Friday, July 6, 2012

An Important Announcement For Readers!

    Good afternoon.  We are happy/excited to announce some new developments in the world of Comical Musings.  When The Writer's Blok picked up Romeo Sid Vicious and Jim Tenkins, never did we think that their inclusion in our project would do so much for Comical Musings.  Through their combined efforts, we have made our site a little bit better and will be leaving the "Blogger" family.  We have our own website now at comicalmusings.com and it will allow us better customization options and control over content.  We hope that if you have been following us here (many of you have) that you will make the jump (it's actually less typing to do) to comicalmusings.com.  This site will remain active for a while as we re-route many of our links and pictures, but no new content will be posted to the blogspot website anymore.  Furthermore, we have also attained a Facebook identity and will be announcing new posts from there, rather than cluttering and clogging all of your timelines with unwanted announcements.  Through all of these changes and improvements, we hope that you will stick with us as we strive to provide you with constantly fresh and entertaining content.  If you would like to "like" us to stay connected on Facebook, click here and "like" away.  Share us with your friends so we can continue on our journey in community with each other and the stories, art, and characters that we love.



~ Scott Deaux ~

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.

    Welcome to July and to Comical-Musings.  I feel as though I am running out of snappy ways to intro that. I guess 170 posts will do that to you.  Anyways, you know by now that you can always count on us to suggest great titles to jump into and great piles (of manure) to recoil in horror from.  Well today, I am happy to offer a little something from column A.  Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E is a fun little 12 issue series that is sure to amuse.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some Cool Links To Peruse

    If you are like me, you have had a slow and boring Tuesday (not true, it's been nuts).  We here at Comical-Musings are not above sharing things that we find on our internet treks.  Today, we have a couple of "cool" little gems to look through while we are so near the holiday.

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Mike Romo is an excellent contributor to Ifanboy.com and the subject of July's Interviews With The Industry.  He wrote a really excellent article that I think that most comic book fans can identify with and posted it today.
http://ifanboy.com/articles/the-shackles-of-taste/

SDCC is coming up and you can find out all of the news and get all of the previews/info to create your own coverage of the industry's mega-international event here.
http://www.comic-con.org/cci/

With Batman: The Dark Knight Rises quickly approaching us, some Bat-fans are getting a little crazy with it. Check out this funny guy on Youtube.  Highlight: Batman goes through the drive thru.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfgtEjjQnHQ

If you like Music or Christianity or perhaps both check out 360wlo.com for funny videos and inspiring/kick you in the face messages.  If you like cute couples that make music together and ALSO like Jesus, head over to http://www.facebook.com/davidandmiranda.  They are cool.  Between Chris, David, and Miranda, you thirst should be quenched.

xxadverbxx (friend of Comical-Musings) wrote a review of The Amazing Spider-Man and does a really excellent job comparing it to it's predecessors without spoiling it beyond repair.  It was a good little post and Comical-Musings can respect skill and creativity when it sees it. http://xxadverbxx.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/amazing-spiderman-reviewcomparison/

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Happy Fourth of July!


Before America's Got Powers There Was WildGuard: Casting Call

WildGuard: Casting Call #1
Early in June, Romeo Sid Vicious wrote up a new offering from Image Comics, America’s Got Powers. The obvious reference to reality TV got us thinking here at the Blok. We remembered another title from Image Comics with a reality TV tie-in. So I volunteered to search through the vault, and we found Todd Nauck’s (of Amazing Spiderman, Young Justice, and others) 2003 series, WildGuard: Casting Call, and it’s really something special.

WildGuard: Casting Call’s premise is simple, auditions are being held for a super group, WildGuard, who will be featured on a reality TV show of the same name (Like Stan Lee’s Who Wants to Be a Superhero, but, you know, hopefully not terrible). Those who want a shot must audition against other heroes in front of a panel of judges (sadly, none of which are Paula Abdul).

The series, Casting Call, was set to run 6 issues with the purpose of defining the group. However, the group wasn’t only in the hands of the creator. In a brilliant move, fans were invited to go to www.wildguard.com and vote for their favorite character with the top vote-earner getting a guaranteed spot on the team (Spoiler alert: it's still not Clay Aiken).

We're talking serious super powers and serious drama.
WildGuard: Casting Call’s approach is well balanced between the comical and the comic. One could imagine that a comic book taking a reality TV approach could come across silly, but Nauck strikes gold by quickly endearing characters to his readers. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of questionable jokes and silly heroes (Adhesor, Frat-Man, and Toughlon, for example), but the documentary style storytelling really works for the comic. I found myself wishing it were 2003 again so I could cast my vote. His story takes surprising turns, features both hilarious and creative heroes and villains (Wandering Eye is a personal fave), and ends with a well-balanced and satisfying team.

