Hanging the Signed Comic Book Art

The last time we moved, we took the opportunity to frame and hang some great artwork from colleague Joen Asmussen. After our second move, we felt it was time to further decorate the office by framing our very small collection of signed comic book art.

First up is a promotional poster for The Transformers: Windblade, featuring Windblade herself, and signed by author Mairghread Scott.


And last, but certainly not least (hey, I said it was a very small collection), the entire sixth issue of Star Wars: Crimson Empire, featuring Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax, and signed by author (and founder of Dark Horse Comics) Mike Richardson.

Crimson Empire

I’m glad to finally have these protected and hung as they should be. I’m not sure if they’re worth any money, but they’re worth plenty of nostalgia to me just hanging here on my walls.

Review: Pathfinder

I seldom read and rarely enjoy graphic novel adaptations of movies, but Pathfinder is a visual feast from artist Christopher Shy and writer Laeta Kalogridis that is far superior to the film itself.

When director Marcus Nispel contacted artist Christopher Shy and expressed his interest in a film depicting a war between Vikings and Native Americans, Shy began to produce seemingly endless pages of concept art.  So much concept art in fact, that they used all of it to produce the graphic novel adaptation.

Review: The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman, the omnibus edition, is a colossal masterpiece from the collective minds of Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, and Gerard Jones. In 746 detailed pages, it deals directly with what it would take to kill a hero, what the world would be like without that hero, and what it would take to bring a hero back to life.

Returning to Splash Panel

Splash Panel is a graphic novel review blog created by Khaled Abou Alfa way back in November of 2005. As a long-time collector of graphic novels, I was lucky enough to be asked to be the first staff writer, and it was a blast. Unfortunately, burn-out set in and I stopped contributing reviews about a year later. Looking back, I’ve recognized the cause of the burn-out, and thought that it would be worth sharing for future reference.

Splash Panel is unique to the graphic novel review scene due to the fact that we don’t publish negative reviews. If we didn’t enjoy reading it, why would you want to read our review? If we reviewed it, we enjoyed it, end of story. What did this have to do with the burn-out? It’s quite simple, really. I reviewed my favorite graphic novel first, eventually followed by my second, and so on. You always hear that phrase about not playing your best hand first, but sure enough I did. Given that we never post negative reviews on Splash Panel, I immediately set a hurdle that I may never pass.

For some reason, this weighed heavily on my ability to write further reviews. The comic industry has changed and perfect graphic novels are few and far between. How do you positively review something without drawing attention to its faults? The point is that most review sites deal with this every day. You can’t expect perfection from everything, so don’t avoid reviewing something just becomes it doesn’t measure up to your standard of perfection.

From now, starting with Spider-Man: The Other, you can expect to see more reviews on Splash Panel. Not only reviews of perfect graphic novels, but reviews of simply entertaining graphic novels as well. As always, no negative reviews will be posted on Splash Panel, but I’m sure that I’ll be sharing a few here just for your enjoyment.

Review: Spider-Man: The Other

Spider-Man: The Other is not your typical comic book death and rebirth story. It’s an immense tale worthy of most high-caliber television series. Woven by writers Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and J. Michael Straczynski, and illustrated by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and Mike Deodato, Jr., The Other is not without its faults, but it is an in-depth experience not to be missed by any Spider-Man fan.

Why I Stopped Reading Spider-Man

I stopped reading Spider-Man titles because of events that transpired in One More Day and Brand New Day. I know, you have probably read the same opinions every where else, but I’ve reached that point where I have to express my frustration.

One could say that Spider-Man was Marvel Comics’ flagship superhero, or that he was at least a close second to Captain America. We watched him fight crime as a teenager and we watched him grow into adulthood, and through all of this, his character was expanded through his ever growing responsibilities and his love for Mary Jane Watson. In fact, he even married her. Their relationship was very real, like Louis Lane and Clark Kent, but without the ridiculous “I only love Clark Kent because he’s really Superman” crap. Mary Jane really loved Peter, and though at times she was worried for his safety, she knew that he had to be Spider-Man because she knew that there were people out there who always needed his help.

For twenty years, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Mary Jane Watson Parker had been the number-one married couple under the Marvel Comics label. Well, not any more! In fact, they were never married! They had a long-term relationship, but it ended abruptly just before the marriage, and now their relationship is “frosty at best.” Confused? Yeah, you, me and the rest of the world!

Continue reading

Review: Spider-Man: Reign

Spider-Man: Reign, from writer and artist Kaare Andrews, is a powerful and emotional journey through the tortured mind of Peter Parker as he enters the last years of his life and begins to confront everything that he has ever cared for and lost.


Transformers Nostalgia

Last Sunday, Sarah and I were lucky enough to see Transformers in our local theater. It was great film. I would have appreciated more character development concerning the Transformers, but it would have been difficult to fit any more into the film without it being considered “too long” by younger audiences. Hopefully, there will be more character development in the sequel. Besides the lack of character development, the film carried a decent plot and featured the most realistic Transformers to date! Best of all, it brought back memories from the long-running and well-established Transformers universe.

Here are four of my favorite moments from the Transformers universe.

SPOILER WARNING: The following clips obviously contain spoilers.

  1. The Autobots meet G.I. Joe in 1939. (review)
  2. Starscream sacrifices himself to save millions of lives by convincing Galvatron and Optimus Prime to join forces against Unicron. (clip)
  3. The “mysterious planet” that the Beast Wars take place on is revealed to be prehistoric Earth, complete with the crashed Ark and dormant G1 Transformers. (clip)
  4. Just about every moment from Beast Machines, especially the last episode. (clip)

It’s hard to choose which video clip to embed at the end of this post, so I’m going to choose the last few minutes from Beast Machines, which just so happens to be the only clip from this list without a cliffhanger ending.


Review: Transformers / G.I. Joe

Transformers / G.I. Joe is not just another Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover, but rather a dark and war-torn recreation of the Transformers and G.I. Joe universes in tandem by writer John Ney Rieber and artist Jae Lee. In the twentieth century’s darkest year, a world at war will find itself caught in the middle of a titanic alien conflict that has lain dormant for the last four million years.