Tag Archives: Image Comics

Title Discrimination in Comics

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When it comes to censorship in comic books, I often question the criteria that comic retailers use when deciding what sits on the shelf, as opposed to what is kept behind the counter.  There is a countless number of comics for mature readers on the store shelves, so what exactly is the deciding factor for age-restricted material?

I asked a comic shop owner why are there certain books kept behind the counter, when a certain other book is allowed to sit on the shelf with the rest of the uncensored comic books.  The response to the latter was pretty vague.

That was not the first time that I have asked comic shop owners or employees why

Sex, published by Image Comics
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and

Sex Criminals, also published by Image Comics
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are marked as age-restricted material and kept behind the counter, but

Crossed, published by Avatar Press
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freely sits on the shelf.

It didn’t take but a minute for me to realize why Sex and Sex Criminals are being discriminated against.  It’s because of that three-letter word in their titles.

SEX.

That’s right, comic book titles are being censored.  I haven’t been told this by anyone, but it’s pretty obvious.  I don’t know about all comic shops, so I can only rant about the few I have visited since I started reading Sex Criminals.  These books are being treated as if they are pornography, which they are not.  Although I only read the first two issues of Sex, I am not embarrassed to say that Sex Criminals is on my pulls.

If Crossed can sit on the shelf, then why can’t the two comic books with sex in the title?  That is so unfair.

I don’t know what’s currently going on in Sex, but I know that Sex Criminals is nothing to be all hush-hush about.  It is not porn or a dirty joke book.  It’s a comedy about two people who can stop time while having an orgasm.  They decided to rob a bank to save a library.  They are eventually captured by the sex police.   And there aren’t that many panels showing nude body parts.

On the other hand, Crossed is a bizarre comic about a virus that caused a zombie-like apocalypse.  This is a story of sadism, torture, rape and incest.  When humans are infected, they immediately break-out in a red rash, in the shape of a cross, on their faces.  They develop a crazed grin, and the violence and bloodshed begins.

They also turn into horny lunatics, and will have sex (rape most of the time) with anyone and anything, including children and animals.

Although the graphics speak for itself, the book has no parental advisory warning on the covers.  This is a book that sits on the shelf with other uncensored comic books.  Severed limbs are usually on the cover.

Check out the cover for Crossed Annual 2014.
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A young girl holding a severed hand.

This book sits on a shelf, at a child’s EYE LEVEL.

Now that my ranting blog post is over, I feel so much better.  In fact, I’ve decided to follow my dream and write a comic book.

The comic is about a young female that seeks vengeance on those that have wronged her.  There will be ongoing torture, bloodbath and plenty of sex.  I don’t know if the covers will have a parental advisory warning just yet, but they will definitely be sexually explicit.

To make sure that my comic book make it on the shelf with other uncensored comics, the word sex  won’t be in the title.  It will be named after the leading female character, which will be something like Cupcake, Sunshine or Bubbles.

When I wrote my review of Crossed last year, I received a couple of nasty comments that I moderated and unapproved.  I’m sure I’ll probably get some for this blog post as well.

 

Random and Not so Random Thoughts of a Comic Blogger

Top 10 Best Comics of 2013

10.  Sex Criminals, Image Comics

9.  Afterlife With Archie, Archie Comics

8.  Hoax Hunters, Image Comics

7.  Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel

6.  Morning Glories, Image Comics

5.  Thor:  God of Thunder, Marvel

4.  Deadpool, Marvel

3.  Justice League Dark, DC Comics

2.  The Fearless Defenders , Marvel

1.  Superior Spider-Man, Marvel

Top 2 Comic Mini-Series of 2013

2.  Superior Carnage, Marvel

1.  Screwed, Zenescope

Worst Comic Book of 2013
You didn’t think I would really throw that out there like that did you?  However, I did read a comic last year that is perfect for this category.  I was speechless after reading it.  I had no idea what that story was about.  Not only do I not remember the name of the book or publisher, I don’t even know where it is.

Comics I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2014
Cursed
Magneto
Ms. Marvel
Nameless
Night of the Living Deadpool
Paradigms
Restoration
She-Hulk
Southern Bastards
Superior Carnage Annual #1
The Wicked and the Divine
Wytches

The list will grow as I learn of more upcoming titles, so let me know if there’s any titles I need to add.

Luke Cage vs. Jack Lawson
A question popped into my mind the other day, as to who I like the best.  Luke Cage from Marvel Comics, or Jack Lawson from Image?  For those of you that don’t know Jack (no pun intended), he is a lead character in Hoax Hunters, written by Michael Moreci and Steve SeeleyChris DiBari is the artist.

