Yay 2012: Thumbs Up!

The myriad forms that excellence took in 2012:

How is it already 2013?

How is it already 2013?

Borderlands 2 – My pick for game of the year. While maybe not the most technically daring or graphically beautiful, it’s the game I had the most fun playing this year. Handsome Jack may be a Hall of Fame villain. I sure hope Butt Stallion is ok.

LA Noire – Yeah it’s old, but I just got around to playing it this year during the Summer Gaming Drought of ’12. This game indirectly contributed to my subsequent non-playing of Sleeping Dogs.

Black Ops 2 Multiplayer – the Pick 10 system was a welcome change to multiplayer this year, allowing for greater class flexibility.  Also nice: Prestige’ing doesn’t reset all of your progress!

Portal 2 – (see LA Noire)

The Walking Dead – both the game from Telltale Games game & AMC’s third season. TTG did a masterful job with it’s Walking Dead game; cannot wait for season 2, whenever that’s slated to hit.  Every chapter had at least one holy shit moment (and I’m only on chapter 3!). Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead was surprisingly strong as well, as I’d all but given up on the series after the Sophia/Farm heavy second season.  When in the HELL does Rick get his trusty hatchet?

The Avengers – best superhero movie of the year. Spider-what? Dark Who? I want to see a buddy movie with Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner & RD Jr’s Tony Stark. But only if it has at least once scene where the Hulk throws a bear


Marvel NOW –  I stll have no idea what the deal is with Marvel Now. A reboot? A renumbering? A sales trick? What I DO know is that Marvel’s ratcheted up its game (possibly due to the New 52) and is churning out very, very strong series especially Thor God of Thunder, Indestructible Hulk, The Avengers, Uncanny Avengers & All New X-Men.  Leading me to…

Hawkeye – comic of the year? Perhaps. Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth’s take on the character make him a compelling everyman that bounces between outwitting Marvel’s arch criminals to defending his NYC apartment building from a horde of Russian bros. Doesn’t sound like your bag? Trust me, it is. Check it out.

Ski Safari – I have a bad habit of bying mobile games, playing them for a day or so and then moving on. So far, Ski Safari has not only kept my attention but actively looking forward to the commute to/from work so I can play it. I hate skiing but I love doing monster backflips on a yeti. If you feel the same, pick it up.

Rawrs Shirts – the first & third best thing I bought at New York Comic Con this year. Cool designs on shirts that fit great.

Comic Con 2012’s poster orgy – The second & fourth best things I bought were from Mondo. Plus a totally sweet Thanos/War of the Gems poster from Capcom. Plus this:


Saturday Night in Atlantic City – bachelor party shenanigans & a solid 6 hour of poker.

Finally getting rid of my shit iPhone4 – you suck bro and I’m glad you’re gone.  

Very Near Mint & Double Barrel – Not going to lie: I’m not an indie comics guy.  I’m just not. But I took a chance on VNM at NYCC ’12 and on Double Barrel on the advice of the CEO of comiXology and I’m glad I did.  I actually went back to NYCC to pick up additional copies of VNM.  Both are worth at least taking a look at.  And since the first few issues of DB are like $.99 on comiXology, definitely worth the expense. Just buy them already.

Max Payne -a great surprise. This was more of an impulse purchase, as I’d never played the first two. But Rockstar’s been on such a roll lately, I thought it would definitely be worth it  The single player was great, standouts being the first level and any of the levels running around in the Brazillian favelas. What really shocked me though was the multiplayer. If there’s one thing that’s already bothered me about Rockstar games, it’s that their multiplayer efforts seem kind of tacked on and frankly not very good. I didn’t get that from MP3 at all; the level designs were top notch, the game modes were all interesting spins on established multiplayer staples, the weapons seemed balanced, and the customization’s were pretty fun (I love dress up, shut up).


This Week’s Comics Haul – Gonna Break It Down/ To the Nitty-Grit

Random Thoughtz ( a.k.a. my new rap psuedonym):

– Wait,is Detective Comics involved in “Death of the Family”?

– Part of me wishes that “Rotworld” was the new DC status quo and everyone & everything really were dead.  That would be super dark.

