“Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father” / Z-View

Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father is a paperback that collects issues 1 – 6 of an on-going series published by Image Comics. .

Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colorist: Luis NCT
Letters by: Marshall Dillon
Cover Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander & Luis NCT 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Featuring the show-stopping talents of Spawn series artist JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER, and the writer behind such hit shows as Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Marvel’s Runaways, and Starz’s American Gods–RODNEY BARNES.

When a small town beat cop comes home to bury his murdered father-the revered Philadelphia detective James Sangster Sr.-he begins to unravel a mystery that leads him down a path of horrors and shakes his beliefs to their core.

The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality…
…and vampires.

But the mystery goes even further when Jimmy’s investigation leads him to uncover the source of the outbreak is long-thought dead President of the United States John Adams–a man secretly biding his time as he builds an undead army to start a new and bloodier American revolution.

There’s a reason they coin a phrase, “you can’t go home.” Welcome to Killadelphia.

Collects KILLADELPHIA #1-6

Killadelphia is a book you should be reading if you like intelligently written and beautifully drawn horror comics.

Rodney Barnes’ idea of a modern day vampire uprising in Philadelphia led by a centuries old founding father is so audacious that we’re lucky Barnes took his story past the idea stage.   Killadelphia is a very cool, very creepy tale that paints a big picture universe introduced to us through believable characters who find themselves in an unbelievable situation.

Modern day vampires?  Yeah, right.  Read Killadelphia and you’re response will become: Modern day vampires?  Yeah!  Right!

Jason Shawn Alexander provides realistic art for Killadelphia which supports the story;  you believe what you’re seeing.  The characters look like real people (some of whom are vampires).  Alexander has drawn scenes that will creep you out and perhaps inspire nightmares… which is exactly what great horror fiction should do.  I hope that Barnes and Alexander stay together as long as Killadelphia tales are told.

Luis NCT’s colors provide nuance and emphasis that enhance each scene and his contribution to the success of Killadelphia shouldn’t be overlooked.

I thought that Killadelphia would be a good comic.  I underestimated it.  Killadelphia is an exceptional comic and one all horror fans should try.


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Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out / Z-View

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by Dark Horse Comics. .

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Gyula Nemeth
Colorist: Gyula Nemeth
Letters by: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Artist: Gyula Nemeth 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I first became aware of Steve Niles nearly two decades ago.  Niles was the author of two novels (Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs & Monsters) featuring Cal McDonald that I highly recommend.

McDonald is a tough as nails detective who deals with things that go bump in the night. After the two novels, McDonald appeared in a number of comic book mini-series written by Niles teaming with different artists.  And that brings us to Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out

Supernatural detective Cal McDonald, found wandering the streets as a disheveled vagrant, is ripped from his self-imposed retirement to resume his monster-killing career.

But Cal is reluctant to return to the fray. What has the hard-bitten investigator so shaken? It’s a long story that begins with a beautiful woman who happens to be a vampire . . . and ends with a bang.

It’s great to have Cal McDonald back.  Who doesn’t love a cynical tough guy who sees the real monsters that walk among us?

The Big Bleed Out follows McDonald as he meets and begins to fall for a mysterious woman who happens to be a vampire.  The romance doesn’t seem to have much of a chance since McDonald is normally a vampire killer.  Meanwhile, Mo’Lock, McDonald’s quasi partner, has gone into the sewers of LA to see if he can discover who/what is down there killing people.

Being a Cal McDonald fan I was excited to see his return.  This was my first time seeing Nemeth’s art and I liked quite a bit of what he brought to the table.  It was interesting to see McDonald falling under the spell of a vampiress and unintentionally venturing into a nest of them.  The romance and its eventual outcome moved at a pretty quick pace with a few surprises along the way.  And let’s not forget that Mo’Lock has his hands full with a sewer monster!  Overall, this was a fun read.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a nice addition to the Cal McDonald universe.


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Z-View: That Texas Blood #1

That Texas Blood #1 is part of an on-going series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Chris Condon
Artist: Jacob Phillips
Colorist: Jacob Phillips
Cover Artist: Jacob Phillips (Variant Cover by Sean Phillips not shown)

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

CRIMINAL colorist and first time solo artist JACOB PHILLIPS and writer CHRIS CONDON break onto the scene with a brand-new ongoing series! Like Paris, Texas gut-punched by No Country for Old Men, this mature neo-Western crime series kicks off when the search for a casserole dish leads to a dark and tense confrontation on Sheriff Joe Bob Coates’ 70th birthday.

