Elite Comics Bringing 2019 Halloween ComicFest to Kansas City This Weekend

Elite Comics’ Halloween ComicFest just got BIGGER! 

For an event this epic, Elite Comics has moved the event to the Overland Park Convention Center, where they will take over Courtyard Ballrooms 1-3!  This means there will be over 10,000 square feet of toys, statues, trades, hardcovers, and comics, comics, comics! They will have over 50,000 $1 comics, over 20,000 Silver Age Comics, and collectibles of every sort!  It is also Halloween FREE Comic Book Day with 1000’s of free comics! 

Media Mikes will have a table at the show, giving away Swag from such upcoming films as “Download” and “Midway.” They will also be recording their “Behind the Mikes” Podcast from the event. Stop by and say “hello!”

Make plans to be at the Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66211 Sunday, October 27 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.  Admission and parking to the event are FREE!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AT THIS YEAR’S HALLOWEEN ComicFEST

  • A HUGE artists alley with over 30 talented comic creators! Come get original art, exclusive books, rare collectibles, and autographs from the artists themselves!
  • October is also when Elite Comics kicks their Children’s Mercy Toy Drive into high gear! There will be awesome drawings and raffles all day long to raise money for kids stuck in the hospital over the holidays!
  • Stop by the gaming alley to play some awesome spooky board games and the cyber cafe for refreshments!
  • Last, but definitely not least, participate in the huge COSTUME CONTEST! You know you want one more chance to show off your cosplay and/or Halloween outfit. Especially when there are prizes involved.

Bring the family and make a day of it!

THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS ARE SCHEDULED TO BE IN ATTENDANCE:

  • RYAN KINCAID
    • He has done covers for all the major publishers!  Come get some very rare variant covers signed by one of the hottest artists in comics!
  • ANDE PARKS
    • Ande has worked on every major title in is 20+ year comic career. His writing career is as impressive!   Writing credits like Capote in Kansas, and Union Station which led to his Ciudad original graphic novel which will be a Russo Brothers Netflix movie.  Come meet the man, get an autograph, buy a book and get some valuable hat advice!
  • BRYAN TIMMINS
    • Bryan will be showing his awesome art including his specialty of sharks and dinosaurs!  Make sure to stop by his table and get one of his prints or get a book signed!
  • JULIE TIMMINS
    • Julie will be in artists alley reading tarot cards and  foretelling your future of getting a bunch of great comics and having a blast at the Halloween ComicFest!
  • ED LAVALLEE
    • Come check out his  books Pop Star Assassin, Revere and Archeon! He might also let you stroke his beard if your lucky!
  • RUDY GARCIA
    • Known as the Pumpkin King, Rudy has professionally sculpted for every major toy and statue company in the business! And his pumpkin carving has literally taken him around the world! 
  • MEGAN LEVENS
    • She has worked on Buffy ,Star Trek, Back To The Future and many more! Come get one of her awesome sketches and hear some great stories about her Bostons!!
  • ED BICKFORD
    • Check out his Metal Robot, Pulp Robot and American Chop Suey comics!!
  • ARIE MONROE appearing
    • She is an incredible caricature artist and check out her comic!  She attended the Kubert school and has worked on a bunch of great comic projects
  • JEANNE BARNHILL
    • Designer, artist, lover of animals and mind behind almost everything you see on the windows, walls, cases and ceiling at Elite comics, Jeanne will be setting up and selling the awesome PopArtifacts items!  Toys and collectibles from the past displayed with the care and quality they deserve.
  • LORI BUNTIN
    • Lori is known as the city’s best custom framer.  She does all the framing for PopArtifacts!
  • BRYAN FYFFE
    • Bryan, the King of Halloween, is one of the most popular convention guests in America and will have a huge selection of awesome art to make your place a little cooler!
  • KARA LOVE
    • Kara will be here with her new anthology Local Haunts, spooky stories all set in hometowns around the world !  Come get a book signed and exchange scary stories just right for Halloween!!
  • ERICA BATTON
    • Creator, writer and artists of Panty Vigilante!  Come out and get some art, and get copies of your comics signed!
  • IRYNA STROGANOVA
    • She will be setting up in our huge artists alley!
  • ROD ZIRKLE
    • Face painter Rod Zirkle will be on-hand to make the day even more exciting.  Get the final touches added to your costume right before the costume contest!
  • BALDEMAR RIVAS
    • We are super happy to have art star and artist of Image Comics Unearth (issues 1 and 2 are out right now)  BALDEMAR RIVAS!  Come get some comics signed, get a sketch maybe even get your picture with comics newest sensation!
  • STEVE DANIELS
    • We are proud to have Mr. Kansas City, cartoonists STEVE DANIELS at our Halloween event!  Come get some art, get some books and ask him about his upcoming projects!
  • KYLE STRAHM
    • Kyle will be set up in our Halloween Comicfest artist alley!  Bring in your copies of Spread and Unearth and get his signature and his advice on organic gardening in the Midwest!!
  • STEPHEN SMITH
    • He will present his creations in our huge artist alley! You can score some cool art and argue about wrestling!
  • KELLY AARON
    • Will be showing her awesome at our Halloween ComicFest!  You can see her art all over town but if you want to see her art and see her be at the Elite ComicFest on October 27th!
  • JASON ARNETT
    • We are lucky to have local writing superstar and Kindness Community member JASON ARNETT!  Come buy one of his books and ask him about some of the awesome projects he has started at JCCC!
  • SKOTTIE YOUNG
    • We will have the awesome and talented SKOTTIE YOUNG doing an exclusive signing to benefit The Elite Comics Children’s Mercy Toy Drive! Get copy of the Marvel Art of Skottie Young Hardcover signed with 100% of the proceeds going to help make a better Christmas for kids in the hospital!

