LA Comic Con 2018…

I want to preface this with; we got there, on Saturday, around 4:30pm (maybe closer to 5pm). The Con was open Saturday, until 7pm.

I am not sure why that matters, but I feel like if you’re reading this, you should have the facts.

Now, the previous versions of LA Comic Con (or back then, Komikaze, then later Stan Lee’s Comic Con, to now being called LA Comic Con) – the Con was always happening and alive. Even when we would leave near the tail end of the Con for the day, there were still people bustling about. And usually at the end of the day, all the Cosplayers gathered in the foyer area for photo opportunities with tons of admirers.

The first thing I noticed when I strolled inside for Saturday, the foyer was pretty empty. I was expecting it to be full of Cosplayers and people taking pictures. There were people and there were cosplayers; but not nearly the volume that’s normally there in previous years. Previous years, you’d have to be careful of not stepping across someone’s photo; this year I walked through there with ease, and no issues of stepping in front of photographers.

You’d think, as someone who is definitely an introvert, this would be a plus, right? Well, as Charles and I stepped into the Convention Center itself; even the people in there were sparse. I thought, “Well, this will be kind of nice.”

But it quickly became evident to both of us (I thought it was just me, until Charles said something) – that something felt… off. As we walked around, we came up to where the Ghostbuster car was and I noticed, the food court was closed; the reason became clear because they had food trucks outside – this was a great move. The food trucks provided a much wider variety of food, at better prices, and way better quality.

But as we continued to walk through; there was no… energy? No excitement? No chemistry? I can’t describe it, exactly – but both Charles and I paused and talked about how there was something odd about the Convention. We then noticed there was no Marvel or DC booth, which is odd at a Comic convention. That’s like watching a Star Wars movie without lightsabers or a Star Trek movie where they don’t have the Enterprise or say “Beam me up” at least once. As we walked around, I considered getting another Lightsaber and figured I’d try to hunt down Ultrasabers (only place I get mine), and they weren’t even there. (I am not sure if that has anything to do with a fiasco that happened at Phoenix Comic Con – but they were at this con last year). Some other company was there that sold lightsabers, and while they looked sturdy enough, just didn’t feel like they had the same feel of Ultrasabers.

As we walked around (and we walked the entire con, very quickly, due to what appeared to be low attendance), there was this big row – where the vendors were separated by like 30 feet, and I told Charles, that it felt like I was at a garage sale, more than a comic con. None of the vendors seemed to have any energy or interest in engaging anyone. Everyone was just sitting in their booth. Even when I approached a few booths, none of the people behind the desk engaged me. The actual comic book selection at this year’s con was so absolutely sparse, it was actually a little on the pathetic side.

Had this been my first time to this Con (granted, first time at it being called the “LA Comic Con”), I probably would not return to it next year. Because I remember writing about the 2016 Comickaze thing – and talking about there were so many people inside and outside on the foyer area, that moving was almost impossible. This year, it was a polar opposite, that seemed to go too far to the other extreme. I remember the Stan Lee Comic Con 2017, feeling like the right balance.

I hope that next year, whatever it is that I felt like was off (because, I don’t know if it was just me and Charles who felt this way) – but I hope they fix it, and that next year, there’s the perfect balance of people (fans), cosplayers, vendors – and that the energy level is back. Because this… this felt depressing.

– Tawmis

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Namorita #1

Corey discovered that Namorita apparently has a special, promotional one-shot series – that neither of us have been able to locate any information on. Corey took to Facebook while I took to Twitter. What’s very cool is that Fabian Nicieza has helped us on our quest to find out more (and I would like a copy – even if it’s a scanned copy – of the book!)

 

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Coloring Magik #3 Cover.

New way of coloring is insanely faster. Did this one in about an hour.

Click on images for a larger size.

The actual cover from Marvel:

My colored version of the black & white image:

The a slight touch up to colors:

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(Old) Coloring Uncanny X-Men #156

While going through my images that I had saved to color, I found an old one I had done of Uncanny X-Men #156 which featured the Starjammers on the cover (anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Starjammers!) I am not sure when I did this one, but it was probably awhile ago, because I see things I would have done differently in the image. But figured it was worth the share.

