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Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

 

Hello from Comic-Con!  Thursday at SDCC has already delivered an exciting assortment of movie and TV news, awesomely-geeky swag, and previews of the summer's hottest films.

 

The FBC Crew already snagged a number of posters for The Hunger Games, Lionsgate's upcoming, four-movie saga based on the bestseling books by Suzanne Collins.  (Let's just say that we have a bit of an obsession for the books, and we are eagerly awaiting - with a bit of trepidation - the first film due in theatres in March of 2012.)  In addition, the Lionsgate booth will be giving out official Mockingjay pins tomorrow!  (Fingers crossed!)  Stay tuned to the Fanboy Comics website, as yours truly will be donning a Katniss costume to represent the Districts, and we will have lots of photos to share!

 

Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

 

Greetings from San Diego Comic-Con 2011!  It has been an exciting day for the Fanboy Comics crew, and we are eagerly awaiting Thursday's panels and signings!

Today's Preview Night was eventful, as always, with convention press, industry professionals, and Preview Night ticket holders wandering the convention floor to find updates on their favorite films, TV shows, comics, and more.  The FBC Crew was no different, as we quickly found the Axe Cop Comic Book Booth manned by none other than Ethan and Malachai Nicolle!  (If you are not familiar with the comic book, it is written by a six-year-old and drawn by his twenty-nine-year-old brother.)  We were floored to snag signed copies of the Axe Cop Volume 1 graphic novel, as well as copies of the out-of-print "Chop" poster.

Split/Second: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombs Strategically Placed Around the Racetrack

May 18, 2010, might as well be called Red Deadmageddon. On this date, Red Dead Redemption was released and sold three copies for every living person on the planet. Unfortunately, two other great games were released the same day. Now, if three great movies are released on DVD on the same day, there are a few things that fans might do. They might buy them both today, or pick one up in a week or so. Video games are different for two very big reasons. One, games cost $60, and it is really hard to buy two in a week. Two, games take more than two hours to play. Red Dead clocked in at over 40 hours. That is a regular work week. I have already discussed one of the casualties of Red Deadmageddon, the criminally underplayed Alan Wake. Today, I would like to discuss the other.

This was initially supposed to be a review. Well, I’m sorry, but it will be nothing of the sort.

In general, while I am appreciative of the past, I have no patience for old video games. I loathe health pickups in a shooter, I can’t stand half-hour cut-scenes, and I hate random battles. These conventions were something we dealt with in video games for time untold, and, often, for good reason. Health pickups limited the amount of health available in a certain level, which increased the difficulty and stretched the length of a game. In the era where graphics weren’t great, cut scenes were a graphical reward for an accomplishment such as beating a difficult boss. Honestly, I never understood random battles. The inclusion of these tropes in a game today sometimes, but not often, adds to the experience. Well, not the cut scenes. I’m looking at you, Metal Gear Solid 4. While I do have an appreciation for the games that came before, I have little desire to play them again, with one exception.

Another Sundance movie sure to make an impact this year is Martha Marcy May Marlene, a taut thriller that tip toes into darkness with bone-chilling results. The film follows Martha, a broken young woman, during her first crucial weeks away from an abusive cult. Sean Durkin’s purposeful direction paints a near-perfect portrait of paranoia and fear while Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House) breaks away from her twin sisters’ joint shadow in a powerful performance as the damaged Martha. The film slips gracefully between past and present, forming a mosaic of questions on family, love, loyalty, and independence, and it is this masterful hold on time and space that creates the dream, or nightmare, that is Martha Marcy May Marlene.

