Tag Archives: Comixology

Geek Services Review: Comixology

Recently I’ve made a pretty significant change to my life. It was a difficult decision, and it took me quite a while to think everything through. I’m talking, of course, about going all digital with my weekly comic reading. Since I’ve made the switch, I’ve been taking a closer look at the quality of the comic reading apps available, and by far the best one is Comixology.

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Filed under Andrew Hales, Comics, Geek Life

Around the Web September 19, 2014

Those of us who are not fans of Digital Rights Management (DRM), will be happy to hear that there has been another victory against it. Comixology has announced that over 4000 comics available on the site have been made DRM free. Comics from twenty publishers are now available with PDF or CBZ files that can be downloaded, stored and used however the reader would like. While Marvel and DC are not among the publishers going DRM free, hopefully they will start to feel the pressure soon and jump on the bandwagon.

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I’m not exactly holding my breath, but I think that eventually they won’t have much choice. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the Web, Weekly

Around the Web August 16, 2014

This has been a pretty good week for anybody who is following the production of Star Wars: Episode VII. First was the leaking of what appears to be the helmet of a Stormtrooper. Although it has been updated, it is still obviously a descendant of the iconic black and white helmet. Of course the picture popped up on Twitter and disappeared from the original source about as quickly, but given that this is the internet, nothing ever truly goes away. At this point, a quick Google search will bring you a ton of images of the new helmet. There is the possibility that this is just the doing of some fan and that it’s not a real movie prop, but we should be accustomed to this kind of thing by now.

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I wonder if the new helmet will help them aim better.

On to the second bit of Episode 7 business. We’ve also gotten what looks like costume designs for everyone’s favorite scoundrel. While the first does look something like a mix between Jedi robes and his old costume, the second one looks an awful lot like his costume from Hoth. The one thing that did catch my eye is something that looks quite a bit like an Imperial rank insignia on his chest. It might turn out to be nothing, but then again, there might be something worth looking into later.

Harrison Ford having some fun at a photo shoot for Star Wars.

Also, it appears that Ugg boots have invaded a galaxy far, far away. These are truly sad times.

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The last thing on today’s agenda is something that has nothing to do with Star Wars, but is in fact a short tale from my own day today. I got into comics about eight years ago, right around the time of World War Hulk, a Marvel event by Greg Pak and John Romita Jr. At the time I was new to comics and didn’t really understand what exactly makes comics valuable (I’m still working on this one, don’t judge) and so Joseph De Paul and I bought up the whole set of them and got Greg Pak to sign them. Despite our best efforts, we never did get Romita Jr. to sign them. Only after all our hard work was done did we realize that absolutely nobody wanted signed copies of these books because I don’t think anyone turned out to be a real fan of the series. On top of all that, my local comic store had an insane amount of World War Hulk back issues due to a customer who bought hundreds of copies just to get the varient cover. Every time I would go looking though back issue boxes, there they were, mocking my failure. Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson.

Today, however, into my inbox drops an email from Comixology informing me of the sale on the “fan favorite epic” that was going on right now. After my personal experience, my first reaction was to fight the overwhelming urge to take a rolled up newspaper and whack someone from Comixology on the nose like a bad dog and say “NO” in a stern and authoritative voice.  In my opinion, they can think themselves lucky I didn’t rub their noses in it

 

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Saturday Reviews | Batgirl #33 and Zaya #1

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I’ve been behind on Batgirl for a while, but with this week’s announcement of a brand new creative team starting in October, I decided I should make an effort to finish out Gail Simone’s run. With that in mind I picked up Batgirl #33 and felt like I was right back home. Sure I’d missed several issues, but I had no problem jumping right back into the story. The ease with which I was able to slip into Batgirl’s world is one of the hallmarks of a great writer. Simone really knows the characters she is writing and it’s nice to see that even this deep into her time on the title, she’s still taking time to develop the character further. I also really enjoyed the fact that she is still making good use of Barbara’s inner dialogue. My only major complaint is that in a couple places the exposition was a little heavy. It felt a little like reading 70’s X-Men where everyone called everyone by name every time they spoke to one another.

I'm fairly certain we know who is talking to whom.

I’m fairly certain we know who is talking to whom.

While I was once again in love with Simone’s writing, the same cannot be said for the art. I’m not going to say it was bad, but I did have a few complaints. One of the best parts of the New 52 was the push for more realistic looking costumes.  Whether or not it DC actually managed to pull it off or not can be debated, but Batgirl’s great look cannot.  However this book appears to be progressively moving back toward the days of spandex, or worse, pleather (the horror, the horror!).

A nice little twist on a cliche.

A nice twist on a cliche.

I’m inclined to believe the fault for this one falls mostly with the colorist. The pencils and inks seem solid but it’s the shiny looking colors that I dislike. This was also the first time I’d seen the new look of Black Canary and I’m not a fan. The art wasn’t all bad though, with one of my favorite panels catching the female villain, Knightfall, in bed with two “boy toys”. I thought it was an amusing twist on the stereotypical male villain with floozies.

Shiny costume and the Black Canary re-design.

Shiny costume and the Black Canary re-design.

While I am excited about the new look and direction for Batgirl, I will certainly miss the current run and I’m going to make sure I savor every issue that Simone has left. 3.5/5 Death Stars.

3.5 Death Stars

 

 

 

 

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The second book on today’s review is Zaya #1 from Magnetic Press. Zaya is not something in my normal pull; however, as I was browsing Comixology, I came across it in the new releases and figured I’d give it a try. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, though I’m still not quite fully on board with this book. Even granting that this is the first issue, the story is somewhat ambiguous. The first half of the story introduces an attractive young woman, who I assume is the main character since she bears a striking resemblance to the woman on the cover. While at an art opening, the woman stops a drunk patron from abusing a waiter, in the process demonstrating that there is more to her than meets the eye, though beyond her martial arts skills it’s unclear what that might be. The second half of the book is a chase sequence with a man on the run from a “creature” that is intent on murdering him. It’s not clear how the two halves of the story will connect, but I’m certain JD Morvan will make this clear in the issues to come.

Beautiful art by Huang-Jai Wei.

Beautiful art by Huang-Jai Wei.

The art has a very Heavy Metal look to it, which for large parts of the book was quite enjoyable. I was most impressed with Huang-Jai Wei’s ability to mirror a person’s inner qualities in their appearance. The abusive drunk is shown as a handsome man until it becomes clear from his actions that he is a scumbag, at which point the art changes, subtly, to show the man’s inner ugliness externally. I also really liked that when he chose to show extreme violence, he draws it in a more artistic manner, instead of making it exceptionally gory. Gore is easy to do; it takes far more skill to show the same scene tastefully while still conveying the same emotions to the reader.

The one place where the art has issues is with the mysterious “creature” in the second half of the book. I use quotes because I’m honestly not sure what to call this thing. It’s large, black, and ill defined. At times, I’m fairly certain I was supposed to be looking at a face, but with the exception of one panel, I couldn’t see it. If Wei can clean this one portion up a little, I think this book will really be something special.

Honest to god, I don't know what to make of this thing.

Honest to god, I don’t know what to make of this thing.

There is currently a very nice looking hardcover available for preorder, and for $30 I’m very tempted to get it, though I’ll wait an issue or two more before I do. I’m definitely on board for at least one more issue and I’ll see how it goes from there. 3/5 Death Stars.

3 Death Stars

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