Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Something old, something new....

Once again I´m between posts. Normally after finishing a post I have to collect the materials for the next one and also I´m kind of empty, exhausted.....spent - so I surf the net.

It should be no surprise that I find stuff that I want to post on my blog but not always do I have a theme or topic into which it fits. In which case I usually do one of these posts into which I cram all this stuff.


In one of my posts from last week I already reported the news about Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber´s comic UNDERGROUND that got an unexpected raise in sales when Steve Lieber entered an internet forum that had scanned and downloaded the entire comic.

Most of you probably have already read all about it but I just wanted to add two new links. The first one is for the radio station on3 on which the topic was discussed how to make money with comics via the internet ( from bootleg to bestseller - giving away comics helps to sell ) in which David Boller from ZAMPANO comics participated :

  • Von der Raubkopie zum Bestseller - Verschenken hilft verkaufen

  • Being a curious guy I had to check out the UNDERGROUND comic ( via the preview for the first issue from the first blog ) and what can I say - I ordered it via amazon. I know that there is also another shop where you can order it but the shipping alone would cost as much as the graphic novel. The downside is that I won´t get it before Christmas so you´ll have to wait till then for my verdict.

    If you want to check it out for yourself, here´s a link where you can download the comic for free and also donate some money. I could have added the links to the old post but I wanted to draw more attention to them.

  • download UNDERGROUND for free ( and maybe donate money )


    Okay, the next stuff is old and new because - it´s something I wanted to post for quite some time. After this year´s trip to Erlangen I started kind of a diary but like always other stuff came up and I didn´t continue it. I always wanted to make one of the installments about the new webcomics which are also featured in PANIK ELEKTRO 7 - SEELENSTRIPS.

    The concept of the PANIK ELEKTRO series is that there is always one topic ( like " Science Fiction " , " Super Heroes " or such ) and dozens of artists contribute short comics. In issue 7 it was autobiographical, slice - of - life webcomics. I even had the good fortune to meet some of the featured creators at the booth of SCHWARZER TURM. Now PANIK ELEKTRO 7 deserves a post of it´s own but since I don´t know when I´ll come around to it I want to post the links to the two webcomics for which I already have the material needed. Today I was on a site with a lot of webcomics so it´s no big deal to post them.

    The first one is BLATTONISCH by Leaf Van Genova which is mostly in black and white.

    I guess the title is a play of words since the word platonic was written like the german word for leaf which is the name of the artist. The strips are sometimes funny, sometimes strange and according to her the most traffic comes from the strips about Harry Potter.

    I wanted to buy a print version but either there was none available or I forgot to do it.

    The second one is GESTERN NOCH by Asya. I also met her in Erlangen and I bought some minicomics from her. The only bad thing is that I would like to have a small pocketbook with the strips as a giveaway for Christmas. That would be cool as a print - on - demand option where you could select your favorite strips and then have it printed as a nice small booklet.

    Like the first this is also slice - of - life and you should definitely check it out. Sorry, both of them are in german.


    As I said I was on a website with lots of webcomics today and I wanted to post a few more links. This is a purely random selection and just the ones that piqued my curiosity or the ones I had already heard about. Usually I don´t read much webcomis ( who has time for it all ? ) but I think these deserve some attention :

    MEMENTO MORI is a webcomic that takes place during the Roman Empire and it´s done entirely with action figures. Now this could be a stiff comic but thanks to the masterful way in which shadow and light is used the photos almost seem to come to life.

    There is a german version and an english version available.

    SANDRA AND WOO by Powree and Oliver Knörzer is another webcomic that is available in a german version and an english version. It tells the adventures of Sandra and Woo, a stray racoon that she adopts. The strips run the gamut from funny to absurd to thought provoking and serious. I especially like the clean line and the dynamic storytelling.

    DAS BUCH DER SCHATTEN is another german webcomic. Our protagonist Jason Scott has the assignment to bring the fabled " book of shadows " ( for my taste the translation " book of the shadow " sounds too much like an anthology title for a certain pulp character ) to the museum of London which is the beginning of an old fashioned adventure story - told on about 200 pages by now - that will lead him all across Europe in the year 1899.

