Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easter Egg Basket #2 - Classics Illustrated

Check out the comic book shelf in the background of a scene from The Dark Knights Returns Part 1:

Top shelf (from left to right) appears to be:
  • Swamp Thing Volume 8 Trade Paperback "Spontaneous Generation"
  • Sandman #1
  • V For Vendetta Trade Paperback
Bottom shelf (again, from left to right):
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
  • Watchmen #1
All are from DC Comics or DC/Vertigo, considered innovative and were popular around the same time (more or less) as when the Dark Knight Returns comic came out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

It's that time of year again!  You may recall young Katie's set of costumes from last year (every colored Lantern, Green Lantern, etc) and now she's back!  Check out this year's set of costumes inspired by a certain summer movie:

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


How to make a Cap-O-Lantern

Step 1:

Step 2:

Happy Early Halloween!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

World's Finest Gummie Pops

With all this talk of Avengers and Spider-Man and various Marvel brouhaha, it's easy to forget about their Distinguished Competition.  Sure there was also a Batman movie this year but it was woefully underrepresented at the grocery store.  That Dark Knight themed Mountain Dew just didn't cut it for me.  Every morning I would toss a beleaguered look toward its location in the soda cooler at 7-Eleven as I got my coffee but its siren song fell on deaf (or possibly lazy) ears.

A happier tune was sung by these squishy feeling Batman and Superman Gummie Pops...because...my God, they're squishy!  I thought they were marshmallow pops at first since apparently those are the types of things that exist but no, these are fruity, HFCS filled squishtastic wonders firmly planted on a stick (and, as we all know, everything tastes better on a stick).

They with Fun Fact Cards for you to read as you chew.  The ones I got weren't breaking new ground but you never know.  They say every comic book is someone's first comic so maybe more candy should lay the foundation of knowledge for these franchises and include helpful tidbits about Jimmy Olsen and Ace the Bat-Hound.

Temporary tattoos are also included making these pops a bona fide multimedia experience.  They're your standard Batman and Superman logos and I learned that they are difficult to applied to a wiggly one year old.

But how do they taste, you ask?  Horrible.  To be fair, I don't eat a lot of candy and I'm probably not the target audience but the one bite of each that I had was enough to convince me that they weren't marshmallows.  I got an artificially fruity type flavor and and artificial existence type of texture.  Kind of like calamari but a thousand times more disturbing.

So I bit both of their faces off and never looked back.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Human Rights Student Artwork Contest & Exhibit

The human rights student exhibit and contest at the Texas Visual Arts Association Gallery in Dallas, TX.  Student contest winners will have their art published in the upcoming "Upstanders Quest: True Stories of Survivors of Slavery: graphic novel.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Top Ten Avengers Movie Products

Summer is winding down and we're all still coming to terms with how awesome the Avengers movie was.  I still didn't get the Iron Man Cereal I've been craving for years but that pain was eased slightly by the abundance of Avengers merchandise that I never dreamed I'd be able to own...until now.

So let's have a look at some of the more interesting items that came about from the Marvel Cash Grab Avengers promotional machine:

10.  Avengers Assault Cycles - I went to the movie theater with the absolute expectation that there would be a scene where all of the Avengers rode their own custom motorcycles.  It was the only part of the film that disappointed me.

9.  Avengers Swim Goggles - Remember that scene where they all put on goggles...and then...you know...went swimming...

8.  Avengers Bowling Set - "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!"  I think you know where I'm going with this.

7.  Various Avengers Soap/Shampoo/Shower Gel/etc. -  Now there's no part of you that can't be soaped up and scrubbed down...Avengers Style!

6.  Avengers Lip Balm Rings -  "Oh my your lips are moist and glistening!  What's your secret?"  "Why, just look at my fingers!"  Also, Avengers!

5.  Avengers Fruit Snacks - I usually devote an entire blog entry to super hero themed fruit snacks (as seen HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) but the ability and inclination to write eight paragraphs over and over again about what is essentially the same product is both fleeting and elusive.  Damn you, Muse!  I will find you again in time for Iron Man 3!!

4.  Avengers Wet Wipes - Never before has wiping been such an action packed thrill ride!

3.   Avengers Candy/Fan - Remember when you'd be eating candy and then get all sweaty and wouldn't know what to do with yourself?  Those days are over now.

2.  Avengers Lottery Tickets - I won a dollar from each of these beauties!  Who's the emotionally crippled man-child now!?!? 

1.  Avengers Cologne - The only item on this list that I didn't personally acquire.  (Mainly because I didn't want to spend $30.00 to smell like the Hulk.)  The Fab Four are represented in this box set, but not to worry, Loki, Nick Fury and Black Widow also have fragrances available on the official website (Hawkeye?  No, of course not.)

See you all on May 1, 2015!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Student Artwork Show

You may remember that we shot and posted this video not too long ago:

It was about the Human Rights Art Exhibit at the Texas Visual Arts Association gallery.  It also mentioned the student art contest for an upcoming graphic novel about modern day slavery.

Well, the contest was a success and the student artwork is going to be displayed at the TVAA gallery (and, of course, published in the graphic novel).  Here are the details:

I'll see you at the exhibit!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ignore the Doctor

Inspired by "Ignore Hitler" and coupled with my obsession with the game Draw Something I've started to incorporate the Doctor into my game play.  See:

It helps pass the time while waiting on the new season to start.  If you'd like to play with me, I'm "tkent22"

UPDATE: The Fifth Doctor wanted to join in as well:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Lovin'

There's some "goings on a' transpirin'" this summer with the documentary and screenings and whatnot.  Here's the rundown:

The Denver Comic Con will screen the film on June 17th at 3:00 P.M.

The 3rd International Comics Conference at Bournenmouth University in the UK will screen the film at 5:30 P.M.

Selected clips from the film will be screened at a panel at the Children's Media Conference, also in the UK, on July 5th at 5:00 P.M.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Amazing Spidey Cereal

Just got a new addition to my Spider-Man Cereal Library:
A new movie means a new cereal box.  I won't go on and on about my lackluster enthusiasm level for the new Spidey movie like I have before.  After the lack of any Avengers cereal I'm just happy to welcome another superhero to be a part of my balanced breakfast. 

They didn't break any new ground with the design.  It's still a fruit flavored spider web/pinwheel type shape.  Perhaps they did it as an homage to past Spidey Cereals (see, I'm being positive!).

The back has the ol' maze/word puzzle combo with a few softball trivia questions.  It's interesting to note that the back of the box refers to the Lizard as the "Green Lizard" (assuming I got that trivia question correct).

The Lizard also gets a shout out in marshmallow form with the inclusion of "Lizard Villain Marshmallows."  Marshmallow maintains its reputation as a difficult medium in which to create art.  They resemble a green blob with two yellow spots?  Eyes? Mucus sacks?  You'll have to taste them to know for sure.

I was hoping for a "Frankenberry" taste but got more of a muted styrofoam type flavor.  But this isn't the type of purchase that is acquired for eating.  The "Limited Edition" label on the front is there to make your "Fanboy Sense" tingle and earn it a place in your Trophy Room...which is where mine is right now.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spidey Snacks

I know I keep saying this but I just can't seem to get excited about the new Spider-Man movie.  And the lack of ANY Avengers cereal, candy or gluten free turkey jerky (at least that I've seen) is not doing anything to help my mood.  And that brings us to yet another underwhelming Amazing Spider-Man food item: Graham Bites.

Spidey shapes include two (?) different spider logos, one web, one full body shot of Spidey swinging, one full body shot of Spidey climbing on what is presumably a big web and one big ol' Spidey face.  No Lizard, no Gwen, no Stan the Janitor, they're not even sneaking in Thor's hammer this time

To be fair though (and to prevent this from being an overly negative blog entry), I was surprised at how good these things taste.  I mean, they taste friggin' good.  Who knew?  I try to take it easy with the processed stuff and I guess I just don't eat a lot of boxed cookies so this came as a pleasant surprise.  Are all prepackaged cookies this good?  No wonder everyone is so fat.

It wouldn't be a super hero food item without some half-assed games on the box.  "Can you find 2 that are exactly alike?"  Are you interested in finding 2 that are exactly alike?  Are the 2 that are exactly alike the real Spider-Man and the clone Spider-Man?  And if so, who are the rest of the Spider-Men?  Confused Skrulls?  This side of the box raises far too many questions.

Maybe the back of the box will relax me.  Spidey themed "Chutes & Ladders"?  "Webs & Ladders"?  There I go asking questions again.  Find the right letters in the right order to spell Spidey's nickname:

W _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ R

If you don't get the correct answer then your parents and teachers were wrong for not holding you back a grade.  (You know who you are.)

I hope these have a long shelf life because this will be the first time in Spider-Man movie history that I will wait to rent the DVD instead of seeing it in the theater.  And I have a feeling these will make the perfect viewing snack.  I mentioned that they taste really good, right?

So when does Avengers 2 come out?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Avengers Cups...Assemble!

