Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hangover Thursday?

You would think that me not posting up a Hangover Thursday until late in the evening would mean I had some kind of wild story about the night before.  But honestly, I took the day off from the blog and my other job and just bummed around today.  Check back tomorrow for the regularly scheduled Flash Friday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Saints

I was there at the beginning with Julius. Johnny Gat and I are practically brothers. I am of course talking about the Saints Row franchise. The over the top sandbox game about street gangs gone wild has been one of my favorites for a long time. In fact I recently sent Brandon a copy of Saints Row 2 so we could blow up the city in co-op. So I’m very excited to know that the third Saints Row game will be coming out on November 15.

For the first time the game is taking place in a city beside Stilwater. The Saints have grown into a huge organization but have run afoul of a group called the Syndicate. The Syndicate is made up of three different gangs; The Morning Star, The Luchadores, and the Deckers. As a new comer to the city of Steelport you’ll have to battle them all. Eventually the Special Tactical Anti-Gang unit will be called in.

Because the Saints are no longer a small gang the developers are promising that we’ll have lots of toys to play with almost as soon as we start out. The demo at E3 showed a group of Luchadores being taken out by an air strike like in the old Mercenaries games. On top of that, the demo showed the player hijacking a VTOL jet.

We still have a couple months before the game hits, so I’m sure there is a lot more information coming our way. Brand new weapons, cars, diversions, and melee styles have all been shown off. I don’t think it will be too much longer and we’ll probably be seeing each retailer’s pre-order exclusives. Expect more info here as soon as we get it. I know this is a day one purchase for me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So we’ve been staying pretty far away from the big DC re-launch. That is mostly intentional. I do think it’s very interesting that along with all the redesigns that a number of the Wildstorm characters have been brought into the DC Universe. Grifter, Voodoo, and Stormwatch all pop up in DC’s first wave. Who knows who else might pop up either in those titles or in titles to follow. I’m a little tempted to pick up the first couple of issues of Grifter, the character and I go way back.

WildCATS came out in 1992. I was still in High School and spending a whole lot of money on comics every week. Today I’m going to show you just how much I liked Wildstorm. It will not be my proudest moment. In December I was up North to visit my wife’s family, when I returned home I found that my mother had visited the house and dropped off two long-boxes worth of comics that had been sitting in a closet. The contents of those boxes are what I’m sharing with you today.

I’m not going to list the individual issues here, just the titles. Most of these I’ve donated to a tattoo shop for art references, it wasn’t worth trying to sell them and at some point down the line I may need credit at a tattoo parlor. I did find some cool books and a couple of hockey cards, so some good did come out of all of this.

WildCATs, WildCATs 3D, WildCAT Adventures, JLA/WildCATs, WildCATs/Spawn,WildCATs/X-men:  Gold, Silver, Modern
Grifter, Grifter/Badrock, Grifter/Mask, Grifter/Shi
Gen 13, Gen 13: No Ordinary Heroes, Gen 13/The Maxx,
Team One: WildCATs, Team One: Stormwatch
Team 7, Team X/Team 7
Deathblow, Deathblow and Wolverine
Wildstorm Chamber of Horrors, Wildstorm Rarities, Wildstorm!
Deathmate, Fire From Heaven, Shattered Image
Backlash, Kindred, Backlash/Spiderman
Warblade: Endangered Species, Voodoo/Zealot: Skin Trade, Sparton: Warrior Spirit, Zealot

Savante Guard
Black Ops

And finally,
Wildstorm Swimsuit Special 1 and 2
Ballistic Studio Swimsuit Special
Gamora Swimsuit Special

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hollywood - Fingers Firmly on the Pulse of Society

So word on the street is that most Hollywood studios are not going to have a major presence at San Diego Comic Con this year. The reasons cited for this is poor ticket sales after tremendous showings at the con. I am shocked! You mean that showing previews and clips of nerd friendly movies to the exact target audience does not translate to the mainstream movie going public? The hell you say!

Just in case your sarcasm detector is on the fritz that was it.

How could anyone think that by touting your wares to a room full of the target demographic could be less than stellar? And then to be confused as to why everyone on earth did not go and see Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World twenty times each? A flick that was based on a relatively small comic book and had a pronounced video game aesthetic. Huh, I wonder how that did not grab the attention of the movie going public. Now don't get me wrong I loved the Scott Pilgrim movie and I have never read the book. However I was aware of the books existence and the basic plot due to being immersed in nerd culture. I am also a massive fan of Edgar Wright. Therefor - vis a vie - I am the target audience. I believe that Hollywood might be doing the right thing in this case by not pinning hopes for a blockbuster niche flick on a room full of devoted nerds.

Now this might not be a good thing for the convention organisers, I think it will be a massive boon to comic book fans. I, for one, had always wanted to hit San Diego at least once before I died. That started to change when it became ruled by Hollywood. When that happened it lost some of the appeal to me. I just wanted to make it to the largest COMIC con, not a giant marketing campaign. Now that the pendulum seems to be starting to swing back to comics, my interest is piqued again. Hollywood will have to realize that in this age of new media there are plenty of ways to engage the nerd contingent and still get feedback from the normal public. Of course just the fact that it has taken this long to figure out that Comic Con might not be the best barometer for ticket sales might just mean that in the next ten years they will see that dial-up is not the only way to get on the interwebs. The only hope is that the trend continues and we can hear less and less about how the Twilight fans have ruined the con. Because honestly Twilight fans ruin everything.

How about you, gentle reader? Do you feel that this is going to be a blow to nerdcentric media or a boost to comic book fans? Do you think that Twilight fans ruin all things good? Let your F'ing voice be heard in the comments or on our facebook page.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Barroom Heroes

It’s a lighter update today, but one I still think is fun.   I finally saw the Green Lantern last night.  I enjoyed it a lot.  While it isn’t a perfect movie I do thing that the reviews may have been overly harsh.  As I was watching the movie though, and staring at all the Green Lantern symbols ideas started forming in my head.  So today I bring to you, all new alter-egos for Brandon and me.

The Green Lager.
He patrols the bars of his sector armed with a powerful mug created by the Bartenders of the Universe. The Green Lager must routinely recharge his mug at a mystic draft tap or be rendered drinkless.

The Flask
Gaining his powers from a powerful sip of White Lightning, the Flask became the most famous drinker in his city.

These are obviously not quality images, I just put them together in MS Paint for a laugh.  Today I’m going to be testing a new board game that may eventually be sold on this website. It’s in very early stages, so it’ll probably be a few weeks before you see more information on it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flash Friday: Holy Grails

Happy Flash Friday! All the talk about Flash glasses last week was fantastic; knowing what other glasses were out there was enough to have me hitting online auctions looking for more. I currently have the old Warner Brothers Store glass being shipped to me, so I’ll have three glasses in the collection. The comments also made be thing of those collection Holy Grails. Those pieces you’re dying to own but have never found at a reasonable price. I have three to four items I’d consider my Grails, today we're going to talk about one of them.

This is the Justice League Flash board game. Hasbro made this game in 1967 along with a game for Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I’d assume that other games were probably planned but since I really don’t know the origin of these, I can’t say for sure. A complete set for this game would include the box, spinner, board, 4 game pieces, and a set of 10 cards. I know the cards have the Flash’s head on one side; the other would have something rules related. I haven’t seen a clear enough picture of the rules, but I can’t imagine they are too complex.

Of course the real star of this item is the game board itself. The track that the pieces move on forms a giant letter F. The F doesn’t take up much space, so the majority of the board is taken up by crazy art of the Flash and other Justice League members fighting martians, robots, and dragons. While I’d like to own the complete game, I’d be happy with just the board. I’d probably end up getting it framed so I could hang it up. The Aquaman and Wonder Woman boards were very similar; the playable portions were made up of their first initials.

It’s sad that only three of the Justice League games were made. Just going by the faces on the cover of the Flash game they could have done ones for Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Batman, and Superman. Sure Batman and Superman have hundreds of games and Green Lantern has plenty of merchandise now, but imagine how cool a Martian Manhunter game could have been.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hangover Thursday: Skull Drinks

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? Personally I’ve got a little bit of head ache. It’s one of those throbs that make it feel like your skull hurts. Maybe that is why liquor makers having been going with skull motifs lately. They aren’t using actual skulls of course, but the bottles they are coming in are fantastic nonetheless.

Crystal Skull Vodka is probably the best known of the bottles we’re talking about today. Co-founded by Dan Aykroyd and manufactured by Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd., Crystal Skull is probably more famous for its bottle then the vodka it contains. The glass skull bottle with its wood stopper is stunning. I’m not a giant vodka fan, but it is only a matter or time until I come home with one of these things.

On the opposite end of the design spectrum from the crystal skull are the hand painted skull bottles from Kah Tequila. Designed to reflect the Day of the Dead celebration every bottle is hand crafted. Because each bottle is done by hand, no two bottles will ever look exactly alike. It also makes them expensive and a little hard to find. Kah is a Mayan word for Life.

