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Lara Croft is back!  Has it really been one month already?  It feels like it’s been forever since we last read Dark Horse Comics’ latest issue of their Tomb Raider series.  Perhaps I’ve been playing too much Uncharted with Nathan Drake on my mind…

It feels like an impossible task to sit down and write coherent words about Anton Yelchin’s sudden and tragic death in a freak, single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles. On hearing the news, my immediate thoughts were stuck in a numb refusal to accept the idea. “This has to be a hoax.” “He’s too young.” “He has too many movies coming out.” “But his career is just getting going.” As the news was confirmed, I started to look through his IMDb credits and realized that, with 65 roles under his belt by the age of 27, Yelchin was much further along that I realized.

Warning: Spoilers for the TV series, Fringe, are inevitable.  Proceed with caution.

There has been no time in history when humans have not been trying to work out family issues through some form of artistic expression, culminating in an immense catalog of art forms devoted in one way or another to this topic. A quick mental scan through pop culture media will generate an extensive checklist of characters with complicated paternal relationships, including Thor, Tony Stark, Peter Quill, Franklin Richards, Damian Wayne, Tyrion Lannister, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Marty McFly, Danny Torrance, Wilson Fisk, Michael Bluth, the Winchester brothers, Boromir and Farimir, Carl Grimes, Sherlock (in the Elementary version), Nemo (the Pixar clownfish, not the Jules Verne Captain), and on, and on. We’ve begun a tally that can almost not be completed, and we haven’t even started on the villains with “daddy issues.”

No, I am your father.

My father died when I was eight years old.  He died six months after being diagnosed with a tumor in his brain, and it’s simple now to say that my whole world was changed.  That was the same summer that The Lion King came out, and though I was too young to understand that it was based on one of the greatest works of drama that has ever been written, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the subject matter touched me deeply.  I felt that Simba had it easy: Scar was responsible for killing Mufasa, and though he avoided his past for a long time, he was able to convert his grief into action against Scar and triumph.  I wasn’t able to comprehend the breadth of what cancer was enough to turn my sadness and loss into energy against it; I had no scheming uncle to toss upon his own allies, so though I experienced a profound empathy with the character, I also found myself competing with his pain in a way.  The scene that stayed with me was when Rafiki confronted Simba on facing his past and not running from it anymore.  In this way Rafiki became my first Mystic (as an archetype).  The following scene with Mufasa’s spirit brought me little solace and further distanced me from what I felt was a story not quite enough the same as mine.

Here at Fanbase Press, we strive to provide an outlet for up-and-coming creators to promote and showcase their incredible works. With thousands of creators utilizing crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to make those works a reality, we will highlight these talented creators and their noteworthy campaigns through #CrowfundingFridays! We hope that you will join us in giving these projects a moment of your time (and possibly your support)!

This month I take the reins of writing reviews for IndyStash from Fanbase Press Contributor Erik Cheski, and I take this quite seriously. There are a lot of indie comic creators looking to get their feet in the door, to get noticed. IndyStash is doing a great service to get their names and titles out there, but I also understand that new creators need as much feedback as possible to better themselves and their craft. I will be diligent in finding that balance between helping spread the good word and pushing indie creators to put out their best work through constructive critiques.

Let’s begin, shall we…

For the past ten years, Classic Comics Press has been collecting and republishing American comic strips, many originating from newspapers from decades past. Their flagship line has been Leonard Starr’s Mary Perkins, On Stage, but the publisher has republished many other comic series as well, such as Stan Drake’s The Heart of Juliet Jones and Frank Godwin’s Rusty Riley, both that ran during the 1950s.

I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat every week waiting for the final chapter in Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokley’s Eisner-nominated series, The Spire, to come out and was disappointed when it hadn’t been released. Now that it has, I can report that it is every bit as potent as I was hoping it would be. What a finish.

As Grant Morrison wraps around third base and begins his sprint towards home plate with Klaus, the series becomes highly enjoyable with all of its parts coming together. Also helpful is a sprinkling on top of the esoteric that Morrison is oft known for. This sends us charging forward to the final issue wondering what exactly is going to happen.

How cool was General Krang in the new film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows?!  He was disgusting, wasn’t he?!  I loved the portrayal of Krang in this film so much that I’m rooting for him to come back!  Is that weird?

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