It was the perfect day to. . .

. . . have three blisters in two places. . .

. . . have a throat cold. . .

. . . walk in the rain. . .

-but most importantly-

. . . to go to Wizard World!


This was my second con, so I tried to go about things better. This time I went to one event (still ignored all the panels and all the artists' alleys. . . ), which was the public costume contest.

You can click here for the slideshow of the sixty-four pictures I took, of the contest as well as many many toys, but today, we're gonna look at precisely the costume contest.

crowd at the costume contest

To put it short, it's really all about fanservice, and honestly? You can never go wrong with that. People crowded around a hall (and a douchebag got in my camera several times), as cosplayers (costume + players = cosplayers) were let into the room. The audience determined a winner in each group by how loud it cheered for everyone, which is flawed, but is still fun in its own right.

It eventually gets to the point where there's only one group of four finalists left, and the cheering gets insane from there!

The first group was easy. They were the kids, and, well, they didn't really partake in the whole winning part. . .

kids' rank (ohmigod it's squirrel girl!)

Check out Squirrel Girl there, from the Great Lakes Avengers, on the right of Smallville Green Arrow! She's so adorable!

the jsa

There was also a JSA ensemble, which was pretty awesome. I really regret getting some closer pictures of Black Canary, because that person had a really pretty face structure.


Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series appeared too! Snaaaaaaake!

In the video game series, whenever Snake dies, his commlink goes
"Snake, do you copy? Snake! Snaaake!!!!"
so fans are always quick to jump on that when they get the chance!

gotham villains' ensemble (they're all so adorable!)

Okay, this was just adorable. It's a Gotham villain family ensemble, with The Batman versions of Catwoman and Poison Ivy.

Harley Quinn was blowing kisses to everyone, and that just got me right here.

deadpool! (and punisher and bucky)

Deadpool was fantastic! He knew how to milk slapstick out of everyone.

Like, he asked the Punisher to hold his grenade, and he always accidentally dropped his guns whenever he entered.

clark kent

Clark Kent. I wish he could've gotten more applause.

There was also a Superman who absolutely channeled Brandon Routh, but no one appeared to cheer for him either.

Is it true when they say that Superman is a dated character?


Optimus Prime!

He was amazing. His windows actually glowed; his headlights worked, and his license plate said OfficeMax.

checkin' out optimus' chassis

If that doesn't qualify for amazing, then you are a deficient human being lacking in humanity.

the movie x-men ensemble

An ensemble movie X-Men! They had everyone, from Colossus to Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops (I think two of them?), Jean, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and X-23. They even movie-adapted Emma Frost! The only thing is, who is that girl in the blue?

Regardless, this ensemble was just packed with fanservice. When Professor X entered, for example, he said, "To me, my X-Men!" and later on, Wolverine and Colossus even did a Fastball Special!

beetle and booster (sorry for blurry)

and Booster. Just like their comics versions, they didn't get that much love either =(.

And those are the pictures I just showed you! You can go to the slideshow for more, such as Pimp Venom or Zatanna Zatara or a Sin City ensemble. The slideshow has some captions from me, and you'll see some of the pictures in that slideshow next post as well!

The contest had three finalists for the final round: Optimus Prime, the movie X-Men ensemble and a Mojo costume that was so huge they had to open both doors to let him in.

I didn't take pictures of that, but rather, a video. If you click the link, you can see some video annotations, but here it is right here:

And (Optimus) won! Yes!

Next post: toys, toys, toys and comics, comics, comics, and the rest of the stuff.

Again, you can check out the slideshow here. I apologize for having a crappy camera, but the slideshow is really cool, and I'm kinda proud of it.

Everything I know about war. . .

. . . I learned from Fables!

1. Always wear a hard hat.

fables hard hat1

fables hard hat1

It helps to get a pointy one.

2. Keep your weapons modern.
fables modern guns

You don't bring an knife to a gun fight, after all!

3. Always have a battle cry when you're dropping bombs.


It helps if you talk to the bomb.

And there you have it. Everything that I know about war!

You too can acquire this vast knowledge yourself by checking out Vertigo's Fables. All of these scans were taken from issue 73, which kicks off a new arc in which Fabletown makes a decisive move against the Adversary!

Wizard World Wednesday

Another Wednesday's passed, so you guys know what that means right?

It means we look at this week's comics! There's only one minor kink, which is, uh, the fact that I didn't get any today. I'm holding off on any spending for Wizard World Chicago. Wheeeeee.

So, in lieu of reviewing the week, I'm going to try a little something different.

tennis ball1

I'm gonna review this tennis ball I found at the park today.

Note the little turquoise streak. Any tennis ball connoisseur will tell by the hue that this ball has been through a wild ride, and I'm not taking about any roller coaster. This ball's been abused something fierce, but that's not what we're looking at is it?

No, further tests will prove that this tennis ball is severely lacking in one particular practical department.

tennis ball2

The piece a' crap doesn't freakin' bounce! How's anyone supposed to play some hardcore tennis with this?

I give this tennis ball one out of five deliriously insane blog posts. For shame, random-tennis-ball-that-I-picked-up-off-the-ground. For shame.

tennis ball FOR SHAME

Okay, I apologize for the insane post today. Send me any feedback on how you liked it (or not) if you want, but don't be too harsh now, y'hear? You don't really wanna hurt my feelings, do you?

And don't worry, guys. You can count on plenty of pictures from Wizard World!

Doc Doom tells it like it is:

Oh Victor, your Latverian wisdom always prevails. Are you ever wrong?

Hint: the answer is no, and the source is Amazing Spider-Man #491. This issue wraps up an arc begun in the previous issue, in which Peter and MJ work on their relationship. It's really, really sweet and really, really awesome. Cap and Spidey even team up!

And for those of you who can't get past Straczynski's run on
Amazing because of the totem-ness, just look at these two issues. He knew how to write Peter as a person, not just a totemic icon, and I think more people ought to be aware of this fact.

And the Phrase of the Day is. . .

Oh my God. Get the picture?

Sources include Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's Fantastic Four, DC's Infinite Crisis, Jon Favreau and Adi Granov's Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All-Star Batman and Robin and Gail Simone's Birds of Prey.

Oh my god!

Is it really Captain Ameri-- oh, it's that guy

Y'know, it just hit me today how much Guardians of the Galaxy is nostalgia-based.

I mean, you have the "Universal Church of Truth," which is bogged in the Guardians' past as a villainesque entity, and then you have Gamora's former affection for Adam Warlock, and then you have this Vance Astro guy, who's supposed to be a former Guardians member.

You'd think these would all hinder the enjoyment of the comic, but truthfully? It's not that big an issue (hah, see what I did there?). It makes some pages, particularly the ones from the perspective of the Matriarch fruitless, and, considering how there was a pointless two-page fight in the issue, there are definitely reasons to cite this comic as decompressed.

Regardless, the character beats are still strong, from Drax's bitterness over his daughter's death, to Rocket Raccoon's sense of humor. I love how Rocket tries to squeeze himself on the bottom of every panel in an attempt to pass his name for the team.


One little complaint:

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

I'll keep reading, but I can't recommend this book to anyone yet. Read some Annihilation trades instead.

3 words about Birds of Prey #119:

It was awesome.

What, you want more? Fine. You sure are picky.


The place is Platinum Flats, California, and the Birds make their own settlement there. Aside from some interesting ideas about superheroes attracting supervillains, Oracle sets her mind on opening a business. And what does she call it?

Birds of Prey #119

Clocktower systems! This is in reference to Oracle's legendary and original stronghold in Gotham City, the Clock Tower!



Birds of Prey #119

That's really all I need to say.


Birds of Prey #119

Ollie and Dinah together. . . and happy! Bedard's version of Green Arrow/Black Canary is delivering so much better than Winick's eight issues. Winick knows character neglect something fierce.

Ollie's expression rocks as well.


Some other stuff that I couldn't exactly scan include Lady Blackhawk, the awesomest Bird ever, or, at the very least, my favorite. She gets some panel time here, and any comic with Blackhawk panel time is a winner in my book. Zinda uses said time to give us some closure over the Killer Shark arc, and it is just so admirable how she shrugs it off. Zinda, you're such a trooper. I love you!

Enough swooning, though. A lot of this issue was spent actually on build-up and catch-up, from Oracle's alliance with the Calculator, to who the "Visionary" is and the evil secrets behind the "Findster" corporation, as well as the Birds setting up their new home and some build-up to the fight between Manhunter and Black Canary.

I really don't see the point behind making them fight, but if it keeps Dinah in Birds for one more issue, I'm all for it. Bedard feels like he knows what he's doing, who he's handling, and what he wants to do with our Birds.

Can you really argue with that?

(hint: buy the issue and find out!)

I like covers too much

So Marvel's released its Cover of 2007!

Spoiler: It's Captain America #25, by Steve Epting. It's the infamous "Captain America is assassinated" issue.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING YOU NEVER ASKED FOR: My cold, hard and more-often-than-not-slimy opinion.

I have to admit; it's a very awesome (in the traditional sense) cover, in that a lot of its weight is carried by its content, and the contents themselves are very powerful. It means that it can tell the issue in a single picture, and that's all you ever really want in a good cover.

There are other kinds of good covers, though, and they use some other techniques that Cap #25 might not hit on. For the love of comics -- no: the love of America -- let's check 'em out.

I have to admit that, on the bracket, my favorite was actually Marvel Adventures #13. It works the strongest as a cover.

Marvel Adventures Avengers #16

Face it; that cover forces focus on the arrowheads. Why are the heads of the Avengers there? It's a cover that grabs the curious reader, and that's part of what makes a good cover.

Another example would be the numbers game. Just as a sheer multitude of people can attract the reader, so can a single person.

Like, for example, Scott Summers -- in spaaaaaace.

Astonishing X-Men #22

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Another example of grabbing the reader would be direct confrontation. Look!

Ms. Marvel #13

Ms. Marvel's looking directly at us and - dare I say it - pointing at us!

Other examples would be homage covers, but I don't think any of them made it in the bracket.

The rest of the covers generally involve doing something bad-ass, like lunging forward, or looking valiantly off-cover, or staring in the center really solemnly (which is a hobby that Spidey is all too fond of!) or a crazy wrap-around cover.

Or the M.O.vengers!

Marvel Adventures Avengers #9

Man, that issue was awesome.

If you want the best in cover art, though, I suggest you turn to Fables cover artist James Jean. If his covers were a ruler, they'd be those stainless steel, super-cool ones with the little rubber on the bottom.

Man, those rock.

Look -- up in the sky! Is it a bird?

Yes! In fact it's a multitude of birds!

Raining grenades down the street! Bwahahahaha!

And now it's a cow, jumping over the moon for good measure --

--and raining more grenades down the street!


Scans taken from Fables volume 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers. It's one of the best trades in the series, and has Snow White hugging Bigby as a wolf. It's unbearably cute, and you don't get much better than that. Mainly though, the Adversary makes some covert moves against our Fables, and we learn a little more about Little Boy Blue.

He was a total Rambo in his former life.

Clearly, you should both know better by now.

Because nothing can stop. . .

. . . the ineffable terror that is. . .

. . . Batman, stripper extraordinaire!

When you take off the Batsuit, it's another, smaller Batman inside.

Scans courtesy of
Booster Gold #9, by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz.

And yes, he does bachelorette parties, ladies.

This week in comics: Bonsoir, Msrs. Milk and Cheese

So, I wanted to just do regular reviews for this week, but I didn't know what to say. I got Sky Doll #2 and Hack/Slash #12, but I don't really know what to say about them. This can only mean that --

--Condensed paragraphs are GO!

Hack/Slash is a love letter to the horror genre and B-movies -- in comic book form. That's really what it all comes down to. This week, it's celebrating a year of itself (issue 12!), so there's something special. There are cameos from two staples of the horror genre, one of them Milk and Cheese and the other "Bump."

Yeah, I have no clue who they are either, but they're entertaining enough. A psychotic box of milk and cheese and killer woodland creatures provide for some nice moments.

The writer is also an artist, and he penned a good number of pages for this issue, which is pretty cool.

Sky Doll also came out this week, and we finally get to learn about the planet Aqua. It turns out the Empress Lodovica is assassinating the Aquarians' only means of reproduction, thereby turning them into an endangered species.

It's more complicated than that, but very worth it. There are themes of a government become corrupt, a religion breeding fanatics, and the desire for independence.

Yes, there's even a rape scene. Sky Doll is definitely not for youngsters, but if you want a smarter comic besides superheroes, then you should definitely turn here.

In the end, these comics are what they are. Hack/Slash is Hack/Slash. That means there's horror, and it's fun, and there's gratuitous gore and occasional raunchiness. Sky Doll is Sky Doll. That means the themes are usually more than your standard spandex story, and there's the occasional mature situation.

They are what they are.

If they're not your cup of tea, then don't read them. If they are though, you can definitely count on an endorsement from me.

It may not cure world hunger. . .

. . . But do you know what would make the world a better place?

A little more of that--

Darrrrrk  Vengeannnnnnce!

Right on, Misfit. Right on.

Splash page taken from Birds of Prey #117, by Sean McKeever and Nicola Scott.

Ahhhhhhhh sorry about the lateness guys! Turns out it was my birthday this week, and I was doing something other than comics blogging. I'm gonna try to have the week's comics up this weekend!

Sorry again!

Comics I "read" UPDATE

The summertime calls for many things. It calls for scraped knees; it calls for late-night bike rides. It calls for (more frequent) bouts of drunkenness, and, if you're in the states, it calls for a crapload of fireworks.

But most importantly, it calls for some hardcore summertime cleaning, no holds barred.

Today we go through my reading roster, to see what's changed, what hasn't, and what's about to. I have a listing of the roster -- updated on the sidebar, around the bottom of the sidebar content. You might also notice that I've put some new pictures on the sidebar about the M.O.vengers and Green Arrow's descent into poor writing. I've also removed the Free Comic Book Day banner and updated the title banner for the blog, but enough of that. . .