    Secret Services, mysterious congregations, shady adventurers, arms dealers and the Vatican are all trying to get their hands on the book that seems to be some kind of " Necronomicon ". By horseback, by carriage, by zeppelin, by train or via submarine in short.....by any means of transportation that was available at that time. The trick is to oppose brigands, bandits, assasins and traitors, to outwit your adversaries and to stay alive. Aside from that I don´t want to spoil too much of the story.

    The special attraction of the comic - besides it´s innovative coloring - is that real people from that time appear as well as fictional ones like the ever present Inspektor Lestrade.

    There is also no shortage of clairvoyants, magicians, chinese bad guys, beautiful femme fatales and esoterics what may sound a bit strange ( the part about magicians and other occult practicers ) but at that time everything seemed possible to the general populace so it´s not out of place in the story.

    What I really liked is the coloring of the story that was painted on wood with acrylic colours ( !!! ). The story starts in Syldvania ( Transylvania ? ) in entirely blue tinted colors that envoke a really cold and creepy mood.

    While the story progresses other colors are added depending of the surroundings but in the parts that take place in other towns like London the primary color is once again blue.

    One thing that was a bit distracting is that even if most of the word balloons are placed outside of the panels the pictures can be a bit small at times.

    Aside from that I urge you to give it a chance. There are three chapters available so far and the first one has already been translated to english.

    For more information about Christoph Roos or updates on The book of shadow you can go to Christoph´s website or his blog.

    A really weird webcomic is GESCHICHTEN AUS DER VERBOTENEN STADT ( Stories from the forbidden city ). This comic has not been translated but that doesn´t really matter since it´s told without words.

    The reader is challenged to impart his own meaning into the story and figure out what is happening.

    Aside from the weird premiss of the comic one of the things that attracted me to it was that the main character is a skeleton with an detachable brainpan.

    A website that´s only funny for my german readers is LAST KISS by John Lustig that combines comic panels from vintage romance comics with punchlines from Today.

    As usual I´m open to any kind of link exchanges so if anyone wants to be fetured in my blog roll please contact me.


    If you are now tired from all these webcomics here are two videos. The first one is from Papiertourist in which he does a comic special in which he presents the comics GARULFO, CODEX ANGELIQUE, DIE MECHANISCHE WELT, DIE REISE MIT BILL and DIE VIER VON DER BAKER STREET. It´s not as lavishly produced as A COMICBOOK ORANGE but the animations are done very well. And the best part is that at the end of the video you can click some links for individual reviews. Who needs television ?

    And to close things for Today here´s the trailer for the new french film based on the classic BD LUCKY LUKE ( courtesy of Terry Hooper from ComicBitsOnline - make sure to check out his website ) .

    I haven´t seen the german movie adaption with Til Schweiger but this one looks promising. And you can´t go wrong with a main actor named Dujardin.

    So that´s all for Today and next time more about british comic. Or some old german comics. I never DID get around to write that post about the ZACK comics of my youth.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

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  • I´m a humanoid - based repair and maintenance unit left behind by unknowable alien gods to make sure that the earth is still here and in good shape when they get back.

    Just like you are.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    my new old comic reads

    Last week I was going for a new record with three posts already in the can and a fourth one planned for Sunday. But as usual, I didn´t do the Sunday post and this week I didn´t get to post.

    On Monday my brother´s room was getting new windows. And because my room is next to his, and the house is built so cheap that when you take off a part of his wall you also take off a part of my wall I had people going in and out of my room the whole day. On Tuesday my brothers decided to swap room so they had to get all of their stuff out. Which meant that my room also was full of their stuff and I spent most of the day taking my clothes out of the cupboard and into the cupboard again. Which made my carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand come back.

    On Wednesday my brothers were still busy with putting their stuff in order and because some of my stuff was in what used to be the work office I had to go to the cellar a few times. I think the main reason why my brother agreed to swap rooms was because he couldn´t get me to take my stuff out of his room. I swear, he´s like Caligula, Garfield and Dr. Doom rolled into one - on acid. He always tries to get what he wants, like it says in THE PRISONER : by hook or by crook.

    In any case I don´t want to bitch about my brother, that would take at least a whole series of posts. So on Wednesday I finally got my room back. On Thursday I would have had time to post but I have a business appointment. It seems I´m starting a new company. Yes, I was also surprised. I mean it´s not like I have anything to do like translating comics or writing a blog or all this other stuff. No, that doesn´t take any work. It´s done in 5 minutes. And it´s not important what I want to do anyway.

    That´s all a waste of time. So we´ll see how this new company will go.

    But let´s talk about comics, which is the focus of this blog now that I finally have time to write.

    Lately I have been re - reading a lot of my old comics. Just the other day I read FINAL CRISIS - LEGION OF THREE WORLDS ( must have been the dozenth time ) when I came to that passage where Brainiac 5 mentions the first LEGION OF THREE WORLDS mission. Now I did a bit of research but I´m not sure if that is a part of the existing continuity. The war of Zoom against the Allen family has been documented and XS´ history coincides with the story. But I think the really original LEGION OF THREE WORLDS story hasn´t been told yet.

    Someone mentioned that this story was probably what Geoff Johns originally wanted to tell but that he had to change his plans because of FINAL CRISIS. But who knows ? I also read something from a guy who was like analyzing how parallel universes really work ( in comparison to how it works in the story because we all took that course in school ) and explainig why the story doesn´t work.

    And all I wanted to do was to say : hey, dude, chill out. It´s only a made up story. It´s not real. It doesn´t matter if the chances are a billion to one or that that´s not supported by scientific facts. There also are no scientific facts that say that it has to be bad weather whenever I leave the house. It just happens. Swear to god, I never understand why some people think too much.

    In any case, I hope we get to read the first LEGION OF THREE WORLDS adventure eventually. Right now I´m not reading a lot of Legion stuff. Because of the 3.99 $ price on a lot of comics I missed the first issues of the new LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES book and now I have to wait for the trade.

    And of course my brother is reading the Superman series that doesn´t have to Legion co - feature so I´ll also have to wait for that trade.

    I think they will come out in April or June next year. So maybe I´ll find some back issues at this month´s Stuttgarter Comicbörse. But I don´t have much faith because the number of dealers who have US comics is growing smaller and smaller each time.

    Another comic I re - read was ELQUEST by Wendy and Richard Pini. The thing is that I was cleaning my shelf porn ( there was a lot of dust on the books ) and started to thumb through all my old issues of ELFQUEST. At the same time there was an episode with Wendy and Richard Pini on Fanboy Radio that I listened to and I got the old comicbug again.

    Now the comics were not as good as when I read them the first time. But not because the story doesn´t hold up qualitywise - it´s still above a lot of the stuff that´s published Today in that regard - but because I already knew most of the plot twists and surprise. ELFQUEST is still one of the best comics out there.

    The funny thing is that I often hear comicfans complain about the fact that comics are translated into other media. Well, I have to say in my case I would never have started reading the comic if I hadn´t read the book adaption first.

    Back then my main source for comic books and paperbacks was a small newsstand near the city hall in Ludwigsburg. It wasn´t a big newsstand but I had a good selection of paperbacks, pulps and comics. I bought my first issues of SCHWERMETALL

    ( HEAVY METAL ) and U - COMIX

    ( kind of a funny mag with american and franco - belgian underground material ) there and because it was near my busstation I was there at least once a day.

    I bought an issue of JOHN SINCLAIR,



    every other day. So one day I saw an issue of ABENTEUER IN DER ELFENWELT but they were already at the third or fourth issue. So I wasn´t sure if it was worth it to try it. From Today´s point of view 4 Deutschmarks is nothing ( right now that´s like 2 EUROS ) but back at that time I had a pretty small budget. But there was also a book adaption published from Goldmann Verlag ( I think ) that was translated by Wolgang Hohlbein ( sorry, I couldn´t find a better picture ).

    At that time he wasn´t the famous fantasy writer of CHRONICLES OF THE IMMORTALS and mostly known for writing DAMONA KING,

    PROFESSOR ZAMORRA and other pulps.

    I bought the adaption, I read it and I really liked it. The only problem was that at that time there were no professional comicshops and since the only issues the newsstand had were issues 3 and 5.

    So I went to all newsstands, papershops or stationary shops in Ludwigsburg, Eglosheim, Neckarweihigen...wherever till I got the missing back issues. Back then being a comicfan meant a lot of legwork.

    So I started reading Elquest which was published by BASTEI till issue 37.

