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What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[Today at 10:49:04 pm]


My thoughts on the upcoming Archie 1941 miniseries taking the main series place by Terry1
[Today at 04:25:27 pm]


What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 06:07:05 am]


Xinyu 130 Class Enameled Copper Wire Supplier by copperwirexinyu
[Today at 02:56:02 am]


ARCHIE COMICS FOR NOVEMBER 2017 by CanScatC
[September 23, 2018, 08:47:54 pm]


Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[September 23, 2018, 05:34:14 pm]


Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[September 23, 2018, 12:02:16 pm]


What is Archie doing for NYCC 2018? by Terry1
[September 23, 2018, 10:50:48 am]


What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[September 20, 2018, 10:18:25 pm]


Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[September 20, 2018, 04:00:34 pm]

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Refresh History
  • Tuxedo Mark: My reviews of all four stories from betty and Veronica #270: [link] [link] [link] [link]
    September 23, 2018, 05:36:07 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Presumably with an ongoing B&V series, they'd want to keep it nominally in continuity with the ongoing ARCHIE title.
    September 22, 2018, 07:03:48 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Oh, I hadn't noticed that the story is "Senior Year", so that explains it. It's a one-off story arc, just like "Freshman Year". They're not going to keep them as seniors permanently, or have them graduate and go on to college in an ongoing series.
    September 22, 2018, 06:59:24 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Probably just a space-filler while they look for a better writer than Jaime Rotante. I hope.
    September 22, 2018, 12:08:34 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Wait a minute. Betty and Veronica is only a five-issue miniseries?
    September 21, 2018, 08:31:21 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Archie Comic solicitations for October 2018: [link]
    September 21, 2018, 05:36:35 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Check out Stadium Comics' entire line of Archie Comics RE variant covers here: [link] All are homages to famous Marvel or DC cover images.
    September 20, 2018, 09:05:41 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Those are RE (retailer exclusive) variants available only from Stadium Comics. Here's another cool one they have, a variant of ARCHIE 1941 #1 [link]
    September 20, 2018, 09:01:16 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Anyone ever see these B&V Friends Forever variant covers? [link]
    September 19, 2018, 10:15:05 am
  • BettyReggie: I saw the covers for Archie #701. I love Pitilli's.
    September 18, 2018, 09:27:43 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fashion Fantabulous!" from B&V #271: [link]
    September 13, 2018, 07:34:29 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: It seems like they put extras on a disc because people expect them, or it helps drive sales, but more often than not, it seems like very little thought goes into the content. Of course there are some examples where the extras are exceptional, but usually that's not the case.
    September 10, 2018, 11:42:47 am
  • irishmoxie: I love digital movies and streaming. I usually get the Blu-ray Disc because I like to watch the extras the first time and then end up adding the digital code online or rip it and put it on the hard drive. Just much more convenient to stream it then search for the disc when I want to watch it.
    September 08, 2018, 05:29:56 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The Breakfast Club" from Riverdale #2: [link]
    September 05, 2018, 06:28:58 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: That's some good reading. Hope they'll put out a Volume 2, and that it'll be just as nearly complete as the first one.
    September 03, 2018, 08:55:41 am
  • BettyReggie: Archie Comics Present Betty & Veronica Spectular Graphic Novel came today.
    September 02, 2018, 03:57:33 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Supply and Demand!" from World of Archie Digest #81: [link]
    September 01, 2018, 08:14:51 pm
  • zhanjiao1212: a1cb584468
    August 31, 2018, 05:33:06 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: On the other hand, maybe I should just bypass the Blu-Ray format altogether, buy a huge terabyte HD, and download everything. There's something to be said for that, in that you can get everything quicker and stacks of Blu-Ray cases aren't taking up space in your house, I guess.
    August 27, 2018, 03:19:15 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: This coming from a guy who still hasn't capitulated to the inevitable domination of Blu-Ray. It's getting to the point where I might have to relent, since I've seen some anime sets being released for the first time on Blu-Ray (no combo pak) with NO release of a DVD version.
    August 27, 2018, 03:09:15 pm

