AiPT! Staff Picks: August 2018



Editor in Chief, Patrick Ross and Manga Editor, Eric Cline share their staff picks for the month of August

 

Sorry folks, Summer is closed! The moose out front should have told you. Points to you if you got the reference. If you didn’t, shame on you! So yes, summer is over and fall is right around the corner. Football season is beginning soon too, break out your SuperPro books.

I know you guys are all like me and can’t wait for pumpkin spice everything. I’m crossing my fingers for pumpkin spice variant covers from Marvel! We can’t close out summer until we handle the August Staff Picks. This month our Editor in Chief, Patrick Ross and Manga Editor, Eric Cline share with you their picks. Enjoy!

Patrick Ross: Editor In Chief

Current favorite comic series.

Patrick: I’ve been really digging Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run thus far. I’ve always loved Spidey, but I haven’t really kept up with an ongoing of his for a good while now. Spencer has done an excellent job getting new readers up to speed while also kicking off a new storyline quickly. The first issue in particular was excellent.

 

Besides that, I’m slowly catching up on Ms. Marvel through trades. I hadn’t read any of it, but I took a chance on the first volume and absolutely fell in love with it. It feels very Peter Parker-esque in the spot-on depiction of teenage life and struggling with growing up (while also having super powers). Highly recommended.

Current favorite tv series

Patrick: I just finished season 2 of Jessica Jones. I know, I’m a bad fan for waiting this long, but sometimes life gets in the way. I didn’t think anything would top the first season, as season 1 of Jessica Jones is my favorite Marvel/Netflix show yet, but season 2 comes damn close. Now the only thing I’m thinking is “when’s season 3?”

I’m also a big wrestling fan, and this is the second most important time of the year for WWE: SummerSlam! Besides WrestleMania, it’s the biggest event of the year, so Raw and SmackDown have been appointment viewing. This is where I drop a cheap plug to our wrestling podcast, Poor Taste Wrestling. Check it out for all WWE news and show breakdowns.

 

Current gaming addiction

Patrick: What a time to ask this question. World of Warcraft‘s seventh expansion, Battle For Azeroth, dropped on Monday night, and I have been pretty much obsessed with WoW since the day it came out all the way back in 2004. I usually end up taking a break near the end of expansions, so this is the first time I’ve really hit the ground running in WoW in a few months, but so far it’s been awesome. So if you need me, I’ll be in Azeroth until, like, 2020.

What was your favorite summer movie?

Patrick: There was a lot to choose from as a nerd this summer, but I’ll actually go with Solo: A Star Wars Story just because of how pleasantly surprised I was with it. I had virtually no expectations — the whole director controversy, the fact it was being rushed to release six months after The Last Jedi, and also just the fact that I didn’t feel like I needed a movie about Han Solo’s origin meant I wasn’t that excited for it. But I was very impressed with how it all ended up coming together, and I’m looking forward to its release on Blu-ray.

Coolest recent purchase

Patrick: Last weekend I bought myself a brand new MacBook Pro. My old Mac was going on six years old, and while it was still holding up, it was starting to show its age a bit. My old one was also a desktop, so it’s really nice to have such a powerhouse computer that I can take with me to cons and the like. So far, I love it!

What is a current song that you can’t get out of your head?

Patrick: Max Bemis, the lead singer of Say Anything and also writer on Marvel books like Moon Knight and Worst X-Man Ever, released a sprawling, confusing statement about the end of the band on the band’s website. The band meant a lot to me growing up, so after reading that statement I’ve been listening to a lot of them lately. I’m sad to see them go, but I love his comics, so I’m glad he’ll be dedicating more time to that in the future.

Fall is right around the corner. What are you looking forward to? Pumpkin spiced comic book cover variants?

Patrick: I’m just looking forward to no more choking heat and humidity. I live in Boston, and our seasons are generally “unbearable heat” and “dangerous cold” with some small pockets of pleasantness in between — a couple week period we call spring and fall.

