Young Cannibals

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Tokusatsu Thanksgivings by youngcannibals
November 24th, 2016, 4:08 pm
Believe it or not, making webcomics doesn't pay the bills. Not yet anyway.

I'm not chillaxing on my luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea, slipping a mai tai. Maybe Stan Lee can do that, but definitely not me.

No, I have a day job.

It's more like an all-day job. I work crazy hours sometimes. Like 60, 70 or more hours. This past week was one of those weeks.

However, in the back of my mind, as I was working all those hours, I was wondering which tokusatsu movie I would watch for my traditional Tokusatsu Thanksgiving. Would it be Rodan? Or War of the Gargantuas? Or maybe something obscure, like The H-Man?

Tokusatsu, for the non-enthusiasts, is a Japanese live-action film or television show that uses considerable amounts of special effects, usually dealing with science fiction, fantasy or horror. Giant monsters in rubber suits and the Power Rangers are all Tokusatsu.

When I finally stumbled home Wednesday night, carrying a sad sack of fast food, I decided upon Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster.

I chose wisely.

Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster is a significant film in the Godzilla mythos. Released in Japan in 1964, it was directed by Ishiro Honda and featured special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Godzilla dons the mantle of hero for the first time as he joins forces with Mothra and Rodan against the dreaded space dragon, Ghidorah.

Truthfully, I fell asleep trying to watch it. Just too damn tired. But I was successfully able to watch it on Thursday morning.

Thanksgiving Thursday.

Tokusatsu Thanksgiving Thursday.

That's an alliteration even Stan Lee would be proud of.

JR

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SDCC 2016: Day Four!!! by youngcannibals
July 25th, 2016, 11:31 am
The San Diego Comic Con is a friggin' intense experience. There are all kinds of bizarre things to see...









The rarest site of all at Comic-Con... an empty hallway!!!



Going to Comic-Con takes a lot of energy. You don't attend Comic-Con; you survive it. However, it is still sad when it's over and all you're left are the memories... and sore feet.

Till next year, San Diego... Stay classy.

JR
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SDCC 2016: Day Three!!! by youngcannibals
July 24th, 2016, 9:57 am
Another day of the awesome sauce that is the San Diego Comic-Con!

There is lots to see at Comic-Con. There are celebrities like Stan Lee being mobbed by the press or Sergio Aragones receiving the prestigious Icon Award...



My buddy over at The Missing Digit comic got to meet his hero, Jim Davis, creator of Garfield. This was Jim Davis' first Comic-Con appearance.



Besides notable cartoonists, there were more cosplayers...







Come back tomorrow, and we'll wrap up Day Four.

JR
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SDCC 2016: Day Two!!! by youngcannibals
July 23rd, 2016, 11:11 am
Let's just jump right into the cosplayers, shall we?













Lots of nice costumes. But, by far, the most authentic costume was this one of a hack-cartoonist.



JR
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SDCC 2016: Day One!!! by youngcannibals
July 21st, 2016, 6:54 pm
Comic-Con.

My first convention was in 1994. I drove down to San Diego with a couple of friends. We didn't have passes or even a hotel booked. Back then, you didn't need to worry about planning ahead. Things have changed a lot, but some things have remained the same.



You can still meet your favorite comics creators like Jim Lee...



You can see and purchase almost anything imaginable...







It's all a little intense. After a long day at the Con, it's a good idea to hit the Gaslamp District and get a drink... or two.



JR

PS I saw this guy walking around the convention. I tried throwing balls at him, but I couldn't seem to catch him.



PPS Come back tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures of cosplayers. I mean, why post pictures of Comic-Con unless you post pictures of cosplayers?
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WonderCon 2016!!! by youngcannibals
March 27th, 2016, 1:26 pm
WonderCon.

The San Diego Comic-Con's less attractive sister.

Even though this year's convention was practically in my backyard, I wasn't really planning on going. But then a friend invited me, so I thought I would make a day of it.

Without anymore yapping on my part, here's WonderCon 2016...



The badges were kinda cool this year. In an attempt to prevent scalping and counterfeit badges, these badges were equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. And it had some nice artwork on it.

Kinda cool. You just had to remember to tag yourself in and out whenever you were going somewhere.



This convention is pretty crowded... not SDCC-crowded, but you better like people.

Of course, there's lots of awesome things to see and learn. Lots to things to buy.




And lots of cosplayers.



Did I say cosplayers? There was certain emphasis on Deadpool this year. Wherever you looked, there was a Deadpool.






Speaking of Deadpool, there was this guy...



I only checked out WonderCon for a day. Going to these super-mega conventions can wear a guy down. After a few hours, I was ready to take my purchases and go.



"Tapping out" seemed appropriate.

JR
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The Best Comic Book Covers... Ever! by youngcannibals
March 13th, 2016, 5:06 pm
Okay, maybe the title is a little over the top.

I don't know if these are the best comic book covers of all time, but they are the ones that stood out the most for me throughout my life. If you have opinions different from mine... well, you write your own blog. I promise that I'll read it.

Before I go down the list, what exactly constitutes a noteworthy cover? Lots of elements go into an interesting comic book cover. There were lots of great comic book artists that were not great cover artists, and lots of cover artists that were failures at the interiors. Good design, composition and drawing skills go into a fine cover.

In the past, it was easier to spot the truly memorable comic book covers because nothing else on the stands even remotely resembled them. Nowadays, there are lots and lots of exceptional covers by artists that are phenomenal. It's actually kinda hard to point out just one cover because they're all so good.

Anyways, in no particular order, here are my ten favorite comic book covers.

Famous Funnies #213



I saw this cover years ago inside a magazine talking about older comics. This comic was published way before my time, but, man, I would snag it up right away! I have no idea what the inside story was about, but this cover said everything you would need to know.

Turned out that this amazing cover was illustrated by Frank Frazetta. This work here foreshadowed many of the themes that Frazetta would revisit later in his breathtaking sword 'n sorcery paintings.

Uncanny X-Men #136



This was the comic that hooked me on the X-Men. This issue was towards the end of the now-famous Dark Phoenix Saga. I really had no idea what was going on with the story, but I was mesmerized by the action, drama and storytelling.

This is the power of a great cover. It'll get you to open up a book you would have no intention of doing otherwise.

This cover was penciled by John Byrne (and inked by Terry Austin). Not sure if Byrne copied this cover from anywhere else, but countless covers have definitely been inspired by this one.

Moon Knight #23, vol. 1



This was one of the first direct-market comics. This was only a precursor of what artist Bill Sienkiewicz was capable of doing. The mood, the texture, the stark black & white image. This definitely stood out from everything else in the early 1980's.

Foxhole #1



It might be blasphemous to say, but I don't think Jack Kirby was necessarily a great cover artist. He drew lots of iconic covers, no doubt... but those were probably because of something important that happened inside the comic itself.

Not many of his covers stand out on their own, but this one is definitely striking. The soldier's one eye would captivate you from a thousand yards away.

Strange Adventures #207



Word balloons on covers were gimmicks that publishers used so much in the past that it's super hokey to a lot of readers now. But it works on this cover. It sets up an intriguing mystery that sucks you inside.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that it was drawn by Neal Adams.

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #7



Along with Adams, Jim Steranko revolutionized art in comics back in the 1960's. He brought aspects of design that comics had never seen before. Steranko's work was even influenced by gallery art styles like surrealism, pop and op.

The Killing Joke



In the mid-1980's, comic books took a turn down the dark side. Books were tough and gritty and twisted. None more twisted than Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke."

The cover by artist Brian Bolland is a compositional masterpiece. Everything, from the word balloon to the title blurb, points to the Joker's camera. "What is he taking a picture of," you may have asked? You had to look inside to find out.

Of course, due to DC's retconning their entire universe, this story doesn't exist anymore.

Man-Thing #1, vol 1



I stumbled across this comic while I was rummaging through a used comic book bin. Since it was sealed in a mylar bag and board, I couldn't look inside but I knew I wanted it. I was 12 or 13 at the time, and the price tag was more money than what my parents gave me in an allowance. For three weeks, I saved my nickels and dimes until I could afford to make the purchase.

