I have no excuse this time.

Yes, I missed my self appointed three day deadline for posting updates, I was having far too much of a good time yesterday doing as little as possible.  It really is as simple as that, it was the first Sunday in quite some time where I didn’t have work or something else going on with someone where I could just kick back and enjoy some free time.  And enjoy it I did, I started a new playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, continued my already excessive game on Skyrim and sat and watched Batman & Mr Freeze: SubZero.  And you know what?  I had a great day, totally relaxed with not a single care in the world.  There aren’t many days where I get to do that anymore, so I sacrificed my blog post to fully appreciate it.  I probably won’t get a day like that again for a little while, and the thing is, when I’ve had a fairly busy day I usually like to use this as a chance to unwind but after a day of naff all, I just can’t be bothered apparently.

Now, on to things more interesting, eh?  Way way back in February of this year I attended the awesome London Super Comic Con, had an absolute blast but, more to the point, sat in on the Top Cow Panel.  During this panel Matt Hawkins (bit of a legend) announced that Top Cow would be doing a second talent hunt this year, in a similar vein to last year.  I can’t say I’ve seen much online for it so far, probably looking in all the wrong places, but since then I’ve been floating a whole load of ideas around in my head for what I could do, based on what we were told there.  I didn’t want to put too much into it just in case things changed and I had to either adapt or rewrite my entire script.  Well, that didn’t quite pan out and what I’ve ended up with is a script for a thirty two page comic that I’m not sure I can do anything with or not.  Long story slightly shortened, what I’ve decided I’m going to do is scour their website for information and, if I find out it’s now become irrelevant, I’ll post it up on here for all to see.  I have to say I’m actually really pleased with how it ended up, it’s a story based on a mystical, supernatural artifact in a very sci-fi environment and I think the two elements bounce of each other really nicely.  Anyway, I’ll check it out more thoroughly over the next couple of days and we’ll see what they’re saying.  If it turns out that I can still use it then I might give you dedicated readers a sneak preview, but I don’t want to drop the whole thing on here in that case.  For anyone interested it’s a Witchblade story with one other small cameo in there, and not some throw away scene but something quite cool right at the end.

On the subject of writing, and since I’m putting myself out there a little more today, at some point next week I will be adding an excerpt from my very own graphic novel onto this blog.  I have a full script ready to rock and roll, giving a page estimate of 160 at this point but this may change.  I think if it’s going to go either way right now, it may actually increase in length slightly.  The thing with this book is that it’s meant to be setting up a whole new universe of continuity, it’ll be a three or four book series that will (hopefully) set up a huge series.  I have plans for many more, the only thing standing in my way right now is the art side of things.  Not being in a position where I know a great artist is a bit of a sticking point, and while I’ve been desperately trying to get myself back into art myself I really need to focus on one or the other.  Even before I’d decided to move my focus onto the writing side of things, a lot of the drawings I’d been doing were silly little things just for the fun of it.  I am not accomplished enough at this point to knock out an entire graphic novel, it’s as simple as that, but I think my writing is good enough.  I say that in the least arrogant way possible, I’d like to add.  I’ve never been that good at genuinely bigging myself up, but I think if I’m going to push this out I need to be able to discuss my strengths as much as I can my weaknesses.

On to a completely different topic altogether, September is looking like it’s going to be a truly epic month for three reasons.  Reason number one is that I am off to N.I.C.E right at the start off the month and will be taking my blank cover Action Comics #18 for Guillem March to scribble over.  On top of that I’m hoping I’ll be able to find some awesome bargains, and of course mingling with loads of like minded people is always really nice too!  Then we have the fact that it’s Villains Month over at DC, it’ll mean a more expensive month for comics that usual but you know, I really don’t care.  Especially with the Killer Croc one shot from Tim Seeley, that’s the one I’m really looking forward to.  Point number three, and to be honest probably the most significant source of my excitement is I’ll be taking an eight week old kitten off a friend of my moms to be my little buddy for the next decade and a half (all being well).  I already have a slew of names ready in my head (yes, they’re all comic book characters!) and will be looking to get a load of stuff ready for it next month.  It’s a genuinely exciting time for me right now, loads of stuff coming up, loads of things going on right now and I have a week off work next week so that’ll be nice.

