Thursday, August 20, 2009


HUZZAH HUZZAH! As of right now, we have moved our blog to the following address, which I encourage you to update your bookmarks with forthwith:

The new blog is an integrated part of our site, built on a Wordpress template that will yield us all sorts of cool little widgets and goodies in the months to come. For now, we are finishing up some little cosmetic changes, but I wanted to get it up and live so I could try to find problems with it.

I encourage you to come on over and check it out--make sure you subscribe to the RSS feed (if you're into that) or update your existing RSS address to follow us. We'll be adding new contributors and expanding our content a good bit over the next couple of months. Enjoy!

ENORMOUS props go out to Phillip Duncan over at Superheroes-R-Us, who basically took my designs and many nitpicky suggestions and turned it into something that worked and made sense. Amazing job he did (and is still doing, as we polish and tidy things up!). Thanks Phillip!

Friday, August 14, 2009

DISCUSSION GROUP :: Asterios Polyp :: Sat., August 29, 3pm!

Oh man this is going to be a good one. On Saturday, August 29th at 3pm, the next meeting of the Heroes Discussion Group will occur, and this time we will be rapping about one of the most talked-about graphic novels of the last several years, if not the decade: Asterios Polyp. The first long-form comic from creator David Mazzucchelli since City of Glass, Asterios Polyp is a ground-breaking graphic novel from the man who drew my favorite ever comic, Batman Year One. Not to mention his short but influential anthology Rubber Blanket, Daredevil: Born Again, etc. Dude is crazy good.

If you haven't read this book yet, WHOA NELLIE you need to. Even if you don't love it as much as I did, Mazzucchelli brings his A-game and creates something both playful and serious, inventive and satisfying. This will be a talked-about book for years and years: let's start talking about it now!

NOTE: this is a grown-up book, and we will be having a grown-up discussion. To that end, we'll meet here at the store and then troop across the street to one of our fine restauranting neighbors. All that we ask is that you bring an open mind and your brain. We'll handle everything else (except the tab). This is going to be one to remember!

REVIEW :: The Marvels Project #1

Folks who complain about the horrors of “decompression-style” comic book stories will be pleased with the first issue of The Marvels Project.

The eight-issue limited series — written by Ed Brubaker with art by Steve Epting — starts off with a bang, and jumps straight into a tale that will reportedly track the secret history of Marvel’s superhumans.

The comic is filled with a slew of the company’s most iconic characters, set against the backdrop of World War II. Be on the lookout for action-packed appearances by cats like Prince Namor and the Human Torch, among others. The first few pages even feature one of the coolest cameos I’ve seen in a comic in along time. (Fans of old Avengers comics will particularly be pleased.)

One has to wonder, though, does the comic try to show too much too soon? I mean, will a casual reader know enough about Marvel’s pantheon of heroes to digest all the cookies spread throughout the story? I’m willing to reserve judgment about that point until later. In the meantime, I’d suggest that any fan of Marvel — new or old — should snag a copy of The Marvels Project No. 1.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TONIGHT!! Surprise Sale, Marvels Project #1 Pre-Sale, More!

Now, we announced last Friday that we'd be having a 9pm Marvels Project #1 pre-sale tonight--that is still true. But in true Shelton Drum fashion, our boss has decided to super-size his party at the last minute.

SO tonight we will not only be staying up late to sell the new book by our buddies Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (starting at 9pm), but Shelton and Seth will be rolling out their recently organized stock of Silver Age books, in celebration of the auspicious 70-year anniversary Marvel is celebrating throughout the year! These guys have really been working this stock, so there will be a lot of OOOOOLLLLLD books you probably haven't seen before, in all sorts of grades!

OH BUT ALSO we'll be having a surprise sale on back issues: all back issues in our regular back issue section will be half off all night! You heard right! Half off tonight only!

But leave us not forget The Marvels Project #1 itself--in true Marvel style, there will be a number of variants for this blockbuster event, including several you can ONLY get from retailers participating in tonights' nationwide party event! Those include:

2 regular covers

A "party exclusive" blank cover, perfect for getting sketched on later by a luminary

Another "party exclusive", this one a Phil Jimenez "virgin" cover (that means no logo, price, etc.--I know, these guys are nuts with these variants)

A Steve McNiven variant that's highly limited

AND a 1:25 and 1:70 cover as well. Holy Cow that's a lot of Marvel Project! But even if variant covers aren't your bag, the story itself is pretty interesting so far, perfect if you haven't been keeping up with Marvel continuity lately (like me). I dug it.

OH, I almost forgot--we'll ALSO have the new Marvel Comics #1 70th Anniversary Edition, a reprint of the original first-ever Marvel comic, from (I think) 1939. AND a second cover you can only get--wait for it--at participating "party" locations!

We'll start the back issue sale at 6pm tonight, and the Marvels Project #1 will be available for sale promptly at 9 o'clock. If you can't make it, we SHOULD have some left for the regular release tomorrow... HOPEFULLY....

UPDATE--It looks like we'll be joined tonight by some local artists, who you can probably trick into sketching on that blank cover for you. I know that both Andy Smith and Jason Latour will be dropping by, and I'll bet there'll be some more surprise guests as well. PARTAY!

Friday, August 7, 2009

THIS TUESDAY :: Marvels Project On Sale Early At 9pm!

Yoyoyo! This Tuesday night we'll be staying open late to participate in Marvel's nationwide prerelease of The Marvels Project #1! Starting at 9pm sharp, you'll be able to purchase the book before everyone else, except of course for all the other people who are buying the book after 9pm. Oh, unless you're in the front of the line.

If you got to meet series creators Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting at this year's HeroesCon, or saw any of the panels Ed was a part of, you probably heard them talk about this new book, which ties together the origin of the Marvel Universe, which turns 70 years old this year! Don't miss this opportunity to pick up one of the summer's hottest books before its release date--you can only get it at participating retailers!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

HEROESONLINE :: Shifting Site Navigation!

Our new fancy blog is nearing completion, thanks in part to the timely assistance of Phillip Duncan over at Superheroes-R-Us, who apparently is a CSS master among his other skills. We'll be getting that live pretty soon, possibly even as soon as tomorrow. But that's not what I wanted to tell you--

Over the last few weeks we've been moving our site from one service to another, fancier one--one that we will hopefully be reaping some sweet functionality rewards from in the coming months. So far the biggest reward has been like 500% more junkmail, but as rewards go it's kinda lame, honestly. BUT that's surely just a speedbump.

But, check it out, two big changes for right now:


The site still looks the same more or less, but now the New Releases page has moved from "" to just plain old "". Ditto across the site; for instance, the HeroesCon Guest List is now at "". A small thing, but a change I've been wanting to make for awhile, and I thought I might as well get it done while stuff was shifting around anyway. Makes for cleaner navigation and easier to describe links to things.

SO: update your bookmarks accordingly. I've created a fancy error message page that you'll get if you type in a file that doesn't exist any longer, and all the new links are there for reference. The main site navigation is still more or less the same, so you can use the existing navbars to navigate to pages you're looking for as well. If you have any problems or find any glaring errors, feel free to email me at dharbin[at]heroesonline[dot]com

2) While our e-mail addresses have not changed, some webmail-based addresses you may have been using will change before too long. So if you've been using an email like "" or "" or pretty much anything that doesn't end in "", now is the time to update your address books. Those emails will still find their way to us eventually for a little while, but better safe than sorry, right?

Okay so new blog soon, plus more new stuff to come. ONWARD TO ADVENTURE!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

REVIEW :: Secret Warriors #6

The latest issue of Marvel's lone — to my knowledge — espionage comic, starring the long-running spy Nick Fury (former director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and his band of superhuman secret agents, hit the stands last week.

I've been loving this book and acting as an evangelist for it since the first issue. Five more issues in, the comic is still great. So great, in fact, it's hard to even remember that, not too long ago, Nick Fury was one of those Dr. Strange-type characters — good for a cameo appearance, but not interesting enough to hold down his own book. Well, those days seem done.

This version of Nick Fury works by shrinking the cast of characters to a manageable size and throwing a healthy dose of superheroics on top of the spy stuff. So, instead of faceless agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting faceless hordes of Hydra, we've got a small, fleshed-out group of superpowered "secret warriors" fighting big-time bad guys like Gorgon (from that cool Wolverine story arc). Add a splash of great dialogue and several really cool-as-hell character moments (like when Dum Dum Dugan says to Nick Fury, "You give me a month and I'll deliver the baddest bunch of evil bastards this world has ever seen."), and you've got one hell of a comic book.

Now, I will say that it took me a moment to get into the art by Stefano Caselli (it seemed a tad too cartoony for a shadowy, spy book), but now I'm lovin' it.

Bottom line? Buy it.

Carlton Hargro is Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing. You can read more of his writing at the magazine's Comic Proportions blog.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Jumping off a point made by my colleague (the delightful) Phil Southern, that this year is gonna be remembered as one of those banner years like 1986 or 1982 or some other year that was great, but I’d have trouble pinpointing...

Anyway, in an attempt to spur discussion and some pos-sit-tiv-it-ee in general, tell us what you’ve liked this year, why you’ve liked it and what you’re looking forward to, in the comments section below!

Friday, July 31, 2009

REVIEW :: Captain Britain & MI13

Well Captain Britain and MI13 has come to a close … and I’m sad.

I don’t know if you had a chance to read it, but the comic — Marvel’s British-flavored super team series — did not deserve to die.

Of course, I hear many fans of canceled series say the same thing; although, honestly, most of the comics floating around the industry that get cut truly do suck. (Spider-Girl anyone? I’m just saying!) Captain Britain and MI13, however, was damned good.

The comic was that rare superhero book that didn’t focus on fight scenes that go nowhere and over-hyped characters — instead it reveled in witty dialogue and the development of smart stories.

Its last arc — which pitted the team against the legendary vampire Dracula and an army of the undead — was played out like an intricate game of chess. In this multi-issue tale, strategy was more important than things blowing up. That’s not to say that things didn’t blow up, but writer Paul Cornell forced you to pay attention to each move on his expansive battlefield — not just random acts of violence.

Yes, I will admit, the cast of MI13 (guys like the Black Knight, Pete Wisdom and Blade, among others) was far from a collection of A-list characters. Hell, it wouldn’t even be a stretch to call them lame. But if you read the book, you’d see they were utilized in ways they’d never been before. As the dust of the last issue clears, I’d go so far as to say that these heroes were left a lot cooler after the series than before.

At the very least, this comic brought Captain Britain’s “dead” wife Meggan back to the Marvel Universe … so those six Excalibur fans out there should be happy.

I’m not sure how much of this series will be collected in trade paperback, but hunt down the back issues for sure to enjoy this gone-too-soon series.

Carlton Hargro is Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing. You can read more of his writing at the magazine's Comic Proportions blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: Post Persepolis-Discussion Discussion

On Monday night, the Heroes Discussion Group met to discuss the highly-lauded graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

The conversation flowed fast and furious; there was a decisive split between the attendees as to the merit and the success of the work.

Some found the memoir a genuinely engaging slice of life; others had problems with narrative issues caused by Satrapi’s short-comings as a cartoonist.

We explored how she presented life in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution. The Old Fart moderator added some historical color by describing how the average American teen felt when the American Embassy in Iran was seized.

A substantial amount of time was spent discussing the author’s teen-age years spent alone in Europe far away from her parents and her culture.

The conversation went on far longer than we anticipated. We had to stop at 8:00pm to give us enough time to screen Persepolis, the animated film adaptation of the books.

By the time, the film ended, it was close to 10:00pm and we decided to continue the discussion on line here at our favorite site.

If you have read the books or viewed the movie, we invite you to join us. The questions may range from general discussion about the graphic novel itself to comments about the film to an analysis of the adaptation from comic to cartoon.

To start: there were strong disagreements about the first 100 pages of Persepolis II that detailed the author's teen-age years spent in exile in Europe.

One of our participants—Heroes unofficial and incredibly talented photographer Vy Tran—Face-booked me (a verb is coined!) yesterday and stated:

"I was a little disappointed at how a couple of the folks at the discussion were giving the author flack because the problems she dealt with in the second half of the book "weren't a big deal" and were "stupid." Dusty even said, "Everyone deals with stuff like that." But I'll submit to you that the problems she dealt with during her time in Europe WERE a big deal BECAUSE everyone goes through stuff like that. "

What do YOU think?