SEE YOU THERE!

Blu-ray Review “LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League”

Starring: Nolan North, Troy Baker, Kari Wahlgren, Diedrich Bader, Tony Todd, Khary Payton
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Warner Bros.
Run Time: 44 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

As the follow up to “LEGO Batman, The Movie: DC Super Heroes Unite”, “LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League” brings the DC Comic universe together to battle a unique set of villains called The Bizarro League. Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League as a way to keep his eye on Superman. This task seems to be complicated by Superman’s clumsy clone Bizarro whose creation of his own league of off kiltered superheroes has caused its fair share of problems however an even greater force lurking in the shadows will force the two leagues together in an effort to defeat the impeding evil.

I have to start out by saying that I love the partnership between LEGO and DC Comics. Two of my favorite things growing up were LEGO’s and comics so whenever I get to enjoy the two at once especially in film form its always great fun. “LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League” is a great follow up to the LEGO Batman film from a few years ago. Presented in stunning Blu-Ray all the colors, action and sound practically leap out of your screen as the tale of the two leagues join together to battle an evil which is threatening the world. Don’t let the idea of this film being a kids film fool you as there were plenty of times where I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue between characters. I found this added to the films appeal making it a movie you can throw on and watch with the entire family.

Though the film is considerably shorter than the previous LEGO/DC film (by about 27 minutes to be exact) the disc comes packed with some really cool special features such as a Bizarro featurette and a blooper reel. Also for those purchasing the Blu-Ray Combo pack you get a really cool special edition Bizarro Batman LEGO figure so even though the film is a bit shorter the special features and figure certainly help its appeal making the latest release from LEGO and DC Comics a great addition to any LEGO or comic fan’s collection.

Book Review “DC Comics: A Visual History”

Author: by Daniel Wallace
Hardcover: 376 pages
Publisher: DK ADULT
Release Date: September 29, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

DC Comics is becoming much more relevant recently following the success of Marvels. Especially with the bunch of new films announced by DC including “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, fans are going to be looking for history of these characters in preparation for the films. This updated and expanded edition of “DC Comics: A Visual History” is a must have for any comic fan. It includes 16 new pages to cover 2010-2014 and an amazing new slipcase design along with two NEW prints packed inside. This has everything any fan would want to find out. It is detailed as hell and jam-packed with amazing information.

Official Premise: Trace DC’s fascinating story: the company’s beginnings as National Allied Publications in the 1934, and its subsequent change to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1937. The book details all the major DC publishing landmarks and more, displayed clearly, month by month. Highlighting the debuts of iconic super heroes like Superman and Batman, the geniuses that invented them, and the real-life events, like the Vietnam War, the atom bomb, and the Space Race, that shaped the atmosphere of the times, DC Comics: A Visual History follows the characters’ foray into the real world through TV series and blockbuster movies.

There is a solid foreword from former president of DC Comics (2002-2009), Paul Levitz. I have to admit, even though I have been a huge Batman and Superman fan since I was a kid, I have never been too big on the rest of the universe that was surrounding them. After reading this book, I understand that it is quite massive and really exciting to see what is set to come in the future. DK did an amazing job on this release, it is a literally a marvel (no pun intended) to look at and is so detailed, colorful and there is not an inch wasted throughout as it is filled with amazing images and facts.

