Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Club Of Heroes Episode 10: The one where Evan and Chris look at a stack of books and talk about them

Chew! War Stories! Men's Adventure! Conan! Evan and Chris run down a stack of books and tell you what's what! Just in time for the St. Patrick's Day shopping season!

You can listen to or download the episode HERE!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mr. Bearden's Picks For February 27th, 2013

I'm submitting my picks of the week in the place of the Colonel this time. He's in intense physical therapy after that run in we had with Paula Deen. It was more of a "run out" for me however, as I fled at the first sight of danger.

Uncanny Avengers #4 (Marvel)

Rick Remender and John Cassiday have to stick the landing in this issue to solidify this as Marvel's flagship title. The awesome stuff brewing in Jonathan Hickman's Avengers titles has cast a long shadow over this book in my eyes thus far. Still, Remender and Cassiday have been a strong creative force behind Marvel's latest attempt as spawning another franchise. The triumph of the new Red Skull arc has been hit and miss so far, but when the team finally comes together this book will get the jolt of momentum it needs. Remender's also a creative writer who tells off the wall type stories that usually come back around in the end. Here's hoping they can tie up the first arc nicely and get this "team" of mutants and Avengers on track.

Guardians Of The Galaxy #0.1 (Marvel)

Brian Micheal Bendis claims he wrote the script for this issue right after stumbling upon Peter Quill's (Starlord) debut in back issues. This is a new look at his origins in the Marvel universe and a prologue to Bendis's new Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch, which gets a proper number one issue next month. Things are looking pretty cosmic in the Marvel Universe this season, so titles like this look like a good place to start if you wanna be in the know on current fictional events. Steve McNiven usually draws the hell out of whatever project he's working on, so the art should be excellent. It just remains to be seen which Bendis we're going to get here. The solicitations for future issues allude to shorter story arcs so hopefully Bendis won't waste too much space on conversations that don't move the story along.

Batman Inc. #8 (DC)

The news media gave this one away, but I wont spoil the big event here. Personally, I've felt this was coming since Batman Incorporated returned in the New 52. I guess DC was going to do this anyway and wanted to at least let Grant Morrison put his own toys back in the proverbial box. Several issues of this series remain under Morrison's pen, so who knows if the hubub about this was even neccessary. Could it be a fake out...?

Uncanny Skullkickers #1 (Image)

Jim Zub and Edwin Huang poke a little fun at the Big Two and their relaunch gimmicks with this "new" number one issue, which is actually the nineteenth in the series. Mixing anime-inspired mercenary action and espionage with D&D-esque fantasy elements has been a bang-up combo in this title and hopefully this faux-gimmick will attract some new eyes to the title.

Five Weapons #1 (Image)

This is the first issue of a new Image miniseries from writer/artist Jimmie Robinson, who's gained some noteriety as the creator of Bomb Queen. This latest funnybook offering is about a school for would-be assassins and looks to be in the Hunger Games/Battle Royale model. Robinson's art and character designs are always a visual feast (especially for manga lovers) so even if the story's a little shallow, there will at least be pretty pictures.

...and that's my stack for this week, gang. The Colonel will return next week to share his thoughts and picks in between strategy sessions with the Club. Be here in just seven short days as "The Hunt For Paula Deen" reaches it's penultimate chapter!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Club Of Heroes Episode 9: Life During Wartime

Chris, Evan, & Matt continue to explore Superman's journey through the ages in anticipation of his return to the big screen later this year. Discussed herein is Superman's involvement in WW2, the transition from the Golden to Silver age and other thrilling topics!

Download or listen right HERE!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Colonel's Picks For February 20th, 2013

Marvex, old friend, you gave it your best shot...

Recovering from our initial encounter with Paula Deen, your Colonel is recovering in the infirmary ward with a fresh stack of comics. So if you can't swing by and sign my many casts, head to your local comic book retailer and pick up one of these!

