Category - Comics

Or if you prefer, Graphic Novels.

My DC Descent into Obsession

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I have a confession that is probably going to knock a few points off of my geek-cred score… I’ve never really read much in the way of DC comics. In fact, the only things I really remember reading are The Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke. While it’s true I’ve seen all the Batman and Superman movies countless times, I never really read the comics. I was a Marvel guy as a kid, and for whatever reason I was firmly entrenched on that side of the Fanboy Mason-Dixon line. X-Men, New Mutants, X-Force, Spiderman, Punisher, Incredible Hulk, these were my gospel. I was a ‘true believer’, also known as a true belliwar.

Something peaked my interest lately, I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it’s been all the Dark Knight Rises talk in the nerdosphere, maybe it’s been the revamped Superman talk… I’m not sure. Something compelled me to sit down this weekend and start digging into those two universes and so far, it looks like I may be hooked.

First off I sat down this afternoon and watched Batman: Under the Red Hood on Netflix. I’ve caught a few minutes here and there of Batman: The Animated Series, but it never really grabbed me. I’m not sure if it was the visual style, or some lingering preconceptions I had about the DC Universe. Either way, this was my first time watching a WB Animation Batman movie.

Anyway, I won’t dance around it… this movie absolutely blew me away.  Not only was the animation of the highest caliber, but the story and characters were on a level far above anything I’ve ever seen in an animated series. I’ve already gone into Netflix and added every single available Batman title to my Instant Queue.

This compelled me to head over to my local Borders and pick up some DC Graphic Novels. After standing and staring at the shelf for a while I realized that I’ve missed out on a lifetime’s worth of stories and I really didn’t know where to start. I ended up picking up Superman: Earth One and Batman: The Long Halloween. I’m sure there might have been better choices, but I was going in with the eyes of a total DC noob.

I sat down and read through the entire Superman Earth One in just under an hour. So, I guess right there that says how much I enjoyed it. I’ve always found Superman to be a sort of (how shall I say this delicately) one-dimensional character. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hell out of the movies, I’ve just always felt like he less interesting than Batman.

I really enjoyed this retelling of Superman’s origin. It was much more interesting to see Superman as a reluctant, conflicted super hero rather than just flying into Metropolis one day and announcing he’s a hero. I’m not sure what direction they’re taking for the Zack Snyder reboot movie, but if this is any indication I may rescind my previous statements about it being a bad idea.

I’m glad I finally took the DC plunge, I feel like theres so much great content I’ve been missing out on. I’m already looking forward to picking up some more Superman Graphic Novels, I’m open to any suggestions from the DC Veterans around here. What should I pick up next?

Still collecting TMNT stuff 20 something years later

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I guess my love for the Ninja Turtles will never truly fade. I’ve loved the Turtles since the second or third grade and while I didn’t really follow the comics, newer animated series, and the terrible live action series, I’ll always have a special spot for them.

As a grown adult, I still enjoy my fair share of TMNT merchandise. A buddy of mine handed me this super sweet “Artobiography” about the original TMNT comics that is full of all sorts of great content. The book is packed with tons of drawings, story boards, character designs, and behind the scenes insight all compiled by Kevin Eastman himself. It’s a great book, even if looking at it now shows me that Eastman and Laird weren’t exactly the greatest artists. That doesn’t matter because their idea was so solid, and their work ethic so dedicated that they were able to take TMNT from their small apartment and turn it into a world wide phenomenon that has become ingrained in culture as much as anything from Marvel or DC.

Second, I ordered a beat up copy of TMNT: Fall of the Footclan for the original Gameboy for a whole six cents off eBay. The thing looks like it’s been through a bomb blast, but I cleaned it up, threw some double A’s into the old green beast and played through the first stage of the game. I loved this game back when it came out, but it’s a rather average action game these days. Since I didn’t want to deal with the ancient Gameboy screen, I ended up playing through the whole game using Super Gameboy. There was some great TMNT fan service in here including lots of great stills right out of the pilot episode of the cartoon. Sure, it’s really dated now, but back then Gameboy games just didn’t have graphics that looked like the real deal.

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On top of all that, I was also handed a cardboard box full of over 30 loose TMNT action figures. To be quite honest, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with these things. I was doing really well in my quest to sell or throw out all of my old action figures and now this comes along. I’ll likely pick through it and grab some of the figures I really want, like the original four Turtles, and Mecha Turtle. Mecha Turtle was the first TMNT figure I ever had when I was growing up, so that figure in particular means a little something to me, and even though I still have my original, he doesn’t have any limbs. It is kind of crazy that I had most of the figures that are in this box at some point in time, so it was actually worth the memories alone.

Being that this is the 25th Anniversary of TMNT, this year in particular is seeing the release of all sorts of cool TMNT stuff that I’m tempted to grab. There’s a bunch of new action figures, DVD releases, and even screenings of the original film at certain theaters. What I’m interested in however is the new Smash Brothers inspired TMNT game for Wii from Game Arts, which could be something worth looking into. Then there is the recent announcement of the Turtles in Time remake for Xbox 360 and PS3. While I’m pretty turned off by the artistic approach to the game (the game loses much of it’s charm with it’s new 3D graphics), I’ll probably get it and enjoy the hell out of it.

So yeah, I still love TMNT and at this point, I probably will for the rest of my life. Cowabunga dude.