Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Near Death #7

Near Death # 7: Writer-Jay Faerber. Artist- Simone Guglielmini

If you did not know already, the Illumi-Nerdi has a twitter account. Check us out because we have so much to tell you. Recently, we had a contest to hit 250 followers. Our 250th follower was Image Comic’s Jay Faerber, writer of Near Death and the CW’s Ringer (staring Buffy’s
Sarah Michelle Gellar). For those who haven’t read this book, the story focuses around a former professional killer named Markham, who died, woke up in Hell, and then returned to the land of the living. To ensure that he doesn’t spend eternity in the bristling heat, Markham is determined to save a life for every life he stole.

One of my problems with this issue was that is very procedural. It actually reminds me of a very procedural show, The Cleaner. In the beginning of the book, the audience is introduced to a gangbanger named Devon. We found out that Markham was recruited to help save this boy’s life. Throughout the issue, he is very resistant about quitting his gang. However, it turns out that by the end of the issue he is convinced and wants to become a writer. The boy only decided to quit his gang after meeting a Hollywood writer Overall, Markham barely made an appearance or did anything that impacted the story. The end! Sorry folks, that was pretty much it.

Even though I was disappointed by the issue, Faerber did a few things differently. First off, Markham was a supporting character in this issue. Even though it hindered the issue, it was definitely an interesting concept. Even though, his lack of appearance and dialogue did leave a big hole in this issue. In most TV shows, movies and comic books, Muslims are seen as dangerous. In this issue, Devon’s brother Curtis was a former gangbanger who became a Muslim. After being released from prison, he was determined to save Devon from his past mistakes. It was fun seeing a different character perspective of a Muslim. Toward the end, Faerber hints at an interesting point about Markham's character. Curtis asks "Have you considered that perhaps simply doing good deeds isn't enough if your soul remains unchanged?". Maybe Markham needs to do much more to save his soul from an eternity of beatings. 

Score 6.5/10

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Comic Revolution that is Image Comics

At the end of 2011, DC Comics took over the comic community with its new origin and 52 brand smacking new titles. In April of 2012, Marvel Comics introduced us to Civil War 2.0: The Avengers VS the X-Men. Well, I think it is time we introduce you to something very important, it is called the Image Comics Revolution. Since the beginning of 2012, Image Comic have been hitting the stands with several new titles and a few redeveloped titles from the 1990s.

Danger Club: Written by Landry Q. Walker and Art by Eric Jones.

What if the Superheroes left Earth to fight a war in space but never came back? Well, it is time for the sidekicks to take charge but that doesn't mean they will be a united coalition. Walker has described the book as "Lord of the Flies with superheroes".

Danger Club #1 has sold out and you can expect to see its second printing hit the stands on May 2nd.

In the mid 1990s, I stopped reading comic books. During that time, Image Comics was spreading its creativity and I missed out on it. A few months ago, Image Comics announced that they would be relaunching Robert Liefeld's Extreme line. Several titles on the line are Bloodstrike, Glory and Youngblood. Bloodstrike is written by Tim Seeley, current writer of Hack/Slash, art by Franchesco Gaston.

Bloodstrike #26 has sold out and its second printing will hit the stands on April 25th.

If you haven't read The Darkness, you might as well pick it up right now. It has a brand new creative team, written by David Hine and art by Jeremy Haun. Under the supervision of Top Cow, The Darkness #101 has sold out and its second printing will be found on the stands on April 18.

The Unstoppable Force that is Kurtis Wiebe: Grim Leaper #1

Grim Leaper #1: Written by Kurtis Wiebe and drawn by Aluisio Santos.

A few months ago, my life changed forever. No, I didn’t see God or win the lotto. Instead, I started reading independent comics. Comics like Locke and Key, Morning Glories and Green Wake changed the way I bought comic books. As we have mentioned several times before, you missed out on one of the best dark mystery books on the market, Green Wake.  Please, do not miss out on the writer of Green Wake, Kurtis Wiebe. Kurtis Wiebe is becoming an unstoppable force in the comic community. At the moment, he is writing Peter Panzerfaust. Next month, he delivers Grim Leaper to the stands. This summer, the band is getting back together and Kurtis is teaming up again with Green Wake’s artist, Riley Rossmo to bring you Debris. We have been given this gracious opportunity to read and review an early copy of Grim Leaper.

Do you enjoy romance books? Were you a fan of those awful Final Destination movies? We found a comic book for you. First off, this book does a great job balancing the book with really fascinating art and a fun story. I want to start off with the art. The coloring is not bright and doesn’t smack the reader in the face. Instead, it is very mellow and edgy and it fits the story perfectly.  The strongest parts of Santos’ art were the facial expressions when the characters escape death or the moment they are killed. In the first few pages, the main character, Lou is actually killed by a heavy duty tire. It was one of the most disgusting and beautifully drawn death scenes that I’ve ever read. As the head was sliced off, blood spewed everywhere and Lou’s fucking eye was dangling by a thread. Santos’ art is a winner!

Let’s get down to business. Kurtis concept for Grim Leaper is original and a lot of fun. Right away, we are introduced to the main character, Lou. He’s that sleazy, womanizing, sarcastic type of guy. By the end of the issue, that is no longer the case.  By the way, Lou throws up on the set of a game show about love and then he continues to mock the show, which might have been one of my favorite scenes in the book.

According to Lou, he is cursed and when he dies, his spirit is never given the chance to rest in peace. Instead of entering through those pearly white gates, he resurfaces in a new body in the same town, over and over again. No, wonder he can be a prick at times. Thankfully, Lou learns he is not the only one of his kind. Kurtis introduces us to Ella, who at the moment, is living in the body of a hardcore metal fan. It seems that future issues of Grim Leaper will be about Lou’s search for his lost love, Ella. Even though I am excited to see what path the story will be going down, I can't wait to read how Kurtis kills Lou over and over again. Does anyone want to see Lou fall from the sky and land in helicopter blades?

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Podcast 2: Eisner Nomination Mistakes and the Awesomeness that is Game of Thrones

Thank you everyone for your support of Week 1 of The Illumi-Nerdi's Podcast. In week 2, we announce the winner of our first-ever Writers Deathmatch, we debate the Eisner nominations, we praise Game of Thrones, we discuss Fringe and our first comic book: The Extras.

Podcast 2: Part A

Podcast 2: Part B

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our First-Ever Podcast!!!!!

Check out our first-ever Podcast! We discuss the most anticipated movies of 2012, our surprise discoveries, the awfulness of Hope Summers, the excellence of Andrew Garfield, our recall of Total Recall, the preferred nomenclature for little people and the extreme old age of one Chuck Norris.

Podcast #1

Podcast #2

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beyond Thunderdome: The Winner of the Writers Deathmatch

Welcome to the final round of the Writers Deathmatch! We've had ten total submissions, and we are now down to a cage match: two enter, only ONE survives.

We have not changed any of the grammar or spelling of the writers' works. So the characters and style are purely theirs.

Vote for the ONE writer which presents you with the most interesting, compelling and original final page for their comic (a full description of the scene and tone of their last page).

A famous superhero is imprisoned in a maximum security facility after years of loyal service to their community. It is up to you, the writer, to establish who the “superhero” is, why they are imprisoned, back story, characters and where the story goes from there. With that out of the way, here are the competitors and their final page.

Scott Closter

 Panel 1

A page-wide panel, taking up 1/4 of the page. We have a close up of The Sixth fixes his stoic gaze upon a baseball sized model of the earth. The small floating globe is encased within a tesseract containment cube, matching the cube that the Sixth originally imprisoned Ohm in. The Sixth reaches out to touch it with one hand, and as he does this we see a mystical light akin to an aurora borealis dance between the cube and his hand.

CAPTION: With the death of the Mad God I have achieved full awareness of my connection to the psionic-earth grid.

CAPTION: It is imperative that I use this connection to elevate humanity to a level of perception equal to my own.

Panel 2

This large panel fills the remaining 3/4 of the page, leaving a nice visual to end the story on. We have a very wide shot of an actual Aurora Borealis, stars peeking through near the top of the panel. The Borealis in this panel has same coloring as the "mystical light" seen in the previous panel. At the bottom of this panel we have a bit of terrain, on which we see the silhouette of "Kemp," the modern-day shaman who originally summoned The Sixth into existence. Within the Aurora Borealis we have The Sixth floating down to earth, arms out-stretched in a somewhat messianic pose.

Aakshat Sinha

Panel 1

Slim vertical panel on the left side of the page. 25% of the width of the page, 70% of the height of the page.
2 dialogue bubbles
Bubble 1: Placement on the top, Kornuzo’s speech
               “Believe in me, or lose faith forever.”
Bubble 2: Placement in the middle of the panel, Denis’ speech

Panel 2

Big square panel. Right side of the page.
Completely black panel.

Panel 3

Thin horizontal panel at the bottom of the page, complete width of the page, 30% height of the page.
Kornuzo’s left foot in the left side of the panel up close looking away. Her laser katana is looking down towards the ground, dripping gooey, green blood. Sylenus’ feet are somewhere in the distance beyond in the middle of the panel. He is looking at Denis. Denis is crouched on the ground in the right section of the panel. He’s coughing bluish-green blood and clutching his abdomen and has one hand stretched out towards Kornuzo’s laser katana.
Denis’ speech bubble: Placement partially covering Sylenus 
         “If only I could…”