Justice League Of America #1 (DC)

FOR AMURICUH! Geoff Johns and David Finch introduce a second Justice League title with a more Patriotic(?) bend. With a cast of misfits like Vibe and Katana, they may not be the super-army we want, but it's the super-army we've got. So unless you're a terrorist or an avocado, grab a copy today!

The Shadow: Year One #1 (Dynamite)

The pulp icon's secret origins revealed! Dynamite has done a bang-up job with their Shadow material thus far, and this looks like a fine addition to that library of material. What evil lurks in the hearts of men..?

Happy #4 (Image)

Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson conclude this four-issue miniseries and I'm sad to see it go. Like any Morrison project, I'm always hungry for more! This has been a fascinating parody of Garth Ennis-style comic writing and Morrison even pokes a little fun at his own sensibilities as well. Image is sure to solicit a trade paperback or hardcover version of this one and I'll be glad to add it to my shelf. And if you thought I was done gushing for this week...

Daredevil #23 (Marvel)

...Mark F'n Waid! Daredevil has the best track record of any mainstream superhero as far as quality content and Waid's run falls right in line. It's been a 180 degree spin from the bleaker Daredevil of the past decade or so, but the current creative team has pulled it off quite nicely. This issue begins a new arc and promises a foe/scenario that will test Matt Murdock like he's never been tested before. That might sound like pretty standard comic hype, but with Mr. Kingdom Come himself at the helm, I'm inclined to believe them. (Poor Foggy *sad face*)

Hellblazer #300 (DC/Vertigo)

This is the end of an era, folks. A series that is synonymous with Vertigo for many readers finally reaches the end. The John Constantine character has been folded back into the DCU, with a new series on the way to boot, but it's just not the same, man! Pour yourself a stiff one and light up a smoke for one last romp with the Devil's favorite sorcerer.

And that's the business end of my comic stack for this week, chilluns! As I prepare for my sponge bath here at the hospice, get out there and buy some comics. Paula Deen is out there too so be careful; her liquid hot butter topping will make a lifeless stump out of even the stoutest contender. Unfortunately, I'll need extensive physical therapy after our last battle, so a special guest will be doing the picks for next week. I promise it wont be Marvex...


Friday, February 15, 2013

The Club Of Heroes Podcast Episode 8: Giant-Size Spectacular

It's a full studio for our first ever CoH giant sized spectacular! Bad work experiences, video game talk, burning effigies, and the secrets of female hygiene emerge!! Join Chris, Evan, Julie, Matt, John, Lauren, Jerand, Ringo and our other imaginary friends for an alcohol-fueled ramble through the bramble!!! Lend us your ears and we'll abuse them. Give us a moment of your time and we'll waste it. Fall asleep in front of us and...well...just don't fall asleep!

Download HERE!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marvex The Super Robot's Picks For February 13th 2013

Greetings. The Mayor of France has given me twenty dollars. I would buy food, but I don't need to eat because I'm not a human, I'm a super robot. *rips shirt* Instead I will buy a new shirt, because even super robots need clothing. If the Mayor of France gives you twenty dollars, spend it on these comic books. They are all extremely acceptable.

Planet Of The Apes Special #1 (Boom!)

In this comic book, the human resistance battles the apes. The words are written by humans. The pictures are drawn by humans as well. It will be very entertaining. However, I do not need entertainment, for I am not a human, I am a super robot.

Katana #1 (DC)

This comic book is about a Katana. It cuts things. However, a Katana cannot cut me, because I am not a human, I am a super robot.

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel)

This comic book is about the letter X and the Uncanny Men who use this letter to spell words. Words are a human trifle. I do not need to read, for I am not a human, I am a super robot. Organism Brian Micheal Bendis writes many comic books. He may be a super robot as well.

The Walking Dead: The Governer Special #1 (Image)

This comic book features The Governer. If you rescue his people or invent a new sandwich, he will give you twenty dollars. The Governer may try to date you as well. He cannot date me however, because I am not a human, I am a super robot.