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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1
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: Today at 06:07:05 am »
MEGA MAN by Ian Flynn (w), Ben Bates & various artists:
MEGA MAN #01-04 - Let the Games Begin
MEGA MAN #05-08 - Time Keeps Slipping
MEGA MAN #09-12 - The Return of Dr. Wily
MEGA MAN #13-16 - Spiritus Ex Machina
MEGA MAN #17-18 - Proto-Type
MEGA MAN #19-20 - Roll With It + Rock of Ages
MEGA MAN #21-23 - Countdown
  - At this point, I quit buying Mega Man from issues #24-27 until the crossover with the Sonic titles ended. I wasn't going to buy all those extra comics with characters that didn't interest me (which would have amounted to 4 issues of Sonic the Hedgehog plus 4 issues of Sonic Universe) just to follow the story in those four issues of Mega Man.
MEGA MAN #28-33 - Blackout: The Curse of Ra Moon
MEGA MAN #34-36 - Shadow of Ra Moon + The Trial of Dr. Wily
MEGA MAN X FCDB 2014 - The X Factor
MEGA MAN #37-40 - Dawn of X
MEGA MAN #41-44 - Legends of the Blue Bomber
MEGA MAN #45-48 - The Ultimate Betrayal
MEGA MAN    #49 - Prisoners of War
MEGA MAN FCBD 2015 Worlds Unite Prelude
MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES #1
  - Once again, I skipped buying Mega Man #50-52 because the story was a crossover with the Sonic titles.)
MEGA MAN    #54 - Red Shift (story takes place before issue #53)
MEGA MAN    #53 - Blue Shift
MEGA MAN    #55 - Everlasting Peace
 - Unfortunately, the final story arc of MEGA MAN never concluded due to the interruption of the plot by the "Worlds Unite" crossover with Sonic in issues #50-52. The final MEGA MAN story's plot had Proto Man tricked by Dr. Wily into kidnapping Dr. Cossack's daughter Kalinka, and Wily holding her hostage as leverage to coerce Dr. Cossack into attacking Mega Man with a new group of Robot Masters. After unburdening himself to Dr. Noele LaLinde and discovering Wily's deception, Proto Man vowed to correct his mistake and rescue Kalinka from Wily's clutches, but we never got to see that, or Mega Man's battle against Dr. Cossack's Robot Masters. The crossovers with Sonic really were an annoying interruption, because in both cases all the characters involved are returned to their respective universes moments after they left, with no memory of the events which had transpired, picking up the plot exactly where they'd left it prior to the crossover. As it was, it looks like the decision to end the title was made at the last moment, and knowing there was no way of squeezing a hurried confrontation and climax into the single issue #55, instead that issue's story was sort of a hallucinatory homage where Dr. Light has visions of the future -- which were all full-page panels showing the characters from the many Mega Man sequels in the franchise, along with minimal caption text boxes -- as a tribute/send-off of the title. Had those four issues (50, 51, 52, and 55) also been devoted to advancing the plot begun in issue #49, Ian Flynn could easily have wrapped up the series and ended on a satisfying conclusion, and Dr. Light's final vision of the future could have been condensed down to a half-dozen pages or so with smaller panels.

MEGA MAN was the comic book title that made me a regular customer of ACP for the first time since THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS in the 1980s. In retrospect, I wish that ACP had gotten the license to the character 15 or 20 years earlier. It might have made me more aware of what was going on in other ACP titles being published at that time ("Love Showdown", CHERYL BLOSSOM, SABRINA, JOSIE (in ARCHIE & FRIENDS), BETTY & VERONICA/SPECTACULAR, Craig Boldman & Rex Lindsey's JUGHEAD, etc.), and resulted in me becoming an Archie Comics fan much earlier. That, and the fact that I wish I could have read 250+ issues of this title like SONIC THE HEDGEHOG racked up.

I am not a gamer; never have been. What attracted me to MEGA MAN (known as ROCKMAN in Japan) were the appealing character designs and the ongoing theme of robots. I knew virtually nothing about the characters of this franchise prior to having read Ian Flynn's comic stories. As far as the robot theme goes, MEGA MAN carries on where one of my favorite mangas, Osamu Tezuka's ASTRO BOY, left off. Not only are the themes identical, but the character of Mega Man (a boy robot hero who fights bad robots, and feels bad about fighting them because he's pacifistic by nature) has many similarities to Astro Boy himself. Rock (Mega Man's real name) was made to be a helper robot, and it's part of his basic programming to be helpful. He was never meant to be a fighting robot, and in many ways he embodies the innocence, virtue and naivete of a real boy whose age he appears to be. This could have been a very simple comic book with a good robot hero fighting bad robots with varied appearances and special abilities, but Ian Flynn put a lot into making the large cast of robot characters all individuals who act & react differently. Even the evil archenemy Dr. Wily, while still your basic megalomanical villain, is given nuances not necessarily required by the story. He really did a fantastic job writing this, and put much more into it than "just a job" -- you could feel he had real enthusiasm to be working with these characters. Additionally, Ian Flynn added some original characters to the mix that did not appear in the Japanese videogames: Federal agents Rosalyn Krantz and Gil D. Stern, roboticist Dr. Noele LaLinde and her robotic creations Tempo/Quake Woman and Vesper Woman. The addition of new female characters was especially appreciated, since the original Japanese game has very few female characters (being a videogame marketed mainly to younger boys, that's to be expected). As much as I like Mega Man himself, I think my favorite storyline turned out to be "Dawn of X" (and I fervently wished that there had been a MEGAMAN X spinoff series other than the one-shot FCBD 2014 giveaway), and my favorite ongoing character, Proto Man (a.k.a. Blues or Break Man).

MEGA MAN by Hitoshi Ariga:
MEGA MAN MASTERMIX #1-3 (Udon/Capcom, 80 pages)
MEGA MAN MEGAMIX TP VOL 1-3 (Udon/Capcom)
MEGA MAN GIGAMIX TP VOL 1-3 (Udon/Capcom)

MEGA MAN ROBOT MASTER FIELD GUIDE TP (Udon/Capcom, Jan 2012)
MEGA MAN & MEGA MAN X: OFFICIAL COMPLETE WORKS TP (Udon/Capcom)

Just like with Ian Flynn's American comics, you could feel the love that Hitoshi Ariga possesses for the MEGA MAN characters. Hitoshi Ariga's manga version spans the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, but it's hard to tell if Ian Flynn read or was influenced by any of those stories (all had appeared in these translated collections from Udon Studios prior to the beginning of Ian Flynn's ACP comic series). Some of the stories have similar elements to ACP's comic book, but the characters often appear in far different situations, and the specifics of the stories vary greatly. Both authors tell completely different stories based on the game MEGA MAN 4, with the major threat being Ra Moon (in Ian Flynn's version) and Dark Moon (in Hitoshi Ariga's version) -- they have identical appearances -- but the two stories themselves having almost nothing else in common, except that they are both excellent stories. Hitoshi Ariga's manga had greater range (or a less consistent tone, depending on how you wanted to look at it, as a positive or a negative) in that while some of the longer stories (like the aforementioned Dark Moon/To A Shining Tomorrow, which takes up the latter half of Gigamix Vol. 2 and the entirety of Vol. 3) tended towards the ultra-dramatic, some shorter stories in Megamix Vol. 1 & 2, and Gigamix Vol. 1 & 2, were definitely more on the lighthearted, comedic side of things. At the extreme end of the comedy range, some of them were merely a series of short 4-panel gag strips. I didn't perceive this to be a bad thing at all, and enjoyed both types of stories. MASTERMIX (in the traditional floppy comics format, but reading from right-to-left, manga-style) presents the more dramatic stories from both the Gigamix and Megamix volumes at a larger size, and in color for the first time.



2
General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: September 21, 2018, 09:25:48 am »
Mega Monster Battle: ULTRA GALAXY  - The best superhero movie I've ever seen...

GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters - Brand new feature-length anime movie. This is a top-quality animated film. They spared no expense. Makes both the recent American (Legendary Pictures) film AND Toho's Shin Godzilla movie (both of which weren't bad) look a little shabby by comparison. This was an ebay purchase (I think it's a Malaysia/Singapore import), but it's both English-subtitled AND English-dubbed, and the dubbing is top-notch, too. I was a little worried about what to expect, since Toho has resisted going the anime route for decades, but the results are very satisfying. There's a sequel anime film to this that I purchased at the same time (haven't watched it as yet).

