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Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con 2016 — Report
The Iceman   |  

Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con 2016

Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con (SLLACC), formerly Comikaze, has grown by leaps and bounds in only a few years, to the point where weekend attendance is approaching that of the famed San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). Last year, it was about 90,000, and I’d wager this year’s tally will surpass that.

And much like SDCC about a dozen or so years ago, when interest and attendance seemingly skyrocketed within the span of a year, SLLACC’s sudden growth has come with some pains.

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Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2014 Report
The Iceman   |  

"Exclusive" Stan Lee Announcement

This past weekend marked my second year attending the Comikaze Expo, “Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo.” Last year, I went on a Sunday and had a long, informative, and entertaining conversation with Herb Trimpe . Sadly, Herb couldn’t attend this year, and aside from Len Wein (who I interviewed at the 2013 Long Beach Comic-Con), there really wasn’t any comics creator of a similar stature and history.

Except Stan Lee, who of course, was there, and whom I was told I would be able to pose some questions to — and which I was hoping to post here, on the GoD page.

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Comic Review: DayBlack #2
The Iceman   |  

DayBlack #2 cover by Keef CrossDayBlack #2
Written & Illustrated by Keef Cross
Rosarium Publishing
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Price: $1.99

DayBlack #2 takes a darker (pun) turn, as we get into more details about Merce’s life as well as insights into his tattoo business, including his favorite type of customers, and one particularly shocking bit involving one of his regulars.

As with the first issue, cool new takes on vampiric senses are introduced. I especially loved the unexpected cliffhanger ending, which reminded me of some of the stuff I used to dig as a kid.

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Comic Review: Creepy Archives, Volume 18
The Iceman   |  

Creepy Archives, Volume 18Creepy Archives, Volume 18
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Various
Illustrated by Various
Dark Horse Comics
Release date: February 18, 2014
Cover Price: $49.99

Creepy Archives, Volume 18, covers issues 84-88 of the original magazine series, wherein each issues had a theme. For instance, #84 was an “all sports issue,” which while an odd fit on the surface, worked surprisingly well. “All monster” stories was the focus of #85. The next two were Christmas and Mars-themed, with issue #88 being a free-for-all smorgasbord of stories.

Overall, these Creepy Archive collections are blasts from the past, when seemingly all comics seemed more a bit more wondrous, even innocent — including the horror ones. This volume features art from some of the big, and not so big names of yesteryear, with quality craftsmanship being a key element that they have in common.

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Help ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon Creator Bill Mantlo, A Hero In Need
The Iceman   |  

Rocket Raccoon from “Incredible Hulk” #271, written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Sal Buscema

Chances are, you’ve seen the new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and you probably noticed there’s a raccoon with the machine gun. Bill Mantlo co-created Rocket Raccoon in 1976, but since it was a work-for-hire project, he likely won’t see a dime from this big-budget comic book film.

In 1992, Mantlo was struck by a hit-and-run driver and suffered traumatic brain injury, and has been living in a nursing home/rehabilitation facility, and as you can imagine, this is costly. So, with the recently popularity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and the likelihood of Rocket Raccoon becoming an immediate kid-favorite, it’s a good time to bring everyone’s attention to Mantlo and his tragic plight. You can donate through PayPal to help with Mantlo’s medical expenses.

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‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ 2 Hasbro Toys (Photos)
The Iceman   |  

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Hasbro toys banner

The great thing about a Hasbro/Marvel movie action figure line is that in addition to some great figures based on the heroes and villains in the film, there’ll also be a bunch of comics-based figures to boot. And this is the case with the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie line. Hasbro debuted their tie-ins for the upcoming film at last weekend’s Toy Fair in New York City, and we have a bunch of photos of the products here below.

Of course, as with any movie-based toy line, released in advance of the film, there’s also a slight risk of some spoilers, such as the Dead Gwen Stacy figure*, but alas, that’s the nature of the internet, and in most cases, these spoilers often serve to heighten anticipation in the coming flick.

So in addition to the various figures straight out of the movie, we’ll be treated to comic book versions of Beetle, Black Cat, Carnage, Superior Spider-Man, and the Ultimate Green Goblin.

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Comic Review: Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #1
The Iceman   |  

Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #1Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #1
Written by Douglas Wolk
Art by Ulises Farinas
Colors by Ryan Hill
Letters by Tom B. Long
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 22, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #1 was one fun book to read! The first impressions sold me immediately, with artist Ulises Farinas’ ultra detail in the city shots, instantly bringing Geoff Darrow and the late, lamented, Seth Fisher, to mind.

But Farina has got his own look and the detail expressed in the environments is sharply contrasted with the simplicity of his figure illustrations. I should note that the city shots contain lots of gags, like the “Van Halen Expressway” and “Stallone Megway” signs and the neon “Carl’s Sagan jr” restaurant.

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Comic Review: Fame: Jennifer Lawrence
The Iceman   |  

Fame: Jennifer Lawrence cover by Ben EargleFame: Jennifer Lawrence
Written by Michael Troy
Illustrated by Ben Eargle
Bluewater Comics
Release Date: January 15, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Jennifer Lawrence is on fire right now. The star of American Hustle and of course, Katniss Everdeen herself from The Hunger Games, Lawrence has that special quality that virtually guarantees superstardom. If Bluewater’s Fame: Jennifer Lawrence comic were capable in any way of impacting her career, she’d be in serious trouble. It is horrible.

Not a single one of the inconsistent drawings of Lawrence looks even remotely like her. You’d think with all the varying depictions of her facial features, artist Ben Eargle might’ve gotten at least one correct. Who told him she had a chiseled, square jaw? Has he seen any of her movies? Looked at a picture of her? The “baby picture” drawing of Lawrence makes her look like some alien creature. Jaw-dropping, hilariously bad. I showed it to my wife and we both had a good laugh.

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Comic Review: DayBlack #1
The Iceman   |  

DayBlack #1 cover by Keef CrossDayBlack #1
Written & Illustrated by Keef Cross
Rosarium Publishing
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Cover Price: $1.99

DayBlack is a new kind of comics reading experience. It’s more like an art book than a traditional comic book, containing many full-page, striking illustrations, each worthy of framing. A couple of pages contain collages of images/logos from hip-hop culture (MF Doom!), adding to the already unique nature of how creator Keef Cross is telling us this story.

The artwork is super-cool. Thirty-two pages of high-contrast black and white illustrations that reminded me Damion Scott and Jim Mahfood, Jose Munoz, and even Rick Geary in some spots. But make no mistake, Keef Cross has a unique style all his own.

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Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Iceman   |  

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty movie posterThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Directed by Ben Stiller
Written by Steve Conrad
Starring Ben Stiller, Kristin Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, and Shirley MacLaine
Release date: December 25, 2013

Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a common, oft-heard message masquerading as an insight.

To be fair, the message is a sound one — one we’ve all heard countless times — but one that few of us heed: Live. Live your life. Get out there and experience it. In order to remind us of that message, superimposed text graphics that feel like they’re from a “Just Do It” Nike commercial, are peppered throughout.

Again, while the sentiment is worthy, I fretted our culture has cultivated an audience for material that feels pithy, but is anything but. In short, the suggestion that they’ve experienced something deep and enriching is enough to make them believe they actually have.

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