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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hungry? Why wait? Grab Some Wonton Soup

Johnny Boyo could have had it all. Women. Money. Fame. As one of the premiere chefs in the galaxy, Johnny's culinary skills could have made him a star. So with everything he ever dreamed of his for the taking, why would Johnny leave it all behind to become a space trucker? Not even Citrus Watts, the girl he left behind, knows for sure. With the sizzle of life in the kitchen behind him, things were going okay for Johnny. Now after years out of the catering scene, Johnny and his pal Deacon are about to find themselves in water hotter than anything they've ever seen before!

Johnny will once again have to pick up the whisk and skillet, but will his eroded skills be enough to get them out of the craziest cook-off in the Universe?

And what good is a spatula against space ninjas?

This is my nomination for the best futuristic sci-fi story about cooking ever made!  There has never been another comic/movie/book that made me want to eat aliens so badly.  Seriously, Wontop Soup is pure and unadulterated fun.  The universe and art of the comic is enough to keep you coming back for seconds!  See what I did there? 'Cause the title of the book is... never mind.  I apologize to anyone who has read this.  Please don't judge Wonton Soup for my idiocy. 

 - Ryan

A Manga About Making Manga


From the Creators of Death Note. Is becoming a successful manga artist an achievable dream or just one big gamble? Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world? Moritaka is hesitant to seriously consider Akito's proposal because he knows how difficult reaching the professional level can be. Still, encouragement from persistent Akito and motivation from his crush push Moritaka to test his limits!

Bakuman is equally inspirational and entertaining.  One major strength of this series is its ability to pull you in to the world of mangaka (manga creators).  As Mashiro and Takagi dive in to the creative process and approach each hurdle to stardom, you feel the angst and anticipation along with them.  Ohba and Obata are an unbelievable team. If for no other reason, you should flip through the book to sneak a peek at Obata's artwork. Through the course of the series, he must show a myriad of art styles (as different mangaka in the series).  Being at his level in any one of these styles would garner fame and admiration, but Obata's level of proficiency in all areas shines through impressively. But you don't have to take my word for it...

Look for it at Laughing Ogre Comics on Wednesday, August 4th!

- Ryan

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Up with the X-Men

As we enter Marvel’s Heroic Age, let’s recap the recent happenings that have gone down in the vicinity of everyone’s favorite mutants during the event known as Second Coming (spoilers abound!):

The first mutant baby born since M-day, named Hope, was sent into the future with Cable for safekeeping. They returned, years later for them but a relatively short time for those in the present, the find the island refuge of Utopia under attack by Bastion, a super-sentinel from the future determined to exterminate the last vestiges of the mutant race. Nightcrawler sacrificed himself to save Hope, widening the rift between mutant leader Cyclops and X-Force leader Wolverine, who lacks the former’s faith in Hope’s messianic destiny. Meanwhile Magneto, perhaps in an attempt to ingratiate himself with his former enemies, used his powers to retrieve the giant bullet containing lost X-Man Kitty Pryde from deep space; however, since her return Kitty seems unable to unphase herself, and is currently kept in a special chamber to keep from ghosting away completely. In the battle against Bastion, X-Force was sent into the future to prevent an assault of Nimrod sentinels; Cable sacrificed himself ensure their safe return, and in the throes of grief Hope displayed for the first time her high-level powers, winning the day. X-Force, their mission complete, was ordered to disband by Cyclops, but Wolverine has decided to secretly continue the elite dark-ops team with a new lineup. Now Hope is adjusting to her new life, Rogue and Magneto are investigating strange events in India, and mutants are beginning to appear across the globe again- though there’s something different about these new manifestations. Meanwhile, something bloodthirsty and undead lurks in San Francisco, and depowered X-Man Jubilee might be its first victim…

Whew! So now that you’re somewhat caught up, check out our heroes’ further adventures in Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants, and the upcoming Uncanny X-Force!

The Thor Trailer!

Sorry, they took down the trailer.
Relax, Thor, people can still see it. Copy and paste the web address below to see it.  Thanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour

Arguably to most hotly anticipated graphic novel of the year, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour is the sixth and final volume of Brian Lee O'Malley's beloved and award-winning series for indie publishers Oni Press.  On July 20th, fans lined up at comic shops and bookstores across America to learn the fate of the titular hero and his love interest Ramona Flowers, as well as Kim Pine, Wallace Wells, Knives Chau (17 Years Old) and the rest of the gang.

O'Malley has grown tremendously as a cartoonist over the course of this series.  His tighter linework and more advanced use of grey tones is evident here, and the strength of the layouts is undeniable. Artist John Kantz assisted O'Malley with backgrounds, a technique we've seen before in the likes of Dave Sim's Cerebus. Though the series has always borrowed from a number of manga conventions (as well as the old-school videogame references the fans all love), volume 6 is perhaps the most strongly manga-influenced, both visually and in tone. 

