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29 April 2021

The lost con photos: HeroesCon 2014

(My kids running the Crooked Finger Press table.  Rich Tommaso on the right .)

So... I was recently (in the year 2021) trying to find some old photos and realized that I never posted this con report from 2014.  So here it is, I don't think it's even finished but after seven years I may as well let it fly.  Enjoy. 

In the long ago days of June 20th through June 22nd 2014, thousands of comics enthusiasts gathered together in Charlotte NC for America's most beloved comic book convention, HeroesCon.
I've been an exhibitor at HeroesCon many times in the past but this year would be different as I would be taking my family with me.  I had told my 12 year old daughter Kassidy that if she finished a full length minicomic that I would print it up and take it and her with me to Heroes Con.  She met the challenge so we decided to make a sort-of family vacation out of the trip to Charlotte.
We left for Charlotte on the Wednesday before the show.  Usually, I would just make the four hour drive down from southwest VA the morning of the first day of the show and spend the weekend in a sleep deprived fog.  I gotta say that driving down well in advance is great and a major stress reliever. 
(The hotel hallway was very long.  I walked to the end to make sure that it was real.  When I got there I found an old man in a bed.  He looked like my grandfather.  It was full of stars.)

As this was a family trip we decided to stay south of downtown in a more family friendly hotel.  And by family friendly, I mean a hotel with a swimming pool.  I like the hotels in downtown Charlotte fine.  The beds in the Westin are super nice.  But none of those hotels have swimming pools.  Last I checked the Westin did not even have free wifi.  Hell, the Westin does not even have free parking included with the price of your room.  Kids, they need swimming pools and wifi.
We stayed at a Residence Inn and it was super nice.  The room was huge with a full kitchen, couch, bar, desk etc.  The hotel had swimming pool, weight room, hot tub and a gas fire pit.  Loved it.  I would miss getting drunk with pals in the Westin lobby but I wouldn't miss it enough to give up the hot tub and the fire pit. 
(Planet Snoopy at Carrowinds is totally related to comics and therefore should of course this photo should be in a HeroesCon report.)

I've been to Charlotte many times but the only thing I've ever done there is go to the convention center and some surrounding eateries.  We didn't want this trip to be just about sitting at a comics show so we let the kids pick out something to do the day before.  We ended up choosing Carowinds.  I was super happy with that choice because I love roller coasters so very much.  My youngest daughter, Alana, is 7 so this was her first amusement park visit where she was tall enough to ride all the fun rides.  She had a fantastic time.  The first thing she said at the end of almost every ride was "can we ride it again?"  My wife and older daughter also had a nice time but I think they would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had not been 96 degrees that day.  It was hot.  Not gonna lie.  It was super hot.

(I grew a tail.  You know who else has a tail?  Rocket Raccoon and Rocket Raccoon is in comics therefore of course this photo belongs in a HeroesCon report.)

(My understanding is that this is a photo of a giant stuffed dinosaur dressed up as Spider-Man.  Relevant!)

(Obligatory we-are-in-the-Carolinas-so-here-is-a-picture-of-Dale-Earnhardt's-car picture.)

(The Crooked Finger Press booth.  Also known as Shannon Smith's table on Indie Island as ran by Alana Smith and Kassidy Smith.)
(Kassidy Smith shows off her first full length comic Hula-Hoop Girl.)
(Best bros forever.)
(Patrick Dean, Shannon Smith (a.k.a. me) and Brad McGinty.)
(These are happy people waiting in lines.)
(Brad McGinty talking to a dude in a luchador mask because comics.)
(Kids could bounce under Spider-Man's crotch.)
(Patrick Dean and Henry "our most beloved" Eudy.)
(Alana decided to get in on the act and sell some pony paintings.)
(My daughter is now a T.A.R.D.I.S.  Thanks a lot HeroesCon.)
(We out Scoob.)

16 March 2021

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 03162021

(Wonder Woman #46 April, 1951. Cover by Irv Novick.  Stolen from Bully, The Little Sutffed Bull.  You guys know Bully was/is kinda the best a comics blogging and tweeting right?)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 03142021 03152021 03162021.

"I mean, let’s face it. Hollywood swarms with just the sort of people who gave us shit for reading comics as kids.  These mountebanks now make bank off this stuff.  Who says irony is dead, right?" - Howard Chaykin

  • Hello sisters, brothers and others and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shano and I'll be your host.  This one is late.  I accidentally daylight-savings-time set my clock back two days.  Happy Sunday on Tuesday!  Treat yourself to some pie!

