Andrew Griffith

Weekly Top 10 Comic Book Covers – Week 1/27/2016

 

Here are my personal choices for this weeks top 10 comic book covers.  These covers got my attention and whether being good or not deserve a moment of your viewing time, so here we go!

This week we have another Beauty cover hitting the list and I still find Jeremy Haun’s drawing style both haunting and hypnotic grabbing your attention and reeling you in.  You can’t help but stare at it while feeling your skin slightly crawl with an uneasy feeling.  Next Jeff Lemire drew a follow up Linewide variant cover from his earlier Linewide variant done for Harbinger (2012) #8.  It’s a 1/125 retailer incentive variant that should be hard to come by but if you’re serious about getting one and money is no objects then the after markets are where you should be, try eBay.  Now this next hip-hop variant for Carnage #4 really isn’t eye popping, rather it’s just odd.  Deadpool poking him with a sword and then Carnage reacting in a childish scream?  It definitely was eyecatching in the sense of raising an eyebrow to the sheer stupidity of the cover.   Then again there are a lot of degenerate covers depicting Deadpool doing some indecent or insane gesture and to think, I’m a fan of the guy.  Colder Toss The Bones unfortunately concludes this week with issue #5 and Juan Ferreyra again does a phenomenal job on translating the rather unique story telling style.  I love Juan Ferreyra’s work and I hope to see him in many more upcoming comics in the near future.

This week we also see the new release of a new 4-part miniseries from Valiant Entertainment pleasantly called Faith.  Faith was one of the founding members of team Renegade in Harbinger (2012) battling against the likes of Toyo Harada, head honcho of the Harbinger Foundation, Bloodshot, and others.  First cover up for Faith was done by another impressive artist Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic.  She is another favorite of mine whose work is simply breathtaking.  The next Faith cover is a new approach to variant covers from Valiant mimicking a CGC 9.8 with some rather funny dialog coming from Faith.  It looks like there will be a similar variant cover for each series line currently in release so check them out!

Monstress #3 by Sana Takeda had a tapestry of intrigate artwork providing a backdrop to cute realistic looking 2-tailed kitty and a fantasy style Fox-girl beautifully drawn to proportion.  Mack Chater drew a realistic chin on that beautiful woman decked out in hardware.  Cary Nord does a phenomenal job on the new Suicide Squad Most Wanted Deadshot Katana #1 variant cover.  Again, I love that watercolor-esque style that’s applied to the color scheme of his drawing.  Yes his drawing is amazing but so is that unique color style.  Finally we come to a favorite artist of mine, when it comes to the Transformers.  Andrew Griffith is an immensely entertaining artist whom submerges himself into the characters he draws and he’s able to do this consistently without fail.  Review some of his work and he’s spot on seemingly never having a bad day when it comes to the characters he draws.  It’s refreshing to see his talent outside of the Transformers universe though so thank you IDW Publishing for that!

So that’s this weeks top 10 most fascinating, eye catching, crazy looking comic book covers that I could find.  If you see any rare variants that you plan on searching for then good luck and happy hunting!

Top 10 List (Alphabetical Order…)

  • Beauty #6 Jeremy Haun
  • Bloodshot Reborn #10 Incentive Jeff Lemire Valiant Linewide Variant
  • Carnage Vol 2 #4 Incentive Deadpool Variant
  • Colder Toss The Bones #5 Juan Ferreyra
  • Faith (Valiant Entertainment) #1 1st Ptg Regular Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic
  • Faith (Valiant Entertainment) #1 Variant Clayton Henry Valiant x CGC
  • Monstress #3 Sana Takeda
  • Six #3 Mack Chater
  • Suicide Squad Most Wanted Deadshot Katana #1 Cary Nord Variant
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol 5 #54 Incentive Andrew Griffith Variant

Image Source: Midtown Comics

*** So, do you agree with my choices?  Feel free to share your thoughts. ***

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Comic Reading Order: Transformers Combiner Wars (IDW Event 2015)

