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Comic Review: The Vault #1-2
The Insomniac   |  

Image Comics: The Vault, #2The Vault, #1-2
Written by Sam Sankar
Art by Garrie Gastonny, Sakti Yuwono
Covers by Garrie Gastonny, Bagus Hutomo
Image Comics
Release Date: August 31, 2011
Cover Price: $3.50

The Vault opens with a team of high tech treasure hunters exploring treasure chambers and traps off on Oak Island, 150 kilometers off the coast of Nova Scotia. The area is famous for hosting a whole network of tunnels and burrows that have baffled treasure hunters and archaeologists alike and this team believes they have found access to a treasure chamber through a hidden access tunnel. However, when they discover that the treasure they found won’t even cover their expenses, they keep digging.

What they find as they go deeper isn’t treasure, but rather a giant stone sarcophagus, with an unknown skeletal creature inside. The team debates whether or not to open it, but when they do, they find the skeleton inside to be not as quite as dead as they thought…

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Comic Review: Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men
The Insomniac   |  

Dark Horse Comics: Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men (One Shot)Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men
One-Shot
Written by Steve Niles
Art by Christopher Mitten
Colors by Michelle Madsen
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 14, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

Full disclosure: I’m a big Steve Niles fan. I loved 30 Days of Night and Wake The Dead, as well as his work on Batman, Spawn, and JSA. His reinvention of one of my favorite characters in the DC universe in The Creeper: Welcome to Creepsville is still one of my comic treasures. So I have to say I was worried when I heard about his Criminal Macabre project. The supernatural private dick angle has been played before, and masterfully so with Hellblazer.

That being said, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with Criminal Macabre. While Cal McDonald does have certain classic noir elements that would remind you of John Constantine, in place of Constantine’s Cockney con artist and wiseass is a bitter, depressed, and extremely violent detective with little in the way of pathos.

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E3 2011 Preview: Konami
The Insomniac   |  

Konami E3 pre-showOn Thursday, June 2nd, Konami held simultaneous events in Toronto, Mexico City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for the video game media and their die-hard fans to give them a preview of what they could expect from Konami in the up-coming year. I happened to be fortunate enough to attend the preview that was held in Toronto at the Real Sports Bar and catch a glimpse of what’s new. Here’s the run-down, game-facers.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater

Available for the Nintendo 3DS, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater is will feature a return to the feel of the original and is designed to highlight the features of the 3DS gaming platform. Set outdoors in a jungle environment with a Special Forces style of play, Snake Eater will have a few cool new features:

Photo-Cammo: The new photo-cammo feature will allow players to take a snap shot of anything using the 3DS camera and use the colors to customize their own unique camouflage for their characters in play. I myself am looking forward to creating a “dog-shit brown” Snake Eater character.

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Comic Review: Skullkickers #7
The Insomniac   |  

Skullkickers, Issue #7: Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood, Part 1Skullkickers #7
Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood, Part 1
Story by Jim Zub
Art by Edwin Huang, Misty Coates
Cover by Chris Stevens
Variant cover by Steven Cummings and Espen Grundetjern
Image Comics
Price: $2.99
Street Date: May 25, 2011

How could you not love a comic book with a name like Skullkickers? It does bring up images of thick, steel-toed boots bashing in brains, splattering them onto the pavement, doesn’t it?

Well, if that’s what you’re expecting, it’s not what you’re going to get.

Skullkickers is a fantasy series, obviously heavily influenced visually and creatively by World of Warcraft and the Final Fantasy video game series. The story revolves around a pair of monster hunters: an alcoholic dwarf with an axe and a stoic bald warrior with a revolver. In the first six issues, the good Skullkickers are forced to travel from the village of Mudwich to do battle with necromancers, demons, living corpses, and giant primordial demon lords. As Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood Part 1 opens in Skullkickers #7, the Skullkickers return to Mudwich celebrated heroes only to become wanted fugitives, embroiled in an assassination plot against the city’s nobility by a pointy-eared elfin killer and a pair of murderous fairies.

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In Preparation For ‘Thor’: Norse Mythology A-Z (Or At Least Y Anyway)
The Insomniac   |  

Week of Geek: Thor

Are you excited for the release of Marvel Studios’ Thor on Friday, but you don’t know your Baldr from your Bilfrost? Well, the good folks at Geeks of Doom have got you covered!

Marvel Comics delved deep into traditional Norse mythology to create the backdrop for Thor, pulling gods, monsters, giants, and exotic locations to populate their modern take on the old legend. Few people realize this, but Norse Mythology is the manliest thing to ever exist; even manlier then an Ultimate Klingon Fighting League. We’re talking Dungeons & Dragons on steroids. We’re talking honey mead-swilling, giant axe-swinging, buxom maiden-screwing, giant troll-wrestling hurricane of 100 percent, grade-A he-beef. Why do you think Power Metal loves it so much?