 

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Last Year in Comics: DC Comics

Last Year in Comics

So, here we are in 2014.  Hopefully, we’ll see more of the awesomeness that we saw in 2013’s comic books, as some seriously cool stuff came out.  However, there is always the other side to things; some companies made some horrible errors and some obvious ‘money grabs’.  Let’s take a gander, shall we?

DC Comics: 

Oh DC…it was going so right, where did it go wrong??  Last year saw the reboot of DC with the New 52, which was pretty damn awesome.  As with most reboots, all the industry’s best writers and artists were invited to the party, including Jim Lee re-envisioning the “Justice League,” which was hands down one of the most fun books to read at the time (and I never really liked the “Justice League”).  All of the Bat-Books that came out were so good that I actually didn’t mind having to read multiple books about the same character (something that started in the 80s & exploded in the 90s and has been a major annoyance for me ever since…at one time I remember there being something like seven or eight “Spider-Man” books and the same number of X-Books, all coming out at the same time…ugh, there’s only so much story people).  I was even getting excited about “Action Comics” and “Supergirl” for a few issues, and I absolutely hate the “Superman” family of books!!

But alas, it all came crashing down.  First, they did the unthinkable.  They turned three or four of their most hidden gems, the Coup-de-Villes at the bottom of the Cracker Jacks box, over to Rob Liefeld.  WHAT???  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  DON’T YOU REMEMBER WHO THIS GUY IS??  So, what were once gritty, hard-hitting titles, like “Deathstroke,”  “Hawk & Dove,”  “Hawkman” and “Grifter,” which were all fun reads with outstanding art, became Liefeld strokefests and turned to utter crap, just like everything he’s ever done!!  History repeats itself…duh!  Then they pulled some of their better writers and artists off of the minor books, such as “Voodoo,”  “Stormwatch” and “Captain Atom,” all higher-brow reading with compelling stories that actually made you think about life and existence and such, because they were minor books (even though they were becoming majorly awesome because of those creators) to play shuffle around with the bigger books.  Cliché alert…if it ain’t broke…!!!

And then came the “Villain Month” money grab…I’m sorry, I mean crossover…which was the downfall of the New 52.  Half of the books were just horrible re-hashings of origins, some of the villains were in books that they weren’t even the villains of (such as the Ventriloquist in “Dark Knight,” even though they had just revamped the character and introduced her in “Batgirl”).  What could have been amazing fun (all the heroes are gone, let the villains play), became the biggest let down in comics of the time.  Even the best villain ever, The Joker, was just craptastic.  Instead of letting him run rampant, which would have been amazing, they retold an old campy story about his pet gorilla, even though they had just finished one of the darkest “Joker” storylines ever, including a Joker who was running around with his “face” as a flesh mask that barely hung from his head!!  And I won’t even mention the hologram covers and all the supposed shortages that happened…

Then the “Zero Year” debacle happened, forcing all of the Bat-books to tell the story that the editor wanted told.  By this point, there were so many crossovers happening that creators were walking away from the books that they once made incredible because they were being restrained by editorial whims.  Once again…REALLY DC??  REALLY??  HIRE BOB HARRAS, THE GUY WHO SINGLE HANDEDLY WRECKED THE X-UNIVERSE IN THE 90S???  Again, DC…don’t you remember these people and what they did.  Why hire them when you were doing just fine?!?!

It wasn’t all bad though!!  Thankfully, we did see some incredible stuff come out of DC.  Scott Snider’s “Batman” stories continue to enthrall readers.  Batgirl was truly wonderful as she became a renegade running from her own father, Commissioner Gordon.  “Batwoman”  was awe-inspiring with beautiful illustrations by JH Williams III and killer stories about supernatural villains and dark family secrets.  “Swamp Thing,”  “Aquaman” and “Earth 2” continue to be the most consistent and well-written stories with killer art and brilliant subtle humor.

To come full circle, DC did produce perhaps the best comic story I’ve read in years, “Injustice: Gods Among Us.”  Just simply & truly amazing.  Superman goes from a helpless lovesick fool who has no idea how to deal with the Joker (who tricks him into then killing Lois Lane) to a killer and militant totalitarian leader of the world, and Wonder Woman couldn’t be happier.  In her own words, “I was waiting for this.”  Of course, Batman is leading the resistance.  With twists and turns that rock the entire DC universe, including a Harley Quinn who acquires powers, this book is just simply brilliant!!

Next time, the ‘Independents’ and how they are currently ruling the comic industry.

