Welcome to my Sketch Blog!  Here is a posting of musings on comics and comics news.

Wednesday
Jun222011

X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern reviews (Spoiler Alert)

I want to discuss two comic movies that I have seen this month, X-Men:First Class and Green Lantern. I saw these movies with y boyfriend who is not a comic book fan at all. We watch all kinds of movies together. He usually enjoys these comic book movies, while I nitpick at the details depicted in the movie. Sometimes, I can not even enjoy the movie (Wolverine).

First, I want to talk about X-Men: First Class. I'll admit that I did not read this spin-off comic series, but I knew that this series was intended to fill in stories between the events of the main X-Men title. I saw only two trailers for it and reserved judgement. (I enjoyed the first two X-Men movies, even with the changes. The third X-Men movie was okay. There were a lot of details that I had issues with in the movie. Overall, X3 was okay.)

Okay, I understand that the movie X-verse is different from the comic X-verse. I understand the creative freedoms taken in the movies. But, I could not get over the portrayal of Mystique and Xavier meeting as kids and growing up together! This was weird for me throughout the entire movie. I kept referring to the X-Movies and there was nothing hinting at a previous friendship between the two. Mystique was optimistic even though she struggled with her image.

As I expected, Xavier and Magneto's friendship is explored. There was a lot of time given to explore the creation of Magneto and his quest for vengeance. His point of view was solidified in the movie. Xavier's side was explored, but not as deeply. Xavier and Magneto's friendship is kindled. Together with the help of a department of the government, they recruit some mutants to form a team.

This team consisting of mutants, like Beast, Havok, Angel (a female with the wings of a dragonfly), etc. Beast's story was good. His character stayed true to the comics. He does turn blue when attempting to cure his mutation, but the costuming of his beastly image was disappointing.

There was a token, black character, named Darwyn, his powers are like Lifeguard's, he adapts to the environment in order to survive. He is killed, surprisingly (not really, his power was dumb) and had very little screen time. This team was really optimistic and had very little training. There are scenes where you can see the students training and learning how to use their powers.

I had a really difficult time with the villains. The Hellfire Club was the main protagonist in the film, but Sebastion Shaw had completely different powers. Instead of creating illusions, he absorbs and redirects enery like Bishop. This is another detail that I could not get over. Emma Frost has already developed her secondary mutation and can turn into solid diamond. The special effects that texture her diamond body are completely different from the ones use in the Wolverine movie. (For those who don't remember, she had a grief appearance in the Weapon X lab, towards the end of the movie. She was also Silver Fox's sister. I know, but that;s another rant for another time.)

The overall plot is fine. Shaw wants to incite World War 3. This will provide mutants the opportunity to destroy all humans and remake the earth. During the climax, Xavier and Magneto see the future and solidify their positions for the future of humans and mutants. Mystique joins Magneto's side and Xavier loses his ability to walk.

I didn't see any Easter eggs and Stan Lee did not make a cameo appearance.

Overall, I say the movie was okay. I enjoyed Thor and the Iron Man movies a lot more than this one. My boyfriend enjoyed it and said I was a snob for picking at it.

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Now, let's talk about Green Lantern. I have said this before and I will say it again, I am not a DC fan. I know about the I saw the trailer in the movies twice. I didn't expect much from the movie. Okay, this is the first GL movie and the origin story is being told, but there was a good deal of predictability in this movie. I called it when Hal discovers the powers of the ring, during the fight in the alley. The trip to Oa was okay. There wasn't a lot of training done to improve Hal's abilities with the ring.Then, Hal just gets to quit and walk away. No one goes after him. Really, why not?

During the entire movie, I was expecting Sinestro to put on the yellow ring.

The villain is Paralax, a being consumed entirely, by fear. The guardians of Oa and the creators of the GLs, took there time hanging out and did not come to a decision with how to deal with Paralax. Hal was look down upon, because he was human, but none of the Lanterns could take on Paralax. Really? Why are the GLs so great?

The guy that gets consumed by fear, starts to take revenge on the people that, he felt, made him feel small. His physical morphing wasn't really explained. Why would his body change, except to be a complete visual opposite to the attractive Green Lantern?

In the end GL saves the world without the help of the other lanterns. He destroys Paralax. He decides to be a GL with the responsibilities that goes along with it.

