Farewell 2011, Hello 2012

I wrote this for my church bulletin and thought I’d share it here too….

Many people around the world welcome the New Year with enthusiasm, and even make New Year’s resolutions – things they’d like to accomplish over the next 12 months. These may include losing weight, taking up a hobby, getting out of debt and other tasks to aid their self improvement. Even though many of these people may have good intentions, studies have shown that usually less than 12% achieve those goals, as the excitement of a new year gives way to the humdrum of daily life.

James 5:12 states, “Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else.” Having goals in life is important, but the Word warns us to not do so quickly, especially if we hope to achieve them by our own strength, but with God’s strength, we can do mighty things. Psalm 18:29 encourages us by saying, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

We can also be thankful that God is not One to let His promises remain unfulfilled as Psalm 145: 13 reminds us, “The Lord is faithful toward all his promises.” God may surprise us, but He’ll never disappoint us.

Extra Sequential Podcast #73-2011 Recap

59 mins. We chat about the comics events and trends that have shaped the last 12 months and grabbed the most headlines, including dead superheroes, digital shopping and more. Also, The Punisher as an angel. Ah, memories.

LISTEN TO IT HERE

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

GET IT ON iTUNES HERE

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

THEME – 2011 RECAP
The New York Times Bestseller list, dominated by The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim

DC’s new 52 (of course)

DC’s RetroActive one-shots

Artists becoming writers

Retailer incentives

Webcomics:

Hark a Vagrant http://harkavagrant.com/

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin http://hobolobo.net/

The Abaddon http://abaddoncomic.com/

American Barbarian http://www.ambarb.com/

The Man of Many Shades http://www.themanofmanyshades.com/

Tune http://www.tunecomic.com/

The success of Kickstarter projects

Marvel’s cancellations

Fear Itself and X-Men: Schism

IDW’s Infestation zombie/licence x-over

The death of Ultimate Spider-Man and the intro of Miles Morales

Manga and European sales

Joe the Barbarian, and Chester Brown’s Paying For It

Movies and video games of 2011

A quick look ahead to 2012

 

This Week’s DC Previews

It’s time for some previews for all of DC’s release this week. You can catch a few pages from All Star Western, Aquaman, Batman: The Dark Knight, Blackhawks, The Flash, The Fury of Firestorm, Green Lantern: New Guardinas, I, Vampire, Justice League Dark, Hawkman, Superman, Teen Titans and Voodoo  right here and this is also the week in which more integration, and cross-overs of series comes to the fore.

 

 

Adventure Time Comics at BOOM! Studios

Being a pop culture hound that I am, I’ve been aware of kooky, new cartoon series Adventure Time for a while now, but only actually watched it a few days ago when I stumbled upon it on TV. It’s like a crazy mash-up of Ren and Stimpy and Monty Python. Now, the fun is coming to comics, though since it’s coming from their all-ages imprint, I assume any of the more…subversive elements will be erased. Check out any random Adventure Time clips on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. 

WHAT TIME IS IT?!

IT’S ADVENTURE TIME!

NEW ONGOING MONTHLY COMIC SERIES LAUNCHES THIS FEBRUARY

FROM BOOM! STUDIOS AND CARTOON NETWORK ENTERPRISES WITH RELEASE OF ADVENTURE TIME #1!

Cartoon Network’s smash hit animated comedy series Adventure Time is coming to BOOM! Studios’ all-ages imprint KaBOOM! in an ongoing monthly comic book series featuring all-new original stories! Hold on to your swords! Adventure Time #1 ships this February!

The highly-anticipated first issue from the monthly series features a story written by Ryan North, author of the smash-hit webcomic Dinosaur Comics, and drawn by Shelli Paroline, the artist of ICE AGE: ICED IN and MUPPET SNOW WHITE.

“It’s quite exciting to bring this series to comics. My wife and I are huge fans and sing Marceline’s ‘Daddy, why’d you eat my fries?’ song around the house all the time,” BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie said. “Pendleton Ward has created a brilliantly original voice in this show and it’s a true ‘All Ages’ property that appeals both to kids and also has a substantial amount of adult fans. Watch for the waving snail!

“It was like a bomb dropped in the office when we announced Adventure Time,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Everyone at BOOM! was just as excited as any fan. Adventure Time is such a classic story at its heart- a boy and his dog on different adventures – but the genius of the show allows us to take a simple concept and get really creative with the presentation. Everyone we’ve worked with is a huge fan of the show and creator Pen Ward has been instrumental in bringing this comic book to life. ”

The ADVENTURE TIME comic series will follow Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Princess Bubblegum and the other inhabitants of the Land of Ooo as they explore many varied adventures. Since its debut on Cartoon Network, Adventure Time has become a runaway hit, with explosive growth in ratings, huge critical and fan acclaim, a major presence at fan conventions and more, it’s clear fandom is obsessed and 2012 is the Year of Adventure Time! Don’t miss out on this new phenomenon—this first issue is sure to get snapped up! You can pre-order the books at your local comic shop. Don’t know where it is? Go to http://www.comicshoplocator.com Or you can stop by BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com)and pre-order issue #1 or a subscription today!