Kah comes in three different varieties; Anejo, Blanco, and Reposado. The Anejo comes in the black skull and contains aromas of coffee, chocolate, and tobacco. It is aged two years in an American White Oak cask. Blanco has a more sweet taste followed with a white peppery aftertaste. It is bottled in whit skulls that are made to look like the traditional Calaveras (sugar skulls). Reposado is the high proof (110), intense drink from the Kah line. Aged for ten months in French limousine casks, it has subtle hints of vanilla and caramel. It is painted with devil imagery.

That’s it for this week’s Hangover Thursday. I almost forgot, today is the 300th post here at That F'ing Monkey.  Celebrate each victory.  Woooo.  Anyway, it is a little too early for celebrating.  I’m off to go get another cup of coffee, the last one hasn’t kicked in yet.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cards Against Humanity

Depending on the circles you run in, you may have run into the game Cards Against Humanity before. I’m not saying anything bad about it, even the game’s makers call it a party game for horrible people. If you’ve never heard of it before I’ll run through a simplified version of the rules. There are black and white cards. The first person plays a black card, which contains an incomplete statement. The other people playing all play white cards, which contain items to fill in the statement on the black card. The funniest answer wins the round.

 So if the first person laid down a black card that said, “What’s the next HappyMeal toy?” The rest of the people playing could possibly play cards that say, “A monkey smoking a cigar,” “Hulk Hogan,” “Sniffing glue,” or “Stephen Hawking talking dirty.” Obviously the last one would be the winner. And to be honest, I went with some of the tamer options to post up on the website. If it sounds like your kind of fun you can download the game for free at

Now if you want to be really fancy you can go to Amazon and order a physical copy of the game. 25 dollars gets you all the cards in a big, black ominous box. Seriously, when it is full of cards, that thing has some serious heft to it. You get 460 White cards and 90 Black ones. The cards are professionally printed and while I wouldn’t make it a pool game, they can easily survive an accidently spilled beer. So if you have those kind of friends, impress them with your Cards Against Humanity.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

R2-D2 We Love You, It’s True

Despite today’s title, we’re not talking about Christmas in the Stars. We are talking about R2-D2 though. I have a deep love R2 and astromech droids in general. It probably has to do with the fact that the starfighter fights are my favorite parts of the Star Wars movies and every good X-Wing pilot has to have his own astromech droid.

When I was still collecting Star Wars figures I limited myself to two things; Rebel Pilots and Astromech Droids. Eventually Hasbro thought it would be a good idea to create the Build-A-Droid promotion. Basically they’d split the droid into four pieces and package them with other figures. There was no way I was buying four other figures every time I wanted a new R2 unit. That is when I stopped buying Star Wars figures. Just because I’m no longer buying Star Wars stuff doesn’t mean I don’t keep an eye on what is being solicited. I found 2 recently announced R2-D2 that I thought were pretty neat.

I might have to rethink my buying policy, Gentle Giant is making one of the coolest R2 figures I’ve seen in a long time. They’ve taken the old Kenner toys, digitally scanned them and then reproduced them for a 12” line. The R2-D2 obviously caught my eye. The biggest selling point on this is lost on you if you never owned the original; when you turn his head it makes a distinctive clicking noise. I swear to you, that clicking noise is my childhood. It’s a nostalgia overload. The figure will come in packaging that looks like the old Kenner blister card, but is re-sealable. It is a very, very cool toy. I don’t know that it 80 dollars cool, but it is tempting.

To end this R2 love session I started today, he is also getting a themed Operation game. I’ve never been a big fan of Operation and the game has spawned endless licensed versions before, but this one grabbed me. It’s a cuteness overload even before you look at the geekiness of the items you have to remove. Bad Motivator, Lodged Lightsaber, Hiccupping Holograms, etc… I doubt that this one is going to end up on my shelf, but I love that it was made.

Monday, June 20, 2011

No cute power ring pun

Well I saw Green Lantern on Friday, and must say it was not as bad as you have heard. It is not great mind you, but it is not bad. Also I saw it in 2D the only way to watch movies if you are over 12. I have already railed against 3D here, so I will leave it alone for now. Here is my review, with no spoilers.

First off, Ryan Reynolds is not comic book Hal. He is Ryan Reynolds playing a character that happens to be named Hal Jordan. I didn't not like him, he just sh
ould never have tried to be Hal.

Now on to the good. I really liked what they did with Parallax, it makes sense within the movie-verse without having to go deep into the mythology. It looked okay for the most part, although sometimes it just looked like a giant blob of CGI smoke. Once I let my nerd rage over Ryan fade I enjoyed him for the most part. I really liked the stuff on Oa and the training bits were quite awesome, if a little short. I got quite a chuckle when Hal got "Captain Americaed" (that is right I just used Captain America as a verb - suck it.) I was also in nerdvana picking out all the lanterns that popped up in cameo. (Hannu and Bzzd - hells yes! Little sad I did not see Morro but what ya gonna do?) The constructs were pretty cool to see in motion. The costumes were not as bad as the pictures suggest and they only go all ribbed and weird when Hal is exerting lots of will. Mark Strong as Sinestro was fucking great and he got way too little screen time. I am sure we will see more of him in the sequel.

The bad. There is no time to really have believable arch for any character. Hal seems to just change personalities mid stride. Carol is just a skirt. Tom "Pieface" is just a basic audience proxy does not even get named until later in the film. Hector Hammond just comes off as a prick and his motivation is just him being a jackass. It was also a really strange call to have Hammond as the villain under Parallax. They waste Amanda Waller as just a generic scientist instead of the total bad ass non powered human that stands toe to toe with Superman that she is. The combination of the earthbound and space scenes can't compare to "Thor" which handled the dichotomy in an amazing way. This just feels like they took two movies and smashed them together. The post credits scene really does not fit with how the character was acting in the main movie.

All in all I enjoyed the flick. It is a popcorn summer movie that almost hit the mark, but fell just short. It is worth seeing on the big screen for the space stuff alone. Turn off the comic nerd part of the brain and enjoy it for what it is.

Reading this week: "Battle for the Abyss" by Ben Counter (Busy this week not much time to read)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

King of Braves GaoGaiGar!

My favorite giant robot might be a bit obscure to the people reading here. It isn’t Voltron, Giant Robo, Mazinger, or even Johnny Sokko’s flying robot. No, my favorite giant robot is the King of Braves, GaoGaiGar! GaoGaiGar was a 1997 Japanese cartoon created by Sunrise. The original series ran 49 episodes before being followed up with the King of Braves GaoGaiGar FINAL OVA.

The reason I’m talking about all of this right now is that in September Bandai Japan is releasing a GaoGaiGar figure in the Super Robot Chogokin line. The Super Robot Chogokin line is a smaller figures, around 5.5 inches, but they are heavily articulated so you can get a wide number of poses out of them. They also use a mixture of diecast metal and plastic. They aren’t cheap, but are much cheaper then the Soul of Chogokin line.

GaoGaiGar is normally formed when a bullet train, stealth jet, drill tank, and robot lion all combine to make a giant robot. This version doesn’t transform, but it does come with multiple hand and face parts. It also comes with the Dividing Driver, special effect parts, and Zonder Core parts.

There is also an accessory set coming out at the same time called the Key to Victory 01. This set will give your GaoGaiGar figure his most powerful weapon, the Goldion Hammer. Basically GaoGaiGar’s finishing move was causing so much strain on his arms, it was tearing the robot apart. So they designed the Goldion Hammer and the extra arm piece that is used to hold it. Together the two sets come in at about 85 dollars, so it isn’t going to be cheap. I know a lot of the details I threw out there sound crazy; I promise we’ll take an in-depth look at the GaoGaiGar cartoon in the future.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flash Friday: Flash Glasses

Happy Flash Friday everyone! I did some shopping while I was up in Charlotte that had an odd result. I picked up two different items that both encouraged me to do more shopping as soon as I got home from the convention. The first item was the DC Universe Jack Knight. I have a shelf full of Starman stuff and I had been eyeing the Golden Age Starman sitting on the pegs at my local comic shoo. As soon as I bought the modern version though, I knew I had to pick up the Ted version also. That second item is the subject of today’s Flash Friday, Flash drinking glasses.

I’m going chronologically here. So this glass wasn’t the one I bought at Heroes Con, but rather the one I purchased as my local shop. This glass was made by Pepsi in 1978 and was part of a DC collection. There were glasses for Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Aquaman. This was actually the second set of glasses Pepsi did with DC. The first set has the character in front of a colored circle and is repeated on both sides of the glass. As you can see on the second set they put the name and symbol on the back.

The glass I actually purchased at Heroes is this one from Toon Tumblers. Toon Tumblers have been making some fantastic looking themed glasses for a couple years now. I’d been waiting for them to finally do a Flash and jumped on it when I saw one for sale at the convention. I like how the Flash is positioned in front of the large symbol. The back has the logo and all other required company logos.

There aren’t a lot of things you can say about glassware. You can put things in them. You can drink things out of them. You can wash them. You can accidently break them. Because of that last item, neither of the glasses will be used. I just need to find space for them in my ever shrinking display case.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hangover Thursday: Super Drinking Supplies

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? I knocked a few back while watching the Bruins finally figure out how to play in Vancouver. Congrats go out to the Bruins. Today isn’t about hockey though; we’re going to be looking at some comic themed drinking supplies. I want to make it clear that while I think the things you are about to see are strange, I also think it is cool they exist. And yes, these items could be used on non alcoholic beverages but I don’t see them really aimed at children.

Starting things off are these Marvel bottle openers. You have two choices. Captain America, Spiderman, and Iron Man are all on one. Wolverine, Hulk, and Thor are on the other one. For some reason I find this stranger then the can coolers we are going to look at next. They are just bottle openers though, so there isn’t much to say about them.

Moving onto the can coolers. Whoa! Too close! Back up!

Ahh that’s better. All joking aside, you have two different options for the Marvel themed coolers. You can pick the extreme close up of Spiderman, Ironman, Wolverine, Captain America, or the Hulk. If you’d rather not have a giant face on wrapped around your beverage you can get an action shot of Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, or the Hulk. You can probably tell that I like the second group more then I like the first.

The DC coolers are the real winners of the group. Each one is a solid colored cooler with only the superhero symbol on them. Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern are the only ones I could find so far; which is a shame because I’ll order a Flash one the second I see it. I’ve said before I prefer superhero merchandise with symbols over the actual character, so my preference here is actually on the designs and not just Marvel vs. DC.

That’s it for this Hangover Thursday. I think next week we’re going to be talking about a really cool Tequila I just learned about recently.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tales from the Brain Jar, #15

Prepare yourself! It’s back! It’s another, Tales from the Brain Jar!! While I was at Heroes I was lucky enough to get two more fantastic Brain Jar sketches, but it’ll be a bit before I talk about them. Since we’ve been going through the sketchbook chronologically today’s featured sketch was done at Dragon Con all the way back in 07.

The sketch is of The Nail and is done by Nat Jones. I know you’re thinking, “Nat Jones? That name sounds familiar.” That’s because just last week I ran the interview I did with him at Heroes Con about his new comic ’68. So consider this a preview of his fantastic art work. The sheer amount of ink on this page makes it one of the sketches that everyone stops and comments on. If you’re wondering where the brain jar is in this sketch, check out that sick wrestling belt.

The Nail was a four issue mini-series published by Dark Horse in 04. It was a collaboration between Steve Niles and Rob Zombie. I already mentioned Nat Joes, he had the art duties on it. Joy Fotos did colors and Nate Piekos letters. The covers for the series were done by Simon Bisley. The series is set in the 70s and has the feel of a classic horror movie. There is a ton of story crammed into those four issues I honestly wish the series was an issue or two longer.

Rex Hauser is the Nail, a pro wrestler who decides to take some time off and go camping with his family. Obviously things don’t go as planned. The book mixes wrestlers, biker gangs, and demons in a delightfully bloody action-fest. I won’t give anything else about the plot away. The trade may be a little hard to track down now, but it is worth the effort.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mass Effect 3 Collectors Edition and News

Last week was E3. There was a lot of video game news that came out of the show. Games were announced, systems were announced, demos shown, and new trailers released. We also got information on Mass Effect 3’s Collectors Edition. Sure, we knew that there would be a Collector’s Edition but we didn’t know what it would contain. Those details have emerged and now we know what to look forward to in March 2012.

The Collector’s Edition includes:

A metal case. Just like the ME2 game, the actual discs will be contained in a “collectible tin.” This one will feature the male Shepard on the front and the female version on the back. Having never played as either of the default appearances I much prefer the N7 design on the outer case to the images on the tin.

An exclusive hardcover art book. I like this one, a 70 page art book from the production team. I’m a big fan of the production art. The book will probably contain some spoiler material so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing you probably will want to leave it alone until you’ve completed the game.

N7 fabric patch. Not sure if I’d ever use it, but I think it is a neat extra.

Exclusive 4x6 Lithograph. It looks like a very cool picture of the Normandy, but seriously, it is the size of a post card. Not really something to get excited over.

A unique Dark Horse comic. I’m not sure what they mean by unique. Honestly the Mass Effect comics haven’t thrilled me. I’ll read this one, I just don’t have high hopes.

Social badges, avatars, and perks. This is all for Bioware’s social website. If you spend a lot of time on that website, these might appeal to you.

