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Monday, July 27, 2015

Best Covers of the Week, Vol. 84

Mulan Revelations #2
by Micah Kaneshiro
 The color choice is really unique on this one, and I really dig that you have to examine it close up to find the form of the subject. Very ethereal and interesting!
Copperhead #9
by Scott Godlewski
The composition here is excellent, as well as the wonderful cartooning on the character's face. I love the way the cover moves from light to dark, giving a sense of action coming towards the viewer.
 T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents 50th Anniversary Special #1
by Andrew Pepoy
Readers will know I'm a sucker for classic retro covers, and this one is really wonderfully done in the style of the great Wally Wood. Love it!
 The Shrinking Man #1
by Mark Torres
The design on this one is really nice–it's got a modern touch, but definitely feels reminiscent of a classic science fiction novel.
 Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #7
by Francesco Francavilla
The color choice here is phenomenal, and the combination of sexploitation and retro sci-fi is great. And for lettering nerds–wow!
Superman #42
by Jorge Corona
This is just about as fun a way to portray Superman's varied history as any I've ever seen!
 Material #3
by Tom Muller
Mixed materials covers don't always work, but Muller's always do. This is so unique; part magazine, part photograph, all extremely intriguing.
 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4
by Robert Hack
What a perfect homage! Is there anyone else that is ready to petition Hack to illustrate all horror movie posters from here on out?
 Star Wars #7
by Tony Moore
Man, I miss Tony Moore–what phenomenal cartooning, with fantastic detail and yet full of movement.

That's it for this week. What did I miss? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook!
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Review: Felt

Stop me if you've heard this one before: A young person, having experienced great trauma, responds by creating a special suit, a costume that can shield her from reliving that violence - and allow her to fight back when she sees that evil in the world. I'm not talking about the newest blockbuster from Marvel or DC, of course - the feminine pronouns should have tipped you off there - but Felt, the new indie film from Toad Road director Jason Banker and artist Amy Everson. And while mainstream superhero movies are feeling increasingly samey (even to hardcore comics nuts like us), the fringes of indie films are borrowing their iconography and basic ideas in some fascinating ways.

In Felt, artist Amy Everson debuts as Amy, an artist who underwent an unspecified (but probably sexual) trauma in the semi-recent past, and who has retreated almost entirely into her art. Her friends find her new distance and dark sense of humor funny, at first, while guys find her cold and humorless. Her only retreat is a pair of suits she made that give her some control over her body. But then she meets Kenny (Kentucker Audley), a sensitive man with an interest in art and a willingness to take things slowly. Amy comes out of her shell, but is Kentucker all he's cracked up to be? And if he isn't, will the already-bent Amy be able to handle the heartbreak?

I want to say two things up front. First: I really liked this movie. Second: Even for me, Felt isn't wholly satisfying. I know a lot of people react almost viscerally against mumblecore aesthetics, which Felt has in spades, and while I'm not typically one of them, I still found some frustration with the sheer length it went to avoid conventional storytelling for much of its runtime. The often-abrupt edits and handheld camerawork, the meandering pace that finds the 'plot', as it is, failing to start until about 35 minutes in to an 80 minute movie - the hallmarks of the style are all there. And the ending is far too abrupt given the build-up, a powerful act that could have been played out in more interesting ways if Banker and Everson had as much patience with the bleakness as they did with the character work. They went for the sucker punch over a set piece, which is unfortunate, because I think the two of them could have said more with the conceit if they'd stuck with it. As-is, Felt is both short and, it sometimes feels, a bit draggy.

But Felt has an intimacy that borders on documentary, and co-writer/star Amy Everson, whose life and art inform much of the story, is responsible for an awful lot of that. Though this is her first professional acting role, she gives a nervy, jittery performance that alternated confidently between making me laugh and making me intensely uncomfortable. It's a portrait of a wounded soul struggling to find a way to make her outer life just a little bit less like the nightmares that consume her inner life, and when I look back at the film's slowest, most seemingly aimless moments, I remember them with fascination thanks to her work. I remember a bizarre line reading from Everson that imbued a casual line with off-kilter menace, or the gangly physicality she finds in her suits. It's subtle character work, both from Everson and from the film itself, and it doesn't just save the film; it transcends its problems.

Superheroes tend to be, quite nakedly, power fantasies. It's how they got their start, how they found popularity with kids, and how they exploded in our modern film culture. They can be thoughtful, artistic power fantasies, of course, and many are, but Felt feels unique in the way it ties gender dynamics and rape culture to those fantasies, the way it plays with the meaning of bodies. For all the issues I have with Felt, ultimately, its thoughtful script, haunting direction, and wounded central performance combine to make a memorable, engaging film.

It's meandering, sure. But it's disturbing and gorgeous, too, and it lingers somewhere deep in your gut long after its over. 

Felt made the film festival rounds earlier this year, and is currently available for download on iTunes or streaming on services like Amazon Instant. Written by Amy Everson and Jason Banker and directed by Jason Banker, Felt stars Amy Everson and Kentucker Audley.
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Lewis, Aydin, And Powell's March Featured On CBS This Morning

Maybe the biggest highlight of a fairly eventful San Diego Comic Con was the moment when Congressman John Lewis cosplayed as himself, donning the trench coat and backpack he wore to march for voting rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years ago. 

He led a touching children's march through the halls of the San Diego Convention Center, reminding us all of the lessons taught by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis, and their fellow Civil Rights Advocates, and how relevant those teachings of non-violent opposition remain to this day. 

CBS This Morning spoke to the Congressman about his Eisner Nominated March graphic novel series through Top Shelf, along with his co-writer Andrew Aydin, they also discussed his experience at SDCC, and interviewed a few of the students who joined him, hand in hand, just two weeks ago. Very proud to note that this American Hero is my Congressman here in Atlanta. In case you can't access the embed, here's a link to the video.
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The GeekRex Podcast Episode 96: SDCC and Ant-Man

This week is another great two-fer discussion, as the team has just returned from this year's San Diego Comic Con and we discuss some of our favorite moments.
In part two, Cal and Harper tell Kyle all about Ant-Man and give reviews on Marvel's latest big screen adventure.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The New Spectre Trailer Has Us Wishing It Was November Already

I'm not one to rush the Summer away, as it is my favorite season after all, but the enticement of new Sam Mendes James Bond is just too strong. Here's the new trailer for SPECTRE, which emerged this morning, and reveals just how personal an antagonist he's facing (and who may or may not be the new version of Blofeld?):
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

SPECTRE hits theaters on November 6th.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Fargo Season 2 Trailer Flashes-Back With Patrick Wilson

Given the way True Detective Season 2 has basically flopped like a dead fish for me, it looks like I have a free spot in my heart for a crime anthology series. Oh hello, Fargo, I know we didn't really get along last year and I sorta left you for dead about halfway through your first season. But perhaps we can make up now, and maybe we've both learned the error of our ways?

Maybe? Just don't treat me as badly. Your first trailer looks rather up my bailiwick.

Plus, Patrick Wilson. I'll watch anything he's in.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Listen to the Grant Morrison Multiversity Panel from SDCC in Full!

In case you didn't make it, we've got you covered–hear the master of Multiversity himself talk in depth about the project, his thought process, as well as info about his upcoming Wonder Woman: Earth One, Batman: Black and White, and Multiversity Too projects!

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