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KAV'S DVD REVIEW OF APOLLO 18

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I could say spoiler alert but there's nothing to spoil here so read on.

Ok another suckfest from Hollywood. This film suffers from the fatal flaw of the passive protagonist. He does nothing to try to get out of his predicament, merely repeating over and over, 'Houston can you hear me? Liberty do you copy" etc etc ad nauseum. A third of this movie seems to be the doomed astronauts shouting, "HOUSTON DO YOU COPY? LIBERTY DO YOU COPY?" Not the stuff of interesting films, boys. Don't any screenwriters read books on screenwriting? The passive protagonist is the death sentence for drama, guys.

Anyway, this movie is about a secret 18th mission to the moon. It's kinda like Apollo 13 meets Cloverfield meets Alien. These are the lost tapes. Dudes go on a secret mission to the moon to install some sort of transmitters to spy on the Russians or something. The film doesn't make it any clearer than that.

So two astronauts discover a Russian lander close to where t…

BLAST OF SILENCE: A MOVIE FOR CRIME NOIR WRITERS

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If you are going to write a crime noir comic book then you better immerse yourself in the classics to understand the genre. A few writers get it right and too many get it wrong. Let's correct the mistakes. There are plenty of books and films to read and watch and my first film suggestion is the 1961 cult classic, Blast of Silence. Written and directed by Allen Baron, Blast of Silence, follows a hitman named Frankie Bono (Allen Barron) who is hired to take out a New York City mob boss named Troiano during Christmas.

This film has everything for a crime noir education. First, there is the hard boiled narrator who is perfect throughout the entire film. He has many great lines like, "The target's name is Troiano. You know the type, second-string syndicate boss with too much ambition and a mustache, to hide the fact that he has lips like a woman. The kind of face you hate."  Perfect. That's the kind of stuff one needs for a perfect crime noir tale. You need that grit…

PROMETHEUS TRAILER (2012)

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Fans of the Alien franchise can rejoice. Ridley Scott, the director of Alien, has returned with a movie that's sort-of-not-really an Alien prequel. Watch the trailer below and then feel free to read my thoughts. 






I read online last year that Ridley Scott was filming an Alien prequel and was very excited about the news. Yesterday, I saw the trailer online and it was awesome. I'm feeling good about some of the films that are planned for a 2012 release like The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, The Avengers, and Prometheus.  

As stated earlier in this post, the film is a prequel of sorts that takes place in the Alien franchise universe. Prometheus will give us some clues to what the crew of the Nostromo discovered in Alien, especially that giant crashed spaceship with the freakish alien skeleton inside.



Let's talk about the director, crew, and actors. Ridley Scott is the director and this guy knocked it out of the park with Alien. If you want to know how to do a horror movie t…

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011

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Welcome to the last webcomics update for 2011 and we at Champion City Comics want to thank you for supporting us and our webcomics. This year, we have been privileged to have over 100,000 visitors. Thank you!

This week, we have an update for Red Devil. The internaytional crime-fighter has tracked down Silent Noise in Prague and has discovered he's working for someone or something demonic.


THE RED DEVIL

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Ink, Color, and Lettering: Erik Roman & Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

CLI…

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: SUPERMAN #171 'THE CURSE OF MAGIC' (PART 1)

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Kav & Tony Break it Down is nothing more than two long-time comic book readers making fun of the Golden and Silver Age Superman comics. We understand that these books were written for a juvenile audience but we could not resist reviewing these classics. Please note that no comic books were hurt during the review. 

Kav and Tony Break It Down has returned! Consider it a late Christmas gift from Champion City Comics. We will be reviewing Superman #171 which featured the story 'The Curse of Magic'. The writer was none other than Jerry Siegel, the penciler was the legendary Curt Swan, and the inker was George Klein. Enjoy!

RIGHT CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE

COVER
PAGE 1

KAV: Ok, here we see Superman acting as a sort of general handyman for the people of Metropolis. Maybe he should see if there are any life/death situations in OTHER CITIES once his 'chores are done'. We see Mr MXYVDYTFHGJX (or whatever) informing Supes that everything he says will come true. Easy soluti…

KAV'S HELPFUL TIPS FOR ARTISTS (AS SEEN AT COMIC RELATED!)

Our artist and writer, A. Kaviraj, made the front pages of Comic Related with an article providing some helpful tips for artists. You can read the article here or just read below.

Okay, this article addresses the issue of getting paying work, the holy grail of the comic artist. Until you get picked up, hopefully, by a publisher, this should allow you to avoid some of the pitfalls of the aspiring artist.

First of all, you respond to ads on sites like Digital Webbing, Penciljack, Deviantart, or, COMIC RELATED. If you are lucky enough to be selected-because for every paying gig there will be at least a hundred applicants-here is how you should handle it.

