March 09, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: HOWARD THE DUCK #1: I’m a big fan of Howard. The guy’s on my business card, and indelibly inked onto me corporeally. Also, he’s in my heart and soul. A childhood love for that foul (see what I did there?) movie lead to a rekindled personal interest in the funnypapers. A lot of that had to do with the late, great Steve Gerber, the Duck’s creator and chronicler, and how his work provided a hitherto nonexistent intersection of comics and “comix”. Howard was the consummate outsider, but also a staunch everyman and rugged individualist. Personalities like that usually end up the most incisive of social critics. And that was Steve Gerber’s tack: Howard was his mouthpiece, his means of satirizing not only the insular culture of comics, but the pop culture abroad as well (even post Y2K, Gerbs was savaging his psychic surroundings…see Howard’s brilliant and underrated six issue MAX series if you don’t believe me). Howard WAS Gerber, and in other writers’ hands, well, he’s never been quite right.

Therefore, I do not envy Chip Zdarsky. Granted, people like me – fanatical Duck fans – aren’t a flock large enough to generate a blip on the radar (these duck puns are making me very ashamed of myself), but like Ty Templeton before him, Zdarsky is using high concept as his entry point, i.e. Howard the Duck PI. That’s fine, I’ll give him a fair shake; he’s demonstrated a singular enough sense of humor. He could do worse for collaborators: Joe Quinones may be drawing Howard with four fingers, but otherwise, he is a stellar artist, whose work is both elegant and entertaining, technically proficient without sacrificing storytelling. And our man Rico Renzi will certainly punch things up with his usual panache. Me? I approach the book with a strange mix of enthusiasm and trepidation. A lot of people saw that movie, and a lot of them sat through those credits. Will they all understand that there is soul behind the smartassery? That satire is the essence of what Howard is, or should be? Or do they just want a cuddly ducky with a cranky attitude to placate them for a few months, ‘til the next fad pops up?




May 20, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: BLACK CANARY AND ZATANNA: BLOODSPELL: On the rare occasion when the visionary Paul Dini writes a comic book you owe it to yourself to pick it up. Dini along with Bruce Timm created a definitive version of Batman for television. This week we get beautiful new hardcover comic with all new material written by Dini with stunning art by Joe Quinones. This book has been in the works for years and it shows.



September 05, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #1: In the wake of DC’s massive roll-out of Forever Evil and Villains Month, it might be easy to overlook a black and white anthology, even if it does feature one of the greatest comic book icons of all-time. Batman as a character tends to attract comics’ top talent, and in that interest, DC has revived the Black & White series. Boasting a stunning cover by Marc Silvestri, this issue is a cornucopia of amazing art and writing, from Chip Kidd and Michael Cho‘s wonderful team-up tale to a Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy yarn by dream team Maris Wicks and Joe Quinones. Bat-luminary  Neal Adams flies solo, John Arcudi pairs nicely with Sean Murphy, and Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee round out this outstanding issue with a truly grisly character study of one of the Caped Crusader’s most intriguing villains. In the sound and fury of all these .1 issues, take a little quiet time with this gem, and revel in the art form we all love and appreciate.

silverstri batman b&w 1



February 19, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

RICO’S PICK :: CAPTAIN MARVEL #10: Captain Marvel is a book I’ve wanted to get into since Jamie McKelvie’s great costume redesign was posted online. While I thought the story in the first issue was appealing I just couldn’t penetrate the dark concept-art styled work of Dexter Soy. This issue features the dynamic art of Felipe Andrade colored by Jordie Bellaire. I personally feel this is what the art on this book should have looked like from the start, check it out and let us know what you think!



January 10, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: Guest List, HeroesCon

While were pushing hard to get ready for the Charlotte MiniCon this month (register for your FREE pass here) we can’t forget about the big show coming up in June! We have a bunch of great guests to tell you about today! Get your HeroesCon 2013 tickets here, don’t miss the fun!

Please give a warm welcome back to Ming Doyle! Ming combines science fiction, super powers and sports in her new miniseries Mara (with Brian Wood) and we are happy she is returning to HeroesCon this year!

Tom Fleming is a talented painter who has worked on titles such as KULLElektraVampirellaHeavy MetalMagic: The Gathering and many more!

Artist Tom Lyle is also returning to HeroesCon 2013.  Tom has illustrated numerous books like Spider-manRobin,Punisher and Batman.  He’s also an instructor at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)!

Mark McHaley began his career when he was just 19 years old and since then he has illustrated for countless companies. Recently has done a wide array of sketch cards including DC Universe: Legacy, Indiana Jones: Heritage, Star Wars Galaxy 5 and Lord of the Rings: Masterpieces II. Check out his website for more!

Joe Quinones is well, I’m just going to let the beautiful Captain Marvel cover below do the talking. Geez Joe!

Robbi Rodriguez has self published 2 volumes of his acid western comic Frankie Get Your Gun and is working on the 3rd now. His first comics work was 2004’s Hero Camp followed by Image titles which include Night Club, 24seven vol.2 and Hazed. He also illustrated Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen and the Harvey nominated series Maintenance, published by Oni Press. Look for his new monthly series Collider from Vertigo later this year!

Tony Shasteen was the illustrator behind the Burn Notice graphic novel for DC Comics and USA Network, the Talisman graphic novel, co-written by Stephen King and Peter Straub, and 12 Gauge/Image Comic’s The Occult Crimes Taskforce (the O.C.T.), co-created by David Atchison and Rosario Dawson.

Tim Townsend pleased our eyes with his immaculate inks on Chris Bachalo’s Wolverine and the X-Men art in 2012 and this year he’s on Marvels big re-launch of Uncanny X-Men with Bendis and Bachalo. He’s been inking Marvel Comics for 20 years, stop by and wish him a happy anniversary!

Maris Wicks wowed us a few years ago with her beautiful Yes, Let’s comic and has continued to show that she is comfortable with all aspects of comic storytelling. From doing covers for Bravest Warriors and Adventure Time to writing scripts for Spongebob Comics. Check out her blog for more great drawings of your favorite superheroes as you’ve never seen them before!
Kubert School grad Thom Zahler’s Love and Capes series is a fan favorite. He has won awards for both his graphic design and illustration work. He is also a recurring presence on Cleveland broadcast media, both television and radio. He recently made the jump to the national spotlight as a contestant on the syndicated version of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” where he won $32,000. He could have gone farther, but he didn’t know who the heck Charles Goren was.




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

RICO’S PICK :: ADVENTURE TIME: FIONNA & CAKE #01: Natasha Allegri, who works on TV’s Adventure Time, is writing AND drawing this 6-issue series starring the characters she created for the show. I’m a huge fan of Fionna and Cake and Natasha’s Tumblr is just about one of the funniest things you can see on the internet. So I’m not really sticking my neck out when I say this series is going to be great! And check out that sweet, sweet cover by my pals Joe Quinones & Maris Wicks!!




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