(*And by new I mean comics that came out maybe a couple of months ago?)  So, good news folks.  I finally went to the comic book store and got a big stack of comics.  I picked up DC's Generations Shattered and Generations Forged for a few reasons.  First of all I like Dan Jurgens and Robert Venditti's DC work.  Secondly I like these Crisis style time/dimension hoping stories and nobody does them better than DC. It's a real Injustice (pun intended) that Marvel beat DC to the big screen with the time and dimension hoping.  DC has been better than Marvel at this stuff all the way back to the Silver Age when Gardner Fox started it. Thirdly, these comics have Kamandi in them. I will buy anything with Kamandi in it. 

I guess Generations was originally going to be a longer and bigger event basically ending the New 52/Rebirth versions of the DC Universe before launching 5G or G5 or whatever it was going to be before Dan DiDio was fired.  Before DC was de-DiDio'd? G5 got hosed and Death Metal took off so instead of the big finale, Generations seems to be the transition between Death Metal and Future State until DC finally begins again again again with Infinite Frontier.  That's a lot.  Forget you read all of that and just pretend that this Generations thing is one self-contained time hoping team-up story because it kind of is.  And that's probably a good thing.  These two 80 page comics together and by themselves make a really nice read. They read more like a couple old school summer Annuals than a mega event crossover and that's very much a positive.  

Jurgens, Venditti and Andy Schmidt did a good job with the writing.  These things can be a mess when you have a huge cast of characters on multiple planets during multiple eras but it reads smooth and was easy to follow despite that fact that I haven't read a single panel of Death Metal and I'm a solid year or more behind on most of the DC line.  The art is stellar too.  There are too many artists for me to type without having to break our my wrists braces but it's most of DC's heavy hitters; Hitch, Chang, Doran, Romita Jr. Reis, Morales etc. etc.  I usually give DC a lot of crap for not being able to get one penciler to finish a comic but on a multi planet multi timeline deal like this I think the jam format is a lot of fun.  It's neat to read through these and play guess the artist from page to page then go back to the index to see if you were right.  Again, there is really no justification that a single penciler can't knock out a single issue of The Flash or whatever but in these 80 page giant style deals it's neat to see them mix it up.  And I would say everyone delivers.  These are good looking books.  They'll make a great collection eventually. 

What makes this different from Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, No This Time For Real Last Crisis etc. is that instead of treating each era of DC comics as its own planet this one looks at DC comics history as one linear universe, or "Linearverse", where some of the major characters age and deal with time differently.  So instead of 1939 Batman being a different character from 1986 Batman, they're the same dude again but just stretched out over decades....?  Maybe.  So, everything is canon again.  Kind of like the Hyperverse Grant Morrison and Mark Waid talked about but instead of the universe map looking like a map it looks like a electrocardiograph now?  Look, I'm not saying it makes sense.  What I'm saying is that it has Kamandi in it and Kamandi is awesome.  I recommend. 


Normally when I talk about old comics I'm talking about stuff from the 70s or 80s but I'm catching up on the Nick Spencer era Amazing-Spider-Man comics and it's hard for me to call these new when they are going on four years old.  The Dan Slot run was so long it took me a while before I was ready to get back into Amazing Spider-Man so the issues piled up on me.  I've been catching up over the past few weeks and, friends, these comic books are not good.  I kinda hate them.  And I'm sad I let the pile up this ling before reading them because I probably would have stopped buying them a couple of years ago. This stuff is for babies.  This is like those early 2000 Spider-Man comics where Marvel was trying desperately to be all-ages and get some Schoolastic book fair sales or something.  These are worse than the Howard Mackie and John Byrne Spider-Man comics.  The writing is on the level of a mid 80s DIC cartoon. The art is in that all-ages desperate style where every expression seems to be aping the the Disney Aladdin cartoon.  Not the first one. The 2nd one that was made for TV and Homer was the Genie.  Friends, these comics are not for me.  Anyone want a big stack of Spider-Man comics?

  • And finally, our man Francis is a.w.o.l. this week so let's fire up the way back machine to the summer of 2019 when our man Boogie 2998 visited his hometown.  It's also my hometown.  Should I break Kayfabe and explain my Boogie/Francis connection?  Nah, I'll just let you make up your own version. I'll tell ya what, if anyone actually asks me on the twudders, I'll explain it to them in DM. 

Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp gum every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.p.s Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
    p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  Maybe if 100,000 of you follow me there I'll be as famous as the average Cambodian teenager with a milk ring collection. 

07 March 2021

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 03072021


(Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14. August 31, 1982. Cover by John Romita Jr. with John Romita Sr.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 03072021.

  • Hello sisters, brothers and others and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shano and I'll be your host.  How are you doing?  How was your week?  I'm okay.  I have a headache but it's not raining so I won't complain. I'm in a state of spring fever anticipation.  The sun is out.  The sky is blue.  The mud is starting to dry.  I'm anxious for it to be spring but it is still cold AF and we all know that it's not safe to do things when it is cold. Your limbs could snap off.  But it should get warm and maybe we'll get a vaccine and maybe we'll get that stimulus and then, who knows, comics con season is right around the corner right?  Everything will get back to normal right?
  • Wrong.  Better luck next year Comic-Con. 
  • WandaVision ended the way all MCU movies end, with digital cartoon versions of the characters flying around shooting energy beams at each other.  It was fine.  Eh, better than fine. It was emotional.  I think that's the strength of TV.  Your talented actors get several weeks to engage the audience and make the audience care about them so when you finally get to the digital cartoon battle at the end the stakes are higher.  This is certainly the most emotionally invested I've been invested in live action Marvel since Howard the Duck and Tim Robbins got on that ultralight aircraft. I thought the series was great with fantastic performances by Olsen, Bettany, Hahn and Pariss. Unlike movies, TV shows work, often in spite of their writing, on the strength of their cast and this show worked.  I'm sad it's over.  Also, I'm a little surprised it's over.  I was surprised to see it promoted as the series finale and not just the end of Season 1.  I guess these MCU Disney+ shows are all just miniseries? That's a bit disappointing.  I'd honestly prefer if they stayed with this format even if they never made another movie. Some folks were even more disappointed with the finale. While the series as a whole exceeded expectations the finale could not live up to promises real and imagined.  Marvel will get a pass on those imagined expectations.  Going in, I expected that maybe this series would be the backdoor to the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the multiverse or any number of possibilities.  Marvel didn't owe us any of that specifically. But there were promises the show made that it either didn't stick the landing on or just totally forgot to make the attempt.  You can't bring in an actor from a film franchise you purchased and not understand that your audience will expect a payoff.  You can't tease a Luke Skywalker level cameo and it just be one of your lead actors in different makeup.  Well, you can.  And they did.  But don't be coy when your audience is upset about it.  You've got 82 years of Marvel comics history to pull from so don't let lack of ideas be your downfall.  Teasing us has been a profitable business model for 13 years but the audience is eventually going to call your bluff. 
  • I think the one thing we can all agree on is that it was a catastrophic misstep not to end the series with the white "Vision Quest" Vision strutting down a city street to the sound of Queen's "One Vision". 

