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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 18, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #1000

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Everyone

What it is: Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Why we love it: That is a lot of zeroes. Action Comics #1 came out in 1938 and started a cultural revolution. Congrats Supes, you’ve been an inspiration to us all. May you live to see another thousand.

The Mainstream One: Amazing Spider-man #799

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is:  GO DOWN SWINGING Part 3. SPIDER-MAN will need to the help of friend and foe alike if he hopes to stop THE GREEN GOBLIN this time! The mystery of the RED GOBLIN is finally revealed, and it’s not going to be pretty for Peter Parker!

Why we like it: You may think that nothing could top last issue’s reveal of the Red Goblin’s true identity, but you would be so wrong! I was able to check out an advanced preview of issue #799 and there’s a heartbreaking reveal in here that is guaranteed to knock the webbing out of your shooters.

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dan Ormston

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns! Picking up immediately where we left off–Lucy Weber has become the new Black Hammer and right as she’s about to reveal to our heroes how they got stuck on the farm and can escape she vanishes. Now our new Black Hammer finds herself trapped in a gritty world filled with punk rock detectives, emo gods, anthropomorphic humans, absurdist heroes, and many more weirdoes, in a mad world in which there is no escape!

Why we like it: Black Hammer is one of the best indie titles I’m currently reading. It’s a story about superheroes but it’s not a typical superhero story. The characters are flawed, conflicted and often impotent against the mysterious force that has them trapped in a world that no one understands. If you haven’t checked this series out already, do yourself a favor and order the volume 1 trade paper back.

The #1 One: Harley Quinn #42

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mauricet

What it is: Old Lady Harley”! In this far-flung future tale, Harley returns home thirty years after leaving Coney Island — or, more accurately, she’s DRAGGED home — to deal with the mess that the Gangs of Harley have made in her absence! Her disciples have all splintered into warring tribes, and they’ve torn down what’s left of ravaged, mutated New York City in the process!

Why we like it: Ok, so technically not a #1 but Old Lady Harley sounds hilarious. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the gang has aged.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Weapon X #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Eric Canete

What it is: ‘OLD MAN LOGAN VS. SABRETOOTH’ CONCLUSION! Savage action as Old Man Logan and Sabretooth fight alone in a containment facility filled with horrific beasts! But who will prove himself the biggest monster? Witness the true fate of Sabretooth from the Wastelands of Old Man Logan’s past! Sets up a huge status quo change for Marvel’s deadliest team of mutants!

Why we like it: I peed a little when I first saw this cover. Terrifying.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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His Name Was Jason: The Official Friday the 13th Blog (April Edition)

Our resident Friday the 13th super-fan and aficionado, Tom “Tominek” Vanner is back with a look at the mythology of the Mask.  Maybe he’ll clue you in on a few things you didn’t already know about the iconic horror villain?

Hello my friends, good seeing you have all come back to play along again. If you are reading this on a Friday that must mean one thing… It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday!!! That’s right folks one of our founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence was born today, April 13. Happy Birthday Tom!!! This one’s for you (holding up a “coffee” yes coffee.)

Anyway we all know the real reason why we have gathered today, to honor my friend and yours, Jason Voorhees. As some of you know, quick count around the room, ok so like 2 maybe 3 of you might know, whatever. I did 5 days of babbling on about Friday the 13th last October.  Well as it turns out I didn’t pay attention to a small detail, a tiny, tiny detail. You know nothing major just forgot to highlight JASON’S FREAKING MASK!!!

I know, I know you’re asking yourself “Tom how the hell did you forget about the mask?” First I didn’t forget about the mask I had talked about its progression through the movies.

You, “Dude really, you claim to be a Friday the 13th expert and you forget his mask, what a fraud.”

Ok honestly, hurtful. Secondly I NEVER CLAIMED TO BE AN EXPERT!!! (editor’s note:  Great Stories claimed that Tom was an expert.  Our bad! J/K.  What can we say?  Tom is humble.) So any way today we learn about the origins of Jason’s Iconic Hockey Mask.

Jason, as we all know made his first real on screen appearance in Part 2. He was never suppose to be an actual physical character, he was an idea, or really a motive.  At the end of “Friday the 13th” Jason was finally given a face for the sole purpose of a jump scare. With the success of the original film, it was only natural to make a part 2. However they knew they couldn’t have Pamela as the antagonist, since she ain’t got no head Lieutenant Dan.  The producers, screen writers or whomever’s job it was began an unofficial back story to Jason where he actually survived his drowning and grew up as a feral kid, so to speak.  Keeping with primitive living they decided a potato sack with a single strand of rope and an eye hole was the best way to go with a mask.

Fun story about the Potato sack though, As “Friday the 13th” was in production so was “The Elephant Man”, a drama in which the title character wore a potato sack to hide his face. A couple months after  the premier of “ The Elephant Man”,  “Friday the 13th  Part 2” came out  and had kind of a parody feel to it, which was not the intent of the film, obviously.

Part 3 enters conception at some point and the movie begins filming. The Crew knows the Potato sack isn’t working and they need a new direction. They were throwing around ideas and Martin Jay Sadoff happened to have a hockey mask with him, because a bunch of the crew had been on a hockey team together and would often play after filming each day. Martin had jokingly suggested using his hockey mask and then we don’t have to worry about makeup. They makeup tested it and the director or producer thought it was pretty scary.

Martin’s Mask was a Leather mask, and didn’t really fit Richard J Brooker’s head. They casted the Mask in a clear plastic and the mask designer for the film actually painted it from the inside out to prevent paint chipping.  There was a second cast done for the scene where Jason gets axed in the head.

Fast Forward to the debut of “Friday the 13TH Part 3”, and all their efforts paid off. The 3rd installment was a huge success.  The movie was released August 13th1982, I’ll let you guess what day of the week that was.  It wasn’t unit October 31 that year they had really seen the impact of the movie though. They saw kids all over buying up hockey mask to wear as their Jason costumes. At that point they knew if they were to continue the series the hockey mask had to stay, and the icon that is Jason Voorhees had finally been born.

What I find really fascinating about the whole thing is the consistency. Every Movie with exception of Part 5, (Roy you suck.) the makeup and design teams attempted to retain the original integrity of the Mask but did what was needed to carry the story. They kept consistent damage marks throughout each film while at the same time weathering and altering the mask to the current needs of the current film.

The icon that is Jason’s signature hockey mask is so profound that there are many, many people and companies that make replicas of each movies featuring mask. The one mask that gives people the most trouble is the original Part 3. The problem people have is the coloring. In most screen shots the mask appears white however, in some shots it has a yellowish aging to it. People have tried all kinds of paint combinations to mimic the effect and have been unsuccessful. The dirty little secret behind the Part 3 mask is the first layer of paint is actually a varnish. At different angles and lighting that is what gives the effect of “color change”.

In the Horror world there are many, masks and faces that stick out to viewers, Freddy’s burnt up mug, IT’s clown makeup (because well he’s a friggin clown), Pinhead’s ugly grill are all easily recognized. The Hockey mask of Jason Voorhees though, is truly a stand out look that in itself can insight a fear in someone by just being there. I can happily report that I have personally seen this happen through the eye hole in which Jason peers from.

I thank you again for spending some time reading what nonsense I have put together for you. Until next time, take care of yourself, watch something bloody, and remember it is never too early to work on your Halloween costume.

 

 

The information gathered about the origin of the mask was cited from the actual crew of “Friday the 13rth part “3 in a documentary, “Legacy of the Mask” which can be found on Youtube.

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 11, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Thanos #18

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: AT LONG LAST…THANOS WINS! When there is nothing left to kill, Death comes…to the one who loves her most – KING THANOS. How will the fantastic saga of Thanos, King Thanos and the Cosmic Ghost Rider end?

Why we love it: The can’t miss conclusion to Donny Cates and Geoff Shaws’ exceptional Thanos run drops this week. It’s Thanos vs Thanos and the winner marries Death. Sounds like one of those, you win but you actually lose, type scenarios.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #700 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME CONCLUSION! Cap is finally ‘OUT OF TIME’! Frozen in time, awakened in a decimated future and once again a man out of his era, there is only one way for Steve Rogers to restore order and rebuild civilization-and that’s to rule it as King Captain America! No dream, no hoax, no lie, this IS Cap and this IS happening, believe it or not! PLUS: Mark Waid delivers an untold tale from Captain America’s past, featuring the classic artwork of Jack Kirby! Rated T+

Why we like it: Happy 700th Cap. To celebrate Marvel’s making you king of future world. A monarchy seems like the kind of thing that Captain America would be opposed to, so I expect his reign to be a short one.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andea Sorrentino

What it is: The brand-new supernatural mystery series by the acclaimed team of JEFF LEMIRE and ANDREA SORRENTINO (Old Man Logan, Green Arrow) continues. The mysteries of the ‘Black Barn’ heighten as the reclusive Norton begins to unravel new clues just as a murder spree breaks out in the town of Gideon Falls. But how is it all connected?! The puzzle pieces begin to fall.