Many artists have unfortunately experienced being 'hired' to do a book, with payment upon completion, and they never get paid. So they basically drew 22 pages for someone, for free. A good policy is to ask for payment every 5 pages. Anyone not willing to accept these terms will probably screw you anyway, so no loss. Another stra…

CHAMPION CITY COMICS RETURNS DECEMBER 26, 2011!

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Merry Christmas! We at Champion City Comics are going to be spending time with family and friends. We will return on December 26, 2011! Please enjoy a Doctor Death Christmas below. Thanks to A. Kaviraj for the image.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


COMING SOON: RAPID CITY ISSUES 1 & 2

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Writer: Josh Dahl

Pencils and Inks: A. Kaviraj

Rapid City has returned! For those of you that enjoyed Rapid City: Escalationthen you are in for a treat. Rapid City: Escalation was the 11th issue for the series, so Josh Dahl has decided for you to read the first two issues where we see the beginnings of Kinetic, a young superhero that defends Rapid City.

CLICK ON PAGES TO ENLARGE



RED DEVIL UPDATE

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We have a new page to add to our webcomic, Red Devil!

>Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Ink, and Lettering: Erik Roman & Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE WEBCOMIC AT DRUNK DUCK

CLICK TO ENLARGE PAGE 15!

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011

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This week, our webcomics update features two teasers for some upcoming webcomics, The Hell Fighters and Red Racer. 

THE HELL FIGHTERS

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Inks, and Lettering: Victor Pozzi

Coming soon to Champion City Comics. Grand Harbor, Michigan is a city overrun with super villains. To combat the villainy, a group of special agents known as The Hell Fighters have been assigned the task of cleaning up Grand Harbor by any means possible. Please view the preview logo and pages below!

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE




RED RACER
Writer: Michael Knoll Artist: Rick Caradine
Red Racer is a tale of four celestial beings that are the survivors of Morrock, a planet destroyed during an interplanetary war. The beings need hosts in order to survive so a Morrock survivor known as Pan finds his new host in an earthling named Jake McCoy.
CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE



A CHAMPION CITY COMICS TUTORIAL (PART 2): TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK WRITERS (AKA THE WAITING)

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TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics, a creative community dedicated to showcasing the best webcomics. This is the second installment of a series of tutorials on writing your comic or webcomic that will provide helpful tips for writers of all levels and is merely advice from someone who has experience.

My first blog entry titled 'A Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever' discussed basic problems with development ideas for your webcomic. This second article will examine the length of your work and the time it will take to be completed because writers have an idea for a comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic, but create an unrealistic goal for completion.







I've had comic book ideas sent to me from aspiring writers who have proposals for comics that will span over 200 pages over ten, twelve, or sixteen issues. Why is this an issue? In my opinion, a failure to understand the basic concepts of developing a comic book or webcomic using the do-it-yoursel…

KAV DEBUNKS SOME COMMON HOLLYWOOD MYTHS

Hollywood Fakery Can Cost People Their Lives!

Ok, this is kind of a strange article but yet another news story has prompted me to write it. See, yet another person has died trying to respond in a crisis the way they do in the movies...but real life is not the movies so, he died.

Ok what happened was a guy was in a quickie mart when a robbery went down. He figured he'd be a hero and smash the guy in the head with a beer bottle, thus knocking him out. Well, he busted the bottle across the guy's head, but it didn't knock him out, it only pissed him off so he turned around and shot dude.

I have a good friend who got in a bar fight and smashed his beer mug against the guy's head. What happened was the mug split in two and sliced my friend's flexor tendon on his third digit. That finger is currently unmovable and stiff, as a Huntington Rod tendon graft is a pretty difficult surgery and he had no medical insurance.

People died in the San Fransisco earthquake of 1989 when…

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION FOR DECEMBER 18, 2011: THAT'S WHEN I REACH FOR MY REVOLVER BY MISSION OF BURMA

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I listen to this post-punk classic when I develop a script for a crime-noir story. Brilliant.



ACTION COMICS #4 REVIEW

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Writer: Grant Morrison

Art: Rags Morales

What horrible fate awaits Superman and the city of Metropolis? The true scope of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales' Action Comics run begins to come into view, so get those sunglasses ready, 'cause it is gonna be blinding! And in a backup story that spins out of Action Comics #2, John Henry Irons takes his first steps toward becoming the hero known as Steel!

It's been four months now since the release of the New 52 and I think it's safe to say that while some issues have really broken the molds, other have really lacked in what a majority of the regular fan base has desired. I have found some seriously awesome titles (Animal Man, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Red Lanterns, Superboy, etc.) and read some seriously lacking titles (Stormwatch, Green Arrow, JLA Intl. and Superman regrettably.) But finally, Action Comics #4 is going somewhere. I have enjoyed the art of this series, and have found some clever re-imagining, but as you may hav…

KAV'S TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK ARTISTS

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Comic book artist, A. Kaviraj,continues his series of providing useful tutorials for comic book artists. If you missed his article on comic book inking then click here. This week, he gives artists tips on sequential art, shadows,splash pages, and panel design.   

