Archive for the ‘Discussion Group’

HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP RETURNS with BATMANx3 :: NOVEMBER 1, 1:00pm

October 08, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: Discussion Group, EVENTS, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, NEWS

discussion_groupWe’re back and we’re ready to make a few monthly deep dives into terrific comics. We appreciate your patience as we went on hiatus, but it is time to start reading again and get back into the fray.

Join us on Saturday November 1st at 1:00pm. As tradition demands, we will meet at the store and then repair to a local watering-hole for a couple of hours of great discussion along with food, drink (if you’re hungry or thirsty). It is a lot of fun to sit around and talk comics with a group of comic fans. Everyone’s opinion is welcome, we just ask that you read the books and bring an open mind.

We hope you will consider joining us for this fun and exciting afternoon. As we’ve mentioned before, you do not need to participate; if you just want to come by and listen, we’d love to see you!

We hope you’ll join us for the big return and what is bigger topic than Batman? How about 3 Graphic novels featured in The Batman 75th Anniversary Box Set which includes…

75The Dark Knight Returns is a 1986 four-issue comic book mini-series starring Batman and set some 20 years in the future of continuity, written and illustrated by Frank Miller with Inks by Klaus Janson and colored by Lynn Varley. This is one of the most influential super-hero comics of all time.

Batman: Hush was published 2002-2003 in monthly installments in Batman #608-619 and was written by Jeph Loeb penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams and colored by Alex Sinclair. A perennial best seller!

Batman: The Court of Owls was published in Batman Volume 2 #1-7 written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion. Certainly one of the most popular story line from the last few years.

(NOTE: If you already own one or more of these GNs, you are good to go but if find yourself Dark Knight Deficient, the 75th Anniversary box set is a beauty!)

And as usual Heroes will offer the special 10% discount on either the box set or any other editions of Returns, Hush and Court of Owls—but remember to mention the discount at check out!!

Suggested Topics for the afternoon? Okay how about…

  • The three visions of the same characters.
  • How did the series influence each other?
  • The challenge (or necessity?) for continuity
  • Batman himself—what draws generations of readers to this odd, angry anti-social (but popular) character?
  • What other Batman storylines/GN deserve to be in the same company
  • And that is just the tip of the cowl ladies and gentlemen.

And what you may ask, do we have planned for the months ahead?

Late November– Fables –and we will let you folks choose which collection we will spotlight. Watch this space for further details!!

Down the road….

Hawkeye

The Best Comics of the Year Anthology

The Complete Bone–(if you don’t already own this masterpiece, it is a perfect Holiday gift request!)

Gilbert Hernandez -we let you folks choose– Marble Season? Julio’s Day? Human Diastrophism? just to name 3.

A Comic strip showcase: Pogo, Peanuts or Barnaby—and again–you will make the call.

And just before HeroesCon we will finally feature….. Miracleman (assuming Marvel stays on schedule # 1 thru 15 should all be available)

We hope to see you on November 1st at 1:00pm and if you enjoy the afternoon—believe us—you will!!!—plan to join us for more scheduled Discussion Groups down the road!

 

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DISCUSSION GROUP RECAP :: YOUR TURN

December 19, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group

discussion_group

What a day!  What a group! What a great idea!  So, the Heroes Discussion Group met for our holiday session over at the Sunflower Bakery (yum!) and had a solid two hours of fun and revelry.

Here is a breakdown of the books that each Discussioneer brought to the Table:

Andy Mansell selected Peanuts 2000 and passed the book around so everyone could read the final Charlie Brown/Lucy/Football kick Sunday strip.

Then we moved –clockwise of course– around the table to Matt Plummer—aka Manga Man—and he selected the 70 volume One Piece and thrilled us all with the reasons it is one of the best-selling and beloved weekly comics in Japan.

