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The Ring of Nibelung is on a Dark Horse Re-Release!

8 Dec

Available to pre-order on Amazon

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: January 02, 2019
Click here to preorder

Richard Wagner’s The Ring of Nibelung has seen countless adaptations into other forms of media over many years. The opera truly must be seen as it was this composer’s intention. To read a comic book adaptation may seem like a bad idea, but in what I enjoyed in Roy Thomas version is that it helped reignite my interest in the Nordic sagas. The art by Gil Kane was inspiring. This work was published by DC Comics in the 90s; to find it now means chancing upon a collection while at a comic book show.

In 2012, Dark Horse Comics released their own version in 2012 with P. Craig Russell handling the chores of not only the writer but also the artist. This edition has its own gentile style and modestly introduces the sagas without being too extravagant in the presentation. It collects all the single issue covers and production notes (on how he turned the opera into an illustrative work) into a 450-page book! His pencil sketches are worth noting more than the finished work–and I’m only scratching the surface. Reading this work is just as enchanting. To compress it (which can clock in at 5 hours, or 15 to detail the entire four-part saga) to a 448-page work is just as impressive.

The live performance can be daunting for the newcomer. Not everyone is into opera. To read this work in illustrative form is a great way to become familiar with the story before tackling the stage show. No matter which version I’m looking at, I feel that when I’m done, there’s no need to watch Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings again, for a while. Both share the one ring ideology and borrow from similar sources, and that’s all there is.

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On Elves in Pop Culture & Uvic’s Beck Lecture Series Celebrating 30 Years

26 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Beck Lecture series at the University of Victoria (located in British Columbia, Canada) celebrated 30 years and concluded this year’s offerings with a look into the Icelandic occult world by Dr. Guðrún Björk Guðsteinsdóttir. She gave the curious a look at elves, ghosts, and trolls from a cultural and literary perspective. Of the former, I sometimes feel like I’m one of the Huldufólk. One slide presented describes how people can tell if one visited the elf world. “You can tell by their love of ‘beauty, art and writing’ and by their wistful look as if having gazed into a disappearing world.” I had days where I’m in that zone. When asleep, my Astral form visits that realm.

Elves hail from a Germanic culture and their appreciation for the arts is especially well known in many a fantasy product. I could resume academic studies to examine the lore. Some material is available online, but more is gained by hearing an educator talk about them than from the Internet. Academic libraries help, but unless you are a student or alumni, I can not borrow them to read off campus.

This program offers more than the flights of fantasy. It reminds Icelanders living abroad about life back home and how it has influenced popular culture. Because of this recent series of lectures, I realize why I love Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters and Cressida Cowell / DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon so much. The seeds which inspired both series hail from this region. When considering the final film to HTTYD is “The Hidden World,” respect to the traditions is made.

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Celebrating 80 Years of Batman with a Silver Coin!

22 Nov

batmancoin

Hold on to your wallet, Bat-man! The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is offering a limited run of a very cool collectible for investors and collectors alike. Only 10,000 coins will be pressed. The iconic bat logo will be put on 99.99% silver and this item is made to celebrate 80 years of Batman! DC Comics have their plans ready for release in March of next year; however, collectors can get this item before Christmas.

The reason behind using Batman’s iconic logo is because, during the 1940s, the series saw many important elements introduced into the lore. The first use of the Bat-Signal in Detective Comics #60. Batman’s support team have changed over the years. Whether they stood the test of time is subject to debate. This symbol resonates because it is so universally recognized,

Out of all the comic book tie-in collectibles the mint has offered over the years (including a set of Justice League collectibles), this item is the most noteworthy. The past had tie-ins with films, which became a mainstay with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Anniversaries of when the characters first came out are more appealing, and this is one I’m certainly eyeing to join in with my 75th-anniversary coin of Superman.

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Let’s Celebrate Hellboy Day March 23, 2019 Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics!

18 Nov

Hot on the heels after the release of the entire Hellboy Omnibus collections, fans should rejoice! Next year, on Saturday, March 23, 2019, Dark Horse Comics will celebrate the 25th anniversary of legendary comic book creator Mike Mignola’s most famous creation with Hellboy Day.

Shortly after, fans can go enjoy the reboot of the film franchise on April 12, 2019.

In 1994, this company published Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and introduced comic book readers to the Right Hand of Doom, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and one of the most iconic comic book characters—and universes—of all time. For 2019’s Hellboy Day celebration, Dark Horse will publish the 25th anniversary, promotional edition of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction issue 1, featuring a new cover by Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, which will be given away at participating comic book shops; and select stores across the country will host Hellboy Day events.

“When I created Hellboy way back when I never imagined he would be around long enough to celebrate a 25th anniversary,” said Mike Mignola. “I’m grateful to the writers, artists, colorists and letterers who’ve joined me in telling Hellboy stories for all these years. And, of course, so grateful to the fans. This thing could not exist without their support and it’s a pleasure every time I get to go out to meet them.” Mike Mignola will appear at a Hellboy Day signing at Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles on March 23.

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