Apr 162015
 

Toxie

In terms of pro-environmental comic series, no other series ever came close to The Toxic Crusaders.

There are all sorts of things that you can blog about the merits of Captain Planet or Tank Girl, in terms of what those comic series did to enrich public discourse about the health of our environment. But none of those series can hold a candle to The Toxic Crusader.

The whole franchise was derived from Troma’s independant camp horror classic, The Toxic Avenger. The film told the story of a nerdy gym janitor who falls into a dump truck filled with industrial waste, and it transforms him into the Toxic Avenger. He’s 25% environmentalist, 50% percent vigilante, 25% monster, and 100% gross. But gross as he is, the character isn’t nearly as troubling as the industrial detritus and messiness that initially inspired the film.

The film became a cult classic, and inevitably inspired it’s own Saturday morning TV show, entitled “The Toxic Crusaders.” The program was infinitely milder than the raunchy independent series that inspired it, but it still had plenty of in-jokes for adults and Troma fans. The show features supervillains who are corporate fat cat/super villain hybrids who love nothing more than polluting the earth.

The program was on the air for two years, and in the United States, Marvel Comics produced an 8 part comic series modeled after the television show. The short-lived, but nevertheless wonderful comic series featured story contributions from significant comic writers, including Steve Gerber and Hilary Barta. One issue was even a direct parody of Captain Planet. In Europe, Fleetway produced their own Toxic Crusaders comic series, which consisted of 10 issues.

The comics (like the films that preceded them) take a satirical blow at large corporations that carelessly pollute the environment. Thankfully, we live in a world now where consumers are pressuring corporations to reduce their waste, and what’s more, alternative energy providers in deregulated markets such as directenergyrates.com are enabling the average person to reduce their own energy waste.

Given the modern-day preoccupation with green energy/eco-consciousness, perhaps the series is due for some kind of resurgence?

Feb 172015
 

As a comic book enthusiast (like Michael Jackson was), you probably have comics that you want to protect. Maybe they’re even comic books you created yourself. But what happens if your comic book collection is stolen or catches on fire? Believe it or not, there are insurance companies that specialize in collectibles. Let’s take a look at how to choose between these companies, and we’ll also provide some simple tips for caring for your stash.

Many people believe that their collectibles are covered under their homeowner’s insurance (visit site). With many homeowner’s insurance policies, there is either limited coverage on collectibles such as comic books, or in many cases, no coverage at all. Sure, you can buy extra coverage sometimes, but even then the policy is limited and vaguely worded. If you lose an Action Comics #1, which has sold for over $3 million, you wouldn’t be too happy if it was replaced with just any Action Comics issue. This type of replacement actually satisfies insurance company requirements many times.

Because of these vague insurance policies, there are insurance companies that specialize in collectibles like comic books. Just like any insurance, it is always good to know what you are looking for and what you are getting. Here are some tips when collectible insurance shopping:

  • Speak with an insurance provider who specifically deals with comic book insurance.
  • Always read the fine print. The devil is in the details.
  • Make sure you know the current market value of your comics. The best idea is to have your collection appraised annually.
  • Verify the amount your collection is insured for.
  • Ensure you are protected in all 50 states.
  • Photograph your collection. This is especially important for rare and high value items.

You can attempt to avoid the need for insurance altogether with some protection at home. In case of a fire, your shelves are likely to help fuel the flames. To help prevent that, invest in some fireproof shelving units. These shelving units are not only functional, but can really help keep your comic collection neat and organized. Another popular option is a fireproof comic safe. A safe not only protects your collection from damage, but can also help to deter theft.

No matter what you choose, the important thing is that you are happy with the safety of your comic book collection. There are plenty of choices out there, but not all of them have your best interests at heart. Remember our tips and shop around wisely.

 

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:

http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/subscription-service/

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 242013
 

Via: Badass Digest: Episode 25

Bryan Lee O’Malley (SCOTT PILGRIM), Ed Brubaker (CAPTAIN AMERICA, FATALE) and comicgirl19 weigh in on turning four color pages into big screen spectacle.

These days you just sort of assume a comic book is going to turn into a movie. In fact there were a couple of years there were guys were taking their movie pitches and turning them in to comics because they were so easy to sell.

But what makes a comic adaptation work? Why has Marvel been so successful while DC has been floundering outside of Batman? What are the best comic adaptations? I went right to the experts: Bryan Lee O’Malley, whose Scott Pilgrim series became the cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Ed Brubaker, whose Captain America comics are influencing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and YouTube superstar comicgirl19, who represents the fan side of the equation. We hung out at Meltdown Comics, LA’s coolest comic store, had a couple of beers and chatted.

This is one of my favorite episodes, and I hope you guys like it too. And I hope these great guests will one day return – we had a lot of fun!

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