Meet the exhibitors 3: Just hours away!!!

We’re now just a few hours away from big show, the Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan Fest (May 21st, Touchpoint Church 6100 Florence Ave. Bell Gardens Noon to 6PM) Let’s meet the other awesome exhibitors who will be attending today’s show!

John Narcomey

A comic book professional since 2008. Beginning at High Tower Comics were i created such titles as GhostFace, Smart Bullets and Jungle Jive. After High Tower Comics I opened Draw Hard studio’s went on to work on such titles as DUST: Withered Earth created and written by James Ninness, Forbidden Tales, and the successfully Kickstarted horror anthology In Sanity, Az. I have published 7 comic book titles through Draw Hard studio. Currently I am working on Cholo LIbre, Sin Eater w/ Mat Nastos, Hideaway web comic and other new titles coming from A3 Publishing. I have over 8 years experience as a penciler, inker, writer, colorist, graphic designer and content creator.  Bio by John Narcomey

Johnnarcomey art 1

Ryan’s Rant:  John has a very intriguing style that is all his own.  John’s drawings beckon back to the fluidity of silent movie cartoons and harness the spirit of animation greats like Ralph Bakshi and John Kricfalusi.  John’s characters may be in comic book form, they still seem to flow and move as if they were animated.  John has a talent to leap through genres, from heroes to horror.  No matter the genre or setting, all of John’s characters take on a life all their own.  Come by the event today at Noon to 6pm and pay John a visit.

Will Caulfield

I Graduated from Cal Sate Fullerton in 1985 with a BA in the Art.  I went on to create WOMP STUDIOS.  Cartoons and comics have always been a part of my life. They allow you to do anything and become anyone. Drawing and creating characters is a great way to express your thoughts in a two dimensional way. As a kid, I dreamt of having a famous comic strip in the newspaper. Can all dreams come true? Maybe not. But some dreams can become comic books. Bio by Will Caulfield

BatBat1new

Ryan’s Rants:  I miss Saturday Morning Cartoons.  That’s not a non-sequitur, I miss Saturday Morning Cartoons and Will’s art helps fill that void.  Will’s comic The Adventures of Bat-Bat has the feel of Jay Ward’s stable of classics.  Bat-Bat and Bird Brain have all the makings of a classic comedy duo like Rocky and Bullwinkle.  I am looking forward to getting a copy of The Adventures of Bat-Bat for my daughter Luna to read.  You can grab your copy over at Will’s table.

Ofloda Monstro

Ofloda Monstro, is the kind of artist who seems like every stroke of the pen and scribble of the pencil is streaming straight from his consciousness, like a live broadcast from his brain to the paper.  Ofloda’s work captures the imagination so much that after reading one of his short pieces, you’re hungry for more.  Come check out Ofloda’s eye grabbing art today at the big show!

ofloda2

Ryans Rant:  Fear the Boob tube needs to be required reading for anyone wanting to get into the graphic arts.  Study this little book because it is an excellent primer for anyone interested in drawing.  In this mini comic, Ofloda builds lavish worlds and characters in just a few short pages and leaves me wanting more.

Peter Mellini and Enrique Cruz

Okay, these guys are the terrific two!  I first met Mr. Peter Mellini as a regular at his most excellent comic book store, Nostalgic Comics in San Gabriel, CA.  I came to the store often when I was working at a school in San Gabriel just a few blocks away.  Pete is a hilarious guy who knows his comics and he runs one of the best shops in Southern California.  There are a lot of stores that seem cold and sterile or so hip that they can’t be bothered to help you.  Visiting Pete’s store is like hanging out at an old friend’s house, except for the fact that he has a lot more comics than most of my friends.  I had seen the amazing artwork of Enrique Cruz very often and didn’t even know it.  Enrique’s art is prominently featured on the big chalk board behind the counter at Nostalgic Comics and it always amazed me at how great of an artist he is.  Together, Pete and Enrique took the high energy of those awesome drawings from the shop and combined it with a love for comics and created NightMary, a fun book about a little girl who can bring nightmare monsters to life.

nightmary1

Ryan’s Rant:   NightMary is a fun book that really encapsulates the energy that comes from two creators who really love the art form of comics.  NightMary is an excellent book that brings the fun back to comics during an era where grim and gritty seems to be making a comeback. Thankfully this book is an oasis of fun and imaginative storytelling.  You can come to the show today and meet Peter and Enrique and check out their great book.

Eva Lacy

Eva is the owner of the Anaheim,CA based nerd-centric shop called Fan*Alley.  Fan*Alley is the kind of place that makes you feel like you’re on some secret mission to procure a rare and hard to find item and you’ve finally found the right outpost.  If you want something like a Death Star hat or a Tardis Apron, Fan*Alley would be my first destination.

Fanalley1

Ryan’s Rant:  While being an awesome artist in her own right, Eva’s store serves a major social service by providing artists a platform to share their art with the community.  There aren’t too many places where you can check out up and coming artists and browse all the nerdtastic merchandise and it’s great to know we have such a store here is Southern California.  Come pay Eva’s table a visit at the show today!

I want to thank each of the awesome exhibitors who will be attending today’s event!  This could not happen without you.  Thank you all so much!

As for you, dear readers, come and check out the big show today!  If you can’t make it, check back here for pictures and a rundown of the event!

 

 

 

 

Meet the Exhibitors: Let’s get ready to rumble (Artistically, of course)

May 21st is almost here…it’s over there, sitting at that bus stop, staring ominously at us!  What does it want!  WHAT!!!  Oh, that’s right, May 21st is the first annual NERDS OF MASS DISTRACTION FAN FEST!!! Yes, I need that in all caps with three, count ’em three exclamation points.  If you don’t know what the NERDS OF MASS DISTRACTION FAN FEST is, then….well, there’s just no hope for you.  Go, go and check yourself into that nice cozy asylum right now.  You know the one, it has those comfy velvet straight jackets and that friendly fella who thinks he’s Napoleon.  Go there and let the rest of us talk about the amazing events of May 21st.

From 12PM to 6PM TouchPoint Church (6100 Florence Ave. Bell Gardens, CA)  will be host to some amazing comic book artists and exhibitors.  There will be giveaways, contests, a movie screening and even a game show.  You know you want to be there, even if you are locked up in Arkham Asylum.

To get prepped, I’d like you all to meet some more amazing artists that will be attending this exciting event.    Russell Nohelty, Javier Hernandez and Daniel Ramirez A.K.A Bad Apple.

RUSSELL NOHELTY

Russell Nohelty gallery

Russell Nohelty is the publisher and founder of Wannabe Press. He decides to stop waiting for other people to validate him and build his own brand. His stuff is weird and entertaining, it’s thought provoking and fast paced. His stuff is not for everybody, and he knows that. He just hopes the people that dig his stuff love it 100andcrazy percent…because that’s how much he loves his work. He also runs The Business of Art podcast, which helps creatives builds better businesses through interviews and short lessons.  Wannabe Press creates weird books for weird people. They specialize in comics, novels, and kid’s books for rebellious weirdos that like to think. Their work is often uncomfortable and deals with the darkest depths of the human psyche. However, it’s also incredibly entertaining for the right people. If it seems like a dichotomy, it really is…but so is life.  Bio Prepared by Russell Nohelty

RYAN’S RANT:  Take a stroll (A digital stroll, you won’t have to move around, unless you want to, then use a tablet for this…) over to www.wannabepress.com  and check out Russell’s riveting word candy.  Mr. Nohelty one hell of a writer who works with some amazingly talented artists.  KATRINA HATES THE DEAD is flat out hilarious while also being gorgeously illustrated.  If you are feeling like horror humor is very much a dying (pun intended) art form, then KATRINA HATES THE DEAD will give you new hope.  The whole idea of survivors trying to live normal, wage slave lives right after the Rapture and the rise of creatures from hell is priceless.  Visit Russell at the NERDS OF MASS DISTRACTION FAN FEST!!! on May 21st.  If you don’t you might as well be a brainless zombie, and you know what the kick ass Katrina thinks of those brain munching slobs.

