I’m ready for the world to get better. By that, I don’t mean I’m ready for it to return to the way it was before a global pandemic hit that sent the entire world into a pit of misery porn for a year. Just going back to how things were when I could go into a movie theater without a mask isn’t enough. I want things to get better.
What exactly does that entail? I don’t know.
Am I ready and willing to do what I must to get there? Yes, I am.
I hope there are some good, meaningful changes that come out of this year-long nightmare that make the world a better place. I really do. However, even as things get better, some things will not change. That includes how I conduct myself on Wednesday mornings for New Comic Book Day. My love of comics transcends any pandemic.
It’s a big part of what has helped me navigate this mess. Even through the worst parts of the spike that occurred late last year, I was still able to enjoy New Comic Book Day. I still had something to look forward to every week. It helped get me out of bed, especially on Wednesday mornings. For that, I’ll always be grateful to the wonderful writers, artists, and editors of my favorite publishers.
Now, as the world emerges from this darkness, I’m ready look ahead towards something better. However, I will always take time on Wednesday mornings to enjoy New Comic Book Day. Here is my pull list and pick for this week. Hopefully, it’s yet another step in the right direction. Enjoy!
The following is a video for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s another entry into my Jack’s Comic Gem series. This time, I traverse the Spider-Verse to highlight a gem from a character whose rise to fame has been like no other. In addition to stealing the show from “Into The Spider-Verse,” Spider-Gwen has done plenty to make herself one of the most popular characters Marvel has created in the past five years. It may have started with a tie-in, but “Spider-Gwen Volume 0: Most Wanted” helped start her amazing journey. This video shows why that journey is worth following. Enjoy!
The end of winter is in sight, people. I suspect that, after the terrible storms that swept over the country last week, everyone is ready for this winter to be over. That, or you’re just ready to jump on the nearest flight to a tropical climate. As someone who has been chipping ice off his car almost every other day, I completely understand that sentiment.
It’s not quite over yet, but we’re getting close. I encourage everyone to hang in there and hold out just a little bit longer. It may mean having to dress in layers for a few more weeks, but we’re past the halfway point for the most part. We just have to take things week-by-week. That’s where New Comic Book Day comes in.
When you build every week around when new comics come out, you come to appreciate taking things week-by-week in general. No matter the season or the weather, New Comic Book Day is like an anchor that helps keep things in perspective as time progresses. That’s especially helpful during times like this.
The weather sucks. There are no major holidays to look forward to. We’re still in the midst of a terrible pandemic. Time tends to drag during periods like this. Having something to look forward to every week, like new comics, helps keep your spirit from getting too broken. At a time like this, we all need that.
This week has plenty to offer for those trying to distract themselves from the weather and the news. Once again, here my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
Even the most luxurious palace has a septic system that contains its foulest shit. It’s not just a fact of life. It might as well be a law of physics. In the same way the brightest light still casts a shadow, there’s always a dark underbelly to any world we explore.
The internet is no exception. If anything, the internet has more dark underbellies than most and I’m not just referring to porn sites or nefarious Google searches. Those are all plenty disturbing, but if the internet has an overflowing septic tank, it’s the collective comments section of many sites.
They’re not just the comments section to certain news sites.
They’re not just anonymous image boards like 4chan that pride themselves on excess shit-posting.
Even the comments section of mainstream websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit have comments sections that will give your faith in humanity a hefty gut punch. They come in many forms, but they tend to follow the same patterns.
They’re degrading, insulting, whiny, vulgar, immature, and just plain wrong on multiple levels. I’m not calling for them to be censored or banned, outside the kind of comments that incite violence in the real world. I’m just pointing out that this is the ugly side of the internet and we can’t deny its stench.
I say that as someone who has spent many hours, much of them wasted, in comments sections and message boards over the years. Even during the early days of the internet, complete with dial up and AOL keyword searches, I’ve seen this ugliness firsthand. I also don’t deny that there are times when I’ve contributed to it. That’s something I genuinely regret.
While all toxic comments are different, they often employ similar rhetoric. It really hasn’t changed much from the AOL days. Just the other day, I made the mistake of browsing the comments of a YouTube video. I saw the same whiny, angry ranting that I saw on old message boards in 1999.
The topics may change. The verbiage may differ. Even the arguments made, if there are any, tend to be fairly similar. I could single out plenty of ugly comments I’ve encountered. However, I want to highlight one that I’ve seen a lot more of lately, especially among fans of superhero comics, Star Wars, and Star Trek.
