STAFF PICKS :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2 :: MAY 28 2014

May 28, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2: When I see the word “southern” in anything, I am immediately skeptical. I’m all too accustomed to our region and citizenry being unfairly pigeonholed as a bunch of unthinking bigot morons. Thankfully, Jasons Aaron and Latour sidestep all that, and craft a tale that’s somewhere between pulp and spiritual. I’m sure nearly every one of you read #1; this is a gentle reminder that #2 needs your attention, as well. Aaron is working the spaces between genres like he did in his acclaimed Vertigo series Scalped, and Latour’s art is a blend of darkness and whimsy in the grand EC tradition (don’t let those colors fool you, I see Kurtzman and Davis both lurking in that line work).

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1 :: May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1: There are several reasons to pick up this first volume of the acclaimed series Black Science. Firstly, it’s an energetic sci-fi tour de force from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera. There’s a reason these single issues sold out quickly, and if you missed any of them, here’s the perfect opportunity to see what we’ve all been talking about. Secondly, and of equal importance, this collection is only $9.99! Image Comics has been using this price point for the first volumes of their new series’ trade paperback collections, and it’s a smart publishing initiative. In fact, you could pick up this volume and the first collections of Manifest Destiny and Pretty Deadly for just over $30 plus tax. That’s a lot of good comics for not a lot of money. BlackScience_v1

Bonus Pick: Southern Bastards #2: This is yet another sold out Image series, and my favorite new title of the year. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s southern crime story employs finely tuned writing and meticulous art to brilliant effect. Their cinematic use of tension and release remind us of how comics can still be used to tell unique stories in unique ways.

Bonus Pick #2: Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby TP: This is not the King’s greatest comic work, no, not by a long shot. But it is a series where he draws all kinds of dinosaurs and monsters, and that’s enough for me. Plus, this is the first time the whole series is available in a single trade paperback.

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HEROES REVIEW :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1

April 29, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS

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I arrived at Southern Bastards #1 with plenty of high hopes. Jason Aaron has long been one of my favorite writers, with his creator-owned Scalped being one of our great modern crime epics, and his mainstream Marvel work on Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-men being of reliable entertainment and quality. Jason Latour is an artist/neighbor whose work I’ve had a chance to see develop and flourish over the past 8 years. He’s proven himself as an accomplished writer on the creator owned Loose Ends and Marvel’s Winter Soldier, and as an artist on everything from B.P.R.D. to Captain America. Needless to say, I had a lot of expectations riding on this book. sb1

Upon my first reading of Southern Bastards, I quickly realized it was hitting close to home. I’ve lived in Charlotte my entire life. There aren’t many of us who can say that anymore. North Carolina isn’t the South of Southern Bastards’ Craw County, Alabama, but my Dad hails from Jackson, Mississippi, so I’ve got some deep south in my blood. Southern Bastards pulled up some of my memories of Mississippi and made me angry and wistful at the same time. The Mississippi of my memory is quiet and spacious, and seemingly hot all the time.  There’s all kinds of beauty surrounding you, but it’s not always easy to see it, because there’s plenty there to offend and infuriate. It’s an odd juxtaposition, the vast expanse of natural beauty and the racism and violence that occurs within it. It’s all part of what modern southern songwriter Patterson Hood refers to as “The Duality of the Southern Thing,” and it’s always there. Southern Bastards does a better job of encapsulating this duality that just about any comic I’ve ever read. sb2

Aaron and Latour wisely don’t acknowledge this equal parts blessing and curse with a slap-you-in-the-face, didactic approach.  Instead, they use open space and quiet moments to intended effect.  These are storytellers seasoned in Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Conner. They know a little can go a long way. They also know that the South is full of spiritual things that can be as unsettling as they are revelatory. Southern Bastards’ protagonist Earl Tubb sees this all too well in the first issue when he sees a giant tree growing right out of his father’s grave. Earl surmises that it sprouted from the legendary stick that his daddy used to clean up Craw County. It’s quite a sight, but for all the mystery it represents, it’s not necessarily something Earl wants to see. Earl comes back to Craw County for the first time in forty years, and you see in his face that home can be a place full of memories and still somewhere you don’t want to go. It’s like North Carolina writer Thomas Wolfe said: “You can’t go home again.” sb3

