Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Comics 2-29-12

Amazing Spider-Man #680
Angel & Faith #7
Astonishing X-Men #47
Avengers #23
Batman Beyond Unlimited #1
Batman Odyssey Vol 2 #5
Clint #14
Comic Shop News #1289
Darkness #100
DC Universe Online Legends #24
Fatale #2 2nd Ptg
FF #15
Game Of Thrones #6
Gears Of War #22
GFT Myths & Legends #13
GI Joe 2 Retaliation Movie Prequel #2
GI Joe A Real American Hero Annual #1
Hack Slash #13
Hellraiser #11
Immortal Demon In The Blood #3
Infestation 2 Team Up 1-Shot #1
Invincible #89
Joe Hill The Cape #4 (L)
Justice League #6
Justice League #6 Combo Pack
Kevin Smith Bionic Man #7
King Conan Phoenix On The Sword #2
Kirby Genesis Dragonsbane #2
Knightingail #3
Legion Secret Origin #5
Lord Of The Jungle #2
Magic The Gathering #2
Marvel Previews March 2012
Moon Knight #10
New Avengers #22
Orc Stain #7
Pigs #6
Previews March 2012
Robocop: Road Trip #3
Scalped #56
Shade #5
Spaceman #4
Star Trek Ongoing #6
Steed And Mrs Peel #2
Thunder Agents Vol 2 #4
TMNT Micro Series #3 Donatello
Twelve #10
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #7
Ultimate Comics X-Men #8
Uncharted #4
Unwritten #34.5
Venom #13.4
Vescell #6
Voltron #3
Walking Dead #94


Looney Tunes #205
Ralph Wiggum Comics #1
Sonic The Hedgehog #234
Tiny Titans #49
Usagi Yojimbo #144


Avengers Big Three TP
Fear Itself Herc Prem Hc
Gantz Tp Vol 21
Gi Joe Yearbook TP
Key Of Z TP V1
Night O/T Living Dead TP V3
Punisher By Rucka HC V1
Samurais Blood TP V1
Shadow Double Novel Vol 58
X-Men Prelude To Schism TP

Saturday, February 18, 2012


 AMC, the network that runs a very popular adaptation of the WALKING DEAD comic book, is now airing a new Kevin Smith series called COMIC BOOK MEN.  The show takes place in Smith's JAY & SILENT BOB SECRET STASH comic shop, and includes footage of the cast recording a weekly podcast.

Smith is a geek icon, and comic book imagery runs - if not gallops - through his films.  The shop is run by one of his closest friends, Walt Flanagan, and rounding out the staff are Ming Chen and Mike Zapcic.  Hanging out at the shop but not working there is Bryan Johnson, the infamous "Steve-Dave" from Smith's films.

So far I am the only GAME ON staffer to have seen the show, and I have to admit that it bothered me.  The staff of SECRET STASH comes across as condescending and even cruel towards their customers, even at times to their face.  Unfortunately, the only customers we get to see are folks hoping to sell the store collectibles, and not regulars or subscribers.  The only person seen reading a comic at any time, albeit briefly, is Johnson.

The show has received several reviews that at best are neutral, many are negative.  Not helping the case of the staff are replies to many reviews by STASH staffers that are far more rude and mean than the original representations on screen.

One complaint that I have to agree with is that of gender awareness.  Yes, the show is called COMIC BOOK *MEN,* but it comes across as feeling actively exclusionary, and not just male-dominated by happenstance.  I realize that comics in general is male-dominated, but the existence of blogs such as thenerdybird.com and dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com prove that there is a definite female audience for the medium, and it is possible to alienate an entire gender from the hobby with just a few comments.
Just as disturbing to me are the ways in which the staff treats each other.  In any work environment, after a certain amount of time coworkers get to know each other and there is a certain amount of ribbing that comes with the territory as those relationships grow.  However, the staff does not stop at friendly jibes, they push the boundaries and enter into outright cruelty.

I bring this up because the experience presented by the staff of SECRET STASH is anathema to how we at GAME ON want to do things.  The retail industry in general, and comic retail specifically, is such a tenuous game that stores close far more regularly than they open.  We at GAME ON were lucky that when NOVA COMICS went away, opportunities arose that allowed Dave and I to join a NOVA subscriber in creating a new comic shop that would maintain the values we hoped to project to our customers, regular or new.

To me the staff at SECRET STASH created an environment on camera that makes the Comic Book Guy from THE SIMPSONS seem like a saint.  I have worked much of my life in retail, over 25 years, so I have a good idea of what makes a successful retail business.  Providing excellent customer service and creating a warm and inviting environment for ALL customers, both regular mainstays and brand new alike.

I certainly hope that the non-comic-reading public that at any time has had a curiosity about the medium does not look at COMICS BOOK MEN and change their minds about trying comics.

Comics are the new American mythology, and the success comic characters have had being translated into film means the potential for a greater diversity and number of comic fans for us to help.

If someone sees that show and decides to avoid the medium, then we all lose.

At GAME ON, we will ALWAYS strive to give you the best experience possible.  Yes, it may simply be a retail establishment, but ultimately our goal is to help those regular customers with their collecting/reading/gaming needs at the same time cultivating the interest of people that have never before seen a comic shop.  It is up to us, and retailers everywhere, to take this medium and like a new plant, make it thrive and grow.

We realize that it isn't easy to accommodate every request and wish, but I can assure you we will try.

If you are one of our 140+ subscribers, thank you.  We hope you will be with us as long as humanly possible.  If you are one of our regular walk in customers, thank you.  And if you are reading about us for the first time, about to make your first foray into comics or gaming, welcome, and we hope you find something that will entertain you, and we hope you will come back soon, ready to delve even deeper into this hobby we all love.

Maybe the show will get better, and Smith will be able to deliver his usual amusing comic-based entertainment and eventually provide viewers with a new reason to stop in and check out a comic shop.

But if not, please know that we at GAME ON will do everything we can to make you WANT to come back, and share in our enjoyment of a lifelong hobby and passion.


J. R.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New comics this week 2-15-12

Amazing Spider-Man #679.1
Anita Blake Circus Damned Scoundrel #4
Army Of Darkness Ongoing #1
Avengers #22
Avenging Spider-Man #4
Batman #6 (Combo Pack also available)
Birds Of Prey #6
Blue Beetle #6
BPRD Hell On Earth Long Death #1
Captain Atom #6
Carnage USA #2 2nd Ptg
Catwoman #6
Comic Shop News #1287
Daredevil #9
Dark Tower Gunslinger Way Station #3
Darkness #99
DC Universe Online Legends #23
DC Universe Presents #6
Dungeons & Dragons Drizzt #5 (L)
Fables #114
Fear Itself Fearless #9
Fearless Dawn Secret O/T Swamp 1-Shot
Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #3
Formic Wars Silent Strike #3
Generation Hope #16
G.I. Joe 2 Retaliation Movie Prequel #1
Glory #23
Gobs #4 (L)
Godzilla Kingdom Of Monsters #12
Green Lantern Corps #6
Grimm Fairy Tales: The Library #4
Halo Fall Of Reach Invasion #2
Hellblazer #288
Infestation 2: Dungeons & Dragons #1
Infestation 2: Transformers #2 (L)
Invincible Iron Man #513
Legion Of Super Heroes #6
Misadventures Of Adam West Ongoing #1
Moriarty #9
My Greatest Adventure #5
New Avengers #21
Nightwing #6
Planet Of The Apes #11
Political Power: Mitt Romney 1-Shot
Queen Sonja #27
Red Hood And The Outlaws #6
Road Rage (Stephen King & Joe Hill) #1
Scarlet Spider #1 2nd Ptg
Sherlock Holmes Victorian Knights #1
Star Trek / Legion Of Superheroes #5
Star Wars: Dawn O/T Jedi Force Storm #1
Super Dinosaur #8
Supergirl #6
Thunderbolts #170
Transformers More Than Meets Eye #2
Ultimate Comics X-Men #7
Uncanny X-Men #7
Vampirella #14
Venom #13.2
Warehouse 13 #4
Warlord Of Mars: Dejah Thoris #10
Wasteland #34
Wheel Of Time Eye O/World (R. Jordan) #21
Winter Soldier #2
Witchblade #153
Wolverine #301
Wonder Woman #6
X-Factor #232


Betty & Veronica #258
DC Super Pets YR TP: Barnyard Brainwash
Life With Archie #17
Princeless #4
Richie Rich Gems Winter Special 1-Shot
Simpsons Comics #187
Snarked (Roger Langridge) #5
Sonic Universe #37
Young Justice #13


Annihilators  (Marvel) TP
Daredevil Reborn TP
John Carter / Mars Trilogy Omnibus Book 1
Vengeance (Marvel) HC

Monday, February 13, 2012

(P)REVIEW: "Rex, Zombie Killer" One-Shot

Full disclosure 1: I am not an animal person. Never have been. Not that I don't like animals, mind you, but I get too close to a furry critter and I start sneezing and worry if I can stop.

Full disclosure 2: I don't like zombies. Not in the they-scare-me way, but in the roll-my-eyes-not-THAT-again kind of way. Like vampires, I just feel that, despite their inability to actually jump, zombies "jumped the shark" right about the time they started. Just not a fan.

Knowing those two things, then it stands to reason that REX, ZOMBIE KILLER is not my kind of book. REX is the story of a genetically modified canine who fights zombies alongside a cat, a gorilla, and two more dogs.  While on the surface the basic premise may not be my cup of tea, I am happy to tell you that I very much enjoyed this book!

REX is by Virginia's own Rob Anderson, a GAME ON! subscriber and participant in our grand opening signing. Rob is a great guy, and thanks to a former volunteer gig at a Charlottesville animal shelter, brings a special knowledge of one of the major themes in his book. No...not the zombies.

Rob skips the standard contrivances of zombie tales (tails?) and hooks you with a peek at a major event in Rex's past that drives the major story premise: a group of laboratory and mistreated animals looking for a safe haven following a zombie apocalypse.

Art for the story is by GRIMM FAIRY TALES veteran Dafu Yu, whose art is clean and crisp, unhindered by much of the superfluous line work that tends to follow dark horror books.  Yu doesn't try to over-anthropomorphise the characters, and his work is bright enough that he doesn't have to. The art is a very nice companion to Anderson's story, which despite the dark nature in the subject is ultimately a story of hope that Yu expresses in the characters to great effect.

I will admit that I don't know enough about dogs to be able to say how well Anderson has brought breed-specific behaviors to his characters, but I am familiar enough with the basic tendencies of the various species in his story to say that he has crafted a very appealing cast of characters that exhibit themselves in the manner you would expect them to behave in such a predicament. There were several times I found myself laughing at the interactions between the lone feline, Snowball, and Kenji the gorilla.

Another review gave REX the best possible tagline, and I totally agree: it's HOMEWARD BOUND meets WALKING DEAD. However, one of the reasons this book works is that yes, there is a link to both works, but REX is far more than that Hollywood-pitch style description. And, for a fifty-plus page story it

reads fairly quickly and effortlessly. It's a very enjoyable journey, and without spoiling anything I will say that you will be disappointed that this is only a one-shot.

That's where you come in. I am a big advocate of buying small press books as much as possible for several reasons. For one, more often than not small press books are published completely out of pocket by the creators. They make little or no money in their venture, and hope that with every book they get approval to publish will lead to more readers and an easier time getting the NEXT book out. Also, every creator in the mainstream that is considered a major player started small somewhere. John Byrne, Brian Bendis, and Mark Waid all started small and worked their way to the success and popularity they now enjoy.

Give REX a try. And if you enjoy it, let folks know. I know Rob as a customer and all around good egg, but I hope to be able to call him a success at what he loves to do: creating comics.

If you contact us in the next two weeks, Rob will give you a signed copy of the preview book for the REX, ZOMBIE KILLER one-shot. I can tell you that even if I didn't know Rob, and even though I might not be a fan of the two primary themes of the book, I still would have given REX a shot and I was not at all disappointed. Hopefully I have given you enough of a taste of what to expect to make REX a success and give Rob another chance to tell us another great story...and if once you get to the last page of the REX one-shot, you'll hope as I do that it's REX #2!

Click HERE for our post on a special REX, ZOMBIE KILLER offer!

 - J. R.