    Issue 38 was announced but they never published it. Later on CARLSEN republished some of the issues but at a much higher price. They also published some of the following stories but not all of them were drawn by Wendy Pini. It was also difficult to read them because they were rather expensive and there was a lot of short series instead one long one. The price for the BASTEI issues had gone up from 3.80 Marks to 6.80 Marks and I think the CARLSEN issues were even more expensive. I never quite got the hang of the reading order so I passed on them.

    There was a series later on in the pamphlet format but I have no idea where they ended up. I don´t know if they stopped publishing them or if I just stopped buying them but I don´t think I finished them.

    I used to go to the HEINZELMÄNNCHEN comicshop in Stuttgart and I always looked through the new publications there and whenever they had a new Elfquest issue out I got that. But since the shop closed I mostly just go to my comicshop in Esslingen and mostly just for picking up the stuff that´s on my pull list. Sometimes I´ll go to the Fantasy Stronghold in Ludwigsburg but that´s mostly just a lot of cardgames, Yu - Gi - Oh and Naruto. It may be that I stopped reading Elfquest when the shop in Stuttgart closed. Weird, how important a good comicshop is for your reading habits. Back when I had more comicshops to go to I read more comics outside of superheroes.

    Anyway, one of these days those old issues of Elfquest will pop up and maybe I can complete my collection. I have been doing a bit of research about ELFQUEST because I thought it would be about time to start WORLD´S GREATES COMIC BOOKS. The thing that I found really unbelievable was how many people dissed the series because of some of the adult content in the stories. It´s not like it´s outright porn but obviously showing adults having sex is too much for some people. I mean, what do those people think where all the little elfes come from ?

    I have to say that was one of the things I liked about the series. Since it was an independent comic Wendy and Richard Pini didn´t bother with the restrictions mainstream books have. Which wouldn´t have made any sense.

    Maybe I´ll find some issues at the Stuttgarter Comicbörse but who knows ? In any case ELFQUEST is one of the comic classics that has my absolute recommendation. If you haven´t read it yet you should definitely give it a try. It´s totally Airwolf !

    Speaking of who ( what an elegant segueway ) the post I wanted to do on Sunday was about DR. WHO. While being on the website of Los Comic Geekos I found a link to the 3D animated series DREAMLAND with spanish subtitles on YouTube. The animation is not half - bad and the story is really interesting.

    article about DR. WHO - DREAMLAND

    review of DR. WHO - DREAMLAND ( with spoilers )

    Here you can watch the normal version :

    There is also another animated series called The Infinity Quest which looks a bit like fanmade animation. But it´s funny to hear the actors with their original voices and it helps the wait till the next season of Dr. Who airs in Germany. Which will beprobably in 2014 if I know my german tv stations.

    And with that our time for Today is once again up. I just hope all this stuff about old german comics wasn´t too boring for my german readers.

    As I already have three videos from YouTube on this post I won´t add a third one so there will be no Green Lantern related clip Today. Sorry.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    new look - part 2

    The third post this week, this must be a new record. Here are the other news items that I found noteworthy that I couldn´t fit into the Monday post.


    Since I have now finally managed to get audio on my computer here are some videos vom CBR TV. The first is Felicia Day, who you may know from LIE TO ME, DR. HORRIBLE´S SINGALONG BLOG, the web show THE GUILD about the adventures of a group of online gamers

    <a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&fg=Xbox_Channel_GUILD_S4_FINAL&vid=8cb424dc-cbdb-40be-90c5-8fb450462d2f" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"">Video: Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"</a>

    the comic of THE GUILD or like me : not at all. If you want to find out more about her just google her or go to her official website. Anyway, she´s on CBR TV talking about THE GUILD and other stuff.

    She was also on episode seven of season 5 of A ComicBook Orange but you´ve probably seen that episode already.

    Also on CBR TV is Brian Michael Bendis writer of......well, it´s probably faster to tell what he isn´t writing at Marvel. As he has his fingers in so many titles he needs two videos, one from the New York ComicCon and one from ComicCon International in San Diego.

    Ron Marz was the guy who turned Hal Jordan into a mass murderer and started the dark age in GREEN LANTERN history known as the " Kyle Rayner debacle " as well as one of the main writers for CrossGen. Here he talks about his upcoming column on ComicBookResources and his collaboration with Whilce Portaccio on TOPCOW´s series ARTIFACTS.


    To close the video parts and start with the Batman - centric part of the news David Finch, artist and writer on BATMAN : THE DARK KNIGHT does an interview on CBR TV. Best news of all : after decades of a ruined Batman costume David Finch has finally brought back the yellow Batsymbol. YESSSS !!!!!

    Excuse me, while I do a little victory dance over here.

    Finally all the indignation is over and Batman is back to his former glory. I don´t know what else Mr. Finch will be doing but he´s already my hero. Yay ! Long live the yellow Batsymbol !


    Now onto more Batnews. I have missed Grant Morrison´s BATMAN R.I.P. and BATTLE FOR THE COWL which may be a blessing. I´m also - for the moment - not reading THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE since it´s almost over. At least to my knowledge. The trade has already been announced so it doesn´t make any sense to jump on the book right now. I´m reading the BATMAN series published by PANINI Germany ( yay, german comis ! ) that has the regular Batman series, starting with the Batman Reborn story where you - know - who takes up the mantle of Batman and BATMAN & ROBIN of which I only read the first three issues that were drawn by Frank Quitely.

    So for all readers like me here are some infos on all the things going on in the Batverse. Bob Harras, former Editor in Chief of Marvel and now Editor in Chief at DC talks about Bruce Wayne´s new status quo ( warning : contains spoilers for Batman & Robin 16 ), Paul Cornell talks about his storyarc in Batman & Robin 17 - 19 which will be drawn by Scott Mc Daniel, Grant Morrison talks about his new series BATMAN INC and Brian Azzarello writes the new series BATMAN EUROPE.

    Drawing the first issue of BATMAN EUROPE will be Jim Lee who has an interview on Mtv about the release of his artbook ICONS - THE DC COMICS AND WILDSTORM ART OF JIM LEE and one on Publisher´s Weekly that takes a look back at his twenty year career in comics.

    And to close up this round of Batlinks here´s an interview Chris Mautner did for The Comics Journal with Jerry Robinson, the creator of the Joker.


    Yes, it seems 2011 will be a great year in comics - at least for me. This really is the year of the comeback. JOHN BYRNE´S NEXT MEN is coming back, the 2.99 $ comics are back, the yellow Batsymbol is coming back and now over at Marvel THUNDERSTRIKE is also making a triumphant return.

    Back in 1991 Eric Masterson took up the mantle of Thor after Thor had been banished at the end of a really great storyline. Not as used to the role of a hero Eric had to learn the ropes of the superhero business ( the idea was later copied by DC with Kyle Rayner ) and I really liked him as a character. When the real Thor eventually returned Eric got a mystic mace and continued the good fight in his own series THUNDERSTRIKE that started in May 1993.

    The series didn´t last long ( at least for the standards of that time ) and after 24 issues the writers decided to kill him. I don´t know why but it seems writers are rather willing to kill a character when they end a series than to have him quit. I means James Robinson´s STARMAN did it and the comic universe didn´t break in half.

    In any case, now the time has come for all diehard THUNDERSTRIKE fans to celebrate as he´s making a glorious return at the hands of Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz the original series creator. You can read all about it here


    More interviews : Christos Gage on AVENGERS ACADEMY ( with a preview of issue 7 ), an interview with Jaime Hernandez at The Daily Cross Hatch ( part 2 and 3 of 4 ), 50 questions in 50 minutes with Mark Waid, and finally Sergio Aragones, artist on MAD, GROO and other great comics like FANBOY or SERGIO ARAGONERS DESTROYS THE DC UNIVERSE celebrates five decades of work as well as doing an interview for the AC Club.


    To close things the usual top ten lists and other comic trivia :

  • 10 lessons for better colouring

  • 10 comic or pop art themed hotels

  • top 10 Invincible moments

  • 10 insane facts comics taught us about american history

  • Douglas Wolk takes a look at the history of vampires and Frankenstein

    First appearance in comics of :

  • Batman´s giant penny, half face Spider - Man, Avengers Assemble

  • LMDs, Jimmy Olsen´s signal watch, It´s clobberin´ time

  • the year of cool comics archive

  • comic strip characters as superheroes

  • Once again time to close the post for Today. As I have already posted two GREEN LANTERN related videos at the end of my last two posts here´s a third one. It´s a fanmade trailer and I wish the new movie is just half as Airwolf as this trailer.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

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  • Always count your steps, you never know when you have to escape in a box.