Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 19th to 25th, 2021 - Update #13

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS

LGBTQ - From TheAdvocate:  Actress Cassandra Peterson, best known as as "Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark," has released her new memoir, "Your Cruelly, Elvira."  In the book, Peterson reveals her 19-year relationship with another woman.

SPORTS/NBA - From NBA:  Veteran shooting guard, JJ Reddick, has announced his retirement from the NBA.  The Orlando Magic drafted Reddick with the No. 11th pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft.  Reddick played college basketball with the Duke Blue Devils (2002-06).  Reddick played for six teams over his 15-year NBA career, spending the the 2020-21 season first with the New Orleans Pelicans and then, the Dallas Mavericks.

EMMYS - From Deadline:  If you care, here is a complete list of winners from the 2021 / 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony.

TRAILER - From THRMichael Myers face briefly revealed in new trailer for "Halloween Kills."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 9/17 to 9/19/2021 weekend box office is Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated take of 21.7 million dollars.

From Negromancer:  Here is my review of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

From Deadline:  After two days in international release, Warner Bros.' film, "Dune" has grossed an estimated 8.4 million dollars.

CELEBRITY - From SundayTimesUK:  "The Sunday Times" interviews notorious celebrity gossip blogger and parasite, Perez Hilton, who says he does not expect to be forgiven ... nor should he.  In fact, he should get what he wished upon others, especially what he wished on Grammy-winning recording artist and pop star, Britney Spears.

FILM FESTIVAL - From Deadline:   The winners of the 2021 TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) People's Choice Awards were announced Sat., Sept. 18th.  Director Kenneth Branagh's black and white semi-autobiographical film, "Belfast," wins the top honor, also called the "People's Choice Award."

GUILDS - From DeadlineLesli Linka Glatter has been elected as the new president of the Directors Guild of America.  She is only the second woman to lead the DGA.  Glatter is known for her work directing episodes of prestige television dramas such as "Homeland," "The Walking Dead," "Mad Men," and "The West Wing," to name a few.  Glatter is also a three-time winner of a DGA Award and is an eight-time Emmy Award nominee.

ANIMATION - From PopCulture:  Cult animated TV series, "Family Guy," is leaving Cartoon Network and TBS.  Starting Monday, Sept. 20th, FXX and Freeform will be the exclusive cable homes of the long running series.

OBITS:

From Variety:  The television and film actor, Willie Garson, has died at the age of 57, Wednesday, September 21, 2021.  Garson appeared in over 75 films and in over 300 TV episodes.  He is best known for the roles of "Stanford Blatch" on HBO's "Sex in the City" and "Mozzie" on USA Network's "White Collar" (2009-2014).

From Deadline:   Actress and singer, Sarah Dash, has died at the age of 76, Monday, September 20, 2021.  Dash was a founding member of the all-female singing group, "Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles." In 1967, the group changed its name to "Labelle," but they did not find big success until their 1974 smash hit single, "Lady Marmalade," which reached #1 on the "Billboard 100."  Dash sang backing vocals on The Rolling Stones' 1989 album, "Steel Wheels."  She also sang vocals and backing vocals on the three studio albums released by Keith Richards of "The Rolling Stones."

From TMZ:  Actor and comedian, Anthony Johnson, has died at the age of 55, apparently sometime earlier this month.  He had his breakout role in the film "House Party" (1990), but was also known for his roles in film like "Menace II Society" (1993) and "Friday" (1995).


Comics Review: "KING SPAWN #2" is Wicked, Man!

KING SPAWN #2
IMAGE COMICS

STORY: Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane (additional dialogue)
PENCILS: Javi Fernandez
COLORS: FCO Plascencia
LETTERS: Andworld Design
EDITOR: Thomas Healy
COVER:  Don Aguillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Todd McFarlane with FCO Plascencia; Javi Fernandez
56pp, Color, $5.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated: “T/ Teen”

Spawn created by Todd McFarlane


Spawn is a superhero/antihero character that stars in the long-running comic book series, Spawn.  Created by writer-artist Todd McFarlane, Spawn first appeared in Spawn #1 (cover dated: May 1992).

Spawn was Albert Francis “Al” Simmons.  A career military man who becomes a highly capable assassin and dies a violent death.  He makes a deal with the devil, Malebolgia, in order to return to the living realm to see his wife one last time.  However, Al returns with almost no memories accept that his name is Al Simmons, and he learns that he is now a “Hellspawn” in service of Malebolgia.  Rebelling, Al Simmons, now “Spawn,” finds a new purpose in stopping evil.

Back in February (2021), Todd McFarlane announced his plans to build a larger, multi-character, interconnected, comic book universe based around his Spawn comic book – a “Spawn Universe.”  McFarlane also announced four new comic book titles coming out in 2021, with three of them continuing as regular monthly titles.  The first of the three titles, King Spawn, has arrived.

King Spawn is written by Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane; drawn by Javi Fernandez; colored by FCO Plascencia; lettered by Andworld Design.  King Spawn finds Spawn battling one of his old adversaries, but it is someone only Spawn knows that exists.  And that someone want to make Spawn a king.

King Spawn #2 opens in the wake of a bombing at an elementary school in Seattle, Washington.  The bombing killed sixteen people, including fourteen children, aged five and six years old.  An underground religious group, “Psalms 137,” seem to be the culprits behind this attack, but what do they really want – beyond killing more children or “innocents?”

Al Simmons is filled with rage because he knows that someone is slaughtering children in order to draw Spawn out into the open.  He is so angry that he even calls upon a former friend to help him, but he does not want  his current crew helping him, which includes Jessica Priest, the newly minted “She-Spawn.”  However, there is an even darker reunion afoot.  One of Spawn earliest and most despicable adversaries returns, as a showdown in Washington, D.C. looms.

THE LOWDOWN:  I mentioned in my review of the first issue of King Spawn that I read Spawn #1 back in 1992, and while I had mixed feelings about it, I found myself following the series.  I was a dedicated reader and followed the series for another five or six years.

King Spawn #1 was the first time I read a Spawn first issue since I read Curse of the Spawn #1 back in 1996.  I guess I was waiting for the return of the king because after reading this second issue, I can say that King Spawn is fucking awesome.  Hell, no!  I'm not going to use the phrase, “freaking awesome,” when I know that King Spawn is “fucking awesome.”  Bitch, please! dear readers.  I'm keeping it real for your hard earned money.