The WildGuard title continued after Casting Call, with Fire Power, Fool’s Gold, and Insider. Each containing not only its own story arc but also adventures of characters introduced in Casting Call that didn’t make the cut. If you’re looking for something different and a little light hearted, then I definitely recommend WildGuard: Casting Call.

~ Jim Tenkins ~

Letter From The Editor:  You can purchase Wildguard: Casting Call for only $10.77 at Instocktrades.com.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Top 5 Comic Characters Who are Both Fast and Furious

    Here at Comical-Musings we strive to keep you up to date on current events.  You could justifiably hold us in contempt if we failed to do so.  This month we’re exercising some executive privilege to bring you a top five list that could not be covered up.  Ripped straight from the headlines, we proudly present The Top 5 Comic Characters who are Fast and Furious.

Friday, June 29, 2012

O-Bane-ma-care and the Individual Bat-Mandate

Please come to order.  Comical-Musings is now in session.  The honorable blogger Hal presiding.

Here at Comical-Musings we strive to keep you up to date in the comics world as well as in the real-world.  The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, and it looks like the themes of social justice and the distribution of wealth will influence the plot.

"There's a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. Because when it hits, you'll wonder how you ever lived so large and left so little for the rest of us."
So, with the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, we wondered what would Batman think of universal healthcare? 
The answer to that question may not be as obvious as it seems.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Batman Minus Batman

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1
    I recently finished the Batman: Streets of Gotham series. Scott invited me to check them out while I was researching my pick for villain week, Victor Zsasz. Written by Paul Dini (of Batman: The Animated Series fame, as well as many other notable shows), the series ran for 21 issues from 2009 to 2011. It tells the story of Gotham not from the perspective of Batman, but instead narrated by auxiliary characters, and this is what makes things interesting.

     Batman is everywhere in Batman: Streets of Gotham (it is his town, after all), however you see him flit in and out of stories much in the same way the Streets of Gotham prominent characters typically appear and disappear in other Batman series. Everyone reacts to his presence, and it makes the Bat feel larger than life. Criminals get chills, heroes are a little in awe, but then Batman continues on out of frame while the story continues.

    I was told that Batman: Streets of Gotham was not received well and this is what led to its eventual cancellation. Comic Book Resources apparently pronounced with issue #3: “At this point, I think it's safe to say that “Batman: Streets of Gotham” isn't going to be that different of an approach to a Bat-title than any of the others.” I found that prediction to be a bit inaccurate (probably because it was made too soon into the series). Storylines like The Broker and The Carpenter paint an interesting picture of the structure supporting the chaos created by Gotham’s villains (who knew there was so much to the economy of evil hideouts). The “Leviathan” 2-part storyline involving Huntress and Man-Bat was very creative and has a nice twist at the end (Spoiler alert: you’ll be surprised!). And I especially liked the Two-Face story arc, where Batman is almost completely absent (isn’t two faces enough?).

Most... uncomfortable... train ride... ever.

    Whatever the reason for its demise, Batman: Streets of Gotham takes an interesting approach to looking at the world of Batman. In a way it reminds me of “Garfield Minus Garfield,” wherein the absence of Batman makes the world and the stories seem that much darker (and there’s no Garfield). Gotham feels gritty, calloused, and at times numb. A surreal moment occurs in #13 when one of Two-Face’s henchmen assaults a police officer on a subway train full of people. The passengers, unflinching, are admonished by the henchman for their lack of response: “Place is dark, man. Half of these people don’t even turn their heads at a cop getting’ choked out. Ain’t no hope for this place.” To this Two-face remarks, “These men and women have seen worse… this is Gotham.” (There's a "This is Sparta!" joke in there somewhere.) And herein lies the value of the Batman: Streets of Gotham series, you are experiencing Gotham, and Gotham is an interesting place.

    This isn’t a perfect series. Because it is interacting with events occurring in the Batman universe, sometimes a person is captured, unmasked, or reappears without explanation, leaving the reader confused (unless you are reading other series as well). I also felt, at times, that the writing became a bit of an anchor for certain story arcs, being too wordy for what it was trying to communicate. In the end, however, Batman: Streets of Gotham is a novel foray into the street life of Gotham and shows fun and interesting perspectives of the Batman universe.

~ Jim Tenkins ~


Letter from The Editor:  If you want to jump in and check out Batman: Streets of Gotham, you can purchase the 
first couple of trade paperbacks at Instocktrades.com for under $15.00 a piece.