Exclusive Extended Soundtrack. You either like video game soundtracks or you don’t. Personally I’m hoping to some day use these as the backdrop to a pen and paper Mass Effect RPG.

Normandy Xbox 360 Avatar item. I’m ashamed to say, this excites me. Obviously this is for the Xbox 360 version only.

That’s all the items that don’t even affect your game. Some good things and some okay things. Next we’re going to look at all the in game items.

N7 Arsenal Pack. Consists of the N7 Sniper Rifle, SMG, Shotgun, and Pistol. I have no idea how good they are, but more weapon choices are always a good thing.

N7 Hoodie. Something for Shepard to wear on the Normandy. I’ll have to see this one before I pass judgment; Mass Effect’s in game version of casual wear can be pretty strange sometimes.

Alternate Appearance Pack. New outfits for Ashley, Kaidan, James Vega, and Liara T’Soni. I’m a sucker, I bought both of the appearance packs for ME2 so I’m glad to see this one included in the CE.

Robotic Dog. A FENRIS mech that follows Shepard around the Normandy. This is very important. If they can do this with the robot dog, they can give us a Varren. I was so sad that I had to leave Urz on Tuchanka.

An additional Mission and Character? This is a strange one. It was listed on the images and still listed on some websites but it is being pulled from others. My personal guess is that if we are getting this, it will be something all pre-orders will get.

The last thing I wanted to mention about the different versions of Mass Effect 3 coming out is that there will only be two versions. Months ago it was hinted that there would be a version with some kind of uber-expensive pack-in, but we’re being told that this is no longer happening. So unless something changes in the months to come you only have the Standards and Collector’s Editions to choose from.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Green Lantern of 2814 Prepare Yourself...

So Green Lantern gets released on Friday and you can expect my review next week, today however I am kinda sick of it.

But your a huge Lantern fan - is what you are saying to yourself. Yep it's true I am. However it is an embarrassment of riches. I am starting to know what a hardcore Bat fan feels like, with the over saturation of the character. You can't turn your head without seeing some tie-in for the flick.Throw something green on and BAM! Lantern tie-in. Avocado on a sub? Green Lantern.

Green jelly on a donut? Green Lantern. It is almost like the superhero St. Patrick's Day. Throw some green food dye in it and you have GL beer. Yum.

Green Lantern of Death Star

I understand that being green makes it easy for the mainstream to associate with the film. Although I hear people confusing it with Green Hornet, so that's the mainstream for ya.

It does not help that I am not really enjoying the current comic storyline and am going back an re-reading pre Rebirth stories. Really just to step away from Johns for a while. He is an great writer, but may be overextending currently.

Also I just read an X book. I have not read an X book since Whedon wrote his first few issues and brought back Colossus. The book I picked up was Uncanny X-Force The Apocalypse Solution and it is fantastic. It basically the "would you kill Hitler as a baby" moral question. Even though it has the comics version of the GL saturation - Deadpool - I still enjoyed it immensely and recommend checking it out. It even forced me to do something that I never thought I would have to do - use the interwebs to look up a comic character. Fantomex, a character I had never heard of. This guy sure has a stereotypical convoluted comics back story.

So check back in next week for an in depth review of the Lantern movie from my very biased point of view.

Reading this week - Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hangover Saturday: Hahn Beer, Super goes in

Since all the interviews this week interrupted Hangover Thursday, we are moving it to Saturday! It isn’t a permanent change; next week will be back to normal. So, it’s Hangover Saturday, how’s your head? Because this week has been pretty interview intense, today will be some light reading. Well video watching actually. Check out this fantastic commercial for Australia’s Hahn Beer.

Amazing right? I’ve never seen the stuff for sale around me, but I’d happily try it after watching that. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flash Friday: Scott Kolins at Heroes

Last weekend I got a chance to talk to Scott Kolins at Heroes Con. I wanted to run this before his first issue of Citizen Cold came out Wednesday, but I knew this was something I had to save for Flash Friday. If you are one of the readers who stop by on Fridays, we’ve been running interviews from Heroes all this week, so check out all the fun you’ve missed.

K: Well the big thing to talk about is Citizen Cold. That’s a three issue mini-series?

SK: Three issues that are self-contained but are part of the whole Flashpoint hoopla this summer.

K: I know it has already been hinted in the books that are out that Cold may not be the hero that everyone thinks he is. Can you hint a little more about what to expect?

