

INDC114117(JT:) Absolutely not. Its Y.A. fantasy and it’s not very well done.  Although, it’s certainly successful.  But I’d argue that “The Walking Dead” isn’t horror either. That show follows the approach of the comics in which the immediate forces of antagonism aren’t zombies. The zombie apocalypse merely provides a backdrop for a character drama in which the real antagonists are the living, not the dead. It takes the long view of what it would be like to survive this scenario, what would happen to relationships, families, etc.  And as such, it’s not horror nor is it intending to be.  And I feel like it’s working pretty well. The issue, though, is that it’s obvious how AMC has to market the show, so people tuning in for a zombie melee are disappointed. I totally get that. It’s proof that horror is an attitude and not much else.  Ravenous Monster contributor, Hunter C. Eden wrote a unique piece exploring this issue, called “Is it Horror?

 

10. Does old school horror still scare you, or do modern films filled with special effects and gore reign supreme? What do you feel was the “golden age” of horror?

(JT:) At this point, not a lot scares me, but I can discern whether or not a story is frightening. I think scary films can come from any era. The golden era for me would have to be the first two decades of what I consider the modern era of horror films, so from 1968-1988. I think this era contains the most groundbreaking and trend setting movies in the genre’s history.

11. What is the scariest scene you’ve seen in a film? And the most gruesome murder?

INDC114119(JT:) There are a couple scenes that I like a lot.  One scene is from “The Changeling”, the George C. Scott movie from 1980. I haven’t seen this film in about 20 years, but it scared the crap out of me.  It’s a haunted house flick and at one point an old wheel chair in the attic of a mansion chases a woman down two sets of stairs, crashing and coming to rest in the foyer. It doesn’t sound like much, but in context it’ll send chills up your back. That entire movie is freaky.

I also enjoy the entire third act of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, starting when Leatherface jumps out in front of Franklin and simultaneously fires up the saw. The subsequent chase of Sally through the woods and the dinner scene are awesome. Not necessarily scary, but I love the intensity.

There are so many gross scenes. No single scene really sticks out. You’d have to look at Tom Savini’s body of work in the early to mid 80’s, typified by the scene in “Day of the Dead” in which Captain Rhodes is ripped apart by the zombies. The Italian output from the late 70’s and early 80’s had plenty of nastiness too.

12. What film or horror comic that we have not heard about should we definitely check out?

(JT:)  I would say that if you’re really seeking the very best horror films being made, then look no further than the output of the French. “Martyrs”, though technically French-Canadian, is an unbelievably disturbing film and it explores profound metaphysical issues as well as social ones. The French films “Inside” and “Frontiere(s)” are also pretty incredible. “Let the Right One in” from Sweden is a stunning movie and among the best movies made in 2008, regardless of genre.

What’s happening is that hardcore horror movies are being made in countries that had previously obstructed the existence of such films. In America, the horror film has been deemed disposable by studios. They’re made by inexperienced and inexpensive filmmakers – music video and TV commercial directors and the like – and they’re aimed at teenagers with the intent of making a profit on opening weekend with little regard for what happens after that. In Europe, Spain, Scandinavia, and some of these other areas, horror films are  being made by serious filmmakers for the consumption by serious film goers and the results have been outstanding over the last few years.

13. Thirteen seems to be a good number to end this interview on. How can people submit stories and content to you? And please do pimp whatever your websites and whatever else you are working on.

(JT:) There’s a “Contact Us” page as well as a link to submit news on RavenousMonster.com. People can follow us on Facebook as well as on Twitter. I’m looking for contributors as well as material to review, so please don’t hesitate to contact us through the site. In the meantime, I plan to continue providing quality horror coverage on RavenousMonster.com.

Thanks Jason. Ravenous Monster is a great webzine and I encourage our readers to add it to their Favorites list. And for our reader/writers – please do contact Jason if you are a horror fanatic and want to contribute.


 

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST. Bob wrote The Night Projectionist, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series Cold Blooded Chillers. Bob’s trade paperback Bone Chiller (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: Final Prayer was also released in late 2009. Email him at  info@coldbloodedchillers.com.

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-12-11

HP11211FPRapid Fire Comic Hot Picks this week….check it out!

