Dec 26, 2011

Tony DeZuniga Benefit Sale for Typhoon Sendong victims

Tony DeZuniga is holding a benefit sale for the victims of Typhoon Sendong. You can find out more over here.

We are having an Open Studio on December 26 and 27, 2011 from 10 AM till 4 PM. We will be selling our Comic Collections, Prints and some Original Arts and proceeds goes to the Typhoon Victims. Please join us for a good cause. -Tony DeZuniga

This takes place at Abel Nosce, BF Resort, Las Pinas in the next two days.

Limited Edition print from Alfredo Alcala's VOLTAR.
Isn't that gorgeous?

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Today, for Christmas, here's your favorite Transformer, my favorite Transformer, the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Dec 24, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Here's a Big Tiger Hug for Being My Best Friend

And for the second year in a row, the Christmas Eve post goes to Bill Watterson's CALVIN AND HOBBES.


I guess I could have saved this one for tomorrow, but be honest, how many of you are online tomorrow?

There's one more post tomorrow, but if you're not coming online, Merry Christmas in advance!

One more day till Christmas!

Dec 23, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Hellboy says Happy Holidays!

Thanks to Robert Leichsenring of the International Comics Society, here's Mike Mignola's Hellboy, wishing you all a happy holiday season!


Two more days till Christmas!

Dec 22, 2011

Please Extend What Help You Can to the Victims of Typhoon Sendong

This has nothing to do with comics, but I have a website that is read by a fairly good number of people, and I believe this occasion calls for it.

On December 17, 2011, the worst typhoon of the year struck Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, in the southern part of the Philippines. The people to blame — illegal loggers, the authorities, whoever — are irrelevant as of the moment because over 1,000 people are confirmed dead, almost 45,000 are staying in 60 evacuation centers, and over 232,000 are displaced by the storm's floods and are not in evacuation centers. The estimated damage to the infrastructure, agriculture, and school buildings is estimated to be 1 billion pesos, so the effects of this typhoon on these people will be long and far-reaching.

Please help. I'm aware that The Comics Cube's readers are global, and only about 25% are from the Philippines (and most of that is from Metro Manila), so I've compiled the ways to help if you're nowhere in the area.

You can doDonate to the Philippine Red Cross through online transfer- http://www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow

You can donate to the Iligan Bloggers' #oneforiligan campaign at PayPal. Their PayPal ID is singcol.inquisitor@gmail.com.

You can donate to the CDO Bloggers’ #HELPCDO drive through PayPal. Their PayPal ID francis.siason@gmail.com.

For those of you who do live in the Philippines, sending help is as simple as sending a text:

That's Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah by Carlo Vergara


No one should have to suffer this much, especially before Christmas, guys. It's hard to imagine, but please help however you can.

Christmas Countdown: Corky and Skeezix meet ... Santa Claus?

In this GASOLINE ALLEY Sunday Strip, Skeezix and Corky trek to find Santa Claus. Do they find him? Well, you be the judge.


Look at that artwork. Frank King knocks it out of the park again.

Thanks to the Professor for this image!

Three more days till Christmas!

Dec 21, 2011

She Is Screaming in the Shower: Growing Up

She Is Screaming in the Shower is a column written by Robert Leichsenring for The Comics Cube! Click here for the archives!

Growing Up
by Robert Leichsenring

Welcome back, folks. Today we will dive deeper into the superheroes. I love superheroes. Really, really love them. So when I was a wee lad back in the good old grey East Germany, at one point I got my little dirty and sticky fingers on ... dundunduuuunnnn ...Spider-Man, of course. Ahhh, the mid-90s. What a time. And seeing my first superhuman swinging around this amazing city was enough to make me addicted for life (give or take a few years of rehab).

I spent my early years in the 90s with Spider-Man and had my first trade of the Avengers, published in Germany at this time mostly black and white in little books half size of a normal comic book. I loved the Clone Saga and Maximum Carnage. I fell in love with Hawkeye in a solo story and with Ultron as a villain. I even remember Rage (what a stupid character).