SK: You’ll find out in the first issue (out this week!!) that even Iron Heights that was the prison for the Flash villains before had an area called the Pipeline. It was a special place for all Flash’s super villains. Now it’s the special place for all of Citizen Cold’s villains and they call it the Freezer. And you’ll see a bunch of the Rogues are in there and you’ll see they’ve all suffered for the fact that Citizen Cold is now the hero.

He’s not a nice guy who puts them in prison. They’re all hurt pretty bad for tangling with him and being villains in his city. One of the fun bits is that you’ll actually see that the Rogues form because of Citizen Cold. That’s part of the plot of the story is that they really aren’t happy with him at all.

K: Since this is an alternate reality story or a kind of reboot did you think about tweaking Captain Cold’s costume or did you know you wanted to keep it the same?

SK: No, that was definitely part of the process. Should I tweak stuff, how much should I tweak stuff? I did do some changes to Trickster; his pants and even his color scheme. I added some red to it, where before it was mostly yellow and blue. I got to do something that Geoff Johns laughed about; I gave Weather Wizard that goatee. It’s a reference to when we had originally changed his costume in the Flash books years ago and made his pattern green with yellow stripes on it. At that time when I did sketches for him to show DC what we wanted to do I had given him facial hair; at that point it was a handle bar mustache. Geoff was like, “This looks great…lose the handlebar mustache.” So this time when he saw the goatee he was like, “All right, fine. You finally get to put it on him.” I also think he looks more like a wizard this way. Stuff like this is mostly just fun for me, but they can either use it later if they think it’s cool or we can just use it for this one time thing.

K: You mentioned the Trickster, is it going to be Jesse or Axel?

SK: No, it’s still Axel the kid. I know everyone likes James Jesse and I do too. That was one of the fun, personal things I got to add to the Flash universe. When we were working on the Rogues, James Jesse was already set up as an FBI agent. So he was definitely in the good guy camp, so we couldn’t use him as a Rogue. So I suggested what if we made Trickster like an evil Robin. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a kid with all those tricks, toys, and everything? Geoff thought it was an awesome idea, so we went with it from there. So when ever we can use him, I push him because he was my idea.

K: The surprise to me when the new Trickster came out was you had a full grown Flash socking a teenager and no one objected, “Hey you’re hitting a kid!” Obviously he was a villain, but you never saw a reaction to that.

SK: That is an issue that we’ve kind of side-stepped. It is something I wanted to get into with Citizen Cold, but I don’t think I’m going to get into that one since I have so much going on with Cold himself. In my mind even though he looks young, but he might be on the cusp of 18. At least 16, so in some areas he’d be tried as an adult.

K: You probably can’t say what it is, but do you have your next book lined up?

SK: Yeah, I do have my next assignmnt lined up. It’s nothing I can talk about at this time. But I will be doing more writing and drawing. They’re very happy with that, Geoff was extremely happy with how Citizen Cold has come about and fit into the whole Flashpoint package. DC has been too. They’re like, you’ve really come a long with Grundy and everything else you’ve been doing and they are really cool with it.

K: Any new Rogues popping up in Citizen Cold or just the established ones?

SK: Mostly just the established. There are some changes for them. Not even just Weather Wizard’s goatee. I don’t want to spoil the real cool one. But one of the favorites of the bunch that I changed, it’s just the context of the story they are stuck in. There are hints on the cover as to how it is different for one of the Rogues. It’s big time different, but no new Rogues.

A big thank you to Scott for taking the time to talk with me. Scott is one of those people I’ve talked to for years over the internet, but this was the first time I had met him in person. He is every bit as nice as others have told me. If you haven’t already done it, go check out Citizen Cold.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heroes Con 2011: Interviews Part 2

We interrupt our normal Hangover Thursday type post for the second part of Heroes Con interviews; I hope that no one minds too much. Today we’re talking to Steve Niles and Chris Moreno.

Steve Niles

K: Obviously on That F’ing Monkey we talked a lot about Detective Tales. What else is coming out that we can tell people about?

SN: Well there will be more Detective Tales; I’m going to do the next one with Bernie Wrightson. It’s just the matter of me getting time to write some prose. I’ve got a novel to wrap for Simon and Schuster. They gave me another couple of months because the like it. I think. I hope. So I’m going to finish that up.

And after that Bernie and I are working on a sequel to Frankenstein. Which is just, forget it. I grew up with Bernie’s Frankenstein and now to be working on it…

K: Who is going to publish that?

SN: IDW. It’s actually going to be split between IDW and Bloody Pulp.

K: Really? That’s really cool.

SN: IDW, they are so great. Obviously I can’t say enough good things about them. Since day one they’ve been just great with me. They know I’m trying to get this creator owned thing off the ground so they’re giving me a leg up.

K: So are the majority of your works going to be coming out under that banner?

SN: We’ll see. I like to keep it spread it around. Do what ever I can.

K: Like the one October where almost every comic company had a Steve Niles book coming out for Halloween.

SN: That was hilarious. I know. And everyone one of the called me with, “Hey I got an idea, we’re going to put it out for Halloween.” October is always really busy for me and then November I got nothing.

K: Now I you worked on video game writing.

SN: Fear 3

K: Is that something you’d like to do more of?

SN: I’d love it. I really enjoyed it. That’ll be out June 21st so they are really starting to push it now. If it does well then yeah, I’m always looking around. Those are actually hard jobs to find.

K: Are they talking to you about comic tie-ins for it?

SN: Yeah. I did like an 8 pager for Wildstorm. I think it’s an Amazon exclusive. You know, every site, every store has an exclusive.

K: Are you playing any games?

SN: Well I was playing L.A. Noire and then my Xbox took a nose dive. I’ve had it. I’m not dropping another 400 dollars. This is like the second one I’ve owned. I have no game systems right now.

K: And I know you aren’t drinking anymore. Normally I ask what your drink of choice is.

SN: I haven’t drank for years. 30 year old Macallan was probably the last time I drank. I split a bottle with Bernie. I thought I killed him. I got a call the next day, “Is Bernie okay?” We’re fine. That was probably the last time I drank.

Chris Moreno

K: People that want to find your artwork, where can they see what you have coming out?

CM: Well the website is I have a Deviant Art account at those are the main places for where the artwork can be found. Coming up I have Zombie Dickheads which will be coming our around October.

I’ve got the 80/20 Principle that will be out in February. That’s an adaptation of Richard Koch’s self help book. It’s one of those help you get your life straight books. But it’s also good for people who run businesses; sort of a way to maintain efficiency in your life.

K: So is this a full on motivational comic or illustrations in the book?

CM: It’s a full on comic. It’s a company called Smarter Comics. They’ve been doing adaptations of some of the top selling books of this type. It’s very cool. When I was drawing it, it made me think a lot about Understanding Comics and also Will Eisner’s PS magazine that he ran for the military. Just sort of good information and using comics as the delivery system for it, so it’s pretty cool.

K: You mentioned Zombie Dickheads. Zombie books are hot right now, what makes it different?

CM: First I’ll tell you what it doesn’t have. There’s no army men. There’s no scientists. There’s no Milla
Jovovich. That might hurt my sell. I don’t feel this huge need to explain where the zombies come from. We all know where they come from. Or at least we have a sense. What it does have is a lot of humor. A lot of guts, like blood and stuff like that. It also has characters you can root for. Four zombies that don’t eat people. That’s the other thing it doesn’t have, it doesn’t have zombies eating people. Why would you want this book? It’s hilarious, that’s why.

It’s basically about four zombies who don’t eat people that are just trying to find a place to crash out and relax for five seconds without running into stupid zombies that eat people and act like assholes. And their dickheads so that can’t even get along with each other.

K: Any chance of more Sidekick ever?

CM: Possibly. I talk with Paul a lot and one of the things that always coming up is Sidekick and what is going on with it. It is something we both want and we know a lot of people want it. It’s just sort or a matter of the timing being right. It’s just about making it happen.

K: Do you game?

CM: Well my Xbox just red ringed recently. I was in the middle of the zombie thing from Red Dead. Pretty awesome, pretty great. There are games I’m excited for. I want Arkham City so bad. L.A. Noire looks pretty bad ass. I want see how smart I am essentially. I want to see if I got what it takes. I like to think I’m a pretty observant guys, but can I solve murders? Who knows? Also because it is a faithful reproduction of L.A. and I live in L.A. now, I want to see what my apartment looked like in 1947. I want to see if it is just orchards. Is it just like orange groves or something?

K:What is your drink of choice when you go into the bar?

CM: Jack and Coke, pretty standard. We go to a lot of bars at shows. Some of them are really cool and some of them are of the nouveau fru-fru kinda cruddy douche bars. And those bars don’t have everything, so if you order a side car, which is a drink that most people haven’t made since the 30s, you might be shit out of luck. When the 20 something gel head looks at you and says, “A what?” But everyone has a version of the Jack and Coke.

That’s it for today! There will be a Flash Friday tomorrow; we’ll be running the last interview I have from Heroes, one with Scott Kolins.


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