  • I also watched this week's episodes of the DC shows, Superman & Lois and The Flash.  I thought Supes and Lois was slow and boring.  The Flash was more interesting but tedious.  The simple truth of television is that the show works or doesn't work depending on if the audience connects with the cast.  That's really it.  The Flash's cast has proven it can return viewers despite comically bad writing.  Can Supes & Lois overcome it's writing?  Probably not for me.  I've got episodes of The Savage Dragon to watch on Peacock. 
  • A lot of this week's "comics discourse" was centered around NFT and CryptoArt.  I'll post a link explaining it clearly as soon as a find one.  As it relates to comics, the question is, how bad is this going to exploit and screw the comics artist and which comics artists can be the first in line to be exploited and screwed.  Same as always. Rinse repeat. I don't understand it but it reminds me of one Saturday afternoon at a comic book convention in the late 90s.  I was a dealer at the time. I remember standing up and looking at where all the business in the room was happening.  I looked at where cash was changing hands. At that moment it was trading cards.  There was a moment where comics trading cards were very hot.  And it in that moment it hit me right between then eyes.  Comics were over.  At least as they had existing.  We had people in a room full of comics, ignoring the comics and handing over cash for a piece of cardboard that delivered a tiny glimpse of the comic.  We had put the delivery mechanism over the art.  The 90s comics boom ended.  We've never gotten back what we lost.  Will NFT destroy.... the internet?  Capitalism?  We can only hope!  Will it help destroy the environment?  Yeah, probably. 
  • Some cartoonists dream of getting rich, others just want the literal torture to stop. 
  • Jason Horn has launched a new Patreon for his space comic "Settle" and it look super rad.  I'm in.
  • Jason has also been posting some neat DC comics house ads on the twudder so give him a follow if you know what's good. 
  • File under Wrestling:  This is not comics or zines but it stuff you can read with your eyeballs.  I probably read more wrestling than I watch. Remember in The Lost Boys when Grandpa Barnard Hughes explained that he didn't need to watch TV because he had the TV guide.  I'm kind of the same way with television wrestling.  I'll skip the shows then read about them the following day to see if anything interesting happened and then I'll check out those specific matches or segments on YouTube or the streamings.  Colette Arrand has been responsible for most of the best wrestling writing online in recent years and now Arrand is the editor over at fanbyte so "business is picking up".
  • I'm sure you guys are smart and follow Patrick Dean right?  He's getting better and better at drawing with his eyeballs. It's only a matter of time before he can shoot art directly from his mind into our minds. 
  • In other comics/zines/Fluke organizers dudes from Georgia news, Robert Newsome broke his arm. Look how happy it made him.  Maybe we should all break our arms.  I'm sure he'll be fine but that's no reason not to go buy some of his quality zines. 
  • Let's check in on our Carolina Man abroad and see how well Germany is adapting to Ashley Holt. 
  • More Dorkin is more good. 
  • I too am a sucker for a wacky cover and a Dave Letterman cameo. 


I still haven't made it to the comic shop but I'm working my way through a two foot high stack of books, comics and zines I've bought online during the plague. This week I read "The Burning Hotels" a memoir by Thomas Lampton from Birdcage Bottom Books. This auto-bio comic shows the cartoonist dealing with a lot of stuff.  On the surface it's about returning home and taking a closer look at your roots but it's also about divorce, autism, North Carolina, Appalachia, being a cartoonist, making the book itself and dealing with all of that during this very real and current pandemic.  It feels very of the moment and reads as if Lampton first considered each word as it was put on the page.  There is some neat drawing but I would say that Lampton's strength is in iconography.  This characters work as symbols more than drawings.  The art is working as a part of the writing though and that's the goal.  Or at least it should be the goal.  The result is more design heavy than drawing heavy.  There are art comics that are expression heavy and there are art comics that are design and function heavy.  This book is that latter.  My only complaint with the book is that Lampton changes font sizes from panel to panel. I'm sure it was a matter of presenting each panel at its best ratio to work with the rest of the page but I'm loosing my eyesight so I had to work at some of the panels.  


I think I'm through with my Vision and Scarlett Witch run for now.  I finished the original two miniseries and the related West Coast Avengers stuff.  Not great comics but weird enough to finish.  I might go back to the "Vision Quest" story next (John Byrne's white Vision) but I'm going to take a break from the Wandaverse and finish up some other things.  I'm still on my orange, brown and green hero books Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad.  I've also been re-visiting Jim "the most successful creative mind in Hollywood history" Starlin's Dreadstar. I was a big fan of the ongoing Epic comic when I was a kid but I've started at the beginning before the beginning and the beginning before that, "The Metamorphosis Odyssey" and Marvel Graphic Novel #3.  Those comics look very different than the ongoing Epic series.  For one thing, they are mostly painted.  Even when they are black and white.  It's simply the difference between late 70s early 80s adult comics magazines and 80s monthly direct market baxter paper comics.  Great stuff if you are into hardcore sci-fi fantasy. This stuff has been collected a few times.  If you want to star with the earliest stuff then the Dynamite collection "The Beginning" has that covered. 
  • And finally, Francis is sick of carrying your ass. 

Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp gum every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.p.s Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
    p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  Maybe if 100,000 of you follow me there I'll be as famous as the average Cambodian teenager with a milk ring collection. 

28 February 2021

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 02282021

(Convergence: Superman #2. May 6, 2015. Cover by Lee Weeks.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 02282021.