EDIT:
GODZILLA: City on the Edge of Battle - Sequel to the above. These movies are an interesting blend of CGI and traditional cel animation, with the results (IMO) having the "best of both worlds". It's quite a departure for the Godzilla franchise, in that the premise is that the remnants of humanity (together with the remnants of two friendly humanoid alien races) fled from Earth shortly after the end of the 21st Century in a giant space ark, when the long-running war of humans against daikaiju (giant monsters) had gone so badly that a remaining small group of humans chose to abandon the planet in hopes of finding another world to colonize. Twenty years later, the would-be colonists realized that finding another habitable planet wasn't as easy as they thought, and the recent discovery of some type of warp-drive principle determines them to return to Earth, and try to retake it from Godzilla. Due to the relativistic effects  of warp travel that the space ark people had no control over, when they finally return to Earth 22 years after they left it, they discover that 19,200 years have passed on Earth, and the world has evolved an entirely new ecosystem supporting Godzilla's existence. It's very different from your typical kaiju movie scenario, but analysis of Godzilla himself now reveals why he had been impervious to all prior attacks by even nuclear weapons (G has a biologically-generated force shield, but needs to collapse it in order to generate his atomic breath attack). A plan is evolved to fire an Electro-Magnetic-Pulse harpoon into G's body at the moment when his force shield is down. Triggering the EMP within G's body should set up a chain reaction that will destroy him. It's humanity's only hope of reclaiming their home planet, so the future of everything rests on what they do now. The first film ended on a cliffhanger, and so does the second, which means there should be a third (or maybe more?) in this series. Both movies had a running time of about 88 minutes

3
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 19, 2018, 02:34:21 pm »
THE COMPLETE ALICE IN WONDERLAND HC (Dynamite)
B & V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #264
DICK TRACY: DEAD OR ALIVE #1
(of 4)
THE LONG CON #1
BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #5
INFINITY 8 VOL 2 #3
(of 3)
CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL 2018
UNCLE SCROOGE #444
STELLAR #4
HIT-GIRL #8
KICK-ASS #7
ICE CREAM MAN #7
HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION #11
BURNOUTS #1
BY NIGHT #4
RICK & MORTY PRESENT SLEEPY GARY #1
DEVILMAN GRIMOIRE VOL 04

4
General Discussion / Re: Latest Hauls, what did you buy?
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:25:10 am »
North Pole Express, an Xmas film that came out at the same time as Incredibles 1 was CGI, & suffered from the Valley very, very badly.
Utterly killed the film, in reviews & at the box office.
Dreadful.

I think you mean Polar Express. I looked it up on YouTube. I have no problem with the way it looks. Guess I must be one of those people who has a natural immunity to the uncanny valley.

5
General Discussion / Re: Latest Hauls, what did you buy?
« on: September 17, 2018, 09:07:30 am »
Pre ordered Incredibles 2 DVD off Amazon.


Get it.


It's as good as the first film.

I was underwhelmed by the first Incredibles film. To this day, I'm sort of mystified over how successful and popular it turned out to be. The film ran counter to my expectations, which is why I felt disappointed when I saw it. Based on my earlier viewing of the character designs, I'd expected to be watching a comedic superhero cartoon, but when I saw it, I didn't feel like the movie was very funny at all. So why the "cartoony" character designs, I wondered? Of course the CGI animation was superb, but I'd already seen Toy Story, so I was past being bedazzled by that aspect -- I'd already come to expect that in a Pixar-animated film. It did make me think that a similar Mighty Mouse film would work.


The style was a choice made to counter the "uncanny valley" effect, that comes from over-realistic animation.

I've always wondered about that. I don't seem to experience that with characters who are modeled in CGI from the ground up. Why is it that the over-realistic style of CGI animation is used constantly in videogames, where it never seems to bother anyone? I'm thinking here of the "cut scenes" between levels in the game, that set up some sort of story or move it forward, before moving it into the next interactive stage. Why wouldn't that work for an entire superhero film? There have been a couple of movies like that filmed (Final Fantasy).

Although I will admit I did experience the "creep-out" factor recently when seeing the trailer for the live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita, based on a manga story, where the director made the questionable decision to apply post-production CGI effects in order to enlarge the main character's eyes, to better reflect how she looked as drawn in the original manga. I've seen something like that in a phone app, and it still creeps me out whenever that face-morphing stuff is applied to filmed images.

I guess when the characters are designed to look cartoony, I just naturally expect them to act cartoony. To be honest, I can't now recall a single thing about the plot of The Incredibles, apart from the fact that the movie was loosely homaging the Fantastic Four. I'm kind of surprised because Brad Bird's The Iron Giant impressed the hell out of me.

6
As an addendum, I'll mention that the most successful and long-running title that ACP published during this period -- although its first issue preceded ARCHIE #600 by six issues (Apr 2009) -- was SONIC UNIVERSE, running until #94 (Mar 2017). Considering how heavily-reprinted all of the Sonic comics from past years were during the 2009-2017 time frame, ACP's failure to retain the license to that character has to be considered one of the company's biggest mistakes. Compared to the total aggregate sales generated by Sonic, the total sales of all issues of AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE (plus TPB sales) were a drop in the bucket.

The next most successful title which began and ended during that time frame was MEGA MAN, at 55 issues.

The longest-running title published by ACP which began during that time that actually featured Archie and/or related characters was LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, at 37 issues. Only WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST ran longer, although not in terms of page count of new stories.


7
A selective chronology (firsts & lasts), which I'll present without further comment:

2009 Sep  BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #90 (final issue)
2009 Sep  SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #104 (final issue; Note: last 4 issues were a Young Salem miniseries)
2009 Oct  ARCHIE #600 (Archie Marries: #600-605)
2010 Sep  LIFE WITH ARCHIE #1 (The Married Life)
2010 Dec  WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #1
2011 Jan  B&V FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #209 (1st issue)
2011 Feb  ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #1
2011 Jul  MEGA MAN #1
2011 Jul  VERONICA #206 (final issue as VERONICA)
2011 Aug  KEVIN KELLER V.1 #1 [of 4] (miniseries = VERONICA #207-210)
2012 Jan  BETTY #195 (final issue)
2012 Feb  ARCHIE & FRIENDS #159 (final issue)
2012 Sep  JUGHEAD V.2 #214 (final issue)
2012 Oct  NEW CRUSADERS #1 [of 6]
2013 Dec  THE FOX V.1 #1 [of 5]
2014 Jan  ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #33 (final issue)
2014 Mar  ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #1 (replacing ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST)
2014 Apr  JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST #200 (final issue)
2014 Jun  JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #1 (replacing JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST)
2014 Sep  LIFE WITH ARCHIE #37 (final issue)
2014 Nov  KEVIN KELLER V.2 #15 (final issue)
2015 Jul   ARCHIE #666 (final issue)
2015 Oct  THE FOX V.2 #5 [of 5] (final issue)
2015 Dec  BETTY AND VERONICA V.2 #278 [=V.1 #625] (final issue)
2016 Jan  MEGA MAN #55 (final issue)
2016 Oct  ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES #1 (one-shot)
2017 Sep  YOUR PAL ARCHIE #1 [of 5]
2017 Oct  JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #27 (final issue)
2017 Nov  ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #28 (final issue)
2018 Feb  YOUR PAL ARCHIE #5 (final issue)

not listed:
  Trade paperback & hardcover collections
  Digital exclusives (DILTON #1-4, REGGIE & ME #1-4, JINX #1-4, LIFE WITH KEVIN #1-4)
  Archie Horror titles
  New Riverdale titles
  Dark Circle titles
  Sonic titles

edit: Added a couple more titles.

8
General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: September 13, 2018, 11:37:32 am »

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (saw it through downloads, watching it on DVD now)

One of my all-time favorites, which I'm planning on watching again as soon as I can find the time. I was only a so-so fan of Mamoru Oshii's 1990s film version, but really loved Kenji Kamiyama's SAC television series. For some reason the 2nd season ("2nd Gig") is out-of-print on DVD, and really expensive if you can find the complete collection on DVD (plus you have to avoid the Anchor Bay release, which according to all reviews, looks terrible). Hoping somebody will rectify that situation soon. Not sure why, as the first season is easily get-able at a reasonable price.
Thanks for letting me know. I just finished season 1 of SAC yesterday. I was thinking of ordering 2nd Gig but not if they're that expensive. I guess I'll rewatch the live-action movie (saw it in theaters, haven't watched the Blu-ray yet) and order The Individual Eleven (the compilation movie of 2nd Gig), Solid State Society, the original film, and the sequel on Blu-ray (the Blu-ray of Innocence supposedly contains at least one of the two English dubs made with the SAC cast, probably the American dub).
Then, after that, I'll get the new OVAs or TV specials or whatever they are (I already have The New Movie, which takes place after all of those).

