Comix

thecrater

WARNING: This is a long-ass article. Click “Continue Reading” knowing that you will be greeted by a whole lot of text. But it’s worth it. I promise. This isn’t some Derek Smart situation.

In late May of 2013, a Florida-based organization calling themselves Kansai Club, led by one Andrew Nevo, began a Kickstarter campaign to translate and release an edition of The Crater, a lesser-known work from Osamu Tezuka. This is not a new concept, as DMP have been doing the same thing for quite some time. Being a fan of Tezuka’s work, I backed it. Later, it became apparent that there were difficulties in completing the project, and one of the first things I wrote about on this site was an update in June of last year.

That was the last update.

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Marvel and Sony have announced that, after ousting the fantastic Andrew Garfield, the new Marvel-controlled Spider-Man will be portrayed by Tom Holland. Holland is apparently 19, though this seems like the thing in hentai where the loli character is said to be thousands of years old. Disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself, Marvel.

This new, cherubic Peter Parker will debut in Captain America: Civil War next May, where Steve Rogers will probably change his diaper or try to feed him applesauce with hilarious results.

hellboydrunk

Pictured: Hellboy and Abe Sapien gettin’ ripped.

When I got into digital comics (due to my preferred online comic shop raising shipping rates, among other miscellaneous shortcomings), the greatest casualty was Dark Horse. Hellboy and BPRD are only a couple of my favorite series that Dark Horse publishes, but their comic app was a FUCKING NIGHTMARE! It crashed all the time, often refused to start up outright, sorting was a mess, and it ran like shit. The sorting was an especially grievous issue since BPRD can sometimes have 3 miniseries running at the same time.

But that is a problem no more! All of Dark Horse’s titles will now be available on Comixology, digital comic purveyors whose app actually works. Now it’s time for me to catch up on what I’ve missed over the past, oh… Year and a half.

daredevil_netflix
Daredevil, Netflix’s premiere Marvel series, which debuted earlier this month, has been a rousing success so far, both with critics (including me!) and the general audience. Quite a comeback for a character who had been soured for so many by the truly wretched movie adaptation over a decade ago.

With everyone raving about it, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Netflix has ordered a second season, to premiere next year. The first season’s showrunner, Steven DeKnight, will be departing, but I don’t think anyone should get too worked up about that — the episodes he wrote are, in my opinion, the weakest. Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) will remain onboard, and the new showrunners will be Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, who were involved with shows called… Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sons of Anarchy? Never heard of them. They were probably flops.

Netflix still has more Marvel series in development, including AKA Jessica Jones, awkwardly named so because Alias was already taken, and Luke Cage, featuring a giant black man who punches things to solve problems.

Entitled “Gotham is Mine”, this new trailer gives you a hot look at all the criminally insane weirdos that Batman is going to punch into submission. It features such stalwarts as:

  • Clown Girl
  • The Inquirer
  • The Half Man
  • Mr. Burlap
  • Pantsless Plant
  • Robo-Bat
  • The Kingpin

This also carries the coveted Peggy Eighteen rating, meaning the recent news about it being rated M by the ESRB will also be the case overseas — strange, as plenty of games rated M here simply get a Peggy Sixteen across the pond. This leads me to believe there’s more gnarly shit in Arkham Knight than we’re being led to believe.

COMIC OF THE YEAR:fatale_a
Brubaker and Phillips are at it again. The Duke Boys of the comic world, they run afoul of those who want the same tired superhero garbage, and, like the Robin Hoods they are, deliver top-notch noir to any who are willing to pay the three bux per issue. Fatale also continues the Brubaker/Phillips tradition of having extra essays at the ends of the single issues, making them worth picking up instead of waiting for the trade.  What isn’t par for the course is Fatales dalliances with the supernatural, giving this Bacall & Bogey story a dash of Innsmouth. – Larry Davis

  1. FATALE (ED BRUBAKER/SEAN PHILLIPS, IMAGE)
  2. The Manhattan Projects (Jonathan Hickman/Nick Pitarra, Image)
  3. Southern Bastards (Jason Aaron/Jason Latour, Image)
  4. Daredevil (Mark Waid/Chris Samnee, Marvel)
  5. Wonder Woman (Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang, DC)
  6. Hawkeye (Matt Fraction/David Aja, Marvel)
  7. Rachel Rising (Terry Moore, Abstract)
  8. Lazarus (Greg Rucka/Michael Lark, Image)
  9. Supreme: Blue Rose (Warren Ellis/Tula Lotay, Image)
  10. Low (Rick Remender/Greg Tocchini, Image)

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2014 has been kind of a weird year for me. I got a dog this year,(that in and of itself has been pretty damn wild) I was introduced to the vast world of comics, and I moved out of my house that I’d been living in for more than 20 years. But most importantly of all, I played some goddamn video games. And I guess I watched some movies and listened to some music, I dunno. LET’S DO SOME LISTS!

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It’s that time of year, already… Time to reflect on the best (and worst) of these past three hundred and sixty-something days. In all honestly, for games, it’s been a pretty shitty year, with very little in the way of major releases. Seemingly caught off-guard by the new console releases, developers blew their load when they came out, with this year being the proverbial refractory period, as they prepare for all the hot jams coming out next year (see also: #delayedto2015).

On the other hand, it’s been a godsend for the indie movement, as the absence of high-profile “AAA” games has given them a chance to shine where they otherwise might not.

GAME OF THE YEAR:

Jazzpunk is perhaps the funniest game ever made, and definitely the funniest since the heyday of LucasArts adventure games. Humor in games is a very hard thing to do correctly, as it can often by ruined by the player’s agency. Jazzpunk avoids this by making you the catalyst of most of the humor, and assaulting you with a barrage of Police Squad-on-acid visual gags, seen through the veneer of a cartoonish cyberpunk noir.

Other great games this year included Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, a pretty amazing game that legitimately innovates in what has become a crowded, staid genre, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which, while not as good as the first Donkey Kong Country Returns, is an absolute gem of a platformer. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to follow up on what might be the best platformer of all time. Rounding out the list: Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac’s return to form in an open-world explosion of insanity and parkour; Wolfenstein: The New Order, a surprisingly meditative take on the horrors of WW2 and what it did to soldiers’ psyche (plus, super-space-suits and laser guns); Persona Q, which blends the core Shin Megami Tensei formula with the more in-depth dungeon crawling of Atlus’ own Etrian Odyssey series; D4, more surrealist insanity from the creator of Deadly Premonition; Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a prologue to The Phantom Pain and a fully realized, if short, experience in its own right; and Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, a characteristically awkwardly-titled, blisteringly fast, and absolutely beautiful fighting game from Arc System Works.

  1. JAZZPUNK
  2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  4. Sunset Overdrive
  5. Wolfenstein: The New Order
  6. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
  7. Titanfall
  8. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die
  9. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
  10. Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

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