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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Picks of the Week

Batman: The Dark Knight #1

Comics superstar David Finch takes full creative control (both writing and illustrating!) on this brand-new Batman monthly series! Joined by the best of the best - Scott Williams - on inks, this new series is sure to be on everyone's must-read pile! Delving into the more supernatural and esoteric areas of Gotham City, the 6-part storyline explores the horrific murder of one of Bruce Wayne's childhood friends...and the terrible ramifications the brutal crime has on Batman's life!


 S.H.I.E.L.D. #5

"The Forgotten Machines of XXXXXX XXXXX" The story that has taken the comic book world by storm marches on with an issue so secretive that we can't even reveal the full title! WHO IS THE NIGHT MACHINE?! Find your answer here from Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR) and Dustin Weaver (X-MEN). Every issue has sold out and gone into multiple printings. IT'S GOOD! WE PROMISE! Don't miss the sleeper hit of 2010!

Flash #8

The highway to FLASHPOINT begins here as Barry Allen teams up with Wally West, Kid Flash and the rest of the Speed Force to confront the arrival of a bizarre figure that could signal a new age of speedster! Be here for part 1 of "The Mystery of the Unknown Flash"! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Books

New books this week will be out Wednesday, 12/29/10.  I know it's usually Thursday after a Holiday but Diamond decided to switch it up this year.  So come on in tomorrow and grab your new books. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gift Guide: New Anthologies

I think we can all agree that nothing makes a better holiday gift than COMICS, right?  For those who are maybe a little unsure of which way their loved ones' tastes run and want to take a broader approach, though, anthologies are the way to go.  They offer a variety of artistic and storytelling styles in one sitting; familiar favorites can often be found side-by-side with new taste sensations.  It's a veritable comics buffet!  Here's a few suggestions, fresh off the presses...

Trickster is a collection of Native American folk tales, all revolving around the titular supernatural entity.  Tricksters are crafty beings, causing chaos or mischief in the pursuit of fun and survival; these collaborations between native writers and comic artists vary as much in tone and approach as they do in setting (each people from coast to coast has their own version of the Trickster).  Great for storytelling fans of all ages!

For the rock n' roller in your life there's CBGB, a compilation centered around the legendary New York City music club.  From Chuck BB's inky stylings to Rob G's scratchy lines to Mr. Sheldon's eye-popping neon colors, the art herein is just as loud as the music at the heart of each story.  The cover is by legendary punk cartoonist and Love & Rockets creator Jaime Hernadez, too- instant credibility, and an attractive addition to any underground comics collection!

If you grab one anthology this year, though, it MUST be The Best American Comics 2010, guest edited this year by none other than Sandman scribe Neil Gaiman.  There's a little bit of everything in here, and it's truly the cream of the crop: excerpts from Asterios Polyp rub shoulders with Scott Pilgrim; big names like R. Crumb and the Hernandez Brothers are side by side with upstarts like Derf and Fred Chao.  "All killer, no filler" is the order of the day here, folks; it's on the rack NOW so check it out!

There's lots more where this came from; don't be afraid to ask for suggestions at the store!  We've got LOTS of opinions. In the meantime, a very happy holidays to you form your friends here at the Laughing Ogre!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Week's Picks

Magus #1
Centuries past, magic was sealed away from the world, making it a myth to the general public.  Over the years, the seal has been weakening, but the powers that be have succeeded in containing the secret.  Now, someone has appeared with enough individual power to throw off the restrained flow of magic.  This person is re-igniting magic throughout the world.  The concept alone is fantastic, but artwork by Rebekah Isaacs makes this a must-buy regardless.

Firebreather #1
Duncan and friends return to the funny books in light of his silver screen debut.  You get all of the high school action of Ultimate Spider-man with the physical deformity of the Thing.  As you can imagine, Duncan deals with all the drama being in high school involves and splits time fighting monsters for the government.  Whether you read the original series, are interested in the tv movie, or read Spider-man, or Invincible, be sure to check this out.

Skull Kickers #4
Everytime time I read and issue of Skull Kickers, I'm disappointed... that it's not longer.  Okay, okay, I know that was corny, but it's the truth. This series continues to impress. As simple as it seems, the best word to describe Skull Kickers is "fun." If you are a fan of fun, be sure to watch the continued adventures of the tall one and the short one as they take on a horde of undead, hit a necromancer in the mouth, and battle a possessed leg.

Axe Cop
You need to read this.  It doesn't matter what you normally read, Axe Cop is a comic you will enjoy.  It is the fruit born of brotherly love as 5 year old Malachai Nicolle and drawn by his 29 year old brother Ethan Nicolle.  It is the epitome of random and you can never truly get your bearings in the truest sense of "break-neck storytelling".  A child's imagination is a fascinating and dangerous place.

The Cape #1
Many people claim to make "real world" super hero comics.  The Cape is one of the few that really feels like it.  I don't want to give away too much in a review, but suffice it to say the first issue is enthralling and manages to throw some curve balls as well.  One of the most important parts of creating a character is making them flawed, imperfect.  Protagonist Eric is just about as flawed as he can be.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ikigami - The Ultimate Limit

Congratulations! You have been randomly selected by the government... to die in 24 hours!

In order to stifle apathy and to kick start motivation, the government has been utilizing the practice of killing their own people.  Not en mass, mind you, but one a day should be enough to keep citizens in line.  A "small" sacrifice for the betterment of the whole - This is similar to the idea behind The Lottery, Battle Royale, and Hunger Games, but without inherent brutality of those processes.

The National Welfare Immunization is provided to each citizen as they enter elementary school.  The immunization protects against infectious diseases, but 0.01% of the syringes contain a nano-capsule that will kill them when they are between the ages of 18 to 24.

When the date and time of a capsule rupture is coming up, the Ministry sends out a messenger to notify the recipient of the capsule of their impending death.  One such messenger, Fujimoto is the 25 year old protagonist of the series.  He is the connected thread between all the characters we watch in their final moments.  Fujimoto is compassionate and inquisitive and not entirely sold on the practice of Ikigami.  Throughout the series, Fujimoto struggles with the morality and efficacy of what is taking place around him.  He must be careful, though, because if his internal struggle boils to the surface, he will be injected with the capsule as are all "social miscreants". 

Ikigami is certainly a dark story, but there is a lot of optimism hidden in these pages.  Writer/author Motoro Mase highlights as many positive sides of human nature as he does negative.  For some of the characters who receive an ikigami, a quest begins.  What would you do if today was the last day of your life?

- Ryan

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

"Your body is their business!"

Your dead body, anyway... KCDS is described as a horror manga, but it is so much more.  The story follows five Buddhist university students with odd skill sets allowing them interactions with the dead.  Some mortalities result in spirits being trapped in their own bodies, unable to move on to the next reincarnation.  Using their abilities, the group tasks themselves with helping these unfortunate souls.  No matter what the cause or complication, the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service will bring your body wherever necessary for you to be free.

If you grew up on Scooby Doo, Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, or anything of the like, you should check out this series immeadiately. A good mix of group dynamics and mystery harken back to the aforementioned series, but KCDS hues a much darker tone.  There is true horror to experience and this manga is only for mature readers.  There is gore, nudity, and violence as well as plently of disturbing imagery. 

 - Ryan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Picks of the Week


WWII with a horror twist! An outfit of U.S. soldiers captures a group of Nazis led by a high-ranking SS officer. But when they come across a deserted town with a dangerous secret, they must forge an uneasy alliance to survive an unspeakable nightmare. It's Dawn of the Dead meets Assault on Precinct 13 in Iron Siege, a three-issue miniseries presented bi-monthly in Golden Age size. With incredible artwork by Trevor Goring and covers by Tim Bradstreet.


In the wake of Shadowland, there's a new protector of Hell's Kitchen! He has no kingdom, no vibranium, and no high-tech safety net--just bloody knuckles and the will to prove himself in a foreign land where the fiercest of jungle predators stalks the most dangerous urban prey! His name is T'Challa, and in the aftermath of Shadowland, he will create a new life, a new identity, and learn what it is to be a different kind of hero. But with Daredevil gone, the bad guys are coming out to play, and a new nemesis--Vlad the Impaler--plots his bloody rise to power.


Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank bring you a startling new look at the beginnings of Lex Luthor, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Lois Lane, Metallo, Jimmy Olsen, The Parasite and more of your favorite characters from the Superman family in this new, deluxe hardcover. Collecting the acclaimed six-issue miniseries!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Check out the Laughing Ogre Holiday Gift Guide for great gift ideas and special discounts.  You can find the guide right under New Releases.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dara Naraghi Signing Today at Laughing Ogre High Street.

