As the house lights illuminated the interior of the A.E. Hotchner Studio, a young man steps out onto the stage and finds himself awash in a sea of friends, relatives, and other well-wishers. The house is packed, every seat is filled, and he can’t go more than three paces without a hug, a handshake, or a pat on the back. Cary Simowitz, law student, literature buff, and playwright, is premiering his first play, Ekphasia, or (alternatively titled) “The Shadow Girl,” making him the man of the hour. Read Full Article

Every reader has at least one book or series that can best be defined as a “guilty pleasure.” You don’t read it because everyone else did, or because it’s intellectually stimulating, or even because you might want to recommend it to others. You read it simply because you like it, it makes you laugh, and maybe gives you a cheap thrill.

However, every once in a while, a guilty pleasure can surprise you. It becomes something more than what it was in its origins, something deeper than what you thought it was capable of being. This was my experience with Adam Warren’s Empowered, a graphic novel series published through Dark Horse Comics.

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For the last week I have been knocked out with a relatively short-lived but vicious cold, confining me to a world where the only entertainment to be had was whatever was in arms reach. So, after watching a few movies and indulging in a little of the twelve day Simpsons marathon (oh, the nostalgia!), I started rifling through the books on my shelves. From that venture I rediscovered an old favorite from about four years ago, Sky Doll by Barbara Canepa & Alessandro Barbucci, so I decided to give it a review for old times’ sake.

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So, after hearing about it’s extremely successful opening weekend and reading more than a few rave reviews (while avoiding any and all spoilers), I finally broke down and saw Guardians of the Galaxy this week.

Without going into hyperbole, I had to admit that Guardians definitely lived up to the hype. It was an amazing action story, filled with well-developed and dynamic characters, a compelling plot, five-star special effects, and even a few outstanding performances that, even though I knew they were coming, still managed to leave me speechless. Read Full Article

“What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with super powers?”

It is a common question asked by comic book fans and less-nerdy folk alike, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a question filled with possibilities, and the answers are always more revealing of the person than you would imagine. Would you want great strength to protect or intimidate others? Would you fly to escape the boundaries of the world? Would you create more of yourself or teleport to be in as many places as possible? No one wishes for power purely for the sake of it; there’s always a reason, and that is part of what makes Resistance, the latest novel from Samit Basu such a compelling read. Read Full Article

So, for part five on my ongoing series about the changing face of Image I’m going to discuss a series that, combined with the discovery of Chew, made me give Image a second chance.  To make a horrible pun, it’s Proof that Image has more to offer than beefed-up superheroes.

Proof, written by Alex Grecian and illustrated by Riley Rossmo, is a series that was first described to me as a combination of Men in Black and X-Files, with the part of Mulder being played by a sasquatch named John “Proof” Prufrock.  Read Full Article

In this bold new world of Image, there is a whole host of stories that are designed to purely entertain.  However, every once in a while there is a story that also makes you think.  This time I’m reviewing a book that’s one part real-world psychological drama and one part far-flung fantasy.  I’m talking about Joe Kelly’s and JM Ken Niimura’s epic story, I Kill Giants. Read Full Article