“CHRIS & JACOB pull off something remarkable here. A vivid and bright story that nails a thorough sense of foreboding and darkness. A shocking amount of talent for a duo so fresh to comics!” —CHIP ZDARSKY (SEX CRIMINALS, Daredevil)

If you’re a comics fan, you’ve probably already heard the hype on just how good That Texas Blood #1 is.  Believe it.

A synopsis of the issue wouldn’t do it justice.  Most folks would read it and say, “Not much happens.”  They’d be wrong.  Condon and Phillips lull us with a pace that mirrors small town life.  All is well, until it isn’t and then things go bad in a hurry.  Now we’re left with a questions about a suicide, a possible murder and a sinister (Satanic?) killing from the past.

That Texas Blood #2 can’t get here fast enough.


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Dick Tracy Forever / Z-View

Dick Tracy Forever is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by IDW. .

Writer: Michael Avon Oeming
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colorist: Taki Soma
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Cover Artist: Michael Avon Oeming 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I was never a huge fan of Dick Tracy.  I’d read some of the comic strips and had seen the Warren Beatty movie.  I knew that Dick Tracy was a straightlaced cop who had an interesting gallery of weird-looking villains. Oh, and he had this really cool video watch!  That was about the extent of it.

When I saw the preview cover of Dick Tracy Forever by Michael Oeming, I knew I had to give the series a go.  I’m a fan of Oeming’s art and thought his take on Tracy would be interesting.  Thankfully, I wasn’t wrong.

Oeming created interconnected stories featuring Dick Tracy through the years taking Tracy from the 1930’s to the future.  The tales are fun and show Tracy as being more than just a straight-laced cop (although at the core, he is a law and order guy).  I liked that his girlfriend/wife was more than just a damsel in distress.  Oeming introduces a couple of new characters that deserve to stick around. Oh, and let’s not forget that cool video watch!  I was already a fan of Oeming’s art, now we can add his writing as well.

Taki Soma’s coloring perfectly supports the story.  Dick Tracy newspaper strips and comics were known for the coloring limitations of their time. Soma gives Dick Tracy Forever the feel of the old stories but adds shading and subtlety when needed (at times leaving the art black and white in support of the story).

I really liked Dick Tracy Forever but wondered if true Dick Tracy fans felt the same way.  They do!  Amazon and Comixology reviewers gave it nothing less than 4 of 5 stars.  So if you don’t take my word, you can take theirs.  🙂


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MetaCritics Rankings of Every “Rocky” Movie

Mark Birrell at ScreenRant looked at Metacritic ratings for all eight Rocky movies.  I thought it would be interesting to compare Metacritics’ rankings with mine.  Your mileage may differ.

Metacritic

Craig

8. Rocky IV (40)

8. Rocky V (55)

7. Rocky V (55)

7. Rocky IV (40)

6. Rocky III (57)

6. Rocky II (61)

5. Rocky II (61)

5. Creed II (66)

4. Rocky Balboa (63)

4. Rocky III (57)

3. Creed II (66)

3. Rocky Balboa (63)

2. Rocky (70)

2. Creed (82)

1. Creed (82)

1. Rocky (70)

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 / Z-View

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 is part of a six-issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Benjamin Tiesma
Colorist: Matt Lopes
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Artist: Matteo Scalera and Moreno Dinisio

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Bree Hale has left a lot behind in her life. Crime. The military. But she can’t leave behind her own family, and when the local crime boss puts a hit out on her brother, there’s nothing she won’t do to save him. Absolutely nothing. Skybound’s pulse-pounding action series returns, with writer JUSTIN JORDAN (REAVER, LUTHER STRODE) and artist BENJAMIN TIESMA delivering an explosive tale of revenge like you’ve never seen before!

I am huge fan of Dead Body Road.  If you haven’t read it you shouldDead Body Road: Bad Blood isn’t a sequel (but could be set in the same universe) and is on track to be just as good.

Writer, Justin Jordan, has returned and this time he’s brought with him artist Benjamin Tiesma. Tiesma is an excellent choice.  Jordan and Tiesma are joined by colorist Matt Lopes and letterer Pat Brosseau who create a solid team.

Bree Hale is a woman with a mysterious past that involved both military and criminal experience.  Bree has left that all behind (she hopes) and now runs a bar where the biggest problem is dealing with folks who drink to much.

When a detective comes in asking questions about her brother, she can honestly say she hasn’t seen or heard from him.  The detective isn’t convinced, but what can he do?  At closing time a hardcase Bree’s never seen before comes in looking for her brother.  She tells him the same thing she told the detective.  He leaves but Bree knows it isn’t over. She’s being dragged into whatever mess her brother has made and it could get them both killed.

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood is everything a good crime comic should be.  I cannot wait for issue two.


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“Jaws” Trivia!

Dan Grant, at Top 10 Films, in honor of the 45th anniversary of the release of the first summer blockbuster presents: 45 Things About “Jaws” You Might Not Know.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorite Jaws facts as well as my thoughts on each…

4. Richard Dreyfuss’ casting – Richard Dreyfuss originally turned down the role of Hooper because he thought making the movie would be a pain in the ass. After he saw himself on big screen in the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz he thought he was so awful that his career would be over and he immediately called Steven Spielberg to ask if he could have the role.

(Funny the difference a day or perceived poor performance can make. – Craig)

9. Percy Rodriguez’s iconic trailer voice-over – Percy Rodriguez did the voice-over in the trailer for Jaws. When the producers first came to him, they wanted an upbeat, happy-sounding and almost adventurous voice-over for the trailer. It was Percy’s idea to have a darker and brooding and ominous sounding tone. It worked a treat.

He eventually got his way and many people credit lines in the trailer like “there is a creature that is alive today which has survived millions of years of evolution” and “it was as if God created the devil and gave him (dramatic pause) Jaws”, as major reasons why people flocked to the theatre to see it.

(Watching the “Jaws” trailer attached to this fact at Grant’s post it reminded me of how, in the pre-internet days, important a trailer was to the success of a film.  The “Jaws” trailer made you want to see the film.  Much credit needs to go to Percy Rodriguez.  He was right to push for a darker, more ominous tone! – Craig)

14. Dreyfuss’ surprise – Richard Dreyfuss was so disillusioned with the movie that after his time on set was done, he proceeded to trash it on several different talk shows in the United States. But when he saw the film opening day, after he left the theatre, he jumped into Roy Scheider’s arms and exclaimed “He did it! He did it!” Roy asked him who he meant and he said “Spielberg, Spielberg actually did it!”

(Sounds like Dreyfuss was going through a period of seeing the glass half-full.  He only agreed to star in “Jaws” because he thought he was so terrible in his previous film that he wouldn’t be offered more roles.  Then filming wraps on “Jaws” and Dreyfess downplays how good it is… until he sees it with an audience. – Craig)

“Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge” – the Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here are the poster and trailer for Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge.  Yeah, the poster is pretty generic and the movie looks like it would be the second feature at a drive-in, but sometimes those second features were fun!

DEVIL’S NIGHT DAWN OF THE NAIN ROUGE Exclusive Trailer

PLOT: A military veteran who returns home, works in law enforcement and she’s assigned to a supernatural case that’s surrounded by urban myth and legend.

CAST: Jesi Jensen, Nathan Mathers, Sam Logan Khaleghi

DIRECTOR: Sam Logan Khaleghi

“Valley of the Gods” Trailer is Here!

Check out the Valley of the Gods trailer below, read the plot summary and then please tell me what we’ve just seen.

Starring Josh Hartnett, Bérénice Marlohe, and John Malkovich, Valley of the Gods contrasts abundance and poverty through three separate storylines, featuring a middle-class writer (Hartnett), an eccentric trillionaire (Malkovich), and a struggling Navajo community. Post-divorce, copywriter John Ecas undertakes the biography of the richest man on earth, who is dead-set on mining sacred lands for uranium. When modern advance runs afoul of long-dormant guardians from ancient legend, even the most unimaginable wealth may soon meet its match.

Joe Kubert’s Cover Layout for Superman vs Muhammad Ali!

At first glance the art above looks like the cover to the classic comic Superman vs Muhammad Ali, right?

Wrong!

It is actually the cover layout created created by the great Joe Kubert.  Yes, it’s hard to believe that beautiful piece of art could be considered a layout.  Neal Adams took Kubert’s idea and created the masterpiece that was actually used for the cover.  Adams also went a step further by drawing the faces of 172 celebrities in the crowd.

The fine folks at The Bristol Board have posted up not only large versions of Kubert’s layout and Adams’ finished cover but also a key listing all of the celebrities in the crowd.  Click over and you’ll see that Superman’s bout against Muhammad Ali was attended by folks such as President Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Christopher Reeve and many others!

Mike Zeck’s Vintage John Carter: Warlord of Mars!

Check out Mike Zeck’s vintage John Carter: Warlord of Mars piece!  The art originally appeared as a cover for RBCC #138 published in September of 1977.

Ah, those were the days.  My buddy, John Beatty had turned me on to the world of fanzines.  Mike Zeck was a regular contributor to the Rocket’s Blast Comic Collector (RBCC) and seeing Zeck’s art was always a treat.

Source: Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains.