My Little Pony FIM 1In certain circles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1 is one of the most anticipated comics of the year.  Springing from the animated series that has gathered legions of fans, this is a comic that IDW clearly plans on selling in droves; the number of alternate covers – some of which are quite amusing – are testament to that.


Forbidden WorldsGolden Age comics can be easy to dismiss out of hand as being primitive or infantile, churned out by creators who, while skilled, really didn’t want to be in comics and for an audience that, publishers assumed, was ten years old at best.  The first four issues of Forbidden Worlds, collected in this edition, do not fit this mold; many of the stories contained herein are actually quite good, and there is some outstanding art to see.


Fear AgentClemens said, "In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time."  In Heath Huston's world, this is even truer.  Heath is the last of the Fear Agents, a hard-drinking human from Texas who roves space scraping together exterminator work where he can.  He has a dark past that haunts him, he's crude, he's misogynistic, he's reckless, and he quotes Samuel Clemens at every opportunity.  He's the kind of guy you'd hate to know (unless you needed him to watch your back), but that is fun to read about.  He's a coarse Han Solo who looks a little like Bruce Campbell, sometimes, and who I imagine sounds rather like him, too.


The Massive 7Brian Wood's The Massive has been consistently amongst my favorite new series of 2012, with the right mix of interesting characters, exciting action, sweeping scope, and a frighteningly plausible world after a global ecological disaster.  This seventh issue kicks off the book's third arc, "Subcontinental," with the Kapital arriving at a rig nation called Moksha Station, an "experiment in post-Crash human social utopia."


Change 1Change is an odd bird, and by no means a simple book. Reading it gave me flashbacks to the kind of stuff I read a lot of as an English major, stuff that I knew as I was going through it that I didn't quite get. But, Change is enjoyable enough even if you don't quite get it yet. There are plot and character up front, so that the visual non sequitirs don't derail the uninitiated.


Eerie Presents El CidDrawing a little from the history of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, an 11th century Spanish lord called El Cid, this is the sort of book you might get if you crossed Prince Valiant and history. The comics in this collection were initially published in the mid-1970s and you can tell. The art is rich, exaggerated, and glorious. My first thought was that this is a decent, Frank Frazetta-inspired book. The dialogue is overwrought, expressive, and incredibly sincere and I loved it. Everybody meant everything they said more than you have ever meant anything. If you can appreciate comics from the past, then this one is worth checking out.


Angel and Faith 17This week saw the release of Angel & Faith #17 and the second part of Christos Gage’s "Death and Consequences" arc. I have been consistently and extremely complimentary of both Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs’ work on Angel & Faith (mainly because their work has been consistently and extremely fantastic), but the current "Death and Consequences" arc is pushing us to a place in the season where not only is the plot of Angel & Faith hitting a new high point on almost every level, but so is Gage and Isaacs’ mastery of Joss Whedon’s characters and the now magic-less world in which they exist!



The HobbitEveryone wants to go back to the Shire.  That’s what The Lord of the Rings trilogy created, anyway: an intense desire to escape Middle America in lieu of Middle Earth. So, with The Hobbit, Peter Jackson tries to deliver the same magic he bandied with The Lord of the Rings in an effort to bring more narrative to Tolkien’s collective masterpiece. Unfortunately, it’s obvious he falls short from a myriad of issues – mainly length and characters - but in so doing still delivers an acceptable movie well worth the price of admission.


Les MiserablesA two-and-a-half-hour opera set during the French Revolution may not strike everyone as a great movie, but those naysayers are fools. Les Misérables is easily one of the best movies of the year.


PAINo matter what kind of creator an aspiring artist wants to become, honing natural talent and creative skills is essential in order to find artistic maturity and success. Rules need to be learned, if only then to be broken. Confidence must be built. Experience must be earned. The list goes on.

Paul Kampf, an accomplished actor and acting trainer, formed the Performing Arts Institute (P.A.I.) in order to help aspiring thespians work on their craft. His approach is unique, as he and the institute place a lot of emphasis in hands-on learning, especially through a program called Film Lab.

I had the chance to interview Paul and learn more about his background as an actor, his perspective on acting, and his acclaimed acting programs through P.A.I.

This interview was conducted on December 13, 2012.


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