Thursday, April 16, 2015

NIGHTCRAWLER DVD GIVEAWAY!


NIGHTCRAWLER is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles.

In his Golden Globe-nominated performance, Jake Gyllenhaal is Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling, where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by a career-oriented veteran of the bloodsport that is tabloid news, Nina, (Rene Russo), Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Thanks to those excellent people from Madman Entertainment and Nightcrawler, out on blu-ray and DVD now, we have 3 DVD's to give away!

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "What other X-men character names would make for good film titles and what would they be about? "

Terms and Conditions:

Only entries made on the Facebook Page will be included in the draw, then entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.

Entries close 6pm Tuesday 21st of April and winners will be announced Thursday the 22nd. Winners will be notified by Facebook as to when their prizes will be available to be collected. 

Winners must produce photo ID upon pick up. 

Prizes MUST be picked up no later than a week after the draw. 

Any remaining prizes after this date will be given away at our discretion to make sure they don't go to waste.

A huge thanks again to MADMAN and NIGHTCRAWLER, on Blu-Ray and DVD NOW!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR APRIL 14TH, 2015

Hi there,

Welcome to the week we all refuse to leave our homes until thirteen hours of Daredevil have been consumed spoiler-free. A hearty good luck to you in that endeavour.

It was a busy week that was for local comics and, sadly, I had to miss all of it. On April 9th, I managed to just pop in to A Thousand Words, a comics/cartoonist night held at Brunswickarts, before having to pop off again just as quickly. Seemed like a decent turnout by a nice, supportive crowd.

Most importantly, The Ledger Awards were held April 10th. I understand All Star’s own Cazz was on the judging panel and she had quite the task. Congrats to all those nominated and of course the winners who were:
Bronze: 

Gente Corriente by Thomas Campi and Vincent Zabus 



Ned Kelly by Monty Wedd



Mr Unpronounceable and The Sect of the Bleeding Eye by Tim Molloy



Frankie Holliday by Nic Lawson



Monster Zero by Frank Candiloro



Squishzine Brunstown by Squishface Studio



Silver: 
Very Quiet, Very Still by Chris Gooch



Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land Save Xmas by Dean Rankine



Gold: 
Pinocchio by Tim McBurnie and David Chauvel



Awkwood by Jase Harper



Platinum(for contributions to the artform):
John Ryan and Alisha Jade 


COMIC OF THE WEEK:BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS BY FABIEN VEHLMANN AND KERASCOET

Published by Drawn & Quarterly

One of the most acclaimed comics of recent years is Beautiful Darkness by writer Fabien Vehlmann and the husband and wife illustrative team of Marie Pommepuy and S├ębastien Cosset, who collaborate under the name of Kerascoet.

This excellently designed hardcover stars a number of fairy-like beings that live inside the body of a little girl named Aurora. When Aurora dies under mysterious circumstances, her corpse left lying on its back in the forest, the pixies have no choice but to leave their home and venture out into the wide world...our world. As Aurora’s body decomposes in rather realistic detail, the characters face backwoods horrors akin to a survivalist horror movie and find themselves picked off by forest creatures and, most shockingly, the cruelty and selfishness of their behaviour towards one another. Like Disney gone Lord of the Flies, the cute little characters obliviously consign one another to maiming and death.

The humour is pitch black. You’ll laugh as some poor misfortune befalls a character, then grit your teeth as misfortune turns horrific. It’s increasingly dark as its gorgeous watercolour pages flip by, but the real genius of Beautiful Darkness is in its structure. Beginning almost as series of off-colour bit-gags, the story unfolds and tension climbs as the acts of cruelty increase in their frequency and severity. It all leads to a climax that’s inevitable, yet still more than clever enough to twist the knife.

Okay, you say, but what’s the point? Are the pixies aspects of the dead girl’s personality, as some believe? Is this all an allegory about how horrible the world is? How existential dread or a lack of empathy, or a profound sense of selfishness and entitlement can lead to our downfall?

I shrug my shoulders at you.

The creators have gone out of their way to deny any meaning or significance in pretty much anything in the book, which further opens it up to individual readings. It’s all very thoroughly postmodern in that regard, the author being dead and all, and it’s refreshing to see comics creators refusing to pin down their art. For example, of Aurora’s death Vehlmann says, “...you can be sure that a majority of the readers will think there was a murder. But we never say that. Never. And we'll never say that it's a murder. Some of the readers may be disappointed by the end because there is no explanation. All we will say is that there is a corpse in the forest. Is she real or is she not is a question? Is there a link between that girl and the man in the forest? It's a good question but there is no answer.”

I could give you my reading, but where’s the fun in that? Pick up Beautiful Darkness and go do your own.



WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK: OUT OF SKIN BY EMILY CARROLL

Seeing as we’ve already got one body in the woods this week, let’s add a few more, eh? Out of Skin is a typically great slice of beloved Canadian creator Emily Carroll’s phantasmagorical gothic that, like Beautiful Darkness, returns some grimness to the fairy tale.

Over six scrolling screens, Carroll weaves the tale of an unfortunate woman, living alone in the woods, who stumbles upon a mass grave. I will say little else except to note how expertly she injects some creepy claustrophobia into her lush pages through the use of POV “peephole” panels. Out of Skin is beautiful to look at and smartly told. Watch out also for the sneaky bit of flash and ruminate on the man in the red riding hood.




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK:THE MEN WITHOUT FEAR: CREATING DAREDEVIL

You didn’t think we’d get through this week Daredevil free, did you? At deadline, I’m one episode in and it actually exceeded my expectations. Here’s hoping it holds up. To celebrate, here’s The Men Without Fear: Creating Daredevil, a terrific nine-part documentary. I’ve chosen to highlight the ten minutes of Frank Miller for you as it seems most appropriate in the context of the TV show, but it’s all great.

Miller takes us through his Daredevil run, what drew him to the character and shares his own amazement at what he was able to get away with. You may disagree with some of his opinions, but it’s hard to dislike a man who says, “We’ve felt so long like we were the bastard little nephew of media that we’ve forgotten that we’re better at certain things than they are,” even if that sounds rather ironic in wake of The Spirit movie.

If you’re pressed for time, do ensure you also watch the bittersweet segment with the late, great Gene Colan, whose passion, integrity and dedication to his craft shines through. Also recommended is the voluble John Romita Jr, who’s refreshingly unpretentious about juggling his artistic desire with the commercial realities of the business.



See you next week. Love your comics.



Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you’ll likely never read. He’s the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Comics For Wednesday 15th of April


Another fantastic week of books and along with the next All Star Women's Comic Book Club Meet Up on Saturday the 18 from 3PM at 1000 Pound Bend and things are looking pretty ace!

The second week of CONVERGENCE is here. Archie has had to deal with some pretty tough choices in the past, Blonde or Brunette. Now Dreadlocks are thrown in the mix in the latest AVP, ARCHIE VS PREDATOR #1. The follow up collection of the super successful all ages read about the world best and youngest master thief, BANDETTE HC VOL 02 STEALERS KEEPERS is out. The classic early Harley comic adventure get the special treatment with BATMAN ADVENTURES MAD LOVE DELUXE ED HC. John Carpenter The Thing meets Mad Max in Image's new collection, SPREAD TP VOL 01 NO HOPE. Getting a positive Aeon Flux/Run Lola Run feel from Eric Canete's latest, RUNLOVEKILL #1. Brian Wood's run on Moon Knight plays with your mind with MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 02 DEAD WILL RISE.

Like the look of something else, just let us know to stash it away for you! :D


MARVEL
AVENGERS MILLENNIUM #3 (OF 4)
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #2 (OF 5)
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND MIGHTY AVENGERS #7
DEATHLOK #7
LEGENDARY STAR LORD #11 BV
LOKI AGENT OF ASGARD #13
MAGNETO #17
MS MARVEL #14
NOVA #29
SPIDER-MAN AND X-MEN #5
SUPERIOR IRON MAN #7
THOR #7
UNCANNY X-MEN #33
WOLVERINES #14

DC COMICS
CONVERGENCE #2 (OF 8)
CONVERGENCE AQUAMAN #1
CONVERGENCE BATMAN SHADOW OF THE BAT #1
CONVERGENCE CATWOMAN #1
CONVERGENCE GREEN ARROW #1
CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN PARALLAX #1
CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE INTL #1
CONVERGENCE SUICIDE SQUAD #1
CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY #1
CONVERGENCE SUPERGIRL MATRIX #1
CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL #1
INFINITE CRISIS FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE #10
SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #9
TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1
TEEN TITANS GO #9

VERTIGO
AMERICAN VAMPIRE SECOND CYCLE #7
HINTERKIND #17
KITCHEN #6 (OF 8)
STRANGE SPORTS STORIES #2 (OF 4)

BOOM
CAPTURE CREATURES #3
ETERNAL #4
GIANT DAYS #2
HEXED #9
LUMBERJANES #13
PEANUTS VOL 2 #27
SONS OF ANARCHY #20

DARK HORSE
ARCHIE VS PREDATOR #1
BPRD HELL ON EARTH #130
DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #9
EI8HT #3 (OF 5)
GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #4
SHAPER #2 (OF 5)
STRAIN NIGHT ETERNAL #8

