Saturday, August 31, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 60 - Monster Cereals Return!

Greetings and salutations my fiendish friends, I come today bearing a message. This is the first of several little notes that I’ll have put up regarding the annual two months of Halloween that I celebrate. Look for movie recommendations, good stories, comic books, and other little treats, tricks and tidbits. I’m always a little disappointed when Halloween rolls by and I have to wait another year for it to come to pass, but you know what they say about absence even making the most putrid of hearts growing fonder, and here, 60 days from The Day, it is coming nearer.

As summer dies down and the winds of autumn begin to blow, things change.

Shadows grow longer, days grow shorter, and pumpkins begin to dot the landscape. The man in the moon’s countenance grows thin more like the rictus grin of a gleaming skull. The clouds catch fire in the sky and the appearance of black cats swell; rats intertwine themselves their tails locking each other into a death spiral, as the world grows darker. Rob Schneider is cast as Lex Luthor in the next Superman movie.   

What do all these grim omens mean you ask? Only that Halloween is upon us! And this Halloween is already chalking up to be a very special one indeed.  As some of you might know, I’m a huge Monster Cereals fan, and amongst the terrible trio of Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry, the little ghost doing his best Peter Lorre impersonation is easily my favorite.

Every year I look forward to the Monster Cereals returning to the shelves, and every year I buy a few more boxes than what I’m going to use so I can enjoy the sweet, sweet, satisfying crunch of eating ghost, pumpkin and bat marshmallow shapes the whole year around. These three are all that remains of a larger line which included Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, but sometimes the dead just can’t stay dead…

That’s right! This year, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy return to the shelves after decades of absence. This would be amazing, even incredible news on its own if it wasn’t for an added treat. 

Holy Haunted Houses! General Mills is releasing all five cereals in a special retro packaging. They’ve worked out a special deal with Target this season so you’ll be able to get the classic boxes there. If you’re spines weren’t already chilling with excitement for the Halloween season, then they certainly ought to be now! As soon as I get my hands on the cereals this year, I’ll be sure to do a taste test and issue a full review of the cereals. Even as I type this, my hands shake and I can scarcely believe it. Every monster cereal is coming back and you can get them in the original packaging! A great treat has been given this Halloween, and it isn't even October yet!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 47: The Legend of Fat Chicken

It's pilot season at CoH headquarters! Could this be the start of a new podcasting venture? A spinoff perhaps..? Chris sits down with his old friend and 11 year veteran of the martial arts scene, Hunter Grant, to talk about what it takes to be a student of the martial arts. From the school of hard knocks at Murphy's Dojo in Port Aransas to questing after monkhood at the Songshan Temple in Houston, the young man they call Fat Chicken refuses to go quietly into the night. Inspirational words for your workday from a guy who has seen it all.

You can download or listen to the episode HERE!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Colonel's Picks for August 28th, 2013

Woo-Haw! It's Wednesday, the only day of the week where I am actually enthusiatic about getting out of bed and going somewhere. It's that Texas heat, brother. It drains you!

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 (Dark Horse)

The phenomenal duo of Art Baltazar and Franco move over to Dark Horse to work their all-ages magic on the Hellboy universe. If you liked Tiny Titans or the late lamented Superman Family Adventures, this is right up your alley. A cuter, cuddlier version of the Devil's son. Demonic entities turned into kids' properties seems to be a recurring theme in this week's picks. Read on...

Batman Incorperated Special #1 (DC)

So let's pretend you're the publisher of DC Comics, Dan Didio. You can throw your weight around take a shot at writing any character or team you please in the DC Universe. You could try and catapult the Doom Patrol or the Metal Men into super-stardom, or maybe tell that Batgirl story that's been lingering in your head since junior high. Anything you want. Anything. So naturally, you say "screw it" and team yourself up with artist Ethan Van Sciver and bring Bat-Cow into the limelight. Seriously though, the Bat-Cow preview pages that Mr. Van Sciver has posted here and there look incredible. Chris Burnham and a few other chaps have stories in this anthology one-shot as well, but c'mon...Bat-Cow. That shit is evergreen, man.

