Tag Archives: Astro City

2017 Eisner Award Nominees

Kill or Be Killed, Saga, Paper Girls, Black Hammer, Criminal,  Astro City, Mockingbird & Beasts of Burden appear to be the nomination leaders. Details below Continue reading 2017 Eisner Award Nominees

2015 Eisner Award Nominations

Pax Americana
Nominees below. Details via Comic-Con.org

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Freeze Frame 4/9/2014

Greatest city in the world-Pat from Shutter #1 by Liela del Duca
Greatest city in the world-Pat from Shutter #1 by Liela del Duca


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Indubitable Issues




Dean wants you to take notice of…
AUAvengers Undercover #2
One of my favorite series last year was Avengers Arena.  I got attached to these characters, most of which I didn’t know prior to the series.  Avengers Undercover is the after math of Avengers Arena. If you missed out last year don’t miss out this year.  Add Avengers Undercover to your pull list and thank me later.
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Freeze Frame: Best Moments of the Week 3/14/14

Beast of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers #1 Jill Thompson
Beast of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers #1
Jill Thompson
Beast of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers #1
Jill Thompson

Continue reading Freeze Frame: Best Moments of the Week 3/14/14

Hess House Best of Intellectual Property 2013

I freaking love comics. So many comics. Too many to put in one single list. We all like different things. Some of us like big two comics. Other’s may prefer large publisher creator owned work while other’s dig the small press. I like all of that. I’ll cover my favorites from the different corners of comic book publishing over the month of December. 

For this week I’ll be covering Intellectual Property from outside DC and Marvel

images (3)

Being a publisher that doesn’t feature The Avengers or Batman is a tough sell. Engaging your audience with characters that exist outside of the mainline of traditional superhero’s can be an uphill battles. One way for companies to stay afloat or even thrive is to use intellectual property with a name recognition that keep’s the orders coming in and the lights on. It’s much easier to sell whoever your buyer is on a name with some kind of proven track record in pop culture then what can feel like a hit or miss investment on new creator  owned properties. This list is an approximation for all the non Marvel or DC mainline intellectual property comics that transcend what can appear as a blatant cash grab for excellent comic book product. Honorable mention to Valliant titles Archer and Armstrong, Eternal Warrior XO Manawar and Unity that just barely missed the cut mostly because I just started reading a lot of that in the last six months, Brian Wood’s excellent Star Wars ongoing, Layman’s and Sam Keith’s Alien series that was orginally printed in Dark Horse Presents before being collected in hardcover format, Joe Hill’s new mini series The Wraith and Howard Chaykin’s super fun PoliSciFi take on Buck Rogers Now on to the list

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Opening Doors in Astro City

Alex Ross

One of the common clichés of life is that we should leave no door unopened. As a general sentiment, I would whole heartedly agree. Part of maturing is sampling different experiences; otherwise, how will we ever know if what we have is what we want? How could we ever grow? Yet, part of maturity is also knowing when to look at a door, and, no matter how tempting, recognize that this is not the right one for you. Anyone can throw themselves into anything hoping for the best; the wise know when to pause for consideration.

This theme is explored in issue six of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. Astro City is a series centered in the fictional metropolis of the same name, populated by many colorful costumed heroes. However, instead of concentrating on larger than life superpowered beings, Busiek often focuses instead on the lives of everyday people, in this case a man by the name of Thatcher Jerome.

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Review of Astro City #17

Alex Ross

Astro City #17 by Kurt Busiek, Tom Grummett & Various

When readers first see The Honor Guard, it is an innocuous moment: Red Cake Day. Once a year, a large spread of red baked goods mysteriously materialize in their headquarters. This time, though, something, or someone appears as well. His name is Eth and he comes from a subatomic realm. He is weighed down by great guilt for a past action which is somehow tied in with Red Cake Day. Only, Eth refers to it as Sorrowsday.

Eth belongs to the Quiqui-A. Their central purpose is harvesting a red grain called Jhef which also grants them precognitive abilities. One day they have the vision of a creature called Krigari. Krigari is the living embodiment of the expression “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Each life he ends, every world he razes makes him more powerful. Races die at his hand. His armada steadily makes its way through the realms. Sooner or later, it will reach the Qui-qui.
Continue reading Review of Astro City #17

Why Aren’t You Reading This? 9/11/13

Each week, the NBC Staff will share various comics we think are worthy to be your pull list.  These issues will be picked based upon just how excited we are for them to come out.  We dig them and you might too.

Feel free to let us know what YOU think WE should buy in the comment section below.

Please, sir, I want some more…Ukerupp thinks you should try:

3301980-05aX-Men #5 (Marvel Comics)
Brian Wood and David Lopez

After the exciting opening issue
BotA #1 and the beautiful ANXM #16,
I cannot wait for the next installment
of what may end up being my favorite
Marvel event in A LONG time.
Brian Wood has crafted an intriguing
team, and it should be fun to see where
this will go.  So, come on.  Follow.

Continue reading Why Aren’t You Reading This? 9/11/13

Review of Astro City #10

Astro City #10Astro City #10 by Kurt Busiek & Brent Eric Anderson

For the past three issues, readers have watched as Winged Victory’s life has crumbled apart around her. She had always prided herself on being more than simply a super-powered heroine, but also a role-model. She saw herself as a shining example to other women that they never had to accept being beaten down in any sense. To this end she opened women’s centers which were more than shelters for troubled women. These centers gave women a place to heal and learn. Most importantly, it gave them the space to find not merely a purpose for their lives, but the strength to realize it. In many ways, it is the good works of these centers that Winged Victory considers her greatest legacy.

So, when the villain Karnazon, sets about destroying Winged Victory’s life, he begins with sabotaging her work with women. He replaces former residents with doubles who smear Victory’s good name. These imposters claim she was always in league with the criminals she battled, their fights as faked as any film brawl. Her real motive was to lure unsuspecting women to her centers where she would turn them into cogs for her malicious enterprises. Winged Victory challenges these accusations as strongly as possible, while the falsified evidence continues to accumulate. Yet even if she does clear her name in a court of law, what of public opinion? Could it ever be possible for to recover her good will with the people?

Throughout this arc, Busiek has revisited the conflict which Winged Victory feels within herself. She is grateful for the support and assistance from fellow heroes The Confessor and Samaritan (the latter also being her lover), yet cannot shake the sensation that she should be working alone. How can she be a role model of independence for women, when she requires help from men herself? Shouldn’t she be able to do it all on her own? Busiek elaborates this theme when Winged Victory is summoned before The Council of Nike. The Council is a gathering of women who bestowed on Winged Victory her powers for the sole purposes of being a role model to women. The Council begins by berating Winged Victory for the bad publicity, yet, quickly moves to what they consider to be her worst offense: publically allying herself with Samaritan and other male heroes. The Council seems to imply that the second charge has tarnished her more in their eyes than the first.

The answer that Winged Victory ultimately gives The Council is one which accepts both potential and limitation. There are times when it is good to stand alone, while there are others when comrades are necessary. She is not a trophy for Samaritan to brag about, or an ornament amidst the male members of The Honor Guard. No, she is their equal who has earned her place in their ranks. Does she rely on them? At times, sure, just as at others her aid is required by them. She knows that she is not perfect, yet what use would she be if she were a perfect role model? Her imperfections make her human, something to which we can all relate. During the course of this issue, a role is played by an ordinary young man, who had come to Winged Victory seeking shelter, something never granted to a male applicant. Winged Victory sees a great potential in this young man, musing if maybe he could grow into a great hero himself someday, even if his heroism consists of nothing more than being “a good man who’ll leave the world a better place than he found it.”

Time and again, Busiek returns to stories of everyday people swept into the sphere of heroes. He uses this perspective not only to maintain a sense of wonder, but also that of example. As readers, it’s easy to look at Captain America or Superman or Winged Victory and say “of course they have the ability to do the right thing—for them it’s simple.” Busiek reminds us of the power of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. (For an early example, think back to the chapter of Marvels where Phil Sheldon wrestles with mutant prejudice). None of us live in isolation from others. We have our support systems, our friends and family who lend us strength in the tough times. In return, we lend a hand or provide a shoulder when it is their turn. Even if all we do is help a friend through a troubling time in life, we have made a difference. Within our own tiny corner of the world, we have left things better than we found it.

Busiek is working at the height of his powers in this issue and the results are truly lovely.