Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Wed
24
Feb

Bloom #1 Lays Cosmic Cornerstone for Entire Hero Tomorrow Universe

Bloom 1 Hero Tomorrow

The universe of Hero Tomorrow comics is a small but very cohesive, tightly-knit one. The hero -- Apama -- is an everyman imbued with the animal powers of a creature from myth, and since his emergence the supervillains have sprung up to oppose him -- some odd, all bizarre.

But there is one who is deeply connected to Apama's origins, yet pre-dates his arrival by nearly forty years. Regina, who first appeared in Apama, The Undiscovered Animal #5, gets her origin story with Bloom #1, coming soon to comic shops and currently funding through Kickstarter.

Set in 1969, Bloom begins with Ramsey, an auto mechanic and would-be comic book artist obsessed with the idea of his comic book villain and the arcane glyphs that came to him in a dream state while tripping in the forest -- at a location that will be quite familiar to fans already following the Apama comic.

Mon
22
Feb

5 of the Best Educational Comics for College Students

Educational Comics for College Students

One of the most common misconceptions about comics is that this type of book doesn’t have any educational meaning. However, it is important to keep in mind that graphic novels are designed for young readers taking into consideration their personal study needs. Such books cover hard for comprehension topics in an easy way and grab the full reader’s attention. Via storytelling and visualization, students can follow the plot, and find the contextual clues that make the story coherent. In its turn, students develop both creative and analytical skills, so here are 5 simple educational comics that can change the perception of the world.

 

Mon
15
Feb

Comic book Villains Who Love Gambling

Royal Flush Gang

The best comic book heroes, whether villains or superheroes, introduce some fun and originality to the story. They have quickly evolved from paper to screens, and games. Through the ages, some of the most popular villains have also been gambling enthusiasts. Here are a few of them:

 

The Penguin

Oswald ‘Penguin’ Cobblepot is a thief, mobster and a persistent Batman enemy. He also runs a nightclub and casino. The DC Comics villain is one of Batman’s worst foes. He is eccentric and most known for his shady businesses and trick umbrellas. The Iceberg lounge is a front, and he runs lots of illegal businesses.

Sun
14
Feb

A Red Sonja Romcom is Dynamite's Valentine to Comic Fans

Red Sonja Valentine's 2021

When one calls to mind Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, "romantic comedy" isn't one of the phrases that usually jumps out at you. And yet, with Dynamite's 2021 Red Sonja Valentine's Special, Bill Willingham and Giuseppe Cafaro somehow make it work.

The story opens with Sonja preparing to collect on one of her mercenary jobs by collecting the head of a witch who gave a man a false fortune. But Sonja is about to discover that this witch is not some mere charlatan, and the revelations had here set the stage for the second part of our story -- after a brief intermission to learn some of "Red Sonja's Do's & Don'ts of Dating."

Thu
04
Feb

Horror and Action Give Way to Comedy as Readers Select Best Comics Writers of 2020: Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis

Todd Livingston, Sonya Devereaux, and Nick Capetanakis

During a year where people were forced to huddle in their homes, sequestered from the populace in order to stave off the Zombie Apocalypse / Andromeda Strain pandemic, comic books -- especially small press and crowdfunded comics -- too off in a big way. And while people still loved to be scared and thrilled by an ever ready stream of horror and superhero titles, ultimately people wanted to laugh this year, and they showed it in their votes.

While the "big two" of DC and Marvel made a far more impressive showing than they did in the Best Comic and Best Comic Artist categories, there was still the undeniable presence of the upstart, bellying up to the bar and shouldering the giants aside to sit among them as equals.

Thu
04
Feb

Suitable for Fraiming: The Best Comic Artists of 2020 are Twins -- Brian and Brendon Fraim

Fraim Brothers

Given what has been an unprecedent year for comics, culminating in an overwhelming number of nominations from independents and crowdfunded titles vying for the honor of Best Comics of 2020, it isn't surprising that the competition for the Best Comic Artist would be just as heavy. A sign of this is that "Other" -- a housekeeping category that usually represents about 1% of total votes every year from write-ins, gathered up a sizeable 9% this year, representative of just how many new up-and-coming artists are on the horizon. In fact, "Other" is the faceless hominid standing in the bronze position of our Comic Artist Olympics, having placed third among all other nominees and write-in candidates! So congratulations, Other, and better luck next year!

Wed
03
Feb

Sonya Devereaux, Hollywood's 306th Best Actress, Comes First with Best Comic of 2020

Best Comics of 2020 - Starring Sonya Devereaux

Every year, Critical Blast opens up the polls to our readers to select the best of everything entetainment, in multiple categories. And while some categories slimmed down this year due to the spread of coronavirus forcing people to stay home, the comic book business has seen a boom, thanks largely to a number of independent creators who have turned away from the traditional publishing market and toward crowdfunding to get their four-color fantasies fit to print and into the hands of readers.