Last Year in Comics

So, here we are in 2014. Hopefully, we’ll see more of the awesomeness that we saw in 2013 in comic books, as some seriously cool stuff came out. However, there is always the other side to things; some companies made some horrible errors and some obvious ‘money grabs’. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

DC Comics:

Oh DC…it was going so right, where did it go wrong?? Last year saw the reboot of DC with the New 52, which was pretty damn awesome. As with most reboots, all the industry’s best writers and artists were invited to the party, including Jim Lee re-envisioning the Justice League, which was hands down one of the most fun books to read at the time (and I never really liked the Justice League). All of the Bat-Books that came out were so good that I actually didn’t mind having to read multiple books about the same character (something that started in the 80s & exploded in the 90s and has been a major annoyance for me ever since…at one time I remember there being something like 7 or 8 Spider-Man books and the same number of X-Books all coming out at the same time…ugh, there’s only so much story people). I was even getting excited about Action Comics and Supergirl for a few issues, and I absolutely hate the Superman family of books!!

But alas, it all came crashing down. First, they did the unthinkable. They turned 3 or 4 of their most hidden gems, the Coup-de-Villes at the bottom of the Cracker Jacks box, over to Rob Liefeld. WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? DON’T YOU REMEMBER WHO THIS GUY IS?? So, what were once gritty and hard-hitting titles, like “Deathstroke,” “Hawk & Dove,” “Hawkman” and Grifter… all fun reads with outstanding art, became Liefeld strokefests and turned to utter crap, just like everything he’s ever done!! History repeats itself…duh! Then they pulled some of their better writers and artists off of the minor books, such as “Voodoo,” “Stormwatch” and “Captain Atom,” all higher-brow reading with compelling stories that actually made you think about life and existence and such, because they were minor books (even though they were becoming majorly awesome because of those creators) to play shuffle around with the bigger books. Cliché alert…if it ain’t broke…!!!

And then came the villain month money grab…I’m sorry, I mean crossover…which was the downfall of the New 52. Half of the books were just horrible re-hashings of origins, some of the villains were in books that they weren’t even the villains of (such as Ventriloquist in “Dark Knight,” even though they had just revamped the character and introduced her in “Batgirl”). What could have been amazing fun (all the heroes are gone, let the villains play), became the biggest let down in comics of the time. Even the best villain ever, The Joker, was just craptastic. Instead of letting him run rampant, which would have been amazing, they retold an old campy story about his pet gorilla, even though they had just finished one of the darkest Joker storylines ever, including a Joker who was running around with his “face” as a flesh mask that barely hung from his head!! And I won’t even mention the hologram covers and all the supposed shortages that happened…

Then the Zero Year debacle happened, forcing all of the Bat-books to tell the story that the editor wanted told. By this point, there were so many crossovers happening that creators were walking away from the books that they were making incredible because they were being restrained by editorial whims. Once again…REALLY DC?? REALLY?? HIRE BOB HARRAS,THE GUY WHO SINGLE HANDEDLY WRECKED THE X-UNIVERSE IN THE 90S??? Again, DC…don’t you remember these people and what they did. Why hire them when you were doing just fine?!?!

It wasn’t all bad though!! Thankfully, we did see some incredible stuff come out of DC. Scott Snider’s “Batman” stories continue to enthrall readers. “Batgirl” was truly wonderful as she became a renegade running from her own father, Commissioner Gordon. “Batwoman” was awe-inspiring with beautiful illustrations by JH Williams III and killer stories about supernatural villains and dark family secrets. “Swamp Thing,” “Aquaman” and “Earth 2” continue to be the most consistent and well-written stories with killer art and brilliant subtle humor.

To come full circle, DC did produce perhaps the best comic story I’ve read in years, “Injustice: Gods Among Us.” Just simply & truly amazing. Superman goes from a helpless lovesick fool who has no idea how to deal with the Joker (who tricks him into then killing Lois Lane) to a killer and militant totalitarian leader of the world, and Wonder Woman couldn’t be happier. In herown words, “I was waiting for this.” Of course, Batman is leading the resistance. With twists and turns that rock the entire DC universe, including a Harley Quinn who acquires powers, this book is just simply brilliant!!

Next time, the ‘Independents’ and how they are currently ruling the comic industry.

