Archive for April, 2007

2007 Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Famers announced

April 30, 2007 | News

There’s nothing like becoming a hall of famer. The Joe Shuster Awards Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall Of Fame will welcome four new members at the annual awards ceremony on June 9 and the weight of the honour is not lost on one of the new inductees. “I’m very pleased about it. Of course, what else would you be?” said Toronto’s Gerald “Jerry” Lazare, 79, who is being inducted for his work on the “Canadian whites”, comics produced in this country during World War II. “It’s great. I was only 16 when I did those comics and I’ve made my living as an artist ever since,” added Lazare, who transitioned from comics to a highly successful career as an illustrator and eventually into an acclaimed career as a fine arts painter. Joining Lazare in the Class of 2007 are Jacques Hurtubise, A.K.A. Zyx, whose work includes the creation of the popular Sombre Vilain comic for the French-language magazine Le Jour back in the 1970s; the late Albert Chartier, whose work spanned from the 1930s through the 70s and included the beloved characters Onésime and Séraphin; and the late Howard “Gene” Day, a pioneer in the Canadian alternative comics scene in the 1970s and later a successful artist on many projects for Marvel Comics, including Master Of Kung-Fu and Star Wars. The induction of these four creators will be held along with the annual Joe Shuster Awards presentation at the Holiday Inn, 370 King St. W., in Toronto at 8 p.m. Members of the public are welcome. For more information, check out

Truth, Justin And The American Way

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Truth, Justin And The American Way Aaron Williams, Scott Kurtz, Guiseppe Ferrario Image Comics $14.99 US (Paperback) **** 1/2 (out of five) There’s gunplay, fisticuffs, abundant use of alcohol and plenty of other adult-type stuff in Truth, Justin And The American Way, but that’s not the reason why you should be at least 25 to read it. The reality is that while this silly and superb miniseries — written by Aaron Williams and PVP creator Scott Kurtz and wonderfully illustrated by Italy’s Guiseppe Ferrario — is packed with enough laughs and action for anyone to enjoy, it’s homage to the 80s that might be wasted on those too young to remember living through the decade. First off, there are guest appearances by darned near every major TV and film character of the time, from the Six Million Dollar Man to the Dukes Of Hazzard to T.J. Hooker and Alice. There’s also the undeniable similarity to the cult-classic 80’s series, The Greatest American Hero (and the book’s antagonist bears a striking resemblance to one of the show’s star’s, Robert Culp). For those who don’t have vivid memories of the “me” decade, TJ&AW is still fun look at the lengths a man will go to impress a woman and a classic “loser overcomes the odds” tale. It’ll just be a little funnier for us fogies.

Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes Vol. 1

April 30, 2007 | Comics

Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes Vol. 1 Camilla d’Errico, Joshua Dysart Del Rey Manga $16/$12.95 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) If you were to offer any Avril Lavigne fan five wishes, chances are that meeting the Canadian rock star in person is high on the list. As a matter of fact, a quick look at a bunch of posts at reveals that this is, in fact, the case. But Hana, the star of the new manga book, Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes, doesn’t make that wish when she really is given a quartet of whatever she wants — because she sees Avril all the time. The Napanee, Ont., rock princess is Hana’s imaginary friend and conscience in the book, which follows the sometimes-lonely life of a teen girl and the lengths she’ll go to in order to break out of her dreary routine. When Hana goes online and orders a package guaranteed to make her dreams come true, she gets far more than she bargained for. Can Avril help keep her on the right path? Strangely compelling stuff from the creative team of Camilla d’Errico and Joshua Dysart (with a little help from Avril).

Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy Joe Kubert DC Comics $21.99/$17.99 US (Paperback) **** (out of five) Sgt. Rock and the soldiers of Easy Company know war is hell, but they never imagined a mission that would get them so close to it. Legendary writer/artist Joe Kubert returns to the characters that made him a comic book icon with a smart and sensitive story that sees them caught between German and Soviet forces on a mission that could change history. As Rock and his crew battle through Eastern Europe in 1943, they face enemies on all sides — and from above as the cold and snow of winter loom — as they try to deliver a mysterious package to its extraction point. And while they’ve been on plenty of missions and seen death in spades, nothing can prepare them for what they find in the cold wasteland. Nobody tells war stories like Joe Kubert and getting to read fresh material from this 80-year-old creator is an amazing treat.

Loveless Vol. 2: Thicker Than Blackwater

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Loveless Vol. 2: Thicker Than Blackwater Brian Azzarello, Marcello Frusin, Danijel Zezelj, Werther Dell’edera Vertigo/DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 *** 1/2 (out of five) Wes Cutter’s done a darned fine job of pissing off nearly every person in the town of Blackwater. And he’s only just begun. Cutter is just settling into his new job and the most unwelcome sheriff in the post-civil war West — thanks to an appointment by the Northern Lawson Company — when two locals are found hacked to pieces in a murder reminiscent of a slaughter Cutter was part of during the war. So on top of being thought of as a Yankee-loving turncoat and ne’er-do-well, now folks are thinking he’s a murderer. Not quite what he and his wife, Ruth, had in mind when they set out to make the people of Blackwater pay for the crimes of the past. Writer Brian Azzarello and artists Marcelo Frusin, Danijel Zezelj and Werther Dell’edera make sure Loveless continues to be the most wonderfully seedy and sordid Western comic around.

Cross Bronx

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Cross Bronx Michael Avon Oeming, Ivan Brandon Image Comics $14.99 US (Paperback) **** (out of five) There’re dead bodies everywhere, piles of parts and brains and blood and while Det. Rafael Aponte has a pretty good idea who’s slaughtering gang-bangers all over the Bronx, the answer is impossible. Or is it? Aponte and his partner, Tico Velez, track the murder weapon from the first killings back to a cop who was killed in the line of duty. When they track down the cop’s widow, she reveals her 19-year-old daughter, Maria, was recently kidnapped, raped and hurled out of a moving car onto the Cross Bronx Expressway, leaving her paraplegic and in a coma. Making matters more confusing is the fact the murderer Aponte and Velez are looking for fits Maria’s description. Blending the best cop dramas and adding a twist of the supernatural, co-creators Michael Avon Oeming (Powers, Thor) and Ivan Brandon (NYC Mech) deliver a truly engrossing and compelling crime book.

Robin: Wanted

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Robin: Wanted Adam Beechen, Freddie Williams II, Karl Kerschl DC Comics $15.99/$12.99 US (Paperback) **** (out of five) Robin’s in for the weirdest week of his life — one that sees an old friend become a new enemy and an old enemy become, well, sort of a friend. Things get off to a bizarre start with someone framing Robin for the murder of Batgirl (not really her, but someone in her costume) and a citywide manhunt to bring the Boy Wonder to justice. As he works to prove his innocence, the hero quickly realizes the only way he’ll be able to prove his innocence is to find his friend. But where is the real Batgirl? Meanwhile, a face from the past with ties to Robin’s father’s murder comes to town looking for the hero’s help. But can the Boy Wonder put aside his feelings about his dad’s death long enough to save the city from a deadly attack? Robin was one of the few “One Year Later” comics that DC nailed on the first try and the creative team of writer Adam Beechen (Teen Titans), Freddie Williams II (Seven Soldiers) and Karl Kerschl (Adventures Of Superman) have quickly taken the Boy Wonder to new heights.

Batman: Detective

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Batman: Detective Paul Dini, Royal McGraw, Don Kramer, J.H. Williams III, Joe Benitez, Marcos Marz DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback) **** (out of five) Say goodbye to Batman: Superhero and welcome back The Dark Knight Detective. As part of DC’s “One Year Later” event, which saw many its monthly series fast forward 365 days, the company handed the reigns of one of its longest-running series, Detective Comics, starring Batman, over to a man who’s come to learn a lot about the character over the past decade, Paul Dini. Dini, the Emmy Award-winning writer behind the highly popular Batman: The Animated Series, quickly gets the Dark Knight back to his roots with a series of stand-alone issues each featuring a different crime for the great detective to solve. The result is some of the best Bat-stories in recent memory fantastically drawn by artists Don Kramer, J.H. Williams III, Joe Benitez and Marcos Marz.

Green Arrow: Crawling Through The Wreckage

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Green Arrow: Crawling Through The Wreckage Judd Winick, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens DC Comics $15.99/$12.99 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) They took him out and blew up half his city — now Oliver Queen’s got two ways to get even. As the vigilante/superhero Green Arrow, Queen helps clean up the streets after a devastating attack by several of his enemies left many homeless and tore the economic heart out of his beloved Star City. And to spur that economy, millionaire Oliver Queen has become Mayor Queen and is actively finding ways to revitalize the community — including rejecting a multi-billion dollar project that would have turned the city into nothing but condos and casinos and would further wound the poorest locals. That rejection leads to the hiring of an assassin to “take care” of the mayor and the would-be murderer in question just happens to be Green Arrow’s old nemesis, Deathstroke. Can the hero save the mayor from the world’s deadliest killer and still manage to keep his identity safe? This first “One Year Later” Green Arrow book by writer Judd Winick (Outsiders) and the art team of Scott McDaniel (Nightwing) and Andy Owens (Batman), is clearly a response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and while it’s hard to swallow the slightly preachy message, watching GA and Deathstroke go toe-to-toe for 22 pages is worth buying any book.

Secret Six: Six Degrees Of Devastation

April 30, 2007 | Trades

Secret Six: Six Degrees Of Devastation Gail Simone, Brad Walker, Jimmy Palmiotti DC Comics $17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback) *** 1/2 (out of five) They bucked the system and made enemies of over 200 of the world’s nastiest villains. You had to know payback was coming. That doesn’t make matters any easier when the Secret Six — Catman, Deadshot, Ragdoll, Knockout and Scandal (their sixth member Parademon died just prior to Infinite Crisis) — start finding themselves staring down the barrels of assassin’s guns. Managing to survive the first salvo pretty much intact, the big question this team of rogues has is: Which one of those hundreds of baddies ordered the hits? The answer and the true reasons behind it will open many old wounds and definitely adds some new ones in this fast-paced sequel to the highly popular Villains United, courtesy writer Gail Simone (Birds Of Prey) and artists Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti.