Feralia.net blog. episode 41: Review – Essential X-Men volume 1

Last month I blogged about my latest attempt to get back into American comics, starting with my beloved X-Men. My first step was with Essential X-Men, volume 1. I read the collection released in 2008, which is black and white, and contains Giant Size X-Men #1 and X-Men #94-119. (ISBN 978-0-7851-3255-4) In this review I’ll cover the story content as well as the actual physical quality of this collection.
Essential Xmen vol 1
First off, let’s look at the positives. This collection is the start of the legendary run by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, John Byrne & others. The praise it has received over the years is well deserved. The writing and art are great, with many legendary characters. Professor Charles Xavier assembles a new team of X-Men to rescue the original team, and the story goes from there. This collected span includes not only the first appearances of Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus, but also sees Wolverine and Banshee joining up as well. As I mentioned in my earlier entry, this was really special to me, as I’d missed out on these stories, having started into comics later. Getting to finally actually read all these important issues was a blast, and I really enjoyed them. I can’t recommend them enough!

Now, for the not-so-good, and it should be noted that this section has nothing to do with the quality of the stories and art themselves, but in their black and white presentation in the particular collection. Don’t get me wrong – I love black and white comics. Not only am I a big fan of manga but many of my favorite indie comics that I read are in black and white as well. Unlike those, however, this collection seems to be comprised of black and white copies of the originals, and often doesn’t carry over so well. A lot of times it’s a bit hard to tell what’s going on. Despite the amazing original content, this black and white content seemed to hurt the experience at times, for me personally at least.
Xmen bw Panel
The text in this panel in particular was tough to make out.

I definitely don’t regret reading it. In fact, the value is great: 528 pages at a cover price of just $18. If you can pick up this now out of print edition for even cheaper, like I did, it’s still well worth the read, just not always so easy on the eyes.

If I had it to do over, I’d probably try to find a collection that keeps everything in its original colors, but the comics themselves were great, definitely living up to their reputation. I’m super excited to continue with this legendary era of stories in their full color collections.


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Thank you Super Smash Con!

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to see us at Super Smash Con this past weekend! We were super excited for our schedule to finally work out this year so we could make it, and we weren’t disappointed. We had a great time and are looking forward to next year. Welcome to all you new readers as well!


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Feralia.net blog. episode 40: Finding Time to Create ~ Setting Goals

If you’re anything like me, you have a lot going on. Most of us have work, school and/or families. Some of us have all of those combined. And then there are hobbies, responsibilities and real life challenges that can strip away all of our time for creating. There are a lot of ways to tackle this challenge, but the one I wanted to focus on is Setting Goals. Even if you don’t always reach them, I feel like it’s really helpful to at least set them, to have them in sight. Today I wanted share a few of my writing goals:

Write or at least outline a little bit every day.

I feel like this is a great way to keep everything fresh in mind, even if you’re unable to sit down and do a serious amount of writing. Writing journals can be a big help with this. Another thing I’ve found helpful are flexible outlines. Some writers don’t like outlines. For me personally, I find a structured yet adaptable outline to be critical. If you’re able to strike that balance and keep it from being too restrictive, it can be a great help.

Try to develop a regular publishing schedule.

A lot changed for me since I released my first story in 2008. It wasn’t until 2017 that I re-released it, and then March of this year that I finally got the second story out. That 9 year gap was way too long. Having only 2 years in between releases felt much better, and I’d like to stick to that schedule. Maybe some day I’ll even release them more often, but for the time being this is seems like a perfect goal for my schedule. That would put me at a goal to release my third story by Spring 2021. It seems quite doable, but I’ll have to keep at it!

Blog more often.

This isn’t so much related to writing stories, but I think it’s healthy to keep your mind working, even if it’s something on the side.

I’ll try as hard as I can to stick to these goals. Do you set goals for your creative pursuits? If so, what are they? How do you stick to them?


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Thank you Otakon!

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to see us at Otakon and made it a great year! I hope you new readers enjoy the stories! I hope to see you all in 2020!


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Come see me at Otakon!

FB_IMG_1563804307395This weekend I’ll be with Alicia’s Anime for our 15th Otakon! We’ll be at booth 1222 and have a ton of cool stuff including both Feralia books! Hope to see you there!


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Come out and see me at Fredericksburg Comic & Toy Show tomorrow!

Tomorrow I’ll be at Fredericksburg Comic & Toy Show in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Come see me at the Alicia’s Anime booth (72 & 73). I’ll have copies of both books alongside a ton of other cool stuff there. If you’re in the DC/MD/VA area check it out!


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Feralia.net blog. episode 39: Old Friends

A couple years back I wrote a blog entry about my childhood love for american comics and how I lost touch with them. Over the years I’ve attempted to get back into them a couple of times, but failed to for all the same reasons I initially fell away. It’s been a long time since then, but I’ve decided to give it one last shot. And this time I’ll be doing it differently. Instead of trying to jump back in head first with monthly issues, I’ll be catching up with everything I’ve missed by reading collections instead. If I ever get caught up to the point where it would make sense to start reading monthly issues again, then I’ll consider it.

But for now, I’ve decided to catch up with my favorite heroes, the X-Men.

Xmen Gold and Blue
My favorite generation of the X-Men

Rather than just pick up where I’d left off, I decided to go further back and experience all of the major X-Men storylines, starting well before the point where I first started reading. (I had gotten somewhat of a late start where I originally jumped in, missing notable storylines such as The Dark Phoenix Saga.) I did some research, and started with the Chris Claremont era, which introduced the “New X-Men.”

I decided to start with Essential X-Men volume 1.
Essential Xmen vol 1
I’ll have a review of all 500+ pages as soon as I’m finished (which should actually be fairly soon).

I think that catching up with collections with allow me to go at my own pace and not get overwhelmed like I had in the past. This balance should help me catch up with all my old friends!

What comics are you currently reading? What are some of your favorite storylines?


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