Posts Tagged ‘Sandman’

SDCC 2012 : Sandman Returns from Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

In the midst of the pop culture haven that is San Diego Comic Con, comics often get pushed aside for the bigger movies, games, and shows in the coming years.

But screw all of that because DC and Vertigo just announced a fanboy dream for those that were there in the beginning when Vertigo was just getting off the ground running. I’ll let Mr. Neil Gaiman explain:

Truly the announcement to beat so far at this year’s convention. For Gaiman to return to the series that gave him a great comic book reputation and a stellar artist in J.H. Williams who caught everybody’s eyes with his stunning work on Detective Comics and Batwoman, this will be the one to keep an eye on next fall for Sandman’s 25th anniversary.

I tip my hat to you, DC, Vertigo, and of course, Mr. Gaiman…

UPDATE: an image was released of one of the covers for the mini-series just now:

CBF Quick Picks #42 : Action Comics #894

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The anticipation was building for this issue ever since DC revealed who Lex Luthor was going toe-to-toe with in Action Comics #894. And the resulting work from Paul Cornell and Pete Woods turned out perfect (well close to it – I’m still not hot on the Jimmy Olsen co-feature). The philosophical battle between one of DC’s premier super-villains and one of Sandman’s most popular siblings was very intriguing and showed us how much Lex, even in the face of death (literally), will fight to the end to achieve his self-proclaimed destiny.

Not to be put on the sidelines though, Zatanna has been slowly sneaking up on readers’ radars and issue #6 is probably one of the strongest of the series so far. Paul Dini is largely responsible for this character’s resurgence and you can tell how much he loves the character. The family dynamic between Zatanna and her cousin is done really well too and makes me want to see more of it. Darn shame though that not many have this on their pull lists – it’s worth checking out if you want to go beyond the Batman and Green Lantern books that dominate the comic book stands as of late.

Wonder Woman #604 gives us the showdown between Wonder Woman and her mysterious antagonist largely responsible for the majority of the Amazons being wiped out. A bit underwhelming learning his back story, but the pencils behind the fight sequence were gorgeous. As the Amazon princess slowly gains back her powers, we start diving into bigger fare as she seeks out the true power that has it out for the Amazons.

Enjoy your books and don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more cool stuff!

CBF End of Year Podcast

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009


Mike and I recently wrapped up the decade with our 2-part Wizard Decade Edition podcasts (latest one is here if you want to check it out), but I figured to also provide one focused particularly on 2009 as well. A lot went on this year alone, which explains why this was probably the longest podcast I’ve ever done solo. Some highlights on the podcast:

  • DC was the big publisher this year in my eyes with Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns leading the charge on the major story arcs.
  • Vertigo continues to innovate with their new Unwritten and Daytripper series
  • Marvel’s Dark Reign storyline dominates the year, but hear why I believe it lost its focus as the year went on.
  • Image and Dark Horse continue to put out quality work in spite of the domination by the big two publishers
  • 2010 will see more excellent books and a more focused direction on both DC and Marvel’s sides.
  • I lay down challenges as to supporting independents and why comics should never be considered as just “spandex” books

A happy and safe New Year’s to all and we’ll see you on the other side of 2010!

Comic Book Fury 5: Fables, First 5 Graphic Novels

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

This week’s podcast is all about Fables. Well at least the first five graphic novels. Fables is on ongoing Vertigo series with characters from fairy tales and folklore, such as The Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Boy Blue and others,  who have left their  Homelands  to escape an enemy known as the Adversary, whose identity is revealed in a later issue, but not in the first five graphic novels.

Fables is written by Bill Willingham, who also wrote another new  favorite of mine, House of Mystery.

We talk a little about Sandman, John Constantine, and I yes I know, it’s Jack Ketch, not John.


Anatomy of the Comic Book

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

I routinely get asked what’s so fascinating about reading stories of spandex-clad super-heroes in the comics.  I’ll get remarks that it’s just “nerd” material, just for kids, or that I need to get outside more.  Granted, I do question at times why Superman wears red underwear outside his costume, but hey, he’s still fully clothed and that’s all that matters…

There’s a lot to be said about the comic book itself and what it brought to the table throughout history.  When people were first introduced to Captain America in the 40’s, it was a response to our fears about how the U.S. will fare in WWII.  When the X-Men were introduced in the 60’s, it spoke volumes about the racial prejudice prominent to that period.  Then there were the stories that brought things down to a more personal scale.  Spider-Man brought us a character that not only fought crime, but dealt with real-life issues most high school and college students could relate to.  The Fantastic Four showed us that even super-hero families have relational issues and can still work them out.  Combine these with the sci-fi aspects that comes with being super heroes and you can see why comics have outlasted economic turmoil and critic bashing over the years.

Of course, being that comics have been a visual medium for the longest time, there comes a time when the emphasis on art is stronger than emphasis on writing.  Enter the early 90’s.  Artists became superstars.  Publishers produced hundreds of covers for almost every single issue.  It was the “in” thing to collect and sell at later times.  Storytelling took a back seat while artwork helped rack in the dough.

Then the market became saturated with thousands of useless issues that weren’t being collected.  Consumers realized the deteriorating value behind these issues.  Retailers and publishers lost millions.  Marvel declared bankruptcy in 1996.  The bare-bones storytelling became more noticeable and many fan-favorite characters suffered via cancellations.  The industry started to re-think the direction behind its heroes as well as other areas they can explore.

The mid 90’s started to show the potential of the medium through Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which Mike touched upon in our first podcast.


It was a different approach, delving into and re-inventing the mythologies Gaiman wanted to play with.  It went away from the conventional super hero books and showed that comics could be as just a respected reading medium as any novel on the bookshelves.  DC took notice and created its “Vertigo” line to accommodate creator-owned lines and new universes.

Fables, Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, and more would help in grabbing old readers disenchanted by the old superhero stories and new readers looking for innovative storytelling.  The superhero books would follow after DC and Marvel discovered a new crop of writers that could re-invent their images.  And while today’s sales numbers may not reach the numbers the 80’s and early 90’s brought, comics are getting a new kind of respect that has resulted in writers being offered TV gigs and comic properties becoming high-grossing movies.

My next few posts will highlight the books I feel are helping to realize the medium’s potential.  Feel free to suggest any you feel deserve to be up on that list.  Enjoy!

Comic Book Fury Episode 1: Origins and Watchmen

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009


Show runs 49 minutes.

Tim and I talk about how we got into comics, some favorite story lines, authors, and artists. We then review Watchmen, no spoilers, and a little bit about what Neil Gaiman is doing with Batman.