JAVIER HERNANDEZ

Javier Hernandez is a comic book creator and art instructor.  His creations include ‘El Muerto’,  ‘Maniac Priest’, ‘Weapon Tex-Mex’ and others which he publishes under his own imprint Los Comex. He’s also contributed to ‘The New Adventures of the Human Fly’, ‘The Charlton Arrow’ and ‘Hey Kids, Comics!’.  He’s been the subject of such books as ‘Your Brain on Latino Comics’ and ‘Graphic Borders: Latino Comics Past, Present & Future’. His comic ‘El Muerto’ was adapted as an award winning live-action feature film starring Wilmer Valderrama, for which Javier served as Associate Producer. Since 2003 he’s been teaching cartooning and comic book workshops throughout Southern California. In 2011 he co-founded the Latino Comics Expo, the nation’s premiere convention dedicated to showcasing the work of Latino comic creators.Visit him at www.javzilla.com and www.elmuerto.com  Bio Prepared by Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez Gallery.jpg

RYAN’S RANT:   The phrase “The House of Ideas” was coined back in Marvel’s hay day when Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were the hyper kinetic wonder twins of bold ideas and breathtaking art.  Mr. Hernandez is a one man house of ideas.  Who in a million years could have imagined that a comic book series about a young man who was sacrificed by Aztec Gods and returned to the land of the living as a weapon of vengeance would be such a fun read?  With his LOS COMEX imprint, Mr. Hernandez has crafted an awesome comic book universe full of fun and lively characters.  Where else can you find Felinus, a Pink Were-Panther who fights crime?  Nowhere!  Come on over to the NERDS OF MASS DISTRACTION FAN FEST on MAY 21st and meet him (Javier Hernandez, not Felinus!)  We guarantee that no one will be sacrificed to the Aztec Gods…unless you really have it coming…I’m talking to you, jerks who spoil Game of Thrones on Facebook!

DANIEL RAMIREZ/BAD APPLE

BAD APPLE GALLERY

                    Born and raised in Boyle Heights up until the age of 9 where we then moved to Bell until freshman year of high school. I ended up finishing high school in Sacramento and eventually moved back to the place I love calling home….Los Angeles where I am trying to build my comic book presence known as BadApple.  I had been creating art since Middle School but it wasn’t until a 10 year hiatus from 95’ to 05’ that I decided to pursue my dream of being a professional artist and returned to school where I got my bachelor in Media Arts and Animation at The Art Institute-Los Angeles. After graduating, I started to work as a concept artist for a small studio for a couple of years but it was then that I realized that my passion for comics was where my heart is at.
                       T.R.I.B.E. Studio Comics publisher and owner Scott Shehi gave me a break into the comic world in 08’ where I was the penciler for The Comic Bug #1 but due to my school schedule, I was unable to to meet my deadlines and #2 was never completed. I continued to help with marketing and making Con appearances with T.R.I.B.E. for next few year and once I graduated, I got the chance to get my creator owned comic book titled, Repo: Thief For Hire published through T.R.I.B.E.  I still work as a freelance artist and will continue to do studio work as a concept artist but my love for comics will always be in the forefront of my goals of being one of the best. Bio prepared by Daniel Ramirez 

 

RYAN’S RANTS:  Whether they are novelists, illustrators, graphic artists or film makers, most people working in the creative arts find themselves comfortably in a niche or stuck in a rut.  No one would ever expect AC/DC to produce an opera or for Quentin Tarantino to direct a Shrek Prequel and if these artists did step out of their comfort zones, there’s a good chance the results wouldn’t be very promising.  DANIEL RAMIREZ shatters boundaries by being an amazingly versatile artist.  Daniel’s art is proof that he is among those rare artists who can tackle many styles and genres and still maintain the superb quality that they’ve always displayed.  Just take a look of that Mum Ra tribute he did!  As a Thundercats fan, I immediately wept a tear of joy when I saw that!     Take a bite of the BAD APPLE and visit his awesome site http://badappledesignz.com/   to see his amazing work in animation, concept design and the eye throttlingly cool book REPO:  THIEF FOR HIRE.  Daniel and his art alter ego BAD APPLE will be appearing at the NERDS OF MASS DISTRACTION FAN FEST!!! Come on by on May 21st and say hello!

