Dec 01 2016

Marvel Cartoons Even I Haven’t Heard Of

As a Geek Gold Gold member and Marvel dork, I was surprised to find out that there are Marvel cartoons even I haven’t heard of. Note that I didn’t say Marvel cartoons I haven’t seen. I haven’t seen every animated work the House of Ideas has produced (usually with partners). That said, I figured I had heard of all of them.

I was wrong. Wrong! So very wrong.

Below is a link to a fun article from CBR, aka Comic Book Resources, discussing 15 “forgotten” Marvel cartoons. (Not to split hairs, but they clearly aren’t forgotten if you wrote an article about them!)

Since I love me some superhero animation, and I know you do too, here is a quick rundown of the shows I’ve seen and the ones I haven’t.

SEEN BY ME

Spider-Man Unlimited: Very odd show. Spidey goes to “Counter-Earth” to save John Jameson and winds up staying there because reasons. Kind of hard to search for because there is now a game with the same title. Here’s the series on Amazon.

Silver Surfer: The animation in this series is absolutely beautiful, and the rest of it is good too. Very epic and features a clever mix of traditional and computer animation. Worth seeking out. Here’s episode 1 on YouTube.

Black Panther: Very very good series that probably was doomed from the start because it’s a “motion comic”. However, as the CBR article points out, the voice talent is stellar (Djimon Hounsou, Kerry Washington, and Alfre freaking Woodard, along with a very dramatic Stan Lee cameo), and the material (based on Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr.’s excellent comics) is strong enough that it worked for me. Check it out on Amazon.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series: I have a soft spot for this 2003 series because it aired just after the 2002 Spider-Man movie and was kindasorta a continuation of it. Also, here’s your main cast: Neil Patrick Harris as Peter Parker, Lisa Loeb as Mary Jane Watson, and Ian Ziering as Harry Osborn. Name another cartoon with Lisa Loeb. You can’t. (That doesn’t mean she’s never done another cartoon, it just means you can’t name one.) And Ian Ziering? Is this “Spider-Man: 90210”? It was 2003, we wore onions on our belts, and the writing was pretty good. Free on Amazon with a Prime Subscription, which you can try for 30 days FREE right here.

Fred And Barney Meet The Thing: Apparently there is an episode where The Thing meets Bigfoot. I need to see that. Thing Ring, do your thing!

Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Solid story-telling overcomes a premise that shouldn’t work but totally does, which is Iron Man as a teenager. Amazon link here.

Spider-Woman: I’ve seen a couple of episodes of this series. I think the same creative team moved on to do a Spider-Man series which eventually became the ever-awesome Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Don’t quote me on that, though. The animation style and overall look/feel are very similar.

Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes: Not good. Just didn’t work.

Avengers: United They Stand: Very odd series. Most of the better known characters (Iron Man, et al) aren’t there. As for oddness, all of the characters have “Avengers flight belts”… including Falcon. Falcon’s whole thing is that HE CAN FLY. Why does he need a flight belt? Not one of the better Marvel cartoons. Of course, I watched it anyway.

UNSEEN BY ME:

Dracula: Sovereign Of The Damned: Sounds weird enough that I might check it out. I also really like Marvel’s version of Dracula.

Marvel Anime: Not my thing. All I can find online are clips here.

Monster Of Frankenstein: Doesn’t sound much like a Marvel movie but as with Dracula above, it sounds entertainingly weird.

Pryde Of The X-Men: How I’ve never seen this, I have no idea. I’ve heard so much about it that I feel like I’ve seen it. Wolverine is inexplicably Australian. Someone told me that they kept airing the pilot over and over again, teasing viewers that a series would eventually show up. Technically it did — X-Men: The Animated Series. Can we get an Honest Trailer? We can!

 

Solarman: Who?

Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Apparently this was some unholy mashup of Avengers and Pokemon. Sure, why not.

Everybody remembers the ’90s X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons, but do you remember these ones?

Source: Marvel Superheroes: The Most Forgotten Comics Cartoons (CBR)


Nov 10 2016

Daredevil Digital Comics Sale

Amazon is having a Daredevil digital comics sale. There are other titles available, but the ones I’m interested in are Daredevil.

Picture of Gen Con Indy 2008 in Indianapolis, ...

