Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sometimes my Wednesday adventure to the comic book store provides some additional perks. Anything superhero that has Japanese writing is supreme geek and must be a part of my house. DYI network and HGTV network take note: this is what really people want in their homes.

Kotobukiya, I love you.

Now on to my comic books purchased this week:

Action Comics #6

Batman Detective Comics #6 

Not too much this week on my checklist. My bank account is smiling. 


 Is it just me, or are the new Superman comics lame? Yes, I know that most of the Marvel fans out there are going to agree...but as someone who has been reading comics again (faithfully, weekly) for 1+ year, I expected more out of Superman. Action Comics had better art than Superman--but I am just not a fan of Grant Morrison's writing so far. I have heard and read endless praise about Morrison's work, so I was surprised at my lack of fondness to it. 

Perhaps I am just not willing to take the approach of filling in the void as Morrison shuffles his way through story lines leaving much up to the reader.  I understand this is his style—do I like it? Not really.

Every issue of Action Comics in the new 52 I always find myself saying to my husband “It had potential. It just wasn’t executed.”

I am a little hesitant to buy "All-Star Superman" to see if that would change my mind about Morrison.  Should I or shouldn't I
So what comics of the new 52 am I collecting?

Action Comics
Detective Comics
The Dark Night
The Flash
Justice League

What is my young son collecting?

Batman Brave and the Bold
Young Justice
And soon Green Lantern

What would I like to collect?
A Marvel series that intrigues me. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday's Ramble: The Comic Book Shop Owner Knows Me by Name

Wednesday’s Ramble 

The comic book shop owner knows me by name.

How is this possible? A former athlete and former coffee house snob who detested coffee cannot become a comic book geek…or can they? Perhaps my 90’s infatuation with coffee houses heaves up awareness to the geek possibility. But seriously though, I was a tough hard nose soccer player. However, retrospectively, we (the soccer players) all knew Wonder Woman kicked ass. We must have been in tune with our inner geek.
Removed from the coolness of bygone youth, I venture to my comic book shop weekly. If you are a true comic book geek then you know what day of the week I venture to my comic book shop. If you do not, then I am assuming that you do not follow Will Wheaton on your twitter account. (If you do not know who Will Wheaton is, then I give up entirely on you)

What started as random visits to comic book stores to pick up my son’s copy of Dark Horse’s Star Wars the Clone Wars turned into watching Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network which turned into my son watching “Batman the Brave and the Bold” on the Cartoon Network—which turned into buying “The Batman Brave and the Bold” comic book—which led to watching “Young Justice” on the Cartoon Network—which led to my son collecting “Young Justice” comic books. I could continue breaking laws of grammar by rambling on about this pattern but I am going to spare the horrors of my writing errors by summarizing that my once superman-obsessed husband began picking up random comics and soon, so did I. Once DC launched “Flash Point” and the “All new 52,” my random visits to the comic book store became weekly.

Having grown up with a Marvel-head older brother, the DC storylines were novel to me.  I confess that I once collected “Power Pack” as a kid (do not judge me) and enjoyed the occasional Iron Man story while my brother loved the X-Men. My brother, since removed from the comic book world, upon hearing of my weekly visits to the shop threatened me over the phone “you better be buying Marvel.”

Alas, I have become a DC girl.

Seriously, though—why must I choose?

I am reading several of the new 52’s. Some are great and some are as unpleasant as the Penguin’s laugh. But do tell me, Marvel fans, what do you suggest that I read?

*the above ramble was written while watching a hockey game on TV. Any Canadian dialect that can be detected in the writing was not intended.  

*stay tuned for my perspective as to which 52 are worth buying and which I have given up on

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comic Books for Kids

With recent episodes of the hit TV series “The Big Bang Theory” fresh in my mind, my oldest son (dare I inform you that he is a gifted child) rattled off vital information about the Flash, Green Lantern, and Red Tornado. Future images of my child’s adult years swarmed my brain. Somewhere at age 27, he would be wearing a Flash T-shirt sorting through comics books with his select group of scientist friends.

Rather than panic, I have embraced it. Comic books and super heroes have been a welcome break from my child’s usual daily grind of power point presentations, work on the computer, video games, science experiments, space books, and fictional novels. (I threw the last one in to assure you that my son is reading books daily and not wasting away on video games and comic books!) My son’s new found obsession has created somewhat of a challenge. Despite having ventured to the comic book store for over a year for select Star Wars comics, the whole universe (and beyond!) of superhero comic books is rather complex. Thankfully, I was already aware that most comic books are not for children.