Why we like it: Issue 1 of Gideon Falls was a very strong premiere for the new series by creative superstars Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. Part urban horror, part rural mystery, Gideon Falls touches on themes of madness, obsession, religion and good old fashioned ghosties.

The #1 One: Immortal Men #1

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

What it is: ‘THE END OF FOREVER’ part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first? RATED T+

Why we like it: DC’s New Age of Heroes has been a bit of a mixed bag, but there have been some positive standouts. I really like the creative team on this title, and I hope Tynion and Lee stick around for a while.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Supergirl #20 (Artgerm Cover B variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lai

What it is: Supergirl must fight both Mokkari and the out-of-dimension Viking Judge to save Director Bones from the fury of the Viking’s magical ax! Meanwhile, with Director Bones out of the picture, Cameron Chase and Lar-On must break into the D.E.O. to save Veritas before the clock counts down to zero and the psycho-redactor erases her memories forever!

Why we like it: Based on Michael Turner’s Supergirl costume design, issue 20 is my new favorite from the run. I believe that this is the last cover B that Stanley Artgerm Lau is doing on Supergirl, and  its an absolute beauty. But don’t fret, Artgerm will keep the cover B’s moving as it has been announced that he will be doing B covers on Joelle Jones’ Catwoman series launching in July.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 4, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Amazing Spiderman #798

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: GO DOWN SWINGING Part 2 Dan Slott’s final SPIDER-MAN story continues! The GREEN GOBLIN HAS RETURNED – and he’s exacting his ultimate revenge not only on SPIDER-MAN, but on everyone the wall-crawler loves! Norman Osborn’s offering NO QUARTER, an ultimatum that threatens to finish PETER PARKER once and for all! Rated T

Why we love it: The Red Goblin makes his first appearance in the pages of ASM #798. ‘Nuff said.

The Mainstream One: Batman #44

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘SOMETHING BLUE’! Follow Batman and Catwoman on two separate but parallel paths as their wedding planning kicks into high gear. Selina picks out her dress, and Bruce starts to make arrangements for their new life together-but this being Gotham City, and they being Batman and Catwoman, you can bet that nothing will go as expected!

Why we like it: We’re only a few months away from the much anticipated Bat/Cat wedding day. I doubt many readers actually believe that they will go through with it and I think we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Writer Tom King excels at infusing the insanity of superhero stories with mundane slice-of-life moments and this Batman run has been his masterpiece.

The Indie One: Spawn #284

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: The re-creation of Spawn’s arch villain THE VIOLATOR…A NEW LOOK! NEW POWERS!

Why we like it: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane returns to resurrect the most well-known, possibly only-known, character from Spawn’s rogue gallery. And it looks like the Violator will be getting an upgrade. Fracesco Mattina is also back with another stunning cover that alone is worth the price of admission. 

The #1 One: Isola #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brenden Fletcher
Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: Childhood friends BRENDEN FLETCHER (MOTOR CRUSH) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller KARL KERSCHL (Gotham Academy) reunite on the comics page with a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making! The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away-a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Featuring lush color work by MSASSYK (Gotham Academy) and letters by ADITYA BIDIKAR (MOTOR CRUSH). Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.

Why we like it: Cool concept from a stellar creative team.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #30

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: ‘Deathstroke vs. Batman’ part one! Beginning this month, a six-issue series-within-a-series featuring the ultimate showdown between DC’s fiercest rivals! When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father-Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son-can he? And who sent the package-and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic!

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina joins an exclusive group of creators who have made the Crank File list twice in the same week. He’s making a strong case for being the top cover artist of 2018. The colors and composition of this Deathstroke cover are killer.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!