Feb 072016
 

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Book stores aren’t supposed to exist anymore. Especially independent ones.

The sad truth is that, at one point, Amazon and waning attention spans massacred these outlets, turning customers into e-shoppers and proprietors into paupers. Which is why exceptions have to be exceptional.

Meltdown Comics on Sunset Boulevard is one of those special misfits.

It’s a 10,000 square foot playground offering cartooning and writing classes, open mics, events, shows—the store’s even spawned a network television series starring names even non-geeks recognize. Oh yeah, and the place also sells comics. Tons. Everything from the spandex set to avant garde graphic novels. French, Spanish, Japanese creations, lots of toys, plus books with characters who grapple with love, rejection, and how to pay the rent—issues the store’s 45 year-old bearded Chilean owner has faced repeatedly for the past 26 years.

“I lucked out,” said Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, who opened Meltdown in 1993 with his then-wife Ilia. “I do daily what I love. When I started out, it was scary. Because if I fail, I’m done. So there was no option to fail.” Read the rest of the article here: http://smashd.co/take-a-page-from-meltdown/

Feb 052016
 

A happy Friday to all my fellow Melters out there.  We are officially in the first weekend of February and not only that, its Superbowl weekend!  While it may seem the entire planet has relocated to San Francisco for the weekend, I will attempt to give my fellow LA natives something to do if you decided to stay local this Superbowl weekend.

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Now this is something Im addressing for all of you “alternative medicine” people out there or folks who just really like feeling that extra sense of encapsulation when you are watching another Marvel movie.  Yes Im talking to you Cannabis customers out there.  Put on by the world renowned publication “High Times”, the Cannabis Cup is a trade show for Weed which is as blunt as I can possibly be.  This event celebrates everything marijuana with competitions, prizes, instructional seminars, games and musical performances.  If you ever wanted to go to a comic con for stoners this is it.  Also a top notch place to stock up (legally) for Super Bowl Sunday munchies.  Check out details for the event at the website here: http://www.cannabiscup.com

I am a huge Coen Brothers fan.  I truly have a hard time finding one of their films that I don’t thoroughly enjoy, truly geniuses of their craft.  This weekend what seems to be an another amazing addition to the Coen Brothers anthology is, “Hail Caesar” which came out today.  The cast is jam packed with A listers such as George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johanson, and Jonah Hill.  The movie follows the kidnapping of a 1950’s Hollywood actor (played by Clooney) who will be murdered if the studio does not come up with 100,000 dollars for his ransom.  Leave it to the Coen Brothers to be able to take such a grim plot and turn it into a dry comedy.  Im stoked to see this movie as should the rest of you.

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For all you hip hop fans out there, theres a show that you might want to consider checking out if you have the time and the funds this weekend.  Now while I personally may not be too familiar with this particular artist, he has already been making big movies in the Hip Hop world and his new album “Islah” just dropped already on the top ten charts.  He has a show this weekend at the El Rey Theater on Saturday.  If you could swing tickets it should be an interesting show.  I might show up there myself.

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Now as you are probably well aware, this Sunday is indeed Superbowl Sunday.  Superbowl 50 to be exact.  While I know the majority of you guys have as little invested in this game as I do but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your Sunday as much as everyone else.  It’s not what you are doing, it’s who you do it with, as someone once said.  While I personally prefer such venues as ESPN Zone downtown or Dave N Busters (any will do) if you want a more upscale location you can try places such as: The Parlor on Melrose Ave, Goal bar on W. 3rd Street, or my personal favorite, the Super Bowl party at Lucky Strike Bowling alleys.  Anywhere you can get drunk with friends you can’t really go wrong.

Feb 042016
 

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Daniel Clowes has been working on his latest book, Patience, for five years. At 180 pages, it’s his longest work to date, more than twice as long as Wilson, his graphic novel about an abrasive loner in Oak­land who claims to be a people person but actually can’t stand most of them (nor they him), and Ghost World, the artist’s most popular work, about the disintegrating relation­ship between two teen girls in an unnamed American suburb. From the time Clowes began the book in 2010 until its completion last October, he didn’t show a single page of it to anyone, not to Erika, his wife of 20 years, nor to his publishers at Fantagraphics, who will release the book this March, nor to his closest friends.

