Con Catch-Up!

Just a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to see me at a convention recently! My schedule has been crazy – tomorrow I’ll be doing my 5th con in 4 weeks! Thank you to all the staff and attendees of all of the cons I’ve attended recently and haven’t taken the time to mention specifically: Fairfax Comic Con,  A Video Game Con,  Retro Con,  TooManyGames Game Swap,  UMBC Comic Con,  Baltimore Comic Con,   Hampton Comic Con, & Nekocon! …To everyone at Anime USA – sorry I missed you this year!! Our exceptionally crazy schedule with overlapping cons prevented me from being there this year, but I hope to see you at AUSA 2020!



Posted in News blog. episode 59: Classic Review: X-Men – The Mutant Massacre

After reading a couple of thick black & white essential volumes I was excited to jump back into a full color collection. The edition I picked up is 320 full color pages (ISBN 978-0-7851-6741-9) and collects Uncanny X-Men #210-214, X-Factor #9-11, New Mutants #46, Thor #373 & 374, Power Pack #27 and Daredevil #238.

One thing to note is that while Essential X-Men vol 6 and Essential X-Factor vol 1 both include much of the Mutant Massacre storyline in black & white, neither of those collections include every issue included in this trade paperback. This high quality collection has a cover price of $34.99 (really not a bad price for such a nicely printed and bound collection), but I was able to find it for much cheaper by shopping around.

This is another one of those classic X-Men stories that you  won’t want to miss. As usual, I won’t get into too many details story-wise to avoid any possible spoilers for anyone who may be reading this story for the first time, like I was, but needless to say, this one deserves a spot on your shelf next to the other important X-Men stories before it, and sets up some others to follow.

One thing I personally found surprising was how attached I found myself growing to characters I’d never found interesting before, namely some of the Morlocks – Leech and Caliban especially, and even Callisto, who I’d previously found to be a bit annoying. Also, Artie. He and Leech are adorable!

So the Mutant Massacre is definitely a dark storyline, and also very important part of the overall X-Men story – another highly recommended collection! If you haven’t read it, even if you’re somewhat familiar with it, it’s definitely worth picking up.



Posted in Blog, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments blog. episode 58: Classic Review: Essential X-Factor vol 1

Essential X-Factor vol 1
Today I wanted to take a look at Essential X-Factor Volume 1. (ISBN 978-0-7851-2) This another thick one at 568 pages, and is black & white. (See the collected issues on the above cover image.)

I highly recommend this volume, especially for the early part, which features the return of Jean Grey and the formation of X-Factor. The annual is also very good, and also featured is the first appearance of the major, long time villain Apocalypse!

Also (like Essential X-Men vol 6), much of the Mutant Massacre storyline is included in this collection. I decided to jump over to the Mutant Massacre trade paperback and read that story there in full color, and then read the remainder of this great collection.

After the Mutant Massacre, the collection continues with X-Factor #12-16. I’d definitely recommend continuing with these stories as they’re important to the transformation of Angel and are really good and pretty dark.

In conclusion, this is another black & white Essential collection that can be picked up for pretty cheap if you shop around, and contains some very important moments for our beloved merry mutants! Great stories and highly recommended!



Posted in Blog, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments blog. episode 57: Classic Review: Essential X-Men vol 6

Essential X-Men vol 6
Next up in my X-Men reading project is Essential X-Men vol 5. (ISBN 0-7851-1727-X) This black & white collection is 656 pages and collects Uncanny X-Men #199-213, New Mutants Special Edition #1, X-Men Annual #9, X-Factor #9-11, New Mutants #46, Thor #373-374 and Power Pack #27. There are so many different titles because the collection includes most of the very important Mutant Massacre storyline.

So for this volume, I decided to read from the beginning of the book to where the Mutant Massacre starts (Uncanny X-Men #199, New Mutants Special Edition #1, X-Men Annual #9, and Uncanny X-Men #200-209), and then jump over to the Mutant Massacre Trade Paperback, which I’ll be reviewing soon, so I could enjoy that major story in color.

So this review will cover roughly the first half of this book, since the Mutant Massacre is special enough to feature on its own. These stories aren’t major, but they do feature the Trial of Magneto and cover the early parts of his time leading the X-Men, which was a surprising turn for the story. Also featured is Nimrod, who is a major character even today, in 2019. It’s for these that I would recommend this volume if you’re catching up on the overall major stories, though I wouldn’t say they’re critical. Another plus is that, like the other Essential volumes, if you shop around, it can be found for well below the $19.99 cover price. Also, if you don’t mind reading the Mutant Massacre in black & white, having it included here is a major value.



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Hampton Comicon is this weekend!

hampton 2019
This weekend I’ll be returning to Hampton Comicon! I’ll be at the Alicia’s Anime booth (305 & 306) with plenty of copies of Feralia Revised Edition and Feralia: Requiem of Mist. Hope to see you there!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , blog. episode 56: Being honest with myself – another look at The Last Jedi

[Spoilers for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, spoiler free for The Rise of Skywalker]

Back when Episode 8 came out in 2017 I gave it a positive review. Despite walking out of the theater on opening night feeling really unsure, I accepted it and was excited about it. But it wasn’t long before my disappointment grew stronger.

Like countless others, I’ve loved Star Wars ever since I was a little kid, and it is (and always will be) very special to me. The Force Awakens took on an even more special meaning to me, since my daughter got really, really into Star Wars, largely in part to Episode 7. I’ll always cherish the memories of sitting with her, 2 years old then, in the theater, in between my wife and I, seeing it with her for the first time. It was her second movie in the theater (the first having been Big Hero 6), and not only was she exceptionally well behaved (especially for a kid her age in a movie theater), but she was captivated, fascinated. The only sounds she made were excited whispers of the names of characters she was excited to see as they appeared on screen for the first time: “Wey!” (Rey) “Dootoo!” (R2-D2) “Utter Dootoo!” (other R2-D2, her then name for BB-8). She already adored the older movies, but the experience of Episode 7 cemented her love for the series.

Over the next 2 years (literally half of her life up to that point), Star Wars continued to be her favorite. We were naturally excited for Episode 8. But sadly, when we left the theater after watching The Last Jedi, you could see that she felt let down. She didn’t say it, but you could tell she was disappointed. While she still loves Star Wars, she hasn’t been as into it since then.

I’ve had plenty of time to think about it, and I was disappointed in Episode 8 too, for a lot of reasons. Episode 7 might have not been the most original story, but it brought us back to a galaxy far, far away with a lot of familiar themes. It was fun and exciting, nostalgic, and really set things up for the next movies to knock it out of the park. Think of how exciting it was to anxiously wait for answers about Rey’s origin. Maybe hear that ‘story for another time’ and learn how Maz obtained Luke’s lightsaber. Watch Luke Skywalker return to lead the Resistance. Learn more about the mysterious Knights of Ren. Learn the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke.

I feel like Episode 8 really let us down on all of these things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful movie with some awesome parts. But the fact that most of the thing fans were excited about weren’t addressed makes me feel like it was a movie for the director, not for the fans.  If I’m being honest with myself, it was, sadly, a disappointment. Besides the aforementioned issues, a large part of the movie basically ends up being for nothing, and the decision to have Luke’s story go the way it did was a major downer, especially in light of losing Han in the previous movie, and the devastating loss of Carrie Fisher. I just feel gloomy about the movie over all.

But I do have hope. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, The Rise of Skywalker has a chance to rid me of that gloom and, unlike it’s predecessor, go out on a happy note. I’m hopeful that J.J. Abrams will bring back the warmth that 7 had and 8 lacked (at least in my opinion). More than anything, I hope that my daughter, my wife and I walk out of the theater the evening of December 19th (we already got our tickets!) feeling not only excited, but happy – happy that our favorite characters get the happy ending they deserve! Hopefully it’ll rekindle my now 6-year-old’s excitement for the series.

Until then I’ll be doing my best to avoid spoilers while counting down to The Rise of Skywalker.


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Come see me at Baltimore Comic Con this weekend!

This weekend I’ll be returning to Baltimore Comic Con! We always enjoy this con. There’s a ton of stuff to check out and lots and lots of great artists, and it’s always a great show for families as well! I’ll be with Alicia’s Anime at our usual spot in Booth 715. I’ll have copies of both Feralia Revised Edition and Feralia: Requiem of Mist. Hope to see you there!


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