Bear Wolf owns and operates the New Game in Town stores in Kekalb and Dixon, Illinois

2013: The Year in Comics

So, here we are in 2014. Hopefully, we’ll see more of the awesomeness that we saw in 2013 in comic books, as some seriously cool stuff came out. However, there is always the other side to things; some companies made some horrible errors and some obvious ‘money grabs’. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

Marvel Comics

Let’s start with the big boys. Their restart of various comics, like Avengers, Hulk, and various X-Men books was truly entertaining and inspiring. Using some of the top writers and artists in the industry, they made a huge push to revamp their books with a more ‘mature’ audience in mind, while also keeping true to the origins of the characters (unlike DC’s New 52, which attempted to re-write the universe after events in Flashpoint—which we’ll be exploring next time). With such amazing plot lines as the Avengers having to destroy an alternate Earth in order to save this one, Bruce Banner basically blackmailing S.H.E.I.L.D. so he can go back to being a scientist instead of just a green rage monster, and the original X-Men being stuck in the current time period and none too happy about what the current X-Men are up to, especially Scott Summers, I find myself repeatedly saying things like, “Wow, it’s fun to read X-Books again,” (which hasn’t been the case since the 90’s), and “Well, I never read the Avengers before, but it’s pretty awesome now.” Even side books like Thunderbolts & Savage Wolverine have been a bunch of fun. Without a doubt, the single best book Marvel put out the last year was Thor, God of Thunder. Full of consistently epic storytelling by Jason Aaron, spanning plotlines like a serial killer of the gods and the most evil dark elf the realms have ever seen, and exquisitely illustrated by Esad Rubic & Ron Garney, Thor most definitely gets my vote for best Marvel book of 2013.

Which brings us to where they messed up…Wolverine. Can it be that perhaps one of the most amazing characters ever written has become ‘kid friendly.’ NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!! This is not why we fell in love with this character!! That’s not WHAT HE DOES BEST! While Savage Wolverine comes close, his other titles have failed miserably. If you want to read a real Wolverine story, read X-Force: Sex & Violence. Seriously epic & classic, with passages like:

Wolverine: “I’ve been here once before.”
Domino: “Oh yeah, what happened?”
Wolverine: “Had to kill everyone.”
Domino: “Of course.”

That, my friends, is what he does best! Old Man Logan is also pretty awe inspiring, but that’s from a few years ago at this point. Also, while starting out with amazing potential, the Avengers’ big summer crossover, Infinity, took a quick nosedive somewhere in the middle. So much went on that I didn’t even care about the characters or what they were up to anymore, not to mention it went on at least 3-4 issues too long in three different titles! Perhaps the biggest mistake Marvel made in 2013 was the sissification of one of the greatest Marvel villains ever, Thanos. In preparation of the movies Avengers 3 (yup…rumor has it that he doesn’t actually show up until the 3rd one) & Guardians of the Galaxy, we saw a bit more of Thanos in the Marvel universe, and quite frankly it was more than I wanted to see. Not only does he get easily and simply defeated at the end of the (far too long) Infinity storyline by his son turning him into a statue (Really? After 4-6 months of a massive crossover, one of the most powerful entities in the universe gets turned to stone? Really?? Vomit much?), but we get an origin story, which was brilliantly and beautifully illustrated by Simone Bionchi, that pretty much shows us a Thanos growing up & ‘trying to fit in’ with the cool kids, but then turning evil because of mommy issues & falling in love with Death. Once again…NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!! Thanos is simply pure evil; that’s the point. He would never have been a child trying to fit in with the cool kids. Nice attempt to relate to us nerds, Marvel, but…EPIC FAIL.

One final note on Marvel’s good/bad: The “Ultimate” universe was such a fun and refreshing change from established comic book norms. With the longest running consistent books Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, we got so see such heart-wrenching events as the death of Peter Parker (for realz…the actual death… not the I’m back, but really really gone. Some of the scenes with Gwen Stacey, Aunt May & Mary Jane were enough to make any of us weep) and such mind-blowing events as Colossus crushing a prison guard’s head like a grape after being constantly tortured in a death camp (I was sold immediately after that scene.). But alas, with the good must come the bad: an “Ultimate” universe crossover with Galactus destroying it all. Way to cripple one of your best comic lines in ages.

Well, that’s all for now…next time DC gets theirs!

 

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Meet Our New Game and Comics Guy

Media Mikes welcomes Bear Wolf to the fold. Enjoy!

Being the first review for the web site, I felt the best introduction would be one of an overall view of board games. One thing I absolutely love about board games: there are so, so many out there that we should be able to find something for everyone.

Starting out, almost everyone has heard about the new rage “Cards Against Humanity” sweeping game parties everywhere. While this game is wonderful to draw out the ‘Family Guy humor’ in all of us, there is a major problem with this game. The creators seem like they don’t like money in the fact that they will simply not allow any distributors access to their game. Therefore, the only two ways to get this game are from their own web site or sometimes Amazon.com, so it’s not always available. The game itself is really just a variation of “Apples to Apples,” but having played them both, I actually feel they are too limited in the fact that one can only use the cards in hand to answer. As a much more creative alternative, I strongly suggest a game called “Say Anything.” The game play is almost the same in that a question is asked, answers are given, and people are scored based on which question/answer combo is chosen. However, what makes “Say Anything” superior over the other two is that the players have whiteboards and dry erase markers, so they can give their own answers. Let me tell you, if you like the risqué and crude feel of “Cards Against Humanity,” this is far better. From experience, myself and a friend played this game with a couple ‘dancer’ friends of ours, and…well…let’s just say we had a blast.

A step beyond party games, I have two suggestions for games the whole family can play. “King of Tokyo” is most definitely a front runner. Lovingly nicknamed ‘Rampage: the Board Game’, it is quite literally “Yahtzee” with monsters. I have yet to play this game with someone who hasn’t loved it. By rolling the dice you can fight other monsters, make your monster stronger, heal from earlier damage or earn victory points. The winner is the first to 20 VP or the last monster standing; seriously awesome fun!! Another great family game with light strategy is Kill Dr. Lucky, quite literally “Clue’s” mirror image, where you are actually trying to get away with the murder instead of solving it. The game board itself even looks like “Clue,” and it even includes a version with the Doctor’s dog that is so cute he calms you down and your less likely to want to kill the poor doctor. Great fun!

For the midrange gamers, I find “Boss Monster” to be a blast. A fairly simple card game based on the old 16-bit dungeon crawl games, this is just a whole lotta fun. 2-4 players play boss monsters trying to lure adventures into their lairs in order to kill them. Who wouldn’t want to play this? For a cooperative experience that will test how well you can work together as a group, “Pandemic” is an outstanding game to play. With a look and feel similar to “Risk,” instead of fighting against each other to take over the world, you’re working together to save it. The most challenging part of the game…there is only one way to win, but four ways to lose! I can’t recommend this game strongly enough!

Join me next time when I do an overview of my top four games for the hardcore board gamers. Until then, have fun!

Bear Wolf operates the New Game in Town shops in Dekalb and Dixon, Illinois
Visit them at www.newgame-intown.com

 

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Corey Taylor talks about his new book, comics and future of Slipknot

Corey Taylor is best known for his work as the front man of the platinum selling heavy metal groups Slipknot and Stone Sour. Corey has also penned a New York Times Best Seller titled “Seven Deadly Sins” and is now back with the follow up titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven: (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots…)” which is a collection of stories documenting Taylors experiences with the paranormal and his efforts to understand the how and why of those events. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Corey recently about the book, his recent foray into comic book writing and the future of Slipknot.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us an overview of your new book?
Corey Taylor: Essentially the book is about my various experiences with ghosts and the paranormal. I am basically trying to figure out what these things could be as a lot of the research I have done has left me unsatisfied. This is me trying to figure things out balanced with some of my stories and things I have seen. I think everything came together pretty well.

AL: What was it like revisiting some of these experiences?
CT: The cool thing was when I would start writing about a place or experience I got to learn a little more about the history of things. The mansion we wrote one of the Slipknot albums in is a good example of that. I did quite a bit of research on the place and looked in to the various owners in an effort to dispel some of the myths and rumors. I found out Houdini was never connected in any way to the property which was a big thing that was always brought up when talking with people about the property. In doing that I was really able to trigger some of the experiences I had there. I also talked to some of the other guys in the band and had them recount their experiences. It was really cool to be able to go back and look at things from this point of view. It helped trigger a lot of great memories.

AL: Did you have to edit the stories down in anyway?
CT: Pretty much everything that I could gather made it into the book. Weather things came from my own memory or from someone else’s. I don’t think I left anything on the table as I wanted to make sure that I covered all of the bases. If I did leave anything out it was probably something I forgot. Really for the most part I tried to get as much of my experiences on paper as possible.

AL: The book also features some really interesting photos which transition the chapters. Can you tell us about those?
CT: That was an idea I had in order to be able to bounce back and forth between pictures that represented what the chapter was going to be like and being able to show people that the book isn’t all heavy. Everything I do I try and balance with a little bit of humor. I know stuff can get really heavy so during the photo shoot I wanted to make sure that people knew this was from my point of view. I wanted them to know that I wasn’t trying to change the world or anything I was just trying to make up my own mind. My mind wouldn’t be anything without balancing the seriousness with a sense of humor. Another really cool thing about the photos that I am in is that I am wearing the actual costume that was worn by the actor who played John Wilkes Booth in the movie “Lincoln”. My photographer and friend Paul Brown was able to get that actual suit. I think he did it knowing that I am such a history buff. That era especially is a favorite of mine. I just freaked out and thought it was awesome!

AL: Being this book is quite a bit different from your first how did the writing of the two compare and contrast?
CT: The thing I loved about the first book was the format. I was able to come at things from two different ways. On one hand I was able to tell a bunch of crazy stories and on the other hand I was able to take a topic and just write about it. I could just go off on whatever it was. With the first book where I talk about the seven deadly sins and try and take the wind out of those sails. You know going in that you have seven built in chapters that you’re going to be writing about. I love the way that before I even started writing that book the format was in place and sort of showed it’s self. I loved that! That gave me a jump start on this second book. I sat down knowing I wanted to write it and that each place I had an experience was going to be a chapter. From there I could jump in and out of those formats while also telling stories about the places while making a point of what I think these spirits or bundles of energies actually are. The book was half written before I even started typing.

AL: Also within the past year you have written a comic book. How did that opportunity come about?
CT: The comic book came about because of the two part concept album Stone Sour was releasing. What really triggered it was the short story I had written which encompassed both sides of the story that was being told throughout the album. While I was writing that short story I thought that it would make a really great comic book as I was trying to be very visual and evocative. Being a huge comic book fan this was something that I really wanted to do. Luckily when I sat down with Dark Horse Comics they saw the vision for what I wanted to do and they thought it would be a really cool mini-series. I had never written a comic book script in my life and thankfully Dark Horse sort of held my hand through the process and helped me figure out how to write it. It was a real big thrill.

AL: What do you feel was the biggest difference between your previous writing and writing a comic book?
CT: With a comic book script you sort of have to write for two different audiences. You are trying to write a script that will draw in the reader but at the same time you’re trying to format the story for the artist as well. I really had to jump back and forth between what I assumed the audience would want to read and see and also what I wanted the artist to come up with. I really had to rein myself in and not get too far ahead of the process so that the artist didn’t have to call me with a thousand different questions. It was a good challenge that I loved doing. I liked getting in to that mind set where I thought things were going to look great. I lucked out working with Richard E. Clark as he is fantastic. With writing something like this new book you just sort of type until you are tired. (Laughs)

AL: Have there been talks of you doing more comic book writing in the future?
CT: I haven’t put it away so to speak. I don’t have any ideas as of yet but the one thing I realize is that the best way to make god laugh is to announce your plans out loud. I just never say never and if an idea comes to me for an original comic book then I would definitely take it to Dark Horse first as they were so good during the process of this first comic. Right now I don’t have any plans to write anything but again if something down the line comes my way and its different and something that I would enjoy reading I would be open to that.

AL: Can you give us an update on the status of Slipknot?
CT: We have two shows scheduled for October in South America. Other than that I have the rest of the year off which is awesome. The plan right now is that early next year we will get together and start throwing new music at each other. It feels like it’s time so right now everyone is putting demos together and starting to get ideas together in our heads. We all have stuff going on outside of Slipknot and are very busy so there is no time table other than sometime next year. I think we are all in the position now to where we are looking forward to it.

AL: In your position as a singer do you wait until you hear demos before writing or do you write on your own before hearing anything else?
CT: It’s kind of both. I definitely get excited when I hear new music from those guys but at the same time my skills at writing and my proficiency on guitar has gotten better over the years. Now not only do I get excited when I hear other people’s ideas but I am also starting to write more and more Slipknot stuff. That’s something that I didn’t have the confidence to do before but now I am starting to feel really confident in my abilities. I love being able to write stuff for Slipknot but still enjoy hearing and writing to the other guys material.

AL: Being Slipknot is a very intense and demanding project how soon do you start preparing both mentally and physically for your work in the group?
CT: We do try to really get our heads ready for things as there is really no other preparation that can be done. We try to go into things with the mind set of excitement as we are going to be hearing something that no one has ever heard before. We are going to write something that hopefully people haven’t heard before. That’s what drives us. The excitement and new ground is what we love. We try to go into things very open and that I think helps us capture the energy we need for Slipknot music.