 

 

Here’s a rapid fire edition of Comic Hot Picks……

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DC Comics: Superman continues to soar with its current storyline. Look for no let up with Superman #707. Wonder Girl #1 will do very well, mostly due to the writing skills of J.T. Krul. Look for this comic to be a possible sleeper hit. If you want to spend an additional $3 besides this book, look for Wonder Woman #105 from 1996 from John Byrne. This issue features the first appearance of Cassie Sandsmark, aka Wonder Girl.

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Marvel Comics: Amazing Spider-Man #651 features an 8 page backup story featuring the return of the Mac; Mac Gargan that is. Mac; also known as The Scorpion was first seen in Amazing Spider-Man #20 (1965) from the Spidey Legend himself Steve Ditko. This comic is a very low $1400. Low, because with the Spidey movies about to make a comeback, the Scorpion will not be that far behind. Daredevil Reborn #1 will be a quick sellout, don’t miss it.

The Big anniversary issue this week has to go to Spawn #200. With a ridiculous 10 different covers hitting the shelf. If you have to get all 10 issues, save your money and put it all towards the David Finch Black and White Cover issue. It’s the rarest of all 10, its value will sustain much longer, and it’s an awesome Finch cover!

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Stan Lee’s BOOM! Books are gaining some momentum. Starborn #2 comes out this week, check it out. Image Comics Infinite Vacation #1 looks to be one that will fly right under everyone’s radar.

Check out InvestComics TV this coming Wednesday with Mr. Hack/Slash Tim Seeley! The episode will be right on the front page of InvestComics for you to watch.

That’s it for this week…..

Invest Wisely

Jay Katz

 

IndieCreator™

BOB_HESKE_AVATARBob Heske stops in from working behind the camera….and behind the scenes at InvestComics too!

 

 

 

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Starting 2011 with Elf Love and Styx and Stone

I don’t usually do reviews – making a micro-budget movie, I simply don’t have the time. However, two intriguing items appeared in my inbox and well, what the heck … it was the holidays!

 

ELF LOVE, AN ANOTHLOGY

elf1Huh? Elf Love? How am I – AKA Mr. Hack’ em, Slash ‘em Horror Guy – qualified to critique that subject? Let’s face it; my take on an elf love tale would be limited to 10 words: “Two elves enter a bar. They get lucky. The End.”

When I received an advance reader copy from a talented writer/artist friend, I decided to delve inside and – who knows, maybe it was the pixie dust? – but I became entranced.

The book, which was edited by Josie Brown, Rose Mambert & Bill Racicot and is published by Pink Narcissus Press, begins with a great dedication that really sets the tone for the entire collection:

“This book is dedicated to the memories of J.R.R. Tolkien and Gary Gygax … without whom no one would give a damn about elves.”

The book includes 20 tales with each of the editors submitting a tale and a few writers submitting multiple stories. Like any anthology, ELF LOVE has its shining stars and a few clunkers. But overall, this is a solid collection which embraces writers young (a senior in high school and a college student) and older (a few seasoned authors and members of academia).

Make no mistake – this is not “Fabio” Elf Love. The stories range from comedic to pulp fiction to detective noir to futuristic to tragically demure to downright dark and decadent. In other words, elfin good fun!

The best of the lot was “Goodnight, My Lady”, penned by Duncan Eagleson and inspired by Raymond Chandler’s “Farewell, My Lovely” wherein hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe (played by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep) is hot on the trail of the vanished lover of a dangerous ex-con. I won’t tell you how Duncan wove in the elf love aspect, but trust me that he did so masterfully. Although it is a 35-page short story, the pages fly by fast and the story goes down like a shot of Hennessy Cognac. Very smooth! Duncan also wrote “Reclaiming the King” which takes place in 1977, riffs a bit on Elvis Presley, and has a nice little twist at the end about an elf who has grown accustomed to his comfortable existence in the human world.

The tireless Eagleson also contributed the book’s cover art and drew the only graphic tale in the anthology, called “Of Roots and Rings” (a fantasy story ably written by Sarah Eaton). Being a comic-kind-of-guy, I turned to the graphic story first, devoured that, and then flipped back and forth among the other stories.

Other winners in the collection include “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” by Josie Brown which explores how one woman copes with the pain of living in the cruel human world after the horrible murder of her elfin lover; “(S)elf Love”, a sardonic and entertaining tale of elf masterbation by Rose Mambert; and “A Long Friday”, a brutal tale about an elf interrogation and beat-down by two short-fused cops who want to go home, expertly crafted by David Vernaglia.