Right then, I’m going to go and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and a cigarette, mostly because my legs are far too warm underneath this bloody laptop and it’s really starting to distract me now.  Just a quick point before I go, I have written this entire blog post to the wonderful sound of the Skyrim soundtrack which has made it both incredibly relaxing and unbelievably epic at the same time!  Loving it!  Anyway, as one of my all time favourite childhood characters would say at this point, TTFN – ta ta for now!

@NickLayland88

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Too easily distracted for my own good.

It’s an unfortunate fact of being me, I’m afraid.  When it comes to actually sitting down and doing some work, or as it is at my current job, not sitting down but still doing work I’m normally ok.  It’s when I’m sitting down and doing something like this, for the fun of it, that I can be so easily distracted.  I had loaded today’s blank page up ready with some specific topics in mind and just as I was about to type out my title, I received a text.  By the time I’d finished replying to the text, not only had I forgotten the title I was about to use, but all of my talking points had gone too.  It can be a little frustrating at times, I often find myself stopped by someone on my way to do something and by the time I reach the room I needed to be in, I have no idea why I’m there.  It also means I’m most likely going to spend much longer doing this than I really want to, simply trying to think of something to discuss. 

Oh, I’ve got one, quite a good one actually.  Ender’s Game.  It’s an upcoming movie from Lionsgate Studios, adaptation of a book by an author called Orson Scott Card.  Anyone who has been keeping up with all of the news surrounding this film will probably be able to guess what I’m going to discuss, but for those of you who do not know Orson Scott Card (let’s refer to him as OSC from this point on, just for my own ease) is probably one of the most bigoted human beings I’ve had the misfortune of reading opinions from.  Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that we live in a world where people are fully entitled to their own opinions, whether they differ from my own or not.  Often you will find when someone has a differing opinion to your own it can bring about healthy discussions which may open your mind to a point of view you’d never considered before.  Unfortunately, this particular man seems to think that his opinion is actually fact, and that anyone who disagrees with his views is just flat out wrong.  There is one particular opinion he has that really grates me, and not because I fall into the group of people that he is so firmly against, simply because I have such a strong feeling of personal choice and individuality.  Rather than explaining his view in my own words, I’m instead going to use a few choice quotes do give you an idea of the kind of idiot we are dealing with here:

“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

“Many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse”

Those two, I think, sum things up perfectly well.  It is also worth noting he was on the board of directors of The National Organization for Marriage up until sometime this year.  A group who’s name is a little misleading as they spend most of their time campaigning against same sex marriage.  The really funny thing about this thoroughly bigoted and clearly quite bitter human being is that he gets pissy at people for not respecting or even tolerating his views.  So, basically, even though he has no level of tolerance for anyone supporting same sex marriage, we should all tolerate him.  Yeah, of course, because that’s how the world works.  It all revolves around him.  It’s at this point that I start to develop a headache.

So what’s this got to do with Ender’s Game, then?  Well, I am a firm believer in voting with your wallet.  I don’t own any of his written works and can tell you for a fact that I never will, I do not feel comfortable handing any of my hard earned money to OSC, regardless of how much he gets per book, and this extends to the film as well.  People like this shouldn’t be tolerated in today’s progressive, forward thinking society where we allow people to make their own decisions and find happiness wherever they like.  With this sentiment, I will absolutely not be going to see Ender’s Game, I will not be financially supporting this utter cretin much in the same way that I would never attend Dragon Con, which is essentially dropping cash straight into the pocket of a peadophile.  There is an online petition, which I have signed, stating that you will not be supporting the film simply because of the author and if you have the same beliefs as I do and feel as strongly about this idiot I’d recommend you head on over and sign it too.  Show the studios that the work of OSC will not be supported, making any future collaborations too financially risky to move forward with.  DC already dropped him from a Superman series thanks to a similar petition, so it clearly has an impact.  If you’re not that bothered then by all means, go watch the film, that is your choice and I’m not going to be someone who criticises anyone for it.