Writer Sean Lewis has taken the inspired madness and crazy potential of those early years of the original Spawn and used that to turn King Spawn into a must-read.  Lewis' script for the second issue has taken Al Simmons from one angry man to one crazily vengeful man.  Lewis has also made Spawn something like the best of Frank Miller's Batman of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and of Steven Grant's The Punisher of the 1980s.

I love Javi Fernandez's art.  His graphical storytelling shares a sensibility with McFarlane's, which was more dark fantasy than vigilante fiction.  Fernandez's balances his art with both a clear-line style and with heavy textures, which makes for a fuller and richer story.  The darkness and the violent action explode off the page, but the character drama is equally forceful.

FCO Plascencia's Hell-spawned hues allow the story to operate under multiple moods and atmospheres which convey the shifting realities of the story.  Meanwhile Andworld Design's quiet lettering imparts the action and drama with a steady beat that carries the imagination through this narrative.

I heartily recommend King Spawn.  It has activated me to find my way back to the original Spawn series and to prepare for the upcoming new Spawn titles.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Spawn will want to read King Spawn.

[This comic book includes “Spawning Ground” Presents “The Breakdown,” which features an interview with Javi Fernandez.]

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/Todd_McFarlane
https://mcfarlane.com/
https://twitter.com/ImageComics
https://imagecomics.com/


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Monday, September 20, 2021

BOOM! Studios Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

BOOM! STUDIOS

JUL218471    DARK BLOOD #2 (OF 6) 2ND PTG DE LANDRO    $3.99
JUL211122    DARK BLOOD #3 (OF 6) CVR A DE LANDRO    $3.99
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Dark Horse Comics Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

DARK HORSE COMICS

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Dynamite Entertainment Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

DYNAMITE

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IDW Publishing Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

IDW PUBLISHING

JUL210465    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #286 CVR A WILLIAMS II    $3.99
JUL210466    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #286 CVR B SANCHEZ    $3.99
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Image Comics Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

IMAGE COMICS

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Marvel Comics Shipping from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

MARVEL COMICS

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Comic Books, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for September 22, 2021

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

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MAGAZINES

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BOOKS

JUN211799    BATMAN SCOOBY DOO MYSTERIES CASE OF CURSED CROP    $6.95
JUN211801    BATMAN SCOOBY DOO MYSTERIES CRAZY CONVENTION CAPER    $6.95
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JUN211537    WEIRD #1 FACSIMILE ED (MR)    $12.99
JUL212021    WHERES THE ASSASSIN HC    $14.95

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DC Comics Shipping from Lunar Distributors for September 21, 2021

DC COMICS:

Aquaman The Becoming #1 (Of 6) (Cover A David Talaski), $3.99
Aquaman The Becoming #1 (Of 6) (Cover B Khary Randolph Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Aquaman The Becoming #1 (Of 6) (Cover C Francis Manapul Card Stock Variant), AR
Batman #113 (Cover A Jorge Jimenez) (Fear State), $4.99
Batman #113 (Cover B Jorge Molina Card Stock Variant) (Fear State), $5.99
Batman #113 (Cover C Ben Oliver Card Stock Variant (Fear State), AR
Batman Li’l Gotham Calendar Daze TP, $9.99
Batman Secret Files Miracle Molly #1 (One Shot) (Cover A Little Thunder)(Fear State), $4.99
Batman Secret Files Miracle Molly #1 (One Shot) (Cover B Justine Frany Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), $5.99
Batman Secret Files Miracle Molly #1 (One Shot) (Cover C Little Thunder Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), AR
Batman The Adventures Continue Season Two #4 (Of 7) (Cover A Rob Guillory), $3.99
Batman The Adventures Continue Season Two #4 (Of 7) (Cover B Jordan Gibson Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Batman The Detective #5 (Of 6)(Cover A Andy Kubert), $3.99
Batman The Detective #5 (Of 6) (Cover B Andy Kubert Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Birds Of Prey Fighters By Trade TP, $24.99
Catwoman #35 (Cover A Yanick Paquette) (Fear State), $3.99
Catwoman #35 (Cover B Jenny Frison Card Stock Variant) (Fear State), $4.99
Catwoman #35 (Cover C Kael Ngu Card Stock Variant) (Fear State), AR
DC Connect #17, AR
Flash #774 (Cover A Bryan Hitch), $3.99
Flash #774 (Cover B Jorge Corona Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Looney Tunes #262 (Cover A Derek Fridolfs), $2.99
Low Low Woods TP, $17.99
Nightwing #84 (Cover A Bruno Redondo) (Fear State), $3.99
Nightwing #84 (Cover B Jamal Campbell Card Stock Variant) (Fear State), $4.99
Nightwing #84 (Cover C Kael Ngu Card Stock Variant) (Fear State), AR
Shazam #3 (Of 4) (Cover A Clayton Henry), $3.99
Shazam #3 (Of 4) (Cover B Fico Ossio Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Suicide Squad King Shark #1 (Of 6) (Cover A Trevor Hairsine), $3.99
Suicide Squad King Shark #1 (Of 6) (Cover B Riccardo Federici Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Suicide Squad King Shark #1 (Of 6) (Cover C Scott Kolins Card Stock Variant), AR
Supergirl Woman Of Tomorrow #4 (Of 8) (Cover A Bilquis Evely), $4.99
Supergirl Woman Of Tomorrow #4 (Of 8) (Cover B Rose Besch), $4.99
Wonder Woman Agent Of Peace Volume 1 Global Guardian TP, $19.99


Comics Review: "KILLADELPHIA #17" Offers a "Letter to My Son"

KILLADELPHIA #17
IMAGE COMICS

STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Jason Shawn Alexander
COLORS: Luis Nct
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
EDITOR: Greg Tumbarello
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander
VARIANT COVER ARTIST: Kent Williams
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated “M/ Mature”

Killadelphia and Elysium Gardens created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander

“Home is Where the Hatred Is” Part V: “To Make Man”

Killadelphia is an apocalyptic vampire and dark fantasy comic book series from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander and is published by Image Comics.  At the center of this series is a police officer caught in a lurid conspiracy in which vampires attempt to rule Philadelphia, “the City of Brotherly Love.”  Colorist Luis Nct and letterer Marshall Dillon complete Killadelphia's creative team.

Killadelphia focuses on James “Jim” Sangster, Jr. and his father, revered Philadelphia homicide detective, James Sangster, Sr., thought to be dead.  He is actually a vampire.  Now father and son lead a ragtag team comprised of a medical examiner, a dead president, and a rebellious, but special young vampire (Tevin Thompkins a.k.a. “See Saw”) in a bid to save Philly from an ambitious and murderous former First Lady.