DYNAMITE
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SIX #3 (OF 5)
DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7)
KING THE PHANTOM #2 (OF 4)
LEGENDERRY VAMPIRELLA #3 (OF 5)
SHAFT #5

IDW
D4VE #3 (OF 5)
JUDGE DREDD CLASSICS DARK JUDGES #4 (OF 5)
MILLENNIUM #4 (OF 5)
MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #3 SIRENS
OCTOBER FACTION #6
STAR TREK ONGOING #44
TRANSFORMERS #40 COMBINER WARS
X-FILES SEASON 10 #23

IMAGE
CHRONONAUTS #2
FADE OUT #5
GHOSTED #19
ODDLY NORMAL #6
REVIVAL #29
REYN #4
RUNLOVEKILL #1 (MR)
SECRET IDENTITIES #3
SHUTTER #11
SPAWN #251
STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #3
TALES FROM THE CON YEAR TWO
TITHE #1

MISC
BETTY & VERONICA #275
BLOODSHOT REBORN #1
CROSSED PLUS 100 #4 (MR)
DOCTOR WHO 12TH #7
EPOCHALYPSE #5
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS ANNUAL #1
FOX (DARK CIRCLE) #1
LETTER 44 #15
OLD WOUNDS #1 (OF 4)
PRINCELESS PIRATE PRINCESS #3 (OF 4)
PUPPET MASTER #1
SABRINA #2
SIMPSONS COMICS #220
SIXTH GUN DUST TO DUST #2
UNITY #17

TRADES
100 BULLETS TP BOOK 02
ADVENTURE TIME ORIGINAL GN VOL 05 GRAYBLES SCHMAYB
ANGRY YOUTH COMIX HC
ARE YOU MY MOTHER A COMIC DRAMA SC
ARES & APHRODITE GN
ART OF HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE HC
ASTRO CITY DARK AGE TP VOL 01 BROTHERS & OTHER STRANGERS
BANDETTE HC VOL 02 STEALERS KEEPERS
BATMAN ADVENTURES MAD LOVE DELUXE ED HC
BEE AND PUPPYCAT TP VOL 01
BTVS SEASON 10 TP VOL 02 I WISH
DEADPOOL CLASSIC COMPANION TP
DEADSHOT BULLETPROOF TP
EARTH 2 HC VOL 05 THE KRYPTONIAN (N52)
EARTH 2 TP VOL 04 THE DARK AGE (N52)
FANTASTIC FOUR TP VOL 03 BACK IN BLUE
FILTH DELUXE EDITION HC
GRIMM FAIRY TALES VS WONDERLAND TP
GUNNERKRIGG COURT TP VOL 01
HALO ESCALATION TP VOL 02
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR 2 TP VOL 01
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR TWO HC VOL 02
LAST MAN GN VOL 01 STRANGER
LAST OF SANDWALKERS GN
MEN OF WRATH TP
MONSTER TP VOL 04 PERFECT ED URASAWA
MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 02 DEAD WILL RISE
NOVA TP VOL 05 AXIS
PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR TP VOL 01
POLAR HC VOL 02 EYE FOR AN EYE
PROMETHEUS FIRE & STONE TP
PUNKS THE COMIC TP VOL 01 NUTPUNCHER
RABBIDS GN VOL 01 BWAAAAAAAH
SANCTUARY TP VOL 01 FRESH MEAT
SCRAPBOOK UNCOLLECTED WORK 1990 2004 TP
SHAZAM A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC
SKRULLS MUST DIE TP COMPLETE SKRULL KILL KREW
SLEEPLESS KNIGHT PICTURE BOOK HC
SPREAD TP VOL 01 NO HOPE
STUMPTOWN HC VOL 03
SUPERANNUATED MAN TP
TOP 10 TP
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT OMNIBUS TP VOL 01
ZENITH HC PHASE THREE

MERCH
ARROW TV ACTION FIGURE

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE BY FRANCIS MANAPUL

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS for 7th of April


Hi there, you lovely person. Thanks for stopping by.

Held on Sunday, March 29th, the Anstey Village Street Party and Zine Fair was exactly the kind of thing I hope we see more of in Melbourne. I popped along and foundVfriendly local creators quite eager to discuss their wares. Surprisingly, there was a guy selling a bunch of Retrofit comics that he’d brought back from SPX. From him, I managed to finally snag of copy of Josh Bayer’s Theth, which in typical Bayer fashion left me uneasy, awed and a little sad in a way that few comics are capable of.

