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New Sabrina comic book miniseries (non-horror) by DeCarlo Rules
[November 16, 2018, 01:28:13 am]

What comics have you been reading? by rusty
[November 15, 2018, 12:59:56 am]

What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[November 14, 2018, 03:39:33 pm]

Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[November 14, 2018, 03:37:27 pm]

Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[November 14, 2018, 03:33:32 pm]

Stan Lee has died by DeCarlo Rules
[November 13, 2018, 11:34:58 am]

Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[November 11, 2018, 07:04:36 pm]

Sears/Kmart by DeCarlo Rules
[November 11, 2018, 03:48:37 am]

Features by Oldiesmann
[November 10, 2018, 10:21:28 pm]

WARNING about Palladous the freelance writing company by BillysBadFurDay
[October 26, 2018, 04:58:52 am]

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  • Oldiesmann: RIP Stan Lee :( [link]
    November 12, 2018, 02:04:24 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fashion Emergency" from Cherl Blossom #26: [link]
    November 11, 2018, 07:05:28 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Internet outage for nearly 24 hours, but I'm back now. :)
    November 09, 2018, 05:37:49 pm
  • rusty: That is hilarious.
    November 04, 2018, 02:36:07 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: The funniest thing I've seen all year (and maybe ever)... [link]  :2funny:
    November 04, 2018, 07:12:01 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: It's crazy that ACP hasn't reprinted those 2 issues as a double-size one-shot. Or the lead story in a TP collection of vampire stories (including "Twilite" and others).
    November 04, 2018, 03:21:35 am
  • irishmoxie: That's crazy about those Betty and Veronica issues being worth so much. They're only about 6 years old. I'm pretty sure I have copies of them.
    November 04, 2018, 01:36:00 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: On a relatated note, the real FIRST Vampironica appeared in Larry Welz' underground comic Cherry Poptart #1 [link]. That can be had right now, CGCed at 9.4, at the Buy-It-Now price of $280 on ebay. Although the book had several subsequent printings, only the first printing ($2 cover price) contains the Vampironica story. Much, much scarcer than B&V #261 & 262, but then far fewer people seem to be aware of its existence. It may not be the same Vampironica as the one that appears in her own comic book from ACP, but then you can easily make the argument that neither is the Vampironica from B&V 261-262.
    November 04, 2018, 01:15:09 am
  • rusty: Crazy.  I obviously missed that back then.
    November 03, 2018, 10:06:11 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Yes, I mentioned this a while back somewhere around the time Vampironica #1 was first solicted or shipped. I even mentioned it to Dan Parent and told him if he still had copies he should get them CGC'ed.
    November 03, 2018, 04:33:03 pm
  • rusty: Apparently Betty and Veronica #261 and 262 (1987 series) are popular now due to Vampironica.  Somebody actually purchased a copy of #261 for $299 on ebay recently.
    November 03, 2018, 01:41:51 pm
  • archiecomicscollector: I've been watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on no Riverdale means more time in Greendale :)
    November 01, 2018, 10:17:35 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Quite easy. I don't need a new episode every single week.
    November 01, 2018, 09:05:48 pm
  • BettyReggie: How did everyone survive with no Riverdale last Wednesday?
    November 01, 2018, 03:56:28 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My reviews of the Cheryl stories Psyc-Out [link] Take the Mummy and Run! [link] and A Midsummer's Magic [link]
    October 31, 2018, 10:15:29 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Oh, and there's no "The" in the title.
    October 30, 2018, 10:52:11 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Just on Netflix for now.
    October 30, 2018, 10:51:44 pm
  • BettyReggie: I can't find The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina on Netflix. Is it just streaming or is it in discs YOU can rent?
    October 30, 2018, 02:17:31 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: LOL! Nice! A bit too pricey, though: [link]
    October 30, 2018, 01:44:46 pm
  • Oldiesmann: Site is fixed now. Security certificate expired.
    October 24, 2018, 10:23:54 pm

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Messages - rusty

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General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 14, 2018, 01:54:00 pm »
The Nameless City - Volume #1

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:54:30 am »
I remember debating picking up Exorsisters, but ultimately decided to pass based on the preview.  Since you are recommending it, I will plan on checking the trade out when it eventually is released.  Even if I was collecting it, though, I wouldn't be reading it.  My policy on many new series, especially from Image and smaller companies or miniseries, is to keep the books in a box as they are released and to read the title when it is complete or when four or five issues are out. 