2013-hd-one-piece-wallpaper

MOMBcast-069-EnigmaDana Lynch brought a few books by the great Norwegian cartoonist Jason, but selected as his discussion choice the 8 issue mini-series Enigma from writer Peter Milligan and artist Duncan Fregredo. This is a book that has dipped below the radar in recent years and Dana explained why it was such an important book for him as a comic reader.  The discussion morphed into a roundtable of our favorite Milligan books—X-Force and Shade the Changing Man were mentioned.

Next up was Discussion Group regular Charles Skender and he pulled out his two runners-up Fables March of the Wooden soldiers and Miracleman: Olympus.preacher2_prev2  But he settled on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s tour de force Preacher. He described Preacher as his gate way book into more challenging comic fare.  We also mentioned that it is high time we did Fables for a future discussion and insisted to everyone that they need to give Miracleman a read in the next few months.

Then newbie Chuck Harris offered up Manhattan Projects as his #2 and presented us with his current fave, the All ages book Cowboy—A Boy and his Horse.  Passing the book around the pastry-laden table, we were all smitten with the art.  The group recommended Bone, Snarked and Herobear and the Kid as kindred spirits of Cowboy and ideal follow up books.

Mark Sullivan aka Mr. Vertigo—whom you can read at mrvertigocomics.wordpress.com was 75_52344_0_Hellblazer27HoldMeup next. His runner-up was Daytripper by those boys from Brazil Ba and Moon.  We had spotlighted this series a few years ago and agreed it is a multilayered gem.  Mark’s choice for favorite was Hold Me–the classic issue of Hellblazer from Gaiman and McKean.  What a moving choice.  I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but I had to re-read that beautiful story later that same day.

Joe Rauch—one of HeroesCon’s budding Panel Moderators selected a favorite story arc from his early teen years—Waid and Larroque’s The Flash: Return of Barry Allen.  This got the ball rolling as we talked at length about the appeal of super hero comics and how certain books become embedded in one’s subconscious.

Flash-Return of Barry Allen

A perfect segue for the choice of Laurel Phillips who showed us some of her favorites: Hellboy-Wake the Devil and Soulfire but selected as her go-to book Waid and Ross’ Kingdom Come along with Robinson and Smith’s The Golden Age.

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Superman_All-Star_Superman_001Alex Ramirez was up next and presented our band of sweet tooth readers with Shazam: Monster Society of Evil (which was quickly recommended to Chuck), Sandman World’s End and The Golden Age.  But his favorite was the Morrison/Quitely gem of gems All Star Superman.  This was the topic of our second Discussion Group back when the world was young.  It was an ideal place to finish up since this 12 issue min-series encompasses a love for comics.

As I said, what a great time we had, I was barely able to mention my choice for best book—The Cartoon history of the Universe by Larry Gonick.cartoon-history-part-2-pb-c-700x874  But one thing is for sure, we have to do this kind of discussion again.  It was a blast and most importantly, I wanted to get home as quickly as possible and read some comics.  And isn’t that the point?  Merry Christmas to all!!

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: YOUR TURN!!!–Saturday December 14th at 1:00pm

November 15, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

discussion_groupWell, we made it!  50 discussion Groups with hardly any injuries and downright few fatalities.  With the December holiday season looming over our heads like the Savage Sword of Damocles, we thought it would be nice to give our Discussioneers a break. (That’s what we call you behind your backs). Originally we were going to select an expensive comic strip collection, but darn it all to heck, this is the holidays and we’ve all designated a portion of our hard earned comic money to spend on those pesky loved ones.  So we thought we’d all save our money for a few months (hint!) and do something a little special for ourselves.