Sometimes regular artists decide they want to draw comic books and don't realize that sequential art is a COMPLETELY different skill set, and even if you can draw like Michaelangelo, your pages will still be sucky or you will get frustrated and quit right away because you have no experience telling a story with your drawings. You have to think four-dimensionally, McFly.

You have to be able to draw well AND tell a clear story with your images. You have to know how to depict in an interesting yet clear manner the story which the writer has scripted. You have to think like a cinematographer, using interesting camera angles, and close ups when the drama requires it.

You may have to choose to draw something less awesome, yet …

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION TRAILER

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Below is the trailer for the upcoming movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Watch the clip and then read my thoughts.



My initial thought was, "Wow, this looks terrible." The first film, G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra, was really bad and I feel by saying "really bad", I was being kind. Larry Hama, the genius behind G.I. Joe comics, had to be brought on to salvage the script of G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra from being the next Spawn. The great Mr. Hama could only do so much for the first movie, which irritated many old-school fans like myself for not staying true to the comic book or even the cartoon. The end result was nothing more than a plot-less waste of time that followed the nonsensical mind-numbing formula equal to the Mission Impossible franchise.

The trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation shows us that Zartan is still playing the role of the President of the United States and has decided to take out the Joes once and for all. Somehow, a handful of Joes survive an attack, inc…

CREATIVITY: A CALL TO ARMS

Were I a somebody, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. Wouldn’t have to. Not that I’d be Hef-ing it up and lounging in silk PJs next to any one of my stripper soon-to-be-ex-wives, but I know, at least from a professional standpoint, there certainly wouldn’t be any uncertainty. I’d have it made: traveling the Cons, writing modern masterpieces, basking in the glory of the loved masses—y’know, like Warren Ellis.

Yet here I am, trooping onward toward 40, grayer around the muzzle but possessor of this little gem of comics writing knowledge that was, when realized, an eye-opener: it’s a damn slow animal, that’s for sure. Other guys here on the site already have a few projects under their belts. Me, I’m still climbing the ladder, networking, honing the craft, spit-shining the scripts I have in hopes that one day I can slouch toward Bethlehem to be born and proudly call myself PUBLISHED. Do I have a shot? Do any of us? I dunno, but that’s the grail I’m after, and I’m not alone: there are p…

MARVEL ULTIMATES #4 REVIEW

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Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Esad Ribic

Thor’s miffed and who could blame him? I’d be mad too if some advanced race decided to wax my entire homeland and all of its inhabitants. What occurs is a fierce battle in which the Asgardians had their godly arses handed to them and a battle that turned him from Thunder God to Instant Orphan in about six pages.

That’s the setup for Ultimate Comics Ultimates #4, which mostly spotlights Thor’s suicide mission to take the hammer to those responsible while Fury, Stark and Hawkeye lick their wounds after last issue’s vicious dogfight and monitor from a safe distance. As a whole, it’s continued excellence from Hickman, although I admit there’s some confusion trying to figure out who’s who between the People (debuted in Hawkeye mini-series) and the Children, the techno supers hellbent on reshaping the world to suit their needs. The face-off between the two factions is pretty much inevitable and will probably happen at some point down the road, but fo…

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011

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We have two webcomics updates for this week, so please enjoy our international crime-fighting story, The Red Devil and our Dungeons & Dragons meets zombies comic, The Burning Blade.

CLICK ON THE TITLES BELOW TO VIEW OUR WEBCOMICS
THE RED DEVIL




Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist: Erik Roman

Color & Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.



THE BURNING BLADE


Writer: Bret Kinsey
Art & Lettering: Bret Kinsey & Tun  Myo Hlaing 
SYNOPSIS: An ancient evil has returned to the lands of Thordasha. Daemon Devilwood, an orpha…

KAV'S DVD REVIEW: BOY WONDER

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This is a great realistic superhero movie! Sean Donovan sees his mother murdered when he's eight. In a Bruce Wayne moment-this changes his life-he begins training himself physically and mentally to FIGHT CRIME! The movie really starts when he is in high school as the quiet, reserved "A" student, but he's BROODING. He wants PAYBACK.

Twice he walks away from conflict-once when he sees a fellow student bullied by the 'popular kid', and once when an aggressive psycho eyeballs him on the subway. He hasn't experienced Joseph Campbell's 'call to act' yet. The "Hero's Journey" is just beginning. Finally he ACTS. He watches two ghetto rats in the park at night and he stares at them. They come up with the old, "WTF you lookin' at bitch?!" routine and start to beat him up, but he snaps out of it and...bad news for the ghetto rats. This kid is TROUBLED, but he's INTELLIGENT and DETERMINED.

Cut to the tough detective chick…

A CHAMPION CITY COMICS TUTORIAL: WRITING TIPS FOR WEBCOMICS AND COMICS (AKA A FINE LINE BETWEEN STUPID AND CLEVER)

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This is the first installment of a series of tutorials on writing your comic or webcomic.This series will provide helpful tips for writers of all levels and is merely advice from someone who has experience.   

I will start off this post with a brief bio because you might be wondering, "What does this guy know about writing?" I have seven years experience of writing scripts for comics and webcomics and those stories fall under the following genres: crime noir, war stories, superhero tales, humor, and sci-fi. Overall, I have developed twelve titles for Champion City Comics and you can review my work by clicking here. Also, I HIGHLY recommend that you find a copy of Alan Moore's Writing for Comics Volume One. It helped me and it might be of use to you.

Are you interested in developing a webcomic or comic? Great! Every story begins as an idea and this first post will give some helpful writing tips on developing your story. When it comes to developing a story, I would li…

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION FOR DECEMBER 11, 2011: EIGHT MILES HIGH BY HUSKER DU

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Husker Du cranked their amps to eleven to cover this Byrds classic.

KAV'S TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK INKERS

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More and more you need to be an 'all-in-one' artist to break into the industry, which means penciling and inking your own stuff. The reason for this is it's so hard to find actual producing artists at the amateur level, so finding a penciler to ink or vice versa can be impossible. But that being said, here's some tips for inkers or pencilers who ink their own stuff.

First of all, every inker seems to prefer his or her own tools. I like to use Pitt markers and brushpens myself. I don't like dipping a brush in ink or the smears that can follow. Sean Phillips likes to use a Pitt pen to outline, then he uses a brush and ink technique with devastating results.

There are two styles of inking-the slick 'comic book' style and the fine art 'painting' style. I much prefer the latter as I feel the slick look is overdone. Almost every superhero book uses this style and I am sorta sick of it. But if that's your thing, go for it. Andrew Currie, Bryan Hitch&…

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WEBCOMICS STAR: A FEW TIPS ON DEVELOPING YOUR OWN WEBCOMIC

I want to start off this post by stating that what you're about to read is my own personal opinion and should be taken as advice and not gospel. Also, what you're about to read is based on my personal experience developing Champion City Comics into a webcomics community that went from less than 5,000 page views in 2010 to 100,000 page views in 2011.

I hope that at this point you have a concept for your webcomic(s) project. If not then that is fine and I hope this article sheds some light upon the world of webcomics.

As far as web hosting is concerned, I do recommend Blogger but there are also other sites to consider like Drunk Duck or Webcomics Nation. That is the tip of the hosting iceberg and I encourage you to find a site that fits your budgetary needs and your HTML skills.


You're interested in developing a webcomic. Are you motivated?

If you want to have your own webcomics site then you better be motivated because I've seen one too many webcomics sites out there t…

MORE CHANGES FOR CHAMPION CITY COMICS

Dear Champion City Readers,

This is just a brief message to inform you that a few changes are coming to this site. We are dedicated to providing you with the best webcomics and that will not change. However, we are looking to add more articles about the history of our webcomics, tips for artists, tips for writers, and much more. We would like to shift our focus from reviewing comic books to reviewing webcomics.

We appreciate the support we've received since 2009 and keep on reading!


Sincerely,

TonyDoug Wright
Owner and Editor at Champion City Comics

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011

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We have three webcomics updates for this week, so please enjoy our international crime-fighting story, The Red Devil, our superhero tale of suspense, Dr Death vs The Zombie, and our awesome sci-fi anthology, Tales From The Future.

Also, we are approaching a total of 100,000 viewers for this year and we appreciate your support!

THE RED DEVIL

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist: Erik Roman

Color & Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

CLICK ON PAGE TO VIEW


DOCTOR DEATH VS THE ZOMBIE

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist and Lettere…

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #4 REVIEW

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Writer: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz

Art: Dan Duncan

When last we left our intrepid turtles, Raphael and Casey Jones had fallen into the clutches of the evil Old Hob, while the other three Heroes in a Half Shell combed the city looking for their prodigal brother.There wasn’t much to this issue, a lot of action that led to the four brothers being reunited at last.

The action was pretty tight and didn’t feel superfluous. Likewise the flashback sequences lasted just long enough to learn that the lab, Stockgen, that was experimenting on the turtles and Splinter hired Old Hob to hunt them down so they could get an untainted mutagen sample from their blood. April has her obligatory page, even though it’s not really relevant to this issue’s story, where it seems like she’s starting to think maybe Splinter is intelligent.

The real twist of this one is the flashback that shows Splinter, Leo, Donnie, and Mikey just after their mutation. Splinter is talking to them and is dropping phrases like, “…