Two handsome badass brothers.  In Mighty Avengers, Luke wants to settle down, be a hero-for-hire, so that he can be near his family.  On the other hand, Jack is full of attitude, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  Nothing.  Don’t believe me?  Read Hoax Hunters #13 that went on sale last week.

But it’s all fiction.  In reality, a brother with muscles and an attitude would rather hang with superheroes, kicking the s**t out of villains, than stay home with his wife (or girlfriend) and kids.  Anyway, I don’t care for Luke’s soft attitude.  Sorry Marvel, Image wins this round.

Deadpool’s Wedding
I plan to attend Deadpool’s wedding, in April, from the comfort of my home.  I don’t want to be anywhere near the Marvel Universe because of Deadpool.  What follows Deadpool?  Violence, bloodbaths, and chaos.

Who is the bride-to-be?  My husband think it’s Lady Death.  I don’t have any ideas of who, or what, it could be.  One thing for certain is that Deadpool #27 will be the first comic book I will be reading that day.

I tried a few times to count the 200+ characters on the cover, but I kept losing track.  I am going to keep trying until I succeed.  Maybe I’ll use Marvel’s character list as a guide.

I wonder if Scott Koblish and Val Staples have carpal tunnel now.

Superior Spider-Man
Are the rumors true?  Is Superior Spider-Man coming to an end?  Will Doc Ock no longer be in Peter Parker’s body?  Is Peter coming back?  If so, then my bank account will be $7.98 (+ tax) fatter every month.  Enough said.

Hoax Hunters #13 Review

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While a review copy of Hoax Hunters #13 quenched my thirst, I can’t wait until its release date of January 8, 2013.  Holding a print copy in my hands will provide instant gratification, especially with Christian Dibari (artist) and Mike Spicer (colorist) providing the visuals.

The season finale is here, and will leave you in a WTF moment.  And the ending is more dark and twisted than all the issues combined.

While fighting the demon, in an effort to secure the Book of All Futures, Regan makes the shocking discovery that she’s more powerful than she realizes.  Fearing that Regan’s connection to the book will be discovered, Donovan warns her that they must flee to safety.

Meanwhile, the moment we’ve been waiting for is here.  Or is it?  Up until now, Jack Lawson, the handsome team leader, has been a loyal member of the Hoax Hunters.  But throughout the series, he’s been harboring his own hidden agenda on the sly.  Jack has been searching for his father, who went missing years before.  Earlier in the series, Jack was supposed to have given Donovan a multiverse device.  But he gave Donovan a replica of the device instead.  He kept the original to aid in the search for his father.  Getting into a heated argument with his dad’s business partner, Borges, only escalated the situation.  But this time, Jack has gone way too far.

Once again, Moreci and Seeley produced another dark and twisted horror story.  Hoax Hunters is definitely one of the best horror comics on the market.  Myths are explored with sharp dialogue and great character interactions.  Regan is so powerful, it’s scary.  Although I don’t fully trust Donovan, he does appear to have some good in him.  Jack appears to have gone stone crazy, and Murder is, well Murder.  You can’t read an issue of Hoax Hunters and not mention Murder, the crow filled spacesuit.

Dibari and Spicer are to blame for the eye-popping visuals, especially the chupacabras.  I also like when Donovan changes from a fine-looking young man into a demonic beast.

Without giving any spoilers, I’m posting a couple of pages so you can get a taste of both dialogue and art.  So if you’re looking for spoilers, sorry but you’re reading the wrong blog.

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Now that Season 1 of Hoax Hunters is finished, the creative team is taking a break before Season 2.  If you want to read the first season in its entirety, then don’t pay outrageous prices on eBay.  Buy the trades or read them here.

If you’re a fan of horror, mythology, Mythbusters and X-Files, then Hoax Hunters, published by Image Comics, is a title you definitely should be reading.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I give this issue 5/5 stars.

Rat Queens #2 Review

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The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply to the cover of Rat Queens, a new comic series by Image Comics/Shadowline. Whether they’re drunk or sober, I wouldn’t go near any one of these kick ass battle maidens for anything. They might beat you down to a pulp at the blink of an eye.

The Queens are:

  • Violet – Dwarf, level-headed
  • Dee – Human, cleric, atheist, healing powers, level-headed
  • Hannah – Elf, mage, shows leadership, aggressive, hot-headed, full of attitude
  • Betty – Hobbit with a large sexual appetite, bubbly personality

In the debut issue of this dark, supernatural comedy, the Queens were thrown in the dungeon after a brawl. In exchange for their release, they had to complete a quest, getting rid of goblins from Hindman Cave. The female mercenaries arrived at the cave and found a ninja assassin waiting for them.

After defeating a giant troll in the current issue, the Queens realized a hit had been placed on them, and the other mercenary teams. By the way, I like Brother Ponies, they all wear ponytails! Now the Queens has to venture out on a quest of their own, find the person(s) who wants them dead.