The film opens inside the quiet farmhouse that houses the cult members. Martha creeps past sleeping bodies and out of her home with nothing but a backpack. As soon as she passes the front door threshold, she takes off into the woods, but her flight does not go unnoticed. From the moment Martha shutters the word “hi” into a payphone, asking her sister for help, it is obvious that she is anything but a free woman. Martha’s sister (Sarah Paulson, What Women Want, Deadwood) and wealthy husband (Hugh Dancy, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur) are unprepared to rehabilitate this mysteriously damaged girl. Her only explanation to her sister makes some sense: she had a boyfriend (Brady Corbet, Thirteen), he lied to her, they broke up. Her actions, however, expose her lack of understanding of social norms and interpersonal relationships. Her identity and sense of womanhood have been inexplicably altered.  

Crawl to Me, A Comic Book Review

You may know Alan Robert as the bassist and creative force behind the metal band Life of Agony, or maybe you caught his debut comic series Wire Hangers published by IDW.  Now, IDW is teaming up with Robert once again to publish the comic mini-series Crawl to Me about a young family confronted by something horrific after moving into their secluded new home.  Created, written, illustrated, and lettered by Alan Robert, this four-issue, mature-readers series aims to thrill and disturb you.

I saw one foreign film while at Sundance 2011, a Norwegian picture, aptly named The Troll Hunter. In this documentary-style film, a group of students hunt down an accused bear poacher (Otto Jespersen, a Norwegian comedian and actor) in the hopes of capturing his actions for their documentary on poaching. This unwashed, misanthropic man urges them to leave him alone, but as one of the students (Glenn Erland Tosterud) observes, “Do you think Michael Moore gave up after the first try?” They do not heed his advice. Instead, the students follow him deep into the woods with their camera until they catch him trying to kill gigantic… menacing… TROLLS. The Troll Hunter is full of laughs in this mockumentary film that utilizes engaging actors and a decently smart script; in fact, the only place the movie fails is exactly where we really want it to succeed: the trolls themselves.

As DC’s first big-screen comic book adaptation of the summer, Green Lantern succeeded in providing an entertaining film that captured the spirit of what comic book movies can be: fun for all ages.  

Given the negative buzz from fans and critics, as well as the studio’s last-minute additions to an already massive budget, I went to the theatre expecting to waste two-and-a-half hours of my life, wondering why I had purchased a ticket in the first place.  But, to my surprise, I liked it.  In fact, I had a blast!  

Spoilers ahead.

I really want to like Brink. Everything from the art style to the world it portrays is fresh and interesting. Brink also incorporates elements of parkour into the shooting genre. Now, there might be one or two of you (I’m not kidding, probably just one or two) who are thinking, “But, what about Mirror’s Edge?” First of all, I love you both. Mirror’s Edge was a phenomenal game, but it wasn’t a shooter. It was a first-person parkour game. Brink is absolutely a shooter, and that’s too bad, because it would have been more interesting the other way.

First, we should discuss the positives of the game. The art style is unbelievably cool. The art is a combination of realism and cartoony that I haven’t seen before. Everybody’s face is stretched out and exaggerated, but the textures are almost hyper-detailed. The result is something awesomely unique.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the game is the setting. Every bit of the environment helps reinforce the story the game is telling. This tiny civil war on the floating city called the Ark is something that really works. Every detail of the environment seems to be there, because of the rebellion on this ship. I won’t get too far into it, but I can tell you that it works.

Pariah #1 Review

What I like in a comic is humor, action, charismatic, yet flawed, characters, a good story, and art that makes me want to sit down and draw then cry in the corner about how much I suck at drawing.  Aron Warner’s Pariah does this and more. 

 

Set to debut at San Diego Comic Con 2011, Pariah is a twelve-issue comic series that follows Vitros, genetically-manipulated teens endowed with super-human intelligence.  Issue #1 follows Brent Marks, a known Vitro, desperately trying to live a normal high school life while suffering the slings and arrows of being known as an uber-geek.  But, things go from bad to worse when the Vitro community, en-masse, is blamed for a fatal explosion in a military weapons lab and the subsequent release of a deadly toxin.  Caught up in a global panic, the Vitros become subject to a groundswell of persecution, as they are declared terrorists and hunted down.   

 

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