Spongebob Comics #17 (%$JSJSBjsjhdfnolrjtsdnrgkn sdasihfv









Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Colonel's Picks For February 6th 2013

With the Club of Heroes deployed to ground zero, it's time for what may be my very last picks of the week before we head off to battle Paula Deen. Think of this as not only my picks for this week, but also a last will and testament of sorts. What was on top of the Colonel's pile when we went to war? Read On...

Garth Ennis' Red Team #1 (Dynamite)

Garth Ennis has been of favorite of mine ever since Tales Of The Rifle Brigade. Be it the Punisher, Hitman, or The Boys, he knows how to write thoughtful stories about gun-toting characters. The violence and vulgarity in his comics can turn some folks off at first glance, but even the most horrific stories he writes have a lot of heart. In this new series from Dynamite Entertainment, he and artist Greg Cermak follow the descent of four narcotics officers into the dark side of law enforcement. Sounds gritty enough, but what really interests me is another Garth Ennis story about man's resolve (or lack thereof) in the face of temptation. Probably not for the kiddies, though.

Transformers Spotlight: Megatron #1 (IDW)

Journey back into Transformers canon with this one shot, where we revisit Megatron's battle with the hobbled Decepticon forces led by Starscream. Just how did Megatron reclaim his evil empire? Nick Roche and Livio Ramondelli hold the answers. I'm picking up this one just to see that turncoat nancy Starscream get his just desserts!

Dia de los Muertas #1 (Image)

This is the first of a three issue anthology from Image based around the Mexican Day of the Dead. Tales of lost love, poltergeists, and otherworldly journeys brought to you by a whole slew of creators. Riley Rossmo, creator of Cowboy Ninja Viking, provides the artwork (stunning) while several writers lend their voice to his pretty pretty pictures.

Snapshot #1 (Image)

Recently I read Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock and really enjoyed myself. Snapshot looks to be the duo's latest creator-owned endevour. A comic store employee finds a cell phone that belongs to a hitman and has real action and adventure thrust upon him. The premise is good and I know the art by Jock will be solid, so I suppose the only x-factor here is Diggle. I haven't read enough of his work to tell if Green Arrow Year One was the exception or the rule. Diggle's also taking over Action Comics when Grant Morrison leaves, so I wish him the best at both publishers.

Avengers Assemble Annual #1 (Marvel)

This annual promises to spotlight the Vision, one of my favorite Avengers. The stoic android has long been in the background of the Marvel Universe, but with the big Age Of Ultron story brewing for next year, maybe he'll get some more face time. Christos Gage is the writer here, who I enjoyed on Avengers Academy very much. The artist Tomm Coker doesn't ring a bell, but I'll pick this up for the solid script alone. Maybe the world is ready for my Vision/Marvex The Super Robot buddy book..?

Oh, Marvex, how I wish you were here to help aid in our battle against the Great and Terrible Deen. I know the Club is in the field now, awaiting my orders. How do you order a young man to face Paula Deen at full strength? How do you order a man... to die?

Cheers (Hopefully not the last time I write this).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Damn good albums - The New Despair


After some careful thought, I've decided on a kind of format for at least some of my posts, which will be prefixed in the title with the words 'Damn Good...' followed by whatever it is I'm going to be talking about that I consider to be 'Damn Good'. I figure that mostly albums, movies, books, video games and the like will fall into this category from time to time, and those things that I think deserve a special category all their own like E.C. Comics, or my short love affair with Charmed, or Choco-Tacos will have their own entries.

Look. I know these are just some low-quality ice cream shoved into a taco shell waffle cone in order to make me feel special. But damn it all, it works!

So anyway, on to my post. To be completely honest, The New Despair by The Gothic Archies wasn't what I had originally planned on talking about for my first album, but it just crept up on me, the same my love for Stephen Merritt's songs did, when I first listened to 'Your Long White Fingers' on The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

The song itself was an instrumental variation, but the meaning was clear. It played whenever Pete or Pete had been faced with an existential quandary, and were forced to temporarily submit to defeat. Everything is magnified when one is going through adolescence and childhood, and as slight as the set-backs would be to an adult witnessing them, to a kid they would be utterly devastating.   