Other tales worthy of note included “Xenium” by Michael Takeda which is about an elf ambassador who is sent to spend some time “to know thy enemy” with a warring faction called the Cardominians and their leader, the Saban. Michael does an outstanding job of inventing and injecting a new language in the story which shows that we are all different, but not so different in the end – with the great connector being “elf love”. It’s a story you need to read to appreciate, and then read again.

Jon Bishop delivered a concise, funny and geeky-hip story called “David & Gerty” about a gamer and the “woman of his online dreams” who decide to meet in person and survive a very awkward encounter a pizza emporium. Can their relationship survive, untethered, in the virtual world?

Finally, “Feather Fall” by Australian poet/fantasy writer Joanna Fay provided a fitting conclusion with a Romeo and Juliet-esque parable about two lovers from opposite sides of the track that meet, fall in love, and are made to suffer for it.

CONCLUSION: Don’t let the title fool you; Elf Love is as diverse, exciting, humbling, hurtful and worthy of literary exploration than human love. My only suggestion: try to inject more artwork; perhaps an illustration as a “title page” for each story. These are elves, after all and any visual aids will enhance the fantasy story. Otherwise, this is a solid anthology and well worth checking out.

Elf Love will be published in February, but you can pre-order copies of the book at the Pink Narcissus Press website by clicking your heels together three times and clicking on either of these URLs – http://pinknarc.com/ or http://pinknarc.com/books.htm.

 

STYX AND STONE

Although Bluewater Productions has created its own niche with celeberity bio comics, they are also starting to make headway into horror. Bluewater’s “Vincent Price Presents” has already brough a horror fanbase to the company. When “Styx and Stone” hits the stands this month, it’s sure to bring its own fans – thanks to the strong story-telling and crisp dialog of co-writers Adam Gragg and Bluewater Principal Darren Davis, and eye-catching sequential art of Matias Balsa and Stefano Cardoselli. I don’t usually mention letterers, but Jaymes Reed does a kick-ass job of boxing and breaking out a considerable amount of narrative, and does a nice effect to capture the voice of the demonic James Wyatt inside Melvyn Stone’s head. Balsa and Willie Jimenez do a nice job of creating a pulp fiction color palette that adds dimension and depth to the artwork and story. In short, it’s a great team and they’re totally in sync throughout.

 styxstoneHere’s the premise ripped from Bluewater’s own website: 

“Upon returning from South Africa, Detective Mel Stone was put on medical leave after he was found almost dead on the cargo ship he was on with no explanation and almost no memory of what happened to him. Now, he’s back on the force with his new partner investigating a string of gruesome campus murders. On the surface, everything is back to normal, but in reality, Stone is back with an added bonus; he’s sharing his body with the career criminal and murderer James Wyatt.”

 Issue one starts like every horror epic should – with our protagonist (Detective Mel Stone) waking from a bad dream, and facing his real-life nightmare, mega-demon who has a stronghold on his mind. The unlikely duo are off to explore another crime scene, this one the grisly murder of a college jock/pretty boy with his eyes ripped out.

Hottie detective Claire Sanchez greets Stone and, as they explore the aftermath of the murder “nobody witnessed”, the malevolent Wyatt slings colorful sexual commentary inside Stone’s head as Mel tries to repress his burning attraction.

Yessir … it’s going to be an interesting threesome cracking the case, with sexual tension galore!

The only lead in the case is some video of Mario Esteban, a football teammate of the victim (Seth) seen leaving the dorm room in a bit of a huff. Stone and Sanchez grill the kid who doesn’t come across as a killer, but appears to be hiding something.

Sanchez goes to the morgue to get more details from the coroner who happens to be an old flame. He tells her that the pretty boy was probably drugged with a muscle relaxant that paralized page31711him and then had his eyes excised, leaving him in excruciating pain and likely cause heart failure (or something along those lines!). Then he proceeds to make a move on Claire, and is quickly and forcibly rejected.

Meanwhile, Wyatt takes Stone to an alternate reality – Styx – where some very strange shit goes down that lets us know he’s battling a ticking timebomb of sorts partnering with Wyatt. The crux of his dilemma: since his soul joined forces with Wyatt, his “good” has neutralized Wyatt’s “bad” – meaning Hades can’t have Wyatt without getting Stone out of the picture.

Can you say, “Ho-boy!”

It appears as if the flying vamire-like Furies from Styx are about to rip out Stone’s heart when …

He wakes up at his desk to Claire’s comforting touch.

