Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sneak peek of Comic Book Clubhouse!

This February I will be hosting a brand new, all-ages comic book online radio show!  The show is called "Comic Book Clubhouse". 

Every week we will talk about new releases and all the cool comic book news, but I also wanted to share some the special features and cool tie-ins that will be a part of the Clubhouse.

Dancers Read Dance Class:  The popular web show returns as a part of the clubhouse.  Maria, my ten year old competitive dancing daughter and her friends will review the Papercutz graphic novel series "Dance Class".  New episodes will air starting in February and whenever new issues are published.

Superkid of the Week:  have a kid who accomplished something really awesome?  Then nominate them to be out Superkid of the week.  If they're chosen as Superkid of the week, they will be highlighted on the air and receive a certificate suitable for framing.

Birthday Booyah!:  At the end of every episode our super friend O-boy will be giving a birthday "shout out" to all our listeners celebrating that week.  

15 Second Comic Book Review:  Check out our page on TOUT every week for 15 Second Comic Book Reviews featuring the heroes (and occasionally villains) of the Clubhouse.  

Secret Decoder Contest:  At the end of every episode we will unveil and new message in our secret code.  Use your clubhouse membership decoder card and enter for your chance to win a cool prize.  Decoder cards will be available soon!

Comic Book Creators Club:  From time to time we will feature tips and tricks from our Comic Book Creators Club Workshop, and sometimes we will have special tips from real working comic book professionals. 

These are just some of the things we have planned for Comic Book Clubhouse,  so strap on your cape and join the Clubhouse for all the fun!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Justice League comes to breakfast!

I recently came across something fun in the cereal aisle of my local supermarket, FREE Justice League mini comics inside Big G Cereals including Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  As a person who has eaten A Lot of cereal while reading comic books, I found this to be a really cool team up.

I picked up a box of Honey Nut Cheerios to check out the comics and see what they were all about.

The first thing I noticed is that Cyborg is featured prominently on comic book covers and the back of the box.  This isn't a surprise considering that Cyborg has "graduated" so to speak, and has been a fairly prominent member of the League since the "New 52" was launched.

Another thing I noticed was that, other than Cyborg, the rest of the Justice League was thankfully in their classic attire and not those awful rebooted costumes.

The box featured the league on the front of the box, along with some fun facts on the side.  The back of the box featured some cut outs featuring a batarang and, Wonder Woman's Tiara and Cyborgs "power symbol".

There are five comics to collect, four regular ones and a "target exclusive" comic found on specially marked boxes of Cheerios. Each issue features a basic adventure and an opportunity to read part 2 of each book online at biggcerealheroes.com

The comic I received in my box centered around Cyborg, and a plot from Darkseid.  The combination of Cyborg and Darkseid actually reminded me of the later episodes of the SuperFriends where both were featured, so that was fun. The Justice League featured in the book was Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Aquaman.  

I was happy to see that Dc/Big G reached out to quality talent for these books too, Dan Jergens, Norm Rapmund, Phil Jimenez, Sterling Gates, Joshua Williamson and more all contributed to the various books.

I checked out the web comics, and most of them were short epilogues to the main story, which was ok, but I guess you can't complain about free.

My favorite part of the book by far was the tag line on the back of the book, "enjoy reading all the comics together as a family".  

Which brings me to my one gripe about these books... What comes next?  Anyone who picks up these books and wants to red more, unfortunately is out of luck.  DC doesn't publish an accessible all ages Justice League comic.  Which is unfortunate... And not too smart.

Check out more pics at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/maverickscomicroundup
Want to see more of the Big G Heroes Comics:  http://biggcerealheroes.com

Monday, December 30, 2013

Roundup Toy Review: Classic TV Show Batman

This is a toy that I have pretty much waited my entire life for.  My first experiences with Superheroes was on the television, I grew up with The Superfriends, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Greatest American Hero, and of course the live action shows and Tv Movies, Batman being my absolute favorite.  Still to this day, I rank that show among my all-time favorites.  Now that we are finally getting merchandise for the show, I'm a very happy masked cowboy.

