Monday, February 20, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR FEBRUARY 21ST


R.I.P JIRO TANIGUCHI 


I had literally just emailed off last week's column when I found out that Jiro Taniguchi had died. Taniguchi was yet another manga artist underappreciated by western publishers, with the vast bulk of his body of work still untranslated and the smattering of English books printed in scant supply. Taniguchi was adept at action and suspense (The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories for example), but if you can find it, I recommend hunting down his beautiful The Walking Man, published by Ponent Mon in 2014, a virtually plotless series of tales featuring a character who just simply likes going for walks. It is, hands down, the single most relaxing and therapeutic comic you will ever read - making even last year's chill-fest, Tom Gauld's Mooncop, look like the next Star Wars film in comparison. Taniguchi's work was never nothing less than beautiful and his intricate detail is on full display in The Walking Man, his entreaty for us all to just slow down, take in the day, take in our surroundings, step outside ourselves and remember that we are a part of something far more beautifully huge than the trappings of our own minds and bodies. 


The Walking Man, for me anyway, not only functions as a clarion call for Japanese society to remain connected with the beautiful natural surrounding they've been blessed with, but also as something of anti-manga, a rebellion against the speed readers who plough through page after page of Shonen Jump on the train without pause, and a deliberate attempt to expunge not just motion (most ubiquitously found in the form of lazy speed lines) from the page but also conflict and even action. The Walking Man is about taking everything in to the fullest, each moment, savouring it, even the process of reading itself. Every illustrated motion, from the popping open of a can of drink to even every single stride the character makes, appears frozen in time, still, whole, complete and utterly calming. It is actually one of my favourite comics of all time, far cleverer than it appears and at times meditative to the point of inducing near trance. It's the Music For Airports of comics. Rest in the most placid and tranquil of peace, Jiro Taniguchi, it is well earned.


Now from the departure of one master to the arrival of another...


COMIC OF THE WEEK : MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS VOL.1
By Emil Ferris
Published By Fantagraphics

It's Chicago, 1968. A young misfit of a girl named Karen Reyes loves art, but her absolute favourite thing is monsters. Karen identifies with monsters on a deep level, she's able to distinguish between the good monsters and the bad, and the freak-loser-misfit tag she's saddled with socially gives her a degree of empathy for beings such as the Frankenstein Monster that others her age likely do not possess. She desperately wants to be turned into a literal monster, making her outsider status complete and giving her the power and strength she struggles to find day-to-day. She scribbles away in her notebooks, copying the covers to monster magazines of the period, and is taught to draw by her elder brother, Diego "Deeze" Reyes. Deeze is himself something of an outcast with his heavily tattooed skin and constant drinking, yet he easily maintains his status as the local heartthrob. He's an incessant womaniser, stringing along a parade of local women with his handsome features and "bad guy" rebel attitude. The Reyes siblings are raised by a single parent, a mother who is superstitious to the point of obsession, heavily religious, but also deeply loving. They are a weird but obviously tight-knit little family but there is secret, hidden family tragedy waiting to fracture their closeness.

Karen is not shown much kindness in her life outside of her little family. Her best friend (who she deeply loves) has turned her back on her in a quest for popularity and peer acceptance and her bullying is near constant. What little kindness there is comes in the form of her upstairs neighbour, the eccentric Anka Silverberg, a Jewish WWII survivor who nurtures Karen's artistic streak and gives her odd gifts such as balled up pieces of bread. When Anka is brutally murdered, Karen is determined to solve the mystery. She begins keeping the company of Anka's stern, elderly husband, Sam. Drunk and grief-stricken, Sam Silverberg pulls out a cassette tape on which Anka reveals her incredible life story, in which clues to her gruesome death abound.

It's a rare thing to find an artist arriving as fully formed as Emil Ferris. She grew up in what basically amounts to Karen's neighbourhood in the '60s and lived in a diverse and vibrant outsider community (see this week's webcomic below for the sourcing of her biographical information). There is much of Karen in Ferris and this is perhaps why My Favorite Thing Is Monsters feels, much of the time, so painfully real. Ferris had scoliosis and much of her childhood was subsequently spent virtually immobile. Hunchbacked as a result of her condition, Ferris too had a natural affinity for the monsters of film and magazine as well as, obviously, a love of art. Her beautiful, scratchy lines reveal a smorgasbord of influences, yet I'm not sure that there's ever been anything quite like this in comics before and if there has, it surely has not been executed with such unbelievable skill.


