Still on my high from last Saturday's 4th Annual NYC Black Comic Fest at The Schomburg Center in Harlem. They may have said 5,000 people showed up but easily this could have been 7,500-8K people. Place got crowded fast and apparently the line to get in stretched around the block. Man... it was a lot to take in and other people do a much better deal of writing these things up and taking pictures than I do but let me see if I can do my memories justice and give you some highlights:
Began my show heading over to the joint N. Steven Harris and Robert Garrett tables to get my number 1 objective: Ajala, The Collected Edition. Imagine you are a high school student by day and an urban crimefighter at night? Now imagine that you are a part of a greater collective and now immersed in a greater battle than you ever imagined? That is what faces Ajala. How can she ever be normal? How can she bear all these burdens and expectations? How exactly does she cover up that black eye from patrol last night? Fun read and just like my Niobe recovery from NYCC, my interest is peaked and I can't wait for more from these two great gentlemen. From the table, I also picked up Warrior Island, which reads like Real Life MMA meets Mortal Kombat. I have to see where that story goes from Mr. Garrett.
-Walked through some of the visions exhibit and while passing out the Afronerd business card, got to talking with folks that literally stumbled into the Con and were having a blast! That's when you know that this is a success. Even ran into two separate teachers that brought whole classes of students in to experience this!
Couldn't get close to artist Eric Battle's table, who was constantly engaged by folks wanting his art. Same with Jerry Craft, who's one of the two driving forces of this event along with John Ira Jennings. Thank you gentlemen for this!
Headed upstairs to meet up with the rest of the Afronerd Crew, who were hanging out with Jerome Walford, creator of Nowhere Manand got some pics. I didn't know he had a second set of trade paperbacks subtitled "Jacked Up" all ready to go. Now I got something on my hitlist post Con.
Swung by the Brotherman table to say hi to the legend Guy Sims and was honored to get him to pose for a picture. Dropped inConcrete Park-ville to say hi and was lucky enough to say hi again to co-creator Tony Puryear. By this time, Daryll was just bouncing around on pure Pepsi sugar from early in the morning. SO it was a perfect time to hang at the Rat Ronin table with Bounce! CreatorChuck Collins. Ended up picking up Tri-Boro Tales, a book about life, loves, and complications of responsibility in the big city. Imagine the Fat Albert gang as young adults, going through trials and triumphs with work and relationships. Also picked up Infest, which seems like a nice beginning to an inner city zombie outbreak story by Keith Miller. Yet another one to go on my radar.
SO I thought, yeah I could just double back and hit Walford's table to pick up one of the new trades...NOPE! Ended up actually running into the MECCACon table and talked to the lady that hosts that for 5 minutes. I will hype that Midwest Convention as we get closer to it most definitely. Picked up God is Dead #3 by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Costa, which let Hickman go nuts with Egyptian God Figures, flying ships and pyramids, and lots of fantastic theories. Also nabbed Broken Glass and Grandpa's Shoes, two children's books by Greg Burnham & Marcus Williams. If the names sounds familar, they're the driving force behind Tuskegee Heirs. I cannot stress enough to check that project out!
By this time, it was getting close to panel time for Afronerd and after I did a quick stop to Tephlon Funk's table, another project I can't hype up enough on just the art alone and running into Podcast Juice's Q-Storm in person, it was panel time! Afronerd on stage, Captain Kirk and I in the crowd, the panel was pure fire! Black Sci-Fi, The BlerdGurl, Graveyard Shift Sister, Joseph Illidge, and AN kept the crowd ooohing, aaahing, gasping, and thinking for 80 minutes, relating the blerd/bleek experience. Here's the full panel for those who couldn't make it. .
All in all, a great experience once again!
We'll start with The Flash return as the show introduces Battlestar Galactica's Aaron Douglas as The Turtle, a meta criminal that projects a field that reduces kinetic energy all around him to a halt. Meanwhile, Barry decides to come out to Patty and Joe struggles to make fatherly connections with Joe. And oh yeah, Caitlyn tries to figure out what Jay's problem is in regards to his lack of speed. It was a good episode but, for once, the show seemed too short for all of these storylines to get their time to shine.
Supergirl saw J'onn faced with a choice of using his powers to help Kara in terms of what Maxwell Lord has planned. Meanwhile, our hero has to help Winn in terms of his escaped dad, Toyman. Yeah, episode was ok but, as an awkward nerd in terms of relating to the opposite sex, Winn I been there. The unreciprocated kiss and feelings of falling into a huge abyss afterwards? Definitely not good....
Agent Carter returned and it seems that we are having her and the SSR go up against the first vestiges of Hydra as we know them. We get a significant call back to last season as "Black Widow Dottie" made a return. Change of locale from the East to the West Coast, along with the introduction of Jarvis' Wife Ana made the 2 hour 2nd season premiere a fun yet flighty experience. Now let's get to the big elephant in the room: Carter and Reggie Austin as Physicist Jason Wilkes. I have heard in some quarters obvious objections to the flirtations and I have to admit there is some merit to them. BUT Austin played his role great and I am totally hoping for a comics backdoor here for him to make a return later in the series because the chemistry was great. And as a geek, getting the beautiful secret agent to play tonsil hockey with you? Isn't that the dream?!?!?!?
Got a chance to view the Batman Bad Blood animated movie and wow. Once again the DC Animated machine hits on all cylinders. We get Batwoman and Batwing in the family. I get one of my favorite characters in the the Bat-Universe make her appearance in the new animation. We get connective tissue to the Justice League, Titans, and it is perfectly linear to Batman and Son, Assault on Arkham, and Batman vs Robin. The Kate Kane and Dick Grayson personalities were almost spot on and Luke Fox could have been stereotyped but they avoided the potholes on that one. Only thing I could say is that he might be Cyborg-lite as Batwing but I have no problem with that. We even get a kicka$$ Alfred fight scene! Now can they FINALLY get consultants from this side over to the feature film side??
Arrow returned with a bang as Anarky started a vendetta to gain revenge on Darhk and Ollie flirted with the edge as he sought Darhk for what happened to Felicity during the Mid-Season finale. As this is going on Thea is still struggling along with Det. Lance with personal issues and Diggle is torn about his brother. So essentially it was same old, same old except for the obvious new role for Felicity being positioned as a new version of a DC iconic character over the last 20 years.
The finale for Heroes Reborn was good and of course, open ended. The hero's journey is now complete for Tommy as he displays a new mutation of his/Hiro's power. We get several sacrifices that kind of balance the scales. And yes they save the world BUT again, I'm left in the dark in terms of Micah. Then comes the question of *says in Maury tone* who is the twins father? Yeah it'll be another 3 years then they'll probably do a 2 night movie "event" to answer that one. All in all, a rocky beginning but the coda found its footing towards the end due to the villain Erica, Parkman's insanity/determination, and Zachary Levi's tormented father/evo performance.
Legends of Tomorrow!!!! I loved it as a Whovian and liked it as a comic book fan. Arthur Darvill definitely had a couple of 11th Doctor moments in his ramblings and you can't tell me the opening sequence wasn't straight Gallifrey Falls. The team is a great balance of functionality and crazy. The Waverider, as a ship, looks cool. And I calling it now that Heat Wave is going to be the breakout star. He got this "Wolverine/Deadpool" vibe going and everything he has said so far has gotten a laugh out of me. On Twitter, I have already joked about 'Shippers lining up White Canary and Captain Cold as the power couple. And leave it to the CW to give us the PERFECT Superman performance in The Atom. God, I hate you Bryan Singer! Only two problems I had with this: Jaxx getting BA Baracus'd by Professor Stein to be a part of this and Chronos as a bounty hunter? Um... OK
So as I am trapped in my cave during this snowstorm, I pick up Clean Room #4 by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt first to reread for these reviews. MISTAKE! Damn Gail Simone and her ability to create monsters human and otherwise! Damn Jon Davis-Hunt for drawing these demons sickeningly beautiful. Now I need to put on all the lights to make sure I have no shadows as I try to find my nerve again....
Titans Hunt #4 by Dan Abnett and Stephen Segovia has more of the mental blocks on the team falling as the villain makes a play for one of the members. The last page was to be expected BUT I don't get the exclusion of Lilith by and large from this issue. Maybe Abnett is making next one a empath heavy one? Anyway, remind me not to get on Garth's bad side. He totally channeling Namor here...
Still surprising me with the humor in Drax #3 by CM Punk, Cullen Bunn, and Scott Hepburn. The titular hero is on the hunt for the kidnappers AND Terrax and uncovers the big bad on this godforsaken planet. And when I say big, I mean "BIG". Old school fans, pay attention! Bunn and Punk are doing good work here...
Star Wars #15 by Jason Aaron and Mike Mayhew finds us back into the Book of Obi Wan where we find out that Luke as a child was far more alike to Anakin than we ever thought. Now the question I have: is this an offshoot of the Force? I mean like father, like son? Really? But the issue is worth it alone for the Uncle Owen-Ben argument given their ultimate fates...
Are we sure Kamala Khan isn't related to Peter Parker? Ms. Marvel #3 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphonsa has her go through a situation that I have seen Parker go through a hundred times with the Parker luck coming through. Hydra. Mind Control. Opposing friends. Murky finish. All of these mar what could have been a great win for Marvel's cred. But fans need this issue for the Mike-Marvel bonding time! Wilson had me geeking out.
Stop me if you have heard this before plot in Astro City #31 by Kurt Busiek and Jesus Merino. However, the thing that has my curiosity piqued about this Living Nightmare issue are the ramifications of his "awakening". Is he connected to everyone that he ever "touched"? Does he retain parts of their personalities within his collective mass? Man just when I think I have Busiek's book figured out, I get more questions to keep me thinking!!! Damn you Busiek!!!
Rachel has been noticed in Rachel Rising #39 by Terry Moore as she attempts to use her newfound control over death memories to solve 2 deaths and finds that some other force has now found her. Yeah. We were all set for a witch vs demon battle for this final arc and now enter some primordial death force. Yeah, Her and her friends are now officially screwed!
So as I was pre-winter storm shopping at comic shops, I came across Sleeper Season 1 and 2 TPs by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips for a combined 23 dollars! No way could I turn down the story of a deep, DEEP superpowered mole trying to survive the criminal underground while keeping some sense of his morals. We see Brubaker honing his twisted storytelling ways here as he puts his anti-hero through the wringer in the organization run by Tao. Who can you trust? How far is too far? How many times can you sacrifice the needs of the few for the many without losing your soul? This series is WAAAAAAAY deeper than it was portrayed to be in the early 2000s and is a must read for fans of urban & superpowered noir.
Saturday at 6pm EST! The Blerd Panel does a part 2!!! BlerdGurl! Black Sci-Fi! Graveyard Shift Sister! Joseph Illidge! AfroNerd! Plus we got the previously mentioned Tuskegee Heirs duo of Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams on. Stop on by if you get a chance or visit iTunes or BlogTalkRadio during the week to hear the podcast. I'm going to have fun folks!
WHEW! You think I did enough this week? Thanks For Reading All. You guys and gals know I love your support. Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!!!