Blu-ray Review “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special”

Created by: Seth Green, Matt Senreich
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Cartoon Network
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Run Time: 23 minutes

Special: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I will never forget the first time that I saw “Robot Chicken”. I can still watch the first episode and belly-laugh throughout. This Emmy Award winning show has come so far over the last 8 years and 120 episodes. In this latest special no superhero is spared and no one is safe. If you are a fan of this show then this is a no-brainer. But if you have seen this special on TV and wondering why would you purchase this Blu-ray for only a 23 minute episode…well the answer is to get the additional 2+ hours of bonus content! It is easily makes this Blu-ray worth the purchase!

Official Premise: The special, which boasts an all-star cast as well as characters Robot Chicken fans have grown to love, provides a unique take on some of the most iconic superheroes from the DC Comics universe – along with others whose powers can’t really be called “super.” So what happens when Robot Chicken and DC Comics collide — who will survive with their super-dignities intact? NOBODY! In Robot Chicken’s hands, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and even Mr. Banjo could end up dead or naked or both or neither.

Like most “Robot Chicken” specials, this one features an all-star cast including series co-creator and executive producer Seth Green as Batman, Robin and the put-upon Aquaman; Neil Patrick Harris as Two-Face; Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor; Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern; Megan Fox as Lois Lane; series and special writer/voice talent Breckin Meyer as Superman, plus Abe Benrubi, Alex Borstein, Clare Grant, Tara Strong, series co-creator and executive producer Matthew Senreich, series co-head writer/co-executive producer Tom Root, series director Zeb Wells and Kevin Shinick as co-producer, writer and narrator. This special goes all out and it shows!

Like I said this release really shines with its special features. There are two hours of bonus content created by the special’s producers. We get tons of great deleted sketches and outtakes. There are both writers and actors commentary tracks for the special. ”The Making of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special” is a great behind-the-scenes look. “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special’s Aquaman Origin Story” is a fun look at the most hated DC character. “DC Entertainment Tour” is a cool look into the offices. Lastly there are “Stoopid Alter Egos” and “5.2 Questions” to the creators.

Win one of 4 DC Comics MIMOBOT® USB Flash Drives [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Superman, The Flash, Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” Edition, and SDCC Exclusive Bane

Mimoco, creator of the MIMOBOT® line of designer USB flash drives and MIMOMICRO® card readers, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products on behalf of DC Entertainment, the world’s largest publisher of comic books, introduce the Batman™ “The Dark Knight Rises” Edition, Superman, and The Flash series of MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives. Joining the original Batman and Green Lantern waves of MIMOBOT flash drives, these essential super hero characters are available in up to 64GB capacities and come preloaded with bonus Mimory™ and mimoDesk™ suites of screensavers, avatars, and wallpapers.

Media Mikes would like to giveaway one of each of these amazing  DC Comics MIMOBOT® USB Flash Drives. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite DC character. This giveaway will be open until Friday July 6th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out four winners and alert the winners via email.

Batman™ (“The Dark Knight Rises” Edition) X MIMOBOT® features a brand-new design inspired by the Christopher Nolan-helmed trilogy of films. Batman™ (“The Dark Knight Rises” Edition) X MIMOBOT allows you to safely transport your documents, pictures, music and more, in style.

Bane™ (“The Dark Knight Rises” Edition) X MIMOBOT®, a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive produced in a limited edition of only 500 units, presents the powerful villain in this summer’s highly anticipated film. With his characteristic life-sustaining face-mask and military jacket, Bane (“The Dark Knight Rises” Edition) X MIMOBOT is focused on destroying the Batman once and for all, with a little help from your digital data, of course…

Superman™ X MIMOBOT® – The Man of Steel is now the ultimate in transportable data! Don’t be Clark Kent! Take off those glasses, tear open your shirt, and save the day with all of your music, pics, and documents at the tip of your fingers. All of it will be packaged as one of the most iconic super heroes of all time, complete with red cape, S-shield, and swooping hair. When you need your digital data, Superman MIMOBOT will be there to save the day!
The Flash™ X MIMOBOT® – Store and transport your data at lightning fast speeds with the ultimate self-referential flash drive of all time, The Flash MIMOBOT designer USB flash drive. Could there be a more perfect character for a character-based flash drive? The answer, of course, is no. With his retro crimson super hero threads and lightning bolt insignia, The Flash MIMOBOT can fetch your data and come back again before you can say, “Hey! Where’d The Flash MIMOBOT go? Oh, wait, there it is!”

The full DC Comics x MIMOBOT USB flash drive collection is now available exclusively at www.mimoco.com and in select retail shops worldwide.

The pricing is as follows:
8gb – $19.95
16gb – $29.95
32gb – $39.95
64gb – $69.95