I’m a huge Transformers fan and by all means have read the good along with the bad.  From Marvel to Dreamwave and some little guys in between, we have been through a variety of publishers.  With IDW Publishing at the reigns it’s been one hell of a ride navigating the all encompassing Transformers universe.  What I have found over the years is what you find with any publisher and that is things get rebooted over and over.  However with every reboot comes repetition and stagnation in overall plot.   With this unfortunate outcome all that you are left with are the artistry renditions of the imaginative mind trapped in box with the same old content and stories.  IDW Publishing initially went down this road, never really expanding the universe nor the characters that grace it.  However with John Barber and James Roberts that has all changed and the ever exciting, ever expanding Transformers universe seems to be heating up with every issue.  In this event we experience what is to become a rather large game changer in the historical significance of Galvatron, Alpha Trion, and Nova Prime.  Yeah, Nova has been played so much already yet with ever mention of the famous bots name, he just gets so much more intriguing to read about.

So much has happened in both series of Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Now just Transformers) and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye that I feel so damn giddy.  Can you believe it John and James, you made a grown man giddy…so keep up the good work!

Combiner Wars Reading Order:

INTRO: Optional Reading

Transformers – Robots in Disguise #30

There is just a short flashback of Cybertron 10 million years ago at a time of the first Cybertronian civil war.  We are brought back to the battle  of Aegiax where we are introduced to a much different version of Galvatron.  We see a brief scene of the mighty Galvatron hack his way through bots of the Nexus Prime clan.  This is where he first meets Alpha Trion.

Transformers – Robots in Disguise #34

In Transformers #34 we witness a story told by Alpha Trion after Optimus and his fellow bots rescue him from his imprisonment at a secret military installation on Earth.  We are told the truth about the end of the Primes and how Nova was allowed to take up the name Prime.  This was by far one of the best history lessons I have had in a long while that involved the Transformers universe.  We already know that Galvatron had laid waste to Nexus Prime and his army of combiners.  What we fans learn next is how Galvatron meets the future Nova Prime, while Nova defends the Citadel of Light against Nexus Prime’s ally Onyx Prime’s horde of beasts bots.  This is a must book to read prior to the Combiner Wars.

By the way I was able to get Andrew Griffith to sign a bunch of covers, along with Livio Ramondelli.  The above Transformers Robots in Disguise #34 cover was one of them.  He did an amazing job on Galvatron!

MAIN EVENT: Combiner Wars

In our main event I’ve selected the subscription covers all done by Livio Ramondelli because he’s a badass artist.  The two epilogue retailer incentive covers are by Naoto Tsushima.

  1. Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #1 Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription Cover (Combiner Wars Part 1)
  2. Transformers Vol 3 #40 Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription Cover (Combiner Wars Part 2)
  3. Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #2 Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription Cover (Combiner Wars Part 3)
  4. Transformers Vol 3 #41 Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription Cover (Combiner Wars Part 4)
  5. Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #3 Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription Cover (Combiner Wars Part 5)
  6. Transformers Vol 3 #42 Incentive Naoto Tsushima Variant Cover (Combiner Wars Epilogue)
  7. Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #4 Incentive Naoto Tsushima Variant Cover (Combiner Wars Epilogue)

 ADDITIONAL: Combiner Hunters

  • Transformers Combiner Hunters Special One Shot Variant Livio Ramondelli Subscription

Weekly Top 10 Comic Book Covers – Week 7/22/2015

Here are my personal choices for this weeks top 10 comic book covers.  These covers got my attention and whether being good or bad are deserving of your attention as well, so here we go!

Another week has gone by and yes there’s another rather ridiculous looking but somewhat amusing cover that just needed to be apart of my top 10.  This first cover made the list more because of the massive cult following that has centered around the movie Sharknado.  If any of you have seen the first movie then you know where I’m going with this. Seemingly ridiculous but laughable beyond ones own comprehension and it appears that Archie has been blown into the shark tank that…is…Sharknado.  By the way, the 4th Sharknado movie has been green lit for production.  Next off we have a Tom Fowler variant cover for the new Valiant Book of Death event, Fall of Bloodshot.  I met Tom Fowler at this past Emerald City Comicon.  Nice fellow, talked about some recent commissions for the Valiant universe that I owned so I thought that was pretty cool.  Any ways, another cover that looked a bit odd but had that needed humorous aspect was David Mack’s Fight club cover.

I honestly felt like it was slim pickings this week.  There were a lot of choices to rummage through but not a lot that really stood out as unique and eye catching.  So with that my next cover I was a bit torn on.  Infinite Loop #4 by Gerald Parel is a great cover and I loved the way he drew the facial features of the woman but a part of me wanted to skip over because of the way the body torqued.  It didn’t look all that natural to me but well, you can decide if was deserving or now.  Next we have a favorite artist of mine, Emanuela Lupacchino.  Usually I have nothing but praise concerning any cover her hands graces but this weeks John Carter variant cover struck me as odd.  When I saw it all I could think was man she’s got tits for days.  Yes I said it, sorry for being so blunt.  Not sure what happened there but the cover was sold out so I can’t imagine that being a bad thing.  Next in Old Man Logan #3 I love the way Andrea Sorrentino Drew the infamous character.  With his face and body mostly hidden in shadow she creates this ominous feeling for what is to come.

Another favorite artist of mine comes from the Transformer universe and that amazing guy is Andrew Griffith.  Now he knows how to draw Transformers but in this cover I’m stumped in that I don’t recall Soundwave having wheels, ever.  Now Soundwave and Blaster did have a vehicle form in a particular toy line tying to the Transformers Fall of Cybertron line but I can’t remember him having wheels in any other toy line.  Wait he was a plane as well but if we are talking about the current IDW series I’m not all that sure he has wheels.  Please correct me if I’m wrong but other than that, Andrew rules!  That will never change for me.  Jae Lee fascinates us with yet another amazing piece of art work with a virgin variant for Vampirella Army of Darkness.  Next Nick Pitarra, the artist known for Image series The Manhattan Projects, breaks out his rather unique talent for Weirdworld #2.  For our final cover we have a cutsie cover that I found funny and worth mentioning.  Created by Ben Caldwell for the DC cover event Teen Titans Go!, this is an alternate cover for Wonder Woman #42.

So that’s this weeks top 10 most fascinating, eye catching, crazy looking comic book covers that I could find.  If you see any rare variants that you plan on searching for then good luck and happy hunting!

Top 10 List (Alphabetical Order…)

  • Archie vs Sharknado One Shot Variant Robert Hack
  • Book Of Death Fall Of Bloodshot #1 Incentive Tom Fowler Variant
  • Fight Club 2 #3 Regular David Mack
  • Infinite Loop #4 Variant Gerald Parel Subscription
  • John Carter Warlord Of Mars Vol 2 #9 Incentive Emanuela Lupacchino Virgin
  • Old Man Logan #3 Regular Andrea Sorrentino
  • Transformers Vol 3 #43 Regular Andrew Griffith
  • Vampirella Army Of Darkness #1 Rare Jae Lee Virgin
  • Weirdworld #2 Incentive Nick Pitarra Variant
  • Wonder Woman Vol 4 #42 Variant Ben Caldwell Teen Titans Go!

Image Source: Midtown Comics

*** So, do you agree with my choices?  Feel free to share your thoughts. ***

Transformers – My Exploits at Emerald City Comicon #ECCC

I had a fun time at ECCC and was able to get around to a bunch of writers and artists on the only day I was able to attend, Friday.  It definitely took some effort kindly pushing my way through the crowds in order to strategically place my books in front of the targets!

I’ll tell ya one thing the Transformers group was an awesome bunch of guys.  Livio Ramondelli was awesome and first on my Transformers signing list.  He was totally cool with me dropping a ton of comics in front of him so they could partake in the repetitive ritual of gracing his signature across each cover.  If you get a chance to meet him at a con don’t hesitate to stop by and definitely buy his artwork, I did!

