Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Avengers Trailer

So, it's here, but it's supposed to be an Apple exclusive for now.  Click here to head over there and see the high-def version, I'll be trying to find it on YouTube to embed in this post.


New 52 Year 0.5: Flash Versus All Star Western

     We've reached the halfway point of New 52: Year One, and it seems like a good time to go back and look at some of the most outstanding series in total so far. So for the next month, I am going to choose a book each week, read all six issues, and jot down some general thoughts and reactions. This week, I couldn't decide between The Flash and All Star Western!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New 52 Third Wave Pitch: Mystery in Space

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try and post a few proposals for DC's eventual New 52: Third Wave. Mostly, they are the dream comics I would like to see, but have very little chance of actually happening.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

FIGcast - Episode 53 - "Where Art Thou, Trey?"

And now a lesson in podcast math:
FIGcast + Shaun - Trey = FIGcast
FIGcast + Shaun = FIGcast + Trey
Shaun = Trey

FIGcast - Episode 53 - "Where Art Thou, Trey?"

Don't forget, you can email us at, you can follow us on Twitter with @theFIGcast, or you can look for us on Facebook or the iTunes Store.

Liz's 100 Books in 2012 - #8

Elemental by Kim Richardson

The Soul Guardians is another YA fantasy/paranormal series about a 16 year old girl that dies within the first chapter and is assigned the duty of guardian angel in her afterlife. Throughout the book she deals with weird monkeys in their version of heaven, other Soul Guardians, demons (of course), and she learns the hierarchy of the Guardian Angel Legion. In the first book she's accused of some angel treason and then she saves the day and is given back her old life. Then in the second book she dies again (this girl's got some bad luck) and has to prove herself a second time.

This was another freebie and another #2 in a series. I read the first book in 2011. The idea of the series is fairly interesting but, again, the characters are a little bit boring, and don't seem all that realistic to me as far as interactions with each other and reactions to situations.

Overall it was just okay for me. It was a quick, easy, and enjoyable read, but nothing much to blog about. I'm not a harsh 3 out of 5 hambones.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New 52 Year 0.5: Wonder Woman

We've reached the halfway point of New 52: Year One, and it seems like a good time to go back and look at some of the most outstanding series in total so far. So for the next month, I am going to choose a book each week, read all six issues, and jot down some general thoughts and reactions. This week: Wonder Woman!

Laura's 100 Books in 2012 - #8

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison

I love movies and books set in England from the late 18th century until the early 20th century. Pride and Prejudice is what usually comes to mind. Lately, I have been watching (and obsessing over) Downton Abbey on PBS (Sunday nights!). So I was hooked when I saw this book at Books-A-Million. Of course, I HAD to buy it. It was calling my name.

Rosina Harrison was a lady's maid for Lady Nancy Astor for 35 years and had a lot to tell. According to Rose, Lady Astor was a pill and a half. She traveled all over the world, and there never seemed to be a dull moment around her. In no way is this a "let me tell you all the juicy gossip about my former boss" kind of book. By reading the book, I can tell that Rose loved Lady Astor, even if she was a hard woman to love.

Rose tells very interesting stories about a way of life that no longer exists. The only gripe I have about the book is that she jumps around a lot and the amount of characters can be daunting and hard to keep up with. However, if you are interested in the "upstairs/downstairs" life that made the English aristocracy run for so long, this is your window.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Community returns!!!

Creator Dan Harmon just confirmed on Twitter that Community will resume airing on Thursday, March 15th at 8/7 central.  Don't be tardy!!!

New 52 Third Wave Pitch: Zatanna

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try and post a few proposals for DC's eventual New 52: Third Wave. Mostly, they are the dream comics I would like to see, but have very little chance of actually happening.

Laura's 100 Books in 2012 - #7

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

I'm going to start right out of the gate and say that I loved this book. I love learning about history, but it's even more awesome when someone turns history on it's head. The overall theme when learning about Abraham Lincoln in school was that he was a good, fair man. You never really attach the phrase "action figure" to ole Abe. This book makes you look at him differently, even though it's through a fictional lens.

Seth Grahame-Smith is a never-was author that is married with kids and runs an old store. One day a customer reveals something to Seth that turns his world upside down. Seth's customer shows him never before seen diaries of former president Abraham Lincoln.  The rest of the novel, is an epistolary (thank you Wikipedia) novel told through historical facts and Lincoln's newly discovered diaries. Oh, did I mention that the diaries are about the time that Lincoln killed vampires? Starting from a young age and after a family tragedy, Abraham Lincoln was one of the most prolific vampire hunters in the country. Move over Buffy!

The book does such an excellent job of moving between the fictional (or is it?) killing of vampires to the historical life of our 16th President. Grahame-Smith also creates an interesting back story as to how vampires became so widespread without being known to the public. I highly recommend reading it and I'm now excited to see what they do with the movie that is coming out sometime this year.

If you like looking at history in a different way, check out the mock (and somewhat scary) documentary called C.S.A: The Confederate States of America.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Comic Mini-Reviews Week of February 15th, 2012

This week Uncanny X-men is boring, Batman fights back, and Daredevil descends into the underground.

What Would Darren Read, Home Edition (Feb. 15th)

Can you guess which cover Darren disliked the most? Hint: He hates covers where people are upside-down.

FIGcast - Episode 52 - "Bonus Tacos"

"No thanks, I don't want those complimentary bonus tacos." <== Sh*t no person ever says

FIGcast - Episode 52 - "Bonus Tacos"

  • (00:00:00) Darren went to a play, ate fancy Mexican food, and played some trivia
  • (00:01:10) Trey watched some more DS9, tried to watch X-Men: Evolution, and celebrated his Name Day
  • (00:11:55) Tripp did nothing, so we decided to talk about the new superhero movie trailers
  • (00:32:45)  TV Talk: (lots of new episodes this week, plus Trey watched Grimm!!)
  • (00:39:30) Blu Rays: (The Rum Diary...Doctor Who Christmas 2011)
  • (00:41:45) Coming Attractions: (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance...This Means War...The Secret World of Arrietty)
  • (00:48:45) Box Office: (Channing Tatum wins!!!)
  • (00:51:45) Keith talks Comic Book Men and Whitney Houston
  • (00:58:05) We respond to Keith's call, and Trey tells us about his new DC Pitch
  • (01:30:00) What Would Darren Read
  • (01:44:35) Trey's Pullbox:  (Batman...Birds of Prey...Daredevil...Green Lantern Corps...Uncanny X-Men...Wonder Woman...Winter Soldier...Star Trek/Legion)
Don't forget, you can email us at, you can follow us on Twitter with @theFIGcast, or you can look for us on Facebook or the iTunes Store.

Laura's 100 Books in 2012 - #6

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn

I went from courtesans selling themselves for a crown at #5 to Christian fiction at #6. What can I say? I like to change it up a bit.

Secrets is the first book in the Glenbrooke series. It's about a girl named Jessica who is running away from her old life in California by trying to start a new one as an English teacher in a small town in Oregon. Jessica meets a variety of people that change her way of thinking, and eventually her life.

I can't say much about this book. It was my first Christian fiction book, so in a way that was refreshing. However, I could tell what was going to happen way before I read it, which I tend to dislike in a book. I plan on reading #2 and #3, so I'm going to give this series another chance.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Comics Trey Didn’t Buy: Prophet

So the next time you are perusing the latest releases at your local comic book shop and cannot find a copy of Prophet issue 21, immediately turn around, look the guy behind the counter in the eye and yell “Give us John Prophet!” with all the dramatic emphasis of Djimon Housou’s performance in Amistad. If your comic book guy seems nonplussed, or thinks you are the demon Legion (look it up,it’s in The Bible Luke 8:26-39), run over and grab the laptop he undoubtedly has (looking over the latest comic news from your pals at FIG), go to the Image Comics website, find the January solicitations for Prophet and point at it whilst giving him your best Cro-Magnon man grunt. At this point he will instinctively understand the display and reply, “Oh yeah, I’ll add it to your pull list.”

Liz's 100 Books in 2012 - #7

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Let me just say that I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but the cover alone was enough to get me interested! The whole idea is that the history that we know about Abraham Lincoln is only half-true. He secretly hunted vampires as his real passion in life, and that hunting actually led to his involvement in politics.

I loved how Seth Grahame-Smith seamlessly mixed historical accounts of Abraham Lincoln's life with vampires. After reading this book, I felt like I needed to brush up on my Lincoln history to see what actually happened and what didn't--that's how well he intermingles the facts with his story (either that or I'm super gullible). Either way, by the end of the book I was somewhat confused about reality and fiction. Are there really vampires?? Is this a conspiracy theory?? Does this author have proof of the paranormal?? What other major historical figures have been swayed by vampires or zombies or other so-called "mythical" creatures??
This opens up a whole slew of possibilities for other novels: I'm thinking WWII and werewolves, Titanic and the Sirens, or Les Miles and voodoo magic. The ideas are really endless...

