Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Marve & DC Dump Trades at Liquidators The Collapse of the Comic Book Ind...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Isis: Imitation of Life Now Available in Paperback & Kindle Unlimited!

The second book that will be part of SJS DIRECT Fantasy Flashback Fall will be Isis: Imitationof Life. Inspired by the classic 1934 film, Isis: Imitation of Life is set in 1930s Jim Crow America and deals with how Isis was a hero in those tense racial times. While White heroes and heroines like Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman And Green lantern could have fantastic adventures where they used their super powers, I wanted to tell a story of how Isis fought a different battle in an era where Black people were second class citizens.

With Isis:Imitation of Life I wanted to pay homage to Golden Age comics and pulp heroes like Doc Savage. And I wanted to show my respect to the greatest generation of Black people, the everyday men and women who made every effort to show that Black people had dignity and respect in an era where racists made every effort to dehumanize Black men and Black women. These were our heroes, the Black mothers, the black fathers, the Black teachers, Black business owners, and Black professionals who fought to give Black people a fighting chance in a separate but unequal society.

I wrote Isis:Imitation of Life back in 2016, but I held back on its publication until now because I wanted to show my respect for the greatest generation of Black Americans by putting a great cover on the book. And Drew Swift did an AMAZING job designing the Imitation of Life cover. The art does a beautiful job showing us the two worlds Isis lives in, the goddess underneath the clothes of the woman and how she’s a hero at heart.

Isis: Imitation ofLife is available in Paperback on KindleUnlimited right now. You definitely want to get this one, it’s a powerful story that tells a story that teaches about Black history and shows how everyday Black men and women were heroes during the darkest time in American history.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Shawn Reviews Netflix’s Daredevil Season 3


 I’d been hearing a lot of good things about Daredevil Season 3. And after watching it, I can say it definitely lives up to the hype. If you own the DVD of the 2003 Daredevil with Ben Affleck you can throw that in the trash. Netflix’s Daredevil Season 3 is the definitive adaptation of the character.

Daredevil Season 3 starts off dealing the aftermath of the events of the dreadful Defenders series. As Matt recovers from his injuries from the building being dropped on him in that awful storyline he starts working towards getting his life back on track with the help of the nuns and priests of the Hell’s Kitchen orphanage who raised him. After revealing his secret identity to Karen Page, he has decided to give up being Matt Murdock and be Daredevil full time.

While Matt works towards rebuilding his life, Agent Ray Nadeem is trying to get a promotion in the FBI. Denied a promotion by his supervisor because she believes he’ll be compromised due to the medical bills he’s paying for a family member, Nadeem pushes for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin to be removed from prison and put into house arrest. After Fisk is shanked in prison, and gives up some Albanians, he’s moved from the jail he’s been residing since the end of season 1. On the way to that new hotel, Fisk’s convoy is ambushed by Albanians out to kill him. By the end of the first episode Agent Ben Poindexter quickly kills the Albanians with precision and sets up the origin for Bullseye in a brilliant fashion.

In the beginning it appears that the FBI is in charge because Ray Nadeem thinks he’s running things. But as the series progresses we find out that Ray is just a pawn on Wilson Fisk’s chessboard. And he’s been manipulating people like Ben Poindexter from minute one. As Matt Murdock learns about Wilson Fisk’s plan to become the Kingpin, we learn that how heavily connected he is. And with Poindexter’s Daredevil as his Knight making power moves (nice reference to Marvel Knights) he looks like he’s unbeatable. Dressed in Black sweats Matt Murdock has to overcome his fears and insecurities along with the fear everyone has of Fisk as he plays a game of chess to save the city from Fisk’s reign of terror.

And that 13th Episode is WOW. Just WOW.  

Netflix’s Daredevil Season 3 is a BRILLIANT adaptation of the comic and captures the heart and spirit of the Frank miller run of the 1980s. Over the course of 13 episodes which adapt Born Again Guardian Devil storylines. As Matt Murdock finds a new purpose as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen he transforms into a Man Without Fear. In this adaptation we get lots of twists, turns and suspense as Matt Murdock has to play a game of chess With Wilson Fisk where people’s lives are in the balance. Every character in the story represents a player on the chessboard and has their place in a very intricate and complex story where you don’t know what’s going to happen next.

Daredevil Season 3 is well-crafted adaptation of the comics. Not as PERFECT as Luke Cage Season 2, but it does an amazing job of translating the characters from the comics to the screen. While things are different in the MCU’s Daredevil’s world, they stay true to the spirit of who they were in the comics. I loved the way Poindexter becomes Bullseye and I loved the subtle references to Bullseye being a baseball player in the comics in one scene and the nuanced references to Fisk becoming the Kingpin. Not to mention references to Karen Page’s drug addiction and the nuanced reference to her giving away Daredevil’s secret identity. Seeing those little references showed how much love the showrunners had for Daredevil as a character and how passionate they were in their efforts to translate the comics to the screen. I only wish Matt had his costume on when he was perched on top of the church steeple instead of being in those sweats, that would have been AMAZING climax to the final episode. But maybe we’ll see Matt back in costume and that Bullseye costume in Season 4.

