Category Archives: Comics

The Dark Knight Rises

Just saw The Dark Knight Rises. It’s about Bruce Wayne and his one man war on crime. This time it’s eight years after the last movie, The Dark Knight, Bruce’s body is worn down (like an athlete) and so is his faith in people. There’s a plot to destroy Wayne Enterprises and Gotham, which bring both Bruce and Batman out of “retirement.”

The good; the movie is about three hours long, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It had me pretty much on the seat of my pants the entire time, beautifully edited.

The acting is great. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, love me some Anne Hathaway. Much like Charlize Theron in Prometheus, Anne Hathaway’s in that catsuit most of the time, no complaints there.
Gary Oldman as the ever faithful Gordon.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake.  Tom Hardy as Bane.  Michael Caine as Alfred the father-figure.  Everyone delivers a wonderful performance.

The Bat, flying thing, what’s great about these movies is the science and logic behind the technology, they make it believable. From the movie physics of the Bat-Pod to the Bat vehicle, I just love it all cause when you watch it move on screen you think, “yeah, that’s how that would move.”

The bad; oddly enough, I do have some complaints. There wasn’t enough Batman, when you’re watching the movie you don’t really notice this, but thinking back, Bruce Wayne is Batman in the end of the first act, and then at the of the third act, I kinda wanted more Batman-time… on screen that is.
Bane’s voice – in the comic books he’s supposed to be Latin-American, I don’t know what accent he has in the movie, but it’s obviously dubbed and very stage present-ish.  In a shot where he’s in the far background of the scene his voice is still coming in very present at the center channel, that bugged me.

*SPOLIER* When Bane breaks Batman’s back, it doesn’t take him long to recover, there could’ve been more passage of time at this point. His back goes from a vertebrae protrusion to doing push ups and scaling the wall to freedom.

*SPOILER* The ending, very easy, almost too easy, and predictable. Much like Nolan’s previous movie Inception, this one ends in a montage and we’re given information visually. Alfred is away on holiday and sees Bruce just like he’d imagined years and years before Batman showed up, he’s sitting at a table with Selina. I wonder how it would’ve been if they’d taken the ambiguity of Inception’s ending and applied it to The Dark Knight? Leaving us with Alfred’s forming smile instead of cutting to Bruce at the table? And then to have Blake’s character’s real name be Robin? That almost felt like the studio pushed that onto the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that the cowl and mantle would be passed along, but why dumb it down?

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, despite the criticisms I state above. I guess I’m so critical of this new film because I extremely enjoyed the previous films
Definitely worth watching on the big screen, and what a way to end a trilogy.

2012 Los Angeles Anime Expo: Talking with Cosplay Fans (Day 2)

Did you like what we did last year? Here we go again! Check out what this years anime fans.


00:00 – Pink castle crasher is known for throwing rainbows everywhere.

00:53 – this guy is a nameless character from the Monster Hunter series gets his armor from a slain Congalala. He took 3 months making his costume and hasn’t slept in 2 days.

03:18 – LeBlanc from League of Legends has definitely put some time into her costume and has plans to design them for a living.

04:40 – Porco Rosso was a flying ace but avoids planes himself. He’s a video editor that shares his thoughts on 3D.

05:49 – An announcer from an upcoming steampunk webseries, Tinker, is out trying to promote their work. Check them out at on facebook. Their gear was provided by Wonderland Studios (Anaheim)

07:12 – I catch a special rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody performed by some guys and Master Chief.

08:19 – Static Shock is known for putting a shock to your system and shares his suggestion to story tellers of ending things on a high note rather than dragging them out.

10:20 – Gender bender Ran Yakumo from Touhou has a very complicated background as being a boss. She’s a middle child of the Yakumo family. His outfit has amazing stitchwork. You definitely want to go full screen HD for this guy. He also talks about the difference between the Los Angeles convention versus Sakuracon.

13:24 – My Neighbor Totoro is one of Miyazuki’s most noteable works. Her mom helped her with this costume and also helps a lot for Halloween. I express some concern and she tells me she feels like she’s in a sauna but about to take a break. She mentions getting very excited over seeing some no-faces.

15:37 – Madame Red from Kuroshitsuji is known for killing whores and loves her character’s depth and awesomeness.

17:13 – Lulu from Final Fantasy X loves her character’s costume and is seriously warm in her costume.

19:17 – Rikku from Final Fantasy X has taken years to create her outfit.

20:55 – One of the most talked about costumes, Fiddlesticks from League of Legends, bouts with another champion.