I loved this book so much that I'm giving it 6 out of 5 frankfurters! The extra is for originality and because, frankly, I'm scared of the author and his knowledge of otherworldly activity.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Liz's 100 Books in 2012 - #6

Weaving Destiny by G.P. Ching

I got started on The Soulkeepers Series, again, from the free eBooks list on Amazon. I realize this probably isn't the best way to pick quality literature, but it's FREE!! Anyway, this is the second book in the series (I read the first last year). It's Young Adult Paranormal Fiction that focuses on a teenage boy who is learning about his family legacy to protect human souls. Along the way he is thrust into a brand new town and high school, gets a new girlfriend who may have some secrets too, and gets to know his bizarre neighbors. Throw in his missing mom and some demons and you've got yourself a pretty involved plot.

I liked the setting and the new world that the author creates. The characters are interesting, but not quirky enough to make them feel real to me. Overall, it's an interesting story, but I don't feel the need to rush out and buy the next in the series or read any fan fiction about them (P.S.- am I the last one to figure out about fan fiction? Thanks for telling me Laura! I thought we were friends!).

What kept this series going for me is the mystery shrouding the entire idea of the Soulkeepers. The author does a really good job of keeping the reader guessing as to what's going to happen next, and she doesn't play by normal mystery rules.  When the next book shows up on the free eBook list, I will probably read it, but I won't be running to the store to buy it anytime soon. It gets 3 out of 5 bratwursts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Kiss Me, I'm Irish" - Iron Druid Re-read Contest

So, a handful of book bloggers are hosting a contest in March surrounding the reading (or re-reading) of Hounded, the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles.  I read Hounded about a week after it came out last summer, and immediately pre-ordered the two sequels.  This contest was scheduled to celebrate the release of the fourth book, Tricked, on April 24th.  If I understand the contest correctly, I'll be publishing posts on March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, and April 6th.  Each post will have new questions that all the participants will be answering on their respective blogs.  So, you've got that to look forward to, and maybe I'll win some sweet swag.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New 52 Third Wave Pitch: Brian Clevinger Edition

Here's the deal: Way back in August and September, when the New 52 rumor mill was in full swing, one of the tidbits floating around was that Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo, 8bit Theater) had been asked to write one of the relaunch titles but declined. As a fan of his work, this was sad news to me. Atomic Robo has proven that he is able to mix crazy ideas with humor, science, science fiction, and strong character work. Regardless of whether he declined DC's offer or not, there are already several books he would have been perfect on. (For example, Firestorm, Captain Atom, and the already canceled Mister Terrific) However, there are still a few characters that have yet to make an appearance in the DCnU that would benefit from Clevinger's writing ability. That's what I am focusing on today, exploring a couple of DC properties that I want to see in the hands of the Atomic Robo scribe.

GoT: S2 - War Is Coming

Monday, February 13, 2012

First Batman, Incorporated Cover

Happy Birthday to me! DC has just released this brilliant Chris Burnham cover for Batman Incorporated issue 1. The issue goes on sale on May 23rd.

Comic Mini-Reviews Week of February 8th, 2012

This week: Conan barbarians, Lemire writes his own After Watchmen story, and Exoristos headbutts a triceratops!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New 52 Year 0.5: Batman and Robin

We've reached the halfway point of New 52: Year One, and it seems like a good time to go back and look at some of the most outstanding series in total so far. So for the next month, I am going to choose a book each week, read all six issues, and jot down some general thoughts and reactions. This week: Batman and Robin!

Friday, February 10, 2012

What Would Darren Read, Home Edition (Feb. 8th)

This week on What Would Darren Read? we allowed him to venture outside the big two for the first time! Welcome to the game, Dark Horse! Check out the covers we let Darren choose from after the break!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

First Pics from GoT: S2

Fans have been waiting for these for quite awhile.  Specifically, we've wanted to get a good look at our new characters in full costume/makeup/etc.  In light of that, I'll start with the newbies.  All photos courtesy of HBO.

Melisandre, the Red Lady, and Stannis Baratheon, claimant to the Iron Throne

Davos Seaworth, known as the Onion Knight, trusted aide of King Stannis

Brienne Tarth, sworn sword of King Renly Baratheon
Balon Greyjoy, the Lord of the Iron Islands
Click through for more pics of our surviving returning characters

New 52 Year 0.5: Swamp Thing and Animal Man

We've reached the halfway point of New 52: Year One, and it seems like a good time to go back and look at some of the most outstanding series in total so far. So for the next month, I am going to choose a book each week, read all six issues, and jot down some general thoughts and reactions. This week: Animal Man and Swamp Thing!

More Change is afoot at DC!

     All morning, Josh Kushins over at the DC Source Blog has been posting announcements about DC's plans to move some of their artists around beginning in May.  So far, the books involved in the Musical Chairs are Birds of Prey, Resurrection Man, Animal Man, and Suicide Squad.
Steve Pugh will take over as the ongoing Animal Man artist freeing up Travel Foreman to move to Birds of Prey. Meanwhile, current BoP artist Jesus Saiz will move to Resurrection Man, where current penciler Francis Dagnino will take over Suicide Squad.
     I'm not really sure what would have caused such a restructuring.  My guess is that the departure or reassignment of an artist caused the dominoes to start falling.  One thing I will point out is that the artists who worked on Suicide Squad 1-7 haven’t been mentioned so far.  Federico Dalloccio did the art for the first five issues, but the last two have been fill-in artists.  Based on the pattern of changes, it seems that this all began with Dallccio and Suicide Squad. Perhaps, DC is moving things around in an effort to bring stability to the book?  Then again, that may be an unfair assumption.
Regardless, I will be sad to see Foreman and Saiz leaving their current books. Foreman on Birds Of Prey should be very interesting, I like him quite a bit but I am not sure he would have been my first choice for a book like BoP.

Update:  Travel Foreman weighed in on the changes over at the comicbookresources forums:
"I just want to chime in briefly, because everyone here has been so supportive of the book and because there's so much behind the scenes stuff that goes on with these books... I read a lot of comics and I too get confused about whats going on in some books and ultimately feel like we're getting a raw deal sometimes.

The change on Animal Man boils down to the reason I was on the book to begin with, which was that I needed to take on a job after my mother died (to deal with the financial end of someone being sick for a while and then passing) and Animal Man was the only thing DC was going to let me do. Which in any other time frame would have been perfect.
But really the context of me dealing with the death of my mom and drawing the kind of content in Animal Man just burned me out sooner than I thought.
I had hoped to stay on the book until at least the spring so that the artist I wanted to replace me was free from his commitments, but I would have ultimately just dragged the book down if I did, because it was becoming harder and harder to concentrate on the work.

Steve was bending over backwards on his fill-ins to keep the book on schedule so you have to keep that in consideration. Really, he won't skip a beat once he's doing the book full time.

Thanks, everyone."

[Image courtesy of DC's Source Blog]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FIGcast - Episode 51 - "Creepy Whispers"

Creepy whispers are creepy.

FIGcast - Episode 51 - "Creepy Whispers"

Don't forget, you can email us at, you can follow us on Twitter with @theFIGcast, or you can look for us on Facebook or the iTunes Store.

Laura's 100 Books in 2012 - #5

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Going into this book, I totally thought I would be reading more Chick Lit. I was in for a pleasant surprise when, instead, I read a novel about a time in history that I have always been interested in, as well as a female political drama.

The Other Boleyn Girl is told from the perspective of Mary Boleyn, the not famous at all sister of the infamous Anne Boleyn. Mary is a happy girl who has recently gotten married. Her family is prominent in the court of Henry VIII. Mary is a maid-of-honour to Queen Catherine, who Mary respects and loves. However, being a woman during this time does not give her any power whatsoever and Mary serves at the whim of her power hungry uncle, Thomas Howard. Mary catches the always roaming eye of the King. This gives her uncle the idea to use Mary in order for the Boleyn/Howard family to gain standing in court. This move works and Mary becomes Henry's mistress. She even gives birth to the King's son and daughter. Having Henry's children causes Mary to lose his favor and Anne swoops in. We know the rest of the story, Paul Harvey.

It's funny, because even though I knew that the book would end with Anne's death, I always wanted to know what happened next. Gregory did an excellent job of keeping the inevitable ending out of the way of the actual story. There was so much I loved about this book--getting to know how a British court worked, getting to see how women could be political movers and shakers during a time that they had no rights, and I loved Anne. I know that Anne Boleyn has been both demonized and idolized during the 500 or so years since her beheading, but Gregory made her such an excellent character to follow. I kind of don't blame Henry for casting off the somewhat boring Mary for Anne. I even think Mary would agree with that. The only thing that I didn't like about the book was Mary. It got on my nerves how she continued, over and over again, to let people walk all over her. She had to though, because history would have been different if she had been as strong willed as Anne. Also, I had to keep reminding myself that Mary was only 13 at the time this whole thing started. To put things in perspective: when I was 13, I was mad at Rose for letting handsome Jack Dawson go into the icy cold ocean (even after she SAID she wasn't going to!!).

