New Comic Wednesday: November 23, 2011
The cover of Fantastic Four #600 written by Jonathan Hickman
November 23rd, 2011
09:10 AM ET

New Comic Wednesday: November 23, 2011

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t read Fantastic Four No. 600 and you are planning to read it, please, stop reading now. NOT KIDDING!

Hello, faithful comic readers!

We all know that Wednesday is the best day of the week because the new comics arrive today, and this week marks a Marvel Comics event that everyone is talking about.

Daniel Dean of Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, a behind-the-counter guy with a knack for knowing what comic book fans like to read, is focused on Marvel Comics' "Fantastic Four No. 600".

Yes, I said "Fantastic Four" and not "FF".

Any experienced comic book reader will probably be a little skeptical about Marvel bringing a title back for a big-number issue, Dean said, but this time it's different.

If you are still reading this despite the spoiler alert at the top, now is the time to turn back if you want to remain in the dark about what Marvel has on tap. But really, if you couldn’t figure out what this issue was going to be, well, have you ever read a comic before? FULL POST

Digital comics: All your apps are belong to us
November 22nd, 2011
02:50 PM ET

Digital comics: All your apps are belong to us

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings." He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

I don’t buy products from my local comic shop anymore.

The retail prices were already too high for my budget, but in-store markups turned me off even more. I realized if I mail-ordered my comics ahead of time they came with a significant discount. I just filled out my November order and I’m saving an average 32% on what those comics would cost me off the rack. More comics for fewer monies.

The downside to mail ordering is that I have to wait to read them - between two and four weeks after the books are released in stores.

Unless I want the stories spoiled, I can’t participate in conversations about the newest issues. And if I don’t order something that unexpectedly gets rave reviews, I’m stuck waiting several months for it to be collected. It’s that or visit my local shop again, where the critically acclaimed books are either sold out or marked up.

With the advent of digital comics, I’m starting to get the best of both worlds. Many comics are available on the cheap and if I absolutely feel the need to read something the day it came out, it takes less than a minute to download it legally.

Digital comics seem to be growing two audiences: one that is looking specifically for less-expensive comics than what's available in stores, and one that aren't as concerned with price as they are immediate acquisition.

Digital comics have a variety of prices, from as low as 99 cents per issue to as much as $3.99 for an issue released digitally the same day that it’s distributed in print (a.k.a. “day-and-date”).

“Clearly both high-quality storytelling and same-day-as-print releases have value,” said David Steinberger, CEO of ComiXology, the current top digital comics vendor.

If you’ve never bought digital comics before, you’re probably wondering where to get them and what makes the vendors different from one another. To learn more about how other readers consume digital comics and what’s involved in their production and distribution I turned to three different digital comic vendors (Graphicly, ComiXology and iVerse) and one manga publisher who is distributing their digital content alone (VIZ Media). FULL POST

J.J. Abrams on 'Super 8,' the next 'Trek' and his favorite Con
J.J. Abrams, right, directs the cast of "Super 8."
November 22nd, 2011
01:53 PM ET

J.J. Abrams on 'Super 8,' the next 'Trek' and his favorite Con

J.J. Abrams may have made his name in television with series like "Alias," "Lost" and "Fringe," but he's had a succession of hits on the big screen. He delivered the most recent this past summer with the coming-of-age sci-fi film "Super 8," just released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Abrams told CNN that this was his most personal movie to date. "It was definitely very familiar to me as a kid growing up in that time making those movies," he said of the story, about a group of filmmakers in their early teens. "I loved the magic trick of moviemaking, the expression of it, whether it’s makeup or visual effects. There was something about doing it that felt like real life sort of paled in comparison."

Abrams considers himself "lucky" to have found such a talented young cast – including Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning – because they made the characters believable.

[More, including the latest on the next "Star Trek," the new series "Alcatraz," and Abrams geeks out, after the jump.]


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Filed under: Fandom • Squee!
'Game of Thrones' casts its Lord of Bones
November 21st, 2011
01:43 PM ET

'Game of Thrones' casts its Lord of Bones

HBO’s acclaimed series “Game of Thrones” has cast its Lord of Bones, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The outlet confirms that Edward Dogliani has been cast as Lord of Bones in the fantasy drama. The Hollywood newcomer will play the wildling raider also known as Rattleshirt in the upcoming season 2.

Author George R.R. Martin broke the casting news on his blog Tuesday, welcoming Dogliani to the fictional continent of Westeros, and adding, "I'm looking forward to seeing you in your bone armor.” So are we!


Filed under: Fandom
Geeky gift ideas for the superfan in your life (or, who are we kidding, yourself)
November 21st, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Geeky gift ideas for the superfan in your life (or, who are we kidding, yourself)

Shopping for holiday gifts for sci-fi and fantasy fans isn't always easy, especially if you're not one yourself. Let CNN's Geek Out team guide you with some very inventive gift ideas that the geek in your life will love.

Want proof that scoundrel extraordinaire Han Solo is the coolest character in "Star Wars" canon? Just check your freezer. If you have to ask why anyone needs a Han Solo in Carbonite ice cube tray, you’ve obviously never seen “The Empire Strikes Back.”

This nifty ice tray commemorates the famous moment when the Empire flips a switch and turns everyone’s favorite smuggler-gone-legit into a Carbonite popsicle. It’s a great conversation piece for the "Star Wars" fan, and having Han in a glass makes a cold drink even cooler.

While sipping on that drink, the "Star Wars" fan in your life can enjoy the fact that their entire room is covered in Imperial forces wallpaper, thanks to you.

You'll want to get this Dalek ornament for that "Doctor Who" fan early enough so they can hang it on their tree. They probably already have a sonic screwdriver or a TARDIS usb hub, so this ornament will surely excite them. Don't forget to complete the set with a TARDIS ornament.

If the fanboy or fangirl in your life keeps hitting refresh on "The Hunger Games" trailer, they may want one of these beautiful fan-made "Hunger Games" ornaments. FULL POST

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