I didn't know it who did the song at the time, but the first time I heard the wispy, melancholic notes of that harmonica in the opening of the song, I knew I had found something special. Indeed, it wasn't until several years after the fact that I stumbled upon the album that I have just provided a link too above, that I realized who did that track that touched not only me, but every other kid who at one point in his life or another suffered a road-block to achieving what he wanted.

It was a difficult choice to decide whether or not I wanted to look for more tracks by The Gothic Archies. Did I risk the chance that perhaps I would only care about that track? That I would think that the rest were garbage? It was a serious dilemma. Finally, I took the plunge, and I sought out their first album proper 'The New Despair'. I haven't regretted it since.

Can you feel the misery through my fish-eye lense?

According to their website, The Gothic Archies is not unlike Merritt's other major long-running project The Magnetic Fields, but the major difference is that hope is entirely snuffed out on the recordings in the face of the former. In fact, the whole of the album is so downright maudlin that it comes across as farcical instead of actually depressing.

Indeed, the name of the band itself is taken from 'The Archies' and the words 'Gothic Architecture' and it works so very, very, well. Merritt sings in a voice that would make Darth Vader seem cheerful as upbeat bubble-gum pop plays in the background, lamenting the love life of Tiny Goats and lovers on their final legs. On the surface, it's absolutely hilarious, but there is a certain je nais se... to some of the lyrics, even shining through the ludicrousness of the tracks:

'The truth is as sudden as a hailstorm
And guides weary sailors to the maelstrom'

I know, I know, lovers who are standing on the edge of a precipice, nothing but the torrential fury of the sea to greet them below who would dash them against the rocks if they fell. As an allegory of the pains of love is about as kitschy as plastic pink flamingos in your front yard, but I can't help but like the image. Maybe I read too much Shelley as a kid.

But that doesn't touch on why I chose this album first. It was just a few days ago. Chris and I and the members of our merry band of misfits were going to record, and I didn't have the car. 

So instead, I borrowed the only bicycle I had access too, a mauve colored girls bicycle with a very thin and uncomfortable seat. Having a few days worth of scruff on my face and neck, and slumping over somewhat from work earlier that day, I looked like a rather grimy fellow who purloined girls bicycles from their yards in order to make money.

As I hoisted myself on the bicycle, it groaned under my weight, and its breaks squealed and balked at the slightest application. Aware of how ridiculous I must have looked, I began my trek towards Chris' place, the roads leading to his house being very sparsely lit by street-lights every quarter of a mile or more. As twilight fell and I peddled on my way, with only my iPod shuffle to keep me company, a thick fog began to come in from the shore.

The fog rolled against the ground, obscuring the pedals of the bicycle and the road that I road on, just as this happened, the first solemn bars of 'Your Long White Fingers' began playing, and I remembered I had the album present on my iPod. I turned it to the album, and listened to it all the way through, relishing in the the ludicrous songs as I pedaled my girl's bicycle through the horror movie environ, and I realized I had found with glee, my first album to review.

As 'The City of the Damned' began playing, I came across some kids who were shocked to see me ride out of the fog, they stared at my hoboish appearance, the girls bicycle, the fog adding a sort of surreality and creepiness to the otherwise ridiculous scene, I looked at them, they looked at me, and I tilted my head up, cackling madly as I sped away, quickly as I came upon them. I like to think that I scarred them for life, but only time will tell.       

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Club Of Heroes Episode 7: FMV Hell

With Chris incapacitated, Evan and Jerand take over the show. The topic of the evening: FMV games. A video game genre that was once all the rage in the mid-90's, FMV games are now a great source of unintentional comedy and a fun way to burn time on Youtube.

Click Here to download the episode but watch out! It may be a floor trap!