I highly recommend this book and plan on reading the two other books in Gregory's Tudor series (The Queen's Fool and The Virgin's Lover)  

---   (Editor's Note: The Tudor Series is actually up to six books now. In chronological order, they are: The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover and The Other Queen)

Super Bowl Commercial Addendum

This may be the best Super Bowl commercial I've seen in years, and no one in the US even got to see it on TV.  Check out this Canada-only Budweiser commercial, and tell me it wouldn't have been a perfect fit here in the States as well.

In addition, here's the behind the scenes video.  I think this is an incredible idea, and would love to see Budweiser turn it into a series of commercial over the next few years with several different sports.

Liz's 100 Books in 2012 - #5

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

Set in the (indeterminate) future, humans have finally discovered the technology to reach other solar systems and communicate with other life forms via the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces). The catch is you have to be 75 years old to enlist. Intrigued yet? So, this book follows a 75 year old man who signs himself up for the CDF and becomes part of several different battles with aliens.

I'll admit that I was a little hesitant to start reading...something about the idea of a geriatric army fighting aliens seemed a little sad to me rather than a good idea for an adventure book. I have a similar prejudice against books with mentions of dogs in the blurb (bound to be depressing, right??). That being said, I actually really enjoyed this book! John Scalzi did an excellent job of describing this new world along with the technology that made space travel possible. The actual storyline sometimes took a backseat to the descriptions, but that makes for an incredible macrocosm similar (but not equal) to the worlds created in Star Wars. I'm thinking a movie or TV show might be happening with this series soon, so go read it before it's the cool thing to do! I give it a 'Bravo!' and 5 out of 5 turkey legs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Comic Mini-Reviews Week of February 1st, 2012

This week, Superman is a time-traveler, Swamp Thing is in trouble, and Bucky is a super-spy.

Laura's 100 Books in 2012 - #4

One of my co-workers recommended this book to me. She and I share a love of the Anne of Green Gables series, so she thought I would like it.

Daddy-Long-Legs is a young adult novel about an orphan name Jerusha (did I mention the book was written in 1912?) who is adopted by an anonymous millionaire. The millionaire pays the for her to go to college. The only stipulation is that she never finds out who he is and that she writes him letters once a month. The book consists of Judy (she smartly changes her name) writing letters about her time at college to her mysterious benefactor.

I thought the book was cute and it only took me two days to read it on my new Kindle app. Judy is one of those precocious characters in the same vein as Anne Shirley, but it falls short of being as awesome as the Green Gables series. The only thing that irked me was that she called the millionaire "Daddy" in her letters. I won't say why it was creepy...never mind I totally will tell.

--!!SPOILER ALERT!!--She ends up meeting and falling in love with the man she calls "Daddy." If the guy had been old, I totally would have pictured Hugh Hefner playing him in the movie version.

If you want a fast read, this is a good one. If you just want something written in the early part of the 20th century about a smart and witty young girl, I would go for Anne of Green Gables

Trailer - The Amazing Spider-Man

Ok, this looks pretty good.  I really like the cast.  I was never a fan of Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, and I won't even get started on Kirsten Dunst.  Andrew Garfield has been great in everything I've seen him in, and Emma Stone is always awesome.  I think Dennis Leary is perfectly cast, and Rhys Ifans is creepy even before he has his accident.  If nothing else, it looks like Garfield is much better than Maguire was at pulling of the snark.

Premieres July 3rd, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

New 52 Third Wave Pitch: Department of Extranormal Operations

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try and post a few proposals for DC's eventual New 52: Third Wave. Mostly, they are the dream comics I would like to see, but have very little chance of actually happening.

This week: D.E.O.

Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2012

Woohoo! Second annual post :)

This was not a banner year for SB commercials, so I'm basically going to post the ones that are at least interesting.  I really enjoyed the trailer for The Avengers, the surprise appearance by The Darkness, and the NFL commercial.  Ok, the Fiat one is pretty hilarious as well.

Marvel - The Avengers

Samsung Mobile - Thing Called Love

Chevrolet - Stunt Athem

NFL - Timeline

Chrysler - It's Halftime In America

Time Warner Cable - Enjoy Better Anthem

M&M's - Just My Shell

Volkswagen - The Dog Strikes Back

Acura - Transactions

Doritos - Sling Baby

Toyota - Reinvented

Bud Light - Rescue Dog

Fiat - Seduction

Audi - Vampire Party

Kia - Dream Car

Doritos - Man's Best Friend