ARISE, which looks like a prequel to SAC but is actually more of a reboot. I want to watch ARISE, but I just hate the way that they're milking it to make the fans pay through the nose. Even though ARISE is only 10 episodes in it's entirety, there's no complete collection. You have to buy what they call "Borders". What is meant by that is that out of the 10 episodes, 2 half-hour episodes put together make up a complete story, which is called "Border 1", "Border 2", etc. for a total of 5 borders. You can buy a "box set" (114 minutes) of ARISE Borders 1 & 2 (or 3 & 4) for about $25 each.

Unfortunately, there's no complete set sold (even though there are only 10 episodes). So be prepared to buy them as "Borders".... Episodes 1 & 2 equals "Border 1", which is a complete story of two half-hour episodes. You can get a box set of either Borders 1 & 2, or Borders 3 & 4, but then you still need to buy Border 5 separately (which is more or less a prequel setting up "The New Movie"). So that's at least 4 individual items (or possibly 6) you have to purchase to get the entire series, and it's going to cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $80.

I've resisted it on the grounds that they're blatantly bilking the fans who "gotta have it", and am holding out a few years until it appears as one of those S.A.V.E. re-releases or something as a complete set.

9
General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: September 13, 2018, 04:55:43 am »

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (saw it through downloads, watching it on DVD now)

One of my all-time favorites, which I'm planning on watching again as soon as I can find the time. I was only a so-so fan of Mamoru Oshii's 1990s film version, but really loved Kenji Kamiyama's SAC television series. For some reason the 2nd season ("2nd Gig") is out-of-print on DVD, and really expensive if you can find the complete collection on DVD (plus you have to avoid the Anchor Bay release, which according to all reviews, looks terrible). Hoping somebody will rectify that situation soon. Not sure why, as the first season is easily get-able at a reasonable price.

10
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 13, 2018, 02:44:09 am »
BETTY AND VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #266 - BOO!!!  Although otherwise another good issue, I have to blow a big raspberry at ACP for their editorial alteration of the reprint of the story "Art Gal Awry!" (original dialogue by Rod Ollerenshaw, art by Dan DeCarlo). It's only a 3-pager. Normally, the editorial alterations don't bug me that much, but in this case, the motive behind it was venal and self-serving for ACP. This is the story where Veronica drags Betty along to a fine arts gallery show, then rambles on about her knowledge of fine art. Betty has no appreciation of the world of fine art (which after all, amounts to some collective judgment by supposed experts). In the original story, this is all leading up to a punch line where one of Veronica's friends asks Betty who her favorite artist is. Her answer is "My favorite artist is Dan DeCarlo! After all, where would this story be without him?" Here, the dialogue has been altered to the friend asking Betty "Who are your favorite artistS?" and Betty's reply is "My favorite artists are the Archie Comics staff!" Shame on ACP for being so low and self-serving as to alter the original story. Yes, the point is not that there was any outstanding artist. According to ACP philosophy, the names and individual talents of the artists are unimportant -- the only thing important is that they were deemed worthy of employment by ACP. Apart from that, they are each and every one of them equally talented, with none standing out. The point here is that Dan DeCarlo and Thomas Pitilli are the same and equal, because Archie deemed both worthy of employment at one time. Pay no attention to those credits, because the important thing is that they all drew stories featuring characters that the company owns. That is LOW and rotten.

BETTY AND ME #101 (Apr-79)

ARCHIE'S PALS 'n' GALS #136 (Oct-79) - Although this is from the pre-credits era, all stories here appear to be by Bob Bolling (although writing credits are harder to guess). There's one story in here "Games People Play", which is labeled as a Big Moose story, but really seems to be as much about Midge. The unlikely premise here is that while at the beach, Midge is engaged in a game of chess with Archie, which frustrates Moose because he doesn't understand the game, and there's nobody he can punch out to satisfy his frustration. So here's Midge lying on a blanket wearing a black bikini playing chess at the beach (seems pretty unlikely). Now the most interesting thing is that in the next panel, Dilton says he'll play the winner of this game, so if Midge wins, she has another game coming up. Moose wanders off, forlornly. When he comes back, Midge is playing another game, this time a word game where the players all yell out letters (I wasn't familiar with the game, and they don't go into further detail, other than it's just another frustration for Moose). He's informed by Archie that they finished playing chess, and that "Midge is the champ". Now, Dilton doesn't appear in the next few panels here or have any comment on what Archie just said, but the implication here is that Midge beat Archie (not too difficult to believe), and then played Dilton and beat him at chess also. Of course this is the Bolling-Archiverse, where oddball things happen which never seem to happen in the 'regular' Archiverse, but the ramifications of the revelation of Midge Klump being smart enough to beat Dilton Doiley at chess are mind-boggling, and call into question what exactly is Midge's deal, and why does she date Moose? I guess maybe you could infer something like trying to concentrate on playing chess while staring at Midge sitting so close wearing that black bikini was beyond even Dilton's ability to stay focused, but it seems more reasonable to suppose that the likelier implication is Midge really does have an unexpectedly keen intelligence. Something to think about.