Picture of Gen Con Indy 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Note: the guy above is not Daredevil, because Daredevil isn’t real. Good costume though.)

For some reason Daredevil lends itself to amazing story-telling. A blind lawyer who can kindasorta see and has ninja-like skills? Sure, why not? But seriously, these are literally some of the greatest comic books ever written/drawn.

Daredevil by Frank Miller

The Frank Miller/Klaus Janson comics should be required reading for everyone. For now, I’ll have to settle for sales such as this one and hope that causes more people to read the comics. The Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev books are also damn good. For me, the Miller stuff is better, in part because it blew my mind when I was a kid, but also because I think it’s just better. No disrespect to Mr. Bendis or Mr. Maleev, who are obviously insanely talented. It’s just… these comics… wow. Got me where I live when I was a lad, and reading them now, they still do.

There might be some other stuff available as well. The DD books (digital books, via Kindle) are half off. $9.99 is a freakin’ bargain for a collection of comic book epicness. Poke around and see if there’s anything you like. Comic books, especially great ones like these, are an excellent distraction from reality. You know what I mean.

Online shopping from a great selection at Marvel Featured Collections Store.

Source: Amazon.com: Marvel Featured Collections


Jul 03 2016

Lots of Star Trek Comics for Not Much Money

Wants lots of Star Trek comics for not much money? We gotcha covered.

English: Fireworks

English: Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, Humble Bundle does.

What’s Humble Bundle? Read on.


Pay what you want for Star Trek comics and support charity!

Humble Bundle is… well, here’s a quote from their web site:

At Humble Bundle, we put the power directly in the hands of consumers. You pay what you want for downloadable content and choose where your money goes. Through this model and the help of the Humble Bundle community, we’ve raised over $75M for charity.
So how does it work? We put together bundles of games and books that can be purchased at whatever price you think is fair. Once you’ve chosen a price, you can choose whether you want your money to go to the game developer or book publisher, charity, or Humble Bundle. We also offer the Humble Store, a digital storefront that features individual games at set prices with frequent discounts and a portion of sales going to select charities.

No idea what I’m talking about, orjust want me to cut to the chase? Basically, Humble Bundle gets a bunch of stuff (video games, comics, books) bundles them together and allows people (you) to pay whatever they want for it. The money goes to charity, and you get to decide what percentage of your money goes where. It’s very easy and you get to feel good about consuming mass quantities of digital stuffs because it’s for charity. Also you get a lot for your money.

In this case, we’re talking about $351 worth of digital comics for… well, the most anyone has paid as of this writing is $51.06. The average is $14.26. All Star Trek comics. I’ve read some of them and “Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive” is worth $14.26 all by itself. (Seriously. It’s really fun. Much better than it has any right to be.) The same could be said for “Star Trek: Year Four“, which is a comic book version of the fourth year of the Enterprise’s five-year mission. (Remember? it was a five-year mission that was canceled by the Gods of Television.) A lot of the others are good too, and those are just the comics I’ve read. You get a LOT MORE.

Check it out. Share with your kids. It’s easy because the comics are provided with no DRM, meaning you can copy them to whatever device you choose. If you go above a certain amount you even get a print book.

It’s a good deal, folks. Check it out. Limited time offer; your mileage may vary. DaddyTips takes no responsibility for anything.

Source: Humble Comics Bundle: Star Trek presented by IDW (pay what you want and help charity)

Star Trek Comics on Amazon


Feb 12 2016

Deadpool Good. Don’t Take The Kids.

You may have heard that there is a movie based on the comic book character known as Deadpool. I have seen it. It is good. It is not for children. Don’t take the kids. Leave the kids at home. Can we be more clear?

Deadpool Infographic - Douchebags and Heroes

That’s not to say the Deadpool movie isn’t childish. It’s totally childish, in the best way. (See this Nerdist review for more.) I’ve often said that video games should have an “IM” rating for “Immature” instead of “M” for “Mature”, because often “Mature” means dirty jokes and boobies. The Deadpool movie has both of those, but it also does a nice job of showing the darker side of the title character, showing that it would kind of suck to be Wade Wilson.

More importantly for ‘Pool fans (of which I am one), the movie hits a lot of things from the comic books from which DP spawned (including the whole “it would suck to be Wade Wilson” part). That’s something that a lot of the reviews I’ve been reading seem to forget, or perhaps the critics simply don’t know the source material. (“Use the Source, Luke.”) Deadpool doesn’t break the fourth wall because the filmmakers thought it would be “cute” or “subversive”, he does it because that’s how the character is written. He knows he’s in a comic book, therefore he knows he’s in a movie. It’s a fairly simple concept that has huge potential, some of which was realized in this movie.

Also worth mentioning is that the Deadpool movie is not excessively long. It’s under two hours, which these days feels like a gift. We all know I loved The Avengers movie, and that was a long flick. But there’s something to be said for leaving people wanting more instead of dragging on for too long.

Something else: can we get some love for Leslie Uggams? She makes a great Blind Al, and the filmmakers manage to work her into the movie seamlessly, which was a pleasant surprise. I’m a little annoyed that she isn’t getting more attention. Here’s a classic video of her from a long time ago when she messed up the lyrics to a song but kept going anyway. I like Leslie. Always have.

The entire cast is solid, but Ryan Reynolds and T.J. Miller are getting enough press. Let’s hear it for Leslie Uggams!

Bottom line: the Deadpool movie is fun, violent, and not for young kids. You could do worse for a Valentine’s Day date film, depending upon who your date is.

If you want to pick up a good Deadpool comic, this one, the start of a fantastic run by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, with art by Tony Moore (at least for awhile), is a good place to start: Deadpool Vol.1: Dead Presidents, currently available for only $3.99 on Comixology/Kindle, which is a freakin’ bargain. You can read the entire run via Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, which I’ve gone on and on about and is still a great deal.

I leave you with this image. It has nothing to do with Deadpool, it is a public domain image of a comic book featuring characters that are unlikely to ever get any screen time at all. Although Magno & Davey does have a certain ring to it…

FourFavorites0801

FourFavorites0801 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Oct 10 2015

Marvel Unlimited NYCC 2015 Deal

You’ve only got a couple more days for this deal but you know what a fan I am of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, which is kind of a Netflix for comics — you pay a fee (monthly or yearly) which grants you access to a library of Marvel comic books. Is it EVERY Marvel comic book? No. Is it over 13,000 Marvel comic books? Yes. Is it worth it? By Odin’s smelly sweat socks, of course it is. And this deal makes it even better.

Preview tons of digital comics for free, search back issues, and enjoy with Marvel.com’s special online reader.

Marvel is offering some free stuff if you get a subscription during New York Comic Con. Hit the link for details.

To clarify what’s in the digital library: old stuff and new stuff. There are some gaps. You might be reading a series and suddenly an issue is missing. But they do a pretty good job of adding newly published issues a few months after they come out. Mostly, though, you can read some really great comic books going all the way back to the 1940s. Recently examples of stuff I’ve read include:

The Man In The Ant Hill” from Tales to Astonish #27: The first appearance of Hank Pym, who would later become Ant-Man (and Giant-Man, Yellowjacket, and, weirdly, the Wasp).

Captain America: this particular collection of comics came out in the 80s and is very, very awesome. Steve Rogers is told by the U.S. Government that he can’t be Captain America anymore unless he does something that I can’t remember but would go against his beliefs. So he says “bite me”, gets a new costume, and the government finds someone else to be Cap. Worth getting the trade paperback even if you don’t get a Marvel Unlimited subscription. Also awesome are the early Captain American & The Falcon books. These comics deal with race in a way that is rare for the medium, and the comics were coming out during a time when racial tensions were high — and they talk about that. Falc is never Cap’s sidekick, and his first appearance (sans wings) features one of my all-time favorite costumes. It’s so cool it hurts.

Civil War: You know that upcoming Marvel movie? You can read all of the comics that inspired it. In this case, I actually think you’re better off reading it digitally as opposed to getting the trade paperback, because the tie-ins are very important and one of the things you can do with the Unlimited subscription is read by “Comic Event”. That either makes sense to you or you checked out a long time ago.

X-Factor: Peter David is one of my favorite comic book writers. He wrote my all-time favorite Hulk line, “Best way to make people of one mind is to bash their heads together. You can read his “Incredible Hulk” run, which is awesome. But his work on “X-Factor” is arguably even better because he takes less well-known characters and makes them interesting, funny, and he makes you care what happens to them. I’m talking about characters like Madrox The Multiple Man and Pip The Troll. There are lines that I’ve quoted to my wife and kids totally out of context that they agreed were hilarious.

