In Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 1

Released: 7/19/2006 304 pages
Publisher: Image Comics
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 1-58240-619-7

News from Comic Con is that the Walking Dead comic books are about to be adapted to television. I could not be more excited to hear that great news. They are set to premiere on halloween, so in honor of that, I'll be reviewing each of the past editions before that!

The first book of the series covers #1-12, and if you haven't picked this one up yet, I highly recommend it.

This series is about more than the zombies and the chaos, more than about how it all happened. In fact, how isn't even really touched on. Because lets face facts, if the dead are up and walking, and eating everyone, the why isn't nearly as important as the surviving part is.

The beginning is very 28 Days Later in that our hero, Rick Grimes, wakes up amid the chaos that the world has become. Everything around his is destroyed, and hope is fleeting. His goal is simple to get back to the family that he knows is still out there.

It's a quick paced introduction to the rag tag group that has banded together for safety, from not only the undead but other survivors who may just be a bigger threat. We get a glimpse at how much life has changed, and how much has stayed the same.

The comic is completely done in black and white, its very gritty, and very realistic. The hardcover version includes a sketchbook along with notes from Robert Kirkman and cover art for each of the issues.


True Blood Recap: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues

Sookie is dragged back to Russell’s abode, along with Bill. Bill foolishly tries to stake Russell, and Eric continues to play his part, even as he protects her. Talbot throws a hissy over his soiled house, and Lorena is distraught over Bill and ordered to kill him. Sookie threatens Lorena, and she bars her fangs.
Arlene deals with a difficult customer. Lafayette and Jesus continue their flirtation. And Jessica drops fang, scaring Arlene.
Jason and Crystal are still groping each other in woods, Jason is too sweet, and Crystal too broken. She stops suddenly. Sniffing at the air? And leaves in a hurry telling Jason to forget her.
Sookie tries to reason with Eric, as he paces. Again we get a great impression from Sookie, this time of Eric. But he doesn’t appreciate it, he says he doesn’t care about her, he’s after the crown. Sookie issues another threat. Russell tries to find out what Sookie is, but she tells him she’s a waitress.
Jessica feels a little bad about having all the customers stiff Arlene, and makes the difficult customer tip Arlene, and head to the bathroom where she waits to feed on her. Arlene goes to check on her, and the customer leaves in a very pleasant mood.
Lafayette and Jesus get to know each other, and Lafayette discovers a couple of things about his “Satan in a Sunday dress.” And they share their first kiss.
Sookie and Russell ask each other questions. Sookie asks Russell questions, if he’s the king of all vampires, if he has a crown. And Russell asks about her heritage. Back to Sookie, she asks if Lorena will actually kill Bill. And he shows Sookie the secret file Bill kept on her. Russell asks about her microwave fingers, and she doesn’t know. But Russell is done playing games, and reveals that there is a Queen too.
Lorena plays 30’s music as she tortures Bill. Lorena enjoys making others suffer because she was made to, and Bill asks for a quick death, but Lorena has no plans for that. And Bill tells her “I wish I had known you before you were made, before you turned hard. I would have liked to have seen you smile with light in your eyes, instead of darkness. That would have been something.” Lorena doesn’t know how to deal, feeling trapped and she hurts him more.
Tara continues to play eager for Franklin, who reveals that Sookie is also at Russell’s. She seduces Franklin and he unties her. She tells him that she wants to drink his blood and have sex during her last night as human.  But as he begs her to rip open his throat, she cringes but does it.
Eric toys with Talbot, when Russell takes Eric away. Sookie has a little breakdown alone. She hears Tara’s thoughts, and knows that Tara is coming for her come daylight. Russell tries to get to the bottom of Sookie and Eric, though Eric claims that his taste lies elsewhere. He asks Eric about the werewolf he killed, but Eric tells him that the werewolf attacked him when he was questioning Sookie when it attacked him. Eric asks him how he uses the werewolf, and Russell tells him about his dream of vampire dominance.
Lafayette brings Jesus home, and Jesus tells him a little about the idols on his mantle, they share a little moment before the dumb rednecks from Hotshot come busting up his car. Lafayette loses it on them, and Jesus learns that Lafayette deals V. He asks to be taken back to his car, and Lafayette shuts back down.
Sophie Anne sits playing scratchers when Russell comes to call, asking for her to marry him. She claims to be above everyone because she is Queen, Eric pins her to the ground. He’s older and stronger and pissed as he renounces his allegiance to her. Sophie Anne reluctantly accepts.
As the sunrises, Lorena continues to torture Bill, as he continues to speak truths trying to get her to kill him. But she has equally horrible truths for him, and he continues to break her down. He welcomes death to escape her. Coot and Debbie come in, interrupting, looking to score some V. And Lorena leaves him at their mercy, even though it hurts her to watch them.
Sam tries to find out what’s going on with Joe Lee, and Tommy tries to play the hard ass, avoiding the questions. Melinda brings some corn fritters, trying to play the good momma, and asks to speak to Tommy alone, Tommy gives his ok. Once Sam leaves, Melinda talks about being in the ring, laying a huge guilt trip on Tommy’’s shoulders. She tells him not to trust Sam, because he looks down on the rest of them, and she says what she has to feed his fears.
Tara awakens, still untied, and beats Franklin’s head in with a mace. Talbot is gonna have kittens when he sees what she’s done to this room. She runs, grabbing clothes and escapes.
Jason brings flowers to Crystal in Hotshot. But when he knocks someone else answers the door. She pretends to not know him, telling him to leave her and her fiancé alone.
Tara comes baring almonds, to feed to Sookie, the Were on guard lets her in, and she and Sookie beat the crap out of him, knocking him out.
Lafayette is having a bad day. And Arlene is all emotional, and tells him about the dog his parents have at his house. Sam runs, knowing that she meant Tommy.
Tara and Sookie go to leave. Sookie wants to find Bill, even though Tara tells her that Bill left her to the vampires.
Sam contacts Andy about dog fights, and Andy tells him about the fights in the area. Sam races off to the nearest one, nearly running Jason off the road. Jason sees Kitch banging a girl in his mustang. He slaps him on the ass, and throws him on the trunk of the car. Pinning his arm behind his back, he tells him he’s keeping an eye on him, he knows that something about the kid is wrong.
Coot and Debbie are high as a kite, as Sookie goes to find Bill. Tara makes a run for it, running right into a wolf, who turns into a naked Alcide. Sookie finds Bill, unconscious. He says her name softly, and Lorena throws Sookie against the wall blaming her and feeds from her.


