Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

You would have to be a cranky curmudgeon if a smile does not form and connect from one ear to the other when seeing Art Baltazar and Franco's comics. Well, this dynamic duo is back with Aw Yeah Comics: Action Cat & Adventure Bug! Get ready to be entertained with this lighthearted, new four-issue miniseries from Dark Horse Comics that follows another duo, Action Cat and Adventure Bug.

Almost ten years ago, artist Zack Turner developed a story and after meeting writer Josh Breidbart a couple of years later, the pair began the webcomic Unlife in 2011 that is currently updated twice a week. Turner and Breidbart have self-published the first volume of their independent story, collecting the initial couple of chapters. What starts out as a rather humorous, lighthearted story soon deteriorates into a teeth-gnashingly dark and chaotic zombie apocalypse.

Just from seeing the Issue #1 cover of The Shadow Glass, I was intrigued by this new series from Dark Horse Comics. Featuring the art and story by Aly Fell and lettering by Nate Piekos, this six-issue series will likely delight readers that enjoy a cross pollination of action/adventure, horror, and fantasy with a healthy dose of occultism. And, if stories set in Elizabethan era London are of interest, then look no further.

Spanning the channel between Marin County and San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge stands a majestic 220 feet above the turbulent waters of the bay below. Since its opening in May 1937, the distinctive red suspension bridge has served as a vital daily transportation network, as well as a tourist and popular culture attraction; however, it has a darker, tragic side: the wind-swept deck is a magnet for suicides, purportedly averaging one every other day. Taking approximately four seconds and reaching speeds of up to 75 mph by impact, jumpers rarely survive. One has to wonder what goes through the mind of a jumper in those brief moments. Is there regret? Is there relief? Maybe it provides release, hope, and maybe a second chance.

I know that I am not alone when I say how completely crushed I felt when I heard the news that the television show, Firefly, had been cancelled after a brief, 3-month season of 14 episodes in the autumn of 2002; however, this past Saturday afternoon at the Long Beach Comic Expo, actor Alan Tudyk was joined by The Softwire Series novelist PJ Haarsma and Spectrum editor Shannon Eric Denton to discuss two projects that promise to bring the shiny back to our Browncoat buckles! 

Fanboy Comics' Managing Editor Barbra Dillon introduced artist Agnes Garbowska (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, My Little Pony: Friends Forever, Fathom: Kiani), artist Cat Staggs (Topps' Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith sketch cards, Orphan Black) and writer/artist Taki Soma (Rapture, Bitch Planet, The United States of Murder Inc.), who were participants in the “Celebrating Women in Comics” panel Sunday morning at the Long Beach Comic Expo.

It was 45 years ago that Gonzo journalism became a style of writing to describe the first-person participatory narratives overrun with overstated satire and profanity as a way of voicing social criticism. Borrowing from the term that has been ascribed to Hunter S. Thompson, the Long Beach Comic Expo panel “Gonzo: The Outer Limits of Comics” was moderated by comic book writer and shop co-owner John Yuan on Sunday afternoon. Yuan was joined by Victor DeTroy (co-creator of Man vs. Rock), Nick Marino (co-creator of Holy F*ck), Dan Mendoza (creator of Zombie Tramp), Johnny Parker II (co-creator of Black Fist and Brown Hand), and Matt Yuan (co-creator of Serving Supes and Declan and Chang with his twin brother John), and each represented an embodiment of the spirit of countering acceptable, politically correct mainstream comics of today.

"In fiction, 'breaking the fourth wall' often means having a character become aware of their fictional nature." - Urban Dictionary

If ever there was a character of late that consistently violated the barrier between actor and audience, then Wade 'Merc with a Mouth' Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is guilty as charged. At Long Beach Comic Expo last Saturday afternoon, Deadpool co-creator/writer Fabian Nicieza and current Deadpool artist Scott Koblish sat before a packed room for the "Breaking the Fourth Wall with Deadpool" panel to discuss the evolution of this supervillain turned anti-hero who first appeared in The New Mutants #98 in February 1991 (Marvel Comics).

What comes to mind when you think of the comic book editor? Often, it is the management of deadlines that comes to mind. Representing just about every mainstream industry publisher and editing hundreds of titles, Barbara Kesel, Shannon Eric Denton, Kris Simon, Matt Hawkins, and Vince Hernandez convened for the #MakeComics panel “America's Best Editors” hosted by Long Beach Comic Expo this past Saturday. For an hour, the five leading editors shed light on the position of editor within the comic book industry today, and they revealed that there are several facets to that role.

Last year marked the 125th anniversary commemorating the birth of horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and, as a result, renewed interest in his writing has inspired a higher number of anthologies collecting short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Scott Gable and C. Dombrowski, who co-edited By Faerie Light and Ghost in the Cogs, have once again collaborated on a Broken Eye Books title, Tomorrow's Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity. In this edition, the editors collected together 29 stories inspired directly by Lovecraft's Cthulhu and Dream Cycle (Dreamlands) mythos while incorporating scientific tones and interests. All channeled the inexplicable call of the characters to the hidden and unknown.

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