I didn't see any Easter eggs. Now for a DC movie, that isn't Batman, I expected lots of little nods to true long term DC fans. I have heard of two Easter eggs that were in the movie.Even though I am not a DC fan, I did not see any hints to the rest of the DCU.

Overall, the movie doesn't take itself so seriously. It reminds me of the first Transformers movie, in that way. It formulaic and trite. The supporting characters were one dimensional. There was too much CGI. I did not connect with the main character.

Please feel free to comment.

Friday
Jun032011

DC's decision to release Print and Digital at the same time

It's been all over the internet this week. DC announced in a Media release that they will release new issues of their printed books and their digital versions on the same day. Yes, the same day. The print books will be polybagged together with a digital download code. DC is calling it a comic book combo pack. The pack will include a code to purchase a digital download of the printed book.The first combo packs will be available on Wednesday, August 31st.

This is interesting on many levels. One, it is an attempt to keep customers coming in the local shops. It also ensures that the digital codes will be available for customers who request one, but reassures the retailer that the customer must also buy a book in their shop. (Diamond digital solution proposal sold digital codes to customers in the shop. Then customers would have to go home or their mobile device to download the comic.)

Two, this process will circumvent waiting for the digital version to be released later, which is Marvel's method right now. Marvel releases digital versions of its new releases a few days after the print version is released. In addition to providing the customer with both digital and print at the same time, DC is also cutting the price. Purchasing the combo pack, costs only $4.99, while buying the print and digital download separately costs $3.99 each. This looks like a good way for people to try digital comics, who didn't think they would like them.

DC is also rebooting their entire line of comics to coincide with this event. All titles will revert their numbering back to number one. The characters will be designed and may have new origins. DC is saying that this is not a reboot, but that remains to be seen. It sounds like a reboot to me. I am not sure how this will play out with fans. I am not a DC fan myself, so it will not effect my buying habits directly. I think it is important to recognize that DC is addressing the digital debate.

I am curious to find out what this means for creators. Does a combo pack count as two sales or one? How does this effect the royalty system? A sale is a sale, right?

What are your thoughts? Where do you see this heading? If you don't read digital comics, would this make you try it? Would it make you pick up a DC titles now?

Sunday
Apr102011

The Joy Of Collecting Original Comic Art

Author: Martin Toms

The joy of collecting is even greater when what you are collecting is something as delightful and refreshing as original comic art Comic books have proven to be much more than children’s entertainment. Just like the fairy tales and legends of old which are now considered timeless classics for all ages, so too are comics. Comic art, the original drawings from which all comic books are created, is now recognized as an independent art form that moves and inspires its fans. It enjoys a large fan following across the world.

There is great joy when you begin any hobby. You spend your time learning about the items you are collecting and you search for your favorites both online and offline. Best of all, you enjoy being part of the community and your hobby becomes a shared experience. The knowledge and appreciation which you gain will only increase your enjoyment and awareness in collecting.

Collecting original comic art is a special hobby because every page you own is unique, you have the only copy of it in the entire world. There is also a vast diversity in styles of comic art. You will have an immense selection of art to choose from and you will surely be able to build a collection of your favorite artists or characters. Additionally, collecting original comic art can be an affordable hobby for beginners as pages often start at as little as $10 each.

It is easy for one to get lost in the information overload of modern society. But a focused, tranquil hobby such as collecting original comic art builds on nostalgia for a simpler past and increases one’s appreciation of a true art form. It can add depth to one’s personality and can broaden one’s world view. Collecting comic art is a great hobby that should be embraced by adults and children of all ages. It is said a thing of beauty is a joy forever and collecting original comic art will bring much joy to those involved in the hobby. You will treasure your collection and will enjoy building it over the years. You can know more about original comic art at www.sketchmaven.com

 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/art-and-entertainment-articles/the-joy-of-collecting-original-comic-art-1833808.html

About the Author

Martin Toms has a long standing passion for original comic art. This passion is reflected in his commitment to the promotion of the art form by building a platform where lovers of comic art can meet. You can learn more about original comic art at www.sketchmaven.com

Sunday
Apr032011

Comic Art – Why It Is So Powerful

Author: Martin Toms

If one is to ask a person on the street to mention some famous paintings the answer you will most hear Da Vinci\'s Mona Lisa. You may also hear about a few other paintings such as Van Gogh\'s self portrait or Night Watch by Rembrandt depending on where in the world you are asking the question. But wherever you ask the question, unless the person is an art enthusiast, you will typically only get a handful names. Now you ask the same person about famous comic book characters and you will get to hear a much larger number of names. Even those people who are not serious comic book fans will know many more comic characters than they know of famous paintings. Superman, Spider-Man, Conan, Batman, The Incerdible Hulk are all household names. Clearly comic art reaches out to people very effectively.