When we first meet Earl, he’s been in the big city (Birmingham) for years now, and he quickly realizes why he left his hometown. For all the good memories, there are plenty of things difficult and terrible about Craw County. While the series will surely tell us more about all of these things, it strikes me that it’s not an accident that Aaron and Latour chose Alabama as the locale for their story. Aside from the obvious fact that Aaron hails from the state, it’s worth remembering that Alabama is notable for several things other than football. On the cultural front, Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios was a place where black and white musicians came together to make some of the most enduring American records, even in the midst of the unrest around them. And then you have Birmingham itself, where the violence of the Civil Rights struggles came to a head in 1963. Southern Bastards seems to be very conscious of so much that makes the South a wonderful and troubling place.

There’s a phrase applied to music that says “always serve the song.” It refers to the idea of pushing your ego out of the way in a performance and letting the song’s inherent soul be revealed to the audience. Though a different medium entirely, Aaron and Latour clearly serve the song in Southern Bastards, and it’s one that will get stuck in your head if you let it. This is a comic of deft storytelling and uncommon soul. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

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CHARLOTTE MINICON :: THIS SATURDAY!

January 21, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: Charlotte Minicon, EVENTS

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Charlotte’s longest running comic convention returns this weekend! Featuring great vendors and comic creators including: Skottie Young, Rich Case, Sanford Greene, Jason Latour, Andy Smith, Rob Ullman, & many more!

Register now for FREE admission and don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food item for Second Harvest Food Bank!

Eventbrite - CHARLOTTE MINICON 2014

Guest List:

Natalie Andrewson
Duane Ballenger
Chad Bowers
J Chris Campbell
Joel Carroll
Rich Case
Sage Coffey
Jeremy Dale
Bo Fader
Billy Fowler
FRANK comics
Randy Green
Sanford Greene
John Hairston Jr
Dustin Harbin
Sandy Jarrell
Cassie Hart Kelly
Jason Latour
Jackie Lewis
Cara McGee
Chris McJunkin
Brockton McKinney
Kevin Mellon
Drew Moss
Out of Step Arts
Eraklis Petmezas
Buddy Prince
Pat Quinn
Budd Root
Bridgit Schiede
Hoyt Silva
Andy Smith
Rebel Stars Studio
Spandex Splinters
Ben Towle
Robert Ullman
Brittney Williams
Kelly Yates
Skottie Young

Eventbrite - CHARLOTTE MINICON 2014

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STAFF PICKS :: WINTER SOLDIER VOL. 4 TPB :: AUGUST 7, 2013

August 06, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: WINTER SOLDIER VOL. 4 TPB:  After writing and drawing books for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Vertigo, and 12 Gauge, our friend and neighbor Jason Latour landed the task of taking over writing duties for Ed Brubaker on Winter Soldier.  Alongside artist Nic Klein, Latour offered a smart and funny take on the man formerly known as Bucky. The pair also introduced memorable new cast members like Robards and Electric Ghost, both of whom further defined the Winter Soldier and his world.  Latour and Klein’s run received due acclaim, and though the series was ultimately cancelled (you know Marvel will relaunch it closer to the next Cap movie), their work was a fine addition to the character’s storied history.  This collection gives you an idea of what can happen when like minded creators get paired on a book that makes perfect sense for them to collaborate on.  It’s also, more importantly, an example of good and entertaining comics.

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HEROESCON 2014 :: GUEST LIST ANNOUNCEMENT!

July 12, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Feast Your Eyes, Guest List, HeroesCon

HeroesCon 2013 was amazing. Thanks to everyone on both sides of the table who attended. Dates for HeroesCon 2014 are set, we’ll be back in the same space at the Charlotte Convention Center on June 20-22, 2014. Let’s start things off with a bang for HeroesCon 2014 with our first Guest List Announcement!

