All posts by beguiling_admin

Free Comic Book Day – Saturday May 4th

FCBD_nodateFree Comic Book Day 
Saturday May 4th, 12pm-6pm
@ The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street
@ Little Island, 742 Bathurst Street
Free to attend

Facebook Event

The Beguiling and Little Island Comics are happily participating in industry-wide celebration FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Drop by The Beguiling for all your teen-to-grown-up-to-arrested-development needs, and Little Island Comics for age-appropriate freebies for the little ones.

To see some of the free comic books that will be on hand, visit http://www.freecomicbookday.com/

– Chris @ The Beguiling

https://www.facebook.com/events/274830185987398/

REMINDER: Brian Wood signs Star Wars, The Massive, Saturday at 3pm!

BRIAN WOOD @ THE BEGUILING
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 3PM
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Post-signing beer and Q&A from 4:30ish @ The Victory Cafe
Free To Attend

https://www.facebook.com/events/ 323536931083133/

Brian Wood is the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of literally dozens of your favourite series, and he will be doing a very special signing at The Beguiling on Saturday, April 13th, at 3pm. Bring your comics along to get signed and meet Brian, and check out some of the very cool/rare comics we’ll have available for sale at the event.

BONUS: All attendees at the signing who make any purchase will receive one of two limited edition prints from THE MASSIVE absolutely free:

massive_print

 

massive_2

Brian Wood is the writer of:
STAR WARS – THE MASSIVE – MARA – CONAN THE BARBARIAN – THE X-MEN – NORTHLANDERS – DMZ – CHANNEL ZERO – DEMO – ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN – COURIERS – FIGHT FOR TOMORROW – POUNDED – LOCAL – NEW YORK FOUR – NEW YORK FIVE – SUPERMARKET – TOURIST – WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN ALPHA & OMEGA – LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR OF THE NORTH

See you on the 13th!

– Chris @ The Beguiling

Review: Seth’s DOMINION CITY Books

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“The Speculative Whimsy of Seth’s DOMINION CITY”
Wimbledon Green, George Sprott, and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists
By Seth. Published by Drawn & Quarterly. Various prices.

Review by Jason Azzopardi

Welcome to Dominion, Ontario, where the buildings and citizens are double-bricked with good ol’ fashioned Canadian humility.

Dominionites are a practical bunch.  They belong to cultural societies and they play bridge.  They eat boiled cabbage and cottage roll during the week but also allow themselves the luxury of a pot roast on Sundays.  They listen to radio broadcasts in the evening, flood their yards for ice skating in the winter, and go to mass without fail.

Once prosperous but now, like so many other industrial towns surrounded by farmland, close to extinction, Dominion is a place to be filed away.

But not forgotten about.

While its pace of living might be described as slow by some or “old-fashioned” by others, in Dominion you are you are also just as likely to have to dodge a hail of bullets from a mad helicopter chase between comic book collectors as you are finding a deal on a good cut of meat. 

Dominion City and its citizens exist only in the paper worlds imagined by Canadian cartoonist, Seth, as heavily-weighted, long-in-the-toothed sketchbooks and painted and glued cardboard models.  And with its delicate balance of whimsy, nostalgia and pathos, Seth’s community is well worth its metaphoric hour drive outside of Toronto because Dominion’s empty greasy spoons and dusty department stores seem to cultivate a fascinating spate of petty jealousies, betrayals, and familial abandonments amongst the larger than life personalities that populate its boundaries. 

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Review: Armies, by Dionnet, Picaret, and Gal

Title: Armies
Words: Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret
Art: Jean-Claude Gal
Publisher: Humanoids

Review by John Anderson

This is classic heavy metal. These stories about medieval armies, bloody battles, sprawling empires and ancient ruins originally appeared in Métal Hurlant, starting with the first issue in 1974. Most of them are written by Dionnet, one of the founders of that magazine, and beautifully illustrated by the visionary artist Gal.

