Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Well, here I am, posting the inaugural post here at the new Knowhere.

Welcome.  This is a place where you can find me (and another person or two) praise, complain and just all around celebrate comics.  There are a few different types of content that will be coming your way in the future

  • News
  • Editiorals/Commentary
  • Reviews
  • Deal posts for digital comics
  • Even more!

If this post reads really wooden and like a corporate post or something like that…sorry. I’m not good with introductions.

With that said, let’s get on with it!


Dark Horse joins Comixology, hype quickly deflated.

And this is how Dark Horse joins Comixology…not with a bang, but a whimper.

The hype train began on Friday when mysteriously and unexpectedly, Comixology simultaneously sent out a cryptic tweet saying just “Coming Soon” (accompanied by a video of Hellboy’s watch ticking on his arm) and launched a countdown site counting to 9 AM Pacific this morning.

Today the clock hit 9 AM and the “magic happened”. Well, at least it did if you like being underwhelmed.

Ohh...Hellboy...because he's from hell! I get it now!

Like Hellboy? Hope so, there is a shitload of him to read.

There are a couple of main problems with Dark Horse joining Comixology…one I sorta expected, and one that is a mind numbingly stupid move.

They are not adding any way to sync the titles you previously purchased directly from Dark Horse into your Comixology account.
I have to say that I thought this was a long shot anyway, but it is disappointing to see that they didn’t figure out some way to do it. Comixology’s platform is (imo) a much superior reading experience to DH’s, and it sucks that my previously purchased titles are locked to the lesser app of the two.
When asked about it, Comixology said that “This was not possible now, but they would pass it on.” That was a little more optimistic than Dark Horse’s “This is not possible.

But this move makes more sense when you realize the second thing they did, which is a complete head scratcher…

Dark Horse is only putting their trade paperbacks, stand alone graphic novels and manga on Comixology.
Yes, you read that right. You can read it directly from their press release if you find it hard to believe. I know I did.
Yes, Dark Horse’s much hyped appearance on Comixology’s platform will exclude all single issues from their catalog, limiting your purchasing options.

This announcement, when it was teased last week, lit the digital comic world on fire. Hell, I was hyped as fuck as well, but the actual launch today has completely taken that hype down to almost nothing.

If you’ve never bought a DH comic digitally and you love Trade Paperbacks, this will be right up your alley. Existing DH customers who buy individual issues? Yeah, this won’t be for you.

Sources:
Dark Horse Press Release
Comixology Press Release


My long road to Secret Wars – An introduction

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several months (or year? Have they been pimping this for a year?) then you’ve certainly heard of Marvel’s big event book of the year, Secret War!

The brain child of Johnathan Hickman, this thing has been hinted at and teased for a long time. Basically, it’s this weird mash up of multiple (all) of Marvel’s universes, where they all fight it out in this strange new world that Earth has become, named Battleworld.

This giant cross-over event is said to not only shake up the status quo, but in fact Battleworld is the new status quo.

So with all the mish-mashing of Marvel universes from over the years together, this thing will probably be confusing, right? Never fear, true believer! Marvel has released a nice little ‘Reading Chronology” chart.  Check it out:

Marvel’s “Convenient Road Map” (Click for full size)

Simple, right?

If you said, “But that’s pretty much every major event of the last 20 years!” you would be correct.

Anyway…since I have this blog to write (and much like Metal Gear Solid’s Grey Fox, I love pain), I have decided to go through every single item on this chart, read them, and write about them.  Following that, I will move on to Secret Wars proper (That will probably be around 2020 or so, at my reading speed).  The jury is still out about if I’ll tackle the Secret Wars tie-ins, because there are so fucking many of those.

Anyway, I am ready to begin my long road to ruin Secret Wars with …erm…Secret Wars!
…The 1984 one. They really shouldn’t have reused the name, it just confuses things.

See you soon, hopefully.


Comic v. Adaptation – iZombie: Where creativity and derivativeness collide.

I picked up the first issue of iZombie a while ago, back when I was first getting into digital comics. I had just purchased an iPad and was scouring Comixology for some new stuff to read. Seeing the first issue was going for $1, I quickly snapped it up…and didn’t love it. I’m not going to lie. More recently, upon hearing the TV series was coming, I decided to revisit the series (Well, the TV premiere tie in sale at Comixology helped encourage me too) and see if a second try would work out better. It sure did.

Click to Purchase @ Comixology

 

 

 

 

iZombie #1

Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Michael Allred
Release Date: May 5, 2010

 

 

 

iZombie begins with the story of Gwen Dylan, a gravedigger by day. The first issue plays as your typical (I guess?) 20 something hipster-type working a crappy job scenario, that is until the last couple pages throw at you that she sneaks out once a month, cracks open the skulls of the recently buried and eats their brains. While never really shown in the series, it’s addressed a few times that should Gwen go too long without eating a brain, she goes full stereotype and gets all bitey and shamblely.