Penn & Teller at Comic Con

Penn and Teller are magicians…excuse me, illusionists whose comedic act has entertained joyful audiences for over 35 years. Penn Gillette and Teller met when Penn was in high school and Teller was a teacher at a different school. A few years later they met again in New York City and started meeting routinely for dinner. This worked perfect for the starving juggler Penn.

We did get to hear Teller talk. Though soft spoken when compared to Penn’s rants, Teller can be quite chatty. When asked what led to Teller not talking during their shows, Teller told a story about performing at frat parties in College. He said he couldn’t yell over the crowd or make them quiet down. So he just shut up, put the lights on himself and started performing the magic tricks. Soon the crowd would quiet down and watch the show. So several years later when he and Penn were doing a trick with a water tank and one talked and one didn’t, the choice was obvious.

They discussed how they choose subject matter for their hit Showtime show, “Bullshit.” In most cases they don’t say whether a subject matter is right or wrong. They attack the legality of the subject. Teller added, “When in doubt, we come down on the side of liberty. It’s a position that is unsalable.” When asked if there is a ‘Great White Whale,’ a subject they want to do, but haven’t been able to, Penn mentioned Group Pride and TSA. They feel if you choose to belong to a group, that’s fine. They have a problem when people are born into a group (i.e. tribalism, any hyphenated American). That is anti-American in their view, but that is a very sensitive subject for most people.

TSA, of course, has legal implications because they can’t shoot video behind the scenes. They don’t even want to touch whether it works or not. The show would be that it is morally wrong. Again, another example of how Penn and Teller try to stay with a subject matter’s legal issues. “We chose liberty over safety. That is the idea of this country,” stated Penn. Some may feel that their views are way to the left, but by focusing on the moral, legal issues is why Bullshit works. By the way, it is the longest running Showtime series.

They told many other anecdotal stories during the hour plus panel. (My video is not great, so I will try to fix it and post if able.) My favorite stories were Desert Bus, and when Lou Reed was in their audience, unannounced to them. Penn shared that when they walked out on stage Teller saw Lou Reed in the audience and said “Oh Jesus Christ.” That was the opening of that show.

Desert Bus is a reality video a friend of theirs made up after Janet Reno said we needed less violence and more reality in TV and games. The object is driving a bus at 50 mph from Phoenix to Las Vegas. After each 8hr shift you get one point. You also can't get off the bus (someone please make an android app for Desert Bus). Then they proceeded to sing the ‘Asparagus song’ and tell the ‘Bee story.’ There was only one magic trick they performed, but I loved that it was more talk.

Penn and Teller are so passionate about what they do and share with audiences. It’s easy to see why they have many loyal fans, a hit Showtime series, and a long running Las Vegas show where they are fortunate to have the artistic freedom to do anything they want (in their show). That type of freedom is what America was built on. And that’s no Bullshit!


Comic Con Day 4: Supernatural and the wrap up

The fourth and final day of Comic Con is here. And that means its Supernatural time! But also the last day of the show which is both a godsend (because I'm a little exhausted) and sad (because I'm going to miss the chaos). Smallville came out first, but they weren't signing autographs, which seemed like a big tease since not only was it Tom Welling's first appearance, but they'd also announced it was the final season.

The lovely Erica Durance and Cassidy Freeman accompanied him.

Signing for the day for Supernatural was: Ben Edlund, Misha Collins, Sera Gamble, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Eric Kripke, and Jim Beaver.

The actual lineup for signing went much smoother, than previous days.

But there was less time to chat with the stars during the signing.
I had a short chat with Misha. He was at the Syfy/EW party, but he didn't do any fan pictures. He said he was told that he couldn't by his handlers, and when he saw Jensen with us, it was too late, he was already through the doors, and they wouldn't let him back out. Sounds like a conspiracy to me!

Jensen remembered me from the day before, and I proceeded to knock the few things on the signing table over. Because I'm graceful and cool under pressure. After knocking over his name plate for the third time, he teased, "Maybe you should just take it." Me: "Maybe I will." Him: "Do you want it?" Me: "Can I have it?" Him: "Sure I don't know what we're suppose to do with them." So I proceeded to collect them down the line, with a simple "Can I have yours, Jensen gave me his."

Supernatural wasn't the only ones signing that day. So was Glee over at the Fox booth. The signing featured: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushowitz, Naya Rivera, and Heather Morris.

After snapping a few pictures I ran upstairs to catch the end of the Phineas and Ferb signing, and just made it into Kick Buttowski to close the show. I'm not sure what I was expecting from the the Kick Buttowski panel but they were a very funny bunch. They shared a little about what's to come, we got a glimpse of some new characters, how Kendall just may be Kick's soul mate, and how the creator Sandro Corsaro pulls many of the characters from his own life, like the character Brad is based off a friend's older brother who actually uses the word dillweed religiously. My daughter absolutely adores the cartoon, and both Charlie Schlatter who voices Kick (and the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee) and Matt Jones who voices Gunther were nice enough to record a little shout out for her to listen to when I got home. Thanks for a great time Comic Con, see you next year. XOXO If you're dying to see more pictures check out our Flickr album!


Comic Con: Syfy/EW party

With Comic Con selling out in record time, and stars flocking to the scene, think there's nothing left if you can't get into the show. Wrong. There are plenty of things to do outside of the convention, and plenty of exclusive parties, that if you can't crash, the next best thing is to just stand outside and see the stars as they enter. One of the hottest parties is the Syfy/EW party. And I think that the pictures speak for themselves. A little courtesy, saying please and thank you go a long way, know their real names, don't shout out character names, and if you're not lucky enough to get to the front, don't bend the the girl in front of you over the bars in desperation for a picture, or a certain thunder god may ask security to move you back so he can take a picture with her.

And some stars need a little extra incentive to come. After one fan said Jensen never takes pictures with fans during these things. Getting all the girls around to chant "Jensen, Jensen," apparently changed his mind and scored me a photo.

The cast of True Blood of course made their appearance, and they are one of the nicest groups, making sure that all their fans got to take pictures. With the exception of Joe Manganiello, who seemed to be dragged inside by his girlfriend, skipping all fans. But Nelsan Ellis more than made up for his snub, by stopping for fan pictures and autographs between phone calls and breaks from the party.
The guys from Always Sunny in Philadelphia had to wait a little while because the party was at max capacity, but that didn't stop them from hamming it up with their fans. Charlie Day jumped over multiple barriers, making his handlers extra nervous, but only drew more love from the crowd for it.

Thomas Jane was one of few that didn't stop and take pictures with fans on the way in, but after spending only minutes inside, he came out and gave his fans some one on one time.
While Ryan McPartlin stopped and took pictures on his way in and out, finding it hard to say no to anyone who asked nicely for a picture. For more photos check out our Flickr Album!


Comic Con Day 3: Random Sightings

Comic Con isn't all about the lines, there is plenty to see and do that require little waiting.

Some celebrities are there for things other than what you may know them from. Michael Mcmillian, whom many may recognize as Rev. Steve Newland from True Blood, was on hand signing for his new comic Lucid. If you haven't seen his work pick up a copy the plotting, the sequencing, the illustrating is all amazing.

