Opinions May Vary

I think there have been a total of three times where I've gone to my local comic shop on new comic book day and walked out empty handed. I read enough different stories that on any given week I'll usually walk out with 3-7 solid books.....last week, however, was one of those rare and horrible times.

After greeting my comic provider with a chipper "...hey man" I walked over to my pull file to find a few books eager for me to purchase them. Sadly, both books that had been set aside for me were stories that I'd recently dropped yet it had slipped my mind to actually remove them from my pull list. "No worries" I thought. There will be a few random titles waiting for me on the new racks.

Alas. This was not the case.

The racks provided only disappointment. Every "New This Week" sign was displaying titles I don't read, don't recognize, or don't like. With depression beginning to set in I turned to the trade racks in hopes that I'd find something to hold me over for at least a few days. It only took but a minute...but I soon found the perfect one: 
trade
Where do I start with this? This book is just. Friggin'. Awesome.

Most people already know the premise and whenever I try to pitch the book to someone I always get the same response: "Oh yeah that's where they like bang and stop time or whatever." And they're not wrong. But they kinda are...because there's so much more to the book than that. It's like if you were trying to describe Batman and stopped at "He's a rich kid with dead parents" without ever mentioning him dressing up like a bat.

Yeah the book is full of sex and sex jokes and sex innuendo and sexual imagery (making it perfect for someone with a juvenile sense of humor like myself) but it's also about love and being a fucked up person dealing with being in love. What really impresses me is how well the book transitions back and forth between a serious story of two people dealing with crippling dilemmas and dick jokes. If you asked me the balance is perfect. The issues the main characters face are problems that most of us can relate to: financial stress, hating the workplace, etc. So when you're reading Sex Criminals you might start to feel a bit of anxiety when the book hits close to home then *bam*
dildos

fucko
While I realize this book might not be everyone's cup of tea I urge you to at least give it a shot. Matt Fraction has proven time and again he knows how to write a good story and Chip Zdarsky provides spectacular visuals on the page. Together they've created one hell of a book and now they have the Eisner and Harvey awards to prove it (Along with a shining review from yours truly).

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.28.2015_Episode_158.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 5:09pm EST
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 The pilot episode for Powers was released for free to entice audiences to watch the rest of the series. It popped up on my youtube, which isn't a bad medium to put out free content but I was having some lag as it was loading the entire 52 minute episode. I stopped it 3 minutes in to go watch it on Playstation3, as it being a Playstation exclusive series you would think it would show up on the first page once signed into PSN or be really easy to access. Nope. I had to work through at least 6 menu screens to get to the free pilot.  Since I hadn't really looked into the shows timeline or anything about it other than a couple characters I put no thought towards if it was going to completely free or if I'd have to buy episodes. That was a learning experience. I had assumed "I own playstation, I get free Powers show." But I'm naive and haven't bought seasons of shows online before from say iTunes or Amazon.    

 If I remember correctly Powers will be free for Playstation Plus members, the rest of us have a choice between buying the season in HD or SD, which I think were $24.99 and $17.99. This info is nowhere to be found until you get to the fourth menu screen where you can pay for the season. It's like a fun surprise Playstation is keeping secret because they're much more encouraging about getting you to buy a Plus membership.

Powers

  The show itself has high points and low points. I've read all the Powers tpbs, albeit some were a long time ago, so I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any expectations. There were some switches made between the comic and show that seem questionable. Detective Christian Walker used to be a super hero, but he lost his powers. In the comics this is kept a secret to the general public. Walker doesn't want everyone to know who he was, because he's not him anymore. The show has Mario Lopez explaining the whole background on a Entertainment News-esq tabloid show in the first 10 minutes. This means anyone who pays attention recognizes Walker and says "Hey, you used to be Diamond!" This happens often enough where it becomes filler and we get less actual show. The book focused on the detective work of cops dealing with people that have Powers, the show is focusing on not as much detectiving and more strained interactions. It's no longer a secret that we the audience can share with only a couple characters on the show. With it being different it will add a new dynamic that Powers fans haven't already read about, hopefully making the show interesting and not as predictable. Some lines and quotes were leaked or released as examples and taken out of context made Christian seem like a huge d-bag. Watching those lines in the show made more sense and even made me nod with a sense of 'yea... ok.'  Comicbook Walker is practically a boyscout good guy, it's his partner Deena Pilgram that breaks rules, has a filthy mouth and ignore authority to get the job done. TV Deena seems more calm and .... nice?

  The super people costumes have been more misses than hits. Diamonds costume is cool. Retro Girl has a variety of outfits, with a red bodysuit looking like the primary. A plain red bodysuit, with accents on the shins and forearms, but others it's the Britney Spears red squeaky suit. It looks boring, is not very heroic and is not recognizable as Retro Girl by any means. We do see her in an outfit for a brief moment that does reflect the classic Retro Girl, but it doesn't seem like it'll be the norm. I would have preferred blonde to a brunette though, it pretty much defines what Retro Girl is. 

Retro

  I also HATE Triphammer's outfit. God damn it looks like shit. To go from a guy with full body machine armor such as Iron Man or his enemy Crimson Dynamo and end up with putting sledgehammers on his fists and wearing a marching band jacket? Was there no research done on this design? "Oh Triphammer eh? Lets put actual hammers on him I guess?" Triphammer isn't a regular character in the comic, he shows up maybe once every 10 issues? But he's cool and relevant when he does show up, so when you turn the page and there he is you say "Oh shit! Fuck yea! It's Triphammer!" TV him looks like garbage.

TriphTripbad

  The special FX used for Powers isn't the best. It's probably fair for the budget, it's not seamless like in Avengers, but it's better than a Sci-Fi channel movie of the week. I'd rank it around the better episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eyes glow, people flying, Johnny Royale's teleporting isn't bad. I got a kick out of Simons, a Multiple Man type character.

  I didn't expect the storyline to follow the comics exactly, and it hasn't but it's maintaining the right elements. It's not worth nitpicking the entire plot because it's something new made from something established. Walking Dead hasn't had too many problems with differences and altering a few things here and there.

powers

  Will I be buying the season? Yes. It's projected to run 10 more episodes. Yes, it says "projected" or "planned" on the Playstation Store. Even if I hadn't read the series already this was enough to intrigue me and want to see what more they were going to do with it. If you like Agents of SHIELD but it doesn't have enough swears or violence for you, then Powers is on par for your appetite. Remember the pilot is free to check out if you're interested.

-Alex

All images are copyright of their respective owners.

Direct download: 3.17.2015_Episode_157.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:29am EST
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pax

Hey folks,

We had so much to say about PAX we ended up splitting it into two episodes. Sadly I couldn't upload both episodes at the same time so a second post is necessary.

Anywho.

We hope you enjoyed the first part and with any luck you'll be chomping at the bit for part two.

Don't forget to check out our photo album and while you're at it give us a follow on the Twitter and maybe even a subscribe on YouTube. That would be pretty awesome. Until then, enjoy the OMV specPAXular wrap-up!

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.11.2015_Episode_156_Part_2.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:15pm EST
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PAX

Fact:

PAX East 2015 was the best convention I've ever attended.

You might recall I made a similar statement last year in the PAX review blog but it's completely justified. This show is amazing and it seems it only gets better as the years go by. Unlike last time when Alex and I only got to attend for part of one day; this year Joe and Colin joined me for two full days of in-your-face PAX incredibleness.

I'm not going to lie: I've been stressing about this episode all week. We experienced so much and talked to so many incredible people...doing it all justice is a daunting task. I had planned out this massive blog post detailing our adventures but with two full episodes of PAX wrap-up coming at you it would just be redundant.

Instead I'm going to use this space to thank everyone at Penny Arcade and at the BCEC for putting on such an incredible show. Being a gamer can be tough sometimes. Labels, stereotypes, and controversy have been all the rage these days. Sometimes finding places where you can just let loose and be amongst friends can be difficult but places like PAX? Man, it just feels like home.

This post contains part one of our PAX wrap-up. Part two can be found here. We hope you all enjoy I'm sure you'll be counting the days until the next PAX along with us in no time.

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.11.2015_Episode_156_Part_1.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 3:07pm EST
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I only met Norman Lee a handful of times at conventions but he was easily one of my favorite artists to visit and consistently left a lasting impression. He was always willing to talk and chat which made it very easy for fans like myself to connect with him. It can be intimidating meeting people that make the stories you are a fan of. What do I say? Will they like me? Do I know enough about their work? Do I have to buy something? None of these were issues with Norman. Meeting other artists became easier because any sense of shyness or apprehension was set aside because talking with Norman was so easy.

This clip from our podcast combines my favorite things which is having my friends meet some of the coolest people I know. "This is Zack and Kyla and this is their first comicbook convention." And the nice guy Norman is, he gave us postcard sized prints of his work and personalized them. We chatted some more and he asked what it is we do, and then listened and cracked a few jokes with us. It was great. Unfortunately Kyla lost her print, so at the next show I saw Norman again and told him how much fun we had and that the girl with us lost her print. Without delay he pulled out a full sized print to replace the lost one. To which we made a few more jokes.

Like I said, having only met him a handful of times, he felt like an old friend. "Hang on, I need to go visit Norman Lee" I'd say to the group I was with. Which is different than "I need to go buy _____" or "I need to get my picture with ____."

Losing him is tragic. My thoughts go to his family and friends. I wish more people could have met him and witnessed his friendliness. Norman Lee will be missed.

-Alex.

Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:17pm EST
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Let's say DC decides to put a new artist on Batman who has their own interpretation of how Batman should look. If the look is a hit it's almost a guarantee that you'll see some sort of toy/action figure based on the design. Just glancing at an ad in this week's Green Lantern shows me upcoming Batman figures based on works from Dave Johnson, Ivan Reis, and Bryan Hitch. Makes sense, right? Not all Batmen are the same.

What about creator owned books? Some of the best stories I've ever read have been creator owned. Sadly, unless we're talking about The Walking Dead it can be pretty tough to find genuine merchandise based on the characters.

Enter Israel Skelton.

Israel is the creator/owner of Skelton Crew Studios. With a background in sculpting and metal work Israel has managed to turn a fun hobby into a full time business. Starting out with just a few replica keys from the Locke & Key books, Israel now produces collectables from books like Chew, Hellboy, and Mouse Guard. For those unaware Skelton Crew are the reason these adorable bastards exist:

Chogs

Join us this week where we get to chat with Israel and hear about how awesome it is to literally live the expression "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life".

Check it out, let us know what you think and don't forget to check out the Skelton Crew site to see what's coming out next!

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.2.2015_Episode_155.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:38pm EST
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