Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let's Put a Smirk On That Face! (7-31-12)

How come the Joker got caught robbing the fast food restaurant?

(From The Joker's Joke Book, DC Comics Inc., 1987)

Comment with what you think is the answer! I'll post the correct answer tomorrow morning in the comments section.

Monday, July 30, 2012

FAT Illustrations - Super-size-man

Today's FAT Illustration is yet another amazing drawing by reader blynch316!

It's a bird! It's a plane! No... it's a slob!

Thanks, blynch316! You're quickly becoming the MVP of FAT Illustrations.

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book character, integrate The Fat Lantern into it somehow, and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the comic book characters are slobs.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Caption Figures #27

"I need to train harder if I'm going to get my own movie."
Please comment with your own captions!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Was an Anime Nerd in High School

As we've previously seen, the high school version of me was quite the sketcher. Once again, I'd like to go back in time to my high school days and show you some more of my art.

I was a huge fan of anime in high school. It wasn't easy either. Every weekend, I would spend the money I made from work on anime DVDs (don't tell my dad). Back then, the average cost for an anime DVD was 30 dollars. That's how dedicated I was.

Enough showing off. Let's see some illustrations!

Rurouni Kenshin from Samurai X

Kazuma Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho

Yusuke Urameshi from Yu Yu Hakusho
Although anime is in my rear view mirror, I still appreciate it. I'm sure that I'll return to it someday. As a matter of fact, I might have to go dust off my Yu Yu Hakusho DVDs right now...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Justice League Green Lantern Action Figure (The New 52)

I'm happy to say that I am now the proud owner of the DC Comics New 52 Justice League Green Lantern action figure! It's based on the comic book series by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Let's take a look, shall we?

This action figure was released on July 18, 2012 and stands at 6.75 inches tall.

There are no accessories in the box, but what more do you need when you have the most powerful weapon in the universe?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guy Gardner Progress Report (7-24-12)

Great news! I've made some more progress with my ongoing project of collecting every DC Comics Guy Gardner issue. Here is where my collection stood as of my last progress report:
  • Guy Gardner Reborn #1
  • Guy Gardner Reborn #2
  • Guy Gardner Reborn #3
  • Guy Gardner #1
  • Guy Gardner #2
  • Guy Gardner #4
  • Guy Gardner #5
  • Guy Gardner #6
  • Guy Gardner #9
  • Guy Gardner #12
I am happy to say that I found two more issues at Jim Hanley's Universe
  • Guy Gardner #16
  • Guy Gardner: Warrior #37

Stay tuned for my next Guy Gardner progress report (hopefully sooner than later)!

Monday, July 23, 2012

FAT Illustrations - The Fattest Man Alive

Today's FAT Illustration is another great sketch by reader blynch316!
I think The Flash could use a few more minutes on the cosmic treadmill.
Thanks, blynch316! I never thought I'd say this... but The Flash needs more exercise!

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book character, integrate The Fat Lantern into it somehow, and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the comic book characters are slobs.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Caption Figures #26

"Remember, when the cameras start rolling, just vomit as much PEZ as possible."
Please comment with your own captions!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meeting Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams

If you told me on Tuesday morning that I'd be meeting two of the most influential names in comic book history later that day, I would have said "You get right out of town."

I received an email from my fiancĂ© on Tuesday morning informing me that there's a comic book event being held at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe at 7:00 PM. Housing Works is a non-profit organization fighting AIDS and homelessness. The Bookstore Cafe is located at 126 Crosby Street, Manhattan, NY (SoHo). Not only is it a great used book store, but all profits go to Housing Works.

The title of the event was "Leaping Tall Buildings: Neal Adams, Denny O’Neil, Christopher Irving, Seth Kushner Talk Comics".

What!? Writer Dennis O'Neil and illustrator Neal Adams!? They're responsible for some of the best and most memorable comic books of all time.

