Superhero T-Shirt Haul @ Five Below

The town near us just got a store called Five Below put in.  I had never heard of this chain prior to this but it’s one of those price point stores where everything in it is between $1 -$5.  I was shocked to see the amount of nerd/geek/fanish type shirts they had in the place. I got these five shirts, all priced $5 each there yesterday.  They had a pretty good selection overall of Marvel and DC merchandise like comic grab bags, water bottles,   keychains, blind bag figures, action figures, and the like, as well.  It looked like the turnover on goods were pretty fast so I will probably make checking in there a regular thing that I do.

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a WeaponHawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was our group read on Superheroes and Comic Book Club for May 2016.  I read it on time but I’m a bit behind getting my review up.

I found Hawkeye to be a very likeable book but didn’t fall in love with it as others seemingly have. It kind of captures a day-in-the-life of a superhero feeling and pairs it with a stylized art style that works well with it.

One of the best things about the book is that it has some low key humor to it.  Like these Russian mobsters in their matching tracksuits that keep showing up, BRO.

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The art style lacks detail but it’s impactful it’s own way.  I do like the impromptu costume that Katie dons here with the arrows sticking out all over her head… however I just don’t see how she’d be able to pull those arrows out and use them without pulling the whole wig off…

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Because… Boomerangs!

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel PowerThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first issue seemed like it might have some promise but it quickly just spiraled out into stupidity. Full of bad puns and grade school humor, I really couldn’t find a lot to like. It’s an ok comic to give to a very young child but otherwise I see no merit in it. It also has some of the most god awful ugly art I’ve seen published. Torture to the eyes.

This is Squirrel Girl.  She and every woman in this comic are drawn man faced ugly.  So much so that it’s hard to look at.  While I applaud the use of a more realistic body shape, the reality is most women have feminine faces.  Not being a size 0 does not make you dog ass ugly by default.

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The other thing that annoys me about this book is the ridiculous ways in which she defeats villains like Galactus.  Come on now really?  Why do they even need the Avengers with Squirrel Girl on the team! — rolls eyes — I guess it’s supposed to be funny and cute but it just annoys me, guess I’m too old and humorless to enjoy it.

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I read these issues on the Marvel Unlimited Reading App.

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Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller

Daredevil: Born AgainDaredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say about the classic story Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller that hasn’t already been said? Collecting Daredevil #226-233, these issues originally published in 1964 include some of the original source material for the now popular Daredevil Netflix series.

Frank Miller has the dubious honor of having written some of the best and worst comics I’ve ever read. This collection comes at the end of his run writing the Daredevil monthly book and tells the story of what happens to Matt Murdock when his greatest enemy the Kingpin learns his secret identity.

When ex-girlfriend and drug addict Karen Page sells out Matt for a quick fix, his life spirals out of control and he loses almost everything he ever had. Will he be able to find the fortitude to get up and fight again? Lots of fan favorite characters make appearances in these issues including Gladiator (Melvin Potter), Nuke, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, low level thug Turk Barrett, and the Avengers.

This book has some excellent art as well.  In the days before computer coloring techniques artists were somewhat more limited but a lot of effort was put into these panels to add to the overall mood of the story.

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Here we have a dramatic scene with the Kingpin sort of gloating and looking down on the city, but did everything really go as planned?

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And Matt laying in the gutter…

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Crafting Update: Marvel T-Shirt

I’ve got a pretty big stack of superhero shirts that need a little love and attention before I can wear them out.  This one is a rag bag find and was headed to the dumpster before I rescued it.  I’ll admit it looked pretty hopeless when I first got it but I wanted to see if I could fix it or not.  I probably should have taken a pic of it in it’s original condition for comparison but I didn’t think about it at the time.

This is was it looked like after I ran it through a heavy duty bleach session and dried it.  It cleaned up pretty well!  However it did have a bit of that dingy white look to it that old white t-shirts get.

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So I decided to tie dye it.  So what do you think?  Do you like the effect of the blue dye? I think it really makes the graphic pop out now.  I had originally thought to use a few different colors but after I got this done I think I’m just going to keep it simple with only the blue.  I’m going to make some alterations to the neckline and sleeves I think — maybe it will become a tank top when I’m completely finished with it.

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If you are interested in a similar project here are a few tips:

  • Cotton and other natural fibers will dye much easier that poly blends.
  • Don’t waste your money on expensive dyes if you have a Dollar Tree in your area: look for these 3 packs of fabric paint.  I used one tube of blue paint dissolved in 1 cup of hot water to dye my shirt.
  • Before you set the dye you must let the shirt completely dry.
  • Before you wash it for the first time don’t forget to set the dye for 24 hours in a container big enough to hold your shirt without too much wasted space.  I used a 2 liter pitcher with a solution of 1/3 of a cup of white vinegar;  1/3 of a cup of salt; and enough water to cover the shirt.

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Comic Bento Deal on Groupon

The monthly subscription box Comic Bento has a deal up on Groupon right now for 3 months for $19. I’m going to try it out, and see how I like it. It looks like you get about 4 to 5 graphic novels a month, grouped by theme.

Looks like they do a referral offer, if two other people sign up with my referral within 2 days then all of us get $5.08 cash back. Sounds like a nice round number to me. Worth a shot posting it I guess if anyone else is interested.

My Referal Link

Please note that you will still be asked to pay an additional $15 in shipping and handling charges by credit card or paypal when you activate it.

Comic Bento Site

Groupon Deal Page

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This morning I finished watching the Netflix Jessica Jones series and I did not want it to be over; so on to volume one of the Alias comic book from the early 2000’s.

Wow! I really like the two stories in this volume. Very sophisticated and nuanced writing, if slightly dated, by the technology being used in the stories. It was a page turner, and I read it in one sitting.

The first story is about Jessica getting duped into making a potentially embarrassing video of a well know super hero. Who tricked her and why?

The second story is about Rick Jones; can’t really say much about that one or I’d ruin it for you, but it’s a very psychological story.

Too bad I can’t say I care for the art, which I only found to be passable, at best. It’s mood inducing but pretty unattractive and dull.

This is one of the few things from the comic that directly made it into the TV series:

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This little conversation between Jessica and Carol Danvers at the beginning of the second storyline really made me laugh.

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There is a scene in the Jessica Jones netflix series that sort of plays homage to this famous? infamous page…

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The Art of Ramona Fradon by Ramona Fradon

The Art of Ramona FradonThe Art of Ramona Fradon by Ramona Fradon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Most of the book is interviews with Ramona Fradon, and samples of her artwork from her long career in comics. There are also some smaller articles about notable editors and people she worked with. Strangely I found the whole thing a bit depressing. She talks about what books she liked working on and which ones she did not. People she enjoyed working with and people she did not. She certainly seems to have had an interesting life. Recommended if you like reading comic insider type stuff.

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Two little snips from the book to give you a better idea of what’s inside.

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones [2015] #1

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Jessica Jones will be up on Netflix on the 20th of this month and Marvel is promoting it with this short 8 page intro comic.  Daredevil’s in it and besides that It’s really too short to comment on; but it’s a free download and you can get it from Comixology if you haven’t already.

They also posted a new trailer a few days ago and it looks sweet!  I know what I’m binge watching this Thanksgiving!

Ant-Man, Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man by Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanos

Ant-Man, Vol. 1: Second-Chance ManAnt-Man, Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man by Nick Spencer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If the blurb can be trusted this volume collects issues #1-5. Read as single issue comics on Marvel Unlimited.

Likeable story but centered around the oldest of comic book tropes… Ant-Man’s daughter in in danger…

Basicly his ex wife decides to move their daughter out of the city and down to Miami Florida, for the girls safety. This prompts Ant-Man to have give up a cushy job he’s just landed and follow them down there. The story doesn’t fall flat mostly because of the easy going tone and light humor in it.

Nothing really seems to go Scott’s way and some of the scenes are downright cringeworthy as he tries to find work in the most awkward ways. We got an interesting little nibble about his new business partner and I hope at some point they go back and explain just how the Nazi Robot got locked in the bank vault.

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Miami Vice Parody Cover from Issue #4.

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I love Nazi Robots!  —>> Wait that doesn’t sound right at all, what I mean to say is I enjoy seeing heroes fighting Nazi Robots.  😉  I thought this page had some of the better looking art from the book.

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