Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book List 2010

  1. The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 - John Farmer (Not as good as I was hoping for.)
  2. Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin - Kathy Griffin (Fantastic read from one of my favorite performers!)
  3. I am the New Black - Tracy Morgan with Anthony Bozza (Ditto.)
  4. Shooting Stars - LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger
  5. The U2 Reader: A Quarter Century of Commentary, Criticism, and Reviews - Hank Bordowitz (A re-read. Whenever I need some music journalism inspiration, this is always a good pick-me-up.)
  6. Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime - John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (A page-turner, though it really focused on the Democrats and kept McCain and Palin as footnotes, and I was hoping for a complete picture across the aisle.)
  7. The Happiest Days of Our Lives (audio) - Wil Wheaton (I have read this book and listened to the audiobook many times, though I admit I probably prefer his keynote address at PAX better than anything else he’s written or performed.)
  8. Comic Wars: How Two Tycoons Battled over the Marvel Comics Empire - And Both Lost - Dan Raviv (Was hoping for a comic industry version of Storming the Magic Kingdom and was really let down. Had to slog through this one.)
  9. The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks - Nicole Laporte (A nice coda to DisneyWar.)
  10. Lips Unsealed: A Memoir - Belinda Carlisle (I couldn’t put this book down. Fantastic read.)
  11. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut - Rob Sheffield (My first Sheffield book. Amazing.)
  12. The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebooook – A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal - Ben Mezrich (Like most of Mezrich's books, perhaps this book should have been on my “fiction” list instead?)
  13. Just Kids - Patti Smith (The story of the friendship between Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorp is stunningly beautiful. Cannot recommend this book highly enough.)
  14. Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son - Michael Chabon (Chabon’s books have never taken hold of me like this one did.)
  15. Bicycle Diaries - David Byrne (An interesting take on sustainable transportation from former Talking Heads frontman.)
  1. A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen & Country Novel - Greg Rucka (I loves me some Q&C.)
  2. Lost Horizon - James Hilton (A classic. One of my all-time favorite novels.)
  3. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall (I was skeptical of this one, but ended up not being able to put it down.)
  4. Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster - Berkeley Breathed (Oh, how I miss Bloom County. But this was a nice reminder of the magic Mr. Breathed is capable of.)
Trade Paperbacks and Hardcover Collected Editions
  1. Spider-Man: Blue - Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
  2. Hulk: Gray - Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
  3. X-Men and Spider-Man - Christos Gage and Mario Alberti
  4. Marvel Divas - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic
  5. Marvel 1602: New World/Fantastick Four - Greg Pak and Peter David
  6. Queen & Country: Definitive Collection, Volume 3 - Greg Rucka (Another fantastic volume!)
  7. Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin - Joe Casey and Eric Canete
  8. Wolverine First Class: The Rookie - Fred Van Lente
  9. The Immortal Iron Fist Omnibus - Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja (Possibly my favorite Christmas present from my wife last year, and maybe the best omni Marvel has produced.)
  10. DC and Marvel Present: Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk - Len Wein, Jose Garcia Lopez, Dick Giordano
  11. Afrodisiac - Jim Rugg, Brian Maruca (A must read!)
  12. Daredevil Omnibus, Volume 2 - Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev (Bendis and Maleev’s run on DD is topped only by Frank Miller’s legendary run.)
  13. Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. - Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen
  14. Air, Volume 2: Flying Machine - G. Willow Wilson, M.K. Perker (Meh. I ended up skipping volume 3 altogether.)
  15. Dead @ 17: Afterbirth - Josh Howard (I’m a sucker for this series. Always a fun read!)
  16. Spider-Man: The Death of the Stacys - Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, John Romita, Sr., Gil Kane
  17. Batman: Year One, Deluxe Edition - Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli (Wow.)
  18. Robot Dreams - Sara Varon (Wonderful storytelling.)
  19. The Astounding Wolf-Man, Volume 2 - Robert Kirkman, Jason Howard
  20. New Avengers/Transformers - Stuart Moore
  21. Cloak & Dagger: Child of Darkness, Child of Light - Bill Mantlo, Rick Leonardi (A key limited series from my childhood that has stood the test of time.)
  22. The Losers, Volumes One & Two - Andy Diggle and Jock
  23. Empowered, Volume 1 - Adam Warren (Fun read!)
  24. Uncanny X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire - Ed Brubaker (I love so much of Brubaker’s work, but this left me a little cold.)
  25. Star Wars Adventures, Volume 1: Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes - Tom Taylor (Fun stuff recommended by my kiddo.)
  26. Star Wars: Tag & Bink Were Here - Kevin Rubio, Lucas Marangon (Again, one of my kiddo’s favorites!)
  27. Mercury and the Murd - Shawn Pryor, Chad Cicconi, Dave Dwonch
  28. Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon - Steve Bryant, Paul Daly
  29. Blacklisted - Adam Witt, Pat Loika
  30. Star Wars: Infinities, A New Hope – Various (Another recommendation from my kiddo.)
  31. Nova, Volume 3: Secret Invasion - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  32. Nova, Volume 4: Nova Corps - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  33. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1: Legacy - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  34. Catwoman: Crime Pays - Will Pfeifer, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez
  35. Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Monster Smash - Brian Reed
  36. The Walking Dead, Book Five - Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn (The brilliant series continues.)
  37. Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures, Volume 2 - Various (Childhood revisited.)
  38. Daredevil - Visionaries: Frank Miller, Volume 2 - Frank Miller (Re-read it for the Elektra piece I wrote for an upcoming issue of Back Issue. So entertaining. This is the best DD has ever been.)
  39. Daredevil - Visionaries: Frank Miller, Volume 3 - Frank Miller (Ditto.)
  40. Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11 - Fred Van Lente, Francis Portela
  41. Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Secret Invasion - Brian Reed
  42. Elektra Omnibus - Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Another Christmas present from my wife last year. Amazing.)
  43. Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition, Book Three - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra (A must-read series!)
  44. Avengers: Hawkeye - Mark Gruenwald (More of my childhood reading captured for posterity. Probably my favorite four-issue limited series of the ’80s.)
  45. Avengers: West Coast Avengers Assemble - Roger Stern
  46. Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle - David Michelinie and Bob Layton
  47. Powers: The Definitive Hardcover Collection, Volume 3 - Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Avon Oeming
  48. Star Wars Adventures, Volume 4: The Will of Darth Vader - Tom Taylor (Another kiddo recommendation.)
  49. Spider-Man: The Gauntlet, Volume 1 - Various
  50. Ms. Marvel, Volume 6: Ascension - Brian Reed
  51. The Astounding Wolf-Man, Volume 3 - Robert Kirkman, Jason Howard
  52. Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story - Mat Johnson and Simon Gane (A captivating story.)
  53. Proof, Book 1: Goatsucker - Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo (Recommended by my friend Vince and others. Enjoyed every volume of it!)
  54. Proof, Book 2: The Company of Men - Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo
  55. Proof, Book 3: Thunderbirds Are Go! - Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo
  56. The Invincible Iron Man, Volume 1 - Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca
  57. The Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch – A Year in the Life - Steve Englehart
  58. Revolver - Matt Kindt
  59. The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects - Mike Mignola (One of the best books of the year. Period.)
  60. New Avengers: Luke Cage - Town Without Pity - John Arcudi
  61. Dan Dare - Garth Ennis, Gary Erskine
  62. Chew, Volume 2: International Flavor - John Layman, Rob Guillory
  63. Spider-Man: The Gauntlet, Volume 2 - Various (Not as good as the first or third volumes.)
  64. Marvel Essential: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Volume 3 - Roger Stern, Bill Mantlo (Loved every minute of this trip down memory lane.)
  65. Guerillas, Volume 1 - Brahm Revel (Really dug this fascinating look at war.)
  66. Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition, Book Four - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra (This series gets better and better with each volume. So sad the story is going to end for me soon with the final volume finally solicited.)
  67. Daredevil Omnibus, Volume 1 - Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano (Not as good as Miller or Bendis’ runs, but certainly in the top three.)
  68. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: War of Kings, Book 1 - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  69. War of Kings - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and Various
  70. Nova, Volume 5: War of Kings - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  71. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: War of Kings, Book 2 - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
  72. Torso - Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyke (I love these kinds of stories that are rooted in non-fiction and set in places I’m familiar with.)
  73. Spider-Man: The Gauntlet, Volume 3 - Various
  74. Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers - Reginald Hudlin, Denys Cowan
  75. Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Jeph Loeb, Various
  76. The Immortal Iron Fist: Immortal Weapons - Various
  77. Daredevil Omnibus, Volume 2 - Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

T-Shirt Time Machine

I had to get some stuff out of a box on the top shelf of my closet the other day and accidentally knocked over another box. It damn near hit me on its way to the floor, and when it popped open two things fell out: a pair of t-shirts. T-shirts that are well past their shelf-life. Their designs are either faded or completely gone. They are threadbare and worn, and I can see my hand through the fabric when I hold it up inside the shirt. I’ve hung on to them for purely sentimental reasons. Though from two different eras of my youth, both of them were incredibly important to me in their day.

The first shirt, my John Lennon shirt, was purchased for me by the girl I dated my senior year of high school. She was the one who really pushed my limits creatively and expanded my horizons musically. It was a tragic and doomed relationship from the start, I suppose (as is most everything rooted in adolescence). She was a year older than me and had attended a different high school, but we met at work and it grew from there. The summer after my senior year, she moved to San Francisco to be with her old boyfriend, and I move
d into a dorm on the campus of Bowling Green State University with my buddy John. The shirt I wore thin, yet saved, celebrated the release of Imagine. The front image of the shirt is mostly gone, but there are hints of color that was the logo from the John Lennon biopic. The back is completely empty now, with just the ghosts of what was the lengthy movie description: “Discover John…the angry youth, the musician, the radical, the husband, the father, the lover, the idealist…through his own words and personal collection of film and music.” My love for this radical artist mixed with young love for a girl has proved to be a potent combination… one that has me holding on to a t-shirt-turned-rag 21 years later.

While I can pinpoint a specific era that the Imagine shirt was purchased and receive
d, I can tell you the exact place, day, and year I purchased the other shirt. I became a fan of Anne Rice's work after discovering it in high school. A few years later, I was living in Central Florida, where my life was in a bit of upheaval. I was working the graveyard shift at a Disney resort, which allowed me to do some daytime events when the opportunity presented itself. This was the case on November 22, 1993, when White’s of Lake Buena Vista hosted Anne Rice on her book signing tour for Lasher. I stood in line and had my copy of the book signed, along with one of the little postcards she had. I also bought a t-shirt that day… with the cover of the new book on the front and the date and bookstore name in small print under it. I wore the shirt relentlessly (yes, relentlessly), and it was strangely important to me. It was a link between my former life in Ohio, the relative innocence of high school and my punk phase that I associate with discovering Rice’s books, and my reeling then-present life that was slightly off the rails. Seventeen years ago, the t-shirt somehow helped ground me.

(Side note: The Anne Rice book stop in Central Florida was a part of a larger, nationwide tour. I know this because my dear college friend Jen saw her at a Columbus, Ohio, book signing and sent me the postcard Rice had signed for her as a makeshift Christmas card that same year. Which I have also saved for all these years and knew right where to look to find it.)

This inexplicable link to the past, in the form of t-shirts I’ll never wear again, makes no sense to me. But in the end, I still couldn’t bring myself to ditch them. I put the two t-shirts back in the same box they fell from, and put that box back on the top shelf of my closet to be rediscovered at some future date, when I least expect it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We Eat Ham and Jam and Spam a Lot!

Monty Python’s Spamalot
09 December 2010: EJ Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio

Along with our good friends Greg and Karen, Tracy and I are Broadway in Akron subscribers. We still see shows up at Playhouse Square regularly, but we are always happy to have and support theater a little more locally in Akron. It’s a short, four-show season at EJ Thomas Hall on the campus of the University of Akron, but the selection this year is great.

Because of work travel back in October, I missed the first show of the season, A Chorus Line, so Tracy ended up taking her mom as her date with Greg and Karen. This month, however, there was no way I would be missing the show… Monty Python’s Spamalot! Tracy and I had seen the show back in 2006 up at Playhouse Square, and the production has retained every bit of its irreverence and humor.

I know the source material backwards and forwards – it was (and still is) a staple of my everyday lexicon. But I had forgotten much of the musical in the four years since I’d last seen it. Where The Producers (another fine movie and adapted musical) is Mel Brooks’ skewering of Broadway, Spamalot is the Python’s – or, more specifically, Eric Idle’s – take on the Great White Way. Oh, sure. The roots of the movie and the parody of Arthurian legend remains, but make no mistake this musical is poking more fun at the theater than the off-the-street Python fan might be expecting walking into the show blind.

It’s kind of Python-lite. Sure, there’s a little something to offend everyone in there, but it’s designed for mass consumption. And Python has always been an acquired taste, particularly in the States. Act 1’s “Knights of the Round Table” features a monk and a nun in a seductive dance counterbalanced by act 2’s “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” roast of Jews. But by and large, it plays broad.

New this tour is the insertion of local references into the show based on the city the performance is taking place in. Falling somewhere between your favorite band shouting “Thank you, [insert city name]! Good night!” and Bono referencing a long-gone dive bar the band played in your town 30 years ago, it’s still a nice touch that makes the show unique to each city the tour hits.

I enjoyed Spamalot and the night out with Tracy and friends, but I definitely felt a different sensibility about the production compared with what I remembered feeling last time. Maybe it’s too much of the “Mel Brooks Effect” – the penchant for movie property owners to turn their product into musical theater – that is coloring my response this time around.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Empire Records

One thing that struck me over and over watching the first brilliant season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire was the music. Not the Brian Jonestown Massacre tune used in the opening title sequence (which is gorgeous and epic in and of itself), but the use of music within the show.

Boardwalk Empire is a fictionalized exploration of prohibition era Atlantic City based on the lives of some of the real people who controlled and affected that world. Music was everywhere in the initial 12 episodes, and it was tied to the period. This brought two thoughts to mind repeatedly throughout the season: First, I know nothing about hot 1920s jazz, vaudeville, and nickelodeons. Second, it was a challenge to get my head around the idea that modern music – rock and roll – simply didn’t exist at the time.

The music of the period is gorgeous, and completely foreign to me. But the up-side to a show like this on a guy like me is that I willingly search and explore. And now I know who Sophie Tucker and Eddie Cantor were, and am beginning to appreciate their impact on popular culture. Credit HBO for including music credits for each episode on their site, giving the curious a starting point for digging deeper into the musical archeology of the early 20th century.

As engrossing as the show itself is, when the music stepped to the fore (and music is most definitely a character in and of itself in this show!) I often found myself stopping and thinking how amazing it is that rock and roll as I know it was decades away from even beginning to grow. I love music. Modern music. The result of fifty years of evolution and experimentation. And to conceive of a world where that music doesn’t exist is mind-boggling to me.

And these two notions come crashing in on one another when I realize that the music of the speakeasies was the modern music of the era, the pop music of a generation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Value of Original Art

My friend Andy posed this question earlier today:
Should artists sell their original art? Should it be more precious, or it’s just ink and paper, dude?
Andy’s question seems to imply that the act of selling original works devalues its status as art, its “precious”-ness.

I’m sure the reasons artists decide to sell or not to sell their original art is as varied as the artists themselves. Some may feel it’s a personal connection between themselves and the creation, where others may feel it’s simply a job they got paid for. The artist has every right to decide whether or not they sell their original art. Am I disappointed when I discover a favorite artist of mine doesn’t sell his original art? Sure, but I certainly can’t be upset about it. That’s the artist’s prerogative.

On the other end of that transaction, as someone who purchases original art (and has purchased original art from Andy), I would argue that selling it doesn’t inherently negate its value as art. I wouldn’t purchase a piece of original art if it didn’t h
ave value to me – value that warrants me seeking out the art, paying for it, and displaying it.

I may be reading too much into Andy’s question, but I think what he’s truly struggling with is a something only he can answer. And, like much of life, it’s not simply black or white, elevated art or crass commerce. I think Andy's real question to himself is “Can I sell my original art and still feel like both the piece and I still have value beyond the dollar amount attached to it, dude?”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Short Season Shows

This week we watched the season finales of both HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and AMC’s The Walking Dead. Both were short-season shows – Boardwalk Empire at 12 episodes and The Walking Dead at just six.

There is still a delta between premium cable and basic cable channels. Boardwalk
Empire was sweeping and lush. Similar to Deadwood (a show I am admittedly biased about because I consider it the best television show ever produced), Boardwalk Empire takes historical figures and plays with them a bit, providing a fictionalized version of them and their world. Steve Buscemi is genius in his main character role, surrounded by a brilliant cast and held up by an engaging story. Although spread over a dozen episodes, they still wrought tension from every episode… not a clunker in the bunch.

The Walking Dead, from the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, was ambitious from the beginning. To bring a zombie tale to the small screen and do it justice is a challenge. The Walking Dead comic series is one of my all-time favorites (and that of a lot of other comic fans I know). It is incredibly well-written and perfectly presented. Just basing a show on this series was enough to get me to watch.

Tracy enjoyed the first six episodes, and I’ve heard the same from others who have no familiarity with the comics. I am able to divorce myself from the source material (particularly comic books) and just enjoy a television show or movie if well done. They are different animals with different audiences and sensibilities. But it was surprising just how far The Walking Dead show chose to depart from the source. It wasn’t that deviation so much as the general meandering of the story that seemed to detract for me. The first season seemed to shamble along like of the undead walkers the protagonists are trying to avoid. The characters didn’t really develop much outside of some rather broad strokes, but I’m willing to give this another season (perhaps the gutting of the writing staff for the second season will help with things?) and see where it goes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Tis the Season

Pink Martini
18 November 2010: Palace Theatre at Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio

Driving up to Playhouse Square Thursday night listening to Pink Martini’s Splendor in the Grass album, Tracy said to me, “I wish they would do a Christmas album.”

Walking in to the lobby of the Palace Theatre for our second Pink Martini concert in eight months, Tracy wandered over to the merch table and returned with a copy of the just-released-two-days-earlier Pink Martini holiday CD, Joy to the World.

We knew this show would be different from the Severance Hall concert in March – for starters, this one wouldn’t be with the Cleveland Orchestra, but we expected
it would be largely the same – so it was a great surprise to be treated to not only a setlist of their standards, but also ring in the holiday season with some world-spanning Christmas music!

The little orchestra from Portland, Oregon opened with “Bolero”, which seems to have taken its place as their regular set opener these days (and without complaint – I love that song!). And they hit all the high points: “Sympathique”, “Hey Eugene”, “Hang on Little Tomato”, “Amada Mio”, “Donde Estas, Yolanda?”, and “Over the Valley”. Making room for the holiday tunes, “Verionique” was notably absent, and as much as I enjoy the o
ne-two fun of “And Then You’re Gone”/“But Now I’m Back” off last year’s Splendor – and they were fun live earlier this year – I’m glad they excised them from the setlist this time around. As amusing as those two are, I’d hate to see two spots on the setlist taken up by them when there are so many other options in their rich catalog.

(Pink Martini at Pittock Mansion, Photo by Autumn de Wilde)

Joy to the World
offered some beautiful holiday color to the program. Lead singer China Forbes transformed and owned both “Shchedryk” (a song Americans know as “Carol of the Bells”) in its original Ukrainian and “Little Drummer Boy”. Bandleader/pianist Thomas Lauderdale and the rest of Pink Martini had a good time with “Auld Lang Syne” and “Congratulations – A Happy New Year Song”.

Lauderdale, serving as ringmaster as much as bandleader, was in a particularly playful mood. He rode bandmate Dan Faehnle relentlessly on his Ohio roots. The former Diana Krall guitarist from Toledo was ribbed and quizzed and embarrassed by Lauderdale in the most playful and good-natured way. And when the band came out for their encore, they opened it with a rag-tag version of “Beautiful Ohio”, the state song.

Like in March, the band came out after the performance and signed autographs and posed for pictures in the lobby of the stately theater. While I maintain that House of Blues was the best venue to enjoy the band, the atmosphere of Playhouse Square suits Pink Martini just fine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Comics... Yeah!

If you follow me on Twitter or frequent the PKD Media site, then you probably saw the announcement yesterday that I’m the new writer on Exo-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots! I am so thrilled to be even a small part of the PKD Media Universe. I have a lot of respect for Shawn Pryor – the mastermind behind PKD, and the creator and original writer of Exo-1 (along with Mercury and the Murd, Agents of C.O.L.T., and the PKD Black Box Podcast) – and what he’s done.

The internet
is an amazing thing – especially for a geek niche community like comics. Growing up, the only friend I had who was into comics was Mark. Mark and I are still friends (and comics are still very much a part of our lives – I wrote a book about comics and he teaches a graphic novel course at George Mason University), but now I also have friends all over the world who are into comics thanks to forums and social networking sites. My friendship with Shawn is a perfect example. I met Shawn through Twitter, then in-person at the Pittsburgh Comicon earlier this year. In late spring, mutual friend, comic creator, and con organizer Zack Kruse invited both Shawn and me to be a part of the first Summit City Comic Con in Fort Wayne. It was there at the pre- and post-show parties that Shawn and I really had the opportunity to hang out and talk about writing and comics and all of the things that get us excited about the culture.

I knew I wanted to try my hand at scripting a comic. It seemed like a perfect challenge to step outside of the non-fiction, pop culture-based, and often nostalgia fueled writing I have done up to this point. In getting to know Shawn, I realized he is just such a genuine good guy. He makes comics because he loves them, and that comes through in everything he has done with PKD Media and I’m certain that is what we’ll see from Action Lab Entertainment. The problem is that Shawn never stops working, and he was stretched far too thin. So that perfect storm of our friendship, my desire to push myself creatively, and Shawn’s need to lighten his workload resulted in this opportunity.

I’m having a lot of fun writing these characters and am enjoying the challenges of finding their voices while making sure I stay true to the characters as Shawn intended, along with plotting and orchestrating scenes. I am looking forward to finishing this story and ultimately seeing it realized through Daniel J. Logan’s art. I am forever grateful to Shawn for giving me this chance. I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with Shawn and hope I do justice to these characters and this world he created.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Something in the Air

I haven’t been able to right my personal creative writing ship that has been listing for months. September was consumed by my freelance writing jobs, and October fell into the oblivion of my day job. Now I find myself halfway through November, and the only groove I’ve found is one of denial.

I have ideas rumbling around in my head, on notepaper floating around my office, and on virtual scraps of Word saved on my laptop, but without motivation to expand on any of them. Unlike almost one year ago to the day, when I laid blame at the feet of Twitter, this year I don’t think it’s about laziness (or Twitter). I think this is about burnout and routine. I don’t know that I could be a full-time freelance writer or write for a living (although much of my day job does involve writing). In preparation for the month of travel I had for work, I wrote non-stop from the moment we got back from our family vacation in mid-August until I left for Jacksonville on that first business trip at the end of September. I cranked out some good stuff too – a freelance piece for ToyFare magazine (although they only published two of the seven articles I submitted to them), a really fun piece on Elektra for a future issue of Back Issue magazine, and my very first comic book script. But all that writing, followed by an intense nearly six weeks of travel, burned me out and pulled me from any semblance of a writing routine.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in my struggles. John blogged about similar creative problems just today. And with similar resolve, it’s time to start putting myself back out here… writing about the things I love and reengaging in the pop culture dialog among my friends and the Interwebs.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Obviously, the blog’s been dark for a while now. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say so much as work has been pretty all-consuming and any free time available for writing has been going to freelance writing jobs.

If you’re looking for a fix of my writing, check out next month’s issue of ToyFare. I covered the new toy and statue releases and exclusives at Star Wa
rs Celebration V. There was all kinds of goodness from Hasbro and Gentle Giant and Lego to be had! The issue (#160) should hit stands around October 13. Check it out!

I’ve also been working under deadline for Back Issue, writing a piece on Elektra for their “Death” issue. While the copy is due next month, the issue (#48) won’t hit stands until next Spring. Here’s the cover image for the issue, though, to tide you over.

Around that same time next year there will be a comic available written by yours truly. I’m really excited about it and have been having a lot of fun scripting it. I can’t give away any specifics yet, but I’m looking forward to finally being able to share details soon and watching it all come together!

I have some writing project ideas for the blog and elsewhere that I’m excited to jump on – some going back to my music journalism roots, others geek related, and some stuff that’s just plain fun. So if you can hang tight until I get over this hump and we get closer to the holidays, we’ll bring the lights back up on Random Thoughts Escaping and hopefully there’ll be a little something for everyone to enjoy. Thanks for sticking around!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Central Florida Comics/Star Wars Mash-Up

I’ve known Todd Merrick for years. We worked together at the old Disney Inn and spent way too many Wednesdays at “Nickle Beer” night at Church Street Station in the ’90s. Todd quickly became one of Tracy’s friends too after she and I began dating, and he ended up in our wedding.

A year or so ago, Todd opened up Heroes Landing, a nice little comic shop in Clermont, Florida. I had a chance to stop in when I was in town on business last month, and was thrilled to find a clean, well-kept store with a little bit of something for everyone. When Todd found out I was coming back in town to cover Star Wars Celebration V for ToyFare magazine, we immediately hatched a plan for me to do an in-store signing for my book, Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan, the same week.

Todd has all kinds of pre-convention stuff planned Wednesday, August 11! With me at 3pm will be John Booth signing copies of his book, Collect All 21 (which was edited by yours truly). Christian Slade, Top Shelf Comics author and artist, will be signing copies of his KORGI book series and doing sketches. And Chris Macht, director of The Force Among Us documentary, will be signing copies his DVD, as well.

Later, Arnie and Marjorie from the Star Wars Action News podcast will be hosting a charity trivia event at the store beginning at 7pm. Proceeds from the $10 entry fee will benefit the Leukemia (“Luke”-emia, in this case?) and Lymphoma Society of Central Florida.

So if you’re local to Central Florida or coming in town for the convention, stop in at Heroes Landing for what looks to be a fun, unofficial Celebration V pre-party, and support some creative types in our endeavors!

August 11
Events Begin at 3pm

Heroes Landing
12348 Roper Blvd.
Clermont, Florida 34711


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Capping off what might have been the kiddo’s best weekend ever, we finally let him watch Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. We have held off on this because it’s PG-13 and can be intense in spots.

Although he doesn’t know it yet, he’s going to Star Wars Celebration V in a few weeks, and Tracy and I thought it was only right that he see all the movies in the franchise before we go. So while Tracy and I were making dinner Sunday night, and we off-handedly asked him if he wanted to watch Episode III, he flipped! I don’t think anything could have made him happier. (But he was also thrilled to learn we were having tilapia, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and a salad for dinner. All on his “favorites” list.)

Tracy and I are not fans of the prequel trilogy. We also understand that it was not created for us. It was made for the kiddo and his generation, so we let them have it. Tracy and I obviously sat through Episode III with him Sunday night, and although we’d seen it at least once before (maybe twice), something was different about this viewing. Sure, it was very cool to watch our son experience a Star Wars movie he has waited years to see, but from our point of view, we were surprised just how powerful the death of Kit Fisto and the execution of Order 66 are when you’ve watched two seasons of the Clone Wars television show.

Over the course of the last two years, we have watched all of the Clone Wars episodes as a family. We look forward to it every week when new episodes are being churned out and have watched the season one DVD set a couple of times through. Because of the series, we have grown to care about the prequel universe characters. And, for the first time in a long time, the characters of the Star Wars universe on the big screen meant something to us.

I should have seen it coming, though, because the first time Hayden Christensen appeared on screen in Episode III during this viewing I was actually taken aback! I knew I was watching the live action movie, but was fully expecting the Clone Wars animated version of Anakin Skywalker anyway. And I think that’s a testament to how well done the series is – I have maintained for a couple of years now that it took the Clone Wars animated movie and subsequent television series to get me to actually care about Anakin.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ohio Heat

The Black Keys
24 July 2010: Nautica Pavilion, Cleveland, Ohio

We’ve taken the kiddo to a few shows over the last couple of years. He has seen Jake Shimabukuro twice, and went with us to see Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, and Willie Nelson during their minor league baseball stadium tour last summer. But this past weekend we surprised him with tickets to see an artist he loves: The Black Keys.

Tracy and I have seen the Black Keys many times over the years. We love their music and have passed that appreciation on to the kiddo. But, as is my style, we didn’t tell him what was in store for him. We told him we were going out to dinner and left it at that. After dinner, we headed north to Cleveland and the Flats.

If you’ve never been to the Flats, don’t bother unless it’s for a concert at the Nautica Pavilion. While I am a huge cheerleader for
Akron and Northeast Ohio in general, I’m also the first to admit Cleveland is filled with missed civic opportunities. And the Flats is one of them. Now a mess of “gentlemen clubs” and bad comedy shows and restaurants, it’s a sad little area that straddles the east and west banks of the Cuyahoga River.

Compounding the maze of dead-end roads and industrial wasteland is the fact that you need bridges to go to the West B
ank (where Nautica is located) from downtown and the East Bank. When you shut down one or many of those bridges for construction, you end up with more confusion.

Regardless, we eventually made it over to the West Bank, parked next to the Powerhouse and walked to the venue. When we got inside, the kiddo was growing more and more anxious, wondering what his parents
had dragged him to this time. When we revealed it was a Black Keys show, he was stunned and overjoyed.

We’ve had some oppressive heat in the region these last few weeks, and Saturday night was no exception. Temps in th
e low 90s and a nasty storm rolling through in the late evening spiked the humidity, but we came prepared with bottled water and were relieved to have a cool breeze every now and again.

The opening act was Canton native Jessica Lea Mayfield. She didn’t do much for Tracy or me, and the kiddo expressed his
dislike for her by announcing to me he’d rather be at Carrabba’s so he wouldn't have to listen to this band, and he’d just come back when the Black Keys start. (Why Carrabba’s? I have no idea.) He did, however, very diplomatically note after sharing his point of view that other people might like her music, but it’s just something he has discovered he doesn’t enjoy.

The high-point for the
opening act set was running into our friends David and Gina, who it seems we can’t attend a Black Keys show without doing. Always good to see them and have a chance to say “hello” and visit for a bit.

(photo courtesy of John Soeder)

Shortly after 9, the amphitheater lights went down and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney sauntered on stage in front of a red, white, and black backdrop scrim of two hands clasped in the center of a whitewalled tire (think the "brothers" theme of the new album filtered through Soviet propaganda by way of Akron, Ohio). Although we have talked about the Black Keys many times and watched the Live at the Crystal Ballroom DVD together, the kiddo immediately turned to me and asked in genuine surprise, “Is there just the two of them in the band?!” He was beside himself at the
big sound these two men were producing. Very cool parent-kid music revelation moment.

They immediately ripped into the staples: “Thickfreakness”, “Girl Is on My Mind”, and “10 A.M. Automatic”. The three of us, along with the rest of the sold out crowd, were loving every minute of it. And when they launched into “The Breaks”, the kiddo turned to me and screamed “Favorite song ever!” above the roar.

(photo courtesy of John Soeder)

It wasn’t until ten songs into the set that they finally broke out the new material and we saw something completely foreign at a Black Keys show: Auerbach and Carney were joined onstage by a pair of sidemen. Keyboardist Leon Michels and bassist Nick Movshon added some new dimension to the Brothers song selection. Everything you’d wanna hear off the new album was played. “Everlasting Light”, “Next Girl”, “Chop and Change” (an outtake from the Brothers sessions that ended up on the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack), “Howlin’ for You”, “Tighten Up” (complete with a whistle-along opening!), and “Ten Cent Pistol”.

(I think the Black Keys should take their cue from Dylan, who puts his Oscar statuette on stage every night he performs, and bring out Frank, the dinosaur puppet from the “Tighten Up” and “Next Girl” videos, every night. Just set him on a stool and let him soak it in.)

When they left the stage after the main set, the kiddo turned to me and said, “We should go now to avoid the traffic.” I told him I was pretty sure they were gonna come back out and play some more and maybe we should stay. The kiddo was amazed and thrilled when they actually did come back for an encore. (Don’t remember when encores weren’t expected? Just attend a concert with an eight-year-old to rekindle that sense of wonder.) “Sinister Kid” was the highlight of the three-song second set, smoking hot, rocking the river, and shaking the cityscape beyond.

After the show wrapped up just before 11, we made our way back to the car and spent an hour getting from our parking spot to I-77. (A drive that should have taken no more than 15 or 20 minutes, tops! Did I mention things are a mess in the Flats?) But the people watching was amusing, and the three of us had fun rocking out to the Black Keys in the car.

It was strange to see the Black Keys joined by sidemen. I still think they are most powerful when it’s just the two of them. Drums, guitar, voice. But I’ll take them in any form they’re offering. The only thing missing was Frank.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Matter of Time

I know Random Thoughts Escaping has been silent for a while now, and I wanted to take a moment to let the two or three people who actually stop by here know what’s going on. My day job is very cyclic, and I’m in a really high-churn time right now. I also have four writing projects/freelance jobs that I am ridiculously excited about, but that I can’t talk about yet. They are consuming all of my non-working, non-family, normally-when-I-would-be-blog-writing time.

I have plenty of new ideas to unleash and previously shelved ones I’d like to revisit on the blog. It’s just a matter of time. Of course, there will be Deus ex Comica related announcements, and I can’t wait to share some of the writing jobs I’ve been fortunate enough to land recently.

There is definitely more to come. I hope you’ll stick around for it…

Friday, July 9, 2010


LeBron James broke my city’s heart a few hours ago on national TV. We all knew he was leaving the moment before he made his announcement when he had to stop himself and commented that it was going to be harder than he thought it would be. We all knew then the Miami rumors were true.

Initially, I was pretty numb. I watched the vitriol spew across Twitter with a sense of detachment, but have become more sad than anything else as the hours have passed. There were signs of LeBron being just a kid in his 20s here and there, but by and large this is a boy who grew into a man before our hometown eyes over the last ten years.

And this decade has been amazing as a sports fan in Northeast Ohio. After the wonder of seeing this high school man among boys play and watching the ping pong ball actually go our way at the absolute right time, pro basketball was fun. And we contended. The excitement of watching the Cavaliers compete and this player use his God-given talent was remarkable. Staying up late in May and June with Tracy to watch playoff basketball was worth every following day we spent in an exhausted haze. Getting to see the kiddo excited about watching LeBron and taking him to Cavs games are memories I’ll always carry with me. That sense of pride in being from Akron isn’t going to go away. I am so grateful to have had these last ten years. Even knowing what I do now about the ultimate outcome, I wouldn’t trade them.

This free agency was handled poorly, and LeBron’s reputation is damaged. There’s no way around it. The ESPN special was an embarrassing ego stroke, a bad decision designed only to serve his own sense of self. The way he divorced Northeast Ohio is what's so painful, maybe even unforgivable, but I keep thinking that if he’d never played a single game for the Cavs, if that ping pong ball had gone another way years ago, I’d have rooted for him in whatever other jersey he’d ended up in simply because he’s the local hero who made it big. So I guess I’m a little conflicted. Part of me feels bitter and betrayed and wants the Cavs to win a championship without LeBron, but I know that’s not likely to happen. He was our chance at greatness. And now he’s gone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Larchmere Festival Author Alley

Just a quick reminder that I’ll be in the Author Alley at the Larchmere Festival in Shaker Heights this Saturday, July 03, promoting Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan with nearly 50 other local authors, including my good friend John Booth! Author Alley will be at Loganberry Books on Larchmere Boulevard from noon until 4pm.

There is going to be a wide variety of books available. Come out, meet some local writers, find something you like, and feel good about supporting local authors!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Spend an Early Summer Evening

We went out to dinner with friends to our favorite local watering hole the other night, the Winking Lizard. We got home around 8:30, and after the kiddo walked the dog, he and I went out back and threw the football around until it was almost too dark to see. As we were walking around the side of the house to head in, we were distracted by the lightening bugs just starting to make their presence known.

My gut told me to herd the child inside and get him into his ready-for-bed routine and settled in with a book. But something stopped me. I guess it was the sense of wonder I could see gleaming in his eyes even in the dusk. I watched him chase a firefly across the backyard. Then he told me over his shoulder that he has never caught fireflies before. With that, it was over. There was no other option except to toss the football aside and head back into the yard to catch fireflies with him.

As it got darker and darker, it became increasingly harder to find them when they weren’t lit up, but we caught quite a few over the next half-hour or so across our and our neighbor’s yards. The lightening bugs would land on us and crawl all over our hands and arms, lighting up now and again to make our skin glow.

After a while, we invited Tracy out to join us. The three of us wandering around out there must have looked pretty odd to anyone who passed by, but it was one of the best evenings ever. Soon it was too dark to catch the fireflies at all, so I collected the football and the three of us headed inside. And while the kiddo curled up with a book in bed, Tracy and I were left to remember a little bit of what it was like to be eight years old on your summer break, if only for a night.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Karate Kid 2.0

Had a fun “guys” day with the kiddo Saturday. After a week of business travel away, it was great to have some one-on-one time together. He caught up on his Summer Bridge workbook pages while I mowed the lawn, then we headed over to the Metroparks for a three-mile walk. Afterwards, we came home and he helped me clean the interior of my car, then it was time for showers, lunch, and The Karate Kid.

The kiddo has been so excited about this movie for a good month now! I have a fond place in my ’80s heart for the original film, so there was no way I wasn’t going to indulge him in seeing this remake. I debated watching the original movie with him (it’s available on Netflix instant streaming) in the weeks before we saw the new film, but I decided to take a page out of my buddy John’s book and his Star Wars wisdom to recognize that “every generation has a legend.” And John’s absolutely right. Who was I to burst my son’s bubble of excitement over this retelling of the underdog tale? Did he need to know this was a remake of a movie that I probably think a little too highly of because of my own nostalgia and the fact I saw it through a young teenager’s eyes? No.

And where the protagonist of the original film is of driving age, the main character of the remake is 12 – a far closer and relatable age for my kiddo. So he went into the theater armed only with what he knew from the trailers and with zero knowledge of the original’s existence. And we both had a great time! The movie clocked in at two hours and 20 minutes, but hit all the right notes and never felt drawn out or padded. For those of us who remember the Reagan Era, there were nods to the original that were reverential without ever feeling like they were ripping anything off.

The arcs for both Jaden Smith’s Dre Parker and Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han were affecting and resonant. Smith carried the movie like a pro, indicative of his pedigree. Chan was beautifully understated, surprising me by plumbing some emotional depths I didn’t know he could pull off.

One thing I really admired about the movie is that, despite taking place in China, it never dumbed down the language barrier. Instead of going the route of something like The Hunt for Red October (a movie I love) where suddenly the foreign language is abandoned for English with the corresponding accent, the characters who spoke Chinese did just that with subtitles throughout the entire film. A bold choice for a movie aimed at adolescents.

I thoroughly enjoyed this remake of The Karate Kid. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those movies that leaves an impression on my kiddo and this generation like the original did on me and mine. And that’s a good thing, because there’s always room for well-told underdog stories to inspire us.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some Quick Thoughts on Annuals

I haven't read a lot of annuals since returning to comics in the last few years. Certainly not in the way I devoured them back in the day, but I read Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37 earlier this week. I enjoyed the main story and art well enough. It was a fun, two-part tale of Spider-Man and Captain America taking place between Avengers #11 and #16. Karl Kesel’s writing really captured the sense of awe a teenaged Peter Parker must have felt meeting an icon like Captain America. And, in a lot of ways, hasn’t that always been the strength of Marvel Comics? The idea that, although these heroes inhabit the Marvel Universe, they are not necessarily commonplace and it’s still an amazing event when they are encountered. When Marvel does that, and does it well, they succeed in pulling kids and adult readers alike firmly into this world, making it all the more believable.

The first part of the main story finds Cap assisting Spidey against the Sandman, stepping in just the nick of time and leaving Spidey a bit star struck. The second half of the tale gets a little wonky as the heroes team up against the Rogue Scholars, but I rolled with it and let it take me where it wanted to go. Throughout, I really dug Paulo Siqueira’s art. It felt sketchy and rough, but in the best possible way, and Fabio D’Auria’s colors had a muted tone that served the story well.

The backup story was a bit of a letdown for me. As someone who was out
of comics during the ’90s, I wasn’t familiar with Untold Tales of Spider-Man, and as much as I’ve enjoyed Pat Olliffe’s work on Peter Parker, I wasn’t really digging on his stuff here. The Kurt Busiek story starring Spider-Man and Stan Lee is the kind that sometimes works and sometimes falls flat. Here, flat. It was 15 pages I would have rather seen devoted to expanding the main story to something a little more epic. This is an Annual, after all.

Not to get all crotchety and “get off my lawn, you damn kids,” but I don’t remember backups that felt like filler in the annuals of my youth. I remember the annuals of the ’80s as king-size versions of the Spidey/Cap tale here. Like Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 from 1982, which tells the origin of Monica Rambeau’s Captain Marvel and guest starring the entire Marvel Universe! (That one had a couple of nice one-page pin-ups: “The Many Loves of Peter Parker” and “Imagine How Much Fun It Must Be to Work at The Daily Bugle” that felt appropriate and right at home.) Or Fantastic Four Annual #18 from 1984 with the wedding of Black Bolt and Medusa. On the other hand, this 2010 Amazing Spider-Man Annual felt kinda like a regular issue with a backup story tacked inside.

I think it's time I pulled out that '82 Spidey annual and give it another read...

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Cosmic Marvel Reading Guide

Recently on Marvel Noise, my friends Steve, Rick, and Tom did a two-part deep dive into things that serves as a great Cosmic Marvel history lesson. The second installment in episode 118 focuses on the events of Annihilation through the current state of things. (When listening to this episode the kiddo was completely enthralled with what Steve, Rick, and Tom were talking about. When I told him I had all the books we were hearing about, he immediately asked if he could read them! And another Marvel Cosmic fan is born.)

I have been really enjoying the space-based Marvel renaissance over the last few years. Written in 2008, I had this to say about Cosmic Marvel in the “Bound for Greatness” chapter of Deus ex Comica:
Beyond Star Wars, I’ve never been a huge sci-fi fan. (And my friend John would probably argue that Star Wars is more space opera than sci-fi in the purest sense.) No Roddenberry. No Bradbury. I was always more into Fleming and Spielberg, and that translated to my comic book reading tastes as well. The Original Collection has a few Novas and Quasars, and the first issue of the Bill Mantlo/Mike Mignola Rocket Raccoon limited series from ’85. But by and large I stuck with pure super hero adventures: Avengers, Alpha Flight, Defenders, X-Men. These were the comics I loved.

Even though Cosmic Marvel was never my thing, that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to give it a go, and Marvel’s 2006 Annihilation event came highly recommended... The initial story is collected in three books compiling nearly 30 issues of Cosmic Marvel goodness! This is followed by the Annihilation: Conquest event spanning 2007 and 2008, and the Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing series.

Beginning with Annihilation
, Book One, the story immediately sucked me in. I love the way Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest are laid out. The collections are organized in a way that provides a coherent storyline woven throughout the books. They start with the prologues and tie-in miniseries, then go into the main sagas. The Cosmic Marvel Universe is a bit of a different animal than the Earth-based Marvel Universe. Tent poles like Civil War and Secret Invasion are all about trying to be huge in scope and having a breadth that influences even the far corners of the Marvel Universe. But I wish Marvel would: a) cut down on the number of tie-ins for those tent pole events, instead scaling them down to Annihilation-size, and b) package all their event collections similar to Annihilation. It’s really a model of restraint which, ironically, results in maximum impact.
While I was at Summit City Comic Con last month, I was chatting with my buddy Mike, telling him that I’d just finished up Nova, volumes 3 and 4, and Guardians of the Galaxy, volume 1. He said he has wanted to dig into the revived cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, but has been unsure of where to begin and what order to go through them. As a fellow stickler for continuity and reading chronology, I totally empathized and decided to share my take on things.

I’m reading it all exclusively in collected editions, and I’m pretty confident the reading arrangement I have cobbled together is correct. All books I reference here are the trade paperback editions, with the exception of War of Kings, which I couldn’t resist in that beautiful hardcover. (And, yes, I do sorta wish I’d picked up the Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest books in that oversized format as well.)

What Keith Griffen began with Annihilation has only been improved upon by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Far-reaching a
nd epic in scope, these are tales that stretch the imagination and mine the rich history of Marvel Cosmic adventures. So, to the best of my knowledge, for your reference...

Annihilation Classic
Bug (1997) #1
Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

Nova (1976) #1

Quasar (
1989) #1
Raccoon (1985) #1
Raccoon (1985) #2
Rocket Racc
oon (1985) #3
Rocket Raccoon (1985) #4

Marvel Spotlight (1979) #6

Logan's Run (1977) #6

Marvel Premiere (1972) #1

Annihilation, Book One

Drax the De
stroyer (2005) #1
Drax the
Destroyer (2005) #2
Drax the Destroyer (2005) #3

Drax the
Destroyer (2005) #4
ihilation Prologue (2006) #1
Nova (2006) #1
Annihilation: No
va (2006) #2
Nova (2006) #3
Annihilation: Nova (2006) #4

Annihilation, Book Two
nnihilation: Silver Surfer (2006) #1
Annihilation: Silver Surfer (20
06) #2
nnihilation: Silver Surfer (2006) #3
Annihilation: Silver Surfer (2006) #4

Annihilation: Super-Skrull (2006) #1

Annihilation: Super-Skrull (2006) #2

on: Super-Skrull (2006) #3
ion: Super-Skrull (2006) #4
hilation: Ronan (2006) #1
Annihilation: Ronan (2006) #2

Annihilation: Ronan (2006) #3

Annihilation: Ronan (2006) #

Annihilation, Book Three
on (2006) #1
Annihilation (2006
) #2
(2006) #3
Annihilation (2006) #4
Annihilation (2
006) #5
Annihilation (2006) #6

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus (2
007) #1
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus (2007) #2

The Nova Corps Files (2006) One-Shot

Annihilation Conquest, Book One

Annihilation: Conquest - Prologue (20
07) #1
Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord (
2007) #1
Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord (2007) #2

n: Conquest - Starlord (2007) #3
Annihilation: C
onquest - Starlord (2007) #4
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar (2007) #1

Annihilation: Conq
uest - Quasar (2007) #2
Annihilation: Conquest
- Quasar (2007) #3
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar (2007) #4

Annihilation: Saga (2007) One

Nova, Volume 1: Annihilation Conquest
Nova (2007) #1

Nova (2007) #2

Nova (2007) #3
Nova (2007) #4

Nova (200
7) #5
Nova (2
007) #6
Nova (2007) #7

Annihilation Conquest, Book Two
Nova (2007) #4

Nova (2007) #5
(2007) #6
Nova (2007) #7

Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith (2007) #1
Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith (2007) #2

Annihilation: Conquest - W
raith (2007) #3
Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith (2007) #4

Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #1
Annihilation: Conque
st (2008) #2
Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #3
Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #4

Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #5

Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #6

Nova, Volume 2: Knowhere
Nova (2007) #8

Nova (2007) #9

Nova (2007) #10

Nova (2007) Annual 01

Nova (2007) #11

Nova (2007) #12

Marvel Cosmic
Nova, Volume 3: Secret Invasion
Nova (200
7) #13
Nova (2007) #14

Nova (2007) #15
Nova (2007) #16

Nova (2007) #17

Nova (200
7) #18

Nova, Volume 4: Nova Corps
Nova (2007) #19

Nova (2007) #20

(2007) #21
Nova (2007) #22

Nova: The Origin of Richard Rider (2009)

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1: Legacy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #1
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #2

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #3
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #4

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #5

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #6

War of Kings
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: War of Kings, Book 1
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #7

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #8

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #9

of the Galaxy (2008) #10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #11

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #12

War of Kings (Hardcover)
Secret Invasion: War of Kings (2009) #1

War of Kings (2009) #1

War of Kings (2009) #2

War of Kings (2009) #3

War of Ki
ngs (2009) #4
War of Kings
(2009) #5
War of Kings (2009) #6

War of Kings: Darkhawk (2009) #1

War of Kings: Darkhawk (2009) #2

War of Kings: Ascension (2009) #1

War of Kings: Ascension (2009) #2

War of Kings: Ascension (2009) #3

War of Kings: Ascension (2009) #4

War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar (2009) #1

War of Kings: Warriors (2009) #1

War of Kings: Warriors (2009) #2

Marvel Spotlight: War of Kings (2009) #1

Nova, Volume 5: War of Kings

Nova (2007) #23

Nova (2007) #24

Nova (2007) #25

Nova (2007) #26

Nova (2007) #27
Nova (2007) #28

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: War of Kings, Book 2

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #14
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #15

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #16

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #17

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #18

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #19