Author: Wooly Toots

A Long Box Behind: Skull the Slayer

Skull the Slayer Summer Reading Club Three guys take a trip into a world of the far-flung past By Wooly Toots, Joel Ballard and Camarillo Brillo Sometime last year, my friend Joel made the decision to build a full run of the classic Marvel series, Marvel Two-In-One. When he acquired issue #35 and read it, he called me immediately and asked if I knew who Skull the Slayer was. I didn’t and he followed up his question by saying, “this guy seems right up your alley.”After a quick interwebs search I agreed. A handful of months following, a solicit for the trade paperback collection of the series appeared. We were ecstatic and both committed to acquiring it and having our own geeky little book club discussion over it. Fling forward in time and enter Camarillo Brillo. Fresh off our joint Omnibro read of Marvel’s 1970’s John Carter series, Brillo was hungry to know what was the follow-up read. When he learned of the planned Skull book club, he ordered a copy too. Little did we know what we were in for. Nor did we have any clue that Skull would be rising from the forgotten pages of time to be a player in the current Weird World comic. So, to replicate the feel of a book club we decided to each write questions about the series to simulate a...

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Omnibros: Thirty-One First Dates

*EDITOR’S NOTE* There comes a time when a comic series is more than Wooly Toots can handle on his own. That’s when it pays to have good friends ready to answer the call to action. When Toots assembles his crack team of readers, they become greater than the sum of their parts. They become…THE OMNIBROS! Reading an Omnibus can be intimidating. They’re typically monster-sized volumes and can be a major commitment. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a few on the shelf with no real plan on how or when to start reading them. Well, all that changed when Camarillo Brillo tweeted me a pic of the Marvel Comics John Carter Warlord of Mars omnibus. As the fates would have it, I already owned the book, so I shouted back “hey let’s read it together starting May 1st.” This was during April so I had some time to think things over about the reading so I came back with “Let’s read one issue a day and then let’s review it.” Not wanting the review to be too long since it’s a thirty-one issue series, I also suggested we aim for five word reviews of each issue. To top it off, we agreed to not share our reviews with each other until the end. This was going to be epic. As the reading began I posted pics of...

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Twiddling My Thumbsticks: Back in Black

With Black Flag the Creed franchise may have peaked. I really dig the Assassin’s Creed franchise. My affair with the series began in 2007 with the release of the very first game. Since then, I’ve played each iteration and have even read some of the various comic book series. From the very beginning, the gameplay and world/time period recreation has been spellbinding and jaw-dropping to me. If I had one complaint about the series, it would be the “real-world” aspect. The time spent out of the Animus interface (where memories of various ancestors are accessed and how various time periods are explored) is a waste of time and heck, if it could be skipped I’d do it. I couldn’t even tell you what any of that “real world” crap is about. That stuff is all secondary to the running, climbing, jumping and stabbing that is the real draw to the series. But to get back on track, a growing backlog of un-played and neglected games had me reevaluate my game purchasing. So when Black Flag was announced, it pained me to have to sit it out. My love of the series mixed with my love for pirates?!?! You’re torturing me! But games typically drop in price within six months of release, so the waiting began (for your curiosity, $20 or less is now my purchasing price point for new...

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A Long Box Behind: Creepy Comics from Current to Classic

Every year, for the whole month of October, I read comics that have a “Halloween” flavor. This year it seems my stack was overflowing with material suitable just for this purpose. From brand new to forgotten, from ghost to goblin, these books cover a wide spectrum and offer plenty of chills and thrills for the Halloween season. Read on … if you dare. The Witching Hour #1 DC/Vertigo, October 2013 For the last few years, DC/Vertigo has been resurrecting their “horror” line of books in the month of October. It’s like they knew exactly what I wanted from them. The Unexpected gave us nine tales in 2011 (and wickedly amazing cover illustration by Rafael Grampa), Ghosts did the same in 2012 and now The Witching Hour delivers the tricks and treats for 2013. But unlike the previous two, The Witching Hour felt a little flat. Again, there are nine tales that feature witches, haunting and murder. The standout for me was “Mars to Stay” by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, a story about the colonization of Mars. The frustrating thing is the Dead Boy Detectives. It’s not that it’s a terrible story, it’s just that The Dead Boys is part three of an ongoing tale. The first two parts were published in the 2011 and 2012 anthologies, which makes this piece inaccessible. Unless you owned those books or picked...

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A Long Box Behind: What’s in a Name?

…or “How I Learned to Stay Ahead While Falling Behind” Why the title “A Longbox Behind?” Because it is true. Actually, that is a lie. It’s now two long boxes behind and growing. Yup, I’m behind on reading two long boxes’ worth of comics and collections. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture of the boxes themselves. So the comics I bought this past week I may not read for a year or more. I know this because I check the date of printing in the indicia as I go. Currently I’m reading Empowered Vol. 7 (2012) and its two follow up special one-shots (2012/2013) since they just came up in the rotation. Listen, I have a system. As the amount of books that were brought home increased and the time spent reading them decreased, things got chaotic. Order needed to be established. The Order of the Box(es) Books are placed in the box alphabetically by title the week they are brought home. If it’s a title that is already in the box, then naturally it joins the placement of its previous issues. But new titles fall to the back and wait their turn. Now, I do make exceptions, and some move up to the front for various reasons. There are a handful of titles I do read each month on the reg. This also applies to a few titles,...

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