The book can be divided into two halves: Scott spends the first in denial, avoiding his final confrontation with Ramona's 7th Evil Ex as well as the prospect of living with his mistakes.  The second half is the climax of the series, the final battle against Gideon Graves for Ramona's love.  To avoid giving too much away, let's just say this: O'Malley pulls the theme of immature vs. mature relationships together in a satisfactory way, and though some character's arcs are more open-ended than others, we leave the series secure in the belief that they all have happy lives and unseen further adventures ahead of them.

So what did YOU think of Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour?  Look us up on Facebook and let us know!

This Week's Picks

1. Secret Avengers #3
What hides in the depths of the red planet?  How does it link to the Shadow Empire lurking behind the scenes in America for nearly 150 years?  And will our heroes be able to save one of their own?  The Secret Avengers duo Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato bring the action.

This team has an interesting mix of intrigue and action.   Brubaker has always been great at building tension in a story while unveiling pieces of a mystery.  Here, we have more of the same, but in space!  I was skeptical when this series started (despite my love for Cap and Brubaker), but it is really picking up steam.  Do not write this one off, it is unique from the other Avengers books and a lot of fun.

2. Flash #4
The original Captain Boomerang returns as BRIGHTEST DAY continues. Meanwhile, Barry must prove his innocence to the Renegades, cops from the 25th  century. Discover what connection they have to the Rogues and what travesties have occurred in the future.

Geoff Johns is able to capture a lot of the fast-paced spirit of the Flash without being too heavy.  Despite some troubling circumstances and a chaotic battle in the middle of the city, Flash retains the calm optimism we love him for.

3. Uknown Soldier #22
On the trail of Moses, his wife Sera, weary from the horror that has pervaded her life, stops to witness an Acholi wedding. Tradition and love beneath a sprawling blue sky... now she'll have to convince herself to turn her back on a beautiful world and follow Moses into the darkness.

Dysart's gritty and honest look at the dark side of war is stark and compelling.  If you have not check this out yet, it is worth your time to do so.  When you decide to take a break from super heroes, be sure to look up Moses.

4. Wizards of Mickey #7
The final battle with the Phantom Blot nears! Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have a score to settle with Peg Leg Pete and the Beagle Boys, but thanks to uninvited guests their conflict is about to get real big real fast! Be there for a Wizard Team Battle Royale! 

Time for might, magic, and Mickey!  This story is tons of fun for the kids.  Bring them in with you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


With all of the buzz surrounding the Thor movie, set to come out in 2011, I have been getting more questions about the character.  While the interest in him seems to be piqued, people aren't picking up his books on their own.  This could be credited to the sheer amount of Thor books out there, but I'm going to simplify things for you.  Here are five MUST READS for anyone with even a passing fancy in the Odinson.  That's not to say you have to read them all, but I'd say you should have at least two of five checked of before you watch Hemsworth swing Mjolnir (that's Thor's hammer, people).

 1. Thor: Ages of Thunder

Thor is the favored son of Odin, a paragon of bravery, nobility and strength. From Asgard to Hel and through all realms between, Thor's titanic struggles on behalf of his beloved homeland of fellow immortals have become legend.

But what happens when Thor decides to stand down? To not clean up the mess that the gods themselves create? To teach his vain brethren of fellow immortals - and even his father, Odin - that he is note one to take for granted?

2. Thor: Blood Oath
The Warriors Three are put on trial for murder.  Standing beside his brothers-in-arms, Thor ties himself to their fate, as the are sent on an impossible journey by the Giants to pay their "weird" - a blood price for the killing of a Giant's son.  Thor and his three allies will journey across many lands - through Greece, Midgard, Asia and Africa - and clash with gods, monsters, the dead - and occasionally each other!

3. Loki
There are two sides to every story. You've heard Thor's - now it's time to hear Loki's. Odin's least favorite son rewrites Asgardian lore from his perspective in this groundbreaking collection, featuring the breathtaking painted artwork of Esad Ribic (Wolverine). In this story, Loki's insatiable lust for power, his conflicted sentiments toward Sif, his antipathy toward Balder, and his deep-seated feelings of longing and resentment toward his older brother, Thor, and uncaring father, Odin, will take on new meaning. And if that's not enough, just stare at the lush painted art by Ribic - you won't be disappointed!

4. Avengers Disassembled: Thor
The end is nigh for the gods of Asgard, and only Thor and his Avengers allies might be able to stave off that fate - but will the Thunder God be Asgard's savior, or the architect of its downfall?

Beset on all sides by treacherous foes from his past, the God of Thunder leads the tattered remnants of the forces of Asgard on a desperate quest, as the Realm Eternal burns.  In search of new wisdom, Thor must repeat the ordeals of Odin - and the price may be too terrible for even an immortal to pay!

5. Thor by Straczynski
In the wake of Ragnarok, Thor re-awakens from nothingness as only a god can.  As he searches for his brethren, Thor must also come to grips with that which has transpired in his abscence.  In the short time Thor has been gone, the world seems to have been turned upside down as his former allies have warred with one another with disastrous results.  Moreover, Asgard has returned, but in the middle of Oklahoma.  Moving forward, Thor must take the throne of Asgard and redefine life for gods amongst mortals.

* Blurbs taken from back of books
- Ryan