21:29 – Morgana from League of Legends isn’t a big gamer because she’s busy studying nutrition. She hasn’t heard about the proposed big soda ban in New York but thinks it’s a good idea. Check her out on facebook

22:54 – Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII is known for looking cute and being the main character’s lover. She talks about the logistic challenges of living far away from a convention.

25:01 – Mumbo Jumbo from Banjo-Kazooie is a magical character.

26:26 – The Green Ranger from the Power Rangers loves that his character took on all of the rangers and the ability to summon his monster on his own. He shares his thoughts on rebooting the series and the joy he had living in Japan.

28:40 – I can’t make out who this character is. She’s known for being pretty and also cosplays Black Rock Shooter. She loves anime because it’s fun to watch.

00:00 – Jinbei (One Piece) spent 3 months working on his outfit because he has no sewing skills.

01:08 – Genderbender Marissa (Tohou) is a jerk and has me looking at myself through his glasses. He notes the weekend is super packed since the X Games were going on at the same time. I ask him how he’s celebrating the 4th of July and without missing a beat he shows me his patriotic undergarments. He’s a civil servant.

02:14 – Dr. Kawashima from Brain Age has plenty to say and is very passionate about the game.

04:14 – Hetalia: Axis Powers represented by Italy, Prussia, Germany, America, England, and Hungary. They say the worst thing they’ve seen is ugly naked people.

07:28 – This version of the Cheshire Cat has a few tattoos recently graduated with a drawing and painting degree that she thinks is useless. Check her out anyway: facebook / jentakeda.com

09:29 – Majora’s Mask (Legend of Zelda) is Japanese and feels a strong connection with Anime. I ask her where the best place to get ramen and she says there’s a great place in Fullerton

12:29 – Axe Cop is a web comic that Fox recently picked up and talks about a few people mixing him up with real security. He’s an actor that’s done some commercials in Miami

14:19 – Who says Twilight Sparkle My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic can’t have a goatee? He loves seeking out knowledge.

16:47 – A steampunk couple explain why they love the genre.

18:32 – Rick Grimes loves killing zombies and cosplaying other zombie killers like Chris Redfield

20:02 – Tony Tony Chopper (One Piece) and Splicer (Bioshock). Tony Tony Chopper is holding cotton that she wishes was cotton candy

22:00 – Batman (cubecrafting edition) is a bit of a mashup and likes everything about anime and is studying criminal justice

23:20 – Reggie “My body is ready” Fils-Aime is a meme that has trouble seeing

24:54 – Thor finished her costume in 3 months because she got lazy. She explains that she likes gender bending because she’s not a big giant strong man but still loves the characters

26:36 – Pico (Boku no Pico) / Yuki (Tsuritama) are having a dangerous amount of fun and probably scaring children away. His water gun is definitely rated mature

28:20 – Jenova (Final Fantasy 7) definitely recognizes me. She talks about the challenges of making a costume being in your head and where she buys her materials. Check her group, SAUCEtown Cosplay. They are one of the best cosplayers out there drawing cameras towards them constantly at conventions. And how does one from SAUCEtown cosplay celebrate the 4th? Eating a trifle, of course!

The Amazing Spider-Man

Saw The Amazing Spider-Man, it is a reboot.  We all know the story, nerd-loner Peter Parker gets bitten by a radio-active spider, he gains super powers and his Uncle Ben dies in the process.  He learns some life lessons and is the better for it.  But this film does add something different.

The good; I like the swinging scenes, I didn’t think I was going to like the video game like FPS POV angle, but it worked, and it wasn’t over used.  They got a lot of those classic Spider-Man poses in, always love when the film imitates the comic.  The fight scenes with the Lizard are very well done, I love the use of the web-shooters and how they’re choreographed in to the fighting.

Andrew Garfield doesn’t do a bad job, he’s like-able enough and believable enough as the nerd high schooler.  Denis Leary is great as George Stacey, I’ll probably enjoy everything he does anyway.

Without spoiling too much, we get Peter’s parents’ backstory, which is a nice touch.  But that plot line, along with the murderer of Uncle Ben go unresolved by the end of the movie.  Yet, it didn’t bother me at all when the credits roll… strange.

There’s a rather cheesy scene as we approach the climax of the third act that involves Spider-Man being helped by the “common working-class man,” but it works.

The bad; a lot of CG usage.  I miss having a stunt man that has the physical prowess to perform what’s needed of the character.  I miss practical effects, while it takes limitations off of the filmmakers we also lose a sense of, “wow, how’d they do that?”  I remember watching this.
Sure it’s dated, but it’s a guy actually climbing up a building and swinging and doing stuff.

We don’t get any resolution with Uncle Ben’s murderer, Peter goes out in search of this thug and doesn’t find him like he did in the previous franchise.  We also never find out the whole truth of what happened to his parents… I know I put this in the good section, but why were we given these plot threads to begin with?  If they’re going to reboot the franchise and start over with another origin story, why not give us this “new” part of the origin?  Why does everything have to be a trilogy these days?

The scene where the Lizard emerges from the sewers and on to New York’s streets with his bag of “goodies” is so the Sony lot, hahaha, but that wouldn’t bug anyone else but THIS GUY.

Overall, I actually did enjoy this movie.  It wasn’t the best, but considering that first trailer left such a bad taste in my mouth, my expectations were low, then it turns out that it isn’t the worst of the worst, so I was able to enjoy this.  They mentioned Norman Osborn without showing him, such a delight.  Dangling plotlines were unresolved, but masked well so that I didn’t care while watching the movie.  I wish they would’ve had more of the Jekyll/Hyde thing going on with the Lizard.  Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb do a very good job, they were able to craft a story without the set piece of the Daily Bugle or J. Jonah Jameson.

*SPOILER* or speculation… there is a scene during the credits, so stay and read the names of all the people that worked so hard to bring you this film, cause you should… know how to read that is, hahaha.
But Doc Connors is placed in prison, he then sees and talks to a mysterious man… who is this person?  We never see his face.  Is he the voice that’s talking to Connors in his sewer lab?  Is Connors crazy and talking to a dual personality?  Is it Norman Osborn?  Certainly a man that rich can buy his way in to prison.  Or… is it Richard Parker?  Since we never really find out what happened to him???  Dun dun… dunnnnn, Kurtzman and Orci better not screw up the sequel… one can hope write?  See what I did there??

WonderCon: Talking with Cosplay Fans (Day 3)

So this post should have been up much sooner but I was busy doing other things.

00:00 – Joker and Harlequin loves that his character is so sporadic

01:27 – Captain America loves his character’s love for America

03:18 – A Underworld death dealer has very convincing fangs talks about a gender bender cosplayer that will scar her for life

05:55 – Peter Pan loves never growing up and cosplaying other Disney characters

07:10 – Ariel (Little Mermaid) claims she is not a hoarder but wants you to visit her under the sea

08:50 – Skull kid (Zelda) is a mini-boss is older than he sounds and supports PETA

10:35 – Kato (Green Hornet) thought Jay Chow did a great job as Kato even though he didn’t like the movie much.

12:13 – Talon is way into his character says the craziest thing he’s seen is his creator nerdgasming over him

14:07 – this original character is a steampunk/rogue warrior is very impressive looking. Check out her cosplay page on Facebook

15:47 – Kromp is known for stealing, drug deals, putting children on sex trade, and thinks elmo is a unic. He gives indispensable advice for surviving the ghetto. Check out more kromp at puppetmayhem.com

18:30 – The pedo bear thinks we’ll believe he is a pokemon player. He’s studying child development and knows kids love candy

19:59 – storm trooper escorts Chewbacca

20:18 – Scarecrow’s outfit has gone through several redesigns

22:05 – Red Robin doesn’t care for the new Batman movie. He doesn’t like the look of Nolan’s versions of the Batman

23:18 – Star Wars cosplayers gives a special message to George Lucas

24:33 – The Ice King loves his character’s swag

25:25 – Yuna (Final Fantasy) loves her kickass character

WonderCon: Interview with Ed Luce

At first I thought I saw David Cross venturing into a new endeavor of comic books. I stepped closer and met the man behind Wuvable Oaf.

Like many great artists, Ed Luce prefers letting people experience and interpret his characters on their own. He describes Wuvable Oaf as a “queer Scott Pilgrim” and a melting pot of his interests. Growing up, Ed read Marvel and DC comics, and eventually grew into illustrating. He confesses he didn’t feel his style had the necessary polish for super heroes. He later dove into the world of independent comics such as Eightball and the Hernandez brothers. His fine art background further shaped his style of using detail and big shapes.

I asked about crowd reaction to his work and Ed mentioned a few security guards finding connection with the oaf. Ed commented that everybody knows a wuvable oaf (it’s true!) and that the figure even transcends sex.

Check out the Wuvable Oaf online and follow the Wuvable Oaf on twitter: @wuvableoaf

WonderCon: Interview with Kyle Brummond (Splatter Comics)

Co-creator of Splatter Comics, Kyle Brummond, talked to us about their fresh approach to story telling. Kyle describes the multimedia experience of Splatter Comics that combines still images, voice acting, sound effects, and narration.

Kyle later shares the inspiration of Splatter Comics’ latest creation, Army of Nun, starting from a bumper sticker. He also notes the benefits of Google when researching the subject as well as talking with friends who were in real life experiences.

Those interested will be pleased to hear that Splatter Comics is offering their content for free online with the possibility of print versions later.

We start talking about movies and Kyle mentions a famous book series he would be interested in seeing on the big screen. Obviously, I had to ask Kyle who he would pick to portray the lead role in Army of Nun.

Check out Splatter Comics online

WonderCon: Toonhole

Remember when we talked to Toonhole last year? They became one of our favorites.

We decided to stop by their booth at WonderCon and see how life has changed for them. What did we find? Laughs. Nothing but laughs. Old or young, everyone who peaked into the world of Toonhole left smiling. This time around, Toonhole Chris was present.

The boys were nice enough to share some time with us and talk about their busy agenda filled with appearances at more conventions like HempCon San Jose (June 15-17, 2012). I asked about their creative process and discovered the key to their comedy is heavy drinking and embracing sensitive subjects. Toonhole also revealed the benefits of having the strongest cartoonists on the web.

If you aren’t following them on twitter (@toonhole) or checking out their site, what are you doing with your life?!?

WonderCon: Interview with Ken Tanaka

Ken Tanaka spoke with us and brought us into his heavy hitting book, “Everybody Dies, A Children’s Book for Grown Ups”. Ken describes his style as Ken Tanaka-esq and says he is also working on another title called “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What the Fuck”.

Ken recalls his early interest in comic conventions and being encouraged by friends like David Mack.

See more of Ken Tanaka here and follow him on twitter: @kentanakalovesu

Peter Laird’s Response to the Alien Ninja Turtles

Look’s like we got an official response from Peter Laird, whose best known for co-creating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with writer and artist Kevin Eastman, in regards to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles originating from outer space.

I have had several requests from TMNT fans during this past week to comment on the idea of the Turtles being “reimagined” as aliens for the upcoming TMNT movie to be produced by Michael Bay. A few people — who don’t seem to understand that I am no longer in control of the property — want me to stop this, somehow. Obviously, I can’t do that, even if I wanted to.

But I would actually encourage TMNT fans to swallow the “chill pill” Mr. Bay recently suggested they take, and wait and see what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan. It’s possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work. I’m not saying it’s probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS possible.

However, as I have pondered this further, I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion. Let me explain…

Over the years, I have made no secret of my distaste for what I consider to be the weak, facile, creatively bankrupt idea which can be summed up like this:

If FOUR Ninja Turtles are good, then FIVE (or more) Ninja Turtles MUST be better!

It was in large part this brain-dead notion that led to the creation of the execrable “Venus de Milo” character in the blessedly short-lived live action TV series  “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation”. And I can’t tell you how many times we got mail in the early years of the Turtles from people who thought it was simply an amazing idea to do a “fifth Turtle”, and how many times those same people suggested that this fifth Turtle be named “Picasso”. And many times, the brilliant idea to explain this extra Turtle was that, instead of there being just four pet shop turtles in that glass bowl in the origin story, there were really FIVE.

Sigh.

I’ll admit — I have played with the idea of more Turtles myself, a few times. There was the character of “Kirby”, the “fifth Turtle” that Kevin Eastman and I came up with for one of the several movie ideas which never came to fruition. And I created the “Super Turtles” in Volume 4 of the TMNT comics published by Mirage… and they eventually appeared in one episode of the 4Kids animated TMNT TV series.
But…

… in both those instances, I was careful to make these Turtles not just MORE  of the same, i.e. just extra TMNT. In both of the above cases, the extra Turtles were from other dimensions… and the Super Turtles, especially, were VERY different from the Ninja Turtles. I don’t remember all the details of the work we did on that “Kirby the Fifth Turtle” thing, but I DO remember being adamant that if we were going to agree to the idea of a “fifth Turtle”, it would have to be something other than the harebrained “there was an extra Turtle in the bowl, etc.” idea.

Is that too fine a line? Yeah, maybe… but to my way of thinking, anyway, it is a CLEAR line.

Anyway, to get back to the “TMNT are aliens” thing — the reason I say it could be a “genius” idea is that — for the first time — someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin’ Turtles as they want. I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them!
Joy. — PL

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Photos of Day 3 of WonderCon

The final set of photos are now up!  Which costume was your favorite?

Day 2 Photos of WonderCon

As promised Day 2 photos, so many things to see!  Day 3 photos coming soon!