Shortly after eating her first brain (in the series, not in total) we find that she begins to hear the voices and see the memories of the person the brain belonged too. They yell at her unless she works to solve their murder or whatever unfinished business they want her to take care of.

To aid her in this task, Gwen enlists the help of her only two friends in the world, Scott (a were-terrier) and Ellie (a ghost). Along the way all kinds of craziness gets brought into the story, from Vampires, Mummies and Frankenstein’s monster-type creatures, to a Zombie-Abraham Lincoln led government monster force and an ancient society of monster slayers. Hell, there’s even a Cthulhu-esque ancient one who resides between dimensions thrown in for good measure. Somehow, the book ties the mythologies of pretty much all of this together in a way that is not only fascinating, but works.

This is where the TV series comes in.

Click to Purchase @ Amazon Instant Video

 

 

 

iZombie – Pilot
Written by Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright
Directed by Rob Thomas
Air Date: March 17, 2015

 

 

iZombie is a Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) produced series. It centers around Liv (Rose McIver), a med student who is scratched by a zombie one day at the beach during a minor zombie outbreak. 5 months after the incident, Liv is now working as a coroner’s assistant at a morgue and eats the brains of the recently deceased who roll through her doors. Like in the comics, she does gain the memories of the dead, however, here she teams up with a police detective to solve these crimes and just claims she’s a psychic.

Liv, with her co-worker Ravi and Det. Babineaux

Liv does not have a scooby gang of friendly monsters to help her out for two major reasons:

  1. In the TV series, there are no other monsters. Zombies are the only ones who exist in this universe.
  2. Unlike Gwen from the comics, Liv still carries out her normal life. Yes, instead of hiding away in a crypt, she just keeps hanging out with her family, acting like nothing has changed

While the comic does introduce a bunch of quirky and interesting concepts, the show, for the most part, discards those wholesale. The series takes the most basic elements of the comic’s premise and waters it down into what is basically a standard detective show, if the main character was a zombie.

Everything about the show, the dialog, pacing, structure, character traits all feel extremely familiar and as if they were all lifted from a previous Thomas produced show. Thus, the series has been nicknamed by me “Undead Veronica Mars”.

The comic is a very weird but very interesting and original take on the old, cliched monster stories. I found it (while sometimes slightly convoluted) very enjoyable. That’s why it saddens me that much of that has been stripped away and turned into pretty much a detective procedural that we have all seen before.

 

Full disclosure: Upon writing this post, I have only seen the pilot of the series. I feel I can glean enough from that episode to determine the general tone and direction the series is taking. HOWEVER, I will follow up with viewing some more episodes and will amend this post should need be.

 


MARVEL, SONY Join forces, intergrates SPIDER-MAN into the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Marvel Entertainment pretty much shocked the internet tonight when they dropped a bombshell announcement.

Marvel and Sony Pictures have reached an agreement to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper.

The new Spidey’s first appearance will be in an upcoming Marvel Studios film, but it has not been announced which (My money is on Captain America 3: Civil War).

Following that, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have a deal in place to co-produce a Spider-Man film, which will hit theaters on July 28, 2017 (A date originally taken by third Thor film, Ragnarok). Spider-Man will be recast and rebooted (sans an origin retelling).

The film will be produced by a partnership of Amy Pascal (recent ex-head of Sony Pictures) and Kevin Feige, who has been the mastermind behind the Marvel Cinematic universe. While the new film will be co-produced with the Marvel Studios crew, Sony Pictures will take care of distribution, marketing and will actually own the film.

With this new development, and the new Spider-Man film taking a spot originally used by another film, Marvel has restructured their release schedule through 2019. They are as follows:

  • Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
  • Black Panther – July 6, 2018
  • Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
  • Inhumans – July 12, 2019

All other previously announced Marvel Studio release dates remain unchanged.


DC: NEW 52 Ending (In Name Only). Some books being cancelled, new books being launched.

DC says ‘enough’ to continuity.

I’m not really the best guy to write about this, I’m not a huge DC guy. News is news though, so here we go. I just won’t have really in depth commentary on the subject.

It was announced earlier today that DC, in the aftermath of their Convergence event, is cancelling a slew of books (27 of their 52 to be exact) and launching 2 dozen new ones in their place. They are also dropping the “New 52” label from all their titles.

Supposedly, this move will also bring about a shift in DC’s storytelling.

“In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry,” DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio commented.