Anyway, if you were thinking of getting a Marvel Unlimited subscription, you can get one now and also get some free stuff. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Source: Marvel Unlimited NYCC 2015 | Marvel Unlimited NYCC 2015 | Comics | Marvel.com


Aug 31 2015

Grumpy Cat Is Getting a Comic

This was announced awhile ago, and more info was revealed during San Diego Comic Con, but I only just noticed because it’s not something I track very closely. But for fans of the cantankerous kitty, here is some exciting news: Grumpy Cat is getting a comic.

SDCC: Dynamite Entertainment Announces Full Creative Team for Grumpy Cat #1 – Grumpy Cat contributors include Ben Fisher, Agnes Garbowska, Ben McCool and more and features multiple variant covers, including a Create-Your-Own-Meme.

There are numerous variant covers, but this one by series artist Ken Haeser, is my favorite.

Grumpy Cat #1 Cover B

 

Because someone is asking for help and Super Grumpy Cat says no. Hee.

This quote from the article on Comic Book Resources also amused me:

Tavis Maiden (cover artist): “This is literally the first thing I’ve worked on that my kids think is cool.”

Grumpy Cat #1 hits comic book shops in October.

Source: SDCC: Dynamite Entertainment Announces Full Creative Team for “Grumpy Cat” #1 – Comic Book Resources


Aug 17 2015

Books – The Original iPad

I recently received an email from a PR person touting the success of electronic devices giving parents some time to themselves. This is true. But it doesn’t only apply to electronics. It also applies to books.

DaddyTips—Thoughts on Dadding

When I was a kid, there were electronics, but they required dinosaur toenail clippings to run. (Little joke there.) I spent plenty of time in front of a screen, usually a television, because that’s what we had. I also owned a lot of handheld games, like this miniature Pac-Man machine. Eventually I had a TRS-80 Color Computer which I used to play games and also write programs in BASIC.

English: Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 1

English: Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But before any of that, I read books. So many books. The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings. Bored of the Rings. A Wrinkle in Time. The Fletch and Flynn series by Gregory MacDonald. (I was too young for those but I read them anyway.) Agatha Christie. Sherlock Holmes. Comic books.

Reading gives parents a break as much, if not more than, electronics do. I’m not anti-screen time. I try to manage it, and I recommend that parents with very young children manage screen time closely, mostly because I don’t see any reason for a 6 month old to be playing with an iPad. But as a kid who grew up watching a lot of TV, it would be hypocritical of me to say that I’m anti-screen.

But a good book will always trump electronics. A good book — I’m talking about a really good book — is hard to put down. Sometimes it is impossible to put down. “Just one more chapter. Just one more page.” Sound familiar? Sure, the same can apply to a video game. “Just let me beat this boss.” But it’s not the same thing. A book requires imagination, and therefore uses more of the brain than anything involving a screen does. (Kindles count as books, although there is an argument to be made that plain ol’ paper books are more involving because it’s just the book, no buttons, no screen. It’s not necessarily an argument you will win, but you can make it, and I’d back you up.) (Note: the statement “uses more of the brain” sounds like I’m making a scientifically proven statement. I’m not. I think it’s likely that my statement is correct, but I don’t have the science to back it up.)

Not all kids are readers. I was, and luckily so are my kids. I like to believe that because they grew up in a house where reading was a regular activity, they naturally became readers themselves. I have no idea if this is the case, and I never will. Maybe I just got lucky. But I can confidently say that once your kids learn to read, it has the potential to be life changing… for you.

Kids who love to read get involved in their books. And when they’re reading, they don’t ask you to look up a walk-through so they can beat a section of the game they are playing. Also, reading is a quiet activity. Books don’t make noise. And readers rarely make noise when they read. (Occasional exclamations of surprise and/or joy don’t count, although they are wonderful to hear.)

Again — I am not knocking screens, literally or figuratively. Heck, unless you printed out this blog post, you’re reading it on a screen. And video games are fun. My point is simply that back in my day, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, books provided a service to parents that electronics do now. And they still can.