Dara Naraghi will be signing today from 5-8.  He has a short story in the DCU Holiday 2010 Special.  So be sure to swing by today and get a copy signed.

Picks of the Week

Lady Mechanika #1

The tabloids dubbed her "Lady Mechanika", the sole survivor of a psychotic serial killer's three-year rampage through London. Found locked in an abandoned laboratory amidst countless corpses and body parts, with her own limbs amputated and replaced with mechanical components, her life began anew. With no memory of her captivity or her former life, Lady Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn't or wouldn't handle. But, she has never stopped searching for answers...
Now, brought into a case unlike any before, Lady Mechanika will have to rely on her advantage in all things occult and paranormal in order to solve the case and possibly unlock the secrets to her past!

Fables #100

In this fantastic 100-page issue, it's time to put an end to Mister Dark once and for all, and time for the Fables to return home to Fabletown. For that to happen, one of the Fables agrees to take on the Dark Man in single combat! It's big, it's epic, and if you live in New York City, you may want to take a quick vacation when this issue comes out, because things are going to get wrecked!
In addition to the larger-than-life main story, we have a FABLES prose story written by Mark Buckingham and illustrated by Bill Willingham! We have an All-Star Burning Questions section that will knock your socks off (seriously, innocent people are going to lose some socks here). We have a puppet theatre created by the unstoppably creative Mark Buckingham, a FABLES board game, sequential stories painted by Chrissie Zullo and Joao Ruas, and even more surprises in this square-bound behemoth celebrating this award-winning Vertigo series!

DCU Holiday Special 2010 #1

From the dawn of time (Anthro) to the far-flung future (Legion of Super-Heroes), sentient life has honored the winter holidays with celebrations and rituals as diverse as the universe itself! Join DC Comics - and a stellar team of writers and artists - to honor the vast and diverse holidays of the DC Universe in
6 tales of holiday cheer! Starring the aforementioned characters along with Superman, The Spectre, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern John Stewart for a HOLIDAY SPECIAL like no other!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Employee Pick: King City #12

Brandon Graham's pun-filled urban epic King City wraps up this week with issue #12 on stands courtesy of Image comics!  Now, we've discussed this title here on the blog before, and how picking it up could be the biggest favor you do yourself this decade.  It's one-of-a-kind, snappy and off-the-wall with so much detail packed into every page that you could spend hours going over all the little hidden treasures with a magnifying glass.  Graham has an incredible passion for comics; he weathered the collapse of Tokyopop (KC's original publisher) and a bout with cancer 6 issues in and came out swinging.  Real love for the medium shines through here- we follow Catmaster Joe as he fights a demon king, masked man Pete as he falls for a water-breathing alien girl, and Korean Xombie War veteran Max as he and his girlfriend Anna battle drug addiction and PTSD.  It's a wild ride. Now, some of you folks may be the type to wait until a miniseries like this is finished so you can read the whole thing without the seemingly interminable wait between installments, and that is just fine, but THE TIME IS RIGHT AND THE TIME IS NOW to snatch this one up before there's no more copies left!

Though we're sad to see one of our favorites reach the end, Graham will be returning soon with his full-color postapocalyptic Russian werewolf epic Multiple Warheads!  Stay tuned and hang on tight, this is comics at their best!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Try Something New!!!

Did you know that Laughing Ogre sells some comics for $1?  Well, we do.  There are a number of comics you can pick up for less than the cost on "Dave's" price-hiked value menu items. $1.40 for some chicken nuggets?! Come on!  By the way, these are not terrible comics you've never heard of, it's some of the biggest names on the shelves and they are just waiting for you to give them a shot.

All Star Superman
Witness the Man of Steel in exciting new adventures featuring Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Bizarro, and more! The Man of Steel goes toe-to-toe with Bizarro, his oddball twin, and the new character Zibarro, also from the Bizarro planet. And Superman faces the final revenge of Lex Luthor - in the form of his own death! Writer Grant Morrison teams with artist Frank Quitely on this spectacular reimagining of the Superman mythos, from The Man of Steel's origin to his greatest foes and beyond.

Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists' artist and a great storyteller whose work is in turns haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding, Mike Mignola has won numerous awards in the comics industry and beyond. When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar.
Usagi Yojimbo
The Saga of Usagi Yojimbo (Rabbit Bodyguard) takes place in turn-of-the-century Japan. The age of civil wars has barely ended and the Shogun has just established power.  The samurai is the ruling class throughout the land, following a warrior's code of honor known as Bushido.  It is a time of settling unrest and political intrigue.

Wandering across this country is a masterless samurai named Miyamoto Usagi.

Walking Dead
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he's a hell of a detective - as long as he doesn't mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit and why. He's been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest and most bizarre cases.
Check out all of these FIRST ISSUE REPRINTS for only one dollar!  There are dozens of others for you to choose from, so don't be shy in asking for recommendations from the people at your shop.  Whether you are trying to find some gifts for your fanboy/fangirl friends or looking for yourself, these $1 comics are a low risk way to venture into the unknown.  Next time you are shopping in Laughing Ogre, throw a couple on your stack, you won't be disappointed!

*Blurbs taken from Amazon

- Ryan

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Walking Dead vs The Walking Dead

While I hope everyone has at least picked up the comic version of this series, I know that is not the case.  For those of you who have watched the show and not picked up the comic, shame on you.  If you have been buying the comic in our shop and you're not watching the show, shame on us.  No matter if you end up liking one more than the other, the important part is to be in a position to make a decision.

So far in the series (we are at episode 5 of 6 in season one), there have been some departures from the comic, but a solid translation of the spirit of Kirkman's original work.  There are some things I wish they had been more loyal with and others I hope they will loosen the leash on.  While it's easy to point out the plot differences between the comic and the TV show (CDC storyline being the most obvious), I'll leave those on the back burner for now and distract you with this image of Rick smashing some zombie brains. 

The most important thing I would ask for the show to consider is the difference between comic BOOKS and TV SHOWS.  The difference being show versus tell.  While it is a good rule to generally show rather than tell your audience what is happening, the readers of the comic are used to a lot of exposition.  While this feels natural and seem-less in the written/visual version of the story, the audio/visual incarnation needs to dial it back occasionally.  The clearest instance I can think of is the fishing sequence in the beginning of the fourth episode.  This scene would have been touching had I read it, but watching it was like staring at the nutrition facts on a bottle of water: Reading the full label isn't going to tell me anything I didn't figure out at a first glance. 

Their best moments, so far, have been those without words. The silence of Rick's disorientation and bewilderment were very powerful scenes.  A great way to start your story and the impact of silent scenes have been gaining momentum since Rick woke up.  My hope is not that these will outnumber the speaking scenes, but that they realize this is how they tug at the heartstrings the best.  Words get in the way of real emotions and the cast is good enough to convey raw emotion without telling the viewers what they are feeling, don't make them. 

I don't presume to know better than anyone else out there (especially the talented people working on these amazing products), these are just my opinions at this early point in the (hopefully) long life of The Walking Dead television series.  Comparisons are going to happen no matter how much we try to avoid them.  Read the comic, watch the show, and join in the nerdy fun of complaining about how "almost perfect" isn't good enough.  Don't complain too loud, though, Dale is looking right at you, judging you with this expression...

Soon enough, every single issue of The Walking Dead is going to be reprinted.  The comic will be released weekly and be the perfect opportunity for you or friends to catch up with Rick and company.  If those don't work for you, be sure to pick up the trade paperbacks, already available.  There is no reason you shouldn't read this comic AND watch the show.

- Ryan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday Sale or Longer

NOV 26th , 27th , and 28th




Buy 2 TPBs/HCs,


(of equal or lesser value)

Sale excludes Nov 2010 arrivals, special orders or preorders. Sale discount is not cumulative with subscriber discount. Customers must be up to date on their pull boxes, clear all pre-orders and held items to get sale pricing.

All pull customers in good standing will receive a special discount of  75% off Back Issues and 40% off Toys and Statues along with the Buy 2 TPBs/HCs  and Get 1 TPB/HC Free (of equal or lesser value)  Friday Nov. 26 from 10 AM to 12 PM 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meghan's Pick of the Month

Chobits Omnibus Vol 1

Some people buy their personal computers based on style . . . and in near-future Japan, the hottest style for your "persocom" is shaped like an attractive android! Poor student Hideki finds a persocom discarded in an alley. Taking the cute robot home and activating it, Hideki finds her affectionate, but amnesiac, able only to say the word "Chi"-and so he names her. Instead of being his digital assistant, Hideki finds himself having to teach Chi how to get along in the everyday world, even while he and his friends try to solve the mystery of her origins. 

I picked this book up on a whim because I wanted to check out something different from what I normally read and I was instantly absorbed by this book’s beautiful art and the unusual romance between the books main character, a human college student, and his mysterious android computer, Chi. Chi is very cute and innocent and often humorously misunderstands things which are commonplace to humans. The mystery of who Chi is and what makes her different from the run-of-the-mill android computers that populate this story’s world kept me turning pages and I made it through this massive book in a matter of a few hours. It’s definitely one of my favorites and I think it could be appealing to both male and female readers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jen's Pick of the Month

Thor By J Michael Straczynski TP Vol 1

Thor is back! And in a story only J. Michael Straczynski could tell! Returned to the pantheon of great Marvel heroes, the Asgardian God of Thunder is reunited with the mortal form of Dr. Don Blake. Together, they must reckon with the legacy of the mythic Norse kingdom and the awakening of its immortal heroes - but in a world that may not want them back! Collecting THOR #1-6

Being a fan of mythology, I figured Thor would be a good Marvel book for me to check out, and I soon discovered it was a good choice.  Straczynski’s storytelling unravels a great tale of Thor returning and bringing Asgard, along with the other gods, back to the Marvel universe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Even MORE Picks of the Week

         Green Lantern #59

BRIGHTEST DAY blazes on as the New Guardians seeking the Indigo Entity are shocked to discover a sedated Black Hand. Can Hal Jordan trust the Indigo Tribe to house the herald of Nekron? Plus, another exclusive first look at a member of the GREEN LANTERN CORPS from 2011's live-action GREEN LANTERN film!

                                                                                                                   Green Lantern Corps #54

The new ongoing art team of rising star Tyler Kirkham and dynamic inker Batt kicks this BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in into high gear as Kyle Rayner attempts to recruit Sinestro in a mission to save his daughter Soranik Natu! But the leader of the Yellow Lanterns is more concerned with exterminating the "alley rat" Emerald Warrior, and the pair face off in hand-to-hand combat!

        Thunderbolts #150

Iron Man, Thor and the original Captain America guest-star in this 96-page 150th blow-out issue! First, in the 40-page lead story, The Thunderbolts reach their milestone as loudly as possible, when the golden figures of the Marvel Universe come to their gray world - none other than the Armored Avenger, the God of Thunder and the Super-Soldier! Thor has come to hold court with one of his people held in the women's wing of The Raft, and when his fellow Avengers join him, things go to a realm no one expected! Iron Man comes face-to-face with Ghost, the man who almost killed him, and Steve Rogers confronts the man who did kill him, Crossbones!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Picks of the Week

The event of the year is here! Bruce Wayne made his long journey back through the timestream in RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, Dick Grayson and Damian uncovered important secrets in BATMAN & ROBIN, Gotham City's bravest heroes made their mark in BRUCE WAYNE - THE ROAD HOME...and now it's time for BATMAN to return! What happens to Dick Grayson now that the "real" Batman is back? How will Bruce Wayne handle a reunion with his son, Damian? This special one-shot bridges two exciting eras of The Dark Knight and sets up a surprising new status quo that's just on the horizon.
Featuring the talents of Batman mastermind Grant Morrison and superstar artist David Finch providing interior art, this issue is a can't-miss for comics fans!

Grant Morrison continues his earth-shattering run on the Batman titles with this exciting, new ongoing series! Featuring art by the remarkable Yanick Paquette (SEVEN SOLDIERS: BULLETEER), BATMAN, INC. marks the next stage of evolution for The Dark Knight. This can't-miss series will star not just Bruce Wayne as Batman, but also a huge number of guest-stars! Don't miss out on this all-new start to a stunning direction for Batman!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Handy Tip of the Day

Hello there, comics fans!  Today we'd like to give you a quick refresher on a frequent source of confusion here at your friendly neighborhood comic shop:  the difference between graphic novels and trade paperbacks!

A graphic novel is exactly what it sounds like- a novel, in graphic form.  It's meant to stand on its own as a complete story, even if that story continues on in sequels.  Art Spiegelman's Maus is a graphic novel; so is each volume in the popular series Scott Pilgrim.  Graphic novels come in all shapes and page counts.