 

On a much, much lighter note today was my new comics day, since I was working the late yesterday and couldn’t get out for them.  The first thing I did when I got in was read through issue 22 of Justice League Dark, the third part of the Trinity War crossover.  (SPOILERS!)Things are looking pretty dire for all three leagues involved, all of which are now divided and most importantly, the traditional trinity is split.  Superman is continuing to lead the Justice League with a few other loyal members, Wonder Woman has gone off with the Justice League Dark to search for Pandora and her box (not a euphemism, get your minds out the gutter) and Batman has joined up with the Justice League of America to try and track down the soul of Doctor Light.  It’s all getting a bit nutty, not in a bad way mind, but I’m really starting to wonder what this will mean for the three teams when this all wraps up.  Things will not be the same again, that much is clear, especially with the revelation at the end that there is a mole within the Justice League.  At this point we have absolutely no idea who the mole is, but I’m going to go and read Constantine #5 now in the hope that some hints will be dropped, although I think since John is working with Wonder Woman it will most likely continue chronicling the hunt for Pandora.  In fact, now that I’ve started talking about it I really want to see so I’m going to go and read it right now.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this evening’s particularly heavy going post, hopefully the next one to come along will be a little more lighthearted!  Enjoy the rest of your evening, hope to have you along for the next post.

@NickLayland88

Time for a little rant.

No stopping me now, after yesterday’s return I’m feeling really good about all this but I’ve spent my evening reading through various opinions online about some of the announcements to come out of SDCC, most of which was uninformed drivel.  So, even though I only posted last night, I feel I need to set the record straight for many people out there, people that will most likely never read this.  Still, I will (hopefully) feel better by the end of this so, whatever.

The main thing that seems to have cropped up on peoples bitch-list is the Superman Batman film slated for that 2015 release.  I, for one, am so immensely excited by this prospect that I can barely put it into words, but many aren’t.  I get that these films aren’t for everyone, I do, and I’m not going to sit here and criticise every person that isn’t interested, but the ones who’ve been slamming this as either Batman, Superman or just comic fans in general are putting across some unbelievably idiotic arguments.  So, let’s get the ball rolling on this, shall we?

First off, one of the really big criticisms I’ve been reading is that this is being very much hyped up as a Superman vs Batman film, less of a team up and more of a toe to toe and a lot of people are taking issue with this.  Now, it’s fairly obvious, in my mind, that this is not going to be a film where either one of the two will be portrayed as the antagonist of the film.  Bats and Supes have always had a difference of opinion in how to deal with criminals and super villains, they’ve come to blows on multiple occasions in the comics over the years but have none the less become best of friends.  Not so much in the New 52 yet, but traditionally they are about as close to best friends as two men like this can be.  This will quite obviously translate into the film, yes they will clash, yes they will get past their differences and yes they will team up at some point to bring the pain to a common enemy.  The fact is, their skill sets compliment each others perfectly, and to top it off WB have talked about an upcoming Justice League film so they will have to reconcile differences at some point.  The one comment that stood out for this example was “Batman and Superman shouldn’t just be thrown into a fight against each other, they are heroes and should be working together.  Just look at the Avengers”.  Are you (excuse me for this, but it’s getting late and I’m annoyed) fucking serious?!?  I counted at least five hero vs hero scraps in that film, no one bitched and moaned about that, but when it’s Bats and Supes it can’t happen.  Have you people read or seen the Dark Knight Returns?  If not, shut the hell up and go educate yourself on the history of these characters before making dumbass remarks like this, and try to actually remember what happens in the films you’re comparing it to.

One particular commenter made me laugh pretty hard when they said “shoehorning Batman into the next Superman film smacks of desperation.  Marvel did it best by having standalone films for each hero then teaming them up for the ensemble movie.”  I know what these kinds of people are like, if DC/WB had gone this route those exact same people would have accused them of copying Marvel.  I like that DC are taking a slightly different approach, on top of that I don’t want to wait for them to make six or seven films before getting onto a Justice League film.  Honestly, what’s the issue with having Batman appear in a films with Superman?  It seems like the perfect way to bring in a character that’s only recently had a rebooted film franchise.  I think it would be a little too soon to bring out a new Batman film without people expecting another Dark Knight film, and we really, really don’t want another one of those.

Funnily enough, this leads me into my next section of tonight’s rant: most of the people that I’ve read comments from blasting this idea away (before seeing anything more than the two logos together on a giant projector screen) are people talking like they’re huge Batman fans but have read little to none of his comics and only ever reference that trilogy of films to drive their point home.  Let me put this in a way that might actually get through that ridiculously thick skull of yours: THAT IS NOT BATMAN!  It’s simply a man that dresses like Batman and calls himself Batman, in that joke of a voice of his, who simply runs round beating the crap out of everything.  He is absolutely not Batman.  I felt the trilogy on the whole was quite a let down, and to use this as a basis for your arguments makes you look about as close to the opposite of knowledgeable as you can get.  The Dark Knight Rises totally sealed that opinion for me, I think the only thing they really got right in the series was the Joker and even then it still wasn’t worth all the hype it received.