ADVENTURE TIME #1 is written by Ryan North with art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. This title ships with three covers in a 75/25 split by Chris Houghton and Jeffrey Brown in a 1-in-10 incentive by Chris Houghton, a 1-in-20 incentive by Jeffrey Brown, and a 1-in-30 Chris Houghton Wraparound Cover. This title ships in February, featuring a price point of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of DEC110939.

Additional information about future books in the Adventure Time comic series from KaBOOM! will be available in the coming months.

 

Fantagraphics Sale

Until December 30, quality indie publisher Fantagraphics are having a sale on about 100 items, with at least a 40% discount.

Check it out here.

Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary Art

He-Man has been around for 30 years. Yes, it’s true. No, you shouldn’t feel old.

To celebrate the anniversary next year, Mattel have unleashed some awesome new Masters of the Universe art by Alvin Lee. Check out some below and more here.

Gabriel De La Torre, Staff Product Designer from Mattel Entertainment Design, told us, “This ‘alt’ style to the Classic brand was created as a visual way to re-imagine the vast characters and worlds of Masters of the Universe® with a contemporary edge. This dynamic artwork will be used across multiple categories in consumer products and beyond, celebrating our Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary program launching in 2012.”

Creating a new look for an iconic brand like MOTU while still retaining the integrity of its original style was no simple task. Gabe and his team searched for an artist who not only had the style they envisioned, but also a love for MOTU. “We landed on a well-known talent named Alvin Lee, whose work can be seen in a variety of brands and also many popular video games. With the finished product, his passion for the characters and the brand really shined through. Raymond Makowski (Staff Product Designer) and I worked with Alvin Lee to create a dynamic collection of poses and battle scenes that not only pushed the designs of the characters, but also captured the essence of the Masters of the Universe® feel–heroic, perilous and empowering.” Gabe said.

Look for the new art to appear on toy packaging starting in Q1, and on licensed goods from shirts to lunchboxes throughout 2012. We’ll have more updates at New York Toy Fair in February, but in the meantime, click here to feast your eyes on images of favorites including Skeletor® and Beast Man®!

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Review

Mission Impossible is one of those rare film franchises that actually improve with each instalment. Similar to the Alien series, each film has benefitted from varied world class directors bringing their unique storytelling sensibilities to each outing. Brian De Palma and John Woo directed the first two films, while the last one (in 2006) was directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek), who here returns as a producer.

Obviously based on the 1960s and 70s TV series, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is another entry that boasts visual flair and a heady mix of action and suspense. The team surpass James Bond in the gadgets arena, with a collection of impressive hi-tech gizmos including life saving suction gloves, and a wonderful optical illusion that makes for the best use of the iPad yet, while the frenetic fisticuffs rival the work of Jason Bourne.

Tom Cruise may not be everybody’s favourite screen star, but for a man pushing 50 who insists on his own death defying stunts, his courage and charisma are hard to miss. Here he returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, while bringing back English actor Simon Pegg as Benji (now promoted to a field agent) from the last film, as well as Ving Rhames in a frustratingly short cameo. Rounding out Hunt’s new team are Paula Patton (Déjà Vu) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town). This is director Brad Bird’s first live action film after helming animated films such as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille and it’s obvious that he’s  brought the Pixar focus on characters and drama to this film.

Josh Holloway (Lost) kicks things off with a quick chase through Budapest and it’s his fate that sets the rest of the events in motion, which most importantly entails rescuing Hunt from a Moscow prison. With his new crew assembled, Hunt and his fellow agents are soon disavowed and on the run with no help after a bombing at the Kremlin. To say more than that would ruin the film’s plot weaving surprises, but the impressive action scenes are always woven in organically. The highlight is of course, Hunt’s daring climb on the outside of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in order to access a server before an intense exchange with their deadly adversaries. There is also lots of gunplay, punching and kicking, and a great foot, and then car, chase through an imposing sandstorm.

Filled with light humour when it needs to be, primarily thanks to Pegg, Ghost Protocol also contains some great dramatic moments. Patton and Renner play well rounded agents who at times struggle with their duty and inner grief, especially Renner who could be viewed as Cruise’s successor if Cruise were to ever leave this franchise. Renner has an intensity along with his everyman quality and the emotional moments that he shares with Cruise about their past give the film a great emotional core.

The ending seems almost forced as a way to explain Hunt’s change in relationship status from the last film, but that can’t stop what is a joyous and at times breathtaking experience that needs to be seen on the big screen, or even IMAX if there’s a screen near you.

