Feb 212014

It’s an age old statement, often exclaimed to the Comic Gods from within a sea of single issues: “I want to read a comic, but I have no idea where to start!”

You’re in luck! @MeltdownComics has shelves full of new titles, and we’re not only talking about the slew of Marvel #1’s released week-to-week.

Image Comics continues to impress with debuts of “Mercenary Sea,” “Fuse,” and the most recent “Undertow,” an Atlantis-meets-the-Matrix epic. How do those two go together? Read up and find out.

Dark Horse‘s “The White Suits” graduates from “Dark Horse Presents” into it’s own gritty title. If you’re a fan of noir and stylish assassins, check this one out!

With a successful @MeltdownComics signing in the bag, Oni Press’ “The Bunker” shook the shelves with a first issue that will literally break your brain (in a good way). Bunker Buzzwords: Future/Past-self, Presidency, Post-apocalypse, friendship!

From IDW, the character that’s permeated nearly every artistic medium and human heart out there, the swolest of the swole: Black Dynamite! Come join Byron Minns, Scott Sanders, and Brian Ash on March 1st, 2014 from 5-8PM @MeltdownComics, and get that #1 signed. Rumor has it Scott Sanders has soul music for us!

Out of the Marvel Comics bunch, “The Punisher” makes his way to sunny LA in his first issue, with a guest appearance from a Danny Trejo look-alike and many of the LA locales you know and love. But why stop there? Issue #2 introduces you to what could be Frank’s new mascot, and a surprise visit from a familiar Marvel villain.

Lastly, but certainly not least, “Black Widow” #1 delivers a rock-solid spy drama, written by the same writer of “The Punisher,” @NathanEdmondson. Want him to sign both those #1’s for you? Join us on March 12th, 2014 from 5:30-8:30PM.

Any of these titles grab your attention? Did you already pick one of them up this week? Let us know in the comments section which #1 titles you thought were the best/show the most promise, and we’ll give that title an in-depth spotlight review.

If you don’t want to miss any of these issues, follow the link to our subscription service below:


Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd. LA, Calif. 90046 (map)

Note: DC Comics, we haven’t forgotten about you. You’ll have your time in the sun.



Mar 122013


As the resident manga maniac, allow me to present TOKYO BABYLON: a lost-license CLAMP masterpiece, originally published in English by Tokyopop before being resurrected by the ever-lovely Dark Horse for a well-deserved second life.

This comic is many things. It is both supernatural drama and romantic farce. It studies its characters with the intensity of a quirky indie film and yet still offers ghostly action sequences and pentagram-barriers—as if Gus Van Sant directed an episode of SUPERNATURAL. It was first written in 1991, narratively and philosophically ahead of its time in so many ways that its themes are relevant even now.

It also uses cultural magic as a thematic device. Look at your favoriate comics, folks: magical characters hold sway over us. The John Constantines and Doctor Stranges of the comic book world fascinate, conjuring spells that aid their cause but never break the rules of whatever given universe they’re tied to. That motivation laced into ability, the fact that Zatanna could probe the barriers of reality but chooses to interact with people instead, gives magical characters the kind of dramatic conflict that heroic straight-lacers are often wont to find.

The main character here is Subaru Sumeragi, clan leader and frequent user of onmyojitsu (yin-yang magic). Subaru lives in Tokyo with his twin sister, Hokuto. The two are often accompanied by Seishirou Sakurazuka, a kindly “veteranarian” who is regularly on hand to offer advice, claims to be in love with Subaru, and—when the situation requires—uses his own much-less-benign brand of onmyojitsu.

The best thing about TOKYO BABYLON is its genre-defying development. We begin with a “Young Romance”-ish summer special rife with humor and facepalming, and somehow end with… well, I hesitate to spoil anything, but let’s say that the scope of this magnificent story involves secret pentagram scars, sealed bets, murders, lost innocence (or should I say slaughtered innocence?), sacrifice, strange acceptance, and the truly morbid nature of cherry blossom trees. Its protagonists, as obvious bearers of the yin and yang, embody ancient symbols against a background of city life. It brings violence to places of previously sitcom-level simplicity. Its vacant end is Vertigo-worthy perfection.

Shop the manga section at Meltdown and receive 10% off when you select a MANGA DOESN’T SUCK-worthy title.

For more comic ramblings, follow me on twitter: @junkstory

Sith Myths

 Posted by on February 27, 2013
Feb 272013

The announcement back in October that Disney was acquiring LucasFilm for a paltry sum of $4 billion dollars was completely drowned out by a collective ‘geek-gasim’ heard around the world following their second surprise of the day. A new hope had sprung to life within us all when the studio dropped the bomb that they plan to continue on with the original “Star Wars” trilogy, starting with Episode VII in 2015. When I first heard that someone other than Lucas would have control of the reins over the project, I have to admit I thought it was some sort of sick twisted early Halloween ‘trick.’ Possibly perpetrated by a group like “Anonymous,” or those Chinese cyber hackers who keep messing with the D.O.J. When reality finally did set in, I (like many of you I’m sure) began to feel equal amounts of excitement and apprehension. I think we’re all still a little scarred and gun shy from the prequel atrocities, am I right? Does meeeza have to explainzza? (Yeah, that’s right. I went there.)


As an avid reader of comics, and Darkhorse’s “Star Wars” titles in particular, my biggest issue with the acquisition and the subsequent revamping of the extended universe is encapsulated in the dilemma of the following question: Does this mean that all the hard work of many gifted graphic artists and writers, who contributed to what was once considered cannon, now null and void? I’m going to have to table that discussion for the time being, definitely a soapbox for another day.

sw4Since the announcement, the internet rumor mill has been working harder than a ‘man-scaping’ wookie, and conjecture is the current name of the game. And speaking of names, the exclusivity for a director shuffled through anyone who has ever had any interest in sci-fi what-so-ever, or has looked through the correct end of a camera. Every movie site was batting around names like; Jon Favreau, to Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, David Yates, to Zack Snyder, Brad Bird, Mathew Vaughn, Joss Whedon, to the obvious candidate of Lucas’ bestest frenemy Steven Spielberg… you get the idea. Of course we now know that the resuscitator of the “Star Trek” franchise himself, J.J. Abrams (Hey J.J., why no call back for the sequel? I’m so not feeling the love.), is set to direct a script written by Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Toy Story 3″/”Little Miss Sunshine”). That’s just the beginning though, with casting and major plot points still up in the air –  crazy kooks like Super Shadow are going to continue to litter the web with inaccurate or out-and-out false information leading up to the very first trailer of the film and beyond. So let’s see if we can sift through the endless barrage of “bantha poo-doo” speculation, and separate the Sith Myths from the Force Facts.

Continue reading »

Jan 312013

Junk Food‘s Star Wars collection at
Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd


Meltdown1  15

Jun 132012

It’s a double whammy this month! May was tragically mangaless, so I of thought I’d marry a couple of my recommendations for June. You might be wondering why I chose to go with such seemingly disparate titles: a cosmic science fiction adventure and an examination of life’s everyday mundanities? Hardly naturally matched. But beyond any stylistic structure or plot element in these titles lies the timeless notion of the antihero.

I’m not talking sidekicks or snarky villains or regular heroes who make mistakes. This antihero outsider is the one we love to be skeptical of, all the time. He’s been forced into the game against his own will, hates most people and probably himself even more—a character who has few admirable qualities and yet somehow commands our admiration. It’s always been a compelling notion. Just look at HELLBLAZER’s John Constantine, IRON MAN’s Tony Stark, and TRANSMETROPOLITAN’s Spider Jerusalem. They’re assholes with substance abuse problems. So what makes us care?

Sometimes it’s a background story. At the start of Nobuaki Tadano’s 7 BILLION NEEDLES, Hikaru Takabe is cynical, antisocial, and downright unlikeable. She hates people—prefers music—and has no interest in her newfound alien-given powers. She remains adamantly defiant to the greater good, even when a possessed schoolmate suddenly sprouts veliceraptor feet. But as the series goes on, we become privy to the events that have molded her personality, and Hikaru, in turn, becomes emotionally involved in others’ lives, despite herself.

Sometimes it’s the attenuating hope that the antihero will fall victim to human emotion. An outsider in the extreme sense, Yozo Oba of Usamaru Furuya’s NO LONGER HUMAN repeatedly expresses his discomfort with regular people. His actions are dictated by convenience. He is so entirely empty of feeling that you’re given to cheer when he expresses the slightest affection for someone—although such affection leads to shame and selfishness, not heroics.

These are not your typical superhero story arcs, but the parallels run eerily clear. We cling to the possibility, in these comics, that our outsider will come to terms and make a stand—that their faults are circumstantial, after all, and underneath the visage is a heart of gold. There is something to be said for accomodating a main character without artificial sentimentality: as characters ourselves, we admire their conviction; but as humans, we hope for some vulnerability.

Japanese creators seem to have no loyalty towards the typical triumphant story arc, and as a result, these manga outsiders often falter, fail, and feign happiness in ways that are not satisfying. But we keep reading. We can’t stop. We want to see a hint of heroism, after all—a payoff for our investment. Sometimes it never comes, but the journey is enough.

Invest yourself. Buy any title featured in a MANGA DOESN’T SUCK blog and receive 10% off your entire Meltdown purchase.


Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/junkstory  #comicgeeksagainstmangadiscrimination

Apr 142012

Clover CLAMP

Hey there buddy. Yeah, you. Wait a minute. Come back here. I know what you’re thinking. I’m trying to sell the virtues of manga to superhero comic book readers, and I’ve just posted a cover image of a waifish girl with wings and saucer eyes that take up half her face. Run away, run away! How about I tell you that she’s the most dangerous government commodity in the world? But that’s all I can tell you, because like many layered narratives, CLOVER is best when you read it with very little prior knowledge of its inner workings.

It’s also a perfect example of why genre classifications in manga based on gender (and even American comics) completely baffle me. Shonen vs. shojo vs. superhero vs. “indie”… CLOVER is traditionally classified as a “shojo” (girl) comic. But what about this comic is inherently girly? Beyond the cover, it boasts mythological elements at home in great futuristic crossovers: a parliament of psychics, a fabled amusement park, cage-bound teleportation, baroque weapons that resemble birds’ wings. Of course, it runs on the theme of love alongside its violence, but love does not have to be for women alone. I refuse to believe that Rogue and Gambit kissed just before the apocalpyse purely to satisfy female fans.

Here’s the thing about CLOVER: it’s a story told out of sequence. A great comic writer named Neil Gaiman once said that regardless of what order you tell the events in, the story remains the same. A good single issue drops you right into the middle of the action and then backs up a bit. In CLOVER, after the initial story is told, it backs up into a flashback, and then another, like a camera panning outwards to give contexts and show what is actually at stake. Some of the best films do this, and the best comics (just look at Ed Brubaker’s FATALE).

The plot itself is similar in style and aesthetic to Warren Ellis’s FREAKANGELS: a group of children with special powers, unsure of what to do with them, in a steampunk-y universe set outside of traditional fantasy or science fiction.

As for the artwork, well… it’s CLAMP. Sharp angles. No stray lines. Worlds built upon a single dialogue bubble. There are no ‘panels’ in the traditional sense. Squares appear casually, trailing the action like a spotty camera from the turn of the century. It’s like watching a science fiction movie through a sepia window pane.

The narrative is also laced with the lyrics of a song.

CLOVER is progessive, innovative, lovely to look at, and boasts unique character designs and downright beautiful dialogue. Surely that’s worth a glance beyond the cover image. And remember—a purchase gets you 10% off everything you buy, including all those Vertigo trades you can’t get enough of…



For more thoughts on comics & storytelling, visit my blog: http://concretesoul.wordpress.com
Or follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/junkstory #comicgeeksagainstmangadiscrimination

Mar 242012

“The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist” is In-Store today! Come be the first of your pals to get your copy plus 2 tix w purchase! (while supplies last).

A one night only event honoring the release of the First Monograph of Clowes’s work. Hosted by Blair Butler (of G4’s Fresh Ink), this night will include a discussion with Clowes and Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing, and a Q&A with the man of the hour!

Also in attendance: Alvin Buenaventura the Chief Cloweseania Chronicler and Author of “The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist”

Buy one (1) copy of the book from Meltdown Comics and you get two (2) tickets to the evening’s events. An extra ticket can be bought for $10

Or if you’re not in LA, you can just buy a SIGNED copy of the The Art of Daniel Clowes

No individual tickets will be available, as this event is to celebrate Clowes new book, so find a friend and join us for this once in a lifetime event! A short signing will take place directly after the Q&A

The First Monograph on the Celebrated Cartoonist

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist Edited by Alvin Buenaventura Designed by Jonathan Bennett Interview by Kristine McKenna Introduction by George Meyer Essays by Chip Kidd, Susan Miller, Ken Parille, Ray Pride, and Chris Ware 

“Clowes has explored the tedium and mystery of contemporary American life with more wit and insight than most novelists or filmmakers.” —New York Times

 “A master storyteller and artist. There is poetry in every panel.”—Esquire

“The country’s premier underground cartoonist.” —Newsweek

Throughout his twenty-five-year career, Daniel Clowes has always been ahead of artistic and cultural movements. In the late 1980s and 1990s his ground breaking comic-book series Eightball defined the indie aesthetic of alternative comics, with wit, venom, and even a little sympathy. His breakthrough success, Ghost World, convinced mainstream readers of comics’ literary potential. In the new millennium, with works such as Ice HavenWilsonMister Wonderful, and The Death-Ray, Clowes has redefined the graphic novel as an art form. Continue reading »