Clowes is in an upstairs room of his Piedmont home, a lovely two-story 1912 Craftsman set along an equally lovely tree-lined street of this East Bay suburb, talking about how the book came to be. Six feet tall and slim, Clowes has a salt-and-pepper beard and sharp blue eyes. Despite possessing the most sardonic of wits on paper, he laughs easily and often in person, at his jokes and others’. This afternoon, he’s taking care of his beloved beagle, Ella, who has dementia and barks every 20 minutes or so because she forgets that Clowes is at home. Along one wall of the room, which doubles as artist studio and comics archive, collections of Peanuts and Nancy and Gasoline Alley share shelf space with Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library and the complete works of R. Crumb. An old-timey paperback carousel is stocked with Mad magazine reprints; in a nearby cabinet there’s a tin-toy knockoff of Fred Flintstone, his 5 o’clock shadow an eerie blue.  Read the rest of the article here: https://story.californiasunday.com/daniel-clowes-patience

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Illustrations by Rutu Modan, Anders Nilsen, Richard Sala, Isabel Seliger, Seth, and Anuj Shrestha

 

Heads Up By Jamie Iovine (@jamie_iovine)

 Posted by on February 3, 2016
Feb 032016
 

Good evening Melters!  It was another beautiful day at Meltdown comics.  There are a few things this week that I want to share with you, the unwashed masses.  So without further ado, here are a few things that should be on your radar this week in the world as we know it.

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Growing up I really can’t think of anyone else who was as big of a Power Rangers fan as I was.  There was nothing I enjoyed more than waking up every Saturday and seeing what my favorite “teenagers with attitude” were up to every week.  When I found out that Saban was rebooting the franchise with a blockbuster movie coming up I was ecstatic!  Power Rangers redone with a serious tone and no camp?  This I have to see!  They have already casted the original 5 Rangers, mostly unknowns, but there was a casting reveal this week that really got me pumped for this movie.  The incredibly talented Elizabeth Banks has been cast as the main villain, Rita Repulsa!  While I didn’t have the first clue who could possibly play this iconic role but the choice is PERFECT.  I truly believe she will nail this.  I truly can’t wait for this movie to come out.

I’ve always been a fan of actor, Anton Yelchin.  From his indy flicks to his role in Star Trek I always saw big things in store for this kid, and it seems his upcoming film will back this up.  I am also a huge fan of Patrick Stewart and the fact he’s a main antagonist in the film only makes me want to see it more.  Check out the trailer, judge for yourself.

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Now if music is your thing I have something just for you, you audiophiles.  DJ, producer and just ridiculous person in general, Dillon Francis, has recently released a look book online that you can check out that shows off his new lifestyle brand called, IDGAFOS that is currently available on his online store.  If you’ve ever heard Dillon’s music or been to one of his shows, you know that he is not like any other of these performers out right now.  He has his own brand, multiple personalities, and a love for all things absurd.  IDGAFOS is a movement spearheaded by Dillon (which is an acronym for “I Don’t Give A Fuck Or Shit”) that embodies his way of living and Dillon’s approach on life.  IDGAFOS means living for yourself, being you, and not worrying about what other’s think and to be positive about who you are and what you represent.  The collection features a series of new graphic t-shirts, bold colored embroidered shirts, and much more modeled by Dillon himself and the lovely model, Emily Kretz.  Check out the store and the look book here: http://idgafos.com

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Now if you know me, you know I love me a good t shirt.  If you’ve ever come into Meltdown, chances are you won’t see me with the same shirt twice.  I am always on the hunt for a new store that will sell me shirts with ridiculous stuff printed on them and I had to share with you guys my most recent find.  SerialKillerShop.com is a t shirt store that features all of your favorite cinema murderers.  From Norman Bates, to Leatherface, To Patrick Bateman every major character with a large bodycount can be found on this sight.  Be sure to pick of some Serial Swag here: http://serialkillershop.com

#Rebirth; Why? By Matt Orso (@mattorso)

 Posted by on February 1, 2016
Feb 012016
 

#REBIRTH

#Rebirth was the headline of the day last Friday and boy oh boy, did it ever get the wheel bound hamster in my head running.  So yet again after a massive reboot back in 2011 and a soft one last June, here we are again; on the precipice of yet another possible reboot from DC Comics. At least that is what is flowing through the digital rumor-mill. As reported by www.bleedingcool.com, the #rebirth is actually may be a relaunch as opposed to an actual reboot. which if we’re splitting hairs, same difference. This is exactly what happened back in June with DCYOU. The soft reboot/relaunch that followed Convergence quickly petered out and went silently into the night. The burning question here is whether or not a reboot of any kind would be a positive thing.