I finally got my hands on one of the action figures over the Christmas holidays thanks to a gift certificate to my favorite comic store (woo hoo!) Here's my take on the caped crusader!


The packaging captures the spirit of the show nicely, bright colors and of course the infamous comic bursts, along with a pic of the dynamic duo climbing the wall.   It's a simple blister pack,and thankfully easy enough to get into without a ton of rubber bands or twistie ties.  The back of the card has Batman's bio and the rest of the figs in the first series.

The Figure:
Batman comes with a pretty cool base, that features the iconic POW! In green with a yellow background, it also comes with a trading card that fits on the base.  The illustration of the card is Batman and Robin in the Batmobile, the back looks like a piece of a larger image.  I imagine if you collect all of the figures in the series you'll get a picture of the bat cave.

Bats has A lot of articulation, about 16 points by my quick count.  This lets you pose him in various cool poses.  He has a cloth cape, which I prefer to the molded type, although I think a different material would've been more suited to capture this particular Batman's spirit.  It's the typical see material, where I would've gone with a shinier fabric to match Adam Wests cape. The colors are spot on and the likeness of Adam West is spot on.  The characters proportions seem a little off, his arms  and legs seem a little skinny, but not in a terribly distracting way, it actually works on the fig.  

The Verdict:
I really love this figure, though I'm pretty biased.  My only gripe is the high price tag on these figures, I feel Mattel is being greedy by labeling theses "adult collector" items so they can jack the price up.  Most figures retail in the $20-$25 range and that will certainly limit how many I purchase.  Especially since there are many other cool collectibles from the show either out or coming out.  

If your a fan of the show, the figure is totally worth it, especially if you can catch a sale or good deal.  The price is pretty steep though, but considering how well these seem to be selling (my toys r us sold out quickly) hopefully we will see more figures. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Gun Awards: Best of the Best comics for 2013

Howdy and welcome to the first ever Maverick's Roundup "Top Gun" awards. These are my personal picks for the best in comic books for the year 2013. These books have stood out month after month as entertaining and fun, so I decided to give them special recognition.

Best Digital Comic: Batman '66

Some books are just better digitally. Sorry grumpy old comic guys, but it's true. This is one of those books, and is the best example of how digital comics can enhance the reading experience. Special effects and comic bursts explode off the page, reminiscent of the iconic bif bang pow they'd use on the show making this tie in to the classic TV series a weekly must read. Yes, they collect several weekly issues into a monthly book, and I do read them as well, but there's just something special about the digital version.
Writer Jeff Parker does an amazing job capturing the series on the comic page, and ties in lots of bat history as well. We've seen Killer Croc, Red Hood, Batwoman and even Harley Quinn in various forms, so the book adds to the mythos of the show as much as it honors it. This book is released weekly on Comixology 99 cents so check it out.

Best Comic Series of the Year: (Tie) Daredevil & Hawkeye
Hawkeye- This is such a great looking and fun comic, it would have easily own comic of the year IMO if not for two factors; 1. Issues have been few and far between lately, and 2. The current arc seems to be spinning its wheels... It may seem that way because of one. HOWEVER, in spite of those two things every time this book comes out its a treat.
The premise is brilliantly simple, this is what Hawkeye does on his days when he's not being an Avenger. We also get Kate Bishop, who also moonlights as Hawkeye, a group of track suit wearing mobster, a dog, and an apartment building full of interesting characters, and stirring the drink is Clint Barton, a guy with a bow who hangs out with gods, and more often than not seems to be his own arch enemy.
The best part of this book is because it's what happens when Hawkeye is off screen with the Avengers the book doesn't get derailed regularly by super mega crossovers so the creative team can tell the story they want and not have to squeeze it in between mega events, something I wish more books would have the chance to do.
Picking this one up in trades or digital is pretty easy, and since the book has been running late it's a good time to catch up.

Daredevil- Mark Waid has done an amazing job of telling classic Daredevil stories, which is a tougher job than it seems considering all of the craziness Brian Bendis brought to the series. Waid doesn't ignore any of what happened previously, but pretty much just "got on with it" putting things back in its proper place and telling strong stories with one of marvels most underrated characters.
Waid also ties real life drama into the stories. Dd's My So-Called Secret Identity business partner Foggy is fighting cancer, and our hero is essentially powerless to do anything but be there for support.
The book is being rebooted soon as a part of what seems to be Marvels annual rebooting, however the strength and popularity of the comic has insured that the creative team will stay intact, and that's great news for all it's fans.

Best All-Ages Comic: Aw Yeah Comics
Honestly when I started to write this, I was going to give it to Batman 66' however that morning I got a comic in the mail that is literally what an all-ages book should be... A book everyone can read and enjoy. My girls got just as excited as I did to get this issue in the mail.
Aw Yeah comics is put out by Art and Franco, the amazing team behind one of my families favorite book Tiny Titans. This is an original title using character mascots from their comic book store in Skokie, Aw Yeah Comics. I need a whole lot of room and time to get into everything that makes to book awesome, and I will down the line. Aw Yeah is available at their store, by mail order or of course on Comixology.

Best Single issue Comic Book of the Year: Herobear and The Kid Special #1
This book was such a long time coming it wasn't funny, and it delivered in spade when it finally arrived. I love the original Herobear and The Kid mini series, it's my favorite comic book story ever, so when boom announced it was returning I was very excited. So were many of my friends and my kids who also love the series.
What makes this book so special is how creator Mike Kunkel captures the spirit of childhood, especially if you are (were) an imaginary daydreaming child. This issue reintroduced the characters and their world, and brought us back to a time where if we got mussed up on picture day, we'd certainly hear it from Mom.

These are my picks, I hope if you haven't read them you'll give them a shot. They're all worth a read.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Doctor is out....errr in. My Thoughts on "The Time of the Doctor"

I went in to this years Dr. Who Christmas special with a belly full of turkey and a heavy heart, as I'm sure many of us did, knowing we'd be saying goodbye to Matt Smith's Doctor. We're also pretty much guaranteed the debut of Peter Capaldi's regenerated Doctor.

I will try not to be all spoilery in case you haven't watched it... but really, if you haven't seen it yet why would you be reading what other people thought of it? River Song would not approve. Go watch it. I'll be here when you get back. Anything I specifically mention that may be spoileriffic will be because it's been discussed by fans and media prior to the show airing. Shame on you if you didn't keep up.

The time of the Doctor was surely a love letter to Matt Smith's time as the Doctor, there were little Easter eggs both subtle and not so subtle to his "era", and if you're a fan I'm sure you appreciated it. There were appearances from many of the shows big bads, and even a surprise cameo (at least to me) that made me smile. The Doctor's speech at the end was a touching message to Smith's (and The Doctor's) fans. I quite liked the episode overall though there was a time or two that I thought the show dragged a bit.

I've found that my interest in the show often depends on the strength of the companions, and Jenna Coleman as always was just magnificent. I'll definitely miss the interplay between her and Smith. Obviously the interaction between her and Capaldi will be as strong. It'll more than likely be different, since it's a whole different actor and chemistry will play a part.

Speaking of Capaldi, the inevitable regeneration scenes were... interesting. They seemed to bend the rules a bit, which makes almost sense since they technically broke the rules a lot with a thirteenth regeneration. We essentially got a small peek at the new Doctor and what we got was surely a tease into what will be another great adventure. I can't honestly say much on the new Doctor until I see more, but I'm willing to give him a shot.

I will say. I wish Smith had hung on for another series or so. They set up some interesting things in "Day of The Doctor" (The 50th anniversary special) that I would've liked to see Smith tackle. Oh well, hopefully the new Doctor will be up to the task.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Comic Books: A few of my Favorite things…

It's holiday time, and I'm going through my large stack of Christmas comics. It seems in the past Marvel and DC would put out a holiday special filled with fun short stories that showed the holiday season in the four colored world of superheroes. Now, sadly things have gotten way to grim and gritty to spread any holiday cheer it seems. Still, Marvel managed to eek out a Holiday themed Avengers annual, and there's always Batman: Lil Gotham that covers all the holidays... though sadly just ended.

Over the years, some have stuck with me, here are a few you may want to check out.

Batman: Noel
An original Graphic Novel that came out a year or so ago, a clever retelling of Dickens Christmas Carol using Batman and his world. This one is not really for the kids, but it's a fun read and the art alone is worth the price of the book.

DC Universe Christmas
A graphic novel full of shorts from various Christmas/holiday specials over the years. Top stories include "Billy Batson's Xmas" where Capatin Marvel and Billy Batson exchange gifts (no, really) "Alone for the Holidays" featuring Batman's crew, and the hilarious "Present Tense" featuring Darkseid trying to thwart an enemy who is virtually unstoppable. This is a great trade, pick it up if you can.

Chinese Food For Christmas:
From Marvel's 2011 Holiday Special, it's Marvel's version of the Hanukkah song as The Thing and Kitty Pride gather with the Jewish heroes in the Marvel U for holiday fun.

The Old Lane
Nightwing and Oracle reminisce about Holidays past in a bittersweet tale that highlights their complex relationship greatly. From DCU Holiday Bash

Piece of Cake
A Spiderman/Wolverine team up from the 2007 Holiday Special that has a hilarious ending. I'm surprised there hasn't been a Spiderman/Wolverine team up book, I enjoy the interplay between the two greatly. Guess their both too busy being in every Marvel book ever.

There are a lot more out there that would just take too long to list. Check some out if your in the mood for some Holiday hero fun.

And to all my readers, friends and fellow masked adventurers, whatever it is you may celebrate, I hope it's a happy one. Me? I'm a Christmas guy so I'll just say Merry Christmas. Next time I'll be talking A LOT about the radio show which debuts in the New Year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Free Comic Book Day sneak peek

It's only a few days away from Christmas, but I've already started my wish list... for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

Free Comic Book Day will be May 3 2014, and if you don't know, is the day when Comic Stores giveaway special edition comic books absolutely free.

Even though the big day isn't til May, the FCBD peoples have started releasing images and write ups of their gold and silver sponsored titles. I've had a look, OK several looks and these are the first titles to jump out at me.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: (Papercutz)
A new original story featuring the original old school power rangers, sounds like fun. Tommy as the White Ranger, BONUS!

Kaboom Summer Blast: (Kaboom)
Herobear and Peanuts are on the cover, so I'm sold. This is always a fun book featuring strips and previews of BOOM studios all-ages line.

Raising a Reader: (CBLDF)
An offering from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund highlighting how parents, educators and librarians can use comics to encourage kids to read (and write and draw and so much more) This is a drum I've beaten many times in my "Comic Book Creators Clubs and Comic Hero workshops, so I'm always on the look out for like minds.

Les Miserables: The Fall of Fantine: (UDON)
Les Mis adapted into Manga?!? This one has me curious at the very least.

Rocket Racoon: (Marvel)
Marvels taking a bit of a gamble with a Guardians of The Galaxy movie, and now they're wisely trying to the characters awareness up. Rocket Raccoon seems to be who their banking on being the breakout character, as this one shot points out.

That's only a sampling of what's going to be offering, and like I said, just what jumped out at me when looking at the list. I will be covering the books more in depth as we get closer both here on the blog and the radio show.

Want to know more about FCBD? Check out the website!
Photo Credits: all photos belong to their respective publishers.