Meet the Exhibitors Part 1: The Bell Gardens Trio

We are just a few weeks away from the first annual Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan fest!  To get you all prepped for the big day, May 21st, 2016 I’d like you to meet the artists and exhibitors coming to the event. (The event will be held at TouchPoint Church 6100 Florence Ave. Bell Gardens, CA from 12pm-6pm)

For this first round of exhibitors, I’d like you to meet three Bell Garden’s Natives; Artists Ruben Gerard, Rafael Navarro and Jose Guillen.  These three gentlemen are truly gifted artists and the good people of Bell Gardens should be proud.  In the immortal words of Lavar Burton from Reading Rainbow (And more importantly Star Trek: The Next Generation)….But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Let their eye bulgingly astonishing art speak for itself.  (Caution:  Your eyes may be so enamored by the glorious art that you’ll require five gallons of Visine to switch back to normal…)

RUBEN GERARD

Ruben Gerard Gallery

Ruben Gerard was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States when he was 3, growing up in Bell Gardens, CA.  Ruben’s loves were (and still are) Rock and Roll, Classic comedians such as Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Lucille Ball and Comic Books, especially the works of the legendary Jack Kirby.  All of these inspirations are seamlessly woven into his art, specifically his two comic strips Penny Strikes and Whatly.  Gerard currently lives in Fullerton where he also shares office/studio space with Max Espinosa, his long-time business and creative associate in the arts.  Max and his other creative soul brother (fellow Bell Gardens alumni and creator of Somnambulo), Rafael Navarro can often be seen sketching and enjoying cervesas at the Bell Gardens American Legion Hall, home of The Cochran Club, an events organization co-founded by Ruben, his brother Robert, and Rafael to honor the famous Rock N’ Roll legend, Eddie Cochran, a past Bell Gardens resident as well. In September of this year, Ruben will be going to The Cochran Club to wed Eileen Burgess, a social worker, devoted mother, and Buddhist, who shares with Ruben a love for art, music, and laughter.  Adapted from a Bio prepared by Max Espinosa

RYAN’S RANT:  If you’re a fan of retro art that transports you back to a time when Chuck Berry was blasting on the radio and Jack Kirby was molding the Marvel Universe one character at a time, then you’ll love Ruben Gerard’s work.  As you can see from the samples, Ruben is an amazingly versatile artist who can tackle multiple genres.  Come on down to the Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan Fest on May 21st and say hi!

 

JOSE GUILLEN

Jose Guillen gallery

Bell Gardens Native Jose Guillen is an incredible artist with  an impressive body of work stretching from comic books to working on major big-budget Hollywood Projects.  Jose has worked as a storyboard and concept artist for various film studios.  Beyond film, Jose has worked for many of the major publishers including MARVEL, IMAGE COMICS and TOP COW.  Jose has worked iconic projects such as DEADPOOL, THE DARKNESS, and WEAPON ZERO.   While many of the film projects Jose is working on are still in development and under wraps, Jose’s comic work can be seen on both his blog http://scribbleous.blogspot.com/  and his deviant art page http://nam3l3ss.deviantart.com/

RYAN’S RANT:  While on his blog Jose goes under the nom de plume Scribble Monkey, it would be more fitting if he called himself Scribble Monkey a.k.a Jedi Master of art.  Jose’s pencils are exquisite, rendering some amazing images that are more than just great comic art, they’re universally awesome.  His work on The Darkness (My Favorite of the Top Cow characters) is stellar.  Come and gaze at Jose at work at the Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan Fest on May 21st.  (Don’t gaze too long or you’ll be dubbed “That weirdo who keeps gazing”)

