Drink and Draw
Our next D&D will be December 12th at Good Sons on Beaver at 8:00. Our last was very well attended and though only Dave and Crater would entertain any talk of Baseball’s MVP votes, I think it was a good time had by all.
Remember, that you do not have to be an artist or have an undying love of comics to attend. All are welcome.
Animal Lifeline Needs Drive
I was hassled by this muscle bound brute of a pro-wrestler this week. He put me in move number one of his thousand holds and wouldn’t let me out of it until I agreed to help the animals of Animal Lifeline again.
So, it is my great pleasure to announce we will again have a needs drive for the no kill shelter this year. I think this will make something like five or six years in a row we have done this. Last year was a huge success and though it will take a lot to top that this year, I’ll sure try.
I wouldn’t want to get some sweet chin music or an elbow off the top rope.
More info and a list of things we will collect next week.
Thank you, and a very big Thanks to Valiant Comics
Last week’s Unity release party was a HUGE success. We did great business on the issue’s launch and I think we have several people now on their way to reading more of the company that makes the best superheroes in this industry.
Thank you to all who came out and an even bigger thanks to Valiant. See, it was them who made the event no cost. They sent us out a special, very limited variant cover of Quantum and Woody which we sold on line. It was with that money that we bought the beer and soda as well as the extra trades we gave away as prizes during the event.
Valiant isn’t the biggest comic company on the block. They know that, but they are willing to support and work with the retailers by seeing what works and works well for other companies in regards to passing on benefits, special offers – like returnable covers and increased discount thresholds – as well as variants cover, order all covers and specialty covers.
They are expanding their universe, but remember when one company came out with 52 books out of the gates? Valiant has slowly grown each of their books rather than launching all of their titles at once. They are smart and they want you reading their books.
I want you reading their books too.
Need a good place to jump into – Seriously, try Unity #1. It really is a great starting point to the Valiant universe. You are going to feel like you entered in the middle of the story, but don’t you remember doing that with old Marvel comics you would get your mom to buy you when you were in the grocery store? I know before the days of the shop, I used to have what I called Saturday reads. Books I would grab a off the rack (usually at Old Dragon Fire comics – I miss those guys) that I had wanted to try/read, but the pile was always too big on Wednesdays. I would get through everything and want another fix on Saturday. Eventually, I would be adding it to my hold list and hunting down back issues of the title, but these were always books that I was jumping into the middle of a story on.
Here is the nice thing about Valiant and Unity. If you like this I can get you caught up pretty quick and inexpensively. And seriously, what is not to like about Matt Kindt writing and Doug Brathwaite drawing a book about a Conan-like Barbarian guy in an Iron Man like suit of super armor who has returned to Earth and laid claim to present day Romania and the super-powered team – lead by another Valiant book’s villain – who is sent in to take him down. You need more incentive? Fine. If you buy it, read it and hate it, you can return it for store credit. You have no risk. Valiant gave us no risk and we are passing it on to you.
So, please, give it a try… you might just like it.
Kyle’s Retro Review – The Longbow Hunters
What can I say? I’ve caught the Green Arrow bug! After missing the entire first season of Arrow last year due to the interference of life, I finally got a chance to rent Season One from a video store (Yes, they do still exist) and watch it over the past two weeks… holy crap it blew me away! Once I got started, I couldn’t stop! Despite the obvious “CW-ness” that has to accompany every show on the network, this is a near perfect “Green Arrow” show. A much better representation of the character than the Green Arrow on Smallville. So after watching the first season and getting caught up on season two, what else could I do to satisfy my craving for more Green Arrow awesomeness? Why pick up and reread the Mike Grell written and drawn Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters story!
So for this week’s retro review, we’re going to take a look at one of the greatest Green Arrow stories of all time. Mike Grell is pretty synonymous with Green Arrow, his first work with the character started in 1976 in the pages Green Lantern #90, when he handled the art duties for the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-up story penned by Denny O’Neil. From there he would eventually go on to not only draw but also write Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow.
And that brings us to the 1987 three part Prestige Format (at this time still called “New Format”) Green Lantern: The Longbow Hunters. In this story, we follow Ollie and Dinah as they move their lives west, to the Seattle area and when getting settled in their home find themselves literally thrust into a local drug related case. A strung out junkie leaps into their new home through the window nearly killing herself.
Meanwhile, Seattle is also being terrorized by a Slasher who has claimed 18 victims and a new “Robin Hood Killer,” who had been stalking a number of victims across the nation until arriving in Seattle. As Dinah heads out undercover determined to find the source of the drug trafficking, Oliver, now 43 years old, reflects on his life, the glory days of his crime fighting youth and how he became the Green Arrow while being deserted on an island. He realizes that he was once a sharp, cunning hunter, a great archer and as he’s aged he’s lost that sharpness and become reliant on his trick arrows.
Ollie sets out, determined to find the Slasher. He once again faces how slow and careless he’s become, as he is almost killed before recovering and turning the tables on the serial killer before he can take his next victim. While doing so, Oliver also stumbles upon and witnesses the Robin Hood Killer taking her next victim, a rich businessman. He is surprised to see that the archer is girl, in ninja garb and sporting a dragon tattoo on her arm, which he would eventually discover is a sign of the Japanese Mafia the Yakuza. From there the story progresses, as Oliver confronts this Robin Hood Killer, gets involved in the case and determines that he and Dinah are chasing down the same lead from different ends of the thread. From there the story bounces back and forth between different vantage points telling a coinciding story from the past and present as Oliver rediscovers his hunger and the thrill of the hunt.
This story is told in some absolutely gorgeous artwork by Grell. One of the greatest storytellers of all time, Mike Grell was among the first crop of artists who turned into writers to really find their creative footing and give us some of the most amazing stories they would produce. Some of Grell’s other amazing work can be found in titles such as Warlord, Action Comics and Adventure Comics where he did some amazing work on the Legion of Superheroes.
Following the success of the Longbow Hunters, a mature readers Green Arrow ongoing series (set inside the regular DC continuity) would start in early 1988, which would be written by Grell and feature his covers, with interior art done by talented artists such as Ed Hannigan and Dan Jurgens. Grell’s take on the character is the definitive Green Arrow; challenged only by the O’Neil/Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow work and perhaps the Kevin Smith/Brad Meltzer penned runs featuring gorgeous artwork by the very talented (and native Iowan!) Phil Hester.
Go check out the Longbow Hunters. You can get in a brand spanking new trade due out on November 27th at a very reasonable price of $14.99. It is listed as volume one so there may be more coming. If you can’t wait, go hunt down the rest of the issues. You won’t be sorry you did.