PEP #348 (Apr-79)

ARCHIE 1941 #1 (of 5) - I read it to satisfy my curiosity. Can't say it motivated me to read issue #2.

ROCKY & BULLWINKLE SHOW #3
MOON MAID #1
(Fear on Four Worlds, Part II)
ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK #2
KAIJUMAX SEASON 4 #2 (of 6)
TITANS #25
HAWKMAN #4
PLASTIC MAN #4
(of 6)
WRONG EARTH #1
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #1

manga:
  CUTIE HONEY CLASSIC COLLECTION HC
  DEMENTIA 21 GN
  PRISON SCHOOL GN VOL 1 & 2
(of 10)

11
General Discussion / Re: Latest Hauls, what did you buy?
« on: September 11, 2018, 04:19:48 pm »
Pre ordered Incredibles 2 DVD off Amazon.


Get it.


It's as good as the first film.

I was underwhelmed by the first Incredibles film. To this day, I'm sort of mystified over how successful and popular it turned out to be. The film ran counter to my expectations, which is why I felt disappointed when I saw it. Based on my earlier viewing of the character designs, I'd expected to be watching a comedic superhero cartoon, but when I saw it, I didn't feel like the movie was very funny at all. So why the "cartoony" character designs, I wondered? Of course the CGI animation was superb, but I'd already seen Toy Story, so I was past being bedazzled by that aspect -- I'd already come to expect that in a Pixar-animated film. It did make me think that a similar Mighty Mouse film would work.

12
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 10, 2018, 03:47:46 am »
manga:
UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND TP VOL 1 (of 4)
BATMAN: THE JIRO KUWATA BATMANGA VOL 1-3 (of 3) DC 2014
SPIDER-MAN J VOL 1: JAPANESE KNIGHT (2008 digest/tankobon) by Akira Yamanaka
SPIDER-MAN J VOL 2: JAPANESE DAZE (2009 digest/tankobon) by Akira Yamanaka

13
All About Archie / Re: So I bought Archie Archives Vol. 1 and ...
« on: September 10, 2018, 03:34:23 am »
The failure to note the creators, or create an index, or even tell you which specific issues specific stories appeared in, is quite a failing.  But I guess they fixed that in the softcover versions.

Here you go, if you want to print them out.



14
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 07, 2018, 03:36:50 pm »
I'm waiting for the graphic novel of "Vampironica" but I'm glad to see you like the art. I thought Afterlife With Archie was an absolute masterpiece and I say this as someone who is not a horror fan at all. Issue 10 about the origin of Josie and the Pussycats is one of my favorite issues of any comic EVER.


The fact that Archie Comics dropped the ball on Afterlife and CHAOS when they were their best selling titles is ridiculous. I can't imagine any other comic company being so horribly managed.  I admit I know next to nothing about other comic companies, but to not milk your best properties is just mind boggling.

Well, what can they do? Those titles aren't going to sell worth a hill of beans if all of a sudden someone else takes over Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's storylines and starts taking them in their own direction. Unfortunately or not, their sales are pretty much dependent on the fact that he's been the writer. Those are HIS stories, not someone else's.

And where are RAS's talents arguably being put to use that's of the most value to ACP?  Um, RIVERDALE, you think maybe?

That said, it's apparent that Greg Smallwood (who both draws and co-writes VAMPIRONICA) is putting a great deal of care into the title from both ends of the process. He's researched his subject matter, and lets us know it with those short "Riverdale Gazette" text pieces, which show he's not just knocking these issues out, like "What's to know about vampires? Anyone can write a vampire story" --- which may be true enough, but not everyone can write a GOOD one. Another thing I like here is his making some unusual choices, like when push comes to shove, who stands up to become the first of Riverdale's "fearless vampire hunters"? The easy choice would have been Betty Cooper, or (boring old) Archie Andrews... yawn. Nope, the one who "hero's up" first is Dilton Doiley! Good show, Mr. Smallwood! That said, this title seems to come out once every three months (still a lot better than AwA or ChAoS), so you may be waiting a while still until they get 4 or 5 issues out that it takes to make up a TPB.