Click images for a larger view.

The original image I worked with:

After having cleaned up the yellow tinge and colored:

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Coloring Ms. Marvel

To say I have been infatuated with Deathbird since her first appearance, and more so when she became associated as a part of the Shi’ar, would be an understatement. Found a Black & White image of Ms. Marvel fighting Deathbird (this was a great series, and not just because Deathbird is in it!).

Click images for larger view.

This was the image I worked with:

This was the coloring result:

– Tawmis

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Color Uncanny X-Men #137

While doing the Ka-Zar coloring, I learned a little trick. And these things normally took me quite a bit of time; but applying the trick I learned coloring Ka-Zar, I was able to color this cover of Uncanny X-Men #137 in a little over an hour; which is a huge difference between like several days!

Click the images for full sizes.

This is the black and white image I worked with:

And this was the coloring result:

No way looks super professional, but then, I don’t do this for a living. I just do it to relax my brain. 🙂
– Tawmis

 

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Ka-Zar Coloring

Did a coloring of Ka-Zar #29, I believe this was the first issue of Ka-Zar I had picked up way back in the day, solely because Belasco was featured on the cover, who I had known from Uncanny X-Men #160 (still one of my favorite issues!).

Here is the actual cover (you can click on all the images for a larger size).

This is the image I initially worked with:

After using the Find/Replace color tool, I turned all of the yellow tone to white. And began coloring it:

Using layers, I was able to keep the borders pretty easily, then merge the layer to then recolor the ink strokes:

I will typically color the main focus of the image, then grab the smaller background things to color:

Once I complete the coloring, I use tools to enhance the colors further, darken them if needed, and sharpen them for this:

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Marvel Comics Presents and The Invaders…

… will be returning to Marvel Comics.

When I first heard that they were going to be releasing Marvel Comics Presents, I thought, “Great! We might get some stories of characters who aren’t in a series regularly! Spotlight some obscure characters!”

However, it looks like the first story will star Wolverine back in 1940… another one will feature Captain America fighting in World War II… and another one will feature Namor and the impact of the Atom Bomb.

I guess Namor is not an obscure character, but he’s one that’s not appearing in his own book and a team book, and multiple other books – but he did recently get a very big push in the X-Men books. Here’s hoping if this continues, that they will feature a big character in a story (to draw the sale) and lesser known characters as a back up story.

The Invaders, get this – will feature Namor as the villain. The Invaders, formed as Captain America, Winter Soldier, and Jim Hammond going up against Namor who has decided to be a threat to society again.

(So much for Namor not appearing in multiple books…)

They also announced a Marvel Legends Night Thrasher figure that’s coming out.

– Tawmis

 

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The Age of X … or If I Was Writing X-Men Related Comics.

Every couple of months, I post team logos on my Twitter and give a stipulation of “Pick 7 members, maximum to be on your team, and at least ONE member has to have been a member of the team before” (and post Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, New Mutants, Generation X, X-Force, etc.) So I thought I would post my choices here, and maybe give some background to some of the story lines I would do.

Let’s begin, shall we?

  1. Vindicator (Mac)
  2. Snowbird
  3. Shaman
  4. Sasquatch
  5. Witchfire
  6. Marinna
  7. Puck

Normally Aurora and Northstar would be a part of my roster, but I will probably place them elsewhere. In this team above, I would have it be influenced by a lot of magic type villains and mystical things. Witchfire would be struggling with the darkness in her and Shaman would be trying to keep her on the light side of things, feeling guilty for having previously failed his daughter. The addition of Witchfire brings in Belasco into the picture, which I would probably use frequently. Bring him back to what he was and bring back S’ym also, to have that fight with Sasquatch.

  1. Nightcrawler
  2. Captain Britian
  3. Meggan
  4. Shadowcat
  5. Prestige (Rachel Summers)
  6. Cerise
  7. Khaos

Just because Khaos appeared in the 1993 Excalibur Annual and was offered a membership on the team; I’d have him come back around asking for their help getting back to Irth, his home plane. Unlocking some magical things Captain Britain has access to, the team would travel to Irth and make battle and break the barrier, but the world would be vastly different from what Khaos remembers (time and space having moved differently) and he feels like a stranger, and decides to return with Excalibur to Earth, and becomes a part of the team permanently.

  1. Sync
  2. Skin
  3. Husk
  4. Penance
  5. Chamber
  6. Karma
  7. Sunspot

Sunspot doesn’t do too much with the team; he’s actually the financial backer. He discovers that a mutant has been detected, and when he sends the team (with Husk as the leader, taking up lessons from her brother Cannonball), they discover that Sync is still alive; and that his power synced with another mutant (who could heal) that brought him back from death. He has no memories, which is why he’s been off the radar, and eventually gets his memories restored. They later find Skin is also alive, having survived his killing due to his excessive skin, his skin was never actually punctured, but he was believed to have been killed.

  1. Moonstar
  2. Blindfold
  3. Dust
  4. Rockslide
  5. Mamga
  6. X-23
  7. Caliban

Caliban is there to track potential new mutants that are appearing. Moonstar is the leader, who slowly sees the re-emergence of her original mutant powers. Mamga is there to try to rediscover herself and make things right. X-23 joins the team because she’s been through so much and wants to make sure the younger generation of mutants is ready for the war ahead.

  1. Cannonball
  2. Shatterstar
  3. Adam-X
  4. Random
  5. Warpath
  6. Siryn
  7. Ariel

The team would recruit Ariel (from Fallen Angels) to help them track down Lila Cheney who they learn the Shi’ar are holding. This gets Adam’s attention, who has some questions for the Shi’ar so he tags along. Random is hired on as some additional fire power as a mercenary when the team can’t get a hold of Cable. The fight with the Shi’ar leads to the fact that Adam is the son of D’Ken (and Katherine Summers) and the rightful heir to the throne. Adam’s not even sure he wants it, and Gladiator struggles with his vow to the throne (having even served D’Ken) and the idea of a “half breed” sitting on the throne. Now I realize, base on the cast of characters I picked, the book would not sell well, but this is what I’d want to do with it before being shuffled off the book for someone else to revamp my run.

  1. Havok
  2. Polaris
  3. Mutliple Man
  4. Wolfsbane
  5. Guido
  6. Aurora
  7. Dazzler

It’s pretty close to the classic X-Factor team that Peter David pulled together, originally. However, I would place Aurora here; as she’s come to X-Factor to seek help locating a former teammate (and according to continuity, a lover), Wildchild. He’s disappeared, and there’s a mystery behind it, so she’s here for the ride. Dazzler is brought on, because she wants to pick Guido’s brain about Lila Cheney and all of her (interdimensional) success as a musician.

  1. Storm
  2. Pixie
  3. Wolverine
  4. Mimic
  5. Colossus
  6. Bishop
  7. Northstar

This is the hit’em hard version of the X-Men. They’ve got the rougher edge and don’t always see eye to eye with Cyclop’s version of the Uncanny X-Men. They would often compete and bump into each other, fighting villains (X-Men using Pixie to teleport, while Uncanny uses Magik).

  1. Cyclops
  2. Jean Grey
  3. Gambit
  4. Rogue
  5. Jubilee
  6. Psylocke
  7. Magik

This is the classic/popular team; they’re softer edge than the X-Men, trying to make sure everything’s done right, and through Scott’s vision of what Professor Xavier hoped to achieve. The other X-Men believe in the Dream as well, but also know, sometimes you have to not only bend – but break – the rules.

 

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Geek Girl #1 & #2 Review!