As Killadelphia #17 (“To Make Man”) opens, Tevin visits an old friend … for a little blood.  Later, James, Jr. begins the journey that will return him to humanity after being turned into a vampire.  To do so, however, James will have to confront the dark legacy of abuse that gets passed down from father to son.  In this case, James, Sr.'s legacy represents both.  Plus, a we get a first look at the “Dark Realm,” with some help from Anansi.

Meanwhile, Thomas Jefferson makes a move at being a “vampire king.”  So what does the “vampire queen” have to say about that?

THE LOWDOWN:  Killadelphia is now in the penultimate chapter of its third story arc, “Home is Where the Hatred Is.”  This may be the story arc that most reveals the complexities and multiple layers of Killadelphia, making it more dark fantasy than mere vampire comic book.

Writer Rodney Barnes offers a chapter that is a bit more philosophical than usual.  It is surprising, especially considering that he is preparing the readers for some red, hot-blooded Armageddon.  It can be a surprise, to both characters and readers, when the revelation comes that everything is worse than thought.  On the other hand, it is good that we see more complexity in Tevin Thompkins; he is a most human vampire, and I hope he gets his own something – graphic novel, miniseries, one-shot, etc.

Artist Jason Shawn Alexander and colorist Luis Nct are always ready to draw and color the delights and eccentricities in Barnes' scripts.  There is an odd balance of surreal, especially in the place where Jim, Jr. must find himself, and artists' suggestions and presentations of the “Dark Realm” are creepy.  The other part of that balance is the fire they light back in Philadelphia, conveying through the story that it is about to go down.

I am still impressed that Barnes and Alexander are able to make each issue of Killadelphia unique  It blows my mind, and I implore you, dear readers, to drink fully of this cup of red.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of vampire comic books and of exceptional dark fantasy will want Killadelphia.

[Killadelphia #17 has a backup feature: “Elysium Gardens” Part 10 “The End” by Rodney Barnes, Chris Mitten, Sherard Jackson, and Marshall Dillon.]

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/TheRodneyBarnes
https://twitter.com/jasonshawnalex
https://twitter.com/luisnct
https://twitter.com/MarshallDillon
https://twitter.com/ImageComics
https://imagecomics.com/
http://rodneybarnes.com/


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

-------------------------


Fantagraphics to Publish Jason's Graphic Novel, "Good Night, Hem"

Beloved Cartoonist Jason Mixes Fact and Fiction in His Latest Graphic Novel GOOD NIGHT, HEM Starring Ernest Hemingway

Fantagraphics Will Publish The Three Interconnecting Short Stories This Fall

SEATTLE, WA - Three interconnecting short stories starring Ernest Hemingway comprise the latest graphic novel by the beloved Norwegian cartoonist, Jason, out this fall from Fantagraphics. Mixing fact and fiction, Jason has imaginatively recreated one of America's greatest and most controversial writers of the 20th century in the playful and thoughtful GOOD NIGHT, HEM.

Paris, 1925. Our story begins when Hemingway meets Athos, the last Musketeer, who, together with several more friends of Hemingway, travel to Spain's Pamplona for the fiesta. Festivities and complications ensue.

Paris, 1944. The second story starts the day after the liberation of Paris when Hemingway, now a war correspondent, decides enough is enough, and takes action to end the war for good. With a group of adventurers and resistance fighters, he parachutes into Germany to do just that.

Cuba, late 1950s. Our literary lion is in his twilight years, writing his memoirs, remembering his first and second meeting with the seemingly immortal Athos.

Here’s what people are saying about GOOD NIGHT, HEM:

"Jason delivers an at times whimsical but overwhelmingly melancholic portrait, revealing reverence and sympathy for Hemingway without ignoring the author's shortcomings. One of the best releases of 2021." — Library Journal (starred review)

"Mixing fact and fiction, no other artist has had as much fun or provided as much insight into the Hemingway mythos as Jason." — Robert K. Elder, Hemingway in Comics

"Jason continues to be one of the best cartoonists working anywhere." — Publishers Weekly

"The Norwegian artist who goes by the single name Jason is the most deadpan comedian in comics." — The New York Times

"Unlike traditional literature, comix, and particularly Jason's simple style, allow the reader to fully move into the space provided. Slowly, but altogether too fast, you look back and see an entire book, and an entire life, has gone past." — Time Magazine

Fantagraphics will publish the imaginative literary homage GOOD NIGHT, HEM on September 21, 2021.

GOOD NIGHT, HEM is available for pre-order now via Fantagraphics: https://www.fantagraphics.com/products/good-night-hem

Good Night, Hem by Jason
$19.99 • September 2021 • ISBN: 9781683964612
160 pages • Full-Color • 6.7” x 8.8”

For more information or to arrange an interview with the cartoonist, contact:

David Hyde: Superfan Promotions Founder
david.hyde@superfanpromotions.com

Hanna Bahedry: Superfan Promotions Publicity Coordinator
hanna.bahedry@superfanpromotions.com

 

About Jason:
Jason hails from Molde, Norway, but currently resides in Montpellier, France. He's won multiple Eisners, a Harvey, and an Inkpot award.

About Fantagraphics:
For over 45 years, Fantagraphics has published the very best comics and graphic novels that the medium has to offer. Our mission is to celebrate great cartooning in all of its incarnations, from the form’s early luminaries to contemporary artists currently forging the future of visual storytelling. Not content to rest on our laurels and extensive roster of talented artists, we constantly seek out fresh voices from across the globe. Thus, we honor the rich history of comics while providing a platform for bold new stories, styles, and perspectives that push the boundaries of the medium. Fantagraphics remains peerless in our commitment to be the publisher of the world's greatest cartoonists.

-------------------------------

Amazon wants me to inform you that the link below is a PAID AD, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on the ad below AND buy something(s).


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Comics Review: "BARBARELLA Volume 2 #3" is Dynamite!

BARBARELLA VOLUME 2 #3
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Sarah Hoyt
ART: Madibek Musabekov
COLORS: Ivan Nunes
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Derrick Chew; Carla Cohen; Celina; Mike Krome; Derrick Chew, Edu Menna; Madibek Musabekov; Rachel Hollon (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Barbarella is based on the creator created by Jean-Claude Forest

“Agent of Chaos” Part Two: “Breathless”


Barbarella is a female, French, science fiction comic book hero.  Created by the late French comic book writer-artist, Jean-Claude Forest (1930-98), Barbarella first appeared in a comics serial for the French publication, V Magazine, in the spring of 1962.