Tue
02
Feb

Into the Sonja-verse: Too Many Sonjas Makes Sonjaversal #1 a Messy Read

Sonjaversal 1

While I appreciate that Dynamite Comics is embracing the whole "many worlds" theory and integrating their diverse titles, the journey has led to a state of crossover fatigue, the nadir of which may actually be manifest in this new miniseries, Sonjaversal, in which Red Sonja, the infamous She-Devil with a Sword, crosses paths with... Orange Sonja.

Yes, Orange Sonja, herself fresh from watching a mech battle a dinosaur -- who were Purple Sonja and Green Sonja, respectively. And, yes, color-coded lettering is included in the story.

Thu
28
Jan

Vampirella: The Dark Powers #2 All About Everything Vampirella Isn't

Vampirella: The Dark Powers #2

The misguided attempt to turn Vampirella into Supervamp continues with this second issue of Vampirella: The Dark Powers. The Dynamite Comics concept of "plural worlds" is the tableau against which Project; Superpowers gathers all its members from various alternate Earths, finding Vampirella on Plural Earth 0666. The majority of the membership isn't comfortable with her being on the team, partly because in their last adventure her methods of attack was responsible for one of their members being put in critical condition. Also, plunging in without knowing the facts about the enemy allowed the enemy to regroup with an even larger threat, adapted to what it has learned of Vampirella's power set.

Thu
14
Jan

Red Sonja: The Superpowers

Red Sonja The Superpowers 1

Dynamite has, for quite a while now, been pulling off crossover comic book miniseries with their licensed characters -- most recently in the very entertaining zombie epic, Die!Namite. But with Red Sonja: The Superpowers (in conjunction with Vampirella: Dark Powers), it appears that Dynamite is building up something larger, and much more audacious: they're creating a cohesive multiverse, with Red Sonja a part of it.

The story opens as your typical sword-and-sorcery tale: Red Sonja has been approached and hired to remove an evil wizard who has been subjugating people who don't have the means to fight back. Sonja vows to do the deed, and battles the wizard's henchmen who have been sent to stop her. As she rages her victory cry to the sky, declaring that she is coming for him... things get weird. A strange lightning streaks across the night sky, and Sonja realizes that perhaps this wizard isn't your usual charlatan with tricks.

Mon
04
Jan

Purple Prose? Hue Better Believe It! Sonya Devereaux Returns as Violet Vixen

Violet Vixen - Starring Sonya Devereaux

The 306th Best Actress in America returns to show she's not just a sexy horror star, or a sexy western star, or a sexy sci-fi star -- she can also be a sexy superhero star! The name that's tanked a thousand ships is back on the screen, fresh from her performance in the widely lauded (as in "My laud, is this movie over yet?") production of Spider-Shark vs. Snake-Bear, as that voluptuous vigiltante of virtuous victory, Violet Vixen!

Thu
31
Dec

Voting Open for Best of 2020

Best of 2021

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Actually, it was 2020, so scratch that first bit entirely. But as ugly as the past year has been, there were still a few moments that perked things up. So as loath as we may all be to actually look back at this year, we're asking our readers to do so for just one more month as we collect votes from you, our readers, to select the award winners in our BEST OF 2020.

The movie theaters were bereft most of the year, but production companies found ways around that, and many movies went straight to streaming services. Streaming options also presented us with several nominees for our Best Series.

But it was the crowdfunding renaissance in the comic book arena that really shook up the nomination processes this year, shouldering their way past the mainstream giants to stand side-by-side with them for Best Comic, Best Comics Writer and Best Comics Artist.

Tue
29
Dec

Punk Rock Bunny Band Faces Hare-Raising Horrors in The Wraskles

Wraskles #1

Once upon a time, there was a genre of Saturday morning cartoon that followed the formula of "teenage rock band fights bad guys." They were usually not real supernatural bad guys like Mystery Inc took on, of course. Josie and the Pussycats usually ended up finding spies or corrupt real estate tycoons. The Neptunes (and Jabberjaw) faced down megamaniacal world beaters. Kidd Video and his crew almost exclusively battled Master Blaster.

THE WRASKLES falls into the category of storytelling, only with anthropomorphic characters. The musical crew of conies is on their way to a battle of the bands when their vehicle mysteriously breaks down at a crossroads. If you know anything at all about musicians and crossroads, you can feel the foreshadowing coming on. And, sure enough, as they sit stranded, they meet up with a mysterious old goat (literally, an old goat) who strikes a deal with them: if they can play a better song than he can, he'll fix their van.