Ok, it’s creativity time! You are going to start your own comic book company. What is the name of your company and who is your flagship hero that is on the cover of your first book?

Patrick: Oh, jeez, I don’t know. Since Warcraft has been on my mind a lot lately, I’ll say I’d create a company that focuses heavily or exclusively on Blizzard properties. They do some work with Dark Horse and Titan, but Blizzard’s games have such amazing lore and I’d love to see more of it told via comic books. As far as who’s on the cover, right now it’d be either Sylvanas or Jaina.

 

Eric Cline: Manga Editor

Current favorite comic series.

Eric: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I’m not hyperbolizing when I say that I think it’s the most consistently high quality comic of the last decade. The characters are so sweet, and the writing is some of the wittiest currently on stands. The line-art recently switched from Erica Henderson to Derek Charm, and thankfully Charm has done a good job retaining the series’s light-hearted, comedic tone.

Current favorite tv series

Eric: I don’t watch much TV live as it airs, so I’ll go with the best show I’ve recently discovered. I’m halfway through season one of Ajin: Demi-Human, and it’s incredible. The artwork is fantastic, the main theme song is a bop, and the suspense is killer. There’s a major sense that virtually anything could happen, and the supernatural elements are as original as they are mysterious. Good stuff all around.

Current gaming addiction

Eric: Right now I’m halfway through my third playthrough of Suikoden V. It’s one of my favorite games of all time, if not number one. The writing is excellent, with a long, political plotline, over a hundred recruitable characters with distinct personalities, and tons and tons of lore. Pretty much all of the series’s gameplay elements are at their peaks here, from the standard group battles to the skill development system to the army warfare where you simultaneously command units on ground and by boat. There are also all manner of mini-games and ways to spend one’s time, from dragon-horse racing (hell yeah) to gambling to hiring detectives to unearth dirt on your recruits. All in all, there’s an enormous amount of detail and options to the game that still make it stand out over ten years after its release.


What was your favorite summer movie?

Eric: I don’t think I saw any new movies this summer that I actually cared for all that much? So I’ll cheat and say an older movie I saw via a Fathom Events screening recently: Sailor Moon R: The Movie. My past exposure to the franchise is limited, but the animation in the movie held up shockingly well. The bright colors were a lot of fun to look at, the connection between the villain and the protagonists was cool, and all in all the movie (from twenty years ago, mind you) was doing a lot of what I wish even current anime would do more of.

Coolest recent purchase

Eric: The Nightwing statue that Kotobukiya put out as the first installment in their IKEMEN line. It is absolutely ridiculous and I love it. I had seen it on Twitter months prior to getting it, and recently I saw it at my local comic shop. I had a moment of going “Am I actually going to get this?”, knowing full well I was going to. I’m a fan of statues in general, since they just generally look more detailed and impressive than Funko Pops or the like, so it’s nice to finally have one.

What is a current song that you can’t get out of your head?

Eric: “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. It falls totally outside my usual wheelhouse, but every now and then I hear it again and listen it on repeat for a little while. And, like, how do I even explain it? The song speaks for itself.

Fall is right around the corner. What are you looking forward to? Pumpkin spiced comic book cover variants?

Eric: Less need for air conditioning and thus cheaper electric bills. But, also, the new PS4 re-release of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is coming soon. I dig giant robots and have heard a lot of recommendations for the game, so I’m looking forward to finally playing it without having to track down a decade-old copy from when it first came out.

Ok it’s creativity time! You are going to start your own comic book company. What is the name of your company and who is your flagship hero that is in the cover of your first book.

Eric: Oh, boy. I would probably lean heavily into sci-fi and horror stories with a twist, so it would (at least mostly) steer away from superheroes. I’m sure I’d do some, but I’d try and fit them into other genres (sort of like how Marvel has cast the Hulk in a horror light with The Immortal Hulk). For a first cover I’m picturing a protagonist with some sort of striking motif going on, whether that be them missing a head, having excess of some body part, or another variation of body horror.

 

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