Another Transformer guy that was cool about the small pile of comics to be signed was none other than Andrew Griffith.  For me it’s always kind of embarrassing to have more than 2 comics signed by one guy only cause I feel like I’m getting something for nothing.  I could be overreacting and I’m sure most are cool with it.  Any how kudos to Andrew and yeah I also bought some of his artwork as well in the form of his newly released Sketchbook #2.  Posted some pics of a few pages from the book and he even signed it, thanks man!

Finally I was able to find Ken Christiansen and even though he isn’t one of the mainstream Transformers series artist I still wanted him to sign a couple of his retailer incentive variants he worked on.  They seem to bring back nostalgic feelings of my Transformers youth and yes, a cool guy as well!

Any ways, thanks guys for signing my small pile of books and hope the series continues for many more.  By the way Combiner Wars is killing it so keep it up!

Comic Review: Transformers Robots in Disguise #34 (IDW Publishing) – EARTH SHATTERING ISSUE!

Published by IDW Publishing, October 2014
Story: John Barber
Art: Livid Ramondelli
Colors: Livid Ramondelli
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Covers By: Andrew Griffith, Casey W. Coller, and Ken Christiansen

TransformersRID-34-v2

Synopsis: I have been a long time fan of the Transformers series since Dreamwave had the license.  Now that IDW Publishing has the license they have been pumping out pure reading pleasure for quite some time now.  Some of the content has been great while some could be forgotten and forever pulled from the transformers timeline.  When John Barber and James Robert took over the writing for the two series spawned from the rebirth of Cybertron I honestly couldn’t wait to get started.  I’ve enjoyed both series and find myself liking More Than Meets The Eye more than Robots in Disguise, now just Transformers Volume 2 starting with issue #35.

This issue #34 changed my outlook on how the series would progress after the Dark Cybertron crossover event and the Dawn of the Autobots.  This one issue, this earth shattering, eye popping, holy *beep* I’m literally freaking out issue written by John Barber provided a black hole of sorts in the storyline of the Transformers universe.  It opened the door to what has always plagued the Transformers series and that is new content.  Both John and James have created an immense amount of new material and I thank both of them for that.  However John created new content in the form of history and that is why I’m freaking out!

Alpha Trion has been rescued by the Autobot/Decepticon group led by the now renamed again Optimus Prime but secretly Prowl seems to be pulling most of the strings.  Yes as crazy as he has been acting around the group and with his new Constructicon buddies, Prowl still has some core issues resonating from within him that’ll surface soon; surface in a negative way.  That being said, can I just say Arcee is badass now that she has a conscience!?!?  I’m hoping her curiosity around newly found female Autobots such as Windblade and Chomia will compel her to inquire about her uncanny resemblance to Alpha Trion.  Any ways, with all the craziness that is happening and the sad but only downside that this taking place near Earth has kept me glued to what happens next.  Boy did I not expect that Alpha Trion and Optimus Prime would sneak away for a quick mind blowing story around Galvatron and Nova near the of age where the last Prime was none other than…yeah, spoiler, Alpha Trion.

TransformersRID-34-AlphaTrionLastPrime

John Barber writes in great detail the fabled meeting between Nova Major (later known as Nova Prime) and Galvatron of the Darklands.  Prior to this important meeting was another even less known yet possibly of greater significance was the meeting between Alpha Trion and Galvatron of the Darklands back in issue #30.  Galvatron had just finished wiping out the Headmaster and his army, followers of Nexus Prime 10 million years ago during the first Cybertronian civil war.  You should give that issue a read for more info on that meeting.

We learn a little history about the 13 Tribes of Cybertron united under one ruler, one Prime.  Yes, there were in fact 13 Primes residing on Cybertron. In that fateful meeting between Galvatron and Nova Major we learn that there is an object referred only as the Enigma.  This object holds the power of combination.  That power, controlled only by Nexus Prime who lost to history as Nova Prime fled taking those secrets with him. In this issue John drops bomb after bomb literally seeding the groups journey with tidbits of potential subplots and informational off shoots that could very well lead down future comic book stories of historical importance.  However each of those tiny literary bombs are apparently, and I quote, “…a tale for another time” and I can only hope that time is sooner rather than later.  The group search for Onyx, an unknown but significant Cybertronian who has gone off the grid so to speak.  Nova Major states very clearly that the 13 Tribes shall be consolidated down under one Prime.  Nova Major shall now be known as Nova Prime and a new golden age for Cybertron shall arise.  “There shall be a place for everyone in our new world and everyone shall be in there place.”  This stark view only solidifies Nova’s true ruthless intentions.  Optimus Prime was pretty upset at this news that Alpha Trion allowed Nova to become the first of the corrupt lineage of Primes.  In hindsight, Alpha Trion understands that it was wrong but at the time a necessary means to unite the tribes.

TransformersRID-34-OptimusUpset

We later see Nova Prime with that all too familiar scientist Jhiaxus working away on the idea of combination.  It seems like the power of combination has been lost with Nexus Prime and Alpha soon learns that Galvatron has been hiding a very tantalizing piece of information concerning the Enigma.  This realization provides the backdrop to what really took place between the final encounter between Galvatron and Nexus, prior to meeting Alpha and Nova.  We see that Galvatron is deeply disturbed by the Enigma of combination and how it has diluted the purity of the Cybertronian race.  However for me what happens next is why I titled this review “Earth Shattering” and that reason is at the end of our story.  Galvatron defeats Nexus Prime and picks up the Enigma, an object of uncanny resemblance to the Matrix.

TransformersRID-34-Enigma

STOP…think…the Matrix, the thing that stopped The Void at the end of the Chaos Theory storyline, Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime carried it, ignited the rebirth of Cybertron?  Yeah, a Matrix from a now dead Nexus Prime, one of the 13 Tribes.  That means including the Enigma, there are 12 Matrix objects out there holding potentially unbelievable power but more importantly we now have the potential for endless new content concerning the Transformers Universe.  John Barber, my hat is off for you and your crew.  Lets ditch this Planet once we find the Enigma and get on with the quest for Knights of Cybertron or better yet if we want to call them the original Primes of Cybertron’s 13 Tribes.

Layout & Flow: Ken Christiansen did an amazing job on the retailer incentive cover commemorating 30 years of Transformers.  Both Andrew and Casey also did fantastic jobs on their covers, like they usually do causing me much grief when trying to decide which one to order.  In a world where money and space do not matter then yes, I would buy all 3 but unfortunately that just isn’t the case for me. 

As for the layout and flow, like both current series of More Than Meets The Eye and this one Robots in Disguise, dialog can be lengthy creating the need for smaller and more numerous boxes in each panel for storytelling needs.  I’m never disappointed with the art from either of these series.  However keep in mind it can put strain on the eyes as it muddles down the detail on some of the panels in order to get an action sequence with dialog placed correctly on the page.  With Digital comics you can zoom in and see more while the old fashioned, highly prized by me paper comic is well, you get what you get.

One thing you can always count on from IDW and the Transformer family is consistency, in some form or another.  The characters are usually drawn very consistently and I applaud Livid Ramondelli for striving to do just that.

Verdict: I have been a Transformers fan since forever and when both series were announced I was thrilled.  The miniseries like Windblade, Monstrosity, and Primacy have all been more candy to consume in the IDW Publishing candy store.  What I truly enjoyed about the current Transformer universe was that single fact that humans were excluded.  I so enjoy each series knowing that I don’t have to deal with the human element.  Although we have found ourselves again back on lame ass Earth in Transformers Robots in Disguise, name now converting to just Transformers Vol 2 after this issue #34, I hope to god that it won’t span too long.  Since what was discovered in this very issue, earth shattering as it was for me (…pun intended…), the series literally has an immense amount of potential to exploit, new characters to read about, titans to find, primes to discover, that Earth is no longer a desired storyline that I would like to read about.  It has been overused and abused and I’m so done.  John Barber, for the love of god, please make this storyline involving Earth end quickly.

Rating: 5/5

Official Site: Transformers Robots in Disguise #34
Wiki Site: Transformers Robots in Disguise

Top 10 Comic Book Covers – Week 11/19/2014

Top 10 Comic Book Covers – Week 11/19/2014

Here are my choices for top comic book covers.  As always there are way to many to pick from but these definitely got my attention!

Another week, another set of covers and this week I found it rather difficult to pick the miniscule 10 covers.  That being said I settled for these including the new series Spider-Woman.  Should be an cool series spinning out of the events of the Spider-Verse.  Milo’s rather provocative Spider-Woman seems almost animalistic in nature.  This one has sold out from many online retailers and is commanding a pretty high price on eBay.  Then we have Skottie’s baby version, yin and yang?  Anyways, I found Deadly Class to be pretty cool standing out from the rest.  I kind of enjoy those simply ones, something I’d draw in high school.  God is Dead and Godzilla were the monsters of the group.  Twisted and grotesque needed only the imagination to interpret what may be happening on the pages within.

Joshua Middleton’s fun little cover for Justice League since it reminded me of Teen Titans Go! and my daughter.  Love that show and kudos the cover for making me smile.  Moving to an amazing cover was Multiversity Pax Americana by Jae Lee.  I’m not sure why but I always seem to forget how good of an artist Jae is.  One of these days I need to meet him and get his autograph.  By far one of the best of the best I’ve seen in my lifetime.  I wonder if they will ever create a Hall of Fame of sorts for the comic book industry.  I think that would be an interested addition honoring some of the best that have kept this industry alive and well.

Punk Mumbo by Kalman Andrasofszky was an eye catching cover and the start of a new series by Valiant Entertainment.  I feel like Valiant came back with a vengeance but has subsided as of late.  I’m hoping phase 2 or phase 3 will revitalize their lineup soon since their comic book publishing stats (view via Comichron) have been sinking on a monthly basis and that can’t be good for the company.  They need to push the cinematic envelope and get something onscreen in order to expand their fan base; it could work for them. Another awe inspiring cover was the big eye on the cover of X-O Manowar.  Simple and, crap I’m actually gonna say it, eye catching.  I never said I was an outstanding  writer with a firm grip on the English language, only that I wanted to write about what I found interesting, hehe…

Finally we see something that I’ve been waiting for to hit the Transformers storyline and that’s the character called Junkheap.  Now I could be wrong since I haven’t read the issue yet but it sure looks like a version.  Keeping that in mind the 30th Anniversary covers  for the incentive line haven’t always had anything to do with the story and since it’s on the last issue of the 4 part miniseries of Transformers Primacy it may just be that, an image.  I just hope that if it isn’t that they bring that mumbling oddball back from the historical archives of the Transformers 80s cartoons soon.

Top 10 List (Alphabetical Order…)

  • Deadly Class #9 Lee Loughridge
  • God Is Dead #24 Cover B Carnage Wraparound Juan Frigeri
  • Godzilla Cataclysm #4 Cover A Regular Dave Wachter
  • Justice League Vol 2 #36 Cover E Incentive Joshua Middleton Variant
  • Multiversity Pax Americana #1 Cover C Incentive Jae Lee Variant
  • Punk Mambo #0 Cover C Incentive Kalman Andrasofszky Variant
  • Spider-Woman Vol 5 #1 Cover B Variant Skottie Young Baby
  • Spider-Woman Vol 5 #1 Cover F Incentive Milo Manara Variant
  • Transformers Primacy #4 Cover C Incentive Andrew Griffith 30th Anniversary Variant
  • X-O Manowar Vol 3 #30 Cover C Variant Raul Allen

Image Source: Midtown Comics

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