Sweet Tooth is over this issue or next and all I can say is “Good! I’m glad!”. Jeff Lemire is a HEARTBREAKER; I was reading Essex Country on the plane to St. Lucia and just started crying. I’m going to cry NOW just thinking about it. DAMN YOU JEFF LEMIRE.

Daredevil: End of Days is a dark, dark mystery and I digs it the most.

Deadpool. gets poo’d on pretty regularly here (and if not here, then silently, in my mind) but I think this re-boot with Brian Posehn doing some of the writing duties could actually return this character to his cool, funny roots.  BUt if it’s all just thought bubbles than this book can go screw.

Defenders is over. Bow your heads in SHAME for not supporting this clever, ingenious, truly weird book.

Iron Man #1 – Now here’s what I don’t get. Is this a new-new series? Like, from scratch? Or just a convenient re-numbering but a continuation of the previous series? With the Iron Man series that just ended, Tony had completely peaced out from Earth and went to go play golf on the Moon with Aquaman or something. So is that still the score? INQUIRING MINDS & WALLETS WANT TO KNOW.

Shadowman – Can Valiant keep it’s streak going?

Animal Man – I think this issue each of his limbs turn into completely different animals. Should be interesting!

– P.S. Don’t forget Double Barrel #6! Best indie going today? YES. (Well, this or Very Near Mint )

AvX: Consequences is surprisingly good! Also, check out the final panel from issue #4


3 bad brothers you know so well

Magneto, his purple underwear and his stable of ladies have had it about up to here with your bullshit and now it’s time to get down to business, partner. Yee-haw, Master of Magnetism style.

NYCC ’12 – The Wrath of Con i.e. It’s a Wrap!!

The Cup O’ Joe panel from Saturday came with your regular dose of space news a la a new, ongoing Nova  and Guardians of the Galaxy series.

Remember when Nova was cool?  Nope, me neither.  But maybe they’ll get it right this time! (via ComicsBeat)

I saw quite a few Jack Sparrows running around the Javits Center this weekend but they were absolutely dwarfed in terms of the number of Deadpools. Just like in the Marvel 616 universe, Deadpool was everywhere. At first it was pretty cool, but also just like the 616, after the 15th Gangnam Style-ing Deadpool you need a change.  The Drunken Moogle (great site name, btw) imagines the two cosplay icons bumping into one another while stocking up on adult beverages. Cosplay note: There were also a ton of Banes and at least two King Hippos.

The creators & architects behind the Batman arc “Death of the Family”, including Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, David Finch, Greg Capullo and others sat down at NYCC to discuss the upcoming plans for Batman, the Bat-family, the Joker & Gotham at large.  Apparently the rumor is that Nightwing gets killed off?  Hmmm. Sounds like the best panel at the show so far. (via CBR)

Speaking of panels…look, I love the con.  I really do.  But at no point in the past three years have I ever wanted to wait in line for two hours to go sit in an auditorium for an hour and listen to anyone, no matter how awesome they are.  Why? Two reasons that come to mind immediately: One is that THERE IS A CON GOING ON AND ITS GETTING BIGGER EVERY YEAR. I have limited time here, son! I need to cram in all the action I can in the time I have. Two, I know it’s all going to be up on the web inside of an hour anyway.   Yes, I’m not witnessing it first hand but I would rather be out on the floor, scrounging around then just standing in some long concrete tube, waiting.

WHY don’t I know about SuperF*ckers? I really need to start digging into the indie world a bit more. What’s that? You don’t know about SuperF*ckers either? Well, it’s getting the animated treatment and here are some clips! Joy (-oulsy NSFW)!

Theme song!


