Archive for March 27th, 2008

Eight To Anticipate In June

March 27, 2008

Last month I flipped through the pages of March’s Previews catalog of comics, graphic novels, games, toys, and more being solicited for May release to comic book shops. The April Previews catalog dropped yesterday for items shipping in June — and in flipping through the pages, here are the eight choices I’m most anticipating…

trin_cv1_june.jpgTrinity #1-4 (DC Comics) — DC’s new weekly series TRINITY explodes in an extra-sized debut issue featuring art by fan-favorite Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man) & Art Thibert with lead stories and dialogue by Kurt Busiek (SUPERMAN, ASTRO CITY)! The lead feature explores the unusual bond — and importance — of DC’s top three characters, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as a mysterious dream links them together and may prophesy important changes in their trinity! Plus, a co-feature in issue #1 explores the mysterious connection between several villains who are watching the Trinity — as well as the near future for these characters and their surrounding world! Co-features in issues #2-4 fill in back-story on some of the other important players in this major storyline.

Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — I’m on board. Sure, I might not stay on top of everything each of the three super heroes are currently doing, but if you’re going to give me all three scoops in one sundae I’ll dig in. The fact that it’s a four-issue weekly series makes it even that much sweeter.

ny4_june.jpgThe New York Four (DC Comic/Minx) — A new Minx graphic novel from acclaimed writer Brian Wood (DEMO, DMZ)! Just starting her freshman year at NYU, Riley is about to find out what an adventure — and a mystery — living in New York City can be. The ultimate insider’s guide to NYC is seen through the eyes of Brooklyn-born Riley. Raised by stuffy, literati parents, Riley’s a shy, straight-A student who convinces three other NYU brainiacs to join a research group for fast cash. What Riley doesn’t bank on is accidentally falling in love.

Supermarket, which was also penned by Wood, was one of my favorite titles that I worked on when I served as editor at IDW, so that’s one plus. Another is, having never been to New York myself, this looks like a great insider’s look at the city with Wood’s attention to details and from what I’ve seen of Ryan Kelly’s artwork, he doesn’t skimp on the details either.

talesof_starlight_june.jpgTales of the Starlight Drive-In (Image Comics) — Writer MIKE SAN GIACOMO presents 32 stories taking place over 50 years at a Drive-In Theater, featuring 21 artists from around the world. Stories stand-alone, mirroring life and the cinema with tales of crime, romance, science fiction, musicals, even a western. The stories combine to create a single novel with a powerful, shocking finale you won’t forget. Fascinating characters, imaginative stories and clever twists will make STARLIGHT the surprise hit of the year.

This is one of those titles and concepts that has me thinking to myself, “Damn, I wish I would’ve thought of that first.” Writing a number of short comic stories to be done by different artists, and then collected within a single theme has always been a project that I’ve wanted to do. And, this is also giving me a sort of Cinema Paradiso vibe — a film that I love.

shebucaneer_june.jpgThe Voyages of She Buccaneer (Great Big Comics) — Her beauty is matched only by the savagery of her cutlass. The She-Buccaneer, along with the crew of the pirate ship Queen’s Vengeance, searches the sea for the seven gems that will open the ancient gates of Eden and free her beloved Calico jack Rocham from the devil’s grasp. On her voyages she will battle dragons, cannibalistic giants, evil genies, lusty sultans and all the mythic beasts of the deep dark sea.

Being that I’m a guy writing a comic book series called Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails I’m automatically interested in comic that deals with pirates. From what I’ve seen of the artwork I dig the style. This sounds and looks like it’ll be swashbuckling — albeit risqué — fun.

atomicrobo_june.jpgAtomic Robo Volume 1 (Red 5 Comics) — ATOMIC ROBO takes on Nazis, giant ants, clockwork mummies, walking pyramids, Mars, cyborgs and his nemesis, Baron von Helsingard, in his first trade paperback graphic novel. This edition collects the hard-to-find, sold-out, debut issues of ATOMIC ROBO #1 through #6, complete with cover gallery, pin-ups, concept sketches and bonus stories.

I missed out on the first hard-to-find issue of this series, so I’ve been patiently waiting for the release of the trade paperback. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series, and it sounds right up my alley — giant ants and clockwork mummies. I’m sold!

dnd4e_june.jpgDungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast) — The Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting character options, an elegant and robust rules system, and handy storytelling tools for the Dungeon Master. The Player’s Handbook presents the official Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game rules as well as everything a player needs to create D&D characters worthy of song and legend: new character races, base classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, more magic items, weapons, armor, and much more. The Dungeon Master’s Guide gives the Dungeon Master helpful tools to build exciting encounters, adventures, and campaigns for the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game, as well as advice for running great game sessions, ready-to-use traps and non-player characters, and more. In addition, it presents a fully detailed town that can serve as a starting point for any D&D game. The Monster Manual presents more than 300 official Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game monsters for all levels of play, from aboleth to zombie. Each monster is illustrated and comes with complete game statistics and tips for the Dungeon Master on how best to use the monster in D&D encounters.

Yeah, these three books count as selections 6, 7, and 8. What can I say? I first played Dungeons & Dragons back when I was nine years old and I’m eagerly anticipating what the fourth edition of the premiere title of all role-playing games has to offer. Sure, I haven’t played D&D for years, but the geeky nerd in me can’t make my saving throw to not be compelled to search out and retrieve these tomes. See? I’m already starting to talk like I’m in a game.

Okay, that’s two months in a row that I’ve pulled off my “Eight To Anticipate In…” preview from the current Diamond Comic Book Distributors’ monthly catalog, Previews. The third time will the the charm.

Three Point One

March 27, 2008

Just as last night’s South Park episode was coming to a conclusion the house shook and and the windows rattled. Right away I knew it was an earthquake — not the “Big One” but a quake nonetheless. No damage that I’m aware of, but the dog and the cat were a little freaked out.

A minor earthquake occurred at 9:28:49 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. The magnitude 3.1 event occurred 3 km (2 miles) NE of Newport Beach, CA. The hypocentral depth is 8 km ( 5 miles).

Magnitude: 3.1 – local magnitude (ML)
Time: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 9:28:49 PM (PDT)
Distance from: Newport Beach, CA – 3 km (2 miles) NE (55 degrees), San Joaquin Hills, CA – 4 km (3 miles) WNW (299 degrees), Costa Mesa, CA – 5 km (3 miles) SE (138 degrees), Newport Coast, CA – 6 km (3 miles) NW (308 degrees), Los Angeles Civic Center, CA – 58 km (36 miles) SE (144 degrees)
Coordinates: 33 deg. 37.8 min. N (33.630N), 117 deg. 52.5 min. W (117.875W)
Depth: 7.5 km (4.7 miles)
Location Quality: Good
Location Quality Parameters: Nst=107, Nph=107, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.44 sec, Erho=0.4 km, Erzz=0.9 km, Gp=54 degrees
Event ID#: ci14358316

It turned out, the epicenter was about two miles east from my house, as displayed in this nifty Google map.