 

There is a reason why comic art is so much a part of a person\'s life. For one thing it is very accessible, you will find it in newspapers strips, magazines and even advertisements. You do not have to go far to find comic art, you encounter it daily. Great comic art is the manifestation of several artistic skills that combine to create a masterpiece. Just like a movie, a comic book has inputs from many writers, editors and artists. Typically there are at least three different artists: a penciler, an inker, and a colorist. Creating a moving story that can be told with words and pictures in a few panels requires creativity and teamwork. And comic book characters extend far beyond the traditional superhero; there are comic books that cover any genre one can imagine.

 

Original comic art is therefore a powerful medium that is a vibrant document of our lives and times. And by collecting original comic art you can own a part of this great human legacy. Thankfully original comic art doesn\'t cost anywhere near the cost of a traditional painting. Comic art is much more accessible; pieces can be purchased for as little as ten dollars, which makes it easy to start your own collection. You can learn more about comic art at www.sketchmaven.com

 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/art-and-entertainment-articles/comic-art-why-it-is-so-powerful-1910576.html

About the Author

Martin Toms has a long standing passion for original comic art. This passion is reflected in his commitment to the promotion of the art form by building a platform where lovers of comic art can meet. You can learn more about original comic art at www.sketchmaven.com.

Sunday
Mar272011

The Perception of Comic Books

Author: Vince Platania, Jr.

Comic books have carried a negative stigma for as long as they have existed.  Viewed as juvenile, cheap or inferior forms of literature and art, comic books have had an uphill battle from day one.  But with the success of comic books as represented in Hollywood, maybe, just maybe the perception of them will change.

The truth is, however, that in some circles comic books will always represent what\'s wrong with the world, like many other forms of entertainment.  Video games and television have been put under a similar assault by parent groups, religious groups and highbrow elitists that just don\'t get their appeal and blame them for the moral downslide of society.  Music over the past few decades has suffered the same kind of negative backlash.

The beautiful thing about comic books, though, is what sets them apart from all other forms of art.  And that thing is the marriage of art and writing that come together in a symphony of story unparalleled.  Much like the film and television industries possess the unique coupling of stories, and sometimes graphic art, with live action, or moving pictures, comic books are unique in the way they present a story.

For instance, take the art in comic books.  Any artist worth his salt can illustrate a still portrait or landscape scene, or what have you. Similarly, any abstract artist with any merit can illustrate a still masterpiece of odd attraction and sensibility.  But it takes a special kind of skill to use those same artistic abilities and techniques to transform a writer\'s words to sequential story-telling, depicting constant movement and a wide range of emotions panel after panel, page after page.  Likewise, it\'s a chore for a writer to structure their words in such a way that allows the art to do the descriptive \'talking\' and fill in the dialogue in the appropriate places while still maintaining an interesting and flowing story.  And this is what comic books are made of.

Look at an artist like David Mack who pushes the medium of comic books into another level with his use of paints and materials to create abstract beauty while still maintaining the comic form.  Or the many acclaimed novelists, like Orson Scott Card and Stephen King, for example, who have made the transition to comics bringing their same talents and skill to the mixed media art form.  Yet comic books continue to be disrespected, or looked at as substandard as compared to other media.

That perception may never change, but whether comic books continue to thrive and grow, or eventually fade away, there will never be another art form that quite does what comic books are able to do.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/art-and-entertainment-articles/the-perception-of-comic-books-857416.html

About the Author

Follow the exploits of rockers DEMON TWEAK and the racing clan HARD DRIVING HEROES, as they battle the evil trickster Loki at http://www.classic-comic-books.com . Also read articles on your favorite classic comic book heroes written by our resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER.