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Ed’s Dark Horse News from Emerald City Comicon & Picks for Feb, March & June

8 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’ve been thinking about nothing but the 15th anniversary of Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) since last month and was very excited to see what Dark Horse Comics has plans on announcing this year. In addition to the artist and writer signings and giveaways at the show, there’s something always cool to be found when walking by! Had I gone to the main exhibit hall early in the morning, I might have walked away with a yellow tote bag, but alas, I was in another building awaiting photo ops with a few of this show’s entertainment guests.

Fortunately, I did not miss meeting artist Irene Koh (she’s illustrating the upcoming official Legend of Korra continuation due in shelves Jun 7) and writer Gene Luen Yang (Avatar: Last Airbender). I’ve been buying everything Avatar related this company puts out and plan on a huge binge-read. While waiting in line, I can only smile at how much of a strong fan base this series has, especially amongst the Asian community.

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Also, I got to see Mike Mignola again and learn he’s working on a new work. The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed is out and it takes place in the Hellboy universe. While the stories about the title character are finished, thankfully there’s more to enjoy in this realm from other perspectives. One hope I had is to see all the Hellboy stories packaged together in an omnibus collection; sadly the representative said there are no immediate plans. The collections we have now is it for those preferring the trade paperback route. My mix of one-shots and owning certain storylines sometimes gets me lost as to where each story fits in.

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Going Beyond the Brick with LEGO Batman

21 Feb

cym_yo1w8aqqn_zBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I very rarely get excited about all the toys released along with an animated film. With How to Train Your Dragon, the variety of reptiles seen on-screen only salivated my appetite for owning a model of each because I love the designs. In the movie, LEGO Batman, I got giddy over the garage full of vehicles the caped crusader uses in his fight against crime and if only I had a couple of thousand dollars. Buying the bricks is not cheap because a lot of the money goes towards name brand recognition and licensing rights than manufacture. All reason went out the window when I saw Scutter, Batman’s mech change from robot mode to airplane.

Can I hope the model does the same? I’ll have to look at YouTube videos to find out, or just buy it. I caved and bought the set, not only because I liked the personality given to it, and enjoyed how the film gave to fans a perfect examination of two properties. Not only did it examine why the man behind the cowl is what he is but also it stayed true to what the brick represents. It’s become more than a kid’s construction toy and it helps creates a foundation to spur creativity.

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Comic Con Latest to Patch Hole of VI Fandom’s Sinking Ship

16 Feb

viccBy James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

For anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, it is common knowledge that Vancouver Island is one of the toughest places to host an event. The lethargy displayed by the fan community backed by decades of failed events, an unhealthy fan club scene and conventions that once shone only to dull and disappear is enough to make any organizer think twice.

But one has to admire the sheer bravery of any person who tries to create something wonderful for the local community. Three such people are Evan Hatch, Carson Upton, and Michael Lum creators of GottaCon, a gaming event that lasted a handful of years before closing. Replaced by LANtasy, both are proof that southern Vancouver Island isn’t big enough to support two such events.

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How to Train Your Dragon: Serpent’s Heir TPB Review

4 Feb

HTTYD Serpents HeirBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild spoiler alert

If I had to decide between which How to Train your Dragon (HTTYD) comic book series to follow, my vote is for Dark Horse Comics‘ official follow-up. Penned by Dean DeBlois, director and showrunner of DreamWorks’ series, and Richard Hamilton (Star Wars: Dark Times), I’m enjoying the continuing adventures which take place after the second movie as it puts Hiccup into new adventures before he can even get comfortable with his new crown.

The Serpent’s Heir begins with everyone from the village of Berk helping to rebuild. After a few mishaps, King Hiccup gets a visitor from another island tribe. Calder’s village is being racked with earthquakes and while he expected to meet Stoick the Vast, he only finds the boy king. This young leader certainly has learned a lot from his dad, and he knows never to turn his back to those in need. Both he and his Dragon Riders travel to the island of Nepenthe to assist and find treachery in the midst.

While this first graphic novel is an easy short read, I feel these trials are just one of many in a series of books to help cement Hiccup as King of the Archipelago. News about Stoick’s death has not spread far, but it soon will. Other Vikings will come to challenge Hiccup. Unlike other burly soldiers who are hard to push over, this matchstick shaped lad may seem easy to bend.

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