Also in attendance was Ashley Ronning, whose Deep Space House Plant I picked up. It’s a beautiful little zine, something I can imagine being put out by Youth in Decline for their excellent Frontier series. Featuring images of odd and obsolete pieces of technology being colonised by alien plant life, Deep Space House Plant is coloured inluminous pinks and greens and comes Risograph printed. It’s a great little art-comics object. Thumbs up, Ashley.




COMIC OF THE WEEK: GAST BY CAROL SWAIN 

Published by Fantagraphics Books

Helen is a young, quiet and inquisitive girl. Her family moves often but settling in rural Wales. This allows Helen to indulge her love of nature, particularly a budding passion for ornithology, which leads her to quietly catalogue local bird species and their habits in her notebooks. When she hears about the suicide of a local “rare bird”, her curiosity is piqued and she seeks out to discover the truth of what has happened. After all – birds, no matter how rare, do not kill themselves.

The rare bird in question turns out to be the man who would have been her neighbor, farmer Emrys Bowen, who lived a complex and solitary life that Helen becomes driven to understand. Aided by Emrys’ two dogs and sole remaining ram, Helen begins retracing Emrys’ steps – visiting the restaurants he ate at, the livestock markets he frequented, and the now-empty rooms of his home in an attempt to chart the migratory patterns and sad history of this very rare bird.

Drawn lovingly in charcoal, Carol Swain’s remarkable nine-panel grids shift perspective and angle almost continuously, adding an extra layer of strange dreaminess to her tale. Gast features an incredible display of carefully planned sequencing. Every conceivable shot position is implemented with Swain cutting frequently from above to below from interior to exterior, from profile to front-on. It’s a remarkable use of comic page real estate.

Gast tells a narrative of such subtlety that to explain too much would be a disservice to the reader. Suffice it to say that Swain’s characters are remarkably endearing, from the warm-hearted, inquisitive Helen, to the ever-hungry farm dogs, to the ram who lies constantly about the extent of his footrot (“Did you know that a farm animal unable to get to his feet is doomed?”), to the dear, departed, troubled Emrys himself who could do “nothing more to improve this land.” In a nutshell, Gast is artfully-constructed and a peaceful, touching and melancholy work. Mitch tells me that it might be out of print fairly soon, so if you’re curious, get in now.





WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK:EXPLANATION FOR SATOR STUFF BY CONNOR WILLUMSEN

Shout out to tcj.com who this week published a great interview with the restlessly inventive Connor Willumsen. His Explanation for Sator Stuff reads something like a late-era Philip K. Dick really cutting loose in an attempt to describe some strange new illicit substance. Traditionally panelled sequences float amongst borderless, colourful images of crazy scale and densely worded sections. The overall effect is terrifically psychedelic, initially overwhelming and even a little disorientating. Sator Stuff is also something that would just not work in print. Read on the largest possible screen for full experience.





COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK:WHAT DO ARTISTS DO ALL DAY?—FRANK QUITELY

Rejoice fellow process nerds! The BBC, frequent provider of artistic documentaries you should inject into your eyeballs, has once again provided your fix! This wonderful little 2014 documentary allows us to spend a day and a bit with artist Frank Quitely in his adorable little Glasgow studio.

Quitely takes us through his process and the creation of some of his most startling sequences with the kind of quiet intensity you’d expect from such a detail-oriented perfectionist. For me the most incredible revelation is Quitely citing one of his biggest artistic influences as Dudley D. Watkins, creator of British comic The Beano and the artist of numerous strips including Lord Snooty. I grew up reading The Beano during my childhood in England and I never once saw any Watkins in Quitely’s long-limbed, knobbly-elbowed figures, even though having watched this, it’s now totally obvious. Oh, he also uses his well-thumbed, battered volumes of Akira as pillows. This alone should be enticement enough.


See you next week. Love your comics.




Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you’ll likely never read. He’s the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.


AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON PREVIEW DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!





Once again thanks to those heroic folks at Marvel Australia & New Zealand and AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON in cinemas April 23rd, we have 10 Double Passes to a Special Preview Screening at Village Cinemas Crown, 5PM, Sunday April 19th to give away!


To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is list your contact email and tell us, "The Marvel films post credits scenes are now almost as anticipated as the rest of the film they appear at the end of. What do you hope Avengers Age Of Ultron post credit scene to be?"

SPECIAL NOTE: As this prize is for a specific time and date, please only enter if you can attend the screening. 

Terms and Conditions:

Only entries made via the comments on the Facebook post listing a email address will be included in the draw.
All entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.
Entries close 6pm Tuesday the 14th of April and winners will be announced Wednesday the 15th.


A huge thanks again to Marvel Australia & New Zealand and AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON in cinemas April 23rd