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NCD #282

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A Word From One of the Creators

From the desk of Eric Ratcliffe

Seriously, this movie needs to be made. I’m hoping sooner rather then later. Reynolds still wants to do it as well as everyone behind the scenes, and that test footage was a lot of fun. Wade was fully in character and I just really want to see it made. (You have to search the internet for the footage now but I’m sure you can still find it, and it’s linked above.)

I like what Justin’s doing with some of his updates (His Minion is definitely different than both Jim and George’s, but that’s not a bad thing at all.), and I’m excited to see what he does coming up. I just figured out what the Christmas arc is going to be this year and I’m pretty sure everyone behind the scenes is going to want to hurt me. ;)

The Kickstarter continues to go strong, and with help from our friends ComicRelated, The Outhousers and ComicFrontline and ComicBook.com, I’m hoping things keep going stronger. It’s really a passion project and I would love to get you guys that hardcover as much as having one myself.

Next week…what was Eric doing in Gotham and what does it have to do with a very dapper looking costume? Find out in 7!

Kickstarter Countdown

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Hey all, I just wanted to chime in about the Kickstarter for the New Comic Day 5-Year Collected Hardcover currently running. There are only roughly two and a half weeks left for the project, so if you haven’t supported it yet and intend to, time is ticking down.

New Comic Day has been kind of a love letter to comic and pop culture for us all. We don’t get paid to do it, we do it because we want to; because we love the medium and our fans. We also love making fun of the things that we hold so dear, like Batman, Doctor Who, Deadpool, etc.

The past five years we’ve been doing this strip has been a thrill ride. We’ve had creative teams come and go, but everyone that has worked on the strip has had a blast while doing so. And everyone’s voice has been heard throughout the life of the strip. I’ve written strips, the artists have either written or contributed to ideas for strips. Strips have been inspired by and contributed to by the colorists.

In short, New Comic Day is a team effort, and we all come together to deliver what we feel is some funny stuff. Is every strip a hit? Of course not. But we try our best, and we put all of ourselves into it in hopes you all might find some enjoyment from it each week.

This hardcover we are trying to raise funds for is more than just a collection of stuff you can find online for free. It is the culmination of a 5-year journey we have all been on together. You will see brand new covers for each volume, and other extras if we can fit them. And you’ll have all of this wrapped up in a nice, signed (for those that back the project at the Hardcover tier or above) copy of the first five years of New Comic Day.

We do this for free, for the love of the strip. We don’t ask much, just your appreciation and enjoyment for the most part. If you’d like to support us and have this special item in your collection to sit down and read anytime you like, please head over to the Kickstarter page and pick an incentive tier that appeals to you. Or if you’d like to donate just to support the book, you can do that as well.

Thank you for all your support, be it monetarily or just for reading the strip each week. We greatly appreciate our fans and hope you stick around for the next leg of our journey!

-Brant Fowler, Letterer and Web Designer of NCD (and occasionally writer, artist and colorist!)

Entering the Kickstarter “Battlefield”

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Our Kickstarter!

So as you can see guys, we’re running a Kickstarter for the next month.

Jim Gallo, Chad Strohl and George are all working on new pieces for the book and even Justin Johnson (Our new recurring artist, even when George returns in November) will be doing something for the book.

I’ve been doing my best to learn from Kickstarters I’ve backed and creators whom I admire who have run projects that I’ve had on the podcast, that I may or may not have been able to donate to their projects. Heck ,Bryan Q Miller has been a huge help before launch and managed to help me edit and make it a strong project.

So check it out, donate if you like and keep enjoying our work. You guys mean a lot to us and I hope to meet some of you during Granitecon this weekend!

Post-Pax East thoughts

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Hey guys, figured I should finally start following through on my promises to more content on New Comic Day. So we’re going to start with me talking about my weekend!

This weekend was the Penny Arcade expo (Aka PAX East) at the Boston Convention Center here in Massachusetts. I’ve been lucky enough to get a press badge last year and this year through the Why I Love Comics podcast. (For those readers that don’t know, that’s my podcast. You can check it out here, audio from the show coming Thursday!) It’s the second show they run, PAX Prime is in Seattle (hoping to make it out to that this year) and PAX Australia is out in Australia (obviously).

Anyways it’s a gaming convention and probably as big if not bigger then E3 which unlike the PAX show’s isn’t actually open to the public. I think that’s actually one of my personal favorite things about this kind of convention, no matter who you are or what kind of gamer or what type of press you’re reporting for; you can feel at home and a part of something at this type of convention.

FRIDAY:

I dropped off my stuff at buddies apartment and forgot to leave my derby, so I actually ended up wearing that all day. But for the record I was already wearing a dress shirt, tie and vest so hey, I figured it was probably a good idea to continue looking as dapper as humanly possible.

Seriously, how can you not want to look this dapper.

After a quick bag check at security (security at events is heightened for very obvious reasons), I was able to pick up my badge which had my name and the podcast on it which honestly? I dig the heck out of those types of badges.

Sometimes I nerd out over the simplest of things. ;)

Of course the place was bigger than it was last year. When I was able to enter the hall, after checking out the press room I made my way to the expo hall and very quickly found myself facing this:

I felt like I was in the sims, how do you get through this crowd?!

Seriously, how are you supposed to get through this? In fact my biggest complaint about the whole weekend was the fact that the crowds were very difficult to get through. You could tell that they were trying their best to keep the crowds moving but at times all weekend it was frustrating to get through the exhibit hall. (all the bigger conventions have this problem though so I can’t completely fault them on this one)

When I did get on the shoor floor I went immediately to the indie gaming area which has taken over about 45 percent of the show floor, which is just incredible. There are so many amazing indie games being made right now (and I got addicted to several this weekend) that I love just how much Pax supports them. Friday I got to play the updated version of Secret Ponchos by Switchblade Monkeys, Mushroom 11 by Untame games and the very awesome Guns of Icarus by Muse Games. All of which are absolutely amazing and I will be talking about in a separate piece in the next few days.

While exploring the indie area, I got to meet for the second time one of my personal favorite youtubers and just all around awesome guy, Jesse Cox. Who for those that don’t know is the inspiration behind the appearance of Thanos in this very strip and I did talk about that a bit to him and give him a copy of that very strip Thanos strip which was beyond awesome. He’s seriously someone that’s become a huge inspiration to me so getting to spend any time just hanging out with him was a real pleasure.(Behold the awesomeness of Jesse!)

Yes that's Tim Schafer behind us, I'm not a complete dummy.

I also got to spend some time with Team Beardman (Jirard Khalil, Alex Faciane and Greg Wilmont) who are just 3 of the nicest guys on the planet, even better is the fact that Jirard and I talk on twitter every once and a while and he remembered meeting me from last year. He’s seriously one of the nicest content creators on the internet and deserves a bigger audience then he actually has. Spent about 45 minutes with them walking around on the show floor before my next appointment and it was really fun just hanging out with those guys. (The Completionist)

I also got to spend some time talking with newer friend, Ciji Thornton who is seriously just like the others one of the sweetest people you’d imagine. Super approachable and it wasn’t awkward at all. Plus thanks to her I’m now addicted to Bardbarian, which like I’ve said 2 paragraphs ago I will be talking about in a separate piece. Ciji is also one of the co-hosts of the Gamergirlsgonewild podcast which is one of my new favorite podcasts since I started listening. I didn’t actually meet her co-host but here’s hoping somewhere down the line we’ll be doing a “crossover” and I’ll be having them on my show. (Gamergirlsgonewild podcast)

All in all Friday was a very good day, getting used to where everything was and meeting up with friends. (My friend Michaiayla stopped me up near the cafeteria at one point during the day and I spent some time waiting with her in line for her lunch and just catching up. I never get to see her because she lives in Seattle so it’s great seeing her at conventions)  Of course I went back to my buddies house, we went and got Tasty Burger (if you’re ever near Fenway, go to Tasty Burger…you will thank me!) and then watched The Wolf of Wall Street which is a fantastic movie.

Of course I had no idea what Saturday would have in store for me…

SATURDAY:

Saturday was Cosplay day. By that I mean that I was going to be in costume all day with absolutely no changing or no breaks. It was a choice I made specifically for the convention as I wanted to wear my brand new Riddler costume. I’d updated it since New York Comic Con and there was going to be nothing in my way to stop me from wearing it.

This is the face of a man who really needs some caffeine in his system

So I excitedly headed to the convention, ready for a day of madness and hope that Batman wouldn’t end me the second he saw me. Seriously, I was pretty excited. There was even going to be a DC costume meet up at the Infinite Crisis booth.

So yeah the DC Infinite Crisis Costume Contest/meet up was a lot of fun. There were some very cool cosplayers who I hope to eventually find and friend on facebook. We all had a blast talking with and hanging out with each other and if you go to the official website you can check out more of the pictures. I will link you here to the livestream (We’re at the 2:47 mark)

Seriously, look at the talent!!!

There’s a competition if you want to go on the Infinite Crisis website and check it out, the guys on the right aren’t actually part of it though. I think they were there with the actual game. Amazing costumes though and there’s a very cute Harley Quinn currently winning the competition that I think definitely deserves the win.

Just being on that livestream was an honor though and the people running the booth and the host were all amazing. Hoping to still find more of the pictures from the event as the week rolls on.

Of course my favorite moment of the day while in costume came when I least expected it. I was walking the show floor and saw my buddy James in his “Boston Strong” Deadpool gear talking with Matches Malone. Matches for those that don’t know is a very big Batman cosplayer who does a lot of charity work and has an amazing costume and just one of the nicest cosplayers I’ve ever met. So I went to say hi to the guys as I haven’t talked to Matches in quite a long time. First time we ever met was during Boston Comic Con when he was wearing the Batman cowl and had a t-shirt on that said not Bruce Wayne.

Don't worry guys, Deadpool totally had it coming.

But after a whole bunch of people took our pictures together (because why wouldn’t they want pictures of Batman with one of his greatest rogues?) Matches complimented my costume and told me he really liked it. That meant a lot coming from him because I haven’t been cosplaying for long and to hear someone who has been doing it for quite a while now compliment a costume I put a lot of time and money in it meant the world to me. I know it’s probably lame to admit getting a bit teary eyed at such a compliment but it’s the truth. Just means a lot to hear it from him.

I sadly didn’t get to play that many games on Saturday with just how busy the show floor was, it’s why it was technically a good thing being in costume because people would ask for your picture but you could go off to the side with them and be safe away from the crowds which on Saturday were impossible to get through. I think I went up to the press room to de-stress about 4 or 5 times. (And apparently my friend Melissa was up there too and didn’t realize it was me in the costume so didn’t say hi. Funny how those things can happen sometimes)

I did get one interview in with very cool developers Tin Man Games who make choose your own adventure games that are basically moving novels that you make the choice in on IOS and android devices. I really enjoyed talking with them and I’ve been very slowly making my way through one of their games, which as I’ve said twice already will be a separate piece of writing.

Oh and it was very fun to spend lunch with my friend James and his friends in the cafeteria. Sometimes it’s great to just sit around and unwind from the craziness of a convention. It was pure luck that they had the table space too but was very thankful that they did.

The only negative of the day at least to me was that I decided not to go to the Infinite Crisis after party, I really wanted to but was so wiped out by the end of the day that I decided to go back to my buddies place. To which we ended up playing some Smash Bro’s on the Wii which was a lot of fun.

SUNDAY:

I woke up intentionally early, it was the last day of the show and I wanted to get as much done as I possibly could before leaving that night. So I got to the convention center right at 10 and hit the show floor running.

In no particular order I was able to check out Always Sometime Monsters, Wayward Souls, Aarus Awakening, Gods Will Be watching, World Zombination, Not a hero and a few more I can’t think of right now but I was definitely completely in the mindset of basically running myself to tiredness to play everything I possibly could. To say I’m anticipating all these games is an understatement. There’s just so much good stuff coming out.

I got to hang with Team Beardman a bit more on Sunday and we finally got a picture together, hopefully the guys will be coming on the podcast somepoint this month it really depends on scheduling. I really had a blast spending as much time as I did with them this weekend and it’s great to see how the guys hang out with their fanbase.

Greg has the best reactions.

Also managed to get a picture with Ciji finally at the end of the weekend which was pretty funny. My camera managed to be awesome and get a great picture.

No, I have no idea what's going on with my hand.

Then of course I ended my day by going to the VGA meet up. They’re definitely some of my favorite youtubers and honestly just getting the chance to have a full on conversation with Fraser meant a lot this year. Sometimes when I have a terrible day and see a new episode of VGA go up with a full playlist, I watch it right away to cheer up and it absolutely works.

Fraser and Becky rock, the end.

Got to talk cosplay with Becky for a little bit too which was pretty awesome, she makes them amazing costumes for the show so getting to show her my Riddler gear and her saying how awesome it was kind of made my day even better. Like I said, this really was such a positive weekend for me and people like Fraser and Becky just made it even better. (Check out their show!!!)

Final Verdict:

PAX East this year was a great show, I had an amazing time. There were moments where I got a little overwhelmed and next year I need to upgrade equipment and get someone to help me to really achieve better coverage. I played a lot of games, met and re-met some of my favorite people and really just did what everyone should do at a convention which is be yourself and have a great time.

Don’t over estimate what you can handle and do and just try your best to get everything out of it you possibly can.

Thanks for reading guys and as always, I’ll catch you on the next one!

My hair is as crazy as Doc Brown's

PS -

So here’s the plan for the blog part of the site for the future:

More reviews, whether it be gaming or comics or movies or whatever else is really on my mind. The sky is the limit. The first couple are actually going to be first impressions on games that I played during the show and telling you guys what I think you should be checking out. Hopefully you dig it.

Convention blogs, full of photo’s and just trying to tell you guys about all the stuff I’ve been able to do and check out.

Videos, whether they be from Brant, George or myself we’ll be posting more videos. Some of them will be reviews from Comic Frontline as well!

The Why I Love Comics podcast – Whether it be the live show after it airs or the audio version of the show I am going to start posting more of them here. We have a very cool and steady readership and I want to give you guys more content to match it.

My collection!

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Hey guys, this will actually be a mix of a blog post and some video content. Basically a while back, a few friends asked about my collection (From movies to my comics to the artwork I own.) So after a while I decided to do a collection video where I talked about almost everything I own, even if it meant some quick over views of some material in the collection.

So in these 4 parts, you can see a lot of the stuff that has inspired me/generally cool stuff I own and get an idea of where a lot of my creativity comes from.

Hope you dig it and if you do I promise more stuff like it in the future. (like more details about exactly what is completely in the filing cabinet)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Man of Steel review!

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From the desk of Eric Ratcliffe:

I’ve been promising you guys more content so I guess we’ll start with the most obvious seeing as how it’s Superman month and all.Also it’s almost 3:00 am here so hopefully I’m making sense.

We start our story off as Lara-eL is giving birth to her son, Jor-el helping her through it. Of course longtime Superman fans know that this happy moment wont last long and without going into heavy spoiler territory (which I’m going to avoid as much as possible) that happy moment wont last long. We’re soon introduced to General Zod, longtime friend to Jor-el. The two men don’t really see eye to eye much but you can tell they’ve been through a lot together.

In this opening, we see elements of Superman birthright, World of New krypton and I’m sure several other stories that I can’t think of off the top of my head. In fact there are elements from writers like Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and John Bryne throughout the movie.

Russel Crowe completely steals every scene he’s in as Jor-el, one of my favorite appearances of the character is the arc where Jack Knight meets him in Starman and this version of Jor-el is incredibly reminiscent of that. He’s a kind, caring man who honestly wants the best for his people but not at the expense of anyone else. And it’s really interesting to see a fresher take then the much harsher omnipotent version that we saw through most of Smallville. I honestly don’t think I can say enough positive things about Jor-El in the movie.

Amy Adams plays a fantastic Lois Lane who is constantly ignoring everything to get to her story which led to some of my favorite scenes in the movie, both in flashback form and in the ongoing narrative. Laurence Fishburne was a fantastic Perry White as well. I’d say one of my only complaints about the entire movie is that we don’t spend too much time in The Daily Planet. But the way those characters were used I am more then cool with.

I also before talking about the two main leads of the movie want to talk about Christopher Meloni who I actually had no idea would be in the movie. His part is a bit one but it runs throughout the movie and while I hope one day the man actually has a leading role as a super hero, does a fantastic job in the role he’s given here. Been a fan of his acting for a longtime and this just adds to being a bigger fan.

Of course the 2 main actors who impressed me throughout the movie and were the basic stars were Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Zod throughout the movie is flat out terrifying. The man will do anything to get his way and stand for nothing holding him back. It’s really interesting seeing a much more raging version of the character for a modern audience then the classic stoic version that Terrance Stamp once played years ago. Shannon plays him as almost a tragic figure and it’s really interesting to see it. I’d go so far as to put the performance right next to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the way that it’s put on screen.

Cavill of course plays Clark exactly as Clark should be shown on screen. He’s a man who just wants to help people and do the right thing but has to hide all this crazy power from everyone and basically has to put the kid gloves on around everyone in the world. Not to mention he has to keep his anger in check so he doesn’t hurt anybody in the long run.

The themes of alienation as a kid and the loneliness of power are represented well here as Clark struggles to truly understand just who he is and what it means to be human when your dna argues differently.

Oh and the fight scenes are incredible, some of the best we’ve seen in a superhero movie so far.It felt powerful, you could see just what kind of damage the kryptonians could do to our world and just how dangerous of a situation things could turn into if we didn’t have Superman to protect us.

The easter eggs are a lot of fun as well. I don’t want to spoil too many but if you listen carefully at one point, you might be able to hear the classic score at one point sampled. And if you’re a film nerd you know exactly what the wilhelm scream is.

Final verdict: I honestly believe this is right up there with Iron Man, The Avengers, Sin City, Scott Pilgrim and other movies of the last decade which have been able to play with their established characterizations and still modernize/modify things to fit the average movie going audience and still retain the heart of the source material. I know at least a few longtime fans of Superman who will have issues with what happens at the resolution of the film but at the end of the day it really is on par with what the original Donner film did back in the 70′s. This is an accurate and beautiful Superman movie that deserves your movie going money. Sit back and allow it to take you on the ride.

NCD for FCBD!

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- If you’re seeing this post after May 5th, 4am Eastern time, sorry, you missed it! But never fear, you can still purchase NCD Vol. 1: 52 and Then Some here! And be on the lookout soon for NCD Vol 2: 52 and Then Some More! –

Hey gang, we are pleased to offer all of you a one-day only FREE special edition of New Comic Day Volume 1: 52 and Then Some in honor of Free Comic Book Day!

The print version of this collection went on sale in 2010, and contained never-posted strips, special convention strips, annotations, guest strips, the evolution of the comic and more!

This special digital edition contains all that, plus a sneak peek at the cover to Volume 2 and samples from years 2-4!

This will only be available today/tonight and will be gone by morning. So if you don’t download it now you will miss out!

-Brant