And then my mom happened. All my beloved comics just disappeared.

Christmas Countdown: Larfleeze's Christmas Cookies

Today's Christmas image was requested by Debra Jane Shelly, and provided by Danry Ocampo! Here's the Orange Lantern Larfleeze sharing his recipe for Christmas cookies! This is from the LARFLEEZE CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR from last year. Try it out!


Four more days till Christmas!

Dec 20, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Christmas With the Superheroes

Today's Christmas image comes from Jennifer Kelley, whose art site you can visit here. This is the cover of CHRISTMAS WITH THE SUPERHEROES 1988, drawn by John Byrne. Robin's boot hanging off the fireplace and Superman trying to look through his lead-lined present — classic!


Five more days till Christmas!

Dec 19, 2011

David Hontiveros Has Found His Artists!

All right, a while back, we posted a call for artists since David Hontiveros (BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS) needed to kickstart some projects. The submission process is over, and the judges have deliberated! So, heeeeeeere's Dave!



Dave with me

COMIC BOOK ARTISTS: FOUND!

Season’s greetings, Earthling.

When The Master of the Cube, Duy T., first graciously volunteered to host the Artist Search, I was really just looking to kickstart one comic, or perhaps two.

But when the submissions came in, and the Judges deliberated, and the shortlist was drawn up, and the Judges deliberated again, and the Search was over, I’d found, to my amazed surprise, that three artists had made the final cut.

So, without further ado, the three Chosen One(s) are, in alphabetical order: Bong Dacanay, Vinnie Pacleb, and Bibo Reyes.

To these three gentlemen, congratulations. I’m looking forward to our respective comic book collaborations with excitement and relish.

To them, and to all the other artists who sent in their submissions, thanx.

We’ll be posting updates every now and then here at the Cube, on the progress of the three comic books that are headed your way, so keep an eye on this space.

In the meantime, may you and yours have a safe and joyous holiday season.


you can’t drink just six,


Dave



Congratulations from the Comics Cube, Bong, Vinnie, and Bibo!

A Cute Little Story

Today, at the bookstore (Fully Booked High Street), I was walking, and a little kid — couldn't have been more than three or four — points at me and says, "Superman!" because I was wearing my Superman T-shirt. I looked at him and he was smiling at me, and then he pointed right at his own T-shirt, which was also a Superman shirt. His parents then laughed, and he was still smiling at me, so I reached my hand out to him and he gave me a high five.

Now THAT, my friends, is cool.

Easter Eggs in Comics: Where's Wally/Waldo in Future Imperfect?

Welcome to another installment of Easter Eggs in Comics! Click here for the archive!

I'm totally stealing this one from Comics Should Be Good, but in case some of you haven't seen this, you may want to check it out. In 1994, the longtime Hulk writer Peter David teamed up with George Perez to produce a two-issue prestige format Incredible Hulk story called FUTURE IMPERFECT. The whole idea is that the Hulk has to go to the future to save it from its dictator, the Maestro, who is an older version of himself.


Of course, it's George Perez, so there's a ton of detail. The second and third pages immediately show this.


Now, here's the thing. Wally (as he's called in Britain) or Waldo (as he's called in the States) is in that picture. Your job is to find him. Click the picture to view it at full size. And in case you've forgotten what he looks like, here's a refresher.


(As an aside, is it just me or does calling him "Wally" just make Odlaw's name stand out nonsensically?)

Got an Easter Egg for the Cube? Email it to comicscube@gmail.com!

You can read this story here:

Christmas Countdown: Venom Claus

Villains were really popular in the 1990s, so much so that they became protagonists. Perhaps none were more popular than Spider-Man's opposite number, Venom. So here he is from the 1995 SPIDER-MAN HOLIDAY SPECIAL:


Remember, there's an entire generation of people who legitimately thought this was cool.

Six more days till Christmas!

Dec 18, 2011

Christmas Countdown: You Should Always Get Yourself a Present

In CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #69, Captain Marvel and Billy Batson decide to get each other presents.


Seven more days till Christmas!

Dec 17, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Donald Duck and Nephews Visit Toyland

Here are two bits from Carl Barks' 1948 Firestone Christmas Giveaway story, as reprinted by Gladstone, entitled "Toyland." The basic story is that Santa wants the nephews to test out toys, to see what kids like these days. Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, are supposed to take notes.



But of course the entire group ends up just having too much fun and getting into too much trouble. When Santa comes back...


This story is reprinted in DONALD DUCK: LOST IN THE ANDES!

Eight more days till Christmas!

Dec 16, 2011

Christmas Countdown: The Green Lama

Mac Raboy, the Green Lama, and Christmas. Gold.



Nine more days till Christmas!

RIP Joe Simon and Eduardo Barreto

Joe Simon is best known as the co-creator of Captain America with the King, Jack Kirby. He was also the first editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics and was Kirby's most frequent collaborator, even if you include Stan Lee. Along with Jack, he was the pioneer of so many comics genres, including romance comics and horror comics. He was a true legend in the field and his name should be mentioned in the same breath as people like Stan Lee and Will Eisner. He will be missed.



Eduardo Barreto was of that school of artists that I just love so much: the detailed yet understated artists who never overpowered the story, much like Jim Aparo. He drew many things I loved as a kid that I never even knew to give him credit for, like this one:


But I will always, always associate him with Brian K. Vaughan's THE ESCAPISTS, in which he drew the retro adventures of Michael Chabon's fictional hero, The Escapist.



THE ESCAPISTS is one of my favorite comics of all time (read about it here), and Barreto will always, always be a part of that.

Rest in peace, sirs. Thank you for everything.

Dec 15, 2011

Christmas Countdown: A Cynical Christmas Present

Matt Feazell's THE AMAZING CYNICALMAN is one of those comics that tells so much with such a spare number of lines. Here's Cynicalman handing off a Christmas present.


Ten more days till Christmas!

Dec 14, 2011

Back Issue Ben: My Review of the new DC 52…so far…Part Deux

Back Issue Ben is a column written by Ben Smith for the Comics Cube! See his archives here.

My Review of the New DC 52... So Far... Part Deux
by Ben Smith


Here I am, coming back at you, with 50% less journalistic integrity, and with none of that starchy aftertaste. This time I’m going to be taking a completely in-depth, serious look at the Batman books that launched out of the DC reboot like an alien face-hugger launching on to your face and laying eggs in your heart. Oh, the holiday season…

BATMAN, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo

I was disappointed with this issue, because there was absolutely no bat-ear-tweaking going on whatsoever. I can’t really remember which bat title is which, so I’m going to do the responsible thing and do some research.

Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, here is my actual review.



Looking at the cover, I see there is definitely a great amount of effort spent, once again, on scrotal shading here. I’m impressed with the DC’s efforts to really put forth the effort line-wide on crotch shading. It presents a unified effort that you can only really get in the shared universe that comics excel at. I think instead of 18 Batman titles, they should use one of those to bring forth a new character, like “The Shaded Crotch.” He could be inserted right in the center of the DC universe, and really get the heroes out of some hairy situations.

If I was writing this series, I would do it Brave and the Bold style. Of course if I was writing a Batman team-up comic, it would probably just rotate between team-ups with the Metal Men and Detective Chimp, with as little Batman as possible. Actually, I just want to write a Metal Men and Detective Chimp series. Maybe sprinkle in a little Brainiac 5 from time to time, for flavor.

Christmas Countdown: Alexandra Trese!

If you don't know who Alexandra Trese is yet, you haven't been reading the Cube enough! This supernatural investigator who operates in the Philippines is one of the most compelling characters — and comics — today. Check her out here. Here she is, in the best Christmas mood she can get! Image by Stephanie Chu!