It’s a sweeping, generalized statement. It’s usually said out of a mix of hate, resentment, and tribalism. Ironically, it’s often Star Wars fans who say stuff like this when talking about characters like Rey. It’s ironic because Obi-Wan Kanobi himself once said, “only a Sith deals in absolutes.”
It doesn’t help that these kinds of absolutes are total bullshit encased in wishful thinking that’s built entirely around head-canon. Certain fans want to believe that everyone agrees with them and those who don’t aren’t “true” fans.
It’s basically the old “no true Scotsman” fallacy, but this one is laced with a mix of lies and hypocrisy. That’s because it’s demonstrably provable that these kinds of sweeping statements are wrong.
Not everyone hates Rey, Captain Marvel, or whoever else is the object of resentment at the moment. For one, Captain Marvel’s movie raked in $1 billion at the box office. Clearly, more than a few people liked her.
The same can be said for Rey. You can go onto Amazon and readily find merchandise featuring her. She may not be on the same level as Luke Skywalker, but that’s not a reasonable bar for a character who has only recently entered the franchise.
I can also attest that Rey has plenty of fans. It’s not just that I’m one of them. I’ve been to comic book conventions. I’ve seen women, young girls, and even a few men dress up as Rey. I’ve seen even more dress up as Captain Marvel. She clearly has plenty of fans.
That makes the whole idea that “nobody likes this character” or “everyone hates this character” demonstrably false. Those who say it aren’t just lying trolls. They’re hypocrites.
Now, I’ve made the mistake of arguing with these people before. I can safely conclude that it’s not a productive use of my time. These people will never be dissuaded. They still want to live in their head-canon where everyone hates exactly who they hate and anyone who thinks otherwise is just part of an evil conspiracy out to get them.
Again, I freely admit I’ve posted my share of dumb comments. I’ve said dumb things before, as well. Everyone has. We’re only human. We’re not perfect and never will be. I believe in free speech strongly and I understand that this is a byproduct of that. I’m willing to accept that.
I’m also willing to use that same freedom to point out the idiocy and hypocrisy of those kinds of comments. They’re not just a useless waste of bandwidth. They’re a symptom of a much larger problem. For now, the best thing to do is ignore these people and let them live in their fanciful head-canon. It may not fix the problem, but it’ll keep it from getting worse.
Every week brings comic book fans like myself a fresh batch of glorious, colorful wonder. It’s one of the best things about being a comic book fan these days. So long as you have an internet connection, a Comixology account, and an uncracked computer screen, you can enjoy new comics every Wednesday like presents on Christmas morning.
It’s a beautiful thing, indeed. It makes Wednesdays the best days of the week that don’t involve football games.
However, not every New Comic Book Day is the same. Some are more eventful than others. Every week, I have a pretty good idea of what comics I’m most interested in. Some weeks don’t have much to offer. I still usually find something to justify waking up at 4:30 a.m. just to check out the latest books.
For certain weeks, however, are a lot more exciting. There are some books that I’ve been following for months, buying into the hype and embracing all the teasers. Sometimes, publishers try to market their book like the best thing since chocolate fudge. It doesn’t always pan out, but when those books deliver, it’s a beautiful thing. It turns Wednesday into the equivalent of two Christmas mornings and Halloween.
I’m not saying that this week is one of those extra-special New Comic Book Days for everyone. Peoples’ preferences are subjective. Not everyone is going to be excited by the same things. For me, personally, let’s just say I didn’t get much sleep last night, but some kinds of restlessness are worth it.
I hope others share that same joyous sentiment on this most eventful of New Comic Book Days. As always, here is my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy!
There’s just a few more days until Valentine’s Day. Being a lover of romance and a writer of erotica romance novels, I certainly appreciate a holiday centered around love. At the same time, I have mixed feelings because I’m currently single and have been for quite some time.
It can get lonely on Valentine’s Day. However, even if I am alone, I can still appreciate love and my love of comics certainly help with that. Beyond my fondness for superhero romances, my love of comics helps remind me why love is a feeling worth pursuing.
It’s a beautiful thing. If you’ve found love with someone, then you understand its power. Even if you haven’t, the stories in comics help depict why it’s so powerful for so many characters. Love is a big part of what drives famous heroes like Superman, Spider-Man, and even characters like the Punisher.