Arcane Secrets #1 (Amigo)

Lovecraft for kids! I never imagine I'd write those words. Cartoonist Angel Svoboda presents an all-ages take on the legendary Cthulu concepts. Doctor Ment and his faithful companion Harry Callahan race against the dark forces of such and such to gather a collection of lost relics containing the power of Xulu and some other big baddies. Just looking at the cover for this first issue reminds me of a kid's book that wouldn't be out of place in a Scholastic sponsored school book fair. Should be fun.

Journey Into Mystery #655 (Marvel)

It's a sad day as yet another fun comic with a strong female lead finds its head on the ol' chopping block. Reading the further adventures of Lady Sif and Beta Ray Bill as they boot scoot around the Marvel cosmic landscape has been a hoot, but I guess all good things must come to an end. I for one have enjoyed Kathryn Immonen's writing style and look forward to what the future brings. Also, I can never get enough of that horse-faced hammer wielder, Beta Ray Bill.

Back Issue Magazine #67 (TwoMorrows)

This month, the fine folks at Back Issue are focusing on heroes out of time. Time travelers, elseworlders, and other timey-wimey content fill the pages of this month's issue. Almost all of TwoMorrows publications are pretty excellent, and honestly, I could spotlight any given issue of either Back Issue or Alter Ego. If nothing on the comic rack sets your world on fire, indulge in some comics history and try one of these.

Well, that's all I have to say about this week's stack. Get your butt in gear and go buy some comics. Enjoy the kid-friendly devil-worship trend while it lasts, friends!


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 46: A Real Murican Hero

Chris and Evan journey back into the 1980's to talk about more war comics! Just when America found herself on the brink of genuine reflection following the quagmire known as the Vietnam War in titles such as The 'Nam, along comes some Reagan-Era hooliganistics. Get ready for Reagan's Raiders!

You can download or listen to the episode HERE!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 45: Kickstarting Annabelle Avery with Matt Kelly and Mike Gallagher

Chris and Evan welcome special guests Matt and Mike to talk about their Kickstarter campaign for Annabelle Avery: Steampunk Girl. Mike talks about his artistic influences and Matt gives his thoughts on the state of comic books and what lies just around the corner. Both men share a passion for the steampunk genre and a strong desire to see better female leads in comics. Glass elephants, cricket attacks, and semi-functioning jetpacks await you, dear listener!

Click HERE to listen or download the episode!

And click HERE to help support this project!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Colonel's Picks for August 21st, 2013

Wednesday is here yet again! It seems like we do this every week. Your ever-faithful Colonel Reddenbacher is here to spotlight some of this week's notable releases...or at least the ones I'm interested in. Let's see what the Fates have conspired to bring us this week!

Daredevil #30 (Marvel)

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee continue to kick ass with this latest issue, pitting ol' Hornhead against the sailor of the spaceways, the Silver Surfer! Could Matt Murdock seek a cosmic solution to Foggy's cancer? Is the Serpent Society gone for good? Will the Stilt-Man appear? No matter if and how these questions are answered, you'll be in for a treat. This is a solid comic book, folks.

Batman Beyond Universe #1 (DC)

On a recent episode of Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman podcast, writer and Batman Beyond enthusiast Kyle Higgins laid out his plans for this new digital first series, and this Colonel has been chomping at the bit to read it ever since. Higgins also revealed some of his favorite Batman tales, and let me say the man has good taste. This is a print collection of the bi-weekly installments of the new Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond digital comic.

KISS Kids #1 (IDW)

Not since the Muppet babies have I been quite this offended. Yet something compels me to pick this up, some sinister urge I can't quite comprehend. Chris Ryall and Jose Holder are the culprits, and whatever evil genius at IDW thought this would be okay.

Knights Of The Dinner Table #200 (Kenzer & Company)

This series was once a staple among my role-playing peers at the local game shop. Funny, well-drawn, and always on the nose with its in jokes and references, Knights of the Dinner Table is a great comic about a subculture that was once a refuge from the cruel outside world for many like myself. I haven't tossed a twenty-sided die in some time, but I'll poke my head in the door for this two hundreth issue celebration.

Henry And Glenn Forever And Ever #1 (Microcosm)

I'm going to let the solicitation copy do the work here:
"It's the moment the world has been waiting for: the return of everyone's favorite musclebound punk/metal romantic odd couple, Henry and Glenn. Over the course of three short stories, our metaldude heroes love, fight, hang out at the spa with Lars and James, squabble about property values with friendly satanist neighbors Hall and Oates, and work out their differences in therapy. It's hardcore. It's hilarious. It's a true testament to the power of love to overcome even the biggest, manliest egos of our time."

I wish Hall and Oates were my neighbors. I *can* go for that.

Looks like there's something for everybody this week! Unless you're looking for a strong female lead, in which case I reccomend rereading last week's Vampirella: Southern Gothic. Yes, Vampirella is a great role model for young girls. Hey, stop looking at me like that. I'm serious...well forget you then!


Monday, August 19, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 44: Too Hot to Handle, Too Cold to Hold

Fast times at My Lai High! It was a police action, a conflict, a war, and finally a quagmire. In this episode, Evan and Chris spotlight the Anti-War books of the underground comix movement. By far the most interesting of our war comic discussions so far.

Don't be a draft dodger, enlist right HERE!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 43: Flying Solo

Jump back to the future with Chris as he scans over DC and Marvel's November solicitations! What looks good? What looks bad? Watch a young man slip into madness as he tries to record a podcast all on his lonesome!

You can listen to or download the episode HERE!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Colonel's Picks For August 14th, 2013

This week: shit blows up! It's an all-action edition of the Colonel's Picks, brought to you by Action. Bang your head against a wall! Hold up a liquor store with a Nerf gun! Wear your pants where a shirt is supposed to go! Get crazy!
Infinity #1 (Marvel)

Thanos is here, and that big purple son of a gun just don't know how to quit! I personally can't wait to see him clobber everybody, slap on some cosmic powered bling and make their corpses dance, Thriller-style. Avengers mastermind Jonathan Hickman is at the helm of this one, and for this late summer blockbuster he's joined by Young Avengers veteran Jim Cheung. Hickman has been laying the tracks for this action choo-choo for some time and Cheung is an artist without equal when it comes to Marvel characters hurting one another. And it's all wrapped up in an intense, if minimal cover by Adam "master of the neck veins" Kubert.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (IDW)

I won't pretend to be the biggest fan of Wally Wood's classic Thunder Agent stories from the atomic age of comics, but the recent DC relaunch with Nick Spencer writing was pretty solid stuff. DC has since passed on keeping the Thunder characters in their stable (it's pretty crowded over there anyway) and now they have a new home at IDW. Maybe they'll run into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles..? Anyhoo, this new series is by Phil Hester and Andrea DeVito, the latter of which did some fantastic work at Marvel a few years ago with their cosmic characters, so he should be a great fit here. The Thunder Agents adventures always seem to veer a little left of traditional superheroics, so you might want to give this one a shot if the Trinity War's getting stale.
Steampunk Corsairs #1 (Antarctic Press)

Y'know, thei sold Colonel remembers when steampunk wasn't just a cosplay style, but rather a cutting edge way of life! Now any old shmoe can attach some junk to a Deadpool costume and call themselves a Steampunker. Writer/Artist Rod Espinosa presents the adventures of the all-female crew of the Alexandria, a super steam-powered submersible. Espionage action rendered so beautifully by Mr. Espinosa, you'll find yourself hot-gluing gears and old pipes onto your entire wardrobe.
Herobear & The Kid: Inheritance #1 (Boom!)

Mike Kunkel's all-ages masterpiece returns to comics for another go around. Tyler and his cape-wearing guardian/hallucination soar into new adventures. If you're not familiar, just think of it as a sickeningly cute version of Calvin and Hobbes. But even big, mean grown-ups will appreciate Kunkel's artwork and storytelling ability, which has landed him in that master cartonning class of names like Jeff Smith.
Demon Knights #23 (DC)

So long and farewell to sword and sorcery in the DCU. This is the final issue of Demon Knights, a title tthat peaked early under the pen of Paul Cornell. Since those brief glory days, the title has been under the watchful eye of current Green Lantern scribe Robert Venditti. Alas, even Mr. Venditti's more than capable scribing efforts couldn't keep this one off the proverbial chopping block. Chad Hardin and Howard Porter supply the artwork for this one, as Etrigan and the other heroes of DCU legend try and defend the Holy Grail against dark forces in what I'm sure will be a valiant last-ditch effort.
Vampirella: Southern Gothic #1 (Dynamite)

You may have noticed a lot more T&A on the Colonel's comic stack these days, but it's purely coincidence, I assure you. Heck, the crew on the CoH podcast would even vouch for this one, as listeners of the show will remember how giggly Chris and Evan get at even the mention of seminal horror comics legend, Vampirella. Ah, prolonged puberty. This miniseries by Nathan Cosby and Jose Luis sends Vampi packing for the Bible belt in Mississippi. The raven-haired femme fatale trades in her G-string for chaps and investigates what could be a powerful relic deep in the south. Probably just a methane pocket.

And that's the stack, steady as she goes. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to be alone with my Vampirella comic for a few. I'm uh...I'm having it slabbed, yeah, that's it. See ya!


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 42: Super Green Beret Summer Vacation

Enemy Ace! The Haunted Tank! Sgt. Rock & Easy Company! Evan and Chris take a look at the superhero flavored war comics of the sixties and seventies. Keep your magic beret on tight and don't let it fall into enemy hands!

Download or listen to this exciting installment HERE!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 41: Of Jokers and Drone Planes

Up and about far past their bed times, it's an extra irrelevant bullpen edition of the CoH podcast! Don't say I didn't warn you...

You can listen HERE! or right click to download.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Colonel's Picks For August 7th, 2013

It's a light week, but The Colonel still manage to scrounge up a few reasons to hit up your LCS. Maybe take this week to think about all the comics on your "to read" pile that you've been neglecting, like those Ren & Stimpy back issues you just "had to have" at that one con.
Trillium #1 (DC/Vertigo)

Strange Canadian and uber-talented comic book maker Jeff Lemire presents this all new series about star-crossed and time-crossed lovers. Nika is a space botanist from the far future. William is an explorer from the 1920s. What thread of fate will tie them together. Billed as "the last love story ever told", Trillium will no doubt be a tearjerker, considering this is the man who brought us the emotionally resonant and award-winning Underwater Welder graphic novel earlier this year.
Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth TPB (Image)

It's a story that's gripping the nation. Todd, a young man who wears a paper bag over his head stars in this first trade, collecting the Image mini--make that ONGOING series! This was a big time sleeper hit this year at Image, written by Ken Kristensen and featuring artwork by M.K. Perker. Chances are, you missed this the first time around. Now's your chance. And for future reference, always buy a new number one from Image. Those horses run, baby! To Ebay!
Robocop: Last Stand #1 (Boom!)

Apparently, this new Robocop series from Boom! Studios is based on Frank Miller's original "vision" for a Robocop finale. Frank Miller's "visions" are usually pretty entertaining, and I haven't had my regular Robocopping in a while now, so yeah. Of course, Frank Miller himself probably has little to do with this actual comic, aside from a variant cover, but Frank Miller wants you to know that Frank Miller thought up this story.
Lady Rawhide #1 (Dynamite)

Pretty lady. Um, this is a comic book about stuff...I think.
Lords Of Mars #1 (Dynamite)

A crossover event featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter universe characters. No one asked for this, but honestly it's a like week for the Colonel so I'll give this one a shot.

Well folks, that's all from the Colonel for this week. Trillium #1 alone should get you off your behind and over to the comic book store, but if not, stay indoors. I have it on good authority that the Sun IS actually conspiring to kill us this year. And the real tragedy is that we trusted that giant life-giving ball of fire!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 40: God is a pissed-off alien

The Lone Ranger...nah.
Pacific Rim...mmmno.
The way, Jose!

The newest CoH movie review is here as the gang travels back into the distant past to talk about Ridley Scott's underrated sci-fi masterpiece Prometheus a.k.a. Evan's favorite Christmas movie. Keep your helmet on and look out for those damn dirty Engineers!

You can listen HERE! or right click to download the episode.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 39: I (heart) the 90's

Chris, Evan, and Tony B. Children of the 1990's. This is a harrowing account of three youths and their harsh upbringing in the cultural wasteland of just two decades ago. Back when heroes had pouches, glowing eyes, and two left feet. Back when men were men and women started to look like men. Back when "jawsome" was part of the lexicon and the Turtle-Van could outrace the Batmobile.

You can download or listen to the episode HERE!