There are a couple of strange moves in this new strategy. Supergirl is among the titles cancelled, even though a TV series staring the character was just green lighted by CBS.
Also, just as (if not more) puzzling is that both Bizzaro and Bat-Mite are getting their own titles. Yes, Bat-mite.

It will be interesting to see how this new direction plays out for DC. The de-emphasis on continuity will clearly free up the writers in what they can do in future stories, but for continuity freaks like me, it could take a while to adjust to it.

Continuing Titles

Action Comics – Greg Pak/Aaron Kuder
Aquaman – Cullen Bunn/Trevor McCarthy
Batgirl – Cameron Stewart/Brenden Fletcher/Babs Tarr
Batman – Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo
Batman/Superman – Greg Pak/Ardian Syaf
Detective Comics – Brian Buccelato/Francis Manapul
Catwoman – Genevieve Valentine/David Messina
Deathstroke – Tony Daniel/Tony Daniel
Flash – Rob Venditti/Van Jensen/Brett Booth
Gotham Academy – Becky Cloonan/Brenden Fletcher/Karl Kerschl
Gotham By Midnight – Ray Fawkes/Juan Ferreyra
Grayson – Tim King/Tim Seeley/Mikel Janin
Green Arrow – Ben Percy/Richard Zircher
Green Lantern – Robert Venditti/Billy Tan
Harley Quinn – Amanda Conner/Jimmy Palmiotti/Chad Hardin
Justice League – Geoff Johns/Jason Fabok
Justice League United – TBD/Travel Foreman/Paul Pelletier.
Lobo – Cullen Bunn/Cliff Richards
Secret Six – Gail Simone/Dale Eaglesham
Sinestro – Cullen Bunn/Brad Walker
New Suicide Squad – Sean Ryan/Carlos D’Anda
Superman – Gene Luen Yang/John Romita Jr.
Superman/Wonder Woman – Peter Tomasi/Doug Mahnke
Teen Titans – Will Pfeifer/Kenneth Rocafort
Wonder Woman – Meredith Finch/David Finch

New Titles

Bat-Mite – Dan Jurgens/Corin Howell
Batman Beyond – Dan Jurgens/Bernard Chang
Bizzaro – Heath Corson/Gustavo Duarte
Black Canary – Brenden Fletcher/Annie Wu
Constantine: The Hellblazer – Ming DoylE/Riley Rossmo
Cyborg – David L. Walker/Ivan Reis/Joe Prado
Dark Universe – James Tynion IV/Ming Doyle
Doomed – Scott Lobdell/Javier Fernandez
Dr. Fate – Paul Levitz/Sonny Liew
Earth 2: Society – Daniel H. Wilson/Jorge Jimenez
Green Lantern: Lost Army – Cullen Bunn/Jesus Saiz/Javi Pina
Harley Quinn/Power Girl – Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner/Stephane Roux
Justice League of America – Brian Hitch
Justice League 3001 – Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Howard Porter
Martian Manhunter – Rob Williams/Ben Oliver/Paulo Siqueira
Midnighter -Steve Orlando/ACO
Mystic U (Title Not Final) – Alisa Kwitney/Mauricet
Omega Men – Tom King/Barnaby Bagenda
Prez – Mark Russell/Ben Caldwell
Red Hood/Arsenal – Scott Lobdell/Denis Medri
Robin, Son of Batman – Pat Gleason
Section Eight – Garth Ennis/John McCrea
Starfire – Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner/Emanuela Lupacchino
We Are Robin – Lee Bermejo/Rob Haynes/Khary Randolph


The Force Returns to Marvel Comics

The story thus far…

Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney has brought about many great things. Starting this year, Star Wars will be back in theaters, with the original cast returning too! The transition to Disney subsidiary has had a couple bittersweet side effects though…the loss of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and Dark Horse’s loss of the Star Wars license.

Beginning in 1977, Marvel obtained the license to publish Star Wars comics, resulting in a run of 107 issues, which came to an end in 1987.
Dark Horse scooped up the property two years later and has published it since. They were a very instrumental part of the creation of the Expanded Universe, helping to weave an incredible continuation of the stories beyond what had appeared on screen.
However, after acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney seemed to say, “Wait a minute, why are we licensing out the comic book rights? We OWN a comic company!” And with that, they opted to not renew the agreement with Dark Horse, resulting in Star Wars coming “home” to Marvel this year.

So, why do I bring all of this up? Well, both of these major changes factor into the new series in a big way.  You see, Star Wars (2015) is not only the first Star Wars comic series in almost 3 decades to be published by Marvel, it’s also the first to come along in a “post Expanded Universe” world, working directly in the new “Official Star Wars Canon”.

But how does Star Wars #1 stack up? Is it a new, brilliant, fresh start or a worrying sign of what’s to come? Read on, and we’ll find out. Read the rest of this entry »