RAFAEL NAVARRO

Rafael Navarro Art Samples

Classically trained in illustration and fine art, Rafael works as an animation storyboard artist for various major studios, earning him a daytime Emmy.  His work can be seen on shows such as THE BATMAN, SCOOBY DOO, RUGRATS, MUCHA LUCHA, JUSTICE LEAGUE, TUTENSTEIN, STRIPPERELLA and MARVEL SUPER SQUAD, Lego’s HERO FACTORY, and WACKY RACES just to name a few, and still manages to make time for his first love: COMICS! His Xeric Award Winning  cult classic SONAMBULO is still going strong after 20 years, being published in various other languages including Spanish, French and Croatian. His latest book, GUNS A’ BLAZIN’ co-created with Mike Wellman, a science fiction western, is slowly becoming a revered classic. Check him out at Facebook.com/rafael.navarro and on Instagram: rafael_navarro007   Bio Prepared by Rafael Navarro

RYAN’S RANT:  Guns A’Blazin!  That title alone is all I really need to say to give you a peek into the fun, masterfully crafted world of Bell Gardens Native Rafael Navarro.  However, with Rafael there is so much more to experience.  Rafael has an extensive body of work and as you can imagine everything he touches is made extra special because of him.  Just look at that Batman drawing, it truly captures the raw, unfiltered edginess of the early Batman strips while still remaining polished, sleek and modern.  Come on down to Bell Gardens on May 21st and hang out with Rafael.  (Warning:  Excessive hanging out will result in the issuance of a restraining order)

Well there you have it, our first batch of exhibitors at the 1st annual Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan Fest, the Bell Gardens Trio.  I hope that you can make it down on the big day and visit with these extraordinary artists.  It’s sure to be a blast!

Stay tuned to meet more of the amazing people who will be attending the show!!!

Stay Nerdy, my friends.

 

 

 

Announcing the Nerds of Mass Distraction Fan Fest!

Hello, interwebs!  Okay, it’s been a long, long time since we last spoke and I’m really sorry about that.  Really I am.  I had a lot on my plate, what with life being what it is and not a whole lot of time was given to this blog and for that, I apologize.  To make up for all that lost time I thought the only sensible thing would be to start a comic fan fest.

nerds flyer final

So, if you’re in the area of 6100 Florence Ave. In Bell Gardens, CA on May 21st, Please stop by!  There will be a lot of amazing comic creators there and chances to win prizes, watch a fun movie, buy food and comics!  Watch this space for more info on the event and for more Nerds of Mass Distraction Goodness.

Nerd Word: More random quotes, quips and rage pulled out of the magic comic drawer.

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It’s been a while, so let’s get back on the nerd wagon with our favorite new game, Nerd Word where I give you random, probably meaningless thoughts that just appear in my mind.

  1. Why didn’t Darkwing Duck ever cross over with the cast of the Ducktales show?  We know it exists in the same Duck related universe.  After all, Launchpad McQuack is in both shows.  Didn’t Scrooge McDuck ever need the services of a ruthless Duck vigilante?  I bet Darkwing Duck would have mopped the floor with those bastard Beagle Boys.
What the?  Mad Madam Mim from Sword in the Stone crossed over with the Beagle Boys?  They're not even in the same anthropomorphic sort of Universe!

What the? Mad Madam Mim from Sword in the Stone crossed over with the Beagle Boys? They’re not even in the same anthropomorphic sort of Universe!