Well, if you are retired I guess it explains how you have so much time to read all those comics.

Given that you're saying you might check out Exorsisters in trade, I wonder (based on your reading habits of waiting months to read 5 issues or so of any given title) why you're not just getting the trade collections of all those other titles to begin with. I mean I can see it where some people just want (theoretically at least, presuming that they can find the time) to read things while they're still "fresh", and not wait on a gap of several months until the trade collection is released, but it seems like by the time you're getting around to those particular issue numbers, the TP collection must already be available or at least imminent within the next month or so. It seems like next to nothing (getting to the real fringe publishers otherwise) that isn't getting that trade collection, almost like clockwork in today's comic publishing world.

For myself, I know there are a few titles where I'd start off buying the individual issues, then for one reason or another, never get around to catching up on the title until the trade collection was out or due out soon. When that happens I just sort of scratch my head and wonder what I was thinking. If I was going to wait that long to read those comics, then why didn't I just wait for the trade in the first place?

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:42:27 am »
Since I have over 300 Image comics to catch up on, I'm breaking it up a bit.   B-F to start

Wow, that is a lot of titles (considering it's just B through F), Rusty. Do you have (in your head, or can you approximate by some rough figuring) how many different titles (in progress, ongoing or limited series) you're reading at any given time, including all publishers? I mean the things that actually do get published on some sort of semi-regular schedule, not those things that are once-in-a-blue-moon (like for example, the various comic strip reprint series from IDW's Library of American Comics, which are probably no more often than annual at best).

What I really wanted to ask though, is did you not get Ian Boothby and Gisèle Lagacé's new Image series EXORSISTERS? (Begins with an E, right?) If not, you should really check that one out. Twin sisters (but not really) Cate and Kate Harrow are supernatural investigators and as close as can be (spoilers again, not really twins), but totally different in personality. Like Betty and Veronica, or more apropos, like Patty and Cathy Lane in The Patty Duke Show. Fun-filled supernatural situation comedy ensues. I like Gisèle's other stuff with Dave Lumsdon -- Ménage à 3, Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks (in increasing order of how much I like them) but I feel like Exorsisters has the potential to be even funnier, and it's already off to a great start. I really hope it's an ongoing series from Image and not just a limited series.

[SPOILER: A lot of the covers seem to have this split-image or mirror-reflection motif, and that's a clue about the true nature of the Exorsisters.]

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:06 am »

  Story, art and cover by Joe Musial. King Features Syndicate comic strip characters star in an educational story about nuclear physics (expanded from a 1948 article that appeared in Popular Science magazine).

Mandrake the Magician takes the scientific position, explaining to Dagwood and Blondie the basics of atomic power. Numerous other characters appear as well, including Jiggs and Maggie from Bringing Up Father, the Katzenjammer Kids, Henry, Snuffy Smith, and Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Wimpy. The upper 3/5ths of each page consists of a single comic panel with word balloons, while the bottom 2/5ths of each page contains text elaborating on the idea presented in detail. Page 28 consists of a multiple-choice quiz (18 questions) to test what you've learned by reading (correct answers provided inside back cover).
Back in 2012, the genesis of the special comic, which was published by Harvey Comics and distributed to schools for free, and was also included as an item in A.C. Gilbert Co.'s No. U-238 Atomic Energy Lab Kit in 1950, was explained by the anonymous "Archivist" at the KFS website (
The how and why of atom-splitting was explained many times in many ways, but mostly, a lot of people were confused or unsure about just how that energy was created or what were the prospects for usage. General Leslie Groves, who had lead the Manhattan Project during the War, and now in retirement, was a respected expert on all things atomic. He first developed an idea for presenting the atomic story for laypeople with cartoons, and approached Joe Musial with this concept.

Joe Musial was an all-around utility player for the syndicate. He could write stories, do ghost work on any number of strips and comic books in different styles, even outside the Hearst realm.

As the head of “King Features Educational Division,” he first created an exhibit for the atomic show at the New York Golden Jubilee exhibition in 1948, explaining the workings of atomic power with King Features’ cartoon stars. This led to the comic book version.

General Groves wrote a preface in the finished book, and other contributors included Hearst columnist, Bob Considine, as well as several physicists and a quote from Bernard Baruch.

The most popular strip stars during that era were the Bumsteads, so naturally they would be the leads in the book. The “story” inside was that Blondie and Dagwood, accompanied by the rest of the King characters, attend a public lecture given by Mandrake on just what atoms are made of, how they get pulled apart, and what causes them to detonate.  The Bumsteads  are magically transported to atomic size so they can inspect the various neutrons, protons and electrons doing their stuff up close while a scientific explanation narrates the pages below the cartoons. Though Chic Young’s photo is inserted in the opening of the book, doubtless no one else but Musial drew the illustrations.

The story begins, "THIS BOOK TELLS what an atom is, how it can be split and what happens when it is split. Here, therefore, is a comic book that is different from any you have ever seen." You might think that a comic book such as this produced in 1949 would be viewed in hindsight as hokey, naive and oversimplifing a complex topic, but nothing could be further from the truth. Still as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:30:00 am »
I'm caught up on Dynamite now.

I don't know what to say about Dynamite. I wish they'd give as much attention to the stories and interior artwork as they do to the covers. I buy a fair number of their titles, just based on my liking the characters, but sometimes it seems like I'm just getting them for the covers.

There are some examples of good stuff, where they're at the top of their game (The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane, Doc Savage: Ring of Fire, Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Greatest Adventure, Sherlock Holmes, Vampirella: Roses For the Dead, Dawn/Vampirella, and Vampirella (2014, Volume 2, the one written by Nancy Collins). And the recent Sheena was better than expected and the new Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is pretty good so far (my expectations were kind of low at this point, so it's a pleasant surprise). Unfortunately, they just seem to be too few and far between, considering all the titles they put out.

And then there are far too many instances where they're really a letdown: Green Hornet '66 Meets Will Eisner's Spirit (not even the real Spirit), the Gold Key stuff, Bettie Page, that most recent wave of reboots of The Shadow, Green Hornet, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris, and (turning out to be a big disappointment for me) the long-awaited return of Project Superpowers. Mighty Mouse didn't quite click for me -- I think it was because, while it seemed like a fun spin on the character, the artwork just didn't cut it. They needed someone who could draw the story in a way that would have made it funnier to read. I say that as a guy who absolutely loves what Sholly Fisch is doing every month writing Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Anyway, it always feels like (barring well-known talent) most Dynamite series are going to be a real crap shoot when you pick them up. And then a lot of them are just middling-fair, like Red Sonja/Tarzan (but then I'm not really a Gail Simone fan).

They also publish a bunch of licensed properties that I don't read (Battlestar Galactica, Charlie's Angels, Dresden Files, James Bond, John Wick, Nancy Drew, Red Sonja) that I can't comment on. I'd kind of like to read James Bond, but since they're not doing the movie Bond, I'll wait until they actually adapt one of Fleming's books, or at least do an original story set in continuity in that time period. I can see why they update 007 for movie audiences (which makes it a different character), but to me the real Bond is set during the height of the Cold War, and he's a character of that time.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 03, 2018, 04:43:12 pm »
watching things on my phone is not ideal.

I've come to the conclusion that it must be some sort of generational thing, since large numbers of people seem to have absolutely no problem with the idea. That goes for reading comics or e-books, as well. Then again, if a video is not being displayed in its correct aspect ratio it's immediately apparent to me (and annoying to the point where I just can't watch it), but apparently what's annoying to other people that they just can't stand is an area of their screen that isn't being used where nothing but black bars appear.