. . .Are you ready to rock????? (a little note: most of the links below will link to reviews of the comics in question, which I do so you can see the reasoning for the opinions I state here!)

Comics I "read"

* Amazing Spider-Man (on and off)
The "on and off" remains, and although I picked up the most recent arc, I'm not going to get back to the title until Slott gets back on "New Ways to Die" with John Romita Jr. One More Day is still a travesty, but a) that creative team is wonderful and b) I really want this title to respect the characters again.


* Birds of Prey
The creative team is taking such a shuffle that I'm getting vertigo! First Tony Bedard takes over (which I'm actually fine with, although his debut issue was mediocre at best).

And then Nicola Scott's leaving to work on a Secret Six ongoi--

--whoa, felt a little dizzy there. Gimme a sec to recover myself, grab some water.

Ah! Nothing like some fresh Aquafina to brighten your day! Aquafina -- Pure Water, Pure Taste!

And Oracle-Approved, even!

* Bloodrayne
When I was a kid, I always wanted to play the video game, but couldn't, because I didn't have a PS2.

I'm a kid now, but older, so I can at least read the comics. It always seems like they come out late, but that's partially because it gets so little attention.

It's fun vampire action, and really, what else does a kid need?

* Booster Gold
I got this, because it's pretty much a love letter to the DC Universe and all its history, and I thought I could understand some DC history through this.

It's not really working out as well as I wish, so I'm thinking about dropping it.

The problem is, I hate dropping books, because it makes me feel like a bad and noncommittal person.

* Catwoman
I got onto this book late, but I'm really enjoying what Will Pfeifer is doing with Selina. It's a damn shame that it's getting cancelled at issue 82.


The quality of the writing is splendid, and I think the world would be better if people would stop complaining about books like Final Crisis and instead supported small, underappreciated books like this.

* Detective Comics
I have great affection for Paul Dini's style of writing (compressed, done-in-one) and for Dustin Nguyen's art (sleek, stylistic, emotional), so you can tell that I've been enjoying Detective.

The problem is, this guy called "Hush" is returning, and there's a lot of hype about it, but I feel like I'm missing out on something important, because I only recognize him from that "Hush" crossover between Batman and Detective.

* Fables

It's Fables.

It's great.

* Hack/Slash

I read way too many horror comics to be squeamish, but Hack/Slash is one of them. It has its on and off days, but this too seems to be on a late schedule, so I'm okay with coughing up dough for it.

It's lost some of its humorous edge for a more serious tone, and I can admire that. Emily Stone's art continues to be beautiful.

* House of Mystery

I know I haven't been blogging about this fledgling series, but I'm really enjoying it so far, and waiting for some new issues to really solidify that enjoyment.

Y'know what would help that decision?

Some ice-cool Aquafina. Aquafina -- Pure Water, Pure Taste!

* Nova
It's Nova.


It's awesome.

* Sky Doll
Sky Doll isn't your average comic, and in this day and age, that's a wonderful note to hear.

A smart comic about one sky doll's need for freedom, and although the six-dollar price point sounds high, that's six dollars for 44 pages. One issue of Sky Doll is worth two average issues, and take it from me, guys -- it's totally worth it.

* Supergirl (occasionally)
That issue with Pfeifer and Randall caught me off-guard, and I'm still reeling from it. I just have no idea what's going on anymore, and Puckett is taking way too long to wrap up his cancer arc.

Supergirl 28

I'd like to believe you Kara, but it's getting damn hard to.

* Wonder Woman
I earlier felt enthusiastic about Simone, the new writer for Wonder Woman, but to tell you the truth? Not so much right now. I wish I had a reason to tell you why, but if I did, I'd be lying to myself.

* X-Men: First Class
I have a Marvel subscription to this, and although I'm still vaguely enthusiastic about it, the only reason I'm still reading this is because I'm too lazy to cancel the sub.


If you haven't noticed, I've eliminated a few comics. Green Arrow/Black Canary has disappointed me in neglecting who the characters are, so I had no choice but to drop it. Ollie and Dinah deserve so much more than what Winick is writing them.

Oh, Dinah, there's no need to be bashful now. I'll still skim through your book though.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Dead of Night, featuring: Man-Thing, and Countdown to Mystery are all miniseries that have ended, so I've taken them off the list.

Gonzo kick
This is Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard. He is awesome.

And I suppose that does it for the comics I read. Maybe you wanna speak up about one of them? Wanna recommend your own?

By the by, I'm planning on dropping a couple books that I talked about here, so I could fit in DC's Manhunter series in the list.

So step right up and don't be shy! Your opinion matters!

(P.S. please don't mind the product placement. Aquafina had a gun to my hea--

And never forget citizens! On your way to the comic shop and as you comment here, look for some ice-cool Aquafina! Aquafina -- Pure Water, Pure Taste!)
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