Our store manager, all around great guy, and capable cartoonist (if we say so ourselves) Justin Crouse recommended we do the following:  invite everyone to bring their favorite comic (single issue or trade paperback) and provide participants with a 10 minute platform to explain to the group why this is a particularly important story to them.   Then we’d spend a few minutes discussing their choice before moving on to the next person.  This way, we can enjoy all the camaraderie and comic discussion without rupturing our wallets in this leather-stretching time of the year.  Think of this as your opportunity to have 10 uninterrupted minutes to talk about one of your all-time favorite, desert island comics – the one you turn to every year or so for rereading.09-0829_d-group_all

An example:  I think of my five favorite books—the ones I will without fail re-read every few years–the ones by which I measure any new books I read.  For the sake of example, I might select the Post War Spirit Comics from 1947 to 1952.  I’d bring along one (or two) of the volumes in the Will Eisner Archive Series and try to explain succinctly why I find the work indispensable.  I would cite Eisner’s growth as a story teller, the development of the modern splash page, the way Eisner used his superhero hook to tell a variety of stories crossing into a variety of genres.  Any questions?  And now it’s your turn.

SAVE THIS DATE: Saturday December 14th at 1:00pm.  We will meet at the store and then head over to the bakery (they serve good food and cocktails too– God bless ‘em!).  All we ask is that you bring along a copy of  the book you want to discuss.  We suggest you have an alternative on the ready in case  someone else already mentions your choice.  And if you want to join us for this discussion but are uncomfortable talking aloud — there is no pressure to participate. Just come for the food and the fun.

The idea is to offer an hour or two of vacation–an escape from all the stressful Holiday social obligations.  This is ‘ME’ time; this is comic book time!!!  So join us and let’s have some fun! See you on Saturday December 14th at 1:00pm.

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: HELLBOY/B.P.R.D. :: Saturday, November 2nd

October 17, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: Discussion Group, EVENTS

Hellboy_BPRD

Well, the Heroes’ Discussion Group reunited with a bang.  We talked about Saga on and off for three hours and spent the rest of the time talking comics with legendary penciller Steve Bissette who stopped by with our friend Craig Fischer on a lark!  It was a tremendous afternoon—I was less a moderator and more of a plate-spinner with an itch between the shoulders.  We had a blast.  Thanks to all of you who attended.

Now we turn our sights onto Halloween.  In the past we’ve done Walking Dead and From Hell.  This year it is time we jumped feet first into the Mike Mignola-verse and talk about Hellboy and B.P.R.D.  The amount of consistent quality pages delivered by Mignola and team centering on everyone’s favorite earth-bound demon and his fellow bureau agents of Paranormal research and defense is legion.  So, we asked all of our Mignolaphiles which books we should tackle.  Based on a consensus over-seen by our own Seth Peagler (thanks Seth!) we have decided on the following trade paperbacks:

  • Hellboy: Wake the Devil—an early complete Hellboy story arc
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin—a really solid collections of shorter Hellboy pieces
  • B.P.R.D.—The Dead—one of the best of the early B.P.R.D. extended stories.

Topics will include:

  • The art by Mignola (Hellboy) and Guy Davis (BPRD) and how their different styles affect the storytelling
  • The supporting cast (certainly one of the largest and most interesting around)
  • The way Hellboy/BPRD is published—can new readers jump in anywhere?
  • The use of comedy relief
  • The consistency of the series
  • And for any who are already well-versed with Mignola’s work: What should the new readers pick up next?
  • And a whole lot more!  If you’ve been putting these series off—this is a perfect time to give it a try!

We hope you will join us for a belated Halloween on Saturday November 2nd at 1:00pm.  As usual we will meet at the store and repair to either the Tavern or Bakery across the way.

As usual, Heroes is offering the 10% Discussion Discount on these three books.  But as a special incentive–if you purchase all three we are offering a 20% savings.  That’s 3 Trades for only 45.00.  Just remember to remind the clerk of the discount when you check out.  (The overwhelming and ever-present smell of Mylar is starting to get to us.)

Hope you’ll join us and Happy Halloween!

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP RETURNS WITH SAGA :: SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

August 19, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

SagaThe Heroes Discussion Group returns!!  Thanks to all of you who have requested we continue this delightful endeavor.