First, a very special thanks to Sam Johnson, the creator of Geek Girl for reaching out to us to review this! Second, extreme apologies to Sam Johnson, who got this to us back in July to review! But hold! It might just work out, because Sam Johnson is launching a Kickstarter for Geek Girl in less than a week – on October 1st, 2018! So head over to the Geek Girl Kickstarter for some more details! I’d like to say that was beautifully intended, but it just happens to be a happy coincidence!

The story follows Summer, better known as Geek Girl, a super hero who is – by the looks of things, still learning the ropes! She’s a very beautifully drawn young woman, who can fly and seems pretty invulnerable! She also teams up briefly with a more, seasoned hero, that the city seems very well aware of, by the name of Pit Bull (who, yes, dresses up sort of in a dog like costume! Now before you shake your head at the idea, just remember The Tick and how successful he is!)

Now I was really into reading it, but the scene shift, pretty early on (right after we see Geek Girl’s debut), switches to a hospital scene – which I felt like broke the action pacing from Geek Girl, herself.

Sam and company are clearly setting up a mystery, because there’s mention of tech-glasses giving super powers; which seems very similar to what Geek Girl is wearing. So there’s the question of what happened to this girl, and are the glasses they’re talking about the same ones being worn by Summer that have transformed her into Geek Girl?

The arrival of several other girls, who clearly don’t seem to be friends with the young lady in the coma crack some pretty crass jokes and laugh about how she’s a vegetable. So it’s clear that there’s not a strong friendship here between the mysterious girl in the coma (Ruby) and the rest of these girls. Because these hospital scenes happen between action segments, I would have (personally) started the comic with this. So that there’s this mystery, then allow the rest of the action to flow naturally, rather than interrupt the action with cuts back to the hospital. But then, Sam is the writer, and I’ve got no published writing under my belt, so there’s that!

It isn’t long into the first issue, you discover that indeed, the glasses Geek Girl wears once belonged to Ruby, further deepening the mystery, as to what happened to Ruby (and it’s also revealed that, it seems she went by the name Geek Girl previously… or maybe, Neon Girl – it wasn’t very clear when I read it – when she was wearing the super powered glasses).

The scene shifts and we see what appears to be some normal bank robbers hitting a bank; but as they get away, they use a portal of some kind to make good of their escape!

This whole thing is to recruit more people into their organization. (I wish we would have gotten a cool “villain” team name for this organization in these panels).

However, the second issue seems to be hinting at a name for this criminal organization… The League of Larcenists. The issue opens with Terry talking to (I assume) his wife, and explaining how a woman named Lightning Storm took down Neon Girl, and took down this new Geek Girl and put her in a coma (which I assume is Ruby, and not Summer, that got a little confusing).

Now what I found even more confusing, or perhaps jarring, was the fact that Terry’s wife (I assume), reveals that Geek Girl is out of a coma, and the picture shown definitely doesn’t look like Summer (so it appears to have been old footage of perhaps Ruby, when she wore the Geek Girl outfit). The fact that Ruby is awake from the coma is confirmed in the next panel, as we see Geek-Girl (Summer) flying through the sky and talking on the phone to Ruby, and asking if she’s still at the hospital (to which she says she’s not, that she’s now at her parent’s home). This was a bit of a shame I thought, because I felt like there was going to be a mystery building up to what had happened to Ruby (if she was like Summer, it would have seemed she would have been invulnerable), but with her awake, it seems to take the “Urmph” out of the mystery. This is further evidenced that not only did she go from tubes in her nose to walking and answering the door when Geek Girl shows up at her parent’s house.

However, in a surprise twist, she does request that Summer leave the glasses, since they do belong to her. Summer leaves and gets caught up with a robot attempting a robbery, forgetting she no longer has the tech glasses that give her powers, so she’s forced to flee, and catches a ride with her friend Josh who is wondering why she’s wearing Ruby’s costume. This goes poorly for Geek Girl as the robot catches up, and smashes her headset before she can tell Pit Bull where she is!

And that’s where issue #2 ends! Now despite the little quirks I mentioned, this comic is a very fun read; the art is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend everyone check it out – and don’t forget to check out the upcoming Kickstarter too!

 

 

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