  1. I really liked the Flash Television series, that show was spot on the entire season. There were characters that NOBODY thought they would touch, such as Grodd, the talking, telepathic killer Gorilla.  But the show proved everyone wrong and they made characters like Grodd fun and appealing.  This also has to be the first show to have a spin off (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow….more on that in a moment) announced before the first season even ended.  Okay, so it is a spin-off of characters from the Arrow and the Flash, but it still counts as a Flash spin off.
  1. Speaking of the Flash, wasn’t that Season Finale freaking amazing? For all you comic “fans” who bash the Flash because it is on CW….shut the heck up.  The show had one of the coolest, most cinematic, comic book inspired cliff hangers to date and still managed to feature incredibly touching scenes where Barry Allen (The Flash, in case you didn’t know) finally had to make a choice on whether or not he will travel through time to save his mother…..I won’t give spoilers, but I cried.  Don’t judge me!
"Why is it that if you have to go to the bathroom really bad, the closer you get to the bathroom, the worse that feeling gets?"

“Why is it that if you have to go to the bathroom really bad, the closer you get to the bathroom, the worse that feeling gets?”

  1. Agents of SHIELD had an amazing season this year that blew last year’s hit and miss season away. This season had an ageless Nazi, a brainwashed Shield assassin with agent Mae’s face, The Absorbing Man, and the reveal of Skye’s father.  We also saw a SHIELD versus SHIELD rivalry introducing Edward James Olmos as a SHIELD operative eyeing for Director Coulson’s job.  At its core though, the season solved the mystery of Skye’s parents while at the same time introducing us to the concept of Inhumans, characters who are exposed to a mystical alien mist and transform into their “true potential”.  Sometimes that means becoming a prophetic hedgehog, other times that means being a teleporter without any eyes.  The season had really good, movie quality special effects and actually introduced dozens of real comic book inspired characters and concepts.
  2. How come Batman doesn’t dance anymore?
Pure West!

Pure West!

  1. I have a feeling my four year old daughter has a secret stash of Oreos hidden somewhere in the house. It’s sort of like the cookie equivalent of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine.
  1. I am trying to convince my teenage daughter to drop her current phone and be “retro” by getting one of those giant Motorola phones radio shack used to sell back in the 80s.
  2. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow looks like it will be the type of Justice League style show fans really want to watch.  Hell, it will probably be better than the Zack Snyder Justice League movie.  This is a time travel based team made up of Firestorm, Hawkgirl, the resurrected Orignal Black Canary, The Atom/Ray Palmer, The Flash, The Arrow, Captain Cold and Heatwave.  How could this not be amazing?  Seeing how well this creative team did the Flash, this seems to be an amazing show.
  3. I have been binge watching episodes of the Critic and have come to the conclusion that Duke Phillips is one of the greatest American heroes we will ever have….even if he is a fictional character.

Gems of the New 52: The Robin Rises Saga

I hate being a Nega-Nerd (A nerd who is super negative) however, I often complain about DC Comics’ New 52.  Trashing decades of established history, tradition and storytelling and transforming beloved characters into easy to market products just seems wrong to me.  When storytellers are beholden to the whims of corporate executives, share holders and focus groups, the end result rarely ever yields any creativity, originality or imagination.  The jokers in the business boardrooms know nothing beyond making money…screw storytelling.

"Did somebody call for Business Joker?  And what's wrong with making money?"

“Did somebody call for Business Joker? And what’s wrong with making money?”

 

However, even with the storytelling by committee model, there are a few great adventures that squeeze through the cracks.  Robin Rises has shaped up to be one of the coolest Batman stories since the confining New 52 project began.  Like everything else related to the New 52, Robin Rises is attached to a little unnecessary confusion.  As I mentioned in the previous post, the New 52 boiled down the careers of all the heroes to just 5 years.  So here are the stats for the first five years of New 52 Batman: In Five years: Batman is killed and resurected, has 4 Robins (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne) , 2 spin-off female allies (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Batwoman/Kathy Kane), 2 Robins killed (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 2 Robins Resurrected (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 3 Robins take on other aliases (Grayson is Nightwing, Jason Todd is Red Hood and Tim Drake is Red Robin) 

That’s a lot in five years.  So here is the quick back up story for Robin Rises.  Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son and sidekick is murdered by his mother, Talia Al Ghul because he defected to his father’s side.