The Queens are four hipster badass women that steps down to no one. They love bar brawls, getting drunk and mushrooms. They also have different personalities, which definitely shows in the dynamic script written by Kurtis J. Wiebe.

Being a fan of dark and the supernatural, it came as no surprise that I found the artwork, by Ron Upchurch, to be awesome. I especially like the fight scenes, and the giant, nasty-looking troll. I also like the fine details of the characters, in regards to appearance, facial expressions and especially height!

I knew from its debut issue that I would continue reading this entertaining comic to see where it’s going. I am already enjoying this title. Character interactions are funny, and I love Hanna’s aggressiveness. She’s full of attitude and will probably slice you in half just for looking at her the wrong way. And I think Betty is adorable. She may be diminutive in size, and wears a pretty (and sometimes drunk) smile, but she will gouge your eyes out, just like she did to that troll. If you like booze, bar brawls, and feisty kick-ass women, then Rat Queens is definitely for you.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this title to mature readers of dark, supernatural and mythology.

Sex Criminals #1 Review

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Sex Criminals. The title alone, followed by the cover art, was enough to pique my interest. After reading this debut issue by Image Comics, I can honestly say that my interest has been satisfied.

The series follows the life of Suzie, a beautiful female that has the supernatural ability to literally stop time whenever she has an orgasm. Discovering her ability at a young age, Suzie turns to the “dirty girls” at school, physician, and her mother for answers. But it was the library that captivated Suzie, and it was during her library-saving party that she met Jon and learned that he has the gift as well.

Sex Criminals is unlike any other comic on the market. It is sci-fi sexual comedy, not a dirty joke book. I can think of a lot of things that I would do if I could freeze time and rob banks, and that list does not include saving a library! But that’s what makes this series so funny and engaging. It’s not your everyday robbing banks to spend it all on high-end homes, luxury cars, yachts, lavish parties, and whatever else thieves spend their cash on.

This title contains strong sexual content, and is for mature readers who are not afraid of sexuality.

Matt Fraction is the writer of this hilarious, yet interesting series. I especially like how the adult Suzie looks and talks directly to readers while narrating the younger Suzie’s backstory. Rachel’s lesson on sex to Suzie is complete with illustrations, definitely worth the laughs it received from me. The script is full of powerful dialogue and page turners.

The phenomenal artwork comes from the hands of Chip Zdarsky. The panels where Suzie floated across the floor as Jon recited her favorite book, Lolita, is funny, yet seductive. I especially like the rainbow of colors that fills the room when Suzie is in “the quiet,” and the way she walks around while everyone is frozen. I can’t forget to mention Rachel’s illustrations! Visual storytelling at its’ best.

As a person who loves sci-fi, comedy and not afraid of sexuality, I can definitely say that I plan to read the next issue.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I definitely recommend this title to mature readers.

Hoax Hunters #10 Review

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TITLE:  Hoax Hunters #10
WRITER:  Michael Moreci
WRITER:  Steve Seeley
ARTIST:  Tristan “T-Rex” Jones
RELEASE DATE: September 4, 2013

After reading a review copy of Hoax Hunters #10, I now wish the release date was sooner than two weeks. It was more than obvious in my last review that I am enjoying this title, and this post will be nothing less. The creators are back from their hiatus with a new artist on board, Tristan “T-Rex” Jones.

In case you don’t already know, Hoax Hunters is a reality television show that debunks stories and sightings of monsters, aliens and cryptids. But the show is a cover-up, as the creatures are real.

The entire Hoax Hunters team is back as well. Jack is still that handsome leader with the muscles. Regan is the female eye candy with mystical powers. Ken Cadaver appears even more zombie-like, and no one can ever forget Murder, the crow-filled spacesuit. Even Donovan, the show’s producer (I still don’t trust him) plays a major role in this issue.

Strange sightings have been reported, within a 48-hour period, in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana (*wipes sweat from forehead* I’m glad Michigan is not involved). Jack suggests they split up and work in small groups but Donovan has his own hidden agenda, which includes Regan accompanying him to South America. At this point, Murder is nowhere to be found.

Believing she would find answers about her curse, Regan follows Donovan to South America. However he reveals to Regan the true motive of their trip. The demon they are searching for could possibly be the one responsible for Regan’s curse. There is also a book, a relic, that could prove fatal to the world if it lands into the wrong hands. The demon is after this book and Donovan needs Regan’s help to track both the demon and the book.

Meanwhile, Ken and Jack are left behind with two staff members to serve as substitutes. They are not happy about the arrangement because Regan is the most powerful person on the team. As Ken and Jack exit the building, they find Murder outside and it’s not a pretty sight.

