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Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

The staff of Fanboy Comics would like to wish you and yours a very happy Read Comics in Public Day!  This special day is as simple as it sounds . . . go and read comics in public!

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

Marvel’s new blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, is absolutely the summer hit of 2014.  If it seems as though I’m giving away too much praise too quickly, just hold on.  I have a scathing, deprecating message for Marvel Studios later on, so for now, let me take a minute simply to congratulate them on what they’ve managed to get correct.  Guardians succeeds exactly as it is supposed to.  The action/comedy scored big marks in terms of being action packed, with likeable characters, a well-thought-out story, and comedic one-liners.  A fantastic space epic, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Firefly, in which the characters don’t take themselves too seriously is a refreshing and much-needed breath of air after all of the ‘dark, noir’ comic movie adaptations we’ve seen in recent years.  Now, I will grant you that the entirety of my knowledge when it comes to the Guardians comics is just Wikipedia articles and nerd-osmosis, but I still sensed that the writers stayed close to the source material, or at least as close as we nerd fans demand from our comic book movies.  Indeed, the style - both visually and in terms of the writing - is so well done, I’ve almost forgotten why I’m upset with Marvel. 

But, I haven’t.

Sawpit, CO, is a small town that has somehow acquired a big city problem; a disease known as the Phoenix Virus has begun attacking the town’s children and turning them into pale-skinned, white-eyed, blood-oozing, self-mutilating, violent creatures, and the CDC has no idea where to look for a cure.  Joe, a local boy turned investigative reporter, is sure there’s something linking all the victims, but it will take guts and serious sleuthing skills to probe the depths of the horror in his hometown.

I have to be honest – I am feeling more pressure to write this review than any other review I have written (not a lot, like 40 or so – still, this is the big one).  Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is a freaking cinematic masterpiece.  I am not f--king with you.  I understand if you’re skeptical about this claim, so I don’t ask that you totally believe me – just give me the benefit of the doubt.  I’m not kidding when I say I enjoyed this movie more than any other movie I’ve seen in 2014, including the obvious blockbusters.

Here I go.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the excellent and weird Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman, here is a quick primer. Bigfoot (yes, of “And the Hendersons” fame) is caught up in the beginnings of a revolution on Mars. This comic takes its cues from the pulpy sci-fi of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. I tend to think of this comic as Conan the Barbarian meets John Carter of Mars, with Bigfoot. B:SotE keeps a straight face through all the weirdness, but the scenarios play out exactly like the stories a kid makes up when playing with action figures.


Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

For those individuals in geekdom who are unfamiliar with Smart Pop Books, please allow your friends at FBC to provide a formal introduction! Smart Pop Books is the pop culture imprint of independent publisher BenBella Books and offers a variety of engaging and thought-provoking non-fiction titles focused on the discussion and exploration of the best of pop culture TV, books, and film. They have tackled Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, Dexter, Divergent, Veronica Mars, and many, many more. We highly recommend stopping by their website (link provided above) and checking out some of the amazing products and free essays that Smart Pop has to offer.

In addition, the awesome people at Smart Pop Books have generously provided us with a number of geektastic goodies that we have complied into four drool-worthy prize packages. Be sure to read on to find out what is included in each prize package and how you can enter for a chance to win.

The following is an interview with Leah Wilson, Jennifer Canzoneri, and Heather Butterfield, the amazing staff members of Smart Pop Books, the pop culture imprint of independent publisher BenBella Books.  For years, the Fanboy Comics staff has reviewed the various books published by Smart Pop, ranging from The Girl Who Was on Fire and Ender's World to Beyond the Wall and Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, and we have adored each and every title more and more.  In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Wilson, Canzoneri, and Butterfield about the impetus for forming Smart Pop Books, how their involvement with the publishing company has changed throughout the years, which publications speak to the "fan" in them the most, and what readers can expect next!

I am so happy to report that I just finished reading one of the coolest comic books ever! I admit that, at first, I thought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time storyline would be lame, but it was anything but. In this, the 3rd issue of the Turtles in Time installment, writer Erik Burnham has our 4 heroes fighting alongside pirates. How cool is that!?

“You can tell a man’s intentions by the way he walks.”   
    -- Constable Odo

I chose to use that particular quote, featured in this episode’s b-plot, over ones from the a-plot, because I wanted to illustrate the way the former can underline the latter. Odo makes this comment about Fallit Kot, a former business partner of Quark’s, who has come to the station to murder our favorite Ferengi bartender in retaliation for letting him spend eight years in a Romulan prison. Personally, I think Kot should be thrilled, as I figured Romulan prisons were the roach motels of the Alpha Quadrant. Quark comes to Odo for help, and Odo makes that comment about Kot’s motive. It’s a pretty standard thing for a world-weary noir protagonist like Odo to say about one of the mooks he spends his life putting behind bars. Well, behind invisible force fields anyway. It’s more ironic in light of the entire episode, as the a-plot is all about a Starfleet officer who can barely walk at all.

I had seen issues of IDW’s The Illegitimates hanging out on the shelves of the various comic book shops that I frequent, but didn’t really know anything about it beyond that it was created by Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam.  But, after I heard Killam on The Nerdist Podcast discussing The Illegitimates, from conception to writing with Marc Andreyko, to all the elements that have to come together to make an idea into a reality, I was intrigued.  And so, when the time came to be able to review the trade of issues one through six, I jumped at the opportunity, in the hopes of introducing the book to others.

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