The other group of haters were those that have a very strong dislike of Man of Steel.  I can understand, to a certain extent, why it was such a divisive film amongst fans, especially the older fans.  What they need to understand though is that this is a more modern take, hiding behind a pair of glasses and expecting no one to recognise you is obviously not going to work, especially when you’re being investigated by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.  Of course the very tightly knit community he grew up in is going to know that he has these insane abilities, these people practically live out of each others pockets and I think the film really shows the community spirit and loyalty of Smallville when not one of them comes forward to oust him.  Yes, there is a lot of destruction involved during the fights, it’s Superman’s first fight, he is going to be more concerned with stopping Zod from wiping out the entire human race and, since it is his first fight, he will never have encountered another being with abilities that match his own.  I’d like to see any of you do it better.  And bringing the point back around to Marvel, how much of New York was destroyed during the final fight in The Avengers?  Remind me, how many times do we see any of those heroes stop fighting aliens to go save someone in danger from falling rubble?  It’s all so hypocritical that, right now, reading comment sections for SDCC news has become nauseating and frustrating.  The worst part, though?  When you try to point these things out to them and they throw it back in your face citing “fanboy rage”.  Hence why I’m here now, venting my frustration at these idiots.

I’d like to point out, I enjoyed the Avengers.  This isn’t blind, fanboy rage, I just don’t think the Avengers, with it’s many plot holes and trope reliance, is the be all and end all of comic book films.  It’s not the standard I judge superhero films by, I don’t compare each and every one to that film.  I thought Iron Man was better, if I’m being completely honest, but it was still good all the same.

You know, I do feel quite a bit better for that.  I think now I just need to round things of with a nice, healthy cigarette and all will be well with the world again.  And before you get any ideas, no, I’m not aiming to go daily with my updates, I just really needed to say all of that right now and everyone is in bed, so I have no one to rant to.  Now, go enjoy the rest of your day/night and I’ll be back Wednesday or Thursday.  Good night all, and thanks for stopping by!

@NickLayland88

I’m back!

That’s right folks, after my sudden and abrupt, though relatively short, hiatus from the world of blogging, I have returned to normal duties once again.  I’d love to spend today’s post explaining why it is I haven’t posted in just over a week and a half, but I’m not going to.  I will go as far as to let you know that I have something pretty cool I’ll be running through this blog, starting in about a month or so.  Essentially, I got really busy and the blog updates were a fairly low priority in comparison to most of the things that have come up.  But as I said, I’m here now and should be able to get back to my previous posting frequency.

It’s a pretty good time to get back into this too, what with San Diego Comic Con being this weekend (so gutted I wasn’t there) so there is plenty of stuff to talk about.  One of the things that jumped out at me immediately was the little tidbit of information that came from Warner Bros. and DC.  The next Superman film will be a team up with Batman.  I called it, I’m fairly certain it’s in a previous post somewhere (feel free to have a look, I can’t be bothered) but even if it isn’t, I had wanted a traditional “World’s Finest” film since stepping out of the cinema on Man of Steel day and with the Wayne Enterprises satellite, wouldn’t have been surprised to see it happen.  That’s been given a rather tentative release year of 2015.

Then there’s The Flash, for me one of the most underrated and under appreciated heroes in comic books.  Yes, he has a very loyal following from those nestled in the warmth of the DC Universe, but those outside of that particular group of fans, and of course those who don’t read comics at all, seem to have very little knowledge or interest in him.  Hopefully this film will turn heads and get more people enthusiastic about the fastest man alive, what will be really interesting though is whether they go for Barry Allen or Wally West and, of course, which of his many story arcs and villains they use.  I believe, ideally, they’re looking at a potential release year of 2016 for this one, but we shall see about that, if DC’s trade paperback release times are anything to go by it could be another couple of years on top, but let’s not open that can of worms again.