Was Stone just dreaming, or …? I think you get the picture – that burning inside his stomach isn’t an ulcer, it’s the fire of Hell waiting to burn him out.

Back to the present –

Claire (Sanchez) tells Mel (Stone) that they have the profile of pretty boy/jocko’s killer – either a doctor or a 4th-year med student.

Mario Esteban is a 2nd-year med student specializing in surgery – could he still be a suspect? (Note – who knew that med students had time to play on the football team? Sounds like a weak link in the story to me…)

And another reveal – the victim’s body had semen all over it. So Seth had sex before his murder. But was the semen his own?

Let me just stop there. The story continues with an interesting beat with Stone and Wyatt almost having a convergence of their minds, knowing they have to work together to overcome the threat of Styx that wants them both.

The ending of issue one is as you’d expect for a high octane, high gore horror/action/thriller. In short, it ends with a cliffhanger – another gruesome murder on campus and a great visual (splash page) to leave us licking our chops and shaking with anticipation until the issue two hits the stands.

CONCLUSION: No real weaknesses in this initial offering of Styx & Stone. Once again, Bluewater Productions swings for the fences and appears ready to hit a homerun. This could be 2011’s “CHEW”. Engrossing, entertaining, and eminently readable. Pick up issue one from your favorite comic store after it releases on January 6th 2011, and you’ll be hooked!

 

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST. Bob wrote The Night Projectionist, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series Cold Blooded Chillers. Bob’s trade paperback Bone Chiller (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: Final Prayer was also released in late 2009. Email him at info@coldbloodedchillers.com.

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-5-11

HP1511FP2 very hot books to look for this week, and lots of others as well!

 

 

It’s week number 1 of InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2011, with 51 more to go! And before we begin, be sure to check out last Wednesday’s InvestComics TV show with Scott Williams of Project Fanboy.

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Now let’s get started on week number 1 of 2011…..

There are 2 comics coming out this week that need to be on your radar, as the others should as well, but these 2 are goodies. DC’s Weird Worlds #1 will be the first of a six issue deal. Each month DC will give fans 3 NEW 10 page stories within Weird Worlds that will contain monsters, and cosmic goodness. This alone is a reason to pick it up for a good read. The best part about issue number one, which we hope the trend continues throughout, will be the introduction of 2 brand new characters in their own 10 page story. Aaron Lopresti introduces Garbageman, and Kevin Maguire introduces Tanga. This looks, feels, and smells like a tryout book for new characters. If by popular demand, one or maybe more than one of these newbie’s will breakout. Pick this one up, and wait for one of these characters to possibly appear someplace else in the DC Universe as a major player.

The second comic to really watch for this week is Earp Saints and Sinners #1. Here is a comic that has hit written all over it. A modern day re-imaging of Wyatt Earp from Matt Cirulnick, and David Manpearl. This comic is from the indie company Radical Comics, so don’t expect a big print on the first go around here. Yes, the second print will adjust all of those who missed out on this comic the first time. But, if you listen here, you’ll get your first print. There will be one very large issue with Earp when it comes out as far as sales go….. the cover price. A very steep $5.99 might have some collectors shying away a bit. A $3.99 would have been the way to go on this one, but we’ll see what happens. The Alex Maleev cover sure does grab your attention though doesn’t it?!

DC’s Steel comes out with a non-numbered comic. Steel looks total badas* on the cover doesn’t he? Kudos to Alex Garner for this cover. The shiny silver Superman reminds us a bit of Thor with that hammer. If you want to get John Henry’s first appearance (aka Steel), look for Adventures of Superman #500 (1987). You can find this comic at most of your local area comic shows in the long boxes for mega cheap.

Adventure Comics #522 is a prelude of sorts for the upcoming Legion Event, so check that one out. Batman Beyond #1 gets his own ongoing series, very cool.

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Upcoming guest on InvestComics TV Tim Seeley comes out with Hack/Slash: Me Without You one shot. Find out the true beginnings of Vlad in this one and done book! Rounding out the week, we have Transformers Prime #1, prelude to the new animated TV series, and Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 from Jason Aaron, and Ron Garney will be a great read/pickup. 

Remember, every Wednesday is new comic day, but it’s ALSO NEW InvestComics™ TV day! Check out ALL NEW episodes every Wednesday! 

Invest wisely,

Jay Katz