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Whosoever Holds This Hammer

All good things must come to an end, and so too must this column. For almost five years I have had the privilege of using this space to discuss many aspects of an industry that I love, but now it is time to close the door on this chapter and move on to different things. When I first approach Walt back…

It is that time of year again! The gingerbread lattes are out, the stores are playing Christmas Carols, and your local comic book shop has a myriad of gift ideas for the comic book fan on your list. 2014 has been a very solid year for comic books, so here, in no particular order, are some suggestions from yours truly.…

Homage can be very tricky to pull off. In today’s rapid-fire society of internet forums homage for a work is often dismissed as disrespectful or a shadow of a far more celebrated text. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth and actual homage is built upon respect for the source material. Sometimes the homage can be very obvious,…

Comic book fans love giving to charity. I have not seen a single convention in recent years were there wasn’t some component that allowed fans to donate money to a good cause. However, if you add some sweet swag to the deal then people are even more likely give. Not entirely altruistic, but a win/win for everyone. This brings us…

Michael Cho is a Canadian cartoonist who has previously published a collection of sketches about Toronto titled Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes. So it seems fitting that he begins Shoplifter by showing the reader a cityscape. There are black, rectangular bars above and below the image, giving the effect of a wide-screen movie. The buildings are varied: some are run…

Mattel is one of the world’s largest toy companies and counts among its brands Hot Wheels, Barbie, He-Man, and Fisher-Price Little People. Gone are those halcyon days when I was a child and little people were sturdy plastic pegs that posed a deadly, deadly choking hazard as that design has been replaced by squat figures made of soft plastic. Lest…

Can you feel the excitement in the air faithful reader? Do you hear the sound of people printing out comic book wish-lists, or putting the final touches on Borderlands cosplay? That is because Fan Expo, the largest comic book convention in Canada (and 3rd largest in the world), begins today. Here are the show hours: Thursday August 28: 4-9 Friday…

This train of thought got me wondering about those books that have no real financial value at all. That is you could probably find them in quarter bins or bargain basement section of your local comic book shop. These comic books probably wouldn’t ever be worth anything, but they have one redeeming value; they are great stories. They are these amazing little gems that for whatever reason will never be a big book or sought after by any collector except for the absolute completionist, but man are they great stories. Here are 3 of my favourite hidden gems.…

Longtime readers know that we love us some Golden Age Canadian comics at CBD, and over the weekend I got a chance to sit down with Comics Historian and Publisher Rachel Richey to talk about her latest project, bringing back Canadian Hero and icon Johnny Canuck!…

Well, another year and another San Diego Comic Con has come and gone. With it brought a deluge of announcements on new projects, movies, tv shows, video games, and comic books. Some of the announcements were pretty obvious, and others caught me by surprise. Here, in no particular order, are the things that I was excited to hear about.…

You see kids, once upon a time before the Internet and cell phones we kept all phone numbers in a large newsprint tome that was not only informative but also gave circus strongmen something to rip in half with their bare hands. All joking aside the phone book was a pretty important part of tracking down new comic books for your collection.…

The main character Velvet is a wonderful subversion of the expected spy genre. Brubaker and Epting ask the question “what if Miss Moneypenny were a spy?” and the result is a robust, complex story. …

One of the benefits of discussing movies after their release date is that you can actually talk about things. So, as is custom, here is your spoiler warning: do not read any further if you haven’t seen X-Men Days of Future Past yet and would like to be surprised when you get a Bluray in your stocking at Christmas. For everyone else I thought I’d share some thoughts on the flick, the franchise, and comic book movies in general.…

The summer of superhero sequels rages on with Amazing Spider-Man 2. Personally, I would have pushed for the title Spectacular Spider-Man but, surprisingly, I was not involved in the making of this film for asked for my opinion at any juncture. Perhaps for the inevitable 3 entry into the series. Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet: spoiler alert and read no further.…

I’ve talked to quite a few non-comics and comics people about the events of the past couple of weeks. I talked to them about a Teen Titans cover, subsequent rape threats, a coffee t-shirt, and the reaction that followed. In short, non-comics people were shocked and amazed that our cuddly little hobby had such a dark side, and comic book people were not surprised at all.…

In writing this column I was forced to abandon my original idea of a spoiler-free review. The movie came about 6 days ago and you can find all sorts of spoiler-free reviews online, and all of the really interesting stuff I want to discuss requires this to be a pretty spoilerific article. So here is the warning: don’t read any further if you have not seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier.…

Adapting history always carries with it an element of risk, and that risk is even greater when dealing with a beloved story such as 47 Ronin. The tale of loyal samurai who avenge their master’s death has been adapted countless times in books, movies, plays, and even opera. So while there is quite a bit of source material to draw from, anyone who is interested in reading the story potentially knows it well. To make an adaptation such as this work there needs to be a great deal of care and respect for the story, and I’m happy to say that every page of 47 Ronin is filled with both.…

Recently, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival Marvel announced some additional features that will be coming to its Unlimited service, most notably the use of sound effects and additional DVD-like commentary as you read. This expands on their Augmented Reality (AR) app that can be used to access additional features while reading a paper copy.…