  • Hello sisters, brothers and others and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shano and I'll be your host.  I'm still getting back in the groove of "blogging".  I'm not 100% decided on when I should post these things.  Friday is probably the most logical day if I want people to actually read them but Sunday feels better.  I like the idea of you, dear reader, sitting in your favorite chair wearing your bath robe and slippers with your feet propped up on your dog "Honeycomb Salad" reading this on a Sunday morning.  I can see the waves of steam coming from your "#1 Step-Parent" coffee mug.  You still have bed head but it's working for you.  You look happy.  You look at peace.  You smell terrific.  Have you been working out? 
  • We may as well get WandaVision out of the way since it's the only thing on Earth that matters. This week's episode was great but maybe a little too great?  I can't think of any other TV show that has presented an episode that so neatly gift wraps everything the audience has asked for  and hands it to them prior to the finale.  I still kind of wish the show had never broke kayfabe and was still recreating a different chapter of TV history each week.  I still hate every second  S.W.O.R.D. is on screen and I knew the boss, Whiteguy McSuburbs, was a no good dirty liar.  See, even the parts we don't like conform exactly to our expectations.  Maybe the other shoe drops next episode?  There are certainly a few more questions to answer and a few more twists left.  SPOILERS Did y'all notice which of the recurring cast were not wandering around Westview during the flashback where Wanda came to town?  

  • Since comic books don't even exist and only super hero TV shows matter, let's talk about TV's other floaty character with glowing read eyes.  A new Superman TV show pilot, Superman & Lois,  premiered this week.  This is our fifth live action Superman TV show in the past eighty-three years.  I think that's more than C.S.I. (Unless you count Without a Trace and Cold Case.  Then Supes has some catching up to do.)  I don't watch much broadcast TV so normally I'd be checking this show out two or three years from now on streaming but I actually watched this thing in real time with the rest of the CW watching world.  I enjoyed it.  I like the tone of the show and I think Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch make a great Clark and Lois.  I think the kid playing Frodo has potential too. I really appreciate that Hoechlin and Tulloch are adults.  Ever since Superman Returns cast a nine year old as Lois Lane I've been warry of these things. I think the show kneecapped itself by [SPOILERS] starting with a funeral though.  The overall tone of the show is upbeat and hopeful but the funeral kind of forces the cast to mope around before we get a chance to see their default settings.  Lois really only gets one comical scene with a vending machine where she gets to act like Lois before putting on the funeral time sad face.  Maybe the cast will get a chance to outshine the script as this thing proceeds.  And that script?  Hoo boy.  Look.  This is a CW show so you just have to accept that it's going to be soap opera.  It's not for everyone.  If you're not into teen dance parties/bonfired/charity balls and each scene ending with a contemplative stare followed by a hard cut to commercial then stick with WandaVision. This show still exists in the shadow of the Snyderverse Superman.  There is a sepia tone filter over the whole thing and the Super spandex under armor still has that grim dark tone to it.  We're still missing the trunks so Superman looks like a dog standing on his hind legs. But, for a few minutes at the beginning of the show, we get a full color flashback scene with a real Superman costume.  A moving picture homage to the cover of Action Comics #1.  That was pretty great. 
  • As I said earlier, comics don't even exist.  To prove this, CW/DC/Warner followed up the premier of Superman & Lois with a behind-the-scenes featurette where the producers of the show along with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee talk about how they are all geniuses who thought up every thing on the show all by themselves without the help of 83 years of comic book creators.  Over and over again they brag about how the concept of this show, Superman and Lois married with children, has never been done before.  Comics don't even exist and that's why the producers and Johns and Lee make the big bucks.  Except comic books do exist.  Superman and Lois Lane have been getting married for decades. In maybe the best Superman comics of all time, "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorrow?",  (Superman #423 and Action Comics #583) Alan Moore's Lois and Cark are married and have a son named Jonathan. (Clark is going by Jordan in that one so that's where Jordan comes from for those keeping score.)  Superman and Lois have been in-canon married since 1996.  And they've had an in-canon son since "Convergence: Superman" #2 from 2015 where Dan Jurgens made superpowered son Jonathan a part of the current ongoing DC Universe.  Oh, but Shano, the genius producers put a new twist on it!  In the new TV show they have two kids! Not so fast imaginary person that isn't really arguing with me, John Byrne gave Supes and Lois two kids in "Superman & Batman: Generattions" in 1999.  And my point isn't that TV shouldn't steal from comics.  No TV, please, please steal from comics.  Comics are better than you.  But don't put together a TV feature about your brilliant game changing new idea when you know damn well that comics has already done this and that you should be giving the comics creators the credit they deserve.  Especially you Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.  You have no excuse.  One of you jerks better buy Dan Jergens a new house. 
  • In other moving pictures of Superman news, it appears that a Ta-Nehisi Coates written Superman movie is in the works and that it might be the black Superman a lot of us have been wanting to see at least since Grant Morrison's Multiversity.  I'm optimistic but I hope they don't rush it.  We've had four Superman movies since 2006 with the Zack Snyder Justice League about to drop in a few days.  I'm worried that there won't be much appetite for a new big screen Superman.  It's like the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies.  They weren't terrible, Everyone was just full up on Spider-Man in that moment. Maybe if we get through this plague and back to the communal non-butter-liquid-popcorn topping trough we'll be ready for a fresh Superman. 
  • I hate to linger in the world of moving images when comics are always vastly superior but I do have to link to this Zack Snyder redemption piece if for no other reason than for you guys to see that Warner continues to be wrong in almost every situation.  The two hour blockbuster died when you fools gave one of those Tolkien movies the Oscar.  
  • In our final, I promise, DC Comics related link of the week, they're playing thrash metal during musical chairs now so I can't even keep up well enough to know what any of this means. 