But that's coming from a guy who has no idea why anyone would want to text on a phone using a tiny keyboard when they could just call (even if it's just to leave a voicemail) or email someone. People not only seem to enjoy but actually prefer texting, though.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 01, 2018, 04:02:23 am »
SCOOBY-DOO! TEAM-UP #43 (with The Doom Patrol)
EXORSISTERS #1 - This may be my favorite of Gisele's creator-owned series yet. Cate & Kate Harrow are the Patty & Cathy of supernatural investigators (sort of, but not quite... to explain further would be spoiler-y). BUY IT! READ IT! You won't be sorry!
(#3 in a series of #1s)
(of 4)
  -- The above were the not-so-special examples of DE's 2018 Halloween one-shots. What I want to know is where's the one I was REALLY looking forward to as something special, the ELVIRA HALLOWEEN SPECIAL by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz? Fernando had an 8-page backup story in the Bettie Page special, but it wasn't anything to compare with his work on DKD (probably would have been funnier if he wrote it himself, or Dan P did).
MARS ATTACKS #1 (Dynamite 2018) - I was expecting more of a direct continuation of the series as it existed as published by IDW, but this was something different. More alt/indy, and more interesting, I thought.
THREE STOOGES: MONSTERS & MAYHEM #1 (#11 in a series of #1s)
ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 #4 (of 6) - Happy/sad. Happy for what it is, but sad when I think we're only two issues away from the end of what is probably the last Batman '66 series, as well as the last long-form (issue-length stories, as well as the last longer story arc) of classic Archie. Of course there are still the five-page digest stories, but it just isn't the same.

   SLUM WOLF by Tadao Tsuge - "Alternative" Japanese comix, mostly stories from the 1970s.

   STREET FIGHTER II VOL I-III (of 3) by Masaome Kanzaki - Not bad, but you could tell it was an older manga by the limited number of SF characters.

   PLUS-SIZED ELF VOL 01 by Synecdoche - No idea why I picked this up (must have been the cover), but it was fun. I'll read more volumes unless it becomes boring.

   NURSE HITOMI'S MONSTER INFIRMARY VOL 08 by Shake-O - Haven't really gotten into the last couple of volumes as much as the earlier ones. I wish the stories would go back to focusing on Nurse Hitomi more. Also, the student cast is large and varied, and it's hard to remember everything about all the characters, so there should be a little two-page "cast" intro for each volume, at least reminding us what was already known about the characters spotlighted in this volume. The other thing was the whole volume took place on a class camping trip outside the school, and was a sort-of parody of horror/slasher movies (not really my thing, but whatever). One amusing bit had a recognizably-drawn Danny Trejo (from Machete, and a bunch of other Robert Rodriguez movies) in a guest-starring role.

   MOB PSYCHO 100 TP VOL 01 by ONE - Not what one would expect from the title, but very similar in premise to The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., although told in a style that has common points with ONE's One-Punch Man.

   PRISON SCHOOL TP VOL 03 (of 10) by Akira Hiramoto - Never fails to make me chuckle out loud. There are aspects of this that remind me of Gisele's Menage A 3, as far as the sex comedy goes. The plot, however, is as intricately constructed as that of Death Note, but with all sorts of references to R-rated women-in-prison exploitation flicks (with role reversal) and even war movies like The Great Escape or Stalag 17. Obviously there's a level where the entire situation is just too over-the-top to be believable, but on the other hand, like the fantasy aspects of Death Note, if you accept those premises as given, within its own context there's a level of realism to at least some of the characters. We don't get much in the way of insight into the motivations or thoughts of the (all-girl) Shadow Student Council (Underground Student Council in the anime), but then again, the story isn't from their POV, it's from the POV of the five male "prison inmates" of the school. The Shadow Student Council are the antagonists, so you don't get a balanced perspective on things from both sexes. Oddly enough, at the heart of this is a love story (and maybe more than one).