It even drives villains. Let’s not forget that in the comics, Thanos was in love with the physical manifestation of death. It’s creepy, but it still counts as love.
I may have to spend another Valentine’s Day alone this year. That’s always disappointing. However, thanks to my love of comics, I never feel too lonely. I hope others can enjoy that same feeling. To assist, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
We all have bad days every now and then. Even if you’re rich, beautiful, and successful by every measure, you’re going to have days when you feel like an army of evil spirits has been kicking your ass since you woke up. There’s no escaping it. It’s just part of life.
Even if it can’t be avoided, it’s still within our control on how we deal with it. Some people cope better than others. Some do so in ways that are downright unhealthy. If it involves alcohol, yelling, or punching something, then chances are it does more harm than good.
For me, comics have proven to be effective in dealing with life’s inevitable rigors. Going all the way back to high school, in which bad days were fairly common, reading comics really helped me endure and push forward. They weren’t just an escape. They reminded me that even people with superpowers can have crappy days.
Given the events of the past year, we’ve all had plenty of days like that. Our coping skills have been tested more than usual. If they’re effective, then you’ve only come to appreciate them even more. That’s how I feel about comics. Since this year began, they’ve helped me navigate plenty of rough days.
I encourage everyone to develop and refine their methods for coping bad days. I also encourage comic fans to incorporate comics into those methods. To that end, here’s my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy! Better days are indeed coming.
It hasn’t been easy hoping for better days. In general, I’m a pretty optimistic person. Until 2020, I was genuinely hopeful that the world would continue to steadily improve with each passing year. Much of those hopes were stabbed, crushed, and spit on throughout 2020. For a while, my spirits were totally crushed.
Now, I’m trying to rebuild that spirit. It’s not nearly whole again, but it’s a process.
Part of that process involves clinging to the things that taught me to have hope in the first place. That’s where comics come in. Since I was a kid, comics helped inspire me to hope for something greater. They taught me to look to the future and dare to think that greater things were possible. I know it’s corny, but it really did resonate with me.
I miss that feeling. I hope it returns at some point this year. Every morning, I check my newsfeed and the headlines are still bleak, dire, and depressing. They’re not quite as terrible as things were late last year, but overall progress has been slow.
I understand that such progress takes patience. That’s not easy when there’s still a pandemic raging across the world. A lot of areas near where I live are still in a state of lockdown. I want to get through it, but I also want to keep my spirit intact. That’s still difficult, but a weekly dose of new comics goes a long way.
This week, there’s a bit more than usual. Honestly, it’s exactly what I need at a time like this. I hope others get just as much out of it. To that end, here is my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s a video I’ve been working on for a while now. It breaks down “Captain America: Civil War,” a movie that’s held in high regard in the pantheon of superhero movies. I saw it too. I enjoyed it. However, I feel there were some significant flaws that got glossed over and overlooked.
This video is my way of highlighting those flaws, as well as a deeper exploration into what made the Civil War event in the comics so impactful. Enjoy!
Today is New Comic Book Day. I’m always up for celebrating that. Here in the United States, though, it’s also Inauguration Day. It’s not a regular holiday. It hardly qualifies as a holiday. We only have it every four or eight years. It’s only purpose is to celebrate the swearing in of a new President and ushering in the peaceful transfer of power.
That’s how it usually happens. Most of the time, it’s just a formality and it’s hardly a never a major controversy. This time is different. I never thought I would say this, but I genuinely miss the good old days and it’s not like those days were that long ago.
Now, I don’t want to get political, especially on New Comic Book Day. There’s a time and place to talk about that sort of thing and in any other year, I might not even mention it. Like I said, though, these are not normal times.
We just had an attempted insurrection. We have a large segment of the population who genuinely believe they are patriots, despite checking every box for fascism. If this were a comic book, they wouldn’t be heroes. They’d be Hydra minions, at best. I’ve read enough comics in my life to see the signs.
With Inauguration Day, it’s a time of transition. We can finally move forward with a new President and a new agenda, but make no mistake. The story isn’t over. Like in comics, the villains are never truly defeated. If anything, the villains start to think they’re the heroes and fight harder. That’s why we have to keep fighting.
I’ll try to avoid politics as much as I can today. For that reason, a stack of new comics has never been more critical. I encourage all my fellow comic fans to maximize their potential on what is sure to be a long, stressful day. To assist, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy and God Bless America!