The final movie announcement from DC that sprung out at me was, of course, their announcement of drrrrrr (drum roll): Justice League!  Finally!  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the Avengers (ignoring all of it’s glaring plot holes) but I’m a DC kid, this is the film I have been waiting for for quite some time so to know that it’s definitely coming is absolutely brilliant news.  As far as I can tell, Henry Cavill will be reprising his role as Clark/Kal/Supes, and why wouldn’t he?  I thought he was perfect as the man of steel, and put a nice spin on the attitudes of Clark.  I would actually quite like to see Ryan Reynolds come back as Hal Jordan too, I know that Green Lantern was not a fantastic film (I actually didn’t dislike it that much though to be honest) but Reynolds was a spot on casting choice for Hal.  We all know Christian Bale won’t be returning to don the Bat cowl but that’s no big issue for me, I’m not a massive fan of the Dark Knight trilogy myself, I don’t look at those films and see Batman, I see a man dressed as Batman who beats everyone up.  I also didn’t think Bale was that great, I don’t care how ridiculously popular it was, it just didn’t strike the right chord for me I’m afraid.

So the DC movie announcements were pretty exciting!  I for one cannot wait to see all three of those films, and anything else they come up with between now and then.  But, that wasn’t it for movie announcements, oh no.  Before I had the chance to properly process all of that information and really start to get excited, I see that there was movie adaptation talk coming from the Top Cow camp too.  Two films (that I know of) are going to be coming our way from my all time favourite comic book studio, The Darkness and Think Tank.  Now, The Darkness is a film that has been touted as in production for a while now, we’ve known that Len Weissman (spelling?) would be directing the project so, to me, it looked as though they were going for the right tone.  We’ve also known that Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins were playing a heavy role in making sure the film wasn’t complete cack, which is also very good news.  What came out at comic con, however, was much more interesting for me.  The Angelus, the long time (seriously long time) nemesis of The Darkness will be in the film in some capacity.  I would assume as the main antagonist, but with the way things have been between the Darkness and the Angelus forces since Dani Baptiste took over the latter, there could be some kind of crazy team up going on.  I doubt it, but you never know.  The other big, big piece of news regarding this film was that the Witchblade and it’s wielder, Sara Pezzini, will also be coming along for the ride.  I desperately hope they’re doing this to seed the idea of a standalone Witchblade movie, it needs to happen and has needed to for quite some time now.  Casting will be key to making this a success, not anyone can step into the roles of Jackie Estacado and Sara Pezzini and if they get that wrong, it’ll all go tits up.

Think Tank is a very interesting proposition too, I’m a huge fan of the comic book and quite an advocate too, trying to encourage anyone and everyone to get into it.  It’s funny though, having read all that has been so far, it’s not a series I had really thought would make the move to the big screen, it had never crossed my mind at all, in fact.  I’m curious as to who would be cast in the role of David Loren, and where the story will go.  Ideally it needs to tread a bit of new ground, yes it obviously needs some sort of introduction (I won’t say “origin” so much since it’s not a super hero film) but I think a rehash of the first couple of story arcs would be a mistake.  I guess time will tell, I’ve seen no release dates for either film so far so it could be any number of years before we get to see these in action, but based on the quality of Top Cow’s books (especially recently) I’m holding out a lot of hope for some quality film making.  A spot of rare optimism, it slips through every now and then.

I think I’m going to call it a night at this point, I’ll go over some of the other cool stuff to come out of the con in the next couple of days, I think this should just about do it for tonight.  Plus, I have work tomorrow so I don’t want this to suddenly take me to 1am which it could quite easily do if I let myself carry on.  Regular posting will resume as of now, so keep an eye out.  As always, thanks for stopping by and reading and good night to you all.

@NickLayland88

Something a bit different today.

For a start off, an afternoon post as opposed to an evening post!  I can’t normally find the time to get this done during the day but I’ve found myself with a bit of spare time today, not only that but I’d quite like to get at least a couple of today’s releases read tonight.  I’m particularly looking forward to Superman #2 and The Darkness #114, those are the two I must find the time for tonight.

Still, I actually have a main topic for discussion today, which I’m going to try to talk about without sounding massively weird and creepy. An ominous start, I know, but today I’d like to talk about crushes on fictional characters.  I know there are several people out there that are perfectly happy to admit it happens, and not in a way that the person gets all weird and considers all real women unworthy.  Just, you know, “you would” if you get my meaning.  I work with a guy, for instance, who is really into the rebooted version of Lara Croft from this year’s Tomb Raider.  He’s a perfectly well rounded human being, great social skills and not someone I’d ever consider weird or creepy.  My comic buddy, and regular comic shopping partner in crime, quite happily admitted his attraction to Catwoman and the same goes for him.

