The exhibit documents the time between the French Revolution and the July Revolution. During this time, French and American scientists and intellectuals were sending letters and specimens back and forth across the Atlantic, as they struggled to understand the natural world and its many mysteries.
This week in the Comic Roundup we check out Robert Kirkman’s new series Super Dinosaur, see how invincible Iron Man is against Fear Itself and visit with a long lost friend in Dark Horse Presents.
Super Dinosaur #1
By Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard
By now I really don’t think I need to tell anybody how good a writer Robert Kirkman is. His two Image titles, The Walking Dead and Invincible, regularly get great amounts of attention because they are a) very good and b) everything a creator owned title should be. But with his new series, Super Dinosaur, he is trying something that has generally been a dead end in comics: an all-ages book. How does he do? Pretty well actually.
Super Dinosaur is a book that is all about being fun. I know I use that term a lot, but to me that is what comics are all about. Sure, Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns have their place, but at the end of the day a comic book should be a fun read that leaves you entertained. Super Dinosaur accomplishes that whether you are 8 or 80. The adventures of Derek Dynamo and his best pal Super Dinosaur will appeal to just about anyone. Kirkman writes a straightforward story that is not dumbed down for kids or overly simple to adults. The art by Howard has an uncomplicated style that fits perfectly with what Kirkman is trying to do. Plus SD (as Derek calls him) might be the coolest looking new character I have ever seen.
Back in February, I swooned over Scott Derby’s awesome, geek-tastic illustrations. His fantastic Star Wars (Han Shot First) and Shaun of the Dead drawings simply screamed ‘get me tattooed on you’, what with their Sailor Jerry-esque inspired styling.
Well, now you can get something slightly less permanent from this talented local artist. His Shaun of the Dead “You’ve Got Red On You” illustration will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, April 26th, for a mere 24 hours on Teefury.
If you’re unfamiliar with the site, Teefury sells limited edition shirts for one day only, and the designs are almost always spectacular. No surprise that Scott is appearing on the site.
Out pals over at Hive 76 are offering up another 3D printing course in May, teaching us common 2D folks the way of the third dimension.
Visitors will learn how to print in 3D, using a program called SketchUp. The kind folks at the hackerspace will show you how to make simple stuff with the program, the basic process of FDM 3D printing, and the limitations of the Makerbot and RepRap machines.
The May 1st (Sunday) event runs 10am to 3pm, and tickets are only $25. Not only will you learn how to use all this cool stuff, but you’ll get to print and take home whatever it is you decide to create.
Our own Andrew Hill went to one of these classes and had a blast. Read about his experience, and go buy a ticket.
3D Printing @ Hive 76
Sunday, May 1st, 10am to 3pm
The Academy of Natural Sciences’ Bizarre Beasts is a fun exhibit with exotic creatures… but alas, the exhibit is wrapping up at the end of the month. These creatures are prehistoric marvels from our evolutionary past. If you love weird looking creatures, science, and evolution—then this exhibit is for you!
Bizarre Beasts showcases a few interesting creatures. For example, you may find the Pipa Pipa frog. A species that lays eggs into the female’s back, grows skin over those eggs, and the tadpoles then emerge from the skin later. Leaving a Swiss Cheese mess on the back of the female. Appetizing, no?
Don’t forget about the Helicoprion, the Pterosaurs, and the giant terrifying Diatryma. What’s that you say? Oh– it’s just something that existed after the Cretaceous period. There weren’t any dinosaurs around, but these gigantic birds moved to the top of the food chain. These birds of prey were even known to eat horses.
So don’t miss this exiting exhibit! You’re sure to learn a thing or two and be amazed by the creatures that once walked this earth. Fun for the whole family, and if you have little ones I highly recommend you bring them. Kids are astonished by these bizarre beasts!
The Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (19103)
Ten days from now (April 23rd!), the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is hosting Gladiator Day, an event that’ll celebrate ancient Rome’s famed fighter.
The event, which will be sans Russell Crowe (sorry ladies), will feature “gladiatorial bouts and demonstrations, a gladiator lecture, gladiator-inspired arts and crafts, balloon art creations, a food demonstration, and Italian-inspired cuisine.” And yes, I’m questioning what “gladiator-inspired arts and crafts” are as well.
As for the gladiatorial bouts… re-enactors from the Great School of the Gladiator (this is a real thing) will demonstrate combat in the museum’s outdoor Warden Garden every hour after 1pm. They’ll discuss the weapons, discuss fighting techniques, and more.
Think you’ll be bored by a lecture? Think again. Dr. Kathleen Coleman, who was the historical consultant on Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, will be speaking to guests about Ancient Rome and the gladiators. Awesome.
The event is free with museum admission ($10 for adults, $6 for students). For more information, visit the Penn Museum’s official website. See you there.
Gladiator Day @ the Penn Museum
April 23rd, 2011
His name might ring a bell for fans of Sandman, as he was a letterer for the entire run of the series. Locust Moon will be celebrating the man’s legendary career with food, wine, discussions on lettering, and of course, a signing.
The party begins at 7:30pm. Swing by and join in the fun.
Todd Klein Party & Signing
April 8th, 2010
Locust Moon Comics
4040 Locust Street (19104)
The line between technology and art blurs more and more every day. As tech continues to integrate itself into our lives, it is also altering our perception of art and what it means. What better place to discuss this ongoing trend than the Philadelphia Museum of Art during Philly Tech Week?
April 26th some of the leaders in this emerging field will be gathering at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the panel discussion Augmented Reality Check: Seeing the Future Now. Panelists include Dr. Mimi Sheller and Dr. Paul Diefenbach, both from Drexel University, Chris Manzione, founder of the Virtual Public Art Project, Josh Marcus from Decision Tree and many others.
After the panel, Manzione will lead a Virtual Art Walking Tour along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of Arts.
Admission is free for what looks to be a fascinating discussion about the crossroads of art and technology. For more information, check out breadboardphilly.org.
Augmented Reality Check: Seeing the Future Now
April 26th, 6:00-8:00 pm
Van Pelt Auditorium
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Summer is upon us and for any self respecting comic book reader that means one thing: crossovers! Almost every year Marvel and DC bring out the big guns and unleash their line wide events which promise “lasting change” and “nothing will ever be the same again.”
Now, sometimes they do manage to get it right and the readers get a great story, outstanding art and a truly changed universe. The bar I measure any comic book event to is Crisis On Infinite Earths, still the best event comic ever that delivered on its promise. Unfortunately, it is the exception, not the rule. Most of the time we get weak stories, mediocre art and nonsensical crossover titles meant to separate you from your money.
This summer DC Comics has Flashpoint and Marvel has Fear Itself both vying for your attention and dollars. It’s too early to tell if either of these will be worth reading, but I thought this would be the perfect time to look back and revisit five of the all time worst comic book events ever.
5. Anything from Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Studios
Extreme Prejudice. Supreme Madness. Extreme Destroyer. And last but certainly not least, Babewatch. The names alone are cringe worthy and the stories were just as bad as they sound. At least once a year Liefeld would announce a new crossover for all the books under his Extreme Studios imprint, at the time was published by Image, and without fail, they would somehow be released out of order. Either a book would ship late, or not at all and the reader was left to figure out what was going on as they went along. Not that there was much of a plot to begin with…
The folks at Drink Philly are good peoples. They have an awesome website, they throw some seriously fantastic parties, and their First Friday events never disappoint. This coming First Friday, they are stepping it up yet again, dishing out all their proceeds from art purchases towards earthquake relief.
You can expect the usual. Free beverages from a local vendor, tasty nibbles from someone close by, art, music, and no cover charge. Though you will have to bring a valid ID, and this is 21+.
Featured artists include:
- Tom Gabor
- Megan Coonelly
- Brad Hosbach
- Matthew Reid
- Chris Clark
- Rich Hundley
So stop by and support a good cause by buying some stuff. Do it.
Drink Philly Intergalactic Headquarters
239 Chestnut St. Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA
This week in the Comic Roundup we review the first chapter of The Death of Spider-Man, check out the new direction for the FF and revisit our childhood with G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero.
By Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting
When I reviewed the first collection of Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four, I finished by saying that the new direction had potential, but it just wasn’t there yet for me. Now that the first part of his master plan for the Fantastic Four has finished, I’m still waiting to be impressed. The whole “death” of the Human Torch and bagged issue were so 1992 and screamed of gimmicks and cheap theatrics. Do things improve with the launch of the newly retitled FF? Well…
With the passing of Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four have morphed into the Future Foundation and added Spider-Man their ranks. I’ll give Hickman this; it’s a dramatic new direction, something that other writers have been unable or unwilling to do. Unfortunately, the book still has the same problems for me; the dialogue sounds wooden and the characters show almost no emotion. The book is just missing… something. And while Epting is a more than competent artist, his style just does not fit a book like FF. The title needs an Alan Davis or John Byrne to make the characters really shine.
If you have enjoyed Hickman’s Fantastic Four run so far, FF will give you more of the same. Unfortunately, for those of us who have been less than impressed by the book, that is really not such a good thing.
Final Grade: C
G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #164
By Larry Hama and S.L. Gallant
In my neighborhood growing up, you were either a G.I.Joe fan or a Transformers fan. Me, I was a G.I.Joe fan and the highlight of my month was when the new issue of the Marvel G.I.Joe series hit the local pharmacy spinner rack. I still have my (almost) complete run and would never part with them. Now while the Devil’s Due and, later, IDW revivals were fun, they were missing one crucial component: Larry Hama. Well, last May, IDW announced Hama was finally returning to G.I.Joe and picking up right where he left off. How does the comic hold up? Beautifully.
Much like how Hama wrote the old Marvel series, there are no arcs or series within a series. This is one continuing soap opera with guns and ninjas. In #164, Cobra attacks the new Pit and we get a Snake-Eyes/Storm Shadow fight to boot. Reading this issue, it’s like I’m 12 years old again. Hama has lost none of his affinity for the cast and what makes a good G.I.Joe comic book. The pencils by Gallant are nothing special, but the art was never the selling point of G.I.Joe; Hama was.
There’s a lot going on here in Philadelphia during the Spring. We’ve got the Technically Philly boys and their Philly Tech Week, there’s the Philadelphia Science Festival, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts… yeah. Here, the fun never stops.
During all this, the American Philosophical Society is launching a new exhibition about French natural science. Entitled Of Elephants and Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790-1830. The exhibit launches on March 25th.
According to the APS, “this period was the golden era of French science. The exhibition explores how fascinating new plants and what seemed like outlandish animals–such as elephants and giraffes–propelled French science and animated French culture.”
Guests can look forward to scoping out “mastodon teeth and bird specimens… Sevrés porcelains, Redouté botanical illustrations, etchings, watercolors and even a fashion illustration.”
We’ll be scoping it out the exhibit in the coming weeks. For more info on the exhibit, visit the APS’ official website.
American Philosophical Society
105 South 5th Street (19106)