A trade paperback is a collection of a series of previously-published comics, often as a story arc that's part of an ongoing narrative, even if that narrative eventually ends.  Your X-Men and your Batman and the like are bound as trade paperbacks (almost always after an initial hardcover edition), as are less mainstream titles like Sandman and Tank Girl.  Trade paperbacks are approximately the same size as Modern Age comic books, which are about 10 by 6 3/4 inches, and usually only the length of four or five comics.

There can be a bit of a gray area between the two.  Alan Moore's Watchmen is considered a graphic novel, despite the fact that it was originally published as a comic miniseries. Manga titles often share the ongoing serial quality of many comics but are considered serieses of graphic novels.  Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman certainly has the feel of a novel but is collected in two trade paperbacks, while Paul Pope's 100% fits easily into either category.  If you're referring to something like the bound printings of Love and Rockets you'd probably want to use the word collected editions; the book form of a collection of work by many different creators, like Marvel's Strange Tales, is a bound anthology.

Now, nobody's gonna break out the wet noodle if you can't keep it all straight.  Like we said, sometimes it's ambiguous!  The purpose of this notice is to illuminate the diversity of our favorite medium-  knowing what's what can give you a better idea of what you're looking for when exploring the wide world of comics!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Anthology Update: Tunes

Comics and music are both storytelling devices, and the rebellious bent of rock and roll appeals to many of the same people who enjoy the left-of-mainstream stylings of the sequential arts.  Music figures prominently in many comics, especially live music; you can find characters rocking out in the pages of favorites like Love and Rockets, Young Liars, Strangers In Paradise, and Scott Pilgrim.  The real challenge, though, lies in getting that energy across- how can you convey a sound with ink and paper?  How can you make a reader "hear" loud, beautiful music in a strictly visual medium?

In Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll, a number of French cartoonists each tackle that challenge with a distinct vision, with a variety of fascinating results (don't worry, with the exception of the Led Zeppelin installment it's all in English).  Obion throws the Beatles a text-free inkwash parade; Morvandiau uses single wavering lines to describe each instrument's path in the Rolling Stones' "Love In Vain".  Mathieu Sapin gives a personal account of missing a historic White Stripes concert while Tanquerelle gives Iggy Pop the Alice in Wonderland treatment.  Some approaches are cute (Blondie), some are creepy (Radiohead), some are abstract (the Pixies), some are poignant (Elvis).  This anthology is worth a look for these wildly different solutions to the sound problem alone, but readers with limited Euro-comics experience will like the primer on the range of artistic and storytelling styles as well.  Edited by French journalist Vincent Brunner, it's out now in paperback from Universe Publishing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nicol Bolas

When most people think of Magic the Gathering, only a collectible card game comes to mind.  In reality, the mythos and lore created by Wizards of the Coast expands far beyond the game.  In a post regarding world-building, we introduced you to Jace Beleren and the Multiverse.  Today, you meet someone even more significant than Jace.

What's cooler than an all-powerful  wizard? An all-powerful dragon wizard, that's what.  Nicol Bolas is the oldest living being in all the Multiverse.  Here's a quick glimpse at one of the most powerful planeswalkers in history.

For one whose life spans millenia, talking about mundane details like birth and death (or deaths in this case) is meaningless.  As many lives are defined by conflict, Nicol Bolas has mastered the art of controlling conflict.  In this he manipulates entire planes and even other planeswalkers.  Combining his elder dragon powers along with the power of a planeswalker has made Nicol Bolas a seemingly omnipotent being for century upon century. 

His machinations have often put him at odds against enemies of unimaginable power.  Since this is Nicol Bolas we're talking about, they always come at him in groups.  Even if he seems to be defeated, we usually find out it was all part of his plan.  Maybe this guy is a sore loser, but I'm inclined to believe him.  He recently lost his planeswalker power and is forced to make due with his elder dragon powers.  Where once he had limitless time an untold wealth of knowledge accumulated over millenia of access to the most secretive arcance texts, Nicol Bolas now faces mortality and a eroding memory.  For the first time ever, Nicol Bolas is working against the clock.  Be sure to check out the continuing saga of Nicol Bolas as he is on a quest to regain his lost power at all costs. 

To find out more about the exploits of Nicol Bolas as well as other Planeswalkers from MtG, copy the web address below.

- Ryan