In honor of Thor, Geeks of Doom jumps two skullcrushing boots first into the world of Viking gods. So grab a stein of mead, a side of boar, and enjoy Geeks of Doom’s NORSE MYTHOLOGY A-Z (Or At Least Y Anyway).

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Comic Review: Lucid
The Insomniac   |  

Archaia Comics: Lucid, issue #2

Lucid #2-4
Written and Created by: Michael McMillan
Illustrated by: Anna Wieszcyk
Lettered by: Shawn DePasquale
Archaia Comics

A black president getting assassinated? Looks a little close to home…

The world of Lucid is a world of magic: a modern world where a secret cabal of sorcerers who work for the United States government. A member of the Ambrosian Order, Matthew works to protect the government, including the president from other magical forces seek to assassinate him.

While pursuing assassins, battling demons, and neutralizing magical threats, Matthew and the rest of the Order are investigating an organization known as Artemis Megacorp and its connection to the Pendragon Prophecy, a foretelling of an age when everyone on the planet has magical power.

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Comic Review: Feeding Ground
The Insomniac   |  

Archaia Comics: Feeding GroundFeeding Ground #1-4
Written by Swifty Lang
Art & Letters by Michael Lapinski
Story by Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski, and Chris Mangun
Edited by: Paul Morrissey
Archaia Comics
Release date: February 23, 2011 (Issue #4)

Feeding Ground is a comic about the blurring of borders: borders between man and animal, good and evil, childhood and adulthood, even borders between countries. The Feeding Ground of the comics namesake is the term given to this nowhere space the characters find themselves in, trapped and hunted by monsters of all stripes.

Swifty Lang and Michael Lapinski have created a fascinating comic in Feeding Ground, one that marries the topical politics of the day with supernatural horror and traditional Mexican folklore. It follows the story of Diego and his family, living on the edge of the Mexican/American border. Surrounded by Mexican gangsters, Diego works as a snakehead, safely transporting illegal immigrants across the Mexican/U.S. border. His daughter, while playing along the edge of a farm owned by local land baron, Backwell, is bitten by something she couldn’t see, and begins a horrifying transformation right as her brother kills a local pimp and hustler in order to defend his mother.

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Movie Review: Hobo With A Shotgun
The Insomniac   |  

Hobo With a ShotgunHobo With A Shotgun
Directed By: Jason Eisener
Written By: John Davies
Starring: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Rob Wells
Release date: March 25, 2011 (Canada)

Once in a lifetime, you come across a movie that rips the scales from your eyes and forces you to see the world as it really is. A movie that reaches into your very soul; tapping into the existential yearning that is the yolk which connects us all to our basic humanity. It’s a movie that one single viewing of can change your life forever.

For me, that movie is Hobo With A Shotgun.

For those of you who don’t already know the story, Hobo With A Shotgun was the brainchild of Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener. Winner of the SXSW Grindhouse Trailer contest, Jason Eisener’s fake trailer for Hobo With A Shotgun was attached to the blockbuster Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse double-bill of Planet Terror and Death Proof for its Canadian run. The trailer became such a hit that soon shooting of a feature-length film began in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

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A Sea of Blue Hair: ‘Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour’ Release Party Jams Downtown Toronto Street
The Insomniac   |  

Scott Pilgrim Toronto Launch PartyIt was on like Donkey Kong on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 as Scott Pilgrim made his triumphant return to the streets of Toronto! The midnight release of Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour held at the Beguiling at Markham and Bloor jammed a city block full of Ramona Flowers, Young Neils, The Evil Ex-Boyfriends, and of course, Scott Pilgrim himself!

With a dash of a book signing, a smattering of street festival, and a generous handful of comic book convention, the Midnight Release Party (organized totally over Facebook) for Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour was attended by well over 300 people and featured costume contests, prizes, and the man of the hour himself, Bryan Lee O’Malley, signing the sixth and final edition of his wildly popular Toronto-based comic book.

Check out images I took from the event here below.

A cult phenomenon since its launch in 2004, the graphic novel series combines hipster pop culture references, manga-influenced art, and the feel of a classic video game to tell the story of Scott Pilgrim, a 20-something bassist in Toronto, ON who must battle the Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends to win the love of indie-nerd beauty queen Ramona Flowers.

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Hollywood Pitches: ‘Back To The Future IV: Bif’s Neanderthal Revenge’
The Insomniac   |  

Week of Geek; Back to the Future, 25th Anniversary

It’s been 20 years since the third and final Back To The Future movie was released and since then there’s been a major void in the franchise. Sure there was a short-lived animated series, and yeah, Universal Studios theme parks had a BTTF ride, but not everyone got to experience that; plus, it was closed down back in 2007, so now the fans have nothing.

With the 25th anniversary this Saturday of the release of the first movie, it’s no surprise that some Hollywood types would be clamoring to get a BTTF: Part IV into development asap. Below is a transcript of secretly-taped conversation between two producers discussing their grand plans for a new sequel, Back to the Future IV: Bif’s Neanderthal Revenge. [Hey, at least it’s not plans for a remake!]

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