Batman butters his bread  Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down....the sure sign of EVIL.

Batman butters his bread Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down….the sure sign of EVIL.

Robin Rises sees Bruce Wayne go on an insane search for a way to bring his son back to life. Batman discovers that Damian’s body has been stolen by his arch foe, Ra’s Al Ghul (And Damian’s grandpapy).

 

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh...he never went on evil crusades...that we knew of.

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh…he never went on evil crusades…that we knew of.

Ra’s seeks to use his knowledge of Lazurus Pits and ancient resurrection techniques to bring Damian back and brainwash him. This leads to an awesome series of “Road Trip” Style of adventures pairing Batman with the likes of Batgirl, Red Hood, Aquaman, and even Frankenstein’s Monster as they try to stop Ra’s.  The adventure takes a crazy turn when Glorious Godfrey, the elite assassin of Darkseid, the alien from Apokolips whom had previously sent Batman’s consciousness on a trip through time shows up to steal Damian’s body.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

This leads Batman to take on the Justice League and steal and experimental suit and the Boom Tube teleportation devices that can take him to Apokolips.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

Eventually Batman and his whole crew end up on Apokolips where they go toe to toe with legions of aliens bent on death and destruction.   The whole story is just as fun and entertaining as the comics I grew up reading and never once does the story seem like it was dictated by share holders.  There is no way this sprawling mega epic (Spanning 23 issues in total if you count Damian’s death and the Road to Resurrection story line….and you should!)  could ever be made into a movie and that’s part of what makes it so great.  These are comics made for comics sake.  This story was designed for original fans, not just some schmuck who saw Dark Knight Rises and wants to see what all this Batman Comic Book fuss is all about.  Personally I would have tolerated the Nolan films more if they didn’t have Christian Bale in them….maybe Adam West.

With Joan Collins as Talia Al Ghul and Sammy Davis Jr. as Bane!

There is a lot to love here for Batman fans.  I highly recommend reading the whole saga as well as going back before the New 52 and checking out the Grant Morrison stories that brought the world Damian Wayne.  I hope that you enjoyed this installment.  I shall see you  Next time when we shall be checking out Grant Morrison’s Multiversity. 

Gems of the New 52. Part One: A quick Primer on the New 52

DC comics has a long, lavish history that any writer, artist and reader could dig into.  Since the DC comic book universe was established waaaaaay back in 1938 with the debut of Superman in Action Comics # 1, the Universe had just been expanding and expanding.  Then in 1985 DC had a company wide event called Crisis on Infinite Earths in which a cosmic villain wiped out almost all of DC’s alternate realities.  Wait, you’re not following all this?  Oh sorry.  Excuse me for one moment then while I issue a….

If you are not a nerd go watch a Kardashian or something then come back later.

If you are not a nerd go watch a Kardashian or something then come back later.

Why am I even issuing a warning?  You're the one reading a blog called "Nerds of Mass Distraction"

Why am I even issuing a warning? You’re the one reading a blog called “Nerds of Mass Distraction”

We now resume or regular scheduled Nerd Fest:  

Crisis on Infinite Earths was meant to clean up some of the inconsistencies in the story lines but it didn’t really do its job.  This led to the revamped Post-Crisis continuity where Superman never fought crime as Superboy.  Other clean up events such as Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis attempted to trim down the seemingly unwieldy continuity but nothing really stuck.  By 2009 DC actually embraced a lot of its past, Superman now fought crime as Superboy in the past (Sort of, he at least joined up with the Legion of Superheroes as a teen), Barry Allen (The Silver Age Flash, who was killed off in 85’s Crisis) returned as the Flash.  It looked as if the DCU was just going to expand on its large history and grow larger and larger.

Then in December of 2009, Disney bought Marvel.  As strange as it sounds, that one real life business deal managed to change the fictional DCU.  With a plan to take the already successful Marvel Studios films and expand upon them, Disney was set to build yet another entertainment empire.  Before the Disney buy out in December, the muckity mucks at AOL/Time-Warner already knew the move was going to happen, so in September the mega company announced that they would be folding DC Comics into the already established DC Entertainment division.  What does this all mean?  Soon the company ejected the well established leadership whom all been veterans in the comic book industry and announced that entertainment industry insider Diane Nelson would be the new President of DCE.

The next President of DC Entertainment...

The next President of DC Entertainment…

So the suits from the second largest entertainment company were now running one of the biggest comic book companies in order to compete with the other biggest comic company which was just taken over by the biggest entertainment company….confused?  The funny thing, so was AOL/Time Warner.  In their panic to compete, they didn’t realize that Disney was taking a hands off approach to running Marvel.  Their policy was to just allow Marvel to run itself and continue to prosper.  Yeah, there has been a lot of cross-pollination with the Marvel Studios films but other than that Disney has kept its eyes on the films….and toys and theme parks and shirts and cheap crap made in china….but they let the comic book company continue to run itself.

That meant keeping this guy as far away from the comics as possible by distracting him with cameo appearances in every Marvel Movie for the next century.

That meant keeping this guy as far away from the comics as possible by distracting him with cameo appearances in every Marvel Movie for the next century.

…The first order of business for Diane Nelson and the DCE?  To ditch the long established history and remold the 70+ year old characters into properties that would make great movies.  DC used the plot of the horrendous Flash Point Mini-Series to rewrite the company’s history.  The Flash’s arch foe, the Reverse Flash goes back in time all Marty McFly style to mess with the Flash and ends up changing history.  This creates a crazy ass tangent world where Biff Tannen now runs Hill Valley and Metropolis…or something like that.

 

"Do you think I gotta chance with Lois Lane?"

“Do you think I gotta chance with Lois Lane?”

When the Flash uses his super speed mystic mojo whama jamma powers to set things straight, there is some other crazy woman in the time stream (We find out she’s Pandora and she’s nothing special so just move along…) and she messes up the proper timeline.  So now from this point on (2011), all of the major DCU characters have only been around for 5 years. The company debut 52 brand new # 1 issues.  The cosmic reset button had been pressed and everything starts anew….except it didn’t.  A lot of writers and artists who had existing books and huge running storylines threatened to quit if their stories were scrapped for this reboot.  DC agreed that the writers could keep their stories intact when the reboot hit.  What we ended up with was a lot of weird inconsistencies.  Grant Morrison had been writing his mega Batman opus since 2006 and he drew a lot from the character’s past.  This was the story of a Batman who had 3 sidekicks named Robin over a long career.  He learns that he has a ten year old son, Damian with his arch foe Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter Talia….Then he gets killed by a monomaniacal alien dictator named Darkseid and finds himself hopping through time like in Quantum Leap.  Batman’s first Robin, Dick Grayson (Who was also Nightwing) takes the mantle and Damian Wayne becomes Robin.  Then Bruce Wayne returns and announces to the world that he “finances” all of Batman’s tech and creates an international team of Bat themed super heroes.  That’s a big whopping story that took over six years to tell.  Well, once New 52 hit….all of that stuff I just mentioned still happened in Batman’s life, but in five years.

Not to mention the nearly ten year Green Lantern saga Geoff Johns was crafting was still part of the New 52.  So a lot of the history was jettison and the stuff that stayed was all crammed into the amazingly unbelievable time frame of just five years.

Needless to say, The New 52 seemed like a construct for making money, not for honoring the fans of a lush history.  Most of the books in the initial New 52 line up were canned pretty quickly.  Of course, all the core heroes stayed but many of the other titles didn’t make it.  Overall, many of the stories read like safe, committee made tales that are afraid to push any kind of envelope out of fear of alienating someone who wants to read the comics when the movies are released.  However, with that said all of that said there have been some amazing gems in the new 52 Manure pile.

"Manure!  Why is it always Manure!"

“Manure! Why is it always Manure!”

 

Next time we will start off our Gems of the New 52 series with the Robin Rises saga!