This atmospheric cover, by Frank Brunner, almost made up for the mediocre artwork inside.

Crime Suspenstories #16



Holy Crap! No wonder EC Comics got themselves banned! I mean, dude... this cover is intense! Art by Johnny Craig.

Mad #1



Speaking of EC, this is one of the most iconic covers ever. The cover to the first issue of "Mad" is not only clever and funny, but it makes great use of color to emphasize the unique art style of Harvey Kurtzman.

So, those are the top ten most memorable covers to me. But before you click away or leave me a despairing comment, here is an honorable mention to this line up of covers.

Action Comics #434



I think Nick Cardy was the artist here. Looks like Superman is like everybody else when it comes to the dentist's chair. The dental assistant looks like she's about to faint... probably in embarrassment for poor ol' Superman.

I had never seen this cover before a few days ago, but seeing it encouraged me to write this piece. Which goes to show that a memorable comic book cover does more than just sell a book. It can also become a source of inspiration to cartoonists for years.

So blame DC and the artist if you don't like this article.

JR
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Six Upcoming Super Hero Movies For 2016 And What You Need To Know About Them by youngcannibals
January 31st, 2016, 3:01 am
By the Eye of Agamotto, there are a lot of comic-related movies coming out!

And, as in their publishing identities, Marvel and DC super heroes are getting the most attention. This year's films have got some the better known characters like Superman, Batman, Iron Man and Captain America, but there's also some lesser known heroes and villains hitting the silver screen as well.

Therefore, let's take a look at what's coming out...

Deadpool



Release Date: February 12
Director: Tim Miller
Star: Ryan Reynolds

Deadpool is gonna start things off for us... literally with a bang.

Gotta say though, personally speaking, I didn't think a lot of good was going into this film. Deadpool was created by Rob Liefeld, who I used to despise until I came to realization that I was just as much of a hack as he was; the movie stars Ryan Reynolds, who usually sucks (If you watched Green Lantern, you know I'm right); and Deadpool's last foray into motion pictures with X-Men Origins: Wolverine was less memorable than Kim Kardashian's first husband.

But, damn, those trailers are funny!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice



Release Date: March 25
Director: Zack Snyder
Star: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot

"Tell me... do you bleed?"

This movie better not suck. There's been so much that's been a turn off. This film's predecessor, Man of Steel, was a disappointment; Ben Affleck's being cast as Batman wasn't a popular choice (what's up with Batman carrying a gun anyway!?); and all the preview trailers make this movie look super depressing.

I'm going to see it, but I'm not going to be happy about it.

Captain America: Civil War



Release Date: May 6
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr.

Marvel's Phase Three kicks off with Civil War. You don't need a hundred trailers when the first one is done right. I am amped for this movie.

Plus, Spider-Man's going to be in it! Nuff said, right? Excelsior!

X-Men: Apocalypse



Release Date: May 27
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender

The X-Men franchise is alive and well. Who needs Hugh Jackman as Wolverine when you're going to have Olivia Munn as Psylocke? Actually, I'm going to miss Jackman when he retires from the role next year, and it's a shame there's no Wolverine in this film (or is there?).

Suicide Squad



Release Date: August 5
Director: David Ayers
Stars: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto

Of all of the super hero movies coming out this year, I'd say this one has the biggest chance of flopping. Will Smith hasn't had a good track record as of late, and I don't envy Jared Leto's playing the Joker and the comparisons he's going to get to Heath Ledger. But it will be fun to see Harley Quinn on the big screen.

Between this film and Batman v Superman, we should get a pretty good idea of how the DC cinematic universe is going to shape up.

Doctor Strange



Release Date: November 4
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton

As of this writing, there's no teaser or trailer for this movie. How this film is going to look is a complete mystery, which seems appropriate for the Sorcerer Supreme.

Personally, I'm super jazzed.

I can't wait to hear Benedict Cumberbatch say something like, "By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth."

JR
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