It’s been a few years since legendary comic artist ARTHUR ADAMS has graced HeroesCon with his presence but he will be back in 2014! Arthur is known for his ability to pack a page with detail without making it look cluttered. He’s been a huge influence on a few generations of artists now while he’s still going strong and improving his craft!

STEPHANIE BUSCEMA is taking a few days off from her busy schedule of illustrating books and painting comic covers to join us too! Stephanie’s classic precision painting style is in demand and we’re excited to welcome her back to the show next year!

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If you’ve never met SCOTT C. don’t miss this opportunity! He’s truly one of the most charming creators you’ll meet and that character really comes through in his art. We love Scott!

KELLY SUE DECONNICK and the Carol Corps were in full force at HeroesCon 2013. Let’s see if we can make this celebration an annual event! Also, be on the lookout for Kelly Sue’s new book, Pretty Deadly, it looks killer!!kellysuedeconnick

We’re pleased to announce KEVIN EASTMAN’s first appearance at HeroesCon! Kevin is the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the head honcho at Heavy Metal Magazine. Don’t miss this opportunity to say hello to a modern comics legend!kevin_eastman

MATT FRACTION has a long list of accomplishments in comics but maybe the most impressive is taking a B-list superhero like Hawkeye and making him the star of a book people can’t wait to read each month. From serious to super silly, Matt is a writer who has shown a great range and we’re always happy to have him at HeroesCon!fox_mfraction

One of our neighbors just happens to be a great at making comics. JASON LATOUR just finished a run as the writer of Winter Soldier and the artist on Sledgehammer ’44. He’s got a bunch of soon-to-be-announced things cooking and we’re really looking forward to the just-announced at the Image Expo, Southern Bastards which Jason will be drawing!

RYAN OTTLEY makes you feel the pain when things get hyper violent in Invincible but he’s just as good at the quiet stuff and superheroics too! Make sure you get a sketch from him at HeroesCon, the crazier your request, the better!

RICK REMENDER is coming back to HeroesCon for the first time in years. After several succesful runs on creator-owned books like Fear Agent and Strange Girl Rick took his talents to Marvel for an acclaimed run as the writer of Uncanny X-Force. Now, aside from strong work on Captain America and Uncanny Avengers, Remender is coming back with two great looking books from Image, Black Science and Deadly Class!

Tickets will be on sale soon and of course we’ll have many more guest list announcements and other HeroesCon news coming your way throughout the year!

 

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FREE COMIC BOOK DAY @HEROES :: SATURDAY, MAY 4TH 2013

March 12, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: EVENTS, Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day 2013 @ Heroes is going to be our biggest and best yet! Come out on May 4th to meet more great comic creators than we have ever had at this fun annual event! Also, it says it right there in the name but in case you missed it, there will be lots of FREE COMICS to choose from too! Check out our awesome guest list and save the date!

  • CHRIS BRUNNER – Artist: Loose Ends, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, The Ride
  • IAN FLYNN – Writer: Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man
  • FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA – Writer/Artist: Black Beetle Artist: Captain America & Black Widow, Detective Comics
  • SANFORD GREENE – Artist: Rotten Apple, Deadpool, Wonder Girl, Methodman GN
  • CULLY HAMNER – Artist: Red, The Question, Detective Comics, Black Lightning
  • DUSTIN HARBIN – Writer/Artist: DIARY COMICS, Nutted!, DHARBIN!
  • TONY HARRIS – Artist: JSA: Whistling Skull, Ex Machina, Starman, War Heroes
  • ADAM HUGHES – Artist: Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan, Fairest, Wonder Woman, Catwoman
  • JUSTIN JORDAN – Writer: Legend of Luther Strode, Superboy, Deathstroke, Green Lantern: New Guardians
  • JASON LATOUR – Writer: Winter Soldier, Loose Ends, Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted Artist: B.P.R.D., Django Unchained
  • JACKIE LEWIS – Artist: Play Ball
  • TRADD MOORE – Artist: Legend of Luther Strode, Legends of the Dark Knight
  • ERAKLIS PETMEZAS – Writer/Artist: Last Cigarette
  • JAY POTTS – Writer/Artist: World of Hurt
  • RIDDLE – Cosplayer
  • BUDD ROOT – Writer/Artist: Cavewoman
  • ANDY SMITH – Artist: The First, Weapon X, Green Lantern, WWE Heroes, Flex and Tone
  • BRIAN STELFREEZE – Artist: Domino, Matador, Batman: Shadow of the Bat

NOTE that free sketches are at the discretion of the artists, and are not guaranteed.