We went and it was fantastic. Christopher Irving, writer of the book "Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics", was the moderator of the panel. They discussed the social relevance of comics.

Dennis and Neal told all sorts of stories from earlier in their careers. They talked about how they wanted to movie away from the hokey silver age of DC. At the time, comic sales were very low so they wanted to produce stories that were "real" and could be more relatable. They brought this realism to Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow. One comic in particular was the famous Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 which features Green Arrow's ward, Speedy, on the cover as a drug addict.

Neal talked about one particular story regarding this comic book. They were told to not show too much drug paraphernalia on the cover. It didn't matter what was inside, as long as it was toned down on the cover. Neal said that all he did was remove a rubber tourniquet. Everyone chuckled.

Another interesting story that Neal told was about the origin of Green Lantern John Stewart. Apparently, the editors at DC Comics wanted to name him Lincoln Washington. Neal hated this name because it invoked a racial stereotype. Neal told them to just use a "normal" name, and he picked John Stewart. "I didn't know there was going to be a famous talk show host one day", said Neal. Everyone laughed. Neal's a funny guy.

After the talk, I purchased a copy of "Leaping Tall Buildings". Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams were nice enough to sign my copy.

It's not every day that you get to meet a living legend. But every now and then, you get lucky. Tuesday, I hit the jackpot. I got to meet two.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let My Nolan Go

It was reported last week that Christopher Nolan, director of "Batman Begins", "The Dark Knight", and the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises" will no longer be involved with the Batman character after "The Dark Knight Rises". This includes the upcoming "Justice League" film.

It is on the record that "The Dark Knight" is my favorite movie of all time. I want you to remember that as you continue reading. If you forget along the way, please refer back to this to refresh your memory.

I think that this is a positive thing. Christopher Nolan's vision of the story of Batman is so unique and appropriate that it makes the movies enjoyable for both comic readers and non-comic readers. But, his movies give us an in depth look into the world of The Dark Knight. I don't think that would translate to the Justice League. We need a movie like The Avengers that showcases each character in a cohesive way.

Wouldn't it be great to have more Christopher Nolan Batman movies? Of course it would. Wouldn't it be great to have another director give us a fresh perspective on the world of Batman? Yes. Which leads me to my next point.

I accept Christopher Nolan's decision to step down from making films about Batman if, and only if, future films are not reboots. The origin of Batman is fascinating, but it's been done. Moreover, there are shelves and shelves of Batman stories that would blow your mind. If I was a filmmaker, I would focus on bringing one of those amazing stories to life.

Take "A Death in the Family", for example. Why not create a movie with the assumption that people know Batman's origins and tell the story of Batman's second Robin being murdered? I think current filmmakers feel like you need to start everyone at the beginning and build up to stories with multiple movies. Believe me, people remember, and if they don't, they'll do the research if it's good.

No one can sum this up better than Christopher Nolan himself. In an article at Entertainment Weekly, Nolan stated "The great thing about Batman is he lives on for future generations to reinterpret, and obviously, Warners will have to decide in the future what they’re going to do with him".

How can you argue with that?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Quest for Fleas

I fancy myself a collector of comics, action figures, video games, and the occasional vinyl record. Let's face it, if it's paraphernalia, I want it. Living in Manhattan, I have been taking advantage of what I have available to me. Countless times, I've gotten surprised by and giddy at the sight of a street vendor looking to unload any of these items for a fair price. This a great way to add toys to my collection, but I needed something a little more reliable. A place where I could browse a variety of vendors and sift through all sorts of stuff. Damn it, I needed a flea market.

I did some research on flea markets in Manhattan and up popped Hell's Kitchen Flea Market at 426 West 39th Street, New York, NY. Sounds pretty bad-ass, right?

It wasn't. Not for a geek like me, at least. There were summer dresses as far as the eye could see. I'm sure there are many people out there in search of a variety of yellow dresses with sunflowers on them, but I was looking for the good stuff. I was looking for miscellaneous junk from someone's basement.

Feeling defeated, I regrouped, searched some more, and came up with Greenflea at 100 West 77th Street, New York, NY. "Biggest Flea Market in New York City". Yes, it is the biggest flea market in New York City, if flea is another name for beaded jewelry. Again, I'm sure that there are thousands of people that are looking to doll themselves up for an affordable price, but I'm a nerd! Isn't there anything out there for me?

There is. I was just looking in the wrong place. I switched my attention to Brooklyn and came across Brooklyn Flea at 176 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Before I made the trek to Brooklyn, I decided to check their website. I saw something called "dAN's Parents' House" with a picture of a variety of toys. I love toys! I had to check it out.

I was not disappointed. I found exactly what I was looking for: a table with miscellaneous stuff from someone's basement. There were tons of old toys and action figures from every era, Star Wars memorabilia, trading cards, and much more. Check out what I picked up:

Mr. T
Big Boss Man
Black Hand
Green Lantern Button
The gentleman who runs dAN's Parents' House is Dan Treiber. He was an extremely nice guy and very approachable about pricing and questions I had about the items. I highly recommend you visit Dan at Brooklyn flea and check out his website.


Monday, July 16, 2012

FAT Illustrations - The Jolly Fat Lantern

Today's FAT Illustration comes from reader Adam Wiebner.

That construct won't contain him for much longer...
Thanks, Adam! You drew a Lantern so fat that he couldn't even fit in the field of view!

I hope you check out more of Adam Wiebner's fun digital art at his website.

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book character, integrate The Fat Lantern into it somehow, and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the comic book characters are slobs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Best of Caption Figures #16-25!

Caption Figures is a weekly segment where I take pictures of my action figures in different positions, add captions, and ask you (the reader) to participate by writing your own captions. Here are some of my favorite captions from the readers!

Caption Figures #17

"I'm the king of the universe!! (quite literally)"

derryX: Make room for me and my projector...I'm the KING OF CARTOOOOOOOOOONS!!!!

Chris: "Now nobody can see my bald spot"

Andy Mascola: Trick or treat!

Caption Figures #19
"Power Levels 0%? No problem..."
CMTomaso: "It's the fastest way to add flavor & juiciness to meats and poultry... just $19.95! While supplies last!"

Keith Frank: Awesome, I just made the Noisy Cricket from Men in Black! Now, if only I could give myself some more articulation...

derryX: The ring is shit compared to this.

Caption Figures #21

"Unfortunately, the Justice League is only accepting one Batman. We just don't have enough candy."
Keith Frank: Three Pez dispensers walk into a bar...

Caption Figures #23

"Put up your dukes!"
Anonymous: Damn it! I want my own Lego game and I want it now!

Anonymous: "I need a hair cut, but all my Kryptonian scissors were on my home planet when it blew up! ARGHHHHH!"

CMTomaso: "So, I get that Paper beats one Rock, but no way it can beat TWO! BRING IT!"

Caption Figures #24

"My armpits STINK!"
Chris: "Knew I shouldn't have shown off at the gym, now I'm stuck like this"

derryX: Big poppa pump is your hookup. Holler if you hear me!

Caption Figures #25

"I caught it! ... Can someone help me up?"
Keith Frank: All... COG Soldiers... Should... Have... Life... Alert...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Earth 2 #3

It took three issues, but the Green Lantern is finally here!

Earth 2 #3 was published by DC Comics on July 4, 2012, written by James Robinson, and illustrated by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott.

After the train explosion in China in Earth 2 #2, we find Alan Scott burnt to a crisp, but alive. He rises from the ashes, literally, and is confronted by the green, fiery mist that is about to change his life.

In Poland, Jay Garrick meets Hawkgirl. They get to talking and she decides to test how he handles his super power. They spar back and forth and we see that Jay needs some work. Just as they are starting to develop trust for each other, they notice that the environment around them is dying. I wonder who's responsible... (It's Solomon Grundy.)