There are two parts to this book. The first, Conquering Armies, is a series of short stories ostensibly about a mighty unstoppable army. But the stories focus on the common soldiers furing the times in the army is stalled between battles. My favourite story is just four pages long and concerns a soldier who has been ordered to guard the army’s back. But this is just a tactic to winnow the ranks: the army can’t support all its soldiers, so some expendable soldiers are ordered to become sentries and then left to die. I also love the last story, about a soldier who sells his compatriot into slavery and which has an entertaining surprise ending.

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ANNOUNCE: Brian Wood @ The Beguiling April 13!

starwars_1_slice

Brian Wood is the writer of:
STAR WARS – THE MASSIVE – MARA – CONAN THE BARBARIAN – THE X-MEN – NORTHLANDERS – DMZ – CHANNEL ZERO – DEMO – ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN – COURIERS – FIGHT FOR TOMORROW – POUNDED – LOCAL – NEW YORK FOUR – NEW YORK FIVE – SUPERMARKET – TOURIST – WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN ALPHA & OMEGA – LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR OF THE NORTH

BRIAN WOOD @ THE BEGUILING
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 3PM
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Free To Attend

https://www.facebook.com/events/323536931083133/

Brian Wood is the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of literally dozens of your favourite series, and he will be doing a very special signing at The Beguiling on Saturday, April 13th, at 3pm. Bring your comics along to get signed and meet Brian, and check out some of the very cool/rare comics we’ll have available for sale at the event.

BONUS: All attendees at the signing who make any purchase will receive one of two limited edition prints from THE MASSIVE absolutely free:

massive_print

 

massive_2

There is likely to be a speaking event as well, and it will be announced soon.

See you on the 13th!

– Chris @ The Beguiling

 

 

Review: Secret Science Alliance

The Secret Science Alliance and The Copycat Crook
Thesis. Antithesis.  Synthesis.”
By Eleanor Davis
Published by Bloomsbury USA

Reviewed by Jason Azzopardi 

Try telling someone the best thing you read all year was a children’s comic book called The Secret Science Alliance and The Copycat Crook and watch how quickly you become telepathic.  In the twenty or so times I’ve mentioned this to people since 2009, I swear, I can actually hear, “who’s this ding-a-ling” pulsating out of their brain.  Four years later, I’m still that same dame-a-ling, but I’m also still that impressed with Eleanor Davis’ astonishing kid’s adventure comic that, apparently, everyone except the good people of the Illinois State Media Library (who gave it their Bluestem Award) dismissed simply because it was a kid’s comic.

Doesn’t matter.  I still maintain that it was not only the best comic of 2009, it was one of the best of the entire decade.  A small but dense story involving three middle-school braniacs, Julian, Greta and Ben, who form a club dedicated to using science to better the world (combating evil turns out to be a by-product of their genius), Secret Science Alliance falls more into the lower-key type of adventure stories  that I remember so fondly from when I was a middle-schooler.   This is, pure and simple, a neighbourhood mystery that takes place in a world that you pretty much recognize as your own, populated by people that you, for sure, have met before.   Nobody is just good or bad, they’re both, and even the vilest of them is just a little sad, a little envious and a lot lonely.   More Encyclopedia Brown or This Can’t Be Happening At Macdonald Hall! than Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, more Degrassi Junior High than Degrassi: The Next Generation.  Admittedly, Secret Science Alliance skews slightly younger, but in terms of tone, it doesn’t really have a mean bone in its body precisely because Eleanor Davis knows that not everything has to be “edgy” or “high-concept”, and that sometimes it’s okay to tell a gentle story for kids.

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Review: ZOT!: The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987-1991

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ZOT!: The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987-1991
Story and art: Scott McCloud
Publisher: It Books

Reviewed by Chris Eng

Scott McCloud (rightly) gets acknowledgement for the work he’s done in exploring, explaining and defining comics as a medium, but is so infrequently credited for creating one of the best collections of YA short fiction in the past several decades.

Originally starting as a straightforward and upbeat alternative to the brooding and grim superhero comics of the day, ZOT! began a slow transformation into something much more. At its core, it followed the tale of Zachary Paleozogt, a teenaged superhero named Zot with a permanently peppy outlook who had the ability to travel back and forth between his Earth (where it was always the 1965 of the far-flung future, complete with jet-pack villains and flying cars) and our Earth (which was depressingly unremarkable). In our world Zot met Jenny Weaver, a girl who was looking for any escape from her humdrum life. They went on adventures together and it was all very charming.

After issue 10, though, it shifted from colour to black and white and the series really began to come into its own. McCloud found himself able to experiment more with tone, contrast, and artistic style, and the stories began to reflect that. Death and its very real, very tragic consequences featured prominently. Dekko, a villain who could have easily remained a run-of-the-mill insane art deco cyborg, was given a heartwrenching origin story. By the time McCloud had put a couple of dozen issues under his belt, ZOT! had lost its peppiness but had gained a depth of field that was surprising.

Then, in the last eight issues of its 36-issue run, something remarkable happened: the series tackled a multitude of problematic topics which most young adult authors would struggle to condense into an entire novel, let alone 22 pages. Zot lost the ability to go home and was trapped in our superhero- and villain-less world. Without alternatives, he began to go to high school with Jenny where the supporting cast members of her friends (i.e. the freaks, dweebs, and weirdos who were all looking for acceptance and to find their place in the world) took centre stage. Zot became the foil against which the teenagers were able to explore themselves, and their stories ran the gamut of the heartbreaking and poignant, covering topics like emotional insecurity, the trade-off between dreams and ambition, sex (in a story that won McCloud an Eisner nomination), and coming to grips with your own sexuality (handled in a very straightforward manner at a time when the only comics that addressed gay issues were “gay comics”).

The entirety of ZOT! is an entertaining read (including the 10 issues not included in the Black and White Collection), but the last 26 are something something special, and of those the final eight are astounding in their effortless empathy. It’s difficult growing up as an outsider, but the comics in this dense and beautiful volume are an eloquent reinforcement that not only are none of us alone, none of us should have to try to make it through this world alone.

Review: Orc Stain Volume 1, by James Stokoe

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Orc Stain: Volume 1
By  James Stokoe
Published by Image Comics

Reviewed by Chris Eng

Perspective. It’s the thing missing from 99% of fantasy stories out there.

Blah blah blah, quest. Blah blah blah, magic item. Blah blah blah, kill some orcs. Why? Because the quest is sacred, the items are magic and the orcs are evil. ‘Nuff said. Except it’s not enough. Not really.

For starters, what specifically is so evil about the orcs? They’re an advanced civilization with their own politics and art forms. They have their own culture. So why is it never shown?

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HELHEIM #1 IN STORES THIS WEEK

Hey folks!

Oni Press has a new, full-colour, ongoing series launching this week, and we think that our weekly comics customers are going to dig it. It’s called HELHEIM and it’s by Cullen Bunn (Deadpool, Sixth Gunand Joelle Jones (Fables, Dr. Horrible). It’s about a group of brave warriors in ancient times defending themselves against unspeakable horrors. We think you’ll dig this (we also think you’d really dig SIXTH GUN too).

PULLFILE CUSTOMERS: If you have a pull-file at The Beguiling, and you add HELHEIM to your pullfile, we’ll sell you the first issue for just a dollar. That’s 75% off cover price! The only rules are that you have to pick up (or have delivered) the first issue by the end of March, and you have to at least try the second issue.

It’s not easy to launch an ongoing comic series as an indy publisher, and Cullen and Joelle are two very talented creators that we’re happy to support, so why not give this one a shot? Hey, it’s only a buck.

You can add HELHEIM to your pullfile next time you’re in, or by e-mailing chris@beguiling.com.

If you’re not a pullfile customer, you should try the book anyway. ;)

– Chris