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By Nate VanLindt On 22 Mar, 2017 At 07:44 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Chances are you probably grew up reading either the ‘Hardy Boys’ or the ‘Nancy Drew’ novels.  Those old blue and yellow-spined hardcovers on your bookshelf filled with stories of the exploits of Frank and Joe and Nancy and Bess.   Just the mention of Franklin W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene brings back fond recollections for many of us, and they weren’t even real people.  All the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories were ghost written by contract writers for years.  The same goes for the ‘Bobbsey Twins’ books by Laura Lee Hope and the ‘Tom Swift’ novels by Victor Appleton Jr.    These books gave literally generations of young readers the basics of deductive reasoning and entertained them all the while.  The first Hardy Boys book was published in 1927 and the first Nancy Drew book in 1930 and they’ve been in continuous print ever since.

With their long-lasting popularity, it’s not surprising to see Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys occasionally resurface every decade or so for a facelift and some renewed book sales.  But one thing that most any fan would definitely not be expecting is the new comic series from Dynamite Comics entitled ‘Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie.’  ‘The Big Lie’ is everything that no one would expect from a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys team-up comic.  It’s gritty, violent, and hard-hitting right from the beginning.  The content is grim, the artwork has a rough retro feel, and the story is quite frankly, shocking.  It’s hard not to go into details without ruining the plot, but suffice it to say a fair assemblage of well-loved characters manage to make an appearance in issue one without things feeling crowded. On top of that, there are some surprising cameo appearances that might cause you to wax nostalgic.

Anthony Del Col of Kill Shakespeare fame manages to pull together tendrils of all our communal visions of Bayport from our childhood and weave them into the beginnings of a crime drama more reminiscent of an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street than a children’s mystery.   On top of that, Werther Dell’Edera’s minimalist art, which echoes notes of Darwyn Cooke but with more rough realism, perfectly rounds out the feel of the story.  Frank, Joe, and Nancy live very much in our present in this story and not in the picturesque Bayport that we read in novels as children.  People in this world are imperfect, petty, vicious, and most assuredly real.  It’s a novel approach to characters that have been relegated to childhood memories for far too long.

For those of you that weren’t raised on a steady diet of old clocks and tower treasures, never fear.  ‘The Big Lie’ stands well on its own regardless of your familiarity with the original source content.  It’s well-written, well-drawn and starts off a solid crime drama with a bang.  Issue one is at local comic book stores now, but it’s hard to expect anything but greatness from the forthcoming issues.  This one is a sleeper waiting to become a hit and whether you’re a fan of Frank, Joe, and Nancy or not, ‘The Big Lie’ is an absolute must-read for the indie comic reader.   One caveat however – this comic is definitely not for young readers.  It’s rated Teen+ and well deserves the rating.

By otakuman5000 On 22 Sep, 2014 At 09:31 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI already covered how I like comics in my first comic quickie here. So on to the recommendation. This week? Jason Aaron & Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards vol 1: Here Was a Man, which compiles issues 1-4.

Southern Bastards vol 1 cover for cq2

                     Property of Image Comics

 

This arc features a morally ambiguous Earl Tubb, who is now one of my all-time favorite characters in any media. To leave the description short and spoiler free Earl returns to the county he born in after some time away only to find it is quite different than what he remembered. He makes some friends and enemies very quickly while looking for answers. The four issues are paced great enough that even as I read the single issues I never felt that any one issue ended too quickly or dragged on.

This first arc is written extremely well, which isn’t surprising of superstar author Jason Aaron. The accompanying art from Latour fits extremely well. The visual portrayal accompanied by the story give an amazing atmosphere to Castor County. So much so that I can almost taste Boss’s BBQ.

This volume will release in stores on October 1, but Amazon has its date set for October 14 if you don’t have a LCS you go to. The Jasons’ work should be essential for any fan of mystery or crime novels. Everything about the series should have you hooked before you’re halfway through.

By Sean Jacobs On 5 Sep, 2014 At 01:49 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, International News, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments

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One of Maryland’s finest comic book retailers

Opening day is among us for The Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore convention center. The scene is brimming with an cornucopia of talented cosplayer out front of the Pratt Street entrance at the Baltimore Convention Center. Like previous years at the BCC the lines are seemingly endless and with that the downtown inner harbor area of Bmore is teeming with characters from all over the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and abroad.

High Quality Statues on deck baby!

Today I Sean Jacobs will be roaming the Comic-Con landscape on the lookout for the bizarre costumes, interesting comic book finds and anything that might surprise me. This is my first Comic-Con I am excited to spend four hours covering the spectacle that will unfold upon my virgin eyes. I have seen documentaries and have read articles on these events but, on this day I will witness hopefully a panel and whatever else that is planned in their itinerary.

Nice company's like Valiant are present at the Comic-Con

Stay tuned as Real Otaku Gamer peers into this event and shares with you our experiences at The Baltimore Comic Con.

Follow Sean Jacobs on Twitter &  on Facebook

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By Amy McGarey On 9 Jun, 2014 At 03:43 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments

No GravatarLast Saturday, I attended my local comic-con, Tri-State Comic Con in Huntington, WV. It’s a one-day comic convention in its third year and this was my first time attending. Huntington is the largest town in the Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia tri-state area, where there is virtually nothing “nerd-friendly” to go out and do. Have you ever seen “The Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”? That’s a pretty good representation of the local scene, which was why I was so surprised at how awesome a comic convention could be in my hometown. First of all, the guests were so amazing. I couldn’t believe that Gail Simone and Daniel Way were coming to my hometown! They both did a panel at the con, but I’ll get into that later.

What I Bought

First off – my haul. I ended up going for a ton of wall art. I actually spent way more money at this convention than at Lexington Toy and Comic Con.

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My favorite item – TARDIS by Playing With Pallets. Be sure to check them out on Facebook. They make all kinds of wall art and outdoor art with comic book and tv show themes and they do custom orders.

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I bought my second print from Brett Pinson – Michonne – who is my favorite character from The Walking Dead. The first one I bought was Serenity from LexCon. I love this guy’s work and I’m going to make it a tradition to buy his artwork at every convention I go to.

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I got three prints from Billy Tucci of Crusade Fine Arts. Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Batgirl will be framed soon and hanging over my couch in the living room.

The Panels

I only went to two of the panels this year – Gail Simone and Daniel Way. Gail Simone was the first panel of the day and I was so excited to see her! She talked about how she started out writing comics and ended up at DC writing Batgirl and Birds of Prey. She made a very good point – that writers should be able to write characters from all points of view. Female writers shouldn’t just be stuck writing female characters as well as male writers shouldn’t be stuck writing only male characters. I was sitting beside a six year old girl dressed up as Batgirl, and during the Q&A portion, she asked Gail Simone what she liked about writing Batgirl. It was the cutest thing ever!

The Daniel Way panel was very interesting – of course he wrote for Deadpool, Wolverine, Venom, and other Marvel characters. There were a little fewer people attending this panel, which was such a shame. Most of the people who were attending were little boys, and they were mostly asking him questions about Marvel history. There was this one guy who kept asking questions about Venom, saying how much he hated the comic and how many bad reviews he had written about it. That part was funny but also very awkward. I was sitting in the front row, so I was trying to keep a straight face the whole time.

Cosplay

I didn’t stay the whole day, so I missed the cosplay contest. I showed up to the convention at the earliest possible moment, and couldn’t stay the whole time because I had to get home to my puppies. I was actually thinking of cosplaying Poison Ivy, but I chickened out at the last minute. I like to get a feel for conventions first before I feel comfortable cosplaying at them. Anyway, at the times that I was there, I didn’t see very many really great cosplayers, but I did see some good costumes on my way out. Next year, I really will cosplay (I swear!!) and I will plan to go later in the day, so I don’t feel uncomfortable walking around in costume for hours at a time.

Will I Go Again?

Absolutely, I would go to this convention again and it has restored my faith in my local area having events that don’t revolve monster trucks and mud. I also have a renewed interest in making sure I go to all of my regional conventions. In August, I am very excited about going to Fandom Fest, which is in Louisville, KY and in October there is Tsubasacon in Huntington. If you live in the Appalachian area, I would definitely recommend traveling to Huntington for the weekend for Tri-Con 2015!

By Amy McGarey On 24 Apr, 2014 At 11:37 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Publisher: Boom! Studios
Written by: Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Illustrated by: Brooke Allen

Have you ever wanted to go to summer camp for hardcore lady-types? Lumberjanes tells the tale of five cabin mates at an all girl adventure camp. Their motto? Friendship to the max! Our story starts with the girls sneaking out of their cabin late at night to investigate a “weird old lady” outside of their cabin. They end up in the forest and fight off a pack of three-eyed foxes. After defeating the foxes, their howls spell out a message: “Beware the kitten holy.” Believing to have just beat some cat-hating foxes, they sneak back to their cabin hoping not to wake up their camp counselor, Jen. Of course, Jen catches them on their way in and takes them directly to the camp director for punishment. After all, they broke eight camp policies. When the Lumberjanes tell their story to Rosie, the camp director, she seems more interested in the adventure, rather than kicking the girls out for sneaking off. She gives them a badge for being “up all night.” The girls are shocked that she isn’t going to call their parents.

I loved the first issue of Lumberjanes. It was full of action, adventure and it reminded me of the same kind of humor as Adventure Time. I can’t wait for the next issue to find out what kind of magical items the girls discovered. Also, I can’t wait to see more of their battle formations, like “Little Red” formation. The next issue will be out May 14th.

By Amy McGarey On 16 Apr, 2014 At 06:18 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 1 Comment

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As part of the 75th anniversary celebration of Batman, a new comic book series called Batman Eternal debuted last Wednesday. This series will last 60 issues and be written by a revolving team of all-star Batman writers including John Layman, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley. Batman Eternal will work alongside the regular Batman series, which is also written by Scott Snyder. Batman #28 serves as an introduction to this new series.

In Batman Eternal #1, we see Commissioner Gordon battling head to head with Professor Pyg. Gordon makes a mistake while trying to apprehend one of his henchmen and causes a disaster of epic proportions. Batman can’t even save Gordon from the wrath of the corrupt Major Forbes. We’re also introduced to a new transfer cop from Detroit, Jason Bard, who seems to represent a younger Jim Gordon – someone who believes that Gotham City is worth fighting for.

With Gordon off the grid, I’m excited to see how Batman’s relationship with the Gotham City Police will survive. Will Jason Bard be Batman’s new go-to man? Are Batman’s allies going to be picked off one by one? Batman Eternal is well worth picking up. The first issue already has some movie-worthy scenes which further the battle between light and dark in Gotham. This first issue was written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by Jason Fabok.