   FRANKENSTEIN: JUNJI ITO'S STORY COLLECTION HC - It's a fairly straightforward adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel right up to the point where Frankenstein strikes a bargain with his creation to make a mate for him. Then things take an unexpected diversion from the novel, with Henry Clerval discovering Frankenstein's secret and aiding him in his creation of The Bride. When Victor is unable to obtain a useable female head in good condition, the monster provides one himself -- the guillotined head of Justine Moritz, unjustly convicted of the murder of young William Frankenstein (apparently in Switzerland at this time, it's possible to convict a murder suspect on mere circumstantial evidence, a weakness of Shelley's novel). In the novel, Justine was hanged, not guillotined, after being convicted, and Frankenstein in fact destroys the body of the monster's mate before ever bringing her to life. Here, as in Universal's The Bride of Frankenstein, there is a much more elaborate scene (with an argument from Henry Clerval that it's Frankenstein's duty to restore Justine to life -- even though earlier in the story it's made clear that Frankenstein is somehow creating the brain of the creature himself, not merely restoring a dead brain to working condition). The end result is the same, with the monster feeling himself betrayed by Frankenstein and vowing his vengeance when (as in Universal's film) he's rejected by his bride-to-be and she tries to kill him. Still, the difference from the book here is that Frankenstein acts in good faith to fulfill his end of the agreement... but he can't be held responsible when the mate he creates rejects the original monster (somehow the monster doesn't see it that way, even though he's in most respects reasonable). The adaptation takes up about half the book, with the balance a collection of modern horror stories focusing on junior high school student Oshikiri.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 27, 2018, 12:30:14 am »
I'm been using Previewsworld and its predecessor for the Weekly Releases lists since 2005.  It is pretty useful and each week I use it to make up a list of what I am expecting in my orders from that week, even though my shipments are monthly now.  I will also occasionally peak at the next week list.  I'll stick with the printed Previews catalog, though.  It only costs me 99 cents and I don't mind waiting until it shows up in my order the first week of the month.  The preorder setup at Mycomicshop comes in pretty handy as well and their layout tends to be a decent match for the printed book.  Plus you can only look at new material or graphic novels etc.

I have to admit Mycomicshop has one of the best online comic stores I've ever seen. I often use it as a kind of mini-database, because it's easier to navigate and faster loading than either or !  The catalog section of Previewsworld is pretty easy to use once you figure it out, and you can choose to view "comics", "graphic novels/trade paperbacks", "books", "magazines", "apparel", "toys & models" etc. to further narrow the product listing, including the list within any one publisher/vendor. I just like it because I can copy and paste the information directly from that into a document or spreadsheet, once I've located a product of interest. Also, Previewsworld tends to have the complete monthly solicitation information earlier than any other site. I just can't deal with reading the comic newssites like Newsarama, etc. any more... all those popup ads and extraneous graphics & animation make any of those sites slow and painful to use these days.

I've finished catching up on Valiant over the past few days.

Valiant High 1-4 - An interesting alternate take where the Valiant heroes are teenagers attending Valiant High with Harada as Principal.  It is sort of like the John Hughes films from the 1980s and is perhaps not the most original, but was fun.

I've never been a Valiant fan. Well, okay, actually I was a Valiant fan back when Jim Shooter was the Editor-in-chief. I think that was for the first year-and-a-half, two years... something like that, back in the early 1990s. I really only read them for Solar, Magnus, and Turok. Never really cared much for any of their original characters. So I only picked up VALIANT HIGH because it was Derek Charm's work (which I'd previously enjoyed on both IDW's STARFLEET ACADEMY and ACP's JUGHEAD). I liked it, but I didn't imagine that high school setting could be part of the real in-continuity backstory of the Valiant Universe. Too bad it was so short; I'd love to see a continuation of that, as long as Derek Charm continued to be the artist.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 25, 2018, 02:13:43 am »
I also read around a dozen comics from Joe Books.   Their output is nonexistent now so I am wondering if they have financial problems.