My Favourite Thing Is Monsters is told in the form of Karen's scribbled notebooks. The vast majority of it is drawn in biro, and pretty much the rest of it in fineliner, with the odd excursion into brush, wash and (possibly) colour pencil. Every page looks as though it's come from an A4 lined notepad, complete with red margin line running vertically down the page, evenly spaced blue lines horizontally and even faux hole punch marks and a spiral binding. There's urgency on the pages, but Ferris maintains deep control of her images throughout. Ferris is fond of cross-hatching a fine lattice of multi-coloured biro lines on her characters, creating soft yet striking contours and textures and depths. Karen herself is drawn almost totally throughout as a little werewolf girl, almost like something from Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are gone mystery-solver, her diminished, devolved image of herself near total even as she wears her "monstrous" outsider status as something of a badge of pride. Anka Silverberg is a bombshell. Consistently the most realistically drawn figure in the book, her piercing eyes frequently have something of the ubiquitous gaze about them, peering out intensely from the page. Anka's story is engrossing, cutting across decades, and it's a testament to Ferris' writing skills just how easily her story flips between coming of age drama to mystery to horror and back again so seamlessly, never losing sight of her characters' humanity and keeping her story firmly on the tracks. 

It's worth reinforcing just how good the writing actually is. As an art object alone, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a rousing success but coupled with the beauty and frequent poetry of its words, it becomes something really, truly special. It is wonderfully plotted, but also beautifully scripted, each character's voice distinctive and uniquely articulate. The complete package is so compelling I lugged it around with me for three days (it is large and, at 360 pages, it is heavy) until it was finished, the book gathering astonished double-takes from tram commuters sitting opposite along the way, some of whom, I'm sure, assumed I was literally reading some wunderkind's literal exercise book doodles.

Originally slated for release last October (the copies were stuck at sea after the freight company went broke - no, seriously), it's been a long journey for Ferris' epic book. Six years of work went into creating this project and its first massive half reveals itself to be a dense, sprawling slab of innovative, beautiful and restlessly creative comics, rich in character and history and symbol and myth and a multitude of genres, expertly and lovingly put onto the page. 


Unfortunately, we have to wait until this Halloween for the concluding half of Emil Ferris' debut project, a length of time that seems cruelly long but maybe just long enough to soak in her pages and really appreciate just want she's somehow accomplished with Volume 1. Even with the buzz and the weight of prolonged expectation, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is page after page of just shockingly great comics. There is more to unpack here, much more, from Karen's African-American friend and Frankenstein stand-in Franklin, to WWII-era occultism, to the destructive nature of secrets. But all of that is for you to discover. Consider My Favorite Thing Is Monsters essential and indispensible. 



WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : THE BITE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
By Emil Ferris

If you're not sold by now, here is a typically beautiful webcomic Emil Ferris made to both detail the circumstances under which My Favorite Thing Is Monsters was created (spoiler: tough and long) and to promote its long-delayed release. "The Bite That Changed My Life" features the gorgeous biro crosshatched lattices that are sure to be Ferris' trademark and her unique almost mural-like approach to many of her pages. For even more Ferris, check out this lengthy interview with her over at The Comics Journal. It's noted therein that she's somewhat reclusive, so the frankness and openness on display in "The Bite That Changed My Life" is made all the more surprising.
Wonderful stuff.



COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962)

Settle in, boils and ghouls, for a creepy feature-length classic that My Favorite Thing Is Monsters' protagonist Karen Reyes actually watches towards the tail end of volume one, the 1962 cult classic Carnival of Souls. Quick synopsis for the uninitiated: Mary survives a drag race gone wrong and winds up in a creepy little town with no memory of how she actually survived the deadly accident. Thus begins a series of creepily paranormal incidents and interaction with provincial weirdos, all leading to a spooooooky twist ending. It's a can't miss, basically.



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, February 18, 2017

New Comics For Wednesday 22nd of February


WHAT A WEEK!
This shipment is just clock full of amazing releases before we even get to this weekend's All Star Women’s Comic Book Club meet up!




 Happening this Saturday FEBRUARY 25TH from 5pm-6:30pm, join the club and meet new friends and talk about comics including the book of the month PAPERGIRLS TP 01.
You'll also find the MAKE YOUR OWN COMIC BOOK MARK-CRAFTING TABLE and a COMIC BOOK SWAP on that afternoon, as well to get in the spirit of the 80's setting of Papergirls, there is a 80's dress theme for those interested. For all the details just have a look HERE.
Hopefully see you there.

Then on the following weekend, the 4th of March...it's about that time again



THE ALL STAR COMIC BACK ISSUE AND TOY FAIR!
Mixing things up a little, it's a massive in store event to help you complete your collection or perhaps help starting a new one!
For all the details head to the event page HERE.

And then...COMICS!

Could you co-exist with Demons? In a world inhabited with characters of the underworld, follow Detective Daniel Ashton as he treads the thin blue line and will sacrifice anything to save his daughter in DARKNESS VISIBLE #1.

There can be only ONE in HIGHLANDER AMERICAN DREAM #1. Catch a glimpse into the past of Scottish swordsman Connor MacLeod as he navigates through the American Civil War and 1950's Manhattan in the lead up to "The Gathering".

Are you as EXCITED as we are for then new Zelda game! Well have a journey into the legend in this must have complete collection of illustrations and concept art in LEGEND OF ZELDA ART & ARTIFACTS HC.

A new revelation of HELLBOY's past comes to light in VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #1 (OF 5). An unnoticed visitor was sent at Hellboy's conjuring and was task to take out the beast, but something stayed his hand. Find out what in this new series written by Mike Mignola!

Greg Rucka (Lazarus, Black Magick) starts of a new series in OLD GUARD #1 with critically acclaimed artist Leandro Fernandez (The Discipline, Punisher: MAX). A story of old soldiers who never die, but what happens when their past eventually catches up to these immortal mercenaries? Will it shed light on why they can't die? Or kill them?

More Rucka with his returns to Wonder Woman! What tragedy has befallen the Princess of the Amazons? And why has it stopped her famed Lasso of Truth from working? Find out in WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 01 THE LIES (REBIRTH).
Then are you looking forward to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie? Did you dig the costume from BvS? Why not celebrate with this beautifully sculpted statue BATMAN V SUPERMAN DOJ WONDER WOMAN STATUE.

Robo space adventure, paranormal skateboarding, breakdancing, and social swordplay! It's almost too much too handle! Find out how they've jam packed so much into this Shoen-jump style comics anthology SUN BAKERY #1.

Hang on Lobo's joined the JLA!? And Killer Frost!? Find out why Batman has assembled such an extreme team in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1.

What better place to drown your past than the bright neon, noisy, sensory overload of Las Vegas! As Elektra tries to turn a new leaf in ELEKTRA #1, can she truly escape her violent past when a new player hits the town with her firmly in his sights?

Anthropomorphic magically adventures abound in the new volume of Kurt Busiek's epic fantasy hits the shelves in AUTUMNLANDS TP VOL 02 WOODLAND CREATURES. Can young dog-wizard Dusty and the Great Champion survive the mountains to find the secrets to help save the world?

The first "Bat Family" crossover of the Rebirth titles hits in BATMAN NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN HC. As chaos encompasses Gotham when corpses are mysteriously revived into giant monsters! It'll take all of the family to save Gotham!

A forgotten Cosmic classic by Jim Starlin, featuring early Mike Mignola artwork gets a deluxe hardcover treatment in COSMIC ODYSSEY DELUXE EDITION HC.

It's been a wild ride since the start of Aaron and Bachalo's Stephen Strange run but this arc kicks it up a gear with the Doctor under attack from a different arch nemesis every issue in DOCTOR STRANGE PREM HC VOL 03 BLOOD IN AETHER.

The much loved and celebrated puppetry masterpiece has a renewed life in the sequel we thought we'd never get to see in JIM HENSON POWER OF DARK CRYSTAL #1 (OF 12).

The popular new cartoon series returns to comics to BOOM Studios with STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #1.

Writer/artist Gabriel Hardman delves into a done in one horror tale BELFRY (ONE-SHOT) that hints that may just strip you of your humanity....spoooooky!

A fan of the TV hit Vikings or Brian Woods Northlanders? Then you are going to want to pick up HEATHEN #1, the tale of a Viking warrior Aydis who leaves her home to embark on a quest to take out a corrupt God-King!

Grant Morrison, Paul Pope, Dave McKean, Bill Sienkiewicz, Farel Dalrymple, Yuko Shimizu, David Mack. Excited yet? An all star lineup of creators interpret the timeless tales of the Gift of Fire in PROMETHEUS ETERNAL ONE SHOT.

Black Mask Comics unleashes their latest with the science teens go nuts in QUANTUM TEENS ARE GO #1.

Furthering the adventures the classic Capcom VS arcade games, this week see the start of the bout of pixel heavy weights in STREET FIGHTER VS DARKSTALKERS #0.

With the Ghost in the Shell movie almost here, why not revisit the classic manga printed for the first time with traditional Japanese right to left reading, in English collected in two hardcover volumes, GHOST IN SHELL DLX RTL HC ED VOL 01 and GHOST IN SHELL DLX RTL HC ED VOL 02.
As well as a special release for the first time collecting the "lost" stores by Shirow Masamune after completing the original manga series, GHOST IN THE SHELL 1.5 DLX RTL HC ED.

The second part of the hugely underrated Warren Ellis' Bond series delivers yet again on high thrill spy espionage in JAMES BOND HC VOL 02 EIDOLON.

The new Riverdale series is a true teen soap opera delight but if you are bit more of a purest the new JUGHEAD TP VOL 02 should make you happy.

Holy swords and space invaders in this Kingdom of Heaven meets Aliens mini, LAKE OF FIRE TP.

Much anticipated new volume of OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 04 reveals both answers and secrets when Kyle Barnes and Sidney have conversation that will change everything!

Penny Dreadful might be done but you get go deeper in the backstory with this prequel collected in PENNY DREADFUL TP. Revealing the events that lead to Vanessa to try and find childhood friend Mina Harker, the true nature of the vampiric that infest Victorian London is exposed.

Another writer/artist, Gregg Schigiel this week get to re-release his all age superhero tale in the graphic novel, PIX TP VOL 01 ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND.

Hit TV and comic series Rick and Morty gets a sweet little mini series starring everyone's favourite incepted pal Mr. Poopybutthole, who teams up with Summer in RICK & MORTY LIL POOPY SUPERSTAR TP VOL 01.

Social media starlets, friendships, allergies, anxieties and manslaught is all up for grabs in the first collection of Scott Pilgrim, Bryan Lee O'Malley's latest, SNOTGIRL TP VOL 01 GREEN HAIR DONT CARE.

Which is nicely timed with the release of again another artist/writer, Vanessa Davis' autobiographical comic SPANIEL RAGE GN that is filled with self-deprecating anecdotes about her anxieties and truths about the contradictions of living in one of the world's biggest cities, New York.

Masters Of The Universe meets M.U.S.C.L.E figures. A more perfect pairing of 80's toylines is hard to imagine. The Super 7 gangs do it again with the next MOTU MUSCLE FIGURES WAVE 2 PACKA, PACK B, PACK C and PACK D.

The Loyal Subject's are at it again with this rad new line of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with their TLS X MMPR ACTION VINYL 16PC BMB DIS WV 1 line. Can you assemble the whole team?

And there you have it. What a week. Spot something else there you aren't already down for but need us to stash? Just be sure to let us know before Wednesday morning and we'll get it sorted.


MARVEL
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24 CC
AVENGERS #4.1
BLACK PANTHER #11
CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #12
CHAMPIONS #1.MU
DEADPOOL THE DUCK #4 (OF 5)
ELEKTRA #1
ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM #5 (OF 5)
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #19 IVX
GHOST RIDER #4
GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #5
HULK #3
INFAMOUS IRON MAN #5
IVX #5 (OF 6)
MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #2
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #16
MOSAIC #5
OCCUPY AVENGERS #4
PROWLER #5 CC
ROCKET RACCOON #3
SCARLET WITCH #15
SOLO #5
SPIDER-GWEN #17
SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL #14
SPIDER-WOMAN #16
THANOS #4
THUNDERBOLTS #10
UNCANNY AVENGERS #20

DC COMICS
ACTION COMICS #974 VAR ED
BATGIRL #8 VAR ED
BATMAN 66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN 77 #2 (OF 6)
BATMAN BEYOND #5 VAR ED
BLUE BEETLE #6 VAR ED
DEATHSTROKE #13 VAR ED
DETECTIVE COMICS #951 VAR ED
FLASH #17 VAR ED
FUTURE QUEST #10 VAR ED
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #15 VAR ED
HELLBLAZER #7 VAR ED
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #2 (OF 12) VAR ED
SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #23
SUICIDE SQUAD #12 VAR ED
SUPERGIRL BEING SUPER #2 (OF 4)
TEEN TITANS #5 VAR ED
WONDER WOMAN #17 VAR ED

VERTIGO
ASTRO CITY #41
CLEAN ROOM #16
FROSTBITE #6 (OF 6)

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME COMICS #8
BACKSTAGERS #7 (OF 8)
JIM HENSON POWER OF DARK CRYSTAL #1 (OF 12)
JOYRIDE #10
SLAM #4
STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #1

DARK HORSE
ALIENS VS PREDATOR LIFE AND DEATH #3
SERENITY NO POWER IN THE VERSE #5 (OF 6)
VISITOR HOW AND WHY HE STAYED #1 (OF 5)

IDW
ANGRY BIRDS FLIGHT SCHOOL #1
BACK TO THE FUTURE #17
BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #1 DIRECTORS CUT
DARKNESS VISIBLE #1
DIRK GENTLY SALMON OF DOUBT #5
HIGHLANDER AMERICAN DREAM #1
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #51
OCTOBER FACTION DEADLY SEASON #5
OPTIMUS PRIME #4
REVOLUTIONARIES #2
STAR TREK GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 #3
STARSTRUCK OLD PROLDIERS NEVER DIE #1 (OF 6)
TMNT UNIVERSE #7
TRANSFORMERS LOST LIGHT #3

IMAGE
BEAUTY #12
BELFRY (ONE-SHOT)
BLACK ROAD #7
CURSE WORDS #2 CVR C IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
DESCENDER #19 CVR B IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
DRIFTER #17
FEW #2 CVR B IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
FIX #8
LOOSE ENDS #2 (OF 4)
MAYDAY #4 (OF 5)
MONSTRESS #10 CVR B IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
OLD GUARD #1
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #25 CVR B IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
REVIVAL #47 CVR B IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
SHE WOLF #6
SHUTTER #27
STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #21
SUN BAKERY #1
SURGEON X #6

ONI
INVADER ZIM #17
LETTER 44 #30
MEGA PRINCESS #4
MOTRO #4 (OF 10)
RICK & MORTY #23

VALIANT
DIVINITY III STALINVERSE #3
HARBINGER RENEGADE #4

MISC
DISNEY PIXAR CARS #1
FOGGY NOTIONS
HEATHEN #1
HOOKJAW #3 (OF 5)
JUGHEAD #13
PROMETHEUS ETERNAL ONE SHOT
QUANTUM TEENS ARE GO #1
ROUGH RIDERS ON THE STORM #1
SKEPTICS #4
STREET FIGHTER VS DARKSTALKERS #0
TANK GIRL GOLD #4 (OF 4)