So then, why do I think it’s so understandable?  Well, here’s the things; writing in comics and video games has evolved to the point where a lot of the stories I’m reading are inhabited by incredibly believable characters.  Ones that are frequently very easy to relate to and that find themselves in situations you can relate to.  And let’s be honest here, the massive improvements in graphical quality in games and, likewise, similar improvements to artwork in comics makes the visual representations of these characters so realistic that they just seem so damn real.

I can quite happily say there are a couple of characters that I have a bit of a crush on, Sara Pezzini springing to mind, the way she thinks and deals with situations is admirable in itself but, as a person, I think she’s not just easy to relate to but she’s also, for lack of a better word, just really cool.  It also helps that she’s a brunette!  My point here, is it happens, it’s perfectly understandable and I see nothing wrong with it.

I’d like to point out that this didn’t come to mind from a conversation someone who disagreed with me on this, it came to mind after the Catwoman conversation with my mate.  I thought it might make a decent point of discussion, and to be honest I had very little else to talk about today.  Still, it’s time for me to go grab some lunch so thanks for stopping by and reading, it is appreciated as always.

@NickLayland88

Now we’re getting somewhere!

This weather is just awesome.  I have to say it’s a little bit much when I’m at work, this kind of heat on top of the very physical job that I do can be incredibly draining which, funnily enough, is actually why this post is running so late.  I have easily had the time to do this over the last couple of days, but once out of work all I’ve wanted to do is come home and crash.  On the plus side to this I’ve managed to get through a decent amount of my reading backlog, something I really hate hanging over me.  What I really need to do is just hold back on buying more books until I’m caught up, something easier said than done, I’m afraid when various online and physical shops have sales.

I have to say that catching up on this back log has been made easier by the lack of new TV at the moment, and at the same time, has made the annual TV drought easier too.  There are a few TV shows that I’d actually quite like to give a go that have slipped through the net, but it’s always much more of a commitment getting into a new TV show than it is sitting down and reading a graphic novel, at least in terms of time anyway.

On top of this, there’s at least one other film I’d like to get out to see before it’s run ends, that being the World’s End.  I’ve loved the other two films that make up this kind-of-sort-of trilogy (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) so it’d be a bit daft to miss this.  Now You See Me is another one that has my interest, but I’d like to have seen a few reviews first.  World War Z is now filed under “Couldn’t Care Less” after pretty scathing reviews and confirmation of it’s quality by a friend of mine, and Pacific Rim is going to be digital rental when it comes out, maybe.

I’m generally not that big a film watcher, I like to go and see the superhero movies when they come out so long as it’s not for a hero I really dislike (never going to watch another Fantastic Four film ever, ever again) but I’m not the kind of person that can just sit and watch anything, I need to be fairly certain that I’m going to like it if I’m going to watch it.  There are one or two others that have caught my attention this year but so far the only two I’ve actually bothered to see are Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.

On the game front, things have really quietened up now.  Yes, we’ve had E3 and lots of awesome announcements but in terms of good new releases, there has been nothing in months of any interest to me.  It’s, in theory, giving me a chance to go through older games and grab remaining achievements and get some multiplayer in for the games that I’ve not bothered with so far.  I think the next one I’m looking forward to now is Batman Arkham Origins, almost just because I’ve pre-ordered it and therefore will be playing as Deathstroke in some capacity, Deathstroke being one of my all time favourite comic book characters.  I’m guessing that the ability to play as Deathstroke will be limited to the inevitable challenge mode, but that’s ok, I’ll be quite happy playing as him for any part of it.

I couldn’t possibly post a blog update tonight without talking about one thing in particular that happened today, something we have not seen in seventy seven years.  Today Andy Murray won the men’s Wimbeldon final, and while I’m not normally a tennis fan at all, I sat and watched the final today (most of it anyway) and it was actually quite enthralling.  I’m glad I saw it, the crowd in the stadium certainly raised the intensity but from what I could tell, Murray was pretty cool and calm throughout and never really looked in danger of losing this match.  On the whole it was good entertainment and congratulations go out to Andy Murray.

So now, I think I’m going to make myself a nice cup of tea (mad in this heat, I know), have a smoke and get through a bit more of hard mode on Arkham Asylum.  It’s the final achievement I need so it’s at the top of my “to play” list right now.  It’ll be that or read Wonder Woman: The Circle, I’m not 100% certain yet.  Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed this beautiful weekend and thanks for sparing some time to come by and read my post.  Take care.

@NickLayland88

Frustration.