This well written script is the beginning of the final arc of season one. Character interactions are outstanding and I especially like the characterizations of Jack and Donovan. Jack displays strong leadership skills and is working in the best interest of the team and organization. Donovan, the show’s cool and arrogant producer that can turn evil and monstrous at any given moment, is far from trustworthy and harbors deep, dark secrets.

This horror dialogue is accompanied by great visuals. The demonic monster that confronts Regan and Ken Cadaver’s creepy, glowing eyes and zombie-like appearance is enough to give me the scare that I seek while reading horror stories. T-Rex has already proven to be a valuable asset to this title.

I gave a long spill in my last review, so this one will be brief. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT FOR THE TRADE TO BE RELEASED. Hoax Hunters is so dark and creepy that you don’t want to wait months for it to be compiled into a trade. BUY THE SINGLE ISSUES. I read a lot of comic books and a lot of them sell themselves. My comics include Justice League and Superior Spider-Man, big titles with big names attached. With that being said, I am going to continue to tweet, re-tweet, share, blog and verbally spread the word about this indie title. I have been a horror fan since childhood and this is one title I definitely do not want to see canceled. Hoax Hunters is X-Files, MythBusters and Ghost Hunters rolled into one, so you know that this title is a MUST READ.

I cannot wait until September 4 to get my hands on the printed SINGLE ISSUE (I had to throw that in again) that will be waiting in my pulls.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

It should be more than obvious that I highly recommend this title, published by Image Comics.

Hoax Hunters Books 1 and 2 Review

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If you’re a fan of television shows like X-Files, MythBusters and Ghost Hunters, then this is the perfect comic series for you.

Hoax Hunters is a reality television show that debunks stories and sightings of monsters, aliens and cryptids. But the show is actually a cover-up. The creatures are real and they’re either protected or eliminated by the hunters.

Members of the Hoax Hunters:

  • Jack – Leader. Former FBI agent.
  • Regan – Attractive female with mystical powers.
  • Ken Cadaver – Former NASA scientist. Created a re-animator that was used against him. Zombie-like with psychic powers.
  • Murder – A spacesuit filled with crows! That’s right, there is no human in that spacesuit.

I didn’t know too much about this title, published by Image Comics, until I met Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley during my visit to Motor City Comic Con back in May. They are the creative writers of this dark, sci-fi, mystical, scary and fun series. Not only were Moreci and Seeley very friendly, but they also took their time explaining the series to me. Since I am a fan of dark, horror, sci-fi, monsters, aliens, ghosts and all the other dark and creepy adjectives, I bought both trades.

Book One contains issues #0-#5 and Book Two contains issues #6-#9. The creative team is taking a break during the months of July and August, and issue #10 will be released in September.

I cannot wait until September to get my hands on the next issue. I was immediately hooked after reading both trades. The monsters, gnomes, and the possessed girl in the haunted house are all real. But there is an underlying mystery, as well. Jack is left in the dark about his father, who was not only a Hoax Hunter, but his whereabouts are unknown to Jack.

I have never read such believable fiction until I read Hoax Hunters. I’m starting to believe that cryptids do exist. Okay I’ll confess, I’ve ALWAYS believed that Sasquatch (Bigfoot) existed. And the Abominable Snowman. Does that make me an honorary Hoax Hunter? But this is why I am enjoying the series. Debunking myths and legends in front of the camera, while secretly dealing with them in reality.

The main characters are compelling, yet complex. Jack is the tough guy with the muscles. Regan is probably the most powerful. Ken is quiet, mysterious and haunted by his past. Murder can’t talk but somehow his teammates know what he’s saying. Their interactions with him are funny, except when he’s alerting them of danger.

By the way, be careful when you’re around Donovan, the show’s producer. He’s not one to be trusted.

JM Ringuet, Axel Medellin, Emilio Laiso, Brent Schoonover, Charo Solis, and Rosario Costanzo are the creative artists on these stories. Excellent visual storytellers. I have no complaints in this area at all. The entire art team deserves a round of applause.

I found a couple of resources that keep readers up-to-date on the series:

This title is a creator owned series. Therefore, we as readers need to spread the word to buy single issues. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE TRADES TO BE RELEASED. The continuation of comics is dependent upon its sales of singles. This is not Batman, X-Men or some other big named title. There are no big gun names attached like Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis or Dan Slott. Therefore, this title is harder to sell. It’s up to the readers to keep this series going. I buy singles AND trades because I only like to read my singles once. No fingerprints or smudges are allowed on my books.

I became an instant fan and loyal reader of Hoax Hunters and I plan to continue reading the series. I also plan to help market this title by talking to customers and staff at the comic shop and posting on the social media circuits.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

It should be more than obvious that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TITLE.