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By Nate VanLindt On 11 Nov, 2017 At 08:45 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, News, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Spoiler Alert!  If you haven’t read the December 1973 issue of Captain America And The Falcon (#168) yet, this article contains detailed information about the plot and storyline!  Don’t come complaining later if you ruined it for yourself!

Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some comics!  Recently, I came across a good-sized lot of Captain America And The Falcon comics from the early to late Seventies.

Forty-two issues spanning a solid seven years of Captain America with a fair number of gaps of course.  Like a lot of kids, I grew up reading the occasional Cap story, but I never really collected it.  I picked up this run because a fair chunk of the later issues was the final run written and drawn by none other than Jack ‘The King” Kirby himself, almost twenty issues.  Most of the earlier issues were written by an assortment of writers including Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella, and even Marv Wolfman.  Having never had access to this much Cap before, I figured I was in for a treat.  What I hadn’t expected was what a surprise I was in for as well.

I read a lot of Marvel Comics as a kid.  My favorite was Spider-Man.  Most of my comic collection as a child consisted of Marvel and DC from the Seventies and Eighties.  But I read those comics with a child’s eyes.  Coming back to them as an adult and reading them with an adult’s perspective shows a complex multi-layered dynamic between the characters that I’ve never realized existed before.  It’s something that isn’t in a lot of today’s modern comics; a subtext commentary about our society at the time the books were written.  It turns out Captain America And The Falcon was a book that was notably not afraid to address the issues of the day, namely racism and the inequity between blacks and whites in 1970s America.  There are comments and statements throughout the book, often between Cap and Falcon, about how African-Americans are treated in the USA.  It’s not just here or there either.  Stan Lee addresses it, Jack Kirby addresses it and bringing us to Captain America And The Falcon #168, Roy Thomas & Tony Isabella address it.

 

This issue of Captain America caught my attention, not just for the iconic cover, but also because it was a self-contained one issue story that was made into a Book And Record set which I happened to own as a child.  I’ve probably read the entire book at least fifty times, but having lost my Book and Record collection over the years, I’d almost forgotten that the story existed and had no idea that it was actually a regular issue that was released in the early Seventies as well.  So over twenty years later, I sat down to read it again.

The story starts out with Cap and Falcon out on patrol.  One of the first things you notice though is the tone of which Falcon speaks.  His dialect comes out in the writing and he sounds like he’s straight off the street in the Seventies.  This fits of course, but I never noticed it as a kid.  Captain America has a much more refined mode of speech but their banter back and forth flows naturally.   Things got surprisingly adult very quickly though, with Steve Rogers (and if you don’t know that’s who Captain America is…well, I can’t help you.  Or I just did, take your pick) worrying about the morality of having fallen in love with the daughter of the woman he used to be in love with in the 1940s.  And Falcon reassures him by telling him that it’s just ‘an old-fashioned [love] triangle’ that’s got him down.  Okay, so apparently that’s just par for the course for most people.  Who knew?

While I’m still reeling from the implications of that little bombshell, a mystery villain attacks Cap and Falcon out of the blue, spouting dire threats at Cap specifically.   Here’s where things get really interesting.  Falcon sneaks up on “The Phoenix” while he’s attacking Cap and kicks him in the back from behind.  Standard superhero stuff.  But then the Phoenix responds.

As you can see in the panel, Sam Wilson (that’s the Falcon for those of you who also didn’t know) refuses to sink to his level and makes with the witty banter in return, offering him a fair fight and the Phoenix responds again.  He then proceeds to pile drive Falcon in the chin with the butt of his um…laser rifle.  Yeah.  In 1973.  Hey, it’s a superhero comic!  But as you can imagine, the above exchange left me nearly open-mouthed.  Had I seriously read that dialogue properly?  Apparently, I had.  And make no mistake, this is a theme that is rife throughout the Captain America And The Falcon series.  It’s not unique to this issue.  However,  they did choose to make this particular issue into a Book and Record set for kids.  But don’t worry, the shocks don’t end here!

Cap then drives off Falcon to try and keep him safe and then goes hunting for the Phoenix on his own.  He finds a likely victim and ends up getting captured by the villain himself.  A chained Captain America asks him who he really is and why he holds such hatred for him and in true villain fashion, Phoenix gives Cap his life’s story.

He’s the son of Baron Zemo, a Nazi scientist who worked on weapons development for the Third Reich.  That’s right, Nazis.

But not just Nazis, Nazis and their families.  Zemo’s son portrays his father as a loving family man, working tirelessly for the benefit of the German war effort, until an attack by the despicable Captain America bonds his mask to his face and he becomes mad with anger and revenge and turns on his family, eventually meeting his doom.  Now his son is out, for blood, rising like a phoenix to wreak vengeance upon our not-so-hapless hero.  Phoenix loses in the end and loses his life too.  Falcon drops in to save the day, Phoenix spouts more racial epithets and Cap joins in to stop him, but his own weapons destroy him and Cap has an introspective moment about the nature of hatred.  Even this scene was emotionally charged and reminds us of our history.  

And as I read through more issues, the same types of themes reoccurred.  One of the Kirby issues (Captain America And The Falcon #194, February 1977) has Steve dreaming about an ancestor from the American Revolution and when he tells Sam Wilson, Falcon accuses Cap’s family of owning slaves, possibly even his own ancestors!   Isn’t that literally the exact thing that’s been in the news the last year or two?  It’s basically a conversation about white guilt, ignorance, and forgetting the past in less than 3 paragraphs!  Absolutely stunning.

Stop and think about all of this for a minute.  We have the child of a Nazi following in his father’s footsteps and coming to America to assassinate Captain America.  It does at least explain his brutally racist remarks to Falcon.  But take this book out of context for a moment.  Overlay it with the politics and mood or the country today.  It’s like we never got past that era.  We have the same racism.  We have neo-Nazis spreading across North America and Europe like a virus.  It’s FORTY-FOUR years after this comic was written and we still have the same issues for African-Americans in America as we did in 1973!  It’s right there in black and white for all of us to read in a comic primarily intended for children.

If anything, in many ways things have gotten worse instead of better, but we talk about the ‘rising racial tension in America’ like it’s shocking and new.  It’s not.  It never left.  It’s a social convention that’s been lurking about beneath the surface that we mostly avoided talking about except for the people directly suffering from it.  And it’s all wrapped up in a neat little red, white, and blue package for anyone to see in a comic written before I was even born.  Not in literature, nor in a journal article, or even an editorial.  In a superhero comic book.  THAT is how pervasive the endemic problems in our society are.  THAT is what we need to realize.  That every little thing shows us something is very wrong and we continue to ignore it, even in our kids’ comics.   Racism, white supremacy, the changing structure of relationships and learning to accept them, none of it is new. We’ve just forgotten it isn’t.  Maybe we need to look to the past and have some open discussions about these issues.  Perhaps we should put aside the politically charged arguments and the political correctness and simply look at our world…through the panels of a comic book.

A final note:

For those of you who are interested, Captain America And The Falcon is not remotely the only mainstream book that handles themes like these.  Marvel and DC in the 1970s both covered a variety of sociopolitical issues.  Notably, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Hero For Hire, and the Power Man And Iron Fist comics for Marvel and Green Lantern/Green Arrow for DC were heavy hitters.  Drugs, racism, poverty, and social inequity all get some serious contemplation between super-powered brawls.  If you get the chance, take a second look at some of those old comics.  You might just be surprised what’s inside them! 

 

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Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom are two iconic Marvel Comics characters. They have both been used in a variety of media from comics, to movies to games, but many don’t realize how much the characters have in common. They are both driven men, who strive to better themselves, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. Dr. Doom, despite being a man of science, is also a sorcerer like Dr. Strange and that is where  Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment comes in.

A recurring part of Dr. Doom’s stories for a long time was his goal to free his mother from hell. Every midsummer’s eve he would fight a demon, lose and vow to fight again. In, Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment a new approach is taken. After a test by the deities known as the Vishanti, Dr. Strange receives new affirmation of his role but also a new duty. Doom was also tested and nearly succeeded and Strange must grant him a boon, the boon being his aid in freeing Doom’s mother from hell. 

Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment, is unlike any other Marvel comic. First released as a standalone graphic novel, when Marvel had its line of Prestige Graphic Novels, the title has recently been reprinted along with some other relevant stories to give more context ( and one not so relevant but there is a reason for its inclusion). It was written by Roger Stern and drawn by Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, and as such has a truly unique look to it. The comic shows the lengths Dr. Doom will go to, to free his mother, and gives, even more, depth to the dictator of Latveria, including insight into his sense of pride and honor. But at the same time, it helps expand the mythos of Dr. Strange, both by showing him interacting with other sorcerers of all kind and through his work with Dr. Doom. It also expands on characters like the Aged Ghengis, a recurring character, and shows a very different side of him. It also shows just how connected Dr. Doom and Dr. Strange truly are. It even gives new insight into the demon Mephisto and his role in hell.

Triumph and Torment is a strong title for the comic, but it has multiple meanings, some of which is not clear until the end. It was a highly acclaimed work, but sadly unavailable for many years, until as stated, it was recently reprinted. If you are a fan of comics, you should read this. Even if you dislike superhero comics, this is worth your time as it doesn’t really come off as a superhero comic at all. It is far more philosophical and spiritual in nature, reflecting on the nature of humanity and destiny and redemption. And if you like art, you can see Mike Mignola’s earlier pre-Hellboy work here. It is of an amazing quality and really helps the otherworldly nature of the comic and its protagonists. Do yourself a favor and give this one a read.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Sep, 2017 At 02:26 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, ROG News, Television | With 0 Comments

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Who remembers the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch? If you do, you may be interested in knowing that a new Sabrina series is in the works at the CW. Except, this is not Sabrina as you remember her.

 

The hourlong drama reimagines the story of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age tale that traffics in horror, the occult and witchcraft, naturally. The new iteration is described as in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist and finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.

Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is penning the adaptation, which is being eyed as a companion for Riverdale that would potentially debut in the 2018-19 TV season. He will exec produce with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater and Lee Toland Krieger, who will direct the pilot should the project move forward. Berlanti Productions will produce in association with Warner Bros. TV.

 

 

……………….

 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina also represents a homecoming of sorts for the character of Sabrina Spellman. Melissa Joan Hart memorably played the character in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The half-hour, produced by Viacom Productions, ran on ABC for four seasons before moving to The WB its final three seasons. The comedy wrapped in 2003, three years before The WB would merge with UPN to become The CW.

In recent years, Archie has been playing up the horror aspects of Sabrina in various comics. This TV show has a lot of potential, and is one to keep your eyes on.

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Jul, 2017 At 05:01 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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You cannot keep a good hedgehog down. Archie comics may not be publishing Sonic comics anymore but now they have a new home.

SEGA announced a new partnership with IDW Publishing today that will them publish a new line of comics based on the series starting in 2018.

Chris Ryall, IDW chief creative officer, said the following:

“We’ve been speaking with beloved Sonic fan-favorite creators and new creators alike, and are excited to be able to spread specifics about our plans for the comic in the near future.”

Ivo Gerscovich, Chief Brand Officer for Sonic the Hedgehog, stated:

“We are ecstatic about this partnership with IDW. We know they’ll serve as a good home for the new adventures of Sonic, his friends and foes.”

This is great news as IDW publishes some amazing comics. Just good for everyone who is a fan.

Source: SEGA PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jul, 2017 At 09:05 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sad news for comic fans. The Archie Comic Sonic The Hedgehog series will be ending its run after 24 years. The series was the longest running video games based comic and it will be missed.

Sega put out a statement.

 

More comics are coming it seems, but not with Archie anymore.

 

This is the end of an era.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2017 At 09:56 AM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The hit 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm will be coming to Blu Ray in a 1080p HD Remaster.

 

Warner Archive announced the release yesterday and fans have been very receptive already.

 

BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM(1993) (BD)
NEW 2017 1080p HD REMASTER
Presented in both the original theatrical 16×9 aspect ratio (1.78:1) AND open matte 4×3 (1.37:1) aspect ratio
Run Time 76:00
Subtitles English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 Stereo – English
COLOR
BD 50
Theatrical Trailer (HD)

When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with some link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his own name?

Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in this dazzling animated feature. Discover revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker and Batman’s most grueling battle ever — the choice between his love for a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is “a mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving” (Cincinnati Enquirer).

According to twitter, the release will be next month.
This author remembers seeing the movie in his childhood (not in theatres but some years later) and being absolutely wowed. Seeing it again recently, it truly holds up well. This is a great movie.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Jun, 2017 At 05:19 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, International News, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Toei Animation sent out the following

 

Toei Animation gave the world a first-look at its highly-anticipated Mazinger Z feature film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the largest animation festival in the world. First announced in February with only an image, fans across the globe have waited eagerly for key details on how the big screen will adapt the revered anime series. Now – for the first time since 1974 – Mazinger Z is finally back!

 

With an introduction from Mazinger Z’s original creator, Go Nagai, and producers Ichinao Nagai and Yu Kanemaru, attendees at the Annecy International Film Festival on June 14 were treated to an exclusive look at what the talented team at Toei Animation has been working on these many months. With gasps of surprise and applause from the audience – which included famed director Guillermo Del Toro, who counts the series as a major source of inspiration – three major revelations were revealed.

 

Not An Adaptation, But A Sequel!

The film’s brand-new story takes place ten years after the final episode of the TV series.

 

Complete Synopsis

Humanity was once in danger of its downfall at the hands of the Underground Empire, which was led by the evil scientist Dr. Hell.  Koji Kabuto piloted the super robot Mazinger Z, and with help from his friends at the Photon Power Laboratory, he thwarted Dr. Hell’s evil ambitions and returned peace to the world.

It’s been ten years since then… No longer a pilot, Koji Kabuto has taken after his father and grandfather by starting down the path of the scientist.  He encounters a gigantic structure buried deep beneath Mt. Fuji, along with a mysterious indication of life…

New encounters, new threats, and a new fate await mankind.  The former hero Koji Kabuto has a decision to make about the future: whether to be a god or a demon…

This grand action film depicts the fierce battle fought by the people and Mazinger Z–once again entrusted with the future of mankind!

 

Toshiyuki Watanabe Will Score The Film!

He’s the son of Chumei Watanabe, giant of the Tokusatsu music world, known for being on the front lines of creating opening songs for Showa-era anime and hero shows, including the very Mazinger Z opening theme that Mizuki sings. A composer of music for many movies in his own right, as well as a producer for a variety of artists, ears are open and waiting for the music Toshiyuki Watanabe creates! The torch of “Z” has been passed from father to son!

 

Ichiro Mizuki Joins To Sing The Opening Theme!

The beloved opening theme of the series  returns with a sweeping orchestral version sung by Ichiro Mizuki. After 45 years, everyone’s powered up big bro is coming back to Mazinger Z’s stage.

 

…And Finally!

Previously exclusive only to Annecy attendees, the film’s complete teaser trailer is now available

 

You can see the teaser below

 

Mazinger Z is a beloved series and this new film looks great. Toei is really going all out to make this a tribute to the original and make sure fans and the material are treated with respect. As an anime fan myself, this author is extremely excited by this movie.

Fans should definitely rejoice.

No GravatarI recently had the chance to talk with one of the best comic creators working in the industry right now, Thom Zahler. We discussed his comics, his influences and his advice for new creators. have a read below.

 

 

 

 

 

JB: What were some of your favourite comics growing up?

TZ: I cut my teeth on Superman and the Justice League books. Especially when I was younger, the DC stories were 1-3 part stories that ended, which was kinder when you don’t have any control over when you buy your next book. Firestorm became my favorite because that was the first #1 I ever bought. In the world before reboots and constant renumbering, getting a #1 was special. Oddly, Firestorm was a very Marvel-style character.

 

JB: Who were your favourite artists and writers? Who had the most influence on you?

TZ: As a kid, Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger. Curt drew Superman and he was everywhere. Kurt drew so slick and so perfect, his stuff was just gorgeous. Go back and find his stuff. Such a strong and smooth line, and he made simple look good. He wasn’t designed for everything, but his Shazam stuff was transcendent. And Perez took it to another level for me.

 

JB: You went to the Kubert school, what was that experience like?

TZ: I always describe it as boot camp for artists. We had two classes a day, five days a week. I did 100 assignments before I went home for Thanksgiving. Just the volume of work gets you better. I learned a bunch of new methods and materials, grew so much as an artist, and forged some of my closest friendships.

 

Ultimately, I appreciate that Joe was teaching us to be Will Eisner. I can create a book, top to bottom. It gives me a flexibility to produce books that are important to me. I don’t know how much I appreciated it when I was in school, but I’m so grateful for it now.

 

 

JB: Can you describe some of the major influences on Love and Capes?

 

TZ: Darwyn Cooke, Bruce Timm and the DC Animated art style were huge for the look of the book. A cartoony style was something I fought for a long time, but when I got on the right book and I started doing it, I realized it was my wheelhouse. All that time trying to draw like Curt Swan or George Perez and apparently my art brain doesn’t work that way. But cartoony animated stuff, that’s my jam.

 

Writing wise, Berke Brethed’s Bloom County was a giant influence. It may not seem like it, but Love and Capes had a four panel beat structure. Essentially, it was Bloom County comic strip style jokes stitched together. It was also a comedic metronome for me.

 

The banter comes from my love of TV and sitcoms. Aaron Sorkin, Friends, How I Met Your Mother all loomed large in my head. When writing. It’s hard, because words take room and you have to structure them so the cadence is right there, as opposed to delivered by an actor. But I thought I did well with it.

 

JB:  You mention in your books, some of your influences, and how you put one of your pre-professional creations into the comic. At what point did it hit you that you are a professional comic creator? That moment where you felt a sense of wow at the situation. Do you ever stop feeling like a fan, or do you just appreciate being a fan in new ways?

TZ: That’s a great question! I’m not sure. I felt like a professional artist for years, being a graphic designer for an ad agency. But feeling like I was a full-fledged cartoonist, whatever that means, probably not until IDW picked up Love and Capes. Self-publishing was awesome, but when someone else is putting their money into publishing your work, that’s a different level. And it’s been iterative. IDW made the trades, then started publishing new issues, and then hired me on My Little Pony which was my first non-creator owned writing gig. Ultimate Spider-Man was my first animated TV gig. There’s always another rung on the ladder.

 

I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable. But I think that keeps me hungry and growing.

 

JB:  Have you ever considered going back to Love and Capes? Maybe a spinoff featuring Charlotte?

 

TZ: I think about it all the time. Love and Capes is very special to me, but that’s also why it’s so hard to return to. The birth of their child was the planned ending for the series, and I really felt like I stuck that landing. I don’t want to overstay my welcome or go out on a false note. I think stories need to end.

 

That said, if I ever have the RIGHT story, I’ll come back in a heartbeat. It’s interesting you mention Charlotte, because she might be my favorite character. She never found a boyfriend in the series because I couldn’t manage to write anyone worthy of her. I’ve toyed around with shifting the focus to Darkblade and Amazonia, different love, different capes. But I haven’t felt that inner voice telling me “This story, right now.”

 

JB: Your comic Time and Vine is one of the most intriguing ideas I have ever seen. How did you come up with that idea? How long were you working on it before you made it a comic?

 

TZ: I blame Kurt Busiek. I seem to recall him tweeting something about a wine comic and the idea just came to me. It wasn’t the next story idea I had, but it quickly took over my writer’s brain. I was on a walk one day and the structure of the story just came to me and it was so right. Once that happened, I was committed.

 

The time travel aspect locked down pretty quickly. I knew what the story required and the rules worked pretty well. I don’t think there are any cheats or paradoxes. Magic helps a lot.

 

I hope it’s a powerful story. If I do it right, it’ll be my Up. And if you’ve heard me talk about how much I love that movie, you know what that means to me.

 

 

JB: What was it like working on the My Little Pony comic? That franchise has a very dedicated fanbase, so did that make working on the project any different?

 

TZ: I try to respect the fans for sure. I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so I know about loyal fanbases. But the best Trek movie was written by Nick Meyer, who wasn’t a huge fan. I hoped to bring that outside perspective to it when I started. Now, I am a fan of the show, and I am a fan of the fans. But, if I’m doing it right, I also have the distance from the property to write interesting stories. Using Trek as an example again, I’m not sure I would have been bold enough to write Kirk feeling old, having a child, or killing Spock. But those were all great choices… bold choices… by someone who knew what a good story was and not just what they wanted to see.

 

 

JB: What advice do you have to new writers and artists trying to break into the industry?

 

TZ: Keep learning and be persistent are the big ones. And make something. There are less middle range publishers who would pay you to do sample pages like when I broke in, so you’ve got to publish on the web, or Comixology, or self-publish.

 

But that’s the big thing to me. It’s never a static game board. The rules keep changing. I came out of Kubert with the skill of hand-lettering. But computer lettering was on the horizon. Which meant that I was riding a wave. I could get hand lettering work, but I had to decide if I wanted to adapt to keep getting more work. I’ve learned how to color on the computer, how to draw on the computer and so on. I never wanted to self-publish, but it became the solution to the problem in front of me.

 

Basically, your job isn’t being a cartoonist. Your job is being employed.

 

 

JB: What are some projects you would like to work on, licensed properties or otherwise?

 

TZ: Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek! I love Trek so much, and co-wrote a short story for Pocket Books. I’d love to do more.

 

And I’d love to do a traditional superhero book. I think my sensibilities are just enough off-center to do something quirky while still writing a standard superhero book. Superman, Iron Man, Firestorm… I’d love to take a shot at those.

 

 

JB:  Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

 

TZ: I’ve got a new project that just dropped from Webtoons, too! It’s called Warning Label and it’s about a girl named Danielle who’s been cursed by her ex-boyfriend that anytime she gets asked out, they get a warning label of all the things they need to watch out for. You can check it out at:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/warning-label/list?title_no=1051

 

Time and Vine is in Previews now. And I’ll have a couple more My Little Pony issues coming out this summer, too!

JB: Thank you again for doing this.

 

TZ: My pleasure!

 

 

You can follow Thom on Twitter @thomzahler

 

 

Love and Capes and Long Distance are both available at Amazon.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:42 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, News, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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It was previously noted that a Splatoon manga series will soon begin running in Japan, and now it turns out fans here in the west need not feel left out.

Viz Media posted the following.

Splatoon has quickly become an extremely big hit and a manga is a great way to expand it. It would be great if the manga is as well received as the game was.

Will you be reading it?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 2 Apr, 2017 At 02:16 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarComic Fans, rejoice, There will be a new crossover between the TMNT and Usagi Yojimbo. Entertainment Weekly sat down with Usagi Yojimbo Creator Stan Sakai to discuss the project and many interesting details were mentioned. For one, although Usagi and the turtles have crossed over in the past, this crossover is between the new IDW incarnation of the turtles meeting Usagi. But Usagi remembers his previous meetings with the Mirage era turtles. How this will be explained will not doubt be amazing.

Sakai broke the story down in the interview.

The story is called “Namazu.” It’s based upon the folklore of a giant catfish that lives underneath the Japanese islands. When it moves, that’s what causes earthquakes. There’s a god, Kashima, who had trapped it, pinned it down with a huge capstone. In my story, a piece of the capstone has crumbled off centuries ago, and that has weakened it. Because of that, the catfish has gotten stronger and is able to move a bit more. Usagi and the Turtles come into possession of a fragment of the capstone, and they have to put the fragments back together to trap the catfish. Otherwise, it will literally tear the Japanese islands apart. One of my characters called Jei is on a sacred quest to destroy all evil in the world. He reasons if he destroys all people, he’ll be destroying evil. So he wants the Japanese islands to be destroyed and is preventing them from completing their mission. It’s just full of fun.

Jei is one of my favourite characters in the series, so for him to interact with the turtles is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

He also discussed the format, which will come as a one shot comic and also a hardcover version.

This story will come in a special hardcover edition. Can you talk about what goodies will be included?
The hardcover will include the preliminary drawings and notes I had done. These are new incarnations of the turtles, so they’re slightly different from what I’m used to drawing. For one thing, when I turned in the rough copy, my editor said these turtles don’t have tails. Oh, okay. There are little things like that. It will also have story notes, background. I also wanted to do a bibliography of story notes about the earthquake fish. It will have thumbnails, my story outline, pretty much the creative process.

Stan Sakai is a legendary writer and artist and this story sounds absolutely amazing. We have promises of Stan’s version of Splinter showing up ( does that mean kakaera the rat wizard?) Usagi meeting the new turtles, and more interaction. This will be amazing.

If you haven’t yet read our breakdown of the series, you can read it here.

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