Once again I am apologizing to you for not having read any new comics this week.  I still have not made it to the comics shop.  I hope our good man Brian at Cavalier Comics hasn't thrown my pull list in the trash but there's still a plague going on, it's been raining and the goddamned government still hasn't given me that money they owe me. 
Nicholas Burman over at TCJ still reads the comics and writes about them though.  The most interesting comic I saw reviewed this week was probably the Savage Pencil collection he wrote about. 
As for me, I read a lot of Spider-Man comics this week. I'm getting caught up on the Nick Spender run.  I can't say that I care for it.  The jokes are pandering way to hard to an audience that isn't going to look away from Tik Tok long enough to read these comics and the art is nothing special.  They can't all be winners.  
I'm still on my orange, yellow, brown and green costume bullshit with my ongoing read throughs of Suicide Squad, Doom Patrol and the Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series and related Avengers comics. One of the Vision and Scarlet Witch issues features guest star Power Man (Luke Cage to the youngs) celebrating what appears to have been the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Always classy Quicksilver celebrates MLK Jr. Day by calling black humans and black Inhumans "dusky skins" so, I'm gonna call this one a swing and miss. 
Look friends, I know a lot of you might be interested in the first two Vision and Scarlet Witch serieses because of WandaVision so let me warn you, they are not good.  I'm not saying don't read them,  They are interesting and there is a surprising amount of stuff in the WandaVision show from those comics, I'm just saying don't expect quality.  Personally, I tend to be anti-quality in most things. I'll take weird over quality 99 out of 100 times and these comics are weird AF.  The full Steven Englehart. Just don't go into these things thinking that you are going to come out the other end a better person. 
  • Before we leave, it looks like our man Francis was too busy to make a video this week so instead we'll check in on his distant cousin (by marriage) Boogie and see what's up on the Yoo Tubs and the Tick Clocks. 
  • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp gum every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.p.s Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
    p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  Maybe if 100,000 of you follow me there I'll be as famous as the average Cambodian teenager with a milk ring collection. 

21 February 2021

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 02212021

  (Vision and Scarlet Witch #12 1986. Cover by Richard Howell and Joe Sinnott.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week weeks ending 02212021. 

  • Hello sisters and brothers and others and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shano and I'll be your host.  I still want this to be an every week thing but things are things and times are times and I mean, half the country is frozen and the other half is waiting in line for the cure or the sedative or their $2,000.  Sometimes I start these things and just abandon them.  One minute I'm in the zone giving you "THE CONTENT" you need to feel alive and the next I'm just... what do I even do?*
  • (*I have a job, a family, a bunch of pets and several guitars.  That's what I do.)  
  • Looking at that Vision and Scarlet Witch cover up above.  Man, the 80s were wild AF right?  "At last! The moment you've been waiting for! BIRTH!"  And inside the issue is titled, "Double sized climax!"  Don't we all want to see Vison have a double sized climax? 
  • Speaking of Vision and Scarlet Witch because, let's be honest, that's all that matters now in comics/tv/Earth/Milky Way, this week's episode of WandaVision gave us what it was obviously going to give us but it still felt like a surprise.  Years of giving us Easter eggs with a wink and a nudge and then forgetting about that stuff forever has given Marvel the ability to show us what they are doing with a very hard, literally visible on screen, wink and a shove and we're still like, "I don't know guys, it might still be Mephisto and not the lady with a similar name to one of the primary characters from Wanda's comics history."  And part of it is that the first two waves of the MCU were very much THESE ARE MOVIES AND THEY ARE THEIR OWN THING AND NO WE DON'T ACTUALLY READ THOSE COMICS SO SUCK IT NERDS but now it seems that we are firmly in the Bongwater Age of Marvel Comics. They used a Jim Starlin idea and it became the most successful movie of all time so anything goes I guess.  Still, they're going the full Steve Englehart now and I never thought they'd go that far.  This is deep cut Bill Mantlo territory we're getting into now and I'm more excited about how weird it might get than anything we've seen in the movies.  
  • Also, it still might be Mephisto. 
  • And Dottie's gotta be somebody too right?
  • And which one of these people is Agatha's cat? 
  • And Franklin Richards is in that basement somewhere too right?
  • Guys!?

  • In our continuing coverage of WandaVision and only WandaVision, last week's episode was the one we've all been waiting for where we get to see the characters dressed up as the comic book characters they are based on for Halloween.  They went with homemade costumes which reminds me to remind you that, like most things, Patrick Dean did it first and did it better. 
  • We lost S. Clay Wilson. His work isn't for everyone but I loved the way he drew. 
  • And Si Spencer.  Death is the worst. 
  • Imagine getting to work with the sum total of the creative output of thousands of people over 83 years and you decide to shoot the thing in sepia tone. 
  • My pal Robert Venditti has made a lot of great comics over the past decade.  If I had done a better job of posting here at file under other I would have told you about how great his Hawkman run was. He has a new comic out soon called Tankers and they made a promotional video that you guys just have to see.  It's the probably the best comics promotional video I've ever seen.  I'd just post it here but I couldn't figure out how so just pull the link of their twitter post. 
  • When not riding around in a tank, Robert Venditti is also writing some new Superman comics that should hit a very specific sweet spot for a lot of us.  Another thing I would have told you about if I was better at "blogging" is that Rob has knocked out a lot of great Superman comics over the past few years through the DC digital stuff, the Walmart giant books and a really great short run on Justice League.  This should be good stuff. 
  • In other "my pals make good comics" news that I would have mentioned if I were better at this, our man Rob Ullman continues to make great sports comics over at DK Sports. 
  • How every classic super hero looks to me if they don't have their trunks. 
  • "Lightning Whisperer". 
  • Which one of you was asking for more Spawn?
  • There's another Stan Lee book. This one recounts the hilarious tale of how he wrote The Wizard of Oz while fighting Orcs in Middle Earth. 
  • If you're a colorist and you don't know well now you know about Rico Renzi's Color Jams twitter handle where color peeps from 'round the globe take their shot at re-coloring classic comics art. It's a fun follow even for a guy like me that isn't even sure he likes colors that aren't fiesta red.
  • Also from my twitter feed, Aaron Meyers reminded us about the guy that created Venom for $200.


Normally this is the part of the episode where I talk about the best new comic I read lately but I haven't really read any new comics since the last time we hung out.  There is a plague going on and it is winter and everything is cold and gross and I have not driven to the comic book store in a while now.  Tom McHenry still reads the comics so maybe check that out to fill the void in your soul.  Don't worry, I'm still reading old comics though.  I'm still on my orange and brown costumes kick reading 80s and 90s Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad collections.  I've also been reading Scarlet Witch and Vision centric Avengers comics from the 80s because all that matters is Wanda, Wanda, Wanda.  Guys, we need to have a good long talk about Steven Englehart.  Those comics are bonkers.  There is one issue where the West Coast Avengers beat the Grim Reaper because ol' Reapy calls his black villain partners "Spades" and they get pissed at him for being racist and leave.  The 80s y'all.  It's all worth it though because Vision talks about "making love" to his hot wife even before they get the notion of having kids.  The most important thing to know about Vision is that Vison gets it on.  Also Captain America gives his witch friend, Scarlet WITCH, an old book of Druid spells as a honeymoon present.  What could go wrong?  The fuck were you thinking Steve? 
  • And finally, are you afraid to leave your house? Don't worry, our boy Francis is here to tell you how to get rich as a real gamer.
  • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp gum every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.p.s Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
    p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  Maybe if 100,000 of you follow me there I'll be as famous as the average Cambodian teenager with a milk ring collection.