If there is a season 4. Netflix and Disney are feuding.

 While Daredevil Season 3 is rock solid in it’s storytelling I did have some issues as related to production. Like many Netflix series there were some problems with the pacing. In many episodes there were some scenes that should have been left on the cutting room floor like many of the scenes in the episode where Daredevil is trying to escape the prison riot or the scene where Fisk beats a guy to death in the car he’s riding in. And the entire expository sequence regarding Karen Page’s origin in Karen was just 45 minutes of filler to meet the 13-episode quota. Netflix really needs to learn how to edit their shows, if they just tightened up their editing and their pacing on some of the episodes in Daredevil Season 3 it could have been a CLASSIC.  

My other issue with Daredevil Season 3 was the gynocentrism and the simping that started to creep in to several episodes. I wasn’t a fan of Pondexter’s obsession with a woman. Nor was I a fan of Fisk Simping on Vanessa. While I understood Fisk’s love for Vanessa being his motivation for becoming the Kingpin, putting Vanessa on a pedestal sucked a lot of energy out of the climax of the story.

All in all I really enjoyed Daredevil Season 3. It gets my highest recommendation and I urge you to go check it out. This is a season YOU CANNOT MISS! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mourning The Passing Of Stan Lee


Stan Lee passed away today.

Nuff said.

We didn’t just lose an icon of comics with Stan’s passing, we lost a legend. Stan Lee was the man who created characters like Spider-man, The Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and co-created characters like Iron Man, Daredevil and the X-Men. And as he ushered in the Marvel Age of comics in the 1960’s he created a modern mythology that defined American culture in the 20th century.

As a kid who was born in the early 70s, I grew up on the Marvel Comics featuring many of the characters Stan Lee created or co-created. Marvel Comics were how I learned to read when I was 4 years old. I knew who all the Avengers were before I started Kindergarten. I grew up on Hanna Barbera’s Fantastic Four in syndication on Channel 5 on weekdays in the early 80s and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends on Saturday Mornings, The X-men cartoon in the 90’s and Marvel Action Universe which featured Stan doing an intro before an episode of Iron Man or Fantastic Four started.  

In most of Stan Lee’s comics he opened the imaginations of readers of all ages as he took heroes on fantastic adventures. And in those stories he made brilliant social commentaries about ordinary people in extraordinary situations overcoming incredible challenges. What made Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics so popular was the fact that in spite of the incredible powers the heroes he created had they were people just like you and me. His Marvel was the world outside our window, and his heroes and villains had the same struggles as everyone else.

At heart The Fantastic Four were a family, Spider-man was a teenager trying to learn how to be a responsible adult. Iron Man was a rich man reconnecting with the world of people he became so distant from, Daredevil was a man learning not to be afraid of a world he was taught to fear, Thor was the god who learned how to serve the people by walking among them, The X-men were fighting to overcome racism and prejudice. We all knew people like the characters in a Marvel Comic, and we all related to those heroes on a human level as we read those fantastic adventures.

Stan Lee’s legacy will have an impact on generations to come. The Marvel Age of comics he ushered in during the 1960s was the gateway to millions of kids learning to read, to them learning how to open up their imaginations and seeing the possibilities of the impossible. The mythology he created in the Marvel comics teenagers in the 1960s 1970s and 1980s read has evolved into the cartoons of the 1990s and the live action movies of the 2000s and 2010s. Showing us how the stories he helped create transcend mediums as they are passed on from generation to generation.

Over the course of his career, Stan was blessed by God to see something grand, he saw the comic book industry from its inception in the Golden Age of comics to the dark days of the 1950s to the Marvel Age of comics and the evolution of the superhero movie in the 1990s and 2000s. He literally saw characters and stories he created evolve from images on a page into live images on the silver screen. Not many comic creators get the opportunity to see their characters come to life once in any form of media, but Stan saw his come to life multiple times over his lifetime. God blessed Stan to live a rich and full life and in the 95 years he was on this earth. gvuThe comics he wrote and published had an impact on the lives of millions of kids like me. They gave me hope when I was growing up in the worst part of the Bronx. Iron Man comics taught me how to persevere after my brain aneurysm operation at 7, and how not to let that childhood tragedy define me. From those Iron Man stories I read in Origins of Marvel Comics and the David Micheline/Bob Layton Run of Iron Man in my brother’s collection, learned how to turn tragedy into triumph and not let myself be limited by someone’s idea of who they thought I could be, but become the man I wanted to be.

Thanks for all your contributions to the comic book industry Stan. It was an honor to be there to see you usher in the Marvel Age of Comics. It was an honor to get a chance to buy the comics you created at the newsstand and the comic shop. Thank you for all the great comics and all the great stories you wrote over the years.