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Firstly, let’s look at the reasons for a re-anything. DC Comics since Convergence back in June has seen their overall sales lower, according to www.comichron.com. Statistics aside the purpose of a reboot is to fix what is not working. Given their whole creativity over continuity mantra, it is small wonder that their sales have reflected the inconsistencies that come with the promise made in those very words.

While creativity is an amazing thing, people are not always so accepting of inconsistencies and change when they are coupled. Not only is it confusing but it also inherently breaks immersion. It still bothers me to see Batman Bruce Wayne in Justice League but then have Jim Gordon in every other book as Batman. While the idea is interesting it still is very jarring. The sad part about it is is that it would be so easy to place a time stamp somewhere on one of the panels which would give so much clarity and resolution to what many fans are dying to know.

Another reason to to rationalize a relaunch or reboot would be to give the above mentioned clarity. While it seems like a solid idea, it can also be viewed as an over complicated answer to a very simple problem. Okay, being honest maybe the problem is not that simple, considering the creative process and the multi-pronged process of making comics, that complicates things. However it does not mean that it is an impossible task. Guys, it’s not rocket science; you’re only building a universe.

When a person sets out to create a world, plot holes happen and it is an editor’s job to patch them up. With the numerous writers, editors and artists dipping their hands in creative crock-pot it is definitely not an easy thing and fans for the most part understand that. To give up every time things get a little messy and throw in the towel is not only insulting to fans but also to the people who put their blood, sweat and ink on those beautifully printed pages. We all know that new #1 issues sell and that is a good thing for all those involved. However to restart or renew inorganically leaving threads of a story hanging and bare is also an all affecting disservice to creators and fans alike.

Now I know that thus far I’ve spoken pretty poorly about the idea of a reboot or relaunch but I think it is fair to say that they come at a hefty price. I do not however think all of them are bad. I honestly Loved the New 52, while that may not be the most popular opinion, across the board, those first six or so issues were generally awesome and consistent. (I said mostly.) In the end the comic gods will decide what to do regardless of what the opinions of the masses are. Let’s just hope that the reasons for this relaunch, if it is in fact that, are the right ones.

Jan 292016
 

Hey Melters, another weekend has fallen upon us.  While we are still in a bit of an activity slump until spring picks back up, I was able to find a few things to keep your brains occupied until Monday rears its ugly head again.

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Heres something wrestling related so I have to tell you about it.  Tomorrow night, at UCB Sunset, my friend and former WWE writer Jensen Karp will be performing his monthly wrestling themed comedy show.  Karp will be joined by other comedians such as Sean O’Connor, and Jermaine Fowler.  The show will focus on the “Attitude Era” of wrestling so Karp and his crew will be talking about their favorite matches and wresters of the 90’s.  If you were a Stone Cold, DX, or a Rock fan then this is definitely the night for you.  Jensen has a really creative mind and always does professional wrestling justice with his shows and other events he holds based around Sports Entertainment.

This is a cool activity for the entire family.  Starting at 5 O’clock tomorrow at Night on Broadway in Los Angeles theres a lego mural of artist, Chuck Close, being built out of 17,000 legos.  They’re asking the public to pitch in and help contribute your legos to the project.  Its a five hour event so find the time to stop by and add your piece to the mural.  Check out the youtube video explaining the event.  The exhibit will be displayed outside the Spring Arcade Building.

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Today’s episode of The Wrestling Sheet Podcast hosted by Ryan Satin came out today and I was a guest host on this week’s episode.  This episode we discussed AJ Styles, Dave Bautista, and The Rock.  Be sure to give it a download and subscribe to this awesome podcast.  Theres great convos every week and if you are a wrestling fan like I am you will love this podcast.  Here’s the Download link:  http://prowrestlingsheet.com/sheet-podcast/

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Leading into tomorrow I will be attending the Pizza Slime/Anti Social Club party tonight.  From what I understand this party is going to be insane.  I will be doing a post on the event tomorrow with some pictures that I take tonight.  As you may have read in a previous post I did on my friends at Pizza Slime, these guys know what they’re doing with pop culture and events so Im definitely stoked on tonight.  Pray for my liver though.