I haven't paid too much attention to JoeBooks, but they're still soliciting new product for January 2019 shipping (Disney Cinestory graphic novels). Only two items for that month's solicitation, but they're still in business.
Were these in the November Previews?  If so, I haven't received it yet.  I didn't see anything in the October Previews and the only item in the September Previews was a Wreck it Ralph activity book.  Their monthly comic titles stopped coming out earlier this year so maybe they are focusing on areas that sell better or make them more of a profit like the Cinestory books.

They've kind of made the Diamond Previews printed catalog almost obsolete now -- not only can you download a PDF version of both the catalog and the order form from, but all the catalog listings are online (usually on the Thursday prior to the week when the printed catalog ships to comic shops). And that's coming from a guy who Previews was like The Bible to. I don't even bother downloading the PDFs, because that's just a hassle to page through all the listings, match up the Previews page numbers with the order code numbers listed in the PDF of the same month's order form, and so forth. I just go straight to every Thursday before the last Wednesday of the month to check the newest solicitations. Don't ask me why, but this month the November Previews solicits were online by 10-18-18, even though it's a month with 5 comic-shipping Wednesdays (although the printed PREVIEWS did arrive in comic shops yesterday, 10/24).

Every month I spend a busy few hours going through all the listings and copying & pasting Diamond order codes of products I plan to order (or am at least considering ordering). I just paste the order codes, product title, price, and projected shipping dates into an Excel spreadsheet, and use that to keep track of what I have or haven't placed an order for yet. I have a color-coding scheme to let me see at a glance whether or not I've already ordered it, and I don't delete those listings until I've actually received the products. It works for me, anyway. I wish it were organized by product type (comics & graphic novels, magazines & books, merchandise & apparel, games) like the physical catalog, since that would make it easier than looking through the listings for each individual company, but... oh, well, so I have to do SOME work. It's always good for me to start working on that new online Previewsworld catalog ASAP, since having a list in Excel lets me sort products by ship dates, or add up prices to see how my monthly comic budget is looking. Sometimes I need to add up the overall totals, then decide whether or not I want some of the more expensive items that badly or not. (Those IDW Artist Editions put a serious dent in things sometimes.) Then again, the more expensive the item, the more likely it is to be advance-solicited (and sometimes, the more likely it is to ship later than scheduled).

Apart from having the Previews catalog listings online, there are other good reasons to use Previewsworld, because you can get lists of everything that shipped to comic shop retailers from DCD's warehouses this week, and what's confirmed as being received by DCD from publishers and planned to ship to retailers NEXT week. You can also get Product Updates (changes in price, format, contents, shipping date), and listings of Cancelled product solicitations. Like, for example, going back through the last 5 months of cancellation listings, I don't see any products from JoeBooks that were cancelled, which might be a good indicator if they were in some sort of financial trouble. Since they're actually shipping the products they're soliciting*, even though there might not be a lot of them, they can't be as bad off as you seem to think.

(Well... apart from that unfortunate failure to ship HARVEY HITS #2, 3 & 4 that they solicited last year... )

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 25, 2018, 12:06:07 am »
I also read around a dozen comics from Joe Books.   Their output is nonexistent now so I am wondering if they have financial problems.

I haven't paid too much attention to JoeBooks, but they're still soliciting new product for January 2019 shipping (Disney Cinestory graphic novels). Only two items for that month's solicitation, but they're still in business.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 22, 2018, 10:29:38 am »
CUTIE HONEY '90 Vol. 1 Part 1-6; Vol. 2 Part 1-6 (Studio Ironcat 1998) by Go Nagai - A sequel manga set 30 years after Go Nagai's original (1973) Cutie Honey series. It has nothing to do with the 8-part anime OAV series (usually called New Cutie Honey to distinguish it from the original anime series); that was set 100 years after the original series, so I guess neither the manga nor the anime invalidates the other. Unfortunately, just as the story was beginning to take on some coherence, it's quickly wrapped up in the space of just a few pages and brought to a hurried conclusion.

