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“Good luck, Mr. Sisko.”-- Captain Jean-Luc Picard


I’ve loved Star Trek for as long as I can remember.  I was a fan of the films (well, the second, third, and fourth anyway) and eagerly embraced TNG when it hit the air.  Despite an abiding fandom, I never turned into one of those scary, obsessive fans the franchise is infamous for.  Well, not until I saw Deep Space Nine.

The following is an interview with Martin Stiff, writer and illustrator of the comic book series The Absence and co-director of the graphic design studio Amazing 15. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Stiff about collecting the single issues of The Absence into a trade paperback through Titan Books, the challenges of taking on both the writing and artistic duties of a project, and how he balances his comic book work (and personal life!) with graphic design.

This interview was conducted on March 7, 2014.

The Fanboy Comics crew discuss their reactions to the 15th episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lady Sif's guest appearance, and some of the problems with the agents' plan of attack against Lorelei! Enjoy an audio commentary on the episode "Yes Men" by FBC President Bryant Dillon and FBC Contributor Tony Caballero.

MINOR SPOILERS

What happens to sentai teams when the members start to grow up? Do they continue to fight evil and protect humanity, or do they age out their roles and return to ordinary life? Creator Eric Kim explores these questions in his short digital comic, Nitro Battlers, and breathes a relatable humanity into each of his characters.

As the story in City: The Mind in the Machine continues to unfold in Issue #2, we get to explore further some of the moral conundrums hinted at in the first issue: security vs. privacy, the consequences of ultimate power, etc. Shy, unassuming Ben now has his eyes—and his mind—directly connected to every surveillance camera in the city, both private and public. With a little practice, he can control them and switch between them just by thinking about it. But, more than that, he can also control just about anything else that’s connected to the network: traffic lights, streetcars, facial recognition software, and more.

This was my second time reading writer Jai Nitz and artist and letterer Greg Smallwood’s superb Dream Thief, and, if anything, it was even more enjoyable this time around.  I previously reviewed issues three through five, but read all five of them, so if you want to know more about the specifics about the plot, feel free to check those reviews out.  Collecting the first five-issue story arc, I experienced the action, emotion, and creativity all at once, and I noticed new details both in the art and story that took me deeper into Nitz and Smallwood’s bizarre world. 

In the 1940s the world was introduced to, arguably, the first Asian superhero, The Green Turtle, a masked man with a turtle cape, a haunting shadow, and a mysterious background who was featured in five issues of Blazing Comics. Now, 70 years later, Gene Yang (Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese) and Sonny Liew (My Faith in Frankie, Sense and Sensibility) have brought new life to the character and delved back into his origins in the first chapter of The Shadow Hero.

Can't get enough of The Walking Dead?  Well, today is your lucky day!  The hit comic book series turned wildly popular TV show is making its way to the gaming medium, and you have the opportunity to make this transition a reality.  Through a partnership with independent game developers MegaGigaOmniCorp and Top8Magic (and with the blessing of series creator Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment), a Kickstarter campaign for The Walking Dead: The Prison - Board Game was recently launched as the standalone sequel to the hit 2011 game Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: The Board Game, featuring the incredible artwork by series artist Charlie Adlard.  The game focuses on the events of Issues #13-24: the discovery of, fight to clean out, and struggle to control . . . the Prison; you and up to five of your friends will take on the role of one of the six leaders of the group from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Rick, Tyreese, Glenn, Dale, Andrea, and Michonne.

One of the strangest books out there is ramping up, and it is still capital-w weird. In case you have missed out, The Star Wars is based on the original 1974 rough draft of Star Wars, when it was even crazier than the version that we all know and love. The Sith wear kabuki demon masks, the Jedi-Bendu are soldiers instead of monks, and Artoo Deeto talks. The comic features all the crazy ship battles you expect, the bizarre aliens, and, strangest of all, the characters that appear as totally different versions of themselves.

Captain Midnight Archives Volume 2, a collection of the classic superhero’s (mostly standalone) adventures from the late 1940s, has a distinctly different tone from that of the first volume. For one thing, Volume 1 took place during World War II and specifically focused on Captain Midnight thwarting the Nazis. Here in Volume 2, the war is over and the Captain has turned his incredible intellect towards loftier pursuits.

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