Fred Van Lente’s Five Comic-Making Mistakes

New York Times Bestselling author Fred Van Lente—who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on Resurrectionists, Brain Boy, Project Black Sky, new editions of his Action Philosophers and The Silencers, and a few other things—is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest writers in comics. If you’re looking for a script format to mimic, head to his website and check out his templates. As an editor, I love this format! It’s also one of the preferred formats of letterer extraordinaire Nate Piekos of Blambot! Continue Reading “Fred Van Lente’s Five Comic-Making Mistakes”


Nonplayer #1 and Fear Itself #1 [At the Mercy of The Crowd]

This is what I get for committing to a weekly blog feature. Life gets busy and I get inconsistent. Continue Reading “Nonplayer #1 and Fear Itself #1 [At the Mercy of The Crowd]”


Hulk #31 [At the Mercy of The Crowd]

I love the Hulk!

Growing up, I was about a foot taller and around 50 to 100 pounds heavier than most of my classmates until I reached high school. Throughout elementary school and the first half of middle school, I was almost constantly speaking out of turn in class, gushing forth with a steady stream of jokes (some funny, some not) as part of my pre-teen and teenage verbal diarrhea. I also had a bit of a temper and was overly physical, earning technical fouls in fifth grade basketball leagues and earning the nickname “Physicality” from my younger brother—which sounds like a rad wrestling name but was his insult for me whenever he wanted me to leave him alone. Continue Reading “Hulk #31 [At the Mercy of The Crowd]”


Hodgepodge: A post of assorted random stuffs.

Hey there, folks!
If you’re a regular ’round these parts, you’ll notice that this week has been particularly light on the blogging.

Sorry about that.

After last weekend’s crazy-busy vacation, this week has been chock-full of tons of work and other life stuff all piled on top of me seriously needing to catch up on sleep. Finally, at week’s end, I’ve got all aspects sorted, but haven’t had too much chance to cobble together anything by way of this blog. So, for funsies, I figured I would just toss together a bunch of random little things for a hodgepodge entry. I hope you all enjoy it!
Continue Reading “Hodgepodge: A post of assorted random stuffs.”


That Herc’s one mean CRAKKAJAMMA!

Hopefully I am preaching to the nerd choir when I confess my affection for Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Incredible Herc—easily one of, if not the most, fun book on the shelves right now! Following the Lion of Olympus and is ward, boy genius Amadeus Cho, after the events of “World War Hulk,” this book has been a nonstop thrill ride and the best buddy comedy in comics, hands down!

This last issue (#122), Clayton Henry—with Salva Espin on a flashback sequence—continues art duties, and the book looks great! In this reader’s humble opinion, it’s the best his art has ever looked, and Herc is the perfect title for his style! I loved Khoi Pham’s kinetic action sequences on this title and Rafa Sandoval’s Secret Invasion tie-in was beautiful, but I think Henry may be the best artist to illustrate an arc of this sex-filled, bar-brawl of a book! The humor of this book is amplified so much by facial expressions, and Henry’s proving himself to be some sort of amplifying machine of an artist with each expressive panel (Not too mention Espin’s humorous insert into the issue)!

Here are a few examples of just how fantastic this book looks:

Without a doubt, the most hilarious sound effect ever! And, alongside Herc’s anger, courtesy of Henry, it’s that much greater!

Here’s Herc escaping the Amazonians after seducing Hippolyta. Espin delivers an example of some of this series’ epic comedy.

Back to Henry, we see Herc with the thumbs up for his sidekick, who he presumes is about to get his schwerve on. And in response, Amadeus looking none to pleased that Herc may ruin his chance to score with a mythic beauty.

Not only can Henry do teeth-gritting anger and comic mugging, but the guy can also capture Herc dumbfounded and melancholy upon finding an Amazonian head on a pike.

I’ve got more praise for this book than Homer had epithets for Greek and Trojan warriors! Save me the trouble of typing them all out, go read Herc and construct some descriptive phrases of praise for it yourself!


Catching up on comics: late July’s best of the bunch!

Hey Folks! I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a week’s vacation (Hey, it’s summer! I gotta get some fun in the sun in some time!), which led to much relaxing and quite a bit of catching up on comics. I managed to pound through all the books from the last two weeks of July that had been piling up on my desk, so I figured I’d drop my top recommendations from the past half month now that I’m caught up (ok, ok…I’m actually still a week behind after missing last week, but give me a break and just read the recs!)…

Ambush Bug: Year None #1 (of 6)
It’s Keith Giffen—have I mentioned I’m a big Keith Giffen fan? No? Well, I’m a big Keith Giffen fan!—and it’s some good, irreverent fun, with some snazzy, old school interiors to boot!

Joker’s Asylum: Scarecrow
Wicked cool interiors from Juan Doe alongside a classic slumber party horror scenario make for a classic and spooky look into the Bat-rogue’s world. With this issue added to Jason Aaron’s Penguin story and J.T. Krul’s Poison Ivy tale, this series is doing justice to the one of the main things that make the Dark Knight one of comics’ top sellers: his villains!

The Exterminators #30
This book has been one of my favorite reads for a while and it’s conclusion two weeks ago was amazingly bittersweet: I’m bitter because I want more, but man, what an ending! If you haven’t checked out the story about city pest control bad asses and their battle against a killer swarm of bugs bent on bringing back an evil Egyptian insect god, now you can go scrounge up all 30 issues and indulge! Get on it!

Blue Beetle #29
Jaime Reyes is hands down my favorite character in the DCU, so I was super pleased to see his book pick up again with a larger storyline after Will Pfeiffer’s one-shots (they were fun, but one-shots…not much gravitas). Now, if you read the cover, you might have expected not only the return of the radical Rafael Albuquerque on art, but also writer John Rogers (the man responsible for The Reach story in BB, known for its massive amounts of pure awesomeness), and if you didn’t read the internal credits you would never have guessed the series has a new full-time scribe in Matthew Sturges. Take the one-shots out of the picture and it easily could have been mistaken for a continuation of Roger’s run—and that’s a distinctly good thing!

The book’s definitely got a new voice on the insectoid-monnikered hero with Sturges, but one so inline with everything that Rogers did that I’m really excited to see where Sturges takes things. He’s already got the most important part—the characters—down, so I’m psyched for the rest of his stories.

The bottom line: if you haven’t read Blue Beetle before, there’s no better time to start enjoying the adventures of El Paso’s superhéroe numero uno (but seriously, go back and read everything from issue #1 onward if you have the time and funds—you won’t be sorry)!

Teen Titans #61
It’s a Blue Beetle and Kid Devil-centric issue (more importantly Blue Beetle, read above), need I say more?!

Ok, Sean McKeever’s got a good handle on this team. It may not be the coolest incarnation or the most-seminal run ever, but it’s darn fun and it’s got my boy in blue rockin’ alongside Robin here and there, so you know I’m in!

Black Panther #39
One of my favorite writers, Jason Aaron, takes the reigns on the king of Wakanda’s book for a three issue tie-in to Secret Invasion.
And. It’s. AWESOME!
It’s war epic meets superhero story mashed together with a classic sci-fi alien invasion, and it features plenty of Skrull decapitation, so yeah…awesome!
(I chatted with Jason recently—mostly about Wolverine: Manifest Destiny but a smidge about BP‘s SI tie-in—so check that out here if you feel so inclined!)

Skaar: Son of Hulk #2
If you saw my review of Skaar #1 then you not only know that I am a huge fan of Greg Pak’s Hulk work, but also loved issue #1 of the third part in his big, green epic! Issue #2 just keeps things rolling on what is set to be one of my favorite weekly reads for a long time coming!

I also really enjoyed Fantastic Four: True Story and Immortal Iron Fist #17, but you can read more about my thoughts on those books here (FF) and here (Iron Fist)!

Well, that’s it for this round of “Best of the Bunch!” Hope those recommendations help out a few of you readers in need of some comicky goodness!