CRUSHER JOE #1-6 (Studio Ironcat 1998)

PLANETES Vol. 1-4.2 - For reasons that completely escape me, what should have been volumes 4 and 5 were instead marked as volumes 4.1 and 4.2 ... ? I don't know why; it's not like thematically they comprised a particular story arc together. Maybe in the original Japanese publication order Volume 4 was a single volume that (for whatever reason) had twice as many pages as the previous three volumes, and ToykoPop just split it in half for the English translation? It's a bit of a disappointment for the series to end as soon as it does, because it really doesn't feel like there's any sense of resolution, and many characters' plotlines are simply left dangling. I was also surprised to learn that there was a anime series adapted from the manga, since I'd never heard of it. There were a lot of side characters whose stories didn't really reach any satisfying ending. This could have been better-focused and a little less rambling off on tangents, but in general, it's a good kind of near-future hard-science based type of sci-fi that I enjoy a lot. ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE is another such similar series. Wish I could find more manga like this. It's SO near-future that much of the underlying backstory historical context has probably already been invalidated since the books were published by TokyoPop in 2004.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 09, 2018, 02:43:42 am »
I've enjoyed My Hero Academia quite a bit.  I had two friends recommend the series to me within the last couple of months.  I also helped out at a graphic novel booth part time at the Chicago Comic Con in August and the My Hero Academia volumes were very popular.  MHA does have a focus of the training academy plus there is a tournament or two mixed in, but they are done in a pretty interesting way and the tournament doesn't drag on as many tend to do.  There is also a mentoring aspect involved with the main character being mentored by the hero who gave him his powers.  Students at the academy also end up interning at superhero agencies.  All in all, I would give the series 8/10 and I think it is worth checking out.
There are actually two spinoff series.  Vigilantes is the first one and it focuses on several people who hunt down bad guys and do other good deeds while outside the law since they are not licensed heroes.  It crosses over with the main series tangentially, but can be read on its own.  I've enjoyed the first two volumes as much as the main series.  The second spinoff is due in the U.S. next spring.
I haven't read One Punch Man yet, though I do have a copy of the first volume and plan to give it a try.
If you do give Black Butler a try, let me know what you think.

Thanks, rusty!  I was actually thinking I might start with the MHA Vigilantes spinoff because it would be easier to catch up on that one sooner, then proceed back to the main series, if I liked the spinoff well enough. I'll definitely do that now.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 06, 2018, 01:16:31 am »
I finished up My Hero Academia 13-15 and My Hero Academia Vigilantes 1-2 earlier this week.  It is a fun series where just about everybody has a superpower (called a quirk), though only some are licensed to use them.

How would you rate those on a scale of 1 to 10? I remember reading one of those FCBD preview books of MHA, back when it had just come out from Viz. My thoughts at the time were that it seemed like a definite reaction to the breakout popularity of One-Punch Man (which began as a webmanga in 2009, and was then remade as a print manga in 2012, a couple of years prior to MHA's debut). I mean that MHA seemed to follow a similar general pattern as far as how its superhero universe was set up (as opposed to most superhero manga, which tend to either follow the Japanese model of the 'henshin hero' genre, or the American superhero model, or some combination of the two). One-Punch Man has nothing to do with the 'hero high'-type training academy trope, but that could easily have been influenced by a lot of earlier things (including the original X-Men, New Mutants, Avengers Academy, or movies like Disney's 2005 film Sky High). The FCBD preview floppy comic was enough to give me the general premise of how the universe worked, but I didn't like the art style (which reminded me a little of Yu-Gi-Oh) anywhere near as much as One-Punch Man, and the FCBD preview comic didn't have nearly enough pages to get a true flavor of it, so I kind of just shrugged MHA off as a One-Punch Man bandwagon jumper, I guess. I never imagined that it would become as successful as it seems to have (and if it gets both an anime adaptation AND a spinoff manga series so soon, it must be pretty popular; then again, I don't always tend to like what's most popular in anime/manga).

Black Butler sounds interesting too, so I'll probably check out the first volume of that, if it's still easy to order a copy through Diamond.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:27:29 am »
I've also been reading a few manga:
   ONE-PUNCH MAN VOL 14: THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR (tankobon) by ONE & Yusuke Murata
   BATTLE ANGEL ALITA: DELUXE EDITION HC VOL 04 (of 5) by Yukito Kishiro
One Punch Man is a series that I've heard mentioned a lot and will probably try out eventually.  What do you think of it?

I love Battle Angel Alita.  I first collected it in regular comics and continued as they switched to the volume format.  I wasn't going to get the deluxe editions, but when I saw how nice they were, I went ahead and bought them even though I have the earlier editions.  I'm behind on reading Mars Chronicle, but will get to those eventually.

I somehow completely missed out on Battle Angel Alita the first time around. I mean, I was aware that it existed, because I'd seen it around here and there, but for whatever reason, I'd just never picked it up and given it a try. Now after I'd read the first couple of hardcover volumes, I liked it so much that I went and ordered all five omnibus editions of Battle Angel Alita: The Last Order, and have been getting the Mars Chronicle tankobon volumes as they've come out. I've held off on reading the latter two series for reasons of not wanting any spoilers revealed until I've read the last volume of the hardcover collection of the original series. Kodansha will also be releasing a standalone Battle Angel Alita: Homecoming volume in hardcover that collects some shorter, self-contained stories set during the same time frame as the original series (there's a Halloween Comic Fest giveaway comic scheduled to preview that).

The spoiler thing kind of bugs me, because Seven Seas Entertainment completely spoiled the original Devilman for me by releasing two later series in translation earlier, Devilman G (which is a modern retelling with some differences) and Devilman vs Hades (a fairly recent sequel to the original Devilman which also crosses over with characters from Mazinger Z). Since I'd just been reading those as they came out in overlapped releases, the first volume of Devilman vs Hades completely ruins a couple of major plot reveals from the ending of Devilman: The Classic Collection (the second volume of which hasn't come out yet in translation from Seven Seas).

ONE-PUNCH MAN is just amazing! I mean, on the surface it just seems like a bunch of fights and hyperviolence, but it's got humor and even some deeper commentary on what it means to be a hero. Saitama is the one-punch man of the title. He's a short, bald-headed guy whose slightly-built physique and blank expression leads everyone to overlook him and underestimate him, but somehow Saitama possesses the power to defeat any opponent with a single punch. It's mostly over so quickly that any witnesses don't even realize what happened or how. So what Saitama really wants to do is be a hero for fun, helping people while he seeks an adversary that can give him a challenge and won't be defeated so easily. To do this, he joins up with the Heroes Association, a kind of national infrastructure for superheroes, to facilitate dispatching heroes to the scene of emergencies. Since his power isn't really measured easily, and is over with in the time it takes for him to deliver a single punch, people tend not to believe what they've seen (or are distracted by something else, not realizing what exactly happened); Saitama starts out as a lowly-rated Class C hero. Genos, a teenage cyborg hero who is rated as Class S (that's above Class A, by the way) is one of the few that sees Saitama in action and believes. Since Genos is an earnest young hero he immediately begs Saitama to become his sensei and train him. We are also introduced to many other heroes in the ranks of the Heroes Association. Some are not really heroes at all, but are out for their own personal celebrity or glory, or are just feeding their own inflated egos every time they defeat an opponent in combat. Monsters are also rated by their threat levels - Threat Level Dragon is more dangerous than Threat Level Tiger. It later turns out that there is also a Monsters Association to support the monsters, and things really get interesting.

All About Archie / Re: Story Jumps In Newest Archie Jumbo Digest
« on: February 18, 2018, 07:44:11 pm »
Sounds like a printing error.  I checked my copy of #286 and assume that you are talking about the Ski the World story.  In my digest, Page 10 is on the back of Page 9 and then the story ends on Page 11 with a little END box in the last panel.  The back of that page starts The Andrews Family Tree story.
I'll have to read again. I didn't see page 10 or 11.....

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