TRADES
ALEX TOTH BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE ARTIST ED HC
ALL NEW X-MEN TP VOL 03 INEVITABLE HELL HATH SO MUCH FURY
AUTUMNLANDS TP VOL 02 WOODLAND CREATURES
BATGIRL AN ADULT COLORING BOOK TP
BATMAN BEYOND TP VOL 03 WIRED FOR DEATH
BATMAN NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN HC
BRITANNIA TP
CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS III TP
CARE BEARS PUZZLING PATH GN
COSMIC ODYSSEY DELUXE EDITION HC
CROSSED PLUS 100 TP VOL 03
DAREDEVIL BACK IN BLACK TP VOL 03 DARK ART
DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION TP BROTHER TAKE MY HAND
DEADPOOL BACK IN BLACK TP
DECELERATE BLUE GN
DOCTOR STRANGE PREM HC VOL 03 BLOOD IN AETHER
DOCTOR WHO 12TH TP VOL 04 SCHOOL OF DEATH
EDGAR BURROUGHS TARZAN JESSE MARSH OMNIBUS TP VOL 01
ELEKTRA BY MILLIGAN HAMA AND DEODATO JR COMP COLLECT TP
FRUITS BASKET COLLECTORS ED TP VOL 10
GHOST IN SHELL DLX RTL HC ED VOL 01
GHOST IN SHELL DLX RTL HC ED VOL 02
GHOST IN THE SHELL 1.5 DLX RTL HC ED
GREEN LANTERN THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS HC VOL 01
HAPPINESS GN VOL 03
HILO GN VOL 03 GREAT BIG BOOM
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FIVE HC VOL 02
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FIVE TP VOL 01
INUYASHIKI GN VOL 06
IRWIN ALLEN LOST IN SPACE HC VOL 02
JACKBOOT & IRONHEEL TP
JAMES BOND HC VOL 02 EIDOLON
JUGHEAD TP VOL 02
LAKE OF FIRE TP
LEGEND OF ZELDA ART & ARTIFACTS HC
MISTRY PI TP VOL 01
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 04
PENNY DREADFUL TP
PIX TP VOL 01 ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND
PUNISHER AND BULLSEYE TP DEADLIEST HITS
RICK & MORTY LIL POOPY SUPERSTAR TP VOL 01
SHAFT IMITATION OF LIFE TP
SMURFS GN VOL 20 DOCTOR SMURF
SMURFS MONSTERS GN
SNOTGIRL TP VOL 01 GREEN HAIR DONT CARE
SPANIEL RAGE GN
SUPERMAN BATMAN TP VOL 05
TOKYO GHOUL GN VOL 11
TRANSFORMERS IDW COLL PHASE 2 HC VOL 05
VINTAGE ROMANCE COMIC BOOK COVERS COLORING BOOK TP
WARHAMMER 40K EXTERMINATUS GN (C: 0-1-2)
WOLVERINE VS DEADPOOL TP
WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 01 THE LIES (REBIRTH)

MERCH
BATMAN V SUPERMAN DOJ WONDER WOMAN STATUE
DC GALLERY JLA TAS BLACK CANARY PVC FIGURE
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW FIRESTORM AF
MOTU MUSCLE FIGURES WAVE 2 PACK A
MOTU MUSCLE FIGURES WAVE 2 PACK B
MOTU MUSCLE FIGURES WAVE 2 PACK C
MOTU MUSCLE FIGURES WAVE 2 PACK D

TLS X MMPR ACTION VINYL 16PC BMB DIS WV 1

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

RINGS DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before… 


Thanks to the unnerved folks from Paramount Pictures and the RINGS in cinemas February 23rd, we have 5 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 pledge not to wuss out and watch Rings if ______ is sitting alongside me " fill the blank with a tag of the person you'd feel most comfortable being terrified with 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 20th of February and winners will be announced Tuesday the 21st and notified soon after as to how to collect their tickets.


A huge thanks again to Paramount Pictures and the RINGS in cinemas February 23rd.
For more info head to www.RingsMovie.com.au
©2016 Par. Pics. 






Monday, February 13, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR FEBRUARY 14TH



Love. It takes many forms. If I could hand out a monstrously oversized heart-shaped box filled with novelty chocolate to anyone this Valentine's Day it would likely be to Amazon Studios who last week announced the details of something called Too Old To Die Young, a new TV series by none other than Nicolas Winding Refn and Ed Brubaker. There's your perfect match right there. The series will see an ensemble of characters and follow their "existential journeys from becoming killers to samurais in the city of angels." Aside from the fact that I'm pretty sure the plural of samurai is actually samurai, this is a flawless, exciting announcement and a perfect creative pairing. Set your clocks for 2018.

In the meantime, kisses for all. Here are some comics you should read. Mwah.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : THE DISSOLVING CLASSROOM
By Junji Ito
Published By Vertical

The famous customary politeness of Japanese people is largely built around the frequent and near-constant stream of apologies you'll both hear and speak during any given day. Witness this article on the art of the apology, Sumimasen: The Most Useful Word in The Japanese Language, which not only breaks down how to apologise and when, but every single use of apology words, from a casual "excuse me," to a grave apology, to even a substitute for a situation where we might actually use "thank you" but may have inconvenienced someone in some small way in the process - the example used in the article, a good one, is if someone holds a door open for you. 

It would take a strange mind to make a satanic body horror comic out of something so seemingly innocuous, but enter Junji Ito, veteran creator of the weird and repulsive, whose latest arrival in English, The Dissolving Classroom, tasks itself with turning the apology into something sinister to the point of being literally malefic. In a little afterword comic for The Dissolving Classroom, Ito's lead character, Yuuma Azawa, tells us, "Apology press conferences are major events! Popular entertainment! Think of an entire country anticipating your public apology! Infidelity! Adultery! Eating snacks! Late to work, Last minute cancellation! Turning a blind eye! You've got no shortage of reasons to apologise to yourself, I bet!"
He's right, of course. Anyone who feels anxiety to any degree will likely be listing potential unmade apologies in their heads right now. There's something masochistic about it also - the constant beating oneself up over slights made, significant or not, to others and true to form Ito also takes this notion and, in the form of Yuuma Azawa, fetishises it. "...apology is pleasure!" Yuuma gleefully tells us in Classroom's afterword strip before prostrating himself before a large audience. 

Yuuma spends the bulk of the near 200 pages preceding this afterword apologising. We first meet him arriving at a new high school and he's already apologising. He gets bullied for his apologies and keeps on apologising. He simply won't stop. Things go from awkward to unsettling pretty quickly and finally, inevitably, to the horrific, when the bodies of those around him, who've listened to his incessant apologies, begin literally melting. It turns out that, in Ito's messed up world, apologies are satanic things, a means to communicate with what is literally the Christian devil, a being drawn perfectly and classically by Ito as a fanged, horned, shaggy goatlike creature with wings and a pentagram in the centre of its forehead. That's Yuuma. His little sister, Chizumi, is even worse.

Chizumi, a little devil-pixie of a girl runs around terrorising people and is frequently the reason for Yuuma's apologies. Unlike Yuuma, Chizumi is clearly and obviously evil - her bulging eyes and cruel smile and freakish tongue marking her as monstrous from the get go. She's also the star of the show. The Dissolving Classroom is a cycle of stories, all linked together and all revealing, bit by bit, the full origin of these horrible siblings. "Chizumi in Love" is one of the stories within (appropriate for Valentine's Day) and sees the little hell-sprite fall for Tomohito, a sweet little boy of her own age, who spurns her advances by running from her in utter terror. Ito's facial expressions are brilliant here, Chizumi acting coy and cute, Tomohito a shivering wreck, terrified at the inevitability of her next appearance and romantic overture.

There's been some talk that Ito's lost his teeth - the glory days of Izumaki and Tomie long gone. Sure, his excursion into biography/comedy comics with Junji Ito's Cat Diary may not have been terrifying or overly weird, but as I noted in my cat comics column (which I'm still unjustly proud of, btw) way back in December 2015, Cat Diary succeeded amazingly in Ito turning his own horror tropes back upon himself and being all the more riotous for it. Fragments of Horror, his subsequent return to horror short stories, didn't exactly blow the roof off the top of my head, but did signal intent to get right back down to business. Dissolving Classroom is exactly that business - it is so strange, so odd, compellingly readable, shocking at times, funny at others. Ito turning civil behaviour and long-standing custom into something literally satanic is so clever. A Heavy Metal devil talking to a clean cut kid by way of his earnest apologies to others is about as inspired a skewering of Japanese culture as we're likely to get in some time. 


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : TIME OF TRIAL
By Lee Elias and Howard Nostrand

From 1963 and via the frequently plundered Bristol Board site comes this frankly amazing single-page romance comic by Lee Elias and Howard Nostrand. "Time of Trial" from First Love Illustrated #90 is a classic little primer on both surviving and pulling the plug on a long-term relationship that has evolved into an engagement. Each of the six lushly-inked panels (there's some serious Johnny Craig vibes going on here) covers a different scenario with a different engaged couple, from learning that each partner may have different interests (duh) to ensuring you are emotionally mature to endure a marriage, to even rebounding after a failed relationship. It's a surprisingly frank and useful little comics artefact, clear in its advice to what was back then probably a sizeable audience and, honestly, not much has changed at all: "Better a broken engagement now than a broken marriage later on!" 



COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : LOVE AND ROMANCE COMIC BOOK COVERS

If watching 22 minutes of original romance comic book cover art doesn't push your yes buttons, well consider us broken up right now. This is an amazing video, showing viewers inked, pasted-up covers to such titles as Young Love and Heart Throbs and then revealing the finished, printed product right after. Seriously, some of these covers are just beautiful. I could do without the American Beauty music, but whatever, just turn it down and substitute your own personal Let's Get It On. 



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.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Comics For Wednesday 15th of February


The last week of our anniversary period before the draw on the 20th, have you dropped in yet to pick up your order and score yourself a ticket or two into our 6TH ANNIVERSARY $500 GIFT VOUCHER GIVEAWAY? All details can be found by clicking HERE.



Also we are expecting comics this week...


Where has Dave Sims' Cerebus been since the original series finished years ago? HELL apparently and to find out more about his stay there you can pick up CEREBUS IN HELL #1 this week.

Chip Zdarsky has worked with Ducks, Star-Lords and now magic and monsters with this week's addition to Marvel's Monsters Unleashed mini in DOCTOR STRANGE #1.MU.

The follow up to last year's runaway graphic novel success from author, Margaret Atwood launches this week with the cat person, superhero comedy of ANGEL CATBIRD HC VOL 02 CASTLE CATULA .

You've met the World's Greatest, now meet the World's Smallest! Superboy and Robin are destined to follow in their fathers' footsteps, but can they beat a villain hell-bent on controlling every being on the planet? Find out in  SUPER SONS #1
Pairing this up with the first arc new DC Rebirth Action Comics, SUPERMAN ACTION COMICS TP VOL 01 PATH OF DOOM (REBIRTH) that sees both Clark and Lex Luthor work together to defeat the might of a Doomsday.

Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells) and James Tynion IV (Batman) brings you Batwoman's long overdue solo series, BATWOMAN REBIRTH ! Kate's caught up taking on an entire syndicate distributing bio-weapons, but first she'll have to confront some of the darkest hours of her past.

Fed up with the Justice League, Batman finds himself a new crew; the Outsiders! Collecting classic stories these classic stories from the 80s, Batman, Katana, Geo-Force and Metamorpho take their brand of justice international in BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS HC VOL 01. GEO-FORCE, PEOPLE!!!

New up and coming artist Jon Davis-Hunt (Clean Room) get's an opportunity of a life time helping Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary) to re-kindle the Wildstorm universe in WILD STORM #1.

The year is still young and already MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS GN from Fantagraphics, by Emil Ferris is being mentioned as possible graphic novel of the year material. Find out why by seeing how this family drama, murder mystery unfolds.

Euro-comics at their finest, a new small town Sheriff finds his new home doesn't response well to his authority until he decides to really do his job in SNOW DAY GN

Having the opportunity to further expand Joe Hill's Locke & Key Universe recently with a new tale, it's awesome to see IDW looking after the fans that also collected the series in hardcover with the release of LOCKE & KEY SMALL WORLD DLX HC ED


Oh a semi-related note, taking a leaf out of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Image writer that never seems to stop, Rick Remender introduces us to his new dark fantasy world, about a world on the brink of collapse under the control of a tyrant and what a father will do to ensure the safety of his family in Image's, SEVEN TO ETERNITY TP VOL 01.


Where, oh where is the new season of TV's Rick and Morty?! At least the latest collection of their comic adventures in RICK & MORTY TP VOL 04 can hold us over for a little while longer.

And DC merch this week is filled with amazing sculpts. Just take a look at the latest in the Bombshell Statue series with DC BOMBSHELLS KATANA STATUE and the next release of animated figures that tease the release of more Bruce Timm Superman designs with the BATMAN ANIMATED NBA GIRLS NIGHT OUT AF 5 PACK.

A great list to be sure, if you have spotted else here that you needed added just let us know before Wednesday morning and we'll get it sorted for you!


MARVEL
BLACK PANTHER WORLD OF WAKANDA #4
CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON #19
CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #11
CLONE CONSPIRACY #5 (OF 5) CC
DAREDEVIL #17
DEADPOOL #27
DOCTOR STRANGE #1.MU
DOCTOR STRANGE #17
GAMORA #3
GWENPOOL #12
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #4
MIGHTY THOR #16
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #3 (OF 5)
OLD MAN LOGAN #18
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #15
PUNISHER #9
SILK #17 CC
SPIDER-MAN #13
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #11
STAR-LORD #3
ULTIMATES 2 #4
UNCANNY INHUMANS #19 IVX
UNCANNY X-MEN #18 IVX
US AVENGERS #3
VENOM #4

DC COMICS
AQUAMAN #17 VAR ED
BATMAN #17 VAR ED
BATWOMAN REBIRTH #1 VAR ED
CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #5 VAR ED
GREEN ARROW #17 VAR ED
GREEN LANTERNS #17 VAR ED
HARLEY QUINN #14 VAR ED
HE MAN THUNDERCATS #5 (OF 6)
INJUSTICE GROUND ZERO #6
JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 VAR ED
MOTHER PANIC #3 VAR ED
NIGHTWING #15 VAR ED
ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #2 (OF 6)
RAVEN #6 (OF 6)
SUPER SONS #1 VAR ED
SUPERMAN #17 VAR ED
TEEN TITANS GO #20
TRINITY #6 VAR ED
WILD STORM #1

VERTIGO
LUCIFER #15
UNFOLLOW #16

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME #61
DEEP #2
KONG OF SKULL ISLAND #8
LUMBERJANES #35
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #12
OVER GARDEN WALL ONGOING #9
OVER GARDEN WALL ONGOING #10
WWE #2

DARK HORSE
ANGEL SEASON 11 #2 
BTVS SEASON 11 #4 
DEAD INSIDE #3 (OF 5)
DEPT H #11
ETHER #4
SPELL ON WHEELS #5 (OF 5)

DYNAMITE
JAMES BOND HAMMERHEAD #5 (OF 6)

IDW
BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #4 (OF 6)
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #37
OCTOBER FACTION DEADLY SEASON #4
STAR TREK BOLDLY GO #5
TMNT ONGOING #67 (C: 1-0-0)
UNCLE SCROOGE #23

IMAGE
GOD COUNTRY #2 IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
HORIZON #8
INVINCIBLE #133  IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
KILL OR BE KILLED #6  IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
MANIFEST DESTINY #26 IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR
POSTAL #18
ROCKSTARS #3
SEX CRIMINALS #16 XXX FIONA STAPLES VAR
SPREAD #19
THEYRE NOT LIKE US #14
VIOLENT LOVE #4
WALKING DEAD #164 IMAGE TRIBUTE VAR

ONI
NIGHTS DOMINION #6

VALIANT
GENERATION ZERO #7
SAVAGE #4 (OF 4)

MISC
ANIMOSITY #5
ARCHIE #17
BLACK EYED KIDS #11
CEREBUS IN HELL #1
FOREVER WAR #1 (OF 6)
HARD CASE CRIME PEEPLAND #4 (OF 5)
MAGICAL CHARACTER RABBIT ONE SHOT
RIFT #2 (OF 4)
SIMPSONS COMICS #237
THE FOREVERS #3

TRADES
ANGEL CATBIRD HC VOL 02 CASTLE CATULA
ANOTHER CASTLE GRIMOIRE TP VOL 01
BATGIRL A CELEBRATION OF 50 YEARS HC
BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS HC VOL 01
BATMAN THE GOLDEN AGE TP VOL 02
BENJAMIN BEAR IN BRIGHT IDEAS HC
BENNY AND PENNY JUST PRETEND SC
CAPTAIN MARVEL TP VOL 03 EARTHS MIGHTIEST HERO
CHARMED SEASON 10 TP VOL 03
DEADPOOL AND MERCS FOR MONEY TP VOL 01 MO MERCS MO MONKEY
DEADPOOL AND SECRET DEFENDERS TP
ECLIPSE TP VOL 01
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN TP VOL 03 KINGDOMS FALL
FIRES & MURMUR GN
FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN TP
FUTURE QUEST TP VOL 01
GREEN LANTERN TP VOL 08 REFLECTIONS
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY PREM HC VOL 03 NEW GUARD CIVIL WAR II
HOW TRAIN YOUR DRAGON TP VOL 01 SERPENTS HEIR
KONG OF SKULL ISLAND TP VOL 01
KULIPARI HERITAGE TP
KUMA MIKO GN VOL 03
LOCKE & KEY SMALL WORLD DLX HC ED
LOVERS IN THE GARDEN GN
MACHINES HC
MASTERPIECE COMICS HC
MONSTER HUNTER FLASH HUNTER GN VOL 06
MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS GN
NEIL GAIMANS FORBIDDEN BRIDES SLAVES DREAD DESIRE
NEKOGAHARA STRAY CAT SAMURAI GN VOL 02
NEW AVENGERS BY BENDIS COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 02
NINTENDO 64 ANTHOLOGY CLASSIC ED HC
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES HC BOOM BOOM MUSHROOM
RED THORN TP VOL 02 MAD GODS AND SCOTSMEN
RICK & MORTY TP VOL 04
RUNAWAYS TP VOL 02 TEENAGE WASTELAND NEW PTG
SABERTOOTH SWORDSMAN HC VOL 01 (2ND ED)
SCOOTER GIRL TP
SECOND SIGHT TP VOL 01
SEVEN TO ETERNITY TP VOL 01
SEX TP VOL 05 REFLEXOLOGY
SNOW DAY GN
SPIDER-GWEN HC VOL 01
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE HC VOL 02 STRAWBERRY NOIR
SUPERMAN ACTION COMICS TP VOL 01 PATH OF DOOM (REBIRTH)
THRILL POWER OVERLOAD 2000 AD REDUX HC
TIM GINGER TP
WILSON TP
WOLVERINE PREHISTORY TP
WONDER WOMAN 77 TP VOL 02

MERCH
BATMAN ANIMATED NBA GIRLS NIGHT OUT AF 5 PACK 
DC BOMBSHELLS KATANA STATUE

BACK IN STOCK

LOVE IS LOVE GN