Udon Sale

Udon, publishers of video game comics such as Street Fighter, have a sale on now for the next 2 days. Check it out right here.

Damian Wayne’s Christmas Wish

Here’s part of an article that didn’t get finished, but I figured was worth sharing.

Damian Wayne (AKA, son of Bruce Wayne, and current Robin)

Gift: Puberty

The newest Robin maintained his crime fighting partner status throughout the DC relaunch, despite the shonky timeline of it all. Initially as annoying as any pre-pubescent teen (especially one who believes he’s the rightful heir to a crimefighting legacy) young Damian Wayne slowly enamoured himself to the hearts of fandom, if not within all quarters of the Batcave. He may have everything a boy could ever want in the form of a cool costume, the ability to kick any adult’s butt, access to hi-tech gear, a butler and an underground lair, but there’s still one thing missing – the makings of a man. Yep, young Master Wayne needs a deeper voice and a hairy chest.

Of course, puberty will also make him taller, faster and stronger too. The downside for his fellow Bat Family members is that he’ll become even more moody and may ditch the whole serving justice thing in favor of constantly texting some damsel in distress he just rescued.

See more great Christmas themed comics art right here.

Merry Christmas

This has been a good year.

The Extra Sequential podcast is going strong, 2 years later. Wow.

Friday was my last day at my job of over 4 years, thanks to a redundancy that has been in play for quite some time. It was sad to farewell my friends, but I’m also excited for the unknown future.

I also joined a great new church after moving house at the start of the year and have been honoured to write snippets for the weekly bulletin for the last few weeks. Here’s what I wrote for Christmas:

Every birth is a joyous occasion as it grows the family. At Christmas we celebrate history’s most important birth as God’s plan for eternal salvation through His Son began. Jesus declared in John 12 that He, “will draw all men to myself.”

Christ’s birth heralded a new way for humanity to know and love God. Christmas Day may be an important part of our calendar, but really, it’s just another day. We shouldn’t need a reminder of God’s glorious offer of salvation, and the miracle of Christ’s birth. We should be aware of Him, and thankful for all He’s done for us, and will continue to do, every day of our lives.

Christmas is the most obvious display of celebration for what God has done, but how do we celebrate that daily? Psalm 103:2 asks us to, ”not forget all his benefits.” Let’s remember His goodness, on Christmas Day, and everyday.

And to go with that, here’s an exquisite page from Billy Tucci’s recently released A Child is Born comic.

 

Relentless Novel for Free

For a limited time, you can grab a digital copy form Amazon of author Robin Parrish’s book, Relentless. This over 400 page novel is the first in Parrish’s Dominion trilogy and has been widely praised.

Grab a free copy here, and keep your eye out for his latest book from Stonehouse Ink, Corridor, which is described thusly:

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS TO RUN.

On the eve of his seventeenth birthday, Troy Goggin finds himself inexplicably transported to an impossibly huge, miles-long structure called the Corridor. But what is the Corridor, and why was he brought to it?

It’s a place of mystery, wonder, and heart-stopping danger. It will test him and push him both mentally and physically. His only companion is the girl whose voice he hears inside his head, explaining the rules he must follow if he hopes to escape.

But there is much more to this extraordinary place than Troy could ever imagine. The Corridor’s true purpose — the biggest mystery of all — is revealed only to those who make it to the end.

Prometheus Trailer

Well it’s hard to see this film as anything but an Alien prequel now.

Directed by Alien’s Ridley Scott and starring Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, it opens next year, and it will be awesome, I’m sure.

See the comparison, and notes describing the similarities between the 1979 Alien teaser and this first Prometheus one, right here.

Comics Christmas Cards

Every year there’s some great Christmas cards from comics publishers. Here’s an assortment of 2011’s.

From Sonny Liew, creator of Malinky Robot.

UK publisher Com.x (45, Seeds, Blue Spear)

Archaia (Mouse Guard, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand – my fave OGN of 2011!)

Here’s a treat from nerdcore band Kirby Krackle. You can grab their new single, focused on a certain crimson nosed reindeer right here.

and here’s a fitting pic that I put on the Extra Sequential Facebook page (become our friend if you aren’t already!) from artist Mike del Mundo. I think it sums up mine and Mladen’s comics leanings quite well.

Finally, here’s Broken Frontier, a wonderful site that I write for and at that very site is where you can find more cards from other publishers and creators.

Merry CHRISTmas!

All of Batman’s Many Costumes

Well, pretty much all of them courtesy of artist Benjamin Moore, and thanks to Comics Alliance for bringing this to my attention. It’s a great rundown of the Dark Knight’s various looks since 1939 in comics, cartoons, TV series and films, with snappy quotes of the era.