It’s where I’m at right now, I’m incredibly frustrated at the lack of affordable physical copies of certain, not very old comic books.  Namely, Batman and Batgirl.  Both of these series have their first trade paperback out, but both only have the second volume collected into a hardback so far and I have not seen dates for paperback releases.  I’ve tried to avoid collecting series in hardback so far, I appreciate that the books are considerably more hard wearing but it makes buying comic books more expensive and when you’re in the position I’m in where you have quite an extensive monthly sub list, which keeps growing, it’s best to keep costs down as much as possible.

Thing is, they are both very popular series (for good reason) so most of the back issues are sold out in the local shops, so when I turned to eBay I was incredibly disappointed to see that many of the issues are going for as much as £5, plus shipping, each.  There doesn’t seem to be a way of keeping the costs down with either of these series, not right now anyway, especially since I’ve not seen any news about reprints of sold out issues.  It’s also worth noting that both series are up to issue 21 or 22 at this point so they have enough issues for at least three trade paperbacks.  Indeed, Batman at least has three, but volumes two and three are both hardback only right now.  It’s really frustrating, the whole point of this New 52 business was to give new and lapsed readers a good jumping on point, but for anyone that jumps on a couple of years down the line and wants to get up to date, it’s not looking very friendly from here.  Not for my poor wallet, anyway.  It’s made all the more disappointing by the fact the fact that I have loved both series so far, Batman and Batgirl are both incredibly interesting characters and I think they both have the absolute perfect writers and artists on board to bring them to life.  I was already a big fan of Gail Simone from her work on Gen-13, Birds of Prey and her awesome new series The Movement so I had every bit of confidence going into Batgirl.  Scott Snyder, however, I must admit I’d read nothing from before so I had no idea how this new beginning to Batman would take.  Snyder now quite easily rates in my top 5 Batman writers of all time, volume one was a cover to cover thrill ride, I loved every panel.

This weeks regular comics were pretty light this week, only picking up Action Comics #22 and The Movement #3, neither of which I have read yet because as soon as I got home I sat and read Catwoman volume 2.  I tell you what, all of the Gotham based New 52 books I’ve read so far have been excellent.  I know that it may seem like quite a biased view being such a big DC fan but, in fairness, not every DC book I’ve read has struck a chord with me and I always try to go into a new book with a completely clear and open mind.  The first volumes of Birds of Prey, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin and Batwoman were all spot on too, in my opinion.  It has unfortunately opening a significantly large can of worms now though since, to my knowledge, all are still currently running series.  I’d also like to point out, in reference to my earlier point, that Birds of Prey has the second trade paperback out now.  Why can’t the others?

Anyway, before I derail and get stuck on the same point, the end of the series that originally got me back into comic books is looming ever closer.  The Darkness #114 is out next Wednesday meaning there is only another two issues before the Darkness Falls mini series and then it’s gone.  I have to say I am very curious to see what Top Cow have got lined up to fill the void, I can’t imagine they’d end a series like this and not have something awesome waiting to swoop in.  I still don’t want it to end though, Jackie Estacado will most certainly be missed.  While I’m on the point of Top Cow, actually, I hope they hurry up and get Cyber Force #5 out.  I know that it’s free, and don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly grateful for this gift, but it feels like it’s been ages since I read a new issues of CF and I’m getting withdrawal now!

I started playing Arkham Asylum on hard mode the other day, that one certainly surprised me.  I couldn’t really see any difference at first, then I started getting hit and having no idea why and how to stop it.  Then I clocked onto the fact that the attack indicators are turned off on hard mode and it’s incredible, really, just how much harder this one little tweak makes combat.  You actually have to sit and carefully watch everyone around you, I’m having trouble when getting into fights with five or more unarmed thugs.  I dread to think what it’s going to be like when I have to deal with knives and shields and considerably larger groups of thugs.  I already have trouble dealing with the knife wielding maniacs with the indicators on so I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of checkpoint loads.  It actually makes me wish I’d just started the game on hard and learned how to play without the indicators right away, it’s how I’m going to play Arkham Origins first time around I think.

I had a couple more topics potentially lined up for tonight, but I think I’ll save those for another time.  To be honest I think the other points of discussion would make this a little long and I really can’t be bothered to type out that much tonight, not on top of this anyway.  I think instead of that I’m going to go make myself a nice cup of tea and play some more Arkham Asylum.  Go forth and enjoy the rest of your evenings, thanks very much for stopping by and reading me complain about stuff!

@NickLayland88