Tuesday, March 28, 2017

POWER RANGERS DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.


Thanks to those morphin folks at Roadshow Films and the Power Rangers IN CINEMAS NOW, we have 3 Double In Season Passes to give away!

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is comment "I reckon with the combined smarts, skill and strength of me and ______ , we could make a pretty unstoppable MEGAZORD " and fill the blank with a tag of the person you'd feel work make your best morphin teammate and you'll be entered in the draw.

Terms and Conditions:

-Only entries made via the comments on the Facebook post will be included in the draw.
-Entries will be "liked" by All Star to notify the comment have been entered in the draw,
-All entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.
-Entries close 6pm Monday the 3rd of April and winners will be announced Tuesday the 4th and notified soon after as to how to collect their tickets.

A huge thanks again to Roadshow Films and Power Rangers IN CINEMAS NOW.

Monday, March 27, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MARCH 28th: BERNIE WRIGHTSON 1948-2017


"When asked to give names of artists whom they think of as examples to follow, Jeffrey Jones will mention Whistler; Barry Windsor-Smith will speak of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Lord Leighton; Michael Kaluta will talk of Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha and Frantisek Kupka...and Berni Wrightson, if he can be persuaded to speak, will mention Gustav Doré as well as the writers who inspired Dore's vision, Edgar Allan Poe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge..."


The above quote comes from a real treasure of comics paraphernalia, The Studio, an LP-sized art book from 1979 featuring the work of the four legendary artists listed above, Jones, Windsor-Smith, Kaluta and last but certainly not least, Wrightson, named here as he often was as "Berni."
Together, these brilliant fantasists look like some lost Prog Rock group, a fact the LP-sized format of The Studio does nothing to dissuade. That the four actually once inhabited the same creative space, modelled on a 19th Century artist's studio, is a remarkable but fitting thing. Jones, Windsor-Smith, Kaluta and Wrightson were cornerstones of late 20th century fantasy art, each inhabiting a different imaginative space within their literal shared working space - Jones the more whimsical and arguably the most romantic; Windsor-Smith, the most heroically-minded, unsurprisingly listing Pre-Raphaelite influences; Kaluta with his faeries gone all Art Nouveau probably the biggest stickler for ornate detail and Wrightson, well, Wrightson does tend to stick out a bit with his clear, unapologetic love of schlocky horror, dismembered bodies, and Gothic shadows mixing them all with the fine detail of the namedropped Doré. He's far left in the above photo, clean-shaven, almost dapper in his gloriously retro military pea coat and Doctor Who scarf, standing next to his fellows, dreamy stoners with scraggly beards, Bernie probably looking up for the grey clouds while the others peek for glimpses of the blue sky hidden behind.


Wrightson co-created Swamp Thing, he painstakingly drew one of the most iconic depictions of Frankenstein's monster ever, he illustrated the nasty bad-trip Batman adventure The Cult, he worked on Creepshow with Stephen King and George Romero, his romp Captain Sternn became part of the cult classic Heavy Metal animated film, he adapted Poe and Lovecraft stories with as much aplomb as fellow horror comics legend Richard Corben, he provided alternately grim, evocative and bloody illustrations for Stephen King's novella Cycle of The Werewolf. His work was unmistakably his own, as unique as his fingerprint. He passed away last week.


Where to begin with such a body of work? I decided, for once, to keep it simple and look at one short, sure-fire classic. A Bernie mic-drop if you will. For more Wrightson, I highly recommend visiting The Comics Journal, which reposted this lengthy and informative 1982 interview with the artist from its archives conducted by Gary Groth. It includes this great little revealing moment:

GROTH: It’s probably not wise to psychoanalyze yourself and your work.

WRIGHTSON: No, I have a real fear of that. I’ve got a feeling that maybe the reason I’m doing what I’m doing as well as I’m doing it is because I got bent very badly somewhere back there and if I went to a doctor and got myself straightened out I would lose just my whole motivation for working. It’s like, “Well, shit, thanks, Doc, I just don’t feel like doing this any more. I’m going to sell shoes now. Thanks.”

In the section of The Studio devoted to his work, Wrightson says, "I was still very young when I realised that life and death are the only realities there are...Anything you can do can go in hundreds of possible directions, but the one inevitable fact at the end of it all is death-- the one certain thing in an uncertain universe."

And here we are, arrived at the one inevitable fact.
Goodbye Bernie Wrightson.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : "JENIFER" from CREEPY PRESENTS BERNIE WRIGHTSON
By Bruce Jones & Bernie Wrightson
Published By Dark Horse

In 2005, the fourth episode of a short-lived anthology series called Masters of Horror aired on Showtime. It had the misfortune to contain possibly the worst music ever attached to a television project and some of the laziest direction of the legendary Italian Giallo filmmaker, Dario Argento's career. The episode was titled "Jenifer" and unless you knew the source material, you could not have guessed that it was based on one of the great short horror comics not created by anyone named Mignola or Umezu or affiliated with 1950's EC Comics. "Jenifer," is so good that it's, I believe, the only comic of ten pages or less to make it into 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die, a book which accurately describes it as being "among the best" work in the legendary career of artist Bernie Wrightson.


Originally published in Warren Publishing's Creepy #62 from 1974, "Jenifer" concerns a man named Jim who, whilst on a back woods hunting trip, stumbles upon a madman about to murder a young woman with an axe. Jim shouts a warning for the crazed man to drop the axe, a warning that is summarily ignored. Jim shoots the man, who weeps as he dies in Jim's arms and utters a mournful final word, "J-Jenifer..." Jim unties the young woman and discovers that she is hideously disfigured. Overcoming his shock, he decides to bury the woman's attacker in a shallow bush grave for fear of his business being ruined if this grisly incident went to trial. Jim takes pity on poor deformed Jenifer, finding something hypnotic and "hideously compelling" in her bug eyes and saves her from being sent to some presumably hellish institution by actually adopting her...without informing his family first.

Oops.

Thus begins Jim's rapid downward spiral into a murderous, insane life with Jenifer. She kills his cat, attacks his wife and it is very strongly implied that she repeatedly rapes him. Jim's attempts to rid himself of this mysterious, monstrous figure leeching her way into his life end terribly, gruesomely. Descending into alcoholism, Jim soon realises that in her "full devastating potential" Jenifer is a problem that he must solve personally, in a climax that takes us full circle right back to the tragic beginning of the tale.


A very strong little script by veteran Bruce Jones is given extraordinary life by Bernie Wrightson. All of the artist's classic visual tricks are on display in "Jenifer," the odd angles, the shadows, the wide-eyed terror on his characters faces, the horrific monsters, the shocking violence (nobody has ever drawn axe-murderers quite like Wrightson), the Gothic shadows, the gnarled trees, the veiny, knobbly-knuckled hands and the figures hunched and shuffling, ruined and doomed by their own actions. It's possibly the perfect Wrightson primer - lacking the finesse and painstaking detail of his work illustrating Frankenstein, in which he gores full Gustav Doré, but providing literally everything else that made him not just a comics icon, but a legendary figure in Horror in total. It's dark and heady stuff too, like an EC Tales From The Crypt tale stripped of anything remotely close to a moral lesson and let off the chain to run screaming down the asylum halls.

Being genuinely scary is a thing comics finds difficult to do, but what the medium excels at in tales of this nature is creating a growing unease in a reader, a sense that reality is slipping sideways. There are few comics that can do this effectively and with such a short page count as "Jenifer," something that its television adaptors neglected to translate into their bloated, cheesy, effort. Collected in Dark Horse's Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson, which compiles all the artist's work for Warren's Creepy and Eerie titles, "Jenifer" stands head and shoulders above the rest of the material included - amongst which readers can also find excellent adaptations of Lovecraft and Poe, stunning frontispiece illustrations, further collaborations with Jones and a story co-illustrated with Howard Chaykin - and reinforces itself as a true horror comics classic.


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : ORIGINAL WRIGHTSON SWAMP THING ART

The excellent Bristol Board Tumblr has a wealth of Wrightson art for you to peruse at your leisure with this absolute nugget of horror comics gold chief amongst it. The entire eight pages of original art for the very first Swamp Thing story ever, from 1971's House of Secrets #92, are yours to enjoy. The precursor to the now classic Swamp Thing character of Alec Holland, this short comic was drawn several years before the above classic "Jenifer". All the hallmarks of the artist's work are here - the shadows, the angles, the veins, but even at this stage, Wrightson was still very much developing his style. There's the near photorealism of preceding legends like Alex Raymond. There's also a finer, scratchier line. 

"If tears could come, they would!" reads writer and Swamp Thing co-creator Len Wein's script, but the real reader sympathy for comics' best-loved creature comes not from Wein's words but from Wrightson's depiction of his muck-monster as a living, loving soul trapped in a shambling body that will not speak and with the unmistakably sad, wide eyes of something obviously human. A true classic that became a springboard to something even greater.




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : BERNIE WRIGHTSON SEGMENT FROM 1987 DOCUMENTARY THE MASTERS OF COMIC BOOK ART

"I always see it exactly the way I draw it," says Bernie Wrightson, "and the finished product is almost always like I had an opaque projector that was in my head projecting out through my eyes onto the paper. And all I do is trace the picture that I see." 

From 1987 comes this little slice of Wrightson in his studio (sadly not THE Studio...). Topics of discussion include bringing Batman into his Swamp Thing series, his remarkable Frankenstein work, how he creates, and what he conceives of as the very nature of horror itself - which is surprisingly subtle considering the shockingly violent nature of much of his horror images. This is a must-watch for not just Wrightson fans but for anyone looking for a window into the mind of a singular talent as a way to enhance their own creative output. A fitting way to say goodbye.



See you next week. Love your comics.



Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Comics For Wednesday 29th of March

 

 Fifth weeks in the past have been known to be a little flat...not this one! For starts there is this...


With the release of Lego Batman in cinemas later this week, we thought it would be nice to get our friends from the MUGs - Melbourne LEGO User Group down with some tubs of Lego to build with for our next next ALL STAR COMICS KIDS CLUB event. Check the event page for the details and updates throughout the week.

Hope to see you there!


And then just look at this list! 

After an incredible run Black Widow's final issue hits stores this week. So many lies and unanswered questions. Will Natasha finally be happy with the outcome in BLACK WIDOW #12?

What has become of the Inhumans after the earth chattering events of IVX? In this oversized issue we finally see the arrival of Marvel Boy and dark secrets begin to unravel in INHUMANS PRIME #1.

Get excited comic book fans as this week sees the return of crowd favourite XMen- Kitty Pryde and an all new beginning for the X-Men. The first of a huge range of new X-titles coming your way this year, what a great place to start with X-MEN PRIME #1.

Dreams really do come true in BATGIRL ANNUAL #1 when writter Hope Larson gives us an epic team up with Batgirl and Supergirl solving a mystery in an insane asylum. 

The old and the new are one in TITANS ANNUAL #1 as Dick, Wally, Donna and Garth come face to face with their Mentors when earth is under attack from and alien invasion.

Hey...you know how you like comics? And how you grew up watching Hanna Barbera cartoons? What if I told you that you could have it all with the most epic event in comics history coming this week.
Hanna Barbera DC Comics crossover. Zoinks!
Adam Strange has been blasted all the way to earth when he meets a scientist and his adventurous son. With prehistoric threats on the horizon can Jonny Quest, Hadji and Dr Quest get Adam Strange home again in ADAM STRANGE FUTURE QUEST SPECIAL #1?

Booster gold travels back to the stone age in BOOSTER GOLD FLINTSTONES SPECIAL #1. Can he convince Bedrock locals Fred and Barney to help him stop the invaders of earth or will be hit a chestnut tree?

Ding ding ding. Place your bets in the intergalactic battle between two of the galaxy's best interstellar space cops in GREEN LANTERN SPACE GHOST SPECIAL #1. Will either survive or will they just tear a hole in the space time continuum? 

Tra la laa, la la la laa, tra la laa, lalalala! Go bananas for the SUICIDE SQUAD BANANA SPLITS SPECIAL #1 as the iconic animal rock band of the 60s is mistaken as metahumans by Amanda Waller. Also a backup story of Snagglepuss living as a gothic playright. Exit stage right.

The unlikeliest of pals is about to paint the town red as Lobo and Harley Quinn begin a potentially deadly friendship in HARLEYS LITTLE BLACK BOOK #6.

From Jeff Lemire comes the tale of a simple farming life in a quiet town. Ex Spiral City champions bashied due to a multiversal crisis. As they try to rid them selves of purgatory a visit from a stranger stirs up old wounds in one of the sleeper hits of last year,
BLACK HAMMER TP VOL 01 SECRET ORIGINS.

It must be hard working at BPRD headquarters with dozens of monsters trying to destroy the building and the world every hour. Might be time to ask for some hlep, and who better to help than a demon in the conclusion to the current BPRD act,
BPRD HELL ON EARTH TP VOL 15 COMETH THE HOUR.

In HELLBLAZER TP VOL 01 THE POISON TRUTH (REBIRTH) John is back on the streets of London in this first collection of the Rebirth series, and he has a tough decision to make. Live a cursed immortal life or shift the curse to 8 million people, which would you pick?

Mary is just like most of us. hard working with little pay, no insurance and co workers that are a little mean...(but not at All Star of course...*cough*). What better way to counteract that than by being a super villain on the side is raise a few extra funds in HENCHGIRL TP.

For fans of the Netflix series looking for a great place to start reading then look no further than,
 IRON FIST LIVING WEAPON TP COMPLETE COLLECTION.

Can the Teen Titans work together to save one of their own or will darkness reign in iconic run from comic book master Geoff Johns in new collections of,
TEEN TITANS BY GEOFF JOHNS TP BOOK 01.

You know how you like Cole Sprouse in that TV Show Riverdale? Well there is a one shot coming out this week called JUGHEAD THE HUNGER ONE SHOT all about his sinister hunger for burgers. Written by Wolverine Writer Frank Tieri and in the vein of hit series Afterlife with Archie, it promises to be a feast for the eyes.

Yes! Finally the new SPACE RIDERS GALAXY OF BRUTALITY #1 is out this week. Did you read that first volume yet? An epic space adventure full of the most insane characters, colours and planets.

15 year old Astral Projectionist Boetema is in a bit of trouble after hurting a young man light years away. Encounter incredible planets and meet vibrant cultures as Boetema and her brother make their way across their world in AFAR TP.

Journey to the year 2048 to hear a beautiful story discussing the differences in the different generations in our ever shifting society in INTERVIEW HC.

The second last Invincible trade ever INVINCIBLE TP VOL 23. With Mark back from the past it's time for him to pick up the pieces of his life and move forward towards the end.

The award winning collection MOONSHOT VOL 01 INDIGENOUS COMICS COLL is out this week. With dozens of creators sharing stories about the heritage and identity of indigenous storytelling.

A tribute to one of the best OTOMO GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO THE GENIUS BEHIND AKIRA HC. What originally was only given out to attendees of the Angouleme comics festival in 2015, This epic book collects work from over 80 artists paying tribute to Otomo's most popular work, Akira.

It's tough becoming an adult. Sometimes it's important to sit back and laugh at things that out of our control and OUR CATS ARE MORE FAMOUS THAN US HC is a perfect example of that. Follow the life of two adults, 4 years and 8 cats.

Have you seen the Power Rangers movie yet? Did it leave you wanting more? Well we have got you covered with a new graphic novel set in the film universe.

STOP ASKING US! It's finally out this week SAGA TP VOL 07 .And if even one of you asks when volume 8 is out in the next week I think our collective brains are going to explode.

The erotic romantic comedy about two women, bondage and love get the deluxe hardcover treatment in SUNSTONE HC BOOK 01.

A new take on a cold war spy story. Brubaker and Epting's VELVET DLX ED HC tells the story of a woman who is not only a secretary in most top secret spy agency but also their greatest weapon, who is framed for a crime she didn't commit.

9 families have been manipulating society for far too long, it's time for someone else to take charge and bring the families out from the shadows in Dark Horse's CRYPTOCRACY TP.

Let's be honest. You are already going to buy this becuase it is the toy pack we have been asking for since the animated movie aired.

If you are only going to buy one statue in your entire life it should be the the  DC BOMBSHELLS THE FLASH JESSE QUICK STATUE. This iconic character has been given the Diner Roller Girl make over. Complete with skates, milkshake and pedal pushers.

Need some more Harley Quinn in your life? Well we've got you covered with an array of Amanda Connor designed crazy yet lovable versions of your favourite hammer wielding anti-hero HARLEY QUINN with the DESIGNER SERIES CONNER SPACESUIT HARLEY QUINN AF and DESIGNER SERIES CONNER TRADITIONAL HARLEY QUINN AF

For fans of 90s gross out humor and really well made toys you might want to check out the  MYSTERY MINIS GARBAGE PAIL KIDS SER 2 this week. *Fun fact- Did you know Art Spiegelman came up with the original concept of Garbage Pail kids?

Did you get all of that? Seriously, this is a week you are definitely want to make it in for. See something here you'd like stashed, just let us know before Wednesday morning for us to secure it for you. 

MARVEL
ALL NEW X-MEN #19
AVENGERS #5.1
BLACK WIDOW #12
DEADPOOL AND MERCS FOR MONEY #9
GHOST RIDER #5
GUIDE TO MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIV MARVELS DOCTOR STRA
INFAMOUS IRON MAN #6
INHUMANS PRIME #1
MAN-THING #2 (OF 5)
MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #3
OCCUPY AVENGERS #5
OLD MAN LOGAN #20
SPIDER-WOMAN #17
STAR-LORD #5
THANOS #5
THUNDERBOLTS #11
X-MEN PRIME #1

DC COMICS 
ADAM STRANGE FUTURE QUEST SPECIAL #1
BATGIRL ANNUAL #1
BOOSTER GOLD FLINTSTONES SPECIAL #1
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #8 (OF 9)
DOOM PATROL DIRECTORS CUT #1
GREEN LANTERN SPACE GHOST SPECIAL #1
HARLEYS LITTLE BLACK BOOK #6
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #3 (OF 12)
SUICIDE SQUAD BANANA SPLITS SPECIAL #1
TITANS ANNUAL #1

VERTIGO
CLEAN ROOM #17
UNFOLLOW #17

BOOM 
BACKSTAGERS #8 (OF 8)
JOYRIDE #11
LADYCASTLE #2
STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #2
WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2017 SPECIAL #1

DARK HORSE 
ALIENS DEFIANCE #10
ALIENS VS PREDATOR LIFE AND DEATH #4
CONAN THE SLAYER #7
ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #19
LOBSTER JOHNSON PIRATES GHOST #1
SERENITY NO POWER IN THE VERSE #6 (OF 6)
VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #2 (OF 5)

DYNAMITE
GARTH ENNIS RED TEAM DOUBLE TAP #8 (OF 9)
GRAND PASSION #4 (OF 5)
JAMES BOND HAMMERHEAD #6 (OF 6)

IDW
ANIMAL NOIR #2 (OF 4)
BACK TO THE FUTURE BIFF TO THE FUTURE #3 (OF 6)
COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS #5 (OF 6)
COSMIC SCOUNDRELS #2 (OF 5)
JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #24
MASK MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND #4
ORPHAN BLACK DEVIATIONS #1 (OF 6)
ROM #8
STAR TREK BOLDLY GO #6
TRANSFORMERS LOST LIGHT #4
TRANSFORMERS TILL ALL ARE ONE #8
X-FILES (2016) #12

IMAGE 
DEADLY CLASS #27
HADRIANS WALL #5
LAZARUS #26
MAYDAY #5 (OF 5)
MOONSHINE #6
OLD GUARD #2
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #26
POSTAL #19

ONI
RICK & MORTY #24

VALIANT 
DIVINITY III STALINVERSE #4
GENERATION ZERO #8
NINJAK #25

MISC
ANIMOSITY #6
CINEMA PURGATORIO #9
HARD CASE CRIME PEEPLAND #5 (OF 5)
HEATHEN #2
INSEXTS #10
JUGHEAD THE HUNGER ONE SHOT
QUANTUM TEENS ARE GO #2
REGGIE AND ME #4 (OF 5)
RIFT #3 (OF 4)
SPACE RIDERS GALAXY OF BRUTALITY #1

MAGAZINES 
IMAGE PLUS #12 (WALKING DEAD HERES NEGAN PT 12)
MARVEL PREVIEWS #21 APRIL 2017
PREVIEWS #343 APRIL 2017

TRADES
AFAR TP
ANIMAL CRACKERS HC GN
ANIMAL CRACKERS PREQUEL HC GN CIRCUS MAYHEM
ANNA & FROGA OUT AND ABOUT HC
ASSIGNMENT TP
ASTONISHING ANT-MAN TP VOL 03 TRIAL OF ANT-MAN
BATGIRL NEW HERO OF THE NIGHT YR SC
BLACK HAMMER TP VOL 01 SECRET ORIGINS
BPRD HELL ON EARTH TP VOL 15 COMETH THE HOUR
CAPTAIN AMERICA FALCON SECRET EMPIRE TP NEW PTG
CRYPTOCRACY TP
DARK HORSE NUMBER ONES TP
DOCTOR WHO 10TH TP VOL 05 ARENA OF FEAR
DOCTOR WHO 11TH HC VOL 06 MALIGNANT TRUTH
DOOM PATROL TP BOOK 03 (MR)
DUCK AVENGER NEW ADVENTURES TP BOOK 01
FLYING WITCH GN VOL 01
FOREVER SMURFETTE GN
GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ LOCKE & KEY COVERS ARTIST ED PORTFOLIO HC
HEAVENLY NOSTRILS CHRONICLE GN VOL 05 UNICORN CROS
HELLBLAZER TP VOL 01 THE POISON TRUTH (REBIRTH)
HENCHGIRL TP
HILLBILLY TP VOL 01
HOCUS FOCUS BOOK HC
HOW HE-MAN MASTERED THE UNIVERSE TOY TO TV TO BIG
INTERVIEW HC
INVINCIBLE TP VOL 23
IRON FIST LIVING WEAPON TP COMPLETE COLLECTION
JUDGE DREDD EVERY EMPIRE FALLS TP
MARQUIS OF ANAON GN VOL 05 CHAMBER OF CHEOPS
MOONSHOT VOL 01 INDIGENOUS COMICS COLL
OTOMO GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO THE GENIUS BEHIND AKIRA HC
OUR CATS ARE MORE FAMOUS THAN US HC
SABAN POWER RANGERS AFTERSHOCK MOVIE GN PREVIEWS E
SAGA TP VOL 07
SPIDER-MAN COMPLETE CLONE SAGA EPIC TP VOL 03 NEW PTG
SPIDER-MAN MILES MORALES TP VOL 02
STAR SCOUTS GN VOL 01
SUNSTONE HC BOOK 01
SUPERGIRL BY PETER DAVID TP BOOK 02
TEEN TITANS BY GEOFF JOHNS TP BOOK 01
TORCHWOOD TP VOL 01 WORLD WITHOUT END
VELVET DLX ED HC
WONDER WOMAN & THE JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA TP VOL 0
X-MEN EPIC COLLECTION TP SECOND GENESIS

MERCH
BATMAN ANIMATED BATMAN ROBIN MUTANT 3 PACK
DC BOMBSHELLS THE FLASH JESSE QUICK STATUE
DESIGNER SERIES CONNER SPACESUIT HARLEY QUINN AF
DESIGNER SERIES CONNER TRADITIONAL HARLEY QUINN AF
MARVEL BLACK PANTHER ADULT COSTUME COWL MASK
MARVEL DAREDEVIL ADULT COWL MASK
MYSTERY MINIS GARBAGE PAIL KIDS SER 2 12PC BMB DIS

BACK IN STOCK BTTF MARTY HAT REPLICA

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GHOST IN THE SHELL PREVIEW DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.



Thanks to those tech savvy folks from Paramount Pictures and GHOST IN THE SHELL "In cinemas March 30th", we have 5 Double Passes to a Special Themed Preview Screening at Village Cinemas Crown on Wednesday 29th March, guest arrival at 6:00pm and start at 6:30pm to give away!

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "Even without cybernetic upgrades, _______ is still pretty ace " filling the blank with a tag of the person you think is perfect just the way they are and you will be entered in the draw.


SPECIAL NOTE: 
This screening will be shown in 3D and As this prize is for a specific time and date, please only enter if you can attend the screening. 

Terms and Conditions:
-Only entries made via the comments on the Facebook post will be included in the draw.
-All entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.
-Entries close 6pm Monday the 27th of March and winners will be announced Tuesday the 28th and notified soon after as to how to collect their tickets.

A huge thanks again to Paramount Pictures and GHOST IN THE SHELL in cinemas March 30th.




Monday, March 20, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MARCH 21ST


BERNIE WRIGHTSON RIP

Just terrible news to begin with this week, as the legendary horror artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away following a battle with brain cancer. 

In his foreword to Creepy Presents: Bernie Wrightson, writer and frequent Wrightson collaborator Bruce Jones writes: “Bernie Wrightson is one of the best-known comic book artists of the twentieth century”and this is certainly true, blessed as he was with the gift of rendering the macabre with odd grace and beauty. His art is immediately recognisable, with his fine-lined, long-limbed figures emerging from swaths of shadowy black, looking at times as though they were engravings rather than pen and ink. 

Among a litany of achievements, Wrightson co-created Swamp Thing, one of comics most enduring horror icons, with writer Len Wein, in the pages of House of Mystery and his ten-issue run on the original Swamp Thing series which subsequently debuted remains a visual highpoint for the character's long history. He worked on Heavy Metal, providing the strip Captain Sternn, more than holding his own amongst the other legendary artists the magazines published at that time. He provided thrillingly gory illustrations for Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf novella and fifty absolutely stunning illustrations for his own edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. That project took seven years to complete and may in fact be his most famously iconic artwork. He drew Batman: The Cult for DC working with writer Jim Starlin and he spent a number of years over at Warren, illustrating for Creepy and Eerie, during which time he drew the enduring short classic,"Jenifer," scripted by Bruce Jones, which we shall look at next week as part of an all-Wrightson column.

Rest In Peace, Bernie, you were a Titan in your field and like other masters, Kirby, Tezuka, Moebius, Davis among them, your work will live forever.


In less saddening news, I hope you've had a chance to start watching the latest comics-based series to make its way to Netflix this week, a mix of Asian-styled action and quiet character building. 

Yes, I'm talking about Samurai Gourmet! 

Based on the still-ongoing manga series, Nobushi no Gourmet by Masayuki Kusumi and Shigeru Tsuchiyama, Samurai Gourmet follows the gastronomic adventures of retired salaryman Takeshi Kasumi as he decides to enjoy his quiet years by indulging in food and drink. This newfound freedom from corporate life unleashes an "inner persona" within him, that of a hedonistic wandering samurai who loves nothing more than hearty food and booze-based indulgence. 
Yes, it is really, really goofy and also totally food porny, but it's also pretty charming and with episodes coming in at under 20 minutes, I found it a nice palate cleanser from the rather languid pace and formulaic plotting of the first two episodes of that other comic-based Netflix show that debuted Friday night. Give it a shot but be warned: it will make you hungry.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : GIVE ME LIBERTY
By Frank Miller & Dave Gibbons
Published By Dark Horse

"The media is lying to you, my friends. They forged that bullsh--that alleged Executive Order." 

There are moments in Give Me Liberty, such as the above quote from the character of President Nissen, that feel far too politically on the nose to be coming from a comic book published in 1990. For a while, I've been thinking about re-reading the title (which I haven't plucked off the shelf for possibly two decades) as part of a vain but ongoing attempt to find an older comic that's the most searing piece of funnybook clairvoyance imaginable, a comic seemingly beamed from the past like a colourful lost warning. 
In Give Me Liberty, we do indeed have a contender.

Martha Washington is a young black girl living in the hellhole that is the Cabrini Green housing project, an ominous green concrete box of a facility, more prison than apartment block in which its underprivileged black residents are forced to exist, living their lives in tiny square apartments, the youth educated on site largely by teachers equally trapped by their environment and social situation. The President, there are two over the course of the story, is named Rexall. He's an ageing, white-haired white man with the leering grin of the charismatic sociopath and the arrogance to amend the constitution to allow him to be President for as long as he wants the job even as the country fractures and splinters around him. 

Immediately, you'll see the satire is not subtle - underprivileged black people living hand to mouth in a squalid, neglected, crime-ridden urban environment, lorded over by a Caucasian Presidential figure more obsessed with his own popularity than doing anything of real substance. Frank Miller has never been one for subtlety, however, and Give Me Liberty is obviously no exception. Miller's form of satire has always been somewhat Kirbyised - big and bold with its message glaring - culminating, perhaps, in the nauseating Holy Terror from a just over a decade after Give Me Liberty was first published, a stunning and worrying project vile in its anti-Islamic hatred and juvenile in its attempt to function as pulp propaganda. However, when Miller's on, his satire works and there's much of it on display in Give Me Liberty, which we'll come to in a minute along with a notable misstep.

Miller and Gibbons would chart Martha Washington's entire life over a series of books, collected in the soon-to-be-reprinted The Life and Times of Martha Washington in The Twenty-First Century. It's her debut in Give Me Liberty that's the strongest of the material however, particularly early, with Martha escaping Cabrini Green and joining PAX - a militarised "peace corps" sent out to fight the President's wars. With President Nissen replacing the despotic Rexall after a surprising turn of events, the new environmentally-conscious Commander in Chief pulls troops from Central America, Cuba, Israel, Pakistan and Indochina, ending wars that saw America cast from the UN, and puts them into Brazil's Amazon where international Fast Food corporations are decimating the forest. So begins some of the comic's most striking sequences of artwork by the legendary Dave Gibbons as PAX and Big Boy Burger go to war. The Amazonian combat scenes are expertly constructed with the beautiful and lush greenery on display at all times juxtaposed with fairly realistic wartime violence of headshots and parachuting troops blown from the skies. 


Miller, too, skilfully balances the horror of war with the absurdity of his satire. The above images somehow fit perfectly next to scenes of PAX helicopters battling an immense Big Boy Burger mascot firing machine guns from its mouth. The satire is not always this sharp, however. Later in the book comes The Aryan Thrust, a gay Nazi terrorist organisation, in a jokey scene that bombs pretty badly and may even cause some offence in 2017. Thankfully, even later comes some expertly satirised fascism in the form of pneumatic blonde and blue-eyed clones, neatly uniformed and serving at the whim of their dashingly attired but hideously motivated Colonel Moretti as he oversees his own war from his ridiculously phallic space station. Again - it's not subtle, but kind of hilarious.

If you haven't figured it out by now the men, to be clear -- the white men -- in power are weak. Even Nissen, the great white hope of America, succumbs to his demons. The males in charge are given to corruption, megalomania and substance abuse, either abusing the constitution for their own political thirst or given to drunken rage at the threat of scandal or ruthlessly murdering anyone in their way. Against them stands Martha Washington, risen up from the projects and the trauma of her childhood. In her, Miller and Gibbons give us the ultimate "everyman" -- a grounded and very real heroine to hang the outrageousness of their story on. 
The second edition of The Life and Times of Martha Washington in The Twenty-First Century arrives this June, I believe, compiling the character's entire life and her numerous adventures. Whatever Frank Miller has or has not become, the importance of this particular creation cannot be overstated. There were not too many comics in 1990 that featured a young, female, black lead and certainly none of them came with the creative clout and reputation of Martha's makers. Further down the screen, you'll find this week's video featuring Aimee Cox, a black scholar and writer, framing Martha with not just reference to her as part of the "super-hero" world but as a powerful symbol of resistance and empowerment. It's not the dead-on reflection of 2017 I'm searching for in older comics, but in many ways, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a close as we get.




WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : PUNK ROCK FLYERS BY LOS BROS HERNANDEZ

What's this? Oh, only an excellent collation of flyers for '80s punk gigs drawn by two of the world's greatest cartoonists, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez of Love & Rockets fame. 
Thanks, Vice. 




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : AIMEE COX ON MARTHA WASHINGTON

Here, to round us out and bring us full circle, is a wonderful nine minute video featuring Aimee Cox discussing just how powerful a character Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons' Martha Washington actually is. Cox, a black feminist scholar and author of Shapeshifters, a book about young black women in a Detroit homeless shelter, has quite a bit to say about Martha and all of it good. Embracing Martha's "averageness" as a human is key, Cox suggests, in understanding how inspiring she is. Martha, born poor, raised tough, is frequently thrust into life-threatening situations with little more than her own wits and gumption to get her through. To Cox, Martha represents a "roadmap to the complications of being human" and, ultimately, there's nothing more admirable about Miller and Gibbons' creation than this, particularly, as Cox notes, for any young black people who happen to read her adventures.




See you next week. Love your comics.



Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.