I think that Jay was a little love-struck, so he was at a disadvantage. So far, their relationship is kind of like in grade school when boys and girls have crushes on each other and express it by making fun of each other. I'm very interested to see how their relationship develops, especially with the Green Lantern in the mix. But I'm getting ahead of myself!

New look. I approve.
In China, the mysterious green mist informs Alan Scott that he is worthy of being one of the world's greatest superheroes. By harnessing this green energy, Alan can make anything that he imagines happen. He then becomes one with the green energy and transforms into the Green Lantern!

Alan Scott is all decked out in his new uniform, but there's something missing. Every Green Lantern needs a ring to channel that powerful energy through. Well, Alan turns a negative into a positive. He takes the ring that was meant for Sam out of his pocket. "That's an engagement ring, right?" Wrong. It was an engagement ring. Now, it's the most powerful weapon in the universe.

Could all of that have fallen into place any better? I don't think so. If there is one thing that is evident at this point in the series, it's this: James Robinson can tell a story.

Alan Scott as the Green Lantern originated in the 1940s. As much as I love the golden age of DC, I can imagine it to be difficult for a child in 2012 to go back and be able to relate to those comics. I think that Earth 2 #3 re-establishes the Green Lantern in a modern way that is easy to digest not only for newcomers, but for fans that have been following the character for years.

To the newcomers: Here is your new Green Lantern of Earth 2. Appreciate him because he is going to be an important role model to everyone who believes in good.

To the old school Green Lantern fans: Give this Green Lantern a shot. I truly believe that he is going surprise us all. And you know what? If you end up not liking him, pre-New 52 Alan Scott will always be there for you.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who is the Ultimate Comic Book Villain?

In my opinion, Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Professor Zoom a.k.a. Reverse-Flash is the ultimate comic book villain. He lives in the 25th century and becomes so obsessed with Barry Allen (The Flash) that he acquires Barry Allen's costume in the future, taps into the speed force, and travels back in time to confront Barry Allen. His obsession grows to complete madness and hatred toward Barry and he ends up brutally murdering Iris Allen, Barry's wife.

Although the history of Reverse-Flash adds up to a mean and relentless villain, there is one reason why I think he is the ultimate villain: He drives The Flash to kill. In a struggle, while attempting to murder Barry Allen's soon to be second wife, Reverse-Flash is killed by Barry Allen. Reverse-Flash turned The Flash into a murderer.

"But Dominick, The Flash was acquitted at the end of The Trial of The Flash." That was a kangaroo court and you know it. The Flash murdered Reverse-Flash.

Who do you think is the ultimate comic book villain?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Infinity Gauntlet... Finally

The Infinity Gauntlet is one of the greatest, most important comic book crossovers of all time. When I was a young man, I knew of the story through discussions with friends and family, Marvel trading cards, and the Playstation video game, Marvel Superheroes. However, I never took the time to really sit down, read, and appreciate The Infinity Gauntlet. Thankfully, my brother derryX bought me a copy for my birthday. I read it and I loved it!

What, you want me to be more specific? "I loved it!" isn't a good enough summation of one of the biggest comic book storylines of all time? I can spend days talking about The Infinity Gauntlet. Since you don't have that kind of time, here are some of my favorite highlights:
  • The story itself is extremely captivating. This madman, Thanos, not only seeks out ultimate power by acquiring the Infinity Gems, but he gets it. He is so god-like that our beloved superheroes aren't even an option to overcome this beast. In the end, the only thing that can end this reign of tyranny is Thanos' own personal imperfection.
  • I love that the Infinity Gems were on Thanos' glove. I truly believe that a glove is the perfect item to convey absolute control and authority. Can you imagine if it was The Infinity Slipper instead?
  • My favorite panel in the whole comic series was the shot of Thanos, Nebulla, Eros, Thor, Drax, and The Hulk running for the abandoned Infinity Gauntlet.
  • My second favorite shot was Thanos smacking the shit out of The Hulk and Drax.

Although I do not have many, here are some lowlights from The Infinity Gauntlet:
  • As I stated above, the art in some spots is fantastic. However, in other spots, it could use a little work.
It's Larry the Scary Rex!
  • Show some balls, Marvel! In the end, all of the damage that Thanos caused was basically reversed, and he lost all of his power. Really? The story concludes with the almighty Thanos, who attained the status of a god, shucking corn?

I encourage you to comment with your thoughts on The Infinity Gauntlet. Although I had my complaints, this really is one of my favorite comic book stories of all time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

FAT Illustrations - Reed Richards Can Eat

Today's FAT Illustration comes from reader Jim Sabo.

Five bucks says he finishes all of that slop.
Thanks, Jim! You found a new use for Reed Richards' superpower: Super Eating.

I encourage everyone to check out more great drawings by Jim Sabo at his art blog.

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book character, integrate The Fat Lantern into it somehow, and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the comic book characters are slobs.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July at Midtown Comics

I have returned from my trip to Midtown Comics located at 200 W. 40th Street in New York City. Today, they are holding a 4th of July 20% off everything sale. Here's what I bought:
But wait, there's more! In addition to new comics, 20% off, and being able to shop at the greatest comic shop on earth, they gave me a complimentary Captain America pin!

Well, the comic portion of the 4th of July has concluded. Now, it's time to start the fat part of the day. I'm going to go prepare for a night of eating.

I encourage you to comment with your 4th of July stories!

Happy 4th of July!

A lot of people have come up to me and said "Hey Dominick, what are your plans for the 4th?" My answer to that is this:

That's right. It's Wednesday, which means one thing... NEW COMIC DAY. As if comics weren't incentive enough, Midtown Comics in New York City is having a 20% off everything sale all day. I will definitely be taking advantage of that.

Do you want to know what I'm going to get? Well too bad, because I don't even know everything that I'm going to pick up. But, stay tuned! I will post a 4th of July Midtown Comics update later in the day.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I'm also going to do a lot of eating for the 4th.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Casey Jones is a Killer

I am a huge fan of the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. As I've stated before, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in my top 5 favorite comic book movies. While I have loved that movie for most of my life, something has always bothered me about it.

At the end of the film we see The Turtles, along with Splinter, fighting Shredder on the roof of a New York City building. On the streets below, we see a number of citizens including April O'Neil and Casey Jones. The battle concludes with Splinter tossing Shredder off of the roof of the building into the back of a garbage truck. I'm on board up until this point. Shredder attempts to kill Splinter and The Turtles, he backs them into a corner, they take out the trash. The bad guys lose.

Shredder's head being crushed by the garbage truck compactor.
However, it doesn't end here. Casey Jones walks over to the garbage truck and starts the compactor while sarcastically shouting "oops!". Shredder is shown being crushed.

Here are my problems with this:
  • Shredder was down for the count. Incapacitated. There were police all over the place. He did not need to be killed.
  • Although Shredder ran his mouth about wanting to kill The Turtles and Splinter, he never actually did it. He did not deserve to be killed.
  • Casey Jones was supposed to be a hero. Up until that point, he was just backup for The Turtles. He had no right to kill Shredder.
  • Not only did Casey Jones murder shredder, he brutally murdered him. Can you imagine what has to be going through someone's head for them to think it's OK to crush someone to death? Casey Jones did not need to crush Shredder.
Casey Jones is not mentioned in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. You can neutralize all of the issues that came along with the cold-blooded murder from the first film by assuming that Casey Jones was arrested and put in jail before the second film takes place.

But he shows up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III! And, there is no evidence of his incarceration. Therefore, we have to accept the fact that Casey Jones is a ruthless murderer.