DID YOU READ

DC’s New 52 Omnibus lets new readers jump into the universe without any “crisis”

DC’s New 52 Omnibus lets new readers jump into the universe without any “crisis” (photo)

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In the course of collecting comic books over the last 25 years, I’ve noticed that there are two things readers show up for: stories where everything falls apart and the corresponding rebirths from those cataclysmic events. DC Comics has been a pioneer of these major events, from their continuity shattering “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to the “Death Of Superman,” a storyline in 1992 was a comic book event that drew national media attention because the publisher was willing to take the risk of killing off one of their most beloved and internationally recognized characters to revitalize the storyline.

For most comics, it’s not easy to jump into the story. There’s a good chance that if you come from a comic book family, your Superman WAS your father’s Superman (and quite possibly your grandfather’s Superman depending on how old you are). In some cases, with continuities stretching back almost 75 years, romances have gone on for decades, heroes have died and come back from the gave (some more than once) and yet most of them stay between the ages of 28 and 35. It’s a lot for the next generation to catch up on, and those are the readers the industry needs.

Welcome to the New 52, an event that saw the cancellation of every currently running DC title at the end of last August and a relaunch in September starting with an all-new Justice League series by superstar talents Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. It was a bold move that achieved the twin goals of tearing down the house and getting the band back together in a single stroke. The heroes had been updated, retooled, their origins tweaked, their histories streamlined. And their were twists to hook in readers who feared they might be getting more of the same; the Man of Steel could get nosebleeds and Bruce Wayne was raising a ten year old son instead of mentoring orphan wards.

Three months after DC’s line-spanning reboot hit the shelves in their individual format, the entire line of “New 52” comics that we released in September have been collected in to a massive hardcover omnibus that is available today. And by massive, we mean that it wouldn’t hurt to have a magic ring or be powered by Earth’s yellow sun if you wanted to read this standing on the train.

Clocking in at a massive 1,216 pages, it’s a collection that pulls from DC’s pantheon of characters to create a wealth of visually charged moments. At the time of the relaunch, IFC picked some of our favorite titles, and now looking it over in one sitting reinforces some of the incredible things the event brought readers in a single month. Batman and the Joker taking on a riot together in Arkham Asylum, Wonder Woman rolling out of bed to wage a war against the Gods, and a young Clark Kent (now a hipster hero of the common man) taking on his first runaway train.

Along with the blockbuster action, there are also some wonderful “human” moments, like Green Lantern hitting up his ex to co-sign on a car loan and Aquaman facing off against snide blogger in a seafood restaurant, culminating in a “drop the mic” moment the Lord of Atlantis has earned after years of “your only power is to talk to fish” jokes.

While I’ve always been a fan of the rich history of comics, I understand that they need to grow, change and adapt to remain relevant. The collection is a great jumping on point for anyone who has been curious about getting back in to reading them, and with the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series and “Man of Steel” on the horizon, there’s sure to be a few.

“The New 52” Omnibus is perfect holiday gift for readers new and old, or a great addition to your own collection.

Will you be picking up the Omnibus? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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