So, mark that date on your calendar folks! Get here early on Saturday, May 4th at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find will be a great time and you won’t want to miss it!

 

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STAFF PICKS :: SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #1 :: MARCH 13, 2013

March 11, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

SETH’S PICK :: SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #1: I had a long, detailed paragraph prepared as to why I think you should spend your hard earned money on this comic. . .and then it disappeared from my computer.  Instead, I’ll just keep it short and simple.  1) There aren’t many war stories set in the Mignola-verse.  2) This one features an Iron Man archetype fighting Nazis, but is just as much about the normal soldiers on the ground as it is the armor.  3)  Though it was written (by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi) for genius John Severin to draw, when he passed away it was given to Jason Latour, who excels at the kind of detail-oriented research this story requires, and understands the importance of balancing that research with a focus on the characters themselves.  4)  In a week where I could easily write about the Hawkeye vol. 1 TPB, Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #2, or Ben Katchor’s Hand Drying in America, this is the book I’m most excited about seeing and reading. 

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STAFF PICKS :: WINTER SOLDIER #16 :: MARCH 06, 2013

March 02, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

BRIDGIT’S PICK :: WINTER SOLDIER #16: So, I’ve never been a monthly Captain America reader or followed Winter Soldier much but, that being said, in the last few months I’ve been reserving both of these titles… the books are sooo good! Marvel has used their re-launch as a chance to pair us up some really awesome creative teams. Jason Latour and Nic Klein really surprised me with their first issue of Winter Soldier last month.

Not only was it a fun read, but the art was so right for this title. A lot of times in comics, when the story is more action-oriented, the art loses touch with the character, which bothers me because I like to feel connected and read, through the art, what the character is thinking or going through internally. Nic Klein totally owns both action and the quiet moments, and keeps us connected with the internal dilemmas Latour is writing through the characters and their interactions.

All of you Brubaker lovers need not fear either, Latour hasn’t exactly taken Bucky Barnes out on a limb. Though Latour has definitely branched off into his own creative storytelling, he’s rooting the story in the plot Brubaker has already constructed. So no re-launch for Winter Soldier, thank God. In fact, Latour is resolutely building upon the foundation of Barnes’ dark past and using this to really push the boundaries of the character. These panels also make up some of the most reflective and introspective comic pages I’ve ever read.

And of course, no comic written by Latour would be complete without a good bit of humor and wacky antics. A Bond-like character named Robards who Barnes encounters in the last issue proved to be a great source of comic relief.

Something else about this series that I’m SUPER excited about too, is the creation of Latour’s new female (super?!)villain, the “Electric Ghost”. What we’ve seen of her so far is awesome but she’s still – literally – veiled in a shroud of mystery. In the last issue, she exhibited this cool sense of intelligence through some pretty wicked dialogue. This might be the sweetest female villain – let alone character – I’ve seen introduced in Marvel Comics in a long time.



 

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STAFF PICKS :: WINTER SOLDIER #15 :: FEBRUARY 06, 2013

February 01, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

RICO’S PICK :: WINTER SOLDIER #15: We’ve been waiting for this issue for long time, ever since our neighbor Jason Latour told us he was taking over writing duties on Winter Soldier when Ed Brubaker left. Jason and artist Nic Klein begin their Winter Soldier run on this issue and introduce a cool new character, The Electric Ghost. She’s already a favorite of mine and I hope she sticks around the Marvel Universe for a long time. Check out this 3 page preview below and check out the full issue this Wednesday!

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