So what is a parent to do now a days? Thanks to Cartoon Network, our off-spring are becoming addicted to “Young Justice,” and “Batman Brave and the Bold” as we were to “Voltron” and “Thundercats.” Thankfully, not only can you find toys and video games based on the series, but age appropriate comic books as well. Comic books can be a great way to supplement your child’s reading while providing kindle for their imagination. If you have a child like mine, the excitement of starting a collection is a welcomed bonus to the awesomeness of comic books.

For parents new to the comic book world (or ones that have not read a comic book since they were young), let me offer some advice. As stated before, comic books are not just for children any more. In fact most are not. Popular characters like Batman, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Iron Man, X-Men and even Superman, will possibly have story lines which include violence (and more) that may not be appropriate for children. Do you research before you enter the store or ask the comic book staff for help.

Despite what you may think about Comic Book store workers, let me assure you that everyone who has helped me or even my son has been exceptional. They will go out of their way to help you find what your child is looking for. Many comic book stores will even place “kid friendly” comic books in a special section to ease the difficulties of the search. Bottom line…ASK FOR HELP…the workers are really not scary or strange.

Where should you begin? If your child is watching a particular cartoon on TV, start there. Thankfully, my son has become a colossal DC Comics fan. DC Comics has a large variety of kid friendly comics that will keep both younger and older interested. DC Comics also has a great website for kids ( full of games, videos, and online comics. What is great about this site is that parents can read an issue of a particular comic book to see if it is appropriate for their child before they buy it from the store.

Marvel offers a similar site, although not as impressive. The Marvel site looks more appropriate for older children (8-9+) Marvel offers a smaller kid friendly comic line which includes “adventures” in the title. (Marvel Adventures Spiderman) However, in 2010 Marvel stopped producing most of the line. Some selections are being created again but it seems that DC is the way to go for kids. If your child is a Hulk, Iron Man or Spider Man fan, you may have to do some research and find back issues for comics that are appropriate.

A word of caution on Star Wars comics. Most Star Wars comics, although brilliant in art and quality, are NOT something you want your child to read. As usual, there are some that are acceptable reading material for children 7+ such as “Clone Wars” (Dark Horse Comics issues 1-12), as well as older series based on the movie or Droids. You must really look through Star Wars comics to decide it if it is appropriate. Use your own discretion.

Final advice for buying comic books for your children:
  • Do your research online first
  • Visit the Comic Book store childless for your first visit. Make sure you have a good sense of what is where and what the store is like before bringing a child into it for the first time.
  • Do not assume that all comic books are for children--especially Star Wars comics. Assume that most comics are for Teens/Adults
  • Establish rules with your child before taking them to the comic book store. (No Matthew, we are not buying the $90 Flash statue)
Don’t know the difference between DC and Marvel?
DC                                            Marvel
Batman                                      Spiderman
Superman                                   the Incredible Hulk
Flash                                          Iron Man
Green Lantern                             Fantastic Four
Aqua Man                                   X-Men
Justice League                             Avengers
Young Justice                              Wolverine
Teen Titans                                 Super Hero Squad
DC Comics Young Justice

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What it is

Mingle opposite social labels until they intertwine. Perhaps, the outcome is a peculiar blend of snotty elitist blue collar, artsy sophisticated grunge hippie, sports crazy, gaming, scientific, intellectual, television addicted, gourmet food loving, family. Do not bother to read that part again. Painting a perspective of my point of view certainly is not an easy task for a stream of conscious poet. Dare to imagine what growing up on the shores of Lake Erie can do to one’s mind. Surrounded by the astringent rust belt, one would imagine a development of a certain unique type of urban-rednecks--citizens who failed to identify with Chicago natives as well Iowa farmers.

Not so. We are the children of Lake effect snow.

Growing up with outstanding museums, ethnic and trendy restaurants, boats, summer cottages, fish, and hockey--we are quite strange. If you have stumbled upon my blog, I may intrigue you if you are the type who will venture out to a wine tasting or museum exhibit opening only to return home to turn on your Wii, X-box, or PS3.

If you prefer organic or healthy food but feel it is only normal to allow your children some Cheetos every now and again, then perhaps we are on the same page.

This blog will offer reviews, observations, and commentary from the perspective of a woman and her husband who are raising their children (and dog) in a society that struggles at defining them.