The Avengers movie is finally here. I'm not going to be able to see it until tomorrow so normally I'd spend the day getting hyped up on the nectar of the gods: Slurpee! But the gods have let me down because for some horrible reason 7-Eleven is not releasing Avenger movie cups! Wha? They did almost every other Marvel movie but not the biggest?!? 

 So I have to drown my sorrows in empty cups of previous Marvel movies including the sweet tri-sectioned Captain America cup from Dunkin Donuts,  The Incredible Hulk Slurpee cup (which I guess I didn't do a blog entry for), the Iron Man Slurpee cup (again, no entry), the Black Widow cup, and the Thor cup...whew!

So there you go, this counts as my Official Avengers Movie Blog Entry.  To further celebrate the movie I present a rare example of my artwork (inspired by the film, of course):

Sunday, April 29, 2012

App Review: DC Nation

[DISCLAIMER:  Support your local comic book store]

Sometimes I review iPad apps.  OK, so I've only done it once.  I guess that means we're due for another one.

DC Comics have finally put some extra effort into some all-ages content which has culminated recently in the Cartoon Network programming block (block?  It's two shows?!?) DC Nation.  The cartoons are great and hopefully they'll get kids interested in the comics and if so they've got the DC Nation App to turn to: 

It's your standard comiXology format but this only focuses on DC's various all-ages titles.  The Young Justice and Green Lantern: TAS tie-in comics are front and center but I was also pleased to see great titles like Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Krypto the Superdog, Tiny Titans, and Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam among others.

Browsing can be done by digital release date or by series which is helpful and they have several freebies including full first issues as well as additional content (more on that in a minute).

Once downloaded, comics are also organized my series with a choice of thumbnail display or list display.  When reading, the visuals are crisp and clear.  It has the standard double tap panel display zoom in/out which I found very responsive.  

Ideally I wish there would be more of a selection but, of course, DC doesn't publish a whole lot of all-ages material.  And I'm sure that over time the selection will grow.  I'd like to see some of their Silver Age stuff made available to a new generation through this platform.

As far as prices go, I was glad to see nothing over 99 cents (and I hope that sticks).  Also, as I said earlier, there is a fair amount of free content.  Original content includes DC Nation Secret Files:

which is your run of the mill "Bio Page" that focuses on characters from the current animated shows.  I was never a huge fan of these types of bios since the information listed on the page tends to be ignored or contradicted regularly by other writers.  These are one page each but, hey, they're free!  (Side Note:   Looks like Aqualad isn't very smart)

Another new addition is the DC Nation Mini Mag:

This seems like a missed opportunity to me.  It's another one-pager and the first (and so far only) issue has just a few blurbs about the cast of Green Lantern: TAS.  It's low on content and has no interactivity to speak of.  You'd think that if DC was creating content specifically for the iPad then they'd want to play up the unique benefits the device offers.  There's the potential to include animation, games, audio and video but the Mini-Mag is essentially back-of-the-cereal-box fare.

The other big freebie is DC Universe Origins:

These seem to be reprints of the two page origins that appeared in the 52 weekly series a couple of years back.  They're great, concise origins of the characters but with the New 52 rewriting DC history you have to wonder if these histories are still valid.

It's always great to see comic companies remembering that children still exist and even better to see them making an effort to get kids excited about our favorite characters.  I think there's plenty of room for improvement with this app but with low prices, solid content and recognizable characters this would be a great way to supplement your kid's love of reading.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Mysterious Superman Store

As I was driving home from the comic book store last Wednesday something odd caught my eye. In the middle of what I assume is the Korean section of Dallas there was a mysterious storefront. While I couldn't read the Asian characters outside of the store there was something distinctly American that I did recognize.

BAM! Superman symbol! With the inverted colors you are probably tempted to refer to this as a Bizarro Superman symbol but notice that the "S" is not backward which makes this strictly non-Bizarro.

But what the heck is this place? They wouldn't be the first non-WB entity to try and use the "S" shield to promote something but I couldn't tell what. Other than the Superman motif there was absolutely nothing to indicate what it is or was. And for those that might dismiss this as just a playful decoration that the proprietor thought looked cool, check out the small sign to the lower right of the Asian letters:

Yep, it says "Superman" all right. So what's the deal with this place? I gotta know. This is the point in the blog where you are probably thinking, "Well go inside and ask them, genius!" But, alas, this place was locked up tighter than the Fortress of Solitude:

So it's not a business or at the very least it's not a business where the public is welcome. A new branch of Cadmus Labs perhaps? Did Supes get jealous of Batman, Inc. and start a franchise of his own? Will we ever know for sure?

If you aren't laying awake tonight considering the possibilities then, let's face it, you probably hate America.