Thu
24
Dec

Sonya Devereaux Foursome Delivers Fun and Satisfaction

Starring Sonya Devereaux TPB

She's the 306th best actress in America, blessed to work with some of the top talents in the country on films that... well, don't exactly get screened for members of The Academy. She's Sonya Devereaux, and through a crowdfunded effort on Indiegogo, fans -- and those about to become fans -- can see her in all her glory (tastefully, of course, and only when it serves the plot) in this marvelous collection of distinguished classics, collected for the first time anywhere in trade paperback.

From directors Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis, from a grant made possible by American Mythology, come four of Sonya's most beloved films.

Wed
23
Dec

Not With a Bang... Richard C. Meyer Drops Suit Against Mark Waid

Meyer vs. Waid

In what may turn out to be a lump of coal in the stockings of supporters of the Comicsgate movement, Richard C. Meyer and Mark Waid announced jointly on their social media platforms that the litigation against Waid for tortious interference had been dropped, citing the independent success of Meyer's graphic novel, Jawbreakers, which had been at the center of the tort, as well as the unexpected impact of COVID-19 on, well, everything.

Wed
23
Dec

Punchline and the Vaude-Villains #1 Continues Hero Tomorrow Superhero Saga

Punchline and the Vaude-Villains #1

Here's the thing about streaks: When you're on one, it's increasingly harder to stay on it. Eventually -- inevitably -- there will come a moment when that streak sputters, stalls, and ends.

For the publishers at Hero Tomorrow, PUNCHLINE AND THE VAUDE-VILLAINS #1... ain't that moment.

Tue
15
Dec

Dynamite's Zombie Apocalypse Overflows with Action in Thrilling Third Issue

Die!Namite 3

An octogenarian Miss Fury? A fanboy Peter Cannon? A scalped Vampirella? A smart-ass possessed smiley button? All banded together with others to fight an insurmountable zombie apocalypse of galactic proportions that has already claimed Project: Superpowers?

Gawt dam, son! What more could you ask for in comic book entertainment?

Tue
08
Dec

Grimm Fairy Tales 2020 Holiday Special Lacks Twists and Connections

Grimm Fairy Tales 2020 Holiday Special

I love the horror comics, particularly the anthologies where stories had to be told in a few pages and grip you from beginning to end. But there's an art to the telling of these tales. Storytellers around campfires know it. The EC (and DC) writers of your knew it. It involves a setup, a hook, and an unexpected twist. But tying that all together requires one important thread: irony. That's what makes a good horror short story, and it's unfortunately missing from the entire string of tales in this years GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2020 HOLIDAY SPECIAL.

The 44-page one-shot sports an appropriately eerie cover by Igor Vitorino and Ivan Nunes, although I would rank it last among the four alternate covers available for this issue, which also includes enticing fronts from Ron Leary Jr., Michael DiPascale and Sanju Nivangune, and Harvy Tolibao and Mohan Sivakami. The insides are actually decently illustrated as well, by Babisu Kourtis, Marcelo Basile, Dario Tallarico, and Rodrigo Xavier.

Tue
08
Dec

Vampirella: The Dark Powers Turns Vampire to Superhero -- and Editor to Sleeper

Vampirella The Dark Powers 1

Vampirella has gone through a number of iterations over the decades, but it seems that over at Dynamite Entertainment she's going through them at a rapid clip. You never know which Vampirella you're going to get when you pick up one of her titles. Unlike the Warren years, when Vampi's tales were an ongoing series of adventures with Pendragon, Pantha, and her other friends, every other Dynamite incarnation of Vampi tends to recreate her, whole cloth.

Such it is in this most recent adventure arc, VAMPIRELLA: THE DARK POWERS #1 by Dan Abnett and Paul Davidson, packaged and edited by Nate Cosby. Yes, I know, I seldom mention the editors when going over a book's credits, but trust me -- there's a method to my meanness... er... madness.

Sat
05
Dec

Ways to Enjoy the Superhero Trend

Amazon's The Boys

If there’s one thing in this last decade that nearly everyone’s taken part in, it’s the enjoyment of superhero-related content. It isn’t the first time the superhero trend has made its way into the mainstream in history, but this time it’s certainly had the biggest impact. It seems that these days no matter where we turn we see an iconic hero character proudly showing off their emblem, but for newbies that aren’t too familiar with the genre, knowing where to start can be a bit daunting. If you’re looking to ride along with the superhero trend, here are a few things to get you started.

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