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.


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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!


NCD’s First Delay

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Plans for this week were to release the other parts of the Horror Movie 101 arc, and make a major announcement concerning New Comic Day. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy curtailed those plans…

Current NCD artist Jim Gallo is a resident of New Jersey, and as we’re sure you’re aware, NJ got hit really hard by the storm this week, as did much of the East Coast and beyond. Thankfully, Jim is safe and sound, and managed to put out a message on Facebook late last night letting everyone know that. But he’s displaced and unable to finish the strip due to the chaos, and understandably so.

It was bound to happen eventually. NCD has made it 172 weeks without a single delay, so that’s a pretty impressive record! We’ve even put out extras and holiday specials and the like. That’s approximately 3 1/3 years straight of on time and consistent updates. So we’re very proud of that accomplishment.

Obviously, our main concern was with Jim and not the strip. With him safe, and Eric recovering from foot surgery (and myself coming off bronchitis), it’s a well deserved break, though we certainly wish it was under better circumstances.

Never fear, though, as soon as Jim is back up and running, we will resume our consistent schedule, and make that very big and very important announcement we’ve been teasing for the past few weeks!

On behalf of the entire NCD team, I’d like to send out our thoughts and prayers for all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

And to everyone else, have a very safe and very Happy Halloween!

Editorial cartoon: Hurricane Sandy

Article by: WALT HANDELSMAN , Tribune Media Services


Expanding the Cast

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Every webcomic and classic comic strip goes through growth and change as the years roll on. Peanuts added a little brother for Lucy and Linus. For Better or Worse had the entire cast grow up, saw new additions to the family and the stories changed accordingly. Even online webcomic giants like PvP have seen changes with cast additions and different interactions and types of stories. The art has changed, sometimes drastically, like, again, Peanuts.

New Comic Day is no different. While it may be younger than all of those great strips mentioned above, it has still seen its fair share of changes in the past couple of years. The creative team has changed, the art style has changed, and yes, new cast members have been added and the stories have changed and grown.

What started out as a buddy comic between two friends with different tastes, Bill and Eric, grew into an entire community of recurring characters that changed the dynamic of the strip. And this happened long before said team and art changes. Look back to the addition of Chaching and Captain Ron, or the instance Chad, the artist at the time, entered on screen. Those additions changed the strip and gave it new stories to tell.

The same is the case now. Yes, Bill has been absent for a while. Will he back? When will that be? Those are answers only Eric, the now sole-writer of the strip (with some input from the team as always of course) can give. He has his reasons, and none of them come from a place of animosity.

We like to think Bill is off on his own adventures somewhere, and will come back in grand fashion and hilarity will ensue once again. In the meantime, what we’ve been given is an opportunity to delve into Eric’s life and meet some of the other people that reside there, like Jeff and Jim, the new artist on the strip. We’ve also seen more of me, which is a good thing. haha. And we’ll continue to see more and more friends pop up here and there, new and old to the strip.

The point is, yes, the strip has changed. I don’t personally think it’s for the worse or for the better necessarily. I think it’s a lateral change. It’s a bit different, but still contains the same goofy and off the wall stories that this strip has always told.

As we get to meet and revisit more and more of our comic friends, like Chuck, John, Chad, Chaching, Jeff, Jim, Alyssa, and so on we will get to experience the depth of the New Comic Day universe and all it has to offer.

I am along for the ride, and I am still enjoying every minute of it. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs, our curve balls. We’ve had strips that didn’t quite work out, and others that killed it.

I will always love the original team of Eric, Bill, Chad, Lisa and myself (and I leave myself for last because I actually came on a short bit later). We had some great times and we told some great stories. And a lot of those stories were collaborations of all of us. That dynamic has not changed. Eric, Jim, Alyssa and myself are a cohesive team too, and a good one if I may toot our own horns for a moment.

We never want or intend to alienate any of our fans, but that is inevitable. We hope all of you are along for the ride and enjoy the new faces that roam the panels of NCD. We know we are!


Updates Coming…

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Hey folks, Brant here, your letterer extraordinaire! I just wanted to share a few upcoming updates to hit the site in the coming weeks.

Before I get into that, though, let me officially and publicly welcome both Alyssa and Jim to the team. I know they’ve been with us for a while now, but Eric and I are really thrilled to have them aboard. I joke about this year being the “new era” of NCD, but honestly it is. Brand new look, brand new stories, new cast members, a shift in lettering styles, and the aforementioned updates really define this year of NCD as a new chapter! And we hope you are all along for the ride!

I mentioned lettering style shifts just up there in that paragraph that precedes this one. See it? Yeah… you may or may not have noticed that I have been doing something a little bit different since Jim came aboard. I wanted to match his style, so I changed the font, slightly altered the balloon shapes, and began experimenting with some other stuff as well. I hope you like what you’re seeing!

Now, as for the updates I mentioned, Eric has teased some of them in the weekly commentary. Well, allow me to go into a bit more detail, or recap for those who may have missed them.

First, we are planning a bit of a redesign of the site itself. Nothing too drastic, just updating the images on the site to match the new style of the strip. We’ve had this header for a long while now, and it’s time for a change anyway. Once we get into it, who knows? We may decide to change some other stuff too!

Another thing we plan on implementing is more social networking ease via share buttons and the like. We want to make this as interactive an experience as we can.

We will also be looking into a newsletter that you can sign up for. That’s actually something I’m cooking up that Eric will surely appreciate, right? Well, look for that in the coming weeks or months ahead.

I will also be updating the bios page to reflect our new teammates as soon as I find the time to do so. They have sent me their info, so it’s all on me now.

Going back to lettering for a second, I think there are a couple of Deadpool strips in the archive where I neglected to use the common Deadpool balloon style. I’ll be updating those soon.

And finally, we’ve done several mini-arcs over the years, and I plan on categorizing those so you can find them easier. Like this recent Thanos arc, or the classic Batmobile arc and so forth.

That’s it for now, which I think is plenty to work on at the moment. But if you have any suggestions or desires for anything that would make your NCD experience more enjoyable please don’t hesitate to let us know!


Flatting NCD #85

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Hey folks, Brant Fowler here, NCD letterer and occasional flatter with my first NCD flatting video.

In this video I show me partially flatting NCD #85. I say partially because as I was recording this my programs locked up on me twice and I had to completely start over. The third time I was afraid to record the rest, so I only got to record a little of it.

What I did record was duped a bit a little over halfway through, but not much.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and if you do I’ll try to do more as I can.