And there are the crazy displays. There are life size models made of Legos, large set pieces, some of which you can touch and and get inside of, and others that you cannot. Vendors are everywhere selling everything and anything that makes your little geek heart go pitter patter, except there are few places to find food.


And of course, there is cosplay, tons and tons of cosplay, each and everyday of the convention.

And comic con isn't just about comics, and movies, there are plenty of publishers there introducing new authors, and authors with fanatic fanbases, like Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris.

And of course there are the stars, you'll see walking about, going to and from panels and signing. Everyone from the cast of the upcoming Green Lantern, to V, even the Vampire Diaries. Check out more pictures at out Flickr Album!


Comic Con Day 2: Mark Sheppard and True Blood

After spending the entire day in Ballroom 20, Day 2, was set to be a day on the floor.

Scheduling for many of the panels and signature sessions make fans choose between getting inside information on the next seasons and possible swag bags, with getting a few seconds up close and person with their favorite stars.

The WB booth was a mass of chaos, no lines really established until right before a signature session actually began. Fans were shuffled, and given misinformation on where lines formed by booth attendants, and various floor security members. Team work was greatly needed, but largely lacking.

Upstairs was in the Autograph pavilion it was a much different story. It was calm, but the stars at their little booths made me question how much is that puppy in the window. I wanted to take them all home. But there was only one stop in mind before I would just back into the fray, Mark Sheppard.

He's a fan favorite, he's fun, he's witty and he's in everything. Maybe not everything, but it sure seems like it. I'll admit I forgot myself a little, but after I wiped the drool from my chin I managed to mumble out something in regards to Supernatural. He wouldn't give up much except that he'd be back, because he still had Bobby's soul, as if I could forget.

So back down into the crazy, because Friday was all about the True Blood experience. Signing were Alan Ball, Charlaine Harris, Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Denis O'Hare, Joe Manganiello, Kristen Bauer Van Straten, and Debra Ann Woll.

Stephen Moyer left the signing early, having to leave for the Priest panel, which looks amazing. Not sure if its just because Paul Bettany is smoking hot in it, or it is just that awesome, but I was a little sad to have to miss it.

Anna, Rutina, Kristen and Debra are stunning in person. Far prettier than they are on screen. Sam blushes easily, and I'll leave it at that. Nelsan is softer spoken and more reserved than his onscreen counterpart. Denis is just as smooth, but much sweet than the scintillating King of Mississippi.

And Joe is a flirty cheeseball. After spending hours, and I do mean hours in line, security informed us that we could not take pictures, that if our cameras were out during the signing we would be removed from line. After telling Joe this, he promptly grabbed my hands and said "Let's look into each other's eyes and remember this moment." I laughed, because I couldn't argue with my hands in his, and who says that outside of corny television? Denis over hearing laughed as well saying "I'll have to remember that line."

After the signing, the cast went upstairs for some interviews. As I passed by, with Joe above, I yelled Joe, he turned around giving a little wave and the crowd broke out in howls. Yep, it's that kind of mad house atmmosphere.

Rushing upstairs, I made it into the True Blood panel as well. Everyone was back to begin the panel. They brought out a card board cut out of Alexander Skarsgard which Kristen greeted with "Hello, Daddy."

We were treated with an awesome preview of the rest of the season. There will be blood, fighting, and heartache. Anna tells us that we find out the deal with her hands, and Stephen says that there will be no more head twisting sex, since Alan never has them do the same thing twice. Rutina reflected on Tara's men issues, that they come from a lack of father. Sam hints that the dedication to his new family stems from wanting to save his little brother, and well, that's not gonna end well. Nelsan wouldn't give up much about Lafayette and his love life, only that we'll see a softer side of him this season.

When asked who Eric would chose between Pam and Sookie. The audience yelled "Pam." But Kristen answered that he'd chose option C: all of the above.

Alan teased that next season everyone goes to therapy... everyone gets very happy. A fan asked how the cast liked working with animals. Kristen purred into the mic "Skarsgard's not so bad once you get to know him."

And a big sad face, for me at least, when Ball says that he believes that Bill and Sookie are soul mates, and that they will eventually find their way back to each other.

Lastly, fans asked about Appius being Godric's maker, since he is actually Eric'ss maker in the books. Ball said "I'll consider anything that works." And of course the question of Bubba was brought up, which Ball was opposed to because he didn't know how to have Elvis without making it look corny. Fans, myself included, yelled out Bruce Campbell (if you haven't seen Bubba Ho Tep watch it and you'll see how amazing he would be in that part), and Ball was not opposed to it. Now how do we get Bruce on board?


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