Archive for April, 2010

Next Book Club – A Distant Soil

April 23rd, 2010 by Martin

Pretty- (ok, super-) short notice for our next comic book book club. This is Susie’s pick, and she’ll be in town for the book club! We’ll be reading A Distant Soil, Vol. 1, by Colleen Doran.

The usual location (Marty & Florence’s place), probably around the usual time (say 3 PM?) on Sunday, May 2nd.

That’s only a week and a couple of days to get your eyes on this comic.

Kick Ass Spoiler-Free Movie Review

April 14th, 2010 by Martin

I saw an advanced screening of the movie adaptation of Kick-Ass last night, and I’m happy to report that I was very pleasantly surprised.

We’ve talked a lot about Kick Ass here on readcomics. I posted a trailer a while ago (there are more over at apple). Jason reviewed the first issue back in March of 2008, a little over two years ago. (That’s right, comic to movie in two years.) I gave my impressions of the first two issues the next month, and formalized our protest of the comic because it used gay labels in a negative context. We also talked about the comic in various podcasts, but I’m not sure which ones. Definitely in episode #27.

Even though I said I wasn’t going to buy any more Kick-Ass (I didn’t!), I still ended up reading the whole series before seeing the movie. And thankfully, I can feel good about writing a positive review, because the gay-bashing found in the comic did not appear in the movie. Those who have read the comic will know there is one other gay-themed plot point, and if you found that offensive in the book, you’ll probably also find it offensive in the movie, but I actually felt it was handled rather well. Without giving too much away, it’s one of those “it’s supposed to be funny because people think he’s gay even though he’s not” situations. Not necessarily original or good writing, but it certainly could have been worse.

On the topic of writing, you can’t deny that the comic was a page-turner. It was hard to put down, and I felt like that sense of urgency carried over into the movie. There were several great quips and one-liners, perhaps the most notable was: “With no power comes no responsibility.”

We talked after the movie about the acting, and while I don’t consider myself to be a great judge of it, nobody I spoke with was disappointed. I thought Chloe Moretz stole the show as Hit Girl, with her foul mouth and adult demeanor. And lets just say that this was one of the better roles for Nicolas Cage in the last few years.

There were several notable differences from comic to movie, but they were actually rather minor, and didn’t mess with the overall plot too much. (Only one really pissed me off. Lets just say they really hollywood-ized the love story.) I also think they gave the comic-book-readers in the audience a couple of curveballs intentionally so we had some real surprises, especially one big reveal toward the end of the movie.

Overall, this Kick-Ass was a great movie!!! Easily a must-see for fans of the comic book, and also equally enjoyable by those who haven’t read it at all. It makes a great addition to more cerebral superhero movie genre, but had plenty of action for those who just want to see some kick-ass fight scenes. Highly recommended.

iPad as ultimate comic book reader

April 3rd, 2010 by Martin

I’ll be purchasing one of Apple’s shiny new iPads tomorrow morning. Mostly because I’m a proud indie game developer, (and already working on a game or two for the device), but also because I see enormous potential for it to become my go-to device for consuming traditional media in digital form.

eBooks are cool, but lets face it, this thing is going to make digital comic books look gorgeous. It’s so obvious that Marvel and IDW already have iPad optimized versions of their libraries available for download. (The aptly named Comics app looks to be another good one, offering Marvel, Image, Red 5 and Zenoscope titles.) All of these apps offer comics for purchase. Looks like pricing is one or two dollars per comic.

Speaking of libraries though, lets say you have some comics on your hard drive in .cbr or .cbz format. (Or even in .pdf or .zip!) You already have two choices at launch for viewing them on your iPad:

The first is Mobi Reader, which I think looks to be the stronger of the two contenders. It’s got .cbr, .cbz, .zip, .rar, and .pdf support, right out of the proverbial box. All you need to do is transfer those files to your iPad somehow. (The app’s description says the syncing tool is not yet available on the iPad version. Boo!) This is also the more expensive option, at $14.99.

Your second choice is Comic Zeal, weighing in with a pricetag of $7.99. Comic Zeal doesn’t support all those fancy file formats, but there’s a desktop app you use that does read them, and presumably also manages the syncing to the iPad.

I’ll probably try out both of these apps in the next few days and hopefully report back with my findings. Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions in the comments!