Monday, June 27, 2011

Comic books, me and my son.

I hear people say that comic books as a medium are dying. They aren't but they are changing. The changing over from a print/paper format to internet and electronic copies is a change that is making uncertain many formerly strong companies' futures. But comics are better than they have ever been regarding the art, and for all the talk about bad writers in comics that I've heard on message boards and in person, the writing is more sophisticated and able than nearly any other period of time save perhaps the comic renaissance of the 1980s.

I love comics, and have loved sharing them with my son. He has now twice as many comics as I do, and due to a 4 day project of sorting, he has 450 comics that he is giving away. All throughout the days of sorting he was tired and crabby from working, but by the end he said I love comics, thank you for going through these with me. With every further stash sorted he grew more enthused. We also took in about 75 dollars from Half Price Books from sales of graphic novels and TPBs that we found we either had doubles of , or, that he'd grown out of them. It was a blessing to share with him these moments, and the money from the sales.

There isn't a moral to the story here, if you like comics you get what I am saying, it is the same with any hobby you share with your children or friends. The reward is not only a shared interest, but time together. Comics will never die, but they might well change. I am thankful I have these memories now, and he is already talking about sharing most of his comics with his own kids. Except for his Chuck Dixon box and his Teen Titans box. Those are not going anywhere.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

File Under: Miscellaneous

A bits and pieces post today.

Twecon job
Firstly, those on Twitter may like to consider submitting a paper to Twecon.
Twecon is a Tweet-based open conference organised by EPISTO blog author Matthew Dentith.

Anyone can enter, on any topic, as long as you follow the rules listed in the linked post. To submit a paper for inclusion at #twecon please tweet your paper’s title and short abstract (you may want to use a tweet for each) with the tag #twecon to HORansome any time between now and the 1st of July.

Previous entries can be read here. And here is an interview with Dentith about Twecon conducted via Twitter.

EDIT: Here is a Twecon update.

Who’s there
In my last post I said I would review the first episode of Doctor Who series 6, The Impossible Astronaut. I’ve decided instead to do an overview of the first half of the split season (i.e. the first seven episodes), but that will have to wait. I’ll just say for now that the two-parter was the best opening a Doctor Who series has had so far. It was witty, ambitious, well plotted, and had very effective visual aspects well above TVs pay grade. Sure, Moffat was riffing off one of his previous ideas with the villains, but what a great riff it was. My only criticism was that it was a little too ambitious. In particular, I’m not sure why Moffat felt the need to fit The Silence into all human history, as it unnecessarily raises a lot of complications and plot holes.

The latest Marvel movie on the road to The Avengers in 2012 was Thor. As I said over on Comicon, Thor was perfectly adequate. The Asgard stuff in the first act is pretty good, and, as mentioned in this SFX magazine review, Thor does all the stuff with the hammer that he does in the comics, and it's quite fun to watch. And yes, the design in Asgard is splendidly OTT in an appropriate comic-booky way. Good performances and a sense of humour keep the "real world" stuff entertaining, and the Destroyer was nicely done and suitably menacing. Like the first Iron Man, the climactic confrontation at the end was not quite satisfactory, and Hopkins does come across somewhat as a rent-a-wise man.

Overall, it was entertaining and worth a watch. The post-credit teaser may give a pointer to who will be a villain in Joss Whedon's Avengers movie next year.

X-Men First Class (not part of the same “universe” of superheroes in the movie version) was also not bad. I expected some better fight sequences, based on director Matthew Vaughn’s previous effort with Kick Ass. Otherwise it was pretty good and I agree with this blogger that it was just a little subversive.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Dreamer: The American Revolution Returns, from IDW



The Dreamer Volume 2 to release this November

Columbus, OH- June 6, 2011) The Dreamer Creator Lora Innes announced today that her publisher IDW will be releasing the second graphic novel collection of her award winning “The Dreamer” series in November of 2011. The Dreamer: Volume 2 (ISBN: 978-1-61377-031-3) will be 152 pages, full color at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The second volume follows the main character, 17-year-old Beatrice Whaley and her wildly vivid dreams about the American Revolution. After barely surviving a battle against the British Army in the first volume, she's relieved to find herself safely in the 21st century again. Determined to live a modern teens lifestyle she is confused when she falls asleep again and the dreams return. Bea and her Revolutionary friends must escape New York City under the watchful eye of the British Army and the tension of living two lives finally brings her to the breaking point.

Writer and Artist Innes explains, “IDW Publishing completely sold out of the first trade but there may be a few available online or on the shelves at your local retailer. If you missed it you can read the first book online for FREE at Having started out as a webcomic we know that the two formats aren't mutually exclusive. Our site is set up with all sorts of great additional stuff like historical short stories, The Dreamer store, and new updates to the online Dreamer story every Friday!”

For more information on The Dreamer visit

Friend us on Facebook at

Follow Lora Innes on Twitter at!/LoraInnes

About IDW Publishing:
IDW is currently recognized as the fifth largest publisher of American comic books. In addition to their printed comics and graphic novels, IDW has more than 650 books in digital distribution across multiple partners and platforms. The company was initially known for horror comics, such as 30 Days of Night and Dark Days but now specializes in licensed properties like Dr. Who, G.I Joe and Star Trek.

About Lora Innes:
Lora Innes's The Dreamer has been nominated for three Harvey Awards including Best New Series, and Best New Talent for Innes herself. In 2010 it was a finalist in the Graphic Novel for Young Adults category in the CYBILS Awards, and it won the 2010 S.P.A.C.E. prize. She also co-hosts the Paper Wings Podcast, "The Show for Visual Storytellers" offering tips to aspiring artists and writers trying to break into the industry. Currently, Innes is working on a graphic novel tie-in for TO APPOMATTOX, an 8 part television mini-series about the Civil War, slated for release in 2013.