Feb 112012

** view more cartoons and comics by Nerdtern, Jenny Fine **

**see other art Jenny makes**

** follow Jenny on twitter **

** follow Kyle on twitter **

** stalk Jenny on facebook (but not in person, please) **

** see Jenny dance **

Jan 162012

Jason JFish Fischer, illustrator of the new monster porn comic series Junqueland, is signing at Meltdown Comics! Jason will be signing copies of Junqueland #1, Junqueland #2 and the special full color erotic pin-up book Hot Buttons. Written by Robin Bogert, Junqueland is a monster porn comic series starring original monster characters having adults-only fun!

Junqueland #1 – Croc Gal runs a tight ship over at her bakery and can not stand tardiness. Big Mouth the baker is too slow for her tastes, so Croc Gal dishes some punishment… a food fight with day old pasties that leads to a hot, sticky mess! 12 B/W pages, color cover, written by Robin Bogert and illustrated by Jason JFish Fischer.

Junqueland #2 – Two tales of summer fun await you! Kiss Kiss the Gorgon and Strawberry Head get juicy in the poolside cabana and make some strawberry margaritas. After a dip in the pool, Abstract Head and Wolf Lady go for a hike through the woods looking for a reclusive monster known for seducing forest dwellers and horny hikers. 20 B/W pages, color cover, written by Robin Bogert and illustrated by Jason JFish Fischer.

Hot Buttons – A discreet pocket book containing 9 full color erotic pin-ups of your favorite Junqueland characters pressing their “hot buttons” (or getting them pressed by a pal!) A set of matching wearable buttons is available for those who wish to wear their monster porn love with pride! 9 color pages, color cover, illustrated by Jason JFish Fischer.

Who: Jason JFish Fischer
What: Junqueland comics signing
When: Wednesday, January 18th 7:00pm
Where: Meltdown Comics

Nov 282011

By Jason Vaughn


As we lead up to our “35 Days with Kevin Eastman” event (Nov. 30th-Jan. 4th), it seems only right that we take some time to spotlight the next generation of independent creators out there who are following in the footsteps of such greats as Kevin, Peter Laird, Jeff Smith, Dave Sim, Eric Powell, Bryan Lee O’Malley and others. Two upcoming indie creators, Kyle Winters and Mike Andersen from Grass Valley, California are on the verge of a “big hit” and have “taken aim” (OK, I’ll stop with the puns) at the “big three” with their self-published title “Trigger Men.” Given the growing popularity of digital comics, it’s refreshing to see new creators with the courage to publish their own books in a market dominated by force-fed multiple Wolverine and Batman titles. Produced and published out of their shingle Triptych Books, Winters and Andersen (with the help of another future superstar, artist Heather Brinesh) have crafted a dark comedic bromance of a story. The plot revolves around the misadventures of two guys, friends since childhood who grew up to be contract killers in high school.  Now, adults who’ve gone their separate ways, they come together for what they believe will be one final job.  Think “Grosse Point Blank” meets “Justified.” I had the opportunity to talk to Mike and Kyle about “Trigger Men”, Triptych books, and what’s coming around the corner in the near future for both.


Guys, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. I’m digging the story of “Trigger Men” and not just because I’m a narcissist and there’s a lead named Jason in it.

M: We’ll take that.

Also, I was an assassin for hire at one point as well.


I like the bromance between Matt and Jason you guys have come up with, it’s a lot of fun. Let’s start out with an easy one. What kind of comics were you guys in to growing up and what do you currently read?

M: “I’m really big in to indie comics in general, which is actually kind of a big motivation for us to create comics. We would go to conventions and only be able to find the first few issues of a run. It’s hard trying to find indie comics because a lot of them ended very early. The one I’m really enjoying now is “The Walking Dead.”

K: “I grew up with ‘Spiderman,’ that was a very integral part of my childhood. A lot of ‘Spiderman,’ some ‘Batman’ titles, comics that a traditional reader would pick up when they’re young. Then I basically got out of reading comics from about seventh grade through high school. Right after high school, we all started going to the San Diego Comic Con and that kind of got me back into comics. At that point, I found myself more interested in the independent stuff, the creator owned comics. Right now the things I’ve been into actually are more journalistic comics.”

M: “I’m also a huge fan of “The Tick.”

Spoon! (The Tick’s battle cry, I’d explain but it’d take too long. Hit Meltdown and grab a trade instead.) Continue reading »

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