15
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 07, 2018, 06:01:31 am »
MARVEL MANGAVERSE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP by Ben Dunn, Udon, C.B. Cebulski & Tommy Ohtsuka & various
MARVEL NEW MANGAVERSE: THE RINGS OF FATE (2006 digest/tankobon) by C.B. Cebulski & Tommy Ohtsuka

ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE VOL 04 tankobon - This is an amazing series. I originally picked it up knowing next to nothing about it, just taking a chance. It's been great so far, a nice balance of drama/sci-fi with more personality interaction and humor. At first it seems to set up huge mysteries based on seemingly improbable coincidences, but in this volume most of the mysteries are explained and all the pieces fall together in a neat way that I didn't exactly predict, and the answers are shocking, but just when you (and the protagonists) are getting used to this major revelation, a new HUGE plot twist is added as a cliffhanger ending to this volume (although in fairness, it's something that had some foreshadowing in previous volumes). It's a neat surprise to see how imaginative this series turned out to be.

VALIANT HIGH TP - I'm not a fan of Valiant Comics. Never really cared for that universe of characters. I followed the first version of the company, back in the 1990s, when they licensed the old Gold Key Comics characters Solar, Magnus, and Turok... but only for the first couple of years, until they fired Jim Shooter, who had been responsible for starting the whole thing (and writing the key titles SOLAR and MAGNUS) in the first place. After that (with the exception of Tim Truman's later work on the TUROK Dinosaur Hunter title) I pretty much lost all interest in Valiant. The first incarnation of the company folded up sometime in the late 1990s. When Valiant resurrected itself in the 2000s, it was run by completely different people, and they didn't license the old GK characters any more. I'd never been interested much in the newer characters created in the 1990s, which are all the IPs that the new version of the company retained. I'm vaguely familar with the ones who headlined their own titles back in the 1990s, but that's all. It's hard to tell whether "Valiant High" is just them having some fun with the characters, or if this is really supposed to be in-continuity as far as their mainline universe is concerned. It didn't matter to me, as the main characters in this four-issue miniseries were all ones I wasn't familiar with anyway. But it works, largely on the charm (you should excuse the pun) of Derek Charm's artwork, which is the thing that attracted me to read this in the first place. I kind of liked it, but am a little disappointed that that's all there is to is, just the four issues. Hopefully if it sold well enough it could become an ongoing title, or at least a once-every-so-often series of miniseries. It was fun, and not afraid to be humorous.

VAMPIRONICA #3 - Greg Smallwood's artwork on this title is pretty amazing. I'm not sure what medium he's using, but all the lines look really textured, like some kind of charcoal pencil shading, or maybe a grease pencil -- or maybe it's even a Photoshop effect created after scanning in the original raw pencils. I'd be curious to know how he does it. Anyway, it's a unique effect I can't really recall ever seeing in another comic artist's work. The story is pretty decent, too... I'm kind of mind-boggled by this short text piece in the "Riverdale Gazette" in this issue that gives a very concise (2/3rds of a page) textual summary of the of the very real historical personage Prince Vlad Tepes III, a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler", otherwise known as Dracula (and it explains where that name came from). He may not have been an actual vampire in real life, but he was just as scary, if not more so, for all of that. Definitely the best of Archie's Horror titles so far.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #2
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP #5 (of 5)
ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
SILVER SURFER ANNUAL #1


GIANT ROBOT WARRIOR MAINTENANCE CREW TP - Collecting a short (3-issue) miniseries from 2014 about the trials and tribulations of maintaining the operating capabilities of a giant robot mecha. Funny.

NEW LIEUTENANTS OF METAL #3 (of 4)
UNNATURAL #3 (of 12)
BY NIGHT #2 & 3
UNITED STATES VS MURDER INC #1 (of 6)

MANGAMAN OGN TP (2011 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Barry Lyga & Colleen Doran - An interesting concept, where a manga character is sucked through a dimensional portal to become a character in a western-style comic book, and dealing with all the cultural differences between Japanese and western-style comics, to comedic effect. Colleen Doran has always been a talented artist, and it's too bad you don't see her drawing more mainstream projects for the bigger publishers.

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