Speaking of indie comics! I grew up as a Marvel Zombie, later morphing into an Image Idiot, a Valiant Victim and lately turning into a DC Dipshit, but the one thing I’ve never been is an Indie Ignoramus. But now? Chalk it up to finally, after 20+ years, getting tired of guys in their underwear punching each other month after month. I’ve been worn down to the degree that I’m casting about, desperate for something good and fun and clever and funny to read. As luck would have it, I’ve been finding it! Lots of it! I think the catalyst was Lee O’ Malley’s Scott Pilgrim books, though it may go back as far as Evan Dorkin’s Milk & Cheese books.  Things like Double Barrel from the Cannons, Ed Piskor’s WIZYWIG & Hip Hop Family TreeJeff Lemire’s well, anything, leading up to my discovery this weekend of Justin Peterson’s Very Near MintWhich I wasn’t even going to buy but in fact it is so good that I went back to NYCC  an unplanned third time just so I could pick up the second volume.  Buy it. For real. Right here.  It’s GOOD. I’m actually a bit mad about how good it is, because now I have to wait until Spring ’13 to get vol. 3.

There is also the matter of this excellent Lego Ron Swanson to consider. 

And now back to the underwear punchers: Secret Avengers #1 is almost upon us, with an all-new cast of super old characters, just in a slightly new configuration. CBR spoke with the creative team to get the scoop on what’s so secret this time around.






Lastly, something I missed at NYCC that is probably a good thing, as I DEFINITELY would have bought this: “THE 17,000 SINS OF SKELE-GORE” from Scarecrow Oven. Why wouldn’t you buy something as sweet as this:

New York Comic Con ’12 – a great success! Each year the Con gets bigger but somehow it’s also getting better. Can’t wait for next year! The only point of contention is that it’d be great if they went back to how Thursdays were in 2010 i.e. only Press & Pros were allowed into the show on Thursday. But clearly Reed Pop is making a killing selling early access, so it’s doubtful we’ll see a return.

Did you go to Comic Con this year? How was your experience there? What did you get? Who did you see? Let us know in the comments!

New York Comic Con 2012, Day One: My Dogs Are BARKIN’!

WHOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!!! New York Comic Con ’12 day one is a wrap! Important note: wear layers & comfortable shoes. Like, real comfortable shoes. Moon boots full of & soled by marshmallows!

After two professional panels this afternoon, I got to take part in everyone’s favorite con activity:  waiting in line! Luckily that moved pretty quickly and I hit the con floor at 3:05, swag-grabbing powers activated.

One of the first booths I hit was Rawrs (booth #3115; stop by and buy something!); last year I made the mistake of seeing a shirt on Thursday and waiting until Friday to try to buy it; whoops! Sold out. Never say I’m not a quick study, as I picked up an awesome shirt & am going back tomorrow for more.

Then? Then I just, like…wandered, man. I did do that thing where I stopped in the middle of an intersection, spread my arms & spun around in a slow circle while a camera above me spun in the opposite direction.

Some of the cool people and things I met/saw on day one:

Justin Peterson, creator/writer/artist of Very Near MintPicked up vol.1 today and plan on reading it tonight.  If it’s good (and it seems awesome), I’m going to pick up the other three volumes tomorrow.

– The gentlemen from OnTarget Network. Super cool and if you stop by their booth, you can draw on their table!  I didn’t, because stick figures are difficult for me to manage. Check them out if you’re trying to get a foothold in digital comics. One of their artists, Jack Ciolli, has a whole slate of art up on deviantArt. Investigate!

– You like metal, right? OF COURSE YOU LIKE METAL. And since you’re here, you like comics & pop culture. Then I’ve got a store for you: METAL MACHINE ENTERTAINMENT. Their tag line? “Where Heavy Metal and Pop Culture Meet”. And Ismael, their president, is a top-notch fella.  Stop by their booth and say  “Modern Borefare sent you!” (bonus points if your eyes & tongue bulge out and terrify 6-year old me).

– Talked to a gentleman at the GeekFest Rants booth. Seems like a great podcast; I’ve subscribed.  Check it out, maybe you should to?

I also ate a bulgogi hot dog &  a mystery empanada. That’s a wrap on day one; come back tomorrow for more news on day two a.k.a. The First Day It Gets REAL Crazy in the Javits Center.

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P.S. SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKS: AT&T ACTUALLY WORKED in the Javits Center! For the first time for me in two years and as far as I know for the first time ever! AT&T LTE is NO JOKE.