What is it?  We select a graphic novel and on a scheduled Saturday afternoon we meet at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find and then repair to a local watering hole (or bakery).  There we eat, drink and have a full blown discussion about the book we’ve selected.

 Our mission is simple:  How often have you read a terrific (or really bad) comic and wanted to discuss it and for one reason or another, you could not.  We offer a forum where every one is on the same page and we do our darnedest (pardon my French!) to keep the discussion on track for a few hours.

 In the past 4 years (!) and almost 50 meetings, we’ve tackled every kind of comic book from Maus to Scott Pilgrim to From Hell to The Walking Dead to Sandman to All-Star Superman. The discussions are always lively and above all fun! For our re-inaugural, we thought we’d try something a bit different.  We want to examine a series that is currently on-going and (obviously) unfinished.

The book is Saga written by Brian K Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples (what a great comic book name!). SAGA is currently one of the best-selling comics and it is certainly the most buzz worthy outside our four-color world.

 We will be discussing the first 13 issues– which have been collected so far into 2 trades (with 13 a single issue).  As always, Heroes is offering the 10% DISCUSSION GROUP DISCOUNT on the two trades as well as #13.  But as an added incentive, if you purchase both collections and #13 at the same time, we are offering you the package for only 24.00!!! REMEMBER to inform the clerk of the discount when you check out!!

 Topics will include (but these are just suggestions)

  • How does the artwork and especially the coloring sets the tone for the story?
  • How do we as readers react to the reputation or past work of a creator? (Example, I have trouble reading anything by Vaughan without looking for parallels to LOST)
  • Can this kind of sub-textural investigation help or hinder a readers experience?
  • What sets Saga apart from all the other Sci-Fi and Fantasy books that are being published.
  • Where do you see the book going in the months ahead?
  • Does a book like Saga (or any other comic for that matter) benefit from ‘binge’ reading as opposed to reading each issue as it is released?
  • And lots and lots more…..

If you are a big fan of Saga or if you dislike it or if you just want to break bread and talk with folks who have like interests, then please consider stopping by Heroes on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 at 1:00PM. There is no pressure to contribute!  You can just come by to listen.  All we ask is that you keep an open mind. And if you enjoy yourself (and we think you will!), mark your calendars to join us on Saturday, November 2ND at 1:00PM as we celebrate a belated Halloween by discussing Hellboy/B.P.R.D. (specific titles to be announced later–but if you have a particular volume in mind either respond on this Blog or our Facebook page!) And for the Yuletide???  We have a wonderful surprise in store.

See you there!

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP #50 :: FROM HELL :: AUDIO

November 01, 2012 By: Karla Marsh Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

My, how time flies! Can you believe that the Heroes Discussion Group is celebrating it’s 50th (that’s right, 50th!!) meeting already?!

Now for some of you this will come as no surprise, as you have been in attendance for most of these one-of-a-kind meeting of the minds, but for the rest of you who are reading this and asking yourself, “What’s the Heroes Discussion Group?”, here’s Heroes own Seth Peagler and Discussion Group moderator Andy Mansell to elaborate!
Be sure to join us on Saturday, November 3rd when the Heroes Discussion Group finally tackles the horror classic “From Hell”. The group meets at the shop at 1pm! Don’t miss it!

 

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From Hell Discussion Group November 3rd at 1:00pm REMINDER!!

October 29, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

Just a reminder that the Heroes Discussion Group will celebrate its 50th meeting by examining From HellAlan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s retelling of the Whitechapel Murders attributed to Jack the Ripper.
If you plan to attend and haven’t read (or re-read) the book in a while, we recommend the following:
Please try to re-read these sections:
  • The Prologue and Epilogue –Two old men on the Beach
  • The final chapter — Gull goes on his final journey
  • but especially– Chapter 4– where Gull takes Netley on a Masonic tour of England.

Topics to discuss will include:
The Freemasons, Queen Victoria, Fred Abberline, how the end-notes and Epilogue affect the reading experience, the role of the Media in creating a legend but above all, how Moore & Campbell walk that pesky tight-rope between fact and fiction.
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday November 3rd at 1:00pm.  As usual, From Hell is available from Heroes with the 10% Discussion Group Discount–just remember to mention it when you check out.
And remember, in next couple of months we will examine the work of Gilbert Hernandez and Jeff Smith’s Bone!
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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP:: FROM HELL :: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 03, 2012 1:00pm!!!!!

October 16, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, NEWS, Special Offers

50 Discussion Groups!  We did it!!! Our thanks to all who have attended, contributed and supported this worthwhile venture of ours!  And to celebrate this momentous anniversary, we are breaking out the big guns.  Plan to join us on Saturday November 3rd  at (the usual time) 1:00pm!!!!!!!! as we sit down to analyze and dissect (heh)  From Hell– Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s epic fictional examination of the Whitechapel Murders historically attributed to the notorious Jack the Ripper.

This is no ordinary comic book.  From Hell is filled with many intense passages where Moore and Campbell use their combined skills to draw the reader right into the world of late 19th Century London.  All the filth, all the corruption, all the intrigue but above all– page after page of great storytelling and fabulous artwork.  From Hell is a true tour-de-force.

But be forewarned:  this is not “the feel good book of the fall“.  From Hell is tough, it is gritty, it is adult but above all, it is magnificent. Due to its length and depth, it will take you quite a bit longer to read than most of our other Discussion Group books.  So plan accordingly– we strongly suggest you read it in chapters.  Don’t over do it and read too much in single sittings –the book can begin to overwhelm the reader.
Topics will include:
  • The gray area between Historical Fiction and History Fact
  • The tactics Moore and Campbell use to draw the reader into a seemingly familiar tale and then keep the reader guessing until the end
  • The thematic role of the turning of the century
  • The Freemasons
  • How Moore and Campbell present the inner workings of an unhinged mind–especially…
  • The flash forwards
  • And….The footnotes (or end-notes).  Although they are not required, many of them are worth reading and they add to the entire From Hell reading experience.  As we get closer to November 3rd, we will provide a short list of End notes that we believe are crucial to the analysis of the story.  But  regardless–we urge you to  read  all of the end notes to chapter 4.  It makes that particular chapter a true high water mark in comic literature!  This is not an overstatement.
As usual, Heroes is offering the (patent pending) 10% Discussion Group Discount on From Hell.  Just remember to mention it when you check out.  Don’t forget we have Gilbert Hernandez Human Diastrophism and Jeff Smith’s masterpiece Bone coming up in the next few months!
All are welcome to join the discussion, but be aware that this is a book and a discussion strictly for grown ups.  Even Freemasons will be welcome, but they better know the Heroes Discussion Group Handshake[TM] or they can go take a flying leap into the Thames.  Bunch of tossers.
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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: STARMAN :: Saturday, September 29th 1:00PM

September 13, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

First of all, we want to thank all of you who joined us to discuss MAUS.  That was quite an intense 2 hours of good conversation. So what do we do for a follow up after such a cathartic experience? Why not kick back and have us some super-hero fun??? We can’t think of a super-hero series as fun, as hip, as enjoyable as Starman by writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris featured in the Starman Omnibus Volume 1.
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MAUS Discussion Group September 1st 1:00pm — A Reminder

August 20, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

Just a reminder that the next Heroes Discussion Group will take place on Saturday September 1st at 1:00pm.  We will be discussing the Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel MAUS by art spiegelman.

A few quick thoughts upon a second reading.

A couple of things I’d like to discuss with the group:

The use of the multiple narrators.  Is this the story of a survivor or the story of someone growing up with a survivor?  Is this truly a biography?  I don’t believe this is picking nits–we are affected by the way the story is told to us.  This is a topic that needs to be examined.

AND

(more…)

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