Eleven more days till Christmas!

Dec 13, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Santa Spidey

Welcome to this year's Christmas Countdown! Unlike last year, we're starting today, what with the 12 days of Christmas and all. We'll kick off with my favorite artist, George Perez, drawing my favorite Marvel character, the Spectacular Spider-Man, in a festive holiday mood!



Twelve more days till Christmas!

Escher in Comics: Jade and Obsidian vs. Mr. McEscher

Welcome to another installment of Escher in Comics, in which we take a look at how some comics use MC Escher's artistic techniques! Click here for the archive!

MC Escher (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic artist that was known for tessellations, optical illusions, and mathematical pictures. Here's an example of his work utilizing isometries:


In SHOWCASE '93, way back in... 1993, Michael J. Martinek, Andrew Kudelka, and Kevin Nowlan (yes, that Kevin Nowlan) had the Golden Age Green Lantern's children, Jade and Obsidian, run across some very disorienting effects once Jade is done screening her latest perfume commercial. The studio turns around on them.




And when they find out who's behind it, well, the Escher influence isn't really an "influence" at all, as it's very blatant:



As we showed last time, one of his most famous pieces was "Bond of Union"  (1956). Mr. McEscher's look was almost definitely based off of that. A piece from 1955 called "Rind" gives off a similar effect:



Fun stuff!

For more Escher, visit the official website.

Dec 12, 2011

Help out Don Markstein!

I was browsing through my RSS feeds and saw this post via Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter. Don Markstein, the webmaster of Toonopedia, has been ailing this whole year.



Toonopedia is one of the single most informative websites on the internet relating to toons, comics, animated series, animated movies, and whatnot. It focuses mainly on characters, and especially in this day and age of Wikipedia, I go to Don's site for reliable, accurate information.

The following comes from a post by Yoc, an administrator at the Digital Comic Museum:
DON MARKSTEIN UPDATE: edited letter from his wife to a friend

Friday, November 25, 2011 12:01 AM

Thank you for your concern about Don's situation. It means so much to Don to have people remember him. It's been very rough for Don. After his stroke in late March, he suffered from every hospital borne infection imaginable. He has some very low-end insurance so he gets minimal care. After a series of hospitals and rehab centers he now resides at Capri at the Point, 1501 E. Orangewood, Phoenix, AZ. Room #104.

Don Markstein
Capri at the Point
1501 E. Orangewood,
Phoenix, AZ 85020-5130

He is lucid but completely paralyzed on his left side. He is breathing through a hole in his throat and being fed by tube directly into his stomach. His spirits are surprisingly good for someone who has so few ways to alleviate the boredom. He can talk with great effort when they have a speaking valve in place but it causes him troubles and they don't like him to use it very much and pretty much only when he has visitors.

I visit and read to him. Current reading is Wicked, the story of the wicked witch of the west. I'll be ordering the sequels for Christmas. He likes to listen to the classical music stations and he delights in visits from his grandchildren.

The realization he could no longer continue contributing to the Toonopedia site has been difficult.
Cards and letters from old friends would be greatly appreciated.
Again, thank you for your concern. If his situation changes I will let you know.

Best regards.

If you've ever used Don's site, please consider helping him out in this tough time. It's on such small print on his site, but you can send him donations via Amazon or PayPal.

To Don Markstein, his family, and his friends, prayers and good vibes all the way. Get well soon, Don.

JMS vs. Steve Wacker: The Glaring Flaw Behind Comic Fans Analyzing Sales Figures

So I'm sure by now everyone's seen the war of words J. Michael Straczynski had with Marvel editor Steve Wacker and Marvel writer Mark Waid on JMS's Facebook. It's summarized here on Bleeding Cool. Essentially, JMS posted a heavily biased graph of sales of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN since his departure that's shown it's gone down since he left.


In addition to this omitting certain issues, Wacker and Waid pretty much school JMS on this point, leading JMS to delete the thread and call "abuse" on several people. As anyone who's ever read a JMS interview knows, it's somehow never his fault when he does something wrong.

But this goes toward the built-in problems when it comes to analyzing sales figures, which a bunch of online comic fans just love to do. There are so many reasons we shouldn't be analyzing these sales lightly. I'm not saying we shouldn't analyze them at all, but there are certain factors that people should always keep in mind. Here's a list of them, with me focusing on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. This is just to keep the post focused; you can apply most of what I say to just about any other title.

Dec 9, 2011

She Is Screaming in the Shower: Warren Ellis and His Superhero Trilogy

She Is Screaming in the Shower is a new column written by Robert Leichsenring for The Comics Cube!

Warren Ellis and His Superhero Trilogy
by Robert Leichsenring

Okay, people, let's get started, shall we? I'm Robert, doing a guest stunt here on the infamous CC. For your general information: I'm German, 26 years old, and have read comics for the most part of my life.

You see, I love superheroes. I love the capes, the powers, and the responsibility that comes with it. But sometimes I feel like the basic superhero ongoing is falling flat on the topics of morality, the use of the powers, and the evils that come with it.

Did you ever ask yourself what would happen if your favorite hero would have started a bit different? Or if the government would have found them before they ever started being a hero?

Don't look any further; your questions have been answered. At least partly. Let me tell you of Warren Ellis' superhero trilogy: BLACK SUMMER, NO HERO, and SUPERGOD (not to be mixed up with Grant Morrison's book). These are all published by Avatar Press, the guys known for erotic softcore porn books and today for violent, limit-breaking creator-owned stories such as CROSSED, GRAVEL (also written by Ellis), and many more.

RIP Jerry Robinson

Jerry Robinson has passed away. For those of you who don't know who he is, Jerry Robinson is, by all accounts other than the legal one, the one, true creator of the Joker. (Bob Kane's role in the creation and development of Batman, after all, is pretty much a myth.)



He's known for some iconic covers, including these two:



But Robinson was not just a comics artist; he was also an ambassador. He saved comic book artwork at a time when it was customary to destroy them, and he served as president of the National Cartoonists Society. On top of all that, he ventured outside the comics medium, using his art for other means. When asked by Forbes how he'd like to be remembered, he answered:


Well, I think, in terms of my art, I’d like to be remembered not just as a comic artist but as a creator who was capable of doing all sorts of other things. And that’s what I tried to do. That’s not to denigrate any cartoonists who just did cartooning all his life. A guy takes his own course. I know that people like [Milton] Caniff, like Roy Crane, all the great cartoonists, Charlie Schulz, who did Peanuts — they could’ve done so many other things, if they chose to. Well I chose to do other things. So I think they’d appreciate, if they looked at those artists in those terms, they’d appreciate that art is what they devoted their lives to. Other than that I think the things I did in terms of the shows on human rights and the artists who I helped change their lives — [Uruguayan dissident artist Francisco] Lorenzo [Pons], Soviet dissidents, and [Jerry] Siegel and [Joe] Shuster, probably, who were my close friends and who thought of me, luckily, that I was in a position to help them and use my influence and position to help. When I called anybody to help, they all rallied to help. So it’s a great community.


You can learn more about Jerry Robinson in his book, Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics.

In the meantime though, enjoy this full story from 1946, featuring Robinson's creation, Atoman! Click on the page to be taken to Four-Color Shadows so you can read the whole story!


Rest in peace, Mr. Robinson.

Dec 6, 2011

Interview: Aaron Shaps on the Nick Fury Marvel Holiday Special!

A few months ago, I "met" Aaron Shaps online after a rather controversial event in the world of comic books (which I won't talk about here). We then both became members of the same Facebook group, so we were able to talk and keep tabs on each other quite a bit.

I learned that Aaron was, among the many things that Aaron was, a Chicago Bulls fan (yeah!), a former film student, and a comic book writer. Among his credits are an as-yet-unreleased PHANTOM DETECTIVE story, some prose pieces for THE PHANTOM CHRONICLES, and ZEROIDS: THE RETURN, all for Moonstone.

So when I found out that Aaron had been hired to write the Nick Fury story, "Ol' Saint Nick," drawn by Sebastian Piriz, that is coming out in the MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL on December 14th and will be available on the Marvel App anytime within the next two days, I was legitimately excited, as it felt like we were seeing a big break happening before our very eyes. So I asked Aaron if I could conduct an interview with him — I think this is my first interview with a comics pro — and talked with him about his big breaks, the Phantom, Nick Fury, Jim Steranko, and several other things related to comics (but alas, not The Bulls) for a good hour and a half. Much of what was said in that hour and a half was just us shooting the breeze, so below is the official (meaning all the parts that actually have to do with the MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL) Comics Cube! interview with Aaron Shaps.


Take it away, Aaron.

Dec 4, 2011

Comics, Manga & Co.: The New Culture of German Comics — Exhibit Opening

I spent a good hour on Friday night at Arts in the City in Bonifacio Global City for the grand opening of an exhibit entitled Comics, Manga & Co.: The New Culture of German Comics. The exhibit was organized by the Goethe Institut and sponsored by the Philippine International Comics, Cartoons, and Animation (PICCA) group, and featured two generations of German cartoonists as well as some works from young Filipino students who are being schooled by some of the exhibit's sponsors.



I showed up at 8:00 p.m. and couldn't help but notice the radically different atmosphere this exhibit had when compared with things like Komikon or even Free Comic Book Day. This time, the people were subdued and very serious. And I didn't see many familiar faces — it was as if I'd stepped into a different world. And that kind of made it exciting, because in a way, I was. I didn't know anything about German comics, and here, I would learn.

The evening was kicked off by Mr. Falk Schleicher, who is the head of the Language Program for the Goethe Instititut-Philippinen, pretty much introducing everyone to the whole concept behind the exhibit.

Me with Falk Schleicher. I'm the one who's not German.

He was followed by Mr. Boboy Yonzon, the president of PICCA, who spent his time on the microphone talking about the history of Filipino comics and how important it is for the children today to know that history. Curiously, he didn't really talk much about German comics, which I think is what prompted Schleicher afterward to get back on the microphone and clarify that indeed, the exhibit featured German artists as well as aspiring Filipino artists.

Prominent German cartoonist Henning Wagenbreth then came on via Skype, and he was able to elaborate on the history of German comics.


From what I can gather, the big explosion in German comics really took place because of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That was when the technological advantages (i.e., mass printing and better production technologies) of West Germany combined with the aesthetics of East Germany (which were very inspired by woodcuts) to create what would become a very popular kind of art. They had comics before, but it was mostly relegated as kids' stuff prior to the fall of the Wall, at which point they took inspiration from things like MAD MAGAZINE (told ya), RAW MAGAZINE (told ya again), French comics, and Polish and Czech comics (which just blew my mind, because what? Poland and Czechoslovakia had comics that were influential enough to go outside their own countries? That's incredible. Why'd I never hear of this? The lesson to be learned here is that there is always more to learn).

The floor was opened up to questions and I asked if there were anything in German comics that was predominant and therefore truly gave German comics an "identity," in much the same way that overt technical stylings and attention to detail defined Filipino artists of the 50s through the 70s. Wagenbreth said that in the 90s, it was the woodcut aesthetic, but now, with many artists being influenced by many comics from many countries, the results are more varied, and the lines become blurrier and blurrier. I feel much the same way.

Someone else then asked if the German comics had a superhero genre, to which Wagenbreth said no, citing realism and a more grounded approach among their works. He then went on to say that the world is not the simple place it was back when superheroes were in their heyday, and that's why superheroes are no longer relevant, and that they aren't important anymore — problems now are too complicated to be solved by a strongman in tights. This is a common sentiment, I've found, among the underground movement in American comics as well, and it's a sentiment I simply have never been able to agree with. First, I'm not sure why those not doing superheroes have a seemingly constant need to bring down the superhero genre; and second, if escapist stories and power fantasies really have no resonance in the world today, the biggest new franchise of the last ten years wouldn't be about a boy who does magic.

That's me digressing though. Forgive me. After this, the exhibit opened up and I went around. Let me show some of the things that stood out to me. I obviously can't show you the entire exhibit, since that'd be ridiculous and unethical — and also, it's 12:44 in the morning — so I've narrowed it down to the three artists that really stood out.

Ulf K. stood out simply because his work is completely bereft of dialogue. As such, there is no language barrier to overcome. He tells the story completely in pictures, and he reminds me of Jason. If I could have bought any of the comics they were showcasing, I'd have bought Ulf's HIEROYMUS B., as it was the one that transcended cultural and language barriers, even if he wasn't the artist that jumped out most at me.



Reinhard Kleist wrote and drew the biographical comic, JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS, which is all in English, so maybe I would have gotten this one instead of Ulf's work. It's got a more realistic style to it, and between him and Ulf, you can really see the range of influences and styles that exist in German comics.




Finally, Jens Harder, who drew the comic LEVIATHAN, blew my mind. Seriously, look at the detail on these pieces for ALPHA, which is a comic about animals, their evolution, and the different ways in which they are treated across the world (e.g., elephants are deified in India but are circus animals in the United States).




Okay, you know what? Maybe I'd have gotten ALPHA instead. Who knows?

What I do know is that this exhibit opened up some new things for me, and hopefully, for you guys. More comics, elsewhere, for all of us to learn about, and ultimately to enjoy — it all leads to us quite simply knowing what we've always known: that the language of comics is universal, and that it can get through us and to us because the medium quite simply has that much power.


Comics, Manga & Co.: The New Culture of German Comics is open at Arts in the City, Bonifactio Global City, until December 17, 2011. What're you waiting for? Go! Learn! And ultimately, enjoy!

Dec 1, 2011

Back Issue Ben: My Review of the New DC 52... So Far

Back Issue Ben is a column written by Ben Smith for the Comics Cube! See his archives here.

My Review of the New DC 52... So Far
by Ben Smith

First off, I want to assure you, my faithful imaginary audience, that I have done as little research and preparation for this series of reviews as possible. I’ve made no efforts to be fully informed, and will have absolutely no journalistic integrity, that’s my iron-clad promise to you.

JUSTICE LEAGUE, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee



Let me start off by saying this up front, and I want to be very clear here, this comic did not meet or exceed my expectations. Is it too much to ask for DC to put out a decent product? I’m not an unreasonable person, I had a very short and simple list of things I look for in a Justice League comic, and not a single one of them were met. For example:
  • Less Superman. Even mentioning Superman is way too much. Get off it DC, we get it.
  • 100% more yellow covered Batman yelling “I am the goddamn Batman!” This should have been Batman’s general status quo after the reboot. I really don’t want to read another book where this isn’t happened on every page. It doesn’t even have to be a Batman book, it could be Booster Gold, and just have yellow Batman in the background, on the street corner, yelling incoherently like my great Aunt Mabel after her third margarita.
  • Martian sex tapes. I also don’t want to read another new comic that doesn’t have naked martians getting it on while being filmed. It has to old-school, grainy-looking videotape quality too, none of that new-fangled HD crap.
  • One of the characters must contract the swine flu. Preferably Aquaman.
  • More monkeys dressed like Stalin…or Lady Gaga. either way
Seriously though, if they all just met, why would they all have matching high collars? And why does Cyborg look like Trap-Jaw from He-Man? Chin-straps, chin-straps for everyone!

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