Archive for the ‘Discussion Group’


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!



November 01, 2012 By: Karla Southern 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!
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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!



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!


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 allРpage 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.

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.

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.




HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: MAUS by Art Spiegelman :: September 1st, 2012

August 01, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group

First of all, I personally want to thank all of you who attended our three discussions from HeroesCon weekend.  Oz with Skottie Young (thank you Heather!), Batman: Black Mirror with Snyder and Francavilla (thank you Jason!) and Love and Rockets: New Stories with Jaime Hernandez (thank you Mr. Hernandez!).
Now that we are all rested up, it is time to get back to our regular Discussion Group schedule!
First up–
August: Discussion #48: Plan to join us on Saturday,¬†September 1st as we tackle the graphic novel that is certainly one of the most critically acclaimed, vastly read and most often discussed: ¬†The Pulitzer Prize winning story of the Holocaust–Maus by Art Spiegelman.
This is a major work and should be read by all serious comic readers. ¬†The discussion topics are many, but the three primary points I’d like to cover are as follows:¬† (more…)


March 16, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Looking Ahead

Just a quick reminder, join us on Saturday, March 24th at 1:00pm as we hunker down and discuss  Daredevil: Born Again collecting Daredevil # 227-233. by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. If you have not read it before you are in for a treat!

Here are just a few of the topics we will discuss:

  • What is it about Mazzuchelli’s art that sets it apart?
  • Does the multiple narrator frame work succeed or detract?
  • The God and Country/Armageddon Coda
  • Ben Urich’s role in the finale two issues
  • Sister Maggie
  • How did this run on Daredevil affect Miller’s career as a writer/cartoonist?
  • The lack of the patented Miller comic relief
  • Murdock’s descent into madness
  • An examination of the splash pages and the titles of each of the issues
  • And lots more–there is quite a bit to talk about!!!

And as always, Born Again is available from Heroes with the special 10% Discussion Group discount.  Just be sure to remind the clerk as you check out!

See you Saturday, March 24th!



March 09, 2012 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Looking Ahead

Cheers to Andy Mansell, who has led and moderated the Heroes Discussion Group through 41 different books over the past four years.¬† We’ve tackled a wide gamut of books¬†during this time, but rest assured,¬†we’ve saved some of¬†the biggest guns for this year as we approach¬†our 50th Discussion Group Meeting.¬† With that in mind, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a rough outline for the rest of 2012’s book selections.¬† I’ll leave it to our fearless Group leader to further elaborate on our plans. – Seth

SATURDAY, MARCH 24: Daredevil: Born Again collecting Daredevil # 227-233. In this¬†collection¬†Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli destroy Matt Murdock’s life!¬†¬†This will be the third Mazzucchelli-illustrated book we’ve discussed.¬† If you haven’t read Born Again— you are in for a treat. ¬†I mean just take a stare at the cover!!!

April: ¬†Donald Duck Lost in the Andes. ¬†Even if you’ve never read any of his books, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Carl Barks. ¬†He is regarded as one of the all-time great cartoonists and this recent reprint from Fantagraphics is a perfect place for you to dive in and get your feathers wet.¬† This also marks the Discussion Group’s first foray into classic funny animals. ¬†You won’t be disappointed!

May: ¬†We need to do something really big–really major– before the convention. ¬†What is bigger (and better?) than Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel Maus. ¬†This truly belongs on the short list of must-read comics. ¬†Read it (or read it again), join the discussion and brace yourself.

June:  We hope to have at least three Discussion Groups throughout the HeroesCon weekend.  Our goal is to discuss the particular books with the creators joining in.  Last year, the Darwyn Cooke-The Outfit Discussion and the Wednesday Comics Panel  were major highlights.  We promise we will do our level best to top them in 2012.  Watch this space!

And what about the next six months? Glad you asked.  Although these are tentative selections (based on whether the books remain in print), we hope to present: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Cages by Dave McKean, Habibi by Craig Thompson and book-length works by Gilbert Hernandez and Canadian Cartooning Legend Seth (but which ones????)

Plan to join us– it’s fun, it’s no pressure, it’s a great way to spend part of a Saturday afternoon. ¬†We’ll announce the specific dates for each discussion right here, so stay tuned, and we hope to see you there!



February 17, 2012 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

There are few things more satisfying than high quality crime fiction (The Novels of Jim Thompson, HBO’s The Sopranos, and Polanski’s Chinatown just to name three).

And there is nothing more embarrassing and ridiculous than cliche-ridden badly done hard boiled crime like Mickey Spillane (OK, it’s kinda funny), Bones (yikes!), Fatal Attraction (GAH!) and sadly I could go on and on.

The essential ingredients needed to produce quality crime writing are a consistent and believable tone, a fully developed central character/narrator and solid cast of supporting characters that allow you to suspend your disbelief until the final page is turned.

In recent years there have been a number of successful crime series in comics–(Darwyn Cooke’s Hunter adaptations,¬†Brian Azzarello and Eduardo¬†Risso’s 100 Bullets and Warren Ellis’ Fell ) and quite a few crime comics that fall headlong into cliche (the last four Sin City GNs).

One of today’s most popular crime series is Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.¬†¬†For February’s¬†Discussion¬†Group we’ll be¬†looking closely at two of Criminal’s story-arcs¬†and examining¬†what makes the stories work. ¬†How do the writer and artist avoid cliches or how do they use them to enhance the story? ¬†How do the creators use the comic medium to their unique advantage versus a prose writer or film director treating the same¬†material?

Please plan to join us on Saturday February 18th at 1:00pm down at Heroes Headquarters and help us get the facts straight about Criminal: Bad Night and Criminal: The Last of the Innocent. Just leave yer pieces at home, but bring an open mind along with an air-tight alibi (See??? Bad Crime writing is a breeze!!!).

As usual, Heroes is offering the Discussion Group 10% Discount on both books, ¬†Just remember to mention the Discussion Group as you check out. ¬†We’ll see you on February 18th; and as always, Dames are welcome (Dear God, somebody stop me!)


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