In 2017, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing original English language Barbarella comic books.  The latest series is Barbarella Volume 2.  It is written by Sarah Hoyt; drawn by Madibek Musabekov; colored by Ivan Nunes; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.  In this new series, Barbarella travels to the planet Camelot to solve a mystery involving slavery on what is supposed to be a paradise.

Barbarella Volume 2 #3 (“Breathless”) opens on the “Freedom Fighter” base on Tortuga.  There, Barbarella and Vix recover from the injuries they received on their misadventures on the water world of Encantado.  They are also mourning the loss of Taln, the blind “angel” who was Barbarella's A.I. and friend, who sacrificed himself for them.

Now, Barbarella and Vix are ready to return to Encantado on a new ship and with a new A.I. partner, but disaster strikes.  Trapped beneath the surface, Barbarella meets siblings, Zav and Lucira, and makes some interesting discoveries about the planet, its inhabitants, and the truth behind its commerce.  Barbarella even meets “The Lady,” who looks like her, but will she survive the meeting?

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Barbarella Volume 2 #3, which is the second issue of the title that I have read.  In fact, this is only the second Barbarella comic book that I have ever read.

Barbarella Volume 2 #2 was footloose and fancy free, which is to say that it was a fun read.  Issue #3 is also fun to read, and Sarah Hoyt's script is a delightful mix of thrills and chills and humor and wit.  Each page makes me want to race to the next, and Carlos M. Mangual's lettering paces out the story via his usually good fonts so that there isn't an awkward mix of light and dark.

Issue #2 introduced me to the beautiful art of Madibek Musabekov.  This third issue proves to me that the second issue was not a fluke.  Musabekov's art is fantastic and is some of the best science fiction comic book art that I have seen over the past several years.  Actually, Musabekov draws the heck out this comic, and in this issue, Ivan Nunes' colors layers the graphical storytelling in a wonder world of beautiful blue.  This is Musabekov-Nunes eye candy.

I can't get enough of Barbarella Volume 2, and issue #3 makes me recommend it to you, dear readers.  It also makes me wonder about Barbarella Volume 1.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Barbarella will want to try Barbarella Volume 2.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/DynamiteComics
https://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/
https://www.facebook.com/DynamiteComics/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOH4PEsl8dyZ2Tj7XUlY7w
https://www.linkedin.com/company/dynamite-entertainment


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

------------------


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Comics Review: RED SONJA Black White Red #3

RED SONJA BLACK WHITE RED #3
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Gail Simone; Dearbhla Kelly; Jonathan Lau and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
ART: Walter Geovani; Soo Lee; Jonathan Lau
COLORS: Dearbhla Kelly
LETTERS: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Sean Izaakse; Jonathan Lau; Lucio Parrillo; Rachel Hollon (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Based on the characters and stories created by Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Robert E. Howard


Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated: February 1973) saw the debut of a high fantasy, sword and sorcery heroine, Red Sonja.  Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, Red Sonja was loosely based on “Red Sonya of Rogatino,” a female character that appeared in the 1934 short story, “The Shadow of the Vulture,” written by Robert E. Howard (1906-1936), the creator of the character, Conan the Cimmerian.

Red Sonja remained a fixture in comic books from then until about 1986.  In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing comic books featuring differing versions of the character.  One of those is Red Sonja Black White and Red, an anthology comic book featuring stories from well known comic book writers and artists, with the art presented in black, white, and red.

Red Sonja Black White and Red #3 is comprised of three stories.  The first is “Dawn of a Crimson Day” by Gail Simone, Walter Geovani, Dearbhla Kelly, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.  Next is “Small Tales” by Dearbhla Kelly and Soo Lee with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.  The final story is “Ssshhhhh!” by Jonathan Lau, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and Dearbhla Kelly.  I'll review each story separately.

THE LOWDOWN:   Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Red Sonja Black White and Red #3, which is the second issue of the title that I have read.

“Dawn of a Crimson Day” by Gail Simone, Walter Geovani, Dearbhla Kelly, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou:
Except for two panels near the end of the story, “Dawn of a Crimson Day” is a pantomime comic that offers up an origin story for Red Sonja.  Gail Simone's script is intense and angry, and I could feel some of it tapping at my heart.  The art by Walter Geovani surges and flows like a rushing stream, and Dearbhla's beautiful colors are fiery and lights this story so that even those far away can see it.

“Small Tales” by Dearbhla Kelly and Soo Lee with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou:
“Small Tales” opens in Hyrkania where Red Sonja encounters a girl named Rua, who happens to be the She-Devil with a Sword's biggest fan.  Now, Red Sonja has to teach the girl how to be a hero.

“Small Tales” is a good story with a nice point about the life of hero.  Soo Lee's art expertly captures the runaway imagination of a fan about her champion.

“Ssshhhhh!” by Jonathan Lau, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and Dearbhla Kelly:
This story finds Red Sonja attempting to claim a bounty by slaying a dragon, but things are not what they seem.  “Ssshhhhh!” is a confusing story with nice art, and while it is filled with visually striking moments, this mostly pantomime story does not interest me.

It is not hard for me to pick a favorite story of the three offered in Red Sonja Black White and Red #3.  The Gail Simone, Walter Geovani, Dearbhla Kelly, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou project called “Dawn of a Crimson Day” really stands out in this issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja will want to try Red Sonja Black White and Red.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/DynamiteComics
https://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/
https://www.facebook.com/DynamiteComics/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOH4PEsl8dyZ2Tj7XUlY7w
https://www.linkedin.com/company/dynamite-entertainment


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

-----------------------


Comics Review: DIE!NAMITE Volume 2 #4

DIE!NAMITE LIVES VOLUME 2 #4
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Fred Van Lente
ART: Vincenzo Carratù
COLORS: Kike J. Diaz
LETTERS: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Arthur Suydam; Joseph Michael Linsner; Dave Acosta; Kendrick Kunkka Lim; Angel Ray (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

DIE!namite is a series of zombie apocalypse comics from Dynamite Entertainment that utilizes some of the publisher's most popular characters and licensed properties.  The latest is DIE!namite Lives!  It is written by Fred Van Lente; drawn by Vincenzo Carratu; colored by Kike J. Diaz; and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.  In the new series, Vampirella and the remainder of Project Superheroes look for a new savior, and that could be Ash Williams (star of the 1992 film, Army of Darkness).

DIE!namite Lives! Volume 2 #4 opens at “Battle Base” in the Pacific Northwest.  Brigadier General Garth “Battle” Fields has had his fill with Captain Future, who has practically taken over Field's base.  Future is obsessed with Evil Sonja.  If he can figure out how she controls the “Super-Zombies,” he believes that he can weaponize them towards his plans of global domination.  However, Sonja has her own plans for ending things.

Meanwhile, at a local “S-Mart” warehouse,  Ash fights off someone who really wants that copy of the  “Necronomincon Ex Mortis.”  But it was Pantha who bought it online.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is DIE!namite Lives! Volume 2 #4, which is the second issue of this series that I have read.  In fact, this is only the second DIE!namite comic that I have read, although I've known of the series since it first began.

What can I say?  DIE!namite Lives! Volume 2 #4 is fun, which is the same thing I said about the third issue.  However, it was easier for me to get into the story this time.  Fred Van Lente pours a whole lotta lighter fuel into the heat of the Captain Future-Evil Sonja-Gen. Fields dynamic.  That is the best part of the issue, and sets up what could be some crazy fun for the final issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of DIE!namite will want DIE!namite Lives! Volume 2.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/DynamiteComics
https://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/
https://www.facebook.com/DynamiteComics/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOH4PEsl8dyZ2Tj7XUlY7w
https://www.linkedin.com/company/dynamite-entertainment


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Friday, September 17, 2021

Comics Review: VAMPIRELLA VOLUME 5 #23

VAMPIRELLA VOLUME 5 #23
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Ergün Gündüz; Chris Graves
COLORS: Mohan
LETTERS: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Marco Mastrazzo; Shannon Maer; Warren Louw; RB White, Roberto Castro; Lucio Parrillo; Shannon Maer; Lorraine (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated Teen+

“The Red Mass” Book 2: “The Bridegroom”

Vampirella is a vampire and female superhero created by the late author and science fiction and horror expert, Forrest J Ackerman, and designed by comic book artist, Trina Robbins.  Vampirella first appeared in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), the debut issue of a black and white horror comics magazine from Warren Publishing.  Writer-editor Archie Goodwin changed the character from a hostess of horror comics to a leading character in her own stories.

Vampirella publications were published by Warren into 1983, and after Warren's bankruptcy, Harris Publications obtained the character and published new and reprint Vampirella comic books into the mid-1990s.  In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.

Dynamite's flagship Vampirella comic book series, simply entitled Vampirella, is now in its fifth volume.  Vampirella Volume 5 is written by Christopher Priest; drawn by Ergun Gunduz (and Chris Graves); colored by Mohan; and lettered by Willie Schubert.  The series focuses on a reborn Vampirella who fights the forces of chaos to save humanity.

As Vampirella Volume 5 #23 (“The Bridegroom”) opens, FBI Agent Matt Ecsed cannot understand why he pees himself every time he looks at Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Dei Palafrenieri), a religious painting by the Italian Baroque master, Caravaggio (1571-1610).  And his psychiatrist can offer only smart attitude instead of smart answers.  Plus, Shane a.k.a. “the First Man” wants to kill him.  What the hell?!

Once again, it's Vampirella to the rescue.  Once again?  It seems that Matt met Vampirella in the distant past when he was an orphan … thought to carry “the Dracula Virus.”  And half the world wanted to worship him and the other half wanted him dead – still wants him dead.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampirella Volume 5 #23.  It is not only the second issue of this series that I have read.

Issue #22 intrigued me mainly because I am a fan of writer Christopher Priest.  I found issue #23 to be more consistent in the flow of the narrative and less all over the place.  It's funny and deranged, and Priest shows off his gift for sharp dialogue.  He also provides a clear line of conflict, a who versus whom that allows the reader to get into the drama.

Two artists draw this issue.  Series regular Ergun Gunduz draws the story set in the present, while Chris Graves tackles the past, specifically the first time that Vampirella meets Matt Ecsed.  I like Ergun's clean line work which fits Priest's witty and humor.  Graves' art is not as refined, but his storytelling, while also a little raw, does convey the story.

Considering the cliffhanger, I am ready for issue #24, which is just around the corner, as of this writing.  I hope Vampirella keeps it popping.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampirella Volume 5.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/DynamiteComics
https://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/
https://www.facebook.com/DynamiteComics/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOH4PEsl8dyZ2Tj7XUlY7w
https://www.linkedin.com/company/dynamite-entertainment


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Review: "BATMAN: Hush" Film is as Mediocre as Its Source Material

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 55 of 2021 (No. 1793) by Leroy Douresseaux

Batman: Hush – video (2019)
Running time:  82 minutes (1 hour, 22 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence and action, suggestive material, and language
DIRECTOR:  Justin Copeland
WRITER:  Ernie Altbacker (based on characters appearing in DC Comics and on the story arc, “Batman: Hush”, by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee)
PRODUCER: Amy McKenna
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Sam Register and James Tucker and Benjamin Melniker & Michael Uslan
EDITOR:  Christopher D. Lozinski
COMPOSER:  Frederik Wiedmann  
ANIMATION STUDIO:  NE4U Inc.

ANIMATION/SUPERHERO/ACTION/FANTASY

Starring:  (voices) Jason O'Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Sean Maher, James Garrett, Bruce Thomas, Geoffrey Arend, Stuart Allan, Sachie Alessio, Chris Cox, Adam Gifford, Peyton R. List, Peyton List, Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Jason Spisak, Maury Sterling, Hynden Walch, Tara Strong, Vanessa Williams, and Rainn Wilson

Batman: Hush is a 2019 straight-to-video animated superhero film from Warner Bros. Animation and director Justin Copeland.  It is the thirty-fifth film in the “DC Universe Animated Original Movies” series.  It is also a loose adaptation of the Batman story arc, “Batman: Hush” (Batman #608-619; cover dated: October 2002 to September 2003), written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Jim Lee.  Batman: Hush the movie focuses on a mysterious villain intent on sabotaging Batman by using the Dark Knight's worst adversaries and some of his friends against him.

Batman: Hush opens with Batman (Jason O'Mara) rescuing an abducted child that the villain, Bane (Adam Gifford), was holding for ransom.  Shortly afterwards, Catwoman (Jennifer Morrison) steals the ransom.  While Batman is pursuing her, a masked vigilante shoots at him, severing the Bat-rope Batman was using to swing through the city.  Batman falls onto the sidewalk and cracks his skull.

Batgirl (Peyton R. List) takes Batman back to the Batcave where his butler, Alfred Pennyworth (James Garrett), and, his former ward and sidekick, Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Sean Maher), create an alibi that not Batman, but his secret identity, Bruce Wayne, suffered the injury.  Alfred contacts Bruce's childhood friend, Dr. Thomas Elliot (Maury Sterling), a renowned brain surgeon, to provide Bruce's medical care.

Back on his feet, Batman discovers that his conflict with Bane and Catwoman was just part of an elaborate scheme perpetrated against him by a mysterious villain known only as “Hush.”  It seems that Hush is willing to use every major figure in Batman's “rogues gallery” to bring the Bat down.  Hush seemingly even knows the people close to Bruce Wayne and is using them.  Further complicating Batman's investigation of Hush is the growing relationship between Bruce Wayne and Catwoman's alter-ego, Selina Kyle.

I have only read the Batman story line, “Batman: Hush,” once, and that was during its original publication.  I found it to be longer than it needed to be.  I am not really a fan of writer Jeph Loeb, although he has written some comic books that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  As a story, “Hush” felt like something Loeb padded with a bunch of appearances by all-star DC Comics characters.  As beautiful as Jim Lee's art for Hush was and still is, some of it came across as cold, as if it were drawn in a manner to make it attractive to collectors of comic book original art.  But at least I found “Hush” the comic book story to be enjoyable most of the time.

Batman: Hush the film is mostly dull.  The chase between Batman and Catwoman and the subsequent Catwoman-Batgirl fight are exciting.  The big battle at the end of the film is good, except when it seems to run too long – of course.  Catwoman is well-written in this film, and I like the way Alfred Pennyworth and Dick Grayson/Nightwing are presented in Batman: Hush.

The character designs are mostly good, except Batman, who looks awkwardly drawn in this film.  The animation is mediocre, except for a few action scenes when it looks like the people involved in this production suddenly felt energized.  I will only recommend this film to fans of the “DC Universe Animated Original Movies” line.  People who mostly know Batman from the modern Batman live-action films will likely not find much to like in Batman: Hush.

5 of 10
C+

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved.  Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 12th to 18th, 2021 - Update #22

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From  VanityFair:  The site has a "first look" at Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming film, "Nightmare Alley."

From Variety:  The first trailer for Del Toro's "Nightmare Alley" has arrives.  The film is due December 17, 2021.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" has opened in France.

ANIMATION - From HuffPost:   Disney's reboot of its animated hits series "The Proud Family," (2001-05) will feature a number of prominent guest stars, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Gabrielle Union, to name a few.  The reboot arrives in 2022.

MOVIES - From Variety:   Whitney Houston's iconic, hit film, "The Bodyguard" (1992), is being remade.  Lawrence Kasdan, the writer-producer of the original film, is returning to produce.

VIDEO GAMES - From Deadline:   Anthony Mackie will star in and executive produce Sony Pictures Television and Playstation Productions' live-action television series adaptation of the video game, "Twisted Metal."

TRAILER - From BoxOfficePro:   Walt Disney Studios has released a new poster and a new trailer for Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story."

MOVIES - From Deadline:   "Firestarter" reboot lead Ryan Kiera Armstrong and 2013 "Evil Dead" star Shiloh Fernandez have joined Nicolas Cage in the action-western, "The Old Way."

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Producer/director Ivan Reitman and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are prepping a sequel to their 1988 hit film, "Twins."  Entitled "Triplets," Tracy Morgan will join the mix as a long lost sibling.

ANIMATION - From Deadline:   Laika's ("Paranorman") next animated feature will be "Wildwood," an adaptation of the bestselling novel written by The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, and illustrated by Carson Ellis.  The film will be directed by Laika President and CEO Travis Knight.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Christopher Nolan has chosen Universal Pictures to finance and distribute his next film, which focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

COVID-19 - From YahooEntertainment:   Colorado-based Bob Enyart has become at least the fifth well-known right wing radio talk show host to die from complications of COVID-19 after opposing vaccines and other COVID-related public safety health measures.

NETFLIX/ANIME - From Variety:  Actress Hayley Atwell ("Agent Carter") will be the voice of "Lara Croft" in Netflix's "Tomb Raider" anime.

LGBTQ - From Deadline:   Actress Raven-Symone said that Disney offered to make her character, "Raven Baxter," from the classic Disney television series, "That's So Raven" (2003-07), a lesbian for the spinoff "Raven's Home," which currently airs on Disney Channel.  She says she declined the offer.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 9/10 to 9/12/2021 weekend box office is Disney/Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated take of $35.8 million dollars.

From BoxOfficePro:  Disney has announced that its remaining 2021 theatrical releases will be exclusive to movie theaters for a 30- or 45-day exclusivity window.  Most of the remaining films will be exclusive to theaters for 45 days.

From Negromancer:  My movie review of Shang-Chi.

EMMY AWARDS - From Deadline:   Here is a complete winners' list from the two-day, three-part ceremony for the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

From Deadline:  Netflix and its series, "The Queen's Gambit," leads round one (of three) the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards. 

MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:  The release of Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro's next film, "Nightmare Alley," has been pushed back a little, from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 17th.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Christopher Nolan is shopping his next project around Hollywood.  It focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

OBITS:

From Variety:   Actress, singer, and dancer, Jane Powell, has died at the age of 92, Thursday, September 16, 2021.  She made her film debut as a teenage singer in the musical, "Song of the Open Road" (1944). Powell went onto appear in a number of MGM musicals, such as "A Date with Judy" (1948), "Royal Wedding" (1951), "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954), and "Hit the Deck" (1955).  She was one of the last surviving stars of the "Golden Age of Hollywood."

From Deadline:  Actor and comedian, Norm Macdonald, has died at the age of 61, Wednesday, September 14, 2021, after a reported decade-long battle with cancer.  He was a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" from 1993 to 1998, and was best known for his three seasons as the show's anchor for the "Weekend Update" segment.  Macdonald also wrote for "The Dennis Miller Show" and "Roseanne." and he had a number of recurring television roles, including on ABC's former sitcom, "The Middle" and on Cartoon Network's "Mike Tyson Mysteries."


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Comics Review: "GEIGER #6" is Hot!

GEIGER #6
IMAGE COMICS/Mad Ghost

STORY: Geoff Johns
ART: Gary Frank
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Rob Leigh
EDITOR: Pat McCallum and Brian Cunningham
COVER: Gary Frank with Brad Anderson
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Jerry Ordway with Brad Anderson; Paul Pelletier and Norm Rapmund with Alex Sinclair; Gary Frank with Brad Anderson
48pp, Colors, 4.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated “T+/Teen Plus”

Geiger created by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

“Man vs. Machine”

Geiger is a comic book series from writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.  Published by Image Comics, Geiger is set on a dying Earth in the years after a nuclear war ravaged the planet and focuses on a “walking bomb” hero.  Colorist Brad Anderson and letterer Rob Leigh complete the series' creative team.

Geiger is set 20 years after the nuclear conflict known as the “Unknown War” ravaged the planet, turning Earth into a dying world.  In the state of Nevada, desperate outlaws battle for survival in a world of rapidly disappearing resources and supplies.  In Boulder City, Nevada, there resides the fearsome man known by many names:  Joe Glow, The Meltdown Man, and the Walking Bomb, to name a few.  But before the war, he was simply a man named Tariq Geiger.  So who or what is Geiger, now?

Geiger #6 (“Man vs. Machine”) opens with the narrator providing a grand intro for the latest chapter of the tale of Geiger, which includes a bit of a side story about “The Unnamed.”  Back to 2050, the King of Vegas has a map and plots his planned conquest of NORAD.

Meanwhile, in NORAD, Geiger and the children, Hailee and Henry, race to escape this prison, and Hailee is forced to give Henry some bad news.  Geiger is determined to protect these children, but in order to do that he will have to battle “Junkyard Joe.”  And this is one opponent who won't go down as easily as the others did.  Plus, Hailee makes a friend and a benefactor (of sorts) in Rick.

THE LOWDOWN:  As first issues go, Geiger #1 was mostly an introduction, kind of like a prologue.  It introduced the title character, Geiger, giving readers a look at who he was in the past and a glance at who he is now.  By the time we reached this sixth and final issue of the first volume and story arc of Geiger, we have a lead character that is revealed and world that is more revealed to the readers.

Geoff John brings all the emotions, feelings, thrills, and scares of the previous issues and funnels them into the series' best issue yet.  All I can say is that it was a blast, a thrill, and a joy to read, and it also left me anxious to discover what comes next.  Apparently, there will be a spin off and a “Geigerverse.”

As Geiger has progressed, Gary Frank's art captured the emotions and passions of intimate moments and the crazy violence of the action scenes.  Here, Frank delivers page after page of explosive power, particularly in the Geiger vs. Junkyard Joe battles.  Brad Anderson's colors don't just capture the best moments; they also make many great moments.  Rob Leigh's lettering keeps this story steady through several violent showdowns and maintains a balance in this volatile issue.

This creative team delivers a winner in Geiger #6, and they also leave us wanting more.  I did not know what to expect from Geiger in the beginning, other than it being another star-driven creator-owned comic book project from Image Comics.  Now, that I know what I know, I confident in recommending this exceptional series.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank will want to check out Geiger.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


https://twitter.com/geoffjohns
http://www.madghost.com/
https://twitter.com/1moreGaryFrank
https://twitter.com/ImageComics
https://imagecomics.com/


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

--------------------


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Comics Review: LIFEFORMED #1

LIFEFORMED #1

SCOUT COMICS
STORY: Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson
ART: Cassie Anderson
COLORS: Cassie Anderson
LETTERS: Cassie Anderson
EDITOR: Wayne Hall
COVER: Cassie Anderson
44pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2021)

Created by Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson

Age range: 12; Genre Science Fiction, Action/Adventure


Lifeformed is a new science fiction comic book series from writer Matt Mair Lowery and artist Cassie Anderson.  Lifeformed follows an 11-year-old orphan and the shape-shifting alien she befriends as they travel the countryside in the wake of an alien invasion... and fight back.

Lifeformed #1 introduces Cleo Elward, a typical 11-year-old girl on the verge of teen brat-hood.  Her single-father, Alex Elward, is loving, doting, and involved; the two of them are making the best of life.  Then, suddenly, unbelievably, the sky is filled with strange airships, heralding an alien invasion, and Alex is killed during the first wave of the attack.

Just as suddenly, an alien arrives and approaches Alex Elward's body and then shifts its form so that it resembles Cleo's father.  Aided by this alien shape-shifter, who turns out to be a rebel, Cleo escapes the invasion by traveling the countryside.  It is not long, however, before she must join “alien dad” in fighting the invaders.  Can Cleo work through her grief and find the courage to fight back?

THE LOWDOWN:  Matt Mair Lowery and artist Cassie Anderson have created in Lifeformed one of the best science fiction comic books that I have read over the last decade.  Lifeformed's themes of courage and choice resonate throughout the narrative, and the story ponders the questions of what it means to be human, doing so without being heavy-handed.

Cassie Anderson's illustrations and graphical storytelling are powerfully dramatic, but, at the same time, they are lively and colorful, going down the old gullet of the reader's imagination smoothly.  Anderson's clean drawing style is easy on the eyes, but also depicts the characters' emotions in a varied manner that gives the characters' personalities some depth.  I found myself in love with these characters, and Cleo is even more lovable when she is being annoying and bratty.  That is the joy in reading Lifeformed – loving the heroes and being intrigued by the villains.

Lowery and Anderson offer a comic book that is poignant and full of feeling, with characters whose emotions feel authentic.  However, Lifeformed also has a dark side, especially when dealing with the alien invaders.  This part of the story is brutal and savage and sometimes exists in a world without sentiment.  I am glad that Scout Comics is giving a home to this unique and really good comic book.

THE LOWDOWN:  Readers looking for cool science fiction comic books that will thrill everyone from middle school readers to adults will want Lifeformed.

[This comic book has an 8-page section of back matter, entitled “Lifeformed Process,” which includes script pages and sketches.]

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


Cassie Anderson:
cassieanderson@wwdb.org
https://twitter.com/CassieDoesArt

Matt Mair Lowery:
mattmlpdx@lifeformedcomic.com
https://twitter.com/mattmlpdx
http://www.lifeformedcomic.com

https://twitter.com/ScoutComics
https://www.scoutcomics.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Scoutcomics/


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Brian Robbins Appointed President and CEO of Paramount Pictures

ViacomCBS Announces Leadership Transition at Paramount Pictures

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”) today announced a leadership change at Paramount Pictures. Effective immediately, Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, will transition oversight of Paramount to Brian Robbins, who has been appointed President and CEO of the studio in addition to maintaining his current responsibilities leading Nickelodeon. Gianopulos will serve in an advisory role at Paramount through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition.

    “I am excited about the future for Paramount Pictures, and I want to thank Bob Bakish for the opportunity to use this incredibly powerful and broad canvas to produce films for every audience and deliver them in the ways today’s consumers want to experience them.”

In addition, Paramount Television Studios (PTVS) will now become part of the premium network group under the leadership of David Nevins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks, bringing together the divisions’ premium scripted content capabilities. Nicole Clemens will continue to lead PTVS in her capacity as President, PTVS, reporting directly to Nevins.

As part of this transition, and in line with ViacomCBS’s previously announced streaming content leadership structure, Robbins will assume oversight of films produced for Paramount+ as well as continue to be responsible for kids and family content globally for the streaming service. Nevins and Clemens will also continue to serve in their current Paramount+ roles of Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals, and President of Original Scripted Series, respectively.

“Paramount is one of ViacomCBS’s crown jewels, delivering some of the most iconic moments in entertainment for more than a century. The moves we’re making today will build on Paramount’s strong momentum, ensuring it continues to engage audiences at scale while embracing viewers’ evolving tastes and habits,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “A passionate storyteller who takes a holistic view of the entertainment ecosystem, Brian is an expert at building powerhouse global franchises by leaning into the unique strengths of new and established platforms – including theatrical releases, streaming, linear, consumer products and more. With Brian drawing on his extensive experiences across animation and live action, and David overseeing Paramount Television Studios, we will build on Paramount’s incredible legacy and chart a new path for the studio.”

Bakish continued, “Jim is a towering figure in Hollywood who has successfully led Paramount through an extraordinary period in the film industry. From the wild success of the A Quiet Place franchise to the Oscar-winning Rocketman to fan favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, he has overseen the creation of films that have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim for his leadership in establishing a revitalized Paramount.”

Said Gianopulos, “I’ve been privileged to be part of this amazing world of film and television for almost 40 years, and at the heart, it was always driven by two principal things: the brilliant talent of storytellers, whose visionary expression excelled in every medium and whom I did my best to empower, and a fantastic team of colleagues who helped me make that happen. I’ve been honored to help guide the evolution and massive expansion of creative content, from the birth of video to global TV access, to the launch of iTunes, to ubiquitous internet availability, and now the streaming revolution. The opportunity to take the reins at Paramount and revitalize it, build first-class executive and creative teams, and restore it to both profitability and creative success has been a source of pride. Brian has a long and successful career, and having worked closely with him, I know he and the team at Paramount will have great accomplishments in the future. I wish them all the very best success.”

“Jim is nothing less than legendary in this business, and I am humbled and grateful to him for his years of mentorship and friendship during our time working together,” said Robbins. “I am excited about the future for Paramount Pictures, and I want to thank Bob Bakish for the opportunity to use this incredibly powerful and broad canvas to produce films for every audience and deliver them in the ways today’s consumers want to experience them.”

As President of Nickelodeon since October 2018, Robbins has overseen culture-defining content and franchises at the number-one entertainment brand for kids with a proven ability to successfully engage theatrical, streaming and linear TV audiences by understanding the power of each platform. Franchises such as PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reach hundreds of millions of young people around the world through TV shows, movies and consumer products, while SpongeBob SquarePants has become one of the most popular animated characters of all time.

Under Robbins’ leadership, Nickelodeon has become a powerful driver of subscribers and engagement at Paramount+ since its launch in March 2021. Programming for young audiences, such as PAW Patrol: The Movie and the series and films in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, account for a double-digit share of total streams, and the platform’s slate includes numerous highly anticipated releases from the likes of Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios.

Prior to his appointment at Nickelodeon, Robbins served as President of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with legacy-Viacom brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. Previously, Robbins co-founded the multiplatform media company Awesomeness in 2012 and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the Founder and President of Varsity Pictures.

Robbins has executive produced numerous television and movie hits, including Kenan and Kel and All That, the latter of which Robbins adapted into the Nickelodeon feature film Good Burger; directed the Paramount films Varsity Blues and Hardball; executive produced Blue Mountain State for Spike TV (now Paramount Network); and also produced the television series Smallville and One Tree Hill, among others.

Robbins is the recipient of a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Prize. He is also an Emmy Award nominee.

Gianopulos’s distinguished career in the global entertainment industry spans nearly 40 years. Gianopulos took the reins of the studio in April 2017, revitalizing the studio and restoring profitability consistently throughout his tenure.

During his time at Paramount, Gianopulos has been responsible for creating and restoring massively successful franchises including A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, with more films in the works; Sonic the Hedgehog, with a sequel slated for release next year; Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the most profitable and critically-acclaimed film in the franchise, with the seventh and eight installments in production; the highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick; and Bumblebee, which marked a reinvigorated Transformers brand, returning the franchise to both profitability and critical acclaim. Additionally, Gianopulos rebuilt the popular Tom Clancy franchise across both film and television and was responsible for the award-winning 2018 hit Elton John biopic Rocketman.

During his tenure, Gianopulos built a first-class team of film and television executives, including his hiring of former Twentieth Century Studios chief executive Emma Watts to oversee the motion picture group, as well as bringing on seasoned marketing leaders, including Marc Weinstock and Mary Daily, and re-establishing Paramount Animation under the leadership of Mireille Soria, among other key roles. On the television side, Gianopulos built Paramount Television Studios, with Clemens at the helm, increasing output to more than 20 shows consistently in production and on the air. High-profile projects in production include The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, for Paramount+ and American Gigolo for Showtime.

Prior to joining Paramount, Gianopulos served as the Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to September 2016. In this role, he was responsible for feature film production, marketing, and global distribution of film and television content in all media. During his time as Chairman and CEO of Fox, the studio had its most profitable years ever, and in 2014, Twentieth Century Fox broke the all-time industry global box-office record, earning more than $5.5 billion. Gianopulos also has the distinction of having championed two of the biggest film successes in history, Titanic and Avatar.

Gianopulos chairs the Board of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, serves as Treasurer of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Board of Trustees, and is a member of the board of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a trustee of the American Film Institute.


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